/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/101018.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Monday, October 18, 2010, Vol. 12, No. 205


AMERICAN INT'L: Opposes Class-Action Status to Rivals' Suit
BANKATLANTIC BANCORP: First Witness Called in Class Suit Trial
BARNES & NOBLE: Jackson Lewis Disqualified Over Class Settlement
BIERMAN GEESING: Sued for Counterfeiting Foreclosure Affidavits
BROADWAY BRIDGE: Settles Labor Class Suit for Nearly $2 Million

CLASSMATES MEDIA: Class Counsel Agrees to Fee Modification
HEALTHPORT: Sued for Illegally Overcharging Medical Patients
INDSPEC CHEMICAL: Sued Over Toxic Chemical Release at Plant
INTERNET BRANDS: Being Sold for Too Little, Calif. Suit Claims
MEREDIA: Merchant Law Group Launches Class Action in Canada

NASHVILLE LIMO: Court Denies Motion to Dismiss FLSA Suit in Tenn.
NATIONAL CITY: To Settle ERISA Class Action Suit for $43 Million
NIAGARA FALLS: School District Faces Class Suit Over Seneca Taxes
POTASH CORP: To Contest Purported Class Action Complaint
PREMIER CHEMICALS: Sued Over Magnesium Oxide Price-Fixing Scheme

REDLINE COMMUNICATIONS: Faces Class Action Suit in Ontario
ROSS STORES: Recalls 185 Iron Lover's Benches
SIMON & SCHUSTER: Settles TCPA Class Action Suit for $10 Million
SKILLED HEALTHCARE: Settles Class Action Suit for $50 Million
UNITED LIFE: Judge Grants Preliminary Settlement to Class Suit

WYNN RESORTS: Judge Allows Casino Smoking Case to Proceed
ZIMMER HOLDINGS: Lawyers to Review Durom Cup Hip Implant Claims

* U.S. Lenders to Face Class-Action Lawsuits Over Foreclosures


AMERICAN INT'L: Opposes Class-Action Status to Rivals' Suit
Serena Ng, writing for The Wall Street Journal, reports American
International Group Inc., which has been sued for alleged under-
reporting of premiums on workers-compensation policies, asked a
federal judge to deny class-action status to a lawsuit brought
against it by other insurance companies.

AIG has been accused by rivals of under-reporting the size of its
workers-compensation business.

In documents filed in a federal district court in Illinois on
Friday afternoon detailing AIG's opposition to the case, lawyers
for AIG accused two insurers that are plaintiffs in the case of
acting "at the behest of" Liberty Mutual Insurance Co., a rival
that AIG alleges under-reported its own workers-compensation

AIG, which was bailed out by the U.S. government in September
2008, has been embroiled in a long-running fracas with its rivals
over the reporting of workers-compensation policies.  In many
states, insurers are required to contribute funds to a pool to
help cover payments to injured workers.  The contribution amounts
are determined from the size of each insurer's workers-
compensation business.

AIG has been accused by rivals and others in court filings and
other venues of under-reporting the size of its workers-
compensation business for decades.  The company has, in court
documents, in turn accused some of its competitors of understating
their own workers-compensation insurance premiums and contributing
less than they should have to the pool.

In Friday's court filing, AIG said Liberty and several other large
insurers "are alleged to have engaged in the very same conduct
that is at the core of the putative class action complaint -- the
under-reporting of workers compensation premium -- thereby making
class certification particularly inappropriate."

A Liberty Mutual spokesman said the company had no comment.
Liberty Mutual is involved in separate litigation against AIG over
the workers-compensation issue.

In 2006, AIG agreed to set aside more than $300 million in a
settlement with New York insurance regulators and the New York
Attorney General over allegations that the company understated its
workers-compensation premiums from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s,
without admitting or denying wrongdoing.  Most of that settlement
money, which is sitting in a fund, is slated to be distributed
among various states or players that were hurt by AIG's alleged
conduct and have legitimate claims against the company.

Last year, Safeco Insurance Company of America and Ohio Casualty
Insurance Co. filed a lawsuit against AIG on behalf of a group of
insurance companies and have sought class-action status for the
case, in which they alleged a $1 billion under-reporting scheme at

AIG in its Friday filing noted that Liberty Mutual is the ultimate
parent of Safeco and Ohio Casualty.  It said "discovery has
confirmed" that the five of the largest members in the putative
class "engaged in much the same underreporting conduct of which
AIG is accused in this case."

Spokespeople for Safeco and Ohio Casualty said their companies
don't comment on pending litigation.  Ohio Casualty "looks forward
to addressing all of the issues on behalf of the class in court,"
a spokesman said.

Michael Carlinsky, a lawyer representing AIG, said, "We have
presented the court with a significant amount of actual evidence
showing under-reporting by other companies, including Liberty and
certain of its subsidiaries."

American International Group Inc. is represented by:

          Michael B. Carlinsky, Esq.
          51 Madison Avenue, 22nd Floor
          New York, NY 10010
          Telephone: 212-849-7000

BANKATLANTIC BANCORP: First Witness Called in Class Suit Trial
Brian Bandell, writing for South Florida Business Journal, reports
the attorney representing shareholders suing BankAtlantic Bancorp
told jurors Tuesday he would prove executives lied to investors
about a deteriorating loan portfolio.

As the shareholder class action suit opened in U.S. District Court
in Miami, plaintiffs' attorney Mark Arisohn pointed to internal
e-mails from bank officials and the bank's "internal watch list"
of problem loans.  Mr. Arisohn said they contradicted the bank's
public statements to investors during the investor class period,
which was Nov. 9, 2005, through Oct. 25, 2007.  As a result,
shareholders overpaid for the stock, he said.

Later in the day, BankAtlantic's defense attorney, Eugene Stearns,
countered that the bank was open about the risks its loans faced
and investors should have been well-aware that its stock would
suffer if Florida real estate values declined, as they did

"What you have here is a company that encourages full disclosure,"
Mr. Stearns told the jury.

The trial comes at a crucial time for BankAtlantic (NYSE: BBX),
which is seeking to raise up to $125 million as its shares trade
at 95 cents.  The bank is considered "well capitalized" by
regulators, but a recent Fitch Ratings report said the company
does not have enough capital to deal with problem loans and
operating losses that have totaled $461 million in the past 10

It is unclear how much in damages the bank might face if the
plaintiffs are successful.

Problem loans to undeveloped properties held by developers or by
borrowers that planned to sell to developers are one of the focal
points of the trial, which has the State-Boston Retirement System
as the lead plaintiff.

Developers, such as Miami-based Lennar Homes and the since-defunct
TOUSA, backed out of tentative deals to buy home lots from
BankAtlantic borrowers, according to internal bank documents
presented at the trial.  On Sept. 20, 2006, Lennar alone had plans
to buy properties secured by $55.5 million in BankAtlantic loans.

The national builder exited a preliminary deal with Priority
Entrada (near Cape Coral) and Hernando Oaks (near Brooksville),
ultimately leading the borrower to defaults on loans of $12.6
million and $20 million, the documents indicated.

As an example of alleged misstatements, Mr. Arisohn pointed to
comments BankAtlantic President Jarrett Levan made at an investor
conference in New York: "We see no trends to make us nervous; we
are very comfortable with our borrowers."

That statement was picked up by newswires.

When Mr. Levan shared it with his father, BankAtlantic Chairman
and CEO Alan Levan, the elder Levan responded back by e-mail: "I
also wouldn't be so bold on the credit front.  I think that Marcia
[Snyder] is going to have problems with her land portfolio."

Ms. Snyder, the former chief of land lending at BankAtlantic, is
scheduled to testify in the trial.

Mr. Arisohn said the e-mail exchange showed the bank's statements
to the public were misleading.

"Despite the fact that the head of the bank told his son that this
was too bold, there was no retraction," Mr. Arisohn said.
Land loan issues

During his opening statement, Mr. Arisohn sought to characterize
BankAtlantic's land loan practices as reckless and unsafe.

The attorney started his criticism by running through the bank's
builder land bank (BLB) loans, where the source of repayment is
the borrower selling property to a major homebuilder.  He pointed
to four loans totaling $86.6 million in Florida.

By October 2006, it was clear that builders, such as Lennar Corp.
and D.R. Horton, weren't likely to purchase the properties, Mr.
Arisohn said.

One of the largest loans was the $27 million Steeplechase loan on
a sod farm about 25 miles east of Sarasota, which was the subject
of a Dec. 12, 2006, South Florida Business Journal article.  Mr.
Arisohn said the owner flipped the property before the
BankAtlantic loan, and the guarantor had a net worth of $275,000.

Of Steeplechase, Mr. Stearns said the bank "screwed up," but it
quickly disclosed that to investors.

Mr. Arisohn used Steeplechase as an example of why he believes it
was false for Alan Levan to say in a February 2007 conference
call: "We believe we are conservative in our underwriting and our
portfolio is high quality."

Mr. Stearns said Mr. Levan relied on the opinion of federal
banking regulators in making that statement.  He presented an
Office of Thrift Supervision examination of BankAtlantic released
in May 2006 -- when many of the land loans were in place -- as
calling the bank's asset quality strong and its underwriting
practices prudent.

"The company was describing its loans in the same way the banks
examiners were describing its loans," Mr. Stearns said.  "But the
recession caused property values to fall.  So now you have a bank
that made a prudent loan at the beginning and found that the
property is now worth less than the loan."

Although BankAtlantic started disclosing problems in its BLB
portfolio in the first quarter of 2007, Mr. Arisohn said it took
much longer for bank officials to come clean with investors about
problems with non-BLB loans, which are land loans held by
borrowers who plan to do the development themselves.

For both types of land loans, BankAtlantic maintained an internal
watch list that had category 10 as a "special mention" and
category 11 as "substandard."

The loans in the two categories increased to $67.3 million on
April 26, 2007, from $7.4 million on March 31, 2007, Mr. Arisohn

Mr. Arisohn said most of those were non-BLB loans.

The plaintiffs' attorney sought to contradict an April 26, 2007,
statement by Alan Levan at a conference call when the banker said:
"The portfolios that our borrowers who are buying land for their
own development are proceeding in the normal course."

Mr. Arisohn said the watch list showed the portfolio was
performing anything but normally.

Mr. Stearns cited examples from BankAtlantic Bancorp's public
filings that he believes made it clear that a decline in the
Florida home buying market would hurt the company.  He also noted
that non-BLB loans caused $9.3 million of the reserve expenses in
the third quarter of 2007 -- when the bank's earnings announcement
was followed by a 40% decline in its stock.  By comparison, the
larger sources of that quarterly loss came from the $22.2 million
expense from BLB loans and the $15 million expense to reserve for
a general decline because of the troubled economy.

So even if the bank wasn't honest about its non-BLB loans, which
Stearns insists that it was, the impact on its earnings wasn't
great enough to merit damages, he said.

After the jury left the courtroom, Mr. Stearns, of Miami-based
Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A., told
Judge Ursula Ungaro that he wasn't happy with the plaintiffs'
attorney making it sound like the bank should have made its watch
list data public.  Mr. Stearns noted that this isn't an SEC
requirement, and most other banks don't do that.

However, before the trial, the judge barred BankAtlantic from
using the disclosure records of other banks as evidence.

Judge Ungaro held firm in her position as the trial began, and
said that the plaintiffs' argument refers to the banks public
statements not reflecting the data in the watch list.

The plaintiffs' attorney's goal is to get the jury to rule that
BankAtlantic's stock was inflated during the class period, meaning
investors who bought during that time should collect damages.

Mr. Arisohn said his expert witness would testify that, based on
the alleged misleading statements by the bank, its stock was
inflated by 37 cents a share from Oct.19, 2006, to April 25, 2007,
and then by $3.15 from April 26, 2007, to Oct. 25, 2007.

"The plaintiffs will prove to you, through the bank's own
documents and the bank's own employees, that the bank broke the
golden rule, 'Don't lie to your investors and the public,'" Mr.
Arisohn said.

The plaintiffs plan to use testimony from Candace L. Preston,
principal of Princeton, N.J.-based Financial Markets Analysis, to
show the amount of damages caused to shareholders.

Mr. Stearns disputed Preston's conclusion in advance.  He said it
was wrong to compare the performance of BankAtlantic Bancorp stock
in an index of national U.S. banks because BankAtlantic was
adversely impacted by the troubled Florida real estate market.  He
showed jurors a chart comparing BankAtlantic Bancorp stock to
other Florida-based savings and loan institutions on the market.
They plummeted in value in the third quarter of 2007.

Back then, BankUnited FSB was the largest bank in Florida and its
stock was spiraling downward.  The Coral Gables-based bank failed
in 2009.

In addition, Mr. Stearns said that BankAtlantic was buying shares
of its own stock during the class period, a practice that wouldn't
make sense if the bank was intentionally inflating the value of
its shares.

"Now that's a great way to pump up your stock, get in front of the
investing public and say, 'Let's keep our fingers crossed,'" Mr.
Stearns said, referring to a comment by Alan Levan at an April
2007 investor conference call.

Before the trial started, former SEC attorney James Sallah, who is
now an attorney in Boca Raton, said the plaintiffs have a tough
standard of proof in this case, especially in showing that the
allegedly false statements made by bank officials directly caused
losses in share value, as opposed to losses from other economic

The first witness to take the stand was the point-man on the
bank's loan portfolio, BankAtlantic Chief Credit Officer Jeffrey

Mr. Arisohn walked him through the bank's commercial real estate
lending policy, which included recommended loan amount limits
based on property values and development costs.  Then the
plaintiffs' attorney showed him land loans that exceeded those

Using an internal bank report from October 2007, Mr. Arisohn
pointed out five land loans where the mortgages made up more than
91% of the development costs -- in one case 100%. That left the
borrowers with little of their cash in the deals and increased the
risks to the bank, the attorney said.

Mr. Mindling said that having a high loan-to-development cost
ratio was more risky, but exceptions to the bank's loan policies
can be made based on "mitigating factors."

Mr. Arisohn presented an internal bank memo that showed $413
million in commercial real estate loans with policy exceptions
were granted in the third quarter of 2006 alone.  Of those, 10%
had loan-to-value ratios that exceeded recommended limits and 11%
had no or limited personal guarantees from the borrowers.

Mr. Mindling said that some of the exceptions granted weren't all
that significant.  Some were missing or late documentation.

All loans above $5 million were approved by the bank's "major loan
committee," which includes both Mr. Levans and other executives
who are named as defendants in the case along with the bank. Mr.
Mindling is also on that committee, but he's not a defendant.

Mr. Arisohn is trying to undermine the bank's public statements
that its underwriting was conservative.  Mr. Mindling testified
that the bank realized Florida real estate wasn't such a good
investment around the same time everybody else did.

"We started to have concerns about BLB loans near the end of
2006," Mr. Mindling said.  "We started to hear talk there was
potential that the market could slow.  I don't believe it was
until 2007 that we realized that was happening."

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Mark Arisohn, Esq.
          140 Broadway
          New York, NY 10005
          Telephone: 212-907-0840

BankAtlantic Bancorp is represented by:

          Eugene Stearns, Esq.
          Highpoint Center, 106 East College Ave., Suite 720
          Tallahassee, FL 32301
          Telephone: 305-789-3400

BARNES & NOBLE: Jackson Lewis Disqualified Over Class Settlement
Kate Moser, writing for The Recorder, reports Jackson Lewis was
disqualified from a potentially big class action against Barnes &
Noble last month, demonstrating the hidden risks of trying to gut
class actions by settling with named plaintiffs.

Alameda County, Calif., Superior Court Judge Steven Brick
acknowledged that ousting the firm was a "drastic" move, but
indicated from the bench that it was necessary in this case.

Disqualification was a strategy more in vogue with both sides of
the bar before the rules of litigating wage-and-hour class actions
firmed up in the past five years.  But Judge Brick's decision
shows the threat is still alive.

"It's a trap for the unwary," said Francis "Tripper" Ortman, a
partner in Seyfarth Shaw's San Francisco office who wasn't
involved in the case.  "You've got to be very sensitive when
you're dealing with the class representative."

Sara Minor, a former community relations manager at a Barnes &
Noble store, sued over unpaid mileage and wrongful termination in
Merced County, Calif., Superior Court.  Then, she became class
representative in a suit that San Diego plaintiffs firm Clark &
Markham filed in Alameda County, which alleges that Barnes & Noble
illegally paid its California workers with checks from out-of-
state banks.

She said she only took the $13,500 Jackson Lewis offered her to
settle her Merced suit because she and her husband were facing
eviction.  She didn't want to withdraw as class representative,
she said, but it was part of the deal, and she needed the money.

The trouble stemmed from Clark & Markham's claims that it had no
idea Jackson Lewis was luring away its class representative.  They
were aware some negotiations had taken place, they say, but
thought they'd ended.

In his tentative ruling, Judge Brick noted that Jackson Lewis had
put Minor's lawyer, Amy Carlson of San Jose firm Williams, Pinelli
& Cullen, in an ethically compromising position and "intruded upon
the attorney-client relationship between Minor and class counsel
without the consent of class counsel, thereby threatening that

Judge Brick hasn't issued a final order yet, but R. Craig Clark of
Clark & Markham said that at a Sept. 30 hearing, the judge
disqualified Jackson Lewis as of the end of October.  He also
ordered Barnes & Noble to hand over the names and contact
information of all potential class members.

Robert Pattison, a partner in the San Francisco office of Jackson
Lewis, didn't respond to an inquiry about the case, Minor v.
Barnes & Noble, RG09450216.

Mr. Clark said in a court filing that he had expressed his
"indignation" that Jackson Lewis would try to settle the class
claims without him to Punam Sarad, the Jackson Lewis associate
handling both cases: "It's hard for me to express my professional
repugnance" over the matter, he said.

But Mr. Sarad has denied that Mr. Clark's firm was out of the
loop.  A transcript from one hearing on the class action shows
that Mr. Sarad said in open court that Minor's withdrawal as class
counsel was a condition of the settlement she was negotiating.

"The concern to me is if it is outrageous and they were well aware
that these negotiations were going on, how come Clark & Markham
never reached out to me or anyone?" Mr. Sarad said, according to a
transcript of a subsequent hearing.

When a named plaintiff has more than one lawyer and a separate
suit, it can spell trouble, employment lawyers on both sides say.

"It's not uncommon in wage-and-hour class actions for the
plaintiffs lawyer to take on a separate individual lawsuit on
behalf of a named plaintiff," said Douglas Farmer, managing
shareholder of the San Francisco office of Ogletree, Deakins,
Nash, Smoak & Stewart.  "I just think the plaintiffs lawyers have
to be very careful about that, because there's the potential for
divided loyalties."

And while the reward for securing a release from a class
representative is clear, the pitfalls are deep.  And new class
representatives can easily replace the named plaintiff.

"It's a cautionary tale for both sides," said plaintiffs lawyer
Jonathan Gertler, who litigates wage-and-hour class actions.  "On
the defense side, it's as simple as it looks -- if you break the
rules, you might get kicked out of the case.  On the plaintiff's
side, it's a subtler lesson: In this kind of litigation, a great
deal of vigilance is required even when the rules should protect
you.  You've got to stay in really close contact and clear
communication with your client."

BIERMAN GEESING: Sued for Counterfeiting Foreclosure Affidavits
Jamie Smith Hopkins, writing for The Baltimore Sun, reports
revelations that attorneys at two Maryland firms had other people
sign their names to foreclosure documents brought a rebuke
Wednesday from the O'Malley administration, which called the
practice a "potential example of further mishandling and
mistreatment of Maryland homeowners."

Also on Wednesday, several borrowers' lawyers said they have filed
a class-action suit against one of the law firms in federal court
in Greenbelt.  And attorney general offices across the country --
including Maryland's -- teamed up for a joint inquiry into
nationwide reports of improper documentation used to foreclose on

The Baltimore Sun reported Wednesday that two attorneys, Bethesda-
based Jacob Geesing and Hunt Valley-based Thomas P. Dore,
acknowledged in court filings that earlier documents submitted in
foreclosure cases had been signed at their direction but not
actually by them.  The documents, called affidavits, are the
written equivalent of court testimony and cannot be signed on
another's behalf.

The lawsuit -- filed against Mr. Geesing, Howard Bierman, Carrie
Ward and their firm, Bierman, Geesing, Ward & Wood -- alleges that
all three were responsible for "fabricated and counterfeit
affidavits" in order to take on more cases than they could handle
if they followed the law.  The suit contends that the attorneys
also directed others to sign their names on deeds for the last six
years, clouding the titles on potentially thousands of homes sold
to new owners.

"[T]he Defendants' assembly line foreclosure prosecution became to
foreclosure misconduct what Henry Ford was to automobile
production," alleges the complaint, which was provided to The Sun
by the plaintiffs' attorneys.  The lawsuit was not available
through the federal court's electronic filing system, but the copy
from the attorneys showed the case number and a time stamp dated

Geesing, Bierman and Ward did not respond Wednesday to requests
for comment.  Mr. Dore, who was not named in the suit, also did
not return messages seeking comment.

Shaun Adamec, a spokesman for Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, said
Wednesday that the falsely signed affidavits were one reason why
the Democrat joined with the state's congressional delegation to
ask the courts to halt foreclosures for at least 60 days.

"While it's a separate issue from the robo-signings that prompted
the latest dust-up in the mortgage lending world, it is
nonetheless another disturbing development in the foreclosure
process," Mr. Adamec said.

In "corrective affidavits" acknowledging the signature issue, both
Messrs. Geesing and Dore said that all other information in their
foreclosure documents was accurate.

Mortgage servicers, meanwhile, have made similar assertions in
recent days in response to court depositions of employees now
dubbed "robo-signers."  These staffers say they signed their own
affidavits, but in such volume that they did not personally verify
the information in the documents, such as how much borrowers owed.

"Our ongoing assessment shows the basis for our past foreclosure
decisions is accurate," Bank of America said in a statement last
week when it expanded its freeze on foreclosure sales to all 50

But Richard Cordray, Ohio's attorney general, said improper
affidavits are a serious matter even in cases where the details in
the affidavits prove correct.  He said the Maryland examples fall
into that category.

"Whether they signed it for someone else or whether they robo-
signed lots of them, regardless, that's fraud," said Mr. Cordray,
who has filed suit against mortgage servicer GMAC Mortgage.
"You're telling the court under oath, and the court is relying on
that evidence to make decisions about taking someone's property."

Attorneys general in all 50 states announced Wednesday that they
were working together to find out whether mortgage servicers
submitted problematic affidavits.  Requests from that group carry
more weight than initial calls from individual states asking that
mortgage companies review their procedures, said a spokeswoman for
Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler.

"Now you have . . . AGs all coming together with one voice," said
Raquel Guillory, his spokeswoman.

Though it supports the inquiry, the Obama administration said this
week that it did not want to see a nationwide foreclosure
moratorium, warning of "unintended consequences."  Foreclosures
represent a sizable chunk of the housing market today, and
analysts have argued over whether a halt to such sales would help
or hurt in the long term.

The Mortgage Bankers Association is in the anti-moratorium crowd,
saying that servicers move to repossess homes only after "all
other foreclosure prevention efforts have failed."

"Calls for a blanket national moratorium on all foreclosures are a
bad idea and would cause significant harm to communities at risk,
the unstable housing market and the fragile economy," the trade
group said last week in a letter to Congress that was also signed
by other groups representing financial institutions.  "A
foreclosure moratorium would not change the ultimate outcome for
borrowers impacted by this situation."

But housing counselors and consumer attorneys have long complained
that borrowers who should qualify for loan modifications are given
the runaround by overwhelmed servicers -- while lawyers hired by
the firms are pushing forward with foreclosure proceedings.  Nina
Simon, director of litigation with the Center for Responsible
Lending, said a general rush to foreclose was harming the country.

"We think there needs to be some other process for doing what's in
everybody's interest," said Ms. Simon, who is involved in a class-
action suit against GMAC Mortgage. "Every time somebody loses
their home to foreclosure, it diminishes the value of their
neighbor's property, it takes revenue away from the locality, it
contributes to increased policing activity."

Attorneys involved in the new class-action suit against the
Bethesda-based Bierman, Geesing, Ward & Wood include Jerry
Solomon, an attorney who represents Maryland and Florida
homeowners in foreclosure.  Mr. Solomon was looking through case
files for clients last fall when he noticed irregularities in

Mr. Geesing agreed to dismiss five cases after Mr. Solomon alleged
"fraud on the court."  In recent weeks, the Maryland secretary of
state removed from office three notaries from Mr. Geesing's firm
and three more from Mr. Dore's firm for notary violations.

"I think it would be prudent for the courts to immediately stay
any open foreclosures filed by these firms," said Mike Morin, an
Annapolis attorney who is also involved in the class-action suit.

BROADWAY BRIDGE: Settles Labor Class Suit for Nearly $2 Million
Crain's New York Business reports the operators of a Manhattan car
wash, who for at least five years failed to pay minimum and
overtime wages to dozens of employees, have agreed to a nearly $2
million settlement with the state Department of Labor, officials
announced Tuesday.  It's one of the largest settlements the DOL
has reached with operators in the troubled car wash industry,
which has been the target of investigators since 2008.

David Winter, Ehud Cafri and Ori Apple -- the operators of
Broadway Bridge Car Wash, located at the northern tip of Manhattan
-- failed to pay employees nearly $1.3 million in minimum wages,
overtime and earned tips from June 2003 through August 2008,
officials said.  Nearly $700,000 in damages, interest and
penalties was tacked on.

The DOL had originally sought $4.6 million, which included stiffer
penalties, but settled for the lesser amount without negotiating
away money owed to the workers.

"This car wash business did business by ignoring labor laws," said
state Labor Commissioner Colleen Gardner.  "It was bad enough that
workers were not paid minimum wage and overtime for a grueling 72-
hour workweek, but the employer also tried to hide its actions by
paying many employees off the books."

Jeffrey Englander, an attorney for Broadway Bridge, declined

Ms. Gardner said that investigators got wind of violations at the
Broadway car wash after an employee complained that she was not
being paid overtime wages and wasn't being given all of her tips.
They interviewed workers and examined payroll records and found
that employees generally worked 12 hours a day, six days a week,
without being paid overtime as the law requires.  Some of the
workers earned as little as $3.75 an hour when the minimum wage
was $6.75 and $4.00 when it was $7.15.  They took home as little
as $270 a week and were often forced to share tips with non-
service employees.

Ivan Bravo, who worked at Broadway Bridge for a year and half,
said he was never paid overtime despite regularly logging 72-hour
weeks.  He left the job to work in a restaurant in 2008 because he
wasn't making enough money, he said.

"We are happy now, peaceful," he said in Spanish, of the workers,
as a result of the settlement.

Three dozen employees will get more than $858,322, and an
unidentified group that was paid in cash and not reported on
payroll will get $415,342.  The payouts will range from about
$24,000 to $58,000, Ms. Gardner said.

The settlement comes as the DOL has focused its attention on the
707 car washes across the state, particularly those in the five
boroughs.  Investigators found that nearly 80% of car wash
operators in New York City are guilty of wage and hour violations.
Statewide, investigators have uncovered nearly $10 million in
unpaid wages in an industry where workers earn just $16,570 per

Broadway Bridge Car Wash is represented by:

          Jeffrey P. Englander, Esq.
          909 Third Ave., 27th Floor
          New York, NY 10022-4731
          Telephone: 212-735-8600

CLASSMATES MEDIA: Class Counsel Agrees to Fee Modification
Class Counsel in In re Classmates.com Consolidated Litigation,
Case No. 09-cv-0045-RAJ (W.D. Wash.) (Jones, J.), has agreed to
reduce their fee award from a $1,300,000 cash payment to
$1,050,000, and the Defendants have agreed to make a $500,000 cy
press contribution to a charity approved by the Court.  A
rescheduled Fairness Hearing will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Dec. 16,
2010, in Seattle, Wash.

In this Litigation, as previously reported in the Class Action
Reporter on June 8, 2010, the Plaintiffs assert class action
claims against Classmates Online, Inc., Classmates Media
Corporation, and United Online, Inc.  Complaints filed in the
action allege, among other things, that the Defendants sent e-mail
messages to subscribers of http://www.classmates.com/that were in
violation of the law and engaged in conduct that had the potential
to violate Web site users' privacy rights.  The Defendants have
denied and continue to deny Plaintiffs' allegations and maintain
that Defendants have not engaged in any wrongful conduct.  The
Defendants also contend that the Litigation is not suitable for
class action treatment.  The Defendants have nevertheless
concluded that it is in their best interests that this Litigation
be resolved subject to and on the terms and conditions set forth
in the Settlement Agreement, a copy of which is available at:


The settlement pact provides $2 credits or $3 cash payments to
individuals who subscribed to www.classmates.com between January
1, 2007 and April 19, 2010, and who paid for a Gold Membership
subscription to www.classmates.com (and did not previously
receive a refund of such payment).

The Plaintiff Class is represented by:

         Mark A. Griffin, Esq.
         Amy Williams-Derry, Esq.
         1201 Third Avenue, Suite 3200
         Seattle, Washington 98101

              - and -

         Richard L. Kellner
         644 South Figueroa Street
         Los Angeles, California 90017

Defense counsel is:

         Stellman Keehnel, Esq.
         Russ Wuehler, Esq.
         DLA PIPER LLP
         701 Fifth Avenue, Suite 7000
         Seattle, WA 98104

Garden City Group, Inc., serves as the claims agent and maintains
a Web site at http://www.cmemailsettlement.com/providing
additional information about this matter.

HEALTHPORT: Sued for Illegally Overcharging Medical Patients
John Lyon, writing for Arkansas News, reports a class-action
lawsuit alleges a Georgia company has been illegally overcharging
Arkansas medical patients who request copies of their medical

Russellville lawyer Jimmy Streett filed the lawsuit in Pope County
Circuit Court on behalf of Russellville resident Theresa Holbrook
and "all other Arkansans similarly situated."

The lawsuit filed Tuesday alleges that HealthPort, a company in
Alpharetta, Ga., that maintains records for health care providers,
has charged Holbrook and other Arkansans an illegal fee identified
as a "sales tax" when they request copies of their medical
records.  It seeks reimbursement for all Arkansans who have paid
such a fee.

HealthPort did not immediately return a call on Wednesday seeking

The lawsuit cites an opinion by Arkansas Attorney General Dustin
McDaniel stating that Arkansas law permits entities that maintain
medical records to recoup their costs for printing and providing
copies of the records, but it does not permit them to charge a
sales tax for the service.

Attached to the complaint as an exhibit is a bill Holbrook
received from HealthPort after she requested her medical records
from the Milliard Henry Clinic in Russellville. The clinic has a
contract with HealthPort to maintain its records.

The bill includes a "basic fee," a retrieval fee, a copying fee, a
fee for shipping and handling and a "sales tax" of $1.71.

Mr. Streett on Wednesday said that the so-called sales tax
HealthPort charges is often small, but when a patient has a large
file the amount can be significant, and even small fees add up to
"a lot of money in the aggregate."

Charging a sales tax for providing medical records makes no sense,
Mr. Streett said.

"It's people asking their own medical providers for their own
medical information," he said.  "They're not buying a good or
service.  They're asking for something that should be theirs."

Asked if the Arkansas attorney general's opinion is applicable
since HealthPort is not in Arkansas, Streett said HealthPort's
location should make no difference because when patients in
Arkansas request their medical information, they request it from
the health care providers that treated them.

"They're asking for it from their local hospital or their local
clinic or their local doctor.  It's just that their local doctor
is outsourcing what would otherwise be their service to somebody
that happens to be out of state," he said.

INDSPEC CHEMICAL: Sued Over Toxic Chemical Release at Plant
Courthouse News Service reports that botched work at a resorcinol
production plant poisoned the town of Petrolia with a cloud of
sulfuric acid on Oct. 11, 2008, a class action claims in Allegheny
County Court.  Named as defendants are Indspec Chemical Corp.,
Occidental Chemical Corp., and Oxy Inc.

A copy of the Complaint in Ealy, et al. v. Indspec Chemical
Corporation, et al., Case No. _____ (Pa. C.P. Ct., Allegheny
Cty.), is available at:


The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          William J. Schenck, Esq.
          SCHENCK & LONG
          610 North Main St.
          Butler, PA 16001
          Telephone: (724) 283-7359

               - and -

          Henry T. Dart, Esq.
          510 N. Jefferson St.
          Covington, LA 70433
          Telephone: (985) 809-8093

               - and -

          M. David Karnas, Esq.
          BELLOVIN & KARNAS, P.C.
          131 E. Broadway
          Tucson, AZ 85701
          Telephone: (520) 571-9700 ext. 210

               - and -

          J. Michael Malone, Esq.
          4600 Marriott Dr., Suite 150
          Raleigh, NC 27612
          Telephone: 919-573-1423

               - and -

          Roger W. Orlando, Esq.
          315 West Ponce De Leon Ave., Suite 400
          Decatur GA 30030

INTERNET BRANDS: Being Sold for Too Little, Calif. Suit Claims
Courthouse News Service reports that Internet Brands is selling
itself too cheaply to Hellman & Friedman Capital Partners and
concealed information in the preliminary proxy statement,
shareholders claim in Los Angeles Superior Court.

MEREDIA: Merchant Law Group Launches Class Action in Canada
Tony Merchant of Q.C. Merchant Law Group is launching class action
lawsuits in Canada on behalf of all former Canadian users of
Meridia (Sibutramine), a prescription drug made by Abbott
Laboratories, commonly prescribed to treat obesity.

"Our Statement of Claim asserts that one of Canada's most commonly
prescribed anti-obesity drugs substantially increases a person's
risk of a heart attack", Mr. Merchant said.

Generic versions of Meridia were also marketed in Canada as Apo-
Sibutramine and Novo-Sibutramine.

"Merchant Law Group has already been contacted by former Meridia
users from Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta, many of whom have
suffered serious side effects as a result of using Meridia.  Our
firm has launched nationwide class action litigation with the
courts as a result." said Tony Merchant, Q.C.

Meridia was pulled off the market by its manufacturer last week,
in response to an independent study published last month in the
prestigious New England Journal of Medicine which found that
Meridia puts patients at substantial increased risk of heart
attacks.  The Meridia class action lawsuits include a class action
filed with the court in Montreal on October 12 and a class action
to be filed with the court in Toronto on October 13.

Merchant Law Group LLP is a nationally prominent firm in many
areas of the law including class actions, with offices in
Montreal, Toronto, St. Catharines, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Regina,
Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Edmonton, Calgary, Fort McMurray, Vancouver,
and Victoria.

NASHVILLE LIMO: Court Denies Motion to Dismiss FLSA Suit in Tenn.
The United States District Court for the Middle District of
Tennessee denied a motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed
by individual defendants in the case Coats v. Nashville Limo Bus,
LLC, No. 3:10-0759.

David Coats and his spouse, Tammy Coats, filed suit against
Nashville Limo Bus, LLC, Jan Miles, Howard Pulley and Tracy
McMurtry alleging a collective class action claim for violation of
the Fair Labor Standards Act; a claim for violation of the
Tennessee Whistleblower Act, and a claim for common law
retaliatory discharge.  The individual Defendants filed a Motion
To Dismiss Or, In The Alternative, For Judgment On The Pleadings
to which Plaintiffs filed a response in opposition and the
Defendants filed a reply.

Nashville Limo Bus, LLC, is engaged in the business of
transporting automobiles for car dealerships and automobile
wholesalers. Nashville Limo formerly employed the Plaintiffs as
drivers.  Individual Defendants Miles, Pulley and McMurtry are co-
owners of Nashville Limo.

The Court concludes that the individual Defendants are not
entitled to dismissal simply because they are individuals.
While the factual support offered in the Complaint for individual
liability under the FLSA is slim, the Court concludes that
Plaintiffs include sufficient facts to state a plausible claim for
relief so that they may proceed to discovery, where the issue of
individual liability will be examined in greater detail.

A copy of District Judge Todd J. Campbell's Memorandum-Opinion is
available at http://is.gd/fZD9vfrom Leagle.com.

NATIONAL CITY: To Settle ERISA Class Action Suit for $43 Million
Gordon Gibb, writing for LawyersandSettlements.com, reports
participants in an ERISA plan associated with National City
Corporation will benefit from a proposed $43 million settlement in
a class action lawsuit alleging those defendants responsible for
administering the National City Savings and Investment Plan (Plan)
breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA by making imprudent
investments not in the best interests of Plan holders.

ERISA denotes the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974,
an Act designed to protect participants of investment plans and
401(k) plans by ensuring those responsible for managing such plans
and investing on behalf of plan participants do so with the best
interests of participants.

It was alleged that the defendants responsible for the employee
stock plan allowed the investment of Plan assets in National City
common stock or National City Stock Fund units during a time when
they knew, or should have known that the investments they were
making were imprudent.  Further, according to a release from the
US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, Eastern
Division, the defendants are alleged to have breached their
fiduciary duties by allowing the Plan to invest in Allegiant Funds
in violation of ERISA.

The defendants deny any wrongdoing.

The announced settlement of $43 million in the employee savings
plan case, as proposed, will be less court-approved legal fees,
various other expenses and case contribution awards to named
plaintiffs.  The remainder, according to the release, will then be
allocated to the accounts of Plan participants who saw portions of
their Plan accounts invested in National City common stock or fund
units in the National City Stock Fund at any time from September
5, 2006 to December 31, 2008 and to Plan participants who held
Allegiant Funds in their Plan accounts at any time from March 25,
2002 through December 31, 2009.

A hearing is scheduled for November 30th in the US District Court
for the Northern District of Ohio (Eastern Division) before US
District Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr.

Any employee investing in an employee 401(k) plan or other ERISA
pension plan (that is, protected under ERISA provisions) does so
with the hope that prudent investments and management will yield
the necessary funds for a comfortable retirement.  Beyond that
hope is the expectation, regardless of what the market does, that
the plan will be managed prudently -- with the confidence that if
it is not, then ERISA benefits under the 1974 ERISA Act will

NIAGARA FALLS: School District Faces Class Suit Over Seneca Taxes
Niagara Falls Reporter reports a class action lawsuit, expected to
be filed as early as this week against the city, the Niagara Falls
School District and the county, charges that uncollected taxes on
non-sovereign land belonging to the Seneca Gaming Corp. has had
the effect of keeping taxes for other county property owners
artificially high almost since the casino opened in 2002.

"This will affect every property owner in Niagara County," said
Niagara Falls attorney John Bartolomei, who will be filing the

At issue are the tracts of land adjacent to the Seneca Niagara
Casino, which is actually owned by the Seneca Nation of Indians
rather than the gaming corporation.

"Land owned by the Seneca Nation is sovereign and therefore not
taxable," Mr. Bartolomei said.  "But land owned by the gaming
corporation, like the Hickory Stick Golf Course in Lewiston,
should be taxed like any other commercial property."

Niagara Falls School Board member Johnny Destino concurs with Mr.
Bartolomei's assessment.  More than a month ago, he wrote a letter
to the editor of the Niagara Gazette concerning the matter, a
letter the Gazette has thus far refused to print.

"Over the past four years, the city has forgone collecting
millions in county, city and school taxes by leaving these
valuable commercial properties off the tax rolls," Mr. Destino
wrote.  "Each and every one of us has therefore been subsidizing
these properties in the form of higher taxes, and it is time for
the city to stop behaving as if they have no recourse.  It is time
for our leaders to join the fight for us citizens by making sure
every property owner in Niagara Falls is paying their fair share."

Mr. Destino -- who has been mentioned as a possible candidate in
next year's mayoral contest -- said he spoke to the city's
Corporation Counsel Craig Johnson about the issue at last week's
City Council meeting, and that Mr. Johnson indicated to him that
the city had no interest in trying to get the Senecas to pay their
fair share.

Mr. Bartolomei said he first became aware of the ownership
disparity after the Fallsville Splash Park property he had an
interest in was seized under the state's eminent domain laws and
gifted to the Senecas.  At the time, the state argued that the
tribe needed the land immediately so that a new hotel complex
could be built.  Those plans have since been put on hold.

Under the compact signed between the Senecas and the state, only
sovereign land owned by the Seneca Nation qualifies for tax-exempt

"I started looking at this and I thought, this isn't right," Mr.
Bartolomei said.

In addition to the former water park, the property in question
includes the site of the former Pizza Hut on Niagara Street, the
former Holiday Inn once owned by Dino Dicenzo, a number of former
private residences on Fifth Street off Rainbow Boulevard, the
former Lackey Plaza and various connecting properties between the

The properties belonging to the gaming corporation have an
assessed value of approximately $12.5 million, and proper
collection by the city, the school district and the county would
have resulted in millions of dollars of additional revenue.

To make matters worse, Mr. Bartolomei said, city taxation
officials have been aware of the problem for some time.

"As soon as I found out about this, I took it to (City Assessor)
Dominic Penale," he said.  "He said it was part of (the Senecas')
50 acres, and I told him it didn't matter, as it wasn't sovereign
land.  They've never even applied for it to be sovereign, which
they're required to do under the compact."

But Mr. Bartolomei's reasoned argument fell on deaf ears at City
Hall, where Mayor Paul Dyster was already planning to jack up
taxes for home and business owners in Niagara Falls by a whopping

Mr. Destino said not collecting the taxes is simply unacceptable.

"The misconception persists that the land transferred by the
state's eminent domain action became part of the Seneca Nation of
Indians' sovereign territory -- a designation the former
convention center site and Seneca Office Building enjoy -- simply
because it was within the footprint of the land agreed to in the
gaming compact," he said, "but since the land in question was not
transferred to the Seneca Nation of Indians, and it is not
sovereign land, it cannot be exempt from taxation."

Mr. Destino said the Niagara Falls situation was similar to that
of Lewiston, where the Senecas' $25 million Hickory Stick Golf
Course was granted PILOT status by the county's Industrial
Development Agency in 2007.  Under the terms of the agreement, the
Senecas will pay $1 million to the Town of Lewiston, the Lewiston-
Porter School District and Niagara County over a period of five
years, as well as generating about $2.4 million in sales tax over
the same period.

Like the bulk of the property surrounding the Seneca Niagara
Casino in Niagara Falls, the golf course is owned by the gaming
corporation rather than by the Seneca Nation of Indians.

"Why would property owned by the gaming corporation in Lewiston be
taxable when property owned by them in Niagara Falls is not?" Mr.
Bartolomei asked.  "It just doesn't make any sense, and the
compact is quite clear on this."

Mr. Bartolomei also questioned why city officials would ignore the
matter entirely.

"They know that this is an issue, and they haven't even asked
their own lawyers for an opinion on it," he said.  "On top of
that, they're now asking the rest of us to pay even more.  I just
don't understand it."

Mr. Destino said he welcomes the class action suit, which may be
the only way to get the bumbling Dyster administration to sit up
and take notice.

"Now is not the time for our city leaders to sit on the sideline
and lament the worsened economic condition our city will be in if
the Senecas follow through on their threat to suspend casino cash
payments to the state," he said.  "Rather, it is time to
aggressively challenge the assumption that the land transferred to
the Seneca Gaming Corp. should continue to be left off the city
tax rolls."

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          John P. Bartolomei, Esq.
          335 Buffalo Ave.
          Niagara Falls, NY 14303
          Telephone: (716) 282-2774

POTASH CORP: To Contest Purported Class Action Complaint
Alex MacDonald, writing for Dow Jones Newswires, reports Potash
Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc. Wednesday said it will defend itself
against a purported class action complaint in which a law firm
representing owners of 100 company shares called on U.S. courts to
declare the company's shareholder rights plan invalid.

The complaint is aimed at starting a class action suit and was
filed Oct. 6 in a U.S. district court in Illinois by Brower Piven,
a firm that specializes in class action suits.

The complaint alleges that Potash Corp. omitted or misrepresented
material information about the company's recently adopted
shareholder rights plan, analysis of BHP Billiton's Ltd. (BHP)
$130-a-share unsolicited takeover offer for Potash Corp., and
strategic alternatives, among other things.

"The complaint seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, including
an order declaring the Shareholder Rights Plan invalid and of no
force and effect," Potash Corp. said in a regulatory disclosure
filed Wednesday.

Potash said the allegations "lack merit" and added that it intends
to contest them "vigorously."

Potash is the world's largest producer of potash, a key ingredient
used in fertilizers, and is currently the subject of a hostile $39
billion takeover bid from mining titan BHP Billiton.

The company's board of directors adopted a shareholders rights
plan in August, better known as a poison pill, aimed at diluting
Potash's equity in order prevent third parties such as BHP from
acquiring the company without the consent of the board.

Brower Piven claims the poison pill prevents Potash shareholders
from freely considering BHP's or any other takeover offer.

PREMIER CHEMICALS: Sued Over Magnesium Oxide Price-Fixing Scheme
Courthouse News Service reports that an antitrust class action
claims Premier Chemicals, Sumitomo Corp. of America, and YAS
conspired to fix the price of prime ingredients of magnesium
oxide, which is used in animal feed and fertilizers, in Newark
Federal Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Walker, et al. v. Premier Chemicals,
LLC, et al., Case No. 10-cv-_____, docketed as Doc. 9650 in Case
No. 33-av-00001 on Oct. 7, 2010 (D. N.J.), is available at:


The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Allyn Z. Lite, Esq.
          Joseph J. DePalma, Esq.
          Two Gateway Center, 12th Floor
          Newark, NJ 07102-5003
          Telephone: 973-623-3000
          E-mail: alite@litedepalma.com

               - and -

          Steve W. Berman, Esq.
          Anthony D. Shapiro, Esq.
          1918 Eighth Ave., Suite 3300
          Seattle, WA 98101
          Telephone: (206) 623-7292
          E-mail: steve@hbsslaw.com

               - and -

          Elizabeth A. Fegan, Esq.
          1144 W. Lake St., Suite 400
          Oak Park, IL 60302
          Telephone: (708) 628-4960
          E-mail: beth@hbsslaw.com

               - and -

          J. Barton Goplerud, Esq.
          5015 Grand Ridge Dr., Suite 100
          West Des Moines, IA 50265
          Telephone: (515) 223-4567
          E-mail: jbgoplerud@hudsonlaw.net

REDLINE COMMUNICATIONS: Faces Class Action Suit in Ontario
Redline Communications Group Inc. Tuesday disclosed that it has
been served with a proposed class action commenced in the Ontario
Superior Court on September 10, 2010 by Notice of Action, and
Statement of Claim issued September 30, 2010, by Nor-Dor
Developments Limited and Deborah Bozh alleging, among other
things, that Redline and certain of its officers and directors
misrepresented that Redline's financial statements in the years
2006 through 2009 were prepared in accordance with GAAP. Redline
intends to vigorously defend these allegations.

About Redline Communications Group Redline Communications (TSX:
RDL) -- http://www.redlinecommunications.com/-- is a provider of
specialized wireless broadband systems used to cost-effectively
deploy distributed applications and services.  Redline systems are
used by municipalities to quickly and easily deploy or extend
their public safety networks; by oil and gas companies to connect
their digital oil fields; by service providers and enterprises to
bring dedicated internet access to business users, and by the
military to rapidly deploy secure networks.  For over 10 years,
Redline has been delivering wireless solutions through certified
partners in the Americas; the Middle East, and Africa.

ROSS STORES: Recalls 185 Iron Lover's Benches
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Ross Stores Inc., Pleasanton, Calif., announced a voluntary recall
of about 185 Iron Lover's benches.  Consumers should stop using
recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

The bench may tip over when only one person is seated on it. This
could pose a fall hazard to consumers.

Ross has received two reports of the bench tipping over. No
injuries have been reported.

The recalled metal two-seat bench is 51 inches long with SKU
number 400051794482 printed on the price tag.  The bench is a
bronze color.  Pictures of the recalled products are available at:


The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold through
Ross Stores nationwide between July 2010 and September 2010 for
about $90.

Consumers should immediately stop using these benches and return
them to any Ross Store for a full refund.  For additional
information, contact Ross at (877) 455-7677 anytime.  Consumers
also can visit the Ross Stores' Web site at

SIMON & SCHUSTER: Settles TCPA Class Action Suit for $10 Million
David Sims, contributing editor for TMCnet, reports according to
Benjamin Stone, a lawyer of the Seattle office of law firm Cozen
O'Connor, who handles Telephone Consumer Protection Act class
actions nationwide, Simon & Schuster recently agreed to pay up to
$10 million to settle a putative class action by consumers who
allegedly received text messages promoting a new Stephen King

"Thus, if your company uses any type of dialing hardware or
software, or uses vendors that do," Mr. Stone writes, "you should
be aware of the provisions of the TCPA and strategies to prevent

Mr. Stone provides a good summary of the key points of TCPA you
should be aware of if you're using this technology. Some
highlights from his summary:

The FCC (News - Alert), which issues regulations interpreting the
TCPA, has interpreted "automatic telephone dialing system"
broadly.  The FCC has ruled that a predictive dialer -- which, in
relevant part, stores pre-programmed numbers or receives them from
a database -- is an automatic telephone dialing system.

Under the TCPA, a customer can sue for calls to a cell phone using
an automatic telephone dialing system or artificial or pre-
recorded voice and seek $500 for each violation.  Although no
statute or regulation defines violation, it can be argued that
every call is a violation, and since dialers make such a large
number of calls, the damages can be significant.  If a company
"willfully or knowingly violated" the law, the court can increase
damages to $1,500 a violation.

The safest bet is to install cell phone scrubbing software to
remove cell phone numbers from dialer databases.  If your company
is going to call cell phones using an automatic telephone dialing
system, ensure the company received "prior express consent" to
make the calls.

Some companies are beginning to do this at the point of sale,
requesting that customers agree to receiving these calls when they
buy the company's product or service.

Your company is also allowed by FCC regulations to file a petition
with the FCC seeking a ruling that your company's use of the
equipment does not violate the TCPA.  The petition is relatively
simple to file, particularly considering the costs and exposure of
litigation, and a favorable ruling from the FCC can shield your
company from liability.

SKILLED HEALTHCARE: Settles Class Action Suit for $50 Million
BigNews.Biz reports in a recent nursing home class action suit,
thousands of victims and their families have won a personal injury
lawsuit filed against Skilled Healthcare Group.  Skilled
Healthcare Group is a nursing company based in Orange County who
agreed to settle a massive lawsuit for $50 million.

Approximately 32,000 former and present patients were represented
in the class action suit, or in case of patient's death, their
families as heirs.  The lawsuit was initially filed last 2006 and
was granted as a nursing home class action last 2008.  The company
has been alleged and accused for sternly understaffing their 22
nursing homes all situated in California.  The plaintiffs cited
the California state law that an average of 3.2 nursing hours per
day of skilled nursing care per patient is required by the
aforementioned law.

One of the plaintiffs in the class action suit is Cindy Cool, 58.
Ms. Cool complained that during her daily visit to the nursing
home, she would often chance her father, who is suffering from
Alzheimer, drenched in urine-soaked clothes.  She further
contended that it takes awhile for a staff of the nursing home to
attend to them and aid in cleaning her father.  Ms. Cool was one
of those who provided a vital testimony before a Humboldt County
jury against Skilled Healthcare Group.  The litigation encompasses
the year 2003 to 2009, and postulates that Skilled Healthcare
Group failed to supply sufficient staffing to attend to patients
at several California facilities.

On July 6, the Humboldt County jury ascertained that on several
occasions Skilled Healthcare Group did violate California state
regulations in regards to nursing homes.  Pat McGinnis, executive
director and founder of the California advocates for Nursing Home
Reform, admitted that the primary quandary of nursing homes in
California is concerning nursing staff.  Furthermore, the National
Center on Elderly Abuse said that elderly abuse is rampant across
the country, however, unfortunately, it remains unreported.
Moreover, according to surveys approximately 2% to 10% of elderly
population has encountered ill-treatment and cruelty and yet
again, they continue to be unreported.

After months or hearing a verdict was reached last July 6.  The
verdict stipulated a magnanimous amount that reached $677M.
Skilled Healthcare Group settled with the complainants to settle
for $50 million so as to dismiss the whooping $677 verdict, which
is the largest jury verdict awarded this year.  One essential
reason for the settlement is the fact that the huge amount might
force the company into bankruptcy and lead to closure of their
nursing facilities which will be a burden to the patients and
their families.  The settlement money will be divided among the
32,000 complainants, attorney's fees included.

UNITED LIFE: Judge Grants Preliminary Settlement to Class Suit
Amelia Flood, writing for The Madison St. Clair Record, reports a
2001 Madison County class action against United Life Insurance
Co. has been granted preliminary settlement for $160,000.

Circuit Judge David Hylla ruled after a hearing Oct. 8.

After brief questioning by Judge Hylla about the opt-out date on
the settlement, the parties agreed to a Jan. 14, 2011 fairness
hearing date.

That hearing is set to begin at 1:00 p.m. although Judge Hylla
warned it could be pushed off by a jury trial.

United Life Insurance will administer the settlement while
attorneys for lead plaintiff Christopher Booher will take home up
to 40% of it in fees.

Mr. Booher, a high school friend of Bradley Lakin, the managing
partner of LakinChapman LLC in Wood River, takes home $2,500 as
class representative.

Mr. Booher led a class of car purchasers who claim they were sold
fraudulent credit insurance.

The settlement also finds former friends and current foes from
LakinChapman and Freed & Weiss of Chicago agreeing to share credit
for the settlement.

The two law firms had filed a number of class action suits in
Madison County until dissolving their partnership in 2007.

The former colleagues have sparred several times over the proceeds
from those suits in Madison County courtrooms.

The settlement approval hearing had been pushed off at different
points this year.

It came as the result of mediation last year.

Mr. Booher has been the lead plaintiff in at least one other
Madison County class action.

James Garrison represents United Life Insurance.

The class action was certified by then-Madison County Circuit
Judge Philip Kardis.

Judge Kardis certified a nationwide suit that eventually was
whittled to an Illinois-only class.

Former Madison County Circuit Judge Don Weber had the case before
Judge Hylla.

Another defendant in the case, Four Flags Motors, was dropped from
the suit.

The case is Madison case number 01-L-1824.

The class is represented by:

          Robert Schmieder II, Esq.
          300 Evans Avenue, P.O. Box 229
          Wood River, IL  62095-0229
          Telephone: 618-254-1127

               - and -

          Paul Weiss, Esq.
          FREED & WEISS LLC
          111 West Washington St., Suite 1331
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: 312-445-9124

WYNN RESORTS: Judge Allows Casino Smoking Case to Proceed
A federal judge in Las Vegas has ruled that Wynn Resorts, Ltd.
d/b/a Wynn Las Vegas may have liability in a putative class action
lawsuit -- brought on behalf of casino employees -- claiming that
the casino failed to reasonably safeguard its workers from
dangerous conditions caused by secondhand cigarette smoke.

Wynn had sought dismissal of the lawsuit arguing that Wynn has no
duty under Nevada law to protect its employees from secondhand
smoke and that the Court lacked jurisdiction to decide the case.
Wynn also argued that the case could not proceed on a class basis.
The Court rejected these arguments, finding that it had the
authority to hear the case, and that Wynn had failed to carry its
burden of showing there were no set of facts upon which the
employees could prevail, and that the issue of class certification
would be decided later on in the case.

"Worker safety is critical and well-recognized under the law.
This is a tremendous decision for not only Wynn's employees, but
also for workers at other casinos who for years have been
unreasonably subjected to secondhand smoke," said Jay Edelson,
whose law firm, Edelson McGuire LLC is pursuing the case and plans
to seek class action status.  "Although this was not a final
decision that says 'you win' to the Plaintiffs, it has incredible
importance.  Wynn can't escape responsibility now by merely filing
a motion to dismiss and wiping its hands clean.  Wynn will now
have to answer and justify its policy that requires its workers to
allow patrons to blow cigarette smoke in their faces without
protest and to man smoking tables for prolonged periods of time,"
Mr. Edelson continued.  "We look forward to discovery and putting
on our case."

Mr. Edelson is joined in the lawsuit by Edelson McGuire attorneys
Steven L. Lezell and Irina Slavina in Chicago.

Steve Green, writing for Las Vegas Sun, also reports attorneys for
Wynn sought dismissal of the case, saying Wynn is in compliance
with the Nevada Clean Indoor Air Act, which specifically allows
smoking in casinos.

The Wynn attorneys also said certifying the Kastroll lawsuit as a
federal class-action would be impossible under the so-called home
state controversy rule, which prohibits federal courts from
considering class actions that involve disputes limited to a
single state.

In this case, Wynn's filing last year said, 99.56% of its 12,264
employees at that time were Nevada residents.  Kastroll's suit
seeks to represent all former, current and future non-smoking Wynn

In his Sept. 23 ruling, Judge Lloyd George indicated the issues of
whether the case can be certified as a class action and proceed in
Nevada federal court can be dealt with later.

The judge noted Wynn's position that it "cannot be made liable [to
its employees] for allowing its patrons to smoke freely in a place
where the law specifically says that they can."

"This position, however, ignores the potentially intricate
interrelationship between this statute and common law duties,"
Judge George wrote in his ruling.

Judge George noted that under controlling case law, in order to
dismiss a complaint, "it must appear to a certainty that plaintiff
would not be entitled to relief under any set of facts that could
be proved."

Also, when considering a motion to dismiss, the court must accept
the allegations of the complaint as true and construe them in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff.

"Construing the allegations in the light most favorable to the
plaintiff, Wynn has failed to establish 'to a certainty' that
Kastroll 'would not be entitled to relief under any set of facts
that could be proved,'" the judge wrote.

Wynn's attorneys seem prepared to mount a vigorous defense.

After Judge George's ruling, attorneys for Wynn with the Las Vegas
law firm Pisanelli Bice PLLC filed their first answer to the
lawsuit, reiterating in the Oct. 8 filing that "plaintiff's
allegations concern conduct specifically permitted under Nevada
law" and "plaintiff has failed to allege a duty under Nevada law."

The Wynn attorneys also said in the filing:

   -- "Dealers in the gaming area are not authorized to designate
tables as 'smoke free.'  Dealers are required to forward any
patron request for a non-smoking table to a casino service team
lead who may, under certain conditions, designate a table as non-

   -- "Wynn admits that its employees are instructed not to direct
guests regarding their smoking or ashtrays or to fan their hands
at a guest's tobacco smoke.  However, should a guest purposefully
direct smoke toward a dealer, the dealer may communicate such
action to a casino service team lead who is then authorized to ask
the guest to redirect their smoke."

   -- "Wynn admits that it requests that dealers not protest
smoking by guests if they are in a smoking area of the casino.
Additionally, Wynn may counsel dealers who express that the habits
or actions of a guest are in any way negative to them.  However,
should a dealer witness or experience behavior by a guest that is
counter to the policies and ethics of Wynn, such behavior should
be immediately brought to the attention of a casino service team
lead or casino manager who will then take appropriate action
toward the guest."

   -- "Wynn admits that it will bring cigars or cigarettes to a
guest depending on their level of play but only at that guest's
request.  Wynn also admits that it provides ashtrays within the
gaming area and matchbooks with Wynn's logo emblazoned on the

The Wynn attorneys have previously complained the lawsuit appears
to be part of a casino dealer organizing drive at Wynn and, if
successful, could result in the "staggering remedy of an
injunction requiring Wynn to redesign its operations and
reconstruct its facilities."

The defense attorneys also noted uncertainties about the
definition of "unsafe'' levels of second-hand smoke.

"Plaintiff's proposed class is described as those employees
'exposed to unsafe levels of second-hand smoke,'" the Wynn
attorneys wrote in a February filing.  "The question of whether
Wynn's employees have been, are, or will be exposed to unsafe
levels of second-hand smoke is a legal determination that cannot
be made without first determining an ultimate issue in this case
(i.e., whether Wynn exposes its employees to levels of second-hand
smoke which are unsafe)."

ZIMMER HOLDINGS: Lawyers to Review Durom Cup Hip Implant Claims
The product liability attorneys working with Class Action.org are
available to review claims from patients who were implanted with
the Zimmer Durom Hip Cup and required corrective surgery.  Some
doctors reported Zimmer hip implant failure or loosening in
patients, many of whom required revision surgery to correct the
problem.  If you or a loved one required a second surgery to fix a
Zimmer hip implant, visit http://www.classaction.org/zimmer-durom-
cup-hip-socket-implant.html to find out if you can recover
financial compensation.

In July 2008, Zimmer Holdings announced that it would suspend
sales of the Durom Cup, after reports showed that the hip implant
failed to bond in some patients.  Zimmer claims that the hip
implant itself is not defective, but rather insists that surgeons
are not implanting the device correctly.  However, a number of
surgeons, many with extensive experience performing hip
replacement procedures, found the device difficult to implant and
heard patients complain of recurring pain and other symptoms
following surgery.  Pain upon standing, stiffness, sharp groin
pain, decreased walking endurance and difficulty walking were
among the symptoms reported in patients who experienced problems
with the Zimmer hip implant.

If you or a loved one experienced unexplained hip pain more than
three months following implantation with a Zimmer Durom Hip Cup or
needed a hip replacement revision surgery to correct a problem
with the device, visit http://www.classaction.org/zimmer-durom-
cup-hip-socket-implant.html and complete the free case evaluation
form.  The Zimmer hip implant lawyers working with Class
Action.org are offering this case review at no cost and are
available to represent patients who suffered injuries due to the
Zimmer Durom Hip Cup.

                       About Class Action.org

Class Action.org is dedicated to protecting consumers and
investors in class actions and complex litigation throughout the
United States. Class Action.org keeps consumers informed about
product alerts, recalls, and emerging litigation and helps them
take action against the manufacturers of defective products,
drugs, and medical devices. Information about consumer fraud
issues and environmental hazards is also available on the site.
Visit http://www.classaction.orgtoday for a no cost, no
obligation case evaluation and information about your consumer

* U.S. Lenders to Face Class-Action Lawsuits Over Foreclosures
Dan Levine, writing for Reuters, reports U.S. lenders already
facing intense scrutiny from lawmakers and regulators over
questionable foreclosure practices will likely face class-action
lawsuits on behalf of thousands of homeowners nationwide.

Bruce Simon, a class-action attorney with Pearson Simon Warshaw &
Penny LLP in San Francisco, said a filing from his firm is
imminent, while two other prominent firms said they were also
exploring filing class-actions.

So far, most of the courtroom activity over reports of shoddy
documents used by lenders in foreclosure proceedings has come in
the form of defenses mounted by individual homeowners, or limited
class actions filed in state courts.

However, a lawsuit on behalf of homeowners nationwide could seek a
court order that would suspend foreclosures much more broadly,
class-action lawyers said.

"We are all hands on deck at the moment," said Simon of Pearson
Simon Warshaw & Penny.

Another firm, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP, in San
Francisco, is set to decide "within the next two weeks" whether to
file a lawsuit, according to Eric Fastiff, a partner there.  He
said the firm, which is on the steering committee for BP Plc
(BP.L) oil spill litigation and also plays a leading role in
lawsuits against Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) over acceleration
problems, currently has five attorneys and two paralegals assigned
to the foreclosure issue.

"The absence of government enforcement demands, as always, the
need for private enforcement of the laws," Mr. Fastiff said.


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

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