National Roundup


Family of 3 Ohio shooting victims sues restaurant 
CLEVELAND (AP) — The estate of a woman fatally shot along with her two daughters has sued a Cleveland-area Cracker Barrel restaurant, alleging it failed to protect them from her estranged husband.
The lawsuit was filed late Thursday in Cleveland by the brother of Katherina Allen. She was shot in April 2012 at the restaurant in nearby Brooklyn, Ohio.
The lawsuit seeks more than $125,000 in damages. It says the restaurant failed to properly train employees to handle a volatile situation.
Kevin Allen angrily confronted his wife at the restaurant and left, then returned and began shooting. Responding officers killed him.
New York
Rising legal costs push JPMorgan to post rare loss 
NEW YORK (AP) — JPMorgan Chase, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, reported a rare quarterly loss after setting up a big reserve for legal expenses.
The bank had to absorb a reserve for litigation expenses of $9.2 billion in the July-to-September period, pushing the lender to a loss of $380 million compared with a profit of $5.7 billion a year earlier.
While JPMorgan emerged from the global financial crisis and the subsequent Great Recession as one of the strongest U.S. banks, it has been dogged by lawsuits in recent years.
Last month, JPMorgan agreed to pay $920 million and admitted that it failed to oversee trading that led to a huge $6 billion loss last year — an episode known as the London Whale. The bank is also said to be discussing an $11 billion national settlement with the Department of Justice over mortgage-backed securities. The securities lost value after a bubble in the housing market burst and helped spur the financial crisis.
The bank said it had a total of $23 billion in reserves to cover potential litigation costs, a figure it said it hasn’t disclosed before, including the $9.2 billion for the third quarter. JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said that the amount reflected the “reality” the bank now faces but, speaking on a call with reporters, declined to give specifics on the legal costs it is anticipating.
“It’s painful,” Dimon said on a call with reporters. “But what’s more important is the underlying performance of the company.”
The bank posted a loss of 17 cents per share in the latest quarter, compared with net income of $1.40 per share a year earlier. Excluding charges, however, its adjusted earnings beat Wall Street expectations.
Its shares edged up in early trading Friday, rising 45 cents, or 1 percent, to $52.97
Excluding the litigation expense, it earned $5.8 billion, or $1.42 a share, in the quarter. That beat analysts’ forecasts for earnings of the $1.19 a share, according to FactSet.
The banks’ performance was bolstered by credit card sales and more deposits at its consumer banking unit. Net income at JPMorgan’s investment banking division rose as expenses fell, and it reduced its reserves for losses on loans.
Overall bank revenue fell 8 percent, to $23.9 billion, missing analysts’ estimate of $24.1 billion.
Attorney under fire denies wrongdoing 
PIKEVILLE, Ky. (AP) — An eastern Kentucky disability lawyer is denying accusations that he collaborated with a former West Virginia judge to improperly award disability benefits.
The Appalachian News-Express reports attorney Eric C. Conn denied wrongdoing in a statement sent out by his law office, which is located in Stanville near the West Virginia border.
The accusations against him were in a report released Monday by congressional investigators. It accused him of scheming with retired administrative law Judge David B. Daugherty to approve more than 1,800 disability cases from 2006 to 2010.
“By 2011, Mr. Conn and Judge Daugherty had collaborated on a scheme that enabled the judge to approve, in assembly-line fashion, hundreds of clients for disability benefits using manufactured medical evidence,” said the report by the staff of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.
Conn declined to answer questions during a Senate hearing, asserting his constitutional right against self-incrimination. Daugherty left the hearing before being called to testify.
The statement from Conn details his long law career.
“I have practiced Social Security disability law for 20 years,” he said. “I have advertised extensively and represented every claimant to the best of my ability. When changes in the law occurred, I studied those changes in an effort to better represent the people who put their faith in me. I have served my clients with honor and dignity. While I am not now at liberty, on the advice of counsel, to fully address all of the accusations against me, in due course, the truth will be forthcoming. For now, I request that public judgment be withheld until all the facts are known.”
Ex-coach gets 20 years for sex with student 
CELINA, Ohio (AP) — A former high school coach and teacher in western Ohio has been sentenced to 20 years in prison after admitting he had sex with one of his students.
Prosecutors say the ex-teacher and junior varsity girls basketball coach at Fort Recovery carried on a sexual relationship with the student that lasted more than two years.
A Mercer County judge sentenced Christopher Summers Thursday on eight counts of sexual battery after he asked the judge to give him probation.
The girl's mother wanted the judge to hand down the maximum sentence of 40 years.
Summers was on trial this summer when he decided to plead guilty.
The Lima News reports that Summers said in court that he made a huge mistake and blamed his actions on depression and marital problems.
Washington, DC
Police urge judge to reject protest suit 
WASHINGTON (AP) — The District of Columbia police department is urging a judge to reject a lawsuit that accused it of improperly infiltrating a protest group.
Lawyers for the police force say in court papers that the department is immune from being sued for sending an undercover officer to monitor the group's activities. They also say the department followed appropriate regulations in authorizing the undercover work and that the group lacks legal standing to sue.
United Students Against Sweatshops sued in August over the presence of an undercover female police officer at a demonstration last spring.
A police intelligence official, Thomas Wilkins, has said the undercover officer was authorized out of concern that the demonstrations would turn violent. Wilkins said an officer had previously been assaulted at one of the group's protests.


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