CAR_Public/150205.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Thursday, February 5, 2015, Vol. 17, No. 26


                             Headlines

ADOBE SYSTEMS: Engineer Seeks Higher Award From Wage Settlement
AMERICAN YACHT: Faces "Baker" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime
APPLE INC: Faces Royalty Suits Over Sirius XM Sound Recordings
ASTRAZENECA PLC: Judge Upholds Nexium Class Certification
BABIES R US: Antitrust Class Suit Settlement Gets Final Court OK

BARCLAYS PLC: Investors Can Appeal Dismissal of Libor Claims
BARRY FREUNDEL: Suit Over Hidden Camera to Continue in February
BP PLC: Heads Back to New Orleans Court for Oil Spill Trial
CONTAINER STORE: Plaintiff Agrees to Settle Zip Code Class Action
CONVERGYS CUSTOMER: Has Made Unsolicited Calls, Action Claims

CORE VISION: Has Made Unsolicited Calls, "Summers" Suit Claims
EHEALTH INC: Sued in N.D. Cal. Over Misleading Financial Reports
ENERGY RECOVERY: Sued in Cal. Over Misleading Financial Reports
ETHICON INC: Trial Begins in Suit Over Defective Pelvic Mesh Sling
FORTUNEBUILDERS INC: Real Estate Tactics Illegal Without License

FOX SEARCHLIGHT: Panel of Judges Set to Hear Intern Case Appeal
FRESH FOODS: Faces "Vasquez" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime
GENERAL MOTORS: Feb. 4 Oral Arguments on Motion to Bar Lawsuits
GHIRARDELLI CHOCOLATE: Settles Class Action Over Packaging
GLAXOSMITHKLINE: No Conflict of Interest in Thalidomide Suit Deal

GLOBAL TECHNICAL: Fails to Pay Employees OT, "Rendon" Suit Says
HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC: Faces "Cohn" Suit Over Illegal Sale of Company
HCG DIET: Has Sent Unsolicited Fax Advertisement, Action Claims
HEWLETT-PACKARD CO: Lawyers Draw Up New Settlement Proposal
HOLLISTER CO: Faces "Santos" Suit in Cal. Over POS Devices Design

HOME DEPOT: Judge Divides Data Breach Litigation Into Two Tracks
INTERNATIONAL GAME: Court to Address Class Cert. Bid in 2 Phases
INTERNATIONAL GAME: Discovery Commenced in Shareholder Actions
INTERNATIONAL GAME: To Defend Against Oregon State Lottery Action
KMART CORP: Scott & Scott Comments on Data Breach Class Action

LABMD INC: FTC Obtains Favorable Ruling in Data Breach Suit
MAESTRANZI SONS: Faces "Martinez" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT
MANORCARE: Trinity Denies Role in Hepatitis C Outbreak
MARIANA'S ENTERPRISES: Sued in D. Nevada Over Violation of FLSA
MARVELL TECHNOLOGY: Obtains Favorable Ruling in Derivative Suit

MOUNTAIN STATE: Panel Approves Sale of Campuses Amid Class Action
NAT'L FOOTBALL: Seeks Dismissal of Adrian Peterson Lawsuit
NOVARTIS AG: NPC Still Faces 525 Zometa/Aredia Lawsuits
NOVARTIS AG: NPC Still Faces Aclasta/Reclast Suits in US, Canada
NOVARTIS AG: Sandoz Faces 395 Metoclopramide Actions

NOVARTIS AG: NPC Still Faces 12 Tekturna/Rasilez/Valturna Actions
NOVARTIS AG: At Least One Trial Scheduled for 2015 in AWP Case
NOVARTIS AG: Sandoz Defending Against Solodyn(R) Antitrust Suits
NOVARTIS AG: Sandoz Defending Against Oriel Litigation
NOVARTIS AG: One Consumer Class Action Pending in New Jersey

NOVARTIS AG: Defending Against Eye Drop Products Actions
OSI SYSTEMS: Defending Against Securities Class Action in CD Cal.
PACKAGING CORP: Has $17.6MM Costs for Kleen Products Settlement
PETERBOROUGH REGIONAL: Activist Sacked After Abortion Data Breach
PFIZER INC: To Settle NY Securities Action for $400MM

PFIZER INC: To Settle Neurontin Cases for $610MM
PHILADELPHIA: AG Limits Seized-Asset Sharing Amid Class Action
PLAZA CLEANERS: No Time Bar for Spill Act Contribution Claims
PROCTER & GAMBLE: Falsely Marketed Flushable Wipes, Suit Claims
RESORTSTAY INTERNATIONAL: Has Made Unsolicited Calls, Suit Says

RIDDELL: Judge Dismisses Helmet False Advertising Class Action
RINGLING PIZZA: "Gifford" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Wages
ROYAL CANADIAN: High Court Affirms Collective Bargaining Right
SENIOR QUALITY: Faces "Hobbs" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT Wages
SHEARER'S FOOD: Judge Narrows Claims in "Natural" Snack Food Suit

SIRIUS XM: Faces TCPA Class Action Over Unsolicited Calls
SONY PICTURES: MPAA Chair Issues Statement on Cyberattack
SOUTH CAROLINA: Opposes Same-Sex Marriage Plaintiffs' Fee Bid
STANDARD & POOR'S: Settles Fraud Charges for $77 Million
STAR SCIENTIFIC: Judge Dismisses Anatabloc Class Action

TEKSYSTEMS MANAGEMENT: "Ortiz" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid OT
TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS: Court Rejects Appeal in Drug Labeling Suit
TOYOTA MOTOR: In Settlement Talks Over Acceleration Documents
UNITED STATES: DOJ Can't Set 6-Year Deadline for Employment Suits
WAL-MART STORES: Presents Opening Brief in Gun Proposal Appeal

WALDEN UNIVERSITY: Sued Over Supervisory Program Policies
WASHINGTON INVENTORY: Sui Seeks to Recover Unpaid Overtime Wages
WORLD WRESTLING: Two Ex-Wrestlers File "Concussion" Class Action
WORTHINGTON, MA: Sued for Leaving Gateway Regional School Dist.
YAKULT USA: Falsely Marketed Probiotic Products, Suit Claims

* FLSA Lawsuits to Rise in 2015, Report Says
* FDA Issues Warning on Sexual Enhancement Product Risks
* Nevada Governor Pushes for Construction-Defect Legislation
* Obama Proposes Data Breach Notification Law Amid Class Actions
* Securities Class Action Investor Losses Decline in 2014


                            *********


ADOBE SYSTEMS: Engineer Seeks Higher Award From Wage Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jeff Elder, writing for The Wall Street Journal, reports that
former Adobe Systems engineer Michael Devine helped derail a
proposed settlement in a class-action suit against four Silicon
Valley companies, laying the groundwork for a more-lucrative deal.
Now, he wants a reward.

In a declaration filed on Jan. 16 in U.S. District Court in San
Jose, Calif., Mr. Devine asked for $160,000 from the $415 million
proposed settlement, twice the payout for the four other named
plaintiffs.

On average, the 64,000 current and former employees of Adobe,
Apple, Intel and Google would receive about $5,000.  The workers
accused the companies of conspiring not to hire each other's
employees, suppressing wages in Silicon Valley from 2005 to 2009.

"I'm glad that I stood up for the class and that I was able to
have such a substantial impact on the outcome," Mr. Devine said in
an email.   "I took my responsibilities seriously and I showed
that class representatives can make a real difference."

In his declaration, Devine said because he opposed the initial
settlement, "I am at a heightened risk of suffering adverse
consequences to my job prospects."

In August, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh rejected the initial
$324.5 million proposed settlement, after Devine objected that the
amount was too small.  Judge Koh still must approve the new
settlement, filed on Jan. 15.

The new deal caps fees for the attorneys of the class at $81
million, or 25% of the prior settlement amount.  Mr. Devine's
attorney, Daniel Girard, would receive up to an additional $4.5
million.

In an email, Mr. Girard said, "while all of the class
representatives deserve recognition, Mike went out on a limb
opposing the settlement and working to improve the deal, and he
feels that should be acknowledged."

The lead attorneys for the class declined to comment.

Without a new settlement, a trial in the case is scheduled to
start on April 10. The suit followed a 2011 Justice Department
civil action against the same companies.

The companies said the pay for workers rose during the period
covered by the suit, and any cooperation between companies didn't
hurt employees' pay.


AMERICAN YACHT: Faces "Baker" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime
---------------------------------------------------------------
John Paul Baker, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. American Yacht Restoration, Inc., a Florida
corporation, and Dana Andrews, Case No. 9:15-cv-80092 (S.D. Fla.,
January 27, 2015), is brought against the Defendants for failure
to pay overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standard Act.

American Yacht Restoration, Inc. is a Florida corporation that
specializes in boat custom woodworking projects repairs,
restorations, and fabrication.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Christopher Charles Copeland, Esq.
      CHRISTOPHER C. COPELAND P.A.
      824 W Indiantown Rd
      Jupiter, FL 33458
      Telephone: (561) 691-9048
      Facsimile: (866) 259-0719
      E-mail: ChrisCopeland@MyFloridaCounsel.com


APPLE INC: Faces Royalty Suits Over Sirius XM Sound Recordings
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ross Todd, writing for The Recorder, reports that Sirius XM
Radio's recent clubbing in litigation over the rights to pre-1972
sound recordings has unleashed a series of suits against Google,
Apple, Sony and music streaming service Rdio.

According to complaints filed on Jan. 22 in U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of California, streaming music services
such as Google Play Music and Apple's iTunes Radio have been
profiting from pre-1972 recordings without paying royalties or
licensing fees to the owners of the underlying sound recordings.

The four proposed class actions were filed by Zenbu Magazines
Inc., the owner of the copyright to sound recordings including
"Sin City," a song by The Flying Burrito Brothers.  The song had
more than 330,000 plays on Spotify as of Jan. 22 and the album
it's on, "The Gilded Palace of Sin," had more than 28,500 plays on
Rdio.

Although musical compositions have been protected under U.S.
copyright law since 1831, sound recordings were only added to the
federal copyright act in 1972.  That's meant that the holders of
copyrights to pre-1972 compositions -- largely music publishers --
have been paid royalties for public performances while those
holding the copyrights to recordings -- largely record labels --
have not.

Last year, however, a federal judge in Los Angeles found that
under California state law, the rights of owners of pre-1972
recordings extend to public performances.  U.S. District Judge
Philip Gutierrez of the Central District of California sided with
the owners of sound recordings made by The Turtles during the
1960s in their lawsuit against Sirius XM Radio.

Santa Clara law professor Tyler Ochoa, who wrote about Gutierrez's
decision shortly after it was released, called it "San-Francisco-
earthquake huge" in the copyright world.  In a phone interview,
Ochoa said the lawsuits filed against streaming services in the
Northern District are the "inevitable" fallout of the earlier
decision.

Zenbu Magazines is represented by The Law Office of Jack
Fitzgerald in San Diego.  The suits seek to certify a class of all
owners of recordings made before February 15, 1972, whose
recordings appear on streaming services.

"The streaming services don't have a good idea of what their total
liability is going to be," Mr. Ochoa said.  He said the suits
could result in the streaming services pulling pre-1972 recordings
from their collections to avoid further liability.  He also said
he expects to see record labels file their own lawsuits to avoid
losing control of any class action, or leveraging the possibility
of a lawsuit to get better royalty rates for their entire
catalogues.


ASTRAZENECA PLC: Judge Upholds Nexium Class Certification
---------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad, writing for The National Law Journal, reports
that a federal appeals court has upheld certification of a class
of consumers and insurance companies alleging that they were
forced to pay higher prices for prescription heartburn drug Nexium
in violation of state antitrust laws.

The effect of the Jan. 21 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the First Circuit is unclear, given that a federal jury on Dec. 5
rendered a defense verdict in the case.

The plaintiffs allege they paid overcharges for Nexium after the
drug's manufacturer, AstraZeneca PLC, cut "pay for delay" deals to
prevent generic competitors from entering the market.  They sued
AstraZeneca and three generic makers, two of which settled before
the trial ended.

The appeal addressed a 2013 decision by U.S. District Judge
William Young in Massachusetts to certify a class of consumers,
insurance firms and employee-benefit plans in 24 states, the
District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

AstraZeneca and the generic defendants, with support from the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce on appeal, had argued that the class included
a significant number of uninjured members, including firms that
got rebates and consumers with coupons.

The appeals panel, in a 2-1 decision, disagreed.

"Upon examination of the record, we see no basis for overturning
the district court's ultimate conclusion that the number of
uninjured members here is not so large as to render the class
impractical or improper," wrote Timothy Dyk of the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting by designation.
"Plaintiffs' evidence has shown that the vast majority of class
members were probably injured."

Judge William Kayatta Jr. objected in a dissent that the
plaintiffs hadn't established a method to ensure that was true.
Based on preliminary evidence presented in the case, as many as
24,000 potential members of an estimated 1 million might not have
injuries, he wrote.

"The chief difficulty we confront in this case arises from the
fact that some of the members of the class have not suffered the
antitrust injury upon which this entire case is predicated," he
said.

In a separate opinion, the First Circuit on Jan. 21 also refused
AstraZeneca's attempt to dismiss the appeal in light of the
verdict, noting that several posttrial motions were pending.
AstraZeneca attorney Kannon Shanmugam, head of the Supreme Court
and appellate litigation practice at Williams & Connolly, declined
to comment.  A representative for plaintiffs attorney Kenneth
Wexler, founder of Chicago's Wexler Wallace, said he declined to
comment.

According to the suit, when competitors attempted to get generic
versions of Nexium approved, AstraZeneca sued for patent
infringement.  In settling those cases, the generics agreed to
delay the launch of their drugs until May 27, 2014 -- the date on
which the chief patent would expire.

In upholding certification, the majority opinion found that
uninjured class members could be identified down the road.  "We do
not think the need for individual determinations or inquiry for a
de minimis number of uninjured members at later stages of the
litigation defeats class certification," Mr. Dyk wrote.

Judge Kayatta said the majority overreached by suggesting that
affidavits could be used to weed out uninjured parties.  "Many
circuit court judges have little to no substantial experience with
the nuts and bolts of class litigation," he wrote.  "Throwing up
an idea to see if it might stick is just not what courts of
appeals do best."


BABIES R US: Antitrust Class Suit Settlement Gets Final Court OK
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gina Passarella, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, reports that
a $35.5 million class-action settlement in an antitrust case
against Babies R Us has received final approval -- for the second
time.

U.S. District Judge Anita Brody of the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania had to revisit her 2011 initial decision to grant
settlement approval in the combined cases of McDonough v. Toys R
Us and Elliott v. Toys R Us after the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Third Circuit questioned the accord's low claims rate and the
nearly $18.5 million that would end up going to charity via cy
pres awards.

In her order on Jan. 21, Brody noted that the revised settlement
provides for automatic checks from the settlement to more than 1.1
million class members whose purchase records were found in Babies
R Us' system and allows for those class members whose purchases
weren't in the system to provide additional evidence.  The revised
agreement also eliminates the cy pres distribution, and instead
provides for any unclaimed settlement funds to be returned to the
defendant.

"Most importantly, the defendants agreed to share Babies R Us
purchase records to identify more than 1.1 million claims," Judge
Brody said.  "The use of BRU records dramatically increased the
number of class members receiving compensation from the initial
settlement to the [post-appeal] settlement."

Class counsel noted at the fairness hearing that if all 1.1
million class members cash their checks, there will be no money
left to revert to the defendants, Judge Brody said.

Judge Brody's approval appears to put an end to nine years of
litigation filed in January 2006 by consumers of Babies R Us
products over allegations the company conspired with the defendant
manufacturers to require retailers to sell their goods at or above
a minimum resale price, according to the opinion.  The plaintiffs
argued they paid inflated prices for baby products manufactured by
the defendant manufacturers.

Under the initial settlement agreement, a $35.5 million common
fund was created, with the net settlement fund expected to be
about $21.5 million after attorney fee and administrative
expenses, Judge Brody said.  The judge said that, by the time the
initial claims process was complete, class member claims equaled
$3 million, leaving $18.5 million going to cy pres awards. That
got the attention of the Third Circuit.

In a February 2013 ruling in a case of first impression for the
court, the Third Circuit addressed whether cy pres awards are
appropriate in a class action settlement.  Cy pres awards take the
excess money left over from a class action settlement once the
attorneys and class members have been paid and distribute that to
entities that bear some relation to thwarting the conduct that
resulted in the settlement in the first place.

"We join other courts of appeals in holding that a district court
does not abuse its discretion by approving a class-action
settlement agreement that includes a cy pres component directing
the distribution of excess settlement funds to a third party to be
used for a purpose related to the class injury," Judge Thomas L.
Ambro said in his opinion.

The inclusion of a cy pres provision in and of itself does not
render a settlement unfair or inadequate, Judge Ambro noted.  He
said such provisions are warranted when, in looking at the
settlement as a whole, the court finds it "fair, reasonable and
adequate."

"We caution, however, that direct distributions to the class are
preferred over cy pres distributions," Judge Ambro said.  "The
private causes of action aggregated in this class action -- as in
many others -- were created by Congress to allow plaintiffs to
recover compensatory damages for their injuries.  Cy pres
distributions imperfectly serve that purpose by substituting for
that direct compensation an indirect benefit that is at best
attenuated and at worst illusory."

Judge Ambro further noted that cy pres awards present a potential
conflict of interest between class counsel and their clients
because the inclusion of such awards might increase a settlement
fund, and therefore increase attorney fees without increasing the
direct benefit to the class.

According to Judge Brody's opinion on Jan. 21, the class members
will now receive approximately $17.5 million instead of the $3
million claimed through the initial settlement.

One of the most vocal objectors to the initial settlement, Kevin
Young, objected to the revised settlement, but only as to the
amount of attorney fees for class counsel and whether he would be
paid attorney fees for his work on the case.

Judge Brody awarded class counsel nearly $11.1 million in attorney
fees and nearly $2.3 million in expenses. Class counsel -- Hagens
Berman Sobol Shapiro, Spector Roseman Kodroff & Willis and Wolf
Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz -- had requested $11.8 million in
attorney fees.  The difference went to Young's counsel, the Center
for Class Action Fairness, which was awarded $742,500.

Judge Brody said she decreased class counsel's requested amount in
fees by what she would award Young's counsel rather than take
Mr. Young's fee award out of the class fund.

The Third Circuit's problem with the initial award of $14 million
in attorney fees was that it didn't discount from the overall
settlement sum the amount of cy pres distributions.  Because
nearly the total value of the revised settlement will be
distributed to the class, class counsel's revised request for fees
was warranted, less Young's cut, Judge Brody said.

"Because counsel fulfilled their 'responsibility' to obtain this
direct benefit on the second try, I will decrease the fee award to
recognize the efforts of objector Young," Judge Brody said.

Mark Weyman -- mweyman@reedsmith.com -- of Reed Smith in New York
represents the defendants and declined to comment without first
getting client approval.  Eugene Spector -- espector@srkw-law.com
-- of Spector Roseman Kodroff & Willis in Philadelphia was one of
the class counsel and argued the case before the Third Circuit.


BARCLAYS PLC: Investors Can Appeal Dismissal of Libor Claims
------------------------------------------------------------
Scott Flaherty, writing for The Litigation Daily, reports that
handing a win to appellate specialist (and SCOTUSblog founder)
Thomas Goldstein of Goldstein & Russell, the U.S. Supreme Court
ruled on Jan. 21 that a group of bond purchasers can't be forced
to wait to appeal a ruling dismissing antitrust claims over
alleged manipulation of the Libor interest rate.

The justices sided unanimously with Mr. Goldstein and his clients,
overturning a decision that had favored Barclays PLC, Bank of
America Corp., The Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and a dozen
other banks facing Libor claims.

The ruling stems from sprawling antitrust litigation accusing some
of the world's largest banks of conspiring to manipulate Libor,
which is used as a benchmark for interest rates on trillions of
dollars' worth of financial products.  But the case required the
Supreme Court to wrestle with an issue that extends beyond the
reach of the Libor cases -- when a party can appeal a decision
that affects only some claims in consolidated litigation.

Mr. Goldstein's clients, led by Ellen Gelboim and Linda Zacher,
are investors who purchased bonds with Libor-linked interest
rates.  After they sued the banks for alleged antitrust
violations, their lawsuit was consolidated with more than 60 Libor
cases rolled into multidistrict litigation in Manhattan federal
court.  In March 2013, U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald
gutted the consolidated action, keeping some claims intact but
tossing allegations that the banks violated federal antitrust law.

Ms. Gelboim and Ms. Zacher had only pursued a federal antitrust
claim, so Judge Buchwald's ruling effectively spelled the end of
their case.  But when they sought to appeal, the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that it lacked jurisdiction
because other claims in the consolidated litigation remained
unresolved.

With Mr. Goldstein's help, Ms. Gelboim and Ms. Zacher turned to
the Supreme Court, which agreed in late June to take up the case.
Goldstein argued that the Second Circuit's approach could keep
plaintiffs waiting for years until a court resolved the central
issues in the Libor litigation.  In response, the banks' lawyers,
led by Jeffrey Wall -- wallj@sullcrom.com -- of Sullivan &
Cromwell, argued that district courts should have discretion to
manage their own dockets.

Writing for the high court on Jan. 21, Supreme Court Justice Ruth
Bader Ginsburg rejected the banks' arguments, holding that
Gelboim's and Zacher's "right to appeal ripened when the district
court dismissed their case, not upon eventual completion of
multidistrict proceedings in all of the consolidated cases."

"Nothing about the initial consolidation of their civil action
with other cases in the Libor MDL renders the dismissal of their
complaint in any way tentative or incomplete," Judge Ginsburg
wrote.  "The banks' view that . . . no appeal of right accrues
until the consolidation ends would leave plaintiffs like Gelboim
and Zacher in a quandary about the proper timing of their appeal."

In addition to S&C's Wall, the bank's lineup at the Supreme Court
included Robert Wise Jr. -- robert.wise@davispolk.com -- of Davis
Polk & Wardwell and Seth Waxman -- seth.waxman@wilmerhale.com --
of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr.


BARRY FREUNDEL: Suit Over Hidden Camera to Continue in February
---------------------------------------------------------------
Nikki Burdine, writing for WUSA, reports that the rabbi accused of
putting a camera in the women's showers at Kesher Israel Orthodox
synagogue in Georgetown was in court on Jan. 16, and so were his
alleged victims.

Barry Freundel appeared in DC Superior Court on Jan. 16 for a
status hearing, but it was continued until February, per the
prosecution's request for more time to examine evidence.

After court, Mr. Freundel and his attorney were tight-lipped.

"He's doing as well as he can," said Mr. Freundel's attorney.  We
asked Freundel if he had anything to say, he simply shook his head
and said "Sorry."

Meanwhile, one of Mr. Freundel's alleged victims spoke along with
supporters.  "I trusted him," says Elisheva, who did not want to
share her last name.  She has been converting to Judaism and
participated in a "dunk" in the mikveh at Kesher Israel, where
Freundel was her supervising rabbi.

"I feel violated.  I'm concerned I was one of the victims.  I am
no longer in the Orthodox conversion process, I'm seeking a
conservative conversion or reform. I respected him, I still do,
but I think he deserves punishment for this," Elisheva said.

"I trusted him, he was a great guy. He was always available for an
appointment, and so I trusted him with the knowledge of Judaism.
He's a great professor," Elisheva explained.

Elisheva is among countless other women who say Mr. Freundel
violated them by videotaping their ritual bath.  Mr. Freundel
already plead not guilty to voyeurism charges and DC Police say he
did have a camera hidden inside a clock radio.

Supporters and friends of Elisheva held up signs that said
"#SavetheMikveh" and "NoPleaDeal."

"We are using hashtag 'Save Mikveh' because we believe the mikveh
should be safe, safe for every Jew," said Carly Pildis, who is
organizing the effort because her friend is also an alleged
victim.

Ms. Pildis said there's no telling how many other potential
victims are out there and hopes more will come forward.

"I would tell them that there is a community of Jews in Washington
and around the world whose hearts are breaking for you, that we
are so sorry this happened to you and we are here to support you,"
Ms. Pildis said.

"I just feel so frustrated that this could happen," said another
supporter, Papa-Kwesi.  But, he has not lost his faith: "there's
faith and then there's people.  If he committed these acts, I hope
he is punished, but we will keep praying for him."

The group is also hopeful there will be no plea deal for Mr.
Freundel.

Several firms have filed class action suits, a criminal case and
two civil cases, that includes not just Kesher Israel and
Georgetown University and Law school where he taught, but also the
Rabbinical Council of America, because, attorneys say, they were
enablers.

"One of our clients wrote me an email that said, 'everytime I look
at my conversion certificate that has the rabbi's signature on it
I get physically sick,'" said one attorney, Ira Sherman.

"It's critical that everyone Jewish or not stand up and say these
people need to be treated with respect and with dignity," said Ms.
Pildi.  "Voyeurism is always a serious act, but there is a
particular horror and a particular disgracefulness of what
happened."

Mr. Freundel has been fired from the synagogue.


BP PLC: Heads Back to New Orleans Court for Oil Spill Trial
-----------------------------------------------------------
Collin Eaton, writing for Houston Chronicle, reports that nearly
five years after its oil poured into the Gulf of Mexico, BP headed
back to a New Orleans courtroom on Jan. 20 trying to convince a
judge that the billions it spent cleaning up and making amends for
the spill should be enough to cut into the environmental fines
that U.S. prosecutors are seeking.

The multistage civil trial over the spill is entering a third
phase -- three weeks of court hearings that will focus on how much
BP owes for its role in the disaster.

The British oil company faces maximum Clean Water Act penalties of
$13.7 billion after U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier held that
BP's blown-out Macondo well spewed 3.19 millions of barrels of
crude into the ocean in 2010. A barrel is 42 gallons.

The blowout on April 20, 2010, killed 11 workers on BP's leased
Deepwater Horizon rig and unleashed the oil spill that coated
shorelines and wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast's tourism and
fishing industries.

Judge Barbier ruled in September that BP was reckless in the lead-
up to the spill and bears most of the blame for it.  Judge Barbier
found BP wasn't grossly negligent in its actions and
communications after the spill.

Large pipelines proposed to carry gas from shale formations New
Jersey gas prices still falling ND Legislature mulling bills from
medical pot to education Aquarium shows how to transform marine
debris into energy

The 3.19 million barrels he said spilled was lower than the U.S.
Justice Department alleged.  Since Clean Water Act fines are based
on the amount spilled, the ruling reduced the maximum $18 billion
in fines the government had planned to seek in the proceedings
that recently began.

Whatever the penalty, there's no doubt other oil companies are
watching closely, and Judge Barbier knows that, said Ed Sherman, a
law professor at Tulane University.

Judge Barbier "will see this as setting a precedent that sends a
message to the industry about future conduct," Sherman said.  "I
would think he would assess a fairly sizable penalty.  But I
wouldn't be surprised if he didn't give them the maximum."

Over the next three weeks, BP will argue that Gulf beaches are
cleaner than they have been in years, that tourism is thriving and
that fears of damage to Gulf fisheries, bird populations and 4,300
miles of shoreline are overblown.

In court papers, the company said its $14 billion response to the
oil spill -- which involved more than 100,000 responders and 9,700
vessels -- should give it credit to weigh against its potential
fines.

BP's U.S. oil unit "spared no expense and placed no limits on the
massive resources it provided" and "has incurred $42 billion in
liabilities from the spill -- a staggering amount by any measure,"
the company said in court documents.

Justice Department attorneys will argue for maximum fines.
According to court documents, they plan to present expert
testimony that all but $846.2 million of what BP spent was
required by law and that there is still significant potential for
environmental harm stemming from the spill.  They will argue the
judge should use the maximum penalty as a starting point and work
down, if BP provides compelling reasons.

"If ever there was a case that merits the statutory maximum, this
is it," the attorneys wrote.

Judge Barbier must navigate eight critical elements of the case on
BP's penalties. Three of those factors -- the seriousness of the
violation, the economic impact fines will have on BP and whether
BP has been penalized already for the same violations -- will take
center stage in the penalty phase.

Judge Barbier could rule any time after the parties file post-
trial briefs that are due April 24.

BP will make some compelling arguments, said Blaine LeCesne, a law
professor at Loyola University. One is that it already has
incurred $42 billion in cleanup costs, criminal and environmental
fines, and a class-action settlement for economic damages.

BP argues that an excessively high fine under the Clean Water Act
could jeopardize the financial viability of BP's U.S. oil unit --
"a large company that generates a lot of jobs," Mr. LeCesne said.
"It could cause a lot of financial pain to others."

Prosecutors said in court papers that BP's U.S. unit shouldn't get
credit for spill costs funded by parent company BP Group, then
disregard the parent company's resources in evaluating the
financial consequences of penalties.

The other factor in BP's favor is the extent to which the firm
already has been fined for the same violation. In making its case
to Judge Barbier, BP will point to liability it still faces,
including its multibillion-dollar economic settlement and
potential litigation under the Natural Resource Damage Assessment
process.

"That's probably the best way for them to handle it," Mr. LeCesne
said.

Government lawyers said in court papers that if the judge reduces
BP's fines at all from the maximum allowed under the Clean Water
Act, the cut should not be more than $2.1 billion. That combines
the $846.2 million the government says BP paid without legal
obligation and $1.26 billion in criminal fines the company
accepted when it pleaded guilty to felony manslaughter,
environmental crimes and obstruction of justice.

"A dollar-for-dollar offset would effectively mean that (BP's U.S.
oil unit) never paid any criminal fine," the prosecutors said.

BP's U.S. oil unit has operated in the red since the spill. And
this year, oil prices have fallen dramatically, increasing the
financial stress. BP argues the court should consider the impact
of the fines in light of falling oil prices.

"I'm interested in how the court will navigate that," Mr. LeCesne
said, noting that sanctions are meant to deter and punish, and
crude's price plunge is a recent development.  "So should they
benefit or profit from the fortuitous circumstance?"

In the five years since the spill, the world has changed. BP is a
much smaller company after selling off billions in assets, largely
to pay for cleanup efforts and fines for the oil spill.  And as
petroleum prices have fallen, the oil major is worth less on the
stock market now than when it permanently killed the Macondo well
in September 2010.

"Over the last few years, BP has underperformed its peers," said
Brian Youngberg, an analyst with Edward Jones.  "They still
haven't offered anything that makes them any more compelling to an
investor than their peers.  A lot of investors can find good yield
elsewhere and avoid the uncertainty."


CONTAINER STORE: Plaintiff Agrees to Settle Zip Code Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Lalita Clozel, writing for The National Law Journal, reports that
the plaintiff in a putative class action suit accusing The
Container Store Inc. of retaining the zip codes of credit card-
paying customers has agreed to settle.

Judith Monteferrante sued the chain in June 2013, alleging it
illegally requested and kept the zip codes of customers made their
purchases with credit cards, in violation of Massachusetts law.

The stores, she claimed, used the information to identify the
address of customers not because they were required to do so by
credit card companies, but in order to identify their addresses
with the help of third-party databases.

"Container Store is thus able to use that personal identification
information for intrusive marketing purposes . . . such as sending
junk mail directly to consumers' homes without their permission,"
the complaint in Massachusetts district court read.

On Jan. 22, Ms. Monteferrante filed a settlement agreement
stipulating that the store chain will send $10 vouchers to all
class members who filed timely claims.

The proposed settlement would award up to $120,000 in attorney
fees for class counsel -- law firm Siprut and law firm
Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber, subject to court
approval.
Monteferrante would receive up to $3,000 in incentive awards, also
subject to approval from the court.

The agreement prohibits class members who do not successfully
exclude themselves from ever suing The Container Store on similar
charges.

The defendant in the case, Monteferrante v. The Container Store,
Inc., was represented by Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton and
Foley Hoag.


CONVERGYS CUSTOMER: Has Made Unsolicited Calls, Action Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jennifer Summers, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated v. Convergys Customer Management Group, Inc., an Ohio
Corporation, Case No. 3:15-cv-00177 (S.D. Cal., January 27, 2015),
seeks to redress the Defendants practice of contacting the
Plaintiff and others similarly situated on their cellular
telephones via an automatic telephone dialing system using an
artificial or prerecorded voice.

Convergys Customer Management Group, Inc. is a corporation based
in Cincinnati, Ohio, that sells customer management and
information management products, primarily to large corporations.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Scott B. Cooper, Esq.
      Samantha A. Smith, Esq.
      THE COOPER LAW FIRM, P.C.
      2030 Main Street, Suite 1300
      Irvine, CA 92614
      Telephone: (949) 724-9200
      Facsimile: (949) 724-9255
      E-mail: scott@cooper-firm.com
              Samantha@cooper-firm.com

          - and -

      Samuel A. Wong, Esq.
      Kashif Haque, Esq.
      Jessica L. Campbell, Esq.
      AEGIS LAW FIRM, P .C.
      9811 Irvine Center Drive, Suite 100
      Irvine, CA 92618
      Telephone: (949) 379-6250
      Facsimile: (949) 379-6251
      E-mail: swong@aegislawfirm.com
              khaque@aegislawfirm.com
              jcampbell@aegislawfirm.com

         - and -

      Roger R. Carter, Esq.
      THE CARTER LAW FIRM
      2030 Main Street, Suite 1300
      Irvine, CA 92614
      Telephone: (949) 260-4737
      Facsimile: (949) 260-4754
      E-mail: roger@carterlawfirm.net

         - and -

      Marc H. Phelps, Esq.
      THE PHELPS LAW GROUP
      2030 Main Street, Suite 1300
      Irvine, CA 92614
      Telephone: (949) 260-9111
      Facsimile: (949) 260-4754
      E-mail: marc@phelpslawgroup.com


CORE VISION: Has Made Unsolicited Calls, "Summers" Suit Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Jennifer Summers, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated v. Core Vision Group, LLC, a Florida Corporation, Case
No. 3:15-cv-00178 (S.D. Cal., January 27, 2015), seeks to redress
the Defendants practice of contacting the Plaintiff and others
similarly situated on their cellular telephones via an automatic
telephone dialing system using an artificial or prerecorded voice.

Core Vision Group, LLC provides conflict resolution, coaching, and
effective communication processes services to public, private, and
non-profit organizations, communities, families, and individuals.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Scott B. Cooper, Esq.
      Samantha A. Smith, Esq.
      THE COOPER LAW FIRM, P.C.
      2030 Main Street, Suite 1300
      Irvine, CA 92614
      Telephone: (949) 724-9200
      Facsimile: (949) 724-9255
      E-mail: scott@cooper-firm.com
              Samantha@cooper-firm.com

          - and -

      Samuel A. Wong, Esq.
      Kashif Haque, Esq.
      Jessica L. Campbell, Esq.
      AEGIS LAW FIRM, P .C.
      9811 Irvine Center Drive, Suite 100
      Irvine, CA 92618
      Telephone: (949) 379-6250
      Facsimile: (949) 379-6251
      E-mail: swong@aegislawfirm.com
              khaque@aegislawfirm.com
              jcampbell@aegislawfirm.com

         - and -

      Roger R. Carter, Esq.
      THE CARTER LAW FIRM
      2030 Main Street, Suite 1300
      Irvine, CA 92614
      Telephone: (949) 260-4737
      Facsimile: (949) 260-4754
      E-mail: roger@carterlawfirm.net

         - and -

      Marc H. Phelps, Esq.
      THE PHELPS LAW GROUP
      2030 Main Street, Suite 1300
      Irvine, CA 92614
      Telephone: (949) 260-9111
      Facsimile: (949) 260-4754
      E-mail: marc@phelpslawgroup.com


EHEALTH INC: Sued in N.D. Cal. Over Misleading Financial Reports
----------------------------------------------------------------
Jeffrey West, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. eHealth, Inc., Gary L. Lauer, and Stuart M. Huizinga,
Case No. 3:15-cv-00360 (N.D. Cal., January 26, 2015), alleges that
the Defendants made false and misleading statements, as well as
failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company's
business, operations, and prospects.

eHealth, Inc. is an online marketplace for health insurance for
individuals families, and small businesses throughout the United
States.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Laurence M. Rosen, Esq.
      THE ROSEN LAW FIRM, P.A.
      355 South Grand Avenue, Suite 2450
      Los Angeles, CA 90071
      Telephone: (213) 785-2610
      Facsimile: (213) 226-4684
      E-mail: lrosen@rosenlegal.com


ENERGY RECOVERY: Sued in Cal. Over Misleading Financial Reports
---------------------------------------------------------------
Thomas C. Mowdy, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Thomas S. Rooney Jr., Alexander J. Buehler,
Joel Gay, and Energy Recovery, Inc., Case No. 3:15-cv-00374 (N.D.
Cal., January 27, 2015), alleges that the Defendants made false
and misleading statements, as well as failed to disclose material
adverse facts about the Company's business, operations, and
prospects.

Energy Recovery, Inc. is a Delaware corporation that designs,
develops, and manufactures energy recovery devices that transform
untapped energy into reusable energy from industrial fluid flows
and pressure cycles.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Robert Vincent Prongay, Esq.
      GLANCY BINKOW & GOLDBERG LLP
      1925 Century Park East, Suite 2100
      Los Angeles, CA 90067
      Telephone: (310) 201-9150
      Facsimile: (310) 201-9160
      E-mail: rprongay@glancylaw.com

         - and -

      Jeremy A. Lieberman, Esq.
      Francis P. McConville, Esq.
      POMERANTZ LLP
      600 Third Avenue, 20th Floor
      New York, NY 10016
      Telephone: (212) 661-1100
      Facsimile: (2120 661-8665

         - and -

      Patrick V. Dahlstrom, Esq.
      POMERANTZ LLP
      10 South La Salle Street, Suite 3505
      Chicago, IL 60603
      Telephone: (312) 377-1181
      Facsimile: (312) 377-1184


ETHICON INC: Trial Begins in Suit Over Defective Pelvic Mesh Sling
------------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad, writing for The National Law Journal, reports
that trial began on Jan. 26 in Bakersfield, Calif., in the first
test case over an Ethicon Inc. pelvic mesh sling, one of dozens of
such devices named in thousands of lawsuits across the country.

Ethicon's parent company, Johnson & Johnson, which has lost
verdicts over its other mesh products, is one of half a dozen
manufacturers facing 60,000 lawsuits alleging that the devices,
which are implanted in women, are defective.

It's not the first time a Bakersfield jury has heard about mesh
devices.  In 2012, a different jury in that court awarded $5.5
million in the first trial over a pelvic mesh device.  That
verdict, upheld by a California appellate court last year, was
against C.R. Bard Inc.

In the current case, which involves Ethicon's TVT-Abbrevo pelvic
mesh sling, Coleen Perry, then in her 40s, had the device
implanted in 2011 for treatment of stress urinary incontinence --
a loss of urine during physical movement or activity.  But the
next year, she underwent surgery to remove the device after
suffering from pain and continued urinary problems.

"She expected that when she had the implant, it would be safe and
tested.  She expected the doctor would be told fully about the
dangers of the product," said Tom Cartmell --
tcartmell@wagstaffcartmell.com -- a partner at Wagstaff & Cartmell
in Kansas City, Mo., in opening statements recorded by Courtroom
View Network.  "We believe the evidence in this case will show
that, in fact, the product was not reliably tested before it was
sold and, in fact, her doctor wasn't told the full truth about the
dangers of the product."

Most of the lawsuits over pelvic mesh devices, including those
against Ethicon, are pending in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of West Virginia.  Several more have been filed
in state courts across the country, including Mrs. Perry's case,
which was filed in 2013 in Kern County, Calif., Superior Court.

Ethicon attorney Kim Schmid -- kim.schmid@bowmanandbrooke.com --
executive managing partner in the Minneapolis office of Bowman and
Brooke, told the jury that Mrs. Perry's prior medical condition
had more to do with her injuries.

"Mrs. Perry had a total of eight different medical procedures all
in her pelvic region within a span of just nine months," she said
in her opening statement, also recorded by Courtroom View Network.
"The evidence will be that these other surgeries carried the same
known risks and complications as the implantation of the TVT
Abbrevo."

Mr. Cartmell is handling Mrs. Perry's trial with Richard Freese --
rich@freeseandgoss.com -- and Tim Goss -- tim@freeseandgoss.com --
principals of Freese & Goss of Dallas; Peter de la Cerda of
Edwards & de la Cerda of Dallas; and Stewart Albertson, founding
partner of Albertson & Davidson in Ontario, Calif.

Mr. Cartmell is co-lead counsel of the plaintiffs steering
committee in the federal litigation; the first trial in that
docket ended on Sept. 5 when a jury in Charleston, W.Va., awarded
$3.27 million against Ethicon.

Ethicon goes to trial a second time in federal court on March 2.
Mr. Cartmell also teamed with Freese & Goss in the first trial
involving Ethicon's TVT-O device.  On April 3, a state court jury
in Dallas awarded $1.2 million in damages.

Mr. De la Cerda said the Perry trial, which is expected to last
about a month, addresses one of Ethicon's newest products.

"If we beat them on this one, it will be yet another example of
juries sending a message to Ethicon -- even on their supposedly
improved product." he said.


FORTUNEBUILDERS INC: Real Estate Tactics Illegal Without License
----------------------------------------------------------------
Amber Hunt, writing for Gannett Ohio, reports that high-priced
real-estate seminars promise to teach unlicensed novices how to
make big money buying and selling property, but Ohio officials say
there's a problem: Unwitting students who follow the advice might
be breaking the law.

The officials' concerns center on a practice known as "flopping"
that, according to three officials with the Ohio Department of
Real Estate & Professional Licensing and two real-estate lawyers,
is illegal without a license.

A Cincinnati Enquirer investigation found that during a recent
three-day seminar, the instructor -- Gerald Martin, a self-
proclaimed real-estate guru teaching for FortuneBuilders Inc. --
gave students instructions on the practice, but seminar attendees
weren't warned that by following the advice, they might be
breaking the law.  Attendees were required to sign a waiver
promising not to sue the organization if any of the taught
practices got them in legal trouble.

Anne Petit, superintendent of the Ohio Department of Real Estate &
Professional Licensing, said real estate seminars have been on the
rise since the housing market crisis hit in 2008.

"You have to be very aware of what Ohio license law does and does
not allow unlicensed people to do," Ms. Petit said.  "Some of
what's being taught is legal, but some of it never will be."

Tactics not unique

A contagious grin lighting up his face, Gerald Martin knows how to
pump up an audience.

"Say it with me!" the 54-year-old shouts to a hotel ballroom
packed with more than 200 people who enthusiastically chant in
unison: "One, two, three, crush it!"

People attending the seminar in Columbus in late October have paid
between $197 and $297 per couple to attend, hoping their
investment lets them glean from Martin tips on how to get rich in
real estate.

But that's not the extent of the program's money-making potential:
About one-third of people in the audience shoot up their hands
when Martin asks if they want to be accepted into FortuneBuilders'
Mastery Program --  a "coaching program" that claims to pair green
investors with real-estate experts and carries a price tag of
between $10,000 and $25,000.

Nick Chucales, an investigator for the Department of Real Estate &
Professional Licensing, sits cross-armed in the audience.  He has
attended so many of these weekend seminars across Ohio, he could
lead one himself.

"You can tell whenever they've come to your town because you'll
see a flurry of bandit signs going up all over the place,"
Mr. Chucales said.

You probably know bandit signs, even if you don't recognize the
term: They're those small signs on the side of the road bearing
messages such as, "I buy houses for cash" and "Stop foreclosure!"

It's common for at least 10 to 15 attendees of the weekend seminar
to sign up for the mastery program, meaning that on top of the up
to $60,000 cleared for the three-day seminar, the event might
bring in as much as $500,000 more.

FortuneBuilders is not the only real-estate education company out
there, nor are its tactics new: For years, people wanting to learn
about making it big by buying and selling property have forked
over money to attend sessions that promise to teach them the trade
secrets.

But law enforcement officials say the costs of the programs have
skyrocketed in recent years, largely because of the precedent set
by the now-defunct Trump University out of New York.  That program
appears to have been one of FortuneBuilders' models -- Armando
Montelongo Seminars is another -- and it similarly offered a free
introductory meeting to entice people to attend a weekend seminar,
which in turn enticed people to pay as much as $35,000 to
supposedly learn real-estate secrets from people hand-selected by
Donald Trump himself.

Trump University ultimately was so controversial that it was sued
by New York Attorney General Eric Scheiderman in a case that's
still pending.  Separately, court filings in a class-action suit
filed in federal court in California reveal Trump University and
FortuneBuilders' classes have at least one instructor in common:
Gerald Martin.

Martin told the crowd attending his Columbus presentation that he
graduated from Ohio State University.  The Enquirer tried to
confirm that through the National Student Clearinghouse but was
told no graduation record could be found.

Reached by phone, Martin told The Enquirer he had said only that
he attended Ohio State, not graduated, but he declined to answer
further questions.  He also refused to talk about whether the
tactics he teaches are legal, or to address his history with Trump
University.

"I don't have any comment on that," he said.  "I don't make any
comments to reporters."

Martin's online presence is sparse.  The Enquirer confirmed he
lives in Florida, as he said; has three daughters; was once a
college gymnast; and has owned several Florida properties.  He
hasn't paid taxes since 2013 on one of the properties, located on
Cypress Avenue in Sanford, Florida, according to Seminole County
records.

In Columbus, he told the crowd he has trained more than 10,000
students and that real estate "has given my family more wealth and
more security than we ever could have imagined."

"If I told you how much money I earned my second year working part
time, you'd get mad at me," he said.

A wise investment?

Whether such seminars and the high-priced "continuing education"
programs are wise investments is up for debate. They're certainly
moneymakers for company owners: Forbes magazine reported in 2013
that Armando Montelongo was on track to make $50 million that
year.

The setups are basically identical.  Each company has a celebrity
real-estate guru attached.  For Trump and Montelongo, it's the
companies' namesakes.  For FortuneBuilders, it's a trio: Than
Merrill, Paul Esajian and J.D. Esajian. Like Montelongo, the three
were part of the reality TV show "Flip This House."  Montelongo
was featured as part of the San Antonio team, while Merill and the
Esajians comprised the bulk of the New Haven team.

Attendees are given some basic real-estate information, but a good
chunk of the weekend is spent promoting the Mastery Program.
People are encouraged to max out credit cards, cash in their
401(k)s and tap their emergency funds to come up with the tens of
thousands of dollars needed to sign up for the mentor program.

Mr. Martin presented a slide titled "The Common Myths to Bust!"
that chided people who believe "all debt is bad debt" and who
"don't believe in credit."

People who don't sign up that weekend are hounded for weeks, as
salespeople in the Glengarry Glen Ross mold offer to share
"exciting information" to those "still serious about (their) real-
estate investing business."  If that doesn't work, a different
salesperson makes one final call, invoking Martin's name and
offering entry into a free program called The Blueprint.

Mr. Chucales is skeptical, saying that much of the information
presented could easily be found in library books.  But some
seminargoers have posted glowing reviews on consumer websites,
claiming the seminars jump-started their real-estate careers.

Indeed, Columbus investor Shane Hunt (no relation to the author)
spoke during the weekend seminar and credited the success of his
business Integrity Homes to FortuneBuilders. He also mentioned, in
the spirit of "full disclosure," that he's involved in at least
one lawsuit.

Ms. Petit, Chucales' boss, said the seminars themselves are legal
and even feature some "good, legitimate, legal instruction."

But not all of it.

For example, on the first day of the seminar, Martin delved into a
practice called "wholesaling," which, as he described it, isn't
permitted in Ohio. He never told the audience that.

"Wholesaling" is sometimes called "flopping," a relative of
"flipping." Here's how it works:

A homeowner is in dire straits and needs to get rid of his house.
Let's say he's getting divorced and can't afford the house on a
single income.  A buyer swoops in and offers him less than market
value.

No problem so far.  But then, without putting a penny down on the
house, the buyer lines up another buyer for the property, and on
closing day, Buyer No. 2 is the one who actually pays for and
takes possession of the property.

The homeowner sells the property, unaware that Buyer No. 1 had
another buyer lined up willing to pay more money, and Buyer No. 1
walks away with the difference, leaving the original lender with a
bigger loss than needed.

According to Ohio law, no one can advertise or "assume to act as"
a real estate broker or salesperson without a license.

At first blush, it might seem like a victimless crime, state
officials concede.  The desperate seller has a buyer, the buyer
has a new property, and the middleman brings the two together.
But, said Ms. Petit, in reality, the bank is shorted money, and
ultimately, other home buyers suffer.

Not only that, but the original homeowners -- the ones in dire
straits that prompted the sale -- could be hit with taxes they
didn't see coming.

The federal Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 allowed
taxpayers to exclude income from the discharge of debt on their
principal homes. That means that debt forgiven by banks on
underwater homes wasn't taxed.

The law expired in December 2013, but Congress recently extended
it retroactively to cover 2014.

Beginning Jan. 1, anyone who sells a house at a loss that's been
forgiven could be expected to pay on the loss as taxable income,
Mr. Chucales said.

"The reason I feel this hasn't been seen as a big issue is because
of the Debt Relief Act," he said.

To be sure, flopping has been commonplace since the start of the
housing market's troubles, officials said.  But until flopping
hits sellers' wallets, it will largely go unnoticed.

Ohio officials were careful to emphasize that while they take
issue with some of the tactics taught in real-estate seminars, not
all of the info is bogus.

"We need to be clear: Flipping when done properly is absolutely
legal," Ms. Petit said.  "Flopping, which are these scenarios
we're describing, is never going to be legal because people and
businesses are unknowingly shorted funds."

Alice owns a $100,000 home that she needs to sell quickly.

Bob enters, offers her below market value, say $60,000.

Unknown to Alice, and without putting money down, Bob lines up
another buyer, agreeing to sell the house to Carl for more than he
offered Alice, say $80,000.

On closing day, Carl is the one who takes possession of the
property, and Bob pockets $20,000.  This is flopping and is
illegal in Ohio without a broker's license.


FOX SEARCHLIGHT: Panel of Judges Set to Hear Intern Case Appeal
---------------------------------------------------------------
Scott Flaherty, writing for The Litigation Daily, reports that a
panel of judges in Manhattan was poised to hear two appeals
stemming from a rash of employment class actions brought by
disgruntled unpaid interns.  The outcome could determine whether
the litigation was just a flash in the pan for the interns'
enterprising lawyers -- or if it's just getting started.

On Jan. 23, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit was
set to hear oral arguments in unpaid intern cases brought against
Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc. and The Hearst Corp.  The appeals,
which was set to be heard in tandem, offer the court a chance to
answer a critical question at the heart of the intern cases: Do
unpaid interns qualify as employees under the federal Fair Labor
Standards Act, entitling them to protections like minimum wages
and overtime pay?

In the Fox case, brought by former interns on the movie "Black
Swan," U.S. District Judge William Pauley III in Manhattan granted
class and collective status to the interns, finding that they
deserved minimum wages.  Another Manhattan federal judge, Harold
Baer Jr., denied summary judgment to the Hearst plaintiffs, who
had interned at various magazines, ruling that a jury should
decide whether they qualified as employees.

The judges differed on the appropriate test for determining
whether interns deserve employee protections.  That's the question
that's now teed up for the Second Circuit, and the court's answer
could have serious implications for employers.  If the Second
Circuit sides with the interns, it would open the door for a wave
of new class action litigation, while a ruling for Fox and Hearst
would clamp down on future intern suits, and could spell trouble
for those that are pending.

Plaintiffs lawyers at Outten & Golden, led by Rachel Bien, have
urged the Second Circuit to uphold Judge Pauley's decision, which
was based on a U.S. Department of Labor fact sheet that lays out
factors for employers to use to determine if an internship may be
unpaid.  The Labor Department's list describes factors like
whether the internship benefits the intern, whether the employer
derives an "immediate advantage" from the intern's activities, and
whether the internship is "similar to training which would be
given in an educational environment."

"Plaintiffs performed productive work on the film Black Swan that
provided [Fox] with an 'immediate advantage' because it allowed
Fox to hire fewer paid employees and expedited the film's
operations," Ms. Bien and others wrote a brief filed in the Fox
appeal.  "Plaintiffs did not receive academic training or other
educational benefits, and were not part of an internship program
designed to benefit them."

Arguing for the employers will be Neal Katyal of Hogan Lovells,
who represents Fox, and Hearst deputy general counsel Jonathan
Donnellan.  They've argued that Judge Baer applied the proper test
when he refused the Hearst interns' summary judgment bid. Unlike
Pauley, Baer adopted a so-called "primary beneficiary test" that
determines, on the whole, whether the internship's benefits to the
intern outweigh those to the company.

In a brief filed in June, Hearst's Donnellan wrote that the
interns were pushing for a "one-dimensional test" that focuses
solely on whether students provide an immediate advantage to the
host company.

"If an 'immediate advantage' is found, plaintiffs argue that this
fact alone should create an employment relationship under the
FLSA, without any consideration of any other factor, such as
expectation of compensation, educational value, benefit to the
intern, or burden to the host company," Hearst's lawyers wrote.

"Plaintiffs' proposed standard is a marked departure from the FLSA
totality of the circumstances analysis, and permits no balancing
of the benefits or inquiry into who is the primary beneficiary of
the internship."

The U.S. Department of Labor filed an amicus brief at the Second
Circuit in April advocating that courts adopt the six factors on
its intern fact sheet.  It would also have a say before the panel
on Jan. 23, after the court previously granted the agency eight
minutes of argument time.


FRESH FOODS: Faces "Vasquez" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime
--------------------------------------------------------------
Angel Vasquez, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated v. Fresh Foods Wholesale, Inc., Won Feng Food Service,
Inc., Tian Gui Zheng, and Xin Zheng, Case No. 3:15-cv-00086 (M.D.
Tenn., January 26, 2015), is brought against the Defendants for
failure to pay overtime wages for work performed in excess of 40
hours per week.

The Defendants own and operate a fresh food warehouse and
wholesale company located in Nashville, Tennessee.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Joey Paul Leniski Jr., Esq.
      Karla M. Campbell, Esq.
      BRANSTETTER, STRANCH & JENNINGS
      227 Second Avenue, N 4th Floor
      Nashville, TN 37201
      Telephone: (615) 254-8801
      E-mail: jleniski@bsjfirm.com
              karlac@bsjfirm.com


GENERAL MOTORS: Feb. 4 Oral Arguments on Motion to Bar Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad, writing for The National Law Journal, reports
that individuals who were injured or had loved ones killed
allegedly because of a defect in the ignition switch of General
Motors Co. vehicles must file claims through a victim-compensation
fund before they can learn whether they have the option to sue.

That's because U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber has scheduled
oral arguments on Feb. 4 in GM's motion to bar lawsuits for
injuries or deaths that occurred before 2009, when it emerged from
Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  GM, which filed a final brief on the
motion on Jan. 16, has argued that a provision in its bankruptcy
exempts it from liability over those accidents.

In the meantime, alleged victims of the defect have until Jan. 31
to submit claims to a compensation fund administered by attorney
Kenneth Feinberg.  The program is limited to those with severe
injuries or deaths from accidents involving only the 2.6 million
vehicles that GM recalled worldwide over the defect last year --
and excludes cases in which air bags deployed.

Under the fund's rules, victims must waive their right to sue if
they accept a payment.  Lawyers with clients potentially affected
by the bankruptcy are encouraging them to submit claims.

If Judge Gerber rules for GM, they "will be effectively kicked out
of the courthouse and their claims may very well be forever
extinguished. These are folks who suffered serious permanent
injuries and had loved ones die at the hands of GM's defect,"

Robert Hilliard of Hilliard Munoz Gonzales in Corpus Christi,
Texas, who has more than t140 clients potentially affected by the
bankruptcy, wrote in an email to The National Law Journal.
As a result, he said, "all eligible or potentially eligible fund
claims are being submitted."

Jere Beasley, founding principal of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin,
Portis & Miles in Montgomery, said his firm and The Cooper Firm in
Marietta, Ga., have filed 55 claims through the fund.  But he said
they have a "good number of potential claims" that haven't been
filed.

"We encouraged anybody who could be affected by the bankruptcy to
file with the claim fund," he said.  He said he's making sure
"clients fully understand they run the risk of not taking what's
offered if it's unreasonable."

GM filed its motion in bankruptcy court once the fund began
accepting claims on Aug. 1.  On Jan. 13, Gerber, of the Southern
District of New York, scheduled oral arguments on GM's motion,
setting aside Feb. 5 if necessary.  A proposed schedule was due on
Jan. 27.

On Nov. 17, Mr. Feinberg extended the original Dec. 31 deadline
"out of an abundance of caution."

But the move followed pressure from Hilliard and U.S. Sen. Richard
Blumenthal, D-Conn., who said the fund should remain open until
Gerber rules on the bankruptcy issue.  "Right now, injured parties
do not know enough about their legal rights or facts to make an
intelligent and informed decision," Mr. Blumenthal said at the
time.

Camille Biros, business manager at Feinberg's firm, Feinberg Rozen
in Washington, has previously said that claimants don't give up
their legal rights until they accept a payment -- and they have 90
days to do so.

A representative for Mr. Feinberg declined to comment on the
bankruptcy case or whether the deadline could be extended again.
Mr. Feinberg and GM previously have said the deadline wouldn't
change.

As of Jan. 16, the fund had approved 121 claims, including 49
deaths.  But 320 were rejected and 757 more were deficient.
Another 857 remain under review and 763 lack documentation.


GHIRARDELLI CHOCOLATE: Settles Class Action Over Packaging
----------------------------------------------------------
Amy Dunn, writing for News & Observer.com, reports that consumers
of Ghirardelli Chocolate may be due a refund for all those bars
and bags of chocolate you've eaten since 2008.

Taken to task over wording on its packages, the chocolate company
has decided to settle a class-action lawsuit without admitting it
did anything wrong.

That means cash back to consumers.

Ghirardelli customers have until March 19 to file a claim for a
piece of the $5.2 million settlement, which is scheduled for a
final hearing on Feb. 19.

How much cash back are we talking about?

And how exactly does one go about proving the amount of
Ghirardelli chocolates purchased since 2008?

Thankfully, settlement negotiators are not expecting you to have
saved your candy wrappers or receipts.

Without proof of purchase, claims are capped at $24, though you
could receive less if Ghirardelli customers come forward in
greater-than-expected numbers.

To read more about the settlement and find a link to an online
claim form, go to www.whitechipssettlement.com


GLAXOSMITHKLINE: No Conflict of Interest in Thalidomide Suit Deal
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Gina Passarella, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, reports that
plaintiffs firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro said there was no
evidence to suggest its deal to dismiss 28 thalidomide cases
against GSK in exchange for the drug company's agreement not to
seek sanctions against the firm was in conflict with its clients'
interests.

The firm further argued that the court and the special master in
the cases have no authority to question the accord reached between
the plaintiffs and GlaxoSmithKline.

Hagens Berman's filing is in response to U.S. District Judge Paul
S. Diamond of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania's questioning
of whether the firm's clients knowingly and willingly consented to
the cases being dismissed.  Special discovery master William T.
Hangley of Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller asked the
parties to brief whether the firm had a conflict with its clients
and what steps Mr. Hangley should take to ensure the plaintiffs
knowingly dismissed their actions, all filed in the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania.  Mr. Hangley had suggested perhaps
having each plaintiff fill out a questionnaire about the process
that led their case to be dismissed.

Mr. Hangley said he understood how the deal made sense for GSK and
for Hagens Berman, but questioned what the plaintiffs got out of
it.

Hagens Berman has objected to the inquiry from the start.  The
firm said in its brief that Mr. Hangley's order "proposes to use
the terms of the private agreement with GSK as a lever to
investigate the settlement and privileged communications between
plaintiffs and their counsel."

GSK and co-defendant Gruenenthal GmbH filed sanctions motions
against Hagens Berman in three of the original 52 cases the firm
filed on behalf of plaintiffs who alleged their mothers' use of
thalidomide while pregnant in the 1950s and 1960s caused the
plaintiffs' birth defects.  Mr. Hangley granted Gruenenthal's
motion, finding Hagens Berman engaged in "bad-faith advocacy" that
caused allegedly meritless cases to proceed well into discovery.

Gruenenthal has since filed for $177,000 in fees as a result and
Hagens Berman has objected to the award of any sanctions.  But Mr.
Hangley held in abeyance his ruling on GSK's motion for sanctions
in light of a letter from GSK's counsel that the company may
withdraw its motion if 28 of the 29 remaining cases in the
thalidomide actions are dismissed against the company.

Hagens Berman said Jan. 15 that the sanctions motion is evidence
enough that the firm vigorously pursued its clients' cases even in
the face of the motions.

"As should be abundantly clear by now, Hagens Berman has pursued
the interests of its clients to the fullest extent, even though it
is apparent that defendants, the court, and the special master
have argued or ruled that many of plaintiffs' legal arguments are
without merit," the firm said.  "There could hardly be any
stronger evidence that Hagens Berman's representation of its
clients has not been limited by the threat of sanctions for that
representation."

Hagens Berman said it was barred by attorney-client privilege from
discussing what went into the decision to reach the agreement it
did with GSK or what was discussed with its clients about it.  The
firm noted that the decision came as discovery was nearly
complete.

With discovery about over, Hagens Berman said, the firm had an
idea of the strengths and weaknesses of its cases against the
various defendants, which, aside from GSK and Gruenenthal,
includes Sanofi-Aventis. Just as it would in any other case, the
firm said, it assessed the merits of the cases at the end of
discovery and discussed it with its clients.

Hagens Berman further noted that every plaintiff who was
dismissing claims against GSK still has claims against Gruenenthal
and some still have claims against Sanofi, meaning the firm
continues to represent the plaintiffs in the case.  The firm said
it couldn't have been motivated to dismiss its clients' cases
against GSK by the dropping of GSK's sanctions motion considering
it is still litigating against Gruenenthal despite that company's
ongoing pursuit of sanctions against the firm.

In its own brief addressing the issues, GSK also said there was no
conflict between Hagens Berman and the firm's clients.

"The claims against GSK have no merit, and . . . there are good
and legitimate reasons for both plaintiffs' counsel and plaintiffs
to have finally agreed to dismiss them, without giving rise to a
conflict between the attorneys and their clients," GSK said in its
filing Jan. 15.

While GSK's withdrawal of its sanctions motion would be of benefit
to Hagens Bermans, its additional agreement not to seek costs on
the cases is of benefit to the plaintiffs, GSK said.

GSK noted that Gruenenthal developed thalidomide, a morning
sickness medication, and sold it in overseas markets.  GSK said it
only conducted a limited clinical trial of the drug in 1956 and
1957 before discontinuing its research.  GSK said that, after
discovery, not one of the 28 plaintiffs seeking to dismiss his or
her case against GSK could link his or her injuries to GSK-
distributed thalidomide.

As to any court inquiry into the plaintiffs' decision to dismiss
their suits against GSK, Hagens Berman said that, at most, the
plaintiffs could sign a declaration that, in essence, states their
dismissal was done knowingly and voluntarily.

"To require anything further, such as in-court testimony or
interviews with the plaintiffs, is not only unnecessary, but also
would be unprecedented," Hagens Berman said.

The firm said Mr. Hangley should also "abandon the proposal" he
made that each plaintiff give his or her employment and education
history.  Hagens Berman said it could only guess at the relevance
of that information, but said there is no evidence any plaintiff
is "so uneducated or unsophisticated that she could not understand
a communication with her counsel."

"Further, the apparent suggestion is that if a particular person
has not enjoyed education or employment of a certain level, she
must not be able to provide informed consent," Hagens Berman said.
"Any such suggestion is baseless and insensitive to the fact that
many of the plaintiffs in these cases have not enjoyed higher
education or regular [employment] precisely because they were
disabled by thalidomide."

Michael T. Scott of Reed Smith is representing GSK and declined to
comment.  Hagens Berman attorney Craig R. Spiegel wasn't
immediately available for comment.


GLOBAL TECHNICAL: Fails to Pay Employees OT, "Rendon" Suit Says
---------------------------------------------------------------
Hugo Rendon, on behalf of himself and other persons similarly
situated v. Global Technical Solutions LLC, GTS Management LLC,
Randy Farrell and Matthew Reck, Case No. 2:15-cv-00242 (E.D. La.,
January 27, 2015), is brought against the Defendants for failure
to pay overtime wages for work performed in excess of 40 hours per
week.

The Defendants are Louisiana corporations that provide tower,
line, antenna equipment services installation.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Roberto L. Costales, Esq.
      COSTALES LAW OFFICE
      3801 Canal Street, Suite 207
      New Orleans, LA 70119
      Telephone: (504) 914-1048
      E-mail: costaleslawoffice@gmail.com


HAWAIIAN ELECTRIC: Faces "Cohn" Suit Over Illegal Sale of Company
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Lawrence Cohn, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated v. Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc., et al., Case No.
1:15-cv-00029 (D. Haw., January 27, 2015), arises out of the
Defendant' breaches of fiduciary duties in connection with the
proposed sale of Hawaiian Electric Industries, Inc. to NextEra
Energy, Inc., specifically by disseminating false and misleading
proxy statement contained within the Form S-4, filed by NextEra
with the Securities Exchange Commission on January 8, 2015.

Hawaiian Electric Industries is a holding company with its
principal subsidiaries engaged in electric utility and banking
businesses operating primarily in the State of Hawaii.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Jeffrey Foster, Esq.
      FOSTER LAW OFFICES LLLC
      PO Box 127
      Captain Cook, HI 96704
      Telephone: (808) 348-7800
      Facsimile: (808) 443-0277
      E-mail: fosterlaw@gmail.com

         - and -

      Joseph P. Guglielmo, Esq.
      Joseph D. Cohen, Esq.
      SCOTT+SCOTT, ATTORNEYS AT LAW, LLP
      The Chrysler Building
      405 Lexington Avenue, 40th Floor
      New York, NY 10174
      Telephone: (212) 223-6444
      Facsimile: (212) 223-6334
      E-mail: jguglielmo@scott-scott.com
              jcohen@scott-scott.com

         - and -

      Lionel Z. Glancy, Esq.
      Louis Boyarsky, Esq.
      Philip Gutierrez, Esq.
      GLANCY BINKOW & GOLDBERG LLP
      1925 Century Park East, Suite 2100
      Los Angeles, California 90067
      Telephone: (310) 201-9150
      Facsimile: (310)201-9160
      E-mail: lglancy@glancylaw.com
              lboyarsky@glancylaw.com
              pgutierrez@glancylaw.com

         - and -

      E. Kirk Wood, Esq.
      WOOD LAW FIRM, LLC
      P.0. Box 382434
      Birmingham, Alabama 35238-2434
      Telephone: (205) 908-4906
      Facsimile: (866) 747-3905
      E-mail: ekirkwood1@bellsouth.net


HCG DIET: Has Sent Unsolicited Fax Advertisement, Action Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Greenspan, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. HCG Diet Company a/k/a HCG Diet Center d/b/a
HCG Diet Doctor NJ, Case No. 2:15-cv-00557 (D.N.J., January 27,
2015), seeks to stop the Defendants' practice of transmitting one
or more facsimiles advertising the commercial availability or
quality of property, goods, or services, without having obtained
prior express invitation or permission.

The Defendants own and operate a weight loss center located at 90
Millburn Avenue, Millburn, New Jersey 07041.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Ross H. Schmierer, Esq.
      PARIS ACKERMAN & SCHMIERER LLP
      103 Eisenhower Parkway
      Roseland, New Jersey 07068
      Telephone: (973) 228-6667
      E-mail: ross@paslawfirm.com

         - and -

      Ari H. Marcus, Esq.
      MARCUS LAW, LLC
      1500 Allaire Avenue, Suite 101
      Ocean, NJ 07712
      Telephone: (732) 660-8169
      E-mail: ari@marcuslawnj.com

         - and -

      Todd M. Friedman, Esq.
      LAW OFFICES OF TODD M. FRIEDMAN, P.C.
      369 S. Doheny Dr., #415
      Beverly Hills, CA 90211
      Telephone: (877) 206-4741
      E-mail: tfriedman@attorneysforconsumers.com


HEWLETT-PACKARD CO: Lawyers Draw Up New Settlement Proposal
-----------------------------------------------------------
Marisa Kendall, writing for The Recorder, reports that lawyers
trying to settle a shareholder derivative suit against Hewlett-
Packard Co. hope the fourth time will be the charm.  They floated
a new proposal on Jan. 2, even as several other attorneys have
launched a campaign to overthrow Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy as
lead counsel.

Three prior attempts at settlement were flatly rejected by U.S.
District Judge Charles Breyer of the Northern District of
California.

At this point, attorneys from Greenfield & Goodman in New York and
Stull, Stull & Brody in Beverly Hills argue the lawyers appointed
to handle the case have failed to represent the best interests of
plaintiffs and should be replaced.

The parties have been trying for more than six months to win
approval of a settlement, which would end derivative claims over
HP's botched acquisition of British software firm Autonomy.

The new deal contains a narrower claims release, as Judge Breyer
mandated in December. He ruled the prior deal was too vague, as it
protected HP from a host of allegations unrelated to Autonomy.
The lawyers also tout "state-of-the-art governance reforms" as a
selling point -- not just for HP, but also for the new company
that will form when HP splits its business services from its
consumer services, a plan announced in October.  The new company
wasn't mentioned in the prior proposed settlements.

"The third amended settlement confers substantial benefits on HP
and is a fair and reasonable resolution of derivative claims
brought on HP's behalf," the lawyers wrote.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz represents HP.  Cotchett represent
plaintiffs, along with Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd.

Judge Breyer rejected the parties' first deal after taking issue
with a provision that would give plaintiffs lawyers $18 million
plus up to $30 million in contingency fees in exchange for teaming
up with HP to go after Autonomy.

The new proposal provides for $7.2 million in fees and costs for
Cotchett Pitre and $1.6 million for Robbins Geller -- the same sum
as the prior deal.


HOLLISTER CO: Faces "Santos" Suit in Cal. Over POS Devices Design
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Maria Santos, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated v. Hollister Co. California, LLC, Case No. 2:15-cv-00630
(C.D. Cal., January 27, 2015), is brought against the Defendant
for failure to design, construct, and own or operate Point Of Sale
Devices that are fully accessible to, and independently usable by,
blind people.

Hollister Co. California, LLC owns and operates a clothing retail
stores, with headquarter located at 6301 Fitch Path Road, New
Albany, OH 43054.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Michael Todd Harrison, Esq.
      THE SANTA CLARITA FIRM
      25876 The Old Road, Suite 304
      Stevenson Ranch, CA 91381
      Telephone: (661) 257-2854
      Facsimile:  (661) 257-3068
      E-mail: mharrison30@aol.com


HOME DEPOT: Judge Divides Data Breach Litigation Into Two Tracks
----------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad, writing for The National Law Journal, reports
that a federal judge in Atlanta has divided the litigation over
last year's data breach at The Home Depot Inc. into two tracks:
consumers and financial institutions.

Both groups have filed more than 30 class actions over the breach,
which compromised the data of 56 million customers who made
purchases at checkout terminals from April to September.  A
federal panel last month ordered the cases coordinated for
pretrial purposes before Thomas Thrash, chief judge of the
Northern District of Georgia.

Home Depot has turned to two Atlanta firms to handle the
litigation.  The retailer, based in Atlanta, has retained Phyllis
Sumner, head of the data, privacy and security practice at King &
Spalding, in the consumer actions, while Alston & Bird's Cari
Dawson -- cari.dawson@alston.com -- will respond to cases brought
by credit unions and banks that have sued over losses associated
with reissuing debit and credit cards.

"While many of the legal issues and much of the discovery are
common to the claims of both, the cases present significant,
distinct factual and legal issues," Judge Thrash wrote in a
Jan. 16 order.  "Accordingly, to manage the litigation most
efficiently, the court hereby creates separate tracks for the
consumer and financial institution cases."

Home Depot spokesman Stephen Holmes said in an email: "Throughout
the investigation and mitigation of the breach, our primary focus
has been on our customers.  We'll continue to deal with any legal
matters in due course and in the proper venue."

Judge Thrash, who held the first hearing in the litigation on
Jan. 16, split the case in much the same way that U.S. District
Judge Paul Magnuson in Minnesota has done in the data-breach cases
against Target Corp.  In that docket, more than 140 class actions
have been filed against Target over a breach that affected 110
million customers in 2013.  Judge Magnuson has refused to dismiss
two separate consolidated complaints filed by consumers and
financial institutions.

Ms. Dawson, chairwoman of Alston & Bird's class action practice
team, represents Home Depot cases with Kristine McAlister Brown,
chairwoman of the firm's telecommunications & technology and
privacy litigation practices. Dawson was lead counsel for Toyota
Motor Corp. in the consumer class actions filed over its sudden-
acceleration defects that settled for $1.6 billion in 2013.

The King & Spalding team includes partners L. Joseph Loveland and
S. Stewart Haskins.

Judge Thrash ordered that applications for plaintiffs lead counsel
be submitted by Feb. 2.  The first consolidated complaints are due
in April.


INTERNATIONAL GAME: Court to Address Class Cert. Bid in 2 Phases
----------------------------------------------------------------
International Game Technology said in its Form 8-K Current Report
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 27,
2015, that a Court has decided to address the motion for
certification in a class action lawsuit related to Atlantic
Lotteries in two phases.

On April 26, 2012, representatives of a purported class of persons
allegedly harmed by VLT gaming filed an action in the Supreme
Court of Newfoundland and Labrador. Atlantic Lottery Corporation
has impleaded VLC, Inc., IGT-Canada, Inc., International Game
Technology and other third party defendants seeking
indemnification for any judgment recovered against Atlantic
Lottery Corporation in the main action. Plaintiffs filed a motion
for class action certification on September 17, 2012.

The Court has decided to address the motion for certification in
two phases. Under Phase 1, the Court was to determine whether the
plaintiffs have pleaded a cause of action. Hearings on Phase 1
were held on June 6 and 7, 2013. In Phase 1 of the class action
certification application, the Court ruled that the claim
discloses arguable causes of action. Phase 2 of the certification
application will determine whether there are sufficient common
issues raised in the claim and whether a class proceeding is the
preferable procedure.


INTERNATIONAL GAME: Discovery Commenced in Shareholder Actions
--------------------------------------------------------------
International Game Technology said in its Form 8-K Current Report
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 27,
2015, that a District Court appointed interim lead plaintiffs and
lead and liaison plaintiffs' counsel, and discovery has commenced
in Shareholder Class Actions relating to the pending transaction
with GTECH S.p.A.

Subsequent to the announcement of the Company's entry into a
merger agreement with GTECH S.p.A., various putative shareholder
class action complaints have been filed by purported shareholders
of the Company. As of November 12, 2014, the Company had received
the following complaints, each filed in the Eighth Judicial
District Court of the State of Nevada for Clark County:  Klein v.
International Game Technology, et al., Case No. A-14-704058-B,
filed July 18, 2014; Steinberg v. International Game Technology,
et al., Case No. A-14-704098-C, filed July 21, 2014; Kanter v.
International Game Technology, et al., Case No. A-14-704101-C,
filed July 21, 2014; Tong v. International Game Technology, et
al., Case No. A-14-704140-B, filed July 21, 2014; MacDougall v.
International Game Technology, et al., Case No. A-14-704147-C,
filed July 22, 2014; Longo v. International Game Technology, et
al., Case No. A-14-704277-B, filed July 23, 2014; Kitchen v.
International Game Technology, et al., Case No. A-14-704286-C,
filed July 23, 2014; Gonzalez, et al. v. International Game
Technology, et al., Case No. A-14-704288-C, filed July 23, 2014;
Krol v. International Game Technology, et al., Case No. A-14-
704330-C, filed July 24, 2014; Irving Firemen's Relief &
Retirement Fund v. International Game Technology, et al., Case No.
A-14-704334-B, filed July 24, 2014; Neumann v. International Game
Technology, et al., Case No. A-14-704393-B, filed July 25, 2014;
Taber v. International Game Technology, et al., Case No. A-14-
704403-B, filed July 25, 2014; Aberman v. International Game
Technology, et al., Case No. A-14-704454-B, filed July 27, 2014;
Epstein, et al. v. International Game Technology, et al., Case No.
A-14-704509-B, filed July 28, 2014; Lowinger v. International Game
Technology, et al., Case No. A-14-704759-B, filed July 30, 2014;
Lerman v. International Game Technology, et al., Case No. A-14-
704849-B, filed August 1, 2014; Braunstein v. International Game
Technology, et al., Case No. A-14-704210-B, filed July 22, 2014;
and Weston v. International Game Technology, et al., Case No. A-
14-704856-C, filed August 1, 2014.

In addition, the following related complaints were filed in the
Eighth Judicial District Court of the State of Nevada for Clark
County, but have been voluntarily dismissed: Zak v. International
Game Technology, et al., Case No. A-14-704095-C, filed July 21,
2014 and dismissed September 16, 2014; Lerman v. International
Game Technology, et al., Case No. A-14-704287-C, filed July 23,
2014 and dismissed July 31, 2014; and Iron Workers District
Council of Tennessee Valley & Vicinity Welfare, Pension & Annuity
Plans v. International Game Technology, et al., Case No. A-14-
704409-C, filed July 25, 2014 and dismissed August 22, 2014.

The complaints purport to be brought on behalf of all similarly
situated shareholders of the Company and generally allege that the
members of the IGT board of directors breached their fiduciary
duties to IGT shareholders by approving the proposed merger
transaction for inadequate consideration, entering into a merger
agreement containing preclusive deal protection devices and
failing to take steps to maximize the value to be paid to IGT
shareholders. The complaints also allege claims against IGT and
GTECH, and, in some cases, certain of GTECH's subsidiaries, for
aiding and abetting these alleged breaches of fiduciary duties.

The complaints seek preliminary and permanent injunctions against
the completion of the transaction, or, alternatively, damages in
favor of the plaintiffs and the class in the event that the
transaction is completed. Certain of the complaints also seek, in
the event that the transaction is completed, rescission of the
transaction or rescissory damages in favor of the plaintiffs and
the class. IGT intends to vigorously defend against the claims
asserted in these lawsuits.

On October 2, 2014, the District Court held a hearing and granted
motions to consolidate the above cases and appointed interim lead
plaintiffs and lead and liaison plaintiffs' counsel, and discovery
has commenced.


INTERNATIONAL GAME: To Defend Against Oregon State Lottery Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
International Game Technology said in its Form 8-K Current Report
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 27,
2015, that the Company intends to vigorously defend against the
claims asserted in the lawsuit related to Oregon State Lottery.

On December 31, 2014, a representative of a purported class of
persons alleged to have been financially harmed by relying on the
auto hold feature of various manufacturers' video poker machines
played in Oregon, filed suit against the Oregon State Lottery and
various manufacturers, including IGT.  The matter was filed in the
Circuit Court for the State of Oregon, County of Multnomah and is
captioned Justin Curzi, On Behalf of Himself and All Other
Similarly Situated Individuals v. Oregon State Lottery, IGT
(Inc.), GTECH USA, LLC, and WMS Gaming Inc.(case number
14CV20598).  The suit alleges the auto hold feature of video poker
games is perceived by players as providing the best possible
playing strategy that will maximize the odds of the player
winning, when such auto hold feature does not maximize the
players' odds of winning.  The suit seeks in excess of $134
million in monetary damages.  IGT has signed a Joint
Representation Agreement with another manufacturer, GTECH). IGT
intends to vigorously defend against the claims asserted in the
lawsuit.


KMART CORP: Scott & Scott Comments on Data Breach Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
First NBC Bank, Louisiana, filed a class action complaint in U.S.
District Court, Illinois,(Case: 1:14-cv-10088) against Kmart Corp
and its parent company, Sears Holdings Corporation, demanding a
jury trial for injuries the bank and other financial institutions
suffered as a result of a data breach on or about September 14.

Robert J. Scott, Managing Partner, of technology law firm, Scott &
Scott, LLP, says: This is an interesting case that has widespread
implications for data breach litigation.

The lawsuit alleges that Kmart failed to install proper software
security measures to protect customers credit and debit card
information and negligently relied on outdated anti-virus
technology which allowed hackers to breach Kmarts point-of-sale-
systems.  Plaintiff alleges that the defendants failed to take
steps to employ adequate security measures despite recent well-
publicized data breaches at other large national retail and
restaurant chains including Target, Home Depot, Sally Beauty, and
PF Changs.

"I think this is a sound theory of liability for a data breach
case," Mr. Scott said.

"The case also seeks recovery of damages for lost revenue as a
result of a decrease in card usage after the breach was disclosed
to the public.  I think the lost revenue component of damages will
be more difficult to prove than the claims for re-issuing costs
and monitoring fees."

The Plaintiff claims Kmart's failure to adequately secure their
data networks was particularly inexcusable because the breach
involved mostly the same techniques used in other data breaches
including Target and Home Depot.  The Plaintiff alleges that the
defendants failed to properly defend sensitive payment card
information from what is now a well-known preventable breach.  The
outcome of this case will be followed closely especially by large
national retailers and restaurants, said Scott.

                   About Scott & Scott, LLP

Scott & Scott, LLP -- http://www.scottandscottllp.com-- is an
intellectual property and technology law firm representing
businesses in matters involving software licensing.  Scott &
Scott, LLP Scotts legal and technology professionals provide
software audit defense and software compliance solutions, all
protected by attorney-client and work-product privileges.


LABMD INC: FTC Obtains Favorable Ruling in Data Breach Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------
Scott Flaherty, writing for The Litigation Daily, reports that
cancer screening company LabMD Inc. and its lawyers at the
government transparency advocacy group Cause of Action have hit
another roadblock in their bid to stop a Federal Trade Commission
enforcement action over a 2008 data breach.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit sided with the
FTC on Jan. 20, ruling that federal courts don't have jurisdiction
to hear LabMD's lawsuit seeking to block an ongoing FTC
administrative proceeding.  The FTC, the court ruled, needs to
take final action before LabMD can properly pursue claims in court
that the agency violated the Administrative Procedure Act.

LabMD, based in Atlanta, performs cancer-detection testing
services for doctors.  After its confidential patient files were
discovered on the file-sharing site LimeWire, the FTC launched a
three-year investigation and filed an administrative complaint
against LabMD in August 2013, alleging the company didn't do
enough to protect patient data.  The FTC claimed the data breach
exposed the personal information of about 10,000 consumers,
according to the agency's complaint.

LabMD has vehemently denied the allegations, and its CEO, Michael
Daugherty, has publicly criticized the FTC's actions, even
publishing a book called "The Devil Inside the Beltway" about the
agency's investigation.  Mr. Daugherty's website bills the book as
a "shocking expos‚" of a "systematic and alarming investigation by
one of the U.S. government's most important agencies."

The criticism has garnered some attention on Capitol Hill, but
LabMD's forays into federal court to stop the FTC's administrative
case have mostly gone nowhere.

The FTC in January 2014 denied the company's motion to dismiss the
administrative action.  LabMD then filed suit in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Columbia, seeking an injunction on the
grounds that the FTC case improperly expanded the agency's
jurisdiction.  LabMD also filed a similar suit directly with the
Eleventh Circuit, which in February ruled that it didn't have
jurisdiction over a nonfinal FTC action, according to the Jan. 20
appellate ruling.

Following the Eleventh Circuit's first decision, LabMD voluntarily
withdrew the action in D.C., but by March 20, the company was back
in federal district court, this time in Georgia.  The company
alleged in the Georgia suit that the FTC overstepped its authority
in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act by attempting to
regulate protected health information, and that the agency
violated LabMD's constitutional due process rights.

An Atlanta federal judge sided with the FTC, finding that the
ongoing nature of the administrative case stripped the federal
court of jurisdiction.  The Jan. 20 ruling from the Eleventh
Circuit reaches the same conclusion.

"Because we hold that the FTC's order denying LabMD's motion to
dismiss was not a 'final agency action,' as is required of claims
made under the APA, those claims were properly dismissed," the
appeals panel wrote.

FTC spokesman Jay Mayfield declined to comment on Jan. 20,
pointing to the pending administrative litigation in the case.
Cause of Action lawyer Prashant Khetan, who argued for LabMD at
the Eleventh Circuit, didn't immediately get back to us when we
reached out for comment.

Ronald Raider -- Rraider@kilpatricktownsend.com -- of Kilpatrick
Townsend & Stockton and Dinsmore & Shohl's Reed Rubinstein --
reed.rubinstein@dinsmore.com -- also represented LabMD at the
appeals court.


MAESTRANZI SONS: Faces "Martinez" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT
-------------------------------------------------------------
Placido Tovar Martinez, on behalf of himself and similarly
situated individuals v. A Maestranzi Sons Knife Services LLC, Case
No. 1:15-cv-00758 (N.D. Ill., January 26, 2015), is brought
against the Defendants for failure to pay overtime wages in
violation of the Fair Labor Standard Act.

A Maestranzi Sons Knife Services LLC owns and operates a knife
sharpening business that sharpens knives for restaurants and other
businesses in Chicago, Illinois.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Carlos Gerardo Becerra, Esq.
      BECERRA LAW GROUP, LLC
      332 S. Michigan, Suite 1020
      Chicago, IL 60604
      Telephone: (312) 957-9005
      Facsimile: (773) 890-7780
      E-mail: cbecerra@law-rb.com


MANORCARE: Trinity Denies Role in Hepatitis C Outbreak
------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that victims of the third-largest
hepatitis C outbreak in U.S. history who contracted the disease at
a Minot nursing home are asking a federal court to certify their
lawsuit as a class-action case.

Current and former residents of the ManorCare nursing home
formally filed for class-action status recently to move forward
with their lawsuits alleging that the nursing home, through its
agent Trinity Hospital, breached its duty to properly care for and
protect its patients and residents.

So far, there have 51 cases of hepatitis C linked to the outbreak
in Minot and at least 47 of those cases have been identified in
former or current residents of the nursing home.

Hepatitis C is a viral infection that can cause serious liver
damage or even death.  It's transmitted when a non-infected person
comes into contact with the blood of an infected person and the
virus enters the body through a break in the skin.

"Class certification will assist in achieving urgent and much-
needed relief for the elderly victims of this potentially deadly
and debilitating disease," said Mike Miller, an attorney for the
group proposing the class-action suit.  "We're hopeful that the
court will agree."

While health investigators have been unable to pinpoint the exact
method of transmission of the blood-borne disease, state health
officials said in December of 2013 that their preliminary findings
concluded that having hepatitis C may be associated with receiving
phlebotomy, podiatry and toenail care services at ManorCare.

Randy Schwan, vice president of Trinity Health, which handles some
services for ManorCare, told the Minot Daily News that the
hospital's response to the allegations has not changed.

"We categorically deny any role in the outbreak and stand by the
Centers for Disease Control and the North Dakota state Health
Department investigations" that failed to find that a definitive
link between the outbreak and any service provided by Trinity
Health, he said.


MARIANA'S ENTERPRISES: Sued in D. Nevada Over Violation of FLSA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Elvira Virdiana Gonzalez Rodriguez, an individual, on behalf of
herself and all others similarly situated v. Mariana's
Enterprises, Anaya Enterprises, Anaya Decatur, Anaya Cheyenne,
DOES I through V, and ROE corporations I through V, inclusive,
Case No. 2:15-cv-00152 (D. Nev., January 27, 2015), is brought
against the Defendants for violation of the Fair Labor Standard
Act.

The Defendants own and operate grocery stores in Las Vegas,
Nevada.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Andrew L. Rempfer, Esq.
      Kelley K. Hasson, Esq.
      COGBURN LAW OFFICES
      2879 St. Rose Parkway, Suite 200
      Henderson, NV 89052
      Telephone: (702) 384-3616
      Facsimile: (702) 943-1936
      E-mail: alr@cogburnlaw.com
              khasson@cogburnlaw.com


MARVELL TECHNOLOGY: Obtains Favorable Ruling in Derivative Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Marisa Kendall, writing for The Recorder, reports that Marvell
Technology Group's ties to Bermuda may spare the Silicon Valley
company a costly courtroom battle.

U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh ruled on Jan. 26 that shareholder
derivative claims against Marvell's top officers and directors
"must fail" because the company is incorporated under Bermuda law,
which has stricter standing requirements.  Judge Koh, of the
Northern District of California, also dismissed a direct
shareholder claim against Marvell executives for breach of
fiduciary duties, ruling there is no proof shareholders had or
would sustain damages.

She granted plaintiffs leave to amend both sets of claims.

Marvell, a semiconductor company based in Santa Clara, was hit
with several securities suits last year after suffering a $1.5
billion patent infringement judgment in 2012.  A Pennsylvania jury
found Marvell willfully infringed two Carnegie Mellon University
patents for hard-drive technology.  Plaintiffs lawyers argued the
hefty judgment is likely to hurt the company and its shareholders.
The lawyers claim Marvell's directors and executives allowed the
patent infringement and failed to disclose the misconduct to
shareholders.

But Bermuda law generally prevents shareholders from bringing
derivative suits, and mandates the company itself, not the
shareholders, is the proper plaintiff.  The English common law,
which originates from an 1843 court case, provides a derivative
suit only holds water if a majority of the company's shareholders
are on board.

Plaintiffs lawyers had asked to stay the litigation in order to
call a meeting and seek authorization from the shareholders, but
Judge Koh denied the request.

The team, led by La Jolla attorney Francis Bottini Jr. conceded
their derivative claims fell flat under Bermuda law and argued
California law should apply instead.

Marvell is represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan
partner Harry Olivar Jr. -- harryolivar@quinnemanuel.com -- in Los
Angeles.

Judge Koh also shot down plaintiffs' sole non-derivative claim,
ruling the lawyers failed to prove shareholders would be injured
as a result of the patent judgment.

"Plaintiffs allege only that the ongoing [Carnegie Mellon]
litigation 'could have a material adverse effect on [Marvell's]
business, financial condition, results of operation and cash
flows,'" Judge Koh wrote.  "Since that filing, however, Marvell
has continued to pay dividends to shareholders."


MOUNTAIN STATE: Panel Approves Sale of Campuses Amid Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Herald Mail's Matthew Umstead and The Associated Press report
that a three-judge panel has approved the sale of Mountain State
University's campuses in Martinsburg and Beckley, W.Va.

The now defunct university's Martinsburg campus has been sold for
$2 million to Mechanicsville, Va.-based Viking Way Holdings LLC,
according to media reports.

The company is affiliated with Martinsburg Mall owner Paramount
Development Corp., according to court and incorporation documents.
Paramount Development Corp., purchased the mall from Mountain
State University in 2013.

The former university's campus in Beckley was sold to West
Virginia University for $8 million, the reports said.

Judges on a mass litigation panel approved the campus sales on
Jan. 16, pending a 30-day appeal period, The Associated Press
said.  They postponed a ruling on a larger settlement that would
distribute $8.5 million of those sales to as many as 14,000 MSU
students.

The private school's accreditation was revoked by the Higher
Learning Commission in June 2012 because of leadership,
organizational and integrity issues.

An attorney for Mountain State University Inc. formally notified
Eric Cornett of Viking Way Holdings of the school's conditional
acceptance of the company's $2 million purchase offer for the
Martinsburg campus on Dec. 26, court records said.

Mr. Cornett, the chief operating officer of Paramount Development
Corp., could not be reached for comment on Jan. 16.

Hundreds of former Mountain State students are part of a class-
action lawsuit seeking some of the proceeds of the sales.  They
claim they were harmed by the school's closing and left with
credits that could not be transferred to other institutions, among
other complaints.

The panel of judges delayed ruling on the overall settlement until
Feb. 26 because of objections from former students over how the
money will be disbursed.

The university's former campus at 214 Viking Way in Martinsburg
off Foxcroft Avenue and West King Street was in a 4.5-acre retail
outlet store development previously known as the Tanger Centre.

Mountain State University finalized the purchase of the shopping
plaza in 2003 for undisclosed amount and then expanded into the
Martinsburg Mall, which it purchased in 2010 for $11 million.

Following the closure of Mountain State University to students at
the end of 2012, the University of Charleston took over the
Martinsburg and Beckley campuses in 2013, so students could finish
their degrees.

In August 2014, the University of Charleston announced it would
not be able operate the regional campuses beyond the 2014-2015
school year due to Mountain State University's agreement to sell
the real estate to provide funds to settle pending lawsuits.

Given the lack of facilities, the University of Charleston said
last summer that it would restructure its academic program
offerings, but still continue to offer leadership programs in
Martinsburg.


NAT'L FOOTBALL: Seeks Dismissal of Adrian Peterson Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------
Brian Murph, writing for Pioneer Press, reports that the NFL
struck back at Adrian Peterson and the players association on
Jan. 16, arguing Commissioner Roger Goodell legally suspended the
Vikings running back and asking a federal judge to dismiss
Peterson's lawsuit.

The league claims U.S. District Court Judge David Doty has no
authority to overrule an arbitrator who upheld Mr. Goodell's
suspension of Mr. Peterson for the final six games of the 2014
season after he used a switch to whip his 4-year-old son.

In a 35-page court filing, the NFL maintains Peterson was treated
fairly under the collective bargaining agreement, which allows
Mr. Goodell broad authority to discipline players.

Mr. Peterson had a hearing with the commissioner in November after
resolving his criminal case in Texas and appealed the suspension
to arbitrator Harold Henderson, who rejected all of Mr. Peterson's
claims.

"The union does not even attempt to argue the hearing here was
fundamentally unfair," the league wrote. "(Peterson's) petition
amounts to nothing more than a transparent effort to re-litigate
all of the issues (Henderson) decided."

A hearing is scheduled Feb. 6 in Judge Doty's Minneapolis
courtroom, the epicenter of NFL labor disputes for more than two
decades.

Peterson played in Minnesota's Week 1 victory at St. Louis before
a grand jury indicted him on a felony child abuse charge.  He was
banished to the commissioner's exempt list for seven weeks of paid
exile before Mr. Goodell suspended him Nov. 18.  He cannot apply
for reinstatement until April 15, and Mr. Goodell ordered Mr.
Peterson to under psychological testing and family counseling with
league-appointed medical experts before he considers lifting the
ban.

The National Football League Players Association contends
Mr. Goodell exceeded his authority and that his punishment was
arbitrary because two games was the longest suspension served by
an NFL player accused of domestic violence.

Moreover, the union argues Mr. Goodell retroactively applied the
Personal Conduct Policy enhanced in August amid the Ray Rice
scandal to Peterson's behavior, which occurred during his son's
May visit to his Houston home.

Mr. Peterson pleaded no contest Nov. 4 to misdemeanor reckless
assault and was sentenced to two years' probation in Montgomery
County, Texas.

Mr. Goodell criticized Peterson's use of corporal punishment on
his son during the boy's visit. He based his ruling on media
reports, police and medical examiners who characterized the boy's
injuries as diagnostic of abuse.

"Whatever one thinks of Mr. Peterson's behavior, he was entitled
to fair and consistent treatment under the CBA, in accordance with
the disciplinary policies in effect at the time of the behavior
for which the league seeks to punish him," the union wrote in its
Dec. 15 petition.

The union agreed in the 2011 collective bargaining agreement to
allow the NFL to appoint an arbitrator to ultimately determine
player suspensions.

However, the NFLPA argues Henderson cannot be considered impartial
because he spent 22 years as a league executive and chose to
"rubber stamp" Mr. Goodell's suspension.

Mr. Peterson has a high hurdle to clear if he hopes to prevail.
Federal law limits judicial review of labor arbitration awards.

The NFL referenced the ill-fated attempt by Peterson's former
Vikings teammates, defensive tackles Pat Williams and Kevin
Williams, to sue their way out of trouble in 2008.

The Williamses appealed their suspensions for violating the
steroids policy after testing positive for a banned substance
found in StarCaps, the weight-loss supplement they were using.

The Williamses argued among other things that the NFL arbitrator
who heard their appeal, Jeff Pash, was biased because he also was
the league's general counsel.

The U.S. Court of Appeals rejected their claims.

"(Peterson's) argument that the award should be vacated based on
evident partiality is squarely foreclosed by Williams, a case
involving the same league, same parties, and a virtually identical
arbitration procedure," the NFL wrote.

Vikings general manager Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer have
publicly supported Peterson and expressed their desire to have him
back.

Judge Doty essentially is Mr. Peterson's final hope to thwart the
NFL and reunite him with the Vikings.  He is expected to rule
within a month of the Feb. 6 hearing.  Free agency commences March
10, when teams start shaping their 2015 rosters.

"This imposition of delayed and uncertain reinstatement
constitutes a further unauthorized punishment causing irreparable
harm to Mr. Peterson's future in the NFL," the players association
argues.

If the players association loses his case, Peterson could turn to
the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, but that is unlikely with
odds and time dwindling for him to prevail.

Appeals filed typically would not be heard until June at the
earliest, according to Michael Gans, clerk of the Eighth Circuit
in St. Louis.

Mr. Peterson is under contract for $12.75 million next season,
with a $15.4 million cap hit.  The Vikings are prevented from
communicating or negotiating with their one-time franchise player
during his suspension.

Mr. Peterson could argue his narrow window to possibly renegotiate
with the Vikings closes before the NFL's April 15 reinstatement
and should entitle him to an expedited appeal.  However, there are
no assurances he would get one.

"Requests for expedited appeals are all handled on an individual
basis," Mr. Gans said on Jan. 16.

Mr. Peterson's bid for reinstatement also drew Doty back to
referee another fight between the NFL and players association.

The judge is in his 28th year on the federal bench in Minneapolis,
where he has presided over the sport's labor deals since the 1992
Reggie White class action lawsuit created free agency and the
modern salary cap.

Judge Doty, 85, over the past two decades has ruled in favor of
the players in several high-profile disputes.

The NFL twice unsuccessfully sought to remove Doty from the case,
arguing the courts should not have jurisdiction over the
collective bargaining agreement.  The league accused Doty of bias
in 2008 for allowing imprisoned quarterback Michael Vick to retain
almost $20 million in contract bonuses paid by the Atlanta
Falcons.

In 2012, Judge Doty handed the NFL a victory when he dismissed a
players association lawsuit that accused league owners of
colluding to enforce a secret $123 million salary cap per team in
2010, when there was no cap.

The union claims it did not learn about the alleged collusion
until the NFL punished the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins
for how they structured contracts during the uncapped year.

Washington lost $36 million in salary cap space in 2011-12, the
Cowboys $10 million.

The 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Doty's ruling and
sent the case back to Minneapolis.  Doty recused himself, and the
case was assigned to Chief Judge Michael Davis.


NOVARTIS AG: NPC Still Faces 525 Zometa/Aredia Lawsuits
-------------------------------------------------------
Novartis AG and Novartis Inc. said in their Form 20-F Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 27, 2015,
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, that Novartis
Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC) is a defendant in approximately
525 remaining cases brought in US courts, in which plaintiffs
claim to have experienced osteonecrosis of the jaw or atypical
femur fracture after treatment with Zometa or Aredia, which are
used to treat patients whose cancer has spread to the bones. From
the outset of the litigation, approximately 332 cases have been
dismissed on pre-trial summary judgment or other dismissal, of
which 16 remain on appeal.

Through the end of the fourth quarter of 2014, judgment has been
entered in favor of NPC in nine jury trials, seven of which are
final, and plaintiffs have obtained one verdict outside the
centralized proceedings and six verdicts in the centralized
litigation. In the centralized proceedings, juries awarded
compensatory damages (averaging approximately $0.7 million in each
case), no punitive damages in four cases, and punitive damages (as
capped by applicable state and federal laws) totaling
approximately $1.8 million in the remaining two. Four of the
verdicts in favor of plaintiffs in the centralized litigation are
not final given remaining post-trial and appeal options in each.
In the one plaintiff's verdict outside the centralized
proceedings, the jury awarded $2.65 million in compensatory
damages and no punitive damages.

Further trials are scheduled. Individual case results, which can
depend on the particular facts of a given case, may not
necessarily be predictive for other cases. The cases are being
vigorously defended.


NOVARTIS AG: NPC Still Faces Aclasta/Reclast Suits in US, Canada
----------------------------------------------------------------
Novartis AG and Novartis Inc. said in their Form 20-F Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 27, 2015,
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, that Novartis
Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC) is a defendant in 21 US product
liability actions involving Aclasta and Reclast and alleging
atypical femur fracture injuries, most of which are in New Jersey
state or federal court coordinated with claims against other
bisphosphonate manufacturers. There are also three Canadian
putative class actions brought against numerous bisphosphonate
manufacturers including NPC, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
and Novartis International AG in Quebec, Alberta and Saskatchewan.
All cases are being vigorously defended.


NOVARTIS AG: Sandoz Faces 395 Metoclopramide Actions
----------------------------------------------------
Novartis AG and Novartis Inc. said in their Form 20-F Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 27, 2015,
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, that Sandoz is a
defendant, along with numerous manufacturers of brand
pharmaceuticals, in 395 product liability actions in the state
courts in Pennsylvania and California claiming that the use of
metoclopramide, the generic version of the brand name drug
Reglan(R), caused personal injuries including tardive dyskinesia.
Sandoz denies the allegations and is vigorously defending the
cases.


NOVARTIS AG: NPC Still Faces 12 Tekturna/Rasilez/Valturna Actions
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Novartis AG and Novartis Inc. said in their Form 20-F Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 27, 2015,
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, that Novartis
Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC) and certain other Novartis
affiliates are defendants in 12 individual lawsuits pending in the
USDC for the DNJ, and one in Alberta, Canada, claiming that
treatment with Tekturna, Rasilez and/or Valturna caused renal
failure, kidney disease or stroke. The cases are being vigorously
defended.


NOVARTIS AG: At Least One Trial Scheduled for 2015 in AWP Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
Novartis AG and Novartis Inc. said in their Form 20-F Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 27, 2015,
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, that at least one
trial is scheduled for 2015 in the Average Wholesale Price (AWP)
litigation.

Claims have been brought by various US state governmental entities
against various pharmaceutical companies, including certain Sandoz
entities and Novartis Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NPC), alleging
that they fraudulently overstated the Average Wholesale Price
(AWP) that is or has been used by payors, including state Medicaid
agencies, to calculate reimbursements to healthcare providers. In
the second quarter of 2014, Sandoz reached a settlement of the
Illinois claims against it for $63 million. Further settlements
have been obtained in the cases brought by the states of Kansas
and Utah against NPC, each for amounts that are not material to
Novartis. Actions brought by the states of Illinois, Mississippi,
Utah and Wisconsin remain pending against one or more Novartis
companies. At least one trial is scheduled for 2015. NPC is also a
defendant in a putative class action brought by private payors in
New Jersey. The cases are being vigorously defended.


NOVARTIS AG: Sandoz Defending Against Solodyn(R) Antitrust Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Novartis AG and Novartis Inc. said in their Form 20-F Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 27, 2015,
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, that since July 22,
2013, 15 class action complaints have been filed against
manufacturers of the brand drug Solodyn(R) and its generic
equivalents, including Sandoz Inc. The cases have been
consolidated and transferred for pretrial purposes to the D. Mass.
The plaintiffs purport to represent direct and indirect purchasers
of Solodyn(R) branded products and assert violations of federal
and state antitrust laws, including allegations in connection with
separate settlements by Medicis with each of the other defendants,
including Sandoz Inc., of patent litigation relating to generic
Solodyn(R). Plaintiffs seek, among other things, treble damages
and other damages and costs. The conduct challenged in these cases
is also the subject of a pending investigation by the Federal
Trade Commission (FTC) in which Sandoz Inc. has cooperated in
providing documents and other information in response to a CID.
Sandoz is vigorously defending this litigation.


NOVARTIS AG: Sandoz Defending Against Oriel Litigation
------------------------------------------------------
Novartis AG and Novartis Inc. said in their Form 20-F Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 27, 2015,
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, that a complaint was
filed in October 2013 in the Supreme Court-New York County by
Shareholder Representative Services LLC, purportedly on its own
behalf and in its capacity as representative of former
shareholders of Oriel Therapeutics, Inc. (Oriel) against Sandoz
Inc. and two affiliates and two former officers of Sandoz AG.
Plaintiffs assert various common law and statutory contract, fraud
and negligent misrepresentation claims arising out of the Sandoz
Inc. purchase of Oriel and seek $335 million in compensatory
damages as well as certain rescissionary relief and punitive
damages. Sandoz denies the allegations and is vigorously defending
the case.


NOVARTIS AG: One Consumer Class Action Pending in New Jersey
------------------------------------------------------------
Novartis AG and Novartis Inc. said in their Form 20-F Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 27, 2015,
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, that Novartis
companies have been the subject of various consumer lawsuits that
are brought as proposed class actions but in which class
certification has not been decided. For example, four putative
class actions were brought in December 2013 and January 2014
against Novartis and its consumer health unit. They generally
claim that it was a deceptive practice to sell Excedrin Migraine
at a higher price than Excedrin Extra Strength when the two have
the same active ingredients, even though the products have
different labels and clearly disclose their active ingredients. In
2014, three of the four putative class actions were dismissed; the
remaining one is pending in the DNJ.


NOVARTIS AG: Defending Against Eye Drop Products Actions
--------------------------------------------------------
Novartis AG and Novartis Inc. said in their Form 20-F Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 27, 2015,
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2014, that since November
2012, six putative consumer fraud class action litigations were
commenced against Alcon (and in four cases Sandoz) in federal
courts in the Southern Districts of Illinois (S.D. Ill.) and
Florida and the Districts of Missouri, Massachusetts and New
Jersey. They claim that Alcon's, Sandoz's and many other
manufacturers defendants' eye drop products were deceptively
designed so that the drop dosage is more than necessary to be
absorbed in the eye or there is too much solution in each bottle
for the course of the treatment, leading to wastage and higher
costs to patient consumers. Three cases remain pending in the S.D.
Ill., D. Mass. and DNJ. Novartis is vigorously defending the
remaining cases, both on the merits and with respect to class
certification.


OSI SYSTEMS: Defending Against Securities Class Action in CD Cal.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
OSI Systems, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on January 27, 2015, for the
quarterly period ended December 31, 2014, that the Company expects
to incur costs associated with defending a Securities Class Action
and Derivative Actions.

On December 12, 2013, a putative class action complaint was filed
against the Company and certain of its officers in the United
States District Court for the Central District of California
("Court") captioned Roberti v. OSI Systems, Inc., et al., Case No.
2:13-cv-09174-MWF-VBK (the "Securities Class Action").  The
Amended Complaint, filed on May 20, 2014, alleges that the Company
and the individual defendants violated the Securities Exchange Act
of 1934 by misrepresenting or failing to disclose facts concerning
the status of Rapiscan's efforts to develop Automated Threat
Recognition software and the alleged use of unapproved parts in
its baggage scanning systems in violation of its contract with the
U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA). The Amended
Complaint also asserts that the individual defendants allegedly
sold stock based on material non-public information. Plaintiff
demands a jury trial and seeks class certification, unspecified
damages, an award of pre-judgment and post-judgment interest,
attorneys' and experts' fees, costs, and other unspecified relief.

On April 15, 2014, a shareholder derivative complaint was filed in
the Court purportedly on behalf of the Company against the members
of the Company's Board of Directors (as individual defendants),
captioned Hagan v. Chopra, et al., Case No. 2:14-cv-02910-ODW-PJW
(the "Hagan Derivative Action"). The complaint generally asserts
the same factual allegations as those at issue in the related
Securities Class Action and purports to allege claims for breach
of fiduciary duties and unjust enrichment against the individual
defendants on behalf of the Company. The complaint seeks
unspecified damages, restitution, injunctive relief, attorneys'
and experts' fees, costs, expenses, and other unspecified relief.

On December 29, 2014, a second shareholder derivative complaint
was filed in the Court against the members of the Company's Board
of Directors, captioned City of Irving Benefit Plan, Derivatively
on Behalf of OSI Systems, Inc. v. Deepak Chopra, et al., Case No.
2:14-cv-09869 (the "Irving Derivative Action" and, together with
the Hagan Derivative Action, the "Derivative Actions"), which
generally makes the same factual allegations as those contained in
the Securities Class Action and Hagan Derivative Action.

While the Company believes that the Securities Class Action and
the Derivative Actions are without merit and intends to defend the
litigation vigorously, it expects to incur costs associated with
defending the Securities Class Action and the Derivative Actions.
At this early stage of litigation, the ultimate outcomes of the
Securities Class Action and the Derivative Actions are uncertain
and the Company cannot reasonably predict the timing or outcomes,
or estimate the amount of loss, if any, or their effect, if any,
on its financial statements.


PACKAGING CORP: Has $17.6MM Costs for Kleen Products Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Packaging Corporation of America said in an exhibit to its Form 8-
K Current Report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission
on January 27, 2015, that the twelve months ended December 31,
2014, includes $17.6 million of costs recorded in "Other expense,
net" for the settlement of the Kleen Products LLC v Packaging
Corp. of America et al class action lawsuit.


PETERBOROUGH REGIONAL: Activist Sacked After Abortion Data Breach
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Olivia Carville, writing for The Hamilton Spectator, reports that
an anti-abortion activist who worked at an Ontario hospital was
sacked after a massive privacy breach in which abortion files,
among other patient records, were inappropriately accessed.

Dawn DeCiccio, a high-profile anti-abortion campaigner, was one of
seven staff members fired from Peterborough Regional Health Centre
after a privacy breached in which nearly 300 patient medical
records were snooped into between 2011 and 2012, the Star has
found.

During that time, Ms. DeCiccio was working as a health information
clerk and she used to protest outside the hospital with the
Peterborough Pro-Life group during her lunch hour on Saturdays,
the agency said.

Ontario's privacy commissioner told the Star on Jan. 16 that it
was notified by Peterborough hospital in May 2011 that an employee
with "a pro-life viewpoint" had been dismissed for accessing
patient abortion files without authorization.

The Star could not confirm that the patient files Ms. DeCiccio
illegally accessed were abortion records.  Ms. DeCiccio has
categorically denied that she inappropriately accessed any patient
records or that she was fired from the hospital.  "I left on my
own accord," she told the Star.

Nancy Martin-Ronson, Peterborough hospital's chief information
officer, said Ms. DeCiccio was the only staff member with a known
anti-abortion stance who was fired in the breach.  She would not
disclose if the records Ms. DeCiccio accessed were abortion files
because, she said, information about abortion services was so
sensitive it was excluded from the Freedom of Information and
Protection of Privacy Act.

Ms. Martin-Ronson said the information Ms. DeCiccio and the six
other sacked staff members accessed was never shared with anyone
else. "Ms. DeCiccio's work computer and email were searched and
did not reveal any evidence of patient personal health information
having been disclosed," she said.

Speaking to the Star on Jan. 14, Ms. DeCiccio said the allegations
against her were all inaccurate, but she would not elaborate as to
why. "I have no comment on my personal or professional life," she
said.  She confirmed she was part of Peterborough Pro-Life, a
group that has protested outside the hospital every week for the
past 25 years, holding signs that read: "Abortions are performed
inside this hospital" and "Abortions Kill Babies."

She is listed as an administrator on the group's Facebook page.
"I have been pro-life my whole adult life," she told the Star.

In a letter to the editor of the Peterborough Examiner in 2012,
Ms. DeCiccio wrote about taking part in a pro-life march: "We all
make choices every day of our lives.  Some we can live with, some
we carry as terrible burdens, wishing we could go back in time and
change our 'choice'.  In this case the choice is to allow the life
to live or die . . . the choice is still yours . . . so are the
consequences."

Celia Posyniak, executive director of Kensington Clinic, an
abortion clinic in Calgary, said prying into a patient's abortion
file is "a really heinous offence."

Deciding to have an abortion is a "very personal and intimate
decision and some women don't tell anybody," Ms. Posyniak said.

"Nobody wants to have unauthorized people accessing your records,
but with abortion services there is another layer of need for
confidentiality.  I think it's horrible and I'm sure a lot of
people are terrified."

This breach would "strike a lot of fear into the public,"
especially as the health sector continues its shift toward
electronic records, Ms. Posyniak said.

A multi-million-dollar lawsuit was filed against Peterborough
hospital after it was revealed that 280 patient records had been
breached.  This privacy class action could have sweeping
implications for the 155 hospitals across the province.

It will determine whether patients can sue a hospital for invasion
of privacy.  Under current legislation, health-related privacy
violations are solely the domain of the privacy commissioner and
only the attorney general can launch a prosecution.

Soon after the Peterborough patients commenced their privacy class
action, the hospital fought to have the case thrown out, arguing
the courts had no jurisdiction to hear the lawsuit.  The hospital
lost its battle in Superior Court and has now taken the fight to
the Ontario Court of Appeal, which has yet to rule on the case.

The original statement of claim in the case referred to one
patient who worked in the health sector and went to the hospital
to have an abortion in 2010 without telling her partner, according
to a 2013 article in the Peterborough Examiner.

The woman was told by the hospital in July 2011 that her records
had been inappropriately accessed by someone not involved in her
care.  She feared a hospital employee with an anti-abortion stance
had looked at her file, according to the newspaper's report of the
document.

The statement of claim has since been amended and this woman has
removed herself from the privacy class action proceeding.

Michael Crystal, lawyer for the victims, told the Star he had been
in touch with about a third of the 280 patients; many of them had
gone to the hospital specifically to have an abortion.

Health lawyer Lonny Rosen, who has no knowledge of the case, said
any anti-abortion activist accessing abortion files is a
particularly concerning type of privacy violation because it
involves a "wilful, intentional and possibly malicious breach of
private information."

Mr. Rosen said most intentional privacy breach cases fall into
three categories: curious individuals who pry into the records of
famous people; love-triangle incidents where individuals access
the records of their ex-partner's new partner; and cases where
staff access records to sell them to investment companies.

Ontario's acting privacy commissioner Brian Beamish said an
investigation was launched after the hospital informed his office
an employee with a pro-life viewpoint had accessed abortion files
without authorization.

The commission found the hospital had "responded reasonably," he
said in a statement.  It notified the affected patients, fired the
employee involved and conducted a hospital-wide privacy campaign.
"As a result, we determined that no further action was warranted,"
he said.

Peterborough Pro-Life president Tom Mockler told the Star Ms.
DeCiccio used to protest with the group outside the hospital
during her lunch hour on Saturdays.  She did not come down every
week, but would protest once every month or so, Mr. Mockler said.
He said he was not aware Ms. DeCiccio was involved in the
hospital's privacy breach.

The Peterborough Pro-Life group has been actively fighting
abortion for more than 30 years. In the late 1980s, the group
barricaded the abortion clinic's entrance and 75 members were
arrested.

According to the LifeSite website, the group's former president
wrote in a 1998 newsletter: "You joined because you believe that
the killing of babies, yet-to-be-born, is wrong and should not be
permitted under any circumstances. Being Pro-Life means acting,
not just believing."

Peterborough Pro-Life still protests outside the hospital every
Saturday.  Mr. Mockler said he has not seen Ms. DeCiccio present
at the protests lately.


PFIZER INC: To Settle NY Securities Action for $400MM
-----------------------------------------------------
Pfizer Inc. said in an exhibit to its Form 8-K Current Report
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 27,
2015, that "Other legal matters", net, in fourth-quarter 2014,
primarily includes $400 million for an agreement in principle to
resolve a securities class action pending against the Company in
New York federal court, which is subject to court approval,
partially offset by $130 million of income from the reversal of
two legal accruals where a loss is no longer deemed probable.


PFIZER INC: To Settle Neurontin Cases for $610MM
------------------------------------------------
Pfizer Inc. said in an exhibit to its Form 8-K Current Report
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on January 27,
2015, that |Other legal matters", net, in full-year 2014,
primarily includes approximately $610 million for Neurontin-
related matters (including off-label promotion actions and
antitrust actions), $400 million for an agreement in principle to
resolve a securities class action pending against the Company in
New York federal court, which is subject to court approval, and
approximately $56 million for an Effexor-related matter, partially
offset by $130 million of income from the reversal of two legal
accruals where a loss is no longer deemed probable.


PHILADELPHIA: AG Limits Seized-Asset Sharing Amid Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
Robert O'Harrow Jr., Sari Horwitz, and Steven Rich, writing for
Washington Post, report that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.
on Jan. 16 barred local and state police from using federal law to
seize cash, cars, and other property without proving that a crime
occurred.

Mr. Holder's action represents the most sweeping check on police
power to confiscate personal property since the seizures began
three decades ago as part of the war on drugs.

Since 2008, thousands of local and state police agencies have made
more than 55,000 seizures of cash and property worth $3 billion
under a civil asset forfeiture program at the Justice Department
called Equitable Sharing.  The program has enabled local and state
police to make seizures and then have them "adopted" by federal
agencies, which share in the proceeds.  It allowed police
departments and drug task forces to keep up to 80 percent of the
proceeds of the adopted seizures, with the rest going to federal
agencies.

"With this new policy, effective immediately, the Justice
Department is taking an important step to prohibit federal agency
adoptions of state and local seizures, except for public safety
reasons," Mr. Holder said in a statement.

Mr. Holder's decision allows some limited exceptions, including
illegal firearms, ammunition, explosives, and property associated
with child pornography, a small fraction of the total. This would
eliminate virtually all cash and vehicle seizures made by local
and state police from the program.

While police can continue to make seizures under their own state
laws, the federal program was easy to use and required most of the
proceeds from the seizures to go to local and state police
departments.  Many states require seized proceeds to go into the
general fund.

A Justice official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity in
order to discuss the attorney general's motivation, said Holder
"also believes that the new policy will eliminate any possibility
that the adoption process might unintentionally incentivize
unnecessary stops and seizures."

Mr. Holder's decision follows a Washington Post investigation
published in September that found that police have made cash
seizures worth almost $2.5 billion from motorists and others
without search warrants or indictments since the terrorist attacks
of Sept. 11, 2001.  The Post found that local and state police
routinely pulled over drivers for minor infractions, pressed them
to agree to warrantless searches, and seized large amounts of cash
without evidence of wrongdoing.  The law allows such seizures and
forces owners to prove their property was legally acquired in
order to get it back.

Police spent the seizure proceeds with little oversight, in some
cases buying luxury cars, high-powered weapons, and military-grade
gear, according to an analysis of Justice Department data obtained
through Freedom of Information Act requests.

News of Mr. Holder's decision stunned advocates who have long
sought unsuccessfully to reverse civil asset forfeiture laws,
arguing that they undermine core American values, such as property
rights and due process.

"It's high time we put an end to this damaging practice," said
David Harris, a constitutional law scholar at the University of
Pittsburgh.  "It has been a civil liberties debacle and a stain on
American criminal justice."

But the Jan. 16 action is sure to engender controversy. The policy
will touch policing and local budgets in every state.  It will
have no direct effect, however, on Philadelphia's civil forfeiture
program, which operates under state law and has come under intense
scrutiny in the last year.  A class-action lawsuit in federal
court is seeking the program's reform, saying prosecutors unfairly
seized houses only tangentially connected to crime and frustrated
efforts of homeowners to fight the seizures.


PLAZA CLEANERS: No Time Bar for Spill Act Contribution Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Booth, writing for New Jersey Law Journal, reports that
the New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled that the state's law that
requires polluters to help pay for cleaning up contaminated sites
does not impose a statute of limitations on plaintiffs looking to
obtain financial contributions from potential defendants.

In a unanimous ruling on Jan. 26 in Morristown Associates v. Grant
Oil, the justices overturned two lower court decisions that said
that since the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act does
not specifically mention a statute of limitations, plaintiffs in
spill cases must comply with the six-year statute of limitations
as outlined in a separate statute dealing with "injury to real
property."

Justice Jaynee LaVecchia, writing for the court, said the
Legislature, in passing the act in 1976, limited defendants in
spill cases to four defenses -- acts of "war, sabotage or God, or
a combination thereof" -- and did not explicitly set a statute of
limitations.

"The plain text supports that the legislature intended to include
no statute of limitations defense for contribution defendants,"
Justice LaVecchia said.  "A common-sense reading of the plain
language chosen by the legislature supports that construction.

"Furthermore, the construction we adopt supports the longstanding
view, expressed by the legislature and adhered to by the courts,
that the Spill Act is remedial by design to cast a wide net over
those responsible for hazardous substances and their discharge on
the land and water of this state," she said.

Plaintiff Morristown Associates and nearly all of the amici argued
that both lower courts erred in concluding that since the Spill
Act did not specify a statute of limitations, the six-year statute
of limitations for injury to real property, codified at N.J.S.A.
2A:14-1, must apply.

They urged a liberal reading of the Spill Act that would allow
parties responsible for cleaning up toxic waste sites to bring in
as many contributing defendants as possible so as to increase the
pot of funds available.

One amicus, the New Jersey State League of Municipalities, argued
that setting a statute of limitations would mean that the cost of
some cleanup operations would ultimately fall on the backs of
taxpayers, who are not responsible for the pollution.

The state Department of Environmental Protection, also an amicus,
argued that a statute of limitations would "frustrate" the ability
of the Spill Act to identify defendants and to hold them liable,
and added that private contributions are "critical" to remediation
efforts.

The defendants argued for the six-year statute of limitations,
saying it would ensure that more money would be available for
cleanup activities since many potential defendants could go out of
business if there were no deadlines.

The New Jersey State Bar Association argued that if the Appellate
Division ruling were to be upheld, it should only be applied
prospectively.

Morristown Associates' attorney, Montclair, N.J., solo Steven
Singer, said the ruling "confirms what most of us thought was the
state of the law."

"There is no time bar to contribution claims," Mr. Singer said.
"Now, instead of having to run to the courthouse, a client can
focus on investigation and remediation and then make an informed
decision as to whether to file a claim.

"It could lead to less litigation," Mr. Singer said.

Edward Lloyd, a professor at Columbia Law School, represented five
amici that argued for overturning the lower court decisions -- the
New Jersey Environmental Commission, New York/New Jersey
Riverkeepers, Environment New Jersey, the Delaware Riverkeeper
Network and New Jersey Work Environment Council.

"The ruling is consistent with the statute," Mr. Lloyd said.  "It
was enacted to address historic pollution. Unfortunately, there
are still thousands of sites in the state that need to be
remediated.  This will allow those doing the remediation to bring
in more contributing defendants."

Stuart Lieberman represented the amicus Passaic River Coalition,
and said that since the Spill Act was enacted, environmental
lawyers have not thought there was a statute of limitations for
filing contribution claims.

"It would have been a problem had it come out the other way," said
Mr. Lieberman, of Lieberman & Blecher in Princeton.  "A lot of
these cleanups would not have been able to continue. You often
don't know who the responsible parties are, and if the ability to
file dries up, the ability to do cleanups dries up."

The court, according to Justice LaVecchia, agreed with the
plaintiffs and the bulk of the amici that there was no reason to
believe the Legislature intended for the six-year statute of
limitations to apply to private causes of action brought under the
Spill Act.

The act is "'a pioneering effort by government to provide monies
for a swift and sure response to environmental contamination,'"
Justice LaVecchia said, quoting the court's 1993 ruling in Marsh
v. Department of Environmental Protection.

The Spill Act has been amended by the Legislature several times
since it was enacted nearly 40 years ago, and it has made no move
to insert any statute of limitations on claims against
contributing defendants or add to the short list of available
defenses.

"The language of the statute expressly restricting the defenses
available under the Spill Act provides significant support for a
conclusion that no statute of limitations applies," Justice
LaVecchia said.  "The legislative choice to proceed by listing the
defenses that would be permitted provides insight into legislative
intent."

If the court reached the wrong conclusion, she said, the
Legislature is more than capable of enacting legislation
overturning the court's ruling.

In this case, Morristown Associates in 1979 bought a shopping
center in Morristown, N.J., called Morristown Plaza, according to
court documents.  A dry cleaner, Plaza Cleaners, was part of the
strip mall, and the cleaner's owner, Robert Herring, installed a
steam boiler and an underground storage tank for fuel oil in 1985.

The dry cleaner was sold at least twice by 2003, when the
inspectors found that the soil around the strip mall was
contaminated by oil that had leaked out of holes in the fill and
vent pipes of the underground tank, according to court documents.
Experts said the damage occurred as early as 1988.

Morristown Associates immediately began a remediation program and,
beginning in 2006, began filing Spill Act claims against the
owners of the dry cleaner and the various fuel oil companies that
had serviced the establishment.

David Field, of Lowenstein Sandler in Roseland, N.J.; Kristin
Hayes, of Wiley Malehorn Sirota & Raynes in Morristown; and Joseph
Gaul Jr., of Gaul, Baratta & Rosello in Cedar Knolls, N.J.,
represented the defendants.  Their offices were closed on Jan. 27
because of the weather and the attorneys could not be reached for
comment.

The Office of the Attorney General represented the DEP, and state
offices were also closed on Jan. 27.


PROCTER & GAMBLE: Falsely Marketed Flushable Wipes, Suit Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Laquanda Allen and Lydricka Jones, individually and on behalf of
all others similarly situated v. Procter & Gamble Company, and
Nehemiah Manufacturing Company, Case No. 4:15-cv-00038 (N.D. Fla.,
January 27, 2015), alleges that the Defendants deceptively market
several lines of personal hygiene moistened wipes as flushable,
when in fact, the allegedly flushable wipes are not suitable for
disposal by flushing down a toilet as they routinely damage or
clog pipes, septic systems, and sewage pumps.

Procter & Gamble Company is a Delaware corporation that
manufacturer and marketer of consumer product goods, including a
variety of paper products, such as toilet paper, paper towels,
feminine hygiene products, diapers, and baby wipes.

Nehemiah Manufacturing Company provides contract manufacturing
services for consumer packaged products.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Phillip Timothy Howard, Esq.
      HOWARD & ASSOCIATES, P.A.
      2120 Killarney Way, Suite 125
      Tallahassee, FL 32309
      Telephone: (850) 298-4455
      Facsimile: (850) 216-2537
      E-mail: tim@howardjustice.com


RESORTSTAY INTERNATIONAL: Has Made Unsolicited Calls, Suit Says
---------------------------------------------------------------
Justin Montgomery, individual and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Resortstay International, LLC, Case No.
8:15-cv-00122 (C.D. Cal., January 27, 2015), seeks to redress the
Defendant's practice of making unsolicited calls using an
automatic telephone dialing system in violation of the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act.

Resortstay International, LLC is a Las Vegas based hotels that
offers discounted vacations.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Todd M. Friedman, Esq.
      Suren N. Weerasuriya, Esq.
      Adrian R. Bacon, Esq.
      LAW OFFICES OF TODD M. FRIEDMAN, P.C.
      324 S. Beverly Dr., #725
      Beverly Hills, CA 90212
      Telephone: (877) 206-4741
      Facsimile: (866) 633-0228
      E-mail: tfriedman@attorneysforconsumers.com
              sweerasuriya@attorneysforconsumers.com
              abacon@attorneysforconsumers.com


RIDDELL: Judge Dismisses Helmet False Advertising Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
Thomas Zambito, writing for NJ.com, reports that New Jersey's
chief federal judge has dismissed a $5 million class-action
lawsuit accusing football helmet maker Riddell of making
misleading claims that its headgear reduces the chance of
concussions in youth and high school players.

But Chief U.S. District Court Judge Jerome Simandle, in a ruling
issued on Jan. 15, will give the plaintiffs a chance to revise
their lawsuit so he can reconsider their claims.

Judge Simandle said the lawsuit failed to specify how Riddell's
marketing claims for some of its state-of-the-art helmets are
false.

"It remains unclear whether Plaintiffs contend that defendants'
claims of concussion reduction are false because the three helmets
identified in the amended complaint cannot reduce concussions at
all or if these helmets cannot reduce concussions by 31 percent as
compared to other helmets," Judge Simandle wrote.

Lawyers for Illinois-based Riddell say the company's advertising
claims are backed by science and that their helmets include a
disclaimer saying that no helmet can prevent brain injury or
concussions.

Riddell's attorney, Michael Innes, could not immediately be
reached for comment.

James Cecchi, a lawyer for the plaintiffs, sent Judge Simandle a
letter on Jan. 16 requesting that he be given until March 5 to
amend the lawsuit.

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages for individuals who have in
recent years purchased versions of Riddell helmets advertised as
being able to reduce concussions, according to Judge Simandle's
decision.

Among the plaintiffs is Norma Thiel, a Camden woman who bought a
Riddell 360 Helmet in April 2013, and the Cahokia School District
in Illinois, which has purchased a number of Riddell helmets since
2011.

The lawsuit alleges Riddell relied on a 2006 University of
Pittsburgh study to suggest that its Revolution helmet reduced
concussions by nearly a third.

It accuses the company of trying to disguise its role in producing
the study.

"Defendants subsequently failed to disclose to the public, and
eventually Congress, that there were serious conflict of interest
concerns in the development of the original study: namely that
defendants funded the study and that Riddell's vice president of
research and development was one of the authors of the study," the
original lawsuit said.


RINGLING PIZZA: "Gifford" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Wages
------------------------------------------------------------
Barton Gifford, on behalf of himself and all others similarly-
situated v. Ringling Pizza & Grill LLC d/b/a Pizza Pros of
Manatee, a Limited Liability Company, Case No. 8:15-cv-00167 (M.D.
Fla., January 27, 2015), seeks to recover unpaid minimum wages,
overtime, and liquidated damages pursuant to the Fair Labor
Standard Act.

The Defendants own and operate Pizza Pros of Manatee restaurants
in Sarasota and Bradenton, Florida.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Bernard R. Mazaheri, Esq.
      Christina Jean Thomas, Esq.
      MORGAN & MORGAN, PA
      Ste 1600, 20 N Orange Ave, PO Box 4979
      Orlando, FL 32801
      Telephone: (407) 420-1414
      Facsimile: (954) 333-3515
      E-mail: bmazaheri@forthepeople.com
              cthomas@forthepeople.com


ROYAL CANADIAN: High Court Affirms Collective Bargaining Right
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Canadian Press reports that the Supreme Court of Canada gave
rank-and-file RCMP members a major morale boost on Jan. 16 when it
affirmed their right to engage in meaningful collective
bargaining.  The high court did not explicitly state that the
Mounties have the right to form a union, but the justices
effectively cleared a path to that possibility.

The landmark 6-1 ruling gives the federal government a year to
create a new labor relations scheme, setting the stage for talks
among RCMP members, commissioner Bob Paulson and the Harper
government.

The Supreme Court overturned a previous ruling of its own from the
1990s that upheld an exclusion barring the Mounties from forming
unions like federal public servants, who gained the right to
collective bargaining in the late 1960s.  The high court says that
overturning its precedent "is not a step to be lightly taken," but
in this case it was justified because case law has evolved since
it ruled in 1999, when it was dealing with a narrower issue.

The Jan. 16 decision was written by Chief Justice Beverley
McLachlin and Justice Louis LeBel and will ultimately affect
officers across the country.

The case is a major win for RCMP members, some of whom were seen
hugging in the foyer of the Supreme Court building after the
ruling was released.

"[Fri]day is an awesome day for all members in the RCMP," said Ray
Banwarie, president of the Mounted Police Professional Association
of Canada.  "It is also a great day for Canada -- it's a great day
for democracy in this country."

Mr. Banwarie said RCMP members want to work together with
management to address a "myriad" of issues facing the force,
including resources, pay, benefits and equipment and grievances
that have not been addressed for over a decade.

One major issue is a class-action lawsuit against the force,
alleging years of harassment and discrimination, in which about
300 serving and retired female RCMP officers and civilian
employees are taking part.  The suit has yet to be certified by a
court.

Mr. Banwarie said RCMP members want to form a "police
association," not a union.


SENIOR QUALITY: Faces "Hobbs" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT Wages
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gregory Hobbs, v. Senior Quality Lifestyles Corporation (SQLC),
SQLC Senior Living Center at Corpus Christi Inc., Case No. 2:15-
cv-00059 (S.D. Tex., January 27, 2015), is brought against the
Defendants for failure to pay overtime wages for work in excess of
40 hours in a week.

The Defendants own and operate an assisted living facility located
at 5857 Timbergate Dr., Corpus Christi, Texas.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Christopher Edwin McJunkin, Esq.
      2842 Lawnview
      Corpus Christi, TX 78404
      Telephone: (361) 882-5747
      Facsimile: (361) 882-8926
      E-mail: cmcjunkin@stx.rr.com


SHEARER'S FOOD: Judge Narrows Claims in "Natural" Snack Food Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Lalita Clozel, writing for The National Law Journal, reports that
a Florida judge dealt a small victory on Jan. 20 to Shearer's Food
LLC in a putative class action alleging it misrepresented its line
of rice crisps as natural products.

Judge Robin L. Rosenberg of the Southern District of Florida
agreed that plaintiff Elizabeth Bohlke could not represent all
purchasers of Riceworks Gourmet Brown Rice Crisps, because she
only bought three out of five available varieties.

Consequently he dismissed all her claims relating to the flavors
"Tangy Barbeque" and "Parmesan & Sundried Tomato."

Judge Rosenberg ruled that her suit could proceed for the
remaining flavors -- "Sweet Chili," "Sea Salt Flavor" and "Salsa
Fresca."

Ms. Bohlke sued in May, alleging that Shearer's misled purchasers
of the gourmet rice crisps by labeling them as "all natural" and
with "no artificial ingredients," even though they contained
products like masa corn flour, maltodextrin and caramel color.

The defendant in the case, Elizabeth Bohlke v. Shearer's Foods
LLC, is represented by Hahn Loeser & Parks and the plaintiff is
represented by The Eggnatz Law Firm and The Law Offices of Howard
W. Rubinstein.


SIRIUS XM: Faces TCPA Class Action Over Unsolicited Calls
---------------------------------------------------------
David O. Klein of Klein Moynihan Turco LLP, in an article for
Lexology, reports that on January 8, 2015, a class action lawsuit
was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of California, alleging that Sirius XM Holdings, Inc. had
placed numerous unsolicited telemarketing calls to the plaintiff's
cellular telephone using an automatic telephone dialing system in
violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.  Additionally,
the lawsuit seeks to hold Toyota Motor Sales USA Inc. vicariously
liable for Sirius's TCPA violations.  The lawsuit seeks $1500 in
statutory damages per call per class member, as well as treble
damages.  Neither Sirius, nor Toyota, have responded to requests
for comment.

Alleged Violations of the TCPA by Sirius

According to the complaint, in September 2014, the plaintiff
purchased an automobile "from Toyota's San Antonio dealership."
The named plaintiff alleges that he was unaware that his new
automobile included a free-trial for Sirius satellite radio.
Thereafter, between September and December of that year, Sirius
placed more than 30 telemarketing calls to the plaintiff's
cellular telephone, attempting to sell him a Sirius satellite
radio subscription.  The plaintiff alleges that all of these
telemarketing calls were made in violation of the TCPA.

Alleged Violations of the TCPA by Toyota

According to the complaint, the plaintiff answered at least one
telemarketing call from Sirius.  During that call, the plaintiff
asked how Sirius had obtained his telephone number.  The
telemarketer informed the plaintiff that Sirius obtained his
number "from his recent car purchase from a Toyota dealership and
that his call was for the purpose of inquiring whether Plaintiff
would like to purchase ongoing Sirius radio service."  In October
of 2014, the plaintiff received confirmation from the Toyota
dealership where he had purchased his automobile that the Toyota
corporate office in California had in fact provided his telephone
number to Sirius.  However, according to the complaint, "Toyota
did not make any disclosure concerning its sale or exchange of
customer information to third-parties such as Sirius."  The
plaintiff alleges that neither Toyota, nor Sirius, ever obtained
his prior express written consent to receive such calls as is
required under the TCPA.

The TCPA is a strict liability statute, and class action lawsuits
concerning violations of the law have increased over the past few
years.  It is important that marketers and service providers alike
understand the parameters of both federal and state telemarketing
laws to avoid becoming the subject of class-action litigation.


SONY PICTURES: MPAA Chair Issues Statement on Cyberattack
---------------------------------------------------------
Cory Bennett, writing for The Hill, reports that Motion Picture
Association of America (MPAA) Chairman Chris Dodd, a former
Democratic senator for Connecticut, regrets not vocally backing
Sony Pictures following the massive cyberattack on the movie
studio.

"In retrospect I wish I'd spoken out more," Mr. Dodd told
entertainment news outlet Variety.  "But you live and learn and
you move on.  Now Sony is back on its feet, and the industry is
pulling together around it."

Mr. Dodd's comments on Jan. 15 were his first extended thoughts on
the incident, which occurred nearly two months ago.  Hackers shut
down Sony's networks, leaked embarrassing internal documents and
emails and nearly forced the studio to bury a multimillion-dollar
film.

Sony is still working to get its network functioning, but said its
insurance should cover most of the expected tens of millions of
dollars in fallout costs.  The film studio is also facing multiple
class action lawsuits from former employees who had their Social
Security numbers and other personal data exposed in the digital
hit.

"This was a historic event when you consider the magnitude of the
problem," Mr. Dodd said.  "It was the largest hack in this
country's history.  Just a massive undertaking caused by a foreign
government."

Mr. Dodd spent 36 years in Congress, 30 of them as a senator.

The film lobbying group was working on a statement of industry
support but never issued the statement, Variety reported.

"This happened to a member of our family," Mr. Dodd said.  "This
was an attack on free speech and private property and as the head
of the MPAA, I should have been more vocal."

Sony received considerable industry criticism for temporarily
axing the Christmas Day release of "The Interview," a comedy about
a U.S. plot to assassinate North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.  The
company eventually rolled the film out online and through
independent theaters.

"If you said to me, what's the one thing that has been responsible
for the 100 years of success of the American film industry, I'd
point to one thing -- it's freedom of speech," said Mr. Dodd.  "We
have always been a great advocate for freedom of expression and
speech, and I don't represent anybody who doesn't embrace that
value."


SOUTH CAROLINA: Opposes Same-Sex Marriage Plaintiffs' Fee Bid
-------------------------------------------------------------
Zoe Tillman, writing for The National Law Journal, reports that
state and local officials in South Carolina and West Virginia are
opposing hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fee requests
filed by plaintiffs who successfully challenged same-sex marriage
bans.

In South Carolina, the state attorney general's office argued in
court papers on Jan. 16 that the plaintiffs' lawyers shouldn't
receive any fees because they had "merely ridden the coattails of
the huge amount of legal work already done on the issue of same-
sex marriage."  The plaintiffs sought nearly $153,000 in fees and
costs.

Lawyers for West Virginia county officials argued in court papers
that the plaintiffs' request for more than $350,000 in fees and
costs was "outrageous and grossly excessive."  Lawyers for the
state argued it was immune from any responsibility to pay legal
fees.

Plaintiffs who prevail in federal civil rights cases are entitled
to seek "reasonable" attorney fees from losing parties under the
law.  State and local governments that unsuccessfully defended
same-sex marriage bans in federal district courts were already
ordered or agreed to pay more than $800,000 in legal fees to
challengers. At least two fee awards are on hold as the U.S.
Supreme Court takes up same-sex marriage this year.

More than $2.6 million in legal fee requests are pending,
including the petitions filed in South Carolina and West Virginia.
Fee petitions haven't been filed yet in the majority of cases
since late 2013 in which federal district judges across the
country declared state same-sex marriage bans unconstitutional.
In many cases, parties agreed to wait to file fee requests until
all appeals were resolved.

Most state and local officials who have faced fee petitions so far
acknowledged that the plaintiffs were entitled to legal fees, but
in some instances pushed back over the amount.  South Carolina and
West Virginia officials urged courts to deny the fee requests
altogether.

Camilla Taylor, a lawyer with Lambda Legal who was involved in the
West Virginia and South Carolina cases on behalf of the
plaintiffs, said on Jan. 19 that both of the fee requests were
"very modest and already discounted."

"Public officials in other states have chosen not to defend
indefensible laws that discriminate against people.  But in West
Virginia and South Carolina, public officials have already spent a
considerable amount of public money defending the indefensible,"
Ms. Taylor said.  "Civil rights laws permit those who challenge
unlawful discrimination and who are successful to receive
reasonable attorney's fees."

U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel of South Carolina declared the
state's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional in November.
The state's appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth
Circuit is on hold pending action by the Supreme Court.

The plaintiffs in the South Carolina case were represented by
Lamba Legal, a national organization, and two local firms,
Callison Tighe & Robinson and Nexsen Pruet.  In the fee request
filed in December, they argued their fees were "reasonable" and
within market rates.

The South Carolina attorney general's office argued that the
hundreds of hours of work the plaintiffs' lawyers claimed were
unnecessary because their victory was based on an earlier ruling
by the Fourth Circuit in Bostic v. Schaefer striking down
Virginia's same-sex marriage ban.

"According to their view of the case, all plaintiffs needed to do
was cite Bostic to the court yet they claim it took them nearly
500 hours to do work on this case," South Carolina officials
argued.  "As discussed below, plaintiffs cannot ride the coattails
of Bostic while running up huge fees in the process."

A South Carolina probate judge named as a defendant also filed
papers on Jan. 16 arguing he shouldn't be required to pay any
fees. The judge, who was responsible for issuing marriage
licenses, said he was protected by judicial immunity and that
requiring him to pay fees would be "unjust."

In West Virginia, U.S. District Chief Judge Robert Chambers of the
state's Southern District struck down the state's same-sex
marriage ban in November.  There was no appeal of Chambers'
decision.  In December, lawyers for the plaintiffs filed a fee
petition.  They defended their request as reasonable, explaining
that they "leanly staffed" the case and exercised "sound and
reasonable billing judgment."

Lawyers for two West Virginia county officials named as defendants
asked the judge to deny the fee request entirely, "as it is so
inflated as to shock the conscience of the court and the
taxpayers."  If the court did decide to award fees, they argued
for reductions.

The West Virginia attorney general's office argued that the
counties would have to bear any fee award on their own because the
state was protected by sovereign immunity.  If the state wasn't
immune, officials said, ordering it to pay fees was still
inappropriate.

"In a time of declining government revenues, and many worthwhile
claims on public funds," the attorney general's office wrote, "it
would be unfair and unjust to require payment of fees by state and
county officials acting in good faith in a case like this."
The plaintiffs were represented by The Tinney Law Firm of
Charleston, W.Va.; Lambda Legal; and Jenner & Block.


STANDARD & POOR'S: Settles Fraud Charges for $77 Million
--------------------------------------------------------
Jenna Greene, writing for The National Law Journal, reports that
Standard & Poor's Ratings Services on Jan. 21 agreed to pay $77
million to settle fraud charges by the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission and state regulators that it misled investors
by issuing inflated ratings.

In a first for the SEC, the penalty also requires S&P to take a
one year "timeout" from rating certain commercial mortgage-backed
securities -- punishment that Enforcement Division director Andrew
Ceresney called "creative relief that hits wrongdoers directly
where it hurts."

According to the SEC, the company, represented by Davis Polk &
Wardwell partner Angela Burgess, loosened its ratings criteria for
"conduit fusion" commercial mortgage-backed securities to obtain
business, then hid the changes from investors.

S&P will pay $58 million to the SEC, plus $12 million to settle
charges by the New York attorney general's office and $7 million
to the Massachusetts attorney general's office.

In a conference call with reporters, Mr. Ceresney blasted S&P for
its "egregious behavior" and "deep cultural failure," noting that
the "intentional fraud" took place in 2011 and 2012.  "It's a
reminder that race-to-bottom behavior . . . persists even though
the [financial] crisis has ended," he said.

The series of actions -- the first by the SEC against a major
ratings firms -- was brought administratively, rather than in
federal court.

The SEC's first case concerned misrepresentations of ratings
methodology; the second was based on S&P's suggestions that its
revised methodology was more conservative than it actually was.
The third action involved internal controls failures in S&P's
surveillance of residential mortgage-backed securities.

The SEC also brought a fourth administrative case against Barbara
Duka, the former head of S&P's commercial mortgage-backed
securities group.  That case is ongoing, and Ms. Duka has filed a
challenge in New York federal court objecting to the
administrative forum.  A National Law Journal investigation found
the SEC won its last 219 administrative cases in a row.

The $77 million payout appears to be more than S&P expected. In
October, parent company McGraw Hill Financial Inc. set aside $60
million to cover legal costs, though it cautioned that there "can
be no assurance that this amount will be sufficient to resolve
these matters."

In a statement on Jan. 21, the company said that "S&P Ratings is
pleased to have concluded these matters.  It takes compliance with
regulatory obligations very seriously and continues to make
investments in people and technology to strengthen its controls
and risk management throughout the organization."

S&P's legal troubles are not over.  The company faces a suit by
the Justice Department pending in U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California. DOJ sued the company in February
2013, alleging that S&P issued inflated ratings that
misrepresented the true credit risks of securities.  Reuters on
Jan. 20 reported that S&P may pay $1.5 billion to settle the case.

           Legal Woes Over Inflated Ratings Not Yet Over

Jenna Greene and Scott Flaherty, writing for The National Law
Journal, report that if Standard & Poor's Rating Services were to
grade its own legal risk, it might give itself a BB: "Faces major
ongoing uncertainties."

The company recently paid nearly $80 million to settle charges by
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and state regulators
that it misled investors by issuing inflated ratings, but its
legal woes are far from over.

S&P faces a $5 billion suit by the Justice Department, another by
more than a dozen states and the District of Columbia, and actions
by investors alleging they were duped by the company's structured
finance ratings.

On Jan. 21, S&P agreed pay $58 million to the SEC, plus $12
million to settle charges by the New York attorney general's
office and $7 million to the Massachusetts attorney general's
office.

In a first for the SEC, the penalty also requires S&P to take a
one year "time out" from rating certain commercial mortgage-backed
securities -- punishment that Enforcement Division head Andrew
Ceresney called "creative relief that hits wrongdoers directly
where it hurts."

According to the SEC, the company, which was represented by Davis
Polk & Wardwell partner Angela Burgess, loosened its ratings
criteria for "conduit fusion" commercial mortgage-backed
securities to obtain business, then hid the changes from
investors.

In a conference call with reporters, Mr. Ceresney blasted S&P for
its "egregious behavior" and "deep cultural failure," noting that
the "intentional fraud" took place in 2011 and 2012.  "It's a
reminder that race-to-bottom behavior . . . persists even though
the [financial] crisis had ended," he said.

The series of actions -- the first by the SEC against a major
ratings firms -- were brought administratively, rather than in
federal court.

The SEC also brought an administrative case against Barbara Duka,
the former head of S&P's commercial mortgage-backed securities
group.  That case is pending, and Ms. Duka has filed a challenge
in New York federal court objecting to the administrative forum.
An investigation by The National Law Journal found that the SEC
won each of its last 219 administrative cases.

The $77 million settlement appears to be larger than S&P expected.
In October, parent company McGraw Hill Financial Inc. set aside
$60 million to cover legal costs, although it cautioned that there
"can be no assurance that this amount will be sufficient to
resolve these matters."

In a Jan. 21 statement, the company said it "is pleased to have
concluded these matters. It takes compliance with regulatory
obligations very seriously and continues to make investments in
people and technology to strengthen its controls and risk
management throughout the organization."

FORMIDABLE CHALLENGE

The deal clears away one piece of financial crisis fallout for
S&P, but a more formidable suit remains.  In a separate action,
the U.S. Department of Justice sued McGraw Hill and S&P in
February 2013 in Los Angeles federal court, seeking as much as $5
billion in penalties.

The DOJ alleged S&P defrauded investors in residential mortgage-
backed securities and collateralized debt obligations that tanked
in value amid the subprime crisis.  The DOJ's suit maintains that
S&P inflated its ratings, misrepresenting the real risks
associated with the securities.

Cahill Gordon & Reindel; Keker and Van Nest; and Keller Rackauckas
are defending S&P in the suit, arguing that the company was
singled out for prosecution in retaliation for downgrading U.S.
debt in 2011.  In September, S&P won a court order requiring
former Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner to turn over unredacted
documents that he used in writing his memoir, Stress Test:
Reflections on Financial Crises.

Multiple news organizations have reported the case is near
settling for between $1 billion and $1.5 billion.

Beyond the federal action, S&P faces claims over its residential
mortgage-backed securities ratings brought by 16 states and the
District of Columbia.  McGraw Hill initially convinced a federal
judicial panel to consolidate those cases in New York federal
court, but U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman overturned the
consolidation, ruling in June that the cases belonged in their
respective state courts.

The various state A.G. cases remain active, according to the
Connecticut attorney general's office, which was the first to file
suit and has taken a lead role in coordinating the states' joint
efforts.

Most recently, S&P failed to fend off a consumer fraud suit by the
state of New Jersey that accuses it of misleading consumers about
the independence and objectivity of its ratings services.  The
company's motion to dismiss that case for failure to state a claim
and lack of personal jurisdiction was denied by Judge David Katz
of Essex County Superior Court in an opinion released on Jan. 6.

S&P has also faced suits by investors who claim to have been
misled by its ratings.  S&P counsel led by Cahill Gordon's Floyd
Abrams -- fabrams@cahill.com -- have enjoyed considerable success
defeating such claims on First Amendment grounds, arguing that the
company's ratings amount to constitutionally protected "opinions."
But that defense hasn't always been enough to escape investor
claims.

In April 2013, for example, S&P along with Moody's Investors
Service and Morgan Stanley paid about $75 million each -- $225
million total -- to settle investor suits for inflated ratings,
according to the Wall Street Journal.


STAR SCIENTIFIC: Judge Dismisses Anatabloc Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------
Lalita Clozel, writing for The National Law Journal, reports that
a federal judge in Illinois dismissed a complaint against Star
Scientific Inc., the dietary supplement company whose founder was
at the center of a corruption trial against former Virginia
governor Bob McDonnell and his wife Maureen.

According to the putative class complaint, Rock Creek
Pharmaceuticals Inc. and parent Star Scientific misleadingly
marketed their flagship product Anatabloc as a panacea for a
"whole host of diseases," including inflammation associated with
arthritis, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's disease.

Illinois resident Howard Baldwin, who said he purchased the
Anatabloc supplements for $99.99 per bottle, accused the companies
and GNC Holdings Inc. of misleading consumers regarding the
supplement's effectiveness against these diseases.

In Baldwin v. Star Scientific Inc., he sued on behalf of those who
had purchased the drug between August 2011 and the date he filed
the complaint in January 2014, invoking unjust enrichment as well
as consumer fraud and breach of warranties statutes across
multiple states.

On Jan. 13, Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer of the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of Illinois found that the charges he
brought were too vague to state a valid claim, and dismissed his
complaint without prejudice and with leave to amend.

She found that Mr. Baldwin had failed to mention essential
information, including the amount of his financial losses, the
specific instances in which defendants claimed the drug was
effective against particular diseases, and which defendant should
held responsible for such statements.

At one point, she called his representation of the defendants'
statements "fuzzy, nonspecific" and "sketchy."

In August, Star Scientific interrupted its sale of Anatabloc in
response to a Dec. 2013 letter from the Food and Drug
Administration, which warned that one of its components,
anatabine, needed further research to be marketed as a dietary
supplement.

Bob McDonnell was found guilty in September on 11 corruption
counts and his wife on eight for lending the prestige of the
governor's office to Star Scientific's then-chief executive
officer, Jonnie R. Williams Sr., in exchange for expensive gifts.
Anatabloc was launched officially at a luncheon held in the
Virginia Executive Mansion in 2011.

The plaintiff is represented by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro and
defendants are represented by K&l Gates.


TEKSYSTEMS MANAGEMENT: "Ortiz" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid OT
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ulisses Ortiz, on his own behalf and on behalf of those similarly
situated v. TekSystems Management, Inc. and ADT Security Services,
Inc., Case No. 6:15-cv-00127 (M.D. Fla., January 27, 2015), seeks
to recover unpaid overtime compensation, liquidated damages,
declaratory relief under the Fair Labor Standard Act.

TekSystems Management, Inc. is a Foreign corporation that provides
security system installation and repair services.

ADT Security Services, Inc. is a Florida based company that
provides residential and small business electronic security, fire
protection and other related alarm monitoring services.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Carlos V. Leach, Esq.
      MORGAN & MORGAN, PA
      Ste 1600, 20 N Orange Ave, PO Box 4979
      Orlando, FL 32801
      Telephone: (407) 420-1414
      Facsimile: (407) 425-8171
      E-mail: cleach@forthepeople.com


TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS: Court Rejects Appeal in Drug Labeling Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Scott Flaherty, writing for The Litigation Daily, reports that the
U.S. Supreme Court got IP litigators fired up when it delivered a
patent win for Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc. on Jan. 20.  But Teva
had far less luck in a separate high court challenge, failing to
persuade the justices to hear a key appeal over when federal law
preempts patient lawsuits against generic drug companies.

The high court denied cert on Jan. 20 in Teva v. Superior Court of
California, Orange County, rebuffing a petition filed by Jay
Lefkowitz of Kirkland & Ellis.  Teva had asked the justices in
February to review a California state court ruling allowing
patients to proceed with claims that Teva and other companies
failed to warn about dangers associated with its version of the
osteoporosis drug Fosamax.

Teva's appeal was closely watched in the product liability bar,
since it raised questions about the scope of the Supreme Court's
2011 decision in Pliva v. Mensing.  The justices held in Mensing
that federal labeling requirements preempt state-law failure-to-
warn claims, shielding generic drug makers from lawsuits as long
as their warning labels comply with the requirements for the
branded versions of their products.

The underlying case was brought by Olga Pikerie, who fractured her
thighbone and claimed the injury stemmed from prolonged use of
generic Fosamax.  Ms. Pikerie alleged that Teva and other generic
makers hadn't brought their warnings in line with an update to
branded Fosamax's label.  Teva and its codefendants countered that
Pikerie's claims were preempted under Mensing.

A California trial court sided with Ms. Pikerie, and a state
appeals court affirmed in June 2013, holding that Ms. Pikerie's
claims weren't preempted. The appellate court noted that
Ms. Pikerie wasn't suing the generic drug companies for failing to
provide stronger warnings than those for brand-name Fosamax, but
rather for failing to update their safety warnings after Fosamax's
label had changed.  The California Supreme Court later declined to
review the appellate decision, prompting Teva and its lawyers to
turn to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Teva argued in the high court petition that, if upheld, the
California appeals decision would allow plaintiffs lawyers to sue
generic makers for failing to update labels "every time" the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration posts a drug labeling change on its
website.

Ms. Pikerie's lawyers, including Mark Crawford at the San
Francisco firm Skikos, Crawford, Skikos & Joseph, wrote in an
opposition brief that the California ruling correctly answered the
preemption questions, "all of which are straightforward, time-
tested and unremarkable."  The U.S. Solicitor General's office
also weighed in, siding with Ms. Pikerie and her lawyers and
urging the Supreme Court not to take up the case.

Mr. Crawford told The Litigation Daily on Jan. 20 that the
solicitor general's input and the Supreme Court's denial of
certiorari lend credence to the California appeals court's
conclusions.

"The SG came out and said that there's no preemption. And that's
really important here," said Mr. Crawford.  "This is going to now
cause . . . lower courts to take a closer look at this preemption
issue."


TOYOTA MOTOR: In Settlement Talks Over Acceleration Documents
-------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad, writing for The National Law Journal, reports
that Toyota Motor Corp. is in settlement talks with a former
translator and self-described whistleblower who was sanctioned in
December for posting on a blog internal documents related to its
sudden acceleration defects.

In a court filing on Jan. 22, Toyota attorney Lisa Gilford --
lisa.gilford@skadden.com -- and a lawyer for the translator, Betsy
Benjaminson, said they "are actively negotiating a potential
resolution to their differences regarding the documents."  They
sought more time to file a proposed plan by Feb. 11 on how to
destroy the documents.

A settlement, if finalized, would end the latest chapter over
Toyota's sudden acceleration issues, which resulted in recalls of
more than 10 million vehicles worldwide and billions of dollars in
settlements with government agencies and consumers.  Toyota raised
concerns about Ms. Benjaminson last year after she posted
thousands of its internal documents online.

Toyota spokesman Scott Vazin declined to discuss any settlement
negotiations.  He wrote in an email, "We believe all of the
documents obtained by Ms. Benjaminson through her work on Toyota-
related matters are protected, and we are exploring our options to
secure the return or destruction of these confidential materials."
Ms. Benjaminson's attorney, Karren Kenney, a criminal defense
attorney in Costa Mesa, Calif., said her client is "committed to
continue with the negotiations in hopes of reaching a settlement."

She added: "At this point, given all of the issues involved, I'm
not sure if a settlement will be reached that would satisfy both
sides."

Ms. Benjaminson, who translated documents from Japanese to English
for Toyota amid legal probes over the recalls, later worked for
the plaintiffs attorneys in the litigation.

In December, U.S. District Judge James Selna found that
Ms. Benjaminson had violated a protective order she signed in 2012
as to 46 documents obtained while working for a plaintiffs'
translation services vendor -- but not as to more than 500 others,
many of which she obtained while working for Toyota, which now
maintains they were privileged.

Her attorney at the time, Hemant "Shashi" Kewalramani, said his
client would return the documents, plus 42 others she got while
working for another plaintiffs' translation services vendor, but
only after she gave them to the U.S. Department of Justice, which
reached a $1.2 billion deferred-prosecution deal last year with
Toyota.

At a Dec. 3 hearing, Ms. Gilford, a partner in the Los Angeles
office of New York-based Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom,
vowed that Toyota would pursue other actions.  Those include suing
Ms. Benjaminson in court.

Judge Selna asked both sides to come up with a proposed plan on
how to destroy the documents.

Mr. Kewalramani indicated in a court filing on Dec. 31 that his
firm, Lee, Jorgensen, Pyle & Kewalramani in Tustin, Calif., was
dissolving and that he would be unable "to continue representation
in this and other matters because of business and conflict
considerations."

Ms. Benjaminson, who has invoked the Fifth Amendment in the
matter, also is represented by David Azar, a partner in the Los
Angeles office of Milberg, on civil issues.  Ms. Kenney, her newly
appointed attorney, initially sought to delay the deadline for a
proposed plan and potential appeal of Judge Selna's ruling to
Feb. 6.  But on Jan. 22, Ms. Kenney sought an additional extension
given the settlement talks.

She also sought an order clarifying that she was allowed to
represent Ms. Benjaminson in a settlement negotiation that
"extends beyond the 88 documents to others that Toyota raised in
its contempt application."


UNITED STATES: DOJ Can't Set 6-Year Deadline for Employment Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Saranac Hale Spencer, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, reports
that the U.S. Department of Justice can't set a six-year deadline
for federal workers to sue their employer for Title VII
violations, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit has
ruled.

The court lifted that issue from the outskirts of the case --
which was filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act by an
Indian doctor who had claimed that he was fired by the Bureau of
Prisons based on his race -- because it raised an important point
about the intersection of two statutory provisions: Title VII and
a section of the U.S. Code that bars civil actions against the
federal government after six years have passed from the time the
claim starts to accrue.

The specificity of the standards for filing a claim set forth in
Title VII trump the more general rules set out in Section 2401 of
Title 28 of the U.S. Code, Judge Marjorie O. Rendell said on
behalf of the three-judge panel that decided the case.

Title VII allows for an aggrieved worker to file a lawsuit after
180 days have passed since he first filed his claim with the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission, an element of the law that
Judge Rendell referred to as an "escape hatch" allowing workers to
turn to the courts if the bureaucratic process at the EEOC takes
too long.  At the other end of the life cycle of the case, Title
VII allows the claimant to file a lawsuit within 90 days of
getting a final agency decision.  So, the law offers two avenues
for workers to bring their claims of discrimination out of the
EEOC process and into the courtroom.

Lawyers for the government had argued that Section 2401's general
six-year statute of limitations would bar this case.

The Bureau of Prisons fired Joe Kannikal in 1999, according to
Rendell's opinion, and he filed a complaint with the EEOC in 2001.
He didn't get a hearing until 2006. He contacted the EEOC in 2008
and 2009 to find out the status of his case, but didn't get either
a response or a final determination, according to the opinion.  He
filed this civil suit in the Western District of Pennsylvania in
2012.

That court had agreed that Section 2401's six-year statute of
limitations would bar the suit.

On appeal, the parties had initially briefed the case assuming
that the six-year limit would apply, Judge Rendell said, but
recalibrated in two rounds of supplemental briefing after the
appeals court had pointed to the applicability of the six-year
limit to Title VII cases as a major issue.

"We cannot imagine that Congress intended to penalize claimants
for EEOC delays," Judge Rendell said.  "Applying Section 2401(a)
would do just that."

"If, after awaiting a final agency decision for 180 days plus six
years, a claimant can no longer bring suit, then he would be
barred from relief.  This case proves the point: the problematic
delays, whereby the EEOC did not respond to Mr. Kannikal's
inquiries and did not provide a final decision, occurred after six
years had passed.  Thus, we conclude that applying Section 2401(a)
to Title VII actions is inconsistent with Congress' intent," she
said.

The Third Circuit remanded the case back to the Western District
of Pennsylvania.

In this case, which garnered no administrative decision from the
EEOC, Title VII's 90-day limit from the time the final
administrative decision is issued was never triggered and
Mr. Kannikal did file his suit after 180 days from initially
filing his complaint with the EEOC, so, his case is a viable one,
the Third Circuit ruled.

Judge Rendell boiled down the "real issue" that the court faced to
this one: "Whether there is a limit as to how long a claimant can
await the conclusion of the administrative process before filing
suit.  The statute provides no such limit," she said, referring to
Title VII.

"It permits an aggrieved party to file suit any time after 180
days have passed until there is a final decision.  The final
decision then triggers the 90-day outer limit," Judge Rendell
said.

The Third Circuit looked to Title VII's legislative history to
support its reading of the law's structure and intention.  Citing
to notes from 1971 related to the law, Judge Rendell said that
Congress had crafted a law that would encourage the use of the
EEOC's administrative process, while also allowing for an "escape
valve from EEOC delays by permitting civil actions to be brought
after 180 days."

She quoted from the House report on Title VII that "commented on
the difficult pressures presented by the EEOC's 'burgeoning
workload, accompanied by insufficient funds and a shortage of
staff' and explained that 'the private right of action . . .
provides the aggrieved party a means by which he may be able to
escape from the administrative quagmire which occasionally
surrounds a case caught in an overloaded administrative process.'"

Shan Shah, who represented Mr. Kannikal with Faye Riva Cohen, said
the court's opinion was important not just because it found that
the six-year statute of limitations wouldn't apply to Title VII
cases, but because of the court's emphasis on the policy reasons
behind Title VII's structure.

The outcome in this case benefits not only Mr. Kannikal, Ms. Cohen
said, but all of the federal employees who are in the system.

It's a "vindication of the reason civil rights laws were passed,"
Cohen said, so that individuals can assert their rights.

Stephanie Marcus argued the case for the Department of Justice,
which declined to comment on the opinion, according to spokeswoman
Nicole Navas.


WAL-MART STORES: Presents Opening Brief in Gun Proposal Appeal
--------------------------------------------------------------
Scott Flaherty, writing for The Litigation Daily, reports that
backed by powerful business groups, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and its
lawyers at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher fired their opening shots this
month in a federal appeal over shareholder efforts to challenge
Wal-Mart's sales of particularly lethal guns and other "offensive"
products.

The Wal-Mart case is before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Third Circuit following a November ruling by U.S. District Judge
Leonard Stark in Delaware, who held that Wal-Mart couldn't block a
proxy proposal by Trinity Wall Street.

Trinity, a well-endowed Episcopal church in Manhattan's financial
district, had pushed for corporate governance reforms at Wal-Mart
that would increase scrutiny of some of the retail giant's more
controversial offerings.  Judge Stark's ruling cleared the way for
a shareholder vote on Trinity's proposal that Wal-Mart's board
consider halting sales of high-capacity guns and other products
that could offend the "family and community values" supposedly
associated with Wal-Mart's brand.

Wal-Mart, which tapped Gibson Dunn appellate pro Theodore Boutrous
Jr. -- tboutrous@gibsondunn.com -- to lead the appeal, lodged its
opening brief on Jan. 14.  The company argues that U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission rules allow the retailer to exclude
Trinity's proposal.

The SEC had previously agreed with Wal-Mart and allowed it to
block the measure, but Judge Stark reversed, clearing the way for
Trinity to advance the proposal at Wal-Mart's next annual
shareholder meeting.

Wal-Mart argues in its brief that Judge Stark's conclusion was
"legally erroneous" and would give shareholders too much power to
meddle in the company's day-to-day operations.

"Absent reversal, the exceptions created by the court would
swallow the [SEC] rule, undo nearly 40 years of SEC guidance . . .
and flood public companies with proposals that subject to
shareholder vote decisions regarding ordinary business matters,"
Wal-Mart's lawyers wrote.

Wal-Mart isn't the only one sounding the alarm about Stark's
ruling.  The company picked up amicus support from groups
including the Retail Litigation Center, the Washington Legal
Foundation and the National Association of Manufacturers.

In an amicus brief filed on Jan. 21, the Retail Litigation Center
-- represented by William Chandler -- wchandler@wsgr.com -- of
Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and others -- took issue with
Judge Stark's conclusion that Trinity's proposal would be "felt at
the board level" and didn't, on its own, dictate instructions to
the company's management.  The judge's ruling, the RLC's lawyers
argued, "upsets the careful balance" between shareholders' desires
and the needs of management, a balance set out in SEC guidance.

Several other amicus groups pushed similar arguments, with the
Washington Legal Foundation asserting that Stark's ruling would
"inject even greater uncertainty into corporate proxy decision
making."

"If activist shareholders can now rely on district court judges to
ignore long-standing SEC guidance, and if the SEC staff itself is
going to back away from its traditional role in providing that
guidance, then public companies will no longer be able to prepare
their proxy materials with any reasonable degree of confidence,
but will be left adrift in a sea of uncertainty," foundation
lawyer Cory Andrews wrote.

The Third Circuit has yet to hear from Trinity and its lawyers at
Friedlander & Gorris, a Delaware firm with an impressive record in
shareholder challenges.  After Judge Stark's ruling in November,
name partner Joel Friedlander told The Litigation Daily the
decision was an important one "because the SEC issues voluminous
rulings on stockholder proposals, with little guidance from the
federal courts."

Trinity has a Feb. 4 deadline to file a response at the appeals
court.

Gibson Dunn's Boutrous, whose unrelated U.S. Supreme Court victory
for Wal-Mart in Wal-Mart v. Dukes is still reverberating through
the courts, referred us to his client for comment.  A Wal-Mart
spokesman said the district court's decision, if allowed to stand,
would have "far-reaching implications for the entire retail
industry."


WALDEN UNIVERSITY: Sued Over Supervisory Program Policies
---------------------------------------------------------
Yolanda Rene Travis, and Leah Zitter, on behalf of themselves and
a class of others similarly situated v. Walden University, LLC,
and Laureate Education, Inc., Case No. 1:15-cv-00235 (D. Md.,
January 27, 2015), is brought against the Defendants for failure
to regulate the supervisory committee program thus unnecessarily
prolongs doctoral and master's students' efforts to obtain their
degrees, and results in students extending their enrollment in
their respective dissertation or thesis course and paying
additional tuition.

Walden University has a policy that the supervisory committee
chair and member must respond to requests from students for
commentary, feedback, or even formal review within fourteen
business days. Its students depend on the dissertation and thesis
supervisory committee chair and member for guidance and feedback
during the entire process. However, that much-needed counsel is
consistently lacking, and frequently nonexistent.

Walden University, LLC is a for-profit, online university that
offers bachelor's and graduate level degrees to students, both
domestically and internationally.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Timothy F. Maloney, Esq.
      Matthew M. Bryant, Esq.
      JOSEPH, GREENWALD & LAAKE, P.A.
      6404 Ivy Lane, Suite 400
      Greenbelt, MD 20770
      Telephone: (301) 220-2200
      Facsimile: (301) 220-1214
      E-mail: tmaloney@jgllaw.com
              mbryant@jgllaw.com

         - and -

      John F. Edgar, Esq.
      Alexander T. Ricke, Esq.
      EDGAR LAW FIRM LLC
      1032 Pennsylvania Ave.
      Kansas City, MO 64105
      Telephone: (816) 531-0033
      Facsimile: (816) 531-3322
      E-mail: jfe@edgarlawfirm.com
              atr@edgarlawfirm.com

         - and -

      James C. Shah, Esq.
      SHEPHERD, FINKELMAN, MILLER & SHAH, LLP
      35 East State Street
      Media, PA 19063
      Telephone: (610) 891-9880
      Facsimile: (610) 891-9883
      E-mail: jshah@sfmslaw.com


WASHINGTON INVENTORY: Sui Seeks to Recover Unpaid Overtime Wages
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lasandra Montgomery, on behalf of herself and others similarly
situated v. Washington Inventory Service, Case No. 3:15-cv-00059
(S.D. Miss., January 27, 2015), seeks to recover unpaid overtime
compensation, liquidated damages, declaratory relief under the
Fair Labor Standard Act.

Washington Inventory Service owns and operates an inventory and
data collection service company that provides physical inventory
counting, merchandising and space optimization services to retail
businesses.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Christopher William Espy, Esq.
      MORGAN & MORGAN, PA
      One Jackson Place, Suite 777
      188 East Capitol Street
      Jackson, MS 39201
      Telephone: (601) 718-2087
      Facsimile: (601) 718-2102
      E-mail: cespy@forthepeople.com


WORLD WRESTLING: Two Ex-Wrestlers File "Concussion" Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
Marc Middleton, writing for Wrestling Inc., reports that former
WWE stars Vito Lograsso (Big Vito) and Evan Singleton (Adam Mercer
in developmental) have filed a class-action "concussion lawsuit"
against WWE in the state of Pennsylvania.  They are being
represented by the same lawyer as former WWE star Billy Jack
Haynes, who also has a lawsuit out against WWE.

The complaints from Haynes and Lograsso/Singleton appear to be
virtually identical except for short paragraphs about the
complainants.

Singleton's complaint mentions wrestling WWE Superstar Erick Rowan
in developmental as Singleton claims, "After approximately 15
matches, during which he sustained multiple traumas, he suffered a
serious head injury during a match with Eric Rowen [sic].  The WWE
cleared him to continue wrestling after inadequate rest time and
downplayed his injury."

Singleton was apparently out of action for five months after a
match against Rowan. He then worked one more match and was
released from his developmental deal. Singleton has suffered from
a number of severe neurological symptoms and later found out that
he had bleeding in the left hemisphere of his brain.

Mr. Lograsso noted that he "suffers from serious neurological
damage, including severe headaches, memory loss, depression and
anxiety, as well as deafness."


WORTHINGTON, MA: Sued for Leaving Gateway Regional School Dist.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Pisano, writing for WGGB.com, reports that just over a week
since receiving state approval to withdraw from the Gateway
Regional School District, the town of Worthington is facing a
lawsuit.

On January 7th, Mitchell Chester, the Commissioner for the MA
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) sent a
letter to the Worthington School Board confirming the town could
establish its own district effective July 1, 2015.

Gateway School Committee member Ruth Kennedy from Russell then
field suit -- what she calls "kind of a class action lawsuit."  In
it, she goes after the Governor, the Legislature, the DESE,
Gateway Regional School Superintendent David Hopson, and the town
of Worthington.

"I did it all by my lonesome," said Ms. Kennedy.  "Took me several
months to put it together."

Ultimately she's looking to stop the town from leaving the Gateway
Regional School District.  And so far, the School Committee and
most of the towns within the district have joined Kennedy's suit.

"The Russell Select Board still has to vote," explains
Ms. Kennedy.  "It's kind of a class action suit."

Superintendent Hopson says he wasn't surprised by the state's
approval to let Worthington withdraw.  At the School Committee
meeting on Jan. 14, members voted to have the district move
forward to develop a 6 town budget rather than a 7 town budget.
Still, Mr. Hopson says the district has to reach a settlement
agreement about how costs will be split for Worthington's
departure.  The move leaves a $600,000 operation shortfall.

"Long time building costs and capital costs, post-employment
benefits that have accrued over the last 40 plus years," said
Hopson.  "Upon retirement you have insurance money coming to you.
Any obligations incurred until they day they leave I guess is a
better way to put it."

For her part, Ms. Kennedy realizes she has a long road ahead in
the courts, but says she's hoping her actions will spread
awareness about what she sees is a breakdown in the education
system.

"I really want to get more people to know this is going on.  This
is happening in other school districts across the state.  It's
really going to create chaos in the state.


YAKULT USA: Falsely Marketed Probiotic Products, Suit Claims
------------------------------------------------------------
Nicolas Torrent, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated v. Yakult U.S.A. Inc., Case No. 8:15-cv-00124 (C.D. Cal.,
January 27, 2015), arises out of the Defendant's false and
misleading claims that the live microorganism Lactobacillus
casei Shirota in the Yakult probiotic drink  is beneficial to
human health and helps balance the digestive system.

According to studies, there is no credible scientific evidence
that the probiotics in Yakult do anything to promote digestive
health or human health more generally.

Yakult U.S.A. Inc. is a subsidiary of Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd. that
manufactures, markets, distributes, and sells Yakult in the
United States.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Jared H. Beck, Esq.
      Elizabeth Lee Beck, Esq.
      BECK & LEE TRIAL LAWYERS
      Corporate Park at Kendall
      12485 SW 137th Ave., Suite 205
      Miami, FL 33186
      Telephone: (305) 234-2060
      Facsimile: (786) 664-3334
      E-mail: jared@beckandlee.com
              elizabeth@beckandlee.com

          - and -

      Antonino G. Hernandez, Esq.
      ANTONINO G. HERNANDEZ P.A.
      4 SE 1st Street, 2nd Floor
      Miami, FL 33131
      Telephone: (305) 282 3698
      Facsimile: (786) 513 7748
      E-mail: Hern8491@bellsouth.net


* FLSA Lawsuits to Rise in 2015, Report Says
--------------------------------------------
Mark Tabakman -- mtabakman@foxrothschild.com -- of Fox Rothschild
LLP, in an article for Mondaq, reports that a recently released
report on class action cases observed that while employment
discrimination filings and ERISA suits have dropped, FLSA lawsuits
rose; a total of 7882 filed in 2013 to a total of 8,066 in 2014.
One reason for that rise is that it is easier for plaintiffs to
file such suits.

The report notes that the Second and Ninth Circuits are the
"hotbeds" of FLSA litigation. More cases are filed, and more class
action certifications are granted in these Circuits than anywhere
else in the country.  More tellingly, plaintiffs in all
jurisdictions were granted conditional certification (after which,
often, cases settle) close to 70% of the time and plaintiffs, more
than half the time, were able to thwart decertification
challenges.

The report also notes, hardly surprisingly, that wage-hour
litigations will continue to rise this year.  Interestingly, the
report observes that settlements from employment class actions
fell in 2014 (except for ERISA cases).  Maybe the downturn in
settlements reflects the continuing vitality and use by employer-
defendants of the US Supreme Court's Wal-Mart decision.  As it
became tougher to secure class certification, plaintiffs are
encountering employers who are more aggressive in settlement
posture, figuring they have a good chance to defeat certification
on the merits (or lack thereof) of the case.

Not only did the Supreme Court help employers with Wal-Mart, in
2013, the Court issued its decision in Comcast which imposed
another hurdle on plaintiffs seeking class certification. Thus,
defendant employers became even more emboldened in refusing to
settle and seeking judicial "victories."

The Takeaway

It is essential for employers to monitor, review and, if need be,
modify their wage hour policies, especially on classification
(i.e. exemption and independent contractor) and working time
issues.  Fixing problems before the suit arrives at the door is
always the best and cheapest recourse for the employer.


* FDA Issues Warning on Sexual Enhancement Product Risks
--------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified an emerging
trend where over-the-counter products, frequently represented as
dietary supplements, contain hidden active ingredients that could
be harmful. Consumers may unknowingly take products laced with
varying quantities of approved prescription drug ingredients,
controlled substances, and untested and unstudied pharmaceutically
active ingredients.  These deceptive products can harm you! Hidden
ingredients are increasingly becoming a problem in products
promoted for sexual enhancement.

Remember, FDA cannot test all products on the market that contain
potentially harmful hidden ingredients.  Enforcement actions and
consumer advisories for tainted products only cover a small
fraction of the tainted over-the-counter products on the market.


* Nevada Governor Pushes for Construction-Defect Legislation
------------------------------------------------------------
Ray Hagar, writing for Renzo Gazette-Journal, reports that the
Nevada Home Builders Association praised Gov. Brian Sandoval for
another reform he suggests -- construction defects.  Republican
have been pushing for construction defect legislation for many
sessions but have always been thwarted by Democratic majorities in
the Assembly.  Now that the GOP controls the majority of both
houses, many feel that construction-defect legislation will
happen.

Currently, the builders say they are wary of home construction
jobs since possible defects can lead to multimillion-dollar
rewards for homeowners in large, class-action suits.

"The fact is that vague laws and abusive lawsuits are undermining
our housing recovery," the builders wrote in a prepared statement.
"Nevada construction defect laws have created a shortage in
multifamily housing -- an 84 percent decline from 1998 to 2013.
These unfair laws have helped cause new home construction to
decline by 86 percent from 2000 to 2012."


* Obama Proposes Data Breach Notification Law Amid Class Actions
----------------------------------------------------------------
Joel Griffin, writing for Security InfoWatch, reports that
President Barack Obama said he wants Congress to pass legislation
that would create a new federal standard for data breach
notification.  Under the Personal Data Notification and Protection
Act, companies would be required to inform customers within 30
days if their personal information had been compromised as the
result of a breach.  Rather than having to navigate various state
laws, the president said this new legislation would create a
single standard for organizations to follow.

While the president's announcement should come as little surprise
to most companies given the amount of attention that large-scale
data breaches, such as the recent hack of Sony Pictures, have
garnered over the past several years, some believe that this newly
proposed law would actually be of greater benefit to businesses
than consumers.

"There are 47 different state data breach notification pieces of
legislation and that's a problem for organizations because if they
operate in more than one state -- and many companies do -- they
end up having to pick one and sort of make that their common
denominator.  It would be a lot more efficient for businesses and
organizations all around if there was just a single federal
standard that we could all comply with," said Dave Frymier, CISO
at IT services provider Unisys.  "If you look at these different
pieces of legislation, they define a breach differently and the
safe harbor provisions for encryption and the definitions of
encryption are different from one law to the next, so if this was
all standardized across the states, it would be a benefit to all
of the organizations that are trying to comply with these 47
patchwork breach notification laws."

Two years ago, the president signed an executive order that
directed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)
to create a cybersecurity framework for organizations involved in
operating the nation's critical infrastructure assets.  According
to Mr. Frymier, this framework provides a set of 98 control
objectives that companies in this sector can use to determine how
their level of information security compares to what is considered
to be minimally accepted standards for cybersecurity.  Mr. Frymier
said creating a similar framework for businesses across the board
would be a better approach than just simply passing a law that
stipulates the requirements for data breach notification.

"If you can do that across an industry, then you could average or
do some other sort of statistical function to say, 'ok, here is a
baseline of adequate security in the electrical power, water,
transportation or financial services industry.' That sort of
baseline definition would be useful for companies so that they
would know what the minimum amount of security their organization
should be expected to have," explained Mr. Frymier.  "And, quite
frankly, that's a lot more useful than even a consolidated federal
breach notification law. I would much rather see Congress come out
with something along the lines of the executive order from
February 2013 than a breach notification statute."

If Congress doesn't do that, Mr. Frymier said the next best thing
may be case law that's established in the aftermath of some of
class action lawsuits still pending against Target and other
organizations that have suffered high-profile breaches.  While the
president's proposed initiatives may not lay the groundwork for
comprehensive cybersecurity reform, many people like Mr. Frymier
believe that it is a step in the right direction.

"The president and his team should be commended in continuing to
show leadership on important issues of privacy and data security.
There has been consensus and a call from many in the business
community several years running for data breach legislation.  This
may finally be the year if the bill can avoid being bogged down
with data use limitations and questions surrounding what entity is
responsible for payment of breaches. The payment issue is best
left to the marketplace or in a separate proposal, as ultimately
it is not a consumer protection issue, but rather a commercial
issue," Stuart Ingis, a partner at the law firm of Venable LLP and
co-author of "Privacy Protection in the United States: A Survey,"
said in a statement.

"With respect to the Privacy Bill of Rights, businesses will await
the details to pass judgment on the particulars of any proposal.
If it looks similar to the provisions pushed by the administration
in then Senator Kerry's comprehensive privacy bill from a previous
Congress, it is unlikely to garner much support.


* Securities Class Action Investor Losses Decline in 2014
---------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad, writing for The National Law Journal, reports
that securities class action filings rose slightly from 2013 to
2014, but the cases involved some of the smallest investor losses
on record as companies in the S&P 500 index skirted much of the
litigation, according to a report released on Jan. 27.

Filings increased to 170 from 166 in 2013, according to the annual
review compiled by Cornerstone Research and Stanford Law School's
Securities Class Action Clearinghouse.  One in 28 companies listed
on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq faced the likelihood of
being sued for securities fraud.  But for those on the S&P 500,
which are some of the biggest companies in the country, those
chances fell to 1 in 45 -- the lowest since 2000, according to the
report.

The lower figures reflect a rebounding economy in which investor
losses have declined.  "You think of the really big firms, they
aren't getting sued as much," said John Gould (left), senior vice
president of Cornerstone Research.  "Really the class actions are
coming from the smaller firms.  That's what we saw in 2014."

Joel Bernstein, a partner at Labaton Sucharow, a leading
plaintiffs securities firm in New York, disputed that the figures
were part of a trend.  He said, however, that he hadn't seen the
report.

"Every year, the number of new securities class actions change,
both large and small, including so-called 'mega-cases,' and cases
against companies on the S&P 500 change," Mr. Bernstein said in an
email.  "In some years, numbers increase, and in some years, they
decrease."

Investor losses from a company's peak market capitalization value
during the entire class period totaled $215 billion -- the lowest
level since 1997.  At the same time, total investor losses that
occurred on the days that the alleged fraud was disclosed dropped
45 percent from 2013 to $57 billion, the lowest since 2006.

The lag in filings against large companies may well stem from an
improving economy, Mr. Gould said.  But it also comes as fewer
U.S. companies are going public.  Those figures could change,
however, as initial public offerings increased 31 percent in 2014
from the year earlier.

"The last couple of years, you're definitely seeing IPOs come
back," he said.  In the future, he added, "filings would be up
because we would have more publicly traded companies."


                             *********

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
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Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. ISSN 1525-2272.

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