Judge dismisses some 2010 oil spill claims

A judge in New Orleans has dismissed all of the federal court claims against a BP contractor sued over the deadly rig explosion and massive oil spill it spawned in the Gulf of Mexico. None of the plaintiffs’ attorneys or other companies sued over the 2010 disaster formally objected before U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier on Friday dismissed the claims against Swiss-based Weatherford U.S. and Weatherford International. Barbier ruled there is no evidence that a Weatherford-made float collar used in BP’s blown-out well was defective or contributed to the cause of the blowout and spill. A trial involving claims against BP, rig owner Transocean and other companies is scheduled Feb. 27.

GE to hire 5,000 veterans over 5 years

General Electric Co. plans to hire 5,000 veterans over the next five years and invest $580 million to expand its aviation business. The announcements Monday were part of a four-day event that the global conglomerate is hosting with partners in Washington, D.C., that focuses on issues such as manufacturing and job creation in America. GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt heads up President Barack Obama’s 27-member jobs council . GE said Monday that its “Hiring Our Heroes” partnership will help match veterans with jobs. In addition, its aviation unit will add more than 400 new manufacturing jobs and open plants in Ellisville, Miss., Auburn, Ala., and Dayton, Ohio, next year.

Europe OKs Google’s $12.5B Motorola deal

Google’s $12.5 billion acquisition of cellphone maker Motorola Mobility has won approval of European antitrust regulators, moving Google one step closer to completing the biggest deal in its 13-year history. EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement Monday that regulators didn’t believe the transaction itself raised any competitive problems. The blessing means Google now only needs government approval in the U.S., China, Taiwan and Israel before it can close a deal announced six months ago. Google is counting on Motorola’s more than 17,000 patents to help shield its Android operating system from lawsuits alleging intellectual theft.

Agency drafts new mortgage disclosure

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this week will unveil a prototype for a new monthly mortgage statement for consumers designed to clearly show important information from their servicer. The statement will include the principal owed on the loan, the current interest rate, the next date on which the interest rate could change, a description of late payment fees and a phone number and email address the homeowner could use to contact the company servicing the mortgage, director Richard Cordray said in an opinion article in Politico on Monday. The prototype will be posted on the agency’s website this week so the agency can get input from the public and industry, he said.

From Herald news services

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