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Facebook IPO suit filed by firm

The Melville law firm of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd has jumped into the Facebook fray. The firm filed a federal lawsuit charging that major underwriters of the social networking site's initial public offering failed to disclose to investors that they had cut their revenue projections for the company just before its IPO last Friday. Robbins Geller, the Long Island branch of a San Diego-based firm, contends the underwriters disclosed the revisions to a select group of investors but kept most buyers of the stock in the dark. The suit says the lowered revenue projections prompted a significant drop in the $38-a-share offering price in the first days of trading, which hurt buyers. The lawyers are seeking class-action status, contending that the plaintiffs could number in the thousands. The three lead plaintiffs in the suit, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Manhattan, are from Pennsylvania and Illinois. -- Carrie Mason-Draffen

Scaffold Law reform urged

Long Island business leaders Thursday urged Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and legislators to reform the state's 1895 Scaffold Law, which holds building contractors liable for any elevation-related injury on a job. Opponents of the law say it is outdated and unfair. Leaders of the Long Island Association, Association for a Better Long Island, Long Island Builders Institute and Long Island Contractors' Association sent a letter to Cuomo and State Assembly and Senate leaders urging passage of legislation to reform the law. The bill, proposed by upstate legislators, would replace the Scaffold Law when a worker's injury is "caused by that worker's failure to follow safety training or use available safety devices, intoxication, or commission of a crime," they said. Negligent employers "will still be held fully liable, and the injured workers may still collect workers' compensation benefits." The state AFL-CIO has said it will work to defeat "attempts to roll back workers' protections, like the recent calls to gut the Scaffold Law." -- James Bernstein


Benson's Steakhouse to close

Ben Benson's Steakhouse, the popular midtown Manhattan restaurant, will call it quits after Father's Day, ending a 30-year run. The reason is "economic," and 80 employees will lose their jobs, according to a mandatory layoff notice filed with the state Labor Department. A published report said the restaurant's landlord asked for a big rent increase that founder Ben Benson said he couldn't afford. He founded the single-location restaurant in 1982 and boasted that its customers included professional athletes, celebrities and steak connoisseurs who indulged in prime beef and 3- to 7-pound lobsters. -- Carrie Mason-Draffen


New Orleans paper cuts back

The Times-Picayune and three Alabama metro newspapers owned by the same company are dropping daily circulation in favor of three printed editions a week to focus on online news. With the changes starting in the fall, the 175-year-old New Orleans newspaper would become the largest paper in the nation to succumb to the pressures of the digital age and drop daily circulation.

Networks sue Dish over AutoHop

Broadcasters Fox, NBC and CBS sued Dish Network Corp. yesterday over a service that offers commercial-free TV. Dish, the nation's second-largest satellite TV provider, filed a suit of its own seeking a judicial all-clear for its "AutoHop" ad-skipping technology. Dish said the service it launched this month doesn't violate copyrights and has a "groundswell of support from consumers." At question is whether TV distributors can cut out commercials on consumers' behalf, or if consumers hold that power alone with their fingers on the remote. -- AP


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