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COURT RULES AGAINST PILOTS

In a decision that could bankrupt the American Airlines pilots' union, the U.S. Supreme Court will not review a $45.5 million penalty imposed against it for a 1999 staged sickout.

The high court rejected the union's request without comment Monday. The Allied Pilots Association will now try to reach a settlement with the airline.

A federal judge imposed the penalty on the association after an 11-day sickout in February 1999 that resulted in the cancellation of nearly 6,700 flights. The airline filed a breach-of-contract suit against the union to end the sickout, and the judge ordered the pilots back to work.

The union and its top officers were fined $45.5 million for failing to obey the judge's order. The 10,500-member union owes American more than $50 million, including interest.

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