S&P parent seeks to have lawsuit against rating agency tossed

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The parent company of Standard & Poor's wants a federal judge to dismiss a U.S. government lawsuit that claims the ratings agency gave falsely high ratings to mortgage investments that helped trigger the financial crisis.

Attorneys for McGraw-Hill Cos. Inc. delivered their arguments in documents filed Monday in U.S. District Court in California.

The motion asserts that the U.S. government's complaint against S&P is a stretch, noting that other agencies issued ratings identical to S&P.

The U.S. filed the civil lawsuit against New York-based McGraw-Hill in February and aims to seek billions in damages.

The Justice Department claims S&P knowingly inflated its ratings because it wanted to earn more business from its lender clients whose investments it was hired to rate.

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