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Conspiracy of blood and money?

Missouri hospital sues plasma makers

CSL Ltd. and Baxter International Inc. were sued by a Missouri hospital over allegations they conspired to fix and raise prices for blood plasma products. The companies used key words to encourage each other to increase supply only incrementally to keep pace with demand and not to increase supply to the extent the companies actually compete for market share, lawyers for Pemiscot Memorial Hospital, based in Hayti, said in a complaint filed Wednesday.

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Court affirms ban on Bibles given at school

Both sides are claiming victory in a lawsuit over distributing Bibles in a public school. The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Thursday upheld a permanent injunction prohibiting the distribution of Bibles to students at an elementary school in southeastern Missouri. For about 30 years, school officials at South Iron Elementary School have allowed representatives of Gideons International to distribute Bibles to fifth-graders.

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Lawsuit alleges discrimination, videotaping at Marshalls

A former loss prevention officer for two Kansas City-area Marshalls stores sued his former employer in federal court, alleging racial discrimination. According to the lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Wayne Cotton, who is black, worked for Marshalls from May 2006 until his termination on March 11, 2008. Cotton said he was "subjected to discriminatory practices and a hostile environment due to his race" during his employment.

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KC lawyer wins $7.2 million verdict in Iowa copter crash

Kansas City lawyer Gary Robb added another notch to his belt of helicopter-crash lawsuits with a $7.2 million victory on Monday in Polk County, Iowa. The jury verdict was on behalf of Kathy Schlotzhauer, a Lenexa, Kan., woman whose husband was killed while filming a movie scene. "We hope that this verdict serves as a wake-up call to the movie industry that safety must always come first," Robb said in a press release. He noted that the entire budget for the film was $7 million.

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Nixon vetoes caseload cap for public defenders

Gov. Jay Nixon has vetoed legislation giving public defenders greater control over their caseloads. Under the provisions of the bill, the director of the public defender system would have been able to notify the court in certain circumstances that the public defender is unavailable, leaving any person who is eligible for services on a waiting list. The measure was seen as the biggest legislation affecting the state agency that provides defense for indigent clients.

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Petition filed to change Missouri Plan

Just as Judge Sonia Sotomayor sat down in Washington to experience the federal system's method of approving court nominees, a group in Missouri said the state should vet its judges in a similar way. Better Courts for Missouri said Monday that it has filed an initiative petition that would replace the Nonpartisan Court Plan with one modeled after the federal "advise and consent" system.

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New chief to focus on court’s outreach role

Chief U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry wants the public to know what judges do. So as she begins her seven-year term as chief judge of the St. Louis-based federal court, she says she wants to focus on the court's outreach efforts. Perry is the third consecutive woman to serve as chief judge of the District Court in St. Louis. Judge Carol E. Jackson, whom Perry follows, became chief in 2002 after Judge Jean C. Hamilton completed her seven-year term.

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