CAR_Public/130312.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Tuesday, March 12, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 50

                             Headlines



AMAZINS: Settles Security Guards' Overtime Class Action
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Bid for Arbitration in "Clarke" Suit Pending
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Bid to Stay "Corriveau" Suit vs. Unit Pending
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Bid to Stay "Lamoureux" Suit Remains Pending
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Briefing on Appeal in "Lopez" Suit Stayed

AMERICAN EXPRESS: Continues to Defend Merchants' Antitrust Suits
AMERICAN EXPRESS: State Supreme Court Review Sought in "Hoffman"
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Law Enforcement Systems Appeals Suit Dismissal
AMERICAN EXPRESS: "Marcotte" Class Suit Remains Pending in Quebec
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Claims Trial in "Ross" Suit Concludes

AMERICAN EXPRESS: Still Awaits Final Okay of "Kaufman" Suit Deal
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Suits Over Anti-Steering Provisions Stayed
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Two QCPA Violations Class Suits Remain Stayed
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Unit's Request in "Adams" Suit Remains Pending
AON PLC: Appeal From Antitrust Suit Settlement Order Dismissed

AQUA LUNG: Recalls 130,000 Santa Cruz Jr. Youth Snorkeling Masks
AQUA LUNG: Recalls 44,000 Martinique LX Jr Youth Snorkeling Masks
BUMBLE BEE: Recalls Chunk White Albacore and Light Tuna Products
BYRON CENTER: FSIS Lists Stores That Received Recalled Products
CHARLES SCHWAB: 9th Cir. Appeal in "Northstar" Suit Still Pending

CHURCH & DWIGHT: ARM & HAMMER Deodorant Complaint Amended in Jan.
COMMERCE BANCSHARES: Still Awaits "Wolfgeher" Suit Deal Approval
CVS PHARMACY: Dist. Court Dismisses FLSA Claims in Workers' Suit
EQUIFAX INC: Oral Arguments in Cal. Suit Appeals Set for March
FIFTH THIRD: Awaits Final Approval of Antitrust Suit Settlement

FIFTH THIRD: Continues to Defend ERISA-Violations Class Suits
FOREST OIL: Continues to Defend "Augenbaum" IPO-Related Suit
HERSHEY CO: Continues to Defend Antitrust Law-Violation Suits
HEWLETT-PACKARD: Zamanksy to Act as Interim ERISA Class Counsel
LEAD-IMPACTED COMMUNITIES: Court Has Yet to Decide on Picher Suit

PAMPERED CHEF: Recalls 286,000 Garlic Slicers Due to Cut Hazard
ROYAL BANK: Second Circuit Reinstates $1.32-Bil. MBS Class Action
SEI INVESTMENTS: Motions in Stanford-Related Suit Granted
SEI INVESTMENTS: Parties Filed Appeal Briefs in ETF-Related Suit
SPI ELECTRICITY: Black Saturday Bushfire Class Action Begins

SUNTRUST BANKS: 11th Cir. Remands Fisch Class Suit to Dist. Ct.
TELLABS INC: Faces Stockholder Class Action Suits in Illinois
TRI-UNION SEAFOOD: Recalls Chunk White Albacore Tuna in Water
US BANCORP: Still Awaits Approval of Settlement in Visa Matter

* N.D. Calif. Emerges as Preferred Food Label Class Action Venue


                           *********


AMAZINS: Settles Security Guards' Overtime Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------
Gary Buiso, writing for New York Post, reports that The Amazins
recently agreed to fork over $395,000 to settle a class-action
lawsuit filed by security guards owed overtime pay, The Post has
learned.

"The Mets shouldn't be allowed to blatantly flout the law and
underpay these workers in violation of basic overtime wage laws,"
said David Harrison, the guards' attorney.

Stadium security guards, who make $16 to $18 an hour, worked
40-hour shifts plus six OT hours per home game, but never received
time and a half for their extra labor, the lawyer said.

Besides shortchanging guards, Harrison said, the team also treated
them like their own private chauffeur service, shuttling players
and management around town after games.

The Mets, who would not comment, admitted to no wrongdoing in the
settlement.

Under the agreement, about 345 guards are entitled to some
payment, with the highest single check about $15,000, the lawyer
said.

Guards told The Post that they routinely drove around team owner
Fred Wilpon, along with players such as David Wright, Pedro
Martinez, and Carlos Beltran.

"That's a lot of responsibility driving players around," said one
former Shea Stadium guard.  "Say you get into a car accident and
David Wright breaks his arm -- you can get fired over something
like that."

Overworked guards cheered the settlement as a home run.

"They want security to do everything, but they didn't want to
pay," said one guard.  "But if it wasn't for security, there
wouldn't be any business."

The agreement, which awaits final court approval, includes guards
who worked at either Shea Stadium or Citi Field from August 2005
to the end of the 2011 season.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Bid for Arbitration in "Clarke" Suit Pending
--------------------------------------------------------------
American Express Company's motion to compel arbitration in the
class action lawsuit titled Clarke v. American Express Company, et
al. remains pending, according to the Company's February 22, 2013,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2012.

In October 2012, a putative class action captioned Clarke v.
American Express Company, et al. was filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging that
American Express Company, American Express Travel Related
Services, Inc., American Express Centurion Bank and American
Express Bank, FSB, violated state consumer protection laws, state
common law and federal statutory law in the marketing, selling and
implementation of a credit card product known as "Account
Protector."  The complaint seeks unspecified compensatory and
punitive damages along with injunctive and declaratory relief.
The Company filed a motion to compel arbitration on December 11,
2012.

New York-based American Express Company is a global services
company that provides customers with access to products, insights
and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  The
Company's principal products and services are charge and credit
payment card products and travel-related services offered to
consumers and businesses around the world.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Bid to Stay "Corriveau" Suit vs. Unit Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
The defendants' motion to stay the class action lawsuit titled
Option Consommateurs and Marylou Corriveau v. Amex Bank of Canada,
et al., remains pending, according to American Express Company's
February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In October 2007, in the matter captioned Option Consommateurs and
Marylou Corriveau v. Amex Bank of Canada, et al., filed in the
Superior Court of Quebec, District of Montreal (originally filed
in December 2006), the Superior Court authorized a class action
against Amex Bank of Canada, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce,
National Bank of Canada, Royal Bank of Canada, Bank of Nova
Scotia, Banque Laurentienne du Canada, President's Choice Bank,
Toronto Dominion Bank, Bank of Montreal, Citibank Canada,
Federation de Caisses Desjardins du Quebec and MBNA Canada.  The
action alleges that cash advance fees for transactions in Canada
or abroad cannot be charged under the Quebec Consumer Protection
Act (the "QCPA").  The class includes all persons party to a
variable credit agreement concluded in Quebec for a purpose other
than the operation of a business and who paid the defendants from
October 4, 2001.  A motion was granted in October 2010 to extend
the class period from October 4, 2001, to September 30, 2010.  It
is alleged the QCPA provisions apply to credit cards issued by
Amex Bank of Canada in Quebec and all cash advance fees imposed
are contrary to the QCPA.  The class seeks reimbursement of all
such cash advance fees, CAD200 in punitive damages per class
member, interest and costs.  Defendants filed a motion to stay the
class action pending final judgment in Marcotte case.

New York-based American Express Company is a global services
company that provides customers with access to products, insights
and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  The
Company's principal products and services are charge and credit
payment card products and travel-related services offered to
consumers and businesses around the world.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Bid to Stay "Lamoureux" Suit Remains Pending
--------------------------------------------------------------
The defendants' motion to stay the class action lawsuit captioned
Option Consommateurs and Serge Lamoureux v. Amex Bank of Canada,
et al., remains pending, according to American Express Company's
February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

In October 2007, in the matter captioned Option Consommateurs and
Serge Lamoureux v. Amex Bank of Canada, et al., filed in the
Superior Court of Quebec, District of Montreal (originally filed
in December 2006), the Court authorized a class action against
Amex Bank of Canada, Banque du Montreal, Banque Royale du Canada,
Banque Nationale du Canada, Banque Canadienne Imperiale de
Commerce, Citibanque Canada, MBNA Canada and Banque de Nouvelle-
Ecosse.  The plaintiff alleges the defendants violated the Quebec
Consumer Protection Act (the "QCPA") by unilaterally increasing
credit card limits without consent and charging over limit fees
from January 12, 2001.  There are two distinct areas of the claim.
Amex Bank of Canada is not part of the first portion of the claim
dealing with the unilateral increase without consent under the
QCPA.  Amex Bank of Canada is included in the second portion of
the claim permitting Cardmembers to make charges at the point of
sale that exceed their credit limit thereby incurring an over-
limit fee for these occurrences contrary to the QCPA.  The action
alleges the QCPA provisions apply to credit cards issued by Amex
Bank of Canada in Quebec.

A motion was granted in October 2010 to extend the class period
from January 12, 2001, to September 30, 2010.  The class seeks
reimbursement of all over-limit fees imposed, CAD200 in punitive
damages per class member, interest and costs.  Discovery of Amex
Bank of Canada was held in December 2010.  Defendants filed a
motion to stay the class action pending final judgment in Marcotte
case.

New York-based American Express Company is a global services
company that provides customers with access to products, insights
and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  The
Company's principal products and services are charge and credit
payment card products and travel-related services offered to
consumers and businesses around the world.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Briefing on Appeal in "Lopez" Suit Stayed
-----------------------------------------------------------
Briefing on American Express Company's appeal of the denial of its
motion to compel arbitration in the class action lawsuit initiated
by Lopez, et al., is currently stayed, according to the Company's
February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In October 2009, a putative class action, captioned Lopez, et al.
v. American Express Bank, FSB and American Express Centurion Bank,
was filed in the United States District Court for the Central
District of California.  The amended complaint seeks to certify a
class of California American Express Cardmembers whose interest
rates were changed from fixed to variable in or around August 2009
or otherwise increased.  American Express' motion to compel
arbitration and dismiss the complaint was denied by the Court.
Briefing on American Express' appeal of the denial of the motion
to compel arbitration is currently stayed.

New York-based American Express Company is a global services
company that provides customers with access to products, insights
and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  The
Company's principal products and services are charge and credit
payment card products and travel-related services offered to
consumers and businesses around the world.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Continues to Defend Merchants' Antitrust Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
American Express Company continues to defend itself against
antitrust class action lawsuits brought by merchants, according to
the Company's February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31,
2012.

Since July 2003, the Company has been named in a number of
putative class actions in which the plaintiffs allege an unlawful
antitrust tying arrangement between certain of the Company's
charge cards and credit cards in violation of various state and
federal laws.  These cases have all been consolidated in the
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
under the caption: In re American Express Merchants' Litigation.
A case making similar allegations was also filed in the Southern
District of New York in July 2004 captioned: The Marcus
Corporation v. American Express Company, et al.  The Marcus case
is not consolidated.  The plaintiffs in these actions seek
injunctive relief and an unspecified amount of damages.  Since
April 2004, the parties to the consolidated actions have been
engaged in motion practice regarding American Express' motion to
dismiss the consolidated actions on the grounds that all of the
plaintiffs' claims are subject to arbitration.  On February 1,
2012, the Second Circuit again reversed the District Court's
decision ordering arbitration, and reaffirmed its prior ruling.
On May 29, 2012, the Second Circuit denied the Company's petition
for rehearing en banc with dissents.  The Second Circuit has
stayed the mandate pending the outcome of the Company's petition
for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, which was
granted on November 6, 2012.  Oral argument was scheduled for
February 27, 2013.

In October 2007, The Marcus Corporation filed a motion seeking
certification of a class.  In September 2008, American Express
moved for summary judgment seeking dismissal of The Marcus
Corporation's complaint, and The Marcus Corporation cross-moved
for partial summary judgment on the issue of liability.  In March
2009, the Court denied the plaintiffs' motion for class
certification, without prejudicing their right to remake such a
motion upon resolution of the pending summary judgment motions.  A
case captioned Hayama Inc. v. American Express Company, et al.,
which makes similar allegations as those in the pending actions,
was filed and remains in the Superior Court of California, Los
Angeles County (filed December 2003).  To date the Hayama action
has been stayed.

In February 2009, an amended complaint was filed in In re American
Express Merchants' Litigation.  The amended complaint contains a
single count alleging a violation of federal antitrust laws
through an alleged unlawful tying of: (a) corporate, small
business and/or personal charge card services; and (b) Blue,
Costco and standard GNS credit card services.  In addition, in
February 2009, a new complaint making the same allegations as made
in the amended complaint filed in In re American Express
Merchants' Litigation was also filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York.  That new case is
captioned Greenporter LLC and Bar Hama LLC, on behalf of
themselves and all others similarly situated v. American Express
Company and American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
Proceedings in the Greenporter action and on the amended complaint
filed in In re American Express Merchants' Litigation have been
held in abeyance pending the disposition of the motions for
summary judgment in the Marcus case.

New York-based American Express Company is a global services
company that provides customers with access to products, insights
and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  The
Company's principal products and services are charge and credit
payment card products and travel-related services offered to
consumers and businesses around the world.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: State Supreme Court Review Sought in "Hoffman"
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit styled Hoffman, et al.
v. American Express Travel Related Services Company, et al., have
petitioned the California Supreme Court for review of a summary
judgment made in favor of American Express Company, according to
the Company's February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In September 2001, Hoffman, et al. v. American Express Travel
Related Services Company, et al. was filed in the Superior Court
of the State of California, Alameda County.  Plaintiffs in that
case claim that American Express erroneously charged Cardmember
accounts in connection with its airflight insurance programs
because in certain circumstances customers must request refunds,
as disclosed in materials for the voluntary program.  In January
2006, the Court certified a class of American Express charge
Cardmembers asserting claims for breach of contract and conversion
under New York law, with a subclass of California residents
asserting violations of California Business & Professions Code
Sections 17200 and 17500, and a subclass of New York residents
asserting violation of New York General Business Law Section 349.
American Express was granted judgment on all counts following
trial and that judgment was affirmed by the Court of Appeal for
California on December 17, 2012.  Plaintiffs have petitioned the
California Supreme Court for review.

In addition, a case making the same factual allegations
(purportedly on behalf of a different class of Cardmembers) as
those in the Hoffman case was pending in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of New York, entitled Law
Enforcement Systems v. American Express, et al.  On October 5,
2012, the Company's motion to dismiss was granted and judgment
entered for defendants.  Plaintiff has filed a notice of appeal.

New York-based American Express Company is a global services
company that provides customers with access to products, insights
and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  The
Company's principal products and services are charge and credit
payment card products and travel-related services offered to
consumers and businesses around the world.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Law Enforcement Systems Appeals Suit Dismissal
----------------------------------------------------------------
Law Enforcement Systems has appealed the dismissal of its class
action lawsuit against American Express Company, according to the
Company's February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

A case making the same factual allegations (purportedly on behalf
of a different class of Cardmembers) as those in the Hoffman case
was pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of New York, entitled Law Enforcement Systems v. American
Express, et al.  In the Hoffman case, the Plaintiffs claim that
American Express erroneously charged Cardmember accounts in
connection with its airflight insurance programs because in
certain circumstances customers must request refunds, as disclosed
in materials for the voluntary program.

On October 5, 2012, the Company's motion to dismiss was granted
and judgment entered for defendants.  Plaintiff has filed a notice
of appeal.

New York-based American Express Company is a global services
company that provides customers with access to products, insights
and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  The
Company's principal products and services are charge and credit
payment card products and travel-related services offered to
consumers and businesses around the world.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: "Marcotte" Class Suit Remains Pending in Quebec
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit styled Marcotte v. Bank of Montreal, et
al., involving a subsidiary of American Express Company remains
pending, according to the Company's February 22, 2013, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

In May 2006, in a matter captioned Marcotte v. Bank of Montreal,
et al., filed in the Superior Court of Quebec, District of
Montreal (originally filed in April 2003), the Superior Court
authorized a class action against Amex Bank of Canada, Bank of
Montreal, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, Canadian
Imperial Bank of Commerce, Scotiabank, National Bank of Canada,
Laurentian Bank of Canada and Citibank Canada.  The action alleges
that conversion commissions made on foreign currency transactions
are credit charges under the Quebec Consumer Protection Act (the
"QCPA") and cannot be charged prior to the 21-day grace period
under the QCPA.  The class includes all persons residing in Quebec
holding a credit card issued by one of the defendants to whom fees
were charged since April 17, 2000, for transactions made in
foreign currency before expiration of the period of 21 days
following the statement of account.  The class claims
reimbursement of all foreign currency conversions, CAD400 per
class member for trouble, inconvenience and punitive damages,
interest and fees and costs.  The trial in the Marcotte action
commenced in September 2008 and was completed in November 2008.
The Superior Court rendered a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs
against Amex Bank of Canada on June 11, 2009, and awarded damages
in the amount of approximately CAD8.3 million plus interest on the
QCPA claims and individual claims to be made on the non-disclosure
claims.  In addition, the Superior Court awarded punitive damages
in the amount of CAD25.00 per cardmember.  The judgment has been
appealed by all banks, including Amex Bank of Canada.  On August
2, 2012, the Court of Appeal overturned the decision against Amex
Bank of Canada and certain of the other co-defendants.  The
remaining co-defendants and the plaintiffs filed leave to appeal
to the Supreme Court of Canada.

In November 2010 and December 2010, two motions to authorize class
actions were filed in the Superior Court of Quebec, District of
Montreal, under the class representative names of Giroux and
Marcotte.  Both class actions set out the same allegations as the
Marcotte class action filed in 2006 except the timeframe for the
new class actions starts as of January 1, 2008, wherein the
Marcotte case under appeal ends as of December 31, 2007.  The
motions have been stayed pending final judgment in Marcotte.

New York-based American Express Company is a global services
company that provides customers with access to products, insights
and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  The
Company's principal products and services are charge and credit
payment card products and travel-related services offered to
consumers and businesses around the world.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Claims Trial in "Ross" Suit Concludes
-------------------------------------------------------
Trial of the claims asserted by an injunction class concerning
cardmember arbitration clauses concluded in February 2013,
according to American Express Company's February 22, 2013, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 31, 2012.

In July 2004, a purported class action complaint, Ross, et al. v.
American Express Company, American Express Travel Related Services
and American Express Centurion Bank, was filed in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York
alleging that American Express conspired with Visa Inc.,
MasterCard International, Inc. and Diners Club International in
the setting of foreign currency conversion rates and in the
inclusion of arbitration clauses in certain of their cardmember
agreements.  The lawsuit seeks injunctive relief and unspecified
damages.  The class is defined as "all Visa, MasterCard and Diners
Club general-purpose cardholders who used cards issued by any of
the MDL Defendant Banks."  American Express cardholders are not
part of the class.  The parties reached an agreement to settle the
claims asserted on behalf of the damage class concerning foreign
currency conversion rates.  The settlement was approved in 2012.
The claims asserted by the injunction class concerning cardmember
arbitration clauses were not included in the proposed settlement.
Trial of those claims concluded in February 2013.

New York-based American Express Company is a global services
company that provides customers with access to products, insights
and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  The
Company's principal products and services are charge and credit
payment card products and travel-related services offered to
consumers and businesses around the world.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Still Awaits Final Okay of "Kaufman" Suit Deal
----------------------------------------------------------------
American Express Company is a defendant in a putative class action
captioned Kaufman v. American Express Travel Related Services,
which was filed on February 14, 2007, and is pending in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.  The
Plaintiffs' principal allegation is that the Company's gift cards
violate consumer protection statutes because consumers allegedly
have difficulty spending small residual amounts on the gift cards
prior to the imposition of monthly service fees.  The Court
preliminarily certified a settlement class consisting of (with
some exceptions) "all purchasers, recipients and holders of all
gift cards issued by American Express from January 1, 2002,
through the date of preliminary approval of the settlement" and
preliminarily approved the parties' settlement agreement on
September 21, 2011.  A final settlement approval hearing took
place on February 29, 2012, and the Court issued an order on June
25, 2012, appointing an expert to consider further notice to the
class.

The Company is also a defendant in Goodman v. American Express
Travel Related Services, a putative class action pending in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
that involves allegations similar to those made in Kaufman.
Plaintiffs in Goodman have intervened in the Kaufman proceedings
and will be subject to any final settlement in Kaufman that may be
approved over their objections.

No further updates were reported in the Company's February 22,
2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

New York-based American Express Company is a global services
company that provides customers with access to products, insights
and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  The
Company's principal products and services are charge and credit
payment card products and travel-related services offered to
consumers and businesses around the world.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Suits Over Anti-Steering Provisions Stayed
------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuits alleging that American Express Company's
"anti-steering" provisions in merchant acceptance agreements
violate federal antitrust laws have been partially stayed,
according to the Company's February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year
ended December 31, 2012.

During the last few years as regulatory interest in credit card
network pricing to merchants and related issues has increased, the
Company has responded to many inquiries from banking and
competition authorities throughout the world.

On October 4, 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ"), along
with Attorneys General from Connecticut, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan,
Missouri, Ohio and Texas, filed a complaint in the U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of New York against the Company,
MasterCard International Incorporated and Visa, Inc., alleging a
violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act.  The
complaint alleges that the defendants' policies prohibiting
merchants from steering a customer to use another network's card,
another type of card or another method of payment ("anti-steering"
and "non-discrimination" rules and contractual provisions) violate
the antitrust laws.  The complaint alleges that the defendants
participate in two distinct markets, a "General Purpose Card
network services market" and a "General Purpose Card network
services market for merchants in travel and entertainment ("T&E")
businesses."  The complaint contends that each of the defendants
has market power in the alleged two markets.  The complaint seeks
a judgment permanently enjoining the defendants from enforcing
their anti-steering and non-discrimination rules and contractual
provisions.  The complaint does not seek monetary damages.
Concurrent with the filing of the complaint, Visa and MasterCard
announced they had reached an agreement settling the allegations
in the complaint against them by agreeing to modifications in
their rules prohibiting merchants that accept their cards from
steering customers to use another network's card, another type of
card or another method of payment.  In December 2010, the
complaint filed by the DOJ and certain state attorneys general was
amended to add as plaintiffs the Attorneys General from Arizona,
Hawaii (Hawaii has since withdrawn its claim), Idaho, Illinois,
Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah
and Vermont.  American Express' response to the amended complaint
was filed in early January 2011.

The DOJ matter is being coordinated with individual and putative
class actions pending in the Eastern District of New York against
American Express brought by merchants alleging that the Company's
"anti-steering" provisions in its merchant acceptance agreements
with the plaintiffs violate federal antitrust laws.  As alleged by
the plaintiffs, these provisions prevent merchants from offering
consumers incentives to use alternative forms of payment when
consumers wish to use an American Express-branded card.
Plaintiffs seek damages and injunctive relief.  The putative class
actions have been partially stayed in light of the continuing
appeal in In re American Express Merchants' Litigation.

New York-based American Express Company is a global services
company that provides customers with access to products, insights
and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  The
Company's principal products and services are charge and credit
payment card products and travel-related services offered to
consumers and businesses around the world.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Two QCPA Violations Class Suits Remain Stayed
---------------------------------------------------------------
Two class action lawsuits alleging violations of the Quebec
Consumer Protection Act remain stayed, American Express Company
said in its February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In November 2006, in a matter captioned Option Consommateurs and
Benoit Fortin v. Amex Bank of Canada filed in the Superior Court
of Quebec, District of Montreal (originally filed in July 2003),
the Superior Court authorized a class action against Amex Bank of
Canada.  The plaintiff alleges the defendant violated the Quebec
Consumer Protection Act (the "QCPA") by imposing finance charges
on credit card transactions prior to 21 days following the receipt
of the statement containing the charge.  It is alleged that the
QCPA provisions, which require a 21-day grace period prior to
imposing finance charges, apply to credit cards issued by Amex
Bank of Canada in Quebec and all finance charges imposed within
the 21 day grace period are contrary to the QCPA.  The class seeks
reimbursement of all such finance charges, CAD200 in punitive
damages per class member, interest, fees and costs.  A motion was
brought in October 2010 to extend the class period from July 18,
2000, to August 31, 2010.  Defendants filed a motion to stay the
class action pending final judgment in Marcotte case.

In May 2005, a motion for authorization of a similar class action
to Fortin was filed in the Superior Court of Quebec, District of
Quebec City captioned Option Consommateurs and Joel-Christian St-
Pierre v. Bank of Montreal, et al. alleging that Amex unlawfully
charged interest 21 days from the date of the printing of the
statement under the QCPA as opposed to the date of the mailing of
the statement.  The proposed class seeks reimbursement of all
finance charges imposed, CAD100 in punitive damages per class
member, interest and fees and costs.  The St-Pierre class motion
is stayed pending final judgment in Marcotte case.

New York-based American Express Company is a global services
company that provides customers with access to products, insights
and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  The
Company's principal products and services are charge and credit
payment card products and travel-related services offered to
consumers and businesses around the world.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Unit's Request in "Adams" Suit Remains Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
The request by an American Express Company subsidiary for leave to
appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada the ruling in class action
lawsuit commenced by Sylvan Adams remains pending, according to
the Company's February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31,
2012.

In November 2006, in a matter captioned Sylvan Adams v. Amex Bank
of Canada filed in the Superior Court of Quebec, District of
Montreal (originally filed in November 2004), the Superior Court
authorized a class action against Amex Bank of Canada.  The
plaintiff alleges that prior to December 2003, Amex Bank of Canada
charged a foreign currency conversion commission on transactions
to purchase goods and services in currencies other than Canadian
dollars and failed to disclose the commissions in monthly billing
statements or solicitations directed to prospective cardmembers.
The action further alleges that conversion commissions made on
foreign currency transactions are credit charges under the Quebec
Consumer Protection Act (the "QCPA") and cannot be charged prior
to the 21-day grace period under the QCPA.  The class, consisting
of all personal and small business cardmembers residing in Quebec
that purchased goods or services in a foreign currency prior to
December 2003, claims reimbursement of all foreign currency
conversion commissions, CAD1,000 in punitive damages per class
member, interest and fees and costs.  The trial in the Adams
action commenced, and was completed, in December 2008 after the
conclusion of the trial in the Marcotte action.  The Superior
Court rendered a judgment in favor of the plaintiffs against Amex
Bank of Canada on June 11, 2009, and awarded damages in the amount
of approximately CAD13.1 million plus interest on the non-
disclosure claims.  In addition, the Superior Court awarded
punitive damages in the amount of CAD2.5 million.  Amex Bank of
Canada appealed the judgment and on August 2, 2012, the Court of
Appeal overturned the decision in part, with regard to the award
of punitive damages.

On October 15, 2012, Amex Bank of Canada filed leave for appeal to
the Supreme Court of Canada.

New York-based American Express Company is a global services
company that provides customers with access to products, insights
and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.  The
Company's principal products and services are charge and credit
payment card products and travel-related services offered to
consumers and businesses around the world.


AON PLC: Appeal From Antitrust Suit Settlement Order Dismissed
--------------------------------------------------------------
An appellate court has dismissed the appeal from an order
approving Aon plc's settlement of a consolidated antitrust class
action lawsuit, according to the Company's February 22, 2013, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 31, 2012.

At the time of the 2004-05 investigation of the insurance industry
by the Attorney General of New York and other regulators,
purported classes of clients filed civil litigation against Aon
and other companies under a variety of legal theories, including
state tort, contract, fiduciary duty, antitrust and statutory
theories and federal antitrust and Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Act ("RICO") theories.  The federal actions
were consolidated in the U.S. District Court for the District of
New Jersey, and a state court collective action was filed in
California.  In the New Jersey actions, the Court dismissed
plaintiffs' federal antitrust and RICO claims in separate orders
in August and October 2007, respectively.  In August 2010, the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed the
dismissals of most, but not all, of the claims.

In March 2011, Aon entered into a Memorandum of Understanding
documenting a settlement of the civil cases consolidated in the
U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey.  Under that
agreement, Aon paid $550,000 in exchange for dismissal of the
class claims.  This agreement received final approval in the trial
court in March 2012.  In April 2012, certain entities that had
objected to the settlement filed notices of appeal from the trial
court judgment.  The appellate court has dismissed the appeal, and
the class settlement is final.  One non-class claim brought by an
individual plaintiff that opted out of the class action proceeding
will remain pending, but the Company does not believe this case
presents material exposure to the Company.

Aon plc is a global provider of risk management services,
insurance and reinsurance brokerage, and human resource consulting
and outsourcing, delivering distinctive client value via
innovative and effective risk management and workforce
productivity solutions.  The Company is headquartered in London,
England.


AQUA LUNG: Recalls 130,000 Santa Cruz Jr. Youth Snorkeling Masks
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
importer, Aqua Lung Inc. dba U.S. Divers, of Vista, California,
and manufacturer, Aqua Lung Inc., of Vista, California, announced
a voluntary recall of about 130,000 units of Santa Cruz Jr. Youth
Snorkeling Masks.  Consumers should stop using this product unless
otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to
resell a recalled consumer product.

Notches in the tempered glass can cause the lens to break under
certain water pressure, posing a laceration hazard to the user.

The firm has received nine reports of the lens cracking or
breaking, including three reports of the minor cuts and scratches
to the face.

This recall involves Santa Cruz Jr. single paned, tempered glass
youth snorkeling masks sold under the U.S. Divers and Aqua Lung
Sport brands.  The masks were sold individually, with a snorkel or
as a set with snorkel and fins.  The U.S. Divers logo or Aqua Lung
Sport logo is on the top of the mask as well as inset on the
tempered glass lens.  The tempered glass lens is also labeled as
tempered.  This recall affects all Santa Cruz Jr. Youth Masks
manufactured before October 2011.  Masks manufactured before
October 2011 do not have a production code on the edge of the
frame, near the nose pocket.  Pictures of the recalled products
are available at http://is.gd/YAPHXb

The recalled products were manufactured in Thailand and sold at
Academy, Dick's, The Sports Authority and other sporting goods
stores nationwide and online at Amazon.com and other Internet
retailers from March 2011 through July 2012 for about $10
individually and $30 as a set.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled masks and
contact U.S. Divers for a replacement mask.  U.S. Divers may be
reached toll-free at (888) 606-6162 anytime, or online at
http://www.usdivers.com/and click on "Recall Notice" for more
information.


AQUA LUNG: Recalls 44,000 Martinique LX Jr Youth Snorkeling Masks
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
importer, Aqua Lung Inc. dba U.S. Divers, of Vista, California,
and manufacturer, Aqua Lung Inc., of Vista, California, announced
a voluntary recall of about 44,000 units of Martinique LX Jr.
Youth Snorkeling Mask Sets.  Consumers should stop using this
product unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or
attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

Notches in the tempered glass lens on the mask can break under
certain water pressure, posing a laceration hazard to the user.

The firm has received eight reports of the lens cracking or
breaking, including four reports of cuts and scratches to the
face.

This recall involves Martinique Jr. single paned, tempered glass
youth snorkeling masks sold in a set with snorkel and fins.  The
masks feature a silicone face skirt, strap and adjustable buckles.
The mask is blue with a silver accent piece that frames the
tempered glass lens.  The U.S. Divers logo is on the upper bridge
of the mask as well as inset on the tempered glass lens.  The lens
is also labeled as tempered.  The buckles are each printed with
the U.S. Divers "wave" logo.  Pictures of the recalled products
are available at http://is.gd/i1JDQY

The recalled products were manufactured in Thailand and sold
exclusively at Costco Wholesale stores nationwide from November
2010 through July 2011 for about $30.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled masks and
contact U.S. Divers for a replacement mask.  U.S. Divers may be
reached toll-free at (888) 606-6162 anytime, or online at
http://www.usdivers.com/and click on "Recall Notice" for more
information.


BUMBLE BEE: Recalls Chunk White Albacore and Light Tuna Products
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bumble Bee Foods, LLC, is expanding a voluntary recall on specific
codes of 5-ounce Chunk White Albacore and Chunk Light Tuna
products.  The recall has been issued because the products do not
meet the Company's standards for seal tightness.

Loose seals or seams could result in product contamination by
spoilage organisms or pathogens and lead to illness if consumed.
There have been no reports to date of any illness associated with
these products.

Bumble Bee initially announced the voluntary recall on Wednesday,
March 6, 2013, after identifying an issue on a manufacturing line,
which has been corrected.  The Company's final assessment of all
products affected with the recall includes the following products
with "best by" and code dates:

   Brunswick Brand 5 oz Chunk Light Tuna in Water - 48 Count Case
   (Case UPC 6661332803)

   Can Label UPC   Can Lot Code   Can Best Buy Code
   -------------   ------------   -----------------
   6661332803      3018SB1CLP     Best By Jan 18 2016
   6661332803      3018SB2CLP     Best By Jan 18 2016

   Bumble Bee Brand 5 oz Chunk Light Tuna in Water - 24 Count
   Case (Case UPC 8660000990)

   Can Label UPC   Can Lot Code   Can Best Buy Code
   -------------   ------------   -----------------
   866203          3014SAECLP     Best By Jan 14 2016
   866203          3016SB1CLP     Best By Jan 16 2016
   866203          3016SB2CLP     Best By Jan 16 2016

   Bumble Bee Brand 5 oz Chunk Light Tuna in Water - 48 Count
   Case (Case UPC 8660000020)

   Can Label UPC   Can Lot Code   Can Best Buy Code
   -------------   ------------   -----------------
   66203           3015SA1CLP     Best By Jan 15 2016
   866203          3015SA2CLP     Best By Jan 15 2016
   866203          3015SA3CLP     Best By Jan 15 2016
   866203          3015SA4CLP     Best By Jan 15 2016
   866203          3015SA5CLP     Best By Jan 15 2016
   866203          3015SAACLP     Best By Jan 15 2016
   866203          3015SABCLP     Best By Jan 15 2016
   866203          3015SACCLP     Best By Jan 15 2016
   866203          3015SADCLP     Best By Jan 15 2016
   866203          3015SAECLP     Best By Jan 15 2016
   866203          3016SB2CLP     Best By Jan 16 2016
   866203          3016SB3CLP     Best By Jan 16 2016
   866203          3016SB4CLP     Best By Jan 16 2016
   866203          3016SBACLP     Best By Jan 16 2016
   866203          3016SBBCLP     Best By Jan 16 2016
   866203          3016SBCCLP     Best By Jan 16 2016
   866203          3016SBDCLP     Best By Jan 16 2016
   866203          3016SBECLP     Best By Jan 16 2016
   866203          3017SB1CLP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   866203          3017SB3CLP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   866203          3017SB4CLP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   866203          3017SB5CLP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   866203          3017SB6CLP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   866203          3018SB2CLP     Best By Jan 18 2016
   866203          3018SB4CLP     Best By Jan 18 2016
   866203          3018SB5CLP     Best By Jan 18 2016
   866203          3018SBACLP     Best By Jan 18 2016
   866203          3018SBBCLP     Best By Jan 18 2016
   866203          3018SBCCLP     Best By Jan 18 2016
   866203          3018SBDCLP     Best By Jan 18 2016
   866203          3018SBECLP     Best By Jan 18 2016

   Bumble Bee Brand 5 oz Chunk Light Tuna in Vegetable Oil -
   48 Count Case (Case UPC 8660000021)

   Can Label UPC   Can Lot Code   Can Best Buy Code
   -------------   ------------   -----------------
   866213          3016SA1CLH     Best By Jan 16 2018
   866213          3016SA5CLH     Best By Jan 16 2018
   866213          3016SAACLH     Best By Jan 16 2018
   866213          3016SABCLH     Best By Jan 16 2018
   866213          3016SACCLH     Best By Jan 16 2018
   866213          3016SADCLH     Best By Jan 16 2018
   866213          3016SAECLH     Best By Jan 16 2018
   866213          3016SAFCLH     Best By Jan 16 2018
   866213          3018SAFCLH     Best By Jan 18 2018

   Bumble Bee Brand 5 oz Chunk White Albacore in Water - 24 Count
   Case (Case UPC 8660000025)

   Can Label UPC   Can Lot Code   Can Best Buy Code
   -------------   ------------   -----------------
   866253          3016SA2CKP     Best By Jan 16 2016
   866253          3016SA3CKP     Best By Jan 16 2016
   866253          3016SA4CKP     Best By Jan 16 2016
   866253          3017SA1CKP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   866253          3017SA2CKP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   866253          3017SA3CKP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   866253          3017SADCKP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   866253          3017SAECKP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   866253          3017SAFCKP     Best By Jan 17 2016

   Bumble Bee Brand 5 oz Chunk Light Tuna in Water - 6 Count Case
   of 4-Pack Cluster (Case UPC 8660000736)

   Cluster      Can Label
   Pack UPC        UPC      Can Lot Code   Can Best Buy Code
   --------     ---------   ------------   -----------------
   8660000736   866203      3017SBACLP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   8660000736   866203      3017SBBCLP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   8660000736   866203      3017SBCCLP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   8660000736   866203      3017SBDCLP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   8660000736   866203      3017SBECLP     Best By Jan 17 2016

   Bumble Bee Brand 5 oz Chunk White Albacore in Water - 6 Count
   Case of 8-Pack Cluster (Case UPC 8660000775)

   Cluster      Can Label
   Pack UPC        UPC      Can Lot Code   Can Best Buy Code
   --------     ---------   ------------   -----------------
   8660000776   866253      3017SABCKP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   8660000776   866253      3017SADCKP     Best By Jan 17 2016

   Bumble Bee Brand 5 oz Chunk White Albacore in Water - 6 Count
   Case of 8-Pack Cluster (Case UPCS 8660000776)

   Cluster      Can Label
   Pack UPC        UPC      Can Lot Code   Can Best Buy Code
   --------     ---------   ------------   -----------------
   8660000776   866253      3017SA3CKP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   8660000776   866253      3017SA4CKP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   8660000776   866253      3017SA5CKP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   8660000776   866253      3017SAACKP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   8660000776   866253      3017SACCKP     Best By Jan 17 2016
   8660000776   866253      3017SB2CKP     Best By Jan 17 2016

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:

         http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm342597.htm

These products were distributed for retail sale nationwide between
January 17, 2013, and March 6, 2013.

Bumble Bee Foods SVP of Technical Services and Corporate Quality
Assurance Steve Mavity said: "Due to can integrity concerns, our
top priority at this time is to remove these recalled products
from distribution as soon as possible.  We are working closely
with our sales team and with retailers to help expedite the
recall.

"We must assure our consumers and retailers of a safe and quality
product so we very much appreciate everyone's part in disposing of
the products with the specific codes indicated.  We're voluntarily
recalling products to ensure the highest margin of safety and
quality," Mr. Mavity said.

Consumers who have purchased the recalled products should discard
them by disposing in the garbage.  Consumers should also direct
any questions on the recall or reimbursement by contacting the
24-hour dedicated recall line at (888) 820-1947.


BYRON CENTER: FSIS Lists Stores That Received Recalled Products
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection
Service disclosed that certain stores in various states received
ham products that have been recalled by Byron Center Wholesale
Meats.

The FSIS says the list of store locations may not include all
retail locations that have received the recalled product or may
include retail locations that did not actually receive the
recalled product.  Therefore, the FSIS says, it is important that
consumers use the product-specific identification information
available at http://is.gd/RxJ50Gin addition to the list of retail
stores, to check meat or poultry products in the consumers'
possession to see if they have been recalled.

   Specific Store-Wide Distribution (Stores and Location)
   ------------------------------------------------------
   Retailer Name                City and State
   -------------                --------------
   Honored Prairie Seven Sons   Buying clubs in IL, IN, MI, & OH
   Heffron Farms                Belding, Michigan
   Lubbers Family Farm          Grand Rapids, Michigan
   Roger's Land and Cattle      Ostego, Michigan


CHARLES SCHWAB: 9th Cir. Appeal in "Northstar" Suit Still Pending
-----------------------------------------------------------------
On August 28, 2008, a class action lawsuit was filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf
of investors in the Schwab Total Bond Market Fund(TM) (Northstar
lawsuit).  The lawsuit, which alleges violations of state law and
federal securities law in connection with the fund's investment
policy, names The Charles Schwab Corporation's subsidiaries,
Schwab Investments (registrant and issuer of the fund's shares)
and Charles Schwab Investment Management, Inc. (CSIM), as
defendants.  Allegations include that the fund improperly deviated
from its stated investment objectives by investing in
collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs) and investing more than
25% of fund assets in CMOs and mortgage-backed securities without
obtaining a shareholder vote.  Plaintiffs seek unspecified
compensatory and rescission damages, unspecified equitable and
injunctive relief, costs and attorneys' fees.  Plaintiffs' federal
securities law claim and certain of plaintiffs' state law claims
were dismissed in proceedings before the court and following a
successful petition by defendants to the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals.  On August 8, 2011, the court dismissed plaintiffs'
remaining claims with prejudice.  Plaintiffs have again appealed
to the Ninth Circuit, where the case is currently pending.

No further updates were reported in the Company's February 22,
2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

The Charles Schwab Corporation was incorporated in 1986 and
engages, through its subsidiaries in securities brokerage,
banking, money management, and financial advisory services.  The
Company is headquartered in San Francisco, California.


CHURCH & DWIGHT: ARM & HAMMER Deodorant Complaint Amended in Jan.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit over the advertising,
marketing and sales of Church & Dwight Co., Inc.'s ARM & HAMMER
ESSENTIALS Natural Deodorant product filed an amended complaint in
January 2013, according to the Company's February 22, 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 a purported class
action lawsuit alleging unfair, deceptive and unlawful business
practices with respect to the advertising, marketing and sales of
ARM & HAMMER ESSENTIALS Natural Deodorant.  Specifically, on March
9, 2012, Plaintiffs Stephen Trewin and Joseph Farhatt, on behalf
of themselves and all others similarly situated, filed a complaint
against the Company in the U.S. District Court for the District of
New Jersey alleging violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud
Act, violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act and
breach of implied warranty.

The original complaint alleges, among other things, that the
Company uses a marketing and advertising campaign that is centered
around the claim that the ARM & HAMMER ESSENTIALS Natural
Deodorant is a "natural" product that contains "natural"
ingredients and provides "natural" protection.  The complaint
alleges the advertising and marketing campaign is false and
misleading because the product contains artificial and synthetic
ingredients.  Among other things, the complaint seeks an order
certifying the case as a class action, appointing Plaintiffs as
class representatives and appointing Plaintiffs' counsel to
represent the class.  The complaint also seeks restitution and
disgorgement of all amounts obtained by the Company as a result of
the alleged misconduct, compensatory, actual, statutory and other
unspecified damages allegedly suffered by Plaintiffs and the
purported class, up to treble damages for alleged violation of the
New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act; punitive damages for alleged
violations of the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act, an order
requiring the Company to immediately cease its alleged wrongful
conduct, an order enjoining the Company from continuing the
conduct and acts identified in the complaint, an order requiring
the Company to engage in a corrective notice campaign, an order
requiring the Company to pay to Plaintiffs and all members of the
purported class the amounts paid for ARM & HAMMER ESSENTIALS
Natural Deodorant, statutory prejudgment and post-judgment
interest, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.

On May 14, 2012, the Company filed a motion to dismiss the
original complaint.  On December 10, 2012, the Court issued an
order granting the Company's motion and dismissed the original
complaint without prejudice.  On January 7, 2013, Plaintiffs filed
an amended complaint seeking relief similar to that sought in the
original complaint, but excluding the breach of implied warranty
claim.

The Company says it intends to vigorously defend against the
allegations asserted in the amended complaint.  While a material
adverse outcome in this matter is reasonably possible, at this
preliminary stage of the litigation it is not possible to estimate
the amount of any damages or determine the impact of any equitable
relief that may be granted.  An adverse outcome in this matter
could have a material adverse effect on the Company's business,
financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.

Ewing, New Jersey-based Church & Dwight Co., Inc. --
http://www.churchdwight.com-- develops, manufactures and markets
a broad range of household, personal care and specialty products.
The Company, founded in 1846, sells its consumer products under a
variety of brands through a broad distribution platform that
includes supermarkets, mass merchandisers, wholesale clubs,
drugstores, convenience stores, dollar, pet and other specialty
stores and Web sites, all of which sell the products to consumers.


COMMERCE BANCSHARES: Still Awaits "Wolfgeher" Suit Deal Approval
----------------------------------------------------------------
Commerce Bancshares, Inc., is still awaiting court approval of its
subsidiary's settlement of a class action lawsuit captioned
Wolfgeher v. Commerce Bank, according to the Company's
February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

In December 2011, the Company's subsidiary, Commerce Bank, reached
a class-wide settlement in a class action lawsuit captioned
Wolfgeher v. Commerce Bank, Case No. 1:10-cv-22017 (MDL 2036)
which alleged that the Bank had improperly charged overdraft fees
on certain debit card transactions and claimed refunds for the
plaintiff individually and on behalf of other customers as a
class.  A formal Settlement Agreement and Release related to this
lawsuit was signed by the Bank on July 26, 2012.  The Bank, while
admitting no wrongdoing, agreed to the settlement in order to
resolve the litigation and avoid further expense.  The settlement
provided for a payment of $18.3 million into a class settlement
fund, the proceeds of which will be used to issue refunds to class
members and to pay attorneys' fees, administrative and other
costs, in exchange for a complete release of all claims asserted
against the Bank.  The Bank also agreed to post debit card
transactions in chronological order, beginning no later than April
2013.  As a result of the change in the posting order of debit
card transactions, the Company currently estimates that overdraft
income will be reduced on an annual basis by $6 million to $8
million.

A second lawsuit alleging the same facts and also seeking class-
action status was filed on June 4, 2010, in Missouri state court.
The second lawsuit was stayed in deference to the earlier filed
lawsuit, and it is expected that the plaintiff in the Missouri
state court lawsuit will opt out of the class-action settlement
and pursue his claims as an individual plaintiff.  In the opinion
of management, the Missouri state court lawsuit is not expected to
have a material effect on the financial condition and results of
operations of the Company.

Commerce Bancshares, Inc., is a bank holding company incorporated
under the laws of Missouri on August 4, 1966.  Through a second
tier wholly-owned bank holding company, it owns all of the
outstanding capital stock of Commerce Bank, which engages in
general banking business, providing a broad range of retail,
corporate, investment, trust, and asset management products and
services to individuals and businesses.  The Company is based in
Kansas City, Missouri.


CVS PHARMACY: Dist. Court Dismisses FLSA Claims in Workers' Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
LETICIA CEJA-CORONA, on behalf of herself and others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. CVS PHARMACY, INC., a corporation; and
DOES 1 through 50, Defendants, No. 1:12-CV-01868-AWI-DLB, (E.D.
Cal.), alleges causes of action for (1) failure to pay the minimum
wage and overtime under California law; (2) failure to provide
reporting time pay under California law; (3) a violation of
California Labor Code section 226(a); (4) penalties pursuant to
California Labor Code section 203; (5) a violation of California's
Business and Professions Code sections 17200 et seq.; and (6) a
violation of the FLSA, 29 U.S.C. Section 201 et seq.

Ms. Ceja-Corona, a nonexempt hourly employee of CVS Pharmacy,
asserts that the Pharmacy has for years knowingly failed to
compensate California and Nationwide Employees for all wages,
overtime, and reporting-time pay earned and due under the FLSA;
and failed to compensate workers for time spent changing into and
out of their work aprons at the work place and for time spent
undergoing security checks.

At CVS Pharmacy's behest, Senior District Judge Anthony W. Ishii
dismissed the sixth cause of action for violation of the FLSA
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).

With respect to compensation for the donning and doffing of apron,
the Court grants CVS Pharmacy's motion to dismiss with leave to
amend.  With respect to compensation for passing through mandatory
security checks, the Court grants CVS Pharmacy's motion to dismiss
but denies Ms. Ceja-Corona an opportunity to amend.

Any amended complaint must be filed within 30 days of the order's
date of service, Judge Ishii said.

A copy of the District Court's March 4, 2013 Order is available at
http://is.gd/5461lPfrom Leagle.com.


EQUIFAX INC: Oral Arguments in Cal. Suit Appeals Set for March
--------------------------------------------------------------
Oral arguments in appeals from the approval of Equifax Inc.'s
settlement of class action lawsuits in California are currently
scheduled for March 2013, according to the Company's February 22,
2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

In consolidated actions filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California, captioned Terri N. White, et al.
v. Equifax Information Services LLC, Jose Hernandez v. Equifax
Information Services LLC, Kathryn L. Pike v. Equifax Information
Services LLC, and Jose L. Acosta, Jr., et al. v. Trans Union LLC,
et al. , plaintiffs asserted that Equifax violated federal and
state law (the Fair Credit Reporting Act, the California Credit
Reporting Act and the California Unfair Competition Law) by
failing to follow reasonable procedures to determine whether
credit accounts are discharged in bankruptcy, including the method
for updating the status of an account following a bankruptcy
discharge.  On August 20, 2008, the District Court approved a
Settlement Agreement and Release providing for certain changes in
the procedures used by defendants to record discharges in
bankruptcy on consumer credit files.  That settlement resolved
claims for injunctive relief, but not plaintiffs' claims for
damages.  On May 7, 2009, the District Court issued an order
preliminarily approving an agreement to settle remaining class
claims.  The District Court subsequently deferred final approval
of the settlement and required the settling parties to send a
supplemental notice to those class members who filed a claim and
objected to the settlement or opted out, with the cost for the re-
notice to be deducted from the plaintiffs' counsel fee award.
Mailing of the supplemental notice was completed on February 15,
2011.  The deadline for this group of settling plaintiffs to
provide additional documentation to support their damage claims or
to opt-out of the settlement was March 31, 2011.

On July 15, 2011, following another approval hearing, the District
Court approved the settlement.  Several objecting plaintiffs
subsequently filed notices of appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Ninth Circuit.  The parties have filed their briefs and
the case is currently pending with oral arguments scheduled for
March 2013.

Atlanta, Georgia-based Equifax Inc. -- http://www.equifax.com/--
is a global provider of information solutions and human resources
business process outsourcing services for businesses and
consumers.  The Company has a large and diversified group of
clients, including financial institutions, corporations,
governments and individuals.


FIFTH THIRD: Awaits Final Approval of Antitrust Suit Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fifth Third Bancorp is awaiting final approval of its settlement
of a consolidated antitrust class action lawsuit, according to the
Company's February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

During April 2006, Bancorp was added as a defendant in a
consolidated antitrust class action lawsuit originally filed
against Visa(R), MasterCard(R) and several other major financial
institutions in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of New York.  The plaintiffs, merchants operating
commercial businesses throughout the U.S. and trade associations,
claim that the interchange fees charged by card-issuing banks are
unreasonable and seek injunctive relief and unspecified damages.
In addition to being a named defendant, Bancorp is also subject to
a possible indemnification obligation of Visa and has also entered
into judgment and loss sharing agreements with Visa, MasterCard
and certain other named defendants.  On October 19, 2012, the
parties to the litigation entered into a settlement agreement.
The court entered a Class Settlement Preliminary Approval Order on
November 27, 2012.  Pursuant to the terms of the settlement
agreement, Bancorp paid $46 million into a class settlement escrow
account.  Previously, Bancorp paid an additional $4 million in
another settlement escrow in connection with the settlement of
claims from plaintiffs not included in the class action.  Bancorp
had no remaining reserves related to this litigation as of
December 31, 2012, and reserves of $49 million as of December 31,
2011.

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company
headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Bancorp reports on four
business segments: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer
Lending and Investment Advisors.  The Bancorp also has a 33%
interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC.


FIFTH THIRD: Continues to Defend ERISA-Violations Class Suits
-------------------------------------------------------------
Fifth Third Bancorp continues to defend itself against class
action lawsuits alleging violations of the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act of 1974, according to the Company's
February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

For the year ended December 31, 2008, five putative securities
class action complaints were filed against Bancorp and its Chief
Executive Officer, among other parties.  The five cases have been
consolidated under the caption Local 295/Local 851 IBT Employer
Group Pension Trust and Welfare Fund v. Fifth Third Bancorp. et
al., Case No. 1:08CV00421, and are currently pending in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio.

On December 18, 2012, Bancorp entered into a settlement agreement
to resolve these cases.  The settlement is subject to court
approval.  Under the terms of the settlement, Bancorp and its
insurer will pay a total of $16 million to a fund to settle all
the claims of the class members.  In the settlement Bancorp has
denied any liability and has agreed to the settlement in order to
avoid potential future litigation costs and uncertainty.  Bancorp
does not consider the impact of the settlement to be material to
its financial condition or results of operations.

In addition, two cases were filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Ohio against Bancorp and
certain officers alleging violations of ERISA based on allegations
similar to those set forth in the securities class action cases
filed during the same period of time.  The two cases alleging
violations of ERISA were dismissed by the trial court, but the
Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed the trial court
decision.

Bancorp says it intends to petition the Supreme Court to review
and reverse the Sixth Circuit decision and seek a stay of
proceedings in the trial court pending appeal.  The impact of the
final disposition of these ERISA lawsuits cannot be assessed at
this time.

Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company
headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio.  The Bancorp reports on four
business segments: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer
Lending and Investment Advisors.  The Bancorp also has a 33%
interest in Vantiv Holding, LLC.


FOREST OIL: Continues to Defend "Augenbaum" IPO-Related Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
On May 25, 2012, a lawsuit, styled Augenbaum v. Lone Pine
Resources Inc. et al., was brought as a purported class action in
the Supreme Court of the State of New York, New York County,
against Forest Oil Corporation, Lone Pine Resources Inc., certain
of Lone Pine's current and former directors and officers (the
"Individual Defendants"), and certain underwriters (the
"Underwriter Defendants") of Lone Pine's initial public offering
(the "IPO"), which was completed on June 1, 2011.  The complaint
alleges that Lone Pine's registration statement and prospectus
issued in connection with the IPO contained untrue statements of
material fact or omitted to state material facts relating to
forest fires that occurred in Northern Alberta in May 2011, the
rupture of a third party oil sales pipeline in Northern Alberta in
April 2011, and the impact of those events on Lone Pine, that the
alleged misstatements or omissions violated Section 11 of the
Securities Act, and that Lone Pine, the Individual Defendants, and
the Underwriter Defendants are liable for such violations.  The
complaint further alleges that the Underwriter Defendants offered
and sold Lone Pine's securities in violation of Section 12(a)(2)
of the Securities Act, and the putative class members seek
rescission of the securities purchased in the IPO that they
continue to own and rescissionary damages for securities that they
have sold.  Finally, the complaint asserts a claim against Forest
under Section 15 of the Securities Act, alleging that Forest was a
"control person" of Lone Pine at the time of the IPO.  The
complaint alleges that the putative class, which purchased shares
of Lone Pine's common stock pursuant and/or traceable to Lone
Pine's registration statement and prospectus, was damaged when the
value of the stock declined in August 2011.  The complaint does
not specify the amount of such damages.  Lone Pine has existing
obligations to indemnify Forest, the Individual Defendants, and
the Underwriter Defendants in connection with the lawsuit.

No further updates were reported in the Company's February 22,
2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

Forest believes that the claims are without merit and intends to
defend the claim against it vigorously.

Based in Denver, Colorado, Forest Oil Corporation is an
independent oil and gas company engaged in the acquisition,
exploration, development, and production of oil, natural gas, and
natural gas liquids primarily in North America.  Forest Oil was
incorporated in New York in 1924, as the successor to a company
formed in 1916, and has been a publicly held company since 1969.


HERSHEY CO: Continues to Defend Antitrust Law-Violation Suits
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Hershey Company continues to defend itself against lawsuits
alleging violations of antitrust and competition laws, according
to the Company's February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31,
2012.

In 2007, the Competition Bureau of Canada began an inquiry into
alleged violations of the Canadian Competition Act in the sale and
supply of chocolate products sold in Canada between 2002 and 2008
by members of the confectionery industry, including Hershey
Canada, Inc.  The U.S. Department of Justice also notified the
Company in 2007 that it had opened an inquiry, but has not
requested any information or documents.

Subsequently, 13 civil lawsuits were filed in Canada and 91 civil
lawsuits were filed in the United States against the Company.  The
lawsuits were instituted on behalf of direct purchasers of the
Company's products as well as indirect purchasers that purchase
the Company's products for use or for resale.  Several other
chocolate and confectionery companies were named as defendants in
these lawsuits as they also were the subject of investigations
and/or inquiries by the government entities.  The cases seek
recovery for losses suffered as a result of alleged conspiracies
in restraint of trade in connection with the pricing practices of
the defendants.  The Canadian civil cases were settled in 2012.
The Canadian Competition Bureau investigation remains pending.
However, Hershey Canada, Inc. has reached a tentative settlement
agreement with the Canadian government with regard to its
investigation and the Company has accrued a liability related
thereto.  The Company does not believe the terms of the tentative
settlement agreement should have a material impact on the
Company's results of operations, financial position or liquidity.

With regard to the U.S. lawsuits, the Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation assigned the cases to the U.S. District
Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.  Plaintiffs are
seeking actual and treble damages against the Company and other
defendants based on an alleged overcharge for certain, or in some
cases all chocolate products sold in the U.S. between 2003 and
2008.  The lawsuits have been proceeding on different scheduling
tracks for different groups of plaintiffs.

The Defendants have briefed summary judgment against the
plaintiffs that have not sought class certification (the "Opt-Out
Plaintiffs").  The plaintiffs that purchased products from
defendants directly (the "Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs") were
granted class certification in December 2012.  Defendants will
conduct expert discovery on liability and damages and brief
summary judgment against the Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs through
the third quarter of 2013.  The hearing on summary judgment for
the Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs is scheduled for September 2013,
combined with the summary judgment hearing for the Opt-Out
Plaintiffs.  Putative class plaintiffs that purchased product
indirectly for resale (the "Indirect Purchasers for Resale") have
a May 1, 2013 deadline to file for class certification.  Putative
class plaintiffs that purchased product indirectly for use (the
"Indirect End Users") may seek class certification after summary
judgment against the Direct Purchaser Plaintiffs and the Opt-Out
Plaintiffs has been resolved.  No trial date has been set for any
group of plaintiffs.  The Company will continue to vigorously
defend against these lawsuits.

At this stage, the Company says it is unable to predict the range
of any potential liability that is reasonably possible as a result
of the proceedings.  Competition and antitrust law investigations
can be lengthy and violations are subject to civil and/or criminal
fines and other sanctions. Class action civil antitrust lawsuits
are expensive to defend and could result in significant judgments,
including in some cases, payment of treble damages and/or
attorneys' fees to the successful plaintiff.  Additionally,
negative publicity involving these proceedings could affect the
Company's brands and reputation, possibly resulting in decreased
demand for the Company's products.  These possible consequences,
in the Company's opinion, should not materially impact its
financial position or liquidity, but could materially impact its
results of operations and cash flows in the period in which they
are accrued or paid.

The Hershey Company was incorporated under the laws of the state
of Delaware on October 24, 1927, as a successor to a business
founded in 1894 by Milton S. Hershey.  The Company is a producer
of chocolate in North America and a global leader in chocolate and
sugar confectionery.  The Company is based in Hershey,
Pennsylvania.


HEWLETT-PACKARD: Zamanksy to Act as Interim ERISA Class Counsel
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Recorder reports that a federal judge has appointed lead
counsel to direct shareholder litigation filed in the aftermath of
Hewlett-Packard's acquisition of software firm Autonomy.  U.S.
District Judge Charles Breyer selected Cotchett Pitre to shepherd
derivative shareholder suits.  For the nonderivative shareholder
class actions, Judge Breyer designated as sole lead counsel
Bernstein Litowitz.  Zamansky & Associates will serve as interim
class counsel for ERISA litigation.


LEAD-IMPACTED COMMUNITIES: Court Has Yet to Decide on Picher Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Wally Kennedy, writing for The Joplin Globe, reports that former
Picher property owners believe they did not get a fair shake from
the Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Assistance Trust and have
alleged in lawsuits that their properties were intentionally
undervalued by appraisers working for the trust.

It has been five years since Patsy Huffman packed up her
belongings to escape the problems that plagued her hometown of
Picher, the epicenter of lead and zinc mining in the Tri-State
District.  But she will never be able to pack away the memories of
the life she lived there or the town she once knew.

"I raised two kids -- a boy and a girl -- in that house," she
said, pointing to the gray remnants of a foundation.  "The front
porch was here, and the garage was over there.  You know, I can
hardly picture things now, it has been so long."

With the Mahutska chat pile looming in her backyard, Ms. Huffman's
house and those of virtually every other property owner in Picher
were bought out and demolished by the Lead-Impacted Communities
Relocation Assistance Trust.

The decision to do that was based on studies that showed the
ground below Picher was so heavily undermined that it could
collapse at any time.  In 2008 -- the year she moved -- a shaft
leading to the Keltner Mine opened up across the street from her
home.

"It was sad in a way, but it was for the best what happened here.
We needed out of here," she said.

Ms. Huffman used her relocation money from the trust to resettle
in nearby Commerce.  Some of her neighbors are former residents of
Picher.  But she and more than 220 other former Picher property
owners believe they did not get a fair shake from the trust and
have alleged in lawsuits that their properties were intentionally
undervalued by appraisers working for the trust.

The officers of the trust have countered that allegation with
statements that everyone was treated equally, that fair prices
were paid and that friends of trust officials were not given
preferential treatment.

More than 700 pieces of property were involved in the $60 million
buyout.  Trust officials also claim that the majority of Picher's
relocated residents received fair deals or they would not have
accepted the buyout offers, but some residents said they accepted
what they characterized as "take-it-or-leave-it" offers because
they thought it might be their only chance to get something for
their properties.

Ms. Huffman and many other property owners are parties to a
lawsuit in which they hope to recover some of the money they
believe they are owed.

On March 1, in the District Court of Tulsa County, Associate
District Judge Dana Kuehn heard arguments that could decide
whether granting class-action status to the group of former Picher
residents is warranted against the leaders of the trust, its
appraisers and an insurance company that have been named as
defendants.

"It's been a long time coming," Ms. Huffman said.

Five people were subpoenaed to testify at the March 1 hearing:
Dr. Mark Osborn, a Miami physician who headed the trust; Larry
Roberts, of Miami, the operations manager for the trust; J.D.
Strong, former Oklahoma secretary of the environment who served as
state adviser to the trust for former Gov. Brad Henry; Ed Keheley,
a member of the trust who resigned over the way appraisals were
being handled by the trust; and Missy Beets, a former Picher
resident now living in Miami.

Instead of soliciting their testimony, Judge Kuehn listened to
arguments for and against the certification of the class action by
the attorneys representing the plaintiffs and those representing
Cinnabar Service Co., one of the appraisal companies.

When it came time to hear from the plaintiff's witnesses, Kuehn
questioned whether additional testimony was necessary.

"I don't think we need to hear that today.  That's not an issue to
fight today," she said.

Rather, she posed questions to the attorneys for both sides,
particularly those representing the defendants.  She also said she
believed the court had sufficient information -- briefs,
affidavits and depositions -- with regard to the case.

Based on those comments, Judge Kuehn said there was no need for
the witnesses to testify because they would not speak to the
primary issue that the court would ultimately decide, which is the
issue of liability for the defendants.

"I know the case.  I know the issues," the judge said.

John Wiggins, the attorney for the property owners, said the
court, in deciding whether to grant class-action status, must look
at the issue of liability as "the common question that dominates."

He told the court the appraisers for the trust uniformly
demonstrated "a pattern of misbehavior that was common to the
class."

He said Missy Beets was selected to be the representative for the
class because her appraisal was a typical example of the alleged
mishandling of appraisals that occurred.

The behavior in the Beets case, he said, demonstrates the common
harm to all class members.

"If we lose before a jury with the Missy Beets case, we lose all
221 cases.  It is over," Mr. Wiggins said.  "If we are successful,
the question of liability has been answered for all members of the
class."

He told the court class certification would achieve judicial
economy by having one case instead of 221 individual cases.  He
also admitted to the court that many of those individual cases
would not move forward because many plaintiffs do not have the
wherewithal to proceed as individuals.

"We must have the power of class action," he said.  "This is the
kind of case that class action was designed to serve."

Joe Fears, the attorney representing Cinnabar, said it appeared to
him that the court must look at "broad-ranging concerns of
misconduct by the defendants that affect a broad range of
individuals in the same way."

He said giving the former Picher residents class-action status
would not address the individual issues that are involved with
each plaintiff.  He also questioned how class-action certification
would be managed in terms of the amount of damages.

"The liability and damages are intertwined," he said.  "If a
plaintiff alleges a lowballed appraisal, they must offer proof
they have been lowballed.  The proof will have to vary and so will
the damages."

Fears also said one person might believe their lowballed appraisal
might have cost them $1,500 while another might believe $5,000 is
more appropriate in terms of their individual loss.

He also said the court would not gain anything by granting class
action to the plaintiffs.  He said it would essentially shortcut
the requirements for proof to get to the damages, which would not
be uniform among members of the class.

Mr. Wiggins said the court has at its disposal tools to resolve
the issue of damages once the issue of liability has been resolved
for all members of the class.

"Discovery would determine those damages," he said.  "It's
liability that unites the cases, and we would decide that question
one time."

To do otherwise, he said, could lead to inconsistent verdicts for
the same behavior.

Mr. Wiggins cited instances in Oklahoma in which the liability
issue was resolved and then damages were awarded on an individual
basis.

Fears said the damages awarded to the class representative might
not be representative of what other members of the class would be
entitled to receive in terms of damages.  He said the court must
consider damages and how they might be awarded if it decides to
certify the former Picher residents as a class.

Judge Kuehn did not rule on the question of class-action status on
March 1 but told the attorneys it would not be long before her
decision is handed down.

The Lead-Impacted Communities Relocation Assistance Trust was
formed in 2006 after a study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
found that the abandoned mines under Picher, Cardin and
Hockerville had a high risk of caving in.


PAMPERED CHEF: Recalls 286,000 Garlic Slicers Due to Cut Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
distributor, The Pampered Chef, of Addison, Illinois, and
importer, Leifheit International USA, Inc. of Melville, New York,
announced a voluntary recall of about 286,000 Garlic Slicers.
Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise
instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a
recalled consumer product.

A blade on the garlic slicer can unexpectedly dislodge during use,
posing a laceration hazard to the consumer.

The Pampered Chef has received 23 reports of blades detaching
during use including one report of a consumer who cut her finger.

This recall involves The Pampered Chef garlic slicers sold
individually and with a garlic peeler.  The garlic slicers were
sold under product numbers 1113 (individual) and 2578 (set).  The
two-piece white plastic, tube shaped slicer measures 2 1/4 inches
by 3 1/2 inches and has two blades on the end.  "The Pampered
Chef" is engraved on the top cover.  Pictures of the recalled
products are available at: http://is.gd/2wrfvi

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold at The
Pampered Chef independent consultants nationwide and online at
www.pamperedchef.com from January 2009 through July 2011 for about
$14 for the individual garlic slicer and $20 for the set.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled garlic
slicers and contact The Pampered Chef for a replacement product.

The Pampered Chef may be reached at productalert@pamperedchef.com
or toll free at (877) 917-2433 anytime.  To speak with an
operator, consumers can call between 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.
Central Time Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Central Time Saturday.  Consumers can also visit the Company's Web
site at http://www.pamperedchef.com/and click on the "Product
Alert" tab for more information.


ROYAL BANK: Second Circuit Reinstates $1.32-Bil. MBS Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Litigation Daily reports that the Second Circuit has
reinstated a class action brought on behalf of investors in a
$1.32 billion mortgage-backed securities offering underwritten and
sold by Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Wells Fargo and several
other big banks.  The decision gives the plaintiffs hope that they
can revive claims related to five other offerings in the case that
once had a combined value of about $6 billion.


SEI INVESTMENTS: Motions in Stanford-Related Suit Granted
---------------------------------------------------------
Two of the motions for appeal and a motion for leave to amend in
the class action lawsuit pending in East Baton Rouge, La., related
to the role of SEI Investments Company's subsidiary in providing
back-office services to Stanford Trust Company was granted in
February 2013, according to the Company's February 22, 2013, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 31, 2012.

SEI has been named in six lawsuits filed in Louisiana.  Five
lawsuits were filed in the 19th Judicial District Court for the
Parish of East Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana.  One of the five
actions purports to set forth claims on behalf of a class and also
names SPTC as a defendant and was certified as a class in December
2012.  Two of the other actions also name SEI Private Trust
Company, or SPTC, as a defendant.  All five actions name various
defendants in addition to SEI, and, in all five actions, the
plaintiffs purport to bring a cause of action under the Louisiana
Securities Act.  The class action originally included a claim
against SEI and SPTC for an alleged violation of the Louisiana
Unfair Trade Practices Act.  Two of the other five actions include
claims for violations of the Louisiana Racketeering Act and
possibly conspiracy.  In addition, another group of plaintiffs
have filed a lawsuit in the 23rd Judicial District Court for the
Parish of Ascension, State of Louisiana, against SEI and SPTC and
other defendants asserting claims of negligence, breach of
contract, breach of fiduciary duty, violations of the uniform
fiduciaries law, negligent misrepresentation, detrimental
reliance, violations of the Louisiana Securities Act and Louisiana
Racketeering Act and conspiracy.  The underlying allegations in
all the actions are purportedly related to the role of SPTC in
providing back-office services to Stanford Trust Company.  The
petitions allege that SEI and SPTC aided and abetted or otherwise
participated in the sale of "certificates of deposit" issued by
Stanford International Bank.

Two of the five actions filed in East Baton Rouge were removed to
federal court and transferred by the Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation to United States District Court for the
Northern District of Texas.  On August 31, 2011, the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Texas issued an order
and judgment that the causes of action alleged against SEI in the
two removed actions were preempted by federal law and the Court
dismissed these cases with prejudice.  Plaintiffs appealed this
ruling, and on March 19, 2012, a panel of the Court of Appeals for
the Fifth Circuit reversed the decision of the United States
District Court and remanded the actions for further proceedings.
On July 18, 2012, SEI filed a petition for certiorari in the
United States Supreme Court, seeking review of the decision by the
United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit to permit
the claims against SEI to proceed.

The Company believes that the trial court correctly concluded that
the claims against SEI were barred by the federal Securities
Litigation Uniform Standards Act and is requesting that the
Supreme Court reinstate that dismissal.  On January 18, 2013, the
Supreme Court granted the petition for certiorari, and the Court
will consider the case in the fall of this year.

SEI and SPTC filed exceptions in the class action pending in East
Baton Rouge, which the Court granted in part and dismissed the
claims under the Louisiana Unfair Trade Practices Act and denied
in part as to the other exceptions.  SEI and SPTC filed an answer
to the East Baton Rouge class action; plaintiffs filed a motion
for class certification; and SEI and SPTC also filed a motion for
summary judgment against certain named plaintiffs which the Court
stated will not be set for hearing until after the hearing on the
class certification motion.  The Court in the East Baton Rouge
action held a hearing on class certification on September 20,
2012.  By oral decision on December 5, 2012, and later entered in
a judgment signed on December 17, 2012, that was subsequently
amended, the Court in East Baton Rouge certified a class to be
composed of persons who purchased any Stanford International Bank
certificates of deposit ("SIB CDs") in Louisiana between Jan. 1,
2007, and February 13, 2009; persons who renewed any SIB CD in
Louisiana between January 1, 2007, and February 13, 2009; or any
person for whom the Stanford Trust Company purchased SIB CDs in
Louisiana between January 1, 2007, and February 13, 2009.

On January 30, 2013, SEI and SPTC filed motions for appeal from
the judgments that stated SEI's and SPTC's intention to move to
stay the litigation.  On February 1, 2013, plaintiffs filed a
Motion for Leave to File First Amended and Restated Class Action
Petition in which they ask the Court to allow them to amend the
petition in this case to add additional facts that were developed
during discovery and adding claims against certain of SEI's
insurance carriers.  On February 5, 2013, the Court granted two of
the motions for appeal and the motion for leave to amend.  While
the outcome of this litigation is uncertain given its early phase,
SEI and SPTC believe that they have valid defenses to plaintiffs'
claims and intend to defend the lawsuits vigorously.

The case filed in Ascension Parish was also removed to federal
court and transferred by the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation to the Northern District of Texas.  The schedule for
responding to that complaint has not yet been established.  The
plaintiffs in the remaining two cases in East Baton Rouge have
granted SEI an extension to respond to the filings.

Because of the uncertainty of the make-up of the classes, the
outcome of the proceeding in the U.S. Supreme Court, the specific
theories of liability that may survive a motion for summary
judgment or other dispositive motion, the lack of discovery
regarding damages, causation, mitigation and other aspects that
may ultimately bear upon loss, the Company is not reasonably able
to provide an estimate of loss, if any, with respect to the
lawsuits.

Based in Oaks, Pennsylvania and founded in 1968, SEI Investments
Co. -- http://www.seic.com/-- is a publicly owned investment
manager.  The firm provides wealth management and investment
advisory services to its clients through its subsidiaries.


SEI INVESTMENTS: Parties Filed Appeal Briefs in ETF-Related Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Parties in an appeal from the dismissal of a class action lawsuit
related to leveraged exchange traded funds have filed their
briefs, according to SEI Investments Company's February 22, 2013,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2012.

One of SEI's principal subsidiaries, SEI Investments Distribution
Co., or SIDCO, has been named as a defendant in certain putative
class action complaints (the Complaints) related to leveraged
exchange traded funds (ETFs) advised by ProShares Advisors, LLC.
The first complaint was filed on August 5, 2009, and the
subsequent cases were all consolidated in the Southern District of
New York.  The Complaints are purportedly made on behalf of all
persons that purchased or otherwise acquired shares in various
ProShares leveraged ETFs pursuant or traceable to allegedly false
and misleading registration statements, prospectuses and
statements of additional information.  The Complaints name as
defendants ProShares Advisors, LLC; ProShares Trust; ProShares
Trust II, SIDCO, and various officers and trustees to ProShares
Advisors, LLC; ProShares Trust and ProShares Trust II.  The
Complaints allege that SIDCO was the distributor and principal
underwriter for the various ProShares leveraged ETFs that were
distributed to authorized participants and ultimately
shareholders.  The Complaints allege that the registration
statements for the ProShares ETFs were materially false and
misleading because they failed adequately to describe the nature
and risks of the investments and claim that SIDCO is liable for
these purportedly material misstatements and omissions under
Section 11 of the Securities Act of 1933. Defendants moved to
dismiss the amended complaint filed by plaintiffs, and on
September 7, 2012, the District Court for the Southern District of
New York issued an opinion dismissing with prejudice the
plaintiffs' amended complaint.

Plaintiffs filed with the Second Circuit Court of Appeals a notice
of appeal of the District Court's decision.  Plaintiffs-appellants
filed their brief on December 17, 2012, and later filed a
corrected brief on January 3, 2013.  The brief of defendants-
appellees was filed on February 1, 2013.

While the outcome of this litigation is uncertain given its early
phase, SEI believes that it has valid defenses to plaintiffs'
claims and intends to defend the lawsuits vigorously.

Based in Oaks, Pennsylvania and founded in 1968, SEI Investments
Co. -- http://www.seic.com/-- is a publicly owned investment
manager.  The firm provides wealth management and investment
advisory services to its clients through its subsidiaries.


SPI ELECTRICITY: Black Saturday Bushfire Class Action Begins
------------------------------------------------------------
The Australian Associated Press reports that thousands of
Victorians are beginning their fight for compensation from groups
they blame for the most destructive blaze of the Black Saturday
bushfires.

Lead plaintiff Carol Matthews is joined by an estimated 10,000
members in claiming energy provider SPI Electricity's faulty
equipment ignited the Kilmore East/King Lake bushfire in February
2009.  The fire killed 119 people, destroyed 1200 homes and caused
an estimated AU$1 billion worth of damage.

The group is also suing Utility Services Corporation Limited,
which was contracted by SPI to maintain the line, and the
Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE) for allegedly
failing to reduce fuel loads.  The CFA and Victoria Police are
also facing allegations from Mrs. Matthews that they failed to
give appropriate warnings about the bushfire.

All the defendants deny the allegations and are fighting the
claims.

The size of the action, which was set to start on March 4, has
seen the Victorian government fund a purpose built courtroom to
accommodate the teams of barristers, dozens of expert witnesses
and large numbers of people interested in attending the trial.
The thousands involved directly in the class action will also be
able to watch the proceedings streamed live on the internet.

The trial was set to begin in the Victorian Supreme Court March 4
with the case expected to run for nine months.

                 Victims Can See Class Action Live

Sue Hewitt, writing for Northern Weekly, reports that the
estimated 10,000 Black Saturday survivors involved in a class
action seeking compensation have won the right to see the case
broadcast to their homes via the Internet.  Supreme Court Justice
Jack Forrest has ordered that victims be granted access to a live
streaming of the trial which started on March 4.  They would have
access to the live filmed court action using a password, a lawyer
said.

Senior Associate with Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Rory Walsh, said
the court had acknowledged the importance of affordable access to
the trial for the approximately 10,000 people in the class action.
He said it would allow the victims of the 2009 Black Saturday
Kinglake-Kilmore East bushfire access to one of the state's
largest and most significant trials of 2013, even if they can't be
in court, a lawyer said.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers is suing SP AusNet and three state
authorities on behalf of victims.


SUNTRUST BANKS: 11th Cir. Remands Fisch Class Suit to Dist. Ct.
---------------------------------------------------------------
An interlocutory appeal before the United States Court of Appeals
for the Eleventh Circuit involves a putative class action, FISCH
v. SUNTRUST BANKS, INC., brought under the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act of 1974 alleging that retirement plan
fiduciaries breached their duties by continuing to invest plan
assets into the plan sponsor's publically traded securities.  The
Plaintiffs' disclosure claim alleged that the Defendants breached
their fiduciary duties by not disclosing to the plan participants
material, negative, nonpublic financial information about the
sponsor's business and risks associated with investing in the
bank.  The Plaintiffs' prudence claim alleged that the Defendants
breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA by continuing to
invest in the sponsor's securities when it was imprudent to do so.

Upon motion from the Defendants, the district court dismissed the
prudence claim on the grounds that it was a veiled diversification
claim and barred by 29 U.S.C. Section 1104(a)(2). The district
court denied the Defendants' motion to dismiss as to the
disclosure claim, finding that the Plaintiffs had sufficiently
alleged an obligation of the plan administrators to disclose
nonpublic, negative, material information to the plan
participants.

The district court certified two questions for interlocutory
review under 28 U.S.C. Section 1292(b). The first question, which
relates to the disclosure claim, is:

Does ERISA impose upon fiduciaries of an Eligible Individual
Account Plan that offers the plan sponsor's publicly traded stock
as an investment option a duty to disclose material, nonpublic
financial information about the plan sponsor beyond the specific
disclosures mandated by ERISA and its implementing regulations?

The second certified question relates to the prudence claim and
asks:

Does Section 404(a)(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security
Act of 1974, which exempts individual account plans (EIAPs) that
acquire and hold employer securities from ERISA's diversification
requirement, exempt fiduciaries of EIAPs from exercising their
overarching duty of prudence under Section 404(a)(1) even when it
is imprudent to acquire or hold employer securities in an EIAP?

On March 5, 2013, Circuit Judges Edward Earl Carnes, Rosemary
Barkett, and Peter T. Fay, held that the Eleventh Circuit's recent
decision in Lanfear v. Home Depot, Inc., 679 F.3d 1267 (11th Cir.
2012), resolves the issues in this case.

"Home Depot answers the disclosure claim question in the negative,
finding that ERISA does not impose a duty to provide plan
participants with nonpublic information affecting the value of the
company's stock. . . Home Depot also answers the prudence claim
question in the negative, finding that such a prudence claim was
not a veiled diversification claim, and thus does not fall within
the Section 404(a)(2) exemption," the Circuit Judges ruled.

"Defendants argue that alternative grounds exist that would
justify a dismissal of the complaint. However, these issues were
not dealt with by the district court," they pointed out. "Under
these circumstances, we feel it best to remand this matter to the
district court so that it may proceed in the regular course."

Accordingly, the Eleventh Circuit answers both certified questions
in the negative; reverses the district court's order granting in
part and denying in part the Defendants motion to dismiss; and
remands to the district court for further proceedings consistent
with the Circuit Judges' opinion and the Home Depot decision.

The case is WILLIAM B. FISCH, and SUNIL KAPILASHRIMI, and,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated,
DANIELLE CLAY, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. SUNTRUST BANKS,
INC., Suntrust Bank, ALSTON D. CORRELL, DAVID H. HUGHES, et al.,
Defendants-Appellants, Nos. 11-11607, 11-11608, Non-Argument
Calendar.  A copy of the Appeals Court's March 5, 2013 Decision is
available at http://is.gd/rtkfZDfrom Leagle.com.


TELLABS INC: Faces Stockholder Class Action Suits in Illinois
-------------------------------------------------------------
Tellabs, Inc. is facing class action lawsuits brought by
stockholders, according to the Company's February 22, 2013, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 28, 2012.

Beginning on January 23, 2013, several purported stockholder class
action lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Illinois, against Tellabs, Inc. and
certain other of its current or former officers.  The lawsuits are
similar and purport to bring lawsuit on behalf of those who
purchased the Company's publicly traded securities between October
26, 2010, and April 26, 2011.  Plaintiffs allege that defendants
made false and misleading statements, purport to assert claims for
violations of the federal securities laws, and seek unspecified
compensatory damages and other relief.  The Company believes these
claims are without merit and intends to defend the actions
vigorously.

Tellabs, Inc., is a telecommunications company that designs and
manufactures equipment for service providers.  The Company is
headquartered in Naperville, Illinois.


TRI-UNION SEAFOOD: Recalls Chunk White Albacore Tuna in Water
-------------------------------------------------------------
Tri-Union Seafoods LLC is voluntarily recalling a limited amount
of Chicken of the Sea brand 5-ounce cans of chunk white albacore
tuna in water.

The seams on the lids of the cans do not meet the standard for
seam quality.  Cans that do not meet seam standards could result
in product contamination by spoilage organisms or by pathogens,
which could lead to illness if consumed.  There have been no
reported illnesses to date, and Tri-Union Seafoods is issuing this
voluntary recall to ensure the highest margin of safety and
quality.

The specific product being recalled is Chicken of the Sea Brand 5-
ounce chunk white albacore tuna in water sold at retail nationwide
in single cans between February 4, 2013, and
February 27, 2013.

The UPC code (also known as the bar code) is found on the label of
the product and is 0 48000 03355 0.  The Best By date is printed
on the bottom of the can and is 01/18/17.  The product lot codes
that are part of this voluntary recall can also be found on the
bottom of the can and include:

      UPC CODE          BEST BY DATE
      --------          ------------
      3018CACCKP        01/18/17
      3018CAECKP        01/18/17
      3018CB3CKP        01/18/17
      3018CADCKP        01/18/17
      3018CA2CKP        01/18/17
      3018CA3CKP        01/18/17
      3018CA4CKP        01/18/17
      3018CAACKP        01/18/17
      3018CABCKP        01/18/17

Pictures of the recalled products' labels are available at:

         http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm342651.htm

"The health and safety of our consumers is paramount.  As soon as
we discovered the issue, we took immediate steps to issue this
voluntary recall by alerting our customers who received the
product and by asking them to remove it from store shelves," said
Shue Wing Chan, President of Tri-Union Seafoods.

No other codes of this product or other Chicken of the Sea
products are affected by this voluntary recall.

Consumers looking for additional information can call the
Company's 24-hour Recall Information line at 1-800-597-5898.


US BANCORP: Still Awaits Approval of Settlement in Visa Matter
--------------------------------------------------------------
U.S. Bancorp is still awaiting court approval of the settlement of
Visa litigation matters, according to the Company's
February 22, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

The Company's payment services business issues and acquires credit
and debit card transactions through the Visa U.S.A. Inc. card
association or its affiliates (collectively "Visa").  In 2007,
Visa completed a restructuring and issued shares of Visa Inc.
common stock to its financial institution members in contemplation
of its initial public offering ("IPO") completed in the first
quarter of 2008 (the "Visa Reorganization").  As a part of the
Visa Reorganization, the Company received its proportionate number
of shares of Visa Inc. common stock, which were subsequently
converted to Class B shares of Visa Inc. ("Class B shares").  Visa
U.S.A. Inc. ("Visa U.S.A.") and MasterCard International
(collectively, the "Card Associations") are defendants in
antitrust lawsuits challenging the practices of the Card
Associations (the "Visa Litigation").  Visa U.S.A. member banks
have a contingent obligation to indemnify Visa Inc. under the Visa
U.S.A. bylaws (which were modified at the time of the
restructuring in October 2007) for potential losses arising from
the Visa Litigation.  The indemnification by the Visa U.S.A.
member banks has no specific maximum amount.

Using proceeds from its IPO and through reductions to the
conversion ratio applicable to the Class B shares held by Visa
U.S.A. member banks, Visa Inc. has funded an escrow account for
the benefit of member financial institutions to fund their
indemnification obligations associated with the Visa Litigation.
The receivable related to the escrow account is classified in
other liabilities as a direct offset to the related Visa
Litigation contingent liability.  On October 19, 2012, Visa signed
a settlement agreement to resolve class action claims associated
with the multi-district interchange litigation, the largest of the
remaining Visa Litigation matters.  The settlement has not yet
been finally approved by the court, is not yet binding, and has
been challenged by some class members.  At December 31, 2012, the
carrying amount of the Company's liability related to the Visa
Litigation matters, net of its share of the escrow fundings, was
$65 million and included the Company's estimate of its share of
the temporary reduction in interchange rates specified in the
settlement agreement.  The remaining Class B shares held by the
Company will be eligible for conversion to Class A shares, and
thereby become marketable, upon settlement of the Visa Litigation.

U.S. Bancorp is a multi-state financial services holding company
headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  U.S. Bancorp was
incorporated in Delaware in 1929 and operates as a financial
holding company.  U.S. Bancorp provides a full range of financial
services and also engages in credit card services, merchant and
ATM processing, mortgage banking, insurance, brokerage and
leasing.


* N.D. Calif. Emerges as Preferred Food Label Class Action Venue
----------------------------------------------------------------
Vanessa Blum, writing for the Recorder, reports that some legal
practitioners have taken to calling the Northern District of
California the "Food Court", reflecting its emergence as preferred
venue for a new wave of class action litigation over food labels
alleged to mislead consumers or violate federal regulations.

Though the merits of such cases have yet to be fully tested,
judges have rejected broad defenses to food labeling suits,
spurring more litigation and setting the Northern District at the
epicenter of a burgeoning legal fight over how food is labeled.

For defendants, early rulings mean that while food cases might
seem technical and lawyer-driven, they won't be easy to get rid of
-- at least not in the early stages and before commencing
expensive discovery.

"In the Northern District, the judges have shown they're going to
allow cases," said Morrison & Foerster partner William Stern --
wstern@mofo.com -- an expert on California's consumer protection
laws who represents Ben & Jerry's, Del Monte Foods, Unilever Inc.,
Campbell Soup Co. and other food companies in labeling suits.
"It's like having a welcome mat on the front door."

Since March 2012 a network of plaintiffs lawyers, including many
veterans of Big Tobacco litigation, have filed 28 food label class
actions in Bay Area federal courts.

Their suits challenge labeling on a grocery list that includes
apple juice, yogurt, granola bars, frozen waffles, cocoa mix, baby
food, cooking spray, potato chips and ice cream.  Many suits zero
in on ostensible health foods, taking issue with claims that
products are 100 percent natural, lack trans fat or contain no
added sugar.  The Northern District offers plaintiffs both a
consumer-friendly legal climate and a health-conscious jury pool.

The onslaught means most every judge in the district is
confronting the issue: U.S. District Judge Edward Davila in San
Jose has at least nine food labeling cases on his docket.  One
floor down, Judge Lucy Koh has six.

The district's newest judge, Jon Tigar already has been assigned
one action, while Judge Ronald Whyte issued two orders this past
week in labeling cases against tea company Twining's Inc. and
Kraft Foods Global.

Several Big Law partners who used to find steady work representing
clients in other industries have shifted into the defense of food
labeling cases.

That's true for Arnold & Porter partner Angel Garganta --
Angel.Garganta@aporter.com -- a past president of the San
Francisco Bank Attorneys Association.  Today, food label cases
represent about 80 percent of his practice, he said.

"It's where the class action process has gone," Mr. Garganta
explained.  "I call it greener pastures.  The asbestos litigation
has pretty much dried up.  Tobacco -- the global settlement is
done.  Securities class actions are not what they used to be.  The
plaintiffs bar has just been looking around for other targets."

Food labeling suits have been gaining momentum around the country
for a few years, resulting in some substantial settlements, such
as a $35 million deal in 2009 over the marketing of Dannon's
Activia yogurt products.  Last year, deceptive marketing suits
against Ferrero USA Inc., the maker of Nutella hazelnut spread,
settled for roughly $3 million.

Other suits have faltered, including a Northern District case
challenging the labeling on Nestle's Drumstick ice cream bars.
Federal judges elsewhere in California dismissed suits over
Kellogg's Froot Loops and PepsiCo Inc.'s Cap'n Crunch cereal with
"crunch berries," finding no reasonable consumer would believe the
cereals contained real fruit.

Food makes an appealing target after the U.S. Supreme Court's 2011
decision in AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, said Neil Popovic, a
business litigation partner in the San Francisco office of
Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton.  The ruling upheld mandatory
arbitration provisions in consumer contracts, making it harder to
pursue class actions against financial services and telecom
companies.

"You don't have that when you buy a food product," Mr. Popovic
said.  "There's no contract on the back of your salad dressing
bottle."

And after a 2008 ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Ninth Circuit in Williams v. Gerber Products, 552 F.3d 934,
companies cannot rely on a complete ingredient list as cover in
deceptive marketing suits.

All-natural labeling has become a particularly active area of
litigation, both because it is ubiquitous and because the term is
not specifically defined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Typical claims contend "natural" labeling is misleading when
products contain citric acid, high fructose corn syrup or other
compounds plaintiffs deem synthetic.  Defendants often dispute the
characterization of their ingredients.

Stephen Gardner, litigation director for the nutrition advocacy
group Center for Science in the Public Interest, is adamant that
high-fructose corn syrup is artificial and suggesting otherwise on
labels is deceptive.

"It started out as corn, but that doesn't make it natural," he
said, adding, "Plastic started out as dinosaur bones but that
doesn't make it natural."

Arnold & Porter partner Trenton Norris -- Trent.Norris@aporter.com
-- gave a webinar last year telling GCs that their companies
should tread cautiously when labeling products as natural.
Plaintiffs lawyers need only walk down the aisle of their local
supermarket and inspect products for "some plausible disconnect"
between the labeling and the ingredient list, he warned.

"That claim may indeed survive a motion to dismiss, which puts you
into expensive litigation and discovery," Mr. Norris said.

The latest push in food cases are so-called misbranding claims
based on allegations that food labels are not simply misleading to
consumers but explicitly violate federal standards.  That has been
the primary legal weapon of the consortium led by Don Barrett, a
Mississippi lawyer who made millions suing Big Tobacco, and Robert
Clifford, a Chicago lawyer whose practice previously focused on
commercial airline accidents.

Advised by a former director of the FDA's Office of Food Labeling,
the group spent two years poring over FDA regulations.  Also on
board as a consultant is UCSF professor Robert Lustig, author of a
new book linking sugar and processed foods to obesity and disease.

Last year the group filed 24 suits in less than two months against
companies like Procter & Gamble Co., Unilever and ConAgra Foods.
More recent suits target smaller brands in the natural food
market, like Wallaby Yogurt Co., WholeSoy & Co. and Green Valley
Organics.

Filing in the Northern District was strategic, said San Jose
attorney Pierce Gore of Pratt & Associates, the group's lead
lawyer in the Bay Area.

"The law is more favorable here in than in any other jurisdictions
that we've looked at," said Mr. Gore, a former partner at San
Francisco's Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein.

The cases use California's Unfair Competition Law and the state's
Sherman Food, Drug and Cosmetic Law to challenge nutritional
claims on food packaging.  Several recent suits take issue with
manufacturers for listing "evaporated cane juice" as an
ingredient, rather than sugar, a representation the FDA deems
misleading.

The misbranding claims filed by Gore's group don't allege that
individuals were physically harmed by their consumption of
products, merely that they were duped into buying an item they
otherwise would not have spent money on.  In that sense, these are
not the suits envisioned by activists after victories against Big
Tobacco in the 1990s, and lawyers are not seeking to hold food
companies directly accountable for the obesity epidemic or for
hooking consumers on products with unhealthy levels of sugar, salt
and fat.

"They're really noninjury cases," said Angela Agrusa --
aagrusa@linerlaw.com -- a partner at Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitz
Sunshine Regenstreif & Taylor in Los Angeles.  Ms. Agrusa, who
represented the maker of Pirate's Booty cheese puffs in a class
action that was ultimately dismissed, contends that plaintiffs'
financial claims may not stand up under scrutiny.

"Consumers buy a product because they like how it tastes or they
like a crazy character on the box," Ms. Agrusa said.  "Only in the
very rare case do they buy it because of a single statement on the
packaging."

MoFo's Stern, who represents clients in eight of the misbranding
cases filed by Mr. Gore, calls the new wave of litigation
hypertechnical.  One case he is involved in takes issue with a
label's failure to specify an ingredient was added for color,
though the ingredient itself is listed.  Mr. Stern refers to that
as a "wrongful parentheses" lawsuit.

"There's no infraction too small to have avoided their attention,"
he said.  But Mr. Gore insists the breaches are neither minor, nor
innocent.

"There is a public health underpinning for every one of these
regulations," he said.  "They don't exist purely to frustrate food
companies."

As importantly, identifying violations of FDA regulations seems to
provide plaintiffs with a way to overcome federal pre-emption, a
central defense argument.

"We strongly believe the best way to plead a food label case is to
dig into the label and find out if the companies are breaking the
law," Mr. Gore said.  "So far, the judges have agreed."

At a December hearing, Hogan Lovells partner Robert Hawk --
robert.hawk@hoganlovells.com -- representing ConAgra, set out to
persuade U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer in San Francisco to
dismiss claims against Pam cooking spray, Hunt's tomato products
and Swiss Miss cocoa.

Hawk told Judge Breyer the plaintiffs' allegations encroached on
areas subject to federal regulation and should be pre-empted.  "It
makes a mockery of congressional intent to have this rival
enforcement scheme," he said.

The argument has been on a losing streak in the Northern District,
and Judge Breyer was skeptical.

"Congress isn't sitting in a vacuum," he said.  "They understand
there's a plaintiffs bar out there."

Three days later, Judge Breyer issued an order affirming that
private parties can pursue labeling suits under state consumer
protection laws if they do not seek to impose requirements beyond
those set by federal agencies.  California's food labeling laws
adopt federal requirements and thus mirror but don't exceed
federal standards.

The ConAgra ruling sticks to a line of case law developing in the
Northern District that has been tough to swallow for food
companies.  Several recent orders adopt an analysis of natural
claims set out by U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton in a case
over ice cream made with Dutch-processed or alkalized cocoa.

Judge Hamilton, who is health conscious and serves as chair of the
Ninth Circuit's wellness committee, held that "all natural" claims
are not pre-empted because the FDA has declined to regulate the
area.

The decision was a factor in Gore's consortium of plaintiffs
lawyers choosing to file cases in the Northern District.

Pre-emption, concedes Arnold & Porter's Mr. Garganta, is "not an
argument that wins a lot" in the Northern District.

Judges have been split on whether claims related to products not
purchased by a representative plaintiff must be dismissed for lack
of standing or whether the issue should be addressed at class
certification.

While several suits have survived motions to dismiss, none of the
recent misbranding cases has yet achieved class certification -- a
hurdle that could pose challenges under tougher commonality
standards established in the 2011 Supreme Court decision in
Wal-Mart v. Dukes.

Striking settlement deals could also prove tricky, under recent
Ninth Circuit rulings dealing with cy pres payments.  Judge
Hamilton rejected a $7.5 million settlement last year in an ice
cream case, after just 5,000 consumers nationwide took action to
claim a $6 refund.  One dilemma in food labeling class actions is
that individual losses are small and there is no way to identify
class members.

But since losing a motion to dismiss can push defendants to
settle, some food company lawyers would like to see judges demand
more from plaintiffs earlier in the litigation.

"Judges tilt in favor of saying, I'm not going to decide that,
certainly not at the front end of the case," said Sidley Austin
partner Thomas Hanrahan -- thanrahan@sidley.com -- in Los Angeles,
who represented Taco Bell in the 2011 imbroglio over its beef
products.  "In some cases I think they leave common sense at the
door."

Meanwhile, plaintiffs lawyers continue to troll the grocery
aisles.

"Why shouldn't consumers be entitled to educate themselves and
choose for themselves?" Mr. Gore said.  "These companies are lying
on their labels.  They've been doing it for years.  They're
unhappy they got caught."


                           *********

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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $775 for six months delivered via
e-mail. Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each. For subscription information, contact
Peter A. Chapman at 215-945-7000 or Nina Novak at 202-241-8200.



                 * * *  End of Transmission  * * *