State digest 07/28/04

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

MCI, AT&T to honor Missouri's No Call list

ST. LOUIS -- MCI Inc. and AT&T Corp. will pay a combined $50,000 to Missouri and no longer make calls to consumers on the state's No Call list under deals announced Tuesday by Attorney General Jay Nixon. The agreements with AT&T and MCI settle lawsuits Nixon's office filed last summer against the two telecommunications companies over the telemarketing list. A similar Missouri lawsuit against Texas-based SBC Communications Inc. continues in federal court, Nixon said. More than 1.6 million telephone numbers have been added to Missouri's No Call list, meaning most telemarketers are not supposed to call them. But telephone companies were exempt from the state law, which was passed in 2000. Since then, Nixon has sought to close loopholes.

Court rejects St. Louis suit against gunmakers

ST. LOUIS -- Saying a newly revised Missouri law bars such legal action, a state appeals court refused Tuesday to reinstate the city's lawsuit that sought compensation from gunmakers, distributors and related trade groups for gun-related injuries. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay called the ruling by the three-judge Missouri Court of Appeals disappointing, adding that it was not yet clear whether the city would further appeal. Tuesday's decision upheld a St. Louis County judge's dismissal last October of the city's 1999 lawsuit. In that ruling, Circuit Judge Emmett O'Brien said such lawsuits would open "a floodgate" of litigation" and that "issues of both logic and fairness" favored throwing out the case. Last year, a bipartisan group of lawmakers overrode the veto of Democratic Gov. Bob Holden to enact legislation barring both pending and future lawsuits by governments against the gun industry over the social costs of gun violence.

-- From wire reports

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