/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/130516.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Thursday, May 16, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 96


ACADIAN FINE: FSIS Lists Stores That Received Recalled Products
AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL: Investors Launch Class Action Over Collapse
BANK OF AMERICA: Judge Rejects Motion to Dismiss RMBS Class Action
BANK OF AMERICA: Pension Fund Files Suit Over CDS Conspiracy
BANK OF AMERICA: Settles Suit Over Faulty Mortgage Securities

BANKERS LIFE: Faces Class Action Over Insurance Premium Hike
BNSF RAILWAY: Appeals Court Hears Arguments in Antitrust Case
BNSF RAILWAY: Antitrust Case Rare Dispute Among Businesses
BOEING CO: Plaintiffs' Use of "Confidential Source" Backfires
CHARLES SCHWAB: Regulators Seek to Overturn Class Action Waiver

CHICAGO, IL: Settles Women Firefighter Applicants' Class Action
COMCAST CABLE: Parties in Customer Class Suit Ordered to Arbitrate
COMCAST CORP: Loeb & Loeb Discusses Supreme Court Ruling
CSX CORP: Oral Arguments in Antitrust Suit Appeal Set for May
DIAMOND FOODS: Judge Certifies Securities Class Action

DIGITALGLOBE INC: Still Finalizing Settlement in Shareholder Suit
FLORIDA GAMING: Defends "Jacobs" Class Action Suit in Florida
GOOGLE INC: NPPA Joins Copyright Infringement Class Action
H&R BLOCK: Faces Class Action Over Faulty Tax Returns
HANTZ FINANCIAL: Court Has Yet to Decide on Class Certification

IG INVESTMENT: Davis LLP Discusses Supreme Court Ruling
IMAX: Lerners Discusses Court Ruling on Securities Class Action
INDIANA: Judge Grants Class Action Status to Suit v. BMV
ISATORI INC: Defends "Tabibnia" Suit Over Sale of hCG Activator
ISATORI INC: Defends "Tawnsaura" Patent Infringement Class Suit

ISATORI INC: Plaintiff Has Voluntarily Dismissed "Grube" Suit
JOLLY GOOD: FSIS Lists Stores That Received Recalled Products
KID BRANDS: Appeal From "Rahman" Suit Dismissal Remains Pending
KID BRANDS: Cert. Bid Briefing in Wage and Hour Suit Continued
NAT'L COLLEGIATE: Delany Says No Settlement for Licensing Suit

NETFLIX INC: Court Denies Bid for Attorney's Fees in "Cullen" Suit
NUTRA PHARMA: Dismissed as Defendant in "Travers" Class Suit
PRUDENTIAL PLC: Jackson Records GBP8MM Accrual for Class Action
ROYAL BANK: Strathclyde Pension Fund Won't Join Class Action
SEGA CORP: Says Class Suit Over Aliens Gameplay Demo Without Merit

SP AUSNET: Black Saturday Fire Victims Give New Evidence
TEXAS: Ex-Henry's Turkey Service Employees File Class Action
TIME WARNER: Appellate Court Affirms Class Action Dismissal
UNITED STATES: Business Owners File Suit Over Health Reform Law
WELLS FARGO: Class Action Claims Filing Deadline Set for June 25

WEST PUBLISHING: Settles Class Action Over BAR/BRI Review Course
WIS HOLDINGS: Faces Class Action Over Unpaid Overtime Wages

* Andrew Hooker Continues to Pursue NZ Bank Fee Class Action
* Gov't Penalties v. Financial Firms Total $21.8BB in Q1 2013
* More Customer Fraud Class Actions Expected in 2013, Survey Says
* NY Times Says High Court Pro-Business Since World War II


ACADIAN FINE: FSIS Lists Stores That Received Recalled Products
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection
Service disclosed that certain stores in various states received
Stew Products that have been recalled by Acadian Fine Foods, LLC.

The FSIS says the list of store locations may not include all
retail locations that have received the recalled product or may
include retail locations that did not actually receive the
recalled product.  Therefore, the FSIS says, it is important that
consumers use the product-specific identification information
available at http://is.gd/F3aEja,in addition to the list of
retail stores, to check meat or poultry products in the consumers'
possession to see if they have been recalled.

    Nationwide, State-Wide, or Area-Wide Distribution
    Retailer Name       Location
    -------------       --------
    Albertson's         Stores in LA
    Brookshire's        Stores in LA and Tyler, TX area
    HEB                 Stores in TX
    Kroger              Stores in Houston, TX area
    Market Basket       Stores in LA and TX
    Piggly Wiggly       Stores in LA and MS
    Rouse's             Stores in LA and MS
    Seller's Brothers   Stores in Houston, TX area
    Super 1 Foods       Stores in LA and TX
    Wal Mart            Stores in LA, MS and TX
    Winn Dixie          Stores in LA and MS

    Specific Store-Wide Distribution (Stores and Location)
    Retailer Name               City and State
    -------------               --------------
    Levine's Grocery            Abbeville, Louisiana
    Robie's Food Center         Abbeville, Louisiana
    Artigue's Abita Market      Abita Springs, Louisiana
    Benedetto's Market          Addis, Louisiana
    Carter's Supermarket        Albany, Louisiana
    Russell's Food Center       Arnaudville, Louisiana
    Rain Tree Market            Baldwin, Louisiana
    Heads and Tails Seafood Inc Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Hi Nabor                    Winbourne Ave., Baton Rouge, LA
    Hi Nabor                    Jones Creek Rd., Baton Rouge, LA
    Hi Nabor                    Drusilla Dr., Baton Rouge, LA
    Matherne's Supermarket      Bluebonnet Blvd., Baton Rouge, LA
    Matherne's Supermarket      Highland Rd., Baton Rouge, LA
    Ralph's Supermarket         Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Southside Produce           Baton Rouge, Louisiana
    Food Depot                  Bogalusa, Louisiana
    Hebert's Super Market       Henderson Hwy., Breaux Bridge, LA
    Hebert's Super Market       Grand Pt. Ave., Breaux Bridge, LA
    Don's Country Mart          Carencro, Louisiana
    Rod's Thrif-T-Mart          Church Point, Louisiana
    Cuccio's Grocery            Crowley, Louisiana
    LaGrange's                  Crowley, Louisiana
    Super Foods                 Crowley, Louisiana
    Carter's Supermarket        Cockerham Rd., Denham Springs, LA
    Carter's Supermarket        Vincent Rd., Denham Springs, LA
    Frank's Super Market        Des Allemands, Louisiana
    Leblanc's Food Store        Donaldsonville, Louisiana
    Midway Grocery              Donaldsonville, Louisiana
    Champagne's                 Erath, Louisiana
    Esterwood Grocery           Esterwood, Louisiana
    Leblanc's Food Store        Gonzales, Louisiana
    Ralph's Supermarket         Gonzales, Louisiana
    Oak Point Fresh Market      Greenwell Springs, Louisiana
    Leblanc's                   Hammond, Louisiana
    Cannata's                   Prospect Blvd., Houma, Louisiana
    Cannata's                   6307 Park Ave., Houma, Louisiana
    Super Foods                 Jennings, Louisiana
    Simon's Grocery             Kaplan, Louisiana
    Kaetchner's                 Krotz Springs, Louisiana
    Food 4 Less                 La Place, Louisiana
    Frank's Supervalu           La Rose, Louisiana
    Lishman's City Market       Lacombe, Louisiana
    Champagne's                 Lafayette, Louisiana
    Heleaux's Gr. & Sp. Meats   Lafayette, Louisiana
    Matherne's Supermarket      Laplace, Louisiana
    Carter's Supermarket        Livingston, Louisiana
    Frank's Supervalu           Lockport, Louisiana
    Harvest Foods               Marksville, Louisiana
    Cannatella's Super Center   Melville, Louisiana
    Breaux Mart                 Metairie, Louisiana
    Robert Fresh Market         Metairie, Louisiana
    Capt. Avery's Seafood Mkt.  Monroe, Louisiana
    Cannata's                   Morgan City, Louisiana
    Fremin's Food & Furniture   New Iberia, Louisiana
    Robert Fresh Market         Robert E. Lee Blvd., New Orleans
    Robert Fresh Market         S Claiborne Ave., New Orleans, LA
    Langlois Grocery            New Roads, Louisiana
    IGA                         Oakdale, Louisiana
    Andy's Grocery              Opelousas, Louisiana
    Benny's Supermarket         Opelousas, Louisiana
    Kelly's County Meat Block   Opelousas, Louisiana
    Meche's Meat & Supermarket  Opelousas, Louisiana
    Pop's Grocery               Opelousas, Louisiana
    T&N Grocery                 Opelousas, Louisiana
    Cypress Point Fresh Market  Patterson, Louisiana
    Jubilee Foods               Pearl River, Louisiana
    Butcher Boy Supermarket     Plaquemine, Louisiana
    Leblanc's Food Store        Plaquemine, Louisiana
    Leblanc's Food Store        Plattenville, Louisiana
    Bordelon's Superette        Plaucheville, Louisiana
    Cooyon's                    Plaucheville, Louisiana
    Bohning's Supermarket       Ponchatoula, Louisiana
    Hubben's Supermarket        Port Allen, Louisiana
    Section Road Supermarket    Port Allen, Louisiana
    Bourque's                   Port Barre, Louisiana
    Leblanc's Food Store        Prairieville, Louisiana
    Pepper's Fresh Market       Prairieville, Louisiana
    Trahan Foods                Rayne, Louisiana
    Early's Food Store          Scott, Louisiana
    Lishman's City Market       Pontchartrian Dr., Slidell, LA
    Lishman's City Market       US Hwy 190 E., Slidell, Louisiana
    Carter's Supermarket        Springfield, Louisiana
    Feliciana Supermarket       St. Francisville, Louisiana
    IGA                         St. Francisville, Louisiana
    Kroger Food Store           Sulphur, Louisiana
    Janise's Supermarket        Sunset, Louisiana
    Champagne's                 Ville Platte, Louisiana
    Teet's Grocery              Ville Platte, Louisiana
    John's Curb Market          Walker, Louisiana
    Leblanc's Food Store        Walker, Louisiana
    Oak Point Fresh Market      Watson, Louisiana
    Daigle's Supermarket        White Castle, Louisiana
    NuNu's Fresh Market         Youngsville, Louisiana
    Leblanc's Food Store        Zachary, Louisiana
    Neco's Market Place         Pass Christian, Mississippi
    Claiborne Hill              Picayune, Mississippi
    Seal's Market Place         Picayune, Mississippi
    Food Town                   3002 W. Baker, Baytown, Texas
    Food Town                   3517 N Main, Baytown, Texas
    Thrif-Tee Food Center       Dayton, Texas
    Food Town                   Highlands, Texas
    Food Town                   Houston, Texas
    Mi Tienda                   Houston, Texas
    Thrif-Tee Food Center       Mont Belvieu, Texas

AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL: Investors Launch Class Action Over Collapse
The Australian Associated Press reports that former investors in
Australian Capital Reserve (ACR) have launched a class action
against the failed property investment group.

ACR collapsed in 2007, leaving about 7,000 people owed more than
$330 million.

Law firm Slater & Gordon is leading the class action and is
encouraging investors who lost money through the failure of ACR to
contact them.  The investors' rights to recover their losses
through the courts expire on May 28.

Slater & Gordon practice group leader Ben Whitwell said the
firm had been approached by dozens of investors and had been
investigating the collapse for some time.

"The collapse of ACR meant the loss of income and retirement nest-
eggs for many retirees and other small investors," he said.

"To date those investors have only been able to recover around 50
per cent of the money they lost, we will be attempting to secure
the rest of what they're owed."

Slater & Gordon will argue that the ACR's trustee failed to
exercise reasonable diligence and placed the investments of
thousands of mum and dad investors at risk.

Peter Miller, an investor who lost more than $300,000, has led a
victims' action group since the collapse and hoped the legal
action could recover some of the funds.  He said he had thought
the trustee would provide an additional layer of protection for
his investment and felt let down by the process.

"Before investing I had recently sold my house, paid out the
mortgage and decided to put the rest into a nine month ACR
investment to grow for a while," he said.

"Three weeks later it was gone."

BANK OF AMERICA: Judge Rejects Motion to Dismiss RMBS Class Action
Evan Weinberger, writing for Law360, reports that a New York U.S.
District Judge Katherine B. Forrest on May 6 rejected a motion
from Bank of America NA and U.S. Bank NA to dismiss a putative
class action with breach of contract claims alleging they failed
to protect investors in their role as trustees of residential
mortgage-backed securities.  The plaintiffs include union pension

BANK OF AMERICA: Pension Fund Files Suit Over CDS Conspiracy
Karen Brettell, writing for Reuters, reports that a pension fund
has initiated a class action lawsuit against a group of the
world's largest banks, accusing them of "conspiring" to scuttle
competition in the $27 trillion credit default swap (CDS) market,
in turn raising fund managers' costs.

The case, filed on May 3 in the district court in the Northern
District of Illinois, is the first antitrust case relating to the
banks that dominate the credit derivative market.

The European Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice are
also conducting antitrust investigations into the banks and Markit
relating to anticompetitive behavior in CDS.

In the suit, the Sheet Metal Workers Local 33 Cleveland District
Pension Plan alleges that twelve banks, including Bank of America
Corp, Citigroup Inc., Deutsche Bank, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Goldman
Sachs Group Inc. and Morgan Stanley, acted together to impede
competition in order to protect lucrative revenues they earn from
acting as intermediaries to trades.

The suit also alleges that the banks further used their dominance
of boards and committees at Markit, an index and data provider,
and trade group the International Swaps and Derivatives
Association (ISDA), as well as trade warehouse the Depositor Trust
& Clearing Corp (DTCC) to limit transparency in the market and to
block new market entrants, the suit alleges.

"The CDS market has been starkly divided between those who control
and distort the market and those who, in order to participate in
the market, must abide their distortions," the fund said in the

The pension fund traded CDS with Citigroup, it said in the

The case is the latest blow to banks that dominate the $639
trillion privately traded credit, interest rate and equity
derivatives markets, after revelations that the banks sought to
fix the key London Interbank Offered Rate (Libor) spurred
regulatory fines, continuing investigations and lawsuits.

Credit default swaps are used to protect against losses if a
company, country or other borrower cannot repay their debt, and to
speculate on a debt issuer's credit quality.  Contracts backed by
risky mortgage-backed debt have been blamed as a key contributor
to the 2007-2009 financial crisis.

                       "Artificial" Pricing

The Sheet Metal Workers pension fund alleges that banks cost fund
managers billions of dollars by acting together to stem exchange
trading of credit default swaps.  By keeping the market privately
traded, and opaque, the banks were able to profit from wide
spreads for buying and selling the contracts, and maintain their
monopoly in the market, it said.

"The prices . . . were fixed at artificially derived levels," the
fund said.

Banks boycotted a joint venture by Chicago-based exchange CME
Group Inc. and hedge fund Citadel Group in 2008 to offer exchange
trading of the contracts, the complaint said.  The banks further
used their presence on boards and committees at Markit and ISDA to
deny or delay permissions to use licenses that the CME the needed
to offer the contracts, it added.

Banks further acted to set up an alternative clearinghouse, now
owned by the IntercontinentalExchange, that would not trade the
contracts on exchange, allowing the banks to maintain secrecy of
trade pricing, the suit alleges.

Banks further routed all of their CDS trades to that
clearinghouse, ICE Clear Credit, at the expense of the CME
offering.  They have also used their influence on the ICE risk
committee to restrict membership to the clearinghouse to the
largest banks, the suit alleges.

ICE has been named as a co-conspirator in the complaint.  ICE
spokeswoman Brookly McLaughlin declined comment.

Markit spokesman Alex Paidas said that "Markit has not been served
with the complaint filed by this class action law firm but we have
seen a copy of it.  The allegations are wholly without merit and
we will defend ourselves vigorously."

ISDA spokeswoman Lauren Dobbs said: "we believe that the
allegations against us are without merit and that ISDA acted
properly at all times."

Spokespeople for the banks, which also includes Barclays, BNP
Paribas, Credit Suisse, HSBC, The Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS,
all either declined comment or did not respond to requests for

BANK OF AMERICA: Settles Suit Over Faulty Mortgage Securities
The Associated Press, citing the Wall Street Journal, reports that
Bank of America and MBIA, a mortgage insurer, have reached a deal
to settle a dispute over faulty mortgage securities issued during
the U.S. housing boom.

As part of the settlement, Bank of America will pay MBIA $1.6
billion in cash, along with other compensation, provide MBIA with
a credit line of $500 million and take a stake of about 5 percent
in MBIA's holding company, the Journal said.

Bond insurers like MBIA and Ambac suffered big losses after the
housing crisis.  As defaults on mortgages rose, defaults on bonds
backed by the troubled loans and insured by bond insurers also
climbed. That led to a surge in payouts.

MBIA has been seeking damages from Bank of America for failing to
repurchase ineligible loans that the lender had passed on to it,
CEO Jay Brown wrote in a letter to shareholders March 19.

"So far justice has been delayed but, I do not believe that it
will ultimately be denied," Mr. Brown wrote.

Bank of America has been busy trying to clear up the legacy of its
bad home loans.

In January, the lender reached an $11.6 billion settlement with
government mortgage agency Fannie Mae to settle claims resulting
from mortgage-backed investments that soured during the housing
crash.  In April, Bank of America agreed to settle a class-action
lawsuit led by pension funds and other investors who say they were
misled about $350 billion worth of mortgage-backed investments
they bought from Countrywide, a mortgage lender Bank of America
bought in 2008.

Kevin Brown, a spokesman for MBIA, didn't return calls from the
Associated Press seeking comment.  Scott Silvestri, a spokesman
for Bank of America also didn't return calls seeking comment.

BANKERS LIFE: Faces Class Action Over Insurance Premium Hike
SBWire reports that in a recent blog post, Quadrino Schwartz
announced a class action lawsuit being filed in Oregon against
Bankers Life.  The suit accuses Bankers Life of wrongfully
delaying and denying claims and violating elder abuse laws by
raising premiums without increasing benefits.

The plaintiffs in the case are Lorraine and Charles Bates, Eileen
Burk and David Youngbluth.  According to Mr. Bates, Bankers Life
claimed the adult foster home Bates moved into in 2009 didn't
match policy requirements.  The Oregon Insurance Division,
however, said in 2011 that Bankers would pay her claim, 19 months
after she first filed it.

David Youngbluth decided to take legal action after trying to file
a claim for his mother in 2008, who moved into assisted living
after a fall.  According to Mr. Youngbluth, Bankers still owes him
three months' worth of unpaid benefits.

The suit is currently seeking a judge's approval to represent a
class of 9,000 people in the state of Oregon.

                     About Quadrino Schwartz

Quadrino Schwartz -- http://www.quadrinoschwartz.com-- is a law
firm representing individuals and businesses with health insurance
claims and insurance coverage matters for the past 20 years.  The
firm also handles complex business litigation.

BNSF RAILWAY: Appeals Court Hears Arguments in Antitrust Case
Andrew Longstreth, writing for Reuters, reports that a U.S.
appeals court on May 3 grappled with whether thousands of freight-
shipping customers should be allowed to collectively sue four
major railroad companies for an alleged conspiracy to impose a
uniform fuel surcharge.

A three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District
of Columbia Circuit heard arguments over a district court judge's
decision in June to let the case move forward as a class action.

If that decision is left intact, the railroad companies could
potentially face billions of dollars in damages from a class of
plaintiffs that includes an estimated 30,000 shippers.

Class certification decisions are rarely reversed on appeal.
Before that can happen, an appeals court must first decide that it
can review the decision.  To win review, parties appealing have to
show that at least one of certain criteria has been met, such as a
"manifest error" in the decision.

Carter Phillips of Sidley Austin, an attorney for the defendants,
argued that the decision certifying the class was wrong and should
be reversed because the class includes significant numbers of
plaintiffs who were not injured.

Included among them, Mr. Phillips argued, are such companies as
Exxon Mobil Corp. that negotiated discounts to offset any fuel
surcharges imposed during the alleged conspiracy.

The decision to certify a class with uninjured members, Phillips
said, was in direct conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court's
majority opinion in the case of Comcast Corp v. Behrend.  In
March, in a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court held that when seeking
class certification, plaintiffs have to sufficiently link their
theory for liability with their model for how damages can be
calculated for the entire class.

                       Plaintiffs' Theories

Because the class of shippers includes uninjured plaintiffs, the
link tying the plaintiffs' theories for liability and damages is
not strong enough, Phillips argued.

"I don't think there is any light between this case and Comcast,"
he said.

Chief Judge Merrick Garland appeared to question that argument.
At one point, he noted that in the Comcast decision, the
plaintiffs had put forward four theories of liability, of which
three were rejected by the district court.

"They don't have multiple theories (of liability) here," Judge
Garland said.

Both Judge Garland and Judge David Sentelle appeared skeptical
about another reason that Phillips argued the appeals court should
review the class certification decision: It could serve as a
"death knell" to the defendants.

Mr. Phillips suggested that if the case continued as a class
action, it would force the defendants to settle or face one of the
largest antitrust cases ever.

But Judge Sentelle voiced concern about making the size of a case
a factor in deciding whether to review a class certification.

"I question whether we should turn that into precedent," Judge
Sentelle said.

The case before the D.C. Circuit, which was filed in 2007, alleges
BNSF Railway Company, CSX Transportation Inc., Norfolk Southern
Railway Company and Union Pacific Corporation imposed a uniform
fuel surcharge on customers from July 1, 2003, through Dec. 31,
2008.  The surcharge, the shippers claim, was put in place to
raise revenue and was not tied to any specific costs incurred by
the railroads.

U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman in Washington issued a 145-page
opinion in June allowing class certification.

                       "Brand-New Review"

Stephen Neuwirth of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, an attorney
for the plaintiffs, said that the railroads were seeking a "brand-
new review of the fact-finding by the district court."

He also argued that the Supreme Court's Comcast decision addressed
"a problem that is completely absent here."

The third panel member, Judge Janice Rogers Brown, questioned
whether the shippers could put forward common proof that they
suffered injury under antitrust laws.  She noted that prices often
come down to individual negotiations and discounting among

Mr. Neuwirth countered that Judge Friedman's decision concluded
that discounting among the class of shippers was "anomalous."

Judge Garland also questioned aspects of the plaintiffs' damages
model.  He voiced concern that Judge Friedman's opinion did not
address the contention made by the defendants that the model
includes damages for shipments under contracts entered into prior
to the beginning of the class period.

At the end of the argument, Judge Garland asked Mr. Neuwirth
whether the court had the authority to remand the case back to
Judge Friedman for clarification on specific issues.

Mr. Neuwirth responded that he was unaware of any precedent for
such a move, but when pressed by Judge Garland on the issue, he
said he would prefer a remand over reversal.

The appeal is In re Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust
Litigation, U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia
Circuit, No. 12-7085.

For plaintiffs: Stephen Neuwirth of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart &
Sullivan and Michael Hausfeld of Hausfeld.

For defendants: Carter Phillips of Sidley Austin.

BNSF RAILWAY: Antitrust Case Rare Dispute Among Businesses
Andrew Longstreth, writing for Reuters, reports that the U.S.
class action system often unites major corporations in opposition
to what they view as its excesses.  But an antitrust case against
the four largest railroad companies pits major businesses on both

A three-judge panel at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District
of Columbia Circuit heard arguments on May 3 over a district court
judge's decision in June to allow the case to move forward as a
class action.

If affirmed, the class would include some 30,000 shippers seeking
billions of dollars for alleged overcharges for a period from
July 1, 2003, to Dec. 31, 2008, through the imposition of a
uniform fuel surcharge.

The defendants are well-known large companies: BNSF Railway
Company, CSX Transportation Inc., Norfolk Southern Railway Company
and Union Pacific Corporation.  But the group of eight named lead
plaintiffs also includes a major company: Olin Corp, a chlorine
and sodium hydroxide manufacturer based in Clayton, Missouri, near
St. Louis, with shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

The other seven named plaintiffs are also companies but less well
known and not publicly traded: Carter Distributing Company, Dakota
Granite Company, Donnelly Commodities Incorporated, Dust Pro,
Inc., Nyrstar Taylor Chemicals, Strates Shows Inc and US

Public companies such as Olin rarely serve as named plaintiffs in
class action cases.  When major corporations file antitrust
lawsuits, they typically file them individually rather than as
class actions.  But the railroad case is so massive and
complicated that a class action was the best way to bring legal
action, said lawyers for the plaintiffs.

"The named plaintiffs, including a large company like Olin,
reflect the broad interests of rail shippers in this case,"
Stephen Neuwirth of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, an attorney
for the plaintiffs, said on May 6.

Olin's involvement may also be surprising given its history of
involvement with conservative legal organizations that have been
hostile to class actions.  The John M. Olin Foundation,
established by the former Olin president, provided grants to such
organizations as the Federalist Society before the foundation
officially disbanded in 2005.

                          Proof of Injury

Olin said in a statement that "participation in this class action
lawsuit provides our company the greatest opportunity to recover
the fuel surcharges that we believe were unjustly imposed upon us
and many other shippers by the defendants."

The case is also a rare dispute among businesses to draw interest
from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which filed a brief in support
of the defendants.  In its brief, the Chamber argued that the
district court judge wrongly certified the class without requiring
that "classwide proof of injury to each individual member."

The organization, however, wrote in its brief that it "takes no
position with respect to the underlying factual allegations at
issue here."

No one from the Chamber was available for comment on May 6.

Carter Phillips of Sidley Austin, an attorney for the defendants,
argued at the hearing on May 3 that many of the companies that
would be part of the proposed class were not injured, such as
those who could negotiate discounts.

In an email on May 6, he added, "That is the reason they did not
bring separate actions."

Mr. Neuwirth said the evidence accepted by the district judge
showed that negotiating discounts was prohibited among the
railroad companies.

"I don't believe there is any legal basis to suggest that parties
not filing their own lawsuits and instead remaining members of the
class mean they don't believe they were injured by the alleged
conspiracy," he said.

The appeal is In re Rail Freight Fuel Surcharge Antitrust
Litigation, U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia
Circuit, No. 12-7085.

For plaintiffs: Stephen Neuwirth of Quinn Emanuel Urquhart &
Sullivan and Michael Hausfeld of Hausfeld.

For defendants: Carter Phillips of Sidley Austin.

BOEING CO: Plaintiffs' Use of "Confidential Source" Backfires
According to Forbes' Kevin Underhill, the case (City of Livonia
Employees' Retirement System v. Boeing) was a securities class-
action suit alleging that the company didn't disclose everything
it knew about problems with the 787 "Dreamliner," resulting in a
stock drop when the problems became known.  After the complaint
was dismissed because plaintiffs hadn't alleged enough facts to
state a valid fraud case, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint,
now including the bombshell claim that they had a confidential,
inside source who would confirm everything they had alleged.
Based on that representation, the district judge denied a motion
to dismiss the new complaint.

Can a class action complaint be based on what plaintiffs' counsel
have been told by a "confidential source"? Maybe at first, but as
the Washington Legal Foundation noted recently, if the source then
says he has no idea what counsel are talking about, Rule 11
sanctions could well be on the way.

But as Judge Posner wrote in the City of Livonia opinion, "No one
had bothered to show the complaint to [the source]," and when his
identity became known he "denied virtually everything" that
plaintiffs had attributed to him. (Awkward!) He had never worked
for Boeing, in fact, and the court found it "highly improbable" he
had been involved at all even as a contractor.  He denied he had
ever worked on the 787 model in question.  Plaintiffs claimed he
was lying about that because he didn't want to upset Boeing, but
didn't explain why he would have revealed all this to the
plaintiffs in the first place if that was true.  And when it came
out that plaintiffs' lawyers hadn't talked to the source until six
months after they filed the complaint allegedly based on his
revelations, the district judge dismissed the case for good.

The Seventh Circuit affirmed that result, and then also held that
the district court should have considered imposing sanctions on
the plaintiffs' lawyers.  Their own investigator had been unable
to verify what the source had (allegedly) first told her, which
"should have been a red flag to the plaintiffs' lawyers."  It
wasn't, though -- which might or might not have something to do
with the fact that the law firm was Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd
LLP, an offshoot of the infamous Milberg Weiss firm and one that,
more to the point, has been accused of similar misconduct in at
least three other reported cases, according to Judge Posner.

The lesson here, or one of the lessons, anyway, is that if you're
going to cite a "confidential source" in a pleading, you should
probably make sure that the source will actually say what you
claim he is going to say.

CHARLES SCHWAB: Regulators Seek to Overturn Class Action Waiver
Mark Schoeff Jr., writing for Investment News, reports that
state securities regulators continued to pressure the Securities
and Exchange Commission to end mandatory arbitration clauses in
brokerage contracts on May 3.

In a letter to SEC Chairman Mary Jo White, the North American
Securities Administrators Association urged the agency to utilize
the power given to it by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law to
end or restrict the compulsory arbitration provisions included in
almost every brokerage agreement with clients.

The letter also asked the SEC to overturn a ruling earlier this
year by a hearing panel of the Financial Industry Regulatory
Authority Inc. that allowed The Charles Schwab Corp. to ban class-
action lawsuits within arbitration clauses.

"The decision by Charles Schwab & Company to include these class-
action waivers in the arbitration provisions of its customer
contracts is yet another example of the pernicious effects of
mandatory arbitration clauses," wrote A. Heath Abshure, Arkansas
securities commissioner and NASAA president.  "Now, more than
ever, it is essential that the SEC use its authority to insure
that investors have meaningful remedies and a choice of forums in
which to resolve disputes with broker-dealers and investment

Mr. Abshure described Schwab's move on class-action lawsuits as an
attempt to "flaunt Finra rules."

"Charles Schwab's attempt to unilaterally alter its account
agreements to include the class action waiver is an obvious
attempt by the firm to insulate itself from liability to its own
clients, which clearly violates public policy and may further
violate Charles Schwab's regulatory duty to 'observe high
standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of
trade,'" Mr. Abshure wrote.

A group of 37 members of Congress sent a letter to the SEC urging
the Commission to do away with mandatory arbitration clauses in
brokerage agreements.

Schwab spokesman Greg Gable asserted that customers are better off
using arbitration than going through the court system to settle

"We amended our customer agreements to include the class action
waiver because class action litigation too often results in
resolutions benefiting class action lawyers rather than their
clients," Mr. Gable wrote in an email.

He pointed to a 2011 study of Finra arbitration results in The
Securities Arbitration Commentator that showed that customers had
a 45% win rate and a median award of $163,300 while in small
claims the win rate was 34% and the median award was $10,800.

SEC spokesman John Nester declined to comment on the NASAA letter.
In an email, he added: "As a general matter, we share their
interest in this issue."

A Finra rule prohibits brokers from limiting class-action suits.
But earlier this year, the Finra hearing panel concluded that
Schwab could put a class-action waiver in its arbitration
agreements because Finra's ban violates the Federal Arbitration

The state regulators assert that the SEC can supersede federal
arbitration law when it comes to enforcing Finra arbitration

"If the hearing panel's decision is not overturned, there is a
good chance that many other brokerage firms will follow suit and
also restrict their investors from exercising their rights to
participate in class actions," Mr. Abshure wrote.

The option of filing class-action lawsuits is important for
investors who are seeking to recover modest amounts of money, Mr.
Abshure argued.

"The pursuit of these smaller claims would otherwise be
economically impractical given the fees and costs associated with
litigation, including Finra arbitration proceedings," Mr. Abshure
wrote.  "Absent the class action vehicle, identical or practically
indistinguishable claims may be subject to varying and
inconsistent outcomes depending on the characteristics of the
forum before which they are brought."

CHICAGO, IL: Settles Women Firefighter Applicants' Class Action
Naomi Nix, writing for Chicago Tribune, reports that about
138 women who were denied jobs with the Chicago Fire Department
following a test seven years ago were given a chance to reapply to
be a firefighter on May 6 after reaching an agreement with the
city in a federal class-action lawsuit.

The women were part of a group of 187 who had passed the written
test in 2006 but were later denied jobs because they failed the
department's physical abilities test.  Close to 50 of the original
applicants no longer meet the eligibility requirements.

In 2011, Samantha Vasich, one of the rejected female candidates,
filed a lawsuit in federal court in Chicago, alleging the test was
unfair to women because it placed too much emphasis on strength
rather than firefighting skills.

Last month, the city agreed to use the Candidate Physical Ability
Test, a more accurate test developed by the International
Association of Firefighters, to assess the rejected women
candidates for the next two firefighter classes, said Marni
Willenson, one of the attorneys representing the plaintiffs.

"It's a vast improvement over what was there," Ms. Willenson said.

Under the new agreement, women who were denied jobs and who pass
the new test will be given first priority.

Those who are not granted jobs, no longer want to apply or are
ineligible will share about $2 million in damages, said
Ms. Willenson.

A representative for the Chicago Fire Department could not be
reached for comment on May 4.

Chicago Law Department spokesman Roderick Drew said he did not
have details about the upcoming tests, but he confirmed the
general terms of the agreement.

The settlement still needs to go before the City Council for
approval, he said.

Ms. Willenson said: "We're pleased.  We feel like the city is
doing the right thing."

The female candidates were sent letters late last month telling
them they could reapply.  Ms. Willenson said she has been in
contact with about 80 women, but said there are likely others who
don't know about the opportunity.

"Some people didn't even know there was a lawsuit filed," she

Their agreement also sets aside funding for a training program for
the women, according to Ms. Willenson.

Women who are hired will either join the fall 2013 class or
another class in the early part of 2014.

The department was set to begin processing the applicants on May 6
at the Chicago Fire Department Academy South in the South Loop.

Count Vasich as one candidate who plans to reapply. The 29-year-
old failed the physical ability test in 2010, even though she had
hired a personal trainer who worked her "harder than the actual
test," she said.

Now, she said, she feels grateful for a second chance.

"I'm definitely looking forward to it," she said.  "It's a great
job, it's a great opportunity."

COMCAST CABLE: Parties in Customer Class Suit Ordered to Arbitrate
District Judge Robert W. Gettleman stayed litigation in the
lawsuit captioned STEVE BAYER and AARON LLOYD, on behalf of
themselves and others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v.
Ill.), and directed the parties to arbitrate.

Steve Bayer and Aaron Lloyd, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated, brought the collective and putative
class action complaint against Comcast Corporation, on October 27,
2012, after both terminated their contracts with Comcast.  The
Plaintiffs allege that after the termination of services, Comcast
continued to maintain personally identifiable information on all
of its previous customers indefinitely without notifying them, in
violation of the Cable Communication Policy Act, the California
Customer Records Act, the Illinois Cable and Video Customer
Protection Law and the California Penal Code, and is in breach of
an implied contract.  In response to the Plaintiffs' complaint,
Comcast moved to compel arbitration and stay litigation, arguing
that the Plaintiffs have agreed that arbitrators, not a court,
should adjudicate disputes as defined in the arbitration

Judge Gettleman says he expects the parties to expeditiously
initiate arbitration and have the arbitrability issue decided

The matter is set for a report on status on July 10, 2013, at 9:00

A copy of the District Court's May 1, 2013 memorandum opinion and
order is available at http://is.gd/MFVYFEfrom Leagle.com.

COMCAST CORP: Loeb & Loeb Discusses Supreme Court Ruling
Michael Mallow, Esq. and Livia Kiser, Esq. at Loeb & Loeb LLP
report that Comcast v. Behrend is the latest opinion issued by the
U.S. Supreme Court interpreting and applying the procedural rules
governing class actions set out in Federal Rule Civil Procedure
23.  In order to obtain certification of a class under Rule 23, a
plaintiff has to demonstrate that all of the factors enumerated in
Rule 23(a) are satisfied and also meet at least one of the
criterion identified in Rule 23(b) (e.g., that common issues of
fact and law predominate).  In Behrend, the Court expressly stated
that the "rigorous analysis" that must be undertaken by a trial
court to determine whether plaintiffs have met the Rule 23(a)
factors also applies to the Rule 23(b) prerequisites.  Further,
the Court held the predominance criterion set forth in Rule 23(b)
includes the question of whether damages are capable of
measurement on a classwide basis.  If they are not, the
"adventuresome innovation" of Rule 23(b)(3) is not available to
plaintiffs, and a class may not be certified on that basis.

This article examines the Supreme Court's decision in Behrend,
it's subsequent remand of the Sixth Circuit's decision in
Whirlpool v. Glazer, and implications for other similarly reasoned
cases where the evidence suggests that few, if any, proposed class
members actually have experienced the alleged injury.

CSX CORP: Oral Arguments in Antitrust Suit Appeal Set for May
Oral arguments on the appeal in the fuel surcharge antitrust
litigation involving a subsidiary of CSX Corporation is scheduled
for this month, according to the Company's April 16, 2013, Form
10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarter ended March 29, 2013.

In May 2007, class action lawsuits were filed against CSX
Transportation, Inc. ("CSXT"), CSX Corporation's principal
operating subsidiary, and three other U.S.-based Class I railroads
alleging that the defendants' fuel surcharge practices relating to
contract and unregulated traffic resulted from an illegal
conspiracy in violation of antitrust laws.  In November 2007, the
class action lawsuits were consolidated and are now pending in
federal court in the District of Columbia.  The lawsuit seeks
treble damages allegedly sustained by purported class members as
well as attorneys' fees and other relief.  The Plaintiffs are
expected to allege damages at least equal to the fuel surcharges
at issue.

On June 21, 2012, the court certified the case as a class action.
The decision was not a ruling on the merits of plaintiffs' claims,
rather a decision to allow the plaintiffs to seek to prove the
case as a class.  The defendant railroads petitioned the U.S.
Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit for permission to appeal the
District Court's class certification decision.  On August 28,
2012, the Court of Appeals referred the petition to a merits
panel, and directed that the parties to the case submit briefs
addressing both the petition and the merits of the appeal.  The
Court of Appeals set oral arguments on the appeal for May 2013.
The District Court stayed dissemination of notice to members of
the class certified pending the outcome of the appeal.

CSXT believes that its fuel surcharge practices were arrived at
and applied lawfully and that the case is without merit.
Accordingly, the Company intends to defend itself vigorously.
However, penalties for violating antitrust laws can be severe, and
an unexpected adverse decision on the merits could have a material
adverse effect on the Company's financial condition, results of
operations or liquidity in that particular period or for the full

CSX Corporation -- http://www.csx.com/-- based in Jacksonville,
Florida, is a transportation company providing rail, intermodal
and rail-to-truck transload services.  The Company's
transportation network spans approximately 21,000 miles with
service to 23 eastern states and the District of Columbia, and
connects to more than 70 ocean, river and lake ports.

DIAMOND FOODS: Judge Certifies Securities Class Action
Vanessa Blum, writing for The Litigation Daily, reports that
investment advisers may think they're better stock pickers than
the average chimp, but that can't be used by a company to defend
against allegations of securities fraud, a federal judge ruled on
May 6.

U.S. District Judge William Alsup in San Francisco certified a
securities class action against Diamond Foods Inc. in connection
with the nut and snack food company's botched bid to acquire
Pringles in 2012.

Diamond's attorneys, Fenwick & West partners Dean Kristy and Susan
Muck, unsuccessfully argued that the lead plaintiff, a Mississippi
pension fund, could not prove harm due to alleged fraud because
the fund left investment decisions up to a private consultant.

But Judge Alsup said courts have "routinely rejected" similar
arguments based on the investment strategies of institutional
plaintiffs.  With the exception of those trading illegally with
inside information, Judge Alsup stated, all investors rely on the
honesty of companies' financial disclosures.

"That an investment adviser thinks it is smarter than the rest of
the market in evaluating truthful public data in the market should
not be a license for manipulators to pump false information into
the public domain to grossly inflate a stock price," Judge Alsup
wrote in a 29-page order.  Plaintiffs lawyers accuse San
Francisco-based Diamond of manipulating its financial statements
in 2010 and 2011 by disguising payments owed to walnut growers.
Corporate executives used improper accounting, plaintiffs contend,
to buoy Diamond's stock price on the Nasdaq exchange at a time
when the company intended to use its stock to purchase Pringles
from Procter & Gamble Co. for $2.35 billion.

In February 2012 Diamond announced it would be amending its
financial statements for the prior fiscal years, conceding that
the walnut payments had been reported improperly.  The deal with
Pringles disintegrated and Kellogg Co. swept in to acquire the
potato chip brand.

Judge Alsup, who threw out a related shareholder derivative suit
against Diamond last year, approved a class comprised of
shareholders who purchased Diamond stock from October 2010 through
February 2012.  In an earlier order, Judge Alsup appointed the
Mississippi Public Employees' Retirement System, known as MPERS,
as lead plaintiff, with Chitwood Harley Harnes of Atlanta and San
Francisco's Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein serving as class

Judge Alsup determined the pension fund could remain as lead
plaintiff though it sold off all Diamond stock prior to the end of
the class period.  However, he suggested it might be necessary to
distinguish later on between three subgroups that sold shares
after partial corrective disclosures from Diamond.

"There is no immediate need to divide the proposed class into
subclasses based on trading history, as issues common to the class
predominate," Judge Alsup stated.

The Fenwick team had argued that MPERS did not rely on the market
price of Diamond stock to make investment decisions because its
adviser, Artisan Partners, used a proprietary system to take
advantage of market inefficiencies.

"Thus, by Artisan's admission, Diamond's stock price was not
directly relevant to its decision-making, but was only a
comparator," Mr. Kristy and Ms. Muck wrote in court papers.
Neither attorney could be reached for comment.

The theory that investors rely on a stock's market price to make
decisions is a well-established tenet of securities fraud class
actions, as is the companion premise, known as fraud-on-the-market
theory, that share prices reflect all public information,
including misstatements.

Looking to defeat those theories, the Fenwick lawyers invoked
GAMCO Inv. v Vivendi, 2013 WL 765122, a recent decision in the
Southern District of New York holding plaintiffs who relied on
investment advisers could not use a fraud-on-the-market theory.

Judge Alsup called Diamond's reliance on GAMCO "misplaced,"
because the investor in that case had continued purchasing stock
after the fraud had been fully disclosed.

Lieff Cabraser's Richard Heimann, lead local counsel to MPERS,
called Diamond's argument "hog-wash."

"Judge Alsup properly dealt with what we regarded as unusual
arguments against class certification," Mr. Heimann said.

Judge Alsup also rejected Diamond's contention that MPERS selected
its lead law firms pursuant to a "pay-to-play" arrangement,
whereby Mississippi's attorney general rewarded Chitwood Harley
Harnes and Lieff Cabraser for their campaign contributions.

Judge Alsup noted that he had vetted both law firms' contributions
prior to their appointment as class counsel and that no further
campaign donations had been made.

"It is true, the court has been concerned that MPERS is a
figurehead and that attorney general [Jim] Hood has really
controlled it and has used this case as a reward for campaign
contributions," Judge Alsup wrote.

However, he added, "the court is satisfied that class counsel will
adequately and vigorously represent absent class members."

DIGITALGLOBE INC: Still Finalizing Settlement in Shareholder Suit
Parties are finalizing their settlement of the consolidated
shareholder class action lawsuit, according to DigitalGlobe,
Inc.'s April 16, 2013, Form 8-K/A filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission.

On January 31, 2013, DigitalGlobe, Inc. completed the previously
announced transactions contemplated by that certain Agreement and
Plan of Merger, dated as of July 22, 2012, as amended, by and
among DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, Inc. ("GeoEye"), 20/20 Acquisition
Sub, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of DigitalGlobe, and
WorldView, LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of DigitalGlobe.

In July 2012, GeoEye and the GeoEye board of directors,
DigitalGlobe, 20/20 Acquisition Sub, Inc. and WorldView, LLC were
named as defendants in three purported class action lawsuits filed
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Virginia.  The lawsuits were brought on behalf of proposed classes
consisting of all public holders of GeoEye common stock, excluding
the defendants and, among others, their affiliates.  The actions
were captioned: Behnke v. GeoEye, Inc., et al., No. 1:12-CV-826-
CMH-TCB, filed on July 26, 2012; Braendli v. GeoEye, Inc., et al.,
No. 1:12-CV-841-CMH-TRJ, filed on
July 30, 2012; and Crow v. Abrahamson, et al., No. 1:12-CV-842-
CMH-TCB, filed on July 30, 2012.

On September 7, 2012, the Court ordered the consolidation of the
three actions.  The consolidated action is captioned: In re
GeoEye, Inc., Shareholder Litigation, Consol. No. 1:12-cv-00826-
CMH-TCB.  The Court's consolidation order provided for, among
other things, the appointment of the law firms of Robbins Geller
Rudman & Dowd LLP, Levi & Korsinsky LLP and Finkelstein Thompson
LLP as members of the Plaintiffs' Executive Committee of Lead
Counsel ("Lead Counsel") and the setting of the defendants'
response date to the amended complaint as 30 days after its
filing.  A corrected amended complaint was filed in the
consolidated action on September 24, 2012.  The amended complaint
contains allegations that the GeoEye board of directors breached
their fiduciary duties by, among other things, failing to maximize
stockholder value, agreeing to preclusive deal protection measures
and failing to disclose certain information necessary to make an
informed vote on whether to approve the proposed merger.
DigitalGlobe is alleged to have aided and abetted these breaches
of fiduciary duty.  In addition, the amended complaint contains
allegations that the GeoEye board of directors and DigitalGlobe
violated Section 20(a) and Section 14(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 14a-9 promulgated thereunder, by
the filing of a Registration Statement allegedly omitting material
facts and setting forth materially misleading information.  The
consolidated action seeks, among other things, a declaration that
a class action is maintainable, an injunction preventing the
consummation of the merger and an award of damages, costs and
attorneys' fees.

On September 28, 2012, Lead Counsel filed a motion for expedited
discovery.  On September 30, 2012, Lead Counsel made a
confidential settlement demand requesting additional disclosures
to address the alleged omissions raised in the amended complaint.
On October 9, 2012, following arm's-length negotiations, the
parties to the consolidated action entered into a memorandum of
understanding (the "MOU") to settle all claims asserted therein on
a classwide basis.  GeoEye and the GeoEye board of directors,
DigitalGlobe, 20/20 Acquisition Sub, Inc. and WorldView, LLC
entered into the MOU solely to avoid the costs, risks and
uncertainties inherent in litigation, and without admitting any
liability or wrongdoing.  In connection with the MOU, DigitalGlobe
agreed to make additional disclosures in Amendment No. 1 to the
Registration Statement filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission on October 10, 2012.  The settlement set forth in the
MOU includes a release of all claims against defendants alleged in
the corrected amended complaint, and is subject to, among other
items, the execution of a stipulation of settlement and court
approval, as well as the Merger becoming effective under
applicable law.  Payments made in connection with the settlement,
which are subject to court approval, are not expected to be
material to GeoEye.

In January 2013, the parties completed confirmatory discovery,
have agreed in principle to a settlement, and are in the process
of finalizing prior to submitting a final settlement to the Court
for approval.

Headquartered in Longmont, Colorado, DigitalGlobe, Inc., is a
global provider of commercial high-resolution earth imagery
products and services that support users in a wide variety of
fields including defense, intelligence and homeland security,
mapping and analysis, environmental monitoring, oil and gas
exploration and infrastructure management.

FLORIDA GAMING: Defends "Jacobs" Class Action Suit in Florida
Florida Gaming Corporation is defending a class action lawsuit
initiated by Coby Jacobs, according to the Company's April 16,
2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On December 11, 2012, Coby Jacobs, a shareholder of Florida Gaming
Corp. ("Corp"), filed a class action lawsuit alleging W. Bennett
Collett, W. Bennett Collett, Jr., George Galloway, Jr., and
William Haddon (deceased), as directors of Corp., breached their
fiduciary duties with respect to entering into a Stock Purchase
Agreement with Silvermark, LLC.  The lawsuit, captioned Coby
Jacobs v. Florida Gaming Corporation, W. Bennett Collett, W.
Bennett Collett, Jr., George Galloway, Jr., William Haddon,
Florida Gaming Centers and Silvermark, LLC; Miami-Dade County,
Florida Circuit Court Case #: 12-48014 CA 21, also alleged Florida
Gaming Centers, Corp. and Silvermark, LLC aided and abetted these
breaches.  The Defendants denied all allegations of wrongdoing and
moved to dismiss the complaint.  No class was certified, and the
lawsuit has since been resolved and the parties expect an order of
dismissal to be entered in the near future.

Florida Gaming Corporation -- http://www.fla-gaming.com/-- is a
Delaware corporation based in Miami.  The Company's business
consists primarily of its operations at the frontons, which
include casino gaming, card rooms, live jai-alai performances,
inter-track pari-mutuel wagering on jai-alai, horse racing (both
thoroughbred and harness) and dog racing, and the sale of food and
alcoholic beverages.

GOOGLE INC: NPPA Joins Copyright Infringement Class Action
Adrienne Kendrick, writing for IPWatchdog.com, reports that the
National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) recently announced
that it is joining the other cast of characters who have filed a
class action complaint against Google, claiming (as the other
plaintiffs have) that Google's "Google Book Search" program
violates the copyrights of several photographers and visual
artists.  The other plaintiffs include individuals Leif Skoogfors,
Al Satterwhite, Morton Beebe, Ed Kashi, John Schmelzer, Simms
Taback and Gail Kuenstler Living Trust, Leland Bobbe, John Francis
Ficara and David Moser, and associations The American Society of
Media Photographers, the Graphic Artists Guild, the Picture
Archive Council of America, the North American Nature Photography
Association, the Professional Photographers of America, and
American Photographic Artists.

So what brought on this class action suit in the first place?
Well, it would seem that whenever someone conducts a search using
the Google Books program, that search brings up images that are
contained in both books and periodicals -- images that are
copyright protected.  And apparently, this isn't the first time
Google Books has been under fire in litigation -- even the writers
of some of the books and periodicals that come up when using the
search have also claimed copyright infringement.

The Allegations in the Complaint

The amended complaint details the claims that are typical to the
members of the Class, and it specifically notes several questions
of law that are common to the Class, including, but not limited

   -- Whether Google's alleged conduct constitutes infringement of
the visual works held by members of the Class and the individual

   -- Whether Google gains direct financial and related benefits
from the infringing acts complained of;

   -- With regard to the acts complained of, whether Google acted

   -- Whether injunctive and/or declaratory relief is appropriate;

   -- Whether the individual plaintiffs, along with the Class, are
entitled to receive damages for Google's wrongful conduct.

The plaintiffs, who are representing the Class, first make it
clear that they exclusively own the rights to all the visual works
that have been, or potentially will be, "reproduced, distributed
and displayed by Google without authorization."

The common allegations begin with a discussion of Google's general
business, which, as we all know, is the Internet search business.
The company eventually decided to build a database online of all
the books in the world -- lofty idea, right?  Well, they started
their mission by obtaining agreements from several major U.S.
university libraries, to include the Universities of Virginia,
Michigan, California and Wisconsin, as well as Stanford
University.  So you might be asking, "Well, what's wrong with
that?" The problem is that Google is collaborating with these
libraries to "digitally copy and reproduce books and the visual
works therein from their collections and distribute and display
this content through Google Book Search."

Additionally, Google has shared those digital copies with others,
and the company provides the scanning technology that permits the
aforementioned books (along with the soon-to-be added collections)
to be copied, distributed and displayed.  In furtherance of
Google's mission, the company created a partner program whereby
book publishers (and periodical publishers) can give Google either
the hard or digital copies of books or periodicals (and the visual
works that they contain) that they have published.

Google has conceded that it has already scanned over 12 million
books and has identified 174 million books that it "might" seek to
copy, distribute and display.  One of Google's reasons for using
the books and periodicals -- to draw not only interested visitors
but also advertisers to its site.  Given these facts, the
plaintiffs and Class members reiterate that Google has already
reproduced various books and periodicals that contain visual works
that the plaintiffs and Class members own exclusively.
Furthermore, Google has done so and continues to do so without the
permission of the copyright holders and in violation of their
exclusive rights under the Copyright Act.

Moreover, Google has made it clear that it intends to continue
copying the books and periodicals in further development of their
online database, sell subscriptions to the database to its
institutional customers and general online consumers, and expand
future revenue streams from sales of consumer subscriptions to its
database, print on-demand services, PDF download services and
other services.

The plaintiffs claim that Google's actions have caused and will
continue to cause damage and irreversible harm to the plaintiffs,
unless Google is restrained.  The lead plaintiffs in this action
stated that they decided to take on Google because they believe
that it is their responsibility to support those artists whose
copyrighted work is, in essence, being cheapened by Google.  Mike
Borland, president of NPPA, agreed with Executive Director Mindy
Hutchinson who stated in an interview that, "it was only natural
for the association to join its peers in this suit."  Mr. Borland
added that it is crucial that they (meaning the plaintiffs) don't
"allow companies like Google to infringe upon our rights

H&R BLOCK: Faces Class Action Over Faulty Tax Returns
Jill Disis, writing Indianapolis Star, reports that a Central
Indiana woman has filed a class action lawsuit against H&R Block
on behalf of about 600,000 people affected by faulty tax returns
prepared by the tax services giant.

Lisa Marie Waugh, Plainfield, filed the case in federal court late
last month.  The suit alleges that Missouri-based H&R Block
erroneously prepared hundreds of thousands of tax returns.
Because of the errors, tax refunds were delayed up to six weeks
beyond when they were supposed to be paid.

H&R Block's filing glitch went public earlier this year, when the
company acknowledged its technical errors.  Specifically, the IRS
changed the way it processes certain yes or no questions on tax
forms this year.  Tax preparers like H&R Block used to be able to
leave a space blank to indicate "no," but now they must enter an

But H&R Block's software wasn't updated in time, and they didn't
follow the new rule.  According to an email H&R Block President
Bill Cobb sent to customers, anyone that filed their returns
before Feb. 22 was affected by the technical glitch.  Some
customers, the lawsuit says, lost their eligibility for student
loan and grant programs that depend on proper tax filings.

HANTZ FINANCIAL: Court Has Yet to Decide on Class Certification
Chad Halcom, writing for Crain's Detroit Business, reports that a
lawsuit against Southfield-based Hantz Financial Services Inc. and
several of its senior executives is on hold until the Michigan
Court of Appeals decides whether to certify it as a class action
on behalf of 300 investors.

A three-judge appellate court panel late last month put a stay on
the court case before Oakland County Circuit Judge Leo Bowman, who
had denied a request to certify a class of investors who purchased
promissory notes from Medical Capital Holdings Inc. through Hantz.

Judge Bowman, in his Jan. 28 dismissal order, said he was "left
with the distinct impression" that attorneys for plaintiff-
investor Anne Hanton filed her lawsuit mainly to get around his
ruling in their previous court case, where he already denied class
certification for another client.

The appeals court agreed to review that decision and put a stay on
the case until it could decide the certification question on its
own.  Attorneys for Ms. Hanton have told Crain's a class of claims
would exceed $20 million in potential damages, while Ms. Hanton's
case taken alone has less than a $250,000 value.

"We've gone two for two, since this is the second action against
us where class certification was denied by the courts," said David
Shea, attorney and general counsel for Hantz Financial.  "Our
position is the courts have gotten it right, and we were never
attached to any allegations that were made against Medical
Capital.  This is purely a plaintiff attorney-driven action."

Med Cap, an Anaheim, Calif.-based medical receivables financing
company, is in receivership after raising about $2.2 billion from
among 20,000 investors through nine private placement offerings of
promissory notes between 2001 and 2009.

Those sales stopped when the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission brought a civil action alleging securities fraud and
obtained a court injunction.  The Financial Industry Regulatory
Authority has sanctioned more than 10 brokerage firms and several
individuals for selling interests in Med Cap through private
placements without a reasonable investigation -- but Hantz
Financial was not one of them.

The company did sell promissory notes in the fifth Med Cap
securities offering to about 300 customers, but Mr. Shea said
Hantz had done its due diligence and the notes were still
performing at the time it sold them. It stopped selling Med Cap in
2008 after learning one of the previous sales had defaulted.

No date is set for the appellate court to decide about class

IG INVESTMENT: Davis LLP Discusses Supreme Court Ruling
Roisin Hutchinson, Esq. at Davis LLP reports that the Supreme
Court of Canada heard oral argument with respect to the Ontario
Court of Appeal decision, Fischer v IG Investment Management Ltd.,
2012 ONCA 47, [Fischer].

In Fischer, a group of mutual fund managers had made arrangements
with third parties who engaged in market timing practices.  These
third parties profited from such market timing practices and the
mutual fund managers benefitted from the market timing by earning
commissions.  The Ontario Securities Commission began proceedings
and ultimately settled the matter with an Order requiring the
mutual fund managers to pay the investors $205.6 million.

The issue on appeal to the SCC was whether the OSC proceedings and
the resulting settlement were the preferable procedure to resolve
the investors' claims, thereby precluding certification for a
class action suit under the provincial Class Proceedings Act.  The
investors' argued the $205.6 million settlement with the OSC was
not sufficient and that a class action suit was the appropriate
procedure to recover to damages above and beyond what was already
awarded by the OSC.

The Ontario Court of Appeal decided that the regulatory
proceedings run by the OSC were not the preferable procedure for
recovering damages.  Two elements were fundamental to its

First, the role of the OSC is protective and preventative, rather
than remedial or punitive.  In other words, the OSC's role is
regulatory and while it has the jurisdiction to award
compensation, it may only do so within the context of the failure
to comply with the applicable legislation and regulations.
Securities Regulators do not have the jurisdiction to award
compensation for any breach of fiduciary duty, or negligence.

Second, the Court of Appeal took the view there was a "total lack
of participation by investors in the OSC proceedings" (at para
71).  Notwithstanding the general notice provided by the OSC, none
of the affected investors were notified, none of the investors or
their counsel attended or made submissions, and all of the
substantive portions of the hearing were held in camera.  Most
important however, was the fact that the amount of the settlement
and compensation was determined without any investor participation
or any opportunity of the investors to participate.  The OSC did
not provide any details as to how the amount of the settlement was

Notably, the settlement agreements expressly allowed for a civil
suit with respect to the same proceedings and section 128 of the
Securities Act allows the court to make an order despite an order
made by the OSC pursuant to section 127.

The Supreme Court's decision will be of interest as the Court of
Appeal allows for multiple proceedings in the same matter between
the parties.  The Court of Appeal cited the following affidavit
evidence of the applicant investors in support of its conclusion:

Public enforcement by securities regulators and criminal
enforcement by criminal law authorities, as well as private
enforcement by investors through private suits and class action
proceedings all play an important role in ensuring that public
company managers and mutual fund managers act in the best
interests of shareholders and unit holders, respectively.  None of
these mechanisms is mutually exclusive (at para 48).

Although Fischer suggests the threat of a proliferation of claims
against parties already involved in regulatory proceedings,
attempts to contact investors directly by the securities
commissions, more fulsome disclosure with respect to settlement
calculations, and restricting in camera sessions to only when
necessary will go a long way towards reducing the possibility of
multiple proceedings generally, and class proceedings in

IMAX: Lerners Discusses Court Ruling on Securities Class Action
Brian N. Radnoff, Esq. and Rebecca Case, Esq. at Lerners report
that in the latest installment of Canada's first global securities
class action, Justice van Rensburg ordered that the class
definition be amended to exclude all of those individuals who did
not opt out of a settlement agreement in parallel US proceedings.

Silver v. IMAX has involved several new considerations in
securities class actions, as discussed in our previous blog
postings Considering Notice in the Unusual Circumstances of Silver
v. IMAX and The Unusual Circumstances of Silver v. IMAX - When The
Representative Plaintiff From a Parallel Proceeding Moves to
Participate.  The Canadian class definition included all
individuals who had purchased shares of IMAX on the NASDAQ and
TSX, irrespective of where they live.  The US proceeding included
only those individuals that had purchased on the NASDAQ.  While
the proceedings were not co-extensive, there are individuals who
purchased shares on the NASDAQ during the time period covered by
both proceedings who were members of both the Canadian and US

In the latest decision, 2013 ONSC 1667, Justice van Rensburg ruled
on a motion brought by the defendants to amend the class
definition in the Canadian proceeding.  The amendment was required
as a condition of the settlement in the US proceedings.  If the
amendment was not approved, then the US settlement would not
proceed.  Broadly, Justice van Rensburg's decision deals with the
Court's authority to amend the class definition, and the relevant
criteria for recognition of a US settlement approval and for
amendment of the class definition.

Justice van Rensburg reviewed the history of settlement
discussions, the US settlement approval and the information that
had been provided to overlapping class members.  The overlapping
class members had been advised in the Canadian Notice of the
proceeding that they were not excluded from the US proceedings if
they chose to remain in the Canadian class.  The same class
members were advised in the US Notice that a settlement had been
reached in the US proceedings and if they wished to partake in the
settlement that they would not be able to recover under the
Canadian proceedings.  Canadian class counsel provided input into
the form of both Notices and their contact information was
provided in both notices.

The US Court approved the settlement and there was no evidence
that there was anything unfair about the settlement or its
approval.  Ultimately, only one individual objected to the US
settlement and only 7 individuals opted out of the US proceedings.

As a result, the overlapping class members of the Canadian class
action that had accepted payment under the US settlement were to
be excluded from the Canadian class.  In essence, Justice van
Rensburg held that individuals were given fair process to exercise
a choice.  They were permitted to choose whether they wanted to
accept the certainty of what was being offered in the US
Settlement or whether they wanted to continue pursuit of
potentially larger recovery in the Canadian proceedings.  They
were not permitted to bank what was on offer in the US settlement
and hedge their bets by still participating in the Canadian class

INDIANA: Judge Grants Class Action Status to Suit v. BMV
Indianapolis Star reports that a judge has granted class-action
certification to a lawsuit alleging the Indiana Bureau of Motor
Vehicles has systematically overcharged Hoosiers for drivers'
licenses since 2007.

Marion Superior Court Judge Heather Welch approved the class
status in the case, which was filed in March.  The judge's ruling
means she found the single lawsuit, rather than individual cases,
a better option for resolving the issue potentially affecting a
large number of people.

The lawsuit filed by Irwin B. Levin of the Indianapolis law firm
Cohen & Malad claims the BMV collected tens of millions of dollars
more than allowed under state law from Hoosiers younger than 75.
It contends the overcharges ranged from $4 to $7 more than
allowed.  Drivers 75 and older obtain a different type of license,
Mr. Levin said, and the suit does not challenge charges for those

In 2012, the suit alleges, 2.2 million Indiana driver's licenses
expired and required renewal.  If all those licenses were renewed
and drivers were overcharged by the lowest amount alleged in the
suit, the BMV would have collected $8.8 million more than allowed
by law last year.

When the suit was filed, BMV spokesman Dennis Rosebrough said the
agency had no comment.

"Since the issue is now in the courts," he said at the time in an
email to The Indianapolis Star, "that becomes the venue for the

According to WISH, the suit seeks more than $30 million in

"The certification of this class means the lawsuit can move
forward," Mr. Levin said in a statement.  "We intend to save
taxpayer money by moving the case quickly and resolving this
lawsuit by the end of the year. Hoosiers deserve to get their
money back and we're going to work hard to make that happen."

A BMV spokesman has previously declined to comment on the lawsuit,
citing the agency's policy on pending litigation.

ISATORI INC: Defends "Tabibnia" Suit Over Sale of hCG Activator
iSATORI, Inc., is defending a class action lawsuit brought by Arya
Tabibnia over the sale of its hCG Activator natural hCG
alternative, according to the Company's April 16, 2013, Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
year ended December 31, 2012.

Arya Tabibnia brought a class action complaint against the
Company, which was filed on August 6, 2012, in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of California (the
"Tabibnia Action"), claiming the Company's sale of its hCG
Activator natural hCG alternative (the "Product") violated the
California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and certain other
provisions of California state law.  The Company also received
letters from GNC, Corp. and Vitamin Shoppe, Inc., demanding the
Company indemnify them pursuant to their respective vendor
agreements.  The Company is contractually obligated to indemnify
both GNC, Corp. and Vitamin Shoppe, Inc. and will fulfill those

iSATORI, Inc., is engaged in researching, designing, developing,
contracting for the manufacture of, marketing, selling and
distributing of various nutritional and dietary supplement
products for the general nutrition market.  The Company was
incorporated in Delaware and is headquartered in Golden, Colorado.

ISATORI INC: Defends "Tawnsaura" Patent Infringement Class Suit
iSATORI, Inc., is defending itself against a class action lawsuit
filed by D Tawnsaura alleging patent infringement, according to
the Company's April 16, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

D Tawnsaura brought a class action complaint against the Company
and 56 other retailers/distributors for infringement of a patented
ingredient "Citriline Malate."  This ingredient is utilized by the
Company in certain of its product formulations.  The court ordered
the plaintiffs to resubmit their complaint and make it legally
sufficient, which occurred on October 31, 2012.  The Company and
many of the other defendants are contesting the alleged patent
position of the plaintiff; accordingly, discovery in this matter
has been stayed pending the resolution of this issue.

iSATORI, Inc., is engaged in researching, designing, developing,
contracting for the manufacture of, marketing, selling and
distributing of various nutritional and dietary supplement
products for the general nutrition market.  The Company was
incorporated in Delaware and is headquartered in Golden, Colorado.

ISATORI INC: Plaintiff Has Voluntarily Dismissed "Grube" Suit
iSATORI, Inc., disclosed in its April 16, 2013, Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year
ended December 31, 2012, that Jeffrey Grube has voluntarily
dismissed his class action lawsuit.

Jeffrey Grube brought a class action lawsuit against three firms,
including the Company, based on the defendants' alleged marketing,
distribution, or sales of products purporting to contain human
chorionic gonadotropin ("hCG") or a natural hCG alternative.  The
case is referred to as Jeffrey Grube v. GNC, iSatori Technologies
LLC, and HCG Platinum, LLC, Case No. 11-1005, filed August 4,
2011, in United States District Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania.  Grube claims that the defendants engaged in
deceptive trade practices in violation of numerous state consumer
protection laws, breached express warranties, and were unjustly

The Company received a letter from GNC Corp., demanding the
Company indemnify GNC Corp. pursuant to a distribution agreement
between the Company and GNC Corp.  The Company is contractually
obligated to indemnify GNC Corp and will fulfill that

The action has been dismissed voluntarily by the plaintiff; the
Company believes that the claims represented by this action may
ultimately be included in the claims advanced in the lawsuit filed
by Arya Tabibnia.  As a result, no other actions are planned by
the Company on this matter.

iSATORI, Inc., is engaged in researching, designing, developing,
contracting for the manufacture of, marketing, selling and
distributing of various nutritional and dietary supplement
products for the general nutrition market.  The Company was
incorporated in Delaware and is headquartered in Golden, Colorado.

JOLLY GOOD: FSIS Lists Stores That Received Recalled Products
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection
Service disclosed that certain stores in various states received
7-oz. packages of "Jolly Good Melton Mowbray Brand Pie" products
that have been recalled by Jolly Good Meat Products.

The FSIS says the list of store locations may not include all
retail locations that have received the recalled product or may
include retail locations that did not actually receive the
recalled product.  Therefore, the FSIS says, it is important that
consumers use the product-specific identification information
available at http://is.gd/rwEk79,in addition to the list of
retail stores, to check meat or poultry products in the consumers'
possession to see if they have been recalled.

    Nationwide, State-Wide, or Area-Wide Distribution
    Retailer Name      Location
    -------------      --------
    Head King Meat     Santa Monica, California
    Hare & Hound       Thousand Oaks, California

KID BRANDS: Appeal From "Rahman" Suit Dismissal Remains Pending
An appeal from the dismissal of the class action lawsuit styled
Shah Rahman v. Kid Brands, Inc., et al., remains pending,
according to the Company's April 16, 2013, Form 10-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On March 22, 2011, a complaint was filed in the United States
District Court, District of New Jersey, encaptioned Shah Rahman v.
Kid Brands, et al. (the "Putative Class Action").  The Putative
Class Action was brought by one plaintiff on behalf of a putative
class of all those who purchased or otherwise acquired KID's
common stock between specified dates.  In addition to KID, various
executives, and members and former members of KID's Board, were
named as defendants.

The Putative Class Action alleged one claim for relief pursuant to
Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended
(the "Exchange Act"), and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and a
second claim pursuant to the Exchange Act, claiming generally that
the Company and/or the other defendants issued materially false
and misleading statements during the relevant time period
regarding compliance with customs laws, the Company's financial
reports and internal controls.  The Putative Class Action did not
state the size of the putative class.  The Putative Class Action
sought compensatory damages but did not quantify the amount of
damages sought.  The Putative Class Action also sought unspecified
extraordinary and injunctive relief, the costs and disbursements
of the lawsuit, including attorneys' and experts' fees and costs,
and such equitable relief as the court deemed just and proper.  By
order dated July 26, 2011, Shah Rahman was appointed lead
plaintiff pursuant to Section 21D (a) (3) (B) of the Exchange Act.

On September 26, 2011, an amended complaint was filed by the lead
plaintiff which asserted additional allegations, extended the
putative class to all those who purchased or otherwise acquired
KID's common stock between March 26, 2010, and August 16, 2011,
and eliminated several of the named defendants other than KID,
Bruce G. Crain (KID's former CEO), Guy A. Paglinco (KID's CFO) and
Raphael Benaroya (KID's current chairman and CEO, and at the time
the amended complaint was filed, KID's interim Executive
Chairman).  The amended complaint was dismissed without prejudice
against Raphael Benaroya by a Notice of Voluntary Dismissal filed
by the lead plaintiff on October 21, 2011, and so ordered by the
Court on October 25, 2011.

On November 10, 2011, KID and individual defendants Bruce G. Crain
and Guy A. Paglinco (collectively "Defendants") moved to dismiss
the amended complaint pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
9(b) and 12(b)(6) and the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act, 15 U.S.C. Section 74u-4.  On March 7, 2012, the Court issued
an opinion and order granting Defendants' motions to dismiss the
amended complaint without prejudice.  The Court ordered that
plaintiff may file another amended complaint with sixty (60) days
of the March 7th Order.

On May 7, 2012, the lead plaintiff filed a second amended
complaint that named the Company, Bruce G. Crain, Guy A. Paglinco,
and Raphael Benaroya as defendants.  The second amended complaint
repeats the same claims for relief and many of the allegations of
the previous complaints in the action, but contains new
allegations that, among other things, the Company and/or the other
defendants issued materially false and misleading statements
during the relevant time period regarding custom law violations
and safety violations regarding certain of its products.  The
relief demanded and the class period are each the same as in the
first amended complaint.

All of the defendants in the Putative Class Action filed motions
to dismiss the current complaint on June 29, 2012. On October 17,
2012, the United States District Court for the District of New
Jersey granted the defendants' motion to dismiss such complaint
with prejudice.  On November 14, 2012, the plaintiff filed a
Notice of Appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third
Circuit from the judgment of the U.S. District Court, which appeal
is currently pending.

The Company intends to continue to defend the Putative Class
Action vigorously.  No amounts have been accrued in connection
therewith, although legal costs are being expensed as incurred.
As the Company has satisfied the deductible under its applicable
insurance policy, the Company has been receiving reimbursement of
substantially all of the legal costs being incurred, which
receivables are netted against the expense.

Kid Brands, Inc. -- http://www.kidbrands.com/-- is designer,
importer, marketer and distributor of branded infant and juvenile
consumer products.  The Company is headquartered in East
Rutherford, New Jersey.

KID BRANDS: Cert. Bid Briefing in Wage and Hour Suit Continued
The Superior Court of the State of California for the County of
Los Angeles continued for further briefing a motion for class
certification in the wage and hour class action lawsuit against a
subsidiary of Kid Brands, Inc., according to the Company's
April 16, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the year ended December 31, 2012.

On November 3, 2011, a complaint was filed in the Superior Court
of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles,
encaptioned Guadalupe Navarro v. Kids Line, LLC (the "Wages and
Hours Action").  The Wages and Hours Action was brought by one
plaintiff on behalf of a putative class for damages and equitable
relief for: (i) failure to pay minimum, contractual and/or
overtime wages (including for former employees with respect to
their final wages), and failure to provide adequate meal breaks,
in each case based on defendant's time tracking system and
automatic deduction and related policies; (ii) statutory penalties
for failure to provide accurate wage statements; (iii) waiting
time penalties in the form of continuation wages for failure to
timely pay terminated employees; and (iv) penalties under the
Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA).  The Plaintiff seeks wages
for all hours worked, overtime wages for all overtime worked,
statutory penalties under Labor Code Section 226(e), and Labor
Code Section 203, restitution for unfair competition under
Business and Professions Code Section 17203 of all monies owed,
compensation for missed meal breaks, and injunctive relief.  The
complaint also seeks unspecified liquidated and other damages,
statutory penalties, reasonable attorney's fees, costs of lawsuit,
interest, and such other relief as the court deems just and
proper.  Although the total amount claimed is not set forth in the
complaint, the complaint asserts that the plaintiff and the class
members are not seeking more than $4.9 million in damages at this
time (with a statement that plaintiff will amend his complaint in
the event that the plaintiff and class members' claims exceed $4.9

On January 30, 2013, the Court denied the plaintiff's motion for
class certification with respect to two of the proposed classes
and continued for further briefing the motion for class
certification with respect to the remaining proposed classes.

The Company says it intends to vigorously defend the Wages and
Hours Action.  Based on currently available information, the
Company cannot currently estimate the amount of the loss (or range
of loss), if any, in connection therewith.  As a result, no
amounts have been accrued in connection therewith, although legal
costs are being expensed as incurred.

Kid Brands, Inc. -- http://www.kidbrands.com/-- is designer,
importer, marketer and distributor of branded infant and juvenile
consumer products.  The Company is headquartered in East
Rutherford, New Jersey.

NAT'L COLLEGIATE: Delany Says No Settlement for Licensing Suit
Patrick Vint, writing for SBNation.com, reports that college
athletics could be turned upside down by a federal judge on
June 20.  Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany says there should be "no
compromise on it" and has threatened to take his multi-billion
dollar conference into Division III if his side were to lose it
(he's since walked that back).  Grantland's estimable Charles
Pierce calls it a meteor aimed at collegiate athletics.  The Daily
Show is snarkily sniping at the NCAA over it.

But as the calendar turns to May 2013, where does Ed O'Bannon's
case against the NCAA stand?

                           The Overview

In re: NCAA Student-Athlete Name & Likeness Licensing Litigation
(a/k/a O'Bannon v. NCAA) is an antitrust lawsuit brought by former
UCLA Bruins basketball player Ed O'Bannon against the NCAA for
using the likeness of past and present players in a variety of
products, including the EA Sports college video games.  The
strange case name is due to the fact that the O'Bannon case was
consolidated with one filed by former Nebraska quarterback
Sam Keller, in which Mr. Keller alleged that EA Sports was using
his likeness and that of his former teammates in its video games.

Mr. O'Bannon alleges that the waiver the NCAA requires athletes to
sign forking over their names and images for use by the
organization is a "contract of adhesion," or a contract signed
without negotiation.  When the NCAA and EA Sports create a game
with Mr. O'Bannon's likeness, the former player alleges, they are
conspiring to set the value of his likeness at zero, when that
likeness could potentially draw more from another game developer
on the open market.

There are plenty of primers on the case as a whole available for
review, including our own Robert Wheel's summary from January and
a more in-depth overview from John Infante and company last year.

                         The Class Action

The plaintiffs have brought their suit as a class action, which
would allow them to litigate the suit in the shoes of other
aggrieved parties, namely other players.  Their damages, in and of
themselves, are relatively small.  Mr. O'Bannon made an appearance
in an NCAA video game as part of a legendary team.  Mr. Keller
alleges his likeness was used in NCAA Football games.  Neither was
likely to get rich on the sale of that likeness to another

But the entirety of NCAA players, as a whole, would be an entirely
different ballgame.  Rather than having each person go through his
or her own separate litigation and incur thousands of dollars in
costs and fees for their small cuts of the pie, the class action
would allow them to be adjudicated in aggregate, all represented
by O'Bannon, the other few named plaintiffs, and their attorneys.

Class certification -- that is, the Federal Court approving the
class's scope and affirming that it meets the specific legal
guidelines for a class -- has been the primary fight since the
action was commenced.  If the NCAA successfully fights class
certification, the lawsuits would go away for less than the NCAA
spends on Miami bankruptcy attorneys.  If the class is certified,
the NCAA would be faced with the difficult decision to either cave
on the entire business model of "amateurism" in a settlement or go
to trial and potentially face a crippling award of damages.

                        The January Order

Originally, the lawsuits had been brought solely by former
student-athletes like Mr. Keller, Mr. O'Bannon, and Oscar
Robertson.  The lawsuit completely changed course in August, when
the plaintiffs amended their claims to include current players
(saying that any damages due to them could be held in trust until
their eligibility had run out).  Despite the NCAA's vehement
arguments against this change in tack, U.S. District Court of
Northern California Judge Claudia Wilken, the judge overseeing the
matter, issued a ruling in January allowing all players to be
included as potential class action plaintiffs.

That decision altered the entire case for one obvious reason: The
plaintiffs had been working under a four-year statute of
limitations for damages.  In other words, the former players could
only collect damages incurred within four years of the
commencement of the lawsuit.  Former players don't turn up in NCAA
video games or on team jerseys all that often.  Current players --
or at least their uniform number, height, weight, and hometown
information -- do, meaning the NCAA's potential damage payout
increased exponentially overnight.

There was a second ruling in Judge Wilken's January order that
could have even greater impact: The case extended to live
broadcasts.  That means the NCAA, individual conferences, and
television networks could be potential parties and liable for
antitrust damages.  Given that antitrust decisions are subject to
treble damages -- you take the verdict from the jury and triple
it, essentially -- a bad result could now bankrupt the NCAA and/or
the conferences.

                        The June Hearing

After the January decision, Judge Wilken allowed the parties to
file additional papers arguing for or against certification, with
a hearing set for June 20 to decide the issue.  The NCAA filed a
brief opposing class certification in March, and the plaintiffs
replied.  During the May 2 NFL Draft, the NCAA released a
statement about the plaintiff's brief and sounded extremely
confident in winning.  The important passage from that statement
was this:

The plaintiffs even concede the NCAA is correct on most points,
but ask the court to ignore the dramatic differences among
student-athletes and across sports, across colleges and
universities, across conferences, across state laws, and across
available financial resources and to create an entirely new model
and order the implementation of unions for select college student-

This is not the NCAA's first class action rodeo.  In 2004, former
Washington Huskies walk-on Andy Carroll filed a class action suit
against the NCAA, alleging that scholarship limits acted as a
restraint on trade that prevented him and other walk-ons from
receiving scholarships to play collegiate sports.  Mr. Carroll
alleged that Washington coaches told him he would have received a
scholarship had there not been an NCAA-imposed limit, forcing him
to pay the tuition, room and board that otherwise would have been
given to him.

Mr. Carroll's attempts to certify a class were eventually denied
when a judge found that the potential class members were
substantially different, in that there was no way of determining
which athletes would actually receive scholarships had there been
no limitations.  It is this claim -- that the proposed
Mr. O'Bannon class members are substantially different in their
entitlement to, and amount of, damages -- that lies at the heart
of the NCAA's efforts to stop class certification and effectively
terminate the O'Bannon case.

The NCAA again used this argument against class certification in a
more recent claim.  In White v. NCAA, former Stanford football
player Jason White and three other former BCS-conference athletes
filed a class action claim against the NCAA, challenging the
NCAA's cap on grant-in-aid scholarships as a restraint on trade.
As it had in Mr. Carroll, the NCAA claimed that the potential
members of the class action were too dissimilar to maintain a
single class.

The class in White, however, included two key differences. First,
it was limited to players in sports and conferences in which the
NCAA makes its money: Football and men's basketball in the major
and high mid-major conferences.  Second, it included a claim that
all players could make: That the grant-in-aid scholarship cap did
not allow for full cost of attendance.  As the presiding judge
explained in certifying the class:

Plaintiffs argue that demand for student-athletes, coupled with
the ability of student-athletes to generate substantial revenues
for their institutions, demonstrates that all or nearly all of the
student athletes in the proposed class would receive far more than
the COA if schools had unfettered discretion to award athletics-
based financial aid.  Stated in terms of economics, Plaintiffs
argue that even the marginal player commands a value greater than
his COA.  If true, then the NCAA's charge of intra-class conflict
is impotent.  Each class member would deserve damages based on the
difference between his GlA amount and his COA.  The Court sees no
actual conflict of interest which at this time would preclude
class certification.

This is why Mr. O'Bannon's central allegation -- that the NCAA and
its partners collaborated to set the value of players' likenesses
at zero, while reaping tens of millions of dollars in contracts
with a video game company that literally advertises that "if it's
in the game, it's in the game" -- is so important.  The NCAA's
contracts and the contents of the games in question are proof of
some value in player likenesses.  Even if that is a nominal amount
-- as it may be for Messrs. O'Bannon and Keller -- there is still
a value greater than zero dollars.

                So Why Is the NCAA So Confident?

Good question.  So far, the NCAA has gotten its lunch handed to it
in this case.

The court denied an initial motion to dismiss the entire case, a
tactic the NCAA used to snuff out an earlier suit brought by a
Rice football player regarding one-year scholarships before class
certification could even begin.  And the court granted the
plaintiffs' attempt to expand the suit in January.

After both of those events, and repeatedly throughout the
intervening period of time, the NCAA has released a series of
defiant statements.  Perhaps they believe they are in the right.
Perhaps they are putting on a brave face.  But Donald Remy's
prepared statement from May 2 dismissing the plaintiffs' claims as
erroneous and false is par for the course.
The aftermath

If the NCAA wins on June 20 and class certification is denied, it
might not be the end of the road for the likeness claims.

A denial of class certification would not terminate the claims of
Messrs. O'Bannon, Keller, Robertson, or the other former players
who joined the case, and those claims could either settle out of
court or proceed to trial.  If they were to make it to the
courtroom, we could get a determination of whether the NCAA is, in
fact, licensing player likenesses in violation of antitrust laws,
and a victory for Mr. O'Bannon and company could mean a cascade of
new lawsuits.  Minor players likely do not have enough damages to
bring a suit, but some -- looking at you, Johnny Football --

If the NCAA loses and the class is certified, the entire model of
collegiate athletics is in danger, as detailed elsewhere.

Damages could be in the hundreds of millions of dollars and lead
to the final dismantling of the organization.  On the other hand,
a positive verdict on the merits is the best result the NCAA could
hope to obtain, as it would affirm its own business model.  This
is why Mr. Delany is so sure there won't be a settlement.  June 20
may not be judgment day, but it's the first big step toward that
judgment in months.

NETFLIX INC: Court Denies Bid for Attorney's Fees in "Cullen" Suit
District Judge Edward J. Davila denied a motions for payment of
attorney's fees and cost in the lawsuit captioned DONALD CULLEN,
on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v. NETFLIX, INC., Defendant, Case No. 5:11-CV-01199-EJD, (N.D.

This putative class action was initiated by Mr. Cullen, a deaf
individual, on March 11, 2011.  The Plaintiff had argued that
Netflix, an online provider of video programming, provided
insufficient accommodations to deaf subscribers and a lack of
adequate support tools for deaf persons.

In an order dated January 10, 2013, the Court dismissed in its
entirety without leave to amend, a third amended version of the
Complaint which dropped, among other things, claims asserting
violation of California Disabled Persons Act (DPA).  The Court
entered judgment in favor of Netflix.  The Plaintiff filed a
Notice of Appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on
January 14, 2013.

The parties filed their Motions for Attorney's Fees on February 7,
2013, with the Plaintiff seeking $262,641 in fees and $2,167.35 in
costs, and Netflix seeking $167,074.59 in fees.

"Congress has legislated that in certain cases prevailing parties
may recover their attorneys' fees from the opposing side," notes
Judge Davila.

"Plaintiff was not a 'prevailing' or 'successful' party for the
purpose of attorney's fees," the judge says.  The Court also
determined that the Defendant has not "prevailed" on the DPA claim
for the purposes of awarding attorney's fees.

Accordingly, Judge Davila denied Mr. Cullen's and Netflix's
motions for Attorney's Fees.

A copy of the District Court's May 1, 2013 Order is available at
http://is.gd/qiq31ifrom Leagle.com.

NUTRA PHARMA: Dismissed as Defendant in "Travers" Class Suit
Nutra Pharma Corp. was dismissed in August 2012 as defendant in
the class action lawsuit commenced by Dustin Travers, according to
the Company's April 16, 2013, Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

On March 7, 2012, XenaCare Holdings and Nutra Pharma were named as
Defendants in the proposed Class Action filed in the Superior
Court of California captioned Dustin Travers v. XenaCare Holdings,
Inc., et al.  Dustin Travers alleges that the marketing of the
Homeopathic drug, Cobroxin, included false and misleading
statements regarding the product's efficacy for the relief of
chronic pain.  Most of the lawsuit is a diatribe against the
entire concept of homeopathy and states, incorrectly, that cobra
venom has never been proven scientifically as a pain reliever.  On
August 10, 2012, the parties reached a settlement whereby the
lawsuit would be dismissed against Nutra Pharma in return for
$16,500 payable in 6 monthly payments of $2,750 beginning on
August 20, 2012, with the last payment due on January 20, 2013.
As part of the settlement, the Company will also make certain
label changes to the Cobroxin packaging that better explain the
product as a Homeopathic drug.  Nutra Pharma was dismissed as a
Defendant with prejudice on August 14, 2012.

Nutra Pharma Corp. was incorporated in California in 2000 and is
headquartered in Coral Springs, Florida.  The Company is a
biopharmaceutical company that engages in the acquisition,
licensing and commercialization of pharmaceutical products and
technologies as well as homeopathic and ethical drugs for the
management of pain, neurological disorders, cancer, autoimmune and
infectious diseases.

PRUDENTIAL PLC: Jackson Records GBP8MM Accrual for Class Action
Prudential Public Limited Company's business unit, Jackson
National Life Insurance Company, at March 28, 2013, recorded an
accrual of GBP8 million for class action litigation, according to
the Company's April 16, 2013, Form 20-F filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the year ended
December 31, 2012.

Jackson National Life Insurance Company is involved as a defendant
in class action and other litigation substantially similar to
class action and other litigation pending against many life
insurance companies including a modal premium case and allegation
of misconduct in the sale and administration of insurance
products.  Jackson generally accrues a liability for legal
contingencies with respect to pending litigation once management
determines that the contingency is probable and estimable.

Accordingly, at March 28, 2013, Jackson had recorded an accrual of
GBP8 million for class action litigation (December 31, 2012: GBP18
million).  Management, based on developments to date, believes
that the ultimate disposition of the litigation is not likely to
have a material impact on Jackson's financial condition or results
of operations.

Prudential plc -- http://www.prudential.co.uk/-- is an
international financial services group, with significant
operations in Asia, the United States and the United Kingdom.  The
London-based Company has been in existence for over 160 years,
serves around 24 million insurance customers globally.

ROYAL BANK: Strathclyde Pension Fund Won't Join Class Action
Colin Donald, writing for Sunday Herald, reports that Strathclyde
Pension Fund, one of Europe's largest superannuation funds, has
ruled out joining the Royal Bank of Scotland Action Group, a
GBP4 billion UK-based class action against the bank, and is
considering joining a rival action led by international litigation
specialists, the Sunday Herald can reveal.

The GBP11 billion fund invested GBP9 million in response to RBS's
April 2008 rights issue, five months before the bank's near-
collapse necessitated a GBP45 billion taxpayer bail-out.

The SPF -- the pooled retirement fund of 180,000 past and present
employees of 12 west of Scotland local authorities, as well as
Scottish Water, various colleges and Strathclyde Passenger
Transport -- is understood to have lost up to GBP50 million when
RBS shares plummeted to 15p in January 2009.

A spokesman for the SPF said: "We have held discussions with both
actions and continue to monitor developments closely."

However, sources within the fund have confirmed that SPF "had a
look at [RBSAG] and we decided not to sign up during the first
quarter of this year".

Thought to be worth GBP200 million, the second group -- launched
in March and led by Dutch investment bank ING -- is represented by
international litigation-only legal firm Stewarts Law.  RBSAG is
asking members to pay an upfront fee equivalent to around 1% of
losses, whereas the free-to-join Stewarts Law group proposes to
retain around one-third of any award by the court.

SPF's decision to shun RBSAG, which began its legal proceedings in
April, comes as a major blow to the UK-dominated group.  There are
fears that Strathclyde's decision will influence other big public
sector schemes.

One highly placed source in the UK group said: "We can't
understand why they wouldn't want to join us.  Having been keen,
they suddenly said, 'No we are not going to participate in this.'"

Led by City lawyer Bird & Bird, RBSAG claims to represent large
and small shareholders collectively holding GBP4 billion's worth
of the total GBP12 billion of shareholder value destroyed by RBS's
collapse.  Claimants include around 12,000 individuals and 120
large institutions, including Deutsche Bank.

The group alleges that RBS "tricked" investors by misrepresenting
the underlying strength of the bank prior to the GBP12 billion
rights issue in April 2008.  It claims that the "true purpose" of
the rights issue was, in fact, a response to pressure from the
Financial Services Authority to shore up a balance sheet
critically damaged by the acquisition of Dutch bank ABN Amro.

The group also claims that RBS did not disclose its capital ratios
as it was obliged to do, failed to make write-downs in relation to
ABN Amro, did not disclose flawed risk management systems and
failed to disclose reliance on $12 billion (GBP7.7 billion) in
loans from the US Federal Reserve.

The Stewarts Law group's 21 claimants also include a string of
international funds from Germany, Italy, Switzerland and
Luxembourg who are collectively suing RBS under Section 90 of the
Financial Services and Markets Act 2000.

A spokesman for Stewarts Law said: "The claimants allege that the
prospectus on which the rights issue was based was defective, in
that it contained material mis-statements and omissions."

RBS declined to comment on litigation by shareholder groups.

However, in its first quarter interim management statement, RBS
acknowledged notification of prospective claims in the UK High
Court and in the Netherlands against the bank and "certain former
individual officers and directors", including Fred Goodwin (chief
executive), Sir Tom McKillop (chairman), Johnny Cameron
(investment banking chief) and Guy Whittaker (finance director).

In the same document, the bank updated the market on other
outstanding "litigation, investigations and reviews" involving
potential liabilities.

The three-page summary includes references to fines related to
Libor-fixing; FSA enforcement action resulting from the June 2012
IT failure; a European anti-trust investigation into credit
default swaps, and two US investigations.

SEGA CORP: Says Class Suit Over Aliens Gameplay Demo Without Merit
Matt Maguire, writing for Gameplanet New Zealand, reports that a
class action lawsuit that claims the gameplay demo for Aliens:
Colonial Marines amounted to false advertising has been dismissed
by the defendants as "without merit".

The lawsuit alleges that Sega and Gearbox knowingly misled the
public by claiming that the game's trade show demos were "actual
gameplay", when in reality they contained many features that were
absent in the finished product.

"Sega cannot comment on specifics of ongoing litigation, but we
are confident that the lawsuit is without merit and we will defend
it vigorously," Sega told Kotaku.

Gearbox's response to the lawsuit was along the same lines.

"Attempting to wring a class action lawsuit out of a demonstration
is beyond meritless.  We continue to support the game, and will
defend the rights of entertainers to share their works-in-progress
without fear of frivolous litigation," it said.

However, there has previously been acknowledgment from both
companies that the game was not up to scratch.

Subsequent to a complaint lodged with the Advertising Standards
Authority in the UK, Sega acknowledged its trailers were
"misleading", and agreed to add disclaimers both to the game's
website, and to the game's trailers on YouTube clarifying that the
content shown was demonstrative only.

Similarly, immediately following complaints about the
discrepancies between the demo and finished game, Gearbox boss
Randy Pitchford said, "That is understood and fair and we are
looking at that."

Colonial Marines co-developer TimeGate recently filed for
bankruptcy protection.

According to Gaming Blend's William Usher, a Sega representative
said . . .

"Sega cannot comment on specifics of ongoing litigation, but we
are confident that the lawsuit is without merit and we will defend
it vigorously."

Gearbox Software also had someone comment on the ongoing
litigation and issued a damage controlled response to Kotaku,
stating . . .

"Attempting to wring a class action lawsuit out of a demonstration
is beyond meritless.  We continue to support the game, and will
defend the rights of entertainers to share their works-in-progress
without fear of frivolous litigation."

Furthermore, Jim Sterling from Destructoid and some of Kotaku's
own interviewed some of these employees and found that the final
version of Aliens: Colonial Marines that was released to the
public was finished in nine months time by Gearbox Studios, and
had no ties to the E3 2011 vertical slice, which was designed
entirely by TimeGate Studios, a company who recently filed for
bankruptcy protection.  In essence, what was demoed to the public
and what was released were literally two completely different
projects, with the E3 2011 slice being the main media vehicle
throughout the promotional campaign for Aliens: Colonial Marines.

There's plenty of merit to the lawsuit based on what's publicly
available for anyone to read up about regarding the development
and promotion of Aliens: Colonial Marines.  What's more is that if
any employee from any of the involved parties decide to testify,
it would only make matters worse for both Gearbox and Sega.

SP AUSNET: Black Saturday Fire Victims Give New Evidence
Sue Hewitt of Northern Weekly reports on new evidence given by
four of the 10,000 Black Saturday victims in a class action
against power company, SP AusNet.

Carol Matthews and her husband Dave moved from England in 2001 to
an 1860s homestead on eight hectares in the peaceful hills of St
Andrews to give their children Sam and Ellie a different life in
the bush.  Father and son embraced the rural life and joined the
CFA for several years, expecting to be alerted to fire danger.
But Carol told a Supreme Court hearing into Black Saturday that on
the day it mattered the most, authorities did not issue adequate

Carol and Dave were holidaying in Inverloch, 150 kilometers from
St Andrews, on Black Saturday -- the day an inferno took their
22-year-old son's life.

In Kinglake, Jenny and Mick Clark were planning to head to Tathra
on the New South Wales coast on Sunday, February 8 -- they never
made it.  On that Sunday, they were in hospital with horrendous
burns, and had lost their son, two grandchildren and two

In Kinglake West, retired soldier Darrin Gibson, his wife and
three children were enjoying family time, while in Upper Plenty,
speedboat racer Steve Lackas, his wife Sandra and son Bailey had
ponies and chooks to tend to.

On Friday, February 6, the Clark's daughter Becky Buchanan brought
her youngest child, Neeve, 9, to stay with them in Kinglake
because Becky was working at the Whittlesea Country Music Festival
the next day.  On the morning of Black Saturday, Jenny and Mick
went shopping in Yarra Glen with Neeve, leaving their son, Danny,

About noon the same day, Darrin Gibson and his wife Leslie Leahy
put their children Kiona, 4, Jye, 3, and Ava, 1, to bed for a nap.
The couple also dozed in the sweltering heat.  The former soldier
has post-traumatic stress disorder and avoided television because
it triggered memories of service in Iraq, but he was listening to
the radio for signs of danger.

By early afternoon, two CFA men warned Sandra and her husband
Steve Lackas of fire danger, but "I didn't feel a great urgency",
Sandra told the court.

She left with her son Bailey, then 7, and drove to Whittlesea, but
Steve insisted on staying to defend their Upper Plenty home of
12 years.  About 15 to 20 minutes later, at 2:35 p.m., she called
Steve.  "He said there was fire all around and the hay shed had
caught on fire," she told the court.  It was the last time they
spoke.  Despite Sandra's repeated attempts to ring him, the phone
went unanswered.

Steve Lackas was the first of 173 victims to die on Black
Saturday.  The Bushfire Royal Commission found he died shortly
after 3:00 p.m. inside his burnt out Upper Plenty house.

Around the same time, about 40 kilometers away at the Clark's
Kinglake home, their son-in-law Ross Buchanan arrived with two of
his kids, McKenzie, 15, and Aidan, 13, in tow to join their sister
Neeve and stay at their grandparents' "safe" house.

He brought the family treasures, photos, jewellery, papers and his
dog, Jazz.  According to Jenny Clark's evidence to court, Ross
Buchanan came "because we were told we were a safe house".
Neighbors Penny Chambers, 21, and her sister Melanie, 23, believed
so too, and brought their animals along.

By late afternoon Darrin Gibson heard about a fire at Kinglake
West on the radio and raced to the top of his driveway.  The
nearest flames were 200 meters away.  At 4:37 p.m. he called the
police who said the family couldn't flee to Whittlesea because the
road was closed.  Then nearby trees ignited and he told his family
to go back inside and lie on the floor.  Soon after Darrin grabbed
his two youngest and dragged his wife outside.  Leslie raced back
in to rescue her eldest, Kiona.  She later received a posthumous
bravery award.

The couple fled the house, seeking safety at the fence line, and
then behind some trees.

"Get to the dam!" Darrin told Leslie, but at some point he saw her
on the ground cuddling Kiona, saying "I can't move".

It was 20 meters to the dam.  Darrin's shoes and feet were
melting, he was dropping the two youngest children so he sat Jye
on a wet towel and raced Ava to the dam and threw her in.  Darrin
went back for Jye, but couldn't find him.  He crawled into the
puddle of a dam, about 26 centimeters deep, with Ava: "I knew they
[his wife and two other children] had passed away."

In Inverloch, Carol and Dave Matthews did not have access to the
internet, but their son Sam was at home in St Andrews monitoring
the internet for fire danger.  Early in the day he assured them
there were no fire alerts.

But Sam rang his mother at 5:22 p.m. and said: "I think it's time
for you and dad to come home now.  Things could get bad here."

Before Carol could ask for clarification, Sam broke in; "Oh, my
god, a tree is on fire . . . it's just exploded."  His voice
changed, he panicked. "There's fire everywhere," he said.  As her
husband "bolted for the door" to return to Sam, Carol heard a loud
popping in the background on the phone.  All the windows had
exploded.  Carol told Sam to follow the fire plan and told him
she'd ring 000.  She couldn't get through.  She rang Sam back
about 15 times without success.  He had died within moments of
their last conversation.

Jenny Clark thinks it may have been 5:30 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. when
fire hit their Kinglake home; she didn't see it coming.  "The
front door caught on fire and that was the first we knew," she
told the court.  "My dog caught on fire, the smoke alarms were
going, [and] the cat screaming."

Mick Clark and his son, Danny, were "furiously" hosing inside the
house without effect and Mick called for Jenny and Aidan to run
outside.  They did, but couldn't get to Neeve, McKenzie or the
Chambers sisters who were still inside, despite breaking a window
and yelling for them to follow.  They tried other areas but "the
flames were just too big, too ferocious".  Jenny Clark was left
with burns to 40 per cent of her body.

As dawn broke the next day, Jenny and Mick Clark had lost their
son, Danny; grandchildren, McKenzie and Neeve, and neighbours, the
Chambers sisters.  Their grandson, Aidan, survived.

When Darrin Gibson and his baby, Ava, were rescued, he had burns
to 25 per cent of his body and had to have both burnt feet
partially amputated.  He was put in an induced coma for a month
and awoke to find his daughter had passed away two days after the

Carol Matthews told the court: "One of my biggest fears was that
he [her son Sam] was alive but burnt and that he was on the
property but couldn't get out."  She repeatedly asked authorities
at road blocks the day after Black Saturday to let her through,
telling them "my baby is up there".  When Sam's body was recovered
she asked what "condition" he was in.  "You don't want to know,"
she was told.  Carol Matthews told Justice Jack Forrest: "We had a
good life.  On the Friday that was all there.  By Saturday
everything was gone."

Lawyers Maurice Blackburn intend to call a further 21 lay
witnesses in the case over the East Kilmore fire that killed 119
of the 173 Black Saturday victims.

TEXAS: Ex-Henry's Turkey Service Employees File Class Action
Clark Kauffman, writing for The Des Moines Register, reports that
five former employees of Henry's Turkey Service are suing the
state of Texas in an effort to leave a nursing home that has ties
to the turkey service's founder.

The court action is part of a proposed class-action lawsuit that
could have a profound effect on states that routinely
institutionalize mentally disabled people rather than offer them
community-based support services in apartments and homes.

A total of 16 individuals, including five former residents of the
Atalissa bunkhouse run by Henry's, are currently suing Texas Gov.
Rick Perry, alleging that he and his administration are violating
state and federal laws by failing to make available services that
would enable them to move out of the nursing homes where they now

Court documents state the five former Atalissa men are living at
the Terrace West Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Midland,
which is run by Dave Johnson, the nephew of Henry's labor camp
founder T.H. Johnson.

The federal government rates Terrace West as "below average."
Last year, the home was cited for discharging a resident by
placing him in a cab and sending him to a homeless shelter with a
large assortment of medications.

The five former Atalissa bunkhouse residents who are suing Texas
were among the 32 former Henry's workers who were awarded a $240
million verdict by a federal jury in Iowa.  In that case, the U.S.
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Henry's for
discrimination, abuse and harassment.

Although the final judgment in that case is expected to be
considerably smaller due to statutory limits on damages in
discrimination cases, the verdict was a record for EEOC cases and
has been hailed nationally as a victory for the rights of the

The former Atalissa workers suing Texas -- Leonard Barefield, 68;
Leon Hall, 59; Tommy Johnson, 60; Johnny Kent, 63; and Joseph
Morrell, 69 -- have no family in the Midland area, and none of the
men have regular visitors at Terrace West.  They allegedly don't
require the 24-hour skilled nursing care offered at Terrace West,
but are in need of speech therapy and other services the home
doesn't provide.

In response to the lawsuit, the state of Texas has denied that the
plaintiffs are unnecessarily institutionalized in nursing homes.

"These are five very special gentlemen," said Steven J. Schwartz,
litigation director for the Center for Public Representation,
which is assisting the plaintiffs in the case.

"Of course, they were terribly mistreated for years in Iowa, but
they understand -- some more than others -- what this case is
about, at least generally.  Their hearts are open, and they want
for others what they want for themselves.  They know this case
could help other disabled people who are in this same situation."

The men are among dozens who, over a period of 40 years, lived in
the Atalissa bunkhouse run by Henry's Turkey Service while working
at a West Liberty plant for 41 cents an hour.

In 2008 and early 2009, Henry's began taking some of the men to
Texas and dropping them off at nursing homes such as Terrace West.

The ongoing Texas litigation is entirely separate from the EEOC
case, but could also have national implications.  The lawsuit was
filed in 2010, and the five former Atalissa men signed on as
plaintiffs seven weeks ago.

They scored a moral victory recently when the U.S. Department of
Justice intervened in the case and took their side, arguing that
Texas is violating the Americans with Disabilities Act by failing
to offer community-based alternatives to institutionalized care
for the disabled.

"This is the first instance, to my knowledge, of the federal
government intervening in a case like this that involves nursing
homes," Schwartz said.

The 16 individual plaintiffs are joined in the case by the ARC of
Texas and the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities.

In addition to Perry, the defendants include Kyle Janek, the
executive commissioner of the Texas Health and Human Services
Commission, which manages the Texas Medicaid program that pays for
both nursing home care and community-support services.

The plaintiffs argue that there are roughly 4,500 adults with
developmental disabilities now housed in Texas nursing homes and
many would be better served by living in community settings --
such as apartments, houses or small group homes -- with support
services to help meet their special needs.

They are trying to obtain the same sort of Medicaid-funded
assistance Iowa has provided 21 other bunkhouse residents who were
relocated to Waterloo in 2009.

Of those men, Frank Rodriguez now works at a Wal-Mart store, where
in 2010 he was named Associate of the Year.  He has reunited with
a former girlfriend and their daughter after 21 years apart.

Clayton "Gene" Berg lives with three other men in a rented house,
does cleaning work for the Waterloo sheriff's office, and
volunteers for Aspire, a therapeutic horse-riding program.
Preston Pate works for Goodwill, enjoys racquetball and hopes to
adopt a dog.

TIME WARNER: Appellate Court Affirms Class Action Dismissal
Judy Greenwald, writing for Business Insurance, reports that a
putative class action lawsuit charging Time Warner Cable Inc. with
false advertising, in which the plaintiffs failed to provide ads
in support of their claims against its Road Runner Internet
service, lacks "facial plausibility," says an appellate court in
affirming dismissal of the case.

Plaintiffs Jessica Fink and Brett Noia had sued New York-based
Time Warner Cable and parent company Time Warner Inc. in New York
U.S. District Court over its ads for its Road Runner Internet
service, stating that in its ads, the company had falsely
advertised that it was "always on connection," had "blazing
speed," is "up to three times the speed of most standard (digital
subscriber line) packages," is "up to 100x faster than dial-up"
and is the "easiest, fastest way to get online."

The plaintiffs in Jessica Fink and Brett Noia v. Time Warner Cable
and Time Warner Inc. charged that Time Warner's ads were "false
and misleading" because it "engages in network management
techniques that decreased the speed at which Road Runner
subscribers access certain high-bandwidth Internet applications."
Allegedly deceptive ads omitted

However, said the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York in
its ruling on May 6, at oral argument "the record did not contain
the allegedly deceptive advertisements upon which plaintiffs based
their suit."  The appellate court said when they were asked to
provide these, plaintiffs submitted only a single advertisement
that contained just one of the four misstatements the company
allegedly made, and the ad was dated Aug. 7, 2009, which was nine
months after the plaintiffs had filed suit.

The appeals court said, "We are left to wonder where to find the
advertisement containing the other three misstatements.  The
complaint purports to quote the offending advertisement verbatim;
we would not have expected it difficult for plaintiffs to produce.
Plaintiffs' failure to address -- much less explain -- the gaping
hole in their submission is conspicuous," said the unanimous
three-judge panel in affirming dismissal of the lawsuit.

UNITED STATES: Business Owners File Suit Over Health Reform Law
Insurance & Financial Advisor reports that business owners from
six states have initiated a class action federal lawsuit seeking
to overturn a key part of the health reform law that they say
oversteps the government's authority.  The plaintiffs claim the
mandate forcing businesses to offer health insurance plans that
meet minimum requirements set up under Affordable Care Act (ACA)
goes beyond the scope of the law itself, in states that are
relying on the federal government to set up the exchanges.

Only 19 states are setting up their own online health insurance
exchanges, which must be operational by Oct. 1 for open
enrollment, so all Americans can have health insurance by Jan. 1,
2014, as mandated by the law.

The lawsuit, Halbig et al v Sebelius, pits Jacqueline Halbig, an
Alexandria, Va., business owner, and 11 other individuals and
companies against Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services.  Also named in the suit
is the Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Jacob
Lew, and Steven Miller, acting commissioner of the Internal
Revenue Service, and their respective agencies.

Halbig is principal of Sovereign Global Solutions, a consortium of
consultants dealing with international humanitarian aid and
infrastructure development.  She is the former director of
communications and senior policy advisor in HHS during the George
W. Bush administration.

The plaintiffs contend that the IRS went beyond its legal
authority as set up under ACA when it issued a rule allowing for
refundable tax credits -- subsidies -- for individuals who buy
their health insurance through an exchange.  The IRS rule provides
for subsidies for those who purchase insurance through state-run
exchanges as well as federal-run exchanges, but the lawsuit claims
ACA only allows for subsidies when plans are purchased through
state exchanges.

ACA states the tax credits are for those who bought health
insurance "through an exchange established by the state."
However, the IRS says the law allows it to offer tax credits to
those who buy from a federal exchange as well.  The distinction
lies in the subsidies and penalties for individuals and businesses
with more than 50 employees that don't offer ACA-compliant plans
to their workers.

The plaintiffs say the law is written in a way that does not force
penalties on individuals who don't purchase health insurance in
the states where the federal government will run the exchanges,
because without the subsidies, many would not be able to afford
it.  In addition, they say, the law states that an employer with
more than 50 workers must offer a minimum health plan to all
workers, or pay a penalty.  However, the penalty is assessed only
if one employee decides to purchase health insurance and qualifies
for the federal subsidies in the form of tax credits.  If the
employees are not eligible for the tax credits, then there can be
no penalty, the lawsuit contends.

The plaintiffs say the "employer mandate" is voided in states
where the federal government is setting up the exchanges, as the
law specifies state-run exchanges.

The case was filed in the District Court of Columbia.

In addition to Halbig, the other plaintiffs are: David Klemencic;
Carrie Lowery; Sarah Rumpf; Innovare Health Advocates; GC
Restaurants SA, LLC; Olde England's Lion & Rose, Ltd.; Olde
England's Lion & Rose at Castle Hills, Ltd.; Olde England's Lion &
Rose Forum, LLC; Old England's Lion & Rose at Sonterra, Ltd.; Olde
England's Lion & Rose at Westlake, LLC; and Community National

The plaintiffs are from Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Texas,
Virginia and West Virginia.

WELLS FARGO: Class Action Claims Filing Deadline Set for June 25
eCreditDaily reports that if you've received a letter from Epiq
Class Action & Claims Solutions regarding a settlement with Wells
Fargo over discriminatory lending, then you have until June 25 to
respond and qualify for compensation.

Epiq is the settlement administrator approved by a federal judge
and overseen by the Department of Justice.

Epiq began mailing the letters April 25 notifying recipients that
they have been identified as victims.  They also list the minimum
payments they can receive and include response forms.

Borrowers receiving letters must sign and mail their response form
by June 25, 2013 to participate in the settlement.

Although many Wells Fargo borrowers have previously received
legitimate letters relating to other settlements with the bank --
including the National Mortgage Settlement and the Independent
Foreclosure Review -- those were not related to lending

The $234 million settlement resolves the United States'
allegations that Wells Fargo took part in a "pattern or practice
of discrimination against qualified African-American and Hispanic
borrowers in its mortgage lending from 2004 through 2009," U.S.
Justice officials said.

The complaint alleges that Wells Fargo discriminated by steering
about 8,000 African-American and Hispanic wholesale and retail
borrowers into subprime mortgages -- while non-Hispanic white
borrowers with similar credit profiles received prime loans.

All the borrowers who were allegedly discriminated against were
qualified for Wells Fargo mortgage loans, according to Well
Fargo's own underwriting criteria.

The Justice Department complaint also alleges that Wells Fargo
discriminated by charging approximately 30,000 African-American
and Hispanic wholesale borrowers higher fees and rates than non-
Hispanic white borrowers between 2004 and 2009, Justice said.

Again, this was done because of the borrowers' race or national
origin, rather than their credit worthiness or other objective
criteria related to borrower risk.

In early 2014, the settlement administrator Epiq plans to mail a
letter with the exact payment amount and a release form to those
who return the response form.  Individuals with questions about
the United States v. Wells Fargo lending discrimination settlement
may contact Epiq, in English or Spanish, by telephone at 1-866-
329-5282 or by e-mail at moc.redrOtnesnoCJODograFslleW@ofni

WEST PUBLISHING: Settles Class Action Over BAR/BRI Review Course
The following statement is being issued by Harris & Ruble and the
Law Offices of Perrin F. Disner pursuant to an order of the United
States District Court for the Central District of California:

If you paid for a BAR/BRI full-service bar review course from
August 1, 2006, through and including March 21, 2011, you could
get a cash payment from a class action settlement.

There is a proposed settlement in a class action lawsuit against
West Publishing Corporation and Kaplan, Inc. (Stetson, et al. v.
West Publishing Corporation, et al., Central District of
California Case No. CV-08-00810 R).  This settlement supersedes
the prior proposed settlement for which you may have received a
notice in April 2011.  The lawsuit alleges that BAR/BRI violated
federal antitrust laws by agreeing with Kaplan to limit
competition in the market for full-service bar review courses.
West was the owner of BAR/BRI during the relevant period.

What does the settlement provide?  Defendants have agreed to pay
the total sum of $9,500,000.  After deductions for Class Counsel's
attorney's fees and costs and other amounts associated with the
settlement as approved by the Court, the remainder of the
Settlement Fund will be distributed to Class Members who submit
timely claims in proportion to the amount that they paid for
relevant BAR/BRI courses.

What are my options?  To receive a portion of the Settlement Fund,
you must submit a Claim Form, postmarked or submitted online by
July 8, 2013.  Instead of submitting a Claim Form, you may submit
a request to exclude yourself from the Class by the same deadline,
in which case you will not receive any portion of the Settlement
Fund, but you will preserve your right to bring your own suit for
the conduct alleged in the lawsuit.  If you do nothing, you will
remain in the Class but will not receive any money.  If you do not
exclude yourself from the Class, you may also object to the
settlement and/or Class Counsel's request for fees and expenses
and other proposed deductions from the Settlement Fund.  To do so,
you must mail a written objection to the Claims Administrator
postmarked by July 8, 2013.

The Court will consider any objections and determine whether the
proposed settlement should be approved at a hearing in Los Angeles
on August 19, 2013, at 10:00 a.m.  You may, but are not required
to, appear at the hearing or hire an attorney to appear for you,
at your own expense.

The foregoing is only a short summary of the relevant information.
Please check the website listed below for more details, including
the settlement-related documents, and to file a claim

For more information or to file a claim, go to

DATED: May 2, 2013


WIS HOLDINGS: Faces Class Action Over Unpaid Overtime Wages
Jon Campisi, writing for Pennsylvania Record, reports that a
Pennsylvania man has filed a class action lawsuit against a
California-based company that provides inventory counting services
to retail companies nationwide over allegations that the defendant
regularly denies overtime wages to its employees.

Joshua Reesey, a resident of Johnstown, Pa., claims in his civil
action, which was filed April 29 at the Philadelphia Court of
Common Pleas, that defendants WIS Holdings Corp. and Washington
Inventory Service, which does business as WIS International, have
a policy and practice to deny earned wages and overtime pay to its
inventory associates employed across the country.

The practice, Mr. Reesey claims, violates Pennsylvania law.  He is
suing on behalf of himself and others similarly situated.

The complaint says that Mr. Reesey is a former inventory associate
who worked for WIS in Pennsylvania and elsewhere between the years
of 2009 and 2011.  The plaintiff also worked as a van driver for
the defendants during a portion of his employment.

WIS, the complaint states, contracts with retail stores to count
the stores' inventory.  It currently employs about 13,000
inventory associates in the United States. WIS pays the associates
hourly and classifies them as "non-exempt" workers who are
entitled to overtime compensation.

The associates rarely work at the same store two days in a row and
they often have to travel to stores that are far from their homes,
the suit states.  If a job is within an hour drive from the
defendants' office, the associates are expected to transport
themselves to their jobs, the complaint says, but if a job is more
than an hour away, a supervisor must accompany the associate in a
work-provided vehicle to the jobsite.

On the days when associates travel to job sites in company-
provided vehicles, they drive from their homes to a meeting site,
where they leave their vehicles, the complaint shows.

The associates are not compensated for the first hour during which
they are traveling in a work vehicle, the suit says, and only
after they have been in the company vehicle for an hour are they
compensated for their travel time.

While the associates are required to arrive at a jobsite at least
15 minutes prior to the start of their inventory count, they often
arrive much earlier, sometimes as much as an hour or more in

The associates, the complaint states, are also expected to spend a
significant amount of time unloading and preparing equipment
before a count begins, and they are sometimes required to
participate in a "crew briefing" beforehand.

The lawsuit says that the defendants begin paying the associates
at the start of the crew briefing, but that the associates aren't
compensated for the time when they unload and prep equipment.

The company's policy is to pay crew briefing time at minimum wage
and pay "counting time" at a higher hourly rate.

The suit goes on to claim that the associates are made to wait at
a jobsite until a supervisor performs "wrap-up" work, and that the
defendants don't compensate the associates for the time they then
spend repacking and reloading equipment.

The plaintiff in the case seeks class certification, asserting
there are common questions of law and fact to the prospective
class, including whether the defendants fail to pay employees the
straight-time and overtime wages due to them, whether WIS fails to
pay all compensation owed to associates at the time of
termination, whether the company fails to properly calculate and
pay overtime in accordance with Pennsylvania law, and whether
WIS's conduct violates the Pennsylvania Wage Payment and
Collection Law and the state's Minimum Wage Act.

"Plaintiff Joshua Reesey will fairly represent the members of the
classes because the class members have been employed in the same
or similar positions as Plaintiff and were subject to the same or
similar unlawful practices as Plaintiff," the suit states.  "In
this respect, Plaintiff's claims are typical of the claims of the
classes he seeks to represent."

In addition to seeking class certification, the plaintiff seeks an
unspecified amount of compensatory and liquidated damages, pre-
and-post-judgment interest, attorneys' fees and other court

The lawsuit was jointly filed by lawyers Larry A. Weisberg and
Derrek W. Cummings, of the Harrisburg firm McCarthy Weisberg
Cummings; attorneys George A. Hanson and Matthew L. Dameron, of
the Missouri firm Stueve Siegel Hanson LLP; and attorneys Bradford
B. Lear and Todd C. Werts, of the Missouri firm Lear Werts LLP.

The case ID number is 130404232.

* Andrew Hooker Continues to Pursue NZ Bank Fee Class Action
Eloise Gibson, writing for Stuff.co.nz, reports that not long ago
North Shore lawyer Andrew Hooker had 150 people lined up to take
on their financial advisers.  The finance company implosions had
ruined them and there seemed a good chance to prove the money men
had failed.  Mr. Hooker barely got the chance.  Only 20 or 30
people went ahead. The rest were too tired, too elderly or lacked
the stomach, including some "unbelievably sad" cases, he says.

Undaunted, the insurance company lawyer is fronting a major case
over bank fees which he hopes will show New Zealanders collective
action can work.  He wants to change our attitudes to suing and,
eventually, the legal system.

Mr. Hooker isn't saying we should become like the United States
where you can, and people often do, sue for almost anything.  But
he said Kiwis too often shrug their shoulders when shafted.

"If Joe Bloggs in the street has been wronged, he is much more
inclined in New Zealand to go 'bugger it, I'll just move on'."

Technically Hooker is the lawyer for all 22,000 people who have
signed up so far to try to win back a slice of their bank fees.
But this time the self-described "lone wolf" is hunting with a
well-resourced pack.

On his left flank is Australian class action specialist Slater and
Gordon, the former law firm of Australian Prime Minister Julia
Gillard.  On his right is a rare beast in these parts -- a
litigation funding company stumping up millions.

The case has been heralded as New Zealand's biggest class action
but it is not a class action in the sense that other countries use
the term.  A draft bill that would let lawyers act for a whole
class of people, with individuals having a choice to opt out, has
been stalled in Parliament since 2008.

This frustrates Mr. Hooker immensely.

"For some reason our Government doesn't think it's a priority.
There are a number of areas where class actions could work, like
potential claims against the trustees of finance companies and the
leaky housing debacle," he says.

Hooker was shoulder-tapped for the case after he met the boss of
Slater and Gordon four or five years ago, to talk about possible
New Zealand class actions.  Slater's Ben Hardwick says Mr.
Hooker's common sense and passion for the underdog impressed them,
and he was the logical choice for a tough case.

As it turned out, that early meeting was premature.  Because the
law has not changed to allow class actions, the bank case will
proceed as a representative action naming all 20,000-odd
plaintiffs, who have had to actively opt in.

Managing that many people is tricky.

"The only way we've been able to get this off the ground is to use
Slater and Gordon, who are massive class-action specialists, and
the whole case is being run out of their back room," says Mr.
Hooker. Somewhere in a legal office in Melbourne "more law grads
than you can shake a stick at" are poring over Kiwis' bank fees.

You couldn't blame the finance company victims for not suing.

Some got sizeable out-of-court settlements but others couldn't
afford to take a case.  Some went ahead and then discovered their
advisers' professional indemnity insurance covered legal costs
only, not any damages they might win. The advisers were often

Mr. Hooker is still seething.

"It absolutely amazed me. [The professional bodies] were saying
'People feel safe with our members because they have to have
professional indemnity insurance'. [But] it was utterly useless."

He has a myriad of theories about the Kiwi aversion to suing.
Partly he blames ACC because the "no fault" attitude has spread
beyond personal injury and infected the national psyche.  A lack
of personal injury claims means lawyers get few opportunities to
practice in court working specifically for the little guy.

"While I don't agree with the sort of wholesale personal injury
litigation you see in America and recently in Australia, [ACC]
means there are very few people who can specialize in acting for
plaintiffs," he says.

Critics of class action -- and personal injury claims for that
matter -- say it is frequently lawyers and litigation funders who
benefit from taking such cases.  But Mr. Hooker says without class
actions it is hard for a big group to share legal costs or attract
third-party funding. Many worthy cases never get off the ground.

"The costs of running a case on your own are just too high," he
says.  "New Zealanders need to stop seeing it as an evil
Americanism.  It is actually how big corporations are held to

The bank fees case has put him on the wrong side of some right-
wing commentators and even mild-mannered banking academics, who
say people have only themselves to blame if they pay high fees
because they can't manage their money.

Other critics have questioned whether the legal system can cope
with the case, and why, if the case is so strong, the Commerce
Commission hasn't acted.

Mr. Hooker sees it differently.  Late and bounced payment fees
charged by banks are far in excess of what it costs them, he says.
He believes banks are extracting punitive fees for bad behavior,
something which is prohibited under the law covering penalty fees.

Mr. Hooker's law school mates from 30 years ago might be surprised
to see him championing people who can't keep up with their bill
payments.  He was "slightly to the Right of Genghis Khan" when he
first left Auckland University, but the years have made him more
socially aware, he says.

He's not really a leftie: he has strong views about the proper
role of Government (small) and considers himself an extreme

"But wanting to get out there and help down and out people . . .
is something I find I can do," he says.

Mr. Hooker never really fitted the corporate culture.  In 2008, he
left Tower Insurance and started acting mostly for plaintiffs.  He
describes his career arc by sketching a skate ramp in the air.

The Waikato boy left school after the sixth form for a job as an
insurance claims manager.  He watched insurance lawyers in court
and didn't think it looked too difficult.  He went on an OE,
married an Australian beauty, then returned to New Zealand to
study law with the beauty in tow.

Mr. Hooker excelled at law, rising quickly to the rank of partner
in a firm of insurance specialists, alongside his mentor Michael
Ring (now QC).  But he worked too hard.

"I almost fell off the edge, to be honest," he says.

After taking a year's break, he helped start a firm of insurance
investigators.  Then Tower asked him to start their legal team.
For the next nine years he island-hopped in the Pacific, fighting
people who wanted Tower to pay for claims for riots, typhoid
outbreaks and deadly falling trees.

It was all the more exciting because countries like Samoa and
Papua New Guinea have no restrictive personal injury laws.

Now Mr. Hooker answers his own phone and shares a small office in
an Albany business park with some chartered accountants.  He's
gently spoken for a litigator but also no wallflower, appearing on
Fair Go, writing columns for the financial press and generally
agitating for the consumer.

Despite winning work from the Christchurch earthquakes, finance
company collapses and bank fees Hooker insists he isn't an
ambulance chaser.

"I'm an ambulance chasee!" he says.

Clients come to him.  The bank case has heightened his profile,
but in ways he is not entirely comfortable with.

"I can cope with it but it's funny when you walk into cafes and
hear people whispering 'That's that guy doing the bank fees

The case won't make him rich, he says.  The $3.5 million pay
packet one newspaper attributed to him is actually the current
budget for the whole case.  Most of the money is going to the big
boys, including a New Zealand QC, strategy advisers, and an
Australian senior counsel.

Litigation funder Litigation Lending Services will take a quarter
of any win.  Mr. Hooker is working for $318 an hour, with a top-up
to the equivalent of $425 an hour on completion of the case.
Right now it's eating up about 10 hours of his week, but it

Some of his other cases pay better, he says.  He also already had
enough work and didn't need the profile.

So why take the job?

For the adventure, he says.

Mr. Hooker believes group action can work if done right.  The
banks will have to justify their penalty fees.  There's a happy
glint in his eye.

"I'm up all night dreaming about stuff and strategizing."

* Gov't Penalties v. Financial Firms Total $21.8BB in Q1 2013
Financial penalties imposed on financial institutions by
government agencies totaled $21.8 billion in the first quarter of
2013, an amount representing more than two-thirds of the total
financial penalties imposed in all of 2012, according to data
released on May 6 by the Committee on Capital Markets Regulation.

The first quarter data shows a continuing, rising trend in total
public financial penalties imposed on financial institutions since
2007.  Public financial penalties include public class action
settlements that arise from class action lawsuits brought by the
government (e.g., state attorneys general) and regulatory
penalties that follow enforcement actions by regulatory agencies
including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the
Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and others.

Of the $21.8 billion in financial penalties imposed in the first
quarter of the year, $20.7 billion involved public class action
settlements, including over $9 billion in settlements regarding
alleged mortgage foreclosure wrongdoing and an $11.6 billion
settlement between Bank of America and Fannie Mae over claims
related to soured mortgage-backed investments.  Regulatory
penalties amounted to approximately $1.1 billion in the quarter,
with $475 million of that total coming from a fine imposed on RBS
by the CFTC and Department of Justice over the LIBOR rate-fixing

The Committee on Capital Markets Regulation is an independent and
nonpartisan 501(c)(3) research organization dedicated to improving
the regulation of U.S. capital markets.  The Committee's
membership includes thirty-two leaders drawn from the finance,
investment, business, law, accounting, and academic communities.
The Committee is chaired jointly by R. Glenn Hubbard (Dean,
Columbia Business School) and John L. Thornton (Chairman, The
Brookings Institution) and directed by Prof. Hal S. Scott (Nomura
Professor and Director of the Program on International Financial
Systems, Harvard Law School).

* More Customer Fraud Class Actions Expected in 2013, Survey Says
Kevin Ranlett, Esq., at Mayer Brown, reports that Carlton Fields
recently published a survey of 368 general counsel and other in-
house counsel at major companies across more than 25 industries
regarding the class actions they faced in 2012 and their
expectations for 2013.  A number of the findings were quite

    * In-house counsel reported that their companies spent $2.1
billion on class actions in 2012, a slight decline from 2011.
Per-company spending, however, varied widely, with some companies
spending $100 million a year and some as little as $180,000.  The
per-company average was $3.19 million.

    * In 2012, the typical class action cost $671,100 annually, a
14% drop from the $776,500 spent per case annually in 2011.

    * Half of major companies currently face one or more class
actions.  On average, companies were targeted by 5.1 class actions
in 2012, a 16% increase from the 4.4 class actions per company in
2011.  But survey respondents expect to face an average of only
4.6 class actions in 2013.

    * Consumer-fraud and labor-and-employment class actions
account for more than half of all class actions.  Other types of
class actions included securities (10%), product liability (9%),
antitrust (7%), and intellectual property (1%).

    * In 2013, in-house counsel expect to face many new consumer-
fraud class actions, with allegations involving data security,
food safety and labeling, and wireless and other technologies.

    * In addition, 9% of companies are expecting health-care class
actions, and 6% expect environmental class actions.

* NY Times Says High Court Pro-Business Since World War II
Adam Liptak, writing for The New York Times, reports that not long
after 10:00 a.m. on March 27, a restless audience waited for the
Supreme Court to hear arguments in the second of two historic
cases involving same-sex marriage.  First, however, Justice
Antonin Scalia attended to another matter.  He announced that the
court was throwing out an antitrust class action that subscribers
brought against Comcast, the nation's largest cable company.

Almost no one in the courtroom paid attention, despite Justice
Scalia's characteristically animated delivery, and the next day's
news coverage was dominated by accounts of the arguments on same-
sex marriage.  That was no surprise: the Supreme Court's business
decisions are almost always overshadowed by cases on controversial
social issues.

But the business docket reflects something truly distinctive about
the court led by Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr.  While the
current court's decisions, over all, are only slightly more
conservative than those from the courts led by Chief Justices
Warren E. Burger and William H. Rehnquist, according to political
scientists who study the court, its business rulings are another
matter.  They have been, a new study finds, far friendlier to
business than those of any court since at least World War II.

In the eight years since Chief Justice Roberts joined the court,
it has allowed corporations to spend freely in elections in the
Citizens United case, has shielded them from class actions and
human rights suits, and has made arbitration the favored way to
resolve many disputes.  Business groups say the Roberts court's
decisions have helped combat frivolous lawsuits, while plaintiffs'
lawyers say the rulings have destroyed legitimate claims for harm
from faulty products, discriminatory practices and fraud.

Whether the Roberts court is unusually friendly to business has
been the subject of repeated discussion, much of it based on
anecdotes and studies based on small slices of empirical evidence.
The new study, by contrast, takes a careful and comprehensive look
at some 2,000 decisions from 1946 to 2011.

Published last month in The Minnesota Law Review, the study ranked
the 36 justices who served on the court over those 65 years by the
proportion of their pro-business votes; all five of the current
court's more conservative members were in the top 10.  But the
study's most striking finding was that the two justices most
likely to vote in favor of business interests since 1946 are the
most recent conservative additions to the court, Chief Justice
Roberts and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., both appointed by
President George W. Bush.

The study was prepared by Lee Epstein, who teaches law and
political science at the University of Southern California;
William M. Landes, an economist at the University of Chicago; and
Judge Richard A. Posner, of the federal appeals court in Chicago,
who teaches law at the University of Chicago.

In the Comcast case, subscribers seeking $875 million in damages
charged that the company had swapped territory with other cable
companies to gain market power and raise prices.  But the legal
issue before the court was technical.  It concerned the sort of
evidence needed to allow two million subscribers in the
Philadelphia area to band together as a class.

Justice Scalia said the plaintiffs' evidence was not enough to
allow them to proceed as a class.  They could still, he said,
pursue their complaints individually.  But the difficulty of
mounting such suits over insignificant sums would not make them
very attractive to most lawyers.

The decision, however, went far beyond the Comcast subscribers.
By reaffirming Wal-Mart v. Dukes, a 2011 blockbuster case in which
the court threw out a large employment sex discrimination class,
the Comcast case limited class actions more broadly.

The question of whether plaintiffs have enough in common to sue as
a class is different from whether they deserve to win.  The first
question is generally resolved early in the case.  The second one
may await trial.

But the Wal-Mart and Comcast decisions said the two questions
often overlap and may call for an early answer.  The decisions
essentially required early scrutiny -- by a judge, not a jury --
of the ultimate legal question in high-stakes cases, sometimes
before all the relevant evidence has been gathered.  This
delighted business groups, which have pushed to limit class

"The court is telling lower courts across the country they really
do have to fulfill their gate-keeping function and keep these
meritless classes out of the courts," said Kate Comerford Todd, a
lawyer with the litigation unit of the United States Chamber of

Justices deeply unhappy with a decision sometimes read their
dissents from the bench.  It happens perhaps three times a year.
Justice Scalia, in remarks at George Washington University in
February, said such oral dissents were a way to call attention to
a grave misstep.

"I only do it in really significant cases," he said, "where I
think the court's decision is going to have a really bad effect
upon the law and upon society, a really, really big case."

By that standard, the dissenters thought the Comcast decision was
very bad indeed.  It gave rise to two oral dissents, from the two
senior members of the court's liberal wing, Justices Ruth Bader
Ginsburg and Stephen G. Breyer.

Justice Ginsburg accused the justices in the majority of unseemly
judicial gamesmanship.  She said they had reframed the legal issue
in the case so they could rule for Comcast.  "Thus the plaintiffs
had no unclouded opportunity to brief and argue with precision the
issue the court decides against them," she said. "And that's not

The Supreme Court decides one case at a time, and its
jurisprudence is the sum of incremental and sometimes inconsistent
rulings driven by quirky facts and shifting judicial alliances.

The law, that is to say, does not always move in a straight line,
and the Roberts court's decisions have not all favored
corporations.  Employees suing over retaliation for raising
discrimination claims have fared quite well, for example.  Nor has
the court always been receptive to companies claiming that state
rules and injury awards from state juries should be struck down
because they are in conflict with federal laws.

But the court's general track record, particularly in low-profile
but important procedural rulings, has been decidedly pro-business,
said Arthur R. Miller, a law professor at New York University.
The upshot, he said, is that businesses are free to run their
operations without fear of liability for the harm they cause to
consumers, employees and people injured by their products.

"The Supreme Court has altered federal procedure in dramatic ways,
one step at a time, to favor the business community," he said, by,
among other things, "increased grants of summary judgment,
tightening scientific evidence, rejecting class actions,
heightening the pleading barrier and wholesale diversions into

In a despairing overview published last month in The New York
University Law Review, Professor Miller criticized many rulings
from the Roberts court, including the Wal-Mart decision, which
rejected a class of some 1.5 million female employees, and AT&T
Mobility v. Concepcion, which allowed companies to escape class
actions by insisting on one-by-one arbitrations, even over trivial
amounts, in standard-form contracts.

Jason M. Halper, a lawyer at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in New
York, said the collective message of those and related cases was
clear: "When you take all of them together, the effect is
certainly to make the use of class actions much more difficult."

It is easy to understand why companies hate class actions.  Once a
class is certified, the damages sought are often so enormous that
the only rational calculation is to settle even if the chances of
losing at trial are small.  The costs of litigation -- for
lawyers, experts and the exchange of information -- are also far
larger in class actions.  And it is not always clear that the
plaintiffs, as opposed to their lawyers, receive very much in the

Plaintiffs' lawyers, on the other hand, say class actions are the
only way to vindicate small harms caused to many people.  The
victim of, say, a fraudulent charge for a few dollars on a billing
statement will never sue.  But a lawyer representing a million
such people has an incentive to press the claim.

"Realistically," Professor Miller wrote, "the choice for class
members is between collective access to the judicial system or no
access at all."

So the Supreme Court's rulings making it harder to cross the
class-certification threshold have had profound consequences in
the legal balance of power between businesses and people who say
they have been harmed.

Arbitration, in which the two sides agree to resolve disputes
outside of court using informal procedures, is more complicated.

Depending on how they are structured, arbitrations can offer
benefits in speed and cost to both sides, though the car rental
companies or cellphone stores that have customers sign
nonnegotiable contracts presumably do not have their best
interests at heart.

Minor claims in arbitration raise harder questions.  In theory,
there is no reason that consumers and others could not join
together in a mass arbitration, just as they file class actions in

But the AT&T Mobility decision limited that recourse for
consumers.  The case was brought by a California couple who
objected to a $30 charge for what was presented as a free
cellphone.  They had signed a "take it or leave it" form that
required them to resolve disputes through arbitration and barred
them from banding together with others, whether in arbitration or
in court.

The Supreme Court said the contract was lawful, and in doing so it
gave businesses a powerful tool.

"The decision basically lets companies escape class actions, so
long as they do so by means of arbitration agreements," Brian T.
Fitzpatrick, a law professor at Vanderbilt University, said on the
day of the decision.  "This is a game-changer for businesses. It's
one of the most important and favorable cases for businesses in a
very long time."

The central legal issues in the Wal-Mart, AT&T Mobility and
Comcast cases were decided by 5-to-4 votes. In each, the justices
in the majority were appointed by Republican presidents and the
dissenters by Democratic ones.

Since World War II, the Minnesota Law Review study found,
"justices appointed by Republican presidents are notably more
favorable to business than justices appointed by Democratic
presidents."  Indeed, it said, "on the current court, no
Republican-appointed justice is less favorable to business than
any Democrat."

That does not mean that the Roberts court's pro-business decisions
are always decided by 5-to-4 votes.  They are often lopsided or

That is a consequence, Judge Posner said in an e-mail, of broader
trends: "American society as a whole is more pro-business than it
was before Reagan and this is reflected in the votes of Democratic
as well as Republican Supreme Court justices."

In March, for instance, the court unanimously rejected an attempt
by class-action lawyers in Arkansas to keep their case out of
federal court by promising that their clients would accept less
money than they might deserve. (The case had been filed in Miller
County, Ark., where courts, according to business groups, are
notorious for coercing large settlements from out-of-state

But sometimes unanimity masks division. The most important
business decision of the current term, Kiobel v. Royal Dutch
Petroleum, severely limited human rights suits against
corporations based on charges of complicity in abuses abroad.  All
nine justices agreed that the particular suit before them had to
be dismissed, largely because every significant aspect of the case
was foreign: the plaintiffs were Nigerian, the companies they sued
were based in England and the Netherlands, and the atrocities the
companies were said to have aided took place in Nigeria.

Yet the court split 5 to 4 along the usual lines about how far to
leave the door open to similar suits.  Chief Justice Roberts,
writing for the majority, suggested that it would be the rare case
indeed that was proper.  Certainly, he said, it should not be
enough that a multinational corporation does business in the
United States.  "Corporations are often present in many
countries," he wrote, "and it would reach too far to say that mere
corporate presence suffices."

Justice Breyer, in dissent, said such suits could play an
important role in bringing to justice "torturers and perpetrators
of genocide."

The Minnesota Law Review study did not rely on the common
political science technique of coding each Supreme Court decision
as conservative or liberal.  To draw its main conclusions, it
relied on a simpler formula, looking at cases with a business on
one but not both sides. (The adversary might be an employee, job
applicant, shareholder, union, environmental group or government

A vote for the business was counted as a pro-business vote.

By that standard, the study found, "the Roberts court is indeed
highly pro-business -- the conservatives extremely so and the
liberals only moderately liberal."  Justices Ginsburg and Breyer,
who spoke up in the Comcast case, were only slightly less likely
to vote for business than the median justice in the survey but
were in the bottom six for such votes in 5-to-4 decisions.

The arrival of Chief Justice Roberts in 2005 and Justice Alito in
2006 seem to have affected the behavior of the justices already on
the court.  The probability that the other three more conservative
members of the court -- Justices Scalia, Anthony M. Kennedy and
Clarence Thomas -- would vote for business grew to 56 percent from
52 percent.  And the probability that Justices Ginsburg and Breyer
would do so dropped to 32 percent from 38 percent.

Scholars who look at doctrine rather than data also say there is
something distinctive about the current court.

"The Roberts court is the most pro-business court since the mid-
1930s," said Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the law school at the
University of California, Irvine.  "I think this helps understand
it far more than traditional liberal and conservative labels."

Others are wary of generalizations. Jonathan H. Adler, a law
professor at Case Western Reserve University, said the Roberts
court was "not particularly welcoming to efforts by plaintiffs'
lawyers to open new avenues of litigation, but it has not done
much to cut back on those avenues already established by prior

Business groups have been enthusiastic litigants in the Roberts
court.  Adam D. Chandler, a recent Yale Law School graduate and a
Justice Department lawyer, published a new study along these lines
on Scotusblog (noting that his views were not those of his
employer).  Looking at friend-of-the-court briefs supporting
petitions seeking Supreme Court review over a roughly three-year
period ended in August 2012, he found that pro-business and anti-
regulatory groups accounted for more than three-quarters of the
top 16 filers.

"My data indicate that, as the court shapes its docket, it hears
conservative voices far more often than liberal ones, and the
disparity is growing," he wrote.

He found that the Chamber of Commerce was "the country's pre-
eminent petition pusher," with 54 filings in the period.  It also
had an enviable success rate: the court grants one out of every
hundred petitions; for ones supported by the chamber, it granted
32 percent.

Ms. Todd, the chamber lawyer, said her group would continue to be
active.  The aftermaths of the Wal-Mart and AT&T Mobility
decisions, on class actions and arbitration, "are really where a
lot of our focus and resources are going right now," she said.

"These cases have a huge impact on the business community and on
the American economy more broadly," Ms. Todd said.

The Comcast decision is just over a month old.  But lower courts
have already relied on it to reject class actions contending harm
from defective trucks, poisoned drinking water, discrimination
against disabled workers, misrepresentations in insurance policies
and improperly docked wages.

Some of the plaintiffs in those cases will now pursue their claims
in individual suits.  But many will not, and the businesses
accused of wrongdoing will, thanks to the Roberts court, breathe a
little easier.


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,

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

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

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

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

                 * * *  End of Transmission  * * *