/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/161213.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Tuesday, December 13, 2016, Vol. 18, No. 248


ASA COLLEGE: Faces "Artis" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime
AT&T: Smith County Accepts Settlement Over Facility Repairs
BAHAMAS: Class Action Mulled Over Crown Land Allocation Process
BARD CANADA: Quebec Courts Streamline Multijurisdictional Suits
BARNES & NOBLE: Averts 2012 Data Breach Class Action

BARRETT BUSINESS: February 22 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
BLIZZARD: Players Mull Class Action Over Aimbot Programs
CABLEVISION SYSTEMS: Underpaid Worker Files Class Action
CALTEX: Faces Class Action Over Alleged Exploitation of Workers
CANADA: Council Gets Details on Cryptosporidium Settlement

CANADA: MST Peer Support Group Files Class Action Against CAF
CANADA: Seeks Dismissal of Sixties Scoop Class Action
CANDELA CORP: Falsely Marketed Ultra Shape System, Suit Claims
CHURCH & DWIGHT: Sued in N.Y. Over Homeopathic Teething Products
COMSCORE INC: Pomerantz Investigates Potential Securities Claims

CURRICULUM LOFT: Settles KUNO Breach of Contract Class Action
DES MOINES, IA: Residents Receive Franchise Fee Refunds
DOLE FOODS: Sugar Suit More Policy Oriented, Prof Says
EL AL: Faces NIS50MM Class Action Amid Unresolved Pilot Crisis
FEDERAL SIGNAL: Purcell Julie Investigates Fiduciary Breach Claim

GEICO: Seeks Extension of Class Action Discovery Deadline
GOPRO INC: Faces Securities Class Action Over Drone Claims
HEALTHSOURCE GLOBAL: Wants Wage-and-Hour Class Action Stayed
INDONESIA: Jakarta Court Tosses Leuser Rainforest Class Action
KENTUCKY: Public School Teachers to Sue Over Underfunding

KLEINER PERKINS: Sued in Chicago Over Failed Electric Car Venture
LOCHLAND COUNTRY: "Steier" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Wages
MAJOR LEAGUE: Minor-League Players' Wage Cass Action Ongoing
MALAYSIA AIRLINES: Wants to Bar MH17 Victims' Overseas Relatives
MCM CAPITAL: Sued Over Illegal Acquisition & Foreclosure Policies

MERCK: Faces Class Action in Montreal Over Olmetec Drug
MERRILL LYNCH: Ex-Financial Advisors Detail Int'l Restrictions
MORTON COUNTY, ND: Sued Over Use of Excessive Force at Protest
MORTON COUNTY, ND: Sheriff Responds to DAPL Protest Class Action
NATIONAL MILK: Settles Milk Price-Fixing Class Action

NEWBRIDGE BANCORP: Court Cuts Attorney Fees in Shareholder Case
NORDIC NATURALS: Court Denies Hoffman's Petition to Rehear Case
NOVA SCOTIA: Up to 300 Ex-Africville Residents May Join Suit
NOVA SCOTIA: Halifax Seeks Dismissal of Africville Class Action
OREGON: DHS Settles Foster Care Housing Class Action

PGT TRUCKING: Fails to Pay Employees Overtime, "Burton" Suit Says
PIZZA LOCA: Does Not Properly Pay Workers, "Villasenor" Suit Says
PNC BANK: Class Action Settlement Obtains Final Court Approval
SAC CAPITAL: Settles Insider Trading Class Action for $135MM
SAN DIEGO, CA: Faces Class Action Over Hotel-Room Fee

SANIMAX: Settles Class Action Over Plant Odors, Jan. 6 Hearing
SIRIUSXM: Settles Class Action Over Pre-1972 Recordings
SOUTHERN XPOSURE: Raleigh Man Sues Over Wage Law Violations
SP AUSNET: Black Saturday Fire Victims Question Tax Bills
ST. PAUL, MN: Trial Canceled in Right-of-Way Assessments Case

SWEETGREEN: Blind Customers File ADA Violations Class Action
TEAM HEALTH: Faces "Klein" Suit Over Proposed Blackstone Merger
TEXAS: Foster Care Class Action Defense Costs Reach $7 Million
THERANOS: Hagens Berman Files Third Investors' Class Action
TOSHIBA: Suspension Recommended for Class Action Lawyer

TRUMP UNIVERSITY: Plaintiffs Lawyers Say Settlement Unprecedented
TRXADE GROUP: January 17 Fax Ads Claims Filing Deadline Set
TYSON FOODS: Robbins Geller Files Securities Class Action
VIVENDI: Successfully Rebutted Fraud-on-the Market Presumption
UNITED STATES: Supreme Court Hears Jennings Immigration Case

UNITED STATES: Obama Claims Immunity From FAA Class Action
WEBER DISTRIBUTION: Sued Over Failure to Properly Pay Employees
WELLS FARGO: TCPA Class Action Attorneys Seek $9MM in Fees
YAHOO! INC: Data Breach Class Action in Canada Moving Slowly
ZILLOW GROUP: Settles Class Action Over Labor Violations for $6MM

ZIONS BANK: $37.5MM Telemarketing Settlement Gets Final Court OK

* 3rd Party Litigation Has Wider Impact on Commercial Litigators
* Trend Favoring Arbitration Expected Under Trump Administration
* Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements in Gray Zone
* DMV Violates Drivers' Privacy Protection Act, Lawyer Says


ASA COLLEGE: Faces "Artis" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime
Larry Artis, Individually, and on behalf of all others similarly-
situated v. ASA College, Inc. and ASA Institute of Business and
Computer Technology, Inc., Case No. 521475/2016 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.,
December 3, 2016), is brought against the Defendants for failure
to pay overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards

The Defendants own and operate an academic college with three or
more locations in New York.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Abdul K. Hassan, Esq.
      215-28 Hillside Avenue
      Queens Village, NY 11427
      Telephone: (718) 740-1000
      Facsimile: (718) 740-2000
      E-mail: abdul@abdulhassan.com

AT&T: Smith County Accepts Settlement Over Facility Repairs
Faith Harper, writing for Tyler Morning Telegraph, reports that
Smith County will accept a settlement from AT&T in a class action
lawsuit for overcharging repair bills.

The lawsuit against the telecommunications provider was filed in a
Florida court by three contractors, who each damaged underground
or above ground infrastructure facilities and were given a bill to
repair the damage.

The companies allege, and a court agreed, that AT&T overcharged
those companies and others for repairs to damaged facilities.

On Nov. 29, the Smith County Commissioners Court unanimously
approved signing paperwork to accept a settlement of $500 from the
class action lawsuit.

AT&T self-identified Smith County as a party in the suit.

"(AT&T) identified who the members are and sent out a notice that
allows participants to opt into the class action lawsuit," County
Judge Nathaniel Moran said, adding the notice outlined what the
county would get in the suit.

If the county opted out, it would be able to pursue a claim
against the company individually, but it the damages would likely
be less than the cost of litigation.

Judge Moran said the funds would go into the county's reserve
funds.  Commissioners would need to approve a budget amendment to
put the funds into the General Fund, and it's not worth the hassle
for $500.

BAHAMAS: Class Action Mulled Over Crown Land Allocation Process
Neil Hartnell, writing for Tribune 242, reports that a newly-
formed non-governmental organisation is seeking to compile a
database of shunned Crown Land applicants as the basis for yet
another Judicial Review legal action against the Government.

Fred Smith QC, the Callenders & Co attorney and partner, told
Tribune Business that Crown Land for Bahamians was looking to
develop a "non-political" class action-type action that would
challenge the Government's failure to respond to thousands of

He added that the NGO, established last year, had been receiving
as many as 400-500 hits a day on its website and Facebook page
from disgruntled Bahamians who had either been turned down -- or
not even received a response -- to their Crown Land applications.

Mr. Smith said some 200 persons had already completed a
registration form on the website, detailing the status and fate of
their applications for what he described as "the foundation of
economic development in the Bahamas".

The need to reform the Crown Land allocation process, and to make
it more transparent in particular, was acknowledged by Prime
Minister Perry Christie in his efforts to appease the organisers
of the 'We March' protest.

However, Mr. Smith told Tribune Business that this was too little,
too late as far as many Bahamians were concerned, and without any
sign of concrete action and reform was to be treated as more talk
and empty promises.

"This is the same old, same old," he said.  "On the eve of another
election, the Prime Minister is promising what should have been
done decades and decades ago by both political parties."

Mr. Smith said Crown Land was held on trust for the benefit of all
Bahamians, meaning that the minister responsible -- the Prime
Minister/Minister of Finance -- had a fiduciary duty to the whole
population in how this asset was used and managed.

"Simple law of trust means that it is not to be held to his
political benefit or to dispense political favours to stay in
power," he added.

"There should be a process of complete transparency, a process of
registering applicants, that is not dependent on political
favouritism, cronyism and corruption."

Mr. Smith told Tribune Business that Crown Land for Bahamians had
been established to confront these issues, and its website and
Facebook page had been "getting hundreds of hits a day -- up to
400-500 hits in one day".

He added: "It's received thousands of likes and shares, and 200
people have registered to give the position of their applications.

#"Registration forms are on the site, on which people have
documented what applications have been made, the land involved,
when it was made, if they've received a response, and if they're
Bahamian or foreign.

"We hope this registry can form the basis of a class action
against the Minister of Finance responsible for Crown Lands under
any government," Mr. Smith continued.

"This is nothing to do with the PLP or FNM.  It will be a class
action by way of Judicial Review, challenging the methods and
failure to respond to Crown Land applicants.  As Bahamians we have
a right to our Crown Land; it does not belong to the politicians,
PLP or FNM."

Crown Land is a key tool for empowering Bahamians and increasing
their ownership of economic development, but its allocation has
frequently been mired in controversy.

Tex Turnquest, the former director of lands and surveys, was
forced to resign from his post by ex-Prime Minister Hubert
Ingraham when it was revealed that five parcels of Crown Land in
Forbes Hill, Exuma, had been granted to his friends and family.
Shortly after being granted, they were 'flipped' to foreign buyers
for significant profits.

Tribune Business also previously revealed how the first Christie
administration granted well-known Bahamian contractor and PLP
supporter, Edward Penn, some 7.366 acres of prime commercial land
on Gladstone Road for $221,000 in 2006.  Yet the same property was
turned into mortgage security for a $7 million loan within three

Crown Land was also at the centre of the recent controversy that
erupted over the $2.1 billion Chinese agriculture/fisheries
proposal, which suggested that up to 20,000 acres in Andros could
be granted to the 100 companies involved.

Mr. Ingraham, when in office in 2009, admitted that the awarding
of Crown Land had been plagued by "irregularities, misapplication
of policies and incidences of preferential treatment for family,
friends and social acquaintances".

He also placed the importance of Crown Land in context, noting
that of the 3.45 million acres of available land in the Bahamas,
around 2.5 million acres -- some 72.5 per cent -- belongs to the
Crown Land.

Of that latter figure, some 900,000 acres is wetland, leaving 1.6
million acres of dry Crown Land.

Prime Minister Perry Christie, too, admitted that there was "an
urgent need" to resolve land-related issues.

"My government recognises that land for Bahamians is essential for
economic development and social progress, and that there is an
urgent need to resolve land issues in the country," the Prime
Minister wrote to the 'We March' organisers.

He said the National Development Plan, which is being crafted with
input from the private sector and civil society, had made
recommendations on how to resolve land ownership disputes,
particularly those impacting commonage or generational properties.

"It also makes recommendations for improving the allocation of
Crown Land to deserving Bahamians who have a serious and viable
plan for putting the land to productive use," Mr. Christie said.
"We also need to improve the transparency of all Crown Land
matters, and we are determined to do so."

Mr. Smith, meanwhile, described Crown Land as the Bahamas' "raw
material" for economic and social development, pointing out that
its importance was highlighted by the eagerness of foreign
developers to access it.

"The litmus test for how important Crown Land is, is reflected in
the fact that every foreign developer that comes here seeks out
and obtains thousands of acres of Crown Land at a time," he told
Tribune Business.

"It is obvious that Crown Land is at the epicentre of
opportunities for growth and development in the Bahamas. But the
Bahamian public is asking why is it that only foreigners get Crown
Land at drastic discounts, such as #$1 a beach acre at Guana Cay.

"Land is the foundation of economic development in any nation such
as the Bahamas.  We don't have raw materials.  This is our raw

Land, Mr. Smith explained, formed the bedrock for all forms of
real estate and economic development, including tourism,
commercial, industrial and residential usage.

He added that a transparent process for awarding Crown Land,
coupled with an efficient, non-partisan financing mechanism, would
enable Bahamians to "do many of these developments you see
foreigners doing" or at least pave the way for their participation
in joint ventures.

BARD CANADA: Quebec Courts Streamline Multijurisdictional Suits
Christopher Naudie, Esq., Sylvain Lussier Ad., Esq., and E.
Jessica Harding, Esq., of Osler, report that as a result of
Canada's federal system, it is common for a defendant to face
multiple class proceedings filed in various provinces in respect
of a public incident.  These proceedings often allege identical
violations and seek similar remedies against the same defendants
in numerous jurisdictions, and sometimes assert overlapping
classes.  In the past, courts had been reluctant to stay in their
own province in the face of parallel proceedings in other
provinces, out of concern of delaying or prejudicing the claims of
their own residents.  But in a number of recent decisions in
Quebec, the Quebec courts have indicated that subject to the right
terms and undertakings, they may be prepared to stay a class
action in Quebec that is limited to Quebec residents pending the
outcome of certification of a national class in another province.

Rights and interests of Quebec residents
On January 1, 2016, a new Code of Civil Procedure ("CCP") came
into force in Quebec.  It incorporates Article 577 CCP which
provides that when a court considers a motion to stay a pending
action, it "is required to have regard for the protection of the
rights and interests of Quebec residents". It must be read in
conjunction with Article 18 CCP, reiterating the guiding principle
of proportionality.

Recent decisions have provided a well-awaited interpretation to
the "protection of the rights and interests of Quebec residents"
set forth in Article 577 CCP.  Although Article 577 CCP had been
applied previously in Conseil pour la protection des malades v.
Biomet Canada Inc. a class action regarding a product liability
claim relating to a hip implant, it is only more recently that the
Courts have provided guidance as to its interpretation.

Stay of parallel class proceedings
In Boehmer v. Bard Canada Inc., Justice Pierre-C. Gagnon, J.S.C.
considered a request to stay a Quebec class action, one of three
class proceedings regarding a product liability claim relating to
a cardiovascular filter product.  Parallel proceedings had also
been brought in Ontario and in British Columbia, and the proposed
class action in Ontario involved a national class.  In the face of
overlapping classes (the proposed class in Ontario sought to
include Quebec residents that were already covered by the Quebec
class action), Justice Gagnon was prepared to grant a stay.  He
held that the rights and interests of Quebec residents would be
protected when i) the rights and interests of Quebec members would
be similarly treated if adjudicated in the parallel jurisdiction;
ii) Quebec residents will benefit from judicial economy and both
time and efforts of counsel will be limited to one jurisdiction;
iii) Quebec residents will not suffer any prejudice as the Quebec
proceedings are only stayed and not dismissed; iv) should the
applicant seek to discontinue the Quebec proceedings, Quebec
courts will have the authority to refuse said discontinuance, if

On November 11, 2016, in Saumur v. Avid Life Media Inc., Justice
Danielle Turcotte, J.S.C. also accepted to stay a Quebec class
action until a final judgment is rendered on the certification of
the class proceedings brought before the Ontario Superior Court.
In this case, proceedings were brought before both the Quebec and
Ontario jurisdictions relating to the same cause of action and
identical material facts, that is the disclosure the personal
information of Ashley Madison accountholders.

Although Justice Turcotte did not expressly rely on Article 577
CCP, she did apply the above criteria and concluded that to
suspend the class action was in the interest of justice and of the
Quebec members.

In the current Canadian class action landscape of parallel
proceedings brought in various jurisdictions, it is expected that
Article 577 CCP will bring well-awaited guidance to Quebec courts
to stay class actions in keeping with the principles of
proportionality and judicial economy -- and will provide a welcome
relief to defendants who face pending and overlapping class
actions in multiple provinces.

BARNES & NOBLE: Averts 2012 Data Breach Class Action
Shea Gordon Leitch, Esq. -- sgleitch@orrick.com -- Antony Kim,
Esq. -- akim@orrick.com -- and Aravind Swaminathan, Esq., of
Orrick, in an article for JDSupra, report that it was about time
for data breach defendants to get a win. The District Court for
the Northern District of Illinois delivered one to Barnes & Noble
in its long-running class action that stems from a breach suffered
in 2012.  Plaintiffs' case was dismissed in its entirety on a
motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6).  This development -- just
days after the Sixth Circuit in Nationwide had aligned itself with
the Seventh Circuit's Neiman Marcus and P.F. Chang's decisions
that found standing to sue for breach plaintiffs -- shows that the
legal battle over "harm" may start with standing, but goes nowhere
absent alleged damages that tightly match the substantive elements
of each claim.


In 2012, criminals tampered with "PIN pad terminals" at
approximately 63 Barnes & Noble stores located in nine states and
allegedly stole payment card information for hundreds of thousands
of customers.  Barnes & Noble notified affected individuals
approximately six weeks after discovering the incident.  Class
plaintiffs sued, alleging claims under Illinois and California law
for breach of (implied) contract, the Illinois deceptive practices
statute, invasion of privacy, violation of statutory data breach
notification rules, and unfair competition.

Class plaintiffs amended their complaint after an initial
dismissal for lack of standing.  The key, updated allegations were
as follows: (a) Barnes & Noble had access to the stolen payment
card data, (b) the criminal hacker had disclosed the stolen
information, (c) the breach caused plaintiffs to incur reasonably
foreseeable costs to address identity theft, (d) one plaintiff who
was already a subscriber to identity theft protection services had
continued to spend money on identity theft protection services
after learning of the breach, and (e) plaintiffs overpaid for
their book purchases because they were denied the privacy
protections that Barnes & Noble promised, but did not provide.
Barnes & Noble moved (again) to dismiss for lack of standing under
Rule 12(b)(1) and for failure to state a claim under Rule



Citing the Seventh Circuit's decisions in Neiman Marcus and P.F.
Chang's, the District Court held that plaintiffs had established
standing to sue.  Specifically, plaintiffs sufficiently alleged
"injury in fact."  The hackers tampered with the PIN pads to steal
customer PII; plaintiffs used their cards at the affected Barnes &
Noble stores; the hackers made unauthorized charges on the stolen
cards; and plaintiffs devoted time and money to prevent identity
theft.  Collectively, these allegations demonstrated that the
plaintiffs incurred cognizable injuries for standing purpose when
they took steps to protect themselves from a "substantial risk" of
fraudulent charges.

Failure to State a Claim

While plaintiffs won the battle on standing, they lost the case
when the court turned to consider Barnes & Noble's motion under
Rule 12(b)(6).  In short, even though the harms alleged met the
standing requirement, none of the plaintiffs' alleged harms were
cognizable under the various asserted legal theories.

Specifically, the plaintiffs failed to plead "any economic or out-
of-pocket damages that were caused by the breach."  For example,
as to the breach of contract claims, the court found no precedent
for the theory that an overpayment for goods at Barnes & Noble, or
an alleged loss of value in one's personal information, is
recoverable in a contract action.  And no court has upheld
compensation for "anxiety" in the context of a breach of contract
claim.  Similarly, the Illinois deceptive practices claim failed
because there are no "actual damages" available under the statute
for either (a) fraudulent charges (because banks reimburse them),
or (b) an increased risk of future identity theft (because both
are not "present harm in and of themselves").  The court also
rejected plaintiffs' argument that the purchase of identity theft
protection services was sufficient to confer standing.  Though the
court seemed to acknowledge that such out-of-pocket expenses could
potentially constitute damages sufficient to confer standing, the
court noted that the named plaintiff had purchased the identity
theft protection services before the breach.  Thus, these expenses
could not be causally attributed to the breach.  Finally, on the
claim that Barnes & Noble did not notify individuals "in the most
expedient time possible," the court held that the six-week delay
in notifying individuals was "insufficiently prompt" under
California law, but still dismissed the claim because there was no
allegation that the plaintiffs were harmed because of the delay in

What Does this Mean?

This decision, along with the Third Circuit's recent refusal to
review the dismissal of a negligence claim in a data breach action
(also under the economic loss doctrine), offers defendants more
than a silver lining in an otherwise down year.  As the Barnes &
Noble decision makes clear, the harm that satisfies standing does
not "double" for the actual-injury requirement embedded in the
substantive claims that plaintiffs typically assert.  This means
that while some post-breach actions (e.g., offering credit
monitoring) may create challenges to defeating class action
litigation on standing grounds, they may not negatively impact the
ability to obtain early dismissal on more substantive grounds.  In
other words, standing does not present the final battleground for
data breach plaintiffs.

However, the decision does present one very concerning
development.  The timing requirements for notification in most
states are fairly flexible -- from "as soon as practicable" to
"the most expedient time possible, without unreasonable delay."
Although many states provide for an upper limit deadline on when
notification must be made, most of these states also allow for
some flexibility in the timing for organizations to determine the
scope of the breach.  Here, the Court held at the pleading stage
that the "nearly six weeks" it took Barnes & Noble to provide the
required notice was insufficiently prompt to satisfy the "most
expedient time possible" standard under California law.  This
signals that courts may not appreciate how long a forensic
investigation takes, or that they consider six weeks the upper
bounds on what is reasonable for notification to be made.  That
said, organizations should not rush to notify; that creates its
own potential issues.  What it does mean is that organizations
should focus on preparation efforts, such as creating an incident
response plan and conducting simulations regularly, so that when
an incident hits, their response is as efficient as possible.

BARRETT BUSINESS: February 22 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
The following statement is being issued by Bernstein Litowitz
Berger & Grossmann LLP regarding the Barrett Business Services
Securities Class Action Settlement.



This Document Relates To: ALL ACTIONS.




TO: All persons and entities who, during the period between
February 12, 2013, and March 9, 2016, inclusive, purchased or
otherwise acquired the common stock of Barrett Business Services,
Inc. ("Barrett"), and were damaged thereby (the "Settlement


YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED, pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure and an Order of the United States District
Court for the Western District of Washington, that the above-
captioned litigation (the "Action") has been certified as a class
action on behalf of the Settlement Class, except for certain
persons and entities who are excluded from the Settlement Class by
definition as set forth in the full printed Notice of (I) Pendency
of Class Action, Certification of Settlement Class, and Proposed
Settlement; (II) Settlement Fairness Hearing; and (III) Motion for
an Award of Attorneys' Fees and Reimbursement of Litigation
Expenses (the "Notice").

YOU ARE ALSO NOTIFIED that Plaintiffs in the Action have reached a
proposed settlement of the Action for $12,000,000 in cash (the
"Settlement"), that, if approved, will resolve all claims in the

A hearing will be held on February 22, 2017, at 1:30 p.m., before
the Honorable Benjamin H. Settle at the United States District
Court for the Western District of Washington at Tacoma, United
States Courthouse, 1717 Pacific Avenue, Courtroom E, Tacoma, WA
98402-3200, to determine (i) whether the proposed Settlement
should be approved as fair, reasonable, and adequate; (ii) whether
the Action should be dismissed with prejudice against Defendants,
and the Releases specified and described in the Stipulation and
Agreement of Settlement (and in the Notice) should be granted;
(iii) whether the proposed Plan of Allocation should be approved
as fair and reasonable; and (iv) whether Lead Counsel's
application for an award of attorneys' fees and reimbursement of
expenses should be approved.

If you are a member of the Settlement Class, your rights will be
affected by the pending Action and the Settlement, and you may be
entitled to share in the Settlement Fund.  If you have not yet
received the Notice and Claim Form, you may obtain copies of these
documents by contacting the Claims Administrator at In re Barrett
Business Services Securities Litigation, c/o Garden City Group
LLC, P.O. Box 35133, Seattle, WA 98124-5133, 1-866-224-5076.
Copies of the Notice and Claim Form can also be downloaded from
the website maintained by the Claims Administrator,

If you are a member of the Settlement Class, in order to be
potentially eligible to receive a payment under the proposed
Settlement, you must submit a Claim Form postmarked no later than
March 21, 2017.  If you are a Settlement Class Member and do not
submit a proper Claim Form, you will not be eligible to share in
the distribution of the net proceeds of the Settlement but you
will nevertheless be bound by any judgments or orders entered by
the Court in the Action.

If you are a member of the Settlement Class and wish to exclude
yourself from the Settlement Class, you must submit a request for
exclusion such that it is received no later than February 1, 2017,
in accordance with the instructions set forth in the Notice.  If
you properly exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you will
not be bound by any judgments or orders entered by the Court in
the Action and you will not be eligible to share in the proceeds
of the Settlement.

Any objections to the proposed Settlement, the proposed Plan of
Allocation, or Lead Counsel's motion for attorneys' fees and
reimbursement of expenses, must be filed with the Court and
delivered to Lead Counsel and Defendants' Counsel such that they
are received no later than February 1, 2017, in accordance with
the instructions set forth in the Notice.

Please do not contact the Court, the Clerk's office, Barrett, or
its counsel regarding this notice.  All questions about this
notice, the proposed Settlement, or your eligibility to
participate in the Settlement should be directed to Lead Counsel
or the Claims Administrator.

Inquiries, other than requests for the Notice and Claim Form,
should be made to Lead Counsel:

Timothy A. DeLange, Esq.
Niki L. Mendoza, Esq.
12481 High Bluff Drive, Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92130
(866) 648-2524

Requests for the Notice and Claim Form should be made to:

In re Barrett Business Services Securities Litigation
c/o Garden City Group LLC
P.O. Box 35133
Seattle, WA 98124-5133
(866) 224-5076

By Order of the Court

BLIZZARD: Players Mull Class Action Over Aimbot Programs
Dustin Steiner, writing for PVPLive, reports that with the new
patch on the PTR, has also come a new set of tools for Blizzard to
catch hackers.  This has caught out a major wave of hackers
utilizing aimbot programs such as Highnoon and Overjoint.

A post on the official forums contains dozens of players
complaining about the ban, even if they only tested it once.  The
salt has been delicious to behold.

"I literally ran the hack one time," one user said.  "People told
me that the hack is undetected."

"I'm going to sue Blizzard," another said angrily upon learning
about their ban, saying that he would start a class action
lawsuit. Something tells us that's not going to go very well.

Highnoon contained an aimbot, the ability to disable recoil, and a
script for bunnyhopping your way around the map. Users of this
hack claim they were banned as soon as a day after.

The jury's out on exactly how these hackers are being detected,
but it's good to know that they can't escape from Blizzard's
sights.  This isn't the first wave of bans to hit Overwatch,
either, so Blizzard is keeping ever vigilant.

CABLEVISION SYSTEMS: Underpaid Worker Files Class Action
Carrie Mason-Draffen, writing for Newsday, reports that
Cablevision Systems Corp. and Altice USA, the American unit of the
Netherlands company that bought the Bethpage cable operator in
June, are charged in a suit seeking class action status with
underpaying an employee over a four-year period.

Phyllis Carter, an hourly customer-service employee in Bethpage,
contends in the suit filed in U.S. District Court in Central Islip
that she was underpaid.

CALTEX: Faces Class Action Over Alleged Exploitation of Workers
Sarah Danckert, writing for The Sydney Morning Herald, reports
that oil giant Caltex is facing a potential class action after
revelations of widespread exploitation of workers over a number of

ACA Lawyers and California-based barrister Julian Hammond are
investigating two potential class actions against the ASX listed
group -- one brought on behalf of workers, the other brought on
behalf of franchisees.

Fairfax Media recently revealed Fair Work Ombudsman was
investigating the systemic underpayment and exploitation of
workers within Caltex's network of more than 1800 service stations
around Australia.

The media investigation also revealed that Caltex's business model
is potentially unfair to franchisees who often own stores that
make little profit.

The ACA investigation will seek to determine whether a class
action against Caltex should be begun to recover unpaid wages and
employee entitlements.

ACA principal Steven Lewis, who is the former head of Slater &
Gordon's corporate law practice in NSW, said that while the
investigation is in its early stages, his firm was calling on
current and former workers of Caltex and Caltex franchisees to
come forward.

"Caltex is a giant international business which has been accused
of paying night shift workers in its services stations as little
as $13 an hour, less than half the legal rate," Mr Lewis said.

"All workers, regardless of where they work, have the right to be
paid in accordance with the law and to work in a safe workplace,"
Mr Lewis said.

"From what we are hearing this is not happening for many Caltex

A spokesman for Caltex said the company was not going to speculate
on potential legal tactics of others.

The spokesman added the company was focused on investigating
alleged franchisee underpayment of workers.

"Where there is workplace non-compliance, sanctions will be
applied and may include termination," the spokesman said.

"There is no excuse for not operating within the law and anyone
who thinks otherwise will not be in business with Caltex
Australia," the spokesman said.

Caltex has recently doubled the number of stores it was
investigating for wage fraud to 50 sites, including 27 stores
linked to the Rana family.

To date, five franchise agreements covering 13 sites have been
terminated, according to Caltex, though the company declined to
comment on any specific franchisee.

"We took this action [of terminating franchisees] because it's
unacceptable for any franchisee to underpay their people.  It is
unacceptable to me personally and to Caltex as an organisation,"
Caltex chief executive Julian Segal said.

Caltex's alleged wage issues within its franchisee network has led
to speculation that it might look to offload its petrol station
network.  The spokesman for Caltex declined on comment on "market
rumours or speculation".

"Caltex will continue to invest in our supply chain -- including
our retail network and infrastructure -- and seek growth
opportunities within our core fuels business," the spokesman said.

CANADA: Council Gets Details on Cryptosporidium Settlement
John Cairns, writing for Battlefords News-Optimist, reports that
city council received details on Nov. 28 about the recent
settlement to ongoing litigation on the cryptosporidium outbreak
of 2001.

Thousands of local residents were sickened after they consumed the
cryptosporidium-contaminated drinking water in North Battleford
that year.

What followed was a commission of inquiry into the matter as well
as class action lawsuits from sickened plaintiffs.

At council on Nov. 28, City Manager Jim Puffalt outlined the
details of the latest settlement.  He noted the impact of the
outbreak was mainly on the elderly, the young and those with
compromised immune systems.

But this class action settlement covers only one class of
individuals -- young people under the age of 18 who consumed the
contaminated water.  They were defined under the settlement as the
"infant class."

This most recent settlement was signed in late September and
conditional approval was granted in October.  A copy of the
settlement agreement between the plaintiffs and the City, Province
and Saskatchewan Water Corporation was provided to council, along
with various other documents.

According to terms of the agreement, the agreement settles the
action and releases the defendants with respect to this particular

A settlement fund in the amount of $3,300,000 has been set up as
part of that agreement.

There was provision for claimants to opt out of the agreement and
a deadline of 42 days following the notice of settlement approval
and certification to file those forms.  All class members who do
not opt out are bound by the agreement, according to the
settlement terms.

According to the notice of certification and settlement approval,
those who wish to opt out must complete an opt-out form and mail
it to the administrator, and it must be received or post-marked on
or before Jan. 17, 2017.

Also included in the package to councillors was the letter of
agreement between the Sask. Ministry of Environment, the City and
the Bruneau Group, an Ottawa law firm that specializes in
administering settlements.  That firm will be the one
administering claims applications and payments in this case.

There was also a notice of a certification hearing and proposed
settlement, with the approval hearing scheduled for 10 a.m. Dec. 1
in the Court of Queen's Bench, Saskatoon.

This class action had been ongoing for years.  The law firm of
Cuelenaere Kendall Katzman and Watson LLP had been handling the
case for the plaintiffs, while Stevenson Hood Thornton Beaubier
LLP (representing the City of North Battleford) and the Ministry
of Justice (representing the Saskatchewan government and the
Saskatchewan Water Corporation) acted as defendants' counsel in
the case.

Mr. Puffalt told council this case had been around so long the
original lawyer working on the file had retired. He had inquired
with the firm to find out if there were any other claims out

While they didn't think so, Mr. Puffalt said, he noted he hasn't
received a firm or complete answer to that.

In updating counsel, Mr. Puffalt also pointed to the Report of the
Commission of Inquiry into the incident, dated March 28, 2002,
which he said "certainly describes very accurately what happened
at that time."

CANADA: MST Peer Support Group Files Class Action Against CAF
CTVNews.ca reports that members of a support group for military
sexual assault survivors are launching a class-action lawsuit
against the Canadian Armed Forces.

Several members of the military sexual trauma (MST) peer-support
group, called "It's Just 700," filed a notice of action in Ontario
Superior Court on Nov. 28.  In court documents, the group alleges
that the military systemically failed to prevent sexual assault
and sexual harassment and protect its members.

The group also alleges that the military discouraged victims from
reporting incidents, failed to investigate ones that were reported
and retaliated against armed forces members who did come forward.

The notice of action was filed on the same day that Statistics
Canada released a survey which found that sexual assault was more
likely to occur in the Canadian military than in the general

The law firm representing the group's plaintiffs, Raven Law, wrote
on its website that the group decided to initiate legal
proceedings "in an effort to change a system that condones sexual
misconduct and punishes victims instead of perpetrators."
A Department of National Defence spokesperson says that the
military is looking into the matter.

"Once served, the Government will study the Statement of Claim in
detail to determine next steps," according to the statement
emailed to CTV News on Nov. 23.

It's Just 700 was created in March 2015 and currently has 106
members, including nine men.

In a news release issued on Nov. 29, the group took issue with the
Statistics Canada survey, which found that 1.7 per cent of regular
force members and 2.6 per cent of reservists, or part-time
members, said they were sexually assaulted in the last year.
The group said the rates of sexual misconduct should be much
higher because "key military groups," such as members who were
taking courses or have been released from the armed forces, were
excluded.  It's Just 700 also claims that the continued stigma
associated with reporting sexual misconduct skewed the results of
the survey.

CANADA: Seeks Dismissal of Sixties Scoop Class Action
Jacques Gallant, writing for Toronto Star, reports that the
federal government wants a Toronto judge to throw out a class-
action lawsuit from survivors of the Sixties Scoop -- a move the
plaintiffs' lawyer says is at odds with the Liberals' public
stance on the issue.

It's believed at least 16,000 people in Ontario were affected when
authorities removed indigenous children from their families and
placed them in foster care or up for adoption over a period of
about 20 years beginning in the 1960s.

The government acknowledged in recently filed court material that
indigenous children placed in non-indigenous care would have lost
opportunities to learn about their language and culture, and that
many children in those situations "experienced psychological or
other personal harm."

But it also argues that it is wrong to impose present-day
standards of care for indigenous children on the Sixties Scoop

"Even though it is clear with the benefit of present day awareness
that the social science of the class period was, in retrospect,
mistaken and negatively affected the plaintiff and others in the
class she represents, fiduciary principles and the common law do
not permit the imposition of today's standards of care and
reconciliatory values on actors of the past," says the
government's factum (written submission).

The government lawyers were set to plead their case before
Superior Court Justice Edward Belobaba on Dec. 1.

The Sixties Scoop survivors, including lead plaintiff Marcia Brown
Martel, are engaged in what is called a summary judgment
proceeding, meaning they believe they have enough evidence against
the government to forego a full trial.  They argued before
Belobaba in August.

Unlike survivors of residential schools, the children, now adults,
of the Sixties Scoop have never received an apology from the
federal government. (An apology was offered last year by the
Manitoba provincial government, and Saskatchewan has promised to
do the same.)

What they have faced, since launching a class-action lawsuit in
Ontario against Canada in 2009, is a federal government that has
often tried to have the case delayed or dismissed, appealing
rulings which allowed the plaintiffs to move forward with their

Following their election in 2015, the Liberals spoke of
reconciliation with indigenous peoples as a priority, and last
summer Indigenous Affairs Minister Carolyn Bennett said the
government is open to finding a solution to the Sixties Scoop

"We, as you know -- as a government -- would like to get things
out of court and to a table where we can make those kinds of
agreements together, as a way forward," Ms. Bennett said in

"We want to work together with all of the litigants that are
presently in court and try and get to the table."

But the survivors' lawyer, Jeffery Wilson, said that judging by
the stalling, the requests for dismissal and the thousands of
pages the government has disclosed to the plaintiffs "at the 11th
hour," his clients are getting a completely different message from
the government in court.

"For my clients, it's just a repeat of governments saying one
thing and doing the other," he told the Star.

Sixties Scoop lawsuits are also moving through the courts in other

The Ontario class-action covers the period from December 1965 --
when the federal government signed an agreement with Ontario known
as the Canada-Ontario Welfare Services Agreement -- to December
1984, when aboriginality was made an important factor in child
protection and placement practices through Ontario's Child and
Family Services Act.

As part of the agreement, Canada agreed to pay Ontario for the per
capita cost of extending some provincial welfare programs to
"Indians in the Province," according to a 2014 Divisional Court
ruling dismissing Canada's appeal of the class-action lawsuit's

The lawsuit is not about the actual removal and placement of the
children, but rather whether the federal government had a
responsibility to ensure that those children did not lose their
indigenous identity after being taken away.

The government maintains in court documents that there was no duty
to consult the individual indigenous bands during the 1960s and
1970s about the placement of the children under the Canada-Ontario
agreement.  The plaintiffs argue in their official reply filed in
court that the government knew it had to consult the bands and
that they have evidence showing the government failed to do so.

The plaintiffs also argue in their reply that the government knew
early on that the removal and placement of the children would have
a negative impact on them.

"Canada was fully aware during the class period of the
frustration, anger, disappointment and concern of the post-
placement effect upon those children after they were removed,"
says the plaintiffs' reply.

CANDELA CORP: Falsely Marketed Ultra Shape System, Suit Claims
Renee Burke, MD, P.C., on behalf of itself and others similarly
situated v. Candela Corporation, Case No. 2016-CH-15692 (Ill. Cir.
Ct., December 2, 2016), is brought on behalf of all persons and
businesses who purchased the Ultra Shape System, which was falsely
marketed by the Defendant as allowing patients who will use the
system to "lose two dress sizes in just three treatments and that
"clinical studies showed an average 3.3-6.3 cm reduction".

Candela Corporation operates a laser company that develops and
sells medical lasers for cosmetic use.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Arnold H. Landis, Esq.
      77 W. Washington, Ste. 702
      Chicago, IL 60602
      Telephone: (312) 236-6268

CHURCH & DWIGHT: Sued in N.Y. Over Homeopathic Teething Products
Wadi Reformado, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that consumers
have filed a class action lawsuit against the makers and sellers
of homeopathic teething products over allegations they paid for
products that are useless and unsafe.

Lisa Corbett, Laura Kasiotis and Jennifer O'Neill filed a
complaint on behalf of all others similarly situated on Nov. 9 in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
against Church & Dwight Co. Inc., Standard Homeopathic Co.,
Hyland's Inc., CVS Health Corp. and Target Corp., alleging breach
of implied warranty of merchantability and other counts.

According to the complaint, the defendants manufactured or sold
homeopathic teething products that were voluntarily withdrawn from
shelves after the Food and Drug Administration issued warnings
with the drugs' use.  They allege they were never offered a

The plaintiffs hold Church & Dwight Co. Inc., Standard Homeopathic
Co., Hyland's Inc., CVS Health Corp. and Target Corp. responsible
because they were injured by purchasing an allegedly worthless

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek damages, treble
damages, all legal fees and any other relief as this court deems
just.  They are represented by Jeffrey I. Carton, Myles K. Bartley
and Robert J. Berg of Denlea & Carton LLP in White Plains, New

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York Case
number 7:16-cv-08687-KMK

COMSCORE INC: Pomerantz Investigates Potential Securities Claims
Pomerantz LLP is investigating claims on behalf of investors of
comScore, Inc. ("comScore" or the "Company").  Such investors are
advised to contact Robert S. Willoughby at swilloughby@pomlaw.com
or 888-476-6529, ext. 9980.

The investigation concerns whether comScore and certain of its
officers and/or directors have violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a)
of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

On March 7, 2016, pre-market, comScore announced that the Company
was delaying its annual report and suspending its share repurchase
program.  The Company stated that comScore's audit committee was
conducting an internal review and did not expect to finish before
the annual report deadline of March 15, 2016.

On this news, comScore stock fell $13.67, or 33.58%, to close at
$27.04 on March 7, 2016.

On November 23, 2016, post-market, comScore announced the
resignations of the Chairman of the Company's Board and the Chair
of the Board's Nominating and Governance Committee on November 17,
2016.  The Company also announced the results of an internal
investigation concerning "matters related to the Company's revenue
recognition practices, disclosures, internal controls, corporate
culture, and certain employment practices."  comScore's Audit
Committee, with external counsel and forensic accountants,
concluded that "the Company cannot support the prior accounting
for the nonmonetary transactions recorded by the Company during
the years ended December 31, 2013, 2014 and 2015, and accordingly,
revenue and expenses associated with all nonmonetary transactions
during these periods is being reversed and accounted for at
historical cost rather than at fair value."  Among other issues,
the Audit Committee's investigation also identified concerns
regarding internal control deficiencies.  The Company advised
investors that "there may be additional accounting adjustments and
such adjustments may be material."

On this news, comScore's share price fell $1.55, or 5.11%, to
close at $28.94 on November 25, 2016.

With offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Florida, 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.

CURRICULUM LOFT: Settles KUNO Breach of Contract Class Action
Albia Newspapers reports that the Albia Community School District
along with Van Buren Community, West Burlington, Keokuk and
Panorama have agreed to a settlement with Curriculum Loft L.L.C.
and its insurance company, Great Northern Insurance on the KUNO
class action lawsuit.

CurriculumLoft agreed to pay the claimants $1.05 million to settle
the lawsuit.  Under the agreement, the districts will have to box
up and return all of the KUNO devices, cases, chargers and

Albia's share of the lawsuit is $123,962.

The five districts joined together filing a lawsuit against
Curriculum Loft for breach of contract and breach of warranty on
the personal student tablets that were introduced at the Albia
Community High School as part of the 1:1 initiative.  For
virtually all of the time the tablets were in use, there was
consistent and continuous complaints about the tablets from
students and faculty.  Eventually the district stop using the
KUNOs, entered into the lawsuit and worked in committee to
eventually purchase the Chromebook system, which is being
implemented K-12 with extremely positive results.

CurriculumLoft denied the allegations of breach of contract and
breach of warranty but agreed to pay out the million settlement in
exchange for the school districts dropping their claims and
releasing CurriculumLoft from all demands.

The school districts also agreed not to make any statements,
written or verbal that would defame, disparage or in any way
criticize the person or business reputation, practices or conduct
of CurriculumLoft and the performance of the KUNO devices.

DES MOINES, IA: Residents Receive Franchise Fee Refunds
The Des Moines Register reports that Des Moines residents are
finally receiving refunds from a franchise fee wrongly imposed on
their utility bills.  The average household will receive a few
hundred dollars, marking an end to a legal, financial,
bureaucratic nightmare that dragged on for more than a decade. And
it's important for Iowans to understand what happened so
government bodies avoid making a similar mistake in the future.

As allowed by state law, Des Moines collected franchise fees from
gas and electric bills since 1960.  In 2004 and 2005, the city
increased the fee to maintain services and reduce property tax.
Beaverdale neighborhood resident Lisa Kragnes sued, alleging the
action was illegal and urging the city not to proceed with the

Des Moines proceeded anyway.  The lawsuit was certified as a class
action on behalf of all ratepayers.  The city lost in court and
was ordered to refund a portion of the fee paid between 2004 and
2009, the year the Iowa Legislature changed the law, legalizing
the higher fee imposed by Des Moines.

Since money doesn't grow on trees, the city issued bonds to cover
the $40 million cost of the judgment.  To pay off the bonds,
voters approved a referendum in 2014 raising the existing
franchise fee.  The irony of customers paying more to bankroll
their own refunds is lost on no one.  Especially painful is paying
other costs related to the mess, including $7.5 million to
lawyers, $650,000 to a third-party administrator distributing
refunds and $7,500 to Ms. Kragnes.

If city officials had known how a single lawsuit would snowball,
they likely would have immediately halted the fee.  Except no one
ever knows how a legal challenge will turn out and both sides
always think they're right.

The Iowa Department of Transportation might want to take note of

According to a court filing in November seeking class-action
status, the state agency has illegally issued more than 20,000
traffic tickets.  The lawsuit alleges the DOT is obligated to
refund the fines and remove the wrongful convictions from
motorists' records.

The court filing builds on a legal battle launched earlier this
year after a DOT officer issued a speeding ticket to a teenage
driver.  Peyton Atzen, a student at Southeast Polk High School,
and his family successfully argued in Polk County District Court
that Iowa law limits officers outside the state's public safety
department from enforcing most moving violations.  The ticket was
dismissed.  Two more motorists filed a request for a court
injunction against the state, arguing their tickets were illegally
issued and the DOT should immediately stop issuing most citations
to noncommercial motor vehicles.  Now the plaintiffs seek class-
action status.

If the lawsuit is successful, the state could be on the hook to
repay millions of dollars in fines and court costs.

Des Moines learned an expensive lesson in continuing a practice
being challenged in court.  The Iowa DOT might want to take that
into consideration in considering its next move.

Franchise fees make sense

The lengthy ordeal in Des Moines may have left Iowans with a bad
feeling about franchise fees.  But imposing fees on utilities is a
fair way to distribute the cost of government services.

Nearly 40 percent of property in Des Moines is exempt from
property tax while benefiting from services that include police
and fire protection.  When churches, schools, medical facilities
and others don't contribute to the public purse via taxation,
homeowners and businesses pay more to compensate. Franchise fees
ensure everyone using utilities within the city share in the
expenses of a city.

DOLE FOODS: Sugar Suit More Policy Oriented, Prof Says
Dee Thompson, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that a new class
action lawsuit against Dole Foods alleges two of its products are
advertised as healthy but, in reality, they are high-sugar in
content and not healthy at all.

Salvador Amaya filed the suit Oct. 18 in U.S. District Court for
the Central District of California.  The complaint states in
detail that the human body suffers as a consequence of ingesting
too much sugar.  Mr. Amaya alleges she bought Dole fruit, oatmeal
and parfaits every few months over the past two to three years,
thinking the foods were "healthy."

Dole products, the complaint states, contain high levels of
fructose, which "appears to cause the greatest harm in the
shortest amount of time."

Michael T. Roberts, executive director for the Resnick Program for
Food Law and Policy at the UCLA School of Law, believes that
although the general premise is good, "There is some hyperbole
built into this complaint that goes beyond the allegations."

Mr. Roberts told Legal Newsline: "It tends to more of a policy-
oriented brief than a specific complaint against Dole. However,
Dole may be in violation against at least one of the regulations,
and I think that's the low cholesterol claim. I do think the
plaintiffs are correct about that."

He acknowledges that sugar is a problem in the typical American
diet, adding "I think what the complaint does is that it sort of
vacuums in all the evidence that diets high in sugar cause health

Among the allegations are that the labels of the Dole foods are
unlawful and violate federal and state labeling laws.  Further,
the complaint states "By violating federal food labeling
regulations, Dole also violated the California Sherman Food, Drug
and Cosmetic Act."

The suit lists no specific damages to Mr. Amaya but says "it is
likely plaintiff has suffered bodily injury in the form of either
increased risk for, or actual contraction of disease or

Mr. Roberts says this type of complaint may be a harbinger of
reform in the food industry.

"It may be that this complaint does the trick," he said.  "It may
be that Dole or other like companies will be more careful in what
claims they make, especially as they relate to sugary products."

However, Mr. Roberts sees possible issues with this particular
class action and says it may not get very far in terms of changing
food labels.

"Sugar is a significant problem, so as a public message the
complaint is headed in the right direction, but the concern is
will the particular allegations against Dole pass muster and not
be dismissed in court," he said.

"You can't blame Dole as to the health elements of a consumer.
It's difficult to show that a particular product creates health
issues because they're eating other foods as well and there are
other intervening causes."

EL AL: Faces NIS50MM Class Action Amid Unresolved Pilot Crisis
The Jerusalem Post reports that while the work dispute between El
Al management and its pilots appears to be heading for a
conclusion, a class-action lawsuit against El Al was filed on Nov.
29.  The suit was filed following the revelation by El Al
management that pilots used to deliberately prolong flight
durations for long-distance flights.

Plaintiffs are demanding NIS 50 million in damages.

"The company is currently studying the suit and will file a legal
response as necessary," an El Al representative told The Jerusalem

The lawsuit was filed with the Tel Aviv District Court by the
Miron, Bension and Prywes law firm on Nov. 29 and focuses on El Al
management's own public admission that its pilots used to
deliberately prolong the duration of long-distance flights in
order to reap larger bonuses.  The lawsuit states that by allowing
this behavior for years and failing to report this fact to its
clients, El Al broke tort laws, consumer protection laws and
contracts laws, and the plaintiffs are therefore entitled to

"They [El Al] pretty much admitted it themselves.  During an
emergency discussion at the Knesset Economic Affairs Committee,
the company's CEO talked about this openly, out of anger against
the pilots," a source close to the class action told the Post.

During the first week of the escalation of the pilots' strike,
representatives from both sides fought fiercely over public
opinion, prompting El Al management to publicize on several
occasions, including in press releases and public appearances,
that El Al pilots gain large bonuses, in addition to their already
large salaries, due to their habit of prolonging flight times.
This issue stood as a basis for the work dispute, along with the
issue of pilots demanding to fly in one direction only, while
returning in business class.

Additionally, the understandings agreed upon by El Al's pilots and
management include a section that eliminates the practice of
prolonging flights for bonuses by defining a set duration for
every flight, according to which a pilot's salary will be
calculated from now on.  As of yet, the agreement draft has not
been signed into law by the parties, and El Al told the Post that
"the company will only comment on the details of the agreement,
once a legally binding and finalized agreement is signed."

According to the lawsuit, since purchasing a ticket constitutes a
business contract between El Al and its passengers, El Al broke
its obligation to full contractual disclosure by not disclosing to
the passengers that their flight would have an unnecessary delay.
Additionally, this delay has caused inconvenience to the
passengers, who could have avoided it had they known.

"For this to have been legal, El Al should have informed their
potential clients of this issue and leave them to decide whether
or not they wish to make this deal or turn to another carrier,"
stated the suit.

The 103-page lawsuit compared this practice to a dentist who gave
a patient a root canal, while the latter only needed a filling, in
order for the dentist to receive a root canal bonus from his
employer.  All this with the full knowledge of the dentist's
employer, who in turn never bothered to disclose this to the

"For years, the company deceived its clients and, under the
pretense of offering a standard flight, caused long delays,"
stated the suit.

The suit included data and information issued by El Al itself in
the past year, and promised to provide more evidence as the case
progresses, should the suit be accepted by the court.

Currently, the class-action includes two plaintiffs, a senior hi-
tech worker and a veteran surgeon, who frequently traveled with El
Al to the United States.  According to the law firm, since the
suit was filed, two more individuals asked to join the class
action as plaintiffs.

It is now up to the court to decide whether the suit is justified
and the plaintiffs have standing.

FEDERAL SIGNAL: Purcell Julie Investigates Fiduciary Breach Claim
Purcell Julie & Lefkowitz LLP, a class action law firm dedicated
to representing shareholders nationwide, is investigating a
potential breach of fiduciary duty claim involving the board of
directors of Federal Signal Corporation (FSS).

If you are a shareholder of Federal Signal Corporation and are
interested in obtaining additional information regarding this
investigation, free of charge, please visit us at:

You may also contact Robert H. Lefkowitz, Esq. either via email at
rl@pjlfirm.com or by telephone at 212-725-1000.  One of our
attorneys will personally speak with you about the case at no cost
or obligation.

Purcell Julie & Lefkowitz LLP -- http://pjlfirm.com-- is a law
firm exclusively committed to representing shareholders nationwide
who are victims of securities fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty
and other types of corporate misconduct.

GEICO: Seeks Extension of Class Action Discovery Deadline
Phillip Thompson, writing for glassBYTEs.com, reports that
attorneys for Geico and a Florida automotive glass company have
requested extensions to allow for more discovery in a class-action
suit that alleges the insurance company underpaid VIP Auto Glass.

Attorneys sought to extend the original deadlines of January 2017
for VIP Auto Glass and February 2017 for Geico to March and April,

"Currently, the parties are engaged in extensive class discovery,
with multiple rounds of written discovery and the deposition of
defendant's corporate representative scheduled for November 15,
2016, which was the earliest agreeable date available," attorneys
wrote in the motion filed in Florida's 13th Judicial Circuit
Court.  "In addition, the parties anticipate additional
depositions and further written discovery to be completed
following the November 15, 2016 deposition.

Because of these depositions, attorneys wrote, the parties will
not be able to make the original deadlines.  Instead, both parties
agreed to new deadlines of March 10, 2017 for the filing of
Plaintiff's Motion For Class Certification, and April 10, 2017 for
the filing of Defendant's response.

The lawsuit, originally filed by VIP Auto Glass, Inc., accuses
Geico of using arbitrary price comparisons to determine a
"prevailing competitive price" for its reimbursements to
automotive glass companies, in order to pay as a little as

The case arose after a February incident in which Deryl Jones --
listed in the court records as the "insured customer" -- had his
windshield repaired and replaced by VIP Auto Glass, in accordance
with Jones' insurance policy.

Once the repair was complete, Geico allegedly underpaid VIP Auto
Glass for its work, according to the court records.  The reason
for not repaying the company in full was that Geico paid what it
determined to be the "prevailing competitive price" for the

VIP Auto Glass is seeking declaratory and injunctive relief.

GOPRO INC: Faces Securities Class Action Over Drone Claims
Selina Wang, writing for Bloomberg News, reports that GoPro Inc.,
struggling to get traction with its new action-camera and drone,
said it will eliminate about 15 percent of its workforce and shut
down its entertainment division to reduce costs.

The company, which isn't profitable, plans to cut more than 200
full-time positions, according to a company statement on Nov. 30.
Tony Bates, who joined as GoPro's President in June 2014, is
stepping down by the end of the year.  He was previously an
executive vice president at Microsoft Corp. and the chief
executive officer of Skype Technologies.

The closing of the entertainment division is a signal that the
company is finally narrowing its vision.  Wall Street has long
been skeptical about GoPro's plans to build a media company around
its action-packed GoPro videos online.

"Consumer demand for GoPro is solid and we've sharply narrowed our
focus to concentrate on our core business," said Chief Executive
Officer Nicholas Woodman in the statement.

GoPro said the restructuring will reduce operating expenses to
about $650 million in 2017 and achieve its goal of returning to
profitability next year.  The company estimates it will incur as
much as $33 million in restructuring costs.

GoPro had been banking on its most-recent cube-shaped camera
model, the Hero5, and its Karma drone, released in October, to
revive growth and a stock price that has plummeted more than 50
percent over the past year. So far those products failed to be the
hits that management had been expecting and earlier this month
GoPro lowered forecasts for full-year sales as third-quarter
revenue came in lower than analysts' average estimates.

The company blamed the disappointing results on production
problems.  A week later, GoPro had to recall about 2,500 drones, a
move that may hurt GoPro's aims for a return to profitability in
the fourth quarter.  The company still hasn't said whether Karma
shipments have resumed.

It also faces a class action lawsuit that claims the company
violated federal securities law by making false and misleading
statements about the drone.  The complaints include allegations
that GoPro knowingly overstated the capabilities of the drone and
consumer demand for the product.

Shebly Seyrafi, an analyst at FBN Securities, is lowering his
forecast for 2017 revenue from the Karma to $36 million from $150
million, he wrote in a note on Nov. 29.

After being a one-time tech darling, San Mateo, California-based
GoPro is now facing rising competition from Apple and even Snap
Inc., whose camera glasses are also promising a seamless
experience from capturing adventure film to posting on social
media.  In drones, GoPro is up against the dominant player,
Chinese manufacturer SZ DJI Technology Co., who also released a
new model just a week after GoPro.

HEALTHSOURCE GLOBAL: Wants Wage-and-Hour Class Action Stayed
Robert Iafolla, writing for Reuters, reports that a healthcare
staffing firm facing a proposed wage and hour class action filed
by a California nurse urged a federal judge on Nov. 29 to stay
proceedings while it appeals a recent decision finding the class-
action waiver the nurse signed was unenforceable.

HealthSource Global Staffing Inc, represented by Sheppard Mullin
Richter & Hampton, said in its motion that it will ask the 9th
U.S. Court of Appeals to clarify whether it broadly barred class-
action waivers in employee arbitration agreements with its August
decision that invalidated a similar waiver in a case involving
professional services giant Ernst & Young.

INDONESIA: Jakarta Court Tosses Leuser Rainforest Class Action
Jewel Topsfield and Karuni Rompies, writing for The Sydney Morning
Herald, report that activists warn the last place on Earth where
elephants, tigers, rhinoceroses and orangutans coexist in the wild
could be destroyed by mining and palm oil plantations after a
Jakarta court ruled against their bid to protect a Sumatran rain

A group of citizens from the Sumatran province of Aceh launched a
class action against the Aceh government's land use plan, which
they say legalises roads through the world-renowned Leuser
Ecosystem and opens the area up for further development.

The Leuser Ecosystem covers more than 2.6 million hectares in the
provinces of Aceh and North Sumatra and is considered one of the
most valuable conservation areas in South-east Asia.

It gained international prominence when Oscar-winning actor
Leonardo DiCaprio visited in March this year and warned on
Instagram that palm oil plantations were fragmenting the forest
and cutting off key elephant migratory corridors.

His comments incurred the wrath of Indonesian authorities, who
claimed he could be deported, although DiCaprio had reportedly
already left Indonesia at the time.

On Nov. 29 the Central Jakarta District Court rejected the
lawsuit, which claimed the Aceh government and Ministry of Home
Affairs violated the law by not mentioning the nationally-
protected Leuser Ecosystem in their land use plan.

The lawsuit argued this made it vulnerable to more logging, mining
and oil palm plantations.

But the panel of judges said the ecosystem was already recognised
as a conservation area and did not need to be explicitly named in
the plan.

"The arguments of the plaintiffs are not sufficient to prove that
the defendants are in breach of the law," said presiding judge
Agustinus Setyo Wahyu.

Lawyers for the Aceh Citizen Lawsuit Movement, known as GeRAM,
immediately said they would appeal.  "The verdict has the
potential to erase Indonesia's home to Sumatran tigers, orangutan,
elephants, honey bears etc," said Harli Muin.

One of the nine plaintiffs, Farwiza Farhan, said there was a basic
difference between the level of protection afforded in a
conservation area and an ecosystem area.

"Development in an ecosystem area has to be made in a very careful
way . . . people cannot just build a road or housing, for
instance," said Ms Farwiza, the chairperson of Forest, Nature and
Environment Aceh (HAkA).

She said she was shocked by the court ruling.

"The Aceh government is using their illegal spatial plan to sell
out one of the world's most irreplaceable protected areas and a
UNESCO World Heritage Site," she said.

Forest loss in the Leuser Ecosystem between 2003 and 2012 was
equivalent to an area the size of Hong Kong, according to the
British-based Sumatran Orangutan Society.

"Acehnese community leaders and NGOs have been struggling for
years to protect the Leuser Ecosystem against destruction by
corporations," Ms Farwiza said.

"When our forests are burnt down to make way for mines and
monocultures like oil palm, an elite few get very rich while the
local people suffer from floods, landslides, droughts, poisoning
and pollution."

Emil Salim, a former environment minister in the Suharto
government, had argued that the inception of the Leuser Ecosystem
dated back to 1925, when Aceh's traditional leaders stopped Dutch
colonialists from opening the forests for plantations and mining.

He told the court the Leuser Ecosystem was regulated by the
Indonesian president under national law and therefore must be
mentioned in the land use plan.

But lawyers for the plaintiffs said the panel of judges had
ignored the testimony of their expert witness.

KENTUCKY: Public School Teachers to Sue Over Underfunding
Meaghan Kilroy, writing for Pensions & Investments, reports that
active and retired Kentucky public school teachers planned to file
a class-action lawsuit against Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and the
Kentucky Legislature for allegedly illegally underfunding the
$17.5 billion Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System, Frankfort,
said Randolph Wieck, one of the plaintiffs.

The lawsuit, expected to be filed in Franklin Circuit Court in
Frankfort, will allege that inadequate state contributions
contributed to KTRS' roughly $25 billion in unfunded liabilities,
violating parts of the U.S. and Kentucky constitutions and
Kentucky's revised state statutes, the plaintiffs' attorney
Theodore Lavit said.

The alleged underfunding violated a contractual obligation and has
been ongoing for at least eight to nine years, Mr. Wieck said.

KTRS disclosed a funded status of 54.6% as of June 30, which is
expected to be closer to 41% under new GASB 67 standards,
Mr. Wieck said.

Although a budget bill signed by Mr. Bevin in April included about
$498.5 million more in pension contributions to KTRS in fiscal
year 2017 and $474.7 million in fiscal year 2018, the amounts fall
slightly short of KTRS' actuarially required contribution rate and
borrow from a public employee health insurance trust fund.  Mr.
Bevin took office in 2016.

Amanda Stamper, a spokeswoman for Mr. Bevin, could not immediately
provide a comment.  Gary Harbin, executive secretary at KTRS,
could not immediately be reached for comment.

KLEINER PERKINS: Sued in Chicago Over Failed Electric Car Venture
Scott Holland, writing for Cook County Record, reports that facing
a class-action complaint potentially worth hundreds of millions of
dollars, a group of investment bankers accused of misleading
investors into pouring funds into a failed electric car venture --
described as "the largest venture capital-backed debacle in U.S.
history" -- have taken the litigation to federal court.

The defendants, Keith Daubenspeck, Peter McDonnell, Kleiner
Perkins Caufield & Byers, Ray Lane and John Doerr, filed a notice
of removal Nov. 23 in Chicago regarding the Cook County Circuit
Court complaint Orgone Capital filed Oct. 14.

Mr. Daubenspeck founded the now-defunct Advanced Equities Inc., a
Chicago investment bank that sold millions of dollars worth of
securities for Fisker Automotive between Aug. 19, 2009, and Sept.
26, 2012.  Mr. McConnell was a senior managing director, and both
worked with venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins and its managing
partners, Lane and Doerr.

According to the initial complaint, Fisker at one point secured a
$528.7 million U.S. Department of Energy loan to building luxury
hybrid electric cars leading to an initial public offering,
similar to the precedent of Tesla Motors.  The complaint said
Fisker raised almost $1.3 billion in private capital and $192
million in public money before shutting down in late 2012.

On Sept. 17, 2013, a complaint filed in federal court in New York
by Fisker's former chief financial officer was unsealed, revealing
Fisker "knowingly and materially understated the costs associated
with" its first car, the Karma, and second, the Nina, in the
business plan provided to the DOE as basis for securing the
federal funds.  It further said Messrs. Lane and Daubsenspeck
intentionally concealed this information from the DOE to protect
their investments.  Without that federal loan, Fisker would have
been unable to secure additional investments from other investors
like the plaintiffs and putative class members.

In addition to Orgone Capital, other named plaintiffs are
Lincolnshire Fisker, a limited liability corporation, and David
Burnidge, Kenneth A. Steel Jr. and Robert F. Steel.  All purchased
Fisker stock between October 2009 and September 2012 for a
combined total investment of more than $10.2 million.

In addition to selling Fisker stock to investors, Advanced
Equities also owned about 18 percent of the company's shares.  The
original complaint noted Kleiner Perkins, through Messrs. Lane and
Doerr, "participated in and exercised substantial control over all
material decisions regarding Fisker Automotive's operations and
finances before and during the class period."

The complaint further alleged the people who knew Fisker didn't
have the money to produce its cars on schedule continued to
solicit investments in hopes of avoiding bankruptcy.  It also said
eventually the DOE did not publicly disclose all it knew about
Fisker's financial woes because of negative political attention
generated by the similar failing of federal investment in
Solyndra.  All of that led to collecting an extra $500 million in
stock from September 2011 through September 2012.  One investor
was Illinois' prepaid college savings fund, which purportedly
invested $10 million "at the urging of Advanced Equities."

In filing to remove the case to federal court, the defendants
noted there are more than 100 putative class members and, although
denying the plaintiffs are due any relief, the amount at issue
easily exceeds $5 million.

Representing the defendants are attorneys from both Stetler, Duffy
& Rotert, of Chicago, and Keker & Van Nest, of San Francisco.

Plaintiff and putative class attorneys include lawyers from Wexler
Wallace, of Chicago; Klafter Olsen & Lesser, of Washington, D.C.;
and Berger & Montague, of Philadelphia.

LOCHLAND COUNTRY: "Steier" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Wages
Philip Steier, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated v. Lochland Country Club and Scott Shardelow, Case No.
4:16-cv-03184-RGK-CRZ (D. Neb., December 2, 2016), seeks to
recover unpaid minimum wages, unpaid tips, and other monies
pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Defendants own and operate a golf course with a club house
that operates a restaurant and bar for the benefit of its members.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Kelly K. Brandon, Esq.
      Michael J. Leahy, Esq.
      20615 Highway 370
      Gretna, NE 68028
      Telephone: (402) 316-3060
      Facsimile: (402) 513-6501
      E-mail: kelly@employmentlawnebraska.com

MAJOR LEAGUE: Minor-League Players' Wage Cass Action Ongoing
Brian MacPherson, writing for Providence Journal, reports that a
hearing on Dec. 2 in San Francisco would give minor-league players
a second opportunity to certify their lawsuit against Major League
Baseball as a class action -- increasing exponentially the
liability Major League Baseball would face if found to have
violated federal and state wage laws by underpaying minor-league

A judge denied the players' first motion to certify their case as
a class action in July but granted in August a request to
reconsider his order.

The latest motion by the plaintiffs in Senne v. Office of the
Commissioner of Baseball excludes claims for unpaid wages for
regular-season games in all but one of the affiliated minor
leagues.  Instead, it has pared down the plaintiffs' claims to
spring-training and instructional-league work in Arizona and
Florida, as well as regular-season games played in the California
League, the aim being to win a verdict under laws specific to
those states.  Players are not paid during spring training or in
instructional-league work in Arizona and Florida.  Players in the
California League are paid approximately $1,500 per month during
the five months of the regular season.

Such a verdict, while narrower in scope, could still result in
Major League Baseball being forced to change current policies --
most notably not paying players in spring training or during
instructional leagues.  Even a verdict that only included the
California League could ultimately affect change in the other
affiliated minor leagues.

"Defendants deny minor-league players minimum and overtime wages
on a league-wide basis," the plaintiffs in a September brief. "If
players cannot fight that wrong on a league-wide basis -- as a
class -- the reality is this injustice will likely continue in
perpetuity as it has for decades."

In its October response to the new motion for class certification,
MLB asserted that the plaintiffs failed to satisfy the demands by
the judge to clarify their proposed classes and that the cases in
question were too individualized for the court to settle on a
collective basis.

"Because the named plaintiffs have abandoned classwide pursuit of
the overwhelming majority of claims that they are still litigating
individually and that will inevitably overwhelm litigation of the
classes they seek to certify, a class action is not a superior
method of adjudication in this case," the defendants wrote.

Filed in 2014 in the Northern District of California, the Senne
lawsuit alleges violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act by MLB
and 22 of its teams. (Aaron Senne, one of more than 30 named
plaintiffs, played parts of three seasons in the Miami Marlins'
farm system.) The Boston Red Sox were among the eight teams named,
but were dismissed from the original lawsuit for lack of personal
jurisdiction in California.  Two former Red Sox farmhands are
among the named plaintiffs.

Without class certification, MLB would owe damages only to the
named plaintiffs if it were to be found liable.  But with class
certification, more than 2,200 minor-league players who have opted
into the lawsuit could claim damages -- and the implementation of
league-wide policy changes would be likely.

A bill introduced in Congress in June would exempt minor-league
baseball players from the Fair Labor Standards Act, nullifying all
claims in the Senne lawsuit.  MLB has offered its support for the

Judge Joseph C. Spero in July denied the plaintiffs' motion to
certify as a collective all minor-league baseball players for the
work they asserted they had performed under the supervision of MLB
teams -- spring training, regular-season games and offseason
training work.  The decision appeared to cut the legs out from
under the lawsuit.

In August Spero granted a motion by the plaintiffs to reconsider
their motion for collective certification, and directed them to
propose narrower classes of plaintiffs that could more easily be
considered together.  The individualized schedules and varied
state laws that applied to players performing offseason training
work in their hometowns, for example, made a one-size-fits-all
decision impossible.

In response, the plaintiffs significantly pared down their
proposed classes.  Gone entirely are the plaintiffs' claims for
compensation for offseason training work.  Gone as well are the
plaintiffs seeking penalties for unpaid wages for workouts and
games in any minor leagues that cross state lines -- including the
International League (in which the Pawtucket Red Sox play), which
consists of 14 teams in nine states with five different minimum

Left intact are classes that include minor-leaguers participating
in spring training in Arizona and Florida -- defined periods of
time within a single state in which players were under direct
supervision of their teams.  Arizona and Florida both have a state
minimum wage of $8.05 per hour.

Also left intact are the claims of players who had competed in the
California League -- the lone minor league in which all games are
played within one state.  California's minimum wage has ranged
from $8-10 per hour during the time period covered by the lawsuit.

And to satisfy another request of the judge, four active players
have been added to the case as named plaintiffs-- one apiece from
the Cincinnati, Detroit, Toronto and New York Mets organizations,
three of whom played in Triple-A last season. (None of the
original named plaintiffs are active players.)

In its response to the filing, MLB asserted that too many
disparate state laws continue to apply to certify the class as a

For example, the defendants argued, players who participate in
spring training in Arizona or Florida spend as little as four
weeks in those states and the vast majority of their year
elsewhere.  About 25 percent of players who suited up in the
California League also spent four weeks or less in California, the
defendants said.  The defendants also pointed out that almost all
such players, as well as the players who played in the California
League, were affiliated with (and paid by) major-league teams
based outside Arizona, California and Florida, complicating the
application of wage laws.

"The nature of the alleged work here is transient and fluid," the
defendants wrote.

The defendants also argued that the location of the work performed
is not the only consideration in deciding the state laws to be
applied; the location of the employer paying the wages can
influence which laws apply as well.

"Massachusetts has an interest in applying its laws to the claims
of Boston Red Sox players who train in Florida," the defendants
wrote, "just as Washington has an interest in applying its laws to
Seattle Mariners players who train in Arizona."

MALAYSIA AIRLINES: Wants to Bar MH17 Victims' Overseas Relatives
Tim Clarke, writing for The West Australian, reports that Malaysia
Airlines wants to bar overseas relatives of the victims of the
MH17 tragedy from joining the compensation claim launched in the
Australian courts -- being led by the Perth-based daughter of one
of the 298 people who perished.

Cassandra Gibson is the daughter of Liliane Derden, who died when
the Boeing 777-200ER was shot down over Ukraine by a surface-to-
air missile launched from pro-Russian separatist-controlled
territory in July 2014.

Ms. Gibson, who lives in WA with her young daughter Ella, emerged
earlier this year as the lead applicant for eight Australian
families in a class action claiming uncapped compensation from
Malaysia Airlines.

And in that claim, lawyers also left it open for overseas victims
to join the action under the Montreal Convention.

In early November, the airline argued in the Federal Court that
loved ones of overseas victims should be permanently prevented
from joining the lawsuit.

But Sydney-based LHD Lawyers, representing the Australian victims
of the disaster, said that the option should be left open for
offshore family members to join the action, if they are eligible.

Justice Nye Perram could deliver a judgment before Christmas.

"The result will determine if families outside of Australia who
lost members in the tragedy of MH17 will or will not have an
entitlement to potentially join the class action, even though the
two-year limitation period has expired," Michael Hyland, a senior
partner at LHD, said.

Canberra-based Ms. Derden was flying from Amsterdam to Perth to
visit her daughter and granddaughter when the missile struck the

The airline argues legal action must be brought in the
jurisdiction where the airline is based (in this case, Malaysia),
where the ticket was bought, the passenger's destination or where
the passenger lived.

Because Ms. Gibson's statement of claim does not detail how this
applies to any overseas litigants, the airline says the claim
should be thrown out.

MCM CAPITAL: Sued Over Illegal Acquisition & Foreclosure Policies
Anthony Didato and Hector Feliciano, on behalf of themselves and
all others similarly situated v. MCM Capital Partners, LLC, Stop
Unlicensed Mortgage Lenders, LLC d/b/a Ventures Trust 2013-1-H-R
and d/b/a Ventures Trust 2013-1-H-R by MCM Capital Partners, LLC,
Case No. 160114/2016 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., December 2, 2016), seeks to
stop the Defendants' unlicensed acquisition and unlawful
foreclosure of mortgages within the state of New York, where they
are not authorized to do business.

The Defendants operate an equity firm headquartered at 7500 Old
Georgetown Rd # 1300, Bethesda, MD 20814.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Matthew J McDonald, Esq.
      Blaine H. Bortnick, Esq.
      Read K. McCaffrey, Esq.
      800 Third Avenue, 8th Floor
      New York, NY 10022
      Telephone: (212) 687-8500
      E-mail: mmcdonald@liddlerobinson.com

         - and -

      Brian McCaffrey, Esq.
      88-18 Sutphin Blvd., 1st Floor
      Jamaica, NY 11435
      Telephone: (718) 480-8280

MERCK: Faces Class Action in Montreal Over Olmetec Drug
Ashley Paterson, Esq. -- patersona@bennettjones.com -- of Bennett
Jones LLP, in an article for JDSupra, reports that a proposed
class action was filed in Montreal by the Consumer Law Group
alleging that Merck, Shering-Plough and Daiichi Sankyo (the
Defendants) provided inadequate warnings about the drugs Olmetec
and Olmetec Plus (together, Olmetec), which are allegedly
designed, manufactured, distributed and marketed by the

The motion for authorization to bring a class action contemplates
a national class that includes all persons who were prescribed and
have ingested Olmetec.  Though the motion for authorization makes
a passing defective design allegation, the defective design claim
does not seem to be seriously advanced.  Rather, the claim centers
around the defendants' alleged failure to warn of gastrointestinal
side effects associated with Olmetec.

According to the motion for authorization, the alleged side
effects of Olmetec include, among others, diarrhea, vomiting,
nausea, weight loss, dehydration, malnutrition, and sprue-like
enteropathy (or celiac-like symptoms).

The Olmetec product monograph prepared on November 5, 2013, states
that Olmetec is indicated for the treatment of mild to moderate
essential hypertension.  The same monograph, under "Warnings and
Precautions", indicates that sprue-like enteropathy has been
observed in patients taking Olmetec.  According to the motion for
authorization, this information "made its first appearance" in
November 2013, though the drug has been available in the US since
2002.  It is not clear from the motion when the drug first became
available in Canada.

According to the Consumer Law Group website, side effects may
develop months or years after taking the drug suggesting that
there may be complex limitation issues associated with each
individual claim.

To date, this appears to be the only proposed class proceeding
relating to Olmetec products in Canada, though parallel litigation
is proceeding in the U.S. pursuant to the multi-district
litigation procedure.

Health Canada issued restrictions concerning the use of Olmetec
and other medication used to treat high blood pressure as recently
as February 4, 2014, however, the restrictions are limited to the
recommended use of the product.  Interestingly, the FDA currently
takes the position that the benefits of Olmetec continue to
outweigh its potential risks.  Olmetec has not been recalled in
either Canada or the U.S.

The matter is in its early stages and it is thus far too early to
predict its outcome.

MERRILL LYNCH: Ex-Financial Advisors Detail Int'l Restrictions
Diana Britton, writing for WealthManagement.com, reports that
three financial advisors filed an amended complaint in a class
action lawsuit against Merrill Lynch that details the firm's
policies for international clients, policies these advisors claim
hurts their business.  The policies include restrictions on
international travel and a reduction in the number of countries in
which they can do business, according to the new complaint.

Former Merrill Lynch advisors Graciela and Jorge Perez and Miguel
Sosa, all based in Miami, filed the class action suit in April in
the United States District Court for the Western District of North
Carolina.  The original complaint alleges Merrill fraudulently
misrepresented its commitment to the domestic advisors of non-
citizen clients.  The new complaint, filed last week, includes
more information about the changes the firm made to its
international business.

In August 2012, the firm announced it would sell its international
business to Julius Baer, but that included only 400 advisors
located outside of the U.S. Not part of the sale were 300
financial advisors at various international hubs in the U.S.,
including the three plaintiffs. Graciela and Jorge primarily serve
clients in Spain and Costa Rica, while Sosa's clients are
primarily from Spain and the Caribbean.

The lawsuit claims that despite plans to restrict its
international financial advisory business, Bank of America CEO
Brian Moynihan told advisors and clients that the firm was
committed to this business.

"Merrill Lynch made these representations at a time when it knew
that the changes it would make to the international business would
jeopardize Class Members' relationships with these clients -- and
in some cases eliminate the business relationships entirely," the
amended complaint said. Merrill Lynch denies all the allegations,
a spokesman said.

The amended complaint claims policy changes the firm made in 2015
and 2016 had a disparate impact on employees and severely hampered
their ability to grow their international business.

According to the complaint, Merrill completely shut down its
international wealth business in more than 50 countries that it
deemed "no-service countries" where advisors are prohibited from
doing business.  Other countries were labeled "limited-coverage;"
advisors were prohibited from traveling to these countries to see
clients or prospect new business.

One-third of the firm's international business was categorized as
"core," but there were also restrictions put in place there, the
complaint alleges.  The firm instituted a $2.5 million minimum for
new clients in these countries; existing clients are required to
have at least $1 million in assets. Canadian clients must have at
least $5 million with the firm.

Earlier this year, the firm made a change requiring international
clients to physically visit the U.S. in 2016 to meet face-to-face
with their advisor, or else their relationship would be terminated
in January 2017, according to the complaint.

Other new requirements outlined in the complaint include an annual
assessment that advisors have to complete, as well as getting
clients to fill out documents testifying to their compliance with
tax and currency laws in their home countries, as well as mutual
funds held outside their home countries, the complaint says.

The firm also instituted a new requirements for U.S. clients
living abroad.  Advisors can only serve expats in approved
countries and only for those with at least $1 million in assets
with the firm.  In addition, the firm will only serve the expat if
they're in another country for employment reasons, and the client
must return to the U.S. permanently within three years of becoming
a client, the complaint alleges.

"Based upon the various policy changes, many financial advisors
were forced to leave Merrill Lynch in order to preserve and
service their international business and clientele," the amended
complaint said.  "Such departing financial advisors were damaged
through the loss of business, loss of opportunity, loss of
unvested deferred compensation, paying back promissory notes prior
to expiration of the term, emotional distress and other harms."

"We have denied and continue to deny these allegations from this
case brought early this year and have already asked the court to
dismiss it," said William Halldin, Merrill Lynch spokesman, in a

Graciela and Jorge are now with Bolton Global Capital, and Sosa is
with Global Investor Services, both independent firms focused on
international business.

MORTON COUNTY, ND: Sued Over Use of Excessive Force at Protest
Lauren Donovan, writing for Bismarck Tribune, reports that a
National Lawyers Guild group has filed a class action lawsuit
against Morton County Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier, Morton County and
other law enforcement agencies for bringing excessive force
against Dakota Access Pipeline protesters earlier this month.

The Water Protector Legal Collective filed suit on Nov. 28 in U.S.
District Court in Bismarck seeking an immediate injunction to
prevent Mr. Kirchmeier and other agencies from using impact
munitions, such as rubber bullets, lead-filled beanbags, water and
sound cannons, directed energy devices, water hoses, explosive
tear gas grenades and other chemical agents against the

The group wants the injunction while the court decides whether to
issue a temporary restraining order against police, arguing the
police actions and munitions fall outside legal parameters.

The complaint lists nine individuals who were injured Nov. 20,
when protesters and police clashed at the barricaded Backwater
Bridge near the protest encampment and says they sustained facial
burns, broken bones, genital injury, lost consciousness, wounds
and that one may be blind from impact to her eye.

"The civil rights violations that night were deliberate and
punitive," said attorney Rachel Lederman.  "Illegal use of force
against the water protectors has been escalating.  It is only a
matter of luck that no one has been killed. This must stop."

Mr. Kirchmeier said he hadn't been served notice of the lawsuit,
but the impact munitions described in the lawsuit are used for the
protection of the officers.

"When we're put in the position of protected areas being overrun
by numbers of people, these are lawful tools to quell the
advancement.  These are standing orders.  When decisions have to
be made by the field commander, he has the necessary authority to
make the call," the sheriff said.

MORTON COUNTY, ND: Sheriff Responds to DAPL Protest Class Action
Sara Berlinger, writing for KFYRTV, reports that several law
enforcement agencies responding to Dakota Access Pipeline protests
are being sued by some demonstrators for using excessive force
during an incident earlier in November.

Sheriff Kyle Kirchmeier says they reject the allegations.

The people who call themselves "The Water Protector Legal
Collective" say the lawsuit stems from November 20 when they say
the sheriff and other agencies assisting used a militarized,
violent response towards protesters.

Civil Rights Attorney Rachel Lederman says it's a class action
lawsuit on behalf of everyone injured that day, but there are nine
named plaintiffs.

Ms. Lederman says:

"Our goal is to get the judge to prohibit the law enforcement
agencies from indiscriminate use of impact munitions, explosive
grenades, chemical agents, water, as a means of dispersing

When asked about the lawsuit, Sheriff Kirchmeier says:

"The real brutality is committed violent protesters who use
improvised explosive devices to attack police, use hacked
information to threaten officers and their families and use
weapons to kill livestock, harming farmers and ranchers.  We will
continue to enforce the law and urge those lawful protesters to
isolate those who are unlawful."

NATIONAL MILK: Settles Milk Price-Fixing Class Action
KTVU reports that if you've purchased milk or fresh milk products,
such as yogurt, cream cheese, and half-and-half, you may have as
much as $65 coming to you as part of a class action lawsuit
involving surprising allegations that half a million cows were
slaughtered to illegally inflate milk prices.

Lawyers from the Bay Area office of class action law firm, Hagens
Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP, filed the case in federal court in San
Francisco in 2011.

It was filed on behalf of American dairy consumers and settled
this past September for $52 million.

The nonprofit animal welfare group, Compassion Over Killing, began
the initial research that identified potential price-fixing in the

The claims were against dairy lobbying group National Milk
Producers Federation (NMPF) and industry cooperatives Dairy
Farmers of America, Land O' Lakes, DairyLea Cooperative and

It alleged that a trade group led by the NMPF oversaw a "herd
retirement program" from 2003 to 2010 and that as part of the
program, cooperatives bought out entire herds of cattle and sent
them for early slaughter -- all in an effort to illegally limit
the supply of raw milk and thus drive up prices.

"The biggest dairy producers in the country, responsible for
almost 70 percent of the nation's milk, conspired together in a
classic price-fixing scheme, forcing higher prices for a basic
food item onto honest consumers and families," said Steve Berman,
managing partner of Hagens Berman.

"We're pleased that this settlement will return some of what
consumers lost due to this massive fraud perpetrated for ill-
gotten gains," Mr. Berman said.

The defendants denied the allegations and said they agreed to
settle the class action lawsuit because it was "the most sensible
and responsible course of action."

In a statement, Jim Mulhern, NMPF president and CEO said, "It is
important to note that the court has found no antitrust violation
and CWT makes no admission of wrongdoing in this settlement."

In addition to California, consumers in 14 other states and the
District of Columbia are entitled to a portion of the $52 million
settlement which covers milk products that were purchased from
2003 to the present.

Attorneys say no proof of purchase is needed to be reimbursed.
They say the claim process is easy and takes only a few minutes.

Consumers can submit a claim by going to www.boughtmilk.com.

NEWBRIDGE BANCORP: Court Cuts Attorney Fees in Shareholder Case
Brooks Pierce, Esq., of McLendon Humphrey & Leonard LLP, in an
article for Lexology, reports that the Business Court has
routinely been awarding substantial fees for disclosure only
settlements up until now, but the Business Court's recent decision
in In re Newbridge Bancorp Shareholder Litig., 2016 NCBC 87 sends
the message that its relaxed examination of the value of such
settlements is probably at an end.  That is partly based on the
Delaware Court of Chancery's decision in In re Trulia, Inc.
Stockholder Litig., 129 A.3d 886 (Del. Ch. 2016), which was
characterized as the "death knell" there for such settlements.

Judge Bledsoe said in the Newbridge Opinion:

"the North Carolina Business Court has historically been guided in
its consideration of motions to approve, and award attorneys' fees
in connection with, "disclosure-based" settlements of merger-based
class action litigation by the body of persuasive case law
developed by the Delaware courts over a period of many years.  The
Court is also aware that the Delaware courts have recently
subjected such motions to much more exacting scrutiny than they
have in the past. See, e.g., In re Trulia, Inc. Stockholder
Litig., 129 A.3d 886 (Del. Ch. 2016).

In the absence of contrary instructions from the North Carolina
appellate courts, the Court finds the recent trend in the Delaware
case law requiring enhanced scrutiny of disclosure-based
settlements to merit careful consideration for potential
application in this State.  The Court recognizes, however, that
the application of Delaware's recent case law to the Motions would
represent a marked departure from this Court's past practices in
connection with the consideration of such motions. As a result,
the Court declines to apply enhanced scrutiny to its consideration
of the Motions in this case but expressly advises the practicing
bar that judges of the North Carolina Business Court, including
the undersigned, may be prepared to apply enhanced scrutiny of the
sort exercised in Trulia to the approval of disclosure-based
settlements and attendant motions for attorneys' fees hereafter.
Op. Pars. 4 and 5.

Notwithstanding Judge Bledsoe's decision that "enhanced scrutiny"
would not be applied in the case before him, he did undertake a
pretty close review of the value of the disclosures obtained for
the class, and also the amount of the attorneys fees being

The Disclosures Obtained By Class Counsel Did Not Justify The
Amount Of Fees Sought

He said that some of the disclosures touted as the basis for the
fee award were "not material" or of "marginal benefit." Op. Pars.
64-65, 71 & n. 10.  He said that the Delaware Court of Chancery
had "long rejected" the fallacy "that increasingly detailed
disclosure is always material and beneficial disclosure." Op.
Par64  (quoting Dent v. Ramtron Int'l Corp., No. 7950-VCP, 2014
Del. Ch. LEXIS 110, at *47 (Del. Ch. June 30, 2014)).

After that review, he sliced in half the amount of fees sought by
class counsel, finding their fee request (of almost $275,000 based
on an implied hourly rate of almost $525) was "not fair and
reasonable, but rather excessive based on the circumstances of
this case and the record before the Court." Op. 69.

On the limited fee information provided by the class plaintiff's
counsel, Judge Gale said that the $135,000 fee award he made
yielded an implied average hourly rate of $258.  That probably
seemed pretty skimpy to those lawyers, who said that the "usual
and customary rates" for the senior lawyers for the Court-approved
Co-Lead Counsel ranged from $650-$850 per hour. Op. 50.

But the lawyers for the class did little to justify their fees.
They did not offer any affidavits of North Carolina attorneys
attesting to "the fees customarily charged in the locality for
similar legal services," as contemplated by the Revised Rule
1.5(a)(3) of Professional Conduct.  Instead, they premised their
fee request on a 2015 survey of billing rates published in the
National Law Journal.  Judge Bledsoe rejected that, saying that
"the NLJ Survey does not report the specific range of hourly rates
customarily charged in North Carolina for legal services of the
sort Plaintiffs' counsel provided here." Op. 51.

The Business Court Said That "Typical Fees" In North Carolina For
Complex Litigation Are $250-$450 Per Hour

Left without any benchmarks for what North Carolina lawyers
charged as "customary rates" for complex commercial litigation,
Judge Bledsoe looked to affidavits offered to the Business Court
in other class action fee applications which stated that "typical
fees charged in North Carolina for handling complex commercial
litigation range from $250 to $450 per hour." Op. 52.  He also
relied on the hourly fees charged by lawyers appointed by the
Business Court to serve as receivers or as counsel for receivers
(which ranged from $225 to $475 per hour). Op. 54.

Another Important Caution For Future Fee Applications

Another deficiency in the fee application was the failure to
supply detailed time records justifying the time spent.  The fee
applicants instead presented only summary charts showing the total
hours spent on the lawsuit.  In another caution for lawyers
requesting approval of fee applications, Judge Bledsoe said:

"the Court notes that attorneys' fees' petitions in this Court are
typically supported by detailed attorney time records and advises
that the Court will be reluctant to approve future petitions for
attorneys' fees lacking such evidentiary support.
Op. 45 & n. 8 (emphasis added).

Judge Bledsoe also said that there was nothing so special about
the work done by class counsel to justify the higher hourly rate
that they requested.  He said that: the nature of the work
performed by Plaintiffs' counsel "could have been performed fully
by competent North Carolina counsel and that the demands of the
[litigation] did not require Plaintiffs to retain counsel from
outside North Carolina in order to prosecute the [litigation]. Op.

Judge Bledsoe said he found that:

"Plaintiffs' counsel are highly-regarded, highly-experienced class
action counsel that have been involved in a number of significant
class action matters including matters resulting in substantial
monetary recovery for the class.
Op. 46.

Regardless of their qualifications, in the future these lawyers
(who were undoubtedly disappointed in this ruling due to their
success last year in getting a $550,000 fee award approved by a
different Business Court Judge) and other lawyers for class action
plaintiffs expecting big fees for anticipated disclosure only
settlements of marginal value might need to find some other state
in which to file those claims.

No more feeding at the trough in North Carolina.

A Couple Of Other Notes On This Opinion

One of the remarkable things about this Opinion is that there were
no objections to the fees sought by the attorneys for the class.
Judge Bledsoe resolved, on his own accord, to closely review and
reduce the fees sought.

Second, McLendon Humphrey & Leonard's Pierce recognizes that even
class actions leading to immaterial disclosure only settlements
involve the need for North Carolina lawyers to defend those
claims.  So it would be a shame if those out of state lawyers
filing the suits leading to these settlements were to stay away
from North Carolina altogether.

NORDIC NATURALS: Court Denies Hoffman's Petition to Rehear Case
Alison Frankel, writing for Reuters, reports that for a smart man,
New Jersey lawyer Harold Hoffman makes a lot of bad purchases.

Since 2011, Mr. Hoffman has been duped repeatedly by supposedly
deceptive labels or other misleading features of products he has
bought.  Or, at least, that is what Mr. Hoffman has alleged in
dozens of consumer fraud class actions filed between 2011 and 2014
in New Jersey Superior Court, naming an array of defendants from
Target, Whole Foods and Time Warner to small-timers like Joint
Juice and Paradise Herbs.  In no fewer than 100 cases, according
to a list compiled by one of Mr. Hoffman's targets,
Mr. Hoffman has appeared as both lead plaintiff and lead counsel.
His barrage of class actions has become so notorious that a New
York litigation boutique ran a blog post in September 2015
entitled, "Have you been sued by Harold Hoffman?"

The 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has had occasion twice in
the past few years to look at Hoffman class actions, both of which
were removed to federal court by defendants wielding the Class
Action Fairness Act.  Both times, the appellate court affirmed
dismissal of Mr. Hoffman's claims, rejecting his arguments that
federal judges wrongly asserted their jurisdiction over the cases.
The first time around, in a fraud class action against the
supplement maker Nutraceutical, Mr. Hoffman posited that because
he was acting as counsel and lead plaintiff in the case, his class
action could not be certified in federal court and therefore could
not have met the $5 million damages threshold for removal under
CAFA.  The 3rd Circuit, noting Mr. Hoffman's "habit" of filing pro
se consumer fraud class actions, ruled that the class action law
calls for district court judges to decide their jurisdiction
before considering class certification. In that sequence, the
appellate panel held, Mr. Hoffman couldn't show to a legal
certainty that damages in his purportedly nationwide class action
would not exceed $5 million.

Hoffman's second trip to the 3rd Circuit recently ended, when the
appellate court denied his petition to rehear a Sept. 14 decision
that the trial judge was permitted to bypass an inquiry into her
jurisdiction before tossing Mr. Hoffman's suit as already decided
on the merits.  Mr. Hoffman had initially sued Nordic Naturals,
the maker of a fish oil supplement, in state court in Bergen
County.  Nordic's lawyers at Gibbons removed the case to federal
court, where U.S. District Judge Susan Wigenton of Newark
dismissed it for failure to state a claim.  She gave Hoffman 30
days to file an amended complaint.  Instead, he filed a new suit
in state court, putting a restriction on the size of the potential
class and adding new claims about the falsity of the product's
"pharmaceutical grade" labeling.  Nordic again removed the case to
federal court and Judge Wigenton again dismissed it.

On appeal, Mr. Hoffman contested subject matter jurisdiction.  The
3rd Circuit panel -- Judges Julio Fuentes, Cheryl Krause and Jane
Roth -- cited the U.S. Supreme Court's 2007 ruling in Sinochem v.
Malaysia International Shipping to hold that because Judge
Wigenton decided Hoffman's claims were precluded by her dismissal
of the previous class action against Nordic, she did not need
first to determine her jurisdiction.

The panel's ruling was not obvious as a matter of civil procedure.
In fact, Philadelphia lawyer Matthew Stiegler, who writes about
the 3rd Circuit at CA3blog, was concerned enough about the
appellate court's analysis that he agreed to represent Hoffman in
a petition for rehearing.  Mr. Stiegler, in turn, approached civil
procedures scholar Steven Baicker-McKee of Duquesne law school.
Mr. Baicker-McKee agreed the jurisdictional issue was sufficiently
important -- and incorrectly decided -- to organize an amicus
brief backing Hoffman's petition for rehearing by "law professors
who hold the view that federal courts should not bypass contested
questions of subject-matter jurisdiction to dispose of claims
under the doctrine of res judicata."

That all sounds substantive enough to drive a non-lawyer to tears,
but the 3rd Circuit seems to have no patience for Harold Hoffman.
In the first sentence of the panel's decision, the appeals court
called him "a serial pro se class action litigant." The second
sentence referred back to the 3rd Circuit's previous notation of
Mr. Hoffman's "habit of filing class actions in which he serves as
both the sole class representative and sole class counsel."
Nordic's lawyers at Gibbons have repeatedly described Hoffman as a
flagrant abuser of the litigation system whose sole motive is to
extract settlements from defendants willing to pay to make him go

The 3rd Circuit did not address that characterization of Hoffman
in its decision, but it did grant Nordic's motion for sanctions,
awarding Nordic fees and costs for defending a supposedly
meritless appeal.  Nordic has asked for nearly $25,000; the 3rd
Circuit has not yet issued a final judgment on the amount of the
sanction. The appeals court also referred the Hoffman matter to
the New Jersey Supreme Court's Office of Attorney Ethics "for any
action it may deem appropriate."  Nordic previously asked Judge
Wigenton to sanction Hoffman for filing a frivolous suit when he
brought his second case against the supplement maker.  She denied
the motion, though she said Hoffman was "playing a thinly veiled
game of forum shopping" and that "such tactics reek of

So is Harold Hoffman a too-clever-by-half litigator exploiting New
Jersey fraud law for his own selfish purposes, as Nordic and its
lawyers portray him to be? Or is he a champion of consumer rights,
working through the system to hold defendants accountable?

In an interview on Nov. 29, Mr. Hoffman defended his record.  "I'm
not just throwing something and running away when the window
breaks," he said.  "I'm bringing credible claims which are
supported by law."

Mr. Hoffman pointed out that the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in
1983's In the Matter of Cadillac that in some instances, courts
may permit class action lawyers to serve as lead plaintiffs
(though the court also said the dual role can create an appearance
of impropriety and is best avoided).  Mr. Hoffman said he does not
purchase products to establish standing to sue but sues only when
he discovers a product is misrepresented. "I don't like to get
ripped off," he said.  "If I perceive I have a good faith basis
for a claim, a good faith basis for bringing it as a class action,
I do so -- only when the claim is valid in my judgment and only
when the class action vehicle is appropriate."

Mr. Hoffman said his fraud class actions have garnered "hundreds
of thousands of dollars for hundreds of thousands of consumers."
In particular, he mentioned a cy pres settlement that directed
funds to a legal clinic, although he couldn't remember which
defendant made the deal.

Mr. Hoffman told me he doesn't make a living from his class action
suits but from his commercial litigation practice, in which he
said he represents both plaintiffs and defendants.  He vigorously
denied Nordic's accusation of suing to extract settlements -- "I
have no power to extract anything," he said -- but did concede
that some defendants have settled his class actions.  "If I bring
in good faith a credible claim, the defendant needs to make a
business judgment about how to defend that claim," Mr. Hoffman

Reuters' Frankel asked him why the 3rd Circuit felt compelled to
call him out as a habitual class action filer/plaintiff in two
different opinions.  He said it would not be appropriate for him
to speculate, but emphasized that in his nearly 40 years in
practice, he had never been sanctioned or disciplined before the
3rd Circuit awarded Nordic its fees and costs.

Mr. Hoffman said he's still deciding whether to push on with a
petition for Supreme Court review of the 3rd Circuit's holding.

NOVA SCOTIA: Up to 300 Ex-Africville Residents May Join Suit
Sherri Borden Colley, writing for CBC News, reports that up to 300
former Africville residents and descendants could join a lawsuit
against the City of Halifax over the loss of their land four
decades ago, if a judge certifies the case as a class action.

More than 40 former residents showed up at Nova Scotia Supreme
Court in Halifax on Nov. 30 to hear lawyers argue the case.

"Essentially, they weren't provided compensation at the time for
the loss of their community so this is the one way we're able to .
. . get them compensation for their community, if that's what the
judge decides," Robert Pineo, the Halifax lawyer representing the
plaintiffs, told reporters.

A statement of claim was filed in 1996 against the City of
Halifax, now part of an amalgamated municipality.  The suit has
been recently revived.

Following the certification hearing, formal notices will go out to
the media and anyone who believes they fit the class definition
can put their name forward to join the lawsuit.

Estimated 300 could join lawsuit

"Right now, we estimate there's about 300 but we have no way of
knowing that for sure, yet," Mr. Pineo said.

An eligible class member would include Africvillle residents who
were removed from the historic black community by the City of
Halifax, as well as those who had a property interest in the
communal lands and whose lands were expropriated.

"There's evidence that quite a number of property owners sold
their property interests to the city and other amounts of money
were given to some of the members," Mr. Pineo said.

The proposed class members did not receive any compensation for
their land interests.

Municipal lawyer Karen MacDonald asked the judge to deny the
application. She told the court a person can enjoy the land but if
they don't own it, they are not entitled to compensation.

"HRM's position is that it's unclear as to what the communal lands
are in the statement of claim because it's not defined," MacDonald
told reporters.  "So if it's not defined then . . . we're not sure
what we're dealing with."

'They didn't depend on the city'

Tony Smith lived part of his childhood in Africville.  His
grandmother was forced out of the community that sat on the shore
of the Bedford Basin.

"The case is so important because all my life growing up I heard
many stories about Africville and how the city stole their land,
and how they took it away from them, and again racism plays a big
part of this," Mr. Smith said.

Multimillion-dollar settlement reached in 2010

Justice Patrick Duncan has reserved his decision.  If the court
application is successful, the plaintiffs can proceed to trial as
a class action and don't have to file individual claims.

In 2010, some former Africville residents reached a multimillion-
dollar settlement with the city.

No individual compensation was paid out.

The settlement included an apology, a hectare of land on the
former site to rebuild the Seaview African United Baptist Church
and $3 million to help build it.  The municipality also
established an office of African Nova Scotian Affairs.

NOVA SCOTIA: Halifax Seeks Dismissal of Africville Class Action
The Canadian Press reports that the contentious 1960s-era decision
that led the City of Halifax to raze a black community was set to
be debated anew in Nova Scotia Supreme Court.

Former residents of Africville are seeking compensation through a
class action brought by former resident Nelson Carvery.  Two days
of hearings had been set aside, starting Nov. 30, as lawyers seek
to have the claim certified.

Blacks first settled in Africville on the southern shore of the
Bedford Basin around the mid-1800s, but it was demolished in the
1960s in the name of urban renewal.

In a brief filed with the court, lawyer Robert Pineo says Halifax
did not follow its own rules under the city's charter.

"The defendant (failed) to perfect the purported expropriation of
Africville in the 1960s by failing to fully compensate land rights
and interests, failing to provide notice of the purported
expropriation to landowners, and failing to apprise them of their
rights in the process, all contrary to the then in-force
expropriation provisions of the Halifax City Charter," the
document states.

In 2010, the city issued a public apology and $3 million to
rebuild the Africville church, among other things, but the
settlement did not include personal compensation.

The suit seeks liability on the part of the City of Halifax,
damages and costs.

The document doesn't put a number on the possible number of people
in the lawsuit, but says it would include all former residents who
were removed between 1962 and 1970, or their estates, and who have
not opted out of the suit or otherwise had their claims dismissed
or discontinued.

"The facts of this matter, and in particular the communal nature
of the property rights expropriated, make individual pursuit of
claims unfeasible, and there are no alternative mechanisms by
which the claims can be pursued.  Proceeding as a class is
therefore the most appropriate, and realistically the only means
by which the proposed class members may have access to justice,"
the document reads.

Mr. Pineo has previously said a class action could involve 300

In its brief, the city says a class proceeding would not result in
a fair or efficient resolution.

"The class proposed by the plaintiff is overly broad, vague, and
not rationally connected with the cause of action and the common
issues.  The class is defined by residency in Africville as
opposed to sharing the cause of action.  The cause of action pled
is the alleged failure to perfect the expropriation of Africville.
This requires an ownership or interest in the Africville lands at
the time of expropriation, yet the proposed class makes no such
requirement of its members," the city's brief states.

The city requests that the motion for certification as a class
proceeding be dismissed.

OREGON: DHS Settles Foster Care Housing Class Action
Gordon Friedman, writing for Statesman Journal, reports that the
Oregon Department of Human Services has agreed not to house foster
children in hotels or its offices unless it is an emergency,
according to a settlement reached between the agency and lawyers
representing foster children.

The settlement was agreed to Nov. 17 but was announced on Nov. 29
in a joint statement from DHS and Youth, Rights & Justice, a
nonprofit advocacy group for Oregon foster children.

The agreement allows lawyers to pursue other legal claims related
to DHS housing of foster children.  But the agency and its top
officials were allowed to forgo an admission of liability.

In September, lawyers for Oregon foster children filed a class
action lawsuit alleging DHS broke the law by failing to find
appropriate housing for children.  In the lawsuit, attorneys
described the practice of housing kids in hotels, offices,
hospitals -- and a juvenile jail, in one extreme case -- as
"rendering foster children functionally homeless."

The settlement stipulates DHS will not place children in jails
without charge, or in hospitals without a medical reason.  DHS
agreed not to house children in its offices unless there are no
safe hotels nearby. Agency staff are also to take children in
state custody staying at hotels or its offices to school or day

It's unclear how the settlement will change current practices, if
at all.  It is already policy that foster kids are housed in state
offices or hotels as a last resort.  DHS spokesman
Gene Evans declined to comment when asked how the settlement would
change agency procedures.  Mr. Evans declined to answer questions
about how many foster children are in "nonplacement" housing,
living arrangements the lawsuit focused on.

Staff with Youth, Rights & Justice declined to comment.
Richard Vangelisti, a lawyer whom Youth, Rights & Justice listed
as a spokesman for the case, also declined to comment.

One national expert has low expectations for the agreement.

"The settlement is meaningless," said Richard Wexler, who leads
the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform.  "I truly
despair for the future of vulnerable children in Oregon."

He said it's likely little will change until Oregon takes steps to
place fewer kids in foster care.  It does so at a rate 35 percent
higher than the national average, Mr. Wexler said.

More than 11,200 Oregon kids spent at least a day in foster care
last year, according to DHS data.  Most are removed from their
homes for neglect.

DHS has faced heightened scrutiny for more than a year over its
management of foster care programs.

Gov. Kate Brown has replaced the agency's director.  A new
official was hired from New York to take over foster care
management.  An audit was completed, and leadership vowed to find

Still, agency reports indicate that abuse at Oregon foster homes
is on the rise, surpassing the nationwide rate. And fewer people
are signing up to be foster parents. That compounds housing issues
facing DHS.

The agency's child welfare division has a two-year budget of $943
million and employs 2,600 people.

PGT TRUCKING: Fails to Pay Employees Overtime, "Burton" Suit Says
Derrick Burton, individually, and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. PGT Trucking, Inc. and Sudbury Express,
Inc., Case No. 521473/2016 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., December 3, 2016), is
brought against the Defendants for failure to pay overtime wages
for work rendered more than 40 hours in a week.

The Defendants are engaged in the business of providing freight
transportation services.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Abdul K. Hassan, Esq.
      215-28 Hillside Avenue
      Queens Village, NY 11427
      Telephone: (718) 740-1000
      Facsimile: (718) 740-2000
      E-mail: abdul@abdulhassan.com

PIZZA LOCA: Does Not Properly Pay Workers, "Villasenor" Suit Says
Felipe Villasenor, individually and on behalf of all similarly
situated individuals v. Pizza Loca, Inc. d/b/a La Pizza Loca and
Does 1 through 25, Inclusive, Case No. BC642655 (Cal. Super. Ct.,
December 2, 2016), is brought against the Defendants for failure
to pay overtime and minimum wages in violation of the California
Labor Code.

Pizza Loca, Inc. operates a restaurant in Los Angeles County,

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Thomas W. Falvey, Esq.
      Michael H. Boyamian, Esq.
      Armand R. Kizirian, Esq.
      550 North Brand Boulevard, Suite 1500
      Glendale, CA 91203
      Telephone: (818) 547-5200
      Facsimile: (818) 500-9307
      E-mail(s): thomaswfalvey@gmail.com

         - and -

      Marcus A. Mancini, Esq.
      15303 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 600
      Sherman Oaks, CA 91403
      Telephone: (818)783-5757
      Facsimile: (818) 783-7710

PNC BANK: Class Action Settlement Obtains Final Court Approval
Jonathan Bilyk, writing for Cook County Record, reports that a
little over a year since a group of several hundred assistant bank
branch managers sued PNC Bank for allegedly denying them overtime
pay, a federal judge in Chicago has signed off on a deal to end
the litigation for $6 million, which would send around $2,000 on
average to each of the allegedly wronged assistant managers and $2
million to the attorneys who brought the case.

On Nov. 29, in a brief order, U.S. District Judge Amy J. St. Eve
gave final approval to the settlement deal between defendants
Pittsburgh-based PNC Bank and PNC Financial Services Group, and a
collection of more than 600 class action plaintiffs.  The parties
had presented the settlement agreement one day earlier, on
Nov. 28.

The litigation had been before St. Eve since November 2015, when
named plaintiffs Domonique Natasha Briggs and Samar Hassan filed
the putative class action in Chicago federal court.

They were represented in the action by a legal team including
attorneys Douglas Werman -- dwerman@flsalaw.com -- of Werman
Salas, of Chicago; Justin M. Swartz and Christopher McNerney, of
Outten & Golden, of New York, and Paul Mollica, of Outten's
Chicago office; and Gregg Shavitz -- gshavitz@shavitzlaw.com --
and Susan Stern -- sstern@shavitzlaw.com -- of Shavitz Law Group,
of Boca Raton, Fla.

Both Briggs and Hassan had worked as assistant branch managers at
PNC locations in Chicago at some point between 2011-2013, and each
said they had routinely worked more than 40 hours per week
-- at times as much as 60 hours per week -- yet had been paid only
for 40 hours of weekly work.  They said PNC had classified them
and other assistant managers as salaried employees, exempt from
the overtime pay requirements specified in the federal Fair Labor
Standards Act and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law.

However, the plaintiffs alleged this classification violated those
laws, as their primary duties were more akin to those performed by
tellers and other hourly employees who would be owed overtime pay
under the federal and state wage laws.

PNC had challenged their assertions, and had attempted to prevent
the lawsuit from becoming a class action.

In March, however, St. Eve had certified classes of additional
plaintiffs, eligible to join the lawsuit nationally under the FLSA
and within Illinois under the state wage law.

Within weeks, about 620 additional plaintiffs had signed on to
join the class action, court documents said.

In following weeks, PNC and the plaintiffs entered settlement
talks, and in mediation this fall, the final $6 million agreement
was reached.

According to a memorandum accompanying the Nov. 28 motion for
settlement, the $6 million figure represented about 81 percent of
the plaintiffs' lost wages since November 2012.

Briggs and Hassan are each scheduled to receive $12,500 as
"service awards" for assuming the "risk" of the litigation,
including possible future retaliation from other prospective

Class members are scheduled to receive a payment dependent on
their length of service and other conditions.  On average, members
of the ABM class could expect to receive about $2,011 each.

One-third of the settlement -- or $2 million -- was set aside for
the plaintiffs' attorneys, whose work, the memo argued, had
"bought a significant recovery for Class Members."  They said the
$2 million would represent "market rate" for their firms' work on
the case.

St. Eve dismissed the case without prejudice, pending the outcome
of the notices of settlement.  Should no motion be filed to
reinstate the case within 180 days, the judge said the dismissal
would be with prejudice.

PNC was represented in the action by attorneys with the firm of
Morgan Lewis Bockius, of Chicago, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

SAC CAPITAL: Settles Insider Trading Class Action for $135MM
Reuters reports that the plaintiffs say they lost money because of
insider trading by one of his portfolio managers.

Billionaire Steven A. Cohen's former hedge fund SAC Capital
Advisors will pay $135 million to settle a lawsuit by investors in
the drugmaker Elan, who said they lost money because of insider
trading by one of his portfolio managers.

The preliminary class-action settlement with SAC, now known as
Point72 Asset Management, was filed on Nov. 30 with the federal
court in Manhattan, and requires approval by U.S. District Judge
John Koeltl.

It resolves claims over an estimated $275 million of illegal
trading gains in Elan and the drugmaker Wyeth by Mathew Martoma,
who worked at SAC's CR Intrinsic Investors unit, based on tips
from a Michigan doctor about a 2008 Alzheimer's drug trial.

"We are pleased to have resolved this matter and close the books
on this chapter of SAC-era litigation," Point72 spokesman Mark
Herr said in a statement.

SAC pleaded guilty to fraud in 2013 and paid $1.8 billion in
criminal and civil settlements with U.S. authorities. It settled
with Wyeth shareholders for $10 million last December.

Mr. Martoma, meanwhile, is appealing his February 2014 insider
trading conviction, while he serves a nine-year prison term.

Cohen, 60, was not criminally charged, but in January accepted a
two-year ban on managing money for outside investors to end a U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission civil probe into his
supervision of Mr. Martoma.

That ban ends on Jan. 1, 2018, and no fine was imposed. Point72 is
based in Stamford, Connecticut.

SAC and Cohen did not admit wrongdoing in settling with the former
Elan investors, including purchasers of its American depositary
receipts and stock options.

Perrigo bought Elan in 2013, while Pfizer bought Wyeth in 2009.

Lawyers for the Elan investors plan to seek up to $35.1 million
for legal fees and $2.8 million for costs, which would be drawn
from the $135 million settlement, court papers show.

Cohen can donate leftover settlement funds to charities he
chooses, with the consent of the Elan investors.  He is worth $13
billion, Forbes magazine said.

The case is Kaplan et al v SAC Capital Advisors LP et al, U.S.
District Court, Southern District of New York, No. 12-09350.

SAN DIEGO, CA: Faces Class Action Over Hotel-Room Fee
Dorian Hargrove, writing for San Diego Reader, reports that as
attorneys for the city and Tourism Marketing District fight over
legal fees in a lawsuit filed in 2012 over a hotel-room fee
imposed by hotel owners to pay for promoting San Diego as a
tourism destination, a new class-action lawsuit again challenges
the legality of the tax.

The lawsuit was filed on November 22 by consumer advocate attorney
Ron Marron.  The complaint alleges the hotel tax violates state
Proposition 26, which requires voters to approve the levying of
any taxes in order to make it more difficult for local agencies to
charge hidden fees.  It also states that there are inherent
conflicts of interest in the make-up of the Tourism Marketing
board, filled with the city's largest hoteliers who voted to
impose the tax and are who are responsible for spending it to
promote their hotels.

Also at issue are whether the funds collected are benefitting the
city's tourism industry; the data used by hoteliers to justify the
tax is also questionable.

"[The] 'benefit' to the qualifying hotels is measured by a flawed
Return-on-Investment calculation that is based on speculation,
conjecture, estimations, and misleading statistics," reads the

"The City has turned a blind eye to these unlawful and wasteful
expenditures of taxpayer funds because the [Tourism Marketing
District] itself is nothing more than a ruse that the city uses to
effectuate an 'in-lieu payment' scheme. . . . Simply put, the
[Tourism Marketing District] assessment is an unlawful hidden tax
that was not approved by the electorate.  The city's imposition of
the assessment and its spending of [Tourism Marketing District]
funds should be restrained to prevent illegal expenditure and

The class-action lawsuit is asking that a judge order the city and
Tourism Marketing District to submit a declaration admitting that
the assessment is a tax and was not approved by the electorate, as
required by state law.  In addition, the complaint seeks
restitution "in the amount that [the City of San Diego and San
Diego's Tourism Marketing District] have been unjustly enriched
through their ill-gotten gains."

Attorney Marron declined to comment on any pending litigation.


Many of the same claims brought by Marron's client's are not new.
Most, in fact, were included in the December 2012 case brought by
San Diegans for Open Government against the Tourism Marketing

In an effort to get that lawsuit dismissed, attorneys for the
Tourism Marketing District attacked the legitimacy of the group's
members as well as its attorney, Cory Briggs.

The ensuing legal fight over the group's standing resulted in
years of litigation and a hefty legal bill for the Tourism
Marketing District.

In an April 2015 email obtained by the Reader, Tourism Marketing
District attorney Michael Colantuono admitted that there was a
50/50 shot that the district would win a case on the merits.
Instead, Colantuono confessed to trying to make the case disappear
by challenging San Diegans for Open Government's standing to sue.

". . .[W]e may not longer have need of the standing defense
give[n] that the law may soon be with us on the merits,"
Colantuono wrote to then-Tourism Marketing District director Lorin
Stewart regarding a court case filed in Ontario, California.

In December 2015, after spending upward of $3 million to
Colantuono's Sacramento-based legal firm, Superior Court judge
Joel Wohlfeil ruled that the group did have standing to sue, thus
allowing the case to move forward.

In August 2016, the Tourism Marketing District amended its
contract to exclude small hotels (70 rooms or less) in order to
get the case dismissed.

As previously mentioned, the two sides are waging a new fight over
legal fees for Briggs.

The November 22 class-action lawsuit is not the only legal battle
on the horizon for the Tourism Marketing District.  On
September 1, 2016, attorneys for the California Taxpayer Action
Network filed a separate lawsuit against the city and the Tourism
Marketing District.  The lawsuit, as reported by San Diego Union
Tribune columnist Dan McSwain, argues many of the same points.

SANIMAX: Settles Class Action Over Plant Odors, Jan. 6 Hearing
Jeff Bollier, writing for Green Bay Press-Gazette, reports that
Sanimax would upgrade its odor control systems and set aside
almost $1 million for west side residents affected by the Howard
rendering plant's odor under a proposed settlement of a lawsuit in
Brown County Circuit Court.

The proposed settlement would require Sanimax to spend $375,000 to
upgrade its emissions control systems over the next two years to
cut down on odors.  Residents filed the lawsuit in July 2014,
claiming the odors deprived them of the full use and enjoyment of
their properties.

According to a letter sent to residents, the company would set
aside $915,000 for residents living within a two-mile radius of
the plant at Badgerland Avenue between July 15, 2010 and the
present. No more than $460,000 of the fund would go to costs and
attorney fees.

Residents eligible for settlement funds would be assigned to one
of three subclasses based on their participation in the case.

Brown County Circuit Court records indicate Judge Thomas Walsh
sealed the settlement after the two sides notified him they had
agreed to terms.  Judge Walsh scheduled a fairness hearing, where
the agreement will be finalized, for 11:30 a.m. Jan. 6.

Residents who do not approve of the proposed terms have until Dec.
18 to either write to Walsh to object to the terms or request they
be excluded from the class.  If no objections are received, Judge
Walsh can accept the settlement terms.

The resolution to the 2-year-old case began to take shape in March
when the two sides sat down with a mediator, Sanimax attorney
Richard Baron said.

Mr. Baron, a lawyer with Foley Baron Metzger Juip, said the two
sides exchanged offers and continued discussions into the summer.
Court records show an agreement was reached in early September,
before Walsh approved the class action.

While a class was never certified, the settlement still provides
compensation to residents who could have been included in the
class.  Court documents indicate as many as 5,000 residents could
benefit from the settlement funds.

An attorney representing the west side residents did not return
calls seeking comment.

SIRIUSXM: Settles Class Action Over Pre-1972 Recordings
Gene Maddaus, writing for Variety, reports that SiriusXM has
reached a settlement in a class action lawsuit brought by former
members of the Turtles in which the satellite radio service will
pay up to $99 million for the airplay of recordings made before

The terms of the settlement were included in a court filing in
U.S. District Court in Los Angeles on Nov. 28, and apply to owners
of pre-1972 sound recordings played without their permission on
SiriusXM between Aug. 1, 2009, and Nov. 14, 2016. It does not
include major record labels, which have reached their own
settlement with SiriusXM.  The court had already certified the

Under the terms of the settlement, SiriusXM will pay up to $40
million, with members of the class guaranteed at least $25 million
pending final approval.  The settlement class is also eligible for
up to $15 million if Flo & Eddie prevail in appeals of performance
rights issues in California, New York, and Florida.  The
settlement also includes a 10-year license through Jan. 1, 2028,
in exchange for cash royalty payments.

Those payments would be up to a 5.5% royalty rate for each class
member's pro rata share of SiriusXM's defined gross revenue -- but
they would be reduced if the satellite service wins the appeals of
performance rights issues.  That potential payout for royalties
has been estimated at between $45.5 million and $59.2 million,
depending on SiriusXM's growth.

Sound recordings did not fall under the scope of federal copyright
until 1972, but owners of the songs have been seeking payment from
SiriusXM and Pandora Media by citing state law protections. Flo &
Eddie, a company that controls Turtles recordings, had filed a
series of class action lawsuits.

The settlement still must be approved by the court.  The New York
Times first reported on its terms.

A hearing has been scheduled for Jan. 30 on preliminary approval
of the settlement terms.

SOUTHERN XPOSURE: Raleigh Man Sues Over Wage Law Violations
Chris Dickerson, writing for West Virginia Record, reports that a
Raleigh County man has filed a potential class action lawsuit
against a local chain of strip clubs, claiming the business
violated state wage laws.

Southern Xposure, parent company BRC Cafe Inc. and owner Mahesh
Patel are the defendants named in the lawsuit filed Nov. 17 by
Billy Grossi in Raleigh Circuit Court.

In the complaint, Mr. Grossi says he was hired by the defendants
on an hourly basis.

"After being hired, he was not paid for any of his time worked,
and not paid overtime," the complaint states.  "The (West Virginia
Wage Payment and Collection Act) required payment to be made
within four business days of a scheduled payday or within four
business days if the employee is terminated."

Mr. Grossi said the defendants violated the act by failing to
follow that law.

"Defendants benefited by failing to pay any of its employees," the
complaint states.  "The named plaintiff, as well as all other
similarly situated individuals who worked for defendants have been
harmed by defendants' actions."

Mr. Grossi seeks compensatory judgment for himself and all members
of the proposed class for all damages they have suffered. He also
seeks pre- and post-judgment interest, front pay, back pay,
benefits, emotional damages, non-economic damage, court costs and
attorney fees.

He is represented by D. Adrian Hoosier II of Lord Hoosier PLLC in
Charleston.  The case has been assigned to Raleigh Circuit Judge
H.L. Kirkpatrick III.

Raleigh Circuit Court case number 16-C-726

SP AUSNET: Black Saturday Fire Victims Question Tax Bills
Pia Akerman, writing for The Australian, reports that tensions are
mounting among Black Saturday victims who joined landmark class
actions, as some members face criticism for raising questions
about the costs charged by Maurice Blackburn and a multi-million-
dollar tax bill that may reduce payouts.

Two Victorian Supreme Court judges were on Nov. 30 set to question
a costs assessor who has approved the legal firm's bills for
administering the $794 million Murrindindi and Kilmore East
settlement schemes, with disgruntled victims given the opportunity
to probe the auditor as they seek court orders for a fresh review.

More than two years after the Kilmore East case settled for an
Australian record figure of $494m, class action members still
await compensation although Maurice Blackburn has received more
than $100m in costs and administration fees.

At least 20 people have sent letters to Maurice Blackburn raising
concerns about the conduct of the settlement administration and an
unexpected tax liability that the firm said in November could be
as high as $20m.

The firm and the cases' lead plaintiffs -- Carol Matthews for the
Kilmore East action and Katherine Rowe in the Murrindindi case --
have responded by warning that extra and "super-fluous" processes
to scrutinise the settlements' handling could potentially delay
payments more.

"The mechanisms for financial scrutiny, spot checks and double
checks are all in place," Ms Matthews wrote in a letter to all
claimants.  "When will all this second-guessing and double-
handling stop?"

Class action member Denis Spooner, who has challenged Maurice
Blackburn's administration, responded in a letter to the court.
"Throughout this entire process, all we have done is to ask
questions and seek clarifications with regard to the scheme
administration processes and to reassure ourselves all actions
taken have been in the best interests of all class action
members," Mr. Spooner wrote, with his partner, Suzi Kerr.

"This is something we are well within our rights to do.  We are
all the more surprised at and disappointed by the scheme
administrator's defensive, reactionary and inflammatory responses
to our endeavours to have a few questions answered and his seeming
attempts to shut us down."

Maurice Blackburn class action head Andrew Watson, who acts as the
settlement scheme administrator, has repeatedly described concerns
raised by Mr. Spooner and fellow litigants Vicki Ruhr and Norman
Archibald as based on incorrect information.

ST. PAUL, MN: Trial Canceled in Right-of-Way Assessments Case
Jessie Van Berkel, writing for Star Tribune, reports that two
churches in downtown St. Paul that have spent five years fighting
2011 city right-of-way assessments hoped a trial would vindicate
their claim that the city's assessment process is illegal.

The trial has been canceled.

City Attorney Sammy Clark said on Nov. 29 that he expects St. Paul
will consent to an order for judgment.  That judgment would likely
result in the city repaying the churches the $24,365 they were
assessed in 2011, and some other costs.  But there would not be
any broad determination about the city's assessment practices.

"This is kind of the saddest victory I've ever experienced," said
Rev. William Englund, pastor at First Baptist Church of St. Paul,
which was fighting the assessment along with the Church of St.
Mary of St. Paul.  The churches were more concerned about changing
the assessment practices than the money, Englund said.

He described the order for judgment as a "court-imposed

The city is evaluating its right-of-way assessment process and may
make changes next year.  The assessments are based on how much
frontage a property has along a road or alley, so residents with
unusual lots pay far more than their neighbors. How much someone
pays per foot along the street differs depending on what type of
property they own and where it is located in the city.

State law says when a property is assessed by the city, it should
receive a special benefit. St. Paul uses right-of-way assessments
for a variety of things, including snowplowing and tree trimming.

The 2011 case has been making its way through the court system for
years and returned to the District Court after the Minnesota
Supreme Court deemed the assessments were actually taxes . The
case was remanded to the District Court to determine whether the
city's assessments are greater than the special benefits to the

Jack Hoeschler, the attorney representing the churches, said at
trial he would have had experts show that the cost of assessments
exceeds increases in properties' market values.  He said the city
opted out of the trial because it could not find an expert to make
the case that the benefits to a property are greater than the

"This is their only out.  If they go to trial, they've got a
serious problem.  The king really has no clothes, and someone has
to admit it," Mr. Hoeschler said.

Mr. Clark, the city attorney, said, "I respectfully disagree with

The city's decision not to go to trial was based on cost savings,
Mr. Clark said.  It would have cost more than $30,000 to get a
special expert to testify on short notice, he said, so the city
will likely opt to repay the churches' $24,365 assessments
instead.  He is checking with City Council members before agreeing
to move forward with the judgment.

Representatives from the city and churches were set to meet on
Dec. 5 to determine how to proceed.  The churches have argued
against other years' assessments, and Mr. Clark said he expects
they would also discuss what would happen with those cases on Dec.
5.  The court stayed proceedings on those cases pending an outcome
in the 2011 suit.  They may end up in mediation if the two sides
cannot negotiate a settlement in those cases, he said.

Meanwhile, several attorneys, including Mr. Hoeschler, plan to
file a class-action lawsuit against the city over the right-of-way
assessment process.

With the 2011 case not going to trial, Mr. Hoeschler said the
class-action suit will be particularly critical in the effort to
prove the assessments are improper.

SWEETGREEN: Blind Customers File ADA Violations Class Action
PYMNTS reports that fast-casual restaurant chain Sweetgreen is
facing a class action lawsuit from blind customers and a
Washington Lawyers' Committee (WLC) for Civil Rights and Urban
Affairs.  The lawsuit alleges the company failed to make its
online ordering platform accessible to blind customers, thereby
violating the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

The lawsuit alleges that blind customers had repeatedly lodged
formal complaints to Sweetgreen over the past year about the lack
of accessibility of its online web ordering system and mobile app
-- but that Sweetgreen failed to make its online ordering system
accessible.  ADA and state laws require public restaurants and
other public entities to maintain a website accessible to blind

To access the internet, blind individuals use screen reader
software that either displays Braille on hardware devices or
vocalizes text to speech.  If a webpage is not compatible with
screen reader software, blind internet users are effectively
locked out.

Matthew Handley, the WLC's Director of Litigation who represents
the plaintiffs, was quoted as saying, "As a public restaurant,
Sweetgreen has a legal obligation to make all of its services
accessible to blind customers, including its online ordering
system and mobile app.  All too often, blind Americans are denied
equal treatment and access to everyday services in violation of
federal and state law."

"When a business like Sweetgreen ignores the complaints of
customers who have disabilities, it leaves the customers with no
choice but to ask the federal courts to enforce the law,"
Mr. Handley continued.  "Our clients are paying customers and
cannot be denied equal access to everyday services -- by
Sweetgreen or by any other place of public accommodation."

Sweetgreen has reportedly said that it aligns its business
practices with the socially conscious values of its founders.
Sweetgreen promotes healthy, local and seasonal eating.  It
currently operates 40 stores in the D.C. area, New York and five
other U.S. states.

TEAM HEALTH: Faces "Klein" Suit Over Proposed Blackstone Merger
Melvyn Klein, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. Team Health Holdings, Inc., Leif M. Murphy, H. Lynn
Massingale, James L. Bierman, Edwin M. Crawford, Glenn A.
Davenport, Patrick E. Fry, Mary R. Grealy, Vicky B. Gregg, Neil
Kurtz, Scott Ostfeld, and Kenneth H. Paulus, Case No. 3:16-cv-
00675 (E.D. Tenn., December 2, 2016), is brought on behalf of all
public holders of the common stock of Team Health Holdings, Inc.,
to enjoin the proposed  merger between Team Health and entities
formed by Blackstone Capital Partners VII L.P., through a flawed
process and inadequate consideration.

Team Health Holdings, Inc. is a Delaware corporation that provides
outsourced healthcare professional staffing and administrative
services to hospitals and other healthcare providers in the United

Blackstone Capital Partners VII L.P. specializes in large mid-cap,
growth, and buyout investments.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      J. Gerard Stranch IV, Esq.
      The Freedom Center
      223 Rosa L. Parks Avenue, Suite 200
      Nashville, TN 37203
      Telephone: (615) 254-8801
      Facsimile: (615) 255-5419
      E-mail: gerards@bsjfirm.com

         - and -

      Juan E. Monteverde, Esq.
      The Empire State Building
      350 Fifth Avenue, 59th Floor
      New York, NY 10118
      Telephone: (212) 971-1341
      E-mail: jmonteverde@monteverdelaw.com

         - and -

      Thomas J. McKenna, Esq.
      440 Park Avenue South, 5th Floor
      New York, NY 10016
      Telephone: (212) 983-1300
      Facsimile: (212) 983-0383
      E-mail: tjmckenna@gme-law.com

TEXAS: Foster Care Class Action Defense Costs Reach $7 Million
Robert T. Garrett, writing for The Dallas News, reports that Texas
has spent more than $7 million fighting a class-action lawsuit
over foster care.

Since 2011, three state agencies have spent nearly $6.6 million in
lawyers' and other state staff members' time and on travel,
transcription services and other expenses related to the federal
suit, according to data obtained by The Dallas Morning News under
Texas' open records law.

And that doesn't count an additional $650,000 the Department of
Family and Protective Services has been forced to pay for salary
and travel expenses of two court-appointed officials recommending
an action plan to a federal judge.

The state lost badly at the trial level last year.  U.S. District
Judge Janis Graham Jack of Corpus Christi ruled that because Texas
has such a drastic shortage of conservatorship caseworkers and
foster homes, and is so lax at policing foster-care vendors,
children are at grave risk of harm.  Thus, the state has violated
their 14th Amendment rights, she said.  State officials, while
acknowledging the system needs work, have appealed.

Some child advocates and lawyers who brought the suit on behalf of
12,000 children in long-term foster care find Texas' all-out
resistance -- and indifference to millions in legal defense costs
-- disheartening.

"We'd like to see state leaders quickly put the legal battles in
the rearview mirror and focus on helping kids," said Kate Murphy
of Texans Care for Children.  The group was founded by the late
Phil Strickland of Dallas, a longtime lobbyist for the Baptist
General Convention of Texas.

Paul Yetter of Houston, who was the plaintiffs' lead lawyer at a
trial in the case two years ago, said that the state has not only
a dismal track record in caring for foster children but newly
disclosed problems with conducting timely child-abuse

"Given that innocent children's lives are at stake, the state
should be focused on fixing its broken system, not spending
millions to defend it," he said.  "That money would pay for
finding ways to keep good caseworkers from quitting, doing better
investigations and not losing children at risk."

Spokesmen for Gov. Greg Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton,
though, insisted the legal costs were necessary.  They also
asserted that only the state itself, free of judicial
interference, can fix Texas' foster-care system.

"The problems at [the department] will not be fixed by a federal
judge or out-of-state consultants," said Abbott press secretary
John Wittman.  "These problems must be fixed by overhauling the
system, which is exactly why Governor Abbott has installed
Commissioner [Henry "Hank"] Whitman and fully supports his plan,
which puts Texas' children first."

He was referring to Mr. Whitman's emergency request to spend
$144.7 million in the remaining nine months of this fiscal year.
That would cover $12,000 pay raises for Child Protective Services
caseworkers and special investigators, other raises for CPS
managers and the hiring of 829 additional CPS employees.

GOP legislative leaders have yet to approve Mr. Whitman's request.
It mainly is aimed at correcting glaring deficiencies in CPS'
initial investigations, though 105 of the new workers would be
"conservatorship caseworkers" who nurture foster children and
appear on their behalf in court.

Paxton spokesman Marc Rylander said that Mr. Abbott, Mr. Whitman
and lawmakers have made it "a top priority" to fix protective
services in next year's legislative session, and that Judge Jack
went too far in her ruling.

"Our current system does not violate the Constitution,"
Mr. Rylander said.  "If the plaintiffs complain about wasting
resources on defending against its lawsuit, they should drop their
lawsuit and stop using Texas children as hostages for their policy

As The News reported in June, experts on child welfare litigation
say that Texas has more fiercely fought the foster-care class
action case than any of the more than 30 other states and counties
that have faced similar suits since the early 1980s.
Texas is one of only four states to go to trial in the foster-care
suits and has dug in its heels.  Republican leaders elsewhere,
such as Gov. Nikki Haley in South Carolina, have settled with
plaintiffs and made compromises, some child advocates have noted.

Judge Jack's findings, and recent recommendations by her special
masters Kevin Ryan of New Jersey and Francis McGovern of North
Carolina, point to big, potential financial exposure for the
department -- and thus, the Legislature.

She very well could effectively order the state to spend tens of
millions a year on new initiatives.  Lowering CPS conservatorship
workers' caseloads could require hiring hundreds more of them.
Jack could also require higher payments for vendors to provide
better care of foster children, closer to their home communities
and the hiring of more inspectors to police the vendors.

But state GOP leaders are fighting Jack, an appointee of former
President Bill Clinton, to the finish.

Mr. Paxton appears all but certain to appeal her final order,
which could come in a few months.  That probably would push any
need for the state to comply with Judge Jack's expected demands
well past next year's legislative session.

Legal defense costs for the state will mount, unless the
conservative U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which is often
deferential to states' rights, rides to Texas' rescue.  But on two
occasions earlier this year, the 5th Circuit declined the state's
requests that it roll back Jack's actions.

Mr. Wittman, the Abbott spokesman, reflected the state's
frustration in responding to questions about the state's legal
defense costs.

"There's no question this money would be better spent protecting
children, which is why it's unfortunate the plaintiffs' attorneys
are prioritizing their fees over the well-being of Texas children,
perpetuating conflict through never-ending judicial management of
CPS," he said in a written statement.

Mr. Yetter, a commercial litigator who has served for free in the
case, called that inaccurate and unfair.

"This case is not to make a profit," he said, explaining that the
Texas plaintiffs' lawyers -- his firm Yetter Coleman LLP of
Houston and Dallas law firm Haynes & Boone -- served pro bono.
In civil rights cases such as the foster-care case, if plaintiffs
win, they can seek certain attorney fees, Mr. Yetter noted.

New York-based Children's Rights, which launched the challenge to
Texas foster care, "always has used any fees that it recovers in
these public-interest cases to fund other child welfare litigation
and pursue its mission," he said.

By the numbers
Texas agencies have spent more than $7 million fighting a class-
action suit over foster care in the past 5 1/2 years.  Only about
$62,000 of it was on travel and $60,000 on court fees and
transcription services. The great bulk of the expense was for the
time of lawyers and other state staff members.  Here's a breakout
by agency:

$3,664,059 - Department of Family and Protective Services
$1,310,045 - Health and Human Services Commission
$1,610,485 - Office of Attorney General
$6,584,589 - Subtotal

The protective services agency also has paid invoices from court-
appointed special masters:

$594,987 -- Public Catalyst Group Corp. (former New Jersey
official Kevin Ryan)
$55,152 -- Francis E. McGovern (Duke law professor)
$650,139 -- Subtotal
$7,234,728 -- Total

THERANOS: Hagens Berman Files Third Investors' Class Action
Stephanie Baum, writing for MedCityNews, reports that Rupert
Murdoch, executive chairman of News Corp, invested $100 million in
Theranos, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal,
which cited sources familiar with the matter.  News Corp is the
parent company of The Wall Street Journal.  The fact that Murdoch
was named as an investor is a particularly interesting twist in
the Theranos saga since The Wall Street Journal published a series
of articles that called into question the diagnostic company's
operation, starting in October last year.

Other Theranos investors named in The Wall Street Journal article
include Riley Bechtel, chairman of construction business Bechtel
Group, and Cox Enterprises.  The article pointed out that early
investors in Theranos, which was originally called Real Time
Cures, paid 15 cents per share for their stakes, citing company
filings.  Investors who bought stock in the most recent funding
round paid about $17 a share.

Sandbox Industries, which manages investments for Blue Cross and
Blue Shield insurance plans among other investors, also purchased
shares in the business, The Wall Street Journal noted.  Sandbox
managing director Matt Downs told the paper that the Sandbox fund
invested $1.5 million and the Blue Venture Fund invested $8.5
million in Theranos in 2010.

The new light on investors came as consumer rights class action
law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro announced it filed a class
action lawsuit on behalf of Theranos investors.  It is the third
complaint against the blood testing company in recent weeks and
reflects the continued fallout from the business.

The class action, filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California, follows other suits against
Theranos by former Theranos partner Walgreens and Partners Fund
Management, a Theranos investor.

A news release from Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro summarizing the
complaint alleged that Theranos and its officers created a
publicity campaign to raise billions of dollars for Theranos and
to persuade investors to invest in Theranos, but all the while
knew that their blood test technology was "a hoax".

Steve Berman, managing partner of Hagens Berman, railed against
Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes in a statement.  Although the suit
named two plaintiffs -- Robert Colman and Hilary Taubman-Dye --
Berman claimed that thousands of Theranos investors were misled.

"Thousands of Theranos investors, including those who bring this
class action, were spoon-fed continuous lies from the company's
CEO who touted the company's 'world-changing' technology that
would 'revolutionize' the industry," he said.  "After months of
wooing investors to the tune of its CEO's $9 billion net worth,
Theranos' bubble has burst, and we now see the truth -- that
Theranos' promises were built on false statements and omissions."

A Theranos spokeswoman declined to comment on the latest suit.

The Hagens Berman complaint seeks recovery for a proposed class of
investors and accuses defendants of violating California
securities laws, luring investors through fraud, deceit, and
negligent misrepresentation, among other counts, the statement

Walgreens ended its contract with Theranos in June after the
diagnostics company voided 31,000 blood test reports for Walgreens
customers -- one of several allegations in the Walgreens

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services banned Theranos CEO
Elizabeth Holmes from owning, operating or directing a clinical
lab for two years.  Yet, the diagnostics business has tried to
reposition itself as a business that can offer products to labs
and providers starting with the miniLab.  Last month, Theranos
shut down its clinical labs and direct-to-consumer blood testing
services in a move affecting 340 workers in California, Arizona,
and Pennsylvania.

TOSHIBA: Suspension Recommended for Class Action Lawyer
Debra Cassens Weiss, writing for ABA Journal, reports that a
30-day suspension is being recommended for a lawyer who said she
couldn't produce computer metadata of time records supporting a
multimillion-dollar fee request because she used a "wipe and
delete" program each day.

The State Bar of California's Review Department recommended the
suspension for lawyer Lori Jo Sklar in an Oct. 28 opinion (PDF),
the Legal Profession Blog reports.  The lawyer lives in Minnesota
but also has a California law license, the opinion says.

In 2006, Ms. Sklar had sought $24 million attorney fees in a class
action settlement on behalf of Toshiba computer users who claimed
the laptop covers were faulty, according to the Review Department
opinion.  In 2009 her lawyer said she was seeking $22 million, and
in 2010 she said she was seeking $12 million.  The $24 million
represented only the maximum recovery she could receive, Ms. Sklar
told the court.

Toshiba sought time records supporting the initial fee request,
and Ms. Sklar was ordered to produce electronic time records in
"native format," the opinion says.  Ms. Sklar produced hard copies
and Microsoft Word files of the records, but not electronic,
searchable copies in native form associated with metadata,
according to the opinion.  Ms. Sklar said she couldn't produce the
records because she scrubbed her computer each day with a "wipe
and delete" program that eliminates metadata.

Toshiba sought sanctions, but a judge instead ordered the parties
in 2007 to select a neutral expert to search Ms. Sklar's computer
backup files and produce material that wasn't privileged.  After
Ms. Sklar objected, the court entered a protective order stating
that any production of electronic information didn't waive Ms.
Sklar's privacy or privilege claims.  Ms. Sklar continued to
object, and she never produced the computer.

A judge imposed a $165,000 sanction for misuse of the discovery
process, which was upheld on appeal.  The appeals court also
upheld the denial of her petition for fees.

The Review Department concluded that Ms. Sklar had wrongly told a
judge she never sought more than $12 million in fees and she
disregarded court orders regarding the inspection of her computer.

"Sklar admits she intentionally did not allow the inspection, but
raises a host of arguments as justification," the Review
Department opinion said.  "She primarily claims the judge's orders
were never properly signed or served, and no protocols were in
place to protect confidential/privileged information. Like the
superior court, the Court of Appeal, and the hearing judge, we
find no merit to these arguments. . . .

"Sklar cannot disregard court orders because she believes they are
invalid, even if she has a personal good faith reason to do so."

Ms. Sklar had disputed nearly every factual finding in the civil
case as well as the disciplinary proceedings, but the Review Board
determined her challenges had no merit.

The Review Board noted that Ms. Sklar had no prior discipline over
many years of practice, and 14 witnesses said she was of good
character.  The board recommended a 30-day actual suspension and a
one-year stayed suspension.

Ms. Sklar points out there is no final judgment in the ethics case
and tells the ABA Journal that she is appealing.

TRUMP UNIVERSITY: Plaintiffs Lawyers Say Settlement Unprecedented
Amanda Bronstad, writing for The National Law Journal, reports
that one day after President-elect Donald Trump agreed to pay $25
million to settle lawsuits over Trump University, he posted on
Twitter that the payment was a "small fraction of the potential
award."  But Jason Forge, one of three plaintiffs attorneys at San
Diego's Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd who was involved in the
settlement talks, said the amount each class member can expect to
receive is unprecedented.  But he also acknowledged that the
litigation faced more uncertainties, particularly after Trump's
win on Nov. 8.

The settlement resolved two class actions in California, one of
which was set for trial on Nov. 28 in San Diego, and another
brought by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, alleging
Trump University made fraudulent claims about its real estate

Q: Litigation Daily named Trump's lawyer, Daniel Petrocelli of
O'Melveny & Myers, Litigator of the Week for his work on this
settlement.  How did the plaintiffs come out on top in this deal?
Forge: To be able to say to every class member, "You'll get more
than half your money back, and maybe more," is, if not
unprecedented, pretty darn close. In many respects, it was a very
easy decision for us once we started talking about real money. And
the total damages in that case were about $17 million.  The
settlement case for a higher amount of money than the total
damages was for us something that, looking at it from the best
interest of class members, we couldn't credibly say no to.

Q: But it wasn't just about this trial, right?

Forge: We had a case where damages were decertified . . .every
individual class member would have to bring their own proceeding
in order to recover any money. Even if we won a verdict at this
trial, which was just to establish liability, that would be step
one in what would be an extremely lengthy litigation process.
Literally, we could have been talking a decade.

The idea of all these people jumping on board and bringing
independent legal proceedings to obtain damages from him and
subjecting themselves to discovery and deposed in separate trial
proceedings -- it was daunting to say the least.

Q: Trump is famous for saying he doesn't settle. What do you think
changed his mind?

Forge: It's hard to place his priorities before he became
president-elect with priorities once he became president-elect. In
the primaries and the general election, he effectively used the
mantra, "There's no such thing as bad press."  Once he's
president-elect, the rules of engagement changed.  There was no
question the statements that he made about hand-picking these
instructors were flat-out false. I think he was fully prepared to
fight this thing, but I do think he saw some benefits to putting
it behind him that didn't necessarily exist before.

I don't think any sitting president would want to kick off his or
her administration by defending a fraud case.

Q: Your firm has been handling this case since Day 1. Was it hard
for all the lawyers at your firm to come to agreement on whether
to settle and at what terms?

Forge: It's always hard. I'm sure it was hard on the defense side.
Both sides were ready to try the case.  Both sides believed in
their case.

Q: You waived your attorney fees. Why?

Forge: This is not your typical class action case.  With Trump
becoming president and complications that that posed, it really
compromised our ability to get for them a real recovery as quickly
as we would like.  So we just felt it really became much more of a
public service, the case did, and consistent with that we thought
it would be more important to not take fees.

TRXADE GROUP: January 17 Fax Ads Claims Filing Deadline Set
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Alabama, located in Mobile, Alabama, has granted preliminary
approval to a proposed Settlement in a class action lawsuit
involving recipients of facsimile advertisements from Defendants
Trxade Group, Inc. and Westminster Pharmaceuticals, LLC.  The case
is Family Medicine Pharmacy, LLC v. Trxade, Group, Inc. and
Westminster Pharmaceuticals, LLC, Case No. 1:15-00590-KD-B and
alleges that Defendants Trxade Group, Inc. and/or Westminster
Pharmaceuticals, LLC violated the Telephone Consumer Protection
Act of 1991, 47 U.S.C. Sec. 221, by sending fax advertisements
that did not contain the required opt-out notice and/or without
prior express consent of Plaintiff and the putative class members.

Who is Included in the Settlement?
Under the terms of the proposed Settlement, the Class consists of:
"All individuals and/or entities, who did not have an established
business relationship with Trxade Group, Inc. and Westminster
Pharmaceuticals, LLC, located in any state, district, or territory
of the United States that received one or more unsolicited
advertisements or solicitations via facsimile from Defendants
during the Class Period."  The Class Period is defined as January
1, 2012, to November 4, 2016.

What does the Settlement provide?
The Settlement provides that Trxade Group, Inc. and Westminster
Pharmaceuticals, LLC will pay $200,000 into a Settlement Fund that
will include money for Settlement Class Members who submit timely
and valid claims, after deducting payment of the costs of
administering the Settlement, including the costs of this Notice
and attorneys' fees, costs, and any incentive award that the Court
may award.

If finally approved by the Court, any money remaining in the
Settlement Fund after deduction of costs of administering the
settlement, including the costs of this Notice and attorneys'
fees, costs, and any incentive award that the Court may award,
shall be distributed to the Class Members who submit a timely
claim and satisfactorily complete the information required on the
Claim Form ("Claimant") on a pro rata basis, with each Claimant to
receive no more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).  For
purposes of the pro rata calculation, each Claimant shall count as
one unit.  Any remainder from the Common Fund will be distributed
as a Cy Pres award to be made solely to students studying at the
University of South Florida College of Pharmacy who are sponsored
by an independent pharmacist.

How to Receive a Benefit
To receive any cash payment, you must submit a valid Claim Form.
Your Claim Form must include all of the required information, must
be verified by you, and must be submitted on or before January 17,
2017.  A Claim Form is available at www.txdtcpasettle.com.

For more information, including how to opt out or object to the
proposed settlement, or to request a claim form, visit
www.txdtcpasettle.com or call the JND Class Action Administration
toll-free at 1-844-581-8810.  Please do not contact the Court.

TYSON FOODS: Robbins Geller Files Securities Class Action
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP ("Robbins Geller") on Nov. 28
disclosed that a class action has been commenced on behalf of
purchasers of Tyson Foods, Inc. ("Tyson") (NYSE: TSN) common stock
during the period between November 23, 2015 and November 18, 2016
(the "Class Period").  This action was filed in the Western
District of Arkansas and is captioned Voellinger v. Tyson Foods,
Inc., et al., No. 16-5340-TLB.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no
later than 60 days from October 17, 2016.  If you wish to discuss
this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your
rights or interests, please contact plaintiff's counsel, Darren
Robbins of Robbins Geller at 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058, or via
e-mail at djr@rgrdlaw.com.  If you are a member of this class, you
can view a copy of the complaint as filed at
http://www.rgrdlaw.com/cases/tyson/. Any member of the putative
class may move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through
counsel of their choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an
absent class member.

The complaint charges Tyson and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Tyson purports to be one of the world's largest food companies and
a recognized market leader in chicken, beef and pork production.

The complaint alleges that throughout and before the Class Period,
defendants engaged in a scheme to defraud and made numerous
materially false and misleading statements and omissions regarding
Tyson's business and operations, including: (a) falsely stating
that the Company's products, including chicken, compete against
other suppliers on price and other variables; (b) falsely
describing the markets in which the Company sells chicken as
"intensely competitive"; (c) falsely ascribing Tyson's strong
margins in the sale of chickens to changes the Company had made in
its business strategies; and (d) concealing the true reason for
Tyson's high margins and profits from the sale of chickens.  As a
result of these false statements and/or omissions, the price of
Tyson common stock was artificially inflated, reaching a high of
$76.76 per share during the Class Period.

On or about September 2, 2016, a class action complaint detailing
a price-fixing conspiracy in violation of antitrust laws by Tyson
and other chicken producers, Maplevale Farms Inc. v. Koch Foods
Inc., et al., No. 16-cv-08637 (the "Maplevale Complaint"), was
filed in the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois.  The Maplevale Complaint described Tyson's
anticompetitive conduct and antitrust violations in detail,
including: (a) a history of antitrust conspiracies in the broiler
chicken ("broiler") industry, including weekly conference calls in
the 1970s to discuss production levels and prices for broilers
that led to lawsuits by the Department of Justice and civil
plaintiffs; (b) starting in 2008, coordinated decreases in
production across the industry in the face of inelastic demand and
falling input costs; (c) extensive information sharing through
Agri Stats, Inc., an industry data aggregator; (d) numerous
opportunities to collude in a variety of forums; (e) a coordinated
change from contracts with fixed broiler prices to broiler prices
that float with the broiler spot market; (f) inter-defendant
trades and purchases that were often against independent self-
interest; and (g) multiple industry characteristics that
facilitated collusion, such as high vertical integration, high
barriers to entry, high broiler industry consolidation and
concentration, inelastic supply and demand, and a lack of
significant substitutes for broilers.

On October 7, 2016, Pivotal Research Group published a report
stating that after reviewing the allegations made in the Maplevale
Complaint, which it found compelling, it was reducing its price
target for Tyson from $100 to just $40 and cutting its rating from
BUY to SELL.  Following these revelations, Tyson's stock price
fell 9%, from a closing price of $74.38 per share on October 6,
2016 to a closing price of $67.75 per share on October 7, 2016.
Then on November 18, 2016, Tyson announced that its CEO had
resigned.  On this news, the price of Tyson stock fell another
14%, to close at $57.60 per share on November 21, 2016.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of
Tyson common stock during the Class Period (the "Class").  The
plaintiff is represented by Robbins Geller, which has extensive
experience in prosecuting investor class actions including actions
involving financial fraud.

With 200 lawyers in 10 offices, Robbins Geller advises U.S. and
international institutional investors in securities litigation and
portfolio monitoring.  With 200 lawyers in 10 offices, Robbins
Geller has obtained many of the largest securities class action
recoveries in history and was ranked first in both total amount
recovered for investors and number of securities class action
recoveries in ISS's SCAS Top 50 Report for the last two years.

VIVENDI: Successfully Rebutted Fraud-on-the Market Presumption
Martin Flumenbaum and Brad S. Karp, writing for New York Law
Journal, report that in their Second Circuit Review, Martin
Flumenbaum and Brad S. Karp discuss 'GAMCO Investors v. Vivendi
Universal', where the court discussed one of the key issues in
securities litigation -- how to rebut the fraud-on-the-market
presumption of reliance.  The circuit found the defendants in the
case had successfully rebutted the presumption by demonstrating
that certain opt-out plaintiffs would have purchased the
securities at issue even if they had known of the fraud.

UNITED STATES: Supreme Court Hears Jennings Immigration Case
Ryan Lovelace, writing for Washington Examiner, reports that the
Supreme Court began on Nov. 30 hearing a case that could
dramatically affect President-elect Trump's policy on immigration,
just as Trump prepares to undo President Obama's immigration
actions after Inauguration Day.

The court heard oral arguments in Jennings v. Rodriguez, an
immigration case from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that
ruled detained illegal immigrants -- including those with criminal
records -- are entitled to bond hearings with the possibility of

Statements and questions from the court's left-leaning justices on
Nov. 30 indicated they may be eager to interpret the immigration
statutes at issue in Jennings or implant new constitutional
limitations regarding detention and deportation proceedings before
Trump ever takes office.

The court's left and right-leaning blocs locked horns over whether
adjudication of the class-action case involved a question of
constitutionality or statutory interpretation.  Chief Justice John
Roberts noted that the court does not have a role in writing or
rewriting statutes, while Justice Elena Kagan insisted that the
court need not create a statute if it chooses to introduce a
constitutional limit.

Longtime detainees fighting deportation proceedings brought the
class-action suit and were represented at the court by the
American Civil Liberties Union's Ahilan Arulanatham.

Alejandro Rodriguez, the named plaintiff, was a lawful permanent
resident of the U.S. who entered the country as an infant. His
conviction for drug possession and an earlier conviction for
joyriding prompted the Department of Homeland Security to initiate
deportation proceedings against him, which included detaining him
for three years.  The average detention of members of the class-
action suit was 13 months.

While Mr. Arulanatham sought a verdict allowing such individuals
to be entitled to bond hearings, his reasoning was battered by the
court's conservatives.  Asked by Justice Samuel Alito whether Mr.
Arulanatham intended to argue the case on the basis of immigration
statutes or the constitution, Mr. Arulanatham answered both.

Justice Alito told Mr. Arulanatham, "[O]n the language of the
statute you have a pretty tough argument," but the ACLU attorney
continued to avoid arguing his case solely on constitutional --
and not statutory -- grounds.

Justice Roberts echoed Justice Alito and noted that the high court
does not have a role in writing or rewriting a statute and zinged
the Ninth Circuit's judgment for "maybe" lacking the "courage of
their convictions" in its failure to fully address the contentious
constitutionality question.

Justice Kagan swiftly rushed to Mr. Arulanatham's side, however,
insisting an argument could be: "We're not making up a statute,
we're deciding a constitutional limit."

Acting U.S. Solicitor General Ian Gershengorn made a largely
statutory argument in opposition to Mr. Arulanatham, and suggested
that illegal immigrants seeking discretionary relief caused
lengthy detention periods just as much as the immigration judges.

"If the government is moving reasonably to accomplish removal . .
. absent very unusual circumstances, that detention is
constitutional," Mr. Gershengorn said.

The lasting result of the court's Jennings decision will be its
role in determining which branch of government makes immigration
policy as the next administration prepares to enter the White
House, said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies for the
Center for Immigration Studies that has helped inform Trump's
hawkish immigration proposals.

"Under Obama policies, the system is greased to result in more
criminal alien releases, under the guise of bond hearings as
'required due process' and an alien's 'right' to be considered for
release," Ms. Vaughan said in an email.

"Congress chose not to require bond hearings and other trappings
of the criminal court system for non-citizens in deportation
proceedings.  The main reason is because aliens in proceedings are
very likely to skip out on their immigration court proceedings."

Ms. Vaughan said she did not think the solution for the next
administration would be "mass incarcerations" of illegal
immigrants, but expediting immigration court proceedings so the
lengthy detentions are necessary "only in rare cases."

The number of pending deportation cases in immigration courts'
backlog more than doubled between the end of the 2008 fiscal year
and July 2014, according to data compiled by Syracuse University.

However the court resolves Jennings, the vacancy created by
Justice Antonin Scalia's death figures to loom large in this
immigration case.  In June, the court deadlocked 4-4 on the
question of whether to lift the lower court's injunction against
Obama's executive actions on immigration, which left the
injunction in place.

Trump's appointee to the court is poised to have a determinative
impact on future contentious immigration cases for years to come.

UNITED STATES: Obama Claims Immunity From FAA Class Action
William Perry Pendley, writing for Washington Examiner, reports
that just when you thought the lawlessness of the most lawless
administration in history couldn't get worse, the Department of
Justice files another legal brief.

In response to a class action lawsuit by as many as 3,500 ready-
to-hire air traffic controller applicants whose names were
"purged" so the Federal Aviation Administration could hire based
on race, federal lawyers asserted that the administration is
immune from liability for denying constitutional equal protection
because of sovereign immunity.  In other words, they claim
protection by the legal maxim rex non potest peccare, which means,
"the king can do no wrong."

Beginning in 1991, the FAA collaborated with universities and
colleges to create 36 accredited degree programs in diverse
Collegiate Training Initiative schools.  Then, the FAA hired those
with CTI program degrees, references from CTI administrators and
"well qualified" rankings on the challenging Air Traffic Selection
and Training exam -- a validated, proctored, eight-hour, computer-
based test.

In 2013, however, to achieve racial diversity -- notwithstanding
that nearly 12 percent of those attending CTI programs were
African Americans -- the FAA abandoned that program, "purged" its
files of the 2,000 to 3,500 CTI graduates, and began hiring any
English-speaking citizen with a high school diploma, while
screening new applicants to ensure their racial "diversity."

In late December 2015, Mountain States Legal Foundation responded
with a class action lawsuit in Arizona federal district court on
behalf of those who satisfied the FAA's time-tested and rigorous
tests for prospective air traffic controllers, but whose names
were purged after the FAA announced hiring plans favorable to
minorities.  The lawsuit charges violation of the equal protection
component of the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment and
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The class is represented by Andrew Brigida, who holds two B.S.
aviation degrees from Arizona State University and scored 100
percent on the Air Traffic Selection and Training exam.  Mountain
States Legal Foundation filed an amended complaint in April 2016
and a second amended complaint in August 2016, following
congressional action that did nothing to remediate the
constitutional and statutory injuries suffered by its clients.

That is when federal lawyers responded that their clients were
like "kings."

Everyone is familiar with William Blackstone's famous aphorism,
"That the king can do no wrong, is a necessary and fundamental
principle of the English constitution."  But what does that have
to do with us on this side of the Atlantic Ocean, we who revolted
against a "God-King" with the words "all men are created equal,"
broke free and created a constitutional Republic?

As it turns out, precious little. In 1996, Justice John Paul
Stevens wrote that sovereign immunity is a judge-made doctrine
that has been "thoroughly discredited" because it is founded on
the notion "that a divinely ordained monarch 'can do no wrong.'"

WEBER DISTRIBUTION: Sued Over Failure to Properly Pay Employees
Michele Valencia, William Abner, Ronald Amaya, Alejandrina Avalos,
Glenn Brown, Michael Burns, Tracy Cano, Alexander Castellanos,
William Espinoza, Mark Real, Luiz Chavez,Donald Jasso, Eric
Jaeger, Daniel Klimek, Eva Meija, Michael Miller, Daria
(Christina) Moreno, Jose Ochoa, Vincent Poy, and Ryan Venegas,
individually, and on behalf of those persons similarly situated,
and as members of the general public v. Weber Distribution, LLC
d/b/a Weber Logistics ("Weber") and Does 1 through 30, Case No.
BC642612 (Cal. Super. Ct., December 2, 2016), is brought against
the Defendants for failure to pay overtime compensation, failure
to provide employees with meal and rest break periods, and failure
to provide timely and accurate wage statements.

Weber Distribution, LLC provides third party logistics services in
the Western United States.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Allan A. Shenoi, Esq.
      Daniel J. Koes, Esq.
      Nneka Colleen Egbujiobi, Esq.
      175 South Lake Avenue, Suite 202
      Pasadena, CA 91101
      Telephone: (626) 792-2300
      Facsimile: (626) 792-23115

WELLS FARGO: TCPA Class Action Attorneys Seek $9MM in Fees
Jessica Karmasek, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that
attorneys for a group of plaintiffs in a $30 million class action
settlement with Wells Fargo over alleged violations of the federal
Telephone Consumer Protection Act have requested more than $9
million in fees, costs and expenses.

Class counsel filed a five-page motion Nov. 16, asking Judge
Richard Story of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of Georgia to award them $9,133,806.82 in combined attorneys'
fees, costs and expenses and an incentive award of $15,000 to the
named plaintiff, Kenisha Cross.

The attorneys said their request is an amount equal to 30 percent
of the $30 million-plus common fund.

"As class counsel detail through the accompanying memorandum,
their requests are fair, reasonable, and supported by Eleventh
Circuit law," class counsel wrote in the motion.

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.

The settlement, which amounts to $30,446,022.75, was preliminarily
approved by Story in August.

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.

But deadlines in the settlement recently had to be pushed back to
avoid an additional $900,000 in costs by the class.

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

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

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

Originally, Sept. 12 was the deadline to provide class notice.
Oct. 17 was the new deadline.

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 was 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

The final approval hearing has been set for Feb. 7.

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."

YAHOO! INC: Data Breach Class Action in Canada Moving Slowly
Jeremy Hainsworth, writing for Bloomberg BNA, reports that Yahoo!
Inc. doesn't have to respond immediately to a putative class
action suit in British Columbia over the revelation that personal
information associated with at least 500 million accounts was
stolen in a 2014 data breach, the complainant's lawyer told
Bloomberg BNA.

It is unclear what impact the slow moving Canadian litigation may
have on Verizon Communications Inc.'s pending takeover of Yahoo.
More concerning to the companies may be that consumers have filed
18 U.S. federal court class action complaints against Yahoo that
are awaiting consolidation action by the Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation.

According to the notice of civil claim, the Canadian defendant
must respond within 21 days while a U.S. defendant must respond
within 35 days.

However, plaintiff Jagdeep Gill's lawyer, K.S. Garchan, told
Bloomberg BNA Nov. 22 that informal agreements between counsel
mean that a defendant doesn't need to file a defense until such
time the court certifies the proposed class action.

The complaint, filed Sept. 26 in the Supreme Court of British
Columbia, asserted negligence, breach of privacy, breach of
fiduciary duty, breach of contract and negligent misrepresentation
Gill v. Yahoo! Canada Co. & Yahoo! Inc., No. S-168873, complaint
filed 9/26/16.

The Gill suit is currently the only one in Canada, over the
alleged data breach.

Mr. Garchan said no hearing dates have been set.  "It's the way
the practice has developed," he said.  Full pleadings would be
made at the time of certification or after, he said.

No Reasonable Security

Yahoo announced Sept. 22 that the personal information of at least
500 million users was stolen in the attack, exposing a wide swath
of its roughly 1 billion users ahead of Verizon Communications
Inc.'s planned acquisition of the web portal's assets.

Gill's lawsuit asserted Yahoo "acted with reckless disregard for
the security of its users' personal and/or financial information
that it promised to protect and failed to implement reasonable
security measures to protect its users' sensitive personal and/or
financial information, despite it being the target of data
breaches in the past."

The suit said that Yahoo advised users to put security freezes on
credit accounts. It argued that users should be compensated for
each freeze but said that Yahoo has offered no compensation.

With Gill as representative claimant, the suit is brought on
behalf of all British Columbia residents "who were or are account
holders of the defendant."

Yahoo is the tenth largest Internet media company in the world
with a $39.22 billion market capitalization, Bloomberg data show.

The media relations unit at the company's Sunnyvale, Calif.
Headquarters didn't respond to Bloomberg BNA requests for comment.
Barbara Wahl, a Vancouver lawyer listed in the suit as Yahoo!'s
Canadian attorney, also didn't respond to Bloomberg BNA's requests
for comment.

ZILLOW GROUP: Settles Class Action Over Labor Violations for $6MM
Ben Lane, writing for HousingWire, reports that Zillow Group will
pay as much as $6 million to settle a class action lawsuit that
accused the company of violating federal labor laws, the online
real estate giant announced on Nov. 28.

Zillow announced the settlement via a filing with the Securities
and Exchange Commission.

In the SEC filing, Zillow said that the lawsuit, filed in United
Stated District Court for the Central District of California,
accused the company of allegedly failing to provide meal and rest
breaks, failing to pay overtime, and failing to keep accurate
records of employees' hours worked for "certain inside sales

The lawsuit claimed that Zillow's practices violated the Fair
Labor Standards Act and California labor laws.

Zillow said that it originally agreed to the settlement in May,
but said that the settlement was finalized on Nov. 28 after the
completion of a separate review of its labor practices conducted
by the Department of Labor.

The Department of Labor review covered Zillow's compliance with
"certain wage and hour laws" for Zillow's inside sales consultants
employed in its California and Washington offices from 2013 to

Zillow said on Nov. 28 that it entered into a separate settlement
agreement with DOL regarding that review, which then allowed the
class action settlement to proceed.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement with the Department of
Labor, Zillow agreed that it will make the settlement payments
associated with the class action lawsuit and "establish and
maintain certain procedures to promote future compliance" with the
Fair Labor Standards Act.

Zillow noted that the DOL settlement does not require the company
to make any additional payments beyond what is stipulated in the
class action settlement.

Zillow also noted that it did not admit liability in either the
DOL settlement or the class action settlement.

"We cooperated fully with the U.S. Department of Labor's review of
Zillow's wage and hour policies," a Zillow spokesperson said in a
statement provided to HousingWire.

"The DOL determined we already fulfilled our obligations to
certain current and former sales employees through our settlement
of the Freeman class action litigation in May 2016, and that we
are not required to make any additional payments," the Zillow
spokesperson continued.

"By settling this matter, we are not admitting liability," the
spokesperson concluded.  "Our people are our greatest asset, and
we work hard to create an environment that is inclusive,
rewarding, and complies with the law."

ZIONS BANK: $37.5MM Telemarketing Settlement Gets Final Court OK
Langer, Grogan & Diver, P.C. disclosed that Magistrate Judge
Timothy Rice of the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania granted final approval of a $37.5 million
class action settlement.  The case -- Reyes v. Zions First
National Bank -- alleged that Zions Bank and a former payment
processing subsidiary knowingly processed payments for fraudulent
telemarketers. Magistrate Judge Rice also awarded class counsel,
Langer Grogan & Diver, $12.5 million in attorneys' fees.

At the hearing on the matter, Judge Rice stated, "The case in my
experience, and I think in the collective experience with this
courthouse, involves an unprecedented recovery of as high as 90
percent of the single damages sustained by each of the victims."
In his comments regarding the fee award, Judge Rice stated that
Langer Grogan & Diver "has become a national leader in the field
of consumer class actions."

The class was represented by Howard Langer, John Grogan, Ned
Diver, Irv Ackelsberg, and Peter Leckman.

The case is Reyes v. Zions First National Bank, et al., Case No.
10-345 (E.D. Pa.)

Langer, Grogan & Diver, P.C. (LGD) -- http://www.langergrogan.com
-- is a nationally recognized complex commercial litigation law
firm based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

* 3rd Party Litigation Has Wider Impact on Commercial Litigators
Peter Butler, Esq., and Christine Tran, Esq., of Herbert Smith
Freehills, in an article for Who'sWhoLegal, reports that recent
years have borne witness to the nascent rise of third-party
litigation funding (TPLF) of commercial litigation in legal
markets across the globe.  Beginning over a decade ago in
Australia, TPLF spread quickly to the UK, the US, Canada, Europe
and Asia.  TPLF itself has undergone rapid changes in its short
existence.  Though the traditional model of single-funded cases is
still the main modus operandi, funders have diversified their
business model in the last 12 months, including investments in
claims-aggregating firms, joint ventures with law firms directed
at prosecuting certain claims, and post-judgment appeals funding.
Commercial funders and commercial litigators are becoming
increasingly consociated, however, the interests of funders and
litigators necessarily diverge given that lawyers owe a fiduciary
duty to their clients.  TPLF represents the biggest change to the
commercial litigation landscape, raising novel issues that focus
in on the practice of law and, more broadly, the relationship
between the justice system and the community it services.  Indeed,
standing as we are on the precipice of change, an arguably bold
prediction is, TPLF has a wider impact on the practice of
commercial litigators than the financial crises of late, with the
potential to transform the manner and types of commercial
litigation pursued.

Foundations for Third Party Litigation Funding
The narrowing of the rules against maintenance (improper
encouragement of litigation) and champerty (receiving a share of
proceeds for maintaining litigation) paved the way for TPLF in
common law jurisdictions.  Historically, third-party intermeddling
in common law civil litigation was considered a crime and a tort.
The predominant driver was the public interest in protecting the
purity of justice, given fears that "the champertous maintainer
might be tempted, for his own personal gain, to inflame the
damages, to suppress evidence, or even to suborn witnesses" (Re
Trepaca Mines (No 2) [1963] Ch 199).

Public policy, however, is a fluid standard.  The increasing
complexity and reach of commerce and powers of corporate
institutions saw a greater policy concern in ensuring access to
justice, particularly for the impecunious and small-claims
litigant. The access to justice benefits of financial assistance
to litigation steadily gained precedence.  In many common law
jurisdictions, such as Australia and the UK, by the late 1900s the
rules against maintenance and champerty were modified by statutes
and substantially narrowed.

The Rise of Third Party Litigation Funding
Australia is generally recognised as the birthplace of specialised
commercial TPLF.  Indeed, the success of TPLF is owed wholly to
the context of commercial litigation in Australia; and correlates
directly with the advent of class action litigation.

First, in 1992, Australia introduced a federal class action regime
described as "plaintiff-friendly" due to the low threshold for
commencing proceedings.  Near-identical regimes were later
introduced in two state jurisdictions; collectively, the three
jurisdictions oversee the largest volume of commercial litigation.

Second, Australia has strong mandatory disclosure rules for listed
securities and strict product liability laws, both of which are
particularly amendable to class action litigation (being broad-
based harm affecting a large number of people in the same or
similar manner).

Third, like most Western democracies, Australia utilises the
"loser pays" rule (or English Rule) for allocating court costs.
The claim value of a typical plaintiff in a class action is small;
therefore, under a loser pays system, it is economically
irrational for a plaintiff to commence proceedings, as it will be
assuming risks (the costs and fees expended by a defendant in a
large-scale litigation) that grossly outweigh the benefits (being
damages and some compensation for time and effort awarded after
the fact and at the court's discretion).

Fourth, Australia prohibits lawyers from charging contingency fees
or other damages-based fees (a practice prevalent in the United
States, where a typical contingent fee is 33-45 per cent of any
eventual recovery).  Instead, from time to time, the plaintiff bar
finances cases on a "no win, no fee" basis (conditional fee
arrangements are statutorily permitted in certain circumstances).
However, given the limited upside, not all meritorious claims
survive a risk-benefit analysis, resulting in excess capacity.

Therefore, TPLF fulfils a market need, by providing immunity to
plaintiffs against the "loser pays" rule and enabling fringe
claims that may not otherwise be brought, in return for 25-40 per
cent commission of any proceeds obtained in the litigation.

TPLF gained traction in 2006 when it was finally endorsed by the
highest court in Australia (see Campbell's Cash & Carry Pty Ltf v
Fostif Pty Ltd (2006) 229 CLR 386).  The success of commercial
litigation funding was built on a single-case funding model, where
each case is evaluated for coherence to the individual funder's
investment criteria (expected returns, levels of risk, duration,
quality of legal team).  Provided the criteria is met, the funder
contracts with the law firm and each client.  Based on claim size,
the largest volume of funded claims have been, and continue to be,
investor and shareholder class actions.  The funding market was
consequently marked by strong relationships between funders and
certain plaintiff firms and institutional investors.

The Global Expansion of Third-Party Litigation Funding
The Australian experiment has proven to be exceedingly profitable
for funders, particularly in class action claims, with funders
routinely achieving more than 300 per cent return on investment.
Such unusual returns, unlinked to the economy, have attracted
attention and investor money.

The global funding market has been highly active in the last four
years. New entrants, both local and international, have entered
the Australian legal market (for example, UK-based Harbour
Litigation Funding Limited has widened its investments to
Australia and the Asia-Pacific).  The largest and most prominent
funder in Australia, IMF Bentham Ltd, expanded overseas, funding a
range of commercial litigation in the United States, Canada, Asia
and Europe, and establishing relationships with the local
plaintiff bar.  The United States is the site of the largest
growth, with more than $2 billion openly invested in a range of
commercial litigation as diverse as intellectual property,
contract, antitrust, trade secrets and tortious interference
claims.  The true figure is likely to be much higher, as funding
arrangements are rarely disclosed.

The entrepreneurial spirit driving the growth in commercial
litigation funding has also seen vast changes to the traditional
model of single-funded cases.  The innovations are predominantly
occurring in the United States, where the commercial legal market
differs sufficiently, engendering different market needs. The
gravity of an unsuccessful prosecution is reduced, as each party
bears its own costs with no avenue for reallocation (subject to
certain statutory exceptions).  Lawyers are also able to charge a
contingency fee, incentivising an active plaintiff bar that in
effect finances cases.  As such, the imperative of TPLF is less
obvious compared to other jurisdictions.  Nonetheless, TPLF of
commercial litigation has attracted plaintiff firms and claimants
due to the financing and risk-management advantages presented.
Corporate claimants benefit from low-risk access to litigation
finance.  Contingency work is inherently risky, and plaintiff
firms are able to share that risk (and benefit) with third party
funders.  Similarly, not all viable claims are pursued by the
plaintiff bar.  Some of that excess capacity are capitalised by
funders, and plaintiff firms benefit from fees for services
rendered.  This has enabled funders to pursue new arrangements,
such as direct investments in claims-aggregating firms, joint
ventures with law firms aimed at prosecuting certain claims, and
funding at different stages (such as post-judgment appeals

Impact of Third Party Litigation Funding on Commercial Litigation
The most obvious advantage of TPLF is improved access to justice.
TPLF enables a wider range and greater volume of claims to be
pursued, especially as the funding market grows.  The benefits of
increased commercial litigation may not be readily apparent to
those outside the bar.  Normatively, litigation is valued as a
private form of regulation.  The promotion of meritorious claims,
particularly in industries involving under-resourced public
regulators, can overall improve the behaviour of corporate actors.
The risk of meritless suits is believed to be low, on the
assumption that funders are economically rational.  TPLF are
indeed commercial enterprises, predicated on commercially viable
cases (maximising returns while minimising risks).  However, the
rational conduct of funders itself is an insufficient safeguard
against non-optimal claims.

Most commercial lawsuits settle, enabling companies to avoid the
expense, uncertainty and distraction of litigation.  The normative
view of litigation as private regulation fractures if justice is
not actually dispensed through judgments (ie, the establishment of
law).  The propensity to settle, coupled with a deepening of the
funding market, compounds concerns of "greenmail" litigation.  We
have seen in Australia instances where marginal claims
investigated, but not pursued, by established funders have been
subsequently supported by emerging funders.  More recently, claims
made by emerging funders are increasingly subject to legal
challenges (some of which have been successful).  This prompts
questions of what "justice" is genuinely being accessed and
whether the judicial system is being used merely to further
speculative entrepreneurialism.

The burgeoning relationship between funders and plaintiff firms
also raises red flags.  The potential repeat business of a funder
can incite actual or perceived conflicts of interest, where
loyalty to the funder takes precedence over the fiduciary duty
owed to the client.  Typically, funders extract their costs and
commission from any settlement or judgment proceeds first, prior
to distribution among funded claimants.  In a settlement context,
funders may be happy with an outcome enabling it to recoup
sufficient returns in a timely fashion, when it behoves the
practitioner to reject on behalf of their clients for an estimated
better offer at a later time, and vice versa.  Though funders
assert a hands-off approach to settlement discussions, they are
nonetheless involved in the process.  In some cases, preliminary
settlement discussions have taken place solely between corporate
defendants and funders.

These concerns are not theoretical.  The increasing role and
influence of commercial litigation funders observed by Australian
practitioners and corporate defendants were reinforced in a 2016
empirical study on Australian class actions (see Morabito, Vince,
An Empirical Study of Australia's Class Action Regimes, Fourth
Report: Facts and Figures on Twenty-Four Years of Class Actions in
Australia (29 July 2016)).  In the last six years, almost 50 per
cent of federal class actions commenced are supported by
commercial litigation funders.  Funders have had a direct impact
on the type of class action claims being brought, with a notable
increase in the number of investor claims and consumer protection
claims; a notable decrease in the number of product liability and
mass tort claims and no cartel class actions brought in the last
nine years.  The trend is explained by the fact that product
liability, mass torts and cartel actions take up to twice as long
to resolve compared with investor claims and consumer protection
claims, and are therefore less attractive to funders. Funded class
actions also had a higher settlement rate (92 per cent) compared
to unfunded actions (48.9 per cent).

TPLF is an established facet of commercial litigation in many
jurisdictions.  This trend is likely to continue, as the UK and
parts of Europe and Asia contemplate the introduction of class
actions or aggregate litigation mechanisms. Corporate claimants
are availing themselves of TPLF, as an off-balance-sheet and low
risk means of pursuing business disputes.  Where TPLF is client-
driven, commercial litigation practitioners will be unable to
avoid interactions with funders.  The key is being aware of the
risks presented in a tripartite funder-firm-client arrangement,
from dealing with potential conflicts of interest to managing the
firm's liability exposure in the event of a loss (for example, a
funder in the failed $1.65 billion Excalibur suit brought a
professional negligence claim against the plaintiff firm).

The impact of TPLF on commercial litigation is already evident in
its birthplace (Australia), influencing the types of claims being
brought, the litigation strategy of corporate defendants and, more
broadly, affecting the civil justice system by inhibiting the
development of law (due to higher rates of settlement).

TPLF remains largely unregulated across the globe.  How to best
address the concerns raised by TPLF, without hampering the "access
to justice" policy aims, is the most pressing short-term issue in
the commercial litigation landscape.

* Trend Favoring Arbitration Expected Under Trump Administration
Dan Handman, Esq., of Hirschfeld Kraemer LLP, in an article for
JDSupra, reports that since at least the 1920s, Republicans have
been viewed as the party of commerce, small government and less
regulation.  And, to be sure, most Republicans still are.  But
Donald Trump challenged all of those assumptions by running a
populist campaign directed to the working class in which he has
often touted "yuge" government.  Indeed, Trump garnered more votes
from union households than any Republican candidate in decades.

Those shifting electoral dynamics, coupled with Trump's battles
against his own party and his relative silence on issues involving
the American workplace, make it challenging to predict what
stances his administration will take on labor and employment law
issues.  And so, the ordinary crystal ball simply does not work
here.  Nevertheless, there are some small tea leaves that provide
signs of how a Trump administration might proceed.

Organized Labor

This is the diciest issue facing the Trump administration by far.
The National Labor Relations Board under President Barack Obama
took a very active role in support of organized labor. The four
biggest changes promoted by the Obama board were:

(1) regulations expediting labor union elections (the "quickie
election" rule);

(2) regulations requiring law firms offering advice to employers
on union organizing to report such activity (the "persuader

(3) decisions invalidating employers' social media policies and
other rules which, in its view, chilled organizing activity; and

(4) decisions expanding its jurisdiction in untraditional
environments, like franchises or graduate teaching assistants.

Republicans railed against each of those changes and in some cases
challenged them successfully in court.  With any other Republican,
it would be a no-brainer; there would be an about-face.  But Trump
is not an ordinary Republican, and considering his populist
message and broad appeal to working class voters, the question
remains whether he will take positions in office that serve the
interest of management over labor.

Most experts expect him to make a pivot on those controversial
issues.  The persuader rule, which at least one court has already
found to be invalid, will likely be revoked shortly after he gets
into office, and the quickie election rule is probably not far
behind.  One would also expect Trump board appointees to reverse
course on the controversial decisions, but the question remains:
Will the same Trump who told workers "I will be your voice" really
appoint employee-friendly board members? The safe money is on a
reversal in course, but that is decidedly up in the air.

Paid Family Leave

Perhaps the most surprising statement of policy during Trump's
campaign was his expressed support for paid family leave -- one of
the few areas where he and Democratic party nominee Hillary
Clinton agreed.  Trump himself floated a plan to offer six weeks
of paid maternity leave to employees if their employer did not
already offer it.

As with many of Trump's policies, the finer details of this
proposal were left unstated, and, again, his expressed comments
departed dramatically from Republican dogma.  Indeed, the Family
and Medical Insurance Leave Act, which would have provided for
paid family leave, was introduced in the U.S. Senate last session
but garnered the support of no Republican senators and died in
committee without even a hearing.

This of course raises a major question.  Will Trump be able to get
such a bill through a Congress controlled in both chambers by
members of his own party, albeit a party which provided him with
less support than any other major party nominee in the recent

Expect movement on this issue.  Republicans will feel intense
pressure to return some favor to working class voters and to hold
true on some of the more achievable promises Trump made, and this
is one. But do not expect it to be funded through a payroll tax,
like Social Security or unemployment. Rather, expect a tax break
to employers who provide paid leave.

Arbitration Agreements

It is not exactly a sexy campaign issue, but many expect the trend
favoring private arbitration to pick up pace with Trump U.S.
Supreme Court nominees, most importantly with regard to class
action waivers. In 2011, the Supreme Court decided AT&T Mobility
v. Concepcion, a landmark decision in which it agreed to enforce
arbitration agreements with class action waivers.  Private
employers have since seized on that ruling to stem the growing
cost of class action litigation.

Employee advocates fought back on two fronts.  On the state level,
some states enacted laws -- California's Private Attorneys General
Act principal among them -- allowing groups of employees to
litigate collectively, although not technically through a class
action.  Secondly, federal agencies, most prominently the NLRB,
pushed back against the enforcement of class action waivers in
arbitration agreements, and they have met with some success.

Expect Trump to appoint a Supreme Court justice who favors the
trend toward private arbitration and away from class action
litigation.  In particular, look for the court to close any
remaining avenues for class or class-like litigation and to stem
the tide of NLRB action in opposition to arbitration agreements.

Gig Economy Issues

The most talked about issue by employment lawyers -- but one which
received no mention on the campaign trail -- is the changing face
of the American workplace and whether existing employment laws are
flexible enough to deal with the new "gig economy" workers.  The
NLRB and other agencies see no problem in applying New Deal-era
laws to such workers, steadfast in the belief that they can easily
be classified as employees or independent contractors, or so they
believe.  But a federal judge in a wage-hour class action
involving Lyft drivers recently lamented that the task was like
trying to fit a square peg into two round holes, imploring
Congress to come up with new classifications to deal with emerging
technology employers.

Some gig economy companies have proposed a new classification for
such workers, frequently referred to as "dependent contractors."
This third classification, they propose, would be nimbler and,
among other things, would allow portable benefits to follow a
worker between jobs.

While many experts agree that change is needed, neither Trump nor
congressional Republicans appear to have much sympathy for the
industry.  Indeed, Silicon Valley businesses contributed
overwhelmingly to Clinton and other Democrats.  Even with
Republicans controlling Congress, it does not seem a priority for
Republicans, no matter how needed a change is.  For one thing, it
would challenge fundamental assumptions about the nature of the
American workplace, and, again, Trump's populist campaign was
focused on getting jobs back from overseas, not on reinventing how
employees work.

The Bottom Line

Workers were critical to Donald Trump's successful campaign, and
he has many debts to repay them.  Trump pledged in bombastic
fashion to be "the greatest jobs producing president that God ever
created," but no one -- not even members of his own party --expect
factory jobs to return from overseas.  Like it or not, he has
large shoes to fill, as Obama was one of the most successful job-
creators in recent history.  To be sure, he will do what he can to
assuage the business world; but, at the same time, to keep those
voters in the Republican tent, Trump will need to do more, so
expect changes you would not otherwise see in a Republican

* Class Action Waivers in Arbitration Agreements in Gray Zone
Krista M. Cabrera, Esq. -- kcabrera@foley.com -- and Kelsey K.
Wong, Esq. -- kkwong@foley.com -- of Foley & Lardner LLP, in an
article for The National Law Review, report that class action
waivers in arbitration agreements exist in a legal gray zone, with
the federal appellate courts split on their enforceability.  Many
employers believe that by forcing employees who sue them to do so
only individually, they can avoid the prospect of very large
judgments.  The Ninth Circuit and Seventh Circuit have held that
class action waivers in arbitration agreements violate the
National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) and therefore are
unenforceable.  Three other federal circuit courts (the Fifth,
Second, and Eighth) held that such waivers do not violate the
NLRA.  Not surprisingly, the parties to two lawsuits are currently
vying to have this issue resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court.  As
many readers may know, an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is not
automatically accepted by the Court.

The newest chapter in this saga began with a Ninth Circuit appeal,
in Mohamed v. Uber Technologies, Inc., involving Uber
Technologies, Inc.'s ("Uber") arbitration agreement.  Uber's
business model, as we have previously discussed, has been at the
heart of multiple lawsuits in the fight over whether drivers
should be classified as independent contractors or employees.
Since 2013, Uber has required that drivers sign agreements
containing an arbitration clause that prohibits drivers from
participating in a class or collective action.  The arbitration
clause, compelling drivers to arbitrate all disputes with the
company individually, has been revised several times but mandatory
arbitration and a class or collective action waiver survived those
revisions.  In Mohamed, the Ninth Circuit concluded that the
mandatory arbitration provision in Uber's driver agreements was
not unconscionable as written, and that the parties had delegated
the decision on arbitrability to the arbitrator.  In a footnote,
the court explained that an "opt out" provision in Uber's
arbitration clause means that Uber drivers are not required to
agree to a class action waiver as a condition of employment, and
thus the clause does not violate the NLRA.

Employers, particularly those in the Seventh and Ninth Circuits,
face uncertainty regarding the enforceability of class waivers in
arbitration agreements.  In light of the Mohamed case, a clear
opt-out provision may provide a buffer against a determination
that such agreements violate the NLRA.  Employers should carefully
watch to see if the U.S. Supreme Court decides to resolve this
issue.  In the meantime, employers should consult counsel before
adopting or revising an arbitration agreement that contains a
class action waiver.

* DMV Violates Drivers' Privacy Protection Act, Lawyer Says
Jane Mundy, writing for LawyersandSettlements.com, reports that if
you are a licensed driver with the Department of Motor Vehicles,
chances are your private information has been sold.  And your
privacy and security could be at risk.  Having worked on cases
involving the Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) for more than
a decade, Attorney Joseph Malley says that Department of Motor
Vehicles in 37 states are selling private driver information to
thousands and thousands of entities.  And Mr. Malley has filed
cases involving about 145 million people.

Has DMV Violated the Drivers' Privacy Protection Act and Your
Security? Does DMV have the right to sell your private
information? And more concerning: Who is paying for this
information and what are they doing with it? Mr. Malley answers
these questions in a three-part series with LawyersandSettlements
over the coming months.  He discusses how one woman's life was at
risk after DMV sold her information to an entity the Department
hasn't even heard of (business are not vetted); the class action
lawsuits filed by victims of identity theft; how to proceed if you
believe your privacy has been violated, and more. . .

To illustrate the breadth of this issue, Mr. Malley shares the
following information on two states alone, which he obtained
through the Freedom of Information Act:

Florida DMV made $150 million over the past two years selling
information to more than 75 companies.  That means 15.5 million
licensed drivers have had their privacy rights violated.  Several
of Mr. Malley's cases originate in Texas and Florida.  If you live
in either state, your name and address and your social security
number has likely been sold over and over again.

Texas DMV was selling about 30 million DMV records and updates to
about 237 entities periodically.  Mr. Malley determined the DMV
had violated the DPPA and six federal class actions were filed
naming all the entities.(After five years of litigation with the
US Supreme Court denying writ, the cases were closed.)

According to Dallas CBS 11 News (February 2013) the State of Texas
made $2.1 million selling licensed drivers' information to nearly
2,500 entities last year.  About 22 million vehicles are currently
registered with Texas DMV.

So what?" you may be thinking.  "What's the big deal about someone
knowing where I live and the kind of car I drive? But security is
a very serious issue, particularly if you are a victim of domestic
abuse or a minor, or in any way vulnerable.

Domestic Abuse Victims at Risk

One of Mr. Malley's cases involves a Florida woman who purchased
from DMV information on 145 million people and sold it to 1,400
companies. "Ms Blank sold data that includes drivers' names and
addresses and the make, model, year and VIN number of their
vehicle," said Mr. Malley.  "For the past three years I've been
fighting with Blank to get this data released -- she gave it to me
a few months ago."  One of those 145 million people, a woman in
Florida, contacted Mr. Malley.  "Jane Doe (pseudonym to protect
her identity) was hysterical, terrified for her safety and her
family's safety," says Mr. Malley.  "She had moved to her parents'
home in Florida after she got out of hospital: her boyfriend tried
to kill her.  She had received in the mail a warranty letter,
which meant that anyone could find out where she lives.  And she
believes the boyfriend will come after her if she doesn't drop the
attempted murder charge."

NOVA, a national victims' abuse group with 250 locations in the US
contacted Mr. Malley to discuss his "Jane Doe" case and others.
They were concerned that victims were unaware the DMV in their
state could sell home addresses.  "I supplied NOVA with
information about my DPPA work, methods to stop the access to
their DMV data, and other information -- such as posting pictures
online -- related to my online privacy cases," says Mr. Malley.

Minors at Risk: Did Washington DMV sell information to a

Mr. Malley came across a Washington "open records response" that
showed access to DMV records from an entity called "American
Beauty", apparently involved with beauty pageants.  This entity
requested data related only to females ages 7-12. (States issue
identity cards for anyone, mainly for minors and the elderly.)
Malley's investigation led him to a person using his apartment as
Mr. HQ, and he had a "questionable criminal history".

"I further found out that he was using the DMV data to send
'announcement' letters to minor girls, saying they had been picked
to be part of a beauty pageant and all they needed to do was to
send their picture in a bathing suit," adds Mr. Malley.  He
informed the Washington DMV of this person and he was told that
said person had been denied further access to the DMV data. But
they continue to sell data!


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

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