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August 09, 1978 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-08-09

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Page 10-Wednesday, August 9 1978-The Michigan Daily

P ittsburgh
These bridges spanning the
Monongahela River and 1,800 others
serving Pittsburgh and surrounding
Allegheny County, Pennsylvania have
local officials worried. The bridges,
averaging 50 years of age, are begin-
ning to fall apart at an alarming rate.
_ s:__Snt.AP Photo ,
Judge throws out TV-related rape case

million suit against NBC was dismissed
yesterday after the plaintiff's attorney
refused to argue that the network was
trying to incite rape when it telecast a
TV film that included a rape scene.
Judge Robert Dosses of San Fran-
cisco County Superior court said NBC
was protected by the free speech
provisions of the First Amendment.
DOSSEE SAID he threw out the case
because attorney Marvin Lewis, in his
opening statement, argued negligence
and recklessness on the part of the net-
The judge had ruled Monday that the
plaintiff could proceed with the case
only on the basis of arguing that NBC
attempted to deliberately "incite" a
crime by showing the rape of a young
girl with a plunger's helper in the 1974

TV film "Born Innocent."
Lewis represented Valeria Niemi ar
her daughter, Olivia, who was 9 wh(
she was sexually assaulted with a bott
by three girls on a San Francis
beach. Valeria Niemi says the attar
was prompted by the TV film, and w
asking $11 million from the networ
NBC says the telecast was protected t
the constitutional guarantee of fr
AFTER MONDAY'S ruling, Lew
said he had "an impossible burdenc
proof" and would appeal the ruling. B
he began his opening statemei
anyway, trying to establis
"negligent," "irresponsible" an
"reckless" behavior by the network.
Yesterday he said the only persc
jailed in the attack on Miss Miemi ha
declared ina desposition that the crim


was patterned after the movie.
Lewis said Sharon Smith testified she
was "instigated to participate in the
rape by previews and discussions of the
rape scene in 'Born Innocent."'
The two other girls and a boy who ap-
parently served as lookout never stood
trial, Lewis said. Ms. Smith was the
only youngster to be convicted. She is
now free after serving a prison term.

The plaintiffs argued that many of
the details in the Niemi rape were
similar to the televised scene, including
a striking resemblance between Niemi
and Linda Blair, the actress who played
the victim.
Lewis maintained that the assailants
were not mentally ill and were influen-
ced directly by what they saw on

Conn . suing the pants off
Levis for price-:fixing

' Not


on HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - The
ad state of Connecticut filed suit yesterday
ie against Levi Strauss Co., accusing the
giant blue-jean maker of coercing its
retailers into selling pants at fixed
The suit alleged that for six years,
beginning in 1971, retailers were forced
by Levi to sell Levi products at fixed
prices that wound up costing Connec-
ticut shoppers $2 million in alleged
LEVI COULD be assessed fines and
damages of up to $6 million, three times
the amount of the alleged overchage.
No hearing date has been set.
"What we have here is the most
flagrant kind of economic leverage, ap-
plied by a giant in the clothing industry,
exercised with the clear intent of
bringing recalcitrant retailers into
line," said state Attorney General Carl
Ajello, who filed the suit.
BUD JOHNS, director of corporate
communications for the San Francisco-
based firm, said: "We very vigorously
deny that we're guilty of the actions
charged. We feel our pricing has
always been proper, and we feel that
our growth is a reflection that our con-
- sumers agree with-it." - - -
The'suit charges that the comlpany's
sales agents Wee told to'contact priWe6'

cutting retailers - in person, never by
phone or mail - to force retailers to
stick to Levi's suggested prices.
"Failure to comply with the denim
magnate's 'suggested' selling price led
to the coercion, intimidation and
harassment of retailers,"*the attorney
general said.
But Johns, who said Ajello never con-
tacted the firm before filing the suit,
said "We do not coerce, intimidate or
harass our retailers and we never ter-
minated a retailer because of a pricing
problem. We have the highest
distribution in the apparel industry and
it's a highly competitive policy."
AJELLO SAID price-setting
agreements between manufacturers
and retailers circumvent the "supply-
and-demand" pricing of the market-
place and are illegal in Connecticut.
He said it was conceivable that per-
sons who bought Levi pants during the
period could be compensated directly if
the state won the suit.
Ajello added that the Federal Trade
Commission, which worked with his of-
fice in the investigation, had worked out
a $15 million settlement in California
on similar allegations against Levi.
Ajello said the California settlement
included a- '"cease' and' desist ddr."
against further"allegedly iinp'rope
pricin'g p'ractices


. --. Ailg ttff'ex

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