CAR_Public/140114.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Tuesday, January 14, 2014, Vol. 16, No. 9

                             Headlines


AARP INC: Misused Funds Collected From Senior Citizens, Suit Says
ALABAMA: 8 Counties Face Class Action Over Boathouse Tax
AMERICAN AMBULETTE: Class Action Sheds Light on Sudden Shutdown
ANGIE'S LIST: Bernard M. Gross Law Firm Files Class Action
AT&T MOBILITY: Former Employee Files Wage Class Action

BEST BUY: Records Personal Information of Shoppers, Class Claims
CERES PINEHURST: Has Built 300 Substandard Houses, Buyers Claim
CITIGROUP INC: Judge Widens Scope of Mortgage Bond Class Action
CONAGRA FOODS: Sued Over Illegal Ads for Chef Boyardee Products
DONNA KAREN: Faces "Kokobaeva" Class Action Over ZIP Code

ELECTRONIC ARTS: Faces Class Actions After "Battlefield" Launch
ELECTRONIC ARTS: Holzer & Holzer Files Class Action in California
FALLS CREEK: CPSC Announces Recall of Infant Girl Sandals
FRESENIUS MEDICAL: Faces 433+ Product Liability Suits
GENERAL NUTRITION: Class Seeks Payment of Overtime Premiums

GIANT EAGLE: Recalls Candy Place Chocolate Santas Packages
GMI NA: Jan. 15 Final Approval Hearing of Settlement
GOOGLE INC: Wins Bid for Rehearing of Wiretap Suit in 9th Circuit
HAZELL BROS: Feb. 17 Blampied Bushfire Settlement Hearing Set
HORMEL FOODS: Ordered to Pay $195,087 to Employees at Beloit Plant

HYUNDAI MOTOR: CEO's Sudden Resignation Not Related to Settlement
ILLINOIS: Faces Class Action Over New Pension Reform Law
INTUITIVE SURGICAL: Robotic System-Related Injuries Unreported
KAISER PERMANENTE: Faces "Buck" Suit Over Stolen Confidential Info
LINEAR LLC: Recalls Personal Reporting System Transmitters

MALKIN HOLDINGS: Investors Ask $400MM From Empire State Bldg. Sale
MARK'S: Recalls Denver Hayes Snuggable Warmer Buddies
MERCHANT SERVICES: Class in Card Processing Fee Suit Certified
MERCK: CDC Issues Voluntary Recall of Isolated HPV Vaccine
NAT'L COLLEGIATE: High School Football Players File Class Action

NAVISTAR CORP: Recalls 3 Buses Due to Seat Belt Defect
NAVISTAR CORP: Recalls 105 School Buses Due to Seat Belt Defect
NEWMAR: Recalls 2 Motorhomes Due to Loose Nuts
NMI RETIREMENT: Johnson Class Action Settlement Gets Approval
NOVARTIS AG: Faces Suit Over Sale & Marketing of Excedrin Product

ONTARIO: Rideau, Southwestern Abuse Victims Await Apologies
RONA INC: Recalls Convection Heaters Due to Fire Hazard
ROYAL BANK: Investors May Pursue Suit Over $22.5BB Securities
TARGET CORP: Colorado Man Files Class Action Over Data Breach
TARGET CORP: Faces "McPherson" Suit Over Data Breach

TARGET CORP: Faces "Derba" et al. Suit Over Data Breach
THAMES & KOSMOS: Recalls U.S Versions of Science Experiment Kits
TJX COS: 2 Former Assistant Store Managers Sue Over Unpaid Wages
TODEY MOTOR: Appeals Court Reinstates Product Liability Suit
TRUSTMARK NATIONAL: March 25 Final Hearing on $4 Million Accord

UNITED PARCEL: Faces Suit Over Declared Value Coverage Charges
UNITED STATES: Claimants in "Pigford" Seek Review of Claims
UNITED STATES: Judge Dismisses Levee-Related Claims v. Army Corps
VARIETES PIERRE: Recalls Boutique Selection Plush Penguin
VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA: Abalone License Holders Lodge Appeal

WAL-MART STORES: W.D. Pa. Remands "Farneth" Suit to State Court
WAL-MART STORES: Recalls 73,400 Mainstays Table & Chair Sets

* 3D Products Not Covered Under Traditional Product Liability Law
* Class Action Provision to Spur Shareholder Activism in India
* High Court to Decide Early 2014 Whether to Hear Sears, Whirlpool
* Regulators Review Arbitration Clauses in Contracts


                             *********


AARP INC: Misused Funds Collected From Senior Citizens, Suit Says
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jerald Friedman, Individually and on Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated v. AARP, Inc., AARP Services Inc., AARP
Insurance Plan, UnitedHealthcare Group, Inc. and UnitedHealthcare
Insurance Company, Case No. 2:14-cv-00034-DDP-PLA (C.D. Cal.,
January 2, 2014) is a consumer class action seeking to recoup
millions of dollars on behalf of a class of senior citizens and
disabled individuals residing in California who, by the alleged
deceptive practices and unlawful acts of the Defendants, were
fooled into paying artificially inflated insurance charges for
Medicare supplemental health insurance policies.

The Plaintiff further alleges that the Defendants use the inflated
portion of the payment for illegal purposes -- the payment of
insurance commissions to an unlicensed entity.

AARP, Inc. is a District of Columbia non-profit corporation
headquartered in Washington, D.C.  AARP along with its
subsidiaries, formerly known as the American Association of
Retired Persons, is a tax-exempt, "non-profit" membership
organization for seniors aged 50 years and older.  AARP has long
been regarded as a protector and advocate of the nation's senior
community, and today AARP is reported to have over 40 million
members -- about half of whom are over the age of 65, and all of
whom recognize and trust the AARP name.

AARP Services, Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of AARP,
organized under the laws of Delaware and also headquartered in
Washington, D.C.  ASI is AARP's taxable "for-profit" division that
negotiates, oversees, and manages lucrative contracts with AARP's
insurance business partners.  AARP Insurance Plan is a grantor
trust organized by AARP, Inc. under the laws of the District of
Columbia.  AARP Trust is the vehicle through which AARP, Inc.
collects, invests and remits premium payments for AARP Medigap
policies.

UnitedHealth Group, Inc. is a Minnesota insurance corporation
headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota.  UnitedHealth Group is the
largest single health insurer in the United States.
UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company is an operating division and
wholly owned subsidiary of UnitedHealth Group and maintains its
corporate headquarters in Hartford, Connecticut.  AARP Medigap
plans are insured by UnitedHealthcare Insurance Company.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Frank J. Janecek, Jr., Esq.
          Christopher Collins, Esq.
          ROBBINS GELLER RUDMAN & DOWD LLP
          655 West Broadway, Suite 1900
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 231-1058
          Facsimile: (619) 231-7423
          E-mail: frankj@rgrdlaw.com
                  chrisc@rgrdlaw.com

               - and -

          Stuart A. Davidson, Esq.
          Mark J. Dearman, Esq.
          Christopher C. Martins, Esq.
          ROBBINS GELLER RUDMAN & DOWD LLP
          120 East Palmetto Park Rd., Suite 500
          Boca Raton, FL 33432
          Telephone: (561) 750-3000
          Facsimile: (561) 750-3364
          E-mail: sdavidson@rgrdlaw.com
                  mdearman@rgrdlaw.com
                  cmartins@rgrdlaw.com

               - and -

          Sean K. Collins, Esq.
          SEAN K. COLLINS, ATTY. AT LAW
          77184 High Street, Suite 503
          Boston, MA 02110
          Telephone: (617) 939-9731
          Facsimile: (617) 227-2843
          E-mail: sean@neinsurancelaw.com

               - and -

          Michael F. Ghozland, Esq.
          GHOZLAND LAW FIRM
          555 West Fifth Street, Suite 3100
          Los Angeles, CA 90013
          Telephone: (213) 996-8327
          Facsimile: (213) 402-5147
          E-mail: michael@ghozlandlawfirm.com


ALABAMA: 8 Counties Face Class Action Over Boathouse Tax
--------------------------------------------------------
Meredith Qualls, writing for Decatur Daily, reports that a class-
action lawsuit was filed Dec. 13 in Marshall County Circuit Court
by Bobby Taylor and Kim Taylor against eight north Alabama
counties, claiming boathouses on Tennessee Valley Authority
property were illegally assessed ad valorem taxes.  The suit is
against Marshall, Jackson, Limestone, Lawrence, Morgan,
Lauderdale, Franklin and Colbert counties and their revenue
commissioners.  Plaintiffs are asking the judge to issue a
permanent injunction to stop the practice of assessing and
collecting ad valorem taxes on the boathouses.  If the counties
are found guilty, plaintiff wants the counties to repay excess
property taxes and pay for the cost of the lawsuit.

Morgan County Revenue Commissioner Amanda Scott said the county
could ask to be removed from the lawsuit because it has no
property that fits the criteria.

Lawrence County Revenue Commissioner Tommy Praytor said he was not
sure if the county is wrongfully collecting taxes on boathouses.
Mr. Praytor said the boathouses are not a significant part of the
county taxbase.

Limestone County Revenue Commissioner Brian Patterson declined
comment for this story.

A 1979 state Supreme Court case states plaintiffs are entitled to
refunds for unqualified tax assessments.

Mr. Taylor is represented by Guntersville attorneys Long, Flanagan
and McDonald and Huntsville attorneys Morris, King and Hodge.


AMERICAN AMBULETTE: Class Action Sheds Light on Sudden Shutdown
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jona Ison, writing for The Chillicothe Gazette, reports that
recent court filings in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy of American
Ambulette & Ambulance Service, Life Ambulance's parent company,
including a class action complaint from employees, are shedding
light on what led to the sudden shutdown.

The employee complaint, filed Dec. 16 by two Toledo employees and
a Virginia employee, calls the company to task for failing to give
employees across seven states 60 days notice of the shutdown in
violation of the Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification
Act.  The complaint also alleges CEO Bryan Gibson had been moving
ambulances to his personal private ambulance business in Alabama
and another location in Tennessee.

Schedules for the bankruptcy, filed in North Carolina under
American Ambulette & Ambulance Service, were recently filed and
provide more specific details on the company.  The venture was
primarily funded through New York-based investment firm Enhanced
Equity, which had a $28.2 million loan through the Bank of
Montreal in Chicago.

American Ambulette listed about $42 million in liabilities and
$18.7 million in assets, which included ambulances valued at $6.4
million and $3.2 million in other equipment and supplies.  The
filing also indicated it had about $601,500 cash on hand after the
Bank of Montreal "swept" $561,000 from its bank account on
Dec. 10.

The bankruptcy schedules filed confirm that none of its more than
2,000 employees across its 38 stations -- 18 of which were in Ohio
including ones in Chillicothe, Piketon, Jackson and Washington
Court House -- have been given a final paycheck.  The company owes
employees $635,658.

The class action is requesting the final pay as well as another 60
days wages and benefits because of the WARN violation.  The
complaint also has additional requests for relief that vary
because of differing laws across the seven states.  In Ohio, the
complaint asks for 6 percent penalty interest on wages once they
are 30 days past due.


ANGIE'S LIST: Bernard M. Gross Law Firm Files Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
Law Offices Bernard M. Gross, P.C. on Dec. 30 disclosed that a
class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Indiana, 13-cv-2032, on behalf
of those who purchased the common stock of Angie's List Global
Holdings, Inc., during the period between February 14, 2013 and
October 23, 2013, inclusive.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court by
February 21, 2014.  If you wish to discuss this action or have any
questions concerning this notice or your rights or interests,
please contact plaintiff's counsel, Deborah R. Gross or Susan R.
Gross at 866-561-3600 or 215-561-3600 or via email at
debbie@bernardmgross.com or susang@bernardmgross.com

The firm has expertise in prosecuting class actions alleging
violations of the federal securities laws.  Any person who
purchased the common stock of Angie's List during the Class Period
may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of
his choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class
member.

Angie's List operates a website that helps consumers find local
service providers in local communities across the U.S. using a
subscription-based business model that provides reviews of local
service providers purportedly authored by other locals.  The
complaint charges Angie's List and certain of its executives with
violations of federal securities laws.  Specifically alleged is
that defendants are liable for: making false statements and
failing to disclose adverse facts known to them about Angie's List
regarding Angie's List's prospects and business; which
artificially inflated the price of Angie's List common stock; and
enabled certain of the Individual Defendants to sell more than $14
million of their personally-held Angie's List common stock to the
unsuspecting public at fraud-inflated prices.

On October 24, 2013, stock blogger Seeking Alpha.com published a
report entitled "Angie's List -- a Deferred Revenue Train Wreck,"
which disclosed, in pertinent part, that Angie's List had been
receiving cash, booking it as "deferred revenue," then rapidly
spending it to the extent that unless the Company suddenly became
profitable, it would be unable to fulfill its commitments and
faced insolvency.  On this news, the price of the Company's stock
dropped to close at $14.64, on unusually high trading volume of
almost 7 million shares trading.

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions
concerning this Notice or rights or interests with respect to
these matters,

PLEASE CONTACT:    Law Offices Bernard M. Gross, P.C.
                   Susan R. Gross, Esq.
                   Deborah R. Gross, Esq.
                   Telephone: 866-561-3600 (toll free) or
                              215-561-3600
                   susang@bernardmgross.com or
  E-mail:          debbie@bernardmgross.com
  Website:         http://www.bernardmgross.com


AT&T MOBILITY: Former Employee Files Wage Class Action
------------------------------------------------------
Whitney Brakken, writing for West Virginia Record, reports that a
former AT&T Mobility Services employee has filed a class action
lawsuit after allegedly not being paid all wages and benefits due.

Kimberly Brooks, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, filed a class action lawsuit Dec. 16 in the
Circuit Court of Ohio County against AT&T Mobility Services LLC,
citing the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act.  The
plaintiff alleges she was employed by the defendant until Oct. 29,
and the defendant employed other class members from 2008 to 2013.
The complaint states the defendant discharged the plaintiff and
other class members and did not pay all wages and benefits due.

The plaintiff is seeking the court to certify the civil action as
a class action; designate the plaintiff as representative; appoint
Schrader, Byrd & Companion PLLC as class counsel; find that the
defendant did not pay the plaintiff and class members their wages
and benefits due; and award damages to the plaintiff and class
members not exceeding $75,000 each.  Ms. Brooks is being
represented by Frank X. Duff and Sandra K. Law of Schrader, Byrd &
Companion PLLC.

Circuit Court of Ohio County Case No. 13-C-418


BEST BUY: Records Personal Information of Shoppers, Class Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Nathan; individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. Best Buy Enterprise Services, Inc., Best Buy Co., Inc.
which will do business in California as MN Best Buy Co., Inc.;
Kellie Adams; Hewlett-Packard Company; and DOES 1-10, inclusive;
Case No. BC531623 (Cal. Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cty., December 26,
2013) is brought on behalf of all persons within California, who
have had their personal information or highly restricted personal
information, stored or shared by Best Buy, HP and Ms. Adams
without consent, from December 24, 2009, to the present.

The Defendants have violated the Consumer Legal Remedies Act by
representing that they have rights and remedies that are
prohibited by law, specifically that they demand to obtain drivers
licenses to get personal information or highly restricted personal
information and in the event consumers do not respond to the
illegal demand, they would not sell the consumers the merchandise.

Best Buy Enterprise Services, Inc., is a Minnesota Corporation
registered as a California Corporation with the California
Secretary of State.  Best Buy Co., Inc. which will do business in
California as MN Best Buy Co., Inc., is a Minnesota Corporation
registered as a California Corporation with the California
Secretary of State.  Kellie Adams, a resident of the county of Los
Angeles, California, is employed by the Best Buy Defendants.

Hewlett-Packard Company is a Delaware Corporation registered as a
California Corporation with the California Secretary of State.
The true names and capacities of the Doe Defendants are presently
unknown to the Plaintiff.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Motaz M. Gerges, Esq.
          LAW OFFICE OF MOTAZ M. GERGES
          14320 Ventura Blvd., #463
          Sherman Oaks, CA 91423
          Telephone: (844) 800-LAWS
          Facsimile: (818) 646-3243
          E-mail: Motaz@gergeslaw.com


CERES PINEHURST: Has Built 300 Substandard Houses, Buyers Claim
---------------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that Ceres Pinehurst Ventures and
Pacific Union Homes built 300 substandard houses that will cost
$100,000 apiece to fix, buyers claim in a class action in
Stanislaus County Court, in California.


CITIGROUP INC: Judge Widens Scope of Mortgage Bond Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
Seeking Alpha reports that U.S. District Judge Harold Baer has
widened the scope of class-action litigation over the sale of over
$34 billion in mortgage bonds.  Investors can now join together to
sue Citigroup, Goldman Sachs and UBS over an estimated $11.9
billion worth of paper.  They can also proceed with a case against
RBS involving $22.5 billion worth of debt.


CONAGRA FOODS: Sued Over Illegal Ads for Chef Boyardee Products
---------------------------------------------------------------
Brian O'Dea, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated v. ConAgra Foods, Inc., a Delaware Corporation, Case No.
3:13-cv-03158-L-NLS (S.D. Cal., December 24, 2013) alleges that in
an attempt to appeal to health conscious consumers, the Defendant
represented on its Chef Boyardee line of microwavable sized pasta
bowls that they contain "No MSG" or "No MSG Added."  "MSG" stands
for monosodium glutamate, a controversial flavor enhancer that
reportedly can cause headaches, flushing, sweating, facial
pressure or tightness, numbness, tingling or burning in the face,
neck and other areas, rapid, fluttering heartbeats, chest pain,
nausea and weakness.

The Products, however, are not MSG free because they contain
several ingredients that have MSG, Mr. O'Dea contends.

ConAgra, Inc. is a Delaware corporation with its principal place
of business in Omaha, Nebraska.  ConAgra is a multi-billion dollar
corporation that owns and operates American packaged food
companies.  The Company produces canned foods, frozen foods,
condiments, snacks, and so forth distributed under many different
brands, including Chef Boyardee, Orville Redenbacher, Marie
Calendar, PAM, Slim Jim, Swiss Miss, Blue Bonnet, Healthy Choice,
Hunts, and Hebrew National.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Lionel Z. Glancy, Esq.
          Marc L. Godino, Esq.
          GLANCY BINKOW & GOLDBERG LLP
          1925 Century Park East, Suite 2100
          Los Angeles, CA 90067
          Telephone: (310) 201-9150
          Facsimile: (310) 201-9160
          E-mail: lglancy@glancylaw.com
                  mgodino@glancylaw.com

               - and -

          Rosemary M. Rivas, Esq.
          FINKELSTEIN THOMPSON LLP
          505 Montgomery Street, Suite 300
          San Francisco, CA 94111
          Telephone: (415) 398-8700
          Facsimile: (415) 398-8704
          E-mail: rrivas@finkelsteinthompson.com


DONNA KAREN: Faces "Kokobaeva" Class Action Over ZIP Code
---------------------------------------------------------
Eric Convey, writing for Boston Business Journal, reports that
Kunduz Kokobaeva, a Massachusetts shopper, filed a potential class
action lawsuit in U.S. District Court for Boston against Donna
Karen Co., which operates DKNY stores, over the retailer's alleged
practice of demanding ZIP codes from customers making credit card
purchases.

Kokobaeva bases her suit on Massachusetts state law that prohibits
retailers from demanding personal information that isn't essential
to processing credit card purchases and a state Supreme Judicial
Court ruling that ZIP codes constitute personal identification
information.  The suit seeks class-action status.

DKNY corporate officers could not be reached for comment.

The two lawyers who filed the case, Joseph J. Siprut of Chicago,
Ill., and Alexander Shapoval of Chelsea, Mass., did not
immediately return calls seeking comment.


ELECTRONIC ARTS: Faces Class Actions After "Battlefield" Launch
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chris DiMarco, writing for Inside Counsel, reports that a number
of law firms are seeking to represent Electronic Arts Inc.
investors that were burned by performance of Battlefield 4.  The
game, which was released on Oct. 29, suffered from a number of
launch issues and bugs across multiple gaming platforms.  The
servers supporting the multiplayer aspect of the game were also
the target of a DDOS attack in November that further impeded
customers' ability to play.

Investors were less than thrilled when the botched launch caused a
dip in stock price.  The stock ticked even lower when the
developer behind the game, EA DICE, announced that additional
content development would be put on hold until the issues with the
core game were resolved.

On Dec. 18 securities law firm Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP
filed a complaint in U.S. district court that claimed EA and top
EA executives knew about the game's issues but willfully misled
customers into purchasing the game anyway.  The suit was filed on
behalf of customer Ryan Kelly and others who purchased EA stock
between July 24 and December 4.  The lawsuit says EA deceived
customers in statement from EA CEO Peter Moore that was released
on July 23, in which Mr. Moore said, "We couldn't be happier with
the quality of the games our teams are producing or the early
reception those games are getting from critics and consumers."
Firms claim that anyone who invested following that statement
could be considered for the class.

Following the initial filing from Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd,
two other firms have come forward with investigations into EA's
handling of the situation.  Firm Holzer Holzer and Fistel LLC
began its investigation of the statements EA made in December, and
as of Dec. 20 firm Brower Piven had also commenced a class action.

Each case seeks to determine whether the statements EA made could
be construed as encouragement to invest.  A class has not yet been
certified in any of these cases, but needless to say the suits
could prove to be a big headache for EA.

Toledo Blade reports that the Malkins' Empire State Realty Trust
said the claims were "wholly without merit."

The Blade also reports that lawyer John Rizio-Hamilton said Dec.
26 that by spurning all-cash offers for the tower and instead
packaging it with lesser-known office properties into a publicly
traded stock, father-and-son real estate magnates Peter and
Anthony Malkin put their interests ahead of those of the
building's longtime investors.  Mr. Rizio-Hamilton represents one
of those investors, who filed the suit on Dec. 24 seeking class-
action status on behalf of roughly 3,000 people who hold Empire
State Building shares sold privately in 1961.


ELECTRONIC ARTS: Holzer & Holzer Files Class Action in California
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Holzer & Holzer LLC on Dec. 30 disclosed that it has filed a class
action lawsuit on behalf of investors who purchased Electronic
Arts, Inc. common stock between July 24, 2013 and December 4,
2013.  The complaint, which was filed in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges
that a series of statements regarding the purported strength of
Company's rollout of Battlefield 4 were misleading.  The lawsuit
seeks recovery on behalf of investors who purchased company stock
during that time only.

If you purchased EA common stock between July 24, 2013 and
December 4, 2013 and lost money on that investment you have the
legal right to petition the Court to be appointed a "lead
plaintiff."  A lead plaintiff is a representative party that acts
on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.  Any
such request must satisfy certain criteria and be made no later
than February 15, 2014.  Any member of the purported class may
move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their
choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class
member.  If you are an EA investor and would like to discuss a
potential lead plaintiff appointment, or your rights and interests
with respect to the lawsuit, you may contact Marshall P. Dees,
Esq., via email at mdees@holzerlaw.com or via toll-free telephone
at (888) 508-6832.

Holzer & Holzer LLC -- http://www.holzerlaw.com-- is an Atlanta,
Georgia law firm that dedicates its practice to vigorous
representation of shareholders and investors in litigation
nationwide, including shareholder class action and derivative
litigation.


FALLS CREEK: CPSC Announces Recall of Infant Girl Sandals
---------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has announced
the recall of the following products.  Consumers should stop using
recalled products unless otherwise instructed.  Consumers can
submit reports of harm to CPSC's searchable online product safety
database at www.SaferProducts.gov.

A searchable food and medical product recall database is available
at www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/default.htm

Units: About 1,300

Hazard: The top strap can be pulled loose from the shoe, and a
child can choke on it.

Description: Infant girl sandals sold under the Falls Creek Baby
brand are recalled.  The "Susan" style was sold in infant sizes 3
to 6 months, 6 to 9 months and 9 to 12 months.  The white leather
sandals have three pink, purple and yellow flowers on the top and
a top strap that attaches to a hook and loop fastener on each side
of the shoe.

Sold exclusively at: Meijer Stores in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky,
Michigan and Ohio from April to July 2013 for $6 to $9.

Remedy: Contact American Boy and Girl for a refund or replacement.

Contact: Call 800-689-9237 or visit www.abgnyc.com.


FRESENIUS MEDICAL: Faces 433+ Product Liability Suits
-----------------------------------------------------
According to Cliff Rieders of Rieders, Travis, Humphrey, Harris
Waters & Waffenschmidt, there are currently more than 433 product
liability lawsuits filed in U.S. District Courts throughout the
United States against Fresenius Medical Care, all involving nearly
identical allegations that the company failed to adequately warn
about the cardiac risks of their Granuflo and NaturaLyte dialysis
products.

In April 2013, the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
established coordinated pretrial proceedings for all Fresenius
cases filed throughout the federal court system, centralizing all
lawsuits before U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock in the
District of Massachusetts.

As part of the coordinated management of the Fresenius litigation,
Judge Woodlock just issued a case management order approving the
use of a master complaint and short form complaint to standardize
the process of filing addition lawsuits against Fresenius.

Following adoption of the master complaint, plaintiffs are now
able to utilize the short form compliant to bring future lawsuits,
outlining the specific allegations of that plaintiff's claim,
indicating the portions of the master complaint they are adopting,
which product was used and case-specific information about their
heart attack, cardiac arrest or other alleged injury.


GENERAL NUTRITION: Class Seeks Payment of Overtime Premiums
-----------------------------------------------------------
Joseph Lalli v. General Nutrition Centers, Inc. and General
Nutrition Corp., Case No. 3:13-cv-30208-KPN (D. Mass.,
December 31, 2013) is a "collective action" pursuant to the Fair
Labor Standards Act to remedy the Defendants' alleged violations
of the overtime wage provisions of the FLSA.

Mr. Lalli seeks damages and other relief provided by law for GNC's
alleged failure to pay him and other non-exempt employees time-
and-a-half overtime premiums for the hours they work in excess of
40 hours in a workweek, as required by the federal and state law.
Specifically, he challenges as unlawful GNC's uniform, company-
wide policy of using the fluctuating workweek method to calculate
overtime for non-exempt employees whose remuneration includes non-
discretionary commissions.

General Nutrition Centers, Inc. is a Delaware corporation with a
principle place of business in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  General
Nutrition Corporation is a Pennsylvania corporation also based in
Pittsburgh.  GNC is engaged in the business of selling health and
wellness products including vitamins, minerals, and herbal
supplements.  GNC conducts this business through a sales network,
which includes approximately 3,100 company-owned stores throughout
the United States, including approximately 70 stores in
Massachusetts.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jonathan Orent, Esq.
          Robert J. McConnell, Esq.
          MOTLEY RICE LLC
          321 South Main St., 2nd Floor
          Providence, RI 02903
          Telephone: (401) 457-7700
          Facsimile: (401) 457-7708
          E-mail: bmcconnell@motleyrice.com

               - and -

          William H. Narwold, Esq.
          Mathew P. Jasinski, Esq.
          MOTLEY RICE LLC
          20 Church St., 17th Floor
          Hartford, CT 06103
          Telephone: (860) 882-1681
          Facsimile: (860) 882-1682
          E-mail: bnarwold@motleyrice.com
                  mjasinski@motleyrice.com


GIANT EAGLE: Recalls Candy Place Chocolate Santas Packages
----------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Dec. 28 disclosed that
Candy Place Chocolate Santas packages were voluntarily recalled by
Giant Eagle due to an undeclared peanut allergen.  While the
individual peanut butter filled candies reference "peanut butter",
peanuts are not listed as an ingredient on the primary package
label, creating the potential for a serious or life-threatening
allergic reaction if consumed by those with a peanut allergy.  The
product is safe for consumption by those who do not have a peanut
allergy.

The affected product was sold in 11-ounce packages with the UPC
code 3003407341, and included chocolate, caramel and peanut butter
varieties of chocolate candy.  The product was purchased by
approximately 1,100 customers in Giant Eagle supermarkets in
Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland since October 1, 2013.

No illnesses have been reported to date.  Consumers may return
affected product to any Giant Eagle supermarket location for a
full refund.  Those with questions may call George J. Howe
Company, the manufacturer, at 1-800-367-4693 between the hours of
8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST Monday through Friday, or may leave a
voicemail if calling at other hours.

In addition to this public communication regarding this recall,
upon notification by the manufacturer Giant Eagle initiated its
consumer recall telephone notification process in conjunction with
immediately removing the product from store shelves.  The consumer
recall process used purchase data and consumer phone numbers
housed in the Giant Eagle Advantage Card(R)database to alert those
households that purchased the affected product and have updated
telephone contact information in the database.


GMI NA: Jan. 15 Final Approval Hearing of Settlement
----------------------------------------------------
The Greene County Circuit Court has granted preliminary approval
to a proposed settlement in a class action lawsuit claiming G.M.I.
N.A., Inc. sent unsolicited facsimile advertisements, violating
the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act and committing
conversion.  The case is Goans Acquisition, Inc. v. G.M.I. N.A.,
Inc. No. 0931-CV16476.

G.M.I. N.A., Inc.'s only assets reasonably available to provide
class-wide relief in this case are its cash contribution and
insurance policies. G.M.I. N.A., Inc.'s insurers have denied
coverage and claim they have no duty to defend or indemnify G.M.I.
N.A., Inc.  Pursuant to the settlement agreement, G.M.I., N.A. has
agreed to contribute $250,000 to a settlement fund. Pursuant to
the settlement agreement, eligible members of the class will
receive up to $500 per valid claim, depending upon the number of
valid claim forms received. Eligible members for a cash payment
are the members of the Cash Class.

Class members are any persons or entities that received one or
more facsimiles from G.M.I. N.A. promoting its products or
services between Nov. 4, 2005 and Nov. 4, 2009.  The settlement,
if finally approved, would prohibit G.M.I. N.A. from sending
unsolicited facsimile advertisements to all class members.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, only those persons or
entities to whom G.M.I. N.A. sent one or more facsimiles promoting
its products or services in May 2008, or on Aug. 25, 2009, would
be eligible for a cash payment.

To receive a benefit, eligible class members must complete and
return a claim form to the claims administrator.  A claim form can
be submitted online through the settlement website,
www.GMISettlement.com, or requested from the claims administrator
at 1-855-208-2751.  To be considered valid a claim form must be
submitted online or postmarked on or before Jan. 10, 2014.

Class members can exclude themselves by writing a letter to the
claims administrator so that it is postmarked on or before Jan.
10, 2014, or they won't be able to sue, or continue to sue, G.M.I.
N.A., Inc., about the legal claims in this case.  If a class
member excludes itself from the settlement, then it gives up the
opportunity to receive money from this settlement.

Class members who remain in the settlement may object to the terms
of the settlement by filing an objection on or before January 10,
2014.

The Court will hold a hearing on this case (Goans Acquisition,
Inc. v. G.M.I. N.A., Inc., No. 0931-CV16476) at 2:00 p.m. on Jan.
15, 2014 in the Greene County Circuit Court to consider whether to
grant final approval of the settlement.  The Court may also decide
how much to pay to Class Counsel and to award the Class
Representative.  Class members may ask to appear at the hearing,
but don't have to attend.

For more information, visit www.GMISettlement.com or call the
claims administrator toll-free at 1-855-208-2751.  Please do not
contact the Court.

The Class is represented by:

     Noah K. Wood, Esq.
     WOOD LAW FIRM LLC
     1100 Main Street, Suite 1800
     Kansas City, MO 64105
     Tel: (816)256-3582
     Fax: (816)753-7232
     E-mail: noah@woodlaw.com

The Defendant is represented by:

     Anastasios T. Foukas, Esq.
     SEGAL McCAMBRIDGE SINGER & MAHONEY LTD.
     Willis Tower, Suite 5500
     233 South Wacker Drive
     Chicago, IL 60606
     Fax: 312-645-7711
     E-mail: afoukas@smsm.com

The GMI TCPA Claims Administrator is:

     Class Action Administration, Inc.
     PO Box 6878
     Broomfield, CO 80021
     Telephone (toll free): 1-855-208-2751


GOOGLE INC: Wins Bid for Rehearing of Wiretap Suit in 9th Circuit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Hull, writing for Courthouse News Service, reports that
Google's bid to dismiss claims that it violated wiretap laws in
collecting data for its Street View program will again go before
the 9th Circuit, but not an en banc panel, the court said on
December 27, 2013.

After launching Street View in 2007, Google learned that the cars
it had travel the world to take photographs had inadvertently
collected some 600 gigabytes of private data from unencrypted Wi-
Fi networks in more than 30 countries.  The collected data
included "personal emails, usernames, passwords, videos, and
documents" before Google purportedly corrected the issue.

Lead plaintiff Benjamin Joffe and others say Google violated
various points of the federal Wiretap Act, which prohibits the
interception of "wire, oral, or electronic communication," except
in a few instances, while collecting data for Street View between
2007 and 2010.

The Wiretap Act provides an exemption for "electronic
communication made through an electronic communication system"
that is "readily accessible to the general public."  Unscrambled
radio and television broadcasts fall under this exemption.

In its motion to dismiss the proposed class action, Google had
argued that all data transmitted over any Wi-Fi network is an
electronic "radio communication," and thus exempt, just as any
other radio broadcast, from the prohibition on interception of the
same.  It supported this argument by defining radio communication
as "any information transmitted using radio wave."  Google also
justified the interception of unencrypted WiFi networks because
they are "readily accessible to the general public."

U.S. District Judge James Ware in San Jose disagreed on all points
and refused to dismiss the complaint, and a three-judge panel of
the 9th Circuit affirmed this past September, finding Google's
definition dangerously expansive.

"Google's proposed definition is in tension with how Congress --
and virtually everyone else -- uses the phrase," Judge Jay Bybee
wrote for the court.  "In common parlance, watching a television
show does not entail 'radio communication.'  Nor does sending an
email or viewing a bank statement while connected to a Wi-Fi
network.  There is no indication that the Wiretap Act carries a
buried implication that the phrase ought to be given a broader
definition than the one that is commonly understood."

On December 27, the 9th Circuit agreed to rehear the matter before
its three-judge panel.  It refused, however, to grant en banc
review.

The Plaintiffs-Appellees are represented by:

          Elizabeth J. Cabraser, Esq.
          LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN LLP
          275 Battery Street
          San Francisco, CA 94111-3339
          Telephone: (415) 956-1000
          Facsimile: (415) 956-1008
          E-mail: ecabraser@lchb.com

               - and -

          Mary Ann Geppert, Esq.
          Jeffrey L. Kodroff, Esq.
          John A. Macoretta, Esq.
          SPECTOR ROSEMAN KODROFF & WILLIS, P.C.
          1818 Market Street
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Telephone: (215) 496-0300
          E-mail: mgeppert@srkw-law.com
                  jkodroff@srkw-law.com
                  jmacoretta@srkw-law.com

               - and -

          Daniel A. Small, Esq.
          COHEN MILSTEIN SELLERS & TOLL, PLLC
          1100 New York Avenue, N.W.
          Washington, DC 20005
          Telephone: (202) 408-4600
          E-mail: dsmall@cohenmilstein.com

               - and -

          Jahan C. Sagafi, Esq.
          OUTTEN & GOLDEN LLP
          3 Park Avenue
          New York, NY 10016
          Telephone: (212) 245-1000
          E-mail: jsagafi@outtengolden.com

The Defendant-Appellant is represented by:

          David H. Kramer, Esq.
          WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI
          650 Page Mill Road
          Palo Alto, CA 94304-1050
          Telephone: (650) 493-9300
          E-mail: dkramer@wsgr.com

               - and -

          Michael H. Rubin, Esq.
          WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI
          One Market Street
          Spear St. Tower
          San Francisco, CA 94105
          Telephone: (415) 947-2000
          E-mail: mrubin@wsgr.com

               - and -

          Brian M. Willen
          WILSON SONSINI GOODRICH & ROSATI
          1301 Avenue of the Americas, 40th Floor
          New York, NY 10019
          Telephone: (212) 999-5800
          E-mail: bwillen@wsgr.com

               - and -

          Caroline E. Wilson, Esq.
          4230 Mason Lane
          Sacramento, CA 95821
          Telephone: (949) 241-5830
          E-mail: caroline.wilson@palow.net

               - and -

          Seth P. Waxman, Esq.
          WILMER CUTLER PICKERING HALE AND DORR LLP
          1875 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
          Washington, DC 20006
          Telephone: (202) 663-6800

               - and -

          Marc Rotenberg, Esq.
          ELECTRONIC PRIVACY INFORMATION CENTER
          1718 Connecticut Ave., NW
          Washington, DC 20009
          Telephone: (202) 483-1140

The appellate case is Benjamin Joffe, et al. v. Google Inc., Case
No. 11-17483, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit.  The original case is Benjamin Joffe, et al. v. Google
Inc., Case No. 5:10-md-02184-JW, in the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of California, San Jose.


HAZELL BROS: Feb. 17 Blampied Bushfire Settlement Hearing Set
-------------------------------------------------------------
Fiona Henderson, writing for The Courier, reports that a proposed
settlement over a class action related to the February 2013
Blampied bushfires will be heard by the Supreme Court sitting in
Ballarat, in Victoria, Australia, on February 17, 2014.

Lead plaintiff Dr David Campbell brought the action against
defendants Hazell Bros. in September, claiming the 37 hectare fire
was caused by sparks from equipment cutting concrete pipe on the
Midland Highway near Blampied. The fire burnt up to the Wombat
State Forest fringe and threatened several houses for more than
three hours, with 50 CFA crews, including 40 tankers, a bulldozer
and five air cranes battling the blaze.  In a statement of claim
on Madden Lawyers' website, Dr Campbell said he lost AUD186,827
worth of equipment, including fencing, gardens, and plant and
machinery, as well as incurring AUD3515 in clean-up costs.

In its statement of defense, also on the website, construction
company Hazell Bros. said the equipment was being used in a damp
trench covered with gravel, and the demolition saw blade was
lubricated to prevent it overheating.  Hazell Bros. also claim its
workers saw police discover a cigarette butt close to the
bushfire's ignition point.

Dr. Campbell and Hazell Bros. have since reached an agreement
which, if approved, will be followed by a loss assessment process.
Class action group members will have to submit their loss details
to Maddens Lawyers to be assessed by Hazell Bros.  If agreed on,
Hazell Bros. will pay compensation equal to 95 per cent of the
loss plus 10 per cent interest, which will run from May 1 next
year.  If approved, some of Dr Campbell's legal costs will also be
paid by Hazell Bros. and group members.

Anyone who wants to oppose the settlement, or to replace
Dr. Campbell as the lead plaintiff, must attend the February 17
hearing at 10:30 a.m. at the Ballarat Law Courts.


HORMEL FOODS: Ordered to Pay $195,087 to Employees at Beloit Plant
------------------------------------------------------------------
ABC 6 News reports that a Wisconsin judge has ordered Hormel Foods
Corporation to pay $195,087 to 330 employees at its Beloit plant.
Attorneys for the workers union have until January 21, 2014 to
file a plan to distribute funds.

The class action lawsuit was filed by workers for unpaid time
spent changing into and out of uniforms, washing their hands and
walking to and from work stations.  The mandatory uniforms are
provided by Hormel and not allowed to leave the premises of the
plant.  Workers also say they were forced to use unpaid meal
breaks to change into and out of the uniforms, not leaving them
time to be allowed to leave the facility as required by state law.


HYUNDAI MOTOR: CEO's Sudden Resignation Not Related to Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Keith Griffin, writing for Torque News, reports that questions
have arisen with the sudden departure of John Krafcik as CEO and
president of Hyundai Motor America but a company spokesman says
his departure is in no way related to a recent settlement of a
class action suit on fuel efficiency.

There had been some speculation that his departure was tied into
the suit but Hyundai spokesman Jim Trainor denied that
uncategorically.  "The departure of John Krafcik from Hyundai
Motor America has nothing to do, in any way, with issues regarding
misstatements of fuel economy by the company.  The issues are
completely unrelated and there is no connection whatsoever," he
said.

Other media outlets are also denying that Mr. Krafcik's departure
was in any way tied to his prominent mention as possible successor
to departing Ford CEO Allen Mulally.  Mr. Krafcik, a veteran of
Ford, was rumored as a possible candidate to succeed Ford CEO
Allan Mulally when he retires.  Mr. Krafcik vehemently denied he
was interested in that job or positions with Nissan and other
companies.

Mr. Krafick was replaced by David Zuchowski, executive vice
president of sales, who was slated to assume the position of
President and CEO effective January 1, 2014.  His selection as the
next president and CEO makes sense because sales have increased
dramatically while he was in the top sales role.

Mr. Zuchowski began his career in 1980 at Ford Motor Company,
where he progressed through various executive-level positions
including regional manager, product marketing manager, national
merchandising manager and field operations manager for the Ford
and Lincoln Mercury divisions.


ILLINOIS: Faces Class Action Over New Pension Reform Law
--------------------------------------------------------
Reuters reports that a group of teachers and public school
officials filed a class-action lawsuit on Dec. 27 in state court
seeking to void Illinois' new pension reform law on grounds the
cuts to pension benefits violate the state constitution.  The
lawsuit, filed in Cook County Circuit Court in Chicago, claims
that changes to current and retired teacher pensions passed by the
Illinois General Assembly and signed into law by Governor Pat
Quinn violate protections for public sector worker retirement
benefits in the Illinois Constitution.

The lawsuit names Quinn, Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka
and the Illinois Teachers' Retirement System's (TRS) board of
trustees as defendants and seeks preliminary and permanent
injunctive relief.  It was filed as a class action, representing
retired and active members of TRS, who are not currently members
of any teachers' labor union.

The reforms, which take effect in June, are expected to save the
state $160 billion over 30 years, while immediately reducing the
unfunded pension liability by 20 percent.


INTUITIVE SURGICAL: Robotic System-Related Injuries Unreported
--------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Langreth, writing for Bloomberg News, says a Bloomberg
review of reports for operations with Intuitive Surgical Inc.'s
robotic system found dozens of injuries that went unreported for
years.  Meanwhile, details of other patient problems involving use
of the company's product, cited in legal papers or in interviews
with patients, were missing entirely.

While a U.S. database lists reports of deaths and injuries sent to
the Food and Drug Administration, the agency has no authority to
force doctors to contribute.  And while hospitals are supposed to
report, they often don't, critics say, according to Bloomberg.

"The adverse event reporting system is a disaster," said David
Challoner, vice president emeritus for health affairs at the
University of Florida, who co-authored an Institute of Medicine
report urging an overhaul of the FDA's system for regulating and
monitoring devices.  "Every link in the chain has a reason not to
report."

The FDA, meanwhile, says it is "well aware of under-reporting of
adverse events" and is working to improve the system, said
William Maisel, chief scientist at the agency's unit that oversees
devices.  "Even if there is under-reporting, it doesn't mean you
can't draw conclusions from the data," Mr. Maisel said in an
interview.

Angela Wonson, an Intuitive spokeswoman, said that information
about the safety of the company's products is available through
multiple data sources, including national surgery databases and
clinical research.  All of these sources, taken together, provide
"a clear picture," she said in an e-mailed response to questions.

The Intuitive system was cleared by the FDA in 2000, after a
trial, done in a Mexico City hospital, of 233 patients in two
kinds of surgery, gall bladder removal and heartburn operations.
Last year, it was used in the U.S. for everything from
hysterectomies to heart-valve procedures to operations for head-
and-neck and prostate cancer.

The FDA received 3,697 adverse reports involving deaths, injuries,
or malfunctions linked to robotic surgery procedures in 2013
through Nov. 3, compared with 1,595 in all of 2012, an FDA
official told Bloomberg News on Nov. 8.  While the number is
larger, this doesn't necessarily mean the rate of adverse events
has changed, Mr. Maisel, of the FDA, said.

Some of the increase may have come as the result of media
attention, announcement of recalls of robotic instruments, or more
device use, Mr. Maisel said.  The number of robotic operations
rose 18 percent worldwide in the first nine months of 2013
compared with the first nine months of 2012, according to a
regulatory filing from Intuitive.


KAISER PERMANENTE: Faces "Buck" Suit Over Stolen Confidential Info
------------------------------------------------------------------
Barbara Wallace at Courthouse News Service reports that Ginger
Buck brought a class action in Los Angeles County Central District
Court against Kaiser Permanente International under California's
Confidentiality of Medical Information Act after a flash drive
holding confidential medical records of almost 49,000 Kaiser
patients was stolen, exposing their names and other information.

The complaint states, "On or around Dec. 2013, the private medical
information of all patients -- including plaintiff and the class
-- who had treated at Kaiser Permanente had been stolen,"
specifically, a computer flash drive containing the medical
information of almost 49,000 patients was gone.  Under the act,
medical facilities must keep patient information confidential
unless the patient gives written authorization.

Kaiser acknowledged that private data of 49,000 patients was on a
flash drive that had gone missing, in a data breach notification
letter to patients that Courthouse News acquired from technology
news site CRN.  Kaiser's letter said that the flash drive
contained each patient's name, medical record number and birth
date.

The alleged breach occurred at Anaheim Medical Center's hospital's
nuclear medicine department, Kaiser told the Los Angeles Times.
Each file listed the type and amount of a specific medication, the
Times said.

Buck says she was treated at Kaiser sometime before 1998. "At the
time of her visit, plaintiff provided confidential medical
information to Kaiser, including her name, personal information
and hospital account number.  At no time during her visit did
plaintiff provide written authorization that her private medical
information be disclosed," according to the complaint.

"Plaintiff's claims are typical of the claims of the class.
Plaintiff is a member of the class she seeks to represent," the
complaint states.  It also states that plaintiff seeks to
represent "all persons who were treated in Kaiser Permanente
and/or its medical centers."

Plaintiff seeks $1,000 per class member; penalties available to
the class as provided by the California Civil Code; general,
special and consequential damages; and interest and attorney's
fees.  The class is represented by Byron T. Ball of The Ball Law
Firm.

According to another data breach notification letter, dated
September 10, Kaiser acknowledged that a similar breach occurred
May 16, when a Kaiser employee attached a document regarding a
"wellness screening competition" to an outside source, not
realizing it contained private information along with a summary of
the competition information.

Buck is represented by:

          Byron T. Ball, Esq.
          THE BALL LAW FIRM LLP
          10866 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1550
          Los Angeles, CA 90024
          Telephone: (310) 441-6148
          Facsimile: (310) 441-5386
          E-mail: btb@balllawllp.com

The case is Ginger Buck v. Kaiser Permanente International
Corporation, et al., Case No. BC531253, in the California Superior
Court for Los Angeles County.


LINEAR LLC: Recalls Personal Reporting System Transmitters
----------------------------------------------------------
Starting date:            December 23, 2013
Posting date:             December 23, 2013
Type of communication:    Consumer Product Recall
Subcategory:              Electronics
Source of recall:         Health Canada
Issue:                    Suspected quality concern
Audience:                 General Public
Identification number:    RA-37243

Affected products: Linear Personal Emergency Reporting System
(PERS) Transmitters

The recalled Linear PERS transmitters are components of Linear
PERS products and allow users to push a button on the transmitter
to summon assistance.

These models were included in the recall:

  Model Number    Description                     Date Codes
  ------------    -----------                     ----------
  DXS-LRC         Grey - pendant and wristband    1306, 1307, 1329
  DXS-LRC-LA      Grey - pendant and wristband    1306, 1307, 1329
  DXS-LRP         White - pendant                 1306, 1307, 1329
  DXS-LRW         Black - wristband               1306, 1307, 1329

The model and date codes can be found on the back of the
transmitter.

The battery clips in the transmitters can corrode causing the
transmitters to operate intermittently or not at all, without
generating a warning.

Linear has received one report of a transmitter that failed to
operate.  No injuries have been reported.

Health Canada has not received any reports of incidents or
injuries related to the use of these transmitters.

Approximately 97 of the recalled transmitters were sold in Canada.

The recalled transmitters were manufactured in China and sold from
June 2013 to August 2013.

Companies:

  Distributor:     Linear LLC
                   Carlsbad
                   California
                   United States

Consumers should immediately contact Linear to receive a free
replacement transmitter.


MALKIN HOLDINGS: Investors Ask $400MM From Empire State Bldg. Sale
------------------------------------------------------------------
Iulia Filip at Courthouse News Service reports lead plaintiff Marc
Postelnek sued Anthony and Peter Malkin, and Malkin Holdings in
New York County Supreme Court, on behalf of thousands of
shareholders, saying they rolled the Empire State Building into a
real estate investment trust they controlled to boost the value of
their other properties in the New York City area and to collect
millions of dollars in management fees.  The lawsuit, filed in New
York, said the Malkins cost stakeholders more than $400 million by
bundling it for sale with 17 other properties they controlled, for
their own profit, rather than selling the historic building on its
own.

Postelnek is the trustee for the Mabel Abramson Irrevocable Trust.
He asserts his grandmother was one of the original shareholders in
Empire State Building Associates (ESBA), the entity that
controlled the fee title and master lease to the Empire State
Building until the Malkins established the real estate investment
trust.

In 1961, Peter Malkin and his father-in-law took over management
of the building with partner Harry Helmsley, after raising $33
million from 2,800 small investors who paid $10,000 per unit.
After Helmsley's death, Peter Malkin and his son Anthony decided
to transfer the building to an investment trust with other Malkin-
controlled properties and take it public, to avoid losing control
of the building when the Helmsley estate sold its share, according
to the lawsuit, filed on Christmas Eve.

Malkin, who already owned the 114-year lease on the Empire State
Building, bought the building in 2002, becoming both owner and
manager.

"As of June 2013, the Malkins were poised to complete a
transaction that would provide them with hundreds of millions of
dollars in unique and personal benefits not shared with the
participants -- namely, the roll-up of the iconic Empire State
Building with 17 other Malkin-controlled properties into a
consolidated real estate investment trust ('REIT'), which would
then issue shares through an initial public offering ('IPO')," the
complaint states.

Postelnek claims that as many as six real estate tycoons bid up to
$2.3 billion for the tower, which was appraised at $2.53 billion
as of June 2012.  The Malkins rejected all of the offers, and
packaged the Empire State Building with other properties to make
their IPO attractive to investors and collect millions in
"override interests," according to the lawsuit.

Postelnek claims the Malkins' IPO price of $13 per share drove the
value of the building more than $400 million below the offers that
they had rejected as inadequate.

The Malkins transferred the building to the Empire State Realty
Trust for $1.89 billion in October, which set the value of small
investors' units at $240,000, far below the $330,000 the Malkins
had promised, according to the complaint.

Postelnek claims the Malkins hoped to make $304 million in
override interests, more than half of it from the Empire State
Building, and $15 million in management fees from the
consolidation and IPO.  The Malkins have settled a previous class
action filed by long-time shareholders for $55 million and pushed
forward with the IPO, according to the new lawsuit.  Postelnek
claims that instead of encouraging the bidding war to drive up the
value of the building, the Malkins ignored the offers they
received between June and September 2013, trying to "run out the
clock" until they could launch the IPO.  He says they tried to get
shareholders' support by promising the IPO would increase the
value of their investment, but instead maximized their own profits
at investors' expense.

Postelnek seeks class certification and damages for breach of
fiduciary duty.  He is represented by John Rizio-Hamilton with
Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann.

"The investors in the Empire State Building were harmed when the
Malkins decided to pursue their own interest instead of choosing
to maximize the value of the building for all the people who
invested in it," Rizio-Hamilton said in a telephone interview.
"We look forward to vindicating the rights of the investors in
court."

A spokesperson for Empire State Realty Trust said in a statement:
"These claims are wholly without merit, and we will respond to
them in court."

The Empire State Building, in Midtown Manhattan, was the world's
tallest building for nearly 40 years, until the World Trade
Center's North Tower topped it in 1970.

After the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the Empire State Building was
again the tallest building in New York, until the new One World
Trade Center reached a greater height in April 2012.  The Empire
State Building now is the fourth-tallest skyscraper in the United
States and the 23rd-tallest building in the world.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Gerald H. Silk, Esq.
          Salvatore J. Graziano, Esq.
          Mark Lebovitch, Esq.
          John J. Rizio-Hamilton, Esq.
          Jeremy Friedman, Esq.
          BERNSTEIN LITOWITZ BERGER & GROSSMANN LLP
          1285 Avenue of the Americas
          New York, NY 10019
          Telephone: (212) 554-1400
          Facsimile: (212) 554-1444
          E-mail: jerry@blbglaw.com
                  sgraziano@blbglaw.com
                  markl@blbglaw.com
                  johnr@blbglaw.com
                  JeremyF@blbglaw.com

The case is Postelnek Marc v. Malkin Anthony E., et al., Case No.
654456/2013, in the Supreme Court of the State of New York, County
of New York.


MARK'S: Recalls Denver Hayes Snuggable Warmer Buddies
-----------------------------------------------------
Starting date:            December 17, 2013
Posting date:             December 17, 2013
Type of communication:    Consumer Product Recall
Subcategory:              Toys
Source of recall:         Health Canada
Issue:                    Product Safety
Audience:                 General Public
Identification number:    RA-37237

Affected products: Denver Hayes Snuggable Warmer Buddies

The voluntary recall involves the Denver Hayes Snuggable Warmer
Buddies identified by Mark's style number 6DUJDHFB3-CS974.  The
Warmer Buddies come in assorted plush animals with a removable
seed-filled pouch intended to be placed in the microwave for
heating.

A toy, regardless of the age of child it is intended to be used
by, must not contain plant seeds as stuffing material.  This
requirement protects children from a number of hazards, including:
toxicity, aspiration, impaction and infestation.

Neither Health Canada nor Mark's has received any reports of
incidents or injuries related to the use of this product.

For some tips to help consumers choose safe toys and to help them
keep children safe when they play with toys, see General toy
safety tips.

Approximately 1,472 units of the recalled Snuggable Warmer Buddies
were sold at Mark's stores across Canada.

The recalled Snuggable Warmer Buddies were manufactured in China
and sold from September 2013 to November 2013.

Companies:

  Distributor     Mark's (formerly known as Mark's Work Warehouse)
                  Calgary
                  Canada

Consumers should immediately discontinue using the recalled
product and return it to their local Mark's store for a refund.
For more information, consumers may contact their local Mark's
store.


MERCHANT SERVICES: Class in Card Processing Fee Suit Certified
--------------------------------------------------------------
Megan Gallegos at Courthouse News Service reports Rainbow Business
Solutions has been appointed the lead plaintiff in a 2010 suit
against Merchant Services Inc, National Payment Processing and
several other companies and individuals in Oakland, Calif.  The
complaint alleges that Merchant Services, a card-payment
processing company, conspired with card equipment leasing services
to sell fraudulent equipment leases and credit card processing
services laden with exorbitant fees and hidden costs.  Rather than
paying for the leased equipment, Rainbow says the high costs
support commissions and profits.  It also claims that the leasing
companies collected purported taxes that were not actually due,
and that they never sent those funds on to taxing authorities.
Adding insult to injury, the leasing companies collecting the
taxes allegedly charged the merchants unauthorized administrative
fees.

Though Merchant Services and its partners have recently settled
the claims against them, claims against the leasing companies are
ongoing.  Merchant Services and its settling co-defendants had to
pay $923,000 in attorneys' fees and a $7,500 incentive to each of
the named plaintiffs.

The lead plaintiffs meanwhile moved for class certification, and
U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken previously agreed to organize
two groups of plaintiffs.

A California subclass of the proposed SKS Post-Lease Expiration
Class is defined as "all persons and businesses whose lease
numbers appeared on Schedule 1."  They can pursue a claim under
California unfair competition law (UCL).  SKS Associates is a
named defendant.

The property tax equipment cost basis class, defined as "all
persons and businesses who from March 26, 2006, to the present
paid any leasing defendants property taxes based on a cost greater
than the 'equipment cost'" to pursue a breach of contract claim
and its California subclass to pursue a claim for breach of the
duty of good faith and fair dealing and a UCL claim."

Wilken nevertheless refused to certify three other subclasses, one
of which would have included merchants that allegedly paid more
than the standard rate of Northern Leasing, another equipment
service.

The others involved those that allegedly paid property tax on the
card equipment cost, and those that had their credit reports
inspected in an attempt to collect amounts due on a lease.

Wilken pooh-poohed those subclasses because "individual issues of
reliance will predominate with respect to individual class
members' reliance on the alleged fraud."

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Adam Gutride, Esq.
          Kristen Gelinas Simplicio, Esq.
          Seth Adam Safier, Esq.
          Todd Michael Kennedy, Esq.
          GUTRIDE SAFIER LLP
          835 Douglass Street
          San Francisco, CA 94114
          Telephone: (415) 271-6469
          Facsimile: (415) 449-6469
          E-mail: adam@gutridesafier.com
                  Kristen@gutridesafier.com
                  seth@gutridesafier.com
                  todd@gutridesafier.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Cary Donahue Sullivan, Esq.
          Thomas Reed Malcolm, Esq.
          Travis Biffar, Esq.
          JONES DAY
          3161 Michelson Drive, Suite 800
          Irvine, CA 92612
          Telephone: (949) 553-7513
          Facsimile: (949) 553-7539
          E-mail: carysullivan@jonesday.com
                  tbiffar@jonesday.com

               - and -

          Brian D. Hershman, Esq.
          JONES DAY
          555 South Flower Street, 15th Floor
          Los Angeles, CA 90071
          Telephone: (213) 243-2445
          Facsimile: (213) 243-2539
          E-mail: bhershman@jonesday.com

               - and -

          Kevin Hugh Logan, Esq.
          JONES DAY
          51 Louisiana Avenue NW
          Washington, DC 20001
          Telephone: (202) 879-3967
          Facsimile: (202) 626-1700
          E-mail: klogan@jonesday.com

               - and -

          James Cai, Esq.
          SCHEIN & CAI, LLP
          111 West St. John Street, Suite 1250
          San Jose, CA 95113
          Telephone: (408) 436-0789
          Facsimile: (408) 436-0758
          E-mail: jcai@sacattorneys.com

               - and -

          Seth Wesley Wiener, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF SETH W. WIENER
          609 Karina Court
          San Ramon, CA 94582
          Telephone: (925) 487-5607
          E-mail: sethwiener@yahoo.com

               - and -

          Rod Divelbiss, Esq.
          John Vincent Erickson, Esq.
          JRA LAW PARTNES LLP
          235 Pine Street, Suite 1300
          San Francisco, CA 94104
          Telephone: (415) 788-4646
          Facsimile: (415) 788-6929
          E-mail: rdivelbiss@collette.com
                  jerickson@collette.com

               - and -

          Abraham Y. Skoff, Esq.
          Jennifer Nigro, Esq.
          Robert Lillienstein, Esq.
          Scott E. Silberfein, Esq.
          MOSES & SINGER LLP
          405 Lexington Avenue
          New York, NY 10174
          Telephone: (212) 554-7800
          E-mail: askoff@mosessinger.com
                  jnigro@mosessinger.com
                  rlillienstein@mosessinger.com
                  ssilberfein@mosessinger.com

               - and -

          John Merrill Heaphy, III, Esq.
          Jeffrey James Halldin, Esq.
          HARRISON AND HELD, LLP
          333 W. Wacker, Ste 1700
          Chicago, IL 60606
          Telephone: (312) 753-6160
          E-mail: jheaphy@harrisonheld.com
                  jhalldin@harrisonheld.com

               - and -

          Joan Eve Trimble, Esq.
          Lee Alan Sherman, Esq.
          CALLAHAN, THOMPSON, SHERMAN & CAUDILL LLP
          2601 Main Street, Suite 800
          Irvine, CA 92614
          Telephone: (949) 261-2872
          Facsimile: (949) 261-6060
          E-mail: jtrimble@ctsclaw.com
                  lsherman@ctsclaw.com

               - and -

          K. Todd Phillips, Esq.
          Seema Tendolkar, Esq.
          WICK PHILLIPS GOULD & MARTIN, LLP
          2100 Ross Avenue, Suite 950
          Dallas, TX 75201
          Telephone: (214) 692-6200
          Facsimile: (214) 692-6255
          E-mail: tphillips@wickphillips.com
                  seema.tendolkar@wickphillips.com

               - and -

          Michael Thomas Tinan Carlson, Esq.
          GEARY SHEA O'DONNELL & GRATTAN, PC
          37 Old Courthouse Square, 4th Floor
          P.O. Box 429
          Santa Rosa, CA 95402-0429
          Telephone: (707) 545-1660
          Facsimile: (707) 545-1876
          E-mail: mcarlson@gsoglaw.com

               - and -

          James R. McGuire, Esq.
          MORRISON & FOERSTER LLP
          425 Market Street
          San Francisco, CA 94105-2482
          Telephone: (415) 268-7000
          Facsimile: (415) 268-7522
          E-mail: jmcguire@mofo.com

               - and -

          Stephen M. Colangelo, Esq.
          MORRISON & FOERSTER LLP
          2000 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 6000
          Washington, DC 20006
          Telephone: (202) 887-1500
          E-mail: SColangelo@mofo.com

               - and -

          Hayes F. Michel, Esq.
          KRAKOWSKY MICHEL LLP
          1925 Century Park East, Suite 2050
          Los Angeles, CA 90067
          Telephone: (310) 277-7342
          Facsimile: (310) 277-0298
          E-mail: hmichel@krakowskymichel.com

               - and -

          Robert N. Webner, Esq.
          VORYS SATER SEYMOUR & PEASE LLP
          52 East Gay Street
          Columbus, Oh 43215
          Telephone: (614) 464-8243
          Facsimile: (614) 719-5083
          E-mail: rnwebner@vorys.com

               - and -

          Matthew Keenan Wegner, Esq.
          Matthew Allen Berliner, Esq.
          BROWN WEGNER & BERLINER, LLP
          2603 Main Street, Suite 1050
          Irvine, CA 92614
          Telephone: (949) 705-0080
          Facsimile: (949) 749-4099
          E-mail: mwegner@bwb-lawyers.com
                  mberliner@bwb-lawyers.com

               - and -

          Janet Suejean Park, Esq.
          MATRIX SERVICE COMPANY
          500 W Collins Avenue
          Orange, CA 92867
          Telephone: (714) 289-6638
          E-mail: jpark@matrixservicecompany.com

The case is Rainbow Business Solutions, et al. v. Merchant
Services, Inc., et al., Case No. 4:10-cv-01993-CW, in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California (Oakland).


MERCK: CDC Issues Voluntary Recall of Isolated HPV Vaccine
----------------------------------------------------------
CBS Atlanta reports that the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention issued a voluntary recall for an isolated HPV vaccine
that it says contained tiny glass particles as a result of a
breakage during the manufacturing process.

The CDC states that mild reactions such as redness and swelling at
the site of the needle injection are the only "adverse events"
that have been reported from the approximately 10 affected vials
of the cancer-preventing Human Papillomavirus Quadrivalent
vaccine, Gardasil.

The glass particles in the affected vials were tiny enough to push
through the needles.

The CDC was notified by the Merck pharmaceutical manufacturer on
Dec. 16 that the company planned to implement a voluntary recall
of a single lot (lot J007354) of the Gardasil vaccine.  Merck
states that it's in the process of directly contacting clinics and
doctors' offices who purchased the affected lot.

The affected vaccines were distributed between Aug. 20 and Oct. 9
of this year.

The CDC recommends that concerned recipients of the drug contact
the Merck National Service Center, or contact their doctor.  The
center states that the HPV vaccine continues to maintain a strong
safety record, as well as its recommendation that all preteen boys
and girls receive three doses of the vaccine between ages 12 and
13.

According to the CDC, from June 2006 through March 2013,
approximately 57 million doses of HPV vaccines were distributed in
the United States.

VAERS received approximately 22,000 adverse event reports
occurring in girls and women who received HPV vaccines.  An
adverse event is an undesired side effect or health problem that
occurs after someone receives a vaccine or medicine.  It may -- or
may not -- have been caused by the vaccine or medicine.

Of the reports to VAERS, 8 percent were classified as "serious".

If a parent or child has recently received an HPV vaccination, the
CDC states there is no need to take any action as a result of the
recall, and also no reason to be revaccinated.

The Gardasil vaccine is one of two CDC-recommended and FDA-
licensed HPV products for 6, 11, 16 and 18 virus strains (the
other being Cervarix) found to cause most cervical cancers among
other diseases.  Gardasil also protects against genital warts.

The CDC states that the safety of both Gardasil and Cervarix were
licensed after clinical trials with nearly 30,000 females.


NAT'L COLLEGIATE: High School Football Players File Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
Jon Solomon, writing for AL.com, reports that a Mississippi father
of a high school football player filed a class-action lawsuit
against the National Collegiate Athletics Association and the
National Federation of State High School Associations, seeking to
represent a class of all current high school football players in
the United States as of December 2013.

Alvin Jobe, on behalf of his son Grayson, identified as an 11th-
grade football player at Central Holmes Christian School in
Lexington, Miss., wants the NCAA and NFHS to provide high schools
with current concussion-risk information and standard of care
practices in their possession.  He is also asking for both
associations to certify that high schools have concussion
management plans for preventable risks of head injuries.

This is the first federal lawsuit involving concussions against
the governing body of high school state athletic associations.
It's the latest in a trickle-down effect involving all levels of
football.

The NFL has been sued by more than 4,500 players and is in the
process of attempting to finalize a $765 million settlement.  The
NCAA -- and now the NFHS -- face liability risks over what they
knew about concussions and how to care for head injuries.

At least eight federal lawsuits have been filed against the NCAA,
which is in mediation with plaintiffs from the 2-year-old Adrian
Arrington lawsuit in Illinois involving concussion care of all
college athletes.

On Dec. 18, the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation ordered that the cases against the NCAA be centralized
in the Northern District of Illinois.  The panel concluded that
the overlap between Arrington and the remaining cases warrants
centralization since all of the plaintiffs seek medical
monitoring, the Arrington case is further along than other cases,
and Illinois is reasonably close to the NCAA's headquarters in
Indianapolis.  The NCAA and attorneys for the Arrington plaintiffs
held an initial mediation session before retired U.S. District
Judge Layn Phillips on Nov. 1.

Michael Hausfeld, an attorney in a lawsuit against the NCAA over
the use of college athletes' names, images and likenesses, is one
of the lawyers in the Dec. 23 suit filed against the NCAA and
NFHS.


NAVISTAR CORP: Recalls 3 Buses Due to Seat Belt Defect
------------------------------------------------------
Starting date:            December 19, 2013
Type of communication:    Recall
Subcategory:              Bus
Notification type:        Safety Mfr
System:                   Seats and Restraints
Units affected:           3
Source of recall:         Transport Canada
Identification number:    2013452
TC ID number:             2013452
Manufacturer recall
number:                   13521

On certain buses, the driver's seat belt may not comply with
Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 209 - Seat Belt Assemblies.
Due to a defect in manufacturing, the seat belt buckle may not
release as required by the standard.  This could increase the risk
of injury to the driver in a crash.

Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace affected seatbelt
assemblies.

Affected products:

   Maker    Model                     Model year(s) affected
   -----    -----                     ----------------------
   IC       CE COMMERCIAL BUS         2014, 2015
   IC       RE COMMERCIAL BUS         2014


NAVISTAR CORP: Recalls 105 School Buses Due to Seat Belt Defect
---------------------------------------------------------------
Starting date:            December 19, 2013
Type of communication:    Recall
Subcategory:              School Bus
Notification type:        Safety Mfr
System:                   Seats and Restraints
Units affected:           105
Source of recall:         Transport Canada
Identification number:    2013451
TC ID number:             2013451
Manufacturer recall
number:                   13519/13520

On certain school buses, the driver's seat belt may not comply
with Canada Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 209 - Seat Belt
Assemblies.  Due to a defect in manufacturing, the seat belt
buckle may not release as required by the standard.  This could
increase the risk of injury to the driver in a crash.

Dealers will inspect and, if necessary, replace affected seatbelt
assemblies.

Affected products:

   Maker     Model              Model year(s) affected
   -----     -----              ----------------------
   IC        CE SCHOOL BUS      2014, 2015
   IC        BE SCHOOL BUS      2014
   IC        RE SCHOOL BUS      2014
   IC        AE SCHOOL BUS      2014


NEWMAR: Recalls 2 Motorhomes Due to Loose Nuts
----------------------------------------------
Starting date:            December 13, 2013
Type of communication:    Recall
Subcategory:              Motorhome
Notification type:        Safety Mfr
System:                   Steering
Units affected:           2
Source of recall:         Transport Canada
Identification number:    2013439
TC ID number:             2013439

On certain motorhomes built on a Spartan Chassis, steering link
fastener nuts may have been insufficiently tightened at time of
assembly.  If these nuts were to loosen completely, the steering
linkage could separate without warning, increasing the risk of a
crash causing injury and/or damage to property.

Dealers will inspect and tighten the nuts if necessary.

Affected products:

   Maker      Model                         Model year(s) affected
   -----      -----                         ----------------------
   NEWMAR     ESSEX DIESEL PUSHER MOTORHOME          2014
   NEWMAR     KING AIRE DIESEL PUSHER MOTORHOME      2013


NMI RETIREMENT: Johnson Class Action Settlement Gets Approval
-------------------------------------------------------------
Ferdie de la Torre, writing for Saipan Tribune, reports that a
global settlement agreement has been reached on how the NMI
Retirement Fund could collect from the CNMI government and
eventually pay the retirees and refund the employees'
contributions.  The settlement in retiree Betty Johnson's lawsuit
against the Fund and the CNMI government that has been litigated
for four years in federal court came a few months before the
Fund's assets were to be depleted in March 2014.  The settlement
also resolved the Fund's collection efforts in connection with its
lawsuit filed in 2006 against the CNMI government over the
latter's failure to remit required payments.

In 2009, Superior Court Associate Judge Kenneth L. Govendo ruled
that the government owes the Fund $282 million in damages.

U.S. District Court for the NMI designated judge Frances Tydingco-
Gatewood to resolve in January 2014 the remaining issue of
attorneys' fees and costs that the CNMI has agreed to pay as part
of the settlement.

On Aug. 6, Judge Tydingco-Gatewood preliminarily approved the
settlement agreement.  With that order, the Fund has to pay $10
million as refunds of contributions to current government
employees who have requested to leave the Fund.

The settlement agreement was overwhelmingly supported by retirees.
Only 16 opted out, asking to be excluded from the settlement class
by the Sept. 20 deadline.

On Sept. 30, Judge Tydingco-Gatewood gave final approval to the
settlement agreement after finding it to be "fair, reasonable and
adequate."

Under the settlement agreement, the CNMI government agrees to make
annual payments that will enable the settlement fund pay to at
least 75 percent of class members' benefits.  The judge also
entered a consent judgment for $779 million in case the CNMI
government fails to meet its obligations in the settlement
agreement.

With the final approval, all Fund assets were transferred and
assigned as assets of the settlement fund.  The settlement fund is
now being administered by the court-appointed trustee, attorney
Joyce Tang of the Civille & Tang law firm of Guam.

On Oct. 22, the Fund released over $40 million in defined benefit
plan contributions to applicants, which gave a welcome shot in the
arm for the local economy and whose stimulating effect is still
being felt up to today.


NOVARTIS AG: Faces Suit Over Sale & Marketing of Excedrin Product
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Kerri Yingst, on behalf of herself and all other similarly
situated individuals v. Novartis AG, Novartis Corporation, and,
Novartis Consumer Health, Inc., Case No. 2:13-cv-07919-DMC-JBC
(D.N.J., December 31, 2013) is an action for damages and
injunctive relief arising out of Novartis' sale of Excedrin
Migraine at a higher price than the pharmacologically identical
product Excedrin Extra Strength.  Excedrin Migraine and Excedrin
Extra Strength are over-the-counter combination pain relievers.

The Defendants' conduct has harmed consumers, including her and a
class of similarly situated individuals, who paid more for
Excedrin Migraine than they would have paid for Excedrin Extra
Strength, Ms. Yingst contends.

Novartis AG, the parent company of the Novartis group of entities,
is a multinational pharmaceutical company headquartered in Basel,
Switzerland.  Novartis Corporation is a New York corporation
headquartered in East Hanover, New Jersey.  Novartis Corporation
is the U.S. arm of Novartis AG and oversees research and
development, manufacturing, sales, and marketing of pharmaceutical
products, including Excedrin Migraine and Excedrin Extra Strength.
Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. is a Delaware corporation
headquartered in Parsippany, New Jersey.  Novartis Consumer
Health, Inc. engages in research and development, manufacturing,
sales, and marketing of over-the-counter pharmaceutical products,
including Excedrin Migraine and Excedrin Extra Strength.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Todd D. Muhlstock, Esq.
          BAKER SANDERS LLC
          100 Garden City Plaza, Suite 500
          Garden City, NY 11530
          Telephone: (516) 741-4799
          Facsimile: (516) 741-3777
          E-mail: TDMecf@BakerSanders.com
                  TMuhlstock@BakerSanders.com

               - and -

          Eric Gibbs, 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


ONTARIO: Rideau, Southwestern Abuse Victims Await Apologies
-----------------------------------------------------------
Tim Alamenciak, writing for Toronto Star, reports David McKillop
still has nightmares about what happened to him at Rideau Regional
Centre, an Ontario institution for people with intellectual and
physical disabilities.

"They were supposed to take care of you and make sure nothing
happened to you," said Mr. McKillop, the lead plaintiff in a
class-action lawsuit against the government over the institution.
"I still dream about what happened, sexual assault and all of
that.  I have nightmares about getting beaten up."

The province recently settled class-action lawsuits with survivors
of Rideau Regional Centre in Smiths Falls and of Southwestern
Regional Centre in Chatham-Kent.  The settlements come on the
heels of a major victory by former residents of Huronia Regional
Centre, the largest and oldest institution of its kind in the
province.

Collectively the three lawsuits are worth about C$68 million.  In
the case of Huronia, oral apologies have been issued by the
leaders of all three major provincial parties.  The settlements
for Rideau and Southwestern include requests for written
apologies.

For Vici Clarke, whose brother Rob was in Rideau as a child, the
apology will represent a major turning point.  "When the native
residential school hearing happened and (Prime Minister Stephen)
Harper apologized, my mom would look at the television and go,
'Who's going to apologize to Rob?'" said Clarke.  "So for us, the
apology is worth its weight in gold."

Premier Kathleen Wynne apologized to the former residents of
Huronia Regional Centre on the floor of the legislature Dec. 9
after the landmark settlement was approved in court.  Ms. Clarke
and Mr. McKillop were there, but although Ms. Wynne mentioned
Rideau, which closed in 2009, the apology was targeted toward
Huronia residents.

The settlements for Rideau and Southwestern, which closed in 2008,
must still be approved by a court before the claims process can
begin.  The province operated 16 such institutions, according to a
list from the Ministry of Community and Social Services.  The
three institutions were the last to close and also the largest and
oldest of Ontario's facilities for those with intellectual
disabilities.

While reaching a settlement is a major step in the process,
informing former residents and having them file claims will
present challenges.

"Many people are going to need somebody to assist them.  If you
look at who the population is of the class, many people have very
low literacy levels," said Ms. Clarke.  "I think what's happening
now is there's a commitment to make that process streamlined and
straightforward for people."

The legal team representing the class, Koskie Minsky LLP, is
working with a company that specializes in accessible document
design to help ease the paperwork process.

Meanwhile, Ms. Clarke hopes the settlements don't overshadow the
need for change in the current system.  She says many in the
public didn't even know about the existence of institutions like
Huronia, Rideau and Southwestern prior to the lawsuits.

"There's a big danger that people will say, 'Those big places are
closed. . . . The asylums are closed.  Things are much better for
people now,'" said Ms. Clarke.  "We would hope that people don't
take from this that it's all said and done, and everything's
fine -- absolutely not."


RONA INC: Recalls Convection Heaters Due to Fire Hazard
-------------------------------------------------------
Starting date:            December 23, 2013
Posting date:             December 23, 2013
Type of communication:    Consumer Product Recall
Subcategory:              Tools and Electrical Products
Source of recall:         Health Canada
Issue:                    Fire Hazard
Audience:                 General Public
Identification number:    RA-37257

RONA Inc. is issuing a voluntary recall of UBERHAUS 1500-W wall-
mounted convection heaters (heating units) with model number
HC09C15 or product number 63545004.

The product may be affected by a manufacturing defect causing
overheating, which could result in injury or property damage.

Health Canada has received a report of an incident with no injury
related to the use of this product.

Approximately 17,000 recalled convection heaters were sold in
Reno-Depot stores in Quebec and in RONA stores across Canada,
including RONA stores that were formerly under the TOTEM banner in
Alberta.

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold between
April 2010 and November 2013.

Companies:

   Distributor     Rona Inc.
                   Boucherville
                   Quebec
                   Canada

Customers who have this product in their possession should
immediately stop using it and return it to a Reno-Depot or RONA
store.  They may also contact customer service toll-free at 1-866-
283-2239 for further information.


ROYAL BANK: Investors May Pursue Suit Over $22.5BB Securities
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jonathan Stempel, writing for Reuters, reports that Manhattan
Federal Judge Harold Baer on Dec. 27 said investors may now pursue
claims as a group against Citigroup Inc., Goldman Sachs Group Inc
and UBS AG over an estimated $11.9 billion of securities.  The
lawsuit accuses the banks of concealing the risks of more than $34
billion of mortgage-backed securities prior to the financial
crisis.  Those offerings were linked to the RALI Mortgage Asset-
Backed Pass-Through Certificates, which were issued in 2006 and
2007 by the former Residential Capital LLC.  One offering was the
subject of a partial $100 million settlement in 2013.

Judge Baer also said investors may pursue a similar case against
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc over an estimated $22.5 billion
of securities in 12 offerings linked to the Harborview Mortgage
Loan Trusts, which were also created in 2006 and 2007.  Judge Baer
named the Iowa Public Employees Retirement Systems and Illinois'
Midwest Operating Engineers Pension Trust Fund as class
representatives in the Harborview case.

Lawyers for the bank defendants did not immediately respond to
requests for comment.

Judge Baer rejected arguments that the investor claims were too
dissimilar to justify grouping them, which can result in higher
recoveries at lower cost and that some class members had been
sophisticated enough to know the risks of what they bought.  But
he also said many of the same arguments have been pressed by
various parties over the course of more than five years of
litigation.  Both lawsuits were filed in 2008.

Joel Laitman, a partner at Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll,
represents the lead plaintiffs in both cases.

The cases in the U.S. District Court, Southern District of New
York are New Jersey Carpenters Vacation Fund et al v. Royal Bank
of Scotland Group Plc et al, No. 08-05093; and New Jersey
Carpenters Health Fund et al v. Residential Capital LLC et al, No.
08-08781.


TARGET CORP: Colorado Man Files Class Action Over Data Breach
-------------------------------------------------------------
Russell Haythorn, writing for KMGH, reports that a man in Colorado
is one of the most recent to file suit against Target Corp., after
the retailer acknowledged a security breach to in-store customers'
credit card information.  The man was shopping at a Highlands
Ranch Super Target when according to the lawsuit, "Target's
inadequate or unreasonable security measures . . ." contributed to
the hacking incident.  The store is located just outside of
Denver.

An interview request was made for the Colorado man who filed suit
against Target but he has not responded.


TARGET CORP: Faces "McPherson" Suit Over Data Breach
----------------------------------------------------
WICS NewsChannel 20 reports that at least one Illinois resident is
joining many others in a class action lawsuit against Target Corp.
after hackers stole credit card data from millions of shoppers.
Chandra McPherson of Chicago is named the plaintiff in a lawsuit
filed in federal court.  Ms. McPherson's suit asks for unspecified
damages in one of the largest data breaches in U.S. history.

Target has not commented on the lawsuit.


TARGET CORP: Faces "Derba" et al. Suit Over Data Breach
-------------------------------------------------------
Donna Goodison, writing for Boston Herald, reports that three Bay
Staters are among Target shoppers who have filed nearly two dozen
class-action lawsuits against the discount chain for allegedly
failing to safeguard their credit and debit card information
regarding a 19-day data breach by hackers.  Meghan Derba, a
frequent Target shopper from South Easton, filed one of the
lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Boston on Christmas Eve.  "I
did contact my lawyer, namely because I was just really shocked
that such a large company could let something like this happen,"
she said.  "I just want to make sure that my money that I support
my family with isn't in jeopardy."

The data breach is likely to cost Target millions of dollars,
given the experience of TJX Cos.  In 2009, the Framingham owner of
the T.J. Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods chains, agreed to pay $9.75
million and implement a new information security program after a
data breach in 2005 and 2006 that affected at least 45.7 million
card users.  It also paid out millions to settle class-action
lawsuits.


THAMES & KOSMOS: Recalls U.S Versions of Science Experiment Kits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Starting date:            December 19, 2013
Posting date:             December 19, 2013
Type of communication:    Consumer Product Recall
Subcategory:              Children's Products
Source of recall:         Health Canada
Issue:                    Chemical Hazard
Audience:                 General Public
Identification number:    RA-37293

Affected products: Various Thames & Kosmos brand science
experiment kits

The recall affects selected Science Experiment Kits (Chemistry
Sets) under the Thames & Kosmos brand.  The affected kits are as
follows:

CHEM C500 and CHEM C1000 Experiment Kits - All U.S. versions sold
in Canada are recalled.  (Note: Canadian versions of the C500 and
C1000 distributed by Filosofia/FILOFILO are not recalled (see
lower 4 images to the right indicating presence of "12+" stickers
and required Canadian warnings that distinguish Filosofia product
from the U.S. sourced products).

CHEM C2000, CHEM C3000, and Spectacular Science Experiment Kits -
All versions of these products sold in Canada are recalled.

All Canadian versions of the C500 and C1000 experiment kits being
sold through Filosofia (Filosofia is the Canadian distributor of
Thames and Kosmos products) are fully compliant and meet or exceed
all regulations under the Canadian Consumer Product Safety Act and
are not recalled.

The U.S. versions of the kits in question have entered the country
without the knowledge of either Filosofia or Thames and Kosmos and
it is only the U.S. versions of the kits that are being recalled."

It has been identified that the C500 and C1000 experiment kits
contain hazardous chemicals and have been sold in Canada without
the required safety warning statements and labels.  These labels
direct the user to important safety information regarding use of
the chemicals provided with the product and communicate
recommended age suitability for use of the products.  In addition,
it has been identified that the C2000, C3000, and the Spectacular
Science experiment kits contain prohibited substances under the
Canada Consumer Product Safety Act and its Regulations.  Inclusion
of prohibited substances and a lack of required labelling can both
lead to serious adverse health effects.

Neither Health Canada, nor Filosofia, nor Thames & Kosmos have
received any reports of incidents or injuries to Canadians related
to the use of these products.

Since December 19 2013, these products have been sold in Canada
for at least five years.

The recalled products were manufactured in Germany for Thames &
Kosmos in the United States.

Companies:

  Retailer:     Various importers, retailers and online sources

Consumers should stop using the products and contact your original
place of purchase for any additional information or visit the
firm's website for additional information (note that this
information page will be available to the public in the very near
future but may not be active at the time of posting of this
recall).


TJX COS: 2 Former Assistant Store Managers Sue Over Unpaid Wages
----------------------------------------------------------------
Mary Moore, writing for Boston Business Journal, reports that two
former assistant store managers who worked at Marshalls have filed
suit in US District Court in Massachusetts against The TJX
Companies and related entities, alleging that the company violates
wage and hour laws.  The suit, filed Dec. 11, names Marshalls of
MA, Inc.; Marmaxx Operating Corp., doing business as Marshalls
HomeGoods; Marshalls; T.J. Maxx HomeGoods; and HomeGoods, Inc.
The plaintiffs are seeking class action status and are seeking
compensation for allegedly unpaid wages, damages and attorney's
fees.

According to the suit, Celina Roberts worked an assistant store
manager at Marshall's in Laredo, Texas.  She was hired in May 2008
and promoted in June to the assistant manager position, the suit
states.  Ms. Roberts worked 60 to 70 hours a week and often worked
six or seven days a week, according to the suit.  As an assistant
store manager, she did not receive overtime for working more than
40 hours, the suit said.  Her work was "largely unrelated to the
management of the store," the suit alleges.  Rather, Ms. Roberts
on a daily basis stocked merchandise, cleaned, worked the
register, unloaded delivery trucks and the like, the suit alleges.

Ms. Roberts alleges she complained to the store manager and to a
district manager that she should be paid for the hours she was
working and said that, if she had known she would end up working
as many hours as an assistant manager, she would have remained a
back room coordinator, "performing almost identical duties, and
receiving overtime pay," the suit states.

Plaintiff Anthony Sciotto was hired as an operations assistant
store manager at Marshalls in Westbury, N.Y., the suit states, and
worked at various other Marshalls locations in New York.  The suit
alleges that Mr. Sciotto worked a minimum of 10 hours a day, five
days a week, and at times, up to 70 hours a week.

Like Roberts, the suit alleges, Mr. Sciotto largely was not
performing managerial duties and was instead performing routine
tasks such as stocking merchandise, unloading trucks "and other
duties typically expected of hourly employees."

Mr. Sciotto and other assistant store managers "had to perform
such non-exempt duties because there were an insufficient number
of hourly employees available to perform such tasks," the suit
said.  The suit alleges that Marshalls and HomeGoods stores
operate under the same corporate policies and all assistant
managers share the same uniform job descriptions.

A spokeswoman for The TJX Companies declined comment, citing
company policy regarding pending litigation.


TODEY MOTOR: Appeals Court Reinstates Product Liability Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
Eric Freedman, writing for Automotive News, reports that the
California Court of Appeal has reinstated part of a product
liability case against Todey Motor Co. Inc. in Oxnard, Calif.,
formerly an authorized Chevrolet dealership, by Fernando Ibarra,
who was paralyzed in a rollover accident involving his employer's
2000 Chevrolet C3500 crew cab pickup.

"The fundamental purpose of applying strict liability to retailers
and distributors of new products is to shift the cost of injuries
away from consumers," the appeals court said.

The three-judge panel's unanimous decision means that California
dealerships that service and deliver to national account customers
are treated the same as stores that sell the vehicles, said the
plaintiffs' lawyer, Jeffrey Ehrlich of Encino, Calif.

Defense lawyers did not return calls seeking comment.


TRUSTMARK NATIONAL: March 25 Final Hearing on $4 Million Accord
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Mississippi, Jackson Division, has scheduled a Final Approval
Hearing on March 25, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. over the settlement in the
litigation known as Jenkins v. Trustmark National Bank, No. 3:12-
cv-00380-DPJ-FKB.  Another lawsuit, White v. Trustmark National
Bank, No. 2:12-cv-2485-JTF-cgc (W.D. Tenn.) is also included in
the Settlement.

If the Settlement is approved and becomes final, it will provide
benefits to Settlement Class Members.  Trustmark will pay
$4,000,000 to a Settlement Fund to make payments to eligible
Settlement Class Members, as well as pay for attorneys' fees,
costs, and expenses, and special service payments to the seven
Class Representatives who initiated the lawsuits.  Trustmark has
also agreed to continue for a period of at least two years its
current time-ordered posting method by which it posts debit card
transactions to accounts.  Trustmark has agreed to pay costs
associated with administering the Settlement.

The $4 million Settlement Fund is divided into two funds for
distribution purposes.  Distribution Fund A consists of 80% of the
Net Settlement Fund and Distribution Fund B consists of 20% of the
Net Settlement Fund.

Judge Daniel P. Jordan, III of the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Mississippi is overseeing the
settlement.  For more information, visit
trustmarkbankoverdraftsettlement.com or call 1-877-624-9442.

R.L. Nave, writing for Jackson Free Press, reports that Trustmark
National Bank this Fall settled the class-action lawsuit alleging
the bank "improperly assessed excessive overdraft and non-
sufficient funds fees."  In recent weeks, people who had a
Trustmark account that came with a debit card started receiving
notices stating they could be eligible to receive part of the $4
million settlement fund.  The card, mailed to potential members of
the settlement class, states that Trustmark "maintains that there
was nothing wrong about the posting process used" and that the
courts did not say which side is right.

Attorneys filed the suit against the bank in June 2012 on behalf
of a West Point, Miss., man named Leroy Jenkins and tens of
thousands of other plaintiffs in Mississippi, Tennessee, Florida
and Texas.  The suit states that even though banks can decline
debit-card transactions when customers don't have enough money in
their accounts to cover the purchase, "Trustmark routinely
processed debit-card transactions even though there were
insufficient funds in the account and then charged its customers
overdraft fees," the complaint states.  Other allegations include
that Trustmark reordered transactions so that the largest
purchases hit customers' accounts first, increasing the chance
that subsequent transactions would result in a $32 to $34
overdraft fee per transaction; the bank reported collecting $55
million from "service fees" in 2010.

A call to Trustmark's corporate-communications office was not
returned before press time.  In the company's response to Jenkins'
complaint, however, Trustmark denied many of the accusations.
However, attorneys attached a copy of the deposit agreement all
Trustmark customers must sign, which states:

"We may process (accept, pay, charge or return unpaid) Items to
your account in any order we choose, at our discretion, regardless
of the order in which the Items are presented to us for payment.
In particular, (Trustmark) may, in its sole discretion, establish
priorities for posting transactions and then pay Items in the
order of highest dollar amount to lowest dollar amount within the
priority grouping.

"The order we choose may result in dishonor of Items, more
overdrafts and/or higher fees than other methods.  We may
establish different priorities or categories for Items and process
Items according to the priorities we establish.  We may change the
order that we use to process Items at any time without notice to
you."

The court has appointed two law firms to represent all Settlement
Class Members as "Settlement Class Counsel".  They are:

     Stephen J. Fearon, Jr. Esq.
     SQUITIERI & FEARON, LLP
     32 East 57th Street, 12th Floor
     New York, NY 10022

          - and -

     Edward Adam Webb, Esq.
     Matthew C. Klase, Esq.
     WEBB, KLASE & LEMOND, LLC
     1900 The Exchange, S.E., Suite 480
     Atlanta, GA 30339


UNITED PARCEL: Faces Suit Over Declared Value Coverage Charges
--------------------------------------------------------------
Phil W. Hudson, writing for Atlanta Business Chronicle, reports
that a complaint was filed against Atlanta-based United Parcel
Service Inc., on Dec. 27, claiming the company "has for years been
systematically overcharging customers."  The complaint filed in
federal court in Michigan is seeking damages for all customers who
used UPS to ship a package and paid for additional coverage for
loss or damage from UPS.

The complaint alleges that UPS has charged customers for the first
$100 of declared value coverage even though UPS already accepts
liability for loss or damage for all packages up to $100 as part
of its normal service fee.

"Despite the clear disclosure by UPS that the first $100 of
declared value coverage is free or at no charge, UPS has
systematically charged and caused its agent and sales network to
charge customers an additional amount for coverage for the first
$100 when they purchase additional declared value coverage," the
lawsuit contends.

The lawsuit was filed by a law firm called Complex Litigation
Group LLC, which specializes in class-action lawsuits against
large corporations.


UNITED STATES: Claimants in "Pigford" Seek Review of Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------
Four months after a federal judge ordered distribution of the $1.2
billion granted to black farmers for their discrimination claims
against the U.S. government, additional claimants are coming
forward, according to Bonnie Barron at Courthouse News Service.

The plaintiffs in Pigford v. Glickman alleged that racial bias had
for years driven the U.S. Department of Agriculture to deny
benefits to black applicants and ignore their complaints.  The
action led to a consent decree in 1999 and monetary relief.

Thousands of individuals missed the deadline to apply for the
money, however, leading to a renewed class-action effort for
relief.  U.S. District Judge Paul Friedman approved a $1.2 billion
settlement of those claims in October 2011.

Friedman set the distribution of settlement funds in motion this
past August, but a recent order reveals that numerous claimants
still seek reconsideration of their claims after receiving a
negative response.

"Since the issuance by the claims administrator of claims
decisions in this case, the court has received hundred of letters
and pro se motions from non-prevailing claimants who seek
reconsideration of their claim determinations," Friedman wrote on
December 31, 2013.  "The court has determined that rather than
allowing each of these pieces of correspondence to be filed on the
docket, efficiency would be served by allowing a representative
sample to be filed and by eliciting responses from both class
counsel and the government."

The judge expects those responses by Jan. 30.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Andrew H. Marks, Esq.
          COFFEY BURLINGTON
          2699 South Bayshore Drive, Penthouse
          Miami, FL 33133
          Telephone: (305) 858-2900
          Facsimile: (305) 858-5261
          E-mail: amarks@coffeyburlington.com

               - and -

          David Joseph Frantz, Esq.
          Brian P. Phelan, Esq.
          CONLON, FRANTZ & PHELAN, LLP
          1818 N Street, NW, Suite 400
          Washington, DC 20036
          Telephone: (202) 331-7050
          Facsimile: (202) 331-9306
          E-mail: dfrantz@conlonfrantz.com
                  bphelan@conlonfrantz.com

               - and -

          Faya R. Toure, Esq.
          P.O. Box 1290
          Selma, AL 36702
          Telephone: (334) 875-9264
          Facsimile: (334) 875-9853
          E-mail: fayarose@gmail.com

               - and -

          Precious T. Martin, Sr., Esq.
          PRECIOUS MARTIN, SR & ASSOCIATES, PLLC
          Post Office Box 373
          821 North Congress Street
          Jackson, MS 39205-0373
          Telephone: (601) 944-1447
          Facsimile: (601) 944-1448
          E-mail: pmartin@ptmandassoc.com

               - and -

          Scott William Weinstein, Esq.
          J. Andrew Meyer, Esq.
          MORGAN & MORGAN, P.A.
          12800 University Drive, Suite 600
          Fort Myers, FL 33907-5337
          Telephone: (239) 433-6880
          E-mail: sweinstein@forthepeople.com
                  ameyer@forthepeople.com

               - and -

          Gregorio Francis, Esq.
          MORGAN & MORGAN, P.A.
          20 North Orange Avenue, Suite 1600
          Orlando, FL 32801
          Telephone: (407) 420-1414

               - and -

          Alphonso Michael Espy, Esq.
          MIKE ESPY, PLLC
          Lamar Life Building
          317 East Capital Street, Suite 101
          Jackson, MS 39201
          Telephone: (601) 355-9101
          E-mail: mike@mikespy.com

               - and -

          Anurag Varma, Esq.
          Benjamin G. Chew, Esq.
          PATTON BOGGS LLP
          2550 M Street, NW
          Washington, DC 20037
          Telephone: (202) 457-6490
          Facsimile: (202) 457-6315
          E-mail: avarma@PattonBoggs.com
                  bchew@pattonboggs.com

               - and -

          David C. Silver, Esq.
          SILVER LAW GROUP
          11780 W. Sample Road, Suite 101
          Coral Springs, FL 33065
          Telephone: (954) 755-4799
          Facsimile: (954) 755-4684
          E-mail: dsilver@silverlaw.com

               - and -

          Gary Edward Mason, Esq.
          WHITFIELD BRYSON & MASON LLP
          1625 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Suite 605
          Washington, DC 20036
          Telephone: (202) 429-2290
          Facsimile: (202) 429-2294
          E-mail: gmason@wbmllp.com

               - and -

          Harris L. Pogust, Esq.
          POGUST & BRASLOW, LLC
          Eight Tower Bridge
          161 Washington Street, Suite 1520
          Conshohocken, PA 19428
          Telephone: (610) 941-4204
          Facsimile: (610) 941-4245
          E-mail: hpogust@pbmattorneys.com

               - and -

          Henry Sanders, Esq.
          CHESTNUT SANDERS SANDERS & PETTAWAY
          1 Union Street
          Selma, AL 36701
          Telephone: (334) 875-9264
          Facsimile: (334) 875-9853

               - and -

          Joseph P. Strom, Esq.
          STROM LAW FIRM, LLC
          2110 North Beltline Boulevard
          Columbia, SC 29204
          Telephone: (803) 252-4800
          Facsimile: (803) 252-4801
          E-mail: petestrom@stromlaw.com

               - and -

          Laurel Pyke Malson, Esq.
          Michael Wyld Lieberman, Esq.
          CROWELL & MORING LLP
          1001 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 1100
          Washington, DC 20004-2595
          Telephone: (202) 624-2576
          Facsimile: (202) 628-5116
          E-mail: lmalson@crowell.com
                  mlieberman@crowell.com

               - and -

          Phillip L. Fraas, Esq.
          STINSON MORRISON HECKER, LLP
          1775 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 800
          Washington, DC 20006
          Telephone: (202) 572-9904
          Facsimile: (202) 572-9946
          E-mail: pfraas@stinson.com

               - and -

          Rose M. Sanders, Esq.
          P.O. Box 1290
          Selma, AL 36702-1290
          Telephone: (334) 875-9264
          Facsimile: (334) 875-9853

               - and -

          April England-Albright, Esq.
          P.O. Box 312293
          Atlanta, GA 31131
          Telephone: (334) 327-0451

               - and -

          Kindaka J. Sanders, Esq.
          SANDERS LAW
          P.O. Box 1290
          Selma, AL 36701
          Telephone: (334) 327-1993
          Facsimile: (334) 460-6611
          E-mail: docksanders@gmail.com

               - and -

          Jennifer I. Klar, Esq.
          John Peter Relman, Esq.
          Reed Colfax, Esq.
          RELMAN, DANE & COLFAX, PLLC
          1225 19th Street, NW, Suite 600
          Washington, DC 20036
          Telephone: (202) 728-1888
          Facsimile: (202) 728-0848
          E-mail: jklar@relmanlaw.com
                  jrelman@relmanlaw.com
                  RColfax@relmanlaw.com

               - and -

          Robert C. Hilliard, Esq.
          HILLIARD MUNOZ GONZALES, LLP
          719 S. Shoreline, Suite 500
          Corpus Christi, TX 78401
          Telephone: (361) 882-1612
          Facsimile: (361) 882-3015
          E-mail: dee@hmglawfirm.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Doris Denise Coles-Huff, Esq.
          U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE FOR DC
          555 4th Street, NW
          Washington, DC 20530
          Telephone: (202) 252-2557
          Facsimile: (202) 252-2599
          E-mail: doris.coles@usdoj.gov

               - and -

          Michael Sitcov, Esq.
          U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
          Federal Programs Branch, Civil Division
          20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
          Washington, DC 20001
          Telephone: (202) 514-1944
          Facsimile: (202) 616-8187
          E-mail: michael.sitcov@usdoj.gov

               - and -

          Rudolph Contreras, Esq.
          US ATTORNEYS OFFICE
          Judiciary Center Building
          555 Fourth Street, NW, Room E-4226
          Washington, DC 20530
          Telephone: (202) 514-7151
          Facsimile: (202) 514-8780
          E-mail: rudolph.contreras@usdoj.gov

               - and -

          Tamra Tyree Moore, Esq.
          U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
          Civil Division/Federal Programs Branch
          20 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
          Washington, DC 20530
          Telephone: (202) 514-8095
          Facsimile: (202) 616-8460
          E-mail: tamra.moore@usdoj.gov

The case is In Re Black Farmers Discrimination Litigation, Case
No. 1:08-mc-00511-PLF, in the U.S. District Court for the District
of Columbia (Washington, DC).


UNITED STATES: Judge Dismisses Levee-Related Claims v. Army Corps
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Kunzelman, writing for The Associated Press, reports that
jury selection was scheduled to begin Jan. 13 for a trial in state
court against Jefferson Parish and its former parish president,
Aaron Broussard, in a class-action case over Katrina flood damage.
In October, Judge John Peytavin refused to dismiss the case before
trial.

The AP says the courts have been a dead end for many other
plaintiffs seeking compensation for Katrina-related losses.
Rulings have consistently affirmed the insurance industry's
position that its homeowner policies don't cover damage from a
hurricane's rising water, a blow for many Katrina victims in
Louisiana and Mississippi whose homes were wrecked by Katrina's
storm surge.

AP also reports U.S. District Judge Stanwood Duval Jr. in New
Orleans has dismissed tens of thousands of levee-related claims
against the federal government.  Judge Duval has presided over a
batch of consolidated claims that has generated more than 21,000
docket entries over the years.  And his work on the litigation is
largely done.

Dr. Martin Schoenberger, an ophthalmologist whose St. Bernard
Parish office was wrecked by flood waters, was among the
plaintiffs whose claims against the corps were dismissed by Duval
on Dec. 20.  He reopened his practice within several months, but
lost many of his old patients and hasn't made up the difference in
a parish that struggled to rebound.

Dr. Schoenberger said the outcome doesn't change his view that the
corps' construction and maintenance of the Mississippi River-Gulf
Outlet navigation channel was responsible for his losses.

The report notes a team of plaintiffs' attorneys has spent roughly
$16 million to sue the Army Corps of Engineers over levee breaches
that flooded most of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.  Joseph
Bruno, one of those lawyers, estimates that they ultimately will
recoup a mere $3.5 million of their investment.  Mr. Bruno helped
broker a $20.2 million settlement with three levee districts in
the New Orleans area over flood damage after Katrina.  He said
hundreds of thousands of claimants will be eligible for payments
that could start going out early this year.

The report also relates a judge sitting on the U.S. Court of
Federal Claims in Washington heard testimony in November for
class-action claims against the federal government by St. Bernard
Parish and property owners who blame flood damage on the
Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet, which was completed in 1965.

"We're eagerly awaiting the judge's ruling," plaintiffs' attorney
Charles Cooper said.  "All of the evidence is now before the
judge."

AP relates Gerald Meunier, a plaintiffs' lawyer who worked on the
settlements with the levee districts and the trailer
manufacturers, said he felt a civic obligation to take on the
cases.  He doesn't regret the decision, either, even though the
outcomes haven't met his early expectations.  "The litigation
chapter of Katrina is not a happy one for plaintiffs," he said.
"We all went into it eyes wide open about the risks."


VARIETES PIERRE: Recalls Boutique Selection Plush Penguin
---------------------------------------------------------
Starting date:            December 20, 2013
Posting date:             December 20, 2013
Type of communication:    Consumer Product Recall
Subcategory:              Toys
Source of recall:         Health Canada
Issue:                    Choking Hazard
Audience:                 General Public
Identification number:    RA-37313

Affected products: Boutique Selection Plush Penguin

The recall involves the Boutique Selection Plush Penguin.  This
plush toy is a 100% polyester stuffed toy penguin with a white
front, a grey back, a yellow neck, and a black and orange head.
The stuffed animal is about 17.8 centimetres (7 inches) high, and
its eyes are made out of small black plastic beads.  The product
can be identified by the item number 190052 and the Unique Product
Code (UPC) 627997900528 which can be found on a detachable
cardboard label.  The label also indicates that the toy is
imported by VPP.  The permit number QC-003253 can also be located
on a label sewn into the base of the stuffed animal.

Health Canada's sampling and evaluation program has identified
that the eyes can detach from these plush toys.  These small parts
pose a choking hazard to young children.

Neither Health Canada nor Vari‚t‚s Pierre Prud'homme Inc. has
received any reports of incidents or injuries related to the use
of this product.

Approximately 332 of the recalled stuffed animals were sold in
Canada.

The recalled stuffed animals were manufactured in China and sold
from December 2012 to December 2013.

Companies:

  Importer     Varietes Pierre Prud'homme Inc.
               St-Jerome
               Quebec
               Canada

Consumers should immediately take these stuffed animals away from
children and return them to the store where purchased for a full
refund.


VICTORIA, AUSTRALIA: Abalone License Holders Lodge Appeal
---------------------------------------------------------
Peter Collins, writing for The Standard, reports that south-west
abalone divers and license holders have lodged a Supreme Court
appeal in a second attempt to gain compensation for millions of
dollars in losses incurred when a deadly virus decimated stocks
along the coast.  Their case is expected to be heard late this
year.

Fourteen abalone license holders from the western zone, west of
Warrnambool, and the central zone, extending eastwards to
Cape Otway, have again engaged solicitors Maurice Blackburn in a
class action.  Their earlier case against the state government was
dismissed in the Supreme Court by Justice David Beach, who said
"one can only speculate" how the disease spread.  The plaintiffs,
who had sought $82 million in damages, were ordered to pay costs
for the defendants.

Victoria's former chief vet Hugh Millar and former Fisheries
Victoria executive director Peter Appleford were blamed for
failing to shut down an abalone farm west of Port Fairy, where the
disease was found eight years ago.  Justice Beach found the
plaintiffs failed to establish proof that the government employees
had a duty of care to protect them from economic loss caused by
the spread of the herpes-like virus among the wild abalone
population along the coast.  Appeal documents lodged with the
court show the plaintiffs will challenge the ruling and argue
again that Dr. Millar and Dr. Appleford had a duty of care and
breached their responsibilities.

Maurice Blackburn principal Jacob Varghese told The Standard a
directions hearing was scheduled for May.

After the November court decision the Port Fairy abalone farm
operators said they felt vindicated.  "We vehemently deny that the
source of the virus was from the farm," said Mark Gervis, general
manager of Southern Ocean Mariculture Pty Ltd.


WAL-MART STORES: W.D. Pa. Remands "Farneth" Suit to State Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rose Bouboushian at Courthouse News Service reports that claims
that Wal-Mart made Pennsylvanians pay too much sales tax on
discounted Gillette shave gel belong in state court, a federal
judge ruled.

Brian Farneth filed the putative class action shortly after his
June 2013 purchase of two cans of Gillette Fusion shaving gel from
a Wal-Mart in Aspinwall, Pa., outside Pittsburgh.  Because the
customer gave the cashier a "buy one, get one" (BOGO) coupon,
Farneth allegedly had to pay only $2.97 -- the price of one can --
plus 7 percent sales tax.  But Wal-Mart calculated the tax on the
nondiscounted price, $5.94, and thus charged Farneth an extra 21
cents, in violation of state revenue regulations, according to the
complaint.

Although Farneth's receipt described both the shave gel and the
coupon -- thus establishing a "new purchase price" under state law
-- Wal-Mart taxed the original, higher price, he said.

Farneth seeks to represent all Pennsylvanians who allegedly have
been overcharged on sales tax while using BOGO coupons at Wal-
Mart, adding up to more than $5 million.

The corporation argues, however, that the state Department of
Revenue's Office of Chief Counsel essentially approved Wal-Mart's
tax-charging process in a 2005 staff opinion letter.  But Farneth
has disputed the validity of the 8-year-old letter, which
allegedly advised Wal-Mart that it could not deduct the value of a
manufacturer's coupon before calculating sales tax when using its
then-current point-of-sale technology.

Though Wal-Mart removed the case to federal court, U.S. District
Judge Mark Hornak cited comity in remanding the case back to the
Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas.  Remanding to state court
would not rob the plaintiff of any relief sought, and both parties
believe state remedies would be "adequate and complete," the
ruling states.

"Wal-Mart argues vigorously for the preeminence of a state law
resolution of these issues, and Wal-Mart's argument for deference
to a state administrative process under the primary jurisdiction
doctrine is a strong indication that federal court deference under
comity principles is appropriate," Hornak wrote.  "Mr. Farneth
initially filed this action in state court, where he undoubtedly
believed that he could obtain a sufficient remedy on his asserted
causes of action.  He has also filed a motion to remand the case
to state court in the event that this court determines that the
Pennsylvania Department of Revenue is an indispensable party and
cannot be joined in federal court.  Thus, Mr. Farneth plainly
believes that Pennsylvania's adjudicative processes would afford
him a full and adequate remedy."

Wal-Mart also failed to show that the state must be joined as a
party.

"The court agrees that Pennsylvania has an undeniable interest in
the interpretation and application of its own sales tax regulation
(whether it is joined as a party or not), and this is yet another
reason that considerations of comity prudentially divest the court
of jurisdiction to hear the case," Hornak wrote (parentheses in
original).

Pennsylvania has set up its own adequate procedures for precisely
the issue at hand -- recovering illegally exacted taxes --
according to the ruling.

"Pennsylvania courts are simply better positioned than this court
to ascertain and then correct any violation of state tax
collection laws -- they are presumably more familiar with the
administration of Pennsylvania tax regulations and are wholly
unburdened by the [Tax Injunction Act] TIA's limitations in
fashioning proper and complete remedies," Hornak wrote.  "Taken
together, these considerations counsel deference to the state
adjudicative processes."

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Frank G. Salpietro, Esq.
          Lori R. Miller, Esq.
          ROTHMAN GORDON, P.C.
          310 Grant Street, Third Floor
          Pittsburgh, PA 15219
          Telephone: (412) 338-1185
          Facsimile: (412) 281-7304
          E-mail: fgsalpietro@rothmangordon.com
                  lrmiller@rothmangordon.com

The Defendant is represented by:

          Thomas L. Allen, Esq.
          James L. Rockney, Esq.
          Zachary P. Gelacek, Esq.
          REED SMITH LLP
          Reed Smith Centre
          225 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1200
          Pittsburgh, PA 15222
          Telephone: (412) 288-3131
          Facsimile: (412) 288-3063
          E-mail: tallen@reedsmith.com
                  jrockney@reedsmith.com
                  zgelacek@reedsmith.com

The case is Farneth v. Walmart Stores, Inc., Case No. 2:13-cv-
01062-MRH, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh).


WAL-MART STORES: Recalls 73,400 Mainstays Table & Chair Sets
------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is
recalling about 73,400 Mainstays five-piece card table and chair
sets because the chairs can unexpectedly collapse, posing a fall
hazard or potential finger injury.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission said on Jan. 2 that
Wal-Mart has received 10 reports of injuries, including one finger
amputation, three fingertip amputations, sprained or fractured
fingers and one report of a sore back.

The recall includes the Mainstays card table sets with a black
padded metal folding table and four black padded metal folding
chairs.  "Made by: Dongguan Shin Din Metal & Plastic Products Co,"
the company that made the chair cushions, is printed on a white
label on the bottom of the chairs.

The sets were sold at Wal-Mart stores across the U.S. and on its
website from May 2013 through November 2013 for about $50.

Consumers should immediately stop using the set and return it to
Wal-Mart for a full refund.  Individuals may contact Walmart at
(800) 925-6278 from 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. CT Monday through
Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. CT on Saturday, and from
12:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. CT on Sunday.


* 3D Products Not Covered Under Traditional Product Liability Law
-----------------------------------------------------------------
According to an article posted by Clifton B. Parker-Stanford at
Futurity, the possibility of printing 3D products ranging from
high heels to handguns at home could have serious legal
implications for consumers.  People may not be protected under
traditional product liability law if they buy a risky home-printed
object and get hurt, according to Nora Freeman Engstrom, an
associate professor at Stanford University.  Rather, they could be
left to pursue harder-to-prove negligence lawsuits.

3D printers can produce elaborate three-dimensional products of
almost any shape, working from designs on a computer screen.  The
technology has become affordable for individuals, allowing them in
effect to become "manufacturers" of any number of objects, from
plastic vases to bionic ears, and from high heels to handguns.

What does this mean for consumer protection? That's the crux of
the legal question Ms. Engstrom raises in a study published in the
University of Pennsylvania Law Review.

"Following any significant technological breakthrough," she
writes, "legal scholars, practitioners, and policymakers must
consider how the innovation meshes with -- or poses challenges to
-- our existing laws and system of governance.

"Will it fit? What must change? Where are the pitfalls and
opportunities? 3D printing is no exception."

                        Winning a lawsuit

Under current "strict liability" product law, a person who is
injured by a defective product can win a lawsuit without
necessarily showing that the maker or distributor of the product
was negligent.

"This means," she says, "if you fall ill from eating tainted
peanut butter you purchased at, say, Wal-Mart, you can sue
Wal-Mart for your injuries -- and you can prevail in that lawsuit
even if Wal-Mart used all possible care in the peanut butter's
selection, storage and sale."

On the other hand, Ms. Engstrom explains, a person injured by a
home-printed product would likely only be left with a negligence-
based lawsuit.  Negligence focuses on proving that the
manufacturer, distributor or seller of the product was careless --
a higher hurdle.

Why is the legal treatment different for home-printed products?
She says that part of the answer is due to the "commercial-casual
divide" in product liability doctrine.

"This divide refers to the fact that product liability law only
applies to 'commercial' sellers -- defined as those engaged in the
business of selling or otherwise distributing products."

Casual sellers, such as a housewife who makes and sells jam or a
child who makes and sells lemonade, fall outside the scope of
product liability laws.  Ms. Engstrom says that hobbyist 3D
inventors, who print products in their garages and on their
kitchen countertops, are arguably casual, rather than commercial
sellers -- so strict product liability laws likely won't apply.

As a result, she says, if home 3D printing "really does take off,
product liability litigation as we know it may, in large measure,
dry up."  At the least, she adds, it will erode some of the
protections under the current doctrine.

                        Flash in the pan?

If 3D printing does become hugely popular, however, it does not
automatically mean that injury victims will be left without any
consumer protections.  One wrinkle is that manufacturers are
increasingly using 3D printers and commercial distributors are
making those products available to the public.

Ms. Engstrom's analysis addressed only the legal claim a person
would have if he or she were hurt by a product made by a home 3D
printer.

"The various obstacles I identify in the path of a plaintiff
injured by a home-3D-printed object don't necessarily stand in the
way of a plaintiff injured by a commercially-printed object," she
says.

She also points out that the line between negligence and certain
product liability claims is "awfully thin."  This means some
plaintiffs injured by home-printed objects might actually prevail
in "old-fashioned negligence" lawsuits, despite the additional
burden of proving carelessness by the manufacturer, distributor,
or seller.

Moreover, Ms. Engstrom cautions, it's still not clear what 3D
printers are capable of producing -- or how fully the American
public will embrace the new technology.

"Is this technology a flash in the pan? Or will home 3D printers
really, as some claim, fundamentally alter the goods we buy, the
products we use, and the world we inhabit?"


* Class Action Provision to Spur Shareholder Activism in India
--------------------------------------------------------------
Rajesh Kumar, writing for Livemint, reports that the passage of
The Companies Act, 2013, in India will bring in significant
changes in the way companies function and is likely to better
protect the interest of shareholders.  Among other things, the new
law provides details for the buyout of the minority shareholders
and simplifies the rules for mergers.  The most notable idea of
the Act is the provision for class action suit.  Shareholders and
depositors in a company can now hold the management accountable in
case of wrongdoing.  Shareholders can claim damages from the
company and its directors for any unlawful or wrongful act on
their part.  Further to this, auditors, too, can be held
responsible for misleading and improper statements.

Some conditions, however, have to be met before a suit is filed or
damages claimed.  In case a company has a share capital (funds
raised by issuing shares), the suit will be accepted only if it is
backed by a minimum of 100 shareholders or shareholders holding a
certain portion of the equity capital.  Further, two class action
suits for the same case will not be admitted.  The person
responsible for the wrongdoing will have to pay the costs
associated with the suit.  However, if the application is found
frivolous, the applicant will have to pay the opposite party a
maximum of Rs.1 lakh.

The provision of class action suit is likely to increase
shareholder activism, which will, in turn, make company
managements more responsible and accountable.  Says Amit Tandon,
founder and managing director, Institutional Investor Advisory
Services India Ltd: "We will have to wait and see how things pan
out.  But there is a great deal of interest among investors to
understand this (class action suits).  In the beginning, it's
likely to start with smaller firms."


* High Court to Decide Early 2014 Whether to Hear Sears, Whirlpool
------------------------------------------------------------------
John Engler, writing for The Wall Street Journal, reports that the
U.S. Supreme Court will decide in early 2014 whether to hear two
cases regarding what constitutes a class-action lawsuit -- cases
in which lawyers bring charges and ask for damages on the
assertion that the defendant has injured or adversely affected the
plaintiff as well as hundreds or thousands more people.  In Sears
v. Butler and Whirlpool v. Glazer, appellate courts have
disregarded clear earlier decisions from the Supreme Court about
class actions.  The high court should take up these cases and
uphold its class-action rules, which protect both companies and
consumers.

The issue on appeal in Sears, Roebuck and Company, Petitioner, v.
Larry Butler, et al., Individually and on Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated, No. 12-1067, is: "(1) Whether Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 23(b)(3)'s predominance requirement for class
action certification can be satisfied based solely on a
determination that it would be "efficient" to decide a single
common question at trial, without considering any of the
individual issues that would also need to be tried, and without
determining whether the aggregate of common issues predominates
over the aggregate of individual issues; and (2) whether a class
may be certified on breach of warranty claims where it is
undisputed that most members did not experience the alleged
product defect and where fact of injury would have to be litigated
on a member-by-member basis."

According to WSJ, over the past decade, the Supreme Court has
outlined the requirements plaintiffs must meet to proceed with
class actions. The restrictions -- including requiring that
plaintiffs prove a common, measurable harm, and that the issues
common to the class predominate over individualized issues -- help
distinguish true grievances from frivolous lawsuits.

WSJ says two of the most important cases dealing with these often
multimillion-dollar suits are Wal-Mart v. Dukes (2011) and Comcast
v. Behrend (2013).  In Wal-Mart, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote that
class-action litigation is appropriate only if a "rigorous
analysis" of a case's "factual and legal issues" establishes that
these requirements for certification, or approval of a class of
plaintiffs, are satisfied.  In Comcast, he added that the
plaintiffs must prove that "damages are capable of measurement on
a classwide basis."

Lower courts have interpreted these rulings in different ways.
Some have refused to unleash trial lawyers on employers without
ample evidence that issues common to the class predominate over
individualized issues.  Others have taken a more permissive view,
allowing more questionable class-action cases to continue.

According to WSJ, the Supreme Court in January can bring more
clarity to its certification requirements if it takes up Sears v.
Butler from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago and
Whirlpool v. Glazer from the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in
Cincinnati.  In both Sears and Whirlpool, the appellate courts had
originally allowed the certification of an unreasonably broad
plaintiff class in litigation involving washing machines. (Sears
had sold Whirlpool-manufactured machines.) The courts ruled that a
"musty odor" emanating from a tiny proportion of washing machines
was enough to put every person who ever purchased one of those
machines in a plaintiff class, even owners who had never smelled
anything and liked their machines.

Neither circuit attempted to account for varying customer
experiences.  Only 2%-3% of customers even called Whirlpool and
Sears service centers to report a musty smell.  And the cause of
the scent -- whether from improper maintenance, specific washing
habits, mechanical failure, or something else -- differed
significantly from customer to customer.

After the company appealed, the Supreme Court vacated these
decisions and sent the cases back for reconsideration under the
standards of the Comcast decision.  But both appellate courts went
ahead and recertified the same classes.

WSJ says their decisions threaten to destroy the fair, effective
way businesses handle consumer complaints. Companies currently
address quality problems through warranty and service programs,
maintaining large call centers and extensive service networks.
After all, excellent customer service is essential to winning
customer loyalty in a competitive industry.  Substituting billion-
dollar, everybody-in-the-pool litigation -- potentially turning a
single customer complaint into grounds for a lawsuit on behalf of
millions of buyers -- is a poor substitute for the efficient
solutions companies already employ. It could choke even our most
vibrant industries.

Whirlpool reports that there are 20 nearly identical class-action
lawsuits on behalf of hundreds of thousands of customers ready to
go if the lower court rulings stand.  The suits will slam
appliance companies, but they also have major implications for the
auto and technology industries.

Business Roundtable has joined a brief asking the Supreme Court to
hear Sears and Whirlpool because the future of American businesses
depends on it.  By opening the door for every single consumer
complaint to become a billion-dollar class action lawsuit, the
certain proliferation of such broad, cobbled-together lawsuits
will eventually cripple U.S. manufacturing, and not just service-
center employment.  It will also waste resources, shackle
companies, and chill innovation.


* Regulators Review Arbitration Clauses in Contracts
----------------------------------------------------
David Lazarus, writing for Los Angeles Times, reports that federal
regulators are taking a closer look at those restrictive contract
provisions that force consumers to arbitrate disputes -- barring
them from suing a company individually or joining a class-action
lawsuit.

"If you were to look in your wallet right now, the chances are
high that one or more of your credit cards, debit cards or prepaid
cards would be subject to a pre-dispute arbitration clause,"
Richard Cordray, director of the Consumer Financial Protection
Bureau, said during a recent appearance in Dallas.  "The terms are
not subject to negotiation," he pointed out.  "Like the other
terms of most consumer financial products, they are essentially
'take it or leave it' propositions."

Many businesses prefer arbitration because settlements are limited
and because professional arbitrators, whose fees are typically
paid by the company in a dispute, tend not to bite the hand that
feeds.  A 2007 report by Public Citizen found that over a four-
year period, arbitrators sided with credit card companies 94% of
the time in disputes with California consumers.

Consumer advocates have long argued that it's unfair to deny
people the right to sue or to band together in class actions,
which are often the only effective way of addressing relatively
small claims.  The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision in
2011 that businesses -- phone companies, credit card issuers,
cable operators -- can include arbitration clauses in their
service contracts.  The ruling specifically involved AT&T but
applied to all companies in all industries.

The financial reform law that created the bureau in 2010 gave it
the authority to "prohibit or impose conditions or limitations on
the use" of arbitration clauses for credit cards, checking
accounts and other financial contracts.

Mr. Cordray said a preliminary investigation revealed that "few
consumers use arbitration at all, at least when compared to the
number of consumers involved in lawsuits and class actions."  One
reason for this, he suggested, is that many consumers might not
find it worth their time to arbitrate relatively small sums of
money.  He said that "there are almost no disputes over amounts
less than $1,000."

Out of tens of millions of people subject to arbitration clauses
in contracts for financial services, only 900 used arbitration
from 2010 to 2012, investigators found.  The U.S. Chamber of
Commerce said in a 58-page letter to the bureau that officials
seem to have already made up their minds that arbitration is bad
for consumers.

A federal appeals court recently overturned a National Labor
Relations Board decision that had barred employers from requiring
arbitration agreements that prohibit class-action suits or
collective claims over pay and hours.  The case centered on a
Texas home builder, D.R. Horton Inc., that made employees sign
such contracts.  More than 40 business groups submitted legal
briefs supporting Horton's position.

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided that the National
Labor Relations Board went too far when it ruled in 2012 that
Horton's workers had the right to sue if they wanted.

"The use of class-action procedures is not a substantive right,"
Judge Leslie Southwick wrote for the three-judge panel.

"This is an enormous victory for employers as they attempt to
prevent the ongoing onslaught of class-action lawsuits," said
Ron Chapman, the lead attorney for Horton.


                             *********

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 G. Patalinghug, and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2014. All rights reserved. ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
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The CAR subscription rate is $775 for six months delivered via
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are $25 each. For subscription information, contact
Peter A. Chapman at 215-945-7000 or Nina Novak at 202-241-8200.



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