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Bay Area news briefs
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LIVERMORE LAB JURY AWARDS $2.7 MILLION: OAKLAND  (AP) — A jury has awarded more than $2.7 million to five former Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory workers in an ongoing wrongful-termination case.

The San Francisco Chronicle says jurors awarded the workers reimbursement for their lost wages after finding that the lab had violated a contractual promise to terminate them only for "reasonable cause." Individual damages ranged from $242,000 to $853,000.

An attorney for the plaintiffs said the employees chosen were picked for layoff ahead of others with less seniority.

Lawyers for the lab contended that managers had followed Department of Energy personnel standards

A new jury will now consider their claims of age discrimination, which could bring additional damages for emotional distress and punitive damages.

The newspaper says another 125 laid-off employees are awaiting their own trials on similar claims.

WOMAN, 88, TRAPPED IN CAR MORE THAN 2 DAYS: SANTA ROSA  (AP) — An 88-year-old Northern California was recovering at a hospital on Tuesday after spending the weekend trapped inside her overturned car in an embankment.

Jean Wright, of St. Helena, was rescued Monday morning, more than two days after she apparently hit a utility pole and went down the 40-foot embankment on a rural road in unincorporated Santa Rosa, the California Highway Patrol said.

Wright was upside down when she was found by a tractor-trailer driver around 10 a.m. Monday. The truck driver, Jesus Gutierrez, of Oakley, had driven by her three hours earlier and came back after noticing something suspicious, CHP Officer Kimberly Lemons said.

He flagged down a passing Sonoma County Sheriff's deputy, who called for assistance.

Wright had left Petaluma for her home around 8 p.m. Friday before she crashed. Lemons said the pole Wright struck was not knocked down and her car was hidden from the view of vehicles passing by. The road is also devoid of weekend truck traffic that might have been able to spot her vehicle, she said.




DON PERATA'S DAUGHTER-IN-LAW DROWNS IN NAPA POOL: NAPA  (AP) — Authorities say the daughter-in-law of former state Sen. Don Perata drowned in her family swimming pool in Napa over the weekend

Napa Police Capt. Jeff Troendly says 38-year-old Catherine Perata was found unresponsive Saturday morning by her husband in their backyard pool.

She was declared dead at the scene.

The San Francisco Chronicle says an autopsy performed Monday determined that the cause of death was drowning.

Troendly says while foul play is not suspected, investigators are waiting for a toxicology report before concluding the death investigation.

Perata was married to Nick Perata, Don Perata's son. The couple had two daughters.

Don Perata was state senate president pro tem from 2004 to 2008. In 2010, he ran for mayor of Oakland but lost.