/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/161228.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Wednesday, December 28, 2016, Vol. 18, No. 259


6675 TRANSIT: "Dowd" Suit Claims Violations of FLSA, NY Labor Law
9DOTS MANAGEMENT: "Manes" Suit to Recover Overtime, Minimum Pay
AAC HOLDINGS: "Kasper" Suit Moved from M.D. Tenn. to C.D. Cal.
ABEONA THERAPEUTICS: Gainey McKenna Files Class Action Lawsuit
AGODA COMPANY: "Phan" Suit Moved from Super. Ct. to N.D. Cal.

AIR SERV CORPORATION: "Gamble" Suit Seeks Overtime Pay
ANGRY CRAB: Owen et al. Allege FLSA, Ariz. Wage Act Violations
AVID TECHNOLOGY: Jan. 20 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline
BATS GLOBAL: Faces "Kim" Securities Lawsuit Over CBOE Merger
BBVA COMPASS: Faces "Hossfeld" Suit Alleging Violations of TCPA

BLUEMERCURY INC: Faces "Espinosa" Suit Over Background Reports
BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS: Faces "Gross" Suit Over Sale to Broadcom
BUMBLE BEE: Seeks Dismissal of Tuna Price-Fixing Class Action
CACH LLC: Ark. High Court Affirms Ruling in Debt Collections Suit
CANADA: Judge Certifies Solitary Confinement Class Action

CANADA: Three Ex-Armed Forces Members Allege Sexual Misconduct
CENTRAL VIRGINIA: Faces "Okomoto" Suit Alleging FLSA Violations
CIOX HEALTH: Filed Appeal in Northern Dist. of California
CMS MID-ATLANTIC: Faces "Galanti" Suit Under FLSA, NJ Wage Act
COMCAST CABLE: Faces Cable Installers' Minimum Wage Class Action

DAKOTA PLAINS: "Deardeuff" Suit Alleges Securities Act Violations
EKURHULENI METROPOLITAN: Class Action Mulled Over Edenvale Floods
ERGON ASPHALT: Hilliard Says Water Crisis Suit Continues to Grow
FACEBOOK INC: January 23 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
FB CANDLER: "O'Brien" Sues Over Overtime, Misallocated Tips

FIAT CHRYSLER: NHTSA Opens Investigation Into Rollaway Issue
FORD: Faces Class Action Over Kuga Model After Man's Death
FTS USA: Lower Court Asked to Reconsider Workers' Class Action
GARDEN OF EDEN: Faces "Sanchez" Suit Alleging FLSA Violations
GOODMAN NETWORKS: Faces "Garland" Suit Alleging FLSA Violation

HARVEST BAKERY: Rivera Moves to Notify Putative Class Members
HINGS CHINESE: Faces "Espinales" Suit Alleging FLSA Violation
ILLUMINA INC: Frontline Suit Alleges Securities Act Violations
INT'L PAYMENT: Faces Class Action Over Recorded Phone Calls
JMC HOLDINGS: "Cruz" Suit Alleges FLSA, NJ Wage Law Violations

KIMBERLY-CLARK: Consumer Watchdog Sues Over "Flushable" Wipes
JOHNSON & BELL: Sued Over Information Security Vulnerabilities
LANGSTON CONSTRUCTION: "Mairena-Rivera" Suit Sent to M.D. La.
LOWER MERION, PA: Non-Profit Fights Class Against School District
MCCLURE PROPERTIES: "Milien" Suit Alleges AWPA, EFTA Violations

MICHIGAN: Court Refuses to Certify Class in "Cavin" Suit
MONAKER GROUP: Faruqi & Faruqi Files Class Action Lawsuit
NEW SEABURY: Suit Over Annual Dues Remains Pending
NEWCREST: Court Can Reduce Settlement Funding Commission
PARALIA CORP: Lopez et al. Allege FLSA, NY Labor Law Violations

PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL: Faces Class Action Over Wells Fargo Fraud
Q CLUB: Suit Over Condo-Hotel Fees Obtains Class-Action Status
RCI HOSPITALITY: Faces "Garvin" Suit Seeking OT Pay Under FLSA
RENAISSANCE HOME: Faces "Hunt" Suit Under FLSA, Ohio Wage Act
RIO TINTO: February 10 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set

ROGER SKIMMING: Law Firm Launches Scotsburn Bushfire Class Action
SARASOTA COUNTY: Leo Seeks to Certify School Bus Drivers Class
SHOP VAC CORP: Wet-Dry Vacuum Settlement Obtains Final Approval
SIRIUS XM: Obtains Favorable Ruling in Copyright Legal Dispute
SMITH GUARD: "Bailey" Suit Seeks Overtime Pay

SP AUSNET: Angry Bushfire Victims Throw Questions at Attorney
SPRING COMMUNICATIONS: "Harrison" Suit Alleges FLSA Violations
SPRINGFIELD, MA: Judge Rejects Suit vs. School District
STEPHEN JAMES: Judge Certifies Medical Negligence Class Action
STONEMOR PARTNERS: Jan. 20 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline

TRANSPORT FOR LONDON: Tram Crash Survivors File Class Action
UBER TECHNOLOGIES: Faces Delux Cab Suit in S.D. of California
UBER TECHNOLOGIES: Faces "McElrath" Suit in N.D. of California
UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI: Faces "Gould" Suit Alleging ERISA Violations
VALERO: Releases Statement on Contaminated Water Lawsuit

VIZIO INC: "Unice" Suit Moved from W.D. Pa. to C.D. California
VOLKSWAGEN AG: Judge Extends Emissions Deal Deadline
XEROX CORP: Howard G. Smith Reminds Investors of Deadline
YAHOO! INC: Faces "Gonzalez" Suit Over "Security Breach"
YAHOO! INC: "Vail" Hits Data Breach

ZIMMER BIOMET: Robbins Arroyo Files Securities Suit

* Critics Hit Law Firms' Bills After Class-Action Lawsuits
* Demonetization May Spark Class Action Against Indian Government
* Dispute Brewing Over Legality of Class Action Waivers
* France Introduces Class Action for Data Protection Act Breach
* Rise of Consumer Class Actions Under New Jersey's TCCWNA Statute

* Trump Labor Nominee's Company Involved in Class Action


6675 TRANSIT: "Dowd" Suit Claims Violations of FLSA, NY Labor Law
KATHLEEN DOWD and NICOLE SILVAROLI, on behalf of themselves and
all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. 6675 TRANSIT RD LLC
and RUSSELL SALVATORE, Defendants, Case No. 1:16-cv-01006
(W.D.N.Y., December 16, 2016), seeks to recover alleged unpaid
minimum wages, misappropriated gratuities, liquidated damages,
statutory damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, retaliation
damages, and attorneys' fees and costs pursuant to Fair Labor
Standards Act and the New York Labor Law.

6675 TRANSIT RD LLC is a New York corporation that owns, operates,
and does business as Russell's Steaks, Chops & More, a steakhouse
located at 6675 Transit Road, Williamsville, NY 14221.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

     Louis Pechman, Esq.
     Gianfranco J. Cuadra, Esq.
     488 Madison Avenue, 11th Floor
     New York, NY 10022
     Phone: (212) 583-9500
     E-mail: pechman@pechmanlaw.com

        - and -
     Justin Cordello, Esq.
     693 East Avenue, Suite 220
     Rochester, NY 14607
     Phone: (585) 857-9684
     E-mail: justin@cordellolaw.com

9DOTS MANAGEMENT: "Manes" Suit to Recover Overtime, Minimum Pay
Matthew P. Manes, on behalf of himself and those similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. 9dots Management Corp., LLC and John L.
Florio, Defendant, Case No. 2:16-cv-06427, (E.D. Pa., December 14,
2016), seeks to recover minimum and overtime wages, straight-time
wages for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New
York Labor Law. The suit further seeks damages and penalties
resulting from failure to provide accurate wage statements
pursuant to New York Labor Laws.

9dots is a computer software company with principal place of
business at 1100 East Hector Street, Suite 245, Conshohocken,
Pennsylvania 19428. Florio is President and Chief Executive
Officer of 9dots.

Plaintiff worked for 9dots as a Senior Manager at its office in
office Conshohocken, Pennsylvania. He claims to have been denied
overtime pay.

Plaintiff is represented by:

      Stephanie J. Mensing, Esq.
      The Philadelphia  Building
      1315 Walnut St., Suite 917
      Telephone: (215) 586-3751
      Facsimile: (215) 359-2741

AAC HOLDINGS: "Kasper" Suit Moved from M.D. Tenn. to C.D. Cal.
Dr. Joseph F Kasper Individually and on Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated, the Plaintiff, v. AAC Holdings, Inc., Jerrod N
Menz, Michael T Cartwright, Andrew W McWilliams, and Kirk R Manz,
the Defendants, and Erin Hill and Charles J Rocky Hill, the
Objectors, Case No. 3:15-CV-00923, was transferred from the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Tennesse, to the
United States District Court for the Central District of
California (Western Division - Los Angeles). The California
Central District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 2:16-cv-09377-CAS-E
to the proceeding. The case is assigned to Hon. Judge Christina A.

AAC Holdings provides inpatient substance abuse treatment services
for individuals with drug and alcohol addiction in the United

AAC Holdings, Inc. is represented by:

          David Samuel Bederman, Esq.
          Steven C Amundson, Esq.
          Vi Applen, Esq.
          801 South Figueroa Street 15th Floor
          Los Angeles, CA 90017
          Telephone: (213) 624 6900
          Facsimile: (213) 624 6999
          E-mail: dsb@manningllp.com

Charles J Rocky Hill and Erin Hill are represented by:

          Christopher J Zopatti, Esq.
          2601 Main Street, Suite 800
          Irvine, CA 92614
          Telephone: (949) 261 2872
          Facsimile: (949) 261 6060
          E-mail: czopatti@ctsclaw.com

ABEONA THERAPEUTICS: Gainey McKenna Files Class Action Lawsuit
Gainey McKenna & Egleston disclosed that a class action lawsuit
has been filed on behalf of purchasers of: (1) PlasmaTech
Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. securities (old symbol PTBI) from March
31, 2015 through June 19, 2015, both dates inclusive (the
"PlasmaTech Class Period"); and/or (2) Abeona Therapeutics Inc.
securities (Nasdaq:ABEO) from June 22, 2015 through December 9,
2016, both dates inclusive (the "Abeona Class Period") and
together with the PlasmaTech Class Period, the ("Class Period").

Abeona Therapeutics Inc. was formerly known as PlasmaTech
Biopharmaceuticals, Inc.  The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for
Abeona investors under the federal securities laws for both class

According to the Complaint, Defendants made false and/or
misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) the
science behind Abeona's proposed gene therapy treatment for
Sanfilippo syndrome is unviable; (2) Steven H. Rouhandeh, Abeona's
Executive Chairman and Principal Executive Officer, previously
worked in a high ranking position for a biotech promoter who was
convicted of securities fraud and involved in manipulating biotech
stocks; and (3) as a result, Defendants' statements about Abeona's
business, operations and prospects were materially false and
misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.

On December 12, 2016, analyst firm Mako Research published a
report on Abeona asserting, among other things, that Abeona's
science underpinning its gene therapy approach is unviable and
Steven H. Rouhandeh previously worked in a position of authority
at D. Blech & Co. -- a firm named after now -- convicted felon
David Blech.  On this news, shares of Abeona fell $0.70 per share
or over 13% from its previous closing price to close at $4.45 per
share on December 12, 2016, damaging investors.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no
later than February 14, 2017.  A lead plaintiff is a
representative party acting on behalf of other class members in
directing the litigation.  If you wish to join the litigation, or
to discuss your rights or interests regarding this class action,
please contact Thomas J. McKenna, Esq. or Gregory M. Egleston,
Esq. of Gainey McKenna & Egleston at (212) 983-1300, or via e-mail
at tjmckenna@gme-law.com or gegleston@gme-law.com.

AGODA COMPANY: "Phan" Suit Moved from Super. Ct. to N.D. Cal.
Phan as an individual and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, the Plaintiff, v. Agoda Company Pte. Ltd., a Singapore
Private Limited Liability Company; Agoda International USA Inc.
a Delaware Corporation; and The Priceline Group Inc., a Delaware
Corporation, the Defendants, Case No. 16CV302647, was transferred
from California Superior Court, to the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California (San Jose). The District Court
Clerk assigned Case No. 5:16-cv-07243 to the proceeding.

Agoda Company Pte. Ltd. operates an online hotel and accommodation
booking platform.

The Plaintiff appears pro se.

AIR SERV CORPORATION: "Gamble" Suit Seeks Overtime Pay
Edwards J. Gamble, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. Air Serv Corporation, Defendant, Case No.
1:16-cv-04580, (N.D. Ga., December 14, 2016), seeks to recover
overtime compensation, unpaid wages, liquidated damages and
reasonable attorneys' fees and costs under the Fair Labor
Standards Act.

Plaintiff was employed as a Floor Technician for their assigned
location of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport,
Atlanta, Georgia that was managed by the Defendants.

Plaintiff is represented by:

      Carlos V. Leach, Esq.
      191 Peachtree Street, N.E., Suite 4200
      Post Office Box 57007
      Atlanta, Georgia 30343-1007
      Direct: (404) 496-7295
      Main: (404) 965-8811
      Facsimile: (404) 496-7405
      Email: CLeach@forthepeople.com

ANGRY CRAB: Owen et al. Allege FLSA, Ariz. Wage Act Violations
Terri Rossi Owen, Shawn Thorson, Susan Krueger, Geoffrey Collins,
and Michelle Nichols, individually, and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. Angry Crab Shack Corporation, an
Arizona Corporation, Angry Crab Franchise LLC, an Arizona Limited
Liability Company, Angry Crab Shack BBQ LLC, an Arizona Limited
Liability Company, Ronald Lou and Jane Doe Lou, a married couple,
Dan Sevilla and Jane Doe Sevilla, a married couple, Andrew Diamond
and Jane Doe Diamond, a married couple, David Eng and Jane Doe
Eng, a married couple, and Jason Lopez and Jane Doe Lopez, a
married couple, Defendants, Case No. 2:16-cv-04415-SMM (D. Ariz.,
December 15, 2016), alleges unlawful failure by Defendants to pay
minimum wage in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, Arizona
Wage Act, Arizona Revised Statutes and the Arizona Minimum Wage

Angry Crab Franchise LLC is an enterprise that is a bar and
restaurant that serves food and drinks to customers.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

     Clifford P. Bendau, II, Esq.
     Christopher J. Bendau, Esq.
     P.O. Box 97066
     Phoenix, AZ 85018
     Phone: (480) 382-5176
     Fax: (602) 956-1409
     E-mail: cliffordbendau@bendaulaw.com

AVID TECHNOLOGY: Jan. 20 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline
The Law Offices of Vincent Wong disclosed that a class action
lawsuit has been commenced in the USDC for the District of
Massachusetts on behalf of investors who purchased Avid
Technology, Inc. securities between August 4, 2016 and November 9,

According to the complaint, during the Class Period, Avid knew but
failed to disclose that because it had not launched all the
enterprise level features for its new NEXIS solution product
offerings, its enterprise customers were deferring renewals and

On November 9, 2016, after the close of trading, Avid disclosed
that both its third quarter 2016 bookings and revenues had come in
considerably lower than the Company had led the investment
community to expect, citing "the transition of the storage product
line" and disclosing that "some existing enterprise clients
deferred normal upgrade and renewal decisions and new customers
postponed investments until the release of functionality targeted
to the enterprise market."

If you suffered a loss in Avid you have until January 20, 2017 to
request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. Your ability
to share in any recovery doesn't require that you serve as a lead
plaintiff. To obtain additional information, contact Vincent Wong,
Esq. either via email vw@wongesq.com, by telephone at
212.425.1140, or visit http://www.wongesq.com/pslra/avid-

Vincent Wong, Esq. is an experienced attorney that has represented
investors in securities litigations involving financial fraud and
violations of shareholder rights.  Attorney advertising. Prior
results do not guarantee similar outcomes.

BATS GLOBAL: Faces "Kim" Securities Lawsuit Over CBOE Merger
SEUNG KIM, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated, Plaintiff, v. BATS GLOBAL MARKETS, INC., CHRIS
REARDON, and MICHAEL RICHTER, Defendants, Case No. 2:16-cv-02817-
DDC-KGG (D. Kan., December 16, 2016), alleges violations of the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Act in connection with the proposed
merger between Bats, CBOE Holdings, Inc., CBOE Corporation and
CBOE V, LLC, which allegedly is insufficient and undervalues the

BATS GLOBAL MARKETS, INC. operates securities exchanges and other
electronic markets.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Thomas E. Hammond, II, Esq.
     10990 Quivira, Suite 200
     Overland Park, KS 66210
     Phone: (913) 661-02222
     Fax: (913) 491-6398
     E-mail: thammond@gsfhlegal.com

        - and -

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

BBVA COMPASS: Faces "Hossfeld" Suit Alleging Violations of TCPA
ROBERT HOSSFELD, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. BBVA COMPASS BANCSHARES, INC.,
an Alabama Corporation, Defendant, Case No. 2:16-cv-02017-SGC
(N.D. Ala., December 15, 2016), alleges that Defendant sent, or
orchestrated the sending on its behalf of unsolicited
telemarketing calls to Plaintiff's cellular telephone, in
violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

BBVA COMPASS BANCSHARES, INC. -- https://www.bbvacompass.com/ --
operates as the bank holding company for Compass Bank.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Gregory S. Graham, Esq.
     PO Drawer 307
     803 3rd St. SW
     Childersburg, AL 35044
     Phone: (256) 378-3161
     Fax: (877) 414-8074
     E-mail: greg@grahamlegalservices.com

        - and -

     SCOTT D. OWENS, Esq.
     3800 S. Ocean Dr., Ste. 235
     Hollywood, FL 33019
     Phone: (954) 589-0588
     Fax: (954) 337-0666
     E-mail: scott@scottdowens.com

        - and -

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

BLUEMERCURY INC: Faces "Espinosa" Suit Over Background Reports
SANDRA ESPINOSA, on behalf of herself, all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, vs. BLUEMERCURY, INC., a Delaware
Corporation; MACY'S, INC., a Delaware corporation; and DOES 1 to
100, Inclusive, Defendants, Case No. 3:16-cv-07202 (N.D. Cal.,
December 16, 2016), alleges that Defendants routinely acquire
consumer, investigative consumer and/or consumer credit reports to
conduct background checks on Plaintiff and other prospective,
current and former employees and use information from credit and
background reports in connection with their hiring process without
complying with the law in violation of the Fair Credit Reporting
Act, the California Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act
and the California Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act.

BLUEMERCURY, INC. -- https://bluemercury.com/ -- is a luxury
beauty retailer offering cosmetics, skin care, makeup, perfume,
hair, and bath and body.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Shaun Setareh, Esq.
     Thomas Segal, Esq.
     H. Scott Leviant, Esq.
     9454 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 907
     Beverly Hills, CA 90212
     Phone: (310) 888-7771
     Fax: (310) 888-0109
     E-mail: shaun@setarehlaw.com

BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS: Faces "Gross" Suit Over Sale to Broadcom
MELVIN GROSS, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
Defendants, Case No. 5:16-cv-07173-EJD (N.D. Cal., December 15,
2016), is a securities suit in connection with the proposed
acquisition of Brocade by Broadcom Limited and Broadcom
Corporation, which, according to the suit is insufficient and
undervalues the Company.

BROCADE COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS, INC. offers switches, storage and
software networking, routers, network automation, visibility,
analytics, transceivers, and network management products and

The Plaintiff is represented by:

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

        - and -

     Thomas J. McKenna, Esq.
     Gregory M. Egleston, Esq.
     440 Park Avenue South, 5th Floor
     New York, NY 10016
     Phone: (212) 983-1300
     Fax: (212) 983-0383
     Email: tjmckenna@gme-law.com
     Email: gegleston@gme-law.com

BUMBLE BEE: Seeks Dismissal of Tuna Price-Fixing Class Action
Jason Smith, writing for Undercurrent News, reports that the
alleged price-fixing conspiracy that has prosecutors probing the
US 'big three' tuna canners also drove up mackerel and sardine
packaged seafood prices, a lawyer claimed.

The big three US canners -- Bumble Bee, Starkist and Chicken of
the Sea -- are alleged to have colluded to fix prices on tuna,
their principal product, but price levels for related products
were also affected, Christopher Lebsock, an attorney with the firm
Hausfield told Undercurrent News.

"Our position is that the conspiracy involved packaged seafood
pricing.  Tuna is merely a component of that," he said.

When asked to clarify if he meant that he believed mackerel,
sardine and other markets were also being manipulated, or whether
the price levels for those products merely followed tuna pricing,
he said that in either case the markets move in tandem.  The
specific nature of what occurred is likely to come out as the
ongoing Department of Justice (DOJ) probe into criminal antitrust
violations continues, the lawyer added.

"Tuna is obviously the big driver but tuna drives the pricing of
other products and the government appears to believe that as
well," he said.

Mr. Lebsock referred to a December 2015 statement from Bill Baer,
the assistant attorney general for the DOJ's antitrust division,
which occurred after Thai Union, which owns Chicken of the Sea,
and Lion Capital owned Bumble Bee called off their plans to merge
the brands.

"Consumers are better off without this deal," Mr. Baer said.  "Our
investigation convinced us -- and the parties knew or should have
known from the get go -- that the market is not functioning
competitively today, and further consolidation would only make
things worse."

Mr. Lebsock said that its telling that the DOJ in that press
release referred to the companies' position in tuna as well as
"other shelf-stable seafood products".

"The DOJ speaks very carefully.  They're obviously looking into
it," Mr. Lebsock said.

The class-action lawsuits against the canners were filed in 2015
after news of a DOJ investigation into the sector first came to
light in July.

At the time, Thai Union, which had planned to buy Bumble Bee for
$1.5 billion, announced that the investigation prompted it to
cancel a share offering it would have used to finance the merger.

That prompted a wave of litigation.  Lawsuits filed against the
canners allege that the price-fixing conspiracy was born in 2008
and involved years of close cooperation between the companies.

The suits have alleged that the joint "Tuna the Wonderfish"
advertising campaign, co-packing of Thai Union and Bumble Bee; and
the companies' participation in the International Seafood
Sustainability Foundation also presented chances to collude.

The "Tuna the Wonderfish" advertising campaign, which ran from
early 2011 through early 2012, was designed to stem the tide of
declining sales.

The deal was eventually cancelled in December 2015 amid cheers
from the DOJ.

The DOJ investigation, which recently resulted in the announcement
that Bumble Bee senior vice-president Walter Scott Cameron plans
to plead guilty and testify, is proceeding.

And Mr. Lebsock said that a major event in the class-action suit
was set to take place Dec. 13.  That's when San Diego-based
federal judge Janice Sammartino was set to hear motions to dismiss
the lawsuit brought by the canners' lawyers.

In the motion, the canners' lawyers assert that the plaintiffs
haven't presented enough evidence to show a conspiracy took place
and that the statute of limitations bars plaintiffs from bringing
the suit.

CACH LLC: Ark. High Court Affirms Ruling in Debt Collections Suit
The Gurdon Times reports that the Arkansas Supreme Court recently
affirmed a ruling by a Circuit Judge Robert McCallum in a Clark
County case involving unlicensed debt collectors.

The Supreme Court ruling upheld McCallum's decision to grant class
certification in the case which will now return to Clark County
Circuit Court for trial.

The case began in 2013 when CACH, LLC, an debt collector not
registered with the state of Arkansas, sued an Amity man over an
alleged credit card debt. CACH claimed that it had purchased the
credit card debt and was entitled to file suit to collect.

The defendant, William Echols, had previously paid the debt in
full and filed a class-action counterclaim after learning that
hundreds of other persons had also been tagged by lawsuits filed
in CACH.

On Dec. 17, 2015, enter an order certifying the case as a class
action. CAHC then appealed that ruling. In its opinion, the
Arkansas Supreme Court held that a class action was proper because
the allegations against CAHC were all based on CACH's routine
debt-collection practices.

Even though CACH had filed lawsuits against residents in other
cities and counties around the state, the Supreme Court held that
it would be more efficient for one court to rule on the legality
of CACH's actions in a single class action proceeding.
Dan Turner and Todd Turner represented Echols and were appointed
to serve as class counsel.

According to Dan Turner, dozens of CACH's lawsuits were filed
against Clark County residents, including other wrongful actions
like the one filed against Echols.

According to the counterclaim, CACH was not a licensed debt
collector and had not properly investigated the alleged debts
before it started filing collection lawsuits.

Two years ago, following the filing of this lawsuit, the Arkansas
General Assembly changed the debt-collection licensing laws by
effectively allowing unlicensed companies to collect third-party
debts without getting a license and to otherwise limit or
eliminate their liability for filing improper collection actions.

Despite this new law, which the Turners believe is
unconstitutional, the litigation against CACH will continue in
Clark County Circuit Court.

Individuals who were sued by CACH are encouraged to contact
Arnold, Batson, Turner and Turner about the case.

CANADA: Judge Certifies Solitary Confinement Class Action
Patrick White, writing for The Globe and Mail, reports that an
Ontario judge has certified the country's first class-action
lawsuit on behalf of federal inmates, which alleges Canada's use
of solitary confinement and inadequate access to medication has
violated the rights of tens of thousands of mentally ill inmates.

The order came down on Dec. 12 from Superior Court Justice Paul
Perell after the Crown consented to certification, potentially
shaving years off what could still be a lengthy legal battle and
adding to the mountain of litigation Ottawa is facing for its
prison isolation practices.

"Certification motions often take years to litigate and then there
are appeals that also take years and years," said
James Sayce -- jsayce@kmlaw.ca -- lawyer for the firm Koskie
Minsky representing the class.  "We are now at a stage where we
can get our hands dirty on the merits.  That's a very substantial
and significant event."

The class includes all inmates diagnosed with an array of
mental-health issues who served a federal sentence between Nov. 1,
1992, and the present day.

Hundreds of thousands of inmates have circulated through the
federal jail system over that span.  Correctional Service Canada
data show that around 38 per cent of male federal inmates exhibit
some sort of mental-health problem upon intake.

Under Ontario law, all eligible claimants are included in the
class unless they specifically opt out.

"We're talking about tens of thousands of people, if not more,"
Mr. Sayce said.  "We don't have an exact number."

In certifying the claim, Justice Perell declared that case hinges
on whether the Correctional Service violated Charter sections 7
(life, liberty, security of the person), 9 (against unfair
detainment) and 12 (freedom from cruel and unusual punishment) in
its operation of federal institutions and whether any potential
violations warrant damages.

The Correctional Service played down the significance of the
decision on Dec. 12.  "Consenting to the certification motion is a
procedural step in a class action that simply allows a defined
group of individuals to bring their claims to court," spokeswoman
Veronique Rioux said in an e-mail.  "It does not address the
merits of their claims in any way.

"As this matter is currently before the courts, it would be
inappropriate to comment further," she added.

The class-action seeks $600-million in damages for negligence and
breach of the government's duties toward mentally ill prisoners.

A statement of claim filed in July, 2015, alleges federal prisons
are "becoming Canada's largest repositories for the mentally ill"
and says the government "has subjected Mentally Ill Prisoners to
cruel and unusual punishment in the form of extended periods of
solitary confinement."

The representative plaintiffs are Christopher Brazeau and
David Kift, both of whom suffer from mental-health issues and have
logged significant time in solitary confinement.

Mr. Brazeau was serving a 12-year sentence for robbery and other
crimes at Edmonton Institution when he was locked up in solitary
confinement for 23 hours a day for as long as a year at a time,
according to a statement of claim filed in the Ontario Superior
Court of Justice in July of last year.  Diagnosed with ADHD,
anxiety disorder and PTSD, he went for long periods without proper
prescription medications.  He has since been released.

Mr. Kift, a former RCMP officer serving a 6-year gun-posession
sentence, remains in custody at Joyceville Institution in
Kingston, Ont. Like Mr. Brazeau, he says his mental health
conditions -- PTSD and depression have gone untreated for long

When the lawsuit was originally launched in July of 2015, it faced
a Conservative government that had staunchly defended the practice
of administrative -- which is roughly analogous to solitary
confinement -- as a necessary measure to ensure the safety and
security of its facilities.

That hardline approach softened when the Liberal government took

In his mandate letters last year, Prime Minister Trudeau urged his
cabinet to introduce prison reform measures.  Since around that
time, the Correctional Service has reduced the number of inmates
in administrative segregation by half.

Even so, the government is facing at least three significant legal
challenges to its prison segregation practices, including a major
constitutional challenge scheduled for an 11-week trial beginning
on Jan. 3 in British Columbia.

In another lawsuit, Hamm v. Canada, three men are claiming more
than $5-million in damages for their "unlawful" placement in
administrative segregation for 43 days, according to their
statement of claim.

All three lawsuits mention an array of health problems commonly
associated with solitary confinement, including hallucinations,
paranoia, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.

The Globe reported on Dec. 12 that the federal government rejected
any such link between segregation and ill-health in its response
to the Hamm lawsuit.

"Further, while in administrative segregation, an inmate's well-
being is monitored," the response states, "and appropriate steps
are taken to ensure the inmate's health and well-being are not
adversely affected."

CANADA: Three Ex-Armed Forces Members Allege Sexual Misconduct
Murray Brewster, writing for CBC News, reports that three former
members of the Canadian military who are part of a proposed class-
action lawsuit over sexual misconduct have laid out -- in precise,
stark terms -- their allegations of abuse.

A statement of claim in a case involving three former members of
the Forces was filed on Dec. 12 in Ontario Superior Court.  It
says some of the complainants were actively discouraged from
reporting incidents.

The plaintiffs -- Nadine Schultz-Nielsen, Larry Beattie and Amy
Graham -- filed the claim on behalf of all former and current
members of the military alleging sexual assault, sexual harassment
and abuse of authority.  They are also suing on behalf of family
members who may have suffered as a result of a loved one's trauma.

"The conduct of [Canadian Armed Forces] members was reckless,
arrogant, high-handed and abusive, and showed a callous disregard
for the rights of the plaintiffs and class members," said the
court filing, obtained by CBC News.  "This conduct is
reprehensible and deserves punishment."

The suit is asking for $1 billion in damages, although judges
rarely impose the maximum damages sought by plaintiffs.

The federal government has not filed a statement of defence in the

One of the lawyers involved in the case, Andrew Astritis, says as
many 150 other possible claimants have contacted his firm since
the notice of action was filed a few weeks ago.

"Those are individuals who've come forward and want to share their
story, but some don't want to speak publicly because of the
traumatic elements involved here," Mr. Astritis told CBC News.

Notices of action have been filed in three other class-action
cases involving the sexual misconduct scandal that has seized the
military: One was filed in Nova Scotia, another in northern
Ontario and a third initiated in British Columbia.

"What I think this demonstrates is that there is a real endemic
problem here that reaches across the country," said Mr. Astritis.

The impending court battles come just a few weeks after National
Defence released the results of a Statistics Canada survey that
shows nearly 1,000 members of the military claim to have been
sexually assaulted within the last 12 months.

In April 2015, retired Supreme Court justice Marie Deschamps
released a report that said sexual misconduct within the ranks was
endemic and many members -- mostly women -- were subject to
assaults, harassment, degrading jokes and unwanted touching.

Canada's chief of defence staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance, has
responded with a comprehensive program to stamp out misconduct,
known as Operation Honour.

Pattern of abuse

The claim put forward on Dec. 12 alleges that men have also been
subject to abuse and outright attacks.

Larry Beattie, a former sailor aboard HMCS Skeena, claims he was
forced into sex with another male crewmember while on operation in
the Caribbean in 1979.  He was 18 at the time and says he was
attacked in the shower on at least 10 occasions and threatened
"that he would be thrown overboard with the garbage if he told

Mr. Beattie says he never reported the incidents because it was
one of his superiors who assaulted him.

"I kept it to myself for years and years," he said.  "My coping
mechanism was alcohol. It was readily available on board ships, so
I drowned my sorrows and cried myself to sleep not knowing what to

The court records also state that Amy Graham claims to have been
repeatedly sexually harassed after joining the military in 2004.
She was apparently pressured to go on dates with her chief warrant
officer a year later.

Ms. Graham, a communications research officer, was sexually
assaulted by a fellow soldier in a hotel room following her tour
of Afghanistan in 2010.  Her attacker was charged just recently
and pleaded guilty last month to an administrative charge, rather
than a criminal charge.  The soldier, whose identity was not
listed in the court records, was demoted and fined $2,500.

Nadine Schultz-Nielsen, a medic, claims she was repeatedly grabbed
and touched without consent while serving aboard HMCS Iroquois in
2002, according to the Dec. 12 filings.  When she went to report
some of the incidents, she alleges no action was taken and "was
subject to retaliation for coming forward."

The Ottawa law firm Raven, Cameron, Ballantyne & Yazbeck is
representing the three complainants.

CENTRAL VIRGINIA: Faces "Okomoto" Suit Alleging FLSA Violations
Richard Thomas Okomoto, Plaintiff, on his own behalf, and for all
those similarly situated pursuant to 29 USC Section 216(b), v.
President, Central Virginia Community College, 3506 Wards Road,
Serve: Glen DuBois, Chancellor, Virginia's Community Colleges, 300
Arboretum Place, Suite 200, Richmond, VA 23236, Defendants,
Case No. 6:16-CV-00075 (W.D. Va., December 15, 2016), alleges that
Defendants knowingly and in bad faith improperly classified the
Plaintiff as either "professional" or "administrative" employees
who were exempt from the overtime pay requirements of the Fair
Labor Standards Act.

The Defendant is a publicly funded community college.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Thomas E. Strelka, Esq.
     L. Leigh R. Strelka, Esq.
     119 Norfolk Avenue, S.W.
     Suite 330, Warehouse Row
     Roanoke, VA 24011
     Phone: 540-283-0802
     E-mail: thomas@strelkalaw.com

CIOX HEALTH: Filed Appeal in Northern Dist. of California
Nytasia Calip, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated, and on behalf of the general public, the Plaintiff, v.
Ciox Health, LLC, a Georgia corporation, the Defendant, Case No.
3:16-cv-07231 (N.D. Cal., Dec. 19, 2016), is an appeal filed
before the U.S. District Court for Northern District of California
(San Francisco), from a lower court decision in a class action,
Case No. RG16839506 (Alameda Super. Ct.).

CIOX Health facilitates and manages the movement of health
information to help the clients manage health information and
streamline processes for the exchange of information, audit
management, document management, and coding.

The Plaintiff appears pro se.

CMS MID-ATLANTIC: Faces "Galanti" Suit Under FLSA, NJ Wage Act
MICHAEL GALANTI, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. CMS MID-ATLANTIC, INC., BERNARD
STOECKLEIN, and LOUIS SHOOK, Defendants, Case No. 2:16-cv-09319-
SDW-LDW (D.N.J., December 16, 2016), alleges that Plaintiff and
others similarly situated regularly worked fifty-two to sixty
hours, or more, in a workweek, but Defendants never paid them
overtime premiums for all hours worked in excess of forty hours in
a workweek in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the
New Jersey Wage and Hour Law.

Defendants own, manage, and operate CMS Mid-Atlantic, Inc. --
providing cemetery management and consulting services to the
cemetery industry, throughout New Jersey and New York.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     David Harrison, Esq.
     110 State Highway 35, Suite #10
     Red Bank, NJ 07701
     Phone: (718) 799-9111
     Fax: (718) 799-9171
     E-mail: nycotlaw@gmail.com

COMCAST CABLE: Faces Cable Installers' Minimum Wage Class Action
Kevin McGowan, writing for Bloomberg BNA, reports that a Comcast
Corp. affiliate unlawfully failed to pay cable installers the
minimum wage or overtime pay required under federal and state
laws, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court in Colorado
(Shahlai v. Comcast Cable Commc'ns Mgmt., LLC , D. Colo., No. 16-
2556, amended complaint filed 12/8/16 ).

Comcast Cable Communications Management didn't reimburse cable
installers for their vehicle expenses and deducted tool expenses
from their paychecks.

That caused installers' pay to drop below the federal and Colorado
hourly minimum wages, the lawsuit alleged.  They also weren't paid
overtime for working more than 40 hours a week, according to an
amended complaint filed Dec. 8.

The court will be asked to decide if the cable installers are
Comcast Cable employees covered by the Fair Labor Standards Act or
independent contractors.

It's a common practice for cable or satellite television providers
to classify their installers as independent contractors after
using a third party for hiring.  Courts have reached mixed results
on whether such installers can be considered "employees" of the
relevant cable or satellite TV company.

Ramin Shahlai, who filed the lawsuit, and other installers
originally were hired by Icon Cable Inc., a former Comcast Cable
contractor that's no longer in business.

Comcast Cable should be deemed the installers' employer, the
complaint said.  Installers were trained and supervised to serve
only Comcast customers while using company-specific tools and
wearing company uniforms and badges, it said.  They were "entirely
dependent" on Comcast for their employment, the complaint said.

In its answer to an earlier complaint, Comcast Cable said it's
neither the installers' employer nor their "joint employer" along
with Icon Cable.  It asked the court to dismiss all the claims
against Comcast.

Attorneys representing the parties weren't available for comment
Dec. 9.

Buescher Kelman Perera & Turner PC and the Milstein Law Office
represent the workers.  Ballard Spahr LLC represents the Comcast

DAKOTA PLAINS: "Deardeuff" Suit Alleges Securities Act Violations
STEVEN DEARDEUFF, Individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. DAKOTA PLAINS HOLDINGS, INC.,
GILBERTSON, and MICHAEL L. REGER, Defendants, Case No. 1:16-cv-
09727 (S.D.N.Y., December 16, 2016), alleges that Defendant
Gilbertson artificially inflated the price of the Company's stock
once it began public trading in March 2012 for 20 days and that
they made materially false and misleading statements in violation
of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Act.

DAKOTA PLAINS HOLDINGS, INC. is an integrated midstream energy

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Phillip Kim, Esq.
     Laurence M. Rosen, Esq.
     275 Madison Avenue, 34th Floor
     New York, NY 10016
     Phone: (212) 686-1060
     Fax: (212) 202-3827
     Email: lrosen@rosenlegal.com
     Email: pkim@rosenlegal.com

EKURHULENI METROPOLITAN: Class Action Mulled Over Edenvale Floods
Bedfordreview and Edenvale News reports that the business owners
whose businesses and properties were affected by the Edenvale
floods are seeking to sue the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan

On November 9, businesses in the Eastleigh area were damaged by
the floods when the Eastleigh Spruit burst its banks after heavy
rainfall late that afternoon.

Councillor Bill Rundle of ward 19 said the Eastleigh Spruit has
been an issue since 2005.

He said in 2011 the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM)
conducted a survey of the Eastleigh Spruit to determine whether
work needed to be conducted in the spruit.

"In 2012 the metro held a tribunal and it was decided that work
would be conducted in the spruit," said Clr Rundle.

Clr Rundle said the spruit was reinforced with concrete around the
Plantation Road bridge.

He said surveys had previously been conducted to determine whether
other bridges in Eastleigh, such as Central Avenue, needed to be

Clr Rundle said the bridge was not upgraded.

"If there had been improvement to the bridges and to the spruit,
it is possible that the damage to the businesses could have been
reduced," said Clr Rundle.

Following the outrage of business owners in the community, Clr
Rundle has decided to create a registry where businesses who are
looking to sue the EMM can come together.

He said the businesses are planning on taking a class action
lawsuit against the EMM.

Clr Rundle said at this point in time the register has been
started to create a list of frustrated business owners.

A meeting will be held in January and the way forward will be

Clr Rundle believes by having a large group the legal fees will be
less for each person and the outcome will possibly be more

Clr Rundle said the Eastleigh area is a large economic hub and if
nothing is done about the Eastleigh Spruit, businesses will move

He said if there are business and property owners who feel that
they were adversely affected by the floods of November 9, or
previous floods, they can get in touch with him and join the

ERGON ASPHALT: Hilliard Says Water Crisis Suit Continues to Grow
The lawsuit filed by Bob Hilliard against Ergon Asphalt &
Emulsions, Inc. and Valero has steadily added more and more Corpus
Christi businesses who have had to keep their doors locked over
the busy Christmas season.

Hilliard states: "Hundreds of Corpus businesses have contacted me
and asked to be included, and the calls have not stopped.

"We will continue to amend the lawsuit to add more of the
businesses who are suffering financially.

"The idea that a company would endanger an entire city's future
and reputation by poisoning the water supply is remarkable.

"We will unwind this ball of conspiracy and follow every thread
until the identity of every individual responsible for this
catastrophe is exposed and held fully accountable.

"This is not shaping up as just a simple mistake by those
responsible. The questions are troubling. How long were they
poisoning our water without telling the City and its citizens? Did
they intentionally cover up the danger? Were people unknowingly
exposed to a dangerous chemical and if so, for how long?

"I am sure the facts as we uncover them will be reviewed by our
new district attorney to determine if crimes were committed.

Many of these businesses will feel the full financial hit of this
loss well into next year, assuming they even survive."

FACEBOOK INC: January 23 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC notifies investors that a class
action lawsuit has been filed against Facebook, Inc. ("Facebook"
or the "Company") (NASDAQ: FB) and certain of its officers, and is
on behalf of shareholders who purchased or otherwise acquired
Facebook securities between April 1, 2015 and November 16, 2016,
both dates inclusive (the "Class Period"). Such investors are
advised to join this case by visiting the firm's site:

The class action lawsuit seeks to recover damages against
Defendants for alleged violations of the federal securities laws
under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

The Complaint alleges that Facebook introduced its new advertising
and content "metrics," aimed to assist advertisers measure results
for paid advertising products and to "better understand how people
respond to (their) videos on Facebook," by measuring the
performance of their paid Facebook ads and campaigns.  Facebook
publicized its new advertising metrics as a valuable tool to
assess the success of the paid campaigns and advertisements.  Even
after ad companies' heavy criticism to be more transparent,
Facebook still did not have any third-party independently
overseeing or calculating the accuracy of the data and new

Around April 1, 2015, Facebook found errors with the advertising
and content metrics, but hid this information from the investing
public and did not disclose these errors in its SEC filings.  With
knowledge of the errors, defendants sold a substantial amount of
Facebook shares for profit.  Facebook publicly admitted that it
found errors in its video advertising metric, that it had
exaggerated its average viewing time metric, downplayed its
significance, gave inconsistent information about the error, and
failed to disclose additional information about the errors in its
metrics.  Facebook did not alert investors of the substantial
affect the miscalculation would have on ad revenue in the future.
Following the November 3, 2016 announcement of expected reduction
in ad revenue and capital expenditures, Facebook stock dropped
sharply.  The company continued to drop the next day and fell
below $4 billion dollars on November 4, 2016.

A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to
review a copy of the Complaint you can visit the firm's site:
http://www.bgandg.com/fb or you may contact Peretz Bronstein,
Esq. or his Investor Relations Analyst, Yael Hurwitz of Bronstein,
Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC at 212-697-6484.  If you suffered a loss
in Facebook you have until January 23, 2017 to request that the
Court appoint you as lead plaintiff.  Your ability to share in any
recovery doesn't require that you serve as a lead plaintiff.

Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC is a corporate litigation
boutique.  Its primary expertise is the aggressive pursuit of
litigation claims on behalf of our clients.  In addition to
representing institutions and other investor plaintiffs in class
action security litigation, the firm's expertise includes general
corporate and commercial litigation, as well as securities

FB CANDLER: "O'Brien" Sues Over Overtime, Misallocated Tips
Justin O'Brien, on behalf of himself and those similarly situated,
Plaintiff, v. FB Candler Park, LLC, Defendant, Case No. 1:16-cv-
04584, (N.D. Ga., December 14, 2016), seeks minimum wages and
unpaid overtime wages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

FB Candler Park, LLC operates Flying Biscuit Cafe where Plaintiff
worked as a server, bartender, and assistant manager from
approximately August 2014 through the present, at Defendant's
Candler Park location.

Defendant paid its servers pursuant to a "tip credit" method where
they were paid the minimum wage minus the tip credit.

Plaintiff is represented by:

     Carlos V. Leach, Esq.
     191 Peachtree Street NE,
     P.O. Box 57007
     Atlanta, GA 30303
     Telephone: (404) 965-8811
     Facsimile: (404) 965-8812
     Email: cleach@forthepeople.com

FIAT CHRYSLER: NHTSA Opens Investigation Into Rollaway Issue
Tom Krisher, writing for The Associated Press, reports that the
U.S. auto safety agency has opened an investigation into
complaints that another 1 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles can roll
away after the owners shift transmissions into park, a problem
similar to the one being blamed in the death of Star Trek actor
Anton Yelchin.

The investigation by the National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration covers Fiat Chrysler's top-selling vehicle, the Ram
1500 pickup, from the 2013 to 2016 model years, as well as the
2014 to 2016 Dodge Durango SUV.  The rollaway complaints are
similar those that prompted the recall of 1.1 million Jeep Grand
Cherokees and other vehicles earlier this year, although those
vehicles have different shifters.

Mr. Yelchin, 27, known for playing Chekov in the film series, died
in June after his 2015 Jeep Grand Cherokee pinned him against a
mailbox pillar and security fence at his home in Los Angeles.  His
Jeep was among the vehicles recalled in April because of
complaints from drivers who had trouble telling if they put the
console-mounted shift levers in "park" after stopping.  Many
reported that the vehicles rolled off after the driver exited.
Los Angeles police are still investigating
Mr. Yelchin's death.

In the new investigation, the government says Rams and Durangos
have dial-like rotary knob shifters that are linked electronically
to the transmission.  The knobs are turned to the left or right
and have detents that click into gear.

But the government said in documents posted on Dec. 20 that it
received 43 complaints alleging that the vehicles rolled away
unexpectedly.  Owners reported 25 crashes and nine injuries.
Thirty-four of the owners alleged that the vehicles moved while
the shifters were in park, and most said the engines were running.

"Notably, none of the reports indicate that the parking brake was
engaged at the time of the rollaway incident," NHTSA said in the
documents.  Fiat Chrysler says it's cooperating with the
investigation, and it joined NHTSA is urging drivers to always use
parking brakes when they stop vehicles.

Both Fiat Chrysler shifters are different from conventional levers
on the steering column or console.  Most cars have console
shifters that slide forward or backward to indicate the car's
gear.  They used to be tied to a cable that physically changed
gears.  But the auto industry has developed new transmissions with
the gear selection controlled electronically.

Michelle Krebs, senior analyst for Autotrader, says companies are
trying to free interior space with innovative shifters, but
drivers are having trouble grasping the changes.  "It used to be
all shifters basically worked the same.  Now every automaker is
doing their own variation on a theme," she said.

Companies have to make sure the new shifters work flawlessly and
insure that dealers educate buyers on how the shifters work, she

The Grand Cherokee shift levers like Mr. Yelchin's had to be
pushed forward or backward to change gears, confusing many
drivers. In the recall, Fiat Chrysler changed the software so the
vehicles automatically shift into park if the driver's door is

In the latest investigation, no recall has been issued, but one is
possible.  NHTSA says it's investigating the scope of the problem
and how often it happens.

An owner from Tarzana, California, complained to NHTSA that his
2014 Ram rolled into a wall with his grandmother still in the
vehicle in July of 2014.  The owner told the agency that he
shifted the truck into park while it was in his driveway and
stepped out, but the driver's door hit him in the back.  The
driver's side tire rolled over one ankle, knocked him down, then
rolled over the other ankle.  The truck then jumped a curb and hit
the wall, the owner wrote.  People who complain are not identified
in the NHTSA database.

Two other Fiat Chrysler vehicles have the dial shifters including
the Chrysler Pacifica minivan and the Chrysler 200 sedan.  But FCA
says those are not included in the investigation because they
automatically shift into park if the driver's seat belt is
unbuckled or the driver's door is opened.

Other automakers also use electronic rotary shifters, but the fact
that they're different from conventional shifters seems to confuse
drivers.  NHTSA on Dec. 20 posted another investigation into a
different automaker's shifters.  This time the agency is probing
complaints in about 39,000 Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles that
also have rotary shift knobs.

In that probe, seven owners complained that the 2012 to 2014 Land
Rover Evoque and Jaguar XF rolled away after the driver shifted
into park.  Four injuries were reported, most while the driver
door was open when the vehicles rolled off.

FORD: Faces Class Action Over Kuga Model After Man's Death
IOL reports that Ford is facing a class-action lawsuit from more
than 20 owners of its Kuga model across South Africa, including
the family of a man who died in one of the SUVs which is alleged
to have "spontaneously combusted".

In an email response to the Weekend Argus, Ford SA would not be
drawn into revealing how many fire probes were under way, only
stating that investigations into "alleged incidents" were being
looked into.

"But I want to stress that we are not aware of any other injuries
associated with alleged fires in Ford Kugas," said spokeswoman
Alisea Chetty.

In a leaked fire investigation report by Fire Wise Consultants, it
was revealed that some 139 917 vehicles affected by a recall of
150 000 Ford Kugas (2014 models) in the US, were at risk of
localised overheating of the cylinder head, which could lead to an
oil leak resulting in a fire.

There is yet to be a recall in South Africa.

A recent case of such a fire alleged to have started from the
bonnet of a Ford Kuga owned by Vivienne Jordaan from Cape Town is
due in courts soon.

Her 2014 model with 83 000km on the odometer burst into flames on
November 17.

Ms. Jordaan, a sales representative, said: "I was driving between
our offices at round 11am. In Bellville, I noticed smoke coming
from my dashboard. I tried to brake, but my brakes did not work
and I was trying to bring myself to a halt on the busy R300. The
front of my car burst into flames and I grabbed my bag and the
work laptop and ran."

She took videos and pictures to document the damage. "I had been
negotiating with Ford for three weeks. My car I bought brand new.
They are refusing to take responsibility and I will be suing for
damages," she said.

The family of Reshall Jimmy is also taking the vehicle giant to

He died while trapped in his 2014 model Ford Kuga SUV on December
4 last year.

Jimmy, 33, who had been working at a digital marketing and
advertising agency, was travelling to George in his one year-old
Kuga when it allegedly exploded in the seaside town of Wilderness.

Jimmy was trapped in the car -- so hot that the safety glass had
melted at 760øC, according to a fire investigation report.

The severity of the inferno was such that nobody could approach
the vehicle to extinguish the fire.

By the time the fire services arrived, Jimmy had died.

Internationally respected forensic scientist, David Klatzow, who
was hired by the family to inspect the circumstances surrounding
Jimmy's death, concluded the fire had started in the front of the
passenger compartment under the dashboard.

Ford disputed this, saying the company's examination pointed to
the fire starting at the rear of the vehicle and not the engine

"That is clearly evidenced by the level of fire damage to the rear
and the relative lack of damage to the front of the Kuga.

"We also evaluated prior demonstrations on other vehicles to
determine fire behaviour and progression.

"We found no evidence of an electrical or other vehicle origin for
the fire," said Ms. Chetty.

A fire investigation report prepared by the Eastern Cape police
also concluded an electrical fault was the cause of the fire that
killed Jimmy and originated at the front passenger side.

"Ford have been anything but forthcoming. They promised to make
available diagrams of the wiring -- one year down the line we have
received nothing. All we got was a demand by Ford that they
examine the vehicle for the third time and an investigator's
report that contradicted other reports by stating that the fire
started in the rear.

"It appears that from the information that is coming through, that
this is not the only Ford Kuga that has had problems. They (Ford)
have to come up and tell us what the problems are," said Klatzow.

Jimmy's brother, Kaveen, said Ford's handling of the family was

He accused the company of failing to release reports for the
police investigation to be concluded and of resorting to bully
tactics to silence those who spoke about their experiences.

Despite this, Kaveen and his sister Renisha's efforts had yielded
some successes with the uncovery of a video that will shed major
light on where the fire actually started.

"With the evidence we have and the people coming forward to
contact us, we are in the advanced stages of filling a class
action lawsuit. Our current legal team will require the support of
additional senior counsel to assist once the state has concluded
its investigation into my brother's death," he said.

He said more than 20 Ford Kuga owners would be part of the
lawsuit, police spokesman Captain Malcolm Pojie confirmed that
investigations were still under way.

"Although several inspections has been conducted on the vehicle by
independent as well as experts from Ford, no reports has come
forth, yet. An application has been made by the investigating
officer to have access to these reports. It will be premature to
make any arrests or to announce the origin or cause of the fire.
As soon as the investigation is concluded we shall submit the
docket to the director of public prosecutions for a decision," he

FTS USA: Lower Court Asked to Reconsider Workers' Class Action
The Associated Press reports that the Supreme Court is asking a
lower court to take another look at a class action lawsuit brought
by nearly 300 cable technicians that alleges their company
encouraged workers to underreport overtime hours.

The justices said on Dec. 12 that a federal appeals court should
reconsider its decision allowing the lawsuit to proceed against
cable installation firm FTS USA and its parent company, UniTek

The companies argue that the district court should not have
calculated damages for hundreds of workers by averaging the
experiences of only 17 workers who testified.

A federal judge awarded the technicians $3.8 million after a jury
found the company at fault.  A federal appeals court said that
award was too high, but rejected arguments that a single class
action lawsuit was improper.

GARDEN OF EDEN: Faces "Sanchez" Suit Alleging FLSA Violations
OSCAR SANCHEZ, on behalf of himself and other persons similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. GARDEN OF EDEN LAWN CARE, LLC and
JOSEPH ARENALES, Defendants, Case No. 2:16-cv-17462 (E.D. La.,
December 15, 2016), alleges that Plaintiff was not paid one-and-a-
half times his regular hourly rate for all hours worked in excess
of forty hours a workweek, in violation of the Fair Labor
Standards Act.

GARDEN OF EDEN LAWN CARE, LLC is in the business of providing
residential and commercial lawn care and landscaping services in
the Greater New Orleans Area.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     William H. Beaumont, Esq.
     3801 Canal Street, Suite 207
     New Orleans, LA 70119
     Phone: (504) 483-8008
     E-mail: whbeaumont@gmail.com

        - and -

     Roberto Luis Costales, Esq.
     3801 Canal Street, Suite 207
     New Orleans, LA 70119
     Phone: (504) 534-5005
     Fax: (504) 272-2956
     E-mail: costaleslawoffice@gmail.com

        - and -

     Emily A. Westermeier, Esq.
     3801 Canal Street, Suite 207
     New Orleans, LA 70119
     Louisiana Bar #36294
     Phone: (504) 534-5005
     E-mail: emily.costaleslawoffice@gmail.com

GOODMAN NETWORKS: Faces "Garland" Suit Alleging FLSA Violation
ROBERT GARLAND, on Behalf of Himself and All Others Similarly
Situated, Plaintiffs v. GOODMAN NETWORKS, INC., Defendant, Case
No. 5:16-cv-00195-RWS (E.D. Tex., December 16, 2016), seeks to
recover overtime compensation, minimum wages and other wages,
liquidated damages, attorney's fees, litigation expenses, costs of
court, pre-judgment and post-judgment interest and injunctive
relief under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Defendant provides network services and implementation to
customers throughout the United States and Texas and employs
Construction Managers to perform one portion of these services.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Charles M.R. Vethan, Esq.
     3501 Allen Parkway
     Houston, TX 77019
     Phone: (713) 526-2222
     Fax: (713) 526-2230

HARVEST BAKERY: Rivera Moves to Notify Putative Class Members
The Plaintiffs in the lawsuit titled MAXIMINO RIVERA, MIGUEL
ROLDAN, and OSCAR QUINANILLA, and all other non-exempt employees
similarly situated v. HARVEST BAKERY INC., ROBERT MARCONTI, and
JOSE GONZALEZ, Case No. 2:13-cv-00691-ADS-AYS (E.D.N.Y.), move the
Court for an order directing them to send to class members the
best notice that is practicable under the circumstances, including
individual notice to all members, who can be identified through
reasonable effort.

A copy of the Notice is available at no charge at

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Peter A. Romero, Esq.
          103 Cooper Street
          Babylon, NY 11702
          Telephone: (631) 257-5588
          E-mail: PRomero@RomeroLawNY.com

               - and -

          Saul D. Zabell, Esq.
          One Corporate Drive, Suite 103
          Bohemia, NY 11716
          Telephone: (631) 589-7242
          Facsimile: (631) 563-7475
          E-mail: SZabell@laborlawsny.com

HINGS CHINESE: Faces "Espinales" Suit Alleging FLSA Violation
TERESA D. ESPINALES and other similarly-situated individuals,
Defendants, Case No. 1:16-cv-25222-KMW (S.D. Fla., December 16,
2016), seeks to recover money damages for unpaid minimum and
overtime wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

HINGS CHINESE FOODS, INCORPORATED is a take-out restaurant.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Zandro E. Palma, Esq.
     9100 S. Dadeland Blvd., Suite 1500
     Miami, FL 33156
     Phone: (305) 446-1500
     Fax: (305) 446-1502
     E-mail: zep@thepalmalawgroup.com

ILLUMINA INC: Frontline Suit Alleges Securities Act Violations
and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiffs, v.
Defendants, Case No. 3:16-cv-03044-H-MDD (S.D. Cal., December 16,
2016), alleges that Defendants made false and/or misleading
statements and/or failed to disclose, among others, that the
Company was experiencing a large decline in high throughput
sequencing instrument sales, in violation of the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Act.

ILLUMINA, INC. provides sequencing- and array-based solutions for
genetic analysis.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

     1925 Century Park East, Suite 2100
     Los Angeles, CA 90067
     Phone: (310) 201-9150
     Fax: (310) 201-9160
     Email: info@glancylaw.com

INT'L PAYMENT: Faces Class Action Over Recorded Phone Calls
Jonathan Bilyk, writing for Cook County Record, reports that a
Salt Lake City-based telemarketing business which uses a
Naperville call center to solicit retailers and other merchants to
persuade them to hire certain banks to process their debit and
credit transactions has been hit with a class action lawsuit from
small business owners who allege they and a company whose
marketing operations they purchased last year, "surreptitiously
recorded" phone conversations in which the business owners
divulged financials and other "sensitive" information.

On Dec. 9, the plaintiffs, identified in the complaint as
California residents James Wang, Sat Narayan, Kaeran Sudmalis-
Testi, Ihab Ghannam, and Blanca Saenz, filed suit in Chicago
federal court against International Payment Services LLC, of
Henderson, Nev., which does business as Elitepay Global, and
Ironwood Financial, of Salt Lake City, which does business as
Ironwood Payments.

They also sued the companies that allegedly hired the marketing
companies, including Wells Fargo, Fifth Third, First Data Corp.,
Vantiv Inc., and National Processing Company.

The lawsuit also named various individual defendants, identified
as Brian, Andrew and Adam Bentley, identified as owners of EPG;
and Dewitt Lovelace and John Lewis, who are identified in the
complaint as owners of Ironwood.

The plaintiffs are represented in the action by the firm of Myron
M. Cherry & Associates, of Chicago.

The complaint centered on the alleged practices, allegedly begun
by EPG around 2011, of recording telemarketing conversations it
conducted with small business owners and others on behalf of Wells
Fargo, Fifth Third and others.  That practice was allegedly
continued after 2015 by Ironwood, which at that time acquired
EPG's operations, including the company's Naperville call center,
the complaint said.

According to the lawsuit, EPG and later Ironwood, acting as "Third
Party Agents" of banks and vendors, would contact business owners
and others who required so-called "merchant services" from banks
and others who either process credit and debit card transactions,
or provide the equipment and software that make such electronic
commerce possible.

The lawsuit accused the marketers of using "caller ID spoofing"
and other tactics to allegedly mislead the business owners into
believing they were speaking with either a local customer or an
existing service provider, when the marketers were actually
soliciting them to transfer their debit and credit card
transaction processing business to a new bank and vendors.

The lawsuit, however, said those calls and any subsequent
telephone conversations between the marketers and the business
owners were all recorded, without the knowledge or consent of the
business owner or others being solicited.

The lawsuit accused the banks and equipment and software vendors
of allegedly being aware of the telemarketers' tactics and
continuing to contract with the marketers to find and land new

The lawsuit alleged the practices violated California privacy
laws, as all of the plaintiffs were located in that state.
However, the plaintiffs argued they had standing to sue in Chicago
federal court because a purportedly large portion of EPG's and --
since 2015 -- Ironwood's telemarketing efforts have originated at
the call center in west suburban Naperville.

The complaint does not identify the businesses with which the
named plaintiffs are associated.

Nor does the complaint estimate how large the additional class of
plaintiffs in the action may be.  However, in the lawsuit,
plaintiffs said they believe EPG and Ironwood have made "thousands
of telemarketing calls to California businesses every day."

The lawsuit requests statutory damages of up to $5,000 per
violation, plus attorney fees.

JMC HOLDINGS: "Cruz" Suit Alleges FLSA, NJ Wage Law Violations
Jesy Cruz, Luis Rodriguez, and Mercedes Trinidad, on behalf of
themselves and all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
vs. JMC Holdings, Ltd. d/b/a Domino's Pizza, John Cilmi, and John
Does #1-10, Defendants, Case No. 2:16-cv-09321 (D.N.J., December
16, 2016), seeks to recover compensation under the Fair Labor
Standards Act, and the New Jersey Wage and Hour Law.

JMC Holdings, Ltd. is a public utility holding company.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

     David Stein, Esq.
     David Nieporent, Esq.
     38 West 32nd Street, Suite 1110
     New York, NY 10001
     Phone: (212) 563-9884

KIMBERLY-CLARK: Consumer Watchdog Sues Over "Flushable" Wipes
Frank Chung, writing for news.com.au, reports that manufacturers
of so-called "flushable" wipes that cause thousands of dollars of
damage to plumbing systems could be facing a class-action lawsuit
from disgruntled homeowners.

On Dec. 12, the consumer watchdog launched legal action against
Kimberly-Clark and Pental, alleging the two companies deceived
consumers by marketing wipes as "flushable" and that they would
"break up like toilet paper", when in fact they wreak havoc on
sewage systems and plumbing.

Nationally wet wipes cost Australia's water utilities $15 million
to clean up, and households face plumbing bills as high as
$16,000.  Both companies could face fines of more than $1 million
if the ACCC succeeds.

"These things have cost us around $2000 in plumbing fees over the
last 12 months or so in an investment property when the new tenant
decided to use them," one reader told news.com.au.

"The bloody things blocked the pipes and we had to keep paying the
plumber because the product states they are flushable, which they
are, but doesn't mention that they will block the sewer.  It took
four plumber visits to finally discover the blockage was the
wipes, not tree roots."

The ACCC's action has left the toilet seat up for other lawsuits.

Jan Saddler, class actions principal at Shine Lawyers, said the
law firm would "certainly have a look at it".  "If people have
incurred significant costs in rectifying a problem caused by that
product when it's not consistent with the way that product is
marketed and sold to consumers, why wouldn't we investigate
further?" she said.

"Certainly whenever an organisation such as the ACCC or ASIC or
any regulator take action, it's something Shine would investigate
further and look at the possibility of what action there may be
for people who have suffered loss as a consequence of [those]

To flush, or not to flush

Ms Saddler said it was not necessary to wait for the outcome of
the ACCC proceedings for a separate action to be launched.  "If
there is a sustainable course of action for people to bring
against the manufacturer such as this which is causing issues,
it's not necessary to wait," she said.

Water authorities around the country, which have long been
battling the wet wipe scourge, welcomed the Dec. 12 announcement.

"We've been running a campaign for over 18 months now to keep
wipes out of pipes," said Sydney Water spokesman Peter Hadfield.

Sydney Water removes 500 tonnes of wet wipes from its treatment
plants every year.

"Often it has to be removed by hand, and that's a pretty terrible
job for our staff," Mr Hadfield said.

"It's not just a problem for waste water utilities. Our concern is
that there are a significant number of people who contact us on a
regular basis to say they've been hit with fair sizeable plumbing
bills to remove wipes from their pipes.

"It's not just a Sydney Water problem, it's a global problem."

Queensland's water authority removes 160 tonnes, or around 20
million wet wipes, from its treatment plants every year, at an
estimated cost of $1.5 million.

"Laid end to end that's enough wipes to stretch from Brisbane to
Bali," said Queensland Urban Utilities spokeswoman Michelle Cull.

"Wet wipes are the number one enemy of sewer pipes here in
Australia and all over the world.  It's a big problem, so we
really welcome the ACCC's decision to take court action.  We think
it's a positive step towards overcoming a big problem for us."

The Water Services Association of Australia also welcomed the
court action.  "Together with over 300 international water
utilities and partner organisations, WSAA and its members have
signed a global statement outlining that only the 3Ps -- Pee, Poo
and toilet Paper -- should be flushed," it said in a statement.

Kimberly-Clark on Dec. 12 stood by its "flushability" claims. "Our
claims that these products are flushable are accurate and the
proceedings will be defended on that basis," a spokeswoman said.

"These products and the current Kleenex Cottonelle Flushable Wipes
meet or exceed the requirements set out in the INDA/EDANA
Flushability guidelines, which are the only widely accepted
guidelines for assessing flushability."

Pental, while saying it had already removed the word "flushable"
from its products, defended itself by saying there was "no legal
standard for flushability and therefore there is an inherent
degree of ambiguity about the meaning of that term".

"In September 2014, Pental undertook its own review of the White
King Bathroom Wipes packaging and removed the claims relating to
disintegration like toilet paper," a spokesman said.

JOHNSON & BELL: Sued Over Information Security Vulnerabilities
Alfred J. Saikali, Esq. -- asaikali@shb.com -- of Shook Hardy &
Bacon LLP, in an article for Lexology, reports that earlier this
year, Bloomberg Law reported that Edelson PC, a leading
plaintiffs' firm in privacy and data security law, filed a class
action lawsuit against a regional law firm that had
vulnerabilities in its information security systems.  The identity
of the firm and the allegations of the lawsuit were unsealed.  The
case, Shore v. Johnson & Bell, LTD, No. 1:16-cv-04363 (N.D. Ill.
Apr. 15, 2016), alleges that Johnson & Bell ("the firm"), a
Chicago-based law firm, was negligent and engaged in malpractice
by allowing information security vulnerabilities to develop that
created risks to client information.  This blog post explains the
alleged vulnerabilities, analyzes the merits of the lawsuit, and
discusses what it means for other law firms, their clients, and
service providers.

By coincidence, Fortune reported that China stole data from major
U.S. law firms: "The evidence obtained by Fortune did not disclose
a clear motive for the attack but did show the names of law firm
partners targeted by the hackers.  The practice areas of those
partners include mergers and acquisitions and intellectual
property, suggesting the goal of the email theft may indeed have
been economic in nature." These developments are reminders that
information security must be a high priority for all law firms.

The Johnson & Bell Lawsuit

The lawsuit is based on three alleged vulnerabilities in the
firm's information security infrastructure.  According to a court
filing, the vulnerabilities have now been addressed and fixed.

First, the lawsuit alleges that the firm's Webtime Server, an
application attorneys use via any web browser to remotely log in
and record their time, was based on the 2005 version of the Java
application JBoss.  The Complaint alleges that the 2005 version of
JBoss has been identified by the National Institute of Standards
and Technology as having an exploitable vulnerability. Plaintiffs
also allege hackers have taken advantage of the vulnerability in
other situations to conduct ransomware attacks.

Second, the lawsuit alleges that the firm's virtual private
network (VPN) server contains a vulnerability.  Companies use VPNs
to allow their employees to remotely access company information in
an encrypted, secured manner.  The secured nature of a VPN
connection allows companies to feel comfortable providing access
to highly sensitive internal resources and databases.  Sometimes,
a temporary disconnection occurs while an employee is using a VPN
connection. The Complaint alleges generally that when the firm's
VPN sessions were disconnected, the renegotiation (or re-
connection of the VPN session) was insecure, making it vulnerable
to a "man-in-the-middle" attack.  A man-in-the-middle attack is a
cyberattack in which the hacker gains access to a system to
eavesdrop on communications and steal confidential information.

Finally, the Complaint alleges that the firm's email system was
vulnerable because it supports version 2.0 of SSL.  Secure Sockets
Layer (SSL) is a form of technology that creates an encrypted
tunnel between a web server and a browser to ensure that
information passing through the tunnel is protected from hackers.
Version 2.0 was replaced by version 3.0 in 1996. In 1999,
Transport Layer Security (TLS) replaced SSL entirely. Since then,
TLS has been updated at least twice.  According to the Complaint,
the use of SSL 2.0 made the firm susceptible to a DROWN
(Decrypting RSA with Obsolete Weakened Encryption) attack that
could allow hackers to access the contents of the firm's emails
and attachments. The Complaint claims that the Panama Papers
breach was a result of a similar attack.

Notably, the Complaint does not allege that the firm actually
suffered a compromise of sensitive information, that a successful
cyberattack occurred, or even that a cyberattack was attempted. In
other words, the lawsuit is based on the firm's alleged state of
security that may make it vulnerable to an attack in the future.

Who is the class? Plaintiffs (Jason Shore and Coinabul, LLS) are
former clients of the Johnson & Bell firm.  The firm defended
Plaintiffs in a class action lawsuit alleging that Plaintiffs
defrauded consumers by accepting payments in the form of bitcoins
while refusing to ship gold or silver ordered by customers. See
Hussein v. Coinabul, LLC, No. 14 C 5735 (N.D. Ill. 2014).
Plaintiffs define the class as all of the firm's clients within
the statute of limitations period except insurance companies and
clients operating in the healthcare industry.  Why insurance and
healthcare companies are not included in the proposed class is not
evident from the allegations.  It could be that those industries
are more highly regulated in privacy and data security and
therefore would have had a greater duty to ask questions of the
firm about its information security practices. Though why
financial institutions, the most highly regulated sector in data
security, would not also have been included in this group is not

The Complaint is based on four causes of action:

Breach of implied contract -- Plaintiffs allege that, as a term of
the engagement agreement, the firm promised to keep a file for the
work they performed on Plaintiffs' matter.  The Complaint claims
there was an implied promise that the firm would use reasonable
methods to keep Plaintiffs' information confidential, which was
breached by the firm's security vulnerabilities.

Negligence -- Plaintiffs claim the attorney-client relationship
automatically created a duty to adopt industry standard data
security measures, which was breached as evident by the alleged

Unjust enrichment -- Plaintiffs argue that a portion of the
attorney's fees they paid to the firm was for the administrative
cost of data security to maintain the confidentiality of client
information.  Plaintiffs seek return of that amount of the fees

Breach of fiduciary duty -- Plaintiffs claim that the failure to
implement industry standard data security measures and resulting
vulnerabilities were breaches of the firm's fiduciary duty to

What is the injury? Plaintiffs allege they were injured because
the security vulnerabilities created (1) a diminished value of the
services they received from the firm, and (2) a risk that their
sensitive information may be compromised at some point in the
future (which could result in damages from that theft). Plaintiffs
measure their damages as the portion of fees paid to the firm that
were meant to be for the administrative cost of securing client
information.  Plaintiffs have also asked the court to require an
independent third-party security audit of the firm's systems.

Is a Vulnerability by Itself Enough to Meet Standing Requirements?

In Saikali's opinion, the lawsuit is fatally flawed because there
was no attack or attempted attack on Plaintiffs' information, let
alone actual unauthorized access or acquisition of the
information. The firm's security system was analogous to an
unlocked door to a home that nobody burglarized.  The plaintiffs
indisputably suffered no financial damages as a result of the
alleged vulnerabilities, and the vulnerabilities were identified
(albeit by this lawsuit) and addressed before any actual harm

If the mere risk of harm at some point in the future is enough to
allow a lawsuit to proceed, then every company in America should
be concerned.  Most companies probably have similar unknown
vulnerabilities in their systems.  The challenge with information
security is that it is like a game of "Whack-A-Mole" -- the fast-
paced and constantly changing threats and defenses means that new
vulnerabilities are always emerging so it is almost impossible to
eliminate all vulnerabilities entirely.  The floodgates will be
blown wide open if a lawsuit based only on the mere existence of a
vulnerability is considered actionable.

That said, the Edelson firm is one of the most creative
plaintiffs' privacy and data security firms in the country.  They
have made their name by doing things differently from their peers.
They are known for pushing the envelope and expanding the
boundaries of liability in privacy and data security law.  For
example, in Resnick v. AvMed they were the first firm to persuade
a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to apply the unjust enrichment
theory to data breach class actions. Other courts have since
applied that theory in allowing data breach class action lawsuits
to proceed . The Resnick case subsequently settled for over $3

In In re: LinkedIn User Privacy Litigation, No. 5:12-cv-03088
(N.D. Cal. 2012), at a time when other plaintiffs firms were
pursuing data breach liability based on a failure to adopt
reasonable security safeguards, they persuaded the court of a new
theory: that the gravamen was not the failure to adopt certain
security safeguards, but the misrepresentations in consumer-facing
statements about the safeguards that were actually in place. The
LinkedIn case settled for $1.25 million.

In Spokeo v. Robins, a case that was appealed all the way to the
U.S. Supreme Court, the Edelson firm argued to the Court that the
mere violation of a privacy statute without other damages or harm
is sufficient to confer standing on a plaintiff.  The Court's
decision gave plaintiffs a roadmap for circumventing the standing

But no case has gone this far -- to hold that a mere vulnerability
without a compromise of information, an attack, or an attempted
attack, is actionable.  Doing so would essentially change the data
security class action litigation "ball game" once again.

The Impact on Everyone Else

This lawsuit is important because of its potential impact to
several key groups.  First, is other law firms. Every firm should
immediately determine whether it has the same vulnerabilities
alleged in the Complaint.  Law firms should be concerned that
similar vulnerabilities could lead to similar lawsuits, whether or
not an actual attack has occurred.  They should be prepared to
respond to client inquiries explaining what safeguards they have
adopted to protect sensitive client information, consistent with
their legal and ethical obligations. (For a discussion of these
obligations, read my July 2013 blog post on the subject).  Firms
should review and update their engagement letters for promises and
disclaimers to their clients about information security.

This leads to the second group of impacted individuals: the law
firms' clients.  Every company should have in place a vendor
management program that incorporates information security as part
of the due diligence process, and law firms are service providers
like the rest of the companies' vendors.  Companies should be
asking their outside counsel as part of the due diligence process
how they protect client data: what administrative, technical, and
physical safeguards are in place? Has the firm obtained an
independent third-party certification (like ISO 27001) or
performed a risk assessment by an information security expert? (I
was pleasantly surprised to see the Complaint refer to Shook,
Hardy & Bacon's ISO 27001 certification as an example of what law
firms should be doing).

Beyond asking questions, clients need to identify what they expect
from their law firms in terms of specific security requirements
and communication about vulnerabilities or notifications of data
incidents.  This lawsuit may have been avoided if the engagement
letter had required notice of material vulnerabilities. The
questions clients should be asking their law firms can (and will)
be the focus of an entirely separate blog post.

The third group impacted by this lawsuit will be the service
providers law firms use for information security services.  Small
firms commonly outsource most or all of their information security
to these providers.  Even large firms use service providers for
information security services that include threat detection, data
loss prevention, firewall implementation, and cloud storage.

Firms also purchase licenses for applications that may present
security risks, similar to the alleged vulnerability in the
Webtime service.  These applications require a separate security
vetting by the law firm before they can be used.

LANGSTON CONSTRUCTION: "Mairena-Rivera" Suit Sent to M.D. La.
The case captioned BISMARK MAIRENA-RIVERA, on behalf of himself
and other persons similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. LANGSTON
and MICHAEL ANGSTON, Defendants, Case No. 3:16-cv-00850-JJB-EWD
(May 9, 2016) was transferred to the U.S. District Court for the
Middle District of Louisiana from the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Louisiana, according to a case docket dated
December 14, 2016.

The case alleges that Plaintiff was not paid one-and-a-half times
his regular hourly rate for all hours worked in excess of forty
hours a workweek, in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

LANGSTON CONSTRUCTION, LLC is in the business of installing
precast concrete structural framing or panels and prefabricated
windows and doors for commercial projects in various states,
including Florida and Louisiana.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     William H. Beaumont, Esq.
     3801 Canal Street, Suite 207
     New Orleans, LA 70119
     Phone: (504) 483-8008
     E-mail: whbeaumont@gmail.com

        - and -

     Roberto Luis Costales, Esq.
     3801 Canal Street, Suite 207
     New Orleans, LA 70119
     Phone: (504) 534-5005
     Fax: (504) 272-2956
     E-mail: costaleslawoffice@gmail.com

        - and -

     Emily A. Westermeier, Esq.
     3801 Canal Street, Suite 207
     New Orleans, LA 70119
     Louisiana Bar #36294
     Phone: (504) 534-5005
     E-mail: emily.costaleslawoffice@gmail.com

LOWER MERION, PA: Non-Profit Fights Class Against School District
Lower Merion Fight For First Class Public Education, a non-profit,
non-partisan group (the "Group") organized to help defeat Wolk, et
al. v. School District of Lower Merion, on Dec. 12 disclosed that,
in just one day after sending an email blast to 7,500 parents of
Lower Merion public school children asking them to sign the
group's Petition protesting the lawsuit, over 1,000 residents
signed.  That brought the total number of petitioners against the
lawsuit to over 1,800.  That was on December 8.  As of Dec. 12 the
number has increased to over 2,000.

The suit, styled as a class action on behalf of all Lower Merion
taxpayers -- including many taxpayers who categorically reject
membership in any such class -- was brought to: set aside
reasonable surplus funds for essential future improvements to
school buildings, sports facilities and innovative educational
programs; dramatically reduce critical funds from Lower Merion
public schools; remove wholesale, by judicial fiat, all present
duly- elected members of the Lower Merion School District
("LMSD"); and replace the Board with a court-appointed trustee to
strip down LMSD's budget and create nothing more than a bare bones
education.  In fact, the plaintiffs' complaint makes this
astonishing pronouncement: "Public school education means basic
adherence to the minimum requirements established and imposed upon
school districts by the State Board of Education."  The Group
vehemently disagrees with this bald and wholly unsupported

The Group is particularly disturbed by the plaintiffs' attempt to
resurrect in their complaint the same claims made in the long ago
resolved "laptop lawsuit."  The Group believes it was a shameless,
tawdry attempt to besmirch the good name of the LMSD.
Significantly, the lead plaintiff here, Arthur Wolk, is an
attorney who surely knows or should have known that (1) he and his
confederate plaintiffs, who purport to represent the interests of
taxpayers and not students, lack standing to bring claims for
which they can show no injury to them, and (2) the laptop-based
claims for which he seeks relief have been released years ago in
the settlement of the laptop litigation.

The Group believes PA state auditors recognize the importance of
maintaining a reasonable surplus (to, among other things, maintain
Lower Merion schools' AAA municipal bond ratings, and provide
facilities and faculty necessary to handle the unusually high
influx of new students over roughly the same time period as the
Lower Merion school taxes have gone up).  The Group believes the
plaintiffs' scurrilous claims against the LMSD are meritless and
will ultimately be rejected by the PA courts.

"We are gratified, but not surprised, by this overwhelming
demonstration of support for our position that this lawsuit must
not prevail," says Group President Jane Broderson.  "Just as
grassroots opposition and outrage by class members in the laptop
case helped prevent it from proceeding as a class action, we
expect that the more than 2,000 organized opponents of this
proposed class action will have the same effect."

For more information, go to www.lmfight.com.

MCCLURE PROPERTIES: "Milien" Suit Alleges AWPA, EFTA Violations
Willio Milien, Risler Presendieu and Sylaine Baptiste on behalf of
themselves and all others similarly situated; Yolette Fils-Aime,
Guerlin Dorelys and Marie Paul, individually, Plaintiffis, vs.
McClure Properties, Ltd., a Florida limited partnership and West
Coast Tomato, LLC, a Florida limited liability, company,
Defendants, Case No. 2:16-cv-00892-SPC-MRM (M.D. Fla., December
16, 2016), alleges that because of required convenience fees,
foreign fees and other fees and surcharges associated with payroll
debit cards, Plaintiffs do not receive their full pay in violation
of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act,
and the Electronic Fund Transfer Act.

The Plaintiffs are current or former farm labor employees who
plant, prune and harvest commercially grown tomatoes for the

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

     Jose J. Rodriguez, Esq.
     500 North Federal Highway, Suite 200
     Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
     Phone: (954) 522-6601
     Fax: (954) 522-6608
     E-mail: jjr@kulaw.com

MICHIGAN: Court Refuses to Certify Class in "Cavin" Suit
The Hon. Bernard A. Friedman denied the Plaintiff's motion for
class certification under Rule 23(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure filed in the lawsuit styled MARIO CAVIN v. DAVID LEACH,
et al., Case No. 2:15-cv-14449-BAF-SDD (E.D. Mich.).

David Leach is an officer or employee of the Michigan Department
of Corrections.

According to the Court's opinion and order, Rule 23(a)(4) states
that the Court may only certify a class if "the representative
parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the
class."  "[N]on-attorneys proceeding pro se cannot adequately
represent a class," Ziegler v. State of Michigan, 90 F. App'x 808,
810 (6th Cir. 2004).

"Because plaintiff is not an attorney and is proceeding pro se,
his motion to certify is denied," Judge Friedman ruled.

A copy of the Order is available at no charge at

MONAKER GROUP: Faruqi & Faruqi Files Class Action Lawsuit
Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, a leading national securities law firm,
reminds investors in Monaker Group, Inc. of the February 10, 2017
deadline to seek the role of lead plaintiff in a federal
securities class action lawsuit filed against the Company and
certain officers.

The lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Florida on behalf of all those who purchased
Monaker stock or options between April 6, 2012 and June 23, 2016
(the "Class Period"). The case, McCleod v. Monaker Group, Inc. et
al, No. 16-cv-62902 was filed on December 9, 2016, and has been
assigned to Judge William J. Zloch.

The lawsuit focuses on whether the Company and its executives
violated federal securities laws by failing to disclose that some
Monaker executives were involved in secretly transferring funds to
a separate company controlled by these executives.

Specifically, on June 23, 2016, Monaker filed a 10-K announcing
that it would have to restate its financial statements released
during the Class Period, claiming that Monaker had paid up to
$11.1M of Monaker's funds to support the operations of an entirely
separate public company -- RealBiz Media Group, Inc. -- that had
been, until recently, controlled by several Monaker executives.
The 10-K states that the fund transfers were done without any
consideration in return.

                       Take Action

If you invested in purchased Monaker stock or options between
April 6, 2012 and June 23, 2016 and would like to discuss your
legal rights, visit www.faruqilaw.com/MKGI. You can also contact
us by calling Richard Gonnello toll free at 877-247-4292 or at
212-983-9330 or by sending an e-mail to -- rgonnello@faruqilaw.com
--  Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP also encourages anyone with information
regarding Monaker's conduct to contact the firm, including
whistleblowers, former employees, shareholders and others.

The court-appointed lead plaintiff is the investor with the
largest financial interest in the relief sought by the class that
is adequate and typical of class members who directs and oversees
the litigation on behalf of the putative class. 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. Your ability to share in any
recovery is not affected by the decision of whether or not to
serve as a lead plaintiff.

Attorney Advertising. The law firm responsible for this
advertisement is Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP (www.faruqilaw.com). Prior
results do not guarantee or predict a similar outcome with respect
to any future matter. We welcome the opportunity to discuss your
particular case. All communications will be treated in a
confidential manner.

NEW SEABURY: Suit Over Annual Dues Remains Pending
Sam Houghton of Mashpee News reports that members of the New
Seabury community received news that their annual dues will
increase across the board again, for some as high as 45 percent.

Paul M. Kruzel, general manager of the Club at New Seabury, issued
a letter to members on Friday, December 9, explaining that as of
January 1, members across the spectrum of membership will pay an
additional $2,250 for their annual dues.

For members in the Silver membership, for seniors, their annual
dues will increase 45 percent from $5,000.

"Much has been done in 2016 to enhance services for our members,"
the letter states. "However, there is still more to be done."

The higher fees confirm fears voiced last year when the club
unfolded a new membership system, that nothing would stop the
owners from increasing the annual dues yearly.

The dispute began last year when the club management attempted to
bring clarity to the older membership structure, which included
about 30 different membership categories. Each category allowed
members access to different amenities at the club such as the
beach, golf courses, tennis, and dining.

The reorganization led to two separate lawsuits, one a class
action lawsuit that remains open with a hearing scheduled for
January. The other ended in a settlement.

Many of the membership annual dues increased 20 to 30 percent from
the reorganization. At a general membership meeting held last year
to explain the membership reorganization, several members asked
what would stop the management company from increasing their dues
on an annual basis.

Plaintiffs made up of New Seabury members filed a class action
lawsuit under the Consumer Protection Act in July, arguing that
New Seabury Properties coerced members out of their old
membership, thus forfeiting parts of their contractual rights. The
plaintiffs filed an argument against New Seabury's motion to
dismiss on December 7, continuing to claim they were coerced and
that New Seabury acted out of bad faith.

Judge Robert C. Rufo scheduled a hearing for January 3, 2017.

New Seabury members said this week that the rate increases this
year are another indication of a poorly run club. The members
spoke on anonymity for fear of punitive action from management. A
section in the memberhip rules and regulations handbook states
that any actions that could "endanger" the "good reputation of the
Club" could result in suspension or termination of membership.

NEWCREST: Court Can Reduce Settlement Funding Commission
Robert Johnston, Esq. -- robert.johnston@jws.com.au -- of Johnson
Winter & Slattery, in an article for Lexology, reports that in a
judgment handed down on Dec. 12 in the Newcrest matter, Justice
Murphy (formerly of Maurice Blackburn) again ventures in to new
territory in class action law this time stating that in his view
the Court can review and potentially lower the actual funders
commissions to be deducted from settlements in approving class
action settlements which are otherwise fair and reasonable.

In his last outing as part of the majority in the QBE case, where
the Full Federal Court approved a common fund application (that
is, all class members were required to pay a funders commission
even if they had not agreed to do so, Murphy J said then that the
Court could review and reduce the funders commission at the end of
the case where a common fund order was sought.

In the Newcrest case, Murphy J now goes further and, in the
context of considering an application for Court approval of a
settlement, his Honour set about opining on the power he
considered the Court had to review and reduce the funders
commission if it thought it was unreasonable or excessive even
where the proposed settlement was otherwise fair and reasonable.
There was much opposition to the concept of the Court doing
anything more than approving or rejecting the proposed settlement
and of the Court unilaterally interfering with the contractual
terms agreed between the class member and the funder and no other
case had resolved this issue.  However, Murphy J would have none
of this stating that:

". . . if in a settlement approval application the Court considers
the proposed settlement is fair and reasonable except that the
funding commission is excessive or exorbitant, the Court has power
to approve the settlement and reduce the funding commission to be
deducted pursuant to the terms of the settlement.  Having regard
to ss 33V, 33ZF(1), 33Z(1)(g) and 23 I do not accept that the
Court's powers are limited to a binary choice between approving or
rejecting the proposed settlement.  In such circumstances it may
be "just", "appropriate", or "appropriate or necessary to ensure
that justice is done in the proceeding" that the Court make orders
approving the settlement but reducing the funding commission to be
deducted under the settlement."

Murphy J also emphatically rejected the notion that even if the
Court reduced the commission to be deducted from the settlement
sum, the funder could simply turn around and collect the
difference from the funded class members under the terms of the
funding contracts warning that if this is what a commercial third
party funder sought to do and deny they are bound by orders made
in the proceedings, "the Court could move to require that funders
undertake to do so before class actions are permitted to

In considering the Court's power to reduce the funders' commission
to be deducted from the settlement sum, Murphy J said, amongst
other matters, that it was not unlike the Court's powers to reduce
the amount in legal fees charged by the claimants lawyers.

In determining whether the funders' % in this case was
unreasonable or excessive, Murphy J set out in some detail
research on "market rates" charged by funders.  This part of the
judgment provides a wealth of information about the commissions
funders have been charging.  Murphy J then concluded that the % in
this case of between 26% and 30% was probably at the low end of
what one could expect given the risks, complexity and costs in the

The judgment, whilst allowing Murphy J another platform to shape
the class action landscape, does contain good summaries of certain
aspects of the law around the reasonableness of settlements and of
funding commissions.  In this case, only about 4,400 shareholders
out of probably over 80,000 shareholders made up the class, the
matter was settled for only $36M, which was much lower than the
claimants had expected, it was settled a week before trial in a
fiercely contested defence, the lawyers charged $10.7M and the
funder $6.8M leaving a little less than 50% for the class members.
In all the circumstances, the settlement was approved including
the funders commission.

This makes two very recent decision in a row for Murphy J which on
the one hand have created a more favourable landscape for funders
but on the other hand warns of the Court's powers to scrutinise
their commissions charged and reduce them if considered
unreasonable or excessive.

PARALIA CORP: Lopez et al. Allege FLSA, NY Labor Law Violations
FELIPE CRUZ, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated, Plaintiffs, v. PARALIA CORPORATION d/b/a DEL RIO DINER,
FRANK MAVROMICHALIS, Jointly and Severally, Defendants, Case No.
1:16-cv-06973 (E.D.N.Y., December 16, 2016), seeks to recover
alleged unpaid minimum wages and overtime premium pay owed to them
pursuant to both the Fair Labor Standards Act, and the New York
Labor Law.

The case also alleges that Plaintiffs were not provided ninety
(90) days advanced written notice of their terminations by
Defendants, as required by the New York State Worker Adjustment
and Retraining Notification Act.

PARALIA CORP. is a restaurant.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

     Brent E. Pelton, Esq.
     Taylor B. Graham, Esq.
     111 Broadway, Suite 1503
     New York, NY 10006
     Phone: (212) 385-9700
     Web site: http://www.PeltonGraham.com
     E-mail: Pelton@PeltonGraham.com

PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL: Faces Class Action Over Wells Fargo Fraud
Tara Jeffries, writing for Morning Consult, reports that
Prudential Financial Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit in the
latest legal action linking the insurer to Wells Fargo & Co.'s
high-profile consumer fraud scandal.

The lawsuit, filed on Dec. 12 by a trio of law firms in the U.S.
District Court for the District of New Jersey, says Prudential
worked with Wells Fargo to sign up low-income customers for life
insurance policies without their knowledge.

The complaint alleges that the San Francisco-based lender worked
in tandem with Prudential to register customers unknowingly for
the MyTerm life insurance program, withdraw fees from customers'
Wells Fargo accounts and stonewall inquiries to Prudential's
customer service line about unwanted accounts.

The action follows a wrongful termination suit filed on Dec. 6 by
three former Prudential employees who say the company fired them
after they brought attention to the alleged fraud. Prudential is
set to suspend its insurance policy sales partnership with the
bank, The Wall Street Journal reported on Dec. 12.

Representatives from Prudential and Wells Fargo did not
immediately respond to requests for comment.

Q CLUB: Suit Over Condo-Hotel Fees Obtains Class-Action Status
Paul Owers, writing for Sun Sentinel, reports that a federal judge
has granted certification for a class action case involving shared
costs at the Hilton Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort.

Plaintiff Gary Dear has sued owner Q Club Hotel LLC, alleging that
the company is charging unit owners fees that aren't authorized by
the governing documents.  The suit says costs have increased by
millions of dollars during the past two years at the 333-room

Matt Weissing, lead counsel for the class, said one example is
that owners weren't previously being charged for the valet
operation.  Now they pay 40 percent of the cost without getting
any of the profits, he said.

"That's inherently unfair," Mr. Weissing said.

A trial is scheduled for May 22 before U.S. District Judge James
Cohn in Fort Lauderdale.  The class, which includes more than 450
current and former owners, is seeking more than $10 million in

Mr. Weissing said Cohn's certification "empowers this group of
owners to act in concert for all of their mutual best interests."

Larry Litow, attorney for Q Club Hotel, said the suit is based on
a "complete misunderstanding of the financial flow of the project.
All of the charges are 100 percent legitimate."

The resort is at 505 N. Fort Lauderdale Beach Blvd. The vast
majority of the owners rent to other parties through a management
program with Hilton, Mr. Weissing said.

RCI HOSPITALITY: Faces "Garvin" Suit Seeking OT Pay Under FLSA
LEEZA GARVIN, individually, JENELL FARNSWORTH, individually and on
Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiffs, vs. RCI
TOOTSIE'S CABARET, and ERIC LANGAN, individually, Defendants, Case
No. 1:16-cv-25221-DPG (S.D. Fla., December 16, 2016), alleges that
Defendants violates the Fair Labor Standards Act, which requires
non-exempt employees, such as Plaintiffs, to be compensated for
their overtime work at a rate of one and one-half times their
regular rate of pay.

TOOTSIE'S CABARET is an adult entertainment club.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Andrew R. Frisch, Esq.
     600 N. Pine Island Road, Suite 400
     Plantation, FL 33324
     Phone: (954) 318-0268
     Fax: (954) 327-3013
     E-mail: afrisch@forthepeople.com

RENAISSANCE HOME: Faces "Hunt" Suit Under FLSA, Ohio Wage Act
ARIS HUNT, on behalf of herself and all other similarly situated
employees, 25551 N. Lakeland Blvd, #106, Euclid, OH 44132,
Plaintiff, v. RENAISSANCE HOME HEALTH CARE c/o Its Registered
Agent Patricia Eady 5311 Northfield Rd, #212 Bedford Heights, OH
4146 and PATRICIA EADY, 5311 Northfield Rd, #212, Bedford Heights,
OH 44146 and JOHN DOE(S) Unknown Principal of Renaissance Home
Health Care, 5311 Northfield Rd, #212
Bedford Heights, OH 44146, Defendants, Case No. 1:16-cv-03012
(N.D. Ohio, December 16, 2016), seeks damages and other relief
relating to alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and
the Ohio Minimum Wage Standards Act.

RENAISSANCE HOME HEALTH CARE provides health and recovery services
including therapies, medication assistance, and other helpful

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Ronald I. Frederick, Esq.
     Michael L. Berler, Esq.
     767 E. 185th Street
     Cleveland, OH 44119
     Phone: (216) 502-1055
     Fax: (216) 566-9400
     E-mail: ronf@clevelandconsumerlaw.com

RIO TINTO: February 10 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, on Dec. 13
announced the filing of a class action lawsuit on behalf of
purchasers of Rio Tinto plc securities (RIO) from March 16, 2012
and November 14, 2016, inclusive (the "Class Period").  The
lawsuit seeks to recover damages for Rio Tinto investors under the
federal securities laws.

To join the Rio Tinto class action, go to
http://rosenlegal.com/cases-998.htmlor call Phillip Kim, Esq. or
Kevin Chan, Esq. toll-free at 866-767-3653 or email
pkim@rosenlegal.com or kchan@rosenlegal.com for information on the
class action.


According to the lawsuit, throughout the Class Period defendants
issued materially false and misleading statements to investors
and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Rio Tinto violated anti-
corruption laws in connection with its operations with respect to
the Simandou project; (2) the foregoing violations would expose
Rio Tinto to significant scrutiny and large fines; and (3) as a
result of the foregoing, Rio Tinto's public statements were
materially false and misleading at all relevant times.  When the
true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors
suffered damages.

A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to
serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than
February 10, 2017.  A lead plaintiff is a representative party
acting on behalf of other class members in directing the
litigation.  If you wish to join the litigation, go to
http://rosenlegal.com/cases-998.htmlor to discuss your rights or
interests regarding this class action, please contact Phillip Kim,
Esq. or Kevin Chan, Esq. of Rosen Law Firm toll free at 866-767-
3653 or via e-mail at pkim@rosenlegal.com or kchan@rosenlegal.com.

Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe,
concentrating its practice in securities class actions and
shareholder derivative litigation.

ROGER SKIMMING: Law Firm Launches Scotsburn Bushfire Class Action
Alex Sampson, writing for The Weekly Times, reports that a class
action has been launched on behalf of residents affected by last
year's Scotsburn bushfire.

Maddens Lawyers issued the action and said Scotsburn residents
looking to claim compensation for losses that had not been covered
by insurance were encouraged to register to be part of the class

The fire burnt more than 4000ha and razed 12 houses on December 19
at Scotsburn, south of Ballarat.

Maddens is the law firm that led four Black Saturday bushfire
class actions.

Senior partner and bushfire compensation expert Brendan Pendergast
said his firm, which had successfully settled several bushfire-
related class actions on behalf of hundreds of fire victims, was
confident those who lost property in last year's fire had a strong
case for compensation.

In October Scotsburn resident Roger Skimming pleaded guilty to a
charge of failing to carry required firefighting equipment when he
was slashing his paddocks, causing the fire to start.

He was convicted and fined $1550 with $79.50 costs at Ballarat
Magistrates Court.

SARASOTA COUNTY: Leo Seeks to Certify School Bus Drivers Class
The Plaintiffs in the lawsuit styled SUSAN LEO, ROBERT BIEGEL,
themselves and others similarly situated v. SARASOTA COUNTY SCHOOL
BOARD, Case No. 8:16-cv-03190-JSM-TGW (M.D. Fla.), seek the entry
of an order permitting under Court supervision notice to employees
and former employees of their opt-in rights.

The Plaintiffs are also seeking conditional certification of a
collective action for all school bus drivers employed by

The representative class consists of school bus drivers, who did
not receive time and a half for all of their overtime hours
worked.  The Plaintiffs ask for an order permitting and
supervising notice to the Defendant's current and former school
bus drivers, who worked one or more weeks during the three years
from the filing of the complaint.

The action alleges overtime violations under the Fair Labor
Standards Act of 1938.

A copy of the Motion is available at no charge at

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Jay P. Lechner, Esq.
          Jason M. Melton, Esq.
          One Progress Plaza
          200 Central Avenue, #400
          St. Petersburg, FL 33701
          Telephone: (727) 822-1111
          Facsimile: (727) 898-2001
          E-mail: lechnerj@theFLlawfirm.com

SHOP VAC CORP: Wet-Dry Vacuum Settlement Obtains Final Approval
John Beauge, writing for PennLive, reports that a federal judge
has rejected three objections and given final approval to a
nationwide settlement of multiple federal class-action lawsuits
that claimed popular Shop Vac Corp wet-dry vacuums do not live up
to their advertised specifications.

U.S. Middle District Judge Yvette Kane on Dec. 9 also awarded
$5,000 to each of four named plaintiffs in Florida, Missouri,
California and Illinois along with $4.25 million in legal fees.

She noted 1,165,149 individuals received notice of the proposed
settlement, only three objected and no one appeared at a September
fairness hearing in Harrisburg.

The settlement approval releases Shop Vac from claims in a
parallel class-action suit in New Jersey in which action had been
stayed pending the outcome of the federal litigation.

In reaching the settlement through mediation, Shop Vac did not
admit any liability.

Terms of the settlement include Shop Vac agreeing to a two-year
extension of its warranty on the motors of the vacuums.

It also agreed to change how it refers to peak horsepower on
marketing materials and alter what the plaintiffs claimed is
misleading information about the canister size measurement.

A previously filed court document stated the parties estimate the
retail value of the extended warranties is "well into the millions
of dollars."

The settlement covered those who purchased or acquired a wet-dry
vacuum since Jan. 1, 2006.

Shop Vac, which is headquartered in Williamsport, denied the
allegations and claimed no customers were deceived.

A plaintiff's expert concluded based on tests he conducted the
vacuums were incapable of reaching even half their advertised peak
horsepower and the automatic shutoff feature causes them to stop
working when the tanks reached between 47 and 83 percent of

The original suit was filed in 2012 with a consolidated complaint
following in 2013.

SIRIUS XM: Obtains Favorable Ruling in Copyright Legal Dispute
David Klepper, writing for The Associated Press, reports that
radio stations don't have to get permission -- or pay compensation
-- to the owners of old music recordings in order to play the
recordings, the state's highest court ruled on Dec. 20 in an
ongoing legal dispute between Sirius XM Radio and the owners of
The Turtle's 1967 hit "Happy Together."

The Court of Appeals determined that New York common law does not
recognize a "public performance right" that would enable the
owners of old records to require radio stations to seek permission
or render payment before playing the music.  At issue in the case
is recordings made before 1972, when new federal copyright laws
went into effect.

Flo & Eddie Inc., a company owned by two of The Turtles' founding
members, sued Sirius in federal court for copyright infringement,
arguing that its rights were violated when Sirius plays The
Turtle's pre-1972 songs without permission or compensation.
Because the suit involved questions about state law, it spawned
legal contests in New York, as well as in Florida and California.

According to the New York decision, written by Judge Leslie Stein,
there is no state law establishing such a right.  Judge Stein also
noted that record companies and artists have long "had a symbiotic
relationship with radio stations, and wanted them to play their
records to encourage name recognition and corresponding album

Daniel Petrocelli, the attorney for Sirius, said the lawsuit "was
simply an effort by record companies to extract more money, beyond
what they receive when people buy or download their music."

The Dec. 20 decision resolves one piece of the much larger legal
dispute over the rights of record owners.  An attorney for Flo &
Eddie Inc. said he is hopeful the suit will ultimately prevail.

"The good fight to protect artist's rights rages on," said
attorney Henry Gradstein in a statement.

SMITH GUARD: "Bailey" Suit Seeks Overtime Pay
Kamela Bailey, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. Smith Guard, Inc., Defendant, Case No.
1:16-cv-04599 (N.D. Ga., December 14, 2016), seeks unpaid wages,
liquidated damages, pre-judgment interest on unpaid wages, court
costs, expert witness fees and reasonable attorneys' fees pursuant
to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Plaintiff was employed by Defendant as a security guard. She
worked more than forty hours but was not paid the overtime wage

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      V. Severin Roberts, Esq.
      1100 Peachtree Street, Suite 500
      Atlanta, GA 30309
      Tel: (404) 214-0120
      Fax: (404) 214-0125

SP AUSNET: Angry Bushfire Victims Throw Questions at Attorney
Pia Akerman, writing for The Australian, reports that as Christmas
approaches, there is finally some good news for residents of
Kinglake, Marysville and the other hamlets engulfed by Victoria's
infamous Black Saturday bushfires.

Seven years after their homes were destroyed and two years after
they were awarded settlements of nearly $800 million in two
historic class actions, some money is at last on its way.

Unfortunately, the key word is some.  The optimism and joy the
victims of the 2009 Kilmore East-Kinglake and Murrindindi-
Marysville firestorms experienced as they were awarded the
settlements of $494m and $300m respectively in 2014 and last year
have turned into disappointment and recriminations against the
entity that made it all possible, law firm Maurice Blackburn.

The payments (plus millions earned in interest) have shrunk by
close to $100m, eroded by legal costs and Maurice Blackburn's
administration fees, while accusations of incompetence ring out as
the firm battles the Australian Taxation Office over a tax bill on
interest payments.

It has turned some victims of Australia's worst bushfires against
the lawyers who championed their fight.

As a seasoned litigator and principal at Maurice Blackburn, Andrew
Watson is usually at ease in the courtroom and takes prime
position at the bar table.  But sitting in the witness box, sworn
on oath to answer questions truthfully, is an uncommon experience
for him as is fielding questions fired at him by angry Black
Saturday victims, accusing Mr. Watson and his firm of bungling
them out of millions of dollars.

Once lauded as a hero for landing a record-breaking class action
settlement, Mr. Watson and his firm now face claims of failing to
do due diligence and letting down survivors.

Denis Spooner -- who lost his wife, son and Strathewen home in the
February 2009 bushfire -- didn't hold back when he had his chance
to question Mr. Watson in the Victorian Supreme Court last month
during a case management conference.  He asked why Maurice
Blackburn had not worked more closely with the ATO.

"I won't say negligent but it's bordering on it," Mr. Spooner told
Mr. Watson, who is also a Maurice Blackburn company director.
"(You) did not take due diligence in attending to that matter, in
speaking to the taxation department a lot earlier."

Mr. Watson replied that Mr. Spooner was confused about the
different tax arrangements for the scheme and its claimants.

He has foreshadowed taking the ATO to court to challenge the $20m
tax bill, suggesting Maurice Blackburn may pick up the tab for the
accompanying legal costs -- but not the tax liability itself.

The firm's equity partners received more than $16m in dividends in
2014-15 as the class actions settled.  Their latest dividend
payments are yet to be revealed in financial reports filed with
the Australian Securities & Investments Commission.

While Mr. Watson was on the stand, federal government MP Sarah
Henderson was unloading in Canberra, attacking Maurice Blackburn
for its apparent "incompetence" in handling the class actions. She
calling for the legal giant to accept responsibility for the tax
bill and stop charging bushfire victims for its work.

"This $20m tax bill is a kick in the guts for Black Saturday
victims," Ms. Henderson told parliament, describing it as "a
remarkable case of incompetence".

"Rather than threaten the ATO with legal action, Maurice Blackburn
must own up to its mistake, take responsibility for paying this
tax bill and urgently provide these bushfire victims the payout
they were promised so long ago.

"There is growing evidence that this plaintiff law firm does not
have the capacity or skill to manage such large-scale class action

Class action litigation in Australia is yet to reach the size of
multi-billion-dollar settlements awarded in US cases but
nevertheless represents a growing industry, fuelled by hungry
commercial litigation funders.  Maurice Blackburn has played the
starring role to date, boasting it is the only Australian law firm
to have settled shareholder class actions with sums of more than

It is running the class action against the Queensland government,
Seqwater and SunWater in relation to the 2011 floods and the role
of Wivenhoe and Somerset dams.  The case will be Australia's
second largest after the Black Saturday cases and is scheduled for
the trial to start next October unless a settlement is reached.

Other recent significant cases include the battle against the
banks over late credit card payment fees, which ultimately failed
in the High Court, and a continuing action against one of its main
competitors, Slater & Gordon, for allegedly misleading
shareholders about its financial performance.

In the US, administrators who are third parties are often engaged
at much lower cost to manage schemes after the class actions have
been settled by lawyers.

The thousands who joined Maurice Blackburn's bushfire class
actions are told to expect as little as 30 per cent for economic
loss property damage claims in the Kilmore case (higher for the
smaller Murrindindi settlement) and just under 65 per cent of
their assessed losses for personal injury and dependency claims
slightly less than originally suggested by the firm in some

While the bushfire survivors are anxious to see their compensation
delivered as soon as possible, many are shocked by news of a bill
from the ATO for as much as $20m on the settlements' interest -- a
bill Maurice Blackburn admits caught it by surprise.

The ATO publicly laid the blame for the liability at the law
firm's feet, saying the tax arose only because of the way Maurice
Blackburn established the scheme.

"In other instances of compensation payments, representatives for
injured parties involved have either worked with the ATO upfront
or otherwise established arrangements in a manner which ensures
the compensation fund would avoid any adverse tax outcomes such as
tax payable on interest etc," an ATO spokesman tells The
Australian.  "We are not aware of why this was not undertaken in
this case."

Supreme Court judge Jack Forrest, who oversaw the Kilmore East
trial and settlement process, noted the angst among class action
members in a decision recently published.

"It is not surprising that some group members have raised
legitimate concerns about costs of the administration of the SDS
(settlement distribution scheme)," he said.  "In total, the scheme
administrator (Maurice Blackburn) will have been paid slightly
over $29m for managing the SDS."

Clayton Utz partner Greg Williams, who specialises in class
actions, tells The Australian the scale and complexity of the
Victorian bushfire cases throws up challenges that will serve as a
warning to other firms.

"It is a monumental under?taking," he says.  "Will there be
lessons learned out of it? I've no doubt there will be."

He says it is understandable that Maurice Blackburn was imbued
with optimism when the settlement was reached, telling group
members to expect their payments within 12 to 18 months.  In fact
the long laborious process eventually forced the firm to issue
incentive bonuses to barristers who were lagging on their
commitments to assess claims for personal injury and the deaths of
family members.

"In an ideal world -- or perhaps even a reasonable one -- this
would not need to have been done," Judge Forrest said.

The court accepted the assessment of Melbourne costs lawyer John
White, who was appointed by Judge Forrest to audit Maurice
Blackburn's costs.

Mr. White, who used a sampling process to examine about every 10th
page in more than 4000 pages of costs compiled by the firm,
concluded Maurice Blackburn had charged appropriate fees to handle
the settlement.

Mr. White's final report and court orders issued in the past
fortnight have cleared the way for people who suffered personal
injury to receive their first payments by Christmas, months after
Maurice Blackburn began receiving more than $100m for its costs in
running the case and administering the settlement scheme.

People who suffered property losses are due to receive their
payments early next year.

To prevent an 11th-hour delay to the distribution, Maurice
Blackburn was authorised by Judge Forrest and fellow judge John
Dixon to withhold about $22m to meet the potential tax liability.

The firm rejects the ATO's claim that its scheme arrangements
triggered the liability.  Mr. Watson told the court that Maurice
Blackburn followed the tax-effective formula used in previous
class action settlements.

Affidavits sworn by Mr. Watson during the past 18 months show the
issue was live and contentious.  In June last year, the solicitor
said he was seeking advice from Maurice Blackburn's tax advisers,
Pitcher Partners, on whether the interest income was assessable
for tax.  Pitcher Partners, who previously had advised Maurice
Blackburn on the Centro, National Australia Bank and Bonsoy class
actions, advised engaging further with the ATO, warning that
interest derived after the settlement approval judgment could be
treated as assessable.

In March the accountants informed Maurice Blackburn that an ATO
informal review was unfavourable, finding interest was assessable.
Mr. Watson quickly sought alternative advice, retaining
PricewaterhouseCoopers to further engage with the tax office on an
"informal" basis.

Vicki Ruhr, who lost her Kinglake home and was injured in the
bushfire, told the court the firm should have initiated
discussions with the ATO as soon as the Kilmore settlement was
approved in December 2014 instead of waiting until June last year.

"It would have been common sense," she said.  "I am calling it a
fiasco because that's how I see it personally."  Ms. Ruhr, Spooner
and Yarra Valley survivor Norman Archibald have now written to
Malcolm Turnbull and Attorney-General George Brandis, seeking the
government's support.

Judge Forrest said the questions raised by Mr. Spooner and Ms.
Ruhr were relevant and had assisted his understanding of the
settlement's management, but he regretted the acrimonious
relationship that developed between Maurice Blackburn and its
former clients.

"The only thing everybody is unanimous about is the need to get
the settlement funds out as soon as possible," he said.

"It is not the court's role to monitor every decision made by the
scheme administrator . . . I am satisfied that the administration
of the SDS has been both reasonable and efficient."

The Kilmore East bushfire killed 119 people, destroyed 1242 homes,
damaged a further 1084 homes and burned more than 125,000ha of
land.  The Murrindindi fire claimed 40 lives and destroyed more
than 500 homes.

Kilmore East lead plaintiff Carol Matthews, who lost her son and
St Andrews home in the bushfire, does not take issue with Maurice
Blackburn's handling of the case.  She tells The Australian she
was reassured by White's opinion that the settlement was
administered properly and the costs were reasonable.

Archibald is one of the group members who takes a different view.
Like Matthews and all the other claimants who spoke to The
Australian, he wants the money to circulate to victims as swiftly
as possible.  "I got out with my wallet and my dog," says
Archibald, who lost his Yarra Valley property.  "It's not (about)
the money, it's the people involved."

He hopes people learn from this class action and carefully
consider whether to join future actions eagerly promoted by
lawyers promising justice.  "They can walk away with millions of
dollars and we get next to nothing."

SPRING COMMUNICATIONS: "Harrison" Suit Alleges FLSA Violations
LANEKEQUA HARRISON and TROY YOST, Individually and on behalf of
all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. SPRING COMMUNICATIONS
HOLDING, INC. d/b/a SPRING MOBILE, Defendant, Case No. 1:16-cv-
09678 (S.D.N.Y., December 15, 2016), seeks to recover overtime
compensation for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

SPRING COMMUNICATIONS HOLDING, INC. operates AT&T branded wireless
retail stores across the United States, including in New York,
Washington, California, Texas, and Florida. From these store
locations, Defendant sells AT&T wireless phones, other mobile
devices, wireless and data plans, and accessories.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

     Michael J. Palitz, Esq.
     830 3rd Avenue, 5th Floor
     New York, NY 10022
     Phone: (800) 616-4000
     Fax: (561) 447-8831

        - and -

     Gregg I. Shavitz, Esq.
     Camar R. Jones, Esq.
     1515 South Federal Highway, Suite 404
     Boca Raton, FL 33432
     Phone: (561) 447-8888
     Fax: (561) 447-8831

SPRINGFIELD, MA: Judge Rejects Suit vs. School District
Peter Goonan of Mass Live reports that U.S. District Court Judge
Mark G. Mastroianni issued a ruling December 16 that rejects a
class action suit against the city and School Department that
sought to end a public day school program for students with mental
health issues.

The ruling was praised by school officials who called it a
"vindication" of the public day school program. City and school
officials denied the students were being improperly segregated
from the regular classrooms and defended the programs and services
being provided in the day school program.

"It's a significant win not just for the district but for all
public schools in Massachusetts and their special education
students," said Melinda Phelps, a lawyer representing the School
Department. "It's a vindication for the hard work day in and day
out of the Springfield Public School Program."

School Committee Vice-Chairman Christopher Collins agreed, saying
it upholds the Springfield approach and the people providing
services from the principals down to the counselors and teachers.

The civil suit was initially filed by a parent of a teen with
mental health issues, with the student identified in the suit as
S.S. It was filed on his behalf and "other similarly situated
students" and by the Parent/Professional Advocacy League and the
Disability Law Center.

The motion for "Class Certification" was denied by Mr. Mastroianni
in a ruling.

City lawyers including City Solicitor Edward Pikula "vigorously
disputed" claims by the plaintiffs that students attending the
public day schools "are not only segregated from nondisabled
students, but also receive educational services that are
demonstrably inferior to those offered at neighborhood schools,
are unable to access extracurricular activities available in
neighborhood schools, and are subjected to dangerously punitive

Mr. Pikula, in arguments before Mr. Mastroianni, said the
plaintiffs had essentially repurposed a claim after it was
rejected by a state board of special education appeals. In
addition, Mr. Pikula said a judge in that forum ruled the city had
accommodated "S.S" and developed an individual education plan that
was "the least restrictive" according to 2015 hearing.

Mr. Mastroianni, in summarizing the case, said that approximately
1 percent of the students in the Springfield public schools are
placed in the public day schools at the elementary, middle and
high school levels. A total of 246 students were in the program as
of May 1, 2016.

The American With Disabilities Act bars public entities from
discriminating against a "qualified individual with a disability,"
or excluding them from participation or denying them from the
benefits and services of a public entity, the summary stated.
Protections are also provided in the Individuals with Disabilities
in Education Act (IDEA), he said.

In the class certification sought, however, not all members of the
suit had exhausted the process for administrative remedies
provided under IDEA guidelines, Mr. Mastroianni said.

"The exhaustion requirement provides one basis for denying
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification," Mr. Mastronianni
said. "Some of the same concerns that lead the court to that
decision also demonstrate that Plaintiffs have not met their
burden to establish the elements required for class

Mr. Mastroianni also cited a statute that a class action suit is
an "exception to the usual rule" of individual litigation. The
exception is justified "only when there is a class representative
who is part of the class and shares the same interest and injury
as other class members," he said.

The plaintiffs were not able to meet that burden, he said.

The lawsuit had sought to restructure special education for
children with mental illnesses to school-based behavioral

The court ruling said there was "insufficient evidence" that such
school-based behavioral services "could provide a single remedy
applicable to the whole class."

"Even if these services could, in theory, provide a universally
positive outcome, the diversity of the circumstances affecting
members of the proposed class will create a myriad of unique
challenges that will have to be overcome on a study by student
basis in order to implement each of these entwined services,"
Mastroianni said.

STEPHEN JAMES: Judge Certifies Medical Negligence Class Action
Tom Blackwell, writing for National Post, reports that in what's
being touted as a first in class-action law, a judge decided there
was no need for a trial to rule that a Toronto pain doctor's
negligence caused serious, debilitating infections in at least six
of his patients.

Justice Paul Perell certified a class action lawsuit against
Dr. Stephen James and his clinic, meaning the case can move ahead
toward trial or settlement.  Then he went further, issuing a
summary judgment -- one without a full hearing -- against the

He found that Dr. James had failed in his duty of care to the
patients by following sub-standard infection-control procedures
around the pain injections.  And it is already clear some were
infected by the doctor -- who carried the same bacteria himself,
said Justice Perell in a written ruling.

Paul Harte, the lawyer spearheading the suit, said he is unaware
of any other Canadian class action in which a summary judgment has
been issued against defendants, who are usually given at least the
chance to argue their case at trial.

That's a victory, he said, for medical-malpractice plaintiffs used
to the "scorched-earth" tactics of the Canadian Medical Protective
Association, a largely taxpayer-funded body that gives doctors
legal representation.

"This is really an important example of the court offering timely
and efficient justice," said Mr. Harte.  "These cases are too
often vigorously defended by the doctors and at significant public
expense.  This was one of those cases that cried out for an
expedited court proceeding.  We had an extensive public-health
investigation, which came to clear and unambiguous conclusions."

Dr. James' lawyer could not immediately be reached for comment.

The case revolves around an outbreak at the Rothbart Centre for
Pain Care in late 2012 that left several people gravely ill.

Over a three-month period, five of Dr. James' epidural-injection
patients suffered meningitis -- a dangerous inflammation of the
membranes around the spinal cord and brain -- three developed
epidural abscesses and one a blood infection, an investigation by
the Toronto public health department concluded.

The lead plaintiff in the suit, Anne Levac, told the Toronto Star
she suffered a spinal abscess, leading to permanent nerve damage,
and is now bladder and bowel incontinent.

Other patients have similar, long-term problems, and some even
appear to be suffering from cognitive impairment, said Harte.

Half a dozen were infected with staphylococcus aureus bacteria of
the same genetic makeup as bacteria the doctor himself carried, so
it's possible to say he caused those infections, the judge said.

Their trial would only consider how much in damages he must pay.

For the other three, his negligence at least had the capacity to
have made them sick, Justice Perell said.  The trial would
determine whether he did, in fact, cause their illness.

The class action also includes a handful of other patients of
James who allege they contracted similar infections.

Toronto public health officials audited Dr. James' practices and
found a number of infection-control deficiencies.

Among them were the fact surfaces in Dr. James' procedure room
were cleaned with low-level disinfectant only once a week, the
doctor used gloves too big for his hands, he failed to properly
pinch the nose piece on his face mask, did not disinfect his hands
properly, and used non-sterile gauze -- or even baby wipes -- to
clean wounds after injections.

Last year, James was handed a 10-month suspension by the College
of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario, which said his lack of
appropriate care for the patients was "simply unacceptable."

Though the CMPA argues it will quickly wrap up malpractice cases
where it's clear the physician did wrong, the group's lawyers
"vigorously" defended the James case in the face of exceptionally
compelling evidence, Mr. Harte charged.

STONEMOR PARTNERS: Jan. 20 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline
The following statement is being issued by Levi & Korsinsky, LLP:

To: All persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired
securities of StoneMor Partners L.P. (NYSE:STON) between January
19, 2012 and October 27, 2016. You are hereby notified that a
securities class action lawsuit has been commenced in the USDC for
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. To get more information go


or contact Joseph E. Levi, Esq. either via email at --
jlevi@zlk.com -- or by telephone at (212) 363-7500, toll-free:
(877) 363-5972. There is no cost or obligation to you.

The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period StoneMor
made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose:
(1) that the Company's reported non-GAAP financial metrics were
materially misleading and concealed the truth about the Company's
actual financial condition; and  (2) that the primary purpose of
the Company's regular debt and equity offerings were to pay
distributions to unitholders, rather than to pay down indebtedness
under the Company's revolving credit facility as publicly stated.

If you suffered a loss in StoneMor you have until January 20, 2017
to request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. Your
ability to share in any recovery doesn't require that you serve as
a lead plaintiff.

Levi & Korsinsky is a national firm with offices in New York, New
Jersey, California, Connecticut, and Washington D.C. The firm's
attorneys have extensive expertise and experience representing
investors in securities litigation, and have recovered hundreds of
millions of dollars for aggrieved shareholders. Attorney
advertising. Prior results do not guarantee similar outcomes.

TRANSPORT FOR LONDON: Tram Crash Survivors File Class Action
The Times reports that survivors of the Croydon tram disaster have
launched legal action against the operator amid claims they have
been left in the dark over the cause of the crash.

Several victims are seeking compensation from Transport for London
(TfL) and First Group, which run the tram network, over trauma and
injuries from the incident.

Irwin Mitchell, the injury law firm, has been instructed to
investigate who was responsible for the crash and seek pay-outs to
help victims cope with the aftermath.

Seven people were killed and 51 were injured when the tram came
off the tracks on a tight bend shortly after 6am on November 9.

UBER TECHNOLOGIES: Faces Delux Cab Suit in S.D. of California
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Uber Technologies,
Inc. The case is styled as Delux Cab, LLC, doing business as:
Nathan Cab, doing business as: SDC Delux Cab, doing business as:
Lux Cab, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated, the Plaintiff, v. Uber Technologies, Inc.; Uber USA,
LLC; Rasier, LLC; and Rasier-CA, LLC, the Defendants, Case No.
3:16-cv-03057-CAB-JMA (S.D. Cal., Dec. 21, 2016). The case is
assigned to Hon. Judge Cathy Ann Bencivengo.

Uber provides a smartphone application that connects drivers with
people who need a ride.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Brian J Robbins, Esq.
          600 B Street, Suite 1900
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 525 3990
          Facsimile: (619) 525 3991
          E-mail: brobbins@robbinsarroyo.com

UBER TECHNOLOGIES: Faces "McElrath" Suit in N.D. of California
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Uber Technologies,
Inc. The case is captioned as Lenza H McElrath, III, the
Plaintiff, v. Uber Technologies, Inc., the Defendant, Case No.
4:16-cv-07241-KAW (N.D. Cal., Dec. 21, 2016). The case is assigned
to Hon. Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore.

Uber is a smartphone application that connects drivers with people
who need a ride.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Randy Scott Erlewine, Esq.
          GIVEN & CARLIN LLP
          39 Mesa Street, Suite 201
          The Presidio
          San Francisco, CA 94129
          Telephone: (415) 398 0900
          Facsimile: (415) 398 0911
          E-mail: rse@phillaw.com

UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI: Faces "Gould" Suit Alleging ERISA Violations
KEITH GOULD, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI, Defendant, Case No.
1:16-cv-25233-KMW (S.D. Fla., December 16, 2016), alleges breach
of fiduciary duty by the University under the Employee Retirement
Income Security by failing to provide Plaintiff and other members
of the Class enrollment information and the opportunity to
participate in the Plans.

Defendant University of Miami is a not-for-profit corporation with
its principal place of business at 1320 S. Dixie Highway, Suite
1200, Coral Gables, Florida. The University is the plan sponsor
and a fiduciary for its qualified retirement and welfare benefit

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Paolo C. Meireles, Esq.
     1515 S. Federal Highway, Suite 404
     Boca Raton, FL 33432
     Phone: (561) 447-8888
     Fax: (561) 447-8831
     E-mail: gshavitz@shavitzlaw.com

        - and -

     Stephen Churchill, Esq.
     FAIR WORK, P.C.
     192 South Street, Suite 450
     Boston, MA 02111
     Phone: (617) 607-6230
     Fax: (617) 488-2261
     E-mail: steve@fairworklaw.com

VALERO: Releases Statement on Contaminated Water Lawsuit
Kiiitv reports the latest statement from Valero regarding the
class action lawsuit filed against them:

"While we have been named in lawsuits, we are not the source of
the contamination in question. We continue to believe this is a
localized backflow issue from Ergon in the area of Valero's
asphalt terminal. This issue is not related to Valero's Corpus
Christi refineries. Valero is cooperating with the City, TCEQ, and
EPA. Valero is offering its resources to assist in isolating the
issue and helping to confirm the City's water supply is safe.  In
the interim, Valero is joining other companies to provide
truckloads of bottled water to Corpus Christi."

VIZIO INC: "Unice" Suit Moved from W.D. Pa. to C.D. California
JAMES UNICE, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, the Plaintiff, v. Vizio Inc., the Defendant, Case No.
2:16-cv-01568, was transferred from the United States District
Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania, to the United
States District Court for the Central District of California
(Western Division - Los Angeles). The California Central District
Court Clerk assigned Case No. 2:16-cv-09367-RSWL-FFM to the
proceeding. The Case is assigned to Hon. Judge Ronald S.W. Lew.

Vizio is an American privately held company that develops consumer

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jody B. Burton, Esq.
          LEMBERG LAW, LLC
          43 Danbury Road
          Wilton, CT 06897
          Telephone: (203) 653 2250
          Facsimile: (203) 653 3424
          E-mail: jburton@lemberglaw.com

VOLKSWAGEN AG: Judge Extends Emissions Deal Deadline
The Associated Press reports that a federal judge overseeing
lawsuits stemming from Volkswagen's emissions cheating scandal has
given attorneys for the government, company and car owners another
extension to try to reach a deal for the remaining 80,000
polluting vehicles.

U.S. District Court Judge Charles Breyer said on Dec. 19 that the
negotiations were complicated with many details to be worked out.
He granted the request for an extension to Dec. 20, though he
cautioned that would be a "final" deadline.

Judge Breyer had asked the parties to update him on a potential
settlement on Dec. 19 after twice postponing a hearing on Dec. 16
to give them more time to negotiate.

The talks aim to hammer out what to do with the 3-liter diesel
cars that were programmed to skirt emissions tests.

The German automaker previously reached a deal for 475,000
polluting 2-liter diesel vehicles.

XEROX CORP: Howard G. Smith Reminds Investors of Deadline
Law Offices of Howard G. Smith reminds investors of the upcoming
December 23, 2016 deadline to file a lead plaintiff motion in the
class action filed on behalf of a class of investors who purchased
Xerox Corporation securities between April 23, 2012 and October
23, 2015, inclusive. Xerox investors have until December 23, 2016
to file a lead plaintiff motion.

According to the Complaint filed in this lawsuit, throughout the
Class Period Defendants issued false and misleading statements to
investors and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Xerox's existing
Health Enterprise projects were experiencing major delays and cost
overruns; (2) Xerox would be unable to deliver Health Enterprise
implementations at sustainable profits; and (3) as a result,
Xerox's positive statements about its business, operations and
prospects lacked a reasonable basis.

On October 26, 2015, Xerox disclosed disappointing third quarter
2015 financial results, citing lost revenues in its much-touted
Health Enterprise segment, including from the termination of
certain Health Enterprise projects in California and Montana.
According to Xerox, the loss of these contracts would result in
lower revenues in each of the next three quarters. Additionally,
the Company announced plans for a strategic review of the
Company's business portfolio.

On this news, shares of Xerox fell to approximately $9 per share
on October 27, 2015.

If you purchased Xerox shares during the Class Period, you may
move the Court no later than December 23, 2016 to request
appointment as lead plaintiff. To be a member of the class you
need not take any action at this time; you may retain counsel of
your choice or take no action and remain an absent member of the
Class. If you wish to learn more about this action, or if you have
any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or
interests with respect to these matters, please contact Howard G.
Smith, Esquire, of Law Offices of Howard G. Smith, 3070 Bristol
Pike, Suite 112, Bensalem, Pennsylvania 19020 by telephone at
(215) 638-4847, toll-free at (888) 638-4847, or by email to --
howardsmith@howardsmithlaw.com --, or visit our website at

YAHOO! INC: Faces "Gonzalez" Suit Over "Security Breach"
HECTOR M. DE AVILA GONZALEZ, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. YAHOO! INC.
Defendant, Case No. 5:16-cv-07206-HRL (N.D. Cal., December 16,
2016), was filed against Yahoo for its alleged failure to secure
and safeguard its users' personally identifiable information such
as users' names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of
birth, passwords and, in some cases, security questions and
answers, which Yahoo collected from its users, and for failing to
provide timely, accurate, and adequate notice to Plaintiff and
other Class members that their Private Information had been stolen
and failing to provide timely, accurate and adequate notice of
precisely what types of information were stolen.

Yahoo Inc. is a technology company, primarily deriving its
revenues by connecting advertisers with target audiences through
streamlined advertising technology.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Clayeo C. Arnold, Esq.
     Joshua H. Watson, Esq.
     865 Howe Avenue
     Sacramento, CA 95825
     Phone: 916-924-3100
     Fax: 916-924-1829
     Email: carnold@justice4you.com
     Email: jwatson@justice4you.com

        - and -

     John Yanchunis, Esq.
     201 N Franklin Street, Floor 7
     Tampa, FL 33602-5157
     Phone: (813)275-5272
     Fax: (813)275-9295
     Email: jyanchunis@forthepeople.com

YAHOO! INC: "Vail" Hits Data Breach
Amy Vail, individually, and on behalf of a class of similarly
situated individuals, Plaintiff, v. Yahoo! Inc., a Delaware
corporation, Defendant, Case No. 5:16-cv-07154 (N.D. Cal.,
December 14, 2016), seeks actual and statutory damages,
declaratory and injunctive relief, attorney's fees and costs
resulting from negligence, breach of express contract, breach of
implied contract and unjust enrichment in violation of
California's Data Breach Notification Law and the California
Unfair Competition Law.

On September 22, 2016, Defendant disclosed a massive security
breach by a state-sponsored actor affecting at least 500 million
Yahoo subscribers. The breach compromised user account
information, including names, email addresses, telephone numbers,
dates of birth, hashed passwords and, in some cases encrypted or
unencrypted security questions and answers.

Plaintiff has been a Yahoo user continually for over ten years.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Lee A. Cirsch, Esq.
     Robert K. Friedl, Esq.
     Trisha K. Monesi, Esq.
     1875 Century Park East, Suite 1000
     Los Angeles, CA 90067
     Telephone: (310) 556-4811
     Facsimile: (310) 943-0396
     E-mail: Lee.Cirsch@capstonelawyers.com

ZIMMER BIOMET: Robbins Arroyo Files Securities Suit
Shareholder rights law firm Robbins Arroyo LLP announces that a
class action complaint was filed against Zimmer Biomet Holdings,
Inc. (NYSE: ZBH) in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Indiana, South Bend Division. The complaint is brought
on behalf of all purchasers of Zimmer securities between September
7, 2016 and October 31, 2016, for alleged violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by Zimmer's officers and
directors. Zimmer, together with its subsidiaries, provides
musculoskeletal healthcare products and solutions in the Americas,
Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific.

       Zimmer Accused of Lying About Supply Chain Issues

According to the complaint, on September 7, 2016, Zimmer
participated in the Wells Fargo Securities Health Care Conference,
during which Zimmer's Vice President of Investor Relations and
Treasurer, Robert J. Marshall, Jr., affirmed the company's
guidance for the remainder of 2016. The company had announced in
July 2016 that revenue guidance for the full year 2016 was $7.680
billion to $7.715 billion, and diluted earnings per share guidance
was $1.50 to $1.75. Marshall also noted the importance of the
company's growth across all major countries in its Asia-Pacific

However, the complaint alleges that Zimmer officials failed to
disclose that supply chain problems led to a decrease in order
fulfillment rates, most notably within Zimmer's knee and hip
portfolios, and that as a result, the company would not achieve
its revenues and profit forecast. On October 31, 2016, Zimmer
lowered guidance for the full year 2016 to $7.630 billion to
$7.650 billion. The company elaborated, stating, "Third quarter
revenue was below our expectations, primarily due to execution
issues with our large joint supply chain, which led to a
degradation in order fulfillment rates late in the quarter . . .."
The company added that as a consequence, it had underestimated
demand for certain brands with its existing customer base, which
affected its ability to capitalize on new customer opportunities.
On this news, Zimmer's stock fell $17.15 per share, or nearly 14%,
to close at $105.40 per share on October 31, 2016.

Zimmer Shareholders Have Legal Options

Concerned shareholders who would like more information about their
rights and potential remedies can contact attorney Darnell R.
Donahue at (800) 350-6003, -- DDonahue@robbinsarroyo.com --, or
via the shareholder information form on the firm's website.

Robbins Arroyo LLP is a nationally recognized leader in
shareholder rights law. The firm represents individual and
institutional investors in shareholder derivative and securities
class action lawsuits, and has helped its clients realize more
than $1 billion of value for themselves and the companies in which
they have invested.

* Critics Hit Law Firms' Bills After Class-Action Lawsuits
Andrea Estes of Boston Globe reports that attorneys at the
Thornton Law Firm had just helped win a $300 million settlement
from State Street Bank and Trust in a complicated lawsuit
involving eight other law firms. Now, it was time to submit their
legal fees to the judge so that they could get paid.

That's when the younger brother of Thornton managing partner
Garrett Bradley emerged as a $500-an-hour "staff attorney" at the
Boston firm.

Michael Bradley is a lawyer, but he normally works alone, often
making $53 an hour as a court-appointed defender in Quincy
District Court, records show. Yet, according to his older
brother's sworn statement on Sept. 14, 2016, Michael Bradley's
services were worth nearly 10 times that rate in the State Street

The elder Bradley said Michael worked 406.4 hours on the lawsuit,
which centered on international currency trades, at a cost of

Michael Bradley wasn't the only lawyerfor whose work Thornton
claimed stratospheric -- and questionable -- legal costs in the
filing to US District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf. Garrett Bradley
listed 23 other staff attorneys, each with hourly rates of $425,
who collectively accounted for $4 million in costs.

        Law firm 'Bonuses' Tied to Political Donations

A small Boston law firm became a top funder of the national
Democratic Party by paying lawyers "bonuses" for their political

Candidates returning donations from Thornton Law Firm attorneys
Hassan to return law firm's donations

But one of the lawyers told the Globe he was actually paid just
$30 an hour for his services -- and not by Thornton. Like all the
other staff attorneys on Garrett Bradley's list, except his
brother, he worked for another firm in the case, which also
counted his hours on its list of costs.

                Michael Bradley, Quincy attorney.

The sworn statement by Garrett Bradley -- until recently an
assistant House majority leader on Beacon Hill -- raises troubling
questions about the way Thornton and the other firms that brought
the State Street lawsuit tallied legal costs to justify their
enormous $75.8 million payday.

More than 60 percent of the costs that Thornton and two other law
firms submitted to Judge Wolf came from the work of staff
attorneys -- all of them assigned hourly rates at least 10 times
higher than the $25 to $40 an hour typical for these low-level
positions -- which involves document review.

A spokesman for the lead law firm in the case acknowledged that
hourly rates the firms listed for staff attorneys were above the
lawyers' actual wages, but argued that, essentially, everyone does
it. Diana Pisciotta, spokeswoman for the Labaton Sucharow law firm
in New York City, called it "commonly accepted practice throughout
the legal community."

Critics of the way lawyers are paid in class-action lawsuits
acknowledge that firms often dramatically mark up the rates of
their lower-paid attorneys when seeking legal fees in court, but
they say Thornton has pushed the practice to an extreme.

"This happens all the time," said Ted Frank, a lawyer at the
Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington and a leading
national critic of legal fees in class-action lawsuits. "Lawyers
pad their bills with overstated hourly work to make their fee
request seem less of a windfall."

Lawyers in class-action lawsuits commonly receive a major share of
any settlement because they are taking the risk that, if they
lose, they will be paid nothing.

In fact, plaintiffs in the State Street case, many of them public
pension funds, agreed in advance to set aside a quarter of any
settlement for attorneys in their lawsuit alleging that the
Boston-based bank routinely overcharged clients for their foreign
currency exchanges, costing them more than $1 billion.

But, to actually collect the money, lawyers document their costs
by filing affidavits under penalty of perjury.

The accounting must be based on actual time records, listing the
names and hourly rates of the lawyers who worked on the case, and
the total amount billed. The hourly rate is supposed to be what
the lawyer would charge a paying client for similar work,
including the lawyer's salary and a markup for office costs and
other expenses.

That's where, critics of contingency fee lawsuits say, lawyers
have a built-in opportunity to inflate their bills. And, for a
variety of reasons, their bills often get little scrutiny.

"Imagine you're a lawyer and you're allowed to write your own
check for your fee," explained Lester Brickman, a Yeshiva
University law professor and author of "Lawyer Barons: What Their
Contingency Fees Really Cost America."

"I could write $3,000, but I could add a zero and write $30,000 or
add two zeroes and charge $300,000," Brickman said. "That's the
honor system."

Thornton officials insist that they did nothing wrong and that the
23 staff attorneys who actually work for Labaton or a firm in San
Francisco belonged on Thornton's list.

Under a cost-sharing agreement between the firms, Thornton paid
part of their wages while they were reviewing millions of pages of
documents in the State Street case. These lawyers just receive
their usual salary and don't share in the proceeds from the

Garrett Bradley's brother, by contrast, will receive the $203,200
listed for him on the filing to Judge Wolf, according to Thornton
spokesman Peter Mancusi, who noted that Michael Bradley, unlike
the other staff attorneys, was not paid previously for his work.

Neither Michael Bradley nor a spokesman for Thornton would say
what he did on the case, but the spokesman described him as an
experienced prosecutor and fraud investigator.

Globe questions about the legal bills prompted the lead law firm
in the State Street case to submit an extraordinary letter to
Judge Wolf admitting that Thornton and the other firms double-
counted more than 9,000 hours, overstating their fees by $4
million. The author, David Goldsmith of Labaton Sucharow, blamed
the inflated bills on "inadvertent errors."

According to Goldsmith's Nov. 10 letter, Labaton and another firm,
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, claimed the same staff
attorneys that Thornton had listed on its legal expenses, double-
counting the lawyers' cost. Goldsmith said the double-counted
lawyers were employees of either Labaton or Lieff Cabraser, but
their hours and costs should have been counted only once -- by
Thornton Law.

To resolve the issue, he said, the other firms dropped the lawyers
and Thornton lowered the hourly rate it charged for numerous staff
attorneys because it had assigned a higher rate than the other

Despite the resulting drop in combined legal fees, Goldsmith urged
Wolf not to reduce the lawyers' payment from the settlement. In
class-action cases, lawyers commonly receive a payment that not
only covers costs, but a financial reward for bringing a risky
case that could have failed and paid nothing.

Goldsmith suggested that Wolf simply boost the reward to offset
the reduced legal fees so that the firms still split the same $74
million, including $14 million for Thornton.

"We respectfully submit that the error should have no impact on
the court's ruling on attorneys' fees," wrote Goldsmith, whose
firm often joins forces with Thornton.

That may not be enough to satisfy Wolf, who has a reputation for
closely questioning claims made in his court.

He called the legal fees "reasonable" at a Nov. 2 hearing and
praised the plaintiffs' lawyers for taking on a "novel, risky
case." But he approved the fees in part based on sworn statements
that the lawyers now admit were in error. Wolf could reduce their
payments, which were issued earlier this month, or hold a hearing
to determine whether the lawyers knowingly submitted false
information, a serious breach of professional ethics.

"The double-counting was likely the result of sloppiness, assuming
that there would be no objectors' or court scrutiny of the fee
request," said Frank, who has successfully challenged several
settlements and fee requests in other cases, recouping more than
$100 million for class members.

Frank said the problems with the legal fees go beyond the double-
counting of attorneys. Other law firms contacted by the Globe said
it's common to list an hourly rate for an attorney several times
higher than the attorney's own pay, because the law firm has many
other expenses aside from the lawyer him or herself. However,
Thornton listed attorneys' rates at up to 14 times the lawyer's

Frank said his analysis suggests that the $75.8 million award to
the nine law firms was excessive -- by at least $20 million and as
much as $48.3 million -- in part because the lawyers asked too
much in the first place. He said that the lawyers' own documents
show that, in similarly sized settlements, the legal fees average
only 17.8 percent.

Thornton Law Firm, a personal injury firm that specializes in
asbestos-related cases, is already the target of three
investigations for its controversial campaign contribution program
in which the law firm paid millions of dollars in "bonuses" to
partners that offset their political contributions.

Federal prosecutors as well as two other agencies are
investigating whether the bonuses were an illegal "straw donor"
scheme to allow the firm to vastly exceed limits on campaign
contributions. Thornton officials have insisted they did nothing
wrong, because the bonuses were paid out of the lawyers' own
equity in the firm.

Thornton's legal fees in the State Street case feed into a larger
debate about how lawyers get paid in class-action lawsuits.
Defenders of paying lawyers on contingency say the prospect of a
high payoff encourages lawyers to take on exceptionally difficult
cases, such as suing a wealthy bank like State Street.

However, Frank said there's little oversight of lawyers' fee
claims. Defendants usually don't care what the plaintiffs' lawyers
receive, because their costs don't change regardless of how much
the plaintiffs' lawyers receive.

And individual plaintiffs typically get too little money to have a
strong incentive to challenge legal fees. In the State Street
case, the 1,300 plaintiffs would see increases in their individual
payments of only about $20,000 apiece if the lawyers' fees were
reduced by $20 million, Frank calculated. A plaintiff might have
to spend that much or more to hire another lawyer to investigate.

None of the plaintiffs in the State Street case objected to their
lawyers' request for legal fees. But neither the lawyers nor their
clients apparently noticed that the exact same hours for nearly
two dozen staff attorneys were claimed by more than one law firm.

"The mistakes came to our attention during internal reviews that
were conducted in response to an inquiry from the media,"
explained Labaton partner Goldsmith, in his letter to Wolf.

Nor did they notice that Thornton consistently assigned a higher
rate than the other firms for the same attorneys -- often a
difference of $90 an hour.

Labaton officials, in a prepared statement, said the affidavits
supporting the fee request weren't as important as the percentage
of the settlement fund the lawyers sought -- just over 25 percent,
once expenses are added.

"This fee award is reviewed by the Court for fairness . . . we
believe the fees awarded are still fair," wrote Diana Pisciotta, a
spokeswoman for Labaton.

In addition to its fees from the State Street case, Thornton Law
will receive a portion of the $20 million the Securities and
Exchange Commission awarded a whistle-blower who alerted
regulators to State Street's international currency practices.

* Demonetization May Spark Class Action Against Indian Government
Narayanan Madhavan, writing for FPolitics, reports that it is by
now abundantly clear that the war on black money unleashed by the
Narendra Modi government is not a simple one -- and we need to mix
apples and oranges and a slew of raw vegetables to get a clearer
picture on the pains and gains of the demonetisation drive
launched on November 8.

Political costs and benefits may be counted in the electoral
process.  The BJP might take cold comfort from the fact that the
next general elections are more than two years away to blunt the
opposition campaign on the large-scale human costs involved in
terms of sufferings caused to traders, labourers.

After all, there is sufficient time to make up with the goodwill
that can be generated through a combination of fiscal elbow room
arising out of a surge in tax revenues.

But the game queered when the Supreme Court was drawn into the
situation, and further complicated by increasing reports of how
things are going wrong -- and not just in terms of the human costs
and productivity losses.

Two key issues arising from the Supreme Court's questions may
embarass, or worse still, choke the government. One, if there was
a lack of preparedness -- crucial to any war, including one on
black money.  Secondly, and more ominous, whether legal and
fundamental rights of citizens have been violated, especially the
right to property.

Can the government be sued for damages caused by demonetisation
through class action suits? That question may arise in the coming

Class actions are typically envisaged in cases involving
shareholder rights in the context of changes in company law that
took effect this year, but consumers can also take up class action
suits as it happened against Nestle on behalf of consumers of
Maggi noodles.

Consumers can potentially file a class action suit before the
National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) under
Section 12 (1) C of the Consumer Protection Act on behalf of all
suffering consumers.  However, banking companies are exempt from

Now, banks may be exempt but the government is not.  The Supreme
Court ruled last year that the government is not "supremely
immune" and may be ordered to pay damages for wrongful acts
committed by its officers.  If the ruling is any indication, there
is no sovereign immunity for the government, although it is
accepted in common law. As of now, the Supreme Court is
maintaining a tantalising ambivalence on the issue.

The big question: can the Union cabinet or the bureaucracy suffer
on this account or be held to answer in tangible terms? Any
comment on inadequate or faulty planning in the implementation of
demonetisation measures may amount to nothing more than a
stricture.  But a class action claim can potentially result in an

Either way, the political consequences are not easy for the
government, because any remark by the Supreme Court is better
ammunition for the opposition than polemical outbursts on the
suffering of common people.

* Dispute Brewing Over Legality of Class Action Waivers
Pablo Orozco, writing for Inside Counsel, reports that employers
take note: A battle is brewing over the legality of class action
waivers and compulsory arbitration agreements in the employment
context.  Specifically, the question is whether arbitration
agreements that preclude all forms of collective or class actions
are unenforceable because they are illegal under the National
Labor Relations Act (NLRA).

The battle lines are drawn. On one side stand the U.S. Courts of
Appeal for the Second, Fifth and Eighth Circuits with rulings that
favor employers (Pro-Employer Rulings). Sutherland v. Ernst &
Young LLP, 726 F.3d 290 (2nd Cir. 2013); D.R. Horton, Inc. v.
N.L.R.B., 737 F.3d 344 (7th Cir. 2013); Owen v. Bristol Care,
Inc., 702 F.3d 1050 (8th Cir. 2013).

On the other side stand the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Seventh
and Ninth Circuits, with recent rulings that favor employees (Pro-
Employee Rulings). Lewis v. Epic Sys. Corp., 823 F.3d 1147 (7th
Cir. 2016); Morris v. Ernst & Young, LLP, Case No. 13-16599, 2016
WL 4433080 (9th Cir. Aug. 22, 2016).  The Seventh Circuit's Lewis
case involved allegations that Epic Systems Corporation, a company
that offers software solutions to the healthcare industry,
misclassified a class of technical writers as being exempt from
overtime wage requirements under the Fair Labor Standards Act
(FLSA) and Wisconsin law.  There, the plaintiff signed an
agreement requiring him to bring wage-and-hour claims "through
individual arbitration" and waiving "the right to participate in
or receive money or any other relief from any class, collective,
or representative proceeding."

The Ninth Circuit's Morris case, in turn, arose from allegations
that accounting giant Ernst & Young failed to properly classify
young accountants under the FLSA and California wage-and-hour law.
In that case, the plaintiffs signed an agreement which, by its own
terms, was the "sole method for resolving disputes."  The
agreement further provided that all disputes "pertaining to
different Employees will be heard in separate proceedings."

With a 3-2 circuit split on a crucial wage-and-hour question, the
Supreme Court is sure to step in.

Heart of the Battle

Section 7 of the NLRA provides in pertinent part that employees
shall have the right to, among other things, engage in "concerted
activities for the purpose of collective bargaining or other
mutual aid or protection." 29 U.S.C. Sec. 157.  Relying on this
language, the Pro-Employee Rulings hold that filing collective or
class actions is a form of protected "concerted activity."

Conversely, the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) provides that any
contract aiming "to settle by arbitration a controversy thereafter
arising out of such contract . . . shall be valid, irrevocable,
and enforceable." 9 U.S.C. Sec. 2.  Courts have interpreted the
FAA to establish a liberal federal policy that favors arbitration
and requires courts to place arbitration agreements on par with
other contracts.

Nevertheless, the FAA contains a "saving clause" that allows
courts to invalidate arbitration agreements so long as they are
deemed invalid on the basis of generally applicable principles of
contract law that do not disfavor arbitration.  Accordingly, there
are two questions that lie at the very heart of this battle:
First, do arbitration agreements that provide for compulsory and
individual arbitration fall within the purview of the FAA's saving
clause? Second, if not, which of the two applicable statutory
frameworks should control?

Is the FAA's Saving Clause Applicable?

The Pro-Employer Rulings find that arbitration agreements that
contain class or collective waivers do not fall within the ambit
of the FAA's saving clause.  This is because, on balance, refusing
to enforce this kind of agreement discourages the use of
arbitration. Relying on the Supreme Court's ruling in AT&T
Mobility v. Concepcion, 131 S. Ct. 1740, (2011) the rulings hold
that requiring class arbitration interferes with the fundamental
attributes of arbitration. In particular, class or collective
proceedings require heightened procedural protections and complex
evidentiary considerations that sacrifice arbitration's core
principles of efficiency and informality.  Accordingly, allowing
class arbitration creates a scheme inconsistent with the FAA. Nor
is precluding class arbitration a solution because plaintiffs
would naturally gravitate toward class litigation. In other words,
class or collective mechanisms -- whether in court or arbitration
-- inevitably discourage arbitration.  To effectuate the FAA's
liberal pro-arbitration policy, then, courts must enforce
arbitration agreements that contain class waivers.

The Pro-Employee Rulings reach the exact opposite conclusion based
on two primary arguments.  First, the agreements plainly fall
within the scope of the FAA's saving clause because they can be
invalidated on the basis of the general principle of illegality
because they violate the NLRA.  Second, agreements that compel
arbitration and forbid class or collective arbitration have the
practical effect of prohibiting any form of class or collective
proceedings, not just those in arbitration. Therefore, finding
those agreements unenforceable does not disfavor arbitration,
specifically.  Compulsory arbitration remains valid if it permits
class arbitration and, conversely, class arbitration waivers
remain valid if arbitration is not required.

Which Statutory Framework Controls?

Pro-Employer Rulings conclude there is no evidence that Congress
meant the NLRA to override the FAA.  First, there is nothing in
the text of the NLRA or its legislative history to support such a
view.  Second, though the FAA was enacted in 1925 and the NLRA in
1935, the FAA was reenacted without substantive change in July
1947.  Third, use of class or collective action procedures is not
a substantive right.  Though the NLRA may be sui generis, numerous
courts have held that no such substantive right exists in the
context of other employment-related statutory frameworks such as
the ADEA and the FLSA.  Likewise, it is well settled that Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 23, which establishes the class action
mechanism, does not create a substantive right.

Even though the Pro-Employee Rulings find there is no need to
reconcile or otherwise choose between the NLRA and the FAA, they
still address the nature of the right to resolve disputes on a
class or collective basis.  Unsurprisingly, they conclude the
right is substantive.  The Pro-Employee Rulings note that every
other provision of the NLRA serves to enforce the rights enshrined
in Section 7.  Thus, if Section 7 does not create a substantive
right, the statute's entire structure and policy flounder.  Though
not expressly stated, the Pro-Employee Rulings intimate this means
the FAA cannot trump the NLRA. This conclusion purportedly follows
because arbitration cannot abridge or extinguish a substantive

What Can Employers Do?

Defendants in the Morris and Lewis cases have petitioned for writs
of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court, and briefing is underway.
Though the Court is likely to hear one or both cases in the near
future, it is nearly impossible to predict how it will rule.  The
uncertainty is largely the result of the currently vacant seat and
the stalled nomination process.  With the election now behind us,
the coming nomination fights may very well have a significant
impact on how this battle is finally resolved.

In the meantime, the circuit-split forces national employers to
grapple with inconsistent obligations.  Arbitration agreements
with class waivers are not likely valid in the following 12
States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois,
Indiana, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin.  By
contrast, the same agreements are likely valid in these 13 States:
Arkansas, Connecticut, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi,
Missouri, Nebraska, New York, North Dakota, Texas, South Dakota,
and Vermont.  Because the split is geographical, employers should
consider transferring lawsuits to more favorable venues whenever

Notably, the Ninth Circuit has held that arbitration agreements
with class-waiver provisions are lawful if they allow employees to
opt-out of the class-waiver provision. Mohamed v. Uber Techs.,
Inc., No. 15-16178, 2016 WL 4651409, at *1 (9th Cir. Sept. 7,
2016); Johnmohammadi v. Bloomingdale's, Inc., 755 F.3d 1072 (9th
Cir. 2014).  Though allowing employees to opt-out undermines the
very purpose of such agreements, it ensures the agreements will
hold up anywhere within the Ninth Circuit and reduces the number
of putative class members.  Accordingly, under the current state
of the law, employers with significant operations in the Ninth
Circuit should give serious consideration to allowing opt-outs.

* France Introduces Class Action for Data Protection Act Breach
Emma Garner, Esq., Philip R. Zender, Esq., Stephanie Faber, Esq.,
Annette Demmel, Esq., Francesca Fellowes, Esq., and Caroline Egan,
Esq., of Squire Patton Boggs, in an article for Lexology, report
that under the new law of November 18, 2016, on the modernisation
of justice for the 21st century a new article 42 has been added to
the French data protection act (DPA).

This addition provides that a class action can take place where
several individuals are placed in a similar situation and suffer
loss arising from a breach of the DPA by a data controller or data
processor.  Such an action can only ensure the cessation of that
breach and individuals cannot obtain damages.

The new article 42 may be exercised by certain data protection or
consumer associations as well as trade union organisations on
behalf of employers or civil servants.

* Rise of Consumer Class Actions Under New Jersey's TCCWNA Statute
JD Supra Business Advisor reports that nearly 35 years ago, New
Jersey enacted the Truth-in-Consumer Contract Warranty and Notice
Act (TCCWNA, pronounced "tic-wun-uh"), which provides additional
protection for individual consumers who suffer harm as a result of
unfair sales and advertising practices. A consumer can bring a
TCCWNA claim for a violation of a consumer's legal right. For
example, when a consumer has a common law claim regarding a sale
or a retailer has violated a state regulation relating to
advertising, TCCWNA provides an additional legal remedy.

Over the past several years, plaintiffs' attorneys have begun
asserting TCCWNA claims in high-dollar class action lawsuits
untethered to any allegation of a violation of a separate legal
consumer right or actual injury, and often in situations where the
"consumers" never actually purchased a product or service from the
defendant company. TCCWNA has been directed specifically against
companies that advertise and sell online to New Jersey residents.
Courts have begun to push back against "no injury" suits, however,
and, as with other consumer protection statutes, high-value
judgments, and liability under TCCWNA can often be avoided if
companies work proactively to head off these claims.

                   TCCWNA's Reach

Section 15 of TCCWNA prohibits any "seller, lessor, creditor,
lender or bailee" from violating "any clearly established legal
right of a consumer or responsibility of a seller, lessor,
creditor, lender or bailee as established by State or Federal Law"
when offering, advertising or entering into a written contract
with a consumer. By prohibiting violation of "any clearly
established legal right," TCCWNA allows recovery of damages and
attorneys' fees for claims based on a separate legal right that,
standing alone, may not have otherwise incentivized a plaintiffs'
attorney to bring a class action.

Section 16 of TCCWNA forbids any contract, warranty, notice or
sign (including online pop-up "terms and conditions" statements
and privacy notices) that contains language waiving a consumer's
rights under the statute. Furthermore, pursuant to Section 16,
contracts, notices and signs cannot include a general statement,
such as "certain terms may be void or unenforceable in some
states," unless the statement specifically explains whether those
terms are legal under New Jersey law. This section has been used
to target all kinds of boilerplate terminology often used in
online forms. For example, when a consumer simply sees the
language "void where prohibited" as part of terms and conditions
or privacy pop-up on a website, TCCWNA may be implicated. This can
be true even where a consumer does not make a purchase, although
recent case law suggests more courts are dismissing cases where
the plaintiff did not make an actual purchase.

Section 17 of TCCWNA allows consumers to recover "not less than
$100" per violation, plus actual damages, plus attorneys' fees and
costs. Importantly, damages are only available to "aggrieved"
consumers, and defendants are increasingly attacking so-called "no
harm" class actions for failing to put forth a class of
"aggrieved" consumers.

Given the broad terms of the law, the absence of a cap on damages,
and the availability of attorneys' fees under the statute,
plaintiffs' attorneys have filed dozens of TCCWNA class action
lawsuits in 2016 alone.

Recent Dismissals of TCCWNA Class Actions

Since the U.S. Supreme Court's May 2016 ruling in Spokeo v.
Robins, which requires a plaintiff asserting a claim based on a
statutory violation to demonstrate actual, concrete injury to
establish Article III standing, several courts have dismissed
TCCWNA claims based on the plaintiff's failure to plead anything
more than a naked statutory violation. For example, in Candelario
v. Rip Curl, Inc., No. 8:16-cv-00963 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 22, 2016),
the Central District of California, relying on Spokeo, concluded
that the plaintiff had not adequately pled facts to establish
Article III standing; she failed to allege an actual and concrete
injury based on an alleged breach of a separate legal right
distinct from the alleged naked TCCWNA statutory violation.
Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that she was unhappy with the
quality of a shirt she purchased online. The terms and conditions
the plaintiff agreed to at the time of purchase prohibited her
from bringing that claim relating to the purchase.

The court in Candelario dismissed the complaint, finding that the
consumer had not suffered an actual and concrete injury relating
to the alleged violation of a legal right separate and apart from
the naked violation of TCCWNA. To the extent she wanted to pursue
claims relating to the quality of the shirt, there were still
certain causes of action available to her that she could have pled
that were not prohibited by the company's terms and conditions.
For these reasons, the plaintiff failed to establish that she was
"aggrieved" as required under Section 17 of TCCWNA.

In Russell v. Croscill Home, No. 3:16-cv-01190 (D.N.J. Oct. 12,
2016), the District of New Jersey dismissed a putative class
action alleging a violation of TCCWNA for similar reasons. There,
the court found that the plaintiff was not "aggrieved" under the
terms of the statute because he did not allege a violation of a
separate and independent legal harm that caused him an actual and
concrete injury independent of the alleged TCCWNA violation. Then,
in Hecht v. Hertz Corp., No. 2:16-cv-01485 (D.N.J. Oct. 20, 2016),
the District of New Jersey dismissed a putative class action where
the plaintiff alleged that Hertz failed to state whether New
Jersey law applied to certain parts of its online terms and
conditions. The court found that this naked violation of TCCWNA
was not enough to confer Article III standing. The U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Third Circuit will soon hear appeals of both
Russell and Hecht.

Although Article III standing is not required to pursue class
action lawsuits in state court, at least one New Jersey appellate
court has rejected a no-harm TCCWNA class action. In Smerling v.
Harrah's Entertainment, Inc., No. A-4937-13T3, (N.J. Super. Ct.
App. Div. Sept. 9, 2016), the court overturned a multi-million-
dollar judgment, finding that a New Jersey resident who was unable
to use a Harrah's coupon as advertised could not be a "consumer"
for purposes of TCCWNA because she had not purchased the coupon.

These recent dismissals are a promising sign for defendants and
potential defendants in TCCWNA lawsuits because they indicate that
courts are increasingly unwilling to allow no-harm lawsuits to
proceed past the pleading stage. Nevertheless, companies that
advertise and sell to New Jersey residents, particularly online,
would be well-advised to take steps to avoid being named in TCCWNA
lawsuits in the first place. Those steps include revising online
advertisements and contract terms to specifically comport with New
Jersey law.

* Trump Labor Nominee's Company Involved in Class Action
John A. Logan, writing for The Hill, reports that it appears that
Andy Puzder, President-elect Donald Trump's choice to head the
Department of Labor (DOL), doesn't believe in workers, let alone
workers' rights.

Mr. Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants, Inc., which owns Hardee's
and Carl's Jr. burger chains, has said on the worker-free
restaurant: "[Machines are] always polite, they always upsell,
they never take a vacation, they never show up late, there's never
a slip-and-fall, or an age, sex, or race discrimination case."

No wage demands, requests for holidays or fear of racial
discrimination or sexual harassment lawsuits, just polite
upselling -- machines are apparently Mr. Puzder's ideal employee,
although not exactly consistent with Trump's claim that he will
function as a "job creator."

But it's not only Mr. Puzder's cavalier statement on replacing
American workers with machines that gives cause for concern.  His
extreme anti-worker record on wage theft, overtime pay, minimum
wage, gender equality and violations of workers' rights is equally

Wage theft and wage-and-hour compliance: One critically important
division of the Labor Department, the Wage and Hour Division, has
primary responsibility for cases of wage theft (i.e., the denial
of wages that employees are rightfully owned).

The fast-food industry is one of the nation's worst violators of
wage-and-hour laws, and it turns out that Mr. Puzder runs a
company that has been accused of committing wage theft.  Store
managers in California, for example, are currently involved in a
wage-and-hour class-action lawsuit against CKE Restaurants.

Even with this inside knowledge of the issue, it seems unlikely
that Mr. Puzder will take a strong line on egregious violators in
fast food and other low-wage industries.  The Obama DOL has
conducted almost 4,000 investigations at the nation's 20 largest
fast-food companies.  It found evidence of more than 68,000
violations and recovered $14 million in wages for approximately
57,000 workers.

Among the 20 top companies, Mr. Puzder's corporation was the
fourth worst offender.

Overtime rule: Mr. Puzder opposes a new DOL rule -- temporarily
blocked by a federal judge in November -- that would have given a
significant pay increase to 4.2 million American workers.  The DOL
rule doubled, from $23,660 to $47,476, the threshold below which
workers would be entitled to overtime pay.

Mr. Puzder, in common with other anti-worker CEOs, views the rule
that would put money in the pockets of millions of Americans as a
"regulatory maze" that inconveniences corporations.

Minimum wage: Mr. Puzder is a critic of raising the federal
minimum wage from its pathetically low level of $7.25 per hour.
(Never mind that every time the American public gets to vote on
increasing minimum wages, they do it.)

Progress on raising the minimum wage at the state and local levels
has been one bright spot for low-wage Americans during the past
few years.  Mr. Puzder is a sworn enemy of these efforts and the
Fight for 15, the nationwide movement launched in 2012 to win $15
per hour plus a union for fast-food and low-paid workers in other

National Labor Relations Board (NLRB): Mr. Puzder has been a stern
critic of the Obama NLRB, especially its position on the "joint
employer standard," whereby billion-dollar corporations such as
McDonald's have been held partially responsible for the labor law
violations committed by their franchisees, over which they
exercise significant control.

By holding responsible the parent company, which has real power to
improve labor conditions, the NLRB's joint employment standard
promises greater workplace protections for millions of low-wage
workers in sectors where unlawful behavior and poor conditions are

But Mr. Puzder wants powerful corporations to be able to evade all
responsibility for these actions.

Gender equality and affirmative action: Mr. Puzder has said little
on this, but the signs are not good.  On his fast-food company's
misogynistic and demeaning advertising campaigns,
Mr. Puzder has commented: "I like beautiful women eating burgers
in bikinis.  I think it's very American."

It seems likely that Mr. Puzder will roll back DOL enforcement on
affirmative action and equal employment opportunity, administered
through its Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs.

In Trump's "Alice in Wonderland" reality, Mr. Puzder, who also
opposes the Affordable Care Act and celebrates the use of
vulnerable guest workers, has a "record of fighting for workers."

Under a Trump DOL, it seems likely that states like California and
Washington will try to step up activity in areas such as wage and
hour regulation.  But for millions of workers in other states,
Puzder's appointment will mean poverty-level wages, long hours
with no overtime, poor enforcement of wage theft laws, weaker
safety standards and all-around greater misery at the workplace.

Trump's secretary of Labor will be a reliable friend to
billionaire corporations that pay low wages, violate laws and
exploit vulnerable workers.

But for hardworking Americans, Andrew Puzder could prove the
biggest predator in the swamp.


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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