US retail behemoth Wal-Mart must pay $172 million (£99m ) to staff who were denied lunch breaks, a court has ruled. More than 100,000 workers in California sued the company, which owns Britain's Asda supermarkets, claiming that it systematically denied them their right to a 30-minute unpaid break. "The jury found there was malice, fraud and oppression in denying the lunch breaks," said Chris Lebsock, one of the lawyers representing the staff. "We are very satisfied." Wal-Mart, the world’s largest retailer and largest private employer in the United States, said that it would appeal the verdict. (link)