Murdoch's company settles phone hacking lawsuits

Court Watch Posted on

Rupert Murdoch's News International has succeeded in settling nearly all the cases in the first wave of lawsuits against it for phone hacking, with a new round of apologies and payouts announced in a London court Wednesday.

But a potentially damaging claim lodged by British singer Charlotte Church is still headed to trial, and a second wave of new lawsuits — as many as 56 in all — is still looming, lawyers told London's High Court.

News International, a division of News Corp., has tried hard to keep phone hacking cases from going to trial, launching its own compensation program overseen by a respected former judge and paying out hundreds of thousands of pounds in out-of-court settlements.

On Wednesday, lawyers announced that nine more lawsuits had been settled, including cases brought by comedian Steve Coogan, former soccer star Paul Gascoigne and maverick lawmaker George Galloway. Some of the suits had multiple claimants.

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