CAR_Public/131219.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Thursday, December 19, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 251

                             Headlines


AB&I FOUNDRY: Trumbull Seeks Consolidation of Related Cases
AK STEEL: Workers Can Sue Over Mesothelioma, Supreme Court Rules
ALIGN TECHNOLOGY: Judge Tosses California Securities Class Action
BANK OF AMERICA: Removes "Carter" Suit to C.D. Calif.
BEST BUY: Judge Denies Motion for Summary Judgment in OT Suit

BRICKMAN GROUP: Berger & Montague Files Overtime Class Action
CAMBRIDGE MANAGEMENT: Sued by Employees for Unpaid Overtime Wages
CENTRAL PACIFIC: Faces "Agonias" Suit Alleging Property Dispute
CHRYSLER GROUP: Faces "Velasco" Class Suit Over Defective TIPMs
CORNING INC: Accused of Polluting Area Near Danville, KY Facility

CR BARD: Judge Establishes Priority Order for Four Mesh Lawsuits
ESSEX, NJ: Correction Officers Sue Over FLSA Violations
GENERAL ELECTRIC: Microwave Ovens Are Defective, Suit Claims
GOOGLE INC: Consolidated Privacy Policy Litigation Dismissed
HALLIBURTON CO: Elevates AMSF Dispute to Supreme Court

HALLIBURTON CO: Continues to Face Suit Over Macondo Incident
HEWLETT-PACKARD: Recalls 145,000 Computer Chargers
INTERSECTIONS INC: Illegally Uses Consumer Reports, Suit Claims
INTUITIVE SURGICAL: Surgical Robots Under Scrutiny After Recall
LABORATORY CORPORATION: Still Faces Suit Over DNA Preservation

LABORATORY CORPORATION: Still Faces Suit Over TCPA Violations
LABORATORY CORPORATION: Still Faces Consolidated OT Pay Lawsuit
LEAP WIRELESS: Continues to Face Suit Over AT&T Merger Plan
LINNCO LLC: Expects Up to $4.5MM Loss From Royalty Owners' Suit
LINNCO LLC: "Assad Trust" Suit Stayed in Favor of "David Hall"

LINNCO LLC: Consolidated Texas & N.Y. Suits in Initial Stage
LINNCO LLC: Faces Stockholder Lawsuits Over Berry Merger
MAIBEC INC: Faces Class Action Over Defective Shingles & Siding
MENARDS: Recalls 1,800 Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Trees
METROPOLITAN TOWER: Wins Dismissal of Insurance Class Action

NEW YORK, NY: Workers Can't Recover Under FLSA in Commute Suit
PENNSYLVANIA: Wins Bid to Dismiss Prison Hepatitis C Policy Suit
PRODUCTIONS PLUS: Class Seeks to Recover Minimum and OT Wages
ROYAL PHILIPS: Faces "Cox" Suit Over Pollution in Danville, KY
RUSK INDUSTRIES: Suit Alleges Fair Labor Standards Act Violations

SPOTIFY USA: Sued in Calif. Over Automatic Subscription Renewals
SUTTER HEALTH: Antitrust Plaintiffs Attempt to Get Legal Traction
TOYOTA MOTOR: To Enter Into Settlement Talks on Acceleration Suits
VISA INC: Judge OKs $5.7BB Swipe Fee Class Action Settlement

* European Commission Calls for Collective Redress Mechanism
* Idaho Inmate to Serve 33 Months in Prison Over Settlement Fraud
* Megan's Law Includes Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Suits
* Missouri Lawmakers Attempt to Limit Medical Malpractice Suits


                             *********


AB&I FOUNDRY: Trumbull Seeks Consolidation of Related Cases
-----------------------------------------------------------
Trumbull Industries, Inc., the plaintiff in the class action
lawsuit captioned Trumbull Indus., Inc. v. AB&I Foundry, Case No.
13-cv-04833-EMC (N.D. Cal., October 17, 2013) asks the United
States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation to transfer and
consolidate related antitrust cases to the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of California for coordinated or
consolidated proceedings.

The multidistrict litigation is captioned IN RE: Cast Iron Soil
Pipe and Fittings Antitrust Litigation, Docket No. 2508
(U.S.J.P.M.L., November 1, 2013).

To date, four substantially similar actions have been filed in two
federal districts, three of which are pending in the Northern
District of California. In addition to Trumbull, the Related
Actions filed thus far include:

   (1) A&S Liquidating, Inc. v. AB&I Foundry,
       Case No. 13-cv-04568-EMC (N.D. Cal., October 3, 2013);

   (2) Las Vegas Supply, Inc. v. AB&I Foundry,
       Case No. 13-cv-04792-EMC (N.D. Cal., October 16, 2013); and

   (3) Amador v. AB&I Foundry, Case No. 13-1825 (D.P.R.,
       October 30, 2013).

The Related Actions allege that the same defendants -- McWane,
Inc. and two of its divisions, Tyler Pipe Company and AB&I
Foundry; and Charlotte Pipe & Foundry Company and its subsidiary
Randolph Holding Co. LLC -- conspired to fix, raise, maintain or
stabilize the price of cast iron soil pipe and fittings ("CISP")
through, inter alia, Charlotte's acquisition in July 2010 of a
price-cutting competitor (Star Pipe Products Ltd.) for the purpose
of shutting down its CISP manufacturing operations and compelling
Star and certain of its employees to enter into noncompetition
agreements.  Those agreements were eventually invalidated by the
Federal Trade Commission.

All of the complaints in the Related Actions allege violations of
the Sherman Act.  Some of them also allege violations of the
Sherman Act or the Clayton Act in connection with Charlotte's
acquisition of Star.  A&S, LVS and Trumbull are class actions
brought on behalf of a class of direct purchasers of CISP from
January 1, 2006, through the present.  Amador is brought on behalf
of indirect purchasers of CISP during the same time period.

Plaintiff Trumbull Industries, Inc., is represented by:

          Michael P. Lehmann, Esq.
          Christopher L. Lebsock, Esq.
          Arthur N. Bailey, Jr., Esq.
          HAUSFELD LLP
          44 Montgomery Street, Suite 3400
          San Francisco, CA 94104
          Telephone: (415) 633-1908
          Facsimile: (415) 358-4980
          E-mail: mlehmann@hausfeldllp.com
                  clebsock@hausfeldllp.com
                  abailey@hausfeldllp.com

               - and -

          Arthur N. Bailey, Sr., Esq.
          ARTHUR N. BAILEY & ASSOCIATES
          111 West Second St., Suite 4500
          Jamestown, NY 14701
          Telephone: (716) 483-3732
          Facsimile: (716) 664-2983
          E-mail: artlaw@windstream.net


AK STEEL: Workers Can Sue Over Mesothelioma, Supreme Court Rules
----------------------------------------------------------------
Surviving Mesothelioma reports that workers and their families
have won a victory in Pennsylvania after the state Supreme Court
ruled that they could sue former employers over late-manifesting
industrial diseases like mesothelioma.

The decision focused on a provision in Pennsylvania's Workers'
Compensation Act that says workers cannot sue an employer if their
occupational disease occurred more than 300 weeks after their on-
the-job exposure.  While many occupational injuries and diseases
occur within weeks or months of exposure to a toxin, asbestos
diseases like mesothelioma are a notable exception.  Believed to
be caused by chronic irritation from inhaled or ingested asbestos
fibers, mesothelioma does not usually begin to cause symptoms
until at least a decade after exposure.

Expressing the opinion of the majority, Supreme Court Justice
Debra Todd said it was "inconceivable that the legislature, in
enacting a statute specifically designed to benefit employees,
intended to leave a certain class of employees who have suffered
the most serious of work-related injuries without any redress
under the act or at common law."  The decision overturns recent
Superior Court decisions which upheld the 300-week provision.

In an online article on the decision, Pennsylvania attorney
Anne Kane says the case of Tooey v. AK Steel Corp., et al, "has
far-reaching implications for Pennsylvania employers whose
operations may expose employees to alleged causes of an
'occupational disease'" such as mesothelioma.  Such employers may
have thought the Worker's Compensation Act made them immune to
mesothelioma lawsuits like Tooey's but Ms. Kane suggests they
review their company insurance programs in light of the new
decision.

Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates of mesothelioma of any
state due, in part, to its long history of asbestos mining.  The
state was also home to shipbuilding operations, another industry
with a high rate of asbestos exposure and mesothelioma deaths.
Mesothelioma is an extremely rare cancer, even among those who
have been exposed to asbestos.


ALIGN TECHNOLOGY: Judge Tosses California Securities Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
David McAfee and Ciaran McEvoy, writing for Law360, report that a
California federal judge on Dec. 9 tossed a putative class action
accusing dental products maker Align Technology Inc. and two of
its executives of violating federal securities laws by failing to
timely write down tens of millions of dollars of Align's goodwill
that was impaired.

Last year, a Michigan city's pension fund filed the lawsuit
against Align, Align's CEO Thomas M. Prescott and Align's CFO
Kenneth B. Arola, alleging they had given a false impression of
the company's finances while making more than $52 million through
illegal insider trading.  In an amended complaint filed July, the
City of Dearborn Heights Act 345 Police & Fire Retirement System
accused the defendants of violating Section 10(b) and Section
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act, according to court
documents.

But U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick sided with the
defendants on Dec. 9, holding that the amended complaint failed to
allege falsity and scienter under the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act.

"[T]he amended complaint fails to plead with particularity that
any of the challenged statements were false or misleading,"
Judge Orrick wrote in the decision.  "Even if the amended
complaint had alleged falsity, it fails to sufficiently plead
scienter."

Judge Orrick granted the defendants' motion to dismiss with leave
to amend, giving the plaintiff 30 days to file a new complaint.

In April 2011, following a failed attempt in 2010, Align acquired
3-D digital scanning solutions provider Cadent Holdings Inc. for
$187.6 million in cash.  But of the $187.6 million purchase price
that Align ultimately paid for Cadent, more than two-thirds, or
$135.3 million, was goodwill, and tangible assets totaled only
$19.4 million, approximately the same amount of liabilities that
Align had assumed from Cadent, according to the plaintiff.

Although the defendants confidently proclaimed Cadent would
achieve a 20 percent-plus growth rate, the anticipated revenue
growth and margin improvement never materialized.  In fact,
according to the suit, Cadent's margins plummeted from
approximately 45 percent as a stand-alone company to an average of
30 percent after the acquisition.

In the fourth quarter of 2011, the defendants purportedly
performed a goodwill impairment test as required by generally
accepted accounting principles in order to determine whether the
$135.4 million Cadent-related goodwill was impaired.  Despite
obvious signs that tens of millions of dollars in goodwill was
indeed impaired because Align's expectations for Cadent were not
being met and market trends were worsening, defendants failed to
take the necessary write-down, instead claiming that "the fair
value of our reporting units were significantly in excess of the
carrying value," according to the amended complaint.

Align's stock price was inflated as a result of defendants'
misconduct, and Messrs. Prescott and Arola sold hundreds of
thousands of shares of Align stock at a time when they knew that
the company's stock price was inflated, reaping more than $14.8
million in unlawful proceeds, according to the amended complaint.

The plaintiff seeks to represent purchasers of Align common stock
between Jan. 31, 2012, and Oct. 17, 2012, inclusive under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, in a suit against Align, Prescott
and Arola.

Representatives for the parties didn't immediately return requests
for comment on Dec. 10.

The plaintiff is represented by Shawn A. Williams --
shawnw@rgrdlaw.com -- Christopher M. Wood -- cwood@rgrdlaw.com --
and Sunny S. Sarkis -- ssarkis@rgrdlaw.com -- of Robbins Geller
Rudman & Dowd LLP and by Thomas C. Michaud of Vanoverbeke Michaud
& Timmony PC.

The defendants are represented by Douglas J. Clark --
dclark@wsgr.com -- Caz Hashemi -- chashemi@wsgr.com -- Kelley M.
Kinney -- kkinney@wsgr.com -- and Nicholas R. Miller --
nmiller@wsgr.com -- of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC.

The case is City of Dearborn Heights Act 345 Police & Fire
Retirement System v. Align Technology Inc. et al., case number
3:12-cv-06039, in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California.


BANK OF AMERICA: Removes "Carter" Suit to C.D. Calif.
-----------------------------------------------------
Bank of America NA removed a class action lawsuit styled Agnes E.
Carter v. Bank of America NA, et al., Case No. BC522263, from the
California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles to the
U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.  The
District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 2:13-cv-08110-JLS-AN to the
proceeding.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Barron Edward Ramos, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF BARRON RAMOS APC
          27201 Puerta Real Suite 300
          Mission Viejo, CA 92691
          Telephone: (949) 420-4590
          Facsimile: (760) 994-1354
          E-mail: ramosesq@yahoo.com

               - and -

          David R. Markham, Esq.
          Janine R. Menhennet, Esq.
          Peggy J. Reali, Esq.
          THE MARKHAM LAW FIRM
          750 B Street Suite 1950
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 399-3995
          Facsimile: (619) 615-2067
          E-mail: dmarkham@markham-law.com
                  jmenhennet@markham-law.com
                  preali@markham-law.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Laura Alexandra Stoll, Esq.
          GOODWIN PROCTER LLP
          601 South Figueroa Street 41st Floor
          Los Angeles, CA 90017
          Telephone: (213) 426-2500
          Facsimile: (213) 623-1673
          E-mail: lstoll@goodwinprocter.com


BEST BUY: Judge Denies Motion for Summary Judgment in OT Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik disclosed that on December 9,
2013, United States District Court Judge Andrew J. Guilford denied
Best Buy Stores, L.P.'s motion for summary judgment in a lawsuit
claiming that Best Buy failed to pay their assistant managers
overtime wages.  See Swanson, et al. v. Best Buy Stores, L.P.,
currently pending in the United States District Court for the
Central District of California, Case No., CV- 12-01377-AG(ANx).

The Los Angeles employment law attorneys at Blumenthal Nordrehaug
& Bhowmik argued in opposition to Best Buy's attempt to nix the
lawsuit that Best Buy allegedly failed to carry their burden that
the assistant managers came within one of the exemptions to
California overtime pay.  The law in California is that employees
working in the State are presumed to be entitled to overtime pay,
and unless they fall within one of the exemptions to overtime pay,
they must be paid for any hours worked over eight in a workday or
in excess of forty in a work week.

Specifically, the Plaintiffs argued that they spent the vast
majority of their time selling Best Buy's products, organizing
shelves, and unloading inventory from trucks alongside other Best
Buy employees who were actually being paid overtime.  Honorable
Judge Andrew J. Guilford agreed with the Plaintiff's attorneys
ruling that dismissing the lawsuit at this stage was inappropriate
because there remains a triable question about whether Plaintiff
Swanson's and Plaintiff Perez's job responsibilities involved
enough independent judgment to exempt the Plaintiffs from overtime
pay.

A copy of the Judge's Order is available at:

     http://www.flipdocs.com/showbook.aspx?ID=10004307_155485

The Assistant Manager lawsuit will now continue to proceed in the
United States District Court for the Central District of
California.  Trial in the case is slated for June of 2014.

Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik is a Los Angeles and San
Francisco employment law firm with offices located in San Diego,
San Francisco and Los Angeles.  The firm dedicates its practice to
contingency fee employment law work for issues involving overtime
pay, wrongful termination, discrimination and other California
labor laws.


BRICKMAN GROUP: Berger & Montague Files Overtime Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------------
Berger & Montague, P.C. on Dec. 9 disclosed that a class action
and collective action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of all
Supervisors (Landscaping Supervisors, Work Order Supervisors, Crew
Supervisors, Irrigation Supervisors, etc.) employed by The
Brickman Group, Ltd., LLC.  The lawsuit, captioned Amador v. The
Brickman Group, Ltd., LLC, No. 3:13-cv-02529 (M.D. Pa.), was filed
in the United States District Court for the Middle District of
Pennsylvania.  The case is brought on behalf of all current and
former Supervisors employed by The Brickman Group anywhere in the
United States who were only paid half-time overtime according to
the "fluctuating work week" method of compensation, whereby they
receive only half-time overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a
workweek, from October 8, 2010 through the present.

The case alleges that The Brickman Group violated the federal Fair
Labor Standards Act and Pennsylvania state wage laws by paying
overtime at only half-time, rather than at a rate of time and one-
half the required regular rate.  "The Brickman Group appears to be
engaging in violations of the federal and state overtime laws, and
should be held accountable for failing to properly compensate its
Supervisors for hours worked over 40 in a workweek," said
Shanon Carson -- scarson@bm.net -- of Berger & Montague, P.C., one
of the attorneys representing the plaintiff.  Another attorney for
the plaintiff, C. Andrew Head of Fried & Bonder LLC, stated, "It
is important that this conduct be addressed by the courts, so that
a determination can be made that Brickman Group's policy of paying
only half-time overtime to all of its Supervisors across the
United States violates the law."

Current and former Supervisor employees of The Brickman Group may
obtain additional information about this lawsuit by calling
Alexandra L. Koropey at (215) 875-3063, or by email at
akoropey@bm.net

Information concerning the above case, including an electronic
copy of the complaint and opt-in consent form, is also available
at http://www.bergermontague.com

The case is being prosecuted by Berger & Montague, P.C., based in
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Fried & Bonder, LLC, based in
Atlanta, Georgia.  The law firm of Berger & Montague, P.C.
-- http://www.bergermontague.com-- consists of over 60 attorneys
who represent plaintiffs in complex litigation.  The firm has
played lead roles in major cases for almost 40 years resulting in
recoveries of billions of dollars for its clients and the classes
they represent.

The law firm of Fried & Bonder, LLC -- http://www.friedbonder.com
-- represents plaintiffs in complex litigation, with a focus on
class and collective actions for unpaid overtime and minimum wages
under the Fair Labor Standards Act and state wage laws.


CAMBRIDGE MANAGEMENT: Sued by Employees for Unpaid Overtime Wages
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jean Wilhelm Gaston, on his own behalf and others similarly
situated v. Cambridge Management Of Washington, Inc., a Foreign
Profit Corporation, Jane Doe, individually, Case No. 9:13-cv-
81125-WPD (S.D. Fla., November 1, 2013) is brought on behalf of
current and former employees of the Defendants.

The action is brought to recover from the Defendants overtime
compensation, liquidated damages, and the costs and reasonable
attorneys' fees of this action under the provisions of the Fair
Labor Standards Act.

Cambridge Management of Washington, Inc., owned and operated a
business in Palm Beach County, Florida.  Cambridge has been an
enterprise engaged in interstate commerce or in the production of
goods for commerce as defined by the FLSA.

Jane Doe has managed and operated Cambridge and regularly
exercised the authority to hire and fire employees, determine the
work schedules of employees, set the rate pay of employees, and
control the finances and operations of Cambridge.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Robert C. Gindel Jr., Esq.
          ROBERT C. GINDEL JR., P.A.
          1500 Gateway Boulevard, Suite 220
          Boynton Beach, FL 33426
          Telephone: (561) 649-2344
          Facsimile: (561) 965-8550
          E-mail: robertgindel@robertgindel.com


CENTRAL PACIFIC: Faces "Agonias" Suit Alleging Property Dispute
---------------------------------------------------------------
Esteban Ruiz Agonias, and Iluminada Aquino Agonias, individuals,
on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated v.
Central Pacific Home Loans, Inc., as the Original Lender; Federal
Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Fredie Mac); U.S. Bank N.A., as
the Mortgage Servicer and all persons unknown, claiming any legal
or equitable right, title, estate, lien, or interest in the
property described in the complaint adverse to Plaintiff' title,
or any cloud on Plaintiff' title thereto and, Does, 1 through 100,
inclusive, Case No. 1:13-cv-00584-LEK-BMK (D. Haw., November 1,
2013) is brought by the Plaintiffs mainly for:

    (i) document related to the foreclosure, which is the
        Assignment of Deed of Trust recorded on November 1, 2011,
        where Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc.
        (MERS) acting on its own and not as it was appointed in
        the recorded Deed of Trust as beneficiary nor nominee for
        Countrywide Home Loans, Inc. executed by a person, who is
        not employee nor officer of MERS with questionable
        signature of Kara Knable and defective notary of Cindy
        Austin, and

   (ii) the foreclosing entity was not the true owner of the loan
        because as per Freddie Mac Loan Look-up Web site, the
        owner of this note was acquired by Freddie Mac on
        June 12, 2007.

The Plaintiffs dispute the title and ownership of the real
property in question, which is the subject of this action, in that
the originating mortgage lender, and others alleged to have
ownership, have unlawfully sold, assigned and transferred their
ownership and security interest in a Promissory Note and Deed of
Trust related to the Property, and thus, do not have lawful
ownership or a security interest in the Plaintiffs' home.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Roger Y. Dewa, Esq.
          THE LAW OFFICES OF ROGER Y. DEWA
          1164 Bishop Street, Suite 1409
          Honolulu, HI 96813
          Telephone: (510) 301-6101
          E-mail: rogerdewaattorneyatlaw@gmail.com


CHRYSLER GROUP: Faces "Velasco" Class Suit Over Defective TIPMs
---------------------------------------------------------------
Peter Velasco, Christopher White, Jacqueline Young, and
Christopher Light, on behalf of themselves and all others
similarly situated v. Chrysler Group LLC, 2:13-cv-08080-DDP-VBK
(C.D. Cal., November 1, 2013) is brought on behalf of the
Plaintiffs and the Proposed Class, who purchased or leased 2008
model year Chrysler 300 and 2011-2012 model year Jeep Grand
Cherokees, Dodge Durangos, and Dodge Grand Caravans equipped with
defective Totally Integrated Power Modules, also known as TIPMs.
The TIPM controls and distributes power to all the electrical
functions of the vehicle, including the vehicle safety and
ignition systems.

The Plaintiffs allege that vehicles equipped with defective TIPMs
progress through a succession of symptoms that begin with an
inability to reliably start the vehicle and lead to, among other
things, the vehicle not starting, the fuel pump not turning off
and the engine stalling while driving.

Chrysler Group, L.L.C., is a Delaware limited liability
corporation headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan.  Chrysler is
the U.S. subsidiary of Italian multinational automaker Fiat S.p.A.
Chrysler markets, distributes, and warrants automobiles in the
United States sold under various brand names including the "Jeep",
"Dodge", and "Chrysler" brands.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Eric H. Gibbs, Esq.
          Dylan Hughes, Esq.
          Caitlyn D. Finley, Esq.
          GIRARD GIBBS LLP
          601 California Street, 14th Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94108
          Telephone: (415) 981-4800
          Facsimile: (415) 981-4846
          E-mail: ehg@girardgibbs.com
                  dsh@girardgibbs.com
                  cdf@girardgibbs.com

               - and -

          Todd M. Schneider, Esq.
          Joshua G. Konecky, Esq.
          SCHNEIDER WALLACE COTTRELL KONECKY LLP
          180 Montgomery Street, Suite 2000
          San Francisco, CA 94104
          Telephone: (415) 421-7100
          Facsimile: (415) 421-7105
          E-mail: tschneider@schneiderwallace.com
                  jkonecky@schneiderwallace.com

The Defendant is represented by:

          John Woodson Rogers, Esq.
          Kathy A. Wisniewski, Esq.
          Stephen A. D'Aunoy, Esq.
          THOMPSON COBURN LLP
          One US Bank Plaza
          St Louis, MO 63101
          Telephone: (314) 552-6257
          Facsimile: (314) 552-7257
          E-mail: jrogers@thompsoncoburn.com
                  kwisniewski@thompsoncoburn.com
                  sdaunoy@thompsoncoburn.com

               - and -

          Rowena G. Santos, Esq.
          THOMPSON COBURN LLP
          2029 Century Park East, 19th Floor
          Los Angeles, CA 90067
          Telephone: (310) 282-2500
          Facsimile: (310) 282-2501
          E-mail: rsantos@thompsoncoburn.com


CORNING INC: Accused of Polluting Area Near Danville, KY Facility
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Modern Holdings, LLC and Gay Bowen v. Corning, Inc., a New York
Corporation; Royal Philips Electronics, N.V. Koninklijke a
Netherlands Corporation; and Philips Electronics North America
Corporation, a Delaware Corporation, Case No. 5:13-cv-00405-DCR
(E.D. Ky., November 27, 2013) arises from the alleged negligent or
intentional contamination of the Plaintiffs' properties and injury
to persons with hazardous substances.

The lawsuit is brought on behalf of those who have owned property
or resided within a five-mile radius of the glass manufacturing
facility located at 320 Vaksdahl Avenue in Danville, Kentucky,
that was owned and operated by Corning, Inc. between 1952 and
1983, and then Philips Electronics North America between 1952 and
2013, and who have suffered or will suffer property damage,
injury, or death as a result of their exposure to toxic substances
and contamination from the Facility and its manufacturing
processes.

Modern Holdings, LLC, is a Kentucky Limited Liability Company that
owns property located in Danville, Kentucky.  Gay Bowen was a
resident of Danville between 1957 and 1983, and now a resident of
Lake City, Florida.

Corning, Inc., is a New York corporation headquartered in Corning,
New York.  Corning is now the owner of the Site and the Facility
and is and has been physically in control of any removal of
contaminated materials from the Facility or the remediation and
removal of soil from the Site.

Philips Electronics North America Corporation is a Delaware
foreign business corporation headquartered in Andover,
Massachusetts, and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Philips.
Philips Electronics North America owned and operated the Facility.
Royal Philips is a corporation duly organized and existing under
the laws of The Netherlands, with its corporate headquarters
located in Amsterdam.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Richard A. Getty, Esq.
          Jessica Winters, Esq.
          THE GETTY LAW GROUP, PLLC
          1900 Lexington Financial Center
          250 West Main Street
          Lexington, KY 40507
          Telephone: (859) 259-1900
          Facsimile: (859) 259-1909
          E-mail: rgetty@gettylawgroup.com
                  jwinters@gettylawgroup.com

Corning, Inc., is represented by:

          Clifford H. Ashburner, Esq.
          M. Stephen Pitt, Esq.
          WYATT, TARRANT & COMBS, LLP - LOUISVILLE
          500 W. Jefferson Street
          PNC Plaza, Suite 2800
          Louisville, KY 40202-2898
          Telephone: (502) 589-5235
          Facsimile: (502) 589-0309
          E-mail: chashburner@wyattfirm.com
                  mspitt@wyattfirm.com

               - and -

          George L. Seay, Jr., Esq.
          George J. Miller, Esq.
          WYATT, TARRANT & COMBS LLP - LEXINGTON
          250 W. Main Street, Suite 1600
          Lexington, KY 40507
          Telephone: (859) 288-7448
          Facsimile: (859) 259-0649
          E-mail: gseay@wyattfirm.com
                  gmiller@wyattfirm.com


CR BARD: Judge Establishes Priority Order for Four Mesh Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cliff Rieders, Esq., at Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Harris Waters &
Waffenschmidt reports that the federal judge presiding over tens
of thousands of products liability lawsuits concerning
transvaginal surgical mesh products has established the priority
order for four AMS mesh lawsuits, that have been selected for two
bellwether trials.  The trials are scheduled to go forward on
April 7, 2014 and May 5, 2014.  Judge Joseph R. Goodwin is the
presiding judge over all of the vaginal mesh cases pending in
federal court in the Southern District of West Virginia.

Judge Goodwin is presiding over six vaginal mesh multi-district
litigations (MDLs) in the Southern District of West Virginia,
which includes more than 36,000 lawsuits filed against various
vaginal mesh manufacturers, C.R. Bard, American Medical Sytstems
(AMS), Boston Scientific, Ethicon (a unit of Johnson & Johnson),
Colorplast and Cook Medical.

Plaintiffs in all of the lawsuits allege that the manufacturers
failed to adequately warn about the risk of complications
following use of the products for transvaginal repair of pelvic
organ prolapse (POP) or female stress urinary incontinence (SUI).

In addition to the recently selected AMS bellwether trials,
bellwether trials are already scheduled to proceed in January 2014
for the Bard Avaulta mesh lawsuit, and in February 2014 for
Ethicon Gynecare and in March 2014 for Boston Scientific.  Back to
back trials are scheduled to begin in April 2014 for the AMS mesh
lawsuits.

In a pretrial order issued by Judge Goodwin on December 12, the
priority was established for four cases prepared for these first
two AMS trial dates.  The first case to go before a jury will
involve a complaint filed by Joann Serrano, followed by cases
brought by Debbie Jilovec of Iowa, Mary Weiler of Montana, and
Lisa Marie Fontes of Rhode Island.  Judge Goodwin indicates that
the cases will be tried "seriatim", such that if any of the cases
settle or otherwise resolve, the next case on the list will go
forward on the next assigned trial date.

Judge Goodwin is currently presiding over 11,390 cases involving
AMS mesh, 11,589 cases involving Ethicon mesh, 7,310 cases
involving Boston Scientific mesh, 5,505 cases involving Bard mesh,
1,099 cases involving Coloplast mesh and 133 cases involving
products manufactured by Cook Medical.


ESSEX, NJ: Correction Officers Sue Over FLSA Violations
-------------------------------------------------------
Essex Local PBA #382, Eric Schwartz, Chris Kaynanski, and Marco
Parisi, on behalf of themselves and all other individuals
similarly situated v. County of Essex, Case No. 2:13-cv-06648-JLL-
MAH (D.N.J., November 1, 2013) alleges that the time a County
employee is required to attend medical appointments for work-
related injuries is not compensated by the County in violation of
the Fair Labor Standards Act.

PBA is a collective negotiations association, which represents
corrections officers employed by the County.

The County employs over 100 Correction Officers at its facility in
Newark, New Jersey.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          James Thomas Prusinowski, Esq.
          TRIMBOLI & PRUSINOWSKI
          268 South Street
          Morristown, NJ 07960
          Telephone: (973) 660-1095
          Facsimile: (973) 349-1307
          E-mail: jprusinowski@trimprulaw.com

The Defendant is represented by:

          Alan R. Ruddy, Esq.
          OFFICE OF THE ESSEX COUNTY COUNSEL
          465 Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard, Room 535
          Newark, NJ 07102
          Telephone: (973) 621-5021
          E-mail: aruddy@counsel.essexcountynj.org


GENERAL ELECTRIC: Microwave Ovens Are Defective, Suit Claims
------------------------------------------------------------
Betty Harkey, individually and on behalf of herself and all others
similarly situated v. General Electric Company, Case No. 3:13-cv-
01799 (D. Conn., December 4, 2013) alleges that GE-branded
microwave oven model numbers JVM1540, JEB1095, ZMC1090, and
ZMC1095 contain defects that make them unreasonably dangerous and
unsuitable for their intended use.

Ms. Harkey asserts that the Models are defectively designed and
manufactured because the glass on the doors to these microwave
ovens will shatter.  She contends that GE has undertaken a
deliberate and willful pattern of conduct, including taking active
measures, aimed at hiding the defects in the Models from its
consumers, including her.

General Electric Company is a New York corporation headquartered
in Fairfield, Connecticut.  GE is one of the largest technology,
media, and financial services companies in the world.  The
Company's Industrial Division produces and sells a variety of
technological products, including consumer appliances.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Robert A. Izard, Esq.
          Jeffrey S. Nobel, Esq.
          Mark P. Kindall, Esq.
          IZARD NOBEL LLP
          29 South Main Street, Suite 305
          West Hartford, CT 06107
          Telephone: (860) 493-6202
          E-mail: rizard@izardnobel.com
                  jnobel@izardnobel.com
                  mkindall@izardnobel.com

               - and -

          Hassan A. Zavareei, Esq.
          TYCKO & ZAVAREEI, LLP
          2000 L Street, N.W., Suite 808
          Washington, D.C. 20036
          Telephone: (202) 973-0900
          Facsimile: (202) 973-0950
          E-mail: hzavareei@tzlegal.com


GOOGLE INC: Consolidated Privacy Policy Litigation Dismissed
------------------------------------------------------------
Elizabeth Warmerdam at Courthouse News Service reports that Google
users failed to show that they had suffered any losses from the
search giant's universal privacy policy, a federal judge ruled,
tossing a class action.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grewal on December 3, 2013, shot down
the users' arguments that Google "made money using information
about them for which they were provided no compensation beyond
free access to Google's services."

"A plaintiff must do more than point to the dollars in a
defendant's pocket; he must sufficiently allege that in the
process he lost dollars of his own," Grewal wrote.  "Plaintiffs'
allegations certainly plead that Google made money using
information about them for which they were provided no
compensation beyond free access to Google's services.  But an
allegation that Google profited is not enough equivalent to an
allegation that such profiteering deprived plaintiffs of economic
value from that same information."

Robert Demars and other users initiated the class action after
Google updated its privacy policy on March 1, 2012, to permit the
commingling of user data across different Google products, such as
Gmail and YouTube.  The new privacy policy allowed Google to
combine a user's information from one service with the user's
information from other services.

In their complaint, the users claimed that the policy violates
their privacy rights by allowing Google to take information from
their Gmail accounts to be used in a different context, such as to
personalize search engine results or personalize advertisements.
The new policy also allegedly violated Google's old policies by no
longer allowing users to keep information gathered from one
product separate from data gathered from another.

The complaint additionally accused Google of disclosing users'
data to application developers and advertisers.

Google faced claims of common-law misappropriation of likeness, as
well as violations of the Wiretap Act, the Stored Communications
Act and California's Unfair Competition Law.

Noting that "the issue of injury-in-fact has become standard fare
in cases involving data privacy," Grewal said that proving injury-
in-fact has proven to be a significant barrier that might
"reasonably be described as Kilimanjaro."

Grewal found that the Google users were unable to get past the
barrier, as they failed to show what value Google had stripped
them of.

There is also no support for claims over Google's use of the "+1"
feature to display users' names or likenesses in advertisements.
Google provided sufficient disclosure of how the "+1" feature
would work, so voluntary use of the feature constituted consent,
according to the ruling.

"By now, most people know who Google is and what Google does,"
Grewal wrote.  "Google serves billions of online users in this
country and around the world.  What started as simply a search
engine has expanded to many other products such as YouTube and
Gmail.  Google offers these products and most others without
charge.  With little or no revenue from its users, Google still
manages to turn a healthy profit by selling advertisements within
its products that rely in substantial part on users' personal
identification information.  As some before have observed, in this
model, the users are the real product."

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Diane Zilka, Esq.
          Kyle J. McGee, Esq.
          GRANT AND EISENHOFER P.A.
          123 Justison Street
          Wilmington, DE 19801
          Telephone: (302) 622-7000
          E-mail: dzilka@gelaw.com
                  kmcgee@gelaw.com

               - and -

          James J. Sabella, Esq.
          GRANT AND EISENHOFER P.A.
          485 Lexington Ave, 29th Floor
          New York, NY 10017
          Telephone: (646) 722-8500
          E-mail: jsabella@gelaw.com

               - and -

          Mark C. Gardy, Esq.
          James S. Notis, Esq.
          Jennifer Sarnelli, Esq.
          Kelly A. Noto, Esq.
          GARDY & NOTIS LLP
          560 Sylvan Avenue
          Englewood Cliffs, NJ 07632
          Telephone: (201) 567-7377
          Facsimile: (201) 567-7337
          E-mail: mgardy@gardylaw.com
                  jnotis@gardylaw.com
                  jsarnelli@gardylaw.com

               - and -

          Orin Kurtz, Esq.
          GARDY AND NOTIS, LLP
          501 Fifth Avenue
          New York, NY 10017
          Telephone: (212) 905-0509
          E-mail: okurtz@gardylaw.com

               - and -

          Martin Stuart Bakst, Esq.
          15760 Ventura Blvd., Sixteenth Floor
          Encino, CA 91436
          Telephone: (818) 981-1400
          Facsimile: (818) 981-5550
          E-mail: msb@mbakst.com

               - and -

          Annick Marie Persinger, Esq.
          Lawrence Timothy Fisher, Esq.
          Sarah Nicole Westcot, Esq.
          BURSOR AND FISHER, P.A.
          1990 N. California Blvd., Suite 940
          Walnut Creek, CA 94596
          Telephone: (925) 300-4455
          Facsimile: (925) 407-2700
          E-mail: apersinger@bursor.com
                  ltfisher@bursor.com
                  swestcot@bursor.com

Google, Inc. is represented by:

          Michael Henry Page, Esq.
          DURIE TANGRI LLP
          217 Leidesdorff Street
          San Francisco, CA 94111
          Telephone: (415) 376-6403
          Facsimile: (415) 236-6300
          E-mail: mpage@durietangri.com

The case is In re Google, Inc. Privacy Policy Litigation, Case No.
5:12-cv-01382-PSG, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California (San Jose).


HALLIBURTON CO: Elevates AMSF Dispute to Supreme Court
------------------------------------------------------
Halliburton Company is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court a
decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
affirming a district court order certifying the class in
Archdiocese of Milwaukee Supporting Fund (AMSF) v. Halliburton
Company, et al., according to the company's Oct. 25, 2013, Form
10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2013.

As reported by the Class Action Reporter on Nov. 26, 2013, citng a
report by Reuters' Lawrence Hurley and Jonathan Stempel, the
Supreme Court agreed on Nov. 15 to hear the appeal.  Reuters says
the case could herald a dramatic decline in securities class
action litigation.  The case will give the justices an opportunity
to re-appraise a 25-year-old precedent, Basic v. Levinson, that
made it easier for securities class action cases to go beyond the
preliminary certification stage.

In June 2002, a class action lawsuit was filed against Halliburton
in federal court alleging violations of the federal securities
laws after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) initiated
an investigation in connection with the company's change in
accounting for revenue on long-term construction projects and
related disclosures. In the weeks that followed, approximately 20
similar class actions were filed against us. Several of those
lawsuits also named as defendants several of the company's present
or former officers and directors.

The class action cases were later consolidated, and the amended
consolidated class action complaint, styled Richard Moore, et al.
v. Halliburton Company, et al., was filed and served upon the
company in April 2003. As a result of a substitution of lead
plaintiffs, the case was styled Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Supporting Fund (AMSF) v. Halliburton Company, et al. AMSF has
changed its name to Erica P. John Fund, Inc. (the Fund). The
company settled with the SEC in the second quarter of 2004.

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

In April 2005, the court appointed new co-lead counsel and named
the Fund the new lead plaintiff, directing that it file a third
consolidated amended complaint and that the company filed the
company's motion to dismiss. The court held oral arguments on that
motion in August 2005.  In March 2006, the court entered an order
in which it granted the motion to dismiss with respect to claims
arising prior to June 1999 and granted the motion with respect to
certain other claims while permitting the Fund to re-plead some of
those claims to correct deficiencies in its earlier complaint. In
April 2006, the Fund filed its fourth amended consolidated
complaint.

The company filed a motion to dismiss those portions of the
complaint that had been re-pled. A hearing was held on that motion
in July 2006, and in March 2007 the court ordered dismissal of the
claims against all individual defendants other than the company's
Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The court ordered that the case
proceed against the company and its CEO.

In September 2007, the Fund filed a motion for class
certification, and the company's response was filed in November
2007. The district court held a hearing in March 2008, and issued
an order November 3, 2008 denying the motion for class
certification. The Fund appealed the district court's order to the
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The Fifth Circuit affirmed the
district court's order denying class certification.

On May 13, 2010, the Fund filed a writ of certiorari in the United
States Supreme Court. In January 2011, the Supreme Court granted
the writ of certiorari and accepted the appeal. The Court heard
oral arguments in April 2011 and issued its decision in June 2011,
reversing the Fifth Circuit ruling that the Fund needed to prove
loss causation in order to obtain class certification. The Court's
ruling was limited to the Fifth Circuit's loss causation
requirement, and the case was returned to the Fifth Circuit for
further consideration of the company's other arguments for denying
class certification.  The Fifth Circuit returned the case to the
district court, and in January 2012 the court issued an order
certifying the class.

The company filed a Petition for Leave to Appeal with the Fifth
Circuit, which was granted. In March 2013, the Fifth Circuit heard
oral argument in the appeal. In April 2013, the Fifth Circuit
issued an order affirming the District Court's order certifying
the class.

The case is pending in the District Court and fact discovery has
resumed. The company filed a writ of certiorari with the United
States Supreme Court seeking an appeal of the Fifth Circuit
decision. In spite of its age, the case is at an early stage, and
the company cannot predict the outcome or consequences thereof.

As of September 30, 2013, the company had not accrued any amounts
related to this matter because the company does not believe that a
loss is probable. Further, an estimate of possible loss or range
of loss related to this matter cannot be made. The company intends
to vigorously defend this case.


HALLIBURTON CO: Continues to Face Suit Over Macondo Incident
------------------------------------------------------------
Halliburton Company still faces pollution damage claims in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
in relation to the Macondo well incident, according to the
company's Oct. 25, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2013.

Since April 21, 2010, plaintiffs have been filing lawsuits
relating to the Macondo well incident. Generally, those lawsuits
allege either (1) damages arising from the oil spill pollution and
contamination (e.g., diminution of property value, lost tax
revenue, lost business revenue, lost tourist dollars, inability to
engage in recreational or commercial activities) or (2) wrongful
death or personal injuries. The company is named along with other
unaffiliated defendants in more than 1,800 complaints, most of
which are alleged class actions, involving pollution damage claims
and at least eight personal injury lawsuits involving four
decedents and at least 10 allegedly injured persons who were on
the drilling rig at the time of the incident. At least six
additional lawsuits naming the company and others relate to
alleged personal injuries sustained by those responding to the
explosion and oil spill. Plaintiffs originally filed the lawsuits
described in federal and state courts throughout the United
States.

Except for a relatively small number of lawsuits not yet
consolidated, the Judicial Panel on Multi-District Litigation
ordered all of the lawsuits against the company consolidated in
the MDL proceeding before Judge Carl Barbier in the United States
Eastern District of Louisiana. The pollution complaints generally
allege, among other things, negligence and gross negligence,
property damages, taking of protected species, and potential
economic losses as a result of environmental pollution, and
generally seek awards of unspecified economic, compensatory, and
punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief. Plaintiffs in
these pollution cases have brought suit under various legal
provisions, including the OPA, the CWA, The Migratory Bird Treaty
Act of 1918, the ESA, the OCSLA, the Longshoremen and Harbor
Workers Compensation Act, general maritime law, state common law,
and various state environmental and products liability statutes.

In its October 2013 Form 10-Q filing, Halliburton also provided
updates on the multidistrict litigation it faces in relation to
the Macondo well incident.

In April 2012, BP announced that it had reached definitive
settlement agreements with the so-called PSC to resolve the
substantial majority of eligible private economic loss and medical
claims stemming from the Macondo well incident. The PSC acts on
behalf of individuals and business plaintiffs in the MDL.
According to BP, the settlements do not include claims against BP
made by the DOJ or other federal agencies or by states and local
governments. In addition, the settlements provide that, to the
extent permitted by law, BP will assign to the settlement class
certain of its claims, rights, and recoveries against Transocean
and the company for damages, including BP's alleged direct damages
such as damages for clean-up expenses and damage to the well and
reservoir. The company does not believe that the company's
contract with BP Exploration permits the assignment of certain
claims to the settlement class without the company's consent. The
MDL court has since confirmed certification of the classes for
both settlements and granted final approval of the settlements.
The company objected to the settlements on the grounds set forth
above, among other reasons. The MDL court held, however, that the
company, as a non-settling defendant, lacked standing to object to
the settlements but noted that it did not express any opinion as
to the validity of BP's assignment of certain claims to the
settlement class and that the settlements do not affect any of the
company's procedural or substantive rights in the MDL. The company
is unable to predict at this time the effect that the settlements
may have on claims against Halliburton.

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

At the conclusion of the plaintiffs' case in the first phase of
the MDL trial, the company and the other defendants each submitted
a motion requesting the MDL court to dismiss certain claims. In
March 2013, the MDL court denied the company's motion and declined
to dismiss any claims, including those alleging gross negligence,
against BP, Transocean and Halliburton. In addition, the MDL court
dismissed all claims against M-I Swaco and claims alleging gross
negligence against Cameron. In April 2013, the MDL court dismissed
all remaining claims against Cameron, leaving BP, Transocean, and
the company as the remaining defendants with respect to the
matters addressed during the first phase of the trial.

Also in March 2013, the company advised the MDL court that the
company recently found a rig sample of dry cement blend collected
at another well that was cemented before the Macondo well using
the same dry cement blend as used on the Macondo production
casing. In April 2013, the company advised the MDL parties that
the company recently discovered some additional documents related
to the Macondo well incident. BP and others have asked the court
to impose sanctions and adverse findings against the company
because, according to their allegations, the company should have
identified the cement sample in 2010 and the additional documents
by October 2011. The MDL court has not ruled on the requests for
sanctions and adverse findings. The company believes that those
discoveries were the result of simple misunderstandings or
mistakes, and that sanctions are not warranted.

When the company's plea agreement with the DOJ was announced in
July 2013, BP filed a motion requesting that the MDL court re-open
the evidence for phase one of the MDL trial to take into account
the company's guilty plea and re-urging their request for
sanctions. After the plea was entered, the PSC and the States of
Alabama and Louisiana (as coordinating counsel for the states
involved in the MDL) filed a motion likewise seeking to admit the
guilty plea agreement and other court filings into evidence and
asking that the MDL court use that evidence as a basis for
assessing punitive damages against Halliburton. The company filed
replies opposing both motions and setting forth the company's
position that the deleted computer simulations were not evidence,
were not relevant, and in any event were re-created.

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


HEWLETT-PACKARD: Recalls 145,000 Computer Chargers
--------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that Google Inc. and Hewlett-Packard
Co. are recalling about 145,000 computer chargers because they can
overheat and melt, creating a fire and burn hazard.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Dec. 17 that
the recalled chargers were sold with the HP Chromebook 11 from
October to November at Best Buy, Amazon.com and Google Play and HP
Shopping online for about $280.

Consumers should stop using this product and contact Google for a
free replacement charger, the commission said.

Google has received nine reports of chargers overheating and
melting during use.  There is one report of a small burn to a
consumer and one report of damage to a pillow from an overheating
charger.

The recalled devices are black with a 6-foot long cord with the
model number "MU15-N1052-A00S," which is stamped on the face of
the battery charger.

Consumers can contact Google at (866) 628-1371 for more
information or go online at http://chromebook.comand click on the
Chromebook link at the top of the page and then click on the
support link.


INTERSECTIONS INC: Illegally Uses Consumer Reports, Suit Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
David Snook, on his own behalf and behalf of all others similarly
situated v. Intersections Inc., 2:13-cv-14557-VAR-DRG (E.D. Mich.,
November 1, 2013) accuses the Defendant of violating the Fair
Credit Reporting Act through its alleged unlawful and deceptive
conduct in obtaining and using the Plaintiffs' consumer reports
from the nationwide consumer reporting agencies to find and target
consumers for marketing purposes not permissible under the FCRA.

Intersections Inc. is a user of consumer reports as governed by
the FCRA and conducts business in Michigan.  Intersections holds
itself out as the "leading provider of consumer and corporate
identity risk management services."

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Julie A. Petrik, Esq.
          LYNGKLIP & ASSOCIATES
          CONSUMER LAW CENTER, PLC
          24500 Northwestern Highway, Suite 206
          Southfield, MI 48075
          Telephone: (248) 208-8864
          E-mail: Julie@MichiganConsumerLaw.Com


INTUITIVE SURGICAL: Surgical Robots Under Scrutiny After Recall
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jackie Farwell, writing for MedCity News, reports that a surgical
robot used by three Maine hospitals is under federal scrutiny
following reports that the units may stall during procedures and
problems possibly linked to the devices are on the rise.

Intuitive Surgical Inc., the maker of the $1.5 million da Vinci
robotic surgery system, issued an "urgent medical device recall"
on Nov. 11 alerting customers that friction in the instrument arms
of some of the robots can cause the units to stall momentarily,
according to a Dec. 3 notice on the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration's website.  The problem affects up to 1,386 of the
instrument arms worldwide.

While the notification was classified as a "recall," the robots
aren't being pulled from operating rooms.  The FDA uses the
classification to identify medical devices that could "cause
temporary or medically reversible" health problems.  Intuitive
Surgical has asked its customers to inform health care workers of
the notification and schedule inspections of the devices.

The da Vinci robot, promoted heavily by many hospitals as a
cutting-edge surgical technology, is in use at Eastern Maine
Medical Center in Bangor, MaineGeneral Medical Center in Augusta,
and Maine Medical Center in Portland.  All three hospitals said on
Dec. 4 that they've found the device to be safe.

The da Vinci is commonly used for prostate and gallbladder removal
and weight-loss surgery, among other procedures.  Surgeons can
manipulate tiny surgical instruments attached to the robot's arms
using hand controls at a computer system situated a few feet away
from the patient.  A video camera on one of the arms provides a
view inside the patient's body.

The FDA is investigating a spike in the number of problems
reported with the robotic surgeries.  The agency said last month
that the number of "adverse event reports," which include deaths,
injuries and system malfunctions, had more than doubled of Nov. 3
compared with all of last year, Bloomberg News reported.

An FDA spokeswoman told the Associated Press that the increase may
reflect greater awareness among doctors and hospitals of the need
to report problems.  It also could reflect wider use of the
technology.

Between 2007 and 2011, the number of procedures performed with
robots including the da Vinci skyrocketed by more than 400 percent
in the United States, according to a study by Martin Makary, an
associate professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University
School of Medicine.  Despite the widespread adoption, a
"haphazard" system of reporting complications leaves a muddied
picture of the safety of robotic surgery, Mr. Makary said in a
news release about the study.

Of the one million robotic surgeries performed since 2000, 245
complications, including 71 deaths, were reported to the FDA, a
very low number given the number of procedures, Mr. Makary said.
His research team also cited news accounts of incidents that were
not reported to the agency until after appearing in the press.

Hospitals are required to report the incidents to the
manufacturer, which must then report them to the FDA.

EMMC, which touts its robotic surgery proficiency and da Vinci-
trained medical staff on its website, expects to perform about 750
of the procedures this year.  The hospital is considered a pioneer
in robotic weight-loss surgery, and last year was named by
Intuitive as the country's first and only bariatric and general
surgery robotic "epicenter."

"The robot has allowed me to do more surgeries on more complicated
patients in less invasive ways now for close to a decade," said
Dr. Michelle Toder, who leads the hospital's epicenter team.

Robotic surgery is at least as safe as open or laparoscopic
surgery -- which involves small incisions and tiny cameras
maneuvered directly by a surgeon's hands -- and often leads to
better pain control, less blood loss and shorter hospital stays,
she said. The robot allows for greater dexterity, and surgeons can
magnify the surgical site on a monitor, making it easier to
identify blood vessels and nerves, Dr. Todor said.

Dr. Todor was not aware of any adverse events attributed to EMMC's
robot, though complications can occur as with all types of
surgery, she said. The hospital hasn't experienced the friction
problem cited in the recent FDA notification, she said.

The recent bump in the number of adverse events was largely
spurred by doctors and hospitals responding to Bloomberg's
reporting earlier this year about dangerous complications
associated with da Vinci robots, she said. Some of the reports
were old or involved incidents that weren't the fault of the
robotic technology, Dr. Todor said.

"Everyone felt really compelled to make sure that they were being
super vigilant about reporting, that there wouldn't be any
appearance of hiding or underreporting or misrepresenting
potential issues associated with the system," she said.

The more data that's provided to medical device makers, the safer
that health care technology will be, Dr. Toder added.

In a statement on its website, Intuitive Surgical said it has
inspected about 70 percent of the affected instrument arms and
will repair or replace them as needed. Surgeons may feel the
excessive friction as resistance, and if they push through it, the
instruments may stall and then suddenly catch up to the correct
position, the company said.

"Out of more than 55,000 procedures completed with this group of
instrument arms, there has been one reported instance of
interrupted motion resulting in an imprecise cut, along with two
additional instances of perceived resistance," the company said.
"No patient complications were reported in association with these
three instances."

Matt Paul, a spokesman for Maine Medical Center, said the hospital
has experienced no adverse events associated with its da Vinci
robot.  The hospital will continue to monitor the safety reports
but has found robotic surgery to greatly benefit patients, he
said.

At MaineGeneral, Dr. Steve Diaz, chief medical officer, reported a
similar experience.

"I've read the report and we have not had any issues with the
movement of the robot noted in the warning, and we haven't had any
adverse events as a result of surgeries performed with the
Da Vinci robot," he said in a statement.

In promoting robotic surgery to patients, hospitals are also
looking to attract business to help cover the costs of the
expensive device.

While she hadn't reviewed the da Vinci's safety record, Lisa
Letourneau, executive director of Maine Quality Counts, a
collaborative working to improve the quality of health care, said
the issue is emblematic of the exploding use of high-tech
technology and testing that may not necessarily lead to better
results.

"We know there is a lot of use of expensive resources in health
care, and in some cases overuse, and we really need to strive for
appropriate use," she said.


LABORATORY CORPORATION: Still Faces Suit Over DNA Preservation
--------------------------------------------------------------
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings continues to face the
lawsuit, Ann Baker Pepe v. Genzyme Corporation and Laboratory
Corporation of America Holdings, filed in the United States
District Court for the District of Massachusetts, alleging that
the defendants failed to preserve DNA samples, according to the
company's Oct. 28, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2013.

On June 7, 2012, the Company was served with a putative class
action lawsuit, Ann Baker Pepe v. Genzyme Corporation and
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, filed in the United
States District Court for the District of Massachusetts. The
lawsuit alleges that the defendants failed to preserve DNA samples
allegedly entrusted to the defendants and thereby breached a
written agreement with plaintiff and violated state laws. The
lawsuit seeks injunctive relief, actual, double and treble
damages, as well as recovery of attorney's fees and legal
expenses. The Company will vigorously defend the lawsuit.


LABORATORY CORPORATION: Still Faces Suit Over TCPA Violations
-------------------------------------------------------------
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings continues to face the
lawsuit Sandusky Wellness Center, LLC, et al. v. MEDTOX
Scientific, Inc., et al., filed in the United States District
Court for the District of Minnesota, alleging that the defendants
violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act, according
to the company's Oct. 28, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30,
2013.

On August 24, 2012, the Company was served with a putative class
action lawsuit, Sandusky Wellness Center, LLC, et al. v. MEDTOX
Scientific, Inc., et al., filed in the United States District
Court for the District of Minnesota. The complaint alleges that on
or about February 21, 2012, the defendants violated the federal
Telephone Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") by sending unsolicited
facsimiles to Plaintiff and more than 39 other recipients without
the recipients' prior express permission or invitation. The
lawsuit seeks the greater of actual damages or the sum of $0.0005
for each violation, subject to trebling under TCPA, and injunctive
relief. The Company will vigorously defend the lawsuit.


LABORATORY CORPORATION: Still Faces Consolidated OT Pay Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings continues to face a
consolidated overtime pay lawsuit in the Superior Court of
California for the County of Los Angeles, according to the
company's Oct. 25, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2013.

The Company was a defendant in two separate putative class action
lawsuits, Christine Bohlander v. Laboratory Corporation of
America, et al., and Jemuel Andres, et al. v. Laboratory
Corporation of America Holdings, et al., related to overtime pay.
After the filing of the two lawsuits on July 8, 2013, the
Bohlander lawsuit was consolidated into the Andres lawsuit, and
the consolidated lawsuit is now pending in the Superior Court of
California for the County of Los Angeles. In the consolidated
lawsuit, the Plaintiffs allege on behalf of similarly situated
phlebotomists and couriers that the Company failed to pay
overtime, failed to provide meal and rest breaks, and committed
other violations of the California Labor Code. The complaint seeks
monetary damages, civil penalties, costs, injunctive relief, and
attorney's fees. The Company intends to vigorously defend the
lawsuit.


LEAP WIRELESS: Continues to Face Suit Over AT&T Merger Plan
-----------------------------------------------------------
Leap Wireless International, Inc. still faces lawsuits related to
its planned merger with AT&T Inc., according to Leap's Oct. 25,
2013, Form 10-Q/A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended June 30, 2013.

On July 15, 2013, following the announcement of the Merger, a
lawsuit was filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery challenging
the proposed Merger. The action is captioned Booth Family Trust v.
Leap Wireless International, Inc. et al., C.A. No. 8730-VCN. It is
a putative class action filed on behalf of purported stockholders
of Leap, and names Leap and its directors as defendants. The
complaint alleges that the directors of Leap breached their
fiduciary duties to Leap stockholders by engaging in a flawed
sales process, by agreeing to sell Leap for inadequate
consideration and by agreeing to improper deal protection terms in
the Merger Agreement. The complaint seeks, among other relief,
declaratory and injunctive relief against the Merger and costs and
fees.

On July 19, 2013, July 24, 2013 and July 26, 2013, following the
announcement of the Merger, lawsuits were filed in the Superior
Court of the State of California, County of San Diego challenging
the proposed Merger. The action filed on July 19, 2013 is
captioned John Kim v. Leap Wireless International, Inc. et al.,
Case No. 37-2013-00058491-CU-BT-CTL and the actions filed on July
24, 2013 are captioned Wesley Decker v. Leap Wireless
International, Inc. et al, Case No. 37-2013-00059095-CU-SL-CTL and
Roxane Andrews v. Leap Wireless International, Inc. et al, Case
No. 37-2013-00059141-CU-BT-CTL. The action filed on July 26, 2013
is captioned Joseph Marino v. Leap Wireless International Inc. et
al, Case No. 37-2013-00059565-CU-BT-CTL. Each lawsuit is a
putative class action filed on behalf of purported stockholders of
Leap and names Leap, its directors as well as AT&T and Merger Sub
as defendants.

The complaints allege that Leap and its directors breached their
fiduciary duties to Leap stockholders, and that AT&T and Merger
Sub aided and abetted such breaches, by agreeing to improper deal
protection terms in the Merger Agreement. The Decker, Andrews and
Marino complaints further allege that Leap and its directors
breached their fiduciary duties, and that AT&T and Merger Sub
aided and abetted such breaches, by engaging in a flawed sales
process and by agreeing to sell Leap for inadequate consideration.
The Kim complaint seeks, among other relief, declaratory and
injunctive relief against the Merger, imposition of a constructive
trust and costs and fees. The Decker, Andrews and Marino
complaints seek, among other relief, declaratory and injunctive
relief against the Merger and costs and fees.


LINNCO LLC: Expects Up to $4.5MM Loss From Royalty Owners' Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
A settlement of a lawsuit filed against LinnCo, LLC by royalty
owners could result to a loss of up to $4.5 million, according to
the company's Oct. 28, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30,
2013.

The Company has been named as a defendant in a number of lawsuits,
including claims from royalty owners related to disputed royalty
payments and royalty valuations. The Company has established
reserves that management currently believes are adequate to
provide for potential liabilities based upon its evaluation of
these matters. With respect to a certain statewide class action
royalty payment dispute, the parties in this case are currently
engaged in settlement negotiations and based on the current status
of those negotiations, the Company estimates a range of possible
loss of $1 million to $4.5 million, for which an appropriate
reserve has been established. For a certain statewide class action
royalty payment dispute where a reserve has not yet been
established, the Company has denied that it has any liability on
the claims and has raised arguments and defenses that, if accepted
by the court, will result in no loss to the Company. Discovery
related to class certification has concluded.

Briefing and the hearing on class certification have been deferred
by court order pending the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals'
resolution of interlocutory appeals of two unrelated class
certification orders. As a result, the Company is unable to
estimate a possible loss, or range of possible loss, if any. In
addition, the Company is involved in various other disputes
arising in the ordinary course of business. The Company is not
currently a party to any litigation or pending claims that it
believes would have a material adverse effect on its overall
business, financial position, results of operations or liquidity;
however, cash flow could be significantly impacted in the
reporting periods in which such matters are resolved.


LINNCO LLC: "Assad Trust" Suit Stayed in Favor of "David Hall"
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Colorado District Court stayed and administratively closed the
Nancy P. Assad Trust v. Berry Petroleum Co., et al. action in
favor of the David Hall v. Berry Petroleum Co., et al. action that
is pending in the Delaware Court of Chancery, according to LinnCo,
LLC's Oct. 28, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2013.

On March 21, 2013, a purported stockholder class action captioned
Nancy P. Assad Trust v. Berry Petroleum Co., et al. was filed in
the District Court for the City and County of Denver, Colorado,
No. 13-CV-31365. The action names as defendants Berry, the members
of its board of directors, Bacchus HoldCo, Inc., a direct wholly
owned subsidiary of Berry ("HoldCo"), Bacchus Merger Sub, Inc., a
direct wholly owned subsidiary of HoldCo ("Bacchus Merger Sub"),
LinnCo, LINN Energy and Linn Acquisition Company, LLC, a direct
wholly owned subsidiary of LinnCo ("LinnCo Merger Sub").

On April 5, 2013, an amended complaint was filed, which alleges
that the individual defendants breached their fiduciary duties in
connection with the transactions by engaging in an unfair sales
process that resulted in an unfair price for Berry, by failing to
disclose all material information regarding the transactions, and
that the entity defendants aided and abetted those breaches of
fiduciary duty. The amended complaint seeks a declaration that the
transactions are unlawful and unenforceable, an order directing
the individual defendants to comply with their fiduciary duties,
an injunction against consummation of the transactions, or, in the
event they are completed, rescission of the transactions, an award
of fees and costs, including attorneys' and experts' fees and
expenses, and other relief. On May 21, 2013, the Colorado District
Court stayed and administratively closed the Nancy P. Assad Trust
action in favor of the Hall action that is pending in the Delaware
Court of Chancery.

On April 12, 2013, a purported stockholder class action captioned
David Hall v. Berry Petroleum Co., et al. was filed in the
Delaware Court of Chancery, C.A. No. 8476-VCG. The complaint names
as defendants Berry, the members of its board of directors,
HoldCo, Bacchus Merger Sub, LinnCo, LINN Energy and LinnCo Merger
Sub. The complaint alleges that the individual defendants breached
their fiduciary duties in connection with the transactions by
engaging in an unfair sales process that resulted in an unfair
price for Berry, by failing to disclose all material information
regarding the transactions, and that the entity defendants aided
and abetted those breaches of fiduciary duty.

The complaint seeks a declaration that the transactions are
unlawful and unenforceable, an order directing the individual
defendants to comply with their fiduciary duties, an injunction
against consummation of the transactions, or, in the event they
are completed, rescission of the transactions, an award of fees
and costs, including attorneys' and experts' fees and expenses,
and other relief. The Company is unable to estimate a possible
loss, or range of possible loss, if any, at this time.


LINNCO LLC: Consolidated Texas & N.Y. Suits in Initial Stage
------------------------------------------------------------
The Texas Federal Securities Actions and the New York Federal
Securities Actions against LinnCo, LLC have been consolidated in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York and is now in its preliminary stages, according to the
company's Oct. 28, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2013.

On July 9, 2013, Anthony Booth, individually and on behalf of all
other persons similarly situated, filed a class action complaint
in the United States District Court, Southern District of Texas,
against LINN Energy, Mark E. Ellis, Kolja Rockov, and David B.
Rottino (the "Booth Action"). On July 18, 2013, the Catherine A.
Fisher Trust, individually and on behalf of all other persons
similarly situated, filed a class action complaint in the United
States District Court, Southern District of Texas, against the
same defendants (the "Fisher Action"). On July 17, 2013, Don
Gentry, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly
situated, filed a class action complaint in the United States
District Court, Southern District of Texas, against LINN Energy,
LinnCo, Mark E. Ellis, Kolja Rockov, David B. Rottino, George A.
Alcorn, David D. Dunlap, Terrence S. Jacobs, Michael C. Linn,
Joseph P. McCoy, Jeffrey C. Swoveland, and the various
underwriters for LinnCo's initial public offering (the "Gentry
Action") (the Booth Action, Fisher Action, and Gentry Action
together, the "Texas Federal Actions").

The Texas Federal Actions each assert claims under Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange
Act") based on allegations that LINN Energy made false or
misleading statements relating to its hedging strategy, the cash
flow available for distribution to unitholders, and LINN Energy's
energy production. The Gentry Action asserts additional claims
under Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 based on
alleged misstatements relating to these issues in the prospectus
and registration statement for LinnCo's initial public offering.
On September 23, 2013, the Southern District of Texas entered an
order transferring the Texas Federal Actions to the Southern
District of New York so that they could be consolidated with the
New York Federal Actions.

On July 10, 2013, David Adrian Luciano, individually and on behalf
of all other persons similarly situated, filed a class action
complaint in the United States District Court, Southern District
of New York, against LINN Energy, LinnCo, Mark E. Ellis, Kolja
Rockov, David B. Rottino, George A. Alcorn, David D. Dunlap,
Terrence S. Jacobs, Michael C. Linn, Joseph P. McCoy, Jeffrey C.
Swoveland, and the various underwriters for LinnCo's initial
public offering (the "Luciano Action"). The Luciano Action asserts
claims under Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933
based on alleged misstatements relating to LINN Energy's hedging
strategy, the cash flow available for distribution to unitholders,
and LINN Energy's energy production in the prospectus and
registration statement for LinnCo's initial public offering. On
July 12, 2013, Frank Donio, individually and on behalf of all
other persons similarly situated, filed a class action complaint
in the United States District Court, Southern District of New
York, against LINN Energy, Mark E. Ellis, Kolja Rockov, and David
B. Rottino (the "Donio Action"). The Donio Action asserts claims
under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act based on
allegations that LINN Energy made false or misleading statements
relating to its hedging strategy, the cash flow available for
distribution to unitholders, and LINN Energy's energy production.
Several additional class action cases substantially similar to the
Luciano Action and the Donio Action were subsequently filed in the
Southern District of New York and assigned to the same judge (the
Luciano Action, Donio Action, and all similar subsequently filed
New York federal class actions together, the "New York Federal
Actions"). The Texas Federal Actions and the New York Federal
Actions have now been consolidated in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York. The cases are in
their preliminary stages and it is possible that additional
similar actions could be filed. As a result, the Company is unable
to estimate a possible loss, or range of possible loss, if any.


LINNCO LLC: Faces Stockholder Lawsuits Over Berry Merger
--------------------------------------------------------
Purported stockholder class actions have been filed against, among
others, Berry Petroleum Company, LinnCo, LLC and the members of
the Berry board of directors seeking an injunction barring or
rescinding the companies' merger, according to LinnCo's Oct. 28,
2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended Sept. 30, 2013.

Pending litigation against the company, Berry and LinnCo could
result in an injunction preventing completion of the merger, the
payment of damages in the event that the merger is completed
and/or may adversely affect the combined company's business,
financial condition or results of operations following the merger.

LinnCo said that if a final settlement is not reached, or if
dismissals of these actions are not obtained, these lawsuits could
prevent or delay the completion of the merger, and result in
substantial costs to the company Berry and LinnCo, including costs
associated with the indemnification of directors. Additional
lawsuits related to the merger may be filed against the company,
Berry, LinnCo and each of our respective directors. The defense or
settlement of any lawsuit or claim that remains unresolved at the
time the merger is completed may adversely affect the combined
company's business, financial condition or results of operations.


MAIBEC INC: Faces Class Action Over Defective Shingles & Siding
---------------------------------------------------------------
Siskinds Desmeules s.e.n.c.r.l. on Dec. 11 disclosed that a
proposed class action lawsuit has been issued against Maibec Inc.,
a Quebec manufacturer of natural wood shingles and siding.  The
action alleges that Maibec wood shingles and siding are prone to
premature failure, including warping, peeling, cracking, buckling
and curling, despite a thirty-year warranty.

The petitioners, Helen E. Raleigh and Steven Raleigh, own a home
that had Maibec wood shingles and siding installed on it in 2005.
By 2012, the siding was curling and splitting.  Mr. and
Ms. Raleigh contacted Maibec several times, but Maibec refused to
proceed with the necessary repairs.  Mr. and Ms. Raleigh were
eventually forced to cover the $40,000.00 cost of the repairs out
of their own pocket to prevent further damage to their home.

Similar actions have been filed in the United States.

Mr. and Ms. Raleigh's Quebec lawyers, Siskinds Desmeules
s.e.n.c.r.l., will seek authorization for the action to proceed as
a class action from the Quebec court.

If you have experienced problems with Maibec wood shingles and/or
siding or with Maibec's warranty process, please complete the
online information form at:
http://www.classaction.ca/joinaction.aspx?action=maibec

For further information:

on this action:

Samy Elnemr
Siskinds Desmeules s.e.n.c.r.l.
480, Saint-Laurent, suite 501
Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 3Y7
Telephone: (514) 849-1970
E-mail: samy.elnemr@siskindsdesmeules.com


MENARDS: Recalls 1,800 Pre-Lit Artificial Christmas Trees
---------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that Menards, a chain of home-
improvement stores in the Midwest, is recalling 1,800 pre-lit
artificial Christmas trees because the lights may overheat, start
a fire or cause an electric shock.

The artificial trees were sold for about $300 exclusively at
Menards stores between September and November, the U.S. Consumer
Product Safety Commission said.  The recall is for the Twinkling
Pine artificial tree sold under the Enchanted Forest brand. They
were made in China and imported by Seasonal Specialties LLC.

The recalled trees are 7 1/2 feet tall and have 400 champagne-
colored light-emitting diode lights.  The model number for the
recalled tree is 287-1261 and its UPC code is 741895425478. Both
numbers are printed on the box and on a red tag attached to a tree
branch.

Menards, which is based in Eau Claire, Wis., said it received two
reports of the tree's light strings overheating, melting or
smoking.  No injuries have been reported.

The CPSC said customers should unplug the tree immediately and
return it to Menards for a refund.


METROPOLITAN TOWER: Wins Dismissal of Insurance Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
David McAfee, writing for Law360, reports that a Florida federal
judge on Dec. 10 granted Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance Co.'s
motion to dismiss a putative class action brought by a
policyholder who said the company overcharged customers on their
life insurance policies, holding that the plaintiff's suit is
precluded by an earlier settlement.

In 2011, named plaintiff Philip D. Lucas filed suit, alleging
Metlife breached its contracts with customers by unfairly adding
monthly costs to life insurance policies based on factors
including agent commissions, taxes and expected policy lapse
rates, none of which are authorized by the policies.  The case was
stayed until June and, in September, Lucas filed a three-count
second amended complaint, according to court documents.

But Metlife sought to dismiss the suit in October, arguing that
Mr. Lucas' claims are barred by a 1999 multidistrict litigation
settlement release involving similar issues.  U.S. District Judge
Sheri Polster Chappell sided with the defendant on Dec. 10,
dismissing the case with prejudice.

"While Lucas argues that there is no similarity between
Plaintiff's claim and the factual predicate underlying the
settlement of the Sales Practice Litigation MDL, the court does
not agree," Judge Chappell wrote in the order.  "In this case,
Lucas' claim arises out of the policy which made him a member of
the settlement class during the class period and he seeks to
challenge a charge which he is barred from challenging by the
release."

According to the suit, Mr. Lucas purchased a flexible premium life
insurance policy -- a universal life policy -- from MetLife in
1988 that had an initial face value of $50,000.

The parties in the suit previously stipulated to a stay pending a
decision by U.S. District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose of the Western
District of Pennsylvania on whether Mr. Lucas' claim is barred by
the settlement agreement and release in the MDL, In re Metro.
Life Ins. Co. Sales Practices Litigation. In June, Judge Ambrose
lifted the stay, terminated that court's jurisdiction over the
settlement and left the Florida court to decide if the settlement
precludes the suit.

Mr. Lucas then filed a second amended complaint.  In addition to
the breach of contract claim, the second amended complaint
included allegations that Metlife deducted unauthorized expenses
in excess of the 9 percent premiums paid against the policy and
that Metlife failed to adjust the monthly cost of term insurance
rates to reflect improvements to expected mortality, according to
the filing.

Judge Chappell on Dec. 10 granted Metlife's motion to dismiss the
amended complaint with prejudice, finding that the suit is
precluded by the settlement agreement and release in the previous
litigation.

Representatives for the parties didn't immediately return requests
for comment late on Dec. 10.

Mr. Lucas is represented by John J. Schirger of Miller Schirger
LLC; Patrick J. Stueve -- stueve@stuevesiegel.com -- of Stueve
Siegel Hanson LLP; and Philip Freidin -- pfreidin@fdlaw.net --
Manuel L. Dobrinsky -- mdobrinsky@fdlaw.net -- and Randy Rosenblum
-- rrosenblum@fdlaw.net -- of Freidin Dobrinsky Brown & Rosenblum
PA.

Metlife is represented by Eric S. Adams -- eadams@shutts.com -- of
Shutts & Bowen LLP and by Reid L. Ashinoff and Lauren Perlgut of
Dentons US LLP.

The case is Philip D. Lucas v. Metropolitan Tower Life Insurance
Co., case number 2:11-cv-00467, in the United States District
Court for the Middle District of Florida, Fort Myers Division.


NEW YORK, NY: Workers Can't Recover Under FLSA in Commute Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Marlisse Silver Sweeney, writing for Corporate Counsel, reports
that the Southern District of New York has ruled employees could
not recover under the Fair Labor Standards Act for time spent
commuting or inspecting their vehicles, according to Noel Tripp on
Jackson Lewis' Wage & Hour blog.

In the case, the plaintiffs were tradespeople working for the Fire
Department of New York and were given two options by their
employer: They could use a work vehicle to commute to and from
their assigned locations or pick up a vehicle at the beginning of
their shifts and then travel to location.  The plaintiffs
consisted of people who chose the first option and argued they
were entitled to compensation for their commute time because they
were transporting work tools and equipment.

Judge Loretta Presksa said no.  Under the Portal-to-Portal Act and
the Employer Commuter Flexibility Act, commute time is exempted
from the FLSA, says Mr. Tripp, and Judge Presksa found these
statutes to apply to the case at hand.  The plaintiffs "used the
vehicles to travel to the five boroughs of New York City, i.e.,
the normal commuting area for the FDNY's business," says
Mr. Tripp.  "Transporting work equipment in their FDNY-issued
utility vehicles was not a 'principal activity' requiring
compensation."


PENNSYLVANIA: Wins Bid to Dismiss Prison Hepatitis C Policy Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Tribune-Review reports that a York County man can't pursue his
claim that the Department of Corrections hepatitis C policy
violates his and other prisoners' civil rights because an appeals
court has already upheld the policy, a Pittsburgh federal judge
ruled on Dec. 19.

Jason E. Runkle, 26, of Red Lion filed a proposed class-action
lawsuit in January on behalf of all state prisoners denied
treatment for hepatitis C because their minimum sentence is less
than a year.  He is currently housed at the state prison in Forest
County, according to state records.

U.S. Magistrate Judge Maureen Kelly granted the state's motion to
dismiss the case based on a 2004 ruling by the 3rd U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals that found the state policy constitutional
because effective treatment requires an uninterrupted year of
care.


PRODUCTIONS PLUS: Class Seeks to Recover Minimum and OT Wages
-------------------------------------------------------------
Martha Solorzano, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Productions Plus, Inc., Case No. 2:13-cv-
14568-SFC-MJH (E.D. Mich., November 1, 2013) is a collective
action, on behalf of all "Product Specialists," who are or were
employed by the Defendant, to recover minimum wages and unpaid
overtime and similar relief pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards
Act.  The Plaintiff also asserts that she was retaliated against
for complaining about her wages for which her employment was
terminated and her employment contract was not renewed.

Headquartered in Birmingham, Michigan, Productions Plus, Inc.,
provides services around the country.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Dale James Morgado, Esq.
          FELDMAN MORGADO PA
          100 North Biscayne Boulevard,
          29th Floor, Suite 2902
          Miami, FL 33132
          Telephone: (305) 222-7850
          Facsimile: (305) 384-4676
          E-mail: dmorgado@ffmlawgroup.com


ROYAL PHILIPS: Faces "Cox" Suit Over Pollution in Danville, KY
--------------------------------------------------------------
Elbert Cox, Jr. v. Royal Philips Electronics, N.V. Koninklijke, a
Netherlands Corporation and Philips Electronics North America
Corporation, a Delaware Corporation, Case No. 5:13-cv-00406-KKC
(E.D. Ky., November 27, 2013) is brought on behalf of persons
working at a glass and bulb manufacturing facility in Danville,
Kentucky, or on its site between 1983 and 2011, who have been
damaged by the alleged tortious conduct of the Defendants in
permitting the Facility to become and remain contaminated by
hazardous substances.

The claims of the Plaintiffs, which include claims of physical and
mental injury, arise from the Defendants' actions in intentionally
exposing the Plaintiffs to toxic, carcinogenic, and otherwise
ultra-hazardous chemicals without warning them, properly training
them, and without providing any proper protective covering.

Philips Electronics North America Corporation is a Delaware
foreign business corporation headquartered in Andover,
Massachusetts.  Philips Electronics owned and operated the
Facility and Site.  Philips North America is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Royal Philips.

Royal Philips is a corporation duly organized and existing under
the laws of The Netherlands, with its corporate headquarters
located in Amsterdam.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Richard A. Getty, Esq.
          Jessica Winters, Esq.
          THE GETTY LAW GROUP, PLLC
          1900 Lexington Financial Center
          250 West Main Street
          Lexington, KY 40507
          Telephone: (859) 259-1900
          Facsimile: (859) 259-1909
          E-mail: rgetty@gettylawgroup.com
                  jwinters@gettylawgroup.com


RUSK INDUSTRIES: Suit Alleges Fair Labor Standards Act Violations
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Sean Binkley, on behalf of himself and those similarly situated v.
Rusk Industries, Inc., doing business as: Everdry Waterproofing of
Toledo, Everdry Marketing & Management, Inc., and John Does 1-10,
Case No. 3:13-cv-02445-JGC (N.D. Ohio, November 1, 2013) alleges
violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Thomas D. Pigott, Esq.
          Brandon M. Rehkopf, Esq.
          LAW OFFICE OF THOMAS D. PIGOTT
          2620 North Centennial Road, Suite H
          Toledo, OH 43617
          Telephone: (419) 776-4567
          Facsimile: (419) 776-4569
          E-mail: tpigott@pigottlaw.com
                  b.rehkopf@pigottlaw.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Sarah E. Pawlicki, Esq.
          James B. Yates, Esq.
          EASTMAN & SMITH-TOLEDO
          One SeaGate, 24th Floor
          P.O. Box 10032
          Toledo, OH 43699
          Telephone: (419) 247-1701
          Facsimile: (419) 247-1777
          E-mail: SEPawlicki@eastmansmith.com
                  jbyates@eastmansmith.com

               - and -

          Angelo Russo, Esq.
          21380 Lorain Road
          Fairview Park, OH 44126
          Telephone: (216) 990-9133
          Facsimile: (216) 228-9472
          E-mail: angelo@attorneyrusso.com


SPOTIFY USA: Sued in Calif. Over Automatic Subscription Renewals
----------------------------------------------------------------
Linda Chiem, writing for Law360, reports that music streaming
company Spotify USA Inc. allegedly charged customers for automatic
renewals of their subscriptions for premium access to the online
streaming service without first getting their consent, in
violation of state law, according to a proposed class action
removed to California federal court on Dec. 6.

Plaintiff Melissa Bleak, a Pasadena, Calif., resident who bought a
Spotify premium subscription in August, claimed Spotify charged
customers' credit or debit cards, or third-party accounts, for an
automatic renewal or continuous service without first giving
customers a chance to agree to terms of the agreement containing
the automatic renewal offer.  As such, Spotify has violated the
California Business and Professions Code, the complaint says.

"In the premium plan notice, defendant failed to provide a
hyperlink to the terms and the terms are not referenced at all on
the unlimited plan notice," the complaint says.  "Moreover,
defendant failed to provide a box to check or any other method by
which plaintiff and class members could provide their affirmative
consent to defendant's terms."

Ms. Bleak had launched the suit in San Francisco Superior Court in
November on behalf of a proposed class of consumers who bought
unlimited or premium monthly subscriptions with Spotify using
their desktop computers in California going back to Dec. 1, 2010.
Unlimited plans allowed users to stream only from their computers
and were priced at $4.99 a month, while premium plans allowed
users to stream from any device and were priced at $9.99 a month,
according to the complaint.

Spotify moved to have the suit removed to federal court given that
Bleak asserted claims are likely to exceed $5 million.

According to Spotify, Californians bought more than 1.5 million
months of premium subscriptions in 2013.  And even factoring out
those customers who paid with nonrenewing gift cards and those
customers who upgraded using a mobile device, California
subscribers who upgraded to Spotify Premium on a desktop computer
spent more than $9.75 million via automatically renewing payment
methods for Spotify Premium just in 2013 alone.  That's enough to
warrant federal jurisdiction, Spotify says.

"Spotify denies Bleak's allegations of liability, injury and
damages and will oppose certification of the putative class," the
company said in its notice of removal.

Ms. Bleak's complaint asserts violations of unfair competition
laws, injunctive relief and restitution.

Ms. Bleak is represented by Julian Hammond and Ari Cherniak of
HammondLaw PC.

Spotify is represented by Stephen M. Rummage --
steverummage@dwt.com -- Candice M. Tewell -- candicetewell@dwt.com
-- and Joseph E. Addiego III --
joeaddiego@dwt.com -- of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

The case is Melissa Bleak v. Spotify USA Inc., case number 4:13-
cv-05653, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California.


SUTTER HEALTH: Antitrust Plaintiffs Attempt to Get Legal Traction
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Kathy Robertson, writing for Sacramento Business Journal, reports
that plaintiffs in an antitrust class action against Sutter Health
are attempting one more time to get legal traction on the case.

In June, a San Francisco District Court judge dismissed
allegations that Sutter practiced anti-competitive conduct in
Northern California that violates antitrust laws -- but the judge
gave plaintiffs time to amend their complaint.

They have.  And they've hired new attorneys.

"What the judge said is the allegations didn't state a claim for
relief," said Matthew Cantor -- mcantor@constantinecannon.com -- a
lawyer with Constantine Cannon LLP in New York.  "What we've done
is specify a theory focused on a few anti-competitive practices,
including inpatient hospital prices.  We're focusing on increased
hospital charges Sutter imposed on health plans that have been
passed on to consumers in the form of higher premiums."

This amended complaint fails to state any legal claim and isn't
materially different from the prior two complaints, both of which
the judge dismissed, Sutter spokesman Bill Gleeson said.

The original lawsuit was filed in September 2012 on behalf of
Djeneba Sidibe and Diane Dewey, two Northern California residents
enrolled in health plans that had contractual relationships with
Sutter for health care services.  Plaintiffs allege they were
injured because Sutter's anti-competitive conduct required them to
pay several thousand dollars more per year for health services
than they would otherwise.

In court documents, they allege that Sutter conspired to impose
contract arrangements that require health plans to use Sutter
providers or affiliated doctors -- even if there are lower-priced
alternatives -- or be denied access to any of them.

The amended lawsuit adds a third named plaintiff: Jerry Jankowski.
It targets Sutter's policy of "want some (providers) -- get them
all," Mr. Cantor said.

Take Berkeley, for example.  Sutter has the only hospital there,
which translates to 100 percent market share.

"But if you don't take San Francisco, you don't get Berkeley,"
Mr. Cantor said."  "This leaves health plans without a choice."


TOYOTA MOTOR: To Enter Into Settlement Talks on Acceleration Suits
------------------------------------------------------------------
Gillian Flaccus, writing for The Associated Press, reports that
after a four-year legal battle, Toyota is entering settlement
talks on nearly 400 state and federal lawsuits that allege sudden
unintended acceleration problems with its vehicles led to deaths
and injuries.

Joint motions filed late on Dec. 12 in U.S. District Court in
Santa Ana and Los Angeles County Superior Court indicated both
sides would begin an "intensive settlement process" next month.

The Japanese automaker, which has recalled millions of cars since
2009 over the acceleration issue, agreed to the negotiations to
make resolving the cases more efficient, spokeswoman Carly
Schaffner told The Associated Press on Dec. 13.

"We continue to stand behind the safety and quality of our
vehicles," she said.

Cases that don't settle after a two-stage mediation process will
go back to court for trial, said plaintiffs' co-lead counsel
Mark Robinson Jr., but most of the 375 claims will likely get
resolved.

"It's not practical to try all these cases," he said.  "You've got
two chances to get your case settled and if you're a plaintiff, at
least you're not just sitting in some file in the courthouse."

The settlement negotiations come less than two months after an
Oklahoma jury awarded a total of $3 million in damages to the
injured driver of a 2005 Camry and to the family of a passenger
who was killed.

The ruling was significant because Toyota had won all previous
unintended acceleration cases that went to trial.  It was also the
first case where attorneys for plaintiffs argued that the car's
electronics -- in this case the software connected to the Camry's
electronic throttle-control system -- were the cause of the
unintended acceleration.

At the time, legal experts said the Oklahoma verdict might cause
Toyota to consider a broad settlement of the remaining cases.
Until then, Toyota had been riding momentum from several trials
where juries found it was not liable.

Robinson said attorneys for plaintiffs had been discussing a
streamlined settlement process with Toyota before that verdict,
but the Oklahoma case "couldn't have hurt" those talks.

Toyota has blamed drivers, stuck accelerators or floor mats that
trapped the gas pedal for the acceleration claims that led to the
big recalls of Camrys and other vehicles.  The company has
repeatedly denied its vehicles are flawed.

No recalls have been issued related to problems with onboard
electronics.  In the Oklahoma case, Toyota attorneys theorized
that the driver mistakenly pumped the gas pedal instead of the
brake when her Camry ran through an intersection and slammed into
an embankment.

Sean Kane, president of Massachusetts-based Safety Research &
Strategies, said the Oklahoma verdict likely moved Toyota to the
negotiating table because it targeted electronics.

"Nobody did until that case and they got hammered -- and they got
hammered in a conservative venue," said Mr. Kane, who researches
consumer safety in motor vehicles for plaintiff attorneys and has
been closely following the Toyota litigation.

"The evidence that came out in that trial has attracted global
attention that is remarkable," he said.

After the verdict, jurors told AP they believed the testimony of
an expert who said he found flaws in the car's electronics.  They
also pointed to 150 feet of skid marks on the road as evidence the
driver was desperately trying to brake.

"What makes the accelerator open? The computer," juror Vickie
Potter said after the verdict.

Toyota pointed out that no one has been able to replicate the
unintended high-speed acceleration despite access to the
automaker's software.

"The bottom line is that there are no real-world scenarios in
which Toyota electronics can cause a high-speed unintended
acceleration event," Ms. Schaffner, the Toyota spokeswoman, said
at the time.

Toyota previously agreed to pay more than $1 billion to resolve
hundreds of lawsuits claiming that owners of its cars suffered
economic losses because of the recalls.  But that settlement did
not include those suing over wrongful death and injuries.  Those
lawsuits have been consolidated in the state and federal courts in
California.

In October, Toyota won a California state court case in which
plaintiffs argued the automaker was liable for the death of a
woman whose 2006 Camry crashed because the company hadn't
installed a system that could override the accelerator.  The
woman's family was seeking $20 million in damages.


VISA INC: Judge OKs $5.7BB Swipe Fee Class Action Settlement
------------------------------------------------------------
Christie Smythe and Chris Dolmetsch, writing for Bloomberg News,
report that Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc. won approval for a $5.7
billion settlement that ended years of litigation with U.S.
merchants over allegations that credit-card swipe fees are
improperly fixed.

U.S. District Judge John Gleeson said that he was satisfied with
the settlement, which was estimated to be the largest-ever U.S.
antitrust accord.

"For the first time, merchants will be empowered to expose hidden
bank fees to their customers, educate them about those fees and
use that information to influence their customers' choices of
payment methods," Judge Gleeson wrote in his ruling on Dec. 13 in
federal court in Brooklyn, New York.

Once owned by groups of major banks, Foster City, California-based
Visa and Purchase, New York-based MasterCard have defended
themselves for decades against legal claims that they operated
price-fixing schemes.  Swipe, or interchange, fees are set by Visa
and MasterCard and paid by merchants when consumers use credit or
debit cards.

MasterCard and Visa separated from the banks through initial
public offerings in 2006 and 2008, respectively. Merchants filed a
class-action lawsuit against the companies and the biggest card-
issuing banks in 2005.  They later alleged that the payment
networks continued to fix prices with the banks even after the
IPOs.

Lawyers representing merchants nationwide announced the settlement
in July 2012.  Once worth as much as $7.25 billion, the settlement
was valued at about $5.7 billion as of August as a result of
reductions for about 8,000 merchants that dropped out of the
damages portion.

Dozens of large retailers, including Wal-Mart Stores Inc.,
Amazon.com Inc. and Target Corp., as well as major airlines,
health insurers and other consumer businesses criticized the deal.
Some said the amount should have been higher and that a legal
release preventing future lawsuits was written too broadly.
Review Ruling

Shortly after Gleeson issued his order, retailers and trade
associations that opposed the deal including Wal-Mart, Amazon.com,
7-Eleven Inc., Barnes & Noble Inc. filed notices that they will
appeal the decision.

"We are reviewing the ruling and will take whatever steps are
necessary to protect the rights of merchants and safeguard the
pocketbooks of their customers," Mallory Duncan, general counsel
at the National Retail Federation, said in a statement. The group
expects to appeal, he said.

An expert appointed by the court said merchants might not be able
to prove their case at trial and were probably better off taking
the settlement, according to a report filed in August.

The settlement "secures both a significant damage award and
meaningful injunctive relief for a class of merchants that would
face a substantial likelihood of securing no relief at all if this
case were to proceed," Judge Gleeson said in his ruling.

                          Future Suits

"We are pleased that Judge John Gleeson has granted final approval
to the U.S. merchant class settlement agreement," Noah J. Hanft,
MasterCard general counsel, said in a statement on Dec. 13.
"[This] is an important milestone in putting this litigation
behind us and we look forward to working in partnership with the
merchant community."

"[W]e have realized a significant achievement in our efforts to
resolve the long-standing legal differences between merchants and
the payments industry," Visa Chief Executive Officer Charlie
Scharf said in an e-mailed statement.  "The settlement, which was
negotiated over many years, is fair for all parties involved."

In a Sept. 12 hearing, Gleeson said he was concerned that releases
in the accord might have gone too far in protecting the card firms
from future lawsuits over new payment technologies.

"I have a concern, a well-grounded concern here, that this release
places the line of scrimmage in the wrong spot," he said during
the hearing, regarding new technologies.

                        Mobile Payments

Lawyers for objectors expressed concerns that the releases could
apply to new technologies such as mobile payment systems.  Such
systems could give merchants a way to reduce or escape interchange
fees unless the card firms "trump" those opportunities,
Michael Canter, a lawyer for some of the objectors, said during
the hearing.

In court, lawyers for objectors also said the structure of the
deal, which binds all merchants under the release even if they
elect to drop out of the damages portion, is a problem.

"The settlement rewards the perpetrators and traps the victims,"
Andrew Celli, a lawyer for the National Retail Federation, said
during the Sept. 12 hearing.

In the Dec. 13 decision, Judge Gleeson described the objectors'
arguments at the September hearing as being "afflicted by needless
hyperbole."

One objector likened approval "to the deprivation of civil
liberties in the aftermath of a terrorist attack," Judge Gleeson
wrote. Another "cast Visa and MasterCard as modern-day Nazis, and
warned me not to assume the role of Neville Chamberlain," he said.

                        Business Practices

"This settlement is in the best interest of all involved parties
and that has been proven [Satur]day with the court's final
approval," Sam Fabens, a spokesman for the Electronic Payments
Coalition, which represents both banks and card companies, said on
Dec. 13 in an e-mailed statement.

Developed by banks half a century ago as two of the earliest
interstate credit-card brands, Visa and MasterCard have been
subject to government scrutiny over their business practices since
at least the 1970s, according to a 2008 report by Georgetown
University law professor Adam Levitin on merchant restraints.

Previously, the payment networks faced legal actions by the
Justice Department and an earlier class-action led by Wal-Mart and
other retailers in 1996, leading to some rule changes for card
acceptance.

                           Current Case

Merchants brought the current case against the card firms in 2005,
after Judge Gleeson approved a $4 billion settlement of the
previous class action in January 2004.

Merchants are expected to receive about one-third of a year's
worth of interchange payments when final approval is granted and
the order isn't delayed by an appeal.  That estimate is based on
assumptions about the number of merchants that will file claims
and other factors.

"The settlement gives merchants an opportunity at the point of
sale to stimulate the sort of network price competition that can
exert the downward pressure on interchange fees they seek,"
Judge Gleeson said in his ruling.

Judge Gleeson included a slight change to the deal addressing
concerns raised by state governments by clarifying that it does
not bar potential regulatory or law enforcement actions.

The settlement doesn't pertain to debit-card interchange fees,
which are regulated by the government under the 2010 Dodd-Frank
Act.  In July, a federal judge found those fees had been set too
high and ordered the Federal Reserve to revisit the rates.

The case is In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant
Discount Antitrust Litigation, 05-md-01720, U.S. District Court,
Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).


* European Commission Calls for Collective Redress Mechanism
------------------------------------------------------------
Ludger Giesberts, Esq. -- ludger.giesberts@dlapiper.com -- and
Andreas Tiedge, Esq. -- Andreas.Tiedge@dlapiper.com -- at DLA
Piper report that the European Commission is calling for European
Union member states to introduce an injunctive and compensatory
collective redress mechanism to their national procedural rules by
July 26, 2015.  In many respects, the concept of a European
collective redress scheme is similar to that of US-style class
actions.

The new European collective redress mechanism would increase the
risk of product safety and product liability litigation against
companies.

Collective redress will, above all, affect manufacturers and
importers of products.  The new landscape would include the
potential for large-scale, high-stakes mass tort claims with a
high media impact.

1. Collective redress means class actions

Collective redress, in Europe, is popularly understood to mean a
representative proceeding -- a case brought on behalf of a group
of claimants.  Notably, a legal definition for the term
"collective redress" does not exist in EU law.  Moreover, the
different cases where collective redress could be used differ
greatly.  But the common denominator among these scenarios is that
collective redress enables a larger number of people to benefit
from the effects of a favorable court decision -- "larger" in
proportion to the subjective accumulation of claims.

Collective redress is a mechanism that is well known, above all,
in the United States, where it is commonly called "class action."
Under US class actions, the binding impact of a lawsuit is
extended, inter alia, to all persons who are affected by a certain
product in the same way as the claimant.  Combined with an award
of punitive damages against companies and conditional fee
agreements between lawyers and clients, class actions are a
significant feature of the US legal landscape.

2. Collective redress for product safety and product liability

In addition to notable class actions filed with respect to the
financial services and securities industries, product safety and
product liability is an area that is traditionally very strongly
affected by the concept of collective redress.  In the US,
countless claims have been and are pending against companies in
this field, especially in respect of motor vehicles, household
appliances, consumer electronics, food products, construction
materials and pharmaceuticals.

3. No common European approach as of yet

However, in Europe the approach currently varies widely across a
broad spectrum. The concept of collective redress does not even
exist in all member states.  Where it does, it mostly focuses on a
very narrow scope of cases and constellations.  In Germany, for
example, collective redress schemes are admissible under the
Capital Investors' Test Cases Act (Kapitalanleger-
Musterverfahrensgesetz) regarding public capital market
information.  With its recommendation, the Commission aims to
create a unified approach across the EU to collective redress and
to put an end to this fragmented spectrum.

4. The EU Commission as a driving force

The European Commission has been conferring on collective redress
schemes since 2005, and the system it is now recommending arose
from a series of green and white papers as well as a public
consultation.  The European Parliament supported this by a
resolution.

In its recommendation this summer, the Commission called for the
implementation of its collective redress principles by July 26
2015 at the latest.  Although the recommendation is not legally
binding, the Commission notes that it will evaluate the status of
collective redress laws in the member states after four years.
This tight agenda leads observers to believe that the current
recommendation is merely an intermediate step.  In all probability
a further-reaching legal act will follow after the four-year
period has expired.  Such observers believe that the Commission
will then issue a binding regulation or directive.

5. Allegedly injured parties will be able to accede to a European
collective redress action: effect on national laws

The EU suggests that the possibility of injunctive and
compensatory collective redress should be added to national
procedural rules.  According to the Commission's central
objective, the mechanism is to make it easier for allegedly
injured parties to join such an action against a company.  As a
result, they would feel more encouraged to pursue their claims
judicially in cases where individual damages are small.

In principle, the allegedly injured parties will be able to join a
suit or opt out of it at any time.  For this purpose, the
corresponding information is to be available online in the future.
However, any judgment of the claim will only be binding on those
who opted in.  Hence, unlike in most US based class actions,
individuals must explicitly join the action (a so-called opt-in
system, in contrast to the US opt-out model).

6. Beyond injured parties: even consumer protection associations
and public authorities could act as claimants

It is the Commission's intention that not only the injured parties
should be able to litigate.  In the EU, unlike in the United
States, designated "representative entities" and even authorities
would be able to bring an injunctive or compensatory action.
Hence, under such laws, manufacturers and importers of products
may expect a surge in collective redress litigation.  Action may
be brought by consumer protection associations or market
surveillance authorities seeking to judicially pursue claims for
alleged product safety deficiencies.

This kind of representative action has already been partly
realized in the member states, inter alia, by way of transposition
of Directive 2009/22/EC on injunctions for the protection of
consumers' interests into national laws.  Unsurprisingly,
companies face a greater risk of litigation if representative
action is permitted, because, unlike many private persons,
associations are not afraid of lengthy lawsuits.

The idea that authorities can bring a collective civil redress
action on behalf of the injured parties against certain companies
reaches even further.  Not least is the concern that such
collective actions may be used for political purposes -- for
instance, bringing suit against a company just before an election,
so that the claims take on a quasi-official appearance.  This is a
tool which has hitherto not been available to the public sector.

7. Positions of EU member states

It is now up to the 28 member states of the EU to decide if and
how they will transpose the Commission recommendation into their
national laws.

For Germany, transposing the recommendation would mean a major
amendment of its Code of Civil Procedure (Zivilprozessordnung).
The parties forming the new coalition government after the federal
elections in September 2013 have opposite views on this and,
accordingly, have not yet arrived at a decision.  The conservative
CDU/CSU alliance believes that a far-reaching change of the German
law of civil procedure is not justifiable, because there is no
recognizable deficit in the enforcement of monetary claims.  In
addition, it categorically rejects collective redress actions as
being inherently prone to abuse.  The left-wing Social-Democrats
favor the introduction of collective redress.  However, they
suggest a trial phase for the new mechanism, with a limited term
set for its application.

The Government of the United Kingdom has reservations about the
horizontal nature of the recommendation which applies to every
piece of EU legislation.

France, on the other hand, is just about to include a new group
action (action de groupe) into its Consumer Code (Code de
Consommation).  This instrument, however, will only extend to
actions by state authorized consumer protection associations.

8. What is to be done?

Will collective redress become part of the legal system on a
European Union level and in its individual member states? The next
few years will be decisive.  Companies wishing to communicate
their expectations and arguments should address the relevant
decision-making bodies soon.  There is still time enter the
conversation.

It cannot be said enough that companies involved in the
distribution chain of products will need to adjust to the coming
legal situation.  This applies in particular to manufacturers and
importers.  There is good reason to think that the admissibility
of collective redress will be increasingly expanded.  Many EU
member states will follow the Commission's recommendation.  Within
a few years, binding rulings will follow.

Companies concerned about this scenario therefore face a threefold
task: They need to prepare their compliance and PR departments for
the coming challenges.  Second, they need to obtain a legal
overview of litigation risks in Europe, seeking guidance that
takes multiple jurisdictions into account.  And finally, they
should follow closely monitor the legislative processes around
this issue and let their voices be heard.


* Idaho Inmate to Serve 33 Months in Prison Over Settlement Fraud
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that an Idaho inmate has been ordered
to serve 33 months in prison and repay more than $59,000 collected
by purporting to be a claimant in class-action lawsuits and
bankruptcy settlements across the country.

U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered three years of
supervised release for 53-year-old Mark Anthony Brown, now serving
time in the state prison in Orofino on grand theft and burglary.

Mr. Brown pleaded guilty in August to two counts of mail fraud.
Prosecutors say between 2007 and 2013 he took part in a scheme to
fraudulently collect money by getting involved in at least 22
class action and bankruptcy cases.

Prosecutors say Mr. Brown submitted claim forms to those
overseeing case settlements and received part of the proceeds,
which were then deposited into his prison account.


* Megan's Law Includes Statute of Limitations on Asbestos Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that the Pennsylvania Supreme Court
threw out portions of the state's sex-offender registration law on
Dec. 16, telling lawmakers they violated the constitution's
requirement that bills that become law must be confined to a
single subject.

The justices ruled that a set of changes made to Megan's Law in
2004 was not constitutional, noting that the legislation also
included such measures as a two-year statute of limitations on
asbestos actions, the jurisdictional parameters of park police,
and revisions to real estate law.

The court then put its decision on hold for three months to allow
the Legislature to find a remedy.

"We will stay our decision, as we have done under similar
circumstances, in order to provide a reasonable amount of time for
the General Assembly to consider appropriate remedial remedies,
and to allow for a smooth transition period," wrote Justice Debra
Todd for the five-justice majority.

As revised in 2004, Megan's law created a searchable online
database of offenders, set new punishments for offenders who did
not register, and added luring and institutional sexual assault to
the list of offenses that require 10-year registration.

It also set notification rules for out-of-state offenders who move
to Pennsylvania, altered duties of the Sexual Offenders Assessment
Board, and established community notification about sexually
violent offenders.

Todd said the single-subject rule, which dates to 1864 and has
recently been a factor in several high-profile cases, gives people
confidence they can weigh in before a bill is passed, and helps
lawmakers know what they are voting on ahead of time.

"When an act of the Legislature violates the single-subject rule,
all of its provisions are equally repugnant to the constitution,
and, thus, equally void," Justice Todd said.

Chief Justice Ronald Castille filed a lone dissent, saying it was
a close question but that he would have upheld the law.

"Any law passing through the enactment process is the result of
salutary legislative compromise and the single-subject rule is not
intended to completely discourage such compromise," Chief Justice
Castille wrote.

Steve Miskin, a spokesman for the House Republican caucus, noted
that revisions to Megan's Law enacted two years ago that brought
Pennsylvania into compliance with the federal Adam Walsh Child
Protection and Safety Act were drafted with an eye toward the case
the court just decided.

"We think just about all of them have been enacted in the Adam
Walsh law," Mr. Miskin said.  "I'm not sure about 100 percent.
Pennsylvania's Megan's Law is still in effect."

Gov. Tom Corbett's spokesman said he was disappointed in the
decision and hoped to work with the Legislature to address the
issues raised by the decision.


* Missouri Lawmakers Attempt to Limit Medical Malpractice Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that Missouri lawmakers plan to try
again to limit how much money people can receive in medical
malpractice lawsuits.

Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones says the liability limits are a
priority for the 2014 session.  And Rep. Eric Burlison, of
Springfield, already is promoting a bill.

Republican lawmakers want to reinstate a $350,000 limit on
noneconomic damages such as pain and suffering that was struck
down by the Missouri Supreme Court in July 2012.

The court said the limit violated a common-law right to seek
damages for medical malpractice that predated the adoption of a
state constitution in 1820.

The proposed legislation would abolish that common-law right and
instead make medical liability lawsuits subject to state law.

A similar bill stalled earlier this year in the Senate.


                             *********

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

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

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

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
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The CAR subscription rate is $775 for six months delivered via
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are $25 each. For subscription information, contact
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