GM LOSES BID TO AVOID IG­NI­TION SWITCH TRIAL

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

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.

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