CAR_Public/100317.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Wednesday, March 17, 2010, Vol. 12, No. 53

                            Headlines

AETNA INC: E.D. Pa. Data Breach Lawsuit Dismissed
CELL THERAPEUTICS: Coughlin Stoia Files Shareholder Suit in Wash.
LEE SCHWAB: Settling Gender Discrimination Case for $2 Million
LOCAL GOVERNMENT: New Hampshire Firefighters Filing Class Action
LOWER MERION: Webcam Spying Suit Could Be Settled, the AP Reports

MERCEDES-BENZ: Loses Motions to Decertify Class Action Proceeding
MICROSOFT CORP: Appeals Canadian Class Action Ruling
OVERDRAFT FEES: Judge King Says Debit Cardholder Suit Can Proceed
SMITH-GREEN: Class Status Denied in Racy MySpace Photo Lawsuit
TOYOTA MOTOR: Lieff Cabraser Files 3 Sudden Acceleration Suits

UNITED STATES: $657.5 Mil. Settlement for Ground Zero Workers
UNITED STATES: S.D. Tribes Reevaluating Trust Fund Settlement

                            *********

AETNA INC: E.D. Pa. Data Breach Lawsuit Dismissed
-------------------------------------------------
Finding there was no more than speculative injury, Shannon P.
Duffy at The Legal Intelligencer reports, a federal judge has
dismissed a class action suit against Aetna Inc. filed in the
wake of news that the insurer's computer database may have been
hacked and that personal data of up to 450,000 job applicants
were potentially at risk.

In Allison v. Aetna, U.S. District Judge Legrome D. Davis added
his voice to a growing chorus of judges who have held that such a
claim of "increased risk of identity theft" is not enough to
confer standing to sue.

"At best, plaintiff has alleged a mere possibility of an
increased risk of identity theft, which is insufficient for
purposes of standing, and he certainly has not asserted a
credible threat of identity theft," Judge Davis wrote.

In his 14-page opinion, Judge Davis surveyed the legal landscape,
noting that the case was "part of a burgeoning area of law," and
that the courts are divided on whether plaintiffs in such cases
have standing.

The analysis is ultimately a fact-specific one, Judge Davis
found, that turns on whether the plaintiff is able to show more
than a mere possibility of future harm.

The ruling is a victory for Aetna's lawyers:

          John M. Elliott, Esq.
          Mark J. Schwemler, Esq.
          Timothy T. Myers, Esq.
          Stewart J. Greenleaf Jr., Esq.
          ELLIOTT GREENLEAF & SIEDZIKOWSKI, P.C.
          925 Harvest Drive
          P.O. Box 3010
          Blue Bell, PA 19422
          Telephone: (215) 977-1000

who argued that the plaintiffs were asking the courts to invent
new and novel tort and contract theories.

But the plaintiffs lawyers:

          Sherrie R. Savett, Esq.
          Michael T. Fantini, Esq.
          BERGER & MONTAGUE, P.C.
          1622 Locust Street
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Telephone: 1-800-424-6690

insisted in court papers that the suit was firmly grounded on
actual injury suffered by the lead plaintiff and the class.

"This case is about whether plaintiff and the class can recover
for: (i) out-of-pocket costs necessarily incurred as a result of
the data breach; (ii) time spent responding to the breach; and
(iii) an increased risk of identity theft," the plaintiffs
lawyers argued.

According to court papers, Aetna learned in May 2009 that its job
application Web site had been hacked when some applicants
reported receiving "phishing" e-mails purporting to be from Aetna
and seeking additional personal information.

The site contained the e-mail addresses of about 450,000 job
applicants, as well as the Social Security numbers of 65,000
current and former employees. For a smaller number of applicants
who had been offered a job, the site contained even more data,
including telephone numbers, addresses and employment histories.

Aetna mailed letters to the 65,000 individuals whose Social
Security numbers were at risk. The letter "urged" them to take
numerous steps to protect themselves from identity theft,
including monitoring their personal accounts -- bank statements
and credit card bills -- for fraud, placing a fraud alert on
their credit files, and reviewing their credit reports for
accounts they did not open.

The letter also said Aetna was offering free credit monitoring
for one year.

But in the suit, plaintiff Cornelius Allison, a former Aetna
employee, claimed that Aetna wasn't offering enough to solve his
problems. One year of credit monitoring was not enough, his
lawyers argued, for an event in which Aetna itself had
acknowledged there was a significant risk of identity theft.

Defense lawyers, in their motion to dismiss, argued that
Allison's claims are fatally flawed because the entire case is
built on a claim that his personal data "might" have been
accessed.

"Based on this pure conjecture," the defense team argued,
"plaintiff speculates that maybe, some day, perhaps more than a
year from now, he might suffer some kind of harm. As numerous
federal courts have already recognized, such allegations of
speculative harm do not state a valid or cognizable claim."

Judge Davis agreed, saying "plaintiff's alleged injury of an
increased risk of identity theft is far too speculative."

Since Allison never received one of the phishing e-mails, Davis
said, the "allegation that his personal information was even
accessed is conjecture."

The evidence, Judge Davis said, also hinted that the hackers may
have been able to retrieve only e-mail addresses and were
therefore using phishing e-mails to access more sensitive data.

The plaintiffs lawyers urged Judge Davis to draw the opposite
inference from the phishing e-mails, arguing that such post-
hacking conduct revealed the hackers' nefarious purposes.

Judge Davis disagreed and found instead that the more logical
conclusion was that the hackers had come up short and were unable
to commit any identity theft crimes with the data they had
retrieved unless they used trickery to augment it with more
valuable information.

"It would not be a reasonable inference for the court to presume
that hackers would seek such information, thereby risking
exposure of their nefarious activities, if they had already
obtained the same through unlawful means. Accordingly, even
assuming that the hackers obtained plaintiff's email address, it
is highly speculative that they obtained any other information
that would be necessary to commit identity theft," Judge Davis
wrote.


CELL THERAPEUTICS: Coughlin Stoia Files Shareholder Suit in Wash.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins LLP filed a class action
has been commenced in the United States District Court for the
Western District of Washington on behalf of purchasers of the
common stock of Cell Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTIC) between
May 5, 2009 and February 8, 2010, inclusive, seeking to pursue
remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court
no later than 60 days from today. If you wish to discuss this
action or have any questions concerning this notice or your
rights or interests, please contact plaintiff's counsel, Samuel
H. Rudman or David A. Rosenfeld of Coughlin Stoia at 800/449-4900
or 619/231-1058, or via e-mail at djr@csgrr.com.  If you are a
member of this Class, you can view a copy of the complaint as
filed or join this class action online at:

     http://www.csgrr.com/cases/cellthera/

Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as
lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to
do nothing and remain an absent class member.

The complaint charges Cell Therapeutics and certain of its
officers and executives with violations of the Exchange Act. Cell
Therapeutics develops, acquires, and commercializes oncology
products for cancer treatment.

One of the products that the Company developed is pixantrone, a
phase III trial product for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The Company
describes pixantrone as a "novel topoisomerase II inhibitor with
an aza-anthracenedione molecular structure that differentiates it
from the anthracyclines and other related chemotherapy agents."
The Company represents that pixantrone, unlike other
anthracyclines, is not "cardiotoxic."

The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period,
defendants failed to disclose material adverse facts about the
Company's business and prospects. Specifically, the complaint
alleges that defendants failed to disclose: (a) that the Special
Protocol Assessment ("SPA") with the United States Food and Drug
Administration ("FDA") for pixantrone was invalidated in March
2008; (b) that the Company's pixantrone study enrolled a large
number of patients who did not suffer from aggressive non-
Hodgkin's lymphoma; (c) that the Company's pixantrone drug was
cardiotoxic; and (d) that, as a result of the foregoing,
defendants lacked a reasonable basis for their positive
statements about pixantrone and its prospects.

On February 8, 2010, the FDA posted its assessment of pixantrone
in advance of its February 10, 2010 advisory meeting. With regard
to the regulatory history of pixantrone, the FDA Briefing
Document stated, among other things, that the Company's SPA was
invalidated in March 2008 and that the Company's pixantrone study
results were not meeting the FDA's standards for approval.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of
the common stock of Cell Therapeutics during the Class Period.  
The plaintiff is represented by Coughlin Stoia, which has
expertise in prosecuting investor class actions and extensive
experience in actions involving financial fraud.

Coughlin Stoia -- http://www.csgrr.com/-- a 180-lawyer firm with  
offices in San Diego, San Francisco, New York, Boca Raton,
Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and Atlanta, is active in major
litigations pending in federal and state courts throughout the
United States and has taken a leading role in many important
actions on behalf of defrauded investors, consumers, and
companies, as well as victims of human rights violations.

The Plaintiff in Sabbagh v. Cell Therapeutics, Inc., et al.,
Case No. 10-cv-00414 (W.D. Wash.) (Tsuchida, J.), is
represented by:

          Steve W. Berman, Esq.
          Karl P. Barth, Esq.
          HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP
          1918 Eighth Ave., Suite 3300
          Seattle, WA 98101
          Telephone: 206-623-7292

               - and -

          Samuel H. Rudman, Esq.
          David A. Rosenfeld, Esq.
          Mario Alba, Jr. Esq.
          COUGHLIN STOIA GELLER RUDMAN & ROBBINS LLP
          58 South Service Rd., Suite 200
          Melville, NY 11747
          Telephone: 631-367-7100

               - and -

          Jeffrey A. Berens, Esq.
          DYER & BERRENS LLP
          682 Grant St.
          Denver, CO 80203
          Telephone: 303-861-1764

               - and -

          Corey D. Holzer, Esq.
          Michael I. Fistel, Jr.
          HOLZER, HOLZER & FISTEL, LLC
          200 Ashford Center North, Suite 300
          Atlanta, GA 30338
          Telephone: 770-392-0090


LEE SCHWAB: Settling Gender Discrimination Case for $2 Million
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tresa Baldas at The National Law Journal reports that a Seattle
tire dealer will pay $2 million for hiring practices that seemed
to presume that women can't change a car tire.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced on
Thursday that Les Schwab Tire Centers has agreed to pay $2
million to resolve claims that it failed to hire qualified women
for tire-changing jobs at its stores in Washington, Oregon,
California, Idaho, Montana, Nevada and Utah. The settlement
resolves a four-year-old gender discrimination class action,
which was filed in the Western District of Washington.

Michael Baldonado, San Francisco district director for the EEOC,
who oversaw the litigation, said the settlement should serve as a
warning to employers everywhere. "The EEOC will continue to
investigate employers and industries that have put women in
certain types of jobs, and men in others," Baldonado said in a
statement. "We hope Les Schwab becomes a model employer of women
in the male-dominated tire industry."
In addition to the monetary settlement, Les Schwab has agreed to
maintain its anti-discrimination policies and procedures and to
provide anti-discrimination training for all its managers,
assistant managers and employees. The company also will provide
periodic reports to the EEOC on its compliance with the terms of
the consent decree.

Jeffrey Hollingsworth, a Seattle partner at Perkins Coie who
represented Les Schwab, was unavailable for comment.

In a statement, a Les Schwab official said the company worked
"diligently" to resolve the claims and denied any wrongdoing,
adding, "We are committed to equal opportunity practices in all
aspects of our business."


LOCAL GOVERNMENT: New Hampshire Firefighters Filing Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
John Distaso at the Union Leader reports that the Professional
Fire Fighters of New Hampshire filed a class action lawsuit in
Merrimack County Superior Court against the Local Government
Center and its Health Trust alleging that the LGC "has been
amassing a large amount of New Hampshire taxpayer dollars that
must be returned to the cities and towns," union president David
Lang said.  

Mr. Lang said the union's review has shown that the LGC "has
misdirected and illegally transferred funds from the Health Trust
into other areas of LGC business."

The move comes after the firefighters in January obtained a state
Supreme Court ruling forcing the LGC to open its books to allow
public access to how it uses money contributed by the cities and
towns.

"Based our review of the limited information we have seen, we
think there is strong evidence to show the allegations we are
making are true," Mr. Lang said.

Mr. Lang said the LGC has "tens of millions of dollars that
should be returned to the taxpayers."

In a statement the firefighters union said:

"After an eight year legal battle with the LGC that resulted in
two unanimous Supreme Court decisions in favor of PFFNH -- a copy
of which is available at http://molanmilner.com/downloads-- the  
LGC finally albeit only partially opened its books."

The statement continued, "Although the LGC has still not fully
complied with all of the previous Right to Know requests, PFFNH
has reviewed certain documents and found strong evidence that
taxpayer dollars are being misused by the LGC and illegally
diverted within their organization.

"These findings have led PFFNH to file this current lawsuit in an
effort to regain mishandled funds for taxpayers, current
municipal employees and retirees."

Maura Carroll, interim executive director of the LGC said she has
not seen details of the suit, but, "We have attempted to reach
out to the firefighters and others, and I'm disappointed that
litigation is being filed."

Ms. Carroll said she would "love to have conversations so that we
aren't engaging in expensive litigation."

She said the center has been responding to right-to-know
questions since the ruling.  "We have either responded right away
or indicated that there are some things we needed to look at,"
she said.

She said each request must be reviewed to be sure the information
requested is subject to the law, or exempt.


LOWER MERION: Webcam Spying Suit Could Be Settled, the AP Reports
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A suburban Philadelphia family's Webcam-spying lawsuit against a
high school could be heading for a settlement, The Associated
Press reports.  

Lawyers for Lower Merion School District and the family of 15-
year-old Blake Robbins agreed to a one-month delay in the case
while experts determine how many times employees activated
cameras on school-issued laptops.

According to an order signed by a judge last week, both parties
hope the information will lead to "an expeditious and cost-
effective resolution."

Mr. Robbins and his parents sued last month, accusing school
officials of photographing him in his bedroom. He says an
administrator said school officials suspected him of selling
drugs because of Webcam photos.

The district claims it activated the cameras only to locate
missing laptops.

The Class Action Reporter previously reported about Robbins, et
al. v. Lower Merion School District, et al., Case No. 10-cv-00665
(E.D. Pa.) (DuBois, J.), on Mar. 5, 2010.  


MERCEDES-BENZ: Loses Motions to Decertify Class Action Proceeding
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jonathan D. Selbin, Esq., at Lieff Cabraser represents owners of
Mercedes-Benz cars and SUVs equipped with its Tele-Aid system.  
Plaintiffs charge that Mercedes-Benz violated laws against
consumer fraud by promoting and selling the Tele-Aid system
without disclosing to buyers of certain model years that the
Tele-Aid system as installed will stop working in 2008 when
cellular telephone companies switch from analog to digital
technology.  

Monday, the U.S. District Court denied two motions by Mercedes-
Benz to decertify the class action in In Re: Mercedes-Benz Tele
Aid Contract Litigation, MDL No. 1914; Master Docket No. 07-2720
(D. N.J.) (Debevoise, J.).

A copy of Judge Debevoise's 94-page Opinion is available at
http://is.gd/aJ6iEat no charge.  

The Plaintiff Class is represented by:

          Jonathan D. Selbin, Esq.
          Jennifer Gross, Esq.
          LIEFF, CABRASER, HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN, LLP
          780 Third Avenue, 48th Floor
          New York, NY 10017

               - and -  

          James E. Cecchi, Esq.
          Lindsey H. Taylor, Esq.
          CARELLA, BYRNE, BAIN, GILFILLAN, CECCHI,
             STEWART & OLSTEIN
          5 Becker Farm Road
          Roseland, NJ 07068

               - and -  

          Eric H. Gibbs, Esq.
          Geoffrey A. Munroe, Esq.
          GIRARD GIBBS, LLP
          601 California Street, 14th Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94108

               - and -  

          Lisa J. Rodriguez, Esq.
          TRUJILLO, RODRIGUEZ & RICHARDS, LLP
          8 Kings Highway West
          Haddonfield, NJ 08033

Mercedes-Benz is represented by:

          Peter W. Herzog III, Esq.
          Ketrina G. Bakewell, Esq.
          BRYAN CAVE, LLP
          1 Metropolitan Square
          211 N. Broadway, Suite 3600
          St. Louis, MO 63102
          
               - and -  

          Thomas R. Curtin, Esq.
          Kathleen M. Fennelly, Esq.
          GRAHAM CURTIN, PA
          4 Headquarters Plaza
          P.O. Box 1991
          Morristown, NJ 07962


MICROSOFT CORP: Appeals Canadian Class Action Ruling
----------------------------------------------------
Fiona Anderson at the Vancouver Sun reports that Microsoft Corp.
plans to appeal a British Columbia court decision that certified
a class-action lawsuit alleging the computer giant illegally got
rid of its competition, then raised its prices.

In a ruling released this week, B.C. Supreme Court Justice
Elliott Myers certified the action on behalf of "all persons in
British Columbia who, on or after Jan. 1, 1994, indirectly
acquired a licence for Microsoft operating systems and/or
Microsoft applications software for their own use."

That covers pretty well everyone who bought a personal computer,
or Microsoft Word or Exel, in the province since 1994, the
plaintiffs' lawyer, J.J. Camp, of Camp Fiorante Matthews, said in
an interview. That includes governments as well as banks and
other organizations that would have bought thousands of
computers, he said. "It's a very substantial number."

But only Microsoft knows exactly how many licences it has sold in
B.C., and it doesn't have to disclose that information until the
action proceeds to the next stage -- the exchange of documents --
which won't happen until after the appeal has been heard.

But the company has said that when different versions of its
software are counted, 582 operating systems and 879 applications
are at issue, Mr. Justice Myers wrote in his reasons for
judgment.

The claim revolves around how Microsoft was able to corner the
computer market. The plaintiffs claim that it did so through
anti-competitive means which would breach Canada's competition
laws. For example, the statement of claim -- which sets out
allegations that have not been proven in court -- alleges that
Microsoft required some computer manufacturers to pay a licensing
fee for Microsoft's operating system MS-DOS, whether they were
using it or not, if they wanted other Microsoft products. In some
cases, the company also made it prohibitively expensive to
license Windows without also licensing MS-DOS, the statement of
claim alleges.

Once Microsoft had cornered the market for operating systems, it
could then require manufacturers to purchase its software as
well, according to the statement of claim.

As a result, competitors like Web browser Netscape Navigator,
operating system DR-DOS. and software programs like Lotus 1-2-3
and WordPerfect lost much of their market share, and Microsoft,
faced with less competition, was able to raise prices, the
plaintiffs claim.

Microsoft denies any wrongdoing.

"We plan to appeal the court's ruling and continue to believe the
allegations in this case are without merit and do not meet the
requirements for class-action certification," Kevin Kutz,
Microsoft's director of public affairs, said in a written
statement.

"Microsoft is focused on providing our customers with superior
products at a fair price and look forward to the opportunity to
demonstrate that as the case proceeds before the court."

Microsoft, which is based in Redmond, Wash., has already faced a
number of lawsuits in the United States. In 2007, it agreed to
pay as much as $180 million US to settle claims by Iowa consumers
who said they were overcharged for company products.

Microsoft earlier settled private anti-trust suits in 18 other
states and the District of Columbia. In a filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission, the company estimates total
costs to resolve all the private anti-trust suits would be
between $1.5 billion US and $1.8 billion US.


OVERDRAFT FEES: Judge King Says Debit Cardholder Suit Can Proceed
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court Judge James Lawrence King today
denied motions by a number of the nation's leading banks to
derail federal lawsuits consolidated before him in a Miami
federal court seeking to recover hundreds of millions of dollars
in wrongful overdraft fees charged to consumers on debit card
purchases.

In a 50-page opinion, Judge King found that Bank of America,
Citibank, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank, Wachovia and Wells Fargo,
among others, were not entitled to dismissal of the complaints.  
Judge King rejected the banks' primary argument that its
customers cannot bring private litigation to recoup excessive
overdraft fees.  Judge King stated, "Plaintiffs have alleged
sufficient facts-that, among other things, Defendants manipulated
the posting order of debit transactions in bad faith so as to
maximize the number of overdraft fees incurred."  Consumers
pursuing these lawsuits, Judge King concluded, are "not trying to
prevent banks from engaging in the business of banking, they are
merely asking the banks to do so in good faith."

Plaintiffs' lead counsel Bruce S. Rogow of Miami, Florida,
commented on the Court's ruling:  "We are pleased the Court
recognized the strength of our arguments and look forward to
litigating these cases to a successful conclusion for millions of
consumers across the country who've suffered these unfair
overdraft fees over the years."   

"The collection of excessive overdraft fees, usually around $35
per transaction, impacts millions of Americans each year,"
explained plaintiffs' counsel Michael W. Sobol of Lieff Cabraser
Heimann & Bernstein, LLP. "While all bank customers have been
affected, these overdraft fee policies hurt the financially
vulnerable the hardest, often creating a domino effect, resulting
in even more fees."

Responding to Bank of America's recent announcement that it will
cease charging overdraft fees on debit card purchases later this
year, Mr. Rogow said: "The fact that Bank of America announced
yesterday that these overdraft fees will no longer apply to debit
card customers is a welcome, albeit belated, sign that change is
finally coming.  We hope the other banks will finally see the
light as well, and all banks agree to return to their customers
overdraft fees that the banks unjustly obtained."

The complaints were filed in the United States District Court for
the Southern District of Florida in Miami, where all federal
lawsuits brought against the banking industry for abusive
overdraft fees have been coordinated before Judge King.  
Plaintiffs' lead co-counsel Bruce Rogow and Robert C. Gilbert
work with a Plaintiffs Executive Committee comprised of the law
firms of Golumb & Honik P.C., Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein,
LLP, Podhurst Orseck P.A., Trief & Olk, Webb, Klase & Lemond,
LLC, and Baron & Budd.

                How Bank "Overdraft Protection" Works
               and Results in Excessive Overdraft Fees

Today, when customers open checking accounts, banks provide debit
cards for the withdrawal of cash from ATM machines and the
purchase of goods and services. Many bank customers are not aware
that as part of the process of obtaining the debit card, banks
automatically enroll their customers in "overdraft protection."
The overdraft protection kicks in if the customer spends more
than he or she has in the account to cover the purchase, up to a
limit of a few hundred dollars.

Banks could simply decline to honor customer ATM or point-of-sale
transactions if the account lacks sufficient funds, or could warn
customers that if they go through with the transaction an
overdraft fee will be assessed. In fact, until a few years ago,
most banks simply declined debit transactions that would overdraw
an account.

"Banks do not record charges and purchases on ATM or debit cards
in the order they actually occur," stated Mr. Sobol. "Instead,
banks reorder the charges and purchases so that the largest
charge or purchase is the first one paid by the bank. This
manipulative practice is intentionally designed, the complaints
allege, to maximize overdraft fee revenue."

               Further Information for Bank Customers

Bank customers assessed multiple overdraft fees who wish to learn
more about this litigation should visit www.bank-overdraft.com
where they can submit their complaint to plaintiffs' counsel.


SMITH-GREEN: Class Status Denied in Racy MySpace Photo Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca S. Green at The Journal Gazette reports from Fort Wayne,
Ind., what a federal judge has denied a request for class-action
status in the lawsuit filed last year against the Smith-Green
Community School Corp., which disciplined student-athletes over
racy MySpace photos.

In an order issued Thursday, U.S. District Chief Judge Philip P.
Simon denied the request by attorneys with the Indiana chapter of
the ACLU to certify the anonymous lawsuit as a class action,
saying if the two students won their case against the school
district, the effect of the victory would have school-wide
impact, according to court documents.

In October, the Indiana chapter of the ACLU filed a lawsuit on
behalf of two unnamed students. The girls, both sophomore fall-
sport athletes, were suspended from extracurricular activities
for the entire school year because of sexually suggestive
photographs they posted on their pages on MySpace, a social-
networking Web site.

According to the lawsuit, the two girls, identified only by
initials, participated in a sleepover last summer with friends
from Churubusco High School.

During the sleepover, the girls took pictures of themselves
"pretending to kiss or lick a large multi-colored novelty
phallus-shaped lollipop" as well as pictures of themselves in
lingerie with dollar bills tucked in their clothing, according to
court documents.

The girls posted the pictures on their MySpace pages, visible
only to their online friends.

Someone turned them over to Churubusco High School Principal
Austin Couch, who promptly suspended the girls from all athletic
and extracurricular involvement for the year, court documents
said.

Smith-Green Community Schools adopted an athletic, co-curricular
and extracurricular Code of Conduct, barring students involved in
those activities from behaving in a way that brought discredit to
the school or disrupted school discipline, according to court
documents.

The students' parents appealed to Couch, who told the girls they
could reduce their punishment by 25 percent if they would submit
to three counseling sessions and apologize individually to the
Athletic Board, an all-male group made up of the varsity coaches.

An attempt to appeal to the school superintendent went nowhere.
The girls went to the three counseling sessions, and the reports
were turned over to Couch, according to court documents.

The ACLU sought to have the lawsuit certified as a class action
on behalf of all students participating in extracurricular
activities at Smith-Green Community Schools, expressing concern
at how the Code of Conduct would be applied not only to them but
to other students in the future.

Smith-Green argued the photographs were obscene, constituted
child pornography and were not constitutionally protected free
speech, according to court documents.

Judge Simon said the arguments for class-action status did not
meet the standards for certification.

To determine whether the school's punishment violated the girls'
free-speech rights, Simon said, a jury will have to rule on the
nature of the pictures, whether the girls' conduct is protected
under the First Amendment and whether it created a disruptive
influence, according to court documents.


TOYOTA MOTOR: Lieff Cabraser Files 3 Sudden Acceleration Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Robert J. Nelson, Esq., of the national plaintiffs' law firm
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, announced that three
separate families, from  New York, Florida and Minnesota, have
filed lawsuits seeking general and punitive damages against
Toyota Motor Corporation for the wrongful deaths of their loved
ones.

"The complaints charge that Toyota for years was aware that its
vehicles were susceptible to sudden unintended acceleration,
leading to fatal accidents," stated plaintiffs' counsel Robert J.
Nelson.  "Yet, Toyota never made any significant changes to
improve the acceleration and electrical systems of its vehicles,
in spite of the availability of safe and inexpensive
modifications."

                    Description of the Three Fatal
                Toyota Sudden Acceleration Accidents

                    Dawn Hanna, Age 26, Minnesota
                  (Los Angeles, California accident)

Prior to her death, Dawn Hanna, from Minnesota, was in excellent
physical condition.  She was an active and vibrant young lady
working as the Manager of Sales Development for a sports
management company in Los Angeles.  She was also an avid athlete
and enjoyed running, hiking and other sports.

On June 19, 2009, at approximately 11:50 a.m., Dawn Hanna was the
belted driver of the subject 2005 Toyota Camry.  She was driving
at a safe rate of speed, proceeding northbound on I-405 in Los
Angeles, California, south of Sepulveda Boulevard.  

The Camry suddenly accelerated and Ms. Hanna was unable to stop
the vehicle as it raced out of control, weaving through traffic
on the busy freeway.  The Camry clipped the car in front of it,
swerved to the left, and ultimately accelerated into the path of
a semi-tractor trailer.  The Camry became entangled with the
semi, and was slammed against the median wall.  

The momentum of the semi dragged the Camry against the median
wall before it came to rest.  Ms. Hanna suffered multiple
traumatic injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene of the
incident.

                  Jonathan Senger, Age 26, Florida

Prior to the accident that claimed the life of her son, Jonathan
Senger, Lorrie Krieger of Florida complained about a sudden
unintended acceleration incident to the Lexus dealership where
she had purchased a 2000 Lexus GS 400.  Specifically, she called
Lexus of Clearwater, Florida and stated that the subject Lexus
was out of control, its tires squealed, and that it was almost
like the throttle was wide open.  

Ms. Krieger told the Lexus dealership that the car almost killed
her.  It was further reported that the vehicle was racing and
that the throttle was sticking.  The Lexus dealership replaced
the throttle body and assured her that there would be no further
problems.  

There were no further incidents until August 17, 2007.  On that
date, at approximately 1:25 p.m., Jonathan Senger was driving his
mother's vehicle, her 2000 Lexus GS 400.  He was driving at a
safe rate of speed, proceeding westbound on Curlew Road in
Dunedin, Florida.  

The Lexus suddenly accelerated at a high rate of speed and Mr.
Senger was unable to stop the vehicle as it sped through the
intersection of Belcher Road.  The Lexus accelerated through a
red light, crossed the lane into oncoming traffic, and collided
head-on with a Saturn SUV that was waiting in the left hand turn
lane facing eastbound on Curlew Road at the intersection of
Belcher Road.  As a result of the collision, Jonathan Senger,
suffered multiple traumatic injuries and eventually died.

                    Nancy Fox, Age 41, New York

Prior to her death, Nancy Fox was a single mother raising a
special needs child, her son Sean, who was been diagnosed with
Autism.  On December 12, 2008, at approximately 5:00 p.m., Nancy
Fox was the belted driver of the subject 2004 Toyota Matrix.  Her
five-year-old son, Sean, was in the back seat, properly strapped
into his child car seat.  

Ms. Fox was driving at a safe rate of speed, proceeding westbound
on Route 17K in Orange County, New York.  The Toyota suddenly
accelerated and Ms. Fox was unable to stop the vehicle as it
careened out of control - first crossing into the eastbound lane
and the eastbound lane shoulder, then up on to the embankment of
that lane.  

The vehicle, still accelerating out of Ms. Fox's control, then
collided with a utility pole in a side swipe manner, traveled
across the lawn of a residence, and overturned and collided with
brush and small trees, coming to rest on the roof of the vehicle.  
As a result of the accident, Nancy Fox suffered multiple
traumatic injuries and eventually died.  Her son Sean survived
the accident, but suffered injuries, including profound emotional
pain from the death of his mother.  

                     Allegations Against Toyota

The complaints charges that beginning in the late 1990s, Toyota
manufactured, distributed and sold vehicles with an electronic
throttle control system ("ETC"), including the vehicles which are
the subject of each case.  Unlike that of traditional throttle
control systems, where a physical linkage connects the
accelerator pedal to the engine throttle, in the ETC system, the
engine throttle is controlled by electronic signals sent from the
gas pedal to the engine throttle.  A sensor at the accelerator
detects how far the gas pedal is depressed and transmits that
information to a computer module which controls the engine
throttle.  

Toyota's ETC system fails to include a failsafe measure, known as
brake-to-idle override, that is in use by other vehicle
manufacturers.  The brake-to-idle override instructs the ETC
system to automatically reduce the engine to idle whenever the
brakes are applied without success.

"The complaints charges that the lack of the brake-to-idle
override failsafe in Toyota vehicles played a direct role in the
deaths of each loved one," commented Mr. Nelson.

                        Status of the Cases

The complaints submitted by the parents of Dawn Hanna and the
mother of Jonathan Senger were filed on March 10, 2010 in federal
court in Los Angeles, as two of the primary defendants, Toyota
Motor North America, Inc. and Toyota Motor Sales, Inc., are both
California corporations with their headquarters located in Los
Angeles.  The complaint submitted by the grandmother and guardian
of Sean Fox was filed today in federal court in the Southern
District of New York, where the plaintiff lives.

Each complaint seeks general damages as well as punitive damages
against Toyota for its failure to recall its vehicles due to a
known, significant safety defect and refusal to take any steps to
prevent sudden unintended acceleration accidents in order to
increase its profits.

             Legal Resources for Drivers and Passengers
          Injured in Toyota Sudden Acceleration Accidents

Lieff Cabraser represents persons across America injured in
accidents involving Toyota and Lexus vehicles that suddenly
accelerated.  

If you would like to learn more about your legal rights please
visit:

     http://www.usautoinjurylaw.com/cases/defects/acceleration/toyota-lexus.htm

or call the Firm toll free at 1-800-541-7358 and ask to speak to
attorney Todd Walburg.  There is no charge or obligation for
Lieff Cabraser to review your case.

                         About Lieff Cabraser

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP --
http://www.lieffcabraser.com/-- is a sixty-plus attorney law  
firm that has represented plaintiffs nationwide since 1972.  We
have offices in San Francisco, New York, and Nashville.  Lieff
Cabraser has a comprehensive and diverse practice, which includes
representing persons injured and families of loved ones who died
in auto accidents.  Since 2003, The National Law Journal has
selected Lieff Cabraser as one of the top plaintiffs' law firms
in the nation.  


UNITED STATES: $657.5 Mil. Settlement for Ground Zero Workers
-------------------------------------------------------------
Mireya Navarro at The New York Times reports that a settlement of
up to $657.5 million has been reached in In Re World Trade Center
Site Disaster Litigation, Case No. 21 MC 100 (S.D.N.Y.),
involving the cases of thousands of rescue and cleanup workers at
ground zero who sued the city over damage to their health,
according to city officials and lawyers for the plaintiffs.

They said that the settlement would compensate about 10,000
plaintiffs according to the severity of their illnesses and the
level of their exposure to contaminants at the World Trade Center
site.

Lawyers from both sides met on Thursday to discuss the terms of
the settlement with Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Payouts to the plaintiffs would come out of a federally financed
insurance company with funds of about $1.1 billion that insures
the city. At least 95 percent of the plaintiffs must accept its
terms for it to take effect. If 100 percent of the plaintiffs
agree to the terms, the total settlement would be $657.5 million.
But if only the required 95 percent agreed, the total would
shrink to $575 million.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs estimated that individual settlement
amounts would vary from thousands of dollars to more than $1
million for the most serious injuries.

The settlement, which took two years to negotiate, raises the
prospect of an end to years of complex and politically charged
litigation that has pitted angry victims against city officials,
who questioned the validity of some claims and argued that the
city should be immune from liability.

"This is a good settlement," said Marc Bern, a lawyer with a firm
that represents more than 9,000 plaintiffs, "and we are gratified
that these heroic men and women who performed their duties
without consideration of the health implications will finally
receive just compensation for their pain and suffering, lost
wages, medical and other expenses, as the U.S. Congress intended
when it appropriated this money."

In a statement, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg called the settlement
"a fair and reasonable resolution to a complex set of
circumstances."

Under the settlement, a claims administrator, who will be chosen
by the lawyers in the case, would decide whether a given
plaintiff had a valid claim, whether the plaintiff qualified for
compensation and if so, for how much. The system is similar to
the one used for payouts from the Sept. 11 Victim Compensation
Fund to families of those killed in the terrorist attacks. The
process is meant to screen out fraudulent claims.

Since 2003, thousands of firefighters, police officers,
construction workers and emergency responders have filed lawsuits
against 90 defendants -- including the city and the private
companies it hired to remove debris at ground zero -- over
illnesses they say developed after they spent days, weeks or
months working at the World Trade Center site after the attacks.

The plaintiffs claimed that their conditions -- most commonly
asthma and other respiratory illnesses -- resulted from the toxic
brew of contaminants at ground zero and the defendants' failure
to adequately supervise and protect them with safety equipment,
like respirators. Among the first cases chosen for trial was that
of a firefighter, Raymond W. Hauber, 47, who died of esophageal
cancer in 2007 before his case could be heard.

Some of the cases that fall under the settlement involve
plaintiffs who are not ill now, but fear they will develop
illnesses like cancer that can take years to manifest themselves.
The settlement provides for a $23.4 million insurance policy to
cover future claims by such plaintiffs.

The first 12 cases were scheduled to come to trial on May 16 in
Manhattan, and those trials will now not take place. But under
the settlement, plaintiffs have 90 days to opt out of the
settlement and pursue trials.

Lawyers for the plaintiffs would collect a third of the
settlement amounts in legal fees. The insurance company, known as
W.T.C. Captive Insurance and financed by the Federal Emergency
Management Agency, has already paid out more than $200 million in
legal fees to defend the city and its contractors and in
administrative costs.

To determine individual settlement amounts, the administrator
will use a point system to determine the severity of a
plaintiff's illness, as documented by medical history. Other
factors that will be considered include evidence of a link to
ground zero and adjustments for age, pre-existing conditions,
time of diagnosis and smoking history. The process could take up
to a year.

Mindful of the intense public interest in the cases, Judge
Hellerstein has told lawyers on both sides that he planned to
review each settlement and hold "fairness" hearings to determine
whether the settlements were reasonable, which legal experts said
was unusual for litigation not involving a class action.

"Many of them are similar, but in fundamental aspects they have
an individual plaintiff - they all revolve around one person,"
Judge Hellerstein told the lawyers at a Jan. 21 hearing. "I'll be
looking carefully, if there is a settlement, at how individual
members are treated."

The city argued that it was immune from damages in cases
involving a national emergency or a civil defense disaster. It
also questioned the connection between the illnesses and ground
zero and cast doubt on many of the claims, for example, arguing
in the case of a ConEd mechanic, which was also to be among the
first trials, that the man's lung problems predated 9/11.

"If this settlement allows me to move on in my life, if it allows
me to protect my family's future, I guess I don't have anything
else to fight about," said one plaintiff, Kenny Specht, 41, a
retired firefighter.

But Mr. Specht, who has thyroid cancer and founded a group to
help fellow firefighters financially, said the outcome was hardly
a victory.

"Why did families who had to bury somebody have to wait this
long?" he said. "Why didn't they handle this in a timely manner?"


UNITED STATES: S.D. Tribes Reevaluating Trust Fund Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
Mary Garrigan at the Rapid City Journal reports that tribes in
western South Dakota are re-evaluating a $3.4 billion settlement
proposed in a class action just days after Elouise Cobell toured
the state to explain it.

Ms. Cobell finalized the proposed settlement in December 2009
after a 14-year legal battle on behalf of more than 300,000
Native American trust land owners. She alleged the Interior
Department bungled the accounting on thousands of individual
Native trust accounts for more than 100 years.

But as the U.S. House of Representatives' Natural Resources
Committee held a hearing Wednesday on the settlement, which
Congress must approve and fund by an April 16 deadline, critics
began cropping up on Capitol Hill and on reservations in South
Dakota.

After a March 8 public meeting in Kyle, S.D., where Ms. Cobell
and two of the attorneys in the 14-year-old lawsuit answered
questions about the settlement, Oglala Sioux Tribe President
Theresa Two Bulls said Wednesday that "there are a lot of
questions" about the settlement throughout her reservation, and
she canceled a trip to Washington, D.C., to speak in favor of it.
"I declined to testify at the March 10 hearing. I need to hear
from my tribe first. I can't go there to say yes or no on the
settlement," Two Bulls said during a radio address Wednesday to
the tribe, broadcast live on KILI radio.

That's a departure from Two Bulls' statement Dec. 11, 2009, in
which she said the Oglala Sioux Tribe "fully backs the negotiated
settlement of the Cobell case . . ." and encouraged Congress and
the courts to approve the $3.4 billion agreement.

While saying that "it is unfortunate that the amount of
settlement falls several billion dollars short of the amount
originally sought by the Cobell Plaintiffs," Two Bulls supported
the settlement.  "Under the present circumstances, it is the best
the allottees and their heirs can hope for and, the best deal
they will probably get in Congress," she said.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribal Council was considering the Cobell
settlement during a council meeting that began Wednesday and
continues Thursday, but the council had not taken an official
position by late afternoon Wednesday, a tribal spokesman said.
Two Bulls said that the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe passed a
resolution opposing the settlement, but tribal chairman Joseph
Brings Plenty could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Critics of the Cobell settlement include Kimberly Craven, a
Sisseton-Wahpeton tribal member who owns 55 acres of trust land
near Watertown. Craven, an attorney who lives in Colorado, has
many questions about the negotiated settlement, including the
amounts of money it sets aside for attorney fees (between $50
million and $100 million) and the multi-million-dollar payments
that will go to the named plaintiffs in the lawsuit, including
lead plaintiff Elouise Cobell.

"It makes a few people very, very wealthy, including the four
named plaintiffs, the attorneys and the class administrator," Ms.
Craven said.

                            *********

S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.  Gracele D. Canilao, Leah Felisilda and Peter A. Chapman,
Editors.

Copyright 2010.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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