CAR_Public/140122.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Wednesday, January 22, 2014, Vol. 16, No. 15

                             Headlines


860 RIVER ROAD: Fails to Pay Employees' Overtime Wages, Suit Says
ARIZONA: Faces Class Action Over Same-Sex Marriage Ban
BEST BUY: "Chea" FLSA Violation Suit Removed to N.D. California
CIBA VISION: Consumers Report Clear Care-Related Eye Injuries
CLOVERDALE FOODS: Recalls 2,664 Pounds of Beef Franks

COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR: "Hurst" Suit Removed to C.D. California
CUBIC CORP: Overcharges Consumers for Single Fare, Suit Says
DOCTORS CLINIC: Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Wages and Damages
EQUINOX HOLDINGS: Compels Customers to Renew Contract, Suit Says
EXPRESS INC: Fails to Have POS Devices Usable by Blind, Suit Says

EXXONMOBIL OIL: McGuireWoods Discusses Class Action Settlement
FAIRFAX, VA: Sued by Fire Investigators & Captains Over Unpaid OT
FORD MOTOR: Faces Class Suit Over Defective MyFord Touch Systems
FRISCO BAKING: Removed "Sale" Suit to C.D. Cal. Court
FUNDS FOR CANADA: Ontario Judge Rules on Class Counsel Fees

GANNETT CO: Class Seeks to Stop Unsolicited Calls to Consumers
GLOBAL RESPONSE: Faces "Estevez" Suit Over Unpaid Overtime Wages
GNC CORP: "Howard" Suit Transferred From New York to Maryland
GUSANO'S CHICAGO: Owes Minimum Wage for Hours Worked, Suit Says
HYUNDAI MOTOR: Sued Over Vehicle Repurchase or Replacement Offer

JOSEPH BRANT: C. Difficile Plaintiffs Get Settlement Checks
LEGALCLUB.COM INC: Removed "Merritt" Class Suit to S.D. Florida
MICHAEL ZIMET: Security Guard Seeks to Recover Unpaid OT Wages
MIDLAND FUNDING: Removed "Italiano" Class Suit to E.D. New York
NAM TAI ELECTRONICS: Class Action Voluntarily Dismissed

NOEL CANNING: NRLB Case to Impact Presidential Recess Appointments
PENNSYLVANIA: Same-Sex Couples Challenge "Mini-DOMA"
PINCURLS LLC: Illegally Contacts Class on Cellphones, Suit Claims
PRO GRANITE: Refused to Pay Overtime Wages, "Rodriguez" Suit Says
SNAPCHAT: Delayed Apology Over Data Breach May Have Repercussions

TAC INC: "Whitehead" Suit Seeks Unpaid Wages & Damages Under FLSA
TARGET CORP: Faces "Salvador" Suit Over Stolen Personal Info
TARGET CORP: Faces "Layton" Suit Over Security Breach
TARGET CORP: Faces "Cullen" Suit Over Data Breach
TARGET CORP: Holiday Data Breach Affects Up to 70 Million People

TARGET CORP: U.S. Senators Seek Answers on Recent Data Breach
TARGET CORP: Offers Free Credit Card Monitoring After Data Breach
TIME WARNER: "Campbell" Class Suit Removed to C.D. California
TOYOTA MOTOR: In Talks to Settle Remaining Injury, Death Claims
UNITED STATES: Cuccinelli to Assist Sen. Paul in NSA Class Action

UNITED STATES: Secret Court Greenlights Call Log Collections
UNITED STATES: Sen. Paul Expresses Support for Edward Snowden
UNIVERSAL PROTECTION: Sued for Failing to Pay Non-Exempt Employees
URBAN OUTFITTERS: "Perez" Suit Transferred From S.D. to N.D. Cal.
VARIETY CHILDREN'S: Class Seeks Unpaid Overtime Wages and Damages

WELLS FARGO: Cleverly Conceals Auto Finance Charges, Suit Claims

* Boilers, Weight-Lifting Benches Among Recently Recalled Products
* FDA Seeks Consumer Reports Related to Defective Tobacco Products
* Recent Canada Supreme Court Decisions Clarify Certification Test
* SCOTUS Limits Jurisdiction of Courts Over Dirty War Case v. MNCs
* Seyfarth Shaw Releases Annual Workplace Class Action Report


                             *********


860 RIVER ROAD: Fails to Pay Employees' Overtime Wages, Suit Says
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jesus Escobar, individually and on behalf of others similarly
situated v. 860 River Road Corp., d/b/a Anthony's Italian Bistro,
Anthony MacKenna, and Manny Garcia, Case No. 2:14-cv-00020-FSH-MAH
(D.N.J., January 2, 2014) arises from the Defendants' alleged
failure to pay overtime compensation to the Plaintiff and
similarly situated employees, who worked in excess of 40 hours per
week.

The Plaintiff also brings the lawsuit to challenge the Defendant's
practice of disability discrimination in violation of the New
Jersey Law Against Discrimination.

860 River Road Corp., d/b/a Anthony's Italian Bistro, is a New
Jersey domestic profit corporation headquartered in Edgewater, New
Jersey.  The Company is engaged in the restaurant business.
Anthony MacKenna owns and operates Anthony's Italian Bistro.
Manny Garcia was employed by Anthony's Italian Bistro as a chef
and exercised supervisory authority over the Plaintiff.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jeffrey D. Catrambone, Esq.
          SCIARRA & CATRAMBRONE, LLC
          1130 Clifton Avenue
          Clifton, NJ 07013
          Telephone: (973) 242-2442
          E-mail: jcatrambone@sciarralaw.com


ARIZONA: Faces Class Action Over Same-Sex Marriage Ban
------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that four couples have filed a
class-action lawsuit seeking to make same-sex marriage legal in
Arizona.  The suit filed on Jan. 6 claims a voter-approved ban on
gay marriage is unconstitutional.  It seeks to allow same-sex
couples to be married and recognize same-sex marriages conducted
in other states.

The suit names Gov. Jan Brewer and Attorney General Tom Horne
among the defendants.  The lawsuit claims certain rights and
benefits are denied to gay couples because Arizona doesn't
recognize their marriages.

Some of the couples who filed the lawsuit are legally married in
other states.

Shawn Aiken, who filed the suit, said the suit involves three male
couples and one female couple.  All are long-time Arizona
residents and two of the couples have adopted children, he said.

Should the plaintiffs win the case, Arizona would become the 19th
state to recognize same-sex marriages.


BEST BUY: "Chea" FLSA Violation Suit Removed to N.D. California
---------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit styled Chea v. Best Buy Stores, L.P.,
Case No. CIV525561, was removed from the Superior Court of the
state of California for the County of San Mateo to the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California (San
Francisco).  The District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 3:14-cv-
00020-JSC to the proceeding.

The lawsuit alleges violation of the federal Fair Labor Standards
Act because the Defendant allegedly failed to pay the Plaintiff
and putative class members hourly wages for all time worked,
including minimum and overtime wages.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Chaim Shaun Setareh, Esq.
          Adrienne Alayne Herrera, Esq.
          SETAREH LAW GROUP
          9454 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 711
          Beverly Hills, CA 90212-2937
          Telephone: (310) 888-7771
          Facsimile: (310) 888-0109
          E-mail: shaun@setarehlaw.com
                  adrienne@setarehlaw.com

The Defendant is represented by:

          Barbara J. Miller, Esq.
          MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP
          5 Park Plaza, Suite 1750
          Irvine, CA 92614
          Telephone: (949) 399-7000
          Facsimile: (949) 399-7001
          E-mail: barbara.miller@morganlewis.com

               - and -

          Stephen L. Taeusch, Esq.
          Andrew Frederick, Esq.
          MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP
          One Market, Spear Street Tower
          San Francisco, CA 94105-1126
          Telephone: (415) 442-1000
          Facsimile: (415) 442-1001
          E-mail: staeusch@morganlewis.com
                  afrederick@morganlewis.com


CIBA VISION: Consumers Report Clear Care-Related Eye Injuries
-------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Cohen, writing for Philly.com's Check Up, reports that in
December 2010 and again in May 2012, Check-Up warned consumers who
wear contact lenses about Clear Care, a lens cleaning product from
Ciba Vision (a Novartis company) that contains hydrogen peroxide.
The product must only be used to soak contact lenses within a
special lens case that deactivates the hydrogen peroxide prior to
placing the lenses back in the eyes.  Unfortunately, the product
has repeatedly been used by mistake without the special lens case,
causing severe pain and, all too often, an eye injury.  Many
patients wind up in the hospital emergency room.  There are also
less expensive generic versions available.

One of the most recent cases was reported by a woman whose
college-age daughter was spending the night at a friend's home.
The student realized she'd forgotten her contact lens solution so
her friend located a roommate's solution and the contact lenses
were soaked in it for the night.  It was Clear Care.  The next
morning, her daughter put her right contact lens in her eye and
immediately started to scream out in pain.  She removed the
contact and, after no relief with flushing the eye with water, she
went to a hospital ER.  Her eye was flushed with no abatement of
symptoms.  Staining the eye with a special dye showed corneal
damage had occurred.  The hospital gave her some antibiotic eye
drops and referred her to an eye doctor whom she visited the next
day.  The eye doctor prescribed an even stronger medication and
advised her to return for a follow-up.

This young woman joins hundreds of others who've sent reports
after they experienced severe pain and/or eye injuries when using
Clear Care.  There are many more who've complained about the
product on the Internet.   Unknown is how many actual cases there
are that have not been reported.

Mr. Cohen said "Based on my research on this topic I believe that
there are likely hundreds of thousands of people who have
experienced burning by getting this product or the generic
directly in their eyes.  Ask any group of 100 or so people and 3
or 4 will be contact lens wearers who will tell you they've done
this.  I have conducted this experiment multiple times in pharmacy
school classrooms or during talks to health professionals. Several
people in my office have done this (including pharmacists and
nurses), as has my own daughter.  Given the number of lens
wearers, it could even be millions who've had this happen over the
years. It's beyond being careless."

The product is poorly designed and sets people up for making
errors.  It is not supposed to be used to wet or soak lenses in
the usual manner that other lens cleaning products are used.
Clear Care has a special lens case with a built-in neutralizer --
a ring of platinum that reacts with hydrogen peroxide -- that
causes the hydrogen peroxide to turn into water.  The entire
process takes about 6 hours.  After this, the lenses can be placed
in the eyes. The product label includes several statements to use
only the lens case provided, and to not rinse lenses with Clear
Care prior to insertion.  But for many, the statements have not
been noticed given their impaired vision without their lenses in
place.  For others, the statement may not be a clear warning.
Some may think, "Why use the special lens case when I have my own
case."  Also, those who do not routinely rinse their lenses with
saline prior to insertion may simply ignore this statement,
thinking it doesn't apply to them.


CLOVERDALE FOODS: Recalls 2,664 Pounds of Beef Franks
-----------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that a North Dakota company has
recalled more than a ton of beef franks due to misbranding.

The United States Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and
Inspection Service says Cloverdale Foods Co. in Mandan recalled
2,664 pounds of beef franks.

The agency says the hot dogs were made with milk, which was not
declared on the product label. Milk is a known allergen.

There have no reports of illness from the recalled products.

The items identified in the recall were "Seattle Mariners Beef
Franks."  The products were produced on Nov. 23 and Dec. 13, 2013.

The franks can be identified by the establishment number "Est.
7603" inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The products were sold to retailers in Montana, North Dakota and
Washington.


COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR: "Hurst" Suit Removed to C.D. California
------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit captioned Talia Hurst, individually and
on behalf of all others similarly situated v. Columbia Sportswear
Company, et al., Case No. BC529555, was removed from the Superior
Court of California for the County of Los Angeles to the United
States District Court for the Central District of California (Los
Angeles).  The District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 2:14-cv-
00075-DDP-JEM to the proceeding.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          David W. Reid, Esq.
          Richard H. Hikida, Esq.
          Scott J. Ferrell, Esq.
          Victoria C. Knowles, Esq.
          NEWPORT TRIAL GROUP
          4100 Newport Place, Suite 800
          Newport Beach, CA 92660
          Telephone: (949) 706-6464
          Facsimile: (949) 706-6469
          E-mail: dreid@trialnewport.com
                  rhikida@trialnewport.com
                  sferrell@trialnewport.com
                  vknowles@trialnewport.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          James G. Snell, Esq.
          John Anthony Polito, Esq.
          BINGHAM MCCUTCHEN LLP
          1117 South California Avenue
          Palo Alto, CA 94304-1106
          Telephone: (650) 849-4400
          Facsimile: (650) 849-4800
          E-mail: james.snell@bingham.com
                  john.polito@bingham.com


CUBIC CORP: Overcharges Consumers for Single Fare, Suit Says
------------------------------------------------------------
Stacy Allen, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated v. Cubic Corp., a Delaware corporation, Cubic
Transportation Systems, Inc., a California corporation, Cubic
Transportation Systems Chicago, Inc., an Illinois corporation, and
Chicago Transit Authority, an Illinois municipal corporation, Case
No. 1:14-cv-00059 (N.D. Ill., January 4, 2014) targets the
Defendants' alleged practice of charging unsuspecting consumers
multiple times for a single fare on CTA trains and buses.

Shortly after the launched of Ventra, CTA's fare system, scores of
irate consumers reported that they were frequently being charged
twice -- and sometimes three or four times -- for a single fare,
Ms. Allen says.  Hence, she seeks to enjoin the Defendants from
overcharging her and the Class and from continuing their alleged
unfair business practices.

Cubic Corp. is a Delaware corporation headquartered in San Diego,
California.  Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc. is a California
corporation headquartered in San Diego, California.  Cubic
Transportation Systems, Inc. is a subsidiary of Cubic Corp. and
focuses on Cubic Corp.'s transportation systems business segment.
Cubic Transportation Systems Chicago, Inc. is an Illinois
corporation headquartered in San Diego, California.  Cubic
Transportation Systems Chicago, Inc. is a subsidiary of Cubic
Transportation Systems, Inc. and a sub-subsidiary of Cubic Corp.
The primary purpose of Cubic Transportation Systems Chicago, Inc.
is to implement and operate Ventra.

CTA is a municipal corporation organized in and existing under the
laws of the state of Illinois.  CTA operates a public
transportation system in Chicago, Illinois, and the surrounding
suburbs.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Joseph J. Siprut, Esq.
          Gregg M. Barbakoff, Esq.
          Ismael T. Salam, Esq.
          SIPRUT PC
          17 N. State Street, Suite 1600
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 236-0000
          Facsimile: (312) 470-6588
          E-mail: jsiprut@siprut.com
                  gbarbakoff@siprut.com
                  isalam@siprut.com


DOCTORS CLINIC: Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Wages and Damages
--------------------------------------------------------------
Angel Gancerez v. Doctors Clinic Family Health Center LLC, Rennae
Sweda and Dr. Stanley Sweda, Case No. 2:14-cv-14004-DMM (S.D.
Fla., January 3, 2014) is brought to recover unpaid wages,
compensation and damages.

During one or more workweeks, the Defendants did not pay the
Plaintiff time and one half the Plaintiff's regular rate of pay
for overtime hours worked, according to the complaint.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Todd W. Shulby, Esq.
          TODD W. SHULBY, P.A.
          4705 Volunteer Road, Suite 102
          Southwest Ranches, FL 33330-2123
          Telephone: (954) 530-2236
          Facsimile: (954) 530-6628
          E-mail: tshulby@shulbylaw.com


EQUINOX HOLDINGS: Compels Customers to Renew Contract, Suit Says
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lesley McCarthy and Kim Kennedy on behalf of themselves and all
others similarly situated v. Equinox Holdings, Inc., John Does
1-25, Case No. 2:14-cv-00037-FSH-JBC (D.N.J., January 3, 2014) is
brought on behalf of similarly situated New Jersey consumers
relating to the Defendants' alleged violations of the Health Club
Services Act, the Consumer Fraud Act, the Retail Installment Sales
Act, the Truth in Lending Act and the Truth-in-Consumer Contract,
Warranty and Notice Act.

The Defendants have violated the HCSA by using Membership
Agreements, which, among other things, obligate their customers to
automatically and perpetually renew their contracts by imposing
unreasonable and unduly onerous requirements to cancel their gym
memberships, the Plaintiffs allege.  The Plaintiffs add that the
Defendants have violated the CFA by their cancellation policies
and billing practices, which have the primary and sole purpose of
discouraging and impeding their customers from canceling what are
otherwise perpetual and automatically self-renewing monthly
memberships.

Equinox Holding, Inc. is a Delaware corporation headquartered in
New York.  Equinox owns and operates fitness and health clubs in
the United States.  The identities of the Doe Defendants will be
disclosed in discovery.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Joseph K. Jones, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF JOSEPH K. JONES, LLC
          375 Passaic Avenue, Suite 100
          Fairfield, NJ 07004
          Telephone: (973) 227-5900
          Facsimile: (973) 244-0019
          E-mail: jkj@legaljones.com


EXPRESS INC: Fails to Have POS Devices Usable by Blind, Suit Says
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Jahoda, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. Express, Inc., Case No. 2:14-cv-00012-LPL (W.D. Pa.,
January 3, 2014) alleges violations of the Americans with
Disabilities Act and its implementing regulations.

Mr. Jahoda, a blind individual, accuses the Defendant of failing
to design, construct, and own or operate Point Of Sale Devices
that are fully accessible to, and independently usable by, blind
people.

Express, Inc. is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.  The Company
owns and operates over 600 retail stores throughout the United
States.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          R. Bruce Carlson, Esq.
          Stephanie K. Goldin, Esq.
          Carlos Diaz, Esq.
          CARLSON LYNCH LTD
          PNC Park
          115 Federal Street, Suite 210
          Pittsburgh, PA 15212
          Telephone: (412) 322-9243
          Facsimile: (412) 231-0246
          E-mail: bcarlson@carlsonlynch.com
                  sgoldin@carlsonlynch.com
                  cdiaz@carlsonlynch.com


EXXONMOBIL OIL: McGuireWoods Discusses Class Action Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
Andrew J. Trask, Esq., at McGuireWoods LLP, reports that
ExxonMobil recently attempted to settle a class action involving
the payment of gas royalties.  As part of that settlement, it
agreed to a provision that would impose a severe appeal bond on
any objectors who might wish to appeal an unsuccessful objection.
The clause read:

Because any appeal by an objecting Class Member would delay the
payment under the Settlement, each Class Member that appeals
agrees to put up a cash bond to be set by the district court
sufficient to reimburse Class Counsel's appellate fees, Class
Counsel's expenses, and the lost interest to the Class caused by
the delay.

This provision imposed greater costs on appealing objector than
the requirements of Federal Rule of Appellate Procedure 7, which
usually govern the posting of appeal bonds.  ExxonMobil lost
nothing by agreeing to this provision, but its real benefit was
for plaintiffs' counsel, who often cannot be paid while the case
is still ongoing.

The settlement did draw objectors, and they did not prevail in
front of the district court.  When they appealed, the parties
invoked the settlement agreement's appeal bond provision.  As a
result, the Tenth Circuit was faced with the question posed by
Hershey v. ExxonMobil Oil Corp: what rule controlled the appeal
bond, FRAP 7, or the settlement clause? The court held that FRAP 7
was not exclusive, and so the parties could decide on additional
requirements. (The objectors, as class members, would be bound by
the agreement unless they opted out, at which point they would
lose standing as objectors.) The objectors argued that this would
functionally deprive them of a right to appeal.  The Tenth Circuit
disagreed.

Appellants tell McGuireWoods the appeal rights of objectors to a
settlement agreement can henceforth be extinguished in every class
action by the simple expedient of including in the settlement
agreement an appeal-bond provision such as the one presented here.
Not so! Had Appellants made their present argument to the district
court in a timely fashion, there would be a genuine issue as to
whether they had actually agreed to -- and were therefore bound to
honor -- the appeal-bond provision.

The decision is logical enough, as far as it goes.  But it is
essentially a one-time victory for settlement parties.  From this
point forward, it is a safe bet that any settlement agreement that
includes an appeal bond clause like this will draw objections, if
for no other reason than to preserve any objectors' appellate
rights.  Much like the quick-pay provision, McGuireWoods would
argue that the appellate bond provision has likely just become a
red flag for objectors and courts alike.


FAIRFAX, VA: Sued by Fire Investigators & Captains Over Unpaid OT
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Gerard Morrison, et al. v. County of Fairfax, VA, Case No. 1:14-
cv-00005-CMH-JFA (E.D. Va., January 3, 2014) is brought on behalf
of those who are employed as Fire Investigators, Captain I and
Captain II in the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department and
are or were assigned to the Operations Bureau in one or more of
the County's 38 fire stations.

The Plaintiffs allege that they were unlawfully paid only the
straight time rate of pay, as opposed to time and one-half their
regular rate of pay, for any and all hours worked in excess of 40
hours per week, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

County of Fairfax, Virginia, is an employer and a public agency
within the meaning of the FLSA.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Molly Ann Elkin, Esq.
          WOODLEY & MCGILLIVARY (DC)
          1101 Vermont Ave. NW, Suite 1000
          Washington, DC 20005
          Telephone: (202) 833-8855
          E-mail: mae@wmlaborlaw.com


FORD MOTOR: Faces Class Suit Over Defective MyFord Touch Systems
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sandra Storto, individually and as the representative of a class
of similarly-situated persons v. Ford Motor Company, Case No.
1:14-cv-00037 (N.D. Ill., January 3, 2014) challenges Ford's
alleged unlawful practices relating to its sale of vehicles
equipped with "MyFord Touch," "MyLincoln Touch," and "MyMercury
Touch" systems in Ford manufactured vehicles beginning with the
2011 model year.

The MyFord Touch system consists of three display interfaces that
are powered by the "SYNC" operating system designed by Microsoft
and provides integrated functionality: a) to operate the sound
systems, b) to use the GPS navigation system, c) to operate a
Bluetooth device, d) to operate the climate control systems, and
e) to operate and manage various other systems, including safety
and security systems in Class Vehicles.

Although Ford has advertised the MyFord Touch system as a next
generation and revolutionary feature in its Class Vehicles and
charges a significant premium for a vehicle equipped with the
system, the MyFord Touch System does not perform as intended,
advertised or promised by Ford, Ms. Storto alleges.  She argues
that as a result of Ford's unfair, deceptive and fraudulent
practices, and its failure to disclose defects in the My Ford
Touch system, owners and lessees of Class Vehicles have suffered
losses in money and property.

Ford is a publicly traded Delaware corporation with its principal
place of business in Dearborn, Michigan.  Ford has marketed,
distributed and sold Class Vehicles in Illinois, as well as
nationwide.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Alexander I. Arezina, Esq.
          LAW OFFICE OF ALEXANDER I. AREZINA
          728 W. Grand Ave.
          Chicago, IL 60610
          Telephone: (312) 437-1982
          E-mail: alex@arezinalaw.com

               - and -

          Vincent L. DiTommaso, Esq.
          Peter S. Lubin, Esq.
          DITOMMASO LUBIN, PC
          17W 220 22nd Street, Suite 410
          Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
          Telephone: (630) 333-0000
          E-mail: vdt@ditommasolaw.com
                  psl@ditommasolaw.com


FRISCO BAKING: Removed "Sale" Suit to C.D. Cal. Court
-----------------------------------------------------
The purported class action lawsuit entitled Thomas Sale v. Frisco
Baking Company Inc., et al., Case No. BC529131, was removed from
the Superior Court of California for the County of Los Angeles to
the United States District Court for the Central District of
California (Los Angeles).  The District Court Clerk assigned Case
No. 2:14-cv-00043-JAK-MAN to the proceeding.  The lawsuit alleges
labor law violations.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Shadie Latae Berenji, Esq.
          LAW OFFICE OF SHADIE L. BERENJI
          633 West 5th Street, 28th Floor
          Los Angeles, CA 90071
          Telephone: (310) 855-3270
          Facsimile: (310) 855-3751
          E-mail: slb@berenjiemploymentlaw.com

The Defendant is represented by:

          Robert F. Tyson, Jr., Esq.
          Regina Silva, Esq.
          English R. Bryant, Esq.
          TYSON AND MENDES LLP
          5661 La Jolla Boulevard
          La Jolla, CA 92037
          Telephone: (858) 459-4400
          Facsimile: (858) 459-3864
          E-mail: rtyson@tysonmendes.com
                  rsilva@tysonmendes.com
                  ebryant@tysonmendes.com


FUNDS FOR CANADA: Ontario Judge Rules on Class Counsel Fees
-----------------------------------------------------------
Michael McKiernan, writing for Law Times, reports that class
action plaintiffs' counsel are welcoming a Superior Court judge's
call to afford presumptive validity to one-third contingency fee
agreements.

Ontario Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba initially approved
legal fees of 25 per cent after a partial settlement in a case
arising out of a charity tax receipt scheme "because frankly,
that's what other judges were doing" and asked for written
submissions to convince him that the 33-per-cent fee agreed to in
the retainer agreement was fair and reasonable.

But after reviewing decisions that capped legal fees in the 20- to
25-per-cent range, Justice Belobaba said he was unconvinced by
their discussion of "arguably irrelevant or immeasurable metrics
such as docketed time (irrelevant) or risks incurred
(immeasurable.)"

"If the settlement is in the best interests of the class and the
retainer agreement provided for, say, a one-third contingency fee,
and was fully understood and agreed to by the representative
plaintiff, why should the court be concerned about the time that
was actually docketed? This only encourages docket-padding and
over-lawyering, both of which are already pervasive problems in
class action litigation," Justice Belobaba wrote in his Dec. 19
decision in Cannon v. Funds for Canada Foundation.

"In my view, it would make more sense to identify a percentage-
based legal fee that would be judicially accepted as presumptively
valid.  This would provide a much-needed measure of predictability
in the approval of class counsel's legal fees and would avoid all
of the mind-numbing bluster about the time-value of work done or
the risks incurred."

The court certified the class action two years ago after
representative plaintiff Michael Cannon sued on behalf of 10,000
taxpayers who invested in the Donations For Canada gift program
between 2005 and 2009.  The $144-million program promised
charitable tax credits worth four times the cash donation
received, but donors ultimately ended up out of pocket after the
Canada Revenue Agency reassessed their returns and demanded
repayment plus interest.

In October, the court approved a partial settlement with several
defendants, including prominent Nova Scotia tax lawyer Edwin
Harris, whose biography and comfort letter appeared in the program
materials.  The partial settlement was worth $28.2 million with
counsel for the plaintiffs claiming one-third, or $9.4 million,
based on their contingency-fee agreement.

Justice Belobaba suggested legal fees of one-third of a settlement
would be a fair level for presumptive validity since it falls in
line with percentages traditionally charged and accepted in the
personal injury field.

Paliare Roland Rosenberg Rothstein LLP's Margaret Waddell --
marg.waddell@paliareroland.com -- who with co-counsel Sam Marr --
smarr@lmklawyers.com -- of Landy Marr Kats LLP represented the
plaintiffs in Cannon, says the decision brings Ontario in line
with other provinces where judges have been much less reticent to
sanction legal fees of more than 25 per cent.

Jonathan Ptak -- jptak@kmlaw.ca -- a partner with Toronto's Koskie
Minsky LLP, calls Justice Belobaba's decision a "sensible and
refreshing" approach to class action legal fees.

Justice Belobaba found the presumption of validity is rebuttable
but only "in clear cases based on principled reasons."  They
include: Where there is a lack of full understanding or true
acceptance on the part of the representative plaintiff.
"Settlement agreement notices should bold-face or highlight the
legal fees portion in order to focus class members' attention on
the amount being requested.  Affidavits from the representative
plaintiffs or class members supporting the legal fees request
would certainly be relevant," wrote Justice Belobaba.

Where the agreed-to contingency amount is excessive.  "If class
counsel seek higher amounts, say 40 or 50 per cent, they should be
prepared to provide a detailed justification because these higher
amounts fall outside the penumbra of what, in my view, is
currently acceptable," wrote Justice Belobaba.

Where the application of the presumptively valid one-third
contingency fee results in a legal fees award that's so large as
to be unseemly or otherwise unreasonable.

According to Mr. Ptak, these "safety mechanisms" offer protection
to the public and the class while simplifying the process for
approving counsel fees.  He says presumptive validity would
improve access to justice by giving lawyers a level of certainty
about their potential return on a particular case.

Justice Belobaba also predicts presumptive validity would also
"take the pressure off certification-motion costs awards as a
method for forward-financing the class action" as well as hasten
the demise of "multipliers" in class action retainer agreements.


GANNETT CO: Class Seeks to Stop Unsolicited Calls to Consumers
--------------------------------------------------------------
Richard Casagrand and Dylan Schlossberg individually and on behalf
of all others similarly situated v. Gannett Co., Inc., a Delaware
corporation, and Marketing Plus, Inc. a New Jersey corporation,
Case No. 2:14-cv-00022-SRC-CLW (D.N.J., January 2, 2014) seeks to
stop the Defendants' practice of making unsolicited calls to the
telephones of consumers nationwide, and to obtain redress for all
persons injured by their conduct.

Gannett Co., Inc. is a Delaware corporation based in McLean,
Virginia.  Gannett is a media and marketing company with a
portfolio of broadcast, digital, mobile and publishing companies.
Gannett's 82 daily newspapers, including USA TODAY, reach over 10
million readers nationwide.

Marketing Plus, Inc. is a New Jersey corporation headquartered in
Woodbridge, New Jersey.  Marketing Plus is a full service
telemarketing company that specializes in newspaper promotion.
Marketing Plus is the primary telemarketer for Defendant Gannett
and works closely with Gannett to promote its stable of newspaper
properties.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Jay Edelson, Esq.
          Rafey S. Balabanian, Esq.
          Benjamin H. Richman, Esq.
          Christopher L. Dore, Esq.
          EDELSON PC
          350 North LaSalle Street, Suite 1300
          Chicago, IL 60654
          Telephone: (312) 589-6370
          Facsimile: (312) 589-6378
          E-mail: jedelson@edelson.com
                  rbalabanian@edelson.com
                  brichman@edelson.com
                  cdore@edelson.com

               - and -

          Stefan L. Coleman, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF STEFAN COLEMAN, LLC
          1072 Madison Avenue, Suite 1
          Lakewood, NJ 08701
          Telephone: (877) 333-9427
          E-mail: law@stefancoleman.com


GLOBAL RESPONSE: Faces "Estevez" Suit Over Unpaid Overtime Wages
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bolivar Estevez, on his own behalf and others similarly situated
v. Global Response Corporation, a Florida corporation, Case No.
0:14-cv-60015-RNS (S.D. Fla., January 3, 2014) is brought to
recover from the Defendant overtime compensation, liquidated
damages, and the costs and reasonable attorney's fees.

Mr. Estevez alleges that he and other similarly situated employees
worked overtime hours, but the Defendant failed to compensate them
for all of the overtime hours they worked.

Global Response Corporation, is a Florida corporation
headquartered in Margate, Broward County, Florida.  The Company
operates call centers in Florida and Michigan.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Camar Ricardo Jones, Esq.
          THE SHAVITZ LAW GROUP, P.A.
          1515 South Federal Hwy., Suite 404
          Boca Raton, FL 33432
          Telephone: (561) 447-8888
          Facsimile: (561) 447-8831
          E-mail: cjones@shavitzlaw.com


GNC CORP: "Howard" Suit Transferred From New York to Maryland
-------------------------------------------------------------
The purported class action lawsuit entitled Howard v. GNC
Corporation, Case No. 6:13-cv-06490, was transferred from the U.S.
District Court for the Western District of New York to the U.S.
District Court for the District of Maryland (Baltimore).  The
Maryland District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 1:14-cv-00002-JFM
to the proceeding.


GUSANO'S CHICAGO: Owes Minimum Wage for Hours Worked, Suit Says
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline L. Conners, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Gusano's Chicago Style Pizzeria; Catfish
Pies, Inc.; Crazy Pies, Inc; Fayetteville Pies, Inc.; Gusano's
Chicago Style Pizzeria Of Bella Vista, Inc.; Hendrix Brands, Inc.;
Pizza Profits, Inc.; Show Me Pies, Inc.; and Ben Biesenthal, Case
No. 4:14-cv-00002-BSM (E.D. Ark., January 2, 2014) is a collective
action under the Fair Labor Standards Act for wages owed.

Ms. Conners asserts that she and all other similarly-situated
employees are entitled to the return of his or her tips and wages
and compensation based on the standard minimum wage for all hours
worked.

Gusano's Chicago Style Pizzeria is a bar-and-restaurant chain with
locations in Arkansas and Missouri.  Gusano's Chicago Style
Pizzeria of Bella Vista, Inc. is an Arkansas.  Gusano's is
controlled by its president and founder, Ben Biesenthal.  Catfish
Pies, Inc. is an Arkansas corporation.  Catfish Pies, Inc. owns
Gusano's restaurants located in Conway and Bella Vista.  Crazy
Pies, Inc. is an Arkansas corporation, which owns the Gusano's
restaurant located in Bella Vista.

Fayetteville Pies, Inc. is an Arkansas corporation.  Fayetteville
Pies, Inc., owns the Gusano's restaurant located in Fayetteville.
Hendrix Brands, Inc. is an Arkansas corporation.  Hendrix Brands,
Inc., owns the Gusano's restaurant located in Little Rock.  Pizza
Profits, Inc. is an Arkansas corporation.  Pizza Profits, Inc.,
owns the Gusano's restaurant located in Bentonville.  Show Me
Pies, Inc. is an Arkansas Corporation.  Show Me Pies, Inc., owns
the Gusano's restaurant located in Joplin, Missouri.

Each of the Corporate Defendant was operated as a single
enterprise with the other Defendants.  Ben Biesenthal is the
President or Principal of all of the Gusano's entities.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          John T. Holleman, Esq.
          Maryna O. Jackson, Esq.
          Timothy A. Steadman, Esq.
          HOLLEMAN & ASSOCIATES, P.A.
          1008 West Second Street
          Little Rock, AR 72201
          Telephone: (501) 975-5040
          Facsimile: (501) 975-5041
          E-mail: jholleman@johnholleman.net
                  maryna@johnholleman.net
                  tim@johnholleman.net


HYUNDAI MOTOR: Sued Over Vehicle Repurchase or Replacement Offer
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lori Robbins, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated v. Hyundai Motor America and Hyundai Motor Company, Case
No. 8:14-cv-00005-JLS-AN (C.D. Cal., January 2, 2014) is brought
on behalf of persons in the United States, who purchased or leased
any model year Hyundai motor vehicle in California and received a
vehicle repurchase or replacement offer.

Ms. Robbins contends that Hyundai knew or should have known that
it has systematically violated California law by repurchasing or
replacing defective vehicles (i) without reimbursing or crediting
the buyer for certain statutory damages, including registration
fees for each year that the vehicle is registered, GAP insurance,
full-coverage insurance for each year the vehicle is insured,
extended service contracts, and (ii) while improperly mandating
certain deductions from the vehicles' statutorily mandated
repurchase prices, like deductions for "any condition beyond
normal wear and tear," or alternatively, requiring consumers to
pay for repairs at their own expense before Hyundai agrees to
repurchase or replace the defective vehicles.

Hyundai Motor America is a California corporation headquartered in
Fountain Valley, Orange County, California.  Hyundai Motor Company
is a South Korean multinational automaker headquartered in Seoul,
South Korea.

Hyundai is engaged in the business of manufacturing, designing,
marketing, distributing, and selling automobiles and other motor
vehicles and motor vehicle components in California and throughout
the United States of America.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Payam Shahian, Esq.
          Karen Nakon, Esq.
          Larry Chae, Esq.
          STRATEGIC LEGAL PRACTICES, APC
          1875 Century Park East, Suite 700
          Los Angeles, CA 90067
          Telephone: (310) 277-1040
          Facsimile: (310) 943-3838
          E-mail: pshahian@slpattorney.com
                  knakon@slpattorney.com
                  lchae@slpattorney.com

               - and -

          Mark D. O'Connor, Esq.
          Steve B. Mikhov, Esq.
          O'CONNOR & MIKHOV LLP
          640 S. San Vicente, Suite 350
          Los Angeles, CA 90048
          Telephone: (323) 936-2274
          Facsimile: (323) 939-7973
          E-mail: marko@omlawllp.com
                  stevem@omlawllp.com


JOSEPH BRANT: C. Difficile Plaintiffs Get Settlement Checks
-----------------------------------------------------------
Joan Walters, writing for TheSpec.com, reports that checks have
gone out to all patients and families for the $9-million
settlement of a class-action lawsuit launched after a deadly
outbreak of the superbug C. difficile at Joseph Brant Hospital in
Burlington.

Stanley Tick, the Hamilton lawyer for the action launched in 2008,
said on Jan. 6 it was a welcome closure for plaintiffs after so
many years.  He also noted the hospital was co-operative,
ultimately, in ensuring the process worked.

The checks were sent just before Christmas, and must be cashed by
June, under settlement rules.  It was a year ago last week that
Superior Court Justice Deena Baltman approved the settlement as
fair and reasonable following two years of hard-fought
negotiations in what she called a "risky and complicated case."

Justice Baltman said the suit accomplished "behavior modification"
at Jo Brant, where 91 patients infected with the virulent bacteria
died and more than 200 were infected in a 2007 outbreak that was
longer and deadlier than anyone originally knew.

The settlement with patients who contracted the infection -- and
the families of those who died -- apportions money according to
the length of time claimants were affected by C. diff.  The bulk
of claims were in the category where patients died, or had
symptoms of the intestinal infection for more than 90 days. The
surviving patient or the estate receives $15,000 and the patient's
family receives $21,000.  Other categories of claimants receive
between $1,000 and $10,000, depending on severity.

Settlement documents filed in court say the hospital does not
admit wrongdoing or liability.


LEGALCLUB.COM INC: Removed "Merritt" Class Suit to S.D. Florida
---------------------------------------------------------------
The putative class action lawsuit styled Merritt v. LegalClub.Com,
Inc., et al., Case No. CACE-13-026331-12, was removed from the
17th Judicial Circuit in and for Broward County, Florida, to the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Ft.
Lauderdale).  The District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 0:14-cv-
60022-RNS to the proceeding.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Richard Alan Russell, Esq.
          WOLPOFF & ABRAMSON LLP
          5355 Town Center Road, Suite 1002
          Boca Raton, FL 33486
          Telephone: (702) 279-0824
          E-mail: rqr@wolpofflaw.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Jeffrey Aaron Backman, Esq.
          Richard Wayne Epstein, Esq.
          Scott M. Wellikoff, Esq.
          GREENSPOON MARDER, P.A.
          200 East Broward Blvd., Suite 1500
          Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
          Telephone: (954) 491-1120
          Facsimile: (954) 213-0140
          E-mail: jeffrey.backman@gmlaw.com
                  richard.epstein@gmlaw.com
                  scott.wellikoff@gmlaw.com


MICHAEL ZIMET: Security Guard Seeks to Recover Unpaid OT Wages
--------------------------------------------------------------
Jasha Bennet, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated
v. Michael Zimet, LLC, and Michael Zimet, Case No. 7:14-cv-00015-
KMK (S.D.N.Y., January 2, 2014) alleges that pursuant to the Fair
Labor Standards Act, the Plaintiff is entitled to recover from the
Defendants unpaid overtime wages, liquidated damages pre-judgment
and post-judgment interest and attorneys' fees and costs.  The
Plaintiff was employed by the Defendants to work as a security
guard at a horse farm.

Michael Zimet, LLC, is a New York domestic limited liability
company headquartered in Bronx, New York.  Michael Zimet is an
owner, officer, director or managing agent of the Company.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Peter Hans Cooper, Esq.
          CILENTI & COOPER, P.L.L.C.
          708 Third Avenue, 6th Floor
          New York, NY 10017
          Telephone: (212) 209-3933
          Facsimile: (212) 209-7102
          E-mail: pcooper@jcpclaw.com


MIDLAND FUNDING: Removed "Italiano" Class Suit to E.D. New York
---------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Italiano, et al. v. Midland
Funding, LLC, et al., Case No. 13-064184, was removed from the
Supreme Court of the State of New York, County of Suffolk, to the
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York (Central
Islip).  The District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 2:14-cv-00018-
LDW-ARL to the proceeding.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Leland L. Greene, Esq.
          LAW OFFICE OF LELAND L. GREENE
          1565 Franklin Avenue, 2nd Floor
          Mineola, NY 11501
          Telephone: (516) 746-3800
          Facsimile: (516) 222-6577
          E-mail: lgreenelaw@aol.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Richard David Lane, Jr., Esq.
          Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, Coleman & Goggin
          88 Pine Street, 21st Floor
          New York, NY 10005
          Telephone: (212) 376-6400
          Facsimile: (212) 376-6490
          E-mail: rdlane@mdwcg.com


NAM TAI ELECTRONICS: Class Action Voluntarily Dismissed
-------------------------------------------------------
Nam Tai Electronics, Inc. disclosed that on January 6, 2014, the
class action lawsuit filed against the Company and two of its
executives by several shareholders of Nam Tai on May 17, 2013 in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York, was voluntarily dismissed by the plaintiffs, with prejudice.
No payment or consideration of any kind was made by any of the
defendants in connection with the dismissal.

"We are pleased to put this matter behind us," commented Mr. Koo,
Executive Chairman and Chief Financial Officer.  "With this
resolution, we can move forward and continue to focus on our new
corporate development."


NOEL CANNING: NRLB Case to Impact Presidential Recess Appointments
------------------------------------------------------------------
Rebekah Mintzer, writing for Corporate Counsel, reports that a
case argued before the U.S. Supreme Court Jan. 13 will have
important implications for the validity of presidential recess
appointments.  In the process, NLRB v. Noel Canning Corp. could
have a huge impact in the labor and employment world by rendering
hundreds of National Labor Relations Board decisions null and
void.

"It'll certainly be a case that will go down in the constitutional
law textbooks in the future," Ronald Meisburg --
rmeisburg@proskauer.com -- cohead of Proskauer Rose's Labor-
Management Relations practice group and a former general counsel
of the NLRB, told CorpCounsel.com

In Noel Canning, the Supreme Court will review a January 2013
decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which overturned an
NLRB ruling against the Yakima, Wash., bottling company.
Teamsters Union 760 alleged Noel Canning committed unfair labor
practices by failing to appropriately implement a pay raise it had
negotiated with the union and brought the case to the NLRB, which
ruled in the union's favor.

The circuit court determined that the NLRB decision was invalid
because, through his Jan. 4, 2012, appointment of three NLRB board
members, President Barack Obama overstepped his constitutional
powers under the Recess Appointments Clause, which allows the
executive to make appointments by himself that would normally need
Senate confirmation, if the Senate is in recess.  Noel Canning
argued that because the recess was a break within a session, not
between sessions, it would not qualify as an appropriate "recess"
to carry out executive appointments under the clause.  Plus, some
Senate Republicans were meeting "pro forma" throughout January
2012 in an attempt to prevent President Obama for making these
appointments.  Since the appointments were not valid under the
Recess Appointments Clause, the company's argument goes, the board
has not had the full quorum necessary to make its decisions for
quite a while.

NLRB v. Noel Canning will have implications for the balance of
powers between executive and legislative branches, and may
invalidate all of the NLRB's rulings from Jan. 4, 2012, to the
present.  The Third Circuit Court of Appeals has even rejected
NLRB decisions dating back to 2010, due to a separate recess
appointment it deemed invalid.

A ruling favorable to Noel Canning would keep the board busy
revisiting hundreds of past decisions, said Mr. Meisburg.  "If
they affirm the D.C. Circuit, it means the board will probably
have a greater workload, which may slow down some of the other
things they want to do because they only have a limited number of
people and a limited amount of time to deal with all of this," he
noted.

Ken Yerkes, partner at Barnes & Thornburg and chairman of the
firm's Labor and Employment Department, cautioned that just
because the Supreme Court's decision may throw out recent NLRB
cases, and the precedents they've established might no longer be
binding, doesn't mean attorneys who are advising clients should
disregard what the board was up to during this time.

"So as you give advice, even in a particular case, if it's social
media or rulemaking and elections, the fact of that matter is that
those cases provide a road map for how this board will evaluate
issues," said Mr. Yerkes.

Both Messrs. Yerkes and Meisburg said they believe that it's
likely the decision by the D.C. Circuit will be upheld.
Mr. Meisburg said that oral arguments indicated that the justices
"understand it may be a big burden" for the board to revisit
hundreds of cases, but they also indicated that the burden
shouldn't trump compliance with the letter of the law as
interpreted.


PENNSYLVANIA: Same-Sex Couples Challenge "Mini-DOMA"
----------------------------------------------------
Saranac Hale Spencer, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, reports
that Pennsylvania's "mini-DOMA" has the same discriminatory
purpose and effect as the federal Defense of Marriage Act on which
it was based, plaintiffs in one of the challenges to the state's
ban on same-sex marriage argued in their opposition to the Corbett
administration's objections to their suit.

The state's law restricting the definition of marriage as being
between one man and one woman should be struck for the same reason
the U.S. Supreme Court struck it from the federal law, lawyers in
the case, led by Robert Heim of Dechert, argued in Ballen v.
Corbett.  The case, brought by same-sex couples who were granted
marriage licenses by a Montgomery County clerk before he was
ordered to stop last summer, is in the Commonwealth Court.  The
administration is represented by lawyers from Lamb McErlane, as it
is in the other challenges to the state's marriage law.

"Crucially, the Supreme Court of the United States recently held
that the federal Defense of Marriage Act . . . was
unconstitutional under 'basic due process and equal protection
principles' because the law had the avowed purpose 'to impose a
disadvantage, a separate status, and so a stigma upon all who
enter into same-sex marriages,'" Mr. Heim said in the brief,
referring to the high court's opinion in United States v. Windsor
that was issued in June.

"Pennsylvania's marriage law -- its own version of DOMA -- is no
different," he said.

Mr. Heim also countered the argument that Gov. Tom Corbett should
be dismissed from the suit since he isn't a proper party, saying
that the governor is responsible for enforcing all of the state's
laws.

Beyond that, he said in the brief that his clients plan to "seek
discovery from a wide range of executive departments and
officials" and "dismissing the governor could impact plaintiffs'
ability to obtain the discovery they need to prove their case, and
thus would impose an undue and unfair burden on plaintiffs."

The couples who brought the suit in September filed a joint
petition with Attorney General Kathleen Kane last month seeking to
dismiss her as a defendant since she "is an unnecessary party,"
according to the short petition filed with the Commonwealth Court.

The Corbett administration fired back, saying in a response filed
this month, "Joint petitioners argue that a discontinuance of the
action against the attorney general would not cause unreasonable
inconvenience, vexation, harassment, expense or prejudice to the
governor.  This is completely untrue."

The lawyers for Corbett, a Republican, argued that dismissing only
Kane, who is a Democrat, "implies a motive to inconvenience,
harass and/or prejudice the governor with no legitimate
justification."

Mr. Corbett, Ms. Kane and Michael Wolf, the state's secretary of
health, are named as defendants in the action.

Mr. Heim argued in the most recent brief that Corbett and his
office function as an all-encompassing defendant, thereby keeping
the complexity of the case at a minimum.

"Without Corbett as a defendant, plaintiffs may need to amend
their petition to sue all of the inferior executive officers
implicated by the marriage law," Mr. Heim argued.  "By retaining
the governor as a defendant, however, plaintiffs can reach all
inferior executive departments or officers for purposes of
discovery or ultimate relief."

The month after the U.S. Supreme Court issued its opinion in
Windsor, Kane announced that she wouldn't defend the state's
marriage law in the first suit to challenge the law that was filed
in federal court in July.  That move prompted sparring between the
Attorney General's Office and the Office of General Counsel, which
is an extension of the executive branch.

Ms. Kane called Pennsylvania's marriage law "wholly
unconstitutional."

"Although Windsor did not directly address the constitutionality
of any state law restricting same-sex marriage like Pennsylvania's
marriage law, the Supreme Court's reasoning supports the
conclusion that such laws are unconstitutional," Mr. Heim argued
in the brief.

The Montgomery County clerk, D. Bruce Hanes, started issuing
marriage licenses to same-sex couples soon after Ms. Kane's
announcement.  Mr. Wolf's Department of Health in August filed a
mandamus action to compel Hanes to stop, which was granted in
September.  Mr. Hanes is appealing that case.

Also among the Corbett administration's objections was the
plaintiffs' claim of sex discrimination is invalid since both men
and women are treated equally under the marriage law.

"Both a man and a woman are equally prohibited from marrying
someone of the same sex under the marriage law.  There is no
distinction in the treatment of a man or a woman under the law,"
lawyers for the administration argued in the objections filed last
month.

However, Mr. Heim answered that argument in the most recent brief,
saying, "Half a century of case law from the Supreme Court of the
United States and the Pennsylvania courts shows defendants' 'equal
application' theory is without merit and should be rejected."


PINCURLS LLC: Illegally Contacts Class on Cellphones, Suit Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Matthew M. Loker; individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Pincurls, LLC; and Demandforce, Inc., Case
No. 2:14-cv-00051-SJO-PJW (C.D. Cal., January 3, 2014) is brought
for damages, injunctive relief and other equitable remedies,
resulting from the Defendants' alleged illegal actions in
negligently contacting the Plaintiff on his cellular telephone, in
violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Pincurls, LLC, is a limited liability company based in Illinois.
Pincurls operates as a hair salon business.

Demandforce, Inc., is a corporation whose primary corporate
address is in San Francisco, California and whose principal place
of business is in the state of California.  Demandforce created an
application to connect small local businesses, its clients, to
consumers via text messaging and online services.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Todd M. Friedman, Esq.
          Nicholas J. Bontrager, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF TODD M. FRIEDMAN PC
          369 South Doheny Drive, Suite 415
          Beverly Hills, CA 90211
          Telephone: (877) 206-4741
          Facsimile: (866) 633-0228
          E-mail: tfriedman@attorneysforconsumers.com
                  NBontrager@attorneysforconsumers.com


PRO GRANITE: Refused to Pay Overtime Wages, "Rodriguez" Suit Says
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Santos Bruno Sanchez Rodriguez and all others similarly situated
under 29 U.S.C. 216(B) v. Pro Granite & Marble, Inc. and Nicolae
Mihalcea, Case No. 0:14-cv-60021-WJZ (S.D. Fla., January 3, 2014)
alleges that the Defendants willfully and intentionally refused to
pay the Plaintiff's overtime wages as required by the Fair Labor
Standards Act.

The Plaintiff requests double damages and reasonable attorney fees
from the Defendants, pursuant to the FLSA, to be proven at the
time of trial for all overtime wages still owing from the
Plaintiff's entire employment period with the Defendants or as
much as allowed by the FLSA along with court costs.

Pro Granite & Marble, Inc. is a corporation that regularly
transacts business within Broward County.  Nicolae Mihalcea is a
corporate officer, owner or manager of the Company.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jamie H. Zidell, Esq.
          J.H. ZIDELL, P.A.
          300 71st Street, Suite 605
          Miami Beach, FL 33141
          Telephone: (305) 865-6766
          Facsimile: (305) 865-7167
          E-mail: ZABOGADO@AOL.COM


SNAPCHAT: Delayed Apology Over Data Breach May Have Repercussions
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Marlisse Silver Sweeney, writing for Law Technology News, reports
that Snapchat's failure to apologize to its customers for a
massive data breach has done its own disappearing act.  The app
has backtracked and issued an apologetic blog post sorry.

The attack which exposed 4.6 million users' phone numbers was not
malicious, reports Lexblog's Anna Gallegos.  Instead, it was done
to expose a security vulnerability that the company had been
warned about as early as last August.  The app has also been
fortuitous in that no customers have filed suits against it, in
the wake of the breach.  Target, who exposed over 70 million
customers' personal identification and banking information to
hackers, has not had the same string of good fortune.

However, it's possible for the delayed apology to have its own
repercussions.  Forty-six states have laws requiring a timely
notification of data breach, says Ms. Gallegos.  And "Congress is
pushing for legislation and hearings to protect consumers against
future hacks," she says.

"Instead of waiting for a data disaster, mobile apps like Snapchat
need a well-written privacy policy to protect them from legal
action and keep users on what is happening to their information,'
says Ms. Gallegos.


TAC INC: "Whitehead" Suit Seeks Unpaid Wages & Damages Under FLSA
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Tahir Whitehead v. TAC, Inc., Case No. 3:14-cv-00001-TCB (N.D.
Ga., January 3, 2014) seeks payment for unpaid wages, overtime
wages, liquidated damages, actual damages and compensatory damages
for the Defendant's alleged violation of the Fair Labor Standards
Act of 1938.

As an hourly employee, he and other similarly situated employees
were entitled to full pay for each hour worked and overtime for
any time worked over 40 hours per week, Mr. Whitehead contends.

TAC, Inc., is a Georgia domestic corporation based in Peachtree
City, Georgia.  The Company is a discount furniture retailer,
offering customers in the Atlanta metropolitan area brand name
furniture at discount prices.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Christopher D. Vaughn, Esq.
          A. Brian Henson, Esq.
          THE VAUGHN LAW FIRM, LLC
          246 Sycamore Street, Suite 150
          Decatur, GA 30030
          Telephone: (404) 378-1290
          Facsimile: (404) 378-1295
          E-mail: cvaughn@thevaughnlawfirm.com
                  bhenson@thevaughnlawfirm.com

               - and -

          Frank DeMelfi, Esq.
          DEMELFI LAW GROUP, LLC
          4651 Woodstock Road, Suite 208-103
          Roswell, GA 30075
          Telephone: (678) 948-7808
          Facsimile: (866) 674-7808
          E-mail: fdemelfi@gmail.com


TARGET CORP: Faces "Salvador" Suit Over Stolen Personal Info
------------------------------------------------------------
Simone Salvador and Ariana Barbosa, on behalf of themselves and
all others similarly situated v. Target Corporation, Case No.
0:14-cv-00022-JRT-JJG (D. Minn., January 3, 2014) is a class
action against Target on behalf of approximately 40 million Target
store customers whose personally identifiable information was
stolen in what is the second largest consumer data security breach
in retail history.

The Plaintiffs seek relief under Minnesota law on behalf of all
consumers in the United States, who shopped at Target stores in
the United States between November 27 and December 15, 2013.
Simone Salvador also seeks relief under California law on behalf
of the hundreds of thousands of Target store customers, who
shopped at Target stores in California between November 27 and
December 15, 2013.

Target Corporation is a Minnesota Corporation, and maintains its
headquarters in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Target is a discount
consumer retailer, and as of the end of November 2013, Target
maintained almost 1,990 stores globally.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Vincent J. Esades, Esq.
          Renae D. Steiner, Esq.
          David Woodward, Esq.
          HEINS MILLS & OLSON, P.L.C.
          310 Clifton Avenue
          Minneapolis, MN 55403
          Telephone: (612) 338-4605
          Facsimile: (612) 338-4692
          E-mail: vesades@heinsmills.com
                  rsteiner@heinsmills.com
                  dwoodward@heinsmills.com

               - and -

          Jayne A. Goldstein, Esq.
          POMERANTZ LLP
          1792 Bell Tower Lane, Suite 203
          Weston, FL 33326
          Telephone: (954) 315-3454
          Facsimile: (954) 315-3455
          E-mail: jagoldstein@pomlaw.com

               - and -

          Gustavo F. Bruckner, Esq.
          POMERANTZ LLP
          600 3rd Avenue, 20th Floor
          New York, NY 10016
          Telephone: (212) 661-1100
          Facsimile: 212 (661) 8665
          E-mail: gfbruckner@pomlaw.com

               - and -

          Mark B. Goldstein, Esq.
          POMERANTZ LLP
          10 South LaSalle Street, Suite 3505
          Chicago, IL 60603
          Telephone: (312) 377-1181
          Facsimile: (312) 377-1184
          E-mail: mbgoldstein@pomlaw.com


TARGET CORP: Faces "Layton" Suit Over Security Breach
-----------------------------------------------------
Robert Layton and Krishanti Wahla, on their own behalf and on
behalf of all others similarly situated v. Target Corporation, a
Minnesota Corporation, Case No. 3:14-cv-00053-EDL (N.D. Cal.,
January 3, 2014) is brought on behalf of all persons, who used
credit or debit cards at Target Corporation stores in the United
States from November 27, 2013, through December 15, 2013.

The Plaintiffs allege that the Company failed to disclose the
breach of security of its system "in the most expedient time
possible and without unreasonable delay" as required by the
California Civil Code.  The Plaintiffs contend that although
Target was aware of the security breach before the news broke to
the public, Target did not immediately inform its customers and
the public at large.

Target Corporation is a Minnesota corporation with its
headquarters and principal place of business in Minnesota.  Target
is one of the largest retailers in the United States, operating
over 1,700 stores in the United States.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Alan Harris, Esq.
          Priya Mohan, Esq.
          HARRIS & RUBLE
          4771 Cromwell Avenue
          Los Angeles, CA 90027
          Telephone: (323) 962-3777
          Facsimile: (323) 962-3004
          E-mail: aharris@harrisandruble.com
                  pmohan@harrisandruble.com


TARGET CORP: Faces "Cullen" Suit Over Data Breach
-------------------------------------------------
Jacqueline Cullen, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated v. Target Corporation, a Minnesota corporation; and Does
1 to 10, inclusive, Case No. 2:14-cv-00003-BRO-SH (C.D. Cal.,
January 2, 2014) arises from the data breach on Target's point-of-
sale systems that occurred between November 27, 2013, and
December 15, 2013.

The Defendants failed to implement and maintain reasonable
security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature and
scope of the information compromised in the data breach, Ms.
Cullen alleges.  She asserts that she had $1,578 stolen from her
personal bank account due to the Defendants' negligence.

Target Corporation is a Minnesota corporation headquartered in
Minneapolis, Minnesota.  Target is the second largest discount
retailer in the United States, operating over 1,500 retail stores
in the United States.  The Plaintiff does not know the true names
or capacities of the Doe Defendants.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Kevin T. Barnes, Esq.
          Gregg Lander, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF KEVIN T. BARNES
          5670 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1460
          Los Angeles, CA 90036-5664
          Telephone: (323) 549-9100
          Facsimile: (323) 549-0101
          E-mail: lander@kbarnes.com
                  Barnes@kbarnes.com


TARGET CORP: Holiday Data Breach Affects Up to 70 Million People
----------------------------------------------------------------
Paul Ziobro and Danny Yadron at The Wall Street Journal report
that Target Corp.'s holiday data breach was bigger than the
company had previously said, penetrating more systems and
compromising a new set of personal information affecting up to 70
million people.

Target, which operators nearly 1,800 U.S. stores, said the data
included a mix of names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and
email addresses -- information that is semipublic but which law-
enforcement officials said is valued by thieves who could use it
to lure victims with fake emails or hack into other accounts.

Target said the information was stored separately from the 40
million credit and debit card accounts that the company had
previously said were affected.  There was some overlap between the
two sets of stolen data, but Target didn't say how extensive it
was.  The entry point for the attack has been identified and
closed, spokeswoman Molly Snyder said.

Target said just before Christmas that apparent thieves had broken
into its point of sale system and stolen credit and debit card
data in a hack that went on for two weeks including the crucial
Black Friday weekend.  The company, the Secret Service, the U.S.
Justice Department and a forensic unit of Verizon Communications
Inc. continue to investigate the breach.

A number of states are also investigating the incident and
Target's response. The company held a conference call lasting
about 45 minutes with several state attorneys general on Jan. 10
to discuss the new details of the breach, a person familiar with
the call said.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the new Target
disclosure was "deeply troubling."

The company had said the data breach, which ran from Nov. 27 and
Dec. 15, involved malicious software installed in the system where
cards are swiped at cash registers.  In late December, the company
added that encrypted debit card PIN data also was stolen in the
breach.  Now, it says the breach went beyond that system to one
that stored the personal data.  Target wouldn't say which other
system was affected.

The new disclosure came just as Target said it was starting to see
a recovery in recent days from the damage done to sales by the
original news of the breach.

The retailer hasn't provided any estimate of costs related to the
breach, which could include reimbursements to card networks to
cover fraud and the cost of issuing new cards, lawsuits, and legal
costs associated with the various investigations.  The costs could
significantly hurt results, Target said.

Target is offering a year of free monitoring and identity theft
protection to anyone who shops in its U.S. stores -- a number the
company puts at 30 million people weekly.  Card customers aren't
responsible for unauthorized charges on their accounts.

           Tort Lawyers Seek to Profit From Class Actions

Dennis Wyatt, Managing Editor for Manteca Bulletin, reports that
on the day the security breach was announced, seven suits seeking
class-action status against Target were filed in federal court.
The number swelled to 40 by year's end.

Seven people alleged financial damages from the data swiped from
Target's point-of-sale terminals even before there was any proof
that they had incurred any loss.  Twelve days later as 2013 came
to a close and 33 others joined them again without any proof that
anyone has even incurred a loss of a penny via the data breach.

Behind all of this is greed practiced by a handful of lawyers that
have a special place reserved for them in Hades -- class-action
lawsuit attorneys.  They operate on the assumption that any wrong
is the Mother Lode and can be justified by emphasizing that the
law was broken and therefore the firm in question must be
punished.  The problem with many tort attorneys is every alleged
wrongdoing is Mt. Everest. What happened at Target is no asbestos
case.  There isn't even evidence that anyone has been financially
damaged except for the banks scrambling to replace cards and
Target itself.

The plaintiffs seeking class-action status demand Target provide
credit monitoring services to anyone suffering bogus charges due
to the data theft.  Only one problem: Target has already said it
will do that.

What the class-action suit filings are all about is tort lawyers
profiting off Target.  In the end, guess who will pick up the tab
for Target's legal costs and if for some chance they are forced
into a settlement? Those who shop at Target will pay the price.


TARGET CORP: U.S. Senators Seek Answers on Recent Data Breach
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jim Spencer, writing for Star Tribune, reports that in a Jan. 10
letter, Sens. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., and Claire McCaskill, D-
Mo., asked Target Corp. CEO Gregg Steinhafel to brief the Senate
Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee to explain how
information from so many customer accounts was stolen.

"It has been three weeks since the data breach was discovered and
new information continues to come out," they wrote.  "We expect
your security experts have had time to fully examine the cause and
impact of the breach and will be able to provide the committee
with detailed information."

On Jan. 15, a Target spokeswoman said the company had received the
senators' letter and was "continuing to work with them and other
elected officials to keep them informed and updated as our
investigation continues."  She did not say when Target officials
might meet with Commerce Committee members.

Rockefeller of West Virginia, who chairs the committee, and
Minnesota's McCaskill, who chairs its Consumer Protection, Product
Safety and Insurance subcommittee, have backed legislation for
better security of consumer data and prompter corporate
disclosures of security breaches.

Target waited four days after learning that its database had been
hacked to announce the theft of customer information.

"Target's recent incident demonstrates the need for such federal
legislation," Rockefeller and Ms. McCaskill wrote to
Mr. Steinhafel.

The company initially reported that 40 million customer accounts
were compromised by data thefts between Nov. 27 and Dec. 13.  But
earlier this month Target said names, addresses and other
information from as many as 70 million customers were compromised.

Rockefeller and Ms. McCaskill called it "one of the nation's
biggest data breaches in recent memory."

Mr. Steinhafel and Target have undertaken a national campaign of
apologies and offers to monitor the credit ratings and ensure no
injury to customers affected by the crime.


TARGET CORP: Offers Free Credit Card Monitoring After Data Breach
-----------------------------------------------------------------
John Ewoldt, writing for Star Tribune, reports that Target's
efforts to regain customers' trust after a massive data breach
include an offer of daily credit card monitoring, identity theft
insurance and access to a fraud resolution agent.

Any Target customer who shopped in one of its U.S. stores is
eligible for a year of free credit monitoring and identity theft
protection, Target announced this week.  The service is called
ProtectMyID from Experian, a credit monitoring company.

Those who sign up before April 23 and enroll with a code by April
30 will receive a free copy of their credit report along with the
other services.

Target's free offer is typical of those offered by most retailers
after a security breach, said Dianne Cutter, CEO of Asurency
Protection in Chaska, an identity theft and fraud protection
company.

"It's a good idea to take them up on it," she said.  "But
consumers should still look at their credit report to look for any
changes."

Dan Hendrickson, spokesman for the Better Business Bureau of
Minnesota and North Dakota, also recommends getting the free
coverage, even if a person hasn't noticed unauthorized charges.

"It makes sense to sign up regardless.  Often there's a period of
two to three months without any fraudulent activity and something
pops up."

Target revealed last week that the data theft was even bigger than
originally thought, with up to 110 million people at risk by the
exposure of credit and debit card numbers, as well as mailing
addresses and other personal information.

Consumers who want the credit monitoring can start the process at
https://creditmonitoring.target.com

An e-mail address and name is required to sign up.  Target will
e-mail an activation code within one to five days to enroll.  Then
consumers will complete the process with the code at
www.protectmyid.com/target

Name, address, date of birth and Social Security number are
required.

Jacqui DuBois of Plymouth has already taken Target up on its free
offer.  "I signed up for it because I don't have time to monitor
my accounts as closely as I would like to," she said.

Consumers without computer access can call 1-866-852-8680 to start
the process.

ProtectMyID does not include a credit score or reports from other
credit reporting agencies such as Equifax or TransUnion, although
enrollees are given the opportunity to purchase extra services at
their own expense.

The free monitoring and identity theft protection will end one
year after the consumer registers with Experian.  At that point,
customers can pay for the protection but there will be no
automatic enrollment, according to the credit monitoring FAQs on
Target's website.

The cost of credit monitoring services varies from $120 to $300
per year for consumers, according to Consumer Reports, but Target
is probably paying much less.  "They get it for a really cheap
price," Ms. Cutter said.


TIME WARNER: "Campbell" Class Suit Removed to C.D. California
-------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit captioned Mark Campbell v. Time Warner NY
Cable LLC, et al., Case No. CIVDS1207269, was removed from the San
Bernardino County Superior Court to the United States District
Court for the Central District of California (Riverside).  The
District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 5:14-cv-00005-VAP-DTB to
the proceeding.

In his complaint, Mark Campbell seeks to recover unpaid minimum
and overtime wages for off-the-clock work.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Gregory E. Mauro, Esq.
          James R. Hawkins, Esq.
          JAMES HAWKINS APLC
          9880 Research Drive Suite 200
          Irvine, CA 92618
          Telephone: (949) 387-7200
          Facsimile: (949) 387-6676
          E-mail: greg@jameshawkinsaplc.com
                  james@jameshawkinsaplc.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Jeffrey N. Williams, Esq.
          Mark L. Block, Esq.
          WARGO & FRENCH LLP
          1888 Century Park East, Suite 1520
          Los Angeles, CA 90067
          Telephone: (310) 853-6300
          Facsimile: (310) 853-6333
          E-mail: jwilliams@wargofrench.com
                  mblock@wargofrench.com

               - and -

          J. Scott Carr, Esq.
          WARGO & FRENCH LLP
          999 Peachtree Street, N.E., 26th Floor
          Atlanta, GA 30309
          Telephone: (404) 853-1500
          Facsimile: (404) 853-1501
          E-mail: scarr@wargofrench.com


TOYOTA MOTOR: In Talks to Settle Remaining Injury, Death Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad, writing for The National Law Journal, reports
that an attorney for Toyota Motor Corp. said on Jan. 14 that the
automaker is in negotiations with attorneys for nearly one-third
of the 450 remaining wrongful-death and personal injury cases
filed over sudden-acceleration defects.


UNITED STATES: Cuccinelli to Assist Sen. Paul in NSA Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Rachel Weiner, writing for The Washington Post, reports that
outgoing Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) will
assist U.S. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) with a class-action suit
against the National Security Agency over its surveillance of
Americans' phone records.  Mr. Cuccinelli will serve as a legal
adviser to Mr. Paul, a spokesman said, but not as the lead counsel
in the lawsuit.

Mr. Paul's suit has been in the works since the summer.  He has
been collecting signatures for the past six months, saying that
anyone with a cellphone can join in.  Mr. Paul announced his
intention to go ahead with the suit on Fox News on Jan. 3 and
revealed that Mr. Cuccinelli would be part of the legal team.

In 2010, Mr. Cuccinelli was the first attorney general in the
nation to sue over President Obama's health-care law.


UNITED STATES: Secret Court Greenlights Call Log Collections
------------------------------------------------------------
Aliya Sternstein, writing for Nextgov.com, reports that a secret
federal court has greenlighted the government's continued
collection of call logs from millions of Americans, Director of
National Intelligence James Clapper disclosed on Jan. 3 as demands
for the program's abolishment reached new heights.

Later on Jan. 3, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a potential 2016
presidential contender, said he will file a class action lawsuit
against the government to stop the surveillance.

DNI officials had attempted to preempt such blowback when they
announced the court's blessing.  They made promises to declassify
the court order and consider a recommendation to shift data
collection to private companies.

Mr. Paul announced his lawsuit on Fox News later in the day and
posted a signup sheet on his Senate campaign website for aggrieved
citizens.  Basically anyone in the United States with a cell phone
would be eligible to participate in the litigation, he claims.

Under the National Security Agency program, records detailing
citizen and foreign national calls, including phone numbers, time
stamps and durations of conversations, are harvested to detect
possible plots and conspirators.  So much data is being gathered
that NSA needs to open at least two more data centers in Maryland
and Utah for storage and backup.

Last month, a White House-appointed review panel called for an end
to the hoarding, citing the program's potential to chill free
speech and invade privacy.  The panel members advised officials to
outsource collection activities to phone companies or a private
entity.

As part of yet another fight against phone monitoring, the
American Civil Liberties Union on Jan. 2 appealed a Dec. 27
decision by U.S. District Judge William Pauley that upheld the
program.  His opinion described the effort as a "counter-punch" to
al-Qaeda's terror network that is continuously monitored by the
secret court.  The court reviews it every 90 days.

The Obama administration remains committed to the effort, based on
recent comments.  Mr. Turner on Jan. 3 said the Justice Department
has contested a separate Dec. 16 ruling by U.S. District Judge
Richard Leon that found the call log program unlawful, haphazard
and intrusive.

But Mr. Turner signaled the White House's willingness to make some
adjustments in line with the panel's suggestions.


UNITED STATES: Sen. Paul Expresses Support for Edward Snowden
-------------------------------------------------------------
Whitney Larkins, writing for State Column, reports that Senator
Rand Paul (R-K.Y.), a libertarian and potential 2016 Presidential
candidate, appeared on the Jan. 5 edition of Meet the Press and
expressed his unequivocal support for Edward Snowden, former U.S.-
government employee who is now living in exile due to his role in
alleged crimes in violation of the Espionage Act.

Should Mr. Snowden return to the U.S., he faces death penalty or
life in prison.  Despite recent calls for clemency and a reduced
punishment, Mr. Snowden faces stiff punishment if convicted.  Mr.
Snowden is currently in Russia and has not been seen on U.S. soil
since mid-2013.

Despite the fact that months have passed since Mr. Paul initially
announced his plans to file a class action lawsuit against the
National Security Agency reports surfaced in various news outlets
over the weekend confirming that the lawsuit will be filed in the
immediate future.

Analysts suggest that Mr. Paul's lawsuit will add credence to
Mr. Snowden's cause and bring surveillance to the forefront of
national discourse.  However, critics suggest that Mr. Snowden
should be punished for releasing information that is potentially a
danger to national security.  The Hill reported that Mr. Paul will
file the lawsuit as a private citizen in the District Court of
Washington.  His office did not give the specific timeline for
when the senator would file the suit but its potential impact
could reverberate among Snowden's staunchest supporters.
Mr. Paul's website already encourages individuals to "please sign
below and join my class-action lawsuit and help stop the
government's outrageous spying program on the American people."

The most recent estimates show that tens of thousands of
supporters will be potentially named as plaintiffs in the suit.

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) disagrees with Mr. Paul and
expressed concerns that if Mr. Snowden does not stand trial that
the matter of free speech may not be as effectively addressed.


UNIVERSAL PROTECTION: Sued for Failing to Pay Non-Exempt Employees
------------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Parnow and Shawn Lisenby and Bob Andrade and Gabriel
Bautista and Saiy Az Abdul, on behalf of themselves and all others
similarly situated v. Universal Protection Service LP, a
California Limited Partnership; Universal Services of America, LP,
a California Limited Partnership; Universal Services of America,
Inc., a California Corporation and Does 1-10, Case No. 2:14-cv-
00064-DSF-RZ (C.D. Cal., January 3, 2014) arises out of Universal
Protection Service LP's alleged systematic failure to pay its
California non-exempt employees, including the Plaintiffs and the
Class, as required by state law.

The violations alleged in the complaint include failure to pay all
regular wages owed and failure to indemnify employees for all
necessary expenditures or losses incurred in direct consequence of
the discharge of duties.

Universal Protection Service LP is a privately-held company
incorporated under the laws of the state of California.  The
Company's principal place of business is at Santa Ana, California.
The Company is registered to do business in California, and, along
with its parent, does business under the names Universal
Protection Service LP, Universal Protection Service GP, Inc.,
Universal Protection Security Systems GP, Inc., Universal Services
of America GP, Inc., Universal Services of America, Inc., and
Universal Building Maintenance.  The true names and capacities of
the Doe Defendants are unknown to the Plaintiffs.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Robert W. Mills, Esq.
          Joshua D. Boxer, Esq.
          Corey B. Bennett, Esq.
          Robert Wade Mills, Esq.
          THE MILLS LAW FIRM
          880 Las Gallinas Avenue, Suite 2
          San Rafael, CA 94903
          Telephone: (415) 455-1326
          Facsimile: (415) 455-1327
          E-mail: rwm@millslawfirm.com
                  josh@millslawfrrm.com
                  corey@millslawfirm.com
                  lorna@millslawfirm.com

               - and -

          James A. Clark, Esq.
          Jonathan R. Gonzales, Esq.
          Renee N. Parras, Esq.
          TOWER LEGAL GROUP
          1510 J Street, Suite 125
          Sacramento, CA 95814
          Telephone: (916) 361-6009
          Facsimile: (916) 361-6019
          E-mail: james.c1ark@towerlegalgroup.com
                  jonathan.gonzales@towerlegalgroup.com
                  renee.parras@towerlegalgroup.com


URBAN OUTFITTERS: "Perez" Suit Transferred From S.D. to N.D. Cal.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Urban Outfitters, Inc., removed the purported class action lawsuit
titled Perez v. Urban Outfitters, Inc., et al., Case No. 3:13-cv-
02870-BEN-RBB, from the United States District Court for the
Southern District of California to the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California (San Francisco).  The Northern
District of California Court Clerk assigned Case No. 3:14-cv-
00024-JSC to the proceeding.

Jasmin Perez originally filed the lawsuit in the San Diego
Superior Court, Central Division, and was assigned Case No. 37-
2013-00073549-CU-OE-CTL.

According to a statement released by the Plaintiff's counsel,
Blumenthal, Nordrehaug & Bhowmik, Urban Outfitters required their
employees to submit to mandatory security searches before exiting
the store for lunch breaks and at the end of their shifts, but
while these employees had already timed out of Urban Outfitter's
timekeeping system.  The Complaint claims that the employees were
subjected to Urban Outfitter's control during the mandatory loss
prevention inspections, and as a result, should have been
compensated for the time spent during the security searches.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Norman B. Blumenthal, Esq.
          BLUMENTHAL, NORDREHAUG & BHOWMIK
          2255 Calle Clara
          La Jolla, CA 92037
          Telephone: (858) 551-1223
          Facsimile: (858) 551-1232
          E-mail: norm@bamlawlj.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Cheryl D. Orr, Esq.
          DRINKER BIDDLE & REATH LLP
          50 Fremont Street, 20th Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94105
          Telephone: (415) 591-7500
          Facsimile: (415) 591-7510
          E-mail: cheryl.orr@dbr.com


VARIETY CHILDREN'S: Class Seeks Unpaid Overtime Wages and Damages
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Daniel Severino v. Variety Children's Hospital, a Florida
corporation, Arnoldo Pino, individually, and Carlos Duran,
individually, Case No. 1:14-cv-20014-MGC (S.D. Fla., January 2,
2014) seeks unpaid overtime wages, liquidated damages or pre-
judgment interest, post-judgment interest, reasonable attorney's
fee and costs from the Defendants.

Mr. Severino says he regularly worked in excess of 40 hours in one
or more work weeks during his employment with the Defendants.
However, he contends, the Defendants did not pay time and a half
wages for all of the overtime hours he and other similarly
situated employees worked for the Defendants.

Variety Children's Hospital is a Florida corporation.  Arnoldo
Pino and Carlos Duran are residents of the state of Florida, who
owned and operated Variety, where the Plaintiff was employed.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Brian J. Militzok, Esq.
          MILITZOK & LEVY, P.A.
          The Yankee Clipper Law Center
          3230 Stirling Road, Suite 1
          Hollywood, FL 33021
          Telephone: (954) 727-8570
          Facsimile: (954) 241-6857
          E-mail: bjm@mllawfl.com


WELLS FARGO: Cleverly Conceals Auto Finance Charges, Suit Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
James Okumu, an individual, on behalf of himself and all others
similarly situated v. SW Corporation dba Cypress Motors, Wells
Fargo Bank, N.A., a California corporation formerly known as Wells
Fargo Dealer Services, Case No. 8:14-cv-00009-JLS-JPR (C.D. Cal.,
January 3, 2014) arises from Wells Fargo's alleged improper and
deceptive financing practices.

The Plaintiff alleges that Wells Fargo cleverly conceals finance
charges within the terms of the Retail Installments Sales Contract
during consumers' purchases of automobiles.

SW Corporation, doing business as Cypress Motors, is engaged in
the business of buying, repairing and re-selling used vehicles to
the general public, and taking vehicles in trade.

Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., formerly known as Wells Fargo Dealer
Services, is a South Dakota Corporation registered to do business
in California.  Wells Fargo is a financial institution engaged in
the business of acquiring and holding conditional sale contracts
and collecting payments made by consumers pursuant to the
contracts.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Louis A. Liberty, Esq.
          Ian P. Otto, Esq.
          Alexander A. Guillen, Esq.
          LIBERTY & ASSOCIATES, A PLC
          553 Pilgrim Drive, Suite A-1
          Foster City, CA 94404
          Telephone: (650) 341-0300
          Facsimile: (650) 341-0302
          E-mail: lou@carlawyer.com
                  iotto@carlawyer.com
                  alexguillen@carlawyer.com


* Boilers, Weight-Lifting Benches Among Recently Recalled Products
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that two lines of boilers that can
emit excessive amounts of carbon monoxide were among last week's
recalled consumer products, along with a free-weight bench that
can collapse.

Here's a more detailed look:

BOILERS

DETAILS: U.S. Boiler models ESC, PVG and SCG models.  They are
cast iron hot water boilers that use natural gas or liquid
petroleum to heat water for residential space heating.  The
boilers are light blue in color with black trim, about 40 inches
tall, about 26 inches deep and range from 12 to 31 inches wide.
The model name and U.S. Boiler logo are on the front cover of the
boiler.  The front cover of the boiler is vented.  Recalled
boilers were made between December 2005 and February 2013.  The
model number, serial number and manufacturing date are located on
a silver label on the top panel of ESC models and on the inside of
PVG and SCG models on the right side panel.  The manufacturing
date appears in the upper right corner of the silver label in the
MM/YYYY format.  They were sold at Plumbing and heating wholesale
distributors nationwide from December 2005 through February 2013.
The following model numbers and serial number ranges are included
in the recall: model numbers ESC3 through ESC9 with serial numbers
65249110 through 65382278, model numbers PVG3_P, PVG4_P and PVG5
through PVG9 with serial numbers 64870666 through 65385748;
97939433, and model numbers SCG3 through SCG9 with serial
numbers35200197 and 65283322 through 65858729.

WHY: The air pressure switch can fail to shut down the burners
when there is a blockage in the vent system, allowing the boiler
to emit excessive amounts of carbon monoxide and posing a CO
poisoning hazard to the consumer.

INCIDENTS: None reported.

HOW MANY: About 26,000 in the U.S. and about 310 in Canada.

FOR MORE: Call U.S. Boiler at 888-432-8887 or visit
www.usboiler.net and click on CPSC Product Recall Announcement for
more information.

BOILERS

DETAILS: New Yorker Boiler model PVCGA.  They are cast iron hot
water boilers that use natural gas or liquid petroleum to heat
water for residential space heating.  The boilers are green in
color, about 38 inches tall and about 26 inches deep and range
from 11 to 30 inches wide. The front cover of the boiler is vented
and has the New Yorker Boiler logo.  Recalled boilers were made
between May 2012 and February 2013.  The model number, serial
number and manufacturing date are located on a silver label on the
inside panel.  The manufacturing date appears in the upper right
corner of the silver label in the MM/YYYY format.  They were sold
at plumbing and heating wholesale distributors nationwide from
July 2012 through Feb. 2013.  The following model numbers and
serial number ranges are included in this recall: model numbers
PVCG50ANI, PVCG60ANI, PVCG70ANI, PVCG80ANI, PVCG90ANI, PVCG30API,
PVCG40API, and PVCG50API.

WHY: The air pressure switch can fail to shut down the burners
when there is a blockage in the vent system, allowing the boiler
to emit excessive amounts of carbon monoxide and posing a CO
poisoning hazard to the consumer.

INCIDENTS: None reported.

HOW MANY: About 191.

FOR MORE: Call New Yorker Boiler at 800-535-4679 or visit
www.newyorkerboiler.com and click on CPSC Product Recall
Announcement for more information.

FREE WEIGHT BENCHES

DETAILS: Olympic Decline free weight bench with model numbers
16060, 16061, and 16062.  The model numbers can be found on the
bottom of the tube near where the feet are placed with serial
numbers C1208 through H0913 which stand for the manufacture dates,
December 2008 through September 2013.  They were sold by Cybex or
its distributors directly to gyms from December 2008 through
September 2013.

WHY: The frame of the bench can collapse forward onto the user,
posing fall and injury hazards.

INCIDENTS: Nine reports of frames fatiguing near the weld point.
No injuries were reported.

HOW MANY: About 234.

FOR MORE: Call Cybex at 888-678-3846 or visit www.cybexintl.com
and click on Support for more information.


* FDA Seeks Consumer Reports Related to Defective Tobacco Products
------------------------------------------------------------------
United Press International reports that officials at the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration say they want to hear from people if they
think a tobacco product is defective or causes a health issue.

The Department of Health and Human Services' Safety Reporting
Portal was revised to add a new category for tobacco products.  It
provides a standardized way for consumers and healthcare
professionals to let the FDA know when they suspect that there is
an unexpected health or safety issue with a specific tobacco
product, officials said.

Dr. Ii-Lun Chen, medical branch chief in the Office of Science at
FDA's Center for Tobacco Products, said a new online tool can help
report a problem.

Until now, consumers reported problems with tobacco products to
FDA via MedWatch, the FDA Safety Information and Adverse Event
Reporting Program, a system that does not ask questions specific
to tobacco products.

"There is no known safe tobacco product, but FDA can play a role
in helping prevent certain unexpected health consequences from
tobacco products, such as those that occur from defective tobacco
products, or health or safety problems beyond those normally
associated with tobacco product use," Dr. Chen said in a
statement.

The FDA is interested in reports from consumers about tobacco
products that are damaged, defective or contaminated, such as
cigarettes containing mold.  It could also be that a tobacco
product just smells or tastes wrong Dr. Chen said.

FDA also wants to know if tobacco product users have experienced
an unexpected health or other safety problem that they believe has
been caused by use of a particular tobacco product.  These could
include reports of fire caused by tobacco product use, burns or
other injuries, accidental or unintended exposure of children,
allergic reactions, poisonings and other toxicities, or an unusual
reaction in a longtime user.


* Recent Canada Supreme Court Decisions Clarify Certification Test
------------------------------------------------------------------
Matthew Fleming, Esq., and Ara Basmadjian, Esq., at Dentons Canada
LLP, report that the Supreme Court of Canada's recent decisions in
Pro-Sys Consultants Ltd v Microsoft Corporation,(1) Sun-Rype
Products Ltd v Archer Daniels Midland Company(2) and Infineon
Technologies AG v Option consommateurs(3) constitute a watershed
moment in competition law in particular, and in class proceedings
in general.

This trilogy of decisions established that indirect purchasers --
that is, consumers who did not purchase products directly from the
price fixer, but who purchased them indirectly from a reseller or
other intermediary -- have a right of action against the alleged
price fixer at the top of the distribution chain.  The Supreme
Court recognized indirect purchasers' "offensive" use of passing
on, notwithstanding its rejection of the passing-on defense.
However, the Supreme Court also established important
limitations -- namely that:

    the plaintiffs must be able to 'self-identify' as a purchaser
of the product subject to price-fixing; and
    the plaintiffs must demonstrate, likely through expert
evidence, that damages can be proven on a class-wide basis.

In addition, the Supreme Court also settled the question of the
evidentiary burden on plaintiffs at the certification stage in
class proceedings.  The Supreme Court rejected a higher threshold
based on an assessment of the merits of the claim in favor of a
consideration of whether there is some basis in fact for the
relevant elements of the certification test.

Background

In Pro-Sys the representative plaintiffs brought a class action
against Microsoft Corporation and some of its affiliates claiming
that the defendant unlawfully overcharged consumers for its Intel-
compatible PC operating systems and related software.  The
proposed class consisted entirely of indirect purchasers.  The
British Columbia Supreme Court certified the action as a class
proceeding, but a majority of the British Columbia Court of Appeal
set aside the certification order and dismissed the claim on the
basis that indirect purchasers had no cause of action.

In Sun-Rype the proposed class members included both indirect and
direct purchasers.  The claim involved allegations that Archer
Daniels Midland Company had participated in an illegal conspiracy
to fix the price of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) -- a common
sweetener used in soft drinks and baked goods.  The British
Columbia Supreme Court certified the action by direct and indirect
purchasers as a class proceeding.  The British Columbia Court of
Appeal upheld the certification order in respect of direct
purchasers, but overturned the order in respect of the indirect
purchasers, holding that their pleadings did not disclose a valid
cause of action.

In Infineon the class members consisted of both indirect and
direct purchasers.  The plaintiffs brought an action against the
respondent manufacturers based on allegations that they had
engaged in a global anti-competitive conspiracy to inflate the
price of the dynamic random-access memory chip used in a variety
of electronic devices (eg, computers, mobile phones and digital
cameras).  The Quebec Superior Court dismissed the motion for
authorization to institute a class action.  The Quebec Court of
Appeal overturned the decision of the motion judge and authorized
the class action to proceed to trial.

Analysis

Rejection of passing-on defense

The key question in each of the Supreme Court's decisions was
whether the passing-on defense prohibited indirect purchasers from
asserting claims.  In price-fixing cases, the passing-on defense
is often asserted by the defendant at the top of the distribution
chain.  As the Supreme Court noted in Pro-Sys:

"it was invoked under the proposition that if the direct purchaser
who sustained the original overcharge then passed that overcharge
on to its own consumers, the gain conferred on the overcharger was
not at the expense of the direct purchaser because the direct
purchaser suffered no loss."(4)

Therefore, the defendants to indirect purchaser claims argued that
if the overcharge was simply passed on to subsequent consumers,
the direct purchaser had no claim against the party responsible
for the initial overcharge.

The passing-on defense was rejected by the US Supreme Court in
Hanover Shoe, Inc. v United Shoe Machinery Corp.(5) That decision
precluded parties who were responsible for illegal overcharges
from relying on the passing-on defense as a method of escaping
liability in lawsuits commenced against them by direct purchasers.

The Supreme Court of Canada also rejected the passing-on defense
in Kingstreet Investments Ltd v New Brunswick (Finance),(6) which
involved a claim for the recovery of ultra vires taxes charged on
alcohol levied by the provincial government against the corporate
operators of several nightclubs.  In that case, the Supreme Court
held that the province of New Brunswick could not reduce its
liability for the illegal overcharge by demonstrating that the
overcharge had been passed on to the corporate taxpayers'
customers.  The Supreme Court underscored three problems with the
passing-on defense:

"first, that it is inconsistent with the basic premise of
restitution law; second, that it is economically misconceived; and
third, that the task of determining the ultimate location of the
burden of a tax is exceedingly difficult and constitutes an
inappropriate basis for denying relief".(7)

In Pro-Sys the Supreme Court confirmed that the passing-on defense
was rejected in the context of all restitutionary cases and was
not limited to the facts in Kingstreet.(8)

Offensive use of passing on

In Pro-Sys Microsoft argued that the indirect purchasers' use of
passing on as the basis for their claim should be precluded as a
"necessary corollary" of the rejection of the passing on
defense.(9) In this regard, Microsoft relied on the decision of
the US Supreme Court in Illinois Brick Co v Illinois .(10) In that
case, the US Supreme Court prohibited the offensive use of passing
on since "whatever rule [was] to be adopted regarding pass-on in
antitrust damages actions, it must apply equally to plaintiffs and
defendants".(11)

The Supreme Court of Canada did not consider this argument to be
persuasive.  The Supreme Court concluded that although passing on
as a defense is unavailable because of the policy objectives of
restitution law, it does not follow that, for the purposes of
symmetry, indirect purchasers are prohibited from claiming losses
passed on to the chain of distribution.(12) The Supreme Court
summarized its reasons as follows:

"(1) The risks of multiple recovery and the concerns of complexity
and remoteness are insufficient bases for precluding indirect
purchasers from bringing actions against the defendants
responsible for overcharges that may have been passed on to them.

(2) The deterrence function of the competition law in Canada is
not likely to be impaired by indirect purchaser actions.

(3) While the passing-on defense is contrary to basic
restitutionary principles, those same principles are promoted by
allowing passing on to be used offensively.

(4) Although the rule in Illinois Brick remains good law at the
federal level in the United States, its subsequent repeal at the
state level in many jurisdictions and the report to Congress
recommending its reversal demonstrate that its rationale is under
question.

(5) Despite some initial support, the recent doctrinal commentary
favors overturning the rule in Illinois Brick."(13)

Thus, in the trilogy of decisions, the Supreme Court recognized
that indirect purchasers have a claim against the price fixer that
effectuated an overcharge even if the overcharge was passed on
through the channels of distribution.

Certification of class action

The Supreme Court also took the opportunity to re-affirm important
evidentiary principles at the certification stage of a class
action.

For the most part, the Canadian class actions regime is governed
by provincial class proceedings legislation.(14) In recent years,
the certification stage has generally become the most critical
part of a class proceeding.  This is where battle is squarely
joined between the parties.  Despite minor variations between some
of the provinces, the courts will certify a class proceeding
where:

    the pleadings disclose a cause of action;

    there is an identifiable class of two or more persons;

    the claims of the class members raise common issues;

    a class action is the preferable procedure for resolution of
    the dispute; and

    there is a valid representative plaintiff.(15)

Once the pleadings disclose a valid cause of action, the remaining
certification requirements set out above are subject to the
standard of proof articulated by the Supreme Court in Hollick v
Toronto (City)(16) -- that is, there must be "some basis in fact"
for each element of the test.(17) This inquiry does not require
determination of conflicting factual and evidentiary issues and
does not involve consideration of the merits of the action.

In Pro-Sys Microsoft argued that plaintiffs must establish that
the proposed class action raises common issues and is the
preferable procedure on a balance of probabilities standard.
Microsoft also argued that the Supreme Court should adopt the US
approach of making factual determinations at the certification
stage on a preponderance of the evidence and should require judges
to weigh the evidence, even if this overlaps with a determination
of the merits.  However, the Supreme Court re-affirmed that
"Canadian courts have resisted the U.S. approach of engaging in a
robust analysis of the merits at the certification stage".(18) In
Canada, certification is a screening device to ensure that there
are sufficient facts to persuade the applications judge that the
claim should continue on a class basis.(19)

In the context of indirect purchaser class actions, assessing
whether the commonality issues meet the requisite standard can be
a challenging endeavor, which often involves the use of expert
evidence.  At the certification stage, the Pro-Sys decision
confirmed that the "expert methodology must be sufficiently
credible or plausible" to offer

"a realistic prospect of establishing loss on a class-wide basis
so that, if the overcharge is eventually established at the trial
of the common issues, there is a means by which to demonstrate
that it is common to the class".(20)

In both Pro-Sys and Infineon the Supreme Court permitted the
actions by the indirect purchasers to continue as class
proceedings.

However, the Supreme Court refused to certify the class proceeding
in Sun-Rype on the basis that an identifiable class of two or more
persons could not be established.  A majority of the Supreme Court
determined that "there is insufficient evidence to show some basis
in fact that two or more persons will be able to determine if they
are in fact a member of the class".(21) The proposed class
definition was inadequate because it was impossible to confirm
whether the indirect purchasers acquired products containing HFCS
as opposed to liquid sugar.  Prominent direct purchasers,
including The Coca-Cola Company and Pepsico, use both HFCS and
liquid sugar interchangeably.  Yet, the labels on the products
sold by these direct purchasers often did not indicate which
sweetener was used.(22) As the majority indicated, "[t]he problem
in this case lies in the fact that indirect purchasers, even
knowing the names of the products affected, will not be able to
know whether the particular item that they purchased did in fact
contain HFCS."(23) Thus, the Supreme Court established an
important limitation on competition class actions by requiring
plaintiffs to self-identify as purchasers of the actual product
that has been subjected to price fixing.

Comment

In its trilogy of decisions, the Supreme Court confirmed that
indirect purchasers have a cause of action against parties that
engage in price-fixing schemes provided that they can self-
identify as purchasers of the relevant product.  Parties that
engage in anti-competitive conduct now face potential class
proceedings from both direct and indirect purchasers, thereby
expanding the scope of their liability.  In addition, the Supreme
Court confirmed that the evidentiary burden on plaintiffs at the
certification stage remains relatively low.  The cases therefore
represent a victory for consumers and plaintiff-side class action
lawyers.


* SCOTUS Limits Jurisdiction of Courts Over Dirty War Case v. MNCs
------------------------------------------------------------------
Marcia Coyle, writing for The National Law Journal, reports that
in a case arising out of Argentina's "dirty war," the U.S. Supreme
Court on Jan. 14 significantly limited the general jurisdiction of
federal courts over injured victims' lawsuits against corporations
doing business in the United States.

The decision, according to legal observers on both sides of the
case, means that a corporation, in effect, may be sued primarily
where it is incorporated or in its principal place of business.
For foreign corporations operating here, they added, the decision
likely means never.

Although the court did not shut the door on the possibility that
general jurisdiction could be available somewhere other than the
place of incorporation or principal place of business, "The burden
is very high: proof of operations that are 'so substantial and of
such a nature as to render the corporation at home in that State'
and that are much more significant than the corporation's
operations in other states or countries," said Andrew Pincus of
Mayer Brown, amicus counsel on behalf of foreign banks supporting
Daimler A.G.

The justices unanimously ruled in Daimler v. Bauman that Daimler,
headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany, may not be sued in
California, where its Mercedes-Benz USA subsidiary operates, by
Argentine victims of alleged human rights violations in Argentina
30 years ago.

The victims alleged that a wholly owned subsidiary of Daimler --
Mercedes-Benz Argentina -- collaborated with state security forces
during the "dirty war" in Argentina in the 1970s and 1980s.  Under
the country's military dictatorship, thousands of Argentines
disappeared or were kidnapped, tortured or killed, among them the
plaintiffs or their relatives.

The federal district court dismissed their lawsuit for lack of
jurisdiction.  However, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit reversed, holding that Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) was
Daimler's "agent" for jurisdictional purposes and the court
attributed the MBUSA's California contacts to Daimler.
Writing for the high court, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said that
in deciding Goodyear Dunlop Tires v. Brown in 2011, the justices
examined whether foreign subsidiaries of a U.S. parent corporation
could be sued in state court for claims unrelated to any activity
of the subsidiaries in the forum state.  That case stemmed from a
bus accident outside of Paris that killed two boys from North
Carolina.  The boys' parents sued in North Carolina and alleged
that the bus' tire was defectively manufactured.  A small
percentage of tires manufactured by Goodyear's foreign
subsidiaries were distributed in North Carolina.

The Goodyear decision, she said, held that a court may assert
general jurisdiction over a foreign corporation only when the
corporation's contacts with the state in which the suit is brought
are so constant and pervasive "as to render it essentially at home
in the forum state."

Instructed by Goodyear, she said, Daimler was not "at home" in
California.  "Here, neither Daimler nor MBUSA is incorporated in
California, nor does either entity have its principal place of
business there," she wrote.  "If Daimler's California activities
sufficed to allow adjudication of this Argentina-rooted case in
California, the same global reach would presumably be available in
every other State in which MBUSA's sales are sizable."

Daimler's high court counsel, Thomas Dupree --
tdupree@gibsondunn.com -- of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, had urged
the court during oral arguments in October to adopt the "at home"
standard as a "clear, workable" rule for general jurisdiction.

Some lawyers who followed the case closely called the high court
decision "broad" and "dramatic," even though Judge Ginsburg said
the standard may not apply in the "exceptional case" -- which she
did not define.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor concurred only in the judgment, writing
that the decision was wrong as to both process and substance.
"The problem, the Court says, is not that Daimler's contacts with
California are too few, but that its contacts with other forums
are too many," she wrote.  "In recent years, Americans have grown
accustomed to the concept of multinational corporations that are
supposedly 'too big to fail'; today the Court deems Daimler 'too
big for general jurisdiction.' "

She chided the court for deciding the case on a ground that had
neither been argued nor decided by the lower court and was raised
for the first time by Daimler in a footnote to its brief.  And, as
for substance, she said, the court's focus on Daimler's operations
outside of California "ignores the lodestar of our personal
jurisdiction jurisprudence: A State may subject a defendant to the
burden of suit if the defendant has sufficiently taken advantage
of the State's laws and protections through its contacts in the
State; whether the defendant has contacts elsewhere is
immaterial."

Justice Sotomayor said the "far simpler" ground for deciding the
case was that, "no matter how extensive Daimler's contacts with
California, that State's exercise of jurisdiction would be
unreasonable given that the case involves foreign plaintiffs suing
a foreign defendant based on foreign conduct, and given that a
more appropriate forum is available."


* Seyfarth Shaw Releases Annual Workplace Class Action Report
-------------------------------------------------------------
Rebekah Mintzer, writing for Corporate Counsel, reports that the
year 2013 has come and gone, but the trends that emerged in
workplace class and collective action litigation during those 12
months probably won't be going anywhere fast.  Experts at Seyfarth
Shaw have released the latest version of an annual study that
tracks these trends and provides detailed information on relevant
litigation.

The 2014 edition of Seyfarth Shaw's Annual Workplace Class Action
Litigation Report, the only compendium of its kind published in
the U.S., covers 1,123 class action rulings falling under numerous
workplace laws.  Among many of the important trends covered, the
report revealed that in 2013, wage and hour class actions were on
the rise and are expected to continue increasing in the new year.

"Right now, that is where I think corporate compliance ought to be
focusing its efforts, because that will have the greatest impact
in terms of keeping a corporation out of harm's way when it comes
to workplace-type exposures and liabilities," Gerald Maatman Jr.,
cochair of the Class Action Litigation Practice Group at Seyfarth
Shaw, told CorpCounsel.com.  Mr. Maatman is general editor of the
report.

In 2013, the report revealed, wage and hour class actions
increased over 2012, while other categories of class actions
remained flat.  The number of class actions filed under the Fair
Labor Standards Act (FLSA) jumped from 7,672 in 2012 to 7,882 in
2013.  In contrast, Employee Retirement Income Security Act
(ERISA) class actions dropped from 7,908 in 2012 to 7,279 in 2013.

This increase in wage and hour litigation versus other areas of
workplace law is likely caused in no small part by the troubled
economy.  However Mr. Maatman said another contributing factor is
the interpretations of a landmark pro-employer ruling from 2011 --
the Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Dukes decision from the U.S. Supreme
Court -- which has discouraged class action suits in other areas
of employment law, but has had less weight in wage and hour cases.

"The Dukes ruling and other key class action rulings aren't being
applied as consistently and defensive-mindedly in the wage and
hour area," said Mr. Maatman.

The report explains that Dukes has cast a long shadow over the
workplace class action environment since the decision was handed
down in June 2011.  The decision concluded that female employees
of Wal-Mart stores across the U.S. could not bring a gender
discrimination class action against the retailer, because the
class could not be certified under Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure.  According to the report, as of the end of 2013,
the decision had been cited 561 times over the course of the year
in lower federal and state court rulings.

Mr. Maatman noted that employers should also keep a close eye on
growing enforcement actions from the government in the employment
space, particularly from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission (EEOC).  More charges were filed with the commission in
2013, the report said, than in all but three years since the EEOC
was founded in 1964.  The commission has also expanded its
systemic investigation program, which targets large groups of
potential plaintiffs.

Although the plaintiffs bar continues to pursue plenty of class
action employment discrimination claims, Mr. Maatman said that the
government is often more emboldened to fight for the "the biggest
numbers possible" in employment discrimination settlements due to
a strong drive for positive press.

Another theme in the workplace class action arena during 2013 that
was cited by the report was class arbitration and the use of
arbitration agreements by employers to prevent employees from
bringing class action suits.  Several federal courts, along with
the Supreme Court in American Express Co. v. Italian Colors
Restaurant and AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, handed down decisions
that support the use of carefully written arbitration agreements.
Mr. Maatman said he believes that with these developments in the
courts, employers who used to think the agreements were "too
risky" just a few years ago will be more likely to consider
implementing their own in 2014.

                           *     *     *

Daniel Fisher, writing for Forbes, reports that employers used
recent Supreme Court rulings to shrink employment-discrimination
lawsuits and settlements in 2013, but plaintiff lawyers are busy
retooling their strategies to win class-action status for their
suits -- and the rich payouts that almost always follow.

New plaintiff strategies, combined with the Obama administration's
aggressive litigation agenda, mean employers may face an expensive
2014 as they battle wage-and-hour suits by private attorneys and
mass discrimination complaints filed by the Labor Department.

A report by employment lawyers Seyfarth Shaw found that
discrimination suits fell 14% to 12,311 in 2013, and settlements,
while up from 2012, were inflated by a single mass settlement that
Merrill Lynch paid out after losing a crucial appeals-court
ruling.  Absent Merrill's $160 million settlement, payouts would
have been the second-lowest since 2006.

"Settlements are smaller across the board," said Gerald Maatman, a
partner in Seyfarth's Chicago office.  "Nationwide mega-cases
where employers would spend $20 million to $60 million, those just
don't exist anymore."

The main reason is a series of Supreme Court rulings that have
made it harder for plaintiff lawyers to gain court certification
of a class of employees who supposedly all suffered from the same
discriminatory practices.  Another line of cases has reaffirmed
the power of companies to block class actions with agreements
requiring customers and employees to settle their complaints in
arbitration.  Combined, they remove a lot of the leverage
plaintiff lawyers had to negotiate settlements with companies long
before cases ever go to trial.

Class-action lawyers have suffered mightily at the Supreme Court
in recent years, and many shifted to employment litigation after
securities and consumer class actions became tougher to pursue.
They've rebooted their strategy in the wake of Wal-Mart and
Comcast, Mr. Maatman said, focusing on wage-and-hour suits under
the Fair Labor Standards Act, which has different class-
certification procedures that can in some cases be easier to
navigate.

They also won a huge victory with McReynolds v. Merrill Lynch, in
which the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals sidestepped Wal-Mart to
allow a class trial on the question of whether Merrill's
companywide policies fostered racial discrimination against
African-American brokers.  Plaintiff lawyers still would have been
forced to prove damages for each individual plaintiff, but facing
years of expensive litigation, Merrill settled.

Mr. Maatman said plaintiff lawyers will seize upon the Seventh
Circuit's reasoning to hone their cases in search of some issue
that can be tried on a classwide basis.  The strategy is to
"certify something, and then hold on for dear life."

How can companies defend themselves? Arbitration clauses
prohibiting class actions are useful, and employers can encourage
them by paying employees a bonus to sign, Mr. Maatman said.  But
nationwide employers should model their contracts on California
law, which is more employee-friendly, because lawyers will
gravitate to the states that are the most hospitable for suit.

Employers also must wrestle with the implications of technology on
wage-and-hour suits.  Some are prohibiting employees from using
company e-mail after hours, for example, to try and prevent
overtime lawsuits.  The problem for employers is determining who
can work on their own schedule and who must be restricted to an
8-hour day.


                             *********

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.

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