CAR_Public/161101.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Tuesday, November 1, 2016, Vol. 18, No. 218




                            Headlines

24 HOUR FITNESS: Accused by "Thomson" Suit of Violating EFTA
3M COMPANY: Faces "Yockey" Suit in Eastern Dist. of Pennsylvania
ALERE INC: Faces Securities Fraud Class Action in Massachusetts
BAGEL BOSS: Fails to Pay Overtime Wages, "Medina Cruz" Suit Says
CAREER POINT: Former Students File Class Action Following Closure

CHEVRON CORP: Therium Litigation Funds Gas Explosion Class Action
COLLEGE MONT-SACRE-COEUR: Faces Class Action Over Sexual Abuse
COMCAST: Subscribers File Class Action Over Deceptive Fees
CONFERENCE USA: "Johnson" Suit Consolidated in MDL 2492
COSTCO WHOLESALE: Faces Class Action Over Toilet Paper Tax

COX COMMUNICATIONS: Faces "Cahill" Suit Alleging FDCPA Violations
CR ENGLAND: Truck Driver Challenges Class Action Settlement
DENVER, CO: Sept. 2017 Hearing Set in Homeless Sweeps Case
EXXON MOBIL: Landowners Want Breach of Contract Case Reinstated
FLINT, MI: More Than 450 Water Crisis Suits Remain at Standstill

FRESH & EASY: Chan Files Appeal in Delaware District Ct.
GIANT EAGLE: Faces Class Action Over BOGO Promotional Strategy
GLOBAL FITNESS: Cato Seeks Review of Gym Membership Class Action
GOOD TASTE: Faces "Hoa" Suit in Eastern District of New York
GREAT LAKES HIGHER: Faces "Ivers" Suit in W. D. of Wisconsin

HF MANAGEMENT: Faces "Bucceri" Suit in Southern Dist. of New York
HILLSIDE CANDY: "Garcia" Suit Moved from Super. Ct. to C.D. Cal.
HMS COMPANIES: Faces "Landlord Management" Suit in E.D.N.Y.
HOTEL RESTAURANT: Faces "Thiede" Suit in Southern Dist. of Fla.
HYUNDAI MOTOR: Obtains Favorable Ruling in Gas Mileage Case

INFOSYS: IT Workers Seek Certification of Hiring Bias Case
KOCH FOODS: Faces Joe Christiana Suit for Broiler Price-Fixing
LUMBER LIQUIDATORS: "Sesti" Suit Consolidated in MDL 2743
MARATHON OIL: Sued in Oklahoma Over Unpaid Royalty Interests
MICHIGAN LOGISTICS: Bonner Seeks to Recover Wages Under FLSA

MONDELEZ GLOBAL: Accused by "Zamarripa" Suit of Not Paying OT
MURRAY GOULBURN: Overstated Profit by $150 Million, Audit Shows
MYLAN PHARMACEUTICALS: Faces Class Action Over EpiPen Pricing
NATIONAL COLLEGIATE: "Odom" Suit Consolidated in MDL 2492
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA: Plaintiffs' Attorneys Seek $1.6MM in Fees

NORTHLAND INVESTMENT: Sued Over Alleged "Demolition by Neglect"
NUCOR CORP: Settles Class Action Over Steel Price-Fixing
PAC-12 CONFERENCE: "Hawkins" Suit Consolidated in MDL 2492
PETROQUEST ENERGY: Faces "Hoog" Suit in Eastern Dist. of Oklahoma
PHILIPS ELECTRONICS: Sued Over Discriminatory Job Postings

PILGRIM'S PRIDE: December 19 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
SHORENSTEIN-HAYS-NEDERLANDER: Sued Over Workplace Violations
PARKS AUTHORITY: Cuts Entrance Fees Following Class Action
PHILADELPHIA, PA: Faces Class Action Over Speeding Citations
PROFI FACILITIES: "Wallace" Seeks to Recover Overtime Under FLSA

PUBLIX SUPER: Faces "Rudder" Suit in Southern Dist. of Florida
RAMSEY COUNTY, MN: Mickelson, et al. File Appeal in U.S. Sup. Ct.
REVERA INC: Faces Class Action Over Mistreatment of Residents
RICHARD L. BALLARD: Faces "Kelly" Suit in District of Texas
RIVER RUN: Judge Allows Fraud Class Actions to Proceed

SAPITOS RESTAURANT: Faces "Bizaldi" Suit in S.D. of New York
SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE: "Richardson" Consolidated in MDL 2492
SPARK MARKETING: Faces "Ramos" Suit in Southern Dist. of Cal.
STERLING BANK: "Troiano" Suit Moved from Cir. Ct. to S.D. Fla.
SYNGENTA: Appeals Court Ruling in GMO Corn Class Action

UNITED COLLECTION: Faces "Maleh" Suit in E.D. of New York
UNITED SERVICES: Class Action Lawyers Say Sanctions Unjust
UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND: "Pettus" Consolidated in MDL 2492
US STUDENT: Faces "Lawrence" Suit in Central Dist. of California
V & R BETHPAGE: Faces Morgan & Curtis Suit in E.D.N.Y.

VOLKSWAGEN AG: Seeks Final OK of $14.7BB Emissions Settlement
VOLKSWAGEN AG: Judge Delays Approval of Emissions Settlement
WELLS FARGO: Faces "Miller" Suit in Eastern Dist. of Pennsylvania
WELLS FARGO: Faces Class Action in New Jersey Over Fake Accounts
WELLS FARGO: Employees File Class Action Over Unpaid OT Wages

WELLS FARGO: January 1 Settlement Claims Filing Deadline Set
WELLS FARGO: Judge Tosses Bid to Arbitrate Overdraft Fee Case
WELLS FARGO: Feb. 7 "Cross" Settlement Approval Hearing
WELLS FARGO: Managers Scar Employees' U5 Records, Suit Claims
WHIRLPOOL CORP: Responds to Case Over Self-Cleaning Ovens

YAHOO! INC: Mum on Pending Data Breach Class Actions

* Aon to Launch Class Action Insurance Program in Australia
* BICE May Open Door to Investor Class Actions
* Class Actions Continue to Spike Across Australia
* DOL's Fiduciary Rule Pushes "Business Form of Skydiving"
* Top In-House Lawyers Strategize Against Class Actions


                            *********


24 HOUR FITNESS: Accused by "Thomson" Suit of Violating EFTA
------------------------------------------------------------
SASHA THOMSON, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. 24 HOUR FITNESS USA, INC. and DOES 1-10, Case No.
2:16-cv-07897 (C.D. Cal., October 24, 2016), arises from the
alleged illegal actions of the Defendants debiting the Plaintiff's
and also the putative Class members' bank accounts on a recurring
basis after clear revocation of any authorization or similar
authentication for preauthorized electronic fund transfers from
those accounts, thereby violating the Electronic Funds Transfer
Act.

24 Hour Fitness USA, Inc., is a company that provides gym access
and services to consumers.  The true names and capacities of the
Doe Defendants are currently unknown to the Plaintiff.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Todd M. Friedman, Esq.
          Adrian R. Bacon, Esq.
          Meghan E. George, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF TODD M. FRIEDMAN, P.C.
          21550 Oxnard St., Suite 780
          Woodland Hills, CA 91367
          Telephone: (877) 206-4741
          Facsimile: (866) 633-0228
          E-mail: tfriedman@toddflaw.com
                  abacon@toddflaw.com
                  mgeorge@toddflaw.com


3M COMPANY: Faces "Yockey" Suit in Eastern Dist. of Pennsylvania
----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against The 3M Company
The case is captioned J. DAVY YOCKEY, and JOSEPHINE YOCKEY,
HUSBAND AND WIFE, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS
SIMILARLY SITUATED, the Plaintiffs, v. THE 3M COMPANY, formerly
known as MINNESOTA MINING AND MANUFACTURING CO.; ANGUS FIRE; THE
ANSUL COMPANY; BUCKEYE FIRE PROTECTION; CHEMGUARD; and NATIONAL
FOAM, the Defendants, Case No. 2:16-cv-05553-PBT (E.D. Penn., Oct.
24, 2016). The case is assigned to Hon. Chief Judge Petrese B.
Tucker.

The 3M Company is an American multinational conglomerate
corporation based in Maplewood, Minnesota, a suburb of St. Paul.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Daniel C. Levin, Esq.
          LEVIN, FISHBEIN, SEDRAN & BERMAN
          510 Walnut Street, Suite 500
          Philadelphia, PA 19106
          E-mail: dlevin@lfsblaw.com


ALERE INC: Faces Securities Fraud Class Action in Massachusetts
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jessica Karmasek, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that new
executives at Alere Inc. are named as defendants in an ongoing
securities fraud lawsuit involving a proposed merger in which
Abbott Laboratories Inc. planned to acquire the Massachusetts-
based diagnostics company for $5.8 billion.

In October, a consolidated class action complaint for violations
of federal securities laws was filed in the U.S. District Court
for the District of Massachusetts.

Lead plaintiffs the Glazer Funds (Glazer Capital Management LP,
Glazer Enhanced Fund LP, Glazer Enhanced Offshore Fund Ltd.,
Glazer Offshore Fund Ltd. and Highmark Limited) and plaintiffs OFI
Asset Management and NECA-IBEW Pension Trust Fund joined the class
action.

In a complaint originally filed in April, plaintiff
Judith Godinez claims she purchased Alere common stock during the
class period and suffered damages as a result of the company's
alleged federal securities law violations and false and/or
misleading statements and/or material omissions.

Former Alere Chief Executive Officer, President and Director
Ron Zwanziger and former Chief Financial Officer David Teitel had
been named in the original complaint.  However, they were not
included in the Sept. 23 consolidated complaint.

Glazer, OFI and NECA-IBEW claim they acquired Alere publicly-
traded common stock during the class period -- May 28, 2015
through July 27, 2016 -- and, like Godinez, were damaged.
The 95-page consolidated complaint names as defendants
Namal Nawana, Alere's current CEO; James F. Hinrichs, the
company's current CFO; and Carla R. Flakne, its former chief
accounting officer.  Flakne was Alere's CAO until March 31, 2016,
when she was replaced by Jonathan Wygant.

"The Individual Defendants, because of their positions with the
Company, possessed the power and authority to control the contents
of Alere's reports to the market, including in Alere public
filings filed with the SEC, and in press releases and
presentations to securities analysts, money and portfolio managers
and institutional investors," according to the consolidated
complaint.

Alere provides diagnostic testing for diseases and toxicology. The
company's diagnostic products include point-of-care and laboratory
tests within the infectious disease, cardiometabolic disease and
toxicology markets, as well as patient self-testing services.

It has manufacturing facilities in the United States, Canada,
China, Germany, Japan, Norway, South Korea and the United Kingdom,
and the distribution network supporting its professional
diagnostics business includes offices in 32 countries.  The
company also has its own sales force in many countries, including
most major markets.

During 2015, Alere reported that it generated about 56 percent of
its net revenue from continuing operations from the U.S., about 18
percent from Europe and about 26 percent from other locations,
including Africa and India.

In February, Alere and Abbott announced a definitive agreement for
Abbott to acquire Alere.  Under the terms of the agreement, Abbott
said it would pay $56 per common share at a total expected equity
value of $5.8 billion.

Once completed, the deal would have made Abbott the leading
diagnostics provider of point-of-care testing.

"The announcement marks an exciting and transformative milestone
for Alere and one that provides an immediate benefit for our
stockholders," Mr. Nawana said in a Feb. 1 statement.  "Our
leading platforms and global presence in point-of-care
diagnostics, combined with Abbott's broad portfolio of market-
leading products, will accelerate our shared goal of improving
patient care."

The securities class action brought against Alere and the
individual defendants arises out of their alleged violations of
federal securities laws through allegedly "material false and
misleading" statements and omissions concerning its business,
finances and operations.

The plaintiffs contend the alleged misrepresentations and
omissions occurred when the individual defendants were actively
seeking to sell Alere and, to that end, "creating the illusion"
that the company was thriving and had adequate financial and
internal controls.

"The Defendants' strategy proved successful when, on February 1,
2016, Abbott Laboratories entered into a merger agreement to
acquire Alere for $56.00 per share, which represented a
substantial and highly lucrative premium to Alere's then-current
trading price of $37.20 per share," according to the consolidated
complaint.

The merger, the plaintiffs point out, also would result in special
one-time payments to Messrs. Nawana and Hinrichs totaling more
than $29 million.  Mr. Nawana stood to gain $20.5 million, while
Hinrichs stood to gain $8.7 million.

"Nawana and Hinrichs were thus highly motivated to, and did,
misrepresent the apparent financial and operational condition of
Alere through a series of materially false and misleading
statements, which artificially inflated Alere's stock price," the
plaintiffs allege.

They continued, "Despite the contemporaneous existence and partial
disclosure of material weaknesses in Alere's internal controls,
Defendants, Nawana, Hinrichs and Flakne, signed the Company's
materially false and misleading Class Period SEC filings, and
Defendants Nawana and Hinrichs signed the accompanying SOX
certifications, falsely attesting that the financial information
contained in the Company's SEC filings were true, did not omit
material facts, and that the Company's internal controls and
disclosure controls were effective."
In these certifications, the individual defendants specifically
represented that they personally designed and implemented
"adequate" internal controls over financial reporting.
But not so, the plaintiffs argue.

"Either the Defendants who signed the certifications made
knowingly false statements in the certifications, or they acted in
reckless disregard of the truth -- that Alere had massive
undisclosed material weaknesses in its internal controls," the
consolidated complaint states.

The plaintiffs contend the defendants' "scheme" began to unravel
less than a month after the merger agreement was signed.  They
disclosed, for the first time, in late February that the company
would be unable to timely file its 2015 annual report on Form
10-K, as required by the Securities Exchange Act.

The form, required by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission,
gives a comprehensive summary of a company's financial
performance.

This was followed by Alere's disclosure in March that it received
a grand jury subpoena from the U.S. Department of Justice
concerning, among other things, matters related to the U.S.
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA.

Then, in April, Abbott's CEO refused to comment publicly on the
likelihood that Abbott would complete the pending merger.  Later
that month, it was disclosed by Alere that Abbott wished to cancel
the merger agreement and offered to pay Alere $30 million to $50
million for its expenses if it agreed to do so.

And the hits kept coming in July, with Alere saying it, along with
the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, would be initiating a
voluntary withdrawal of the company's blood testing INRation
products from the market.  That same month, Alere said it received
a criminal subpoena from the DOJ regarding its toxicology unit,
requesting Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare billing records.

The plaintiffs allege that all of these disclosures caused the
price of Alere's common stock to decline "significantly."
The company's stock went from closing at $49.32 per share on March
15, 2016 to $31.47 per share on July 27, 2016.

"Collectively, the price of Alere common stock fell by more than
43 percent lower than the $55.39 per share Class Period high
closing price and to approximately the same price at which it had
traded before the Merger Agreement was announced," according to
the consolidated complaint.

"In total, these disclosures resulted in a market capitalization
loss of approximately $1.9 billion."

The plaintiffs are seeking class action certification,
compensatory damages, and costs and expenses, including counsel
fees and expert fees.

Judge Patti B. Saris is presiding over the case. Saris set a
motion hearing for March 23, 2017, and a defense motion to dismiss
for April 5, 2017.

Boston law firm Shapiro Haber & Urmy LLP is serving as the
plaintiffs' liaison counsel, New York firm Abraham Fruchter &
Twersky LLP is plaintiffs' lead counsel, and New York firms
Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP and Entwistle & Cappucci
LLP are members of the plaintiffs' executive committee.


BAGEL BOSS: Fails to Pay Overtime Wages, "Medina Cruz" Suit Says
----------------------------------------------------------------
BENJAMIN MEDINA CRUZ, and JOSE ARRIAGA GALINDO, individually and
on behalf of others similarly situated v. BAGEL BOSS OF MURRAY
HILL INC. (d/b/a BAGEL BOSS), RANDY ROSNER, and DONALD ROSNER,
Case No. 1:16-cv-08269 (S.D.N.Y., October 23, 206), alleges that
the Plaintiffs worked for the Defendants in excess of 40 hours a
week, without appropriate minimum wage and overtime compensation
for the hours that they worked.

Bagel Boss of Murray Hill Inc. is a domestic corporation organized
and existing under the laws of the state of New York.  The
Defendants own, operate, or control a bagel shop located in New
York City under the name Bagel Boss.  The Individual Defendants
serve or served as owners, managers, principals, or agents of the
Defendant Corporation.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Michael A. Faillace, Esq.
          MICHAEL FAILLACE & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
          60 East 42nd Street, suite 2540
          New York, NY 10165
          Telephone: (212) 317-1200
          Facsimile: (212) 317-1620
          E-mail: Michael@Faillacelaw.com


CAREER POINT: Former Students File Class Action Following Closure
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Sharon Ko, writing for KENS, reports that former Career Point
College students have filed a class action lawsuit against the
school system.

There are 52 plaintiffs listed in the lawsuit, including former
student Christopher Kinna who spearheaded the effort.

"I do not trust anything that comes from the school.  What has
come from the school has been minimal.  I don't trust their
ability to make this right," Mr. Kinna said.

Mr. Kinna had about four months left before he would have
graduated from Career Point College.  As a working parent, he not
only had goals to achieve in his career but wanted to provide a
better life for his family.

"What kept you going was that you knew there was a means to an
end.  And when that end is taken away from you, it's almost like
being tripped up right before the finish line of a marathon,"
Mr. Kinna said.

Mr. Kinna noted that there were signs that the school was facing
financial troubles.  He was a student but also worked for the
school as an instructor and clinical coordinator.

"There were several different types of cutbacks.  It started with
the day care.  The day care shuts down, speculation flies and then
they cut certain employee benefits like referral bonuses. They
also cut other wages from the employees as well," Mr. Kinna
described.  "We would also receive word from the students or even
other contractors, the people that would give us our
immunizations, they had stopped paying bills."

On Oct. 16, the president and CEO Larry Earle announced that the
school was shut down.  He said a few employees violated rules
related to student aid funds and the Department of Education
stopped funding the school.

As a result, the college was forced to close.

Aric Garza, attorney for the plaintiffs, said that the lawsuit
they filed will not only prohibit the school from destroying
important documents, but will force the school to provide
necessary information to former students.

Mr. Garza said that they are seeking more than a million dollars
in damages.

"Given that most of them have been affected to the degree of
$5,000 to $30,000, depending on the cost that they've incurred in
the school and the number of students involved in this,"
Mr. Garza said.  "This lawsuit is directed to the officials and
the individuals who are in charge of that school, to force them to
respond to these students."

"I want to demand action instead of hoping for the best. I believe
that's how all the students feel," Kinna said.  "We want action
from the school to make it right.  This isn't right.  Most of us
are scared.  We're tired and we're devastated."

The Department of Education said it's been notified of Career
Point College's closure.  The department has provided a list of
resources and information for affected students here:
https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/sites/default/files/career-point-
tx.pdf


CHEVRON CORP: Therium Litigation Funds Gas Explosion Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jessica Karmasek, writing for Forbes.com, reports that a
litigation funding company that launched in the U.S. only six
months ago has been identified as the third-party funder in a
proposed class action brought against Chevron Corp. over a gas
explosion off the coast of Nigeria.

According to a copy of the litigation funding agreement, found
buried among other documents in the Gbarabe v. Chevron case
docket, Therium Litigation Funding IC has more than $1.5 million
invested in the class action lawsuit against the oil giant.

Founded in London in 2009, Therium is one of the more established
litigation financing firms.

According to an April news release announcing its U.S. launch, the
company, in 2015, secured $300 million to invest in commercial
litigation financing -- the largest ever single investment in the
litigation funding sector, globally.

Mary Terzino, an attorney and consultant who has studied the
subject of third-party litigation funding for the last six years,
said until recently Therium focused on the UK.  It has been and
continues to be a member of the Association of Litigation Funders
in London, she noted.

She said she is not personally aware of any other U.S. litigation
in which the company has invested.

Eric Blinderman, who left his post as international litigation
counsel at Proskauer Rose LLP to become the CEO of Therium's U.S.
office, did not immediately respond to emails from Legal Newsline
seeking comment on the funding agreement.

However, Ms. Terzino, who has consulted with the U.S. Chamber's
Institute for Legal Reform, which owns Legal Newsline, said the
agreement has some "interesting features."

First, it is an agreement between the funder and the lawyers for
the putative class, Jacqueline A. Perry and Neil J. Fraser, both
of Los Angeles-based Perry & Fraser.  The claimants are not
parties, Ms. Terzino noted.

Neither Ms. Perry nor Mr. Fraser could be reached for comment on
the agreement.

"The funder's award will come from the lawyers' contingency fee if
there is a settlement or judgment," Ms. Terzino explained. "This
appears to be a form of fee-splitting in which lawyers are sharing
their fees with a non-lawyer (Therium)."

Ms. Terzino said many legal ethicists, and the American Bar
Association itself, have grave concerns about fee-splitting
because it poses a prospect of control of the litigation by the
non-lawyer, and may result in decision-making that enhances the
non-lawyer's profit at the expense of the claimants' interests.

Second, while the funding agreement states Therium will not
control the litigation, Ms. Terzino said there are other parts of
the agreement that "throw up red flags" in terms of Therium's
control.

"Therium may attend meetings with expert witnesses and other
'internal meetings," she said, pointing directly to the agreement.
"Therium must approve adding claimants to the case, and must
approve adding co-counsel, forensic accountants or anyone else not
already accounted for in a document called the Budget & Plan.

"The way funders budget, who and what they agree to pay for, and
the timing of their payments, can have a significant influence
over litigation strategy."

Also, the lawyers committed in the agreement to use "reasonable
endeavors" to recover the "maximum possible contingency fee,"
Ms. Terzino pointed out.

"Who decides what 'the maximum possible' is? And what if the
claimants, contrary to the wishes of the funder, are willing to
accept less? Deciding what is the appropriate amount of a
settlement is a major control mechanism in a lawsuit," she said.

According to the agreement, which commenced in November 2015,
Therium originally committed $1.5 million in funds.  However, in a
letter dated May 18, 2016, the company upped that number to $1.7
million.

Ms. Terzino explained that the amount means that if the case
results in settlement or judgment, Therium will get back its
investment, plus six times its investment, $10.2 million, plus an
additional 2 percent of the lawsuit proceeds.

It's difficult to say whether the funding agreement between
Therium and the lawyers is considered a standard agreement, she
said.

Ms. Terzino points out that third-party litigation funders operate
largely under the radar in litigation.

"Funders take deliberate steps to shield their funding agreements
from disclosure," she explained.  "As a consequence, we have seen
very few such agreements, mostly those where there has been some
dispute between the funder and the funded party resulting in
litigation, or in the relatively few instances where courts have
ordered that the plaintiff must produce the agreement in their
case."

She said Chevron was right to pursue the release of the funding
agreement and Judge Susan Illston was correct in granting
Chevron's motion requiring plaintiff Natta Iyela Gbarabe to
produce it.

"Chevron made a sound and reasonable argument, with which the
judge agreed, that disclosure of the funding agreement was needed
to evaluate whether plaintiffs' counsel had the resources to
commit to acting as class counsel," Ms. Terzino said.  "Without
the agreement, Chevron would be unable to make its own arguments
about the adequacy of class counsel."

Chevron attorneys could not be reached for comment on the
agreement.

Judge Illston, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California, granted Chevron's motion in August.

The judge said in her ruling that considering the circumstances of
the case, the litigation funding agreement was relevant.

"The confidentiality provision of the funding agreement does not
prohibit plaintiff from producing the agreement, and instead
simply states that 'if at any time such a requirement [to produce
the agreement] arises or to do so would be prudent . . .the
lawyers will promptly take all such steps as reasonably
practicable to make such disclosure . . ." Judge Illston wrote in
her seven-page order.

She noted that the plaintiff's proposal for an in camera review of
the agreement -- meaning a hearing would be held before the judge
in her private chambers -- was "inadequate."

"(I)t would deprive Chevron of the ability to make its own
assessment and arguments regarding the funding agreement and its
impact, if any, on plaintiff's ability to adequately represent the
class," Judge Illston continued.

Chevron requested that the plaintiff produce documents "reflecting
or relating to the actual or potential financing or funding of the
prosecution of this litigation."

The oil giant argued the funding agreement and related documents
are relevant to determining adequacy of representation in the
putative class action.

The company also pointed out that the plaintiff does not dispute
that his counsel are dependent on outside funding to prosecute the
case.

It has become commonplace for third-party funders to pay the owner
of a civil claim upfront in return for the claim owner's promise
to convey a portion of the potential recovery.

This brings tax advantages for both the third-party funders and
class action plaintiffs attorneys, allowing them to defer tax
liability on the monetary advancement until the claim pays off
while the funders deduct expenses and pay taxes on profit accrued
at the lower capital-gains rate.  These agreements routinely are
entered confidentially.

Ms. Terzino argues Judge Illston's decision serves as a
"cautionary tale" to funders who are moving into the arena of
speculating on class action litigation.

"They may no longer be able to hide behind confidentiality
agreements with law firms and clients," she said.

While she agrees Judge Illston's order was correct, Julia Gewolb,
legal counsel at Bentham IMF, one of the largest litigation
finance companies, argues the reaction to it was "blown a little
bit out of proportion."

Ms. Gewolb told Legal Newsline that there's no reason to think
that the judge's decision in Ms. Gbarabe will lead to a flood of
disclosure in class action cases.

"I think it will always be a case-by-case thing," she said. "I
think the facts in each case are so unique, there can't be any
bright-line rule."

She argues requiring disclosure of such agreements across the
board could prevent good cases from being brought because
everyone's too worried about a discovery "sideshow."

On Jan. 16, 2012, an explosion occurred on the KS Endeavor
drilling rig, which was drilling for natural gas in the North Apoi
Field off of the coast of Nigeria.  The explosion caused a fire
that burned for 46 days.

Ms. Gbarabe alleges that the KS Endeavor was operated by KS
Drilling under the management of Chevron Nigeria Limited, which,
in turn, acted at Chevron's direction.

Ms. Gbarabe is a fisherman who lives in a coastal community of
Bayelsa State in Nigeria who depends on fishing for his primary
method of earning a living.

He alleges he suffered financial and personal losses, including
health issues, as a result of the explosion.

Ms. Gbarabe seeks to represent a class of individuals who live and
work in communities and co-operatives located in the Niger Delta
region.


COLLEGE MONT-SACRE-COEUR: Faces Class Action Over Sexual Abuse
--------------------------------------------------------------
Catherine Solyom, writing for Montreal Gazette, reports that three
to six nights a week, for two years, "A" would stand outside
Brother Claude Lebeau's bedroom at the College
Mont-Sacre-Coeur in Granby, along with the other boys, waiting in
line to see the brother in private.

But once behind closed doors, Lebeau would not offer prayer or a
private tutorial, but allegedly would masturbate the student, to
help him "open up" and get over his shyness.

Then the next boy would come in.

Now 56, "A" as he is known to the court, has filed a lawsuit for
$1.2 million in damages against the school and the congregation
(Les Freres du Sacre Coeur -- Brothers of the Sacred Heart),
alleging more than 300 such sexual assaults occurred between 1972
and 1975, when he was a boarder at the school and Lebeau was the
dormitory supervisor.  A was 13 when he says the assaults began.

But A is also acting as the lead plaintiff in a request to launch
a class-action suit submitted to Superior Court Oct. 7.

And in the 12 days since then, his lawyers have received calls
from 30 other alleged victims, and the number of alleged
perpetrators at the elite school for boys has increased to nine.

For Robert Kugler, of the law firm Kugler, Kandestin, what
happened at the college, and inside Lebeau's bedroom, was not an
isolated event.

"It was happening so frequently with kids lining up outside of the
room, it's hard to imagine -- and I don't believe -- that this was
not known to everyone in the higher ups of the congregation that
were responsible for this school," said Kugler, who successfully
sued the Clercs de Saint-Viateur and the Institut Raymond-Dewar --
the new name for the Montreal Institute for the Deaf -- for $30
million for the rampant sex abuse at their school in Montreal.

"Given the number of abusers, and the number of years the abusers
were at the school (complaints now range over 40 years) we expect
that the number of victims will exceed 100.  Time will tell."

Yanick Messier, the lawyer representing the Brothers of the Sacred
Heart, said the congregation was saddened by the allegations, and
is taking them very seriously.

"The community unanimously intends to co-operate with the
authorities," said Messier, who represents all the defendants,
which include the Corporation Maurice-Ratte and Les oeuvres
Josaphat-Vanier.  "They are putting all their energy into seeing
and understanding what happened."

As to the allegation there was systemic abuse involving other
brothers, Messier would not speculate.

"It's an evolving situation," Mr. Messier said.  "Twelve days have
passed. There have been other calls.  But whether that will
translate into other plaintiffs being added (to the class action)
we'll see."

Lebeau, who also taught and was responsible for the Grade 9 and 10
boys, left the College in Granby in 1997, and according to the
Voix de l'Est newspaper, he then worked in Valleyfield for the
Brothers of the Sacred Heart until 2010.  Finally he worked as a
spiritual counsellor at the Hopital Anna Laberge in Chateauguay
until his retirement in 2011.

Mr. Messier couldn't say why Lebeau left the college.  Founded in
1932, it became a secular school in 2004.  But Mr. Messier was
told it had nothing to do with the allegations detailed in the
lawsuit.

Lebeau could not be reached for comment.

The next step is for a judge to decide whether to allow the class
action to go forward, Mr. Kugler said, and, if warranted, to amend
the lawsuit to include more victims -- and more alleged
perpetrators.

Very often, Mr. Kugler said, he is the first person grown men have
ever told of the abuse they suffered as boys.

"It was kept secret for decades and were it not for A coming
forward . . .it would have been kept secret longer," Mr. Kugler
said.  "Now they realize they were not alone, it wasn't their
fault and they can feel free to come forward to talk about it
confidentially and for free."


COMCAST: Subscribers File Class Action Over Deceptive Fees
----------------------------------------------------------
Daniel B. Kline, writing for Fool.com, reports that one of the
ugly realities of the cable industry has been that the advertised
price does not reflect what customers actually pay.

Many of the large cable companies use mandatory added fees to push
bills higher.  They advertise a certain price, but no consumers
pay that amount because these extra charges are not optional.

It's a misleading tactic that has angered many people when they
receive their first bill and it's not for the amount they thought
they agreed to (or that they saw advertised).  Now, a group of
Comcast subscribers in seven states has filed a class action
complaint asking for a jury trial, claiming that these fees are
"illegal and deceptive."

What does Comcast do?

When people visit Comcast's website to sign up for cable service,
they see a clearly advertised price.  These prices may vary by
market, but currently in West Palm Beach, Florida, where I am, the
company shows the "Digital Starter" package at $49.99 per month
and "X1 Starter Double Play" at $89.99.

Based on the presentation on the website (which is similar to how
the company advertises in other media), these appear to be the
actual prices.  In reality, however, if you read the fine print
labeled "pricing and other info," you see the following:

Equipment, installation, taxes and fees, including regulatory
recovery fees, Broadcast TV Fee (up to $5/mo.), Regional Sports
Fee (up to $3/mo.) and other applicable charges extra, and subject
to change during and after the promo.

So, in the case of both of these packages (and all other Comcast
cable offers), the consumer does not pay the advertised price.

What is the complaint alleging?

The proposed class action lawsuit complains that Comcast
advertises one price and charges another.  It alleges that the
company makes over $1 billion a year from "Broadcast TV Fee" and
"Regional Sports Fee," about 15% of its total profits:

This proposed class action alleges that Comcast Corporation . . .
is engaging in a massive illegal scheme of falsely advertising its
cable television service plans for much lower prices than it
actually charges.  Comcast promises to charge customers a fixed
monthly price for the service plans, but in fact Comcast charges a
much higher rate for those plans via concealed and deceptive
"fees" which Comcast intentionally disguises in both its
advertising and in its customer bills.

The court filing also alleges that "Comcast's fraud pervades the
entire life cycle of the customer," saying that Comcast "commits
billing fraud by subtracting the invented fees from the top-line
service price in its bills (e.g., from the "Total XFINITY Bundled
Price") and instead hiding and disguising the charges in the
"Other Charges & Credits" section of the bill."

Last, the proposed lawsuit alleges that staff and agents
misrepresent the fees to customers when the latter ask questions
about them.  "Comcast staff and agents explicitly lie by stating
that the Broadcast TV Fee and the Regional Sports Fee are
government-related fees or taxes over which Comcast has no
control," according to the filing.

What happens next?

The biggest hurdle facing this proposed class action lawsuit may
be that Comcast (and all major cable companies) have clauses in
their basic agreements that force customers to accept arbitration.
In this case, Consumerist reported, the attorneys behind the
proposed lawsuit believe that each of the eight defendants has
exercised their right to opt out of the Comcast arbitration clause
within the 30-day window of opening their accounts.  Consumerist
said it reached out to Comcast for a comment, but had not heard
back by the time it published.

Whether arbitration can be applied or not, this may be a case
where shining light on a practice that -- whether legal or not --
involves the company advertising one price then charging another
brings about change.  Comcast, and every other cable company that
does this, could stop doing it if the policy gets enough negative
attention.

In the long run, advertising the real, higher price may cost
Comcast (and other players) some revenue, but it could also earn
them goodwill.  This lawsuit faces a long road (and it may be a
long shot), but its intent is clear and could ultimately force the
company to reverse a practice that appears to be a clear attempt
to mislead or confuse customers.


CONFERENCE USA: "Johnson" Suit Consolidated in MDL 2492
-------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Willie Johnson, individually and
on behalf of all others similarly situated, the Plaintiff v.
Conference USA, Big East Conference, The National Collegiate, and
American Athletic Conference, Case No. 1:16-cv-02341, was
transferred from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of Indiana, to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of Illinois - (Chicago). The District Court Clerk assigned Case
No. 1:16-cv-09979 to the proceeding.

The Johnson case is being consolidated with MDL 2492 in re:
National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete
Concussion Injury Litigation. The MDL was created by Order of the
United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on
December 18, 2013. The actions before the Panel seek medical
monitoring for putative classes of former student athletes at
NCAA-member schools who allege they suffered concussions.
Plaintiffs allege that the NCAA concealed information about the
risks of the long-term effects of concussion injuries. Opponents
to centralization argue, inter alia, that (1) the putative classes
and claims alleged in these actions do not sufficiently overlap;
and (2) given the small number of actions pending, alternatives to
centralization are preferable. In its December 18, 2013 Order, the
MDL Panel found that the actions in this MDL involve common
questions of fact, and that centralization in the Northern
District of Illinois will serve the convenience of the parties and
witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the
litigation. These actions share factual questions relating to
allegations against the NCAA stemming from injuries sustained
while playing sports at NCAA-member institutions, including
damages resulting from the permanent long-term effects of
concussions. Presiding Judges in the MDL is Hon. John Z. Lee,
United States District Judge. The lead case is 1:16-cv-08727.

Conference USA is a collegiate athletic conference whose member
institutions are located within the Southern United States.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jeffrey Lewis Raizner, Esq.
          RAIZNER SLANIA, LLP
          2402 Dunlavy Street
          Houston, TX 77006
          Telephone: (713) 554-9099
          E-mail: efile@raiznerlaw.com

               - and -

          William E. Winingham, Esq.
          WILSON KEHOE & WININGHAM
          2859 North Meridian Street
          Indianapolis, IN 46208
          Telephone: (317) 920 6400
          Facsimile: (317) 920 6405
          E-mail: winingham@wkw.com


COSTCO WHOLESALE: Faces Class Action Over Toilet Paper Tax
----------------------------------------------------------
Anthony G. Attrino, writing for NJ.com, reports that a Leonia man
has started a class-action lawsuit against the Costco Wholesale
Corporation, claiming the business illegally charged him sales tax
on toilet paper.

Robert Arnold, 55, claims he and his wife purchased Charmin toilet
tissue from the wholesaler twice in July 2015 -- once at the Wayne
store and another time at the Hackensack store, which has since
closed and moved to Teterboro.

During each purchase, Mr. Arnold was charged a 7 percent sales
tax, according to a lawsuit filed in Bergen County Superior Court.

According to the New Jersey Sales Tax Guide, sales of disposable
household paper products such as toilet tissue are exempt from
sales tax.

Mr. Arnold did not realize he had been charged sales tax until he
later went over his receipts, according to his attorney, Rosemarie
Arnold of Fort Lee.  The attorney is not related to Robert Arnold.

"He took both receipts and went back to the Hackensack store," the
attorney said.

Store employees told Mr. Arnold they could not refund his money
and that he had to fill out forms, submit them to Costco's
corporate office and that his money would be mailed to him,
Rosemarie Arnold said.

"He said, 'Why should I take an hour of my time to do this when
you shouldn't have charged me in the first place?'" the attorney
said.

The suit accuses Costco of fraud, unjust enrichment and
negligence.  The filing claims the business violated the New
Jersey Consumer Protection Act, the Truth-In-Consumer Contract
Warranty and Notice Act, and New Jersey common law.

"Hundreds of thousands of New Jersey residents have paid a 7
percent surcharge in the guise of a sales tax when purchasing
toilet tissue at" New Jersey Costco stores, the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit alleges Costco has "a policy and practice" of charging
unlawful sales tax on its products.  It also seeks to reimburse
plaintiffs and anyone else joining the class action suit who were
forced to pay sales tax as well as punitive damages.

In May 2015, a federal class action lawsuit was brought against
Costco in California, alleging the retailer collected more sales
tax than it should have on products that included manufacturer
rebates.

"Despite the public scrutiny," the lawsuit says, "Costco continues
to flaunt the law to this day."

Costco declined to discuss the lawsuit on Oct. 19.

"Unfortunately, we are not able to provide a response at this
time," a corporate spokeswoman stated in an email.


COX COMMUNICATIONS: Faces "Cahill" Suit Alleging FDCPA Violations
-----------------------------------------------------------------
TIFFANY CAHILL, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY
SITUATED v. COX COMMUNICATIONS, INC., Case No. 3:16-cv-02633-BAS-
NLS (S.D. Cal., October 24, 2016), arises from the Defendant's
alleged illegal actions with regard to its attempts to unlawfully
and abusively collect a debt allegedly owed by the Plaintiff, in
violation of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the
Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Cox Communications, Inc., was founded in 1984 and is based in
Atlanta, Georgia.  Cox Communications operates as a subsidiary of
Cox Enterprises, Inc.  Cox Communications operates as a broadband
communications and entertainment company for residences and
businesses in the United States.  The Company provides digital
video, Internet, telephone, and home security and automation
services over its IP network.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Abbas Kazerounian, Esq.
          Matthew M. Loker, Esq.
          KAZEROUNI LAW GROUP, APC
          245 Fischer Avenue, Unit D1
          Costa Mesa, CA 92626
          Telephone: (800) 400-6808
          Facsimile: (800) 520-5523
          E-mail: ak@kazlg.com
                  ml@kazlg.com

               - and -

          Daniel G. Shay, Esq.
          LAW OFFICE OF DANIEL G. SHAY
          409 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 101B
          San Diego, CA 92108
          Telephone: (619) 222-7249
          Facsimile: (866) 431-3292
          E-mail: danielshay@tcpafdcpa.com

               - and -

          Joshua B. Swigart, Esq.
          HYDE & SWIGART
          2221 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 101
          San Diego, CA 92108
          Telephone: (619) 233-7770
          Facsimile: (619) 297-1022
          E-mail: josh@westcoastlitigation.com


CR ENGLAND: Truck Driver Challenges Class Action Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------
Mark Schremmer, writing for Land Line, reports that a truck
driver, who is suing C.R. England for alleged illegal labor
practices, asked a Utah federal judge to not allow the settlement
of an overlapping class action to block his case.

Plaintiff William H. Gradie filed a memorandum of opposition to
C.R. England's motion to stay in the U.S. District Court Utah
Central Division on Monday, Oct. 17, calling the recent settlement
"utterly defective" and asking Judge David Nuffer to consolidate
the two competing class actions.

Mr. Gradie alleged that C.R. England imposed numerous illegal
terms of employment, including charging drivers more than $5,000
for their training time, requiring drivers to execute promissory
notes at an 18 percent interest rate, and charging drivers a
$2,500 penalty if they are terminated.  Individually, Mr. Gradie
claims $18,345 worth of damages.

A separate judge granted preliminary approval of a $2.35 million
settlement in a similar class action known as Milton Harper et al.
v. C.R. England Inc., on Oct. 6.

On Oct. 11, C.R. England asked the court to extinguish Mr.
Gradie's case once the settlement receives final approval on Nov.
29.  C.R. England noted that Mr. Gradie's suit was filed two
months after the Harper case and makes "essentially the same
California wage and hour" allegations.

However, Mr. Gradie responded by asking for the class actions to
be consolidated before the court "so that a single judge may
balance the competing factors necessary to protect the interests
of the class."

Mr. Gradie's attorneys allege that C.R. England is rushing to
obtain approval of a collusive, "reverse auction" settlement.

"(C.R. England) would naturally far prefer a fast settlement that
releases the class claims for a (minuscule) fraction of their true
value," Mr. Gradie's attorneys wrote in the brief.

The brief went on to accuse the settlement of being a "reverse
auction," where a defendant selects among attorneys for competing
classes and negotiates an agreement with the attorneys who are
willing to accept the lowest class recovery.  In this case,
Mr. Gradie points to an attorney fee award of $500,000 to Harper's
counsel.

Mr. Gradie also argues that the Harper settlement is inadequate.
After attorney fees, administrative costs and special awards for
the three named plaintiffs, "the net result is a class
distribution of less than $1,802,500." With about 5,900 class
members and 295,000 work weeks for the class, Mr. Gradie says the
recovery would amount to $6.11 per week.

"A driver similarly situated to Plaintiff Gradie, who was first
induced to enter into C.R. England's unlawful employment and
education agreement and then was terminated six weeks later, would
there receive about $36.66 from the settlement," the brief stated.
"This does not compare favorably with the actual value of his
claims.  When compared against the $18,345 in highly meritorious
claims being released in the settlement, the potential recovery of
$36.66 thus works out to a recovery of less than two-tenths of a
penny for every dollar of liability released.  Stated differently,
the value of these class claims is being discounted by over 99.9
percent."

Mr. Gradie claims that the settlement would be an "unmitigated
disaster" to the members of the class.

"It would serve only to confer an undeserved windfall to C.R.
England, which will avoid massive civil liability for a pittance.
It provides an equally undeserved windfall to Harper's counsel who
would receive $500,000 for merely accepting a low-ball offer
within less than 30 days of serving the complaint."


DENVER, CO: Sept. 2017 Hearing Set in Homeless Sweeps Case
----------------------------------------------------------
Chris Walker, writing for Westword, reports that the Oct. 20 10
a.m. hearing at the Alfred A. Arraj courthouse was significantly
less crowded than the previous for a class action lawsuit filed
against Denver that alleges the city is violating the U.S.
Constitution when it conducts regular sweeps of the homeless.

Much of the October 20 hearing was spent affirming dates and
clarifying questions between the homeless plaintiffs' lawyer,
Jason Flores-Williams, the city's attorneys and U.S. District
Judge Craig B. Shaffer.

Here are the main things that we learned:

1. Just how long this case might take.  Because the lawyers on
both sides agreed to an April 12 date to conclude discovery of
evidence they'll use in trial or a summary judgment, Judge Shaffer
said that means that a trial might not start until late next year.
He set the last pre-trial hearing for September 6, 2017.
Meanwhile, the case still hinges upon whether another judge --
U.S. District Judge William Martinez -- grants the plaintiffs
class certification.  The city was given until
October 28 to file a response in the matter, after which a
decision or a hearing on class certification could follow within
weeks.

2. The U.S. Department of Justice may issue a statement of
interest in the case.  During the hearing, Mr. Flores-Williams
said that he is in discussions with the civil-litigation division
of the DOJ about issuing a statement in his case similar to what
the DOJ issued in a 2015 case that challenged Boise, Idaho's,
camping ban.  Judge Shaffer responded that he wouldn't dismiss
such a letter of interest, but he also warned Mr. Flores-Williams
that he shouldn't count on opinions -- even from the DOJ -- to
have a significant bearing on the trial.  "This case is not going
to be won or lost based on how many people show up in court or on
public sentiment or what shows up in newspapers or on the
Internet," he cautioned.  "The case will ultimately be decided
solely on the law and facts . . . and some statement of interest
from the DOJ is neither of those things."

3. Initial electronic discovery requests by the homeless lawyer
turned up 169,000 city e-mails related to the sweeps.  Judge
Shaffer was wary of this number, however, advising both sides to
narrow their keyword searches and discard extraneous evidence that
has no bearing on the trial -- for the sake of expediency.

4. Mr. Flores-Williams requested that "tiny houses" be considered
as a possibility for declaratory relief should his clients win.
This was flatly dismissed.  The lawyer offered to show district
judges examples of tiny homes as a means to compensate his clients
who've been affected by the sweeps.  Judge Shaffer was immediately
dismissive of this remark, however, saying that it was too early
in the process to think about such things and that the suggestion
may not be related to the claims in the suit. "You've got to focus
on the battle you've chosen to fight," he said bluntly.

After the hearing, Mr. Flores-Williams gathered some of the
homeless plaintiffs in front of the courthouse to tell them how he
thought the hearing went, and what the next steps are.

"I actually like this judge," he began, despite Shaffer's frank
demeanor during the hearing.

"The real decision will be on class certification," Mr. Flores-
Williams continued.  "That will really tell us what way we're
going to be breaking. If we get class certification, we'll be one
of the only cases in the country to have ever received it [for the
homeless]. And currently we're looking good for that."

He also offered a behind-the-scenes look at negotiations with city
lawyers.

"The other issue is that we're trying to admit evidence that the
city used Denver's Road Home donations to fund the sweeps, and the
city, of course, is fighting stringently to keep that out," he
said.  "Their motion to keep those out was due Oct. 21."

Westword will continue following developments in the case.


EXXON MOBIL: Landowners Want Breach of Contract Case Reinstated
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that an attorney for landowners along
a crude oil pipeline that ruptured in Arkansas in 2013 said on
Oct. 19 that Exxon Mobil Pipeline Co. breached its contract with
his clients because the pipeline interferes with their ability to
enjoy their property.

Attorneys for the landowners and for Exxon Mobil appeared on
Oct. 19 before a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals in Minnesota.

Landowners' attorney Phillip Duncan asked the appeals court to
reinstate the case -- which was dismissed last year -- saying his
clients can prove the pipeline is damaging their property.

"We have enough proof to stay in court," he said.

But Exxon Mobil attorney Gary Marts said the case was properly
dismissed and landowners are essentially trying to use a common-
law claim to regulate pipeline safety -- which is the job of the
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, not the
courts.

The 850-mile long Pegasus Pipeline runs through Illinois,
Missouri, Arkansas and Texas.  The line ruptured on March 29,
2013, spilling tens of thousands of gallons of crude oil in
Mayflower, Arkansas, about 25 miles northwest of Little Rock.

The 70-year-old pipeline was closed after the spill; a roughly
200-mile segment of it in Texas has reopened.

The landowners sued after the spill brought safety issues to
light.

Mr. Duncan argued that the case is about protecting rights of
property owners.  He said easements say the company is responsible
for repairing, replacing or removing the pipeline.

"We can't enforce the safety of it.  We're not trying to,"
Mr. Duncan told the judges.  He also argued that the case should
go forward as a class-action claim.

When he dismissed the case last year, U.S. District Judge Brian
Miller acknowledged his decision seemed unfair.  He said if Exxon
prevailed, easement grantors would get the message that they had
no rights until after an oil spill; but if the landowners
prevailed, they could hold pipeline companies hostage if they felt
they didn't meet personal safety standards.

In the end, Judge Miller agreed with Exxon Mobil, which argued
that Arkansas law interpreted easement contracts as a right of
way, without a duty to maintain or repair the pipeline.

He also removed the case's class-action certification, noting that
a potential leak in Illinois would have no practical effect on a
landowner in Texas.

Mr. Marts argued on Oct. 19 that Judge Miller was right to dismiss
the case and remove its class-action certification.

He also said the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety
Administration makes determinations about pipeline safety and
effectively pre-empts landowners from suing.

Appeals Court Judge William Riley asked Mr. Marts if a property
owner must sit back and wait for the government to regulate safety
issues.

Mr. Marts said there is a way for citizens to sue, but it doesn't
apply in this case.

Exxon Mobil is currently challenging a $2.6 million fine and a
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration's finding
that it violated safety regulations, which led to the rupture.


FLINT, MI: More Than 450 Water Crisis Suits Remain at Standstill
----------------------------------------------------------------
Jennifer Chambers, writing for The Detroit News, reports that more
than 450 civil lawsuits related to Flint's water crisis are in a
holding pattern with dozens of attorneys jockeying to be lead
counsel as they await an order from a judge on how the cases
should proceed.

Without a case management order -- which serves as an outline for
how all the cases will proceed as a group and with specific dates
for motions and other legal matters -- lawyers representing Flint
residents and others say they remain at a standstill more than two
years after the lead-contamination crisis hit the city's municipal
water system.

"We are two years post-event; one year since the first lawsuit was
filed," said attorney Mark McAlpine, who filed a class-action
lawsuit in January on behalf of several residents against several
engineering firms involved in Flint's water quality.  "Everybody
is trying to figure out who will go first.

"This is the first part that is ready to go -- against
engineering.  We are saying to everyone, 'let us get going.'
Memories are fading, documents are disappearing, employees are
becoming former employees.  I just want to get in there and get
this case to trial.  Politics are holding this up.  The (case
management order) is the judge's way to break through the
politics."

Genesee Circuit Chief Judge Richard B. Yuille has all 450 cases
involving Flint water quality pending before the court.  He also
has 20 proposed case management orders before him, as well as
multiple objections to some of those.  Roy Webb, Judge Yuille's
law clerk, said there is no timetable for the judge's decision on
the case management orders.

Cases fall into three categories: civil cases against government
agencies, such as the state and city; civil cases against
engineering firms but no government agencies; and the state's
lawsuit against engineering firms.  Criminal cases are being
handled separately.

Corey M. Stern, a New York-based attorney with Levy Konigsberg,
who has filed 432 individual personal injury lawsuits on behalf of
949 Flint children in Genesee County, said a case management order
is an important tool to coordinate all the cases.  They require
attorneys to agree on depositions of a single witness or defendant
so that person is not deposed a thousand times.

The order, Mr. Stern said, will also determine whether cases must
be handled through one large group similar to a class-action case
or through a bellwether trial, where a sample of cases would
proceed and give the plaintiffs and defendants a sense of how the
juries will rule, possibly guiding the way to a settlement.

Complicating matters, Mr. Stern said, are other groups of lawyers
who have come into the Flint crisis later in the game and filed
new lawsuits.  They, too, have filed case management orders, which
the judge must consider.

"They have raised holy hell about not having control over the
case.  We have gone before the judge two times to enter a CMO, but
to date he hasn't approved one," Mr. Stern said.  "There should be
a way to coordinate all of this."

Mr. Stern, who represents the child of now-deceased Flint resident
Sasha Bell, who claimed her child was poisoned with lead, said he
is frustrated by the process but admits it's not the courts'
fault.

"Everyone is sort of forgetting some of the cases are just about
kids who are getting left back in school due to learning
disabilities," Mr. Stern said.  "They can't get proper monitoring
because the case is stalled.  They can't get proper decisions.
There is so much legal nuance and such a turf war on who is going
to be in charge."

From fed to county court

Genesee County Circuit Court, where Judge Yuille presides, has
become the epicenter of civil lawsuits spurred by the Flint water
crisis.

Starting in 2015, Flint plaintiffs initially filed civil cases in
the Court of Claims and the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Michigan and Genesee Circuit Court.

But a majority of the cases filed in federal court were sent to
Genesee Circuit Court for lack of federal jurisdiction.

U.S. District Judge John Corbett O'Meara is handling most of the
remaining federal cases.  He has not consolidated them, meaning
that, for the time being, he is handling them individually, said
David Ashenfelter, federal court spokesman. There are dismissal
requests in a number of those cases.

Of the 68 cases filed in the U.S. District Court, all but 10 were
sent to the Genesee Circuit Court for lack of federal
jurisdiction.

The onslaught of legal filings in the wake of the city's lead-
contaminated water system has forced the court to demand that
attorneys and parties in these cases submit court filings in
electronic format in a courthouse where documents typically come
in paper form and enter through the clerk's office.

In May, the State Court Administrator's Office issued an order --
at the request of the Genesee County Court -- requiring parties
and attorneys in personal injury and other civil cases arising
from allegations of lead or other contaminants in Flint water to
submit court filings in electronic format.

Awaiting judge's decision

John Nevin, spokesman for the Michigan Supreme Court and State
Court Administrator's Office, said by rule, courts can receive
documents from litigants only in paper at the clerk's office.  But
the order allows parties in these cases to file documents
electronically via email.

"It just saves the court from having to scan thousands of pages of
documents, and that's the purpose of the attached order,"
Mr. Nevin said.

Judge Yuille, who has served on the state bench for 20 years,
asked attorneys on the Flint cases to submit examples of case
management orders used in large personal injury cases across the
nation that were adjudicated in federal courts, state courts and
the Court of Claims, which is a separate statewide court system
that handles major claims against the State of Michigan and its
agencies and personnel.

Mr. McAlpine said he thinks Judge Yuille, who declined a request
by The News to be interviewed for this story, is close to making a
decision on what the case management order to use.

"We have to get this thing settled.  This is the only case where
non-taxpayer money can be harvested to remedy what's been done,"
Mr. McAlpine said.  "Let's see how much private money we can get
into this.

"I already have $1 million in attorneys fees listed in this file.
I've got all my experts lined up.  We are ready."


FRESH & EASY: Chan Files Appeal in Delaware District Ct.
--------------------------------------------------------
The lawsuit titled Diana Chan, Individually and on Behalf of All
Others Similarly Situated, the Appellee, v. Fresh & Easy, the
Appellants, Case No. 1:16-cv-00990-UNA (D. Del., Oct. 25, 2016),
is an appeal filed before the United States District Court of
Delaware from a lower court decision in Case No. 15-12220 (Bankr.
D. Del.)

Diana Chan is represented by:

          Rosemary Jean Piergiovanni, Esq.
          FARNAN LLP
          919 North Market Street, 12th Floor
          Wilmington, DE 19801
          Telephone: (302) 777 0300
          Facsimile: (302) 777-0301
          E-mail: rpiergiovanni@farnanlaw.com

Fresh & Easy, LLC is represented by:

          Norman L. Pernick, Esq.
          Janet Kathleen Stickles, Esq.
          Patrick J. Reilley, Esq.
          COLE, SCHOTZ, MEISEL,
          FORMAN & LEONARD, P.A.
          500 Delaware Avenue, Suite 1410
          Wilmington, DE 19801
          Telephone: (302) 652 3131
          Facsimile: (302) 652 3117
          E-mail: npernick@coleschotz.com
                  kstickles@coleschotz.com
                  preilley@coleschotz.com


GIANT EAGLE: Faces Class Action Over BOGO Promotional Strategy
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Schooley, writing for Pittsburgh Business Times, reports that
Giant Eagle is facing a class action lawsuit over its popular buy-
one-get-one-free promotional strategy.

According to a suit filed in the Court of Common Pleas of
Allegheny County, Giant Eagle is alleged to overcharge customers
who buy four BOGO items, "purposefully rigging its computers to
charge customers for the most expensive items while not charging
them for the least expensive items" and refusing to "deliver the
benefit of the advertised bargain to its customers."

The suit, filed Oct. 6 by John Haubrich, a resident of Venango
County, claims he was overcharged when he bought four top round
beef roasts, with the grocer charging the full price of the two
most expensive items while making the two least expensive items
free.

The suit alleges the transaction resulted in an overcharge of more
than $6, and further argues that similar transactions "take place
hundreds to thousands of times each week" in Giant Eagle stores.

Filed by Jonathan Shub, a consumer rights attorney for the
Philadelphia firm Kohn Swift & Graff PC, the suit defines a
potential class as "all persons residing in Pennsylvania who
purchased four or more qualifying items during Giant Eagle's BOGO
promotions primarily for personal, family or household purposes."

"The complaint sets forward what we believe is the situation," Mr.
Shub said.

"He just feels like he's getting ripped off," said Mr. Shub of his
client.

Mr. Haubrich's suit argues Giant Eagle's marketing for its BOGO
promotions doesn't specify a shopper will "be penalized" for
purchasing four or more beef roasts in one transaction.

Giant Eagle has yet to file a legal response to the lawsuit.

Dick Roberts, a spokesman for the company, said on Oct. 20: "We're
aware of it but not able to comment on active litigation."


GLOBAL FITNESS: Cato Seeks Review of Gym Membership Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
Ilya Shapiro and Frank Garrison, writing for Cato Institute,
report that class actions play a vital role in our legal system.
These lawsuits are often the only vehicle for injured plaintiffs
to receive compensation when a defendant's wrongs are widely
disbursed and it would be impractical for a single individual to
sue.

Yet the process of settling these suits is subject to perverse
incentives on the part of the lawyers representing the injured
parties.  Class counsel often will seek the largest portion of the
settlement award for themselves -- structuring the settlement to
maximize attorney fees -- at the expense of class members.

Sadly, this sort self-dealing on the part of class counsel is
exactly what happened in Blackman v. Gascho.  The case centers on
a consumer class action filed against Global Fitness Holdings LLC,
alleging that the between 2006 and 2012, the company sold gym
memberships and incorrectly charged fees pertaining to
cancellation, facility maintenance, and personal-training
contracts.  A group of plaintiffs sued Global Fitness over the
fees, and the parties entered into a "claims-made" settlement.

This type of settlement allows the defendant to make a large
amount of money "available" to class members, but in order for the
members to collect, they must jump through the hoops of correctly
filing claims.  Because of the low response rate in such
settlements, the defendants will end up paying much less than the
funds made available.  Indeed, of the $8.5 million made available
to the class members, Global Fitness only paid $1.6 million -- a
payout of approximately 10 percent of the settlement funds.
Despite this low payout to plaintiffs, class counsel are still
paid a certain rate based on the funds that were made available --
not the funds that were actually paid out -- in some instances
giving them attorney fees larger than the class members' damages
award!

The class counsel here were paid $2.4 million, nearly $1 million
more than the class members collected.  Josh Blackman, also a Cato
adjunct scholar, just happened to be one of the class members.  He
challenged the settlement, arguing that the agreement was giving
the class attorneys preferential treatment over the class members
who did not collect.  The district court approved the settlement,
however, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
agreed with the district court by a 2-1 vote.

Cato has now filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to
review the case.  Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e)(2)--and
fundamental tenets of due process--require that a settlement that
binds class members be "fair, reasonable, and adequate."  In this
case, the Sixth Circuit upheld approval of a settlement that
provided zero compensation for over 90 percent of class members,
and in the process broke with the Third, Seventh, and Ninth
Circuits.

The Supreme Court will likely decide by the end of the year
whether to take up Blackman v. Gascho.


GOOD TASTE: Faces "Hoa" Suit in Eastern District of New York
------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Good Taste Corp. The
case is titled Hoa Chi Hoang, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v. Good Taste Corp.,
Kiem Quach, Tai Quen Tran, and Pak Chan, Case No. 1:16-cv-05933
(E.D.N.Y., Oct. 25, 2016).

Good Taste is a Food Production company located in 153 E Houston
St, New York, New York, United States.

The Plaintiff appears pro se.


GREAT LAKES HIGHER: Faces "Ivers" Suit in W. D. of Wisconsin
-------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Great Lakes Higher
Education Corporation. The case is styled Therese Ivers,
Individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, the
Plaintiff, v. Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation; Great
Lakes Educational Loan Services, Inc.; and Great Lakes Higher
Education Guaranty Corp., the Defendants, Case No. 3:16-cv-00701
(W.D. Wisc., Oct. 24, 2016).

Great Lakes Higher Education Corporation is a loan provider and
guarantor in the United States.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Douglas Ian Cuthbertson, Esq.
          Jonathan David Selbin, Esq.
          LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN
          250 Hudson Street, 8th Floor
          New York, NY 10013
          Telephone: (212) 355 9500
          Facsimile: (212) 355 9592
          E-mail: Dcuthbertson@lchb.com
                  jselbin@lchb.com

               - and -

          Lester A. Pines, Esq.
          CULLEN WESTON PINES & BACH LLP
          122 W. Washington Ave., Suite 900
          Madison, WI 53703
          Telephone: (608) 251 0101
          Facsimile: (608) 251 2883
          E-mail: Pines@cwpb.com

               - and -

          Matthew Ryan Wilson, Esq.
          Michael Joseph Boyle, Jr. Esq.
          Meyer Wilson Co., LPA
          1320 Dublin Road, Suite 100
          Columbus, OH 43215
          Telephone: (614) 224 6000
          Facsimile: (614) 224 6066
          E-mail: mwilson@meyerwilson.com
                  mboyle@meyerwilson.com

               - and -

          Tamara Beth Packard, Esq.
          CULLEN WESTON PINES & BACH LLP
          122 W. Washington Ave., Suite 900
          Madison, WI 53703
          Telephone: (608) 251 0101
          Facsimile: (608) 251-2883
          E-mail: Packard@cwpb.com


HF MANAGEMENT: Faces "Bucceri" Suit in Southern Dist. of New York
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against HF Management
Services, LLC. The case is titled Madeline Bucceri, Patricia
Trujillo, and Lourdes Lo, on behalf of herself and all others
similarly situated, the Plaintiffs, v. Howard Zucker, in his
official capacity as Commissioner of the New York State Department
of Health; HF Management Services, LLC; Senior Health Partners,
Inc.; HF Administrative Services, Inc.; Healthfirst, Inc.;
Healthfirst Health Plan, Inc., Defendants, Case No. 1:16-cv-08274
(S.D.N.Y., Oct. 24, 2016).

HF Management provides administrative and management services to
healthcare organizations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and
Florida. The company was founded in 1994 and is based in New York,
New York.

The Plaintiffs appear pro se.


HILLSIDE CANDY: "Garcia" Suit Moved from Super. Ct. to C.D. Cal.
----------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Angie Garcia, individually, and on
behalf of all others similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v.
Hillside Candy LLC and Does 1-25, Inclusive, the Defendants, Case
No. CIVDS1613761, was removed from the San Bernardino County
Superior Court, to the U.S. District Court for the Central
District of California (Eastern Division - Riverside). The
District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 5:16-cv-02231 to the
proceeding.

Hillside Candy is the manufacturer of GoOrganic organic candies,
GoLightly sugar free candies and Pick Your Color sugar based
candies.

The Plaintiff appears pro se.


HMS COMPANIES: Faces "Landlord Management" Suit in E.D.N.Y.
-----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against HMS Companies, Inc.
The case is captioned Landlord Management New York, LLC,
Individually and as the representative of a class of similarly
situated persons, the Plaintiff, v. HMS Companies, Inc., doing
business as HMScreening, Lenders Portfolio, Hickory Energy, HMS
Credit Services Company, HMS Maintenance Services, HMS Lender
Recovery Services, and Hickory Management Services; Michael
Fleckenstein; and John Does 1-10, the Defendants, Case No. 1:16-
cv-05900 (E.D.N.Y., Oct. 24, 2016).

HMS Companies is a real estate company with interests in
management and energy management.  The company also offers
property management services.

The Plaintiff appears pro se.


HOTEL RESTAURANT: Faces "Thiede" Suit in Southern Dist. of Fla.
--------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Hotel Restaurant
Associates, LLC. The case is styled PATRICE THIEDE, ON BEHALF OF
HERSELF AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, the Plaintiff, v. HOTEL
RESTAURANT ASSOCIATES, LLC, the Defendant, Case No. 2:16-cv-05558-
WB (S.D. Fla., Oct. 24, 2016). The case is assigned to Hon. Wendy
Beetlestone.

The Defendant is a food service, restaurant and catering company.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Michael Patrick Murphy, Jr.
          MURPHY LAW GROUP LLC
          Eight Penn Center Suite 1803
          1628 John F Kennedy Blvd
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Telephone: (215) 375 0961
          E-mail: murphy@phillyemploymentlawyer.com


HYUNDAI MOTOR: Obtains Favorable Ruling in Gas Mileage Case
-----------------------------------------------------------
Yonhap reports that a Seoul district court on Oct. 20 ruled
against a group of 1,890 consumers who have filed a class-action
lawsuit against Hyundai Motor Co. over the alleged exaggeration of
the gas mileage of an SUV made by the country's No. 1 automaker.

The Seoul Central District Court said that as the result of the
transport ministry's fuel efficiency test on the Santa Fe 2-liter
diesel SUV has not been fully substantiated, the automaker cannot
be seen as having violated the Automobile Management Act.

Under the act, the mileage gap between what an automaker claims
and the actual gas mileage must not exceed 5 percent.

Hyundai Motor's put the mileage of the Santa Fe model at 14.4
kilometers per liter.  But in a 2014 test, the transport ministry
tallied its fuel efficiency at 13.2 km per liter -- 8.3 percent
lower than what the automaker claimed.

"The validity of the transport ministry's mileage test has not
been separately confirmed," Kim Young-hak, the presiding judge,
said in his ruling.  "We cannot just believe the transport
ministry's test result and say that the mileage gap exceeds 5
percent.

The court also said that the mileage test cannot always produce
the same result as the fuel efficiency can "considerably" vary
according to the type of fuel and the cooling system, and other
environmental conditions.

In their lawsuit, consumers demanded 414,000 per person ($368.50)
in compensation for the mileage gap.


INFOSYS: IT Workers Seek Certification of Hiring Bias Case
----------------------------------------------------------
Robert Iafolla, writing for Reuters, reports that four white
information technology professionals have asked a federal judge to
certify their proposed employment bias class action accusing
Indian technology and outsourcing giant Infosys Technologies Ltd
of unlawfully favoring people of South Asian descent across the
United States.

In a motion for class certification made public on Oct. 17 in a
federal court in Wisconsin, the plaintiffs claim that Infosys'
discriminatory employment practices resulted in hires, promotions
and terminations that disfavored non-South Asians "to such an
extreme degree that the likelihood of them occurring by chance is
less than 1 in 1 billion."


KOCH FOODS: Faces Joe Christiana Suit for Broiler Price-Fixing
--------------------------------------------------------------
JOE CHRISTIANA FOOD DISTIBUTORS, INC., individually and on behalf
of all others similarly situated v. KOCH FOODS, INC., JCG FOODS OF
ALABAMA, LLC, JCG FOODS OF GEORGIA, LLC, KOCH MEATS CO., INC.,
TYSON FOODS, INC., TYSON CHICKEN, INC., TYSON BREEDERS, INC.,
TYSON POULTRY, INC., PILGRIM'S PRIDE CORPORATION, PERDUE FARMS,
INC., SANDERSON FARMS, INC., SANDERSON FARMS, INC. (FOODS
DIVISION), SANDERSON FARMS, INC. (PRODUCTION DIVISION), SANDERSON
FARMS, INC. (PROCESSING DIVISION), WAYNE FARMS, LLC, MOUNTAIRE
FARMS, INC., MOUNTAIRE FARMS, LLC, MOUNTAIRE FARMS OF DELAWARE,
INC., PECO FOODS, INC., FOSTER FARMS, LLC, HOUSE OF RAEFORD FARMS,
INC., SIMMONS FOODS, INC., FIELDALE FARMS CORPORATION, GEORGE'S,
INC., GEORGE'S FARMS, INC., O.K. FOODS, INC., O.K. FARMS, INC.,
and O.K. INDUSTRIES, INC., Case No. 1:16-cv-09900 (N.D. Ill.,
October 21, 206), alleges that in order to maintain price
stability and increase profitability, beginning at least as early
as January 2008, the Defendants conspired and combined to fix,
raise, maintain, and stabilize the price of Broilers.

Broilers constitute approximately 98% of all chicken meat sold in
the United States, according to the complaint.

Koch Foods, Inc. is a privately held Illinois corporation with its
corporate headquarters in Park Ridge, Illinois.

The Defendants are the leading suppliers of Broilers in an
industry with over $30 billion in annual wholesale revenue, the
Plaintiff alleges.  The Plaintiff adds that the Defendants
collectively control approximately 90% of the wholesale Broiler
market.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Adam J. Levitt, Esq.
          GRANT & EISENHOFER P.A.
          30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2350
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 214-0000
          E-mail: alevitt@gelaw.com

               - and -

          Robert G. Eisler, Esq.
          GRANT & EISENHOFER P.A.
          485 Lexington Avenue
          New York, NY 10017
          Telephone: (646) 722-8500
          E-mail: reisler@gelaw.com

               - and -

          Burton LeBlanc, Esq.
          BARON & BUDD, P.C
          2600 Citiplace Drive
          Baton Rouge, LA 70808
          Telephone: (225) 927-5441
          E-mail: bleblanc@baronbudd.com

               - and -

          Roland Tellis, Esq.
          BARON & BUDD, P.C.
          15910 Ventura Blvd., #1600
          Encino, CA 91435
          Telephone: (818) 839-2333
          E-mail: rtellis@baronbudd.com


LUMBER LIQUIDATORS: "Sesti" Suit Consolidated in MDL 2743
---------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Jeremy Sesti and Brittney Sesti
and on behalf of all others similarly situated, the Plaintiffs, v.
Lumber Liquidators, Inc., Case No. 2:16-cv-02752, was transferred
from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of
Tennessee, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Virginia - (Alexandria). The Virginia Eastern District Court Clerk
assigned Case No. 1:16-cv-05029-AJT-TRJ to the proceeding.

The Sesti case is being consolidated with MDL 2743 in re: Lumber
Liquidators Chinese-Manufactured Flooring Durability Marketing and
Sales Practices Litigation. The MDL was created by Order of the
United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on
October 4, 2016. These cases concern the sale and marketing of
Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring sold by defendant Lumber
Liquidators. Despite being marketed as sufficiently durable for
residential use, the Plaintiffs allege that their laminate
flooring scratches too easily and fails to meet the advertised
industry standard. In its October 4, 2016 Order, the MDL Panel
found that the actions in this litigation involve common questions
of fact, and that centralization in the Eastern District of
Virginia will serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses
and promote the just and efficient conduct of the litigation. All
actions involve common factual questions regarding the durability
of Chinese-manufactured laminate flooring sold by Lumber
Liquidators under the "Dream Home" label, particularly the issue
of whether the laminates comply with the allegedly warranted
industry standard for use in residential settings. Presiding Judge
in the MDL is Hon. Anthony J. Trenga, United States District
Judge. The lead case is 1:16-md-02743-AJT-TRJ.

Lumber Liquidators is a specialty retailer of hardwood flooring.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Alexander Robertson, IV, Esq.
          Mark J. Uyeno, Esq.
          ROBERTSON & ASSOCIATES, LLP
          32121 Lindero Canyon Road, Suite 200
          Westlake Village, CA 91361
          Telephone: (818) 851 3850
          Facsimile: (818) 851 3850
          E-mail: arobertson@arobertsonlaw.com
                  muyeno@arobertsonlaw.com

               - and -

          Robert Ahdoot, Esq.
          Tina Wolfson, Esq.
          AHDOOT & WOLFSON, P.C.
          1016 Palm Avenue
          West Hollywood, CA 90069
          Telephone: 474-9111
          Facsimile: (310) 474 8585
          E-mail: rahdoot@ahdootwolfson.com
                  twolfson@ahdootwolfson.com


MARATHON OIL: Sued in Oklahoma Over Unpaid Royalty Interests
------------------------------------------------------------
Louie Torres, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that an Oklahoma
couple are suing Marathon Oil, alleging breach of contract and
fraud.

James and Judy Grellner filed a class action complaint,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Oct.
6 in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
against Marathon Oil Company, alleging failure to pay royalty
interests to the plaintiffs.

According to the complaint, James and Judy Grellner suffered
monetary damages from the underpaid and unpaid royalties by
Marathon.  The plaintiffs allege Marathon Oil breached their
contractual agreement with the plaintiff by failing to pay
royalties on all products sold from the gas stream.

The Grellners seek trial by jury, actual damages, interest at the
highest allowable rate, compensatory and punitive damages, court
costs and any further relief the court grants.  They are
represented by attorneys Reagan E. Bradford and W. Mark Lanier of
The Lanier Law Firm in Houston and by Rex A. Sharp --
rsharp@midwest-law.com -- of Prairie Village, Kansas.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma Case
number 5:16-cv-01168-M


MICHIGAN LOGISTICS: Bonner Seeks to Recover Wages Under FLSA
------------------------------------------------------------
XAVIER BONNER, PAHKALIJAE ROSS, DEWOYNE WILLIAMS, AND JONATHAN
HARRIS, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated,
and ARLISON SIX, individually v. MICHIGAN LOGISTICS INC., d/b/a
DILIGENT DELIVERY SYSTEMS; ARIZONA LOGISTICS, LLC, d/b/a DILIGENT
DELIVERY SYSTEMS; PARTS AUTHORITY ARIZONA LLC, d/b/a PARTS
AUTHORITY; and XYZ CORPORATIONS, Case No. 2:16-cv-03662-BSB (D.
Ariz., October 24, 2016), seeks to recover wages allegedly owed to
the Plaintiffs and their similarly situated co-workers, who have
worked for the Defendants in the state of Arizona as delivery
drivers, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Arizona wage
statute and the Arizona Minimum wage law.

Michigan Logistics Inc. is a foreign corporation organized and
existing pursuant to the laws of the state of Texas, and is
headquartered in Houston.  Michigan Logistics does business as
Diligent Delivery Systems and lists on its Web site that it is
engaged in the business of shipping and delivery.

Arizona Logistics LLC is a domestic corporation organized and
existing pursuant to the laws of the state of Arizona, and is
headquartered in Houston, Texas.  Arizona Logistics does business
as Diligent Delivery Systems.  Parts Authority Arizona LLC is a
domestic corporation organized and existing pursuant to the laws
of the state of Arizona.  Defendant XYZ Corporations are one or
more fictitious name of the corporations, partnerships, or other
business entities, the precise identity of which are not presently
known.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Susan Martin, Esq.
          Daniel Bonnett, Esq.
          Evan Schlack, Esq.
          MARTIN & BONNETT, P.L.L.C
          1850 N. Central Ave., Suite 2010
          Phoenix, AZ 85004
          Telephone: (602) 240-6900
          E-mail: smartin@martinbonnett.com
                  dbonnett@martinbonnett.com
                  eschlack@martinbonnett.com

               - and -

          Troy L. Kessler, Esq.
          Marijana Matura, Esq.
          SHULMAN KESSLER LLP
          534 Broadhollow Road, Suite 275
          Melville, NY 11747
          Telephone: (631) 499-9100
          E-mail: tkessler@shulmankessler.com
                  mmatura@shulmankessler.com


MONDELEZ GLOBAL: Accused by "Zamarripa" Suit of Not Paying OT
-------------------------------------------------------------
MARIO ZAMARRIPA, as an individual and on behalf of all similarly
situated employees v. MONDELEZ GLOBAL, LLC and DOES 1 through 50,
inclusive, Case No. 30-2016-00882772-CU-OE-CXC (Cal. Super. Ct.,
Orange Cty., October 21, 206), accuses the Defendants of failing
to, among other things, pay overtime wages and provide meal
periods.

Headquartered in Deerfield, Illinois, Mondelez Global LLC operates
as a subsidiary of Mondelez International, Inc.  Mondelez
International, through its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets
snack food and beverage products worldwide.  Mondelez
International offers biscuits, including cookies, crackers, and
salted snacks; chocolates, and gums and candies; powdered
beverages and coffee; and cheese and grocery products.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Kevin Mahoney, Esq.
          Treana L. Allen, Esq.
          MAHONEY LAW GROUP, APC
          249 E. Ocean Blvd., Suite 814
          Long Beach, CA 90802
          Telephone: (562) 590-5550
          Facsimile: (562) 590-8400
          E-mail: kmahoney@mahoney-law.net
                  tallen@mahoney-mahoney-law.net


MURRAY GOULBURN: Overstated Profit by $150 Million, Audit Shows
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ben Butler and Daniel Palmer, writing for The Australian Business
Review, report that embattled dairy group Murray Goulburn
overstated its profit by about $150 million by wrongly including
money it hoped to recover from dairy farmers under its
controversial milk price support scheme, according to a forensic
accounting expert.

Including the hoped-for payments as an asset on Murray Goulburn's
balance sheet was an accounting "nonsense", forensic accountant
Brian Morris said in a report prepared for shareholders suing
Murray Goulburn over its plunging share price.  When it announced
its results in August, Murray Goulburn should have declared a loss
before tax of about $92m instead of the $57m profit it unveiled to
the market, Mr Morris said.

In April, Murray Goulburn slashed the price it paid farmers for
milk.  However, it said some of the pain would be deferred through
a "milk supplier support program", under which farmers would be
paid a higher price immediately but the extra money would be
clawed back from payments for milk in the future.

Murray Goulburn on Oct. 20 suspended the controversial program
until at least June 30 next year, saying it was under review and
an update would be provided before the company's annual meeting on
Oct. 28.

The company said a wetter than usual spring in Victoria had
further reduced its milk intake, adding to supply pressure after a
bevy of its farmer-suppliers walked away following the stunning
April price cut.

Murray Goulburn said this would result in its intake tumbling 20
per cent compared to the prior year, to 2.7 billion litres, and
crimp its profits.

The company's shares fell 3.4 per cent to close on Oct. 20 at
$1.15.

Mr. Morris, whose track records of high-profile cases takes in the
prosecution of notorious corporate criminal Alan Bond, failed
shopping centre empire Centro and collapsed Perth property play
Westpoint, produced the report for Melbourne solicitor
Mark Elliott, who is running a class action brought on behalf of
Murray Goulburn shareholders stung by the company's collapsing
stock price.

In his Victorian Supreme Court lawsuit, Mr. Elliott is pursuing
Murray Goulburn and its board, including chairman Phil Tracy and
former chief executive Gary Helou, alleging the company made
misleading and deceptive statements by forecasting bumper milk
prices in a product disclosure statement issued to would-be
investors in May last year.

Mr. Elliott also alleges Murray Goulburn failed to keep the market
properly informed in the run up to a shock profit downgrade on
April 27, the same day it announced the MSSP and
Mr. Helou resigned.  The announcement sent Murray Goulburn shares
into free-fall, dropping from $2.14 to a close of $1.24.

In its 2015-16 report, the company recorded the value of
"advances" to farmers under the MSSP as an asset worth about
$183m.

In his report, obtained by The Australian, Mr. Morris said this
entry "will have reduced the amounts that Murray Goulburn recorded
as the cost of inventories".

"In my opinion, the manner in which Murray Goulburn recognised the
MSSP assets of $183.334 million in its 2016 financial report
resulted in Murray Goulburn increasing its reported profit before
income tax by approximately $150 million," Mr. Morris said.

He said that for the entries to be legitimate, Murray Goulburn
needed to be able to "unilaterally and retrospectively set the
price at which it had purchased milk from suppliers" and the right
to claw back overpayments with interest, which was contrary to his
understanding of the company's supply agreements.

A Murray Goulburn spokesman said the MSSP had "been accounted for
in accordance with all applicable accounting standards and has
been thoroughly reviewed and approved by our external auditors,
including as part of the 30 June 2016 accounts".

The accounts were audited by PwC partner Lisa Harker.


MYLAN PHARMACEUTICALS: Faces Class Action Over EpiPen Pricing
-------------------------------------------------------------
Max Mitchell, writing for The Recorder, reports that on the heels
of a public outcry over the dramatic price increases of the life-
saving allergy auto-injector EpiPen, a potential consumer class
action lawsuit has been lodged against Mylan in California federal
court.

Two plaintiffs filed suit against the drugmaker over its pricing
hikes and sales schemes, which the plaintiffs allege violated
false advertising and unfair competition protections.  The suit,
Corcoran v. Mylan Pharmaceuticals, was filed on Oct. 17 in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on
behalf of Kimberly Corcoran, a California resident, and Todd
Beaulieu of Massachusetts.

Mylan's global headquarters are in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania.
The case is the latest in a series of lawsuits that have been
filed against Mylan in the wake of the controversy over the drug's
prices, which have risen from about $100 to more than $600 in less
than 10 years.  According to a Reuters report, the company was hit
with a lawsuit in Ohio state court in early September over
consumer protection complaints, and in late August, a federal suit
was also filed in Michigan over the company's decision to only
sell EpiPens in packs of two.

Claims outlined in the California lawsuit are based on both the
alleged price-gouging and the fact that the pens were only sold in
two-packs.

"At the heart of this proposed class action is a pharmaceutical
corporation seeking to boost profits at the expense of families
who need the lifesaving product it sells," the complaint said.

The proposed class would consist of anyone who bought an EpiPen
between 2007 and 2016, and the suit seeks "costs, restitution,
damages and disgorgement" as well as attorney fees and potential
punitive damages.

According to the complaint, the price of the EpiPen jumped from
$94 for a two-pack in 2007 to more than $600.  The cost to produce
the product, according to the complaint, is about $34.50.
Mylan, the complaint alleged, used unfair marketing tactics and
lobbying efforts to gain a dominant position in the market, which
allowed it to inflate the prices.  The complaint also alleges the
company lobbied the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in an effort
to increase prescriptions, and lobbied unfairly to pass
legislation requiring the drug be available in schools.

The complaint also cites to numerous recent investigations of the
company, including a U.S. Department of Justice investigation into
its generic classification of the drug, which recently resulted in
a $465 million settlement.  The complaint also included testimony
elicited during a congressional hearing into the price hikes, and
alleges that Mylan CEO Heather Bresch made several misstatements
in her testimony regarding the profits the company made from the
drug and the potential reasons for the price increases.

Corcoran, who buys EpiPens because her son has peanut allergies,
and Beaulieu, who is severely allergic to insect venom, alleged
the company's conduct violated the California Consumers Legal
Remedies Act, the California False Advertising Law, California's
Unfair Competition Law and the Massachusetts Consumer Protection
Act.  The complaint further alleges the company violated
protections against fraud by concealment, negligent
misrepresentation and unjust enrichment.

Matthew Preusch -- mpreusch@kellerrohrback.com -- of Keller
Rohrback in Santa Barbara, California, who filed the case for
Corcoran, declined to comment for the story.  A spokeswoman for
Mylan did not return a message seeking comment.  No attorney has
been listed on the docket as representing Mylan.


NATIONAL COLLEGIATE: "Odom" Suit Consolidated in MDL 2492
---------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled David Odom, individually and on
behalf of all other similarly situated, the Plaintiff v. National
Collegiate Athletic Association, the Defendant, Case No. 1:16-cv-
02657, was transferred from the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Indiana, to the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois - (Chicago). The District Court
Clerk assigned Case No. 1:16-cv-10002 to the proceeding.

The Odom case is being consolidated with MDL 2492 in re: National
Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete Concussion Injury
Litigation. The MDL was created by Order of the United States
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on December 18, 2013.
The actions before the Panel seek medical monitoring for putative
classes of former student athletes at NCAA-member schools who
allege they suffered concussions. Plaintiffs allege that the NCAA
concealed information about the risks of the long-term effects of
concussion injuries. Opponents to centralization argue, inter
alia, that (1) the putative classes and claims alleged in these
actions do not sufficiently overlap; and (2) given the small
number of actions pending, alternatives to centralization are
preferable. In its December 18, 2013 Order, the MDL Panel found
that the actions in this MDL involve common questions of fact, and
that centralization in the Northern District of Illinois will
serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the
just and efficient conduct of the litigation. These actions share
factual questions relating to allegations against the NCAA
stemming from injuries sustained while playing sports at NCAA-
member institutions, including damages resulting from the
permanent long-term effects of concussions. Presiding Judges in
the MDL is Hon. John Z. Lee, United States District Judge. The
lead case is 1:16-cv-08727.

The NCAA is a non-profit association which regulates athletes of
1,281 institutions, conferences, organizations, and individuals.
It also organizes the athletic programs of many colleges and
universities in the United States and Canada, and helps more than
450,000 college student-athletes who compete annually in college
sports.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jeffrey Lewis Raizner, Esq.
          RAIZNER SLANIA, LLP
          2402 Dunlavy Street
          Houston, TX 77006
          Telephone: (713) 554 9099
          E-mail: efile@raiznerlaw.com


NISSAN NORTH AMERICA: Plaintiffs' Attorneys Seek $1.6MM in Fees
---------------------------------------------------------------
Samantha Joseph, writing for Daily Business Review, reports that a
class action lawsuit over melting dashboards in Nissan Altima
vehicles could see plaintiffs attorneys drive away with a $1.6
million payday.

Attorneys at Gibbs Law Group in Miami Beach, Morgan & Morgan in
Tampa and Greg Coleman Law in Knoxville, Tennessee, filed a motion
on Oct. 14 in federal court in Fort Lauderdale for $1.3 million in
fees and $348,000 in expenses.  They also asked Chief Judge K.
Michael Moore in the U.S. District for the Southern District of
Florida for a $5,000 service award for each of the named
plaintiffs, Tracy Sanborn and Louis Lucrezia.

Miami Beach attorneys Amy Zeman and Eric Gibbs teamed with several
co-counsel, including John Yanchunis and James Young of Tampa, and
Tennessee lawyers Gregory Coleman and Adam Edwards to bring suit
against Nissan North America Inc. in 2014.  They pressed the hard-
fought case for two years, defeating a motion to dismiss,
opposition to class certification, an attempt at summary judgment,
a Daubert motion to exclude all plaintiff expert witnesses and six
motions in limine. Their motion shows the firms worked nearly
4,176 hours, for an average hourly rate of about $311.

The attorneys say their bill would have reached about $2.21
million under the lodestar method for calculating legal fees based
on reasonable hourly rates.

The Morgan & Morgan partners have the highest billing rates.
Yanchunis charges $950 per hour or about $31,350 for 33 hours'
worth of work in the Nissan case, according to court documents.
His partner Marcio Valladares, who charges $750 per hour, would
have made $30,825.

Miami Beach attorney Gibbs' 81.2 hours are worth $57,652, while
his partner Dylan Hughes would have collected $149,875 for about
240 hours.

"Class counsel pursued this case because of the high level of
complaints that they received from Altima owners--over 800 of
which contacted them directly--and that they observed on online
complaint sites and in the local news media," the attorneys wrote
in the pending motion filed Oct. 14.  "Melting dashboards posed a
serious problem for many Altima owners.  Not only did they produce
a sticky mess, the glare produced by melted dashboards often
impaired drivers' vision."

The parties reached a settlement about a week before their
calendar call, striking a deal in which Nissan would cover most of
the $1,500-$2,000 required to replace each deteriorating
dashboard, while class members would each pay about $250.  They
were unclear as to the number of affected vehicles, valuing the
settlement from $5.3 million to $59.3 million.

The requested fees would amount to about 25 percent of the low end
of award--reflecting the 11th Circuit's benchmark for awarding
fees--and about 2.3 percent of the settlement's highest potential
value.

Plaintiffs attorneys also requested a service award to compensate
named plaintiffs for the time and effort required to bring suit on
behalf of others.  In one instance, Sanborn allowed class counsel
to cut chunks from her dashboard to send for expert analysis.

"She is still driving around with holes patched with surgical
tape," according to the motion.

Miami lawyers John Carl Seipp Jr. --
john.seipp@bowmanandbrooke.com -- and Donald Blackwell --
don.blackwell@bowmanandbrooke.com -- of Bowman and Brooke
collaborated with Jenner & Block attorneys Daniel Welsh --
dwelsh@jenner.com -- Devi Rao -- drao@jenner.com -- Peter Brennan
-- pbrennan@jenner.com -- and Elin Park -- EPark@jenner.com -- to
represent Nissan.  They did not immediately respond to requests
for comment.

The joint settlement motion filed on Oct. 17 is pending before
Judge Moore.


NORTHLAND INVESTMENT: Sued Over Alleged "Demolition by Neglect"
---------------------------------------------------------------
Charles Toutant, writing for The Connecticut Law Tribune, reports
that a class action filed on Oct. 20 in federal court for the
District of Connecticut accuses the owner of a dilapidated
New Haven apartment complex of "demolition by neglect."

The suit says the 301-unit apartment complex suffers from toxic
mold, leaking roofs, broken doors and windows and hazardous air
quality but the defendants, Northland Investment Corp., CEO
Lawrence Gottesdiener and several related companies, make repairs
only when ordered by city or federal officials.  The management
hires contractors who are incompetent and encourages them to patch
holes or toxic mold with paint, compound or bleach, rather than
addressing the root of the problem.

Northland bought the 13-acre complex, which is opposite
New Haven's Union Station, for $3.9 million in 2008, the suit
says.  In addition to rent paid by tenants, Northland collects $3
million per year in rent subsidies, according to the suit.

In September 2015, a U.S. Department of Housing and Urban
Development inspection graded the project 20 out of 100, with the
regional HUD spokesperson saying it was the worst complex she'd
ever inspected, according to New Haven attorney David Rosen, who
represents the plaintiffs.  As a result, HUD began relocating
families, but the tight rental market in New Haven forced families
to live in motels, he said.

Instead of meeting their obligations as landlord and property
manager, the defendants have allowed conditions at the site to
deteriorate by spending less than necessary on repairs and
maintenance, with the plan to allow the property to become
uninhabitable beyond repair and then to raze it and build upscale
housing in its place, the suit claims.

"The tragedy here is that had it been properly maintained it would
be decent safe and sanitary housing for about 1,000 poor people
who had very few options," Mr. Rosen said.

Northland didn't buy this property in order to provide housing for
the people who lived there, but to empty the complex and redevelop
it, Mr. Rosen said.  Years of serious neglect have created
unlivable conditions and have sickened many of the residents and
displaced most of them from their homes.
The class action suit seeks damages on behalf of current or former
residents, whose injuries include physical injuries from the
effects of mold, dust, mildew, dust mites and bacteria; emotional
distress from living in unsafe and unlivable conditions; loss of
belongings to mold and water damage as well as from theft; costs
of medical treatment; inconvenience and hardship from forced to
find new living arrangements; educational losses for minor
residents; and financial losses from time lost from work and loss
of future earning capacity.

The named plaintiffs include 90 adult residents and their
children.  The suit brings claims for negligence, recklessness,
unfair trade practices and negligent infliction of emotional
distress.

A Northland representative, Tully Nicholas, said the company does
not comment on litigation.


NUCOR CORP: Settles Class Action Over Steel Price-Fixing
--------------------------------------------------------
Jonathan Bilyk, writing for Cook County Record, reports that a
group of about 5,500 manufacturers, metal fabricators and others
who bought steel from eight American steelmakers about a decade
ago have announced a $30 million deal with three of those mill
operators -- a settlement the parties intend would cap off a
massive antitrust class action lawsuit accusing the steelmakers of
manipulating supply to boost prices for their steel products.

On Oct. 17, the plaintiffs filed a motion in Chicago federal
court, asking U.S. District Judge James B. Zagel to preliminarily
sign off on the settlement deal with defendants Nucor Corporation,
Steel Dynamics Inc. and SSAB Steel Corporation.

Under the proposed agreement, Nucor, of Charlotte, N.C., would
agree to pay the plaintiffs $23.4 million; Steel Dynamics, of Fort
Wayne, Ind., would contribute $4.6 million; and SSAB Steel, of
west suburban Lisle, would pay $2 million to settle the claims.

Of that total, about one-third would go to plaintiffs' attorneys,
according to a memorandum filed in court in support of the
settlement agreement.

Named plaintiffs in the litigation including Standard Iron Works;
Wilmington Steel Processing Co.; Capow Inc., which does business
as Eastern States Steel; Alco Industries; and Gulf Stream Builders
Supply.  Court documents indicated the settlement would include
payments to an additional 5,500 plaintiffs' class members who
purchased steel products from the mills from 2005-2008.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs and the class included Michael J.
Guzman and Thomas W. Traxler Jr., of the firm of Kellogg, Huber,
Hansen, Todd, Evans & Figel, of Washington D.C., and Jeffrey S.
Istvan, Matthew Duncan and Adam J. Pessin, of the firm of Fine,
Kaplan and Black, of Philadelphia.

According to the filing, the settlement would bring the total of
all settlements stemming from the antitrust lawsuit to nearly $194
million.

The settlement deals stemmed from lawsuits launched first in 2008
by Standard Iron Works in Chicago federal court, and later by the
other named plaintiffs.

In addition to Nucor, Steel Dynamics and SSA Steel, defendants
named in the actions included steelmakers Chicago-based
ArcelorMittal, as well as U.S. Steel, of Pittsburgh; Gerdau
Ameristeel Corporation, of Tampa, Fla.; AK Steel, of West Chester,
Ohio; and Commercial Metals Company, of Irving, Texas.

Under previous settlement deals, ArcelorMittal agreed to pay $90
million, while U.S. Steel signed off on a $58 million deal. Gerdau
agreed to pay $6.1 million; AK Steel, to pay $5.8 million; and
CMC, $3.99 million.  The court granted final approval to those
deals in October 2014.

However, in the two years since, the litigation continued against
Nucor, Steel Dynamics and SSAB.

The lawsuits alleged ArcelorMittal and the other defendants, who
collectively control about 80-85 percent of the steel made in the
U.S., conspired, beginning in 2005, to coordinate mill shutdowns
to reduce supply and raise prices for the raw steel products
needed by fabricators and other manufacturers.

In 2005, for instance, the mills' "downtime" resulted in prices
for steel products increasing by as much as 25 percent.  The
allegedly coordinated supply-pinching activities, which allegedly
continued from 2006-2008, purportedly also led to supply shortages
and supply "allocation" policies in the years following, as
manufacturers reportedly struggled to obtain the steel they
needed.

And the resulting high steel prices allegedly led to big profits
for the producers.  According to the 2008 lawsuits, Nucor, for
instance, reaped earnings totaling $6.2 billion from 2005-2007,
while its stock value surged from $25 per share in 2005 to $83 per
share in 2008.

The settlement deals do not specify how much money each plaintiff
or class member might receive.  However, the settlement documents
indicated the plaintiffs intended to ask the court to agree to a
plan under which plaintiffs and class members would each receive a
share of the net settlement funds proportional to how much they
paid the steelmakers from 2005-2008.

Nucor was defended in the action by the firms of Arnold & Porter,
of Washington, D.C.; Winston & Strawn, of Chicago; and Wiley Rein,
of Washington, D.C.

Steel Dynamics was represented by the firm of McDermott Will &
Emery, with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

SSAB Steel was defended by the firm of Sidley Austin LLP, of
Chicago.


PAC-12 CONFERENCE: "Hawkins" Suit Consolidated in MDL 2492
----------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Neville Hawkins, individually and
on behalf of all others similarly situated, the Plaintiff v. PAC-
12 Conference and National Collegiate Athletic Association, the
Defendants, Case No. 3:16-cv-05056, was transferred from the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California, to the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois -
(Chicago). The District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 1:16-cv-
09970 to the proceeding.

The Hawkins case is being consolidated with MDL 2492 in re:
National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete
Concussion Injury Litigation. The MDL was created by Order of the
United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on
December 18, 2013. The actions before the Panel seek medical
monitoring for putative classes of former student athletes at
NCAA-member schools who allege they suffered concussions.
Plaintiffs allege that the NCAA concealed information about the
risks of the long-term effects of concussion injuries. Opponents
to centralization argue, inter alia, that (1) the putative classes
and claims alleged in these actions do not sufficiently overlap;
and (2) given the small number of actions pending, alternatives to
centralization are preferable. In its December 18, 2013 Order, the
MDL Panel found that the actions in this MDL involve common
questions of fact, and that centralization in the Northern
District of Illinois will serve the convenience of the parties and
witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the
litigation. These actions share factual questions relating to
allegations against the NCAA stemming from injuries sustained
while playing sports at NCAA-member institutions, including
damages resulting from the permanent long-term effects of
concussions. Presiding Judges in the MDL is Hon. John Z. Lee,
United States District Judge. The lead case is 1:16-cv-08727.

The Pac-12 Conference is a collegiate athletic conference that
operates in the Western United States.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Stewart Ryan Pollock, Esq.
          EDELSON PC
          123 Townsend Street, Suite 100
          San Francisco, CA 94107
          Telephone: (415) 234 5345
          E-mail: spollock@edelson.com


PETROQUEST ENERGY: Faces "Hoog" Suit in Eastern Dist. of Oklahoma
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against PetroQuest Energy,
LLC. The case is styled Kevin Hoog and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v. PetroQuest Energy, LLC,
including affiliated predecessors and affiliated successors; and
WSGP Gas Producing, LLC, including affiliated predecessors and
affiliated successors, the Defendants, Case No. 6:16-cv-00463-JHP
(E.D. Okla., Oct. 25, 2016). The case is assigned to Hon. District
Judge James H. Payne.

PetroQuest Energy acquires and explores oil and natural gas
properties in the Gulf Coast basin and offshore Gulf of Mexico.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Reagan E. Bradford, Esq.
          THE LANIER LAW FIRM (OKC)
          12 E California Ave, Ste 200
          Oklahoma City, OK 73104
          Telephone: (405) 820 4401
          E-mail: reagan.bradford@lanierlawfirm.com


PHILIPS ELECTRONICS: Sued Over Discriminatory Job Postings
----------------------------------------------------------
Outten & Golden LLP on Oct. 19 disclosed that a New York state
court granted preliminary approval of a settlement and
conditionally certified a class of New York City employers who are
alleged to illegally post job listings City with blanket bans on
applicants with felony convictions, in violation of New York law,
Outten & Golden LLP and co-counsel said on Oct. 19.

Filed in June 2015, the class action brought by 14 New York
metropolitan area branches of the National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People, Inc. (NAACP) targets employers that
posted illegal job listings facilitated by job search engines
including Monster Worldwide, Inc., which owns Monster.com,
ZipRecruiter, Inc., which owns ZipRecruiter.com, and Indeed, Inc.,
which owns Indeed.com.

The class action was filed on behalf of African American residents
of the City of New York that are banned from employment by the
defendant class because they have felony convictions.
New York state and city laws forbid employers from denying
employment to job applicants with criminal records without
evaluating eight factors set forth in Article 23-A of the New York
State Corrections Law.  The lawsuit seeks injunctive and
declaratory relief forbidding the defendant employers from posting
and disseminating the illegal listings on job search websites.

In his Oct. 13 ruling, the Hon. Manuel J. Mendez stated, "[I]t is
ordered that plaintiff's motion for preliminarily approval of
class settlement, conditional certification of the settlement
class, and approval of the proposed notice of settlement, is
granted."

Outten & Golden partner Ossai Miazad, one of the lawyers
responsible for the prosecution of this matter, said, "For too
long, employers have been telling prospective job applicants that
they have no hope of applying for a job if they have a felony
conviction -- a practice that reduces the employment prospects of
thousands of New York residents, many of whom are Black and
Hispanic.  This ruling puts all New York City employers on notice
that they can no longer flout the law in this manner."

The NAACP is represented by Outten & Golden, Lawyers' Committee
for Civil Rights Under Law, and James I. Meyerson, of New York.

Ken Cohen, Director of the NAACP NY Metropolitan Council, said,
"Our goal is to stop all New York City-area employers from using
online recruiting sites that violate the New York City Human
Rights Law and the Fair Chance Act.  The court's ruling moves us a
step closer to achieving justice and we look forward to the
cooperation of Monster, Indeed and ZipRecruiter in realizing this
goal."

The lawsuit is "NAACP New York State Conference Metropolitan
Council of Branches v. Philips Electronics North America Corp., et
al.," Index No. 156382/2015 in the Supreme Court of the State of
New York, New York County.

Job applicants who wish to report their experiences with blanket
felony bans in employment applications can email
convictionjustice@outtengolden.com.


PILGRIM'S PRIDE: December 19 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
---------------------------------------------------------------
Pomerantz LLP on Oct. 20 disclosed that a class action lawsuit has
been filed against Pilgrim's Pride Corporation ("Pilgrim's Pride"
or the "Company") and certain of its officers.   The class action,
filed in United States District Court, District of Colorado,
Denver Division, and docketed under 16-cv-02611, is on behalf of a
class consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or
otherwise acquired Pilgrim's Pride securities between February 21,
2014, and October 6, 2016 inclusive (the "Class Period").  This
class action seeks to recover damages against Defendants for
alleged violations of the federal securities laws under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

If you are a shareholder who purchased Pilgrim's Pride securities
during the Class Period, you have until December 19, 2016 to ask
the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  A copy
of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com.   To
discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at
rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll
free, ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to
include their mailing address, telephone number, and number of
shares purchased.

Pilgrim's Pride engages in the production, processing, marketing,
and distribution of fresh, frozen, and value-added chicken
products to retailers, distributors, and foodservice operators in
the United States, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants
made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as
failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company's
business, operations, and prospects.  Specifically, Defendants
made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose
that:  (i) Pilgrim's Pride systematically colluded with several of
its industry peers to fix prices in the market for broiler
chickens (i.e., chickens raised specifically for meat production);
(ii) the foregoing conduct constituted a violation of federal
antitrust laws; (iii) consequently, Pilgrim's Pride's revenues
during the class period were the result of illegal conduct; and
(iv) as a result of the foregoing, Pilgrim's Pride's public
statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant
times.

On September 2, 2016, the market had its first inkling of
Defendants' fraud, when food distributor Maplevale Farms, Inc.
("Maplevale") filed an antitrust class action complaint in U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois against
Pilgrim's Pride and several other poultry producers, including
Tyson Foods, Inc. ("Tyson"), alleging that Pilgrim's Pride and the
other companies named in the complaint had conspired since 2008 to
manipulate the prices of broiler chicken in violation of the
Sherman Antitrust Act.

Between September 7, 2016 and October 7, 2016, seven more class
action complaints were filed against Pilgrim's Pride and other
poultry companies in the Northern District of Illinois, on behalf
of individual consumers and indirect purchasers of broiler
chickens, all alleging that Pilgrim's Pride and its industry peers
had engaged in the price-manipulation scheme described in
Maplevale's complaint.

On October 7, 2016, Pivotal Research downgraded Tyson from "Hold"
to "Sell."  Explaining the downgrade, analyst Timothy Ramey
directed investors' attention to the allegations of price
manipulation by Pilgrim's Pride, Tyson, and their industry peers
and described the Maplevale complaint as "powerfully convincing."

On news that Pivotal had downgraded Tyson on the strength of the
price-manipulation allegations against Tyson, Pilgrim's Pride, and
the other poultry companies named in the Maplevale complaint,
Pilgrim's Pride's share price fell $0.95, or 4.5%, to close at
$20.16 on October 7, 2016.

With offices in New York, Chicago, Florida, and Los Angeles, The
Pomerantz Firm -- http://www.pomerantzlaw.com-- concentrates its
practice in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust
class litigation.  Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known
as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered
the field of securities class actions.  Today, more than 80 years
later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he
established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities
fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct.  The
Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on
behalf of class members.


SHORENSTEIN-HAYS-NEDERLANDER: Sued Over Workplace Violations
------------------------------------------------------------
Patrick Fitzgerald, writing for San Francisco Examiner, reports
that a class-action lawsuit was filed on Oct. 18 by security
guards of the Orpheum and Golden Gate theaters who claim they were
not paid overtime or allowed to take breaks, among other workplace
violations.

The complaint alleges the Shorenstein-Hays-Nederlander Theaters,
owners of the two theaters and the now closed Curran Theater,
violated California's wage hour code and San Francisco's sick
leave ordinance.

Among the violations cited in the complaint were failure to pay
their security guards all the wages due, not consistently paying
overtime when warranted; denial of breaks and meals; not providing
suitable seating while on the job and not providing sick leave.

A spokesperson for Shorenstein-Hays-Nederlander Theaters declined
to comment.

The class action lawsuit's lead representatives are Darol Smith,
82, and Joseph Rodrigues, 59. Smith has worked as a security guard
at the theaters for 37 years and is considered a full-time worker.
Mr. Rodrigues has worked as a security guard for almost eight
years and is classified as part-time.

The lawsuit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, also includes
45 current and former security guards, although the class action
status allows more to join the suit.

The security guards are responsible for security before and after
shows and when productions are unloading and loading equipment.
Many security guards are former ex-police and probation officers.

The security guards complained about being often on-call for duty
and the unpredictability of the hours they worked.  The guards say
they frequently worked longer than eight hours per shift, and
sometimes 12 hours straight. Many times, the total hours worked in
a single week was greater than 40 hours per week.

Gay Grunfeld, the lead attorney representing the security guards,
said the theater owners had yet to provide detailed time records
to their workers.  Allegedly, the theater owners did not have a
time stamp system tracking the hours worked.


PARKS AUTHORITY: Cuts Entrance Fees Following Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
Michal Raz-Chaimovich, writing for Globes, reports that the Israel
Nature and Parks Authority admits to overcharging after a lawsuit
that also claims eligible populations were denied discounts.

The Israel Nature and Parks Authority had been charging entrance
fees visitors to dozens of its sites that were higher than allowed
by law.  This was the claim made in a request to certify a class
action law suit for a total sum of NIS30.3 million, filed last
August with the Lod District Court.

In response to this lawsuit, the Authority has notified the court
that it has ceased charging these fees, actually admitting that in
some cases it had been charging prices that were higher than
allowed.  It has added that since September 1, 2016, "entry fees
were adjusted to the apparatus defined in the regulations."

In addition, the Authority said that it is currently acting to
change the mechanism by which fees are set, "in order to update
prices using a mechanism which reflects existing constraints in a
way that is more accurate and relevant than it is today."

According to Authority, the overcharged fees totaled NIS 4.5
million in two years; however, it claims that in some case the
calculation actually worked to its detriment, causing it to charge
less.

In either case, during the Sukkot holiday, tens of thousands of
visitors to the authority's sites pay less thanks to this lawsuit.

The request to certify the class action has been filed by Adv.
Ehud Shtamer.  The claimant group is defined as all people who
have paid the Authority site entry fees since March, 1 2013, and
who had been charged a price that was higher than allowed by law.
Estimates are this group includes 7.5 million people.

The request claims that the Israel Nature and National Parks
Protection Authority charged more than it is eligible to and had
occasionally raised prices.  Moreover, it was claimed that it
discriminated against populations eligible for a discount,
including seniors citizens, children and adolescents, by
preventing them from receiving the discount they are entitled to
and rounding prices up after the discount in a way that worked to
its favor.

The Authority is responsible for 340 nature reserves and national
parks, charging entry fees in 70 of them.  The suit has been filed
by a citizen who visited the Masada National Park with a group of
30 visitors in March.  He claimed to have checked the prices
beforehand, which were supposed to be NIS23 per adult and NIS14
per child for entry to Masada's snake path.  However, he was
actually required to pay NIS 90 per adult and NIS 15 per child.
His protests at the site were of no help and, after addressing the
authority later on, he said that it admitted that his claim was
justified, saying this was a "human mistake" and "isolated case",
and that he will receive a refund for the extra fees charged from
the group.

The claimant had checked entry fees to other Authority sites
leading him to discover, as he claims, that the authority
overcharges in several sites, include the Qumran Caves and Habonim
Beach.  This had led him to file the class suit certification
request.


PHILADELPHIA, PA: Faces Class Action Over Speeding Citations
------------------------------------------------------------
Kang Haggerty & Fetbroyt LLC on Oct. 19 announced the filing of a
class action lawsuit against the City of Philadelphia for
improperly issued speeding citations. The complaint alleges that
the Philadelphia Police Department (PPD) has been issuing speeding
tickets on Pennsylvania state highways without authority since at
least July 2012.

The class action complaint against the City of Philadelphia was
filed in the Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas, in Owens,
et al. v. City of Philadelphia, No. 161000388.  The complaint
alleges that the PPD has been issuing speeding tickets on highways
such as I-95, I-76, and I-676, knowing that it lacked the
authority.

Plaintiffs Dominick Owens, Rachael Bell, and Mark Zych filed the
class action complaint, alleging specifically that under the
Vehicle Code, local police such as the PPD are prohibited from
issuing speeding citations on highways such as I-95 without a
speed enforcement agreement with the Pennsylvania State Police.
The complaint further alleges that on July 17, 2012, then-police
commissioner Charles Ramsey issued a memorandum notifying all PPD
personnel that the State Police had decided not to enter into a
new SEA with the PPD covering I-95, I-76, and I-676; and as such,
the PPD was prohibited from issuing speeding citations on those
highways within the City of Philadelphia.

The result of these improperly issued tickets to drivers include
fines, attorneys' fees, court costs and increased car insurance
rates associated with these speeding citations.  Plaintiffs also
allege that they were improperly detained in violation of their
constitutional rights.  The complaint contains counts against the
City of Philadelphia for fraud, negligent misrepresentation,
unjust enrichment, and violation of 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1983.

Plaintiffs are represented by the law firm Kang Haggerty &
Fetbroyt LLC.  For more information, call (215) 525-5850, or
e-mail info@LawKHF.com.  Kang Haggerty & Fetbroyt encourages any
driver who may have been improperly issued a citation to contact
the firm.  For more information about this class action, visit
www.lawkhf.com

               About Kang Haggerty & Fetbroyt LLC

KHF -- http://www.lawkhf.com-- is a boutique business litigation
firm with offices in Philadelphia, PA and Cherry Hill, NJ,
focusing primarily in business dispute resolution, corporate and
other transactions, bankruptcy, and commercial loan workout.  The
firm also has lawyers practicing in class actions, insurance bad
faith litigation, securities law compliance and litigation, and
whistleblower actions.


PROFI FACILITIES: "Wallace" Seeks to Recover Overtime Under FLSA
---------------------------==-----------------------------------
TIMOTHY WALLACE, ON BEHALF OF HIMSELF AND THOSE SIMILARLY SITUATED
v. PROFI FACILITIES MAINTENANCE, LLC, A FLORIDA LIMITED LIABILITY
COMPANY, MICHAEL LOUDIS, INDIVIDUALLY, PATRICK CUEVA,
INDIVIDUALLY, AND KHASHAYAR FALLAHZADEH, INDIVIDUALLY, Case No.
0:16-cv-62513-WJZ (S.D. Fla., October 24, 2016), is brought for
alleged unpaid overtime compensation, declaratory relief, and
other relief under the Fair Labor Standards Act, as amended.

Profi Facilities Maintenance, LLC, is a Florida Corporation that
operates and conducts business in Broward County, Florida.  The
Individual Defendants are residents of Florida, owners of the
Company or helped to operate the Company.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          C. Ryan Morgan, Esq.
          MORGAN & MORGAN, P.A.
          20 N. Orange Ave., 14th Floor
          P.O. Box 4979
          Orlando, FL 32802-4979
          Telephone: (407) 420-1414
          Facsimile: (407) 245-3401
          E-mail: RMorgan@forthepeople.com

               - and -

          Angeli Murthy, Esq.
          MORGAN & MORGAN, P.A.
          600 N. Pine Island Rd., Suite 400
          Plantation, FL 33324
          Telephone: (954) 318-0268
          Facsimile: (954) 327-3016
          E-mail: Amurthy@forthepeople.com


PUBLIX SUPER: Faces "Rudder" Suit in Southern Dist. of Florida
--------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Publix Super Markets
Inc. The case is entitled Erin Rudder, Individually and on Behalf
of AII Others Similarly Situated, the Plaintiff, v. Publix Super
Markets Inc., the Defendant, Case No. 9:16-cv-81777-RLR (S.D.
Fla., Oct. 21, 2016). The case is assigned to Hon. Judge Robin L.
Rosenberg.

Publix Super Markets, Inc., commonly known as Publix, is an
employee-owned, American supermarket chain based in Lakeland,
Florida.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Richard Jason Lantinberg, Esq.
          THE WILNER FIRM, P.A.
444 st Duval Street
          Jacksonville, FL 32202
          Telephone: (904) 446 9817
          Facsimile: (904) 446 9825
          E-mail: Rlantinberg@wilnerfirm.com


RAMSEY COUNTY, MN: Mickelson, et al. File Appeal in U.S. Sup. Ct.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Erik Mickelson, et al., Individually and on Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated, Petitioners v. County of Ramsey, et al., Case
No. 16-55228 (U.S. Sup. Ct, Oct. 21, 2016), is an appeal filed
before the United States Supreme from a lower Court decision in
Case No. 14-3164 (8th Cir., May 4, 2016)

Response due date for the lower Court to review decision is on
Nov. 21, 2016.


REVERA INC: Faces Class Action Over Mistreatment of Residents
-------------------------------------------------------------
Tom Blackwell, writing for National Post, reports that a Toronto
malpractice lawyer is launching what she calls an unprecedented
class-action lawsuit against one of Canada's biggest nursing-home
companies, charging that it routinely neglects or mistreats
elderly residents.

The multimillion-dollar suit was prompted by the case of
Ross Jones, a 68-year-old man who allegedly spent the last days of
his life in agony, an infected pressure sore left untreated by a
Revera Inc. facility.

But the case -- to be officially unveiled at a news conference on
Oct. 20 -- underscores persistent complaints throughout the
country that some long-term care homes deliver substandard care.

Revera counters that it is "very proud" of its service, noting
that it looks after people near the end of their lives and
frequently suffering from a complex array of ailments.

Lawyer Amani Oakley said she often hears from relatives about
cases like Mr. Jones' but the economics of suing a nursing home
are prohibitive, the damages awarded for an elderly patient
dwarfed by the costs of litigation.

A class action involving a number of plaintiffs potentially
changes those dynamics, making it feasible to pursue a lengthy
civil suit even if any compensation awarded to individuals is
limited, Ms. Oakley said in an interview on Oct. 19.

"We need the giant and very profitable Revera conglomerate to hear
the message loud and clear that Mr. Jones' suffering and death and
the negative and unacceptable experiences of other residents is
unacceptable," she said in a statement.

Though it is a private business, Mississauga, Ont.-based Revera is
wholly owned by the Public Sector Pension Investment Board, a
federal Crown corporation.  Revera, whose board "chair emeritus"
is former Ontario premier Bill Davis, owns or operates 500
facilities in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K.

John Beaney, a Revera vice-president, said on Oct. 19 he could not
comment on the specifics of the allegations, but argued the suit
lacks merit.

"We've been operating as an organization for more than 50 years .
. . and have successfully cared for hundreds of thousands of
people," he said.  "We're very proud of our dedicated employees
who provide that care."

He also noted that nursing home residents have increasingly
complex health issues, their deaths often a result of multiple
factors.

"When a resident passes away . . . it's not black and white and
this can understandably make it difficult for loved ones, who seek
answers in those cases."

The class action's first plaintiffs are Lori DeKervor and her late
father, Ross Jones, who died in June 2014.

Diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and dementia, he had been a
resident at Main Street Terrace, a Revera home in Toronto.

The suit alleges that Jones was rushed to hospital late that May,
unable to speak, with an elevated heart rate and temperature. Days
later, noticing her father was in pain whenever he was moved, Ms.
DeKervor discovered he had a "large, deep, smelly, oozing sacral
ulcer" at the base of his spine -- a bed sore that had become
infected.

It's alleged the nursing home did not take proper measures to
prevent the wound.

"There has to be some way to get justice for my Dad," the daughter
said in a statement issued by Oakley.  "He deserved better than
this. He died a painful, 13th-century death, while being looked
after by a giant business entity that is making a ton of money."

The home has been inspected by Ontario's health and long-term care
ministry 16 times since the beginning of 2014, mostly because of
complaints or "critical incidents."

The most recent review, in September, seems reminiscent of Jones'
case.  It resulted in two "written notifications" of rule
infractions, involving a resident who had allegedly not been
repositioned every two hours as required because of sores.

Once Revera has filed a statement of defense, a judge must decide
whether to "certify" the class-action lawsuit, allowing it to move
ahead to settlement or trial.


RICHARD L. BALLARD: Faces "Kelly" Suit in District of Texas
-----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Richard L. Ballard.
The case is captioned KELLY, MEREDITH, the PLAINTIFF, v.
BALLARD, RICHARD L., 4040 TIOGA ST. DALLAS TX 75241, the
Defendant, Case No. DC-16-13874 (D. Tex., Oct. 25, 2016).

The Plaintiff is represented by:

Cagney W. Mccormick, Esq.

          W. CAGNEY MCCORMICK
          BAILEY & GALYEN
          Bedford, TX
          Telephone: (817) 359 7079
          Facsimile: (817) 719 9104
          E-mail: CMcCormick@galyen.com


RIVER RUN: Judge Allows Fraud Class Actions to Proceed
------------------------------------------------------
Michael Nowina, Esq., of Baker & McKenzie, in an article for
Lexology, reports that both of Canada's primary insolvency
statutes, the Bankruptcy and Insolvency Act ("BIA") and the
Companies' Creditors Arrangement Act ("CCAA") provide for an
automatic stay of all legal proceedings when an insolvent debtor
files for or seeks insolvency protection.  The purpose of the stay
is to provide breathing space to a debtor attempting to
restructure its business so as to avoid "death by a thousand cuts"
and also to ensure similarly situated creditors are treated
equally.  While it is an integral part of Canada's insolvency
regime, the stay of proceedings is not inviolable and there have
been a number of noteworthy cases where Canadian courts have
considered whether to lift the statutory stay and permit proposed
class actions to proceed where the plaintiff has alleged fraud.

In a 2016 decision, Da Silva v. River Run Vistas Corp. 2016 ABQB
433 ("Da Silva"), the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench lifted a stay
to permit a proposed class action to proceed against two bankrupt
individuals who had been the officers, directors and shareholders
of companies developing real estate projects in the province of
Alberta.  The representative plaintiffs alleged that the proposed
class had lost approximately $14 million as a result of a
fraudulent real estate development scheme orchestrated by the
bankrupts through their companies.  Section 69.4 of the BIA
permits an affected creditor to apply to the court for a
declaration that the stay no longer operates in respect of that
creditor or person, and the court may make such a declaration,
subject to any qualification that the court considers proper if it
is satisfied:

   -- that the creditor or person is likely to be materially
prejudiced by the continued operation of those sections; or

   -- that it is equitable on other grounds to make such a
declaration.

In Da Silva, the representative plaintiffs' central argument was
that bankruptcy does not release a bankrupt from debts arising out
of fraud and therefore the proposed class action should be allowed
to proceed.  In assessing the parties' submissions, the motion
judge considered the requisite evidentiary threshold the court
will consider sufficient to lift a stay under the BIA and
concluded that, while the threshold is low and the plaintiffs need
not prove a prima facie case, they must make more than mere
allegations.  In this case, the motion judge lifted the stay in
light of the dramatic and unexplained reduction value in land
owned by the companies and certain financial transfers between the
defendants which were described as "suspicious".

However, an allegation of fraud will not automatically result in
the stay of proceedings being lifted especially where it might
negatively impact ongoing restructuring.  In Sino-Forest
Corporation (Re), 2012 ONSC 6275, an Ontario motion judge refused
to lift the stay of proceedings under the CCAA for a class action
seeking $9.18 billion in damages based on allegations that Sino-
Forest Corporation, some of its officers and directors, auditors
and underwriters made material misrepresentations regarding the
assets and operations of the corporation.  The motion judge
considered the applicable factors for lifting a stay set out in
Timminco Ltd., (Re) 2012 ONSC 2515 which focus on:

   -- the relative prejudice to the parties of lifting or
continuing the stay;

   -- the balance of convenience; and

   -- where relevant, the merits (i.e. if the proposed proceedings
has little chance of success, there may not be sound reasons for
lifting the stay).

The motion judge was persuaded that the defendants of the proposed
class action should remain focused on the restructuring and that
there would be little prejudice to the proposed class action
members if the stay was maintained while the restructuring process
was underway.  Ultimately, once the restructuring process
concluded, the stay of proceedings was lifted and the Ontario
class action was certified in January 2015.

Key Takeaways

Canadian courts will lift statutory insolvency stays of
proceedings in order to permit class actions to proceed.
Proposed class action plaintiffs need not prove a prima facie
case, however they must make more than mere allegations of fraud.
While the test to lift a stay under the BIA or CCAA differs, a
significant consideration in either context that the courts will
consider is the prejudice a party would suffer if the stay is
lifted.

Motions to lift the automatic stay may not be granted if it is
detrimental to an ongoing restructuring.


SAPITOS RESTAURANT: Faces "Bizaldi" Suit in S.D. of New York
------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Sapitos Restaurant
Inc. The case is captioned Michele Bizaldi, on behalf of herself
and others similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v. Sapitos
Restaurant Inc.; Cajun NY LLC; Yairton Garcia, in their individual
and professional capacity; Philip Kuszel, in their individual and
professional capacity; and Jaleene Rodriguez, in their individual
and professional capacity, the Defendants, Case No. 1:16-cv-08242
(S.D.N.Y., Oct. 21, 2016).

The Defendants operate a restaurant in Bronx County.

The Plaintiff appears pro se.


SOUTHEASTERN CONFERENCE: "Richardson" Consolidated in MDL 2492
--------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Jamie Richardson, individually and
on behalf of all other similarly situated, the Plaintiff v.
Southeastern Conference and National Collegiate Athletic
Association, the Defendants, Case No. 1:16-cv-02342, was
transferred from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of Indiana, to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of Illinois - (Chicago). The District Court Clerk assigned Case
No. 1:16-cv-09980 to the proceeding.

The Richardson case is being consolidated with MDL 2492 in re:
National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete
Concussion Injury Litigation. The MDL was created by Order of the
United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on
December 18, 2013. The actions before the Panel seek medical
monitoring for putative classes of former student athletes at
NCAA-member schools who allege they suffered concussions.
Plaintiffs allege that the NCAA concealed information about the
risks of the long-term effects of concussion injuries. Opponents
to centralization argue, inter alia, that (1) the putative classes
and claims alleged in these actions do not sufficiently overlap;
and (2) given the small number of actions pending, alternatives to
centralization are preferable. In its December 18, 2013 Order, the
MDL Panel found that the actions in this MDL involve common
questions of fact, and that centralization in the Northern
District of Illinois will serve the convenience of the parties and
witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the
litigation. These actions share factual questions relating to
allegations against the NCAA stemming from injuries sustained
while playing sports at NCAA-member institutions, including
damages resulting from the permanent long-term effects of
concussions. Presiding Judges in the MDL is Hon. John Z. Lee,
United States District Judge. The lead case is 1:16-cv-08727.

The Southeastern Conference is an American college athletic
conference whose member institutions are located primarily in the
Southern part of the United States.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          William E. Winingham, Esq.
          WILSON KEHOE & WININGHAM
          2859 North Meridian Street
          Indianapolis, IN 46208
          Telephone: (317) 920 6400
          Facsimile: (317) 920 6405
          E-mail: winingham@wkw.com


SPARK MARKETING: Faces "Ramos" Suit in Southern Dist. of Cal.
-------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Spark Marketing and
Research, Inc. The case is captioned Ron Ramos, individually and
on behalf of all others similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v.
Spark Marketing and Research, Inc., also known as
Sparkcallcenter.com; Jonathan Adler; Adler Enterprises; and Does
1-10 inclusive, and each of them, the Defendants, Case No. 3:16-
cv-02623-GPC-NLS (S.D. Cal., Oct. 21, 2016). The case is assigned
to Hon. Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel.

Spark is a highly specialized contact center that services the
specific needs of the publishing industry.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Todd M. Friedman, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF
          TODD M. FRIEDMAN, P.C.
          21550 Oxnard Street, Suite 780
          Woodland Hills, CA 91367
          Telephone: (877) 206 4741
          Facsimile: (866) 633 0228
          E-mail: tfriedman@AttorneysForConsumers.com


STERLING BANK: "Troiano" Suit Moved from Cir. Ct. to S.D. Fla.
--------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Ryan Troiano, and other similarly
situated individuals, the Plaintiff, v. Sterling Bank Services,
Inc., a Foreign Corporation and Dan Kessler, individually, Case
No. CACE-16-017357, was removed from the 17th Circuit Court, to
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Ft
Lauderdale). The District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 0:16-cv-
62503-RNS to the proceeding. The case is assigned to Hon. Judge
Robert N. Scola, Jr.

Sterling Bank provides financial, security, and operational
equipment to banks and financial institutions in the United States
and internationally.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jason Saul Remer, Esq.
          REMER & GEORGES-PIERRE, PLLC
          Court House Tower
          44 West Flagler Street, Suite 2200
          Miami, FL 33130
          Telephone: (305) 416 5000
          Facsimile: (305) 416 5005
          E-mail: jremer@rgpattorneys.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Scott A. Bassman, Esq.
          Tasha Maria Somarriba, Esq.
          COLE, SCOTT & KISSANE, P.A.
          110 Tower
          110 S.E. 6th Street, Suite 2700
          Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
          Telephone: (954) 703 3700
          Facsimile: (954) 703 3701
          E-mail: SAB@csklegal.com
                  Tasha.Somarriba@csklegal.com


SYNGENTA: Appeals Court Ruling in GMO Corn Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------
J.R. Pegg, writing for Agra-Net, reports that Syngenta has
appealed a court ruling that allows hundreds of thousands of
farmers to pursue damages from the company for alleged disruptions
to the U.S. corn market related to controversy surrounding Chinese
approval of genetically engineered corn.

The underling litigation argues that Syngenta upset the export
market by commercializing its genetically engineered insect-
resistant Viptera corn in the U.S. prior to receiving approval
from China.


UNITED COLLECTION: Faces "Maleh" Suit in E.D. of New York
---------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against United Collection
Bureau, Inc. The case is captioned Barouk Maleh, on behalf of
himself and all others similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v.
United Collection Bureau, Inc., the Defendant, Case No. 1:16-cv-
05873 (E.D.N.Y., Oct. 21, 2016).

United Collection provides debt collection services for companies
including government, healthcare, utility, and financial service.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Alan J Sasson, Esq.
          LAW OFFICE OF
          ALAN J. SASSON, P.C.
          2687 Coney Island Avenue, 2nd Floor
          Brooklyn, NY 11235
          Telephone: (718) 339 0856
          Facsimile: (347) 244 7178
          E-mail: alan@sassonlaw.com


UNITED SERVICES: Class Action Lawyers Say Sanctions Unjust
----------------------------------------------------------
Lisa Hammersly, writing for Arkansas Online, reports that a
federal judge in Fort Smith was wrong on all counts when he
penalized five class-action lawyers, including University of
Arkansas Trustee John Goodson, for dismissing a case from his
court to settle in state court last year, according to a brief
filed on the lawyers' behalf.


UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND: "Pettus" Consolidated in MDL 2492
---------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Fredrick Pettus, individually and
on behalf of all other similarly situated, the Plaintiff v.
University Of Richmond and National Collegiate Athletic
Association, the Defendants, Case No. 1:16-cv-02644, was
transferred from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of Indiana, to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of Illinois - (Chicago). The District Court Clerk assigned Case
No. 1:16-cv-09994 to the proceeding.

The Pettus case is being consolidated with MDL 2492 in re:
National Collegiate Athletic Association Student-Athlete
Concussion Injury Litigation. The MDL was created by Order of the
United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on
December 18, 2013. The actions before the Panel seek medical
monitoring for putative classes of former student athletes at
NCAA-member schools who allege they suffered concussions.
Plaintiffs allege that the NCAA concealed information about the
risks of the long-term effects of concussion injuries. Opponents
to centralization argue, inter alia, that (1) the putative classes
and claims alleged in these actions do not sufficiently overlap;
and (2) given the small number of actions pending, alternatives to
centralization are preferable. In its December 18, 2013 Order, the
MDL Panel found that the actions in this MDL involve common
questions of fact, and that centralization in the Northern
District of Illinois will serve the convenience of the parties and
witnesses and promote the just and efficient conduct of the
litigation. These actions share factual questions relating to
allegations against the NCAA stemming from injuries sustained
while playing sports at NCAA-member institutions, including
damages resulting from the permanent long-term effects of
concussions. Presiding Judges in the MDL is Hon. John Z. Lee,
United States District Judge. The lead case is 1:16-cv-08727.

The University of Richmond is a private, nonsectarian, liberal
arts college located on the border of the city of Richmond and
Henrico County, Virginia.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jeffrey Lewis Raizner, Esq.
          RAIZNER SLANIA, LLP
          2402 Dunlavy Street
          Houston, TX 77006
          Telephone: (713) 554 9099
          E-mail: efile@raiznerlaw.com


US STUDENT: Faces "Lawrence" Suit in Central Dist. of California
----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against US Student Loan
Center, Inc. The case is captioned Debra Lawrence, individually
and on behalf of all others similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v.
US Student Loan Center, Inc., the Defendant, Case No. 2:16-cv-
07880 (C.D. Cal., Oct. 21, 2016).

US Student Loan Center is a student loan document processing
center.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jeffrey A Koncius, Esq.
          KIESEL LAW LLP
          8648 Wilshire Boulevard
          Beverly Hills, CA 90211-2910
          Telephone: (310) 854 4444
          Facsimile: (310) 854 0812
          E-mail: koncius@kiesel-law.com


V & R BETHPAGE: Faces Morgan & Curtis Suit in E.D.N.Y.
------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against V & R Bethpage
Pizzeria Corp. The case is captioned Morgan & Curtis Associates,
Inc., Individually and as the representative of a class of
similarly situated persons, the Plaintiff, v. V & R Bethpage
Pizzeria Corp. doing business as Pappardelle's Pizzeria
Restaurant, the Defendant, Case No. 1:16-cv-05906 (E.D.N.Y., Oct.
24, 2016).

V & R Bethpage Pizzeria offers to customers a create your-own
pizza & other old-school Italian staples.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Dan Shaked, Esq.
          SHAKED LAW GROUP, P.C.
          44 Court Street, Suite 1217
          Brooklyn, NY 11217
          Telephone: (917) 373 9128
          Facsimile: (718) 504 7555
          E-mail: shakedlawgroup@gmail.com


VOLKSWAGEN AG: Seeks Final OK of $14.7BB Emissions Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kartikay Mehrotra, Margaret Cronin Fisk and Jennifer A Dlouhy,
writing for Bloomberg News, report that Volkswagen AG is asking
for a final sign-off on its $14.7 billion settlement with drivers
as it continues to seek regulators' approval of a fix for 482,000
pollution-spewing vehicles still on U.S. roads.

Without an approved repair, VW may be left with only one option:
buy back the cars with so-called defeat devices from the owners.
And the German automaker might have to do the same for a smaller
group of vehicles with larger 3.0-liter diesel engines equipped
with the emissions-cheating software.

VW reached the settlement covering the 2.0-liter engines in June
with consumers and regulators including the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency.  With a San Francisco federal judge set to
consider final approval of that deal on Oct. 18, the EPA has yet
to approve any of VW's proposals to fix those cars, said a person
familiar with the matter who wasn't authorized to speak publicly.

A formal proposal by VW for a fix won't be considered by federal
regulators in an official review until after the settlement is
approved by the judge.  VW's negotiations with the EPA have been
fluid, said the person who asked not to be identified.

So far, the California Air Resources Board has been critical of
the carmakers' attempted solutions.  CARB has twice rejected VW's
recall plans -- once in a January letter related to the 2-liter
engines and again in a similar July statement for the 3-liter
models.

VW has agreed to spend as much as $10 billion to buy back 2-liter
models and compensate drivers.  It also agreed to pay $2.7 billion
to federal and California regulators to fund pollution-reduction
projects and pay $2 billion to be invested in clean technology.  A
court conference is set for Nov. 3 on VW's negotiations with
regulators and consumer lawyers on a solution for the 85,000
vehicles with 3-liter engines, including the VW Touareg, Porsche
Cayenne and Audi Q5.

VW Settlements

The automaker has earmarked almost $19.6 billion (17.8 billion
euros) to extricate it from the emissions-cheating scandal.  That
includes $1.2 billion to its U.S. franchise dealers, along with
$86 million to California and $603 million to other states over
violations of consumer protection laws.  VW still faces criminal
probes, shareholder claims and environmental lawsuits by multiple
states as well as lawsuits and a criminal probe in Europe.
U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer allowed the settlement to move
ahead in July, calling the proposed agreement "fair, adequate and
reasonable."  Judge Breyer is weighing objections on behalf of
more than 400 car owners at the Oct. 18 hearing to reach a final
determination.  The judge has allotted no more than two minutes
for arguments to each of the critics.

Betty Carroll, 64, said she drove to court in her 2012 VW Passat
TDI from her home in Placerville, California, in the Sierra Nevada
foothills. She said she should get at least enough money to
replace her car.

Elizabeth Cabraser, the lead lawyer for car owners in the case,
told Judge Breyer the deal to buy back cars for what they were
worth right before the diesel-cheating scandal became public and
provide some additional compensation was better than letting the
court case drag on.

'Dog Years'

"Cars depreciate," Ms. Cabraser said.  "They age in dog years. But
even people shouldn't have to wait years for a seemingly perfect
resolution when a resolution of this strength and responsiveness
can be had now."

Car owners could have gotten the same deal -- buybacks and
compensation -- through VW's settlement with federal regulators,
according to the Center for Class Action Fairness, an advocacy
group primarily complaining about the estimate of more than $300
million in fees to be paid to plaintiffs' lawyers.  The Center
also said the announced value of the settlement was inflated.

Consumer lawyers were essential to the quick settlement, they
argued in court filings last month.  Attorneys' fees will be
limited to $324 million, far below the typical share in class-
action settlements.

Robert Giuffra, a lawyer for VW, said the company is committed to
making the settlement work.

"Under any circumstances, this is a fair and reasonable
settlement," he said.

The case is In Re: Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales
Practices and Products Liability Litigation, 15-md-02672, U.S.
District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).


VOLKSWAGEN AG: Judge Delays Approval of Emissions Settlement
------------------------------------------------------------
Marc Stern, writing for Torque News, reports that a U.S. District
Court judge has delayed final approval of the $10.03 billion final
settlement of the Dieselgate scandal.  The one-week delay is to
consider new issues raised in court on Oct. 17.

The settlement represents a significant milestone for owners and
the automaker.  When the buyback begins, owners will be assured
the vehicles that are sitting in their driveways will have value.
At the moment, the VW turbodiesels affected by Dieselgate have had
their value cut to almost nil.  When the plan goes into effect,
owners will get a minimum repurchase payment plus compensation due
to lost value.

For Volkswagen, final plan approval means it will be moving on
from the low point of the emissions scandal that the automaker
initiated when it admitted to cheating on diesel emissions tests.
Judge Breyer held a three-hour hearing in a crowded courtroom in
San Francisco's Federal District Court.  At the hearing, he did
grant preliminary approval of a piece of the settlement.  The
jurist approved the $1.2 billion settlement with 650 U.S. VW
dealers.

Volkswagen, in a statement, said that it welcomed "Judge Breyer's
positive comments during the hearing."  The automaker indicated
that it believed the settlement will provide "fair and reasonable
resolution for affected Volkswagen and Audi customers in the
United States."  The automaker also thanked its customers for
their "continued patience as the approval process moves forward."

Drawn Out Settlement Saga

With final approval delayed a week, turbodiesel owners are facing
another hold in the drawn-out Dieselgate class-action suit
settlement.  The agreement compensates owners for Volkswagen's
installation of a "defeat switch" in their emissions control
systems of their 2.0-liter turbodiesel engines.

VW engineers knew as early as 2006 that their engines would not be
able to meet the toughened emissions rules for oxides of nitrogen
(NOx), a key emissions component of diesel exhaust.  The automaker
sold these vehicles from 2009-2015 keeping the knowledge of their
scam to themselves.  It was one of the best-kept secrets in the
industry.

It was a secret until a group of independent researchers, who were
looking into VW's supposed success with "clean diesel" power,
found that the automaker's engines were certainly not clean. On
further investigation, they found evidence of a cheat switch that
allowed the automaker to selectively turn on emissions control
features that would clean up emissions when a test was run.

When the test ended, the switch software resets the turbodiesel
emissions software so that it maintained top performance and
mileage.  On reset, NOx emissions tanked, allowing vehicles to
emit up to 40 times the allowable limits of NOx. EPA notified VW
that it was in violation in September 2015 and the automaker
admitted it on Sept. 18, 2015.


WELLS FARGO: Faces "Miller" Suit in Eastern Dist. of Pennsylvania
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Wells Fargo Bank,
N.A. The case is entitled BEVERLY MILLER and OGER PLATE, ON BEHALF
OF THEMSELVES AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, the Plaintiff, v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., the Defendant, Case No. 2:16-cv-05597-JHS
(E.D. Penn., Oct. 25, 2016). The case is assigned to Hon. Joel H.
Slomsky.

Wells Fargo provides personal, small business, and commercial
banking services.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Gregory G. Paul, Esq.
          MORGAN & PAUL PLLC
          First & Market Bldgs
          100 First Ave Suite 1010
          Pittsburgh, PA 15222
          Telephone: (888) 967 5674
          Facsimile: (888) 822 9421
          E-mail: gregpaul@morgan-paul.com


WELLS FARGO: Faces Class Action in New Jersey Over Fake Accounts
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gainey McKenna & Egleston on Oct. 19 announced that a consumer
class action lawsuit has been filed against Wells Fargo & Company
and its subsidiary Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. (collectively, "Wells
Fargo") in the United States District Court for the District of
New Jersey, on behalf of all persons in the United States who had
a banking account fraudulently opened by Wells Fargo without their
express permission and/or who had fees and penalties imposed upon
them because of the fraudulent account activities.

The Complaint alleges that Wells Fargo engaged in a company-wide
fraudulent scheme to open deposit accounts, credit card accounts,
and other banking product and services in customers' names without
the customers' knowledge, consent or approval.  The Complaint
further alleges that Wells Fargo pressured its own employees to
secretly open accounts in customers' names without permission and
then failed to refund to customers the fees and penalties
unlawfully charged or otherwise remedy the injuries Wells Fargo
and its employees caused.  The Complaint also alleges that as a
direct consequence of its conduct, Wells Fargo agreed to pay
approximately $190 million in fines to the Consumer Financial
Protection Bureau ("CFPB"), the Office of the Comptroller of the
Currency, and the City and County of Los Angeles.  The Complaint
alleges that, unfortunately, only $5 million of this $190 million
in fines is supposed to be allocated to the injured customers.

If you wish to join the litigation, or to discuss your rights or
interests regarding this consumer class action, please contact
Thomas J. McKenna, Esq. or Gregory M. Egleston, Esq. of Gainey
McKenna & Egleston at (212) 983-1300, or via e-mail at
tjmckenna@gme-law.com or gegleston@gme-law.com.


WELLS FARGO: Employees File Class Action Over Unpaid OT Wages
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kevin McGowan, writing for Bloomberg BNA, reports that Wells Fargo
& Co. violated federal and state wage laws when it forced some
branch employees to work during one-hour lunch breaks and to
report fewer hours than they actually worked, according to a class
lawsuit filed in federal district court in New Jersey
(Mirza v. Wells Fargo, N.A., D.N.J., No. 16-7381, complaint filed
10/17/16 ).

The banking giant is on the hot seat after Congress investigated
its firing of more than 5,000 employees who allegedly were
pressured to create sham accounts for customers.  CEO John Stumpf
resigned in the aftermath, and the Labor Department is closely
scrutinizing Wells Fargo's employment practices, including its
wage and hour policies.

Plaintiff Hirra Mirza will ask the court to certify a Fair Labor
Standards Act collective action and a class action on New Jersey
state law claims.  "It's a shame that with all the allegations
about Wells Fargo's treatment of customers, they mistreat their
employees as well," said Jason T. Brown of JTB Law Group LLC in
Jersey City, N.J., who represents Mr. Mirza.

Prior to discovery in the court action, there's no estimate yet on
how many bank employees might be covered or the potential damages
amount, Mr. Brown told Bloomberg BNA Oct. 18.

Wells Fargo didn't respond Oct. 18 to Bloomberg BNA's request for
comment.

The lawsuit, filed Oct. 17, alleges that personal bankers and
customer service representatives in all of Wells Fargo's New
Jersey branches were required to record one-hour lunch breaks even
though the breaks usually lasted only 10 to 30 minutes.

Wells Fargo also required the employees to record work hours that
were inconsistent with the time actually worked, the complaint
alleges.

Mr. Mirza and other employees therefore were deprived of "entitled
regular wages" for hours below 40 a week as well as the required
overtime rate for hours that exceeded 40 a week, according to the
complaint.  Wells Fargo should be assessed liquidated or double
damages for willfully violating the FLSA and additional amounts
under state law, the complaint alleges.
Mr. Mirza also seeks injunctive relief and attorneys' fees for the
purported class.  Nicholas Conlon of JTB Law Group also represents
Mr. Mirza.  No attorney has entered an appearance yet for Wells
Fargo.

WELLS FARGO: January 1 Settlement Claims Filing Deadline Set
------------------------------------------------------------
Jessica Karmasek, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that
deadlines in a $30 million class action settlement with Wells
Fargo over alleged violations of the federal Telephone Consumer
Protection Act have been pushed back to avoid an additional
$900,000 in costs by the class.

The settlement, which amounts to $30,446,022.75, was preliminarily
approved by Judge Richard Story of the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Georgia in August.

Plaintiff Kenisha Cross, individually and on behalf of others,
filed a class action against Wells Fargo in April 2015.  She
alleges the financial institution violated the TCPA by using an
automatic telephone dialing system and/or an artificial or
prerecorded voice to call cell phones in connection with
overdrafts of deposit accounts, without prior express consent.

Wells Fargo continues to deny all allegations.

Since the court entered its preliminary approval order on
Aug. 18, both parties have been working with the court-approved
settlement administrator to identify, verify and process contact
information for those associated with the 6,409,689 cell phone
numbers at issue and who compromise the settlement class; format
and proof all documents required for the court-approved notice
program; and take all steps to administer the settlement.

However, class counsel said in an unopposed motion filed in
September that the parties discovered two "unanticipated" issues.

First, Wells Fargo required additional time to identify and verify
the names of the account holders (including secondary and
associated account holders) associated with the 6 million-plus
cell phone numbers that make up the class.

Second, the parties discovered, during the final editing and
formatting process, that the postcard notice and claim form was
longer than originally planned.

"As a result, when the Settlement Administrator formatted the
postcard notice and claim form for printing, the content exceeded
the maximum number of reasonably-sized characters to fit on
bi-fold postcard," class counsel wrote in the Sept. 12 motion to
modify the preliminary approval order.

Using the notice as approved would increase postage costs from
$0.263 to $0.399 per notice, which, for a class of more than 6.4
million persons, would increase overall postage costs by more than
$870,000.

And that cost would have to be borne by the class, their attorneys
noted.

The parties, to avoid the charge, agreed to make changes to the
postcard notice to fit the available space and add free reply
postage, which the parties anticipate will increase the number of
valid claims.

The settlement administrator informed the parties that a free
reply mail postage panel also is necessary to secure the lower
postage charge.

While the changes will still adhere to the previously set "hard
cap" on costs, class counsel said, a "modest" extension to the
notice deadline is required.

Story, in a Sept. 13 order, agreed to make changes to the
schedule.

Originally, Sept. 12 was the deadline to provide class notice.

Oct. 12 was the original deadline for the plaintiffs' motion for
attorneys fees and incentive award to be filed with the court. The
new deadline is Nov. 16.

Nov. 11 was the original deadline for class members to file
objections or submit requests for exclusion. The new deadline is
Dec. 16.

Finally, the new deadline for settlement class members to submit a
claim form is Jan. 16, instead of the previously set Dec. 12
deadline.

The final approval hearing has yet to be set.  Story said it will
be set in a later order.

Under the terms of the $30 million settlement, all participating
class members will receive an equal share of the settlement fund
after deducting the costs of notice and claims administration,
attorneys' fees and expenses, and an incentive award to Cross.

None of the settlement fund will revert back to Wells Fargo.

The settlement class includes, exactly: "All users or subscribers
to a wireless or cellular service within the United States who
used or subscribed to a phone number to which Wells Fargo made or
initiated one or more Calls during the Class Period, in connection
with overdrafts of deposit accounts, using any automated dialing
technology or artificial or prerecorded voice technology,
according to Wells Fargo's available records."

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP, Burke Law Offices LLC and
Greenwald Davidson Radbil PLLC were appointed co-lead class
counsel. Meyer Wilson Co. LPA, Skaar & Feagle LLP, Keogh Law Ltd.,
Kazerouni Law Group APC, Law Offices of Douglas J. Campion APC and
Hyde & Swigart were named additional class counsel.


WELLS FARGO: Judge Tosses Bid to Arbitrate Overdraft Fee Case
-------------------------------------------------------------
Celia Ampel, writing for Daily Business Review, reports that a
Miami federal judge shot down Wells Fargo bank's attempt to push
class action plaintiffs into arbitration after years of
litigating.

The bank waived arbitration for the named plaintiffs early in the
multidistrict case over overdraft fees.  But after the class was
certified, Wells Fargo argued it could compel unnamed class
members to arbitrate because they had "been brought under the
court's jurisdiction for the first time."

Senior U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King on Oct. 17 rejected
that argument, ruling the bank could not use "gamesmanship" to
ignore the fact that the case had been litigated as a class action
for eight years.

"It would be unfair, and fundamentally at odds with the principles
underlying the Federal Arbitration Act, to permit Wells Fargo to
effectively 'wait in the weeds' and invoke arbitration, after
years of litigation, now that the alternate path the bank chose
did not turn out as it had hoped," King wrote.

The ruling is a win for millions of consumers who have banked with
Wells Fargo and Wachovia Bank, which Wells Fargo bought in 2008.
The plaintiffs class claims the banks put customers' debit card
charges in size order, rather than chronological order, to incur
improper overdraft fees.

"It moves plaintiffs into a much stronger position than they ever
could be under arbitration," said co-lead plaintiffs counsel Bruce
Rogow -- rogowb@nsu.law.nova.edu -- of Bruce S. Rogow P.A. in Fort
Lauderdale.  "No one is going to make the effort over $35 to take
on the banks when they resequence these overdraft charges and
cause unnecessary dollars to be extracted from the banks'
customers.  By using a class action, millions of customers now
have the opportunity for remedy."

Wells Fargo disagrees with the allegations and intends to appeal
the decision, a spokesman said on Oct. 18.

The Wells Fargo litigation has led to settlements from about 20
banks.  Most recently, a judge gave final approval to a $24
million settlement from BancorpSouth Bank.

Judge King's decision relied on a U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Eleventh Circuit test that asks whether a party has "acted
inconsistently with the arbitration right," a right that exists to
avoid the delays and costs associated with litigation.

If Wells Fargo and Wachovia had made a timely motion to compel
arbitration as to the named plaintiffs, they could have precluded
a class action, King wrote.  In other cases before him, he said,
parties have avoided years of litigation by meeting the court's
arbitration filing deadlines.

Mr. Rogow said it was the defendants' choice to pursue litigation
to the bitter end.

"If they had raised arbitration at the very outset, thousands of
hours and millions of dollars would have been spared, and court
time would have been spared," he said.

Mr. Rogow said he expects Wells Fargo to appeal, "But that will
just delay the inevitable even longer."

Along with Mr. Rogow, Aaron Podhurst and Peter Prieto of Podhurst
Orseck in Miami served as co-lead plaintiffs counsel. Other
plaintiffs lawyers include Bobby Gilbert, Steve Marks, Steve
Rosenthal, John Gravante and Matt Weinshall of Podhurst Orseck and
E. Adam Webb of Webb, Klase & Lemond in Atlanta.


WELLS FARGO: Feb. 7 "Cross" Settlement Approval Hearing
-------------------------------------------------------
The following statement is being issued by Greenwald Davidson
Radbil PLLC regarding Cross v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.:

If you received a call or text from Wells Fargo on your cellular
telephone in connection with overdrafts of deposit accounts, you
could receive a payment from a class action settlement.

A lawsuit is currently pending claiming that Wells Fargo Bank,
N.A., ("Defendant" or "Wells Fargo"), violated the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act by calling or sending texts to cellphones
without prior express consent.  The lawsuit claims Wells Fargo
used an automatic telephone dialing system or artificial or
prerecorded voice technology to make or initiate calls in
connection with overdrafts of deposit accounts during the Class
Period, which is April 21, 2011 to December 19, 2015.  Wells Fargo
denies that it broke the law and denies doing anything wrong.

Under the Settlement, which must be approved by the Court, each
Class Member who submits a valid and timely Settlement Claim will
receive a cash award.  Class Counsel estimates that the amount of
the cash award (while dependent upon the number of claims) may
range from $25 to $70.

Class Members have four options:

(1) Submit a Claim to the Settlement Administrator to request a
share of the Settlement Fund of $30,446,022.75 by January 16,
2017.  If the settlement is approved, you will be bound by the
Court's decisions in the lawsuit.  You will not have the right to
sue separately about the issues in the lawsuit.  You can make a
claim by: 1) calling 1-866-565-7718; 2) filing online at
www.CrossWellsFargoTCPA.com; or 3) mailing a completed Claim Form
downloaded from the Settlement website to the address of the
Settlement Administrator shown below.

(2) Remain a Class Member but object to the Settlement. Your
objection and any documents that you wish for the Court to
consider must be sent to Class Counsel, defense counsel, and the
Court and be postmarked no later than December 16, 2016.  You may
choose to pay for and be represented by a lawyer who may send the
objection for you.  See the website for additional requirements if
you intend to appear at the hearing.

(3) Exclude yourself from the Settlement by mailing a request form
to the Settlement Administrator (not the Court) by December 16,
2016 that includes your name, address, and telephone number, and
states that you want to be excluded from the settlement.

(4) Do Nothing. If you do nothing, you will remain part of the
Settlement Class and will release your claims against the released
parties, but you will not receive any money from this settlement.

The Court has appointed lawyers to represent Class Members. Lieff
Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, Burke Law Offices, LLC, and
Greenwald Davidson Radbil PLLC have been appointed co-lead
counsel, and Meyer Wilson Co., LPA; Skaar & Feagle, LLP; Keogh Law
Ltd.; Kazerouni Law Group, APC; Law Offices of Douglas J. Campion,
APC; and Hyde & Swigart have been designated as additional class
counsel.  The lawyers will be paid from the Settlement Fund. You
may enter an appearance through your own attorney if you so
desire.

The U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia, located in
Courtroom 2105, United States Courthouse, 75 Ted Turner Drive, SW,
Atlanta, GA 30303, will conduct a hearing on whether to give final
approval to the Settlement, and if so, will determine what fees
and expenses should be awarded to Class Counsel and whether an
incentive payment should be awarded to the Class Representative
who brought this action.  The hearing is presently scheduled for
February 7, 2017 at 9:30 a.m., but may be changed without notice.

This is only a summary. For more information, visit:
www.CrossWellsFargoTCPA.com, call: 1-866-565-7718, or write: Cross
Wells Fargo TCPA Settlement, c/o Garden City Group, P.O. Box
10302, Dublin, OH 43017-5902.

Para ver este aviso en espa┬žol, visite www.CrossWellsFargoTCPA.com


WELLS FARGO: Managers Scar Employees' U5 Records, Suit Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
Chris Arnold, writing for NPR, reports that former Wells Fargo
employees tell NPR that managers at the bank retaliated against
them for calling the company's ethics line and pushing back
against reckless sales practices.  They say the bank fired them or
pushed them to resign and then, in effect, put a scarlet letter on
their permanent record that has damaged their careers and
prevented them from getting hired by other banks.

Jeremy worked in a Wells Fargo branch in Los Angeles starting in
2005.  And even back then, years before the bank has acknowledged
having a problem with widespread unethical practices, Jeremy says
he saw wrongdoing on a daily basis.  Jeremy only wants to use his
first name for fear of hurting his chances of finding work with
other employers.  He says his co-workers in his branch were
"falsifying signatures, pushing products on people that they
didn't need," to meet Wells Fargo's aggressive sales goals.  He
says from his first days at the branch he told his manager he
wasn't going to get involved in that.  "I specifically said, I
will not do these things," he says.

Jeremy says one night in 2007, he was invited along with some
managers from other branches to go to a Lakers basketball game.
And some of them asked him why his branch had such good sales
numbers.

"So I broke it down for them," he says.  "I said here's what it is
-- there's a lot of people in our branch that are doing shady
things."

Jeremy says he described how other bankers at the branch were
hitting their sales numbers by giving customers credit cards or
checking accounts they never asked for.  In the bank, that was
called "gaming" your sales numbers.

"At the Lakers game I told the other managers including the
district manager about the gaming that was going on and how I
didn't approve of it, I didn't like it," Jeremy says.  "That was
kind of a pivotal moment for me when I realized something kind of
weird was going on." Jeremy says he soon realized nobody was going
to do anything about what he was telling them.  "I spoke too
much," he says.  "It got back to my manager and he's like, 'Buddy
-- what's going on here? My bankers don't game.' "

Jeremy says his manager absolutely knew there were shady practices
going on in the office, because Jeremy kept telling him about what
he was seeing.  He says at one point, his boss was pressuring him
and the other personal bankers to sell 20 products every single
day -- that is, checking accounts, credit cards, home equity
loans, lines of credit and other banking products. Jeremy says it
was very difficult to meet those kinds of sales goals without
breaking the rules.

"I literally took printouts where one of the bankers had over 60
sales, and I think there was maybe 20 checking accounts for one
person."  Jeremy says he gave the printouts to his manager.  "I
said this is gaming.  She's your No. 1 salesperson. You want me to
be like her? And he said, 'Buddy, this is all garbage.  This is
crap. I don't care about what they're doing, I care what you're
doing.' "

Wells Fargo has been engulfed in a major banking scandal in recent
weeks.  Employees opened up as many as 2 million accounts for
customers who didn't want them and didn't even know they existed.
Regulators said all this amounted to rampant fraud within the
bank, and so far they have hit Wells Fargo with penalties totaling
$185 million, including the largest such penalty ever levied by
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Given his outspoken criticism of the unethical sales practices in
the branch where he worked, Jeremy says, he couldn't believe it
when in late 2008, his manager called him into his office. There
was someone from HR there too.  And Jeremy says he was told
basically he could quit, or the bank was going to open an
investigation into whether he opened accounts for customers
without their consent.  He says he was told if the investigation
began, there was a good chance he'd be fired. Jeremy figured this
was retribution for his speaking out.  He was 26 years old. He got
scared and he quit.  "I went to lunch, came back and I said nope -
- I'm outta here, I'm done."

But it wasn't that simple.  Jeremy didn't realize it at the time,
but Wells Fargo wrote him up on what's called his U5 document.
It's like a report card for bankers.  And the bank put what
amounted to a big red flag on it.  Jeremy soon found he couldn't
get hired by any other bank.

He got plenty of leads.  When a friend who worked at a bank in San
Francisco got him an interview for a job, Jeremy jumped in the car
at 3 a.m. to drive straight up from LA.  His wife was about to
have a baby, so he really needed a job.

He made it up there in time for the interview.  "I'll never forget
meeting with this guy, really nice guy."  Jeremy says the hiring
manager told him, "Listen, man, you're exactly what we're looking
for. You've got the drive; you've got the motivation.  You know
the industry. Let's go ahead; let's go through the formalities.
Get you signed up and on the job." Jeremy says, "I got so
excited."  He called his wife and told her, "Looks like we're
moving to San Francisco!" The couple was finally going to have
some income again.

But then Jeremy says as part of those "formalities," the bank ran
a background check. And he never heard back.

"After about a week I finally gave the HR lady a call," Jeremy
says.  He said he just wanted to follow up and see if the bank
needed anything else from him as the hiring process moved forward.
"She said, 'I'm sorry; we went with another candidate.
'" Jeremy gets distraught even today talking about this.  "This
was the lowest point in my life," he says.  "I just sat there,
hung up the phone.  I just cried."

Jeremy was out of work for six months, living off credit cards.
But then, at another job interview, he says he finally figured it
out.  He says a hiring manager at another bank brought him outside
the bank building to talk.  "And she says, 'Listen, I'm not really
supposed to say anything because it's an HR issue, but I'll tell
you, I really liked you."  But, she told him, "There's this thing
on your U5.  I can't hire you."

It turns out Wells Fargo had written on Jeremy's U5 report card
that he admitted to opening accounts for customers without their
authorization.  A bank is required to report wrongdoing on a U5.
But Jeremy says in his case it just wasn't true.  "The second I
found out about the U5 information I was appalled," he says.  "And
now it all made sense."  That is, all the times he'd get so close
to getting a job only to have it get yanked away after a
background check.

Employment lawyers say getting a negative mark on your U5 is like
getting the mark of Cain in the world of bankers and brokers.  The
U5 database is maintained by the Financial Industry Regulatory
Authority, or FINRA, which is an industry self-regulatory
organization.  The goal of the U5 system is to hold financial
advisers, brokers and bankers who sell securities accountable for
wrongdoing.

Some major banks have a flat-out "zero-tolerance policy," says
attorney Scott Matasar with the firm Matasar Jacobs.  "They just
flat out will not hire" anyone with an entry on their U5 that even
suggests a sales practice violation or unethical behavior, he
says.

But if you get an entry on your U5 that you feel is inaccurate,
the appeals process is not easy.  Mr. Matasar says you have to
hire a lawyer and sue the bank or financial firm that reported
you.  He says it costs tens of thousands of dollars in legal fees.
And there's no guarantee you will prevail. In recent years,
changes in FINRA rules have made it much harder for financial
professionals to get a negative comment removed or changed.  Mr.
Matasar says there is now "a relatively high burden of proof" that
rests on the employees with the mark on their U5.

None of that is terribly encouraging for former Wells Fargo
employees who say the bank has unfairly tarnished their records.
NPR spoke to former Wells Fargo employees in San Francisco,
New Jersey, Florida, Los Angeles and Pennsylvania.  They all said
they were fired or pushed to resign after resisting the pressure
to push products on customers that they didn't want and for
reporting unethical practices in their branches to managers or the
company's "ethics line."  Wells Fargo made entries on these
employees' U5 records, and most have been unable to get another
job with a major bank.

"I contacted the ethics hotline," says David, who worked in a
Wells Fargo branch in Florida.  He was fired by the bank last year
and Wells Fargo put a mark on his U5 record too.  The bank says he
was dismissed for "accepting a credit card application knowing
that it was not signed by the applicant, but rather a relative on
the applicant's behalf." David says his manager OK'd that.  He
says the customer wanted the credit card.  And he believes the
real reason he was fired was retaliation against him by his
managers after he pushed back against the company's overly
aggressive sales goals and reported co-workers who were breaking
the rules to meet those sales goals.  Now, David says, "I cannot
get a job working at a bank anymore.  I had to declare bankruptcy
because I'm currently I'm working for minimum wage.  And my career
is over thanks to Wells Fargo."

In Jeremy's case, he says he figured out how to apply for jobs at
banks where the bank would be less likely to check his U5 -- for
example business banking jobs where he wouldn't be selling
products to individual consumers.  He says he managed to get a
solid job with another financial firm this way, but he says having
the negative comments on his U5 still limits his career.

Wells Fargo tells NPR in a statement that it's "disturbing to hear
claims of retaliation against team members."  The bank says it's
investigating those claims. The bank also says it is assisting
former employees to be rehired when possible.

Tim Sloan, the new president and CEO of Wells Fargo, said on an
earnings call earlier in October, in reference to the ongoing
banking scandal: "We let down our customers, our shareholders, and
our team members.  We simply failed to fulfill our responsibility
to all our stakeholders."

But former employees say they want more than that.  Jonathan
Delshad, an attorney bringing a class-action lawsuit against Wells
Fargo on behalf of former employees, says many of them ask him,
"Is it possible through your lawsuit to get my U5 cleaned up?
Because that's what I care about the most here."

Mr. Delshad says that for the workers who did the right thing, who
pushed back against the wrongdoing in their branches and who were
fired or pushed to resign, Wells Fargo now owes it them to get
this career-ending stain off their records.


WHIRLPOOL CORP: Responds to Case Over Self-Cleaning Ovens
---------------------------------------------------------
Tara Mapes, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that Whirlpool has
responded to a California couple's suit that accuses the company
of knowingly selling malfunctioning self-cleaning ovens to
consumers.

Reginald Whitley and Joann Whitley of Dana Point, California,
filed a class action complaint, individually and on behalf of
similarly situated individuals, Sept. 13 in U.S. District Court
for the Central District of California against Whirlpool
Corporation, alleging breach of implied warranty, design flaw,
negligence, product liability and unfair competition.

A representative for Whirlpool told Legal Newsline in an email,
"The company evaluates every report that is brought to its
attention and will respond accordingly to the Whitleys' lawsuit."

According to the complaint, the Whitleys suffered financial
damages from purchasing a defective Whirlpool self-cleaning oven.
The plaintiffs allege Whirlpool failed to equip its ovens with
high-quality heat resistant insulation that could withstand the
extreme heat produced inside during operation and that it knew
about the defect, yet continued to sell the affected models.

The lawsuit contends the affected models are, "Whirlpool or
KitchenAid Built-in single, double, or combo wall oven equipped
with a high temp self-cleaning cycle," all self-cleaning wall
ovens, and they malfunction when put into self-cleaning mode.

The filing alleges Whirlpool was aware of the design flaws since
at least 2011, yet continues to negligently sell the
malfunctioning models of defective ovens.  The suit says Whirlpool
was negligent and responsible under strict product liability laws.

In response to the allegations its ovens were defective and
overheated when self-cleaning, a Whirlpool representative sent
Legal Newsline the following statement:

"Whirlpool Corporation ovens are tested to leading industry
standards in pursuit of quality.  This includes a feature to
automatically turn off an oven long before it gets too hot."

The Whitleys seek trial by jury, a court order requiring Whirlpool
to notify all class members of the alleged malfunction and to
cease the sales of the affected model, and punitive, compensatory
and statutory damages.  It also demands a recall for the class
ovens, disgorgement, restitution, all legal fees and interest,
plus all other relief the court deems just.  Attorneys Cody R.
Padgett -- Cody.Padgett@CapstoneLawyers.com -- Jordan L. Lurie,
Robert Friedl, Tarek H. Zohdy and Karen L. Wallace --
Karen.Wallace@CapstoneLawyers.com -- of Capstone Law APC represent
the plaintiffs.

"Whirlpool has a long history of taking care of its customers and
never wants them to feel the need to turn anywhere else for
satisfaction.  Whirlpool encourages consumers with any questions
to contact Whirlpool directly at 1-800-807-6777 or 1-800-422-
1230," the Whirlpool representative wrote in an email to Legal
Newsline.


YAHOO! INC: Mum on Pending Data Breach Class Actions
----------------------------------------------------
Quinten Plummer, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that when
Yahoo opened up about what could be one of the largest cyber
attacks to date, it might have reopened what had been a done deal
with a prospective buyer.

And although pending class actions cases against Yahoo might make
matters worse, the company isn't willing to discuss that aspect.

Verizon had agreed to purchase Yahoo for $4.8 billion, but an
attorney for the telecommunications company recently told
reporters in Washington that the deal might be reworked.

There's basis that the impact of the breach "is material and we're
looking to Yahoo to demonstrate to us the full impact," said Craig
Silliman, Verizon's general counsel.

Although the extent of the breach is still unknown, news of it is
enough to help Verizon buy Yahoo for a lower price, according to
Neil Shah, a partner at Counterpoint Research.

"This gives Verizon leverage to somewhat re-engage in negotiation
for the price of the purchase, as the 'brand and trust value' has
taken a serious hit in light of this security breach and the
higher value is not justified," Mr. Shah told Legal Newsline.

"Ideally, the price of the sale will see a downward revision."

Legal Newsline reached out to Charles Stewart, Yahoo spokesman,
who would only defer to a blog post from Bob Lord, Yahoo's chief
information security officer.

Yahoo "believes that information associated with at least 500
million user accounts was stolen and the investigation has found
no evidence that the [suspected] state-sponsored actor is
currently in Yahoo's network," Mr. Lord said in the blog post.
"Yahoo is working closely with law enforcement on this matter."

And Mr. Stewart declined to address the pending class actions that
accuse the company of failing to take "basic measures" to protect
its users' data.

"We don't comment on pending litigation," Mr. Stewart told Legal
Newsline.

There may be more to come but, right now, Yahoo is facing class
action suits filed by plaintiffs seeking to collect damages from
the company for failing to prevent the security breach and taking
so long, close to two years, to uncover it.

It the future, public companies could face stiff penalties from
the Securities and Exchange Commission for taking too long to
disclose breaches to consumer, similar to legislation proposed by
New York State Department of Financial Services, according to Bess
Hinson, an associate at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough's
privacy and information security practice group at the firm's
Columbia, South Carolina, office.

Public companies "are going to be held responsible by the SEC,"
Ms. Hinson told Legal Newsline.  "I don't think the SEC has acted
against a company for failing to disclose a cyber-security
incident, but it has brought a couple of enforcement actions
against companies for insufficient data protection."

And that's a big deal for a public company, Ms. Hinson said.  And
smaller companies aren't getting a pass either.

"For smaller companies, they're still subject to data protection
standards that may be established in their state," Ms. Hinson
said. "Or they may be required to comply with those laws if they
collect personal information from residents of those states."


* Aon to Launch Class Action Insurance Program in Australia
-----------------------------------------------------------
Chris Merritt, writing for The Australian, reports that the
growing popularity of class actions has prompted insurance company
Aon to launch a new form of insurance designed to make it easier
to bring legitimate class actions.

The new product, known as after-the-event insurance, is designed
to eliminate the risk of an adverse costs order -- one of the main
impediments faced by class action law firms and litigation
funders.

"Australia is the most likely jurisdiction outside the US in which
a corporation could face significant class action litigation,"
said Jennifer Richards, the managing director of specialties for
Aon Risk Solutions.

"That is the environment we find ourselves in and it has been that
way in Australia for a significant period of time now," she said.

Outside of the US, class actions that affected insurance cover for
company directors and officers are more common in this country
than anywhere else in the world.

Ms Richards said the new product was not intended to encourage
litigation and would only be provided after Aon's assessors
concluded that its policies would be supporting legitimate claims.

The company said it believed ATE insurance would find a ready
market in Australia "given the growth in litigation and the
market's appetite for emerging risks and innovative solutions".

"The risks and costs of fighting these cases are high.  With a
local solution now available, this provides claimants and
solicitors with an opportunity to pursue more valid cases given
they will have the protection of this insurance.  The intention of
this policy is not to encourage litigation.  The manner in which
premiums are payable provides an incentive to settle early rather
than progress deeper into trial."

Litigation specialist Damian Scattini said Aon's policy would
provide greater security for class action claimants and he
welcomed its launch.

British insurance markets have been supplying ATE insurance for
Australian clients, but Aon said its policy would be the first to
be made available by a company based in this country.

Mr. Scattini said ATE policies were a useful way of addressing the
need to post security for costs in class actions.

He had found British ATE policies to be expensive "but it is also
expensive to have to put up $2 million or $3m in a bond of bank
guarantee".  "It is expensive cover, so competition is welcome,"
said Mr. Scattini, a partner at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.
"The risk of an adverse costs order has a chilling effect on many
meritorious claims; that's just a fact."

He believed the introduction of Aon's policy might make it
possible for litigation funders to lower their rates and take a
smaller proportion of settlements or awards of damages.

Ms Richards said the company's ATE cover, while designed to
address the underlying market conditions in Australia, was
intended to help valid claims without encouraging litigation. "The
underwriting process is quite rigorous.  The claim has to have at
least a 60 per cent chance of success in order to be insurable,"
she said.


* BICE May Open Door to Investor Class Actions
----------------------------------------------
Steve Garmhausen, writing for Barron's, reports that trips and
bonuses are important incentives in the world of fixed annuity
sales -- so much so that certain institutions would submit to
stricter compliance in order to keep using them, says
InvestmentNews.

Under the forthcoming DOL fiduciary rule, brokers and insurance
agents can sell certain annuities within two sets of compliance
guidelines.  The Prohibited Transaction Exemption is thought to be
the less onerous option, largely because it provides "insulation
from class-action exposure," as InvestmentNews writes.

But some firms want to sell specific kinds of fixed annuities
under the tougher best-interest contract exemption.  BICE, as it's
called, could open the door to class-action lawsuits from
disgruntled investors.  But apparently the risk is worth it to
some: Fred Reish -- fred.reish@dbr.com -- a partner at law firm
Drinker Biddle & Reath, told InvestmentNews that some of his
clients prefer the idea of selling under BICE because it provides
the opportunity to continue using incentive compensation.

Strikingly, this comes at the same time big brokerages are making
changes to steer clear of BICE.  Merrill Lynch, for example, plans
to disallow commissions for new IRAs once the DOL rule takes
effect in April.


* Class Actions Continue to Spike Across Australia
--------------------------------------------------
Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLP, in an article for The National Law
Review, reports that it is widely accepted that there has been an
increase in the number of class actions in Australia; however
there have not been many examples of unmeritorious actions.  The
litigation funders are not in the business of losing money, and it
would be unlikely for them to be funding any claims that in their
view did not have merit.  Without funding, the cases would not get
off the ground.  Therefore, there should not be any hysteria about
the increasing number of class actions.

From a historical perspective in 2007 when the Global Financial
Crisis hit, there were a number of corporate collapses so there
may now be more financial reporting required as a result.
Therefore this may lead to more class actions because the results
of the numbers which were forecast over the last few years have
come into the actuals now.

The biggest reason why there has been growth in class actions is
that shareholders are increasingly becoming aware that class
actions are a very reasonable manner in which to address corporate
misconduct.  In the past there would not have been the knowledge
nor understanding associated with the class actions and their
roles.

As time has gone on, there is a higher level of sophistication in
the class actions such as those relating to the complex financial
products that resulted from the Global Financial Crisis and the
collapse of those products.  Class actions in Australia are more
widely recognized as a mechanism to address misleading conduct and
corporate mis-selling and related activities.

There is an increase in people willing to become involved in class
actions from the corporate side of Australia.  Substantial trusts
and super funds have become increasingly involved, whereas
traditionally class actions were led by applicants such individual
investors.

For example, the recent class actions against Lehman's and
Standards & Poors were brought by councils and super funds.
Depending on the particular corporate misconduct, some of those
institutional investors who may have previously sat behind the
others are now more interested in coming forward and being the
lead applicant themselves.

Financial Products

These class actions are highly complex as they are financial
product orientated.  In 2007, all the financial products --
billions of dollars of collateralized debt obligations or
derivatives -- came into Australia.  When the financial markets
crashed, there were a number of defaults and the investors lost
all their capital.

The class actions have been brought in relation to those financial
products against the issuers, raters and the arrangers. There are
also a number of matters in the managed investment scheme space --
for example the collapse of Equititrust, LM, City Pacific -- all
the major funds that collapsed in Queensland and had investors
from Australia and internationally who lost billions of dollars.

Since about 2003, class actions have been arising in the
insolvency space.  The class action against Lehman's was a class
action in the liquidation and went through to judgment and
included all the claims resolution processes and distributions.  A
further class action against Standard & Poors was settled.

Challenging nature of class actions
The court is taking a greater role in the management of these
cases so they don't drag on and they're dealt with as efficiently
and quickly as possible.  That is in everyone's interest.  People
who have lost their money want their money back.  The funders, of
course, want their money and the court wants to deal with the case
in an efficient manner.


* DOL's Fiduciary Rule Pushes "Business Form of Skydiving"
----------------------------------------------------------
Greg Iacurci, writing for Investment News, reports that the
possibility of death always confronts skydiving thrill-seekers.
Even with the most extreme degrees of caution -- having top-notch
equipment, ensuring for good weather -- jumping out of a plane
carries a certain level of risk.

The Labor Department's fiduciary rule is similar, in that the
specter of litigation lurks no matter the compliance caution taken
by brokerages and other financial institutions, a panel of
attorneys said on Oct. 20 in a presentation on legal risk posed by
the regulation.

And it's a matter of when, not if, that litigation occurs, they
stressed.

The Department of Labor has "promoted a business form of
skydiving," Lawrence Cagney, partner and chair of the executive
compensation and employee benefits group at Debevoise & Plimpton,
told an audience at the law firm's New York City headquarters.

Given the risks involved it would be careless not to be as
cautious as possible in compliance with the rule, which raises
investment advice standards in retirement accounts, but "once you
jump out of the plane, we don't know what's going to happen,"
Mr. Cagney said.

He and other attorneys focused on a particular element of the
regulation known as the best-interest contract exemption (BICE),
which allows brokers to receive variable forms of compensation
such as commissions for their advice as long as certain conditions
are met.

It is a broad exemption that represents the cornerstone of the DOL
rule, but many view its provisions as particularly onerous, with
the threat of class-action lawsuits from IRA investors as the most
daunting obstacle.

Not only is there a litigation threat, but the burden of proving
compliance with the provisions of the BICE and its best-interest
standard of care falls to the institution claiming the exemption -
- in other words, the broker-dealer or other financial
institution, not the class of investors bringing suit, according
to the panel.

It "seems like an impossible test" for an institution to prove it
didn't make an investment recommendation with regard to its
financial interest when such a recommendation carries an inherent
financial interest, Mr. Cagney said.

Due to the "numerosity, commonality and typicality requirements"
to bring class-action litigation, such lawsuits are likely to
target systemic violations of the rule's impartial conduct
standards and disclosure requirements, according to the panel.

While defense attorneys can potentially pose a strong argument
over individuality, and whether particular claims are actually
relevant to an entire class of investors, higher-level decisions
and guidance at the institution level can lay the groundwork for
plaintiffs' attorneys to bring a class action, according to Maeve
O'Connor, a litigation partner at Debevoise & Plimpton.

One example would be a challenge to an institution's notion of
"reasonable compensation," because compensation practices are
likely consistent across a broad group of its clients, attorneys
said.

And necessary disclosures under BICE can serve as a publicly
available road map for the plaintiff's bar.  Financial
institutions should prepare any written record "expecting that
record to show up in court," Mr. Cagney said.

Reliable precedent may also not be available for several years as
cases work their way through the court system, attorneys said.
Further, if cases settle, they won't generate reliable precedent
for the industry, they said.


* Top In-House Lawyers Strategize Against Class Actions
-------------------------------------------------------
Richard Binder, writing for Law.com, reports that an annual
meeting of top in-house lawyers for some of the world's most
powerful banks focused on class action attorneys looking for
billion-dollar payouts over alleged market manipulations.  The
takeaway? Hang together and don't settle so quickly, or so sources
told Bloomberg.

The meeting took place in May at the Trianon Palace Versailles,
although locations vary from year to year.  Robert Mundheim, once
a general counsel for the U.S. Department of Treasury and now with
Shearman & Sterling, spearheaded the meetings which have been held
now for nearly two decades, according to a source. That source
also told Bloomberg that Mr. Mundheim decides which bank attorneys
can attend.

Citigroup Inc.'s general counsel, Rohan Weerasinghe, decided to
settle a class action over credit-default swaps for $60 million in
the summer of 2015.  Other banks followed suit, with JPMorgan
Chase & Co. settling last for $595 million.  According to
Bloomberg, class-action lawyers have hit upon a strategy wherein
they reach a settlement with one bank and then put pressure on the
others.  This splinters the alliances banks form in class actions,
because they know that the last one to settle will probably end up
paying the most.  Citigroup's decision to settle inspired the
meeting's subject matter, and although
Mr. Weerasinghe was in attendance no one criticized him directly,
sources told Bloomberg.

The existence of this meeting had not previously been reported,
and Mundheim and Weerasinghe declined to comment for Bloomberg's
article.



                            *********

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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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Christopher G. Patalinghug, and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2016. All rights reserved. ISSN 1525-2272.

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