/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/170105.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Thursday, January 5, 2017, Vol. 19, No. 4


AARONS INC: Class Action Notice Sent to 22,000 N.J. Consumers
ABEONA THERAPEUTICS: Feb. 17 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline
ADVANCED CARE: Settles TCPA Class Action for $9.25 Million
AIR CANADA: Air Flight 624 Crash Class Action Certified
ALERE INC: Jan. 13 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline

ALEXION PHARMACEUTICALS: Johnson & Weaver Files Class Action
ALPHABET INC: Former Product Manager Files Labor Class Action
AMERICAN COMMERCIAL: May Appeal Rest Break Class Action Ruling
ASURION INSURANCE: Court Refuses to Certify Class in "Mix" Suit
AUSTRALIA: Intellectual Disabled Workers' Settlement Okayed

AUSTRALIA: Palm Island Residents Set to Receive Compensation
BEHR PROCESS: Faces Class Action Over Labor Law Violations
BELLAMY'S: Trading Suspension Extended Amid Class Action
BHL CONSTRUCTION: Faces Class Action Over Late Delivery of Units
BLU: Smartphones Back for Sale in Amazon Amid Class Action

BLUE SHIELD: Judge Dismisses Harvoni Coverage Class Action
BMW OF NORTH AMERICA: "Comfort Access" Class Action Can Proceed
BROADCOM CORPORATION: Feb. 27 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
CANADA: Stewart McKelvey Files Racial Discrimination Suit vs. CAF
CANADA: Windsor & Tecumseh Presents Motion in Bingo Class Action

CANADA: Ex-Civilian Employee Wants to Join Case v. Armed Forces
CANADA: Judge to Rule on Windsor & Tecumseh Bingo Class Action
CANTON DOCKSIDE: Shuts Down Business Amid Wage Class Action
CHA HOLLYWOOD: Sued in Cal. Over Failure to Provide Meal Break
CHIPOTLE: Sued for Misstating Chorizo Burrito Nutritional Facts

COCO'S RESTAURANTS: Sued in Cal. Over Failure to Pay Workers OT
COOK COUNTY, IL: Class Action Over Bail Bonds Ongoing
CORMEDIX: New Jersey Court Dismisses Securities Class Action
COUNTY DISPOSAL: Disgruntled Customers Mull Class Action
DDC CONSTRUCTION: Court Rules on Class Action Waivers Issue

DIRECT DIGITAL: Has Made Unsolicited Calls, Action Claims
DOORKING INC: Faces "Vela" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime
DUPONT: Jury Rules in Favor of Plaintiff in C8 Class Action
EARTHSTONE ENERGY: Potential Securities Claims Investigated
EAST POINT, GA: Class Action Claims Power Overbilling of $34MM

ENDO INTERNATIONAL: Lundin Law Firm Reminds of Jan. 6 Deadline
EVERBANK FINANCIAL: Settles Securities Lawsuit For $300,000
FEDERATION OF MULTICULTURAL: Fails to Pay Employees OT, Suit Says
FENTON & MCGARVEY: Class of Consumers Certified in "Long" Suit
FIELDTURF USA: Bathgate Wegener & Wolf Firm Files Class Action

FLORIDA: Voting Rights of 1.5MM Felons May Be Restored
FORD MOTOR: Employees File Class Action Over 401(k) Plan Fees
GANZ INC: Two Charities Get Residual Webkinz Settlement Funds
GENTLEMEN'S CLUB: Exotic Dancers File Labor Class Action
GOOGLE INC: Faces Complaints Over Freezing Pixel Smartphones

GOOGLE INC: To Change E-mail Scanning After Class Action
GOPRO: Faces Securities Class Action Over Karma Drone Recall
HALLIBURTON: Settles Asbestos Liability Class Action for $54MM
HARLEY-DAVIDSON: Faces Class Action Over Motorcycle Design Defect
HINDS COUNTY, MS: Settles Remaining Claims in Labor Class Action

HOME HEALTH: Faces "Shotomiroy" Suit for Failure to Pay Min. Wage
HONEY SOLUTIONS: Judge Orders Dismissal of Class Action
ILLUMINA INC: Shareholders File Class Action in California
ILLUMNIA INC: Feb. 14 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline in Levi Suit
ILLUMINA INC: Faruqi & Faruqi Files Securities Class Suit

INDIAN CREEK: Ex-Employee Files Class Action in Over Unpaid Wages
INFUSYSTEM HOLDINGS: Jan. 9 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline
INTER-CON SECURITY: Does Not Properly Pay Workers, Action Says
IOWA: Class Action Aims to Equalize School-Funding Formula
ISRAEL CHEMICALS: Motion to Approve Class Action Dismissed

JRC VENTURES: Faces "Smith" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime
KANSAS CITY, MO: Testimony Begins in Trash Services Class Action
KLM TRANSPORT: Faces Class Actions Over Wage-and-Hour Violations
MADISON COS: Thunder on the Mountain Class Action Can Proceed
MARICOPA COUNTY, AZ: Melendres Arrest Sparked Arpaio Class Action

MARKETO INC: Faces "Shain" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime
MATTEL INC: March 10 Modification Kit Claim Deadline Set
MDL NO. 2311: April 19 Settlement Approval Hearing Set
MENARDS: Sued for Misclassifying Drivers as Contractors
METAL PARTNERS: 7th Cir. Grapples with Article III Questions

MJ-MC HOME: Sued in New York Over Failure to Pay Minimum Wages
NABORS INTERNATIONAL: Faces "Sicard" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT
NATIONAL COLLEGIATE: Jr. Hockey Players Have Option to File Suit
NEC TOKIN: March 2 Capacitors Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
NEW LONDON, CT: Implements Changes Following Housing Class Action

NEW ORIENTAL: Feb. 13 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline
NEW YORK: 12,000 Seniors, Disabled May Get Rent Rollbacks
NICOLET RESTAURANT: 7th Circuit Rules on Article III Injury Issue
NISSAN: Settles Altima Melting Dashboard Class Action in Florida
OCWEN FINANCIAL: March 20 Class Action Opt-Out Deadline Set

PAM BONDI: New Prosecutor Will Investigate Complaint
PARK WEST: Does Not Properly Pay Workers, "Balderrama" Suit Says
PATRIOT NATIONAL: Court Issues Restraining Order in Class Action
PINNACLE RECOVERY: Faces TCPA Class Action in California
PLATINUM EQUITIES: Real Estate Mogul Targeted in Attack

PLAYDEK: Unsung Story Kickstarter Backer Mulls Class Action
PRADA USA: Faces "Duran" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime Wages
PROGRESSIVE: Ohio Appeals Court Affirms Class Action Dismissal
RENT-A-CENTER INC: Glancy Prongay Files Class Action Lawsuit
RENT-A-CENTER: Goldberg Law Files Securities Class Action Lawsuit

RENT-A-CENTER: February 21 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
RJ REYNOLDS: Court Says $18.5MM Tobacco Case Verdict Excessive
SAN FRANCISCO, CA: May Pay Muni Operators $8MM in Settlement
SCRANTON, PA: Faces Class Action Over $300 Annual Garbage Fee
SHOP VAC: Approval of Wet-Dry Vacuum Settlement Appealed

SIRIUS XM: Landmark Ruling Leaves Artists With Lump of Coal
SLATER & GORDON: ASIC Probe May Hamper $250MM Class Action
STATE STREET: $53-An-Hour Lawyer Charges $500 in Settlement
SVM MANAGEMENT: Faces "Joinder" Suit Over Unlawful Penalties
SYNGENTA AG: Grosvenor Farms' Suit Moved to Kansas Dist. Ct.

TARGET CORPORATION: Immigrant Workers Allege Exploitation
THERANOS INC: Taps Wilmer Cutler to Defend Class Actions
TOP FLITE: 6th Cir. Reverses TCPA Class Action Certification
TOYOTA: Faces Class Action Over Soy-Based Vehicle Wiring
TRADEWINDS BEVERAGE: Faces False Advertising Class Action

TRUMP UNIVERSITY: Class Action Settlement Gets Prelim. Court OK
TRUMP UNIVERSITY: Trump Guarantees $25MM Settlement Funding
TUBEMOGUL INC: Brower Piven Files Class Action in California
TWINS GROUP: Combs May Renew Bid to Certify Class, Court Says
UBER TECHNOLOGIES: 9th Cir. Won't Revisit Class Action Ruling

UMTH LAND: Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand Class Action Granted
UNITED STATES: Tribes Express Concern Over Pipeline Uncertainty
UNIVERSAL HEALTH: Feb. 21 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
VALVE: Faces Suit by Parents Over "Skins" Gambling
VERSA LOGISTICS: Doesn't Properly Pay Drivers, "Robins" Suit Says

VERSACE: Faces Class Action Over Secret "Black Code"
VOLKSWAGEN AG: U.S. Class Action System Better for Plaintiffs
VOLKSWAGEN AG: Several Brands Face Emission Probes in Europe
VOLKSWAGEN GROUP: Faces "Saavedra" Suit Over Defeat Device
VOLKSWAGEN GROUP: Settles 2.0L TDI Emissions Class Action

WALMART: Thousands Get Early Christmas Present From Lawsuit
WEGMANS FOOD: Faces Class Action in New York Over FCRA Violation
WELLS FARGO: Accused of Fraudulent Conduct Over Stock Price
WHOLE FOODS: Workers File Class Action in D.C. Over Bonuses
YAHOO! INC: Class Action May Expand to 1.5 Billion Accounts

YAHOO! INC: May Face Fines Over Data Breach Once GDPR Enforced
YAHOO! INC: Impact of Data Breach on Verizon Deal Uncertain
YAHOO! INC: Data Breaches Unlikely to Impact Verizon Deal
ZIMMER GMBH: Sept. 5 Durom Settlement Claims Filing Deadline Set

* Big Data May Spark Class Actions, Possible Compliance Issues
* CFPB to Finalize Rules on Arbitration Clauses in Class Action
* Courts Set to Tackle Sports Law-Related Cases in 2017
* Food Beverage Class Action Surge Blamed on Corporate Wrongdoing
* Large Law Firms at Risk of Data Security Breach, Report Says

* Medical Societies Fail to Protect Public From Sexual Predators
* New NLRB Board May Reexamine Decisions on Class Action Waivers
* Outcome of Mandatory Arbitration Agreements Issue Uncertain
* PRA May Pave Way for Class Action Litigation in Canada
* TINA.org Lists Some of Unfulfilling Settlements in 2016

* Trump Administration May Fight Efforts to Outlaw Administration
* Zelle Reviews 2016 Indirect Purchaser Class Action Highlights


AARONS INC: Class Action Notice Sent to 22,000 N.J. Consumers
Williams Cuker Berezofsky, LLC, disclosed that on December 27,
2016, notice of a class action lawsuit against Aaron's Inc., a
Georgia based rent-to-own company, was mailed to more than 22,000
New Jersey consumers.  The Notice was sent pursuant to an order by
Judge Michael A. Shipp of the United States District Court for the
District of New Jersey in the case of Korrow v. Aaron's Inc., Case
No. 10-6317.  Judge Shipp had previously certified the case to
proceed as a class action.

The Plaintiff claims that Aaron's, Inc. ("Aarons") violated
certain New Jersey consumer protection laws by contracting for
and/or charging certain fees in its rent-to-own contracts.  These
fees were referred to in the contracts as a monthly "Service Plus"
fee and a "Return Check" fee (if a customer's check is returned
for any reason).  Aaron's denies that it violated any laws or that
it must pay any Class member money.

The Plaintiff seeks to obtain $100 per class member for each
contract entered into during the class period under the New Jersey
Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty, and Notice Act and triple
damages for amounts paid under those contracts for "Service Plus"
fees under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.  The Plaintiff also
seeks an injunction barring Aaron's from contracting for or
charging both fees in New Jersey.  Aaron's denies that it did
anything wrong.  It claims that the disputed fees do not violate
New Jersey laws.

Consumers who entered into a rent-to-own contract at an Aaron's
Inc. New Jersey store between March 16, 2006, to March 31, 2011,
are members of the Court-approved class.  Members of the Class
have until February 10, 2016 to deliver a written request to be
removed from class action.  The Court has appointed attorneys from
The Wolf Law Firm, LLC of North Brunswick, New Jersey, Williams
Cuker Berezofsky of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and The Law Office
of Christopher J. McGinn of Princeton, New Jersey to represent the
certified consumer class.

More information, including litigation documents, is available at
www.AaronsConsumerAction.com. Class counsel may be reached at
info@AaronsConsumerAction.com or by calling 877-227-6101.

ABEONA THERAPEUTICS: Feb. 17 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline
Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, reminds
purchasers of: (1) PlasmaTech Biopharmaceuticals, Inc. securities
from March 31, 2015 through June 19, 2015, both dates inclusive;
and/or (2) Abeona Therapeutics Inc. securities from June 22, 2015
through December 9, 2016, both dates inclusive of the important
February 14, 2017, lead plaintiff deadline in the class action.
The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for Abeona investors under
the federal securities laws.

To join the Abeona class action, go to
http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases-1009.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
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

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 14, 2017. If you wish to join the litigation, go to
http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases-1009.htmlor to discuss your
rights or interests regarding this class action, please contact
Phillip Kim or Kevin Chan of Rosen Law Firm toll free at 866-767-
3653 or via email at pkim@rosenlegal.com or kchan@rosenlegal.com.
Attorney Advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar

ADVANCED CARE: Settles TCPA Class Action for $9.25 Million
Julie D. Hoffmeister, Esq. and David N. Anthony, Esq., of Troutman
Sanders, disclosed that the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Louisiana recently granted final approval of a
$9.25 million Telephone Consumer Protection Act class action
against Advanced Care Scripts, Inc. ("ACS").

According to the class action complaint, ACS engages in the
management and dispensing of specialty medications and oral
oncology products.  To advertise their services, ACS allegedly
blasted thousands of junk faxes to businesses, including the named
plaintiff, Jefferson Radiation Oncology, LLC, without obtaining
the businesses' prior express consent to do so.

After engaging in litigation for nearly a year, the parties
reached a class action settlement consisting of a $9.25 million
settlement fund, with $20,000 being awarded to the class
representative and $1.85 million for attorneys' fees.  The
settlement class consists of "all persons and entities that
received facsimile transmission from Advanced Care Scripts or its
vendor that advertise, promote, or describe Advanced Care Scripts'
products or services and do not contain" an opt-out notice
advising recipients of their right to stop future junk faxes.  The
class consists of approximately 24,000 individuals and entities.
No members of the settlement class objected to the proposed
settlement, and only one class member opted out.

AIR CANADA: Air Flight 624 Crash Class Action Certified
Heide Pearson, writing for Global News, reports that the class
action lawsuit on behalf of passengers of Air Canada Flight 624
-- which crash landed on a Halifax runway in March, 2015 -- has
been certified, according to Wagner's Law Firm.

Wagners, which is representing the passengers, said in a release
on Dec. 19 the lawsuit against Air Canada, Airbus S.A.S., Nav
Canada, the Halifax International Airport Authority and Transport

Transport Canada challenged the certification, but the Nova Scotia
Supreme Court ruled that as landlord of the airport, it could be
held responsible for navigation systems and other equipment.

AC 624 crash landed about 200 metres short of the runway on the
night of March 29, 2015. It then bounced into the air, finally
coming to a stop after skidding along the runway for about another
570 metres.

The plane's landing gear and an engine were torn from the plane.
The fuselage was largely intact, despite significant damage to the
bottom of the plane.

Though no one was killed, more than two dozen of the 133
passenegers sustained injuries in the crash. Nearly all of the
passengers waited on the tarmac in a snowstorm before being taken
inside, the lawsuit alleges.

Wagners said on Dec. 19 they're in the process of notifying the
passengers on board.

Passengers have the opportunity to opt out of the class-action
lawsuit if they want to start their own separate legal action.

Wagners says counsel and lawyers will return to court Jan. 16 to
discuss scheduling steps that lead up to the trial.

ALERE INC: Jan. 13 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline
Lundin Law PC, a shareholder rights firm, disclosed a class action
lawsuit against Alere Inc. concerning possible violations of
federal securities laws between February 29, 2012 and November 4,
2016 inclusive. Investors who purchased or otherwise acquired
Alere shares during the Class Period should contact the firm in
advance of the January 13, 2017 lead plaintiff motion deadline.

To participate in this class action lawsuit, click here. You can
also call Brian Lundin, Esquire, of Lundin Law PC, at 888-713-
1033, or e-mail him at -- brian@lundinlawpc.com --

No class has been certified in the above action. Until a class is
certified, you are not considered represented by an attorney. You
may also choose to do nothing and be an absent class member.

According to the Complaint, Alere made false and misleading
statements and/or failed to disclose: that the Company's wholly-
owned subsidiary, Arriva Medical, LLC ("Arriva"), was submitting
claims to Medicare for deceased patients; that this conduct
subjected Arriva to revocation of its Medicare enrollment; and
that as a result of the above, Alere's statements about its
business, operations, and prospects were false and misleading
and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.

On November 4, 2016, Alere announced that the Centers for Medicare
and Medicaid Services alleged that Arriva submitted claims for 211
deceased patients over a five-year period, and thus revoked
Arriva's Medicare enrollment. When the above was disclosed to the
public, the value of Alere dropped, causing investors harm.

Lundin Law PC was established by Brian Lundin, a securities
litigator based in Los Angeles dedicated to upholding
shareholders' rights.

ALEXION PHARMACEUTICALS: Johnson & Weaver Files Class Action
Johnson & Weaver, LLP disclosed that a class action complaint was
filed on behalf of purchasers of Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,
(NASDAQ: ALXN) securities during the period between February 10,
2014 and November 9, 2016. Alexion is a biopharmaceutical company
that develops and commercializes therapeutic products. The lawsuit
will seek to recover damages for shareholders.

According to the complaint, throughout the Class Period defendants
issued materially false and misleading statements to investors and
failed to disclose that: Alexion employed improper sales practices
with respect to Soliris; as a result, Alexion's revenues from
Soliris sales were unlikely to be sustainable; and therefore,
Alexion's public statements were materially false and misleading
at all relevant times.

If you have any questions concerning this notice, or if you
purchased stock before the February 10, 2014, class period, please
contact lead analyst Jim Baker () at 619-814-4471. If you email,
please include your phone number.

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.

                     About Johnson & Weaver, LLP

Johnson & Weaver, LLP is a nationally recognized shareholder
rights law firm with offices in California, New York and Georgia.
The firm represents individual and institutional investors in
shareholder derivative and securities class action lawsuits. For
more information about the firm and its attorneys, please visit
http://www.johnsonandweaver.com.Attorney advertising. Past
results do not guarantee future outcomes.

ALPHABET INC: Former Product Manager Files Labor Class Action
Benchmak Monitor reports that a former product manager at Alphabet
Inc has reportedly filed a complaint against Google claiming he
was fired on unfair grounds.  A class action lawsuit filed by a
California labor law firm with the state court in San Francisco
refers to the Google employee as John Doe and alleges that
Google's policies violate labor laws, which permit employees to
protect themselves by sharing information with outsiders and the

AMERICAN COMMERCIAL: May Appeal Rest Break Class Action Ruling
On December 22, 2016, the Supreme Court of California ("California
Supreme Court") rendered its decision in the consolidated cases of
Augustus, Hall and Davis v. American Commercial Security Services
filed on July 12, 2005 in the Superior Court of California, Los
Angeles County (the "Augustus case").  The Augustus case is a
certified class action involving alleged violations of certain
California state laws relating to rest breaks.  The case centers
on whether requiring security guards to remain on call during paid
rest breaks violated Section 226.7 of the California Labor Code.
On July 31, 2012, the Superior Court of California, Los Angeles
County (the "Superior Court") entered judgment in favor of
plaintiffs in the amount of approximately $89.7 million (the
"common fund") which includes interest through July 6, 2012.
Subsequently, the Superior Court also awarded plaintiffs'
attorneys' fees of approximately $4.5 million in addition to
approximately 30% of the common fund.  ABM Industries Incorporated
appealed the Superior Court's rulings to the Court of Appeals of
the State of California, Second Appellate District (the "Court of
Appeal").  On December 31, 2014, the Court of Appeal issued its
opinion, reversing the judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and
vacating the award of $89.7 million in damages and the attorneys'
fees award.  The California Supreme Court held that on-call and
on-duty rest breaks are prohibited by California law and reversed
the Court of Appeal's judgment on this issue.  Dollar amounts
shown do not include interest after July 6, 2012.  The Company has
not taken a reserve for the Augustus case and is currently
assessing any change in light of the decision of the California
Supreme Court.

ABM is disappointed in this result and intends to vigorously
pursue its options for further review and relief.  Specifically,
ABM is considering filing a petition for rehearing with the
California Supreme Court, which would be due on January 6, 2017.
Depending on the resolution of that petition, ABM may consider
additional options for further appellate review, including
potentially filing a petition for a writ of certiorari with the
U.S. Supreme Court.

ASURION INSURANCE: Court Refuses to Certify Class in "Mix" Suit
The Hon. G. Murray Snow denied the Plaintiff's motion for class
certification in the lawsuit titled Amanda Mix v. Asurion
Insurance Services Incorporated, et al., Case No. CV-14-02357-PHX-
GMS (D. Ariz.).

Amanda Mix brought the purported class action lawsuit pursuant to
the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

"Plaintiff Amanda Mix has standing to bring her claims against
Defendants Asurion Insurance Services Inc. and Sterling
Infosystems, Inc. Plaintiff's proposed classes, however, fail to
meet the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(a),"
Judge Snow explained.

Judge Snow also denied Defendant Sterling Infosystems, Inc.'s
motion for leave to file a sur-reply and motion to dismiss.

A copy of the Order is available at no charge at
https://goo.gl/bYxGZL from Leagle.com.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          David Neal McDevitt, Esq.
          Russell Snow Thompson, IV, Esq.
          5235 E. Southern Ave., Suite D106-618
          Mesa, AZ 85206
          Telephone: (602) 845-5969
          E-mail: dmcdevitt@consumerlawinfo.com

Defendant Asurion Insurance Services Incorporated is represented

          Peter Christopher Prynkiewicz, Esq.
          Robert Shawn Oller, Esq.
          Joseph Harkins, Esq.
          Camelback Esplanade
          2425 East Camelback Road, Suite 900
          Phoenix, AZ 85016
          Telephone: (602) 474-3600
          Facsimile: (602) 957-1801
          E-mail: pprynkiewicz@littler.com

Defendant Sterling Infosystems Incorporated is represented by:

          Albert E. Hartmann, Esq.
          Michael C. ONeil, Esq.
          REED SMITH LLP
          10 South Wacker Drive, 40th Floor
          Chicago, IL 60606-7507
          Telephone: (312) 207-2821
          Facsimile: (312) 207-6400
          E-mail: ahartmann@reedsmith.com

               - and -

          David D. Garner, Esq.
          Justin James Henderson, Esq.
          201 East Washington Street, Suite 1200
          Phoenix, AZ 85004
          Telephone: (602) 262-5335
          Facsimile: (602) 734-3891
          E-mail: dgarner@lrrc.com

AUSTRALIA: Intellectual Disabled Workers' Settlement Okayed
Wendy Williams, writing for Pro Bono Australia, reports that as
many as 10,000 workers with intellectual disabilities could be
paid compensation in excess of $100 million after the Federal
Court approved a historic class action settlement.

The agreement, reached between the federal government and Maurice
Blackburn Lawyers, follows a class action suit launched in 2013,
alleging that disabled workers employed in Australian Disability
Enterprises had been underpaid.

Tyson Duval-Comrie, the lead plaintiff in the case, claimed the
Business Services Wage Assessment Tool (BSWAT), the federal
government system of calculating wages, discriminated against
people with intellectual disabilities and violated disability
discrimination laws.

Following a long-running fight to secure back pay for the workers,
this latest decision paves the way for the workers -- many of whom
had been earning as little as 99 cents an hour -- to secure
compensation and be paid directly by the government.

Josh Bornstein, a principal at Maurice Blackburn, said it was a
"historic outcome" and followed a long and arduous David and
Goliath struggle for the employees.

"This class action settlement will help to right the wrongs that
have been committed against workers with intellectual
disabilities, many of whom live below the poverty line.  It is a
great advance for workers with disabilities in this country,"
Bornstein said.

"This historic outcome would never have happened without the class
action and the determined advocacy of a small and under resourced
but dedicated group that included lawyers and disability advocates
who refused to give up."

Maurice Blackburn said the catalyst for the class action was a
2012 case brought against the Commonwealth by two individual
workers with intellectual disabilities.

Following that case, the Federal Court decided for the first time
that using BSWAT to set the wages of intellectually disabled
workers was discriminatory and contravened the act.

While the High Court refused the Commonwealth's application for
special leave to appeal in May 2013, workers with intellectual
disabilities in ADE continued to be paid under BSWAT and the
Commonwealth refused to compensate them.

But in March this year, the Business Services Wage Assessment Tool
Payment Scheme Amendment Act 2016 was passed, requiring the
Commonwealth to pay each affected worker 70 per cent of the amount
claimed in the legal action.

Approximately 10,000 supported employees with intellectual
impairment will now be eligible to receive a one-off payment of
$100 or more through the BSWAT Payment Scheme, administered by the
Department of Social Services.

Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services
Jane Prentice said the decision was good news for eligible
supported employees.

"Payments will take into account taxation, and will not generally
affect Centrelink payments.  This is only possible because the
government established the BSWAT Payment Scheme Act,"
Ms. Prentice said.

"We know that many people have been waiting for the class action
to settle before registering for the scheme and we encourage
anyone who thinks they may eligible to lodge an application for

"It is important that people affected are paid fairly."

Ms. Prentice said the Australian Government was committed to
supporting Australians with disability to participate in all
aspects of society and the economy.

"Australian Disability Enterprises (ADEs) provide employment
opportunities for some 20,000 workers," she said.

"ADEs allow people with disability an opportunity for social
interaction and to contribute to their local community through
work and will continue to play an important role in the lives of
people disability into the future."

Workers can register for the BSWAT Payment Scheme here.  Employees
must register by April 30, 2017, to be considered for payment
under the scheme.

AUSTRALIA: Palm Island Residents Set to Receive Compensation
Townsville Bulletin reports that the State Government could still
have to pay millions of dollars in compensation to Palm Island
residents over the police response to the 2004 riots.

Lex Wotton's legal team was set to travel on Dec. 18 to Palm
Island to speak with residents about the claims process, and
whether they could be eligible for compensation.

It comes after the Federal Court awarded $220,000 in damages over
the 2004 Palm Island riots, finding that police acted with a sense
of impunity and breached the Racial Discrimination Act.

Levitt Robinson Solicitors represented Mr Wotton and the Palm
Island community throughout the landmark class action and now want
to educate residents about how they can make a claim.

Senior partner Stewart Levitt said residents who were inside the
18 homes that were raided were likely to have sizeable claims.

"There would also be other people who were arrested in
circumstances that may or may not be reasonable in terms of
force," he said.

"There also could be people who were traumatised from being
present at certain events.

"We think there are about 30 to 40 people who would have
reasonably substantial claims . . . in the order of the $50,000 to
$120,000 bracket."

Mr Levitt and his team will also be bringing Sydney basketball
icon and radio DJ Rodney Overby.

Mr Overby will be playing basketball with the local children and
it's hoped he will gain the attention of residents.

Convicted rioter Lex Wotton, who led the class action, has already
been awarded $95,000.

Mr Wotton's home was one of 18 Palm Island houses that were raided
by armed and masked SERT officers as children watched on.

Mr Levitt said he was optimistic further compensation payments
could be negotiated outside of court with the State Government
following Justice Mortimer's ruling.

He would consider, with the co-operation of the State Government,
putting some of the compensation funds in a trust that could be
used for infrastructure or other purposes to benefit the

"That money could go to some sort of trust to benefit the people
of Palm Island," Mr Levitt said.

"We would only do that by inviting the State Government to engage
in such -negotiations."

BEHR PROCESS: Faces Class Action Over Labor Law Violations
Jenie Mallari-Torres, writing for Northern California Record,
reports that a Brentwood man claims he was not adequately
compensated for his work as a field representative for a paint
company and has filed a class-action suit.

Ryan McBain filed a complaint individually and on behalf of others
similarly situated on Dec. 8 in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California against Behr Process Corp., Behr
Paint Corp. and Masco Corp. alleging violation of the Fair Labor
Standards Act and California labor codes.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that he was
employed as a field representative by the defendants and assigned
to different Home Depot stores.  He claims his responsibilities
were answering customer inquiries, replenishing stocks and
maintaining store displays.  He alleges he was required to prepare
time-consuming reports and shuttle between stores and was
misclassified as exempt from overtime pay and was not provided
with proper meal and rest periods.

The plaintiffs hold Behr Process Corp., Behr Paint Corp. and Masco
Corp. responsible because the defendants allegedly failed to keep
accurate payroll records of hours worked, meal periods taken, and
overtime worked by their employees, refused to pay any overtime
compensation to employees for hours worked in excess of 40 hours
per week and refused to provide adequate meal and rest periods.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seek judgment in his
favor, designate collective action, declare misclassification of
class members, unpaid wages, liquidated damages, civil penalties,
unpaid wages from meal/rest periods not taken, reimburse business
expenses, interest, costs and expenses of action, attorneys' fees
and other relief as the court deems just.  He is represented by
Laura L. Ho -- lho@gbdhlegal.com -- William C. Jhaveri-Weeks --
wjhaveriweeks@gbdhlegal.com -- Byron Goldstein --
brgoldstein@gbdhlegal.com -- and Ginger L. Grimes --
ggrimes@gbdhlegal.com -- of Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho in

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Case
number 3:16-cv-07036

BELLAMY'S: Trading Suspension Extended Amid Class Action
Daniel Palmer, writing for The Australian, reports that
beleaguered infant milk group Bellamy's has again left investors
shell-shocked as it announced an extension of a trading suspension
beyond the festive season, with an update from key supplier Bega
Cheese unlikely to soothe fears.

It now expects to resume trading on January 13, a month after its
shares first went into a halt pending "an updated announcement of
the impact of trading conditions on the company's expected
financial results".

In a brief statement to the ASX on Dec. 21, the former market
darling (BAL) said it needed to conclude negotiations with its
suppliers before it could adequately update the market.

"Bellamy's requests that its securities remain suspended from
trading pending negotiations with key suppliers/manufacturers in
order to determine the impact of those negotiations on the
company's expected financial results," Bellamy's said on Dec. 21.

It leaves traders in the dark heading into Christmas as concerns
swell about its financial troubles following a surprise
December 2 downgrade.

One of its suppliers -- the ASX-listed Bega Cheese (BGA) -- has
confirmed it remains in close dialogue with Bellamy's as the saga
rolls on, although ominously it urged shareholders to note that
both its infant formula business went beyond Bellamy's and its
business was much broader than just infant formula.

"Whilst infant formula is important to us, Bega is a large multi-
product dairy company with a strong ongoing profitable business in
multiple categories," chairman Barry Irvin said.

Bega reaffirmed its forecasts, saying guidance put forward at its
AGM remained "its position".

"Bega Cheese is a key supplier to Bellamy's and has been and
continues to discuss supply arrangements and volume forecasts with
them," the company added.

"Bega Cheese supplies infant formula to a number of customers with
product destined for both Australian and international markets.
There continues to be strong consumer demand for infant formula in
China and in other Asian markets."

Bega shares closed 3.87 per cent stronger on Dec. 21, at $4.03.

It coincided with a positive trading update from a2 Milk as
companies linked to the infant milk sector look to shrug off any
impact from the troubles at Bellamy's.

The December 2 update from Bellamy's wiped over 40 per cent from
its own valuation, with news of a trading halt to further explain
forecasts on December 12 further smashing investor confidence.

A further downgrade would be crippling for its under-pressure
share price.

The Tasmanian baby food company most recently traded at $6.68,
well shy of levels above $12 reached ahead of the December 2

Around this time in 2015 it reached an all-time high of $16.50.

The latest development ramps up the pressure on chairman
Rob Woolley and chief executive Laura McBain, with the credit for
the company's strong growth over a decade completely evaporating
over the course of less than three weeks.

Beyond the more than $600 million slashing of the company's
valuation, the threat of two class actions hang over the company's
head as well as a probe from the corporate watchdog.

Australia's two leading class action law firms -- Maurice
Blackburn and Slater & Gordon -- separately detailed plans to
assess the prospect of a multi-million dollar suit on behalf of
bitter investors

"Bellamy's had a reputation as a quality company selling quality
product," Slater & Gordon senior class actions lawyer Mathew Chuk

"Our investigations to date suggest that the company prioritised
preserving that reputation at the expense of properly disclosing
to investors the risks and challenges that the company was facing
at home and in China.

"Furthermore, we are investigating whether Bellamy's repeated
statements to the market since April 2016 regarding its likely
performance in China had the effect of misleading shareholders."

The view of its top executives has been hurt by an August stock
sell-off by Ms McBain and Mr Woolley.

Two weeks after releasing a positive full-year report, Ms McBain
got rid of $2.4 million worth of stock on August 29, the same time
as Mr Woolley shed $2.9m worth. Both deals were made at a strike
price above $14.

Ms McBain and Mr Woolley also divested a combined $5.8m worth of
shares in March when the shares were valued around $10.50.

Persistent attempts by The Australian to contact Mr Woolley and Ms
McBain have been unsuccessful.

BHL CONSTRUCTION: Faces Class Action Over Late Delivery of Units
Free Malaysia Today reports that the National House Buyers
Association (HBA) is taking up a class action against the urban
wellbeing, housing & local government minister and the Controller
of Housing for a condominium project developed by BHL Construction
Sdn Bhd.

In a statement released on Dec. 27, HBA secretary-general Chang
Kim Loong said the class action was commenced by 71 aggrieved
buyers in challenging the grant of the Extension of Time (EOT) by
the Controller of Housing.

HBA volunteer lawyers, working on a pro bono basis, have taken up
the case as public interest litigation.

According to Chang, the EOT has denied unit owners the right to
compensation in lieu of the delay in delivery of vacant possession
of the units.

"The issue of the 'frequent' granting of EOTs has been a long-
running point of contention as it has been utilised for the
benefit of developers on delayed housing projects on several
occasions to the detriment of house buyers," Chang said.
"The granting of a 12-month EOT to the developer completely
extinguished the purchasers' rights to claim compensation for late

Chang explained that under the Housing Development (Control &
Licensing) Act 1966, the format for the sale and purchase
agreement (SPA) is strictly regulated and must be in a mandatory
prescribed form (Schedule G and H), which requires developers to
hand over keys to house buyers within 24 to 36 months from the
date of the agreement.

"These are the prescribed durations permitted under the statutory
form of SPA.  No deviation from the statutory form is allowed.
"If the developer fails to complete and hand over the units within
the prescribed time, it would have to pay the buyers liquidated
ascertained damages (LAD) of 10% per annum X purchase price, a
form of compensation agreed upon by both the contracting parties,
i.e. purchasers and developer," Chang said.

"Instead, with a stroke of a pen, the Housing Controller
extinguished the rights to claim LAD by granting of the

The EOT, Chang said, is being frequently used by developers to
complete their projects on the pretext of "hardship and special
circumstances", thus depriving house buyers of their claim for
agreed liquidated damages for late delivery.

"The Housing Controller must understand and be mindful that the
Housing Development (Control & Licensing) Act 1966 is a piece of
social legislation and its aim is to protect house buyers.
"The granting of the EOT will defeat such a purpose and undo
accrued rights and make a mockery of Parliament," Chang said.
The High Court has now fixed 9am, Monday, Feb 27 for hearing of
the judicial review and subsequent submissions in the suit between
the aggrieved house buyers (represented by HBA volunteer lawyers)
against the minister, Controller of Housing and BHL Construction.

BLU: Smartphones Back for Sale in Amazon Amid Class Action
Phonearena.com reports that Blu, a Florida-based company that's
been kicking out budget Android smartphones for a few years now,
was faced with a bit of trouble earlier this year.  A report broke
out that around 120,000 individual phones that were created and
sold by Blu contained spyware that sent personal information to
servers in China, with this data containing things such as text
messages, call logs, location info, and even full contact lists.
That report saw Blu get hit with a class action lawsuit back in
November, and it also caused the company to switch to Google's OTA
update solution rather than the Chinese one that was previously
being used.

As a result of all of this, Blu's sales likely took a turn for the
worse.  In fact, the Blu R1 HD -- one of the company's most
popular smartphones of 2016 -- was pulled from its home on Amazon
about three weeks before all of the above news broke.  Blu claims
that the R1 HD was pulled from Amazon due to limited quantities
they were facing, but with the spyware news breaking shortly after
its removal, the reasoning behind this move on Blu's part is still
seen as a bit murky and mysterious.

However, weeks after being completely absent from Amazon, the Blu
R1 HD is once again available for purchase through the online
retailer.  Prior to its removal, the R1 HD was ranked as the best-
selling unlocked smartphone on Amazon -- all in thanks to the
phone's very low price and incredibly comparable spec list. After
the whole spyware debacle though, the R1 HD is no longer the
holder of that title.  This isn't all that surprising considering
the fact that Blu wasn't selling the phone during Amazon's Black
Friday and Cyber Monday promotions, likely causing a great loss of
potential sales.

In any case, the Blu R1 HD is now available for purchase with
Amazon saying that the phone will arrive sometime before
Christmas.  The R1 HD certainly isn't the most amazing smartphone
that's ever been created, but with a starting price of just
$49.99, the R1 HD is a great starter smartphone or could even
serve as a functional backup handset.

BLUE SHIELD: Judge Dismisses Harvoni Coverage Class Action
Shelby Livingston, writing for Modern Healthcare, reports that a
federal judge dismissed a class action against Blue Shield Life &
Health and Blue Shield of California alleging the insurers
unfairly denied patients coverage for the expensive hepatitis C
drug Harvoni.

The U.S. District Court judge, William H. Orrick, wrote in an
opinion that because Blue Shield recently changed its policies to
broaden coverage for Harvoni, the plaintiffs' claims are now moot.

"Given these actions, recurrence of the challenged practice is
unlikely and plaintiffs' claims against Blue Shield of California
for denial of benefits are moot," the court opinion states.

The class action was first filed in October 2015 in the U.S.
District Court of the Northern District of California.  Plaintiffs
Aram Homampour, John Bartels, and Jon Naka, who suffer from
hepatitis C, each requested and were denied coverage for Harvoni
under their employee benefit plan, on the grounds that the drug
was not medically necessary because the patients' liver damage was
not severe enough.

Under Blue Shield of California's policies, to qualify for
Harvoni, members were required to have advanced liver damage or
show a contraindication to another hepatitis C drug, Abbvie's
Viekira Pak.  Viekira Pak is less expensive at $84,000 for a full
course of treatment, but it also may cause serious side effects.

Blue Shield was not available for comment by deadline.

The patients argued that denying them the life-saving drug
violates the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, the
federal law governing employer-sponsored health benefit plans.

Harvoni and other such expensive drugs have come under fire for
driving up the nation's total health spending.  A 12-week
treatment course of Harvoni costs about $99,000.  The drug, made
by manufacturer Gilead, cures hepatitis C.

At the end of 2015, Blue Shield updated its policies to expand
coverage for Harvoni to patients with less advanced liver damage.
And a few months later, it removed the requirement that patients
must show a contraindication to Viekira Pak.

Blue Shield in April and May sent letters to current plan members
who were previously denied Harvoni coverage and invited them to
resubmit requests.

According to the opinion, one of the plaintiffs was granted
coverage for Harvoni after the Blue Shield policy was expanded.
The other two took Viekira Pak and so were no longer suffering
from hepatitis C.

"As none of the named plaintiffs have an ongoing medical need for
Harvoni, and therefore have no right to Harvoni related-coverage,
they are not entitled to compel Blue Shield to re-review their
years old requests," the opinion states.

Many insurers have tried to limit access of expensive hepatitis C
drugs to only the sickest patients. In May, a U.S. District judge
ordered Washington Medicaid to give Harvoni to all hepatitis C
patients, not just those with the worst liver damage.

Because of the threat of legal battles, private insurers and
states have been lifting restrictions that limit who can receive
expensive hepatitis C drugs.

BMW OF NORTH AMERICA: "Comfort Access" Class Action Can Proceed
Newsome Melton provides information on the case styled Myers v.
BMW of North America, LLC et al.

Comfort Access Case: Quick Facts
Case: Myers v. BMW of North America, LLC et al

Case Number: 3:16-cv-00412

Court: California Northern

Nature of Suit: Potential Class Action Lawsuit

Date Filed: January 24, 2016

Companies Involved: BMW of North America LLC

Vehicles Involved: BMW X5

What is the Comfort Access Case About?
The Judge presiding over a putative class action lawsuit involving
an alleged defect in certain BMW X5 vehicles partially denied the
automaker's motion to dismiss.  This ruling has important
implications for BMW owners, which we will explain in greater
detail below.

The case, styled Myers v. BMW of North America, 3:15-cv-412, was
originally filed in January 2016 in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of California.  The plaintiff and
putative class representative is Kieva Myers.  She alleges that on
October 19, 2015, her young child was locked inside of her 2013
BMW X5 while she was walking around to the driver's side door.
She claims that this occurred because of a defect in the vehicle's
"comfort access system."

The comfort access system is a feature that allows consumers to
access their vehicles without activating the remote control.
According to the complaint, this system is supposed to prevent the
vehicle from being locked if the remote control is still within
the cabin.  However, the plaintiff alleges that a defect in the
system can allow the car to lock even when the key is still in the
vehicle, which can trap young children who are unable to unlock
and open the doors by themselves.

The plaintiff contends that BMW violated California's Consumer
Legal Remedies Act ("CLRA") and Unfair Competition Law ("UCL"),
and committed fraud by omission by failing to disclose the alleged
comfort access system defect.  The plaintiff seeks to represent a
class of all consumers in California who purchased or leased 2008
through 2015 BMW X5s equipped with the comfort access feature.

Official Ruling on the Comfort Access Case?
BMW denies the plaintiff's allegations, and has filed multiple
motions to dismiss.  Among other things, BMW initially argued that
there is no defect in the comfort access system, that it never
represented that it is impossible to lock an X5 when the key is
inside the vehicle, and that it affirmatively warned of the
possibility of lockouts or system malfunctions.  The Court
rejected several of these arguments back in October, ruling that
the plaintiff had sufficiently alleged: (1) the existence of a
defect; (2) that the defect poses a safety hazard; (3) and a
causal relationship between the alleged defect and safety hazard.
However, the Court also ruled that the plaintiff failed to allege
that she actually relied upon BMW's alleged misrepresentations and
omissions, or that BMW had actively concealed the defect.

The plaintiff responded by amending her complaint again, which in
turn was met by another motion to dismiss by BMW.  This motion was
the subject of the Court's ruling.  In the motion, BMW argued that
the plaintiff had still not sufficiently alleged active
concealment or actual reliance.

The Court sided with BMW on the active concealment issue, and
dismissed the common law fraud claim with prejudice.  However, the
Court sided with the plaintiff on the UCL and CLRA claims,
rejecting BMW's argument that the plaintiff had not alleged actual
reliance because she did not claim to have "personally viewed any
BMW materials."  In doing so, the Court pointed out that the
plaintiff alleged that her husband "conducted thorough research on
the vehicle, including reading BMW's materials and looking at the
vehicle's owners' manual, and that he discussed his research, with
her."  The Court explained that "[t]hese facts suggest that, had a
disclosure been made, her husband would have discovered it and
relayed it to her."

What is Next for BMW?
BMW has twenty days to answer the plaintiff's Second Amended
Complaint.  From there, the parties will engage in discovery,
which will likely be followed by a motion for summary judgment and
a motion for class certification.  Of course, it's always possible
that the case will settle before or after any of those events

What if I do not live in California?
The Myers complaint seeks relief for only California consumers.
However, most states have enacted some form of consumer protection
statute similar to those invoked in that case.  For example,
Florida's Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act ("FDUTPA") is
similar to California's UCL and CLRA, and allows consumers to
obtain money damages, attorney's fees and costs, and other relief.

If you think you may have been sold a defective vehicle without
being told about the problem, you should consult with an
experienced consumer rights law firm to determine what legal
remedies may be available.  But you must act fast as there are one
or more time limitations than can forever bar your right to bring
any claim.

BROADCOM CORPORATION: Feb. 27 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
The following statement is being issued by Cohen Milstein Sellers
& Toll PLLC regarding the Broadcom Corporation Stockholder



Lead Case No.
SA 15 CV 00979 JVS (PJWx)




YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED, pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure and an order of the Court, that the above-
captioned litigation (the "Litigation") has been certified as a
non-opt out class action on behalf of the Class as set forth in
the full Notice of Pendency of Class Action, Proposed Settlement,
Settlement Hearing and Right to Appear (the "Notice").  A copy of
the Notice can be obtained at

YOU ARE ALSO HEREBY NOTIFIED that Plaintiffs in the Litigation
have reached a proposed settlement of the Litigation (the
"Settlement") that provides for a series of representations that
will be made by Broadcom Limited and filed with the SEC.  Lead
Counsel intends to request that the Court award attorneys' fees
and reimbursement of expenses that will be paid by Defendants in
connection with the Litigation.

A settlement hearing will be held before the Honorable James V.
Selna of the United States District Court for the Central District
of California (the "Court") at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building
and US Courthouse, 411 West Fourth Street, Courtroom 10C, Santa
Ana, California 92701 on February 27, 2017 at 1:30 p.m. (Pacific
Time Zone) to, among other things: (i) determine whether the
Settlement should be finally approved by the Court as fair,
reasonable and adequate, and in the best interests of Plaintiffs
and the Class; (ii) determine whether an Order and Final Judgment
should be entered pursuant to the Stipulation dismissing the
Litigation with prejudice as against Plaintiffs to the Litigation
and the Class and effectuating the releases described in the
Notice; (iii) consider any request by Lead Counsel for an award of
Fees and Expenses; (iv) hear and determine any objections to the
Settlement or to any request of Lead Counsel for an award of Fees
and Expenses; and (v) rule on such other matters as the Court may
deem appropriate.



You may obtain a copy of the Notice at
www.BroadcomStockholderLitigation.com, or by contacting the
Settlement Notice Administrator:

Broadcom Corporation Stockholder Litigation Notice Administrator
c/o KCC Class Action Services
P.O. Box 43434
Providence, RI  02940-3434

Any objections to the proposed Settlement, and/or Lead Counsel's
application for an award of attorneys' fees and reimbursement of
litigation expenses, must be filed with the Court and delivered to
Lead Counsel and the Defendants' Counsel such that they are
received no later than February 6, 2017, in accordance with the
instructions set forth in the Notice.

Inquiries, other than requests for the Notice, may be made to the
following Lead Counsel:

          Richard A. Speirs
          Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
          88 Pine St. 14th Floor
          New York, NY 10005

          Joshua S. Devore
          Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC
          1100 New York Ave. N.W. 5th Floor
          Washington, DC 20005

Dated: December 2, 2016

By Order of the United States District Court
Central District of California
The Honorable James V. Selna

CANADA: Stewart McKelvey Files Racial Discrimination Suit vs. CAF
Stewart Mckelvey on Dec. 21 disclosed that systemic racial
discrimination and harassment are the basis of a class action
filed in the Federal Court by Stewart McKelvey on behalf of three
former members of the Canadian Forces.  The Plaintiffs, who
propose to represent all persons in Canada who have been enrolled
as members in the Canadian Forces and who are or who identify as
racial minorities, visible minorities or Aboriginal peoples,
allege that the Canadian Forces, from top to bottom, has failed to
protect racial minorities and Aboriginals from racism within the

"When individuals enroll in the Canadian Forces, they expect to
serve, advance and protect the ideals we value and enjoy as
Canadians -- equality, fundamental justice and human dignity,"
said Scott Campbell, co-counsel representing the Plaintiffs.  "But
our clients allege that the very institution we trust to bring
these ideals to the world, has denied them, and those they
represent, these basic human rights."

The Statement of Claim outlines the racial harassment and
discrimination the Plaintiffs endured while serving as members in
the Canadian Forces across Canada and on international soil.  The
Statement of Claim also details the resulting injuries, losses and
emotional trauma they still endure.

"This filing is a defining moment for Canadian Forces members who
have experienced racial harassment and racial discrimination,"
said Chris Madill, co-counsel representing the Plaintiffs.  "We
intend to shine a bright light on the alleged behaviours and
institutional practices described in the Statement of Claim."

The Statement of Claim alleges that the Canadian Forces is liable
for this systemic racial discrimination and harassment, in part
because such conduct breaches the equality rights guaranteed by
section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The Plaintiffs and their counsel will seek to have the action
certified by the Federal Court as a class action and expect others
who have experienced racial discrimination and harassment in the
Canadian Forces will join the class action.

CANADA: Windsor & Tecumseh Presents Motion in Bingo Class Action
CTV Windsor reports that lawyers for the City of Windsor and the
Town of Tecumseh have presented a motion in the ongoing class
action bingo lawsuit.

It calls for an end to the order that protects the identities of
charities listed in the class action suit, and those who have
opted out.

Brendan van Niejenhuis, a lawyer for the defendants, argues the
city and town need the information to find out the scope of the

It could cost the city and town a combined $70 million.
Both municipalities are accused of collecting an excessive amount
of fees for charity bingos and other fundraisers dating back to

Brian Radnoff -- bradnoff@lerners.ca -- a lawyer for the
plaintiffs, says releasing the identity of the class members and
those who have opted out would be unfair.

Mr. Radnoff adds it opens the groups to backlash in the community,
and puts their existence in jeopardy.

Justice Terrence Patterson will rule on the motion at a later

CANADA: Ex-Civilian Employee Wants to Join Case v. Armed Forces
CTV News reports that a former civilian employee wants to be
included in the sexual misconduct and discrimination class action
lawsuit against the Canadian Armed Forces.

Fern McCuish began her career as a member of the military but then
left to further her education, before returning to the Department
of National Defence as a civilian employee.

In both roles, she claims she experienced and witnessed abuse of
power, harassment and bullying.

"Whenever I did bring concerns to my supervisor, he was caustic
and nasty about it," Ms. McCuish said.

Ms. McCuish says she was the only female member of a small team.
A DND internal investigation eventually concluded two of 11
allegations were founded.

"He followed me down the backstairs in the stairwell and started
to berate and harass me outside of my workplace, pointing his
finger at me and screaming in the street, in the dockyard,' said
Ms. McCuish.
Not long after, Ms. McCuish says she lost her job when her unit
was closed five years ago.

When she recently learned a Halifax lawyer was launching a class
action lawsuit against the federal government, alleging systemic
sexual misconduct and discrimination in the Canadian Forces, she
tried to get involved but was told she couldn't because she was a
civilian employee.

"I don't think that it's fair," Ms. McCuish said.  "I don't think
that it's fair at all."

Ray Wagner, the lawyer representing the military members, says at
first his firm didn't really consider that civilian employees may
also be affected, but he's since heard from several who say they

"They raised very troubling circumstances in terms of how they
were treated," said Mr. Wagner.  "Female civilian workers, who
were working in the trades, had expectations, were dealt with very

Mr. Wagner is now expanding his class action to include civilian
employees over the next couple weeks.  Ms. McCuish says it's the
right thing to do.

"I don't feel that I had my say because I was stifled," she said.
Ms. McCuish since moved on and is happy in another job, but she
wants acknowledgement and recognition for what she experienced
working for Canada's Department of National Defence.

The lawsuit has not yet been certified. Mr. Wagner hopes that will
happen early in the new year.

CANADA: Judge to Rule on Windsor & Tecumseh Bingo Class Action
Doug Schmidt, writing for Windsor Star, reports that divulging the
names of the charities involved in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit
against Windsor and Tecumseh could expose them to financial harm,
a class-action lawyer argued in court on Dec. 21.

It's "a very rational and very reasonable fear over what the
community will do," lawyer Brian Radnoff told Superior Court
Justice Terry Patterson, citing reader comments attached to news
stories posted online and by callers to radio talk shows.  Many of
the online commentators threatened to stop donating to the
charities -- if they ever found out who they were.

Windsor and Tecumseh are seeking the lifting of a court order
preventing them from learning which charities decided to opt out
of a multimillion-dollar class-action lawsuit brought against the
municipalities over bingo licensing fees.

Losing the lawsuit could mean a payout by the municipalities,
including interest, of $80 million or more.  That figure, which
would not be covered by insurers, represents a fifth of the city's
annual tax levy.

Mr. Radnoff, whose Lerners law firm represents the named
plaintiffs including the ALS Society of Essex County, accused the
defendants of having "inflamed the passions of the community" in
their multimedia campaign urging charities to opt out of the bingo
lawsuit. Now facing "peril," Mr. Radnoff told the Dec. 21 hearing
that those charities "need the protection of this court" and that
their very existence is threatened.

But Brendan van Niejenhuis -- brendanvn@stockwoods.ca -- of
Toronto law firm Stockwoods, acting for the defendants, argued
there has been no firm evidence of any charity losing donations as
a result of their involvement in the bingo lawsuit.  He cited
other comments posted under those same online news stories,
including readers calling for the mayor to be jailed and
councillors to be locked up for having allegedly "stolen" money
from those charities that used bingos for fundraising.

"These are not serious comments," Mr. van Niejenhuis said of the
online posters and live talk radio commenters.

Judge Patterson reserved his judgment for a future date.

The defendants need to know how many charities have opted out of
the lawsuit in order to measure their taxpayers' exposure should
the municipalities lose the case and be forced to pay out, van
Niejenhuis said after the hearing.  The defence lawyers have that
list, but are forbidden by Judge Patterson's previous order from
divulging it to their clients.

A number of high-profile groups publicized they were opting out
during the period of eligibility earlier in 2016, including the
University of Windsor, Windsor Regional Hospital, Art Gallery of
Windsor, Windsor Symphony Orchestra, Windsor Minor Hockey
Association, Brentwood and the Windsor-Essex Catholic District
School Board.  The chair of the Greater Essex County District
School Board said there had been agonizing among trustees before
the decision was made not to opt out.

The biggest class-action suit to ever hit the city and Tecumseh
has been moving slowly through the courts for the past eight years
and is still only at the stage of procedural wrangling.  The issue
is whether Windsor and Tecumseh charged more than what it cost to
administer charity bingo licences going back many years, in
essence creating an illegal tax.

Belle River District Minor Hockey Association and Essex County
Dancers are the other named plaintiffs.  Mr. Radnoff took pains to
emphasize during the hearing that none of the other potential
beneficiary charities are, in a legal sense, "suing" Windsor or

But every charity that cashes in -- should the plaintiffs win --
will eventually be subject to being publicly identified,
Mr. Radnoff said.

CANTON DOCKSIDE: Shuts Down Business Amid Wage Class Action
Jonathan Munshaw, writing for Baltimore Business Journal, reports
that Canton Dockside has closed after 12 years in business, as its
owners prepare to fend off a class-action lawsuit from former

Multiple employees of the crab house posted on social media on
Dec. 27 that they were notified the restaurant would be closing,
effective immediately.

Meanwhile, the restaurant is still having to fend off accusations
that it failed to pay its employees proper wages.  Two waitresses,
Christine Jackson and Megan Blankenship, claim the Canton
Dockside's owners, Earl and Eric Hamilton, failed to pay them the
minimum wage for almost four years and did not pay overtime, even
when they worked over 40 hours in a week, according to court

Earl Hamilton could not be reached for comment on the restaurant
closing or the lawsuit.

In the most recent lawsuit, filed to the U.S. District Court of
Maryland earlier in December, the former Canton Dockside employees
claim that between pooled tips and the basic wages they were paid,
Canton Dockside regularly failed to its employees at least $3.63
per hour, the pre-tipped minimum wage required by Maryland's Fair
Labor Standards Act.

Ms. Jackson was employed by Canton Dockside between 2008 and 2014,
according to court documents, while Ms. Blankenship was employed
with the restaurant up until August.

The lawsuit also states that employees, ranging from bussers to
bartenders, regularly worked over 40 hours per week but were not
given the $10.88 per hour minimum wage for overtime required by
state law.

Ms. Jackson is being represented by Rockville-based lawyer Howard
B. Hoffman, while Towson-based lawyer Bradford W. Warbasse is
representing Ms. Blankenship.

Court documents show that the plaintiffs in the case are still
awaiting a formal response from the Hamiltons and Canton Dockside.
A call to Canton Dockside on Dec. 27 went unanswered.

The lawsuit comes as another Canton restaurant, the Speakeasy
Saloon, had to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy following a similar
suit.  Seven former employees of the speakeasy accused the bar of
refusing to pay some workers wages or overtime pay, only allowing
them to collect tips.  The owners of the Speakeasy Saloon were
ordered to pay $468,435 in back wages and attorneys fees.

Canton Dockside and Speakeasy Saloon are located less than a mile

CHA HOLLYWOOD: Sued in Cal. Over Failure to Provide Meal Break
Soledad Sison, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated
v. Cha Hollywood Medical Center, L.P., and Does 1 through 50,
inclusive, Case No. BC644129 (Cal. Super. Ct., December 16, 2016),
is brought against the Defendants for failure to provide
uninterrupted meal periods of not less than 30 minutes, and second
meal periods of not less than thirty minutes for shifts in excess
of 10 hours.

Cha Hollywood Medical Center, L.P. operates a general medical and
surgical hospital in California.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      David Yeremian, Esq.
      Enoch J. Kim, Esq.
      535 N. Brand Blvd., Suite 705
      Glendale, CA 91203
      Telephone: (818) 230-8380
      Facsimile: (818) 23070308
      E-mail: david@yeremianlaw.com

CHIPOTLE: Sued for Misstating Chorizo Burrito Nutritional Facts
Theresa Seiger, writing for Cox Media Group, reports that three
customers are suing Chipotle Mexican Grill, claiming that the
Mexican fast-casual chain is misstating the number of calories in
its dishes, providing as evidence the restaurant chain's 300-
calorie chorizo burrito.

One of the plaintiffs in the proposed class-action lawsuit said he
realized that the burrito "couldn't have been just 300 calories"
after he became "excessively full" from his meal, according to the
City News Service.

On its website, Chipotle lists its flour tortilla alone as having
300 calories.  However, a board advertising the new chorizo
burrito claimed that it contained only 300 calories.

"By providing false nutritional information for their menu items,
consumers are lulled into a false belief that the items they are
eating are healthier than they really are," the suit claims.

Chipotle apologized in a response on social media, writing that
the chain is working to clarify its menu.  The chorizo meat on its
own is 300 calories, according to Chipotle.

The lawsuit against the fast-casual chain was filed in Los Angeles
Superior Court by three men who have bought chorizo burritos at
different locations this month, the City News Service reported.
It would cover anyone who has bought food at Chipotle in the four
years leading up to the filing.

The suit seeks unspecified damages and an injunction to prevent
Chipotle from putting misleading nutritional facts on its menus.

A representative for the company declined to comment on the
lawsuit to Business Insider, citing its ongoing nature.

Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold told the news website that the
company doesn't discuss details surrounding pending legal actions
as a matter of policy.

"I will note that we work very hard to maintain transparency as to
what is in our food, including our practices for disclosing
nutrition information," Mr. Arnold said.  "I'd also note that a
lawsuit is purely allegation and is proof of absolutely nothing."

COCO'S RESTAURANTS: Sued in Cal. Over Failure to Pay Workers OT
Michelle Wiederrick-Charaffeddine, individually and on behalf of
all other similarly situated employees v. Coco's Restaurants,
Inc., Catalina Restaurant Group, and Does 1 through 250,
inclusive, Case No. BC644127 (Cal. Super. Ct., December 16, 2016),
is brought against the Defendants for failure to pay overtime
wages in violation of the California Labor Code.

The Defendants own and operate a restaurant chain with locations
all over California.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Gary R. Carlin, Esq.
      Brent S. Buchsbaum, Esq.
      Laurel N. Haag, Esq.
      Ian M. Silvers, Esq.
      555 East Ocean Boulevard, Suite 818
      Long Beach, CA 90802
      Telephone: (562) 432-8933
      Facsimile: (562) 435-1656
      E-mail: gary@carlinbuchsbaum.com

COOK COUNTY, IL: Class Action Over Bail Bonds Ongoing
Sarah Lazare, writing for AlterNet, reports that for the nearly
8,000 people locked up in Cook County jail, and the 2,400 on house
arrest, the presumption of innocence until proven guilty
effectively does not exist.  Roughly 95 percent of those
incarcerated have not faced trial or conviction of any kind, the
vast majority of them ensnared simply because they are unable to
afford bond.  Those forced to languish in indefinite detention are
disproportionately African American, and their pretrial
punishments can permanently set their lives off-course, causing
them to lose jobs, custody of their children, their housing, and
even their lives.

Now, a group of formerly incarcerated people, movement lawyers and
concerned community members in Chicago are seeking to intervene in
this humanitarian crisis by pooling collective resources to free
people from Cook County jail.  Calling themselves the Chicago
Community Bond Fund (CCBF), the all-volunteer group just announced
it has freed 50 people from jail or house arrest, using a
revolving fund.

But the organization is not just aiming to buy the liberty of
those locked up -- a transaction they acknowledge is chilling.
Members want to change the system by organizing to eradicate
monetary bond altogether and address the harms that Cook County
inflicts on its own residents.  "You are supposed to be innocent
until proven guilty, but they treat everyone guilty until proven
innocent," Tyler Smith, a 21-year-old Chicago resident bonded out
by the CCBF in February, told AlterNet.

Amid mounting nationwide concern about mass incarceration, the
CCBF is advancing a strategy of harm reduction and resistance that
appears to be catching fire, with related projects established in
Massachusetts, New York, California, North Carolina and beyond.
In a country that remains, by far, the biggest jailer in the
world, organizers hope that similar bond funds can comprise one
prong in a broad strategy to end the injustices perpetrated by
prison and jail systems across the United States.

"If we are really serious about the presumption of innocence,
which is not a radical concept, then we need to take a critical
look at cash bond and pretrial detention across the board,"
Max Suchan, a co-founder of CCBF, told AlterNet.  "The solution is
to end cash bond and eliminate pretrial detention."

"My Life Was Ruined"

While the monetary bond system remains, Mr. Smith said he is glad
the CCBF exists.  "It had a good impact," he said of the
organization.  "It brought me hope."

Mr. Smith has been working since he was 15, and said he comes from
a "single-parent household, with a mother who has been working
hard since I was born."  He described himself as "head of
household" since he was 19.

"My whole situation started on July 15, 2013, when I was accused
of robbery," said Mr. Smith.  Unable to pay $2,500 -- 10 percent
of his $25,000 deposit bond -- he was forcibly subjected to
electronic monitoring, a form of house arrest, in July 2016.
Mr. Smith was working two jobs at the time, but lost both as a
result of restrictions on his movement and invasive surveillance.
He was living with his mother, who was unemployed, and says as a
result of his incarceration the family was almost evicted from
their home.  "My life was ruined," said Mr. Smith.  "There was
nothing I could do."

After being referred by his public defender, Mr. Smith was bonded
out by the CCBF in February and has since become a vocal organizer
against the injustices he endured, testifying at a November public
hearing on the use of money bond in Cook County. He said that
through the CCBF, he has gained important community he describes
as "friends and family."  He added that "after the situation, it's
like the stress has been lifted from my mom."

Yet Mr. Smith also said that his life has been unfairly derailed
by what he has suffered so far.  While his charges were dropped,
Mr. Smith and his family have already faced staggering punishment,
he notes.  In light of this ordeal, he emphasized that it is
important for those who have not experienced incarceration
firsthand to "hear my voice and what I have to say."

"To make things better in the justice system, they have to
eliminate bond and house arrest," said Mr. Smith.

For many, the harms inflicted during pretrial detention are
irreversible.  "Inability to pay bond results in higher rates of
conviction, longer sentences, loss of housing and jobs, separation
of families and lost custody of children," notes the CCBF in its
first annual report.

It is far more difficult for individuals to fight their cases
while incarcerated, and after sitting in indefinite detention,
many experience pressure to plead guilty.  In Cook County alone,
people arrested on "nonviolent" felonies who were unable to post
bail were four times as likely to receive convictions as their
counterparts who were able to avoid pretrial detention, according
to research included in a class action lawsuit.

Especially for those who already experience poverty or
marginalization, even just a few days in jail can permanently
disrupt jobs and family connections, a reality underscored by the
Pretrial Justice Institute's "Three Days Count" campaign.

Diomar, who was formerly incarcerated in Cook County jail, says it
was only because he was bonded out by CCBF that he was able to "be
free to see the birth of my daughter and support my family."

"Bond is fundamentally unfair because it punishes poor people more
-- and it's not just you that suffers, but also your entire
family," he said in a press statement. "They lock you away from
your kids, and that really sets the tone for the case and puts you
at a disadvantage from the very beginning.  You can't fight your
case as well from a legal or emotional standpoint from the

Some do not survive their ordeals. According to a report by the
Huffington Post, 815 people "died in jails and police lockups in
the year following Sandra Bland's death on July 13, 2015."  Their
data shows that many of those who lost their lives were
incarcerated because they were unable to meet bond requirements.
The tally is a dramatic undercount, as it does not include people
who die following release due to incarcerated-related causes.

The long-term impacts of jailing are tragically illustrated by the
case of Kalief Browder, who in 2010 was arrested at the age of 16
and spent more than 1,000 days locked up at Rikers Island waiting
for a trial that never happened.  He was forced to remain
incarcerated because his family could not afford to post bail.
During this time he endured roughly two years in solitary
confinement, as well as a violent assault by an officer. Following
his release, Browder committed suicide in 2015.

"He tried to lead a normal life but after being beaten, starved,
being in solitary confinement for so long, that would take a toll
on a grown man, let alone a child," Venida Browder, Kalief's
mother, told the New York Daily News six months after her son's
death.  She died just over a year after her son took his life.

"No More Business-as-Usual"

Pretrial detention, like that which Ms. Browder was forced to
endure, is a key driver of soaring jail populations across the
United States.  According to a report released in February 2015 by
the Vera Institute, annual admissions to jails jumped from 6
million in 1983 to 11.7 million in 2013.  Meanwhile, those
incarcerated in jails are languishing longer, with the average
stay climbing from 14 to 23 days over the past 30 years.  People
of color are disproportionately impacted by these trends.  The
Vera Institute finds that African Americans, who make up just 13
percent of the US population, are jailed at four times the rate of
their white counterparts.

As in Cook County, the vast majority of people locked up in jails
across the country have not been convicted of any crime and are
ostensibly assumed innocent.  The Department of Justice estimated
in 2014 that, at any given time, roughly 450,000 people are
incarcerated in jails awaiting trial, amounting to two-thirds of
the jail population.  A special report from the Bureau of Justice
Statistics, released in 2007, shows that five out of six of those
locked up "had bail set with financial conditions required for
release that were not met."  According to the Vera report, three-
fifths of all people locked up in jail are "awaiting trial or
resolution of their cases through through plea negotiation, and
simply too poor to post even low bail."

The spike in jail populations nationwide tracks directly with
increased reliance on ever-more-expensive bail.  In a 2012 report,
the Justice Policy Institute notes that, "From 1992 to 2006, the
use of financial release, primarily through commercial bonds,
increased by 32 percent."  Meanwhile, the report observes that
average bail amounts have increased "by over $30,000 between 1992
and 2006."

Bail itself reflects the racism of the broader prison-industrial
complex.  According to figures released by the Pretrial Justice
Institute in 2015, African American men face 35 percent higher
bonds than white men nationwide.  Meanwhile, monetary bail systems
by definition discriminate against those members of society who
are least able to pay, in a society with profound class
disparities along race lines.  The Pew Research Center determined
in 2014 that the current wealth gap between white and black people
in the United States is at its highest point since 1989, with
white homes possessing 13 times the median wealth of their black
counterparts in 2013.

Even the Department of Justice submitted a friend-of-the-court
brief in August arguing that incarcerating people because they are
unable to pay bail violates the US constitution. Yet despite the
public airing of concerns, the system continues unabated, with
rare exceptions.  In contrast to most state and local
jurisdictions in the United States, Washington DC releases roughly
90 percent of people held overnight, without requiring monetary

Peter Goldberg, executive director of the Brooklyn Bail Fund, told
AlterNet over the phone, "The goal of a bond fund is certainly not
to prop up an unfair system with money, but to disrupt and change
it.  In addition to the obvious harm reduction that a fund can
provide by getting people out of jail, we work in tandem with
others in the movement to abolish cash bail.  Funds must bring to
light the experiences of individuals, allow them to have voice in
what reform looks like.  No more business-as-usual."

"There Hasn't Been a Change"

In light of these injustices, Chicago-area activists and lawyers
are organizing a coordinated fightback.  Currently and formerly
incarcerated people filed a class-action lawsuit against Cook
County officials in October, in partnership with the CCBF and
lawyers' groups, including the Roderick and Solange MacArthur
Justice Center.

"Every day, thousands of human beings in Cook County, each
presumed innocent as a matter of law, remain in jail for the
duration of their case simply because they cannot afford to pay a
monetary amount set without relation to their ability to pay,"
states the complaint, which was emailed to AlterNet.  "The large
and disproportionate majority of these persons are African

According to 2011-2013 data from the Clerk of the Circuit Court of
County, analyzed by the MacArthur Justice Center, these
disparities are stark.  For example, only 15.8 percent of African
Americans charged with Class 4 felonies were released on bond
before their trials, as compared to 32.4% of non-African American

Cook County Sheriff Thomas Dart, who is named as a defendant in
the lawsuit, has stated publicly he believes the money bail system
is unfair.  Cara Smith, chief policy officer for Dart, told
AlterNet that the sheriff "has been lobbying to eliminate cash
bond in Illinois."

But campaigners say they are exasperated by the endless talk about
the problems while the policies remain the same.  "The reason
Sheriff Dart is named in the lawsuit is because his office is
incarcerating these people after the bond is set," Alexa Van Brunt
of MacArthur Justice Center told AlterNet.  "He is the custodian
of the people who are being held based on these judicial bail
orders, which we believe are unconstitutional. There has been a
lot of discussion about the problem of cash bail in Cook County.
It's an issue that has been on everyone's radar for some time. But
there hasn't been a change."

Building a Movement

While the monetary system persists, people across the country are
taking direct action to remove people from its clutches.  "We're
first and foremost interested in keeping clients out of jail,"
Brett Davidson, the director of the Connecticut Bail Fund, told
AlterNet over the phone.  "It's ridiculous that we're even able to
buy people's freedom, that money is the thing standing between
people and jail."

The CCBF, which combines harm reduction with social movement
support, emerged from a call to address grave injustices committed
by the Chicago Police Department.  In August 2014, police killed
two black men, one of whom was 17-year-old
Desean Pittman.  When Pittman's friends and family held a
community vigil shortly following the killing, they were attacked
by police who "ripped down memorial photos and tipped over
candles," said Suchan.  After the incident was over, five people
were charged with felonies, including Pittman's mother, and four
could not afford bond.

Just back from Ferguson, Suchan says he "made contact with family
members who were doing their own fundraising.  Ultimately we had
to raise around $30,000 to get everyone out of jail.  It took four
months.  We were doing fish fries and game nights, as well as
crowdfunding online campaigns."  That effort launched
conversations about what it would look like to create a more
sustainable fund.

"We decided to form this group so that we could reach out to those
who couldn't help themselves, and we are very proud of what we're
doing," co-founder Jeanette Wince said at a launch party in
November 2015.  Since the launch, the organization says it has
posted "over $278,000 in bonds ranging from $500 to $50,000,
spending the vast majority of this sum on felony bonds."  Not a
single bond has been forfeited, and many of those released have
since become active with the organization.

To this day, CCBF martials resources to support individuals, as
well as the Black Lives Matter movement, with roughly a quarter of
the people bonded out engaged in a political action at the time of
their arrest.  Support of people doing activist work "directly
advances our mission of supporting movements seeking systemic
change in Chicago," the group says in their annual report.  "Bond
funds are a really important, humanizing tool, but they are really
only a way forward if they are connected and accountable to larger
movements for justice and decarceration," Sharlyn Grace, CCBF co-
founder, told AlterNet.

James Kilgore, author of the book Understanding Mass
Incarceration, told AlterNet that bail funds "raise the issue of
the injustice of bail and put the issue of abolishing cash bail
onto the agenda. That is an important step in decarceration."

However, individuals don't have to have ties to such social
movements to be deemed worthy of support.  The CCBF has developed
detailed criteria that weighs factors including "inability to
pay," "risk of victimization in jail" and "special health needs."

"Many times, when there are public conversations about bail
reform, they move forward by dividing people into categories of
worthy and unworthy," Ms. Grace emphasized.  "We're not a guilt or
innocence-based organization.  We think of everyone as being
harmed in the jail.  We are not going to say we are only bailing
out people who face 'nonviolent' charges or drug charges.
Fundamentally, keeping people in cages is not how we want to
respond to harm in our communities."

CORMEDIX: New Jersey Court Dismisses Securities Class Action
CorMedix Inc., a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing
and commercializing therapeutic products for the prevention and
treatment of infectious and inflammatory diseases, on Dec. 21
disclosed that, as previously reported, in an order dated
October 27, 2016 the United States District Court for the District
of New Jersey granted the Company's motion to dismiss with
prejudice the plaintiffs' Amended Complaint in the case Li v.
CorMedix Inc., et al. (Case 3:15-cv-05264), a putative securities
class action filed July 7, 2015, against the Company and certain
of its then current and former officers.

On December 16, 2016, the parties filed a stipulation with the
Court in which the plaintiffs and their counsel agreed not to
appeal, move for reconsideration, or otherwise challenge the
October 27, 2016 Order.  No settlement payment was made in
exchange for the stipulation.

"We are pleased that the District Court agreed with our view of
the insufficiency of the plaintiffs' claims," stated
Khoso Baluch, Chief Executive Officer of CorMedix.  "With the
plaintiff's agreement not to appeal the order dismissing the
Amended Complaint, we can put this lawsuit firmly behind us."

COUNTY DISPOSAL: Disgruntled Customers Mull Class Action
Hayley Mason, writing for WSMV, reports that for people looking
for a service in Middle Tennessee, from a moving company to trash
pickup, the Better Business Bureau has ratings to help them make a

In 2016 they have put two of their worst-rated businesses on a
"naughty list" based partially on their history of customer
complaints and unresponsiveness.

The first business was County Disposal out of Murfreesboro.
Channel 4 previously reported the company had not picked up trash
in many neighborhoods for weeks, but still took automatic payments
from its customers' bank accounts.

"If you have disposal service, you know that you have to pay in
advance and it's usually done with an automatic bank draft," said
Kathleen Calligan, president and CEO of the Better Business Bureau
of Middle Tennessee.  "Many of those homeowners are still being
hit and no service is being rendered."

On Dec. 26, former customers in Murfreesboro said they stopped
using the company but never got their money back, despite the
company's owner vowing to refund customers.

"We had trash sit out here for days and days and days on end,"
said Nicole Cole who lives in La Vergne.

The company sent letters to its customers.  Customers said Gray's
Disposal was tapped as a replacement company to finish the job for
County Disposal, who said it was having problems with equipment
and staffing.

Customers say instead of a replacement service, they were also
sent additional bills from Gray's.

"I'm not paying it," Ms. Cole said.  "I already paid County."

Cole said she now has her son pick up the trash and take it to a
local dumpster.

"I just lost out on $52 for three months.  I just didn't want to
deal with it," Ms. Cole said.

Disgruntled customers of County Disposal created a website to
complain about the family-owned company and to organize a class-
action lawsuit.

At least one person told Channel 4 off-camera his service has been
fine, but many customers say they paid a three-month payment for
service through December and the company did not come.

Another company on the BBB's "naughty list" is Agristyle Farm
Apparel, an online retailer.

The BBB says they've received complaints from people who say the
company never delivered items they ordered or never refunded their
cards.  The BBB says after several attempts to contact the company
in December, they still haven't heard back.

The BBB says the company advertises as farm-based, but is located
in Nashville.

When Channel 4 tried to find the company, different address
listings led us to private apartments in Nashville.  Calls and
emails were not returned.

Channel 4 also reached out to the owner of County Disposal for
response about the rating and additional billings.  Calls were not

DDC CONSTRUCTION: Court Rules on Class Action Waivers Issue
Cheryl D. Shoun, Esq. -- cshoun@nexsenpruet.com -- and William
Chase McNair, Esq. -- cmcnair@nexsenpruet.com -- of Nexsen Pruet,
in an article for Lexology, report that the South Carolina Court
of Appeals has offered insight into its opinion on the issue of
whether a developer may contractually create and enforce jury
trial and class action waivers in a master deed.  The Court's
position is good news for developers and those who represent

In The Gates at Williams-Brice Condominium Association and
Katharine Swinson, individually, and on behalf of all other
similarly situated v. DDC Construction, et al, 2016 WL 4537655,
the Court specifically examined whether jury trial and class
action waivers included in a master deed are enforceable. The
Court, reversing the circuit court, found the waivers enforceable.

A number of entities (collectively, "Developer") developed The
Gates at Williams-Brice condominium community ("Gates"). Following
the filling of a lawsuit by Katharine Swinson ("Swinson")
individually, and on behalf of others similarly situated, and the
Gates at Williams-Brice Condominium Association ("Homeowners"),
alleging faulty workmanship during construction. Developer,
electing not to attempt to enforce the contractual arbitration
provision, moved for a nonjury trial and to strike the class
action allegations.  The circuit court denied those motions.
Developer appealed and the Court of Appeals reversed.

The Court of Appeals focused on four pivotal issues: (1)
timeliness of Developer in raising mode of trial issue; (2)
ineffectiveness of subsequent amendment of Master Deed; (3)
enforceability of waivers and (4) whether Developer's choice not
to pursue arbitration equated to a waiver of a nonjury trial.

In analyzing the timeliness of Developer's motion for a nonjury
trial and to strike a jury trial demand and class action
allegations, the Court recognized the requirement that a party
must timely raise mode of trial issues at the first opportunity.
Foggie v. CSX Transportation, Inc., 315 S.C. 17, 431 S.E.2d 587
(1993).  The requirement is to place an opposing party on notice
of the issues at stake. See Shirley's Iron Works, Inc. v City of
Union, 403 S.C. 560, 573-74, 743 S.E.2d 778, 785 (2013).  In
examining Foggie and related cases, the Court concluded, however,
that the first opportunity requirement deals with preserving a
mode of trial issue for appellate consideration, rather than
raising the issue to the circuit court for consideration.  Thus,
the Court concluded that Developer met the first opportunity
requirement by timely appealing the circuit court's order denying
its request for a nonjury trial.  The Court further noted that
there were general denials related to the class action allegations
and the jury trial demand included in the answers of various
defendants in the action.[ii]

The next issue examined by the Court was the Homeowners' amendment
of the Master Deed to eliminate the wavier of a jury trial and of
a class action.  This amendment was done more than six months
after the filing of the original complaint.  Having determined
that the owners knowingly, voluntarily and intelligently waived
their rights to a jury trial and to a class action, the Court
found that the amendments could not apply retroactively to remove
the otherwise agreed upon waivers; such amendment would
effectively substitute a new obligation for the original bargain
of the parties. See generally Armstrong v. Ledges Homeowners
Ass'n, 633 S.E. 2d 78, 87 (N.C. 2006).  The Court, unaware of any
South Carolina authority which would allow contracting parties to
unilaterally alter agreed upon provisions once litigation has
begun, concluded that permitting such an amendment is against the
weight of authority.  See Ellis v. Taylor, 316 S.C. 245, 449
S.E.2d 487, 488 (1994) ("The court's duty is to enforce the
contract made by the parties regardless of its wisdom or folly,
apparent unreasonableness, or the parties' failure to guard their
rights carefully.")

As to the third issue addressed by the Court, South Carolina has
long recognized that the right to a jury trial may be waived by
contract. See North Charleston Joint Venture v. Kitchens of Island
Fudge Shoppe, Inc., et al, citing, Leasing Serv. Corp. v. Crane
804 F.2d 828 (4th Cir. 1986).  When a person signs a document, he
is responsible for using reasonable care to protect himself by
reading the document, making sure of its contents. Regions Bank v.
Schmauch, 354 S.C. 648, 582 S.E.2d 432 (Ct. App. 2003).  Here, the
terms of the Master Deed, including the waiver of a jury trial and
of a class action, were expressly incorporated into each purchase
contract.  By signing the contract at closing, each homeowner was
deemed to have read the Master Deed.  Additionally, the Master
Deed was also incorporated into the bylaws of the Homeowners'
Association, which were available to all who purchased units.

The waivers, in all bold capital letters on the last page of the
Master Deed, were conspicuous and unambiguous.  The waivers did
not limit liability or the right to seek legal remedy; rather, the
owners and Developer waived their rights to a jury trial and class
action lawsuit.  Even if the owners were unaware of the inclusion
of the waiver provisions, they cannot avoid the effects of the
waivers merely by arguing they were unaware that the provisions
were included in the Master Deed absent a showing that the waivers
are oppressive and one-sided.

Lastly, the Court found that the Developer did not waive its right
to a nonjury trial and to proceed without a class simply because
it did not elect to arbitrate.  The circuit court pointed to
various actions by Developer in support of its conclusion that
Developer waived its right to arbitrate and, consequently, its
rights to a nonjury trial and to proceed without a class.  On
review, the Court found, however, that Developer's decision to
request a nonjury trial is wholly unrelated to its decision not to
arbitrate.  In reaching its conclusion, the Court again relied
upon the Master Deed, in which the Developer included language
addressing both alternative dispute resolution and the jury trial
waiver, finding that such inclusion was intended to afford the
opportunity to either arbitrate or seek a nonjury trial.

While at the time of this writing, a Motion for Rehearing is still
pending, this opinion demonstrates the Court's inclination to
enforce jury trial and class action waivers included in a master
deed.  That said, there appears to be no harm in the inclusion of
clear, conspicuous and obvious waivers at this time, even if the
Court's opinion is eventually modified.

[i] A Motion for Rehearing is currently pending. Until such time
as there is a disposition as to that Motion, this opinion is not
established law.

[ii] The Court also relied upon the Homeowner's subsequent
amendment of the Master Deed in support of its conclusion that the
Homeowners were on notice of the mode of trial issue following the
receipt of one defendant's answer.

DIRECT DIGITAL: Has Made Unsolicited Calls, Action Claims
Gloria Whittington, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Direct Digital, LLC, and Does 1 through 10,
inclusive, and each of them, Case No. 2:16-at-01516 (E.D. Cal.,
December 20, 2016), seeks to stop the Defendants' practice of
using an artificial and prerecorded voice to deliver a message
without prior express consent of the called party.

Direct Digital, LLC is a retailer of nutritional supplement

The Plaintiff is represented by:

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

DOORKING INC: Faces "Vela" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime
Ernesto Vela, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated v. Doorking Inc., and Does 1 through 100, Inclusive, Case
No. BC644377 (Cal. Super. Ct., December 20, 2016), is brought
against the Defendants for failure to pay overtime wages in
violation of the California Labor Code.

Doorking Inc. is a manufacturer of vehicular gate operators,
telephone entry and intercom systems, access control systems,
parking control equipment, and related accessories.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Michael Nourmand, Esq.
      James A. De Sario, Esq.
      8822 West Olympic Boulevard
      Beverly Hills, CA 90211
      Telephone: (310) 553-3600
      Facsimile (310) 553-3603

DUPONT: Jury Rules in Favor of Plaintiff in C8 Class Action
Jess Mancini, writing for News and Sentinel, reports that a
federal jury on Dec. 21 in Columbus returned a $2 million verdict
against DuPont in a C8 contamination case.

The jury awarded damages to Kenneth Robert Vigneron, who claimed
he contracted testicular cancer from exposure from C8 in the
Belpre and Little Hocking water supplies.

Mr. Vigneron is considered a bellwether case among the 3,500
lawsuits in the C8 class against DuPont. Other bellwether cases
that have gone to trial have resulted in verdicts against the

C8 was once used at the DuPont Washington Works to make Teflon.  A
science panel established by a settlement with the company found a
probable link between C8, also known as PFOA, and kidney cancer,
testicular cancer, ulcerative colitis, thyroid disease, pregnancy
induced hypertension including preeclampsia and
hypercholesterolemia in humans.

The Dec. 21 verdict included a finding that the company's conduct
was malicious, which allows the jury to consider punitive damages
in addition to the compensation verdict, said Harry Deitzler, an
attorney representing the plaintiffs in the class action
settlement with DuPont 11 years ago.  The jury will deliberate
punitive damages on Jan. 4.

"DuPont's conduct was egregious, dumping the chemical into
community water sources with full knowledge that it would likely
cause cancer and other diseases among the residents," said
Mr. Deitzler, an attorney with Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee &
Deitzler in Charleston. "Hopefully this verdict, along with the
previous two verdicts, will send a strong message to DuPont and
others who intentionally engage in conduct which puts the health
of our community at risk."

A statement was released by Chemours, which owns the Washington
Works through a spin-off from DuPont, through spokeswoman Cynthia

"Additional trials are expected, and they will be defended on an
individual basis under the facts and circumstances of each case.
This type of litigation typically takes place over many years, and
interim results do not predict the final outcome of cases," Ms.
Salitsky said.  "It is important to note that DuPont is the named
defendant in each of the cases and is liable for any judgment.  We
will have further comments when the trial is over."

The case is before Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr. of the United States
District for the Southern District of Ohio.  A bellwhether case is
used to ascertain outcomes in other cases in the class action and
work toward resolution.

The first bellwhether case by Carla Marie Bartlett in 2015
resulted in a $1.6 million award against DuPont.  The second, a
case from David Freeman, resulted in a $5.1 million damage award
and $500,000 in punitive damages against DuPont.

The company settled two other two bellwhether cases while trial
for the Larry Moody case is scheduled in January.

Harold Bock, an adviser for Keep Your Promises DuPont, a group
committed to ensuring DuPont continues to cover the C8
liabilities, said the Dec. 21 verdict "vindicates all of us who
have been fighting for over a decade for DuPont to do the right

"For thousands of people in the valley, it is too late for DuPont
to undo the damage they caused over half a century of pollution,"
Mr. Bock said.  "What DuPont can do is take responsibility and
fulfill the promises they made to us over a decade ago.  The
verdict is a step in the right direction."

After the class action settlement 11 years ago, DuPont said it
wanted an answer to the C8 toxicity question based on science, Mr.
Deitzler said.

"But when the truth was exposed, DuPont reversed its course," he
said. "Over the past six weeks of trial, DuPont has paid its
lawyers to say that the scientifically irrefutable conclusion as
to C8's toxicity is mistaken."

Company lawyers attempted to convince the jurors officers at
DuPont had no clue the community and employees were being poisoned
and DuPont did everything that it could do to prevent human
exposure, Mr. Deitzler said.

"The deception did not work," Mr. Deitzler said.  "Everyone could
easily see that DuPont made virtually no effort to address the C8
poison danger until after we filed the class action lawsuit in

Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, Taft Stettinius and
Hollister of Cincinnati and Winter, Johnson and Hill of Charleston
filed the 2001 class action lawsuit which enabled all affected
residents to seek compensation for their injuries.  In the
Vigneron case the three original firms were joined by the law
firms of Levin Papantonio of Pensacola, Fla., Douglas & London of
New York City and and Kennedy & Madonna of Hurley, N.Y.

As part of the first settlement, DuPont agreed to install carbon
filtration systems in six local public water systems.  The
Environmental Protection Agency in 2016 dropped the long-term
limit for C8 exposure and Chemours installed a filter system in
Vienna where the concentration exceeded the new limit, .07 parts
per billion.

While the concentration in Parkersburg was .029 ppb in September,
Mr. Deitzler believes the city must eventually address C8
contamination in the drinking water.  The state of Vermont
permanently set the C8 drinking water standard at 0.02 ppb, Mr.
Deitzler said.

Companies may be reluctant to move to an area where there is a
question over safe water, he said.

EARTHSTONE ENERGY: Potential Securities Claims Investigated
Andrews & Springer LLC, a boutique securities class action law
firm focused on representing shareholders nationwide, is
investigating potential breach of fiduciary duty and securities
violation claims against Earthstone Energy, Inc. ("Earthstone
Energy" or the "Company").

If you currently own shares of Earthstone Energy and want to
receive additional information and protect your investments free
of charge, please visit us at
energy-class-action-investigation/ or contact Craig J. Springer,
Esq. at cspringer@andrewsspringer.com, or call toll free at 1-800-
423-6013. You may also follow us on LinkedIn -
www.linkedin.com/company/andrews-&-springer-llc, Twitter -
www.twitter.com/AndrewsSpringer or Facebook -
www.facebook.com/AndrewsSpringer for future updates.

Andrews & Springer is a boutique securities class action law firm
representing shareholders nationwide who are victims of securities
fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty or corporate misconduct.  Having
formerly defended some of the largest financial institutions in
the world, our founding members use their valuable knowledge,
experience, and superior skill for the sole purpose of achieving
positive results for investors. These traits are the hallmarks of
our innovative approach to each case our Firm decides to
prosecute.  For more information please visit our website at

EAST POINT, GA: Class Action Claims Power Overbilling of $34MM
Adam Murphy, writing for CBS46, reports that outraged residents in
the city of East Point filed a class-action lawsuit accusing their
local government of putting profits over people.

Melvin Pittman said enough is enough.  He's one of many East Point
residents who believe the city is overcharging customers for basic

"My main focus right now is the overbilling of $34 million,"
Mr. Pittman said.  "I don't think it's responsible government at
all. It's like putting your hands in my pocket and telling me not
to slap your hands."

CBS46 first exposed the issue in February.  Since then, Mr.
Pittman and others have filed a class-action lawsuit against the
city. Jimmy Hurt is their attorney.

"The city's response was they're allowed to make a profit on their
electrical billing; however, that is not written into their
charter," Mr. Hurt said.

Mr. Hurt said the city has collected millions of dollars from
overbilling during the past decade and placed the money in the
general fund.

"It is wrong and it's shameful for you to have overbilled East
Point power customers to include churches, businesses and
residences to the tune of $34 million," Mr. Pittman said.

The city responded to Pittman's legal team saying their actions
are justified, but Hurt says they've imposed an illegal tax.

"It's just an illegal action taken by city council.  If they had
passed the ordinance in the proper manner then they would be able
to bill these charges," Mr. Hurt said.

The city of East Point has defended their actions from the
beginning saying they've done nothing wrong.  The legal case is
expected to pick up steam in January.

ENDO INTERNATIONAL: Lundin Law Firm Reminds of Jan. 6 Deadline
Lundin Law PC, a shareholder rights firm, announces a class action
lawsuit against Endo International plc concerning possible
violations of federal securities laws between September 28, 2015
and November 2, 2016 inclusive. Investors, who purchased or
otherwise acquired shares during the Class Period, are encouraged
to contact the firm in advance of the January 6, 2017 lead
plaintiff motion deadline.

To participate in this class action lawsuit, click here. You can
also call Brian Lundin, Esquire, of Lundin Law PC, at 888-713-
1033, or e-mail him at -- brian@lundinlawpc.com --

No class has been certified in the above action. Until a class is
certified, you are not considered represented by an attorney. You
may also choose to do nothing and be an absent class member.

According to the Complaint, Endo made false and/or misleading
statements and/or failed to disclose that: the Company's
subsidiary, Par Pharmaceutical, colluded with several of its
industry peers to fix generic drug prices; that the foregoing
conduct constituted a violation of federal antitrust laws; that
Endo's revenues during the Class Period were partially the result
of illegal conduct; and that as a result of the above, the
Company's public statements were materially false and misleading
at all relevant times. On November 3, 2016, Bloomberg News
reported that the Justice Department is conducting an antitrust
investigation of over a dozen companies, including Par
Pharmaceutical, to determine whether they unlawfully colluded with
each other to fix generic drug prices.

Lundin Law PC was founded by Brian Lundin, a securities litigator
based in Los Angeles dedicated to upholding the rights of

EVERBANK FINANCIAL: Settles Securities Lawsuit For $300,000
Kerry Goff at Florida Record reports that EverBank Financial Corp.
has settled a lawsuit over alleged securities-law violations.

Market Exclusive's website said that two alleged stockholders of
EverBank filed putative class actions against the bank and members
of its board of directors.

"(They alleged) that the defendants violated federal securities
laws by disseminating proxy materials that included allegedly
material misstatements or omissions in connection with EverBank's
Definitive Proxy Statement," the article said.

According to court documents, the suits were filed in Florida and
in Delaware.

"On October 12, 2016, another alleged stockholder of EverBank
filed a putative class action in the Delaware Court of Chancery
alleging breaches of fiduciary duty against the same defendants,
including alleged disclosure violations, in connection with the
Merger Agreement," the Market Exclusive article said. "These
actions, among other things, sought additional disclosure of facts
relating to the proposed merger in connection with the stockholder
vote thereupon and/or injunctive relief."

According to the article, EverBank filed supplemental disclosures
on Oct. 24 intended to address the plaintiffs' disclosure claims
via Form 8-K with the SEC.

"These supplemental disclosures pertained to, among other things,
the non-disclosure agreements entered into by EverBank with other
parties, EverBank management's communications with TIAA regarding
management's potential continuing employment with the Company
following the consummation of the proposed merger, and EverBank's
projected dividends/capital injections as used in the Dividends
Discount Analysis prepared by EverBank's financial advisor in
connection with the proposed merger," the article said.

Furthermore, in a Nov. 2 ruling, the Court of Chancery dismissed
the Delaware action as moot and rejected claims asserted by the
plaintiff in the Delaware case, but the Florida case was settled
before it went to trial.

Everbank settled for $300,000. The corporation declined to comment
on why it settled the Florida case.

"This fee will be paid by EverBank, and has not been approved or
ruled upon by the courts in either the Delaware Action or the
Florida Actions," the article said.

On Oct. 24, EverBank filed an 8-K form, designating "Other Event,"
which is labeled under section 8, item 8.01.

"The registrant can use [Other Event] to report events that are
not specifically called for by Form 8-K, that the registrant
considers to be of importance to security holders," the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission said on its website.

According to the SEC website, the 8-K form is the "current report"
companies must file with the SEC to announce major events that
shareholders should know about.

FEDERATION OF MULTICULTURAL: Fails to Pay Employees OT, Suit Says
Patricia Hillard, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated v. Federation of Multicultural Programs, Inc., Case No.
522444/2016 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., December 16, 2016), is brought against
the Defendants for failure to pay all workers overtime, and of
time and one-half their regular rate of pay for all hours worked
over 40 in a week.

Federation of Multicultural Programs, Inc. is a Brooklyn, New York
based intermediate care facility for the mentally retarded.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Louis Ginsberg, Esq.
      1613 Northern Boulevard
      Roslyn, NY 11576
      Telephone: (516)625-0105

FENTON & MCGARVEY: Class of Consumers Certified in "Long" Suit
The Hon. Larry J. McKinney grants the Plaintiff's amended motion
to certify class in the lawsuit entitled JANET LONG, individually
and on behalf of all others similarly situated v. FENTON &
McGARVEY LAW FIRM P.S.C., a Kentucky corporation, and JEFFERSON
CAPITAL SYSTEMS, LLC, a Georgia limited liability company, Case
No. 1:15-cv-01924-LJM-DML (S.D. Ind.).

The Court certified the class defined as:

     All persons similarly situated in the State of Indiana from
     whom Defendants attempted to collect a delinquent consumer
     debt allegedly owed for a Comenity Bank credit card account,
     via the same form collection letter that Defendants sent to
     Plaintiff from one year before the date of the Complaint to
     the present.

The lawsuit alleges violations of the Federal Debt Collection
Practices Act.  In her Amended Motion, Ms. Long sought to
demonstrate that all of the pre-requisites for class certification
pursuant to Rules 23(a) and (b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure are satisfied.  The Defendants opposed the Plaintiff's
Amended Motion by asserting that (1) the Plaintiff lacks standing
to have commonality with the claims of the putative class members,
and (2) the putative class members' individual claims predominate
over any common claims of the class.

A copy of the Order is available at no charge at
https://goo.gl/Ctxmq7 from Leagle.com.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Angie K. Robertson, Esq.
          Mary E. Philipps, Esq.
          David J. Philipps, Esq.
          9760 S. Roberts Road, Suite One
          Palos Hills, IL 60465
          Telephone: (708) 974-2900
          Facsimile: (708) 974-2907
          E-mail: angiekrobertson@aol.com

               - and -

          John Thomas Steinkamp, Esq.
          5214 S. East Street, Suite D-1
          Indianapolis, IN 46227
          Telephone: (317) 780-8300
          Facsimile: (317) 217-1320
          E-mail: steinkamplaw@yahoo.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          David M. Schultz, Esq.
          James Constantine Vlahakis, Esq.
          Jennifer Jay Kalas, Esq.
          222 North LaSalle Street, Suite 300
          Chicago, IL 60601-1081
          Telephone: (312) 704-3527
          Facsimile: (312) 704-3001
          E-mail: dschultz@hinshawlaw.com

Defendant JEFFERSON CAPITAL SYSTEMS, LLC, is represented by:

          Michael D. Slodov, Esq.
          15 E. Summit St.
          Chagrin Falls, OH 44022
          Telephone: (440) 318-1073
          Facsimile: (216) 359-0049
          E-mail: mslodov@sessions-law.biz

FIELDTURF USA: Bathgate Wegener & Wolf Firm Files Class Action
Phil Stilton, writing for Shore News Network, reports that the
Ocean County law firm of Bathgate, Wegener & Wolf, P.C. has joined
forces with with national class action specialist Kozyak, Tropin &
Throckmorton, P.A., of Coral Gables, Florida, to file the first
federal class action lawsuit in the United States against
FieldTurf USA and its affiliates.

FieldTurf USA has come under fire across New Jersey after fields
it promised would last 10 years began breaking down much sooner
than the company guaranteed.  In the company's advertising, they
claimed, "Making the wrong turf decision can cost you a million
dollars.", but instead, their customers such as Carteret claim the
fields will end up costing more to repair and replace.

The lawsuit claims Early on, however, FieldTurf internally knew
that its marketing campaign was grossly exaggerated.

"Rather than adjust its campaign strategy to reflect this reality
or simply warn existing and new customers about the defective
nature of the Synthetic Grass Fields, FieldTurf chose to maximize
profits and maintain its leading market share," the suit claims.

Lawyers said a leaked internal email from FieldTurf executive
Kenny Gilman revealed that in 2007, FieldTurf knew its marketing
campaign for the affected Synthetic Grass Fields was "ridiculous"
and opened up the company "to tons of exposure from a legal

The class action suit seeks over $5,000,000 in damages at the
hands of FieldTurf and claims to have over 100 affected customers.

One of the earliest complaints about premature disintegration came
in October 2006 after FieldTurf installed the new Synthetic Grass
Field in a South American country.  Laura Braga, FieldTurf's
operation director for FieldTurf Latin America, emailed Gilman,
explaining that an artificial turf field using the old slim-fit
fiber that was installed in 2003 was in better condition than the
Synthetic Grass Field that was installed within the year.  The new
Synthetic Grass Field was displaying significant "premature wear."

FieldTurf executives discussed the failures, but continued to keep
the information from their customers according to the legal

"Like other municipalities, school districts and public and
private entities throughout the United States, Carteret purchased
six synthetic grass fields from FieldTurf, which were marketed
under brand names "FieldTurf," "Duraspine" and "Prestige," in
reliance on FieldTurf's representations," the firm said.
"Carteret contends in the class action lawsuit that the fields are
defective because the fibers that make up the fields deteriorate
prematurely, sometimes in as little as two years, in stark
contrast to the 10 year life expectancy represented by FieldTurf.
Carteret asserts that FieldTurf knew through field inspections and
independent testing that the fields would deteriorate much sooner
than FieldTurf had represented to potential customers.  Instead of
advising their customers of these problems, FieldTurf chose to
maximize profits by increasing the intensity of its marketing
campaign designed around the false information."

Carteret seeks immediate relief requiring FieldTurf to repair and
replace the synthetic grass fields and to pay damages.  Immediate
relief is necessary and appropriate because of the risk of injury
to those using the deteriorating fields.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court, New Jersey on
December 14th.

FLORIDA: Voting Rights of 1.5MM Felons May Be Restored
Tanasia Kenney, writing for Atlanta Black Star, reports that of
the 1.5 million Florida residents barred from voting due to a
prior felony conviction, almost a quarter are African-American.
But, a newly proposed referendum seeking to repeal the state's
felony voting restriction could restore those rights.

After advocates spent a number of years gathering the required
68,314 petition signatures, the Florida Supreme Court on Dec. 26
announced that it would consider a proposal allowing a referendum
on the 2018 ballot asking state voters to roll back Florida's
felony voting restriction law, the Intercept reported.  The court
is expected to review the proposal on March 7.

According to nonpartisan website Ballotpedia, the Florida Voting
Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative of 2018 would essentially
restore voting rights to individuals with felony convictions upon
completion of their sentences.  It would not, however, reinstate
voting rights to persons convicted of murder or a sexual felony

Desmond Meade, an ex-felon and the chairman of the Floridians for
a Fair Democracy, the group spearheading the effort to repeal the
state's felony disenfranchisement statute, has spent years
collecting signatures for the ballot initiative and said he's
optimistic about the high court's decision to consider the group's

"To the best of my recollection, never before has a purely
grassroots effort gotten as far as triggering a [Florida] Supreme
Court review," Mr. Meade said.  "This is a major milestone."

The odds of a favorable ruling by the court are that much higher
after the Florida Division of Elections reportedly filed a motion
supporting the proposed ballot initiative, Florida's WMFE news
radio station reported.

It's a known fact that a large majority of the Sunshine State's
disenfranchised voters are Democratic minorities and advocates for
the restored voting rights of felons have argued that the
disproportion is a civil rights disaster that may very well have
impacted the outcome of key elections, like the George W. Bush vs.
Al Gore presidential race of 2000.

Those voters also could have affected Trump's victory in the key
swing state in last year's contentious presidential election.  He
won Florida by a margin less than a tenth the size of the state's
disenfranchised population, according to The Intercept.

The Florida Supreme Court's decision to review the group's
proposed referendum is good news, however, the campaign's next
steps include gathering another 600,000 petition signatures --
nearly 10 times the initial amount -- in order to move forward.
Now, Meade is working to quickly expand interest in the pressing
issue in order to get enough people on board in time.

"We weren't getting funding or anything, so it took more time,"
Mr. Meade said of the campaign.  "But we'll need 10 times as many
people now."

Efforts to restore the voting rights of felons have been
successful in other states this past year.  In April, Virginia
Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed an executive order reinstating the
voting rights of millions of felons who had permanently been
disenfranchised due to their previous convictions.  States like
Louisiana, however, are still struggling to make progress, as
700,000 convicted felons barred from voting filed a class-action
lawsuit against the state.

FORD MOTOR: Employees File Class Action Over 401(k) Plan Fees
Susan Tompor, writing for Detroit Free Press, reports that three
Ford employees say some salaried and hourly employees are paying
too much to get investment advice because of an exclusive

Pay-to-play allegations are hitting the 401(k) universe with a
complaint filed on behalf of three Ford Motor employees.

Ford, like many major corporations, offers hourly and salaried
employees who participate in its retirement savings plans the
option of paying a professional manager to help them pick and
choose their mutual funds.  Think of it as an optional adviser-
for-hire arrangement.

But the complaint filed Nov. 9 in U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Michigan in Detroit raises questions about how
exclusive, behind-the-scenes relationships impact costs to
employees.  The complaint was filed seeking class action status.

The suits asks if the Ford retirement plan record keeper, Xerox HR
Solutions, is taking advantage of 401(k) participants by taking a
cut of the fee charged for a professional manager?

At issue is whether Xerox's arrangement with the professional
manager -- Financial Engines -- is a pay-to-play arrangement that
inflates the cost to employees paying the extra fee.

It's a complicated arrangement, but the issues in the complaint
are worth reviewing to get more insight into some 401(k) options.
The situation is another reminder of how little employees may know
about fee structures and costs associated with 401(k) plans.

Susan Tompor: Baby boomers, like Cher, must study IRA rules
"It's all about transparency in our industry -- or the lack
thereof," said Todd Hughes, director of vendor and ERISA services
for Pension Consultants in Springfield, Mo.

Mr. Hughes, whose company offers retirement plan management for
plan sponsors, said it's hard to know how the complaint will play
out. But he noted that suits involving excessive record-keeping
fees or investment expenses have been building along with
increasing concerns about conflicts of interest and lack of

The overall dollars aren't small.

The Ford 401(k) participants paid $5.79 million in fees in 2015 to
tap into Financial Engines, according the complaint.  And $1.84
million in those fees -- or more than 30% -- went to Xerox.

Because Ford is a major employer, the plans are sizable.  About
$13.94 billion in net assets were involved, including those for
hourly and salaried workers, as of Dec. 31, 2015, according to the

Xerox HR Solutions, the only named defendant, declined to comment
for this story.

Ford, which is not named as a defendant, declined to comment about
the case.  "Ford is not a party in this case but is proud to offer
competitive salary and benefits to our employees," Ford spokesman
Brad Carroll said in a written news release.

Financial Engines, again not named as a defendant in the suit,
offered this comment:

"Financial Engines was founded on a commitment to look out for
investors' best interests and we continue to do so today," said
Mike Jurs, director of public relations and social media for
Financial Engines, based in Sunnyvale, Calif.

The law firms submitting the case include the Miller Law Firm,
based in Rochester, and Philadelphia-based Berger & Montague.

The three Ford employees named as plaintiffs are Michigan resident
Patrick Chendes, who participated in the salaried plan and
invested through Financial Engines' Professional Management
Program.  Two hourly employees are named: Dion Tumminello of
Michigan and Jillian Smith of Missouri.

The history of the Financial Engines deal goes back to 2011 when
the director of employee benefits at Ford, then Rick Popp, began
sending letters to salaried plan participants to consider opting
into professional management offered by Financial Engines "to
manage your account, build a personalized retirement plan, pick
investments for you and help you keep on track," the complaint

Financial advisers in the Detroit area noted that Mr. Popp also
made an online video via YouTube to introduce Ford employees to
Financial Engines.

On that video, Mr. Popp stated that Ford was seeking to deliver
competitive benefits and offer tools to enable employees to get
the best out of their benefits.

"Financial Engines is the best in the business for what we need
today," Mr. Popp said on the video.  He noted that Financial
Engines would serve as an "unbiased, independent adviser or

Financial Engines is well-known for its computer-based investment
advice program that can control the allocation of the saver's
account.  The selection of funds reflects, in part, a saver's
personal financial information, age and retirement expectations.

Ford employees can choose to put their retirement savings in
several mutual funds, including a variety of BlackRock index
funds, as well as a Vanguard U.S. Equity Index Fund and other
mutual funds.

The complaint noted that according to a September 2011 letter,
Ford negotiated an asset-based fee with Financial Engines based on
a percentage of the dollars invested through Financial Engines.

A fee of 0.45% applied to the first $100,000 invested.  The fees
declined for larger balances. For example, the fees dropped to
0.2% for amounts in excess of $250,000 invested.

The complaint doesn't center on the fee structure itself, but on
the payments made to Xerox based on the fees collected.  The
payments made to Xerox are for "data connectivity services," the
complaint said. (Financial Engines is able to trade funds directly
in the 401(k) for the plan participants.)

The complaint said "there is no rational justification for an
asset-based fee for whatever services Xerox HR provided."

Fees collected go up when larger dollars are held in the
individual's 401(k).  But the level of Xerox's services to a
participant does not increase when that participant's account has
grown through additional contributions or investment gains, the
complaint noted.

Financial Engines became the exclusive investment advice provider,
the only one that could receive fees directly taken out of
individuals accounts.  If individuals work with other financial
money managers to handle their 401(k) money, the individuals
typically need to write a check directly to those firms to cover
the cost.

Too often, of course, there are plenty of ways to distract savers
who are never really certain what fees they're paying. Extra
costs, of course, can stall one's ability to save for retirement
and back-end deals don't help savers.

GANZ INC: Two Charities Get Residual Webkinz Settlement Funds
The Daily Journal reports that Nuts for Candy and the law firm of
Cotchett, Pitre and McCarthy presented checks of more than $25,000
to two charities from residual settlement funds of a class action
lawsuit and matching funds from Steven N. Williams, a partner with
the firm.

The two recipient charities are the Marine Toys for Tots
Foundation and the Central County Fire Department Toy Drive and
the funds were delivered in time for the organizations to purchase
Christmas gifts for children this holiday season, according to the
law firm.

The residual settlement amount of the class action lawsuit
"Webkinz Antitrust Litigation" case was allowed to be distributed
to charitable trusts that closely related to the original
intention of the settlement, which opened the door for
John Kevranian of Nuts for Candy & Toys in Burlingame and the law
firm to seek the court's approval to name the two charities as
beneficiaries.  The lawsuit was spearheaded by Williams and was a
class action suit brought on behalf of injured consumers such as
plaintiff Nuts for Candy, according to the law firm.

"Both Toys for Tots and the Central County Fire Department serve a
very special part of our local communities -- its kids -- and we
are more than honored to support their cause, particularly during
this time of the year," Mr. Kevranian said.

GENTLEMEN'S CLUB: Exotic Dancers File Labor Class Action
Abby Broyles, writing for KFOR, reports that two metro strip clubs
are at the center of a federal class action lawsuit.

Exotic dancers are suing Whispers Gentlemen's club in Valley Brook
and Midway Island.

Former Oklahoma City attorney Michael Billings is named as a
defendant because he owns Midway Island.

He's currently serving 14 years in federal prison for sex crimes.

The dancers are suing under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Federal courts have ruled, under that act, dancers at nightclubs
are employees.

The dancers suing said, because their bosses classified them as
independent contractors instead of employees, they're out a lot of

"If you can control the environment of the work place and if your
services are essential to the continuation of the workplace being
in existence, you must be an employee.  You can't be an
independent contractor," said employment law expert Dustin Hopson.

Essentially, the dancers are saying their services are essential
to keeping the clubs open.

The dancer named in the labor lawsuit said she was forced to share
her tips from spectators with the managers, doormen and disc

"It appears they were doing tip sharing with employees that
wouldn't otherwise be subject to tip sharing and, so, for that
reason, the employer was taking what is their property, the tip
money, and giving to others they didn't have any right to give it
to," Mr. Hopson said.

The lawsuit alleges the club owners never paid the dancers a dime,
claiming their sole source of income was "gratuities received from
paying customers."

Now, the dancers want unpaid hourly wages, overtime pay and

The lawsuit seeks a jury trial.

The plaintiffs' attorney is seeking more clients for the class
action suit, even taking an ad out in the paper.

GOOGLE INC: Faces Complaints Over Freezing Pixel Smartphones
JC Torres, writing for Slash Gear, reports that Google may have
broken out the champagne a wee bit too early for its Pixel
smartphones.  After a brief but pleasant honeymoon, owners are
slowly discovering the warts hiding under the pretty facade.  The
latest string of user complaints involve the Pixel smartphones
randomly freezing and becoming unusable under still unreproducible
circumstances.  It is, however, just the latest in what looks like
a growing list of complaints and issues plaguing the first "made
by Google" smartphone.

The first complaints about the Google Pixel happened not too long
ago, when some users found that their cameras were rendered
practically unusable by a purple shade and random artifacts.  Then
just days before Christmas, another group of users reported severe
distortions in audio when playing at max volume.  That may be a
simple software problem, hinted by that fact that a custom ROM
seems to have a fix for it.

This latest issue, unfortunately, might be a combination of both
software and hardware.  Actually, its exact nature is so elusive
making it near impossible to pin down on either possibility.  All
users now is that their Pixel phones would suddenly freeze and
become unusable.  Sometimes, navigation buttons would even
disappear.  This would last from a few seconds to a few minutes.

Some have pointed the blame at third-party apps like Life360.
Others have pinned it on location services and hardware.  Others,
however, experience the problem even without those two factors.
Both Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones are equally affected, hinting
at a deeper, hardware problem.

Google is naturally intent on solving these mysteries, even if it
remains ominously silent.  After all, it is its premiere and
maiden smartphone.  But the rising number of complaints about do
make one wonder if Google bit off more than it could chew and if
it really has what it takes to make its own smartphones.

GOOGLE INC: To Change E-mail Scanning After Class Action
Sam Varghese, writing for itwire, reports that Google has agreed
to change the way it scans emails destined for a Gmail user's
inbox, following a class action lawsuit in California.

The changes were agreed to by Google as part of a voluntary
settlement in the case Matera v Google that began in September
2015, according to a report at The Verge.

If the court approves the settlement, Google will only scan emails
once they land in a Gmail user's inbox.  The changes will then
come into effect in March next year.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of non-Gmail users who have not
agreed to have their emails scanned by Google as Gmail users do
when they set up an account and agree to Google's terms and

The report said as the Gmail ad-targeting system aims for every
email received by a Gmail user, it was natural that it would also
trap some emails from non-Gmail users.

The gap between scanning emails before they land in a Gmail inbox
and while they are in transit is very small but the lawsuit argued
that this was still a violation of the federal Electronic
Communications Privacy Act and the California Information Privacy

As part of the settlement, Google agreed to pay the US$2.2 million
legal costs of the plaintiffs' lawyers and a sum of US$2000 to
each of the people involved in the class action suit.

GOPRO: Faces Securities Class Action Over Karma Drone Recall
Mark Sutton, writing for Cycling Industry News, reports that GoPro
is to be the subject of a legal battle that could prove hugely
disruptive to the firm's operations.

Legal firm Khang & Khang has brought forward a securities class
action suit against the tech giant, alleging that investors had
been duped on losses that could have been avoided if the company
was forthright on the recall of the Karma drone.

The legal team bringing the case have now issued a press release
asking investors who lost more than $100,000 through stock
investment, in particular in the latter period of 2016, to make
contact. Shares must have been held between September 19th and
November 4th.

The Karma drone recall related to loss of flight, causing the unit
to drop and break in most cases.  The recall came on November 8th
causing share values to plummet.

HALLIBURTON: Settles Asbestos Liability Class Action for $54MM
The AFP reports that Petroleum service giant Halliburton said it
has reached a $54 million settlement in a class action lawsuit
related to asbestos liability disclosures.

The Houston-based company said in a statement that without
admitting guilt, it reached an agreement to settle the Erica P.
John Fund class action lawsuit that has been pending in Texas
courts for over 14 years.

The class action lawsuit was originally filed in 2002 asserting
claims in connection with accounting for long term construction
projects, and was amended in 2003 to include claims related to
asbestos liability disclosures.  The case was brought by a group
of investors who claimed they lost money when Halliburton's shares
plunged, accusing the company of erroneous earnings reports

"Halliburton will fund about $54 million of the $100 million
settlement fund, and its insurer will fund the balance," the
company said in a statement late on Dec. 23.  Halliburton was led
from 1995 to 2000 by Dick Cheney, who became US vice president in
2001 in the George W. Bush administration.

HARLEY-DAVIDSON: Faces Class Action Over Motorcycle Design Defect
Glenn Minnis, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that Harley-
Davidson Motor Co. Inc. faces a class action lawsuit alleging the
engine on one of its most popular motorcycles has a common design
defect that could pose a danger to riders stemming from excessive

California residents Michael Berke and Wolfgang Costello alleged
violation of the California Unfair Competition Law earlier in
December in filing the complaint both individually and on behalf
of all others similarly situated.

Both allege they purchased models equipped with twin cam 103
engines, only to discover the high-powered bikes run the
substantial risk of causing severe burn injuries to unsuspecting
riders due to their aforementioned defect.  The plaintiffs also
name Does 1-10 as defendants.

The complaint also stipulates that when the engines are used as
designed, all the excessive heating can shorten the life of the
engine on the model.

Harley-Davidson is also accused of being aware of the issue with
the bikes for more than a decade, and the complaint charges
company officials "concealed the dangers inherent in the engine's
design, failed to cure the known defect, and subjected its
purchasers to further costs and expenses to replace or attempt to
make safe said motorcycles."

Veteran California plaintiffs attorney Raymond Boucher of the
Boucher LLP firm in Woodlands Hills is representing the two men.
He told Legal Newsline that his clients feel shortchanged.

"They spent enormous amounts for bikes they deeply care about only
to realize they've been duped," he said.  "Then for them to find
out that Harley-Davidson knew about the issue and had a safer
alternative they could have used but didn't makes them feel even
more violated."

The plaintiffs further asserted that Harley-Davidson
systematically took advantage of its brand name to not only
continue to sell the bikes but do so at a price higher than most
of their competitors.

Messrs. Berke and Costello seek trial by jury, an injunction
ordering the defendants to repair or replace the engines on the
models, all court costs and attorney fees.

"My clients are hoping Harley will step up and provide a fix for
situation," Mr. Boucher added.  "They need to right this wrong and
improve the safety of the models. The last thing anyone wants is
an accident."

Attorneys for Messrs. Berke and Costello also contend the bikes'
air-cooling systems are insufficient to safely cool its twin cam
engines and lack the type of liquid cooling system found in most

"We're just filing the complaint," Mr. Boucher said.  "It'll be at
least a couple months before we are in front of a judge, but we
look forward to that day.

In addition to Mr. Boucher's partner Shehnaz M. Bhujwala, Messrs.
Berke and Costello are represented by attorneys Christopher P.
Ridout -- christopher.ridout@zimmreed.com -- and Hannah P. Belknap
-- hannah.belknap@zimmreed.com -- of Zimmerman Reed LLP in
Manhattan Beach, and by Gregory J. Owen, Susan A. Owen and Tamiko
B. Herron of Owen Patterson & Owen LLP in Valencia.

Repeated messages to Harley-Davidson seeking comment went

HINDS COUNTY, MS: Settles Remaining Claims in Labor Class Action
Jimmie E. Gates, writing for The Clarion-Ledger, reports that
Hinds County will temporarily borrow up to $450,000 to settle the
U.S. Department of Labor's claims against the county in a long-
running federal case involving Hinds County Sheriff Department
employees who weren't paid for some overtime work.

In 2015, Hinds County settled a federal class action lawsuit
involving then-124 current employees and 155 former sheriff
department employees, paying a total of about $1 million in back
pay and attorney fees.

Now, the county has reach a settlement with the Department of
Labor for remaining claims of employees or former employees who
didn't opt-in to the settlement.

The Hinds County Board of Supervisors approved a resolution to
borrow up to $450,000 through a tax anticipation loan.  The
majority of the county's tax revenue doesn't come in until January
and February.

Board of Supervisors' Attorney Pieter Teeuwissen said on Dec. 27
the goal is to pay the settlement claim as soon as possible.  The
case began in 2012.

No one who was part of the class action settlement will receive
any of the money from the Department of Labor settlement.  It's
only for those who weren't part of the lawsuit.

"(Department of) Labor is comparing lists; we want to make sure no
one is on the settlement list more than once," Mr. Teeuwissen has

Initially, when the lawsuit and the Department of Labor
investigation began, it was feared by county officials that as
much as $20 million might have to paid to resolve the overtime
cases.  Mr. Teeuwissen said on Dec. 27 it looks like the county's
final cost will be about $1.5 million.

The case started in 2012, when employees Derius Harris and Ray
Marshall sued Hinds County.  Another employee, Frederick Malone,
later joined the class action suit.

The overtime issue involves the administration of former Sheriff
Tyrone Lewis, who took office in January 2012, as well as the late
Sheriff Malcolm McMillin, who lost a re-election bid to Lewis in

Lewis lost his re-election bid to Victor Mason, who took office in

The former employees in the lawsuit were seeking to recover unpaid
overtime compensation. T hey had been correctional officers
employed by the sheriff's department in non-supervisory positions.

The employees said they were not paid all overtime wages owed and
that the county didn't pay for all compensatory time earned when
the employees' employment ended.

Mick Norris, one of the attorneys for the plaintiffs in the class
action lawsuit, has said the county has taken steps to clean up
everything. He said accurate records are now kept of sheriff
employees' overtime and how much compensatory time each employee
is owed is reflected on pay stubs.

Hinds County also agreed as part of the settlement that the
sheriff's department would implement a policy that placed a limit
of 480 hours on the amount of compensatory time an employee can
accrue.  Once an employee reaches that limit, the county will pay
overtime instead of compensatory time.

HOME HEALTH: Faces "Shotomiroy" Suit for Failure to Pay Min. Wage
Djumabay Shotomiroy, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Home Health Care Services of New York Inc.,
Case No. 522567/2016 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., December 20, 2016), is
brought against the Defendants for failure to pay minimum wages in
violation of the New York Labor Law.

Home Health Care Services of New York Inc. operates a home health
care agency that provides professional medical and non-medical
home care services to the elderly.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Gennadiy Naydenskiy, Esq.
      1517 Vodrhies Ave, 2nd Fl.
      Brooklyn, NY 11235
      Telephone: (718)808-2224
      Facsimile: (866) 261-5478
      E-mail: naydenskiylaw@gmail.com

HONEY SOLUTIONS: Judge Orders Dismissal of Class Action
Michelle de Leon, writing for SE Texas Record, reports that a
district court judge has ordered the final dismissal of a class
action lawsuit, which included a Texas-based honey processor, as
one of the defendants in an alleged global conspiracy to transship
Chinese honey.

Honorable Judge Joan B. Gottschall of the U.S. District Court in
Chicago has dismissed the remaining portions of the putative class
action lawsuit filed against several major importers of honey in
the U.S.

In the lawsuit, it was alleged that the defendants were involved
in a massive conspiracy which had its reach across the globe.  The
petitioners claimed that the honey processor companies had been
transshipping Chinese honey in an effort to dodge their
responsibility to pay millions of dollars for anti-dumping

In the fairness hearing conducted by the district court, Judge
Gottschall declared the final dismissal of the lawsuits as well as
approved the settlement with the remaining defendants of the
claim. The agreement reached a total of $796,312.  The amount,
according to some, was actually almost equivalent to the "cost of
defense" in a nuisance lawsuit.  After a lengthy and tenuous
trial, which had the defendants strongly opposing the allegations
against them, the latest ruling has them released from the case as
part of the settlement agreements approved.

The defendants in the case included Honey Solutions, Ernie Groeb,
Troy Groeb, Sunland Trading, Horizon Partners, LTD, Marquette
Capital Partners, and China Industrial Manufacturing Group.

The case stemmed from the allegations that the defendants'
practices were in clear violation of the Lanham Act for false
advertising and unfair competition.  Aside from this claim, they
were also purported to have breached the Racketeering Influenced
and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).  In 2013, Moore's Honey
Farm, Honey Holding I, Ltd, Groeb Farms, Inc and Adee Honey Farms
all agreed to hire Grant & Eisenhofer, P.A. and Hausfeld LLP as
interim co-lead class counsel.

The petitioners alleged that the defendants knowingly engaged and
conspired to execute an international scheme to avoid paying the
required fees.  According to the plaintiffs, the honey companies
worked to buy, package, ship and market honey that they illegally
imported and fraudulently labeled as products from China.

The class action lawsuit later on solidified to become the
"Honeygate" investigation.  This enquiry on the honey importers,
which lasted for approximately five years, was headed by the
United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  The operation
included a number of seizures of honey imported illegally.
Criminal charges and substantial fines were imposed on the
companies as well.  Throughout the investigation, two of the
biggest industrial honey packers, the Groeb Farms, Inc. and Honey
Solutions, were heavily penalized by the authorities.

For their part, Honey Solutions pointed out that their products
have undergone and passed the verification process conducted by
the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's C-TPAT program (Customs-
Trade Partnership Against Terrorism).  The company shared that
they have actually been granted a C-TPAT Level 2 certification
earlier this year.

ILLUMINA INC: Shareholders File Class Action in California
GenomeWeb reports that two shareholders have filed a class action
lawsuit against Illumina and two of its top officials, claiming
that the defendants made materially false and misleading
statements regarding the firm's business, operations, and
prospects between the announcement of Illumina's second quarter
and preliminary third quarter financial results that led to an
inflated share price.

Plaintiffs Yi Fan Chen and Frontline Global Trading, of which Chen
is president, filed the suit on Dec. 13 in the US District Court
for the Southern District of California on behalf of a class that
consists of persons and entities that bought Illumina securities
between July 26 and October 10 of this year.  The defendants are
Illumina; President and CEO Francis deSouza; and Executive Vice
President, Chief Administrative Officer, and CFO Marc Stapley.

On July 26, Illumina announced its second quarter earnings, which
included revenue guidance of between $625 million and $630 million
for the third quarter.  On Oct. 10, the company released
preliminary revenues for the third quarter that fell $18 million
to $23 million short of that guidance, leading to a drop of
Illumina's share price by about 25 percent at the end of that day.

Illumina said at the time that the revenue shortfall was driven by
"a larger than anticipated year-over-year decline in high-
throughput sequencing instruments."

According to the complaint, the defendants allegedly failed to
disclose prior to October 10 that Illumina was experiencing a
large decline in high-throughput sequencing instrument sales that
was impacting its revenue, that they lacked visibility into trends
that could impact its financial results substantially, that they
provided unreliable and overstated revenue guidance, and that they
made false and misleading positive statements about Illumina's
business, operations, and prospects.

As a result, the company's shares traded "at artificially inflated
prices" during the class period, according to the plaintiffs, and
because of the "precipitous decline" in the market value of
Ilumina's shares after the Oct. 10 announcement, the plaintiffs
and other class members "suffered significant losses and damages."

The plaintiffs asked the court to award them and the other class
members compensatory damages of a yet-to-be determined amount, as
well as costs and expenses.

Illumina's shares dropped less than 1 percent to $130.16 in
afternoon trading on the Nasdaq.

The company declined to comment on the lawsuit.

ILLUMNIA INC: Feb. 14 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline in Levi Suit
The following statement is being issued by Levi & Korsinsky, LLP:

To: All persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired
securities of Illumina, Inc. ("Illumina" or the "Company")
(NASDAQ:ILMN) between July 26, 2016 and October 10, 2016. You are
hereby notified that a securities class action has commenced in
the USDC for the Southern District of California. To get more
information go to:


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, Defendants
failed to disclose that: (1)Illumina was suffering a large decline
in its instrument sales; (2) this decline was damaging Illumina's
revenue; (3) Illumina lacked visibility into trends that could
have a substantial impact on its financial results; (4) as such,
Illumina's revenue guidance was unreliable and overstated; and (5)
consequently, Illumina's statements concerning its business,
operations, and prospects, were false and misleading and/or lacked
a reasonable basis.

On October 10, 2016 Illumina announced disappointing financial
results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2016.  The company
had predicted revenues of $625 to $630 million for the quarter.
However, citing "declining demand for its high-speed genetic
sequences" Illumina generated just $607 million.  Following this
news, Illumina stock dropped as much as 25% during intraday
trading on October 11, 2016.

If you suffered a loss in Illumina you have until February 14,
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 -- http://www.zlk.com-- is a national firm with
offices in New York, New Jersey, California, Connecticut, and
Washington D.C. The firm's attorneys have extensive experience
representing investors in securities litigation involving
financial fraud, and have recovered hundreds of millions of
dollars for aggrieved shareholders.

ILLUMINA INC: Faruqi & Faruqi Files Securities Class Suit
Faruqi & Faruqi, LLP, a leading national securities law firm,
reminds investors in Illumina, Inc. of the February 14, 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 California on behalf of all those who
purchased Illumina securities between July 26, 2016 and October
10, 2016.  The case, Chen v. Frontline Global Trading Pte. Ltd. et
al, No. 3:16-cv-03044 was filed on December 16, 2016, and has been
assigned to Judge Marilyn L. Huff.

The lawsuit focuses on whether the Company and its executives
violated federal securities laws by making false and/or misleading
statements and/or failing to disclose: (1) Illumina was
experiencing a significant decline in high throughput sequencing
instrument sales; (2) that the aforementioned decline was
impacting the Company's revenue; (3) that Illumina lacked
visibility into trends that could have a significant impact on its
financial results; (4) that, as such, the Company's revenue
guidance was unreliable and overstated; and (5) that, as a result,
Illumina's statements about its business, operations, and
prospects, were false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable

Specifically, on October 10, 2016, Illumina announced dismal
financial results for third quarter of fiscal year 2016.  Illumina
estimated third quarter revenue of approximately $607 million,
lower than the Company's guidance of $625 million to $630 million.
Illumina accredited the lower revenue to "larger than anticipated
year-over-year decline in high throughput sequencing instruments."
Additionally, Illumina revealed it expected fourth quarter revenue
to be flat to slightly up sequentially.

On this news, Illumina's share price fell from $ 184.85 on October
10, 2016 to a closing price of $138.99 on October 11, 2016  -- a
$45.86 or a 24.81% drop.

Request more information now by clicking here:
www.faruqilaw.com/ILMN. There is no cost or obligation to you.

Take Action

If you invested in Illumina stock or options between July 26, 2016
and October 10, 2016 and would like to discuss your legal rights,
visit www.faruqilaw.com/ILMN. 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 Illumina'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.

INDIAN CREEK: Ex-Employee Files Class Action in Over Unpaid Wages
Wadi Reformado, writing for Florida Record, reports that a former
employee has filed a class-action lawsuit against Indian Creek
Country Club, Inc. and Raul Perez, employer, citing alleged unpaid
wages and violation of workers compensation acts.

Rhina D. Arana filed a complaint on behalf of other similarly
situated individuals on Dec. 16, in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of Florida Miami Division against the
defendants alleging that they failed to pay fair wages to the

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that she worked
for more than 40 hours without being paid any overtime
compensation.  The plaintiff holds Indian Creek Country Club, Inc.
and Raul Perez responsible because the defendants allegedly failed
to pay the plaintiff any overtime premium for working more than 40
hours per week.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks actual damages,
unpaid overtime compensation, interest, liquidated damages, all
legal fees and any other relief as this court deems just.  She is
represented by Zandro E. Palma of Zandro E. Palma, P.A. in Miami.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida Miami
Division Case number 1:16-cv-25220-DLG

INFUSYSTEM HOLDINGS: Jan. 9 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline
Kahn Swick & Foti, LLC and KSF partner, the former Attorney
General of Louisiana, Charles C. Foti, Jr., remind investors that
they have until January 9, 2017 to file lead plaintiff
applications in a securities class action lawsuit against
InfuSystem Holdings, Inc., if they purchased the Company's
securities between May 12, 2015 and November 7, 2016, inclusive.
This action is pending in the United States District Court for the
Central District of California.

What You May Do

If you purchased securities of InfuSystem and would like to
discuss your legal rights and how this case might affect you and
your right to recover for your economic loss, you may, without
obligation or cost to you, call toll-free at 1-877-515-1850 or
email KSF Managing Partner Lewis Kahn --lewis.kahn@ksfcounsel.com

If you wish to serve as a lead plaintiff in this class action, you
must petition the Court by January 9, 2017.

About the LawsuitInfuSystem and certain of its executives are
charged with failing to disclose material information during the
Class Period, violating federal securities laws. The alleged false
and misleading statements and omissions include, but are not
limited to, that: (i) InfuSystem lacked effective internal control
over financial reporting; (ii) InfuSystem's financial statements
dating back to the beginning of 2015 overstated the estimated
accounts receivable collections which in turn overstated revenues
and pre-tax income by a corresponding amount; (iii) InfuSystem's
financial statements dating back to the beginning of 2015 could no
longer be relied upon; and (iv) as a result of the foregoing, the
InfuSystem's financial statements were materially false and
misleading at all relevant times.About Kahn Swick & Foti, LLCKSF,
whose partners include the Former Louisiana Attorney General
Charles C. Foti, Jr., is a law firm focused on securities,
antitrust and consumer class actions, along with merger &
acquisition and breach of fiduciary litigation against publicly
traded companies on behalf of shareholders. The firm has offices
in New York, California and Louisiana.To learn more about KSF, you
may visit http://www.ksfcounsel.com/

INTER-CON SECURITY: Does Not Properly Pay Workers, Action Says
Stella Ramirez, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated v. Inter-Con Security Systems, Inc. and Does 1 through
100, inclusive, Case No. BC644528 (Cal. Super. Ct., December 20,
2016), is brought against the Defendants for failure to pay
minimum and overtime wages in violation of the California Labor

Inter-Con Security Systems, Inc. operates a security company
headquartered in Pasadena, California.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Michael Nourmand, Esq.
      8822 West Olympic Boulevard
      Beverly Hills, CA 90211
      Telephone: (310) 553-3600
      Facsimile: (310) 553-3603

         - and -

      David D. Bibiyan, Esq.
      287 South Robertson Boulevard, Suite 303
      Beverly Hills, CA 90211
      Telephone: (310) 438-5555
      Facsimile: (310) 300-1705

IOWA: Class Action Aims to Equalize School-Funding Formula
Deirdre Cox Baker, writing for Quad-City Times, reports that a
Davenport attorney who is the daughter of a former school board
president filed a lawsuit on Dec. 19, taking up the fight to
equalize Iowa's school-funding formula.

Catherine Z. Cartee, of Cartee & McKenrick, P.C., Davenport, filed
the class action lawsuit against the State of Iowa, the Iowa
General Assembly, the Iowa Department of Education and Iowa Gov.
Terry Branstad.

"My mom was president of the Davenport School Board for years, and
she used to fight for inequities, too" Cartee said of her mother,
Patt Zamora.

The suit is filed in behalf of Brean Woods and Becca Frederick,
both of Davenport and graduates of the district's high schools.

The suit charges the state's funding formula is unfair, and shows
that Davenport schools' per pupil cost was $6,446 in 2015-16, and
is $6,591 for the current year.

The suit claims that 176 school districts in Iowa collect up to
$175 more per student than Davenport does, using the same funding
formula applied across the state.

It charges the practice is a violation of equal protection under
the law, a violation of the students' due process and a violation
of the students' civil rights.

It argues the class action lawsuit is appropriate for this case,
in that it represents "all current and former students of Iowa
public schools who received the least district cost per-pupil"
since the current school funding formula was enacted four decades

The plaintiffs request a jury trial.

No immediate response was available from representatives of the
state education department.

Ryan Wise, the education department director, filed a formal
ethics complaint against Davenport Superintendent Art Tate.

That came about 24 hours after the Iowa School Budget Review
Commission ruled against the district and Tate's directive to use
$175 per student for district programming.  Currently that
programming focuses on help for at-risk students.

The money is coming from Davenport's reserve funds, or part of the
estimated $20 million the district has in a savings account.

Ms. Cartee said the lawsuit technique was spurned by other lawyers
as being "too political."

"So, I thought, I'll do this," she said.

Ms. Cartee said what the state is doing is inequitable and
discriminatory.  "I think its time someone actually stands up to
the Legislature, and the governor, and gets them to do what's
right," she said.

ISRAEL CHEMICALS: Motion to Approve Class Action Dismissed
Reuters reports that ICL Israel Chemicals announced the dismissal
of a motion for approval of a class action.

The court also ruled that plaintiff shall pay to company and other
defendants a portion of trial expenses and attorneys' fees.

JRC VENTURES: Faces "Smith" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime
Merrie Smith, individually and on behalf of others similarly
situated v. JRC Ventures, Inc., Jacque R. Collett, and 24-7 Bright
Star Healthcare, LLC., Case No. 1:16-cv-00499 (E.D. Tenn.,
December 20, 2016), is brought against the Defendants for failure
to pay overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards

The Defendants are in the business of providing in-home healthcare
and companionship services to individuals.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Frank P. Pinchak, Esq.
      H. Eric Burnette, Esq.
      Burnette, Dobson & Pinchak
      711 Cherry Street
      Chattanooga, TN 37402
      Telephone: (423) 266-2121
      Facsimile: (423) 266-3324
      E-mail: fpinchak@bdplawfirm.com

KANSAS CITY, MO: Testimony Begins in Trash Services Class Action
Lynn Horsley, writing for The Kansas City Star, reports that trial
testimony began on Dec. 19 in a case that asks whether Kansas City
must make payments to hundreds of apartment and condo owners to
cover their trash services.  If the case ultimately goes against
the city, it could involve $10 million in past-due payments and
millions more going forward.

It all stems from a 1976 court order relating to the city's
earnings tax.  A Platte County judge said at the time that Kansas
City had improperly created two classes of earnings-tax paying
residents, because the city provided free trash pickup for single-
family residences but not for large apartment buildings. His order
required the city to make payments to multifamily buildings with
seven or more units to cover their trash services.

The City Council decided in 2010 to halt those payments because of
severe budget constraints.  The payments stopped to most apartment
owners, except for a group that reached a separate legal

"They just assumed the power to ignore the order," attorney
Greg Leyh told Platte County Circuit Judge James Van Amburg in
opening arguments for the bench trial.  "The city simply flouted

Mr. Leyh is one of several attorneys representing the Sophian
Plaza Association, Townsend Place Condominium Association and
several hundred other owners in the class-action lawsuit that
argues the city is in contempt of court.

But Assistant City Attorney Chad Stewart said the 1976 agreement
was signed by an assistant city attorney who had no authority to
bind future city councils to those payments.  He also said that
both sides -- the city and the apartment owners -- made promises
in 1976, and the apartment owners didn't hold up their end of the
deal to provide tenants with equivalent or better trash services
than the city.

"Times change," Mr. Stewart told the court, adding that the city
in the mid-2000s began curbside recycling, yard waste collections
and bulky item pickups, while limiting households to just two free
bags of trash every week to save landfill space.  None of the
apartments implemented those trash service changes that would be
equivalent to what the city does, Stewart argued.

Assistant City Attorney Tara Kelly said during a recess on
Dec. 19 that the city believes the 1976 court order and agreement
were not valid contracts and are void.

"That's one of the things the judge will have to take a look at,"
she said.

Complicating the case is the fact that the Heartland Apartment
Association, a group of 117 major apartment complex owners,
threatened to sue over the loss of the rebates.  The city agreed
to pay them annual rebates, costing about $750,000 in recent
years, so they could hire their own trash contractors.

Mr. Leyh said it was unfair that these politically connected "real
estate elites" who hired a lawyer and a lobbyist got a deal from
the city, while his clients, including smaller mom-and-pop
apartment owners, did not.

He said that since the payments stopped in 2010, the loss to the
class totals about $10 million, and going forward five years it
could total $7 million more.

"There's a lot at stake in this case," he said.

Mr. Stewart countered that none of Mr. Leyh's clients were part of
the 15 original plaintiffs in 1976, and many weren't even in
business then.  "That's important," he said.

He also said the council's discussions about eliminating the
apartment rebate program were well publicized beginning in 2008,
and Heartland was the only group to challenge the decision.

In videotaped deposition testimony shown on Dec. 19, City Manager
Troy Schulte, who was budget director in 2008, said he would have
preferred that the city go back to the Platte County Court to
alter the 1976 order before halting the trash rebate payments, but
the Law Department chose not to do that.  "I was hoping for a
permanent solution," Schulte said in his deposition.

The plaintiffs also showed video of a 2008 City Council finance
committee meetings, in which then-council members Jan Marcason and
Bill Skaggs worried about litigation over the curtailed payments,
but said the budget woes were so great that they supported the

The trial was expected to last through Dec. 21, and Judge Van
Amburg is expected to take arguments under advisement.  No matter
which way he ultimately rules, both sides expect an appeal.

KLM TRANSPORT: Faces Class Actions Over Wage-and-Hour Violations
The Trucker reports that a lawsuit on behalf of California and
Florida drivers charging KLLM Transport Services LLC with numerous
wage and hour violations was filed November 14 in U.S. District
Court for the Central District of California and is one of several
similar actions in 2016.  Another lawsuit brought by the same
attorney, Joshua H. Haffner of Los Angeles, alleging the same wage
and hour violations, was filed December 9 in Los Angeles County
Superior Court against K & R Transportation LLC of Wilmington,
California, an in-house drayage operator for California Cartage

Mr. Haffner has made a sort of specialty of California labor
lawsuits against trucking companies.  The industry's means of
compensation, especially in the truckload sector where few if any
drivers are paid by the hour and almost all are paid by the mile,
appears to subject it to extra scrutiny in states such as
California that have worker-friendly wage and hour laws.

Both lawsuits seek class action status in order to receive back
pay, pre-judgment interest, liquidated damages, statutory
penalties, attorney's fees and costs, and "for Plaintiff and the

Class of members no longer employed, waiting time penalties."
Each one charges the companies with failure to provide meal
periods and rest breaks, failure to pay minimum wage and to pay
all wages owed every period, failure to furnish accurate and
timely wage statements and failure to reimburse business expenses.

Both are based on alleged misclassification of drivers as
independent contractors, a practice that, Mr. Haffner said, is
"quite common."

"The lawsuit contends drivers are misclassified as independent
contractors although, because of the circumstances of employment,
and control by employers, they are in fact employees under the
legal test for determining whether a relationship is employment or
not," Mr. Haffner said in an interview with The Trucker.  "[The]
complaint alleges fuel, insurance, maintenance, cost of tractor"
were not paid [to the drivers].

The lease agreements that some trucking companies require drivers
to sign unfairly tie up the driver's truck, Mr. Haffner charged.

"Many trucking companies operate under lease agreements which
prohibit or constrain drivers from using that truck for other
employers," he said.  "This alone significantly undermines the
independent contractor classification.  The complaint alleges
failure to pay minimum wages for certain days and failure to
reimburse business expenses, and requests penalties associated
with Labor Code violations, among other things."

Two KLLM drivers, Shawn Etienne and Angelo Grant, "on behalf of
themselves and all others similarly situated," are plaintiffs in
the lawsuit against the Mississippi refrigerated carrier.  Etienne
is from California, Grant is from Florida.  The second lawsuit
lists two K & R drivers, Marcio D. Varela and Francisco J. Vera,
as plaintiffs.

Mr. Haffner frequently takes on misclassification cases involving
drivers, he said

"I litigated several misclassification cases involving truckers
driving out of ports of LA and San Diego, including one that
recently settled.  I am also currently involved in multiple driver
misclassification cases."

The class of defendants defined as the "California Class" consists
of "all current or former California drivers for [KLLM] who were
classified as "independent contractors," at any time beginning
four years prior to the filing of the Complaint to the date notice
of mail to the Class."  The "Florida Class" is identical for KLLM
drivers from that state.

MADISON COS: Thunder on the Mountain Class Action Can Proceed
Arkansas Business reports that country music festival concert-
goers received a legal victory when the Arkansas Court of Appeals
found that their potential class-action lawsuit could go forward
against an organizer of the canceled Thunder on the Mountain event
at Mulberry Mountain near Ozark in 2015.

The ticket holders had sued the venture capitalist firm Madison
Cos. LLC of Greenwood Village, Colorado, and others because when
the event was nixed, they didn't get a refund.

Madison, though, wanted the case sent to arbitration, where awards
are usually smaller than they would be in a court proceeding.
Pulaski County Circuit Court Judge Alice Gray had denied the
request in February, and Madison appealed the ruling to the
Arkansas Court of Appeals.

The promoters of the event, Pipeline Productions Inc. and Backwood
Enterprises LLC, both of Lawrence, Kansas, also were named as
defendants.  The plaintiffs received a default judgment against
them last December because they never answered the complaint.

The Madison Cos. argued in court that when people purchased their
tickets on a website there should have been "terms of sale"
language that included a binding arbitration agreement.

The Madison Cos. also said it had "absolutely nothing to do with
the promotion, sales, or marketing of tickets to Thunder Mountain
Festival" and just loaned money to Pipeline, according to the
opinion delivered by Appeals Court Judge Rita Gruber.

Judge Gruber didn't find proof that an agreement to arbitrate
existed between the Madison Cos. and the ticket holders and
affirmed Judge Gray's ruling.

"We are happy for our clients with the Court of Appeals'
decision," Scott Poynter of Little Rock, one of the attorneys
representing the proposed class members, said in an email to
Whispers.  "Defendants' strategy was first one of delay, but also
they wanted the case kicked out of court and to take our clients'
right to a jury away from them.  We hope to move swiftly now,
because most of our clients spent over a thousand dollars in
festival tickets and camping passes, and never got their promised

An attorney for Madison, Richard Benenson of Denver, didn't
immediately return a call for comment.

MARICOPA COUNTY, AZ: Melendres Arrest Sparked Arpaio Class Action
Tana Ganeva, writing for Raw Story, reports that for years,
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio billed himself as "America's
toughest Sheriff." He took a multi-pronged approach to maintaining
his reputation as a tough lawman, from building the notorious Tent
City -- an outdoor jail where inmates suffered in dangerously hot
weather -- to his embrace of racially discriminatory tactics.

In recent years, the Sheriff's seeming indifference to
constitutional and human rights has backfired: beset by a series
of lawsuits that cost the county millions, he lost his re-election
bid in 2016.

On Dec. 26, AZ Central published a lengthy profile of the man at
the center of the class-action lawsuit that led to the unraveling
of the Sheriff's 24-year-long career.  Manuel de Jesus Ortega
Melendres, who entered the US on a tourist visa, was arrested and
kept in custody for nine hours, despite not having broken any
laws.  "I'm not a criminal, and I've never been one," Ortega
Melendres tells AZ Central.

"I was thinking a thousand things, that the worst was about to
happen.  I had heard that the authorities in the United States
were understanding, that they did not have a tendency to abuse
their power.  That day, they showed me the complete opposite of
what I had heard.  That's when the fear began," he said.

Deputies had surveilled Melendres and his associates, then pulled
them over on the pretext that they'd been speeding.  When
Melendres handed the officer his tourist visit and permit, which
showed he had the right to be in the US, he was arrested anyway.
When he and the others tried to pray in their cell they were told
to stop.  "This is not a place of prayer.  This is not a temple,
please shut up," the deputy reportedly told them.

The class-action lawsuit stemming from Melendres' arrest revealed
that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department regularly engaged in
racial profiling.  A statistical analysis of stops and arrests
found that deputies unlawfully stopped and arrested people based
on the assumption that they were Latino, according to the ACLU.
The department also responded to racist complaints by
constituents.  "If you have dark skin, then you have dark skin!
Unfortunately, that is the look of the Mexican illegal who are
here ILLEGALLY," read one.

Sheriff Arpaio might face 6 months in prison for violating the
judge's orders that he stop his immigration crackdowns.

Neither those charges or losing the election seem to have
chastened the Sheriff.  "I am a fighter," he told Phoenix New
Times in his exit interview.  "I went down in a fight. I didn't
just surrender.  That's what I am.  Especially when you know
you're right."

MARKETO INC: Faces "Shain" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime
Justine Shain, individually, and on behalf of others similarly
situated v. Marketo, Inc. and Does 1-50, Case No. 16-cv-02940
(Cal. Super. Ct., December 20, 2016), is brought against the
Defendants for failure to pay overtime wages in violation of the
California Labor Code.

Marketo, Inc. is a marketing software technology company organized
under the laws of the State of Delaware and doing business in

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Michael Von Loewenfeldt, Esq.
      Ivo Labar, Esq.
      Laura Seegal, Esq.
      101 Mission Street, 18th Floor
      San Francisco, CA 94105-1727
      Telephone: (415) 371-8500
      Facsimile: (415) 371-0500
      E-mail: mvl@kerrwagstaffe.com

MATTEL INC: March 10 Modification Kit Claim Deadline Set

If you or your child purchased or received as a gift a new Fisher-
Price trike, high chair or infant toy in 2010 or earlier, your
rights could be affected by a class action settlement.

Class Action Certification and Settlement Approval

Class action lawsuits were commenced in Ontario and Quebec against
the Defendants, Mattel, Inc., Mattel Canada Inc. and Fisher-Price,
Inc., claiming that the Defendants were negligent in designing,
manufacturing, marketing and selling certain children's trikes,
high chairs, Little People(R) Rampway toys and certain infant toys
with inflatable balls, which were subject to recalls announced on
September 29 and 30, 2010 (the "Recalled Products").  A Settlement
Agreement has been reached in these class action lawsuits.
Superior Courts in Ontario and Quebec have approved the Settlement
Agreement and certified the class actions for settlement purposes.

Settlement Benefits

The "Settlement Class" consists of all persons in Canada who
purchased or acquired (including by gift) a Recalled
Product.  The Settlement provides for the payment of "Settlement
Benefits" to members of the Settlement Class who have participated
in one of the September 2010 Recalls by requesting and receiving a
"Modification Kit" on or before March 10, 2017.  The Settlement
provides for total Settlement Benefits of up to $200,000 to be
paid to the Settlement Class.  The Settlement further provides for
the separate payment by Mattel of legal fees and disbursements to
Class Counsel of up to $75,000 plus applicable taxes.

Settlement Class members who have received a Modification Kit or
who submit a valid Modification Kit Claim before March 10, 2017
may be entitled to receive a cheque in the amount of $8.00 per
Modification Kit sent or claimed, up to a maximum of $24 per
Person and/or address (i.e. a maximum of 3 Modification Kits).
Settlement Class members who are still in possession of one or
more Recalled Products and who have not yet been sent a
Modification Kit may submit a Modification Kit Claim before
March 10, 2017*.

The Settlement represents a resolution of disputed claims.  The
Defendants do not admit any wrongdoing or liability.  If you think
you may be a member of the Settlement Class, you should
immediately review the full Long-Form Settlement Notice to ensure
you understand your legal rights.  A copy of the Long-Form
Settlement Notice can be obtained online at www.clg.org, by
calling 1-888-909-7863, or from Class Counsel at the address
listed below.

Opting Out: If you do not wish to participate in the Settlement,
you can exclude yourself from the class actions by filing
a written request to opt-out.  If you opt-out, you will not be
eligible to claim any Settlement Benefits nor to participate in
the Settlement in any way.  The written request to opt-out must
include: (a) your full name, address, and telephone number; (b)
all information in your possession identifying the Recalled
Product you purchased or acquired; and (c) a request to be
excluded from the Settlement Proceedings, and must be sent to the
following address, and received or postmarked no later than March
10, 2017: Consumer Law Group Inc., 102-1030 rue Berri, Montreal,
Quebec H2L 4C3 Attention: Jeff Orenstein. Quebec Settlement Class
members must also send the written request to the following
address: Clerk of the Superior Court of Quebec, Palais de Justice,
1 Notre-Dame St. East, Montreal, Quebec, H2Y 1B6, Court File No:

Class Counsel

The law firm of Consumer Law Group Inc. / Consumer Law Group
Professional Corporation ("Class Counsel") represents the
Settlement Class Members in all provinces.  Class Counsel can be
reached by telephone (toll free) at 1-888-909-7863, by e-mail at
jorenstein@clg.org, on the Web at www.clg.org, or by mail at 102-
1030 rue Berri, Montreal, Quebec, H2L 4C3 Attention: Jeff

Questions? Call 1-888-909-7863 toll free or visit www.clg.org
Pour obtenir une copie de cet avis ou tout autre information
relativement a ce reglement en francais, veuillez s'il vous
plait consulter le site internet suivant : www.clg.org ou
telephoner au 1-888-909-7863.

*NOTE: You are still entitled to participate in the Fisher-Price
Recall Program by visiting
http://service.mattel.com/us/recall.aspand requesting a
modification kit.


MDL NO. 2311: April 19 Settlement Approval Hearing Set
If You Bought or Leased a New Vehicle, or Bought Certain
Replacement Parts for a Vehicle in the U.S. Since 1996

You Could Get Money from Settlements Totaling Approximately $604

The following is being released by the Notice Provider, Kinsella
Media, LLC, about the lawsuit In re Automotive Parts Antitrust
Litigation, MDL No. 2311.

There is an update for affected purchasers in this lawsuit about
certain vehicle components, as there have been additional
Settlements that may affect their rights.

Twelve additional Defendants have agreed to Settlements resolving
claims that they fixed the price of certain vehicle components.
(The Court previously approved settlements with 11 Defendants,
totaling approximately $225 million.)  The additional Settlements
being presented for Court Approval total approximately $379

The lawsuits allege that Defendants fixed the price of certain
vehicle components, causing millions of consumers and businesses
from around the country to pay more for certain new or leased
vehicles and replacement parts.  A complete list of included parts
is available at the website, www.AutoPartsClass.com.

Consumers and businesses may be included in the Class if, from
1996 to 2016, they:

   1. Bought or leased a qualifying new vehicle in the U.S. (not
for resale), or

   2. Bought a qualifying vehicle replacement part (not for
resale) from someone other than the manufacturer of the part.

In general, qualifying vehicles include four-wheeled passenger
automobiles, cars, light trucks, pickup trucks, crossovers, vans,
mini-vans, and sport utility vehicles.  Individuals can visit the
website, www.AutoPartsClass.com, or call 1-877-940-5043 to
determine if they are included in one or more Settlement Classes.

The Settlement Funds (after expenses, attorney fees, and other
costs) will be used to pay consumers and businesses in the
District of Columbia and 30 states: Arizona, Arkansas, California,
Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan,
Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New
Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota,
Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee,
Utah, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.  The Settlements also
provide non-monetary relief, including cooperation, and an
agreement by certain Settling Defendants not to engage in certain
anticompetitive conduct for a period of 24 months.

Affected consumers and businesses can submit a claim form online
or by mail to get a payment.  There is no deadline yet to submit a
claim.  Claim forms are available at the website,
www.AutoPartsClass.com, or by calling 1-877-940-5043.  At this
time, it is unknown how much each individual or entity that
submits a valid claim will receive.  Payments will be based on the
Plan of Allocation, which is available for review on the website.

Important Information and Dates:

Eligible consumers or businesses that want to sue the additional
Settling Defendants regarding a particular component part must
exclude themselves from Settlement Class(es) that they would
otherwise be part of by March 16, 2017.

Eligible consumers or businesses can object to the Plan of
Allocation or one or more of the additional Settlements by
March 16, 2017.

Eligible consumers or businesses may submit a claim form online or
by mail.

The Court will hold a hearing on April 19, 2017, to consider
whether to approve the Settlements.  Settlement Class Counsel may
also request reimbursement of costs and expenses as well as
attorneys' fees of up to 27.5% of the Settlement Funds (after
costs and expenses).

For more information:

Visit: www.AutoPartsClass.com
Call: 1-877-940-5043
Write to: Auto Parts Settlements, P.O. Box 10163, Dublin, OH

MENARDS: Sued for Misclassifying Drivers as Contractors
Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, writing for Chicago Tribune, reports that
Menards has been slapped with a federal complaint alleging the
home improvement chain misclassified its delivery drivers as
independent contractors and therefore deprived them of workplace
protections afforded to employees, a charge the company calls
"ridiculous" and vows to fight.

The complaint, filed on Dec. 22 by the National Labor Relations
Board's Minneapolis regional office, also accuses Menards of
violating federal labor law by maintaining a mandatory arbitration
clause in its employee handbook to prohibit workers from filing
class-action lawsuits in court and unfair labor practices charges
with the NLRB.

The NLRB's complaint is in response to a charge brought in August
by the Office and Professional Employees International Union Local
153, which is based in New York and represents some 17,000 workers
in a variety of positions, including office and clerical workers
as well as vendors at Yankee Stadium.  The union is affiliated
with the AFL-CIO.

The complaint adds to a growing list of cases examining who should
be classified as employees eligible for workplace protections.
Unlike employees, independent contractors are not covered by laws
that provide for minimum wage, overtime pay, unemployment
insurance, workers compensation and unionizing activities.

"This is the way that Menards cuts their costs and we don't think
it's fair," said Seth Goldstein, a Local 153 senior business
representative who provided the Tribune with a copy of the NLRB's

The NLRB's online docket shows the agency filed a complaint
against Menards on Dec. 22 but does not include the contents of
the document.  NLRB representatives did not immediately respond to
queries and a Freedom of Information Act request on Dec. 27

Menards, which is based in Eau Claire, Wis., and has some 280
stores, including 57 in Illinois, disputes the allegations of

"We feel that the NLRB is wrong," Menards said in a statement
provided by spokesman Jeff Abbott.  "Our corporation has contracts
with various corporations to deliver goods to our customers.
These corporations include FedEx, UPS, the United States Postal
Service, Stephens Delivery Inc., Quick Hauling Inc., Rhodes
Delivery Service, R & R Delivery, Spee-Dee Delivery Service and
more than 500 other corporations.  We plan to vigorously defend
ourselves against these ridiculous allegations."

It continued: "We are puzzled why the NLRB is involved with this
because we have no disputes with any of these corporations or any
of their employees.  We believe that ultimately the charge will be
dismissed because it lacks any merit."

The misclassification complaint comes several months after Menards
entered a settlement agreement with the NLRB, also spurred by
charges filed by Mr. Goldstein, in which it agreed, among several
provisions, to revise its employee handbook to make clear that its
arbitration program doesn't constitute a waiver of rights to file
class-action suits of unfair labor practice charges with the NLRB.

Mr. Goldstein said he learned later that "several thousand"
delivery drivers classified as independent contractors would not
be covered by the agreement.  He estimates that each Menards store
has three or four drivers, also called "haulers," who deliver
purchased goods to customers' homes.

Mr. Goldstein said Menards exercises enough control over its
drivers that they should be classified as employees.  In addition
to requiring drivers to sign arbitration and class-action-waiver
agreements, Mr. Goldstein said Menards requires drivers to use a
certain design of truck, prohibits them from refusing loads, and
has a noncompete clause that limits their right to work for
competitors within 25 miles of the store.

According to the NLRB complaint, the agency wants Menards to
rescind or revise any portions of any agreements with delivery
drivers that purport to classify them as independent contractors
and to revise its mandatory arbitration clause to clarify that the
drivers can still engage in class actions.  A hearing before an
administrative law judge is scheduled for April 4 in Minneapolis.

METAL PARTNERS: 7th Cir. Grapples with Article III Questions
Bradley J. Andreozzi, Esq. -- bradley@drinkerbiddle.com -- and
Iman Boundaoui, Esq. -- Iman.Boundaoui@dbr.com -- of Drinker
Biddle & Reath LLP, in an article for The National Law Review,
report that Article III of the U.S. Constitution limits the
jurisdiction of federal courts to "cases" and "controversies."
U.S. Const., Art. III, Sec. 2.  Accordingly, as the Supreme Court
recently clarified, "[i]f an intervening circumstance deprives the
plaintiff of a personal stake in the outcome of the lawsuit, at
any point during litigation, the action can no longer proceed and
must be dismissed as moot." Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, 136 S.
Ct. 663, 669 (2016).  In the long-awaited decision, the Campbell-
Ewald majority held that an unaccepted offer of complete relief
under Rule 68, alone, does not moot a claim and thus does not
deprive a court of Article III jurisdiction over the action.
However, in so ruling, the majority emphasized that the fact that
the offer was unaccepted was critical to its decision, thus
leaving unanswered a host of scenarios in which a defendant makes
an actual full payment or an unconditional tender to the
plaintiff, and the court enters judgment for the plaintiff in that

Earlier in December, a district court grappled with one of those
scenarios in Wendell H. Stone Company, Inc. v. Metal Partners
Rebar LLC, No. 16-8285, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 167574 (N.D. Ill.
Dec. 5, 2016).  The court was faced with the question of whether a
defendant's actual deposit of funds under Rule 67 could moot the
plaintiff's claims.  Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 67, a
defendant may, by leave of court, deposit with the court all or
part of a monetary judgment sought as relief. Fed. R. Civ. P.
67(a).  Accordingly, the court accepted the Defendant's deposit of
the entire amount of the statutory damages that the defendant
claimed would fully satisfy the relief sought by the plaintiff
(according to Defendant's calculation) -- a whopping $30,500.  As
for whether that deposit mooted the plaintiff's claims, the Court
held that it did not.  By so holding, the court concluded that
even an actual deposit of the full amount owed to the plaintiff
could not render its claims moot -- a question the Seventh Circuit
itself has not yet addressed.

The court based its ruling on Chapman v. First Index, Inc. 796
F.3d 783 (7th Cir. 2015), which held that an unaccepted Rule 68
offer of judgment could not moot a claim, but which left open the
question of whether a motion to deposit funds would be treated
differently.  The court's holding addresses that question and more
-- stating not only that an unconditional motion to deposit funds
fail to moot the plaintiff's claims, but also that the court's
acceptance of the deposited funds fails to do so where the court
declines to enter judgment in favor of the plaintiff. As an
alternative basis for its ruling, the court noted that even if a
defendant's deposit of funds could render a plaintiff's claim
moot, here the plaintiff disputed the number of faxes it had
received, and thus the court could not "determine definitively"
whether the deposit of $30,500 provided complete relief.  But the
opinion suggests that this alternative holding was something of an
afterthought, given the court's earlier holding that even a
deposit of full compensation would not moot the individual or
class claims.

The court reasoned that giving defendants the ability to moot
individual claims under Rule 67 would essentially give them the
ability to "perpetually evade a class action by satisfying only
[the plaintiff's] individual claim."  That, it concluded, "would
undermine the purposes of the class action device" by separating
the interests of the proposed class representative from those of
the putative class.  It does not appear that the parties briefed
whether that rationale is consistent with the Rules Enabling Act's
command that the Rules of Civil Procedure not be applied in a way
that would "enlarge or modify" substantive rights; as we discussed
in a prior post, the Supreme Court's recent commentary on the
Rules Enabling Act disapproves of doing so.

Whatever the court's reasoning, it is clear that defendants are
facing disparate outcomes in the wake of Campbell-Ewald.  For
example, as previously discussed, the Ninth Circuit in Chen v.
Allstate, No. 13-16816 (9th Cir. April 12, 2016) held that a
conditional offer tendering complete relief does not moot TCPA
claims (failing to address the scenario of an unconditional tender
of relief).  On the other hand, as reported in November, the
Second Circuit recently held that an entry of judgment pursuant to
an offer of relief satisfying an individual plaintiff's claims
does moot TCPA claims.  Apparently, the scenarios identified in
the majority and dissenting opinions in Campbell-Ewald will
continue to play out in the endless foray of TCPA cases, resulting
in disparate outcomes absent clearer guidance on the subject --
which may, once again, have to come from our highest Court.

MJ-MC HOME: Sued in New York Over Failure to Pay Minimum Wages
Gulchehra Abdujamilova, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. MJ-MC Home Health Care Agency, Inc., Case
No. 522586/2016 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., December 20, 2016), is brought
against the Defendants for failure to pay minimum wage rate for
hours worked in excess of forty in a work week, and to provide pay
stubs and other wage notices that conform with the requirements of
the New York Labor Law.

MJ-MC Home Health Care Agency, Inc. operates a home health care
agency that provides professional medical and non-medical home
care services to the elderly.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Gennadiy Naydenskiy, Esq.
      1517 Vodrhies Ave, 2nd Fl.
      Brooklyn, NY 11235
      Telephone: (718)808-2224
      Facsimile: (866) 261-5478
      E-mail: naydenskiylaw@gmail.com

NABORS INTERNATIONAL: Faces "Sicard" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT
Sherman Sicard, on behalf of himself and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Nabors International, Inc., Case No. 4:16-
cv-03693 (S.D. Tex., December 20, 2016), is brought against the
Defendant for failure to pay plaintiff for work of more than 40
hours a week pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Nabors International, Inc. owns and operates the world's largest
land-based drilling rig fleet and is a principle provider of
offshore platform work-over and drilling rigs.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Don J. Foty, Esq.
      4409 Montrose Blvd, Suite 200
      Houston, TX 77006
      Telephone: (713) 523-0001
      Facsimile: (713) 523-1116
      E-mail: DFoty@kennedyhodges.com

NATIONAL COLLEGIATE: Jr. Hockey Players Have Option to File Suit
Evan Weiner, writing for SPORTSTalkFlorida, reports that junior
hockey players in Canada want to get a minimum wage for their work
instead of a small stipend.

Junior hockey players in Canada want better work conditions which
means they want more money than a small stipend.  They want a
minimum wage.  There is a movement among minor league baseball
players, college "student'athletes" and now junior players to get
some money which is only fair because without them, there is no
game. But courts and government agencies are not seeing it that

In 2015, The National Collegiate Athletic Association got a big
victory when the National Labor Relations Board denied a request
by some present and some former Northwestern University football
players to unionize, a decision that was welcomed not only by
other colleges but in state legislatures as well.

The National Labor Relations Board seemed more concerned about the
industry of college sports rather than the athletes in college
sports ruling that allowing the Northwestern football players to
unionize would not promote uniformity and stability in labor
relations and would potentially upset the balance of competition.
Perhaps the board did not look at the early schedule of the 2015
college football season when powerhouses took on schools looking
for a big payday and absorb a massive loss on the scoreboard.  It
was going to be tough to unionize for many reasons, one is the
brief college career of four to five years and more importantly
state legislatures like the one in Ohio have quickly written
legislation to make sure so-called student athletes are not school

The term student-athlete is based on a fiction and it was a way to
avoid paying students who played college sports and a way to get
out of paying workman's compensation if a player was injured. The
colleges and universities have always contended trading out a
scholarship to take care of most of the costs of an education and
room and board was a fair deal for the athletes.

This probably isn't the last time that student-athletes will
organize and try to improve their lot.  There are some avenues
open to them including launching an antitrust suit against the
NCAA to try and get their share of the massive money pile.

The World Junior Tournament is professional in every way except
the player's paychecks.

There is an international hockey tournament that is taking place
in Montreal and Toronto.  It is called the World Junior Tournament
and features some of the best teenage players in hockey
representing 10 countries including the United States and Canada.
The tournament has all of the trappings of a professional
presentation.  The games will be played in National Hockey League
arenas, will be shown on cable TV, has major tournament sponsors
but there is one difference.  Even though the players are the
stars of the show and are responsible for people supporting the
tournament through ticket sales, marketing and television
partnerships, the stars of the show are getting virtually nothing
for their work.  They get a minor stipend.  The teenagers want
money from junior leagues in Canada.

Brendan O'Grady is a lawyer who says he is representing 351
players in the Sam Berg, Lukas Walter class action suit against
the operators of the Canadian Hockey League which consists of 60
franchises in the United States and Canada.  Berg and Walter feel
the owners are making millions of dollars from marketing partners,
ticket sales and television rights and that the teenage players
should have the right to share in the money which should be the
local minimum wage.  Meanwhile the province of British Columbia
political class has decided what side they are supporting.  The
owners.  There are six British Columbia based Western Hockey
League teams.  The BC players have been stripped of rights under
The Employment Standards Act and do not have to be paid the
provincial minimum, get holiday pay or have set working hours.
They are amateurs in a seasonal job just like minor league
baseball players who play for almost no money.  The best 20 and
under players in the world will bring in money for the junior
tournament but will get almost nothing for their efforts.

NEC TOKIN: March 2 Capacitors Settlement Fairness Hearing Set

If you directly purchased aluminum, tantalum or film capacitors
between January 1, 2002 and July 22, 2015, you could be affected
by a Class Action Settlement. Please read this notice carefully.

A federal Court authorized this notice. This is not junk mail, an
advertisement, or a solicitation from a lawyer

1. Why did I get this Notice?
You have received this Notice because Defendants' records show you
may have directly purchased Capacitors from one or more
Defendant(s) or from a subsidiary agent, affiliate or joint
venture of a Defendant from January 1, 2002 to July 22, 2015.

The Court sent you this Notice for the following reason:
Class members have the right to know about the partial settlement
of a class action lawsuit, and about their legal rights
and options, before the Court holds a Fairness Hearing to decide
whether to grant final approval to the settlement.

This Notice explains the lawsuit, the partial settlements, and
your legal rights. It also explains what benefits from the
partial settlements are available at this time, who is eligible to
participate, and how to share in the settlements.  If the
Court approves one or more of the partial settlements and after
any objections and appeals are resolved, Class Counsel will
disburse the settlement fund in one or more distributions at a
time to be determined by the Court.

The Court has preliminarily approved the settlements.  If you are
a settlement class member, you have legal rights and
options that you may exercise before the Court considers whether
it will grant final approval to the proposed partial
settlements at the Fairness Hearing.  The Court will hold the
Fairness Hearing on March 2, 2017 to decide whether each
of the proposed partial settlements with each of the Settling
Defendants is fair, reasonable, and adequate.  The Court will
also consider Class Counsel's request for payment of attorneys'
fees and reimbursement of litigation expenses.

If you wish to comment on (including object to) or exclude
yourself from one or more of the partial settlements, you
must do so following the procedures described below.  If you do
nothing, you will not receive any money from the partial
settlements, but you will be bound by any final judgment
concerning the Settling Defendants.

2. What is this lawsuit about?
The lawsuit claims that Defendants entered into agreements to
artificially raise, fix, or stabilize the prices of aluminum,
tantalum, or film capacitors in violation of the federal antitrust
law.  Each of the Defendants, including the Settling Defendants,
expressly denies that it violated any laws or engaged in any
wrongdoing, except that on January 21, 2016, NEC TOKIN Corporation
pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to fix prices of
certain electrolytic capacitors, and on June 9, 2016, Hitachi
Chemical Co., Ltd. pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy
to fix prices of certain electrolytic capacitors.  Further
information on the plea agreements entered into by NEC TOKIN
Corporation and Hitachi Chemical Co., Ltd. are available at the
website www.capacitorsantitrustsettlement.com.

The Department of Justice ("DOJ") notified counsel for the Okaya
Defendants on January 8, 2016 that its investigation into
anticompetitive conduct in the film capacitor industry was ended
with no action being taken.  The DOJ also so informed the Court on
March 2, 2016.  Fujitsu Limited was never contacted by the DOJ in
connection with its investigations into the capacitor industry and
was never served with any form of document request or subpoena by

As of the time this notice is being sent, only the Settling
Defendants have entered into settlements with Plaintiffs.

To obtain more information about the claims in this lawsuit, you
can view the complaint and other court documents in
this case at www.capacitorsantitrustsettlement.com.

3. Why is this a class action, and who is involved?
In a class action lawsuit, one or more people called "Named
Plaintiffs" or "Class Representatives" sue on behalf of other
people who have similar claims.  The people and companies with
similar claims together are a "Class" and are called "Class
Members."  In a class action, the court resolves the issues for
all Class Members, except for those who exclude themselves
from the Class.

4. Why are there settlements?
The Court has not found in favor of Plaintiffs or Defendants.
While the lawsuit is still pending before the United States
District Court, the Plaintiffs and the Settling Defendants have
agreed to settlements that, if approved, will bring the claims
against the Settling Defendants to an end.  That way, the
Plaintiffs and Settling Defendants avoid the uncertainty of
continuing the case between them, and avoid the cost and delay of
further litigation, and Class Members will get the benefits of the

5. Why are the settlements "partial" settlements?
Although the settlements with the Settling Defendants fully
resolve the Class Members' claims against the Settling Defendants
(see response to Question 16), the settlements only partially
resolve the case, which will continue against the Non-Settling
Defendants (see response to Question 6).  For this reason, the
settlements with the Settling Defendants are partial settlements.

6. Why is the lawsuit continuing if there are settlements?
The Settling Defendants have agreed to settle this case.  As of
the time this notice is being sent, the Non-Settling Defendants
have not agreed to settle, so the lawsuit will continue as a
proposed class action against them.  More money may become
available in the future as a result of additional settlements with
and/or a trial against the Non-Settling Defendants, but there is
no guarantee this will happen.

7. What happens if the Plaintiffs later reach a settlement with
the Non-Settling Defendants?
The lawsuit will continue as a proposed class action against the
Non-Settling Defendants on behalf of all Class Members.  It cannot
be known whether the Plaintiffs will prevail against the
Non-Settling Defendants by proving the claims against them.  If
there are additional settlements in the future, there will be
notice of those settlements as well.  Depending on the timing of
the notice(s) and Fairness Hearing(s) for any such settlements,
the settlement funds received from the Settling Defendants and
from any other Defendants who have settled may be distributed at
the same time, in one or more distribution(s), to Class members
who have submitted claims.

Who Has the Right to Participate In The Partial Settlements and
the Class Action Lawsuit?
8. Am I a Class Member who is part of the partial settlements and
the ongoing class action lawsuit against the Non-Settling
In general, direct purchasers of Capacitors are Class Members,
i.e. persons or entities (a) who are eligible for a payment
from the proposed settlements when the funds are distributed, and
(b) on whose behalf the lawsuit will continue against the
Non-Settling Defendants, if they meet the following definition:
All persons in the United States that purchased Capacitors
(including through controlled subsidiaries, agents, affiliates or
joint-ventures) from January, 1, 2002 through July 22, 2015 (the
"Class Period") (excluding Defendants and governmental entities).

9. I'm still not sure if I am included.
If you received this Notice, it is because you were listed as a
potential Class Member.  If you are still not sure whether you
are included, you can get help by calling 1-866-903-1223.

10. Does it make a difference whether I purchased Capacitors from
the Settling Defendants or a Non-Settling Defendant?
No. As long as you fall within the definition of the Class in
Question 8 above, you can participate in the partial
settlements, and the ongoing lawsuit against the Non-Settling
Defendants, regardless of which Defendant you purchased
Capacitors from.

11. What are my rights as a Class Member?
You may submit a Claim Form for a payment from the Settlement Fund
(see Question 14). Or, you may exclude yourself from one or more
of the settlements (see Question 20).  You may also comment on or
object to the proposed partial settlements and the request for
litigation expenses (see Question 23), or attend the Court's
Fairness Hearing to speak in support of or against the Court's
final approval of the proposed partial settlements and the request
for reimbursement of litigation expenses.  Or, you may do nothing
(see Question 26).

The Settlement Benefits
12. What do the partial settlements provide?
The Settling Defendants will make payments into an Escrow Account
for the benefit of Plaintiffs and the Settlement Class.  Counsel
will use $200,000 from the Escrow Account for reimbursement of
such costs, fees, and expenses related to the provision of notice
to the Settlement Class Members.

The Settling Defendants have made, or will make, payments into the
Escrow Account for the benefit of Plaintiffs and the Settlement
Class on the following schedule:

   -- Fujitsu Limited will pay $2,000,000 in one lump sum payment
within twenty business days after the Court grants
preliminary approval of its settlement.

   -- NEC TOKIN will pay $24,0000,000 in five installment payments
made over four (4) years, as follows: (a) on or before
July 29, 2016 -- $4 million; (b) on or before May 15, 2017 -- $5
million; (c) on or before May 15, 2018 -- $5 million; (d)
on or before May 15, 2019 -- $5 million; and (e) on or before
December 31, 2019 -- $5 million.

   -- Nitsuko will pay $100,000 into the Escrow Account within
thirty (30) calendar days after the Court grants
preliminary approval of its settlement, and additional payments
will be made on the following schedule: Nitsuko will
pay $450,000 into the Escrow Account 30 days after the final
judgment becomes final; Nitsuko will pay $350,000 into
the Settlement Fund within 365 days after the final judgment
becomes final; Nitsuko will pay $200,000 within 427
days of when the final judgment becomes final.

   -- The Okaya Defendants will pay $100,000 within thirty (30)
calendar days of the grant of preliminary approval of its
settlement and $ 3,550,000 within thirty (30) calendar days after
the Effective Date of the settlement.

   -- ROHM paid $1,850,000 into the Escrow Account within ten days
following the execution of its settlement with Class Counsel.

As a Settlement Class Member, you will give up, or "release," your
claims against the Settling Defendants.  This release
includes any claims made or that could have been made arising from
the facts alleged in this lawsuit.  The releases are
described in more detail in the Settlement Agreements and in
Question 16 below. You can view or download copies of the
Settlement Agreements at the website http://saverilawfirm.com/our-

13. How much money can I get from the partial settlement?
Class Members who submit a Claim Form will be eligible to receive
a share of the Settlement Fund when they are distributed based on
a formula utilizing each Class Member's relative share of
Capacitors purchased during the relevant time period, for which
Class Members have sought compensation.  The allocation formula
for the distribution of the Settlement Fund has not yet been
determined.  At a later time, you will receive another notice
describing the allocation formula and you will be given an
opportunity to comment and/or object to it.

Submitting A Claim Form for a Share of the Partial Settlement

14. How can I get money from the partial settlement?
To receive money from the partial settlements, you must complete
and submit a Claim Form, either online at www.
capacitorsantitrustsettlement.com, or by mail.  A copy of the
Claim Form is included with this Notice.  Please read this
Notice and the Claim Form carefully.  If any of the Defendants in
this case have a record of you purchasing Capacitors from them
between January 1, 2002 and July 22, 2015, you will be mailed a
claim form for your review that includes details about these
purchases.  You can either approve the purchase information on
your claim form, or, if you disagree with this information, you
can submit records of your purchases.

You must complete and submit the form online no later than
February 13, 2017, or complete the included form manually, sign
it, and mail it postmarked no later than February 13, 2017, to the
Notice and Claims Administrator at the address listed in Question
28 of this Notice. If necessary, you may download and print out a
Claim Form from the website www.capacitorsantitrustsettlement.com.
If you have any problems with the Claim Form or questions about
how to submit your claim, please call the Notice and Claims
Administrator at the telephone number printed at the bottom of
this page.

If you fall within the Class definition, you may receive money
from the partial settlements.

15. When will I get my payment(s)?
As noted above, the Court is scheduled to hold a final Fairness
Hearing on March 2, 2017, to decide whether to approve
the proposed partial settlements and the request for the payment
of attorneys' fees and the reimbursement of litigation
expenses.  The Court may reschedule the Fairness Hearing or change
any of the deadlines described in this Notice.  Please
check the website, www.capacitorsantitrustsettlement.com, for news
of any such changes.

Settlement payments to Settlement Class Members will be
distributed after one or more of the settlements is approved, and
after appeals, if any, are resolved in the Settlement Class'
favor.  Class Counsel will remit the funds, through the Notice and
Claims Administrator, in one or more distributions that may
include future settlements with Non-Settling Defendants.
Updates regarding the partial settlements and when payments may be
made will be posted on the settlement website,

16. What am I giving up to get payment(s) under one or more of the
partial settlements?
If you are a Settlement Class Member, unless you exclude yourself
from one or more of the settlements with the Settling
Defendants, you will remain in the Class, and that means that you
can't sue, continue to sue, or be part of any other lawsuit
against the Settling Defendants about the legal claims in this
case.  It also means that all of the Court's orders will apply to
you and legally bind you, and that you agree to the following
"Releases of Claims," which describe exactly the legal claims
that you give up if you get settlement benefits:
Upon one or more of the Settlement Agreements becoming effective,
the Named Plaintiffs and Class Members who do not otherwise
properly exclude themselves ("Releasors") agree that the Settling
Defendants and their officers, directors, affiliates, and
employees ("Releasees") shall be completely released, acquitted,
and forever discharged from any and all manner of claims, demands,
rights, actions, suits, and causes of action, whether class,
individual, or otherwise in nature (whether or not any Class
Member has objected to the Settlement Agreements or makes a claim
upon or participates in the Settlement Fund, whether directly,
representatively, derivatively, or in any other capacity), damages
whenever incurred, liabilities of any nature whatsoever, including
costs, expenses, penalties, injuries, and attorneys' fees that
Releasors, or any one of them, whether directly, representatively,
derivatively, or in any other capacity, ever had, now have, or
hereafter can, shall, or may have against the Releasees, whether
known or unknown, relating in any way to any transaction, event,
conduct, circumstance, action, failure to act, or occurrence of
any sort or type arising out of or related to the Class Action
and any joint and several liability arising from the conduct of
any of the Defendants in the Class Action prior to the Effective
Date arising under or relating to any federal or state antitrust
laws, unfair competition, unfair practices or trade practice laws,
civil conspiracy, or common law or statutory fraud claims
concerning the purchase, pricing, selling, discounting, marketing,
manufacturing and/or distributing of Capacitors ("the Released

To view the legally binding terms about the scope of the Released
Claims, please refer to the proposed Settlement Agreements, which
are available at www.capacitorsantitrustsettlement.com.

By participating in the partial settlements you are not giving up
your rights against the Non-Settling Defendants.

The Lawyers Representing You

17. Who represents me in this case?
The Court appointed the following law firm as Interim Lead Class
Counsel (also referred to as "Plaintiffs' Counsel") to represent
the Class:

          Joseph R. Saveri
          555 Montgomery Street, Suite 1210
          San Francisco, CA 94111
          (415) 500-6800

18. Should I get my own lawyer?
You do not need to hire your own lawyer because Plaintiffs'
Counsel are working on your behalf. If you want your own
lawyer, you may hire one, but you will be responsible for any
payment for that lawyer's services.  For example, you can ask
your lawyer to appear in Court for you if you want someone other
than Plaintiffs' Counsel to speak for you.  You may also
appear for yourself without a lawyer.

19. How will the lawyers be paid?
At the Fairness Hearing, Plaintiffs' Counsel will seek payment of
$8,150,000 for legal fees for the work they have done in
this case and $3,000,000, for reimbursement of their reasonable
litigation expenses, principally expert witness expenses.  If
the Court awards these payments, they will be paid from the
balance of the settlements after deduction of $200,000 for
expenses related to the provision of notice to the Settlement
Class Members, as and when payments are received from the
Settling Defendants.  If the partial settlements are approved,
payment of attorneys' fees and expenses to Plaintiffs' Counsel
are made as and when such payments are received from the Settling

You do not have to pay any of Class Counsel's fees, costs or

Excluding Yourself From the Settlements and/or the Ongoing Lawsuit

20. How do I get out of the settlements and/or the ongoing class
action lawsuit against the Non-Settling Defendants?

Excluding yourself from one or more of the partial settlements: If
you fall within the Class definition but wish to keep the right to
sue or continue to sue one or more of the Settling Defendants (at
your own expense) about the legal issues in this case, then you
must take steps to get out of the Settlement Class.  This is
called excluding yourself from, or opting out of, the class.
Opting out of the class for purposes of the partial settlements
described in this notice will not affect your right to remain in
the proposed Class for purposes of the continuing litigation
against the Non-Settling Defendants.  You may also opt out of the
Settlement Class with respect to one or more Settling Defendants,
but choose to remain in the Settlement Class with respect to the
other Settling Defendants.

To exclude yourself from (opt out of) the partial settlement with
one or more Settling Defendants, you must send an Opt-Out Request
letter to the Notice and Claims Administrator at the address below
saying that you want to be excluded from the Settlement Class in
In re Capacitors Antitrust Litigation with your full legal name
and address, that you purchased Capacitors directly from one or
more Defendants, and indicating the settlements from which you
wish to opt out.  You must include the following statement with
your Opt-Out-Request Letter: "I want to be excluded from the
Capacitors Antitrust Litigation class action settlement with
WISH TO EXCLUDE YOURSELF FROM].  I understand that by so doing, I
will not be able to get any money or benefits from the settlement
with that/those Settling Defendant(s) in this case."  This Opt-Out
Request Letter must be signed and dated and include your telephone

If you request to be excluded from one or more of the partial
settlements with Settling Defendants, you will not be legally
bound by the settlement with that/those Settling Defendant(s).
You will be able to sue (or continue to sue) that/those
Settling Defendant(s) in the future about the legal claims in this

If you ask to be excluded from one or more of the settlements with
Settling Defendant(s), you will not get any payment from that
settlement, and you cannot object to that settlement.

If you choose to remain in some or all of these settlements, you
will have the right to remain in or exclude yourself from
any future settlement classes or any class certified by the Court.

Exclusion/Opt-Out Request Mailing Information

To exclude yourself from one or more of the settlements with
Settling Defendant(s), you must submit your Opt-Out Request letter
postmarked via First Class United States Mail (or United States
Mail for overnight delivery) no later than February 13, 2017 (or
received by the Notice and Claims Administrator by that date if
sent by fax or e-mail) at the following address:

          Notice and Claims Administrator
          In re Capacitors Antitrust Lawsuit
          PO Box 2563
          Faribault, MN 55021-9563
          Fax #: 507-333-4330
          Email Address: info@capacitorsantitrustsettlement.com
          You cannot exclude yourself (opt out) by telephone.

21. If I don't exclude myself, can I sue the Settling Defendants
for the same thing later?
No. If you are a Class member, unless you exclude yourself from
one or more of the settlements with one or more of the
Settling Defendants, you give up the right to sue all of the
Settling Defendants for the claims that the partial settlement
resolves as more fully described in Question 16 above.

If you have a pending lawsuit against any of the Defendants, speak
to your lawyer in that lawsuit immediately, because you may need
to exclude yourself from the Class(es) to continue your own
lawsuit.  The process for excluding yourself from one or more of
the settlements is described in the preceding section.

22. If I exclude myself, can I get money from this case?
Yes and no. If you exclude yourself from one or more of the
settlements with Settling Defendants, you will not receive
money under that settlement even if you submit a Claim Form, but
you remain eligible for payment related to any settlements from
which you did not opt out, including any share of the money
recovered, if any, from Non-Settling Defendants in the future.

Commenting On Or Objecting To The Settlement

23. How do I tell the Court that I like or don't like the proposed
settlement and may I speak at the hearing?
If you're a Class Member, you can comment on or object to the
proposed partial settlements if you like or don't like any
part of it, including the requests for attorneys' fees and
reimbursement of expenses.  You can give reasons why you think the
Court should or should not approve it.  The Court will consider
your views.

To comment or to object, you must send a letter to the Notice and
Claims Administrator with your comment(s) or objection(s) to the
proposed settlements in In re Capacitors Antitrust Litigation.  Be
sure to include:

   -- Your name, address, telephone number, email address and

   -- A statement signed under penalty of perjury that you are a
member of the Settlement Class.

   -- A detailed statement of your comment(s) or objection(s),
including the grounds for your objection(s), if any, together
with any documents you think support it.

   -- You do not need to attend or speak at the Fairness Hearing
(described in Question 24 below) in order for your
comments or objections to be considered.  If you would like to
speak at the Fairness Hearing about your comments or objections to
the settlement, you must add to your letter a statement that you
intend to appear and speak at the hearing, for example, by stating
"This is my Notice of Intention to Appear in In re Capacitors
Antitrust Litigation."

If you wish for the Court to consider your comment(s) or
objection(s), you must mail the comment(s) or objection(s), along
with a request to speak at the Fairness Hearing (if any), by First
Class U.S. Mail, postmarked no later than February 13, 2017, to:

          Notice and Claims Administrator
          In re Capacitors Antitrust Lawsuit
          PO Box 2563
          Faribault, MN 55021-9563

You will have no right to speak at the Fairness Hearing about
these settlements if you choose to exclude yourself from the
settlements, because a settlement no longer affects you if you opt
out of it.

The Court's Fairness Hearing

24. When and where will the Court decide whether to approve the

The Court will hold a Fairness Hearing on March 2, 2017 at 10:00
AM in Courtroom 11, on the 19th Floor of the United States
District Court located at 450 Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco,

At the Fairness Hearing, the Court will consider each of the
proposed settlements and determine whether it is fair,
reasonable, and adequate, and will consider the request for
attorneys' fees and litigation expenses.  If there are written
comments or objections, the Court will consider them.  The Court
will decide whether to allow people who have raised objections or
comments to speak at the hearing.  After the Fairness Hearing, the
Court will separately decide whether to approve the partial

The Court may reschedule the Fairness Hearing or change any of the
deadlines described in this Notice. Be sure to check
the website, www.capacitorsantitrustsettlement.com, for news of
any such changes.

25. Do I have to come to the Fairness Hearing?
No. Plaintiffs' counsel will be present at the Fairness Hearing to
answer any questions the Court may have.  You are welcome to come
at your own expense.  If you send comments or objections to the
settlements, you don't have to come to Court to talk about it. As
long as you mailed your written comments or objections on time,
the Court will consider them.

You may also pay your own lawyer to attend, but it is not

If You Do Nothing

26. What happens if I do nothing at all?
If you are a Class Member and you do nothing, you will get no
money from the partial settlements with the Settling Defendants
and any claims you might have against the Settling Defendants for
the allegations in this case will be released unless you
separately write to exclude yourself (following the instructions
in Question 20).  This means that if you do nothing, you will not
be able to collect any damages from the Settling Defendants for
the alleged agreements to raise, maintain, or stabilize the prices
of Capacitors in this lawsuit or any other lawsuit.  You will not
receive money from the partial settlements unless you submit a
Claim Form (following the instructions in Question 14).  To
qualify to receive any money from the settlements with the
Settling Defendants, you must submit a Claim Form and follow the
instructions in Question 14.  Your claim must be filed online or
postmarked by mail by February 13, 2017.

Getting More Information
27. Are more details about the settlements and the lawsuit
Yes. This Notice summarizes the proposed settlements and the
ongoing lawsuit against the Non-Settling Defendants.
More details about the settlements are in the proposed Settlement
Agreements themselves.  You can see or print copies
of the Settlement Agreements at
www.capacitorsantitrustsettlement.com.  More information about the
ongoing class action lawsuit, including the Plaintiffs' class
action complaint, the Defendants' answers to the complaint, and
other case
documents, can also be viewed or printed at

28. How do I get more information?
The website www.capacitorsantitrustsettlement.com allows you to
complete and submit a Claim Form online, and provides
answers to common questions about the lawsuit, the partial
settlements, Claim Forms, and other information to help
you determine whether you are a Class Member, whether you are
eligible for a payment, and when settlement funds will
be distributed.  You may also submit a written Claim Form at the
address listed below, or call or write to the Notice and
Claims Administrator with your questions at:

          Notice and Claims Administrator
          In re Capacitors Antitrust Lawsuit
          PO Box 2563
          Faribault, MN 55021-9563
          Telephone: 1-866-903-1223


You may also seek the advice and counsel of your own attorney at
your own expense, if you desire.

NEW LONDON, CT: Implements Changes Following Housing Class Action
Greg Smith, writing for The Day, reports that changes at the
New London Housing Authority in 2016 included the departure of the
housing authority's director.  Most of the changes can be traced
to a 2014 court-stipulated judgment that resolved a nearly decade
long class-action lawsuit brought against the authority on behalf
of the tenants complaining about the abysmal conditions at the
124-family, federally subsidized Thames River Apartment complex on
Crystal Avenue.  The agreement ordered new homes for Crystal
Avenue residents.

The housing authority enlisted a company to find a suitable
replacement site for an affordable housing complex.  Earlier in
2016, the company purchased the former Edgerton School property
but has yet to gain land-use approval.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
deemed the housing authority substandard, which in turn prompted a
renewed push for action to get tenants out of the Crystal Avenue

Housing authority Director Sue Shontell filed a discrimination
complaint against the city and board members.  The housing
authority terminated Ms. Shontell's contract and hired an interim
director.  The board has partnered with the city to obtain
approvals to hand out housing vouchers to the tenants.

NEW ORIENTAL: Feb. 13 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline
Pomerantz LLP disclosed that a class action lawsuit has been filed
against New Oriental Education & Technology Group Inc. and certain
of its officers.  The class action, filed in United States
District Court, District of New Jersey, is on behalf of a class
consisting of all persons or entities who purchased or otherwise
acquired New Oriental American Depositary Receipts between
September 27, 2016 and December 1, 2016, both dates inclusive,
seeking to recover compensable damages caused by defendants'
violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

If you are a shareholder who purchased New Oriental ADRs during
the Class Period, you have until February 13, 2017 to ask the
Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  A copy of
the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com.  To discuss
this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at --
rswilloughby@pomlaw.com -- or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll
free, ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to
include their mailing address, telephone number, and number of
shares purchased.

New Oriental is a Cayman Islands corporation headquartered in
Beijing, People's Republic of China ("PRC"). New Oriental provides
private educational services under the New Oriental brand in the

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants
made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as
failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company's
business, operations, and prospects.  Specifically, Defendants
made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose
that:  (1) New Oriental engaged in college application fraud; and
(2) as a result, defendants' statements about New Oriental's
business, operations and prospects were materially false and
misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all relevant times.

On December 2, 2016, Reuters published a report detailing
allegations of academic fraud at the company. Specifically,
Reuters reported that eight former and current New Oriental
employees informed Reuters that New Oriental "engaged in college
application fraud, including writing application essays and
teacher recommendations, and falsifying high school transcripts."

On that same day, Reuters reported that the American International
Recruitment Council, which certifies agencies that recruit foreign
students on behalf of U.S. colleges, will investigate the company
in response to the Reuters report.

On this news, shares of the Company fell $6.99 per share or over
14% from its previous closing price to close at $42.00 per share
on December 2, 2016, damaging investors.

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

NEW YORK: 12,000 Seniors, Disabled May Get Rent Rollbacks
Amy Zimmer, writing for dnainfo, reports that more than 12,000
seniors and disabled New Yorkers could be eligible for retroactive
rent rollbacks and rebates if they were wrongfully terminated from
the city's rent freeze program, according to the legal team that
filed a class action lawsuit against the city's Department of

The Finance Department is expected to send letters to these
individuals in early 2017 stating that they may be entitled to a
rent reduction and credit, said Donna Dougherty, of JASA, a
nonprofit that serves seniors across the city.

Many could receive benefits that are retroactive, dating back to
when their benefits were lost.

"We want to keep people in their homes, in their communities and
in affordable housing," Ms. Dougherty said.  "People could be
getting a reduction in their rent -- $100 or $200.  It's a huge
deal if you're on a fixed income."

The pending settlement stems from a case Dougherty filed two years
ago, in conjunction with Cardozo Bet-Tzedek Legal Services and
Northern Manhattan Improvement Corporation Legal Services, against
the Finance Department on behalf of eight seniors and disabled
individuals enrolled in the city's rent freeze program.

They had either been terminated from the program for failing to
re-register in time or were reinstated in the program, but at a
much higher rent.  The lawsuit alleged that the Department of
Finance was administering the program in violation of the
Americans with Disabilities Act and their constitutional due
process rights.

Under the program, individuals are required to re-certify every
one or two years, depending on how long their lease renewal
covers.  They have a six-month window to do so.  But the lawsuit
alleged that the individuals, who suffered from a range of issues
including dementia or other illnesses that land people into
frequent hospital stays, should have had "reasonable
accommodations" under ADA to extend the window beyond six months.

One of Ms. Dougherty's clients, for instance, a woman in her 80s
with schizophrenia and early stage dementia, went off her
medication and was having an episode that landed her in and out of
hospitals over a nine-month period.

She ended up missing her six-month window to re-certify the rent
freeze for her Sunnyside apartment.

"She was finally stabilized at home when we got involved.  She
ended up in housing court because her landlord sued," Dougherty
recounted.  "Department of Finance said she can reapply as a new
applicant.  But the rent jumped $300."

JASA helped provide the woman with funds to keep her in her
apartment as the organization fought for her right to roll back
her rent.

"She almost gave up.  She almost moved out.  She didn't know how
to pay the rent," Ms. Dougherty said.  "It was too much for her
-- the stress of it all.  We're hoping to take that burden."

In September, a federal judge granted class certification to the
group -- which is believed to include roughly 12,000,
Ms. Dougherty said, explaining that the parties are still
discussing details about how the rent credit program will be
rolled out.

According to court papers, nearly 600 individuals were terminated
from the program because they failed to re-certify and were
subsequently certified on a new application for a new rent freeze
-- but at a significantly higher rent amount.

Finance Department records also indicate that roughly 11,500
individuals -- who are apparently still alive and have not moved
or lost their benefit eligibility -- were terminated from the rent
freeze program for failure to certify and their benefits were
never reinstated, court papers show.

"We know those 600 will be examined for retroactive relief," Ms.
Dougherty said.  "And we want to get the word out.  If you were in
the hospital or your relative suffered from dementia and you
didn't know and you found their mail from a year ago [about
re-certification], this might help."

The Finance Department administers two programs that freeze rent
for certain low-income New Yorkers: the Senior Citizen Increase
Exemption (SCRIE) for those 62 years old and older, and the
Disability Rent Increase Exemption (DRIE).  For both programs,
household incomes must be under $50,000 a year.

The program aims to preserve affordable housing for those who
would be unable to foot rent increases due to their age or
disability since they are often on fixed incomes.

The landlord receives a tax credit covering the difference between
the tenant's frozen rate and the legal rent.

Because the settlement yet was not finalized, the Department of
Finance declined to comment.

NICOLET RESTAURANT: 7th Circuit Rules on Article III Injury Issue
Barry Goheen, Esq., Paige Nobles, Esq., Lawrence Slovensky, Esq.,
of King & Spalding, in an article for JDSupra, report that in
Meyers v. Nicolet Restaurant of De Pere, LLC, an opinion issued on
December 13, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the
Seventh Circuit held that a proposed class action suit brought
under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act ("FACTA")
should be dismissed due to the named plaintiff's failure to
establish Article III standing.  The Court applied the Supreme
Court's May 2016 decision Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins to conclude that
the plaintiff had not suffered a concrete injury-in-fact simply by
asserting a bare statutory violation, reasoning that "Congress'
judgment that there should be a legal remedy for the violation of
a statute does not mean each statutory violation creates Article
III injury."  Rather, the statutory violation must cause the
plaintiff concrete harm.


The Meyers case is one of two FACTA class action suits the same
plaintiff filed in April 2015. Both suits contend that the
defendant failed to truncate credit card receipts as required by
FACTA, the 2003 amendment to the Fair Credit Reporting Act that
prohibits the display of certain credit and debit card information
in printed receipts.  Meyers sought only statutory damages for
himself and on behalf of the putative class based on a
restaurant's alleged statutory violations.  He did not allege that
anyone else received a copy of the receipt or that he suffered
identity theft of any kind as a result.  The district court denied
the motion for class certification and Meyers appealed.

NISSAN: Settles Altima Melting Dashboard Class Action in Florida
David Wood, writing for CarComplaints.com, reports that a Nissan
Altima melting dashboard lawsuit has been preliminarily settled
over 2008-2009 Altima dashboards that melt, crack, get sticky and
shine under the Florida sun.

The class-action lawsuit covers Florida residents only because of
the amount of sunlight and heat that damages the Altima
dashboards.  In the lawsuit, plaintiffs Tracy Sanborn and Louis
Lucrezia claim their Altima dashboards were so shiny and melted
that a safety hazard existed from the glare off the windshield.

Although the settlement helps Florida residents only, more legal
proceedings may be seen in the future as attorneys say other
Nissan models have problems with melting dashboards outside of

The Altima dashboards are allegedly so shiny that at least two
drivers have been involved in crashes due to the glare from the

According to the plaintiffs, Nissan knew the plastic skins used in
Altima dashboards weren't formulated for high levels of Florida
heat and humidity and should have tested the materials in thermo-
hygrostatic chambers or environmental temperature/humidity

To Nissan, the melting shiny dashboards are fine and the problem
comes from "a few isolated consumer complaints about the dashboard
appearance" that don't cause safety issues.

However, the plaintiffs say Nissan, at the least, should have told
consumers in hot humid states about the dashboards so those
customers could have done something about the dashboards while the
cars were under warranty.

Nissan denies there is anything wrong with the dashboards but has
agreed to settle to avoid the expense of a trial.

The lawsuit alleges the melted Altima dashboards can cost $2,000
to replace, a cost Nissan has generally been refusing to pay.
According to the plaintiffs, owners also experience problems when
trying to sell or trade their cars due to the dashboards.

To be reimbursed for everything other than $250, an owner will
need to provide proof of payment related to the melting dashboard
and submit that information with the claim form.  If proof of
payment cannot be supplied, Nissan says to send them the name of
the Nissan dealership that did the dashboard work.

The lawsuit alleges the Nissan Altima dashboards degrade into a
"soft, gooey, shiny thing" that creates a dangerous glare,
something numerous Altima owners in Florida have complained about.

"The dash got sticky and shiny first and then I started seeing
cracks which spread all over.  I have caulked and now covered with
a mat but want it replaced.  I currently have only 80k miles;
started seeing this about 60k miles. Nissan should cover this at
no charge." - 2008 Nissan Altima owner / Lynn Haven, Florida

"It is cracking like a spiderweb and little plastic pieces are
chipping off.  It looks like it will cost over a thousand dollars
to have fixed as the dashboard must be entirely replaced. It
totally devalues the car and looks horrible.  Apparently others
have had the same problem but Nissan does not care.  Unbelievable,
as I would never buy another one if I have to pay for this
ridiculous repair.  Very disappointed." - 2008 Nissan Altima owner
/ Delray Beach, Florida

Another Florida Altima owner says that in addition to the glare,
the smell of the melting plastic is adding to preexisting health

"Honestly is a really dangerous situation driving like this every
day to work and the reflection of the dashboard on the inside
windshield is becoming a real pain in the ass and also my life
into this vehicle, please Nissan dealer do something about this,
been using this vehicle since day one and now it's melting
everywhere and the smell of plastic also toxic, have asthma, too
much money to replace the whole dash!" -- 2008 Nissan Altima owner
/ Miami, Florida

According to the plaintiffs, Nissan knew or should have known the
dashboards were defective based on a constant flow of complaints,
yet the automaker failed to inform consumers about the problem.

An outside expert hired by the plaintiffs claims affected Altima
owners should receive $46.6 million to $53.7 million in damages,
or between $1,439 to $1,774 per owner.  That's a lot of money, but
the same expert estimates Nissan made about $190.7 million in
profits from its sale of Altimas in Florida.

The settlement will reimburse Florida Altima owners and lessees
for the cost to replace the dashboards minus $250.  If an owner
cannot cover the $250 cost, the consumer should take the car to a
Nissan dealer for a quote to replace the dashboard and submit the
written quote with the claim form.

The Altima dashboard lawsuit includes all consumers who are
residents of, and purchased or leased a new or used 2008-2009
Nissan Altima in Florida.

Altima owners have until April 29, 2017, to have the dashboard
replaced or at the least, Nissan must inspect and document damage
to the dashboard by that date.

The 2008-2009 Nissan Altima melting dashboard lawsuit was filed in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida -
Tracy Sanborn and Louis Lucrezia v. Nissan North America, Inc.

The plaintiffs are represented by the Gibbs Law Group and Greg
Coleman Law.

If you live in Florida and own or lease a 2008-2009 Nissan Altima,
learn more about the settlement at

The company, which helps insurers comply with regulations, said on
Dec. 7 that the court issued a temporary restraining order related
to a class action stockholder lawsuit but that it still hoped to
pay the dividend in January.

OCWEN FINANCIAL: March 20 Class Action Opt-Out Deadline Set
Case No. 14-CIV-81057-WPD




YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED, pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure and an Order of the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Florida, that the above-
captioned action ("Action") against Ocwen Financial Corporation,
William C. Erbey and Ronald M. Faris ("Defendants"), has been
certified as a class action on behalf of the Class, except for
certain persons and entities that are excluded from the Class by
definition as set forth in the full printed Notice of Pendency of
Class Action ("Notice").  Lead Plaintiff Sjunde AP-Fonden and
additional named plaintiff Jay E. Thren have been certified by the
Court to represent the Class.

THIS LAWSUIT.  The full printed Notice is currently being mailed
to known Class Members.  If you have not yet received a full
printed Notice, you may obtain a copy by downloading it from the
website www.ocwensecuritieslitigation.com, or by contacting the

Ocwen Financial Corporation Securities Litigation
c/o A.B. Data, Ltd.
P.O. Box 173027
Milwaukee, WI  53217
(866) 905-8125

If you did not receive the Notice by mail, and you are a member of
the Class, please send your name and address to the Administrator
so that if any future notices are disseminated in connection with
the Action, you will receive them.

Inquiries, other than requests for the Notice, may be made to
Court-appointed Class Counsel:

Sharan Nirmul, Esq.
Richard A. Russo, Jr., Esq.

280 King of Prussia Road
Radnor, PA  19087
Telephone: (610) 667-7706
Facsimile: (610) 667-7056

If you are a Class Member, you have the right to decide whether to
remain a member of the Class.  If you choose to remain a member of
the Class, you do not need to do anything at this time other than
retain your documentation reflecting your transactions in Ocwen
common stock.  You will automatically be included in the Class,
and you will be bound by the proceedings in this Action, including
all past, present and future orders and judgments of the Court,
whether favorable or unfavorable.  If you are a Class Member and
do not wish to remain a member of the Class, you must take steps
to exclude yourself from the Class.

If you timely and validly request to be excluded from the Class,
you will not be bound by any orders or judgments in the Action,
and you will not be eligible to receive a share of any money which
might be recovered in the future for the benefit of the Class.  To
exclude yourself from the Class, you must submit a written request
for exclusion postmarked no later than March 20, 2017 in
accordance with the instructions set forth in the full printed
Notice.  Pursuant to Rule 23(e)(4) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, it is within the Court's discretion as to whether a
second opportunity to request exclusion from the Class will be
allowed if there is a settlement or judgment in the Action.

Further information may be obtained by contacting the
Administrator or visiting the website

Please Do Not Call or Write the Court with Questions.



PAM BONDI: New Prosecutor Will Investigate Complaint
WCTV reports that Gov. Rick Scott has assigned a complaint filed
against Attorney General Pam Bondi to a prosecutor in southwest

The complaint stems from scrutiny in 2016 over a $25,000 campaign
contribution Bondi received from President-elect Donald Trump in
2013. Bondi asked for the donation around the same time her office
was being asked about a New York investigation of alleged fraud at
Trump University.

A Massachusetts attorney filed numerous complaints against Bondi,
including one that asked State Attorney Mark Ober to investigate
Trump's donation.

Ober asked Scott in September to appoint a different prosecutor
because Bondi used to work for him.

Scott assigned the case December 23 to State Attorney Stephen
Russell, who has one year to decide whether the complaint has any

PARK WEST: Does Not Properly Pay Workers, "Balderrama" Suit Says
Rafael Balderrama, individually, and on behalf of other members of
the general public similarly situated v. Park West Landscape
Maintenance, Inc., and Does 1 through 100, inclusive, Case No.
BC644491 (Cal. Super. Ct., December 20, 2016), is brought against
the Defendants for failure to pay minimum and overtime wages in
violation of the California Labor Code.

Park West Landscape Maintenance, Inc. owns and operates a
landscape construction and maintenance company in Los Angeles,

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Ronald H. Bae, Esq.
      Olivia D. Scharrer, Esq.
      A Professional Law Corporation
      1156 E. Green Street, Suite 200
      Pasadena, CA 91106
      Telephone: (213) 674-6080
      Facsimile: (213)674-6081

PATRIOT NATIONAL: Court Issues Restraining Order in Class Action
Sinead Carew, writing for Insurance Journal, reports that Patriot
National Inc on Dec. 15 disclosed it could not pay a special
dividend pending a court hearing that would happen late March at
the earliest.

Patriot, which had originally planned to pay the $2.50 dividend on
Dec. 9, said the Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware also
prohibited it from continuing a previously announced stock
repurchase program at least until a court hearing expected some
time after March 24.

The company, which helps insurers comply with regulations, said on
Dec. 7 that the court issued a temporary restraining order related
to a class action stockholder lawsuit but that it still hoped to
pay the dividend in January.

"The market is building in the expectation it is less likely
they're going to get their dividend," said Kenneth Billingsley, an
analyst at Compass Point Research & Trading in Washington D.C. He
estimated the company's value at $4 per share, excluding the $2.50

The company likely set the dividend to please shareholders after
merger talks with Ebix Inc. fell through in early November,
Billingsley said.

Patriot National at the same time announced an expansion of its
buyback program and disclosed a new $280 million loan and a $30
million credit facility that increased the company's leverage.

Whitney Maroney, founding partner at Millrace Asset Group in
Berwyn, Pennsylvania, said he sold his roughly 195,000 shares in
Patriot after the company announced the special dividend.

"We didn't think that paying a one-time special dividend was in
the best interest of shareholders," said Ms. Maroney.  "It doesn't
do anything to grow the revenue for the company, especially when
you lever up to do it."

The dividend proposal met with a previous challenge when a court
slapped Patriot with a temporary restraining order against the
payment following a lawsuit filed by Hudson Bay -- one of
Patriot's largest shareholders, according to the latest public
ownership filings.

That restraining order was lifted after a Dec. 1 hearing in New

PINNACLE RECOVERY: Faces TCPA Class Action in California
Jenie Mallari-Torres, writing for Northern California Record,
reports that a Santa Clara County consumer claims a debt collector
has harassed him with phone calls.

Fidel Quintanilla filed a complaint individually and on behalf of
all others similarly situated on Dec. 12 in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of California against Pinnacle
Recovery Inc. alleging violation of the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act, the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and the
Rosenthal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that in 2015, he
started receiving calls from the defendant in its effort to
collect an alleged debt by using an automatic telephone dialing
system or an artificial or prerecorded voice on their cellular
telephones.  He alleges he revoked his consent to be called but
that the defendant continued to call.  The plaintiffs hold
Pinnacle Recovery Inc. responsible because the defendant allegedly
communicated with plaintiff with such frequency as to be
unreasonable, and caused plaintiff's telephone to ring repeatedly
or continuously with intent to harass, annoy or abuse.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek judgment against
defendant, $500 in statutory damages for every violation, $1,500
in treble damages for every violation, actual damages, costs,
attorney's fees and further relief as may be just.  He is
represented by Todd M. Friedman, Adrian R. Bacon and Meghan E.
George of Law Offices of Todd M. Friedman in Woodland Hills.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California Case
number 5:16-cv-07085

PLATINUM EQUITIES: Real Estate Mogul Targeted in Attack
Reid Southwick and Shawn Logan, writing for Calgary Herald, report
that the brother of a Calgary real estate developer gunned down
outside his mansion early on Dec. 19 says the family doesn't know
why Riaz Mamdani was targeted in the attack, but they are
confident he will make a full recovery.

"Our family is in shock with a lot of concern, and we're all there
to support Riaz, Zainool (his wife) and the children," Alykhan
Mamdani said in an interview.

Mr. Mamdani, a 48-year-old father of four, was in the driver's
seat of a Rolls-Royce Phantom leaving his sprawling Mount Royal
home when he was shot.  The president and CEO of Strategic Group,
which has well over $1 billion in assets, remains surrounded by
family in hospital, where he is in stable condition and receiving
treatment for multiple injuries.

"We're grateful for the wishes, prayers and support from hundreds
of people, both in Calgary and outside, that have known Riaz, have
known the family," said Mr. Alykhan, 46, Mamdani's only sibling.

Still, Mr. Alykhan acknowledged his brother is accused of playing
a role in two controversial real estate deals, one of which
allegedly bilked investors of $200 million and triggered a class
action lawsuit.

"There's always concern when there are issues out there, that
people are disgruntled," he said.  "We have no knowledge of where
this targeting came from."

Police are searching for a male suspect who was wearing a bright
orange jacket.  The shooting left at least three bullet holes in
the windshield of the luxury car.

Despite his success and local philanthropy, Mr. Mamdani remains a
polarizing figure in the city.

Don Leibel is one of 2,200 investors named as plaintiffs in a
class action lawsuit who claim to have collectively lost some $200
million buying limited partnerships in commercial real estate
through Platinum Equities Inc.

The 80-year-old retiree who claims to have lost $100,000 in the
alleged investment fraud that names Mr. Mamdani, three other
individuals and several companies, said he was surprised to learn
Mr. Mamdani was targeted, but it hasn't blunted his lingering

"Some people lost their life savings -- I lost a big portion of my
life savings," he said.  "Because of what happened, we couldn't
live the life we wanted to."

In 2014, the Alberta Securities Commission ruled two companies,
including Platinum Equities, had perpetuated a fraud on investors,
while five other funds illegally traded and distributed

And last August, one of the co-accused in the Platinum Equities
class action, Srinivasan (Shariff) Chandran, was charged by RCMP
with fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000 for his alleged role.

Mr. Mamdani is also named in a separate $10-million class action
suit filed in June 2014, which alleges he was involved in an
investment deal that saw investors in Alberta, B.C. and Ontario
agree to purchase a parcel of land through two Platinum
corporations.  In total, more than three dozen lawsuits involving
Mr. Mamdani have been filed since 1993.

Mr. Mamdani told Alberta Venture in 2012 he was surprised and
somewhat offended when he learned he was linked to legal action
facing Platinum Equities Inc. over an alleged fraud.  He told the
magazine he felt badly for investors who lost money, though he
said he was not responsible for those losses.

"It appears to me that we have Platinum that has done a lot of
misdeeds and, in order to deflect criticism, they are pointing at
someone else," Mr. Mamdani told the magazine.

"And the investors are believing it.  And that puts me in an
awkward position that the investors bring me in.  And that's just
not the case."

Calgary lawyer Gordon Hoffman has known Mr. Mamdani for 15 years,
working side by side through several charitable foundations,
including the Alberta Champions Society, Project Warmth and
Operation Kickstart.

He said Mr. Mamdani's contributions to the city are enormous, and
he's been a hands-on participant in several charitable endeavours,
going far beyond just signing his name to cheques.

While Mr. Hoffman was reluctant to speculate why Mr. Mamdani was
targeted, he noted those who lose significant capital in business
deals are often looking for someone to blame.

"You can't do business sometimes without unfortunately making some
enemies," Mr. Hoffman said.  "Some people, when they've lost
money, they always want to blame somebody else."

Strategic Group issued a statement on Dec. 20, saying he's on the
road to recovery and they're grateful for community support.

"Thankfully, he is stable, improving and we can expect a full
recovery," the company said.  "We are truly grateful to the
outpouring of support from our customers, business members and
members of our community."

PLAYDEK: Unsung Story Kickstarter Backer Mulls Class Action
Jason Schreier, writing for Kotaku, reports that on Dec. 23 at
around 10pm ET -- optimal time to release news -- the developers
of Unsung Story put out yet another update for their longrunning
Kickstarter failure.  Backers were . . . not happy.

In case you haven't followed the ongoing Unsung Story debacle,
here's the short version: In January of 2014, the developer
Playdek raised $US660,000 ($920,736) for a strategy-RPG that they
said would feature a story and design by iconic Final Fantasy
Tactics designer Yasumi Matsuno.  By the end of 2015, it became
clear that Playdek wasn't going to deliver.  A string of broken
promises, the introduction of PVP to what was originally
characterised as a single-player game, and lingering communication
issues led Unsung Story backers to give up on all hopes of seeing
the "Final Fantasy Tactics successor" they had funded.

Nearly three years after the Kickstarter, Playdek now says
they're, uh, getting proper funding.  And working on a playable
build.  And some other details that still don't explain why it's
taken this company so long to deliver on what they promised.

The real highlight, however is the comments:

And on and on.  One backer says he's trying to put together a
class-action suit against Playdek, fuelled by the fact that Unsung
Story remains in purgatory while the company continues to release
plenty of other games.

PRADA USA: Faces "Duran" Suit Over Failure to Pay Overtime Wages
Mario Duran as an individual and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. Prada USA Corp. and Does 1 through 100, Case No.
BC644319 (Cal. Super. Ct., December 16, 2016), seeks to recover
unpaid overtime wages and damages pursuant to the California Labor

Prada USA Corp. is in the business of designing, producing and
selling luxury leather handbags, travel accessories, shoes, and
other fashion accessories.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Paul K. Haines, Esq.
      Tuvia Korobkin, Esq.
      Sean M. Blakely, Esq.
      2274 East Maple Ave.
      El Segundo, CA 90245
      Telephone: (424) 292-2350
      Facsimile: (424) 292-2355
      E-mail: phaines@haineslawgroup.com

PROGRESSIVE: Ohio Appeals Court Affirms Class Action Dismissal
Fender Bender reports that an Ohio court of appeals recently
upheld a trial court's decision to deny class certification to
four independent body shops in their recent lawsuit against
insurer Progressive.  The shops had sued Progressive in state
court, seeking damages for parts and labor and declaratory relief
that would require Progressive to indemnify them from any
liability occurring from their compliance with the insurer's
restrictions, legalnewsline.com noted.

Progressive argued that its practices and rates are competitive
based on Ohio's current market.  The class the plaintiffs sought
to certify included all Ohio registered body shops or registered
individuals (excluding Progressive DRP members) that perform body
repairs covered by the insurer's policies from Aug. 7, 2005, to
present.  Mainly, the plaintiffs' motion was the argument that
their two claims differed; the court disagreed and found the
relief sought was "merely incidental" to plaintiffs' damages
claims against the insurer.

Because the decision was specific to the request for class action
certification, the court made no ruling on the merits of the
independent lawsuits of the four body shop owners.

RENT-A-CENTER INC: Glancy Prongay Files Class Action Lawsuit
Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP filed a class action lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas on
behalf of a class consisting of persons and entities that
purchased or otherwise acquired Rent-A-Center, Inc. securities
between July 27, 2015, and October 10, 2016, inclusive.

If you are a member of the Class described above, you may move the
Court no later than 60 days from the date of this notice, to serve
as lead plaintiff. Please contact Lesley Portnoy at 888-773-9224
or 310-201-9150, or at -- shareholders@glancylaw.com -- to discuss
this matter.

The complaint filed in this lawsuit alleges that throughout the
Class Period, Defendants made materially false and/or misleading
statements, as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts
about the Company's business, operations, and prospects.
Specifically, Defendants failed to disclose: (1) that Rent-A-
Center could not properly implement its new point of sale system
("POS"); (2) that, the POS was performing extremely poorly,
including several instances where the system suffered complete
outages; (3) that as a result, the Company's Acceptance Now credit
system could not be implemented properly; (4) that the Company
could not meet revenue and profitability guidance provided to
investors; (5) that, as such, the Company would need to revise its
prior guidance; and (6) that, as a result of the foregoing,
Defendants' statements about Rent-A-Center's business, operations,
and prospects, were false and misleading and/or lacked a
reasonable basis.

If you purchased shares of Rent-A-Center during the Class Period
you may move the Court no later than 60 days from the date of this
notice to ask the Court to appoint you 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 Lesley Portnoy, Esquire, of Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP,
1925 Century Park East, Suite 2100, Los Angeles, California 90067,
at (310) 201-9150, by e-mail to -- shareholders@glancylaw.com --
or visit our website at http://www.glancylaw.com/

RENT-A-CENTER: Goldberg Law Files Securities Class Action Lawsuit
Goldberg Law PC, a national shareholder rights litigation firm,
disclosed the filing of a class action lawsuit against Rent-A-
Center, Inc. Investors who purchased or otherwise acquired
Facebook shares between July 27, 2015 and October 10, 2016
inclusive, are encouraged to contact the firm 60 days in advance
of this notice.

If you are a shareholder who suffered a loss during the Class
Period, we encourage you to contact Michael Goldberg or Brian
Schall, of Goldberg Law PC, 1999 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1100,
Los Angeles, CA 90067, at 800-977-7401, to discuss your rights
free of charge. You can also reach us through the firm's website
at http://www.Goldberglawpc.com,or by email at --
info@goldberglawpc.com --

The class in this case has not yet been certified, and until
certification occurs, you are not represented by an attorney. If
you choose to take no action, you can remain an absent class

According to the Complaint, during the Class Period, the Company
made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as
failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company's
business, operations, and prospects. In particular, the Company
failed to disclose: that Rent-A-Center was unable to effectively
install its new point of sale system ("POS"); that, the POS was
not performing as expected, including several system outrages;
that as a result, the Company's Acceptance Now credit system could
not be installed effectively; that the Company was unable to meet
revenue and profitability guidance provided to shareholders; that,
as such, the Company would need to review its prior guidance; and
that, as a result of the above, the Company's statements about
Rent-A-Center's business, operations, and prospects, were false
and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

Goldberg Law PC represents shareholders around the world and
specializes in securities class actions and shareholder rights

RENT-A-CENTER: February 21 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
Lundin Law PC, a shareholder rights firm on Dec. 27 announced a
class action lawsuit against Rent-A-Center, Inc. ("Rent-A-Center"
or the "Company") Nasdaq: RCII).  Investors, who purchased or
otherwise acquired shares between July 27, 2015 and October 10,
2016 inclusive (the "Class Period"), are encouraged to contact the
Firm in advance of the February 21, 2017 lead plaintiff motion

To participate in this class action lawsuit, call Brian Lundin,
Esquire, of Lundin Law PC, at 888-713-1033, or e-mail him at

No class has been certified in the above action yet.  Until
certification occurs, you are not represented by an attorney.  You
may choose to take no action and remain a passive class member.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period, the Company
made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as
failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company's
business, operations, and prospects.  In particular, Rent-A-Center
failed to reveal: that Rent-A-Center could not effectively install
its new point of sale system ("POS"); that, the POS was not
performing as anticipated and experienced system outrages; that as
a result, the Company's Acceptance Now credit system was not
installed effectively; that the Company could not meet revenue and
profitability guidance provided to investors; that, as such, the
Company would need to review its prior guidance; and that, as a
result of the above, the Rent-A-Center's statements about Rent-A-
Center's business, operations, and prospects, were false and
misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

Lundin Law PC was established by Brian Lundin, a securities
litigator based in Los Angeles dedicated to upholding
shareholders' rights.

RJ REYNOLDS: Court Says $18.5MM Tobacco Case Verdict Excessive
Chandra Lye, writing for Florida Record, reports that an appeals
court has ruled that an $18.5 million penalty on R.J. Reynolds
(RJR) Tobacco was excessive.

The monetary reward was granted to the daughter of a smoker who
died of lung cancer.

Gwendolyn Odom was awarded $6 million in compensatory damages and
$14 million in punitive damages after the death of her mother,
Juanita Thurston.  The second phase of the case was to determine
how much Ms. Odom was entitled to for punitive damages.

"When there is a large verdict oftentimes a defendant will file a
motion for remittitur and it is a motion to reduce the verdict,"
William Large from the Florida Justice Reform Institute told the
Florida Record.  "They are basically asking the trial judge to
rule that the verdict was too high."

Yet Mr. Large said it was not easy to win the favor of a judge in
these cases.

"It is difficult to get a judge to grant a motion for additur or
remittitur.  It is not common," he said, explaining that the
additur is when the plaintiff files to have additional damages
added to the original reward.

RJR raised questions about Ms. Odom's claims, "because plaintiff
failed to prove that her mother relied on a false or misleading
statement made by RJR after May 5, 1992."

The tobacco company also claims that comments made by Odom's
lawyer in the courtroom require a new trial.

The case was divided into two phases, the first was to determine
if Ms. Odom was eligible to be part of the Engle class action
lawsuit and to see if RJR could be held legally responsible for
Thurston's death.  Part of the issue, according to court
documents, was that Odom was not dependent upon her mother in a
meaningful way.

"The case is about remittitur and giving a large economic reward
to an adult who did not live with their mother," Mr. Large said.

In the filing RJR also argued that, when compared to other awards
in similar cases involving adult children, the award it was
ordered to pay was excessive.  But the trial court denied the

In this case the appeals court sent it back to the same circuit
judge, "with directions that the trial court grant a motion for
remittitur or order a new trial on damages only," Mr. Large said.

RJR has been fighting individual plaintiffs connected to the Engle
class action suit initially filed in 1994.  In 2006 a Florida
judge declared that those involved in the class action could move
forward as independent plaintiffs.  They were permitted to rely on
findings from the Engle and other similar cases to support their
claims.  Anyone wanting to use such cases needs to establish a
link between the marketing of tobacco companies and smoking

During the case the attorney for RJR said that the company had
changed its ways and has "started doing things the right way,
acting as a responsible company in the tobacco industry."

The company's vice president of cigarette product development
testified that they had been working on creating safer
alternatives to smoking.

There are reportedly thousands of cases like Ms. Odom's waiting
for their day in court.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA: May Pay Muni Operators $8MM in Settlement
Muni operators may net $8 million in a settlement from San
Francisco as a years-long overtime lawsuit potentially comes to an
end, according to The San Francisco Examiner.

In 2012, former Muni operator Darryl A. Stitt filed a class-action
suit against the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and
The City alleging the transit agency failed to pay Muni operators
due overtime in violation of the California Labor Code and San
Francisco's Minimum Wage Ordinance.

Muni operators weren't paid for travel time between the bus yards
they clocked into and the bus yards they needed to pull buses out
of, or for certain post-driving inspections and other periods,
Stitt and other operators alleged.

In 2014, U.S. District Court Judge Yvonne Gonzalez granted some
2,500 Muni operators class status, upping the ante in the suit.

From 2014 to 2016, SFMTA and the plaintiffs engaged in numerous
settlement hearings.

Now, an amount seems to have been agreed upon, according to court

"The parties have reached agreement that Defendant shall pay an
amount not to exceed Eight Million Dollars ($8,000,000) as the
Maximum Settlement Amount to resolve the Action on a class-wide
basis," wrote attorneys for the defendant, SFMTA, in a motion for
preliminary approval of class settlement filed Dec. 16.

The proposed settlement amount will tentatively go before the
SFMTA Board of Directors for approval in early January, which will
be followed by the next settlement hearing between the SFMTA and
the plaintiffs on Jan. 24, 2017.

The SFMTA declined to comment, and attorneys for the plaintiffs
did not return repeated calls. Eric Williams, president of the
Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, declined to comment on the

"I'm a plaintiff just like my [union] brothers and sisters," said
Williams, a former cable car operator.

The Tidrick Law Firm in Berkeley represented the Muni operators,
and may take as much as 30 percent of the settlement should it be
approved, according to court filings.

Operators from August 17, 2009, to May 2, 2014, will be included
in the payout.

In the filings, the SFMTA "specifically and generally" denied any
and all liability or wrongdoing of any sort. Crucially, this may
also mean operators may not be paid for travel time going into the
future, the defendants' attorneys explained on background -- the
$8 million settlement may be all the money operators will ever see
from the matter.

The lead plaintiff, Stitt, may net $25,000, as will another
plaintiff, John Dudley. Other plaintiffs will receive $10,000 and
$3,000 each, and a number of operators who provided depositions
may net $800 each.

The rest of the settlement will be determined by hours worked,
according to filings.

"Defendant (SFMTA) has concluded that further conduct of the
Action would likely be protracted, distracting and expensive, and
it is desirable that the Action be fully and finally settled,"
attorneys wrote in court filings.

The settlement may signal the end of a long saga, which the San
Francisco Examiner's sister paper SF Weekly referred to in 2014 as
"Finally, Inevitably: Muni is suing Muni."

At the time, SF Weekly noted that if The City was found to be in
violation of The City's Minimum Wage ordinance, a fine of $50 per
day -- per 2,500 SFMTA workers -- may have meant a $228 million
fine for The City.

SCRANTON, PA: Faces Class Action Over $300 Annual Garbage Fee
Jim Lockwood, writing for The Times-Tribune, reports that before
suing Scranton over its $300 annual garbage fee, Adam Guiffrida
wanted to try to work out an alternative.

On Dec. 8, the city's law department told him to advocate his
position with city council or any other way he deemed appropriate,
Mr. Guiffrida said in a phone interview.

Mr. Guiffrida filed a class-action lawsuit on Dec. 15, claiming
the city has been improperly setting its annual trash fee at a
too-high $300 since 2014, to generate millions of extra dollars
for city coffers each year.

"I've been reaching out to the city for over two months to discuss
it.  They would not even meet with me," Mr. Guiffrida said.

City Solicitor Jason Shrive declined to comment, saying the city
had not yet been served with the lawsuit, but he also typically
does not comment on pending litigation.

Mr. Guiffrida also said he waited until after Scranton enacted its
2017 budget to file the trash fee lawsuit.  Mayor Bill
Courtright's budget, adopted by council on Dec. 8, continues the
$300 trash fee and does not raise property taxes.  Mr. Guiffrida
said he waited so the city could not possibly use a trash fee
lawsuit as justification for raising property taxes.

"I didn't want that to happen.  I'm definitely not looking for any
more tax increases," he said.

A landlord, Mr. Guiffrida previously sued the city in 2015 over
its tripling of rental registration fees in 2014.  That pending
class-action lawsuit forced the city to reduce rental registration
fees and scrap inspections, though refunds of excess fees remain
unresolved and outstanding, he said.

His trash fee lawsuit will follow the same strategy: make the city
justify the $300 trash fee as fair, or force its reduction.

The city raised the garbage fee for 2014 from $178 to $300.  The
lawsuit claims the trash collection fee is supposed to only cover
costs of pickup, but has generated several millions more during
the past three years.

The trash fee issue has cropped up periodically since the big fee
hike in 2014.  Earlier this year, the administration sought
assistance from the state for a study of the actual cost of
garbage collection and best way to go forward.  Options for review
would include ramping up perennially low recycling amounts,
including of yard waste, and considering a per-bag fee to induce
residents to recycle more.  This presumably would lead to less
trash sent to the landfill and a reduction in tipping-fee costs,
and the city hopes this review takes place during the first half
of 2017, officials have said.

Mr. Guiffrida thinks that the city's former $178 annual garbage
fee also was probably too high, and suing the city for an
accounting is the only way to find out.

"The city will have to do their own analysis (of trash pickup
costs) in court," he said.

SHOP VAC: Approval of Wet-Dry Vacuum Settlement Appealed
John Beauge, writing for PennLive, reports that a Montgomery
County woman has appealed the approval of the 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.

Michelle Vullings of Collegeville, who in August had called the
then-proposed settlement "unfair," filed her appeal on Dec. 19 in
U.S. Middle District Court. Judge Yvette Kane gave final approval
to the settlement Dec. 9.

Ms. Vullings was one three individuals to file an objection out of
the 1,164,149 who received notice of the preliminary settlement.
None of the three attended a fairness hearing in September in

She did not detail her objections in the appeal but in August she
contended the settlement did not protect the public from Shop
Vac's conduct in the future and attorney fees were excessive.

She also claimed a fair settlement benefit would have included
cash distributions to class members for their waiver of consumer
fraud and warranty claims.

The settlement Kane approved awarded $5,000 to each of four named
plaintiffs in Florida, Missouri, California and Illinois along
with $4.25 million in legal fees.

Shop Vac, which did not admit any liability, agreed to a two-year
extension of the warranty on the motors of the vacuums purchased
or acquired since Jan. 1, 2006.

In her August objection, Ms. Vullings opined Shop Vac's cost for
the extended warranty "is surely minimal" and is likely to be a
small fraction of the attorney fees.

The parties had estimated in an earlier court document the retail
value of the extended warranties would be "well into the millions
of dollars."

Shop Vac, which is headquartered in Williamsport, 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.

SIRIUS XM: Landmark Ruling Leaves Artists With Lump of Coal
Ian C. Ballon, Esq. -- Ballon@gtlaw.com -- and Justin A. MacLean,
Esq. -- macleanj@gtlaw.com -- of Greenberg Traurig, disclosed that
on Dec. 20, 2016, the New York Court of Appeals issued its
decision in Flo & Eddie, Inc. v. Sirius XM Radio, Inc., holding,
by a 4-2 vote, that New York law does not recognize a public
performance right in sound recordings fixed before Feb. 15, 1972.
Flo & Eddie dealt a setback to recording artists and record
companies seeking royalty payments from digital music services
that perform their sound recordings over the internet.  However,
the full impact of the Court's decision remains to be seen.

The Legal Framework for Pre-1972 Recordings

Copyright in original works of authorship is governed almost
exclusively by federal law.  The Copyright Act of 1976 sets forth
a number of exclusive rights for owners of copyrightable works
including, in most cases, the right to reproduce, distribute, make
derivative works of, publicly perform, and publicly display those
works.  But for sound recordings -- the recorded performance of a
series of musical, spoken, or other sounds -- those exclusive
rights are more limited. Most notably, sound recordings do not
enjoy a general right of public performance under the Copyright
Act.  In 1995, with the advancement of computer technology,
Congress enacted the Digital Performance Right in Sound Recordings
Act (DPRA), adding to the copyright statute an exclusive right to
perform sound recordings, but only "by means of a digital audio
transmission."  This addition was saddled with a number of
exemptions, qualifications, limited compulsory licenses, and
statutorily mandated royalty rates, set by a governmental body and
collected by what is essentially a royalty clearinghouse for
distribution to relevant stakeholders.

The Copyright Act only protects sound recordings created on or
after Feb. 15, 1972.  Sound recordings created before that date
("pre-1972 sound recordings") are not subject to federal copyright
protection.  Rather, pre-1972 sound recordings are governed by an
amalgam of state laws, both statutory7 and at common law.  The
scope of those state law copyrights has not been well-defined.
For instance, it was clear that state laws protected against
copying (i.e., reproducing) pre-1972 sound recordings.  However,
whether state law copyrights included a right of public
performance had not come into question -- at least until recently.

The Flo & Eddie Litigation

Flo & Eddie is a corporation owned by two of the original members
of the band The Turtles -- best known for its hit song "Happy
Together" -- and the owner of copyrights in the band's sound
recordings.  Beginning in August 2013, Flo & Eddie sued Sirius XM
Radio in putative class actions in New York, California, and
Florida, alleging that Sirius infringed Flo & Eddie's state law
copyrights in its pre-1972 sound recordings by broadcasting them
in digital media (via satellite or the internet) without
authorization.  Sirius, in response, asserted that its broadcasts
of The Turtles' recordings did not amount to infringement, because
pre-1972 recordings did not enjoy a right of public performance
under state law.

In the Southern District of New York, Judge Colleen McMahon denied
Sirius's motion for summary judgment and held, among other things,
that New York recognized a public performance right in pre-1972
sound recordings.  Judge McMahon recognized that she was deciding
an issue "of first impression," that broadcasters "have adapted to
an environment in which they do not pay royalties for broadcasting
pre-1972 sound recordings," and that Flo & Eddie's lawsuit
"threatens to upset those settled expectations."  Yet, Judge
McMahon observed that New York had "long afforded public
performance rights to holders of common law copyrights in works
such as plays . . . and films," and did not attach significance to
the fact that no case law explicitly recognized a public
performance right in sound recordings, nor in the fact that sound
recording copyright owners had failed to act on whatever common
law performance existed (leaving broadcasters to avoid paying

Sirius then filed an interlocutory appeal to the Second Circuit,
which held that (1) the New York Court of Appeals had not ruled on
whether a public performance right in sound recordings exists; (2)
the question of whether such a right exists was determinative of
Flo & Eddie's infringement claim; and (3) the recognition of such
a right was a public policy choice appropriately resolved by a
state court.  Thus, the Second Circuit certified to the New York
Court of Appeals the following question: "Is there a right of
public performance for creators of sound recordings under New York
law and, if so, what is the nature and scope of that right?"

The Court of Appeals' Decision

The Court of Appeals accepted the certified question, and a four-
judge majority answered that question in the negative.  The Court
reviewed the pertinent decisions on copyright protection under New
York state law, and concluded that rather than recognize an
"inseparable bundle of rights," New York copyright recognized
"separate rights addressing copying and performing, with the
former based in common law and the latter based in statute."
With respect to sound recordings, the Court held that "copyright
prevents copying of a work, but does not prevent someone from
using a copy, once it has been lawfully procured, in any other way
the purchaser sees fit."

In addition, the Court observed that representatives of the
recording industry, themselves, indicated in their lobbying
efforts for a federal performance right their previous
understanding that no public performance right existed under any
law (federal or state), and that sound recording rightsholders
took no action to assert common-law protection for at least the
past four decades (i.e., since the advent of federal protection
for sound recordings).  The Court of Appeals then observed that it
was within the ambit of the state Legislature to conduct the
delicate balancing of interests that would be necessary if a new
performance right, with significant economic consequences, were to
be created.

Finally, the Court of Appeals explained that creation of a public
performance right would involve questions of "line drawing" as to
what types of performances would be subject to it -- for example,
if the public performance right would encompass only performance
for "commercial purposes," if it would exempt over-the-air radio
(as the federal Copyright Act does), if it would extend to
performances involving indirect payment (such as to a bar that
imposes a cover charge), and so on.  The Court also noted that
other causes of action may be available, even in the absence of a
common-law right of public performance.

Two judges on the Court of Appeals dissented, expressing the view
that New York's "broad and flexible common-law copyright
protections for sound recordings encompass a public performance
right that extends to the outer boundaries of current federal law"
(i.e., exempting traditional AM/FM radio stations).  And, in a
concurring opinion, one judge agreed with the majority that there
was no public performance right, but argued separately that "on
demand" streaming of recordings should not be classified as
performance, but rather, publication (and thus, falls within the
bundle of rights under common law granted to pre-1972 sound

Potential Impact on Performance of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings

The New York Court of Appeals' decision marks the first time that
the highest court of any state has weighed in on whether state law
recognizes a public performance right in pre-1972 sound
recordings.  But courts in other jurisdictions are considering
similar questions.  In California, Flo & Eddie won a ruling
against Sirius XM that California law recognizes a performance
right in pre-1972 sound recordings under that state's copyright
statute.  But Flo & Eddie's counterpart lawsuit against digital
music giant Pandora has been appealed and is pending in the Ninth
Circuit.  In Florida, the opposite result occurred; the district
court ruled that Florida law does not recognize a performance
right in pre-1972 sound recordings.  Flo & Eddie appealed that
decision, and the 11th Circuit -- much like the Second Circuit did
here -- certified the question of whether a public performance
right exists to the Florida Supreme Court, where it is pending.

Given the timing of the Court of Appeals' decision and the
historical importance of New York jurisprudence to both the
recording industry and digital music services, the Flo & Eddie
opinion from New York may be influential in both outstanding cases
in California and Florida.  On the other hand, the courts in those
jurisdictions may steer clear of reliance on the New York case, or
they may be more convinced by the Court's highly persuasive
concurring and dissenting opinions.  And, even in
New York, the fight is not over; the Second Circuit, armed with
the Court of Appeals' answer to its question, must now turn to
Sirius' allegedly illicit reproductions of those same pre-1972
sound recordings, the question of whether those reproductions
constitute non-infringing fair use, and Flo & Eddie's claims of
unfair competition.

On the legislative front, the Court of Appeals' opinion invited
stakeholders to turn their attention to the New York legislature
for any changes that might be warranted to the scope of copyright
in pre-1972 sound recordings.  Given the decline in revenue that
artists and record labels are facing, one might expect that the
recording industry will be sending their representatives to Albany
in full force.  Not to be outdone, one might also expect that
users of sound recordings -- both digital music services and
traditional broadcasters -- will follow suit, in an effort to
obtain exemptions and other statutory limits on the public
performance right akin to those present in federal law.  Finally,
Flo & Eddie is bound to have caught the eye of Congress and the
United States Copyright Office, which has explored bringing
pre-1972 sound recordings within the ambit of the federal
Copyright Act for the past several years.  After this most recent
decision, those efforts may well intensify.

One thing is certain: 2017 will bring a flurry of new developments
for old recordings.

SLATER & GORDON: ASIC Probe May Hamper $250MM Class Action
Misa Han and Jonathan Shapiro, writing for Australian Financial
Review, report that Maurice Blackburn will likely have to widen
the net of a class action against Slater & Gordon to include its
former auditors after the corporate regulator reopened an
investigation into the embattled law firm's accounts.

Slater & Gordon revealed that Australian Securities and Investment
Commission has asked for documents that may show whether the law
firm's financial records were "deliberately falsified or
manipulated", or whether its "officers have committed offences."

This is critical to Maurice Blackburn's case because if it's
proved that Slaters executives engaged in "falsification",
insurers would not be liable for any class action claim. Instead,
Maurice Blackburn would have to go after other sources, including
its auditors, advisors and directors personally.

Maurice Blackburn said in a statement: "Slater & Gordon's
announcement does indicate that the ASIC investigation is very
serious, and we will be watching with interest.

"But in complex class actions like this there are often multiple
avenues of recovery, especially considering that Slater & Gordon
itself has foreshadowed a cross-claim against other parties,
including a warranty claim against Quindell (now Watchstone) and
ú50 million ($85 million) is still being held in escrow against
that claim."

Slaters is planning to sue Watchstone Group -- the remnants of
British company Quindell -- which it paid $1.3 billion in a deal
to acquire its troubled professional services division.  The stock
is trading at 23 cents compared a high of $7.85 18 months ago.

A senior litigation lawyer, who did not wish to be named, said if
allegations of falsification are proven, Maurice Blackburn has
three options: for the law firm to "stick to the knitting" and
allege failure of continuous disclosure obligations without
raising allegations of falsified accounts; to go after the
directors individually; or to seek to recover from third parties
including auditors and advisors.

Another senior litigation lawyer said if the corporate regulator
finds there has been deliberate falsification of accounts then it
is likely Maurice Blackburn would go after third parties including
Slaters' auditors.  Slaters' former auditors include Pitcher
Partners and EY.

"If you have a falsification of accounts and that's done
willingly, then insurance exclusions could kick in, which means
you have an uninsured loss and have got to find other sources to
recover the money from," he said.

"It's much more likely they will also go after somebody who was
insured, for example a negligent advisor who was a concurrent
wrongdoer.  In practice it'll be the accountants who signed off on
the accounts, because in theory it's their job to discover things
like [falsification]," he said.

In October Maurice Blackburn launched a $250 million plus class
action on behalf of more than 3000 shareholders, including over 80
institutional investors and super funds.  The size of the class
action is significantly more than Slater & Gordon's market cap of
just $81.9 million.

The action is backed by litigation funder International Litigation

Diane Jones, executive of JustKapital, a litigation funder which
is conditionally funding ACA Lawyers' planned class action against
Slaters, said any claim of falsified accounts is a "significant
concern" for any litigation funder because it would render
insurance ineffective.

But she said it was likely the ACA class action will proceed even
if there is an ASIC investigation under way.

Another litigation lawyer said while the investigation will
trigger Maurice Blackburn and other class action litigators to
"widen the net" to ensure recoverability, it was unlikely they
would go after the personal wealth of the individual directors
because "none of them would have the independent wealth to meet a

STATE STREET: $53-An-Hour Lawyer Charges $500 in Settlement
Daniel Fisher, writing for Forbes, reports that the Boston Globe
has a great muckraking piece on one of the biggest scandals in
American law: How class-action attorneys submit inflated bills and
steer court-approved legal fees to politicians and other insiders,
often without public oversight.

The article published in the Globe details how lawyers who
negotiated a $300 million settlement with State Street Corp. over
foreign-exchange overcharges stuck their own clients with $76
million in fees, including $203,200 for the brother of lead
attorney Garrett Bradley, who until August was the assistant
majority leader in the Massachusetts House.  The hefty payment to
the politician's brother Michael reflected a court-approved rate
of $500 an hour, surprising given Bradley's normal occupation as a
$53-an-hour public defender, the Globe reported.

Other lawyers were billed to the class at $425 an hour when they
were actually paid $30 an hour for their services, one of the
lawyers told the Globe.  That highlights another common practice
in class-action land, where law firms hire inexperienced or
unemployed contract attorneys to perform routine document
screening and then mark up their services to corporate levels when
they submit the bill to the court.  When multiple law firms join
forces to prosecute a single case -- eight that we know of in this
case, including New York's Labaton Sucharow -- they typically
horse-trade those marked-up hours among themselves to spread the
profits and tamp down disagreements that might result in lower
fees for everybody.  In this case the contract attorneys actually
worked for Labaton but appeared on Thornton's bill, the Globe

Diana Pisciotta, spokeswoman for Labaton Sucharow, told the Globe
such markups are "commonly accepted practice throughout the legal

There's nothing new about class-action lawyers spreading the
wealth to friends and political supporters.  The Globe, in another
investigation earlier this year, reported how Bradley's law firm
handed out "bonuses" to partners equal to the hundreds of
thousands of dollars in campaign contributions they made to
Democratic politicians around the country.  The Globe reported in
November that federal prosecutors had opened a grand jury
investigation into the practice.

In Mississippi, a disgruntled former lawyer with prominent class-
action firm Bernstein Litowitz accused his colleagues of
authorizing more than $100,000 in fees for the solo-practitioner
wife of a staff attorney in the office of Misssippi Attorney
General Jim Hood.  The $544-an-hour fee would be eye-popping for
just about any lawyer in central Mississippi but it was
particularly surprising given Mississippi was the lead plaintiff -
- and Mr. Hood in charge of handing out the class-action duties --
in the case against Satyam Computer Services.

And in Chicago, prosecutors have charged former Chicago alderman
Edward "Fast Eddie" Vdolyak of getting his cut from the monumental
1998 tobacco settlement, for services that allegedly didn't
include performing any legal work.  That's the settlement that
showered billions of dollars on mostly Democratic trial lawyers
across the country for the masterful job of negotiating a cartel
agreement among the states that protects Philip Morris from
competition to this day.  In exchange the states taxed cigarettes
at a higher level -- something they had the power to do anyway,
high-school civics graduates understand.

When stories like these emerge, class-action lawyers have a stock
response: We only submit hourly bills because courts order us to.
We're really just seeking compensation for the risk we took on of
being paid nothing.  Which is fine, except for all the ways they
insulate themselves from that risk, including spreading the wealth
to the people hiring them and cutting deals among themselves to
reduce competition.  To reiterate: The only solution is for judges
to order public disclosure of what each and every attorney
associated with the plaintiff side is paid. The court subtracts
those fees from what the clients get, after all -- unlike defense
fees -- so the clients should know who they are paying.

SVM MANAGEMENT: Faces "Joinder" Suit Over Unlawful Penalties
Chandra Joinder and William Blackmond, individually and on behalf
and similarly situated persons v. SVM Management LLC, Case No.
2016-CH-16407 (Ill. Cir. Ct., December 20, 2016), arises out of
the Defendant's practice of using a lease and riders containing
clauses which impose unlawful penalties that subsume tenants'
security deposits and interest.

SVM Management LLC operates a large residential apartment complex
with at least 260 rental units located at 18130 S. Kedzie Avenue,
Hazel Crest, in Cook County, Illinois.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Berton N. Ring, Esq.
      Stuart M. Clarke, Esq.
      BERTON N. RING, P.C.
      123 W. Madison St., 15th Floor
      Chicago, IL 60602
      Telephone: (312)781-0290
      E-mail: bring@bnrpc.com

SYNGENTA AG: Grosvenor Farms' Suit Moved to Kansas Dist. Ct.
Grosvenor Farms, Charles A. McClintock, LLC, John L. McClintock,
LLC, Patmos, LLC and George T. McClintock, LLC, Plaintiffs, v.
Syngenta AG, Syngenta Crop Protection AG, Syngenta Corporation,
Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc. and
Syngenta Seeds, Inc., Defendant, Case No. 4:16-cv-00221 (N.D.
Miss., November 4, 2016) was transferred to the U.S. District
Court of Kansas under Case No. 2:16-CV-2794, therefore the case in
Mississippi court was dismissed on December 2, 2016.

Syngenta released a genetically engineered corn trait, MIR162,
into the U.S. market. However, China's prohibition on the
importation of MIR162 corn, even in trace, low-level amounts,
effectively blocked what was previously the third-largest export
market for U.S. corn, causing U.S. farmers significant damages and
corn prices have dropped from the loss of China's export markets.
Plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly
situated, seek monetary damages including compensatory relief,
prejudgment interest, costs of this action and such other and
further relief resulting from fraudulent misrepresentation,
negligence, public nuisance and violation of Lanham Act.

Syngenta AG and Syngenta Crop Protection AG are corporations
organized and existing under the laws of Switzerland with its
principal place of business at Schwarzwaldallee 215, CH-4058
Basel-Stadt, Switzerland.

Syngenta Corporation is a Delaware corporation with a principal
place of business at 3411 Silverside Road #100, Wilmington,
Delaware 19810-4812.

Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC is a limited liability company
organized and operating under the laws of the State of Delaware
with its principal place of business at 410 South Swing Road,
Greensboro, North Carolina 27409-2012.

Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc. is a Delaware corporation with a
principal place of business at Research Triangle Park, 3054
Cornwallis Road, Durham, North Carolina 27709-0296.

Syngenta Seeds, Inc. is a Delaware corporation with a principal
place of business at 11055 Wayzata Boulevard, Minnetonka,
Minnesota 55304-1526.

Plaintiff was represented by:

      John F. Hawkins, Esq.
      Edward Gibson, Esq.
      Post Office Box 24627
      Jackson, MS 39225-4627
      Telephone: (601) 969-9692
      Facsimile: (601) 914-3580

TARGET CORPORATION: Immigrant Workers Allege Exploitation
Travis Putnam Hill, Jay Root and Elena Mejia, writing for The
Texas Tribune, report that at an hour when many people are tucking
themselves in for the night, the cleaning crew at an Austin-area
Target store is just getting started.  By the time it finishes in
the early morning, workers will have cleaned the bathrooms, taken
out the garbage, washed windows and carpets and polished the
floors to that reflective white sheen on which the Target
Corporation prides itself.

One of those janitors -- a 57-year-old Mexican immigrant who
preferred to go by his nickname, "Chunco" -- has worked for
various contractors cleaning Target stores in Central Texas for
about 12 years, despite lacking the legal right to work in the
United States.

And he's not alone: "All of the [cleaning] workers I've known were
undocumented," Chunco told The Texas Tribune, speaking in his
native Spanish.

While his immigration status hasn't posed a significant roadblock
to his continued employment, it has exposed him to the risks that
come with working in the shadows.  He and his fellow custodians
have repeatedly been paid less than minimum wage and worked six or
seven days a week with no overtime pay, according to court records
and Texas Tribune interviews.  In some cases, they accumulated
those overtime hours when Target managers would lock them in the
store for extra tasks.

"We've realized that [employers] prefer us for being undocumented
because we just keep our heads down to get jobs," Chunco said.
"[We] can't afford to complain.  They take advantage of us being

What Chunco describes is a window into an expansive underground
labor market in which illegal hiring is widespread, even among
some of the biggest names in American business.  Yet the risk of
running afoul of immigration authorities is low.  Employers skirt
culpability by accepting fake documents that they are not legally
required to verify, misclassifying workers as independent
contractors or subcontracting to separate businesses that do the
actual hiring -- all while claiming they did what the law requires
to verify their workers' employment authorization.

It's that "don't ask, don't tell" system that allows employers to
benefit from cheap immigrant labor.  The same shadows under which
undocumented immigrants are hired can also obscure the further
exploitation they often endure.

"The fact that they're in the shadows makes them vulnerable," said
Bill Beardall, executive director of the Equal Justice Center, a
nonprofit law firm that represents low-wage workers in Texas.

And he would know: A large portion of the center's cases involve
unpaid and underpaid wages to immigrant workers. Two of its cases
illustrate the nature of this abuse, and how brand-name employers
attempt to distance themselves from such transgressions.

Locked in without pay

Back in 2007 to 2008, the Equal Justice Center represented Chunco
and 28 other janitorial workers in a lawsuit against Target and a
contractor called Jim's Maintenance for unpaid wages and overtime.
According to publicly available court documents, Target's lawyers
asserted that the retailer was not a joint employer of the workers
and thus not responsible for the wages that Jim's Maintenance had
failed to pay.  Target instead claimed that the workers were
employees solely of Jim's Maintenance.

To Beardall, the notion that these janitors were not jointly
employed by Target was "preposterous."

"It was the Target night managers," he said, "who let [the
workers] in the building and locked them [in], and told them what
to do at night, and wouldn't let them out in the morning until the
Target manager had walked around the store with the crew and said,
'I'll let you out.'"

The list of undisputed facts culled from hours of deposition
testimony from parties on both sides of the suit reveals the
degree of control Target had over the janitors.  Target managers
decided when shifts would start and directly told the workers when
they should come in, which was usually around 10 or 11 p.m. Shifts
were typically scheduled to end at 7 or 8 a.m., but Target
managers regularly held the workers past the scheduled quitting
time.  And to ensure Target's strict cleaning standards were met,
managers would frequently lock the workers in the store for the
entirety of their shifts.

"We've realized that [employers] prefer us for being undocumented
because we just keep our heads down to get jobs. [We] can't afford
to complain.  They take advantage of us being undocumented."

Depositions from both sides also showed that the janitors often
worked 60 or more hours each week, yet according to testimony,
were never paid overtime.  While Target kept records of the
workers' hours, Jim's Maintenance did no such thing and instead
tracked only days worked.  The wages the workers did receive often
came out well below minimum wage -- in at least one case to the
equivalent of $4.35 an hour.

In 2006, Target terminated its contract with Jim's after an audit
by Price Waterhouse Coopers found that Jim's had improperly
misclassified multiple workers as independent contractors and
failed to keep required wage and hour records . Testimony from a
Target official revealed that, even after receiving audit
findings, Target did not take steps to report the violations to
the proper authorities.  Instead, it cut ties with Jim's, giving
the cleaning contractor just two days' notice.

The end of the contract put Jim's out of business since, as
Beardall put it, "Its only function in life was to clean stores
for Target."  To make matters worse, Target decided to hold on to
$496,000 in fees owed to Jim's for its services for the entire
month of May 2006.  As a result, Jim's couldn't afford to give the
workers their final paycheck.

For its part, Jim's Maintenance acknowledged in briefs to the
court that it did not pay workers the required overtime wages. The
contractor contended, however, that it was merely a "labor
recruiter" and "paymaster" rather than a joint employer and that
Target was solely liable for the unpaid overtime, as it was the
retailer who forced the workers to work long hours.  The court
ultimately rejected that argument, saying Jim's was, in fact, an

The suit was eventually settled out of court, and Target never
admitted any wrongdoing.  An attorney who represented Jim's in the
case did not respond to requests for comment.

In an emailed response, a Target spokeswoman wrote that the
lawsuit "dealt exclusively with wage and hour issues" and did not
raise questions about the plaintiffs' immigration status or that
of anyone associated with Jim's Maintenance.

"We can find no references in the court record that would indicate
that Target knew that plaintiffs, nor any other people, were
'undocumented,'" she wrote.  "The issue instead was that their
employer, Jim's Maintenance, was failing to fulfill its
obligations to keep proper records, including records of I-9
compliance.  This failure to fulfill its contractual obligations
ultimately contributed to Target's decision to terminate its
contract with Jim's Maintenance."

Court documents and a hearing transcript suggest the retailer's
lawyers may have suspected the workers were undocumented and
intended to use their legal status against them in the suit.

Target's lawyers sought to grill the workers in their depositions
on matters related to their immigration status, specifically about
the names and Social Security numbers the workers provided on
their employment applications.  They argued that if the workers
had provided false information on their applications, it would
speak to the credibility of their wage and hour complaints. But
the Equal Justice Center filed a protective order to prohibit such
questions, claiming it would have a "chilling effect" on the
workers' ability to enforce their legitimate wage rights.  The
judge agreed that the workers suing Target did not have to answer
questions related to their immigration status.

"Employment rights apply equally to all workers, regardless of
their immigration status," Beardall said.  "The problem is most
undocumented workers don't know that, and employers may not know
that. If they do know that, they will nevertheless use those
workers' vulnerable immigration status to discourage them from
enforcing their rights."

Case of the fruit cutters

A similar case unfolded between 2012 and 2013 when workers who
cut, bagged and stocked fruit at H-E-B grocery stores filed a
class action lawsuit claiming that they had been cheated out of
minimum wage and overtime pay.

The workers -- mostly immigrants and women -- worked at H-E-B
through a contractor called Pastrana's Produce, a company with
offices in Brownsville and the Mexican border city of Matamoros.
The lawsuit named both Pastrana's and H-E-B as defendants, but the
Texas grocer denied responsibility.

"They were trying to contend that women who were cutting up fruit
and nopal in their store to be sold in the produce rack and paid
for at the checkout counter, that those women were contractors not
of H-E-B but of something called Pastrana's Produce," Beardall

In sworn affidavits, the produce workers claimed they routinely
worked seven days a week, often for 50 hours or more, but weren't
compensated for overtime and did not receive an hourly wage.
Instead, they were paid a set rate for each bag of produce that
customers bought. That rate depended on the type of produce sold
and tended to be so low that their paychecks never amounted to
minimum wage.

One of the plaintiffs alleged that a manager at the H-E-B store on
William Cannon Drive in Austin made her work in the cooler without
any protective clothing -- an allegation repeated by several
others at different H-E-B locations.

To further exacerbate the problems, it seems the workers were
discouraged from trying to recover their wages.  According to the
affidavits, some of the workers knew about a previous lawsuit
between Pastrana's fruit cutters and H-E-B but didn't join at that
time for fear of losing their jobs. They said a Pastrana's
supervisor told them the workers who did join would lose the suit
as well as their jobs.

As in the Target case, lawyers from the Equal Justice Center
argued that the workers were jointly employed by H-E-B and
Pastrana's because they were a vital part of H-E-B's business.
They worked only in stores owned by H-E-B and under supervision of
H-E-B managers, who determined their work hours and daily

And also like the Target case, the dispute was settled out of
court, with H-E-B maintaining that it was not a joint employer.

By the time of publication, H-E-B had not responded to questions
regarding the case.  And attorneys for both sides remained tight-
lipped both about the terms of the settlement and the specifics of
the workers' immigration status -- that is, whether they were
authorized to work in the United States.

Michael Latimer, the lawyer who represented Pastrana's, said the
plaintiffs' immigration status was never a question throughout the

A woman who answered the door at the former addresses of one of
the plaintiffs said she was a friend of the plaintiff and recalled
him talking about his case against H-E-B. She also said he was

The Texas Tribune was able to reach another plaintiff by phone,
but when asked to verify whether the produce workers were
undocumented, she hung up abruptly.

Elephant in the room

The cases are just two examples of how average citizens reap the
fruits of unauthorized labor on a daily basis, even if they may
not realize it. Undocumented workers toil away on towering
construction projects and harvest crops in sunbaked fields.  They
prepare food behind kitchen doors and wash the dishes when the
meal is done.  They build homes, mow lawns and clean stores and
office buildings.

While many decry the scourge of undocumented immigrants taking
jobs from Americans, they rarely address their anger at the
businesses that hire those immigrants, businesses whose low prices
may depend on the low wages they pay.

"What you end up with when you have a group of workers who are
relegated to a second-class status is it stimulates a race to the
bottom where some employers, the unscrupulous employers, prefer to
hire those workers precisely because they're exploitable,"
Beardall said.

And so often, those exploitable workers are undocumented

"It's the elephant in the room that nobody wants to talk about,"
Beardall said, speaking generally.  "We live in a society where we
don't really want to acknowledge that ... precisely because
business depends on those workers."

Chunco's experience may attest to that dependence.  For more than
a decade, he has been on the payroll of a string of different
companies contracted by Target to clean its stores.

"If a company doesn't meet the requirements that Target demands,
[Target] breaks ties [with that company] and another one comes
in," he said.  "The next company comes in and asks Target if the
workers are doing a good job. And if they say we're doing an
excellent job, we keep our jobs with the new company."

So despite the lawsuit and dissolution of Jim's Maintenance,
Chunco is still buffing the same Target floors in the same Target
buildings that he has for the last 12 years.  And the
disadvantages of working in the shadows haven't quite disappeared:
He said his schedule was cut to five hours per shift, but he's
still required to do all the work he used to do in eight or 10.

"When you've been here for a while, you learn that they do exploit
you," he said.  "But we have to work."

THERANOS INC: Taps Wilmer Cutler to Defend Class Actions
Ben Hancock, writing for The Recorder, reports that Theranos Inc.
has begun drawing on a wider network of law firms, amid a rift
with its once-stalwart ally Boies, Schiller & Flexner.

The embattled Silicon Valley company has been besieged by lawsuits
from customers, investors and business partners following reports
of its failure to deliver on its promised blood-testing

On Dec. 20 attorneys at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr
entered appearances for Theranos in a proposed class action in San
Francisco federal court on behalf of investors who say they were
duped into buying shares in the private company.

The attorney identified as lead counsel for Theranos in the case
is Michael Mugmon -- michael.mugmon@wilmerhale.com -- a Wilmer
Cutler partner in Palo Alto.  He declined to comment, but
according to his firm bio, Mr. Mugmon's practice "focuses broadly
on crisis management for companies and individuals facing
significant regulatory actions and litigation."

It's the second lawsuit against Theranos in which Wilmer has
publicly entered an appearance.  The firm is also representing
Theranos in a suit brought by a hedge fund in Delaware, and The
Wall Street Journal reported last month that Wilmer had started
handling government investigations into the company after Theranos
split with Boies Schiller over strategy.

Another firm that Theranos has turned to is Cooley.  Firm chairman
Stephen Neal -- nealsc@cooley.com -- and
Kathleen Goodhart -- kgoodhart@cooley.com -- head of Cooley's Bay
Area litigation practice, are representing Theranos CEO Elizabeth
Holmes in the investor suit in Delaware.   Cooley also stepped in
on Ms. Holmes' behalf earlier this month in a consumer class
action pending in Arizona federal court after Boies Schiller
attorneys withdrew.

According to Theranos' website, Boies Schiller founding partner
David Boies -- dboies@bsfllp.com -- continues to sit on the
company's board of directors.  The firm had represented Theranos
for years, including in a patent feud against a father-son
inventor team that predated its current woes.

Edward Evans, a spokesman for Boies Schiller, deferred an inquiry
about the firm's split with Theranos to the company.  Theranos did
not respond to a request for comment.

Meanwhile, in a lawsuit brought by Theranos' former business
partner Walgreens in November in the U.S. District Court of
Delaware, Theranos is now being represented by Wilkinson Walsh +
Eskovitz.  The small trial firm was founded earlier this year by a
group of litigators from firms such as Paul, Weiss, Rifkind,
Wharton & Garrison and Munger, Tolles & Olson.

TOP FLITE: 6th Cir. Reverses TCPA Class Action Certification
Jeremy Gilman, Esq. -- jgilman@beneschlaw.com -- of Benesch, in an
article for JDSupra, reports that this case is more than merely an
appellate adjudication of a TCPA case.  It's an announcement of
class certification law by the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Here's the court's summary:

"Plaintiffs . . .  allege that defendant . . . violated the TCPA
when it hired [a fax broadcasting company] to send unsolicited fax
advertisements to plaintiffs and a class of similarly situated
persons and businesses.  The district court denied plaintiffs'
motion for class certification and dismissed their complaints as
moot after the plaintiffs chose not to accept offers of individual
judgment. . . . We reverse."

Defendant was a Michigan-based residential mortgage company.   A
fax broadcasting company named B2B -- whose operator another court
referred to as a modern-day "typhoid mary" -- allegedly sent fax
ads for defendant to more than 4,000 fax numbers using a list
acquired from non-party InfoUSA.  Plaintiffs were among the
recipients.  They claimed that the faxes were unsolicited and that
they did not have an established business relationships with
defendant.  They sued in federal court in Detroit and sought
certification of a class consisting of "[a]ll persons sent one or
more faxes in March 2006 from 'Top Flite Financial' offering '0
Down, 0 Closing Costs" for  Mortgages' on 'Purchases/ReFinancing,
and identifying (718) 360-0971 as a 'Remove Hotline' telephone

The district court denied class certification.  Why?  Here's how
the Sixth Circuit described it:

T]he [district] court "ma[de] no determinations as to the
satisfaction of the requirements in Rule 23(a)," and instead
focused its analysis exclusively on "application of Rule 23(b)(3)"
and the issue of predominance.  The district court expressed
concern that individual class members might have solicited or
consented to receiving the challenged faxes, and held that
determining if class members had so consented "would require
investigation of the factual circumstances of each person or
business that received a facsimile transmission[.]"  The court
explained that it was "not persuaded" that the issue of consent
was "subject to generalized proof," and, consequently, would
"exercise its discretion to deny [the] request for class
certification" on the ground that plaintiffs had not shown that
common questions of law or fact predominate over questions
concerning individual class members.  (Emphasis added.)

Plaintiffs sought interlocutory appellate review under to Rule
23(f) but that was denied.  Defendant then extended Rule 68 offers
of judgment to plaintiffs but they lapsed without acceptance.
Defendant then moved to dismiss, claiming that "because the
district court had denied class certification and plaintiffs had
failed to accept offers of judgment that encompassed all of the
individual relief sought in their complaints, both complaints were
now moot and the district court should dismiss for lack of subject
matter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1)."

Motion granted.  Case dismissed.  Defendant won.

But the Sixth Circuit reversed.  Its rationale is best expressed
by the court itself:

"We have recognized repeatedly that 'the fact that a defense may
arise and may affect different class members differently does not
compel a finding that individual issues predominate over common
ones.'  Here, [plaintiffs] presented evidence suggesting a class-
wide absence of consent -- evidence that B2B failed to contact
anyone on the list it purchased from InfoUSA to verify consent
prior to faxing them advertisements.  In response, [defendant]
merely alleged that class members might have given consent in some
other way.  The district court adopted this idea, opining that
B2B's failure to obtain consent 'does not foreclose the
possibility that some of those [class] members gave consent to
[defendant] and or InfoUSA[,]' even though [defendant] did not
offer any information or evidence to support that theory."
(Emphasis in original.)

"We are unwilling to allow such 'speculation and surmise to tip
the decisional scales in a class certification ruling[,]'
particularly under the circumstances present here.  Our precedent
is clear that a possible defense, standing alone, does not
automatically defeat predominance.  Even where defendants point to
some evidence that a defense will indeed apply to some class
members, which is more than [defendant] did here, courts routinely
grant certification because 'Rule 23(b)(3) requires merely that
common issues predominate, not that all issues be common to the
class.'  As the First Circuit has recognized, moreover, if
evidence later shows that a 'defense is likely to bar claims
against at least some class members, then a court has available
adequate procedural mechanisms.  For example, it can place class
members with potentially barred claims in a separate subclass, or
exclude them from the class altogether."

And then, this pronouncement:

"We hold that the mere mention of a defense is not enough to
defeat the predominance requirement of Rule 23(b)(3).  Holding
otherwise and allowing such speculation to dictate the outcome of
a class-certification decision would afford litigants in future
cases 'wide latitude to inject frivolous issues to bolster or
undermine a finding of predominance.'  In light of the foregoing,
particularly the class-wide evidence [plaintiffs] presented
showing an absence of consent, we hold that speculation alone
regarding individualized consent was insufficient to defeat
plaintiffs' showing of predominance under Rule 23(b)(3).  The
district court abused its discretion in holding otherwise in this
case."  (Emphasis added.)

The effects of these words will be hashed out case-by-case by
district courts within the Sixth Circuit, and we'll be reporting
on those cases as they unfold.

As for the district court's dismissal of the action for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction because of defendant's lapsed offers
of judgment, the Sixth Circuit reversed that, too, in light of the
Supreme Court's intervening decision in Campbell-Ewald Co. v.
Gomez, 136 S. Ct. 663 (2016) ("An unaccepted settlement offer --
like any unaccepted contract offer -- is a legal nullity, with no
operative effect").

The case is Bridging Communities Inc. v. Top Flite Financial
Incorporated, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, case no. No. 15-
1572, and the decision can be found here:

TOYOTA: Faces Class Action Over Soy-Based Vehicle Wiring
Mike Wehner, writing for BGR, reports that typically when you see
a lawsuit over a faulty product in the automotive industry it's a
simple manufacturing defect, lack of testing, or some other
shortcoming that seems obvious in hindsight.  A new Toyota lawsuit
over bad wiring is none of those things, and it's hard to imagine
anyone being able to predict such a thing would ever happen.  You
see, Toyota's been using some fancy new wires that are great for
the environment.  In fact, they're so nature-friendly, they're
actually mouse food.

The suit was filed by the owner of a 2015 Toyota Avalon named
Heidi Browder.  Ms. Browder alleges that, after discovering her
vehicle was having problems starting, she popped the hood and
found that multiple wires had been chewed through.

The soy-based wire coverings Toyota has been using recently in
place of the typical plastic coverings are apparently a rodent
delicacy.  Ms. Browder says that when she took the vehicle in to
have its wires repaired, the Toyota mechanic told her that chewed
wires is not an uncommon complaint for Toyotas.  However, despite
this allegedly being a known problem, Toyota refused to help pay
for Browder's repairs.

Ms. Browder also alleges that Toyota should have known this issue
exists due to the sheer number of complaints that can be found
online.  She is hoping that the suit can be certified as a class
action, which would potentially include thousands of vehicles like
Browder's, which use the soy-based wire insulation.

What's particularly funny about this whole situation is that it's
not even the first rodent-chews-wires lawsuit of the year.  In
January, a class action suit alleged that Honda's soy-based wires
made them too tempting for rabbits to resist, with video
documentation of a rabbit having a feast inside a Honda engine

TRADEWINDS BEVERAGE: Faces False Advertising Class Action
Wadi Reformado, writing for Northern California Record, reports
that a Los Angeles has filed a class-action lawsuit against
Tradewinds Beverage Co., an Ohio business, citing alleged fraud
and negligent misrepresentation.

Angerlia Martin filed a complaint on behalf of all others
similarly situated and the general public on Dec. 14, in the U.S.
District Court for the Central District of California against
Tradewinds Beverage Co. alleging that the Ohio business made false
claims regarding their product.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that she
suffered damages from purchasing a falsely advertised product. The
plaintiff holds Tradewinds Beverage Co. responsible because the
defendant allegedly falsely claims their products are made with
100 percent natural ingredients despite containing artificial

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks to enjoin the
defendant, order a corrective advertising campaign, destroy all
misleading advertising materials, restitution, statutory,
compensatory, and punitive damages, interest, all legal fees and
any other relief as this court deems just.  She is represented by
Jack Fitzgerald -- jack@jackfitzgeraldlaw.com -- Trevor M. Flynn -
- trevor@jackfitzgeraldlaw.com -- and Melanie Persinger --
melanie@jackfitzgeraldlaw.com -- of The Law Offices of Jack
Fitzgerald, PC in San Diego.

U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Case
number 2:16-cv-09249-PSG-MRW

TRUMP UNIVERSITY: Class Action Settlement Gets Prelim. Court OK
Rosalind S. Helderman, writing for Washington Post, reports that a
federal judge has given preliminary approval to a deal in which
President-elect Donald Trump will pay $25 million to settle fraud
claims against his defunct Trump University real estate seminars
days before he takes office.

Judge Gonzalo Curiel, whom Trump had accused of being biased
during the campaign because of his Mexican heritage, on Dec. 20
declared the settlement agreement "fair," "reasonable," and
"adequate," paving the way for Trump to place money in escrow by
Jan. 18, two days before he takes office.  Former Trump University
customers will then be able to seek access to the money, with some
receiving refunds of up to 50 percent.

Judge Curiel's sign-off follows the announcement of the settlement
in November and comes as Trump appears to be wrapping up some
vexing issues regarding his real estate and licensing company
before taking office as president.  He also in November dropped a
lawsuit against Palm Beach County over airplane noise at his Mar-
a-Lago Estate and on Dec. 21 settled labor agreements with
worker's unions at two of his hotels.

Trump has not yet explained, however, how he will avoid conflicts
of interest as president stemming from his business dealings all
over the world.

The Trump University settlement ends two class action lawsuits
that had been filed against the Trump seminars in California, as
well as a lawsuit in New York filed by state Attorney General Eric
Schneiderman.  Former customers had alleged that the programs
engaged in deceptive advertising, including by falsely promising
that Trump had personally selected course instructors who would
teach his personal tricks for succeeding in real estate.

Although Trump insisted most customers were satisfied with the
program, which were held in hotel ballrooms around the country,
other disgruntled students complained they had lost thousands of
dollars.  They said customers were pressured to sign up for more
and more expensive courses, including a mentorship program that
cost more than $35,000.  The fraud claims had been a major
campaign issue as Trump's Republican primary opponents and
Democrat Hillary Clinton argued his businesses had conned people
through the program.

Under terms of the settlement, Trump did not admit fault.  With
the judge's preliminary approval, notices will be posted seeking
former Trump University customers who might qualify for refunds
and asking if any object to the settlement.  Of the $25 million,
$4 million will be administered through Schneiderman's office.
Curiel said he would hold a hearing in March to offer a final
approval to the settlement.  Trump has promised to restart Trump
University in the future.

"Throughout the nearly seven years we've spent prosecuting this
action, our overarching goal has always been to help class members
put Trump University behind them," said Amber Eck,
co-lead counsel for the former students who sued.  "We're
obviously very pleased with Judge Curiel's ruling, which sets the
stage for us to do just that, and we look forward to finalizing
the settlement details over the coming months."

A Trump Organization lawyer did not immediately respond to a
request for comment.

TRUMP UNIVERSITY: Trump Guarantees $25MM Settlement Funding
Amanda Bronstad, writing for The National Law Journal, reports
that President-elect Donald Trump has personally guaranteed that
$25 million will be paid into an escrow account by Jan. 18, two
days before his inauguration, as part of a class action settlement
over his former Trump University.

Lawyers on both sides of the litigation filed a motion on Dec. 19
asking U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel to approve a deal
reached last month.  The settlement includes $4 million for New
York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who brought a case in
2013.  The rest is set to go to compensate about 7,000 former
students, who alleged in two cases in California that Trump
University falsely promised that Trump himself had hand-picked the
instructors and that the program was an "accredited university."

As part of the deal, class members are expected to get half of
what they paid for, while plaintiffs attorneys at San Diego firms
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd and Zeldes Haeggquist & Eck have
agreed not to seek fees or costs for their work in the California
cases, the oldest brought in 2010.

"This is an excellent result for the class," Rachel Jensen --
rachelj@rgrdlaw.com -- a partner at Robbins Geller, wrote in an
email.  "Also, the fact that class counsel are providing their
six-and-a-half years of services pro bono maximized the recoveries
for former Trump University students around the country."

Trump has admitted no wrongdoing as part of the deal, which is
expected to compensate about 6,000 class members who bought a
$1,495 real estate seminar and 1,000 who purchased packages worth
between $9,995 and $34,995 that included an in-person mentorship.

TUBEMOGUL INC: Brower Piven Files Class Action in California
The securities litigation law firm of Brower Piven, A Professional
Corporation, on Dec. 26 disclosed that it has commenced a class
action the United States District Court for the Northern District
of California on behalf of holders of the common stock of
TubeMogul, Inc. ("TubeMogul" or the "Company").  Investors who
wish to become proactively involved in the litigation have 60 days
from the date of this notice to seek appointment as lead

If you wish to choose counsel to represent you and the Class, you
must apply to be appointed lead plaintiff and be selected by the
Court.  The lead plaintiff will direct the litigation and
participate in important decisions including whether to accept a
settlement for the Class in the action.  Members of the Class will
be represented by the lead plaintiff and counsel chosen by the
lead plaintiff.  No class has yet been certified in the above

The complaint alleged violations of Sections 14(d)(4), 14(e) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act")
and Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") Rule 14a-9 in
connection with the proposed acquisition of the publicly owned
shares of TubeMogul common stock by Adobe Systems Incorporated
("Adobe"), through its wholly owned subsidiary Merlin Global
Acquisition, Inc.  On November 10, 2016, Adobe announced that it
had entered into a definitive agreement under which it will
commence a tender offer to acquire TubeMogul for $14 per share in
cash, for a total purchase price of approximately $540 million net
of debt and cash.  The complaint alleges that the proposed
consideration is inadequate in light of TubeMogul's true value and
its growth prospects.  The complaint further alleges that the
Schedule 14D-9 Recommendation Statement filed with the SEC
provides materially incomplete and misleading information about
the Company and the proposed transaction, in violation of the
Exchange Act.

If you are a shareholder of TubeMogul and would like to learn more
about this lawsuit and your ability to participate as a lead
plaintiff, without cost or obligation to you, please visit our
website at http://www.browerpiven.com/currentsecuritiescases.html.
You may also request more information by contacting Brower Piven
either by email at hoffman@browerpiven.com or by telephone at
(410) 415-6616.  Brower Piven also encourages anyone with
information regarding the Company's conduct during the period in
question to contact the firm, including whistleblowers, former
employees, shareholders and others.

Attorneys at Brower Piven have extensive experience in litigating
securities and other class action cases and have been advocating
for the rights of shareholders since the 1980s.  If you choose to
retain counsel, you may retain Brower Piven without financial
obligation or cost to you, or you may retain other counsel of your
choice.  You need take no action at this time to be a member of
the class.

TWINS GROUP: Combs May Renew Bid to Certify Class, Court Says
The Hon. Thomas M. Rose denied the motion for conditional class
certification, expedited discovery and court-supervised notice to
potential opt-in plaintiffs filed by Plaintiff Aaron Combs in the
lawsuit styled AARON COMBS, et al., for himself and all others
similarly situated v. THE TWINS GROUP, INC., Case No. 3:16-cv-295
(S.D. Ohio).  The Motion is denied without prejudice to renewal if
the Plaintiff can make the factual showing required by 29 U.S.C.
Section 216(b).

Mr. Combs brought the action pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards
Act and the Ohio Minimum Fair Wage Standards Act, for the alleged
failure by the Defendant to pay overtime.  He alleges that he
worked for Twins Group as a crew member at its Taco Bell
restaurant located in Moraine, Ohio.  He seeks compensation for
approximately 50 hours of unpaid overtime worked during a two-week
period from March 22, 2016, to April 5, 2016.

Judge Rose opined that Mr. Combs has failed to present sufficient
evidence to support a finding that he and the other crew members
are similarly situated, even under a more lenient evidentiary
standard.  Judge Rose noted that Mr. Combs's declaration does not
contain facts showing that he has actual or even constructive
knowledge that his fellow crew members at Taco Bell worked
overtime hours for which they were not paid.

A copy of the Order is available at no charge at
https://goo.gl/amSlKT from Leagle.com.

Plaintiff Aaron M. Combs is represented by:

          Bradley Lawrence Gibson, Esq.
          GIBSON LAW, LLC
          17 W Main St.
          Tipp City, OH 45371
          Telephone: (937) 667-5263

The Defendant is represented by:

          James Alan Climer, Esq.
          Stacy Virginia Pollock, Esq.
          100 Franklin's Row
          34305 Solon Road
          Cleveland, OH 44139
          Telephone: (440) 287-8290
          Facsimile: (440) 248-8861
          E-mail: jclimer@mrrlaw.com

UBER TECHNOLOGIES: 9th Cir. Won't Revisit Class Action Ruling
Ben Hancock, writing for The Recorder, reports that the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit on Dec. 21 declined to revisit a
September ruling that steered class action claims on behalf of
thousands of Uber drivers into arbitration.

The decision is a blow to the class action plaintiffs bar, which
has lamented the Ninth Circuit's opinion that Uber's 2013 and 2014
arbitration agreements were enforceable because they contained
opt-out provisions.  The lawyers who petitioned for en banc review
had warned the holding "creates a new level of insulation" for
arbitration agreements.

In denying en banc review in Mohamed v. Uber Technologies Inc.,
however, the appeals court also made an amendment to its original
opinion, backtracking on language about the consistency of Uber's
arbitration agreements with the National Labor Relations Act.

The court had declined to address last-minute arguments made by
attorneys at Oakland employment law firm Goldstein, Borgen,
Dardarian & Ho that the arbitration agreements should not be
enforced because they violated the NLRA.  But in a footnote, the
unanimous panel also said that -- even if those arguments had been
properly made -- they would not have succeeded because Uber's
agreements gave drivers the choice to opt out.  The decision to
deny en banc review deleted that sentence.

The lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, Laura Ho, could
not immediately be reached for comment on Dec. 21.

The Mohamed case, which centered on claims that Uber violated
federal and California laws in conducting background checks on
drivers, settled on a contingent basis for $7.5 million prior to
the court of appeals hearing oral arguments.

Shannon Liss-Riordan of Lichten & Liss-Riordan, who has pursued
claims of driver employment misclassification by Uber in separate
Massachusetts and California class actions, said she was
"disappointed" with the court's decision to deny review.  But she
noted that in one of her cases, there is an appeal pending that
will focus squarely on the NLRA issue.  "The plaintiffs in Mohamed
waived that issue, but we preserved it, so we look forward to the
argument in our case at the Ninth Circuit,"
Ms. Liss-Riordan said in an email.

A 2-1 Ninth Circuit panel ruled in August that the NLRA prohibits
agreements that require employees to sign away their right to
collectively pursue legal claims.

Uber spokeswoman Sophie Schmidt said in an email statement the
company was "pleased" with the court's decision.

"We are pleased with the Ninth Circuit's ruling, and look forward
to resolving the outstanding appeals in O'Connor and other cases,"
she said, referring to the California class action brought by Ms.

Uber is represented in the case by Theodore Boutrous Jr. of
Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

UMTH LAND: Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand Class Action Granted
Delaware Law Weekly reports that in Fannin v. UMTH Land Dev. L.P.,
DeFAX Case No. D67452 (D. Del. Dec. 2, 2016) Robinson, J. (11
pages), defendants in this derivative action filed a notice of
removal to federal court based on the Class Action Fairness Act.
Plaintiffs' motion to remand to the Delaware Court of Chancery

UNITED STATES: Tribes Express Concern Over Pipeline Uncertainty
Mary Hudetz, Susan Montoya Bryan and Regina Garcia Cano, writing
for The Associated Press, report that for hundreds of protesters,
it was cause to cheer when the Obama administration in December
declined to issue an easement for the Dakota Access pipeline's
final segment.  But that elation was dampened by the uncertainty
of what comes next: a Donald Trump-led White House that might be
far less attuned to issues affecting Native Americans.

"With Trump coming into office, you just can't celebrate," said
Laundi Germaine Keepseagle, who is 28 and from the Standing Rock
Sioux Reservation, where the demonstrators have been camped out
near the North Dakota-South Dakota border.

Anxiety over the 1,200-mile pipeline illustrates a broader
uncertainty over how tribes will fare under Trump following what
many in Indian Country consider a landmark eight years.

President Barack Obama has won accolades among Native Americans
for breaking through a gridlock of inaction on tribal issues and
for putting a spotlight on their concerns with yearly meetings
with tribal leaders.

Under his administration, lawmakers cemented a tribal health care
law that includes more preventive care and mental health resources
and addresses recruiting and retaining physicians throughout
Indian Country.

The Interior Department restored tribal homelands by placing more
than 500,000 acres under tribes' control -- more than any other
recent administration -- while the Justice Department charted a
process approved by Congress for tribes to prosecute and sentence
more cases involving non-Native Americans who assault Native
American women.  Before Obama, a gap in the laws allowed for such
crimes to go unpunished.

In addition, the federal government settled decades-old lawsuits
involving Native Americans, including class-action cases over the
government's mismanagement of royalties for oil, gas, timber and
grazing leases and its discrimination against tribal members
seeking farm loans.

"In my opinion, President Obama has been the greatest president in
dealing with Native Americans," said Brian Cladoosby, chairman of
the Swinomish Tribe north of Seattle and president of the
nonpartisan National Congress of American Indians, based in
Washington, D.C. "The last eight years give us hope going forward
with the relationships we have on both sides of the aisle."

Trump, meanwhile, rarely acknowledged Native Americans during his
campaign and hasn't publicly outlined how he would improve or
manage the United States' longstanding relationships with tribes.

His Interior secretary pick, Republican Rep. Ryan Zinke of
Montana, sponsored legislation that he says would have given
tribes more control over coal and other fossil fuel development on
their lands.

But some of Trump's biggest campaign pledges -- including
repealing health care legislation and building a wall along the
U.S.-Mexico border -- would collide with tribal interests.

In Arizona, Tohono O'odham Nation leaders have vowed to oppose any
plans for a wall along the 75-mile portion of the border that runs
parallel to their reservation.  And the nonprofit National Indian
Health Board in Washington says it's aiming to work with lawmakers
to ensure the Indian Health Care Improvement Act remains intact.

The law, which guarantees funding for care through the federal
Indian Health Services agency, was embedded in Obama's health care
overhaul after consultation with tribes.

The government's role figures prominently in Native Americans'
daily lives because treaties and other binding agreements often
require the U.S. to manage tribal health care, law enforcement and

Some tribal members say they're unsure how much Trump understands
or cares about their unique relationship with the federal

"I think there was a great hope that we had here in Indian Country
with the direct dialogue that President Obama had established with
tribal nations," said Duane "Chili" Yazzie, president of the
Navajo Nation's Shiprock Chapter.  "If a similar effort to
communicate with us were carried on by the Trump administration, I
would be surprised."

Though most reservations lean Democratic in presidential
elections, Trump does have some supporters in Indian Country. They
hope the businessman can turn around lagging economies in rural
reservations, such as the 27,000-square-mile Navajo Nation, which
covers parts of Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.

"Trump is pro-job growth, and tribes need a healthy dose of
business creation," said Deswood Tome, a former spokesman for the
tribe from Window Rock, Arizona.  "To do that, a lot of federal
barriers must be removed. We're the only ethnic group who have so
much federal control in our lives."

The Dakota Access pipeline illustrates another chasm between Obama
and Trump.

This fall, the pipeline dispute led Obama's administration to
start tackling a final piece of its Indian Country agenda:
guidelines for how cabinet departments should consult with tribes
on major infrastructure projects.

A top complaint from the Standing Rock Sioux was that the U.S.
Army Corps of Engineers failed to properly consult with them
before initially approving a pipeline route that ran beneath Lake
Oahe, the tribe's primary source of drinking water.

After the administration halted construction on the project in
September to review the complaint, it held seven meetings with
tribal leaders and began drafting a report on how federal
officials should consult with tribes.

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell said the report will be
completed before Obama leaves office, and she expects it to have a
lasting impact, even with an incoming administration that promises
to undo some of the president's policies.

What's unclear is whether Trump, who once owned stock in the
pipeline builder, will seek to reverse the Army's decision in
December to explore alternate routes.

A spokesman said only that the president-elect plans to review the
move after he takes office.  However, Trump's transition team said
in a recent memo to campaign supporters and congressional staff
that he supports the pipeline's completion.

In the meantime, Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault
has begun lobbying for a meeting with Trump to make a case for his
tribe's opposition to the project, which the chairman says
threatens not just water but sacred cultural sites.

"You have to respect Mother Earth; she's precious," Archambault
said. "You can still believe in capitalism, and you can still
invest in infrastructure projects, but these infrastructure
projects should be focused toward renewable energy rather than
fossil fuel development."

UNIVERSAL HEALTH: Feb. 21 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
Pomerantz LLP on Dec. 27 disclosed that a class action lawsuit has
been filed against Universal Health Services, Inc. ("Universal
Health" or the "Company") (NYSE:UHS) and certain of its officers.
The class action, filed in United States District Court, Central
District of California, is on behalf of a class consisting of all
persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired Universal
Health securities between February 26, 2015 and December 7, 2016,
both dates inclusive (the "Class Period"), seeking to recover
compensable damages caused by defendants' violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

If you are a shareholder who purchased Universal Health securities
during the Class Period, you have until February 21, 2017 to ask
the Court to appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  A copy
of the Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com.  To
discuss this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at
rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888.476.6529
(or 888.4-POMLAW), toll free, ext. 9980.  Those who inquire by e-
mail are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone
number, and number of shares purchased.

Universal Health, through its subsidiaries, owns and operates
acute care hospitals, behavioral health centers, surgical
hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, and radiation oncology

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants
made materially false and/or misleading statements, as well as
failed to disclose material adverse facts about the Company's
business, operations, and prospects.  Specifically, Defendants
made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose
that:  (1) Universal Health admitted patients based on its own
financial considerations and not upon the medical necessity of the
patient; (2) Universal Health would keep patients admitted until
their insurance payments ran out in order to ensure the maximum
payment for its services; (3) as a result, Universal Health's
revenues from inpatient care relied on unsustainable practices;
(4) in turn, Universal Health lacked effective internal control
concerning its practices and policies of admitting patients; and
(5) as a result, Universal Health's public statements were
materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On December 7, 2016, BuzzFeed published an article titled
"Intake", detailing its year-long investigation into Universal
Health, which was "based on interviews with 175 current and former
UHS staff, including 18 executives who ran UHS hospitals; more
than 120 additional interviews with patients, government
investigators, and other experts; and a cache of internal
documents."  The report stated that "[c]urrent and former
employees from at least 10 UHS hospitals in nine states said they
were under pressure to fill beds by almost any method -- which
sometimes meant exaggerating people's symptoms or twisting their
words to make them seem suicidal -- and to hold them until their
insurance payments ran out."  The report further stated that
"[t]wo dozen current and former employees from 14 UHS facilities
across the country told BuzzFeed News that the rule was to keep
patients until their insurance ran out in order to get the maximum
payment," and that "scores of employees from at least a dozen UHS
hospitals said those facilities tried to keep beds filled even at
the expense of the safety of their staff or the rights of the
patients they were locking up."  The report also quoted Rick
Buckelew, a Universal Health employee who ran Austin Lakes
Hospital in Texas until 2014, who stated that "[i]f an insurance
company gave you so many days, you were expected to keep the
patient there that many days" and that this "was a 'common
practice' that was openly discussed in regional conferences as
well as phone calls with hospital executives."

On this news, shares of Universal Health's share price fell
$15.01, or nearly 12% from its previous closing price, to close at
$111.36 on December 7, 2016, damaging investors.

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

VALVE: Faces Suit by Parents Over "Skins" Gambling
Matt Day of Seattle Times reports that Bellevue video-game giant
Valve is facing a lawsuit in Seattle filed by parents who say
their children lost thousands of dollars wagering using tools
overseen by the company.

The lead plaintiffs in the case, filed in federal court, are
unnamed parents in Oregon, Illinois, and Missouri, who say their
sons lost thousands of dollars in so-called "skins" gambling in a
marketplace Valve oversees.

A spokesperson for Valve and a lawyer representing the company
didn't respond to requests for comment December 23. No one
answered the phone at the company's Bellevue office.

Valve's Steam platform, an online video-game marketplace, and its
hit game "Counter-Strike: Global Offensive" grew in recent years
into hubs of gambling on competitive video gaming.

In "CS: GO" and some other games sold on Steam, players can buy
skins, or decorative in-game items, and trade or sell them for
real-world cash to other players through the Steam platform.

When linked with shadowy gambling websites, skins gambling grew
into a multibillion-dollar business, industry observers say.

After widespread complaints following a Bloomberg Newsreport, and
the filing of at least two lawsuits, Valve ordered some websites
that facilitate Steam gambling to stop.

The new lawsuit, which seeks class-action status, is the latest
iteration of a legal challenge that has made its way across the
country in eight months of procedural wrangling.

The case has its roots in a complaint filed this summer in

At Valve's request, it was transferred to federal court in Seattle
in August, and dismissed on jurisdictional grounds here in
November. The plaintiffs refiled their case in King County
Superior Court, only to have Valve again request and receive a
transfer to federal court in Seattle.

The current iteration of the lawsuit was filed on December 21.

Valve hasn't yet addressed in court papers the substance of the
plaintiffs' complains.

The company did outline its view in response to a Washington State
Gambling Commission cease-and-desist letter in October that told
Valve to stop facilitating the transfer of skins for gambling

Valve counsel Liam Lavery said then that Valve does not engage in,
promote or facilitate gambling and "there is no factual or legal
support for these accusations."

Valve has no business relationship with gambling sites, and the
Steam software tools that the sites use for wagering purposes are
legal in Washington, he said.

The lawsuit likens that arrangement to a bartender who sells chips
to customers on the way in, allows another person to cash out
those same chips, and turns a blind eye to the gambling that took
place in the meantime in the backroom.

"Valve had the power to prevent the gambling operators from
setting up shop, chose not to stop them, and in fact gave them the
keys to the backroom," the lawsuit said.

VERSA LOGISTICS: Doesn't Properly Pay Drivers, "Robins" Suit Says
Michael A. Robins, Jr., on behalf of himself and all others
similarly situated v. Versa Logistics, LLC, and Does 1-10, Case
No. BC644321 (Cal. Super. Ct., December 16, 2016), is brought
against the Defendants for failure to pay its current and former
truck drivers in California separately and on an hourly basis for
their time spent taking their statutory rest periods and on their
pre- and post-trip inspections, loading/unloading time, time spent
cleaning their trucks, time spent fueling their trucks and on time
spent on work-related paperwork.  The suit also asserts the
Defendants' failure to provide paid rest breaks and rest break
premiums to current and former drivers in California, failure to
provide complete wage statements, failure to provide meal periods
and pay for missed meal period premiums, and failure to reimburse
business expenses, including gas mileage expenses incurred, to its
current and former truck driver in California.

Versa Logistics, LLC operates a trucking and logistics company
that transacts millions of dollars of business transporting
general freight and intermodal commodities in California to
destinations across California.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Craig J. Ackerman, Esq.
      1180 South Beverly Drive, Suite 610
      Los Angeles, CA 90035
      Telephone: (310) 277-0614
      Facsimile: (310) 277-0635
      E-mail: cia@ackcrmanntilaief.com

         - and -

      Jonathan Melmed, Esq.
      1180 South Beverly Drive, Suite 610
      Los Angeles, CA 90035
      Telephone: (310) 824-3828
      Facsimile: (310) 862-6851
      E-mail: iin@melmedlaw.com

VERSACE: Faces Class Action Over Secret "Black Code"
The Fashion Law reports that a former employee has filed suit
against Versace, citing state law violations, including unfair
business practices, racial discrimination, and wrongful
termination, among others, in connection with the Italian design
house's use of a secret "black code" to alert staff and security
when a black shopper is in the store.  According to
Christopher Sampino's complaint, which was filed in November in
Alameda County Superior Court, a state court in California, he was
discriminated against and fired for being of mixed race, after
working two weeks at the Versace outlet store in Pleasanton,

Mr. Sampino alleges in his complaint that during the new-employee
training, an unnamed manager informed him of the "D410 Code," the
code used for labeling black clothing, as well as for use "in a
casual manner when a black person entered the store."  According
to the suit, the manager explained to Mr. Sampino that the "code
is used to alert co-workers that 'a black person is in the

Mr. Sampino further alleges that he was harassed and subsequently
terminated after informing the store manager that he is black. Per
Mr. Sampino, despite having "met or exceeded expectations with
regards to job performance," he was fired after working two weeks
in September because he did not "understand luxury" and did not
"know the luxury life."  Versace "also told [Sampino] that he was
being dismissed because he hasn't 'lived the luxury life.'
Defendants told [Sampino] to quit because 'that would make the
paperwork easier.'"

In his complaint, Mr. Sampino further asserts he was subjected to
an array of labor violations, including not being paid for time
worked, not receiving rest periods and being wrongfully terminated
-- all of which run afoul of California state law.  He is seeking
class action certification . If his proposed class action lawsuit
is certified by the court, "similarly situated" individuals (aka
employees who were subject to discriminatory treatment by Versace
in the U.S. around the time Rose did)  will be able to join in
case at hand against the Italian brand and share in the settlement

In order for a proposed class action lawsuit -- one that gathers
many individual claims together into a single lawsuit -- to be
certified, the named plaintiff -- Mr. Sampino -- must show that
all of the potential class members have claims that raise common
legal and factual issues, making it most efficient to deal with
all of the claims together. In short: all of the plaintiffs must
be "similarly-situated."

Versace has denied Mr. Sampino's claims in a subsequently filed
response, and moved for summary judgment.  The company also
released the following statement: "Versace believes strongly in
equal opportunity, as an employer and a retailer.  We do not
tolerate discrimination on the basis of race, national origin or
any other characteristic protected by our civil rights laws.  We
have denied the allegations in this suit, and we will not comment
further concerning pending litigation."

The case is Christopher Sampino v. Versace USA, Inc., RG16839178.

VOLKSWAGEN AG: U.S. Class Action System Better for Plaintiffs
Karin Matussek, writing for Bloomberg News, reports that
Andreas Tilp was born in Plochingen, Germany, studied law a short
train ride away in Tuebingen, and works in the neighboring town of
Kirchentellinsfurt.  In what could be the biggest case of his
decades of practice, he's representing hundreds of clients in a
lawsuit against that most German of companies, Volkswagen, which
will be heard in a courtroom in Braunschweig, a 45-minute drive
from VW's headquarters.  Sometimes, Mr. Tilp wishes he were
American.  "The German system is totally hostile to plaintiffs,"
he says in the converted 1920s textile mill that serves as his
office.  "It's no surprise that investors sue in the U.S. whenever
they can."

Mr. Tilp represents shareholders seeking damages of
EUR5.2 billion ($5.4 billion) from Volkswagen.  They say the
company was late in disclosing a U.S. probe into cheating on
emissions tests, an allegation VW denies.  If the case were
brought in the U.S., it would likely be easier to reach a
settlement, as American attorneys did when they sued VW on behalf
of car owners.  Eight months after the emissions scandal broke, VW
agreed to a $10 billion deal that provided U.S. buyers with as
much as $10,000 each -- and the plaintiffs' attorneys with $175

For Mr. Tilp, it won't be that quick, and it will probably be far
less lucrative.  In the U.S., lawyers can file a suit for one
client and ask that it be certified as a class action for everyone
in a similar situation.  Attorneys typically finance cases
themselves, and most members of the class never see a lawyer (let
alone a legal bill) but can get a check if the case is won or
settled. In Germany, by contrast, each plaintiff must file
individually and pay legal fees upfront.  Investor suits -- but
not other kinds of claims -- can be bundled for gathering
evidence. If plaintiffs get a favorable ruling, though, they must
resume their individual cases to determine damages.

German plaintiffs who lose must pay their legal bills -- and those
of the defendant, because of a loser-pays-all rule.  Lawyers can't
finance lawsuits and usually are barred from getting a share of
money they recover, rules designed to keep attorneys from taking
only the most lucrative cases.  Germany does allow third parties
to shoulder the risk of such cases, and Mr. Tilp is working with
Irish and British firms to cover some of the costs of the VW
litigation.  "Attorneys could handle cases here much more
efficiently if they could take contingency fees or finance their
litigation," Mr. Tilp says. "German law cripples lawyers."

For previous suits, Mr. Tilp worked around some obstacles by
setting up sister law firms in Switzerland and on the Portuguese
island of Madeira, where rules are less strict.  He did the same
in the U.S., after a prospective client joined a class action
against Deutsche Telekom there that was later settled for $112
million.  That road is blocked for holders of VW's Frankfurt-
traded shares: A 2010 U.S. Supreme Court ruling makes it harder to
sue companies in the U.S. when their shares aren't directly listed

The VW scandal has given new life to a German government proposal
to allow more joint actions.  Under the plan, certified consumer
associations and trade groups -- but not lawyers representing
individual clients -- could file collective lawsuits.  Claimants
would sign up for only a small fee and avoid hiring their own
attorney until the damages phase.  That still won't mean U.S.-
style payouts, because Germany doesn't allow punitive damages, and
there are no jury trials, which critics say lead to bigger awards.

The BDI, the main lobbying group for German companies, frets that
the proposal could pave the way to what it calls "abusive
excesses."  The group says any move in that direction opens the
door to other elements of U.S. litigation, such as discovery, in
which plaintiffs' attorneys gain access to a company's internal
information.  That could unduly pressure companies to settle cases
rather than fight them in court, says Heiko Willems, BDI's head of
legal policy.  "There's the danger of abuse," he says. "Companies
shouldn't be named and shamed."

Mr. Tilp well knows the frustrations of the German system.  In
2001 thousands of shareholders sued Deutsche Telekom claiming they
were misinformed in a stock sale, a case related to the 2005 U.S.
settlement. Mr. Tilp has been involved in the suit for more than
15 years and the plaintiffs' lead attorney for a decade.  A
Frankfurt court in November finally ruled in their favor --
several months after Mr. Tilp's primary client died.  Although
that doesn't affect the outcome, it's unclear whether the client's
heirs or other plaintiffs will see any money.  The court found
only that Deutsche Telekom made an error in its sales prospectus.
Shareholders now must resume their individual suits, and the
company might try to show that losses didn't result from that

Mr. Tilp is optimistic the VW case won't take that long.  He
predicts the Braunschweig judges will minimize delays and rule by
the end of 2018.  After all, he says, in a globalized economy it's
important for Germany to offer investors protection that's as
robust as that available elsewhere.  "The VW litigation,"
Mr. Tilp says, "is the last chance for the German capital market
to show it's a worthwhile place to invest."
The bottom line: The VW emissions scandal has spurred Germany's
government to speed up rule changes that would allow more
collective lawsuits.

VOLKSWAGEN AG: Several Brands Face Emission Probes in Europe
Bloomberg News reports that Volkswagen AG gained market share in
Europe for the first time since its diesel-cheating scandal
erupted in September 2015, a sign that the German manufacturer is
regaining consumer trust.

The region's biggest automaker accounted for 24.8 percent of car
sales in November, compared with 24.6 percent a year earlier, the
Brussels-based European Automobile Manufacturers' Association, or
ACEA, said in a statement on Dec. 15.

Industry-wide European registrations rose 5.6 percent in November
to 1.19 million vehicles, putting the sector on track for its
third annual gain.

Volkswagen outperformed with a 6.3 percent increase across the
group's brands, bringing its expansion in the first 11 months to
2.9 percent.

Europe's auto sector has been recovering since hitting a two-
decade low in 2013, supported by economic growth and improved
consumer confidence in countries including Germany and France.

While sales growth this year has slowed as the market shows signs
of peaking, demand remains resilient in the face of Volkswagen's
emissions-cheating crisis, Brexit and political uncertainty amid a
series of elections and referendums.

"European sales developed very well in 2016," Peter Fuss, a
partner at consultancy EY, said in a statement.

"However, next year's growth will be significantly lower, which is
partly a result of the high starting point but also the increasing
economic and political headwinds."

Volkswagen's November gain was propelled by a 6.8 percent increase
at Audi and a 29 percent surge at the Spanish Seat brand.  The
company's main VW marque rose 0.8 percent to 139,226 vehicles in
November, narrowing its market share to 11.7 percent from 12.3
percent a year ago, showing that the company still isn't out of
the woods.

The stock has lost 20 percent since the carmaker admitted to
cheating on emissions tests 15 months ago.

Scandal impact

While Volkswagen has made progress in digging out of the emissions
crisis, several of its brands still face probes and lawsuits
across Europe and beyond.

German regulators are investigating whether luxury-car unit
Porsche manipulated fuel-economy data on its vehicles by
installing a device that can detect whether the engine is on a
testbed.  In the UK, the carmaker along with its Audi, Seat and
Skoda units is facing their first class-action style lawsuit over
similar allegations.

Market share losses over the past year continue to weigh on the
German carmaker despite the November turnaround, with its
deliveries accounting for 24.1 percent of the European total in
the first 11 months, down from 25 percent in the same period a
year earlier.

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV and Renault SA have been among the
biggest beneficiaries of Volkswagen's tarnished image.

Renault boosted sales 17 percent in November and Fiat climbed 10
percent, continuing market-share gains. Mercedes-Benz parent
Daimler AG and luxury-car rival BMW AG both climbed 12 percent.

Despite uncertainty, preparations for Brexit haven't significantly
hurt demand in the UK yet, with registrations rising 2.9 percent
in November and increasing 2.5 percent so far this year. November
sales in Germany, the region's biggest market, gained 1.5 percent.

The ACEA compiles numbers from the European Union's 28 member
countries, excluding Malta, plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland.

Britain's decision to exit the European Union will probably start
hurting UK sales next year, according to LMC Automotive, which
predicts that car-delivery growth in western Europe will slow to
1.4 percent in 2017 from 5.9 percent this year.

VOLKSWAGEN GROUP: Faces "Saavedra" Suit Over Defeat Device
Robert Saavedra and Armando Rodriguez, on behalf of themselves and
all others similarly situated v. Volkswagen
Aktiengesellschaft; Volkswagen Group of America, Inc.; Audi
Aktiengesellschaft; Dr. ING. H.C. F. Porsche Aktiengesellschaft;
Martin Winterkorn; Matthias Muller; Michael Horn; Rupert Stadler;
Robert Bosch GMBH; Robert Bosch LLC; and Volkmar Denner, and Does
1-10, Case No. 3:16-cv-07214-CRB (N.D. Cal., December 16, 2016),
alleges that the Defendants are engaged in the fraudulent and
deliberate use of a "defeat device," a secret software algorithm
that was designed and installed to cheat emission tests.

The Defendants are in the business of designing, developing,
manufacturing, and selling luxury automobiles.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Raymond P. Boucher, Esq.
      Maria L. Weitz, Esq.
      21600 Oxnard Street, Suite 600
      Woodland Hills, CA 91367-4903
      Telephone: (818) 240-5400
      Facsimile: (818) 340-5401
      E-mail: ray@boucher.la

         - and -

      Todd M. Schneider, Esq.
      Carolyn Hunt Cottrell, Esq.
      Keenan L. Klein, Esq.
      2000 Powell Street, Suite 1400
      Emeryville, CA 94608
      Telephone: (415) 421-7100
      Facsimile: (415) 421-7105
      E-mail: tschneider@schneiderwallace.com

         - and -

      Sahag Majarian II, Esq.
      18250 Ventura Blvd.
      Tarzana, CA 91356
      Telephone: (818) 609-0807
      Facsimile: (818) 609-0892
      E-mail: sahagii@aol.com

VOLKSWAGEN GROUP: Settles 2.0L TDI Emissions Class Action
Volkswagen and Canadian class counsel on Dec. 19 announced that
they have agreed to resolve consumer claims in Canada related to
the 2.0L TDI emissions matter for approximately 105,000 affected
vehicles nationwide, subject to court approval.  The proposed
settlement provides for cash payments to eligible owners and
lessees, and many of these settlement class members will also have
choices that may include vehicle buybacks, trade-in, emissions
modification (if approved by regulators) and early lease
termination.  The total value of the benefits is up to
CAD $2.1 billion.

This result was reached by Volkswagen and Canadian class counsel
in consultation with the Commissioner of Competition in Canada.
Volkswagen Group Canada also has agreed with the Commissioner to
resolve related civil consumer protection concerns with the agreed
benefits in the proposed class settlement, as well as with a CAD
$15 million civil administrative monetary penalty.

"Volkswagen's primary goal has always been to ensure our Canadian
customers are treated fairly, and we believe that this proposed
resolution achieves this aim," said Volkswagen Group Canada
President and Chief Executive Officer, Maria Stenstroem.  "We are
working hard to earn back the trust of our customers, dealers and
regulators, and today is an important step in that effort.  We
appreciate the engagement of the other parties to these agreements
and thank our Canadian customers for their continued patience."

Harvey T. Strosberg QC -- harvey@strosbergco.com -- one of the two
lead class counsel in the national class action certified in
Ontario said: "Our team of lawyers is delighted to deliver to the
Settlement Class Members a just settlement, valued at up to $2.1
billion, without legal costs to them."

Charles M. Wright, the other lead class counsel in the national
class action certified in Ontario said: "Our clients were clearly
looking for finality and choices, and we hope that through this
agreement we have provided both."

Sylvie De Bellefeuille -- sdebellefeuille@option-consommateurs.org
-- Legal Advisor at Option consommateurs, Representative Plaintiff
for the Quebec Settlement Class Members, said: "We are very
pleased with this outcome.  This is a great settlement for all
Canadian consumers.  Option consommateurs is proud to play a
leadership role in large-scale class actions and consumer-related
issues of national scope.  We thank Belleau Lapointe, our lawyers
in this class action, who have done an exceptional job for the
benefit of all Canadian Settlement Class Members."

Proposed 2.0L TDI Settlement Program in Canada

The proposed nationwide class settlement is subject to approval by
two courts.  Approval hearings will take place around the end of
March 2017 before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Toronto
and the Superior Court of Quebec in Montreal.

If approved, the 2.0L TDI settlement program in Canada will

   -- Cash payments to eligible owners and lessees of
approximately 105,000 affected vehicles nationwide.

   -- Many of these eligible settlement class members can also
choose to sell their vehicle to Volkswagen (the buyback option) or
terminate their lease without penalty, or, if an emissions
modification is approved, choose to keep their vehicle and have it
modified at no charge and receive an extended emissions warranty.

   -- An eligible vehicle's value for a buyback will be determined
based on the Canadian Black Book(R) Inc. wholesale value as of
September 18, 2015, with adjustments for factory options and
mileage at the time of the buyback offer.

Eligible owners can also choose to trade in their vehicle and
apply its fair market value at that time towards the purchase of a
new or used Volkswagen or Audi vehicle.  In addition, they will
receive payment of any amount by which their vehicle's wholesale
value as of September 18, 2015 exceeds its fair market value at
the time of the trade-in.

The proposed settlement agreement and Court-approved notices
summarizing its terms can be found at www.VWCanadaSettlement.ca.
Starting on or around January 4, 2017, the Court- approved notices
will be published in newspapers and online media and sent to
settlement class members.

Settlement class members may begin to take steps to determine
their eligibility for benefits by visiting the Check My
Eligibility and Vehicle Look-Up sections at
www.VWCanadaSettlement.ca, or by calling 1-888-670-4773 for
assistance with these steps.  Settlement class members will need
their vehicle identification number.  Instructions on where to
find this information are available online.

Eligible settlement class members who wish to make a claim for
benefits under the settlement do not need to take any action at
this time.  The period to submit a claim will not begin until
after the proposed settlement receives approval by the Courts.

More detailed information about the options settlement class
members may have, including the choice to "opt out" of or "object"
to the settlement by March 4, 2017, is available at

Notes to Editors:

The following 2.0L TDI engine vehicles are included in the
proposed 2.0L TDI settlement program in Canada:

   -- VW Jetta
   -- VW Jetta Wagon
   -- VW Golf
      2010-2013, 2015
   -- VW Passat

   -- VW Beetle

   -- VW Golf Wagon

   -- VW Golf Sportwagon

   -- Audi A3
      2010-2013, 2015

Class settlement benefits of up to CAD $2.1 billion assumes that
100% of eligible settlement class members participate in the
settlement program, and that 100% of the participants eligible for
the buyback option choose that option.

Amounts for legal fees and expenses of class counsel that are
approved by the Courts will be paid by Volkswagen and will not
reduce the benefits to eligible settlement class members.

The agreements do not apply to owners or lessees of 3.0L TDI V6
vehicles.  Proposed class actions that are under way will continue
on their behalf.

The class settlement and agreement with the Commissioner of
Competition are not an admission of liability by Volkswagen.  By
their terms, they are not intended to apply to or affect
Volkswagen's obligations under the laws or regulations of any
jurisdiction outside Canada.

Emission regulations and vehicle standards vary from country to
country.  Regulations governing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions
limits for vehicles in Canada are stricter than those in other
parts of the world and diesel engine variants also differ

               About Volkswagen Group Canada Inc.

Founded in 1952, Volkswagen Group Canada Inc. is headquartered in
Ajax, Ontario, and the largest volume European automotive
nameplate in Canada.  It is a subsidiary of Volkswagen AG,
headquartered in Wolfsburg, Germany. Volkswagen is one of the
world's largest producers of passenger cars and is Europe's
largest automaker.

                   About Option consommateurs

Option consommateurs is a not-for-profit organization whose
mission is to promote and defend the rights and interests of
consumers.  In order to do so, it institutes class action suits.
Option consommateurs is interested in various issues, namely
business practices, financial services, energy, agro food and

WALMART: Thousands Get Early Christmas Present From Lawsuit
Daniel Hamburg at WJACTV reports that about 187,000 people across
Pennsylvania are in the process of receiving what might be an
unexpected Christmas present.

A class-action lawsuit was filed a decade ago against Walmart for
lost wages and it was finalized in early 2016.

The lawsuit alleged that the discount retailing chain failed to
compensate its hourly employees for missed and shorted rest and
meal breaks, and also required them to work off the clock.
Now employees are starting to get a paycheck in the mail from that

Ruth Baer was employed by Walmart from 1998 to 2000.
When she worked there, she said she was supposed to get an hour
break and two 15-minute breaks.

"You didn't necessarily (get) those 15-minute breaks," Baer said.
"You were a lot of times working during those 15-minute time
period, whether they needed people being called to the registers
for extra help, or whatever, you were already locked off the
clock, so you didn't get paid for that."

In April, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court denied Walmart's appeal
of a 2014 ruling that it review the $188 million award.
Hourly employees who worked at Sam's Club or Walmart from March
19, 1998 to May 1, 2006, were eligible to be included in the

Baer said the check she got a week ago came at just the right time
-- before Christmas.

"I am not mad at Walmart in any way shape or form," Baer said. "I
want to make sure that's very clear because I get along well with
our Somerset Walmart. But I just said that it was a real blessing
for the people in Somerset."

Her early Christmas present was almost $300.

"I guess the money they actually owed me was actually only
$159.04, but because it took so many years for the check to
actually come, the interest was another $128, so that's where they
come up with $264.21."

Her friend Bonnie Pannunzio said she received a little over

"With Christmas coming, and there was just a lot going on and the
money coming in, that just really helped a lot," Pannunzio said.
"Walmart has had strong policies in place to make sure all
associates receive their appropriate pay and break periods," a
statement released by Walmart said. "Most of the claims are over
10 years old. We have taken additional steps over the last decade,
including enhancing our timekeeping systems and additional
training, to make sure all our associates understand the
importance of those policies and comply with them."

According to court documents, after interest, Walmart had to pay
out more than $241 million.

Walmart said the distribution of funds started Dec. 9, and if you
have questions about the payments, you should contact the
administrator, not Walmart.

WEGMANS FOOD: Faces Class Action in New York Over FCRA Violation
James Goodman, writing for Democrat and Chronicle, reports that
Wegmans Food Markets has been accused of violating the Fair Credit
Reporting Act in a lawsuit alleging the company failed to give
proper notification to job applicants and employees who became the
subjects of consumer background reports.

The civil lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of New York, was brought by Ashleigh Wheeler of
Rochester, who was hired in 2013 by Wegmans as a cashier, and
Jerah Brewster of Ithaca, who was hired in 2015 by Wegmans as a
pharmacy technician and later worked as a coffee shop attendant.

The local law firm Thomas & Solomon is representing Wheeler and
Brewster and filed the lawsuit as a class action complaint on
behalf of all employees and job applicants in the United States
who were the subjects of consumer reports obtained by Wegmans over
the past five years.

"Using the services of a third party, Wegmans routinely obtains
and relies on information in the consumer report to evaluate
prospective and current employees," says the lawsuit.

Wegmans, the lawsuit alleges, "acted willfully and in deliberate
or reckless disregard of its obligations and the rights of
plaintiffs Wheeler, Brewster and other class members without
making the required disclosure."

Jo Natale, vice president of media relations for Wegmans, issued a
statement saying: "We are confident that our process for screening
job applicants, including the disclosure that a background check
will be conducted, fully complies with federal law."

Lawyers from the Thomas & Solomon firm did not respond to requests
for comment.  The individual plaintiffs could not be reached.

The complaint says Wheeler and Brewster completed Wegmans'
standard electronic documents related to their anticipated
employment and that included authorization to conduct a background

But the lawsuit says that Wegmans' online authorization for a
background check fails to make clear that Wegmans would obtain
consumer reports.

The Fair Credit Reporting Act, says the lawsuit, requires an
employer or prospective employer to disclose in writing to the
person who would be the subject of a consumer report before such a
report is obtained.  The notification, says the lawsuit, is
supposed to be made in a document that is solely for this purpose
-- and Wegmans allegedly didn't do that.

Applicants have a right to obtain their consumer reports and to
have errors in the reports corrected under the FCRA.

Wegmans' background check authorization document, according to the
lawsuit, also releases Wegmans, former employers and all other
persons or entities contacted by Wegmans from all liabilities
related to the release of information related to the check.

The plaintiffs allege that the inclusion of this provision in the
same document as the background authorization violates the FCRA.

Wheeler and Brewster claim they were misled about the nature and
purpose of giving consent and had their privacy invaded.

The lawsuit seeks not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 for
each violation as well as punitive damages in the amounts.

WELLS FARGO: Accused of Fraudulent Conduct Over Stock Price
Harry Kirschenbaum, individually and on behalf of others similarly
situated v. Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, Case No.
609900/2016 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., December 16, 2016), alleges that Wells
Fargo implemented a fraudulent scheme to increase stock price by
aggressively pushing their employees to open accounts to increase
their cross-sell numbers and did not put any barriers or checks in
place to see if the accounts were fraudulently and illegally
opened or not.

Wells Fargo Bank, National Association operates a financial
services company located at 101 North Phillips Avenue, One
Wachovia Center, Sioux Falls, South Dakota 57104.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Brett R. Cohen, Esq.
      Jeffrey K. Brown, Esq.
      Michael A. Tompkins, Esq.
      One Old Country Road, Suite 347
      Carle Place, NY 11514
      Telephone: (516) 873-9550

WHOLE FOODS: Workers File Class Action in D.C. Over Bonuses
Justin Wm. Moyer, writing for Washington Post, reports that one
current and one former employee of a District of Columbia Whole
Foods store filed a federal class-action lawsuit on Dec. 20
against the grocery chain, alleging that the company cheated them
out of bonuses.

Whole Foods said that nine managers at stores in Maryland,
Virginia and the District were fired for gaming the chain's
"gainsharing" program, which awards bonuses to employees whose
departments come in under budget.  Whole Foods didn't explain the
nature of the manipulation or say which locations were affected,
saying only that the incident was under investigation and isolated
to a small number of its 457 stores.

Now, in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the District of
Columbia, a current and a former employee of the Whole Foods
location on P Street in Northwest Washington say that the chain
"engaged in a nationwide scheme to strip hard-working employees of
earned bonuses in order to maximize their own profit."

Under gainsharing, the suit alleges, employees of departments that
come in under budget are supposed to share in surpluses, but Whole
Foods avoided paying by shifting labor costs to other departments.
The chain also created "fast teams" -- employees that "float from
one department to another" and "shifted labor costs among
departments without properly accounting for it," the suit says.

A spokeswoman for Austin-based Whole Foods said the company is
investigating the allegations.

"We are still in the process of investigating the issues raised in
the recently filed lawsuit and, as we do with any allegations
affecting our Team Members and customers, we will continue to
conduct a thorough inquiry," company spokeswoman Brooke Buchanan
said in a statement.  "Once our investigation is complete, we will
take all necessary steps to correct any errors we identify."

YAHOO! INC: Class Action May Expand to 1.5 Billion Accounts
Daniel R. Stoller, writing for Bloomberg BNA, reports that a
massive putative class of consumers already suing Yahoo! Inc. over
breached personal data may expand to cover another 1 billion
compromised accounts, class action attorneys said.

Two huge data breaches that Yahoo revealed in the past four months
may be consolidated in Silicon Valley's federal court, they told
Bloomberg BNA.

If consolidated, Silicon Valley stalwart Judge Lucy Koh would
likely be tasked with presiding over the largest data breach in
history.  Her past experience handling some of the technology
sector's trickiest cases, such as Apple Inc. and Samsung
Electronics Co.'s long-running patent case, may help consumers and
companies better handle the complex litigation ahead.

Jay Edelson, plaintiff-side partner and founder of Edelson PC in
Chicago, told Bloomberg BNA Dec. 15 that the data breach
litigation likely "will get rolled up" into a single multidistrict
case.  Additionally, any "derivative hacks -- i.e. hacks of
specific user accounts on other, unrelated services," may also get
pulled into the same multidistrict litigation.

Barry Goheen, class litigation partner at King & Spalding LLP in
Atlanta, told Bloomberg BNA Dec. 15 that most data breach
litigation gets settled before the court even considers class
certification. There may be some commonalities with the breaches,
but combining two breaches of such magnitude is "uncharted
waters," he said.

Yahoo said in a Dec. 14 statement that it had discovered a major
data breach that affected over 1 billion accounts. The company
said in a statement that it hasn't been able to identify the
intrusion associated with the theft, which occurred in August

The recent breach has also reinvigorated calls for Verizon
Communications Inc. to abandon its deal with Yahoo or drastically
cut its agreed to merger price of $4.8 billion.  The deal was
expected to close in the early part of 2017, Bloomberg data show,
but the recent breach may have impacted those plans.

Yahoo is the ninth largest public internet media company in the
world with approximately $39 billion in market capitalization,
Bloomberg data show.

Similar Hacks, Common Facts?

On the same day of the recent announcement, a class complaint --
what is no doubt the first of many -- was filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California claiming
Yahoo failed to provide adequate data security to "protect users'
personal and private information."

Multiple federal class actions were filed in regards to the first
breach that affected over 500 million accounts.  The Judicial
Panel on Multidistrict Litigation consolidated 14 class complaints
from the first breach.  The first breach was disclosed in
September but Yahoo may have known about the attack as early as

The question now is whether lawsuits over the two incidents will
be consolidated into a single proceeding. In general, cases aren't
consolidated unless they arise from common questions of fact.  In
this instance, that might mean whether the hacks in the two
breaches were carried out by similar means or exploited some
common data security vulnerability.

Goheen said that if the plaintiffs are able to prove through
discovery that the same security flaw existed in both data
breaches then class certification may be appropriate.  However, a
company simply experiencing a prior data breach "doesn't satisfy
commonality at all," he said.

Although Yahoo may be hoping the cases are consolidated to save
attorneys fees and other litigation costs, it will still have to
fight state litigation, federal and international enforcement
probes and almost certain congressional investigations.

Yahoo spokesman Charles Stewart declined to comment to Bloomberg
BNA on the ongoing litigation.

YAHOO! INC: May Face Fines Over Data Breach Once GDPR Enforced
Elliott Haworth, writing for City A.M., reports that at the dawn
of the internet, Google and Yahoo were in stiff competition for
search dominance.

Many think the former's success was due in part to its name
becoming a ubiquitous verb for searching online.  But decades on,
semantic development has finally caught up with Yahoo.  Its name
is now synonymous with bad data practice.

In both 2013 and 2014, the company was responsible for the biggest
data breach in history, affecting 1bn and 500m accounts
respectively.  It faces class action lawsuits from disgruntled
users over its failure to notify them of a cybersecurity breach.
As context, a similar case involving retailer Target was settled
for $39m last year.

But class action lawsuits will be the least of businesses' worries
once the EU's General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) are
enforced in a little over 18 months.  Under the new regulations
there are myriad reasons a fine could be imposed, three of which
Yahoo has violated.  If an EU citizen's data is breached; if it
transpires that the systems in place were not GDPR compliant; or
if the business fails to notify users within 72 hours, it can be
fined 4 per cent of its global group revenue or EUR20m, whichever
is greater.

There's no scope for retroactive prosecution under GDPR, so Yahoo
is off the hook regarding these breaches.  But analysing the
consequences hypothetically, as if it was already enforced, is an
interesting way to understand just how far reaching GDPR is.

Yahoo's 2015 revenue was $4.9bn, meaning that the hypothetical 4
per cent fine would be $198m per breach.  Not company-killing
money for a behemoth, but certainly impactful.  Pricing in such
heavy fines and lawsuits to results would knock profit margins off
course, likely spooking investors, and resulting in further
losses. The reputational damage could take years to rectify, if at

Yahoo said it discovered the first breach in July.  It didn't
notify Verizon, which is in the process of acquisition, until
September.  In the US, there are notification laws -- currently 47
states have them. But the thresholds are typically based on harm
caused to consumers, which may be difficult to prove in this
incident.  Under GDPR a business has 72 hours to report a breach
to those affected, otherwise, again, it will face a penalty.

Quite how the fines will be enforced is presently unclear,
according to Paul Glass, partner in the data protection team at
Taylor Wessing.  "Regulators aren't engaged with how they would
price a fine like this, or what the process would be", he says.
"But if I was to speculate, there would be a draft penalty notice,
which goes to Yahoo, with an indication of the level of fine --
something like the early settlement regime similar to the FCA.  I
think that there would probably be some sort of room for

To agree an early settlement could work in favour of a business
looking to quickly rectify and protect its reputation the best it
can. Sitting on a breach like Yahoo did certainly makes you look

Verizon is in the process of acquiring Yahoo for $4.83bn, but is
exploring options to either cancel or renegotiate the price
following further details of the breach.  Verizon said it will
"review the impact of this new development before reaching any
final decision".  But had the acquisition been finalised, would it
be responsible for Yahoo's breach? Under GDPR the so-called data
controller is liable, "which would be Yahoo," says Glass. "Post
acquisition it would continue to be, unless it changes how it
manages data."

But like Myspace before it, Yahoo is being purchased, in part, for
its plethora of user data, as well as its stake in Alibaba and
Yahoo Japan.  It's likely that if Verizon sees the acquisition
through, it will become the data controller, and therefore liable
in the future.  In this hypothetical model, had the breach been
under Verizon, based on revenues of $131.6bn last year, a 4 per
cent fine would make it liable for $5.2bn.

While hypothetical, it paints a picture of things to come.  If a
multinational that deals with consumer data as a core function of
its business can't get on top of its security and compliance, what
hope do smaller businesses have?

The Yahoo breach should be a wake up call to businesses of all
scopes and sizes.  Research out on Dec. 18 from Veritas surveyed
over 2,500 senior technology decision makers across the globe, and
found that more than half of organisations have failed to begin
any kind of preparation to meet even the minimum standards of

Businesses should be adhering to GDPR as best practice.  There is
no excuse for poor data management -- you can't just blame Russia
and hope it all blows over.  GDPR is just 18 months away, and
unpreparedness, while not on a Yahoo scale for most, could cost
your business dearly.  The fines are heavy, but the long lasting
reputational damage could be a killer.  Don't "Yahoo it".

YAHOO! INC: Impact of Data Breach on Verizon Deal Uncertain
Jennifer Williams-Alvarez, writing for Corporate Counsel, reports
that it remains to be seen whether Yahoo Inc.'s recently-revealed
data breaches will nix its sale to Verizon Communications Inc. But
whatever happens, M&A lawyers say the Yahoo-Verizon deal
illustrates the increasing importance of addressing the risk of a
data breach when negotiating an acquisition.

It didn't' take long for the $4.8 billion acquisition, announced
in July, to get thrown into question.  In September, Yahoo
confirmed that a 2014 hack impacted at least 500 million customer
email accounts.  And on Dec. 14, Yahoo admitted that it had
suffered yet another breach in 2013, this time affecting more than
one billion user accounts, leading to reports that Verizon might
be looking to back out of the deal, negotiate a lower price or
have Yahoo assume responsibility for lasting damage caused by the
hack.  Verizon has said it is evaluating the situation and "will
review the impact of this new development before reaching any
final conclusions," Bloomberg reported.

The risk of a data breach is taking on a bigger role in M&A
agreements, says James Abbott -- abbott@sewkis.com -- a partner at
Seward & Kissel.  "We are now seeing in purchase agreements more-
specific representations about data security, compliance with
privacy laws and data breaches and hacks," he says.  "Counsel and
companies are going to focus on it more because it's a scenario
that brings more risk."

In fact, the entire M&A process is showing signs that data
security is a priority, says Brandon Robinson --
bnrobinson@balch.com -- a partner in Balch & Bingham's Birmingham,
Alabama, office.  "What you're seeing is cybersecurity and privacy
is increasingly being addressed in the M&A process," he says.
"And it's a combination of due diligence and representations and
warranties that address that."

While Mr. Robinson says it's hard to make blanket statements about
these deals, there are generally some key areas of risk that
should be dealt with, either by asking a target company or
including it in the deal.  For starters, the incident history
should be looked at to see if there have been previous data
breaches and how they were dealt with, he explains.

Contractual liability related to vendor management should also be
considered, says Robinson.  "You want some sort of assessment of
the company's vendor management because that's a key area where
data breaches often reside," he says.

Regulatory compliance should additionally be examined, Robinson
says, to see where a target company might fall short of legal
obligations.  This goes hand in hand with looking at the privacy
representations that were made to consumers when it comes to data
being collected, he adds.

The deal itself also might include statements from the seller to
address the risk of a breach, says David Czarnecki --
dczarnecki@mbbp.com -- senior attorney at firm Morse, Barnes-Brown
& Pendleton.  "There may be specific statements that there is not
a breach or a knowledge qualifier" to say there are no known
breaches and/or vulnerabilities, he says.  "There is a whole
section that is added to agreements now that deals with data
privacy and security.  Or at least there should be and [these
statements] should be considered."

In the Verizon deal with Yahoo, there are, in fact, a number of
knowledge qualifiers related to data security, according to a
proxy statement filed by Yahoo with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission on Sept. 9. One, for instance, says to Yahoo's
knowledge, there have been no third-party claims of a security
breach.  Another reads that if there has been a failure to
implement proper policies related to privacy and data security,
any theft or unauthorized access is not reasonably expected to
have a "Business Material Adverse Effect."

A material adverse effect may be Verizon's way out of the deal, if
it can be shown.  Though this a pretty high threshold, says
Abbott.  "When something significantly negative happens between
signing and closing, you always have the possibility that the
acquiring company will want out of the deal," he says.  "This
revolves around a materially adverse effect.  But that's a really
high standard, so it's often a bluff."

Indeed, pursuing the possibility of using a material adverse
effect clause may be a strategy to cut the cost of the deal, says
Jeffrey Gordon, a Richard Paul Richman professor of law at
Columbia Law School.  "If revelation of the prior hack had a
'Business Material Adverse Effect,' this could give Verizon the
right to terminate the transaction," he says.  "Although these
things are hotly contested. More likely, Verizon would have some
leverage to renegotiate the price."

YAHOO! INC: Data Breaches Unlikely to Impact Verizon Deal
Olga Kharif, writing for Bloomberg News, reports that the second
major hack of Yahoo! Inc. user accounts is unlikely to derail
Verizon Communications Inc.'s $4.83 billion acquisition of the
tech giant, with investors and the public becoming inured to near-
daily disclosures of cyberattacks.

Hundreds of U.S. companies fall prey to hackers every year and, in
many cases, the data breaches neither hurt bottom lines nor scare
away customers for too long.  After initial anxieties ease,
everyone generally moves on.  Experts say the same holds true for
Yahoo and Verizon.

"I tend to not feel like these hacks are that big of a deal in the
broader scheme of things," said Michael Mahoney, senior managing
director at Falcon Point Capital, which invests in wireless
companies.  "Obviously they can be damaging. But it doesn't take
too long before people forget about it."

In the U.S. especially, data breaches continue to mount.  Within
the past few years, hackers have infiltrated Sony Corp., Target
Corp., Home Depot Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co., auction site EBay
Inc. and health insurer Anthem Inc.  Almost 1,000 data breaches,
including Yahoo's, occurred in the U.S. in 2016, according to the
Identity Theft Resource Center.  And in all, more than 35 million
critical personal records, including social security and passport
numbers and medical and banking data, were exposed in 2016.

But Yahoo's is one of the largest-scale data breaches reported to
date.  The Sunnyvale, California-based company said that cyber-
thieves in 2013 siphoned information from more than 1 billion
Yahoo accounts, including users' e-mail addresses, scrambled
account passwords and dates of birth, data that allow criminals to
go after more sensitive personal information elsewhere online. It
was the second disclosure of a major data breach since Verizon
agreed to buy Yahoo.  In September, the tech company revealed that
more than 500 million users' data had been hacked in a separate,
state-sponsored attack in 2014.

"There are many breaches with many entities that have these types
of breaches occurring," said Eva Casey Velasquez, chief executive
officer of the Identity Theft Resource Center.

Since Target's data breach in 2013, public sentiment has shifted,
Velasquez said.  "People know what a data breach is.  But because
it did become so ubiquitous in our conversation, there's a little
bit of apathy."

And not all breaches are created equal, said Emily Mossburg --
emossburg@deloitte.com -- a principal at cyber-risk services
practice at Deloitte & Touche LLP.  Stolen names and account
information don't necessarily have a "broader impact."

Manageable Costs

Costs of data breaches have been substantial but not devastating.
Target and Home Depot estimated that their data breaches resulted
in about $200 million each in expenses not covered by insurance.
Those are minimal amounts for big companies their size.

And depending on the type of hack and the data stolen, Yahoo's
legal liability may be negligible.  Benjamin Dean, president of
Iconoclast Tech, a data-security consultant, said Yahoo is
unlikely to incur large losses as a result of recent class-action

"The track record for successful class actions relating to stolen
non-payment card data isn't good," Mr. Dean said.  "Those bringing
the class action typically have to show material damage due to the
data lost in a breach -- and this has proven difficult to show or

Still, Yahoo's costs may be higher simply because of the magnitude
of the breach, and may even lead to a loss of users or
advertisers.  Larry Ponemon, founder of the Ponemon Institute, a
think-tank focused on data security, believes Yahoo's costs --
plus opportunities lost -- could be $2 to $3 per customer record,
and shave $1 billion from the price Verizon pays.

"The timing couldn't be worse for Yahoo," he said.

Price Cut

Verizon may be able to negotiate Yahoo's purchase price down by 5
percent to 10 percent, said Mahoney of Falcon Point, who doesn't
hold shares of either company.  Yahoo's shares are down 5.5
percent since the close Dec. 14, when the company announced the
second breach.

Verizon has been buying internet and media companies to drive
growth beyond its maturing wireless business by selling
advertising.  The company purchased Yahoo in part for traffic to
its websites like Yahoo Finance, and that traffic is unlikely to
decline because of the breach.  According to Alexa Internet, which
tracks web viewing, Yahoo fell to the No. 6 most-popular property
globally in early December, before the magnitude of the latest
breach was revealed, and has held its rank since then.  If Yahoo's
numbers remain steady, Verizon should still buy the company,
according Roger Entner, an analyst at Recon Analytics LLC.

"Yahoo has a brand that's pretty good in the marketplace," added
Mahoney, of Falcon Point Capital.  Verizon "will certainly" use
the breach as leverage to try to reduce the deal's price, "but I
doubt that it changes the strategic rationale for why they want to
buy Yahoo," he said.

Yahoo said it's confident in the company's value and continues to
work toward integration with Verizon.  Jim Gerace, a spokesman for
Verizon, said the company will continue to evaluate the situation
before making any final decisions.

ZIMMER GMBH: Sept. 5 Durom Settlement Claims Filing Deadline Set
Were you, or a family member, implanted with a Zimmer Durom(R) Hip
Implant in Canada?

This notice may affect your rights. Please read carefully.

Class action lawsuits were initiated in Canada regarding
allegations that the Zimmer Durom hip implant, or "Durom Cup," was
defective, and that it failed prematurely.  Specifically, a class
action was certified by the British Columbia court on September 2,
2011, in Jones v. Zimmer GMBH et al, and by the Ontario court on
September 24, 2014, in McSherry v. Zimmer GMBH et al, and was
authorized by the Quebec court on May 6, 2016 in Major v. Zimmer
Inc. et al.

These actions have now been settled, and the courts have approved
the settlement.  For a copy of the settlement agreement, please
contact Class Counsel or the Claims Administrator at the address

Who is Eligible to Participate in the Settlement?

The settlement applies to all persons who were implanted with the
Durom Cup in Canada who have not opted out of the Jones, McSherry,
or Major actions and/or who have affirmatively opted into the
Jones action, and their estates and family members.

The Terms of Settlement

The settlement provides compensation to class members who timely
submit all forms and documentation required under the Settlement
Agreement, less deductions for legal fees.  The settlement also
provides for payment to public health insurers.  Please refer to
the settlement agreement, which is available on the website of
Class Counsel, for specific terms and conditions.

To Make a Claim

To be entitled to a payment pursuant to this Settlement Agreement,
class members must file a claim with the Claims Administrator on
or before September 5, 2017.

For More Information or to Obtain a Claim Form

Please contact Class Counsel or the Claims Administrator at the
address below:

Class Counsel in Jones and McSherry Actions:

Klein Lawyers LLP

Suite 400, 1385 West 8th Avenue
Vancouver, BC V6H 3V9
Telephone: 604-874-7171
Facsimile: 604-874-7180

Class Counsel in Major Action:

Trudel Johnston & Lesperance
Suite 90, 750 Cote de la Place d'Armes
Montreal, QC H2Y 2X8
Telephone: 514-871-8385
Fax: 514-871-8800

Claims Administrator:

Crawford Class Action Services
610 - 180 King Street S.
Waterloo, ON N2J 1P8
Toll free: 1-877-739-8939
TTY: 1-877-627-7027
Fax: 1-888-842-1332
Email: zimmerhipclassaction@crawco.ca

* Big Data May Spark Class Actions, Possible Compliance Issues
Santosh Varughese, President of Cognetyx (Network World), in an
article for Computerworld, reports that cybersecurity experts are
excited about big data because it is the "crime scene
investigator" of data science.  If your organization is hacked and
customer information compromised, your use of big data to collect
massive amounts of information on your systems, users and
customers makes it possible for data analysts to provide insight
into what went wrong.

But while big data can help solve the crime after it occurred, it
doesn't help prevent it in the first place.  You're still left
cleaning up the mess left behind by the breach: angry customers,
possible compliance issues with data privacy standards like HIPAA
and PCI DSS, maybe even government fines and class-action

This is where big data fails to meet its big promise: when it is
employed aftera data breach happens.  As the old saying goes,
"Hindsight is the best sight."  Big data, when utilized after a
cyberattack, certainly gives you that.  However, what it doesn't
give you is the ability to realize that a breach is happening, or
is about to happen, and stop it before massive damage is done.
Because of this, big data, when used in a vacuum, will not secure
your systems, your business, or any of your sensitive information.

Big data cheerleaders will say you can use this hindsight to fix
the problems that let the hacker into your system in the first
place.  After all, since you know what went wrong, you can patch
your system so that it doesn't happen again, right?

While that may be true -- you may be able to prevent that specific
problem from happening again -- cybersecurity simply doesn't work
that way.  The threat landscape is dynamic, with new technologies,
and thus, new vulnerabilities, emerging every day.

Additionally, hackers are like any other criminal: They are savvy,
adaptable, and know how to play on human nature.  They're always
going to find your weaknesses -- and your biggest weakness is your
own people, your trusted employees.  Most hackers don't break into
systems through the back door.  They get their hands on legitimate
login credentials and, essentially, walk right in the front door.

So, in most cases, big data analytics will reveal hackers accessed
your system by logging into Server X using an employee password
they stole through a social engineering scheme, such as phishing
email. (Or, worse yet, the credentials may have been handed to
them by a malicious insider.)

With this new insight, you may decide to provide training for your
employees on cyber security best practices, such as how to spot a
phishing email and the dangers of clicking on suspicious links.
Employee cybersecurity training is essential, and it will help
keep your systems safer, but it's not a panacea.

Humans are fallible.  They make mistakes when they are tired,
distracted, or in a hurry to get something done.  Additionally, no
amount of training will stop a malicious insider -- a disgruntled
employee, ex-employee, or contractor who is determined to strike
back at the company or make a quick buck selling confidential data
on the Dark Net.

Thankfully, there is a solution: machine learning, a cutting-edge
technology, built upon mathematical algorithms that learn and
update in real-time, that enable computers to learn without being
explicitly programmed.  This is the same technology that powers
self-driving cars, and it is the single most powerful weapon we
have against hackers.

Machine learning provides the protection that big data analytics
lack.  Instead of figuring out why a breach happened after the
fact, machine learning can identify a data breach as it's
happening, or about to happen, and trigger a system alert to shut
the breach down before any real damage is done.

Machine learning technology not only makes sense of big data; it
can analyze it and extract insight from it far more quickly than a
human or even a team of humans ever could.  Because of its
predictive capabilities, it can be proactive instead of reactive.
In real time, machine learning technology can flag a hacker who is
using stolen credentials and stop them from getting into your

This technology is not baked into the network -- but rather baked
into the application/data.  This cognitive defense shield is
surveilling every login to an application and watches every move
the human using the login ID makes within the application to
confirm that the 'behavior' of this login session for this userid
is within the normal parameters or baseline behavior for that

For example, the algorithms may notice an employee's credentials
are being used from an offsite location, that the employee is
attempting to access a part of the system they do not need to
perform their job, or that a login attempt is occurring in the
middle of the night.  Because the machine learning technology has
analyzed the employee's normal computer usage and established a
baseline pattern, it can recognize that a particular login attempt
is not normal and potentially dangerous, and it will lock that
user out until your IT staff can investigate the situation.

Machine learning gives you immediate, critical, actionable insight
into your user data; it provides you with the real-time protection
that big data analytics cannot.  Machine learning is the best way
to secure your systems because it is constantly learning what is
normal and what is not, and it can act on this information right
away, before a hacker gets into your system and steals hundreds or
thousands of records.

The technology is here now, already deployed, already catching
criminals stealing sensitive data and delivering early alerts on
data breaches and privacy violations.  This cyber security
technology is the future of high-performance solutions that
protect the data. So, if big data is a crime scene investigator,
you could say that machine learning is a cop on the beat:
protecting your system against cybercriminals, enforcing the law,
and stopping crimes in progress.

Mr. Varughese is President of Cognetyx -- http://www.cognetyx.com
-- is the world's first "Ambient Cognitive Cyber Surveillance" to
help safeguard data.  Cognetyx uses advanced machine-learning
artificial intelligence to detect rogue and malicious users.

* CFPB to Finalize Rules on Arbitration Clauses in Class Action
Jessica Karmasek, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that the
attorney who pioneered the use of pre-dispute arbitration
provisions in consumer contracts believes it is "very likely" that
the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will finalize its
proposed set of rules prohibiting arbitration clauses that prevent
class action lawsuits before President-Elect Donald Trump's
inauguration this month.

Alan Kaplinsky -- kaplinsky@ballardspahr.com -- leader of the
Consumer Financial Services Group for the firm Ballard Spahr LLP,
recently told Legal Newsline that there is "perhaps an 80 percent"
chance the bureau will issue a final rule before Jan. 20.

While the CFPB has not indicated publicly that the presidential
change-over is its deadline, Mr. Kaplinsky said the rumors are

"The proposed arbitration rule is very simple (unlike the proposed
small-dollar loan rule)," he pointed out.

"The Obama Administration is encouraging all executive agencies to
complete as many rules as possible before Jan. 20."

The 115th Congress is scheduled to convene Jan. 3 at noon EST.  A
joint session to count the electoral votes of the 2016
presidential election will be held Jan. 6.   Trump and Vice
President-Elect Mike Pence are to be inaugurated Jan. 20.

Republicans maintain control of both the U.S. House of
Representatives and U.S. Senate as a result of the November

That could come into play if the CFPB finalizes the rule ahead of
Trump's inauguration, Mr. Kaplinsky noted.

"It will enable them to use the Congressional Review Act to
nullify the rule," he said of a Republican-controlled Congress.
"It will require a simple majority vote in the House and Senate
and President Trump's signature."

The law empowers Congress to review, by means of an expedited
legislative process, new federal regulations issued by government
agencies and, by passage of a joint resolution, to overrule a

Mr. Kaplinsky said if the CFPB fails to finalize the proposed set
of rules before Jan. 20, it is unlikely to move forward.

"Nothing [will happen], unless and until Trump dismisses Cordray
and a successor is appointed by Trump and confirmed by a simple
majority of the Senate," he said.  "Presumably, the new director
will not finalize the rule."

Mr. Kaplinsky has been a vocal opponent of the CFPB's proposed set
of rules even before they were officially released by the bureau.

Last November, Mr. Kaplinsky took issue with a New York Times
article that alleged binding arbitration is being used by Wall
Street and corporate America to hurt American consumers.

Mr. Kaplinsky, who was interviewed numerous times over the span of
months by the Times, argued the newspaper omitted key information
he provided its reporters regarding class action litigation and
the CFPB's study.

He argues class actions only benefit class action lawyers.

Under the CFPB's proposal, companies would be prohibited from
putting mandatory arbitration clauses in new contracts.

Many contracts for consumer financial products and services
contain such clauses, which are a way to resolve disputes outside
the court system.

Companies would still be able to include arbitration clauses in
their contracts.  However, for contracts subject to the proposal,
the clauses would have to say explicitly that they cannot be used
to stop consumers from being part of a class action in court.

The proposal would provide the specific language that companies
must use.

The proposal also would require companies with arbitration clauses
to submit to the CFPB claims, awards and certain related materials
that are filed in arbitration cases.  This would allow the bureau
to monitor consumer finance arbitrations to ensure that the
arbitration process is fair for consumers.

The bureau also is considering publishing information it would
collect in some form, so the public can monitor the arbitration
process as well.

The comment period on the CFPB's proposal closed on Aug. 22.  More
than 12,000 comments were received by the bureau.

The CFPB, an independent agency of the federal government
responsible for consumer protection in the financial sector,
published its proposal in the Federal Register on May 24, with a
90-day comment period.

Special interest groups, consumer lawyers and even citizens chimed
in on the proposed set of rules.

In September, leaders of a Congressional subcommittee urged the
CFPB to include a safe harbor provision in its final set of rules.

They asked the bureau to consider providing a safe harbor that
allows financial companies to retain class action waivers in their
arbitration clauses.  A safe harbor refers to a legal provision to
reduce or eliminate liability in certain situations as long as
certain conditions are met.

Class action waivers are sections of a contract that prevent
someone from filing a class action lawsuit and can be found in
many different types of contracts, including employment contracts.

* Courts Set to Tackle Sports Law-Related Cases in 2017
Marc Edelman, writing for Forbes, reports that 2016 was another
interesting year in sports law, highlighted by the Supreme Court's
rejection of certiorari in O'Bannon v. NCAA -- marking an end to
six years of litigation over whether the NCAA can prevent colleges
from sharing licensing revenues with their athletes.

2017 figures to be just as exciting year, with a series of new
lawsuits related to college athletes' rights, sports gaming, and
labor law.

Here are the top five stories that should appear on the 'sports
law docket' in 2017:

1.  College Athletes Continue their Fight for Free Markets in
Jenkins v. NCAA.  Lurking behind O'Bannon v. NCAA on the college
sports antitrust docket is Jenkins v. NCAA -- a class action
lawsuit filed on behalf of FBS football and Division I men's
basketball players by renowned sports-antitrust attorney Jeffrey

The Jenkins lawsuit seeks to overturn NCAA rules that place "a
ceiling on the compensation that may be paid to [college] athletes
for their services" and thus may have far broader implications for
college sports than the O'Bannon ruling.  If the plaintiffs in
Jenkins fully prevail, colleges may find themselves bidding for
college athletes' services in a similar fashion to how colleges
already bid for research instructor and Ph.D students' services.

Distinguished sports attorney Jeffrey Kessler is lead counsel in
the ongoing antitrust lawsuit Jenkins v. NCAA (AP Foto/ Louis

2.  Plaintiffs Lawyers Continue to Argue for the "Employee Status"
of College Athletes.  Since Region 13 of the National Labor
Relations Board found Northwestern University's grant-in-aid
college football players to constitute "employees" under labor
law, numerous other lawsuits have attempted to gain for college
athletes the status of employee under employment law.

Although the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
recently denied claims in Berger v. NCAA that the University of
Pennsylvania women's track and field team were employees entitled
to the benefit of minimum wage under the Fair Labor Standards Act,
plaintiffs' lawyers have since requested an en banc review.

Meanwhile, in Dawson v. NCAA, a different set of class action
plaintiffs have asked the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California to hold that Pac-12 conference football and
men's basketball players constitute employees under employment
law.  Given the limited nature of the plaintiffs' class, success
by the Dawson plaintiffs seems somewhat more likely.

3.  Potential Antitrust Challenge to the FanDuel and DraftKings
Merger.   Back in November, daily fantasy sports operators FanDuel
and DraftKings announced a proposed merger that, if approved,
would yield a single company with upwards of 95 percent market
share in the daily fantasy sports category, as well as align the
MLB, the NBA and NHL as partial owners of a single, dominant daily
fantasy sports company.

This proposed merger is very likely to face antitrust scrutiny
from either the Federal Trade Commission and Department of
Justice.  If the companies still plan to move forward with their
merger after such scrutiny, it is reasonably likely that one of
the agencies would file an antitrust lawsuit to enjoin the merger.
(Disclosure: The author consults for a fantasy sports provider
that is in current litigation against DraftKings).

4.  Renewed State Efforts to Legalize Sports Gambling.  In 2015,
the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit rejected yet
another attempt by the State of New Jersey to overturn the
Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act ("PASPA") and bring
sports gambling to New Jersey casinos.

With some of the U.S. professional sports leagues now softening
their stance against sports gambling, some legal commentators
believe another state will attempt to bring a Constitutional
challenge to PASPA in 2016.  While such a lawsuit represents a
somewhat dubious use of state money, a more practical alternative
may be for state congresspersons to unite behind the repeal of

5.  Deteriorating Labor Relationship in the NFL.  Finally, in late
2016, both Major League Baseball and the National Basketball
Association extended their collective bargaining agreements -- a
clear sign of labor stability in thoee sports.  However, in the
National Football League, labor relations could not be worse.
Beyond issues of allocating league revenues, bona fide concerns
about the league commissioner's power emanating from disputes over
recent-year suspensions of Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson and Tom Brady
have further hurt the union's working relationship with the

The time may have come for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to
humble himself on certain suspension powers and seek to repair the
league's relationship with the union.  If that fails to happen,
continued labor strife and litigation between the NFL and its
players seems inevitable.

* Food Beverage Class Action Surge Blamed on Corporate Wrongdoing
Jessica Karmasek, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that
plaintiffs attorneys and consumer advocacy groups agree there has
been a significant uptick in the amount of food and beverage class
action lawsuits filed in recent years, but they contend much of
the blame lies with manufacturers themselves and poor government

Richard Barrett -- rrb@rrblawfirm.net -- a Mississippi plaintiffs
attorney who has brought dozens of cases against food and beverage
companies, said firms such as his own, Barrett Law Group PA in
Lexington, Miss., simply are trying to change the way food
companies do business.

"Food companies should be forced to follow the laws already in
place," Mr. Barrett told Legal Newsline.  "They don't."

Mr. Barrett's firm has combined with several other small to mid-
sized firms across the country to take on what he describes as
"mega-corporations" over their allegedly misleading and illegal
labeling of food products.

"Our group has filed approximately 50 cases for a variety of
violations," he explained.

In 2012, the group filed a lawsuit against Welch Foods Inc. over
its grape juices, alleging the company violated federal and state
law when it, among other things, labeled its juices with a "big,
bold, eye-catching" no-sugar-added statement without the required
disclosure that the juice had more sugar in it per ounce than a
Pepsi-brand soda.

"Our cases focus on ingredient labeling," Mr. Barrett explained.

Mr. Barrett contends class action litigation, against large
companies such as Welch, serves an important purpose.

"When large corporations have a strategy to deprive the American
consumer of just a little bit each transaction so that the
consumer barely notices or feels like it's not worth the effort to
sue, class actions allow consumers to address injury that may be
small but is huge to the corporation," he said.

"These particular cases are interesting to me because in
researching these companies and claims, I have become stunned by
the amount of labeling violations designed only to influence the
volume of sales.  It's no wonder that we, as a society, are sick
and overweight."

Mr. Barrett takes issue with claims that the plaintiffs bar is
solely responsible for the increase in food-related class actions,
all in the name of profits.

"I'm glad they [company attorneys] think that," he said.  "If the
plaintiffs bar is bothering them by seeking them to comply with
federal and state labeling laws, there is an easy fix.  They
should immediately make all their labels compliant with the law."

He continued, "The reason that there is a 'surge' is that
plaintiff attorneys are helping their clients by taking to task
these food companies that intentionally mislead the purchasers of
the companies' products.  There would be no surge without
misleading information on food labels that the companies put on

Maia Kats, director of litigation for the Center for Science in
the Public Interest, contends some of the blame may rest with
plaintiffs attorneys looking for their next paycheck, but she
argues the federal government hasn't done its part.

Recommended by Forbe

"In terms of casting aspersions on one side versus another -- it's
more complex than that," she told Legal Newsline.

"Yes, some other areas in class action law have tightened in terms
of feasibility of prosecution.  But it's also because this area,
in particular, is one in which the government enforcement agencies
assigned to it -- the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the
Department of Justice and Food and Drug Administration -- really
are not active in ensuring the statutes and regulations are
adhered to by food companies.

"I think, in this instance, it's more so a void between the law
and the enforcement of that law."

CSPI, based in Washington, D.C., is one of the nation's top
consumer advocates.  According to its website, the group fights
for government policies and corporate practices that "promote
healthy diets, prevent deceptive marketing practices, and ensure
that science is used to promote the public good."

Ms. Kats also agrees that consumers simply are more health-savvy
these days.

"We have customers who are wanting to purchase and consume foods
that are better for them," she said.

But Ms. Kats doesn't deny that a lot of the class actions being
filed on behalf of consumers are frivolous.

"It's sad because, from our perspective, those lawsuits really
undermine our ability to make meaningful cases," she said.  "There
are a lot of bad class actions out there right now, and people are
doing it for the wrong reasons.

"A lot of them have absolutely no nutritional consequence.  A lot
of them make you go, 'huh?' I mean, too much ice in your drink?
Who really believes a Crunchberry is a real berry?"

Again, it goes back to better regulation, Ms. Kats says.

"Compliance isn't adequately monitored," she said.  "But stop and
reflect on the number of food products out there on the market.
That's a daunting task to fund and for the FDA to accomplish."

Improved labeling guidelines would be a start, she argues -- in
particular, predominance labeling and naming.

"One activity that would help considerably, we think, to ensure
that the naming of the product is accurate is to go by the
predominance of the ingredients," Ms. Kats explained.

"If you're going to show on your products images of 'green leafy
goodness,' for example, then those images that are on the label
should be reflective of the predominance of the ingredients in the

Listing percentages also would prove helpful to consumers, she

Mr. Barrett doubts more guidelines would help.

"I believe that the FDA and the like are doing what they can with
the resources they have," he said.  "If I could wish for anything
in the rulemaking process, I would remove the power of 'big food'
to lobby its influence into the decisions of the FDA and other
agencies regarding regulation formation and interpretation,
particularly when it comes to labeling.

"I can't say more guidelines would help since the food giants are
ignoring them anyway."

* Large Law Firms at Risk of Data Security Breach, Report Says
Karen E. Rubin, Esq. -- Karen.Rubin@ThompsonHine.com -- and Thomas
F. Zych, Esq. -- Tom.Zych@ThompsonHine.com -- of Thompson Hine
LLP, in an article for Lexology, report that law firm
cybersecurity is in the news again with two developments.  First,
the latest ABA TechReport says that large law firms were more
likely to be victims of a data security breach last year than mid-
size or small firms, with one in seven respondents having been hit
overall.  That's a big deal.  Next, a federal class action
complaint in what is thought to be the first suit attempting to
base liability solely on a U.S. law firm's allegedly inadequate
cybersecurity was unsealed on December 9. But that suit possibly
turns out not to be such a big deal.

BigLaw take warning

As reported in Law360 (subs. req.), the 2016 ABA Legal Technology
Survey collected responses from 800 ABA members, and it showed
that 26% of firms with more than 500 lawyers had experienced a
security breach.  That contrasts with about 15% of firms with 50-
99 lawyers, and 20% of firms with 100-499 lawyers. Only 8% of
solos said they'd had a breach.

A possible explanation of the data may be what Willie Sutton said
about why he robbed banks: that's where the money is.  Large and
mid-size firms can be treasure troves for hackers looking to gain
access to client info on deals and other financial activity, and
law firms can provide "back door" access to the data of financial
institution clients.  With more lawyers and more staff, larger
firms also have more chances to suffer from human error.

The good news there, according to the survey, is that only 2% of
respondents reported that hacking resulted in unauthorized access
to client data.

Failure to secure data?

On the litigation front, a class action complaint was unsealed
against Chicago-based firm Johnson & Bell Ltd., brought by former
clients who asserted that the firm's "computer systems suffer from
critical vulnerabilities in its internet-accessible web services."
Plaintiffs also alleged that client confidential information "has
been exposed," and identified the firm's time-charge system, e-
mail server and virtual private network as vulnerable to cyber-

However, the plaintiffs never alleged that any actual breach has
occurred, and the firm moved to dismiss the claims. Potential
vulnerability is not actionable, Johnson & Bell said in its motion
-- otherwise "every lawyer who carries a briefcase, takes notes in
court or in a deposition . . . could be subject to being named in
a class action lawsuit, because in each instance a client's
confidential information was 'exposed' or 'vulnerable.'"

Counsel for plaintiffs in the suit is Jay Edelson, who has
litigated successfully on behalf of consumers against businesses
where actual breaches have occurred.

Although expansion of liability against law firms where no actual
cyber-breach is alleged would be a scary development, the
possibility has fizzled for the moment.  As detailed in the
district court's opinion, the plaintiffs acknowledged that the
time-tracking system vulnerability was remedied shortly after the
complaint was filed, and plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed their
class action complaint in order to pursue arbitration under a
provision of their retainer agreement with the firm.

Lawyer training = ounce of prevention

Law firm data vulnerability consists of at least two factors --
technology and humans.  As pointed out before, a good way to
address the human factor is with plenty of lawyer training,
because we seem to be particularly prone to falling for scams and
clicking before we think.  As for the technological factor,
staying ahead of the bad guys is always going to be a game of
Whack-a-Mole, which law firms will be striving to win.

* Medical Societies Fail to Protect Public From Sexual Predators
Alan Judd, writing for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, reports
that caught in the act, Dr. Earl Bradley needed to think fast.

"What the hell are you doing, you (expletive)?" his patient's
mother screamed when she found Dr. Bradley with his hand in her
daughter's diaper.  Trailing her to the parking lot, Dr. Bradley
insisted she hadn't seen what she thought she saw.

Now the police were coming.  Without a plausible story, Dr.
Bradley could be in serious trouble.  Dr. Bradley said the mother
-- poor, young, unmarried -- must have been trying to extort money
from him. It worked.

A detective wrote that, compared to with doctor, the mother was
"not credible."  A medical board investigator found that
Dr. Bradley "specialized in welfare . . . patients," so a
shakedown was "a distinct possibility."

The case was closed.  And the doctor who would become one of the
nation's most prolific sexual predators moved on.

For 15 more years, Earl Bradley raped, molested and sodomized
pediatric patients.  He recorded 13 hours of the assaults on
video, some so violent that he had to resuscitate the victims.

He eluded investigators and gossips, even as, behind his back,
colleagues called him the "pedophile pediatrician."

Before he finally went to jail in 2009, he victimized 1,200
children, maybe more.

Their average age was 3.

The youngest was 3 months old.

And yet, despite its horrific details, Dr. Bradley's case is
hardly the anomaly it seems.  Rather, it epitomizes the medical
culture that enables and excuses sexual misconduct by physicians
across the nation, an investigation by The Atlanta Journal-
Constitution found.

The Atlanta Journal Constitution examined more than 100,000
disciplinary records and other documents from state medical
boards.  Again and again, records show that a profession that
prides itself on self-policing empowers even its most dangerous

Regulators, who often are doctors themselves, try to keep accused
physicians in practice.  The prescription for rehabilitation may
amount to little more than a weekend-long seminar on appropriate
"boundaries."  Secrecy pervades the disciplinary process,
shielding doctors from embarrassment while keeping patients

The nature of medical practice also provides cover for doctors who
abuse.  Sexual misconduct often occurs in a unique sanctum: the
examination room.  There, intimate encounters not only are
unavoidable, they also are sometimes necessary.  Patients may have
trouble discerning between appropriate examination and gratuitous
touching, and many accept, without question, the judgment and
behavior of a well-trained, highly educated professional.

Reported cases of doctors sexually assaulting children are
unusual, but vulnerable victims are not.  Most accusers are adult
women, especially those who are poor or dependent on narcotic
painkillers or lacking the credibility or social standing to
pursue legal action.

Still, perhaps more than any other, Dr. Bradley's case shows how
American medicine so often puts doctors' interests ahead of
patient protection.  If such an extreme predator could get away
with assaulting patients for years without consequence, how likely
are more typical offenders to draw attention of regulators?

Through interviews, police reports, court files and other public
records, the AJC documented eight instances in which Dr. Bradley
was the subject of accusations between 1994 and 2008.  Each time,
in ways that echo through hundreds of other cases the newspaper
examined, Dr. Bradley avoided punishment.

Investigators sometimes doubted his accusers.  Other doctors kept
his transgressions confidential.  The head of the state medical
society dismissed Dr. Bradley's troubles as a "family matter."
Prosecutors thought his victims were too young to appear in court,
and even if they had testified, it would have been their word
against Bradley's -- against the doctor's.

Earl Bradley arrived in Lewes, a small seaside town in southern
Delaware, in 1994.  The mother's accusation that he touched a
21-month-old inside her diaper still was unresolved in
Philadelphia.  Nevertheless, Delaware regulators granted
Dr. Bradley a medical license, and the state's third-largest
hospital, Beebe Medical Center in Lewes, gave him a job.

Almost every year, complaints emerged about Bradley's conduct.

In 2001, Dr. Bradley opened a practice in an old house on the
coastal highway in Lewes.  He called it BayBees Pediatrics.
Often, he carried children to his basement or to another building
on the property while parents checked out at the front desk.

Dr. Bradley hired his older sister, Lynda Barnes, as office
manager.  But by 2004, she had grown so concerned about his odd
behavior that she reported him to the state medical society.

She sent the society a letter saying her brother had a mental
illness, was spending far beyond his means, and had physically
abused his son, then a teenager.

The medical society gave the letter to its president: Dr. James
Marvel, who had helped bring Bradley to Delaware a decade earlier.
Marvel did not respond to requests for an interview.

In 2005, according to police reports, Marvel told a detective he
did nothing to investigate Barnes' letter.  In his judgment,
Marvel reportedly said, Barnes' complaint was merely "a family

At first, Dr. Bradley impressed everyone.  When an expectant
mother met with him in 2002, he readily calmed her anxieties about
giving birth for the first time.  He seemed to have a medical
study at his fingertips to back up every point.

"It blew my mind," the mother said in an interview.  "So we picked

But at nearly every visit, the mother said, Bradley examined her
daughter's vagina.  She thought it was odd, but she didn't
challenge him.

On March 29, 2005, the mother discovered that he doctor had put
his tongue in her daughter's mouth, had violated her in a profound
way.  The mother began trembling -- an involuntary, uncontrollable
reaction that, more than 11 years later, recurs when she talks
about Dr. Bradley.  She drove home, told her husband and called
the police.

The case went to Kenneth Brown, then a detective for the Milford
police, now the chief.

Mr. Brown worked on the case for a month.  A former BayBees
employee described Dr. Bradley as "weird and disgusting" but
didn't point to anything illegal.  Parents talked about feeling
uneasy over how Dr. Bradley touched their daughters.  Other
doctors repeated stories about his lengthy, and apparently
unnecessary, vaginal exams.

Mr. Brown took his findings to the Delaware attorney general's
office, which supervises criminal cases across the state. Lawyers
there declined to prosecute Dr. Bradley for molesting the 3-year-
old.  With so young a victim and no physical evidence, they
concluded, convicting Dr. Bradley would be all but impossible.

The girl's mother considered reporting Dr. Bradley to the Delaware
Board of Medical Practice, which licenses and disciplines the
state's doctors.  But, like many other state medical regulators,
the agency wouldn't accept anonymous complaints.  Also like
others, it didn't investigate before giving doctors the names of
their accusers.

Already, the mother said, other doctors had been dismissive when
she told her story.  Even friends questioned whether Dr. Bradley
really did anything wrong.

So, fearing Dr. Bradley would somehow retaliate against her
family, the mother dropped the matter.

Twice in 2008, just as in 1994 and 1996, 1998 and 2000, 2004 and
2005, new allegations surfaced against Dr. Bradley.  But, as
before, nothing came of them.

Then a 2-year-old told her mother that Dr. Bradley "hurt" her when
he took her to his office basement.  A medical examination
confirmed that she had been molested.

Early on Dec. 16, 2009, detectives from the Delaware State Police
arrived at Dr. Bradley's house. They led him away in handcuffs.

At BayBees Pediatrics, officers fanned out through the complex:
the old house that served as the main office and three smaller
outbuildings in the rear.  They found video cameras all over: in
an examination room, in Dr. Bradley's private office, in the
basement.  They also found dozens of digital storage devices.
Among them were five thumb drives hidden atop a door frame.

The next day, a detective from the high-tech crimes unit began
examining the digital evidence.  The first file on the first thumb
drive was a video recorded in September, three months earlier.

For the first minute or so, it showed nothing alarming.

But then, Detective James Spillan saw Dr. Bradley removing the
diaper of a very young child.  The girl cried for her mother.

Detective Spillan eventually catalogued 13 hours, 35 minutes and
six seconds of video in which Dr. Bradley documented his abuse.

Videos taken from the house showed Dr. Bradley violently
assaulting 86 children, all girls except for one.  Detective
Spillan later testified in court about watching the rapes of
children in diapers, many of them screaming and trying to get
away.  Dr. Bradley raped one girl, on video, four times before she
turned 2.

The discovery of the video sent the case into a different realm.
Until then, other doctors, hospital executives and many parents
had viewed Dr. Bradley more as an eccentric than a predator,
although one who may have been "careless" with little girls, as a
colleague put it.  In reality, he had been a serial child molester
all along.

Dr. Bradley offered no defense when he went on trial in 2011.  A
judge sent him to prison for life, with no chance for parole.
Dr. Bradley is now 63 years old.

In November 2012, a Delaware judge approved a $123 million
settlement of a class-action lawsuit against Beebe hospital, the
state medical society and several doctors, some of whom allegedly
referred patients to Dr. Bradley even after hearing jokes and
rumors that cast him as a pedophile.

* New NLRB Board May Reexamine Decisions on Class Action Waivers
Steven M. Swirsky, Esq. -- sswirsky@ebglaw.com -- and Laura C.
Monaco, Esq. -- lmonaco@ebglaw.com -- of Epstein Becker & Green,
P.C., in an article for The National Law Review, report that the
National Labor Relations Board ("Board") has been quite active in
the waning days of the Obama administration.  The Board issued a
number of decisions addressing key issues in the second half of
President Obama's final year in office.  While the lasting impact
of some or all of these decisions in the wake of Donald Trump's
election is presently uncertain, it is almost certain that the
Board's Democratic majority under the Obama administration will
not survive, and that President-elect Trump's appointments will
give rise to a Republican majority in the near future.  Indeed,
two of the five seats on the Board are presently open, and with
the terms of both Member Philip Miscimarra, who is a Republican,
and General Counsel Richard Griffin set to expire in 2017,
President-elect Trump will soon have the opportunity to use his
appointment powers to change drastically both the composition of
the Board and its litigation and enforcement priorities.  It can
be expected that a new Board, with a Republican majority, will
likely reexamine decisions of the Obama Board on a wide range of
issues, including the Board's decisions that found class action
waivers and requirements that employees arbitrate (rather than
seek relief in the courts for wage and hour and similar claims) to
be unenforceable, and that redefined the standards for finding
joint-employer relationships, as well as other decisions seen as
"pro-union" or anti-employer.

In 2016, the Board issued decisions that affected employers in
several key areas.

Joint Employers
In July 2016, the Board issued Miller & Anderson, 362 NLRB No. 39
(July 11, 2016), a decision that expanded the already-relaxed
joint-employer standard adopted by the Board in its August 2015
decision in Browning Ferris Industries.  The Board made clear that
it will now hold elections and require bargaining in "petitioned-
for units combining solely and jointly employed workers of a
single user employer," in those cases in which a union asks for
such a mixed employer unit, so long as the Board finds the jointly
and solely employed workers "share a community of interest" under
the Board's "traditional community of interest factors for
determining unit appropriateness."  Moreover, the Board overturned
its 2004 decision in Oakwood Care Center, 343 NLRB 659 and held
that when a union petitions for a representation election in a
unit that includes both "solely employed" and jointly employed
employees of a single "user employer," the Board will no longer
require the consent of the employer or employers before directing
such an election and certifying a union to represent such a unit.

The Board's decision in Miller & Anderson can also be viewed as
the next step in the progression that began with the Board's
change in its representation election rules, which permit quicker
elections and representation proceedings and which deny employers
their rights to both litigate critical unit and supervisory status
issues prior to an election and to appeal a Regional Director's
direction of election before that election is conducted.

The Board's Assistance to Union Organizing
The Board's decision in Trustees of Columbia University, 364 NLRB
No. 90 (Aug. 23, 2016), was part of a broader trend by the Board's
majority efforts to jump-start collective bargaining and union
organizing and bring unions into new settings where they have not
previously been found.  In this case, the Board ruled that
graduate students working as teaching assistants and research
assistants were "employees" within the meaning of the National
Labor Relations Act ("Act") and, thus, have the right to join
unions and engage in collective bargaining with the universities
and colleges at which they study.  This decision is yet another
example of the Obama Board's broad approach in examining the
nature of the employer-employee relationship, not only in the
context of joint employment and co-employment but also in new
areas of the gig economy, where unions and employees are arguing
that workers traditionally recognized to be independent
contractors have been "misclassified" and that such
misclassification is in and of itself an unfair labor practice.

The Board's Aggressive Review of Employment Policies and Handbooks

Is National Labor Relations Board at Turning Point?
Throughout 2016, the Board has continued its aggressive approach
to reviewing, invalidating, and finding unlawful employment
policies and other documents once viewed as standard by employers
-- class action waivers, separation agreements, workplace conduct,
email use policies, and social media policies.  In Chipotle
Services LLC, 364 NLRB No. 72 (Aug. 18, 2016), the Board took aim
at a social media policy maintained by Chipotle Services, LLC.  In
that case, the company asked one of its non-unionized employees to
delete several tweets posted on his personal Twitter account,
because they violated Chipotle's Social Media Code of Conduct.
The Board concluded that the company's social media policy, which
prohibited employees from spreading "incomplete, confidential, or
inaccurate information" through their online activity, and also
forbid employees from making "disparaging, false, misleading,
harassing or discriminatory statements" regarding the company and
its employees, suppliers, customers, competition, or investors,"
violated the Act because it could reasonably be construed as
restricting employees' exercise of their Section 7 rights to
engage in concerted activity.

What Employers Should Do Now
The Board has continued to scrutinize employers' policies and
practices in 2016 and has not hesitated to reverse prior precedent
in order to accomplish its strategic initiatives.  With the
incoming administration, employers will have to take a wait-and-
see approach to determine whether some (or all) of the Board's
inroads will be rolled back in 2017.

* Outcome of Mandatory Arbitration Agreements Issue Uncertain
Rebekah Mintzer, writing for Inside Counsel, reports that
companies and their in-house counsel have tried to stem the tide
of litigation filed by employees on issues such as wage and hour
and workplace discrimination by having them sign mandatory
arbitration agreements that contain class action waivers.  But in
some of the most consequential court cases for in-house lawyers of
2016, judges ruled that these contracts, which once seemed like a
safe bet to manage employment cases individually and without
litigation, may no longer be viable.

Companies have supported these agreements on the theory that
individual arbitration saves both employee and employer time and
money in resolving conflicts and keeping resolution private.  They
argue that individual arbitration is protected by the Federal
Arbitration Act.  But some employees, as well as the plaintiffs
bar and the National Labor Relations Board, see these agreements
as unfair and illegal under Section 7 of the National Labor
Relations Act, which protects employees' right to protected
concerted activity.  The board has brought its own cases to strike
down these waivers, and has supported plaintiffs attempting to do
the same.  Companies from K-Mart Corp. to Applebee's International
Inc. have faced legal scrutiny over the issue.

So far, the news from the circuits has been mixed.  The U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and for the Ninth Circuit have
sided with employees.  The Fifth, Eighth and Second have supported
the employer view.  In three cases that were decided in 2016,
Lewis v. Epic Systems, Morris v. Ernst & Youngand NLRB v. Murphy
Oil USA, parties have filed cert petitions to the U.S. Supreme
Court.  The one filed by Epic called the circuit splits
"intractable" and said that it is making dispute resolution
"unpredictable to the detriment of employers and employees alike."

The issue seems ripe for consideration, but at press time it was
not known whether the high court would take it up, and how the new
president would shift the court's makeup.

Until the Supreme Court opts to weigh in, what seems certain is
that the issue will continue to confound employers, from the
conventional to the high-tech, across the country.  Uber
Technologies Inc., for instance, is fighting to enforce
arbitration agreements that it had its drivers sign and is now
part of the broader litigation over the company's alleged
misclassification of its drivers as independent contractors.

* PRA May Pave Way for Class Action Litigation in Canada
Avi Sharabi, Esq. -- asharabi@blaney.com -- of Blaney McMurtry
LLP, in an article for Lexology, reports that Canada's Anti-Spam
Legislation ("CASL"), which came into force on July 1, 2014, is
considered by some experts to be one of the most onerous anti-
spam/anti-malware laws in the world.  On July 1, 2017, it will
become even more onerous when the private right of action ("PRA")
comes into force.

The PRA is expected to increase the number of claims (including
class proceedings) made under CASL.  Insurers will need to factor
the PRA into the underwriting of many policies issued in the

Below is an overview of CASL, a summary of the PRA, and comments
about some of the ways in which the PRA could affect the Canadian
insurance market.

The Purpose of CASL

One of the primary goals of CASL is to protect Canadians from
receiving unsolicited commercial electronic messages ("CEMs") and
unsolicited computer programs or software on their electronic

CEMs are private messages including emails, SMS text messages,
instant messages, and private messages on social networking
accounts, which encourage participation in a commercial activity.
CASL prohibits the delivery of such messages without the
recipient's consent.

Consent may be implied in the context of an existing business
relationship, subject to certain criteria and qualifications.  In
all cases, however, CEMs must, at a minimum, clearly identify the
sender, include the sender's mailing address, and contain an
'unsubscribe' option.

CASL also prohibits the installation of computer programs without
the express consent of the owner of the electronic device.  This
applies when the device is located in Canada, or when the
installer is located in Canada.  There are exceptions to this
rule, such as if the sender obtains a court order requiring the
installation of the program, or where it is reasonable to believe
that the owner consented to the program's installation (e.g.
cookies or Java Scripts).

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
("CRTC") responds to the above-noted CASL violations via consumer
complaints.  Individual violators may be liable for up to $1
million per complaint, while businesses may be liable for up to
$10 million per complaint.  Additionally, directors, officers or
agents of a company may be held personally liable if they
directed, authorized, assented or acquiesced to, or participated
in, the commission of the violation, subject to a "due diligence"

What is the PRA?

The PRA (sections 47-51 of CASL) permits an individual or
organization to commence a private action against those who
allegedly violated certain CASL provisions.  Furthermore,
offending directors, officers or agents of organizations can be
held jointly and severally liable for these alleged violations
(subject to a due-diligence defence) if they directed, authorized,
assented or acquiesced to, or participated in, the alleged
violation, irrespective of whether the organization is sued.

The private right of action allows a plaintiff to sue for actual
and statutory damages.  Actual damages are intended to compensate
an aggrieved party for breach of his/her rights.  A plaintiff is
also entitled to sue for statutory damages unless the alleged
violator(s) provided the CRTC with an undertaking to pay a fine
and/or undertake certain corrective measures, or has already been
served with a notice of violation by the CRTC, in respect of the
same alleged conduct.

Statutory damages could prove to be quite onerous.  Anti-spam
violations may result in an award of $200 per violation, up to $1
million per day.  For instance, if a company sends out 1,000
emails per day to its customers, advertising for its annual
holiday sale, for a period of 30 days prior to Christmas, and
those emails do not comply with the relevant provisions of CASL,
the company, as well as its directors, officers and agents may be
jointly and severally liable for $3 million in statutory damages,
in addition to compensatory damages.

How the PRA might affect Insurers in Canada

The PRA will probably affect insurers who issue Cyber / Privacy
Liability policies in Canada, to the extent that they would cover
third-party claims arising out of privacy violations.  Violations
of CASL and privacy laws are often intertwined.  This is
underscored by the fact that the Office of the Privacy
Commissioner of Canada is responsible for enforcing certain CASL

Insurers who issue Directors' and Officers' Liability policies
should also be concerned.  D&O policies that do not expressly
exclude marketing or privacy violations could be exposed to claims
under the PRA because of the exposure to directors and officers.
Additionally, insureds could attempt to seek coverage under the
Personal/Advertising Injury section of CGL policies. Insurers who
do not expressly exclude these sorts of claims could face exposure
to significant defence costs.

There is also the issue of whether statutory damages would be
excluded as fines or penalties.  This, of course, would depend on
the wording of the particular policy.  As articulated in section
51(1)(b) of CASL, they are not expressly called fines or
penalties.  In fact, while section 51(1)(a) refers to
"compensation" (i.e. compensatory damages), section 51(1)(b) does
not denote statutory damages by any name; it simply describes the
maximum amounts that could be owed.  Therefore, insurers could
have difficulty successfully arguing that they do not owe
indemnity for such amounts.

Moreover, insurers underwriting these risks in Canada should be
concerned about the PRA providing a further avenue for class
action litigation.  Privacy class actions are already on the rise
in Canada, especially with recent court decisions affirming common
law privacy rights.  The PRA is likely to result in the
continuation of this trend, as CASL relates to both marketing and
privacy law, which would mean further litigation costs incurred by
insureds, and, therefore, insurers potentially covering such
defence costs.  While some refer to class action litigation as a
licence to print money, it can often become, for insureds and
insurers, a licence to burn money.  That is why it is important to
be very wary of CASL and the PRA now, before underwriting any
further policies in Canada for which such claims may trigger

* TINA.org Lists Some of Unfulfilling Settlements in 2016
Moneylife reports that TINA.org tracked more than 400 class-action
lawsuits relating to false or deceptive advertising in 2016 and as
always kept a watchful eye on the trends, outcomes, and
settlements.  Advertisements of 100-percent grated cheese grated
on consumers as did so-called healthy and natural foods, supposed
discounts, and earth-friendly vehicles that aren't. Underfilled
packages also prompted consumers to turn to the courts.  But just
as underfilled containers were a source of frustration, so were
some of the unfulfilling settlements.  Here's TINA.org worst
settlements list for 2016.

1. Burlington Coat Factory
2. Dutch LLC
3. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
4. Starbucks
5. Ticketmaster
6. CVS

So that wraps up last year's worst list.  But no worries. We can
already tell there's more in the pipeline.  We are particularly
interested in watching the outcome, for example, of a $20 million
lawsuit against KFC by a New York woman who alleges that the fast-
food chain knowingly misleads consumers with advertised images of
"overflowing" chicken for its Family Fill Up meal that doesn't
represent the amount of chicken customers actually get.

There's also this complaint against Chipotle filed in California
that alleges the Mexican fast food chain's chorizo burrito leaves
customers excessively full and can't possibly be just 300

* Trump Administration May Fight Efforts to Outlaw Administration
James R. Copland, writing for Morning Consult, reports that the
incoming Trump administration should work quickly to reverse the
Obama administration's aggressive efforts to outlaw arbitration.
Arbitration -- essentially, a contractual agreement to resolve
disputes out of court -- is at least as fair as litigation,
significantly faster and significantly cheaper.  Arbitration helps
consumers benefit through more services and lower prices, and the
spread of arbitration agreements has helped to limit the once-
explosive growth in America's litigation costs.

Trial lawyers hate arbitration because it squeezes their outsized
contingent fees out of the system.  Lawyers and law firms have
been the largest special-interest political contributors to
Congress in each electoral cycle of the 21st century, and the
plaintiff's bar has concentrated its largesse among Democrats. Two
of the three largest contributors to the career of retiring Sen.
Harry Reid (D-Nev.) were out-of-state plaintiffs' law firms,
trailing only his home-state MGM Casinos.

The Obama administration has been working feverishly through its
last days to eliminate arbitration clauses through executive
actions, new regulations and new regulatory interpretations.

The first battleground for the Obama administration involved
class-action lawsuits over employee wages and hours.  In January
2012, the National Labor Relations Board decided, for the first
time, that class-action waivers in labor contract arbitration
clauses violated employees' collective-bargaining rights under the
National Labor Relations Act of 1935 -- which preceded by more
than three decades the modern class-action litigation device.

The board's decision was adopted by two Democrat appointees, one
of whom -- Craig Becker, the former associate general counsel of
the Service Employees International Union -- was a "recess"
appointee whose tenure had already expired. (The administration
had resorted to recess appointments to fill the board after
failing to reach a compromise with Senate Republicans; the Supreme
Court unanimously rebuked the administration's gambit.) The NLRB
has continued to assert its interpretation in the face of
conflicting appellate court decisions, and the issue now awaits
Supreme Court review.

The 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection
Act, enacted in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis, not only
outlawed arbitration clauses in mortgage-loan contracts but also
opened up new avenues for the Obama administration to take
executive action.  In March 2015, the Obama administration's
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, newly created under Dodd-
Frank, released a study that purported to justify a potential rule
that would prohibit arbitration clauses that foreclosed class-
action lawsuits in various other consumer-financial products.  The
rule was proposed in May 2016.

In response to a request by the American Association for Justice -
- the organization formerly known as the Association of Trial
Lawyers of America -- the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services proposed a rule outlawing arbitration clauses in nursing-
home contracts in July 2015.  The final rule was issued in
September of 2016 before a federal judge blocked the rule from
taking effect in November.

These are just some of the areas in which the Obama administration
has acted to curtail arbitration.  The Department of Education has
issued new rules outlawing arbitration clauses in student-loan
contracts, and the Labor Department's new fiduciary rules
governing investment advisers foreclose arbitration and are
designed to be enforced through class-action lawsuits.  The
administration has even gone so far as to "blacklist" companies
that include arbitration clauses in their employment contracts --
preventing them from doing business with the government.

Each of these attacks on arbitration is an executive-branch end
run around Congress, which has by and large resisted the trial
lawyers' assault on private dispute resolution.  These attacks on
arbitration also share the common feature that they would hurt
consumers and the broader public for the benefit of the Obama
administration's trial-lawyer pals.

Consider nursing homes.  After an explosion of lawsuits in the
1990s, arbitration clauses became standard in nursing home
contracts by 2002.  Not coincidentally, Medicaid expenditures on
nursing-home care -- which constitute one-third of all Medicaid
expenses -- peaked in inflation-adjusted terms that very year.
Eliminating arbitration clauses in nursing-home contracts will
drive up the cost of such care: a 2003 study by the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services found that the principal
effect of nursing-home litigation was to prompt insurance
companies to hike the price of litigation insurance across the
board.  And patients will see no improvement in services or
safety: a 2013 study in the journal Medical Care found that "tort
litigation does not increase the quality performance of nursing
homes, and may decrease it slightly."

The increased use of arbitration has helped to slow the growth
rate in litigation costs in recent years, but U.S. tort liability
costs remain 2.6 times the cost in the European Union, according
to a 2013 study by NERA Economic Consulting, so it makes no sense
to jettison one of the best available tools for limiting lawsuit
abuse.  On the campaign trail, President-elect Donald Trump
pledged to "put an end to" what he called "the regulation
industry" on his first day in office.  Unwinding most of the Obama
administration's actions to expand litigation by foreclosing
arbitration will take more time than that, but it should be a top
Trump administration priority.

* Zelle Reviews 2016 Indirect Purchaser Class Action Highlights
Christopher Micheletti, Esq. -- cmicheletti@zelle.com -- and
Christina Tabacco, Esq. -- ctabacco@zelle.com -- Zelle LLP, in an
article for JDSupra, review some of the more interesting court
decisions in the indirect purchaser class action arena over the
past 12 months and provide practitioners with some key takeaways
for 2017 and beyond.  While there were no major U.S. Supreme Court
decisions that impacted indirect purchaser cases, and only a few
circuit court decisions, the rulings below shed light on
strategies related to class certification, Article III and
antitrust standing, settlement objectors, and other indirect
purchaser-related issues that practitioners are certain to face in
the future.

Class Certification

Landscape Unchanged by Supreme Court Decision in Tyson Foods: Over
the past five years, the Supreme Court has issued several class
certification decisions, the effect of which has been hotly
contested by commentators and parties in indirect purchaser and
other antitrust class actions.  In 2016, the Supreme Court decided
Tyson Foods Inc. v. Bouaphakeo, which did not involve antitrust
claims, but did involve the use of statistical evidence to
establish class-wide liability.  Earlier in 2016, the district
court in In re Delta/AirTran Baggage Fee Antitrust Litigation
discussed the effect of Tyson Foods on class certification
standards in the antitrust context, and "reject[ed] the notion"
that Tyson Foods and other decisions "broke new ground or
materially altered the landscape of class certification."  Rather,
the court "consider[ed] Comcast, Dukes, Amgen [and] Tyson Foods .
. . for precisely what they are -- helpful illuminations,
applications and explanations of pre-existing law -- [and] . . .
decline[d] defendants' invitation to treat them as something they
are not."  Indeed, that court reaffirmed the propriety of the use
of "aggregated damages calculations" in antitrust class cases, and
cited Tyson Foods to support the proposition that "individual
damages allocation issues" that may follow an aggregate damage
award "are insufficient to defeat class certification."  As such,
the antitrust class certification landscape appears to be
unchanged by Tyson Foods.

24-State Indirect Purchaser Class Certified Under California Law:
There was only one published decision on indirect purchaser class
certification in 2016: In re Optical Disk Drive Antitrust
Litigation.  In Optical Disk Drive, the court certified a class of
indirect purchasers of optical disc drives (ODDs) from 23 states
and Washington, D.C., under California law.  ODDs are devices that
allow data to be read and written to optical discs such as compact
discs and digital video discs.  The plaintiffs alleged that the
defendants -- one of which pleaded guilty to antitrust violations
-- engaged in bid-rigging that was part of an industry-wide price-
fixing conspiracy that involved agreements, exchanges of price,
output and other confidential information.  The defendants did not
dispute that there were instances of anti-competitive conduct,
including bid-rigging during ODD procurements by Dell, HP and
Microsoft, but disputed whether the anti-competitive conduct went
beyond the occasional rigged bid.  The district court had
previously denied the indirect purchasers' motion for class
certification on the grounds that the indirect and direct
purchasers failed to establish that impact at the direct purchaser
stage could be shown on a class-wide basis.

Proof of Impact to Direct Purchasers and the Incremental Showing
Needed on Renewed Motions for Class Certification: Optical Disk
Drive provided guidance on the incremental showing needed to
succeed on a class motion the second time around.  In the renewed
motion, on the issue of whether impact to all or nearly all class
members may be shown on a class-wide basis, the indirect
purchasers' expert presented a "cointegration test" that was "more
extensive" than that presented in the initial motion, a new
"Granger causality" analysis, and modified his overcharge
regression model in several respects that the district court found
persuasive.  The court noted that while the defendants challenged
the expert's model implementation, "they d[id] not challenge the
propriety of employing such models in the first instance."
Additionally, defendants posited the oft-used argument that the
expert's use of "aggregated" data masked individual variations
among class members, while plaintiffs insisted that large sample
sizes are necessary to ensure statistical reliability of the
results.  The Optical Disk Drive court found the plaintiffs'
argument more persuasive.

Pass-Through: On the key issue of pass-through -- which was not
addressed in the first order -- the court analyzed several issues
frequently raised by defendants, and provided a road map for
indirect purchaser plaintiffs to rebut them.

"Price point" challenges to overcharge pass-through blunted in
product markets with declining prices: In Optical Disk Drive, the
defendants claimed -- as they often do -- that retailers' use of
price points, i.e., selling products costing in the hundreds of
dollars at prices just under the next $100 mark (e.g., $999 for a
computer), would prevent pass-through of a relatively small cost
increase (e.g., $4), and that the retailer would keep the price at
$999 rather than increase it to $1,003.  The court rejected the
defendants' hypothetical, however, noting that the price-fixing
alleged in the case sought to "slow the decline in prices that
otherwise naturally was occurring," and that cost declines were
not limited to ODD components, but were occurring vis-Ö-vis all or
nearly all computer components.  The plaintiffs' expert also
empirically analyzed the price point issue through a "quantile
regression" analysis.  Based on this analysis, which was designed
to test the relationship between cost and price changes for
computer price points at $99 increments, the plaintiffs' expert
opined that the pass-through rate was 100 percent or greater at
all price points.

Reduced product quality as a basis for supporting consumers'
overpayment for finished products and components: The plaintiffs'
renewed motion also argued that manufacturers, rather than attempt
to adjust product price in the face of cost changes, will adjust
the "quality" of particular computer systems, and thereby preserve
their desired profit margins for a particular target retail price.
The defendants argued that such a focus on product quality
necessarily implicates consumers' subjective desires and requires
a consumer-by-consumer inquiry regarding the desirability of
product features.  The court rejected this argument, noting the
"harm" to consumers lies in paying more than the product is worth,
and does not turn on the individual user's desire for a particular

Below-cost sales do not preclude pass-through: The plaintiffs also
successfully dispensed with the defendants' argument -- also
frequently made in indirect purchaser cases -- that no pass-though
can occur where sales, discounts or rebates result in below-cost
sales.  The court recognized the validity of the simple response
that, in the actual world, the overcharge remains embedded in the
discounted price -- which is higher than it should be, while in
the but-for world, the discounted price is even lower.

Finally, the plaintiffs' renewed motion relied on several well-
established qualitative and quantitative methods of addressing
pass-through on a classwide basis.  The plaintiffs relied on well-
settled economic theory that where the relevant markets are highly
competitive, pass-through rates will be at or near 100 percent.
The plaintiffs also relied on quantitative pass-through studies
covering companies responsible for approximately 80 percent of
personal computer sales, 45 percent of top distributor sales and
including over 273 million Optical Disk Drive products, which
showed pass-through rates that, while varying, are "uniformly high
and positive."  The above arguments convinced the court that,
while the indirect purchasers' proof may or may not carry the day
with the fact-finder at trial, the relevant decisions will be made
on a classwide basis.

Article III and Antitrust Standing Challenges

Article III and antitrust standing challenges continued to be
raised in 2016 by defendants seeking dismissal of indirect
purchaser claims.  These arguments generally rely, respectively,
on the Supreme Court's decisions in Lujan v. Defenders of Wildlife
and Associated General Contractors of California v. California
State Council of Carpenters (AGC).  For example, such arguments
assert that indirect purchasers' antitrust injuries are too remote
from the defendants' unlawful conduct, or are not the type of
injury the antitrust laws were intended to prevent. Typically, the
less "traceable" the allegedly price-fixed product is through the
chain of distribution to the end consumer, or the more "remote"
the claimed injury is from the unlawful conduct, the more likely a
defendant will raise an Article III challenge and/or antitrust

Chemical Ingredients - Alleging Facts Supporting Article III
Standing and Pass-Through: In Harrison v. E.I. DuPont De Nemours
and Company, the court addressed allegations regarding both
Article III and antitrust standing, and provided guidance on what
is needed to establish standing at the pleading stage when the
product at issue is a chemical or ingredient used in a product.

In Harrison, indirect purchasers of titanium dioxide, a pigment
used for whiteness, brightness and masking of colors in paint and
coating products, alleged that artificially inflated titanium
dioxide prices were passed-through to end consumers of end
products containing the chemical.  In a prior dismissal order, the
court found the plaintiffs' broad pass-through allegations
pertaining to the use of titanium dioxide in "architectural
coatings" deficient given the breadth of that finished product
market and variation in the amount of titanium dioxide used in
those products.  Noting that some architectural coatings contained
only "trace amounts" of titanium dioxide, and that the plaintiffs
had provided product composition detail as to only one paint
product, the court dismissed for failure to meet the requirement
of Lujan that the plaintiffs' injury be "fairly traceable" to the
defendants' conduct.

In their amended complaint, the indirect purchaser plaintiffs
limited the class to end purchasers of "architectural paint"
(eliminating resellers).  The plaintiffs substantially beefed-up
their factual allegations related to pass-through, including
identifying the specific paint product purchased by each plaintiff
and, in some cases, disclosing what percent of the paint
constitutes titanium dioxide.  The amended complaint also alleged
(1) that titanium dioxide is the costliest component of
architectural paint (50 percent of "flat coatings" cost and 33
percent of "high-gloss coatings" cost), thereby preventing
manufacturers from absorbing an increase in the cost of titanium
dioxide; (2) the presence of certain architectural paint market
characteristics that economic theory indicates will yield nearly
100 percent pass-through of cost increases; and (3) that
manufacturers made statements acknowledging that recent increases
in paint prices were due to increases in the cost of titanium
dioxide.  The court found these and other allegations sufficiently
alleged an injury traceable to defendants' conduct, and relied on
many of the same allegations in rejecting the defendants' further
argument that the plaintiffs failed to meet the antitrust standing
requirements under AGC.[25]

Key Takeaways from Harrison for Indirect Purchasers of Chemical
Products or Other Ingredients Incorporated Into Finished Products:
Do not overreach on the class definition by incorporating finished
products that contain trace or minimal amounts of the alleged
price-fixed chemical or ingredient. Do your homework on finished-
product composition and the percentage of the chemical or
ingredient at issue contained therein, and include detailed pass-
through allegations regarding market conditions that predict pass-
through, downstream market commentary regarding the impact of
costs on price, and quantitative evidence of cost changes
affecting prices.

Location of Class Representatives' Purchases Affecting Article III
Standing: In re Capacitors Antitrust Litigation involved indirect
purchaser (and other) plaintiffs alleging that defendants, foreign
manufacturers of capacitors, participated in a decade-long global
conspiracy to fix capacitor prices. Capacitors are "ubiquitous
component[s] in electronic devices of all types."  The court
addressed whether Article III standing may be satisfied by a
general allegation that "each named plaintiff paid artificially
inflated prices for capacitors as a result of defendants' price-
fixing conspiracy," regardless of whether the named plaintiff's
product purchase occurred in the state under which the state law
claim is asserted.

The court noted the "trend in this district and in other courts is
to require an in-state purchase to establish Article III standing
for state antitrust and related consumer protection claims," and
held that "in-state injury in the form of an in-state purchase of
a capacitor at a supracompetitive price is required here to
satisfy Article III standing for each of the state law claims
asserted."  The court emphasized that "residence in a state-alone
-- without a purchase or any other conduct amounting to 'injury' -
- cannot be sufficient, or even relevant ..."[30]

Indirect Purchaser that was Assigned Direct Purchaser's Claims
Satisfies Article III Standing Based on Indirect Purchases: A
decision that seems, in some respects, at odds with the above-
referenced Capacitors decision is the Third Circuit's decision in
Hartig Drug Company v. Senju Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd.  In that
case, an indirect purchaser brought suit for damages under the
Sherman Act based upon an assignment of claims received from a
direct purchaser -- thereby sidestepping the Illinois Brick bar to
indirect purchaser claims under Section 4 of the Clayton Act.[32]
Notwithstanding that the indirect purchaser plaintiff was, by
virtue of the assignment, suing under federal law, the Third
Circuit found that Article III standing was established by
"allegations . . . that it was in fact harmed by the downstream
effects of the defendants' anti-competitive behavior."[33] Thus,
unlike the court in Capacitors, the Third Circuit looked more
generally to overcharge-related injuries (i.e., indirect
purchases) that were not the subject of the claim (i.e., direct
purchases) it was asserting in the action.

No Consideration Required to Assign Direct Purchaser Claims to
Indirect Purchaser: Another case involving an assignment of rights
to an indirect purchaser was Wallach v. Eaton Corporation.  There,
the plaintiff trucking company, Tauro, alleged that Eaton, a
transmission supplier, entered into exclusive dealing agreements
with original equipment manufacturers to maintain monopoly power
in the market for transmissions used by class 8 trucks.  Tauro was
an indirect purchaser, and received an assignment of antitrust
claims from another trucking company, R&R, a direct purchaser of
Eaton transmissions.  The Third Circuit addressed whether such an
assignment required consideration.  The court, applying federal
common law and the restatement of contracts, held that
consideration is not required.  In so ruling, the court examined
the purposes of antitrust law generally and the doctrine of direct
purchaser standing, including Illinois Brick.  The court concluded
that requiring consideration "has little role to play in advancing
the goals of Illinois Brick," and could actually undermine one of
them by discouraging private enforcement actions.

Adding Named Plaintiffs for Class Certification Motion

In 2016, district courts remained open to indirect purchaser
plaintiffs' efforts to add new plaintiffs to support existing
state law claims alleged in opening or operative complaints.  In
these cases, new or additional named plaintiffs were necessitated
by narrowed class definitions, discovery that some plaintiffs made
nonqualifying purchases, by named plaintiffs simply withdrawing
from the case, as well as where the opening complaint asserted 29
indirect purchaser state classes but only included named
plaintiffs from eight states.  Addition of named plaintiffs in
these cases was sought through Rule 21 (adding or dropping
parties) or Rule 24 (intervention).

Indirect Purchaser Settlements - Objectors

Imposition of an Appeal Bond and Sanctions on Settlement Objector.
As many indirect purchaser counsel are aware, a troubling abuse of
the class action settlement approval process has emerged as
certain lawyers repeatedly orchestrate canned objections that
ultimately do not benefit settlement classes. Such objections are
overruled by trial courts and objectors then appeal orders
approving class action settlements.  In re Polyurethane Foam
Antitrust Litigation[37] provides insight on strategies that may
be employed in deterring "professional" or "serial" objectors from
continuing to assert bad faith objections.

In Polyurethane, the indirect purchaser plaintiff classes alleged
that firms in the polyurethane foam market engaged in a decade-
long conspiracy to fix the prices of foam products.  The indirect
purchasers settled with the defendants, and after the settlements
were finally approved, certain objectors appealed, and the court
required those objectors to post an appeal bond.  The court
analyzed a number of factors in determining whether a bond should
be imposed, including whether the objectors acted vexatiously or
in bad faith.  After recounting the objectors' histories as
"professional" or "serial" objectors, the court found that each of
the objectors had "shown bad faith and vexatious conduct, both in
prior cases and in this action," and that "their conduct here
resembles scavenger ants on a jelly roll, scrambling to extort
money from the approved settlements."

Concluding that an appeal bond should be imposed, the court next
analyzed whether to include amounts in addition to taxable costs.
Ultimately, a $145,463 bond was imposed, which included taxable
costs of $10,000, increased administrative fees due to protracted
claim administration of $15,000, lost interest of $30,463, and
attorneys' fees of $90,000.  None of the objectors posted the
appeal bond.  One untimely objection was dismissed, and three of
the other appeals were voluntarily dismissed about one month after
the bond order was entered.

With respect to the objector that remained, the plaintiffs later
sought and obtained sanctions against him.  Notably, the hold-out
objector failed to post the appeal bond, had his to motion to
reverse or stay the bond denied, and had his appeal dismissed by
the Sixth Circuit.  He also filed a petition for rehearing en
banc, which was denied, and unsuccessfully sought to stay the
ruling pending his planned Supreme Court petition for writ of
certiorari.  Recognizing that the objector was continuing his
vexatious use of the judicial system, the district court imposed a
penalty of $15,303, representing interest lost by the plaintiff
class from April to October 2016.

While the hold-out objector's appeal efforts continue to delay
distribution of settlement proceeds to class members in
Polyurethane, these orders provide guidance -- particularly in the
Sixth Circuit -- for indirect purchaser counsel seeking relatively
expeditious methods to dispose of serial objectors' frivolous
objections in future litigation.


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
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania,
USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C., USA.  Marion
Alcestis A. Castillon, Ma. Cristina Canson, Noemi Irene A. Adala,
Joy A. Agravante, Valerie Udtuhan, Julie Anne L. Toledo,
Christopher G. Patalinghug, and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $775 for six months delivered via
e-mail. Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each. For subscription information, contact
Peter A. Chapman at 215-945-7000 or Nina Novak at 202-362-8552.

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