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POSTED January 3, 2013 7:37 p.m.

RETIREES PROMISED LIFETIME HEALTH COVERAGE SUE: LIVERMORE (AP) — A California appeals court says Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory retirees who were promised lifetime health care can sue over a switch to a private plan that costs more and covers less.

An Alameda County judge had earlier dismissed the breach of contract suit filed by four retirees of the University of California lab. In 2008, UC switched medical benefits to a private plan.

The San Francisco Chronicle says the 1st District Court ruled on Monday that the retirees had established the university promised lifetime health coverage and the suit can go forward.

The suit doesn't seek class-action status on behalf of all retired lab employees.

But a lawyer for the four retirees says he expects the case will lead to reinstatement of UC health coverage for all Livermore retirees.

NEW ALLEGATIONS IN MONTE SERENO SLAYING: MONTE SERENO  (AP) — Prosecutors say the three men charged with murder in the home-invasion slaying of a wealthy Silicon Valley venture capitalist made off with a coin collection, jewelry and cash.

The allegations were revealed for the first time in a criminal complaint filed on Wednesday in the killing of Raveesh Kumra. The complaint was obtained by the San Jose Mercury News.

The 66-year-old Kumra was killed at his Monte Sereno mansion on Nov. 30. Authorities say his wife called 911 to report that intruders had ransacked their home and beaten her. They have released few other details, including a possible motive.

The three men — 21-year-old Javier Garcia, 26-year-old Lukis Anderson and 21-year-old Deangelo Austin — are each charged with murder during the commission of a robbery.

It was not immediately clear whether they had attorneys.

A fourth defendant has been charged as an accessory.

CALIF. AG SUES CONOCOPHILLIPS, PHILLIPS 66: SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — California Attorney General Kamala Harris is suing ConocoPhillips and its spinoff, Phillips 66, over underground tanks used to store gasoline at more than 500 gas stations in the state.

Harris alleges the companies have tampered with or disabled leak detection devices and failed to properly inspect and maintain the tanks since November 2006.

Harris accuses the companies of violating state laws intended to protect residents from contaminated groundwater.

Her civil lawsuit was filed on Wednesday in Alameda County. She was joined by district attorneys from numerous counties in the state.

ConocoPhillips spun off its refineries and pipelines last year into Phillips 66, a separate company.

ConocoPhillips spokesman Daren Beaudo said the assets and liabilities of the gas stations referred to in the suit are owned by Phillips 66.

Phillips66 spokeswoman Janet Grothe says the company does not comment on legal matters.

 

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