CAR_Public/110117.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Monday, January 17, 2011, Vol. 13, No. 11

                             Headlines

A.G. EDWARDS: Class Counsel Fee Ruling Challenged
APOLLO GROUP: Class Action Charges Weigh on Fiscal 1Q Profit
BARCLAYS BANK: N.Y. Judge Dismisses Securities Class Action
CALISSON INC: Recalls 7,000 Cool-it Soother by Vulli
CANADA: Merchant Law Firm Files Class Action Over Indian Status

DEPUY ORTHOPAEDICS: Canadians File Class Action Over Hip Implant
DISCOVERY TOYS: Recalls 3,600 Toddler Talk Toy Mobile Phones
FORTIS NV: Accused of Misleading Investors Prior to Collapse
GEICO: 7th Cir. Dismisses Class Action Over Collision-Damage
INDIANA: Discovery Into Lawyers' Mental Health Nixed

JK HARRIS: Indiana Appeals Court Hears Class Action
KID O PRODUCTS: Recalls 1,500 Units Baby Rattles
KIDDIE KOLLEGE: Ordered to Pay for Kids' Mercury Testing
LENDER PROCESSING: Faces Securities Fraud Class Action
MARKER VOLKL: Recalls 5,400 Marker & Kastle Twin Ski Bindings

MATRIXX INITIATIVES: Securities Disclosure Obligations Debated
ROYAL BANK: US Court Dismisses Shareholder Class Action
STRAUSS GROUP: Settles Class Action Over Dairy Products
U.S. WIRELESS CARRIERS: Twombly Pleading Weighed in Class Action
WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: Suit Complains About "Balanced Billing"

WHITE-RODGERS: Recalls 183,300 Programmable Thermostats
U.S. SEMICONDUCTOR FIRMS: SRAM Domestic Class Suit to Go Forward

* 21 South Florida Companies Face Labor Class Actions


                             *********


A.G. EDWARDS: Class Counsel Fee Ruling Challenged
-------------------------------------------------
Alison Frankel, writing for The American Lawyer, reports
that one of the big differences between class actions and mass
actions is supposed to be attorneys' fees.  In mass actions,
plaintiffs lawyers sign contingency fee contracts with each of
their clients.  Except in extraordinary cases (such as the 9/11
first responders litigation) those contracts, which typically give
plaintiffs lawyers 35% or 40% of their clients' recovery, govern
attorneys fees.

In class actions, though, class counsel fees have to be approved
by the court.  "And in our experience, courts are rarely willing
to hand over 35% of the class's money to plaintiffs lawyers.
We're used to seeing awards of 15 or 20% of the settlement -- and
even smaller percentages in megacases," Ms. Frankel says.

So the fee award in a Missouri state court class action against
A.G. Edwards is notable on its face.  Last May, Judge Angela
Quigless of the St. Louis circuit court approved $21 million in
fees and $600,000 in expenses for the plaintiffs lawyers who
prosecuted a class action claiming A.G. Edwards breached its
fiduciary duty to brokerage clients by accepting payments from
mutual fund companies.  That $21 million represented a full 35
percent of the purported $60 million settlement Judge Quigless
approved the same day.   "The court finds such sums to be fair and
reasonable under the circumstances of this case," Judge Quigless
wrote, without the sort of additional analysis of hourly billings
and lodestars we're accustomed to seeing in class action fee
rulings.

But according to an appeal filed on Jan. 11 on behalf of an
objector to the settlement, the A.G. Edwards deal isn't worth
anything like the $60 million that the judge based her fee award
on.  The objector's lawyer, Ted Frank of the Center for Class
Action Fairness, argues in the state court appellate brief that
class members are slated to receive only $6 million in cash.  The
other $34 million in their share of the purported $60 million
settlement comes in the form of vouchers worth $8.22 apiece and
redeemable once a year for the next three years by current A.G.
Edwards customers.

Mr. Frank argues that the settlement deliberately makes the
vouchers difficult to redeem, virtually assuring that relatively
few class members will take the trouble to receive the brokerage
account credit.  "In all likelihood, the defendant will spend less
than $30 million on the settlement that the trial court valued at
$60 million, and the plaintiffs' attorneys have already collected
$21 million of that money," Mr. Frank asserts.

Mr. Frank's brief says the value to the class of the settlement is
closer to $9 million than $60 million.  According to him, that
means the deal is "inherently unreasonable because of the
provision for excessive attorneys' fees of $21 million without any
way for the class to recover additional amounts."

Plaintiffs lawyer Chris Bauman Blitz Bardgett & Deutsch told us
that Mr. Frank has repeatedly mischaracterized the vouchers as
coupons, when, in fact, they don't require class members to make
additional purchases.  "There's absolutely no evidence to support"
Frank's assertion that the class only receives a $9 million value
from the settlement.   "The standard the court has to follow is to
determine whether what's before it is fair and reasonable.
Judge Quigless found it was," he said.

Mr. Bauman also said the fee award is justified by the "complex
and time consuming" procedural history of the case, as well as the
results obtained for the class.

Ten firms are listed as plaintiffs counsel on Judge Quigless's
approval order: Blitz Bardgett; Goodin, Macbride, Squeri, Day &
Lamprey; Holloran White & Schwartz; Hulett Harper Stewart; Brower
Piven; Milberg; Stanley Iola; Stull, Stull & Brody; Weiss & Lurie;
and the Law Offices of Alfred G. Yates Jr.  The American Lawyer
called lawyers at Milberg, Stull, and Blitz Bardgett but didn't
hear back.

A.G. Edward is represented by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and Husch
Blackwell.  Kevin Rover of Morgan Lewis declined The American
Lawyer's request for comment on the objector's brief.


APOLLO GROUP: Class Action Charges Weigh on Fiscal 1Q Profit
------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports Apollo Group Inc. said on Jan. 10
that its fiscal first-quarter profit fell slightly as the for-
profit education company booked charges related to a restructuring
effort and a securities class action lawsuit.  But results still
beat expectations, sending shares up more than 10% after hours.

Apollo's University of Phoenix, along with other for-profit
schools, have come under increasing scrutiny from lawmakers and
regulators as loan defaults soar on financial aid.  The Department
of Education has proposed a new rule that could limit Apollo's
access to federal financial aid if too few of its students were
repaying loans or if they had too much debt.

The company has started to change the way it operates to
accommodate some new regulations, including not paying counselors
bonuses based on how many students they enroll.  It also is
providing new students with a free three-week trial program to see
if they are ready for school.

In the first quarter, these changes contributed to a decline in
enrollment, the company said.  Total degreed enrollment slipped
3.8% versus the prior-year quarter as new degreed enrollment
tumbled 42.4%.

The company reported net income of $235.4 million, or $1.61 per
share, for the three months ended Nov. 30.  That compares with net
income of $240.1 million, or $1.54 per share, in the same period a
year earlier.  Per-share results increased because the company had
fewer shares outstanding in the most recent period.

Excluding $2.9 million in pretax charges, Apollo's earnings
totaled $1.63 a share.

Revenue rose 5% to $1.32 billion from $1.25 billion, driven
primarily by selective tuition increases at University of Phoenix.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters were expecting, on average, a
profit of $1.35 per share on revenue of $1.26 billion.

Apollo shares added $3.76, or 10.5%, to $39.45 in aftermarket
trading.  The stock had ended the regular session down $2.04, or
5.4%, at $35.94 as negative enrollment news from peer Strayer
Education dragged down the for-profit school sector.


BARCLAYS BANK: N.Y. Judge Dismisses Securities Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------
Evan Weinberger, writing for Law360, reports a federal judge on
Jan. 5 tossed a consolidated securities class action alleging that
Barclays Bank PLC did not disclose the extent of its exposure to
subprime mortgage-backed securities prior to the collapse of the
housing market.

Judge Paul A. Crotty of the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York ruled that investors in Barclays American
Depository Shares had filed their claims against the British bank
too late for the suit to continue.

The subject ADS offerings go back to 2006, and the statute of
limitations bars all but one of them, as investors had at least
inquiry notice of their claims more than a year before they filed
them, the judge found.

"A reasonably diligent investor would have noticed the alleged
discrepancy in Barclays' disclosures as of November 15, 2007,"
Judge Crotty wrote.  "Accordingly, the statute of limitations
began to run on that date."

But even without a time lapse, Judge Crotty found that Barclays
had provided sufficient disclosure to investors about the extent
of its mortgage-related exposure.

"Accordingly, in the absence of ample allegations that Barclays
did not truly believe its subjective valuations, lead plaintiffs'
claims must be dismissed," Judge Crotty said.

Michael Tomaino, a Sullivan & Cromwell LLP partner representing
Barclays, hailed the ruling.

"We are pleased with Judge Crotty's well-reasoned decision
dismissing these completely unmeritorious claims," he said.

Counsel for the plaintiffs could not be immediately reached for
comment.

Barclays shareholders filed suit in March 2009 against the bank
and its current and former board members seeking compensatory
damages for the declines in the company's stock following the
credit meltdown.

Investors alleged that documents related to Barclays ADS offerings
were materially misleading because they did not adequately
disclose or accurately value the company's holdings of mortgage-
related assets.

The shareholders' complaint was based on hindsight, as it
concluded that because the bank wrote down the values of mortgage-
related assets in 2007 and 2008, its earlier valuations must have
been false at the time they were made, Barclays argued in an April
motion to dismiss the case.

Such a backward-looking assessment is not sufficient to state a
claim, as the shareholders have not adequately pled that the
offering documents contained any actionable misstatement or
omission of material fact, according to Barclays.

The bank's valuations and its decision to write down certain
assets are subjective opinions, not statements of fact, Barclays
said.

Offering documents clearly disclosed that Barclays held billions
of pounds worth of mortgage-related securities and had a
significant mortgage securitization business, according to the
company.

Documents related to the ADS offerings disclosed that Barclays had
securitized nearly GBP6.3 billion ($9.7 billion) in 2005 and GBP15
billion ($23 billion) in 2006, the bank said.

The documents allegedly highlighted market risks, explicitly
stating that it was difficult to predict changes in economic or
market conditions with accuracy.

Though the complaint focused on the ADS offerings, it did not
allege the lead plaintiffs bought their shares directly from any
of the defendants or in the public offerings, so the plaintiffs
lacked standing, Barclays added.

The bank also noted that shares issued in the ADS offerings, while
temporarily depressed, have now returned to levels near their
original offering prices.

Counsel for both parties were not immediately available for
comment.

The shareholders are represented by Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd
LLP and Barroway Topaz Kessler Meltzer & Check LLP.

Sullivan & Cromwell represents Barclays.

The case is In re: Barclays Bank PLC Securities Litigation, case
number 09-01989, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York.


CALISSON INC: Recalls 7,000 Cool-it Soother by Vulli
----------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Calisson Inc., of Dana Point, Calif., announced a voluntary recall
of about 7,000 Cool-it Soother by Vulli.  Consumers should stop
using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

If the teething ring is punctured, bacteria and mold can grow
inside the teether's untreated liquid.  This poses an ingestion
hazard to infants and can lead to diarrhea and vomiting.

No injuries or incidents have been reported.

This recall involves the Cool-it Soother teething ring is clear
and is attached to a green plastic handle in the shape of the
character "Gnon."  Pictures of the recalled products are available
at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11093.html

The recalled products were manufactured in France and sold through
Small children's specialty stores nationwide and online at
http://www.amazon.com/from January 2008 through November 2010 for
about $10.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled teething ring away
from children and return it to Calisson for a free replacement
teething ring.  For additional information, contact Calisson toll-
free at (888) 318-9803 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Eastern
Time, Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at
http://www.sophiegiraffeusa.com/


CANADA: Merchant Law Firm Files Class Action Over Indian Status
---------------------------------------------------------------
QMI Agency reports a Saskatchewan lawyer says "hundreds of
thousands of Canadians" have been wronged and are owed billions of
dollars because they wrongfully lost their Indian status.

Tony Merchant of Merchant Law Group filed a national class action
lawsuit on Jan. 12 to recover $2.7 billion in taxes and benefits
owed to members of First Nations who, since 1985, have been denied
Indian status.

He said the amount is based on incorrectly paying income taxes and
other taxes, and not receiving benefits such as post secondary
funding, housing opportunities as well as extended health
benefits.

In a statement, Mr. Merchant said in 1985, amendments were made to
the Indian Act which reinstated the loss of status, but the
reinstatement was not complete.  A grandchild could only receive
status if their grandfather had Indian status, not their
grandmother.

In December, the federal government passed Bill C-3, which changed
the Indian Act to reflect decedents of women and men could seek
status.

Mr. Merchant said claims were being filed in courts across Canada.
He said 45,000 people gained Indian status with the adoption of
the legislation, but they "continue to suffer financial harm."

"Including their children and families, hundreds of thousands of
Canadians are wronged," Mr. Merchant said.


DEPUY ORTHOPAEDICS: Canadians File Class Action Over Hip Implant
----------------------------------------------------------------
Adam Huras, writing for The Record, reports several New
Brunswickers are poised to join a nationwide class-action lawsuit
filed in the province on Jan. 12 against the maker of an
artificial hip implant device.

The lawsuit seeks upward of $40 million for what is estimated to
be between 1,500 and 4,000 Canadians who surgically received the
artificial joint.  There are 93,000 with the implant worldwide.

Zoey Nicoles describes the moment he learned he would have to
undergo a second hip replacement surgery, less than a year after
originally going under the knife.

"The doctor's office called to tell me the hip had been recalled,"
the Saint John mortgage broker said on Jan. 12.  "I thought it was
a prank phone call.

"This is not like when you bring in your car for a recall.  This
is a part that is inside your body.  It was scary."

Mr. Nicoles is the lead plaintiff in New Brunswick.

The patients accuse DePuy Orthopedics of ignoring evidence the
device was flawed and that the company, a subsidiary of Johnson &
Johnson, moved too slowly to recall it.

The defendants are Canadian and United States corporations
involved in the design, manufacture, labeling, marketing and
distribution of hip implants.

DePuy voluntarily recalled its ASR XL Acetabular System and its
ASR Hip Resurfacing System hip device in August 2010 due to a
higher-than-expected rate of revision surgery among its patients.

Mr. Nicoles underwent the hip surgery in Saint John in November
2009, but now has difficulty putting his socks on in the morning.
He was hospitalized in 1996 after a school bus collided with the
car he was driving.

"A hip replacement is supposed to be good for 20 years and people
can only get maybe three installed because there is nothing left
to attach it to," said Mr. Nicoles, a former track athlete.

"Because I was 21 years old when this accident happened, I put the
new hip off for 14 years and I dealt with the pain.  But by
November 2009, I had enough."

Mr. Nicoles said he finally opted for a hip replacement and he
wanted the best one available.

"The doctors reassured me it was the best one in the market, I
should get 30-plus years out of it. . . . This was supposed to be
the Cadillac of hips.

"Prior to getting the hip replacement, I couldn't tie my shoes for
14 years because I couldn't bend down far enough, but a few months
after everything was good."

Four months after the surgery he began to feel pain and his
mobility began to worsen again.

"There was a week when I had serious groin pain, back pain, hip
pain.  I complained to my wife.  It was snapping and cracking, and
then in November I got the phone call."

The nationwide class-action lawsuit is being spearheaded by
Toronto-based law firm and class-action specialists Stevensons
LLP.

Halifax-based Wagners Law Firm is handling the case in both New
Brunswick and Nova Scotia.

"There are a whole host of issues," said lawyer Raymond Wagner.
"For some people, problems have yet to emerge, while in others
they have emerged and have had significant dysfunction as a
result."

The statement of claim alleges the DePuy implants were "designed
and manufactured improperly" causing "serious bodily injury and
economic loss."

It also argues that the defendants were aware of the high degree
of complication and failure rates associated with the implants
before they were recalled.

It also alleges the defendants failed to give Health Canada
"complete and accurate information concerning the implants by
failing to disclose the risks on a timely basis."

The implants had been distributed in Canada since at least Jan. 1,
2006, until their recall in August 2010, according to the
statement of claim.

DePuy did not return calls for comment on the lawsuit.


DISCOVERY TOYS: Recalls 3,600 Toddler Talk Toy Mobile Phones
------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Discovery Toys LLC, of Livermore, Calif., announced a voluntary
recall of about 2,900 Toddler Talk Toy Mobile Phones in the United
States and 700 in Canada.  Consumers should stop using recalled
products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

The clear plastic antenna can break off, posing a choking hazard
to young children.

Discovery Toys has received reports of three incidents in which
the toy telephone's antenna broke off.  A child was found mouthing
the toy phone's antennae but it was removed by his mother.

This recall involves a red and blue plastic battery-operated toy
mobile phone with a small, clear antennae, buttons numbered "1, 2,
3, 4 and Play," a screen with a boy's face and the words "hello!
hola! bonjour!" Only model number 1231 is involved in this recall.
The model number is printed on the toy's packaging.  "Discovery
Toys" is stamped into the red plastic on the back of the toy.
Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11094.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold through
Discovery Toys Educational Consultants nationwide from September
2010 through November 2010 for about $18.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled toy mobile phones
away from young children and contract Discovery Toys for
instructions on how to return them for a replacement toy.  For
additional information, contact Discovery Toys at (800) 426-4777
anytime, or visit the firm's Web site at
http://www.discoverytoysinc.com/


FORTIS NV: Accused of Misleading Investors Prior to Collapse
------------------------------------------------------------
Paula Vasan, writing for aiCIO, reports institutional investors
have accused Fortis NV, now known as Ageas and, prior to its
collapse in 2008, the largest financial services company in
Belgium and the Netherlands, of releasing misleading information
about the company ahead of its downfall.

Investors have launched a claim accusing the Dutch/Belgian firm of
enticing them to invest in the company as it was knowingly on the
brink of collapse in 2008.  The claim has alleged that between
May 29, 2007 and October 14, 2008, Fortis' inaccurate assessments
caused shareholders to continue to invest in the troubled bank,
which was heading toward insolvency.  The claim argues that the
Fortis board failed to provide timely, accurate information about
its exposure to sub-prime mortgages in the US while gearing up for
a major share issue during the summer of 2007 to finance the
acquisition of ABN AMRO Bank.

"This is the appropriate reaction to the fraud perpetrated by
Fortis against investors who relied upon the integrity of the
market and the compliance of Fortis with its legal obligations,"
Foundation director Alexander Reus said in a statement.  The
Foundation is currently being backed by US securities law firms
Grant & Eisenhofer and Barroway Topaz as well as more than 140
institutional investors from Europe, the Americas (including
the US) and Asia who claim they lost more than EUR2 billion
($2.5 billion) on their Fortis investments.  In addition, about
2,000 individual investors have indicated an interest in joining
the action.

The Foundation's Dutch counsel Jan Hendrik Crucq added in a
statement: "We are well prepared to pursue this case and believe
that the Foundation is the correct representative body for all
Fortis investors worldwide who are not able to pursue their
rightful claims through US class actions.  We believe the Dutch
system will be equally effective in protecting their rights."

The Foundation's action -- brought for the Utrecht court in the
Netherlands -- marks a major step in pursuing international
securities claims in the wake of last year's US Supreme Court
decision in Morrison v. National Australia Bank, which ruled a
class action by "foreign investors who have bought a stake in
foreign companies on foreign stock markets" was inadmissible in a
US court.  According to a release, Barroway Topaz partner Stuart
Berman called the Foundation "a historic new vehicle to address
shareholder rights in the European market," adding that the
litigation offers a valuable template for investor recoveries
outside the US.


GEICO: 7th Cir. Dismisses Class Action Over Collision-Damage
------------------------------------------------------------
Joe Celentino at Courthouse News Service reports that the United
States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit dismissed a man's
prospective class action, accusing Geico of omitting necessary
repairs from its collision-damage estimates, because the plaintiff
had donated his car to charity after the crash without performing
repairs.

Steven Greenberger, a professor at DePaul University College of
Law, was involved in a crash in 2002 that damaged the bumper,
steering box, suspension and lower body of his 1994 Acura.

Geico evaluated the damages and wrote Mr. Greenberger a check for
$3,284.69.  A body shop later estimated that the car would cost
$4,938.65 to repair, about $1,150 more than Geico estimated.

Mr. Greenberger deposited Geico's check and donated the car to
charity without making any repairs.  He then accused Geico of
"systematically [omitting] necessary repairs from its collision-
damage estimates in violation of the promise to restore the
policyholder's vehicle to its preloss condition."

An Illinois federal court entered summary judgment for Geico, and
the 7th Circuit upheld the ruling on Monday.

In beginning its analysis, the appeals court concluded that the
district court did not err in sidestepping the class-certification
issue to rule on Circuit Judge Diane Sykes' claims.

The three-judge panel then upheld the lower court's findings on
the merits, finding that the claims were foreclosed by an Illinois
Supreme Court decision -- Avery v. State Farm Mutual Automobile
Insurance Company.

"Avery established the common-sense position that a policyholder's
suit against his insurer for breach of its promise to restore his
collision-damaged car to its preloss condition cannot succeed
without an examination of his car," Judge Sykes wrote.

In trying to distinguish his suit, Greenberger argued that he is
not challenging the quality of the repair work, as in Avery, but
the alleged practice of omitting repairs necessary to restore the
vehicle to its preloss condition.

The court rejected such a narrow interpretation, finding that
Avery "is not narrowly limited to cases alleging that an insurer's
estimate uses substandard repair parts."

Mr. Greenberger's claims of widespread breach of contract under
the Consumer Fraud Act since he failed to show evidence of
"affirmative acts of misrepresentation multiplied over a
prospective plaintiff class," Judge Sykes explained.

The ruling also affirmed the district court's decisions to dismiss
Judge Sykes' breach of contract and common-law fraud claims.


INDIANA: Discovery Into Lawyers' Mental Health Nixed
----------------------------------------------------
Leigh Jones, writing for The National Law Journal, reports a
federal judge has blocked the Indiana State Board of Law Examiners
from digging further into the mental health of class-action
plaintiffs who are suing over certain questions on the state's bar
admission application.

U.S. District Judge Tanya Pratt affirmed on Dec. 23 a magistrate's
order prohibiting the board from conducting further discovery
about the plaintiffs, whose 2009 lawsuit alleges that questions on
the application related to applicants' mental health violate
federal disability law.

"Simply stated, the court finds that the magistrate judge's
decisions were neither clearly erroneous nor contrary to law,"
wrote Judge Pratt, who presides in the Southern District of
Indiana.

Judge Pratt ruled that the board of law examiners could not take
additional discovery pertaining to the mental health of five
anonymous plaintiffs who are members of the ACLU Indiana
University School of Law Indianapolis Chapter.  Those plaintiffs
submitted affidavits last year stating that they planned to apply
for admission to the bar, planned to affirmatively answer a
question on the application asking whether they had been treated
for mental or emotional problems, and did not believe that their
mental health history impeded their ability to practice law.  The
plaintiffs submitted the affidavits to bolster the ACLU student
chapter's argument that it had standing to serve as a class
representative in the case.

In January 2010, the magistrate judge granted class status to name
plaintiff Amanda Perdue and in March found that the ACLU student
chapter had standing.  The court determined that the class equaled
about 95 individuals each year among the roughly 600 who annually
apply for bar admission in Indiana.

Judge Pratt also upheld the magistrate judge's determination that
Perdue was not required to answer interrogatories and provide
documents pertaining to her mental health history.

The case mirrors actions in other states that have challenged
questions about mental health on professional license
applications.  Challenges have resulted in the removal or
modification of similar questions in Maine, New Jersey and Rhode
Island.

Jon Laramore, president of the Indiana State Board of Law
Examiners, said that the questions are necessary to help ensure
the fitness and character of attorneys licensed in Indiana.

"It's important for the board to understand all aspects of an
applicant's situation, to know whether an applicant meets our
fitness standard," Mr. Laramore said.  "We don't want to be any
more intrusive than we have to be to get that information."

ACLU of Indiana attorney Kenneth Falk, who represents the
plaintiffs, said that Indiana's questions about mental health are
the broadest in the country."  The issue is whether someone has
the current character and fitness to practice law," Mr. Falk said.
"These questions ask whether someone has seen a mental health
counselor [at any time] since the age of 16.  That's too broad an
inquiry."

Ms. Perdue sued the Indiana law examiners in July 2009 after she
sought admission to the state bar.  She was previously diagnosed
with and received treatment for an anxiety disorder and post-
traumatic stress disorder.  She answered "yes" to the application
questions that, among other things, asked whether she had been
treated "for any mental, emotional or nervous disorders" at any
time from age 16 to the present.

Because of her answers, the board of law examiners, as part of its
usual procedure for applicants who respond affirmatively,
requested additional information about her mental health.  It then
referred her to the Indiana Supreme Court Judges and Lawyers
Assistance Program -- also standard procedure.  Instead of
consenting, Ms. Perdue withdrew her application and, with the
ACLU, sued to prevent the board from inquiring about the mental
health of bar applicants.

The suit alleges that the questions violate the Americans with
Disabilities Act.  It claims that applicants who answer
affirmatively are subjected to elevated burdens solely because of
their histories of mental, emotional or nervous disorders. The
lawsuit seeks a declaratory judgment, an injunction removing the
questions and costs.  Representing the Indiana State Board of Law
Examiners is Anthony Overholt, counsel at Frost Brown Todd.


JK HARRIS: Indiana Appeals Court Hears Class Action
---------------------------------------------------
The IndyChannel.com reports that an effort to bring a class-action
lawsuit against a company accused of misleading customers looking
for help out of debt was heard before the Indiana Court of Appeals
on Jan. 10.

A lower court originally approved a class-action suit against JK
Harris and Company, but the South Carolina-based company appealed
the ruling, questioning whether a Marion County judge had the
jurisdiction to take further action against the out-of-state
business.

At issue is the company's handling of a program by the Internal
Revenue Service that allows those who cannot repay tax debt to
reduce what they owe to pennies on the dollar.

Attorneys for Ron Sandlin, of Indianapolis, and others argue that
the company, through persuasive TV commercials, makes it appear as
though it's something that is done routinely, when, in fact, it's
very rare.

Five years ago, Mr. Sandlin said he paid JK Harris about $4,500
after he said his tax bill went from $29,000 to about $300,000.

"Here I am today; they took my money, told me no deal, no
nothing," he said on Jan. 11.  "(JK Harris hasn't) done anything
for me except put me further and further in debt."

The attorney for JK Harris said the lower court overstepped its
bounds, adding that the only resolution for Mr. Sandlin is to
accept the company's arbitration process or start the case over.

"Let's hear evidence.  Let's have witnesses raise their right
hands, swear under oath, present exhibits, tell exactly what
they've done or haven't done," said company attorney Gary Miller.
"Let the courts and the justice system work through it."

The three-judge panel asked several questions during the Jan. 11
hearing but warned all parties involved not to read anything into
what they were asking.


KID O PRODUCTS: Recalls 1,500 Units Baby Rattles
------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Kid O Products, LLC, of Perth Amboy, N.J., announced a voluntary
recall of about 1,500 units Baby rattles.  Consumers should stop
using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

The baby rattle's beads can come off when the rattle is twisted or
pulled forcefully, posing a choking hazard to young children.

No injuries or incidents have been reported.

This recall involves the Prisma and Duo style wooden baby rattles
with multi-colored beads.  The Prisma rattle is shaped as a bell
with a loop handle and has style number 10331. The rattle measures
about 3 3/4 inches long.  "Prisma" and the style number can be
found on the packaging.  The Duo rattle is two interlocked rings
with red and blue bead accents.  "Duo" and style number 10333 is
printed on the packaging.  Pictures of the recalled products are
available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11092.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold through
specialty children's stores nationwide from November 2010 through
December 2010 for about $12.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled rattles away from
children and return them to the retail store where they purchased
it for a full refund.  Consumers can also contact Kid O Products
for instructions on how to mail the product to receive a full
refund.  For additional information, contact Kid O Products
collect at (212) 366-5858 between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Eastern
Time, Monday through Friday or visit the firm's Web site at
http://www.kidoproducts.com/


KIDDIE KOLLEGE: Ordered to Pay for Kids' Mercury Testing
--------------------------------------------------------
Carly Q. Romalino, writing for The Gloucester County Times,
reports Jamie Franks couldn't contain her tears as the ruling in
the Kiddie Kollege trial was read to the courtroom on Jan. 11.

The Franklin Township mother, and named plaintiff in the class
action suit, finally had what she and attorneys spent three months
in a Woodbury court house fighting for: "Closure and justice," she
said, for her two children and more than a hundred others exposed
to mercury at a Franklin Township day care center.

The three-month bench trial ended on Jan. 11 with a victory for
the plaintiffs.  State and local governments plus the real estate
brokers who leased the property to day care operators will pay out
a total of $1.5 million to fund neuropsychological monitoring
protocol for the children.

"I'm totally happy," said Ms. Franks, whose now-8- and 10-year-old
children attended the day care until the state shut it down in
2006.

"I'm glad it's over and we can start doing something proactive to
get to the bottom of things instead of just talking about it."

Superior Court Judge James E. Rafferty's order has left the
Sullivans a family-owned real estate firm and Franklin Township to
pay for the largest portions of the fund. Each party is
responsible for 35% of the total, or about $525,000 for each
defendant.  The half-million payment will be deducted from the
$960,000 settlement the Sullivans' insurance company agreed to pay
before the trial began.  The remaining portion of settlement funds
could be used to pay the five-law-firm team of lawyers who
represented the plaintiffs.

Gloucester County, which finalized a last-minute settlement on
Jan. 11, is responsible for 20%, or $300,000, and the state will
pay 10%, or about $100,000.  All of the money will be deposited
into a court-monitored fund overseen by Vineland attorney James
Gruccio, who Rafferty appointed to administer the funds.  The
county's portion will be taken from the $950,000 settlement.
Dates for fairness hearings on both settlements in the case have
not yet been set.

"We're disappointed with the decision," said Franklin Township
defense attorney James Maley Jr., who was surprised the
municipality was marked with any responsibility.  "We are
reviewing the decision with our client."

Rafferty said the Sullivans and government entities were negligent
when it came to investigating the site or reporting the
contamination on the grounds. The Sullivans did not exercise due
diligence in researching the property before it was purchased. The
firm also chose not to have an environmental investigation on the
site, the judge said.

"Their actions were clearly negligent," Mr. Rafferty said. "Based
on the negligence theory, the Sullivans are responsible for the
medical monitoring fund being established."

Mr. Rafferty did not assign responsibility to former day care
operators Julie Lawler and Becky Baughman, or the owner of
Accutherm, the thermometer factory that operated on the Station
Avenue property. The thermometer factory left the mess, but the
factory owner did not open the day care center there, the judge
said.

"I think we came out ahead today," said Tina Toy-DeSilvio, a
Franklin Township mother whose two daughters attended the day care
for two years.

Although the Jan. 11 ruling was a win for the children, the
plaintiffs did make some sacrifices.  After proposing
neuropsychological and immunological testing for both children and
adults who spent time in the building, the judge only granted
neuropsychological testing for the children.  Mr. Rafferty said he
was not convinced there would be any benefits of early detection
of immune system deficiencies if immunological tests were granted,
and there was no evidence to support either set of tests for
adults.

"Parents take every precaution when raising their children,"
Mr. Rafferty said.  "These children were wrongfully exposed.  They
should be entitled to every precaution their parents choose to
take."

Ms. Franks and Toy-DeSilvio took the judge's comments as the first
official acknowledgment of the struggles the Kiddie Kollege
children and their parents could be up against.

"It was nice to hear the judge say the things he said because now
I'm not crazy," Ms. Toy-DeSilvio said.  "There is actually a
reason to be concerned and a reason to do the monitoring."

The win was bittersweet for the plaintiffs who hoped to have all
those in the class action suit children, teachers and parents
tested for neuropsychological and immune system problems.  But the
goal from the first day of litigation had been, first and
foremost, to get the testing for the children, according to Jim
Pettit, lead attorney representing the plaintiffs.

"While a little disappointed about the immune system testing and
the parents not getting neuropsych testing, we have always felt
from the beginning that our most important goal was to get the
children tested for the neuropsych problems," said Mr. Pettit.
"And that's what we achieved so we are very pleased with that."

Before the monitoring program gets off the ground, clinicians and
neuropsychologists must be retained then notice will be mailed to
the households of the children who attended the school, according
to Mr. Pettit.  The plaintiffs' attorneys will also meet with
Mr. Gruccio to hammer out the logistics of the testing.


LENDER PROCESSING: Faces Securities Fraud Class Action
------------------------------------------------------
Saxena White P.A. filed a class action lawsuit for an
institutional investor in the United States District Court for the
Middle District of Florida on behalf of all investors who
purchased Lender Processing Services, Inc. securities during the
period between July 29, 2009 and October 4, 2010, inclusive,
seeking to recover damages caused by defendants' violations of the
federal securities laws.

In recent months, various government investigations and media
reports on mortgage service companies have exposed an industry
that increasingly relied on deceptive and fraudulent business
practices, including the use of so-called "robo-signers" that
falsified mortgage ownership documents.  Lender Processing
Services, Inc., a mortgage servicer based in Jacksonville,
Florida, is one of the companies facing government scrutiny.

In connection with the Florida Attorney General's investigation
into the Company, former Florida AG Bill McCollum has indicated
that LPS and other similar companies have produced "numerous
documents in foreclosure cases that appear to be fabricated."  As
a result of the rampant use of these and other unscrupulous
business practices, investors have suffered millions of dollars in
losses.

The complaint alleges that, throughout the Class Period,
defendants failed to disclose material adverse facts about the
Company's true financial condition, business and prospects.
Specifically, the complaint alleges that defendants failed to
disclose: (i) that the Company had engaged in improper and
deceptive business practices; (ii) that a subsidiary of LPS, Docx,
had been falsifying mortgage documents through the use of
"robo-signers"; (iii) that the Company had engaged in improper fee
sharing arrangements with foreclosure law firms, including the use
of undisclosed contractual arrangements for impermissible legal
fee splitting, which are camouflaged as various types of fees; and
(iv) that as a result of the Company's deceptive business
practices, LPS reported materially false and misleading financial
results.

On October 4, 2010, after continued media reports and various
government investigations calling into question LPS's default-
related services that it provides to mortgage lenders, the market
price of LPS stock fell $2.72, or 8.6% per share, to close at
$28.76 per share.  The price of LPS stock fell another $1.45, or
5.04%, on October 5, 2010, to close at $27.31 per share, on
unusually heavy trading volume.

You may obtain a copy of the complaint and join the class action
at http://www.saxenawhite.com/

If you purchased LPS stock between July 29, 2009 and October 4,
2010, you may contact Joe White or Greg Stone at Saxena White P.A.
to discuss your rights and interests.

If you purchased LPS shares during the Class Period and wish to
apply to be the lead plaintiff in this action, a motion on your
behalf must be filed with the Court no later than January 24,
2011.  You may contact Saxena White P.A. to discuss your rights
regarding the appointment of lead plaintiff and your interest in
the class action.  Please note that you may also retain counsel of
your choice and need not take any action at this time to be a
class member.

Saxena White P.A., which has offices in Boca Raton, Boston and
Montana, specializes in prosecuting securities fraud and complex
class actions on behalf of institutions and individuals.
Currently serving as lead counsel in numerous securities fraud
class actions nationwide, the firm has recovered hundreds of
millions of dollars on behalf of injured investors and is active
in major litigation pending in federal and state courts throughout
the United States.

Contacts: Joseph E. White, III, Esq.
          Greg Stone, Esq.
          SAXENA WHITE P.A.
          2424 North Federal Highway, Suite 257
          Boca Raton, FL 33431
          Telephone: (561) 394-3399
          E-mail: jwhite@saxenawhite.com
                  gstone@saxenawhite.com


MARKER VOLKL: Recalls 5,400 Marker & Kastle Twin Ski Bindings
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Marker Volkl USA, of Lebanon, N.H. and Kastle GmbH, of Austria,
announced a voluntary recall of about 5,400 Marker and Kastle Twin
Cam 12.0 ski bindings.  Consumers should stop using recalled
products immediately unless otherwise instructed.

Steel springs in the heel pieces of the bindings could break,
posing a fall hazard to consumers.

No injuries or incidents have been reported.

This recall involves 2010-2011 model year Marker and Kastle Twin
Cam ski bindings with maximum release/retention settings of 12.0.

                         Recalled Models
                         ---------------

              Marker 12.0 TC Comp EPS/white and red
              Marker 12.0 Free with 90mm or 110mm sk brake/black
              Marker rMotion 12.0 D/white and red
              Kastle K12 KTI
              Kastle K12 CTI with 90mm or 110mm ski brake

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11095.html

The recalled products were manufactured in Czech Republic and sold
through ski and specialty sports retailers nationwide from January
2010 through December 2010 for the Kastle bindings and from July
2010 through December 2010 for the Marker bindings.  The bindings
sold for between $280 and $340.

Consumers should immediately stop using these recalled ski
bindings and return Marker bindings to a Marker authorized
retailer or return Kastle bindings to a Kastle authorized retailer
for a free replacement heel binding.  Consumers should bring their
ski boots to be sure that the replacement bindings are adjusted
correctly.  For additional information, contact Marker V”lkl at
(800) 453-3862 between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m., Eastern Time,
Monday through Friday, email Marker at recall@markerusa.com or
visit Marker's Web site at http://www.markerusa.com. Call Kastle
collect at (970) 390-4498 between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET Monday
through Friday, email Kastle at jpom73@gmail.com or visit the
firm's Web site at http://www.kastle-ski.com/


MATRIXX INITIATIVES: Securities Disclosure Obligations Debated
--------------------------------------------------------------
Adam Liptak, writing for The New York Times, reports that the case
before the Supreme Court on Jan. 10 concerned a difficult question
of securities law, and Justice Antonin Scalia approached it from a
novel angle.

The case involves Zicam Cold Remedy, whose maker is accused of
securities fraud for failing to disclose problems to investors.

"What do you think about Satan?"  Justice Scalia asked a lawyer
for the government, who was just starting his argument.

The case, Matrixx Initiatives v. Siracusano, No. 09-1156, was a
class action against Matrixx Initiatives, an Arizona company
accused of committing securities fraud by failing to tell
investors of reports that its main product, a nasal spray and gel
called Zicam, might have caused some users to lose their sense of
smell.  The condition is known as anosmia.

After a link between Zicam and anosmia was reported on "Good
Morning America" in 2004, the company's stock dropped 24%. In
2009, the Food and Drug Administration warned consumers not to use
the products, which had been sold as over-the-counter homeopathic
medicines, and Matrixx recalled them.

Satan came into the case by way of analogy.  Matrixx contended
that it should not have been required to disclose small numbers of
unreliable reports of adverse effects, which were all it said were
available in 2004.

"For years many consumers would not purchase products from Procter
& Gamble because of a ridiculous rumor that the company was
Satanic," Matrixx said in a recent brief.  "But no decision of
this court bases securities-law disclosure obligations on how
ignorant or paranoid people might react to unreliable or even
false information."

The Supreme Court has said that companies may be sued under the
securities law for making statements that omit material
information, and it has defined material information as the sort
of thing that reasonable investors would believe significantly
alters the "total mix" of available information.

Much of the argument revolved around whether reasonable investors
would want to know about false and outlandish assertions like the
one about Satanism so long as the assertions might affect the
price of securities.

"A reasonable investor is going to worry about the fact that
thousands of unreasonable investors are going to dump their
Matrixx stock," Chief Justice John G. Roberts said.

Justice Scalia disagreed.  "It seems to me ridiculous to hold
companies to irrational standards," he said.

Though the justices were divided about how to handle reports of
Satanism and the like, Matrixx did not appear to get much traction
for its main argument -- that a failure to disclose reports of
adverse effects should give rise to securities fraud liability
only if the reports were collectively statistically significant.

It said the plaintiffs had found at most 23 reports of anosmia
before the "Good Morning America" report, and it added that
anosmia can have many causes.

"All drug companies receive on an almost daily basis anecdotal
hearsay reports about alleged adverse health events following the
use of their products," Jonathan Hacker, a lawyer for Matrixx,
told the justices.

But the justices appeared almost uniformly skeptical of imposing a
requirement of statistical significance, particularly at the very
outset of a case.

Justice Elena Kagan said that the F.D.A. itself did not use that
standard, and she added that she could imagine situations in which
small numbers of reports of serious harm would meet the securities
laws' requirement of materiality.

Imagine, she said, that a drug company sold a single product, a
new contact lens solution that hundreds of thousands of people had
used without incident. But 10 went blind, and three who used it in
only one eye went blind in that eye.

"There is no way that anybody would tell that you these 10 cases
are statistically significant," Justice Kagan said.

Nonetheless, she asked Mr. Hacker, "would you stop using that
product and would a reasonable investor want to know about those
10 cases?" He said no.

Justice Kagan responded that "there are a lot of contact lens
solutions in the world."

"I'd stop using the product," she said, "and if I were holding
stock in that company, I would sell the stock. "

Pratik A. Shah, the government lawyer asked about rumors of
Satanism by Justice Scalia, said there were circumstances in which
a company should have to disclose such rumors.

Investors would almost certainly think it material to know, he
said, for instance, "however ridiculous it is and untrue it is,
that 10% of our consumer base has decided to boycott our
products."

Justice Scalia pressed the point.

"So the government's position is that reports of adverse effects
that have no scientific basis, so long as they would affect,
irrationally, consumers, have to be disclosed?" he asked.
Mr. Shah said yes, if the company had made affirmative statements
about the subjects at issue.  Matrixx had called attributing
anosmia to Zicam "completely unfounded and misleading."

Justice Scalia summarized the discussion near the end of the
argument in the case.

"If Satan comes in," he said, "surely lousy science comes in as
well."


ROYAL BANK: US Court Dismisses Shareholder Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------
Sharlene Goff, writing for The Financial Times, reports Royal Bank
of Scotland has welcomed action taken by a US court to dismiss
claims from hundreds of shareholders who lost money following the
UK government's bail-out of the bank in 2008.

Manhattan district judge Deborah Batts threw out claims against
the bank after ruling that investors were not permitted to use US
courts to file charges as they had purchased the securities in the
UK.

British investors in particular have tried to piggyback on the US
class-action system, which allows one lawsuit to be filed on
behalf of a large group of claimants.

The court based its judgment on a previous ruling, which blocked
an Australian investor from seeking damages against National
Australia Bank as the shares in the company were listed outside
the US.

This ruling paved the way for the dismissal of lawsuits against
several other overseas companies, including banks Credit Suisse
and Societe Generale.

The claims against RBS were filed by investors who lost billions
of pounds when shares they had bought in the bank plummeted in
value in the months leading up to its part nationalization.

A wider range of investors, including large pension funds and
other institutions, launched claims against the bank in 2009, when
its share price fell to a low of 10p.

The investors argue that the bank misled them with regards to its
exposure to subprime lending following its disastrous acquisition
of the Dutch bank ABN Amro.

Their claims centre around the information provided to them by the
bank ahead of its GBP12 billion ($19 billion) rights issue in
2007.

Cherie Blair, the human rights barrister and wife of the former
prime minister, has acted as a special adviser to two UK pension
funds looking to sue RBS in New York.

The dismissal of the claims will block UK shareholders from
pursuing further action through the US courts and reduces RBS's
potential liability under US law.

However the bank still faces claims relating to $5 billion of
preference shares that it issued in the US.

Nevertheless the ruling will come as a relief for the bank after
it was hit this week with a GBP2.8 million fine for poor handling
of customer complaints.

RBS was found to have taken too long to respond to customer
complaints and had failed to provide adequate training for staff
dealing with the grievances.

The bank is now planning to resubmit a motion to have the
outstanding claims from preference shares dismissed.

RBS said on Jan. 12: "We welcome Judge Batts' decision to dismiss
these claims.  We will of course continue to defend the remaining
claims vigorously."


STRAUSS GROUP: Settles Class Action Over Dairy Products
-------------------------------------------------------
Chen Ma'anit, writing for Globes, reports that on Jan. 11, Tel
Aviv District Court judge Amiram Benyamini confirmed the
settlement in the class action against Strauss Group Ltd. in which
it was claimed that the company misled consumers about the kashrut
of certain dairy products, in that it failed to report that they
contained gelatin originating in non-kosher animal products.

Under the settlement, Strauss will pay NIS8.5 million, as follows:

    1. Distribution of dairy products to a value of NIS6 million
       to religious educational institutions, non-profit
       organizations that provide food for the poor, or youth
       clubs that provide kosher food.

    2. A discount of 12% on the dairy products concerned for two
       years to the public at large, worth NIS2 million.

    3. A donation of NIS500,000 to the children's department of a
       hospital in the periphery.

The lawsuit was filed in 2006.  It claimed that Strauss presented
the products as kosher even though they carried no certification
as kosher and had not been approved by the Chief Rabbinate.


U.S. WIRELESS CARRIERS: Twombly Pleading Weighed in Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
Alison Frankel, writing for The American Lawyer, reports a mere
four weeks after several wireless carriers filed a request for
permission to pursue an interlocutory appeal of Chicago federal
district court judge Matthew Kennelly's refusal to dismiss a
price-fixing class action against them, Judge Richard Posner of
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit produced a
13-page ruling that not only affirms Judge Kennelly's ruling, but
seems to lower the bar for antitrust complaints in the Seventh
Circuit.  And he did it without merits briefing or oral argument
from the parties.

The quick action is particularly noteworthy because a separate
Seventh Circuit panel is considering the Twombly pleading standard
in an interlocutory appeal in the In re Potash antitrust class
action.  That case has already been fully briefed and argued, and
awaits a ruling.

The Posner opinion, written on behalf of a panel that also
included Judges Diane Wood and John Tinder, comes in a case
alleging a conspiracy among wireless carriers to fix prices for
text messages.  Judge Kennelly dismissed the plaintiffs' first
complaint, but ruled that their amended complaint, which included
allegations that the carriers discussed pricing at their trade
association meetings, could proceed.  The defendants -- Verizon,
AT&T Mobility, Sprint, and T-Mobile -- then sought leave to appeal
Judge Kennelly's ruling in a Dec. 2 petition to the Seventh
Circuit.

The Posner panel responded with surprising alacrity, suggesting
that some judges on the Seventh Circuit have been waiting for an
opportunity to address the pleading standards set by the U.S.
Supreme Court in Bell Atlantic v. Twombly and extended in Ashcroft
v. Iqbal.  "Pleading standards in federal litigation are in
ferment after Twombly and Iqbal," Judge Posner wrote.  "This court
has only twice discussed the application of Twombly to antitrust
violations, and in both cases only in passing."

After spending seven pages justifying the panel's decision to
accept the interlocutory appeal, Judge Posner needed only a few
more to gladden the hearts of antitrust plaintiffs in the Seventh
Circuit by putting a plaintiffs-friendly spin on Twombly pleading
standards.  The opinion concludes that, in this case, the
plaintiffs offered sufficient circumstantial evidence of an
antitrust conspiracy by disclosing meetings of the carriers and a
parallel and uniform rise in text messaging prices.

"The second amended complaint alleges a mixture of parallel
behaviors, details of industry structure, and industry practices,
that facilitate collusion," the judge wrote.  "There is nothing
incongruous about such a mixture.  If parties agree to fix prices,
one expects that as a result they will not compete in price --
that's the purpose of price fixing.  Parallel behavior of a sort
anomalous in a competitive market is thus a symptom of price
fixing, though standing alone it is not proof of it; and an
industry structure that facilitates collusion constitutes
supporting evidence of collusion."

Co-lead plaintiffs counsel Mary Jane Fait of Wolf, Haldenstein,
Adler, Freeman & Herz told The American Lawyer Judge Posner
apparently wanted to clarify that it's still possible, post-
Twombly, to plead an antitrust case with a showing of parallel
pricing plus and circumstantial evidence.  "He thought there was
substantial confusion," Ms. Fait said.  "He thought this circuit,
and perhaps by extension other circuits, needed clarification."

Verizon is represented by Winston & Strawn; Kellogg Huber Hansen
Todd Evans & Figel; and Schiff Hardin.  Sprint has Williams &
Connolly; T-Mobile is represented by Davis Polk & Wardwell; and
AT&T has Sidley Austin.  Defense counsel either didn't return The
American Lawyer's calls or declined comment.


WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY: Suit Complains About "Balanced Billing"
--------------------------------------------------------------
Joe Harris at Courthouse News Service reports that a class action
claims Washington University's "balanced billing" for medical
services violates Missouri's Merchandising Practices Act.  In
balanced billing, a common practice among health-care providers,
patients are billed for the difference between what the insurer
paid and what the provider charged for the medical services.

Named plaintiff Steven Powell uses a chain of reasoning to claim
that balanced billing violates state law.

He claims that health-care providers set the prices for medical
goods and services arbitrarily; that the amount that insurers pay
for the services is of reasonable value; that after accepting a
payment of reasonable value from the insurer, the health-care
provider bills the patient an additional amount, in excess of the
reasonable value; that if the amount the insurer agreed to pay and
the charge established by the health-care provider were fair and
reasonable, then both amounts would be the same and therefore no
balance would be left over; and that health care providers bill
Medicare one amount, insurers a different amount, and uninsured
and underinsured patients an even greater amount for the same
services.

Mr. Powell says that Washington University practiced balanced
billing on him.  After he refused to pay, the university sued and
obtained a consent judgment against him for an amount "over and
above the fair" amount Washington University had agreed to accept.

"The Missouri Merchandising Practices Act was enacted by the
Missouri Legislature to protect the citizens of Missouri from
deceptive, unfair, arbitrary, capricious and discriminatory
billing practices.

"The conduct of defendant The Washington University as described
above, was and is intentional and constitutes a clear violation of
the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act," the complaint states.

The class consists of all uninsured or underinsured Missourians
who have been subject to balanced billing since 2000. It seeks
actual and punitive damages.

A copy of the Complaint in Powell v. The Washintgon University,
Case No. 1122-CC00050 (Mo. Cir. Ct., St. Louis Cty.), is available
at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/01/11/BalancedBilling.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Paul J. Passanante, Esq.
          Dawn M. Besserman, Esq.
          Anna E. Bonacorsi, Esq.
          PAUL J. PASSANANTE, P.C. & ASSOCIATES
          1010 Market Street, Suite 1650
          St. Louis, MO 63101
          Telephone: (314) 621-8884
          E-mail: pjp@passanantelaw.com
                  dmb@passanantelaw.com
                  aeb@passanantelaw.com


WHITE-RODGERS: Recalls 183,300 Programmable Thermostats
-------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
White-Rodgers of St. Louis, Mo., announced a voluntary recall of
about 180,000 programmable thermostats in the United States and
8,300 in Canada.  Consumers should stop using recalled products
immediately unless otherwise instructed.

The programmable thermostats constantly charge the backup AA
batteries used to power the thermostat's clock.  This can cause
the batteries to leak, resulting in a fire hazard.

The firm is aware of three incidents involving minor property
damage.  No injuries have been reported.

This recall involves all White-Rodgers programmable thermostats
with model numbers 1F88-XXX and 1F85RF-275 and date codes
beginning with 05, 06, 07, 08, 09 and 1001 through 1039.  The
model number is printed on the thermostat's front pull-down panel
door.  The date code is located inside the removable front cover.
White-Rodgers and/or the utility company's name and logo are
printed on the front of the thermostat.  These thermostats were
able to be controlled by power companies in homes that took part
in energy demand reduction programs.  Pictures of the recalled
products are available at:

    http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11096.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold through
more than 40 utility companies to consumers nationwide who took
part in energy conservation programs and by various HVAC
wholesalers for about $150.


U.S. SEMICONDUCTOR FIRMS: SRAM Domestic Class Suit to Go Forward
----------------------------------------------------------------
Maria Dinzeo at Courthouse News Service reports that a class
action against semiconductor companies that allegedly conspired to
fix the price of a memory device used in cell phones and computers
will go forward, but only for memory purchases that were billed
domestically, a federal judge ruled.

Customers from 25 states say the alleged conspirators -- Samsung
Electronics, Cypress Semiconductor and Alliance Semiconductor --
overcharged them for Static Random Access Memory (SRAM) in
violation of the Sherman Act and state consumer protection laws.

In their motion to dismiss, the manufacturer defendants argued
SRAM purchases made outside the United States should be subject to
foreign antitrust law.

U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken found that while plaintiffs
"have shown a direct, substantial and reasonably foreseeable
effect of defendants' conduct on United States domestic commerce
when SRAM is billed to the United States," foreign purchases of
SRAM are another matter.

The judge granted the companies' motion to dismiss based on
transactions where SRAM was "billed from or shipped from the
United States, but billed and shipped to another country."  She
denied the motion, however, for SRAM purchased in the U.S.

A copy of the Order Granting in Part, Denying in Part and
Deferring in Part Defendants' Joint Motion to Dismiss for Lack of
Subject Matter in In re Static Random Access Memory (SRAM)
Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 07-cv-01819 (N.D. Calif.), is
available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/01/11/SRAM%20ruling.pdf


* 21 South Florida Companies Face Labor Class Actions
-----------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that South Florida remains the
national center of labor class actions.  Twenty-one companies
face such complaints.

All these class actions are in Federal Courts:

   -- Elite Guard And Patrol Services,
   -- Chicken 4 U,
   -- One-Two-Three Bbq,
   -- Sysco South,
   -- Tres Ceros Corp.,
   -- Palmanova USA Corp.,
   -- Spectrum Programs,
   -- Bauhaus Inc.,
   -- Hudson Group (Hg) Retail and Hudson News Co.,
   -- Mei Gamma LLC, (Miami);
   -- Lakeview Health Systems,
   -- Florida Cleaning Systems of South Florida,
   -- Wings Plus Of Coral Springs,
   -- Riviera Petroleum Corp.,
   -- Old Faithful Services,
   -- Bavaro Cafe Corp.,
   -- Bagel Market Inc.,
   -- First Class Air Conditioning & Appliance, (Fort Lauderdale),
   -- TBC Retail Group,
   -- Waste Management Inc. of Florida, and
   -- Murray Logan Construction, (West Palm Beach).


                             *********

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.  Leah
Felisilda, Neil U. Lim, Rousel Elaine Fernandez, Joy A. Agravante,
Ronald Sy, Christopher Patalinghug, Frauline Abangan and Peter A.
Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2011.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Christopher
Beard at 240/629-3300.

                 * * *  End of Transmission  * * *