Unite Here, a New York-based union representing 450,000 textile, hotel and restaurant workers, must pay $17.3 million for mailing postcards defaming Sutter Health hospitals, a California judge ruled.
A Placer County judge ordered Unite Here to pay the damages to Sutter, a network of nonprofit hospitals in Northern California, for claiming that Sutter affiliates used linens improperly cleaned by contracted laundry services, Sutter said.
Unite Here spokeswoman Amanda Cooper said the union would appeal the decision.
* BellSouth Corp. and AT&T; Inc. shareholders approved the $67-billion combination of the two companies that cements AT&T;'s status as the largest U.S. phone provider and gives it full ownership of Cingular Wireless.
* Three former British bankers charged in an alleged Enron-related swindle cannot go home to await trial and must each post bond of $1 million to remain free in the U.S., a U.S. judge ruled.
* Bill Price, a founder of Texas Pacific Group, is among investors who offered to buy three California wineries owned by Legacy Estates. Bankrupt Legacy Estates owns Freemark Abbey in Napa Valley, Arrowood winery in Sonoma and Byron winery in Santa Maria. The offer price wasn't disclosed.