CAR_Public/100413.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Tuesday, April 13, 2010, Vol. 12, No. 71

                            Headlines

5 STAR APPAREL: Recalls 11,500 Mecca Children's Hooded Jackets
ARENA RESOURCES: Being Sold Through Unfair Process, Suit Says
BANK OF AMERICA: Fails to Meet HAMP Obligations, Suit Claims
BIDZ.COM: FTC Concludes E-Mail Marketing Investigation
CARTER-GLOGAU: N.D. Tex. Approves $110 Mil. E-Ferol Settlement

CIVIA CYCLES: Recalls 800 Hyland Bicycles & Carbon Bicycle Forks
HOTT WINGS: Hooters Franchise Wage Suit Profiled in N.Y. Times
IRWIN INDUSTRIES: Sued for Labor Code Violations
JAMES RAY: Accused of Not Refunding Fees for Canceled Events
KAMAL NATH: Accused of Leading 1984 Mob Killings in India

LAWYERS TITLE: Sued for Non-Payment of Vested Severance Benefits
MBS DIRECT: Accused in Mich. Suit of Deceptive Sales Practices
MOHAWK INDUSTRIES: Settles Illegal Alien Lawsuit for $18 Million
NOVARTIS PHARMACEUTICALS: Opening Arguments in Gender Bias Suit
REED ELSEVIER: Suit Complains About LexisNexis E-Filing Order

RHODE ISLAND: Suit Complains About Truancy Court Program
SYNCHRONOSS TECHNOLOGIES: D. N.J. Securities Fraud Case Dismissed
TEVIS OIL: MTBE Trial Underway in Carroll County, Md.
TOYOTA MOTOR: JPMDL Transfers Class Action Suits to C.D. Calif.
TRANSITIONS OPTICAL: Charged with Monopolistic Activities

UNITED STATES: 9/11 Cleanup Contractors Urge Approval of Deal

                            *********

5 STAR APPAREL: Recalls 11,500 Mecca Children's Hooded Jackets
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in cooperation with 5
Star Apparel LLC, of New York, N.Y., announced a voluntary recall
of about 11,500 Mecca Children's Hooded Jackets with Drawstrings.  
Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless
otherwise instructed.

The jackets have drawstrings through the hood which can pose a
strangulation hazard to young children.  In February 1996, CPSC
issued guidelines (which were incorporated into an industry
voluntary standard in 1997) to help prevent children from
strangling or getting entangled on the neck and waist drawstrings
in upper garments, such as jackets and sweatshirts.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.

The recall products involve girls' and boys' hooded jackets with
drawstrings.

   Girl's Pink Short-Sleeve
   Lightweight Jacket              Style No.         Sizes
   ------------------------        ---------         -----
                                   MIG108105     12M, 18M, 24M
                                   MLG108105          4 - 6X
                                   MTG108105          2T - 4T

   Boy's Black or Brown
      Heavy Jacket                 Style No.         Sizes
   --------------------            ---------         -----
                                   MLK908602         4 - 7
                                   MT908602          2T - 4T

Picture of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10193.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold through
Burlington Coat Factory, Marshalls and other retail stores
nationwide from April 2008 through December 2009 for between $40
and $100.

Consumers should remove the drawstring immediately, cut the
drawstring out of garment or return the jacket to the store where
purchased for a full refund.  For additional information, call 5
Star collect at (646) 273-1225 or (646) 273-1228 between 9:00
a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Friday.


ARENA RESOURCES: Being Sold Through Unfair Process, Suit Says
-------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that directors of Arena Resources
are selling the company too cheaply to Sandridge Energy, through
an unfair process, for $40 a share, or $6.2 billion, shareholders
say in Oklahoma County Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Eberhardt v. Arena Resources, Inc.,
et al., Case No. CJ-2010-2899 (Okla. Dist. Ct., Oklahoma Cty.),
is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/04/08/SCA.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by;

          William B. Federman, Esq.
          Sara E. Collier, Esq.
          FEDERMAN & SHERWOOD
          10205 N. Pennsylvania Ave.
          Oklahoma City, OK 73120
          Telephone: 405-235-1560

               - and -

          Brian J. Robbins, Esq.
          Benjamin Rozwood, Esq.
          Ashley R. Palmer, Esq.
          Alejandro E. Moreno, Esq.
          ROBBINS UMEDA LLP
          600 B St., Suite 1900
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: 619-525-3990


BANK OF AMERICA: Fails to Meet HAMP Obligations, Suit Claims
------------------------------------------------------------
Maria Dinzeo at Courthouse News Service reports that Bank of
America took $25 billion in bailouts, but refuses to follow
federal rules and help homeowners having difficulty paying their
mortgages, a class action claims in Federal Court.  Though the
bank gets $1,000 for each mortgage it modifies under the Home
Affordable Modification Program, BofA often decides it is "more
profitable for a mortgage servicer such as Bank of America to
avoid modification and to continue to keep a mortgage in a state
of default or distress and to push loans toward foreclosure," the
complaint states.

As a recipient of Troubled Asset Relief Program money, Bank of
America was required to enroll in the government's Home
Affordable Modification Program, to provide homeowners with
affordable mortgage payments.

Under HAMP, loan servicers must respond to homeowners' requests
for loan modifications and are not allowed to foreclose on homes
while their loans are being evaluated.  But the class claims Bank
of America has ducked its HAMP obligations, and has "regularly
and repeatedly violated several of its prohibitions."

"Because Bank of America is not meeting its contractual
obligations, at least hundreds of California homeowners are
wrongfully being deprived of an opportunity to cure their
delinquencies, pay their mortgage loans and save their homes,"
the complaint states.

Lead plaintiffs Suzanne and Greg Bayramian say they are forced to
live in an apartment while their home sits vacant, unsure if it
will be foreclosed on or if they will ever be accepted into the
HAMP program.

Though Bank of America agreed to implement HAMP in April 2009,
the Bayramians say they found out in September 2009 that the bank
still did not have the HAMP program fully implemented.  An
employee "had no idea when the HAMP program would be available if
at all for the Bayramians," the couple says.

The class wants Bank of America ordered to honor its contract
with the government, and enjoined from continuing its policy of
foreclosing on borrowers' homes and deliberately delaying the
loan modification process.

It also seeks restitution and damages for breach of contract and
violation of the business and professions code.


A copy of the Complaint in Bayramian, et ux. v. Bank of America,
N.A., et al., Case No. 10-cv-01458 (N.D. Calif.), is available
at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/04/08/BofAHAMP.pdf

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Jeff D. Friedman, Esq.
          HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP
          715 Hearst Ave., Suite 202
          Berkeley, CA 94710
          Telephone: 510-725-3000
          E-mail: jefff@hbsslaw.com

               - and -

          Steve W. Berman, Esq.
          Ari Y. Brown, Esq.
          HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP
          1918 Eighth Ave., Suite 3300
          Seattle, WA 98101
          Telephone: 206-623-7292
          E-mail: steve@hbsslaw.com
                  ari@hbsslaw.com


BIDZ.COM: FTC Concludes E-Mail Marketing Investigation
------------------------------------------------------
Bidz.com, a leading online retailer of jewelry, says that the
staff of the Federal Trade Commission has decided not to
recommend enforcement action against the Company in connection
with the FTC's investigation, previously disclosed by the
Company, into the Company's email marketing practices.

"We are pleased with the decision of the FTC staff, as we have
cooperated fully throughout the investigation," said David
Zinberg, the Company's Chief Executive Officer. "We take very
seriously our, and our marketing partners', obligations relating
to email marketing. This favorable result will allow us to
concentrate on our core business."

In May 2009, the Company received a Civil Investigation Demand
for Information from the FTC in connection with the FTC's
investigation of the Company's compliance with various provisions
of the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and
Marketing Act of 2003 ("CAN-SPAM"), 15 U.S.C. Sec. 7701, et seq.,
relating to the advertising, marketing, and promotion of the
Company and its products through the use of emails. The focus of
the investigation was failure to honor opt-out requests by
individuals who wanted to stop receiving commercial email
messages sent by or on behalf of the Company.

The FTC's decision follows the Company's announcement on March 1,
2010, where the United States District Court for the Central
District of California denied the Plaintiff's Motion for Class
Certification and for Appointment of Class Representative and
Class Counsel Court's ruling in favor of Bidz that alleged, among
other things, that the Company engaged in unfair business
practices.  As a result of this favorable ruling, the Company
settled this purported class action lawsuit for a minimal cash
settlement to resolve this distraction and focus on its ongoing
operations.

                          About Bidz.com

Bidz.com -- http://www.bidz.com/-- founded in 1998, is a leading  
online retailer of jewelry. Bidz offers its products through a
live auction format as well as a fixed price online retail store,
Buyz.com. Bidz.com's auctions are also available in Arabic,
German and Spanish.  Bidz also operates Modnique --
http://www.modnique.com/-- a division of Bidz.com, an exclusive  
private sale shopping site for members-only, offering authentic
premium brand name merchandise. Modnique offers its members
exclusive access to 24-72 hour sales events on designer apparel,
accessories, shoes, and houseware and much more at price points
up to 85% below traditional retail prices.  


CARTER-GLOGAU: N.D. Tex. Approves $110 Mil. E-Ferol Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
Mitch Mitchell at the Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that
nearly 26 years after an intravenous vitamin E supplement was
marketed to hospitals to help premature babies, a federal judge
in Wichita Falls approved a $110 million class action settlement
Friday against the manufacturer and distributor of E-Ferol, which
was responsible for killing at least 38 babies in the mid-1980s.
E-Ferol, a solution given intravenously to help prevent
blindness, was marketed and administered without Food and Drug
Administration approval.  Federal officials recalled the drug on
April 11, 1984, after about five months on the market, as death
reports mounted from hospitals nationwide.

Dozens of children had liver and kidney damage after taking the
drug.

Art Brender, a Fort Worth lawyer who was the lead counsel for 369
plaintiffs in the suit, said he believes that many more babies
died than the 38 located by the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention.

"The manufacturers lied to the hospitals," Brender said. E-Ferol
"was on the market for 41/2 months, then there was an FDA
investigation and the product was recalled."

"We have 42 deaths in our class, and there were another 45 deaths
that were litigated before our class came into being," he said.
"I don't know that there has been any other type of compound that
has caused that amount of damage."

Three executives at two companies that made and sold the drug
were convicted of fraud, misbranding and selling an unapproved
dangerous drug and were sentenced to six months in prison.
David Taylor, a lawyer who represented the drug's manufacturer,
Carter-Glogau Laboratories of Glendale, Ariz., and the
distributor, O'Neal, Jones & Feldman Pharmaceuticals of Maryland
Heights, Mo., said few laws regulated vitamins in the 1980s.

"The product was recalled because it had collateral effects that
were not intended," Taylor said. "Some in the class had no injury
and some had profound injury and some were deceased. Like many
things in life, there were some unintended consequences.

"We wanted to put this lawsuit to rest, and that's what we did
with this settlement," he said.

Cynthia McDaniel's 13-day-old son Keegan died in a Dallas
hospital in January 1984. It wasn't until July 2006, when she got
a letter from lawyers telling her that E-Ferol might have been
involved in her son's death, that she realized that there was any
connection with the supplement, McDaniel, of Coppell, said Friday
night.

"You think of vitamins of being supplemental and helpful and not
ever being able to hurt someone," McDaniel said. "I guess that's
the same thing that the doctors and nurses felt. It was a
different way of administering this E vitamin that was supposed
to help."

Some of the 89 hospitals that were found by the CDC to have
administered E-Ferol were willing to share that information with
the parents and the lawyers advocating their cases. Others had to
be forced by legal action to tell the parents whether their
children were given the supplement and argued that doctor-patient
privilege prohibited them from sharing that information.


CIVIA CYCLES: Recalls 800 Hyland Bicycles & Carbon Bicycle Forks
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in cooperation with
Civia Cycles, of Bloomington, Minn., announced a voluntary recall
of about 800 Hyland Bicycles and Carbon Bicycle Forks.  Consumers
should stop using the product immediately unless otherwise
instructed.

The bicycle fork can crack or break, posing a fall hazard to the
consumer.

Civia Cycles has received two reports of forks cracking and one
report of a fork breaking resulting in an abrasion on face and
bruised ribs.

This recall involves all Civia Hyland bicycles sold with original
equipment carbon fiber forks and all Civia Carbon forks sold as
aftermarket products.  The forks are black and have the word
"Civia" forged into the fork dropout.  Pictures of the recalled
products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml10/10730.html

The recalled products were manufactured in Taiwan and sold at
specialty bicycle retailers nationwide from April 2008 through
February 2010 for between $1,675 and $3,500 for Civia Hyland
complete bicycles and for about $195 for Civia Carbon forks.

Consumers should immediately stop riding these bicycles with the
recalled forks and contact an authorized Civia Cycles dealer for
a free replacement fork.  All known users have been contacted.  
For additional information, contact Civia Cycles toll-free at
(877) 774-6208 between 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time,
Monday through Friday or visit the firm's Web site at
http://www.civiacycles.com/


HOTT WINGS: Hooters Franchise Wage Suit Profiled in N.Y. Times
--------------------------------------------------------------
Malia Wollan at The New York Times reports that when Dina
Partridge of Pleasanton, Calif., first put on her Hooter Girl
uniform in 2004, she was the single mother of a toddler daughter,
she said, and she felt lucky.

"There were 1,200 applicants, and I was one out of 80 that got
hired," she said. "I thought I was going to make a lot of money
and meet celebrities."

Instead, Ms. Partridge was shocked not by the randy customers,
the short-shorts and the plunging necklines, but because she says
she spent her own money for her uniforms, worked long shifts
without breaks and did not get her share of tips.

Now, Ms. Partridge, 30, is the lead plaintiff in what is perhaps
the least salacious lawsuit imaginable against a restaurant chain
that capitalizes on female sexuality. The Bay Area has become the
epicenter for a cascade of similar lawsuits against Hooters
franchises across the state alleging that the restaurants failed
to follow state law about its obligations to its workers.

"These are wage-and-hour class-action lawsuits," said the
plaintiffs' lawyer:

          Burton F. Boltuch, Esq.
          THE LAW OFFICES OF BURTON F. BOLTUCH
          The 555 City Center Building
          555 12th Street, Suite 1440
          Oakland, CA 94607-4046
          Telephone: 510.844.3415

"That's it."

There is a reason for this geographic concentration of suits.

"California is the most stringent and most expansive when it
comes to pro-employee laws," said William B. Gould IV, a law
professor at Stanford University and the former chairman of the
National Labor Relations Board.

Employment-related class-action lawsuits increased more than 300
percent in the state from 2000 to 2005, according to a 2009
report by the Judicial Council of California's Administrative
Office of the Courts. California leads the nation in the number
of wage-and-hour class-action lawsuits, though Florida leads in
per-capita filings, according to a report by Littler Mendelson, a
national law firm.

The first Hooters restaurant in Northern California opened in San
Francisco on Fisherman's Wharf in 2003. It was owned by Nick and
Shirley Trani and their son John.

The Tranis' company, Hott Wings Inc., later opened Hooters
restaurants in Campbell, Fremont, Dublin and San Bruno. In
addition, the senior Tranis own other fast-food franchises in the
Central Valley.

The Tranis' lawyer:

          Matthew J. Ruggles, Esq.
          LITTLER MENDELSON P.C
          2520 Venture Oaks Way, Suite 390
          Sacramento, CA 95833-4227
          Telephone: (916) 830-7200
          E-mail: mruggles@littler.com

called the claims against the family, its franchises and its
company "vastly overstated." All three Tranis declined to be
interviewed for this article.

The workers' lawyers filed the case in May in Alameda County
Court on behalf of 19 former Hooter Girls against four Bay Area
Hooters franchises and their owners.  Last month, Mr. Boltuch
filed similar suits in Sacramento and Los Angeles Counties.

The common claim is that Hooter Girls had to buy their uniforms -
the low-cut tank tops emblazoned with the Hooters owl, orange
short-shorts, "Cal-Sun" footless pantyhose, white slouchy socks
and high-top Skechers sneakers. State law requires businesses
that mandate distinctive uniforms to pay for them.

"Not all states say, as California does, that a uniform that is
distinctive must be paid for by an employer," Mr. Gould said.

The suits also claim that Hooters employees were not given their
adequate share of tips, were not granted legally mandated breaks
for rest and meals, were not paid, or were paid insufficiently,
for special events like bikini car washes and contests, golf
tournaments, car shows and "winging" -- when Hooters Girls went
out to local businesses and gave out free chicken wings.

The three class-action lawsuits do not dwell on lasciviousness or
push-up bras. In challenging labor practices at Hooters
franchises, they highlight how stringent California's wage and
hour laws are, and how these minimum-wage and overtime standards
make it easier to file large class-action suits against companies
like Hooters in California than anywhere else.

Unlike federal law, California law requires employees to get rest
periods, lunch breaks and compensation for any time worked over
eight hours a day.

Federal wage and hour laws mandate that employees choose to be
part of a class-action lawsuit, which means that labor lawyers
must track down employees and convince them to join a case. But
in California, current and former employees are presumed to be
part of a class-action lawsuit, which means more plaintiffs and
bigger settlements, Mr. Gould said.

Mr. Boltuch's filing three class-action lawsuits against Hooters
franchises means that he will be representing all the Hooter
Girls, dishwashers and busboys in the state - more than 6,000
people.

The first Hooters opened in Clearwater, Fla., in 1983. The
privately owned company has kept the Hooter Girl look virtually
unchanged as it grew to 450 locations in 43 states and 26
countries from South Korea to the Virgin Islands.

In every venue, the signature uniforms are the same, and workers
are required to wear them.

Mr. Ruggles, the Tranis' lawyer, said in an interview that his
clients did buy uniforms - two - for all Bay Area Hooters girls
when they were hired; the company periodically replaces them free
of charge, he said.

Those who choose to buy additional uniforms do so for what Mr.
Ruggles called "personal convenience."

"Many of the girls are young and in school, and sometimes they
don't want to do laundry as frequently, so they might want to buy
three or four uniforms," he said.

Mr. Ruggles said that one former Hooter Girl named in the suit
told him that she had bought additional uniforms because of
weight gain. "If somebody just decides, 'Gee whiz, my shorts are
too tight,' that is not something that we are responsible for,"
he said.

He added that plaintiffs claimed to have spent $1 million on
uniforms over the past four years, while Mr. Ruggles said his
initial calculations suggested that the number was "only a tiny
fraction of that amount."

The Tranis hope to reach a settlement in mediation, Mr. Ruggles
said. "Class-action litigation is very expensive and
distracting," he said, "and the Tranis would like to put this
entire dispute behind them."

The restaurant, which has the business motto "You can sell the
sizzle, but you have to deliver the steak," has had to deal with
a lot of litigation. In 1997 Hooters of America paid $3.75
million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by men who had
been denied jobs.

Part down-home restaurant part cleavage peddler, Hooters has
managed to appeal to a frat boy demographic while maintaining a
children's 's menu. "Sex appeal is legal and it sells," the
company's Web site says.

Even the bug-eyed trademark owl is not innuendo-free. "The chain
acknowledges that many consider 'Hooters' a slang term for a
portion of the female anatomy," the site says. "Hooters does have
an owl inside its logo and uses an owl theme sufficiently to
allow debate to occur over the meaning's intent. The chain enjoys
and benefits from this debate."

Given Hooters' litigious past and California's strict labor laws,
it seemed only a matter of time before a class-action lawsuit was
filed here against the chain.

"Employers will scream bloody murder about this, but it's clear
that California lawyers are on to something here," Mr. Gould said
of filing such class-action wage and hour lawsuits.

Danielle Sitnyakovsky, 19, is part of the Alameda County lawsuit.
She started working at the Hooters near her parent's house in
Campbell, when it opened in 2008 to pay for registration and
insurance on her first car. Her father was initially not too keen
on the idea, but acquiesced.

When the Campbell restaurant opened, there were lines out the
door. Ms. Sitnyakovsky said she made good tips, especially after
she turned 18 and was made a Hooter Girl. The atmosphere at work
was fun, she said. Some managers used to make a game out of
trying to toss French fries upward on a trajectory designed to
land in a woman's cleavage, or they would draw hearts or write
their names on the girls' pantyhose, she said.

It all seemed lighthearted and flirtatious until grease and ink
left stains and Ms. Sitnyakovsky had to buy new tops and tights.
"The shorts were the worst," she said. "Even a drop of water
would make a stain, and they would make you buy new ones."


IRWIN INDUSTRIES: Sued for Labor Code Violations
------------------------------------------------
Kimo Meyer, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated v.
Irwin Industries, Inc., Case No. BC435149 (Calif. Super. Ct., Los
Angeles Cty. Apr. 2, 2010), asserts unfair business practices and
violations of the labor code.  Mr. Meyer accuses Irwin Industries
of failing to provide second meal periods to employees who worked
more than 10 hours in a day, failing to provide third rest
periods to employees who worked over 10 hours, not providing
complete and accurate itemized wage statements, failing to pay
wages for compensable travel time spent from or within the
refineries and other facilities and failure to pay former
employees all wages due at the time of their discharge.

Meyer Industries is an industrial construction and maintenance
company serving the power generation industry.  Mr. Meyer worked
as a pipefitter for Irwin Industries from March 2008 through
June 2008 and from August 2008 through April 2009.
The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Eric A. Grover, Esq.
          KELLER GROVER LLP
          425 Second St., Suite 500
          San Francisco, CA 94107
          Telephone: (415) 543-1305

               - and -

          Scot Bernstein, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF SCOT D. BERSTEIN, APC
          101 Parkshore Drive, Suite 100
          Folsom, CA 95630
          Telephone: (916) 447-0100

               - and -

          Ellyn Moscowitz, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF ELLYN MOSCOWITZ, P.C.
          1629 Telegraph Avenue, Fourth Floor
          Oakland, CA 94612
          Telephone: (510) 899-6240


JAMES RAY: Accused of Not Refunding Fees for Canceled Events
------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that "motivational speaker" James
Ray refused to return thousands of dollars to customers after he
canceled events in the wake of his indictment for manslaughter, a
class action claims in Maricopa County Court.  Three people died
and 18 were hospitalized after one of Mr. Ray's lengthy sweat-
lodge ceremonies in Sedona in October 2009.

The class claims Ray and his company, James Ray International,
ignored requests for refunds.  The plaintiffs say Ray lacks
"sufficient assets to conduct the events or refund the pre-paid
fees due to transfers to or for the benefit of Ray or entities
which he controls."

Mr. Ray also failed to warn participants that his events
"involved dangerous and reckless activities with substantial risk
of bodily and psychological injury and financial loss," according
to the complaint.

The class says that Mr. Ray collected money upfront for events
for which he was not properly qualified or experienced to
conduct.

Before the widely publicized deaths and Mr. Ray's arrest, Mr. Ray
promoted his "Harmonic Wealth philosophies and techniques" with
"sophisticated sales techniques to obtain pre-paid fees for
future events and event packages where, Ray represented, he would
lead participants in more advanced instruction and activities,"
according to the complaint.

Plaintiff Susan Smyser says she paid $7,995 for two events to be
held in April; Patricia Franklin says she paid $3,346 for an
event in November 2009 and another in May this year; Kim Wilson
says she paid $12,586 for four events.

They estimate that the class contains more than 1,000 people.

More than 50 participants at Mr. Ray's "Spiritual Warrior" event
in Sedona were crammed into a 415-square-foot sweat lodge after
fasting for 36 hours.  Three people died and 18 were hospitalized
for dehydration and burns, according to media reports.

The class seeks damages for fraud, breach of contract and
negligence.  It is represented by Todd Jackson with Butler, Oden
and Jackson in Tucson.  

A copy of the Complaint in Smyser, et al. v. James Ray
International, Inc., et al., Case No. CV2010-010948 (Ariz.
Super. Ct., Maricopa Cty.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/04/08/PhxCult.pdf

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Todd Jackson, Esq.
          BUTLER, ODEN & JACKSON, P.C.
          145 South 6th Ave.
          Tucson, AZ 85701
          Telephone: 520-884-0024
          E-mail: tjackson@boj-law.com


KAMAL NATH: Accused of Leading 1984 Mob Killings in India
---------------------------------------------------------
Barbara Leonard at Courthouse News Service reports that Sikhs who
survived a 1984 massacre at a temple in New Delhi have filed a
federal class action against a former member of the Indian
parliament, who they say planned the riots and led a murderous
mob.  "In the four-day carnage, 3,000 Sikhs, men, women and
children were killed in New Delhi alone while thousands were left
maimed, wounded, raped and burnt," Sikhs For Justice and two
survivors say.

"Shops, properties and Sikh temples were ransacked, looted and
torched.  As a result, more than 300,000 Sikhs were displaced."

The slaughter followed the Oct. 31, 1984 assassination of Prime
Minister Indira Gandhi by her two bodyguards, "who happened to be
Sikhs," according to the complaint.

Sikhs for Justice claims that Kamal Nath, then a member of the
Indian Parliament, led a mob of 4,000 people at a historic Sikh
temple, Gurudwara Rakab Ganj Sahib.

Plaintiffs Jasbir Singh and Mohinder Singh say 24 members of
their family were killed by the mobs and their home was burned
during the first week of November 1984.

The class claims that members of Parliament and senior members of
the Indian National Congress planned the massacre on the night of
Prime Minister Gandhi's assassination.

Outside the Rakab Ganj temple, the mob captured Ajit Singh and
his son, both Sikhs, "and burnt them alive in broad daylight in
the presence of thousands, including the defendant," according to
the complaint.

Witness testimony put Mr. Nath at the site of the Singhs'
execution, leading the mob, though Mr. Nath told the Justice
Nanavati Commission he thought Hindus were being held hostage in
the temple and tried to disperse the crowd, according to the
complaint.

The commission found Mr. Nath's testimony "vague," a "little
strange" and inconsistent with other reports, but formal charges
were never brought, the complaint states.

"After more than 25 years of massacre, the Indian government and
its prosecuting agencies have failed to prosecute and convict a
single leader who was responsible for widespread killings of
Sikhs," the complaint states.

The class seeks compensatory and punitive damages, alleging
crimes against humanity and wrongful deaths, and is represented
by Avtar Singh.

Violence returned to India this week when at least 76 soldiers
were killed in ambushes led by Maoist insurgents in Chhattisgarh,
a state in central India.

Maoist rebels have been fighting for communist rule during a
43-year insurgency, taking control of vast territories throughout
eastern and central India known as the "red corridor."  More than
6,000 people have died during the insurgency, and the rebels
operate in 20 of the country's 28 states.   

The case is Sikhs for Justice, et al. v. Nath, Case No.
10-cv-02940 (S.D.N.Y.) (Sweet, J.).


LAWYERS TITLE: Sued for Non-Payment of Vested Severance Benefits
----------------------------------------------------------------
John Ray, Lori Northcutt, and Robert Hagan, on behalf of
themselves, and others similarly situated v. Lawyers Title
Insurance Corporation, et al., Case No. 30-2010-00359306 (Calif.
Super. Ct., Orange Cty. Apr. 2, 2010), assert breach of contract,
unfair competition and violations of California's Code.  Mr. Ray,
who worked for Defendant Commonwealth Title from 1989 until 1996,
and continued to work for Lawyers Title (which acquired
Commonwealth Title in 1996) until December 2008 when his
employment was terminated, alleges that Lawyers Title has not
paid him any severance pay.

Prior to acquisition of Commonwealth Title by Lawyers Title,
Commonwealth Title had been held for a period by LandAmerica
Financial Group, Inc.  In December 2008, Plaintiffs and other
class members received a memorandum from the holding company that
because of its bankruptcy filing, it is unable to pay severance
claims under the LandAmerica Severance Benefit Plan.  Mr. Ray
says that this not apply to him because under California law,
severance pay cannot be taken away by an employer once it has
been earned and accrued by employees.  Mr. Ray further says that
LandAmerica's claimed inability to pay severance claims due to
its bankruptcy filing is irrelevant to Lawyers Title's and
Commonwealth Title's respective obligations to pay vested
severance benefits because Lawyers Title and Commonwealth Title
are not part of the LandAmerica bankruptcy.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Norman B. Blumenthal, Esq.
          Kyle R. Nordrehaug, Esq.
          Aparajit Bhowmik, Esq.
          BLUMENTHAL NORDREHAUG & BHOWMIK
          2255 Calle Clara
          La Jolla, CA 92037
          Telephone: (858) 551-1223
          
               - and -

          William Pettersen, Esq.
          1620 Union St.
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 702-0123


MBS DIRECT: Accused in Mich. Suit of Deceptive Sales Practices
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bridget Freeland at Courthouse News Service reports that a
federal class action claims the nation's biggest mail-order
textbook provider overcharges students for books, and pays secret
kickbacks to schools that push its services.  The class claims
that MBS Direct, a unit of MBS Textbook Exchange, has exclusive
contracts with more than 600 schools, which force students and
parents to pay more for required texts, some of which are
available much cheaper, even through MBS.

MBS sales agents "solicit exclusive relationships with
universities and parochial or non-public secondary schools across
the country in which the schools agree to direct their students
to purchase textbooks from MBS, at artificially inflated prices,
in exchange for receiving a kickback from MBS," according to the
complaint.

Schools provide MBS with a list of books for each class it
offers, and tell students to go to the MBS Web site, type in
their classes, and buy the books, according to the complaint.

"If a school declines to receive a kickback, the books are sold
at a lower price to that school's students, rather than the
higher price charged at the schools receiving kickbacks," the
class claims.  It adds that students and parents are not made
aware of the price discrepancy.

The class claims that to prevent students from buying textbooks
elsewhere, MBS and its school business partners will not reveal
the International Standard Book Numbers for its textbooks.
Students cannot be sure they are buying the correct edition
without the ISBN numbers.

MBS also overcharges for used textbooks, and "generally does not
offer enough used textbooks for the demand, thus forcing most
buyers to purchase a new book at the higher price," according to
the complaint.

Nor does MBS fairly reimburse students from whom it buys used
texts, though MBS falsely claims to offer the lowest prices on
textbooks and offers "top dollar" for buybacks, the class claims.

MBS runs another Web site where students can get books at a much
cheaper price, with free shipping on orders over $25, which MBS -
- and the schools receiving kickbacks -- do not reveal to
students, according to the complaint.

If a school drops its contract with MBS, MBS will direct students
to the alternate Web site, to keep them as customers, the class
claims.

Despite its privacy policy, MBS provides the schools with
listings of "which students purchased which textbooks at which
prices," which it touts to schools in its promotional materials,
the class says.

Some Michigan schools that have contracts with MBS include
Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, the
University of Michigan, University Liggett School, Cranbrook
Kingswood Schools and Detroit Country Day, amongst others,
according to the complaint.

The class demands restitution, disgorgement and damages for
violations of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act, fraudulent
misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.

A copy of the Complaint in Stalker v. MBS Direct LLC, et al.,
Case No. 10-cv-11355 (E.D. Mich.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/04/08/Textbooks.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          E. Powell Miller, Esq.
          Jayson E. Blake, Esq.
          THE MILLER LAW FIRM P.C.
          950 West University Dr., Suite 300
          Rochester, MI 48307
          Telephone: 248-841-2200


MOHAWK INDUSTRIES: Settles Illegal Alien Lawsuit for $18 Million
----------------------------------------------------------------
Joe Guzzardi at VDARE.com reports that in a victory for all
American workers who have been displaced by illegal aliens or who
have had their wages depressed by cheap labor, a class of
plaintiffs have reached a settlement agreement in a six-year old
lawsuit that was filed in federal district court in Rome, Georgia
in 2004 and heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006.

Represented by co-lead council Howard Foster of Chicago, Ill.-
based Foster PC, the plaintiffs in Williams, et al. v. Mohawk
Industries, Inc. Case No. 04-cv-00003 (N.D. Ga.), are legally-
authorized, hourly-paid workers who alleged that their wages at
Mohawk Industries, Inc. facilities in Northwest Georgia were
depressed by the hiring of illegal aliens.  

Mohawk, the leading worldwide producer of flooring, recorded
annual 2008 net sales of $6.8 billion.

The settlement, which is also a major win for the patriotic
immigration reform movement, entitles approximately 50,000 former
and current hourly-paid Mohawk employees to claim awards from an
$18 million settlement fund, the largest payout ever in this type
of litigation.

Mohawk is responsible for paying out a portion of the funds. But
the majority will be contributed by Zurich American Insurance
Company, Mohawk's insurance carrier.

Also, Mohawk has agreed to conduct much needed and long-overdue
training regarding immigration laws that make it illegal to
knowingly hire workers who are not authorized to be employed in
the U.S.

A short history of the case: Norman Carpenter, a Mohawk
production employee and shift manager, went to his supervisor to
complain about the numerous illegal workers in his midst.

Concerned by Carpenter's complaints, Mohawk management eventually
contacted company lawyers as well as its lead lawyer, Juan
Morillo, of the prestigious UK law firm Clifford Chance's DC
office, who was ultimately dispatched to Georgia to meet with
Carpenter.

What transpired at that fateful meeting is now the subject of a
federal civil rights lawsuit that is still pending.

Carpenter alleges that Morillo threatened to have him fired if he
said another word about illegal workers to anyone, particularly
to Foster and his colleagues prosecuting the RICO (Racketeer
Influenced Corrupt Organization Act) case.

Nevertheless, Carpenter did complain to others. He was fired, and
sued Mohawk for violating his civil rights by terminating his
employment and violating the federal whistleblower protection
law.

Along with his Mohawk co-worker Christina Martinez, Carpenter
filed sworn statements about Mohawk's hiring of illegal workers
and Morillo's intimidation.

According to court documents, Martinez had the following exchange
with Mohawk Human Resources representative Becky Hale.

In her declaration, Martinez said:

     "Ms Hale informed me that she was aware that many Mohawk
     employees are not legally authorized to work in the U.S.

     "She [Hale] informed me however that if these employees come
     to Mohawk with social security numbers and false
     identification she could and would hire them and that Mohawk
     would employ them."

To bolster his case of wrongful termination, Carpenter subpoenaed
Morillo for his deposition. Morillo asserted the attorney-client
privilege, contending that anything he said to Carpenter was in
his capacity as Mohawk's lawyer.

U.S. District Court Judge Harold Murphy of the Northern District
of Georgia rejected Morillo's claim and ordered him to be
deposed, but allowed Mohawk to seek appeal of the order.

The case went all the way to the Supreme Court which, on December
8, 2009, in a unanimous opinion, ironically written by Justice
Sonia Sotomayor (her first), ruled for Carpenter.  See Mohawk
Industries, Inc. v. Carpenter, No. 08-678, slip op.
http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/09pdf/08-678.pdf(U.S.  
2009).

This means, Morillo will now have to be deposed by Carpenter's
lawyers and the truth surrounding the company's efforts to
conceal its illegal hiring may come to light.

Commenting on the class action settlement, Mohawk's attorney
Morillo said:

     "Mohawk is pleased to have reached a settlement that allows
     the company to put behind it the expense and distraction
     associated with this case." In settling the case, Mohawk
     does not admit any of the plaintiffs' allegations of
     wrongdoing.

     "Mohawk has always trained its employees to comply with the
     immigration and workplace laws, and this settlement affirms
     the company's commitment to a continued culture of
     compliance," Morillo commented.

     "Mohawk has provided and continues to provide good jobs with
     great benefits to tens of thousands of workers in Georgia
     and elsewhere."  

Foster, however, noted the lengthy procedural history of the
case, which included three years of litigation to resolve
Mohawk's appeal of Judge Murphy's 2004 ruling that the plaintiffs
stated a claim under the federal and Georgia RICO laws.

After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit affirmed
that ruling, Mohawk convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the
case in 2006.

The Supreme Court ultimately ruled that it had "improvidently"
accepted the case and sent it back to the Eleventh Circuit which
again ruled that the plaintiffs could proceed in 2007.

The parties then undertook discovery on whether the case should
be granted class action status. In 2008, Judge Murphy denied the
plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification, precluding the
proposed class of employees from obtaining relief in this case.

But the Eleventh Circuit accepted the plaintiffs' request to
review that decision, and in May 2009, reversed the denial of
class certification and sent the case back to Judge Murphy to
reconsider the question of class certification.

Settlement discussions occurred after the two sides agreed on a
mediator. A final resolution was reached in December 2009 at the
federal courthouse in Rome, Georgia and then documented by the
parties.

Foster, who argued the employees' case in the Supreme Court,
said:

     "We consider this a hard-fought case and are pleased with
     the settlement for the class. The class will receive
     significant monetary relief and the company has agreed to
     train its personnel regarding the verification of employment
     eligibility."

Judge Murphy will now be asked to preliminarily approve the
settlement between Mohawk and the employees. Upon Judge Murphy's
approval, notice of the settlement will be mailed to the class
members, and the Court will then hold a hearing to consider final
approval of the settlement.

Foster's class action triumph over Mohawk is his second on behalf
of betrayed American workers. In 2006, Foster negotiated a $1.3
million settlement against the Washington-based Zirkle Fruit
Company, which by some estimates had at one time only 30 percent
of its employees legally authorized workers.


NOVARTIS PHARMACEUTICALS: Opening Arguments in Gender Bias Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Vesselin Mitev at the New York Law Journal reports that the trial
of a $200 million gender discrimination class action suit against
Swiss-owned drug maker Novartis Pharmaceuticals began last week
with the defense saying the company "makes no claim that we are
perfect" but denying that it underpaid women or intentionally
promoted them less frequently than men.

"This isn't a company with a glass ceiling," defense attorney
Richard Schnadig told the jury of six women and four men in the
closely watched case.

The 5,600-plaintiff class in Velez v. Novartis, 04-cv-9194,
claims that Novartis actively discriminated against women by
discouraging pregnancies and ignoring complaints of sexual
harassment, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act.

In opening arguments, plaintiffs' counsel Katherine Kimpel said
that the company fostered a culture that "ignores and undermines
legitimate concerns and complaints," including failing to
discipline a manager who used derogatory names for women, asked
female sales representatives to sit in his lap, and showed them
pornographic images.

The suit also alleges that only 30 percent of the company's
district managers were women.

While Schnadig did not dispute that more men than women became
managers at the company, he said the 14,000-member sales force
was evenly split and the disparity among male and female
supervisors was "hardly surprising."

The "predominantly male" group of managers was a result of women
coming into the profession at a "slower rate" combined with the
length of time it took to rise through the ranks to become a
manager, Schnadig said.

He also noted that the rigorous training required to become a
district manager, including a three-month course at the company's
East Hanover, N.J., headquarters, discouraged women from signing
up.

The process was "extremely disruptive" for women who were the
"principal maternal force in the home" and now had to deal with
additional administrative responsibilities, Schnadig said.

To combat the dwindling number of women in supervisory positions,
the company implemented a "Women in Leadership" mentoring program
consisting of successful female district managers, regional
directors and vice presidents who would help "convince reluctant
potential managers" to give the job a chance, Schnadig said.

Progress was being made, he urged, although "not overnight."

Kimpel characterized the mentoring program as something that
looked good on paper but lacked any real substance, calling it a
"PR campaign."

In reality, she said, the company made it difficult for women to
become managers as supervisors who evaluated potential candidates
had almost unlimited power to rate them "subjectively" rather
than on "objective performance."

She pointed to an internal recommendation by a consultant that
the company train its managers and supervisors across the board
to "foster consistencies" in evaluations and oversight protocols
as evidence that Novartis was warned of its discriminatory
practices but "never fixed the problems."

Kimpel told the jury that it would hear testimony from plaintiffs
who had been denied promotion because they became pregnant or
took the full amount of maternity leave to which they were
entitled.

One plaintiff was urged to have an abortion while another was
asked if she could give the company "two child-free years," said
Kimpel, of Sanford Wittels & Heisler in Washington, D.C.

Schnadig took issue with the sincerity of some of the plaintiffs'
claims, pointing out that one plaintiff, Holly Waters, was fired
for falsifying that she had made a sales call to a doctor, a
serious offense.

Finally, he said, some of the plaintiffs did not file any
complaints with human resources during or after their time with
Novartis, effectively giving the company "no opportunity to
rectify what was wrong."

Schnadig, of Vedder Price in Chicago, said the company did follow
through on complaints it knew about, citing the firing of the
manager who invited employees to sit in his lap and had a
penchant for dirty jokes.

The manager was the "poster boy for bad behavior and he got
fired," Schnadig said, urging jurors to keep in mind that "some
bad experiences" did not represent the company, which like every
company "has a few jerks."

Former Novartis sales representative Bernice Dezelan, one of the
14 plaintiffs who are expected to testify in the five-week trial,
told the jury she was struggling to play catch-up from the first
day she met her all-male team at a Philadelphia diner.

Her teammates, she claimed, did not share key tips about the
territory, such as how doctors perceived Novartis' products and
what operating hours offices kept.

"I was going to offices that were closed," she said.

But as a "tough little cookie," as she referred to herself,
Dezelan was determined to win over her colleagues and proposed a
solution to her male team members -- everyone would schedule
social events through her and she would keep a calendar so that
all would be included.

When her teammates kept finding excuses not to include her at
dinner parties, she went to her manager, a woman, who told her to
make it work, said Dezelan.

"She was very dismissive . . . she didn't address my problem at
all," said Dezelan, who worked for Novartis from 2003 to 2006.

The trial before the Honorable Colleen McMahon in the Southern
District of New York continues this week.


REED ELSEVIER: Suit Complains About LexisNexis E-Filing Order
-------------------------------------------------------------
Cameron Langford at Courthouse News Service reports that a class
action filed this week accuses LexisNexis and a Texas presiding
judge of violating the Texas and U.S. constitutions by forcing
private litigants to use only LexisNexis, a division of the
English-Dutch conglomerate Reed Elsevier, in order to file court
documents in Montgomery County.  The order mandating the use of
LexisNexis has forced at least 5,000 people to pay fees higher
than those allowed by state law, according to San Antonio lawyer
Robert Mays, who filed the action.  "It is a violation of the
Texas Constitution that requires access to open courts," he said.
"If it was an option, I would have no problem.  But the way it is
implemented, if you hand documents or mail them to the district
clerk, she returns them unfiled."

The class action says the order by Judge Frederick Edwards
requiring the use of LexisNexis results in higher fees than
allowed by Texas statute and discriminates by allowing government
employees to avoid the fees altogether.

"Everybody who files a lawsuit is entitled to be treated the same
and charged the same fee for filing and that's not what's
happening in Montgomery County," Mr. Mays said.

The lawsuit names Edwards as a defendant, along with Montgomery
County District Court clerk Barbara Gladden Adamick and Reed
Elsevier dba LexisNexis.

Lead plaintiff Karen McPeters claims Ms. Adamick based her
e-filing mandate on an order that Judge Edwards signed on Feb.
10, 2003, an order that "was signed with a blank line on the
first page of the order" where the case number is supposed to be.  
The clerk then used the order to force everyone to use
LexisNexis, according to the complaint.

"Judge Frederick Edwards required Karen McPeters, as a party to a
civil lawsuit, to exclusively use LexisNexis fileandserve, an
online electronic filing service, to file and serve documents and
pleadings in her lawsuit," the complaint states.

"Since then, Adamick has directed many civil litigants, including
Karen McPeters, that each is required to exclusively use
LexisNexis on-line e-filing. ... Barbara Adamick's direction to
civil litigants is based on Judge Edward's 2003 e-filing order.

"For each new civil lawsuit that qualifies under the provisions
of the 2003 order, the District Court Clerk apparently is
supposed to enter the new cause number in the blank on a copy of
Judge Edward's 2003 e-filing order," according to the complaint.

But Ms. McPeters claims "[t]here is no standing order, signed by
all of the District Judges in Montgomery County, establishing
e-filing requirements for one, or more, of the courts of
Montgomery County."

The complaint continues: "Barbara Gladden Adamick, the District
Court Clerk of Montgomery County, Texas, enforced the requirement
for Karen McPeters, and other similarly situated civil litigants,
to use online E-filing by:

     "(a) refusing to file a document tendered to her in person;

     "(b) returning unfiled any document tendered to her by mail
          for filing, and

     "(c) returning a document tendered and filed, with a
          purported cancellation of the District Court Clerk file
          mark, and a letter directing the preparer of the
          document to file the document through LexisNexis."

Ms. McPeters claims Ms. Adamick "disregarded the known and
obvious consequences of her actions," and LexisNexis has billed
her for more than $444, which she paid.

Ms. McPeters claims that the plan "has been in place since 1997,"
and that LexisNexis "fees and charges are not authorized by law."

The complaint adds that LexisNexis and Montgomery County have
profited financially from their exclusive deal, and that
LexisNexis has billed more than 5,000 civil litigants in
Montgomery County.

The dispute started last fall with the clerk allegedly exerting
power beyond that normally given to court clerks.  Ms. McPeters
filed a Rule 202 petition in November 2009, seeking "to
investigate and determine the administrative remedies for refund
of the LexisNexis fees and charges."

The petition was assigned to Judge Edwards, but Edwards' staff
allegedly told Ms. McPeters that the case would be reassigned,
the lawsuit states.  Ms. Adamick then returned the petition,
stamped "VOID," even though Ms. McPeters had filed it
electronically, according to the complaint.

Under Judge Edwards' 2003 order, state of Texas, Child Protective
Services, people involved in adoption actions, and some divorce
and annulment litigants do not have to pay LexisNexis to file,
according to the complaint.

The complaint adds: "Judge Edwards' 2003 order was objectively
unreasonable in light of clearly established law at the time he
entered the order, to wit: One may not discriminate against
certain classes of civil litigants in deciding who must use
online e-filing.  One may not discriminate in favor of all
criminal litigants, and other classes of civil litigants.  Doing
so violates Karen McPeters' rights, and other similarly situated
persons' equal protection rights."

Ms. McPeters wants Montgomery County enjoined from requiring that
court documents be filed electronically through LexisNexis.  She
calls the process a RICO conspiracy that unconstitutionally
violates due process and equal protection.

She seeks exemplary damages.

A copy of the Complaint in McPeters v. Edwards, et al., Case No.
10-cv-01103 (S.D. Tex.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/04/08/LexNex.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Robert L. Mays, Jr., Esq.
          8626 Tesoro Dr., Suite 820
          San Antonio, TX 78217
          Telephone: 210-657-7772


RHODE ISLAND: Suit Complains About Truancy Court Program
--------------------------------------------------------
Alexandria D'Angelo at Courthouse News Service reports that the
State of Rhode Island uses its Truancy Court to discipline and
punish students with learning and medical disabilities and other
problems, rather than to help them, nine families say in a class
action in Superior Court.  And they say the Truancy Court, a
branch of the Family Court, incarcerates students at the State
Training School without due process.

The parents say that teachers and administrators declared their
children "wayward" because of their special needs, not because
they were truants.

One mother says she attended a truancy hearing for her son, who
suffers from a moderate form of sickle-cell anemia.  She says he
was threatened with jail if he did not attend school for 30 days
straight.

Fearing arrest, she says, she rushed home from the court and took
him to school though he was ill.  Within two hours, the school
had to call an ambulance to take the boy to the hospital.

The mother says the court dismissed her son's case at his next
hearing.  But she says that because the Truancy Court enforces
the law "in an arbitrary and capricious manner," she fears that
she and her son may have to go through the whole process again.

The Rhode Island Truancy Courts were created in 1999 by the
Family Court's Chief Justice Jeremiah.  According to the court
Web site: "The stated purpose of permitting the adjudication of
'wayward child' truancy petitions in the children's schools, so
that those children might be able to access school and community
services more quickly and efficiently than they would have been
able had they been required to travel to the Family Court to have
the petitions adjudicated."  Five magistrates preside over
Truancy Court for 150 schools.

The parents say the Truancy Court violates state and federal law
by denying children timely notice of the charges against them, by
failing to investigate properly whether the charges are valid,
and by not allowing the families to rebut them.

They also say the court withholds transcripts of its proceedings,
and if the students admit to the charges and agree to abide by
the rules set forth by the magistrates, they are denied the right
to challenge school officials who claim they break the terms.

And they say the children's parents and guardians are subjected
to punitive orders of the Truancy Court, though they are not part
of the proceedings against the children.

The families say the failure of the Truancy Court is indicated by
the increase in the high school dropout rate from 4 percent in
2003 to 5.8 percent in 2007.

The parents say the Truancy Court gets it exactly wrong:
embarrassing and frustrating students, many of whom should not be
subjected to truancy proceedings in the first place, to the point
that they feel helpless and eventually drop out.

The plaintiffs seek declaratory judgment and an injunction
barring the defendants from further truancy proceedings against
them.

Their lead counsel is Thomas Lyons with the ACLU.   

A copy of the Complaint in Boyer, et al. v. Jeremiah, et al.,
Case No. PC-10-1858 (R.I. Super. Ct., Providence Cty.), is
available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2010/04/08/Truancy.pdf

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Thomas W. Lyons, Esq.
          RHODE ISLAND AFFILIATE, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
          STRAUSS, FACTOR, LAING & LYONS
          One Davol Square, Suite 305
          Providence, RI 02903
          Telephone: 401-456-0700

               - and -

          Amy R. Tabor, Esq.
          RHODE ISLAND AFFILIATE, AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
          HARDY, TABOR & CHUDACOFF
          24 Spring St.
          Pawtucket, RI 02860
          Telephone: 401-727-1616

               - and -

          Robin L. Dahlbert, Esq.
          Yelena Konanova, Esq.
          AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION
          125 Broad St.
          New York, NY 10004
          Telephone: 212-549-2500

               - and -

          Deborah N. Archer, Esq.
          NEW YORK LAW SCHOOL RACIAL JUSTICE PROJECT
          185 West Broadway
          New York, NY 10013
          Telephone: 212-431-2100


SYNCHRONOSS TECHNOLOGIES: D. N.J. Securities Fraud Case Dismissed
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Synchronoss Technologies, Inc., the leading global provider of
on-demand transaction management software platforms, disclosed
that the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey has
granted Synchronoss' motion to dismiss the purported consolidated
securities class action complaint filed against Synchronoss and
certain of its officers.  The lawsuit had alleged violations of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 primarily based on statements
concerning the Company's financial and business prospects.  In
its Order dated April 7, 2010, the Court dismissed, without
prejudice, all claims against all defendants.

"Unfortunately, many public companies are too often faced with
lawsuits that have no factual or legal merit, driven by certain
individuals looking to profit at shareholders' expense," said
Stephen G. Waldis, Chief Executive Officer and President,
Synchronoss Technologies, Inc.

"We are gratified with the court's decision to dismiss this case
at the outset, as it should never have been brought in the first
place," said Jordan Hershman, Esq., at Bingham McCutchen, lead
counsel for Synchronoss.

                About Synchronoss Technologies, Inc.

Synchronoss Technologies -- http://www.synchronoss.com/-- is the  
leading global provider of on-demand transaction management
technology. Synchronoss' software platforms automate subscriber
activation, order management and service provisioning for all
connected-devices, across any communication service, from any
channel. The company's ConvergenceNow(R), ConvergenceNow(R)
Plus+(TM) and InterconnectNow(TM) technology platforms automate a
wide variety of transactions across multiple delivery channels
and networks, enabling telecommunication service providers, cable
operators, retailers/ e-tailers and OEMs to accelerate and
monetize their go-to-market with connected-devices while
addressing back-office fragmentation, and delivering an improved
customer experience at lower costs.  


TEVIS OIL: MTBE Trial Underway in Carroll County, Md.
-----------------------------------------------------
Brent Jones at The Baltimore Sun reports that a Carroll County,
Md., jury is expected to continue hearing evidence next week in a
class action lawsuit accusing a local oil company of polluting
water wells with an additive linked to cancer in lab animals.

At least a half-dozen Finksburg residents are suing Tevis Oil
Inc. after methyl tertiary butyl ether, or MTBE, detected in
gasoline at a company-owned Shell station at Suffolk Road and
Route 140 was found to have affected 23 neighboring wells in
2002.

Witnesses for the plaintiffs were called this week in the case,
which accuses Tevis of negligence, trespass and nuisance. The
plaintiffs say Tevis knew for years that the hazardous chemicals
were present at the Shell station and had escaped as liquid and
vapor.

Defense attorneys, who started calling witnesses late this week,
are arguing that the company did everything in its power to fix
the problem after it was discovered, and that its effect on the
residents is unclear.

Testimony is expected to end Friday, with the case going to the
jury by April 19, according to Howard Goldberg, lead attorney for
Tevis Oil.

Attorney Bruce Hill of the Peter G. Angelos law firm said the
plaintiffs are seeking unspecified damages.

MTBE is a suspected carcinogen whose effects in drinking water
have not been determined. It was detected at or above the
reportable level -- 20 parts per billion -- in water at the Tevis
station site and in neighboring wells, according to county health
officials. The Maryland Department of the Environment later
identified the station as the source of pollution.

But county officials at the time praised Tevis' response, which
included providing bottled water to residents and volunteering to
pay for the installation of a filtration system at a day care
center across Route 140 from the station. Tevis also installed
carbon-filtration systems that have lowered concentrations of
MTBE in water at the station, according to the county Health
Department.

MTBE makes gasoline burn more cleanly, and it was required in
1990 by the Environmental Protection Agency in states such as
Maryland that have high levels of ozone pollution in summer.
Studies on inhaling MTBE in large doses have shown that it causes
cancer in laboratory rats.

Some people exposed to MTBE while pumping gasoline, driving cars,
or working in gas stations have reported headaches, nausea,
dizziness and mental confusion, according to the state Department
of the Environment, but the levels of exposure in those cases are
unknown.

And while the additive did make the air cleaner, officials said,
it has raised concerns about water pollution in recent years.
This has resulted in stricter state requirements for gas stations
in north-central Maryland, where underground water is drawn from
fractured rock.

MTBE is no longer used in gasoline sold in Maryland. Refineries
voluntarily stopped using it in 2006 after several states banned
the additive and multiple lawsuits were filed.

Last year, a Baltimore County jury awarded more than $150 million
to residents who sued Exxon Mobil over a leak at an Exxon station
in Jacksonville in 2006. About 26,000 gallons of gasoline seeped
into groundwater. The company has filed an appeal.

Two years ago, 12 major oil companies, including BP, Shell,
Sunoco and Chevron, agreed to pay $423 million to settle MTBE-
related lawsuits with 153 public water systems across the
country.


TOYOTA MOTOR: JPMDL Transfers Class Action Suits to C.D. Calif.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Dionne Searcey at The Wall Street Journal reports that a federal
panel selected a U.S. district court judge in California known
for parsing complex cases to hear the growing body of lawsuits
against Toyota Motor Corp. for sudden-acceleration incidents in
its vehicles.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ruled Friday
that federal Judge James V. Selna in Santa Ana will hear the
approximately 100 federal suits filed around the country that
blame the Japanese auto maker for problems tied to incidents
where consumers say its vehicles have accelerated out of control.

The appointment is the first major step toward resolving the
numerous suits that blame Toyota for everything from a loss in
resale value to serious injuries and deaths. It will trigger a
frenzy among plaintiffs' attorneys vying for a handful of spots
that the judge will hand out to take the lead in the litigation.

Judge John Heyburn II, chairman of the panel, called Judge Selna
"well regarded and skilled" in the panel's order Friday. "Judge
Selna's 28 years of private law practice at the very highest
levels and in some of the most complex cases leaves him well
prepared for a case of this magnitude," Judge Heyburn said.

Judge Selna is a Stanford University law school graduate who was
appointed to the court by then-President George W. Bush in 2003.
He will decide how or whether to pool the cases into class
actions and will make rulings on evidence and experts, said
Richard J. Arsenault, a Louisiana attorney who has filed suits
against Toyota.

His record includes complex corporate cases. Judge Selna presided
over a long-running patent infringement case between chipmakers
Qualcomm Inc. and Broadcom Corp., ruling in 2008 that Qualcomm
had violated an injunction by selling chips containing Broadcom's
patented technologies and failing to pay royalties.

He presided over a case seeking class action status brought by a
laptop computer buyer against PC maker eMachines, asserting false
advertising and other violations of state consumer protection
laws. The judge carefully parsed his rulings, finding only some
of the claims were actionable.

"Describing a product as 'quality' or as having 'high performance
criteria' are the types of subjective characterizations that
Illinois courts have repeatedly held to be mere puffing," he said
in dismissing one of the claims in November 2005.

In the Toyota matter, the company as well as several plaintiffs'
attorneys had argued the cases should be heard in the Central
District, which is situated close to Toyota's U.S. headquarters
in Torrance, Calif.

For Toyota, the decision will mean considerable cost savings
because it won't have to fly witnesses from Japan or elsewhere to
jurisdictions across the U.S.

The panel weighed the issue in its decision, noting "Toyota
maintains its United States corporate headquarters within this
district, and relevant documents and witnesses are likely located
there. Far more actions are pending there than in any other
district," according to the ruling.

Toyota said it was pleased with the panel's ruling. Toyota has
recalled more than eight million vehicles world-wide in recent
weeks in the wake of its sudden acceleration problems.

Of the dozens of suits filed in federal court, more than 80 seek
class action status; there are numerous others filed in local
courts that are not part of the multidistrict litigation.

The panel decided Friday that suits dealing with the valuation of
vehicles should be pooled together with the serious injury and
wrongful death suits at least for the time being, because they
likely will seek the same types of evidence as the other suits.


Judge Selna will select a committee of a handful of plaintiffs'
lawyers to take the lead from among the more than 100 attorneys
vying for the top spots. California attorneys will argue they
have a home-court advantage and others will tout their experience
handling past major, complex cases.

"Complex litigation always provides an opportunity for creative
thinking and strategic coordination," Mr. Arsenault said.


TRANSITIONS OPTICAL: Charged with Monopolistic Activities
---------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Gable, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated
v. Transitions Optical, Inc., et al., Case No. 30-2010-00358220
(Calif. Super. Ct., Orange Cty. Mar. 29, 2010), accuses the
photochromic lens manufacturer of anticompetitive activities by
entering into exclusive agreements with its key distributors,
thus preventing rivals from using these distributors.  Ms. Gable
says consumers were harmed because they paid more that what the
market would have allowed absent Transition's monopolistic
practices.  Photochromic lens darken when exposed to sunlight,
and fade back to clear when removed from sunlight.  Ms. Gable
says that Transitions' deceptive practices violated California
Business and Professions Code Secs. 17200, et seq., commonly
known as the California Unfair Competition Law.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Michael Louis Kelly, Esq.
          Behram V. Parekh, Esq.
          Heather M. Peterson, Esq.
          KIRTLAND & PACKARD LLP
          2361 Rosecrans Ave., 4th Flr.
          El Segundo, CA 90245
          Telephone: (310) 536-1000
          E-mail: mlk@KirtlandPackard.com
                  bvp@KirtlandPackard.com  
                  hmp@KirtlandPackard.com

               - and -

          Mark A. Maasch, Esq.
          TURNER & MAASCH, INC.
          550 West C Street, Suite 1150
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 237-1212
          E-mail: mam@tmsdlaw.com


UNITED STATES: 9/11 Cleanup Contractors Urge Approval of Deal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mark Hamblett at the New York Law Journal reports that lawyers
for New York City, its contractors and plaintiffs huddled
Thursday with special masters in an attempt to reframe a
settlement that will satisfy Southern District Judge Alvin K.
Hellerstein in the litigation involving respiratory illnesses
allegedly caused by toxic dust at the World Trade Center site.

The meeting among the lawyers and special masters Aaron D.
Twerski and James A. Henderson came before what had been
scheduled to be a full fairness hearing this week on a proposed
$657 million settlement that could cover up to and beyond 10,000
plaintiffs.

But the need for this week's hearing was called into question on
March 19, when Hellerstein, to the consternation of attorneys for
all sides in In re World Trade Center Disaster Site Litigation,
21 MC 100, said the settlement amount was not large enough.

Paul Napoli of Worby, Groner & Napoli, Bern for the plaintiffs
and James E. Tyrrell Jr. of Patton Boggs for the city were among
the lawyers who met with the special masters.

On Wednesday, Twerski and Henderson received a special plea from
lawyers for the main contractors who responded to the site on and
after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and handled the removal
of debris. Those contractors are Bovis Lend Lease LMB Inc.,
Turner Construction Co., AMEC Construction Management Inc., Tully
Construction Co. Inc. and Plaza Construction Corp.

The contractors' attorneys wrote the special masters that the
settlement strikes the appropriate balance between paying current
claims and saving funds for future liabilities. The monies would
come from the $1.1 billion World Trade Center Captive Insurance
Co., established by a grant from the Federal Emergency Management
Agency in 2004 to help the city and contractors with insurance
costs associated with the aftermath of the terror attacks.

That balance between present funds and future reserves was hailed
by Margaret Warner of McDermott Will & Emery, the lead lawyer for
Captive, at the March 19 hearing.

The letter sent by contractors asserts "the absolute necessity
that the Captive reserve substantial funds to protect the WTC
prime contractors from the risk of potential future litigation
concerning the rescue, recovery and debris-removal operations at
Ground Zero, and to explain why, at a minimum, the amount
reserved under the current settlement is necessary."

The letter continues, "It must not be forgotten that the WTC
prime contractors, and all of the subcontractors for that matter,
selflessly responded to the 9/11 attacks" and "put their
companies on the line."

The letter was sent by Bovis lawyers Steven Alan Reiss and
Theodore E. Tsekerides of Weil, Gotshal & Manges; Turner lawyer
John E. Sparling of London Fischer; AMEC and Tully lawyer Mark
Joseph Weber of Mound Cotton Wollan & Greengrass; and Plaza
lawyers Kurt W. Hansson and Brian Moran of Paul, Hastings,
Janofsky & Walker.

The concern over future liabilities is critical in litigation
clouded by the fact that cancers and other respiratory illnesses
may not manifest themselves for some time and new claims are
filed every day.

"Adding to this uncertainty is the fact that the scope of the
potential legal obligations of the WTC prime contractors in the
current cases has yet to be clarified by the court, making it
impossible to evaluate their potential exposure in any future
cases," the attorneys write.

The amount of reserves would also be affected should Hellerstein
prevail on another priority he outlined on March 19, his
insistence that the plaintiffs attorneys' fees, at a 33 percent
contingency rate the judge found unacceptable, come out of the
Captive fund over and above the compensation paid to the victims.

The letter also laments that Hellerstein has yet to decide
dispositive motions by the city and the contractors who claim
immunity because the rescue response and cleanup came in reaction
to a civil emergency.

"The WTC prime contractors believe that their responsibility for
any injuries suffered by the plaintiffs is highly questionable
and, as it relates to uniformed workers (police and firefighters)
who make up nearly half of the plaintiff population, essentially
implausible," they state.

INDEMNITY

The contractors' lawyers in the letter complain that "the
compelling injustice of simply continuing to expose the WTC prime
contractors to unprecedented liability has been largely ignored,
masked by the glaring presence of the city as lead defendant and
a highly visible pot of funds" held by Captive.

To illustrate their potential exposure in the future, they say
that, in addition to the current plaintiffs, as many as 90,000
people worked on the debris pile at Ground Zero.

The contractors also fault the city, saying that it had initially
promised "full indemnity" for work at the site but "has since
disavowed that promise."

The city, they say, has argued that the Air Transportation Safety
and System Stabilization Act limits the city's indemnity or
contribution obligations to the contractors.

But the contractors argue that the act, passed in the wake of
9/11, does not apply to debris-removal claims.

The city's Law Department answered with a letter of its own to
the special masters late Wednesday. Lawrence S. Kahn, chief
litigating assistant corporation counsel, wrote that "the city
disagrees with the contractors' assertions in their letter
concerning indemnification."

But Kahn also made clear that the city "fully supports the
contractors' position that a substantial reserve is necessary in
order to safeguard against the possibility that numerous lawsuits
may be brought in the years ahead by persons claiming to be
suffering from conditions resulting from their presence in or
about Ground Zero in the period following September 11."

Kahn told the special masters that if they granted the
contractors' request for a meeting, the city wanted to attend.
Lawyers for the city attended the meeting Thursday.


                            *********

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
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.  Gracele D. Canilao, Leah Felisilda, Joy A. Agravante,
Ronald Sy and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

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

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