CAR_Public/130115.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Tuesday, January 15, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 10

                             Headlines


A-PLUS MARINE: Recalls 40 High-Pressure Scuba Diving Air Hoses
BRITISH COLUMBIA LOTTERY: Gamblers' Class Action Gets Green Light
BRP MEXICO: Recalls 3,400 Can-Am(R) Commander Side-By-Side Cars
CANADA: Settles SISIP Long-Term Disability Class Action
CELERA CORP: Del. Supreme Court Addresses Class Action Settlement

DEERE & CO: Recalls 4,650 Gator Utility Vehicles Due to Fire Risk
GIANT FOOD: Recalls Varieties of Ocean Beauty Smoked Salmon
HEWLETT-PACKARD CO: Judge Tosses Bid to Dismiss Suit Over Laptops
PFIZER INC: Lawyers Lose Bids for Adverse Inference Rulings
RITE AID: Judge Approves $20.9-Million Class Action Settlement

TOYOTA MOTOR: Judge Dismisses Prius Brakes Class Action
UNITED STATES: Still Fighting Veterans' "Guinea Pig" Class Action

* Judicial Fact-Finding Increasing in Class Certification Hearings
* Supreme Court Tackles Issue on Class Action Fairness Act


                          *********



A-PLUS MARINE: Recalls 40 High-Pressure Scuba Diving Air Hoses
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
A-Plus Marine Supply, Inc., of Gulf Breeze, Florida, announced a
voluntary recall of about 40 high-pressure scuba diving air hoses.
Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately unless
otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to
resell a recalled consumer product.

The diving hose that connects the regulator to the tank's pressure
gauge can separate reducing the available air supply to the diver,
posing a drowning hazard.

A-Plus has received three reports of hoses separating.  No
injuries have been reported.

The recalled air hoses are high-pressure scuba air hoses with a
black, smooth rubber outer covering.  They are about half a
centimeter in diameter and 32 or 36 inches long.  These hoses
connect the regulator to the tank pressure gauge.  The phrase
"Scuba Diving High Pressure hose I.D. 3/16" (4.76 mm) W.P. 5000
PSI Exceeds SAE 100RT braid with Kevlar fiber from Dupont" is
printed in white lettering on the hose's outer covering.  The
hoses have metal fittings on each end.  "CE EN 250 230" is stamped
on the female side of the fitting and "12Q1" on the male side.
Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13090.html

The recalled products were manufactured in Taiwan and sold at
scuba diving retailers nationwide from April 2012 through June
2012 for about $34.

Consumers should immediately stop using the hoses and contact A-
Plus Marine for a free replacement hose.  A-Plus Marine may be
reached at (800) 352-2360, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific
Time Monday through Friday, or online at
http://www.aplusmarine.com/and click on the recall notice on High
Pressure Braided Hose Safety Recall.  Consumers can also send an
e-mail to eric@aplusmarine.com for more information.


BRITISH COLUMBIA LOTTERY: Gamblers' Class Action Gets Green Light
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Keven Drews, writing for The Canadian Press, reports that two
problem gamblers who enrolled in a program that barred them from
government-run casinos can go ahead with a class-action lawsuit to
try to get their winnings back, says a B.C. Supreme Court judge.

In a ruling released on Jan. 9, Judge John Savage said the
proceedings could resolve common issues raised by Michael Lee and
Hamidreza Haghdust who argue the British Columbia Lottery Corp.
"wrongfully withheld" approximately C$42,000 and C$35,000 they
won, respectively, while participating in the voluntary self-
exclusion program.  The program allows problem gamblers to
register so they're barred from the corporation's facilities for a
specific period of time.

While he didn't rule on the substance of the lawsuits, Judge
Savage also said an identifiable class of two or more people
exists, and a plaintiff is available to represent the interests of
the class.  "A class proceedings is the preferable procedure for
the fair and efficient resolution of these common issues," he
said.

According to the court document, the men have problems controlling
their gambling urges, and each registered for the program, with
the first one-year term beginning in 2006 and the second three-
year term beginning in 2007.  Both signed the voluntary-exclusion
form, which at the time did not include any provisions that
notified registrants they would forfeit any winnings, according to
Judge Savage's ruling.  Despite signing the forms, the men
continued to gamble at corporation facilities, with Mr. Haghdust
losing about C$200,000 and Lee losing about C$30,000.  On Sept.
25, 2009, Mr. Haghdust won a C$15,000 jackpot at a Coquitlam,
B.C., casino, and on June 15, 2010, he won C$20,028 at a casino in
Vancouver.  Meantime, Mr. Lee won a $42,484 jackpot at a casino in
Duncan, B.C., on Jan. 10, 2010.  Even before he won his first
jackpot, Mr. Haghdust was excluded from corporation facilities
nine separate times, states the court document, and between Aug.
6, 2010 and the expiry of his second exclusion term, he was
removed from corporation facilities five more times.  Mr. Lee was
asked to leave a casino once before he won his jackpot.

Their lawyer, Paul Bennett, said the exclusion program is flawed
because it allowed his clients to lose, but never win.  "That's
why it's a penalty.  People come into the casino, they gamble,
they lose their money, but when they win they can't win."  Mr.
Bennett expects the corporation will likely appeal the
certification decision.

A date has yet to be set for the next court appearance, but Judge
Savage has asked the plaintiffs to develop a case-management plan
to move the action forward.  The ruling noted that between June 4,
2010, and July 4, 2012, the corporation withheld 187 jackpot
prizes from program participants.

According to Vancouver Sun's Kim Bolan and Mike Hager, Judge
Savage said in his reasons, released on Jan. 9: "The class
definition is appropriate and includes only those who have a
common interest in determining whether the defendant's withholding
of Jackpot prizes was a breach of contract or an unconscionable
trade act or practice."  Lawyers for the two have said there are
many more people in a similar situation as their two clients,
having signed agreements under BCLC's VSE Program, but have
entered casinos and spent large amounts of cash only to be
deprived of subsequent prizes.  And they say that the BCLC has
kept the money spent by their clients and others in the program,
yet then denies them their winnings.  Winners must at BCLC casinos
must produce government ID to receive payouts for transactions
over C$9,000, regardless of which game they play.  Between
April 1, 2009, and June 3, 2010, jackpots were withheld from 105
VSE participants on 113 different occasions, according to BCLC
data in the lawsuit.  Between June 4, 2010, and July 4, 2012, a
total of 187 jackpots were withheld from VSE participants,
according to the same data.  The lottery corporation's "jackpot
disentitlement" rule was properly and lawfully enacted under the
Gambling Control Act, according to spokeswoman Laura Piva-Babcock.
"The jackpot disentitlement rule is intended as a deterrent for
self-excluded people," Ms. Piva-Babcock stated in an e-mail.
"External reviews of our VSE program have highlighted the need for
disincentives such as these.  "BCLC does not plan to appeal the
certification decision."

Irwin M. Cohen of the B.C. Centre for Social Responsibility at the
University of the Fraser Valley said the VSE program doesn't
promise to stop one's gambling or to always keep one out of a
casino: "it's an agreement."  He was lead author of a 2011 study
of BCLC's VSE program that found one-third of the 169 study
participants tried to gamble while excluded, and as many as 70 per
cent of those attempts were successful.  Getting into a casino
when banned is not very difficult, Mr. Cohen said.  Mr. Cohen's
study found that detection methods such as facial-recognition
software -- which BCLC is now testing -- are unreliable, and that
banned gamblers are often only caught when they try to cash in
their winnings.  BCLC has been using license plate recognition
software to help detect self-excluded people since 2009.  "(There
are) people who 10, 15, 20 times a day with disguises are trying
to sneak into a casino," Mr. Cohen said.  "Do we really think,
given the current state of technology and the tools that are
available, the BCLC (is) going to be successful 100 per cent of
the time in detecting that person?"  The only way to successfully
stop all VSE participants from gambling at BCLC casinos would be
to screen every patron at the door for ID Cohen said.  While
mandatory screening is the norm in countries like South Korea, Mr.
Cohen said it is something "we probably wouldn't tolerate in our
society."  Mr. Cohen recommends using a sliding scale for the
consequences imposed on banned gamblers who are caught in a casino
and removing chronic offenders from the program altogether to seek
addictions treatment.

Last October a North Delta woman filed a lawsuit against the BCLC
and two local casinos in the Supreme Court of Canada, claiming
that due to the negligence of the BCLC and casino operators, she
was able to enter casinos and gamble away C$331,000, despite
putting herself in the VSE program.  The voluntary program was
implemented in 2009 and is generally used by problem gamblers.

As of press time, BCLC did not respond to The Sun's request for
the number of VSE participants.  The BCLC has not yet responded to
the ruling.


BRP MEXICO: Recalls 3,400 Can-Am(R) Commander Side-By-Side Cars
---------------------------------------------------------------
About 3,400 Can-Am(R) Commander side-by-side off-road vehicles
were voluntarily recalled by BRP Mexico S.A. de C.V., of Juarez,
Chihuahua, Mexico, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission.  Consumers should stop using the product
immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell
or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Improper assembly of the steering column to the rack and pinion
can result in the loss of steering control, posing a risk of
serious injury or death to the user, passenger or bystanders.  The
firm has received three reports of loss of steering.  No injuries
have been reported.

This recall includes the following serial numbers of 2011 and 2012
Can-Am Commander side-by-side vehicles.  The model name is printed
on the vehicle's side panel.  Models included in the recall are:

   Model Year 2011            Model Year 2012
   ---------------            ---------------
   Can-Am Commander           Can-Am Commander 800 and 1000
   800 and 1000

   Can-Am Commander XT        Can-Am Commander XT 800 and 1000
   800R and 1000

   Can-Am Commander X 1000    Can-Am Commander X 1000
                              Can-Am Commander Limited 1000

Picture of the recalled products is available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13718.html

The recalled products were manufactured in Mexico and sold at Can-
Am dealers nationwide from April 2011 through December 2012 for
between $11,700 and $21,000.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled vehicles and
contact a BRP dealer to schedule a free repair.  BRP has notified
registered consumers directly about this recall.  BRP may be
reached toll-free at (888) 638-5397 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Eastern Time Monday through Friday, or online at
http://www.canamoffroad.com/and click on "Recall Information"
under the Owner Center for more information.


CANADA: Settles SISIP Long-Term Disability Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------
The Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence, on
Jan. 9 disclosed that, pending court approval, the Government of
Canada, through the Department of Justice, and the counsel for
members of the class action have concluded discussions to resolve
the issues raised in the class action of Dennis Manuge v. Her
Majesty The Queen.

"The well-being of both our serving and retired members is very
important for the Government of Canada," said Minister MacKay.
"Acting quickly and fairly to resolve this matter is of the utmost
importance, and I am pleased an agreement in principle has been
reached."

On Jan. 9, the Federal Court approved a notice to inform the class
members that an agreement in principle had been reached regarding
the reduction of Pension Act disability benefits from SISIP Long
Term Disability benefits.  A Federal Court hearing for approval of
the agreement will be held on February 14, 2013 in Halifax.

The Canadian Forces Long Term Disability Income Replacement
program is a disability group insurance plan administered by SISIP
Financial Services that provides Canadian Armed Forces members
with replacement income protection and vocational rehabilitation
if they are released from the Canadian Armed Forces for medical
reasons or take a voluntary release but qualify as being totally
disabled.

Class Counsel with the SISIP Long Term Disability Class Action has
reached a proposed agreement with the Government of Canada and is
now available for review by class members.  The proposed agreement
still requires review and approval by the Court.

The following overview is a summary only.  For full details of the
settlement, including the Court approved Notice to the Class, and
the history of the litigation, please visit
http://www.leavenovetbehind.ca

                        Proposed Agreement

The estimated total value of the proposed settlement is up to
$887.8 million.  This includes $424.3 million in retroactive
payments, which in turn includes $82.6 million in interest.

The proposed agreement includes:

   -- Full retroactive payments dating back to 1976, including
      interest;

   -- Future payments; and

   -- Access to a $10 million Scholarship Fund for Class Members
      or their family members.

As well, Class Counsel will donate $1 million to a charity for
support of access to justice initiatives for veterans, and $50,000
to lead plaintiff Dennis Manuge for all the work he has done in
advancing this case on behalf of all veterans.

                  History of the Class Action

Under the terms of the SISIP LTD Plan, a disabled former Canadian
Forces member's benefits were reduced by the amount of their
Pension Act disability pension.  The Plaintiff, Dennis Manuge,
brought this class action to challenge the legality of the Offset.

The Supreme Court of Canada approved the case going forward as a
class action on December 23, 2010.

The Federal Court ruled that the Offset was not permitted under
the SISIP LTD Plan on May 1, 2012.  The Defendant did not appeal.

Since then, the Plaintiff and the Defendant have been in
negotiations over how the Offset should end, how past Offset
amounts should be refunded, and other key details.  The Plaintiff
and the Defendant have now reached an agreement on these points
that are contained in a proposed draft order.

                             Timeline

     June 1, 1976 - The Offset begins.  The Offset will go to
                    affect over 7,500 disabled CF veterans.

October 30, 2003 - then DND and CF Ombudsman André Marin issues
                    his special report Unfair Deductions from
                    SISIP Payments to Former CF Members.

November 7, 2006 - the majority of House of Commons members voted
                    in support of a non-binding motion to end the
                    Offset.

       March 2007 - Dennis Manuge files his action.  This is the
                    first legal challenge to the Offset, which has
                    been in effect for over 30 years.

    March 5, 2008 - the then-Minister of Veterans Affairs, the
                    Honourable Greg Thompson testified "[i]f I
                    attempted to make anyone believe we will be
                    changing it, I would not be telling the
                    truth."

     May 20, 2008 - Federal Court certifies Mr. Manuge's action as
                    a class action holding that it was "ideally
                    suited to certification as a class action".

February 3, 2009 - Federal Court of Appeal allows the
                    Government's appeal and de-certifies the class
                    action.

December 23, 2010 - Supreme Court of Canada unanimously allows Mr.
                    Manuge's appeal and re-certifies the class
                    action.

      May 1, 2012 - Federal Court rules that the SISIP LTD Policy
                    does not permit the Offset.

   July-Dec. 2012 - The parties undertake comprehensive
                    negotiations to resolve the remaining issues.

  October 1, 2012 - The New Veterans Charter Regulations no longer
                    deduct the Pension Act disability pension from
                    the Earnings Loss Benefit and Canadian Forces
                    Support Benefits.  This is known as the
                    "Manuge Effect".

    November 2012 - The Department of Finance Canada amends its
                    budget projections to account for an
                    additional $1.9 billion in additional benefits
                    as a result of this case.

                          Proposed Fees

Class Counsel is proposing a fee structure that is projected to be
approximately 7.5% of the total value of the settlement.  For full
details on the fee mechanism, please review the court approved
notice at http://www.leavenovetbehind.ca

The Court has the final say on Class Counsel fees.

                         What Happens Now

Class Members have the right to file a formal letter of support or
objection to the proposed agreement and/or fees, which will be
considered by the Court at the hearing.  A hearing for final
approval of the Agreement will be held at 9:30 a.m., February 14,
2013, at the Law Courts at 1815 Upper Water Street, Halifax, Nova
Scotia.  The Court will be asked to find that the Agreement is
fair, reasonable, and in the best interests of the Class Members,
and to approve the percentage proposed to be paid for fees,
expenses, and taxes.

For further details and information please refer to
http://www.leavenovetbehind.ca


CELERA CORP: Del. Supreme Court Addresses Class Action Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------
According to Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, in the final days
of 2012, the Delaware Supreme Court resolved an appeal arising out
of class action litigation concerning the sale of Celera
Corporation to Quest Diagnostics, Inc.  The litigation was settled
by agreement of the lead plaintiff and the defendants, and the
settlement was approved by the Delaware Court of Chancery over the
objection of Celera's largest single stockholder.  In its en banc
decision, the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed the Vice
Chancellor's decision to approve the settlement and certify a non-
opt-out class.  But, because of "facts and circumstances" raising
"due process concerns," the court held that the objector should
have been allowed to opt out of the non-opt-out class.  Though
permitting a shareholder to opt out of a settlement resolving
class action deal litigation is fundamentally at odds with the
nature of a "non-opt-out" class -- and undermines the rationale
behind settling this sort of litigation -- the law firm does not
believe that the court intended to dramatically alter the state of
Delaware law on class actions.  Instead, the law firm believes
that the court's decision was motivated by the extremely unusual
facts in this case -- in particular, the misdeeds of the lead
plaintiff prior to the approval of the settlement.

Background

In 2009, Celera, a healthcare business, began exploring its
strategic options.  With the help of its advisors, Celera
identified and reached out to several potential bidders, including
Quest.  The process was lengthy and troubled, with one potential
transaction falling apart, disputes with Celera's CEO, and a
financial restatement all contributing to delays and difficulties.
In 2011, BVF Partners LP, one of Celera's largest stockholders,
made public its disagreement with the board's strategy for selling
the company.  Ultimately, however, Celera's board agreed to a
transaction with Quest at $8.00 per share.

Stockholder litigation, filed by the New Orleans Employees'
Retirement System (NOERS), swiftly followed the announcement of
the proposed transaction.  Equally swift was BVF's public
opposition to the deal.  As NOERS conducted discovery, BVF bought
more stock -- eventually acquiring more than 20 percent of the
company -- and voiced concerns that the deal price was too low.
In the litigation, NOERS also argued that the deal price was
unreasonably low, but the bulk of its allegations -- like the
allegations in most cases challenging mergers -- centered on the
process that Celera's board employed and the terms to which it
agreed. NOERS sought an injunction blocking the stockholder vote
on the merger.

Before the court heard the injunction motion, NOERS and the
defendants signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) settling the
case.  In exchange for a full release of all claims against them
-- those asserted and those that could have been asserted,
including potential claims for monetary damages -- the defendants
agreed to modify the deal terms and to issue more disclosures to
Celera's stockholders.  With the MOU in place, the merger closed
on May 17, 2011.  Days before, however, with rumors in the market
that BVF's efforts to push for a better deal might succeed, the
stock price of Celera exceeded the merger price.  NOERS took
advantage of this arbitrage opportunity, and sold all of its
stock.  Thus, NOERS was not a stockholder at the time the merger
closed.

The Court of Chancery's Decision

Roughly 10 months later, when the settlement came to the Delaware
Court of Chancery for approval, BVF objected.  In particular, BVF
argued that the settlement was unfair and that, in any event,
NOERS was an inadequate representative of the stockholders because
it sold its stock before the merger closed and the settlement was
approved.  BVF asked that, if the court did approve the
settlement, it be permitted to opt out of the settlement class so
that it could pursue its own money damages action against the
defendants.

The Court of Chancery rejected BVF's arguments.  It concluded that
the settlement was fair to the stockholders, and it certified the
class as defined in the settlement agreement: "[a]ny and all
record holders and beneficial owners of share(s) of Celera common
stock who held any such share(s) at any time [between February 3,
2010, and May 17, 2011, inclusive], but excluding the Defendants."
As is customary in this sort of litigation, the Court of Chancery
certified a non-opt-out class, meaning those within the class
definition were not free to forego the settlement consideration in
order to pursue individual claims.  Correspondingly, the Court of
Chancery refused to allow BVF to opt out of the non-opt-out class.
The Vice Chancellor, however, criticized the "substandard
behavior" of NOERS in its "careless and cavalier" sale of its
stock before the merger.  Despite this, the Court of Chancery
concluded that "NOERS still satisfies, if only barely, the
requirement for an appropriate class representative."

The Delaware Supreme Court's Decision

The Delaware Supreme Court largely affirmed the Vice Chancellor's
decision.  With respect to the adequacy of NOERS as the class
representative, the court looked closely at the class definition
and held that NOERS had standing because it met that definition --
it owned stock at the time of the alleged wrongdoing.  The court
determined that the Vice Chancellor did not abuse his discretion
in determining that NOERS could adequately represent the class.

The court also affirmed the Court of Chancery's certification of
the class on a non-opt-out basis.  Writing for the court, Justice
Henry DuPont Ridgely reaffirmed the longstanding rule that
"actions challenging the propriety of director conduct in carrying
out corporate transactions are properly certifiable under both
subdivisions (b)(1) and (b)(2)" of Rule 23 -- i.e., on a non-opt-
out-basis -- and his opinion stressed that the mere "availability
of potential damages alone does not automatically require
certification under Rule 23(b)(3)" -- i.e., with an opt-out right.

Nevertheless, the Delaware Supreme Court did conclude that the
Court of Chancery abused its discretion by refusing to allow BVF
to opt out of the non-opt-out class in order to pursue its own
individual damages action.  Despite the absence of any textual
basis in the class certification rule or other statute, the
Delaware Supreme Court concluded that "the Court of Chancery has
the discretionary power to grant opt-out rights to members of a
[non-opt-out] class when fairness and equity demand it."  Here,
though the defendants argued strenuously that they only agreed to
settle the case in exchange for the "complete peace" afforded by a
non-opt-out class settlement, the court held that this interest
was "outweighed by the due process concerns."

The Delaware Supreme Court seemed particularly troubled because by
the time the settlement came to the Court of Chancery for
approval, the only claims that remained to be released were those
for monetary damages; the other claims -- those seeking to stop
the merger -- were moot, as the merger already had been
consummated.  The court concluded that this, combined with other
"facts and circumstances" such as a "barely adequate class
representative" and an objector who was "a significant shareholder
prepared independently to prosecute a clearly identified and
supportable claim for substantial money damages," was enough to
merit an exception to the non-opt-out class.  Consequently, the
court held that BVF must be permitted to pursue its individual
claims.

Implications

The Delaware Supreme Court's decision to allow a stockholder to
opt out of a non-opt-out class is deeply troubling.  Delaware
courts -- and federal and state courts throughout the country --
certify non-opt-out classes in situations where a case concerns
conduct that affects all members of the class in precisely the
same way. Where all plaintiffs are situated in exactly the same
fashion, courts have reasoned that separate litigations would
subject the defendants to the risk of different standards of
conduct with respect to the same action and waste limited judicial
resources. Non-opt-out classes prevent these risks from coming to
fruition. Allowing opt-outs from non-opt-out classes quite
obviously undermines the very point of the procedural device,
rendering the path to settlements of litigation even more
problematic.

The law firm believes, however, that the Delaware Supreme Court's
decision here will be limited to its unusual facts.  For years,
the Delaware Court of Chancery and the Delaware Supreme Court
consistently and forcefully have held that litigation challenging
the conduct of directors in connection with corporate mergers is
properly certifiable on a non-opt-out class basis.  The fact that
stockholder plaintiffs may seek damages in addition to equitable
relief does not change this conclusion, as the courts have held
time and time again.  As Chancellor Leo Strine previously has
reasoned, unlike other types of tort class actions seeking
damages, "[i]n challenges to corporate mergers brought on behalf
of the stockholders not affiliated with the defendants, it is
virtually never the case that there is any legitimate basis that a
defendant might be found liable to some plaintiffs and not to
others.  Rather, the actions involve a challenge to a single
course of conduct by the defendants that affects the stockholder
class equally in proportion to their ownership interest in the
enterprise."

Nothing in the Delaware Supreme Court's decision in Celera
challenges or disagrees with this well-established rule.  To the
contrary, the court expressly reaffirmed that challenges to
corporate mergers should be litigated via non-opt-out classes.
The law firm believes that the court's decision to allow BVF an
exception here was motivated by (a) the unusually large size of
BVF's position in Celera and (b) the unusually bad pre-
certification conduct of NOERS, the class representative.  Barring
repetition of these unusual facts, the law firm expects the Court
of Chancery and the Delaware Supreme Court to continue their
venerable and established practice of certifying challenges to
corporate mergers as non-opt-out class actions.


DEERE & CO: Recalls 4,650 Gator Utility Vehicles Due to Fire Risk
-----------------------------------------------------------------
About 4,650 Utility Vehicles were voluntarily recalled by Deere &
Company of Moline, Illinois, in cooperation with the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission.  Consumers should stop using the
product immediately unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to
resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The fuel line can separate, posing a fire hazard.

John Deere has received three reports of separated fuel lines.  No
injuries have been reported.

This recall involves John Deere Gator(TM) RSX850i Base, Sport and
Trail model recreational utility vehicles manufactured between May
2012 and October 2012.  They have side-by-side seating for two
people and were available in Realtree(R) Hardwoods(TM) HD Camo,
olive and black, or traditional green and yellow.  RSX850i is
located on the hood.  The serial number is on the rear frame above
the receiver hitch.  Only utility vehicles with the following
serial numbers are included in this recall:

          Serial Numbers:
          ---------------
          1M0850TB++M010013 thru 1M0850TB++M010768
          1M0850TS++M010001 thru 1M0850TS++M011932
          1M0850TT++M010001 thru 1M0850TT++M012765

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

     http://www.cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/prhtml13/13717.html

The recalled products were manufactured in the United States of
America and sold at John Deere dealers nationwide from August 2012
through October 2012 for between $12,900 and $15,500.

Consumers should stop using the recalled utility vehicles and
contact a John Deere dealer to schedule a free inspection and free
repair.  John Deere is contacting all registered owners of the
recalled utility vehicles directly.  Deere and Company may be
reached at (800) 537-8233, from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern
Time Monday through Friday, and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00
p.m. Eastern Time or http://www.johndeere.com/and click on
Services & Support for more information.


GIANT FOOD: Recalls Varieties of Ocean Beauty Smoked Salmon
-----------------------------------------------------------
GIANT Food Stores, LLC, and MARTIN'S Food Markets, following a
recall by Ocean Beauty Seafoods LLC, announced it removed from
sale several varieties of smoked salmon due to possible
contamination by listeria monocytogenes.

The following products are included in this recall:

   * Nathan's Nova Salmon, 3 oz., UPC 7303080368, all sell by
     dates

   * Nathan's Nova Salmon, 8 oz., UPC 7303080369, all sell by
     dates

   * Lascco Smoked Salmon, 3 oz., UPC 7284001703, all sell by
     dates

The Company has received no reports of illnesses to date.
Customers who have purchased the product should discard any unused
portions and bring their purchase receipt to GIANT/MARTIN'S for a
full refund.

Listeria is a common organism found in nature.  Consumption of
food contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes can cause
listeriosis, an uncommon but potentially fatal disease.  Healthy
people rarely contract listeriosis.  However, listeriosis can
cause high fever, severe headache, neck stiffness and nausea.
Listeriosis can also cause miscarriages and stillbirths, as well
as serious and sometimes fatal infections in those with weakened
immune systems, such as infants, the elderly and persons with HIV
infection or undergoing chemotherapy.

Consumers looking for additional information on the recall may
call Ocean Beauty Seafood customer service at 1-800-368-7699.  In
addition customers may call GIANT/MARTIN'S Customer Service at 1-
888-814-4268 for more information. Customers can also visit the
GIANT/MARTIN'S Web site at http://www.giantfoodstores.com/or
http://www.martinsfoods.com/

                      About GIANT/MARTIN'S

Headquartered in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, GIANT/MARTIN'S operates
nearly 200 grocery stores in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and
West Virginia, under the names of GIANT Food Stores and MARTIN'S
Food Markets.  GIANT/MARTIN'S employs more than 31,000 associates.
Founded in 1923, GIANT and MARTIN'S have a long-standing
commitment to eradicate hunger and improve the quality of life for
children in addition to working with hundreds of local
organizations annually.  The company was recognized for its
leadership in the fight against hunger with the Golden Grocer
Award by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  In addition,
GIANT/MARTIN'S is one of the top ten fund-raisers in the country
for local Children's Miracle Network hospitals.  GIANT and
MARTIN'S are Ahold companies.  For more information visit
http://www.GiantFoodStores.com/and http://www.MartinsFoods.com/.
Find the Company on Facebook at
http://www.facebook.com/giantfoodstores/and
http://facebook.com/martinsfoods/


HEWLETT-PACKARD CO: Judge Tosses Bid to Dismiss Suit Over Laptops
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Beth Winegarner, writing for Law360, reports that a California
federal court judge on Jan. 9 shot down Hewlett-Packard Co.'s bid
to dismiss a potential class action, saying the plaintiff had been
specific enough in arguing a built-to-order laptop he bought
online couldn't use a dual-band wireless card despite HP's claims
that it could.

Hewlett Packard had argued that Ned Karim's lawsuit failed to show
that he had seen a statement on the company's Web site claiming
the laptop would run dual-band wireless, or that he had relied on
a statement like this when he purchased it.


PFIZER INC: Lawyers Lose Bids for Adverse Inference Rulings
-----------------------------------------------------------
Jan Wolfe, writing for The Litigation Daily, reports that with a
long-running securities fraud class action against Pfizer over the
drugs Celebrex and Bextra finally lurching toward trial, both
Pfizer's lawyers at Simpson Thacher and DLA and their opposing
counsel at Grant & Eisenhofer have lost bids for adverse inference
rulings based on alleged misconduct.


RITE AID: Judge Approves $20.9-Million Class Action Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Legal Intelligencer reports that a federal judge in
Pennsylvania has approved a $20.9 million settlement resolving 14
class and collective actions brought across the country against
Rite Aid over allegations the drugstore chain improperly
designated assistant store managers and co-managers as exempt
employees not eligible for overtime pay.


TOYOTA MOTOR: Judge Dismisses Prius Brakes Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------
Edvard Pettersson, writing for Bloomberg News, reports that Toyota
Motor Corp. won a judge's ruling blocking a class-action lawsuit
by owners of Prius and Lexus models who sued over a 2010 recall to
install a software update that fixed a concern with the cars'
anti-lock braking system.

U.S. District Judge Cormac Carney in Santa Ana, California, on
Jan. 9 denied a request by four car owners to represent other
owners of a 2010 Prius or a 2010 Lexus HS 250h in California,
saying that three of the four plaintiffs as well as the
substantial majority of the purported class never suffered any
injury from the alleged defect.

The judge also granted Toyota's request to throw out the claims of
one of the four named plaintiffs, saying that he had not suffered
any injury as the result of his anti-lock braking system
"unreasonably extending the time and distance required to stop the
vehicle" and that he had no problems with his Prius after the
software update.

"After nearly three years of litigating this matter, we are
pleased the court agrees that that no class exists and that
plaintiffs are not entitled to any classwide relief in light of
Toyota's swift and effective market action to address its
customers' concerns," Celeste Migliore, a spokeswoman for
Torrance, California-based Toyota Motor Sales USA, said in an
e-mailed statement.

Carney said in a separate order that he had "seriously doubt" that
two of the other three named plaintiffs could prevail on their
claims because, he said, they suffered no injury.  The judge said
lawyers for the fourth named plaintiff, who blames a car accident
on his Prius's brakes, should file a proposed trial date.

Karin Fisch, a lead lawyer for the plaintiffs, didn't immediately
return a call to her office after regular business hours on Jan. 9
seeking comment on the rulings.

The case is In re Toyota Motor Corp. Hybrid Brake Marketing,
Sales, Practices and Products Liability Litigation, 10-02172, U.S.
District Court, Central District of California (Santa Ana.)


UNITED STATES: Still Fighting Veterans' "Guinea Pig" Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
United Press International reports that the U.S. Defense
Department continues to fight claims that it owes medical care to
veterans who were used in Cold War-era drug experiments.

According to UPI, Courthouse News Service reported that in a 77-
page filing, the Departments of Defense and the Army said they
oppose the defendants' request for a partial summary judgment in
the case.

Vietnam Veterans of American filed a class-action suit in 2009
charging that at least 7,800 soldiers were used as guinea pigs in
an experiment known as Project Paperclip.  The soldiers said they
were administered hundreds of drugs ranging from deadly Sarin to
LSD for a study of substances to control human behavior.  Some
soldiers died as a result and other suffered seizures and
paranoia, the veterans said.

In September, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken granted the
plaintiffs class action status making thousands of veterans
eligible for relief.  "Although plaintiffs have styled much of
this lawsuit as one challenging agency delay in the performance of
a discrete legal obligation, it is undisputed that the government
has engaged in decades-long efforts to reach out to test
participants and assess their health," said attorney Joshua
Gardner for the Justice Department.

A ruling on the request for a partial summary judgment in the case
is scheduled for March 14.


* Judicial Fact-Finding Increasing in Class Certification Hearings
------------------------------------------------------------------
Peter S. Bauman, Esq., at Tharpe & Howell, LLP, wrote on Jan. 8,
2013, for California Business Law Report that class action
certification under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure ("FRCP")
only permit a class action if, among other things, "there are
questions of law or fact common to the class." (FRCP 23)  This
means that trial judges in US District courts are often called
upon to determine whether common questions of law or fact exist.
But examining these issues often means that judges are not only
determining whether common questions exist for class certification
purposes, but also determining important factual matters that
should be resolved on the merits as part of a jury trial.

The 1974 US Supreme Court decision in Eisen v. Carlisle &
Jacquelin, 417 U.S. 156, 178 (1974) set what seemed to be a bright
line regarding inappropriate overlap when it noted the following:

   "We find nothing in either the language or history of Rule 23
   that gives a court any authority to conduct a preliminary
   inquiry into the merits of a suit in order to determine whether
   it may be maintained as a class action."

But later cases have extended the boundaries, causing one
commentator to recently note that "[t]he long-term effect has been
to elevate a pre-trial procedure intended to help judges
approximate the boundaries of a class action into a premature
trial on the merits held in the absence of a jury."

Defense counsel often use class certification to defeat the
maintenance of a class action under the divide and conquer
strategy, even if it means facing multiple lawsuits.  If
maintenance of a class action can be defeated, while
simultaneously disposing of factual issues that could prove
troublesome at trial, all the better.

But the US Supreme Court on November 5, 2012 heard oral argument
in two cases related to fact finding during class certification
which might bring greater clarity as to where the line must be
drawn.

One of the cases, Amgen v. Connecticut Retirement Plans and Trust
Funds, No. 11-1085 [Transcript of Oral Argument here], asks
whether plaintiffs in certain securities fraud cases "must prove
materiality before they can proceed with a class action, and
whether the defendants are permitted to present evidence rebutting
a fraud-onthe-market theory at the class certification stage."

The trend of using class certification as a means of effectively
resolving factual issues on the merits, as well as any limits
imposed on this practice by the Supreme Court in its pending
cases, will have an undeniable impact on class action litigation
moving forward, and could spill over into consideration of other
pre-trial issues in nonclass action litigation as well.


* Supreme Court Tackles Issue on Class Action Fairness Act
----------------------------------------------------------
Michael Bobelian, writing for Forbes, reports that on Jan. 7, the
Supreme Court tackled this thorny issue that lies at the heart of
discerning Congressional intent, a practice the justices regularly
engage in when interpreting federal legislation.  The law in
question is the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).  Backed by the
U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other corporate interests, a
Republican-controlled Congress enacted CAFA in 2005 after years of
legislative efforts.  CAFA represented the latest attempt by
lawmakers to limit abuses in class actions and provide an extra
shield for defendants in these cases, which tended to be large
corporations.

The law's purpose was clear: to make it more difficult for
plaintiffs to litigate class actions in state courts, which were
thought to be hostile to corporate defendants in comparison to
federal courts.

The apparent dichotomy between state and federal courts fueled
much of the justification for the law.  From 1988 to 1998, state
courts saw a tenfold increase in class action filings.  Leading up
to CAFA's enactment, critics of the system pointed to the Circuit
Court in Madison County, Illinois, a rural area with a population
of just 259,000 people, as the poster-child for abusive litigation
tactics employed by plaintiffs' lawyers.  By serving as the forum
for a $10.1 billion verdict in 2004 against cigarette maker Philip
Morris, the court granted legitimacy to claims of abuse,
especially when an appeals court later overturned the verdict.

The Court has imposed restrictions on class actions recently.  In
a pair of landmark rulings involving AT&T and Wal-Mart in 2011,
the judicial body made it more difficult for consumers and
employees to form a class.  In the short run, at least, the
rulings have been effective in curbing plaintiffs while companies
like Microsoft have amended their service agreements to avoid
consumer class actions.

Earlier this term, the Court also heard cases involving Comcast
and Amgen relating to another critical element of the litigation
process, class certification.  Historically, plaintiffs' lawyers
have had a knack for circumventing legislative barriers.

When CAFA went into effect in 2005, a prominent defense lawyer
explained that the plaintiffs' class action bar has been
"enormously inventive, resourceful and agile in response to
legislative restrictions."  Indeed, plaintiffs' lawyers have been
looking for ways to abide to CAFA's parameters yet still evade its
purpose by assiduously structuring cases.  One of these lawsuits,
Stanford Fire Insurance v. Knowles, landed at the Court on Jan. 7,
giving the justices their first opportunity to review CAFA.  The
plaintiffs in the case charged the Stanford Fire Insurance Company
with failing to adequately reimburse property damage claims.  The
unusual thing was when lawyers in the case stipulated that the
total claims would remain under $5 million.  Why would any lawyer
representing a plaintiff set limits on potential claims up front?
Under CAFA, once a lawsuit passes a $5 million threshold, it could
be transferred from a state to a federal court.  In order to
remain in the state court, the lawyers in the case designed their
case to stay under CAFA's $5 million baseline.

Plaintiffs filed the case in Miller County, Arkansas, a
destination the insurer's lawyer, Theodore Boutrous, Jr., argued
employed the kinds of abusive practices CAFA intended to combat.
Yet, the language in CAFA did not explicitly bar the kind of
tactic employed by the plaintiffs' lawyers in the case.  "You
know, usually we look to the text" of the legislation, Justice
Elena Kagan told the insurer's lawyer during oral arguments in
explaining how the Court determines legislative intent.  Half way
through the oral arguments, Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr.
introduced a scenario in which a plaintiffs' lawyer parsed a case
a certain way to avoid the threshold.  David Frederick, a lawyer
for the plaintiff, found no objection to the strategy despite it
coming off as a gimmick.  "If so, this is just a loophole because
it swallows up all of Congress's statute," Justice Stephen Breyer
warned.  He went on to describe another scenario in which
plaintiffs' lawyers could circumvent CAFA's purpose by dividing
cases into tiny smaller pieces.  "Now, your words in the statute
do favor that, in my opinion, at the moment," Justice Breyer told
Mr. Frederick a few moments later.  "But the purpose seems to
strongly cut the other way."



                           *********

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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania,
USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C., USA. Noemi Irene
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Toledo, Christopher Patalinghug, Frauline Abangan and Peter A.
Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. ISSN 1525-2272.

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