Originally created 05/23/00

Business briefs: Court rules against suing automakers



WASHINGTON - The Supreme Court says millions of Americans who drive or ride in cars built before federal regulations required air bags cannot, if they get hurt in accidents, sue automakers for not installing the safety devices.

Voting 5-4 Monday, the court said federal regulation of automobile safety blocks lawsuits in which people invoke state product-liability laws and contend air bags could have saved them from harm.Gold demand sees slight increase

Global demands for gold rises

NEW YORK - Global demand for gold rose in the first quarter from a year earlier, despite a sharp decline in purchases by Americans, who were heavy buyers last year in preparation for Y2K problems, the World Gold Council said Monday.

The demand for gold totaled 795.2 metric tons in the January-March period, up less than 1 percent from the 787.7 tons a year earlier. Software giant expands argument

Microsoft files unexpected brief

SEATTLE - Microsoft Corp. filed an unexpected brief in federal court Monday, expanding on its argument against the U.S. Justice Department's plan to break up the software giant because of antitrust violations.

Microsoft said in its brief that the government argued against breakup in a previous case against the company. Microsoft quoted a Justice Department filing that said, in part, "such remedies would not necessarily benefit competition and would act against the public."