CAR_Public/120109.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Monday, January 9, 2012, Vol. 14, No. 6

                             Headlines

APPLE INC: Claims Filing Deadline in MagSafe Suit Is March 21
BEST BUY: Awaits Ruling on Bid to Dismiss Securities Class Suit
BEST BUY: To Make All "Holloway" Settlement Payments by Jan. 8
COINSTAR INC: Sued in Nevada Over Deceptive Trade Practices
DIGISLIDE: MVSS Calls on Shareholders to Join Class Action

INTRALINKS HOLDINGS: Faces Another Securities Suit in New York
LCD PANEL MANUFACTURERS: Antitrust Class Suit Settlements Reached
NEW LEAF: Suit Over Lead in Products Remains Pending in Calif.
PALM BEACH INSTITUTE: Sued for Lying About Accreditation
PNC FINANCIAL: Faces Class Action Over Illegal Referral Payments

STANFORD FINANCIAL: Investors File Suits vs. Lawyers & Auditors
STATE OF NEW YORK: Unions Sue Over Retirees' Health Insurance
STATE PLASTERING: Defective Stucco Suit Gets Class Action Status


                          *********

APPLE INC: Claims Filing Deadline in MagSafe Suit Is March 21
-------------------------------------------------------------
David Morgenstern, writing for ZDNet, reports that the deadlines
are approaching to make claims under the class action settlement
relating to problems with past implementations of Apple's MagSafe
Connector on its MacBook and MacBook Pro series computer.  The
lawsuit was settled by Apple in November 2011.

The MagSafe Connector is a fantastic addition to mobile computing:
it lets users avoid dragging their computer to the floor by the
power cord.  Still there was growing pains with the technology.

The problem with the early MagSafe was a weak sleeve.  Of course,
the cable bent and the wires inside the plastic sleeve could
become frayed and pull out.  This posed a fire hazard and many
customers replaced the units.  Apple settled, but of course, "the
settlement is not an admission of wrongdoing."

Owners of MacBooks and MacBook Pros can receive various cash
payments covering the purchase of replacements adapters within the
first three years following the initial purchase of the computer.
The amount of the cash payments vary depending on when the
Replacement Adapter was purchased.

The date to object to the suit and to exclude oneself from the
suit just passed.  The site says that March 21, 2012 is the due
date for the sending of claim forms, which can be downloaded from
the site.

Meanwhile, Patently Apple last week showed the patent drawings and
description for MagSafe.  The illustration is interesting, showing
several types of magnet arrays on the connector.

Apple's 60 Watt MagSafe Power Adapter features a magnetic DC
connector that ensures that the power cable will disconnect if it
experiences undue strain and helps prevent fraying or weakening of
the cables over time.  In addition, the magnetic DC helps guide
the plug into the system for a quick and secure connection.


BEST BUY: Awaits Ruling on Bid to Dismiss Securities Class Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Best Buy Co., Inc., is awaiting a court decision on its motion to
dismiss a consolidated securities class action lawsuit pending in
Minnesota, according to the Company's January 3, 2012, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended November 26, 2011.

In February 2011, a purported class action lawsuit, captioned IBEW
Local 98 Pension Fund, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Best Buy Co., Inc., et al., was filed
against the Company and certain of its executive officers in the
U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.  This federal
court action alleges, among other things, that the Company and the
officers named in the complaint violated Sections 10(b) and 20A of
the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 under the Exchange Act in
connection with press releases and other statements relating to
the Company's fiscal 2011 earnings guidance that had been made
available to the public.  Additionally, in March 2011, a similar
purported class action was filed by a single shareholder, Rene
LeBlanc, against the Company and certain of its executive officers
in the same court.  In July 2011, after an unopposed motion by
IBEW Local 98 Pension Fund and Rene LeBlanc to consolidate their
respective lawsuits was granted, a consolidated complaint
captioned, IBEW Local 98 Pension Fund v. Best Buy Co., Inc., et
al., was filed and served.  The Company filed a motion to dismiss
the consolidated complaint in September 2011, which was heard by
the court in December 2011.  The Company is awaiting the court's
decision on that motion.

In June 2011, a purported shareholder derivative action captioned,
Salvatore M. Talluto, Derivatively and on Behalf of Best Buy Co.,
Inc. v. Richard M. Schulze, et al., as Defendants and Best Buy
Co., Inc. as Nominal Defendant, was filed against both present and
former members of the Company's Board of Directors serving during
the relevant periods in fiscal 2011 and the Company as a nominal
defendant in the U.S. District Court for the State of Minnesota.
The lawsuit alleges that the director defendants breached their
fiduciary duty, among other claims, including violation of Section
10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, in failing to
correct public misrepresentations and material misstatements
and/or omissions regarding the Company's fiscal 2011 earnings
projections and, for certain directors, selling stock while in
possession of material adverse non-public information.
Additionally, in July 2011, a similar purported class action was
filed by a single shareholder, Daniel Himmel, against the Company
and certain of its executive officers in the same court.  In
November 2011, the parties' stipulation for consolidation of the
respective lawsuits of Salvatore M. Talluto and Daniel Himmel into
a new action to be captioned, In Re: Best Buy Co., Inc.
Shareholder Derivative Litigation, was approved by the court and a
stay ordered until after a final resolution of the motion to
dismiss in the consolidated IBEW Local 98 Pension Fund v. Best Buy
Co., Inc., et al. case.

The plaintiffs in the securities actions seek damages, including
interest, equitable relief and reimbursement of the costs and
expenses they incurred in the lawsuits.  The Company believes the
allegations in the securities actions are without merit, and the
Company intends to defend these actions vigorously.  Based on the
Company's assessment of the facts underlying the claims in the
securities actions, their respective procedural litigation
history, and the degree to which the Company intends to defend
itself in these matters, the amount or range of reasonably
possible losses, if any, cannot be estimated.


BEST BUY: To Make All "Holloway" Settlement Payments by Jan. 8
--------------------------------------------------------------
Best Buy Co., Inc., says it intends for all settlement payments in
connection with a 2005 employment discrimination action to be made
in full by their January 8, 2012 due date, according to its
January 3, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended November 26, 2011.

In December 2005, a purported class action lawsuit captioned,
Jasmen Holloway, et al. v. Best Buy Co., Inc., was filed against
the Company in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of California (the "Court").  This federal court action alleged
that the Company discriminates against women and minority
individuals on the basis of gender, race, color and/or national
origin in the Company's stores with respect to its employment
policies and practices.  The action seeks an end to alleged
discriminatory policies and practices, an award of back and front
pay, punitive damages and injunctive relief, including rightful
place relief for all class members.  In June 2011, the plaintiffs
filed a motion for preliminary approval of the parties' negotiated
settlement including conditional certification of settlement
classes and seeking a schedule for final approval.  The proposed
class action settlement terms included, in exchange for a release
and dismissal of the action, certain changes to the Company's
personnel policies and procedures; payment to the nine named
plaintiffs of $0.3 million in the aggregate; and payment in an
amount to be determined by the Court, not to exceed $10 million,
of a portion of the plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and costs.

In November 2011, the Court fully approved the proposed class
action settlement and consent decree; certified the settlement
class; and approved and directed distribution of the settlement.
The Company says it established an accrual based on the settlement
terms, and intends for all payments in respect of this class
action to be made in full by their due date, January 8, 2012.  It
is not reasonably possible that the Company will incur losses
materially in excess of the recorded amount.


COINSTAR INC: Sued in Nevada Over Deceptive Trade Practices
-----------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that a federal class action
against Coinstar, which owns Redbox, claims the company sent the
lead plaintiff an email saying he could keep a movie he rented
from Redbox for an extra day for free, then charged him for it.

A copy of the Complaint in Forkush v. Coinstar, Inc., Case No. 12-
cv-00006 (D. Nev.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/01/04/MovieRentals.pdf

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Robert B. Gerard, Esq.
          Ricardo R. Ehmann, Esq.
          GERARD & ASSOCIATES
          2840 South Jones Boulevard
          Building D, Suite #4
          Las Vegas, NV 89146
          Telephone: (702) 251-0093


DIGISLIDE: MVSS Calls on Shareholders to Join Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
Russell Emmerson, writing for The Advertiser, reports that
technology company Digislide abused investors' faith and relied on
Christianity to "separate people from their money", a creditors
letter claims.

Secured creditor MVSS has called on shareholders to join a class
action "to recover our money from those responsible for these
circumstances with which we are now faced".

Digislide entered voluntary administration in late December after
it was unable to renegotiate a debt of more than AUD600,000 owing
to MVSS.

It changed administrators at its first creditors meeting
allegedly because company-related creditors were unhappy that
their first choice of administrators was investigating options
that would see the company broken up rather than continued.

MVSS founder Mal Fraser-Clay has sent a letter to aggrieved
shareholders, inviting them to join a class action that may extend
as far as Digislide's supporting broker, Martin Place Securities.

"My investments in Digislide, whether by way of capital support or
loans, were made as a direct result of the representations of the
(company)," he writes.

"These representations now appear questionable.  I am personally
seeking legal advice to resolve my concerns; I suggest you also
consider the same.

"I encourage you to join me in a possible class action to recover
our money from those responsible for these circumstances with
which we are now faced."

The letter also raises concerns about representations made by the
company to investors and shareholders, urging people to contact
administrators if they believe they have evidence of "poor or
misleading conduct".

MVSS also questions the methods used to garner investments in the
company.

"The trust and faith we have all placed in the (company) has been
abused and for those who have relied on their Christian faith to
guide them, it has been used to separate you from your money," the
letter says.

"I look forward to recovering our money and trust you will join
me."

Digislide was contacted by The Advertiser on Jan. 4 but did not
respond in time for publication.

The company said in its last market announcement that it was
negotiating the sale of half of its Hong Kong joint venture and
attempting to raise funds from other investors but "there is
considerable uncertainty attached to the investment timeframe and
receipt of funds."


INTRALINKS HOLDINGS: Faces Another Securities Suit in New York
--------------------------------------------------------------
IntraLinks Holdings, Inc., is facing another securities class
action lawsuit in New York, according to the Company's January 3,
2012, Form 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission.

On December 27, 2011, a purported class action lawsuit was filed
in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
against IntraLinks Holdings, Inc. (the "Company") and certain of
its executive officers.  The complaint, which alleges that the
defendants made false and misleading statements during the period
from February 17, 2011, through November 10, 2011 (the "Allegation
Period"), in violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
makes substantially the same claims as, and is related to, the
purported class action lawsuit previously disclosed on the
Company's Current Report on Form 8-K filed on December 7, 2011.
The Company expects that the court will consolidate or coordinate
the two class actions, along with any other similar class actions
filed, and will appoint a lead plaintiff and lead counsel pursuant
to the provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.
The Company anticipates that the lead plaintiff will then file a
consolidated and amended class action complaint.

Also, on December 28, 2011, a shareholder derivative complaint was
filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
York against the Company and certain of its current and former
directors.  The complaint alleges that the defendants breached
their fiduciary duties by causing the Company to issue materially
false and misleading statements about the Company's business
prospects, financial condition and performance during the
Allegation Period.

The Company believes these claims are without merit and intends to
defend these lawsuits vigorously.


LCD PANEL MANUFACTURERS: Antitrust Class Suit Settlements Reached
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP, co-lead counsel for indirect
purchasers in the LCD antitrust class action, on Jan. 4 disclosed
seven settlement agreements in the long-running cartel case
totaling $538.5 million in cash, the largest all-cash settlement
in an indirect-purchaser antitrust case (Case No: 3:07-MD-1827-SI,
in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California).  Zelle Hofmann Senior Partner Francis Scarpulla filed
papers seeking preliminary approval of the settlements with the
federal district court in San Francisco on December 23, 2011.

Under the settlements, consumers and businesses in 25 states that
bought certain LCD TVs, laptop computers, and computer monitors
from 1999 to 2006 will be eligible to receive a cash payment.  The
seven settling defendants will also agree to an injunction
prohibiting them from engaging in further anticompetitive conduct
in the market for LCD panels used in TVs, laptop computers, and
computer monitors.  Additionally, the settling defendants will
provide assistance to the indirect purchasers as they prepare for
trial against the three remaining defendants, scheduled for April
2012.

The settlements are the result of an innovative process that
included the participation of the attorneys general from eight
states that also have cases pending against the same defendants.
The settling defendants, who are among the world's largest makers
of LCD panels, will pay amounts ranging from just over $5 million
to $240 million.  The settlements will release the claims of
certain indirect purchasers of LCD panels contained in TVs, laptop
computers, and computer monitors, alleging that the settling
defendants participated in a long-running global conspiracy to fix
LCD panel prices.  The settling defendants dispute the
allegations.

In addition to Senior Partner Francis Scarpulla, Zelle Hofmann
attorneys working on the matter include Senior Partner Craig
Corbitt, Partner Judith Zahid, and Associates Patrick Clayton,
Qianwei Fu, and Heather Rankie, all of the firm's San Francisco
office.

                       About Zelle Hofmann

Zelle Hofmann Voelbel & Mason LLP -- http://www.zelle.com-- is a
national litigation and dispute resolution law firm with offices
in Boston, Dallas, Minneapolis, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.
Zelle Hofmann represents clients in their most challenging
insurance-related disputes, antitrust/competition and other
complex litigation in venues across the United States and around
the world.  The Firm has an international presence through its
affiliate office in Beijing, People's Republic of China.


NEW LEAF: Suit Over Lead in Products Remains Pending in Calif.
--------------------------------------------------------------
On January 29, 2009, New Leaf Brands, Inc., was notified that it
was named as a defendant, along with 54 other defendants, in a
class action lawsuit under California Proposition 65 for allegedly
failing to disclose the amount of lead in one of its products.
The Company has responded to discovery requests from the Attorney
General of California.  To date, no trial date has been set.  The
Company is currently investigating the merits of the allegation
and is unable to determine the likelihood of an unfavorable
outcome or a range of possible loss.  This matter remains pending.

No further updates were reported in the Company's January 3, 2012,
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarter ended September 30, 2011.


PALM BEACH INSTITUTE: Sued for Lying About Accreditation
--------------------------------------------------------
Marimer Matos at Courthouse News Service reports that a student
says in a class action that the profit-seeking Palm Beach
Institute of Technology has been lying for years about pursuing
accreditation, and that the school "did not even seek
accreditation until 2011," and its application was denied.

Lead plaintiff Michelle Ferrara says she enrolled in January 2009
and paid $24,000 in tuition, based on the school's promise that
"PBIT was already seeking accreditation and that the school would
be accredited prior to her graduation from the diagnostic medical
sonography program."

The school opened in West Palm Beach in 2006 and opened a second
campus in Fort Myers in 2008, according to the complaint in Palm
Beach County Court.

"Prior to enrollment, plaintiff and members of the class were told
by PBIT officials that PBIT was in the process of seeking
accreditation and that the school would attain accreditation prior
to their graduations.  Plaintiff and members of the class relied
on these representations in deciding to enroll at PBIT,"
Ms. Ferrara says.

"In fact, upon information and belief, PBIT did not even seek
accreditation until 2011, and its application for accreditation in
2011 was denied.

"Despite assurances to plaintiff and members of the class that
PBIT was in the process of seeking accreditation and would have
accreditation prior to their graduations, PBIT has never been
accredited and remains unaccredited to this day, resulting in
substantial harm to plaintiff and members of the class," the
complaint states.

For her $24,000, Ms. Ferrara says, she graduated in January 2011,
without an accredited degree.

She also sued Victor H. Ortega, with whom she met in December 2008
and who allegedly told her "that the school would be accredited
prior to her graduation from the diagnostic medical sonography
program."

Ms. Ferrara claims: "Dr. Ortega, at all relevant times, dominated
and controlled PBIT to such an extent that PBIT's separate
existence was, in fact, nonexistent, and its shareholders were
alter egos of PBIT.

"Upon information and belief, the corporate form of PBIT has been
used for an improper purpose."

She adds: "Defendants profited greatly from misrepresentations to
plaintiff and members of the class regarding PBIT's pursuit and
attainment of accreditation."

A visit to the school's Web site [last week] turned up no
information about enrollment numbers.  The school stated: "PBIT is
a school licensed by the Florida Commission for Independent
Education."  It adds: "Currently PBIT-FM offers the Diagnostic
Medical Sonography program only but soon will have more programs
available."

Ms. Ferrara seeks an injunction and damages for the class, for
negligence, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract,
unjust enrichment, and violations of the Florida Deceptive and
Unfair Trade Practices Act.

A copy of the Complaint in Ferrara v. Palm Beach Institute of
Technology, et al., Case No. 2011CA020857 (Fla. Cir. Ct., Palm
Beach Cty.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/01/04/PalmBeachI.pdf

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Drew Lovell, Esq.
          LAW OFFICE OF DREW LOVELL, P.A.
          4100 RCA Boulevard, Suite 110
          Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
          Telephone: (561) 655-7766
          E-mail: dlovell@drewlovellpa.com

               - and -

          Thomas H. Howlett, Esq.
          Dean M. Googasian, Esq.
          THE GOOGASIAN FIRM, P.C.
          6895 Telegraph Road
          Bloomfield Hills, MI 48301-3138
          E-mail: thowlett@googasian.com
                  dgoogasian@googasian.com


PNC FINANCIAL: Faces Class Action Over Illegal Referral Payments
----------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that financial companies conspired
to collect illegal referral payments disguised as reinsurance
premiums from private mortgage insurers, a class claims.

A copy of the Complaint in White, et al. v. The PNC Financial
Services Group, Inc., et al., Case No. 11-cv-07928 (E.D. Pa.)
(Stengel, J.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/01/04/pnc.pdf

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Joseph H. Meltzer, Esq.
          Edward W. Ciolko, Esq.
          Terence S. Ziegler, Esq.
          Donna Siegel Moffa, Esq.
          Michelle A. Coccagna, Esq.
          Amanda R. Trask, Esq.
          KESSLER TOPAZ MELTZER & CHECK, LLP
          280 King of Prussia Road
          Radnor, PA 19087
          Telephone: (610) 667-7706

               - and -

          Alan R. Plutzik, Esq.
          BRAMSON PLUTZIK MAHLER & BIRKHAEUSER LLP
          2125 Oak Grove Boulevard, Ste. 120
          Walnut Creek, CA 94598
          Telephone: (925) 945-020053

               - and -

          Andrew L. Berke, Esq.
          BERKE, BERKE & BERKE
          420 Frazier Avenue
          Chattanooga, TN 37402
          Telephone: (423) 266-5171


STANFORD FINANCIAL: Investors File Suits vs. Lawyers & Auditors
---------------------------------------------------------------
Patrick Danner, writing for Express-News, reports that with a
federal appeals court set to hear arguments next month on whether
Stanford Financial Group investors' class-action lawsuits can
proceed, some of the investors aren't waiting around for a ruling.

Six groups of 49 investors each on Dec. 30 sued former law firms
and auditors for Houston-based Stanford Financial, which was
headed by R. Allen Stanford, who is accused of orchestrating a
massive Ponzi scheme that cheated investors out of $7 billion.
Three lawsuits each were filed in district courts in Bexar County
and Harris County.

The investors, mostly from Mexico, seek about $200 million in
damages combined from the New York law firms Proskauer Rose LLP
and Chadbourne & Parke LLP and auditors C.A.S. Hewlitt & Co. Ltd
in Antigua.  Thomas Sjoblom, a former attorney at both law firms
who represented Stanford Financial, also is named in the suits.

The district court lawsuits are essentially a back-up plan for the
investors in the event the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in
New Orleans decides that their federal lawsuit cannot go forward.

In October, U.S. District Judge David Godbey in Dallas dismissed
the lawsuit, ruling that the certificates of deposit issued to
investors by Stanford Financial's bank in Antigua are a "covered
security" under the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act --
effectively barring a massive class-action lawsuit.  Stanford
Financial had some 28,000 investors.

Judge Godbey issued similar rulings in two other lawsuits brought
against entities connected with Stanford Financial.  The three
cases have been consolidated before the appeals court, which will
hear oral arguments on Feb. 7 on whether they can proceed as class
actions.

Next month marks the three-year anniversary of the Securities and
Exchange Commission's shutting down Stanford Financial.  It also
could mark the end date for bringing suits against Proskauer and
the other defendants.  That prompted Edward Snyder of the law firm
Castillo Snyder PC in San Antonio to file the latest suits on
behalf of his clients.

"To preserve my clients' individual claims against any possible
argument about statute of limitations, I went ahead out of an
abundance of caution to file these individual cases," Mr. Snyder
said.

The suits allege the law firms, Mr. Sjoblom and the auditors
"aided and abetted" Stanford Financial in the alleged illegal
conduct, Mr. Snyder said.

Josh Epstein, a Proskauer spokesman, called the latest suits
"copycats" of the federal suit already dismissed.  "We are
confident that these suits are baseless and will be dismissed as
well," he said in an email.

Efforts to reach representatives for Chadbourne & Parke and
Mr. Sjoblom were unsuccessful, Mr. Danner reports.

Castillo Snyder and San Antonio law firm Strasburger Price
Oppenheimer Blend together represent more than 2,600 Stanford
Financial-related clients who claim more than $750 million in
losses.

Strasburger Price, however, has not made a decision on whether it
will bring individual lawsuits on behalf of its clients, said
David Cibrian, a partner in the firm.

Mr. Stanford is set to go to trial later this month on criminal
charges that he defrauded investors.  He has maintained he is
innocent.  Jury selection is set to start Jan. 23.


STATE OF NEW YORK: Unions Sue Over Retirees' Health Insurance
-------------------------------------------------------------
Dan McCue at Courthouse News Service reports that retired state
employees and their unions filed seven class actions against
Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the state, for cutting their health
insurance benefits while increasing the share of premiums retirees
must pay.

Gov. Cuomo on Oct. 1, 2011 decided to increase retirees' health-
care contributions by 2% -- raising them to roughly 12% from 10%
for individual coverage (depending on the employee's grade) and to
27% from 25% for family coverage.

The New York State Public Employees Federation filed the complaint
that will be cited in this report.  Other plaintiff classes
include members of the Civil Service Employees Association, the
State Correctional Officers and Police Benevolent Association, the
State Troopers Police Benevolent Association, the State Police
Investigators Association, the New York State Law Enforcement
Officers Union Council 82 and the United University Professions.

Together, they say they represent more than 100,000 of the state's
more than 250,000 public workers.

They claim that the increases are unconstitutional because the
state has no right to unilaterally "impair the obligation of
contract of retired state employees."

The lawsuits, filed just before New Year's, capped a busy -- and
according to pundits, largely successful 2011 for Cuomo, who in
his first year in office got a state budget passed on time -- a
rarity -- negotiated new tax brackets with the notoriously
intransigent Legislature, and negotiated new contracts with some
of the same unions that now have squared off against him in court.

Little surprise then that he immodestly declared, "I am the
government" in November.  Little surprise that some now are
bristling in the face of such wide-reaching change.

The state budget passed last spring forced the Public Employees
Federation and the Civil Service Employees Association to concede
nearly $500 million in wages and benefits to prevent a
catastrophic round of layoffs that could have idled nearly 9,800
of their members.

The October insurance rate change for retirees was not part of the
resulting collective bargaining agreements, and could not be,
under state law, the union says.

In its lawsuit, the Public Employees Federation says the class
consists of all living retired state employees who retired with 10
or more years of service between Jan. 1, 1983 and Oct. 1, 2011,
and the spouses and dependents of those that have since died.

According to the union, retirement health insurance is deferred
compensation for services rendered by the retirees during their
working years.  The union says that when an employee retires under
such an agreement, the agreement continues to dictate retirement
health insurance rights even after the expiration of that
agreement.

"Without vesting, the plaintiffs who retired during the course of
a collective bargaining agreement would lose their ability to
protect any retirement health insurance benefits conferred in that
agreement after receiving the benefit," according to the
complaint.  "Therefore, the respective collective bargaining
agreements under which the plaintiffs retired, constitute the
retired plaintiff's only opportunity to ensure the promised
retirement health insurance benefits.

"The plaintiffs . . . reasonably expected and still reasonably
expect, that their retirement health insurance benefits will
continue, because they were powerless to negotiate for the
continuation of their benefits after they retired.

"Likewise, once negotiated, the retired PEF-plaintiffs never
bargained for or agreed to any reduction of their fixed and vested
retirement health insurance benefits."

The union seeks declaratory and injunctive relief on claims of
breach of contract and violations of the U.S. and New York State
Constitutions.

Gov. Cuomo spokesman Josh Vlasto said in a statement that the
unions are way off the mark.

"The law clearly allows the administration to apply the terms of a
new contract to retirees and it has been well-known standard
practice to do so," Mr. Vlasto said.

A copy of the Complaint in Brynien, et al. v. The State of New
York, et al., Case No. 11-cv-01533 (N.D.N.Y.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/01/04/NYHealth.pdf

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          William P. Seamon, Esq.
          Lisa M. King, Esq.
          John F. Kershko, Esq.
          THE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FEDERATION
          1168-70 Troy-Schenectady Road
          P.O. Box 12414
          Albany, NY 12212-2414
          Telephone: (518) 785-1900, Ext.241
          E-mail: wseamon@pef.org
                  lking@pef.org
                  jkershko@pef.org


STATE PLASTERING: Defective Stucco Suit Gets Class Action Status
----------------------------------------------------------------
Allison Stice, writing for The Island Packet, reports that a
lawsuit alleging defective stucco work on Sun City Hilton Head
homes has been granted preliminary class-action status by a
Circuit Court judge and could include more than 4,000 homes in the
gated community.

Judge J. Michael Baxley ruled Dec. 8 that attorneys representing
Sun City couple Anthony and Barbara Grazia could also represent
thousands of other homeowners possibly affected by stucco
problems.  The ruling prevents the courts from getting clogged
with nearly identical lawsuits, including 140 individual cases
alleging defective stucco already pending, he said in the ruling.

The Grazia's suit originally was filed against South Carolina
State Plastering LLC.  State Plastering filed a third-party
complaint against developer Del Webb Communities Inc., builder
Pulte Homes Inc. and designer Kephart Architects Inc., making them
part of the suit by alleging they were responsible for some or all
of the damages.

Improper stucco application can cause water damage, mold and rot.

The state Supreme Court overturned a lower court decision in
October 2010, ruling the Grazia's attorneys could apply for class-
action status.

The suit originally alleged negligent construction on more than
2,500 homes in the community.  However, during months of hearings,
the plaintiff's attorneys determined that State Plastering applied
stucco to about 4,300 homes Sun City homes from late 1998 to July
2007, according to John Chakeris of Chakeris Law Firm of
Charleston, one of four lawyers handling the case.

After wording is determined, a notice will be sent to the
thousands of other Sun City homeowners who will become part of the
suit unless they opt out, Mr. Chakeris said.

Lawyers handling the case also will hold an informational meeting
at 6:00 p.m. Jan. 26 at Bluffton High School.

"It's an open invitation to all stucco homeowners in Sun City to
basically tell them about and inform them about this order and
talk to them about the process," Mr. Chakeris said.

The class-action order is qualified as "preliminary" to comply
with the state's "Right to Cure Act.'  That law requires a
homeowner to give 90 days notice of the intent to file a lawsuit
over construction and lays out a timeline for a contractor or
subcontractor to assess the situation and offer repairs, money or
some another solution.

If a lawsuit is filed without that notice, the court must delay
the suit until the contractor gets the opportunity to fix the
problem, the law states.

To comply with the act, the defendants have some time to inspect
each home in the class-action suit and offer a solution, according
to Baxley's order.

Attempts on Jan. 4 to reach lawyers for the defendants -- Vic Rawl
of the McNair Law Firm and Everett Kendall of the Columbia-based
firm Sweeny, Wingate & Barrow -- were unsuccessful.  James Zeumer,
Pulte vice president of investor relations and corporate
communications, wrote in an e-mail that the company is reviewing
the decision.

"In an earlier ruling, the courts dismissed a similar motion
against Pulte Group," Mr. Zeumer wrote.  "We are in the process of
reviewing the decision, but as it applies to South Carolina
Plastering, it would not be appropriate for us to comment at this
time."

Bob Flaherty, a private home inspector who lives in Sun City, said
he encounters water intrusion and mold as a result of defective
stucco in more than 30 percent of the homes he has inspected in
the community.

"Pulte has been very responsive in getting them fixed,"
Mr. Flaherty said.  "My understanding is they're fixing 10 houses
a week."




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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.  Noemi Irene
A. Adala, Joy A. Agravante, Ivy B. Magdadaro, Psyche A. Castillon,
Julie Anne Lopez, Christopher Patalinghug, Frauline Abangan and
Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2012.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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