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Former Blackwater employees Brad and Melan Davis sued Mr. Prince and his company in 2008, alleging the company overbilled the government for its work.

In his ruling, U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III said there is no evidence Mr. Prince participated or had direct knowledge of any of the allegedly false billing invoices.

The case is still scheduled to go to trial next month, with the company itself remaining as a defendant. But the judge has tossed out some of the lawsuit’s claims, including a salacious allegation that Blackwater was billing the government for prostitutes under the category of “morale, welfare and recreation.”

After ruling in May that significant parts of the case should go to trial, Judge Ellis in recent weeks has chipped away at some of the plaintiffs’ claims, tossing out specific allegations and most recently now by dismissing Mr. Prince as a defendant.

AUTO

Chrysler, Fiat unions join global network

MILAN — As the Fiat and Chrysler automakers go global, so do their unions.

Fiat and Chrysler unions worldwide last week agreed to join in a global network aimed at a constant flow of information and defining a common strategy. The unions said they may try to replicate a worldwide framework agreement for minimum union rights that exists at Volkswagen, Psa-Peugeot and Renault.

“The network is a signal to Fiat that the unions are united,” Enzo Masini, auto coordinator at the FIOM union, said in a statement. “A global company requires a global union.”

Their first common act will be a letter to Fiat and Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne asking for recognition.

The international network potentially could give workers leverage in national contract negotiations, and a voice in how the two automakers eventually merge. But it could just as well work in management’s favor, analysts said Friday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports