CAR_Public/130423.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Tuesday, April 23, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 79

                             Headlines


AB VOLVO: Judge Certifies Class Over Defective Sunroof
ABBOTT LABS: Faces Antitrust Class Action Over Niaspan Drug
ALLIANCE FINANCIAL: Signs MOU to Settle Merger-Related Suits
AMERICAN EXPRESS: Merchants' Suits vs. Parent Remain Pending
ARIZONA: Governor Faces Suit for Prosecuting Marijuana Growers

BANKERS LIFE: Faces Suit for Defrauding Elder Policyholders
BASIC RESEARCH: Motion to Stay "Akavar" Suit Pending Appeal Denied
BMC SOFTWARE: Directors Face Suit for Taking Company Private
CLASSIC CHARACTERS: Recalls 5,000 Pairs of Infant Froggy Socks
COMSCORE: Judge Certifies Class Over Tracking Software

COOPER COMPANIES: Awaits Order on Bid to Dismiss Securities Suit
CRE INVESTMENTS: Faces Shareholders' Suit Over Planned Merger
CYNOSURE INC: Suit Alleging TCPA Violations Dismissed in Feb.
DELTA MEMORIAL: Conditional Cert. Bid Denied in Ex-Workers' Suit
DYNEX CAPITAL: Appeal From Dismissal of Claims vs. GLS Pending

DYNEX CAPITAL: Still Defends Suit Filed by Real Estate Owners
EXXONMOBIL: Faces Class Action Over March 29 Oil Spill
FIRST M&F: Robbins Geller Files Class Action Over Bank Merger
HI-TECH PHARMACAL: Continues to Defend Sinus Buster(R) Suits
HI-TECH PHARMACAL: Defends "Hoover" Class Suit in California

HOME DEPOT: Ex-Employees File Class Action Over Unpaid Wages
HOVNANIAN ENTERPRISES: Awaits Ruling Ruling in "D'Andrea" Suit
HUGOTON ROYALTY: Bids to Dismiss "Lamb" Suit Remain Pending
HUGOTON ROYALTY: "Fankhouser" Suit Arbitration Hearing on Oct. 7
HUGOTON ROYALTY: Oral Argument in "Chieftain" Suit on May 8

HUGOTON ROYALTY: Oral Argument in "Roderick" Suit Set for May 8
INCYTE CORP: Faces Suit for Dumping Shares at Inflated Price
J.P. BODEN: Recalls 1,900 Infant and Children's Dungarees
LOS ANGELES: Faces Class Action Over Wrongful Arrest
MICHAELS STORES: Mintz Levin Discusses Zip Code Court Ruling

NAVISTAR INT'L: Labaton Sucharow Files Class Action in Illinois
NEW ENGLAND COMPOUNDING: Lead Counsel Selected in Meningitis MDL
NEW NEWSCORP: Awaits Ruling on Bid to Dismiss "Wilder" Suit
NEW NEWSCORP: Continues to Defend Ebook Antitrust Suits vs. Unit
NEW JERSEY: Faces Suit for Blacklisting State Troopers

NEW VITALITY: Faces Action Over Unsafe Prostate Drug Product
PARADISE CITY: Strippers Face Arbitration Clause Hurdle
STANDARD & POOR'S: Attempts to Coordinate Mortgage-Rating Suits
STM: Quebec Judge Allows C$5.2-Mil. Class Action to Proceed
TRIDENT DIVING: Recalls 200 High-Pressure Scuba Diving Air Hoses

WARNER CHILCOTT: Faces Suit Over Keeping Loestrin Off the Market
WEST COAST: Signed MOU to Settle Merger-Related Class Suits
WIVENHOE DAM: Law Firm Set to File Class Action by Year's End

* Class Action Against Australian Banks Over Fees Faces Delay
* Supreme Court Limits Class Actions, Expands Forced Arbitration


                             *********


AB VOLVO: Judge Certifies Class Over Defective Sunroof
------------------------------------------------------
Rose Bouboushian at Courthouse News Service reports that a federal
judge certified a class of thousands who claim Volvo knowingly
sold them cars with sunroofs that let water leak onto safety-
related electrical sensors and wiring.

Gregory Burns, Karen Collopy, David Taft, Svein Berg, Jeffrey
Kruger, Joane Neale, Ken Hay and Kelly McGary filed a federal
complaint in the District of New Jersey against Volvo Cars of
North America LLC and Volvo Car Corp., on behalf of a nationwide
class of current and former Volvo owners and lessees.  They
alleged that the defective sunroof-drainage systems in their cars
lets water get trapped in passenger compartment floor pans, which
in turn damages interior components, carpets, and safety-related
electrical sensors and wiring.  Six Volvo vehicles models are
identified in the case as having the defect: S40, S60, S80, V50,
V70 (model years 2004 to present), XC9O (model years 2003 to
present), and V50 (model years 2005 to present).

The plaintiffs claimed that Volvo had longstanding knowledge of
the defect based on numerous consumer complaints as well as
Volvo's internal communications and technical service bulletins.
Since 2009, each of the plaintiffs has allegedly paid hundreds of
dollars for repairs, which they were told were not covered under
warranty.  Burns paid Garden State Volvo more than $250, McGary
paid Volvo of Tampa about $700, and Hay spent nearly $775 in
Maryland.  After paying almost $100 to unclog her sunroof drain,
Collopy paid nearly $1,200 to replace her carpet, following the
advice of a Volvo Clinic technician in New Jersey.

Though Volvo claimed that it would be impossible for the
plaintiffs to obtain class certification by proving that every
potential member suffered water damage due to the alleged defect,
U.S. District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh refused to dismiss the action
in April 2011, noting that the plaintiffs had not even requested
class certification at that point.

Volvo moved for summary judgment against each of the plaintiffs on
July 3, 2012, and the plaintiffs filed opposition briefs and a
motion for class certification in August.

On March 26, Judge Cavanaugh concluded that the plaintiffs met all
requirements for state subclass certification.

The motion for a nationwide class failed, however, because it
ignored "the state in which the transaction occurred, the state
where the purchasers of the vehicles live, and the interests of
the states in which the transactions took place," according to the
ruling.

"Here, the record in this case clearly demonstrates that there
were thousands of class vehicles sold in each of the six class
states," Cavanaugh wrote.  "Further, Volvo's own corporate
designees testified that there were 100,000 vehicles sold during
two years for only two of the six model at issue here, several
thousand of which had records of 'sunroof repairs' or 'leak
repair.'  Thus, numerosity is established."

Volvo failed to acquire summary judgment.

"In finding that certification of plaintiffs' proposed statewide
classes is warranted, the court finds that triable issues of fact
exist," Cavanaugh wrote.  "These issues include whether the
designs of the sunroof drainage systems were defectively designed,
whether defendants knew of the defect but failed to disclose it to
the class, and whether the maintenance instructions were
inadequate and/or uniformly deficient.  These issues are more than
sufficient to warrant denial of defendants' individual motions for
summary judgment."


ABBOTT LABS: Faces Antitrust Class Action Over Niaspan Drug
-----------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Abbott, Teva, Barr and
Duramed conspired to keep generic Niaspan off the market, an
antitrust class action claims in Federal Court.


ALLIANCE FINANCIAL: Signs MOU to Settle Merger-Related Suits
------------------------------------------------------------
Alliance Financial Corporation disclosed in its March 8, 2013,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2012, that it entered into a
memorandum of understanding to settle merger-related class action
lawsuits.

On October 8, 2012, the Company reported that it entered into a
definitive merger agreement ("Merger Agreement') with NBT Bancorp
Inc. ("NBT").  Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, NBT will
acquire the Company for approximately $233.4 million based on the
5-day average closing price of NBT's common stock for the period
ended October 5, 2012, and the Company will merge with and into
NBT, with NBT being the surviving corporation (the "Merger").
Immediately following the Merger, Alliance Bank, N.A., will be
merged with and into NBT's subsidiary bank, NBT Bank, N.A. ("NBT
Bank") and NBT Bank will continue as the surviving bank.

In connection with the proposed merger with NBT, three plaintiffs
filed purported class action lawsuits against Alliance, Alliance's
directors and NBT.  All three purported class actions were brought
in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, in the County of
Onondaga, or the Court, and are captioned Oughterson v. Alliance
Financial Corporation, et al. (No. 2012EF73, filed October 11,
2012), Stanard v. Alliance Financial Corporation, et al. (No.
2012EF75, filed October 22, 2012) and The Wire Family Trust of
1997 v. Alliance Financial Corporation et al. (No. 2012-5950,
filed November 1, 2012).  By Order dated December 10, 2012, the
three cases were consolidated by the Court into a single action.
The lawsuits allege that the Alliance directors breached their
fiduciary duties to Alliance's shareholders by seeking to sell
Alliance through an allegedly unfair process and for an unfair
price and on unfair terms, by soliciting shareholder approval of
the proposed transaction through a Form S-4 that was alleged to be
materially misleading, and that Alliance and NBT aided and abetted
that breach.  The lawsuits seek, among other things, equitable
relief that would enjoin the merger, damages, and attorneys' fees
and costs.  The plaintiffs also seek rescission of the merger (to
the extent it has already been completed at the time that the
court grants any relief).

The parties have reached an agreement in principle to settle these
cases and entered into a memorandum of understanding on January
15, 2013.  As part of this memorandum of understanding, NBT and
Alliance have agreed to disclose additional information in this
joint proxy statement/prospectus, including information about
matters discussed between the parties during the process of
negotiating the merger, as well as information about the data that
was analyzed and presented to the Alliance board of directors by
its financial advisor.  No substantive terms of the merger
agreement will be modified as part of this settlement.  The
settlement is subject to review and approval by the Court.

The Company says the range of reasonably possible loss for this
matter related to litigation costs was between $300,000 and
$500,000 as of December 31, 2012.  Alliance has insurance coverage
that limits its liability to $75,000.

Headquartered in Syracuse, New York, Alliance Financial
Corporation -- http://www.alliancebankna.com/-- is a New York
corporation and a registered financial holding company formed in
1998 as a result of the merger of Cortland First Financial
Corporation and Oneida Valley Bancshares, Inc.  Alliance is the
holding company of Alliance Bank, N.A.  The Company provides
financial services, including commercial, retail and municipal
banking, consumer finance, mortgage financing and servicing, trust
and investment management services.


AMERICAN EXPRESS: Merchants' Suits vs. Parent Remain Pending
------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuits brought by merchants against American
Express Credit Corporation's parent remain pending, according to
the Company's March 8, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and certain states' attorneys
general have brought an action against the Company's parent,
American Express Company (American Express), alleging that the
provisions in American Express' card acceptance agreements with
merchants that prohibit merchants from discriminating against
American Express' card products at the point of sale violate the
U.S. antitrust laws.  Visa, Inc. (Visa) and MasterCard
International Inc. (MasterCard), which were also defendants in the
DOJ and states action, entered into a settlement and have been
dismissed as parties pursuant to that agreement, which was
approved by the Court.  The settlement enjoins Visa and MasterCard
from entering into contracts that prohibit merchants from engaging
in various actions to steer cardholders to other card products or
payment forms at the point of sale.  In addition, American Express
is a defendant in a number of actions, including proposed class
actions filed by merchants that challenge American Express' non-
discrimination and honor-all-cards provisions in its merchant
contracts.  An adverse outcome in any of these proceedings against
American Express could materially and adversely impact the
profitability of American Express, require it to change its
merchant agreements in a way that could expose American Express'
card products to steering, selective acceptance or other forms of
discrimination at the point of sale that would impair American
Express' Cardmembers' experience, threaten the imposition of
substantial monetary damages, and/or damage American Express'
global reputation and brand.  Even if American Express were not
required to change its merchant agreements, changes in Visa's and
MasterCard's policies or practices as a result of legal
proceedings, lawsuit settlements or regulatory actions could
result in changes to American Express' business practices and
materially and adversely impact American Express' profitability
and affect Credco's business of funding American Express card
receivables and revolving loans.

New York-based American Express Credit Corporation (Credco) was
incorporated in Delaware in 1962 and was acquired by American
Express Company in December 1965.  Credco finances non-interest-
earning cardmember receivables arising from the use of the
American Express(R) Card, the American Express(R) Gold Card,
Platinum Card(R), Corporate Card and other American Express cards
issued in the United States and in certain countries outside the
United States.


ARIZONA: Governor Faces Suit for Prosecuting Marijuana Growers
--------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Gov. Jan Brewer, Maricopa
County and Mesa police criminally prosecute medical marijuana
growers though it's legal in Arizona, a class action claims in
Maricopa County Court.


BANKERS LIFE: Faces Suit for Defrauding Elder Policyholders
-----------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Bankers Life and Casualty
defrauds and abuses elder policyholders when they file for
benefits under their long-term care policies, a class action
claims in Federal Court.


BASIC RESEARCH: Motion to Stay "Akavar" Suit Pending Appeal Denied
------------------------------------------------------------------
District Judge Ted Stewart issued a memorandum decision and order
denying a motion to stay proceedings pending appeal in the lawsuit
captioned PAMELA MILLER; RANDY HOWARD; and DONNA PATTERSON; on
behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated,
Plaintiffs, v. BASIC RESEARCH, LLC; DYNAKOR PHARMACAL, LLC;
WESTERN HOLDINGS, LLC; DENNIS GAY; DANIEL B. MOWRY, Ph.D.;
MITCHELL K. FRIEDLANDER; and DOES 1 through 50, Defendants, Case
No. 2:07-CV-871 TS,(D. Utah).

This class action arises out of the advertising for and sale of a
weight-loss dietary supplement called Akavar 20/50.  Although this
matter is currently set for trial on April 7, 2014, the parties
met with a mediator in September 2012 and subsequently informed
the Court that the parties had reached a settlement.

At some point before the parties were able to submit the
settlement to the Court for preliminary approval, the relationship
between the parties appears to have soured. Communication dropped
off, and on December 18, 2012, counsel for the Defendants filed a
status report with the Court, stating that further negotiations
were necessary and that "significant disagreement exists, at
present, between the Parties to other material issues of the
settlement."

The Plaintiffs responded by filing a motion to enforce the
parties' nationwide class action settlement. The Court heard oral
argument on the issue, and on March 22, 2013, issued an order
granting the Plaintiff's Motion.  At that time, the Court ordered
the parties to file a joint motion for preliminary approval of the
settlement on or before April 19, 2013.

On April 1, 2013, the Defendants initiated an appeal with the
Tenth Circuit. On April 8, 2013, the Defendants filed the Motion
to Stay Proceedings Pending Appeal.

Judge Stewart said the Court is not persuaded that a stay is
appropriate.  Nevertheless, he continues, the Court recognizes
that the settlement approval and class notification process
requires cooperation between the parties, and that such
cooperation is unlikely to be forthcoming until after the matter
is decided on appeal.  "Therefore, the Court will exercise its
discretionary powers over the deadlines before the Court to
suspend the April 19, 2013 due date for submission of a joint
motion for preliminary approval of the settlement until the Tenth
Circuit has ruled on Defendant's appeal of the Court's March 22,
2013 order," ruled Judge Stewart.

A copy of the District Court's April 16, 2013 Memorandum Decision
and Order is available at http://is.gd/AZsCcFfrom Leagle.com.


BMC SOFTWARE: Directors Face Suit for Taking Company Private
------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that directors of BMC Software are
taking the company private on the cheap, for $45 a share,
shareholders say in a class action in Harris County Court.


CLASSIC CHARACTERS: Recalls 5,000 Pairs of Infant Froggy Socks
--------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
importer, Classic Characters Inc., of Quebec, Canada, and
manufacturer, Sino-Best Industries, Co. Ltd., of Ningbo, China,
announced a voluntary recall of about 5,000 pairs of Infant Froggy
Socks.  Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise
instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a
recalled consumer product.

The stitched knit frog face and feet on the socks can detach,
posing a choking hazard to infants and young children.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.

The knit ankle infant socks have a red ankle border with a lime
green sock that has four fabric feet and a dark green frog head
with black and white eyes and a red tongue stitched to the top of
the toe of the socks.  The socks were sold with a Cracker Barrel
price tag printed with SKU number 417662, S110, size 6-18M, fiber
content and care instructions on the back of the tag.  Picture of
the recalled products is available at: http://is.gd/ylF3T9

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold
exclusively at Cracker Barrel Old Country Store(R) locations from
January 2013 to March 2013 for about $7.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled froggy socks away
from infants and young children, return the socks to any Cracker
Barrel Old Country Store for a full refund or send the socks to
Classic Characters for a full refund plus shipping.  Send to
Classic Characters, 1320 Route 9, Champlain, N.Y. 12919 via UPS
ground or US Postal Service.  Classic Characters may be reached
toll-free at (877) 298-9620 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern
Time Monday through Friday or online at
http://www.classiccharacters.com/and click on safety notice for
more information.


COMSCORE: Judge Certifies Class Over Tracking Software
------------------------------------------------------
Jack Bouboushian at Courthouse News Service reports that a judge
certified a class that accuses an Internet research company of
profiting off the personal and financial data of its users,
collected with free game software.

ComScore lured customers to install its software by advertising
free screensavers, games with free prizes and other programs,
according to the complaint.  After improperly obtaining the
visitors' personal information, the company allegedly uses such
information for its own purposes.

The information collected included Social Security numbers, credit
card numbers, username and passwords, the contents of iPod
playlists, the names of every file on the user's computer, web
browsing history of smartphones synced with the computer, and
portions of every PDF viewed in a web browser.

After discovering that ComScore was monitoring their online
behavior, Mike Harris and Jeff Dunstan filed a federal class
action in Chicago, alleging violations of the Electronic
Communications Privacy Act, the Stored Communications Act, and the
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.

U.S. District Judge James Holderman certified a class of "all
individuals who have had, at any time since 2005, downloaded and
installed ComScore's tracking software onto their computers via
one of ComScore's third party bundling partners," as well as a
sub-class of users not given a link to the license agreement
before installing ComScore's software.

"Most of the issues that comScore alleges require individual
adjudication and make administration of a class action infeasible
have already been addressed," the 20-page ruling states.  "The
issue of whether each individual plaintiff downloaded OSSProxy
will be determined primarily by ComScore's records, and if
substantial individual adjudication is necessary the court will
consider appropriate class limitations.  The issue thus presents
no obstacle to class adjudication.  In addition, the issues of
whether plaintiffs consented to OSSProxy's data collection, the
scope of that consent, and whether ComScore exceeded that consent
can all be determined on a class basis."

Holderman certified a class based on all claims except unjust
enrichment, which cannot be litigated as a class "in light of the
geographical diversity of the plaintiffs and the variation in
applicable law."


COOPER COMPANIES: Awaits Order on Bid to Dismiss Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Cooper Companies, Inc. is awaiting a court decision on its
motion to dismiss a consolidated securities class action lawsuit,
according to the Company's March 8, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
January 31, 2013.

On November 28, 2011, Harold Greenberg filed a complaint in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, Case No. 4:11-cv-05697-YGR, against the following
defendants: the Company; Robert S. Weiss, its President, Chief
Executive Officer and a director; Eugene J. Midlock, its former
Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; and Albert G.
White, III, its Vice President of Investor Relations, Treasurer
and Chief Strategic Officer.  On December 12, 2011, a second
individual, Ross Wallen, filed a related complaint against the
same defendants in the Northern District of California, Case No.
4:11-cv-06214-YGR.  The Wallen complaint largely repeats the
allegations in the Greenberg complaint. Greenberg and Wallen each
sought to represent a class of persons who purchased the Company's
common stock between March 4, 2011, and November 15, 2011.

On February 29, 2012, the court ordered the Greenberg and Wallen
actions consolidated and appointed Universal-Investment-
Gesellschaft mbH as lead plaintiff.  On May 4, 2012, the lead
plaintiff filed a Consolidated Amended Complaint, which alleges
that the Company, Robert S. Weiss and Eugene J. Midlock violated
Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by, among
other things, making misrepresentations with an intent to deceive
investors concerning the safety of the Avaira(R) Toric and Avaira
Sphere contact lenses, which the Company recalled in 2011.  On
August 7, 2012, the Court heard argument on defendants' motion to
dismiss the Consolidated Amended Complaint.

On January 7, 2013, the Court granted defendants' motion to
dismiss the Consolidated Amended Complaint, with leave to amend.
On February 4, 2013, the lead plaintiff filed a Second
Consolidated Amended Complaint, which again alleges that the
Company, Robert S. Weiss and Eugene J. Midlock violated Section
10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by, among other
things, making misrepresentations with an intent to deceive
investors concerning the 2011 recall of Avaira(R) contact lenses.
The Second Consolidated Amended Complaint seeks unspecified
damages on behalf of a purported class of persons who purchased
the Company's common stock between August 19, 2011, and
November 15, 2011.  On March 6, 2013, the defendants moved to
dismiss the Second Consolidated Amended Complaint.  A hearing on
the anticipated motion has not yet been scheduled.  Discovery is
stayed pending a resolution of the motion to dismiss.

The Company says it is not in a position to assess whether any
loss or adverse effect on its financial condition is probable or
remote or to estimate the range of potential loss, if any.

The Cooper Companies, Inc. is a global medical device company
publicly traded on the NYSE Euronext.  Cooper operates through its
business units, CooperVision, which develops, manufactures and
markets a broad range of soft contact lenses for the worldwide
vision correction market, and CooperSurgical, which develops,
manufactures and markets medical devices and procedure solutions
to improve healthcare delivery to women.  The Company was
incorporated in Delaware and is headquartered in Pleasanton,
California.


CRE INVESTMENTS: Faces Shareholders' Suit Over Planned Merger
-------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports the defendants are hastily
attempting a merger in "a blatant attempt to entrench the current
management" and unjustly enrich insiders, a class of shareholders
claims in Baltimore City Circuit, in the lawsuit captioned Cheryl
Fortner; v. Thomas Andruskevich; CRE Investments; and Cole
Holdings.


CYNOSURE INC: Suit Alleging TCPA Violations Dismissed in Feb.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Cynosure, Inc.'s motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit in
Massachusetts was granted in February 2013, according to the
Company's March 8, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

In 2005, a plaintiff, individually and as putative representative
of a purported class, filed a complaint against the Company under
the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, or the TCPA, in
Massachusetts Superior Court in Middlesex County seeking monetary
damages, injunctive relief, costs and attorneys fees.  The
complaint alleges that the Company violated the TCPA by sending
unsolicited advertisements by facsimile to the plaintiff and other
recipients without the prior express invitation or permission of
the recipients.  Under the TCPA, recipients of unsolicited
facsimile advertisements are entitled to damages of up to $500 per
facsimile for inadvertent violations and up to $1,500 per
facsimile for knowing or willful violations.  In January 2012, the
Court denied the class certification motion.  In November 2012,
the Court issued the final judgment and awarded the plaintiff
$6,000 in damages and awarded the Company $3,495 in costs.  The
plaintiff has appealed this decision.  In addition, in July 2012,
the plaintiff filed a new purported class action, based on the
same operative facts and asserting the same claims as in the
Massachusetts action, in federal court in the Eastern District of
New York.  In February 2013, that court granted the Company's
motion to dismiss the plaintiff's claims.

Cynosure, Inc. -- http://www.cynosure.com/ -- develops and
markets aesthetic treatment systems that are used by physicians
and other practitioners to perform non-invasive and minimally
invasive procedures to remove hair, treat vascular and benign
pigmented lesions, treat multi-colored tattoos, rejuvenate the
skin, liquefy and remove unwanted fat through laser lipolysis,
reduce cellulite and treat onychomycosis.  The Company is
headquartered in Westford, Massachusetts.


DELTA MEMORIAL: Conditional Cert. Bid Denied in Ex-Workers' Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
District Judge Susan Webber Wright denied a motion for conditional
certification in the lawsuit captioned DONNA BUTCHER, MELLIE
BUCHANON, HATTIE STOVALL, JESSICA KIZER, KENNETTA JOINER, AND
ANDREA McTIGRIT, Individually and on behalf of others similarly
situated, Plaintiffs, v. DELTA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, Defendant, No.
5:12CV00241 SWW, (E.D. Ark.).

Six former employees of Delta Memorial Hospital brought the
putative collective action pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards
Act, 29 U.S.C. Sections 201 et seq., seeking compensation for
overtime.

The case is before the Court on (1) the Plaintiffs' motion for
conditional certification, (2) Delta's motion for summary
judgment, and (3) the Plaintiffs' motion to amend.

On April 17, Judge Wright denied without prejudice the Plaintiffs'
motion for conditional certification.  The Court held that the
Plaintiffs have argued that the similarity of their individual
claims, standing alone, "suggests that other plaintiffs, working
at the same location and bound by the same policies, likely
exist." However, the Plaintiffs' declarations are void of any
information or suggestion regarding other similarly-situated
individuals.

"This ruling does not preclude Plaintiffs from reasserting their
motion based on supplemental evidence," Judge Wright clarified.

The Court also granted in part and denied in part Delta's motion
for summary judgment saying Delta submits no evidence
demonstrating an absence of evidence that the Plaintiffs worked
overtime without compensation. The Court said the Plaintiffs'
claims based on time rounding practices are summarily dismissed,
but Plaintiff's claims based on automatic time deductions for
lunch breaks remain for trial.

In addition, the Court denied the Plaintiffs' request to amend the
complaint for the purpose of joining class action allegations
under Rule 23. Rule 23(c)(1)(A) requires that district courts
determine whether a class action is maintainable "at an early
practicable time" after the commencement of an action, and Local
Rule 23.1 provides that motions for class certification shall be
filed according to the final scheduling order entered in a case.
In this case, Judge Wright said, the final scheduling order set
February 16, 2013 as the deadline for Plaintiffs' motion for class
certification, and the Court finds that Plaintiffs fail to show
good cause for altering that deadline.

The Plaintiff's motion to strike was also denied.

A copy of the District Court's April 17, 2013 Order is available
at http://is.gd/rHYgzofrom Leagle.com.


DYNEX CAPITAL: Appeal From Dismissal of Claims vs. GLS Pending
--------------------------------------------------------------
An appeal from the dismissal of claims against a subsidiary of
Dynex Capital, Inc., remains pending, according to the Company's
March 8, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

One of the Company's subsidiaries, GLS Capital, Inc. ("GLS"), and
the County of Allegheny, Pennsylvania ("Allegheny County") are
defendants in a class action lawsuit filed in 1997 in the Court of
Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (the "Court").
Between 1995 and 1997, GLS purchased from Allegheny County
delinquent property tax lien receivables for properties located in
the county.  The plaintiffs in this matter alleged that GLS
improperly recovered or sought recovery for certain fees, costs,
interest, and attorneys' fees and expenses in connection with GLS'
collection of the property tax lien receivables.   The Court
granted class action status and defined the class to include only
owners of real estate in Allegheny County who paid an attorneys'
fee between 1996 and 2003 in connection with the forced collection
of delinquent property tax receivables by GLS (generally through
the initiation of a foreclosure action).  Amendments to the
statute that governs the collection of delinquent tax lien
receivables in Pennsylvania, related case law, and GLS' filing of
one or more successful motions for summary judgment resulted in
the dismissal of certain claims against GLS and narrowed the
issues being litigated to whether attorneys' fees and related
expenses charged by GLS in connection with the collection of the
receivables were reasonable.  Such attorneys' fees and lien costs
were assessed by GLS in its collection efforts pursuant to the
prevailing Allegheny County ordinance.  On April 23, 2012, as a
result of a petition to discontinue filed by the plaintiffs, the
Court dismissed the remaining claims against GLS.  The Plaintiffs
subsequently appealed the dismissal to the Pennsylvania
Commonwealth Court of Appeals.  The claims made by plaintiffs on
appeal include only the legality of charging and recovering
attorneys' fees and tax lien revival and assignment costs from the
class members.  The Plaintiffs have not enumerated their damages
in this matter.

Dynex Capital, Inc. -- http://www.dynexcapital.com/-- is an
internally managed mortgage real estate investment trust, which
invests in mortgage assets on a leveraged basis.  The Company is
headquartered in Glen Allen, Virginia.


DYNEX CAPITAL: Still Defends Suit Filed by Real Estate Owners
-------------------------------------------------------------
Dynex Capital, Inc., its subsidiary, GLS Capital, Inc. ("GLS"),
and the County of Allegheny, Pennsylvania ("Allegheny County"),
are named defendants in a putative class action lawsuit filed in
June 2012 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County,
Pennsylvania.  The lawsuit relates to the activities of GLS in
Allegheny County related to the purchase and collection of
delinquent property tax lien receivables.  The purported class in
this action consists of owners of real estate in Allegheny County
whose property is or has been subject to a tax lien filed by
Allegheny County that Allegheny County either retained or sold to
GLS and who were billed by Allegheny County or GLS for attorneys'
fees, interest, and certain other fees and who sustained economic
damages on and after August 14, 2003.  The putative class
allegations are that Allegheny County, GLS, and the Company
violated the class's constitutional due process rights in
connection with delinquent tax collection efforts.  There are also
allegations that amounts recovered from the class by GLS and/or
Allegheny County are an unconstitutional taking of private
property.  The claims against the Company are solely based upon
its ownership of GLS.  The complaint requests that the Court order
GLS to account for amounts alleged to have been collected in
violation of the putative class members' rights and create a
constructive trust for the return of such amounts to members of
the purported class.  The same class previously filed
substantially the same lawsuit in 2004 against GLS and Allegheny
County (ACORN v. County of Allegheny and GLS Capital, Inc.), and
GLS's Motion for Summary Judgment is pending in that action.

No further updates were reported in the Company's March 8, 2013,
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the year ended December 31, 2012.

The Company believes the claims are without merit and intends to
defend against them vigorously in this matter.

Dynex Capital, Inc. -- http://www.dynexcapital.com/-- is an
internally managed mortgage real estate investment trust, which
invests in mortgage assets on a leveraged basis.  The Company is
headquartered in Glen Allen, Virginia.


EXXONMOBIL: Faces Class Action Over March 29 Oil Spill
------------------------------------------------------
Erik De La Garza at Courthouse News Service reports ExxonMobil
faces a federal class action for the March 29 rupture of a
pipeline carrying tar sands oil that was "the worst oil spill in
Arkansas history."

Lead plaintiffs Kathryn Jane Roachell Chunn and Kimla Green sued
ExxonMobil and three pipeline subsidiaries, saying the March 29
spill hurt property values of homeowners within 3,000 feet of the
Pegasus Pipeline.

Both plaintiffs and their families live in Mayflower, pop. 2,200,
about 24 miles north of Little Rock.  The pipeline was built in
the 1940s and is buried 2 feet underground.  It runs 850 miles
through four states, taking crude oil from Canada to the Gulf
Coast.  The class blames the spill on ExxonMobil's decision in
2006 to reverse the direction of flow, followed by its decision in
2009 to increase capacity by 50%.  The 30,000-barrels increased in
the pipeline's presumed capacity affected "the hydraulic and
stress demands on the pipeline," which deteriorated it, according
to the complaint.

It states: "In 2006, in order to maximize profits, the defendants
reversed the Pegasus Pipeline to increase the flow of crude oil
southward from Canada to the Gulf Coast.  The defendants desired
to transport larger amounts of Canadian crude tar sands, which is
more abrasive, to the Gulf Coast through the Pegasus Pipeline
running through Illinois, Missouri, Arkansas and Texas.  It is
known in the industry that a change in the direction of oil flow
in a pipeline can affect the hydraulic and stress demands on the
pipeline and the abrasive quality of the hydrocarbon product can
increase corrosion and deteriorate the quality of the pipe.

"The pipe was in a defective, unsafe condition and the defendants'
corporate profit-enhancing decision to run a higher volume and
more abrasive crude hydrocarbon through the pipeline put further
stress demands on the defective pipe." (14)

The class claims that the pipeline "was and has not been properly
and adequately inspected or maintained to ensure the safe
transport of crude oil and/or tar sands through the entire route
of the Pegasus Pipeline traversing through Arkansas."

It claims ExxonMobil was aware of the problem but continued to use
the pipe.  When it broke on March 29, more than 19,000 barrels
were spilled "into the nearby community adjacent to the pipeline,"
the complaint states.

"The release of the oil affected a large area around Mayflower,
including the plaintiffs' property.  The crude oil migrated into
the North Woods Subdivision along North Starlite Road into a bar
ditch adjacent to a Union Pacific Railroad line, into a creek and
into a tributary to a cove of Lake Conway, which is also a
tributary to the Arkansas River.  The release of the oil due to
defendants' unsafe and defective pipeline running through the
State of Arkansas caused an extensive, continuous and nationally
publicized evacuation of people from the real property,
contaminated real property, migrated into water sources and
impacted air quality.  "The environmental footprint of the Pegasus
Pipeline for diminishment of real property value extends, at
minimum, thousands of feet from the pipeline," the complaint
states.

The class seeks punitive damages for strict liability and nuisance
and "for the diminishment of class members' real property."

They are represented by Justin C. Zachary with the Duncan Firm and
Thomas P. Thrash, both of Little Rock.


FIRST M&F: Robbins Geller Files Class Action Over Bank Merger
-------------------------------------------------------------
According to Mississippi Business Journal, Robbins Geller Rudman &
Dowd, LLP of San Diego has started a class action, through an
amended complaint filed on April 8 in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Mississippi on behalf of all
holders of First M&F Corporation common stock as of Feb. 7, 2013,
in connection with the proposed takeover of FMFC and Merchants and
Farmers Bank by Renasant Corporation and Renasant Bank.

On Feb. 7, 2013, FMFC announced that FMFC, Merchants and Renasant
had entered into a definitive merger agreement whereby FMFC and
Merchants would be merged with Renasant.  Through the merger, the
public shareholders of FMFC would have the right to receive 0.6425
shares of Renasant common stock for each share of FMFC common
stock they own.

The amended complaint charges FMFC's board of directors and
Renasant with violations of Secs. 14(a) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission Rule 14a-9 in connection with the Form S-4 defendants
filed with the SEC on March 29, 2013 regarding the proposed merger
between FMFC, Merchants and Renasant.  The amended complaint
alleges that the S-4 contains material omissions and/or
misstatements in contravention of Secs. 14(a) and 20(a) of the
1934 Act and SEC Rule 14a-9 and/or defendants' fiduciary duty of
disclosure under state law, including but not limited to material
omissions and/or misstatements concerning the sales process
leading up to the execution of the merger agreement, the company's
value, the analyses performed by the company's financial advisor,
Keefe, Bruyette & Woods Inc., the analyses performed by Renasant's
financial advisor Sandler O'Neill + Partners, L.P., and the
potential and/or actual conflicts of interest faced by KBW.
Plaintiff alleges that without this material information, FMFC
shareholders will be prevented from making a fully-informed
decision as to the adequacy of the proposed takeover consideration
offered by Renasant and whether to vote their shares in favor of
the takeover.  The S-4 anticipates an FMFC shareholder vote on the
proposed merger sometime in June 2013.

In addition, the amended complaint alleges the Board, FMFC,
Merchants and Renasant either directly breached or aided and
abetted breaches of fiduciary duties owed to FMFC shareholders in
connection with the proposed merger.

Plaintiff seeks injunctive and equitable relief on behalf of all
holders of FMFC common stock on Feb. 7, including but not limited
to preventing the FMFC shareholder vote and consummation of the
proposed takeover of FMFC by Renasant unless and until the
material omissions and/or misstatements in the S-4 are corrected.

Plaintiff is represented by Robbins Geller, which has expertise in
prosecuting investor class actions and extensive experience in
actions involving financial fraud.


HI-TECH PHARMACAL: Continues to Defend Sinus Buster(R) Suits
------------------------------------------------------------
Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co., Inc., continues to defend itself against
two class action lawsuits over its Sinus Buster(R) products,
according to the Company's March 8, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
January 31, 2013.

On June 8, 2012, plaintiff Mathew Harrison, on behalf of himself
and all others similarly situated, brought a class action lawsuit,
Civil Action No. 12-2897, in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of New York, against Wayne Perry, Dynova
Laboratories, Inc., Sicap Industries, LLC, Walgreens Co. and the
Company ("Harrison case").  On May 16, 2012, plaintiff David
Delre, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated,
brought a class action lawsuit, Civil Action No. 12-2429, in the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, against
Wayne Perry, Dynova Laboratories, Inc., Sicap Industries, LLC, and
the Company.  Each complaint alleges, among other things, that
their Sinus Buster(R) products are improperly marketed, labeled
and sold as homeopathic products, and that these allegations
support claims of fraud, unjust enrichment, breach of express and
implied warranties and alleged violations of various state and
federal statutes.  The Company answered the complaints on July 17,
2012, and June 26, 2012, respectively, and asserted cross-claims
against the other defendants, except Walgreens which was dismissed
from the Harrison case.  Discovery has commenced in both cases.

The Company believes the complaints are without merit and intends
to vigorously defend against the allegations in the complaints.
The Company cannot predict the outcome of the actions.

Amityville, New York-based Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co., Inc., a Delaware
corporation incorporated in April 1982, is a specialty
pharmaceutical company developing, manufacturing and marketing
generic and branded prescription and OTC products.  The Company
specializes in the manufacture of liquid and semi-solid dosage
forms and produces a range of sterile ophthalmic, otic and
inhalation products.  The Company's Health Care Products division
is a developer and marketer of branded prescription and OTC
products for the diabetes marketplace.  Hi-Tech's ECR
Pharmaceuticals subsidiary markets branded prescription products.


HI-TECH PHARMACAL: Defends "Hoover" Class Suit in California
------------------------------------------------------------
Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co., Inc. is defending a class action lawsuit
commenced by Linda Hoover in California, according to the
Company's March 8, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
January 31, 2013.

On December 12, 2012, plaintiff Linda Hoover, on behalf of herself
and all others similarly situated, brought a class action lawsuit
against the Company in the Superior Court for the State of
California, which the Company removed to the U.S. District Court
for the Central District of California, Civil Action No. 5:2013-
0097 ("Hoover case"), alleging that the Company's marketing and
sales of its Nasal Ease product is a violation of various state
statutes, including the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, California's
False Advertising Law and Unlawful, Fraudulent & Unfair Business
Practices Act.  The Company answered the complaint on January 14,
2013.  The Company intends to vigorously defend against the
allegations in the complaint. The Company cannot predict the
outcome of the action.

Amityville, New York-based Hi-Tech Pharmacal Co., Inc., a Delaware
corporation incorporated in April 1982, is a specialty
pharmaceutical company developing, manufacturing and marketing
generic and branded prescription and OTC products.  The Company
specializes in the manufacture of liquid and semi-solid dosage
forms and produces a range of sterile ophthalmic, otic and
inhalation products.  The Company's Health Care Products division
is a developer and marketer of branded prescription and OTC
products for the diabetes marketplace.  Hi-Tech's ECR
Pharmaceuticals subsidiary markets branded prescription products.


HOME DEPOT: Ex-Employees File Class Action Over Unpaid Wages
------------------------------------------------------------
John O'Brien, writing for The West Virginia Record, reports that
former employees are alleging in a recently filed class action
lawsuit that Home Depot doesn't pay their final wages quickly
enough.

Plaintiffs Tyrone Lester and Karen Tanner allege in a lawsuit
filed March 20 in Jefferson County Circuit Court that they were
not paid their final wages within a 72-hour window, as is required
by the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act.

Mr. Lester, of Inwood, and Ms. Tanner, of Charles Town, are
represented by David Hammer of Hammer, Ferretti & Schiavoni in
Martinsburg.

"As a matter of practice, Home Depot U.S.A. does not alter its pay
date to ensure that employees who cease to be employed are timely
paid within the time periods set forth in the WV Wage Payment and
Collection Act," the complaint says.

The complaint says the company pays its employees on a bi-weekly
basis.  For a pay period ending on a Sunday, employees receive
their checks on Friday, it adds.

However, Ms. Tanner alleges that after her employment was
terminated, her last day at work was Jan. 17.  Because it was the
third day of a new pay period, she wasn't paid until Feb. 1, she
says.

Mr. Lester says his last day was Jan. 18, but he wasn't paid for
10 days.

The plaintiffs seek class status for all employees terminated
within five years of the filing of the lawsuit and noted the
company has at least six stores in West Virginia.

In Jefferson County, the Home Depot is located in Ranson.

"This action is maintainable as a class action because questions
of law or fact common to the class predominate over any questions
affecting only individual members of the class, and because a
class action is superior to other methods for fairly and
efficiently adjudicating this controversy," the complaint says.


HOVNANIAN ENTERPRISES: Awaits Ruling Ruling in "D'Andrea" Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. is awaiting a court decision from an
appellate court with respect to its appeal from a class
certification decision, according to the Company's March 8, 2013,
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarter ended January 31, 2013.

Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. and K. Hovnanian Venture I, L.L.C.
have been named as defendants in a class action lawsuit.  The
action was filed by Mike D'Andrea and Tracy D'Andrea, on behalf of
themselves and all others similarly situated in the Superior Court
of New Jersey, Gloucester County.  The action was initially filed
on May 8, 2006, alleging that the HVAC systems installed in
certain of the Company's homes are in violation of applicable New
Jersey building codes and are a potential safety issue.  On
December 14, 2011, the Superior Court granted class certification;
the potential class is 1,065 homes.  The Company filed a request
to take an interlocutory appeal regarding the class certification
decision.  The Appellate Division denied the request, and the
Company filed a request for interlocutory review by the New Jersey
Supreme Court, which remanded the case back to the Appellate
Division for a review on the merits of the appeal on May 8, 2012.
The Appellate Division, on remand, heard oral arguments on
December 4, 2012, reviewing the Superior Court's original finding
of class certification.  The Company anticipates a ruling from the
Appellate Division on the issue of class certification within the
next few months.  The plaintiff seeks unspecified damages as well
as treble damages pursuant to the NJ Consumer Fraud Act.

The Company believes there is insurance coverage available to it
for this action.  While the Company has determined that a loss
related to this case is not probable, it is not possible to
estimate a loss or range of loss related to this matter at this
time given the class certification is still in review by the
Appellate Division.  On December 19, 2011, certain subsidiaries of
the Company filed a separate action seeking indemnification
against the various manufactures and subcontractors implicated by
the class action.

Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. (NYSE: HOV) is a United States real
estate company involved in every aspect of marketing homes,
including design, construction and sales.  The Company works with
individual detached housing as well as higher-occupancy dwellings,
including townhouses, condominiums and retirement homes.  In most
cases, the company acquires and develops the land on which these
developments are built, but in some geographic regions, Hovnanian
offers to build their proprietary house designs on private land.
The Company consists of two operating groups, homebuilding and
financial services.  The Company is based in Red Bank, New Jersey.


HUGOTON ROYALTY: Bids to Dismiss "Lamb" Suit Remain Pending
-----------------------------------------------------------
Motions to dismiss a lawsuit initiated by Harold Lamb remain
pending, according to Hugoton Royalty Trust's March 8, 2013, Form
10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the year ended December 31, 2012.

On September 12, 2012, a lawsuit was filed against Bank of America
as trustee and XTO Energy styled Harold Lamb v. Bank of America
and XTO Energy Inc., in the U.S. District Court - Western District
of Oklahoma.  The plaintiff, Harold Lamb, is a unitholder in the
trust and alleges that XTO Energy failed to properly pay and
account to the trust under the terms of the net overriding royalty
conveyance on certain Kansas and Oklahoma properties and that Bank
of America, as trustee, failed to properly oversee such payment
and accounting by XTO Energy.  Additionally, the plaintiff alleges
that Bank of America and XTO Energy have breached a fiduciary duty
to the trust based on the allegations found in the Fankhouser
class action.  The plaintiffs are seeking unspecified amounts for
actual/compensatory damages, punitive damages, disgorgement and
injunctive relief.  Subsequently, the plaintiff dismissed Bank of
America from the lawsuit.  The court granted XTO Energy's motion
to transfer venue and has transferred the case to the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Texas.  XTO has also
filed two motions to dismiss.

XTO Energy has informed the trustee that it believes it has strong
defenses to this lawsuit and intends to vigorously defend its
position.  However, XTO Energy is cognizant of other, similar
litigation involving it, such as Fankhouser, and other, unrelated
entities.  As this case develops XTO Energy will assess its legal
position accordingly.

Hugoton Royalty Trust -- http://www.hugotontrust.com/-- is an
express trust created under the laws of Texas pursuant to the
Hugoton Royalty Trust Indenture entered into on December 1, 1998,
between XTO Energy Inc. (formerly known as Cross Timbers Oil
Company), as grantor, and NationsBank, N.A., as trustee.  Bank of
America, N.A., successor to NationsBank, N.A., is now the trustee
of the trust.  The Trust is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.


HUGOTON ROYALTY: "Fankhouser" Suit Arbitration Hearing on Oct. 7
----------------------------------------------------------------
The arbitration hearing on issues related to the class action
lawsuit styled Fankhouser v. XTO Energy Inc. is tentatively
scheduled for October 7, 2013, according to Hugoton Royalty
Trust's March 8, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

An amended petition for a class action lawsuit, Beer, et al. v.
XTO Energy Inc., was filed in January 2006 in the District Court
of Texas County, Oklahoma by certain royalty owners of natural gas
wells in Oklahoma and Kansas.  The plaintiffs allege that XTO
Energy has not properly accounted to the plaintiffs for the
royalties to which they are entitled and seek an accounting
regarding the natural gas and other products produced from their
wells and the prices paid for the natural gas and other products
produced, and for payment of the monies allegedly owed since June
2002, with a certain limited number of plaintiffs claiming monies
owed for additional time.  XTO Energy removed the case to federal
district court in Oklahoma City.  In April 2010, new counsel and
representative parties, Fankhouser and Goddard, filed a motion to
intervene and prosecute the Beer class, now styled Fankhouser v.
XTO Energy Inc.  This motion was granted on July 13, 2010.  The
new plaintiffs and counsel filed an amended complaint asserting
new causes of action for breach of fiduciary duties and unjust
enrichment.  On December 16, 2010, the court certified the class.
Cross motions for summary judgment were filed by the parties and
ruled on by the court.  XTO Energy has informed the trustee that
after consideration of the rulings by the court in March and April
of 2012, some benefiting XTO Energy and some benefiting the
plaintiffs, and with due regard to the vagaries of litigation and
their uncertain outcomes, XTO Energy and the plaintiffs entered
into settlement negotiations prior to trial and reached a
tentative settlement of $37 million on April 23, 2012.  XTO has
advised the trustee that $1.4 million of the settlement is
attributable to Kansas claims which predate the Trust and
therefore XTO Energy will not charge to the Trust.  The settlement
also includes a new royalty calculation for future royalty
payments.  The hearing for formal court approval was conducted on
June 21, 2012, and preliminarily approved by the court on June 29,
2012.  A fairness hearing was conducted on October 10, 2012, and
the settlement was given final approval by the court.  The court's
order sets out the amount of attorneys' fees and costs awarded to
the plaintiffs' counsel from the $37 million settlement.  A third
party administrator will make the distribution to the royalty
owners as set out in the order approving the settlement.

XTO Energy has advised the trustee it believes that the terms of
the conveyances covering the trust's net profits interests require
the trust to bear its 80% interest in the settlement, or
approximately $28.5 million, of which $23.4 million will affect
the net proceeds from Oklahoma and $5.1 million will affect the
net proceeds from Kansas.  If so, this will adversely affect the
net proceeds of the trust from Oklahoma and Kansas and will result
in costs exceeding revenues on these properties.  XTO Energy began
deducting the settlement amount with the September 2012
distribution.  Based on the revised settlement allocation between
Oklahoma and Kansas and recent revenue and expense levels, the
deductions XTO Energy has made, and will resume making if the
Tribunal ultimately rules in XTO Energy's favor, will cause costs
to exceed revenues for approximately 12 months on properties
underlying the Oklahoma net profits interests and by approximately
7 years on properties underlying the Kansas net profits interests;
however, changes in oil or natural gas prices or expenses could
cause the time period to increase or decrease correspondingly.
The net profits interest from Wyoming is unaffected and payments
will continue to be made from those properties to the extent
revenues exceed costs on such properties.  XTO Energy has advised
the trustee that the settlement would decrease the amount of net
profits going forward for the Oklahoma and Kansas properties due
to changes in the way costs (such as gathering, compression and
fuel) associated with operating the properties will be allocated,
resulting in a net gain to the royalty interest owners.  XTO
Energy has advised the trustee that this expected net upward
revision for the royalty interest owners would reduce applicable
net profits to XTO Energy and, correspondingly, to the trust.  For
2012 the revision would have reduced trust net proceeds by
approximately $272,000 (which amount would have been reflected in
the June 2012 through December 2012 distributions).

The trustee has advised XTO Energy that all or a portion of the
settlement amount should not be deducted from trust revenues.  The
trustee further advised XTO that, notwithstanding the Fankhouser
settlement, XTO should make no change in the manner in which it
calculates payments to the trust on a go-forward basis.  XTO
Energy does not agree with the trustee's position, and to resolve
this disagreement XTO Energy initiated binding arbitration on
August 1, 2012, in accordance with the terms of the dispute
resolution provisions of the Trust Indenture.  On August 17, 2012,
the trustee filed its response to XTO's arbitration claim.  All
issues in the arbitration will be decided by a panel of three
arbitrators (the "Tribunal").  Each side selected one arbitrator
and the third arbitrator was selected by the other two appointed
arbitrators.  The arbitration will be administered by the American
Arbitration Association under its commercial rules.  The
arbitration hearing is tentatively scheduled for October 7, 2013,
in Fort Worth, Texas, if not sooner disposed of by the parties by
agreement or by the Tribunal on motion.  Because XTO Energy
advised the trustee that it began deducting the settlement in
September, the trustee reserved a total of $900,000 from trust
distributions to help fund potential legal and other expenses
relating to the arbitration.  The trustee believed that without
such a reserve, the trust was likely to be left without adequate
resources to fund the costs of the arbitration out of monthly
trust revenues.  Because the potential expenses of arbitration are
uncertain, especially at this early stage of the arbitration, it
is possible that the reserve may not be sufficient to cover all of
such expenses.

The trustee requested that the Tribunal enjoin XTO Energy from
continuing to deduct the Fankhouser settlement amount while the
arbitration is pending.  A hearing on the injunction was held on
October 27, 2012.  The Tribunal ordered that pending the issuance
of a final award or further order of the Tribunal, XTO Energy
should not treat any costs or expenses associated with the
Fankhouser settlement as chargeable against the trust's net profit
interest under the conveyances.  The Tribunal denied the trust's
request for an interim order directing XTO Energy to pay the trust
the amounts offset against the trust's September and October 2012
distributions on the basis of the Fankhouser litigation.  Based on
this decision, deductions associated with the Fankhouser
settlement were suspended starting in November 2012.  XTO Energy
has also informed the trustee that during the pendency of this
action, no adjustment will be made to the net profits to the trust
on a go-forward basis based on the changes in the way costs will
be allocated to royalty owners in accordance with the Fankhouser
settlement.

Hugoton Royalty Trust -- http://www.hugotontrust.com/-- is an
express trust created under the laws of Texas pursuant to the
Hugoton Royalty Trust Indenture entered into on December 1, 1998,
between XTO Energy Inc. (formerly known as Cross Timbers Oil
Company), as grantor, and NationsBank, N.A., as trustee.  Bank of
America, N.A., successor to NationsBank, N.A., is now the trustee
of the trust.  The Trust is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.


HUGOTON ROYALTY: Oral Argument in "Chieftain" Suit on May 8
-----------------------------------------------------------
Oral argument in the class action lawsuit captioned Chieftain
Royalty Company v. XTO Energy Inc. is scheduled for May 8, 2013,
according to Hugoton Royalty Trust's March 8, 2013, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

In December 2010, a class action lawsuit was filed against XTO
Energy Inc. styled Chieftain Royalty Company v. XTO Energy Inc. in
Coal County District Court, Oklahoma.  XTO Energy removed the case
to federal court in the Eastern District of Oklahoma.  The
plaintiffs allege that XTO Energy wrongfully deducted fees from
royalty payments on Oklahoma wells, failed to make diligent
efforts to secure the best terms available for the sale of gas and
its constituents, and demand an accounting to determine whether
they have been fully and fairly paid gas royalty interests.  The
case expressly excludes those claims and wells being prosecuted in
the Fankhouser case.  The severed Roderick case claims related to
the Oklahoma portion of the case were consolidated into Chieftain.
The case was certified as a class action in April 2012.

XTO Energy has filed an appeal of the class certification to the
10th Circuit Court of Appeals on April 26, 2012, believing the
class certification was not proper.  The appeal was granted on
June 26, 2012.  The matter has been fully briefed, and oral
argument is scheduled for May 8, 2013.  The court will rule at a
time of its discretion.

XTO Energy has informed the trustee that it believes that XTO
Energy has strong defenses to these lawsuits and intends to
vigorously defend its position.  However, XTO Energy is cognizant
of other, similar litigation involving it, such as Fankhouser, and
other, unrelated entities.  As these cases develop XTO Energy will
assess its legal position accordingly.  If XTO Energy ultimately
makes any settlement payments or receives a judgment against it in
Chieftain or Roderick, XTO Energy has advised the trustee that it
believes that the terms of the conveyances covering the trust's
net profits interests require the trust to bear its 80% share of
such settlement or judgment related to production from the
underlying properties.  Additionally, if the judgment or
settlement increases the amount of future payments to royalty
owners, XTO Energy has informed the trustee that the trust would
bear its proportionate share of the increased payments through
reduced net proceeds.  In the event of any such settlement or
judgment, the trustee intends to review any claimed reductions in
payment to the trust based on the facts and circumstances of such
settlement or judgment.  XTO Energy has informed the trustee that,
although the amount of any reduction in net proceeds is not
presently determinable, in its management's opinion, the amount is
not currently expected to be material to the trust's financial
position or liquidity though it could be material to the trust's
annual distributable income.  Additionally, XTO Energy has advised
the trustee that any reductions would result in costs exceeding
revenues on the properties underlying the net profit interests of
the cases named above, as applicable, for several monthly
distributions, depending on the size of the judgment or
settlement, if any, and the net proceeds being paid at that time,
which would result in the net profits interest being limited until
such time that the revenues exceed the costs for those net profit
interests.  If there is a settlement or judgment and should XTO
Energy and the trustee disagree concerning the amount of the
settlement or judgment to be charged against the trust's net
profits interests, the matter will be resolved by binding
arbitration under the terms of the Indenture creating the trust
through the American Arbitration Association.

Hugoton Royalty Trust -- http://www.hugotontrust.com/-- is an
express trust created under the laws of Texas pursuant to the
Hugoton Royalty Trust Indenture entered into on December 1, 1998,
between XTO Energy Inc. (formerly known as Cross Timbers Oil
Company), as grantor, and NationsBank, N.A., as trustee.  Bank of
America, N.A., successor to NationsBank, N.A., is now the trustee
of the trust.  The Trust is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.


HUGOTON ROYALTY: Oral Argument in "Roderick" Suit Set for May 8
---------------------------------------------------------------
Oral argument in the class action lawsuit titled Wallace B.
Roderick Revocable Living Trust, et al. v. XTO Energy Inc. is
scheduled for May 8, 2013, according to Hugoton Royalty Trust's
March 8, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

In September 2008, a class action lawsuit was filed against XTO
Energy Inc. styled Wallace B. Roderick Revocable Living Trust,
et al. v. XTO Energy Inc. in the District Court of Kearny County,
Kansas.  XTO Energy removed the case to federal court in Wichita,
Kansas.  The plaintiffs allege that XTO Energy has improperly
taken post-production costs from royalties paid to the plaintiffs
from wells located in Kansas, Oklahoma and Colorado.  The
plaintiffs have filed a motion to certify the class, including
only Kansas and Oklahoma wells not part of the Fankhouser matter.
After filing the motion to certify, but prior to the class
certification hearing, the plaintiff filed a motion to sever the
Oklahoma portion of the case so it could be transferred and
consolidated with a newly filed class action in Oklahoma styled
Chieftain Royalty Company v. XTO Energy Inc.  This motion was
granted.  The Roderick case now comprises only Kansas wells not
previously included in the Fankhouser matter.  The case was
certified as a class action in March 2012.  XTO Energy has filed
an appeal of the class certification to the 10th Circuit Court of
Appeals on April 11, 2012, believing the class certification was
not proper.  The appeal was granted on June 26, 2012.  The matter
has been fully briefed, and oral argument is scheduled for May 8,
2013.  The court will rule at a time of its discretion.

Hugoton Royalty Trust -- http://www.hugotontrust.com/-- is an
express trust created under the laws of Texas pursuant to the
Hugoton Royalty Trust Indenture entered into on December 1, 1998,
between XTO Energy Inc. (formerly known as Cross Timbers Oil
Company), as grantor, and NationsBank, N.A., as trustee.  Bank of
America, N.A., successor to NationsBank, N.A., is now the trustee
of the trust.  The Trust is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.


INCYTE CORP: Faces Suit for Dumping Shares at Inflated Price
------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that the CEO and other top dogs at
Incyte dumped more than $12 million of their shares at inflated
prices before they released bad news that made the share price
drop by 22% in one day, shareholders claim in Federal Court.


J.P. BODEN: Recalls 1,900 Infant and Children's Dungarees
---------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
J.P. Boden Services Inc., of Pittston, Pennsylvania, announced a
voluntary recall of about 1,900 Mini Boden Chunky Cord Dungarees.
Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise
instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a
recalled consumer product.

The studs and clasps on the pants can detach, posing a choking
hazard to infants and small children.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.

The recalled overall corduroy dungaree pants were sold in light
brown and red in sizes 0-24 months and 2Y through 4Y.  There are
two snaps on each side of the overalls, side pockets and a center
pocket with a sewn-in black and white tab label.  There is a label
on the back of the waist of the dungarees with item number 72092.
The label inside the back strap of the dungarees reads "Baby
Boden" and the buttons read "Mini Boden."  Pants shipped directly
to consumers came in a bag labeled "Mini Boden."  Pictures of the
recalled products are available at: http://is.gd/rnwQIS

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold at
Nordstrom stores, online at Bodenusa.com and through the Boden
catalog from July 2012 through March 2013 for about $40.

Consumers should immediately take the pants away from children and
contact J.P. Boden to receive a postage paid envelope for
returning the pants to get a refund.  J.P. Boden Services Inc. may
be reached toll-free at (866) 206-9508 from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00
a.m. Eastern Time daily or online at http://www.bodenusa.com/then
click on Recall Information for more information.


LOS ANGELES: Faces Class Action Over Wrongful Arrest
----------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Los Angeles and Riverside
County Sheriff's Departments wrongfully arrest and imprison people
because they refuse to use easily accessible systems to check
identities of people with similar names, a class action claims in
Federal Court.


MICHAELS STORES: Mintz Levin Discusses Zip Code Court Ruling
------------------------------------------------------------
According to Amy Malone, Esq. at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris,
Glovsky and Popeo, P.C., earlier this month, Mintz reported on the
privacy case against craft giant Michaels Stores in which the
plaintiff alleged that Michaels illegally collected zip codes
during credit card transactions.  The case was ultimately
dismissed by the federal district court, but questions of law were
sent to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, including
whether zip codes are "personal identification information" under
Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 93 Sec. 105.  In the Michaels case, the SJC
held that zip codes are personal identification information under
the consumer protection law relating to credit card transactions.

Another important question sent to the SJC through the Michaels
case was whether legal action could be brought under the statute
where there was no evidence of identity fraud.  The SJC found that
a case can be brought even if there is no evidence of identity
fraud, as the statute is intended to "address invasion of consumer
privacy by merchants . . ." The SJC listed two specific harms that
constitute an injury under the statute:

(a) the actual receipt by a consumer of unwanted marketing
materials as a result of the merchant's unlawful collection of
consumer personal identification information; and

(b) the merchant's sale of a consumer's personal identification
information to a third party.

Both of these injuries are alleged in two putative class action
complaints against defendant Bed Bath & Beyond.  One complaint
recently filed by the same plaintiff in the Michaels case, and
another filed by plaintiff Kelley Whiting.  Both complaints were
filed in federal district court and allege that BBB violates
customers' privacy by collecting zip codes during credit card
transactions.  The complaints assert that BBB does not ask
customers for their zip codes because the credit company requires
the information or for verification purposes, but rather for "its
own business purpose."  The purpose?  The complaints allege that
BBB (a) uses that information to identify the customer's address
and/or telephone number, which it locates using commercially
available databases, (b) uses the enhanced information for its own
direct marketing (i.e. junk mail) and/or (c) sells the information
to third parties.


NAVISTAR INT'L: Labaton Sucharow Files Class Action in Illinois
---------------------------------------------------------------
Labaton Sucharow LLP filed a class action lawsuit on April 9, 2013
in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of persons or entities who
purchased or otherwise acquired the publicly-traded securities of
Navistar International Corporation between June 9, 2010 and
August 1, 2012, inclusive.

The action charges Navistar and certain of its officers with
violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.  The complaint
alleges that, throughout the Class Period, Navistar made false and
misleading statements, and concealed material information relating
to the Company's engine design and development efforts, warranty
and recall expenses, and details of various assets and
liabilities, including deferred tax assets.

Navistar is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates
produce trucks, buses, diesel engines, recreational vehicles, and
chassis for commercial and military markets, and provide parts and
service for trucks and trailers.  The complaint alleges that,
during the Class Period, Navistar concealed from shareholders
that: (1) Navistar's efforts to achieve compliance with U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency guidelines in truck manufacturing
had failed, and Navistar would be forced to revise its plan to
meet guidelines, imposing enormous costs on the Company; (2)
Navistar did not have engines ready to meet new EPA standards,
which became effective in 2010; (3) Navistar's filings with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission contained incomplete and
misleading disclosures, including statements relating to its
warranty and recall expenses, and details of various assets and
liabilities; and (4) based on the foregoing, the defendants lacked
a reasonable basis for their positive statements about the Company
and its revenue outlook.

The truth about Navistar was revealed through a series of
disclosures.  First, on June 7, 2012, prior to the markets' open,
Navistar issued a press release setting forth its operating
results for its second fiscal quarter of 2012 ended April 30,
2012.  The press release disclosed that the Company had incurred a
loss of $172 million due in part to "a warranty reserve to repair
early 2010 and 2011 vehicles."  The Company also filed a quarterly
report on Form 10-Q, in which it announced that "[w]e have not yet
been able to obtain 0.20g certification for any of our [heavy duty
diesel] engines."  In response to this news, Navistar's stock
price declined by $4.04 per share, or 14.35 percent, on extremely
heavy trading volume.

Then, on July 6, 2012, Navistar disclosed in a press release that
it was abandoning its Advanced Exhaust Gas Recirculation engine
technology in favor of the selective catalytic reduction
technology used by its competitors in order to meet 2010 EPA
emissions standards.  On this news, Navistar's stock price
declined by $4.37 per share, or 15.18 percent, on elevated trading
volume.

Finally, on August 2, 2012, Navistar issued a press release
announcing that it was withdrawing its fiscal 2012 guidance until
the release of its results for the third fiscal quarter of 2012 in
September.  In that press release, the Company also revealed that
it had received a formal letter of inquiry from the SEC in
connection with its investigation into various accounting and
disclosure issues.  In reaction to these revelations, the price of
Navistar's stock declined by $3.33 per share, or 13.44 percent, on
above-average trading volume.

If you are a member of this Class you can view a copy of the
complaint and join this class action online at
http://www.labaton.com/en/cases/Newly-Filed-Cases.cfm

If you purchased Navistar common stock during the Class Period,
you may be able to seek appointment as Lead Plaintiff.  Lead
Plaintiff motion papers must be filed with the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of Illinois no later than May 20, 2013.
A lead plaintiff is a court-appointed representative for absent
Class members.  You do not need to seek appointment as lead
plaintiff to share in any Class recovery in this action.  If you
are a Class member and there is a recovery for the Class, you can
share in that recovery as an absent Class member.  You may retain
counsel of your choice to represent you in this action.

If you would like to consider serving as lead plaintiff or have
any questions about the lawsuit, you may contact Rachel A. Avan,
Esq. of Labaton Sucharow LLP, at (800) 321-0476 or (212) 907-0709,
or via email at ravan@labaton.com

Labaton Sucharow LLP, with offices in New York, New York and
Wilmington, Delaware -- http://www.labaton.com-- represents
institutional investors in class action and complex securities
litigation, as well as consumers and businesses in class actions
seeking to recover damages for anticompetitive practices.


NEW ENGLAND COMPOUNDING: Lead Counsel Selected in Meningitis MDL
----------------------------------------------------------------
Dan Brillman, writing for Reuters, reports that a lawyer who has
helped consumers win notable jury verdicts in class actions over
Lupron, Paxil and other drugs has been selected as the lead
counsel in the federal litigation against the compounding pharmacy
allegedly responsible for last year's deadly meningitis outbreak.

Thomas Sobol of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro was picked by
Massachusetts federal Judge Dennis Saylor to be lead counsel for
more than 150 pending federal cases against the New England
Compounding Center.  Mark Chalos -- mchalos@lchb.com -- of Lieff
Cabraser Haimann & Bernstein has been selected as federal-state
liaison counsel, helping to coordinate the federal cases with the
approximately 35 pending state cases.

The personal injury and wrongful death lawsuits have been filed
primarily by individuals who contracted meningitis, or by their
survivors.

Mr. Sobol will head a seven-lawyer steering committee chosen by
Saylor.  The committee will coordinate hearings, trial and
settlement negotiations in lawsuits alleging that the
Massachusetts-based compounding center prepared and shipped
thousands of contaminated steroid injections, causing 733 cases of
fungal meningitis, including 53 deaths, according to the latest
count from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Compounding pharmacies are supposed to provide individually mixed
drugs for specific patients who might not be able to get a product
elsewhere or in the right format.

Mr. Sobol is the managing partner of Hagens Berman's Boston office
and has led numerous drug-pricing litigation efforts against
pharmaceutical and medical device companies.  He currently is one
of the court-appointed lead counsel in antitrust cases involving
cholesterol drug Lipitor, and the antidepressants Wellbutrin and
Effexor, according to the Hagens Berman website.

A group of seven lawyers, headed by Frederic Ellis of Boston's
Ellis & Rapacki, had also applied for the steering committee work,
according to court filings.  "Both slates had experienced and
qualified lawyers and I expect that all of the lawyers on both
slates will continue to work together and the litigation process
will be a smooth one," said Mr. Ellis.

                  Pay for Steering Committee

The multidistrict litigation, filed in federal court in Boston, is
complicated by the fact that New England Compounding filed for
bankruptcy on Dec. 21, a few months after the first meningitis
cases were reported.

At a status conference on April 10, the judge and lawyers began
tackling procedural questions in the case, including a proposal by
the trustee for New England Compounding that the state cases be
transferred to the federal MDL.  In a court filing, the trustee
argued the move would "ensure that similarly situated creditors
are treated equitably."

Such a transfer could bring other defendants, such as local
clinics where the injections were administered, into the federal
litigation and theoretically provide increased relief for
creditors of New England Compounding, experts said.

Kristen Johnson Parker, who is alternate lead counsel for the
plaintiffs, said the steering committee had not yet formulated an
opinion on the motion to consolidate the cases.

State court defendants have until May 2 to oppose or answer the
motion to consolidate all pending state litigation into the MDL
fold, and the estate has until May 13 to reply.

Another issue addressed at the conference was how the steering
committee would be compensated.  Typically such committees are
paid a percentage of post-trial recovery fees to cover time and
out-of-pocket expenses, usually 4 percent to 6 percent, said
Mr. Ellis.

But those calculations may not apply in the New England
Compounding MDL, ". . . given the unique circumstances of the
litigation," Mr. Saylor wrote in an order on costs released on
April 11.  "Lawyers participating in common-benefit work in the
MDL may not end up being paid at usual rates or percentages of
recovery," Mr. Saylor said.

Frederic Fern -- ffern@harrisbeach.com -- and Alan Winchester --
awinchester@harrisbeach.com -- of Harris Beach, who are
representing the New England Compounding Center, did not return
requests for comment.

Michael Gottfried -- MRGottfried@duanemorris.com -- of Duane
Morris who is representing the trustee did not return call for
comment.

The case is In Re New England Compounding Pharmacy Cases
Litigation, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts, No.
1:13-md-02419.

For the plaintiffs: Thomas Sobol and Kristen Johnson Parker --
kristenjp@hbsslaw.com -- of Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro.

For the defendants: Frederic Fern and Alan Winchester of Harris
Beach.


NEW NEWSCORP: Awaits Ruling on Bid to Dismiss "Wilder" Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------
New Newscorp LLC is awaiting a court decision on its motion to
dismiss a securities class action lawsuit pending in New York,
according to the Company's March 8, 2013, Form 10-12B/A filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

On July 19, 2011, a purported class action lawsuit captioned
Wilder v. News Corp., et al. was filed on behalf of all purchasers
of News Corporation's ("Parent's") common stock between March 3,
2011, and July 11, 2011, in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York.  The plaintiff brought claims under
Section 10(b) and Section 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act,
alleging that false and misleading statements were issued
regarding alleged acts of voicemail interception at The News of
the World.  The lawsuit named as defendants Parent, Rupert
Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks, and sought compensatory
damages, rescission for damages sustained, and costs.

This litigation and certain other Parent stockholder lawsuits are
all now before the same judge.  On June 5, 2012, the court issued
an order appointing the Avon Pension Fund ("Avon") as lead
plaintiff in the litigation and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd as
lead counsel.  Thereafter, on July 3, 2012, the court issued an
order providing that an amended consolidated complaint was to be
filed by July 31, 2012.  Avon filed an amended consolidated
complaint on July 31, 2012, which among other things, added as
defendants the Company's subsidiary, NI Group Limited, and Les
Hinton, and expanded the class period to include February 15,
2011, to July 18, 2011.  The Defendants filed their motion to
dismiss on September 25, 2012, and the parties have completed
briefing on the motion.  The motion is pending.

Parent and New News Corporation management believe these Parent
stockholder claims are entirely without merit and intend to
vigorously defend this action.

New York-based New Newscorp LLC is a Delaware limited liability
company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of News Corporation.  News
Corp., a Delaware corporation, is a diversified global media and
information services company.


NEW NEWSCORP: Continues to Defend Ebook Antitrust Suits vs. Unit
----------------------------------------------------------------
New Newscorp LLC continues to defend its subsidiary against
antitrust class action lawsuits and investigations relating to
eBooks, according to the Company's March 8, 2013, Form 10-12B/A
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Commencing on August 9, 2011, 29 purported consumer class actions
have been filed in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern
District of New York and for the Northern District of California,
which relate to the decisions by certain publishers, including
HarperCollins Publishers L.L.C. ("HarperCollins"), to begin
selling their eBooks pursuant to an agency relationship.  The
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation has transferred the
various class actions to the Honorable Denise L. Cote in the
Southern District of New York.  On January 20, 2012, plaintiffs
filed a consolidated amended complaint, again alleging that
certain named defendants, including HarperCollins, violated the
antitrust and unfair competition laws by virtue of the switch to
the agency model for eBooks.  The actions seek as relief treble
damages, injunctive relief and attorney's fees.  On June 25, 2012,
Judge Cote issued a scheduling order for the multi-district
litigation going forward.  Additional information about In re MDL
Electronic Books Antitrust Litigation, Civil Action No. 11-md-
02293 (DLC), can be found on Public Access to Court Electronic
Records (PACER).  While it is not possible to predict with any
degree of certainty the ultimate outcome of these class actions,
HarperCollins believes it was compliant with applicable antitrust
and competition laws.

Following an investigation, on April 11, 2012, the Department of
Justice (the "DOJ") filed an action in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York against certain publishers,
including HarperCollins, and Apple, Inc.  The DOJ's complaint
alleges antitrust violations relating to defendants' decisions to
begin selling eBooks pursuant to an agency relationship.  This
case was assigned to Judge Cote.  Simultaneously, the DOJ
announced that it had reached a proposed settlement with three
publishers, including HarperCollins, and filed a Proposed Final
Judgment and related materials detailing that agreement.  Among
other things, the Proposed Final Judgment requires that
HarperCollins terminate its agreements with certain eBook
retailers and places certain restrictions on any agreements
subsequently entered into with such retailers.  On September 5,
2012, Judge Cote entered the Final Judgment.  A third party has
filed a motion to intervene in the case for the purpose of
appealing Judge Cote's decision entering the Final Judgment to the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  Additional
information about the Final Judgment can be found on the DOJ's Web
site.

Following the investigation, on April 11, 2012, 16 State Attorneys
General led by Texas and Connecticut (the "AGs") filed a similar
action against certain publishers and Apple, Inc. in the Western
District of Texas.  On April 26, 2012, the AGs' action was
transferred to Judge Cote.  On May 17, 2012, 33 AGs filed a second
amended complaint.  As a result of a memorandum of understanding
agreed upon with the AGs for Texas and Connecticut, HarperCollins
was not named as a defendant in this action.  Pursuant to the
terms of the memorandum of understanding, HarperCollins entered
into a settlement agreement with the AGs for Texas, Connecticut
and Ohio on June 11, 2012.  By August 28, 2012, forty-nine states
(all but Minnesota) and five U.S. territories had signed on to
that settlement agreement.  On August 29, 2012, the AGs
simultaneously filed a complaint against HarperCollins and two
other publishers, a motion for preliminary approval of that
settlement agreement and a proposed distribution plan.  On
September 14, 2012, Judge Cote granted the AGs' motion for
preliminary approval of the settlement agreement and approved the
AGs' proposed distribution plan.  Notice was subsequently sent to
potential class members, and a fairness hearing took place on
February 8, 2013, at which Judge Cote gave final approval to the
settlement.  The settlement was to become effective once the March
11, 2013 deadline to appeal has passed and any potential appeal
has been finally resolved.  Once the settlement becomes effective,
the final judgment will bar consumers from states and territories
covered by the settlement from participating in the class actions.

While the settlement agreement with the AGs is still subject to
final approval by the court, New News Corporation believes that
the proposed settlement, as currently drafted, will not have a
material impact on the results of operations or the financial
position of New News Corporation.  However, New News Corporation
can make no assurances that the proposed settlement will receive
final approval.

On October 12, 2012, HarperCollins received a Civil Investigative
Demand from the Attorney General from the State of Minnesota.
HarperCollins complied with the Demand on November 16, 2012, and
is cooperating with that investigation.  While it is not possible
to predict with any degree of certainty the ultimate outcome of
the inquiry, HarperCollins believes it was compliant with
applicable antitrust laws.

The European Commission conducted an investigation into whether
certain companies in the book publishing and distribution
industry, including HarperCollins, violated the antitrust laws by
virtue of the switch to the agency model for eBooks.
HarperCollins settled the matter with the European Commission on
terms substantially similar to the settlement with the DOJ.  On
December 13, 2012, the European Commission formally adopted the
settlement.

Commencing on February 24, 2012, five purported consumer class
actions were filed in the Canadian provinces of British Columbia,
Quebec and Ontario, which relate to the decisions by certain
publishers, including HarperCollins, to begin selling their eBooks
in Canada pursuant to an agency relationship.  The actions seek as
relief special, general and punitive damages, injunctive relief
and the costs of the litigations.  While it is not possible to
predict with any degree of certainty the ultimate outcome of these
class actions, especially given their early stages, HarperCollins
believes it was compliant with applicable antitrust and
competition laws and intends to defend itself vigorously.

In July 2012, HarperCollins Canada, a wholly-owned subsidiary of
HarperCollins, learned that the Canadian Competition Bureau
("CCB") had commenced an inquiry regarding the sale of eBooks in
Canada.  HarperCollins currently is cooperating with the CCB with
respect to its inquiry.  While it is not possible to predict with
any degree of certainty the ultimate outcome of the inquiry,
HarperCollins believes it was compliant with applicable antitrust
and competition laws.

On February 15, 2013, a purported class of independent bricks-and-
mortar bookstores filed an action in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York entitled The Book House of
Stuyvesant Plaza, Inc, et. al. v. Amazon.com, Inc., et al, which
relates to the digital rights management protection ("DRM") of
certain publishers', including HarperCollins', e-books being sold
by Amazon.com Inc. T he case involves allegations that certain
named defendants in the book publishing and distribution industry,
including HarperCollins, violated the antitrust laws by virtue of
requiring DRM protection.  The action seeks declaratory and
injunctive relief, reasonable costs and attorneys' fees.  While it
is not possible to predict with any degree of certainty the
ultimate outcome of this class action, HarperCollins believes it
was compliant with applicable antitrust laws.

New News Corporation is not able to predict the ultimate outcome
or cost of the HarperCollins matters.  During the six months ended
December 31, 2012, and 2011, the legal and professional fees and
settlement costs incurred in connection with these matters were
not material, and as of December 31, 2012, New News Corporation
did not have a material accrual related to these matters.

New York-based New Newscorp LLC is a Delaware limited liability
company and a wholly-owned subsidiary of News Corporation.  News
Corp., a Delaware corporation, is a diversified global media and
information services company.


NEW JERSEY: Faces Suit for Blacklisting State Troopers
------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that New Jersey and its attorney
general demoted and "blacklisted" state troopers from promotion
without cause, the State Troopers Fraternal Association says in a
federal class action.


NEW VITALITY: Faces Action Over Unsafe Prostate Drug Product
------------------------------------------------------------
William Dotinga at Courthouse News Service reports that with bogus
endorsements from quarterback Joe Theismann, a supplement maker
sold millions of bottles of a phony prostate drug invented by a
felon, a class action claims in Federal Court.

Lead plaintiff Floyd Luman sued New Vitality Corp. and Joe
Theismann in Federal Court.  Luman claims the defendants hawked
and sold Super Beta Prostate, an unsafe and illegal drug that does
nothing to alleviate prostate troubles.

He says in the complaint that New Vitality and Theismann induced
him and 2 million other men to buy Super Beta Prostate through a
misleading ad campaign that promises improved urinary flow and
function.

A staple of late-night TV commercials, Super Beta Prostate assures
daily users of "getting out of the bathroom and back to your
life."  But Super Beta Prostate does nothing to alleviate symptoms
of an enlarged prostate, known as benign prostate hyperplasia or
BPH, Luman says.

The complaint states: "Defendants' marketing and promotion of
Super Beta Prostate is an elaborate hoax involving a falsified
medical endorsement by Dr. Jeffrey J. Zielinski, and false claims
that the product will treat the symptoms of BPH.  The product was
created by Roger Mason, a convicted felon who pleaded guilty to
conspiracy to distribute PCP.  Defendant New Vitality describes
Mr. Mason as a 'research chemist.'  His latest concoction, Super
Beta Prostate, is an illegal drug that contains dangerously high
doses of mixed sterols, including B-sitosterol, a drug that has
been marketed in Europe under the trade names Harzol and
Azuprostat.  These compounds are no longer considered suitable for
treatment of BPH.  Indeed, in 1995 a researcher studying Harzol
wrote:

"'The effect of phytopharmaceuticals [such as B-sitosterol] on BPH
is controversial because no clear mechanisms of action have been
established, and their effect has been attributed to placebo
responses. . . . Since other forms of medical treatment of BPH
have been shown to be effective, it is questionable whether
phytopharmaceutical drugs should continue to be prescribed.'"
(Brackets and ellipsis in complaint.)

And, Dr. Zielinski -- now an actor who hasn't practiced medicine
since 2009 -- said in a sworn declaration to Luman's attorneys
that his endorsement of Super Beta Prostate was an acting role,
not his professional medical opinion, according to the complaint.

"'I was provided with a white doctor's coat with my name on it,'"
the complaint states, citing Zielinski's "sworn declaration." It
continues:  "After donning the white coat I was directed to stand
in front of a green screen and to read lines from a teleprompter.
After I saw the commercials air on television, I understood that a
doctor's office was superimposed on the green screen to create the
illusion that I was speaking from a doctor's office.  As far as I
understood, I was hired as an actor.  I was to play the role of a
doctor, reading lines from a script.  And that is what I did.  I
had no input in the creation of the script or the content of the
advertisements.  I did not intend to provide medical advice to
anyone, or to provide a medical endorsement of the product.  If I
were a practicing physician, I would not recommend Super Beta
Prostate for the treatment of BPH or its symptoms.  I would not
recommend Super Beta Prostate to anyone for any purpose.  I
believe it is unsuitable for the treatment of BPH, and possibly
unsafe because it is a formulation that has never been studied.


PARADISE CITY: Strippers Face Arbitration Clause Hurdle
-------------------------------------------------------
John O'Brien, writing for The West Virginia Record, reports that a
mandatory arbitration clause stands in the way of three strippers
who filed a class action lawsuit against the club they say
unfairly took a percentage of their tips, while a federal judge
has preliminarily approved $138,000 in fees for attorneys in a
similar case.

Paradise City II on March 26 filed its motion to dismiss the case,
citing a clause in the employment contract it says the dancers
signed that would force their claims out of court and into
arbitration.  The lawsuit, filed March 1 in Berkeley County
Circuit Court, alleges Paradise City II violated the Fair Labor
Standards Act and the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collections
Act.  The motion to dismiss says both state and federal law
mandates the dispute be sent to arbitration.  It cites paragraph
20 of a Dancer Performance Lease the club says the dancers signed.

"Any controversy, dispute or claim arising out of this lease or
otherwise out of Entertainer performing at the premises of the
club shall be exclusively decided by binding arbitration under the
Federal Arbitration Act," the lease says.

The lease also puts in question if the dancers are allowed to file
a class action.

"Entertainer agrees that all claims between her and the club will
be litigated individually and that she will not consolidate or
seek class treatment for any claim," it says.

The three plaintiffs in the March 1 case against Paradise City II
are Man Le Garrett, Krystal McLaughlin and Jane Roe.  Ms. Roe is a
pseudonym being used to avoid violence from third parties.

The case alleges Paradise City II and manager Warren Dellinger
required the three to pay, from their tips, $35 for each private
dance and $30 for a 30-minute dance in the champagne room.  Other
dancers paid even higher amounts, the suit says, including $50 for
a 30-minute dance in the champagne room.

Ms. Garrett and Ms. McLaughlin were employed for four months and
Roe for 11 months.  The women say they will fairly and adequately
represent the class.  They are represented by Martinsburg attorney
Garry Geffert and Maryland attorney Gregg C. Greenberg of the
Zipin Law Firm.  They also filed five complaints from March 7,
2011, to Jan. 2, 2012, in Martinsburg federal court.

Four have been settled, and the class action filed by Arielle
Jordan, aka Queen, and Patrice Ruffin, aka Karma, against Legz
Club remains pending, though a settlement has been proposed and
accepted.

On March 28, U.S. District Judge Gina Groh ruled that the
conditions of the proposed settlement are fair, though a final
hearing on its fairness will be held July 29.

The gross settlement amount is $345,000.  Messrs. Greenberg and
Geffert will petition the court for fees, litigation costs and a
named plaintiff incentive award to be paid out of that amount.

Messrs. Greenberg and Geffert will be petitioning for 40% of the
award -- $138,000.

In settlement negotiations, the two were originally seeking
$642,000 for the class.  Any funds remaining from the $345,000
will be given to Public Justice, a public interest law firm.

Like Paradise City II, Taboo Gentlemen's Club cited a mandatory
arbitration clause in its employment contract with dancers.  The
clause was the subject of a Sept. 26 motion to dismiss filed by
the club.  The judge in the case was never given a chance to
respond to it, as the case was settled three weeks later.

Representing Paradise City II is Floyd M. Sayre III of Bowles
Rice's Martinsburg office.


STANDARD & POOR'S: Attempts to Coordinate Mortgage-Rating Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Standard & Poor's Financial Services is attempting to coordinate
before a single federal judge the consumer lawsuits that 17
attorneys general have filed in state courts.  The states, which
are suing the ratings agency for issuing inflated ratings on
mortgage-backed securities just before the financial crisis,
oppose the coordination move, with at least one calling the tactic
"unprecedented."


STM: Quebec Judge Allows C$5.2-Mil. Class Action to Proceed
-----------------------------------------------------------
Andy Riga, writing for The Montreal Gazette, reports that a South
Shore transit user is moving ahead with a C$5.2-million class-
action lawsuit against transit authorities over a four-day strike
in 2007.  Louise Tetreault's class action was approved by Quebec
Superior Court Judge Jean-Fran‡ois de Grandpre.

In the lawsuit, Ms. Tetreault will represent all holders of
May 2007 TRAM passes.  Sold by the Agence metropolitaine de
transport, TRAM passes allow passengers to take AMT commuter
trains as well as to use the Societe de transport bus and metro
network.  Some TRAM passes also allow people to use off-island bus
services.

The 2007 strike involved more than 2,000 STM mechanics and
maintenance workers.  Minimal transit services were offered during
the strike.  Buses and the metro were often packed and late.

Ms. Tetrault lives in Longueuil and uses her TRAM pass to take
Longueiul buses, as well as the STM metro and bus system to reach
her job in the Plateau Mont Royal borough.

After the strike, the AMT offered a C$3.50 discount to passengers
on their April passes.  Passengers had to visit one of 11 special
ticket offices to benefit from the discount.

Only 11% of eligible AMT customers bothered to seek the discount,
Ms. Tetreault said.  She contends the amount was insufficient and
getting it too complicated.  Ms. Tetreault is seeking C$9.79 per
passenger as reimbursement for monthly passes, in addition to C$50
per passenger in damages.  In total, that would amount to C$5.2
million.

The STM is included in Ms. Tetreault's lawsuit because though the
pass was sold by the AMT, it was the STM that was supposed to
provide regular bus and metro service on Montreal Island.

In 2010, another transit passenger, Lucie Ladouceur, was granted
permission to launch a separate lawsuit against the STM over the
same strike.  That one -- for transit users who had STM bus-and-
metro passes -- is for C$25 million.  It is still before the
courts.


TRIDENT DIVING: Recalls 200 High-Pressure Scuba Diving Air Hoses
----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Trident Diving Equipment, of Chatsworth, California, announced a
voluntary recall of about 200 High-Pressure Scuba Diving Air
Hoses.  Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise
instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a
recalled consumer product.

The diving hose that connects the regulator to the tank's pressure
gauge can leak, posing a drowning hazard to the user.

Trident has received one report of a hose leaking.  No injuries
have been reported.

The recalled air hoses are high-pressure scuba air hoses with a
black, smooth rubber outer covering.  They are about five
millimeters in diameter and 32 or 36 inches long.  These hoses
connect the regulator to the tank pressure gauge.  The phrase
"Scuba Diving High Pressure hose I.D. 3/16 (4.76 mm) W.P. 5000 PSI
Exceeds SAE 100RT braid with Kevlar fiber from Dupont" is printed
in white lettering on the hose's outer covering.  The hoses have
metal fittings on each end -- one female fitting and one male
fitting.  "CE EN 250 230" is stamped on the female fitting and one
of the following production date codes is on the male hex head
fitting: T1011, T1111 or T0312.  Pictures of the recalled products
are available at: http://is.gd/hgm6cJ

The recalled products were manufactured in Taiwan and sold at
scuba diving retailers nationwide from November 2011 through June
2012 for about $35.

Consumers should immediately stop using the hoses and contact
Trident Diving Equipment for a free replacement hose.  Trident
Diving Equipment may be reached at (800) 234-3483, from 9:00 a.m.
to 4:00 p.m. Pacific Time Monday through Friday, or e-mail
TridentDive@aol.com or online at http://www.TridentDive.com/then
click on "Smooth High Pressure Hose Safety Recall" for more
information.


WARNER CHILCOTT: Faces Suit Over Keeping Loestrin Off the Market
----------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Warner Chilcott et al.
conspired to keep generic Loestrin 24 oral contraceptives off the
market, an antitrust class action claims in Federal Court.


WEST COAST: Signed MOU to Settle Merger-Related Class Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
West Coast Bancorp entered into a memorandum of understanding to
settle two merger-related class action lawsuits, according to the
Company's March 8, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On September 25, 2012, Bancorp entered into an Agreement and Plan
of Merger (the "Merger Agreement") with Columbia Banking System,
Inc., a Washington corporation ("Columbia"), pursuant to which
Columbia will acquire Bancorp.

On October 3, 2012, a class action complaint was filed in the
Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for the County of Multnomah
against Bancorp, its directors, and Columbia challenging the
Merger: Gary M. Klein v. West Coast Bancorp, et al., Case No.
1210-12431.  The complaint names as defendants Bancorp, all of the
current members of Bancorp's board of directors, and Columbia.
The complaint alleges that the Bancorp directors breached their
fiduciary duties to Bancorp and Bancorp's shareholders by agreeing
to the proposed Merger at an unfair price.  The complaint also
alleges that the proposed Merger is being driven by an unfair
process, that the directors approved provisions in the Merger
Agreement that constitute preclusive deal protection devices, that
certain large shareholders of Bancorp are using the merger as an
opportunity to sell their illiquid holdings in Bancorp, and that
Bancorp directors and officers will obtain personal benefits from
the Merger not shared equally by other Bancorp shareholders.  The
complaint further alleges that Bancorp and Columbia aided and
abetted the directors' alleged breaches of their fiduciary duties.

Thereafter, on October 23, 2012, a second lawsuit challenging the
Merger was filed in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for
Clackamas County: Leoni v. West Coast Bancorp et al., Case No.
CV12100728.  On December 11, 2012, the parties filed a stipulation
and proposed order consolidating the two lawsuits for all purposes
in the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for Multnomah County,
under the caption In re West Coast Bancorp Shareholder Litigation,
Lead Case No. 1210-12431.

While Bancorp believes that the claims in both complaints are
without merit, Bancorp agreed, in order to avoid the expense and
burden of continued litigation and pursuant to the terms of the
proposed settlement, to make in the joint proxy
statement/prospectus concerning the proposed Merger certain
supplemental disclosures related to the proposed Merger.
Accordingly, on December 27, 2012, Bancorp and the other
defendants in the two actions entered into a memorandum of
understanding to settle both actions.  The memorandum of
understanding contemplates that the parties will enter into a
stipulation of settlement.  The stipulation of settlement will be
subject to customary conditions, including court approval
following notice to Bancorp's stockholders.  In the event that the
parties enter into a stipulation of settlement, a hearing will be
scheduled at which the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for
Multnomah County will consider the fairness, reasonableness, and
adequacy of the settlement.  If the settlement is finally approved
by the court, it will resolve and release all claims in all
actions that were or could have been brought challenging any
aspect of the proposed Merger, the Merger Agreement, and any
disclosure made in connection therewith, pursuant to terms that
will be disclosed to stockholders before final approval of the
settlement.  There can be no assurance that the parties will
ultimately enter into a stipulation of settlement or that the
Circuit Court of the State of Oregon for Multnomah County will
approve the settlement even if the parties were to enter into such
stipulation.  In such event, the proposed settlement as
contemplated by the memorandum of understanding may be terminated.

West Coast Bancorp -- http://www.wcb.com/-- is a bank holding
company headquartered in Lake Oswego, Oregon.  Bancorp's principal
business activities are conducted through its full-service,
commercial bank subsidiary, West Coast Bank, an Oregon state-
chartered bank with deposits insured by the Federal Deposit
Insurance Corporation.


WIVENHOE DAM: Law Firm Set to File Class Action by Year's End
-------------------------------------------------------------
Tuck Thompson, writing for The Courier-Mail, reports that lawyers
representing thousands of Brisbane River flood victims are
expected to file one of the largest class action lawsuits in
Australian history against the state's dam operators before the
end of the year.  It still has not been determined what court will
be used or even which state the case will be filed in.

Maurice Blackburn lawyers, with litigation funding from IMF, are
continuing to build their case against Wivenhoe Dam engineers,
alleging they were negligent in their handling of releases during
the January 2011 flood.

The class action could seek up to AU$1 billion in damages or more.

So far, 4800 flood victims have registered an interest in joining
the lawsuit, with about half signing documents making them Maurice
Blackburn's clients.

The law firm previously asked flood victims to provide photos
showing extensive flood damage.

In the next few months, Maurice Blackburn will hold a series of
meetings to update flood victims on how the case is progressing.

The no-win, no-fee case is being funded by IMF, a private
litigation fund that has already spent more than $1 million on
experts to prove many homes would not have flooded, or would have
flooded far less, if dam operators had managed flows more
prudently.

The Newman government has publicly shown no interest in settling
the dispute.  The government says the dam operators acted
responsibly and intends to fight a negligence claim.

Flood victims, who will have to pay 20% to 30% of any winnings to
IMF, see the lawsuit as their last hope for flood compensation.
They will have to prove actual damages and deduct payouts they
have received from insurance or charity.

Critics see the lawsuit as a money grab that could prove costly to
taxpayers.

Maurice Blackburn went public with their case in January, holding
a press conference where it released color-coded maps showing
specific areas its experts said should not have flooded, or
flooded as badly, if operators had acted properly.  The law firm
said the dam operators held back water too long over several days
of heavy rainfall, panicked and flooded Ipswich and Brisbane.

Maurice Blackburn was criticized for errors in their maps, but
said they weren't responsible for them.  It said the inaccurate
maps were meant to be educational or illustrative, not as
evidence.

Residents who live in colored areas wrongly alleged to have
flooded said their property values were harmed by the release.


* Class Action Against Australian Banks Over Fees Faces Delay
-------------------------------------------------------------
Business Spectator, citing a report by The Australian Financial
Review, says a South Australian businessman has accused the funder
of Australia's largest class action against 12 banks of stealing
the idea for the class action, a move that may derail the case.

IMF (Australia) is funding the litigation against 12 banks over
"exception" fees.  But David Edwards has stepped forward to accuse
the funder of breaching a confidentiality agreement and stealing
the idea for the case from him, according to an affidavit filed at
the end of March.

The case is seeking significant damages, accusing the banks of
charging customers unfair exception fees during a six-year period.

Mr. Edwards claims he took the idea for the case to IMF, along
with business Bankbeaters.  He said IMF rejected his request for
funding, only to later pursue the case elsewhere.

IMF rejected the claims, saying the information provided by
Mr. Edwards and Bankbeaters was immaterial to the basis for a
class action, the AFR added.


* Supreme Court Limits Class Actions, Expands Forced Arbitration
----------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Cantlon, writing for The Daily Courier, reports that since
2011, the Supreme Court, or rather, the usual 5-4 split, has ruled
against the little guy on an issue that may be as far-reaching as
anything they've done.  Without the benefit of much attention, the
Court has severely limited people's ability to get legal
protection when harmed, limiting class action suits and expanding
the ability to hide behind forced arbitration agreements.

There are several parts to this.  First, you know those agreements
in the fine print when you get a mobile phone, or insurance, or
just about anything, that if you have any complaint you'll settle
it in arbitration rather than in court? Only in recent years has
that language been allowed in the form.  Since a 2011 Supreme
Court ruling, "AT&T v. Concepcion," the agreement also can include
a "no class action" arbitration clause.  So if some car model
didn't really have all the safety features promised, rather than
settling with everyone in one case, individuals have to pursue
their own complaints and see what they can get out of arbitration.

These forced arbitration agreements also apply to employees. Part
two is a case where a group of employees challenged whether the
agreement itself was even legal.  The court, in "Rent-a-Center v.
Jackson," said that very question couldn't generally be taken to
court. That question had to be put to the arbitrator.  The
arbitrator gets to decide if the agreement about the arbitrator is
legitimate.

Part three is that this even overrides the law.  A company in
Kansas required employees to sign an agreement to get the job,
which included a clause that was banned in Kansas.  When the
employees learned the clause was illegal they took it to state
court and that court agreed.  The Supreme Court, in "Nitro-Lift v
Howard," overruled that, saying the state court never had
jurisdiction because the whole issue had to go through
arbitration.

The court narrowed class action further in "Walmart vs Dukes"
where the issue was discrimination against women.  Even though
they could show a pervasive pattern, the majority ruled it
couldn't be a class action unless they could show a written policy
of discrimination.  When has finding that an organization
discriminates ever required having it in writing?

Even where there isn't an arbitration agreement, in "Comcast v
Behrend" they've made class action harder.  Previously, a group
just had to show that the harm done was in common, like Comcast
cable allegedly overcharging, even if the amount of damages might
have to be sorted out per customer.  The new ruling says that if
the damages would not be in common then each customer must bring
their own suit, even in a case like this where the damages per
customer should be pretty simple to calculate.

So what are the practical results? One, this forces people into
arbitration, which seems to make the Seventh Amendment null.
Arbitration can be good, but consider that arbitrators are private
operations hired by the company you have a dispute with.  If the
arbitrator frequently rules against the company, they might cancel
the contract and find a different arbitrator.  There's little
recourse if an arbitrator makes a "mistake." The ruling is
generally final.

Two, since class actions have been largely gutted, if a cable
company overcharges a million customers each by a little bit, how
many are going to find it worth it to pursue their individual
complaint?

Three, if each case is settled in arbitration, and on a one-by-one
basis, a company with a strong lock on the market could
conceivably intentionally decide to cheat its customers knowing
that only a few will become aware of the problem, and pursue it,
and get something through arbitration.  From the great many
others, the company can keep the takings.

Four, impeding laws.  With the arbitration clause, and the
arbitrator's incentive to favor the company, states become nearly
powerless to enforce their own laws.  Federal laws too.  A
decision affecting class action is pending in "Amex v Italian
Colors Restaurant," which looks like it will make it nearly
impossible for small businesses to sue for monopolistic practices
by big ones, all for the sake of arbitration.

An example of how all these changes play out is armed services
members who are ordered deployed overseas.  The law says if they
have a leased vehicle they can return it and get the balance of
any advance payments back.  Nissan's leasing arm didn't honor
that. Captain Matthew Wolf brought it to court as a class action.
The judge said it couldn't be a class action because of the
Supreme Court's ruling.  Those even aware they should get a refund
would have to go through Nissan's arbitration, one-by-one.

There has to be a balance between large corporations targeted by
frivolous suits versus those corporations freely cheating
individuals and smaller businesses, like a ship that runs smooth
when it's level.  The justices have to operate within the law, but
clearly only some are making an effort to find justice within it,
to maintain the very spirit of that original notion of protection
under the law.

The ship of class action isn't just listing, it already has been
capsized.


                             *********

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
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
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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.



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