CAR_Public/130102.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Wednesday, January 2, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 1

                             Headlines


AMERICAN HONDA: Recalls 19,500 FourTrax ATVs Due to Crash Hazard
ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI: Mine Workers Seek Class Certification
APPLE INC: Wins Bid to Dismiss App Store Users' Privacy Claims
BP PLC: Settles Economic/Property Damage Claims in Oil Spill Suit
CITIGROUP INC: Continues to Face LIBOR-Related Class Suits

COMMODITY ADVISORS: LIBOR-Related MDL Remains Pending in N.Y.
COMMODITY ADVISORS: Claims Dismissal Bid Pending in N.Y. Suit
COMMODITY ADVISORS: Citigroup Still Defends Discrimination Suits
COMMODITY ADVISORS: Discovery in Securities Suit Still Underway
COMMODITY ADVISORS: Global Crossing-Related Suits vs. CGM Pending

FACEBOOK INC: Lawyers in Sponsored Stories Suit Seek $7.7MM Fees
FAIRFIELD SENTRY: March 22 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
FORD MOTOR: Faces Suit in Calif. Over False Marketing Claims
GKI BETHLEHEM: Recalls 15,500 Artificially Lit Christmas Trees
GROUPON INC: Robins Geller Files Class Action in Illinois

H&R BLOCK: Appeal Bid in "Barrett" Suit Decertification Pending
H&R BLOCK: Appeal in "Drake" Lawsuit Still Pending
H&R BLOCK: Two Settlements on Employee Suits Get Court's Final OK
HEMISPHERX BIOPHARMA: Rosen Law Firm Files Securities Class Action
HEMISPHERX BIOPHARMA: Pomerantz Law Firm Files Class Action

HOULIHAN'S RESTAURANT: Price Discrimination Claims Can Proceed
KMART CORP: Judge Rules For Kmart on Cashier Seating Class Action
MORGAN STANLEY: Awaits Decision in New York Securities Suit
MORGAN STANLEY: Calif. Court Refuses to Remand "Luther" Suit
MORGAN STANLEY: Continues to Defend IndyMac Securities Suit

PFIZER INC: Reached Settlement of Neurontin Suits in Canada
PFIZER INC: Continues to Face Class Suits Over Co-Pay Programs
PFIZER INC: Antitrust MDL Related to Neurontin Product Pending
PFIZER INC: Protonix-Related Class Suits vs. Wyeth Remain Stayed
PFIZER INC: Bapineuzumab-Related Securities Suits Pending

PFIZER INC: Still Defends Hormone-Replacement Therapy Suits
SPRINT COMMS: Judge OKs $1.4-Mil. Class Action Settlement in Ky.
TOYOTA MOTORS: Settles Acceleration Class Action for $1.1 Bil.
VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA: Settles Sunroof Class Actions in New Jersey
WELLS FARGO: 9th Cir. Lifts Injunction, Vacates $203MM Restitution


                          *********



AMERICAN HONDA: Recalls 19,500 FourTrax ATVs Due to Crash Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
About 19,500 All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs)(about 2,900 were recalled
in February 2012) were voluntarily recalled by American Honda
Motor Co. Inc., of Torrance, California, in cooperation with the
CPSC.  Consumers should stop using the product immediately unless
otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to
resell a recalled consumer product.

A weld on the ATV's front right and left upper suspension arms can
separate, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle,
posing a crash hazard.

Honda is aware of 10 incidents of suspension arm weld failures,
including one in which a rider suffered a sprained wrist.

The recalled vehicles are two-wheel drive and four-wheel drive
2012 Honda FourTrax Rancher ATV TRX420 FA, FE, FM, FPA, FPE, FPM,
TE and TM models.  The ATVs are red, green or camouflage and have
the word "Honda" and the Honda wing logo on both sides of the fuel
tank.  The word "Rancher" is on the front cowl below the
handlebars and on the left rear fender.  Rancher models in the
following Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) ranges are being
recalled:

    Model                      VIN Ranges
    --------          -------------------------------
    TRX420FA          1HFTE370*C4300541 thru C4301380
    TRX420FA Camo     1HFTE374*C4300121 thru C4300240
    TRX420FE          1HFTE354*C4501741 thru C4504380
    TRX420FE Camo     1HFTE357*C4500301 thru C4500720
    TRX420FM          1HFTE350*C4502342 thru C4506061
    TRX420FM Camo     1HFTE359*C4500317 thru C4500840
    TRX420FPA         1HFTE372*C4300482 thru C4302461
    TRX420FPA Camo    1HFTE375*C4300061 thru C4300420
    TRX420FPE         1HFTE35K*C4501202 thru C4502881
    TRX420FPE Camo    1HFTE35M*C4500241 thru C4500360
    TRX420FPM         1HFTE35F*C4501441 thru C4502760
    TRX420FPM Camo    1HFTE35H*C4500301 thru C4500420
    TRX420TE          1HFTE344* C4500841 thru C4504020
    TRX420TM          1HFTE340* C4500542 thru C4503001

    *Denotes a random alphanumeric identifier: "0-9" or "X"

The model number is visible on the right front frame down pipe
above the driver's right-hand side front wheel.  The VIN is
located on the top center front of the frame and is visible
looking down between the bars of the gear rack and through the
middle opening of the front fairing.  Pictures of the recalled
products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13713.html

The recalled products were manufactured in the United States of
America and sold at Honda ATV dealers nationwide from September
2011 to November 2012 for between $5,100 and $7,600.

Consumers should immediately stop using these ATVs and contact
their Honda ATV dealer to schedule a free repair.  American Honda
is contacting its customers directly.  American Honda may be
reached toll-free at (866) 784-1870, from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Pacific Time Monday through Friday, or online at
http://powersports.honda.com/and click on "Product Recall
Information" at the bottom of the page for more information.


ANGLOGOLD ASHANTI: Mine Workers Seek Class Certification
--------------------------------------------------------
Bloomberg News reports that thousands of mine workers who
contracted silicosis, a lung disease, are seeking damages from 30
gold companies including AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., Harmony Gold
Mining Co. and Anglo American South Africa Ltd.

Richard Spoor, a human rights lawyer in South Africa, filed an
application for class certification of an action for damages in
Johannesburg's South Gauteng High Court "on behalf of tens of
thousands of current and former gold mine workers, as well as
dependents of deceased workers, who contracted silicosis" as a
result of their work in gold mines, according to an e-mail on
Dec. 21 from Mr. Spoor's office.

The applicants are Bongani Nkala and 30 other former mine workers,
who contracted silicosis while employed at the mines, according to
Mr. Spoor's statement.

South Africa's highest court in March 2011 cleared the way for
damages to be sought from gold companies by ruling that former
miner Thembekile Mankayi can pursue a claim against AngloGold.
The court rejected the company's argument that Mr. Mankayi, who
died a week before the ruling, wasn't entitled to seek damages
because he had already received a state payout.

An estimated 350,000 to 500,000 former mine workers may suffer
from occupational lung diseases in southern Africa, in countries
such as Lesotho, Mozambique, Botswana, Malawi and Swaziland, Cape
Town-based law firm Abrahams Kiewitz Attorneys said in August,
without giving a source of the estimates.

In a separate case, Anglo American Plc was sued in 2004 by 18
former miners at its President Steyn mine in the Free State
province.  The case is set for arbitration in September next year.


APPLE INC: Wins Bid to Dismiss App Store Users' Privacy Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Philip A. Janquart at Courthouse News Service reports that a woman
cannot sue Apple based on claims that the makers of "Angry Birds"
and other Apple applications store users' personal information, a
federal judge ruled.

Lead plaintiff Maria Pirozzi claims Apple, headquartered in
Cupertino, Calif., failed to properly screen third-party software
applications, distributed through its online App Store, that
upload user information from mobile devices such as the iPhone,
iPod Touch and iPad.

In her complaint, Ms. Pirozzi calls out apps such as Angry Birds,
Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp, Instagram and Hipster for
allegedly uploading the contact names, private photographs and
other personal information of users without permission.

Many third-party applications ask users for permission to use
their "current location" before opening an application.  The class
said this permission gives the application developers unfettered
access.

Apple argued, however, that the Communications Decency Act bars
the lawsuit.  It also said Ms. Pirozzi lacks standing under
Article III of the U.S. Constitution and that she failed to state
a claim for relief.  It said she did not demonstrate that the
alleged privacy breach affected her financially, or that any
third-party app uploaded personal information from her mobile
device.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers agreed on Dec. 20.

Although Ms. Pirozzi identifies third-party apps that could have
uploaded her information, no specific application has been
positively identified as having done so, she found "At this
juncture, plaintiff fails to identify which Apple devices she
used; which Apps accessed or tracked her personal information, if
any; or the resulting harm from the data collection," Judge Rogers
said.  "Should plaintiff choose to proceed on the theory that she
has been harmed by actual collection of her personal information,
she will need to identify which of the Apple devices she used,
which Apps she downloaded that accessed or tracked her personal
information, if any, and what harm, if any, resulted from the
accessing or tracking of her personal information."

Ms. Pirozzi has until Jan. 22, 2013, to file a second amended
complaint.

A copy of the Order Granting Motion of Apple Inc. to Dismiss with
Leave to Amend in Pirozzi v. Apple, Inc., Case No. 12-cv-01529
(N.D. Calif.) (Rogers, J.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/12/24/app.pdf


BP PLC: Settles Economic/Property Damage Claims in Oil Spill Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Terry Baynes, writing for Reuters, reports that a U.S. judge on
Dec. 21 gave final approval to BP Plc's settlement with
individuals and businesses who lost money and property in the 2010
Gulf of Mexico oil spill.

The order only addressed the settlement of economic and property
damage claims, not a separate medical benefits settlement for
cleanup workers and others who say the spill made them sick.

BP has estimated that it will pay $7.8 billion to settle more than
100,000 claims in the class action litigation.

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier initially approved the deal in
May, but held a "fairness hearing" in November to weigh objections
from about 13,000 claimants challenging the settlement to resolve
some of BP's liability for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S.
history.

London-based BP's Macondo well spewed 4.9 million barrels of oil
into the Gulf of Mexico over a period of 87 days.  The torrent
fouled shorelines from Texas to Alabama and eclipsed the 1989
Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska in severity.

Lawyers for some affected parties had objected to the deal,
reached in March between BP and lawyers representing plaintiffs
ranging from restaurateurs, hoteliers, and oyster men who lost
money from the spill.  They argued that some claimants would be
underpaid or unfairly excluded.

But in a 125-page order approving the settlement, Judge Barbier
called the deal "fair, reasonable and adequate," citing the low
number of class members who objected or opted out.

BP welcomed the approval order in a statement, adding that the
settlement resolves the majority of economic and property damage
claims stemming from the accident.

"[Mon]day's decision by the Court is another important step
forward for BP in meeting its commitment to economic and
environmental restoration efforts in the Gulf and in eliminating
legal risk facing the company," BP said.

Separate from the class action claims, BP has been locked in a
year-long legal battle with the U.S. government and Gulf Coast
states to settle billions of dollars in civil and criminal
liability from the explosion.

In a settlement with the U.S. government announced in November, BP
agreed to pay $4.5 billion in penalties and plead guilty to felony
misconduct.  The government also indicted the two highest-ranking
BP supervisors aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig during the
disaster, charging them with 23 criminal counts including
manslaughter.

The class action case is In Re: Oil Spill by the Oil Rig
"Deepwater Horizon" in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010, U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, No. 10-2179.

According to CNN, BP will pay $2.3 billion to commercial
fishermen, seafood boat captains and crew, seafood vessel owners
and oyster leaseholders.

The money represents "approximately five times the annual average
industry gross revenue for 2007 to 2009 of the seafood industry in
the region covered by the settlement agreement."  It also
"represents 19.2 times lost industry revenue in 2010," the ruling
said.

The ruling notes that "the settlement program is processing claims
in an "impressive fashion."  By last month, 4,500 claims were
processed per work.

BP said it is pleased the court approved the settlement "resolving
the substantial majority of legitimate economic loss and property
damage claims stemming from the Deepwater Horizon accident."

"We believe the settlement, which avoids years of lengthy
litigation, is good for the people, businesses and communities of
the Gulf and is in the best interests of BP's stakeholders," it
said in a statement.

Dean Blanchard, a shrimp processor in Grand Isle, Louisiana, said
he opted out of the agreement. He said he wouldn't have gotten a
fair amount of money and is planning his own lawsuit.

"BP is trying to make a one size fits all," he said, saying some
people and businesses were hit worse than others and deserve more
money.  "It's not right."

The oil spill -- one of the worst in U.S. history -- began after a
rig explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf. Eleven
workers died.

Oil spewed into the sea for nearly three months before a cap was
placed on the BP-owned Macondo well, nearly a mile beneath the
surface.

The spill damaged coral reef formations, according to researchers.
Scientists have previously confirmed that a plume of hydrocarbons
from the well settled in the deep Gulf.  The National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration said about 59,200 barrels of oil a day
flowed from the well.

Last month, Attorney General Eric Holder announced that BP will
plead guilty to manslaughter charges stemming from the explosion
and the spill.  It agreed to pay $4.5 billion in government
penalties.

Of those penalties, $4 billion will resolve criminal charges.  An
additional $525 million will be paid to resolve claims brought by
the Securities and Exchange Commission that BP lied to investors
by understating the amount of oil flowing into the Gulf.

Separate from the corporate manslaughter charges, a federal grand
jury returned an indictment charging the two highest-ranking BP
supervisors on board the Deepwater Horizon on the day of the
explosion with 23 criminal counts.

The two men were charged with seaman's manslaughter and
involuntary manslaughter for each of the 11 men killed in the
blast, as well as a criminal violation of the clean water act.

The Justice Department in September also accused BP of gross
negligence and a "culture of corporate recklessness" in a federal
court filing, which expanded the company's liability.  A major
civil trial is set to take place in New Orleans in February.


CITIGROUP INC: Continues to Face LIBOR-Related Class Suits
----------------------------------------------------------
Citigroup Inc. continues to face LIBOR-related class action
lawsuits, according to the Company's November 6, 2012, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended September 30, 2012.

In connection with the investigations and inquiries regarding
submissions made by panel banks to bodies that publish various
interbank offered rates, certain Citigroup subsidiaries have
received additional requests for information and documents from
various domestic and overseas regulators and enforcement agencies,
including the Monetary Authority of Singapore and a consortium of
state Attorneys General.  Citigroup continues to cooperate with
the inquiries and investigations and respond to the requests.

Citigroup and Citibank, N.A., along with other U.S. Dollar (USD)
LIBOR panel banks, are defendants in the multidistrict litigation
(MDL) proceeding before Judge Buchwald in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York captioned IN
RE LIBOR-BASED FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS ANTITRUST LITIGATION,
appearing under docket number 1:11-md-2262 (S.D.N.Y.).  Judge
Buchwald has appointed interim lead class counsel for, and
consolidated amended complaints have been filed on behalf of,
three separate putative classes of plaintiffs: (1) over-the-
counter (OTC) purchasers of derivative instruments tied to USD
LIBOR; (2) purchasers of exchange-traded derivative instruments
tied to USD LIBOR; and (3) indirect OTC purchasers of U.S. debt
securities.  Each of these putative classes alleges that the panel
bank defendants conspired to suppress USD LIBOR in violation of
the Sherman Act and/or the Commodity Exchange Act, thereby causing
plaintiffs to suffer losses on the instruments they purchased.
Also consolidated into the MDL proceeding are individual civil
actions commenced by various Charles Schwab entities that allege
that the panel bank defendants conspired to suppress the USD LIBOR
rates in violation of the Sherman Act, the Racketeer Influenced
and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), and California state law,
causing the Schwab entities to suffer losses on USD LIBOR-linked
financial instruments that they owned.  Plaintiffs in these
actions seek compensatory damages and restitution for losses
caused by the alleged violations, as well as treble damages under
the Sherman Act.  The Schwab and OTC plaintiffs also seek
injunctive relief.

Citigroup and Citibank, N.A., along with other defendants, have
moved to dismiss all of the actions that were consolidated into
the MDL proceeding as of June 29, 2012.  Briefing on the motion to
dismiss was completed on September 27, 2012. Judge Buchwald has
stayed all subsequently filed actions that fall within the scope
of the MDL until she resolves the motion to dismiss.  Citigroup
and/or Citibank, N.A. are named in five such stayed actions.

The stayed actions include two similar lawsuits filed on behalf of
putative classes of community and other banks, savings and loans
institutions and credit unions that allegedly suffered losses on
loans they made at interest rates tied to USD LIBOR and a further
lawsuit filed on behalf of a putative class of persons and
entities who purchased derivative instruments tied to USD LIBOR
from certain third party commercial banks and insurance companies.
Additional information relating to these actions is publicly
available in court filings under docket numbers 1:12-cv-4205
(S.D.N.Y.) (Buchwald, J.), 1:12-cv-5723 (S.D.N.Y.) (Buchwald, J.)
and 1:12-cv-5822 (S.D.N.Y.) (Buchwald, J.).

In addition, on August 8, 2012, a new putative class action
captioned LIEBERMAN ET AL. V. CREDIT SUISSE GROUP AG was filed in
the Southern District of New York against various USD LIBOR panel
banks, including Citibank, on behalf of purchasers who owned a
preferred equity security on which dividends were payable at a
rate linked to USD LIBOR.  Plaintiffs in this action assert unjust
enrichment and antitrust claims under the laws of various states,
alleging that the panel banks colluded to artificially suppress
USD LIBOR, thereby lowering the dividends plaintiffs received on
their securities.  On October 4, 2012, another new putative class
action captioned ADAMS ET AL. V. BANK OF AMERICA CORP. was filed
in the Southern District of New York against various USD LIBOR
panel banks and their affiliates, including Citigroup and
Citibank, N.A., on behalf of a putative class of individual
adjustable rate mortgage borrowers. Plaintiffs allege that the
panel banks manipulated USD LIBOR to raise rates on certain dates
in order to increase plaintiffs' payment obligations, in violation
of federal and New York state antitrust law.  The plaintiffs in
these actions seek compensatory damages, treble damages, and
injunctive relief.  Judge Buchwald has consolidated these cases
into the MDL proceeding.  Additional information relating to these
actions is publicly available in court filings under docket
numbers 1:12-cv-6056 (S.D.N.Y.) (Buchwald, J.) and 1:12-cv-7461
(S.D.N.Y.) (Buchwald, J).

In addition, on April 30, 2012, an action was filed in the same
court on behalf of a putative class of persons and entities who
transacted in exchange-traded Euroyen futures and option contracts
between June 2006 and September 2010.  This action, captioned
LAYDON V. MIZUHO BANK LTD. ET AL., is not part of the MDL.  The
complaint names as defendants banks that are or were members of
the panels making submissions used in the calculation of Japanese
Yen LIBOR and the Tokyo Inter-Bank Offered Rate (TIBOR), and
certain affiliates of some of those banks, including Citibank,
N.A. and Citibank, Japan Ltd.  The complaint alleges that the
plaintiffs were injured as a result of purported manipulation of
those reference interest rates, and asserts claims arising under
the Commodity Exchange Act, the Sherman Act, and state consumer
protection statutes.  Plaintiffs seek compensatory damages, treble
damages under the Sherman Act, and injunctive relief. Judge
Daniels has issued an order directing the plaintiffs to file an
amended complaint by November 30, 2012. Additional information
relating to this action is publicly available in court filings
under the docket number 12-cv-3419 (S.D.N.Y.) (Daniels, J.).


COMMODITY ADVISORS: LIBOR-Related MDL Remains Pending in N.Y.
-------------------------------------------------------------
The general partner and commodity pool operator of Commodity
Advisors Fund L.P., formerly known as "Energy Advisors Portfolio
L.P., (the "Partnership") is Ceres Managed Futures LLC, which is
formerly known as Citigroup Managed Futures LLC.  The commodity
broker of the Partnership is Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
("CGM"), which is indirectly owned by Citigroup Inc.  The General
Partner is a wholly owned subsidiary of Morgan Stanley Smith
Barney Holdings LLC.  Morgan Stanley, indirectly through various
subsidiaries, owns a majority equity interest in MSSB Holdings,
and Citigroup indirectly owns a minority equity interest in MSSB
Holdings.

Beginning in March 2010, various regulators have made inquiries
regarding the accounting treatment of certain repurchase
transactions.  Citigroup is cooperating fully with these
inquiries.

Additionally, beginning in April 2011, a number of purported class
actions and other private civil lawsuits were filed in various
courts against banks that served on the LIBOR panel and their
affiliates, including certain Citigroup subsidiaries.  The
actions, which assert various federal and state law claims
relating to the setting of LIBOR, have been consolidated into a
multidistrict litigation proceeding before Judge Buchwald in the
Southern District of New York.

The Partnership says additional lawsuits containing claims similar
to those described may be filed in the future.

No further updates were reported in the Company's November 7,
2012, Form 10-12G/A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission.

The Partnership, the General Partner and its principals, directors
and executive officers are not a party to, nor are any of their
assets subject to, any of the actions and proceedings.


COMMODITY ADVISORS: Claims Dismissal Bid Pending in N.Y. Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The general partner and commodity pool operator of Commodity
Advisors Fund L.P., formerly known as "Energy Advisors Portfolio
L.P., (the "Partnership") is Ceres Managed Futures LLC, which is
formerly known as Citigroup Managed Futures LLC.  The commodity
broker of the Partnership is Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
("CGM"), which is indirectly owned by Citigroup Inc.  The General
Partner is a wholly owned subsidiary of Morgan Stanley Smith
Barney Holdings LLC.  Morgan Stanley, indirectly through various
subsidiaries, owns a majority equity interest in MSSB Holdings,
and Citigroup indirectly owns a minority equity interest in MSSB
Holdings.

Citigroup and CGM have been named as defendants in two alleged
class actions filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of California, but since transferred by the
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York.  In the
consolidated action, lead plaintiffs assert claims on behalf of an
alleged class of participants in Citigroup's Voluntary Financial
Advisor Capital Accumulation Plan from November 2006 through
January 2009.  On June 7, 2011, the district court granted
defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint and subsequently
entered judgment.  On November 14, 2011, the district court
granted in part plaintiffs' motion to alter or amend the judgment
and granted plaintiffs leave to amend the complaint.  On November
23, 2011, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint alleging
violations of Section 12 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended
and Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Defendants filed a motion to dismiss certain of plaintiffs' claims
on December 21, 2011.

No further updates were reported in the Company's November 7,
2012, Form 10-12G/A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission.


COMMODITY ADVISORS: Citigroup Still Defends Discrimination Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
The general partner and commodity pool operator of Commodity
Advisors Fund L.P., formerly known as "Energy Advisors Portfolio
L.P., (the "Partnership") is Ceres Managed Futures LLC, which is
formerly known as Citigroup Managed Futures LLC.  The commodity
broker of the Partnership is Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
("CGM"), which is indirectly owned by Citigroup Inc.  The General
Partner is a wholly owned subsidiary of Morgan Stanley Smith
Barney Holdings LLC.  Morgan Stanley, indirectly through various
subsidiaries, owns a majority equity interest in MSSB Holdings,
and Citigroup indirectly owns a minority equity interest in MSSB
Holdings.

Two alleged class actions have been filed alleging claims of
racial discrimination in mortgage lending under the Equal Credit
Opportunity Act, the Fair Housing Act, and/or the Civil Rights
Act.  The first action, PUELLO, ET AL. v. CITIFINANCIAL SERVICES,
INC., ET AL., was filed against Citigroup and its affiliates in
the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts.  The second action, NAACP v. AMERIQUEST MORTGAGE
CO., ET AL., was filed against one of Citigroup's affiliates in
the United States District Court for the Central District of
California.  In each action, defendants' motions to dismiss have
been denied.  On September 21, 2009, the United States District
Court for the Central District of California denied defendant
CitiMortgage's motion for summary judgment and granted its motion
to strike the jury demand.

No further updates were reported in the Company's November 7,
2012, Form 10-12G/A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission.


COMMODITY ADVISORS: Discovery in Securities Suit Still Underway
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fact discovery is still underway in the consolidated securities
class action lawsuit against Citigroup Inc., according to
Commodity Advisors Fund L.P.'s November 7, 2012, Form 10-12G/A
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The general partner and commodity pool operator of Commodity
Advisors Fund L.P., formerly known as "Energy Advisors Portfolio
L.P., (the "Partnership") is Ceres Managed Futures LLC, which is
formerly known as Citigroup Managed Futures LLC.  The commodity
broker of the Partnership is Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
("CGM"), which is indirectly owned by Citigroup Inc.  The General
Partner is a wholly owned subsidiary of Morgan Stanley Smith
Barney Holdings LLC.  Morgan Stanley, indirectly through various
subsidiaries, owns a majority equity interest in MSSB Holdings,
and Citigroup indirectly owns a minority equity interest in MSSB
Holdings.

Citigroup has been named as a defendant in four alleged class
actions filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York.  On August 19, 2008, these actions were
consolidated under the caption IN RE CITIGROUP INC. SECURITIES
LITIGATION.  The consolidated amended complaint asserts claims
arising under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 on behalf of an alleged class of purchasers of
Citigroup common stock from January 1, 2004, through January 15,
2009.  On November 9, 2010, the district court issued an opinion
and order dismissing all claims except those arising out of
Citigroup's exposure to collateralized debt obligations ("CDOs")
for the time period February 1, 2007, through April 18, 2008.
Fact discovery is underway.  Plaintiffs have not yet quantified
the alleged class' alleged damages.  During the alleged class
period, as narrowed by the district court, the price of
Citigroup's common stock declined from $54.73 at the beginning of
the period to $25.11 at the end of the period.  (These share
prices represent Citigroup's common stock prices prior to its 1-
for-10 reverse stock split, effective on May 6, 2011.)


COMMODITY ADVISORS: Global Crossing-Related Suits vs. CGM Pending
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Citigroup Global Markets Inc. continues to defend an adversary
proceeding related to Global Crossing, Ltd., according to
Commodity Advisors Fund L.P.'s commmNovember 7, 2012, Form 10-
12G/A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The general partner and commodity pool operator of Commodity
Advisors Fund L.P., formerly known as "Energy Advisors Portfolio
L.P., (the "Partnership") is Ceres Managed Futures LLC, which is
formerly known as Citigroup Managed Futures LLC.  The commodity
broker of the Partnership is Citigroup Global Markets Inc.
("CGM"), which is indirectly owned by Citigroup Inc.  The General
Partner is a wholly owned subsidiary of Morgan Stanley Smith
Barney Holdings LLC.  Morgan Stanley, indirectly through various
subsidiaries, owns a majority equity interest in MSSB Holdings,
and Citigroup indirectly owns a minority equity interest in MSSB
Holdings.

On or about January 28, 2003, lead plaintiff in a consolidated
alleged class action in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York (IN RE GLOBAL CROSSING, LTD.
SECURITIES LITIGATION) filed a consolidated complaint on behalf of
purcasers of the securities of Global Crossing and its
subsidiaries, which named as defendants, among others, Citigroup,
CGM and certain executive officers and current and former
employees, asserting claims under the federal securities laws for
allegedly issuing research reports without a reasonable basis in
fact and for allegedly failing to disclose conflicts of interest
with Global Crossing in connection with published investment
research.  On March 22, 2004, lead plaintiff amended its
consolidated complaint to add claims on behalf of purchasers of
the securities of Asia Global Crossing.  The added claims asserted
causes of action under the federal securities laws and common law
in connection with CGM's research reports about Global Crossing
and Asia Global Crossing and for CGM's roles as an investment
banker for Global Crossing and as an underwriter in the Global
Crossing and Asia Global Crossing offerings.  The Citigroup-
Related Defendants moved to dismiss all of the claims against them
on July 2, 2004.  The plaintiffs and the Citigroup-Related
Defendants entered into a settlement agreement that was
preliminarily approved by the Court on March 8, 2005, and was
finally approved on June 30, 2005.  The amount to be paid in
settlement is covered by existing litigation reserves.

In addition, on or about January 27, 2004, the Global Crossing
Estate Representative filed in the United States Bankruptcy Court
for the Southern District of New York an adversary proceeding
against Citigroup and several other financial institutions seeking
to rescind the payment of a $1 billion loan made to a subsidiary
of Global Crossing.  The Citigroup-Related Defendants moved to
dismiss the latter action on May 28, 2004, which motion remains
pending. In addition, actions asserting claims against Citigroup
and certain of its affiliates relating to CGM Global Crossing
research reports are pending in numerous arbitrations around the
country.  On August 20, 2008, Plaintiff filed an amended complaint
that narrowed the pending claims.  Citigroup has yet to respond to
the amended complaint.


FACEBOOK INC: Lawyers in Sponsored Stories Suit Seek $7.7MM Fees
----------------------------------------------------------------
Karen Gullo, writing for Bloomberg News, reports that lawyers for
Facebook Inc. users who negotiated a $20 million settlement with
the social network company over claims that it used subscribers'
names without their permission are seeking $7.7 million in fees.

California attorneys Robert Arns and Jonathan Jaffe, who
represented five Facebook users suing over the free service's
practice of using subscribers' names without their permission to
advertise products in its "Sponsored Stories," said the fee was
fair given relief provided in the settlement and the risks they
undertook to achieve it, according to a court filing.

Facebook users can claim a $10 payment and the company agreed to
make changes allowing subscribers to opt out of sponsored stories,
according to filings in federal court in San Francisco.  Facebook,
based in Menlo Park, California, also agreed to revise its terms
of use so subscribers can more easily see when they're being shown
as endorsers of products and games for which they clicked a "like"
button.

U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg gave preliminary approval to
the settlement.  He refused to approve an earlier settlement that
included no money for users and $10 million in fees for the
attorneys.

The case is Fraley v. Facebook Inc., 11-cv-01726, U.S. District
Court, Northern District of California (San Jose).


FAIRFIELD SENTRY: March 22 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
----------------------------------------------------------
The following is being released pursuant to Order of the District
Court for the Southern District of New York in Anwar v. Fairfield
Greenwich Limited, 1:09-cv-00118 (VM).

SUMMARY NOTICE

TO: All beneficial owners of shares or limited partnership
interests in Fairfield Sentry Limited, Fairfield Sigma Limited,
Fairfield Lambda Limited, Greenwich Sentry, L.P. and Greenwich
Sentry Partners, L.P. (collectively, the "Funds") as of December
10, 2008 (whether as holders of record or traceable to a
shareholder or limited partner account of record) ("Beneficial
Owners"), who suffered a Net Loss of principal invested in the
Funds (collectively, the "Settlement Class").  If you meet the
above class definition, you could get a payment from a class
action settlement.

A federal court authorized this Notice.  This is not a
solicitation from a lawyer.

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED, pursuant to an Order of the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, that a
hearing will be held on March 22, 2013, at 11:00 a.m., before The
Honorable Victor Marrero, at the Daniel Patrick Moynihan United
States Courthouse, 500 Pearl Street, New York, New York (the
"Court"), for the purpose of determining (1) whether the proposed
partial settlement of claims in the above-captioned Action for
consideration including the sum of $50,250,000 in cash, plus an
additional $30,000,000 that may be distributed subject to certain
conditions, should be approved by the Court as fair, reasonable
and adequate; (2) whether this Action should be dismissed with
prejudice as to the FG Defendants pursuant to the terms and
conditions set forth in the Stipulation dated as of November 6,
2012, as amended by the Amendment to the Stipulation of Settlement
dated as of December 12, 2012; (3) whether the proposed plan to
distribute the settlement proceeds (the "Plan of Allocation") is
fair, reasonable and adequate and therefore should be approved;
and (4) whether the application of Plaintiffs' Lead Counsel for
the payment of attorneys' fees and expenses incurred in connection
with this Action and reimbursement of the Representative
Plaintiffs' reasonable costs and expenses (including lost wages)
directly related to their representation of the Settlement Class
should be approved.

If you were a Beneficial Owner of shares or limited partnership
interests in one or more of the Funds as of December 10, 2008 and
suffered a Net Loss in principal on your investment in those
shares or limited partnership interests, your rights may be
affected by this Settlement, including the release and
extinguishment of claims you may possess relating to your
ownership interest in the Funds.  Net Loss means the total cash
investment made by a Beneficial Owner in a Fund, directly or
indirectly through one or more intermediaries, less the total
amount of any redemptions or withdrawals or recoveries by that
Beneficial Owner from or with respect to the same Fund.

If you are a member of the Settlement Class, in order to share in
the distribution of the Net Settlement Fund, you must submit a
Proof of Claim and Release form that is received no later than
April 17, 2013, establishing that you are entitled to recovery.

If you desire to be excluded from the Settlement Class, you must
submit a request for exclusion to Fairfield Greenwich Securities
Litigation, c/o Rust Consulting, Inc., P.O. Box 2874, Faribault,
MN 55021-8674 so that it is received by February 15, 2013.  Any
objection to any aspect of the Settlement must be filed with the
Court, Plaintiffs' Counsel Designee and Settling Defendants'
Counsel Designee, no later than February 15, 2013.

If you wish to receive a detailed Notice concerning the terms of
the Settlement or the Proof of Claim and Release form, you may
obtain copies by writing to Fairfield Greenwich Securities
Litigation, c/o Rust Consulting, Inc., P.O. Box 2874, Faribault,
MN 55021-8674, or by visiting
http://www.FairfieldGreenwichLitigation.com

Do not telephone the Court, the Clerk's Office or any of the
Defendants or Counsel for the Defendants regarding this notice.


FORD MOTOR: Faces Suit in Calif. Over False Marketing Claims
------------------------------------------------------------
Karl Henkel, writing for The Detroit News, reports that a
California-based law firm has filed a class-action lawsuit against
Ford Motor Co., alleging the company has led a "false and
misleading" marketing campaign for its 2013 C-Max and Fusion
hybrid vehicles.

Law firm McCuneWright alleges fraud and negligent
misrepresentation, among others, by Ford, in U.S. District Court
in the Eastern District of California.  The suit seeks punitive
damages, including reimbursement for the purchase price of Ford's
new hybrid vehicles.

"In its advertising and marketing campaign for the vehicles, Ford
claimed that the C-Max Hybrid and Fusion Hybrid achieved a class
leading 47 Miles Per Gallon," part of the 17-page suit read.
"These materials helped Ford achieve record sales for the first
two months of C-MAX Hybrid sales, outselling its rival, hybrid
sales leader Toyota, but there was a problem.  These ads were
false."

The plaintiff in the suit is Richard Pitkin of Roseville, Calif.,
who purchased a C-Max Hybrid in October and says he only averaged
37 miles per gallon, lower than the Environmental Protection
Agency rated 47 miles per gallon.

The EPA in December said it would review Ford's fuel efficiency
claims after Consumer Reports found the C-Max Hybrid and Fusion
Hybrid got significantly worse fuel efficiency than the EPA window
sticker suggests.

Consumer Reports said on Dec. 6 that in testing, the car's fuel
efficiency fell 10 miles per gallon short: It got 37 mpg overall,
with 35 mpg for city driving and 38 mpg highways.  The Fusion
Hybrid, certified for the same 47 mpg, got 39 mpg in testing
overall, with 35 mpg city and 41 mpg highway.

"These two vehicles have the largest discrepancy between our
overall-mpg results and the estimates published by the EPA that
we've seen among any current models," Consumer Reports said in a
statement.

One day later, McCuneWright, which has filed similar suits against
General Motors Co. and Honda Motor Co., filed suit against Ford.

The C-Max can travel at a top speed of 62 mph in electric-only
mode. Above 62 mph, the car's four-cylinder gasoline engine starts
and helps to recharge the battery.

That top electric-only speed means that for the portion of the
EPA's highway fuel-efficiency test, which maxes out at 60 mph, the
car can travel in electric-only mode without the gasoline engine
kicking on; essentially the C-Max Hybrid is optimized for the EPA
test.

Consumer Reports said Toyota Motor Corp.'s Prius falls short of
mileage expectations by 6 mpg and the Prius c Two falls short of
mileage expectations by 7 mpg.

But Ford says its hybrid vehicles are built to give customers a
choice: a driver can operate the vehicle conservatively and
achieve EPA mileage claims, or drive the car for fun, because
Ford's hybrids get significantly better horsepower than competitor
vehicles.


GKI BETHLEHEM: Recalls 15,500 Artificially Lit Christmas Trees
--------------------------------------------------------------
About 15,500 Artificially Lit Christmas Trees were voluntarily
recalled by distributor, GKI Bethlehem Lights of Taunton,
Massachusetts, and retailer, QVC of West Chester, Pennsylvania, in
cooperation with the CPSC.  Consumers should stop using the
product immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to
resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The Christmas tree base can overheat, posing a fire hazard.

QVC has received 30 reports of the tree base overheating, melting
or smoking.  No injuries were reported.

This recall involves the 6.5 foot and 7.5 foot Ready Shape
Scottsdale Tree with Never Fail Lights.  Model numbers H191953 and
H191954 are included in this recall.  The model number is on a
label on the tree base and on the QVC box.  "Bethlehem Lights" is
on the box and the instruction sheets.  Pictures of the recalled
products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13714.html

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold
exclusively at QVC from July 2011 through November 2011 for $320
for the 6.5-foot tree and $398 for the 7.5-foot tree.

Consumers should immediately unplug and stop using the Christmas
tree and contact QVC to receive a refund.  QVC is contacting its
customers directly by mail.  GKI Bethlehem Lights may be reached
at (800) 248-1434, from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time Monday
through Friday, or online at http://www.gkilights.com/,clicking
on "Resources" and then click on "Recall Notice."


GROUPON INC: Robins Geller Files Class Action in Illinois
---------------------------------------------------------
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP on Dec. 21 disclosed that a class
action has been commenced in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of purchasers of
Groupon, Inc. common stock during the period between May 14, 2012,
and November 8, 2012.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no
later than 60 days from December 21, 2012.  If you wish to discuss
this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your
rights or interests, please contact plaintiff's counsel, Darren
Robbins of Robbins Geller at 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, or via
e-mail at djr@rgrdlaw.com

If you are a member of this class, you can view a copy of the
complaint as filed or join this class action online at
http://www.rgrdlaw.com/cases/grpn/

Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as
lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to
do nothing and remain an absent class member.

The complaint charges Groupon and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Groupon is a local e-commerce marketplace that connects merchants
to consumers by offering goods and services at a discount.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the
Company's business and prospects.  As a result of defendants'
false statements, Groupon stock traded at artificially inflated
prices during the Class Period, reaching a high of $13.05 per
share on May 16, 2012.

On November 8, 2012, Groupon issued a press release announcing its
third quarter 2012 earnings results, reporting disappointing
revenue results for the third quarter and lowered revenue guidance
for the fourth quarter of 2012 below analysts' expectations.  In a
conference call following the release of Groupon's third quarter
results, defendants acknowledged that the Company's lower margin
Groupon Goods business would be a more significant part of its
revenues.  As a result of this news, Groupon stock dropped $1.16
per share to close at $2.76 per share on November 9, 2012, a one-
day decline of nearly 30% and a decline of 78% from the stock's
Class Period high.

According to the complaint, the true facts, which were known by
the defendants but concealed from the investing public during the
Class Period, were as follows: (a) much of Groupon's revenue
growth was being derived from its non-core, lower-margin Groupon
Goods business; (b) Groupon's business was not growing to the
extent represented by defendants; and (c) Groupon's revenue mix
was shifting in a manner which would lead to lower margins.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of
Groupon common stock during the Class Period.  The plaintiff is
represented by Robbins Geller, which has expertise in prosecuting
investor class actions and extensive experience in actions
involving financial fraud.

Robbins Geller -- http://www.rgrdlaw.com-- represents U.S. and
international institutional investors in contingency-based
securities and corporate litigation.  With nearly 200 lawyers in
nine offices, the firm represents hundreds of public and multi-
employer pension funds with combined assets under management in
excess of $2 trillion. The firm has obtained many of the largest
recoveries in history and has been ranked number one in the number
of shareholder class action recoveries in MSCI's Top SCAS 50 every
year since 2003.


H&R BLOCK: Appeal Bid in "Barrett" Suit Decertification Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
An appeal from a class decertification ruling in a lawsuit filed
against H&R Block, Inc.'s subsidiary, Sand Canyon Corporation,
previously known as Option One Mortgage Corporation, is pending,
according to the Company's December 6, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
October 31, 2012.

SCC ceased originating mortgage loans in December 2007 and, in
April 2008, sold its servicing assets and discontinued its
remaining operations.  Mortgage loans purchased by H&R Block Bank
(HRB Bank) from SCC represent 58% of total loans held for
investment at July 31, 2012.

On February 1, 2008, a class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Massachusetts against SCC and
other related entities styled Cecil Barrett, et al. v. Option One
Mortgage Corp., et al. (Civil Action No. 08-10157-RWZ).
Plaintiffs allege discriminatory practices relating to the
origination of mortgage loans in violation of the Fair Housing Act
and Equal Credit Opportunity Act, and seek declaratory and
injunctive relief in addition to actual and punitive damages.  The
court dismissed H&R Block, Inc. from the lawsuit for lack of
personal jurisdiction.  In March 2011, the court issued an order
certifying a class, which defendants sought to appeal.  On August
24, 2011, the First Circuit Court of Appeals declined to hear the
appeal, noting that the district court could reconsider its
certification decision in light of a recent ruling by the United
States Supreme Court in an unrelated matter.  SCC subsequently
filed a motion to decertify the class, which the court granted.
Plaintiffs' petition for appeal is pending.  A portion of the
Company's loss contingency accrual is related to this lawsuit for
the amount of loss that it considers probable and estimable.  The
Company believes that SCC has meritorious defenses to the claims
in this case and it intends to defend the case vigorously, but
there can be no assurances as to its outcome or its impact on the
Company's consolidated financial position, results of operations
and cash flows.

H&R Block, Inc. and its subsidiaries provide tax preparation and
banking services.  Its Tax Services segment provides assisted
income tax return preparation, digital tax solutions and other
services and products related to income tax return preparation to
the general public primarily in the United States (U.S.), and also
in Canada and Australia.


H&R BLOCK: Appeal in "Drake" Lawsuit Still Pending
--------------------------------------------------
An appeal challenging a court order favoring H&R Block, Inc. and
other defendants in a lawsuit commenced by Jeanne Drake, et al.,
remains pending, according to the Company's December 6, 2012, Form
10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarter ended October 31, 2012.

H&R Block's subsidiary, Sand Canyon Corporation, previously
known as Option One Mortgage Corporation, ceased originating
mortgage loans in December 2007 and, in April 2008, sold its
servicing assets and discontinued its remaining operations.
Mortgage loans purchased by H&R Block Bank (HRB Bank) from SCC
represent 58% of total loans held for investment at July 31, 2012.

On December 9, 2009, a putative class action lawsuit was filed in
the United States District Court for the Central District of
California against SCC and H&R Block, Inc. styled Jeanne Drake, et
al. v. Option One Mortgage Corp., et al. (Case No. SACV09-1450
CJC).  Plaintiffs allege breach of contract, promissory fraud,
intentional interference with contractual relations, wrongful
withholding of wages and unfair business practices in connection
with not paying severance benefits to employees when their
employment transitioned to American Home Mortgage Servicing, Inc.
in connection with the sale of certain assets and operations of
Option One.  Plaintiffs seek to recover severance benefits of
approximately $8 million, interest and attorney's fees, in
addition to penalties and punitive damages on certain claims.  On
September 2, 2011, the court granted summary judgment in favor of
the defendants on all claims.  Plaintiffs have filed an appeal,
which remains pending.

The Company has not concluded that a loss related to this matter
is probable, nor has it established a loss contingency related to
this matter.  The Company believes it has meritorious defenses to
the claims in this case and intends to defend the case vigorously,
but there can be no assurances as to its outcome or its impact on
its consolidated financial position, results of operations and
cash flows.

No updates were reported in the Company's latest Form 10-Q SEC
filing.

H&R Block, Inc. and its subsidiaries provide tax preparation and
banking services.  Its Tax Services segment provides assisted
income tax return preparation, digital tax solutions and other
services and products related to income tax return preparation to
the general public primarily in the United States (U.S.), and also
in Canada and Australia.


H&R BLOCK: Two Settlements on Employee Suits Get Court's Final OK
-----------------------------------------------------------------
California courts have granted final approval of class settlements
resolving two wage-and-hour lawsuits against H&R Block, Inc.,
according to the Company's December 6, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
October 31, 2012.

The Company has been named in several wage and hour class action
lawsuits throughout the country, which include:

   * Alice Williams v. H&R Block Enterprises LLC, Case No.
     RG08366506 (Superior Court of California, County of Alameda,
     filed January 17, 2008) (alleging improper classification
     and failure to compensate for all hours worked and to
      provide meal periods to office managers in California);

   * Arabella Lemus, et al. v. H&R Block Enterprises LLC, et al.,
     Case No. CGC-09-489251 (United States District Court,
     Northern District of California, filed June 9, 2009)
     (alleging failure to timely pay compensation to tax
     professionals in California);

   * Delana Ugas, et al. v. H&R Block Enterprises LLC, et al.,
     Case No. BC417700 (United States District Court, Central
     District of California, filed July 13, 2009) (alleging
     failure to compensate tax professionals in California for
     all hours worked and to provide meal periods); and

   * Barbara Petroski, et al. v. H&R Block Eastern Enterprises,
     Inc., et al., Case No. 10-CV-00075 (United States District
     Court, Western District of Missouri, filed January 25, 2010)
     (alleging failure to compensate tax professionals nationwide
     for off-season training).

The plaintiffs in these lawsuits seek actual damages, pre-judgment
interest, statutory penalties and attorneys' fees.

A class was certified in the Lemus case in December 2010
(consisting of tax professionals who worked in company-owned
offices in California from 2007 to 2010) and in the Williams case
in March 2011 (consisting of office managers who worked in
company-owned offices in California from 2004 to 2011).  To avoid
the cost and inherent risk associated with litigation, the Company
reached agreements to settle the Lemus and Williams cases in
January and February 2012, respectively, subject to approval by
the courts in California in which the cases are pending.  In
Lemus, the settlement would require a maximum payment of $35
million, although the actual cost of the settlement would depend
on the number of valid claims submitted by class members.  The
federal court granted preliminary approval of the settlement on
February 10, 2012, and final approval on August 22, 2012, for an
amount not materially different from the Company's liability
recorded at July 31, 2012. In Williams, the settlement would
require a maximum payment of $7.5 million, with the actual cost of
the settlement would depend on the number of valid claims
submitted by class members. The court granted preliminary approval
of the settlement on June 7, 2012 and final approval of the
settlement on November 8, 2012.  The time for appeal has not yet
expired.

The Company has recorded a liability for its estimate of the
expected loss with respect to these settlements.  If for any
reason the Williams settlement does not become final, the Company
will continue to defend the case vigorously, but there can be no
assurances as to the outcome or its impact on the Company's
consolidated financial position, results of operations and cash
flows.

In the Ugas case, the court initially certified a class on the
claim for failure to provide meal periods (consisting of tax
professionals who worked in company-owned offices in California
from 2006 to 2011), but subsequently decertified the class in a
ruling dated July 9, 2012.  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
declined to hear an appeal.  The court also certified a class on
the claim for failure to compensate tax professionals for all
hours worked (consisting of tax professionals who worked in
company-owned offices in one district in California from 2006-
2009).  That class remains pending.  In the Petroski case, a
conditional class was certified under the Fair Labor Standards Act
in March 2011 (consisting of tax professionals nationwide who
worked in company-owned offices and who were not compensated for
certain training courses occurring on or after April 15, 2007).
Two classes were also certified under state laws in California and
New York (consisting of tax professionals who worked in company-
owned offices in those states).  The Company filed motions to
decertify the classes, along with motions for summary judgment,
which remain pending.  A trial date has been set for June 3, 2013.
The Company has not concluded that a loss related to the Ugas or
Petroski matters is probable, nor have it accrued a loss
contingency related to these matters.  The Company believes it has
meritorious defenses to the claims in these cases and intends to
defend them vigorously, but there can be no assurances as to the
outcome of these cases or their impact on its consolidated
financial position, results of operations and cash flows.

H&R Block, Inc. and its subsidiaries provide tax preparation and
banking services.  Its Tax Services segment provides assisted
income tax return preparation, digital tax solutions and other
services and products related to income tax return preparation to
the general public primarily in the United States (U.S.), and also
in Canada and Australia.


HEMISPHERX BIOPHARMA: Rosen Law Firm Files Securities Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Rosen Law Firm, P.A. on Dec. 24 disclosed that a class action
lawsuit has been filed on behalf of investors who purchased the
securities of Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc., from March 19, 2012,
through December 17, 2012.

To join the Hemispherx class action, visit the firm's Web site at
http://rosenlegal.comor call Phillip Kim, Esq., toll-free, at
866-767-3653; you may also e-mail pkim@rosenlegal.com for
information on the class action.

The Complaint asserts violations of the federal securities laws
against Hemispherx and its officers and directors for issuing
false and misleading information about its lead drug candidate
Ampligen.  Specifically, that Hemispherx misstated the safety and
efficacy of Ampligen, and touted purportedly positive results from
Ampligen's clinical trials.

On December 18, 2012, the FDA published a staff report concluding
that the Company's studies were "ill-defined and invalid" with
signals of efficacy that were inconsistent between clinical
trials, and based on the limited quality of the data, "it is
difficult to draw conclusions regarding potential safety signals,"
but the "review identified nine potential safety concerns
associated with Ampligen."  The Complaint alleges that as a result
of this adverse information, Hemispherx stock price dropped and
investors have been damaged.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no
later than February 22, 2013.  A lead plaintiff is a
representative party acting on behalf of other class members in
directing the litigation.  If you wish to join the litigation, or
to discuss your rights or interests regarding this class action,
please contact Phillip Kim, Esq. of The Rosen Law Firm, toll-free,
at 866-767-3653, or via e-mail at pkim@rosenlegal.com

You may also visit the firm's Web site at
http://www.rosenlegal.com

The Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe,
concentrating its practice in securities class actions and
shareholder derivative litigation.

Contact: Laurence Rosen, Esq.
         Phillip Kim, Esq.
         THE ROSEN LAW FIRM P.A.
         275 Madison Avenue 34th Floor
         New York, NY 10016
         Telephone: (212) 686-1060
         Weekends Telephone: (917) 562-8616
         Toll Free: 1-866-767-3653
         Fax: (212) 202-3827
         Web site: http://www.rosenlegal.com


HEMISPHERX BIOPHARMA: Pomerantz Law Firm Files Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------
Pomerantz Grossman Hufford Dahlstrom & Gross LLP has filed a class
action lawsuit against Hemispherx Biopharma, Inc. and certain of
its officers.  The class action filed in United States District
Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, and docketed under 2:12-
cv-07152-WY on behalf of a class consisting of all persons or
entities who purchased or otherwise acquired securities of
Hemispherx between March 19, 2012 and December 17, 2012, both
dates inclusive.  This class action seeks to recover damages
against the Company and certain of its officers and directors as a
result of alleged violations of the federal securities laws
pursuant to Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

If you are a shareholder who purchased Hemispherx securities
during the Class Period, you have until February 19, 2013 to ask
the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  A copy
of the Complaint can be obtained at http://www.pomerantzlaw.com

To discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at
rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888-476-6529 (or 888-4-POMLAW), toll
free, x237.  Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to include
their mailing address and telephone number.

Hemispherx is a biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the
development of nucleic acids to enhance the natural anti-viral
defense systems of the human body.  The Company's lead product,
Ampligen(R), is undergoing clinical trials for the treatment of
Myalgic Encephalomylitis/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, the
Company made a host of materially false and misleading statements
regarding the safety and efficacy of Ampligen, and touted
purportedly positive results from Ampligen's clinical trials.  As
a result of the foregoing, the Company's statements were
materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On December 18, 2012, the FDA published an FDA staff report
concerning Ampligen's safety and efficacy. Specifically, the
report concluded that the Company's studies were "ill-defined and
invalid" with signals of efficacy that were inconsistent between
clinical trials, and based on the limited quality of the data, "it
is difficult to draw conclusions regarding potential safety
signals," but the "review identified nine potential safety
concerns associated with Ampligen."

As a result of this disclosure, Hemispherx shares declined $0.276
per share or nearly 43%, to close at $0.368 per share on December
18, 2012.

As a result of Company's wrongful acts and omissions, and the
precipitous decline in the market value of the Company's
securities, Class members have suffered significant damages.

The Pomerantz Firm -- http://www.pomerantzlaw.com-- concentrates
its practice in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust
class litigation.  The firm has offices in New York, Chicago, and
San Diego.


HOULIHAN'S RESTAURANT: Price Discrimination Claims Can Proceed
--------------------------------------------------------------
Rose Bouboushian at Courthouse News Service reports that a man can
pursue claims against the Houlihan's Restaurant chain for forcing
him to pay more than other customers for his alcoholic drinks, a
federal judge ruled.

While at a Houlihan's restaurant in Brick, N.J., Ted Pauly ordered
several beers and mixed drinks whose prices were not listed on the
menu.

Mr. Pauly says he did not discover the beverage prices until after
he consumed them and received his bill.

Although Mr. Pauly paid his bill in full, he now claims Houlihan's
prices were unreasonable and that he was charged more than other
customers for the same items.

Mr. Pauly commenced a civil action against Houlihan's Restaurants,
Inc. in New Jersey Superior Court, and Houlihan's then removed the
action to the District of New Jersey.

In his amended complaint, Mr. Pauly alleges unjust enrichment and
breach of contract, and claims that the case is appropriate for
certification as a class action.

Instead of filing an answer, Houlihan's filed a motion to dismiss
for failure to state a claim.

U.S. District Judge Jerome Simandle denied the motion on late last
week.

In doing so, Judge Simandle brushed aside the claim of Houlihan's
Vice President Cynthia Parres, who argued the corporation does not
own, operate or control its franchisee in Brick.

"The defendant's argument that it has no direct relationship to
plaintiff is supported solely by the extraneous declaration of its
vice president.  The defendant's argument completely disregards
the allegations in plaintiff's pleading and seeks to present an
issue of fact which is inappropriate on a motion to dismiss," the
judge wrote.

The court also tossed aside Houlihan's claims that it had no
contract with Mr. Pauly, that his complaint failed to present such
facts as what he paid for the drinks, or even states what he
believes reasonable prices to be.

"Specifically, the amended complaint alleges that no price was
listed on the menu for the alcoholic drinks plaintiff ordered and
the defendant subsequently fulfilled plaintiff's order by
delivering the beverages.  These are sufficient grounds for a
court to find that an agreement between Mr. Pauly and Houlihan's
existed and that the plaintiff agreed to pay a reasonable price of
the beverages," the 19-page opinion states.

Judge Simandle found that by paying his bill in full, Mr. Pauly
did not assent to overpricing.

"Equitable reasons exist to find that the plaintiff did not
necessarily waive his right to contest his bill by paying in full
at the restaurant after he consumed his beverages.  It would be
unreasonable and inequitable to hold that a person must risk
criminal exposure in order to challenge a restaurant's policy of
omitting prices from their menus and ultimately charging
unreasonable and discriminatory rates for their food and
beverages," the judge wrote.

The court also held Mr. Pauly's unjust enrichment claim was valid.

"Plaintiff maintains that if he knew this price
discrimination was occurring, he would not have ordered his
drinks.  Plaintiff then was charged an unreasonably high amount
for the drinks he ordered and ultimately paid this unreasonable
amount to the defendant.  This sufficiently states a claim for
unjust enrichment as it would be unjust for the defendant to
retain the benefit of plaintiff's excess payment," Judge Simandle
concluded.

The judge refrained from addressing class certification at this
time.

A copy of the Opinion in Pauly v. Houlihan's Restaurants, Inc.,
Case No. 12-cv-00025 (D. N.J.) (Simandle, J.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/12/26/Houlihan%27s.pdf


KMART CORP: Judge Rules For Kmart on Cashier Seating Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jonny Bonner at Courthouse News Service reports that Kmart is not
liable for failing to provide its cashiers in central California
with "suitable" seats, a federal judge ruled after a one-week
bench trial.

Lisa Garvey sued the store's owner, Sears Holding Management, in
April 2011, and the case later morphed into a federal class action
against Kmart.

Ms. Garvey alleged the big-box store violated California's wage
order since Labor Code Section 1198 and Section 14(A) of
Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order 7-2001 provide that: "All
working employees shall be provided with suitable seats when the
nature of the work reasonably permits the use of seats."

A federal judge refused to order summary judgment against Kmart in
April 2012, concluding that the wage order did not require
employees to affirmatively request a seat.  The decision also
found that the wage order did apply to Kmart cashiers, and that
there was a genuine issue as to whether Kmart cashier work
reasonably permitted seats.

Though Ms. Garvey had sought to represent 5,600 cashiers from 100
Kmart stores in California, the court narrowed that number to 71
cashiers from the Tulare location where Ms. Garvey worked.

Tulare, with a population of 59,278 in 2010, is located in the
heart of the state's central valley.

This fall, the court found that Kmart failed to preserve and
produce relevant evidence on cashiers' use of checkout registers.
There was no sanction specified, however.

Kmart competitors faced similar claims over the last year, but
Ms. Garvey's was the first to go to trial in November.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup ruled for Kmart on Dec. 25.

"At issue in this class action are the seven 'front-end' cashier
stands located at the front of the Tulare store," Judge Alsup
wrote. "The checkout stands in question resemble checkout stands
all of us have seen in modern times."

Noting California's wage order, Judge Alsup said that neither the
Industrial Welfare Commission nor the California Labor
Commissioner "has previously interpreted Section 14 as it might
apply to the case in hand."

The proposed addition of stools to the stands could present an
"obstacle course," "inevitably lead to stumbles" and "be unsafe,"
the decision states.

Redesigning the stands as proposed by class counsel "would be an
unhappy match" between a floor mat and the legs of the stool,
Judge Alsup added.

"In sum, this order rejects the proposed modification by class
counsel as too unsafe, too inefficient, and too inconvenient to
customers and cashiers," according to the 23-page findings of fact
and conclusions of law.  "Adoption of the proposed modifications
would unreasonably interfere with Kmart's legitimate interest in
providing quick and efficient customer service so as to compete
with other big box stores."

Though Judge Alsup said lean-stools "seem to be the only possible
candidate for seating that plausibly would be consistent with the
job requirements," he refused to approve or order them.
"Before even requiring such seating, the court would insist on
hearing the views of cashiers, the ergonomics experts, safety
experts, and Kmart management," Judge Alsup wrote.  "This would
have to be in a trial involving a different class.  The trial on
this class at the Tulare store is over and finished." (g. 64)

The judge also scolded Kmart for an abandoned policy over the use
of seats.

In the wake of a so-called "seating" lawsuit against one of its
competitors, a Kmart human resources official adopted a "secret
policy" that "any cashier in California Kmarts would be allowed to
use a seat at the cashier stall if he or she asked for one,"
Judge Alsup said.

But the policy "was never reduced to a memo or email, or if it
was, those were destroyed," Judge Alsup said.

"After all of Kmart's machinations, it would be poetic justice to
hold Kmart to the full implications of its so-called policy,
namely to hold that providing a seat in the existing configuration
would be safe and practical," the ruling states.  "This would,
however, not be actual justice, nor actual safety.  Even class
counsel have conceded that a chair (or stool) cannot be safely
used with the existing configuration."

Though Ms. Garvey's case failed, Judge Alsup acknowledged that
additional cases must be considered and tried "covering one or
more other stores in California."

"One obstacle to further certification will possibly be that the
only named plaintiff has now had her case resolved," Judge Alsup
said.  "Arguably, she should not be a representative on behalf of
cashiers at other stores.  Assuming this could somehow be
overcome, at follow-on trial(s), both sides are invited to present
more complete evidence on a lean-stool alternative . . . (or
variations thereon), in addition to any other evidence counsel
wishes to present."

Judge Alsup scheduled a case-management conference for Jan. 10.

"Please do not ask to stay this case pending appeal," Judge Alsup
warned.  "Useful work can be done before the next trial even if
the trial itself turns out to be after the decision by the court
of appeals on the Tulare store."

A copy of the Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law After Bench
Trial in Garvey v. Kmart Corporation, Case No. 11-cv-02575 (N.D.
Calif.) (Alsup, J.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/12/24/kmartfof.pdf


MORGAN STANLEY: Awaits Decision in New York Securities Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------
Morgan Stanley is awaiting a court decision on plaintiffs' motion
seeking to expand the offerings at issue in In re Morgan Stanley
Mortgage Pass-Through Certificate Litigation, according to the
Company's November 6, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended September
30, 2012.

On May 7, 2009, the Company was named as a defendant in a
purported class action lawsuit brought under Sections 11, 12 and
15 of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities
Act"), alleging, among other things, that the registration
statements and offering documents related to the offerings of
approximately $17 billion of mortgage pass through certificates in
2006 and 2007 contained false and misleading information
concerning the pools of residential loans that backed these
securitizations.  The plaintiffs sought, among other relief, class
certification, unspecified compensatory and rescissionary damages,
costs, interest and fees.  This case, which was consolidated with
an earlier lawsuit and is currently styled In re Morgan Stanley
Mortgage Pass-Through Certificate Litigation, is pending in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
("SDNY").  On August 17, 2010, the court dismissed the claims
brought by the lead plaintiff, but gave a different plaintiff
leave to file a second amended complaint.  On September 10, 2010,
that plaintiff, together with several new plaintiffs, filed a
second amended complaint which purported to assert claims against
the Company and others on behalf of a class of investors who
purchased approximately $4.7 billion of mortgage pass through
certificates issued in 2006 by seven trusts collectively
containing residential mortgage loans.  The second amended
complaint asserted claims under Sections 11, 12 and 15 of the
Securities Act, and alleged, among other things, that the
registration statements and offering documents related to the
offerings contained false and misleading information concerning
the pools of residential loans that backed these securitizations.

The plaintiffs sought, among other relief, class certification,
unspecified compensatory and rescissionary damages, costs,
interest and fees.  On September 15, 2011, the court granted in
part and denied in part the defendants' motion to dismiss and
granted the plaintiffs' request to file another amended complaint.
On September 29, 2011, the defendants moved for reconsideration of
a portion of the court's decision partially denying the motion to
dismiss.  On September 30, 2011, the plaintiffs filed a third
amended complaint purporting to bring claims on behalf of a class
of investors who purchased approximately $2.7 billion of mortgage
pass through certificates issued in 2006 by five trusts.  The
defendants moved to dismiss the third amended complaint on October
17, 2011.

On July 16, 2012, the court denied defendants' motion to dismiss
the third amended complaint.

On September 12, 2012, the Company filed its answer to the third
amended complaint.  On September 20, 2012, the plaintiffs filed a
motion seeking to expand the offerings at issue in the litigation,
relying on recent precedent from the United States Court of
Appeals for the Second Circuit ("Second Circuit").  Defendants
have opposed the motion.  If the motion is granted, plaintiffs
will be purporting to represent investors who purchased
approximately $7.82 billion in mortgage pass through certificates
issued in 2006 by thirteen trusts.


MORGAN STANLEY: Calif. Court Refuses to Remand "Luther" Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
Morgan Stanley disclosed in its November 6, 2012, Form 10-Q filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended September 30, 2012, that a California court refused to
remand the lawsuit styled Luther, et al. v. Countrywide Financial
Corporation, et al.

Luther, et al. v. Countrywide Financial Corporation, et al.,
pending in the Superior Court of the State of California, involves
claims related to the Company's role as an underwriter of various
residential mortgage backed securities offerings issued by
affiliates of Countrywide Financial Corporation.  The amended
complaint includes allegations that the registration statements
and the offering documents contained false and misleading
statements about the residential mortgage loans backing the
securities.  The Company underwrote approximately $6.3 billion of
the principal amount of the offerings at issue.  On January 6,
2010, the Court dismissed the case for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction.  On May 18, 2011, a California court of appeals
reversed the dismissal and reinstated the complaint.  On December
19, 2011, defendants moved to dismiss the complaint.  On February
3, 2012, defendants moved to stay the case pending resolution of a
securities class action brought by the same plaintiffs, styled
Maine State Retirement System v. Countrywide Financial
Corporation, et al., in the United States District Court for the
Central District of California.

On August 31, 2012, the court in Luther lawsuit, which was removed
to the United States District Court for the Central District of
California in June 2012, denied the plaintiffs' motion to remand
the matter.


MORGAN STANLEY: Continues to Defend IndyMac Securities Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------
Morgan Stanley continues to defend itself in In re IndyMac
Mortgage-Backed Securities Litigation, according to the Company's
November 6, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.

Beginning in 2007, the Company was named as a defendant in several
putative class action lawsuits brought under Sections 11 and 12 of
the Securities Act, related to its role as a member of the
syndicates that underwrote offerings of securities and mortgage
pass through certificates for certain non-Morgan Stanley related
entities that have been exposed to subprime and other mortgage-
related losses.  The plaintiffs in these actions allege, among
other things, that the registration statements and offering
documents for the offerings at issue contained material
misstatements or omissions related to the extent to which the
issuers were exposed to subprime and other mortgage-related risks
and other matters and seek various forms of relief including class
certification, unspecified compensatory and rescissionary damages,
costs, interest and fees.  The Company's exposure to potential
losses in these cases may be impacted by various factors
including, among other things, the financial condition of the
entities that issued or sponsored the securities and mortgage pass
through certificates at issue, the principal amount of the
offerings underwritten by the Company, the financial condition of
co-defendants and the willingness and ability of the issuers (or
their affiliates) to indemnify the underwriter defendants.  Some
of these cases, including In Re Washington Mutual, Inc. Securities
Litigation, In re: Lehman Brothers Equity/Debt Securities
Litigation and In re IndyMac Mortgage-Backed Securities
Litigation, relate to issuers or sponsors (or their affiliates)
that have filed for bankruptcy or have been placed into
receivership.

In re IndyMac Mortgage-Backed Securities Litigation is pending in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York ("SDNY") and relates to offerings of mortgage pass through
certificates issued by seven trusts sponsored by affiliates of
IndyMac Bancorp during 2006 and 2007.  The Company underwrote over
$1.4 billion of the principal amount of the offerings originally
at issue.  On June 21, 2010, the court granted in part and denied
in part the underwriter defendants' motion to dismiss the amended
consolidated class action complaint.  The Company underwrote
approximately $46 million of the principal amount of the offerings
at issue following the court's June 21, 2010 decision.  On May 17,
2010, certain putative plaintiffs filed a motion to intervene in
the litigation in order to assert claims related to additional
offerings.  The principal amount of the additional offerings
underwritten by the Company is approximately $1.2 billion.  On
June 21, 2011, the Company successfully opposed the motion to add
the additional plaintiffs as to the Company.  On July 20, 2011,
and July 21, 2011, certain of the additional plaintiffs filed
appeals in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit.  The Company is opposing the appeals.

On August 31, 2012, the Company and other defendants filed a
petition seeking permission to appeal the August 17, 2012 class
certification ruling in In re IndyMac Mortgage-Backed Securities
Litigation.  On October 12, 2012, the plaintiffs filed a motion
seeking to expand the offerings at issue in the litigation,
relying on recent precedent from the Second Circuit.  Defendants
have opposed the motion.  If the motion is granted and the
offerings are included in the class that is certified, the
principal amount of the offerings underwritten by the Company at
issue in the litigation will be approximately $1.68 billion.


PFIZER INC: Reached Settlement of Neurontin Suits in Canada
-----------------------------------------------------------
Pfizer Inc. entered into an agreement-in-principle to resolve
lawsuits in Canada arising from its promotion, sale and labeling
of Neurontin, according to the Company's November 9, 2012, Form
10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarter ended September 30, 2012.

A number of individual lawsuits have been filed against the
Company in various U.S. federal and state courts and in certain
other countries alleging suicide, attempted suicide and other
personal injuries as a result of the purported ingestion of
Neurontin.  Certain of the U.S. federal actions have been
transferred for consolidated pre-trial proceedings to a
multidistrict litigation in Massachusetts.

In addition, purported class actions have been filed against the
Company in various Canadian provincial courts alleging claims
arising from the promotion, sale and labeling of Neurontin and
generic Neurontin.  In February 2010, in a proceeding pending in
Ontario, Canada, the court certified a class consisting of all
persons in Canada, except in Quebec, who purchased and ingested
Neurontin prior to August 2004.  The plaintiffs claim that Pfizer
failed to provide adequate warning of the alleged risks of
personal injury associated with Neurontin.  Two purported
province-wide class actions filed in Quebec that raise
substantially the same allegations have been included in the class
action pending in Ontario by agreement of the parties and orders
of both the Quebec and Ontario courts.  In November 2012, the
parties entered into an agreement-in-principle to resolve this
matter that provides for the payment by Pfizer of C$4.8 million.
The resolution is subject to the execution of a final settlement
agreement by the parties and to court approval.

New York-based Pfizer Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that
discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers quality, safe and
effective prescription medicines to treat and help prevent disease
for both people and animals.  The Company also partners with
healthcare providers, governments and local communities around the
world to expand access to its medicines and to provide better
quality health care and health system support.


PFIZER INC: Continues to Face Class Suits Over Co-Pay Programs
--------------------------------------------------------------
Pfizer Inc. continues to face class action lawsuits relating to
co-pay programs, according to the Company's November 9, 2012, Form
10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarter ended September 30, 2012.

In March 2012, a purported class action was filed against Pfizer
and Amgen Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York.  The plaintiffs seek to represent a class
consisting of all entities in the U.S. and its territories that
have reimbursed patients for the purchase of certain Pfizer drugs
for which co-pay programs exist or have existed.  The plaintiffs
allege that these programs violate the federal Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and federal
antitrust law by, among other things, providing an incentive for
patients to use certain Pfizer drugs rather than less-expensive
competitor products, thereby increasing the payers' reimbursement
costs.  The plaintiffs seek treble damages on behalf of the
putative class for their excess reimbursement costs allegedly
attributable to the co-pay programs as well as an injunction
prohibiting the Company from offering such programs.  In May and
July 2012, respectively, substantially similar purported class
actions were filed against Pfizer in the U.S. District Courts for
the Eastern District of New York and the Southern District of
Illinois.  In August 2012, the action in the Eastern District of
New York was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiff.  In October
2012, the action in the Southern District of Illinois was stayed
pending the outcome of the action in the Southern District of New
York.  In October 2012, the plaintiffs in the action in the
Southern District of New York voluntarily dismissed Amgen as a
defendant.  Similar purported class actions have been filed
against several other pharmaceutical companies.

New York-based Pfizer Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that
discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers quality, safe and
effective prescription medicines to treat and help prevent disease
for both people and animals.  The Company also partners with
healthcare providers, governments and local communities around the
world to expand access to its medicines and to provide better
quality health care and health system support.


PFIZER INC: Antitrust MDL Related to Neurontin Product Pending
--------------------------------------------------------------
Pfizer Inc. continues to defend itself in an antitrust
multidistrict litigation related to Neurontin, according to the
Company's November 9, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended September
30, 2012.

In January 2011, in a Multi-District Litigation (In re Neurontin
Antitrust Litigation MDL-1479) that consolidates four actions, the
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey certified a
nationwide class consisting of wholesalers and other entities who
purchased Neurontin directly from Pfizer and Warner-Lambert during
the period from December 11, 2002, to August 31, 2008, and who
also purchased generic gabapentin after it became available.  The
complaints allege that Pfizer and Warner-Lambert engaged in
anticompetitive conduct in violation of the Sherman Act that
included, among other things, submitting patents for listing in
the Orange Book and prosecuting and enforcing certain patents
relating to Neurontin, as well as engaging in off-label marketing
of Neurontin.  Plaintiffs seek compensatory damages on behalf of
the class, which may be subject to trebling.

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

New York-based Pfizer Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that
discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers quality, safe and
effective prescription medicines to treat and help prevent disease
for both people and animals.  The Company also partners with
healthcare providers, governments and local communities around the
world to expand access to its medicines and to provide better
quality health care and health system support.


PFIZER INC: Protonix-Related Class Suits vs. Wyeth Remain Stayed
----------------------------------------------------------------
Class action lawsuits over Protonix (pantoprazole sodium)
involving a subsidiary of Pfizer Inc. remain stayed in New Jersey,
according to the Company's November 9, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
September 30, 2012.

Wyeth, a Company subsidiary, has a license to market Protonix
(pantoprazole sodium) in the U.S. from Nycomed GmbH (Nycomed),
which owns the patents relating to Protonix.  The basic patent
(including the six-month pediatric exclusivity period) for
Protonix expired in January 2011.

Following their respective filings of abbreviated new drug
applications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA),
Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc. (Teva USA) and Teva Pharmaceutical
Industries Ltd. (Teva Pharmaceutical Industries), Sun
Pharmaceutical Advanced Research Centre Ltd. and Sun
Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. (collectively, Sun) and KUDCO
Ireland, Ltd. (KUDCO Ireland) received final FDA approval to
market their generic versions of Protonix 20mg and 40mg delayed-
release tablets.  Wyeth and Nycomed filed actions against those
generic manufacturers in the U.S. District Court for the District
of New Jersey, which subsequently were consolidated into a single
proceeding, alleging infringement of the basic patent and seeking
declaratory and injunctive relief.  Following the court's denial
of a preliminary injunction sought by Wyeth and Nycomed, Teva USA
and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries and Sun launched their generic
versions of Protonix tablets at risk in December 2007 and January
2008, respectively.  Wyeth launched its own generic version of
Protonix tablets in January 2008, and Wyeth and Nycomed filed
amended complaints in the pending patent-infringement action
seeking compensation for damages resulting from Teva USA's, Teva
Pharmaceutical Industries' and Sun's at-risk launches.

In April 2010, the jury in the pending patent-infringement action
upheld the validity of the basic patent for Protonix.  In July
2010, the court upheld the jury verdict, but it did not issue a
judgment against Teva USA, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries or Sun
because of their other claims relating to the patent that still
are pending.  Wyeth and Nycomed will continue to pursue all
available legal remedies against those generic manufacturers,
including compensation for damages resulting from Teva USA's, Teva
Pharmaceutical Industries' and Sun's at-risk launches.

Separately, Wyeth and Nycomed are defendants in purported class
actions brought by direct and indirect purchasers of Protonix in
the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.
Plaintiffs seek damages, on behalf of the respective putative
classes, for the alleged violation of antitrust laws in connection
with the procurement and enforcement of the patents for Protonix.
These purported class actions have been stayed pending resolution
of the underlying patent litigation in the U.S. District Court for
the District of New Jersey.

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

New York-based Pfizer Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that
discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers quality, safe and
effective prescription medicines to treat and help prevent disease
for both people and animals.  The Company also partners with
healthcare providers, governments and local communities around the
world to expand access to its medicines and to provide better
quality health care and health system support.


PFIZER INC: Bapineuzumab-Related Securities Suits Pending
---------------------------------------------------------
Pfizer Inc. continues to defend lawsuits related to the clinical
trial of its bapineuzumab product, according to the Company's
November 9, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.

In June 2010, a purported class action was filed in the U.S.
District Court for the District of New Jersey against Pfizer, as
successor to Wyeth, and several former officers of Wyeth.  The
complaint alleges that Wyeth and the individual defendants
violated federal securities laws by making or causing Wyeth to
make false and misleading statements, and by failing to disclose
or causing Wyeth to fail to disclose material information,
concerning the results of a clinical trial involving bapineuzumab,
a product in development for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease.
The plaintiff seeks to represent a class consisting of all persons
who purchased Wyeth securities from May 21, 2007, through July
2008 and seeks damages in an unspecified amount on behalf of the
putative class.  In February 2012, the court granted the
defendants' motion to dismiss the complaint.  In March 2012, the
plaintiff filed a motion seeking the court's permission to file an
amended complaint.

In July 2010, a related action was filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of New York against Elan
Corporation (Elan), certain directors and officers of Elan, and
Pfizer, as successor to Wyeth.  Elan participated in the
development of bapineuzumab until September 2009.  The complaint
alleges that Elan, Wyeth and the individual defendants violated
federal securities laws by making or causing Elan to make false
and misleading statements, and by failing to disclose or causing
Elan to fail to disclose material information, concerning the
results of a clinical trial involving bapineuzumab.  The plaintiff
seeks to represent a class consisting of all persons who purchased
Elan call options from June 17, 2008, through
July 29, 2008, and seeks damages in an unspecified amount on
behalf of the putative class.  In June 2011, the court granted
Pfizer's and Elan's motions to dismiss the complaint.  In July
2011, the plaintiff filed a supplemental memorandum setting forth
the bases that the plaintiff believed supported amendment of the
complaint.  In August 2011, the court dismissed the complaint with
prejudice.  In September 2011, the plaintiff appealed the District
Court's decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit.

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

New York-based Pfizer Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that
discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers quality, safe and
effective prescription medicines to treat and help prevent disease
for both people and animals.  The Company also partners with
healthcare providers, governments and local communities around the
world to expand access to its medicines and to provide better
quality health care and health system support.


PFIZER INC: Still Defends Hormone-Replacement Therapy Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
Pfizer Inc. continues to defend itself and its subsidiaries from
lawsuits relating to hormone-replacement therapy products,
according to the Company's November 9, 2012, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
September 30, 2012.

Pfizer and certain wholly owned subsidiaries and limited liability
companies, including Wyeth and King Pharmaceuticals, Inc., along
with several other pharmaceutical manufacturers, have been named
as defendants in approximately 10,000 actions in various federal
and state courts alleging personal injury or economic loss related
to the use or purchase of certain estrogen and progestin
medications prescribed for women to treat the symptoms of
menopause.  Although new actions are occasionally filed, the
number of new actions was not significant in the second quarter of
2012, and the Company does not expect a substantial change in the
rate of new actions being filed.  Plaintiffs in these lawsuits
allege a variety of personal injuries, including breast cancer,
ovarian cancer, stroke and heart disease.  Certain co-defendants
in some of these actions have asserted indemnification rights
against Pfizer and its affiliated companies.  The cases against
Pfizer and its affiliated companies involve one or more of the
following products, all of which remain approved by the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration (FDA): femhrt (which Pfizer divested in
2003); Activella and Vagifem (which are Novo Nordisk products that
were marketed by a Pfizer affiliate from 2000 to 2004); Premarin,
Prempro, Aygestin, Cycrin and Premphase (which are legacy Wyeth
products); and Provera, Ogen, Depo-Estradiol, Estring and generic
MPA (which are legacy Pharmacia & Upjohn Company products).  The
federal cases have been transferred for consolidated pre-trial
proceedings to a Multi-District Litigation (In re Prempro Products
Liability Litigation MDL-1507) in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Arkansas.  Certain of the federal cases have
been remanded to their respective District Courts for further
proceedings including, if necessary, trial.

This litigation consists of individual actions, a few purported
statewide class actions and a purported provincewide class action
in Quebec, Canada, a statewide class action in California and a
nationwide class action in Canada.  In March 2011, in an action
against Wyeth seeking the refund of the purchase price paid for
Wyeth's hormone-replacement therapy products by individuals in the
State of California during the period from January 1995 to January
2003, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
California certified a class consisting of all individual
purchasers of such products in California who actually heard or
read Wyeth's alleged misrepresentations regarding such products.
This is the only hormone-replacement therapy action to date
against Pfizer and its affiliated companies in the U.S. in which a
class has been certified.  In addition, in August 2011, in an
action against Wyeth seeking damages for personal injury, the
Supreme Court of British Columbia certified a class consisting of
all women who were prescribed Premplus and/or Premarin in
combination with progestin in Canada between January 1, 1997, and
December 1, 2003, and who thereafter were diagnosed with breast
cancer.

Pfizer and its affiliated companies have prevailed in many of the
hormone-replacement therapy actions that have been resolved to
date, whether by voluntary dismissal by the plaintiffs, summary
judgment, defense verdict or judgment notwithstanding the verdict;
a number of these cases have been appealed by the plaintiffs.
Certain other hormone-replacement therapy actions have resulted in
verdicts for the plaintiffs and have included the award of
compensatory and, in some instances, punitive damages; each of
these cases has been appealed by Pfizer and/or its affiliated
companies.  The decisions in a few of the cases that had been
appealed by Pfizer and/or its affiliated companies or by the
plaintiffs have been upheld by the appellate courts, while several
other cases that had been appealed by Pfizer and/or its affiliated
companies or by the plaintiffs have been remanded by the appellate
courts to their respective trial courts for further proceedings.
Trials of additional hormone-replacement therapy actions were
underway or scheduled in 2012.

The Company says most of the unresolved actions against Pfizer
and/or its affiliated companies have been outstanding for more
than five years and could take many more years to resolve.
However, opportunistic settlements could occur at any time.  The
litigation process is time-consuming, as every hormone-replacement
action being litigated involves contested issues of medical
causation and knowledge of risk.  Even though the vast majority of
hormone-replacement therapy actions concern breast cancer, the
underlying facts (e.g., medical causation, family history,
reliance on warnings, physician/patient interaction, analysis of
labels, actual, provable injury and other critical factors) can
differ significantly from action to action, and the process of
discovery has not yet begun for a majority of the unresolved
actions.  In addition, the hormone-replacement therapy litigation
involves fundamental issues of science and medicine that often are
uncertain and continue to evolve.  Key scientific court rulings
may have a significant impact on the litigation as a whole.  An
integral part of the litigation process involves understanding the
evolving science, as well as seeking key scientific rulings.  The
Company does not know how the science may evolve, how the courts
will rule on key motions or which unresolved actions will be
impacted by these scientific matters.

As of September 30, 2012, Pfizer and its affiliated companies had
settled, or entered into definitive agreements or agreements-in-
principle to settle, approximately 83% of the hormone-replacement
therapy actions pending against the Company and its affiliated
companies.  Since the inception of this litigation, the Company
has recorded aggregate charges with respect to those actions, as
well as with respect to the actions that have resulted in verdicts
against the Company or its affiliated companies, of approximately
$1.1 billion.  In addition, the Company has recorded aggregate
charges of $535 million that provide for the expected costs to
resolve all remaining hormone-replacement therapy actions against
Pfizer and its affiliated companies, excluding the class actions
and purported class actions.  The $535 million charges are an
estimate and, while the Company cannot reasonably estimate the
range of reasonably possible loss in excess of the amounts accrued
for these contingencies given the uncertainties inherent in this
product liability litigation, additional charges may be required
in the future.

New York-based Pfizer Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company that
discovers, develops, manufactures and delivers quality, safe and
effective prescription medicines to treat and help prevent disease
for both people and animals.  The Company also partners with
healthcare providers, governments and local communities around the
world to expand access to its medicines and to provide better
quality health care and health system support.


SPRINT COMMS: Judge OKs $1.4-Mil. Class Action Settlement in Ky.
----------------------------------------------------------------
Brett Barrouquere, writing for The Associated Press, reports that
a federal judge has approved a $1.4 million class-action
settlement between Kentucky landowners and Sprint Communications,
which laid fiber-optic cable on railroad rights of way on their
property.

U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell set a fairness hearing in
the case for June 18 at the federal court in Louisville.
Attorneys in the case will receive $565,000.

The settlement stems from a lawsuit filed in June in federal court
in Louisville by multiple landowners accusing Sprint and Qwest
Communications of trespassing on their property, digging up the
ground and putting the cables in without permission.

The settlement, approved on Dec. 21, is similar to deals reached
in 46 states where landowners sued Sprint over access to rights of
way. Other settlements ranged from $3.1 million in Wisconsin to
$5.4 million in Pennsylvania.

The landowners accused Sprint of installing fiber-optic cable
systems in railroad rights of way under agreements with the
railroads possessing those rights.  The landowners say Sprint did
not notify them that the cables were being installed.

The landowners in the Kentucky case and other similar lawsuits
across the country alleged that the railroads did not have the
right to authorize the installation of fiber-optic cable systems.

As part of the settlement, landowners will receive compensation
for both current and future damage to their property.  In
exchange, the telecommunications companies will get a release
clearing them of any legal issues arising from the installation
and operation of the cables.

The landowners will also convey an easement that gives the
companies the right to access the land in the future without
dispute.

The case started out as a national class-action lawsuit based in
Illinois.  But, after nine years of negotiations and failed
settlement talks, the parties agreed to settle the cases on a
state-by-state basis.

A Sprint spokeswoman Stephanie Vinge said the company has been
involved in multiple lawsuits over the right-of-way issue and has
settled them state-by-state.

"While Sprint continues to believe that the railroads have the
right to authorize telecommunications companies to use their
right-of-ways, we also are interested in bringing this long-
pending litigation to an end," Ms. Vinge said.


TOYOTA MOTORS: Settles Acceleration Class Action for $1.1 Bil.
--------------------------------------------------------------
10 News reports that Toyota Motors agreed to pay $1.1 billion to
install new safety features and reimburse owners of up to 16
million cars to settle a class-action suit filed by drivers who
had problems with unintended acceleration in its cars in 2009-
2010.

This is one of the largest lawsuits of its kind, according to
Steve Berman, one of the lead plaintiff lawyers.

The company said that the settlement will lead to a one-time, $1.1
billion pre-tax charge against fourth quarter earnings to cover
the costs.

Under the agreement, Toyota will install a brake-override system
in cars where floor mats got stuck, leading them to accelerate
unintentionally.  The company will also set up a fund of $250
million to be paid to former Toyota owners who sold their cars
between Sept. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010, to compensate the owners
for the reduced value of the cars from the negative publicity.

A separate fund of $250 million will be established to compensate
current owners whose vehicles are not eligible for a brake-
override system.

All 16 million current owners will be eligible for a customer care
plan, that will provide a warranty on certain parts tied to
unintended acceleration for between three and 10 years.

Until these issues, Toyota held the top reputation for vehicle
quality and safety.  But it has been dogged by significant recall
problems over the last three years.  It has already announced
recalls of more than 10 million vehicles worldwide for various
problems so far in 2012.

Earlier in December 2012, the car company agreed to pay a record
$17.4 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration for problems related to a 2012 recall in one of its
Lexus models. That's the largest fine allowed by law for a single
investigation.

And in November 2012, it recalled 7.43 million cars due to a power
window problem that poses a fire risk.

Toyota's settlement over accelerator pedals that are sticking
coincided with the ABC News and 10News investigations concerning
sudden acceleration problems in certain Toyota models.

A tragic 2009 crash in Santee off the 125 started the
investigation into sudden acceleration.  A passenger in the car
called 911 saying, "Our accelerator is stuck.  We're in trouble.
We can't . . . there's no brakes."

San Diegan Mark Saylor, an off duty California Highway Patrol
officer and his family died after their loaner Lexus ES 350 sped
out of control and crashed.

After the Santee crash, Toyota issued a recall of 4.2 million
cars, saying the floor mats were improperly installed, likely
causing the accelerators to get stuck.

Then in December 2009, four Texans drowned after their Toyota
Avalon allegedly suddenly accelerated, causing the vehicle to
drive through a metal fence, into a pond near Dallas. The Avalon's
floor mats were in the car's trunk, indicating they couldn't have
been the cause of the acceleration.

"It's a huge problem that must get solved soon," said auto safety
expert Sean Kane who reported seeing 56 incidents of runaway
Toyota and Lexus vehicles since the floor mat recall.

"It seemed like the more I hit the brake, the more it wanted to
accelerate," explained Kevin Haggerty, a New Jersey man who
experienced sudden acceleration in his 2007 Toyota Avalon.  He
shifted into neutral and drove to his Toyota dealership.

"They replaced the throttle body and the accelerator pedal
assembly," said Mr. Haggerty whose experience showing the Avalon
to Toyota dealership staff was the first known sudden acceleration
incident to be witnessed by Toyota representatives.

In a statement on the acceleration issue in 2012, Toyota spokesman
Brian Lyons said:

"Toyota takes the issue of unwanted acceleration very seriously,
as underscored by our ongoing recall.  As part of our commitment
to the safety of our customers and the public, Toyota constantly
monitors product reports and customer complaints and works to
identify any defect trends.  We are confident that we're doing the
right thing for our customers, and we will continue to do so.  We
will remain vigilant in thoroughly investigating incidents of
unwanted acceleration, including those cited by ABC, and taking
appropriate measures to address any defect trends that are
identified."


VOLKSWAGEN OF AMERICA: Settles Sunroof Class Actions in New Jersey
------------------------------------------------------------------
Rose Bouboushian at Courthouse News Service reports that drivers
of Volkswagens and Audis will get $9.2 million as a settlement to
their claims over defective pollen filter gasket areas and sunroof
drains, a federal judge ruled.

John Dewey and Jacqueline Delguercio each led federal class
actions against Volkswagen of America Inc. in 2007 over the
alleged defects in certain Volkswagen and Audi vehicles.

After their claims were eventually consolidated in the District of
New Jersey, the parties reached a tentative settlement covering a
class of more than 1 million.

Five objected to the deal, however, and the 3rd Circuit called for
further proceedings to adequately represent all class members.

The parties reached a new settlement this summer by adding a
"residual group" of VW lessees to the class.

After the trial court granted preliminary approval on Aug. 8, the
plaintiffs moved for certification of the settlement class and
approval of the new agreement, plus attorneys' fees, costs and
awards to the class representatives.

The objectors also moved for attorneys' fees, costs and an
incentive award.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Patty Shwartz granted the motions on
Dec. 14.

"By eliminating the distinction between the 'reimbursement group'
and the 'residual group' and treating each class member similarly
by allowing each to seek reimbursement for repairs, the new
settlement agreement resolves the adequacy problem the third
circuit identified," the 44-page ruling states.  "The named
plaintiffs are now in the same position as all other class members
because each of them owned or leased the subject vehicles that
contained the allegedly defective plenum or sunroof drain system,
received allegedly inadequate maintenance recommendations and, as
a result, suffered the same injury."

Objectors cannot sustain claims that the new settlement does not
compensate vehicle owners who have not yet had repairs performed.

"To the extent the objector objects because he believes
compensation should be provided even where the class member
expended no money to repair damage, the objection does not require
rejecting the settlement," Judge Shwartz wrote.  "Allowing
compensation for those who actually incur an expense is a
reasonable remedy, but permitting those who expended no funds to
obtain money would be tantamount to an impermissible windfall."

Class members receive the required benefits under the deal,
according to the ruling.

"Under the settlement's terms, all class members receive
educational preventative maintenance materials, including mailings
that recommend inspections and cleaning of the sunroof and plenum
drain systems," she wrote.  "All class members are eligible to
receive full reimbursement from a non-exhaustible $8 million fund
for expenses incurred for '[r]eimbursable [r]epairs for cleaning,
drying, or replacement of carpeting, including padding, and/or
repair or replacement' of affected vehicle components."

The court awarded more than $9.8 million in attorneys' fees and
costs, $10,000 each to nine class representatives, $86,000 to the
Center for Class Action Fairness, $25,000 to objector Gary Sibley,
and $500 each to three other objectors.

A copy of the Complaint in Dewey, et al. v. Volkswagen of America,
et al., Case No. 07-cv-02249 (D. N.J.), and in Delguercio, et al.
v. Volkswagen of America, et al., Case No. 07-cv-02361 (D. N.J.)
(Shwartz, Mag.), is available at:

     http://www.courthousenews.com/2012/12/24/Volkswagen.pdf


WELLS FARGO: 9th Cir. Lifts Injunction, Vacates $203MM Restitution
------------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Hull at Courthouse News Service reports that the United States
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Dec. 26 lifted an
injunction against Wells Fargo's use of the "high-to-low" method
of posting customers' debit card purchases, which a California
class action claims brings billions of dollars in fees to the bank
at the expense of regular customers.

Finding that federal banking laws supersede the state unfair
business practices statute under which the class sued, the federal
appeals court in San Francisco unanimously vacated a lower court's
injunction and let Wells Fargo off the hook for $203 million in
restitution.

After paying hundreds of dollars in fees on relatively small
overdrafts, lead plaintiffs Veronica Gutierrez and Erin Walker
sued the bank to get their money back and stop the "high-to-low"
practice, which Wells Fargo started in California more than a
decade ago.

"Beginning in April of 2001, Wells Fargo did an about-face in
California and began posting debit-card purchases in order of
highest-to-lowest dollar amount," the ruling states.  "This system
had the immediate effect of maximizing the number of overdrafts.
The customer's account was now depleted more rapidly than would be
the case if the bank posted transactions in low-to-high order or,
in some cases, chronological order."

Wells Fargo Bank made about $1.4 billion in overdraft fees between
2005 and 2007, according to the court.

After a bench trial in San Francisco, U.S. District Judge William
Alsup ruled for the plaintiffs, essentially finding that the bank
had instituted the method simply to get more of its customers'
money.

Judge Alsup enjoined the "high-to-low" method, but he did so
without jurisdiction, according to the 9th Circuit.

"The ability to choose a method of posting transactions is not
only a useful, but also a necessary, component of a posting
process that is integrally related to the receipt of deposits,"
wrote Judge M. Margaret McKeown for the panel.  "Designation of a
posting method falls within the type of overarching federal
banking regulatory power that is 'not normally limited by, but
rather ordinarily pre-empt[s], contrary state law.'"

The plaintiffs may yet win something, however.  Since federal law
does not preempt "California consumer law with respect to
fraudulent or misleading representations concerning posting," the
panel remanded that portion of the case back to the District Court
for another look.

"Although the court cannot issue an injunction requiring the bank
to use a particular system of posting or requiring the bank to
make specific disclosures, it can enjoin the bank from making
fraudulent or misleading representations about its system of
posting in the future," Judge McKeown wrote, adding that
"Restitution is available for past misleading representations."

A copy of the Opinion in Gutierrez, et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank,
NA, Nos. 10-16959, 10-17468 and 10-17689 (9th Cir.) (McKeown, J.),
is available at http://is.gd/qA2Dui


                           *********

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

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