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AIG's board decides not to join lawsuits against federal government

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American International Group Inc.'s board of directors has decided against joining lawsuits filed against the federal government by Starr International Co. Inc. contesting certain aspects of the government's rescue of AIG in 2008.

“The AIG board has determined to refuse Starr's demand in its entirety, and will neither pursue these claims itself nor permit Starr to pursue them in AIG's name,” said AIG in a statement issued Wednesday afternoon.

AIG said it expects to file a formal statement with the courts detailing the board's determination and the reasons underlying it in the coming weeks.

“In considering and ultimately refusing the demand before us, the Board of Directors properly and fully executed our fiduciary and legal obligations to AIG and its shareholders,” said AIG Chairman Robert S. Miller in a statement announcing the board's decision. “America invested in 62,000 AIG employees, and we kept our promise to rebuild this great company, repay every dollar America invested in us, and deliver a profit to those who put their trust in us. To date, AIG has returned $205 billion to America, including a profit of $22.7 billion. We continue to thank America for its support.”

Former AIG CEO Maurice R. Greenberg, who now heads Starr, filed suit against the government seeking billions of dollars, alleging that the terms of the government's rescue of AIG, under which the federal government assumed a nearly 80% stake in the financial services giant, were unfair to shareholders and that the Federal Reserve Bank of New York had charged an unfairly high interest rate on its initial loan to AIG.

The Treasury Department sold its last AIG holdings last month.