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High court rejects appeals by Google, Ecuador and musician

June 6, 2016

The Supreme Court of the United States won't hear an appeal from Google over a class-action lawsuit filed by advertisers who claim the internet company displayed their ads on "low quality" web sites.

The justices on Monday let stand a lower court ruling that said the lawsuit representing hundreds of thousands of advertisers using Google's AdWords program could go forward.

Google argued that a federal appeals court in San Francisco should not have approved the class action because damages must be calculated individually for each company advertiser. The appeals court rejected that argument and approved use of a formula that would calculate harm based on the average advertiser's experience.

Google runs what is by far the world's largest digital ad network. It generated $67 billion in revenue last year.

Also on Monday, the justices turned away an appeal from the government of Ecuador contesting a $96 million arbitration award to Chevron Corp stemming from a 1990s-era oil contract dispute.

The high court let stand a lower court ruling that rejected Ecuador's challenge to the 2011 award from the Netherlands-based international arbitration panel.

The dispute centers on seven contracts that Texaco Petroleum Inc. had with Ecuador in 1991 to 1993. Chevron bought Texaco in 2001.

Chevron claimed Ecuador violated provisions of a 1997 investment treaty by failing to resolve lawsuits in a timely fashion. The appeals court agreed with a 2013 ruling from a federal district judge that sided with Chevron.

Also, the Supreme Court declined to revive defamation lawsuits filed by the founder of the rock group Boston against the Boston Herald and the ex-wife of the band's late lead singer.

The justices let stand a lower court ruling dismissing lawsuits filed by Tom Scholz over articles that quoted people discussing the suicide of singer Brad Delp. Scholz claimed the comments unfairly blamed him for the suicide.

A judge threw out the lawsuit against Delp's ex-wife Micki Delp in 2011, but the state appeals court reinstated it. A different judge threw out Scholz's separate lawsuit against the Herald.

Massachusetts' highest court ruled last year that Micki Delp's statements were opinions that could not form the basis of a defamation claim.

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