/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/150206.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Friday, February 6, 2015, Vol. 17, No. 27


ADOBE SYSTEMS: Offers $415MM to Settle Suit Over High-Tech Wages
ADT CORP: Geltzeiler Dismissed From Securities Litigation
ADVANCED REHABILITATION: Sued Over Failure to Pay Overtime Wages
ADVANCED TATTOO: "Brown" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid OT Wages
ALL STAR LIGHTING: Faces "Jackson" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT

ALMAR PARTY: "Smith" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid OT Wages
AMERICAN REALTY: Faces NYCERS Class Suit in S.D. New York
AMERICAN REALTY: Faces "Boitifoll" Suit Over Misleading Reports
AMTRUST: Responds to Shareholder Class Action
APPLE INC: Court Drops Claims in iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation

APPLE INC: Appealed Decision in eBooks Antitrust Litigation
BANK OF AMERICA: Must Face Forex Antitrust Class Action
BANK OF AMERICA: Investor Groups Want to Join Libor Appeal
BARRY UNIVERSITY: Removes "Martells" Class Suit to S.D. Florida
CANADA: Plaintiffs Still Have Options in Tar Ponds Lawsuit

CHINA COMMERCIAL: "Dennison" Suit Moved From N.J. to New York
CHOICE ENERGY: Has Made Unsolicited Calls, "Murray" Suit Claims
COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Settles Class Action Over Tips for $875,000
COOK GROUP: Faces "Keltner" Suit Over Defective Celect IVC Filter
DIAMOND STAFFING: Faces "Sosa Munoz" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT

DIRECT WINES: Faces Suit in Illinois Alleging Violations of TCPA
EMERY FEDERAL: Accused of Violating Fair Labor Standards Act
EXXON MOBILE: Proposes Changes to Lab Report, Documents Reveal
FURNITURE BRANDS: "Carter" Shareholder Class Suit Dismissed
G&E FLORIDA: Faces "Lara" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime Wages

GELFAND RENNERT: Faces "Dacosta" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT
GOLD CUP: Exotic Dancers File FLSA Class Action
GOOGLE INC: $19-Million App Refunds Did Not Appease Parents
GUAM, USA: Accused of Not Returning Ancestral Land to Owners
HALL RENDER: Faces "Gartman" Suit in Wis. Over Violation of FDCPA

HARTFORD FINANCIAL: 9th Cir. Affirms Dismissal of "Cantrall" Suit
HONDA MOTOR: Faces Class Suit in Kentucky Over Defective Airbags
JOHNSON HEALTH: Recalls Matrix Fitness Strength Training Machines
IQ DATA: Sued by Insurer Over Pending Class Suit in New Mexico
KINSLEY CONSTRUCTION: Doesn't Properly Pay Workers, Suit Claims

LEXICON INC: Fails to Pay Proper Overtime Wages, Suit Claims
MEDBOX INC: Faces "Gutierrez" Suit Over Misleading Fin'l Reports
MI BOHIO: Faces "Apolinario" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime
MICOR COMMUNICATIONS: Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Overtime Wages
MIDDLE EAST BAKERY: Recalls Joseph's & Trader Joe's Bread Items

MIRKA ABRASIVES: Recalls Orbital Sanders Due to Burn Hazard
NESCO SERVICE: Sued in S.D. Texas Over Failure to Pay Overtime
NEW YORK: Education Dep't Sued for Discriminating v. Older Staff
NINE MILE MINING: Feb. 23 Final Settlement Hearing
NPS PHARMACEUTICALS: Being Sold for Too Little, Suit Claims

PHH CORP: Awaits Ruling on 2008 Class Action
PRIMAL VANTAGE: Recalls Ameristep Tree Stands Due to Fall Hazard
RC BIGELOW: "Victor" Class Certification Hearing Set for June 17
REED ELSEVIER: Sued by Yudkin & Brebner Over Court Access Denial
SEVEN FIFTY-FOUR: Cal. App. Reverses Ruling in "Avelar" Suit

SIOUX CITY, IA: Residents to Share Franchise Fee Settlement
SKY CHEFS: Stipulation Staying "Teruel" Suit Approved
STRATEGIC HOTELS: Sued Over Violation of Fair Labor Standard Act
STURON INC: "Molina" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Overtime Wages
SUNBEAM PRODUCTS: Recalls Oil-Filled Heaters Due to Scald Hazard

SYNGENTA CORP: "Runsick" Suit Consolidated in MIR162 Corn MDL
TAKATA CORPORATION: Faces "Corticeiro" Suit Over Defective Airbag
TALISMAN ENERGY: Being Sold for Too Little to Repsol, Suit Says
TITLEMAX: Appeals Court Rejects Argument in Wage-and-Hour Suit
TOWERS PERRIN: Sued by Meriter Health Over Illegal Pension Plan

TRACFONE WIRELESS: Settles FTC Data Throttling Claims for $40MM
TRIM RESTAURANT: Sued in N.Y. Over Failure to Pay Overtime Wages
TRUMP INT'L: Accused of Harassment and Retaliation in New York
UNITIL CORPORATION: To Defend Against "Bellerman" Case
US INVESTIGATION: Removes "DeLorenzo" Suit to S.D. California

VITESSE WORLDWIDE: "Farrow" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid OT Wages
VOSGES HAUT-CHOCOLAT: Recalls Festival of Lights Gift Sets
WAL-MART STORES: Class Suit Over Return Policies May Proceed
WILLOW LAKES: Tenants File Class Action Over Mold
YS BEVERAGE: Doesn't Properly Pay Employees, "Merino" Suit Says

* Class Action v. Banks Over Swiss Franc Loans Likely
* NERA Releases Annual Securities Class Action Trends Report

                       Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Waltham Forest Council Admits Fibro Failings
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Law Firms Accused of Fraud in Fibro Litigation
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Controversy Surrounds Respirator Used v. Fibro
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Families Seek Damages Over Fibro at Cal. Schools
ASBESTOS UPDATE: More Fibro Raises Cost of Port Angeles Landfill

ASBESTOS UPDATE: New Jersey Jury Renders $7.5MM Fibro Verdict
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ford Fights Fibro Row as Mechanic Seeks Recusal
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Salvage Principals Face Prison in Fibro Case
ASBESTOS UPDATE: James Hardie to Pay Victims in Installments
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Girl Exposed to Fibro After Entering Hotel

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Widow Files Exposure Suit v. Atlantic Richfield
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Dust Found in Evergreen Village Home
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Harrowsmith Firm Fined for Workers' Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Dust Found in George Washington Univ. Hall
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Council to Fork Out GBP1.2MM for Fibro Removal

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Possible Fibro Exposure at Sudbury Hospital
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Levy Konigsberg Wins Case for Ohio Fibro Victim
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Deadly Dust Found Dumped in Lane Near Newquay
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fake Fibro Report Nets Businessman Probation


ADOBE SYSTEMS: Offers $415MM to Settle Suit Over High-Tech Wages
William Dotinga at Courthouse News Service reports that Adobe,
Apple, Google and Intel upped their offer to $415 million to
settle a sprawling case over high-tech wages, according to papers
filed by the plaintiffs in the case on January 15.

Software engineers, on behalf of an estimated class of 64,000,
suedvthe tech giants -- plus Intuit and Walt Disney subsidiaries
LucasFilm and Pixar -- in 2010, over illegal "no cold-call
agreements" that restricted or eliminated competition for high-
tech employees, which "disrupted the normal price-setting
mechanism that apply in the labor setting."

The poaching ban, workers claimed, maintained internal salary
structures at the companies from 2005 to 2009, and involved
"gentleman's agreements" via CEO-to-CEO emails between the late
Steve Jobs and other leading Silicon Valley CEOs.

Several lawsuits ensued, which were eventually consolidated into a
single federal class action in San Jose, Calif.

In August 2014, U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh rejected workers'
request for preliminary approval of a $325 million settlement. Koh
found the offer too low, outside "the range of reasonableness."

Koh also ruled that although "ample evidence" showed an
overarching conspiracy between the defendants, the proposed
settlement was "proportionally lower" per class member than that
of a separate $20 million settlement with Lucasfilm, Pixar and
Intuit, in 2013.

The tech companies appealed Koh's rejection to the 9th Circuit,
calling it "clear legal error."

But late January 13, word of a new settlement surfaced.  That
settlement, officially filed by the lead plaintiffs on Jan. 15,
includes an all-cash, $415 million payout that is $90.5 million
more than the first offer -- and $35 million higher than Koh
suggested when she rejected the first go-round.

If approved, the agreement would end three years of litigation
that saw 80,000 different files change hands during discovery,
according to the motion.

After attorney fees and service awards of $80,000 for each of the
named plaintiffs, the remaining class members will receive about
$6,400 each.

The class is represented by:

          Richard M. Heimann, Esq.
          Kelly M. Dermody, Esq.
          Brendan Glackin, Esq.
          Dean Harvey, Esq.
          Anne B. Shaver, Esq.
          275 Battery Street, 29th Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94111-3339
          Telephone: (415) 956-1000
          Facsimile: (415) 956-1008
          E-mail: rheimann@lchb.com

               - and -

          Joseph R. Saveri, Esq.
          James Dallal, Esq.
          505 Montgomery, Suite 625
          San Francisco, CA 94111
          Telephone: (415) 500-6800
          Facsimile: (415) 395-9940
          E-mail: jsaveri@saverilawfirm.com

The case is captioned In re: High-Tech Employee Antitrust
Litigation, Case No. 5:11-cv-02509-LHK, in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division.

ADT CORP: Geltzeiler Dismissed From Securities Litigation
The ADT Corporation said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on January 28, 2015, for the
quarterly period ended December 26, 2014, that Michael S.
Geltzeiler was dismissed as a defendant without prejudice from the
securities litigation.

On April 28, 2014, the Company and certain of its current and
former officers and directors were named as defendants in a
lawsuit filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Florida. The plaintiff alleges violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and SEC Rule 10b-5, and seeks
monetary damages, including interest, and class action status on
behalf of all plaintiffs who purchased the Company's common stock
during the period between November 27, 2012 and January 29, 2014,
inclusive.  The claims focus primarily on the Company's statements
concerning its financial condition and future business prospects
for fiscal 2013 and the first quarter of fiscal 2014, its stock
repurchase program in 2012 and 2013 and the buyback of stock from
Corvex Management LP ("Corvex") in November 2013.

On June 27, 2014, another plaintiff filed a similar action in the
same court. On July 14, 2014, the Court entered an order
consolidating the two actions under the caption Henningsen v. The
ADT Corporation, Case No. 14-80566-CIV-DIMITROULEAS, and
appointing IBEW Local 595 Pension and Money Purchase Pension
Plans, Macomb County Employees' Retirement System and KBC Asset
Management NV as Lead Plaintiffs in the consolidated action. In
addition to the Company, the defendants named in the action are
Naren Gursahaney, Kathryn A. Mikells, Michael S. Geltzeiler, Keith
A. Meister and Corvex.

On September 25, 2014, defendants moved to dismiss this action and
the parties await the court's decision on that motion. On November
13, 2014, Mr. Geltzeiler was dismissed as a defendant without
prejudice from this action.

The Company intends to vigorously defend itself against the
allegations in this action and is currently unable to predict the
outcome or if legal damages will be awarded.

ADVANCED REHABILITATION: Sued Over Failure to Pay Overtime Wages
Tracey Bisaga, on behalf of herself and those similarly situated
v. Advanced Rehabilitation Management, Inc. and John Does 1-10,
Case No. 2:15-cv-00411 (E.D. Pa., January 28, 2015), is brought
against the Defendants for failure to pay overtime compensation in
violation of the Fair Labor Standard Act.

Advanced Rehabilitation Management, Inc. owns and operates a
rehabilitation center at 900 West Valley Road, Suite 300, Wayne,
PA 19087.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Richard S. Swartz, Esq.
      1101 Kings Highway North, Suite 402
      Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
      Telephone: (856) 685-7420
      E-mail: rswartz@swartz-legal.com

ADVANCED TATTOO: "Brown" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid OT Wages
Alyssa Brown, on behalf of herself and all others similarly-
situated v. Advanced Tattoo Management Consulting, Corp. d/b/a
Tattoo Lou's, and Lou Rubino in his individual and professional
capacities, Case No. 2:15-cv-00436 (E.D.N.Y., January 28, 2015),
seeks to recover  unpaid overtime compensation, minimum wage
compensation, and liquidated damages pursuant to the Fair Labor
Standard Act.

The Defendants own and operate a tattoo and body piercing shop
located at 579 West Sunrise Highway, West Babylon, New York.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Alexander T. Coleman, Esq.
      Michael J. Borrelli, Esq.
      1010 Northern Blvd, Suite 328
      Great Neck, NY 11201
      Telephone: (516) 248-5550
      Facsimile: (516) 248-6027
      E-mail: atc@employmentlawyernewyork.com

ALL STAR LIGHTING: Faces "Jackson" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT
Edrey Jackson v. All Star Lighting Supplies, Inc. and George
Pscherhofer, Case No. 2:15-cv-00609 (D.N.J., January 28, 2015), is
brought against the Defendants for failure to overtime for work
performed in excess of 40 hours weekly.

The Defendants are engaged in lightning supply business with
headquarter located in Avanel, Middlesex County, New Jersey.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Andrew I. Glenn, Esq.
      Lawrence Office Park
      Building 2, Suite 220
      168 Franklin Corner Road
      Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
      Telephone: (201) 687-9977
      Facsimile: (201) 595-0308
      E-mail: aglenn@jaffeglenn.com

ALMAR PARTY: "Smith" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid OT Wages
Damon Smith, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated v. Almar Party Rental Corp., and Martin Fox, in his
individual and professional capacities, Case No. 2:15-cv-00585
(D.N.J., January 28, 2015), seeks to recover unpaid overtime wages
and damages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standard Act.

The Defendants own and operate a tent and party supply rental
company located in Irvington, New Jersey.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

       Alexander Gastman, Esq.
       655 Third Avenue, Suite 1821
       New York, NY 10017
       Telephone: (212) 679-5000
       Facsimile: (212) 679-5005
       E-mail: alg@employmentlawyernewyork.com

AMERICAN REALTY: Faces NYCERS Class Suit in S.D. New York
Courthouse News Service reports that exposure of the misleading
statements by directors of American Realty Capital Properties sent
securities plummeting, a class alleges, joining a chorus of
similar actions.

The case is New York City Employees' Retirement System v. American
Realty Capital Properties, in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York.

AMERICAN REALTY: Faces "Boitifoll" Suit Over Misleading Reports
Courthouse News Service reports that exposure of the misleading
statements by directors of American Realty Capital Properties sent
securities plummeting, a class alleges, echoing claims from
earlier lawsuits.

The case is Adria Boitifoll; Stuart Jay v. American Realty Capital
Properties; Nicholas Schorsch; et al., in the Baltimore City
Circuit Court.

AMTRUST: Responds to Shareholder Class Action
The Insurance Insider reports that AmTrust has launched a strongly
worded response to a class action suit brought by a number of
shareholders after its stock plummeted in response to a critical
note from a short seller.

The class action suit accused AmTrust of overstating its
underwriting income by $289.9 million between 2010 and 2012.

"AmTrust accomplished this fraud by making knowingly unrealistic
actuarial assumptions as to the amount of expected future losses
from insurance policies it wrote," the second amended complaint

APPLE INC: Court Drops Claims in iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation
Apple Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the Securities
and Exchange Commission on January 28, 2015, for the quarterly
period ended December 26, 2014, that a district court entered
judgment in favor of the Company, dismissing all claims against it
with prejudice, in the Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation
(formerly Charoensak v. Apple Computer, Inc. and Tucker v. Apple
Computer, Inc.).

These related cases were filed on January 3, 2005 and July 21,
2006 in the United States District Court for the Northern District
of California on behalf of a purported class of direct purchasers
of iPods and iTunes Store content, alleging various claims
including alleged unlawful tying of music and video purchased on
the iTunes Store with the purchase of iPods and unlawful
acquisition or maintenance of monopoly market power under Sections
1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, the Cartwright Act, California
Business & Professions Code Section 17200 (unfair competition),
the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and California
monopolization law. After a three week trial in December 2014, the
jury returned a verdict in favor of the Company and, on January 5,
2015, the District Court entered judgment in favor of the Company,
dismissing all claims against it with prejudice.

APPLE INC: Appealed Decision in eBooks Antitrust Litigation
Apple Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the Securities
and Exchange Commission on January 28, 2015, for the quarterly
period ended December 26, 2014, that the Company appealed a
district court decision in the Apple eBooks Antitrust Litigation.

On April 11, 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a civil
antitrust action against the Company and five major book
publishers in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
New York, alleging an unreasonable restraint of interstate trade
and commerce in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act and
seeking, among other things, injunctive relief, the District
Court's declaration that the Company's agency agreements with the
publishers are null and void and/or the District Court's
reformation of such agreements.

On July 10, 2013, the District Court found, following a bench
trial, that the Company conspired to restrain trade in violation
of Section 1 of the Sherman Act and relevant state statutes to the
extent those laws are congruent with Section 1 of the Sherman Act.
The District Court entered a permanent injunction, which took
effect on October 6, 2013 and will be in effect for five years
unless the judgment is overturned on appeal.

The Company has taken the necessary steps to comply with the terms
of the District Court's order, including renegotiating agreements
with the five major eBook publishers, updating its antitrust
training program and hiring an antitrust compliance monitor. The
Company appealed the District Court's decision. Pursuant to a
settlement agreement reached by the parties in June 2014, any
damages the Company may be obligated to pay will be determined by
the outcome of the appellate decision.

BANK OF AMERICA: Must Face Forex Antitrust Class Action
Scott Flaherty, writing for The Litigation Daily, reports that a
Manhattan federal judge on Jan. 28 delivered an early-inning win
to plaintiffs lawyers at Hausfeld LLP and Scott & Scott in a suit
accusing a dozen major banks of widespread manipulation of the
$5 trillion-a-day foreign exchange market.

Less than a month after JPMorgan Chase & Co. reached a settlement
in the case, U.S. District Judge Lorna Schofield refused to
dismiss consolidated class action claims against a group of
financial industry giants including Bank of America Corp.,
Barclays PLC and Citigroup Inc.  Schofield held that the
plaintiffs plausibly alleged an antitrust conspiracy in which the
banks' top forex traders agreed to rig the market for more than a

The plaintiffs, represented by Hausfeld name partner Michael
Hausfeld, Scott & Scott's Christopher Burke and others, include
Philadelphia's city pension board, along with several public
pension funds, investment funds and hedge funds.  They claim that
traders at the banks used instant messages, emails and online chat
rooms to rig foreign exchange rates, including the benchmark World
Markets/Reuters Closing Spot Rates, also referred to as "the fix."

"The U.S. complaint contains specific allegations of chat room
participants congratulating each other about the manipulation of
the fix," Schofield wrote in the Jan. 28 order.  "Even the names
the FX traders gave their chat rooms -- such as 'The Cartel,' 'The
Bandits' Club' and 'The Mafia' -- support the inference that the
chat rooms were used for anticompetitive purposes."

The suit dates back to November 2013 and involves allegations
similar to those investigated by government regulators, who have
secured more than $1 billion in penalties from some of the banks.
The banks moved to dismiss the private action in May 2014.  They
asserted at the time that the investors' antitrust claims were
threadbare, and that they'd failed to connect the alleged rate
rigging to the banks' efforts to secure more business in the forex

Judge Schofield rejected those arguments on Jan. 28, allowing the
proposed class action to move forward.  However, she agreed to
dismiss a pair of similar lawsuits brought by plaintiffs in South
Korea and Norway who traded foreign currency outside of the U.S.
The judge ruled that the foreign plaintiffs' Sherman Act claims
were barred by the Foreign Trade Antitrust Improvements Act, and
found their New York state claims had "an insufficient nexus to
New York."

The Jan. 28 ruling keeps the U.S. plaintiffs' case intact against
all 12 banks named as defendants.  The number is likely to shrink
to 11, however: JPMorgan Chase & Co. and its lawyers at Skadden,
Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom wrote to Schofield on Jan. 5,
indicating that they had reached a settlement.

Litigation Daily contacted Scott & Scott's Christopher Burke and
lawyers for multiple defendants on Jan. 28 but didn't immediately
hear back.  The defense lineup for the banks includes Shearman &
Sterling (for Bank of America); Sullivan & Cromwell (for
Barclays); Allen & Overy (for BNP Paribas); Covington & Burling
(for Citigroup); Cahill Gordon & Reindel (for Credit Suisse Group
AG); Kirkland & Ellis (for Deutsche Bank AG); Cleary Gottlieb
Steen & Hamilton (for Goldman Sachs & Co.); Locke Lorde (for HSBC
Holdings PLC); Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (for
JPMorgan); Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz (for Morgan Stanley);
Davis Polk & Wardwell (for The Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC);
and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher (for UBS AG).

BANK OF AMERICA: Investor Groups Want to Join Libor Appeal
Scott Flaherty, writing for The Litigation Daily, reports that now
that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that bond purchasers can try
to revive antitrust claims over alleged manipulation of the Libor
interest rate, other key Libor plaintiffs are urging a judge not
to leave them on the sidelines.

Susman Godfrey's William Carmody -- bcarmody@susmangodfrey.com --
made the plea on Jan. 23 to U.S. District Judge Naomi Reice
Buchwald, who's presiding over consolidated Libor litigation.  In
a letter, Mr. Carmody asked Buchwald to allow his clients pursue
an immediate appeal of her 2013 decision to toss the antitrust
claims at the heart of the case.

The letter came just days after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg,
writing for a unanimous Supreme Court on Jan. 21, ruled that a
different group of investors couldn't be forced to wait to appeal
Judge Buchwald's decision.

Plaintiffs in the consolidated case allege that a slew of major
banks conspired to artificially suppress Libor, a benchmark for
interest rates on trillions of dollars' worth of financial
products.  Mr. Carmody and his firm represent "over-the-counter"
investors -- pension funds and others that directly purchased
Libor-linked financial products from the defendant banks -- and
"exchange-based" investors that traded certain futures on the
Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

In March 2013, Judge Buchwald threw out the central antitrust
claims in the litigation, though she kept some other claims alive.
The ruling prompted several groups to seek immediate review by the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and Judge Buchwald
initially agreed to let those challenges go forward.

The appeals initially hit a dead end, however. Considering an
appeal from a group of bond purchasers led by Ellen Gelboim and
Linda Zacher, who solely alleged a federal antitrust violation,
the Second Circuit found it lacked jurisdiction to hear the
challenge because there were still other claims left in the
consolidated case.  That decision, in turn, led Buchwald to
withdraw her certification allowing Susman Godfrey to pursue an
appeal for the OTC and exchange-based investors.

The Supreme Court reversed the Second Circuit's decision, finding
that the Gelboim plaintiffs could immediately appeal the antitrust
decision despite continuing district court litigation involving
other Libor investors.

The banks, Ginsburg's opinion noted, had warned the Supreme Court
that allowing the Gelboim appeal to proceed now would create a
burden on the defendants and prolong the litigation, since
"plaintiffs with the stronger cases will be unable to appeal
simultaneously because they have other claims still pending."

That argument, which Ginsburg flatly rejected, may come to haunt
the banks now that Susman Godfrey has asked Buchwald to again
certify his client's immediate appeal.  If the district judge
agrees, lawyers for the OTC and exchange plaintiffs could bolster
the strength of the appellate challenge.

"Now that the Gelboim appeal is pending anew, the equities again
weigh strongly in favor of certification," Susman Godfrey's
Carmody wrote in the Jan. 23 letter.  "Plaintiffs should be
permitted to brief and argue the appeal that will determine the
major issue respecting their Sherman Act claims at the same time
that the Gelboim plaintiffs are appealing that same issue."

Davis Polk & Wardwell's Robert Wise, who represents Bank of
America Corp. in the Libor suit and serves as liaison counsel for
the defendants, declined to comment.  Mr. Carmody's letter said
plaintiffs lawyers had asked the defendants whether they'd oppose
the request for an immediate appeal, and that the banks were still
considering their options.

BARRY UNIVERSITY: Removes "Martells" Class Suit to S.D. Florida
The class action lawsuit entitled Martells v. Barry University,
Inc., Case No. 14-20926-CA-01, was removed from the Circuit Court
of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County,
Florida, to the United States District Court for the Southern
District of Florida.  The District Court Clerk assigned Case No.
1:15-cv-20285-JLK to the proceeding.

Plaintiff Damion A. Martells alleges in his Complaint violations
of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jason S. Remer, Esq.
          Brody M. Shulman, Esq.
          44 West Flagler Street, Suite 2200
          Miami, FL 33130
          Telephone: (305) 416-5000
          Facsimile: (305) 416-5005
          E-mail: jremer@rgpattorneys.com

The Defendant is represented by:

          David E. Block, Esq.
          Allison M. Gluvna, Esq.
          JACKSON LEWIS P.C.
          One Biscayne Tower, Suite 3500
          2 South Biscayne Boulevard
          Miami, FL 33131
          Telephone: (305) 577-7600
          Facsimile: (305) 373-4466
          E-mail: david.block@jacksonlewis.com

CANADA: Plaintiffs Still Have Options in Tar Ponds Lawsuit
Nancy King, writing for Cape Breton Post, reports that there are
still some options remaining for plaintiffs in a failed class-
action lawsuit related to steelmaking in Sydney, their lawyer

The Supreme Court of Canada refused to hear an appeal of the
decision to quash a class-action lawsuit.  The Nova Scotia Court
of Appeal overturned the certification of the lawsuit in December
2013 and lawyers representing the representative plaintiffs had
sought leave to appeal that decision to the Supreme Court of

"It makes it difficult to achieve a safe and healthy environment
for the citizens in the core of the city of Sydney," Halifax-based
lawyer Ray Wagner said.

The availability of class proceedings to address the issue of
industrial contamination, whether by a government or private
entity, varies by province.  Mr. Wagner said he believes it would
have been an ideal opportunity for the Supreme Court to lay the
ground rules.

The appeal court decision came after lawyers for the provincial
and federal governments argued that the provincial Supreme Court
justice erred in certifying the case because there are too many
differences in the individual cases for the matter to be heard as
a class-action.  It was the first environmental class-action
certified in Nova Scotia.

Now, the case could be abandoned, Mr. Wagner said, or plaintiffs
can file as individuals, which Mr. Wagner said would clog up the
judicial system.  Finally, they could pursue what is called a mass

"In other words list hundreds of people in a single proceeding
that won't be subject to the rules of certification, and where we
would be able to proceed as a group," he said.

Mr. Wagner said the clients will determine how to move forward.
Members of the group will be contacted and there will be a
discussion with representative plaintiffs about how to proceed.

Last year, the provincial Court of Appeal ordered that the
representative plaintiffs pay more than $736,000 in costs to the
provincial and federal governments.  The law firms involved -- not
the plaintiffs themselves -- would pay that amount.

To date, the law firms involved are out of pocket another $700,000
in costs to date related to the case and Wager estimated that once
the time of the lawyers involved are factored in, that would be
$6-8 million.

"It really does shut the door to the courthouse, and that's
troubling," Mr. Wagner said of the costs involved to date.

CHINA COMMERCIAL: "Dennison" Suit Moved From N.J. to New York
The class action lawsuit styled Dennison v. China Commercial
Credit, Inc., et al., Case No. 2:14-cv-04956, was transferred from
the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey to the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York (Foley
Square).  The New York District Court Clerk assigned Case No.
1:15-cv-00557-ALC to the proceeding.

The case is brought on behalf of persons or entities that
purchased or otherwise acquired China Commercial Credit, Inc.
securities between November 14, 2013, and July 25, 2014,
inclusive, including the Company's public offering on May 7, 2014.
The Plaintiff seeks to pursue remedies under the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Securities Act of 1933.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Laurence M. Rosen, Esq.
          609 W. South Orange Avenue, Suite 2P
          SOUTH ORANGE, NJ 07079
          Telephone: (973) 313-1887
          E-mail: lrosen@rosenlegal.com

The Consolidated Plaintiff is represented by:

          Eduard Korsinsky, Esq.
          30 Broad Street, 24th Floor
          New York, NY 10004
          Telephone: (212) 363-7500
          Facsimile: (212) 363-7171
          E-mail: ek@zlk.com

Movant Jason Stark is represented by:

          Barry J. Gainey, Esq.
          95 Route 17 South, Suite 310
          Paramus, NJ 07652
          Telephone: (201) 225-9001
          Facsimile: (201) 225-9002
          E-mail: bgainey@gme-law.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Holly Froum, Esq.
          1345 Avenue of Americas
          New York, NY 10105
          Telephone: (212) 370-1300
          E-mail: hfroum@egsllp.com

CHOICE ENERGY: Has Made Unsolicited Calls, "Murray" Suit Claims
Terry Murray, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. Choice Energy, LLC d/b/a 4 Choice Energy, an Iowa
limited liability company, and Premiere Business Solutions, LLC,
an Iowa limited liability company, Case No. 1:15-cv-00060 (S.D.
Ohio, January 28, 2015), seeks to stop Defendants' practice of
making unsolicited phone calls to the telephones of consumers
nationwide and to obtain redress for all persons injured by their

Choice Energy, LLC is an electric supplier providing electric
generation services for primarily residential customers and

Premiere Business Solutions, LLC a telemarketing company that
actively sells Choice Energy's services.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      William Harrelson, Esq.
      12 S. Cherry St., Troy, Ohio, 45373
      Telephone: (937) 335-8324
      E-mail: Will.Harrelson@fhfmslaw.com

         - and -

      Stefan Coleman, Esq.
      201 South Biscayne Boulevard, 28th Floor
      Miami, Florida 33131
      Telephone: (877) 333-9427
      Facsimile: (888) 498-8946
      E-mail: law@stefancoleman.com

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: Settles Class Action Over Tips for $875,000
Garrett Donnelly, writing for Daily Columbia Spectator, reports
that Columbia will pay $875,000 after settling a class action
lawsuit, filed in March 2013, that alleged the University failed
to pay Faculty House workers earned tips.  Failure to do so
constitutes a violation of Section 196-d of the New York State
Labor Law.

The majority the settlement funds -- $605,000 -- will be
distributed among 55 class members who held "non-managerial and
non-administrative positions" between March 2007 and March 2014,
according to court documents.

Osmond Cousins, Ricardo Gomez, and Eric Villa split the $15,000
service award as the named plaintiffs for "invaluable
contributions in initiating, investigating, and resolving this
action," the motion for settlement said.

In addition to the class funds and service award, $255,000, 29
percent of the total settlement amount, went to attorney fees for
plaintiff class counsel Pelton & Associates, PC and Edward

Approximately 30 Faculty House employees were interviewed about
their work and salaries and hundreds of event invoices and
contracts were reviewed to determine whether the University added
service charges to event costs.

A court document filed Jan. 5, 2015, reveals that the University
argued that the contract with the union for Faculty House
employees, UNITE HERE Local 100, pre-empted the labor law, which
justified not giving Faculty House employees tips.  However, the
same document stated that a trial would likely lead to a lengthy
appeals process, which made settlement more desirable.

"The settlement thus avoids significant risk, expense and delay
and ensures recovery for the class," the document states.  "The
efficiency of the settlement for the parties, the Court and the
Class Members favors final approval."

Villa did not return requests for comment by press time, and
another member of the class declined to comment, citing potential
legal scrutiny and concerns about job security.  A Columbia press
person decline to comment, and Brent Pelton, founder of Pelton &
Associates, also declined to comment.

COOK GROUP: Faces "Keltner" Suit Over Defective Celect IVC Filter
Douglas Keltner v. Cook Group, Inc., Cook Medical Inc., Cook
Medical, LLC, Cook, Inc., Medical Engineering and Development
Institute, Inc., Cook Medical Technologies, Cook Denmark
International APS, Cook Denmark Holding APS, Cook Group Europe
APS, Cook Nederland BV, and William Cook Europe APS, Case No.
1:15-cv-00102-SEB-DKL (S.D. Ind., January 26, 2015) arises from
alleged injuries caused by a defective product -- Cook Celect
Inferior Vena Cava.

Mr. Keltner, a citizen of New York, underwent placement of a Cook
IVC Filter at the UNC Hospital, located in Chapel Hill, North
Carolina.  On January 26, 2012, he learned that his IVC Filter had
failed.  After series of medical procedures, he was finally
discharged on March 11, 2012.  He contends that he has incurred
significant medical expenses and has endured extreme pain and
suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disability, and other

Cook Group, Incorporated is an Indiana Corporation with a
principal place of business located in Bloomington, Indiana.  Cook
Group, Incorporated is the parent company of Cook Medical
Incorporated and is an Indiana Corporation with a principal place
of business also located in Bloomington.

Cook develops, manufactures, sells and distributes medical devices
for use in various medical applications, including endovascular
cardiology, and surgical products throughout the United States and
around the world.  Cooks' products include the Cook Celect Vena
Cava Filter, which is used for the prevention of recurrent
pulmonary embolism via placement in the vena cava.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Teresa C. Toriseva, Esq.
          TORISEVA LAW
          1446 National Road
          Wheeling, WV 26003
          Telephone: (304) 238-0066
          Facsimile: (304) 238-0149
          E-mail: ceo@torisevalaw.com

          John A. Dalimonte, Esq.
          85 Devonshire Street, Suite 1000
          Boston, MA 02109
          Telephone: (617) 367-3311
          Facsimile: (617) 742-9130

DIAMOND STAFFING: Faces "Sosa Munoz" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT
Christian J. Sosa Munoz, Individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Diamond Staffing Services, Inc. f/k/a Tri-
Diamond Staffing Inc., John Does 1-300, Case No. 2:15-cv-00598
(D.N.J., January 28, 2015), is brought against the Defendants for
failure to pay overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor
Standard Act.

Diamond Staffing Services, Inc. owns and operates an employment
agency in New York.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Andrew P. Bell, Esq.
      Michael A. Galpern, Esq.
      801 N. Kings Highway
      Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
      Telephone: (856) 663-8200
      Facsimile: (856) 823-1551
      E-mail: abell@lockslaw.com

DIRECT WINES: Faces Suit in Illinois Alleging Violations of TCPA
Nicholas Martin on behalf of himself and others similarly situated
v. Direct Wines, Inc., Case No. 1:15-cv-00757 (N.D. Ill., January
26, 2015) alleges violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection

Direct Wines, Inc. is based in Norwalk, Connecticut.  The Company
is an operating subsidiary of a set of companies located in
Reading, Berkshire, England, including Direct Wines Limited and
Direct Wines International.  The Company operates WSJ Wine.

Mr. Martin is a resident of Illinois.  He discloses that his
cellular telephone is on the Federal Trade Commission Do Not Call
Registry.  He is a member of WSJ Wine, pursuant to which he signed
up to receive periodic shipments of wine on the Internet.  He
contends that he has never expressed an interest in receiving
telemarketing calls in connection with his WSJ Wines subscription,
and has never provided prior express written consent to receive
those calls.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Alexander H. Burke, Esq.
          155 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 9020
          Chicago, IL 60601
          Telephone: (312) 729-5288
          Facsimile: (312) 729-5289
          E-mail: ABurke@BurkeLawLLC.com

EMERY FEDERAL: Accused of Violating Fair Labor Standards Act
Lovie Johnson, Ruth Vigna and Irina Abidin, on behalf of
themselves and other similarly situated employees v. Emery Federal
Credit Union and Emery Financial Services, Inc., Case No. 1:15-cv-
00051-SJD (S.D. Ohio, January 26, 2015) accuses the Defendants of
violating the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Deborah R. Grayson, Esq.
          830 Main Street, Suite 999
          Cincinnati, OH 45202
          Telephone: (513) 345-4700
          Facsimile: (513) 345-4703
          E-mail: drgrayson@fuse.net

EXXON MOBILE: Proposes Changes to Lab Report, Documents Reveal
Debra Hale-Shelton, writing for Northwest Arkansas, reports that
Exxon Mobil successfully proposed numerous changes to a Texas
laboratory's report on the cause of the Pegasus pipeline's 2013
rupture in Mayflower, even though the oil giant described the
company as "independent," according to newly unsealed documents in
a class-action lawsuit.

FURNITURE BRANDS: "Carter" Shareholder Class Suit Dismissed
District Judge Henry Edward Autrey granted the Defendants' Motion
to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Consolidated Amended Complaint in the case
captioned, KEITH CARTER, Individually and on Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated, Plaintiffs, v. FURNITURE BRANDS INTERNATIONAL,
United States District Court, E.D. Missouri, Eastern Division, No.
4:13CV1600 HEA (E.D. Mo.).  A copy of the Court's January 27, 2015
Opinion, Memorandum and Order is available at
http://bit.ly/1uSQThHfrom Leagle.com.

Plaintiffs, who purchased shares of the common stock of Furniture
Brands, Inc. during the alleged class period, filed this
Consolidated Amended Complaint against Ralph Scozzafava, the
former Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board of
Directors of Furniture Brands, and Vance Johnston, the former
Chief Financial Officer of Furniture Brands, for violations of
sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act, and U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission Rule 10b-5.

G&E FLORIDA: Faces "Lara" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime Wages
Osman Lara, Holman Gutierrez-Valles, Milton Lopez, Pedro
Candelario, Waldo Fonseca, Celso Uriel Lara, and Luis Alvarez, on
behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated v. G&E
Florida Contractors, LLC, a Florida limited liability company and
Enrique Hersman, Case No. 1:15-cv-20306 (S.D. Fla., January 28,
2015), is brought against the Defendants for failure to pay
overtime compensation as required by the Fair Labor Standard Act.

The Defendants own and operate a construction company employing
laborers in various disciplines, in connection with US government-
funded affordable housing projects.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Pelayo M. Duran, Esq.
      4640 NW 7th Street
      Miami, FL 33126
      Telephone: (305) 266-9780
      Facsimile: 269-8311
      E-mail: Assistant@pelayoduran.com

         - and -

      Roderick Victor Hannah, Esq.
      1250 South Pine Island Road, Suite 375
      Plantation, FL 33324-4454
      Telephone: (954) 362-3800
      Facsimile: (954) 362-3779
      E-mail: rhannah@rhannahlaw.com

GELFAND RENNERT: Faces "Dacosta" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT
Simonette Dacosta v. Mariah Carey, Nicholas Cannon, Gelfand,
Rennert, Feldman LLP, Antelo Road, LLC, Case No. 1:15-cv-00596
(S.D.N.Y., January 28, 2015), is brought against the Defendants
failure to pay overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor
Standards Act.

Gelfand, Rennert, Feldman LLP is a full-service business
management firm for entertainers, executives and select high net
worth individuals.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Eli Zev Freedberg, Esq.
      11 Broadway, Suite 615
      New York, NY 10007
      Telephone: (347) 651-0044
      Facsimile: (212) 214-0799
      E-mail: efreedberg@ezf-law.com

GOLD CUP: Exotic Dancers File FLSA Class Action
FOX 26 reports that some exotic dancers can make hundreds even
thousands of dollars in a night.

"That is not a payment of wage that comes from the club itself,"
says attorney Galvin Kennedy.  And in some cases Mr. Kennedy says
the dancers must pay the club a fee and share their tips with club
employees like managers and disc jockeys.

By not paying the dancers one single cent the owners of Gold Cup,
Treasures, Cover Girls and Centerfolds are violating the Fair
Labor Standards Act, according to a lawsuit filed against the
clubs.  That lawsuit claims these clubs should be paying dancers
at least minimum wage in addition to the tips they receive and
overtime for working more than 40 hours a week.

"The fact that they work in an establishment as an exotic dancer
doesn't change the law for them," Mr. Kennedy says.

Club owners maintain they don't have to pay the dancers because
they are not employees but rather independent contractors.  That's
hogwash says Mr. Kennedy.  He says the clubs have detailed rules
the dancers must follow making them employees.

"They tell them the type of clothes to wear what days they have to
work the hours they have to work," says Mr. Kennedy.  "If they try
to go home early there's a fine they have to pay and all of these
rules are implemented through a very detailed penalty or fine

Not so says Casey Wallace the attorney representing the four clubs
being sued.

In a statement he tells us the dancers work when and where they
want with no restrictions or requirements.  But Kennedy says the
Supreme Court in Nevada, a state known for topless clubs sees it
his way.

"The Supreme Court of that state declared that the dancers are
employees not independent contractors that decision alone is
sending ripples across the country," Mr. Kennedy said.

If the class action suit here is successful some area dancers
could reap thousands of dollars without touching a pole.

"In a recent case that we settled on behalf of about 182 exotic
dancers up in Dallas the club paid two point three million dollars
and the ladies ended up on average with close to 10 thousand
dollars," said Mr. Kennedy.

The attorney for the clubs says to suggest dancers would prefer to
be classified as an employee make 7.25 an hour and be put on a
schedule is incredibly na‹ve.  The clubs attorney says there are a
host of dancers who would openly tell you this lawsuit is nuts.

GOOGLE INC: $19-Million App Refunds Did Not Appease Parents
William Dotinga at Courthouse News Service reports that Google has
told a federal judge that a brewing class action brought by a
mother whose children spent $70 on in-app purchases from the
Google Play store without her permission should not be certified,
since the tech giant agreed to refund customers to settle a
Federal Trade Commission investigation.

Google agreed to cough up no less than $19 million in refunds to
customers whose children made in-app purchases without permission.
The FTC had found that Google had been billing customers for
inadvertent purchases made without passwords or any other form of
authorization since 2011.

Even after implementing a password requirement, the FTC said that
Google never told parents that entering a password would open a
30-minute window during which children could make unlimited
purchases -- often without parents' permission.

Google has begun notifying its customers of the settlement, which
requires the company to give refunds for all unauthorized in-app
purchases made by children and to modify its billing practices to
get express consent from customers before charging them for future

But before the FTC intervened, New York resident Ilana Imber-Gluck
slapped Google with a putative class action after discovering that
one of her sons spent $70 to buy in-app currency for the 99-cent
game "Run Jump Smash."  Other parents have since joined the
federal case, which was filed this past March in San Jose.

In a joint status report filed on Jan. 16, Google told U.S.
District Judge Ronald Whyte that it plans to file a request to
deny class certification since Imber-Gluck won't drop her case.
The company said the FTC settlement "affords plaintiffs all of the
relief to which they would be entitled if they succeeded in the

Other courts have found that plaintiffs cannot proceed with a
class action when they've already been offered refunds, the
company added.

But Imber-Gluck and the other parents countered that the FTC
settlement did not resolve their case, and said that six months'
of stonewalling discovery by Google make any request to deny
certification premature.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Todd D. Carpenter, Esq.
          402 West Broadway, 29th Floor
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 347-3517
          Facsimile: (619) 756-6990
          E-mail: Todd@carpenterlawyers.com

               - and -

          James R. Patterson, Esq.
          402 West Broadway, 29th Floor
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 398-4760
          Facsimile: (619) 756-6991
          E-mail: Jim@pattersonlawgroup.com

               - and -

          Edwin J. Kilpela, Jr., Esq.
          Benjamin J. Sweet, Esq.
          PNC Park
          115 Federal St., Suite 210
          Pittsburgh, PA 15212
          Telephone: (412) 322-9243
          Facsimile: (412) 231-0246
          E-mail: ekilpela@carlsonlynch.com

               - and -

          Shanon J. Carson, Esq.
          BERGER & MONTAGUE, P.C.
          1622 Locust St.
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Telephone: (215) 875-4656
          Facsimile: (215) 875-4604
          E-mail: scarson@bm.net

The Defendant is represented by:

          Corey W. Roush, Esq.
          John R. Robertson, Esq.
          Logan Michael Breed, Esq.
          555 Thirteenth Street, NW
          Washington, DC 20005
          Telephone: (202) 637-5600
          Facsimile: (202) 637-5910
          E-mail: corey.roush@hoganlovells.com

               - and -

          John E. Schmidtlein, Esq.
          James H. Weingarten, Esq.
          725 Twelfth Street NW
          Washington, DC 20005
          Telephone: (202) 434-5000
          Facsimile: (202) 434-5029
          E-mail: jschmidtlein@wc.com

The case is A.B., a Minor, by and through his Guardian Ilana
Imber-Gluck, et al. v. Google, Inc., Case No. 5:14-cv-01070-RMW,
in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California, San Jose Division.

GUAM, USA: Accused of Not Returning Ancestral Land to Owners
Writing for Courthouse News Service, Philip A. Janquart reports
that Guam has not returned land that belongs to ancestral
landowners, or provided compensation for it, a landowner claims in
a federal class action.

Guam is an unincorporated U.S. territory in the Western Pacific
Ocean, and is the largest of the Marianas Islands.  The Japanese
occupied the area before the United States regained control of the
islands during World War II.  The U.S. Navy condemned and
converted large sections of the island into military bases where
the Antonio Won Pat International Airport now sits.

The airport authority and Guam itself are the lead defendants in
the federal complaint in Hagatna.  Also sued are the territory's
governor, the chairman of the airport board, and the chairwoman of
the Guam Ancestral Lands Commission.  The land the airport
occupies was appraised at $51.2 million in 2000, making it some of
the most valuable property in Guam, according to lead plaintiff
Vicente Palacios Crawford.  He claims the Guam International
Airport Authority received $66.5 million in revenue in 2012,
including $4 million in income through airport property rentals,
and reported $52.5 million in operating income that year.

Crawford says that instead of making money on renting the
properties, they should be returned to the rightful owners, or the
ancestral landowners should be properly compensated.

Crawford owns lot 5204, in Tiyan, Barriga. He says he filed an
Ancestral Title and Compensation Application with the Guam
Ancestral Lands Commission and a Claim of Interest with the
Department of Land Management, which was verified by both
agencies, but has not been compensated for the airport's use of
his family's land.

Lands taken by the U.S. government during World War II were handed
back to the Guam government in 1945 under the Guam Land Transfer
Act.  Crawford concedes that some of the land has since been
returned to landowners, but not all.

"Since the passage of the Guam Land Transfer Act, the U.S. has
transferred excess lands to the government of Guam as its military
operations in Guam decreased," the complaint states.  "Although
Guam has returned many of those properties to its ancestral
landowners, it retains possession of large amounts of ancestral
land.  The ancestral landowners whose lands have not been returned
to them are referred to 'dispossessed ancestral landowners.'"

Crawford says the families who have not had their land returned,
or have not been compensated, face an unfair system to determine
compensation rights.

"The procedures Guam has established to compensate dispossessed
ancestral landowners . . . (i) place the burden of obtaining
compensation on the landowners, (ii) arbitrarily limit the sources
and amount of compensation, and (iii) provide no mechanism for
determining the value of ancestral land claims and the
compensation owed," according to the complaint.  "Ancestral
landowners whose property the government of Guam retains have not
had their lands returned and have not received full compensation."

Crawford seeks class certification, wants the court to order the
government to treat the class the same as the other ancestral
landowners who have received "complete relief," by properly
valuing their claims and providing "full" compensation.  He also
seeks disgorgement of the money the government made by its use of
the class's lands, and damages for breach of contract and unjust

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Ignacio Aguigui, Esq.
          RK Plaza, Suite 310
          341 S. Marine Corps Drive
          Tamuning, GU 96913
          Telephone: (671) 989-9253
          Facsimile: (671) 989-9255
          E-mail: ica@aguigui.com

               - and -

          Daniel Girard, Esq.
          Scott Grzenczyk, Esq.
          601 California Street, 14th Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94108
          Telephone: (415) 981-4800
          Facsimile: (415) 981-4846
          E-mail: dcg@GirardGibbs.com

                           *     *     *

Jerick Sablan, writing for Pacific Daily News, reports that
Vicente "Benny" Crawford, through his attorneys, filed the class-
action complaint on Jan. 16 against the government of Guam,
including the governor and the A.B. Won Pat Guam International
Airport Authority.  The complaint seeks a jury trial and asks that
the ancestral landowners be compensated for lands used by the
government-run airport.

The Ancestral Lands Commission currently is working on rules and
regulations to compensate owners whose land cannot be returned, as
required by Guam law.  The commission postponed its vote on the
rules and regulations, saying it needed more time to review and
amend them.  More than $3 million is available to compensate the
ancestral landowners, from lease payments collected by the
Ancestral Lands Commission.

Mr. Crawford on Jan. 19 said he's thankful that the San Francisco
law firm Girard Gibbs LLP and the Guam Law Offices of Ignacio,
Cruz, Aguigui have picked up the case.

Mr. Crawford said he's hopeful some form of payment can finally be
approved for the landowners.

"We don't know what the end result will be, but at least something
is happening," he said.

HALL RENDER: Faces "Gartman" Suit in Wis. Over Violation of FDCPA
Mina Gartmann, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated v. Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C., and
Clement Manor, Inc., Case No. 2:15-cv-00113 (E.D. Wis., January
28, 2015), seeks to redress the Defendant's unlawful debt
collection practices in violation the Fair Debt Collection
Practices Act.

Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C. is a law firm with
offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Clement Manor, Inc. a Wisconsin corporation provides health care
and residential services.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      John D. Blythin, Esq.
      3620 E Layton Ave
      Cudahy, WI 53110
      Telephone: (414) 482-8000
      Facsimile: (414) 482-8001
      E-mail: jblythin@ademilaw.com

HARTFORD FINANCIAL: 9th Cir. Affirms Dismissal of "Cantrall" Suit
In a diversity putative class action, Jessica Cantrall files suit
against Defendants Hartford Financial Services Group and several
affiliated Hartford entities.  Cantrall purports to represent a
class of California consumers who allege that they were charged
more for cell phone insurance from 2001 to July 2005 than the
rates that the Hartford defendants filed by statute with the
California Department of Insurance.  The district court dismissed
Cantrall's Complaint on California statute of limitations grounds.

In a memorandum dated Jan. 28, 2015, the United States Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court's
decision, after determining that the district court did not err in
denying Cantrall's equitable estoppel claim because Cantrall
admits that she was not aware of her claim until March 2012, well
after the statute of limitations period had run.  Cantrall, the
Ninth Circuit pointed out, does not show that the Hartford
defendants undertook any action to delay her filing of the cause
of action.

The appeals case is JESSICA CANTRALL, Plaintiff-Appellant, v.
Appellees, NO. 12-17319 (9th Cir.).  A full-text copy of the
Decision is available at http://is.gd/geKer5from Leagle.com.

HONDA MOTOR: Faces Class Suit in Kentucky Over Defective Airbags
Mr. David Cambron, Jr., a Louisville resident and owner of a 2005
Honda Pilot, has filed a class-action lawsuit alleging that both
Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (Honda) and Takata Corporation knew of the
dangers relating to Takata airbags for at least a decade, yet the
two manufacturing companies failed to inform the public because
full disclosure would have negatively impacted the market value of
Honda vehicles.

"Airbags are a critical safety component in automobiles," said
Strauss Troy Attorney Ron Parry.  "Purchasers and lessees of
vehicles have an expectation that airbags will operate properly to
prevent injury.  Honda's recent disclosure that the Takata airbags
installed in its automobiles are capable of causing injury or
death has significantly diminished the value of Honda

The legal complaint, filed January 9, 2015, in U.S. District
Court, Western District of Kentucky, seeks recovery of losses and
damages for the diminished value of the Class Members' Honda
vehicles.  Filed on behalf of citizens in the Commonwealth of
Kentucky who own Honda automobiles, the complaint asserts claims
under the Kentucky Consumer Protection Act and for breach of
implied warranties under Kentucky law.

The current Takata airbag recall includes more than 10 million
vehicles and approximately half of those are Hondas.  In
October 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
(NHTSA) issued a Consumer Advisory instructing automobile owners
to "act immediately on recall notices to replace defective Takata

Honda develops, produces and manufactures a variety of motor
products, ranging from small general-purpose engines and scooters
to specialty sports cars.  Takata Corporation manufactures and
sells motor vehicle seat belts, airbags, steering wheels, interior
trims and child restraint systems.

Mr. Cambron is represented by Attorney Ron Parry of Strauss Troy
Co., LPA (with offices in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky) and
Attorney Tad Thomas of the Thomas Law Offices, PLLC located in
Louisville, Kentucky.


Ron Parry, Attorney
Strauss Troy Co., LPA
Email: rrparry@strausstroy.com

Tad Thomas, Attorney
Thomas Law Offices, PLLC
Email: tad@tadthomas.com

JOHNSON HEALTH: Recalls Matrix Fitness Strength Training Machines
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
JHTNA Manufacturing LLC, of Milwaukee, Wis., announced a voluntary
recall of about 140 Matrix Fitness Varsity series strength
training machines. Consumers should stop using this product unless
otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to
resell a recalled consumer product.

The handle attachment on the strength training machines can detach
during use and hit the user with force and/or cause the user to
lose balance and fall. This poses a risk of impact injury,
laceration and fall hazards.

This recall involves five models of the Matrix Fitness series
strength training machines with chrome frames, stacked weights,
overhead pulleys, and some with black or blue vinyl seats and
thigh supports.  Models include VY-6021 Lat Pulldown, VY-6042
Bicep/Triceps Press, VY-6046 Lat Pulldown/Low Row, VY-6099 Total
Body Trainer, and the J7021 Special Order Lat Pull.  "Matrix" and
the model number are printed on a white sticker at the base of the
machines. They are used in commercial fitness facilities such as
health clubs, hotels, apartment complexes and rehabilitation
centers, schools and municipal facilities.

Johnson Health Tech is aware of two injuries, including a man who
was hit and cut on the head when the handle detached and another
man who fell when the handle detached on his machine.

Pictures of the Recalled Products available at:

The recalled products were manufactured in United States and sold
at Johnson Health Tech North America and its fitness equipment
dealers nationwide from July 2013 through October 2014 for between
$3,300 and $4,000.

Owners should immediately prevent people from using the strength
training machines and contact Johnson Health Tech North America to
schedule a free repair.

IQ DATA: Sued by Insurer Over Pending Class Suit in New Mexico
Houston Specialty Insurance Company v. I.Q. Data International,
Inc., Case No. 1:15-cv-00574-JPO (S.D.N.Y., January 26, 2015)
seeks a judicial declaration that the Plaintiff is entitled to
reimbursement from the Defendant, a debt collection service, of
the $1 million that Houston Specialty has agreed to pay -- subject
to full reservation of its reimbursement rights against the
Defendant -- in settlement of the putative class action lawsuit
titled Jacquelyn Jones v. I.Q. Data International, Inc., Case No.
1:14-CV-00130-PJK-RHS, pending in the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Mexico.

The Complaint in the Jones Lawsuit seeks an award of statutory
penalty damages and treble damages against the Defendant for
alleged repeated violations of the Fair Debt Collection Practice
Act and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, by virtue of the
Defendant's alleged use of an automatic telephone dialing system.

Houston Specialty issued a $2 million Miscellaneous Professional
Liability Insurance policy to the Defendant with a policy period
of February 1, 2014, to February 1, 2015.  The Policy excludes
from the definition of Damages, amounts that constitute
"penalties".  Statutory damages under both the FDCPA and the TCPA
constitute a penalty and are not covered as Damages under the
Policy, according to the complaint.

The Policy provides that New York law governs all matters related
to the validity, interpretation, performance and enforcement of
the Policy.  Punitive, exemplary and treble damages are
uninsurable as a matter of public policy under New York law.  The
treble damages sought in the Jones Lawsuit are, therefore, not
covered as Damages under the Policy, the Plaintiff contends.

If judicial approval of the settlement of the Jones Lawsuit is
forthcoming, Houston Specialty's $1 million settlement payment
will constitute an advance for non-covered liabilities for which
Houston Specialty is entitled to reimbursement from the Defendant
under the Policy, the complaint explains.

The Plaintiff is an insurance company domiciled in the state of

The Defendant is a Washington State corporation authorized to and
does conduct business in the state of New York.

The Plaintiffs is represented by:

          David Alfred Boyar, Esq.
          D'AMATO & LYNCH
          2 World Financial Center
          New York, NY 10281
          Telephone: (212) 269-0927
          Facsimile: (212) 269-3559
          E-mail: dboyar@damato-lynch.com

KINSLEY CONSTRUCTION: Doesn't Properly Pay Workers, Suit Claims
James Kolba, on behalf of himself and those similarly situated v.
Kinsley Construction Inc. and John Does 1-10, Case No. 1:15-cv-
00206 (M.D. Pa., January 28, 2015), is brought against the
Defendants for failure to proper overtime compensation in
violation of the Fair Labor Standard Act.

Kinsley Construction Inc. is a Pennsylvania construction company
operating at 2700 Water Street York, PA 17405.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Justin L. Swidler, Esq.
      1878 Marlton Pike East, Suite 10
      Cherry Hill, NJ 08003
      Telephone: (856) 685-7420
      Facsimile: (856) 685-7417
      E-mail: jswidler@swartz-legal.com

         - and -

      Matthew D. Miller, Esq.
      Richard S. Swartz, Esq.
      1101 Kings Highway North, Suite 420
      Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
      Telephone: (856) 685-7420
      Facsimile: (856) 685-7417
      E-mail: mmiller@swartz-legal.com

LEXICON INC: Fails to Pay Proper Overtime Wages, Suit Claims
Billy Wilhite v. Lexicon, Inc., Case No. 4:15-cv-00061-BSM (E.D.
Ark., January 26, 2015) arises from the Defendant's alleged
failure to pay the Plaintiff overtime and minimum wage
compensation for all hours that the Plaintiff and all others
similarly situated worked in excess of 40 per workweek, and for
those hours the Plaintiff worked off the clock.

The was an employee at the Defendant's metal shop in Little Rock,

Lexicon, Inc., is an Arkansas corporation headquartered in Little
Rock with locations throughout Arkansas.  The Company operates
metal shops.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Chris Burks, Esq.
          Joshua Sanford, Esq.
          One Financial Center
          650 South Shackleford, Suite 411
          Little Rock, AR 72211
          Telephone: (501) 221-0088
          Facsimile: (888) 787-2040
          E-mail: chris@sanfordlawfirm.com

MEDBOX INC: Faces "Gutierrez" Suit Over Misleading Fin'l Reports
Ervin Gutierrez, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Medbox, Inc., Bruce Bedrick, Guy Marsala,
Thomas Iwanski, and Vincent Mehdizadeh, Case No. 2:15-cv-00636
(C.D. Cal., January 28, 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.

Medbox, Inc. is a Nevada corporation headquartered in West
Hollywood, California. It describes itself as a leading dispensary
infrastructure and licensing specialist, patented technology
provider, and partner to the cannabis industry.

The Individual Defendants are officers and directors of Medbox,

The Plaintiff is represented by:

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

MI BOHIO: Faces "Apolinario" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime
Otilio Apolinario, and all others similarly situated under
29 U.S.C. Section 216(b) v. Mi Bohio Restaurant & Lounge Corp.
d/b/a Purita's Restaurant and Lounge, Pura D. Abreu, Mariano A.
Abreu, Case No. 0:15-cv-60166 (S.D. Fla., January 28, 2015), is
brought against the Defendants for failure to overtime for work
performed in excess of 40 hours weekly.

The Defendants own and operate Purita's Restaurant and Lounge in
Broward County, Florida.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

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

MICOR COMMUNICATIONS: Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Overtime Wages
Gregory Harris, Justin Williams, Harry Brigman, James Douglas and
Steven Hooper, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. Micor Communications FLA, LLC, a Florida Limited
Liability company, Case No. 3:15-cv-00030 (N.D. Fla., January 28,
2015), seeks to recover overtime compensation and other relief
under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Micor Communications FLA, LLC is a limited liability company that
provides cable installation services with a principal place of
business in Pensacola, Escambia County, Florida.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Chris Richard Miltenberger, Esq.
      1340 N White Chapel, Ste 100
      Southlake, TX 76092
      Telephone: (817) 416-5060
      Facsimile: (817) 416-5062
      E-mail: chris@crmlawpractice.com

MIDDLE EAST BAKERY: Recalls Joseph's & Trader Joe's Bread Items
Middle East Bakery, Inc. of Lawrence, Massachusetts is recalling
select lots of bread products bearing the Joseph's and Trader
Joe's brand names because they may contain undeclared soy. People
who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to soy run the risk of
serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume
these products.

The Joseph's brand name products were distributed in markets in
Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts and Connecticut, and
in the following stores: Market Basket, Stop & Shop, Shaw's,
Hannaford and Big Y.

The Joseph's products are as follows:

Joseph's Mini Whole Wheat Pita, UPC 074117000413, with a sell by
date of February 5, 2015 printed on the plastic closure tab.
Product is packaged in a plastic bag.

Joseph's Mini White Pita, UPC 074117000420, with a sell by date of
February 5, 2015 printed on the plastic closure tab. Product is
packaged in a plastic bag.

Joseph's White Lavash, UPC 074117000697, with a sell by date of
February 17, 2015 printed on the front panel of the package.
Product is packaged in a plastic zip top bag.

The Trader Joe's products were distributed only in Trader Joe's
stores in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts,
New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
Vermont, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

The Trader Joe's products are as follows:

   --- Trader Joe's 8 oz. Apocryphal 100% Whole Wheat Pita, UPC
       00146326, with a sell by date of "FEB 05" printed on the
       plastic closure tab.

   --- Trader Joe's 10 oz. Apocryphal 100% Whole Wheat Pita, UPC
       00146333, with a sell by date of "FEB 05" printed on the
       plastic closure tab.

Trader Joe's Pita Bread, UPC 00146340, with a sell by date of "FEB
05" printed on the plastic closure tab.

Trader Joe's Organic Pita Pocket Bread 100% Whole Wheat, UPC
00721196, with a sell by date of "FEB 03"

Trader Joe's Pocketful of Fiber Pita Bread, UPC 00945097 with a
sell by date of ''FEB 05'' printed on the plastic closure tab.

There have been no illnesses reported to date. The recall was
initiated after a temporary breakdown in the company's production
and packaging processes. This announcement is intended to warn
consumers who may have unconsumed product in their home.

Consumers who have an allergy to soy and purchased these Pita and
Lavash breads should discard the product immediately or return it
to their point of purchase for a full refund. Customers with
questions may contact Middle East bakery at (978) 688-2221, Monday
through Friday 9:00 to 5:00 EST.

MIRKA ABRASIVES: Recalls Orbital Sanders Due to Burn Hazard
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Mirka Abrasives, Inc. of Twinsburg, Ohio, announced a voluntary
recall of about 574 in the U.S. and 21 in Canada Random orbital
sanders (About 440 in the U.S. and 85 in Canada were previously
recalled in June 2014.). Consumers should stop using this product
unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt
to resell a recalled consumer product.

The sander can short circuit, posing a fire hazard.

This recall involves 5-inch and 6-inch Mirka CEROS compact
electric random orbital sanders. The sanders are yellow and black
with Mirka logo on the front. A speed control lever is on the top
of the sanders and a vacuum hose connector on the rear. The
recalled sanders came with either a cardboard box or a plastic
carrying case, a 12-foot power cord, a wrench, a multi-hole backup
pad and assorted abrasives. Some also came with a DC transformer.
The 5-inch sander is model CEROS550.  The 6-inch sander is model
CEROS650. Model information is on a white sticker on the back of
the sander housing beneath the hand grip. Serial numbers are
engraved on the side of the sander housing just above the dust
shroud. Sanders with serial numbers in the following ranges are
being recalled:

   Model               Serial Number Range
   -----               -------------------
   CEROS550            345231326001 to 345231326023
                       345331326001 to 345331326025
                       401528672001 to 401528672080
                       402228672001 to 402228672016
   CEROS650            401428673001 to 401428673070
                       401528673001 to 401528673026

Also being recalled in the U.S. only: Sander models CEROS550,
CEROS650, and 6-inch sander model CEROS680 that were sent to the
Mirka Authorized Repair Center between February 24, 2014 and
December 16, 2014 to receive a new speed controller. Mirka is
directly contacting U.S. consumers with sanders that were sent to
the repair center and have serial numbers in the following ranges:

   Model              Serial Number Range
   -----              -------------------
   CEROS550           241328672025 to 417528672091
                      CNM25465 to VUU35621
   CEROS650           334328673009 to 401428673070
                      CNM25731 to VVU66448
   CEROS680           CLA47198 to VLA38835

The serial numbers are engraved on the side of the sander housing
just above the dust shroud or on a white label on the back of the
sander housing beneath the grip.

Mirka Abrasives has received five reports of electrical shorting
incidents which included the sanders sparking and smoking. No
injuries or property damage have been reported.

Pictures of the Recalled Products available at:

The recalled products were manufactured in Finland and sold at
Various distributors and independent retailers nationwide and at
Amazon.com, Beavertools.com and other online retailers from March
2014 to November 2014 for about $500.

Customers should immediately stop using the recalled sanders,
unplug them and contact Mirka Abrasives for a free replacement.

NESCO SERVICE: Sued in S.D. Texas Over Failure to Pay Overtime
Robert St. John, Individually and for Others Similarly Situated v.
Nesco Service Co., Nesco Resource, and Nesco, Inc., Case No. 4:15-
cv-00253 (S.D. Tex., January 28, 2015), is brought against the
Defendants for failure to pay overtime wages for hours worked
excess of forty 40 in a workweek.

The Defendants own and operate a staffing company providing
engineering, IT, Light Industrial, Administrative and Accounting &
Finance personnel to customers throughout the United States.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      James A. Jones, Esq.
      8 Greenway Plaza, Ste 1500
      Houston, TX 77046
      Telephone: (713) 877-8788
      E-mail: jjones@brucknerburch.com

NEW YORK: Education Dep't Sued for Discriminating v. Older Staff
Lisa B. Deleo, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. New York City Department of Education, Rashaunda Shaw,
Dayne McLean and Sharon Spann, Case No. 1:15-cv-00591-AT
(S.D.N.Y., January 26, 2015) alleges job discrimination due to

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Cyrus E. Dugger, Esq.
          3 Park Ave.
          New York, NY 10016
          Telephone: (212) 245-2109
          Facsimile: (646) 509-2094
          E-mail: cd@theduggerlawfirm.com

               - and -

          Daniela Elisabeth Nanau, Esq.
          1010 Northern Blvd., Suite 328
          Great Neck, NY 11021
          Telephone: (516) 248-5550
          Facsimile: (516) 248-6027
          E-mail: den@employmentlawyernewyork.com

NINE MILE MINING: Feb. 23 Final Settlement Hearing
Nola Sizemore, writing for Harland Daily, reports that alleging
the WARN Act was violated, coal miners once employed at Nine Mile
Mining Inc., a Jim Justice-owned coal mines located in Wise
County, Va., have now been granted a preliminary settlement in
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

U.S. District Judge James P. Jones entered an order dated Jan. 13
approving a proposed settlement in the class action lawsuit filed
approximately one year ago.

Under the proposed settlement, Nine Mile Mining Inc. has agreed to
pay a total of $745,000.  The amount of each class member's
settlement was derived by calculating an estimate of the amount of
wages each class member would receive in a 60-day period. Each
class member then receives a pro-rata percentage of his total
potential wage damages.  Each class member will receive 76.11
percent of his total potential wage damages, after attorneys'

Nine Mile Mining Inc. will provide the settlement payments (less
normal employee payroll withholdings), the service payment and
payment for medical bills to class counsel, who will then
distribute the settlement payments to the class members.  Nine
Mile Mining Inc. will also distribute W-2 forms to each class

The six named plaintiffs in the lawsuit will receive an additional
payment of $5,000 each, less attorneys' fees, in payment for the
service they provided to the class action lawsuit in connection
with the prosecution of this action.

Three class members will receive additional net payments for
medical payments they incurred within 60 days of May 17, 2013.  In
particular, Claude McConnell will receive $298.75, Matthew Balthis
will receive $185.94 and Charles Goodwin Jr. will receive $800.57.
No other medical expenses were submitted by class members.

"We are pleased with this development and it means we're closer to
bringing this to a final resolution," said attorney Hugh
O'Donnell, of Client Centered Legal Services of Southwest
Virginia.   "A final hearing on the proposed settlement will take
place on Feb. 23 at 10:30 a.m. in U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Virginia at the U.S. Courthouse and Federal
Building, 180 West Main, Abingdon, Va."

NPS PHARMACEUTICALS: Being Sold for Too Little, Suit Claims
Courthouse News Service reports that directors are selling NPS
Pharmaceuticals too cheaply through an unfair process to Shire,
for $46 a share or $5.2 billion, shareholders claim in a class
action in Delaware Chancery Court.

PHH CORP: Awaits Ruling on 2008 Class Action
Respa News reports that nearly a year since the CFPB filed a
notice of charges against New Jersey mortgage lender PHH Corp.,
and its subsidiaries for alleged illegal captive reinsurance
activities, a final decision soon will be made on an
administrative law judge's recommendation that the companies be
deemed guilty of violating RESPA and pay almost $6.5 million in
disgorgement.  At the same time, a class-action lawsuit filed
against PHH -- which is believed to have created the first captive
reinsurance entity in the mortgage industry in the 1990s -- has
been winding its way through a California federal court since 2008
and finally could be decided.

PRIMAL VANTAGE: Recalls Ameristep Tree Stands Due to Fall Hazard
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Primal Vantage Co., of Bernardsville, N.J, announced a voluntary
recall of about 1,000 Ameristep Hyde Cliff Hanger and Sky Walker
Tree Stands. Consumers should stop using this product unless
otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to
resell a recalled consumer product.

The cast aluminum platform can break, causing the user to fall to
the ground and suffer serious injuries.

This recall involves two 2014 models of hang-on tree stands used
by hunters. They include the Ameristep Hyde Cliff Hanger with
model number 2RX1H008C and date code JH-2014-3-6 and the Ameristep
Hyde Sky Walker with model number 2RX1H009C and date code JH-2014-
3-6. The date code is stamped on the back of the tree stand's
aluminum seat frame.  The model number is printed on the packaging
and in the instruction manual. "Hyde" is printed in red on the
vertical aluminum bar between the seat and the foot platform.

Pictures of the Recalled Products available at:

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold at Bass
Pro Shops and other sporting goods stores nationwide from July
2014 through November 2014 for between $220 and $250.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled product and
contact Primal Vantage for a full refund.

RC BIGELOW: "Victor" Class Certification Hearing Set for June 17
Judge William H. Orrick of the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division,
approved a stipulation scheduling the class certification hearing
for June 17, 2015, in the putative class action lawsuit captioned
ADAM VICTOR, individually and on behalf of all other similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. R.C. BIGELOW, INC., Defendant, CASE NO.
3:13-CV-02976-WHO (N.D. Calif.).  A full-text copy of Judge
Orrick's Order dated Jan. 9, 2015, is available at
http://is.gd/EKydugfrom Leagle.com.

MILES D. SCULLY, Esq. -- mscully@gordonrees.com -- TIMOTHY K.
BRANSON, Esq. -- tbranson@gordonrees.com -- JONI M. BORZCIK, Esq.
-- jborzcik@gordonrees.com -- at GORDON & REES LLP, San Diego, CA,
Attorneys for Defendant R.C. BIGELOW, INC.

Ben F. Pierce Gore, PRATT & ASSOCIATES, San Jose, CA, J. Price
Coleman (Pro Hac Vice) Coleman Law Firm, Oxford, MS, Attorneys for
Plaintiff ADAM VICTOR.

REED ELSEVIER: Sued by Yudkin & Brebner Over Court Access Denial
Dan McCue, writing for Courthouse News Service, reports that
LexisNexis failed to take reasonable steps to ensure Kentucky law
firms have unfettered access to their court's new electronic
filing system, a class action claims.

In its lawsuit, plaintiff Yudkin & Brebner law firm says it
attempted to e-file a complaint with the Fayette County Circuit
Court when it was notified that its check was declined by
LexisNexis, which is owned by defendant Reed Elsevier Inc.

The reason given was insufficient funds to cover the check in the
plaintiff's bank account.

At the time, attorney Franklin Yudkin had just completed e-filing
training in Frankfort, Ky., and this was the first case the firm
had attempted to E-file, the complaint says.

The law firm checked with its bank, and was told there was
sufficient money in its account to cover the transaction.  It says
a subsequent investigation revealed the decision to decline its
payment was based on erroneous information contained in a consumer
credit report provided by defendant Global Payment Check Services
Inc., which is owned by defendant Global Payments.

Yudkin & Brebner says that after talking to its bank, it is
certain defendant Global had records indicating there was
sufficient money in the firm's court cost account to pay any
electronic check on the day it was presented.

But the law firm's frustration didn't end there.  It says it
attempted t contact Global Payment Check Services to rectify the
situation, but could not reach anything but voice mail when it
attempted to call the number and extension provided for customer

"When Yudkin attempted to press any other extensions, humans who
answer[ed] would not speak to him about the situation and said the
only solution was to leave a voice message on extension 407," the
complaint says.

The law firm says the problem has not been rectified and that to
date it, "has been denied the ability to E-file any actions in the
Commonwealth of Kentucky, when it has funds available in its bank
account to cover the E-filing presentations."

It asserts that "LexisNexis/Reed Elsevier Inc., uses its divisions
of LexisNexis Vitalchek Network Inc., and/or LexisNexis Risk
Solutions Inc. to deny Plaintiff the right to E-file in the
Fayette Circuit Court or any other courts in Kentucky that allow

Yudkin & Brebner seeks class action status for all Kentucky
lawyers, unspecified damages and injunctive relief on claims of
violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act and the Kentucky
Consumer Protection Act.

The complaint was filed by:

          Franklin S. Yudkin, Esq.
          600 W. Main Street, Floor 5
          Louisville, KY 40202
          Telephone: (502) 272-2020
          Facsimile: (502) 272-2019
          E-mail: fyudkin@bellsouth.net

SEVEN FIFTY-FOUR: Cal. App. Reverses Ruling in "Avelar" Suit
Carlos Avelar used to work as a waiter at an International House
of Pancakes restaurant owned and operated by defendant Seven
Fifty-Four, Inc.  In an action, Avelar alleges that IHOP 754
violated state labor laws and asserted various causes of action
individually, on behalf of a class, and as the representative of
other employees pursuant to the Labor Code Private Attorneys
General Act of 2004 (PAGA) (Lab. Code, Section 2698 et seq.).

IHOP 754 moved to compel arbitration, based on a one-page
arbitration agreement signed by Avelar.  In opposition, Avelar
testified, among other things, that IHOP 754 never gave him an
opportunity to read the arbitration agreement, and that he
understood that he had to sign it to keep his job.  The trial
court refused to enforce the arbitration agreement, ruling that it
was both procedurally and substantively unconscionable.

IHOP 754 appeals, and the Court of Appeals of California, Fourth
District, Division Two, in a Jan. 26, 2015, opinion, reversed,
explaining that while it agrees that the arbitration agreement was
procedurally unconscionable, it says it cannot agree that it was
substantively unconscionable.  Accordingly, Avelar can be required
to arbitrate all of his claims, with the sole exception of his
PAGA claim, the Court of Appeals ruled.

The case is CARLOS AVELAR, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. SEVEN
FIFTY-FOUR, INC. et al., Defendants and Appellants, NO. E059862
(Cal. App.).  A full-text copy of the Decision is available at
http://is.gd/5LZ7Lgfrom Leagle.com.

Garrett & Tully, Efren A. Compean, and Trang T. Tran for
Defendants and Appellants.

Hathaway, Perrett, Webster, Powers, Chrisman & Gutierrez and
Alejandro P. Gutierrez, Esq. -- agutierrez@hathawaylawfirm.com;
Law Office of Robert W. Skripko, Jr. and Robert W. Skripko, Jr.,
for Plaintiff and Respondent.

SIOUX CITY, IA: Residents to Share Franchise Fee Settlement
Beverly Perry, writing for KTIV, reports that Sioux City residents
will share millions of dollars following the settlement of a class
action lawsuit over franchise fees the city collected from 2001 to

At the time, the city charged a two-percent fee for gas and
electricity customers of MidAmerican Energy Company, and Woodbury
County Rural Electric Cooperative.

But, there was no state law that authorized such a fee.

The city was ordered to pay the money back to customers.

Ross Consulting is mailing out claim forms, which need to be
returned by February 26.

"MidAmerican and Woodbury County Electric compiled a list of
account holders for the time period in question.  They were able
to provide the addresses and contact information that they would
have had to the individuals, forwarding addresses and so forth to
the claims administrator," said Nicole Jensen, City Attorney.

The legislature has since passed a law that allows cities to
charge a franchise fee of up to five percent.  And that's exactly
what Sioux City plans to do to pay for the settlement.

The settlement amounts to $6.4 million.  But, after legal fees,
the amount owed is about $4 million.

Follow this link to get to the settlement page:

SKY CHEFS: Stipulation Staying "Teruel" Suit Approved
Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal of the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California, San Jose Division,
approved on Jan. 27, 2015, the stipulation staying the action
styled PATRICIA TERUEL, Plaintiff, v. SKY CHEFS, INC. and DOES 1
through 10, Defendants, CASE NO. 5:14-CV-04705 PSG (N.D. Calif.),
for 90 days in order to facilitate settlement negotiations and the
efficient resolution of the case and another case currently
pending in the Superior Court of California (County of Santa
Clara).  A full-text copy of Magistrate Grewal's Decision is
available at http://is.gd/L9UVXkfrom Leagle.com.

Thomas M. McInerney, Esq. -- tmm@ogletreedeakins.com -- and
Christopher M. Ahearn, Esq. --
christopher.ahearn@ogletreedeakins.com -- OGLETREE, DEAKINS, NASH,
SMOAK & STEWART, P.C., San Francisco, CA, Attorneys for Defendant

POLARIS LAW GROUP, LLP, William L. Marder, Esq. --
bill@polarislawgroup.com -- Attorneys for Plaintiff PATRICIA

STRATEGIC HOTELS: Sued Over Violation of Fair Labor Standard Act
Access 4 All, Inc., a Florida Non Profit Corporation, and Nelson
M. Stern v. Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc., a Maryland
Corporation, Case No. 1:15-cv-00637 (S.D.N.Y., January 28, 2015),
is brought against the Defendant for violation of the Americans
with Disabilities Act.

Strategic Hotels & Resorts, Inc. owns and operate JW Marriott
Essex House Hotel, located at 160 Central Park South, New York, NY

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Lawrence A. Fuller, Esq.
      12000 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 502
      North Miami, FL 33181
      Telephone: (305) 891-5199
      Facsimile: (305) 893-9505
      E-mail: Lfuller@fullerfuller.com

         - and -

      Nelson M. Stern, Esq.
      115 East 87th St., Suite 7C
      New York, NY 10128
      Telephone: (917) 774-1330
      Facsimile: (212) 717-4061
      E-mail: scooterlawyer@aol.com

STURON INC: "Molina" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Overtime Wages
Rosalinda Molina and all other similarly situated employees v.
Sturon, Inc., a Florida Corporation, Case No. 1:15-cv-20321 (S.D.
Fla., January 28, 2015), seeks to recover unpaid overtime
compensation, declaratory relief and other relief under the Fair
Labor Standards Act.

Sturon, Inc. owns and operates a wholesale nursery in Miami-Dade
County, Florida.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Sean P. O'Connor, Esq.
      211 N Krome Avenue
      Homestead, FL 33030
      Telephone: (305) 245-3230
      Facsimile: 245-3282
      E-mail: oconnorlaw@bellsouth.net

SUNBEAM PRODUCTS: Recalls Oil-Filled Heaters Due to Scald Hazard
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Sunbeam Products, Inc., Boca Raton, Fla., announced a voluntary
recall of about 34,000 Oil-Filled Heater in United States.
Consumers should stop using this product unless otherwise
instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt to resell a
recalled consumer product.

The oil-filled heaters can spray heated oil, posing a scald

This recall involves Holmes brand oil-filled heaters that are
black or white in color. The heaters included in the recall are
about 23 inches tall, 6 inches deep and 12 inches wide and have
model number HOH3000 or HOH3000B printed on a label on the bottom
of the product. The "Holmes" logo is near the power switch and
temperature control. Products affected have a code on the heater
plug blade within the following range: G192 through G298.  No
other codes are affected.

The firm has received approximately 40 reports of units that
unexpectedly sprayed heated oil, resulting in reports of property
damage involving damaged carpet and fabrics. No injuries reported.

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold at
Target and small department stores nationwide from August 2014
through November 2014 for about $50.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled heater,
unplug it and contact Sunbeam for instructions on how to obtain a
full refund.

SYNGENTA CORP: "Runsick" Suit Consolidated in MIR162 Corn MDL
The class action lawsuit titled Runsick v. Syngenta Corporation,
et al., Case No. 3:15-cv-00006, was transferred from the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas to the U.S.
District Court for the District of Kansas (Kansas City).  The
Kansas District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 2:15-cv-02282-JWL-
JPO to the proceeding.

The lawsuit is consolidated in the multidistrict litigation known
as In re: Syngenta AG MIR162 Corn Litigation, MDL No. 2:14-md-

The cases concern the Syngenta defendants' alleged decision to
commercialize corn seeds containing a genetically modified trait,
known as "MIR162," that reportedly controls certain insects.  Corn
with this trait has entered U.S. corn stocks but has not been
approved for import by the Chinese government, which has imposed a
complete ban on U.S. corn with this trait.  The Plaintiffs are
corn growers and grain exporters, who allegedly suffered economic
losses resulting from China's refusal to accept MIR162 corn.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Corey D. McGaha, Esq.
          Scott E. Poynter, Esq.
          William T. Crowder, Esq.
          The Rozelle-Murphy House
          1301 Scott Street
          Little Rock, AR 72202
          Telephone: (501) 907-2555
          Facsimile: (501) 907-2556
          E-mail: cmcgaha@emersonpoynter.com

               - and -

          John G. Emerson, Jr., Esq.
          830 Apollo Lane
          Houston, TX 77058
          Telephone: (501) 907-2555
          Facsimile: (501) 907-2555
          E-mail: jemerson@emersonpoynter.com

               - and -

          Daniel E. Bacine, Esq.
          Two Commerce Square
          2001 Market Street
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Telephone: (215) 963-0600
          Facsimile: (215) 963-0838
          E-mail: dbacine@barrack.com

               - and -

          Stephen R. Basser, Esq.
          600 West Broadway, Suite 900
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 230-0800
          Facsimile: (619) 230-1874
          E-mail: sbasser@barrack.com

TAKATA CORPORATION: Faces "Corticeiro" Suit Over Defective Airbag
Joana Corticeiro, individually and on behalf of those similarly
situated v. Takata Corporation, et al., Case No. 3:15-cv-00616
(D.N.J., January 28, 2015), alleges that the Defective Vehicles
contain airbags manufactured by the Defendant that, instead of
protecting vehicle occupants from bodily injury during accidents,
violently explode and expel vehicle occupants with lethal amounts
of metal debris and shrapnel.

Takata Corporation is a specialized supplier of automotive safety
systems that designs, manufactures, tests, markets, distributes,
and sells airbags.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Gerald H. Clark, Esq.
      William S. Peck, Esq.
      811 Sixteenth Avenue
      Belmar, NJ 07719
      Telephone: (732) 443-0333
      Facsimile: (732) 894-9647
      E-mail: gclark@clarklawnj.com

TALISMAN ENERGY: Being Sold for Too Little to Repsol, Suit Says
Courthouse News Service reports that directors are selling
Talisman Energy too cheaply through an unfair process to Repsol,
for $8.3 billion or $8 a share, shareholders claim in New York
County Supreme Court.

TITLEMAX: Appeals Court Rejects Argument in Wage-and-Hour Suit
Alyson Palmer, writing for Daily Report, reports that a panel of
the Atlanta-based federal appeals court has rejected a defense
that employers have been raising in the face of wage-and-hour

The defense argument, which has been used around the country,
contends that if an employee is complicit in inaccurately
reporting how many hours he has worked, he should not be allowed
to sue the employer later over wage-and-hour issues.  In the case
before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, the
plaintiff said he was told by a supervisor to clock out before he
actually went home because his employer, TitleMax of Georgia,
didn't pay overtime.

The Jan. 15 ruling appears to be the first federal appellate
ruling to address the defense tactic directly.

V. Severin Roberts of Barrett & Farahany in Atlanta, who made the
winning argument for the plaintiff, said defense attorneys
essentially have tried to shift to employees the responsibility of
complying with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).  The decision,
he said, "does away, at least for summary judgment purposes, with
that argument," said Mr. Roberts. "It's just not going to cut it
after this decision."

TitleMax's lawyers at Morris, Manning & Martin didn't give an
interview for this story.  But Atlanta lawyer Lisa "Lee" Schreter
-- lschreter@littler.com -- of Littler Mendelson, who has written
extensively in advocating for the adoption of the sort of defense
used by the company, said she thought TitleMax's case may be
different from other cases in which the defense is raised, in part
because the TitleMax supervisor allegedly engaged in misconduct by
altering the plaintiff's time records.  "I certainly do not view
[this] decision as precluding me from raising the defense in the
Eleventh Circuit," said Ms. Schreter.  "We'll keep duking it out."

Mr. Roberts' client is Santonias Bailey, who was an assistant
manager, then store manager, at a TitleMax store in Jonesboro.
Mr. Bailey, who worked at the store for about a year, claims that
his supervisor told him that TitleMax does not pay for overtime
and there would be days he would be working off the clock.
Mr. Bailey claims he would clock in and out when his supervisor
told him to, even though those times would not match up with the
hours he actually worked.  Mr. Bailey also says his supervisor
would edit his time records -- for example, saying he clocked out
an hour earlier later than he actually had.

After Mr. Bailey quit his job, he sued TitleMax under the FLSA,
claiming he worked overtime hours for which he was not paid.  The
FLSA requires employers to pay their employees at least one and a
half times their regular wage for every hour worked in excess of
40 hours per week.  A successful lawsuit can result in back
overtime pay -- sometimes double that as a penalty -- plus
attorney fees.

A brief filed by TitleMax cited testimony that Mr. Bailey had a
close friendship with his supervisor -- something Mr. Bailey's
lawyer disputed -- and also communicated directly with her boss,
the district manager, about various matters.  While Mr. Bailey's
lawyer points out that Mr. Bailey's supervisor had an incentive to
limit overtime pay because her bonus was tied to store profits,
TitleMax notes that Mr. Bailey also received bonuses tied to store
profits.  Mr. Bailey's lawyer said that Bailey's bonuses were
dwarfed by the overtime pay that he didn't receive.

TitleMax said Mr. Bailey complained about not being paid overtime
only after he wouldn't be receiving another bonus since he had
left the company. (Bailey's lawyer said it makes sense that an
employee would try to leave on good terms, particularly when he
thought a bonus was forthcoming.) TitleMax also noted that when
Bailey's replacement complained about the supervisor changing her
time cards, TitleMax terminated the supervisor and paid
Mr. Bailey's replacement back overtime pay.

TitleMax moved for summary judgment, contending that Mr. Bailey
couldn't recover any overtime pay because he had violated company
policies requiring accurate reporting of hours, regular
verification of time worked and reporting problems with a
supervisor to a higher-level manager or an anonymous hotline.

TitleMax invoked two closely-related affirmative defenses --
unclean hands and in pari delicto.

Senior U.S. District Judge Martin Shoob granted the motion, and
the plaintiff appealed to the Eleventh Circuit, where Judge Shoob
was reversed by a panel of Judge Beverly Martin, Senior Judge R.
Lanier Anderson and visiting Senior U.S. District Judge Denise
Cote of New York.

Writing for the panel, Judge Martin said that the purpose of the
FLSA -- to counteract the unequal bargaining power between
employees and employers -- compelled a ruling for the plaintiff.
"If an employer knew or had reason to know that its employee
under-reported his hours, it cannot escape FLSA liability by
asserting equitable defenses based on that underreporting," wrote
Judge Martin.  "To hold otherwise would allow an employer to wield
its superior bargaining power to pressure or even compel its
employees to underreport their work hours, thus neutering the
FLSA's purposeful reallocation of that power."

Judge Martin noted the Eleventh Circuit had ruled for plaintiffs
on similar facts.  In those cases, the employers had argued they
could not be held responsible because they didn't know about the
unpaid overtime, and the court ruled that supervisors' knowledge
could be attributed to the employer.  Judge Martin said that
TitleMax was presenting its argument "in different terms" than the
employers did in those cases, but she said TitleMax was simply
"making the same argument under a different name."

Judge Martin said TitleMax had pointed to no U.S. Supreme Court or
federal appeals court decision that approved the use of equitable
defenses as a total bar to an employee's FLSA claim when the
employer knew the employee underreported his hours.  She said a
Fifth Circuit decision cited by TitleMax was different because in
that case the employee who underreported her hours admitted that
no supervisor told her to do that.

The tactic employed by TitleMax is drawn from a defense recognized
by the U.S. Supreme Court for race and gender discrimination
cases, in which an employer sometimes can fight against the case
by pointing out that it had a complaint process that the employee
failed to use.  Mr. Roberts, who represents the employee suing
TitleMax, said he's seeing a similar defense raised in every case
about alleged off-the-clock work, although it rarely is raised as
a basis for summary judgment.  He said that hostile work
environment cases are different in that, for example, harassment
is never within a supervisor's job description, whereas overseeing
an employee's timekeeping is.

Leslie Nordin -- lnordin@mmmlaw.com -- special counsel at Morris
Manning, argued the appeal for TitleMax.  A Morris Manning partner
working with her on the case, R. Jason D'Cruz -- jdcruz@mmmlaw.com
-- relayed through a staff member that TitleMax soon will file
something else in the case.

Ms. Schreter, the Littler Mendelson lawyer, said she would have
liked the TitleMax case to have come out differently, but, based
on the Eleventh Circuit opinion alone, it was not clear that
TitleMax had employed all of the proactive measures she recommends
for her clients.  Besides training for supervisors and employees
and a complaint process that gives multiple avenues for employees
to raise their concerns, Ms. Schreter said she recommends having
employees verify that they have reported all of the time that
they've worked and that no one has instructed them to work off the
clock.  "I don't know anybody that really wants to litigate a
wage-and-hour case," she said.

The case is Bailey v. TitleMax of Georgia, No. 14-11747.

TOWERS PERRIN: Sued by Meriter Health Over Illegal Pension Plan
Molly Willms at Courthouse News Service reports that a hospital
system is looking to recoup its losses after an $82 million
settlement by going after the designers of its pension plan.

Meriter Health Services sued more than a dozen attorneys, pension
consultants and insurers it blames for an illegal pension plan
that necessitated a class action settlement.

According to the Jan. 6 lawsuit in Dane County Court, Towers
Perrin Forster & Crosby, a Pennsylvania actuarial firm that has
since undergone a merger, designed the faulty plan; Thomas
Hoffner, an attorney whose firm eventually became Godfrey & Kahn,
reviewed the plan as Meriter's benefits counsel from 1986 to 2011;
and consultant Gordon Enderle reviewed the plan and designed its
reconstruction in 2003.

"The primary cause of the class action being filed against Meriter
was the faulty plan design and substandard representations by
Towers Perrin, Enderle and Hoffner," the complaint states.

Meriter was formed in 1986 by a merger of two hospitals with
several employee pension plans, according to the complaint.

In the mid-1980s, defined benefit pension plans were being dropped
in favor of cash balance and defined contribution plans, leaving
Towers Perrin in "adverse financial conditions," according to the
complaint.  When the firm designed Meriter's plan, its own bottom
line took precedence over customer benefit, according to the

"Towers Perrin developed a cash balance design that looked like a
popular [defined contribution] plan but operated as a [defined
balance] plan to secure the continued need for pension and
actuarial services," the complaint states.

At the time, there were fewer than 30 cash balance plans in
existence, none of which had been approved by the IRS, in contrast
to the thousands of defined benefit and defined contribution
plans, according to the complaint.

"Towers Perrin did not think through the many risks of its novel
plan design, many of which came to fruition when such plans were
interpreted by the IRS and the courts," Meriter claims.

Meriter says that Hoffner and his supervisor failed to tell it
about his lack of experience reviewing pension plans of this size
and type, an omission that Meriter says led it to improperly trust

"Hoffner failed to meet the standard of practice, not only in his
advice or lack of advice to Meriter, but also in failing to serve
as a check on Towers Perrin's recommendations and advice regarding
plan issues," the complaint states.  "Hoffner relied on Towers
Perrin when he should have been an independent advisor checking on
their work product."

As a result, Meriter says, it was left with one plan option from
Towers Perrin with no competent legal counsel advising it of risks
and benefits or that the plan was an "untested, novel design."

By the time Enderle was hired in 2001, the plan costs were much
higher than anticipated, necessitating a reconstruction.  "Enderle
realized that the plan was a mess when he came aboard and that one
reason was Hoffner," the complaint states.

Meriter claims that Enderle kept his opinions to himself, which it
calls a breach of fiduciary duty.  Once Enderle and Hoffner
created an amended plan, they exchanged drafts over the years but
failed to officially implement it, the company says.

"Meriter was assured by Hoffner that not having a written,
executed plan document that memorialized the January 1, 2003
design changes was not a big deal and not a pressing issue," the
complaint states.  In reality, Meriter says, this failure cost it
$40 million to $60 million in damages.

When the amended plan was completed in 2009, Hoffner asked the IRS
to give it a favorable determination, to which it responded with
several necessary plan changes, the complaint states.

It adds: "Hoffner advised Meriter that it was impossible to comply
with the IRS's request and that Meriter should withdraw its
request for a determination from the IRS hoping to get a better
reviewer next time; someone that better understood the law like
[sic] he did."

The class action lawsuit followed.

Meriter also sued MMIC Insurance Co. of Minnesota and Federal
Insurance Co. of New Jersey, claiming their refusal to pay defense
costs and indemnify cost it at least $3 million.

It seeks damages for professional negligence by the attorneys and
actuaries and their firms, breach of fiduciary duty, negligent
supervision and breach of insurance contract.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          J. Ric Gass, Esq.
          309 North Water Street
          Milwaukee, WI 53202
          Telephone: (414) 223-3300
          Facsimile: (414) 224-6116

TRACFONE WIRELESS: Settles FTC Data Throttling Claims for $40MM
Ross Todd, writing for The Recorder, reports that TracFone
Wireless Inc., the nation's largest provider of prepaid cellphone
service, has agreed to pay $40 million to the Federal Trade
Commission to settle charges that it reduced speeds for some
customers with unlimited data plans.

The FTC's complaint against TracFone, filed on Jan. 28 in U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California, comes
about a year and a half after plaintiffs lawyers led by Lieff
Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein filed a proposed class action against
TracFone. Lieff Cabraser's Michael Sobol said the FTC settlement
was reached in coordination with lawyers for the class and funds
will be distributed through the class action claims process.
"Here's an instance where the consumers spoke first about an
important violation of law and I'm glad they were listened to,"
Sobol said.  "This is a good example of citizens and government
working together."

TracFone, which does business under the brands Straight Talk,
Net10, Simple Mobile and Telcel America, has offered unlimited
talk, text and data plans since 2009 for about $45 per month.
Despite advertising its data service as unlimited, TracFone
suspended or slowed the speeds of customers who exceeded certain
data limits, the FTC said.

The use of so-called throttling, or curbing the speed of big data
users, is common among mobile service providers.  But according to
the FTC, TracFone failed to disclose its limits until September
2013, and even then the company tucked away the information in
fine print that was nowhere near its claims of offering unlimited

"Because TracFone failed to disclose or adequately disclose that
it would throttle or suspend its customers' mobile data service
once they used a fixed amount of mobile data in a 30-day service
period, its advertising of 'unlimited' mobile data service has
been deceptive," the FTC's lawyers wrote.

In addition to the $40 million, the FTC settlement prohibits
TracFone from making deceptive claims in advertisements about its
mobile data plans, and requires the company to clearly disclose
any limits on data speed or quantity.

A TracFone spokesman provided the following emailed statement: "We
have worked with the FTC to reach an amicable settlement and we
have no further comment at this time."  The company has been
represented in the FTC matter by counsel at Carlton Fields Jorden
Burt and Wiley Rein.  It's also represented by Carlton Fields and
Sidley Austin in the class actions.

The FTC has made similar claims against AT&T Mobility LLC in a
lawsuit filed in October in the Northern District of California.
Unlike TracFone, AT&T has so far fought the FTC's charges,
insisting its status as a common carrier shields it from FTC
enforcement.  On Jan. 28, Sidley Austin's David Anderson --
dlanderson@sidley.com -- replaced Crowell & Moring's Douglas
Sullivan -- dsullivan@crowell.com -- as AT&T's outside counsel
alongside Washington, D.C.'s Kellogg, Huber, Hansen, Todd, Evans &

TRIM RESTAURANT: Sued in N.Y. Over Failure to Pay Overtime Wages
Anthony Fernandez, Ryan Diaz and Travis King, individually and on
behalf of all others similarly situated v. Trim Restaurant LLC
d/b/a Otto's Of New York, A Wine & Burger Bar, Nicolo Ottomanelli
and Joseph Ottomanelli, Case No. 1:15-cv-00598 (S.D.N.Y., January
28, 2015), is brought against the Defendants for failure to pay
overtime compensation in violation of the Fair Labor Standard Act.

The Defendants own and operate a restaurant located at 1325 5n
Avenue, New York, NY 10029.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Brent Edward Pelton, Esq.
      Taylor Bell Graham, Esq.
      111 Broadway, Suite 1503
      New York, NY 10000
      Telephone: (212) 385-9700
      Facsimile: (212) 385-0800
      E-mail: pelton@peltonlaw.com

TRUMP INT'L: Accused of Harassment and Retaliation in New York
Bryan Lambert v. Trump International Hotel and Tower, Francis
Calderon and Thomas Ahearn, Case No. 1:15-cv-00582-VSB (S.D.N.Y.,
January 26, 2015) is brought to remedy the Defendants' alleged
intentional, unlawful discrimination (due to race, national
origin, and disability), harassment, and retaliation against the
Plaintiff, creating and allowing a hostile work environment, and
retaliation, in violation the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Mr. Lambert is a 27-year-old African-American (black, male, and a
native of the country of Jamaica).  He is a resident of the
county, city and state of New York.

Trump International is a New York corporation.  Trump
International is a luxury hotel and apartment building located in
the borough of Manhattan, City of New York, state of New York.
Thomas Ahearn (a Caucasian) is a resident of New York.  He was a
security guard at Trump International with the title of House
Officer, similar to that of Plaintiff.  Francis Calderon (a
Hispanic male) is a resident of New York, and was the Assistant
Front Desk Manager/Night Manager at Trump International.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Evan Edward Richards, Esq.
          Marshall Benjamin Bellovin, Esq.
          729 Seventh Avenue, 17th Floor
          New York, NY 10019
          Telephone: (212) 575-7900
          Facsimile: (212) 764-5060
          E-mail: evanrichardsesq@gmail.com

UNITIL CORPORATION: To Defend Against "Bellerman" Case
Unitil Corporation said in its Form 10-K Report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on January 28, 2015, for the
fiscal year December 31, 2014, that the Company will continue to
defend itself in the case, Bellerman et al v. Fitchburg Gas and
Electric Light Company.

In early 2009, a putative class action complaint was filed against
Unitil's Massachusetts based utility, Fitchburg, in Massachusetts'
Worcester Superior Court (the "Court"), (captioned Bellerman et al
v. Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light Company). The Complaint seeks
an unspecified amount of damages, including the cost of temporary
housing and alternative fuel sources, emotional and physical pain
and suffering and property damages allegedly incurred by customers
in connection with the loss of electric service during the ice
storm in Fitchburg's service territory in December 2008. The
Complaint, as amended, includes M.G.L. ch. 93A claims for
purported unfair and deceptive trade practices related to the
December 2008 ice storm. Following several years of discovery, the
plaintiffs in the complaint filed a motion with the Court to
certify the case as a class action.

On January 7, 2013, the Court issued its decision denying
plaintiffs' motion to certify the case as a class action. The
plaintiffs appealed this decision to the Massachusetts Supreme
Judicial Court (the "SJC"), and the SJC has now upheld the lower
Court's order. The Company does not have any information at this
time as to whether the plaintiffs will proceed with their lawsuit
on an individual basis in light of the decision by the SJC. The
Town of Lunenburg has also filed a separate action in the Court
arising out of the December 2008 ice storm.

The Company continues to believe these suits are without merit and
will continue to defend itself vigorously.

US INVESTIGATION: Removes "DeLorenzo" Suit to S.D. California
The class action lawsuit captioned DeLorenzo, et al. v. US
Investigation Services, LLC, et al., Case No. 37-2014-00042453-CU-
OE-NC, was removed from the Superior Court of the State of
California for the County of San Diego to the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of California (San Diego).  The District
Court Clerk assigned Case No. 3:15-cv-00171-AJB-JMA to the

The lawsuit arose from alleged employment discrimination.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Kevin T. Barnes, Esq.
          5670 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1460
          Los Angeles, CA 90036-5618
          Telephone: (213) 549-9100
          Facsimile: (213) 549-0101
          E-mail: barnes@kbarnes.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Rod M. Fliegel, Esq.
          650 California Street, 20th Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94108
          Telephone: (415) 433-1940
          Facsimile: (415) 399-8490
          E-mail: rfliegel@littler.com

VITESSE WORLDWIDE: "Farrow" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid OT Wages
Keith Farrow, individually and on behalf of all other similarly
situated individuals v. Vitesse Worldwide Concierge & Executive
Protection, LLC and Shahin Abaspour, Case No. 3:15-cv-00117 (D.
Conn., January 28, 2015), seeks to recover unpaid overtime wages,
liquidated damages, penalty damages and attorney's fees brought
pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Vitesse Worldwide Concierge & Executive Protection, LLC is a
Connecticut Limited Liability Corporation that limousine services
in Stamford, Connecticut, Phoenix, Arizona, Syracuse, New York,
Virginia Beach, Virginia, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Miami, Florida,
Tempe, Arizona, Scottsdale, Arizona, Mesa, Arizona, Chandler,
Arizona and Sedona, Arizona.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Anthony J. Pantuso III, Esq.
      221 Main Street, Suite 502
      Hartford, CT 06106
      Telephone: (860) 522-8888
      E-mail: apantuso@hayberlawfirm.com

VOSGES HAUT-CHOCOLAT: Recalls Festival of Lights Gift Sets
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Vosges Haut-Chocolat, of Chicago, announced a voluntary recall of
about 250 Festival of Lights gift sets.  Consumers should stop
using this product unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to
resell or attempt to resell a recalled consumer product.

The plastic menorah can catch fire if candles are allowed to burn
to the base of the menorah.

This recall involves the Festival of Lights Chanukkah Gift Box
set. The set includes a clear plastic menorah, 45 kosher candles
and eight chocolates. The set comes in a white and purple box with
two flaps on one side that open to reveal three rows of drawers:
eight small drawers across the top for chocolates and two long
drawers beneath for the menorah and candles.

Vosges has received three reports of menorahs catching on fire. No
injuries have been reported.

Pictures of the Recalled Products available at:

The recalled products were manufactured in United States and sold
at Vosges Haut-Chocolat boutiques in Chicago, Beverly Hills,
Calif.; New York and Las Vegas and online at vosgeschocolate.com
from November to December 2014 for about $160.

Consumers should immediately stop using candles in the menorah and
contact Vosges for a full refund. Vosges is contacting consumers

WAL-MART STORES: Class Suit Over Return Policies May Proceed
Eric Heisig, writing for Cleveland Plain Dealer, reports that a
federal judge in Cleveland has allowed a class-action suit to move
forward in a case that calls Walmart's return policies into

The federal lawsuit filed in May names Ohio residents Shaun
Brandewie and John Newbrough as plaintiffs.  It accuses the mega-
retailer of not issuing full refunds for products purchased in one
county and returned in another.

Mr. Brandewie bought products at Walmarts and Sam's Club stores in
Cuyahoga County but returned them in Summit County.  Newbrough
purchased items at the Walmart on Steelyard Drive in Cleveland and
returned them in Portage County.  Both plaintiffs did not receive
the full refunds because the sales tax was higher in Cuyahoga
County, and the stores in Summit and Portage counties used the
local sales tax rates to calculate the refund, according to the
lawsuit.  Mr. Brandewie lost $0.84 after returning three products,
while Mr. Newbrough lost $0.99.

Through this practice, Messrs. Brandewie and Newbrough allege that
Walmart owes more than $5 million in claims to people who have
similar experiences -- a hurdle for a class-action lawsuit to be

Walmart denied the claims and asked U.S. District Judge James Gwin
to dismiss the suit, saying the matter should be decided by the
Ohio Tax Commissioner.

On Jan. 16, Judge Gwin ruled that the commissioner should not hear
the case, since the commissioner would only resolve claims where
the taxes were sent to the state.  In this case, the plaintiffs
allege that Walmart kept the taxes and did not pay them to the

"At this stage, it is not clear whether Wal-Mart paid Ohio the
sales tax that it did not refund to Plaintiffs when they returned
the merchandise," Judge Gwin wrote.  "If Ohio has the not-refunded
tax, Wal-Mart likely has a winning argument that Plaintiff must
make a claim to the Ohio Tax Commissioner.  In contrast, if
Wal-Mart did not remit to Ohio the sales tax that was not returned
to the Plaintiff, then . . . [case law] allows a direct breach of
contract action."

Judge Gwin noted in his opinion that "the amount lost was minimal
for named plaintiffs."  He added that "across the large number of
returns that Walmart processes each day, the cumulative amount may
be large."

Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP, a Cleveland-based firm known for
class-action litigation, is representing the plaintiffs.
Dennis Lansdowne, a partner at the firm who is working on the
case, said in an email that he is pleased the case is continuing.

"We don't understand why Walmart can't do what other retailers do
and give consumers what they are owed," Lansdowne said.

Betsy Harden, a Walmart spokeswoman, said on Jan. 19 that the
company respectfully disagrees with Judge Gwin's decision on what
it said was a "procedural issue."

"Walmart has properly remitted the sales tax we have collected to
the state of Ohio, and we look forward to providing further
information to the court," Ms. Harden said.

WILLOW LAKES: Tenants File Class Action Over Mold
Action News has learned of a federal lawsuit in the works,
following the news agency's series of investigations into poor
conditions at an Arlington apartment complex.

According to Action News, "We first told you about sewage backups,
holes in the roofs and other complaints from tenants at the Willow
Lakes Apartments in December.  Since them, some units were
condemned by the City of Jacksonville.

Neighbors say they're still not satisfied.  "Living in these
conditions is just unhealthy for me and my girlfriend," said
John, a neighbor who didn't want us to show him on camera.

But John did show us pictures of his bathroom at Willow Lakes,
which is a HUD Housing Complex. He says it's infested with mold.

"I've had asthma for years, but the symptoms seem to be
worsening," said John.

Down the street, the Oakwood Villa Apartments are teeming with
children.  Neighbors are also complaining about mold in their

Action News tried to talk with management of both complexes, but
our questions have not been answered.

Tenants at the two complexes say they will join neighbors from
four other Jacksonville apartments in a class action suit against
management, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

John, says he's already on board.  "It's not talk, it's

Action News spoke to a lawyer with the Bernard Daley law firm out
of Tallahassee who will represent about 50 Jacksonville tenants in
the suit.  Action News told the lawsuit will be filed in about a

YS BEVERAGE: Doesn't Properly Pay Employees, "Merino" Suit Says
Richard Merino, Dany Cux Baten, Elias Antonio Hernandez, Jorge
Orea Paez, Bernardo Vasquez, Primitivo Aguilar, Jesus Mantilla and
Paolo Morales, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. YS Beverage Corp., Beverage Plus America Corp., and
Grand Beverage Corp., Case No. 1:15-cv-00603 (S.D.N.Y., January
28, 2015), is brought against the Defendants for failure to pay
minimum wage, overtime, and spread of hours pay in violation of
the Fair Labor Standard Act.

The Defendants own and operate a trucking company that delivers
beverages to retail clients in New York.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Anne L. Clark, Esq.
      1501 Broadway-Suite 800
      New York, NY 10036
      Telephone: (212) 403-7300
      Facsimile: (212) 221-3172
      E-mail: aclark@vladeck.com

* Class Action v. Banks Over Swiss Franc Loans Likely
Paulina Pacula reports that new Polish Facebook group for class
action against banks giving mortgages in Swiss francs got more
than 2,500 likes.

"People are feeling cheated by huge financial institutions which
were the first to earn profits from credits in Swiss francs.  If
somebody is giving loans which are so vulnerable to accidental and
external factors, it is speculation which is forbidden by law,"
said Witold Modzelewski, an economist, in an interview.

"That leads us to class actions against banks which we will see
coming soon," he added.

* NERA Releases Annual Securities Class Action Trends Report
Securities class action settlement amounts plummeted in 2014,
according to NERA Economic Consulting's annual report, Recent
Trends in Securities Class Action Litigation: 2014 Full-Year
Review, released on Jan. 20.  Settlement amounts declined 38 to 61
percent in 2014, based on analysis of the cases included in NERA's
calculations.  The median settlement amount in 2014 was $6.5
million, the lowest in 10 years.

The decrease in settlement amounts was more marked after the much-
anticipated Supreme Court decision in Halliburton v Erica P. John
Fund, compared to the first part of 2014.  On the other hand,
filings of new securities class actions of the type addressed by
the Court increased 14 percent after the decision was issued,
compared to the time in which the decision was pending.

More generally, 168 securities class actions involving alleged
violations of Rule 10b-5, Section 11, or Section 12 were filed in
2014, an 11 percent increase over 2013 and a 30 percent increase
over 2010.

Now, a Section 11 case is pending before the Supreme Court:
Omnicare v Laborers District Council. (Section 11 cases are
frequently used by the plaintiff bar to target IPOs.) The Supreme
Court's decision, expected in the first half of 2015, could
tighten or loosen the pleading standards for these types of cases.
NERA's report shows that in recent years 73 percent of Section 11
cases have been brought in Circuits that currently require the
tighter standard.

"In 2014, securities class actions settled for less compared to
recent experience," said Dr. Renzo Comolli, NERA Senior Consultant
and co-author of the report.  "But now the Supreme Court in
Omnicare is pondering whether to tighten or loosen pleading
standards for cases that often center on IPOs.  The Supreme Court
decision, expected to come on the heels of the largest IPO wave
since the dot-com era, could make for an interesting 2015."

NERA Securities Class Action Trends Report Series

NERA has been analyzing trends in securities class actions for
more than 20 years.  This year-end study, Recent Trends in
Securities Class Action Litigation: 2014 Full-Year Review, is
co-authored by NERA Senior Consultants Dr. Renzo Comolli and
Svetlana Starykh.  In addition to the trends discussed above, the
2014 edition offers an in-depth review of: number of filings by
circuit, and by sector; new measures of "time to resolve;"
analysis of motions for class certification and post-Halliburton
II district court decisions on such motions; dismissal rates;
attorneys' fees; and other characteristics of securities class

For more details and to read the report, visit:

                           About NERA

NERA Economic Consulting -- http://www.nera.com-- is a global
firm of experts dedicated to applying economic, finance, and
quantitative principles to complex business and legal challenges.

                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Waltham Forest Council Admits Fibro Failings
BBC News reported that an east London council has admitted
contravening health and safety guidelines by failing to control
employees' exposure to asbestos in their town hall basement.

Waltham Forest council pleaded guilty to charges under the Health
and Safety at Work Act and the Control of Asbestos regulations.
The council said it "should have done more in the past" to manage

Unison has called on the council's chief executive to resign.

The case was brought by the Health and Safety Executive and
related to two incidents in November 2006 and two more in January

The hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court took place and was
transferred to Southwark Crown Court for sentencing on February 2.

'Scant regard'

The union said the issue was discovered when a local resident was
refused access to requested files because of the risk of exposure
to asbestos dust.

Unison branch Secretary Dave Knight said the council failed to
protect people from potential exposure to "deadly asbestos."  He
said: "We are appalled that our employer should show such scant
regard for the health and safety of people who work in and use the
Town Hall."

"The case demonstrates a lack of concern for employees and
contractors and anyone else who had cause to visit the Town Hall
basement, and it is for this reason that we call upon the chief
executive of Waltham Forest Council to tender his resignation."

A spokesperson for Waltham Forest council said: "This issue dates
back to 2002, and we completely accept that the council should
have done more in the past to manage the health and safety of our
buildings. We accepted responsibility at court.

"In 2012 a fresh asbestos survey indicated the problem, and we
have been working with the Health and Safety Executive to make
sure that nothing like this happens in the future."

Asbestos remedial works were carried out at the town hall basement
in 2012 and other buildings have been monitored, the council said.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Law Firms Accused of Fraud in Fibro Litigation
Tom Hals, writing for The Associated Press, reported that U.S.
personal injury lawyers allegedly concealed evidence and induced
clients to commit perjury to drive up asbestos-related settlements
and garner bigger fees, according to lawsuits unsealed in the
bankruptcy of a gasket maker.

The unsealed racketeering complaints alleged that four law firms
sued Garlock Sealing Technologies, which made asbestos-lined
gaskets, while hiding evidence that their clients were exposed to
asbestos products made by other companies.  The evidence was
allegedly hidden because the other companies were bankrupt, making
Garlock a much more attractive target for an asbestos lawsuit,
according to the complaints.

Garlock, a unit of EnPro Industries, filed for bankruptcy in 2010
in Charlotte, North Carolina, in the face of the mounting cost of
asbestos lawsuits.  The unsealed complaints cite many examples of
alleged fraud, including the Shein Law Center's handling of a
lawsuit by Vincent Golini, who was diagnosed with deadly
mesothelioma in 2009.

Golini allegedly told Philadelphia-based Shein he was exposed to
14 asbestos products made by bankrupt companies including Owens
Corning and Armstrong World Industries. But when Golini sued
Garlock he denied exposure to any products made by a bankrupt
manufacturer, according to the complaint.  After Garlock settled
with Golini, Shein had Golini file claims with the asbestos trusts
that were set up by Owens Corning and other bankrupt makers of
asbestos products. Those trusts often pay only a small fraction of
a claim.

Shein's lawyer, Daniel Brier of Myers Brier & Kelly, said the
racketeering lawsuit is completely without merit and Shein
represented its clients "ethically and properly."  Counsel may be
reached at:

     Brier Daniel, Esq.
     425 Spruce Street
     Scranton, PA 18503
     Tel: (570) 309-6024
     E-mail: dbrier@mbklaw.com

Garlock's Chapter 11 case has drawn national attention due to the
company's allegations that personal injury lawyers fraudulently
inflated judgments and settlements.  The racketeering lawsuits
were originally filed in early 2014. They were ordered unsealed
last summer but only became available to the public.  The
allegations in the unsealed documents appeared to have already
been discussed publicly in an opinion in 2014 by Judge George
Hodges. That opinion set Garlock's liability for asbestos at $125
million and said the company's past settlements were tainted by

The others were Belluck & Fox of New York; and Waters Kraus & Paul
and Simon Greenstone Panatier Bartlett of Dallas. Mark Iola, a
partner at Iola Galerston, also in Dallas, was also sued.

Attorneys for the law firms said Garlock was trying to relitigate
settled cases and blame others for the consequences of its own

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Controversy Surrounds Respirator Used v. Fibro
Gil Shochat and Francesca Fionda, writing for Global News,
reported that Michael Leslie worked in a moulded fibreglass
factory in the late 1960s and 70s.  The 8710, a disposable
respirator made by 3M, was approved for use against deadly dusts,
including silica, coal and asbestos. 3M advertised it would help
protect workers from occupational hazards like Black Lung and
Asbestosis. The mask would go on to be a big seller in the
disposable respirator market and eventually sell millions.

Leslie says the 8710 was given out by his employer at his Portland
Oregon factory. "We thought that was going to be better than
anything," Leslie says.  Leslie says he wore the mask in 1972 for
about a year around dusts that included asbestos. He says it

"If you wore a mask very long it was on inside and outside. You
could see it, just little teeny particles . . . The outside a

But, over a thousand miles south of Leslie's factory, respirator
experts had concerns.

"We would discuss how badly they leaked . . . we did not want to
allow the 8710 or any other single use respirator for that matter
to be available at the Laboratory," says Darell Bevis, a
respirator expert who worked at the Los Alamos Scientific
Laboratory in New Mexico under his boss Ed Hyatt. The lab tested
masks used for protection against dangerous and sometimes
radioactive material.

In 1970, Hyatt told 3M their respirators "should have at least two
sizes, our present one and a smaller one, if we hope to fit the
majority of workers." Hyatt wanted to make sure all workers had
respirators that safely fit them. For him the benefits of more
mask sizes were obvious. In 1976, Hyatt also wrote a report to the
government saying more testing would need to be done, "before it
is demonstrated that only one size of respirator is satisfactory."

But the 8710 passed all the tests and would be approved by the
U.S. government's National Institute for Occupational Safety and
Health (NIOSH) in 1972.

Darell Bevis and other observers have criticized the testing
requirements in place at the time. Darell Bevis has also worked as
an expert witness on behalf of plaintiffs suing 3M. "Our approval
standards are very bad and all regulations are absolute minimum

16x9 asked 3M for an on camera interview but the company declined,
and instead provided a written statement. It pointed to
"extensive" government data that says masks, like the 8710, fit
and work well. Since its approval, studies have shown the
"respirator effectively protects workers from many airborne
contaminants, including asbestos." One U.S. government agency that
reviewed the data "rejected assertions that 3M 8710 respirators,
and similarly designed respirators made by others, do not filter
effectively or cannot be made to fit workers." 3M has also said
its tests went well beyond what the government required and that
research shows the 8710 provided a good fit if users followed

In fact, U.S. government regulators have long said the 8710
provides better protection than experts, like Bevis, argue.

But asbestos is very dangerous -- and just a small amount of
exposure can be deadly.

By 1980, NIOSH did know how deadly asbestos really was and was
"deeply concerned" about the use of some respirators against
carcinogenic substances including asbestos.

"Asbestos irritates the cells in some way we don't know exactly
how . . . [it] gets into the DNA . . . the nucleus which controls
cell growth and they lose control over the growth of the cells
. . . that is the definition of cancer," says Dr. David Egilman,
an expert in asbestos-related disease.

NIOSH changed its earlier position now telling 3M, "It is not our
position that single-use dust respirators will provide adequate
protection against the cancer causing potential of asbestos."

But NIOSH said it couldn't void the approval of the respirator
against asbestos without "following appropriate administrative
procedures" so, instead, called for more study and data from the

"What 3M was told was, this is dangerous to use this mask with
people who are exposed to asbestos," Egilman, who has testified on
behalf of plaintiffs against 3M and reviewed some of 3M's internal
documents, says.

Egilman has been criticized in the past for being a public health
crusader and courts have not accepted his testimony in every case
he has testified in.

But in 1986, the U.S. government did issue more stringent
regulations that effectively put an end to the use of disposable
respirators, like the 8710, for use against asbestos.

"Ultimately, the single use respirator was going to leak far
greater than they wanted any respirator used for protection
against carcinogens," says Darell Bevis.

But, while in the U.S laws were getting stricter and 3M was no
longer selling the mask for asbestos, one 3M official admitted
that in 1999 the company was still selling the 8710 in Canada as
effective against asbestos -- almost fifteen years after it
stopped doing so in the U.S.

The 8710 is no longer sold in the U.S. and Canada. But, despite
that, the 8710 is still sold for use against asbestos in India
"for use against mechanically generated particulates including
silica and asbestos."

"From a health and safety perspective they shouldn't be doing
that. From a moral perspective they shouldn't be doing that. From
an ethical perspective they shouldn't be doing that," Dr. David
Egilman says.

3M told 16x9 each country establishes its "own safety and health
regulations" and the respirators provide effective protection for
asbestos and meet "the highest regulatory requirements of each
nation where they are sold." 3M also said that the respirators
sold today are "not necessarily identical to the 8710 respirators
that were sold previously in the United States."

For Michael Leslie, all the back and forth that happened in the
1980s doesn't matter much. "When I think back on it I think, 'geez
I wish I. . . I wish I had had something else'," Leslie says about
the 8710 respirators he says he wore. He has been diagnosed with
mesothelioma, one of the deadliest forms of cancer. A cancer he
thinks could have been prevented with a better mask.

Leslie sued several companies, including 3M, saying the mask
didn't protect him. In court documents, 3M said that Leslie's
employer "did not comply with state or federal rules for
protecting employees." 3M also argued that Leslie's employer was
responsible for workplace training and safety, and making sure
masks fit workers and that there was no evidence that his employer
measured the level of asbestos in the air, important for choosing
the right respirator.

In court documents, 3M also denied that its mask could be blamed
saying that Mr. Leslie was exposed to asbestos for over a decade
without any respirator and he may not have worn the 8710 at all
while working with asbestos in the plant.

Nothing was proven in court because the case was settled.

3M told us that it has prevailed at trial in every case. Courts,
3M says, have rejected arguments that the 8710 did not fit or
filter effectively. Workers "wearing a respirator and later
becoming ill does not necessarily prove the cause of illness."

Instead, 3M says, workers may "become ill because they did not
consistently wear respiratory protection when needed. Employers
can also contribute to worker illness to the extent they fail to
monitor the air and select the appropriate respiratory protection
for the contaminant in the air." 3M also says that employers may
not have tested regularly to ensure that respirators fit on
people's faces or "train [employees] in proper respirator usage."

One 3M official has also testified that the 8710 itself came in
one size but the company did sell "other sizes -- they just
weren't called 8710."

3M has never lost a case at trial or admitted wrongdoing. But
according to 3M financial reports, the company has paid out over
$150 million in the last four years mostly on "respirator mask"
litigation "fees and settlements".

"They settle cases where they think they're going to lose," says
Dr. Egilman.

"I've been an expert in cases, where in my view their respirators
failed to protect people and people got sick."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Families Seek Damages Over Fibro at Cal. Schools
Nicole Knight Shine, writing for Huntington Beach Independent,
reported that damages are being sought by the families of some
students who attended three elementary schools in the Ocean View
School District, in California, that are temporarily shut because
of asbestos concerns that arose late last year.

A claim filed with Ocean View on Dec. 19 alleges that the
district, its elected leaders, various officials and contractors
failed to protect students from "hazardous and unsafe" conditions
at Hope View, Lake View and Oak View elementary schools between
July and October. A claim is the first step in a process that
could lead to a lawsuit.

The three Huntington Beach schools were closed indefinitely in
October after asbestos was discovered during a modernization
project at 11 campuses that began in July. The resulting asbestos
cleanup process displaced more than 1,600 students, who are being
bused to eight other campuses in four school districts. It also
caused the district to spend unplanned millions for cleanup and
related costs.

The claim alleges that students at the three schools inhaled
"dangerous quantities of toxic asbestos fibers" due to negligent
actions of the district and its contractors. Exposure to asbestos,
the claim says, caused emotional distress for students, whose
names the school district redacted from the filing. It was unclear
how many students the claim represents.

The filing seeks an unspecified amount for past and future medical

Attorneys for the school district and the families could not
immediately be reached for comment.

Asbestos that hasn't been disturbed isn't harmful to people, but
it can become a hazard when the dust becomes airborne. Inhaling
high levels of asbestos over a long period can cause cancer and
other lung disease, experts say.

In October, asbestos was not detected in independent surface tests
in classrooms at Lake View Elementary, according to Mohsen Nazemi,
deputy executive officer for engineering and compliance for the
South Coast Air Quality Management District.

According to district documents, previous test results at Lake
View showed airborne asbestos in two classrooms higher than levels
set in the federal Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act, which
regulates how much asbestos can be present in public buildings
like schools.

At Hope View, a sample taken in one classroom contained a single
asbestos fiber. No air samples taken at Oak View were above the
legal threshold, according to district documents.

When the schools were built decades ago, asbestos was used as
fireproofing on metal beams above the ceilings. Over time,
asbestos dust began to fall from the beams and settle on classroom
ceiling tiles, district records show.

Tests at eight other schools showed no significant level of
asbestos in the air, the district said.

In August, the AQMD cited a contractor working at Mesa View Middle
School in Huntington Beach, saying the contractor removed roofing
tiles that contained asbestos without using proper safeguards.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: More Fibro Raises Cost of Port Angeles Landfill
James Casey, writing for Peninsula Daily News, reported that the
city of Port Angeles, Washington, will ante up an additional $1
million to dispose of asbestos it didn't expect to find as it
stabilized its closed landfill.

The change order in the amount of $1,034,524 will bring the
project's cost to at least $14.4 million.

The asbestos was part of the 400,000 cubic yards of trash the city
is moving away from a bluff above the Strait of Juan de Fuca in
the wake of the discovery that the material was threatening to
tumble into the Strait.

The landfill at the end of West 18th Street was closed in 2007,
and the area became the city's transfer station.

Four years later, it was found that the erosion in the bluff above
the Strait had exposed garbage that could eventually fall into the

Work began last summer to move the refuse about a quarter-mile
south. The whole project is expected to be finished next fall.

Most of the asbestos work already has been performed by contractor
Magnus Pacific Corp. of Everett, which trucked away more than
three times the asbestos it anticipated -- some 49 tons -- under a
contract that called for it to dispose of about 15 tons.

Asbestos that engineers thought could be dug up with hand tools
and put into bags wound up being handled with excavators that
filled dump trucks, according to Craig Fulton, city public works
and utilities director.

"The contractor has completed the work, so they have expended a
considerable amount of money to remove the asbestos," Fulton said.

The work, performed with the help of the state Department of Labor
and Industries, required workers to wear protective clothing and
hose down vehicles with water cannons.

"There was a clear impact to their productivity when they
uncovered the asbestos," Fulton told City Council members at their

The contractor and the city remain "very far apart" -- to the tune
of $2,075,508 -- he added, over the added cost of the asbestos
removal. Magnus Pacific wants an adjustment of $3,110,032.

"The negotiations are still ongoing. We may have to go into
mediation," Fulton said.

The $1 million-plus the council approved, however, will allow
Magnus Pacific to pay its workers. Meanwhile, the city may bill
the state for the work, he said.

The initial payment, at least, will come from $1.7 million that
remains in contingency funds for the project, Fulton said, and the
city may be able to get more money from a state trust fund.

"It's ironic that we can't see what's underground," said
Councilman Lee Whetham.

"But that's part of construction, and that has to be anticipated.
We haven't even hit bottom yet."

Councilman Dan Gase asked if all the asbestos had been removed
from the landfill site.

Fulton said a 3-D image of the area shows only about 2,000 cubic
yards remain, compared with the 7,283 cubic yards Magnus Pacific
already has removed.

The remainder should be removed in May.

"It's in a smaller area," Fulton said. "We can isolate that and
continue with the waste removal in the rest of the area."

The entire landfill stabilization will relocate approximately
400,000 cubic yards of garbage.

The Labor and Industries Department, Fulton said, was innovative
in its bulk-handling approach to the asbestos problem.

"That saved millions of dollars," he said.

Still, he added, the total bill for moving the refuse and
stabilizing the area could top $21 million.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: New Jersey Jury Renders $7.5MM Fibro Verdict
Mary Pat Gallagher, writing for New Jersey Law Journal, reported
that in the first asbestos case tried to verdict by New Jersey
Judge Ana Viscomi, who took over the nearly 400-case asbestos
docket last year, a jury has awarded $6.5 million plus $1 million
in punitive damages to a man who claimed exposure to asbestos
while installing boilers and furnaces caused his mesothelioma.

The Middlesex County jury in Condon v. Advanced Thermal Hydronics
awarded the punitive damages Jan. 14, two days after handing down
their initial verdict that found 11 defendants liable for $6.5
million in compensatory damages.

Those defendants included Pecora Corp., a maker of furnace cement
and other sealants. The company was the sole defendant hit with
the punitive damages.

Plaintiff William Condon of Lake Hopatcong, N.J., alleged he was
exposed to asbestos over an 11-year period stretching from 1973 to
1984, while he was employed by Fritz Heating and Cooling of
Whippany, N.J., according to court documents and a press release
about the verdict from Levy Konigsberg, the New York law firm that
represents Condon and his wife.

Condon claimed asbestos exposure not just from the cement but also
from other boiler-related products, such as pipes, rope and
gaskets.  His lawsuit, filed in 2013, named about 90 defendants,
including Pecora and several companies that allegedly manufactured
the boilers he installed, such as American Standard, Burnham LLC,
Peerless, Utica and Weil-McLain.

Condon claimed that before installing a boiler he would read the
manual and each one said to use furnace cement during the process.
Also named as defendants were another sealant company, DAP
Products, supply houses United Supply and Wallwork Brothers, and
pipe maker CertainTeed Corp.

In addition to his on-the-job asbestos exposure, Condon claimed in
his suit that he encountered the toxic mineral while working on
his personal automobiles. As a result, Condon also named companies
that made asbestos-containing automobile parts, including
BorgWarner Corp., a manufacturer of clutches used with manual
transmissions, and Honeywell Corp., as successor to Bendix Corp.,
which produced brakes with asbestos in the brake pads.

Jury selection began in November 2014, with opening statements
starting Dec. 1.

Most of the defendants settled before or during trial on
confidential terms.

By the time the jurors reached their $6.5 million compensatory
damages verdict on Jan. 12, only three defendants remained in the
case: Pecora, CertainTeed and Wallwork.

Condon was awarded $500,000 for past pain and suffering and
another $4.5 million for future pain and suffering.

In addition, Condon's wife was awarded a total of $1.5 million for
loss of services: $500,000 for past loss and $1 million for future

The jury found no liability for CertainTeed or Wallwork and only 2
percent against Pecora.  The jury attributed the other 98 percent
of liability to eight defendants no longer in the case, with the
largest portion, 26 percent -- or $1.69 million -- against United

Three other defendants -- Honeywell, Thermco and Weil-McLain --
were each assessed 15 percent liability, or $975,00, and five
others -- American Standard, BorgWarner, Burnham, DAP and Peerless
-- each had 5 percent, or $325,000, while one other defendant had
the same 2 percent share -- $130,000 -- as Pecora.

Two days later, the jury found $1 million in punitive damages
against Pecora.

Condon's suit sought the exemplary damages against Pecora on the
ground that the Harleysville, Pa.-based company sold cement
containing asbestos until 1986, knowing of the hazards but not
warning about them, according to court documents.

The suit alleged Pecora was aware of the danger before Condon ever
used its cement because it had been warned by its own supplier,
Carey Canadian, which supplied raw asbestos fibers to Pecora from
at least 1964 to 1981.

Carey Canadian provided the asbestos in bags that, as early as
1971, bore a printed warning advising that "'adequate protective
devices'" should be used "'because it has been alleged that
inhalation of this material over long periods may be harmful,'"
according to court documents.

Nevertheless, Condon's suit alleged Pecora took no action to make
the product safer or let users know so they could take

In proving the punitive damages claim, Condon presented evidence
that during the time when Condon was working with Pecora's
asbestos furnace cement, the company's president, Anthony Tysenn,
was diagnosed with mesothelioma and filed his own asbestos suit,
according to court documents.

Despite that, Condon alleged, Pecora continued to make asbestos-
containing products for another five years and stopped only when
its insurers would no longer cover the risk, according to the Levy
Konigsberg press release.

Pecora will not be on the hook for the entire $1 million in
punitives, however. Instead, it will only be responsible to pay
$650,000, because of a state law that limits punitive damages to
five times the amount of compensatory damages.

Thus, the company must only pay a total of $780,000.

Pecora's lawyer, Robert Baum of McGivney & Kluger in Florham Park,
N.J., said, "We are evaluating our options" and "no determination
has been made one way or another" regarding an appeal or other
possible effort to set aside the verdict, but otherwise declined
to comment.

The Condons were represented by Moshe Maimon and Joseph Mandia of
Levy Konigsberg.

Wallwork's lawyer, Alan Dunst of Hoagland Longo Moran Dunst &
Doukas in New Brunswick, N.J., did not return a call and
CertainTeed's, Richard Picini of Caruso Smith & Picini in
Fairfield, N.J., declined to comment.

Lawyers for other defendants either declined to comment or did not
return a call about the case.

The highest reported asbestos award in New Jersey was $30.3
million in 2008 to the family of advertising executive Mark
Buttitta, who died of mesothelioma in 2002. It was upheld on
appeal in 2010.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ford Fights Fibro Row as Mechanic Seeks Recusal
Lisa Ryan, writing for Law360, reported that Ford Motor Co. urged
the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to stop its longstanding practice
of consolidating unrelated asbestos suits for trial in
Philadelphia courts, just days after plaintiffs in the underlying
asbestos row asked the justices to recuse themselves because
Ford's attorney previously served as special counsel to the court.

The automaker said in its brief that the court has long maintained
a "unique-in-the-Commonwealth" practice of automatically
consolidating unrelated asbestos cases for trial as long as all of
the plaintiffs suffered from the same disease. Ford said that the
practice "unjustly infringes" on the state's high court's
constitutional power to craft new procedures to address docket-
management challenges in the unrelated suits.

In the underlying row, which resulted in a $1 million jury award
for a dealership worker who claimed he developed mesothelioma
after being exposed to asbestos fibers in brake pads, Ford said it
was improperly consolidated with two other suits that lacked
common claims, common defenses and common facts. The company also
said it was prejudiced in the suit because of expert testimony
from the other, unrelated suits.

"The Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas changed some details of
its consolidation practice after this case went to trial, but even
that new practice remains unfair and contrary to law," Ford said.
"If this court does not grant judgment as a matter of law, it
should grant a new trial and remind the trial courts that
consolidation -- even in asbestos cases -- can come only after a
reasoned exercise of discretion on a case-by-case basis."

Ford's brief was filed just one week after plaintiffs Richard and
Joyce Rost asked all of the justices on the state's high court to
recuse themselves from the suit.

The plaintiffs said that Ford's attorney Rob Byer of Duane Morris
LLP, whose name appears on Ford's June petition for allowance of
appeal, was actually appointed as "special counsel to the court"
on Oct. 20 in a matter involving Justice Seamus P. McCaffery.

The news of Byer's involvement was reported by The Philadelphia
Inquirer, according to the plaintiffs. The newspaper said that
Byer served as liaison to the conduct board as Justice McCaffery
pursued retirement, the plaintiffs said.

"Given the publicity for both the McCaffery matter and this case,
and that Mr. Byer's petition, on behalf of Ford, was pending and
decided by this court at the time he was employed by the court as
its special counsel, it is regrettable, yet possible, that this
court's impartiality might be perceived to be in doubt," the
plaintiffs said in their application for recusal.

In November, the state's high court agreed to consider the
fairness of Philadelphia County's practice of consolidating
unrelated asbestos cases for discovery and trial as part of Ford's
appeal over causation in the Rost asbestos suit.

The Pennsylvania Superior Court in May upheld the $1 million jury
award handed to Rost after a jury found that Ford and three other
companies should be held liable for former Ford mechanic's
mesothelioma that he developed while working at a dealership for
several months in the 1950s.

The Superior Court found that the record in Betz v. Pneumo Abex
LLC, the Supreme Court that banned "any exposure" causation in the
state, differed from the factual and procedural record they'd been
presented with by Rost's attorneys and upheld the $1 million
verdict awarded to Rost and his wife.

The panel found that a subsequent Supreme Court decision, Gregg v.
V-J Auto Parts Co., was more dispositive to the Rost case than
Betz. In Gregg, the justices held that a plaintiff could survive
summary judgment by presenting evidence of frequent and regular
exposure to asbestos at a close proximity.

Representatives for the parties didn't respond to requests for

The plaintiffs are represented by Robert Paul of Paul Reich &
Myers PC, Christian Hartley of Hartley Law LLC and Clayton
Thompson of Maune Raichle Hartley French & Mudd.

Ford is represented by:

     Robert Byer, Esq.
     Sharon Caffrey, Esq.
     600 Grant Street, Suite 5010
     Pittsburgh, PA 15219-2802
     Tel: 412 497 1083
     Fax: 412 202 2787
     E-mail: rlbyer@duanemorris.com

The case is Richard Rost et al. v. Ford Motor Co., case number 56
EAP 2014, before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Salvage Principals Face Prison in Fibro Case
WBIR.com reported that five people who managed or owned a salvage
firm that removed salvageable metals from a defunct plant in
Hamblen County, Tennessee, face prison terms and $10 million in
restitution for environmental crimes and negligence that likely
exposed unwitting workers to asbestos, according to the
Environmental Protection Agency.

The five had earlier pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to a
felony count each of conspiring to violate federal laws that
regulate disposal of asbestos, which can cause lung disease and
increase susceptibility to some kinds of cancer.

According to the EPA, the defendants over a series of years were
liable for the improper bagging and disposal of asbestos from the
old Liberty Fibers plant, and they failed to provide workers the
proper protection equipment. The government also alleged plant
operators tried to hide the fact that improper disposal of
asbestos was occurring.

U.S. District Judge Ronnie Greer imposed sentence in Greeneville
after a lengthy hearing. The government presented testimony that
asbestos exposure likely posed a serious if not fatal health
threat to salvage workers on site.

Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden of the Justice
Department's Environment and Natural Resources Division alleged
that the five "took unacceptable and illegal risks with workers'
lives and the community's health."

The five defendants were identified as Mark Sawyer, 55, of
Morristown, a former A&E Salvage manager sentenced to a maximum
five-year term; Newell L. Smith, 59, of Miami, Fla., a former A&E
Salvage manager who was sentenced to a little more than three
years in prison; A&E Salvage Manager Eric Gruenberg, 50, of
Lebanon, Tenn., who got a 28-month sentence; and Armida DiSanti,
56, and Milto DiSanti, 54, also of Miami, who received six-month
prison sentences to be followed by six-month sentences of home

Greer ordered the defendants to pay the restitution to reimburse
the government's Superfund program, which has been used to clean
up the site.

A&E bought the bankrupt plant for its salvageable metal. A&E
Salvage began work at the old Liberty Fibers site in 2006.

In March 2009, the EPA ordered Sawyer and other A&E Salvage
principals to immediately stop any site removal that impacted
asbestos and to clean up and properly dispose of asbestos at the

The government alleged at the time that the firm had violated
federal asbestos disposal laws as well as a consent agreement that
allowed them to work on site.

The government warned then that the company was imperiling on-site

A&E was supposed to inspect the property and "develop and carry
out plans for removal and proper disposal of asbestos waste
materials that had been improperly disposed around the facility,"
according to the EPA.

EPA agents and the Tennessee Department of Environmental
Conservation investigated the case, which was prosecuted by
Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Morris and Todd W. Gleason of the
environmental crimes section of the Department of Justice.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: James Hardie to Pay Victims in Installments
Lorraine Kember, Asbestos.com, reported that asbestos victims who
filed claims against James Hardie Industries, an Australian
building materials company, may never live to see their legal
compensation if a court approves the manufacturer's plan to pay
claimants in installments, and not the traditional lump-sum

The reason for the installment plan: Hardie's Asbestos Injuries
Compensation Fund is headed toward a $184 million cash shortfall
in 2017 because of a spike in mesothelioma claims. If the Supreme
Court of New South Wales (NSW) grants approval, the installment
plan will take effect July 1.

Advocates for those affected by mesothelioma are outraged by the
company's proposal because the average life expectancy for people
diagnosed with the asbestos-related disease is less than two
years. Those patients need the lump sum of their compensation as
quickly as possible to pay for expensive treatments, lost wages,
expenses not covered by insurance and other costs.

"Asbestos victims don't die in installments," Asbestos Diseases
Foundation of Australia President Barry Robson wrote in a press
release. "They don't lose the ability to work or care for
themselves in installments, yet James Hardie wants to see them
compensated in that way."

Robson voiced his ire about the company's negligence, stating the
manufacturer "spent decades knowingly selling these deadly
[asbestos] products" still found in millions of homes and
businesses across Australia.

History of James Hardie in Australia

Australia's history with the manufacturer began in 1888, when
Scottish-born James Hardie immigrated to Melbourne, establishing a
leather tanning business.

While visiting London in 1903, Hardie learned of a new type of
French roofing and lining slate called "fibro-ciment" that
contained cement and asbestos. Hardie started importing the
product to Australia and renamed it Fibrolite.  It became a
publicly-owned company in 1951 under the name James Hardie
Industries Ltd. In the following years, the company built a
diverse portfolio of building and industrial products including a
wide range of products containing asbestos. The company rose to
become Australia's largest manufacturer of the deadly mineral.

During the 20th century, the company owned asbestos mines in
Australia, Canada and Zimbabwe. It distributed and manufactured a
wide range of products containing asbestos to construction
companies, textile mills and many other production and repair
facilities around the country.

However, Hardie executives knew the health risks linked to
asbestos mines and exposure to the airborne particles, but
neglected to warn their workers. Asbestos from the company's
products and mines contaminated food, playgrounds and parks.

The company is partially responsible for Australia's mesothelioma
crisis. Australia has the second-highest rate of mesothelioma
deaths in the world. Cancer experts report that since the early
1980s, more than 10,000 people have died from the disease, and an
additional 25,000 people are expected to die from it over the next
four decades.

In 2006, the company formed the Asbestos Injuries Compensation
Fund (AICF) to compensate asbestos victims damaged by the
company's products. As part of the legal agreement with NSW,
Hardie pays a set amount -- 35 percent of its operating cash flow
-- to the AICF annually.

Problems with Hardie's Asbestos Compensation Fund

Hardie records show the AICF has settled almost 4,000 claims and
compensated asbestos victims with more than $800 million. AICF
officials said they face $1.87 billion in payouts over the next 30
years because mesothelioma claims grew by 20 percent in 2013.

Company officials blamed the $184 million shortfall on the
increase of lawsuits.

But some are wondering why there's a shortfall when Hardie paid
its investors $556 million in dividends in 2013 and 2014.
According to Hardie's 2014 annual report, the company paid CEO
Louis Gries a total compensation of $11.6 million -- a nearly 47
percent increase from the $7.9 million total compensation he
received in 2013.

"The bottom line is if James Hardie can afford $500 million to
give to shareholders, it can find the money to give to dying
victims of their product," independent senator for South Australia
Nicholas Xenophon told The Sydney Morning Herald. "If James Hardie
doesn't come to the table, they deserve the scorn of the
Australian public."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Girl Exposed to Fibro After Entering Hotel
Plymouth Herald reported that a 16-year-old girl has exposed
herself to hazardous asbestos dust after entering part of an
abandoned hotel in Plymouth, England, and getting stuck.

Firefighters have issued a warning to avoid disused buildings
after being sent to rescue the young Plymouth woman.

The teenager has been advised to dispose of all the clothes she
was wearing at the time with the assistance of a licensed
hazardous waste handler, as well as being given advice about
decontamination showers and medical symptoms.

Police and firecrews from Greenbank were sent to the abandoned
Quality Hotel on Plymouth Hoe.

The teenager was stuck on the first floor roof canopy which covers
the entrance lobby to the disused hotel.  Crews say she had gained
entrance to teh buidling through a broken window.  Firefighters
used a ladder to assist her to safety.

Group Manager Paul Bray, of Devon & Somerset Fire & Rescue
Service, said: "Although this might seem like a minor mishap on
the part of the young person, the inside of the hotel has been
vandalised, breaking plaster walls and ceilings containing

"Whilst inside the premises the young lady was exposed to asbestos
particles which have been released into the atmosphere. Asbestos
has a very serious health risks to anyone coming into contact with
the substance."

Once a person becomes contaminated by asbestos, unless the
asbestos is removed and contained in a controlled manner, the
asbestos is carried from the contact area to wherever the
contaminated person travels afterwards -- cars, public transport
and homes.

The fire service said it strongly discourages others from entering
these premises without permission.

Devon and Cornwall Police are liaising with the owner and local
authority to ensure the security of the premises is enhanced to
prevent further incidents.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Widow Files Exposure Suit v. Atlantic Richfield
Annie Cosby, writing for The Southeast Texas Record, reported that
a woman from Beaumont, Texas, is suing over claims her husband
died of lung cancer allegedly caused by asbestos exposure.

Wilma Powell, surviving spouse of Donaldson Powell, deceased, et
al, filed a lawsuit Oct. 17 in Jefferson County District Court
against Atlantic Richfield Company, et al.

According to the complaint, Wilma Powell's husband, Donaldson
Powell, worked for Atlantic Richfield Company, formerly known as
Sinclair-Koppers, where he used and was exposed to toxic materials
such as asbestos dust and fibers. The complaint states Donaldson
died from an asbestos-related disease, lung cancer, on May 15,
2014, and the defendant company is accused of gross neglect for
allowing their employees to work with asbestos when the dangers
were known.

Wilma Powell seeks exemplary and punitive damages. She is
represented by:

     J. Keith Hyde, Esq.
     D'Juana Parks, Esq.
     Provost Umphrey LLP
     490 Park Street #100
     Beaumont, TX 77701
     Tel: (409) 835-6000

Jefferson County District Court case number: E-196279

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Dust Found in Evergreen Village Home
Adam Poulisse, writing for Daily Chronicle, reported that 19 homes
at Evergreen Village Mobile Home Park, in Illinois, tested
positive for asbestos, but that hasn't affected plans to demolish
the area by the end of May.

Paul Miller, DeKalb County's Planning Zoning and Building
director, said the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency has
confirmed the presence of asbestos in 17 mobile homes and two
permanent residences at the former community at 955 E. State St.
east of Sycamore. Asbestos testing began in November.

Another nine properties still are being tested, and results are
expected any day, Miller said.

Discussions already are taking place about what to do with the
property after the structures are cleared away. One of the
conditions of the grant the county received to demolish the
trailer park was no new buildings be constructed on the land,
County Board Chairman Mark Pietrowski Jr. said.

One possibility is transferring the property to the DeKalb County
Forest Preserve District for use as a forest preserve site, but
that decision hasn't been finalized, according to Terry Hannan,
superintendent of the district.

"The future use of the land has not been progressed beyond the
ideas stage, and has not yet been discussed in detail yet with the
Forest Preserve District Committee and Commissioners," Hannan said
in an email.

The property, which also includes 33 acres of farmland and about
six acres of railroad right-of-way, would be a unique location for
a forest preserve, and an attractive spot to beautify with bike
paths and a fishing pond, Pietrowski said.

"A lot of the forest preserves are in rural areas, and this would
be in a more urban area," he said.

County officials closed on the property in May. The county secured
$7.1 million in state and federal emergency management grants to
buy the property, which is notorious for flooding, relocate
residents and return the area to open space by the end of June.

Different contractors have been hired for different aspects of the
project, including mobile-home demolition, permanent-home
demolition, and asbestos abatement, Miller said.

"It's the nature of coordinating a complicated demolition
project," he said. "We would hope to have the demolition largely
completed by the end of May. That's always been the goal. It
hasn't moved back."

The mobile home park now sits deserted, dilapidated and
vandalized. Residents of the 121 occupied trailers were relocated
by the first of the year, well ahead of the April 30 deadline.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Harrowsmith Firm Fined for Workers' Exposure
CKWS Newswatch reported that a company in Harrowsmith, Ontario,
that does asbestos abatement work has been fined $25,000 after
three of its workers were exposed to the substance.

A supervisor with the same firm has been fined $4,000.

In May 2014, three employees of Recovery Abatement and Insulation
were removing asbestos from an Amherstview home.  A Ministry of
Labour inspector turned up to carry out an inspection and found
the three workers did not have proper protective clothing on,
despite being in the sealed room where the asbestos was.

In a Napanee courtroom, the company pleaded guilty to allowing the
workers to be in the room without protective gear.  The supervisor
-- Gregory Simpson -- pleaded guilty to not ensuring the workers
had the necessary protective clothing.  In addition to the fines
the court imposed a 25 percent victim surcharge.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Toxic Dust Found in George Washington Univ. Hall
Eva Palmer, writing for The GW Hatchet, reported that staff
members at The George Washington University, in Washington, D.C.,
who came to Strong Hall to fix a broken toilet and leaking pipe
found asbestos.

A maintenance team had to remove asbestos from the ceiling of the
lobby in the residence hall, where members of Chi Omega and Pi
Beta Phi live, after responding to a call that a toilet had
overflowed and a pipe was leaking in second-floor bathrooms of the
building. University spokesman Kurtis Hiatt said the damage also
affected a community room in the building.  Staff removed asbestos
from the lobby's ceiling, and planned to replace insulation and
parts of the ceiling over the weekend, Hiatt said. Air samples
were taken and "there were no hazards to the GW community," he

Plastic tarps and red tape marked "danger" covered parts of the
Strong Hall lobby as staff worked to repair the area. Over the
weekend, the plastic tent was removed from the area.

"Staff members have remained in close communication with Strong
Hall residents to provide updates and minimize disruptions as much
as possible during this process. The residence hall remains safe
for residents," he said. "We apologize for any inconvenience and
appreciate Strong Hall residents' patience as we resolve any
remaining issues."

Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral, can be found in
insulation and ceiling panels, and is not fully banned in the
United States, said Ana Ducoing, who teaches about asbestos at the
Ecologic Training Institute in California. It is known to cause
lung cancers like mesothelioma.  She added that it can take from
10 to 40 years after being exposed to asbestos for people to
develop symptoms of mesothelioma, but that it would be extremely
rare for any student to develop a disease.

"It would be extremely rare for anyone to have anything," she

Ari Massefski, the president of the Residence Hall Association,
said he met with the Division of Operations and was told the
repairs are being finished "as quickly as possible."  He said his
organization still plans to push for Strong Hall to be renovated
this summer -- an important backing for the historic building as
officials designate different halls for upgrades.

"We're still fully committed to advocating for renovations to
Strong Hall over the summer," he said.

In August 2011, health and safety officials found asbestos in Rice
Hall, where many administrators work, and in 2012, staff members
worked to remove asbestos from the basement of Gelman Library.

Mollie Bowman, the president of the Panhellenic Association, said
the safety of the students living in Strong Hall is her "No. 1

"I think [it] would be the No. 1 priority of the University as
well," she said.

Chi Omega's chapter president, Kate Mellinger, said in an email
that she was working closely with GW to fix the problem "as soon
as possible." The chapter president of Pi Beta Phi did not return
requests for comment.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Council to Fork Out GBP1.2MM for Fibro Removal
James Rothwell, writing for Wales Online, reported that Cardiff
council, in England, had expected to pay just GBP150,000 to remove
asbestos from the old Llanedeyrn High School as part of the St
Teilo's schools project

The cost of asbestos removal as part of a Cardiff council schools
project has rocketed to GBP1.2 million after a "significant"
amount was found at Llanedeyrn High School.

Cardiff council had expected to pay just GBP150,000 to remove
asbestos from the old Llanedeyrn High School as part of the St
Teilo's school project.  But it was revealed the cost had risen to
GBP1.2 million after surveyors discovered a "significant" amount
in the flooring.

Coun Julia Magill, cabinet member for Education and Skills, said
the "unforeseeable" discovery of asbestos at the school would make
the cost of removing it jump to more than a million pounds.

"A survey found a significant problem with asbestos. It was not
foreseeable that this particular problem would be found in a
building of this age," she told a cabinet meeting.

"It wouldn't have emerged until you were actually demolishing the
flooring," she added.

The cabinet voted in agreement on proposals to hike the project's
funding to GBP1.26 million.  The total cost of demolishing
Llanedeyrn High School and replacing it with new pitches is more
than GBP2 million, according to a cabinet report.

Llanedeyrn High School was closed last year to make way for the
new St Teilo's Church In Wales High School.

Cardiff council's education director Nick Batchelar said in the
report: "The amount of asbestos found within the old Llanedeyrn
High School is a highly exceptional occurrence.

"The appropriate industry standard risk allowances were undertaken
during the procurement and contract stages, however to find such
extensive amounts of asbestos in the property, especially in the
underground ducting, is highly unusual.

"Therefore, in this respect the amount of asbestos found and the
subsequent increases in contract amounts could not have been

He added: "A number of significant lessons have been learnt from
the experience of this project. It is important that this learning
is taken forward to ensure that these issues are not repeated
within future projects within the 21st Century Schools Programme."

"Early and 'intrusive' asbestos surveys should be taken as soon as
possible and risk allowances should be built in to similar

Another option -- not approved by the council -- was to ignore the
asbestos, but this would prevent the new St Teilo's school from
becoming fully functional, Mr Batchelar said.

"Should the vacant school remain on the site, it would not be
possible to develop all the necessary playing fields and pitches
for the new St Teilo's High School.

"This could cause challenges to delivering the full range of
sports curriculum at this new school. Off site facilities would
then be sought at an additional annual cost to the school."

Lib Dem leader Coun Judith Woodman, called for tighter checks on
asbestos in buildings.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Possible Fibro Exposure at Sudbury Hospital
Jonathan Migneault, writing for Sudbury Northern Life, reported
that the Canadian Ministry of Labour confirmed it is investigating
possible exposure to asbestos at Sudbury Hospital Services, a
facility that provides laundry and dishwashing services for Health
Sciences North.

The ministry received a complaint about possible exposure to
asbestos fibres -- a serious health hazard and known carcinogen --
on Jan. 12, and ordered the employer to erect a barrier around the
contaminated area, after dispatching an inspector and hygienist to
investigate the situation, said Ministry of Labour spokesperson
William Lin.

Terry Watters, the general manager at Sudbury Hospital Services,
said the possible exposure to asbestos happened in November and
December, when contractors were removing old steam valves in the
facility's boiler room.

The building, located at 363 York Street, was built in 1969, when
asbestos was still commonly used for insulation.

In 2000, Sudbury Health Services started an asbestos program to
identify parts of the building that still contained the material
for insulation.

The pipes in the boiler room were identified to be encapsulated
with asbestos, Watters said. A protective shell surrounded the
pipes, and was filled with asbestos to insulate them.

"We believed we could remove it safely by not disturbing the
(pipe) elbows," Watters said.

But the Ministry of Labour later informed Sudbury Health Services
they had not followed the correct procedures while handling the

"Prior to lowering these (pipe) elbows they should have been re-
wrapped," Watters said.

Watters said there was no way to determine whether or not
employees were exposed to airborne asbestos fibres while handling
the pipes.

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board provided Sudbury Health
Services with workers exposure incident forms, which it has handed
to all of its employees, contractors and suppliers.  Anyone who
suspected being in the affected area when asbestos exposure was
possible was encouraged to identify themselves.

Sudbury Health Services employs 60 full-time and part-time staff.

Only trained workers, with proper personal protective equipment,
are allowed to enter the affected area, and Sudbury Health
Services is required to provide the Ministry of Labour with an
updated asbestos management plan to clean the area.

Asbestos does not pose a significant health risk when it is
enclosed or tightly bound in a product.  But when asbestos fibres
are inhaled in significant quantities they can cause asbestosis --
a scarring of the lungs which makes breathing difficult -- lung
cancer, and mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer that affects the
lining of the chest or the abdominal cavity.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Levy Konigsberg Wins Case for Ohio Fibro Victim
On December 15, 2014, after a 2-week trial before the Honorable
Harry A. Hanna, a Cleveland jury rendered a personal injury
verdict for an Autozone store manager against Honeywell
International Inc. as a successor to The Bendix Corporation in the
Court of Common Pleas, Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

The plaintiff, represented by mesothelioma attorney Donald P.
Blydenburgh of Levy Konigsberg LLP and Ohio mesothelioma attorney
Christopher J. Hickey of McDermott & Hickey LLC, filed a lawsuit
-- Watkins et al. v. Affinia Group, et al., Case No. 12-780871,
Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas (Dec. 15, 2014) -- against
Bendix alleging that the asbestos-containing Bendix brakes that
the defendants sold to aftermarket shops through the late 1980s
proximately caused plaintiff's mesothelioma, a lethal cancer
caused by asbestos exposure.

According to the plaintiff's mesothelioma attorneys, they
investigated possible sources of their client's asbestos exposure
and found that he was exposed to asbestos fibers from his work
with Bendix brakes throughout his employment at AutoZone from 1985
to at least 1989, during such time that he would sand the new
brakes for customers so that they would not squeak when the
customer would install them at home. During the trial, the
plaintiff's mesothelioma attorneys were able to prove that not
only was plaintiff unknowingly exposed to asbestos from sanding
Bendix brakes, but Bendix had needlessly included asbestos in
those brakes as it had designed, manufactured and sold non-
asbestos brakes for vehicles decades earlier.

The trial against Bendix started on December 1, 2014. Testimony of
the plaintiff, his wife, and expert witnesses concluded on
December 12, 2014. After deliberating upon the evidence, the jury
held Bendix liable for the plaintiff's medical care and treatment,
past pain and suffering prior to his death, and his wrongful
death. When asked what should be taken away from this case and the
verdict, attorney Donald P. Blydenburgh said, "This jury concluded
rightfully so that it does not matter your occupation or degree,
whether you are an auto store manager or a garage mechanic, if you
are exposed to asbestos dust from a Bendix brake, it can cause you
to suffer a lethal cancer. For the first time in years, a
Cleveland jury was allowed to consider whether punitive damages
should be awarded. This verdict was not only a win for our client,
but all Ohioans who currently suffer from an asbestos-related
disease and want their day in court in Cleveland."

As per the evidence presented in court, Brake manufacturer Bendix
began selling asbestos-containing brakes in the late 1930s. Bendix
continued to sell replacement asbestos brakes in the aftermarket
through 2002 despite its ability to design brakes without asbestos
in brakes since the mid-1960s. Additionally, during the 1960s,
1970s and 1980s Bendix was aware that the asbestos in its brakes
could cause asbestos-related disease, including mesothelioma, but
chose not remove it from its products.

LK is a national recognized asbestos litigation firm specializing
in the representation of mesothelioma and lung cancer victims for
close to 30 years.

For more information about this Ohio mesothelioma lawsuit, please
contact attorney Don Blydenburgh at 1-800-637-6529 or submit an
online inquiry at the firm's website.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Deadly Dust Found Dumped in Lane Near Newquay
Cornish Guardian reported that furious residents have slammed
health and safety chiefs after a potentially lethal pile of
asbestos was dumped on a country lane in Kestle Mill, in England.

Anxious locals phoned the council as soon as the heap of building
materials and other rubbish containing the harmful substance was

Iris Richards, who found gas canisters, metal and rubbish sacks
near her home, wrote on social media site Facebook: "It's really
dangerous -- metal, wood, rubble -- and the local tip is less than
six miles away, but now charges people to take items similar to
this at the dump."

Cornwall Council said it has had to get a specialist in to remove
the material which is why it had taken a few days to clear up.

In a statement a spokeswoman for the council said: "We have
recently experienced an increase in fly-tipping in some locations
but this includes various waste types. In the main, the type of
waste that is fly-tipped is waste that can be taken and disposed
of free of charge at the household waste recycling centres.

"In this case, the waste appears to be commercial and therefore
this would not have been permitted to be disposed of at a
household waste recycling centre. It was logged by the council and
fly-tipping is usually cleared from council owned land within 48
hours. However, as asbestos was identified as part of this waste,
a specialist contractor has been brought in to remove it and it
should be cleared."

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Fake Fibro Report Nets Businessman Probation
Jamie Satterfield, writing for Knoxville News Sentinel, reported
that a man who lied about testing samples from an Alcoa car
dealership for asbestos will spend the next three years on

Chief U.S. District Judge Tom Varlan in Knoxville, Tennessee,
sentenced David W. Weekley to probation and ordered him to pay a
$500 fine for wire fraud. The charge stems from his use of email
to submit a false asbestos report.

According to a plea agreement drafted by Assistant U.S. Attorney
Matthew Morris, Weekley owned the firm Environmental Consulting
and Testing LLC, which he held out as providing testing on samples
of "suspected asbestos-containing materials" for demolition
contractors and other businesses involved in tearing down or
renovating buildings that might contain the hazardous material.

In January 2011, Total Demolition Inc., was readying to demolish
the building that once housed a Delmar Haynes automobile
dealership in Alcoa. The firm hired Weekley to test samples for

Weekley sent a report in February 2011 to Total Demolition in
which he claimed to have sent 57 samples of material from the old
Delmar Haynes building to FiberCom Laboratory "for bulk asbestos
analysis," Morris wrote. The report declared the materials free of
asbestos, the plea agreement stated.

"In truth and in fact, (Weekley) had neither submitted samples to
nor received results from FiberCom Laboratory for the former
Delmar Haynes automobile facility in Alcoa," Morris wrote.

Weekley billed Total Demolition $1,950.

Morris urged Varlan to give Weekley a little shock incarceration.
His penalty range under federal sentencing guidelines only called
for a maximum six-month sentence and allowed the possibility of
probation. But Assistant Federal Defender Jonathan Moffatt
convinced Varlan the three-year probationary term would keep
Weekley on the straight and narrow.


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

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