Legal news from Friday, August 19, 2005
16:08 EDT

[JURIST] A Texas jury on Friday awarded a $253.4 million verdict in a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the widow of a man who suffered cardiac arrest after using the prescription osteoarthritis drug Vioxx [JURIST news archive]. Merck [corporate website], the maker of Vioxx, has issued a statement [press release] [read more]

16:08 EDT

[JURIST] John Allen Muhammad [Wikipedia profile], who has been convicted of murder in Virginia [JURIST report] for one of the ten Washington DC area sniper killings, was moved Friday from Virginia's death row to Maryland in order to face trial for six other deaths in the 2002 killing spree. Muhammad [read more]

15:08 EDT

[JURIST] A survey conducted by Quinnipiac University's Polling Institute [official website] found that 72% of 1,601 New York residents polled supported the random bag searches [JURIST report] being conducted on city subways and buses following the terrorist attacks in London [JURIST news archive]. While 55% said government security measures should [read more]

15:08 EDT

[JURIST] The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) [official website], the political wing of the outlawed Mujahideen-e-Khalq guerrilla movement [Wikipedia backgrounder], said Friday that Iran is developing a plan to produce plutonium for nuclear weapons. While the European Union and the International Atomic Energy Agency [official website; JURIST news [read more]

14:08 EDT

[JURIST] Three days after gang related riots [JURIST report] in seven Guatemalan prisons killed 35 inmates, three more inmate gang members were injured in riots Thursday. A later search of the prison uncovered 3 grenades, 6 guns and many homemade weapons. Blanca de Stalling, the director of an association of [read more]

14:08 EDT

[JURIST] Four tobacco companies have filed suit against the state of Kentucky for violating the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement (MSA) [PDF text] made between 46 states and more than 40 tobacco companies, regulating payments to states and restrictions on tobacco promotion. The four companies, Vector Group [corporate website], Commonwealth Brands [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] Grundfos [corporate website], a Danish company that produces industrial pumps, admitted Friday that two employees paid kickbacks to authorities in Saddam Hussein's government under the UN oil-for-food program [JURIST news archive]. An internal Grundfos investigation uncovered the bribes, which were made between 2001 and 2002 to secure two contracts, [read more]

13:08 EDT

[JURIST] The lawyer for former Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz [Wikipedia profile] announced Thursday that he expects his client to be released from US custody shortly without being put on trial. Badia Aref told Reuters that due to legal developments that could not be disclosed, he expected his client [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] A US military jury reduced the rank of Pfc. Willie Brand to private, the lowest pay grade in the army, at his sentencing hearing Thursday. In doing so, the jury disregarded the prosecutor's recommendation that Brand be sentenced to 10 years in a military prison for his conviction [JURIST [read more]

11:08 EDT

[JURIST] Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff [Wikipedia profile], indicted by a federal grand jury [JURIST report] on bank fraud charges last week, will plead not guilty, according to a statement made by his lawyer Neal Sonnett Thursday. The charges allege he defrauded two lenders of $60 million to buy San Cruz [read more]

10:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Federal Election Commission [official website] voted 6-0 in favor of Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA) [official website] and John Doolittle (R-CA) [official website] Thursday to allow members of Congress to raise unlimited funds from unions, corporations and other donors to fight Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's Proposition 77 [proposition text; University [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] Sunni Arab negotiators working on Iraq's draft constitution [JURIST news archive] continue to refuse to compromise their demands for a strong central government in Iraq [JURIST report], fearing that federalism will divide the country. While the Supreme Council for the Islam Revolution in Iraq [party website], the largest Shiite [read more]

09:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Walt Disney Company [official website] asked the nonprofit firm Verite [official website] to investigate allegations of labor abuse in factories run by its Chinese contractors, according to a statement Friday. Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior (SACOM) [advocacy website], a non-governmental, Hong Kong-based organization created by students to [read more]

08:08 EDT

[JURIST] The Hamburg Supreme Court convicted Mounir el Motassadeq [BBC profile] Friday of belonging to a terrorist organization and sentenced him to seven years in prison, but acquitted him of being an accessory to the murder of the over 3,000 people killed in the World Trade Center attacks. The German [read more]

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