Jan. 27 (Bloomberg) — Companies won two unanimous U.S. Supreme Court rulings, averting what they said might have been billions of dollars in new liability.

The court today gave airlines greater immunity from lawsuits when they report potential security threats, throwing out a jury verdict won by an Air Wisconsin pilot. The justices also ruled for U.S. Steel Corp. by saying companies in many cases don't have to pay workers for time spent putting on and taking off safety gear.

In the airline case, the court said companies can't be sued when they report threats to the Transportation Security Administration as long as the information the carriers provide is "materially true."

"Congress wanted to ensure that air carriers and their employees would not hesitate to provide the TSA with the information it needed," Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for the court. The decision overturned a lower court ruling that airlines said would have left them legally vulnerable.

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