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POSTED March 8, 2013 10:24 p.m.

DAMAGES AWARDED IN J&J'S DEPUY HIP IMPLANT CASE : LOS ANGELES (AP) — A jury Friday awarded $8.3 million to a former prison guard who accused Johnson & Johnson's DePuy Orthopaedics subsidiary of knowingly marketing a faulty hip implant that was later recalled.

Jurors found that the ASR XL implant was defectively designed and caused metal poisoning and other health problems suffered by Loren Kransky after he underwent surgery in 2007.

However, the panel rejected the 65-year-old's claim that DePuy failed to adequately warn of the risks associated with the implant, and it didn't find the company acted with malice, prohibiting Kransky from collecting any punitive damages.

The fraud and negligence suit is the first of nearly 11,000 similar cases involving an all-metal ball-and-socket hip joint that was pulled from the market two years ago to reach trial in the United States. Others like Kransky claim the implants have left them with crippling injuries or in need of other replacement surgeries.

BIN LADEN'S SON-IN-LAW: PLEADS NOT GUILTY: WASHINGTON (AP) — Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, the charismatic al-Qaida spokesman, fundraiser and son-in-law to Osama bin Laden, is likely to have a vast trove of knowledge about the terror network's central command but not much useful information about current threats or plots, intelligence officials and other experts say.

Abu Ghaith pleaded not guilty Friday to conspiring to kill Americans in propaganda videos that warned of further assaults against the United States as devastating as the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Believed to be more of a strategic player in bin Laden's inner circle than an operational plotter, Abu Ghaith would be the highest-ranking al-Qaida figure to stand trial on U.S. soil since 9/11. Intelligence officials say he may be able to shed new light on al-Qaida's inner workings — concerning al-Qaida's murky dealings in Iran over the past decade, for example — but probably will have few details about specific or imminent ongoing threats.

40 HIKERS RESCUED; WERE LOST ON KY. MOUNTAIN: WHITESBURG, Ky. (AP) — More than three dozen Pennsylvania college students spending spring break in Kentucky on a mission trip were safe Friday after becoming lost for hours when a sightseeing mountain hike unexpectedly stretched into the night, officials said Friday.

Rescuers were able to find them — hungry and cold — after an hours-long effort in rough terrain and freezing temperatures.

UTAH MOVES TO TAX E-CIGARETTES LIKE REGULAR SMOKES: SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — A proposal in the Utah Legislature that would tax electronic cigarettes at the same rate as regular cigarettes has put the state at the forefront of a national movement to regulate the increasingly popular devices.

More than 35 proposals calling for some type of regulation of electronic cigarettes have been introduced this year in legislatures across the country, but Utah seems to be the only state currently proposing that they be taxed like regular tobacco, said Karmen Hanson, a tobacco policy analyst with the National Conference of State Legislatures. Hanson is unaware of any state with a law like this on the books.

UC DAVIS RESEARCH CENTER CITED IN MONKEY DEATHS: DAVIS  (AP) — Federal authorities have cited a primate research center at the University of California, Davis in the deaths of 19 monkeys.

UC Davis officials say the U.S. Department of Agriculture issued the citation against the California National Primate Research Center for not doing more to prevent illness or injury to rhesus macaque monkeys. The citation doesn't carry any fines or enforcement action.

The citation stems from monkeys that died from infections, injuries and inadequate care at the center's outdoor breeding colony in 2009 and 2010.

 

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