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Business news in brief

In the Region

Eight former employees sue Jevic over lost jobs

Eight former employees of Jevic Transportation Inc. sued the Delanco trucking company yesterday, contending it violated New Jersey's layoff-notification law when its abrupt closing last week put more than 1,000 people out of work. The suit in Burlington County Superior Court alleges that Jevic did not give employees the 60-day advance notice as required. The lawsuit filed by Cherry Hill attorney Robert F. O'Brien seeks class-action status.

- Maya Rao

Boeing submits revised bid for Chinook contract

The Boeing Co. Rotorcraft Division, based in Ridley Township, Delaware County, said it had submitted a revised bid yesterday to make a variant of the Chinook tandem-rotor helicopter, the Air Force's new combat search-and-rescue aircraft. The Boeing HH-47 won the initial CSAR-X competition in 2006, but rivals were successful in forcing a new round of bidding. Winning the competition could mean future orders for 144 helicopters, at a total cost of about $10 billion, and as many as 400 new jobs at Boeing's suburban Philadelphia complex.

- Henry J. Holcomb

Crozer Chester nurses vote to authorize strike

Unionized nurses at Crozer Chester Medical Center have voted to authorize a strike beginning June 5. The contract between nurses represented by the Pennsylvania Association of Staff Nurses and Allied Professionals (PASNAP) and the hospital will expire at 11:59 p.m. June 4. Negotiations are continuing. Bill Cruice, executive director of PASNAP and chief negotiator, said nurses were asking for the nurse-to-patient staffing ratios required of hospitals in California. Pennsylvania and New Jersey do not have such rules, he said. Crozer already meets those standards on many units, he said, but might have to hire more nurses to work on late shifts in some departments. In a statement, the hospital said: "Our nursing staff is very important to us and we are hopeful that we can reach a settlement that is fair for our nurses and the hospital."

- Stacey Burling

Discovery Labs says it has secured $60 million

Discovery Laboratories Inc., Warrington, said it had secured $60 million in financing from Kingsbridge Capital Ltd. by agreeing to sell common stock to the private investment group over three years. The biotechnology company said the committed equity-financing facility with the United Kingdom-based private investment group would provide cash to help promote Surfaxin, the company's first drug, once it passed final regulatory hurdles. Surfaxin has not yet been approved by the Food and Drug Administration. The drug would help prevent respiratory distress syndrome in premature infants. Under the deal, Kingsbridge would purchase as many as 825,000 shares of common stock for $2.51 a share. Discovery Labs shares closed up 8 cents, or 4.7 percent, at $1.78.

- Maria Panaritis

Rohm & Haas to build a new plant in Vietnam

Rohm & Haas Co. said it would spend about $10 million to build an acrylic emulsion plant in Vietnam, with plans to complete the site by the middle of next year. The Philadelphia specialty-chemical company already has 12 plants in the Asia-Pacific region and 34 plants worldwide. The new facility in Nhon Trach city will specialize in house paints, for both interior and exterior use. Company shares closed up 69 cents at $53.47 on the New York Stock Exchange.

- Roslyn Rudolph

Virtua Health breaks ground on new N.J. facility

Virtua Health broke ground on its Health and Wellness Center in Washington Township. The $31 million, 225,000-square-foot facility on about 40 acres is expected to open in summer 2009.

- Stacey Burling


Express Scripts agrees on $9.5 million payment

Pharmacy benefits manager Express Scripts has agreed to pay $9.5 million under an agreement with 28 states, including Pennsylvania, over switching patients' cholesterol-drug brands to control costs. St. Louis-based Express Scripts Inc. said it would pay $9.3 million of the total to the states and the District of Columbia to settle litigation by attorneys general alleging violations of consumer-protection laws. An additional $200,000 will cover payments of no more than $25 apiece to individual patients for physician visits and tests linked to switches between rival brands of cholesterol-controlling drugs known as statins. Pennsylvanians will receive $658,000 from the settlement. Read the states' agreement at



- AP

Sony to make interactive TVs without set-top boxes

Sony Electronics Inc. will make TVs that can deliver interactive digital video services without a set-top box under an agreement with cable television operators. Sony follows other major manufacturers in embracing an interactive standard developed by the cable industry, said Kyle McSlarrow, president of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. In return for Sony's participation, the six largest cable companies, including leader Comcast Corp., pledged to use the standard in some set-top boxes they distribute, and to let Sony add features without seeking their permission, McSlarrow said.

- Bloomberg News

T-Mobile loses appeal in cell-phone cases

The Supreme Court handed a defeat to T-Mobile USA Inc., rejecting the company's appeal in three cases involving the legal remedies available in millions of cell-phone contracts. The issue in the three cases was the same: whether federal law preempts state laws that limit the ability of companies to prohibit consumers from banding together to pursue class-action lawsuits. T-Mobile included a prohibition on class actions in a part of its contracts that also required consumers to resolve complaints through arbitration.

- AP

Interest rates rise on short-term Treasury bills

Interest rates on short-term Treasury bills rose in yesterday's auction. The Treasury Department auctioned $25 billion in three-month bills at a discount rate of 1.870 percent, up from 1.855 percent last week. An additional $23 billion in six-month bills was auctioned at a discount rate of 1.920 percent, up from 1.885 percent last week. The discount rates reflect that the bills sell for less than face value. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,952.73; a six-month bill sold for $9,902.40.

- AP

Key index for adjustable-rate mortgages increases

The Federal Reserve said yesterday that the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for making changes in adjustable-rate mortgages, rose to 2.09 percent last week from 2.07 percent the preceding week.

- AP