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Judgment is upheld against tire-maker

The Arkansas Court of Appeals on Wednesday upheld a $1.2 million defective-product judgment against Hankook Tire Co. awarded by a Conway County jury in favor of the driver of a dump truck seriously injured in a 2010 crash on Arkansas 9.

The jury, after a 2016 trial in Conway County Circuit Court, found that a Hankook tire on the truck being driven by Elmer Philpot was defective and was the cause of the accident.

Hankook appealed, and Wednesday's ruling was the appeals court's third in the case. This time, the company's appeal was rejected with prejudice, meaning it can't be refiled.

The appeals court also upheld the award of about $43,000 in fees to Philpot's attorneys, the Kaster, Lynch, Farrar & Ball firm of Houston and Ocala, Fla., Jerry Kelly of Carlisle and Ben Caruth of Morrilton.

-- Stephen Steed

U.S. coal-sale foes lose round in court

BILLINGS, Mont.-- A judge threw out a lawsuit Friday from a coalition of states, environmental groups and American Indians that sought to revive an Obama administration-era moratorium on U.S. government coal sales on public lands in the West.

U.S. District Judge Brian Morris said President Donald Trump's administration had corrected its initial failure to consider the environmental impacts of ending the moratorium.

The government released an analysis in February that said the decision to resume coal sales would make little difference in greenhouse gas emissions over time, a contention that critics said was flawed.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs argued the administration considered only emissions from a handful of leases and failed to capture the cumulative, long-term effects of the coal program.

But Morris declined to weigh in on the accuracy of the administration's conclusions. He said the February analysis was enough to fulfill the administration's immediate legal obligations. Any review of whether it was flawed would require a new lawsuit, he said.

Trump pledged as a presidential candidate to end the moratorium -- part of what he called the "war on coal" -- and in office has eased regulations in an attempt to bolster the industry despite market forces that have sharply curtailed mining.

-- The Associated Press

USA Truck leads state stock upswing

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Friday at 368.16, up 3.67.

Seven of the 14 Arkansas stocks rose, led by USA Truck at 12.04%, on a day of mixed trading.

All three major stock indexes posted gains of about 3% for the week. Corporate earnings were mixed, and initial U.S. unemployment claims surged by another 2.4 million since last week.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 05/23/2020

Print Headline: News in brief

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