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The Journal Gazette

Friday, March 17, 2017 10:00 pm

Lyft to pay $27 million in driver suit

News services

Ride-hailing company Lyft will pay $27 million to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by drivers who sought to be classified as employees, after a judge gave the agreement final approval Thursday.

Though the settlement results in payment to drivers and some changes to Lyft’s terms of service for drivers, it does not decide the question of whether drivers are employees or independent contractors.

That matter "will have to wait for another day," plaintiff attorney Shannon Liss-Riordan said.

About 95,000 Lyft drivers have already submitted claims to be part of the settlement, and new claims are still being accepted, she said.

JC Penney store in Huntington to close

J.C. Penney on Friday released a list of 138 stores it plans to close, including one in Huntington.

The Huntington Plaza store is one of five that will close in Indiana. Other Indiana stores are closing in Columbus, Connersville, Jasper and Logansport.

Four stores are closing in Ohio, seven in Michigan and seven in Illinois.

About 5,000 positions nationwide will be affected by the closures, most of which will occur in June, according to a news release.

The retailer also has a store, one of the anchor tenants, at Fort Wayne’s Glenbrook Square.

The closures, according to the news release, are part of a plan to "advance sustainable growth and long-term profitability."

Several to leave Chipotle board

Chipotle, which is trying to revive its fortunes after being rattled by food safety scares, said a third of its board members will leave in May after their terms expire, including three longtime members who were on the board before Chipotle became a public company more than a decade ago.

The burrito chain, under pressure from activist investor Bill Ackman to speed up its recovery, expanded its board to 12 members in December after four new directors were added. Ackman’s hedge fund, Pershing Square Capital, is one of Chipotle’s largest shareholders, owning a more than 10 percent stake in the chain.

Caterpillar hires ex-Cabinet official

Caterpillar Inc. is hiring a former U.S. attorney general to help it sort out matters that sparked a federal raid on its headquarters in Peoria, Illinois.

William P. Barr will serve as outside counsel to the large equipment manufacturer. He’ll help Caterpillar review and address issues relating to Caterpillar SARL, a Swiss parts subsidiary, and tax-saving practices.

Issues with Caterpillar SARL have dogged the company for eight years, sparking a Senate investigation, shareholder lawsuits, and proposed taxes and penalties totaling $2 billion.

Czech Budvar beer sets output record

Production of Budvar beer, which has been embroiled in a lengthy legal dispute with U.S. giant Anheuser-Busch over the use of the "Budweiser" brand, reached a record in 2016.

Budejovicky Budvar NP, a Czech state-owned brewery, said Friday its output rose 0.8 percent to 42.66 million gallons of beer, the highest volume in its 120-year history.

It did not disclose exact export figures but said it sells about 60 percent of its production abroad.