CAR_Public/110912.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Monday, September 12, 2011, Vol. 13, No. 180

                             Headlines

BEAM WINES: Faces Class Action Over False Claims on Skinnygirl
BRIGGS & STRATTON: Continues to Defend Horsepower Suits in Canada
BRIGGS & STRATTON: Court Vacates Dismissal of Retirees' Suit
CIRCLE K: Faces Class Action in Florida Over Unpaid Overtime
CITY OF PORTLAND, OR: Police, Firefighters Sue Over Pension

DIRECTV: Court Denies Motion to Compel Arbitration
DRUG STORES: Appeal Ruling in W.Va. AG's Drug-Pricing Case
EMDEON INC: Being Sold to Blackstone for Too Little, Suit Claims
H&R BLOCK: Appeal in "Basile" Class Suit Still Pending
H&R BLOCK: Class Certification Bid in "Drake" Suit Still Pending

H&R BLOCK: Final Settlement Hearing Set for Oct. 20 in EquiCo Deal
H&R BLOCK: First Circuit Refuses to Hear Appeal in "Barrett" Suit
H&R BLOCK: Wage and Hour Class Action Suits Remain Pending
J.CREW GROUP: Awaits OK of Sale-Related Delaware Suit Settlement
KASHI CO: Sued Over Misleading "All Natural" Product Labels

KERZNER INT'L: Disputes Class Suit Over Housekeeping Gratuity Fee
ONLINE TRAVEL COS: Town of Vail May Take Part in Class Action
PINNACLE GROUP: Settles Tenants' Harassment Class Action
PRET A MANGER: Faces Class Action Over Labor Law Violations
STATE OF FLORIDA: ACLU Files Suit Over Welfare Drug Testing

SWIFT TRANSPORTATION: Truckers' Class Action Set for Trial
TORO CO: Continues to Defend Lawnmower Suit in Canada
TOYOTA MOTOR: Plaintiffs' Lawyers Want to Limit Depositions
TURLOCK IRRIGATION DISTRICT: Case Conference Set for Sept. 19
UNITED STATES: Keepseagle Class Action Members Get Assistance

WAL-MART STORES: Calif. Court Extends Tolling in "Dukes" Suit
WAL-MART STORES: Court Denies Rehearing Bid in "Braun/Hummel" Suit





                             *********

BEAM WINES: Faces Class Action Over False Claims on Skinnygirl
--------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a federal class action claims
Beam Wines & Spirits falsely advertises its Skinnygirl Margarita
as "all-natural," though it contains preservatives, including
sodium benzoate.

A copy of the Complaint in Bonar v. Beam Global Spirits & Wine,
Inc., et al., Case No. 11-cv-_____ (S.D. Calif.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/09/07/Skinnygirl.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          George Rikos, Esq.
          THE LAW OFFICES OF GEORGE RIKOS
          1307 Stratford Court
          Del Mar, CA 92014
          Telephone: (858) 342-9161
          E-mail: geore@georgerikoslaw.com


BRIGGS & STRATTON: Continues to Defend Horsepower Suits in Canada
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Briggs & Stratton Corporation is subject to various unresolved
legal actions that arise in the normal course of its business.
These actions typically relate to product liability (including
asbestos-related liability), patent and trademark matters, and
disputes with customers, suppliers, distributors and dealers,
competitors and employees.

Starting with the first complaint in June 2004, various plaintiff
groups filed complaints in state and federal courts across the
country against the Company and other engine and lawnmower
manufacturers alleging that the horsepower labels on the products
they purchased were inaccurate and that the Company conspired with
other engine and lawnmower manufacturers to conceal the true
horsepower of these engines ("Horsepower Class Actions").  On
December 5, 2008, the Multidistrict Litigation Panel coordinated
and transferred the cases to Judge Adelman of the U. S. District
Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (In Re: Lawnmower
Engine Horsepower Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, Case
No. 2:08-md-01999).

On February 24, 2010, the Company entered into a Stipulation of
Settlement ("Settlement") that resolves all of the Horsepower
Class Actions.  The Settlement resolves all horsepower-labeling
claims brought by all persons or entities in the United States
who, beginning January 1, 1994, through the date notice of the
Settlement is first given, purchased, for use and not for resale,
a lawn mower containing a gas combustible engine up to 30
horsepower provided that either the lawn mower or the engine of
the lawn mower was manufactured or sold by a Defendant.  On
August 16, 2010, Judge Adelman issued a final order approving the
Settlement as well as the settlements of all other defendants.  In
August and September 2010, several class members filed a Notice of
Appeal of Judge Adelman's final approval order to the U. S. Court
of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  All of those appeals were
settled as of February 16, 2011, with no additional contribution
from Briggs & Stratton.

As part of the Settlement, the Company denies any and all
liability and seeks resolution to avoid further protracted and
expensive litigation.  The settling defendants as a group agreed
to pay an aggregate amount of $51 million.  However, the monetary
contribution of the amount of each of the settling defendants is
confidential.  In addition, the Company, along with the other
settling defendants, agreed to injunctive relief regarding their
future horsepower labeling, as well as procedures that will allow
purchasers of lawnmower engines to seek a one-year extended
warranty free of charge.  Under the terms of the Settlement, the
balance of settlement funds were paid, and the one-year warranty
extension program began to run, on March 1, 2011.  As a result of
the Settlement, the Company recorded a total charge of $30.6
million in the third quarter of fiscal year 2010 representing the
total of the Company's monetary portion of the Settlement and the
estimated costs of extending the warranty period for one year.

On March 19, 2010, new plaintiffs filed a complaint in the Ontario
Superior Court of Justice in Canada (Robert Foster et al. v. Sears
Canada, Inc. et al., Docket No. 766-2010).  On May 3, 2010, other
plaintiffs filed a complaint in the Montreal Superior Court in
Canada (Eric Liverman, et al. v. Deere & Company, et al., Docket
No. 500-06-000507-109).  Both Canadian complaints contain
allegations and seek relief under Canadian law that are similar to
the Horsepower Class Actions.  The Company is evaluating the
complaints and has not yet filed an answer or other responsive
pleading to either one.

No further updates were reported in the Company's September 1,
2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended July 3, 2011.


BRIGGS & STRATTON: Court Vacates Dismissal of Retirees' Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin
vacated its dismissal of a putative class action lawsuit commenced
by Briggs & Stratton Corporation's retirees, according to the
Company's September 1, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
July 3, 2011.

On May 14, 2010, the Company notified retirees and certain
retirement eligible employees of various changes to the Company-
sponsored retiree medical plans.  The purpose of the amendments
was to better align the plans offered to both hourly and salaried
retirees.  On August 16, 2010, a putative class of retirees who
retired prior to August 1, 2006, and the United Steel Workers
filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Wisconsin (Merrill, Weber, Carpenter, et al; United
Steel, Paper and Forestry, Rubber, Manufacturing, Energy, Allied
Industrial and Service Workers International Union, AFL-CIO/CLC v.
Briggs & Stratton Corporation; Group Insurance Plan of Briggs &
Stratton Corporation; and Does 1 through 20, Docket No. 10-C-
0700), contesting the Company's right to make these changes.  In
addition to a request for class certification, the complaint seeks
an injunction preventing the alleged unilateral termination or
reduction in insurance coverage to the class of retirees, a
permanent injunction preventing defendants from ever making
changes to the retirees' insurance coverage, restitution with
interest (if applicable) and attorneys' fees and costs.  The
Company moved to dismiss the complaint and believes the changes
are within its rights.  On April 21, 2011, the district court
issued an order granting the Company's motion to dismiss the
complaint.  The plaintiffs filed a motion with the court to
reconsider its order on May 17, 2011.  On August 24, 2011, the
Court granted the plaintiffs' motion and vacated the dismissal of
the case, and discovery will therefore proceed in the matter.

Although it is not possible to predict with certainty the outcome
of these unresolved legal actions or the range of possible loss,
the Company believes the unresolved legal actions will not have a
material adverse effect on its results of operations, financial
position or cash flows.


CIRCLE K: Faces Class Action in Florida Over Unpaid Overtime
------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Circle K Stores stiff workers
for overtime, according to a federal class action.

A copy of the Complaint in Dominguez, et al. v. Circle K Stores,
Inc., Case No. 11-cv-23196 (S.D. Fla.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/09/07/CircleK.pdf

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          R. Martin Saenz, Esq.
          THE SAENZ LAW FIRM, P.A.
          20900 N.E. 30th Avenue, Ste. 800
          Aventura, FL 33180
          Telephone: (305) 503.5131
          E-mail: msaenz@saenzlawfirm.com


CITY OF PORTLAND, OR: Police, Firefighters Sue Over Pension
-----------------------------------------------------------
Maxine Bernstein, writing for The Oregonian, reports that more
than 500 retired Portland police and firefighters and their
spouses have brought a class action lawsuit against the city,
arguing that the Portland's public safety retirement fund breached
their contract by trying to recoup nearly $3 million the fund
mistakenly overpaid them in pension benefits.

The lawsuit, filed initially by five plaintiffs in Multnomah
County Circuit Court, seeks to stop the Portland Fire and Police
Disability and Retirement Fund from withholding pension payments
that the fund's board says its members owe the city for
miscalculations that occurred for over a decade.

The suit asks the court to award damages of $25,000 per retiree,
as well as attorney fees.

Attorney Henry J. Kaplan is representing three retired police
officers and two retired firefighters who filed the complaint
Aug. 25 on behalf of themselves and all the affected retirees.

"In most normal contexts, an employer who has a claim against an
employee would file a lawsuit," Mr. Kaplan said Sept. 7.  But in
this case, the public safety fund moved ahead to recoup the money
without taking legal action, not giving the retirees an
opportunity to assert their rights, Mr. Kaplan said.

"Given the large number of plaintiffs, and the elderly status of
many of the claimants, a class action is the only reasonable
method by which to adjudicate this matter," Mr. Kaplan wrote in
the complaint.

Michael Cullivan, 65, a retired Portland police lieutenant, said
the fund has started taking $150 a month from his pension.  "The
pension board made the mistake.  We didn't," Mr. Cullivan said,
adding that he believes Portland's public safety retirees don't
owe the city because he contends they saved the city millions 30
years ago by not joining the state public employee pension system.
He added that the form letter informing each retiree of the money
owed didn't show how it was calculated.

Ken McGair, a deputy city attorney who advises the fund, declined
to comment.

Jeffery Robertson, a fund board member, said "it's concerning"
that retirees are suing the city when the city is simply trying to
fix an error.

"And I have every belief and hope that if the mistake was the
other way, if we had paid less than what we owed the members, the
firefighters or the police would be asking for the money even if
they had made the mistake."

The board, Mr. Robertson added, did not make this decision in a
vacuum, but was advised by the IRS.  "We are attempting to correct
the problem via the IRS' express edict," he said.

In 2008, the pension fund discovered that for 13 years it had
overpaid pension benefits to 940 retirees and surviving
beneficiaries, costing the fund an extra $2.89 million.

The public safety fund's board of trustees debated how to remedy
the mistake.  The board sought the approval of the Internal
Revenue Service, concerned that the mistake could put the fund's
tax-qualified status in jeopardy.  If the status was lost,
benefits now taxable only when received would instead become
taxable when the member becomes vested.

The board corrected payments in 2008.  But the IRS said more was
needed to be done and offered this choice: either ask voters to
forgive the overpayments or reduce benefit payments until the
money is repaid.

The Portland Fire and Police Disabilty and Retirement Fund began
in July moving to recoup nearly $3 million in miscalculated
pension payments from retirees.

This spring, the fund staff sent letters to retirees, alerting
them of their plan to defer cost-of-living increases for about 850
retirees until the amount they were overpaid is recovered.  For
some that will last one month; others more than three years.

"They paid it out in 13 years.  Now they want it back in two and a
half," Mr. Cullivan complained.

For fewer than 50 retirees who were overpaid a total of $54,000,
the fund will recoup the money monthly over an extended period of
time, based on an actuarial calculation.  Retirees also have had
the option of writing a check to the fund for the full amount.

The average overpayment is about 2.38%; the monthly impact ranges
from more than $100 a month, to less than a dollar a month.
Besides Mr. Cullivan, the other plaintiffs named are retired
firefighters Tim Anderson and James Leinweber and retired officers
Clara Renfro and Terry Wagner.

The class-action suit comes as an appellate court has reversed
another challenge by fund members, this time to the fund's return-
to-work program for disabled firefighters.  Oregon's appellate
court reversed a ruling by the state Employment Relations Board,
which held the city committed unfair labor practices by adopting a
return-to-work program for disabled firefighters without
bargaining the impact of the program with the union.  The court
sent the matter back to the state board for reconsideration.


DIRECTV: Court Denies Motion to Compel Arbitration
--------------------------------------------------
Lieff Cabraser represents subscribers of DirecTV that were
assessed fees ranging from $100 to $500 for the early cancellation
of their service.  The class action lawsuit alleges that these
fees were illegal because DirecTV failed to inform subscribers
that they were under any contractual obligation to maintain
service for a given period of time (usually 18 months or two
years) when they signed up for the service.  Within DirecTV's
customer agreement is a section providing for the arbitration of
most claims.

In November 2010, the District Court stayed the multi-district
litigation pending the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in AT&T
Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011).  In
Concepcion, by a 5 to 4 vote, the Supreme Court enforced a clause
in an arbitration agreement prohibiting consumers from seeking to
vindicate their rights through class actions.  Lower courts had
rejected AT&T Mobility's request, holding that the class-action
ban was unconscionable under California law because it would
exculpate the company from accountability for wrongdoing.  After
the Supreme Court ruled on Concepcion, the District Court in the
DirecTV matter lifted the stay, and DirecTV moved to compel
arbitration.

In an order issued September 8, 2011, U.S. District Court Judge
Andrew J. Guilford held that while he was bound by Concepcion to
reject plaintiffs' argument that the arbitration clause was
unconscionable (and on that basis compelled arbitration of
plaintiffs' claims for monetary damages), DirecTV's motion to
compel arbitration must be denied with respect to plaintiffs'
claims for injunctive relief under two California statutes: the
Consumer Legal Remedy Act ("CLRA") and the Unfair Competition Law
("UCL").

The holding is the first of its kind by a California federal judge
since Concepcion came down this past Spring, and an important step
in limiting the reach of Concepcion.  The District Court found
that "Plaintiffs bring their UCL and CLRA claims as private
attorneys general, seeking to vindicate a public right.  These
claims are not intended to remedy a primarily private right or
rights merely incidental to the public benefit."

"California law vigorously protects consumers by insisting,
regardless of what is stated in the one-sided contracts consumers
are forced to sign, that judges, not private arbitrators, are
entrusted with deciding whether broad public rights have been
violated," stated Lieff Cabraser attorney Jonathan D. Selbin, who
argued the motion for plaintiffs.  "Today's order affirms that
this case law remains operative following Concepcion and provides
a powerful legal tool to hold accountable corporations that commit
fraud and deceive consumers."

For questions or further information, please contact Jonathan S.
Selbin at jselbin@lchb.com

Lieff Cabraser serves on the Plaintiffs' Executive Committee in
the litigation, entitled In Re DirecTV Early Cancellation Fee
Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, MDL No. 09-2093.

The plaintiffs are represented by:

     Stephen H. Cassidy, Esq.
     LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN, LLP
     275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
     San Francisco, CA 94111-3339
     Telephone: 415-956-1000
     E-mail: scassidy@lchb.com


DRUG STORES: Appeal Ruling in W.Va. AG's Drug-Pricing Case
----------------------------------------------------------
John O'Brien, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that a group of
pharmacies has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court a decision that
permits West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw's lawsuit
against it to be heard in state court.

The group submitted its petition that asks for review of a
decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit on
Aug. 18, and it was placed on the Supreme Court's docket six days
later.  The pharmacies are claiming Mr. McGraw's drug-pricing case
against them is essentially a class action and should be heard in
federal court.

The case alleges six drug stores -- Wal-Mart, CVS, Kmart, Kroger,
Target and Walgreen -- did not pass savings on generic drugs to
consumers.

"Indeed, the West Virginia Attorney General's role here is more
analogous to the role of the EEOC or other regulator when it
brings an action on behalf of a large group of employees or a
segment of the public," the Fourth Circuit's 2-1 judgment says.
"Yet, the Supreme Court has concluded that such a regulator's
action is not a class action of the kind defined in Rule 23."

After the judgment, the drug stores unsuccessfully asked for a
rehearing of the case before all of the Fourth Circuit judges.
The Fourth Circuit then chose, by a 2-1 vote of the same three
judges who heard the case, not to issue a stay of its decision,
allowing the case to proceed in Boone County Circuit Court.  A
petition for a full rehearing of that ruling was also denied.

Judge Ronald Lee Gilman dissented in the judgment and was the only
member of the three-judge panel to vote for a stay.  Even though
the action was brought under state statutes, it doesn't take away
the "essence" of the case, he wrote in his dissent.

"(T)he elements of numerosity, commonality, typicality and
adequacy of representation have not been specifically pleaded,"
Judge Gilman wrote.  "But I submit that these are subsidiary
factors that do not detract from the essence of the action.

"They are, in other words, 'bells and whistles' whose absence in
the pleadings do not prevent the Attorney General's suit from
being considered a class action under CAFA."

Judge Gilman wrote that similar lawsuits filed by Mr. McGraw's
outside counsel in other states are undisputed class actions.

Mr. McGraw hired two private firms -- Bailey & Glasser and
DiTrapano Barrett & DiPiero -- for the case.  The two firms have
contributed more than $60,000 to McGraw's campaign fund over the
years, including $11,800 for his 2008 race against Republican Dan
Greear.

Bailey & Glasser brought similar lawsuits in Michigan and
Minnesota.  The Michigan suits were dismissed by a state judge
because the only specific pricing information was obtained by a
West Virginia whistleblower who worked at Kroger.

The Minnesota lawsuit, brought on behalf of unions that provide
health care for their members, was initially dismissed in November
2009 by former U.S. District Judge James Rosenbaum, who had harsh
words for the plaintiffs attorneys.

Judge Rosenbaum was peeved that the complaint, filed against 13
defendants, only contained specific pricing information about two
of them.

"(T)his Complaint utterly fails to state a cause of action on any
basis.  There are no, none, factual allegations touching any
defendant other than CVS and Walgreen's," Judge Rosenbaum said
Nov. 20, 2009.

"There being no facts from which a fact finder could infer any
liability concerning (the other defendants), and you asked me to
sustain a complaint based upon that.  It's not only laughable,
it's absolutely reprehensible."

A federal magistrate judge is currently deciding if that lawsuit
will be remanded to a Minnesota court.


EMDEON INC: Being Sold to Blackstone for Too Little, Suit Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that shareholders say Emdeon, a
health-care payment manager, is selling itself too cheaply through
an unfair process to Blackstone Capital Partners, for $19 a share
or $3 billion.

A copy of the Complaint in Rohrbacher v. Emdeon Inc., et al., Case
No. 11-cv-00845 (M.D. Tenn.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/09/07/SCA.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          George E. Barrett, Esq.
          Douglas S. Johnston, Esq.
          Timothy Miles, Esq.
          BARRETT JOHNSTON, LLC
          217 Second Avenue North
          Nashville, TN 37201
          Telephone: (615) 244-2202
          E-mail: tmiles@barrettjohnston.com

               - and -

          Brian J. Robbins, Esq.
          Arshan Amiri, Esq.
          Lauren E. Rosner, Esq.
          ROBBINS UMEDA LLP
          600 B Street, Suite 1900
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 525-3990
          E-mail: brobbins@robbinsumeda.com
                  aamiri@robbinsumeda.com
                  lrosner@robbinsumeda.com

               - and -

          Willie Briscoe, Esq.
          THE BRISCOE LAW FIRM, PLLC
          8117 Preston Road, Suite 300
          Dallas, TX 75225
          Telephone: (214) 706-9314
          E-mail: wbriscoe@thebriscoelawfirm.com

               - and -

          Patrick Powers, Esq.
          POWERS TAYLOR LLP
          8150 N. Central Expressway, Suite 1575
          Dallas, TX 75206
          Telephone: (214) 239-4565
          E-mail: patrick@powerstaylor.com


H&R BLOCK: Appeal in "Basile" Class Suit Still Pending
------------------------------------------------------
H&R Block, Inc.'s appeal from the reversal of class
decertification in the lawsuit commenced by Sandra J. Basile, et
al., remains pending, according to the Company's September 1,
2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended July 31, 2011.

The Company has been named in multiple lawsuits as defendants in
litigation regarding its refund anticipation loan program in past
years.  All of those lawsuits have been settled or otherwise
resolved, except for one.

The sole remaining case is a putative class action styled Sandra
J. Basile, et al. v. H&R Block, Inc., et al., April Term 1992
Civil Action No. 3246 in the Court of Common Pleas, First Judicial
District Court of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia County, instituted on
April 23, 1993.  The plaintiffs allege inadequate disclosures with
respect to the RAL product and assert claims for violation of
consumer protection statutes, negligent misrepresentation, breach
of fiduciary duty, common law fraud, usury, and violation of the
Truth In Lending Act. Plaintiffs seek unspecified actual and
punitive damages, injunctive relief, attorneys' fees and costs.  A
Pennsylvania class was certified, but later decertified by the
trial court in December 2003.  An appellate court subsequently
reversed the decertification decision.  The Company is appealing
the reversal.  The Company has not concluded that a loss related
to this matter is probable nor has it accrued a loss contingency
related to this matter.  Plaintiffs have not provided a dollar
amount of their claim and the Company is not able to estimate a
possible range of loss.  The Company believes it has meritorious
defenses to this case and intends to defend it vigorously.  There
can be no assurances, however, as to the outcome of this case or
its impact on the Company's consolidated results of operations.


H&R BLOCK: Class Certification Bid in "Drake" Suit Still Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs' motion for class certification in the putative class
action lawsuit commenced by Jeanne Drake, et al., remains pending,
according to H&R Block, Inc.'s September 1, 2011, Form 10-Q filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended July 31, 2011.

H&R Block, Inc.'s portfolio includes loans originated by Sand
Canyon Corporation (SCC) and purchased by H&R Block Bank (HRB
Bank) which constitute 63% of the Company's total loan portfolio
at July 31, 2011.

On December 9, 2009, a putative class action lawsuit was filed in
the United States District Court for the Central District of
California against SCC and H&R Block, Inc. styled Jeanne Drake, et
al. v. Option One Mortgage Corp., et al. (Case No. SACV09-1450
CJC).  Plaintiffs allege breach of contract, promissory fraud,
intentional interference with contractual relations, wrongful
withholding of wages and unfair business practices in connection
with the failure to pay severance benefits to employees when their
employment transitioned to American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc.
in connection with the sale of certain assets and operations of
Option One.  Plaintiffs seek to recover severance benefits of
approximately $8 million, interest and attorney's fees, in
addition to penalties and punitive damages on certain claims.
Plaintiffs' motion for class certification is pending.  All
parties have filed motions for summary judgment.  The court has
set a hearing on all pending motions on August 29, 2011.  The
Company has not concluded that a loss related to this matter is
probable nor has it established a loss contingency related to this
matter.  The Company believes it has meritorious defenses to the
claims in this case and intends to defend the case vigorously, but
there can be no assurances as to its outcome or its impact on the
Company's consolidated results of operations.


H&R BLOCK: Final Settlement Hearing Set for Oct. 20 in EquiCo Deal
------------------------------------------------------------------
A final approval hearing is set for October 20, 2011, with respect
to an agreement to settle a lawsuit against H&R Block, Inc.'s
subsidiary, according to the Company's September 1, 2011, Form 10-
Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended July 31, 2011.

The Company's subsidiary, RSM EquiCo, Inc. (EquiCo), EquiCo's
parent and certain of its subsidiaries and affiliates, are parties
to a class action filed on July 11, 2006, and styled Do Right's
Plant Growers, et al. v. RSM EquiCo, Inc., et al. (the "RSM
Parties"), Case No. 06 CC00137, in the California Superior Court,
Orange County.  The complaint contains allegations relating to
business valuation services provided by EquiCo, including
allegations of fraud, conversion and unfair competition.
Plaintiffs seek unspecified actual and punitive damages, in
addition to pre-judgment interest and attorneys' fees.  On
March 17, 2009, the court granted plaintiffs' motion for class
certification on all claims.  To avoid the cost and inherent risk
associated with litigation, the parties reached an agreement to
settle the case, subject to approval by the California Superior
Court.  The settlement requires a maximum payment of $41.5
million, although the actual cost of the settlement will depend on
the number of valid claims submitted by class members.  The
California Superior Court preliminarily approved the settlement on
July 29, 2011.  A final approval hearing is set for October 20,
2011.  The defendants believe they have meritorious defenses to
the claims in this case and, if for any reason the settlement is
not approved, they will continue to defend the case vigorously.
Although the Company has a liability recorded for expected losses,
there can be no assurance regarding the outcome of this matter.


H&R BLOCK: First Circuit Refuses to Hear Appeal in "Barrett" Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The First Circuit Court of Appeals declined to hear the
defendants' appeal from the approval of class certification in the
lawsuit commenced by Cecil Barrett, et al., according to H&R
Block, Inc.'s September 1, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended July 31,
2011.

H&R Block, Inc.'s portfolio includes loans originated by Sand
Canyon Corporation (SCC) and purchased by H&R Block Bank (HRB
Bank) which constitute 63% of the Company's total loan portfolio
at July 31, 2011.

On February 1, 2008, a class action lawsuit was filed in the
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
against SCC and other related entities styled Cecil Barrett, et
al. v. Option One Mortgage Corp., et al. (Civil Action No. 08-
10157-RWZ).  Plaintiffs allege discriminatory practices relating
to the origination of mortgage loans in violation of the Fair
Housing Act and Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and seek declaratory
and injunctive relief in addition to actual and punitive damages.
The court dismissed H&R Block, Inc. from the lawsuit for lack of
personal jurisdiction.  In March 2011, the court issued an order
certifying a class, which defendants sought to appeal.  On
August 24, 2011, the First Circuit Court of Appeals declined to
hear the appeal, noting that the district court could reconsider
its certification decision in light of a recent ruling by the
United States Supreme Court in an unrelated matter.

The Company does not believe losses in excess of its accrual would
be material to its financial statements, although it is possible
that the losses could exceed the amount it has accrued.  The
Company believes it has meritorious defenses to the claims in this
case and intends to defend the case vigorously, but there can be
no assurances as to its outcome or its impact on the Company's
consolidated results of operations.


H&R BLOCK: Wage and Hour Class Action Suits Remain Pending
----------------------------------------------------------
H&R Block, Inc., continues to defend wage and hour class action
lawsuits pending in different states, according to the Company's
September 1, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended July 31, 2011.

The Company has been named in several wage and hour class action
lawsuits throughout the country, including Alice Williams v. H&R
Block Enterprises LLC, Case No. RG08366506 (Superior Court of
California, County of Alameda, filed January 17, 2008) (alleging
improper classification of office managers in California);
Arabella Lemus v. H&R Block Enterprises LLC, et al., Case No. CGC-
09-489251 (United States District Court, Northern District of
California, filed June 9, 2009) (alleging failure to timely pay
compensation to tax professionals in California and to include
itemized information on wage statements); Delana Ugas v. H&R Block
Enterprises LLC, et al., Case No. BC417700 (United States District
Court, Central District of California, filed July 13, 2009)
(alleging failure to compensate tax professionals in California
for all hours worked and to provide meal periods); and Barbara
Petroski v. H&R Block Eastern Enterprises, Inc., et al., Case No.
10-CV-00075 (United States District Court, Western District of
Missouri, filed January 25, 2010) (alleging failure to compensate
tax professionals nationwide for off-season training).  A class
was certified in the Lemus case in December 2010 (consisting of
tax professionals who worked in company-owned offices in
California from 2007 to 2010); in the Williams case in March 2011
(consisting of office managers who worked in company-owned offices
in California from 2004 to 2011); and in the Ugas case in August
2011 (consisting of tax professionals who worked in company-owned
offices in California from 2006 to 2011).  A conditional class was
certified in the Petroski case in March 2011 (consisting of tax
professionals nationwide who worked in company-owned offices and
who were not compensated for certain training courses occurring on
or after April 15, 2007).

The plaintiffs in the wage and hour class action lawsuits seek
actual damages, pre-judgment interest and attorneys' fees, in
addition to statutory penalties under California and federal law,
which could equal up to 30 days of wages per tax season for class
members who worked in California.  A portion of the Company's loss
contingency accrual is related to these lawsuits for the amount of
loss that the Company considers probable and estimable.  For those
wage and hour class action lawsuits for which the Company is able
to estimate a range of possible loss, the current estimated range
is $0 to $70 million in excess of the accrued liability related to
those matters.  This estimated range of possible loss is based
upon currently available information and is subject to significant
judgment and a variety of assumptions and uncertainties.  The
matters underlying the estimated range will change from time to
time, and actual results may vary significantly from the current
estimate.  Because this estimated range does not include matters
for which an estimate is not possible, the range does not
represent the Company's maximum loss exposure for the wage and
hour class action lawsuits.  The Company believes it has
meritorious defenses to the claims in these lawsuits and intends
to defend them vigorously.  The amounts claimed in these matters
are substantial in some instances and the ultimate liability with
respect to these matters is difficult to predict.  There can be no
assurances as to the outcome of these cases or their impact on the
Company's consolidated results of operations, individually or in
the aggregate.


J.CREW GROUP: Awaits OK of Sale-Related Delaware Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
J.Crew Group, Inc., is awaiting court approval of an agreement to
settle a consolidated shareholder class action lawsuit pending in
Delaware arising from its sale to an affiliate of TPG Capital,
L.P. and Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., according to the
Company's September 1, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended July 30,
2011.

J.Crew Group, Inc., and its wholly owned subsidiaries (the
"Company" or "Group") was acquired on March 7, 2011, through a
merger transaction with Chinos Acquisition Corporation ("Merger
Sub"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinos Holdings, Inc. (the
"Parent").  The Parent was formed by investment funds affiliated
with TPG Capital, L.P. ("TPG") and Leonard Green & Partners, L.P.
("LGP" and together with TPG, the "Sponsors").  The acquisition
was accomplished through a reverse subsidiary merger of Chinos
Acquisition Corporation with and into J.Crew Group, Inc., with
J.Crew Group, Inc. being the surviving company (the
"Acquisition").  Subsequent to the Acquisition, Group became an
indirect, wholly owned subsidiary of Parent, which is owned by
affiliates of the Sponsors, co-investors and members of
management.  Prior to March 7, 2011, the Company operated as a
public company with common stock traded on the New York Stock
Exchange.

                        Delaware Actions

Between November 24, 2010, and December 8, 2010, seven of the
purported class action complaints concerning the Acquisition were
filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery.  On December 14, 2010,
these cases were consolidated into the Delaware Action.  On
January 16, 2011, the Company entered into a binding Memorandum of
Understanding ("MOU") with the other parties in the Delaware
Action.  The MOU provided for the settlement of all claims
asserted in the Delaware Action against the Company and the other
defendants.  The Company and the other defendants agreed to the
MOU pending the execution of a more formal settlement agreement.
The MOU provided for, among other things, a one-time settlement
payment of $10 million by J.Crew or its insurers to be distributed
pro rata among the members of the class of Company shareholders on
whose behalf the plaintiffs in the Delaware Action purport to act.
Once the MOU was signed, the parties removed from the Court's
docket a preliminary injunction hearing that had been scheduled
for February 24, 2011.  By letter dated January 31, 2011, the
plaintiffs in the Delaware Action attempted to repudiate the MOU
and informed the Court that they were no longer in a position to
support or pursue the settlement and indicated that they intended
to seek monetary damages following the closing of the Acquisition.
By letter dated February 1, 2011, the defendants informed the
Court that they believe they have honored their obligations under
the MOU and that they intended to seek specific performance of the
MOU.  The court held a conference on February 11, 2011, during
which it stated that it would not entertain any applications in
the litigation until after the shareholder vote.  Following the
shareholders' approval of the Acquisition, the plaintiffs filed a
Status Report and Motion to Resume Litigation.  In that motion,
the plaintiffs requested leave to recommence discovery concerning
the merits of the Delaware Action.  The Defendants opposed that
motion, and at a March 15, 2011 hearing the Court ruled that
discovery concerning the merits of the Delaware Action would be
stayed until after the parties concluded litigation concerning the
enforceability of the MOU.

On May 12, 2011, the Company, TPG, LGP and Parent filed an action
(the "MOU Enforcement Action") in the Delaware Court of Chancery
asking the Court to order the plaintiffs in the Delaware Action to
perform their legal commitment in the MOU to provide a "full and
appropriate release of all claims that were asserted or could have
been asserted" in the Delaware Action.  If such specific
performance is unavailable, the MOU Enforcement Action seeks, only
as an alternative remedy, money damages from the plaintiffs in the
Delaware Action.  Also on May 12, 2011, the parties to the
Delaware Action jointly submitted a proposed scheduling order for
the Court's approval that provides for a trial on the MOU
Enforcement Action in October 2011.  If the MOU is not enforced,
the Company intends to defend against the allegations asserted in
the Delaware Action vigorously.

On June 10, 2011, the plaintiffs in the Delaware Action moved to
dismiss the MOU Enforcement Action.  The Company and the other
defendants who are parties to the MOU Enforcement Action filed a
brief opposing dismissal on July 11, 2011.  A reply brief was
filed by the plaintiffs in the Delaware Action on July 26, 2011.

Between late July and August 30, 2011, the parties discussed the
terms and conditions of a resolution of the Delaware Action.  On
August 30, 2011, the parties announced the terms of a proposed
settlement (the "Proposed Settlement") pursuant to which J.Crew or
its insurers and TPG and Leonard Green or their insurers will make
a one-time settlement payment of $16 million total (including the
previously agreed-upon $10 million settlement payment which was
announced on January 18, 2011), to be distributed pro rata among
the members of the class of Company shareholders who are members
of the settlement class and who held J.Crew shares as of the
closing of the Acquisition on March 7, 2011.  The Proposed
Settlement will release all claims that were asserted or could
have been asserted in the Delaware Action or that relate to the
MOU or the Acquisition.  The parties to the Delaware Action have
executed a formal Stipulation of Settlement documenting the
Proposed Settlement, which will be submitted to the Delaware Court
of Chancery.  The Proposed Settlement remains subject to approval
of the Court of Chancery.  The parties have agreed to stay the MOU
Enforcement Action pending approval of the Proposed Settlement by
the Court of Chancery.  If the Proposed Settlement is approved,
the Delaware Action and the MOU Enforcement Action will be
dismissed, on the merits, with prejudice.

With respect to the Delaware Action, the Company recorded an
expense for litigation settlement of $10 million and $6 million in
the fourth quarter of fiscal 2010 and second quarter of fiscal
2011, respectively.  The Company expects to recover an amount of
the litigation settlement expense from certain other parties.

                        New York Actions

Between November 24, 2010, and December 16, 2010, seven of the
purported class action complaints concerning the Acquisition were
filed in the Supreme Court of the State of New York.  Those
complaints are captioned respectively as Church v. J.Crew Group,
Inc., et al., No. 652101-2010; Taki v. J.Crew Group, Inc., et al.,
No. 65125-2010; Weisenberg v. J.Crew Group, Inc., et al., No.
10115564-2010; Hekstra v. J.Crew Group, Inc., et al., No. 652175-
2010; St. Louis v. J.Crew Group, Inc., et al., No. 652201-2010;
Peoria Police Pension Fund v. Drexler, et al., No. 652239-2010;
KBC Asset Management NV v. J.Crew Group, Inc., et al., No.
6522870-2010 (collectively, the "New York Actions").  At a hearing
on February 24, 2011, the New York court denied a request from
plaintiffs to enjoin the shareholder vote, and denied the
plaintiffs' request to lift the stay of proceedings, except to
order the seven cases consolidated and to appoint the plaintiffs'
agreed-upon lead plaintiff structure.  The cases otherwise remain
stayed.

                         Federal Actions

On December 1, 2010, a purported class action complaint, captioned
Brazin v. J.Crew Group, Inc., No. 10 Civ. 8988, was filed in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York.  On December 14, 2010, another purported class action
complaint, captioned Caywood v. Drexler, No. 10 Civ. 9328, was
also filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York (together with the Brazin Action, the
"Federal Actions").  The plaintiffs in the Federal Actions assert
claims that are largely duplicative of the claims asserted in the
Delaware Action and New York Actions, but also allege that the
defendants violated multiple federal securities statutes in
connection with the filing of the Preliminary Proxy Statement on
Schedule 14A.  On March 16, 2011, the parties to the Federal
Actions entered into a stipulation that stayed the Federal Actions
until a final resolution or settlement of the Delaware Action.

With respect to the New York and Federal Actions, the Company
assessed the probability of estimable amounts related to the
matters and believes the resolution of them, individually or in
the aggregate, would not have a material adverse effect on the
Company's financial condition or results of operations.


KASHI CO: Sued Over Misleading "All Natural" Product Labels
-----------------------------------------------------------
Kimberly S. Sethavanish, James Colluci, Skye Astiana, on behalf of
themselves and all others similarly situated v. Kashi Company, a
California Corporation, Case No. 3:11-cv-04453 (N.D. Calif.,
September 7, 2011), is a class action lawsuit brought on behalf of
a nationwide class of consumers, who purchased Kashi food products
containing artificial and synthetic ingredients, including
Ascorbic Acid, Disodium Phosphate, Glycerin or Vegetable Glycerin,
Monocalcium Phosphate, Potassium Carbonate, also known as Cocoa
processed with Alkali, Sodium Acid Pyrophosphate, Sodium Citrate
and Xantham Gum, beginning September 7, 2007, through the present.

The Plaintiffs allege that since at least 2007, Kashi has
packaged, marketed and sold the food products as being "All
Natural" despite the fact that the products contain one or more of
the artificial ingredients, each of which has been decreed a
recognized synthetic chemical or ingredient by Food and Drug
Administration regulations.  The Plaintiffs contend that Kashi's
false and misleading labeling gives rise to common law fraud,
violates the unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent prongs of
California's Business and Professions Code, and violates the
Consumers Legal Remedies Act of the California Civil Code.

Ms. Sethavanish and her fiance, Mr. Colucci, are residents of
Windsor, California.  Ms. Astiana is previously a resident of Mill
Valley, California, and now lives in Klamath Falls, Oregon.  The
Plaintiffs are consumers of Kashi's "All Natural" products.

Kashi is a California corporation, and touts itself as the
"leading natural foods company in the US and the largest in the
world."  Kashi sells, markets, manages and develops a full
spectrum of "ALL NATURAL" cereal and snack food products, and has
expanded its offerings to include frozen entrees and pizzas.  From
its beginnings in 1984 to the present day, Kashi claims to produce
a variety of food products made entirely with natural ingredients
and all natural flavors.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Janet Lindner Spielberg, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF JANET LINDNER SPIELBERG
          12400 Wilshire Boulevard, #400
          Los Angeles, CA 90025
          Telephone: (310) 392-8801
          Facsimile: (310) 278-5938
          E-mail: jlspielberg@jlslp.com

               - and -

          Michael D. Braun, Esq.
          BRAUN LAW GROUP, P.C.
          10680 West Pico Boulevard, Suite 280
          Los Angeles, CA 90064
          Telephone: (310) 836-6000
          Facsimile: (310) 836-6010
          E-mail: service@braunlawgroup.com

               - and -

          Joseph N. Kravec, Jr., Esq.
          Maureen Davidson-Welling, Esq.
          Wyatt A. Lison, Esq.
          STEMBER FEINSTEIN DOYLE & PAYNE, LLC
          Allegheny Building, 17th Floor
          429 Forbes Avenue
          Pittsburgh, PA 15219-1639
          Telephone: (412) 281-8400
          Facsimile: (412) 281-1007
          E-mail: jkravec@stemberfeinstein.com
                  mdavidsonwelling@stemberfeinstein.com
                  wlison@stemberfeinstein.com


KERZNER INT'L: Disputes Class Suit Over Housekeeping Gratuity Fee
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Neil Hartnell, writing for Tribune Business, reports that Kerzner
International is vigorously fighting -- and denying -- a class
action lawsuit alleging that it engaged in "unfair and deceptive
practices" relating to the 'mandatory housekeeping gratuity and
utility service fee' it charges Atlantis guests.

An amended complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Florida on June 30, 2011, by a Jennifer Costa
on behalf of the class action plaintiffs alleges that the
'mandatory' fee is "deceptive" because Kerzner International does
not pass all of it on to either housekeeping staff or to cover
utility fees.

"By labelling the gratuity and utility charge something that it is
not, Kerzner is deceiving consumers into paying more for their
hotel room than they bargained," the class action lawsuit alleged.

"Plaintiff has suffered actual damages and economic losses as a
direct result of defendants' wrongful acts because the gratuity
and utility charge that is not passed through to the housekeeping
staff as a gratuity or paid for the utility service fee is money
she would not otherwise have paid."

The action focuses on all guests who stayed at the Atlantis
resort, including The Cove and The Reef, from March 28, 2007, and
lists as defendants four Kerzner International reservation and
marketing entities based in the U.S. -- Kerzner International
Resorts, Kerzner International North America, Kerzner
International Marketing and PIV Inc, which does business as
Destination Atlantis.

Not surprisingly, Kerzner International has been vigorously
contesting the allegations, and enjoyed some success against the
initial class action complaint.  This, though, led to the filing
of an amended complaint and the action, if not resolved, is
currently set for trial in the Florida courts in December 2011.

Justice James Cohn, in ruling on Kerzner International's efforts
to dismiss the initial claim, noted that the Atlantis resort owner
had said Costa "cannot allege she suffered an injury because she
paid mandatory charges beyond the room rate that were disclosed in
advance".

Distribution of those charges within Atlantis' operating structure
"had no impact" on what was disclosed and charged to Costa, the
Kerzner International defendants argued, and "causation cannot be
shown" because no itemised breakdown of the percentage that went
to housekeeping staff, and the percentage that went to utility
fees, was provided by the class action group.

Justice Cohn backed Kerzner International's case, but left the
door open for an amended class action lawsuit to be filed.  The
opportunity was gratefully accepted.

The case is interesting because it again raises the issue of
'mandatory' gratuities and tips, often set at 15%, being charged
and imposed on tourists to the Bahamas.  Apart from inflating
costs, critics have argued that it encourages poor service, work
ethic and attitudes, and made the Bahamian tourism product
uncompetitive from a cost perspective.

Indeed, the amended class action lawsuit alleged: "In the face of
shrinking revenues and eroding profits in the current economic
climate, hotels and resorts have turned to the unscrupulous
practice of imposing additional fees and surcharges on consumers
designed to appear as innocent expenses.

"One such charge is the Kerzner defendants' imposition of a
'mandatory housekeeping gratuity and utility service fee'."

In response this time, Kerzner International has again urged the
Florida courts to dismiss the action, arguing numerous grounds on
which it should be barred or dismissed.

"Plaintiff's complaint rests on the theory that she has been
injured if [Kerzner] failed to distribute certain unspecified
portion of a 'mandatory housekeeping gratuity' to hotel employees
that was charged as part of her vacation package price," the
Kerzner International defendants said.

"Plaintiff provides no authority for the proposition that a
consumer patron has any interest in the amounts of money that are
paid to a hotel's employees."

Kerzner International said the 'mandatory housekeeping gratuity
and utility service fee' was made clear to potential guests up-
front in marketing materials, with many choosing to pre-pay it.

"Plaintiff acknowledges in her [filings] that the contract
provides that she will be charged a combined 'mandatory
housekeeping gratuity and utility service fee' up to a specified
combined amount," the Kerzner International defendants alleged.

"Because the contract did not state how much would be charged for
the mandatory housekeeping gratuity alone -- as opposed to the
utility service fee -- customers could not have had any
expectations regarding the amount of the charge (e.g, that it
would compensate in magnitude for any voluntary gratuity plaintiff
may otherwise have wished to leave."


ONLINE TRAVEL COS: Town of Vail May Take Part in Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------------
Lauren Glendenning, writing for Vail Daily, reports that the town
of Vail could become part of a class action lawsuit against
multiple online travel companies who are accused of not paying
full sales and lodging tax amounts due to municipalities.

The defendants include popular Web site companies such as Expedia,
Hotwire, Orbitz, Hotels.com, Priceline and Travelocity, among
others.  The town of Breckenridge filed the class-action lawsuit
in July and is named as the primary plaintiff in the case.

The lawsuit claims municipalities could be owed back taxes
covering the span of 10 or more years.

Vail could become one of 80 Colorado towns and cities to join in
on the lawsuit, although the Vail Town Council tabled a resolution
Tuesday that would have allowed the town to have attorney-client
confidentiality privileges with Rothberger, Johnson & Lyons LLP,
the Denver law firm representing Breckenridge in the suit.

The Vail Town Council had more questions about the costs
associated with signing on for such a suit, as well as what the
town's potential recovery from the suit could total.

Town Attorney Matt Mire advised the council to table the
resolution, which would make Vail a part of the lawsuit, until
representatives from the Denver law firm could be present to
answer specific questions.


PINNACLE GROUP: Settles Tenants' Harassment Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Cara Buckley, writing for The New York Times, reports that a
settlement deal has been reached between lawyers for a large New
York City landlord and its rent-regulated tenants, who claimed in
a class-action lawsuit that they had been subjected to harassment,
unlawful rent increases and aggressive eviction attempts during
the real estate boom.

Under the terms of the deal, the landlord, the Pinnacle Group,
will pay $2.5 million to legal and tenant-rights groups to help
current and former tenants make legal claims for damages.  The
$2.5 million is separate from any damage awards.  A court-
appointed claims administrator will hear the complaints and decide
whether to award compensation.

The Pinnacle Group, which owns about 15,000 apartment units
citywide, must also set up a help line and follow new protocols
like carefully notifying tenants of plans to increase rents or
start evictions.

Tenant advocates and housing experts hailed the settlement deal,
which was reached in early August, for strengthening tenants'
legal rights in cases claiming harassment and unlawful evictions.

"This settlement seems to be a significant admission of wrongdoing
by Pinnacle," said Benjamin Dulchin, executive director of the
Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, which
represents housing groups.  He added that the deal confirmed
tenants' assertions that Pinnacle's "misbehavior, harassing" and
causing tenants to overpay their rents "was a key part of their
business model."

But Kenneth K. Fisher, a lawyer for Pinnacle, said the company had
settled to avoid the cost of a potentially long trial.  "The
company has been proud of its record of providing housing for
thousands of New York families," he said, "and never felt the
allegations had merit."

Advocates for residents' and tenants' rights have long claimed
that people in rent-regulated apartments owned by the Pinnacle
Group were widely intimidated as part of the owner's efforts to
empty its buildings to make way for higher-paying tenants.

During the housing boom, scores of apartment buildings in far-
flung pockets of the city were bought by what housing advocates
described as predatory equity buyers, who paid more than what the
buildings' rent rolls could support.  Tenants routinely found
themselves showered with eviction notices, and new owners often
ended up walking away from buildings after defaulting on their
mortgages.

The Pinnacle Group, which spent hundreds of millions of dollars
buying hundreds of apartment buildings from May 2004 to May 2006,
has consistently denied any wrongdoing, saying it was trying to
improve conditions in deteriorating buildings.  Yet its practices
were scrutinized by lawmakers and law enforcement.

In 2006, Pinnacle and the state attorney general's office reached
a settlement in which a forensic auditor examined rents for each
of Pinnacle's rent-stabilized units.  As a result, Pinnacle paid
$1 million in rent overcharges and interest to about 300 tenants.

In the class-action case, the plaintiffs claimed that Pinnacle had
schemed to harass them.  They also said Pinnacle had skirted the
state's rent regulation and other housing laws and had violated
federal racketeering laws.  In 2010, a federal judge granted the
class-action status without addressing whether Pinnacle had
violated the racketeering statute.  But the judge said that if the
tenants' claims were true, racketeering could indeed have
happened.

"It means that if you conspire to violate New York laws and
displace tenants from a place you are running, you are subject to
violating federal RICO conspiracy laws, and you can be sued," said
Andrew Scherer, author of "Residential Landlord-Tenant Law in New
York" and a consultant to the plaintiffs.

News of the deal, which is expected to be completed at a fairness
hearing in October, drew mixed reactions from tenants.

Bobby Jones, president of the tenant association at Dunbar, a
large complex in Harlem that Pinnacle recently lost to
foreclosure, said that the deal was "better than nothing," but
that Pinnacle had wrought lasting damage on the place.  About 45
percent of Dunbar's tenants left their homes or were forced out
during Pinnacle's five-year ownership, he said.  Mr. Fisher said
that the claim was "factually inaccurate," and that during
Pinnacle's ownership no units were removed from rent stabilization
and that turnover averaged 6 percent a year.

Kim Powell, a tenant leader at an existing Pinnacle building, said
she and other named plaintiffs were "totally disappointed" with
the deal.  Among the issues it left unclear, she said, was who
would be eligible for compensation.  "The two attorneys may be
happy with it, but we're not," Ms. Powell said.

Yet Richard F. Levy of the firm Jenner & Block, the plaintiffs'
lawyer, said the deal was in the best interest of the estimated
22,000 people who could be affected.  "Certain matters needed to
be compromised," he said, "but this is a very good compromise."


PRET A MANGER: Faces Class Action Over Labor Law Violations
-----------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Prescott, writing for FoodBev.com, reports that a class
action lawsuit has been filed against Pret a Manger in the US
District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging
that the restaurant chain routinely violated federal labor laws.

The suit alleges that Pret regularly requires its managers-in-
training to work shifts and schedules that result in work weeks of
between 40 to 65 hours, but doesn't properly compensate them with
overtime pay.

By bringing this suit, attorneys McLaughlin & Stern hope to end
that practice and recover the wages and overtime pay each manager
in training is due under the law.


STATE OF FLORIDA: ACLU Files Suit Over Welfare Drug Testing
-----------------------------------------------------------
According an article posted at Sunshine State News by Kenric
Ward's blog, as threatened, the American Civil Liberties Union has
sued the state of Florida in a bid to end drug testing of welfare
recipients.

The screening program, which went into effect July 1, was branded
by the ACLU as a violation of Fourth Amendment rights against
unreasonable search and seizure.

Filing the case as a class action in U.S. District Court in
Orlando, the ACLU listed Luis Lebron as the plaintiff.  Mr. Lebron
is described as an Orlando-area Navy veteran who applied for
benefits from the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

The state Department of Children and Families, which administers
the program, did not have an immediate comment.

"We received the notice this morning and are reviewing," DCF
spokesman Joe Follick said on Sept. 7.

Lane Wright, spokesman for Gov. Rick Scott, said, "It's important
we make sure taxpayer money isn't going to help pay for someone's
drug habit, but that the money is going to help the children for
whom it was intended.  That's what this law does.

"We're confident we're on solid legal ground.  And Congress seems
confident too, since they passed a law authorizing states to drug
test those who would receive cash assistance," Mr. Wright said.


SWIFT TRANSPORTATION: Truckers' Class Action Set for Trial
----------------------------------------------------------
David Tanner, writing for Land Line Magazine, reports that the
Arizona Supreme Court ruling guarantees that truckers will get
their day in court in a breach-of-contract lawsuit against Swift
Transportation Corp.  The plaintiffs in the class action claim the
company routinely shorts drivers on mileage -- and therefore pay
-- and are entitled to compensation.

The state's high court moved on Tuesday, Sept. 6, to vacate an
appellate decision, which allows a lower court's decision to stand
that allows the class to be certified and protected.

There are no trial dates yet, but the lead attorney for the
plaintiffs is hopeful about truckers' chances in court.

"We are pleased that the court agreed with us that Swift drivers
deserve to take this case to trial," Rob Carey, a partner in the
Phoenix office of Seattle law firm Hagens Berman, said in a
statement.  "We believe that the company illegally took millions
in unpaid wages from its drivers."

The plaintiffs claim that the software Swift uses to calculate
mileage has been shortchanging drivers by an average of 7 to 10
percent since 1998.

"We've got a very good set of facts," Mr. Carey told Land Line
Magazine.

Mr. Carey's firm filed the lawsuit on Jan. 30, 2004, in Maricopa
County, AZ, where Swift is based.  The Maricopa County Superior
Court initially denied class-action status for the drivers, but
after years of going back and forth through the courts, the
state's high court action affirms the class and paves the way for
a trial.

"The effect is we end up with a class certification in place that
they (Swift) can't touch now," Mr. Carey said.

The plaintiff class includes drivers, contractors or owner-
operators that have worked for Swift at any time since Jan. 30,
1998.

"All of those people up until today and in the future would be
included if the same practice is occurring," Mr. Carey said.
"Because of the changes in some of the proportions of legacy
contracts versus new contracts and owner-operator contracts, it's
important that people who have objective information about what
their promises were or the practices, or copies of their
contracts, should contact us."

Drivers or former drivers can contact the Hagens Berman law firm
by e-mailing Swift@hbsslaw.com or by calling 602-840-5900.  More
information is available at
hbsslaw.com/swift_transportation_lawsuit

Mr. Carey said the lawsuit could affect more than 10,000 people.
He anticipates the discovery period could last eight or nine
months leading up to trial.

"We're essentially at the very front end of the case," Mr. Carey
said.

Mr. Carey says his firm could take up additional legal challenges
against large motor carriers on the issue of driver compensation.

"We're looking at other carriers, by the way.  It's not just
Swift," he said.


TORO CO: Continues to Defend Lawnmower Suit in Canada
-----------------------------------------------------
The Toro Company continues to defend a class action lawsuit
commenced by purchasers of lawnmowers in Canada, according to the
Company's September 1, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended July 29,
2011.

In March 2010, individuals who claim to have purchased lawnmowers
in Canada filed class action litigation against the Company and
other defendants that (i) contains allegations under applicable
Canadian law that are similar to the allegations made by United
States plaintiffs, (ii) seeks certification of a class of all
persons in Canada who, beginning January 1, 1994, purchased a
lawnmower containing a gas combustible engine up to 30 horsepower
that was manufactured or sold by the Company and other defendants,
and (iii) seeks under applicable Canadian law unspecified
compensatory and punitive damages, attorneys' costs and fees, and
equitable relief.

Management continues to evaluate this Canadian litigation.  In the
event the Company is unable to favorably resolve this litigation,
management is unable to assess at this time whether this
litigation would have a material adverse effect on the Company's
annual consolidated operating results or financial condition,
although an unfavorable resolution or outcome could be material to
the Company's consolidated operating results for a particular
period.


TOYOTA MOTOR: Plaintiffs' Lawyers Want to Limit Depositions
-----------------------------------------------------------
Moira Herbst, writing for Reuters, reports that Toyota Motor Corp
is battling with plaintiffs' lawyers over how many vehicle owners
the company can interview ahead of a potential trial over sudden
unintended acceleration claims.

Owners of the cars brought suit against Toyota, claiming their
cars lost value because they were recalled for safety concerns.
Lawyers for the complaining owners are seeking class-action status
for the complaints.

The lawyers say Toyota wants too much latitude in deposing up to
250 so-called economic loss plaintiffs through 2013.  The
plaintiffs want to limit the depositions to 50 Toyota owners named
in the lawsuit.

Toyota and attorneys for the owners presented arguments in court
filings on Sep. 6 ahead of a hearing on Sept. 12 before U.S.
District Judge James Selna in Santa Ana, California.

"The sheer scope of Toyota's proposed discovery is nothing short
of stunning," plaintiffs' attorneys wrote.  "Proceeding in this
blunderbuss fashion is not an efficient mechanism for preparing
for the class certifications proceedings."

Toyota said in a filing that plaintiffs' proposed plan to limit
depositions is unfair.  They cite a recent Supreme Court decision
in a sex discrimination lawsuit against Wal-Mart that emphasizes
the due process rights for corporate defendants in class action
lawsuits.

"Plaintiffs' proposal unfairly prevents Toyota from creating a
full record to oppose class certification and thus infringes on
Toyota's due process rights," company lawyers wrote.

Claims alleging economic loss are among hundreds of others against
the Japanese automaker consolidated in litigation before Judge
Selna's court.  Plaintiffs allege they were harmed when Toyota
failed to disclose or repair problems that made their cars surge
forward unexpectedly.  Other claims before the court include
wrongful death and personal injury lawsuits.

The opposing sides differ on other issues, the Sept. 6 filings
show.

Plaintiffs want a hearing and ruling on class certification --
that is, which plaintiffs can group together in a lawsuit or
lawsuits -- by the end of 2012.

They also want an economic loss bellwether trial to follow the
first bellwether, which will be a personal injury/wrongful death
case.  A bellwether case is one considered to be representative of
others that can act as an indicator of how cases will proceed.

Toyota, on the other hand, wants an initial hearing on class
certification in January 2013.  The company also wants the second
bellwether case to be a product liability lawsuit.

The plaintiffs' filing said Toyota's proposal "puts the economic
loss class actions not just on the 'back burner,' but off the
stove completely . . . The Court should reject Toyota's plan and
its call for incessant delay."

In May, the judge ruled that plaintiffs arguing they lost money
because Toyota failed to disclose or repair problems that caused
their cars to surge forward unexpectedly could move forward with
their claims.

But in a setback for plaintiffs the following month, Judge Selna
ruled that Toyota owners outside California who seek to recover
losses from their vehicles' value cannot pursue their claims under
California law.  California consumer protection laws are more
favorable for plaintiffs than those of most other states.

The case is In re Toyota Motor Corp Unintended Acceleration
Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability Litigation, U.S.
District Court, Central District of California, No. 10-ml-02151.


TURLOCK IRRIGATION DISTRICT: Case Conference Set for Sept. 19
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jonathan Partridge, writing for Patterson Irrigator, reports that
despite promises that electric rates would drop after Turlock
Irrigation District took over Pacific Gas and Electric Co.'s West
Side facilities in December 2003, Patterson Auto Care owner J.
Wells said his bills increased due to a facilities fee TID charges
its West Side customers.

When Mr. Wells reached out to both the state Public Utilities
Commission and TID, he learned that he and other West Side
customers had no specified elected official to represent them
about such matters.

"I thought it was a total travesty, and the fact that we don't
have anyone on our side was even worse," he said.  "It's taxation
without representation, basically."

Now, Mr. Wells and his wife, Pat, are representing more than
10,000 West Side electric customers in a class-action lawsuit,
alleging that the district wrongly avoided annexing the 225-
square-mile Westside Service Area before providing power there.
Because it was never annexed, residents in the area -- which
includes Patterson, Crows Landing, Diablo Grande and Del Puerto
Canyon -- do not have the right to vote for board directors as
other TID customers do, the suit contends.

Patterson attorney Dennis Beougher of Lombardo & Gilles LLP spent
about a year researching the matter before drafting the lawsuit,
which J. and Pat Wells filed Jan. 5.  Mr. Beougher has concluded
that the district intentionally avoided annexation because of
fears that it would expand its service area beyond legal limits
and jeopardize its water rights.

Mr. Beougher, one of seven contenders for Patterson's city
attorney position, also filed a legal challenge with the state
Attorney General's office in December and has helped the city of
Patterson complete paperwork to be annexed into TID's service
provision district.

"All things are proceeding to force TID to come to the table to
handle this situation," he said.

TID officials would not comment on the matter because of the
ongoing litigation.

The district's legal counsel has contended in court documents,
however, that TID had no legal obligation to get approval from the
Local Agency Formation Commission to provide electric service to
the West Side, nor did it need to annex the area.  If TID had
annexed the Westside Service Area, it would be forced to provide
all of its services to western Stanislaus County, including water,
according to court documents filed by TID's assistant general
counsel, David Hobbs.

Even if TID had gone through the LAFCo approval process, West Side
residents would not automatically be allowed to vote for a board
director, Mr. Hobbs stated.  The district's legal counsel also
contended that the deal that allowed TID to buy PG&E's West Side
assets and serve electricity to that region without LAFCo approval
was made in accordance with state law.

"Plaintiffs have alleged that TID 'ignored' the LAFCo statutory
framework with respect to its decision to enter into various
agreements such that it could provide electrical services to the
Westside Zone," Mr. Hobbs wrote in a March 3 legal response from
TID.  "In reality, TID relied upon the well-structured statutory
framework in determining to first enter into the Westside
Agreement with Pacific Gas & Electric Company . . . and to then
have PG&E seek the approval of the California Public Utilities
Commission."

Mr. Hobbs cited agreements with outside jurisdictions made by
Modesto Irrigation District and South San Joaquin Irrigation
District as proof that annexation was unnecessary for TID to
provide electricity outside the district.

The district's legal defense also notes that the Public Utilities
code provides exemptions for irrigation districts from the LAFCo
process under certain conditions, arguing that those conditions
apply in this case.

Mr. Beougher says that exemption is supposed to be for districts
that make contracts directly with end users, such as a city or a
business, rather than for a district providing service to a
general area, but TID officials say that is not true.

One particular beef that several West Side residents have with TID
is its Westside Facilities Charge, which the district collects
from West Side customers to pay for equipment it bought from PG&E
when taking over the Westside Service Area in 2003.

As of Dec. 31, $6.9 million had been paid of that fee, with a
$12.8 million balance remaining, according to TID officials.

While TID officials told city officials and the media back in 2003
that most customers would pay less for electric service from the
district than they had under PG&E, some business owners said their
bills have risen as a result of the facilities fee.

Mr. Wells said the facilities charge cost him $500 to $600 per
month at one point.  If TID ever decided to allow another utility
to provide electricity for the Westside Service Area, it seems
West Side residents would not be able to recoup the fees they have
paid for the district to buy PG&E's assets, he added.

Patterson City Councilman Dominic Farinha has similarly expressed
concern about the facilities fee.

"It's always been a matter of contention," he said.  "Once that
fee goes away, are they going to raise their rates in order to
compensate for the additional tax flows that they're not getting?

Mr. Farinha also is upset that the district is now talking about
raising rates even further, and he thinks the West Side should
have an advocate on the TID board.

TID spokeswoman Michelle Reimers noted that TID has raised its
rates twice since taking over the West Side's electric services,
but PG&E has raised its rates in recent years, too.

While a few customers are paying more than they would pay to PG&E,
because the two utilities charge different fees, most customers
are paying less, she said.  At the same time, TID has improved
both its customer service and its electric service infrastructure.

City officials are seeking representation on the TID board through
annexation efforts of their own.

Stanislaus County's LAFCo formally accepted the city's application
for annexation Aug. 24, after the City Council voted June 21 in
favor of the move.  TID has until mid-October to formally oppose
the process, if district leaders wish to prevent the process from
moving forward.

As of Wednesday, Sept. 7, the agency had not received a response
from TID about the city's request, said Marjorie Blom, Stanislaus
County LAFCo's executive officer.  LAFCo was also waiting on some
clarifications about the application from Patterson city
officials.

"It's still really early in the process," Ms. Blom said.

So far, the city has spent $7,500 on maps that were submitted to
LAFCo, as well as an $8,000 deposit to LAFCo for staff time, most
of which city officials expect to get back.

Mr. Beougher has briefed council members several times about the
issue, and all council members are on board with moving toward
annexation, City Manager Rod Butler said.

"It's really an issue of trying to use this legal process to make
sure that our residents and even residents in other areas that are
served have a chance to get on the board of directors," Mr. Butler
said.

Meanwhile, the case is moving forward in the courts.  On March 22,
Judge Roger Beauchesne of the Stanislaus County Superior Court
dismissed a pleading from TID to throw out the suit.  A case
management conference is scheduled for Sept. 19.

Mr. Beougher speculated that the case might end up resolved in
mediation, as TID is between a rock and a hard place because of
federal limitations on its boundaries.

The Raker Act of 1913, which gave MID, TID and the city of San
Francisco access to water from the Hetch Hetchy water system,
stipulates that the Modesto and Turlock districts can have only a
combined 300,000 acres within their districts.  District maps from
LAFCo indicate that TID has 308 square miles (or 197,120 acres)
within its boundaries and Modesto Irrigation District has about
101,700 acres within its irrigation service area, adding up to
nearly 299,000 acres.  TID's electric service area alone contains
423,500 acres.

Though he would not comment on the litigation, TID spokesman Herb
Smart encouraged West Side residents to show up to the district's
board meetings in Turlock or to visit its Patterson customer
service office, 34 N. Third St.

"TID staff and the board of directors are always interested in
listening to their customers, whether they reside within or
outside of TID's irrigation boundaries," he said.

But Mr. Beougher said West Side customers are continually
disenfranchised, and the situation needs to be resolved.

"The West Side has been the redheaded stepchild of the county for
so many years," he said.  "I just thought it was another wrong
happening to the West Side."


UNITED STATES: Keepseagle Class Action Members Get Assistance
-------------------------------------------------------------
NewsOn6.com reports that Native American farmers and ranchers met
with attorneys on Sept. 7 in the $760 million Keepseagle class
action lawsuit settlement.

The lawyers were in Oklahoma to help some Native American farmers
and ranchers get their part of a settlement from a class-action
lawsuit.

The settlement comes after a lawsuit claiming that the U.S.
Department of Agriculture discriminated against Native Americans
in farm loan applications and servicing.

Class members who want to file a claim for cash and loan
forgiveness must do so by Dec. 27, 2011, according to a release
from the Cohen Millstein Sellers & Toll law firm.

The groups received assistance in filing claims in meetings held
at a Muskogee hotel.  The meetings were scheduled to continue from
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8.

To find out more or register for a claims package, go to
IndianFarmClass.com or call 1-888-233-5506.


WAL-MART STORES: Calif. Court Extends Tolling in "Dukes" Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California granted in part plaintiffs' motion to extend tolling of
the statute of limitations in the gender discrimination class
action lawsuit against Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., according to the
Company's September 1, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended July 31,
2011.

The Company is a defendant in Dukes v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.,
which was commenced as a class-action lawsuit in June 2001 in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, asserting that the Company had engaged in a pattern
and practice of discriminating against women in promotions, pay,
training and job assignments, and seeking, among other things,
injunctive relief, front pay, back pay, punitive damages, and
attorneys' fees.  On June 21, 2004, the district court issued an
order granting in part and denying in part the plaintiffs' motion
for class certification.  As defined by the district court, the
class included all women employed at any Wal-Mart domestic retail
store at any time since December 26, 1998, who have been or may be
subjected to Wal-Mart's challenged pay and management track
promotions policies and practices.

On August 31, 2004, the United States Court of Appeals for the
Ninth Circuit granted the Company's petition for discretionary
review of the ruling.  On February 6, 2007, a divided three-judge
panel of the court of appeals issued a decision affirming the
district court's certification order.  On February 20, 2007, the
Company filed a petition asking that the decision be reconsidered
by a larger panel of the court.  On December 11, 2007, the three-
judge panel withdrew its opinion of February 6, 2007, and issued a
revised opinion.  As a result, the Company's Petition for
Rehearing En Banc was denied as moot.  The Company filed a new
Petition for Rehearing En Banc on January 8, 2008.  On
February 13, 2009, the court of appeals issued an Order granting
the Petition.  On April 26, 2010, the Ninth Circuit issued a
divided (6-5) opinion affirming certain portions of the district
court's ruling and reversing other portions.  On August 25, 2010,
the Company filed a petition for a writ of certiorari to the
United States Supreme Court seeking review of the Ninth Circuit's
decision.  On December 6, 2010, the Supreme Court granted the
Company's petition for writ of certiorari.  On June 20, 2011, the
Supreme Court issued an opinion reversing the Ninth Circuit and
decertifying the class.  On June 24, 2011, the plaintiffs filed a
Motion to Extend Tolling of the Statute of Limitations, indicating
that they intend to pursue both individual claims and "a more
narrowly defined class that would comply with the certification
standards set forth by the Supreme Court."  On August 19, 2011,
the district judge entered an Order granting the motion in part
and specifying dates by which any additional claims must be filed.

The Company says it cannot reasonably estimate the possible loss
or range of loss that may arise from this litigation.


WAL-MART STORES: Court Denies Rehearing Bid in "Braun/Hummel" Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------
The court denied Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.'s application for rehearing
en banc with regard to the portions of a court opinion that held
in favor of the plaintiffs in a wage-and-hour class action
lawsuit, according to the Company's September 1, 2011, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended July 31, 2011.

The Company is a defendant in Braun/Hummel v. Wal-Mart Stores,
Inc., a class action lawsuit commenced in March 2002 in the Court
of Common Pleas in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The plaintiffs
allege that the Company failed to pay class members for all hours
worked and prevented class members from taking their full meal and
rest breaks.  On October 13, 2006, a jury awarded back-pay damages
to the plaintiffs of approximately $78 million on their claims for
off-the-clock work and missed rest breaks.  The jury found in
favor of the Company on the plaintiffs' meal-period claims.  On
November 14, 2007, the trial judge entered a final judgment in the
approximate amount of $188 million, which included the jury's
back-pay award plus statutory penalties, prejudgment interest and
attorneys' fees.  By operation of law, post-judgment interest
accrues on the judgment amount at the rate of six percent per
annum from the date of entry of the judgment, which was November
14, 2007, until the judgment is paid, unless the judgment is set
aside on appeal.

The Company believes it has substantial factual and legal defenses
to the claims at issue, and on December 7, 2007, the Company filed
its Notice of Appeal.  The Company filed its opening appellate
brief on February 17, 2009, plaintiffs filed their response brief
on April 20, 2009, and the Company filed its reply brief on
June 5, 2009.  Oral argument was held before the Superior Court of
Appeals on August 19, 2009.  On June 10, 2011, the Superior Court
of Appeals issued an opinion upholding the trial court's
certification of the class, the jury's back pay award, and the
awards of statutory penalties and prejudgment interest, but
reversing the award of attorneys' fees and remanding it back to
the trial court for a downward adjustment.  On July 10, 2011, the
Company filed an Application for Rehearing En Banc with regard to
the portions of the opinion that held in favor of the plaintiffs,
which was denied on August 11, 2011.  The Company believes it has
substantial factual and legal defenses to the claims at issue, and
plans to continue pursuing appellate review.


                            *********

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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania,
USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland USA.  Leah
Felisilda, Noemi Irene A. Adala, Joy A. Agravante, Julie Anne
Lopez, Christopher Patalinghug, Frauline Abangan and Peter A.
Chapman, Editors.

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

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