CAR_Public/110207.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Monday, February 7, 2011, Vol. 13, No. 26

                             Headlines

321 HENDERSON: App. Ct. Issues Ruling on Ceron Class Suit Appeal
8X8 INC: $625,000 Settlement Amount Still Subject for Approval
ALTRIA GROUP: 500 Engle Progeny Cases Voluntarily Dismissed
ALTRIA GROUP: Petition for Writ of Certiorari Filed
ALTRIA GROUP: Smoking Class Action Trial Set for October 17

APPLIED MICRO: Awaits Ruling on Appeal of Settlement Order
BANCO BILBAO: Seeks Settlement of Collective Action Over Swaps
BANK OF AMERICA: Investors Mull Class Action Over Foreclosures
BANKATLANTIC BANCORP: Seeks to Overturn Class Action Verdict
BERMANS AUTO: Sued for Violations of the Illinois Minimum Wage Law

BIRMINGHAM, AL: App. Ct. Affirms Ruling on Kruse Suit
BOULEVARD TAXI: Faces Class Action for Overcharging Drivers
BRIDGE TERMINAL: App. Ct. Affirms Arzate & Ortiz Employee Status
COINSTAR INC: Class Action Lead Plaintiff Deadline Nears
COMCAST CORP: Settles Late Fee Class Action for US$23 Million

COUNTRYWIDE HOME: Charged with Non-Payment of Overtime Wage
DICK'S SPORTING GOODS: Enters Into Settlement of Wage & Hour Suits
FERRERO USA: Sued Over Deceptive Advertising on Nutella Spread
FRANKLIN COUNTY, MA: Jail Strip Legal Settlement Finalized
GENERAL MOTORS: Court Denies Certification of Apartheid Claims

GIANT EAGLE: Sued for Non-Payment of Overtime Wages to Managers
ILLINOIS: Faces Class Action Over Unconstitutional Fee Hikes
INTERNATIONAL RECTIFIER: Continues to Defend "Hui Zhao" Class Suit
JACUZZI WHIRLPOOL: App. Ct. Rejects Safaie Re-certification Bid
MCKENZIE CHECK: Customers Can Pursue Class Action, Court Rules

NICOR INC: Being Sold for Too Little, Ill. Suit Claims
NOVAMED INC: Board Sued Over Sale of Company to Surgery Center
POWER BALANCE: Sued for Falsely Advertising Benefits of Wristbands
QUEST DIAGNOSTICS: Defends Age Discrimination Suit in New Jersey
SIMON & SCHUSTER: Sued Over Jimmy Carter's Book on Palestine

SPRINT NEXTEL: Suit Complains About "Everything Messaging" Plan
TEMPUR-PEDIC: Petition for En Banc Review Pending in "Jacobs" Suit
TUESDAY MORNING: Continues to Defend Class Suit Pending in Alabama
TUESDAY MORNING: Discovery in Non-Exempt Employees' Suit Ongoing
UNITED HEALTH: Pomerantz Files ERISA Class Action

VICTORVILLE, CA: May Face Class Action Over Red-Light Cameras



                             *********

321 HENDERSON: App. Ct. Issues Ruling on Ceron Class Suit Appeal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Raul Ceron filed a class action complaint against 321 Henderson
Receivables, L.P., and 321 Henderson Receivables Origination,
among others, for alleged violations of California's Structured
Settlement Transfer Act.  Mr. Ceron said he settled a workplace
injury to his left hand, which resulted to a structured
settlement.  In structured settlements, a settling plaintiff
receives periodic payments from a third party assignee or
structured settlement company, and the periodic payments are
considered personal injury damages and excluded as income for tax
purposes.  Under his complaint, Mr. Ceron alleged that the
Defendants engaged in an unlawful attorney referral process and
required individuals to pay up to $1,500 for independent advice on
the transfer petition.

The Defendants demurred to the complaint, asserting that the
Plaintiff was advised that no referrals to any specific adviser
could be made by the Defendants.  The Defendants asserted the
demurrer should be sustained without leave to amend as to the
claims on declaratory relief, conversion, injunctive relief from
payment collection, and an accounting of payments made under the
transfers.  The Defendants argued that (1) the unjust enrichment
and unfair competition claims are without merit, and that (2) the
class allegations should be stricken.  Judge Anthony Mohr
sustained the demurrers to the complaint.  And thus, Mr. Ceron
appealed the order dismissing the complaint.

Upon review, the Court of Appeals of California for the Second
District reversed the trial court's judgment on the cause of
action that seeks injunctive relief against unfair business
practices.  The Appellate Court held that the complaint
sufficiently alleged a claim for unfair business practices,
including the attorney referral process.

On the other hand, the Appellate Court affirmed Judge Mohr's
judgment in all other respects.  The Appellate Court agreed with
Judge Mohr's ruling that the transfers of structured settlement
payment rights were not subject to collateral attacks in that they
had been approved as fair and consistent with the Act in prior
final court orders.

The Appellate Court did not address the statue of limitations and
class certification issues.

A copy of the Appellate Court's January 26, 2011 order is
available at http://is.gd/SJxhIjat Leagle.com.


8X8 INC: $625,000 Settlement Amount Still Subject for Approval
--------------------------------------------------------------
The settlement amount which 8X8, Inc., agreed to pay in order to
resolve a wage and hour lawsuit in California is still subject to
court approval, according to the Company's Jan. 31, 2011 Form 10-Q
filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended December 31, 2010.

On January 27, 2010, the Company was named a defendant in a
lawsuit, Nikki Meierdiercks et al. v. 8x8, Inc., filed by three
former employees in Santa Clara County Superior Court as a
putative class action seeking damages and various penalties under
the California Labor Code for alleged unpaid overtime, meal
breaks, rest breaks and alleged late wage payments and
unreimbursed business expenses.  On November 9, 2010, the Company
entered into a memorandum of understanding with the plaintiffs to
settle the lawsuit for $625,000.  The Company accrued the $625,000
during the three and nine months ended December 31, 2010.  The
settlement amount is still subject to approval by the Court,
though the Company does not expect to incur any substantial
amounts related to this litigation in the future.

Based in Santa Clara, Calif., 8X8 Inc. offers software, services,
and equipment that enable voice and video communication over
Internet Protocol networks.  Through its Packet8 software suite
and related services, it allows subscribers to make phone calls
and perform other broadband networking functions using VoIP
technology.


ALTRIA GROUP: 500 Engle Progeny Cases Voluntarily Dismissed
-----------------------------------------------------------
Altria Group, Inc., disclosed in its Jan. 27, 2011, Form 8-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that
notices of voluntary dismissals of 500 Engle progeny cases against
its subsidiary Philip Morris USA Inc. were granted.

In July 2000, in the second phase of the Engle smoking and health
class action in Florida, a jury returned a verdict assessing
punitive damages totaling approximately $145 billion against
various defendants, including $74 billion against PM USA.
Following entry of judgment, PM USA posted a bond in the amount of
$100 million and appealed.

In May 2001, the trial court approved a stipulation providing that
execution of the punitive damages component of the Engle judgment
will remain stayed against PM USA and the other participating
defendants through the completion of all judicial review. As a
result of the stipulation, PM USA placed $500 million into a
separate interest-bearing escrow account that, regardless of the
outcome of the judicial review, will be paid to the court and the
court will determine how to allocate or distribute it consistent
with Florida Rules of Civil Procedure. In July 2001, PM USA also
placed $1.2 billion into an interest-bearing escrow account, which
was returned to PM USA in December 2007. In addition, the $100
million bond related to the case has been discharged. In
connection with the stipulation, PM USA recorded a $500 million
pre-tax charge in its consolidated statement of earnings for the
quarter ended March 31, 2001. In May 2003, the Florida Third
District Court of Appeal reversed the judgment entered by the
trial court and instructed the trial court to order the
decertification of the class. Plaintiffs petitioned the Florida
Supreme Court for further review.

In July 2006, the Florida Supreme Court ordered that the punitive
damages award be vacated, that the class approved by the trial
court be decertified, and that members of the decertified class
could file individual actions against defendants within one year
of issuance of the mandate. The court further declared the
following Phase I findings are entitled to res judicata effect in
such individual actions brought within one year of the issuance of
the mandate: (i) that smoking causes various diseases; (ii) that
nicotine in cigarettes is addictive; (iii) that defendants'
cigarettes were defective and unreasonably dangerous; (iv) that
defendants concealed or omitted material information not otherwise
known or available knowing that the material was false or
misleading or failed to disclose a material fact concerning the
health effects or addictive nature of smoking; (v) that defendants
agreed to misrepresent information regarding the health effects or
addictive nature of cigarettes with the intention of causing the
public to rely on this information to their detriment; (vi) that
defendants agreed to conceal or omit information regarding the
health effects of cigarettes or their addictive nature with the
intention that smokers would rely on the information to their
detriment; (vii) that all defendants sold or supplied cigarettes
that were defective; and (viii) that defendants were negligent.
The court also reinstated compensatory damages awards totaling
approximately $6.9 million to two individual plaintiffs and found
that a third plaintiff's claim was barred by the statute of
limitations.  In February 2008, PM USA paid a total of $2,964,685,
which represents its share of compensatory damages and interest to
the two individual plaintiffs identified in the Florida Supreme
Court's order.

In August 2006, PM USA sought rehearing from the Florida Supreme
Court on parts of its July 2006 opinion, including the ruling that
certain jury findings have res judicata effect in subsequent
individual trials timely brought by Engle class members.  The
rehearing motion also asked, among other things, that legal errors
that were raised but not expressly ruled upon in the Third
District Court of Appeal or in the Florida Supreme Court now be
addressed.  Plaintiffs also filed a motion for rehearing in August
2006 seeking clarification of the applicability of the statute of
limitations to non-members of the decertified class.  In December
2006, the Florida Supreme Court refused to revise its July 2006
ruling, except that it revised the set of Phase I findings
entitled to res judicata effect by excluding finding (v) listed
above (relating to agreement to misrepresent information), and
added the finding that defendants sold or supplied cigarettes
that, at the time of sale or supply, did not conform to the
representations of fact made by defendants. In January 2007, the
Florida Supreme Court issued the mandate from its revised opinion.
Defendants then filed a motion with the Florida Third District
Court of Appeal requesting that the court address legal errors
that were previously raised by defendants but have not yet been
addressed either by the Third District Court of Appeal or by the
Florida Supreme Court.  In February 2007, the Third District Court
of Appeal denied defendants' motion. In May 2007, defendants'
motion for a partial stay of the mandate pending the completion of
appellate review was denied by the Third District Court of Appeal.
In May 2007, defendants filed a petition for writ of certiorari
with the United States Supreme Court. In October 2007, the United
States Supreme Court denied defendants' petition.  In November
2007, the United States Supreme Court denied defendants' petition
for rehearing from the denial of their petition for writ of
certiorari.

The deadline for filing Engle progeny cases, as required by the
Florida Supreme Court's decision, expired in January 2008. As of
October 25, 2010, approximately 7,707 cases (3,286 state court
cases and 4,421 federal court cases) were pending against PM USA
or Altria Group, Inc. asserting individual claims by or on behalf
of approximately 9,400 plaintiffs (4,980 state court plaintiffs
and 4,420 federal court plaintiffs).  It is possible that some of
these cases are duplicates.  Some of these cases have been removed
from various Florida state courts to the federal district courts
in Florida, while others were filed in federal court.  In July
2007, PM USA and other defendants requested that the multi-
district litigation panel order the transfer of all such cases
pending in the federal courts, as well as any other Engle progeny
cases that may be filed, to the Middle District of Florida for
pretrial coordination.  The panel denied this request in December
2007.  In October 2007, attorneys for plaintiffs filed a motion to
consolidate all pending and future cases filed in the state trial
court in Hillsborough County.  The court denied this motion in
November 2007.  In February 2008, the trial court decertified the
class except for purposes of the May 2001 bond stipulation, and
formally vacated the punitive damages award pursuant to the
Florida Supreme Court's mandate.  In April 2008, the trial court
ruled that certain defendants, including PM USA, lacked standing
with respect to allocation of the funds escrowed under the May
2001 bond stipulation and will receive no credit at this time from
the $500 million paid by PM USA against any future punitive
damages awards in cases brought by former Engle class members.
In May 2008, the trial court, among other things, decertified the
limited class maintained for purposes of the May 2001 bond
stipulation and, in July 2008, severed the remaining plaintiffs'
claims except for those of Howard Engle.  The only remaining
plaintiff in the Engle case, Howard Engle, voluntarily dismissed
his claims with prejudice.  In July 2008, attorneys for a putative
former Engle class member petitioned the Florida Supreme Court to
permit members of the Engle class additional time to file
individual lawsuits.  The Florida Supreme Court denied this
petition in January 2009.

Three federal district courts (in the Merlob, Brown and Burr
cases) ruled that the findings in the first phase of the Engle
proceedings cannot be used to satisfy elements of plaintiffs'
claims, and two of those rulings (Brown and Burr) were certified
by the trial court for interlocutory review.  The certification in
both cases was granted by the United States Court of Appeals for
the Eleventh Circuit and the appeals were consolidated.  In
February 2009, the appeal in Burr was dismissed for lack of
prosecution.  In July 2010, the Eleventh Circuit ruled that
plaintiffs do not have an unlimited right to use the findings from
the original Engle trial to meet their burden of establishing the
elements of their claims at trial.  Rather, plaintiffs may only
use the findings to establish those specific facts, if any, that
they demonstrate with a reasonable degree of certainty were
actually decided by the original Engle jury.  The Eleventh Circuit
remanded the case to the district court to determine what specific
factual findings the Engle jury actually made.  Engle progeny
cases pending in the federal district courts in the Middle
District of Florida asserting individual claims by or on behalf of
approximately 4,420 plaintiffs had been stayed pending the
Eleventh Circuit's review.  On December 22, 2010, stays were
lifted in 12 cases selected by plaintiffs, and notices of
voluntary dismissals of approximately 500 cases have been granted.
The remaining cases are currently stayed.

In June 2009, Florida amended its existing bond cap statute by
adding a $200 million bond cap that applies to all Engle progeny
lawsuits in the aggregate and establishes individual bond caps for
individual Engle progeny cases in amounts that vary depending on
the number of judgments in effect at a given time.  The
legislation, which became effective in June 2009, applies to
judgments entered after the effective date and remains in effect
until December 31, 2012.  Plaintiffs in three Engle progeny cases
against R.J. Reynolds in Alachua County, Florida (Alexander,
Townsend and Hall) and one case in Escambia County (Clay) have
challenged the constitutionality of the bond cap statute.  The
Florida Attorney General has intervened in these cases in defense
of the constitutionality of the statute.  Argument in these cases
was heard in September 2010.  Plaintiffs in one Engle progeny case
against PM USA and R.J. Reynolds in Hillsborough County (Douglas)
have also challenged the constitutionality of the bond cap
statute.  On January 4, 2011, the trial court in Escambia County
rejected plaintiffs' bond cap statute challenge and declared the
statute constitutional in the Clay case.

                    Engle Progeny Trial Results

As of December 31, 2010, eighteen Engle progeny cases involving PM
USA have resulted in verdicts since the Florida Supreme Court
Engle decision.  Nine verdicts (Hess, Barbanell, F. Campbell,
Naugle, Douglas, R. Cohen, Putney, Tate and Piendle) were returned
in favor of plaintiffs and nine verdicts were returned in favor of
PM USA (Gelep, Kalyvas, Gil de Rubio, Warrick, Willis, Frazier, C.
Campbell, Rohr and Espinosa).  In addition, there have been a
number of mistrials, only some of which have resulted in new
trials as of December 31, 2010.

In Lukacs, a case that was tried to verdict before the Florida
Supreme Court Engle decision and is described in Trial Results
above, the Florida Third District Court of Appeal in March 2010
affirmed per curiam the trial court decision without issuing an
opinion.  Under Florida procedure, further review of a per curiam
affirmance without opinion by the Florida Supreme Court is
generally prohibited.  In April 2010, defendants filed their
petition for rehearing with the Court of Appeal.  In May 2010, the
Court of Appeal denied the defendants' petition.  The defendants
paid the judgment in June 2010.

In May 2010, the jury returned a verdict in favor of PM USA in the
Gil de Rubio case. In June 2010, plaintiff filed a motion for a
new trial.

In October 2010, juries in five Engle progeny cases (Warrick,
Willis, Frazier, C. Campbell and Rohr) returned verdicts in favor
of PM USA.  The Willis and C. Campbell cases have concluded.

On November 12, 2010, the jury in the Espinosa case returned a
verdict in favor of PM USA.

                 Appeals of Engle Progeny Verdicts

Plaintiffs in various Engle progeny cases have appealed adverse
rulings or verdicts, and in some cases, PM USA has cross-appealed.

On December 14, 2010, in a case against R.J. Reynolds in Escambia
County (Martin), the Florida First District Court of Appeals
issued the first ruling by a Florida intermediate appellate court
to substantively address the Brown decision of the U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, affirming the final
judgment entered in plaintiff's favor imposing both compensatory
and punitive damages.  The panel held that the trial court
correctly construed the Florida Supreme Court's 2006 decision in
Engle in instructing the jury on the preclusive effect of the
first phase of the Engle proceedings, expressly disagreeing with
certain aspects of the Brown decision.  R.J. Reynolds is seeking
en banc review as well as certification of the appeal to the
Florida Supreme Court.

Altria Group, Inc. -- http://www.altria.com/-- is the holding
company of Philip Morris USA Inc. (PM USA) and John Middleton,
Inc., which are engaged in the manufacture and sale of
cigarettes and other tobacco products.  Philip Morris Capital
Corporation (PMCC), another wholly owned subsidiary, maintains a
portfolio of leveraged and direct finance leases.  The company's
segments are U.S. tobacco; European Union; Eastern Europe,
Middle East and Africa; Asia; Latin America, and Financial
Services.  In March 2008, the Company completed the spin-off of
Philip Morris International Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary.  In
January 2009, the Company completed the acquisition of UST Inc.


ALTRIA GROUP: Petition for Writ of Certiorari Filed
---------------------------------------------------
Altria Group, Inc., disclosed in its Jan. 27, 2011, Form 8-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it
filed its petition for a writ of certiorari in relation to the
"Scott" class action in December 2, 2010.

In July 2003, following the first phase of the trial in the Scott
class action, in which plaintiffs sought creation of a fund to pay
for medical monitoring and smoking cessation programs, a Louisiana
jury returned a verdict in favor of defendants, including Phillip
Morris USA, in connection with plaintiffs' medical monitoring
claims, but also found that plaintiffs could benefit from smoking
cessation assistance. The jury also found that cigarettes as
designed are not defective but that the defendants failed to
disclose all they knew about smoking and diseases and marketed
their products to minors. In May 2004, in the second phase of the
trial, the jury awarded plaintiffs approximately $590 million
against all defendants jointly and severally, to fund a 10-year
smoking cessation program.

In June 2004, the court entered judgment, which awarded plaintiffs
the approximately $590 million jury award plus prejudgment
interest accruing from the date the suit commenced. PM USA's share
of the jury award and prejudgment interest has not been allocated.
Defendants, including PM USA, appealed. Pursuant to a stipulation
of the parties, the trial court entered an order setting the
amount of the bond at $50 million for all defendants in accordance
with an article of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure, and a
Louisiana statute, fixing the amount of security in civil cases
involving a signatory to the MSA. Under the terms of the
stipulation, plaintiffs reserve the right to contest, at a later
date, the sufficiency or amount of the bond on any grounds
including the applicability or constitutionality of the bond cap
law. In September 2004, defendants collectively posted a bond in
the amount of $50 million ($12.5 million of which was posted by PM
USA).

In February 2007, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal
issued a ruling on defendants' appeal that, among other things:
affirmed class certification but limited the scope of the class;
struck certain of the categories of damages included in the
judgment, reducing the amount of the award by approximately $312
million; vacated the award of prejudgment interest, which totaled
approximately $444 million as of February 15, 2007; and ruled that
the only class members who are eligible to participate in the
smoking cessation program are those who began smoking before, and
whose claims accrued by, September 1, 1988. As a result, the
Louisiana Court of Appeal remanded the case for proceedings
consistent with its opinion, including further reduction of the
amount of the award based on the size of the new class. In March
2007, the Louisiana Court of Appeal rejected defendants' motion
for rehearing and clarification. In January 2008, the Louisiana
Supreme Court denied plaintiffs' and defendants' petitions for
writ of certiorari. In March 2008, plaintiffs filed a motion to
execute the approximately $279 million judgment plus post-judgment
interest or, in the alternative, for an order to the parties to
submit revised damages figures. Defendants filed a motion to have
judgment entered in favor of defendants based on accrual of all
class member claims after September 1, 1988 or, in the
alternative, for the entry of a case management order. In April
2008, the Louisiana Supreme Court denied defendants' motion to
stay proceedings and the defendants filed a petition for writ of
certiorari with the United States Supreme Court. In June 2008, the
United States Supreme Court denied the defendant's petition.
Plaintiffs filed a motion to enter judgment in the amount of
approximately $280 million (subsequently changed to approximately
$264 million) and defendants filed a motion to enter judgment in
their favor dismissing the case entirely or, alternatively, to
enter a case management order for a new trial. In July 2008, the
trial court entered an Amended Judgment and Reasons for Judgment
denying both motions, but ordering defendants to deposit into the
registry of the court the sum of $263,532,762 plus post-judgment
interest.

In September 2008, defendants filed an application for writ of
mandamus or supervisory writ to secure the right to appeal with
the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal, and in December
2008, the trial court entered an order permitting the appeal and
approving a $50 million bond for all defendants in accordance with
the Louisiana bond cap law discussed above. In April 2009,
plaintiffs filed a cross-appeal seeking to reinstate the June 2004
judgment and to award the medical monitoring rejected by the jury.

In April 2010, the Louisiana Fourth Circuit Court of Appeal issued
a decision that affirmed in part prior decisions ordering the
defendants to fund a statewide 10-year smoking cessation program.
In its decision, the Court of Appeal amended and, as amended,
affirmed the amended 2008 trial court judgment and ruled that,
although the trial court erred, the defendants have no right to a
trial to determine, among other things, those class members with
valid claims not barred by Louisiana law. After conducting its own
independent review of the record, the Court of Appeal made its own
factual findings with respect to liability and the amount owed,
lowering the amount of the judgment to approximately $241 million,
plus interest commencing July 21, 2008, the date of entry of the
amended judgment (which as of December 31, 2010 is approximately
$32 million). In its decision, the Court of Appeal disallowed
approximately $80 million in post-judgment interest. In addition,
the Court of Appeal declined plaintiffs' cross appeal requests for
a medical monitoring program and reinstatement of other components
of the smoking cessation program. The Court of Appeal specifically
reserved to the defendants the right to assert claims to any
unspent or unused surplus funds at the termination of the smoking
cessation program. In June 2010, defendants and plaintiffs filed
separate writ of certiorari applications with the Louisiana
Supreme Court. The Louisiana Supreme Court denied both sides'
applications. In September 2010, upon defendants' application, the
United States Supreme Court granted a stay of the judgment pending
the defendants' filing and the Court's disposition of the
defendants' petition for a writ of certiorari. The defendants'
filed their petition for a writ of certiorari on December 2, 2010.
As of December 31, 2010, PM USA has recorded a provision of $26
million in connection with the case and has recorded additional
provisions of approximately $3.4 million related to accrued
interest.

Altria Group, Inc. -- http://www.altria.com/-- is the holding
company of Philip Morris USA Inc. (PM USA) and John Middleton,
Inc., which are engaged in the manufacture and sale of
cigarettes and other tobacco products.  Philip Morris Capital
Corporation (PMCC), another wholly owned subsidiary, maintains a
portfolio of leveraged and direct finance leases.  The company's
segments are U.S. tobacco; European Union; Eastern Europe,
Middle East and Africa; Asia; Latin America, and Financial
Services.  In March 2008, the Company completed the spin-off of
Philip Morris International Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary.  In
January 2009, the Company completed the acquisition of UST Inc.


ALTRIA GROUP: Smoking Class Action Trial Set for October 17
-----------------------------------------------------------
Altria Group, Inc., disclosed in its Jan. 27, 2011, Form 8-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the
consolidated "smoking" class action's trial is scheduled for
October 17, 2011.

Altria included as one case the 650 civil actions (of which 370
are actions against Phillip Morris USA) that are proposed to be
tried in a single proceeding in West Virginia (In re: Tobacco
Litigation).  The West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals has ruled
that the United States Constitution does not preclude a trial in
two phases in this case.  Under the current trial plan, issues
related to defendants' conduct and plaintiffs' entitlement to
punitive damages would be determined in the first phase.  The
second phase would consist of individual trials to determine
liability, if any, as well as compensatory and punitive damages,
if any.  The case is currently scheduled for trial on October 17,
2011.

Since the dismissal in May 1996 of a purported nationwide class
action brought on behalf of allegedly addicted smokers, plaintiffs
have filed numerous putative smoking and health class action suits
in various state and federal courts. In general, these cases
purport to be brought on behalf of residents of a particular state
or states (although a few cases purport to be nationwide in scope)
and raise addiction claims and, in many cases, claims of physical
injury as well.

Class certification has been denied or reversed by courts in 58
smoking and health class actions involving PM USA in Arkansas (1),
the District of Columbia (2), Florida (2), Illinois (3), Iowa (1),
Kansas (1), Louisiana (1), Maryland (1), Michigan (1), Minnesota
(1), Nevada (29), New Jersey (6), New York (2), Ohio (1), Oklahoma
(1), Pennsylvania (1), Puerto Rico (1), South Carolina (1), Texas
(1) and Wisconsin (1).

PM USA and Altria Group, Inc., are named as defendants, along with
other cigarette manufacturers, in six actions filed in the
Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan
and British Columbia. In Saskatchewan and British Columbia,
plaintiffs seek class certification on behalf of individuals who
suffer or have suffered from various diseases including chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema, heart disease or cancer
after smoking defendants' cigarettes. In the actions filed in
Alberta, Manitoba and Nova Scotia, plaintiffs seek certification
of classes of all individuals who smoked defendants' cigarettes.


APPLIED MICRO: Awaits Ruling on Appeal of Settlement Order
----------------------------------------------------------
Applied Micro Circuits Corporation is still awaiting a decision on
appeals filed in connection with the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York's order granting final approval of a
settlement in "IPO laddering cases," according to the Company's
Jan. 31, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended December 31, 2010.

The Company acquired JNI Corporation in October 2003.  In November
2001, a class action lawsuit was filed against JNI and the
underwriters of its initial and secondary public offerings of
common stock in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of New York, case no. 01 Civ 10740 (SAS).  The complaint alleges
that defendants violated the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as
amended, in connection with JNI's public offerings.  This lawsuit
is among more than 300 class action lawsuits pending in this
District Court that have come to be known as the "IPO laddering
cases."  Pursuant to In re Initial Public Offering Securities
Litigation, No. 21 MC 92 (SAS), a settlement has been reached in
all of the cases.  On October 6, 2009, the Court issued an order
granting final approval of the settlement and dismissing the case.
The Court subsequently issued a final judgment.  Several appeals
of the settlement and judgment were filed between October 29 and
November 4, 2009.  Should the settlement be overturned on appeal
and the final approval vacated, the Company's liability, if any,
could not be reasonably estimated at this time.


BANCO BILBAO: Seeks Settlement of Collective Action Over Swaps
--------------------------------------------------------------
Berta Baz, writing for Money Market United Kingdom, reports the
most appropriate model to reconcile collective action and data
protection was that implemented by Ausbanc with the class-action
suit against Telefonica Extremadura.  A Madrid court has caused a
dispute over the settlement of a collective action to protect the
personal data of customers.  This court ordered Banco Bilbao
Vizcaya Argentaria SA President Francisco Gonzalez to supply,
within a month, information about their customers' 'swaps', in the
practice of an open preliminary hearing, following a lawsuit filed
by Adicae.

BBVA had refused to provide this documentation as it understood
that this would in principle violate the law governing data
protection for its clients.  Moreover, it did not count with their
approval for disclosure.

But faced with the possibility of a search in its offices, BBVA
bank agreed to provide the documentation, but requested the court
not pass on the data to the association, until the Constitutional
Court rule on the injunction requested by the bank.

BBVA filed a writ of protection before the Constitutional Court,
stating that the delivery of data to Adicae constitutes an
infringement of fundamental right to the protection of personal
data and interferes with the right to privacy.

The BBVA has said it is not intending to hide information, but
rather to protect their clients' personal data and privacy.

The problem faced by BBVA is a recurrent one.  The model followed
by the Madrid court means the bank would deliver its list of
clients, which it would then transfer to the plaintive -- this
would then be used by the association to contact each and every
one of those consumers affected and offer them their services and
the possibility of joining the lawsuit.

Ausbanc sources said this model is questionable and is a violation
of the law covering data protection.  It explained that there is
another model that has already been applied in other processes,
and which is compatible with the Data Protection Act.

This, it said, is that the consumer association that brings the
class action report to the court, and force the respondent to
inform its own clients of the lawsuit and the possibility of them
joining it.  This, said Ausbanc, prevents the association from
getting hold of the information without the consent of the
customers and infringing the Data Protection Act.


BANK OF AMERICA: Investors Mull Class Action Over Foreclosures
--------------------------------------------------------------
Dan Levine, writing for Reuters, reports Bank of America was hit
with a lawsuit on Feb. 2 from investors who claim the lending
giant's stock price was artificially inflated because it concealed
foreclosure improprieties.

The suit, a proposed class action, says Bank of America concealed
defects in the recording of mortgages, which harmed investors when
the company had to temporarily discontinue foreclosures last fall.

The plaintiff, a union benefit plan which purchased the stock,
also claims the bank concealed a practice of omitting billions of
dollars in debt from its publicly reported balance sheet.

Bank of America Chief Executive Brian Moynihan and Chief Financial
Officer Charles Noski were also named as defendants.

A Bank of America representative did not immediately respond to a
request for comment.

The lawsuit in U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
is Pipefitters Local No. 636 Defined Benefit Plan v. Bank of
America Corp et al., 11-cv-733.


BANKATLANTIC BANCORP: Seeks to Overturn Class Action Verdict
------------------------------------------------------------
Brian Bandell, writing for South Florida Business Journal, reports
BankAtlantic Bancorp on Feb. 2 made a final plea to U.S. District
Court Judge Ursula Ungaro, asking her to overturn the verdict
against it in a securities class action trial because the lead
plaintiffs profited from its stock, rather than suffering damages.

The filing by the Fort Lauderdale-based bank is its last chance to
convince the Miami judge to undo the verdict against the company,
Chairman and CEO Alan Levan and CFO Valerie Toalson, which came
down after a jury trial late last year.

A lot is at stake for BankAtlantic, which is trying to stem 13
straight quarters of losses and line up a public offering to raise
capital.

Before the trial started, BankAtlantic filed a motion seeking
sanctions against the plaintiffs' attorneys and the dismissal of
the case because of alleged misrepresentations of witness
testimony contained in the amended complaint.

Judge Ungaro dismissed the motion for sanctions in a one-page
order on Feb. 2.  She said the dismissal was without prejudice and
could be refiled after she rules on whether the verdict should
stand.

BankAtlantic attorney Eugene Stearns said he would refile the
sanctions motion if Judge Ungaro overturns the verdict or it is
overturned on appeal.

"I believe we will win," he said.  "The jury was compelled to come
to a result that the evidence didn't support."

In November, a jury ruled that the bank and its two executives
caused damages of $2.41 a share because of misleading statements
that impacted its stock price from April 2007 through October
2007.  Parties who purchased shares during that period could get
compensated.

BankAtlantic responded in December with a motion to set aside the
verdict and hold a new trial.  It sought to pick apart the
testimony of Candace Preston, the plaintiffs' expert on damages,
and said that the judge erred in instructing the jury that
Mr. Levan gave false statements when talking to analysts in July
2007.

The plaintiffs' attorneys, led by Labaton Sucharow in New York and
Barroway Topaz Kessler Meltzer & Check in Radnor, Pa., countered
in January with a motion asking Judge Ungaro to let the verdict
stand.  It argued that the verdict was the result of the judge's
extensive rulings before and during the trial, and there is no
controlling precedent to overturn the jury's decision.

BankAtlantic's Feb. 2 filing in support of its motion to set aside
the verdict took a different route of attack.  It argued that the
plaintiffs' class representatives are not eligible for damages
because the timing of their BankAtlantic stock purchases resulted
in their having benefitting from the alleged inflation in shares
price.

State-Boston Retirement System bought 43,600 shares on April 26,
2007, and sold 261,720 shares between June 14, 2007, and July 27,
2007.  Under the inflation ruling by the jury, that would result
in a $105,076 loss followed by a $630,745 gain, BankAtlantic said
in its motion.

Erie County Employees Retirement System bought 700 shares on
May 17, 2007, and sold 4,150 shares from July 20, 2007, through
Sept. 24, 2007.  The bank said that would result in $1,687 in
losses and $10,001 in gains from the alleged inflation.

Therefore, BankAtlantic said the two class representatives "cannot
recover a single penny from the jury verdict rendered here, as
they were substantial beneficiaries of the very fraud they claim
existed."

The bank's attorneys cited case law in which class actions were
decertified because the class representatives had interests that
were divergent from the rest of the class and the plaintiffs'
attorneys.  They argued that Judge Ungaro should do the same here.

"Indeed, such a verdict cannot stand, and just as the United
States Supreme Court has ordered settlements undone where
representatives are inadequate and atypical [cites three cases],
so too must the verdict here be undone. "

With all the motions in, Judge Ungaro could rule at any time.


BERMANS AUTO: Sued for Violations of the Illinois Minimum Wage Law
------------------------------------------------------------------
Juan Ochoa, individually, and on behalf of others similarly
situated v. Bermans Auto Group Inc., et al., Case No.
2011-L-001104 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook Cty. January 31, 2011), alleges
violations of the minimum wage provisions of the Illinois Minimum
Wage Law, the Wage Payment and Collection Act, an other common law
causes of action.

The Defendant consists of four establishments within the Chicago
land area all of which are in the business of selling new and used
automobiles to the ultimate user.

Mr. Ochoa was employed as auto sales representative by Defendant
from January 18, 2008 until January 19, 2010, and also worked as
an auto sales representative for Defendant for several months
during the year 2007.

Mr. Ochoa says, among other things, that he and the proposed
members of the class were required to work at least 46 hours per
week and were "routinely provided compensation that was well under
the wage mandated by the Illinois Minimum Wage [Law}."

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Ryan Scott Nalley, Esq.
          THE LAW OFFICE OF RYAN SCOTT NALLEY
          105 West Adams St., Suite 2800
          Chicago, IL 60603
          Telephone: (312) 523-2168
          E-mail: attorney@ryannalleylaw.com


BIRMINGHAM, AL: App. Ct. Affirms Ruling on Kruse Suit
-----------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Civil Appeals of Alabama concurred with a trial
court's ruling on a summary judgment motion in Frank J. Kruse's
complaint against the City of Birmingham over parking violation
fines.

Mr. Kruse filed a complaint in the Jefferson Circuit Court against
the City, alleging claims of unjust enrichment and violation of
Section 1983 of the U.S. Public Health and Welfare Code.  Mr.
Kruse said the City was time-barred to collect fines for parking-
violation citation issued to a vehicle registered to him.  He
purported to prosecute his claims on behalf of a class of
similarly situated individuals, but the class was not certified.

Before the trial court, the parties moved for summary judgment on
Mr. Kruse's state law claims.  On July 13, 2010, the trial court
entered a summary judgment in favor of the City.  Mr. Kruse
subsequently appealed the order to the Appellate Court.

On appeal, Mr. Kruse argued that the trial court erred in entering
a summary judgment in favor of the City because the City's
attempts to collect fines based on the parking violations are
barred by a one-year statute of limitations.

The evidence in the record on appeal demonstrates that Mr. Kruse
voluntarily paid the fines for the parking violations during a
period in which the City granted amnesty from threats of
incarceration or further fines in exchange for payment of past due
fines associated with parking or minor traffic violations, the
Appellate Court noted.  Thus, Mr. Kruse may not be said to have
been under duress in electing to voluntarily pay the parking fines
in order to avoid the threat of possible imprisonment for non-
payment of those fines.  Accordingly, the Appellate Court
concludes that the trial court properly entered a summary judgment
in favor of the City on Mr. Kruse's claims.

A copy of the Appellate Court's January 28, 2011 order is
available at http://is.gd/xoZP15at Leagle.com.


BOULEVARD TAXI: Faces Class Action for Overcharging Drivers
-----------------------------------------------------------
Adam Klasfeld at Courthouse News Service reports that a New York
cabbie claims in a class action that "monopoly" medallion owners
overcharge workers to lease their cabs, double-charge them for
taking holidays off, and force cabbies to tip their dispatchers.
Samir Talbi sued Boulevard Taxi Leasing and Mike Mellis Brokerage
in Queens County Court.

Mr. Talbi says he worked for the defendants as a licensed cabbie
from 2005 to 2010.  He also sued Michael Mellis and Sotirakis
Coritsidis, officers and/or directors of the corporate defendants.

"The corporate defendant and other taxicab garages and brokerage
companies enjoy a monopoly on lawful cab service and, as such,
taxicabs must bear a medallion issued by the City of New York in
controlled numbers.  Plaintiff and the members of the NY Class
must, therefore, pay the lease fee to the possessor of a medallion
from the City as a condition of practicing their trade," the
complaint states.

Before 2008, Mr. Talbi says, he licensed his taxi on a weekly
basis, but he was forced to switch to daily leases after the
companies upgraded their facilities and fleets.

Mr. Talbi says his bosses would not permit drivers to take a day
off on lease payments, even on days that they did not work.

If they did not drive on Thanksgiving or Christmas, drivers were
charged double the rate for lease of his medallion, Mr. Talbi
says.

He claims the companies' policies violate The Taxi and Limousine
Commission's regulated weekly rates.

"From on or about March 2009, defendants charged plaintiff
approximately $116 for the night shift on Mondays, approximately
$121 for the night shift on Tuesdays, approximately $130 for the
night shift on Wednesdays, approximately $138 for the night shift
on Thursdays, approximately $141 for the night shift on Fridays,
approximately $141 for the night shift on Saturdays and
approximately $107 for the night shift on Sundays, for a weekly
total of $894.20.  The standard lease cap set by the TLC during
this time period is $666 per week," the complaint states.

Mr. Talbi says the defendants charged drivers for damages to cabs
incurred on the job, even though insurance covers those expenses.

He says he was charged $500 for damages to the cab after he was
forced to drive in a snowstorm.

The defendants also overcharge drivers to use hybrid vehicles and
require drivers to "tip" dispatchers at the beginning of their
shifts in order to work, the complaint states.

The complaint describes at length the difficulties New York cab
drivers face.

"There are approximately 50,000 medallion taxicab drivers licensed
through the TLC [New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission] who
compete for jobs as drivers of the approximately 13,000 medallion
taxicabs in New York City.  The nature of the work that taxicab
drivers perform exempts these workers from the protections of the
Fair Labor Standards Act and other state wage and hour laws.
Consequently, taxicab drivers frequently work very long hours for
pay that can be less than half of the minimum wage and are not
provided with benefits," the complaint states.

"According to the Department of Labor, driving a taxicab is among
the most dangerous jobs in the country.  In a report issued in
2000, the agency stated a taxi driver was 60 times more likely
than other U.S. workers to be killed on the job.  The New York
Committee on Occupational Safety and Health reports that taxi
drivers face a level of on-the-job assaults second only to those
directed at police and private security guards.

"More than 90% of the drivers of New York City's medallion
taxicabs are immigrants from South Asia, Africa, and the
Caribbean.  Most of these workers are new to the United States and
many have been unaware of their rights and reluctant to speak up
for themselves to improve their working conditions."

Mr. Talbi seeks class damages for breach of contract, unjust
enrichment and quantum meruit.

A copy of the Complaint in Talbi v. Boulevard Taxi Leasing, Inc.,
et al., Case No. 1577-11 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Queens Cty.), is
available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/02/02/NYCabbie.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Brent E. Pelton, Esq.
          PELTON & ASSOCIATES PC
          111 Broadway, Suite 901
          New York, NY 10006
          Telephone: (212) 385-9700
          E-mail: pelton@peltonlaw.com


BRIDGE TERMINAL: App. Ct. Affirms Arzate & Ortiz Employee Status
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals of California for the Second District
has reversed a trial court order ruling that Adolfo Arzate and
Juan Ortiz are independent contractors of Bridge Terminal
Transport, Inc.

Messrs. Arzate and Ortiz previously commenced a class action on
behalf of truck drivers who were paid by Bridge Terminal to
transport cargo.  The Plaintiffs alleged that they were emloyees
of Bridge Terminal and asserted causes of action under the Labor
Code for failure to pay minimum wages and unfair business
practices, among other things.  Bridge Terminal sought summary
judgment on the basis that the Plaintiffs were independent
contractors, not employees.  The trial court entered judgment in
favor of Bridge Terminal.

Bridge Terminal is in the business of arranging for the
transportation of its customer's cargo between ports or terminals
and the customers' facilities.  It does not own any truck but uses
truck drivers who own trucks to transport the cargo.  The
Plaintiffs, on the other hand, are members of the Teamsters Union
and had a collective bargaining agreement with Bridge Terminal.

On appeal, the Appellate Court held that multiple factors exist
that do not weigh in favor of independent contractor status.  The
Appellate Court cited that the Defendant (1) executed the CBA with
plaintiffs' union, which represented the owner-operators of trucks
in the role of "employees" of the company; (2) issued W-2 forms to
plaintiffs, withheld taxes, and offered health plan benefits that
included paying 70% of the cost; and (3) paid hourly rates for
some parts of plaintiffs' work day, like waiting time, drivers'
meetings, and so on.

The Appellate Court also cited S. G. Borello, supra, 48 Cal.3d at
p. 350, which provides that the right to discharge at will,
without cause, is strong evidence in support of an employment
relationship.  Bridge Terminal could terminate its truck lease
agreements with the Plaintiffs on 24 hours' notice, the Appellate
Court noted.

The Appellate Court concluded that the trial court erred when it
ruled, as a matter of law, that the Plaintiffs were independent
contractors.  Accordingly, the cause is remanded to the trial
court for entry of a new order denying the Defendant's summary
judgment request, the Appellate Court ruled.

A copy of the Appellate Court's January 31, 2011 order is
available at http://is.gd/XJ43nKat Leagle.com.


COINSTAR INC: Class Action Lead Plaintiff Deadline Nears
--------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Statman, Harris & Eyrich, LLC, which has
significant experience in class actions, reminds investors of the
upcoming lead plaintiff deadline in the class action lawsuit
alleging securities laws violations filed in the United States
District Court for the Western District of Washington on behalf of
shareholders who purchased the common stock of Coinstar, Inc.
between October 28, 2010 and January 13, 2011, inclusive (the
"Class Period").

The plaintiff in the case alleges that the Company and certain of
its officers made a series of materially false and misleading
statements related to the Company's business and operations in
violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.  Specifically,
the complaint alleges that the Company failed to disclose adverse
factors affecting its business and projected financial results,
such as: (1) declining sales as customers purchased fewer DVDs per
transaction and poor inventory management; (2) lower sales of more
expensive Blue-ray discs and poor title selection; (3) delay in
availability of DVDs imposed by movie studios; and (4) competition
from online video streaming providers.

Fourth quarter and full year 2010 results reported by defendants
on January 13, 2011 revealed to shareholders that the Company
would earn as little as $0.65 per share for the quarter on
revenues of only $391 million, and not the analysts' consensus
estimate of $0.84 per share on revenue of $427 million.  As a
result, the stock declined almost 30% in a single trading day, or
almost $15.50 per share, to close at $41.50 per share, down from
the prior day's closing price of $57.00.

If you purchased Coinstar, Inc. securities during the Class
Period, you may request by the March 25, 2011 deadline that the
Court appoint you lead plaintiff.  A lead plaintiff is a
representative party that acts on behalf of other class members in
directing the litigation. Under certain circumstances, one or more
class members may together serve as "lead plaintiff."  Your
ability to share in any recovery is not affected by your decision
whether or not to serve as lead plaintiff.

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions, please
contact:

          Melinda S. Nenning, Esq.
          STATMAN, HARRIS & EYRICH, LLC
          441 Vine Street, Suite 3700
          Cincinnati, OH 45202
          Telephone: (513) 345-8181, Ext. 3095
          E-mail: mnenning@statmanharris.com

for further information without any obligation or cost to you.


COMCAST CORP: Settles Late Fee Class Action for US$23 Million
-------------------------------------------------------------
Mike Rogoway, writing for The Oregonian, reports Comcast Corp. has
agreed to pay up to $23 million to settle a class-action lawsuit
alleging that it improperly charged late fees to its Oregon cable
TV customers.

The settlement potentially benefits as many as 500,000 Oregon
subscribers, according to Saadia McConville of Economic Fairness
Oregon, which is publicizing the agreement.

Subscribers who paid a late fee between July 15, 2003 and
November 22, 2010 are entitled to $16 each time Comcast assessed
its $6 fee.

Claimants can obtain forms to apply for their settlement at
oregonlatefeesettlement.com.  Notices about the settlement will
appear in subscribers' monthly bills, but former subscribers are
also eligible to submit claims.

Comcast allegedly violated Oregon laws governing disclosure
requirements and the frequency of late-fee charges, according to
Ms. McConville.  The company denies wrongdoing.

Subscribers can claim as many as two payments -- $32 altogether --
by signing a claim form and giving their word, under penalty of
perjury, they were charged the fees.

Additional claims require proof of payment or a notarized
signature.

Claims must be postmarked by July 1 to be eligible for the
settlement.

"The money is just going to go back to Comcast if people don't
claim it," Ms. McConville said.


COUNTRYWIDE HOME: Charged with Non-Payment of Overtime Wage
-----------------------------------------------------------
Shannon Gaunt, individually, and on behalf of others similarly
situated v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., et al., Case No.
11-cv-00473 (N.D. Calif. February 1, 2011), charges Countrywide
Home Loans, Countrywide Financial Corporation, and Bank of America
Corporation, as successor-in-interest of Countrywide, with
violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the California
Labor Code.

Ms. Gaunt was employed by defendants as a Home Loan Consultant
from mid-2006 to December 2009.  During her employment as an HLC,
Ms. Gaunt say she worked "well in excess of 40 hours per week and
8 hours per day", but was not paid overtime wages.  According to
the Complaint, the primary job duty of HLCs is to sell mortgage
loans, which qualifies them as "production" employees.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          James F. Clapp, Esq.
          Marita Murphy Lauinger, Esq.
          Zach P. Dostart, Esq.
          DOSTART CLAPP & COVENEY, LLP
          4370 La Jolla Village Drive, Suite 970
          San Diego, CA 92122-1253
          Telephone: (858) 623-4200
          E-mail: jclapp@sdlaw.com
                  mlauinger@sdlaw.com


DICK'S SPORTING GOODS: Enters Into Settlement of Wage & Hour Suits
------------------------------------------------------------------
On January 28, 2011, Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc., and attorneys
for a group of plaintiffs filed a settlement agreement in the
United States District Court for the Western District of New York
to settle Tamara Barrus, et al. v. Dick's Sporting Goods, et al.,
and 22 related wage and hour class action lawsuits that have been
pending against the Company and five individual defendants,
according to the Company's Jan. 31, 2011 Form 8-K filed with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The settlement, which is subject to court approval, covers wage
and hour claims under the laws of 36 states.  Under the
settlement, the total amount to be paid will depend on the number
of claims that are submitted by class members with a maximum
settlement amount not to exceed $15 million plus interest and
taxes.  The settlement and related fees will result in a pre-tax
charge of approximately $15.5 million ($9.3 million after tax),
which will be recorded in the fourth fiscal quarter in accordance
with generally accepted accounting principles.


FERRERO USA: Sued Over Deceptive Advertising on Nutella Spread
--------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a federal class action claims
Ferrero USA deceptively advertises its Nutella spread as a
"healthy breakfast and nutritious," though it contains "about 70%
saturated fat and processed sugar by weight."

A copy of the Complaint in Hohenberg v. Ferrero U.S.A., Inc., Case
No. 11-cv-00205 (S.D. Calif.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/02/02/Nutella.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Ronald A. Marron, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF RONALD A. MARRON, APLC
          3636 4th Avenue, Suite 202
          San Diego, CA 92103
          Telephone: (619) 696-9006
          E-mail: ron.marron@gmail.com


FRANKLIN COUNTY, MA: Jail Strip Legal Settlement Finalized
----------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports a $1.1 million legal settlement for
people illegally strip searched at the Franklin County Jail will
be shared among 250 people.

That's about half those eligible in the class-action federal
lawsuit.

A lawyer for the detainees tells The Recorder of Greenfield that
each of the 250 people will receive at least $2,850 and the lead
plaintiff in the case, Sunderland resident Gregory Garvey, will
receive an additional $20,000.  A total of 487 people were
eligible.

The lawsuit claimed the policy of strip-searching all detainees
when they arrived at the jail between March 28, 2004, and Feb. 25,
2007, was unconstitutional.

A U.S. magistrate gave final approval of the settlement last
month.

A jail official says the search policy has been revised.


GENERAL MOTORS: Court Denies Certification of Apartheid Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Robert Gerber of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern
District of New York denied certification of South African
residents' claims as class proofs of claim against General Motors
Corporation, now known as Motors Liquidation Company.

In 2002 and 2003, two related lawsuits were brought by 26 South
African residents, alleging that Old GM and other corporations
aided and abetted South Africa's apartheid system.  The Bankruptcy
Court has been asked (1) by the Apartheid Claimants to certify
their claims filed in GM's bankruptcy cases as class claims, on
behalf of themselves and other victims of apartheid, and (2) by GM
to disallow the claims.  The Apartheid Claims sought from GM
damages of the type originally sought in the lawsuits.

Upon review, Judge Gerber held that while some common issues
exist, individual issues predominate in the apartheid litigation.
"For both the more general claim of 'crime against humanity,' on
the one hand, and the more specific ways by which people were
injured, on the other, I just see too many individual issues,"
Judge Gerber said.

Judge Gerber also noted that entertaining the apartheid claims
on a class action basis would significantly complicate GM's
Chapter 11 case that may materially delay distribution to GM
creditors.

Judge Gerber disallowed the Apartheid Claims.

A copy of the Bankruptcy Court's January 28, 2011 order is
available at http://is.gd/pwzaABat Leagle.com.


GIANT EAGLE: Sued for Non-Payment of Overtime Wages to Managers
---------------------------------------------------------------
Tribune-Review reports a former deli manager claims in a federal
class-action lawsuit filed on Feb. 2 in Pittsburgh that Giant
Eagle is violating federal labor laws by not paying its managers
overtime.

Brenda Blystone of Kittanning says in the lawsuit that the company
would send her home and pay her less than her "guaranteed" salary
when sales were slow but only pay her straight time when she
worked 50 to 60 hours in a week.

Since she wasn't paid a guaranteed salary, she and about 500
department managers employed by regional grocery chain are wage
employees and the company is legally required to pay them
overtime, the lawsuit says.

A Giant Eagle spokesman could not be reached for comment.


ILLINOIS: Faces Class Action Over Unconstitutional Fee Hikes
------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a class action challenges
Illinois' hikes to its vehicle registration, title and renewal
fees, which the class claims a state appellate court found
unconstitutional on Jan. 26.

A copy of the Petition for Leave to File an Action to Restrain and
Enjoin the Defendants from Disbursing Public Funds of the State of
Illinois Pursuant to 735 ILCS 5/Sections 11-303 and the Complaint
in Siegel v. Topinka, et al., Case No. 11CH04138 (Ill. Cir. Ct.,
Cook Cty.), are available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/02/02/Taxes.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Larry D. Drury, Esq.
          James R. Rowe, Esq.
          LARRY D. DRURY, LTD.
          100 North LaSalle Street, Suite 1010
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 346-7950


INTERNATIONAL RECTIFIER: Continues to Defend "Hui Zhao" Class Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------
International Rectifier Corp. continues to defend itself from a
purported class action lawsuit captioned Hui Zhao v. International
Rectifier Corporation.

The lawsuit was filed in the Superior Court of the State of
California for the County of Los Angeles naming as defendants the
Company and all of its directors purporting to allege claims for
breach of fiduciary duty on behalf of a putative class of
investors based on the theory that the Board breached its
fiduciary duty by rejecting an August 2008 unsolicited, non-
binding proposal by Vishay Intertechnology, Inc. to acquire all
outstanding shares of the Company.  In April 2009, the Court
sustained the Company's demurrer to the amended complaint and
ordered the action to be dismissed with prejudice.  In June 2009,
plaintiffs in Zhao filed a notice of appeal from the final
judgment of dismissal.  In March 2010, plaintiffs-appellants filed
their opening brief.  Defendants-respondents' brief was filed on
June 7, 2010.  On August 12, the Court granted plaintiff-
appellants' request for a thirty day extension of the deadline to
file their reply brief to September 27, 2010 (which date was
further extended by the Court), and plaintiff-appellants filed
their reply brief within the extended time set by the Court.

No updates were reported in the Company's Jan. 31, 2011 Form 10-Q
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended December 26, 2010.

The Company says that it intends to continue to vigorously defend
against the appeal and against any claims asserted by plaintiffs-
appellants in this action should plaintiffs-appellants prevail on
appeal.


JACUZZI WHIRLPOOL: App. Ct. Rejects Safaie Re-certification Bid
---------------------------------------------------------------
A California appellate court affirmed a trial court's decision
denying re-certification of a class of customers who purchased
whirlpool bathtubs from Jacuzzi Whirlpool Bath, Inc. and Jacuzzi,
Inc.

In September 2004, Shahrokh Safaie filed a complaint on behalf of
himself and a class of bathtub purchasers against Jacuzzi,
alleging that Jacuzzi made false representations in its brochures,
marketing materials and advertisements that certain models of its
whirlpool bathtubs had two- or three-horsepower motors, when in
fact the tubs had less horsepower.  Mr. Safaie sought class
certification of his complaint in July 2005.  The trial court
rejected Jacuzzi's opposition to the request, and granted a
tentative class certification.

In September 2006, Jacuzzi argued that the class certification was
not appropriate and moved to decertify the class.  Mr. Safaie
refuted Jacuzzi's assertions.  In June 2007, the trial court
granted Jacuzzi's decertification motion based on its conclusion
that individual issues of fact predominated over common issues.
Mr. Safaie appealed the decertification order in August 2007.  In
November 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals of California affirmed
the 2007 order in November 2008.

However, Mr. Safaie formally moved for class recertification of
his Unfair Competition Law claims in July 2009.  He argued that
the 2007 Order does not bar his recertification request because of
the intervening change of law exception to the law of the case
doctrine.  After a hearing, the trial court denied the motion,
finding that Mr. Safaie was barred from renewing his class
certification motion after the prior decertification order was
affirmed on appeal.

Although the order denying recertification is not appealable, the
Appellate Court exercised its decision to treat the appeal as a
writ petition.  Upon review, the Appellate Court held that the
trial court properly denied Mr. Safaie's Motion based on the
"state law policy" rule that a party is not entitled to bring a
renewed motion for class certification after a court has issued a
final order denying certification.  "We thus do not reach Safaie's
challenges to the court's alternate ground for denying the motion
based on the law of case doctrine," the Appellate Court opined.

A copy of the Appellate Court's January 25, 2011 Order is
available at http://is.gd/ilDV2Uat Leagle.com


MCKENZIE CHECK: Customers Can Pursue Class Action, Court Rules
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jane Musgrave, writing for Palm Beach Post, reports an appeals
court on Feb. 2 paved the way for a multi-million-dollar class-
action suit against McKenzie Check Advance of Florida, which
thousands of desperate consumers knew as National Cash Advance.

The Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld a 2008 decision by Palm
Beach County Circuit Judge Elizabeth Maass.  She threw out a
provision in the company's contract that forced customers to waive
their rights to join class-action lawsuits.  The provision, the
appeals court agreed, denied people the right to seek redress.

In upholding Judge Maass's ruling, the appeals court also asked
the Florida Supreme Court to decide whether such waivers violate
public policy.

Attorney Ted Leopold, who represents consumers against McKenzie,
said the high court is to consider the issue this week in an
unrelated case.  Officials from McKenzie have said they don't
comment on pending litigation.


NICOR INC: Being Sold for Too Little, Ill. Suit Claims
------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Nicor is selling itself too
cheaply through an unfair process to AGL Resources and Apollo
Acquisition Corp., for $3.1 billion or $53 per share in cash and
share swaps, shareholders claim in Cook County Chancery Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Phillips v. Nicor Inc., et al., Case
No. 10CH52465 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Ill. Cty.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/02/02/SCA.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Mark D. Belongia, Esq.
          Harry O. Channon, Esq.
          BELONGIA SHAPIRO & FRANKLIN, LLP
          20 South Clarks Street, Suite 300
          Chicago, IL 60603
          Telephone: 312-662-1030

               - and -

          David H. Leventhal, Esq.
          FARUQI & FARUQI, LLP
          369 Lexington Avenue, 10th Floor
          New York, NY 10017
          Telephone: (212) 983-9330


NOVAMED INC: Board Sued Over Sale of Company to Surgery Center
--------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Caltabiano, individually, and on behalf of others similarly
situated v. Thomas Hall, et al., Case No. 2011-CH-03879 (Ill. Cir.
Ct., Cook Cty. January 31, 2011, accuses the Board of Directors of
NovaMed, Inc., of breaching their fiduciary duties to the
Company's public shareholders arising out of their attempt to sell
the Company to Surgery Center Holdings, Inc., by means of an
unfair process and for an unfair price.

According to the Complaint, NovaMed and Surgery Center aided and
abetted said breaches by NovaMed's officers and directors.   Mr.
Caltabiano, who owns shares of common stock of NovaMed, seeks to
enjoin the proposed transaction unless and until defendants cure
their breaches of fiduciary duty.

NovaMed operates, develops and acquires ambulatory surgery centers
in partnership with physicians and holds majority ownership
interests in 37 surgery centers located in 19 states.  Defendant
Thomas Hall has been the President, Chief Executive Officer, and a
director of the Company since 2005, and Chairman of the Board of
the Company since 2007.  Surgery Center Holdings owns and operates
twelve ambulatory surgical centers, and is an affiliate of H.I.G.
Capital, LLC, a leading global private equity investment firm.

On January 21,2011, Surgery Center and NovaMed announced a
definitive agreement under which Surgery Center, through its
wholly owned subsidiary, Wildcat Merger Sub, will acquire all of
the outstanding shares of NovaMed for $13.25 per share in cash.
The proposed transaction is valued at $214 million, including the
assumption of debt.

Mr. Caltabiano relates in the Complaint that given NovaMed's
recent performance as well its future growth prospects, the
consideration shareholders are to receive is inadequate and
significantly undervalues the Company.

Mr. Caltabiano adds that defendants have exacerbated their
breaches of fiduciary duty by agreeing to lock up the proposed
transaction with deal protection devices that preclude other
bidders from making a successful competing offer for the Company.

Pursuant to the merger agreement dated January 20, 2011,
defendants agreed to:

  (i) a strict no-solicitation provision that prevents the Company
      from soliciting other potential acquirors or even in
      continuing discussions and negotiations with potential
      acquirors;

(ii) a provision that provides Surgery Center with three business
      days to match any competing proposal in the event one is
      made; and

(iii) a provision that requires the Company to pay Surgery Center
      a termination fee of $4,368,000 in order to enter into a
      transaction with a superior bidder.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Mark D. Belongiz, Esq.
          Harry O. Channon, Esq.
          BELONGIA, SHAPIRO & FRANKLIN, LLP
          20 South Clarks Street, Suite 300
          Chicago, Illinois 60603
          Telephone: (312) 662-1030

               - and -

          Joseph Levi, Esq.
          W. Scott Holleman, Esq.
          LEVI & KORSINSKY, LLP
          30 Broad Street, 15th Floor
          New York, New York 10004
          Telephone: (212) 363-7500


POWER BALANCE: Sued for Falsely Advertising Benefits of Wristbands
------------------------------------------------------------------
C.F.C., minor, by and through Christine F., his parent and
guardian, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated v.
Power Balance, LLC, Case No. 11-cv-00487 (N.D. Calif. February 1,
2011), accuses Power Balance, of falsely advertising that its
wristbands, pendants and other jewelry with "Mylar Holograms" and
the holograms themselves improve balance, strength, flexibility,
endurance, and stamina.

Power Balance, a Delaware limited liability company, distributes
and sells the products in California and throughout the United
States.

The Plaintiff, who purchased a Power Balance bracelet at a Sports
Authority retail store in Foster City, California ,in December
2010, says that defendant has no basis for these representations.

In fact, the Plaintiff cites that defendant recently admitted that
"there is no credible scientific evidence" to support these
claims, and that it "engaged in misleading conduct" in marketing
the products.  Plaintiff relates that he would not have purchased
the products but for defendant's false promotion of these
"illusory" benefits.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Mark N. Todzo, Esq.
          Howard Hirsch, Esq.
          LEXINGON LAW GROUP
          1627 Irving Street
          San Francisco, CA 94122
          Telephone: (415) 759-4111
          E-mail: motodzo@lexlawgroup.com

               - and -

          Christopher M. Burke, Esq.
          SCOTT + SCOTT LLP
          600 B Street, Suite 1500
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 233-4565
          E-mail: cburke@scott-scott.com


QUEST DIAGNOSTICS: Defends Age Discrimination Suit in New Jersey
----------------------------------------------------------------
Quest Diagnostics Incorporated continues to defend itself from a
class action lawsuit alleging violations of age discrimination
laws in New Jersey, according to a Jan. 31, 2011 Form 8-K filed by
the Company with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

In November 2010, a putative class action was filed against the
Company and certain present and former officers of the Company in
the Superior Court of New Jersey, Essex County, on behalf of the
Company's sales people nationwide who were over forty years old
and who either resigned or were terminated after being placed on a
performance improvement plan.  The complaint alleges that the
defendants' conduct violates the New Jersey Law Against
Discrimination, and seeks, among other things, unspecified
damages.  The defendants removed the complaint to the United
States District Court for the District of New Jersey.  Based on
the current facts and circumstances, a liability, if any, is not
determinable at this time.  Although management does not
anticipate that the ultimate outcome of such matters will have a
material adverse effect on the Company's financial condition, the
outcome may be material to the Company's results of operations or
cash flows in the period in which the impact of such matters is
determined or paid.


SIMON & SCHUSTER: Sued Over Jimmy Carter's Book on Palestine
------------------------------------------------------------
A historic class action suit has been filed against former
President Jimmy Carter and the Simon & Schuster publishing company
alleging that Mr. Carter's book, "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid,"
contained numerous false and knowingly misleading statements
intended to promote the author's agenda of anti-Israel propaganda
and to deceive the reading public instead of presenting accurate
information as advertised.  The suit, captioned Unterberg et al.
v. Jimmy Carter et .al (11 cv 0720), filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, seeks
compensatory and punitive damages.

Courthouse News Service reports that in a federal class action,
five people demand damages from Jimmy Carter and Simon & Schuster.

The plaintiffs, who hope to have the case certified as a class
action, are members of the reading public who purchased
Mr. Carter's book expecting that they were buying an accurate and
factual record of historic events concerning Israel and the
Palestinian Arabs.  The lawsuit contends that Carter, who holds
himself out as a Middle-East expert, and his publisher,
intentionally presented untrue and inaccurate information and
sought to capitalize on the author's status as a former President
to mislead unsuspecting members of the public.  The complaint
alleges that the defendants' misrepresentations, all highly
critical of Israel, violate New York consumer protection laws,
specifically New York General Business Law section 349, which
makes it unlawful to engage in deceptive acts in the course of
conducting business.  While acknowledging Mr. Carter's right to
publish his personal views, the plaintiffs assert that the
defendants violated the law and, thus, harmed those who purchased
the book.

The suit is the first time a former President and a publishing
house have been sued for violating consumer protection laws by
knowingly publishing inaccurate information while promoting a book
as factual.

The plaintiffs are represented by attorney David Schoen, Esq. of
Montgomery, Alabama and attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Esq. of
Tel-Aviv, Israel.

The complaint notes that after the book's publication some of
Carter's closest aides, including distinguished public officials
and scholars personally involved in the events described,
condemned the book as untruthful.  Despite being presented with
irrefutable proof that many of representations in the book are
false, the defendants have refused to make any corrections.

Attorney Schoen stated that: "It is, indeed, a sad day for all of
us as Americans, when a former President demeans the dignity of
his office by intentionally misstating critically important facts
concerning events of great historic significance and public
interest, simply to advance a personal anti-Israel animus and to
foster the agenda of the enemies of Israel who pump so much money
into the Center which bears his name."

Attorney Darshan-Leitner stated that: "The lawsuit will expose all
the falsehoods and misrepresentations in Carter's book and prove
that his hatred of Israel has led him to commit this fraud on the
public.  He is entitled to his opinions but deceptions and lies
have no place in works of history."

A copy of the complaint is available at http://is.gd/jJe6Aq

For more information please contact:

          Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Esq.
          Telephone: (516) 684-9983
          E-mail: nitsanad@zahav.net.il

               - or -

          David Schoen, Esq.
          Telephone: (334) 395-6611
          E-mail: david@schoenlawfirm.com


SPRINT NEXTEL: Suit Complains About "Everything Messaging" Plan
---------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Sprint Nextel double bills
customers for sending photos from cell phones, though they bought
an "Everything Messaging" plan that includes photos, according to
a federal class action.

A copy of the Complaint in Tinkham v. Sprint Spectrum L.P. d/b/a
Sprint Nextel, Case No. 11-cv-_____, docketed as Doc. 10663 in
Case No. 33-av-00001 on Feb. 1, 2011 (D. N.J.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/02/02/Sprint.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Rachel J. Geman, Esq.
          Daniel Leathers, Esq.
          LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN, LLP
          250 Hudston Street, 8th Floor
          New York, NY 10013-1413
          Telephone: (212) 355-9500
          E-mail: rgeman@lchb.com
                  dleathers@lchb.com

               - and -

          Michael W. Sobol, Esq.
          Katherine M. Lehe, Esq.
          LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN, LLP
          275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94111-3339
          Telephone: (415) 956-1000
          E-mail: msobol@lchb.com
                  klehe@lchb.com


TEMPUR-PEDIC: Petition for En Banc Review Pending in "Jacobs" Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiff in Jacobs v. Tempur-Pedic International, Inc. and
Tempur-Pedic North America, Inc., wants the Eleventh Circuit Court
of Appeals to review a ruling dismissing its antitrust class
action lawsuit against Tempur-Pedic International Inc., according
to the Company's Jan. 31, 2011, Form 10-K filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2010.

On January 5, 2007, a purported class action was filed against the
Company in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia, Rome Division (Jacobs v. Tempur-Pedic
International, Inc. and Tempur-Pedic North America, Inc.).  The
Antitrust Action alleges violations of federal antitrust law
arising from the pricing of Tempur-Pedic mattress products by
Tempur-Pedic North America and certain distributors.  The action
alleges a class of all purchasers of Tempur-Pedic mattresses in
the United States since January 5, 2003, and seeks damages and
injunctive relief. Count Two of the complaint was dismissed by the
court on June 25, 2007, based on a motion filed by the Company.
Following a decision issued by the United States Supreme Court in
Leegin Creative Leather Prods., Inc. v. PSKS, Inc. on June 28,
2007, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the remaining two
counts of the Antitrust Action on July 10, 2007. On December 11,
2007, that motion was granted and, as a result, judgment was
entered in favor of the Company and the plaintiffs' complaint was
dismissed with prejudice.

On December 21, 2007, the plaintiffs filed a "Motion to Alter or
Amend Judgment," which was fully briefed. On May 1, 2008, that
motion was denied.  Jacobs appealed the dismissal of their claims,
and the parties argued the appeal before the United States Circuit
Court for the Eleventh Circuit on December 11, 2008.  The Court
rendered an opinion favorable to the Company on December 2, 2010,
affirming the trial court's refusal to allow Jacobs to alter or
amend its pleadings and dismissing its claims.  Jacobs has
subsequently petitioned the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals for an
"en banc" review of the three-judge panel's ruling.

The Company continues to strongly believe that the Antitrust
Action lacks merit, and intends to defend against the claims
vigorously.  Based on the findings of the court to date and an
assessment of the Company's meritorious defenses, the Company
believes that it is remote that it will incur a loss with respect
to this matter.  However, due to the inherent uncertainties of
litigation, the Company cannot predict the outcome of the
Antitrust Action at this time, and can give no assurance that
these claims will not have a material adverse affect on the
Company's financial position or results of operation.

Tempur-Pedic International Inc. -- http://www.tempurpedic.com/
-- is a manufacturer, marketer and distributor of mattresses and
pillows, which it sells in approximately 80 countries under the
TEMPUR and Tempur-Pedic brands.  The company has two operating
segments: Domestic and International.  The Domestic operating
segment consists of United States manufacturing facilities, whose
customers include its United States distribution subsidiary and
certain third party distributors in the Americas.  The
International segment consists of its manufacturing facility in
Denmark, whose customers include all of the company's distribution
subsidiaries and third party distributors outside the Domestic
segment.


TUESDAY MORNING: Continues to Defend Class Suit Pending in Alabama
------------------------------------------------------------------
Tuesday Morning Corporation continues to defend itself against a
class action lawsuit filed by a former store manager in Alabama,
according to the Company's Jan. 31, 2011 Form 10-Q filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Dec. 31,
2010.

In July of 2009, a lawsuit by a former store manager alleging
failure to pay overtime was filed in Alabama.  The suit seeks
class action status to include all current and former store
managers.  This case is still in the initial stages of litigation.
The Company does not expect any of these complaints to have a
material impact on its financial statements.

Tuesday Morning Corporation -- http://www.tuesdaymorning.com/--
is a closeout retailer of upscale home furnishings, housewares,
gifts and related items in the United States.  The company's
merchandise primarily consists of lamps, rugs, kitchen
accessories, small electronics, gourmet housewares, linens,
luggage, bedroom and bathroom accessories, toys, stationary and
silk plants, as well as crystal, collectibles and silver serving
pieces.


TUESDAY MORNING: Discovery in Non-Exempt Employees' Suit Ongoing
----------------------------------------------------------------
In December 2008, a class action lawsuit was filed against Tuesday
Morning Corporation by hourly, non-exempt employees in the
Superior Court of California in and for the County of Los Angeles,
alleging claims covering meal and rest period violations. The
court recently lifted the stay that had previously been in place
and the Company is now moving forward with discovery.  The Company
does not expect the complaint to have a material impact on its
financial statements, according to the Company's Jan. 31, 2011
Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarter ended December 31, 2010.

Tuesday Morning Corporation -- http://www.tuesdaymorning.com/--
is a closeout retailer of upscale home furnishings, housewares,
gifts and related items in the United States.  The company's
merchandise primarily consists of lamps, rugs, kitchen
accessories, small electronics, gourmet housewares, linens,
luggage, bedroom and bathroom accessories, toys, stationary and
silk plants, as well as crystal, collectibles and silver serving
pieces.


UNITED HEALTH: Pomerantz Files ERISA Class Action
-------------------------------------------------
Pomerantz Haudek Grossman & Gross LLP filed a class action lawsuit
against UnitedHealth Group and Health Net of the Northeast, Inc.
on behalf of a putative nationwide class of health care providers,
as well as the Ohio State Chiropractic Association.  United's
acquisition of Health Net of the Northeast's health insurance
business closed in December 2009, adding to United's status as the
nation's largest private health plan by revenue.  The suit
challenges the Defendants' abusive practices in using post-payment
audits and reviews, and improper repayment demands, to pressure
providers to repay substantial sums that had previously been paid
as health insurance benefits.

The action alleges that the post-payment audit and review process
as applied by the Defendants violates the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), in that its repayment
demands are retroactive determinations that particular services
are not covered under the terms of the United and Health Net
health care plans, but without proper appeal or other protections
otherwise available under ERISA for both self-funded and fully
insured health care plans offered through private employers.

"ERISA establishes the procedures that insurance companies must
follow when making benefit determinations -- whether prior to
payment or retroactively," says Plaintiffs' counsel, D. Brian
Hufford of Pomerantz.  "The Defendants here, as is true for many
insurance companies, are violating their ERISA obligations in
order to recover funds that simply do not belong to them."

In the complaint, Plaintiffs allege that, as a means to maximize
their profits, United and Health Net used their post-payment audit
and review process to make retroactive adverse benefit
determinations whereby they demand that providers repay funds they
had previously received for providing services to United and
Health Net subscribers.  Moreover, Defendants frequently withhold
new benefit payments for unrelated services to apply toward the
alleged overpayments, even where there has been no valid appeal
process or validation that any sums are in fact owed by the
providers, a practice called "offsetting."  Plaintiffs' Co-
Counsel, Vincent Buttaci of Buttaci & Leardi, LLC, states that
"providers are placed in an untenable position as a result of
false fraud allegations made against them in an effort to coerce
and intimidate, and through our lawsuit they are now fighting
back."

Pomerantz and Buttaci & Leardi have pending actions against a
number of Blue Cross and Blue Shield entities, as well as Aetna,
Inc., asserting similar claims.  Robert J. Axelrod of Pomerantz
notes that "the current defendants represent some of the largest
insurers in the country, but certainly are not the only ones
engaged in this improper conduct against all type of providers,
including both individuals and health care facilities and
hospitals."  Plaintiffs seek to enjoin United and Health Net from
continuing to engage in impermissible audit and recovery practices
and to compel them to return the funds they have improperly
withheld.

Counsel for plaintiffs are continuing to investigate these claims,
and other related claims that may be added to the litigation.  If
you have any questions, please contact:

          D. Brian Hufford, Esq.
          POMERANTZ HAUDEK GROSSMAN & GROSS LLP
          Telephone: 212-661-1100, x233
                     888-476-6529
          E-mail: dbhufford@pomlaw.com


VICTORVILLE, CA: May Face Class Action Over Red-Light Cameras
-------------------------------------------------------------
Brooke Edwards, writing for Victorville Daily Press, reports that
before a City Hall packed with tea partiers, Mayor Ryan McEachron
called on Feb. 2 for the city to investigate what it will take to
remove its 10 red-light cameras.

"I want it in writing that you want to spend taxpayer dollars to
take out these cameras and to fight a lawsuit," Mayor McEachron
told the tea party, anticipating there will be litigation over
Victorville's contract with camera operator RedFlex.

The standing-room only crowd responded in unison "here here!" and
broke out into loud applause at the announcement, which was
triggered by a request from Councilwoman Angela Valles.

The former City Council approved a five-year contract with
Arizona-based RedFlex in 2007, with Victorville adding cameras to
monitor 16 approaches at 10 intersections by the end of the
following year.

But with dwindling revenue, a public disgruntled over the $456
ticket and little evidence to show that six of those cameras had
improved safety or traffic flow, Victorville negotiated a deal to
remove six cameras and extend the contract on the rest until 2014.

According to the contract, Victorville can terminate its agreement
with RedFlex if "any court having jurisdiction over city rules, or
state or federal statute declares, that results from the RedFlex
System of photo red light enforcement are inadmissible in
evidence."

Brandon Wood, a local criminal attorney, spoke on behalf of the
tea party and cited two California appellate courts that have
ruled RedFlex photos and videos as inadmissible.

Cliff Raynolds, captain of the San Bernardino County Sheriff's
Department's Victorville station, said he spoke with the judge who
hears the local red-light citation cases and asked if anything has
changed in San Bernardino County as a result of those Los Angeles
and Orange County cases.  He was told those rulings did not impact
this county.

Mr. Wood said that as soon as a local appellate court overturns
one of the red-light camera tickets, he plans to file a class
action suit on behalf of everyone who's received a ticket and seek
to have those fines refunded.

Along with 192 cards from residents wishing to speak against the
cameras, Brad Mitzelfelt, 1st District Supervisor for San
Bernardino County, had a letter read into the record calling for
Victorville to remove the cameras.  Mr. Mitzelfelt called the
cameras "intrusive" and stated their constitutionality has been
called into question.

Assemblyman Tim Donnelly, RTwin Peaks, also had a letter read into
the record calling for cameras to come down.

The local tea party is also asking Sheriff Rod Hoops to refuse to
provide personnel to prosecute the tickets, Mr. Wood said.

Mr. Raynolds presented a graph showing overall collisions have
gone down since the cameras were installed.  That included a drop
in rear-end collisions, commonly believed to increase with red-
light cameras because of drivers stopping short.

During the last six months of 2010, Mr. Raynolds showed the
cameras captured 27,382 potential violations. Of those, more than
89% were thrown out without issuing citations.  And of the 2,988
violations that stood, 255 were dismissed in court.

City Manager Jim Cox said staff will aim to bring a cost analysis
on what it would take to pull out the cameras back to the City
Council within 30 days.


                             *********

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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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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.

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