GM LOSES BID TO AVOID IGNITION SWITCH TRIAL
The first case against GeneralMotors Co. over its faulty ignition switches can proceed to trial after a federal judge rejected the auto maker’s bid to dismiss the allegations outright.
U. S. District Judge Jesse Furman in Manhattan saidWednesday that GM’s arguments “fail as a matter of law.” GM argued that the plaintiff, Robert Scheuer, cannot prove that the ignitionswitch defect or GM’s conduct caused his injury. The allegations regarding the company’s conduct open GM to the possibility of punitive damages. A jury trial is to begin Jan. 11.
Berkshire Hathaway buys Virginia newspaper B
fredericksburg, va. » Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary BHMedia Group has purchased The Free Lance- Star, adding to its newspaper holdings in Virginia. The purchase announced Thursday increases the Omaha- based BHMedia’s daily newspaper count to 32, most of them across the South and Midwest. The company has 10 daily newspapers in Virginia, including in Richmond, Charlottesville, Roanoke and Danville, plus nearly 20weeklies in the state. BHMedia also owns the OmahaWorld- Herald.
B washington » Average long- term U. S. mortgage rates crossed the 4 percent mark this week, a slight increase in the wake of the Federal Reserve decision last month to hike a key short- term interest rate. Mortgage buyer Freddie Mac said Thursday that the average rate on a 30- year fixed- ratemortgage rose to 4.01 percent from 3.96 percent a week earlier. That rate has risen from its 3.87 percent average a year ago. Still, borrowing costs are well below historic average of 6 percent 30- year mortgage rates.
Average mortgage rate rises
EMC to cut jobs.
Data- storage company EMC, which is in the process of being taken private by Dell, said it will cut an unspecified number of jobs as part of an $ 850 million cost- reduction plan.
In a regulatory filing, the company said it expected a total charge of $ 250 million associated with the restructuring. The company didn’t specify which quarter the charge would land in, and a spokesman declined to specify how many jobs would be cut.
The layoffs are part of wider restructuring efforts that were approved by the company’s boardWednesday.
Unemployment applications jump
B washington » More Americans requested unemployment benefits last week, but the level remains near historic lows in a positive sign for the job market. Applications for jobless aid jumped 20,000 to a seasonally adjusted 287,000, the Labor Department said Thursday. The less- volatile four- week average climbed 4,500 to 277,000. In the past 12 months, the number of people receiving benefits has fallen 7.1 percent to 2.2 million.