CAR_Public/130220.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

          Wednesday, February 20, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 36

                             Headlines



ALLSTATE INSURANCE: Class Suit Launched Over Telemarketing
ALTERRA CAPITAL: Faces Merger-Related Class Suit in New York
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Clement Sides With Merchants in Class Action
AMERICAN SUPERCONDUCTOR: Continues to Defend Securities Suit
BMW AG: Recalls 30T SUVs to Fix Oil Leak That Can Hamper Brakes

BOEING CO: Continues to Defend ERISA-Violation Suit in Illinois
BOEING CO: Oral Argument in Securities Suit Appeals on Feb. 25
BOEING CO: Still Defends ERISA-Violation Class Suits in Kansas
CANADA: Disabled Veterans Challenge Class Action Attorney Fees
CANADIAN IMPERIAL: Delaware Vice Chancellor Approves Settlement

CARLYLE GMS: Awaits Court Decision in "Detroit" Class Suit
CARLYLE GMS: Awaits Rulings in Suits Pending in D.C. and N.Y.
CHINESE PHARMA: Vit. C Class Action Scheduled for Trial This Month
DEWEY & LEBOEUF: Loses Bid to Dismiss Ex-Workers' Class Action
DIRECTSAT USA: Ruling May Pave for Stricter Certification Rules

EI DU PONT: To Replace Trees as Part of Herbicide Settlement
EQUITY RESIDENTIAL: Faces Class Action Over Nonrefundable $500 Fee
FACEBOOK INC: Judge Outlines Reasons for Dismissing IPO Suit
GLOBECOMM SYSTEMS: "Wenz" Shareholder Suit Discontinued in Nov.
GO DADDY: Women Face Uphill Battle in Revenge Porn Class Action

HAIN CELESTIAL: Hearing in "Morrison" Suit Set for March 7
HALLIBURTON CO: Continues to Defend Suit Over Duncan Facility
HALLIBURTON CO: First Phase in Macondo MDL Trial to Start Feb. 25
HALLIBURTON CO: Oral Argument in "John Fund" Appeal Set for March
HCA HOLDINGS: March Hearing Set on Bid to Dismiss Securities Suit

INSTAGRAM: Seeks Dismissal of Photo-Sharing Policy Class Action
J. M. SMUCKER: Faces Suit Over "All Natural" Products Claim
MERCK: Settles Two Securities Class Actions for $688 Million
NASDAQ OMX: Bid to Remand "Zack" Suit to NY State Court Denied
NAVARRE CORP: Seeks Dismissal of Remaining Merger-Related Suit

NETFLIX INC: Securities Class Suit Dismissed With Leave to Amend
NEW ENGLAND COMPOUNDING: Meningitis Outbreak MDL Hearing in Mass.
NEW YORK: 2nd Suit Over NYPD Stop & Frisk Practice Wins Class Cert
REALTY INCOME: Still Defends Class Suits Over ARCT Acquisition
REXNORD CORP: Awaits OK of Settlement in Zurn Brass Fittings Suit

REXNORD CORP: Zurn Defends Suits Alleging Asbestos Injuries
ROBERT'S AMERICAN: Sued for Using GMOs, Misleading Product Labels
RHYTHM & HUES: Faces Class Action Over Employee Terminations
SEACUBE CONTAINER: Faces Suit Over Proposed Sale to Ontario Ltd
SHELL BRASIL: Offers Millions to Settle Ex-Workers' Class Action

SKILLED HEALTHCARE: Humboldt Suit Injunction Vacated in December
TOYOTA MOTOR: Agrees to Pay $29MM to Resolve Safety Issues Probe
TRANSOCEAN LTD: Judge Approves Criminal Plea as Part of Settlement
TRAVELZOO INC: Still Defends Consolidated Securities Class Suit
UNITED STATES: March 24 Claims Filing Deadline Set for USDA Suit

VISA INC: Visa, MasterCard Win Dismissal of ATM Operators' Suit

* CAFA Rulings Have Broad Implications for Quasi-Class Actions
* Canadian Securities Class Action Filings Down in 2012, NERA Says
* High Court Limits Plaintiffs' Ability to Prosecute Class Actions
* Opt-Outs May Bring US-Style Litigation, King & Wood Firm Says


                           *********


ALLSTATE INSURANCE: Class Suit Launched Over Telemarketing
----------------------------------------------------------
Richard Chen, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated v. Allstate Insurance Company, Case No. 3:13-cv-00685
(N.D. Cal., February 14, 2013), accuses Allstate Insurance of
negligently, knowingly and willfully contacting the Plaintiff on
his cellular telephone in violation of the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act.

Beginning in January 2013, the Defendant contacted him on his
cellular telephone in an attempt to solicit him into purchasing
one of THE Defendant's many insurance policies available, Mr. Chen
alleges.  To date, he asserts, the Defendant has placed no less
than eight calls to his cellular telephone using an automatic
telephone dialing system.

Mr. Chen is a resident of the state of California.

Allstate Insurance provides automobile, property, life and various
other insurance policies to millions of consumers nationwide.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Todd M. Friedman, Esq.
          Nicholas J. Bontrager, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF TODD M. FRIEDMAN, P.C.
          369 S. Doheny Dr. #415
          Beverly Hills, CA 90211
          Telephone: (877) 206-4741
          Facsimile: (866) 633-0228
          E-mail: tfriedman@attorneysforconsumers.com
                  nbontrager@attorneysforconsumers.com

               - and -

          Abbas Kazerounian, Esq.
          Matthew Loker, Esq.
          KAZEROUNI LAW GROUP, APC
          2700 N. Main Street, Ste. 1000
          Santa Ana, CA 92705
          Telephone: (800) 400-6808
          Facsimile: (800) 520-5523
          E-mail: ak@kazig.com
                  ml@kazlg.com

               - and -

          Joshua B. Swigart, Esq.
          HYDE & SWIGART
          411 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 301
          San Diego, CA 92108-3551
          Telephone: (619) 233-7770
          Facsimile: (619) 297-1022
          E-mail: josh@westcoastlitigation.com


ALTERRA CAPITAL: Faces Merger-Related Class Suit in New York
------------------------------------------------------------
Alterra Capital Holdings Limited faces a merger-related class
action lawsuit in New York, according to the Company's
February 11, 2013, Form 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission.

Alterra Capital Holdings Limited entered into an Agreement and
Plan of Merger dated as of December 18, 2012, with Markel
Corporation and Commonwealth Merger Subsidiary Limited, a wholly
owned subsidiary of Markel.  Following the Merger, Alterra Capital
will become a direct, wholly-owned subsidiary of Markel.

On February 8, 2013, a putative class action lawsuit was filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York regarding the Merger.  The complaint, purportedly filed on
behalf of shareholders of Alterra, accuses Alterra, its board,
Markel and Merger Sub of, among other things, violations of the
securities laws and the Bermuda Companies Act.  The complaint
seeks, among other things, to enjoin the defendants from
completing the Merger as currently contemplated.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Clement Sides With Merchants in Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
The National Law Journal reports that former Solicitor General
Paul Clement, usually a pro-business superstar of Supreme Court
advocacy, will argue in an upcoming high court arbitration case --
but not for the party you might think.  Instead of representing
defendant American Express, Mr. Clement will stand up for
merchants who want to pursue a class action antitrust challenge
against credit card "swipe fees."


AMERICAN SUPERCONDUCTOR: Continues to Defend Securities Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
American Superconductor Corporation continues to defend itself
against a consolidated lawsuit arising from its securities
offering, according to the Company's February 11, 2013, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended December 31, 2012.

Between April 6, 2011, and May 12, 2011, seven putative securities
class action complaints were filed against the Company and two of
its officers in the United States District Court for the District
of Massachusetts; one complaint additionally asserted claims
against the underwriters who participated in the Company's
November 12, 2010 securities offering.  On June 7, 2011, the
United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
consolidated these actions under the caption Lenartz v. American
Superconductor Corporation, et al., Docket No. 1:11-cv-10582-WGY.
On August 31, 2011, Lead Plaintiff, the Plumbers and Pipefitters
National Pension Fund, filed a consolidated amended complaint
against the Company, its officers and directors, and the
underwriters who participated in the Company's November 12, 2010
securities offering, asserting claims under sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the
"Exchange Act"), as well as under sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of
the Securities Act of 1933 (the "Securities Act").  The complaint
alleges that during the relevant class period, the Company and its
officers omitted to state material facts and made materially false
and misleading statements relating to, among other things, its
projected and recognized revenues and earnings, as well as its
relationship with Sinovel Wind Group Co., Ltd. that artificially
inflated the value of the Company's stock price.

The complaint further alleges that the Company's November 12, 2010
securities offering contained untrue statements of material facts
and omitted to state material facts required to be stated therein.
The plaintiffs seek unspecified damages, rescindment of the
Company's November 12, 2010 securities offering, and an award of
costs and expenses, including attorney's fees.  All defendants
moved to dismiss the consolidated amended complaint.  On
December 16, 2011, the district court issued a summary order
declining to dismiss the Securities Act claims against the Company
and its officers, and taking under advisement the motion to
dismiss the Exchange Act claims against the Company and its
officers and the motion to dismiss the Securities Act claims made
against the underwriters.  On July 26, 2012, the district court
dismissed the Exchange Act claims against the Company and its
officers and denied the motion to dismiss the Securities Act
claims made against the underwriters.


BMW AG: Recalls 30T SUVs to Fix Oil Leak That Can Hamper Brakes
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports BMW AG is recalling more than 30,000
SUVs to fix an oil leak that can knock out the power-assisted
braking.

The German auto maker said the recall covers X5 SUVs in the U.S.
from the 2007 through 2010 model years.

The Company said a small amount of oil can leak from a brake hose
and cause the power-assisted braking to fail.  The brakes would
still work, but the problem could increase stopping distances and
cause a crash.

BMW said it has no reports of crashes or injuries.  The problem
was discovered when warranty claims increased.

The Company will replace a brake vacuum line hose free of charge.
The recall is expected to start this month.


BOEING CO: Continues to Defend ERISA-Violation Suit in Illinois
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Boeing Company continues to defend itself against a class
action lawsuit in Illinois, according to the Company's
February 11, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On October 13, 2006, the Company was named as a defendant in a
lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of Illinois.  Plaintiffs, seeking to represent a class of
similarly situated participants and beneficiaries in The Boeing
Company Voluntary Investment Plan (the VIP), alleged that fees and
expenses incurred by the VIP were and are unreasonable and
excessive, not incurred solely for the benefit of the VIP and its
participants, and were undisclosed to participants.  The
plaintiffs further alleged that defendants breached their
fiduciary duties in violation of Section 502(a)(2) of the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ("ERISA"), and sought
injunctive and equitable relief pursuant to Section 502(a)(3) of
ERISA.  During the first quarter of 2010, the Seventh Circuit
Court of Appeals granted a stay of trial proceedings in the
district court pending resolution of an appeal made by Boeing in
2008 to the case's class certification order.  On January 21,
2011, the Seventh Circuit reversed the district court's class
certification order and decertified the class.  The Seventh
Circuit remanded the case to the district court for further
proceedings.  On March 2, 2011, plaintiffs filed an amended motion
for class certification and a supplemental motion on August 7,
2011.  Boeing's opposition to class certification was filed on
September 6, 2011.  Plaintiffs' reply brief in support of class
certification was filed on September 27, 2011.  The court has
stated its intent to issue rulings on the amended motion for class
certification and the alternative motion to proceed as a direct
action for breach of fiduciary duty and then stay the case until
it is determined if an appeal of the class certification order is
filed.  As a result, on September 19, 2012, the district court
issued an order denying Boeing's motions for summary judgment as
premature pending class determination.

The Company says it cannot reasonably estimate the range of loss,
if any, that may result from this matter given the current
procedural status of the litigation.


BOEING CO: Oral Argument in Securities Suit Appeals on Feb. 25
--------------------------------------------------------------
Oral argument in the appeals relating to the dismissal of a
securities class action lawsuit against The Boeing Company will be
held on February 25, 2013, according to the Company's
February 11, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On November 13, 2009, plaintiff shareholders filed a putative
securities fraud class action against The Boeing Company and two
of its senior executives in federal district court in Chicago.
This lawsuit arose from the Company's June 2009 announcement that
the first flight of the 787 Dreamliner would be postponed due to a
need to reinforce an area within the side-of-body section of the
aircraft.  Plaintiffs contended that the Company was aware before
June 2009 that the first flight could not take place as scheduled
due to issues with the side-of-body section of the aircraft, and
that the Company's determination not to announce this delay
earlier resulted in an artificial inflation of its stock price for
a multi-week period in May and June 2009.  On March 7, 2011, the
Court dismissed the complaint with prejudice.  On March 19, 2012,
the Court denied the plaintiffs' request to reconsider that order.
On April 12, 2012, plaintiffs filed a Notice of Appeal, and on
April 25, 2012, Boeing filed a Notice of Cross-Appeal based on the
district court's failure to award sanctions against the
plaintiffs.  Oral argument in the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
will be held on February 25, 2013.  The Company expects a decision
by the end of the second quarter of 2013.


BOEING CO: Still Defends ERISA-Violation Class Suits in Kansas
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Boeing Company continues to defend itself against two class
action lawsuits pending in Kansas, according to the Company's
February 11, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

The Company has been named as a defendant in two pending class
action lawsuits filed in the U.S. District Court for the District
of Kansas, each related to the 2005 sale of the Company's former
Wichita facility to Spirit AeroSystems, Inc.  The first action
involves allegations that Spirit's hiring decisions following the
sale were tainted by age discrimination, violated the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, violated the Company's
collective bargaining agreements, and constituted retaliation.
The case was brought in 2006 as a class action on behalf of
individuals not hired by Spirit.  The court granted summary
judgment in 2010 in favor of Boeing and Spirit on all class action
claims, and during the third quarter of 2012 the Tenth Circuit
Court of Appeals affirmed the summary judgment.  The individual
plaintiffs will all have to decide during the first quarter of
2013 whether or not to pursue individual age discrimination
claims.

The second action, initiated in 2007, alleges collective
bargaining agreement breaches and ERISA violations in connection
with alleged failures to provide benefits to certain former
employees of the Wichita facility.  Written discovery closed by
joint stipulation of the parties on June 6, 2011.  Depositions
concluded on August 18, 2011.  Briefing of Boeing's and
Plaintiffs' respective summary judgment motions was completed on
June 4, 2012.  On December 11, 2012, the court denied plaintiffs'
motion for summary judgment and granted Boeing's motion for
summary judgment on plaintiffs' claim that amendment of The Boeing
Company Employee Retirement Plan violated The International
Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) collective
bargaining agreement, as well as individual ERISA Section 510
claims for interference with benefits.  The court denied Boeing's
motion for all other claims.  Spirit has agreed to indemnify
Boeing for any and all losses in the first action, with the
exception of claims arising from employment actions prior to
January 1, 2005.

While Spirit has acknowledged a limited indemnification obligation
in the second action, the Company believes that Spirit is
obligated to indemnify Boeing for any and all losses in the second
action.  The Company cannot reasonably estimate the range of loss,
if any, that may result from these matters given the current
procedural status of the litigation.


CANADA: Disabled Veterans Challenge Class Action Attorney Fees
--------------------------------------------------------------
Alison Auld, writing for The Winnipeg Free Press, reports that
federal lawyers argued on Feb. 15 that attorneys who won a class-
action lawsuit for disabled veterans shouldn't get C$66.6 million
in fees despite criticism from the former military members that
Ottawa alone caused the case to drag through the courts.

Dozens of veterans and their spouses listened to final arguments
in Federal Court on the proposed C$887.8-million settlement
between the former military members and the federal government
over their clawed-back pension benefits.

Judge Robert Barnes reserved his decision on whether to approve
the deal, which was reached last month after a five-year legal
fight.

The Crown argued the three lawyers who took on the case on behalf
of 7,500 veterans were charging 21 times the normal hourly rate
for their services over five years.

But one veteran dismissed the claim, saying the federal government
challenged the case every step of the way and rejected repeated
attempts to settle it without going to court.

"The federal government took our money from us and now they're
trying to tell us how to spend our money," Steve Dornan, who has
post-traumatic stress disorder and incurable cancer, said outside
the hearing room.

"So, you didn't want us to have the money in the first place.  Now
you're telling us that we're spending too much on our lawyers that
got us the money.  It's ridiculous."

Dennis Manuge launched the lawsuit in 2007 on behalf of himself
and other disabled Canadian veterans whose long-term disability
benefits were reduced by the amount of the monthly Veterans
Affairs disability pensions they received.

The federal government fought the initial class-action
certification, appealed a certification decision in 2008 and
didn't alter the clawback after it was condemned by the military
ombudsman, the Senate and through a motion in the House of Commons
that said the offset should end.

The Federal Court ultimately ruled last spring it was unfair of
the federal government to treat pain-and-suffering awards as
income.

Defence Minister Peter MacKay said the government wouldn't appeal
and appointed a negotiator to cut a deal.

The legal fees became a contentious issue last week after MacKay
called them "grossly excessive," which Crown attorney Paul Vickery
restated on the last day of the two-day hearing.

Mr. Vickery said the three principal lawyers handling the
veterans' case logged about 8,600 hours and the hourly rate for
one of them amounted to about C$13,400.

"This fee request is plainly excessive and should not be
approved," he said.

He argued in other large class-action lawsuits, such as the $4-
billion native residential school and C$2-billion tainted-blood
settlements, lawyers were paid a far lower rate.

The settlement of the class-action suit in residential schools
could see as much as C$85 million to C$100 million paid to
lawyers, while the tainted-blood scandal saw a C$52-million legal
bill.

Ward Branch, a lawyer for the veterans, said the law firm
voluntarily reduced its fee to 7.5 per cent of the total award,
down from the original contract amount of 30 per cent.

"What made me comfortable about what we were requesting is that
the class was behind us," Mr. Branch said.

Several veterans said at the hearing the deal should include
damages and arrangements should be made to prevent them from
having to pay higher taxes after receiving their retroactive
payments under the deal.

The deal includes C$424.3 million in retroactive pay to veterans
and dates back to 1976.

"We saw overwhelming support from the class and they stood behind
us here."


CANADIAN IMPERIAL: Delaware Vice Chancellor Approves Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Litigation Daily reports that Delaware Vice Chancellor J.
Travis Laster has approved a $13.25 million settlement of a class
action filed over a fund created by Canadian Imperial Bank of
Commerce.  Mr. Laster refused to let objecting investors take over
the case and try to get a better deal.  The objectors had followed
a novel "topping" proposal suggested by Mr. Laster, but the judge
rejected the deal because of the involvement of a litigation
financing firm.


CARLYLE GMS: Awaits Court Decision in "Detroit" Class Suit
----------------------------------------------------------
Carlyle GMS Finance, Inc. is awaiting a court decision in the
class action lawsuit pending in Massachusetts, according to the
Company's February 11, 2013, Form 10-12G filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.

On February 14, 2008, a private class-action lawsuit challenging
"club" bids and other alleged anti-competitive business practices
was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts (Police and Fire Retirement System of the City of
Detroit v. Apollo Global Management, LLC).  The complaint alleges,
among other things, that certain global alternative asset firms,
including Carlyle, violated Section 1 of the Sherman Act by
forming multi-sponsor consortiums for the purpose of bidding
collectively in company buyout auctions in certain going private
transactions, which the plaintiffs allege constitutes a
"conspiracy in restraint of trade."  The plaintiffs seek damages
as provided for in Section 4 of the Clayton Act and injunction
against such conduct in restraint of trade in the future.
Arguments on summary judgment of these claims were held in
December 2012.


CARLYLE GMS: Awaits Rulings in Suits Pending in D.C. and N.Y.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Carlyle GMS Finance, Inc. is awaiting court decisions on
plaintiffs' motions for leave to amend complaint in the class
action lawsuits pending in the District of Columbia and New York,
according to the Company's February 11, 2013, Form 10-12G filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Carlyle Capital Corporation Limited ("CCC") was a fund sponsored
by Carlyle that invested in AAA-rated residential mortgage backed
securities on a highly leveraged basis.  In March of 2008, amidst
turmoil throughout the mortgage markets and money markets, CCC
filed for insolvency protection in Guernsey.  Several different
lawsuits, including a class action lawsuit, developed from the CCC
insolvency.

On June 21, 2011, August 24, 2011, and September 1, 2011, three
putative shareholder class actions were filed against Carlyle,
certain of its affiliates and former directors of CCC alleging
that the fund offering materials and various public disclosures
were materially misleading or omitted material information.  Two
of the shareholder class actions, (Phelps v. Stomber, et al. and
Glaubach v. Carlyle Capital Corporation Limited, et al.), were
filed in the United States District Court for the District of
Columbia.  Phelps v. Stomber, et al. was also filed in the Supreme
Court of New York, New York County, and was subsequently removed
to the United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York.  The two original D.C. cases were consolidated into one
case, under the caption of Phelps v. Stomber, and the Phelps named
plaintiffs were designated "lead plaintiffs" by the court.  The
New York case was transferred to the D.C. federal court and the
plaintiffs requested that it be consolidated with the other two
D.C. actions.  The plaintiffs were seeking all compensatory
damages sustained as a result of the alleged misrepresentations,
costs and expenses, as well as reasonable attorney's fees.

On August 13, 2012, the United States District Court for the
District of Columbia dismissed both the D.C. and New York class
actions.  The plaintiffs have moved for leave to amend their
complaint and/or for amendment of the Court's decision, and the
defendants have opposed these motions.  The plaintiffs also have
noticed an appeal to the Court of Appeals for the District of
Columbia Circuit, but the appeal is being held in abeyance until
the District Court resolves pending motions.


CHINESE PHARMA: Vit. C Class Action Scheduled for Trial This Month
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Litigation Daily reports that a judge delivered mostly good
news on Feb. 8 for customers of Chinese-made vitamin C and their
lawyers at Boies, Schiller & Flexner and Susman Godfrey, keeping
an eight-year-old price-fixing class action on track for a
scheduled trial later this month against a quintet of Chinese
pharmaceutical companies.


DEWEY & LEBOEUF: Loses Bid to Dismiss Ex-Workers' Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
Sara Randazzo, writing for The Am Law Daily, reports that the
Dewey & LeBoeuf estate has failed in its effort to squelch a
proposed class action that claims the firm gave 550 employees
inadequate notice before terminating them weeks before filing for
Chapter 11 protection on May 28, 2012.

In a ruling issued on Feb. 11, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Martin Glenn
denied the Dewey estate's motion to dismiss the suit, which seeks
60 days of wages and benefits for those affected by the layoffs.
Vittoria Conn, a former Dewey staff member employed in the firm's
documents department, filed the suit in New York federal court
May 10, 2012 -- three days after she was terminated and about two
weeks before the firm filed for bankruptcy.  The suit, which is
based on state and federal laws related to the federal Worker
Adjustment and Retraining Notification, or WARN, Act, was
transferred to bankruptcy court on May 29 as a so-called adversary
proceeding.

In allowing the case to continue, Judge Glenn disagreed with the
two primary arguments offered by lawyers for the Dewey estate:
that the former employees' grievances should be brought as part of
the regular bankruptcy claims process rather than as an adversary
proceeding, and that there is no basis for a WARN suit to qualify
as a class action.

Judge Glenn also chided Dewey's lawyers for raising issues he
deemed irrelevant in a motion to dismiss, including the estate's
position that the firm was not required to comply with the WARN
Act because it was no longer operating as a viable business at the
time it laid off the workers in question.  "While the Debtor may
ultimately prevail on the liquidating fiduciary affirmative
defense, or some other defense, the defenses are not established
as a matter of law from the four corners of the Complaint," Judge
Glenn wrote.

Judge Glenn did not rule on whether the case should proceed as a
class action.  That issue, he said, would be considered at a
hearing scheduled for March 28.

Outside of New York, WARN-related class actions have advanced in
at least two other law firm bankruptcies.  Employees terminated by
Heller Ehrman, which filed for bankruptcy in San Francisco in
2008, received between 24 and 33 cents on the dollar for $13.2
million in WARN Act and other claims.  Former Howrey employees
laid off prior to that firm's 2011 dissolution recently received
the go-ahead from San Francisco U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis
Montali to proceed with a WARN class action of their own.

Ms. Conn's attorneys at Outten & Golden -- who were passed over as
counsel in the Howrey suit in favor of Los Angeles firm Blum
Collins -- did not immediately respond to a request for comment on
Feb. 12 on Judge Glenn's ruling in the Dewey suit.

A spokeswoman for the Dewey estate declined to comment.

In denying the motion to dismiss, Judge Glenn also chose not to
rule on the plaintiffs' argument that their claims should be given
either administrative expense or wage priority status.  He wrote
that such a determination can only be made in the context of
Dewey's bankruptcy and not in an adversary case.

Dewey's advisers are in the process of winning creditor approval
for a Chapter 11 plan that, once confirmed, would put the case in
the hands of two liquidating trustees tasked with maximizing the
defunct firm's remaining assets.  A hearing at which Judge Glenn
will consider that plan is scheduled for February 27.


DIRECTSAT USA: Ruling May Pave for Stricter Certification Rules
---------------------------------------------------------------
According to an article by Laurent Badoux, Esq. --
lbadoux@littler.com -- Adam Wit, Esq. -- awit@littler.com -- James
Oh, Esq. -- joh@littler.com -- and Kathryn Siegel, Esq. --
ksiegel@littler.com -- of Littler Mendelson, available at Mondaq
News Alerts, in a decision that may significantly impact
certification and decertification decisions in FLSA collective
actions, a three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of
Appeals upheld the decertification of a Rule 23 class and FLSA
collective action, essentially applying the standards set forth by
the U.S. Supreme Court in Dukes v. Wal-Mart to an FLSA collective
action.

In Espenscheid v. DirectSat USA, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 2409 (7th
Cir. Feb. 4, 2013), Judge Posner, writing for the panel, expressly
stated that "despite the difference between a collective action
and a class action and the absence from the collective-action
section of the Fair Labor Standards Act the kind of detailed
procedural provisions found in Rule 23, there isn't a good reason
to have different standards for the certification of the two
different types of action. . . ."  Noting that simplification is
favored in the law and that one of the intentions of both FLSA
collective actions and Rule 23 class actions is to promote
efficiency, the court concluded that "we can, with no distortion
in our analysis, treat the entire set of suits before us as if it
were a single class action."

Thus, in deciding the propriety of class treatment for both the
Rule 23 and FLSA claims, without specifically citing Dukes, the
Seventh Circuit adopted the Supreme Court's rejection of "trial by
formula" in class actions seeking back pay awards. As in Dukes,
the Seventh Circuit rejected a "formulaic" approach and concluded
that determining damages would require separate evidentiary
hearings for each of the 2,341 putative class members, which would
overwhelm the district court.  The court also rejected plaintiffs'
proposal that testimony at trial from 42 "representative" members
of the class would suffice to establish liability and damages: "To
extrapolate from the experience of the 42 to that of the 2,341
would require that all 2,341 have done roughly the same amount of
work, including the same amount of overtime work, and had been
paid the same wage."  In the absence of a feasible method of
trying a class action with so many variances in each employee's
situation, the court concluded, class treatment was inappropriate.

This decision is particularly significant in light of the
increasingly high volume of FLSA collective actions filed in
federal court each year (2,507 in 2012, which constituted an 8%
increase from 2011 and over 90% of all employment class action
filed), and the lenient standard typically applied to conditional
certification of FLSA collective actions, in contrast to the more
stringent standards applied to Rule 23 class actions.

                            Background

Espenscheid was filed on behalf of 2,341 installation technicians
who were paid on a piece-rate basis, rather than a fixed hourly
wage, asserting overtime claims under the FLSA and three state
wage laws.  In 2010, the district court had conditionally
certified a class under the FLSA and three state law subclasses
under Rule 23.  As the case proceeded towards trial, however, the
district court judge became concerned about the manageability of
the case at trial and asked the plaintiffs to address these
concerns in their trial plans.  The plaintiffs proposed to have 42
"representative" technicians testify as representatives for the
subclasses.  The plaintiffs envisioned that after hearing the
testimony of the 42 "representative class members" the jury would
calculate the "average" number of uncompensated hours in each work
week, and the parties would then use the jury's averages to
determine the damages owed.  The district court judge found the
plaintiffs' proposal unfeasible and determined that the case could
not proceed as a class, concluding that "were the jury to rule in
plaintiffs' favor under its proposed plan, the jury would have to
do so on the basis of proof that is not representative of the
whole class, and defendants would be deprived of an opportunity to
assert their individualized defenses . . . ." The case was
decertified and the plaintiffs appealed.

                  The Seventh Circuit's Decision

The Seventh Circuit panel affirmed decertification, agreeing that
the plan proffered by the plaintiffs was unfeasible.  "There would
be no problem," the court noted, "had the plaintiffs been seeking
just injunctive or declaratory relief, because then the only issue
would have been whether DirectSat had acted unlawfully."  A
"mechanical" calculation of damages was not possible in the
situation presented because no formula could capture the variances
between the class members.  The technicians were paid on a piece-
rate, with some working more efficiently than others, so that
while some may have worked more than 40 hours per week, others may
have worked fewer hours than that.  Moreover, different
technicians performed different tasks, which may have required
different amounts of time.

The Seventh Circuit agreed with the district court that
"representative" testimony was not an acceptable alternative to
individualized damages hearings because the plaintiffs failed to
present any evidence that the representative class members were in
fact "representative:"

"The plaintiffs proposed to get around the problem of variance by
presenting testimony at trial from 42 'representative' members of
the class.  Class counsel has not explained in his briefs, and was
unable to explain to us at the oral argument though pressed
repeatedly, how these 'representatives' were chosen -- whether for
example they were volunteers, or perhaps selected by class counsel
after extensive interviews and hand-picked to magnify the damages
sought by the class.  There is no suggestion that sampling methods
used in statistical analysis were employed to create a random
sample of class members to be the witnesses, or more precisely
random samples, each one composed of victims of a particular type
of alleged violation.  And even if the 42, though not a random
sample, turned out by pure happenstance to be representative in
the sense that the number of hours they worked per week on average
when they should have been paid (or paid more) but were not was
equal to the average number of hours of the entire class, this
would not enable the damages of any members of the class other
than the 42 to be calculated.  To extrapolate from the experience
of the 42 to that of the 2341 would require that all 2341 have
done roughly the same amount of work, including the same amount of
overtime work, and had been paid the same wage . . . . No one
thinks there was such uniformity.

The Seventh Circuit concluded that "if class counsel is incapable
of proposing a feasible litigation plan though asked to do so, the
judge's duty is at an end."  Noting that plaintiffs' counsel
likely believed that if the class was certified the employer would
settle and thus a trial would be avoided, the court emphasized
that "class counsel cannot be permitted to force settlement by
refusing to agree to a reasonable method of trial should
settlement negotiations fail.  Essentially they asked the district
judge to embark on a shapeless, free-wheeling trial that would
combine liability and damages and would be virtually evidence-free
so far as damages were concerned."

Significantly, the Seventh Circuit also noted that there is a
"promising alternative to class action treatment" that the
plaintiffs had seemingly ignored.  The plaintiffs could have, the
court stated, complained directly to the U.S. Department of Labor
(DOL) and obtained monetary relief through that avenue, if they
had not been properly paid.  Pointing to a report by Littler
attorney Laurent Badoux,1 Judge Posner pointed out that the DOL
collected $225 million in back wages for employees in 2011, and
noted the DOL's ability to supplement employee testimony with the
results of its own investigation of employers.

Littler is presenting similar arguments in a mandamus petition
pending in the Fifth Circuit, and will continue to monitor
developments in this fast-changing area of the law.  It will be
particularly important to note whether other courts follow the
lead of the Seventh Circuit and begin to apply similar
certification standards to FLSA collective actions as they do to
Rule 23 class actions.

Littler Mendelson -- http://www.littler.com-- is the largest law
firm in the United States exclusively devoted to representing
management in employment, employee benefits and labor law matters.


EI DU PONT: To Replace Trees as Part of Herbicide Settlement
------------------------------------------------------------
Saranac Hale Spencer, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, reports
that DuPont has agreed to replace tens of thousands of trees
killed by its herbicide, Imprelis, across the country as part of a
settlement agreement that got preliminary approval from a federal
judge this month.

The settlement, filed in October 2012, was the product of months
of discussion and mediation from a retired magistrate judge,
according to the opinion.

"The settlement program appears to reflect a meaningful attempt to
make property owners quite close to whole for the damage caused to
them," said U.S. District Judge Gene E.K. Pratter of the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania.

DuPont started selling Imprelis, an herbicide that was designed to
kill only selected weeds without hurting other vegetation, in fall
2010.  Soon after, there came reports of unintended damage to
plants, which led to an investigation by the Environmental
Protection Agency and thousands of lawsuits.

Although DuPont offered its own claim resolution process, the
plaintiffs pursued their lawsuits "alleging consumer fraud and
consumer protection act violations, breach of express and/or
implied warranty, negligence, strict products liability, nuisance,
and trespass claims based on the laws of numerous states," Judge
Judge Pratter said.

In October 2011, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
consolidated more than 40 cases brought in 18 districts against
DuPont.

The settlement splits the plaintiffs into three classes: property
owners; applicators, people who applied Imprelis to others'
property; and golf courses and other self-applicators.  Property
owners and self-applicators will get replacement trees for the
ones that died and DuPont will pay for the removal of damaged
trees.  They will also get tree care and maintenance payments and
additional compensation for incidental damage that will be 15
percent of the total value of what the class member is getting
under the terms of the settlement, according to the opinion.

Members of the self-applicator class will also get reimbursement
for the time and expense of investigating and documenting damage
from Imprelis, with a $2,000 cap on those claims, according to the
opinion.

The applicator class will be paid for "customer site visits, field
work, and other such expenses," Judge Pratter said.  Participation
in the settlement won't bar members of the class from making
claims for lost profits or for damages that may come from suits
brought against them by third parties, she said.

DuPont is set to pay for expenses in administering the notice and
claims as well as attorney fees for the plaintiffs, not to exceed
$6.5 million and $500,000 in costs.

Robert Kitchenoff -- kitchenoff@wka-law.com -- of Weinstein
Kitchenoff & Asher in Philadelphia, liaison counsel for the
plaintiffs, called the settlement a "great deal for the class
members."  DuPont's attorneys could not be reached for comment.


EQUITY RESIDENTIAL: Faces Class Action Over Nonrefundable $500 Fee
------------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Equity Residential Management
defrauds renters in Boston's West End Apartments by charging them
a nonrefundable $500 "move in" fee, asserts a class action in
Suffolk County Court.


FACEBOOK INC: Judge Outlines Reasons for Dismissing IPO Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
The Litigation Daily reports that a New York federal judge filled
70 pages on Feb. 13 listing his reasons for throwing out
shareholder derivative claims over Facebook's much-maligned IPO,
and in a brief passage also reached a series of conclusions that
could cast a pall over the entire IPO litigation -- including the
much larger securities class action portion of the case.


GLOBECOMM SYSTEMS: "Wenz" Shareholder Suit Discontinued in Nov.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Harvey and Joan Wenz voluntarily discontinued in November 2012
their class action lawsuit against Globecomm Systems Inc.,
according to the Company's February 11, 2013, Form 10-Q filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended December 31, 2012.

On October 11, 2012, Harvey Wenz filed a purported shareholder
class action complaint in New York State Supreme Court, Suffolk
County, captioned Wenz v. Globecomm Systems Inc., et al., Index
No. 031747/2012 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Suffolk County), seeking to enjoin
the annual shareholder meeting of the Company scheduled for
November 15, 2012, until the Company made certain additional
disclosures.  On October 22, 2012, the complaint was amended to
add as a plaintiff Joan Wenz, another purported shareholder of the
Company.  Plaintiffs alleged that the Directors of the Company
breached their fiduciary duties by failing to disclose in the
Company's October 5, 2012 Definitive Proxy Statement certain
information concerning proposals in the Proxy to (i) amend the
2006 Stock Incentive Plan, and (ii) provide stockholders with a
non-binding, advisory vote on the Company's compensation program
for its named executives.  The lawsuit also alleged that the
Company aided and abetted these alleged breaches of fiduciary
duty.  In addition to an injunction, plaintiffs sought unspecified
damages and attorneys' fees.  On November 2, 2012, plaintiffs
moved by order to show cause for a preliminary injunction
enjoining the November 15, 2012 shareholder vote as the two
proposals.  The court denied plaintiffs' motion for a preliminary
injunction on November 14, 2012.  On November 29, 2012, plaintiffs
voluntarily discontinued the action with prejudice as to
themselves and without prejudice as to all other Globecomm
shareholders.


GO DADDY: Women Face Uphill Battle in Revenge Porn Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
Martha Neil, writing for ABA Journal, reports that experts say
a class action against Go Daddy and Texxxan.com are unlikely to
prevail.

First comes the request for explicit photos from a trusted
boyfriend.  Then, after the relationship goes bad, the public
posting of the pictures on so-called "revenge porn" sites, often
accompanied by personal information and shaming comments from
strangers.

Once publicized on the Internet, of course, there is little, if
any, chance that the photos can ever be entirely eliminated from
public view.  So 17 women who say they suffered such a humiliating
invasion of their privacy have tried a different remedy, suing the
Web site and Web hosting organization that they claim are
responsible for facilitating the conduct.  In a lawsuit filed last
month in state district court in Orange County, Texas, the group,
led by Hollie Toups, 32, seeks damages against GoDaddy.com and
Texxxan.com for monetary damages, according to a lengthy San
Francisco Chronicle article and USA Today.

"These plaintiffs seek to recover their actual damages that
include their severe mental anguish and emotional distress with
physical manifestations that affect their daily lives and
routines, humiliation, fear and other non-economic damages, and
also their economic damages," the lawsuit states.

They are unlikely to prevail against Go Daddy, since the
Communications Decency Act of 1996 protects Web hosts from
liability for third-party content, experts tells the newspapers.
And even the case against the site itself could well be a loser.

In an e-mail to the Chronicle using a pseudonym, an owner of
Texxan.com called the suit "completely bogus" and said one's
expectation of privacy is reduced or eliminated by sending nude or
semi-nude photographs to others.

Go Daddy does not comment on pending litigation, a representative
told USA Today.

Nonetheless, it appears that a winning argument might be made for
a cutting-edge reassessment of the current understanding of the
parameters of relevant law, based on what assistant professor Mary
Anne Franks of the University of Miami points out is harassment
directed almost exclusively at women.  "It's an incredibly ugly
statement about society when you put that in a larger context of
discrimination and power," she tells the Chronicle.

Not every woman who is featured on such sites voluntarily provided
photos to others.  Lead plaintiff Toups says her photos, some of
which were to document weight loss, never left her possession.

And the damages go beyond mere humiliation.  One of the
plaintiffs, Marianna Taschinger, 22, tells the newspaper she is
worried about her personal safety.

"Normal people don't subscribe to sites like this," she says.
"Only creeps.  Knowing that those are the kinds of people who know
where I live . . . I never feel safe."


HAIN CELESTIAL: Hearing in "Morrison" Suit Set for March 7
----------------------------------------------------------
A hearing on the parties' pending motions in the class action
lawsuit styled Morrison and Kist. v. The Hain Celestial Group,
Inc. et al., is currently scheduled for March 7, 2013, according
to the Company's February 11, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
December 31, 2012.

On October 11, 2012, a putative class action lawsuit, titled
Morrison and Kist. v. The Hain Celestial Group, Inc. et al, was
filed against the Company and each of its directors in the Supreme
Court of the State of New York, County of Nassau.  Plaintiffs
alleged that the board of directors breached its fiduciary duties
in respect of the proxy statement disclosure relating to the
proposals for the advisory vote regarding executive compensation
and the amendment to the Amended and Restated 2002 Long Term
Incentive and Stock Award Plan.  The complaint sought injunctive
relief and damages.  On November 14, 2012, the court denied
plaintiffs' motion for a temporary restraining order relating to
the Company's Annual Meeting of Stockholders, finding that
plaintiffs failed to establish that the allegedly non-disclosed
information was material and that plaintiffs could not show any
irreparable harm.

On December 12, 2012, plaintiffs moved to amend their complaint
and, on January 15, 2013, the Company and the directors moved to
dismiss the lawsuit.  A hearing on the parties' motions is
currently scheduled for March 7, 2013.


HALLIBURTON CO: Continues to Defend Suit Over Duncan Facility
-------------------------------------------------------------
Halliburton Company continues to defend itself against a class
action lawsuit relating to the Company's Duncan, Oklahoma
facility, according to the Company's February 11, 2013, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

Commencing in October 2011, a number of lawsuits were filed
against the Company, including a putative class action case in
federal court in the Western District of Oklahoma and other
lawsuits filed in Oklahoma state courts.  The lawsuits generally
allege, among other things, that operations at the Company's
Duncan facility caused releases of pollutants, including ammonium
perchlorate and, in the case of the federal lawsuit, nuclear or
radioactive waste, into the groundwater, and that the Company knew
about those releases and did not take corrective actions to
address them.  It is also alleged that the plaintiffs have
suffered from certain health conditions, including hypothyroidism,
a condition that has been associated with exposure to perchlorate
at sufficiently high doses over time.  These cases seek, among
other things, damages, including punitive damages, and the
establishment of a fund for future medical monitoring. The cases
allege, among other things, strict liability, trespass, private
nuisance, public nuisance, and negligence and, in the case of the
federal lawsuit, violations of the U.S. Resource Conservation and
Recovery Act (RCRA), resulting in personal injuries, property
damage, and diminution of property value.

The lawsuits generally allege that the cleaning of the missile
casings at the Duncan facility contaminated the surrounding soils
and groundwater, including certain water wells used in a number of
residential homes, through the migration of, among other things,
ammonium perchlorate.  The federal lawsuit also alleges that the
Company's processing of radioactive waste from a nuclear power
plant over 25 years ago resulted in the release of
"nuclear/radioactive" waste into the environment.  In April 2012,
the judge in the federal lawsuit dismissed the plaintiffs' RCRA
claim.  The other claims brought in that lawsuit remain pending.

To date, soil and groundwater sampling relating to the allegations
has confirmed that the alleged nuclear or radioactive material is
confined to the soil in a discrete area of the onsite operations
and is not presently believed to be in the groundwater onsite or
in any areas offsite.  The radiological impacts from this discrete
area are not believed to present any health risk for offsite
exposure.  With respect to ammonium perchlorate, the Company has
made arrangements to supply affected residents with bottled
drinking water and, if needed, with access to temporary public
water supply lines, at no cost to the residents.  The Company has
worked with the City of Duncan and the Oklahoma Department of
Environmental Quality (DEQ) to expedite expansion of the city
water supply to the relevant areas at the Company's expense.

The Company says the lawsuits are at an early stage, and
additional lawsuits and proceedings may be brought against the
Company.  The Company cannot predict their outcome or the
consequences thereof.  As of December 31, 2012, the Company had
accrued $25 million related to its initial estimate of response
efforts, third-party property damage, and remediation related to
the Duncan, Oklahoma matter.  The Company intends to vigorously
defend the lawsuits and does not believe that these lawsuits will
have a material adverse effect on its liquidity, consolidated
results of operations, or consolidated financial condition.

Additionally, the Company has subsidiaries that have been named as
potentially responsible parties along with other third parties for
nine federal and state superfund sites for which the Company has
established reserves.  As of December 31, 2012, those nine sites
accounted for approximately $6 million of the Company's $72
million total environmental reserve.  Despite attempts to resolve
these superfund matters, the relevant regulatory agency may at any
time bring a lawsuit against the Company for amounts in excess of
the amount accrued.  With respect to some superfund sites, the
Company has been named a potentially responsible party by a
regulatory agency; however, in each of those cases, the Company
does not believe it has any material liability.  The Company also
could be subject to third-party claims with respect to
environmental matters for which it has been named as a potentially
responsible party.


HALLIBURTON CO: First Phase in Macondo MDL Trial to Start Feb. 25
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The first phase of the trial in the multidistrict litigation
over the Macondo well incident is scheduled to occur beginning
February 25, 2013, according to Halliburton Company's
February 11 Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

The semisubmersible drilling rig, Deepwater Horizon, sank on April
22, 2010, after an explosion and fire onboard the rig that began
on April 20, 2010.  The Deepwater Horizon was owned by Transocean
Ltd. and had been drilling the Macondo exploration well in
Mississippi Canyon Block 252 in the Gulf of Mexico for the lease
operator, BP Exploration & Production, Inc. (BP Exploration), an
indirect wholly owned subsidiary of BP p.l.c. (BP p.l.c., BP
Exploration, and their affiliates, collectively, BP).  There were
eleven fatalities and a number of injuries as a result of the
Macondo well incident.  Crude oil escaping from the Macondo well
site spread across thousands of square miles of the Gulf of Mexico
and reached the United States Gulf Coast.  The Company performed a
variety of services for BP Exploration, including cementing, mud
logging, directional drilling, measurement-while-drilling, and rig
data acquisition services.

Since April 21, 2010, plaintiffs have been filing lawsuits
relating to the Macondo well incident.  Generally, those lawsuits
allege either (1) damages arising from the oil spill pollution and
contamination (e.g., diminution of property value, lost tax
revenue, lost business revenue, lost tourist dollars, inability to
engage in recreational or commercial activities), or (2) wrongful
death or personal injuries.  The Company is named along with other
unaffiliated defendants in more than 400 complaints, most of which
are alleged class actions, involving pollution damage claims and
at least seven personal injury lawsuits involving four decedents
and at least 10 allegedly injured persons who were on the drilling
rig at the time of the incident.  At least six additional lawsuits
naming the Company and others relate to alleged personal injuries
sustained by those responding to the explosion and oil spill.
Plaintiffs originally filed the lawsuits in federal and state
courts throughout the United States.  Except for certain lawsuits
not yet consolidated, the Judicial Panel on Multi-District
Litigation ordered all of the lawsuits against the Company
consolidated in the MDL proceeding before Judge Carl Barbier in
the United States Eastern District of Louisiana.  The pollution
complaints generally allege, among other things, negligence and
gross negligence, property damages, taking of protected species,
and potential economic losses as a result of environmental
pollution and generally seek awards of unspecified economic,
compensatory, and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief.
Plaintiffs in these pollution cases have brought lawsuit under
various legal provisions, including The Oil Pollution Act of 1990
(OPA), The Clean Water Act (CWA), The Migratory Bird Treaty Act of
1918 (MBTA), the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA), the Outer
Continental Shelf Land (OCSLA), the Longshoremen and Harbor
Workers Compensation Act, general maritime law, state common law,
and various state environmental and products liability statutes.

Furthermore, the pollution complaints include lawsuits brought
against the Company by governmental entities, including the State
of Alabama, the State of Louisiana, Plaquemines Parish, the City
of Greenville, and three Mexican states.  Complaints brought
against the Company by at least seven other parishes in Louisiana
were dismissed with prejudice, and the dismissal is being appealed
by those parishes.  The wrongful death and other personal injury
complaints generally allege negligence and gross negligence and
seek awards of compensatory damages, including unspecified
economic damages, and punitive damages.  The Company has retained
counsel and its investigating and evaluating the claims, the
theories of recovery, damages asserted, and the Company's
respective defenses to all of these claims.

Judge Barbier is also presiding over a separate proceeding filed
by Transocean under the Limitation of Liability Act (Limitation
Action).  In the Limitation Action, Transocean seeks to limit its
liability for claims arising out of the Macondo well incident to
the value of the rig and its freight.  While the Limitation Action
has been formally consolidated into the MDL, the court is
nonetheless, in some respects, treating the Limitation Action as
an associated but separate proceeding.  In February 2011,
Transocean tendered the Company, along with all other defendants,
into the Limitation Action.  As a result of the tender, the
Company and all other defendants will be treated as direct
defendants to the plaintiffs' claims as if the plaintiffs had sued
the Company and the other defendants directly.  In the Limitation
Action, the judge intends to determine the allocation of liability
among all defendants in the hundreds of lawsuits associated with
the Macondo well incident, including those in the MDL proceeding
that are pending in his court.  Specifically, the Company believes
the judge will determine the liability, limitation, exoneration,
and fault allocation with regard to all of the defendants in a
trial, which is scheduled to occur in at least two phases
beginning on February 25, 2013.  The first phase of this portion
of the trial is scheduled to cover issues arising out of the
conduct and degree of culpability of various parties allegedly
relevant to the loss of well control, the ensuing fire and
explosion on and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon, and the
initiation of the release of hydrocarbons from the Macondo well.
The MDL court has projected September 2013 for the beginning of
the second phase of this portion of the trial, which is scheduled
to cover actions relating to attempts to control the flow of
hydrocarbons from the well and the quantification of hydrocarbons
discharged from the well.  Subsequent proceedings would be held to
the extent triable issues remain unsolved by the first two phases
of the trial, settlements, motion practice, or stipulation.  While
the Department of Justice (DOJ) will participate in the first two
phases of the trial with regard to BP's conduct and the amount of
hydrocarbons discharged from the well, it is anticipated that the
DOJ's civil action for the CWA and OPA violations, fines, and
penalties will be addressed by the court in a subsequent
proceeding.  The Company does not believe that a single
apportionment of liability in the Limitation Action is properly
applied, particularly with respect to gross negligence and
punitive damages, to the hundreds of lawsuits pending in the MDL
proceeding.

Damages for the cases tried in the MDL proceeding, including
punitive damages, are expected to be tried following the two
phases of the trial.  Under ordinary MDL procedures, such cases
would, unless waived by the respective parties, be tried in the
courts from which they were transferred into the MDL.  It remains
unclear, however, what impact the overlay of the Limitation Action
will have on where these matters are tried.  Document discovery
and depositions among the parties to the MDL are ongoing.

In April and May 2011, certain defendants in the proceedings filed
numerous cross claims and third party claims against certain other
defendants.  BP Exploration and BP America Production Company
filed claims against the Company seeking subrogation,
contribution, including with respect to liabilities under the OPA,
and direct damages, and alleging negligence, gross negligence,
fraudulent conduct, and fraudulent concealment.  Transocean filed
claims against the Company seeking indemnification, and
subrogation and contribution, including with respect to
liabilities under the OPA and for the total loss of the Deepwater
Horizon, and alleging comparative fault and breach of warranty of
workmanlike performance.  Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and
Anadarko E&P Company LP (together, Anadarko), filed claims against
the Company seeking tort indemnity and contribution, and alleging
negligence, gross negligence and willful misconduct, and MOEX
Offshore 2007 LLC (MOEX), who had an approximate 10% interest in
the Macondo well at the time of the incident, filed a claim
against the Company alleging negligence.  Cameron International
Corporation (Cameron) (the manufacturer and designer of the
blowout preventer), M-I Swaco (provider of drilling fluids and
services, among other things), Weatherford U.S. L.P. and
Weatherford International, Inc. (together, Weatherford) (providers
of casing components, including float equipment and centralizers,
and services), and Dril-Quip, Inc. (Dril-Quip) (provider of
wellhead systems), each filed claims against the Company seeking
indemnification and contribution, including with respect to
liabilities under the OPA in the case of Cameron, and alleging
negligence.  Additional civil lawsuits may be filed against the
Company.  In addition to the claims against the Company, generally
the defendants in the proceedings filed claims, including for
liabilities under the OPA and other similar claims, against the
other defendants.  BP has since announced that it has settled
those claims between it and each of MOEX, Weatherford, Anadarko,
and Cameron.  Also, BP and M-I Swaco have dismissed all claims
between them.

In April 2011, the Company filed claims against BP Exploration, BP
p.l.c. and BP America Production Company (BP Defendants), M-I
Swaco, Cameron, Anadarko, MOEX, Weatherford, Dril-Quip, and
numerous entities involved in the post-blowout remediation and
response efforts, in each case seeking contribution and
indemnification and alleging negligence.  The Company's claims
also alleged gross negligence and willful misconduct on the part
of the BP Defendants, Anadarko, and Weatherford.  The Company also
filed claims against M-I Swaco and Weatherford for contractual
indemnification, and against Cameron, Weatherford and Dril-Quip
for strict products liability, although the court has since issued
orders dismissing all claims asserted against Dril-Quip and
Weatherford in the MDL and the Company has dismissed its
contractual indemnification claim against M-I Swaco.  The Company
filed its answer to Transocean's Limitation petition denying
Transocean's right to limit its liability, denying all claims and
responsibility for the incident, seeking contribution and
indemnification, and alleging negligence and gross negligence.

Judge Barbier has issued an order, among others, clarifying
certain aspects of law applicable to the lawsuits pending in his
court.  The court ruled that: (1) general maritime law will apply
and therefore dismissed all claims brought under state law causes
of action; (2) general maritime law claims may be brought directly
against defendants who are non-"responsible parties" under the OPA
with the exception of pure economic loss claims by plaintiffs
other than commercial fishermen; (3) all claims for damages,
including pure economic loss claims, may be brought under the OPA
directly against responsible parties; and (4) punitive damage
claims can be brought against both responsible and non-responsible
parties under general maritime law.  With respect to the ruling
that claims for damages may be brought under the OPA against
responsible parties, the Company has not been named as a
responsible party under the OPA, but BP Exploration has filed a
claim against the Company for contribution with respect to
liabilities incurred by BP Exploration under the OPA.

In September 2011, the Company filed claims in Harris County,
Texas, against the BP Defendants seeking damages, including lost
profits and exemplary damages, and alleging negligence, grossly
negligent misrepresentation, defamation, common law libel,
slander, and business disparagement.  The Company's claims allege
that the BP Defendants knew or should have known about an
additional hydrocarbon zone in the well that the BP Defendants
failed to disclose to the Company prior to its designing the
cement program for the Macondo well.  The location of the
hydrocarbon zones is critical information required prior to
performing cementing services and is necessary to achieve desired
cement placement.  The Company believes that had the BP Defendants
disclosed the hydrocarbon zone to it, the Company would not have
proceeded with the cement program unless it was redesigned, which
likely would have required a redesign of the production casing.
In addition, the Company believes that the BP Defendants withheld
this information from the report of BP's internal investigation
team and from the various investigations.  In connection with
this, the Company also moved to amend its claims against the BP
Defendants in the MDL proceeding to include fraud.  The BP
Defendants have denied all of the allegations relating to the
additional hydrocarbon zone and filed a motion to prevent the
Company from adding its fraud claim in the MDL.  In October 2011,
the Company's motion to add the fraud claim against the BP
Defendants in the MDL proceeding was denied.  The court's ruling
does not, however, prevent the Company from using the underlying
evidence in its pending claims against the BP Defendants.

In December 2011, BP filed a motion for sanctions against the
Company alleging, among other things, that the Company destroyed
evidence relating to post-incident testing of the foam cement
slurry on the Deepwater Horizon and requesting adverse findings
against the Company.  The magistrate judge in the MDL proceeding
denied BP's motion.  BP appealed that ruling, and Judge Barbier
affirmed the magistrate judge's decision.

In April 2012, BP announced that it had reached definitive
settlement agreements with the Plaintiffs' Steering Committee
(PSC) to resolve the substantial majority of eligible private
economic loss and medical claims stemming from the Macondo well
incident.  The PSC acts on behalf of individuals and business
plaintiffs in the MDL.  BP has estimated that the cost of the
settlements would be approximately $8.5 billion, including
payments to claimants who opt out of the settlements,
administration costs, and plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and
expenses, and has stated that it is possible the actual cost could
be higher.  According to BP, the settlements do not include claims
against BP made by the DOJ or other federal agencies or by states
and local governments.  In addition, the settlements provide that,
to the extent permitted by law, BP will assign to the settlement
class certain of its claims, rights, and recoveries against
Transocean and the Company for damages, including BP's alleged
direct damages such as damages for clean-up expenses and damage to
the well and reservoir.  The Company does not believe that its
contract with BP Exploration permits the assignment of certain
claims to the settlement class without the Company's consent.  In
April and May 2012, BP and the PSC filed two settlement agreements
and amendments with the MDL court, one agreement addressing
economic claims and one agreement addressing medical claims, as
well as numerous supporting documents and motions requesting that
the court approve, among other things, the certification of the
classes for both settlements and a schedule for holding a fairness
hearing and approving the settlements.  The MDL court has since
confirmed certification of the classes for both settlements and
granted final approval of the settlements.  The Company objected
to the settlements.  The MDL court held, however, that the
Company, as a non-settling defendant, lacked standing to object to
the settlements but noted that it did not express any opinion as
to the validity of BP's assignment of certain claims to the
settlement class and that the settlements do not affect any of the
Company's procedural or substantive rights in the MDL.  The
Company says it is unable to predict at this time the effect that
the settlements may have on claims against the Company.

In October 2012, the MDL court issued an order dismissing three
types of plaintiff claims: (1) claims by or on behalf of owners,
lessors, and lessees of real property that allege to have suffered
a reduction in the value of real property even though the property
was not physically touched by oil and the property was not sold;
(2) claims for economic losses based solely on consumers'
decisions not to purchase fuel or goods from BP fuel stations and
stores based on consumer animosity toward BP; and (3) claims by or
on behalf of recreational fishermen, divers, beachgoers, boaters
and others that allege damages such as loss of enjoyment of life
from their inability to use portions of the Gulf of Mexico for
recreational and amusement purposes.  The MDL court also noted
that the Company is not liable with respect to those claims under
the OPA because the Company is not a "responsible party" under
OPA.

The Company says it intends to vigorously defend any litigation,
fines, and/or penalties relating to the Macondo well incident and
to vigorously pursue any damages, remedies, or other rights
available to the Company as a result of the Macondo well incident.
The Company has incurred and expect to continue to incur
significant legal fees and costs, some of which the Company
expects to be covered by indemnity or insurance, as a result of
the numerous investigations and lawsuits relating to the incident.


HALLIBURTON CO: Oral Argument in "John Fund" Appeal Set for March
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is set to hear
oral argument in March 2013 in the appeal in the class action
lawsuit captioned Erica P. John Fund, Inc. v. Halliburton Company,
et al., according to the Company's February 11, 2013, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

In June 2002, a class action lawsuit was filed against the Company
in federal court alleging violations of the federal securities
laws after the SEC initiated an investigation in connection with
the Company's change in accounting for revenue on long-term
construction projects and related disclosures.  In the weeks that
followed, approximately twenty similar class actions were filed
against the Company.  Several of those lawsuits also named as
defendants several of the Company's present or former officers and
directors.  The class action cases were later consolidated, and
the amended consolidated class action complaint, styled Richard
Moore, et al. v. Halliburton Company, et al., was filed and served
upon the Company in April 2003.  As a result of a substitution of
lead plaintiffs, the case was styled Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Supporting Fund (AMSF) v. Halliburton Company, et al.  AMSF has
changed its name to Erica P. John Fund, Inc. (the Fund).  The
Company settled with the SEC in the second quarter of 2004.

In June 2003, the lead plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to file
a second amended consolidated complaint, which was granted by the
court.  In addition to restating the original accounting and
disclosure claims, the second amended consolidated complaint
included claims arising out of the Company's 1998 acquisition of
Dresser Industries, Inc., including that the Company failed to
timely disclose the resulting asbestos liability exposure.

In April 2005, the court appointed new co-lead counsel and named
the Fund the new lead plaintiff, directing that it file a third
consolidated amended complaint and that the Company file its
motion to dismiss.  The court held oral arguments on that motion
in August 2005.  In March 2006, the court entered an order in
which it granted the motion to dismiss with respect to claims
arising prior to June 1999 and granted the motion with respect to
certain other claims while permitting the Fund to re-plead some of
those claims to correct deficiencies in its earlier complaint.  In
April 2006, the Fund filed its fourth amended consolidated
complaint.  The Company filed a motion to dismiss those portions
of the complaint that had been re-pled.  A hearing was held on
that motion in July 2006, and in March 2007 the court ordered
dismissal of the claims against all individual defendants other
than the Company's Chief Executive Officer (CEO).  The court
ordered that the case proceed against the Company and its CEO.

In September 2007, the Fund filed a motion for class
certification, and the Company's response was filed in November
2007.  The district court held a hearing in March 2008, and issued
an order November 3, 2008, denying the motion for class
certification.  The Fund appealed the district court's order to
the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Fifth Circuit affirmed
the district court's order denying class certification.  On
May 13, 2010, the Fund filed a writ of certiorari in the United
States Supreme Court.  In January 2011, the Supreme Court granted
the writ of certiorari and accepted the appeal.  The Court heard
oral arguments in April 2011 and issued its decision in June 2011,
reversing the Fifth Circuit ruling that the Fund needed to prove
loss causation in order to obtain class certification.  The
Court's ruling was limited to the Fifth Circuit's loss causation
requirement, and the case was returned to the Fifth Circuit for
further consideration of the Company's other arguments for denying
class certification.  The Fifth Circuit returned the case to the
district court, and in January 2012 the court issued an order
certifying the class.  The Company filed a Petition for Leave to
Appeal with the Fifth Circuit, which was granted and the case is
stayed at the district court pending this appeal.  The Fifth
Circuit is set to hear oral argument in the appeal in March 2013.

In spite of its age, the case is at an early stage, and the
Company cannot predict the outcome or consequences thereof.  The
Company intends to vigorously defend this case.


HCA HOLDINGS: March Hearing Set on Bid to Dismiss Securities Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A hearing on HCA Holdings, Inc.'s motion to dismiss a securities
class action lawsuit is scheduled for March 2013, according to the
Company's February 11, 2013, Form 8-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.

On October 28, 2011, a shareholder action, Schuh v. HCA Holdings,
Inc. et al., was filed in the United States District Court for the
Middle District of Tennessee seeking monetary relief.  The case
sought to include as a class all persons who acquired the
Company's stock pursuant or traceable to the Company's
Registration Statement issued in connection with the March 9, 2011
initial public offering.  The lawsuit asserted a claim under
Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933 against the Company,
certain members of the board of directors, and certain
underwriters in the offering.  It further asserted a claim under
Section 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 against the same members
of the board of directors.  The action alleged various
deficiencies in the Company's disclosures in the Registration
Statement.  Subsequently, two additional class action complaints,
Kishtah v. HCA Holdings, Inc. et al. and Daniels v. HCA Holdings,
Inc. et al., setting forth substantially similar claims against
substantially the same defendants were filed in the same federal
court on November 16, 2011, and December 12, 2011, respectively.
All three of the cases were consolidated.

On May 3, 2012, the court appointed New England Teamsters &
Trucking Industry Pension Fund as Lead Plaintiff for the
consolidated action.  On July 13, 2012, the lead plaintiff filed
an amended complaint asserting claims under Sections 11 and
12(a)(2) of the Securities Act of 1933 against the Company,
certain members of the board of directors, and certain
underwriters in the offering.  It further asserts a claim under
Section 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 against the same members
of the board of directors and Hercules Holdings II, LLC, a
majority shareholder of the Company.  The consolidated complaint
alleges deficiencies in the Company's disclosures in the
Registration Statement and Prospectus relating to: (1) the
accounting for the Company's 2006 recapitalization and 2010
reorganization; (2) the Company's failure to maintain effective
internal controls relating to its accounting for such
transactions; and (3) the Company's Medicare and Medicaid revenue
growth rates.  The Company and other defendants moved to dismiss
the amended complaint on September 11, 2012.  The Court has
scheduled a hearing on the motion for March 2013.

Founded in 1968, HCA Holdings, Inc. --
http://www.hcahealthcare.com/-- through its subsidiaries,
provides health care services in the United States.  The Company
owns, manages, or operates hospitals, freestanding surgery
centers, diagnostic and imaging centers, radiation and oncology
therapy centers, rehabilitation and physical therapy centers, and
various other facilities.  The Company is headquartered in
Nashville, Tennessee.


INSTAGRAM: Seeks Dismissal of Photo-Sharing Policy Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
Catherine Shu, writing for Tech Crunch, reports that Instagram
asked a federal court on Feb. 13 to throw out a class action
lawsuit filed by users upset over the photo-sharing app's changes
to its terms of service.  The lawsuit was brought against the
service in December by an Instagram user who accused it of breach
of contract, among other claims.

An update in Instagram's terms of service and privacy policy,
which was introduced so it could better collaborate with Facebook
after the social networking service purchased it, upset and
confused users who worried that their photos would be sold or used
in ads without their permission.  Instagram founder Kevin Systrom
changed the problematic wording in the policy, but it kept
language indicating "that we may not always identify paid
services, sponsored content, or commercial communications as
such."  Instagram also kept wording that gives it the ability to
place ads related to user content, as well as a new mandatory
arbitration clause that means users waive their rights to
participate in class action lawsuits under almost all
circumstances (the lawsuit came before the new TOS went in effect
on January 19).

The lawsuit, filed by San Diego law firm Finkelstein & Krinsk,
alleged that even if users delete their Instagram account, they
forfeit rights to photos they have already uploaded to the
service.  In its filing on Feb. 13, Instagram argued that
plaintiff Lucy Funes has no right to bring her claim because she
could have deleted her account before the changes in the terms of
service went into effect.  The changes were announced December 17,
before Systrom changed them a few days later in response to the
controversy.  Ms. Funes filed her lawsuit on December 21, about a
month before new terms of service went into effect on January 19,
and continued to use her account after that day, according to
Instagram's filing.

Instagram also disputed Ms. Funes' claims that the policy changes
meant she transferred rights to her photos to the company.

Facebook, which acquired Instagram in a roughly $1 billion cash
and stock deal in April 2012, declined to comment.


J. M. SMUCKER: Faces Suit Over "All Natural" Products Claim
-----------------------------------------------------------
Diana Parker, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. J. M. Smucker Co., an Ohio corporation, Case No. 3:13-
cv-00690 (N.D. Cal., February 15, 2013) alleges that the Defendant
misleads and deceives reasonable consumers by portraying products
made from unnatural ingredients as "All Natural."

The Defendant has systematically labeled its oil products as "all
natural" on the product packaging but this claim is deceptive and
misleading because the Products are made with unnatural
ingredients, Ms. Parker alleges.  She contends that the Products
are made with plants whose genes have been altered by scientists
in a lab for the express purpose of causing those plants to
exhibit traits that are not naturally their own.  She adds that
the Defendant's conduct harms consumers by inducing them to
purchase and consume products with genetically modified organisms
on the false premise that the products are "all natural."

Ms. Parker is a resident of San Francisco, California.  She has
purchased several Products in San Francisco, California, within
the past four years in reliance on the Defendant's representations
that the Products were "All Natural."

J. M. Smucker Co. is a multi-billion dollar North American food
corporation based in Orrville, Ohio.  The Defendant manufactures,
markets, and sells cooking oils nationwide from its manufacturing
plant in Orrville, Ohio, including Crisco Natural Blend Oil,
Crisco Pure Corn Oil, Crisco Pure Canola Oil, and Crisco Pure
Vegetable Oil.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Tina Wolfson, Esq.
          Robert Ahdoot, Esq.
          Theodore W. Maya, Esq.
          AHDOOT & WOLFSON, P.C.
          10850 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 370
          Los Angeles, CA 90024
          Telephone: (310) 474-9111
          Facsimile: (310) 474-8585
          E-mail: twolfson@ahdootwolfson.com
                  rahdoot@ahdootwolfson.com
                  tmaya@ahdootwolfson.com

               - and -

          Timothy G. Blood, Esq.
          Leslie E. Hurst, Esq.
          BLOOD, HURST & O'REARDON, LLP
          701 B Street, Suite 1700
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 338-1100
          Facsimile: (619) 338-1101
          E-mail: tblood@bholaw.com
                  lhurst@bholaw.com


MERCK: Settles Two Securities Class Actions for $688 Million
------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Quintaro, writing for MedCity News, reports that Merck, known
as MSD outside the United States and Canada, announced on Feb. 14
that it has reached an agreement in principle with plaintiffs to
resolve two federal securities class-action lawsuits.  The suits
are pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of New
Jersey against Merck, Schering-Plough Corporation and certain of
their current and former officers and directors.

Under the proposed agreement, which will have no impact on Merck's
2013 results of operations, the company will pay $215 million to
resolve the securities class action against all of the Merck
defendants and $473 million to resolve the securities class action
against all of the Schering-Plough defendants.  In connection with
the settlement, Merck recorded a pre-tax and after-tax charge of
$493 million, which reflects anticipated insurance recoveries.
This charge reduced the company's previously reported fourth-
quarter 2012 GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) EPS
(earnings per share) results from $0.46 to $0.30 per share and
full-year 2012 GAAP results from $2.16 to $2.00 per share, but did
not change its previously reported non-GAAP results.

The plaintiffs are investors who purchased certain securities
issued by Merck and Schering-Plough between December 2006 and
March 2008 and claim that they lost money when the results of the
ENHANCE trial were published in early 2008.  Merck continues to
believe that both companies acted responsibly in connection with
the ENHANCE study, and this agreement contains no admission of
liability or wrongdoing.  The agreement is subject to court
approval.

"This agreement avoids the uncertainties of a jury trial and will
resolve all of the remaining litigation in connection with the
ENHANCE study," said Bruce N. Kuhlik, executive vice president and
general counsel of Merck.  "We believe it is in the best interests
of the company and its shareholders to put this matter behind us,
and to continue our focus on scientific innovations that improve
health worldwide."

Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh is presiding over the cases.  Merck is
represented by Theodore V. Wells, Jr. --
twells@paulweiss.com -- and Daniel J. Kramer --
dkramer@paulweiss.com -- of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton &
Garrison LLP.


NASDAQ OMX: Bid to Remand "Zack" Suit to NY State Court Denied
--------------------------------------------------------------
District Judge Robert W. Sweet of the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York denied a motion to remand a proposed
class action filed by Michael Zack against NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.
and the NASDAQ Stock Market LLC.

This action is one of 11 class actions filed against NASDAQ
relating to the May 18, 2012 initial public offering of Facebook,
Inc.  The NASDAQ Actions were filed on behalf of retail investors
who contended that their orders to purchase or sell Facebook stock
were not properly executed or confirmed as a result of systems
issued experienced by NASDAQ on the day of the Facebook IPO.
The cases were assigned to the District Court for coordination or
consolidation of the pretrial proceedings under IN RE FACEBOOK,
INC., IPO SECURITIES AND DERIVATIVE LITIGATION, MDL No. 12-2389,
No. 12 Civ. 6439.

Mr. Zack has moved to remand his proposed class action back to the
Supreme Court for the State of New York, New York County, where it
was originally filed.

The Defendants argued, and Judge Sweet agreed, that remand would
be improper because the federal issues underlying the Plaintiff's
state law claims are sufficiently substantial to confer federal
question jurisdiction.

Gary S. Graifman, Esq., at KANTROWITZ GOLDHAMER & GRAIFMAN, P.C.,
in Chestnut Ridge, N.Y.; Howard T. Longman, Esq., at STULL, STULL
& BRODY, in New York, N.Y.; Lynda J. Grant, Esq., at THE GRANT LAW
FIRM, PLLC, in New York, N.Y., represent Michael Zack.

William A. Slaughter, Esq. -- SLAUGHTER@BALLARDSPAHR.COM --
Margaret Osborne Padilla, Esq. -- PADILLAM@BALLARDSPAHR.COM --
Paul Lantieri, III, Esq. -- LANTIERIP@BALLARDSPAHR.COM -- Stephen
J. Kastenberg, Esq. -- KASTENBERG@BALLARDSPAHR.COM -- at Ballard
Spahr LLP, Philadelphia, PA, represent the NASDAQ Defendants.

A copy of the District Court's February 12, 2013 Opinion & Order
is available at http://is.gd/U93oNBfrom Leagle.com.


NAVARRE CORP: Seeks Dismissal of Remaining Merger-Related Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Navarre Corporation disclosed in its February 11, 2013, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended December 31, 2012, that it seeks the dismissal of
the remaining merger-related class action lawsuit.

On November 20, 2012, Navarre acquired all of the equity interests
of SpeedFC, Inc. (a Delaware corporation), through a merger of
that entity with and into a Navarre wholly-owned subsidiary, now
named SpeedFC, Inc., a Minnesota corporation ("SpeedFC")(the
transaction, the "Acquisition") pursuant to the terms of that
certain Agreement and Plan of Merger dated September 27, 2012, as
amended on October 29, 2012 (the "Merger Agreement").  SpeedFC is
a leading provider of end-to-end e-commerce services to retailers
and manufacturers and is part of the Company's e-commerce and
fulfillment segment.  The Company completed the acquisition of
SpeedFC on November 20, 2012.  The results of SpeedFC are
reflected in the e-commerce and fulfillment segment.

On October 16, 2012, a purported class action lawsuit on behalf of
Navarre shareholders relating to the transactions contemplated by
the SpeedFC Merger Agreement was filed in the United States
District Court for the District of Minnesota against the Company,
the Board of Directors, the Company's acquisition subsidiary and
SpeedFC, Inc. entitled Helene Gottlieb v. Richard S. Willis, et
al.  The lawsuit generally alleged that the Board breached its
fiduciary duties and violated disclosure requirements by, among
other things, attempting to acquire SpeedFC by means of a proxy
statement that fails to disclose material information concerning
the proposed acquisition.  The alleged misrepresentations and/or
omissions of material facts in the proxy statement include a
failure to include certain financial forecasts, financial
information regarding the proposed transaction and related
financing and information concerning the financial analysis
performed by the Company's financial advisor.  The lawsuit further
alleged that certain defendants aided and abetted these breaches.
The lawsuit sought unspecified damages and equitable relief.

The plaintiff filed a motion for expedited discovery and a
preliminary injunction on October 24, 2012, and a hearing occurred
on November 1, 2012.  On November 7, 2012, the court denied the
plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injuction.

On October 29, 2012, a second purported class action entitled
Davin Pokoik v. Richard S Willis, et al. was filed in the United
States District Court for the District of Minnesota against the
Company, the Board of Directors, the Company's acquisition
subsidiary and SpeedFC, Inc.  This lawsuit asserts substantially
similar claims and requests substantially similar relief as the
Gottlieb matter.  By Court Order dated November 13, 2012, the
Gottlieb and Pokoik matters were consolidated and plaintiffs were
required to file an amended Complaint by December 20, 2012.  An
Amended Complaint was filed alleging similar claims and Plaintiff
Gottlieb submitted a notice of voluntary dismissal removing only
herself from the consolidated action.  The Company has moved to
dismiss the Pokoik matter.

The Company believes that the allegations in this lawsuit are
without merit and intends to vigorously defend this matter.

The Company does not currently believe that the resolution of any
pending matters will have a material adverse effect on the
Company's financial position or liquidity, but an adverse decision
in more than one could be material to the Company's consolidated
results of operations.  No amounts were accrued with respect to
proceedings as of December 31, 2012, and March 31, 2012,
respectively as not probable or estimable.


NETFLIX INC: Securities Class Suit Dismissed With Leave to Amend
----------------------------------------------------------------
District Judge Samuel Conti dismissed a consolidated class action
complaint styled In re NETFLIX, INC., SECURITIES LITIGATION, Case
No. 12-00225 SC,(N.D. Cal.).

The Arkansas Teacher Retirement System and State-Boston Retirement
System brought the putative securities class action against
Netflix, Inc.; Netflix Co-Founder, Chairman of the Board, and CEO
Reed Hastings; current Netflix CFO David Wells; and Barry
McCarthy, Netflix's CFO until December 10, 2010, for making
alleged materially false and misleading statements about (1)
Netflix's accounting practices, (2) the virtuous cycle, (3)
streaming's profitability relative to that of the DVD business,
(4) Netflix's statements about its price changes, and (5) the
Defendants' statements to the SEC.

The Defendants argued the Plaintiffs have failed to adequately
plead falsity or scienter.

Judge Conti agreed that the Plaintiffs have failed to show that
the Defendants' statements were materially false or misleading,
and accordingly need not address the issue of scienter.

Judge Conti granted the Defendants' motion to dismiss the
Consolidated Class Action Complaint with leave to amend.  The
Plaintiffs may file an amended complaint within 30 days of the
Order. Failure to do so will result in dismissal of the action
with prejudice.

A copy of the District Court's February 13, 2013 Order is
available at http://is.gd/yOymStfrom Leagle.com.


NEW ENGLAND COMPOUNDING: Meningitis Outbreak MDL Hearing in Mass.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that a judicial panel ruled on
Feb. 12 that all suits filed against New England Compounding
Center, a pharmacy linked to a multi-state fungal meningitis
outbreak, will be heard in federal court in Massachusetts.

The U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has assigned
Judge F. Dennis Saylor in Boston the more 120 suits filed against
the New England Compounding Center.

The fungal meningitis outbreak, discovered in Tennessee in
September, has been blamed on a steroid produced by the NECC.  The
outbreak has spread to 20 states, sickening more than 650 and
killing 46.

Some plaintiffs had requested the cases be centralized in
Minnesota.  But in its ruling, the panel said that was best done
in Massachusetts, because that's where the alleged contamination
occurred and the federal and state investigations into the
Framingham-based NECC are focused there.

"Thus, the primary witnesses, physical evidence, and documentary
evidence likely will be located in Massachusetts," the panel's
ruling read.  "Additionally, defendant is headquartered in
Massachusetts, and defendant's bankruptcy case is pending in this
district."

The NECC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December for the
purpose of setting up a compensation fund for victims.  It later
listed $400,000 in net assets, which plaintiffs'attorneys say
isn't nearly enough to cover the claims.

A bankruptcy court judge has frozen the assets of the NECC's four
owners, so creditors can determine what remains of the millions
the owners have received from the company.


NEW YORK: 2nd Suit Over NYPD Stop & Frisk Practice Wins Class Cert
------------------------------------------------------------------
Adam Klasfeld at Courthouse News Service reports that a federal
judge certified the second of three class actions filed over the
New York City Police Department's controversial stop-and-frisk
practices.

Jaenean Ligon leads the class in this case, made up of Latino and
black New Yorkers who oppose police stops on suspicion of trespass
outside certain privately owned buildings in the Bronx.

Before a court found the practice unconstitutional, police claimed
the right to make stops in private buildings that are enrolled in
the Trespass Affidavit Program, which was formerly known in the
Bronx as Operation Clean Halls.

Another class action, Floyd v. City of New York, broadly addresses
racial disparities in stops.  A third class action, Davis v. City
of New York, targets "vertical patrols" in public housing
complexes.

U.S. District Judge Scheindlin presides over all three cases, and
she has sided consistently against the NYPD.

So far, she has approved claims in all three cases, certified
classes in the Floyd and Ligon cases, and granted a preliminary
injunction in the Ligon lawsuit after holding a public hearing
late last year.

Witnesses there included a Columbia professor and former assistant
district attorney from the Bronx, who testified that the NYPD has
illegally stopped people in the Bronx without reasonable suspicion
of a crime.

"For those of us who do not fear being stopped as we approach or
leave our own homes or those of our friends and families, it is
difficult to believe that residents of one of our boroughs live
under such a threat," Scheindlin wrote last month.  "In light of
the evidence presented at the hearing, however, I am compelled to
conclude that this is the case."

The judge ordered the parties to present arguments about the best
way to rein in the program.

Her second class certification Monday makes it likely that the
Clean Halls will be forced to undergo systemic change.

The class includes: "All individuals who have been or are at risk
of being stopped outdoors without legal justification by NYPD
officers on suspicion of trespassing in Bronx apartment buildings
enrolled in the NYPD's Trespass Affidavit Program (commonly
referred to as 'Operation Clean Halls')."


REALTY INCOME: Still Defends Class Suits Over ARCT Acquisition
--------------------------------------------------------------
Realty Income Corporation is defending its subsidiary against
class action lawsuits arising from its acquisition of American
Realty Capital Trust, Inc., according to the Company's
February 11, 2013, Form 8-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission.

Since the announcement of the Merger Agreement on September 6,
2012, six alleged class actions and/or shareholder derivative
actions have been filed on behalf of alleged stockholders of
American Realty and/or American Realty itself in the Circuit Court
for Baltimore City, Maryland, under the following captions: Quaal
v. American Realty Capital Trust Inc., et al., No. 24-C-12-005306,
filed September 7, 2012; Hill v. American Realty Capital Trust,
Inc., et al., No. 24-C-12-005502, filed September 19, 2012;
Goldwurm v. American Realty Capital Trust, Inc., et al., No. 24-C-
12-005524, filed September 20, 2012; Gordon v. Schorsch, et al.,
No. 24-C-12-005571, filed September 21, 2012; Gregor v. Kahane, et
al., No. 24-C-12-005563, filed September 21, 2012; and Rooker v.
American Realty Capital Trust, Inc., et al., No. 24-C-12-005924.
Plaintiffs in four of the Maryland actions, Quaal, Hill, Gordon,
and Gregor, moved to consolidate the actions and to appoint Brower
Piven, P.C. as lead counsel for plaintiffs, with support from the
plaintiff in the Rooker action. Plaintiff in the other outstanding
Maryland action, Goldwurm, filed a cross-motion to consolidate and
to appoint Faruqi & Faruqi LLP as lead counsel.

Two alleged class actions also have been filed on behalf of
alleged stockholders of American Realty in the Supreme Court of
the State of New York for New York, New York, under the following
captions: The Carol L. Possehl Living Trust v. American Realty
Capital Trust, Inc., et al., No. 653300-2012, filed September 20,
2012; and Salenger v. American Realty Capital Trust, Inc. et al.,
No. 353355-2012, filed September 25, 2012.  On October 18, 2012,
the cases were consolidated under the caption In re American
Realty Capital Trust Shareholders Litigation, and on October 19,
2012, defendants filed a petition to stay the consolidated case
pending resolution of the actions in Maryland.

All of these complaints name as defendants American Realty,
members of its Board of Directors, Realty and Merger Sub.  In each
case, the plaintiffs allege that the American Realty's Directors
breached their fiduciary duties to American Realty and/or its
stockholders in negotiating and approving the Merger Agreement,
that the consideration negotiated in the Merger Agreement
improperly values American Realty , that its stockholders will not
receive fair value for their common stock of American Realty in
the Merger, and that the terms of the Merger Agreement impose
improper deal-protection devices that purportedly preclude
competing offers.  The complaints further allege that Realty,
Merger Sub and, in some cases, American Realty aided and abetted
those alleged breaches of fiduciary duty.  Plaintiffs seek
injunctive relief, including enjoining or rescinding the Merger,
and an award of other unspecified attorneys' and other fees and
costs, in addition to other relief.


REXNORD CORP: Awaits OK of Settlement in Zurn Brass Fittings Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Rexnord Corporation awaits court approval of its settlement of
lawsuits related to Zurn PEX brass fittings, according to the
Company's February 11, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
December 29, 2012.

The Company's subsidiaries, Zurn PEX, Inc. and Zurn Industries,
LLC, have been named as defendants in a number of individual and
class action lawsuits in various United States courts.  The
plaintiffs in these lawsuits claim damages due to the alleged
failure or anticipated failure of Zurn brass fittings on the PEX
plumbing systems in homes and other structures.  The complaints
assert various causes of action, including but not limited to
negligence, breach of warranty, fraud, and violations of the
Magnuson Moss Act and certain state consumer protection laws, and
seek declaratory and injunctive relief, and damages (including
punitive damages).

In July 2012, the Company reached an agreement in principle to
settle the liability underlying this litigation; this agreement
was reflected in a settlement agreement filed with the court in
October 2012.  The settlement is designed to resolve, on a
national basis, the Company's overall exposure for both known and
unknown claims related to the alleged failure or anticipated
failure of Zurn brass fittings on PEX plumbing systems, subject to
the right of eligible class members to opt-out of the settlement
and pursue their claims independently.  The settlement remains
subject to final court approval, including the right of objection
by interested parties, and utilizes a seven year claims fund,
which is capped at $20 million, and is funded in installments over
the seven year period based on claim activity and minimum funding
criteria.  The settlement also covers class action plaintiffs'
attorneys' fees and expenses in an amount not to exceed $8.5
million and related administrative costs.

The Company has recorded a reserve related to the brass fittings
liability, which takes into account, in pertinent part, the agreed
contributions by insurance carriers, as well as exposure from the
claims fund, potential opt-outs and the waiver of future insurance
coverage.  While the Company believes its reserve reflects the
most likely estimate of the loss contingency associated with
bringing all aspects of the Zurn PEX brass fittings matter to
resolution, additional reserve adjustments should be expected.
Management, however, does not expect such adjustments will be
material to its financial position, assuming there are no
significant changes in current facts and assumptions, although
there can be no assurances.

The Company's insurance carriers have funded the Company's defense
in these proceedings; however, they filed a lawsuit for a
declaratory judgment challenging their coverage obligations with
respect to certain classes of claims.  The lawsuit, which is
pending, is expected to be resolved in conjunction with the
approval of the settlement of the underlying claims.

The Company says it can provide no assurance that the liability
and related litigation will be resolved on the anticipated terms,
or at all, or that final court approval will be granted.  If final
court approval is not granted the Company will continue to
vigorously defend these claims.  Even if final court approval is
achieved the Company expects to continue to vigorously defend
against any opt-out claims.  In addition, the Company cannot
provide assurance that the insurance carriers' action will be
resolved, or on the final terms of such resolution.  Due to the
uncertainties of litigation (including approval of the potential
settlement), and the related insurance coverage and collection
actions and issues, as well as the actual number or value of
claims (including opt-outs), the Company may be subject to
substantial liability beyond the reserve that has been taken that
could have a material adverse effect on the Company and its
results of operations.


REXNORD CORP: Zurn Defends Suits Alleging Asbestos Injuries
-----------------------------------------------------------
Rexnord Corporation's subsidiaries are defending lawsuits alleging
personal injuries caused by exposure to asbestos used primarily in
industrial boilers, according to the Company's February 11, 2013,
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarter ended December 29, 2012.

Certain Water Management subsidiaries are subject to asbestos and
class action related litigation.  As of December 29, 2012, the
Company's subsidiaries, Zurn PEX, Inc. and Zurn Industries, LLC,
and an average of approximately 80 other unrelated companies were
defendants in approximately 7,000 asbestos related lawsuits
representing approximately 27,000 claims.  Plaintiffs' claims
allege personal injuries caused by exposure to asbestos used
primarily in industrial boilers formerly manufactured by a segment
of Zurn.  Zurn did not manufacture asbestos or asbestos
components.  Instead, Zurn purchased them from suppliers.  These
claims are being handled pursuant to a defense strategy funded by
insurers.

As of December 29, 2012, the Company estimates the potential
liability for asbestos-related claims pending against Zurn as well
as the claims expected to be filed in the next ten years to be
approximately $42.0 million of which Zurn expects to pay
approximately $33.0 million in the next ten years on such claims,
with the balance of the estimated liability being paid in
subsequent years.  The $42.0 million was developed based on an
actuarial study and represents the projected indemnity payout for
claims filed in the next 10 years.  However, there are inherent
uncertainties involved in estimating the number of future asbestos
claims, future settlement costs, and the effectiveness of defense
strategies and settlement initiatives.  As a result, Zurn's actual
liability could differ from the estimate.  Further, while this
current asbestos liability is based on an estimate of claims
through the next ten years, such liability may continue beyond
that time frame, and such liability could be substantial.

Management estimates that its available insurance to cover its
potential asbestos liability as of December 29, 2012, is
approximately $255.1 million, and believes that all current claims
are covered by this insurance.  However, principally as a result
of the past insolvency of certain of the Company's insurance
carriers, certain coverage gaps will exist if and after the
Company's other carriers have paid the first $179.1 million of
aggregate liabilities.  In order for the next $51.0 million of
insurance coverage from solvent carriers to apply, management
estimates that it would need to satisfy $14.0 million of asbestos
claims.  Layered within the final $25.0 million of the total
$255.1 million of coverage, management estimates that it would
need to satisfy an additional $80.0 million of asbestos claims.
If required to pay any such amounts, the Company could pursue
recovery against the insolvent carriers, but it is not currently
possible to determine the likelihood or amount of such recoveries,
if any.

As of December 29, 2012, the Company has a recorded receivable
from its insurance carriers of $42.0 million, which corresponds to
the amount of its potential asbestos liability that is covered by
available insurance and is currently determined to be probable of
recovery.  However, there is no assurance that $255.1 million of
insurance coverage will ultimately be available or that Zurn's
asbestos liabilities will not ultimately exceed $255.1 million.
Factors that could cause a decrease in the amount of available
coverage include: changes in law governing the policies, potential
disputes with the carriers regarding the scope of coverage, and
insolvencies of one or more of the Company's carriers.


ROBERT'S AMERICAN: Sued for Using GMOs, Misleading Product Labels
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Hill, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. Robert's American Gourmet Food, LLC, a Delaware
Limited Liability Company dba Pirate Brands, Case No. 4:13-cv-
00696 (N.D. Calif., February 15, 2013) alleges that the
Defendant's "all natural" claim in its products' labels is
deceptive and misleading because those products are made with
unnatural ingredients.

Specifically, Mr. Hill contends, the Products are made with plants
whose genes have been altered by scientists in a lab for the
express purpose of causing those plants to exhibit traits that are
not naturally their own.  He argues that genetically modified
organisms are not natural by design and, hence, the Products also
contain chemically synthesized ingredients that are not natural.

Mr. Hill is a resident of San Francisco, California.  He has
purchased several Products in San Francisco, California, within
the past four years in reliance on the Defendant's representations
that the Products were "All Natural."

Robert's American is a Delaware limited liability company with its
principal place of business in Sea Cliff, New York.  Robert's
American Gourmet is a snack food company that manufactures and
sells its "Pirate Brands" snack foods nationwide.  Pirate Brands
snack food products are found in over 90% of United States
supermarkets, which products include (1) Original Tings Crunchy
Corn Sticks, (2) Pirate's Booty Aged White Cheddar Rice and Corn
Puffs, (3) Pirate's Booty Barrrrrbeque Rice and Corn Puffs, (4)
Pirate's Booty Chocolate Rice and Corn Puffs, (5) Pirate's Booty
New York Pizza Rice and Com Puffs, (6) Pirate's Booty Sour Cream &
Onion Rice and Corn Puffs, and (7) Pirate's Booty Veggie Rice and
Corn Puffs, (8) Potato Flyers Baked Potato Chips, and (9) Smart
Puffs Real Wisconsin Cheddar Baked Cheese Puffs.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Tina Wolfson, Esq.
          Robert Ahdoot, Esq.
          Theodore W. Maya, Esq.
          AHDOOT & WOLFSON, P.C.
          10850 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 370
          Los Angeles, CA 90024
          Telephone: (310) 474-9111
          Facsimile: (310) 474-8585
          E-mail: twolfson@ahdootwolfson.com
                  rahdoot@ahdootwolfson.com
                  tmaya@ahdootwolfson.com


RHYTHM & HUES: Faces Class Action Over Employee Terminations
------------------------------------------------------------
David S. Cohen and Ted Johnson, writing for Variety, report that a
bankruptcy judge has greenlit a plan for Universal and 20th
Century Fox to provide up to $17.1 million in loan financing to
allow vfx firm Rhythm & Hues to continue operating following its
Chapter 11 filing earlier last week.

Meanwhile, two Rhythm & Hues employees on Feb. 15 filed class-
action suits against the company, claiming that its recent firing
of hundreds of workers just before filing for bankruptcy
protection violated labor laws requiring 60 days advance notice of
terminations.  The company filed for Chapter 11 protection on
Feb. 13.  Employees were informed of the layoffs on Feb. 10 and
Feb. 11, according to the suits.

The loan, approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Neil W. Bason, include
a $6 million influx on Feb. 15 and $5 million to be advanced on
Feb. 19.  Judge Bason has scheduled a March 12 hearing on the
debtor-in-financing, where he will decide whether to approve
additional installments of $4 million on March 18 and $1.6 million
on April 8.

The class action suits cite violations of the Worker Adjustment
and Retraining Notification Act, passed in 1988, which requires
larger companies to give employees at least 60 days advance notice
of plant closings or mass layoffs.

Anthony Barcelo, a compositing technical director at the firm,
filed suit in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Los Angeles on Feb. 15 on
behalf of himself and other employees who were laid off.  He cites
a figure of 254 employees laid off from the El Segundo facility on
or within 30 days of Feb. 11.  His suit seeks to recover 60 days
wages and benefits under the WARN Act.

"I felt compelled to be the one (to put his name on the class
action suit)," Mr. Barcelo told Variety.  Mr. Barcelo says he was
left nearly penniless when R&H delayed his final paychecks.

"It's the artists who are getting screwed here, not the
moviegoers, not the companies, not the studios," said Mr. Barcelo,
who has taken a new vfx job in Vancouver.

Another employee, Thomas Capizzi, a computer modeler who had been
with the company for 16 years, filed a similar class-action suit
against Rhythm & Hues later on Feb. 15.  He also seeks 60 days
wages and benefits.  One of his attorneys, Jack Reeder, noted that
there was no mention in any papers filed by Rhythm & Hues in its
bankruptcy case of any layoffs outside of the U.S.

Both of the cases also cite violations California's version of the
WARN Act.

Mr. Barcelo's attorney, Jack Raisner of Outten & Golden, also is
representing an employee of Digital Domain Media Group who claims
DDMG violated the WARN Act when it laid off employees in the
closure of its Florida facility last year.  That class-action suit
was filed in September 2012 in the Delaware bankruptcy court where
the rump DDMG's case was being handled.

DDMG sold off California visual effects house Digital Domain in an
accelerated auction.


SEACUBE CONTAINER: Faces Suit Over Proposed Sale to Ontario Ltd
---------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that SeaCube Container Leasing is
selling itself too cheaply through an unfair process to Ontario
Ltd., for $23 per share or $469 million shareholders claim in
Federal Court.


SHELL BRASIL: Offers Millions to Settle Ex-Workers' Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that Shell Brasil SA and BASF SA have
offered more than $20 million to settle a class-action lawsuit
with former workers allegedly contaminated at a pesticide plant in
the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil's top labor court said on Feb. 15.

The court said on its Web site that the two companies have offered
to provide 884 workers with lifelong health plans with a "global
value" of 52 million reals ($26 million).

Representatives of the two companies and workers are scheduled to
meet again at the end of a month to discuss the proposal, the
court said.

Shell spokesman Glauco Paiva confirmed the offer of a lifelong
health plan but said "for now we prefer not to mention any
numbers."  BASF also confirmed the offer on its Web site.

The chemical plant operated from 1977 until it was closed in 2002.
Shell originally owned it, but sold the operation to American
Cyanamid in 1995.  Germany-based BASF bought American Cyanamid in
2000 and took over the chemicals plant in the city of Paulinia.

In its 2011 annual report, BASF SE, the parent company of BASF SA,
acknowledged the site was "significantly contaminated by the
production of crop protection products."  It claimed that the site
was contaminated before it bought the plant.

Prosecutors have said that former workers at the plant and people
who live near it have shown many health problems, including
prostate cancer, problems with short-term memory and issues with
their thyroid glands.


SKILLED HEALTHCARE: Humboldt Suit Injunction Vacated in December
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Superior Court of California granted in December 2012 the
motion of Skilled Healthcare Group, Inc. and its subsidiaries for
early termination of an injunction related to the Humboldt County
Action, according to the Company's February 11, 2013, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

In connection with the September 2010 settlement of the class
action litigation against Skilled and certain of its subsidiaries
related to, among other matters, alleged understaffing at certain
California skilled nursing facilities operated by Skilled's
subsidiaries, Skilled and its defendant subsidiaries entered into
settlement agreements with the plaintiffs and intervenor and
agreed to an injunction.  The settlement was approved by the
Superior Court of California, Humboldt County on November 30,
2010.  Under the terms of the settlement agreements, the defendant
entities deposited a total of $50.0 million into escrow accounts
to cover settlement payments to class members, notice and claims
administration costs, reasonable attorneys' fees and costs and
certain other payments, including $5.0 million to settle certain
government agency claims and potential government claims that may
arise.  Of the $5.0 million provided for such government claims,
$1.0 million has been released by the court to the Humboldt County
Treasurer-Tax Collector on behalf of the People of the State of
California for their release of the Defendants.  The remaining
$4.0 million is available for the settlement and releases by the
California Attorney General and certain other District Attorneys.
However, in the event that any of these government authorities
instead file certain actions against the Defendants by the second
anniversary of the effective date of the settlement agreement,
which will occur in February 2013, the entire $4.0 million will
revert to the Defendants upon their request to the Settlement
Administrator.

In addition to the $1.0 million paid to the Humboldt County
Treasurer-Tax Collector on behalf of the People of the State of
California, the court also approved payments from the escrow of up
to approximately $24.8 million for attorneys' fees and costs and
$10,000 to each of the three named plaintiffs.  Pursuant to the
injunction, the 22 Defendants that operated California nursing
facilities were required to provide specified nurse staffing
levels, comply with specified state and federal laws governing
staffing levels and posting requirements, and provide reports and
information to a court-appointed auditor.  The injunction was to
remain in effect for a period of 24 months unless extended for
additional three-month periods as to those Defendants that may be
found in violation.  Defendants demonstrating compliance for an
18-month period that ended September 30, 2012, were permitted to
petition for early termination of the injunction.  The Defendants
were required to demonstrate over the term of the injunction that
the costs of the injunction met a minimum threshold level pursuant
to the settlement agreement, which level, initially $9.6 million,
was reduced by the portion attributable to any Defendant in the
case that no longer operated a skilled nursing facility during the
injunction period.  The injunction costs included, among other
things, costs attributable to (i) enhanced reporting requirements;
(ii) implementing advanced staffing tracking systems; (iii) fees
and expenses paid to an auditor and special master; (iv) increased
labor and labor related expenses; and (v) lost revenues
attributable to admission decisions based on compliance with the
terms and conditions of the injunction.  To the extent the costs
of complying with the injunction were less than the agreed upon
threshold amount, the Defendants would have been required to remit
any shortfall to the settlement fund.

In April 2011, five of the subsidiary Defendants transferred their
operations to an unaffiliated third party skilled nursing facility
operator -- Former Humboldt County Facilities.  On November 14,
2012, the Defendants filed a motion to terminate the injunction
and vacate the final judgment in the Humboldt County Action.
Based upon compliance with the injunction through the requisite
eighteen-month period, on December 21, 2012, the Superior Court of
California, Humboldt County granted the Defendants' motion for
early termination of the injunction, and the injunction has now
ended with respect to the 17 California nursing facilities that
the subsidiary Defendants still operate.  In its order, the court
determined that the injunction termination did not apply to the
Former Humboldt County Facilities.  However, the 2010 court-
approved stipulation and order establishing the injunction
provides that the injunction applies to the named defendants and
any successor licensees of the applicable nursing facilities, but
only if those successor licensees are affiliates of the named
defendants.  As noted, the Former Humboldt County Facilities have
been operated by an unaffiliated third party since April 2011.
Therefore, under the terms of the injunction it does not apply to
the Former Humboldt County Facilities unless an affiliate of the
Defendants operates them.

In the course of ongoing communications with the California
Attorney General's Bureau of Medi-Cal Fraud & Elder Abuse
("BMFEA") related to the BMFEA matter, representatives of the
California Attorney General and the U.S. Department of Justice
have indicated an interest in pursuing an action under the False
Claims Act and certain other legal theories based upon the jury
findings of understaffing in the Humboldt County Action.  While
the Company continues to cooperate with the government's
evaluation of the matter, the Company views the government's
apparent legal theories, including the False Claims Act theories,
as lacking support in the established case law and intends to
vigorously defend any such action if brought.


TOYOTA MOTOR: Agrees to Pay $29MM to Resolve Safety Issues Probe
----------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad, writing for The National Law Journal, reports
that Toyota Motor Corp. and its U.S. subsidiaries agreed on
February 14 to pay $29 million to resolve investigations by
attorneys general in 29 states into whether it misled consumers
about the safety of its vehicles.

The investigations followed recalls of more than 10 million
vehicles for defects associated with sudden acceleration.  They
focused on whether Toyota had misled consumers about safety
problems in models including the Camry, Lexus, Tundra, Tacoma and
Prius hybrid.

The states and the U.S. territory of American Samoa will split the
money.  The settlement sets aside an additional $5 million for
customers who had to pay for rental cars or taxi fares while their
cars were being repaired.

Toyota agreed to notify new buyers about defects in vehicles that
it had purchased from previous owners.  It also agreed not to
designate any vehicle with alleged safety defects as "Toyota
certified" or misrepresent why a dealer has inspected or repaired
a vehicle.

Toyota also agreed to improve communications between its Japan
headquarters and its U.S. subsidiaries about how to handle safety
problems.

"This is an important settlement, not only because of the dollars,
but because the terms are designed to help make Toyota more
accountable, responsive and vigilant regarding vehicle safety
issues," said New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa, who led
the multistate investigations in cooperation with the attorneys
general of Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Michigan, Nevada,
Ohio, South Carolina and Washington.

The deal does not involve the states of California or New York,
where hundreds of lawsuits are pending against Toyota over
accidents attributed to sudden acceleration defects.  Both states
reached agreements in 2010 with Toyota to provide special
accommodations for owners of vehicles affected by the recalls,
such as picking up and returning their vehicles from their homes
or reimbursing them for alternative transportation costs.

Christopher Reynolds, group vice president and general counsel of
Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., a division of Toyota Motor Corp., said
in prepared statement: "Resolving this inquiry is another step we
are taking to turn the page on legacy issues from Toyota's past
recalls in a way that benefits our customers.  Immediately after
this inquiry was launched in 2010, Toyota began cooperating fully
with the Attorneys General and implementing 'customer-first'
initiatives to address their concerns and those of our customers.
Today, we are pleased to have reached a cooperative agreement that
reflects the commitment of Toyota's 37,000 North American team
members to put customers first in everything we do."

The settlement was the latest move by Toyota to resolve claims
associated with unintended acceleration.  On December 26, the
company agreed to pay $1.3 billion to resolve a nationwide class
action alleging the company's advertising and marketing materials
misled consumers about the safety of its vehicles.  Toyota has
paid fines totaling $48.8 million to the U.S. National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration for failing to timely inform
regulators about defects tied to its initial recalls, plus $17.5
million in additional fines associated with its recall of nearly
155,000 Lexus RX models last June for floor mat entrapment
problems.

Several attorneys general praised the latest agreement.  Florida
Attorney General Pam Bondi said her state would receive $2
million, including attorney fees.  Mr. Chiesa said New Jersey
would receive $1.9 million. Connecticut Attorney General George
Jepsen and Nevada Attorney General Catherine Masto said their
states would receive about $1.4 million each.

Also participating were Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado,
Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi,
Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode
Island, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin, as well as
American Samoa.

Several of those states estimated their share of the settlement:

Illinois: Nearly $1 million.
North Carolina: Nearly $810,000
Tennessee: $700,000
Colorado: $650,000
Arkansas: More than $575,000
Iowa: More than $580,000
New Mexico: $546,000
Rhode Island: $510,000
Texas: $217,000


TRANSOCEAN LTD: Judge Approves Criminal Plea as Part of Settlement
------------------------------------------------------------------
The National Law Journal reports that a federal judge approved on
Feb. 14 a Transocean Ltd. subsidiary's criminal plea as part of a
$1.4 billion settlement with the U.S. Justice Department over
liability for the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill.  Remaining
claims include lawsuits filed against Transocean by thousands of
individuals and businesses, as well as the states of Alabama and
Louisiana, seeking economic damages.


TRAVELZOO INC: Still Defends Consolidated Securities Class Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Beginning on August 9, 2011, two purported class action lawsuits
were commenced in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York.  On January 6, 2012, a Consolidated
and Amended Class Action Complaint was filed.  The complaint
asserts claims under Section 10(b) and 20(a) pursuant to the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 alleging that between March 16,
2011, and July 21, 2011, Travelzoo Inc. and/or the individual
defendants purportedly issued materially false and misleading
statements.  In particular, the complaint asserts, among other
things, allegations challenging certain statements relating to the
Company's growth.  The complaint also makes allegations regarding
the Company's Getaway business and asserts that certain officers
and directors sold stock while in possession of materially adverse
non-public information.  The action seeks unspecified damages and
the Company is not able to estimate the possible loss or range of
losses that could potentially result from the action.  The Company
believes that the action is without merit and intends to defend
the lawsuits vigorously.

No further updates were reported in the Company's February 11,
2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.


UNITED STATES: March 24 Claims Filing Deadline Set for USDA Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sue Book, writing for Sun Journal, reports that claims from
Hispanic and women farmers who believe they may have faced
discriminatory practices from the USDA between 1981 and 2000 must
file them by March 24, 2013 in order to be eligible for a cash
payment or loan forgiveness.

It is one of two deadline reminders provided by Kay Yates, Craven-
Carteret FSA county executive director in New Bern.  The other is
for a USDA Farm Service Agency marketing assistance loan program
deadline which has been extended.

The claim filing process for women and Hispanic farmers to file
discrimination claims is a voluntary alternative to litigation for
those who can prove the USDA denied an application for loan or
service assistance for discriminatory reasons.

The USDA, led by Secretary Tom Vilsack, instituted a comprehensive
plan to ensure that every farmer and rancher is treated equally
and fairly as part of "a new era of civil rights."

In February 2010, the Pigford II settlement with African American
farmers was announced and in October 2010 the Keepseagle
settlement with Native American farmers and both have since
received court approval.

The Pigford II class action suit originated from complaints by
North Carolina farmer Timothy Pigford, for himself and 400 other
African American farmers but complaints and awards grew to more
than 13,000.

The cases filed by Hispanic and women farmers over a decade ago
were not certified as class actions and the claims process
announced in February 2011 provides a voluntary alternative to
continuing litigation for Hispanic and female farmers and ranchers
who want to use it.  It has at least $1.33 billion for cash awards
and tax relief payments and $160 million for farm debt relief for
those eligible.

Call center representatives can be reached at 888-508-4429 or on
the Web site farmerclaims.gov.

Ms. Yates also advises that the marketing assistance loan and loan
deficiency payment provisions authorized in the 2008 Farm Bill
were extended for the 2013 crop year with the passage of the
American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012.

Those programs provide financing and marketing assistance for
wheat, rice, feed grains, soybeans and other oilseeds, peanuts,
pulse crops, cotton, honey and wool. Assistance is available to
eligible producers beginning with harvest and extending through
the program year.

The loan program provides interim financing for producers at or
after harvest to help meet cash flow needs without selling
commodities when market prices are typically at harvest-time lows.
A producer who is eligible to obtain a loan, but agrees to forgo
the loan, may get a loan deficiency payment if they are available.

Ms. Yates and her staff can provide additional information from
637-3567, ext. 2, and information is available on Web site
http://www.fsa.usda.gov/pricesupport


VISA INC: Visa, MasterCard Win Dismissal of ATM Operators' Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Schoenberg, writing for Bloomberg News, reported that Visa
Inc. and MasterCard Inc., the world's biggest payment networks,
won dismissal of a price-fixing lawsuit brought by a group
representing operators of automated teller machines.

Bloomberg related that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson in
Washington on Feb. 14 also threw out two related suits, ruling
that all the plaintiffs failed to show the companies conspired to
restrict independent ATM operators from charging varying prices
for customers using alternative networks such as STAR, Shazam Inc.
or TransFund.

"Plaintiffs have not set forth sufficient facts to support their
claim that there was a horizontal conspiracy," Jackson wrote in
her 39-page opinion, according to Bloomberg. "Notably absent from
each of the complaints are facts showing the existence of an
agreement, the essential element of any conspiracy."

Bloomberg said the dismissal of the suit leaves ATM operators
grappling with the same alleged anti-competitive landscape that
they claimed prevents them from attracting customers by offering a
discount by making a transaction over less expensive networks.
The allegations in the lead case were made by the National ATM
Council Inc., a trade group based in Jacksonville, Florida, and 13
operators of ATMs in nine states, according to Bloomberg.  The
group sought to represent the 350 non-bank ATM operators
nationwide and asked for triple damages.

Bloomberg added that the ATM operators claim that the
"overwhelming" majority of so-called PIN debit cards used for ATM
transactions are branded by Visa or MasterCard.  Under a uniform
agreement, the operators can't charge less for transactions over a
network that competes with Visa and MasterCard, according to the
complaint.

The lead case is National ATM Council v. Visa Inc., 11-cv-1803,
U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).


* CAFA Rulings Have Broad Implications for Quasi-Class Actions
--------------------------------------------------------------
According to Michael B. Kimberly, Esq. --
mkimberly@mayerbrown.com -- and Kevin S. Ranlett, Esq. --
kranlett@mayerbrown.com -- of Mayer Brown, a number of courts
recently have weighed in on a question whether lawsuits by state
attorneys general seeking restitution on behalf of private
citizens are subject to removal under the Class Action Fairness
Act of 2005 ("CAFA").  These rulings have broad implications for
the litigation of these quasi-class actions.  They also are of
substantial importance to determining whether securities fraud
actions filed by state attorneys general are precluded by the
federal Securities Litigation Uniform Standards Act of 1998
("SLUSA").

CAFA allows defendants to remove certain significant "class
actions" and "mass actions" from state court to federal court.
Usually, actions filed by a state acting for itself aren't
removable under CAFA for lack of diversity of citizenship; the
state isn't "a citizen of a state different from any defendant."
28 U.S.C. Sec. 1332(d)(2)(a).  But what if the state is suing to
vindicate the financial interests of its private citizens in an
action for restitution -- a case that looks like a class action,
walks like a class action, and quacks like a class action? Is the
state still the real-party-in-interest for diversity purposes --
or should federal courts consider the private citizens themselves
-- who actually stand to recover -- to be the real-parties-in-
interest?  According to most courts that have ruled on the issue,
the answer depends on whether a single "sovereign" claim in a
complaint is enough to exempt the action from removal under CAFA
or whether the complaint instead should be analyzed claim by claim
to determine removability.

In one recent case -- AU Optronics Corp. v. South Carolina, 699
F.3d 385 (4th Cir. 2012) -- the Fourth Circuit held that South
Carolina's suit seeking restitution on behalf of private citizens
from manufacturers of liquid crystal display panels for an alleged
price-fixing conspiracy does not trigger federal court
jurisdiction under CAFA.  Although the Fourth Circuit acknowledged
that the state sought restitution on behalf of private citizens,
it noted that the state was pursuing other, purely sovereign
remedies as well, such as forfeiture and penalties.  In affirming
the district court's remand to the state court, the Fourth Circuit
rejected a "claim-by-claim" approach. Instead, choosing to follow
the Ninth and Seventh Circuits' "whole-case" approach, the Fourth
Circuit concluded that the state was the "real party in interest
in the lawsuit."  This ruling precludes the removal of what
effectively amount to class- and mass-actions when the private
plaintiffs (or, often in practice, plaintiffs' counsel) are able
to lobby their state governments to file "quasi-sovereign"
enforcement actions seeking restitution.

In contrast, the Fifth Circuit has concluded that although a
state's suit seeking restitution for similar alleged antitrust
violations was not a "class action" under CAFA, it was a "mass
action" because it sought "monetary relief" for "100 persons or
more."  Mississippi ex rel. Hood v. AU Optronics Corp. (pdf), 701
F.3d 796 (5th Cir. 2012).  Observing that prior Fifth Circuit
precedent "instructs [the courts] to pierce the pleadings and look
at the real nature of a state's claims" on a "claim-by-claim"
basis," the court concluded that "[t]he real parties in interest
in Mississippi's suit are those more than 100 persons . . . who
will ultimately benefit from the recovery."  The court thus
reversed the district court's order remanding the case to state
court.

For its part, the Second Circuit recently noted the conflict among
the circuits in Purdue Pharma L.P. v. Kentucky (pdf), 2013 WL
85918 (2d Cir. Jan. 9, 2013).  The Second Circuit declined to
weigh in on the issue, however, because -- in light of a
procedural technicality -- the appellant there argued that the
suit qualified only as a "class action," and "not . . . as a 'mass
action' under CAFA" Id. at *4 n.5. Because the suit there had not
been brought under an analogue to Federal Rule 23, the court held
that CAFA did not apply, regardless of which approach it might
ultimately adopt.

These decisions have implications beyond CAFA. SLUSA prohibits
certain state-court securities fraud class actions. 15 U.S.C. Sec.
78bb(f).  But similar to CAFA, the statute applies only to suits
"by any private party" and in addition includes a savings clause
that permits states "to investigate and bring enforcement
actions." Id.  In March of this year, the New York Court of
Appeals will consider, in People v. Greenberg (pdf) (Index No.
401720/05), whether an action by the state's attorney general
seeking both penalties and restitution on behalf of private
citizens is a sovereign "enforcement action" or instead a class
action "by [a] private party" within the meaning of SLUSA.  In
earlier proceedings in the case, the Appellate Division concluded
that the action was a permitted sovereign "enforcement action" --
thus rejecting the same "claim-by-claim" approach under SLUSA that
has divided federal courts in the CAFA context.

Mayer Brown is a global legal services provider comprising legal
practices that are separate entities.  The Mayer Brown Practices
are: Mayer Brown LLP and Mayer Brown Europe -- Brussels LLP, both
limited liability partnerships established in Illinois USA; Mayer
Brown International LLP, a limited liability partnership
incorporated in England and Wales (authorized and regulated by the
Solicitors Regulation Authority and registered in England and
Wales number OC 303359); Mayer Brown, a SELAS established in
France; Mayer Brown JSM, a Hong Kong partnership and its
associated entities in Asia; and Tauil & Chequer Advogados, a
Brazilian law partnership with which Mayer Brown is associated.
"Mayer Brown" and the Mayer Brown logo are the trademarks of the
Mayer Brown Practices in their respective jurisdictions.


* Canadian Securities Class Action Filings Down in 2012, NERA Says
------------------------------------------------------------------
Filings of securities class actions in Canada declined to nine new
cases during 2012 from the record 15 new filings in 2011, and
lower than the average of 12 cases per year since 2008, according
to NERA Economic Consulting's report released on Feb. 14, Trends
in Canadian Securities Class Actions: 2012 Update.

All of the new filings for 2012 were shareholder class actions,
and in contrast to previous years' filings, none involved
allegations of Ponzi schemes, claims relating to the credit
crisis, or claims against North American-listed Chinese companies.
The abatement of these recent trends in filings was consistent
with the experience in the US during 2012.  However, none of the
nine cases filed in Canada appear to be related to the surge in
merger objection cases seen in the US over the last three years.

                         Case Resolutions

Three securities class actions were settled in 2012 (excluding
partial settlements) -- two Bill 198 cases (Article Glacier for
$13.8 million and Gammon Gold for C$13.25 million) and one Ponzi
scheme case (RBC settled claims relating to the Earl Jones Ponzi
scheme for $17 million).  The median settlement for all Canadian
securities class action settlements (excluding partial
settlements) in NERA's database is C$13 million.

Notably in 2012, Ernst & Young agreed to pay C$117 million to
settle claims relating to its role as auditor of Chinese company
Sino-Forest.  This partial settlement, if approved, would
represent the largest settlement in a Bill 198 case to date.

                           Active Cases

With nine new securities class actions filed and the resolution of
five cases during 2012, there were 51 active Canadian securities
class actions as of 31 December.  This is nearly double the number
of active cases four years ago.  NERA's database now includes data
for 100 Canadian securities class actions filed since 1997.

"The growing number of active cases on the docket and the recent
court rulings suggest that we may see both more cases move to the
leave application and certification stages and possibly more
settlements in 2013 than we saw in 2012," said NERA Vice President
Bradley Heys, co-author of the report.

          Canadian Securities Class Actions: Key Trends

    * Eight of the nine cases filed in 2012 involved issuers with
securities listed on the TSX.

    * Bill 198 cases made up the majority of filings in 2012,
accounting for eight of the nine cases filed -- in line with
previous years.

    * All of the cases filed in 2012 were filed in Ontario. Two
cases (SNC-Lavalin and Agnico-Eagle) were also filed in Qu‚bec.
The claims against Facebook and GLG Life Tech Corp were also filed
in British Columbia.

    * Six of the nine new class actions in 2012 also had parallel
US filings: Angico-Eagle, BP p.l.c., Facebook, GLG Life Tech,
Kinross Gold, and Nevsun Resources.

    * Two-thirds of the new cases filed in 2012 were brought
against companies in the mining or oil and gas sectors.

    * Continuing a the trend toward faster filing, the median time
to file from the end of the proposed class period to the date of
filing for cases filed in 2012 was approximately 3.1 months, and
the average was 4.6 months.

    * Two cases were dismissed during 2012 -- cases brought
against Western Coal and CIBC.

    * 55% of the 51 active cases are Bill 198 cases, representing
more than $19 billion in claimed damages.

    * US securities class actions filings were made against six
Canadian-domiciled companies in 2012, bringing the total number of
active US cases against Canadian-domiciled companies to 17.

                           About NERA

NERA Economic Consulting -- http://www.nera.com-- is a global
firm of experts dedicated to applying economic, finance, and
quantitative principles to complex business and legal challenges.


* High Court Limits Plaintiffs' Ability to Prosecute Class Actions
------------------------------------------------------------------
According to an article by Jason M. Halper, Esq. and Ryan J.
Andreoli, Esq., of Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft LLP, available at
Mondaq News Alerts, the little-noticed impact of two distinct
lines of decisions by the Supreme Court in recent years has given
companies greater ability to limit the use of class action
lawsuits and more effectively contest class certification.  The
current term may continue this trend, with four cases having the
potential to significantly impact the ability of plaintiffs to
bring or maintain class actions.  Taken together, the Court's
willingness to decide these issues and its decisions to date
suggest that the Court is cutting back on plaintiffs' ability to
successfully prosecute class actions while promoting defendant-
companies' ability to avoid or defeat class actions.

The modern federal class action lawsuit gained prominence
following Congress's revision of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
23 ("Rule 23'') in the 1960s.  Since that time, class actions have
grown, both in terms of the number of filings and the amount of
damages awarded, and have had a significant impact on how business
is transacted.  Proponents of class action litigation point to the
fact that, where a defendant is alleged to have caused injury to a
significant number of parties, class litigation increases
efficiencies and promotes judicial economy by eliminating the need
for repeatedly litigating the same or substantially similar
claims.  Additionally, class litigation helps to overcome the
problem that de minimis recoveries often ' "do not provide the
incentive for any individual to bring a solo action prosecuting
his or her rights.'" (Amchem Prods., Inc. v. Windsor, 521 U.S.
591, 617 (1997) (citation omitted)).  Class actions, however, come
at a high cost to American businesses and foreign companies that
either operate here or have securities traded on a U.S. exchange.
Because a class action aggregates the claims of dozens, hundreds,
or even millions of individual plaintiffs, the potential for a
massive judgment and (at the very least) a prolonged and expensive
litigation process, places significant pressure on the
defendant(s) to settle, even where the plaintiffs' claims are
meritless.  Additionally, class actions are notoriously lawyer-
driven, with members of the plaintiffs' bar reaping substantial
fees for the opportunity to "serve" plaintiffs who often have
little interest, and therefore, little involvement in the
litigation.

Because of the controversial nature and potential impact of the
class action lawsuit, there is significant interest when class
action issues are adjudicated by the Supreme Court or one of the
federal Courts of Appeal.  Recent Supreme Court decisions on
contractual arbitration provisions and class certification
standards suggest the Court may further limit the ability of
plaintiffs to file and maintain class action lawsuits in the
future.

                Contractual Arbitration Agreements

Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution generally involving
one or more neutral third-parties-known as arbitrators-whose
decision is binding on the parties.  Arbitration, at least in
theory, offers the potential for a faster and less-costly dispute
resolution process than litigation.  The discovery process, which
can be enormously time-consuming and expensive to parties involved
in litigation and especially in class actions, may be narrowly
tailored in an individual arbitration (with limited document
exchanges, interrogatories and depositions).  Additionally, motion
practice can be significantly curtailed in an arbitration
proceeding.

The benefits of arbitration, including those referenced above,
have induced companies to include mandatory arbitration provisions
in consumer and commercial contracts.  These arbitration clauses,
in many cases, mandate that a potential plaintiff must pursue any
and all claims against the company individually, rather than as a
member or representative of a class.  Not surprisingly, these
provisions have faced substantial opposition from consumer rights
advocates and plaintiffs' lawyers who pursue claims in the class
action context.  The Supreme Court has recently had the
opportunity to review several decisions involving class
arbitration issues, and its holdings may afford companies the
ability to substantially decrease the number of class action
lawsuits.

A. Stolt-Nielsen v. AnimalFeeds Int'l Corp.

In 2010, the Supreme Court was presented with the following
question: can parties to a commercial contract that provides for
mandatory arbitration of all disputes-but is silent on the issue
of class procedures-be compelled to engage in class arbitration?
(See Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. AnimalFeeds Int'l Corp., 130 S. Ct.
1758 (2010).) In Stolt-Nielsen, the Court found that a pre-dispute
arbitration agreement that was silent on the issue of class
procedures could not be interpreted to allow classwide
arbitration. (See id. at 1762 ("a party may not be compelled under
the FAA to submit to class arbitration unless there is a
contractual basis for concluding that the party agreed to do so'')
(emphasis in original)).

In the wake of Stolt-Nielsen, a circuit split has developed with
respect to the appropriate interpretation of that decision.
Consistent with what appears to be the holding in Stolt-Nielsen,
the Fifth Circuit has determined that "arbitrators should not find
implied agreements to submit to class arbitration" where the
arbitration clause is silent on this topic. (See Reed v. Florida
Metro. Univ., Inc., 681 F.3d 630, 646 (5th Cir. 2012)). The Second
and Third Circuits, on the other hand, have interpreted Stolt-
Nielsen far more narrowly.  These courts have held that where the
parties' agreement is silent on the class arbitration issue, an
arbitrator can permit classwide arbitration upon determining that
the parties implicitly agreed to that procedure. (See Jock v.
Sterling Jewelers Inc., 646 F.3d 113, 123 (2d Cir. 2011) ("no
explicit agreement to permit class arbitration . . . is not the
same thing as stipulating that the parties had reached no
agreement on the issue"), cert. denied, 132 S. Ct. 1742 (2012);
Sutter v. Oxford Health Plans LLC, 675 F.3d 215, 222-23 (3d Cir.)
("No stipulation between [the parties] is conclusive of the
parties' intent and, indeed, the parties dispute whether or not
they intended to authorize class arbitration.  Therefore, the
arbitrator in this case was not constrained to conclude that the
parties did not intend to authorize class arbitration''), cert.
granted, No. 12-135, 2012 BL 321896 (U.S. Dec. 7, 2012)).

In order to distinguish Stolt-Nielsen, the Jock and Sutter courts
relied on the fact that the parties in Stolt- Nielsen entered into
a stipulation providing that there was no agreement on class
procedures.  This appears to be a distinction without a
difference, however, as the same "silence" was at issue in all
three decisions. (See Jock, 646 F.3d at 128 (Winter, J.,
dissenting) (asserting that the facts in Jock were "on all fours"
with the Supreme Court's decision in Stolt-Nielsen)).  Indeed, the
arbitration provision in each case neither expressly authorized
nor precluded classwide arbitration.  The Supreme Court granted
certiorari in Sutter on Dec. 7, 2012, presumably to resolve the
circuit split regarding the interpretation of Stolt-Nielsen.
B. AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion

One year after issuing its decision in Stolt-Nielsen, the Supreme
Court considered a similar case, only this time in the context of
a contract that expressly prohibited classwide arbitration.  In
AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740 (2011), mobile
phone customers brought a putative class action against AT&T
alleging that the company had engaged in false advertising and
fraud under California law.  AT&T moved to compel arbitration
under the terms of its pre-dispute contracts with the plaintiffs,
all of which were standard form contracts (or contracts of
adhesion).  The plaintiffs opposed the motion, arguing that these
contracts, which mandated that each plaintiff arbitrate its claims
individually and expressly disallowed classwide arbitration, were
unconscionable and unlawfully exculpatory under California law.
The Supreme Court rejected this argument and upheld the validity
of the class action waiver provision in the parties' agreements,
ruling that the Federal Arbitration Act ("FAA"), a statute
reflecting a ' "liberal federal policy favoring arbitration,'"
preempted the conflicting California law: "The overarching purpose
of the FAA . . . is to ensure the enforcement of arbitration
agreements according to their terms so as to facilitate
streamlined proceedings.  Requiring the availability of classwide
arbitration interferes with fundamental attributes of arbitration
and thus creates a scheme inconsistent with the FAA. " (Id. at
1745, 1748 (citation omitted)).

As with Stolt-Nielsen, the federal appellate courts have taken
seemingly inconsistent positions on how to interpret Concepcion.
For example, in Italian Colors Restaurant v. American Express
Travel Related Services Co. (In re American Express Merchants'
Litigation), 667 F.3d 204, reh'g in banc denied, 681 F.3d 139 (2d
Cir.), cert. granted, 133 S. Ct. 594 (2012), the Second Circuit
held that an arbitration clause containing a class action waiver
provision was unenforceable-even in light of Concepcion-because
the "practical effect" of that waiver was to prevent plaintiffs
from bringing federal antitrust claims. (Id. at 215 n.6.) The
Ninth and Eleventh Circuits, on the other hand, have interpreted
Concepcion more broadly to uphold class action waiver provisions.
The Eleventh Circuit has held that "in light of Concepcion, state
rules mandating the availability of class arbitration based on
generalizable characteristics of consumer protection claims . . .
are preempted by the FAA, even if they may be 'desirable.'" (Cruz
v. Cingular Wireless, LLC, 648 F.3d 1205, 1212 (11th Cir. 2011)
(citation omitted).) The Ninth Circuit has criticized the Second
Circuit's decision in AmEx, finding that the Second Circuit's
conclusion was explicitly "foreclose[d]'' by Concepcion. (See
Coneff v. AT &T Corp., 673 F.3d 1155, 1159-60 & n.3 (9th Cir.
2012) ("To the extent that the Second Circuit's opinion is not
distinguishable, we disagree with it and agree instead with the
Eleventh Circuit'')).

On May 29, 2012, the Second Circuit denied the defendant's motion
for rehearing en banc in AmEx.  In that decision, several Second
Circuit judges, including Chief Judge Jacobs and Judges Cabranes
and Raggi, dissented on the ground that the panel had improperly
narrowed the holding of Concepcion and, in so doing, created an
"unwarranted" circuit split. (See 681 F.3d at 146-49.) On November
9, 2012, the Supreme Court granted the defendant's petition for
certiorari (presumably to resolve this circuit split).1

                    Class Certification Standards

Under Rule 23, which governs the procedures applicable to class
action litigation in federal court, "at an early practicable
time'' after a lawsuit has commenced, "the court must determine by
order whether to certify the action as a class action.'' (Fed. R.
Civ. P. 23(c)(1)(A)).  To prevail on certification, the plaintiffs
must first show that: "(1) the class is so numerous that joinder
of all [class] members is impracticable; (2) there are questions
of law or fact common to the class; (3) the claims or defenses of
the [class] representative[s] are typical of [those of] the class;
and (4) the [class] representative[s] will fairly and adequately
protect the interests of the class." (Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(a)).

Once these four threshold requirements have been met, a plaintiff
must also convince the court that one of the requirements in
subdivision (b) of Rule 23 has been satisfied, that: (1)
prosecution of separate actions risks inconsistent adjudications
and incompatible standards of conduct; (2) defendants have acted
or refused to act on grounds generally applicable to the class; or
(3) there are common questions of law or fact that predominate
over any individual class member's questions, and that a class
action is superior to other methods of adjudication.

The impact of the court's decision to certify a class is difficult
to understate. The denial of a class certification motion often
sounds the "death knell" of the litigation (once the appeal of
that decision has been exhausted) because putative class members
generally lack the resources (or are not sufficiently financially
interested) to continue prosecuting the action as individual
plaintiffs.  On the other hand, a grant of class certification
usually will place tremendous pressure on the defendant(s) to
settle, even where viable defenses exist, because of the costs of
discovery and the potential for an extravagant damages award
should the plaintiffs prevail at trial.

Class action defendants have long argued that where the merits of
the plaintiffs' claims overlap with the elements of Rule 23, a
district court must rigorously analyze those merits issues to
ensure that Rule 23 is satisfied and certification is appropriate.
Class action plaintiffs, on the other hand, frequently argue that
it is inappropriate to reach merits issues at the class
certification stage, pointing to, among other things, the liberal
certification standard articulated in Eisen v. Carlisle &
Jacquelin, 417 U.S. 156, 177 (1974), where the Court found that
there is "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."

In 2011, the Supreme Court considered certain issues regarding
merits consideration at the class certification stage in Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011).  This term, the
Supreme Court will review two additional decisions involving the
extent to which a court should address class certification issues
that also involve the merits of the plaintiffs' claims.

A. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes

In 2001, six female Wal-Mart employees sued their employer in the
Northern District of California alleging that the company had
violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by paying
female employees less and promoting women less often than their
male counterparts.  The proposed class had approximately 1.5
million members.  Wal-Mart opposed class certification on the
grounds that the plaintiffs could not satisfy the "commonality"
requirement of Rule 23(a) because there was not a single,
countrywide Wal-Mart policy to which the plaintiffs objected.  The
existence of such a policy also was an element of the plaintiffs'
Title VII claim.  At the class certification hearing, the
plaintiffs introduced opinions from sociological and statistical
experts to buttress their argument that the alleged discrimination
at Wal-Mart stores in different regions of the country were
sufficiently similar to satisfy the commonality requirement in
Rule 23(a).

The district court granted class certification, finding that Wal-
Mart's argument regarding "commonality'' required the court to
delve too deeply into the merits of the plaintiffs' claims. (See
Dukes v. Wal-Mart, Stores, Inc., 222 F.R.D. 137, 144 (N.D. Cal.
2004) (' "although some inquiry into the substance of a case may
be necessary to ascertain satisfaction of the commonality and
typicality requirements of Rule 23(a), it is improper to advance a
decision on the merits to the class certification stage'")
(citation omitted), aff'd, 603 F.3d 571 (9th Cir. 2010), rev'd,
131 S. Ct. 1541 (2011)).

The Ninth Circuit affirmed, but in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme
Court reversed.  Justice Scalia, writing for the majority, held
that a "rigorous analysis" of whether the prerequisites of Rule
23(a) have been satisfied "will entail some overlap with the
merits of the plaintiff's underlying claim.  That cannot be
helped." (131 S. Ct. at 2551).  The Court went on to conduct an
in-depth analysis of the plaintiffs' evidence of a common pattern
or practice of discrimination (including the testimony provided by
the plaintiffs' expert witnesses), even though that analysis was
relevant to the merits of plaintiffs' Title VII discrimination
claims, because such an inquiry was necessary to assess
"commonality'' under Rule 23(a). (Id. at 2552 ("In this case,
proof of commonality necessarily overlaps with [plaintiffs']
merits contention that Wal-Mart engages in a pattern or practice
of discrimination.  That is so because, in resolving an
individual's Title VII claim, the crux of the inquiry is 'the
reason for a particular employment decision' '') (citation
omitted)).2 After engaging in that analysis, the Court determined
that the plaintiffs had failed to provide "convincing proof of a
companywide discriminatory pay and promotion policy," and
therefore had failed to establish the existence of a common
question of law or fact as required by Rule 23(a). (Id. at 2556-
57).

B. Comcast Corp. v. Behrend

In 2003, cable television subscribers sued Comcast Corporation in
the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania based on allegations that Comcast colluded with Time
Warner Cable, Adelphia Communications, and other cable providers
to apportion cable subscribers among the respective cable
providers based on geographic location in violation of the Sherman
Act.  Comcast argued against class certification on the grounds
that the plaintiffs could not establish "that the questions of law
or fact common to class members predominate over any questions
affecting only individual members."  Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(3).
Specifically, Comcast contended that the putative class of 2
million customers covered more than 600 franchise areas that faced
different competitive conditions, and consequently, there could be
no common methodology for awarding damages to the entire class.

The district court held an evidentiary hearing on the plaintiffs'
motion for class certification, at which the plaintiffs offered an
expert witness to establish classwide damages.  Following that
hearing, the district court certified the proposed class, holding
that the plaintiffs' theory of class-wide damages was "plausible"
and ' "susceptible to proof at trial through available evidence
common to the class.'" (Behrend v. Comcast Corp., 264 F.R.D. 150,
155 (E.D. Pa. 2010) (citation omitted), aff'd, 655 F.3d 182 (3d
Cir. 2011), cert. granted in part, 133 S. Ct. 24 (2012)).  The
district court further stated that "[a] plaintiff need not
establish by a preponderance of the evidence the merits of its
claims at the class certification stage." (Id.)

On appeal, the Third Circuit acknowledged that the antitrust
impact element of the plaintiffs' Sherman Act claim (i.e., a
plaintiff's "individual injury'') overlapped with the predominance
prong of Rule 23(b), and therefore had to be evaluated in
connection with the plaintiffs' class certification motion.  The
Third Circuit nonetheless declined to resolve the issue of whether
the plaintiff had offered adequate proof of antitrust impact,
reasoning that although a "district court must conduct a 'rigorous
analysis' of the evidence and arguments in making the class
certification decision," such an analysis need only ' ''include a
preliminary inquiry into the merits.'" (655 F.3d at 190 (citation
omitted; emphasis added)).  Like the district court before it, the
Third Circuit held that it was only required to determine whether
the plaintiffs' theory was "capable of proof through evidence
common to the class." (Id. at 192 (emphasis added)).

The Supreme Court granted Comcast's petition for certiorari and
heard argument on Nov. 5, 2012.3

C. Amgen, Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement Plans & Trust Funds

The Supreme Court is also currently reviewing another federal
appellate decision with significant implications for class
certification issues. In Amgen, Inc. v. Connecticut Retirement
Plans & Trust Funds, 132 S. Ct. 2742 (2012), investor plaintiffs
brought suit against Amgen, Inc. in the United States District
Court for the Central District of California, alleging that the
company made false and misleading statements about two of its
anti-anemia drugs in violation of Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  The
plaintiffs moved to certify an investor class, invoking-in order
to establish the predominance requirement of Rule 23(b)-the fraud-
on- the-market presumption of reliance articulated by the Supreme
Court in Basic Inc. v. Levinson, 485 U.S. 224 (1988).4
Importantly, while the plaintiffs presented evidence on the
efficiency of the market for Amgen stock, they did not provide any
evidence regarding the materiality of Amgen's alleged
misrepresentations.  Amgen opposed class certification, arguing
that the plaintiffs could not demonstrate that the company's
alleged misstatements were material.  Amgen asserted that the
plaintiffs were therefore not entitled to the fraud-onthe- market
presumption of reliance, and could not establish that common
questions predominated as required by Rule 23(b).  The district
court rejected Amgen's argument, holding that "the inquiries
Defendants urge the Court to make . . . concern the merits of the
case [and] [a]ccordingly, delving into those issues is
inappropriate at this time.'' (Connecticut Ret. Plans & Trust
Funds v. Amgen, Inc., No. CV 07-2536 PSG, 2009 BL 294840, at *11
(C.D. Cal. Aug. 12, 2009), aff'd, 660 F.3d 1170 (9th Cir. 2011),
cert. granted, 132 S. Ct. 2472 (2012)).

On Amgen's appeal, the Ninth Circuit acknowledged that: (i) the
plaintiffs had to show the existence of common questions of law or
fact regarding reliance in order to obtain class certification;
and (ii) it had previously held that the fraud-on-the-market
presumption of reliance is only available where the alleged
misrepresentations are material. (See 660 F.3d at 1176-77.) The
Ninth Circuit nonetheless held that the plaintiffs were not
required to present any evidence regarding the materiality of the
alleged misrepresentations to satisfy Rule 23, at least in part
because materiality involved the merits of the plaintiffs' claims.
(Id. at 1177 ("a plaintiff need not prove materiality at the class
certification stage to invoke the [fraud-on-the-market]
presumption; materiality is a merits issue to be reached at trial
or by summary judgment motion if the facts are uncontested")).5

Thus, like the Third Circuit in Comcast, the Ninth Circuit in
Amgen effectively declined to resolve issues of fact that were
relevant to the issue of whether all of the prerequisites of Rule
23 had been satisfied because those issues also implicated the
merits of the plaintiffs' claims.

As in Comcast, the Supreme Court granted Amgen's petition for
certiorari, and heard argument on Nov. 5, 2012.

                            Conclusion

The Supreme Court's decisions in Stolt-Nielsen and Concepcion
demonstrate that the current configuration of the Court is
unapologetically in favor of promoting arbitration as an
alternative to class action litigation.  While these decisions
dealt with arbitration clauses in consumer and/or commercial
contracts, the Court's logic potentially could be applied in other
contexts as well, including to brokerage customers or corporate
stockholders.  If the Court continues on its current path and
reverses the Second Circuit's decision in AmEx and the Third
Circuit's decision in Sutter, those rulings would further limit
the ability of individual plaintiffs to pursue class remedies,
both in the context of litigation and in arbitration.

The Court's decision in Dukes also serves as a significant hurdle
that plaintiffs must overcome to obtain classwide relief.  To the
extent that the Court follows the reasoning set forth in Dukes in
Comcast and Amgen, plaintiffs could be required in many instances
to litigate issues regarding the merits of their claims in what
could amount to mini-trials at the class-certification stage.
Such a heightened standard would arm defendants with powerful new
arguments for opposing class certification, and force plaintiffs'
class counsel to give greater consideration to the merits of their
claims at the outset of the case, rather than merely hoping to
pass through the class certification phase and force a settlement.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP -- http://www.cadwalader.com/--
is an international law firm of over 500 attorneys.


* Opt-Outs May Bring US-Style Litigation, King & Wood Firm Says
---------------------------------------------------------------
According to an article by Kylie Sturtz, Esq. --
kylie.sturtz@au.kwm.com -- of King & Wood Mallesons, available at
Lexology, the UK Government is signaling possible changes to the
UK's national competition law regime.  It has just introduced a
raft of reform proposals aimed at facilitating collective damages
actions and enabling victims to pursue compensation for their
losses.

The reason for these extensive changes is that, outside the USA,
private damages actions are arguably the least-used and least
effective lever to encourage competition law compliance.  There
are many reasons for this but two disincentives to private actions
are that:

    * the cost of legal action for an individual consumer or small
business is significant relative to the value of loss suffered;
and

    * calculating the loss suffered by any one claimant is
complex, e.g., if inflated prices are passed on by customers down
the line it means claimants at different levels of the supply
chain will suffer varying degrees of loss, which are difficult to
quantify.

The UK Government has decided to tackle this with a three-pronged
approach:

    * the Competition Appeal Tribunal's role will be expanded and
it will become the main body dealing with UK competition actions;

    * alternative dispute resolution will be promoted to
facilitate settlements and reduce the number of cases that go
before the CAT or the courts; and

    * an opt-out class action regime will be introduced to
encourage claimants to seeks redress.

The third of these "prong", opt-out class actions, has garnered
the greatest interest and the most comment.  During the
consultation process many submissions expressed concern that an
opt-out regime would bring forth the many-headed monster of a "US
litigation culture" in the UK.  As a result, the government has
introduced a number of safeguards to reduce the risks of abuse:

    * "Opt-out" actions will only be available to UK-based
claimants.

    * Any potential class action will be subject to a
certification process in which the CAT will assess the adequacy of
the representative for the class and will also determine whether a
collective action is the best way of bringing the case.

    * Exemplary damages will not be permitted -- unlike the US
where the threat of treble damages encourages companies to settle
even spurious claims.

    * The 'loser pays' principle will continue to apply in the
case of competition damages cases and contingency fee schemes will
be prohibited.

Only time will tell whether these changes actually achieve their
goal of enabling compensation for deserving claimants.  In
Australia, with our opt-out class actions regimes, it cannot be
said that the floodgates have opened since their introduction and
it seems unlikely this will happen in the UK either, particularly
with the safeguards that have been proposed.  However, one
possible outcome of these changes may be that the threat of
litigation causes parties to turn to the ADR regime to settle
claims.

These changes indicate a real willingness on the part of the UK
Government to engage with stakeholders and pursue a vigorous
reform agenda in the area of competition law.  At home, there has
been increased interest in facilitation of private actions and the
Treasury Department has consulted with the Law Council of
Australia and the ACCC about the need for reform.  Particularly as
this is an election year, the Government may look to regimes
abroad, like the UK, for inspiration and may consider applying
some of these reforms here.

King & Wood Mallesons -- http://www.kwm.com/-- is a global law
firm with over 380 partners and 1,800 lawyers.


                           *********

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
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