/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/110119.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Wednesday, January 19, 2011, Vol. 13, No. 13


AIR CARGO SHIPPING: Qantas Settles Price-Fixing Suit for $26.5MM
APPLIED SIGNAL: Defends Complaint Over Breach of Fiduciary Duties
ATHEROS COMMUNICATIONS: Being Sold for Too Little, Suit Claims
CALIFORNIA: Judge Junks Suit Over Correctional Officer Furloughs
CREDIT RATING AGENCIES: Underwriter Liability Class Suit Tossed

DEPUY ORTHOPAEDICS: Faces Class Suit Over Hip Implants in Canada
FERDINAND MARCOS: Judge OKs Class Action Settlement Distribution
FERDINAND MARCOS: More Torture Class Action Claimants Expected
FERDINAND MARCOS: Higher Compensation Sought for Torture Victims
GREAT ATLANTIC: Expects "LaMarca" Suit to be Stayed

H&R BLOCK: Sued for Not Paying Wages to Tax Preparers
HALIBURTON CO: Supreme Court Agrees to Review Class Action
KASON INDUSTRIES: Sued Over Alleged Price-Fixing Conspiracy
KELLOG CO: Settles Suit Over Rice Krispies Immunity Claims
LIVINGSTON PARISH: Feb. 7 Class Action Settlement Hearing Set

MISTRAS GROUP: Enters Settlement of "Quiroz" & "Ballard" Suits
NEW ALBERTSON'S: Sued for Not Paying Overtime to Workers
NUFARM LIMITED: Faces Class Action for Misleading Shareholders
OZ MINERALS: 5,000 Shareholders Sign Up for Class Action
SAMSUNG: Faces Class Action Over Android Upgrade Delays

SONY COMPUTER: February Hearing Set for OtherOS Class Action
SUPERVALU INC: Still Defending Consolidated Lawsuit in Minnesota
SUPERVALU INC: Class Suit in Wisconsin Remains Stayed
TOYOTA MOTOR: Acceleration Class Actions to Go to Trial in 2013
VODAFONE GROUP: Independent Dealers Join Class Action

WELLS FARGO: Settles Class Action Over Pick-A-Payment Loans


AIR CARGO SHIPPING: Qantas Settles Price-Fixing Suit for $26.5MM
Joe Schneider and Victoria Batchelor, writing for Bloomberg News,
report Qantas Airways Ltd., Australia's biggest airline, agreed to
pay $26.5 million to settle a U.S. lawsuit claiming it conspired
with other carriers to fix prices on cargo shipments.

The settlement is based on Qantas's freight revenue to and from
the U.S. between January 2000 and Sept. 11, 2006, the airline said
today in a statement to the Australian Stock Exchange.

Paradiso Inc., a Sausalito, California-based retailer of women's
clothing, sued 19 airlines in 2006, including Qantas, on behalf of
itself and other importers of goods, claiming the carriers
illegally conspired to fix, raise or maintain surcharges that were
imposed after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the U.S.
and the outbreak of the war in Iraq in 2003.

"As a result of the defendants' unlawful conduct and conspiracy,
plaintiff and other members of the class paid artificially high
surcharges and have been damaged thereby," Paradiso said in its
amended statement of claim.

Air France-KLM agreed to pay $87 million to settle the lawsuit,
Qantas said.  Deutsche Lufthansa AG agreed to pay $85 million,
Cargolux Airlines International SA $35.1 million, Scandinavian
Airlines $13.9 million, Japan Airlines International Co. $12
million, All Nippon Airways Co. $10.4 million and American
Airlines Inc. will pay $5 million, according to Qantas.

U.S. District Judge John Gleeson granted preliminary approval to
the All Nippon Airways and Cargolux settlements on Jan. 5,
according to court records.

The judge scheduled a hearing to determine if the settlements are
fair for June 24 in Brooklyn, New York.

Criminal Fine

Qantas had agreed in 2007 to pay a $61 million criminal fine and
pleaded guilty to participating in a global conspiracy to fix
rates for the international air cargo shipments.  The airline also
agreed in 2008 to pay A$20 million to settle charges of price
fixing filed by Australia's Competition and Consumer Commission.

Qantas shares fell 1.6% to A$2.48 at 3:24 p.m. in Sydney. The
benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.1%.

The case is: In re Air Cargo Shipping Services Antitrust
Litigation. 06-md-1775. U.S. District Court Eastern District of
New York (Brooklyn.)

APPLIED SIGNAL: Defends Complaint Over Breach of Fiduciary Duties
On January 11, 2011, Applied Signal Technology, Inc., received a
copy of an unfiled complaint and was informed that a putative
shareholder class action lawsuit has been, or will be, filed in
the Superior Court of the State of California, County of Santa
Clara, captioned Jarackas v. Applied Signal Technology, Inc., et
al. (Case No. 111CV191643) against the Company, the members of its
board of directors, Raytheon Company and RN Acquisition Company.
The Complaint alleges that the members of the Company's board of
directors breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the
board's recommendation to the Company's stockholders to accept the
Offer, authorizing the Company to enter into the Merger Agreement
and the disclosures regarding the Offer and the Merger.  The
Complaint seeks injunctive relief and does not seek an award of
money damages.

The Company believes the allegations are without merit and intends
to defend vigorously the action, according to the Company's
Jan. 13, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2010.

ATHEROS COMMUNICATIONS: Being Sold for Too Little, Suit Claims
Courthouse News Service reports that Atheros Communications is
selling itself too cheaply through an unfair process to Qualcomm,
for $45 a share or $3.1 billion, shareholders claim in Santa Clara
County Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Stationary Engineers Local 39 Pension
Trust Fund v. Atheros Communications, Inc., et al., Case No.
1-11-CV-191654 (Calif. Super Ct., Santa Clara Cty.), is available


The Plaintiff is represented by:

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

CALIFORNIA: Judge Junks Suit Over Correctional Officer Furloughs
Jon Ortiz, writing for Sacramento Bee, reports a judge in San
Francisco has struck down a class action lawsuit over correctional
officer furloughs that alleged the policy violates federal labor
laws.  The case is the first furlough case argued by state
attorneys since Gov. Jerry Brown took office on Jan. 3.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Vaughn Walker comes just
one day after he heard arguments in Newton v. Schwarzenegger.  The
case argued that "self-directed" furloughs of members of the
California Correctional Peace Officers Association violated the
Fair Labors Standards Act.  The case applied only to members of
Bargaining Unit 6.

CCPOA said that cutting employee pay but deferring the furlough
time off violates the law because employees aren't paid in full
for hours worked within a given pay cycle, that time worked on an
unpaid furlough day should be calculated in figuring overtime and
that the state hasn't kept adequate payroll records.

In essence, the judge ruled that the plaintiffs didn't make the
case to support their claims or misinterpreted the policy as
forcing employees to work for free.  "The furlough program, while
perhaps convoluted in execution, ensures that plaintiffs are
compensated for all hours worked during the pay period,"
Judge Walker wrote.  "Because plaintiffs are compensated for all
hours worked, and because that compensation exceeds federal
minimum standards, plaintiffs claim of violation of FSLA fails."

And federal law, Judge Walker said, authorizes only the secretary
of labor to sue for recordkeeping violations, so "plaintiffs here
lack standing to raise a separate claim relating to alleged
recordkeeping violations."

CREDIT RATING AGENCIES: Underwriter Liability Class Suit Tossed
Alison Frankel, writing for The National Law Journal, reports a
couple years back, securities class action plaintiffs in the
Lehman litigation advanced an intriguing theory.  The credit
rating agencies, they argued, weren't mere evaluators of certain
Lehman mortgage-backed securities, but were actually so involved
in structuring the securities -- and supplied ratings so crucial
to the offering -- that the rating agencies were, in effect,
underwriters.  It was a novel argument that seemed to offer
securities class action plaintiffs a way to pierce the First
Amendment armor protecting the rating agencies.

And so far, it's been completely unsuccessful.  On Jan. 12,
Manhattan federal district court judge Harold Baer became the
fourth judge in the Southern District to dismiss a class action
asserting underwriter liability against the rating agencies,
ruling in a 17-page opinion that investors led by the Public
Employees Retirement System of Mississippi cannot pursue
Securities Act claims against Standard & Poor, Moody's, and Fitch
for their role in a Goldman Sach offering of mortgage-backed pass-
through certificates.

The plaintiffs fared better with their case against Goldman, in
which they accused the bank of misleading investors about the
mortgage originators' disregard of loan underwriting guidelines.
The judge rejected arguments by Goldman's counsel at Sullivan &
Cromwell that MissPERS hadn't shown any economic loss.  He also
rejected the bank's argument that the plaintiffs had failed to
allege that defendants knew of the problems with the underwriting
guidelines beyond what they disclosed.  Because the plaintiffs'
claims were based on Section 11 of the '33 Act, which creates
strict liability for issuers, knowledge is immaterial, the judge

But the judge curtailed MissPERS' case by holding that it only has
standing to pursue claims in the one offering in which the pension
fund purchased certificates, not in all three offerings in which
the class asserted claims.  In reaching that conclusion, Judge
Baer cited, among other cases, Manhattan federal district court
judge Miriam Cedarbaum's ruling in another securities class action
against Goldman.  The National Law Journal left a message with
Goldman counsel Richard Klapper of S&C but didn't hear back.

Judge Baer appeared sympathetic to the claims against the ratings
agencies, but explained that he was bound by existing law to
dismiss those claims.  "While the rating agency defendants may
have played a significant role in the ability of other defendants
to market the securities at issue, and if we were writing on a
clean slate, their liability might be presumed," Judge Baer wrote,
"the fact is we are not writing on a clean slate and, for the
moment at least, the law insulates them from exposure under
section 11 [of the Securities Act] and they must be dismissed."
Judge Baer also found that because the rating agencies do not have
primary liability, they also don't have control person liability
under the Securities Act.

S&P counsel Floyd Abrams of Cahill Gordon & Reindel pointed out to
us that Judge Baer's ruling came just a day after the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Second Circuit heard arguments in the
plaintiffs' appeal of Manhattan federal district court judge Lewis
Kaplan's dismissal of claims against the rating agencies in the
Lehman case.  Mr. Abrams argued for the agencies.  "We're not
underwriters," Mr. Abrams said.

Mr. Abrams may be reached at:

          Floyd Abrams, Esq.
          Eighty Pine Street
          New York, NY 10005-1702
          Telephone: 212-701-3621
          Facsimile: 212.378.2137
          E-mail: fabrams@cahill.com

MissPERS is represented by Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann,
which argued in its opposition to the rating agencies' motion to
dismiss that the agencies controlled the composition of the
mortgage pools backing the Goldman pass-through certificates and
structured the certificates to achieve pre-determined AAA ratings.
The National Law Journal called MissPERS counsel Bruce Bernstein,
but didn't hear back.

Mr. Bernstein may be reached at:

          Bruce Bernstein, Esq.
          1285 Avenue of the Americas
          New York, NY 10019
          Telephone: (212) 554-1502
          Facsimile: (212) 554-1444
          E-mail: bruce@blbglaw.com

Moody's and Fitch were represented by their regular outside
securities counsel: Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke --
http://www.ssbb.com/-- for Moody's and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind,
Wharton & Garrison -- http://www.paulweiss.com/-- for Fitch.

DEPUY ORTHOPAEDICS: Faces Class Suit Over Hip Implants in Canada
Chris Lambie, writing for TheChronicleHerald.ca, reports a Bedford
woman has launched a lawsuit against Big Pharma over her hip

Jo-Anne Scharf is asking a Nova Scotia judge to certify a class
action against companies that include Johnson & Johnson Inc. and
its subsidiary, DePuy Orthopaedics, Inc.

"For at least two years, the defendants knew, contrary to their
marketing campaigns, that a disproportionately high number of
DePuy implants were failing and causing harm to patients," said
her statement of claim, made public on Jan. 11 in Nova Scotia
Supreme Court.

"The defendants were aware of many complaints made to the Food and
Drug Administration in the United States and Health Canada
regarding the failure of the DePuy implants.  These complaints
included component loosening, misalignment, dislocation and
fracture, and the creation of abnormal or excessive metal debris
in the hip socket.  This metal debris could spread to surrounding
tissue, causing severe inflammation and damage.  The failure of
the DePuy implants often requires complicated, expensive and
painful revision surgery to correct."

DePuy has issued voluntary recalls of its ASR XL Acetabular Hip
System and DePuy ASR Hip Resurfacing System, according to the
company's Web site.  ASR stands for articular surface replacement.

Ms. Scharf's lawsuit said that happened last August.

"This recall means additional testing and monitoring may be
necessary to ensure these systems are functioning well," DePuy
said on its Web site.  "In some cases, revision surgery may be
required.  These systems first became available in Canada in 2006.
If you had your hip surgery prior to January 2006 in Canada, the
hip you received is not subject to this recall."

But Ms. Scharf got her implant in April 2005 and was informed of
the recall on Dec. 12, 2010, said the lawsuit.  She is "concerned
about the possibility of an early revision surgery and her blood
ion levels as a result of her DePuy hip implant," it said.

According to Ms. Scharf's lawsuit, problems surfaced in 2007 with
the artificial hips in Australia.

"The defendants, however, consistently failed to disclose or warn
Canadian patients of the significant risk of failure of the DePuy
implants," said the statement of claim.

Ms. Scharf's lawyer, Ray Wagner, said similar suits are brewing in
New Brunswick and Ontario.

The suit doesn't put a price tag on what Ms. Scharf or the
thousands of other Canadians that Mr. Wagner estimates got the
implants want in terms of damages from the maker.

But making the implants is obviously big business.

"In 2010, the global market for DePuy orthopedic products was over
US$5,000,000,000," said the lawsuit.

Ms. Scharf, who couldn't be reached for comment on Jan. 11, wants
to bring a class action on behalf of all Nova Scotians who got
DePuy hip implants from July 2003 onward, said the statement of

"The plaintiff and (class action) members have suffered pain, loss
of enjoyment of life, a probably shortening of life, loss of
earning capacity, and therefore, claim both special damages and
general damages as a result of their DePuy hip implants," it said.

None of the allegations contained in the suit have been tested in

FERDINAND MARCOS: Judge OKs Class Action Settlement Distribution
Nelson Daranciang, writing for The Honolulu Star-Advertiser,
reports the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the landmark
human-rights abuse case against the estate of the former
Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos said he will personally
distribute the first installment of a $2 billion judgment to the
more than 7,000 victims or their survivors living in the

On Jan. 13, a federal judge approved giving each of the 7,526
eligible claimants $1,000.  The money is part of a $10 million
settlement with three corporations created by Marcos cronies that
own 4,500 acres of land in Texas and Colorado.

"This is a welcome milestone and I hope just the first
distribution," said Philadelphia lawyer Robert A. Swift.  He may
be reached at:

          Robert A. Swift, Esq.
          KOHN SWIFT & GRAF, P.C.
          One South Broad Street, Suite 2100
          Philadelphia, PA 19107
          Telephone: 215-238-1700
          Facsimile: 215 238-1968
          E-mail: rswift@kohnswift.com

He said 70 claimants live in the United States and Canada.  The
rest live in the Philippines.  None of them were in court on
Jan. 13 when the judge approved the distribution.

While $1,000 might not seem like much, especially after nearly 25
years since the first lawsuit was filed against Mr. Marcos,
Mr. Swift said it will go a long way for the claimants in the
Philippines, many of whom live in poverty.

U.S. District Judge Manuel Real also approved the distribution of
$2.5 million of the settlement to pay interim attorney fees and
costs.  The breakdown includes $1.4 million for attorney fees,
$847,962 reimbursement for costs and a $300,000 finder's fee to
the person who discovered the Texas and Colorado properties were
purchased with Marcos money.

Alan Meeker said he made the discovery while researching the
possible purchase of the land for his international private equity
fund.  He said the Texas properties produce natural gas and that
the Colorado property is near a national park.

During the course of his research, Mr. Meeker obtained a signed
statement from Mr. Marcos' widow, Imelda, admitting that the
properties were purchased with Marcos money.

"I was glad that she was willing to cooperate, finally," said
Sherry P. Broder, one of the Hawaii lawyers involved in the class-
action lawsuit.  Ms. Broder may be reached at:

          Sherry P. Broder, Esq.
          Seven Waterfront Plaza, Suite 400
          500 Ala Moana Blvd.
          Honolulu, HI 96813
          Telephone: (808) 531-1411
          Facsimile: (808) 543-2010
          E-mail: sherrybroder@sherrybroder.com

Mr. Meeker notified the class attorneys of the properties and
provided the Imelda Marcos affidavit and witnesses for a separate
lawsuit against the crony corporations, Mr. Swift said.

Mr. Swift said the class attorneys are involved in separate
litigations in New York and Singapore to claim $70 million from
Marcos accounts.

In addition, they can now pursue $365 million from Imelda and
Ferdinand R. "Bong Bong" Jr.

Judge Real found Mr. Marcos' widow and son in contempt of court as
individuals and as representatives of the Marcos estate for not
abiding with court orders including the payment of the judgment.
He included in his Jan. 13 contempt order a $365 million sanction.

The class attorneys have been negotiating with the Philippine
government for a share of about $1 billion in an escrow account of
funds previously in Swiss banks under Marcos family members'

The first human-rights abuse case was filed in 1986.  The federal
court combined all of the claims into a class-action lawsuit the
following year.

The class members are people who suffered torture, summary
executions and disappearances, and their heirs, during Mr. Marcos'
20-year presidency, most of that time under martial law.

The U.S. District Court in Hawaii awarded the class $1.96 billion
in damages in 1995, the first judgment in U.S courts for human-
rights violations against a former head of state.

The U.S. military spirited Mr. Marcos and his family out of the
Philippines in 1986 as Filipinos were about to lay siege to
Malacanang Palace amid the "People Power" uprising that swept him
out of office.  Mr. Marcos lived in Hawaii until his death in

His widow and children have since returned to the Philippines and
hold elected positions in the government.

FERDINAND MARCOS: More Torture Class Action Claimants Expected
Kristine L. Alave, writing for Philippine Daily Inquirer, reports
the claimants who stand to gain from pay-out from the class-action
suit against the Marcoses may be more than 7,526, the number of
names on the official list, Commission on Human Rights Chair
Loretta Ann Rosales said on Jan. 15.

In a phone interview, Ms. Rosales said the CHR expected more
victims of human rights abuses during the regime of late dictator
Ferdinand Marcos to come forward now that a US Court has announced
the distribution of the settlement.

A federal judge in Honolulu approved on Jan. 13 the distribution
of $7.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by thousands of victims
of torture, execution and abduction under the Marcos regime.

Each eligible member of the class-action lawsuit will receive
$1,000 under the plan approved by US District Judge Manuel Real.

The distribution provides the victims their first opportunity to
collect something since they sued in 1986.  The funds for the
settlement come from Marcos-acquired land in the American states
of Texas and Colorado.

According to Ms. Rosales, there were 9,539 claimants when the case
was filed in 1986.  But this figure was reduced to about 7,500
when some claimants did not reply to two letters from the court
asking them to attesting to their identities.

Ms. Rosales, who used to head Claimants 1081, a group of abuse
victims, said there might be some claimants who did not get the
second letter and were unable to reply to it.

Those who replied to the letters are included among the 7,526
names class-suit complainants who are eligible for compensation.

"As far as the class suit goes, those who sent a reply to the
second letter will be prioritized," Ms. Rosales said.

In her personal opinion, Ms. Rosales said the 2,000 names stricken
off the original list of 9,539 may also be entitled to the

But if the court is adamant that they are not included in the
present pay-out, they could still receive compensation in the
future, she said.

The CHR official said they will collect the names of those who
claim to be human rights victims but are not on the official list
submitted to the court.

"If not to the claims of the class suit, they are entitled to
compensation under the Compensation Bill," Ms. Rosales said.

The human rights compensation bill, which has failed to pass in
the last two congresses, will provide compensation to about 10,000
victims of involuntary disappearances, torture, murders, rape, and
harassment during the Marcos years.

A law is needed to compensate the human rights victims because the
sequestered ill-gotten wealth of the Marcoses is set aside for the
implementation of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law.

Ms. Rosales said the CHR will devise a way to distribute the $7.5
million settlement by mid-February.

Ms. Rosales said Robert Swift, the lead counsel, estimated that
the distribution will take about a month, but Ms. Rosales said it
could take longer.

She noted that the CHR and the lawyers have to contact the
claimants, many of whom live in remote and rural places.  The
verification of the claimants' identities will be up to the
lawyers, she noted.

Ms. Rosales said the CHR was contacted by Ms. Swift last November
to help out in the distribution of the claims.

The agency earlier issued a resolution allowing itself to be used
as the "physical venue" for the claims, Ms. Rosales said.

The CHR official said details of how the funds will go to the
claimants have yet to be ironed out.  However, Ms. Rosales noted
that there could be a memorandum of agreement between the private
lawyers and the CHR in the near future to facilitate the

Malacanang, lawyers of the claimants, and the victims of the
martial law hailed the Hawaiian court's decision to start the
distribution of the claims, saying it was a milestone for all

Satur Ocampo, a former representative of the party-list group
Bayan Muna and one of the claimants, said the $1,000 pay-out may
be "loose change" to the Marcoses, but it was a recognition of the
abuses done during the martial law years.

"It is a confirmation, an acknowledgment that the Marcoses had
amassed ill-gotten wealth," he said.

FERDINAND MARCOS: Higher Compensation Sought for Torture Victims
Aurea Calica and Sandy Araneta writing for The Philippine Star,
report President Aquino supports efforts to provide more
compensation for human rights victims during the regime of former
President Ferdinand Marcos, in addition to $7.5 million that a
United States court approved for distribution to more than 7,000
claimants that would received $1,000 each.

Malacanang also welcomed the decision of US District Judge Manuel
Real despite the apparent small amount, describing it as more of a
"vindication" for the thousands of victims of torture, execution
and kidnapping under the Marcos regime.

But aside from this case, there are also pending bills in Congress
seeking to grant funds for the martial law victims who filed a
class action suit against Marcos for crimes against humanity.

"I have been supporting claims for compensation but an appropriate
law must enable it," Mr. Aquino said.

"I have made a lot of pronouncements as regards the compensation
through the years.  The gist of it is that it is just right for
the state to help compensate the victims.  The reason being that
once upon a time the state set up to serve the people became
(their) oppressor," Ms. Aquino told The STAR in a text message.

House Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tanada III, author of one of the
pending bills, said the President had already stated that he
wanted the bill passed under his administration.

"Although the amount may be small compared to the sufferings the
victims and their families went through, it is an acknowledgment
that human rights violations happened during the Marcos
administration.  This amount granted by the Hawaii court does not
include the P10 billion transferred from the Swiss bank accounts
regarding ill-gotten wealth.  In other words, the human rights
victims will be getting an additional amount once the law is
passed," Mr. Tanada said.

The US Federal District Court of Hawaii issued a ruling in
September 1992 favoring the martial law victims and ordered the
Marcoses to pay the victims almost $2 billion in damages.

The Swiss Supreme Court ordered in 1997 the transfer of the
$540-million Swiss bank deposits of Marcos to an escrow account of
the Philippine National Bank, in favor of the Philippine
government, and in which the victims who filed the class suit in
Hawaii would be considered by the government in the release of

Since the account is interest bearing, it has already ballooned to
P10.13 billion, according to the Department of Agrarian Reform.

The bills have been filed in the 10th Congress up to the 14th
Congress where it even reached the bicameral conference committee.

Mr. Tanada, who chairs the technical working group created by the
House justice committee to consolidate the bills providing
compensation to the martial law victims, said he hopes to finish
work on the bill by February and have a measure approved by the
plenary in June.


Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte told radio dzRB
that Judge Real's ruling that would allow the distribution of
$1,000 each to 7,526 eligible members of the class-action lawsuit
was a victory for the victims of the Marcos regime.

"In this case, considering that what is it now? It's 2011 already,
it was filed a long time ago.  It's also a vindication that
really, a wrong was done to them," Ms. Valte said.

"At this point, it's no longer compensable in terms of money
because of what happened to the victims.  At this point, we are no
longer talking about money but it's a vindication.  The fight here
now is about principle.  I understand that for some people, they
are thinking that the $1,000 compensation for the victims or those
that they left is not enough.  But, at this point, we'd like to
say that, again, it's a vindication of the liability of the wrong
that was done to these people," Ms. Valte said.

The ruling provides the Marcos victims their first opportunity to
collect something since they sued in 1986.

Under the plan approved by Judge Real, distribution is expected to
begin in mid-February and take about a month.

Robert Swift, lead attorney in the case, said the payments were an
important milestone for victims who had been fighting for years.
Most of the victims or their surviving family members live in the

The funds come from a $10-million settlement of a case against
individuals controlling Texas and Colorado land bought with Marcos
money.  Legal fees and a payment to the person who located the
properties will consume most of the remaining $2.5 million of the

The victims' payments will go a short way toward fulfilling a
$2-billion judgment against the Marcos estate in 1995.  A federal
jury awarded the money after finding the late dictator liable for
torture, summary executions and disappearances of political
opponents during his 20-year rule.

The victims never received any funds until now, however, because
of disputes over Marcos' property.  The Philippine government
maintains all Marcos property was stolen from the Filipino people
and has fought any distribution to victims of human rights
violations, saying the law provides the money should go to the
comprehensive agrarian reform program.

This latest case was an exception, however, because Manila had
already settled its own claim against the people who control the
land in Colorado and Texas.

Mr. Swift said his team was still pursuing an additional
$70 million in Marcos assets through courts in New York and

The class-action lawsuit was filed in Hawaii because Marcos fled
to Honolulu to live in exile after he was deposed in the "people
power" revolution of 1986.

Mr. Marcos died in exile in 1989 without admitting any wrongdoing.

Mr. Swift said the case was groundbreaking in that it was the
first class-action lawsuit filed anywhere in the world for human
rights violations.

Meanwhile, a lawyer of the victims of martial law has described
the recent approval of a federal judge in the United States of the
distribution of the $7.5 million or $1,000 as settlement for each
victim as a favorable decision.

"This is a propitious moment in the eyes of the world particularly
the thousands of victims of human rights violations in the
Philippines.  At long last, they will receive, though a token
amount compared to their immeasurable sufferings for years,
compensation long due them.  This is only the initial payment as
more are expected in the near future," said Rod C. Domingo Jr.,
Filipino counsel of victims of human rights violations during the
Marcos dictatorship.

The amount the victims or their close relatives will receive is
$1,000 each or its equivalent in our local currency, available
after 30 days barring any unexpected legal obstacles "which we do
not foresee at the present time," said Mr. Domingo.

Mr. Domingo said the details of distribution would be formulated
and announced accordingly in a couple of weeks.

"We also are pleasantly surprised that Malacanang has welcomed the
good news and considered the matter a good development and a
triumph of the poor and the oppressed who have patiently waited
for this event," said Mr. Domingo.

GREAT ATLANTIC: Expects "LaMarca" Suit to be Stayed
The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc., expects the case
-- LaMarca et al v. The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, Inc.
et al. -- to be subject to the automatic stay as a result of its
bankruptcy filing, according to the company's Jan. 13, 2011, Form
10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarter ended Dec. 4, 2010.

On June 24, 2004, a class action complaint was filed in the
Supreme Court of the State of New York against The Great Atlantic
& Pacific Tea Company, Inc., d/b/a A&P, The Food Emporium, and
Waldbaum's alleging violations of the overtime provisions of the
New York Labor Law.  Three named plaintiffs, Benedetto LaMarca,
Dolores Guiddy, and Stephen Tedesco, alleged on behalf of a class
that the Company failed to pay overtime wages to full-time hourly
employees who were either required or permitted to work more than
40 hours per week.

In April 2006, the plaintiffs filed a motion for class
certification.  In July 2007, the Court granted the plaintiffs'
motion and certified the class as follows:  All full-time hourly
employees of Defendants who were employed in Defendants'
supermarket stores located in the State of New York, for any of
the period from June 24, 1998 through the date of the commencement
of the action, whom Defendants required or permitted to perform
work in excess of 40 hours per week without being paid overtime
wages.  In December 2008, the Court approved the Form of Notice,
which included an "opt-out" provision and in January 2009, the
Plaintiffs mailed the Notice to potential class members and the
opt-out deadline expired in March 2009.

This matter is expected to be subject to the automatic stay in
connection with the company's bankruptcy filing.  On December 12,
2010, the Company and all of its U.S. subsidiaries filed voluntary
petitions for relief under chapter 11 of title 11 of the United
States Bankruptcy Code in the United States Bankruptcy Court for
the Southern District of New York in White Plains, case number
10-24549. The Bankruptcy Filing was made in response to, among
other things, the Company's deteriorating liquidity and the
challenges of successfully implementing additional financing
initiatives and of obtaining necessary cost concessions from the
Company's business and labor partners, which was negatively
impacting the Company's ability to implement its previously
announced turnaround strategy.

Based in Montvale, New Jersey, The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea
Company, Inc., founded in 1859, is one of the nation's first
supermarket chains.  The company operates 429 stores in 8 states
and the District of Columbia under the following trade names: A&P,
Waldbaum's, Pathmark, Pathmark Sav-a-Center, Best Cellars, The
Food Emporium, Super Foodmart, Super Fresh and Food Basics.

H&R BLOCK: Sued for Not Paying Wages to Tax Preparers
Courthouse News Service reports that 71 tax preparers say H&R
Block owes them wages, in a class action in Miami-Dade County

A copy of the Complaint in Khan, et al. v. H & R Block, et al.,
Case No. 1101086CA30 (Fla. Cir. Ct., Miami-Dade Cty.), is
available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Anthony M. Georges-Pierre, Esq.
          11900 Biscayne Boulevard, Suite 288
          Miami, FL 33181
          Telephone: (305) 416-5000

HALIBURTON CO: Supreme Court Agrees to Review Class Action
Mark A. Hofmann, writing for Business Insurance, reports the U.S.
Supreme Court could raise the bar for plaintiffs seeking to
certify classes in securities fraud litigation when it decides a
case involving allegations against Halliburton Co.

The case -- Erica P. John Fund Inc. fka Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Supporting Fund Inc. vs. Halliburton Co. et al. -- involves what a
plaintiff has to prove before it can obtain class certification on
its claims, which in this case include allegations that
Halliburton misrepresented its asbestos liabilities.

In the case, which the Supreme Court accepted for review, a three-
judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held
plaintiffs to a higher standard of proof concerning losses than
many other circuits, said legal observers.

But some observers also said the high court is unlikely to go
against the approach taken by most appeals courts in certifying
classes where securities fraud is alleged.

"Depending on which way the court rules, it could be very
significant or, more likely, it won't change much at all," said
Dan A. Bailey, a member of Columbus, Ohio-based law firm Bailey
Cavalieri L.L.C.

The case began with a suit brought by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Supporting Fund as the lead plaintiff in a putative securities
fraud class action against Halliburton.  It involves the "fraud on
the market" theory, under which it is assumed that all public
information about a company is known in an efficient market and is
reflected in the stock price.

The plaintiff alleged that Halliburton made false statements
regarding three areas of its business between June 1999 and
December 2001.  These were its potential liability in asbestos
litigation, its accounting of revenue in its engineering and
construction business, and the benefits to Halliburton of a merger
with Dresser Industries.

Writing for the 5th Circuit panel, Judge Thomas Reavley said the
fund contended that investors lost money when Halliburton later
issued disclosures correcting the false statements and the market
declined.  "In order to obtain class certification on its claims,
(the) plaintiff was required to prove loss causation, i.e., that
the corrected truth of the former falsehoods actually caused the
stock price to fall and resulted in the losses," Judge Reavley

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas denied
class certification because it held that the fund had not proved
the causal relationship.  On appeal, the appeals court panel
upheld the lower court.

Before the justices agreed to hear the case, the acting solicitor
general had urged the nation's highest court to take up the case.
In its brief, the government argued that the appeals court panel
"erred by onset" by considering loss causation at the class
certification stage "without determining that it was relevant" to
any federal prerequisites for class certification.

According to the government, the appeals court compounded its
error by requiring the plaintiff to prove loss causation by a
preponderance of the evidence.  "As a result, the court requires
plaintiffs to prove a significant element of their case at the
class-certification stage, without the benefit of full discovery
and without consideration of their claims by a jury," the acting
solicitor general argued.

The 5th Circuit decision requires that if plaintiffs want to bring
a securities class action, they must show that the
misrepresentation affected the company's stock price and the
defendant's conduct was intentional, said Chris Appel, an
associate in the public policy practice of Shook, Hardy & Bacon
L.L.P. in Washington.  What's at stake is how "large the window
will be open to bring securities suits," he said.

"The whole issue (of) when should a class action be certified in a
securities class action is kind of a hot issue," said Richard
Samp, chief counsel at the Washington Legal Foundation.  In
practice, companies aren't very happy with the fraud-on-the-market
theory and "they would like to make it more difficult for
plaintiffs lawyers to certify these as class actions," he said.

The reason is simple -- class actions are expensive to defend, he
said.  In fact, the cost can lead companies to settle even when
the plaintiffs' case appears weak.

"If the case goes for Halliburton, this would be a real
breakthrough for corporate defendants," Mr. Samp said.

"If the court rules as I think it will and rejects the 5th Circuit
standard, we're back to where most people thought where we were
all along," said Mr. Bailey.  "If the court does adopt the 5th
Circuit standard, it in essence it could give the defendants a
second bite at the apple."

"It's important to understand that what the Supreme Court holds as
the actual standard may be more important than the resolution of
the case," said Kimberly Melvin, a partner at Wiley Rein L.L.P. in
Washington.  "The guidance given to the district courts about the
level of scrutiny of the merits -- especially the loss causation
issue -- will determine whether class certification provides
defendants with a real opportunity to test the merits of a
securities class action."

Historically, class certification was viewed as sort of a fait
accompli after the Supreme Court adopted the fraud-on-the-market
theory, said Ms. Melvin.  "Now that the courts, including the 2nd
Circuit and not just the 5th Circuit, are conducting a more
rigorous analysis of the Rule 23 class certification requirements,
class certification has become another potential tipping point in
a securities class action cases."

"I think it is an important case.  Clearly, there is a split among
the circuits," said John LaBarbera, a member in the Chicago office
of Cozen O'Connor P.C.  "What probably gives the business
community pause is over the tension between the apparent merits of
the case itself, whether the class claims have merits vs. the
process and procedures under Federal Rule 23 for certifying the

Publicly traded companies and their directors and officers have to
be concerned about any allegation that they misstated or
misrepresented the company's litigation risk as it related in this
case to asbestos litigation, said Mr. LaBarbera.

He noted that the appeals court seemed to indicate that
Halliburton had issued disclaimers about its litigation risk, the
difficulty in assessing that risk and that it had updated its
reserves for liability after receiving several adverse verdicts.

"Any publicly traded company has to be concerned that they may
also fall victim to a claim similar to those asserted here because
of an adverse litigation result, which is extraordinarily
difficult to control.  Depending on how the Supreme Court
ultimately decides, that could certainly have an affect on other
publicly traded companies including pharmaceuticals and other
businesses that are susceptible to litigation," Mr. LaBarbera

KASON INDUSTRIES: Sued Over Alleged Price-Fixing Conspiracy
Courthouse News Service reports that a federal antitrust class
action claims Kason Industries and Component Hardware Group
conspired to fix prices and allocate markets for sale of food
service equipment component hardware.

A copy of the Complaint in John Ligo d/b/a as Altered Air v. Kason
Industries, Inc., et al., Case No. 11-cv-00064 (S.D. Calif.)
(Anello, J.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Alan M. Mansfield, Esq.
          9466 Black Mountain Road, Suite 225
          San Diego, CA 92126
          Telephone: (619) 308-5034
          E-mail: alan@clgca.com

               - and -

          John G. Emerson, Esq.
          Scott E. Poynter, Esq.
          Christopher D. Jennings, Esq.
          William T. Crowder, Esq.
          The Museum Center
          500 President Clinton Ave., Suite 305
          Little Rock, AR 72201
          Telephone: (501) 907-2555
          E-mail: jemerson@emersonpoynter.com

KELLOG CO: Settles Suit Over Rice Krispies Immunity Claims
Shane Starling, writing for NutraIngredients-USA.com, reports The
Kellogg Company will pay $5 million to consumers misled by
children's immunity claims for its Rice Krispies breakfast cereal,
after agreeing terms in an amalgamated class action in a
California court.

As happened when it settled with the Federal Trade Commission over
the same claims back in June 2010, Kellogg's stood by its claims,
but said settlement was the preferred course of action to avoid a
protracted legal action.

It originally agreed to remove the vitamin/antioxidant-based
claims from the Rice Krispies products at the end of 2009 after
the claims were challenged by Oregon state authorities, but that
was followed by the FTC action, which itself spurred a number of
class actions, which have been settled here.

Kellogg's has agreed to pay between $5 and $15 to consumers up to
an amount of $2.5 million, as well as donate Kellogg products to
charity worth an additional $2.5 million.

The settlement follows another in November, 2010, over attention-
boosting claims for Frosted Mini-Wheats that led to a $10.5
million settlement.  Those claims, like the immunity claims, were
found to be wanting for product-specific scientific backing by the

Kellogg's had to fight a PR storm at the time it launched the Rice
Krispies immunity claims as not only did parent groups express
outrage that sugar-laden cereals should make such claims, but it
coincided with the outbreak of the H1N1 Bird flu outbreak.
Critics said the 100-year-old, $13 billion food giant was being
opportunistic but Kellogg's said its launch had preceded the Bird
flu pandemic.

While standing its ground on the fortification-based claims claims
and the Bird flu issue, Kellogg's simultaneously agreed to stop
making the immunity claims, destroy two million cereal boxes that
bore the statements, and donate 500,000 boxes to food banks.

Claim making scrutiny

While the FTC issued a stern warning in June that saw Kellogg's
claim-making for Rice Krispies and other products come under
strict scrutiny, observers wondered at the time why the FTC did
not go further in punishing Kellogg's -- perhaps with a fine.

"What is utterly befuddling about this action is that Kellogg's
have hit the Daily Double with this -- immunity and misleading
claims aimed at children -- and still the FTC won't fine them just
because they are Kellogg's," said New York-based food and drug
attorney, Marc Ullman.

That settlement was an expansion of the earlier Frosted Mini-
Wheats cognitive benefit settlement, which meant it could not fine
Kellogg's, the FTC told NutraIngredients-USA.com at the time.

Instead FTC commissioner Julie Brill, and chairman Jon Leibowitz
issued a letter accusing Kellogg's of irresponsibly conceiving and
engaging in the multi-million dollar immunity campaign at the very
same time it was settling the Frosted Mini-Wheats claim.

"What is particularly disconcerting to us is that at the same time
that Kellogg was making promises to the Commission regarding
Frosted Mini-Wheats, the company was preparing to make problematic
claims about Rice Krispies," wrote Brill and Leibowitz in their

"We hope that the Commission action announced today communicates
to industry that it has an obligation to be honest with the
public, and that the FTC will act swiftly to challenge
questionable health claims about children's food products."

LIVINGSTON PARISH: Feb. 7 Class Action Settlement Hearing Set
Bob Anderson, writing for The Advocate, reports Livingston Parish
and plaintiffs in a lawsuit over a $300 document tax put in place
by the Livingston Parish Council in 2004 have reached a
preliminary settlement agreement, attorneys for both sides
confirmed on Jan. 14.

If approved by the court, the settlement will set up a mechanism
under which people who paid the tax can receive refunds, the
attorneys said.

A hearing on the proposal has been set for Feb. 7 in 21st Judicial
District Court, said Robert H. Harrison Jr., attorney for the
plaintiffs in the class action.

At that hearing, Judge Robert Morrison will be asked to certify
the class, approve the settlement plan forms and set a fairness
hearing, attorneys said.

The council approved the tax, which applied to the transfer of
immovable property, in July 2004.

It collected the tax until May 2005 despite the fact that the
Louisiana attorney general issued an opinion in February 2005 that
the tax, which was not approved by voters, was improperly approved
by the council.

More than $400,000 was collected as a result of the tax, Harrison

The council later used money from the sale of a building to
reimburse a relatively small portion of the people who had paid
the tax, and those people will not be eligible for additional
payments, Mr. Harrison said.

The proposed settlement calls for people who can show proof that
they paid the tax to be repaid the $300, said Blayne Honeycutt,
attorney for the Livingston Parish Council.

People who paid the tax will have 90 days from approval of the
settlement to request refunds, according to documents filed in the

The proposed settlement plan also calls for the attorney for the
class to be paid attorney fees and litigation costs equal to 7.5%
of the documentary transfer tax fees collected by the Parish
Council while the tax was in effect, the plan states.

MISTRAS GROUP: Enters Settlement of "Quiroz" & "Ballard" Suits
Mistras Group, Inc., and plaintiffs of two related class actions
in California have come up with a tentative settlement, according
to the Company's Jan. 13, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
November 30, 2010.

The Company is a defendant in two related purported class action
lawsuits in California, based upon alleged violations of
California labor and employment law.  The first case, Quiroz v.
Mistras Group, Inc., et al, U.S. District Court, Central District
of California (Case No. CV09-7146 PSG), was originally filed in
California State court in September 2009, and was removed to
Federal Court.  This matter was a purported class action case on
behalf of existing and former California employees of the Company
and its subsidiaries for violation of various labor and employment
laws, primarily for failure to pay wages timely and for having
defective wage statements, as well as other claims, and is seeking
penalties under the California Private Attorneys General Act.  In
March 2010, the plaintiff's request to certify the case as a class
action suit was denied.

The second case is Ballard v. Mistras Group, Inc., et al, U.S.
District Court, Central District of California (Case No. 2:10-cv-
03186 (PSG)), filed in late March 2010 in California State Court
and removed to Federal court.  This matter is also a purported
class action case, based on substantially identical claims as the
Quiroz case, and was filed by the same attorney representing the
plaintiff in the Quiroz case, approximately two weeks after class
action certification was denied in Quiroz.

In September 2010, the Company participated in non-binding
mediation for the Quiroz and Ballard cases together, and the
Company and the Plaintiffs subsequently reached a tentative
settlement, subject to court approval.  Based on this tentative
settlement, the Company increased its reserve to approximately
$0.3 million in connection with the Quiroz and Ballard cases,
which represents its estimate of the Company's total potential
liability related to these cases, net of insurance reimbursements.

Mistras Group, Inc. -- http://www.mistrasgroup.com/-- offers one
of the broadest "one source" services and technology-enabled asset
protection solution portfolios in the industry used to evaluate
the structural integrity of energy, industrial and public
infrastructure.  Mission critical services and solutions are
delivered globally and provide customers with the ability to
extend the useful life of their assets, improve productivity and
profitability, comply with government safety and environmental
regulations and enhance risk management operational decisions.
Mistras uniquely combines its industry leading products and
technologies - 24/7 on-line monitoring of critical assets;
mechanical integrity and non-destructive testing services; and its
proprietary world class data warehousing and analysis software --
to provide comprehensive and competitive products, systems and
services solutions from a single source provider.

NEW ALBERTSON'S: Sued for Not Paying Overtime to Workers
Courthouse News Service reports that New Albertson's, dba
Albertson's grocery stores, stiff workers for overtime, a class
action claims in California Superior Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Orozco, et al. v. New Albertson's,
Inc., et al., Case No. 1100469 (Calif. Super. Ct., Riverside
Cty.), is available at:


The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Monica Balderama, Esq.
          Miriam Schimmel, Esq.
          David Cheng, Esq.
          Katherine Den Bleyker, Esq.
          1800 Century Park East, 2nd Floor
          Los Angeles, CA 90067
          Telephone: (310) 556-5637
          E-mail: mbalderrama@initiativelegal.com

NUFARM LIMITED: Faces Class Action for Misleading Shareholders
Alicia Barry, writing for ABC News, reports the law firm Slater
and Gordon has filed a class action against fertilizer maker,
Nufarm, in the Federal Court alleging it misled shareholders with
its profit guidance in 2010.

It is representing both institutional and retail investors who are
seeking compensation for losses suffered by the drop in Nufarm's
share price after its full year result sharply missed

In March last year Nufarm said it was likely to make operating net
profit after tax of between $110 million and $130 million in its
financial year.

It halved that forecast in July to between $55 million and
$65 million, saying bad climatic conditions had hit demand for its

This downgrade sent the share price to a yearly low of $3.20 on
July 19, 2010, the stock had been trading at around $10 back in

A senior associate at Slater and Gordon, Ben Phi, says to reach
the profit target it flagged in March, Nufarm would have had to
achieve record earnings in the second half of the year.

He says the company should have known much earlier than July, that
that would be unlikely, because prices for its key products were
about two-thirds lower than they were when it had previously
posted record earnings.

"The class action filed on Friday alleges that Nufarm's profit
forecast for the 2010 financial year provided on March 2, 2010 was
misleading and deceptive, in that Nufarm did not have reasonable
grounds to forecast underlying net profit of $110 million to
$130 million," he said.

"Additionally, by failing to revise its profit guidance until 14
July 2010, it is alleged that Nufarm breached its continuous
disclosure obligations."

The class action also claims it breached its disclosure
obligations surrounding its net debt which blew out to around
$620 million by July 31, much higher than the $350 million to
$450 million forecast.

Nufarm posted a loss of $24 million for the year ended July 31,

The result led the company to breach its bank covenants and
sparked an investigation by the Australian Securities and
Investments Commission (ASIC) into its compliance and continuous
disclosure practices.

Slater and Gordon says while it is reasonable that companies
revised their profits, it alleges that Nufarm did not have
reasonable grounds for the profit assumptions it made in March.

"Factors that Nufarm blamed for its downgrade, ought to have been
readily apparent to the company at an earlier stage," Ben Phi

"Indeed we do note that some of the matters that were raised by
ASIC in the enforceable undertaking that it entered into with
Nufarm, might be a bit of an explanation for what's gone on, in
that Nufarm lacked visibility into its businesses."

Nufarm disputes the allegations and says it will vigorously
contest them.

"The applicants are seeking unspecified and unquantified damages,"
the company said in a statement.

"Nufarm denies any and all allegations of wrong doing, and will
defend the proceedings vigorously."

OZ MINERALS: 5,000 Shareholders Sign Up for Class Action
Philip Wen, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, reports the law
firm Slater & Gordon has signed on more than 5000 shareholders for
a class action against the copper and gold miner OZ Minerals.

The class action alleges the miner failed to disclose the full
extent of its debt and refinancing difficulties as it struggled to
stay afloat in 2008.

It also alleges OZ Minerals engaged in misleading or deceptive
conduct and breached its continuous disclosure obligations by
understating its liabilities by $300 million, as well as failing
to inform shareholders of its risk of insolvency.

The class action was filed in August, and Slater & Gordon began
calling for investors to join the action last month.  The drive
for investors to join included contacting OZ Minerals's 94,000

The class action is being funded by Litigation Lending Services.

Slater & Gordon said remaining investors who bought shares in OZ
Minerals and its predecessor, Oxiana, between February 29, 2008,
and December 1, 2008, had until Thursday to join.

OZ Minerals has rejected the allegations and said it would
strongly defend them.

The Australian Securities and Investments Commission recently
investigated the miner's disclosure obligations between July and
December 2008.

It said it did not intend to take any further action but retained
the option to recommence action if circumstances changed.

Over the period examined by ASIC, OZ Minerals's share price fell
from $2.47 to 55›, or by 78%.  Over the same period the ASX 200
fell by 28 per cent.

OZ Minerals, formed from the merger of Oxiana and Zinifex in 2008,
attracted controversy when the chief executive of Oxiana, Owen
Hegarty, resigned with an $8.4 million termination payout.

Later the same year he resigned from the board of OZ Minerals.

OZ Minerals walked a high-wire act with its bankers for most of
2008 as it sought refinancing for substantial loans during the
financial crisis.

The company's share price closed on Jan. 14 at $1.73.

SAMSUNG: Faces Class Action Over Android Upgrade Delays
A class action lawsuit was filed on Jan. 13 by an XDA-Developers
forum member over Samsung's allegedly intentional delays of
Android 2.2 upgrades for the Vibrant.  The complaint accuses both
of violating the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act for
promising an update in the short term but delaying to the point
where the Vibrant 4G would ship with the OS already onboard. The
two companies hadn't lived up to promised fixes and was saving
them for a new model, the new plaintiff said.

Aside from being locked out of recent features, the earlier
attempted GPS fix hadn't fully solved the problems with poor
positioning.  Reliability and other bugs also persisted in the
current Android 2.1 build.  Samsung had promised 2.2 for all
Galaxy S variants in the US in the "near future" on launch in June
but hasn't rolled out any of them in the country, instead pushing
updates in Canada, Europe and other countries.

Customer representatives have even been combative when asked about
the problems, the forum member said.

Neither Samsung nor T-Mobile has commented on the lawsuit.

If certified as a class action case, the suit could bring the
issue of Android fragmentation to a head.  Samsung has
historically been slow to push Android updates and has often, if
informally, been accused of deliberately withholding updates in
hopes of driving early hardware replacements.  Phones like T-
Mobile's Behold II were denied upgrades past 1.6 for supposedly
insufficient specifications despite comparable phones getting 2.1.

At least some of the delay comes from Samsung's insistence on a
custom interface and apps that prevent it from simply providing a
straightforward upgrade.  The Vibrant's equivalent with a pure
version of Android, the Nexus S, has already had a minor update
and should get any releases from Google as soon as they're

Google has repeatedly tried to deny any splintering effect in
Android but has also made false statements about users having
access to the same apps across versions.  Without 2.2, the Vibrant
can't use all of Google's Voice Actions as well as many of
Google's own apps.  Some third-party apps likewise require the new

SONY COMPUTER: February Hearing Set for OtherOS Class Action
Mark Hachman, writing for PC Magazine, reports lawyers
representing George Hotz, the individual accused of illegally
hacking the Sony PlayStation 3, claim that Mr. Hotz did so to add
back a feature that Sony had removed.

Mr. Hotz, the lawyers claimed, "re-enabled" OtherOS functionality,
or the ability to dual-boot the PlayStation 3 using some other OS,
such as Linux.

In a statement, the lawyers indicated that they will try to argue
that a user has the right to use the PlayStation 3 as he or she
sees fit, rather than be subject to the ongoing control of the

"Make no mistake," Stewart Kellar, intellectual property attorney
stated, "This case is not about Sony attempting to protect its
intellectual property or otherwise seek bona fide relief from the
court.  Rather, it's an attempt from Sony to send a message that
any individual using Sony hardware in a way Sony does not deem
appropriate will result in harsh legal consequences from a multi-
billion dollar company, irrespective of any legal basis or
authority for such action."

Mr. Kellar calls himself an "e-ttorney at law and specializes in
representing defendants in copyright and peer-to-peer file-sharing
cases, according to his Web site.

The Hotz case could hinge on several class-action suits that were
filed last year after Sony removed the "OtherOS" functionality.
Those suits, which have been consolidated in a collective class
action, are currently involved in resolving disputes in the
discovery phase, where evidence is collected.  A hearing in a
Northern California district court overseen by Judge Edward M.
Chen is set for February.

The OtherOS functionality originally shipped as one of the core
features of PlayStation 3, as well as the ability to run older
PlayStation 1 and PlayStation 2 games.  Over time, however, Sony
began stripping out some of the functionality from its consoles;
the latest "Slim" versions of the PS3 can neither run the PS2
games or enable OtherOS.  Sony also disabled the OtherOS
functionality from older consoles via the version 3.21 update in
April 2010.

SCEA filed suit against George Hotz (AKA "geohot") as well as
"Bushing," Hector Martin Cantero, Sven Peter, and others alleged
to be part of the FAIL0VERFLOW group of hackers that contributed
to the release of the PlayStation 3's root key.

SCEA charged Mr. Hotz and the others with violations of the
Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse
Act, plus breaches of California copyright law, breach of
contract, and other violations.  SCEA also asked the court for a
temporary restraining order preventing the plaintiffs from posting
any code, including the so-called Elliptic Curve Digital Signature
Algorithm keys, encryption keys, dePKG firmware decrypter, or
other tools.

The latter pieces of code allowed users to run "homebrew"
operating systems on the console.  Sony, however, has argued that
doing so facilitated piracy and undermined the quality controls
that it had placed in the console.  Still, Mr. Hotz's lawyers said
that consumers had a right to the OtherOS functionality.

"While most companies issue firmware upgrades to increase a
product's abilities over its life cycle, Sony has taken the
unacceptable and draconian approach of decreasing the PS3's
capabilities by actually destroying a core feature of the PS3,"
Yasha Heidari, managing partner with Heidari Power Law Group in
Atlanta, said in a statement.  "Imagine taking in your car for an
oil change and having the manufacturer remove your car's air
conditioner, radio, and half its horsepower because of fears that
other hypothetical individuals might abuse their vehicles.  It
just doesn't make any sense, and it's a slap in the face to the
consumers that put their support behind the product."

SUPERVALU INC: Still Defending Consolidated Lawsuit in Minnesota
SUPERVALU, Inc., continues to defend itself against a consolidated
lawsuit pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of

In December 2008, a class action complaint was filed in the United
States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
against the Company alleging that a 2003 transaction between the
Company and C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc. was a conspiracy to
restrain trade and allocate markets.  In the 2003 transaction, the
Company purchased certain assets of the Fleming Corporation as
part of Fleming Corporation's bankruptcy proceedings and sold
certain assets of the Company to C&S which were located in New
England.  Since December 2008, three other retailers have filed
similar complaints in other jurisdictions.  The cases have been
consolidated and are proceeding in the United States District
Court for the District of Minnesota.  The complaints allege that
the conspiracy was concealed and continued through the use of non-
compete and non-solicitation agreements and the closing down of
the distribution facilities that the Company and C&S purchased
from the other.  Plaintiffs are seeking monetary damages,
injunctive relief and attorneys' fees.

The Company is vigorously defending these lawsuits.

On September 14, 2009, the United States Federal Trade Commission
issued a subpoena to the Company requesting documents related to
the C&S transaction as part of the FTC's investigation into
whether the Company and C&S engaged in unfair methods of
competition.  The Company is cooperating with the FTC.  Although
this matter is subject to the uncertainties inherent in the
litigation process, based on the information presently available
to the Company, management does not expect that the ultimate
resolution of this lawsuit or the FTC investigation will have a
material adverse effect on the Company's financial condition,
results of operations or cash flows.

No updates were reported in the company's Jan. 13, 2011, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended Dec. 4, 2010.

SUPERVALU, Inc. -- http://www.supervalu.com/-- is a grocery
channel that conducts its retail operations under the banners,
such as Acme Markets, Albertsons, Bristol Farms, bigg's, Cub
Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher's, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Save-A-Lot,
Shaw's Supermarkets, Shop 'n Save, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy and
Star Markets.  Additionally, the company provides supply chain
services, primarily wholesale distribution, across the United
States retail grocery channel.  The Company operates in two
segments: Retail food and Supply chain services.

SUPERVALU INC: Class Suit in Wisconsin Remains Stayed
A class action lawsuit against SUPERVALU, Inc., as well as
International Outsourcing Services, LLC, among others, pending in
Wisconsin remains stayed.

In September 2008, a class action complaint was filed against the
Company, as well as International Outsourcing Services, LLC,
Inmar, Inc., Carolina Manufacturer's Services, Inc., Carolina
Coupon Clearing, Inc. and Carolina Services, in the United States
District Court in the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The
plaintiffs in the case are a consumer goods manufacturer, a
grocery co-operative and a retailer marketing services company who
allege on behalf of a purported class that the Company and the
other defendants (i) conspired to restrict the markets for coupon
processing services under the Sherman Act and (ii) were part of an
illegal enterprise to defraud the plaintiffs under the Federal
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. The plaintiffs
seek monetary damages, attorneys' fees and injunctive relief.

The Company intends to vigorously defend this lawsuit, however all
proceedings have been stayed in the case pending the result of the
criminal prosecution of certain former officers of IOS. Although
this lawsuit is subject to the uncertainties inherent in the
litigation process, based on the information presently available
to the Company, management does not expect that the ultimate
resolution of this lawsuit will have a material adverse effect on
the Company's financial condition, results of operations or cash

No updates were reported in the company's Jan. 13, 2011, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended Dec. 4, 2010.

SUPERVALU, Inc. -- http://www.supervalu.com/-- is a grocery
channel that conducts its retail operations under the banners,
such as Acme Markets, Albertsons, Bristol Farms, bigg's, Cub
Foods, Farm Fresh, Hornbacher's, Jewel-Osco, Lucky, Save-A-Lot,
Shaw's Supermarkets, Shop 'n Save, Shoppers Food & Pharmacy and
Star Markets.  Additionally, the company provides supply chain
services, primarily wholesale distribution, across the United
States retail grocery channel.  The Company operates in two
segments: Retail food and Supply chain services.

TOYOTA MOTOR: Acceleration Class Actions to Go to Trial in 2013
The Associated Press reports a federal judge says he expects the
first lawsuits against Toyota Motor Corp. stemming from sudden
acceleration allegations will go to trial in 2013.

U.S. District Judge James Selna gave the timeframe during a
Jan. 14 status hearing in Santa Ana.

Judge Selna is overseeing the economic class action and the
personal injury lawsuits in the massive litigation that was
consolidated in federal court in Orange County.

The so-called bellwether lawsuits are meant to test cases that
will determine how the rest of the litigation will proceed.

The plaintiffs allege that problems with Toyota's throttle-control
system led to the unexpected acceleration.

Toyota maintains the plaintiffs have been unable to prove that a
design defect is responsible for vehicles surging unexpectedly.
It has blamed driver error, faulty floor mats and sticky
accelerator pedals.

VODAFONE GROUP: Independent Dealers Join Class Action
Asher Moses, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, reports
Vodafone's own independent dealers are joining the revolt against
the telco, with at least one signing up to the class action
lawsuit that has now swelled to almost 18,000 angry customers.

A Sydney dealer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because his
contract with Vodafone prohibits him from speaking out about the
company, said his staff were being constantly abused by customers
and he had lost hundreds of thousands of dollars as a result of
slow and patchy performance on the Vodafone network.

"Our store has been a ghost town and we are losing a lot of
revenue from walk-ins," the dealer said, adding he had signed up
to the class action announced by law firm PiperAlderman.

"We are spending almost all of our time explaining to customers
what has happened to Vodafone without sounding too upset.  It is
really hurting us and even after all the media exposure we still
haven't had an apology or any form of compensation."

The dealer, who said he would soon have to lay off staff and
possibly even close his doors, said he knew of two other top
Vodafone dealers who estimated they had lost in excess of $800,000
in revenue between them over the past six months.

Those dealers were unavailable to speak to this Web site at the
time of writing but it is believed at least one is considering
joining the class action.

Vodafone said it had thousands of dealers who were mostly happy
with the company.  It said it was working hard to optimize the
performance of its network and had seen improvements in call
quality as well as faster and more reliable deliver of SMS,
voicemail and 3G data services.

The Sydney dealer said he was switching many of his clients over
to Telstra out of guilt over Vodafone not providing them with the
service they had signed up for.  This meant he was losing trailing
commissions as well as the ability to re-sign the customer.

"We are being abused on a regular basis and our store has been
vandalized," he said.

"I just hate going to work now; we're going to put security
cameras in as we've had people come in who basically want to throw
their phones at us."

The dealer said his staff arrived to work one morning only to find
that someone had vandalized the store with graffiti to the effect
"don't spend your hard earned dollars here, Vodafone are liars and

He said he saw the abuse and graffiti as an attack on Vodafone
itself and not his store staff.  Many did not realize that his
store was simply a franchise that was independent from Vodafone,
and walked in to the store to abuse staff after being unable to
speak to someone over the phone.  Hold times to Vodafone's call
centre have been up to two hours.

When the dealer called Vodafone on behalf of customers, the telco
had said the problems with reception and call dropouts were a
short-term thing that would be fixed in a matter of days.

"This is total nonsense and a straight-out lie.  We offer the
truth now so it does not come back to bite us," the dealer said.

He said he had spoken to many Vodafone customers who had lost out
on major work commitments due to the fact that people have not
been able to contact them.  He gave one example of a model who
would have lost a $100,000 modeling contract had she not been
switched quickly to Telstra.

PiperAlderman partner Sasha Ivantsoff --
sivantsoff@piperalderman.com.au -- said in a phone interview the
firm had heard countless stories of Vodafone customers who
believed they had lost money as a result of the poor Vodafone
network performance.

The class action had swelled to almost 18,000 and the firm was now
in the process of asking potential claimants to fill in a
questionnaire outlining their problems.  It was also talking to a
funder to bankroll the litigation.

Elissa Freeman, policy director at the Australian Communications
Consumer Action Network (ACCAN), said Vodafone's dealers were
copping the brunt of collective anger at Vodafone.  She said
Vodafone recently removed the online complaints form from its
Web site for a week because it was being inundated with

"I don't think there's a Vodafone customer out there who's happy
and contented at the moment," said Freeman.

A Vodafone spokesman said the company had been in regular, daily
contact with all of the principals at its dealer partners and this
information was being passed on to all stores.

"We highly value our dialogue with our dealer partners and we
always welcome any suggestions they may have on how communication
may be improved," the spokesman said.

Vodafone initially blamed software bugs on its network issues but,
after a sustained backlash from customers, its chief executive,
Nigel Dews, issued an apology and promised to upgrade the telco's
network significantly.

Separately, Vodafone is facing an investigation from the Privacy
Commissioner following revelations of lax security surrounding its
customer information and claims that personal details were being
sold or given to criminal groups.

Vodafone has since instituted a number of changes including
sacking staff, scrapping shared generic computer access logins and
ordering 24-hour password changes.

A former contractor in Vodafone's IT department who contacted this
Web site said at least half of the user accounts in the company
used the password "password1!" and accounts of users who had left
the company stayed active for at least a month after they were

It is impossible to confirm this claim, although the Sydney dealer
spoken to by this Web site said its dealer login password was

WELLS FARGO: Settles Class Action Over Pick-A-Payment Loans
Rick Rothacker, writing for The Charlotte Observer, reports
working to clean up problem mortgages inherited in its 2008
Wachovia purchase, Wells Fargo & Co. in recent weeks has reached a
settlement in a class-action lawsuit and signed loan modification
agreements with 10 states, with more likely to come.

The architects of the agreements say they guarantee relief for
consumers, including billions of dollars in potential principal
reduction on risky mortgages sold by Wachovia and predecessor
Golden West Financial.  Wells, which didn't make the loans, pays
more than $100 million to borrowers and states in return for more
certainty about its legal costs.

Community advocates say principal reduction is a necessary step to
helping borrowers attain affordable loan payments.  But some
wonder whether the agreements require the bank to do much more
that it was already doing.  They also are wary of an undisclosed
formula that determines whether Wells has to modify a borrower's

"On the upside, it formalizes what heretofore was a voluntary
program," said Maeve Elise Brown, executive director of Housing
and Economic Rights Advocates in Oakland, Calif.  "On the other
hand, it seems pretty clear Wells chose to implement a
modification program as a business strategy and probably would
have continued to offer the program with or without" the

The Carolinas are not among the 10 states.  The N.C. Attorney
General's office said it's not seeking an agreement with Wells
because it hasn't had many reports of problems with the loans.
South Carolina said it's considering its options.

Wells spokeswoman Teri Schrettenbrunner said the steps taken by
the San Francisco-based bank are a "confirmation that we will
continue the efforts we have under way."  In addition, she noted
that Wells, through the class-action settlement and state
agreements, will make payments to borrowers, provide money for
state borrower outreach programs and allow homeowners to reduce
principal by making on-time payments.

The agreements are the latest fallout from Wachovia's 2006
purchase of Golden West, which saddled the Charlotte bank with
about $120 billion in so-called "Pick-A-Payment" mortgages on the
brink of the U.S. housing collapse.  Wells agreed to buy Wachovia
in the fall of 2008 as it suffered from rising loan defaults and
other problems in the financial crisis.

Pick-A-Payment loans are a type of option adjustable-rate
mortgage, or option ARM, that give borrowers four monthly payment
options.  The minimum payment choice doesn't always cover the
interest owed, causing the loan balance to increase, instead of
shrink.  Golden West pioneered the loans, but Wachovia continued
to make them.

In the class-action settlement, Wells is set to pay $50 million to
borrowers nationwide who took out "Pick-A-Payment" loans from 2003
to 2008.  Current borrowers will automatically get payments, while
former borrowers will need to make a claim.

The settlement also provides at least $600 million in loan
modifications to current customers who meet hardship requirements.
A judge gave preliminary approval of the settlement last month.  A
hearing on final approval is scheduled for April.

In the state agreements, Wells is paying about $57 million to the
10 states and also has agreed to similar loan modification
programs that could include billions in principal forgiveness,
interest rate reductions and term extensions for borrowers.  The
bank said it continues to talk with other states.

Pick-A-Payment loans

After buying Wachovia, Wells set up its own program to help modify
loans for Pick-A-Payment borrowers.  From January 2009 to November
2010, the bank said it has provided $3.6 billion in principal
forgiveness, helping more than 71,000 borrowers.  It also has
deferred $1.2 billion in principal payments for more than 21,000

At the end of the third quarter, Wells said the total loan
balances of Pick-A-Payment customers was about $93 billion, down
about $24 billion from the time of the merger.

As the bank was making its own modifications, attorneys were
filing lawsuits on behalf of borrowers and state attorneys general
were investigating consumer complaints.  The primary allegation
was that Golden West and Wachovia did not fully explain the
complex loans to borrowers, who in some cases did not realize that
choosing the minimum payment could make their balance increase.

"You owed more than you did before, and once the real estate
market died people were stuck and couldn't get out," said attorney
Jeffrey Berns of Arbogast & Berns, the lead counsel in the class-
action suit.

Mr. Berns may be reached at:

          Jeffrey K. Berns, Esq.
          19510 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 200
          Tarzana, CA 91356
          Telephone: (818) 961-2000
          Facsimile: (310) 861-1775
          E-mail: jberns@jeffbernslaw.com

The firm filed complaints against Wells and other lenders that
made option ARMs, including Bank of America Corp. and Countrywide
Financial Corp.  "Wells is the first mortgage lender we dealt with
that stepped up and tried to find a solution," Mr. Berns said.

More than 500,000 borrowers who took out Pick-A-Payment loans at
the peak of the housing boom are eligible to share the $50 million
settlement, he said.  The loan modifications are for a smaller
subset of Pick-A-Payment borrowers who still have the loans and

About 10 law firms will get up to $25 million in fees and costs
paid by Wells, according to a court filing.  That money does not
come from the settlement pool.

Mr. Berns acknowledged the $50 million is not a lot of money for
the 500,000-plus borrowers, but he said the firm was hamstrung by
laws that prevented certain state fraud claims.  The more
significant piece, he said, is the loan modification agreement,
which requires the bank to assist borrowers.

"My biggest fear was that if left to the bank, as soon as the
economy got better . . . they would turn around and say they're
not doing it," he said.

Starting in October, state attorneys general began reaching
"assurance agreements" with Wells that also require the bank to
offer the modifications.  In return, the states won't file
lawsuits if Wells upholds the agreements.

Under the pacts, borrowers could receive modifications with a
value of more than $2.7 billion, according to the states.  More
than 23,600 homeowners could benefit.  The $57 million in payments
to states includes $32 million for 12,000 California Pick-A-
Payment borrowers who lost their homes through foreclosure.

'Net Present Value' test

The modifications required by the class-action settlement and the
assurance agreements include a "Net Present Value" test.  This is
an undisclosed formula in which Wells essentially determines
whether modifying the loan is more cost-effective than
foreclosing.  Wells is not required to offer a modification in the
case of a "negative" test result but can at its discretion.

Ms. Brown, of the Oakland housing group, called the test a "back-
door provision" that allows Wells to avoid making a modification
without explaining its calculations.

The NPV test is typically used to make sure a modification is fair
to the investor who owns the loan, said Kevin Stein of the
California Reinvestment Coalition.  That's because a loan servicer
working with the borrower may not necessarily own the loan.  But
in the case of Wells' Pick-A-Payment loans, the bank owns the
mortgages, not a third party.

"They are admitting the loans have problems, so why wouldn't the
agreements have them committed to doing more than what's in their
interest?" Mr. Stein asked.

Mr. Berns, the attorney, said he reviewed the formula and believes
a significant number of borrowers will qualify.  Falling real
estate values are making it less lucrative to foreclose.  He said
the NPV provision was included because it's a requirement of
government loan modification programs.

Ms. Schrettenbrunner, the Wells spokeswoman, said the bank has a
responsibility to do what's right for its customers and its
investors.  Because Wells owns the loans it is able to more easily
provide principal reduction, she said, calling $3.6 billion a
"significant amount."  But she added: "We have shareholders we're
responsible for as well."


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
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