CAR_Public/111004.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Tuesday, October 4, 2011, Vol. 13, No. 196

                             Headlines

AGUAS CHANAR: Sernac Files Two Class Actions Over Water Charges
ANDREW BOLT: Geoff Clark Unveils Reason for Joining Class Action
ASCENA RETAIL: Obtained FLSA Violation Suit Settlement OK in Aug.
BA CREDIT: Oral Argument in IPO-Related Suits Set for Nov. 2
BARKWORKS: Accused in Calif. Suit of Selling "Puppy Mill" Dogs

BATTAT INC: Recalls 14,000 Musical Wooden Table Toys
BERNARD CHAUS: Being Sold for Too Little, Suit Claims
COPART INC: Continues to Defend "Brizuela" Suit in California
COPART INC: Continues to Defend "Ortiz-Torres" Suit in California
DISCOVER FINANCIAL: Faces Enforcement Action Over Protection Sales

DISCOVER FINANCIAL: Awaits Approval of Global Settlement
EGG PRODUCERS: Four Firms to Face Conspiracy Charge, Judge Rules
FOX SEARCHLIGHT: "Black Swan" Unpaid Interns File Class Action
GOODRICH CORP: Sued Over Proposed Sale to United Technologies
HUSQVARNA ZENOAH: Recalls 10,500 RedMax Brushcutters/Trimmers

ONLINE TRAVEL COS: Sued in N.Y. for Violating Hotel Tax Laws
PACIFIC DECOR: Recalls 1,300 Bottles of Pourable Gel Fuel
RICOH AMERICAS: Sued for Not Reimbursing Work-Related Expenses
ROYAL POWER: Faces Suit in California for FLSA Violations
SEABOURN CRUISE: Sued Over Reservation Cancellation Fees

SHERMAG INC: Recalls 3,100 Drop-Side Cribs for Repair
SMITHKLINE BEECHAM: Judge Narrows Flonase Class Action
THOR INDUSTRIES: Continues to Defend Formaldehyde Exposure Suits
UNITED ARTISTS: Settles Class Action Over Unsolicited Fax Ads

* Class Actions Deter Financial Wrongdoing, Study Finds
* Funds Spring Up to Invest in High-Stakes Litigation




                             *********

AGUAS CHANAR: Sernac Files Two Class Actions Over Water Charges
---------------------------------------------------------------
Business News Americas reports that Chile's consumer protection
agency Sernac has filed two class action suits against northern
region III water utility Aguas Chanar on charges of repeated cuts
of potable water service and unauthorized charges to its clients.

The first lawsuit is based on cuts that occurred in late August in
regional capital Copiapo.  Sernac has asked the water utility to
compensate its clients, a press release from the agency reads.

Aguas Chanar offered to pay each client some 2,400 pesos (US$4.80)
for each day that the service was suspended.  Sernac found that
the offer failed to take into account the expenses incurred by
consumers who had to make up for the lack of potable water.

The second class action relates to unauthorized charges for
wastewater treatment made by Aguas Chanar between July 2010 and
April this year.  National sanitation service authority,
Superintendencia de Servicios Sanitarios, has confirmed that the
wastewater treatment plant was malfunctioning during the period.

Sernac is seeking the maximum fine and compensation for the
affected clients, according to the release.


ANDREW BOLT: Geoff Clark Unveils Reason for Joining Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
Stephen Drill, writing for Herald Sun, reports that Geoff Clark
has admitted that he took part in a class action against Herald
Sun columnist Andrew Bolt over the general "tone" of his opinion
pieces.

Mr. Clark said in an interview with the Herald Sun on Sept. 29
that Mr. Bolt's writing on a range of racial issues, not just the
two articles reviewed in the court case, prompted him to take
legal action.

"He's got a wide audience and, subject to what he says, that
audience is swayed and he has a lot of influence," he said.

Mr. Clark was part of a class action involving nine "fair-skinned
Aboriginals", who were the subject of two articles written by
Mr. Bolt in 2009.

He said the "tone" of Mr. Bolt's writing was part of the reason he
sued.

"Certainly the tone, but the frequency -- it wasn't just one
article, it was a number of articles.  At the end of the day it
became unbearable," he said.

"It was based on the articles (but) there was certainly other
ranges of views too numerous to comment."

Mr. Clark said the court victory could be seen as a win for other
people who had been criticized by Mr. Bolt.

"People will obviously see this differently, some will see this as
a win for them, some won't," he said.

"It creates debate, there's nothing wrong with that debate,
provided it's not harmful or offensive."

Mr. Clark was charged in 2000 with two counts of raping a 16-year-
old girl in January 1981 -- but those charges were later
dismissed.

In 2001, he was publicly accused in Melbourne newspapers of
further rape allegations but he was not charged by police.

Mr. Clark was suspended in 2003 as head of the Aboriginal and
Torres Strait Islander Commission pending an investigation into
the rape allegations.

A County Court jury in a civil case in 2007 found Mr. Clark had
twice raped Carol Stingel and ordered him to pay her AUD20,000
compensation.

Mr. Clark confirmed to the Herald Sun on Sept. 29 that he had not
sued for defamation over any articles previously published about
him, including those that reference the rape allegations.

Mr. Clark said his action against Mr. Bolt was not an attempt to
curtail free speech in Australia.

When asked if the ruling would make Mr. Bolt think twice about
writing articles in the future, he replied: "Not necessarily think
twice, the fact is he has to consider what he says is not hurtful
or harmful in how he expresses things -- he certainly has to think
about that if he is going to write articles."

The Herald & Weekly Times, publisher of the Herald Sun, was still
considering an appeal to Mr. Bolt's court decision on Sept. 29.


ASCENA RETAIL: Obtained FLSA Violation Suit Settlement OK in Aug.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
granted final approval of Ascena Retail Group, Inc.'s settlement
resolving a class action lawsuit filed against a subsidiary,
according to the Company's September 28, 2011, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year
ended July 30, 2011.

On January 21, 2010, Tween Brands Inc. was sued in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of California.  This
purported class action alleged, among other things, that Tween
Brands violated the Fair Labor Standards Act by not properly
paying its employees for overtime and missed rest breaks.  The
parties agreed to a settlement of this wage and hour lawsuit.  The
court granted final approval of the settlement on August 10, 2011,
and the Company had previously established a reserve for this
settlement, which was not material to the audited consolidated
financial statements.


BA CREDIT: Oral Argument in IPO-Related Suits Set for Nov. 2
------------------------------------------------------------
Oral argument on the summary judgment motions in the complaints
relating to the initial public offerings of MasterCard and Visa is
scheduled for November 2, 2011, according to BA Credit Card
Trust's September 28, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended June 30,
2011.

FIA Card Services, National Association ("FIA") issues credit
cards on MasterCard's and Visa's networks.

A group of merchants have filed a series of putative class actions
and individual actions with regard to interchange fees associated
with Visa and MasterCard payment card transactions.  These
actions, which have been consolidated in the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of New York under the caption In Re
Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Anti-Trust
Litigation ("Interchange"), name Visa, MasterCard and several
banks and bank holding companies, including Bank of America
Corporation, as defendants.  Plaintiffs allege that the defendants
conspired to fix the level of default interchange rates, which
represent the fee an issuing bank charges an acquiring bank on
every transaction.  Plaintiffs also challenge as unreasonable
restraints of trade under Section 1 of the Sherman Act certain
rules of Visa and MasterCard related to merchant acceptance of
payment cards at the point of sale.  Plaintiffs seek unspecified
damages and injunctive relief based on their assertion that
interchange would be lower or eliminated absent the alleged
conduct.

On January 8, 2008, the court granted defendants' motion to
dismiss all claims for pre-2004 damages.  Motions to dismiss the
remainder of the complaint and plaintiffs' motion for class
certification are pending.

In addition, plaintiffs filed supplemental complaints against
certain defendants, including Bank of America Corporation,
relating to initial public offerings (the "IPOs") of MasterCard
and Visa.  Plaintiffs allege that the MasterCard and Visa IPOs
violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act and Section 1 of the Sherman
Act.  Plaintiffs also assert that the MasterCard IPO was a
fraudulent conveyance.  Plaintiffs seek unspecified damages and to
undo the IPOs.  Motions to dismiss both supplemental complaints
were filed in March 2009 and the motions remain pending.  On
June 20, 2011, plaintiffs and defendants both moved for summary
judgment.  Those motions are also pending; oral argument on the
summary judgment motions is scheduled for November 2, 2011.  Trial
has been scheduled to begin on September 12, 2012.

Bank of America Corporation and certain of its affiliates
previously entered into loss-sharing agreements with Visa and
other financial institutions in connection with certain antitrust
litigation against Visa, including Interchange.  Bank of America
Corporation and these same affiliates have now entered into
additional loss-sharing agreements for Interchange that cover all
defendants, including MasterCard.  Collectively, the loss-sharing
agreements require Bank of America Corporation and/or certain
affiliates to pay 11.6 percent of the monetary portion of any
comprehensive Interchange settlement.  In the event of an adverse
judgment, the agreements require Bank of America Corporation
and/or certain affiliates to pay 12.8 percent of any damages
associated with Visa-related claims ("Visa-related damages"), 9.1
percent of any damages associated with MasterCard-related claims,
and 11.6 percent of any damages associated with internetwork
claims ("internetwork damages") or not associated specifically
with Visa or MasterCard-related claims ("unassigned damages").

Pursuant to Visa's publicly-disclosed Retrospective Responsibility
Plan (the "RRP"), Visa placed certain proceeds from its IPO into
an escrow fund (the "Escrow").  Under the RRP, funds in the Escrow
may be accessed by Visa and its members, including Bank of
America, to pay for a comprehensive settlement or damages in
Interchange, with Bank of America Corporation's payments from the
Escrow capped at 12.81 percent of the funds that Visa places
therein.  Subject to that cap, Bank of America Corporation may use
Escrow funds to cover: 73.9 percent of its monetary payment
towards a comprehensive Interchange settlement, 100 percent of its
payment for any Visa-related damages and 73.9 percent of its
payment for any internetwork damages and unassigned damages.


BARKWORKS: Accused in Calif. Suit of Selling "Puppy Mill" Dogs
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Los Angeles Times reports that a Los Angeles law firm filed a
lawsuit on Sept. 29 against a chain of Southern California pet
stores alleging it sells puppies from commercial breeding
facilities, commonly known as "puppy mills."

The suit, which seeks class-action status, claims that Barkworks,
a chain of six stores in Southern California, breeds puppies that
are prone to a variety of illnesses and health problems while
assuring customers that they come from registered breeders.

Barkworks' Web site says the chain buys its puppies only from
"professional, reputable breeder[s]."

The plaintiffs -- five customers who bought puppies at Barkworks
-- said they received the names of the breeders of their pets from
the store, but the information did not correspond to U.S.
Department of Agriculture registered breeders.

Phone calls requesting comment from Barkworks' owner had not been
returned on Sept. 29.


BATTAT INC: Recalls 14,000 Musical Wooden Table Toys
----------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Battat Inc., of Plattsburgh, New York, announced a voluntary
recall of about 14,000 musical wooden table toys.  Consumers
should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise
instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a
recalled consumer product.

Small pegs on the xylophone toy can loosen and detach, posing a
choking hazard to young children.

CPSC and Battat have received nine reports of loose and detached
pegs.  No injuries have been reported.

This recall involves Battat's Musical Wooden Table toys.  The
table has a green painted surface and colorful instruments affixed
to the top.  The table stands about 7 1/2-inches tall and has
three supporting legs.  Instruments on the table include a
xylophone, cymbal, drum and two drumsticks.  Pictures of the
recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11342.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold at music
and toy stores nationwide and on the Internet from September 2006
to October 2010 for about $30.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled toys away from
children and contact Battat to receive a free replacement product.
For more information, contact Battat at (800) 247-6144 between
8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday or
visit the firm's Web site at http://www.battatco.com/


BERNARD CHAUS: Being Sold for Too Little, Suit Claims
-----------------------------------------------------
Kenneth Braun, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. Joseph Chaus, Philip G. Barach, Harvey M. Krueger,
Robert Flug, David Stiffman, Bernard Chaus, Inc. and Camuto
Consulting Inc., Case No. 652663/2011 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.,
September 28, 2011) arises out of the proposed acquisition of
Bernard Chaus Inc. by certain members of the Chaus family, Camuto
Consulting and non-party China Ting Group.  Collectively, the
Buyout Group owns approximately 65% of the outstanding shares of
the Company's common stock.

The Plaintiff argues that the proposed $0.13 per share offer
represents a wholly inadequate consideration in view of the
Company's intrinsic value and future prospects.  Accordingly, to
prevent the Company's shareholders from suffering irreparable harm
from the consummation of an unfair and inadequate takeover, the
Plaintiff seeks to enjoin, preliminarily and permanently, the
proposed buyout of Bernard Chaus.

The Plaintiff is a shareholder of the Company.

Bernard Chaus is a New York corporation with its headquarters
located at 530 Seventh Avenue, in New York.  Camuto is a
Connecticut corporation authorized to do business in the state of
New York.  Non-party CTG is a Chinese corporation.  The Individual
Defendants are officers and directors, and substantial
shareholders of the Company.

The Plaintiff is represented by

          David A.P. Brower, Esq.
          Brian C. Kerr, Esq.
          BROWER PIVEN
          A Professional Corporation
          488 Madison Avenue, Eighth Floor
          New York, NY 10022
          Telephone: (212) 501-9000
          Facsimile: (212) 501-0300
          E-mail: brower@browerpiven.com
                  kerr@browerpiven.com


COPART INC: Continues to Defend "Brizuela" Suit in California
-------------------------------------------------------------
Copart, Inc. continues to defend a purported class action lawsuit
commenced by Jose E. Brizuela in California, according to the
Company's September 28, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended July 31,
2011.

On February 12, 2011, Jose E. Brizuela filed a lawsuit against the
Company in the Superior Court, San Bernardino County, San
Bernardino District, which purports to be a class action on behalf
of persons employed by the Company and paid on a hourly basis in
California at any time since the date four years prior to
February 14, 2011.  The complaint alleges failure to pay all
earned wages due to an alleged practice of rounding of hours
worked to the detriment of the employees.  Relief sought includes
class certification, injunctive relief, unpaid wages, waiting time
penalty-wages, interest, and attorney's fees and costs of lawsuit.

The Company believes the claim is without merit and intends to
continue to vigorously defend the lawsuit.


COPART INC: Continues to Defend "Ortiz-Torres" Suit in California
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Copart, Inc., continues to defend a purported class action lawsuit
commenced by Robert Ortiz and Carlos Torres, according to the
Company's September 28, 2011, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended July 31,
2011.

On September 21, 2010, Robert Ortiz and Carlos Torres filed a
lawsuit against the Company in the Superior Court of San
Bernardino County, San Bernardino District, which purported to be
a class action on behalf of persons employed by the Company in the
positions of facilities managers and assistant general managers in
California at any time since the date four years prior to
September 21, 2010.  The complaint alleges failure to pay wages
and overtime wages, failure to provide meal breaks and rest
breaks, in violation of various California Labor and Business and
Professional Code sections, due to alleged misclassification of
facilities managers and assistant general managers as exempt
employees.  Relief sought includes class certification, injunctive
relief, damages according to proof, restitution for unpaid wages,
disgorgement of ill-gotten gains, civil penalties, attorney's fees
and costs, interest, and punitive damages.

The Company believes the claim is without merit and intends to
continue to vigorously defend the lawsuit.


DISCOVER FINANCIAL: Faces Enforcement Action Over Protection Sales
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that Discover Financial Services is
facing an enforcement action by the Federal Deposit Insurance
Corp. over the way it sold its payment protection, identity theft
protection and other products.

The Riverwoods, Ill.-based credit card company said in a
regulatory filing on September 28, 2011, that the agency has
notified its banking division that it plans to take action,
following an investigation started several months ago.  Discover
said it is cooperating in the probe.  The FDIC would not comment.

The investigation follows the filing of a series of class action
lawsuits in various U.S. District Courts challenging the company's
marketing.

At issue are its sales policies for several products:

   -- Payment protection: This service allows users to put
Discover Card payments on hold for up to two years following a job
layoff, disability, leave of absence, hospitalization, death of a
spouse or domestic partner or federal or state disaster.  It also
allows one-month holds on payments following happier events like a
marriage, childbirth, adoption, new job, retirement, moving or
graduation.

   -- Identity theft protection: This service monitors credit
reports for changes like new accounts, address changes and
potentially negative information.

   -- Wallet protection: This lets customers register credit cards
and then provides cancellation services for those cards if a
wallet is stolen.  Wallet protection includes a provision for
wiring customers up to $1,000 in emergency cash in the event a
wallet is stolen.

   -- Credit score tracker: This service gives customers online
access to credit reports, scores and score change alerts.

Each product requires customers to choose monthly or annual
billing.  Fees vary, and some are at set prices and others based
on card balances.

The company said that in June, it reached a preliminary global
settlement in the eight pending class-action suits over marketing
of the products.  That pact still needs a judge's approval.
Details have not been released.

"An important point is that it's not the actual product that's in
question, it's the way that it was sold," said analyst Sanjay
Sakhrani of Keefe, Bruyette & Woods.

He noted the company said it changed its sales practices after the
first case came up last year in California.

Mr. Sakhrani said Discover's credit protection businesses generate
about 3% of the company's total revenue.  The new sales policies
do not seem to have hurt the business he said, noting that
Discover's total fee income rose about 4% from last year,
according to its fiscal third-quarter report.

Sterne, Agee analyst Henry Coffey said investors should have
expected the FDIC to take action -- which he predicts will mean a
fine for the company -- once Discover revealed the investigation
in June.

"We should have known there was going to be something come out of
it," he said, even though the company apparently changed its
policies before the FDIC probe began.  "We're in a regulatory
environment where the primary goal is shakedown, not to do things
that are helpful for the consumers."

Mr. Coffey also said he wouldn't be surprised if more state
attorneys general get involved in the class action suits.


DISCOVER FINANCIAL: Awaits Approval of Global Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------
Discover Financial Services is awaiting court approval of its
global settlement of all its pending class action lawsuits,
according to the Company's September 28, 2011, Form 10-Q filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended August 31, 2011.

There are eight class action cases pending in relation to the sale
of the Company's payment protection fee product.  The cases were
filed (all in United States District Courts) on: July 8, 2010, in
the Northern District of California (Walker, et al. v. DFS, Inc.
and Discover Bank; subsequently transferred to the Northern
District of Illinois); July 16, 2010, in the Central District of
California (Conroy v. Discover Financial Services and Discover
Bank); October 22, 2010, in the District of South Carolina
(Alexander v. Discover Financial Services, Inc.; DFS Services LLC;
Discover Bank; and Morgan Stanley); November 5, 2010, in the
Northern District of Illinois (Callahan v. Discover Financial
Services, Inc. and Discover Bank); December 17, 2010, in the
Western District of Tennessee (Sack v. DFS Services LLC; Discover
Financial Services, Inc.; and Discover Bank); January 14, 2011, in
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Boyce v. DFS Services LLC;
Discover Financial Services Inc.; Discover Bank); February 15,
2011, in the Southern District of Florida (Triplett v. Discover
Financial Services, Inc., DFS Financial Services LLC, Discover
Bank and Morgan Stanley); and March 7, 2011, in the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania (Carter v. Discover Financial Services,
Inc., DFS Financial Services LLC, Discover Bank, Morgan Stanley et
al.).

All of the cases have been transferred to the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of Illinois pursuant to a multi-district
litigation order issued by the Joint Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation in February 2011.  These class actions challenge the
Company's marketing practices with respect to its payment
protection fee product to cardmembers under various state laws and
the Truth in Lending Act.  The plaintiffs seek monetary remedies
including unspecified damages and restitution, attorneys' fees and
costs, and various forms of injunctive relief including an order
rescinding the payment protection fee product enrollments of all
class members.  In June 2011, the Company and class counsel
entered into a preliminary global settlement of all of the pending
class actions.  The settlement is subject to judicial approval.

No further updates were reported in the Company's latest SEC
filing.


EGG PRODUCERS: Four Firms to Face Conspiracy Charge, Judge Rules
----------------------------------------------------------------
Reuben Kramer at Courthouse News Service reports that a federal
judge has ruled that plaintiffs in a class action have offered
sufficient evidence to suggest that four of the nation's largest
egg producers joined in a conspiracy to reduce the supply of eggs
available on store shelves and jack up prices.  As a result U.S.
District Judge Gene Pratter refused to dismiss the action against
them.

In the case of two other egg producers, however, Judge Pratter
said the plaintiffs failed to plausibly suggest that they had been
participants in the conspiracy, and granted the companies' motions
to dismiss.

The plaintiffs, direct-purchasers of eggs, alleged the egg
producers engaged in eight distinct coordinated actions over the
course of a decade that are hallmarks of an anticompetitive
conspiracy.  As a result, they said, egg prices rose between 2003
and 2009.

The most prominent of those actions was an initiative known as the
United Egg Producers (UEP) Certification Program.

That program imposed blanket guidelines on participating egg
producers, setting limits on cage size for fowl and on the number
of egg-laying hens a company could maintain, according to court
records.

If a producer complied, it could stamp the UEP's imprimatur on its
products.

That mark of approval became critically important when major
retailers like Wal-Mart and Kroger indicated they'd only purchase
UEP-certified eggs, plaintiffs said.

They went on to describe the program as an all or nothing
proposition: if a producer wanted to participate, it was precluded
from producing non-certified eggs at any of its facilities.

The plaintiffs contend there was only one reason why producers
would participate in such a program: it was a collective effort to
stanch supply and jack-up egg prices.

The industry responded by saying there is an obvious alternative
explanation: participating companies were responding to consumers
who were clamoring for eggs from chickens raised in better living
conditions, and the program was therefore an inherently
competitive undertaking.

But in a 78-page decision filed this week, Judge Pratter found
that, accepting the allegations in plaintiffs' amended class-
action complaint as true, the UEP Certification Program offered no
legitimate business reason for an egg producer to join.

Judge Pratter found that "The SAC [second amended complaint]
alleges that the companies who became certified under the UEP
Certification Program were required to undertake, in order to
obtain and maintain their certification, certain measures that
have the effect of reducing that company's output of eggs and
without apparent legitimate business rationale."

"The allegations as to the program raise enough of a plausible
inference that certification in the program was inconsistent with
independent self-interest, at least because no non-conspiring,
self-interested company would have followed the program
guidelines," Judge Pratter wrote.

But, she found, the same can't be said about another coordinated
anticompetitive act alleged by the plaintiffs: the United States
Egg Marketers Export Program.

The plaintiffs said the initiative asked producers to export eggs
at a loss in an effort to stifle domestic supply, and entailed a
plan for trade-group members to absorb export losses incurred by
individual producers.

But unlike the UEP Certification Program, when taking the
allegations as true, the plaintiff's characterization of the
Export Program fails to foreclose the possibility that
"participation in the egg export program might have been for
independent, legitimate business reasons," Judge Pratter found.

The plaintiffs claim the Program rings of anticompetitive conduct
because domestic egg prices were generally higher than foreign
rates.

But, Judge Pratter said, plaintiffs have merely alleged that
domestic prices were higher on average, and have therefore left
open the possibility that participating in the Export Program
could have been, at times, a prudent, legitimately competitive
business decision.

The plaintiffs' assertion that there "would have been no
independent business reason for each Defendant on its own to
undertake costly exports at the expense of more profitable
domestic sales" isn't supported by their suit, Judge Pratter
found.

Judge Pratter denied four motions to dismiss on Sept. 26, finding
that Michael Foods, Daybreak Foods, Rose Acre Farms and Ohio Fresh
Eggs appear to have entered into a supply-management conspiracy.

But Judge Pratter couldn't say the same with respect to the United
Egg Association and entities associated with Hillandale Farms, so
she granted without prejudice their motions to dismiss.

Seventeen actions were consolidated before Judge Pratter in
December 2008.

The owner of Land O'Lakes agreed to a $25 million settlement last
year.  Judge Pratter gave preliminary approval in October 2009 to
a non-monetary settlement with Sparboe Farms Inc., which agreed to
aid the plaintiffs' case against the remaining defendants by
producing witnesses and handing over documents.

A copy of the Memorandum in In Re: Processed Egg Products
Antitrust Litigation, Case No. 08-md-02002 (E.D. Pa.), is
available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/09/29/Eggs%20Opinion.pdf


FOX SEARCHLIGHT: "Black Swan" Unpaid Interns File Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
Christina Ng, writing for ABC News, reports that two men who
interned for the film "Black Swan" have filed a class-action
lawsuit against Fox Searchlight on behalf of hundreds of unpaid
interns, taking aim at a long-accepted practice in the
entertainment industry.

The lawsuit alleges that the film production company violated
federal and state labor laws by using unpaid interns.

"This is a widespread practice and most of the time it's
unlawful," said Elizabeth Wagoner, one of the attorneys
representing the interns.  "I haven't seen other suits like this,
at least not on this scale.  I hope their example will make others
feel they can come forward and that they're owed wages for their
work."

The "Black Swan" interns are Alex Footman, 24, and Eric Glatt, 42.

Mr. Footman interned for full five-day weeks of at least 40 hours
as a production intern on the film in New York from October 2009
to February 2010.

His responsibilities included preparing coffee for the production
office and making sure the coffee pot was full, taking and
distributing lunch orders, taking out the trash, cleaning the
office and collecting receipts for expense reports, according to
the lawsuit filed in Manhattan federal court on Sept. 28.

"With this lawsuit, I hope that we can help interns and former
interns throughout the entertainment industry who should have been
paid wages under the law," Mr. Footman said in a news release from
Outten and Golden, the law firm representing the interns.

The film cost $13 million to produce and grossed more than $300
million worldwide.  The lawsuit alleges that Fox Searchlight has
been able to reduce its production costs "by employing a steady
stream of unpaid interns."

The class-action lawsuit is seeking "to recover unpaid wages and
other damages for all unpaid interns who have worked on films
produced by Fox Searchlight between Sept. 28, 2005, and the date
of final judgment in this matter," according to the lawsuit.

While Ms. Wagoner does not know the exact number of interns
involved and cannot yet comment on the amount of money being
sought, she estimated that hundreds of interns were involved.

"This is not a symbolic lawsuit," Ms. Wagoner said.  "They
certainly have a right to be paid."

The lawsuit alleges that Fox Searchlight's practices violate the
federal Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Laws.  The
U.S. Department of Labor has criteria to determine whether someone
is a trainee or an employee, but the rules are rarely enforced.

A person is a trainee if he or she receives training similar to
what he or she would receive in an academic setting.  In order for
a person to be a trainee, an employer cannot derive any immediate
advantage from him or her.  In other words, an unpaid intern
cannot do the work of a regular employee, which is what the
lawsuit alleges happened at Fox Searchlight.

Fox Searchlight did not respond to requests for comment.

Interning on a film set has long been seen as a way for people to
get a taste of the industry and get their foot into Hollywood's
door, but it has also been criticized as giving an unfair
advantage to those financially able to do it for no pay.

"As we talked to the plaintiff, we realized that it's a pretty
huge far-reaching problem in the entertainment industry and Fox
Searchlight is a player in that, but they're not the only one,"
Ms. Wagoner said.  "So we wanted to do something big and public
that would let interns all over the country know that they have
the right to minimum wage and overtime when working for a private
corporation."


GOODRICH CORP: Sued Over Proposed Sale to United Technologies
-------------------------------------------------------------
Massachusetts Laborers' Pension Fund, Individually And on Behalf
of All Others Similarly Situated v. Goodrich Corp., Marshall O.
Larsen, Carolyn Corvi, Diane Creel, Harris E. DeLoach, Jr., James
W. Griffith, William R. Holland, John P. Jumper, Lloyd W. Newton,
Alfred M. Rankin, Jr., United Technologies Corp., and Charlotte
Lucas Corp., Case No. 652664/2011 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., September 28,
2011) is a stockholder class action that challenges the
Defendants' conduct with regard to the proposed all-cash buyout of
Goodrich by United Technologies.

The Plaintiff contends that the highly anticipated deal, which
allegedly has been "in the works" for over a year, turns out to be
smoke and mirrors, crafted by a conflicted Board, in order to
benefit the Defendants at the expense of Goodrich's shareholders
through an utterly flawed process.

Massachusetts Laborers is a public holder of Goodrich common
stock.  Massachusetts Laborers provides pension benefits to
approximately 17,000 participants.

Goodrich is incorporated under the laws of the state of New York.
Goodrich is a global supplier of systems and services to the
aerospace and defense industry.  United Technologies, a Delaware
corporation based in Hartford, Connecticut, is a diversified
conglomerate known for being the world's largest producer of
elevators and air conditioners.  Charlotte Lucas, a wholly owned
subsidiary of United Technologies, is a New York corporation into
which Goodrich is to be merged pursuant to the Merger Agreement.
The Individual Defendants are officers and directors of Goodrich.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Christopher J. Keller, Esq.
          Michael W. Stocker, Esq.
          Philip C. Smith, Esq.
          LABATON SUCHAROW LLP
          140 Broadway
          New York, NY 10005
          Telephone: (212) 907-0700
          Facsimile: (212) 818-0477
          E-mail: ckeller@labaton.com
                  mstocker@labaton.com
                  psmith@labaton.com


HUSQVARNA ZENOAH: Recalls 10,500 RedMax Brushcutters/Trimmers
-------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Husqvarna Zenoah Co. Ltd., an affiliate of Husqvarna Professional
Products Inc., of Charlotte, North Carolina, announced a voluntary
recall of about 10,500 units of RedMax brushcutter/trimmer.
Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless
otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to
resell a recalled consumer product.

Some fuel tanks allow leakage at the fuel cap, posing a fire
hazard to consumers.

No reports of fire, personal injury or property damage.

The recalled brushcutter/trimmer is a RedMax model TR2350S.
Recalled brushcutters have shaft serial numbers ranging from
10215377 to 10625892, and engine serial numbers ranging from
10115390 to 10425910.  The product is powered by a 2-cycle
gasoline engine and cuts grass or weeds through the use of a
spinning black trimmer head containing a spool of filament line.
Model number and shaft serial number are located on a label on the
shaft halfway between the trimmer head and the engine.  The engine
serial number is located on the bottom of the engine between the
two screws that secure the fuel tank to the engine.  Pictures of
the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11341.html

The recalled products were assembled in the United States of
America and sold at authorized RedMax dealers and distributors
throughout the U.S. and Canada for about $260.

Consumers should immediately stop using the product and return it
to their local RedMax dealer for repair.  For additional
information, please contact Husqvarna toll-free between 8:00 a.m.
and 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday at (877) 257-6921
or e-mail recalls@husqvarna.com


ONLINE TRAVEL COS: Sued in N.Y. for Violating Hotel Tax Laws
------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Nassau County filed a class
action against 17 online travel companies like Expedia and Hotwire
for allegedly violating hotel tax laws by not paying occupancy
assessments.

A copy of the Complaint in County of Nassau v. Expedia, Inc., et
al., Index No._____ (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Nassau Cty.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/09/29/expedia.pdf

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Robert S. Schachter, Esq.
          ZWERLING, SCHACHTER & ZWERLING, LLP
          990 Stewart Avenue, Suite 600
          Garden City, NY 11530
          Telephone: (516) 832-9600
          E-mail rshachter@zsz.com

               - and -

          Paul Kleidman, Esq.
          Ana M. Cabassa, Esq.
          ZWERLING, SCHACHTER & ZWERLING, LLP
          41 Madison Avenue, 32nd Floor
          New York, NY 10010
          Telephone: (212) 223-3900
          E-mail: pkleidman@zsz.com
                  acabassa@zsz.com


PACIFIC DECOR: Recalls 1,300 Bottles of Pourable Gel Fuel
---------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Pacific Decor Ltd., of Woodinville, Washington, announced a
voluntary recall of about 1,300 bottles of Pacific Flame Pourable
Gel Fuel.  Consumers should stop using recalled products
immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell
or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The pourable gel fuel can ignite unexpectedly and splatter onto
people and objects nearby when it is poured into a firepot that is
still burning.  This hazard can occur if the consumer does not see
the flame or is not aware that the firepot is still ignited.  Gel
fuel that splatters and ignites can pose fire and burn risks to
consumers that can be fatal.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.

This recall involves pourable gel fuel packaged in one-quart,
white plastic bottles, and sold with and without citronella.  The
label on the container says "Pacific Flame" and "Premium pourable
gel fuel."  The fuel is poured into a stainless steel cup in the
center of ceramic firepots or other decorative lighting devices
and ignited.  These products are affected by this recall:

      Size             Model Number         SKU
      ----             ------------    ------------
      1 QT                  160        095583001605
      1 QT (with            170        095583001704
        citronella)

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11344.html

The recalled products were manufactured in the United States of
America and sold online, in specialty and gift shops, furniture
stores and home and garden stores nationwide, through home and
garden catalogs and home decorators and landscape architects from
June 2011 through August 2011 for between $10 and $12.

Consumers should immediately stop using the pourable gel fuel in
firepots and return all bottles to the retailer where the consumer
purchased the fuel for a full refund.  For additional information,
contact Pacific Decor at (425) 949-7878 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00
p.m. Pacific Time Monday through Friday or visit the firm's Web
site at http://www.PacificDecorLtd.com/

This firm is part of a larger set of pourable gel fuel recalls.
For more information, please see:

News Release: Nine Manufacturers, Distributors Announce Consumer
              Recall of Pourable Gel Fuel Due to Burn and Flash
              Fire Hazards (Sept. 1, 2011)

         [http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11315.html]

News Release: Napa Home & Garden Recalls NAPAfire and FIREGEL
              Pourable Gel Fuel Due to Fire and Burn Hazards
              (June 22, 2011)

         [http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11255.html]

OnSafety Blog: Stop Using Pourable Gel Fuels (June 22, 2011)

   [http://www.cpsc.gov/onsafety/2011/09/stop-using-pourable-gel-fuels/]

Alert: Press Statement on Gel Fuels and Other Illuminating Fuels
              (June 14, 2011)

              [http://www.cpsc.gov/PR/fuels06142011.html]


RICOH AMERICAS: Sued for Not Reimbursing Work-Related Expenses
--------------------------------------------------------------
Stewart Bishop, writing for Law360, reports that electronics giant
Ricoh Americas Corp. was hit with a class action in California
state court on Sept. 26 alleging the company failed to reimburse
employees for work-related expenses.

The suit was lodged by Parhum Zadeh on behalf of himself and other
current and former account executives of Ricoh and its subsidiary
Ikon Office Solutions Inc.

Mr. Zadeh alleges Ricoh violated numerous provisions of
California's labor code by failing to pay for expenses incurred on
the job over a course of at least four years.


ROYAL POWER: Faces Suit in California for FLSA Violations
---------------------------------------------------------
Shalawn Brown; Art Kelly; and Carlos Orozco Cortez; individually,
and on behalf of other members of the general public similarly
situated v. Royal Power Management, Inc. d/b/a RPM Management,
Inc., a California corporation; Gideon Rosman; and Does 1 through
10, inclusive, Case No. 3:11-cv-04822 (N.D. Calif., September 29,
2011) alleges that the Defendants failed to pay overtime
compensation and minimum wages in violation of the Fair Labor
Standards Act.

The Plaintiffs allege that the failure to pay them and the class
members was the result of the Defendants' willful and intentional
violation of the provisions of the FLSA, or alternatively, the
Defendants' reckless disregard for the requirements of those
provisions.

Shalawn Brown is a resident of the city of Oakland, County of
Alameda, in California.  Art Kelly and Carlos Orozco Cortez are
residents of Los Angeles, California.

RPMI is a California corporation and the Plaintiffs' employer.
Gideon Rosman is a resident of California.  The Plaintiffs allege
that Mr. Rosman formed and used RPMI to perpetuate a fraud,
circumvent a statute/law and accomplish some other wrongful or
inequitable purpose.  The true names and capacities of the Doe
Defendants are currently unknown.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Edwin Aiwazian, Esq.
          LAWYERS FOR JUSTICE, PC
          410 West Arden Avenue, Suite 203
          Glendale, CA 91203
          Telephone: (818) 265-1020
          Facsimile: (818) 265-1021
          E-mail: edwin@aiwazian.com

               - and -

          R. Rex Parris, Esq.
          Alexander R. Wheeler, Esq.
          Jason P. Fowler, Esq.
          Douglas Han, Esq.
          Kitty K. Szeto, Esq.
          R. REX HARRIS LAW FIRM
          42220 10th Street West, Suite 109
          Lancaster, CA 93534
          Telephone: (661) 949-2595
          Facsimile: (661) 949-7524
          E-mail: rrparris@rrexparris.com
                  awheeler@rrexparris.com
                  jfowler@rrexparris.com
                  dhan@rrexparris.com
                  kszeto@rrexparris.com


SEABOURN CRUISE: Sued Over Reservation Cancellation Fees
--------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Seabourn Cruise Line should
not have charged cancellation fees to those who withdrew their
reservation since the company waited until after the cancelation
period had passed to announce that civil unrest in Egypt would
prevent the ship from making ports of call in the country, a class
claims in Superior Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Gilroy, et ux. v. Seabourn Cruise Line,
Ltd. d/b/a Seabourn Cruise Line, Case No. 11-2-32848-1 (Wash.
Super. Ct., Seattle Cty.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/09/28/egypt.pdf

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Anthony J. Ginster, Esq.
          Gordon C. Webb, Esq.
          225 106th Avenue
          Bellevue, WA 98004
          Telephone: (425) 462-8240

               - and -

          George Kargianis, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF GEORGE KARGIANIS, INC. PS
          Columbia Center
          701 Fifth Avenue, 4760
          Seattle, WA 98104
          Telephone: (206) 448-7969


SHERMAG INC: Recalls 3,100 Drop-Side Cribs for Repair
-----------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in
cooperation with Shermag Inc., of Quebec, Canada, announced a
voluntary recall of about 2,300 drop-side cribs in the United
States of America and about 800 in Canada.  Consumers should stop
using recalled products immediately unless otherwise instructed.
It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer
product.

The drop-side rail hardware on the cribs can break or fail,
allowing the drop side to detach from the crib.  When the drop
side detaches, a hazardous gap is created between the drop-side
rail and the crib mattress in which infants and toddlers can
become wedged or entrapped, posing risks of suffocation and
strangulation.  In addition, children can fall out of the crib
when the drop-side rail falls unexpectedly or detaches from the
crib.  Drop-side rail failures can also occur due to incorrect
assembly or with age-related wear and tear.

CPSC and the firm are aware of 21 incidents involving drop sides
that failed or detached.  No injuries have been reported.

This recall involves wooden drop-side cribs with hidden drop-side
hardware.  The cribs were sold in various colors.  Model numbers
202647, 211047 and 272547 are included in this recall.  The cribs
were sold separately and as part of the "City Lights," "Fairy
Tales" and "Dormez Vous" furniture collections.  "Shermag" is
printed on a tag on the mattress springs.  The model numbers can
be found on stickers and warning labels on the crib's headboard or
footboard.  Pictures of the recalled products are available at
http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml11/11343.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold at The
Land of Nod and other baby specialty stores from September 2004
through December 2008 for between $400 and $800.

Consumers should stop using these cribs immediately and contact
the firm to request a free repair kit that will immobilize the
drop-side.  In the meantime, parents are urged to find an
alternate, safe sleeping environment for the child, such as a
bassinet, play yard or toddler bed depending on the child's age.
For additional information, contact Shermag at (800) 567-3419
between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through
Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at http://www.shermag.com/

                   Important Message from CPSC

CPSC reminds parents not to use any crib with missing, broken or
loose parts.  Make sure to tighten hardware from time to time to
keep the crib sturdy.  When using a drop-side crib, parents should
check to make sure the drop side or any other moving part operates
smoothly.  Always check all sides and corners of the crib for
parts separating that can create a gap and entrap a child.  In
addition, do not try to repair any side of the crib.  Babies have
died in cribs where repairs were attempted by caregivers.  Crib
age is a factor in safety.  At a minimum, CPSC staff recommends
that you do not use a crib that is older than 10 years old.
Effective June 28, 2011, new, mandatory federal crib rules require
that all cribs manufactured and sold after that date must meet new
and improved safety requirements
[http://www.cpsc.gov/nsn/cribrules.pdf]. Older cribs do not meet
the new standard and can have a variety of safety problems.  Check
if your crib has been recalled at http://www.cpsc.gov/


SMITHKLINE BEECHAM: Judge Narrows Flonase Class Action
------------------------------------------------------
Reuben Kramer at Courthouse News Service reports that a federal
judge pared an indirect-purchaser class action accusing SmithKline
Beecham of unfairly using the FDA's citizen petition process to
stifle generic competition to its steroid nasal spray Flonase.

A copy of the Memorandum in In re: Flonase Antitrust Litigation,
Case No. 08-cv-03301 (E.D. Pa.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/09/29/Flonase.pdf


THOR INDUSTRIES: Continues to Defend Formaldehyde Exposure Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Thor Industries, Inc. continues to defend numerous lawsuits
alleging exposure to formaldehyde in connection with the trailers
and manufactured homes provided by the Federal Emergency
Management Agency following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005,
according to the Company's September 28, 2011, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year
ended July 31, 2011.

Beginning in 2006, a number of lawsuits were filed against
numerous trailer and manufactured housing manufacturers, including
complaints against the Company.  The complaints were filed in
various state and federal courts throughout Louisiana, Alabama,
Texas and Mississippi on behalf of Gulf Coast residents who lived
in travel trailers, park model trailers and manufactured homes
provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ("FEMA")
following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005.  The complaints
generally allege that residents who occupied FEMA supplied
emergency housing units, such as travel trailers, were exposed to
formaldehyde emitted from the trailers.  The plaintiffs allege
various injuries from exposure, including health issues and
emotional distress.  Most of the initial cases were filed as class
action lawsuits.  The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
(the "MDL panel") has the authority to designate one court to
coordinate and consolidate discovery and pretrial proceedings.
The MDL panel transferred the actions to the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana (the "MDL
Court") because the actions in different jurisdictions involved
common questions of fact.  The MDL Court denied class
certification in December 2008, and consequently, the cases are
now being administered as a mass joinder of claims.  There are
approximately 4,100 lawsuits currently pending in the MDL Court.

The number of cases currently pending against the Company is
approximately 550.  Many of these lawsuits involve multiple
plaintiffs, each of whom have brought claims against the Company.
A number of cases against the Company have been dismissed for
various reasons, including duplicative and unmatched lawsuits and
failure of plaintiffs to appear or prosecute their claims.  In the
event a case does not settle or is not dismissed during the MDL
proceeding, it is remanded back to the original court for
disposition or trial.  In September 2009, the MDL Court commenced
hearing both bellwether jury trials and bellwether summary jury
trials.  The summary jury trial process is an alternative dispute
resolution method which is non-binding and confidential.  The
Company has participated in one confidential summary jury trial.

Currently, the Company says it is unknown how many plaintiffs'
claims against the Company will proceed in the MDL Court and how
many claims will be dismissed.  It is also unknown how many
plaintiffs will continue to litigate if their case is dismissed
without prejudice or remanded back to their court of origin.  In
July 2011, the MDL Court issued Corrected Pretrial Order No. 88
governing the plaintiff fact sheet deficiency process, the purpose
of which, as explained in Pretrial Order 86, is to provide
defendants with the necessary information to evaluate claims for
global settlement.  Pursuant to Corrected Pretrial Order No. 88,
defendants have identified deficiencies in the plaintiffs' fact
sheets required to be completed by each plaintiff.  Defendants,
including the Company, have identified thousands of deficiencies
and provided deficiency notices to plaintiffs' counsel.  If a
plaintiff fails to cure material deficiencies in his or her fact
sheet, the defendants are authorized to file for dismissal of such
claim.  At this time, the Company is unable to provide a
reasonable estimate for the range of loss in the event of an
adverse outcome, beyond amounts accrued as of July 31, 2011,
because the number of plaintiffs is undetermined and at this stage
of the proceedings, evidence of potential damages for each
plaintiff has not been introduced.

A group of mobile and manufactured home defendants have agreed to
pay $2,625,000 to settle certain claims that plaintiffs have
allegedly been sickened by levels of formaldehyde in the
manufactured homes.  The Company says it understands that
settlements have been reached with at least two of the trailer
manufacturers, but the terms have not been publicly disclosed.

While the Company may consider pursuing settlement of the matter
given the uncertainty of litigation and the cost of defending each
individual case if the MDL proceeding ends and the MDL Court
remands the individual cases back to their courts of origin, it is
uncertain whether the parties can agree upon a mutually acceptable
resolution of the litigation.  The Company strongly disputes the
allegations and continues to vigorously defend the lawsuits.


UNITED ARTISTS: Settles Class Action Over Unsolicited Fax Ads
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jamie Ross at Courthouse News Service reports that a $6.8 million
settlement has been reached to a 2000 class action alleging that
United Artists Theatre Circuit and American Blast Fax sent
unsolicited faxes for movie tickets to between 57,000 and 95,000
fax numbers in Phoenix.

The lawsuit, filed in May 2000 in Maricopa County Court, claimed
that the defendants' faxes transmitted in September 1999 for the
sale of United Artists movie tickets was conducted in the
metropolitan-Phoenix area and violated the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act.

Of the settlement amount, class representative Starkle Ventures
was awarded $57,500 as an incentive payment, and class
representative Hacienda Heating and Cooling was awarded $12,500.
The two law firms representing the class were awarded $1.8 million
in attorneys' fees and $133,815 in preliminary costs.

A copy of the Order Approving Settlement, Incentive Awards,
Attorneys Fees, and Costs in Starkle Ventures, LLC, et al. v.
United Artists Theatre Circuit, Inc., et al., Case No. CV1999-
020649 (Ariz. Super. Ct., Maricopa Cty.), is available at:

                      http://is.gd/E5hIjw

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Edward Moomjian II, Esq.
          UDALL LAW FIRM, LLP
          4801 E. Broadway Blvd., Suite 400
          Tucson, AZ 85711-3638
          Telephone: (520) 623-4353
          E-mail: emoomjian@udalllaw.com

               - and -

          Christopher A. LaVoy, Esq.
          LAVOY & CHERNOFF, PC
          201 N. Central Avenue, Suite 3300
          Phoenix, AZ 85004
          Telephone: (602) 253-3337
          E-mail cal@lavoychernoff.com


* Class Actions Deter Financial Wrongdoing, Study Finds
-------------------------------------------------------
Jeff McCord of The Investor Advocate said that though often
criticized as frivolous and lacking economic benefit, new research
by finance and accounting professors at Rutgers and Emory
universities' business schools finds that class action lawsuits
are a strong deterrent to misrepresenting corporate financial
results and other wrongdoing.  And, in many instances class
actions are a stronger deterrent than SEC enforcement actions.

"Our research found statistically and economically significant
deterrence associated with both SEC enforcement and class action
lawsuits," said Simi Kedia, Ph.D., MBA, associate professor of
finance at Rutgers University School of Business in an interview
with The Investor Advocate.  "We looked at firms in the same
industry as the enforcement target and found that the average peer
firm subject to SEC action and/or litigation reduces discretionary
accruals (i.e., reporting as sales transactions for which payment
has not been received) equivalent to 14% to 22% of the media
return on assets in the aftermath of such enforcement."

The study, a working paper presented at conferences and now being
circulated for comment before publication, measured the
effectiveness of the two primary methods of federal securities
regulatory and law enforcement:  "public" enforcement by the
Securities and Exchange Commission; and, "private" enforcement
through securities class action lawsuits.

     Regulatory Failures Enhance Importance of Class Actions

A recent story by the New York Times' Gretchen Morgenson reported
on why private lawsuits are particularly important at a time when
federal failure to enforce the law is considered one cause of our
on-going financial-economic crisis and of public discontent with
government:

"When federal authorities don't fulfill their obligation to
enforce the law, they essentially give an imprimatur to the
financial entities to do whatever they want and disregard the
law," said Kathleen C. Engel, a professor at Suffolk University
Law School in Boston.  "To the extent there are places where
shareholders and borrowers can pursue claims, they are really
serving the function of the government.  They are our private
attorneys general."

"Lawsuits have long been a crucial method for shareholders to
recover losses.  A February letter to the Securities and Exchange
Commission from the general counsel of the California Public
Employees' Retirement System noted that private litigants in the
100 largest securities class action settlements had recovered
$46.7 billion for defrauded shareholders."

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/08/business/aig-to-sue-bank-of-
america-over-mortgage-bonds.html

"I am not surprised at all that rigorous unbiased research now
proves class action law suits are a robust deterrent to financial
fraud and wrongdoing," explained Salvatore J. Graziano, Esq.,
president of the National Association of Shareholder and Consumer
Attorneys.  "On behalf of defrauded institutional investor
clients, securities plaintiffs' attorneys routinely conduct
thorough and ground breaking investigations of corporate
defendants including securing information from knowledgeable
former employees in our civil prosecutions.  In fact, private
investor lawsuits at times also help further investigations by the
SEC and other federal agencies."

Indeed, the new study found that in cases where both the SEC and
class action lawsuits take action, on average private lawsuits
precede SEC action by 297 days.

Not surprisingly, the strongest deterrence effect was found when
both SEC proceedings and class actions are launched.

Class Actions Recover More Money & Can be Stronger Deterrent than
SEC

"Class action lawsuits, although often maligned as frivolous and
socially wasteful, can have positive externalities by curbing
aggressive reporting behavior of peer firms," the paper by
Dr. Kedia and her colleagues states.  Indeed, class action
lawsuits recover far more money -- twice as much or more -- from
wrongdoers than SEC actions, according to sources cited by the
professors.  And, in most situations, the deterrence value of
class actions (in the absence of SEC enforcement) is actually
stronger than that of the SEC when acting without a corresponding
class action.

This first study to validate the enforcement value of class
actions through empirical research was conducted by Dr. Kedia and
Shivaram Rajgopal, Ph.D., Chartered Accountant and Schaefer
Chaired Professor of Accounting at Emory University's Goizueta
Business School, with Jared Jennings, a doctoral student at the
University of Washington's school of business.  Their paper,
entitled "The Deterrence Effects of SEC Enforcement and Class
Action Litigation," reports their analysis of 474 SEC actions
alleging financial statement misrepresentation and 1,111 class
action lawsuits alleging violations of Generally Accepted
Accounting Procedures during 1996 through 2006.  The paper was
first circulated for comment in June.

http://papers.ssrn.com/abstract=1868578

Among other findings, the professors reported:

-- "The SEC publicly targets a very small fraction of firms -- in
our sample only 0.74% of firms were subject to SEC enforcement.
At these low levels of enforcement, a substantial fraction of
misreporting is likely to go undetected.  Therefore, if potential
miscreants consider the probability of detection to be too low,
they are unlikely to change their behavior."

-- "Securities class action litigation for alleged reporting
irregularities is more likely against an average firm -- in our
sample 1.28% of firms are subject to class action litigation.  The
greater likelihood of class action litigation, combined with
higher monetary sanctions, likely renders lawsuits as a
potentially effective way to deter reporting irregularities at
peer firms."


* Funds Spring Up to Invest in High-Stakes Litigation
-----------------------------------------------------
Vanessa O'Connell at The Wall Street Journal reports that lawyers-
turned-financiers are laying plans to profit from what they hope
will be the new hot investment: high-stakes U.S. lawsuits.

At least three start-up businesses are entering the fledgling
"alternative litigation funding" market this year, creating funds
that will invest at least a few million dollars in a case in
exchange for a share of the lawsuit's winnings, which can be in
the several-million-dollar or even billion-dollar range.

One of the newcomers is:

          John P. "Sean" Coffey, Esq.
          BlackRobe Capital Partners, LLC
          1185 Avenue of the Americas, 30th Floor
          New York, NY 10036
          Telephone: 212-575-2047
          E-mail: coffey@blackrobecapital.com

a former plaintiff lawyer at Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann
LLP and a former lead trial lawyer for investors in the case
against Wall Street banks arising from the collapse of the former
telecom company WorldCom Inc.

After helping WorldCom investors recover more than $50 million
from the pockets of former WorldCom officers and directors,
Mr. Coffey unsuccessfully sought the 2010 Democratic nomination
for New York state attorney general.  Now, on the 31st floor of a
midtown Manhattan office building, he is focusing on maximizing
returns for investors from high-stakes commercial litigation via a
commercial-claim investor called BlackRobe Capital Partners LLC.
BlackRobe is currently exploring ways to raise capital.
BlackRobe's Web site instructs that inquiries should be directed
to Stephanie Reckler at reckler@blackrobecapital.com by e-mail.

The idea has critics, who worry about a possible rise in frivolous
lawsuits and increased pressure on defendants to settle.  But some
forms of third-party litigation funding have been around for
decades.  Search the Web for "lawsuit loans," and you'll find
hundreds of companies offering cash advances, generally of up to
$10,000, to people with personal-injury claims to help them offset
living expenses while their claims are pending.  There have also
been occasional "syndicated lawsuits," allowing investors to pay a
plaintiff's legal costs and gamble on receiving part of a monetary
judgment or settlement.

The new breed of profit-seeker sees a huge, untapped market for
betting on high-stakes commercial claims.  After all, companies
will spend about $15.5 billion this year on U.S. commercial
litigation and an additional $2.6 billion on intellectual-property
litigation, according to estimates by BTI Consulting Group Inc., a
Wellesley, Mass., research firm that surveyed 300 large companies
in 2011.

Backers say litigation funding will help to increase the number of
legitimate claims that reach the legal system. Potential users of
capital include small companies seeking to level the playing field
against bigger opponents and publicly traded companies seeking
off-balance-sheet financing for their litigation. "We have and
will continue to entertain the use of third-party funding under
the appropriate circumstances," says Tom Sager, general counsel of
chemical maker DuPont Co., who cites the rising cost of litigation
in the U.S.

The business is gaining cautious backing from some partners within
major U.S. law firms, including Latham & Watkins LLP, Patton Boggs
LLP and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP.  The funders provide
lawyers with potential referrals of new clients.  They also
provide an "extra measure of security that the legal fees are
going to be paid without incident," notes:

          Barry R. Ostrager, Esq.
          Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP
          425 Lexington Avenue
          New York, NY 10017-3954
          Telephone: (212) 455-2655
          E-mail: bostrager@stblaw.com

whose standard rate is more than $1,000 an hour. In 2009, he
introduced client Gray Development Group to a litigation-financing
firm for funding of its July 2010 suit against a Chicago
developer.  Gray won the case.

"The added capital allowed us to upgrade the legal team without
betting the company's entire future on the outcome of one
lawsuit," says Bruce Gray, chairman of Gray Development, one of
the largest apartment developers in Arizona.

Critics have philosophical concerns.  John Beisner, a Skadden,
Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP partner, told a House subcommittee
in May that litigation funding threatens to increase frivolous
claims and exacerbate litigation abuse by making "unlimited
amounts of money available to litigants and attorneys."  He spoke
on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

"Investors are thinking, what's the one thing you can always count
on being around?  It's litigation.  Let's try to profit from
that!" Mr. Beisner adds.  "Is that what our litigation system is
supposed to be about?"

Others worry that defendants might feel unfairly pressured to
settle.  The funders tend to bet on patent or antitrust cases for
the biggest profit, but "the potential downsides for the
defendants are huge," says Joanna Shepherd-Bailey, an associate
professor at Emory University School of Law.  She cites a
possibility of treble damages and preliminary injunctions as
examples of "negative side effects that can ruin a company."

Mr. Coffey says "the funding is not only going to result in more
legitimate claims being brought, it's going to result in more
effective prosecution of claims that have been filed."

"There are some claims that are prosecuted that are starved a
little for oxygen," he says.  "Some claims that are being
prosecuted somewhat anemically would be prosecuted more robustly."

In the past, common law prohibited third-party financing of a
lawsuit, as well as the acquisition of an interest in a lawsuit's
winnings.  Currently, laws vary from state to state, Prof.
Shepherd-Bailey says, and no U.S. court has yet considered the
legality of third-party finance of commercial claims.

At the moment, BlackRobe is using space at the New York office of
law firm Patton Boggs.  It expects to move in the next few months,
Mr. Coffey says.

Down the hall, rival Fulbrook Management LLC is subleasing from
Patton Boggs.  Founded in March by a former Latham senior partner,
Fulbrook says it looks for cases with a potential recovery of $25
million or more on investments of $1 million to $10 million.  It
promises to provide "professional and commercial support for
claims" it backs, says founder:

          Selvyn Seidel, Esq.
          Fullbrook Management LLC
          1185 Avenue of the Americas, 30th Floor
          New York, NY 10036

It plans to raise "a pool of capital that will be a serious fund"
soon, he adds.

Another new U.S. player, Bentham Capital LLC, opened for business
last Monday, and it's focusing on commercial and intellectual-
property litigation, according to its chief investment officer:

          Ralph Sutton, Esq,
          Bentham Capital LLC
          712 Fifth Avenue, 14th Floor
          New York, NY 10019
          Telephone: (212) 488-5331
          E-mail: sutton.ralph@gmail.com

a former lawyer at Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP.
Bentham's parent, IMF Australia Ltd., has more than 87 million
Australian dollars in assets.

Two existing players -- Juridica Investments Ltd. and Burford
Capital Ltd., both hedge funds publicly traded in the U.K. --
reported promising results last month.


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