/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/170824.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Thursday, August 24, 2017, Vol. 19, No. 167


1 PERSON: Fails to Pay Employees Overtime, "White" Suit Claims
7-ELEVEN: Faces Class Action Over "Pop Tax" Collection
ACACIA COMMUNICATIONS: Oct. 13 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PA: Faces Class Action Over Disability Benefits
ALLSTATE: Motion to Compel Arbitration of Coverage Claims Denied

APPLIED OPTOELECTRONICS: Oct. 4 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline
BELCONNEN LAKEVIEW: Sued Over GST on ACT Apartments Sale
BROOKLYN EVENTS: Class Action to Challenge "Ban the Box" Law
CALIFORNIA: Water Resources Dept. Sued Over Spillway Failure
CALIFORNIA: Class Action Over Cal Fire Fees Pending

CARRINGTON MORTGAGE: Settles Mortgage Insurance Kickbacks Case
CHEESECAKE FACTORY: Judge Tosses "Suggested Tip" Class Action
CLEARWATER, ID: Commissioners Approve AG's Defense in Class Action
COMMONWEALTH BANK: Class Action Mulled Over Money Laundering Probe
CONFIDE INC: Secret Messaging App Not Secured, Nascimento Says

CONVERGYS CORP: Class Action Waiver Enforceable, 7th Cir. Rules
CROTHALL HEALTHCARE: Sued Over Failure to Pay Termination Wages
CVS HEALTH: Illegally Inflates EpiPen Price, "Brannon" Suit Says
DELICIAS GALENAS: "Gonzalez" Suit Seeks Overtime Wage under FLSA
DENVER, CO: Homeless People Files Summary Judgment Motion in Case

DR. REDDY'S: Law Firms Mull Investor Class Action
DRYSHIPS INC: Ends Fund-Raising Kalani Deal Following Suits
EL POLLO: Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Securities Class Action
FANNIE MAE: Faces Class Action Over Misreported Foreclosures
FINISAR CORP: Faces Class Action in Calif. Over Stock Inflation

FLINT, MI: Racism Plays Role in Water Crisis, Commission Reveals
FORD MOTOR: Faces Litigation Woes Over Defective Transmissions
FORTERRA INC: Robbins Geller Files Class Action in New York
GLOBAL FITNESS: Paul Appeals Ruling in "Gascho" Suit to 6th Cir.
GLOBALSCAPE INC: Block & Leviton Files Securities Class Action

GLOBALSCAPE INC: Oct. 10 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
GOOGLE INC: Altshuler Firm Mulls Gender Pay Class Action
GOOGLE INC: 250+ People Join Age Discrimination Class Action
HEFFLER RADETICH: Fraud Class Action Can Proceed, Judge Rules
HOME CAPITAL: Aug. 21 Class Action Settlement Approval Hearing Set

IOWA: Oct. 2 Hearing Set in Disabled People's Medicaid Class Suit
J ROCKLIFF: Obtains Favorable Ruling in Arbitration Bid
JACKSONVILLE, FL: Responds to Fairway Oaks Residents' Class Action
JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Documents Reveal Mesh Marketing Tactics
JUNO HEALTHCARE: "Bolin" Class Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Wages

JUST BORN: Faces "Buso" Class Suit Over Slack-Fill Containers
KIA: Faces Class Action Over Defective Rod Bearings
KOHL'S CORP: Illinois Judge Trims Claims in ADA Class Action
LEONARD ROOFING: Sued Over Failure to Properly Pay Employees
LOUISIANA: Faces Class Action Over Inadequate Indigent Defense

LUCAVA INC: Underpays Restaurant Staff, "Vidal" Suit Claims
MARAH FASHION: "Lobos" Suit Seeks Unpaid Wages under Labor Code
MASTERCARD INC: Class Action Over Interchange Fees Revived
MONSANTO INC: Class Action Over Roundup Product Labeling Okayed
NATIONAL COLLEGIATE: Faces New Concussion Class Action

NEW ORLEANS, LA: Katrina Survivors Shocked with Settlement Checks
ONE TECHNOLOGIES: Fifth Circuit Appeal Filed in "Forby" Suit
PALM BEACH, FL: Files Summary Judgment Motion in Utilities Case
PRUDENTIAL RETIREMENT: Class Action Status Denied in ERISA Case
PURDUE PHARMA: Southington May Join Opioid Addiction Suit

RECKITT BENCKISER: Falsely Marketed Air Wick(R) Sprays, Suit Says
RESORT MARKETING: Settles Class Action Over Telemarketing Calls
RICE ENERGY: Faces "Boerger" Class Suit Over Proposed EQT Merger
SALERNO CORP: "Vazquez" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Wages
SAN JUAN COUNTY, NM: Settles Immigration Class Action

SANDFORD OIL: "Arenas" Suit Transferred to East. District Texas
SCE&G: Faces Class Action Over V.C. Summer Project
SEARS ROEBUCK: 7th Cir. Halves Attorneys' Fees in Washer Case
SECURUS TECHNOLOGIES: "Antoon" Suit Transferred to W.D. Arkansas
SHERIDAN ASSISTED: Does Not Properly Pay Workers, Suit Claims

SIERRA PETROLEUM: Faces "Burgan" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT
SPIROS ZORBALAS: Tenants' Class Action Can Proceed
SPRINT SPECTRUM: Emilio Appeals Opinion & Order to Second Circuit
STATE FARM: "McKinnie" Suit Moved to Middle District of Tennessee
TAKATA CORP: Judge Temporarily Halts Lawsuits Over Air Bags

TATA CONSULTANCY: Discrimination Class Action Pending
TEP ROCKY: Elna Sefcovic Suit Moved to District of Colorado
TRINITY INDUSTRIES: Faces Class Action Over E-T-Plus Rails
VANTIV INTEGRATED: Aug. 26 Class Action Settlement Hearing Set
VITAMIN SHOPPE: Faces Class Action Over Weight Loss Supplement

VOLKSWAGEN GROUP: Faces "Wilson" Suit Over Defective Vehicles
WALGREENS: Faces Class Action Over "Fraudulent Scheme"
WEBMD HEALTH: Faces "Berg" Suit Over Proposed Sale to MH Sub
WELLS FARGO: Expects Costs from Legal Claims to Reach $3.3 Bil.
WEST MARINE: Parking Lot Not Accessible to Disabled, Pizzaro Says

WEYERHAEUSER COMPANY: Faces "Esanbock" Suit Over Defective Joists
XL AUTO: Accused of Wrongful Conduct Over Vehicle Price
ZTO EXPRESS: Bottini & Bottini Files Securities Class Action

* Buckley Sandler Attorneys Discuss Class Ascertainability Debate
* Class Actions Over Data Collection Methods Surge
* Employers Face Biometric Data Privacy Litigation Threat
* Forced Arbitration Not Just a Trend in Nursing Homes
* Pillsbury Winthrop Attorneys Discuss CPB Arbitration Rule

* Towers Watson Sues Morgan Lewis for $30MM for Helping Meriter
* Trump Organization Requires Mandatory Arbitration Agreements


1 PERSON: Fails to Pay Employees Overtime, "White" Suit Claims
Mark White, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. 1 Person At A Time, LLC, Case No. 2:17-cv-01047-NBF
(W.D. Penn., August 10, 2017), is brought against the Defendants
for failure to pay overtime wages for hours in excess of 40 per

1 Person At A Time, LLC is a healthcare service provider that
employs individuals to provide home healthcare services. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Gary F. Lynch, Esq.
      Jamisen Etzel, Esq.
      Kevin Abramowicz, Esq.
      1133 Penn Avenue, 5th Floor
      Pittsburgh, PA 15232
      Telephone: (412)322-9243
      E-mail: glynch@carlsonlynch.com

7-ELEVEN: Faces Class Action Over "Pop Tax" Collection
Jonathan Bilyk, writing for Cook County Record, reports that add
7-Eleven to the list of retailers now facing a class action
lawsuit over the collection of Cook County's controversial so-
called "pop tax".

On Aug. 9, lawyers Thomas Zimmerman, Sharon Harris, Matthew De Re,
Nickolas Hagman and Maebetty Kirby, all of the Zimmerman Law
Offices, of Chicago, filed suit in Cook County Circuit Court on
behalf of named plaintiff Kelly Tarrant against 7-Eleven Corp.

The lawsuit alleges the convenience store chain improperly charged
Tarrant, of Chicago, Cook County's one-cent-per-ounce sweetened
beverage tax, even though she filled her Super Big Gulp cup with
unsweetened coffee.  That purchase, the lawsuit asserts, should
have been exempt from the tax.  Instead, Ms. Tarrant was allegedly
made to pay an additional 28 cents on her drink purchase.

According to the complaint, Ms. Tarrant was told by store
employees and later by a manager that "the tax is programmed in
the 7-Eleven Store Information System and that the system
automatically charges the sweetened beverage tax to all beverages
purchased in Gulp cups, regardless of whether the beverage is
subject to the sweetened beverage tax."

The lawsuit seeks to expand the action to include all others who
may have been similarly charged the tax when they purchased an
unsweetened beverage at a Cook County 7-Eleven store in the last
seven days.  The complaint estimates the number of additional
plaintiffs could number in the "many thousands."

The lawsuit asks the court to award the plaintiffs actual damages,
plus attorney fees.

Zimmerman's and Ms. Tarrant's lawsuit is the third such class
action lawsuit filed in the last five days against retailers over
the collection of the tax. The tax took effect Aug. 2, about a
month after the county had intended it to do so.

Other lawsuits have targeted Walgreens and local McDonald's

However, collection and enforcement of the tax was delayed by
about a month as a Cook County judge weighed a legal challenge
launched by a group of Cook County grocers and the Illinois Retail
Merchants Association trade group.  Among other allegations, the
retailers argued the ordinance enacting the tax was poorly written
and would leave retailers exposed to class action lawsuits and
other litigation over the collection of the tax.

The county and the judge, however, brushed aside those concerns,
with the judge particularly calling such concerns "merely

In the wake of the rollout of the tax, some Cook County Board
members have introduced new measures to repeal the tax. Those
measures will be considered at the county board's September

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, who championed the
tax and cast the tie-breaking vote to enact the ordinance
establishing the tax, has estimated the tax could bring in as much
as $200 million in additional revenue for the county.  As the fate
of the pop tax hung in the balance in court in July, Ms.
Preckwinkle laid off hundreds of county workers, saying the
inability to collect nearly $17 million from the pop tax forced
the layoffs to make up for the purported budgetary shortfall.

The plaintiff's attorneys in the case are no strangers to such
class action lawsuits.  The Zimmerman Law Offices have brought
numerous lawsuits targeting, among others: online attorney
directory Avvo, for allegedly misappropriating the personal
information of lawyers listed on their site; the makers of grated
Parmesan cheese, for allegedly including cellulose in the cans
marked "100 percent cheese;" Peet's Coffee, for allegedly not
pouring enough French press coffee into customers' cups; United
Airlines, for allegedly breaching a contract by placing customers
and their checked bags on different aircraft; the Illinois
Lottery, for not paying winners amid the state's budget crisis;
Sears, for allegedly charging sales tax on purchases of digital
television converter boxes bought with federal vouchers; and the
makers of Templeton Rye whiskey, for allegedly misleading
customers into thinking their whiskey was made in the small town
of Templeton, Iowa.

Zimmerman's website indicates the firm specializes in consumer
fraud litigation and class actions, touting settlements of as much
as $62 million for a variety of consumer fraud cases involving
skin cream, newspaper advertising, improperly charged cell phone
fees and more. [GN]

ACACIA COMMUNICATIONS: Oct. 13 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
Pomerantz LLP on Aug. 14 disclosed that a class action lawsuit has
been filed against Acacia Communications, Inc. ("Acacia" or the
"Company") and certain of its officers.

The class action, filed in United States District Court, District
of Massachusetts, and docketed under 17-cv-11504, is on behalf of
a class consisting of investors who purchased or otherwise
acquired Acacia securities, seeking to recover compensable damages
caused by defendants' violations of the Securities Exchange Act of

If you are a shareholder who purchased Acacia securities between
August 11, 2016, and July 13, 2017, both dates inclusive, you have
until October 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 the number of shares purchased.

Acacia designs, develops, manufactures, and markets communication
equipment.  The Company offers high-speed coherent optical
interconnect products for cloud infrastructure operators and
content and communication service providers. Acacia Communications
serves customers worldwide.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, Defendants
made materially false and misleading statements regarding the
Company's business, operational and compliance policies.
Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements
and/or failed to disclose that: (i) the Company's manufacturing
and quality control processes were deficient; (ii) the foregoing
deficiencies were likely to disrupt the Company's manufacturing,
thereby impacting the Company's revenues; and (iii) as a result of
the foregoing, Acacia's public statements were materially false
and misleading at all relevant times.

On May 31, 2017, Acacia issued a press release and filed a Current
Report on Form 8-K with the Securities and Exchange Commission,
advising investors that "the Company has identified a quality
issue" affecting "a portion" of several thousand modules
manufactured by one of Acacia's three contract manufacturers,
citing as the "root cause of this quality issue . . . a circuit
board cleaning process that has since been eliminated."

On July 14, 2017, Acacia issued a press release announcing the
Company's preliminary financial and operating results for the
quarter ended June 30, 2017.  The Company reported profit and
revenue that missed estimates, and revised its current-quarter
guidance downward.  Acacia stated that the Company's "second-
quarter results were adversely affected by the quality issue
identified at one of our three contract manufacturers that we
announced on May 31."

On this news, Acacia's share price fell $2.62, or 6.30%, to close
at $39.00 per share on July 14, 2017.

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. [GN]

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, PA: Faces Class Action Over Disability Benefits
WPXI News reports that a former employee filed the lawsuit because
she's demanding changes to the retirement board when it comes to
doling out disability pensions.

Susan Donohue needs a cane just to walk down the hallway with her

She was at their office the Aug. 9 filing a civil lawsuit against
the retirement board of Allegheny County.

"Frustrating, discouraging and just like wow this really
happened," Ms. Donohue said.

Ms. Donohue worked for the Allegheny County court system for 30

Several years ago, she began having severe back pain.

Her doctor eventually determined she could no longer work, so she
applied for disability retirement.

The county denied it.

She says she was fired after they couldn't find a job to
accommodate her.

The lawsuit she filed on Aug. 9 claims the retirement board failed
to establish guidelines and standards for awarding disability
pensions, calling the system irrational and arbitrary.

"It's wrong, it's unfair and it's unconstitutional," said
Tybe Brett, Donohue's attorney.

Ms. Donohue and her attorneys also say that one doctor the
retirement board hired came to two different conclusions.

"One said she could work with accommodations and one said she was
totally and permanent disabled, based on the same examination, so
what's going on here," Mr. Brett said.

The goal of the lawsuit, they say, is not only to get Donohue the
money she deserves, but to force the board to make wholesale

"To require the pension board to publish and articulate clear
standards for when someone can receive disability pension benefits
that they've contributed to for their entire employment," another
attorney, Tim O'Brien said.

What's even more troubling, her attorneys say, is that the Social
Security Administration awarded her disability benefits.

Meanwhile, the retirement board says there are guidelines in place
and that they are preparing to address the lawsuit in court. [GN]

ALLSTATE: Motion to Compel Arbitration of Coverage Claims Denied
Bill Wichert, writing for Law360, reports that a New Jersey
federal judge on Aug. 9 shot down an Allstate unit's bid to force
a putative class action over unpaid medical benefits into
arbitration, rejecting the insurer's argument that state law
allowed it to take such action without an arbitration agreement
between the parties.

U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson denied the motion from
Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co. to compel arbitration of
claims made by an insured and a surgical center, saying there was
neither an arbitration agreement nor notice that the parties could
be forced to arbitrate the matter.

"Both the Federal Arbitration Act and New Jersey policy express a
preference for resolution by arbitration," Judge Thompson said in
her written opinion.  "However, both are predicated on a formal
agreement between the parties or notice that they may be forced to
submit a dispute to arbitration."

"As there is no agreement or notice in this case, the court will
decline to compel arbitration," the judge added.

Plaintiffs Juan Gonzalez and Ambulatory Surgical Center of
Somerset launched the proposed class action against Allstate in
September in connection with claims that the insurer has
unlawfully denied coverage for a surgery Gonzalez underwent at the
facility in March 2015.

The surgery was related to injuries Gonzalez sustained in an
August 2011 car accident in Jefferson Township, New Jersey, court
documents state.  At the time of the accident, Gonzalez was
insured by an auto policy issued by Allstate in Pennsylvania,
court documents state.

Allstate has refused to reimburse the surgical center for the
procedure, because the code assigned to Gonzalez's surgery was not
listed in New Jersey's auto medical fee schedule for such
payments, court documents state.  The plaintiffs have asserted
that the procedure is still payable at reasonable rates pursuant
to New Jersey insurance regulations.

Gonzalez and the surgical center are seeking liability and damages
on behalf of two proposed classes: individuals insured by Allstate
who were injured in car accidents and are entitled to automobile
medical benefits under New Jersey law, and ambulatory surgical
facilities that performed procedures for which there are no codes
listed in the fee schedule and for which Allstate has refused
payment, according to the judge's opinion.

The plaintiffs seek declaratory judgment that Allstate must pay
for those procedures, and assert related claims for breach of
contract, breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair
dealing, and violation of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act, the
opinion said.

While there is no arbitration agreement between the parties,
Allstate sought to compel arbitration based on the state's "Deemer
Statute" and an arbitration provision within the New Jersey
Automobile Insurance Cost Reduction Act, which provides for
personal injury protection, or PIP, coverage, according to the
judge's opinion.

Under the Deemer Statute, an out-of-state insured is entitled to
the PIP coverage required under New Jersey law when the covered
vehicle is involved in a New Jersey accident.  The arbitration
provision states that disputes regarding the recovery of medical
benefits provided under PIP coverage "may be submitted to dispute
resolution on the initiative of any party to the dispute."

Based on the Deemer Statute, Allstate argued that "the entire PIP
statute applies to an out-of-state insured who received coverage
in New Jersey pursuant to the statute," and that thus the insurer
could require arbitration under the arbitration provision,
according to the opinion.

But Judge Thompson found that the plain text of the Deemer Statute
"only provides for coverage of out-of-state insured who are
insured by insurers authorized to transact or transacting
automobile insurance business in New Jersey."

"It does not incorporate other aspects of the PIP statute," the
judge said.

The judge also pointed to the differences between the Allstate
matter and the New Jersey Appellate Division's 1996 decision in
State Farm Mut. Auto. Ins. Co. v. Crocker, which also dealt with
the application of the arbitration provision to an out-of-state
insured who utilized medical care in New Jersey.

In Crocker, the appellate court found that the insured could
compel the insurance company to arbitrate based on that provision,
even though the Deemer Statute did not specifically incorporate
the arbitration clause, Judge Thompson said.

But to be subject to the statute, the insurer had to be authorized
to transact or transacting an automobile insurance business in New
Jersey, the judge said.

"Therefore, the insurance company had notice that it could be
compelled to arbitrate.  That is distinct from the present case,
in which the insurer seeks to compel arbitration based on the New
Jersey statute," Judge Thompson said.  "The out-of-state insured
might have no notice that it could be compelled to arbitrate."

The judge added, "Therefore, based on the text of the relevant
statement and the interpreting case law, it is unclear that the
arbitration provision permits insurers to compel arbitration based
on the Deemer Statute with out-of-state insureds who utilize in-
state coverage."

Charles Kannebecker, an attorney representing the plaintiffs, told
Law360 on Aug. 9, "Allstate calculated that it could avoid
responsibility by terminating the single action to determine its
fault, thereby forcing every insured and every medical provider to
incur the time, expense, delay and fees of hundreds of separate
individual claims in arbitration."

"The court properly refused Allstate's attempts and now Allstate
will be held accountable for all of its conduct," Kannebecker

Counsel for Allstate did not immediately respond to a request for
comment on Aug. 9.

The plaintiffs are represented by Charles Kannebecker.

Allstate is represented by David J. D'Aloia and Marc E. Wolin of
Saiber LLC.

The case is Ambulatory Surgical Center of Somerset and Juan
Gonzalez v. Allstate Fire Casualty Insurance Co., Case No.
3:16-cv-05378 (D.N.J.).  The case is assigned to Judge Anne E.
Thompson.  The case was filed September 2, 2016. [GN]

APPLIED OPTOELECTRONICS: Oct. 4 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline
Lundin Law PC, a shareholder rights firm, on Aug. 14 announced the
filing of a class action lawsuit against Applied Optoelectronics,
Inc. ("Applied Optoelectronics" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:AAOI)
regarding possible violations of federal securities laws between
July 13, 2017 and August 3, 2017, inclusive (the "Class Period").
Investors who purchased or otherwise acquired shares during the
Class Period should contact the firm prior to the October 4, 2017
lead plaintiff motion deadline.

You can 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 yet.  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, throughout the Class Period, Applied
Optoelectronics made false and/or misleading statements, and/or
failed to disclose: that a major customer was reducing its
purchases of the Company's 40G receivers; that the loss of this
major customer's business would have a severe negative impact on
the Company's financial performance; and that as a result of the
above, the Company's public statements were materially false and
misleading at all relevant times.  When this information reached
the public, shares of Applied Optoelectronics dropped in value
materially, which caused investors harm according to the

Lundin Law PC -- http://lundinlawpc.com-- was founded by Brian
Lundin, Esquire, a securities litigator based in Los Angeles
dedicated to upholding shareholders' rights. [GN]

BELCONNEN LAKEVIEW: Sued Over GST on ACT Apartments Sale
Joanna Mather, writing for Australian Financial Review, reports
that a class action will seek to recoup as much as $100 million in
GST that may have been incorrectly charged on the sale of
apartments in the ACT.

International litigation funder IMF Bentham, which is working with
Corrs Chambers Westgarth, announced the law suit to the ASX on
Aug. 15.

It has lodged a statement of claim with the Federal Court in NSW
that alleges Belconnen Lakeview, a company in the Hindmarsh Group,
charged and collected GST on the sale of 352 units in Altitude
Apartments when no GST was payable.

But the problem may have been more widespread, with IMF Bentham
having identified 25 residential developments sold by a range of
developers in the ACT that may fit the same criteria.

"Over 3000 unit owners in the ACT across a range of developments
have already sent us their contracts, and in many cases it seems
the purchaser was wrongly charged GST," IMF Bentham Sydney
investment manager Oliver Gayner said.

"We have given Belconnen Lakeview every opportunity to explain the
conduct alleged in the statement of claim, and in the absence of
any satisfactory explanation we have now determined to put the
matter before the Federal Court to decide."

Assuming an average unit price of $450,000 and an average GST
claim of around $40,000, as much as $100 million might be

The statement of claim alleges Belconnen Lakeview used its
accountant to obtain an ATO private ruling which switched the tax
status from 'taxable' to 'input taxed' shortly before sales
commenced. But did not inform its customers, who continued to be
charged GST, according to the claim.

Separately, the federal government is worried about a failure by
some developers to remit GST on new apartments.

A measure in this year's federal budget will mean that as of mid-
2018, GST on new residences will be collected directly from home-
buyers and not from developers.

The new remittance arrangement is expected to result in the
collection of $650 million in GST revenue over four years.

While the budget papers did not contain any details about how this
figure was derived, it implies that the large sums of money are
routinely forgone because developers go broke and are unable to
pay their GST liabilities.

Treasury officials told The Australian Financial Review the change
was aimed largely at illegal phoenixing -- a term used to describe
companies that transfer assets from an indebted company to a new
one to avoid paying creditors.

The old company is placed into liquidation or administration but
there are no assets left to pay debts.

However, there is nothing to suggest the government decision is
inked to what the class action alleges occurred in the ACT.

Hindmarsh Group in the ACT did not respond to a request for
comment. [GN]

BROOKLYN EVENTS: Class Action to Challenge "Ban the Box" Law
Thomas Ahearn, writing for Employment Screening Resources, reports
that a class action lawsuit filed in a New York federal court on
August 4, 2017, could be the first of its kind to challenge
alleged violations by employers of a New York City "Ban the Box"
law called the Fair Chance Act (FCA), according to a press release
from employment law firm Outten & Golden LLP, which filed the suit
along with the nonprofit organization Youth Represent.

The press release states that the lawsuit claims the defendants --
Brooklyn Events Center, LLC (doing business as Barclays Center),
Levy Restaurants, Inc., and Professional Sports Catering LLC --
"used flawed and discriminatory criminal history screening
policies and practices" to deny employment to otherwise qualified
job applicants in violation of the Ban the Box law.

Lead plaintiff, Felipe Kelly, applied for a job at Barclays Center
-- home of the Brooklyn Nets of the National Basketball
Association (NBA) and the New York Islanders of the National
Hockey League (NHL) -- in 2016.  He claims the defendants did not
hire him after a background check, never said why, and did not
give him the "Fair Chance Notice" required by the Ban the Box law.
The lawsuit claims Kelly was unaware of what information was being
reported on him, unable to review the information for accuracy and
completeness, review the arguments of defendants as to why they
believed his conviction barred him from employment, or explain why
he thought he was still entitled to employment and include any
evidence of rehabilitation and good conduct.

"Federal and New York state laws require that job applicants with
criminal histories be provided with the same criminal history
information relied on by the prospective employer so they might
evaluate that information, ensure it is accurate, and even if it
is accurate explain why they nonetheless are qualified for
employment," said Christopher M. McNerney of Outten & Golden.
Outten & Golden LLP and Youth Represent will seek to have the case
certified as a class action that covers proposed classes of
affected job applicants since October 27, 2015.  The case is
Felipe Kelly, et al., v. Brooklyn Event Center, et al., Class
Action Complaint No. 1:17-cv-04600 in the U.S. District Court for
the Eastern District of New York.

As reported earlier by ESR News, the New York City Commission on
Human Rights amended rules to establish definitions and procedures
applying to the FCA that took effect in October of 2015 to amend
the provisions regarding unlawful discrimination on the basis of
criminal history against job applicants and employees.  The
amended rules took effect on August 5, 2017.

Ban the Box refers to removing the box on job applications that
applicants are asked to check if they have criminal records.
According to the National Employment Law Project (NELP), 29 states
and over 150 cities and counties have Ban the Box laws.  A 2011
study by NELP estimated that nearly 65 million people in the
United States -- more than one in four adults -- had a criminal

"The purpose of Ban the Box is to give ex-offenders a fair chance
at obtaining employment," says Attorney Lester Rosen, founder and
CEO of Employment Screening Resources(R) (ESR).  "By removing the
criminal history question, supporters claim job applicants can be
sure that they will not be automatically excluded from
consideration for a job because of past mistakes."

Mr. Rosen, author of "The Safe Hiring Manual," adds: "Ban the Box
does not mean there can never be a background check but instead
prevents an early knock-out punch before ex-offenders have the
opportunity to be considered on individual merits.  Employers can
still conduct criminal background checks, but Ban the Box delays
this screening until later in the hiring process." [GN]

CALIFORNIA: Water Resources Dept. Sued Over Spillway Failure
Francis Bechtel, Jacob Klein, Chantel Ramirez, and Denise Johnson,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated v.
California Department of Water Resources, and Does 1 through 50,
inclusive, Case No. 17-CV-02298 (Cal. Super. Ct., August 10,
2017), is an action for damages by owners and lessors of
property near the Feather River, as well as damages for the
interference with these residents' ability to use and enjoy their
property as result of the evacuation on or about February 12,
2017, due to the failing emergency spillway.

California Department of Water Resources is responsible for the
State of California management and regulation of water usage,
including maintenance and regulation of the Oroville Dam. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Patrick McNicholas, Esq.
      Nicholas Alexandroff, Esq.
      10866 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1400
      Los Angeles, CA 90024
      Telephone: (310) 474-1582
      Facsimile: (310)475-7871

         - and -

      James P. Frantz, Esq.
      M. Regina Bagdasarian, Esq.
      George T. Stiefel, Esq.
      770 L Street, Suite 950
      Sacramento, CA 95814
      Telephone: (916) 492-6059
      Facsimile: (619) 525-7672
      E-mail: jpf@frantzlawgroup.com

CALIFORNIA: Class Action Over Cal Fire Fees Pending
Mary Callahan, writing for The Press Democrat, reports that rural
Californians eager for a promised reprieve from controversial Cal
Fire fees imposed six years ago still owe the state more than $53
million before they're completely off the hook.

It's uncertain how much of that debt resides in Sonoma County,
where about 25,000 property owners have been assessed the disputed
State Responsibility Area fee each year since 2012.

But one thing's clear: Bills levied on Sonoma County households in
June and due still must be paid, if they haven't been already,
despite recently approved legislation suspending the fees in the
future, state officials said.

"They are for the fiscal year prior to July 1, 2017, so they still
need to be paid," Cal Fire spokeswoman Janet Upton said. "No new
bills for the current fiscal year will be issued."

It's been confusing, however, because bills for Sonoma County and
nine of the other 58 California counties -- those at the end of
the list alphabetically -- were sent out in mid- to late June,
near the close of the 2016-17 fiscal year, according to
representatives of the new California Department of Tax and Fee

The deadline for payment was 30 days later, in July, intersecting
with news that the state's new cap-and-trade bill included
language suspending the state fire prevention fee.

The new climate change legislation, Assembly Bill 398, was
approved with bipartisan support last month.  Provisions include
diverting $80 million a year in proceeds from the sale of carbon
emission credits to fund the fire prevention efforts currently
covered by Cal Fire's controversial SRA fee.

The fee, approved by the Legislature in 2011, is intended to help
offset the state's cost of defending homes built in rural
neighborhoods on the outskirts of urban areas.  It is assessed on
approximately 800,000 habitable structures that are in the state
responsibility area for fire protection, generating approximately
$80 million annually.

The fee officially is $152.33 per structure, though most
landowners qualify for a discount because they also pay into a
local fire protection district.  Their annual fee is $117.33.

But many rural residents and political opponents railed against
the extra fee. Some have lodged repeated protests, as well.

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayer Association has a class-action suit
pending against the state, arguing that the fee is an
unconstitutional tax that was imposed without a required two-
thirds approval of the Legislature.

Retired Rancho Adobe Fire Chief Frank Treanor blames the SRA fee
for his district's unsuccessful attempt at passing a desperately
needed special tax in the autumn of 2012 -- one that would have
allowed him to restore recession-era station closures and service

"It was a direct result of this illegal tax that they levied on
people without a vote of the people," he said.

He has been advising rural residents since then to pay the fee
when they're billed, but file a formal protest with the state each
time, as well.

Cal Fire spokesman Daniel Berlant said thousands have done so,
though how many may have withheld payment is unclear.

Venus Stromberg, a spokeswoman for the Department of Tax and Fee
Administration, said 172,576 accounts were in arrears at the end
of July, owing more than $53 million.

"Just because the fire fee no longer exists," doesn't mean the
department won't be collecting, she said. [GN]

CARRINGTON MORTGAGE: Settles Mortgage Insurance Kickbacks Case
Greg Land, writing for Daily Business Review, reports that a
federal magistrate has preliminarily approved three settlements
totaling nearly $15 million in a national class action accusing
mortgage servicers of taking kickbacks from residential insurers.
According to the complaint, the mortgage companies forced
borrowers to buy inflated policies from insurers that funneled
some of the money back in the guise of commissions, reimbursements
and the provision of below-cost services.

Under the terms of the settlements preliminarily approval by U.S.
Magistrate Jonathan Goodman of the Southern District of Florida on
Aug. 10, tens of thousands of borrowers will receive between 6
percent and 10.5 percent of the premiums they were overcharged and
forced to buy since 2008.

The settlements include Carrington Mortgage Services LLC, Fay
Servicing LLC and Residential Credit Solutions Inc. The insurers
are American Modern Home Insurance Co. and Southwest Business

The settlements include attorney fees capped at nearly $2.3
million for the plaintiffs lawyers: Adam Moskowitz --
amm@kttlaw.com -- Thomas Ronzetti, Rachel Sullivan --
rs@kttlaw.com -- and Robert Neary -- rn@kttlaw.com -- of Kozyak
Tropin & Throckmorton in Coral Gables; Lance Harke, Sarah Engel
and Howard Bushman of Miami's Harke Clasby & Bushman; and Aaron
Podhurst, Peter Prieto, John Gravante III and Matthew Weinshall of
Podhurst Orseck in Miami.

A final approval hearing is scheduled before Goodman in January.
Defense attorneys include Brian Toth -- Brian.Toth@hklaw.com -- of
Holland & Knight in Miami; Mark Johnson -- mjohnson@bakerlaw.com -
- Rodger Eckelberry -- reckelberry@bakerlaw.com -- and Robert
Tucker of Baker & Hostetler in Columbus, Ohio; Elizabeth Campbell
-- ecampbell@lockelord.com -- of Locke Lord in West Palm Beach;
and Keith Olin -- kolin@bressler.com -- of Bressler, Amery & Ross
in Fort Lauderdale.

None of the defense counsel responded to a request for comment.
The agreement comes on the heels of another force-placed insurance
class action settlement worth nearly $24 million in New Jersey
District Court.  Judge Noel Hillman approved that settlement July
27. Nearly 75,000 people are members of that class.

The plaintiffs were represented by Moskowitz, Harke and Bushman;
Peter Muhic -- pmuhic@ktmc.com -- Donna Moffa -- dmoffa@ktmc.com -
- and Samantha Holbrook -- sholbrook@ktmc.com -- of Pennsylvania's
Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check; and a team of lawyers at Radnor.

The defendants in that case were PHH Mortgage Corp. and Assurant

Defense attorneys Robert DiUbaldo -- rdiubaldo@carltonfields.com -
- and Frank Burt -- fburt@carltonfields.com -- of Carlton Fields
did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mr. Moscowitz and his team have taken a leading role in
challenging force-placed insurance abuses since 2010, settling 27
class actions nationally on behalf of some 5.8 million homeowners.

"We've worked with 57 law firms all around the country working out
these settlements," Mr. Moscowitz said.  "It's been a wonderful
experience, and we've really been able to transform the force-
placed insurance industry." [GN]

CHEESECAKE FACTORY: Judge Tosses "Suggested Tip" Class Action
Dave Simpson, writing for Law360, reports that a New York federal
judge on 11 tossed a putative class action brought against The
Cheesecake Factory Inc., ruling that a diner who said he was
misled into leaving suggested 40 and 60 percent gratuities was
given all the relevant information he needed before tipping.
U.S. District Judge Joan M. Azrack dismissed without leave to
amend the suit brought by Robert Rodriguez who claimed that,
although he split his bill with a companion, his portion of the
bill listed "suggested gratuity" percentages for the entirety of
the check.  Judge Azrack pointed out that Mr. Rodriguez, who
claims he tipped based on the receipt's suggestion, acknowledged
also receiving a copy of the entire bill, which included the same
suggested gratuity totals.

"Both the total bills and plaintiff's individual bills listed the
exact same suggested gratuities.  Even an individual who lacks the
capacity to perform multiplication could compare the checks and
conclude that 20 percent of a smaller number cannot possibly equal
20 percent of a larger number," Judge Azrack said on Aug. 11.
"Only the most rudimentary math skills would be necessary to reach
this conclusion -- it is simply not plausible that reasonable
consumers lack these skills."

Mr. Rodriguez claimed in a suit filed in April 2016 that at both a
Grand Lux CafÇ and a Cheesecake Factory -- both owned by
Cheesecake Factory Inc. -- split checks resulted overtipping. At
the Grand Lux in February 2016, he and his companion split an
$82.77 bill in half.  They got a copy of the total bill, with
suggested gratuities of $16.55 for 20 percent, $14.90 for 18
percent and $12.42 for 15 percent.

They also got copies of their individual bills, for $41.39, with
the same gratuity suggestions. Rodriguez said he left $16.55,
thinking it was 20 percent of his individual bill, unknowingly
leaving a 40 percent tip.

A month later, a similar incident allegedly occurred at The
Cheesecake Factory, with Mr. Rodriguez tipping 60 percent on his
individual bill.

Mr. Rodriguez claimed violations of the New York General Business
Law -- which Judge Azrack said was invalid because he had enough
information to calculate an appropriate tip -- common law fraud,
and unjust enrichment.

Judge Azrack ruled that the fraud charge did not stand up because
Rodriguez never showed an intent to deceive on the part of
Cheesecake Factory.

"Moreover, defendant's allegedly fraudulent practice appears to
only directly benefit servers, rather than defendant itself,"
Judge Azrack said of the tipping suggestions.  "This point further
illustrates why plaintiff's conclusory allegation of fraudulent
intent is implausible."

The unjust enrichment claim is just a retread of the previous
claims, she ruled.

Though Mr. Rodriguez acknowledged that he got both a copy of the
total bill and his individual bill, he argued that the discovery
process is necessary to determine if The Cheesecake Factory is
consistent in this practice.

"What TCF habitually does with other customers does not alter this
fact and, therefore, is of no consequence to the question of
whether plaintiff's claim should be dismissed," Judge Azrack

Neither party's representatives responded to requests for comment
on Aug. 14.

Mr. Rodriguez is represented by Richard M. Hendler of the Law
Offices of Richard M. Hendler.

The Cheesecake Factory is represented by Neal Marder --
nmarder@akingump.com -- Andrew Jick -- ajick@akingump.com -- Erica
Abshez Moran -- emoran@akingump.com -- Brian Carney and Stephanie
Gal of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

The case is Rodriguez v. The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated, Case
No. 2:16-cv-02006 (E.D.N.Y.).  The case is assigned to Judge Joan
M. Azrack.  The case was filed April 24, 2016. [GN]

CLEARWATER, ID: Commissioners Approve AG's Defense in Class Action
Clearwater Tribune reports that the Idaho Attorney General's
Office proposed to represent Clearwater County amongst many other
counties in the state, in a class action lawsuit filed by
convicted sex offenders claiming requirements of the sex offender
registry are unconstitutional.

Clayne Tyler, Clearwater County Prosecutor explained to
Commissioners that plaintiffs are asking for a ruling on the
constitutionality of the registry.  They are not requesting
compensation for damages.  Mr. Tyler said he didn't expect there
to be any cost to Clearwater County to have the attorney general
represent the defendants. [GN]

COMMONWEALTH BANK: Class Action Mulled Over Money Laundering Probe
Patrick Durkin and Katie Walsh, writing for Australian Review,
report that the Commonwealth Bank may face a class action from
investors, following revelations the board failed to disclose a
money laundering investigation for over two years, which triggered
a $5.5 billion collapse in the bank's share price when the
regulator launched its case.

Class action lawyers are circling the CBA saga as more information
emerges about what the executives and board knew and when.

Treasurer Scott Morrison met with CBA chairman Catherine
Livingstone on Aug. 8 and the Treasurer has taken advice from
Australian Securities and Investments Commission chairman
Greg Medcraft who is also investigating taking action over CBA's

The threat of a major shareholder class action poses a further
headache for the CBA which is already facing a multi-billion
dollar penalty, on top of the board's self-imposed response
including a $40 million technology upgrade, $85 million to
strengthen the bank's "know-your-customer" processes and cutting
executives short-term bonuses.

"It should not have taken the issuing of court proceedings by
AUSTRAC and media reporting of that, for the bank to own up to
such serious and troubling allegations by one of its regulators,"
class action law firm Phi Finney McDonald said.

The three founding partners of the new firm, which was launched
this month, previously headed Slater and Gordon's class actions
practices in Australia and the UK.

"The bank has known about AUSTRAC's investigation for two years.
That investigation included AFP raids last year.  The matters
raised by AUSTRAC must be of substance since, when they were
raised with CBA by AUSTRAC, CBA responded by lodging over 50,000
threshold transaction notifications, well after they should have
done so," the firm said.

Board knew but failed to disclose

Before launching the class action, lawyers said they will monitor
AUSTRAC's pending Federal Court action to piggy back off any
evidence uncovered during the case.

That may provide an extra incentive for the bank to seek an early
settlement with the regulator, however one litigation funder said
they would "eat their hat" if no class action emerged.

The other precondition is for shareholders to suffer a loss.
CBA's share price has recovered some ground from its 4 per cent
fall on Aug. 4 but some investors believe the market response
showed there was a material non-disclosure which would make the
shareholder class action worthwhile.

"I see this as a failure of timely disclosure of a material event
as evidenced by the share price reaction," Velocity Trade senior
banking analyst Brett Le Mesurier said.

One leading corporate lawyer who advises company boards said the
likely shareholder action would turn on the knowledge of the CBA

CBA chairman Catherine Livingstone revealed at the bank's full
year results on Aug. 9 that the board was aware of transaction
reporting issues with its smart ATMs in the second half of 2015.

'You can't disclose every notice'

CBA CEO Ian Narev argues the bank is constantly flooded with
regulatory requests and if it disclosed everything, the market
would be overwhelmed and confused.

"All major financial institutions have a raft of notices from very
active regulators, as you would hope they would, and you simply
can't make disclosure every time you get notices from regulators
or you would be making disclosures every day," Mr Narev said.

"Our view would be these things didn't come anywhere near it in
the form they came at the time."

AUSTRAC allege CBA became aware of a systems error which meant
transactions larger than $10,000 were not being reported on
June 16, 2014.

The problems affected 778,370 accounts with $8.91 billion
deposited in the bank's smart ATMs before it was fixed.  The
investigation led to police raids on CBA premises in April last
year and dozens of international arrests.

The lawyer said four disclosure questions would be key to any
shareholder class action: the bank's failure to make a provision
in their accounts or a contingent liability note, the failure to
inform the market under continuous disclosure provisions and
excluding any detail about the issue in remuneration reports for
senior executives. [GN]

CONFIDE INC: Secret Messaging App Not Secured, Nascimento Says
ARTHUR NASCIMENTO, individually, and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v. CONFIDE, INC., a Delaware
Corporation, the Defendant, Case No. 2017-CH-11309 (Ill. Cir. Ct.,
Aug. 17, 2017), seeks to recover damages as a result of Confide's
deceptive marketing practices.

According to the complaint, in the aftermath of the well-
publicized Snowden revelation -- and the public realization that
state and non-state actors can, and are, monitoring individuals'
professional and personal communications -- there has been a surge
in public demand for security and privacy in digital exchanges.
This demand created a market for messaging applications that
promise consumers privacy and confidentiality from such
surveillance. As high-profile breaches -- such as the leaked
emails from the Democratic National Committee -- continued at a
feverish pace, the market for confidential messaging applications
expanded rapidly.

The complaint notes Confide is one of a number of players that
have sought to capitalize on this surging public demand. It
operates a multi-platform messaging application that claims to
offer consumers a confidential means of sending digital
communications without fear of their communications being
monitored or recorded. Indeed, Confide represents that the App
allows its users to "[c]ommunicate digitally with the same level
of privacy and security as the spoken word." But, as Confide
acknowledges, that level of privacy and security cannot be
achieved through encrypting messages alone. Rather, to attain that
level of confidentiality, messages must be "[e]ncrypted,
[e]phemeral, and [s]creenshot protected[.] Confide's App purports
to offer a means of communication whereby each of these elements
of confidentiality is satisfied. Confide claims that by using its
App, consumers can communicate "without fear of the Internet's
permanent, digital record and with no copies left behind.
Confide's representations were, in fact, so persuasive, that
multiple members of the Trump administration publicly acknowledged
that they were using Confide's App for confidential communications
related to matters of national importance. And in some cases, it
appeared, utilizing it to leak information from the White House.

According to the complaint, contrary to Confide's representations,
the App failed to protect communications its users send through
it, and it failed to offer the unequivocal confidentiality
advertised by Confide. Specifically, Confide failed to deliver on
two of the three requirements that it espouses as necessary for
confidential communications: ephemerality and screenshot
protection. Absent these protections, Confide knows that it cannot
deliver on its promise to consumers that communications sent
through it will be confidential. Unfortunately, Confide induced
consumers into using the App and paying for additional features by
representing that it was secure.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Benjamin H. Richman, Esq.
          EDELSON PC
          350 North LaSalle Street, 13th Floor
          Chicago, IL 60654
          Telephone: (312) 589 6370
          Facsimile: (312) 589 6378
          E-mail: brichman@cdclson.com

CONVERGYS CORP: Class Action Waiver Enforceable, 7th Cir. Rules
W. Stephen Cockerham, Esq. --
stephen.cockerham@huschblackwell.com -- and Leslie Brockhoeft,
Esq. -- leslie.brockhoeft@huschblackwell.com -- of Husch Blackwell
LLP, in an article for Lexology, report that on
August 7, 2017, a Fifth Circuit panel ruled, in a divided
decision, that a class-action waiver can be enforceable even
without an arbitration agreement being involved.  In that case,
the Convergys Corporation required its applicants to sign a class-
action waiver even though it was not contained in an arbitration
agreement.  The Convergys Corp. v. National Labor Relations Board
(NLRB) ruling rejected a NLRB decision holding that the company
cannot require its job applicants to sign class action waivers
that prevent them from suing the company.

The NLRB maintains that Section 7 of the National Labor Relations
Act (NLRA) guarantees a substantive right to participate in class
and collective actions and has consistently shot down the use of
class action waivers.  There is currently a circuit split on
whether such class action waivers in arbitration agreements are
enforceable, with the Second, Fifth and Eighth Circuits rejecting
the NLRB's position, and the Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits
embracing it. In 2013, in D.R. Horton v. NLRB, the Fifth Circuit
held that such waivers in arbitration agreements are valid.

The U.S. Supreme Court is set to settle the circuit split because
the Court granted certiorari in three cases involving class action
waivers in employment agreements -- Murphy Oil USA, Inc. v. NLRB,
Lewis v. Epic Systems Corp., and Morris v. Ernst & Young -- and a
hearing is set for October on the consolidated cases.  The
Solicitor General gave the NLRB permission to represent itself
before the Supreme Court. In the NLRB's Murphy Oil brief, it
argues that there is no need to reconcile the Federal Arbitration
Act ("FAA") and the NLRA because the Supreme Court "has never
enforced an arbitration agreement that violates another federal
statute, as the agreements here violate the NLRA by imposing
prospective waivers of concerted activities."

However, the Convergys case is unique from the cases before the
Supreme Court because there was no arbitration agreement. The
Convergys court had to decide whether Section 7 of the NLRA, which
guarantees the right to self-organize and collective bargain and
"to engage in other concerted activities for the purpose of . . .
other mutual aid or protection," also contemplates an employees'
right to participate in class actions. The court held that Section
7 does not include a right to participate in class and collective
actions. Rejecting the NLRB's argument that this case was
distinguishable from D.R. Horton because D.R. Horton involved an
arbitration agreement and, thus, was shielded by the FAA, the
court stated that D.R. Horton established that the use of a class
or collective action is not a substantive right.

Two days later, the Fifth Circuit panel reached the same
conclusion in Logisticare Solutions v. NLRB, a case also involving
a class action waiver outside of an arbitration agreement.
Moreover, the Logisticare court rejected the NLRB's argument that
the waiver violated Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA because a
reasonable employee could construe the waiver as prohibiting board

The Convergys and Logisticare decisions are major wins for
employers.  But employers should watch for the U.S. Supreme
Court's upcoming decision on class action waivers before getting
too comfortable. [GN]

CROTHALL HEALTHCARE: Sued Over Failure to Pay Termination Wages
Yoana Herrera, individually and on behalf of other persons
similarly situated v. Crothall Healthcare, Inc. and Does 1 through
10, Case No. BC672049 (Cal. Super. Ct., August 10, 2017), arises
out of the failure of the Defendant to provide timely pay upon
termination of employees, in compliance with California Labor

Crothall Healthcare, Inc. provides housekeeping services at
medical facilities. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Gregory N. Karasik, Esq.
      11835 W. Olympic Blvd.
      Los Angeles, CA 90064
      Telephone: (310) 312-6800
      Facsimile: (310) 943-2582
      E-mail: greg@karasiklawfirm.com

         - and -

      Emil Davtyan, Esq.
      21900 Burbank Blvd., Suite 300
      Woodland Hills, CA 91367
      Telephone: (818) 992-2935
      E-mail: emil@davtyanlaw.com

CVS HEALTH: Illegally Inflates EpiPen Price, "Brannon" Suit Says
Traci Brannon, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. CVS Health Corporation, Caremark RX, Inc., Caremark
RX, L.L.C., Express Scripts Holding Company, Express Scripts,
Inc., UnitedHealth Group, Inc., Optumrx, Inc., and Prime
Therapeutics, LLC, Case No. 2:17-cv-02464 (D. Kan., August 11,
2017), arises out of the Defendants' unlawful scheme to
artificially inflate the cost of the epinephrine injector
("EpiPen") by more than 500% in order to facilitate Mylan's
payment of so called "rebates," fees, or other payments to CVS
Health, Express Scripts, OptumRx, and Prime in exchange for
favorable formulary placement.

CVS Health Corporation, Caremark RX, Inc., Caremark RX, L.L.C.,
Express Scripts Holding Company, Optumrx, Inc., and Express
Scripts, Inc. provides comprehensive prescription benefit
management services to health plans, including corporations,
managed care organizations, insurance companies, unions and
government entities.

UnitedHealth Group, Inc. operates a healthcare company located at
9900 Bren Road East, Minnetonka, Minnesota, 55343. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Rex A. Sharp, Esq.
      REX A. SHARP, P.A.
      5301 W. 75th Street
      Prairie Village, KS 66208
      Telephone: (913) 901-0505
      Facsimile: (913) 901-0419
      E-mail: rsharp@midwest-law.com

         - and -

      Lynn Sarko, Esq.
      Derek W. Loeser, Esq.
      Gretchen Freeman Cappio, Esq.
      Gretchen S. Obrist, Esq.
      1201 Third Avenue, Suite 3200
      Seattle, WA 98101
      Telephone: (206) 623-1900
      Facsimile: (206) 623-3384
      E-mail: lsarko@kellerrohrback.com

         - and -

      Warren T. Burns, Esq.
      500 North Akard, Suite 2810
      Dallas, TX 75201
      Telephone: (469) 904-4550
      Facsimile: (469) 444-5002
      E-mail: wburns@burnscharest.com

         - and -

      W. Mark Lanier, Esq.
      6810 FM 1960 West
      Houston, TX 77069
      Telephone: (713) 659-5200
      E-mail: WML@LanierLawFirm.com

DELICIAS GALENAS: "Gonzalez" Suit Seeks Overtime Wage under FLSA
and INGRID MORENO, Jointly and Severally, the Defendants, Case No.
701822/2017 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., Aug. 17, 2017), seeks to recover
overtime wage, liquidated damages, interest, attorneys' fees and
costs pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York
Labor Law.

According to the complaint, the Defendants maintained a policy and
practice of requiring Plaintiffs and other similarly situated
employees to work in excess of 40 hours per week without providing
them with appropriate overtime compensation required by State and
Federal law and regulations.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Peter Sim, Esq.
          Attorneys for Plaintiff
          39-01 Main Street, Suite 608
          Flushing, NY 11354
          Telephone: (718) 445 1300

DENVER, CO: Homeless People Files Summary Judgment Motion in Case
Libby Rainey, writing for Denver Post, reports that invoking the
story of David and Goliath, a group of homeless people filed a
motion for summary judgment on Aug. 14 in a class-action lawsuit
challenging Denver's efforts to move the homeless.

Calling Denver's methods "reminiscent of a scene from a dystopian
science fiction novel," the motion claims that the city violated
the constitutional rights of homeless men and women, destroying
their property and clearing camps without proper warning.
Andy McNulty -- AMcNulty@KLN-law.com -- an attorney with civil
rights law firm Killmer, Lane & Newman, and Jason Flores-Williams
filed the motion.

"Normally, plaintiffs don't file motions for summary judgment, but
in this case the evidence was overwhelming," Mr. McNulty said.
"Denver time and again keeps pushing them out of the city."

Using depositions and copies of emails as evidence, the motion
claims that during one sweep, city officials set fire to the
plaintiffs' property with flame throwers.  It also accuses the
city of using jail inmates to help facilitate the sweeps and of
taking blankets from the homeless on cold winter nights.

The plaintiffs are asking that the court enter a summary judgment
holding that their Fourth and 14th Amendment rights were violated.
Mr. McNulty said the court should respond to the motions in the
next two to three weeks. The city will file a motion for summary
judgment, too, according to an email from the City Attorney's

"It will be up to the court to determine what the evidence shows
and whether either side is entitled to judgment without a trial,"
the email read.

The homeless first sued the city last August, claiming that Denver
was forcing people out of the city's downtown in a series of
systematic sweeps, destroying personal property in the process.
The lawsuit identifies a series of sweeps in 2015 and 2016,
claiming that people were not adequately warned and that the
possessions they could not carry were often thrown away.

"You're talking about personal mementos, military IDs, just a
couple things in your life that will help you to rebuild," said
Mr. Flores-Williams, the attorney who filed the lawsuit.  "There's
not even the intent to save anyone's property."

Some two dozen people gathered on Aug. 14 outside the Denver City
and County Building to protest the sweeps and support the motion.
Holding signs reading "Sweep streets not people" and "Quit playing
homeless whack-a-mole," the group marched down the 16th Street
Mall to the office of the Downtown Denver Partnership.

"The city of Denver is treating homeless people like trash," said
Terese Howard, an organizer with Denver Homeless Out Loud.  "This
has got to stop.  This isn't just a fight in the courts, it's a
fight in the streets."

Jerry Burton, a plaintiff in the case and a veteran, said he was
angry that he fought to defend the constitution, only to have his
own constitutional rights violated on the streets.

"I put my life on the line for this country to have my rights and
dignity disrespected," Mr. Burton said.  "It makes you want to
cry. It makes you feel like you're not worth it." [GN]

DR. REDDY'S: Law Firms Mull Investor Class Action
India Infoline News Service reports that US-based law firms have
threatened a class action suit against the Indian pharma major,
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories for non-disclosure of quality-related
lapses at its Indian facilities, reported a leading business

Earlier, the German regulatory authority had revoked GMP (good
manufacturing practices) clearance in respect of the company's
formulations manufacturing Unit 2 plant in Hyderabad. [GN]

DRYSHIPS INC: Ends Fund-Raising Kalani Deal Following Suits
TradeWinds reports that New York-listed shipowner says chief
executive will make $100m non-cash investment including stake in
tanker pool.

DryShips ended a controversial fund-raising deal with Kalani
Investments and agreed to take George Economou's stake in pools
player Heidmar.

The announcement ends an arrangement that could have seen DryShips
raise up to $226m through sales to the Marc Bistricer-backed
investor and that has drawn three separate shareholder lawsuits.
Those lawsuits have alleged that common shareholders lost nearly
all the value of their investment in DryShips.

The moves will see Economou, DryShips' chief executive, take an
additional $100m equity stake. [GN]

EL POLLO: Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Securities Class Action
Shearman & Sterling LLP, in an article for JDSupra, wrote that
on August 4, 2017, United States District Judge David O. Carter of
the United States District Court for the Central District of
California denied a motion to dismiss a putative securities fraud
class action against El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc. ("EPL"), certain
of its directors and officers, and EPL's controlling shareholders.
Turocy, et al. v. El Pollo Loco Holdings, Inc., et al., No. SACV-
15-1343-DOC (C.D. Cal. Aug. 4, 2017).  Plaintiffs alleged that
defendants violated Sections 10(b), 20(a) and/or 20A of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act"), and Rule
10b-5, by failing to disclose material facts and making materially
false or misleading statements as part of a scheme to artificially
inflate the stock price of EPL between May 15, 2015 and August 13,
2015, and/or selling their personally held shares in EPL shortly
after making the alleged false or misleading statements despite
having not sold any shares during the previous six months and not
selling the shares pursuant to any Rule 10b5-1 trading plan.
After dismissing without prejudice the original and amended
complaints in this action, the Court held that plaintiffs
sufficiently alleged misstatements and a strong inference that
defendants were aware of the falsity of such statements, and
denied defendants' motion to dismiss the third amended complaint.

Plaintiffs alleged that defendants misled investors about EPL's
waning sales and customer traffic in the second quarter of 2015,
and that certain individual defendants and controlling shareholder
defendants sold more than $130 million dollars of their personally
held shares of EPL stock at the allegedly resulting inflated stock
prices.  In previously dismissing plaintiffs' Section 10(b)
claims, the Court stated that it was "not convinced Defendants
omitted any information or warnings to investors that would be
misleading."  In assessing plaintiffs' third amended complaint,
however, the Court found that plaintiffs had adequately pled the
existence of materially misleading statements and omissions,
including:  (i) allegedly misleading statements by the company
about causes of its poor performance in the first half of 2015,
which the company publicly attributed to ancillary issues rather
than the alleged real cause, i.e., its increased menu prices and
the removal of a popular $5 combo menu; (ii) allegedly misleading
statements by the company about the company's own internal "value
scores," used by the company to track its self-designated
positioning as a "quick service restaurant plus" (i.e., a fast
food restaurant with higher quality food and service); and (iii)
alleged misstatements about the company's same store sales growth
expectations, when EPL's CFO stated in an analyst call that EPL's
forecast for the second quarter of 2015 was 3% growth despite
having reviewed EPL's internal forecast that predicted only 2.5%

The Court next considered whether plaintiffs had adequately stated
with particularity facts giving rise to a strong inference under
the PSLRA that defendants acted with scienter.  In its prior
decisions dismissing the complaint without prejudice, the Court
had determined that the three alleged confidential witnesses'
statements, analyzed individual by individual, were not indicative
of scienter.  In this decision, however, the Court, citing the
Ninth Circuit's recent ruling in In re Quality Systems, Inc. Sec.
Litig., No. 15-55173, slip op. (Dkt. 42) (9th Cir. July 28, 2017),
noted that it would assess whether, taken together, the
confidential witnesses' statements raised a strong inference of
scienter.  The Court found that, considered collectively, the
statements, if taken as true, established that the individual
defendants had access to information and data tracking the chain's
decreasing sales and transactions and customer feedback -- and
such access to the disputed information raised a strong inference
of scienter.  In addition, the Court found that the timing of
certain defendants' stock sales -- the first possible day they
could sell pursuant to various lock-up agreements following the
alleged false and misleading statements -- was further evidence in
support of scienter.   Of note, however, in assessing whether
plaintiffs had pled actionable misstatements which could support a
claim against certain individual defendants, the Court found that
courts in the Ninth Circuit have largely concluded that group
pleading is not compatible with the PSLRA's requirements, and the
Court concluded similarly.  Having found that plaintiffs
sufficiently pled false or misleading statements as well as facts
supporting a strong inference of scienter, the Court denied
defendants' motion to dismiss the Section 10(b) and Rule 10b-5

The Court similarly denied defendants' motion to dismiss the
Section 20(a) and 20A claims, noting that defendants' sole
argument as to those claims was that there was no primary
violation under Section 10(b), which the Court rejected for the
reasons above.

This decision highlights the evolving implementation in district
courts regarding the assessment of confidential witness statements
in determining whether scienter has been adequately pled in
securities fraud actions, as well as the trend in Ninth Circuit
courts regarding group pleading in the context of such actions.

FANNIE MAE: Faces Class Action Over Misreported Foreclosures
Dena Aubin, writing for Reuters, reports that Fannie Mae has been
hit with a proposed class action in San Francisco federal court by
homeowners who say they were rejected for loans because the
mortgage financing giant falsely reported that their homes had
been in a foreclosure.

Filed on Aug. 12, the lawsuit said Fannie Mae misreported
foreclosures in credit histories for thousands of consumers who
had sold their homes in a short sale.  In a short sale, an
alternative to foreclosure, a bank allows a homeowner to sell a
home for less than the amount owed on the mortgage and agrees to
accept the proceeds to settle the loan. [GN]

FINISAR CORP: Faces Class Action in Calif. Over Stock Inflation
Jack Newsham, writing for Law360, reports that shareholders who
sued fiber optic supplier Finisar Corp. for fraud after a
seemingly inarticulate statement by its CEO bumped its stock price
up just long enough to make him and his company millions asked a
California federal judge on Aug. 14 to certify their case as a
class action.

The lawsuit, which finally survived the dismissal stage in May
after six years of litigation and a trip to the Ninth Circuit,
accuses Finisar and two executives of inflating its stock price
for a three-month window before the bubble was popped by a poor
sales projection.  The suit stems from a 2010 conference call in
which CEO Eitan Gertel made a vague statement about customer
inventory levels that preceded a swift rise in the company's stock

On Aug. 14, the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement
System asked the court to let the case proceed as a class action
that it would lead and its lawyers at Abraham Fruchter & Twersky
LLP would litigate.  The requirements of numerosity, commonality,
typicality and adequacy are met, the pension fund said, and an
expert report confirmed that the market for Finisar stock was
robust and responsive to information like Mr. Gertel's flub.

"Defendants' fraud affected Oklahoma Firefighters and all class
members uniformly because each purchased Finisar's artificially
inflated stock, and later suffered losses when the price of that
stock declined in response to public revelations of the fraud,"
the fund said.  "The claims of Oklahoma Firefighters and all class
members are based on the same legal theories and will be proven by
the same set of operative facts."

Ian Berg -- iberg@aftlaw.com -- a lawyer for the proposed class,
said the plaintiffs believed the class certification motion is
"strong, without credible basis for opposition." A lawyer for the
defendants didn't respond to a request for comment.

In the underlying suit, the investors say Mr. Gertel's statement,
made in response to an analyst question about sales growth, gave
them a false sense of reassurance and led to losses when the
company told shareholders in March 2011 that slowing sales in
China and customers who had already topped up their supplies meant
its growth would be slower than expected.

In the interim, they said, Mr. Gertel made a fat $5 million by
selling 200,000 shares at inflated prices, and the company raised
$118 million from investors.  Between that and the fact that
Finisar had touched base with its customers in late 2010 and
should have known that their orders in 2011 would be smaller, the
whiff of scienter was strong, the plaintiffs contend.

Finisar had argued that Mr. Gertel's statement was "qualified and
equivocal" and couldn't have been taken as positively by investors
as the plaintiffs set out.  The company also offered a different
read on the final part of Mr. Gertel's answer, which didn't make
linguistic sense.  The investors said it was meant to quelch fears
that Finisar's sales to telecommunications customers would drop;
the company said it conveyed a degree of uncertainty.

The statement ended, "And on the telecom side, look, there can be
one or two guys who try to build their own inventory, but by far
the majority of the customers expediting products and doesn't look
to us, not visible to us at all, all these quarters if they are
building any inventory," according to court papers.

The investors are represented by Ian D. Berg, Takeo A. Kellar --
tkellar@aftlaw.com -- and Mitchell M.Z. Twersky --
mtwersky@aftlaw.com -- of Abraham Fruchter & Twersky LLP.

The defendants are represented by Shirli Fabbri Weiss --
shirli.weiss@dlapiper.com -- and David Priebe --
david.priebe@dlapiper.com -- of DLA Piper.

The case is In re: Finisar Corp. Securities Litigation, Case No.
5:11-cv-01252 (N.D. Cal.).  The case is assigned to Judge Edward
J. Davila.  The case was filed March 15, 2011. [GN]

FLINT, MI: Racism Plays Role in Water Crisis, Commission Reveals
Debra Cassens Weiss, writing for ABA Journal, reports that civil
rights lawyer Daniel Sheehan wasn't even listed as a speaker for a
water-rights program at the ABA Annual Meeting on Aug. 13, but he
managed to get a round of applause when he called for removal of
President Donald Trump and the election of a progressive

Filling in for a water-rights panelist who was unable to be there,
Mr. Sheehan raised another environmental issue -- climate change -
- and alleged that the Trump administration has been "captured by
the petroleum industry" and was "sticking its thumb in the eye of
the entire world."  He spoke at a program (PDF) called "From
Standing Rock to Flint: Water Rights, Race and Resistance."

Trump had been an investor in the Dakota Access Pipeline (he sold
his stake in the company overseeing construction, according to
CNBC), yet he went on to order the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to
grant the easement for the project, according to Sheehan, who is
chief counsel for the Lakota People's Law Project.

The pipeline, to be built on land bordering or under Lake Oahe, is
opposed by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.  The tribe fears a
potential spill could harm its water supply and says the project
will make the water spiritually impure.  The tribe also argues the
project will destroy sites of cultural and historical importance.

Thousands of protesters who tried to block the pipeline last year
were met by private security police "in full battle regalia,"
mounted on BearCats and wielding powerful water cannons, Sheehan
said. In all, 834 protesters were arrested, he said.

The tribe saw some courtroom success in June, when a federal judge
found the Army Corps had not adequately studied three major
issues, according to another panelist, Jodi Gillette, a political
appointee in the Obama administration who served as special
assistant to the president for Native American Affairs in the
White House Domestic Policy Council.

The issues needing more study were the impact on the tribe's
treaty rights to hunting and fishing, pipeline safety and
environmental justice.

According to Ms. Gillette, the issue in the case is one of
collective rights and tribal sovereignty: "What we really want is
that self-determination."

Jodi Gillette, a political appointee in the Obama administration
who served as special assistant to the president for Native
American Affairs in the White House Domestic Policy Council.

The government's treatment of minorities is also at issue in the
Flint, Michigan, water case, according to panelist Julie Hurwitz,
whose legal team is serving as co-lead counsel in federal class
action litigation stemming from the crisis. By her count, more
than 64 class action and individual cases have been filed.

Water officials had switched Flint's water supply in April 2014
from Lake Huron to the Flint River to save money, but didn't treat
the corrosive water to prevent lead from leaching into it. There
were immediate complaints about the water's taste and smell, as
well as its apparent connection to rashes, hair loss and E. coli
infections. But government officials reacted with deliberate
indifference, she said.

A civil rights commission appointed to investigate the crisis
concluded that systemic racism played a role in causing the

Five government officials have been charged with involuntary
manslaughter in the death of an 85-year-old man who died from
Legionnaires' disease, which is believed to be tied to the water.

Panelist Keith Harper, a partner at Kilpatrick Townsend involved
in Native American litigation, says the Flint and pipeline cases
are "harbingers of conflict in the future."  Water represents
life, he said, and "this is increasingly going to become an issue
of contention because water is so vital."

Mr. Sheehan urged those in the room -- as well as the ABA -- to
raise the alarm about the water rights issues:

"Everybody sits around having polite conversations because nobody
wants to be rude, nobody wants to upset anybody," he complained.

FORD MOTOR: Faces Litigation Woes Over Defective Transmissions
Yvonne Colbert, writing for CBC News, reports that Ford is facing
increasing international pressure over transmission problems in
some of its Focus and Fiesta models.

A Canadian lawyer is seeking certification for a class action
suit, Transport Canada is continuing its defect investigation and
the Australian government is starting action against the automaker
for alleged "unconscionable and misleading" conduct.  At the same
time, Ford has agreed to a proposed class action settlement in the
United States.

"We've accumulated almost 3,000 registrations from people who've
experienced terrible problems with their vehicles," said lawyer
Ted Charney, who is leading the $825-million Canadian class

Dual clutch transmission to blame

At issue is the PowerShift transmission in 2011-16 Fiesta and
2012-16 Focus models.  The vehicles are sold as automatics and
have what Ford calls PowerShift dual clutch transmission --
essentially two manual transmissions working in parallel, each
with its own independent clutch.

The problems experienced by these vehicle owners are all similar,
including shuddering, delayed acceleration, sudden acceleration
and sudden loss of power.

Trish Glabb of Stoney Point, Ont., no longer owns the 2014 Focus
that she plastered with lemon stickers.  The final straw came when
she was left fearing for her life, her mother's life and that of
her 13-year-old as her mother was about to drive onto Highway 401.

"We were coming up the on ramp and my car just got stuck in its
gear -- which it is notorious for doing -- and it wouldn't go any
faster," Ms. Glabb said.  "It was revving out to 7,500. We were
between two semis and then the car decided to lunge forward."

She said her mother was able to merge into the next lane and avoid
an accident, but the experience sent a livid Glabb to McDonnell
Motors in Strathroy, Ont., where she'd purchased the vehicle.  The
dealership had previously replaced two clutches on the car and
performed several updates to its computer.

"They finally agreed to buy out what was left owing on the Focus
and gave me enough money for a down payment so I could afford a
2017 Ford Fusion," Glabb said.

145,000 such vehicles in Canada

It's not known how many times Ford has quietly settled with
owners.  It's estimated 145,000 of the cars have been sold in

Transport Canada says it has received 1,235 complaints concerning
the transmissions but "most complaints received . . . are not
safety related and pertain to driveability and performance

The department says it is not aware of any injuries related to
this issue.

Mr. Charney is hoping the Canadian class action will be certified
by the courts in November.

In the meantime, Transport Canada is continuing with its defect
investigation into the cars, saying it is at the "preliminary
evaluation" stage.

It says it will be meeting with Ford Canada in the fall as part of
the probe.

Australia calls Ford 'unconscionable'

In Australia, the government is taking a hard line against Ford
Motor Company of Australia Limited, alleging it engaged
"unconscionable and misleading or deceptive conduct, and made
false and misleading representations in response to customer

A government news release alleges Ford misled customers who
complained about the vehicles, telling them "the issues . . . were
caused by the way the driver handled the vehicle, even though Ford
was aware of systemic issues . . . from at least 2013."

It also alleges Ford refused to provide a refund or replacement
vehicle unless customers paid on average $7,000 for a replacement
vehicle.  It says in many cases, "customers who could not afford
to make these payments felt they had no option but to continue to
use their vehicle."

The Australian allegations have not been tested in court.

U.S. settlement pending court approval

In the U.S., Ford Motor Company has reached a proposed settlement
in a class action lawsuit involving the vehicles.  It will go
before the court for final approval in October.  If it is given
the green light, it will see a binding arbitration process for
buybacks or repairs, as well as cash payments and/or discounts on
future Ford purchases.

Mr. Charney said Ford likely decided to settle the American class
action because the U.S. has much stronger legislation and

"If somebody actually gets into an accident where there's serious
injuries down there then there's Senate hearings and they have to
go to regulatory bodies and explain why they sat on this for
years," he said.

Lawyer says Ford feels 'immune'

Regardless, Mr. Charney said with the facts of this case it
doesn't matter how strong the legislation is.

"Something's going to have to be done about them one way or
another. There's just too many people complaining about them now,"
he said.

He thinks Ford is "oblivious" to the concerns and considers itself
"immune" because of its size and political strength.

"They consider this to be a little blip, or until somebody dies in
an accident that has something to do with their bad transmission,
I don't think they're going to pay attention to it," Mr. Charney
said.  "They're too big to be bothered with these things."

Ford responds

Ford of Canada responded to CBC's inquiry acknowledging the U.S.
settlement, saying it only affects U.S. residents who meet certain

"Ford of Canada is not a party to the U.S. litigation or the
settlement," company spokesperson Michelle Lee-Gracey said in an
email.  "Canada is a different jurisdiction from the U.S., with
different laws and rules of civil procedure.  Ford of Canada
continues to defend its litigation."

Halifax resident Jordan Bonaparte, who first flagged this story
for CBC because of problems with his 2013 Focus, said Ford should
be embarrassed and ashamed of the way it has treated its vehicle

He is also encouraging others to fight for a remedy if they
believe they have been treated unfairly.

"People who feel they've been wronged by a large corporation, they
need to stand up for themselves by getting organized, by getting
educated on the background and just being persistent," he said.

FORTERRA INC: Robbins Geller Files Class Action in New York
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP ("Robbins Geller")
(http://www.rgrdlaw.com/cases/forterra/)on Aug. 14 disclosed that
a class action has been commenced on behalf of purchasers of
Forterra, Inc. ("Forterra" or the "Company") common stock issued
in connection with the Company's October 21, 2016 initial public
offering (the "IPO").  This action was filed in the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of New York and is
captioned Forrester v. Forterra, Inc., et al., No. 2:17-cv-04763.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no
later than 60 days from August 14, 2017.  If you wish to discuss
this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your
rights or interests, please contact plaintiff's counsel, Samuel H.
Rudman or David A. Rosenfeld of Robbins Geller, at
800-449-4900 or 619-231-1058, or via e-mail at djr@rgrdlaw.com.
If you are a member of this class, you can view a copy of the
complaint as filed at http://www.rgrdlaw.com/cases/forterra/.Any
member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as lead
plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to do
nothing and remain an absent class member.

The complaint charges Forterra, certain of its officers and
directors and the underwriters of its IPO with violations of the
Securities Act of 1933.  Forterra manufactures pipe and various
precast products.

The complaint alleges that the Registration Statement used to
conduct the IPO contained inaccurate statements and omitted facts
necessary to make other statements made therein not misleading.
Among other things, the Registration Statement failed to disclose,
at the time of the IPO, that organic sales in Forterra's Drainage
and Water segments had significantly declined, that Forterra was
experiencing increased pricing pressure due to competition and
continued softness in its concrete and steel pipe business, that
Forterra had been losing business in its important pipe and
precast business due to in large part to operational problems at
its production plants, and that Forterra had undisclosed material
weaknesses in its internal controls that prevented it from
accurately reporting and forecasting its financial results.

The IPO was successful for the Company and the underwriters, who
sold 18.42 million shares of Forterra common stock to the public
at $18 per share, raising more than $331 million in gross
proceeds.  As the market learned the truth about the Company's
business and finances following the IPO, the price of Forterra
common stock declined and the stock now trades at approximately
75% of its IPO price.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of
Forterra common stock issued in connection with the Company's
October 21, 2016 IPO (the "Class").  The plaintiff is represented
by Robbins Geller, which has extensive experience in prosecuting
investor class actions including actions involving financial

Robbins Geller -- http://www.rgrdlaw.com-- is a law firm advising
and representing U.S. and international investors in securities
litigation and portfolio monitoring.  With 200 lawyers in 10
offices, Robbins Geller has obtained many of the largest
securities class action recoveries in history. [GN]

GLOBAL FITNESS: Paul Appeals Ruling in "Gascho" Suit to 6th Cir.
Interested Party Doctor Laurence E. Paul filed an appeal from a
court ruling in the lawsuit entitled Amber Gascho, et al. v.
Global Fitness Holdings, LLC, et al., Case No. 2:11-cv-00436, in
the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio at

The appellate case is captioned as Amber Gascho, et al. v. Global
Fitness Holdings, LLC, et al., Case No. 17-3821, in the United
States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.

As previously reported in the Class Action Reporter, several
interested parties have filed separate appeals in the lawsuit.[BN]

BELL, MATT VOLKERDING and PATRICK CARY, on Behalf of Themselves
and all Others Similarly Situated, are represented by:

          Thomas N. McCormick, Esq.
          P.O. Box 1008
          Columbus, OH 43215
          Telephone: (614) 464-6400
          E-mail: tnmccormick@vorys.com

Interested Party-Appellant LAURENCE E. PAUL is represented by:

          Richard Gurbst, Esq.
          127 Public Square, Suite 4900
          Cleveland, OH 44114
          Telephone: (216) 479-8500
          E-mail: richard.gurbst@squirepb.com

GLOBALSCAPE INC: Block & Leviton Files Securities Class Action
Block & Leviton LLP, a securities litigation firm representing
investors nationwide, on Aug. 9 disclosed that it has filed a
class action lawsuit against GlobalSCAPE, Inc. ("Global" or the
"Company") (NYSE: GSB) and certain of its officers and directors
for violations of the federal securities laws.

If you purchased or otherwise acquired Global securities during
the Class Period described below and have questions about your
legal rights or possess information relevant to this lawsuit,
please contact attorney Bradley Vettraino at (617) 398-5600, by
email at bradley@blockesq.com, or by visiting

On August 7, 2017, after trading had closed, Global disclosed that
its audit committee has been "conducting an investigation" into
certain transactions in the fourth quarter of 2016" and that the
Company "intends to effect a restatement of its previously issued
financial statements through filing an amended Annual Report on
Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2016 and an amended
Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended March 31,

On this news, Global's share price fell 17.66% to close at $3.87
on August 8, 2017, causing millions in losses to investors.

The lawsuit, brought on behalf of investors who purchased or
otherwise acquired Global securities between January 26, 2017 and
August 7, 2017, inclusive (the "Class Period") alleges that
throughout the Class Period, the defendants made false and/or
misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Global
overstated the reported amounts of accounts receivable as of
December 31, 2016, and license revenue for the three months and
year ended December 31, 2016, by approximately $403,000 and
$396,000, respectively, resulting in the overstatement of the
Company's revenues for those periods by the same amounts; (ii) the
Company's total current assets and total assets were overstated by
$292,000; (iii) the Company's total stockholder equity and total
liabilities and stockholders' equity were overstated by $217,000
and $292,000, respectively; (iv) the Company lacked adequate
internal controls over financial reporting; and (v) that as a
result, Global's publicly disseminated financial statements were
materially false and misleading.

If you wish to serve as a lead plaintiff, you must move the Court
no later than October 9, 2017. As a member of the class, you may
seek to file a motion to serve as a lead plaintiff or take no
action and remain an absent class member. If you wish to become
involved in the litigation or have questions about your legal
rights, please contact attorney Bradley Vettraino at (617) 398-
5600, by email at bradley@blockesq.com.

Confidentiality to whistleblowers or others with information
relevant to this investigation is assured.

Block & Leviton LLP -- http://www.blockesq.com-- is a Boston-
based law firm representing investors nationwide.  The firm's
lawyers have collectively been prosecuting securities cases on
behalf of individual and institutional investors for over 50
years, and have recovered billions of dollars on their behalf.
Block & Leviton's investigations into corporate wrongdoing were
recently covered by the New York Times.

The lawsuit is pending in the Western District of Texas and is
captioned Giovagnoli v. GlobalSCAPE, Inc., et al., No. 5:17-cv-
00753.  The courthouse is located at 2450 State Hwy. 118 Alpine,
Texas 79830. [GN]

GLOBALSCAPE INC: Oct. 10 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
Khang & Khang LLP (the "Firm") on Aug. 14 announced the filing of
a securities class action lawsuit against GlobalSCAPE, Inc.
("GlobalSCAPE" or the "Company").  Investors who purchased or
otherwise acquired shares between January 26, 2017 and August 7,
2017, inclusive (the "Class Period"), are encouraged to contact
the Firm in advance of the October 10, 2017 lead plaintiff motion

If you purchased GlobalSCAPE shares during the Class Period,
please contact Joon M. Khang, Esquire, of Khang & Khang LLP, 4000
Barranca Parkway, Suite 250, Irvine, CA 92604, by telephone: (949)
419-3834, or by e-mail at joon@khanglaw.com.

There has been no class certification in this case yet.  Until
certification occurs, you are not represented by an attorney.  You
may choose to take no action and remain a passive class member as

According to the Complaint, throughout the Class Period,
GlobalSCAPE made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed
to disclose: that the Company overstated the reported amounts of
accounts receivable as of December 31, 2016, and license revenue
for the three months and year ended December 31, 2016, by
approximately $403,000 and $396,000, respectively, resulting in
the overstatement of the Company's revenues for those periods by
the same amounts; that GlobalSCAPE's total current assets and
total assets were overstated by $292,000; that the Company's total
stockholder equity and total liabilities and stockholders' equity
were overstated by $217,000 and $292,000, respectively; that
GlobalSCAPE lacked adequate internal controls over financial
reporting; and that as a result of the above, the Company's
publicly disseminated financial statements were materially false
and misleading.  When this news was announced, shares of
GlobalSCAPE declined in value materially, which caused investors
harm according to the Complaint.

If you wish to learn more about this lawsuit, or if you have any
questions concerning this notice or your rights, please contact
Joon M. Khang, Esquire, a prominent litigator for almost two
decades, by telephone: (949) 419-3834, or via e-mail at
joon@khanglaw.com. [GN]

GOOGLE INC: Altshuler Firm Mulls Gender Pay Class Action
David Ruiz, writing for The Recorder, reports that local
plaintiffs firm Altshuler Berzon is gathering kindling for a
potential class action against Google Inc., with dozens of current
and former female employees claiming their male counterparts made
more money.

The news comes weeks after a judge told Google to hand over more
data for a U.S. Department of Labor audit that invoked the specter
of gender pay discrimination, and just days after an internal,
employee-written memo gained notoriety for its denouncement of
Google's "arbitrary" approach to gender diversity.

James Finberg, who is representing the former and current Google
employees in the potential suit, said in a phone interview on
Aug. 9 that he first gained interest in Google's internal issues
during the company's fight with the Office of Federal Contract
Compliance Programs, a workplace discrimination auditing arm of
the Labor Department.

Before an administrative law judge in San Francisco, OFCCP
regional solicitor Janet Wipper testified that her agency found
"systemic compensation disparities against women pretty much
across the entire workforce," in a partial analysis of Google's
employee compensation data.  Janet Herold, another regional
solicitor with OFCCP, later told Wired that a "preliminary
analysis showed 6 to 7 standard deviations between pay for men and
women in nearly every job classification."

That surprised Mr. Finberg.

"We looked and said, 'Wow, that's pretty serious,'" Mr. Finberg
said, adding that the likelihood of such statistical deviations
happening randomly is one in 100 million.  "We were interested in
hearing women's experiences."

The law firm put a public post on Facebook on July 10, Mr. Finberg
said.  He said the firm received 70 responses in a couple of
weeks.  The firm also has a website advertisement asking other
women to come forward if they have experienced what they believe
is gender pay discrimination at Google.

Mr. Finberg said he plans to file his class action by the end of
the month, and that the number of women covered by the lawsuit
will balloon far past 70.  He said some of his clients will sue
under the California Fair Pay Act, which was amended at the start
of the year to include language that prohibits employers from
unfairly paying a new hire based on prior pay alone.

Mr. Finberg said that testimony in the Labor Department hearing
showed that Google uses prior salary as one of several factors
when determining the pay of "industry hires," meaning employees
hired not immediately out of college.  Even if Google doesn't know
the gender of its employees, that practice can disfavor women,
Mr. Finberg said.

"We know from studies that women make less than men in America, so
if you use prior pay to set salary, you'll institutionalize gender
pay discrimination," Mr. Finberg said.  "The California law was
amended recently and it makes it crystal clear that what I just
described is illegal."

A Google representative did not respond to direct questions about
the class action or if outside counsel has been selected, but
instead forwarded a recent post by Google CEO Sundar Pichai in
response to a separate issue regarding a memo drafted by a former
engineer that has roiled Google's campus.  The representative also
forwarded an April 11 post written by Eileen Naughton, vice
president of people operations, about Google valuing equal pay
among men and women.

With claims of gender discrimination, allegations of an internal
"bro-culture" polluting the hallways and wall-to-wall, it seems
that Google is having an Uber moment. [GN]

GOOGLE INC: 250+ People Join Age Discrimination Class Action
Lucas Nolan, writing for Breitbart, reports that over 250 people
have joined a class action lawsuit alleging that they were treated
unfairly by Google due to their age.

The Business Journals reports that 269 people have joined a class-
action lawsuit against Google claiming that the Silicon Valley
tech company discriminated against them in the workplace based on
their age.  The lawsuit began in 2015 with plaintiff Robert Heath
and was officially certified as a class-action lawsuit in 2016
once others came forward with similar complaints. Details of the
lawsuit were recently revealed by U.S. District Court Judge Howard

Cheryl Fillekes joined Robert Heath in the case against Google in
2015 claiming that Google did not hire her for an engineering
position which she was qualified for because of her age.
Ms. Fillekes claimed that while being interviewed at Google, a
recruiter asked her to put her graduation year on her resume so
that Google could gain an understanding of how old she was.
Ms. Fillekes believes this request violated the federal Age
Discrimination in Employment Act and has joined Heath's lawsuit.

U.S. District Court Judge Beth Labson Freeman ruled in October of
2016 that other software engineers could join the lawsuit, with
many other software engineers reporting similar treatment by the
company.  Google spokesperson Ty Sheppard told The Business
Journals, "We believe the allegations here are without merit and
will continue to defend our position vigorously.  We have strong
policies against discrimination on any unlawful basis, including

Judge Freeman reportedly responded to Google's statement by
saying, "Having such a policy does not necessarily shield a
company from a discrimination suit, particularly in light of the
evidence and allegations presented here . . . today, most, if not
all, companies are well versed in anti-discrimination and make
great efforts to ensure their written policies comply with anti-
discrimination law."

Many Silicon Valley tech workers are quite young, with Huffington
Post reporting that the average age of workers in Silicon Valley
is approximately 29 years old.  Google has a history of being
accused of age discrimination and was sued in 2004, ultimately
settling out of court for an undisclosed amount of money. [GN]

HEFFLER RADETICH: Fraud Class Action Can Proceed, Judge Rules
Max Mitchell, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, reports that a
class action against an accounting firm whose former employee is
alleged to have distributed nearly $6 million worth of fraudulent
claims from a multidistrict litigation settlement can survive
despite technically being filed outside the statute of
limitations, a federal judge has ruled.

U.S. District Judge Jan DuBois of the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania on Aug. 11 gave a green light to the lawsuit against
Heffler, Radetich & Saitta to survive a statute of limitations
challenge.  The claims stem from a $490 million settlement
involving a securities litigation that arose from the merger
between BankAmerica Corp. and NationsBank.

Although plaintiff James Oetting lodged his proposed class lawsuit
more than two years after a former employee of the accounting firm
pleaded guilty to fraud in connection with settlement funds the
firm managed, Judge DuBois determined the defendants had been
aware of the claims through a supplemental complaint Mr. Oetting
filed with the MDL two years before the lawsuit was properly filed
in Missouri federal court.

"There is no evidence that [the proposed class's] filings were
anything other than a good-faith effort to commence an action
against Heffler," Judge DuBois said.  "Heffler has no reasonable
argument that it was 'surprised' or not 'on notice' of the claims
against it within the statutory period."

Mr. Oetting's attorney, Frank Tomlinson of Tomlinson Law in
Birmingham, Alabama, did not return a phone call.

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney attorney Howard Scher --
howard.scher@bipc.com -- who is representing Heffler, Radetich &
Saitta, also did not return a call for comment.

According to Judge DuBois, Christian Penta, who had worked at the
accounting firm in 2004 when the settlement began to be
distributed, was indicted in October 2008, and pleaded guilty to
mail fraud, wire fraud and filing a false tax return.  He was also
sentenced to 60 months in prison, and ordered to pay $19.5 million
in restitution.

Judge DuBois said the first distribution payment from the
underlying MDL settlement included payments of more than $5.87
million based on fraudulent claims submitted by Mr. Penta and his

The law firm of Green Jacobson, which had been class counsel in
the underlying MDL, filed a supplemental complaint with the MDL
court in October 2009, asserting breach of fiduciary duty,
negligent misrepresentation and accountant malpractice, among
other claims.  The MDL court, however, dismissed the claims in
November 2010, finding that, while the allegations were connected
to the underlying MDL, they were not similar enough to justify
supplemental pleadings.

Mr. Oetting eventually filed his suit in February 2011.

Judge DuBois said the suit was clearly filed outside of
Pennsylvania's two-year statute of limitations, but he determined
that Missouri's saving statute, which gives a plaintiff a one-year
extension to refile claims that were timely commenced and
subsequently dismissed, applied to the case.

Specifically, Judge DuBois said the 2009 supplemental complaint
was served on all counsel, and that Heffler did not file its
motion to strike the complaint until May 2010.

"That delay indicates that none of the parties involved -- not the
NationsBank class, not Heffler, and not even the MDL court --
recognized plaintiff's procedural error," Judge DuBois said.

"Therefore, notwithstanding the NationsBank class's procedural
error, the court construes the supplemental complaint as having
been filed on Oct. 29, 2009, effectively 'commencing' an action
for purpose of applying the Missouri savings statute." [GN]

HOME CAPITAL: Aug. 21 Class Action Settlement Approval Hearing Set
Home Capital Group Inc. ("Home Capital" or "the Company") (TSX:
HCG) on Aug. 9 disclosed that the Ontario Securities Commission
("OSC") issued an order approving the previously announced
settlement of an enforcement proceeding commenced in April 2017
regarding the Company's disclosure in 2014 and 2015.

As previously announced, the Company entered into two agreements
which comprise a global settlement of the OSC proceeding and
related class action with each settlement being conditional on the
approval of the other.  The order approving the OSC settlement is
effective only upon the final court approval of the class action
settlement.  A hearing to consider approval of the class action
settlement is scheduled for August 21, 2017.

Pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement with the OSC,
Home Capital will not be making any further statements on this
matter outside of the approval proceedings.

                  About Home Capital Group Inc.

Home Capital Group Inc. is a public company, traded on the Toronto
Stock Exchange (HCG), operating through its principal subsidiary,
Home Trust Company.  Home Trust is a federally regulated trust
company offering residential and non-residential mortgage lending,
securitization of insured residential mortgage products, consumer
lending and credit card services.  In addition, Home Trust offers
deposits via brokers and financial planners, and through its
direct to consumer deposit brand, Oaken Financial.  Home Trust
also conducts business through its wholly owned subsidiary, Home
Bank. Licensed to conduct business across Canada, Home Trust has
offices in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Quebec
and Manitoba. [GN]

IOWA: Oct. 2 Hearing Set in Disabled People's Medicaid Class Suit
Tony Leys, writing for The Des Moines Register, reports that
disabled Iowans do not have a legal right to Medicaid-financed
services beyond what is spelled out in law, state lawyers contend
in their formal response to a lawsuit filed against Iowa's
governor and human services director.

The response says the state is required only to take "reasonably
feasible" steps to help people with disabilities live in
communities instead of in nursing homes or other facilities.  That
requirement isn't infinite, the state says.

The advocacy group Disability Rights Iowa filed a federal lawsuit
in June against Gov. Kim Reynolds and Department of Human Services
Director Jerry Foxhoven.

The lawsuit contends disabled Iowans have seen drastic cuts to in-
home services since Iowa made the controversial decision to hire
for-profit companies to run its Medicaid program last year. Those
service cuts threaten participants' ability to live in their homes
instead of in nursing homes or institutions, the lawsuit says.
The suit contends the service reductions violate the federal
American with Disabilities Act and a 1999 U.S. Supreme Court
ruling, known as the Olmstead decision, which confirmed the right
of people with disabilities to live in community settings.

The Iowa attorney general's office, which is defending the
governor and human services director, recently filed a formal
response to the lawsuit.  The state lawyers urged Judge Rebecca
Goodgame Ebinger to deny Disability Rights Iowa's request that she
order state administrators to resume direct oversight of Medicaid
benefits for about 15,000 Iowans with disabilities.

The advocacy group's suit says state administrators used to
routinely grant "exceptions to policy," allowing disabled Iowans
to receive substantially more in-home care than was required by
state law.  But such exceptions have been reined in since the
private companies took control of Iowa's Medicaid program last
year, the suit says.

The state lawyers wrote in their response that the disabled
Medicaid recipients have no ironclad right to extra services.

"An exception to policy is an available benefit, but not an
entitlement," the state's response says.

The managed-care companies' contracts forbid them from cutting
services to disabled participants without an updated assessment of
the patients' needs.  The Department of Human Services has been
monitoring the companies' compliance with the requirement, the
state lawyers wrote.

The attorney general's response to the lawsuit also says the
Americans with Disabilities Act and the U.S. Supreme Court's
Olmstead decision recognize limits to the lengths states must go
to help people with disabilities live outside of nursing homes or

"States are required to provide care in an integrated environment
for as many persons with disabilities as is reasonably feasible,
so long as such an environment is appropriate to their needs," the
response says.

Disability Rights Iowa filed a formal reply to the state's
response.  The advocacy group said other federal judges have ruled
states may not cut "exception to policy" services to disabled
people just to save money.

"Other courts have heard this same argument and held that the harm
to plaintiffs' health outweighs any burden on a state budget,"
wrote lawyers for the group, which is federally chartered to
defend the rights of people with disabilities.

The legal back-and-forth comes amid extended controversy over
Iowa's 2016 transition to private Medicaid management. Supporters,
including the governor, contend the shift is leading to more
effective, efficient care for the nearly 600,000 poor or disabled
Iowans whose health care is covered by Medicaid.  Critics say the
shift has led to snarls of red tape for care providers and cuts in
services for Medicaid recipients.

In one of the most recent developments, critics have pointed to
the case of an Orange City man with quadriplegia.  Todd Mouw, 53,
died July 8, three months after the Medicaid management firm
Amerigroup informed him it was limiting whom it would pay to
provide his in-home services.

The Mouws were not part of the Disability Rights Iowa lawsuit,
which was initially filed on behalf of six other Medicaid
participants with disabilities. But the group is asking Judge
Goodgame Ebinger to grant class-action status to the lawsuit. Such
status would mean the suit would be filed on behalf of all Iowans
who are enrolled in special Medicaid programs for people with
serious disabilities.

The attorney general's office opposes the request for class-action
status.  The state lawyers say each Medicaid enrollee's
circumstances are different, and each one would have to give
permission for their health care information to be examined as
part of the court process.  The state lawyers also say that the
Department of Human Services is monitoring how the private
management companies are handling people with disabilities, and
that the department has been intervening when there are

A federal court hearing on the lawsuit has been set for Oct. 12.

J ROCKLIFF: Obtains Favorable Ruling in Arbitration Bid
Olivia Olsen, writing for Northern California Record, reports that
the California First District Court of Appeal recently ruled in
favor of real estate brokers J. Rockcliff Inc. and Mason McDuffie
Real Estate in their appeal to hold arbitration in a matter
related to two similar class action lawsuits brought by

The original suits, deemed "materially identical," were filed
against several real estate and title companies for their alleged
misuse of the software Transaction Point.  The web-based software
developed for real estate is advertised on its website to
"automate the entire real estate transaction."  Developed by Real
Estate Digital, whose list of tools include reDataVault and rDesk
Websites, the software aimed to reduce liability risk.

However, the homeowners in the suit said defendants added kickback
fees to the closing costs and presented them as sub-license fees
through the software.

The defendants requested arbitration in the matters, but a trial
court judge denied the motion. An appeal was made by the companies
(J. Rockcliff and Mason McDuffie were the only two named in the
appeal), and the issue was reviewed.

Three different arbitration clauses were considered by both
courts, residential listing agreement (RLA), and two different
residential purchase agreement (RPA) clauses from 2007 and 2010.
The trial court decided that only the 2010 RPA was applicable,
whereas the appeals court stated all three were valid clauses for

Though negotiations between the parties is likely to commence, the
ramifications of the misuse of the software and the court's ruling
could continue to affect California homeowners.

"California consumers need to be aware that the courts are going
to enforce arbitration clauses contained in real estate
contracts," a representative for the California Department of
Consumer Affairs Office of Public Affairs told the Northern
California Record.

"Unfortunately, the burden of research may be placed on the home
buyer when it comes to understanding if all parts of your real
estate deal are legitimate. The California Bureau of Real Estate
believes that most, if not all, real estate contracts include such

When it comes to questionable fees, the department warns home
buyers, ". . . consumers should expect that arbitration is a real
possibility if a conflict arises in a real estate transaction."
She goes on to summarize that "if a consumer signs an arbitration
clause, they can expect arbitration." [GN]

JACKSONVILLE, FL: Responds to Fairway Oaks Residents' Class Action
Francesca Amiker, writing for News4Jax, reports that an attorney
representing Fairway Oaks residents, who have been fighting for
years to get repairs to what they call poorly built homes, said
the city of Jacksonville and Habitat for Humanity of Jacksonville
have responded to a class action lawsuit he filed in May on the
residents' behalf.

Since May 2016, the News4Jax I-TEAM has been digging into reports
that show the area in Northwest Jacksonville in which HabiJax
chose to build the 85 homes in 2000 is near a landfill that might
not have been lined in the 1950s.

Within five years of the homes being built by HabiJax and 10,000
volunteers in 17 days, residents said that they noticed their
homes were shaking and unsettled, and homeowners also began
complaining about cracked slabs, sinking, mold and termites.

But HabiJax has claimed that homeowners' "complaints stem from
lack of maintenance and not from poor construction."

Despite that assertion, Fairway Oaks residents were given hope as
they watched multiple City Council members, the mayor and even a
state senator tour their sinking homes earlier this year, but to
no avail.

Attorney Jack Krumbein, of Krumbein Law PLLC & The Strems Law
Firm, has only been working with the Fairway Oaks residents for a
few months, but he's already brought them more hope than anyone
who has stepped into their sinking and cracking homes.

"The homeowners are excited. They are energized.  They are some of
the strongest people that I've ever met," Mr. Krumbein said.
"They are individuals that have endured a difficult time in their
lives, and they need resolution."

Mr. Krumbein, who was initially contacted by Fairway Oaks
Homeowners Association president Nathaniel Borden, took a step
toward that resolution when he filed a 51-page class action
lawsuit outlining 12 different counts against both the city and
HabiJax earlier this year.

He said both parties have responded, filing motions to dismiss,
which he described as "very interesting."

Mr. Krumbein said that in their response, HabiJax and the city
claim the statute of limitations to file a lawsuit has expired,
but Mr. Krumbein said several agreements that would extend that
time frame were negotiated by his clients' previous attorneys. He
said the city and HabiJax failed to include that information in
their motions.

The case is set for its first hearing in January, and Mr. Krumbein
said it's important that it moves quickly.

"I guess my biggest concern is the amount of time it's going to
take," Mr. Krumbein said.  "Fortunately, we have a system that
allows for a judge to make a decision without a jury.  It's really
the ultimate form of society governing itself."

He said he doesn't plan on backing down and that he will prevail.
He's already in the written discovery process and has received
affidavits from nearly 60 residents, all saying they were not told
the homes were built on potentially contaminated land.

The residents are asking for undisclosed damages in the suit.

Mr. Krumbein said he is grateful to Jacksonville Area Legal Aid
for stepping in when it did, because if it had not, the situation
would have been lost.  But he wishes a lawsuit had been filed

What the lawsuit alleges

In the lawsuit, count one alleges there was a breach of contract
by HabiJax.  It says the residents were sold properties built on a
former city dump and that those homes are not habitable.

The lawsuit also claims negligence, stating that had the city and
HabiJax informed residents about the properties they were
purchasing, they would have never experienced damages.

Another count in the lawsuit is negligent misrepresentation by
HabiJax.  It states HabiJax represented that the houses met
reasonable standards of quality and habitability but that HabiJax
knew or should have known that its representation of the quality
of houses being sold to the plaintiffs wasn't right.

The lawsuit goes on to say that HabiJax concealed or left out
important facts.

Mr. Krumbein said that sometimes people have to be able to call
for a stranger's help, the same way one would call family, and
that was the call he received from Borden.

"It's a complaint that fundamentally involves breach of contract,
negligence and various other accounts, including
misrepresentation," Mr. Krumbein said.  "This is about justice."

JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Documents Reveal Mesh Marketing Tactics
Sophie Scott and Alison Branley, writing for ABC News, report that
Lamborghinis and ski trips to the Swiss Alps were among the
incentives a pharmaceutical giant developed to market a surgical
device that has ruined the lives of hundreds of Australian women.

Documents obtained by the ABC show the extent to which Johnson and
Johnson oversold its surgical mesh products, which are used to
treat incontinence and prolapse after childbirth.

They paint a picture of a company that tried to sell surgeons a
jet-setting lifestyle where they could insert four devices "before
lunch" and notch up $10,000 in surgeries in a single morning.

The mesh devices have left at least 3,000 Australian women with
serious side effects including chronic pain, infections and
inability to have sex, and are the subject of both a Senate
inquiry and a class action.

New court documents released in the class action against Johnson
and Johnson show that as early as 2009, concerns were raised
inside the company that it was making "a huge mistake" by
commercialising its latest brand of mesh, was "rushing to market",
and opening up the use of the product to "unqualified surgeons".

Lawyers from Shine, who are representing the women in the class
action, claim the pharmaceutical giant did not investigate proper
clinical trials on the possible complications of the mesh.

The revelations have angered women such as Melbourne mother Shauna
Cahill whose injuries from the mesh have left her in a wheelchair.

The 35-year-old has been in constant pain since having the
product, which is from another manufacturer, implanted just over a
year ago.

She viewed some of the marketing materials tendered to the court
and was horrified.

"If you read what's in that brochure, you'd definitely put your
hand up and say, 'I'll have one of those', but that's not what I
got," she said.

Sydney gynaecologist Professor Theirry Vancaillie has backed
patients' concerns about the marketing of the mesh kits.

"There was a tendency to operate on more patients and on patients
who may not have needed the insertion of the mesh," he said. "It's
probably been a bit oversold."

Company 'confident' of mesh safety

A spokeswoman for Johnson and Johnson said it could not comment on
documents presented in the class action because it was still
before the courts.

It said it provided safe products through surgeon training,
product safety requirements and the medical technology code of

"These products were developed in close consultation with
specialist surgeons and are backed by clinical research," she

"We have confidence in the safety and efficacy of these mesh
products, they are backed by scientific research."

The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists said the appropriate marketing of devices was
"critically important" but president Professor Steve Robson said
it was "beyond the control of the college".

Patients seeking full mesh removal say they face resistance

Women who are suffering severe side effects from the mesh said
their pain was compounded when they couldn't find an Australian
surgeon willing, or able, to fully remove the device.

Patient groups said many doctors were reluctant to fully remove
meshes because of a mistaken perception it was sufficient or safer
to only partially remove it.

Professor Vancaillie from the Women's Health Research Institute of
Australia has just returned from the United States where he's
learned to do full removals under US expert surgeon Dr Dionysios

"I believe that Dr Veronikis has shown that by removing mesh in a
number of, several hundreds of cases, that he achieves better
results in pain management," Dr Vancaillie said.
Patient groups are trying to get Dr Veronikis to visit Australia
but said they had encountered resistance.

The college maintains there are surgeons in Australia with the
required skills and all urogynaecologists are trained in the

"I'm not sure why some women have felt they need to go to America.
There are a number of units around the country who have services
specifically to deal with mesh and mesh complications," Professor
Robson said.

'There's a lot of arrogance in this industry'

Perth mother Carolyn Chisholm, who founded the Australian Pelvic
Mesh Support Group, said many surgeons in Australia had not done
the procedure.

"I have done a poll and 70 per cent of women who've had a partial
removal are worse off after their partial removal," she said.

"I think there's a lot of arrogance in this particular industry."

In the mean time, women in pain are waiting up to a year in the
public hospital system for full or partial removals.

Ms Chisholm said some patients had been told they could have a
full removal, only to experience the opposite.

"Then they go under the anaesthetic and they come out a few hours
later and the surgeon says, 'I'm really sorry we only removed 2
centimetres of your mesh'."

The college said it was important to respect surgeons' judgement
because they tried to minimise risk.

"It's very individual, it has to be something that is subject to
assessment," Professor Robson said.

'Just to make dinner, I stand there crying'

Mother of two Stella Channing said she would wait until Dr
Veronikis came to Australia.

"My mesh is like a hammock and so standing up, it's like
trampoline springs, it all pulls," she said.  "Just to make
dinner, I stand there crying."

How a vaginal mesh implant destroyed Maessen's life

Jan Maessen is calling for mesh implants to be banned, claiming
the "simple operation" destroyed her life and left her in chronic,
debilitating pain.

The Perth woman said she was unhappy with the response of her
original surgeon and a specialist pelvic pain centre, which was
unable to help her.

"I went back to the implanting surgeon and he acted as if I was
only the only one who had an issue with this mesh," she said.

"They don't know how to treat mesh-injured women, so I've actually
stopped looking for help in Australia.  It has shaken my faith in
the medical community."

The Royal Australia and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists said it was important to remember many women had
good results from mesh and it was particularly effective for
urinary incontinence.

"If women have . . . gone back to their surgeon and have not got a
fair hearing, that's wrong, I'm extremely sorry," Professor Robson

He said the profession had learned lessons from the women's health

"I don't want people to get the sense that people were guinea pigs
or experiments at all.  People were trying to help a distressing

Patients are calling for a moratorium on implanting the remaining
products on the market, but surgeons said the mesh option should
be available as a last resort. [GN]

JUNO HEALTHCARE: "Bolin" Class Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Wages
Lillie Renae Bolin, individually and on behalf of all other
similarly situated employees v. Juno Healthcare Registry, Inc. and
Does 1 through 50, inclusive, Case No. CAC-D-308 (Cal. Super. Ct.,
August 10, 2017), seeks to recover unpaid compensation for meal
and rest period violations, unpaid compensation for all hours
worked, payment of minimum and overtime wages, payment of wages
due upon termination of employment, unpaid reimbursement, and
statutory penalties, as well as interest and attorney's fees and
costs under California Labor Code.

Juno Healthcare Registry, Inc. offers staffing options to
healthcare facilities in the United States. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Graham S.P. Hollis, Esq.
      Caroline Massey, Esq.
      Paloma Acosta, Esq.
      3555 Fifth Avenue, Suite 200
      San Diego, CA 92103
      Telephone: (619) 692-0800
      Facsimile: (619) 692-0822
      E-mail: ghollis@graharnhollis.com

JUST BORN: Faces "Buso" Class Suit Over Slack-Fill Containers
Anthony Buso, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. Just Born, Inc. and Does 1 through 10, inclusive, Case
No. 3:17-cv-01630-JAH-JMA (S.D. Cal., August 11, 2017), is an
action for damages as a result of the Defendant's practice of
placing its Mike and Ike Original Fruits products in an opaque
container that contain more than 30% empty space, or slack-fill.

Just Born, Inc. operates a candy company that manufactures and
markets a number of candies including Goldenberg's Peanut Chews,
Hot Tamales, Mike and Ike, Peeps, Teenee Beanee jelly beans, and
Zours. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Scott J. Ferrell, Esq.
      A Professional Corporation
      4100 Newport Place, Ste. 800
      Newport Beach, CA  92660
      Telephone: (949) 706-6464
      Facsimile: (949) 706-6469
      E-mail: sferrell@pacifictrialattorneys.com

KIA: Faces Class Action Over Defective Rod Bearings
David A. Wood, writing for CarComplaints.com, reports that a Kia
connecting rod bearings lawsuit has been filed that alleges three
models of vehicles have defects that restrict the flow of oil
through the connecting rod bearings and to other areas of the

The engines can allegedly fail at any time while driving any
speed, leaving owners in dangerous driving conditions once the
engines stall.  According to the plaintiffs, damage to the
connecting rod bearings causes metal shavings to appear in the

Included in the proposed class-action lawsuit are the 2015-2016
Kia Optima, 2015-2016 Kia Sportage and 2015-2016 Kia Sorento
equipped with Theta 2-liter and 2.4-liter gasoline direct
injection engines.

Plaintiff Chris Stanczak leased and eventually bought a 2015 Kia
Optima LX.  In August 2016, Mr. Stanczak heard an unusual engine
noise when accelerating, so he took the Kia to a dealer that same
day.  Eight days later the dealer said there were metal shavings
inside the engine and the engine would need to be replaced.

The plaintiff asked for the repairs to be made under warranty, but
the request was denied.  The plaintiff took the car home to get a
second opinion about the engine, but on the following day the
Optima's engine seized and failed while traveling about 35 miles
per hour.

Mr. Stanczak paid $180 to have his vehicle towed back to the Kia
dealer where it remained from August 31, 2016, until October 3,
2016.  The plaintiff says he was initially told the long block
needed to be replaced, but the necessary parts were on backorder.
Mr. Stanczak then contacted Kia's corporate offices and requested
that Kia cover the repairs under its warranties, but Kia declined.

The plaintiff claims he also requested rental car coverage since
he was without his vehicle, which Kia also declined.  The
automaker also said the long block for his vehicle was no longer
in production and they needed to order a used long block.

Mr. Stanczak was allegedly told it would cost about $3,200 for the
used engine, so he asked where Kia was ordering the engine from so
he could check the price.  Mr. Stanczak says he found the price
for the engine was actually $2,210 and that the dealership was
attempting to charge him a $1,000 "finder's fee" on the engine.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiff purchased the engine
himself from Kia's source and had it shipped to the dealership,
then had to pay another $1,980.00 for labor to install the used
engine in his vehicle.

Other owners report paying more than $5,000 to replace engines in
the affected Kia vehicles, not counting the expense of rental cars
while waiting for repairs.

The plaintiffs claim that not only did Kia conceal the engines
were defective and prone to failure, the owners also have vehicles
worth much less than they should be.

According to the lawsuit, owners and lessees have told the
automaker and dealers about the engine problems, but Kia still
refuses to fix the vehicles even when they are under warranty.

The Kia connecting rod bearings lawsuit was filed in the U.S.
District Court for the Central District of California -
Christopher Stanczak and Rose Creps, et. al, v. Kia Motors America
Inc., et al.

The plaintiffs are represented by McCune Wright Arevalo LLP.

The Theta II engine has previously been the focus of a class-
action lawsuit except it was the Theta II engine installed in
Hyundai Sonata cars.  The lead plaintiff sued after claiming a
dealer wanted to charge $4,500 to replace the engine.

The Sonata lawsuit alleges the Theta II 2.4-liter engine can seize
after the connecting rods start to fail, sending metal debris
traveling throughout the engine and contaminating the oil.

CarComplaints.com has complaints about the Kia vehicles named in
the lawsuit.

Kia Optima - 2015 / 2016
Kia Sportage - 2015 / 2016
Kia Sorento - 2015 / 2016

KOHL'S CORP: Illinois Judge Trims Claims in ADA Class Action
Hannah Meisel, writing for Law360, reports that a onetime class
action suit against retailer Kohl's was trimmed further on
Aug. 11, as an Illinois federal judge severed the claims of the
once-certified class that claimed Kohl's stores' layouts violated
the Americans with Disabilities Act.

U.S. District Judge Ronald Guzman decertified the class of
shoppers in May, and on Aug. 11 severed the claims of the
remaining named plaintiffs in the suit, saying the claims were too

"As an initial matter, now that class certification has been
denied, it is not clear that joinder of the plaintiffs is proper .
. . given that their claims do not arise out of the same
transaction, occurrence or series of transactions or occurrences,"
Judge Guzman wrote in his five-page order.

The suit was originally brought in 2014 when Washington, D.C.-
based advocacy group The Equal Rights Center filed a complaint on
behalf of Kohl's customers with disabilities who claimed the
standardized layouts of Kohl's stores were not ADA-compliant.  The
complaint cited alleged issues with the width of aisles, the
height of check-out counters and inaccessible restrooms, fitting
rooms and outside parking spaces.

The ERC had investigated Kohl's stores in 13 states before filing
the suit in October of 2014 and alleged that its survey revealed
the many issues with Kohl's stores in the company's compliance
with the ADA.

But Judge Guzman in May decertified the class, pointing out that
the plaintiffs had identified only 12 individuals who reported
difficulty in accessing merchandise in 17 of the 1,149 Kohl's
locations in the United States.

Judge Guzman split the complaint among the six named plaintiffs in
the case, leaving only the case of the first named plaintiff on
his docket.  Judge Guzman also said splitting the case like this
is for the best, noting the lack of progress made at the
negotiating table in settlement talks.

"As an initial matter, the court does not have high hopes that
these parties can agree to anything," Judge Guzman wrote.  "The
case is nearly three years old, and the parties have been
attempting settlement, both on their own and with the assistance
of the magistrate judge, for months, if not years.  While
apparently relatively close to settlement at times, the parties
have been unable to seal the deal.  Therefore, the court does not
perceive that waiting for a potential resolution to the non-aisle
width claims to be a worthwhile endeavor at this point in time."

Attorney for lead plaintiff Devora Fisher, Andres Gallegos --
AGallegos@rsplaw.com -- of Robbins Salomon & Patt Ltd., told
Law360 on Aug. 14 that Judge Guzman's severance of the case was
what the plaintiffs wanted.

"We requested that the judge sever the cases as while all
plaintiffs have a material common allegation of accessibility
barriers in Kohl's stores in the form of narrowly spacing of
interior merchandise aisles that preclude persons using
wheelchairs or scooters to navigate through those aisles, each of
the plaintiffs complain of other accessibility barriers that were
not encountered by other plaintiffs at Kohl's stores, like the
absence of accessible parking, inaccessible restrooms,
inaccessible changing rooms, etc," Gallegos said in an email.  "We
look forward to prosecuting our clients' claims and seeking
justice for Kohl's violation of their civil rights."

Representatives for Kohl's could not be reached for comment on
Aug. 24.

ERC and the named plaintiffs are represented by Jennifer M. Sender
-- JSender@rsplaw.com -- Tracy E. Stevenson and Andres J. Gallegos
of Robbins Salomon & Patt Ltd. and Deepa Goraya and Matthew
Handley from the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and
Urban Affairs.

Kohl's is represented by Joel Griswold -- jcgriswold@bakerlaw.com
-- John Conlaeth McIlwee, Bonnie Keane DelGobbo --
bdelgobbo@bakerlaw.com -- and Brian C Blair --
bblair@bakerlaw.com -- of BakerHostetler.

The case is The Equal Rights Center et al. v. Kohl's Corp. et al.,
Case No. 1:14-cv-08259 (N.D. Ill.).  The case was filed October
21, 2014. [GN]

LEONARD ROOFING: Sued Over Failure to Properly Pay Employees
Christian Alanis, as an individual and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Leonard Roofing Inc. and Does 1 through 100,
Case No. BC672028 (Cal. Super. Ct., August 10, 2017), is brought
against the Defendants for failure to pay overtime wages for all
overtime hours worked, failure to provide meal periods, failure to
provide paid rest periods, and failure to timely furnish accurate
itemized wage statements.

Leonard Roofing Inc. is a roofing contractor in Temecula,
California. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Paul K. Haines, Esq.
      Fletcher W. Schmidt, Esq.
      Andrew J. Rowbotham, Esq.
      Stephanie A. Kierig, Esq.
      2274 East Maple Avenue
      El Segundo, CA 90245
      Telephone: (424) 292-2350
      Facsimile: (424) 292-2355
      E-mail: phaines@haineslawgroup.com

LOUISIANA: Faces Class Action Over Inadequate Indigent Defense
Lee Cowan, writing for CBS NEWS, reports that does our criminal
justice system truly guarantee JUSTICE FOR ALL? Not if you don't
have the money to hire your own top-notch attorney, it doesn't.

You're about to hear some pretty strong words from this law
professor . . . so strong they're almost hard to believe:

"When we pledge allegiance to the flag and we say 'liberty and
justice for all,' that's just not true. I'm sorry," said
Stephen Bright.

"So is the notion of equal justice under the law really just a
myth?" asked Ms. Cowan.

"Oh, I think it is, yes.  Unless something changes, we're going to
have to someday sandblast 'equal justice under law' off the
Supreme Court building, because for the 80% of people who are
poor, we don't have anything that comes anywhere close to being
equal justice under law."

Bright currently teaches law at Yale University, but spent much of
his career at the Southern Center for Human Rights, fighting to
help those charged with a crime but who can't afford an attorney
to defend them in court.

People like Shanna Shackelford, who says her life was ruined after
her home outside Atlanta caught fire in 2009.

She wasn't home at the time, but a small insurance policy she had
taken out on the rental house made investigators suspicious.

"I thought it was just a misunderstanding, like, they're going to
figure this out, and it's going to be okay," she told Ms. Cowan.

After a fire in her home led to an arson charge, Shanna
Shackelford had to rely on a public defender to represent her
case.  He recommended she accept 25 years behind bars. CBS NEWS
But it wasn't.  Ms. Shackelford found herself under arrest,
charged with arson. "My grandma was like, 'You might need to get
an attorney and talk to somebody,'" Shackelford said.

But she didn't have money for an attorney. So she applied for a
public defender -- a court-appointed lawyer tasked with making
sure the 6th Amendment is upheld. (That's the part of our
Constitution that guarantees any of us the "assistance of

It's a right that's been tested in court, most notably in a case
brought in the '60s by a petty thief in Florida named Clarence
Gideon. Unable to afford an attorney, Gideon was convicted and
sentenced without one.

He appealed, arguing his right to an attorney had been violated,
and the U.S. Supreme Court agreed.  But while the Constitution may
promise everyone legal counsel, it says nothing about the quality
of that legal counsel, a deficit Shackelford felt right away.

She told Cowan it took about two for her to hear from her public
defender: "His response was, 'I have a bunch of cases like yours,
so I'll get to it when I get to it.'"

When he finally did "get to it," instead of going over the details
of her case, Ms. Schackelford says he simply told her to plead
guilty, and take 25 years behind bars.

"He said, 'If you didn't do it, who did?'  And I said, 'I don't
know, but I didn't burn it down.' He was like, 'Well, I mean,
looks like you did.' He knew nothing about my case when he was
talking to me. He was mixing me up with some other case -- like,
he had no idea what was going on."

Ms. Shackelford's case is not unusual.  Nearly every case, roughly
90% in fact, often end in a guilty plea, largely because even if a
poor defendant is innocent, most can't afford bail or to wait in
jail for trial, which means losing their jobs, their cars, maybe
even their homes in the process.

"Being arrested and spending four or five days in jail can be
enough to ruin a person's life, even if they're ultimately found
not to be guilty of anything," said Stephen Bright.

Take the city of Cordele, Georgia, for example, where at one
hearing defendants all plead guilty as a group, with no evidence
presented. Bright calls it the "Meet 'em and plead 'em" defense.

"You'll see a crowded courtroom and there will be a lawyer there
with his legal pad, and he'll be, 'Ms. Smith? Is Ms. Smith . . .?
Raise your hand,'" said Mr. Bright.  "They're trying to identify
their own clients! They're getting ready to go before a judge in
just a moment."

Ms. Cowan saw the same thing happen in a Miami courtroom, where
one Public Defender had to handle a crowd of clients all at once.

"I don't care who the person is, I don't care how dedicated they
are; you cannot represent 500 criminal clients at the same time
and give those clients the representation that they're entitled
to," said Bright.

Nowhere is the problem of indigent defense more acute than in
Louisiana, which has the highest incarceration rate not only in
the country, but in the world.

Rhonda Covington is the sole public defender responsible for
representing anyone too poor to afford a lawyer in her judicial
district.  That district encompasses about a thousand square

She says she has to defend five to six hundred people every year.
The professional standard, according to the American Bar
Association, is about 150 felony cases a year . . . and some think
even that's too much.

Ms. Covington has two paralegals and two contract attorneys who
help with the load, but they're only part time. It's mostly just
her and her two cats (named Liberty and Justice).

She even cleans the office herself.

"Some people say, 'Well, any defense will do,'" Ms. Covington
said. "And some people think, 'Well, you know, they shouldn't have
representation because they've been arrested.' My job is not to
get people off when they've committed crimes.  That's not what I
do. What I do is to ensure that their Constitutional rights are

The bulk of the state funding for Louisiana's Public Defender
offices comes from an unpredictable source: its traffic tickets,
which out on these country roads isn't exactly a windfall.

According to Covington, the District Attorney's office budget is
five to six times hers.

"And out of that budget comes assistants, and investigators, and
access to pay for things like DNA testing?" asked Cowan.

"Exactly.  I've gone to crime scenes before with my own camera
taking photographs.  Each year, it's always something a little
less, a little less, a little less."

Doing more with less is why she thinks she lost the case for one
of her clients, 56-year-old James Waltman.  She told him, "I've
decided to go ahead and file a second motion for a new trial,
citing the reason being that we had insufficient funds in order to
investigate your case."

Mr. Waltman admitted he assaulted his wife during an argument, but
the state also charged him with kidnapping and rape -- sentence-
heavy crimes he insists he never committed.  Rhonda believes with
some investigation she could have at least lessened the charges.
But she didn't have the time or the money. "I couldn't shut down
my whole office for that one case," she explained.

"Being innocent I had all the confidence in the world, that I'd
walk out," Mr. Waltman said, getting emotional.  "But it didn't

All across Louisiana, public defenders in 33 of the state's 44
judicial districts now admit they're in the same boat Rhonda
Covington is in; they're simply too busy to ethically handle their

"If you ain't' got a paid lawyer, you're going to go through
this," said Joseph Allen. He was arrested last year in Baton Rouge
for a firearms violation, as well as a marijuana charge. The court
didn't even know he was in jail, because his public defender
didn't know he was in jail.

Ms. Cowan asked, "Did you feel like anybody was on your side?"

"Not really. No," he replied.

"Nobody there to sort of help you through the legal maze, nobody
to explain the charges?"

"No, sir. I did all that up on my own, reading the law book."

Now, Mr. Allen and 12 others are suing Louisiana's Governor and
the Public Defender Board in a class action lawsuit brought by the
Southern Poverty Law Center.

"We're arguing that being appointed an attorney who doesn't know
who you are, doesn't investigate your case, doesn't come to see
you, doesn't take your calls, doesn't ask for a bond reduction,
doesn't investigate the evidence, doesn't talk to any witnesses,
and doesn't do anything else to move your case, file any motions
that are particularized to you, you don't have an attorney; you
have an attorney in name only," said Lisa Graybill, Southern
Poverty Law Center's deputy legal director.

"I don't believe in filing lawsuits unless you really have to,
right?" she said.  "If there were a way to avoid filing it, we
would have, but this injustice has gone on really for too long.
It's unacceptable."

Back in Georgia, Shanna Shackelford spent years researching her
case by herself. Her public defender was too busy with other
cases, she says.

In the process, she lost two jobs and her home. After all, who
wants to hire or rent to a suspected arsonist?

Had it not been for Stephen Bright -- the only person who would
seriously look into her case -- Ms. Shackelford would probably be
in jail. His investigation, which he did for free, proved that the
fire was the result of faulty wiring, not arson.

It took him just two weeks to get her case dismissed.

"Two weeks," Shackelford said.  "That's all it took.  Someone to
do a little research, and try."

It still took Shackelford three more years to get the charge off
her record.

But now with the nightmare finally behind her, she has started
anew.  She's opening her own business, and focusing on being a mom
to her two-year-old son, Ja'Ben.

"You did get justice, but not the way it should have come," said
Ms. Cowan.  "Or at the price."

"No," she said.  "It was almost like having to give up my life,
for my freedom.  And that's what I had to choose in the end.  I
had to give up so many years in order to get the point of
freedom." [GN]

LUCAVA INC: Underpays Restaurant Staff, "Vidal" Suit Claims
individual, the Defendant, Case No. 516022/2017 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.,
Aug. 17, 2017), seeks compensatory damages and liquidated damages
in an amount exceeding $100,000.

Victor Vidal was employed by Defendants as a salad man, pasta
maker, cook, while performing other miscellaneous tasks, at
Giovanni's Brooklyn Eats, currently located at 1657 8th Avenue,
Brooklyn, New York 11215.

The worked approximately 57 hours or more per week during the
period of his employment by Defendants, Defendants did not pay
Plaintiff time and a half (1.5) of his regular hourly wage for
hours worked over 40, a blatant violation of the overtime
provisions contained in the New York Labor Law, the Complaint
says.  The Defendants willfully failed to post notices of the
minimum wage and overtime wage requirements in a conspicuous place
at the location of their employment as required by the NYLL. The
Defendants willfully failed to keep payroll records as required by
the NYLL. As a result of these violations of New York State labor
laws. The Plaintiffs also seek interest, attorney's fees, costs,
and all other legal and equitable remedies this Court deems

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Roman Avshalumov, Esq.
          69-12 Austin Street
          Forest Hills, NY 11375
          Telephone: (718) 263 9591

MARAH FASHION: "Lobos" Suit Seeks Unpaid Wages under Labor Code
SONIA LOBOS, as an individual and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v. MARAH FASHION, INC., a
California Corporation; and DOES 1 through 100, the Defendants,
Case No. BC672781 (Cal. Super. Ct., Aug. 17, 2017), seeks to
recover unpaid wages and penalties under California Labor Code.

According to the complaint, the Plaintiff worked overtime hours
during her employment, but was not paid any overtime wages for
such hours. Rather, Plaintiff was only paid per the piece-rate
system and subsequently per the weekly "salary" beginning in
approximately April 2016, even though she fit no recognized
exemption from overtime requirements under the law. The Plaintiff
scheduled work hours were 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through
Friday, and 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday. However,
Plaintiff was required to arrive 10 minutes early, was never
permitted to leave early, and at times would be required to stay
until 5:50 or 6:00 p.m. Furthermore, Defendants often required
Plaintiff to take work home with her to be completed prior to
returning to work the following morning, which would sometimes
take until 3:00 a.m. to complete. However, Defendants did not
permit Plaintiff or other non-exempt employees to punch their own
timecards, but rather, had another employee assigned to punch all
non-exempt employees' timecards so that they reflected work hours
of only 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and paid no
overtime compensation whatsoever.

Marah Fashion is doing business in women's clothing stores

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Paul K. Haines, Esq.
          Fletcher W. Schmidt, Esq.
          Andrew J. Rowbotham, Esq.
          Stephanie A. Kierig, Esq.
          2274 East Maple Avenue
          El Segundo, CA 90245
          Telephone: (424) 292 2350
          Facsimile: (424) 292 2355
          E-mail: phaines@haineslawgroup.com

MASTERCARD INC: Class Action Over Interchange Fees Revived
Press Association reports that a proposed GBP14bn class action
lawsuit against Mastercard is being revived after lawyers filed to
appeal against a ruling that barred the case from heading to trial
last month.

Lawyers for former financial ombudsman Walter Merricks have made
their application to the UK's Competition Appeal Tribunal just
weeks after it refused to certify his claim.

Mr. Merricks' claim was lodged on behalf of nearly 46 million
consumers and alleged that Mastercard's interchange fees forced
consumers to pay higher prices to businesses that accept the
credit card over a 16-year period, therefore breaching EU
competition law. The damages being sought were more than GBP14

The tribunal ruled that the case could not proceed through a so-
called collective action, saying that even if losses had been
suffered and could be estimated across the whole class, there was
no way of ensuring that an individual would receive an amount
compensating for any loss suffered.

Mr. Merricks says that the tribunal should have considered the
"clear policy intent" behind the claim against Mastercard.

"In essence this is a simple case. It has been conclusively
established that Mastercard acted unlawfully and anti-
competitively in imposing excessive credit and debit card fees,"
Merricks said.

He added: "If I can establish the total amount of harm that
Mastercard has caused to UK consumers, then why should consumers
then get nothing at all if I cannot calculate the precise loss
that each individual consumer suffered?

"Rather than allow consumer recovery, this would reward unlawful
conduct by allowing companies to keep their ill-gotten gains.'

Mastercard has until 8 September to respond to the filing, after
which point the tribunal could decide to hold a hearing on the
appeal application before issuing its judgment.

A spokesman for Mastercard, which said it welcomed the tribunal's
ruling, said that an appeal against the CAT's decision would be
"without merit".

"Consumers across the UK and around the world derive real value
from Mastercard's payments technology through the benefits of
security, convenience and consumer protection.

"We believe that any appeal or review by Walter Merricks is
without merit and that the Competition Appeal Tribunal's judgment
to refuse certification for the proposed collective action was the
correct decision.

"Mastercard maintains that this claim is completely unsuitable to
be brought under the collective actions regime." [GN]

MONSANTO INC: Class Action Over Roundup Product Labeling Okayed
Sam Knef, writing for St. Louis Record, reports that plaintiffs in
a proposed class action against Monsanto over alleged
"overstatements" in the number of gallons that concentrated
Roundup products make survived a defense motion to dismiss with
the opportunity to amend their claims.

U.S. District Judge Audrey Fleissig on Aug. 7 ruled that claims
involving Roundup Concentrate Plus should be dismissed because
plaintiff Joshua Rawa did not actually buy that product; rather he
only purchased Roundup Super Concentrate.  Mr. Rawa was given 14
days to add another plaintiff who did purchase Roundup Concentrate

"The 'Makes Up to 23 Gallons' label on the front of Super
Concentrate may well put a reasonable consumer on notice to check
elsewhere on the container's labeling for mixing directions to
obtain that yield," Judge Fleissig wrote.  "And indeed, mixing
directions were provided on the circular diagram on the front of
the back booklet label.

"But those directions, if followed, would result in much less than
23 gallons of weed killer.  Significantly, the front of the
booklet label did not direct a consumer to check the inside of the
booklet label for other mixing options; nor did any part of the
labeling on the front of the container.  And the front of the back
label did not qualify that the listed ratio was for the strongest
solution, with more diluted options available."

The case filed earlier this year alleges that label instructions
that say the "up to" the amount displayed on the front of the
container was deceptive because that statement was based on a
mixing instruction "buried" inside the booklet label rather than
on the front of the back booklet label.

Plaintiffs say that "reasonable consumers" would not see it before
buying because they would not feel they were permitted to open the
booklet label before purchase.

They claim the practice violates the Missouri Merchandise
Practices Act (MMPA).

The proposed class would include persons, other than Californians,
who bought the Roundup products on or after April 5, 2012.

"Plaintiff alleges that he and the other putative class members
have suffered an ascertainable loss within the meaning of the
MMPA, because the actual value of the Roundup Concentrate they
purchased was less than the value of the product as represented,"
the suit claims. [GN]

NATIONAL COLLEGIATE: Faces New Concussion Class Action
Darren Heitner, writing for Forbes, reports that a new lawsuit
against the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and
the American Southwest Conference (ASC) has somewhat flown under
the radar of many journalists.  The suit, filed by plaintiff David
Foreman in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
Indiana, is in the form of a class action complaint that claims
the defendants sacrificed player safety in favor of profits and

It is essentially another concussion-related case, where Foreman
says that the NCAA and ASC were negligent and failed to implement
and enforce regulations that would properly protect student-
athletes from the risks associated with concussions and/or manage
those risks.

"By the early-1990s at the latest, the NCAA was aware that the
number of concussions was increasing and occurring over a broad
range of sports (the ASC was aware of this threat when it was
formed in 1994)," states the Complaint.  "Despite this knowledge,
the NCAA and its member conferences suppressed and kept secret
from student-athletes, information about the extent of concussion
injuries in NCAA college football and their long-term

The lawsuit was filed on August 7 and there has not been a
response filed as of yet.

NBA Veteran Zach Randolph Dealing With A Weed Issue

Thirty-six year old NBA veteran Zach Randolph found himself
arrested with allegedly possessing two pound of weed in a large
backpack. The arrest was for possession with intent to sell, which
is considered a felony.

The expectation is that the NBA and the Sacramento Kings, which
employs Randolph, will hold off on taking any disciplinary action
against him.  If the NBA wants, it could likely suspend Randolph
under Article 35 of the NBA Constitution which gives the
Commissioner the power to suspend a player for any "conduct that
does not conform to standards of morality or fair play, that does
not comply at all times with all federal, state, and local laws,
or that is prejudicial or detrimental to the NBA."

NFL Gets Some Relief From Insurers In Concussion-Related Case

The NFL has come to settlements with six out of the dozens of
insurers that it is litigating against with regard to the massive
concussion settlement that players had to register for by a
deadline that passed earlier this month.  There is strong
incentive for the NFL to settle the claims in order to do whatever
is necessary to avoid potentially devastating evidence from
reaching the public eye, which could come out in a lawsuit's
discovery process.  There is also good reason for the insurers to
come to the table with at least some money to cover a part of the
enormous costs incurred by the NFL in order to continue solid
relationships with the NFL, which undoubtedly pays large premiums
for coverage. [GN]

NEW ORLEANS, LA: Katrina Survivors Shocked with Settlement Checks
Grace White, writing for KHOU 11, reports that people who survived
Hurricane Katrina feel like they're getting hit again 12 years
later with settlement checks from a class action lawsuit.

A mother who rebuilt her life in Houston, couldn't believe it when
she got hers for only $52.82 dollars.

The checks were mailed out July 31, 2017 and 125,000 people from
New Orleans are receiving them.  It's all part of a $20 million
dollar settlement with local governing bodies, called levee

It may sound like a big number, but Veronica Bowman says her cut
was shocking.

It's an answer the mom has waited years for.

"I was like, are you serious?" said Ms. Bowman, an evacuee.

The check from Hurricane Katrina read more like a slap in the

"I didn't know what to think, I thought it was a joke," said
Ms. Bowman.

Memories of boarding a bus 12 years ago with her sons ages 5,6 and
7 still brings tears to her eyes.

"My son asked me, 'Momma, where are we going?' and I said, 'Well,
I don't know, because they didn't tell us yet . . . '" said
Ms. Bowman.

She and her family ended up in Houston.

"I love Houston, I didn't ask to come down here but I had to, I
had no choice," she said.

However, this mom did have a choice to make the most of it.

She raised three sons, one was even featured as KHOU's "Athlete of
the Week."  Her son, Rakeem Boyd was a stand out on the field for
Stratford High and went on to play college ball.

"Every since we came here, for Katrina, they've been playing
sports," said Bowman.

Eventually, the home-healthcare provider and Uber driver joined a
class action lawsuit, she thought it would help her family get
back on their feet.

"You tell us not to call, not to appeal, so who do we talk to?"
she asked.

However, a $52 dollar outcome is a far cry from peace.

"It's not about the color, it's about us, we deserve respect, we
deserve much more respect out here," said Ms. Bowman.

The New Orleans attorney, Joseph M. Bruno, who handled the lawsuit
told KHOU 11 each claim was paid out based on an impact survey
each person filled out.

Most people did receive settlements between $50 to $150 dollars. A
few people did receive compensation in the thousands. [GN]

ONE TECHNOLOGIES: Fifth Circuit Appeal Filed in "Forby" Suit
Plaintiff Vickie Forby filed an appeal from a court ruling in the
lawsuit titled Vickie Forby v. One Technologies, L.P., et al.,
Case No. 3:16-CV-856, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Texas, Dallas.

As previously reported in the Class Action Reporter, the District
Court granted the Defendants' motion to compel arbitration and
dismiss the case.

Plaintiff Vickie Forby filed a class action complaint in Illinois
state court against One Technologies, LP; One Technologies
Management LLC; and One Technologies Capital LLP alleging claims
for violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act and unjust
enrichment.  The Plaintiff contends that the Defendants' Web site
leads consumers to believe they are signing up for a free credit

The appellate case is captioned as Vickie Forby v. One
Technologies, L.P., et al., Case No. 17-10883, in the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.[BN]

Plaintiff-Appellant VICKIE FORBY, individually and on behalf of
all others similarly situated in Illinois, is represented by:

          Edwin J. Kilpela, Esq.
          1133 Penn Avenue
          Pittsburgh, PA 15212
          Telephone: (412) 322-9243
          Facsimile: (412) 231-0246
          E-mail: ekilpela@carlsonlynch.com

represented by:

          Jonathan Ryan Childers, Esq.
          2100 Ross Avenue
          Dallas, TX 75201
          Telephone: (214) 981-3800
          E-mail: jchilders@lynnllp.com

               - and -

          Andrew Patrick LeGrand, Esq.
          2100 McKinney Avenue
          Dallas, TX 75201-6912
          Telephone: (214) 698-3405
          E-mail: alegrand@gibsondunn.com

PALM BEACH, FL: Files Summary Judgment Motion in Utilities Case
William Kelly, writing for Palm Beach Daily News, reports that the
town is asking a judge to rule in its favor without a trial in its
legal battle with two residents over the payment plan for the
utilities undergrounding project.

The town filed the motion for a summary judgment on Aug. 8 in Palm
Beach County Circuit Court against Carol Kosberg and Michael
Scharf, whose lawsuit challenges special assessments on property

More on the Palm Beach utilities undergrounding project

"Hopefully, we will have a quick resolution of that matter," Town
Manager Tom Bradford told the Town Council on Aug. 9.

A hearing date has not been set.

Meanwhile, the council approved $175,000 to pay for legal counsel,
consulting and experts to fight the Kosberg/Scharf suit and
another class action suit filed Aug. 1 by PBT Real Estate LLC,
based at the Palm Beach Towers condominium building.  That suit,
also filed in Palm Beach Circuit Court, alleges the owners of the
273 units at the Towers building at 44 Cocoanut Row should not be
assessed because the building already has underground utilities.
The Towers' condo association has disavowed any connection with
the suit.

Town Attorney John Randolph said the town plans to file a motion
in the PBT Real Estate suit similar to the one filed in the
Kosberg/Scharf case.

Ms. Kosberg, a South End condominium owner, and Mr. Scharf, a
North End resident and former zoning commissioner, sued the town
July 28, alleging the special assessments are invalid because the
town relied on a consultant's "arbitrary assessment methodology."
The consultant's report "hypothesized" special benefits of safety,
reliability and aesthetics based on a property's size, density,
location and other factors, they contend in the suit.

The residents want a judge to certify the case as a class action,
declare the special assessments void, and permanently block the
town from imposing special assessments.

In its motion, the town noted that a judge recently ruled in its
favor in another legal case involving the utilities project.  In
that instance, South End resident Arthur Goldmacher asked a judge
to void the result of a March 2016 referendum in which voters
approved up to $90 million in bonds to finance the utilities
project, secured by the special assessments.

Mr. Goldmacher argued the town misled voters in the ballot
language about how it intended to repay the bond debt.  Palm Beach
Circuit Judge Cymonie Rowe disagreed, granting the town's motion
for a judgment without a trial.

"In essence, Kosberg and Scharf are simply unwilling to accept the
results of the vote and the effect of this court's ruling
determining the validity of the bonds and allowing the town to
proceed to issue bonds . . ." the town's motion states.

The town also notes that the court has "validated bonds, secured
by special assessments based on similar categories of benefits and
methodology, for the Town of Gulf Stream and Jupiter Inlet

Mr. Goldmacher has appealed the judge's ruling to the 4th District
Court of Appeals in West Palm Beach.  Ms. Kosberg has dropped an
earlier lawsuit she filed against the town, also challenging the

To date, the town has spent $168,000 battling the original Kosberg
suit and the Goldmacher suit.  The legal costs are not part of the
underground utilities budget and are not paid with the special
assessment revenue.  Instead, they are paid by the taxpayers of
the town, Town Council President Richard Kleid said.

PRUDENTIAL RETIREMENT: Class Action Status Denied in ERISA Case
John Manganaro, writing for PlanAdviser, reports that a federal
district court judge has denied class action status to an ERISA
challenge filed by a retirement plan participant invested in a
stable value product offered by Prudential.

The suit, filed against Prudential Retirement Insurance and
Annuity Company in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Connecticut, alleged that the firm improperly assessed and failed
to disclose compensation derived from clients' investment in a
stable value fund.

As laid out in the initial complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that
Prudential sets the crediting rate for certain stable value funds
"well below its internal rate of return on the invested capital it
holds through the SVAs.  Thus, the company guarantees a
substantial profit for itself . . . It does not disclose to its
retirement plan clients and their respective participants the
difference between its internal rate of return and the crediting
rate.  Thus, the company collects tens of millions of dollars
annually in undisclosed compensation from the retirement plans and
participants to whom it owes the highest duties known to the law,
in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
(ERISA) and statutory disclosure obligations."

Among other allegations, plaintiffs also charged that Pruential
"does not provide reasonable notice of a change in the crediting
rate. Accordingly, a plan cannot reasonably terminate [the stable
value investment contract] if defendant imposes an unfavorable
crediting rate.  Further . . . defendant imposes substantial
penalties on the plans should the plans attempt to terminate the
[contract] because of an unfavorable rate.  Thus, plan fiduciaries
are effectively precluded from making determinations concerning
the reasonableness of the crediting rate, and from replacing the
[contract] with another stable value fund when a crediting rate
imposed by defendant is unreasonable."

In seeking class certification and determining the proposed scope
of the class, the suit cites Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure.  The plaintiff's conclusion is bold and the suit seeks
to include "all ERISA covered employee pension benefit plans whose
plan assets were invested in Prudential Retirement Insurance and
Annuity Company's Group Annuity Contract Stable Value Funds within
the six years prior to, on or after December 3, 2015."

Turning to the decision recently issued by the Connecticut
district court, it seems Prudential has successfully convinced the
court that certain assertions in the challenge are faulty, leading
to the result that class certification is in appropriate.  In
particular, the court notes, "while the plaintiff has offered
evidence that 'most pools' used the same crediting rate,
defendants counter that plans invested in [the relevant products
called out by the suit] benefit from a 'wide range' of crediting
rates, and that [the products] provide distinct rate changes to at
least 20% of the rate pools."

Strictly speaking, Prudential did not challenge the "numerosity
prerequisite" set forth in Rule 23(a), and the court "therefore
considered only whether the plaintiff's proposed class satisfies
requirements for commonality, typicality, and adequacy of
representation." [GN]

PURDUE PHARMA: Southington May Join Opioid Addiction Suit
Mike Savino, writing for Record-Journal, reports that Southington
is considering joining other towns in filing a lawsuit against
some pharmaceutical companies over soaring rates of opioid

"I'm very excited," Southington Town Council Chairman Michael
Riccio said on Aug. 14 about possibly joining the lawsuit, which
Waterbury Mayor Neil O'Leary is attempting to organize.  "It's
about time the drug companies start paying for the mess that they
have created."

Mr. Riccio said he wasn't sure how far talks have progressed, but
he expects the matter to come up for discussion by the rest of the
council in the near future. Town Manager Garry Brumback couldn't
be reached for comment.

The Journal Inquirer reported over the weekend that Southington is
one of 10 towns considering joining Waterbury.  Mr. O'Leary
notified towns in a June memo, circulated by the Connecticut
Conference of Municipalities, that the firm Simmons, Hanly, and
Conroy would be willing to represent a collection of
municipalities for free.

The firm also represents municipal or county governments from New
York, Illinois, Louisiana, and Texas in similar lawsuits.

Meriden City Manager Guy Scaife said he thinks states, not
municipalities or counties, should take the lead on filing class
action lawsuits, though.

"If there's a legitimate concern, it's not unique to Connecticut,"
Mr. Scaife said, adding he hasn't had discussions with other city
officials about it yet.

Similarly, Cheshire Town Manager Michael Milone said he hasn't
given much consideration to joining any potential legal action.
"At this point, we have no intention because we didn't know they
were going to pursue it," he said.

Mr. Milone added he would need to get more information before
approaching the town council about its desire.

The possibility of legal action comes as municipalities say the
opioid epidemic is putting an increasing strain on already tight

David Lowell, chief operating officer for Hunter's Ambulance
Services in Meriden, said paramedics responded to roughly 40 calls
for opioid-related overdoses in just the first three months, with
six resulting in deaths.

Lowell, also on the city council, said that's double the number of
deaths from the same time period in 2016, when Connecticut saw
overdose related deaths sore to 917. In 2012, the state saw just
357 overdose deaths.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is the largest cause in the spike in
deaths, with 479 incidents of someone having traces in their
systems. Heroin remains the most common, with 504 people found
with traces, but there can be overlap in cases of the two drugs
being combined.

Lowell, who participated in a podcast on the topic, tracks the
locations, and said most people would be surprised to see overdose
calls coming from all over the city.

"No one's immune to it," he said.  "It's in public spaces, it's in
homes across our community."  Public health officials have blamed
opioid painkillers for the spike in addiction, saying an over
reliance on pills has caused more people across the country to
become addicted.

When patients are unable to get refills on their prescriptions,
though, they often turn to drugs like heroin or fentanyl, which
has caused prices for opioid drugs to plummet because it is so
cheaply produced.  It's also far more potent than heroin, though,
resulting in the spike in overdoses.

Should municipalities decide to file a class action lawsuit, it
would follow the rationale behind the complaint filed by more than
40 states in the mid-1990s.  That lawsuit resulted in tobacco
companies repaying states for nearly $250 billion in medical

Mr. Scaife said that lawsuit demonstrates that states, not
municipalities, would be better positioned to take similar action

Attorney General George Jepsen announced in June that Connecticut
was participating in a multi-state investigation into whether
pharmaceutical companies engaged in unlawful practices in the
marketing or sale of prescription painkillers.

Jaclyn Severance, a spokeswoman for Jepsen, said Aug. 14 that the
investigation is ongoing. [GN]

RECKITT BENCKISER: Falsely Marketed Air Wick(R) Sprays, Suit Says
Brigitte Akwei, Donna Sims and Joe Drew, individually and on
behalf of all others similarly situated v. Reckitt Benckiser LLC,
Case No. 1:17-cv-06080 (S.D.N.Y., August 11, 2017), arises out of
the Defendant's false, deceptive and misleading marketing campaign
that actively promotes the capabilities of Air Wick(R) aerosol
sprays, claiming on the front labels that this product "eliminates
odors", when in fact aerosol sprays cannot eliminate odors.
Instead, the Air Wick(R) aerosol sprays merely mask odors.

Reckitt Benckiser LLC is a global manufacturer of household
cleaning supplies and other consumer chemicals. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      C.K. Lee, Esq.
      Anne Seelig, Esq.
      30 East 39th Street, Second Floor
      New York, NY 10016
      Telephone: (212) 465-1188
      Facsimile: (212) 465-1181

RESORT MARKETING: Settles Class Action Over Telemarketing Calls
7 News WHDH reports that if you are one of the many people who
received a robo phone call offering up a free cruise, you may be
able to get $900 out of it.

According to a class-action lawsuit, Resort Marketing Group made
"pre-recorded telemarketing calls to landlines and cell phones
offering free cruises with Carnival, Royal Caribbean, and
Norwegian as promotions."  The lawsuit alleges that these calls
violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The website for the lawsuit states that the defendants have denied
any wrong-doing, and have instead reached a settlement.

As a result, many people who received one of the phone calls
between July 2009 and March 2014 may be eligible for up to $300 in
compensation.  Also, if you received multiple calls, you could
receive a maximum of $900.

To find out if you were on the receiving end of these calls, visit
the website at:


and enter your phone number.  To file a claim, visit:

          https://www.rmgtcpasettlement.com/Landing.aspx [GN]

RICE ENERGY: Faces "Boerger" Class Suit Over Proposed EQT Merger
Kathryn Boerger, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated v. Rice Energy, Inc., Robert F. Vagt, Daniel J. Rice, IV,
Toby Z. Rice, Daniel J. Rice, III, James W. Christmas, John
McCartney, and Kathryn J. Jackson, Case No. 1:17-cv-01127-UNA (D.
Del., August 11, 2017), is brought on behalf of all public
stockholders of Rice Energy, Inc. to enjoin the proposed
acquisition of Rice by EQT Corporation for $27.04 per share.

According to the complaint, Rice filed a Form S-4 Registration
Statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, in
order to convince Rice's stockholders to vote in favor of the
Proposed Transaction. However, the Registration Statement contains
incomplete and materially misleading information regarding: (i)
the process leading to the Proposed Transaction; (ii) the
financial analyses conducted by the Company's financial advisor,
Barclays Capital, Inc. ("Barclays"), in connection with the
Proposed Transaction; and (iii) the projections relied upon by
Barclays in performing its valuation analyses. For these reasons,
the Plaintiff seeks to enjoin the Defendants from taking any steps
to consummate the Proposed Transaction unless and until the
material information discussed is disclosed to Rice stockholders
before the vote on the Proposed Transaction or, in the event the
Proposed Transaction is consummated, recover damages resulting
from the Defendants' violations of the Exchange Act.

Rice Energy, Inc. is an independent natural gas and oil company
focused on the acquisition, exploration, and development of
natural gas, oil, and natural gas liquids properties in the
Appalachian Basin. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Michael Van Gorder, Esq.
      20 Montchanin Road, Suite 145
      Wilmington, DE 19807
      Telephone: (302) 482-3182
      E-mail: mvangorder@faruqilaw.com

         - and -

      Michael J. Palestina, Esq.
      Christopher Tillotson, Esq.
      206 Covington Street
      Madisonville, LA 70447
      Telephone: (504) 455-1400
      Facsimile: (504) 455-1498
      E-mail: Michael.Palestina@ksfcounsel.com

SALERNO CORP: "Vazquez" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Wages
Humberto Vazquez, on behalf of himself and other similarly
situated employees v. Salerno Corp. d/b/a Gino's of Kissena
Pizzeria and Restaurant, Alfredo Molinari, and Anthony Molinari,
Case No. 1:17-cv-04710 (E.D.N.Y., August 10, 2017), seeks to
recover unpaid minimum wages, unpaid overtime compensation,
liquidated damages, prejudgment and post-judgment interest, and
attorneys' fees and costs pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards

The Defendants own and operate a restaurant located at 65-01
Kissena Boulevard, Flushing, New York 11367. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Justin Cilenti, Esq.
      Peter H. Cooper, Esq.
      708 Third Avenue - 6th Floor
      New York, NY 10017
      Telephone: (212) 209-3933
      Facsimile: (212) 209-7102
      E-mail: info@jcpclaw.com

SAN JUAN COUNTY, NM: Settles Immigration Class Action
Hannah Grover, writing for Farmington Daily Times, reports that
new signs at the San Juan County Adult Detention Center inform
inmates that they do not have to talk to Immigration and Customs
Enforcement officials.

The signs, which are in both Spanish and English, are one of the
changes the county is making following a class action lawsuit,
which was recently settled.  In addition to the signs, the county
has agreed not to proactively inform ICE prior to releasing an
inmate, according to county attorney Doug Echols.

The class action lawsuit was filed in 2014 by Somos Un Pueblo
Unido, a Santa Fe-based immigration rights group, on behalf of
immigrants who say their rights were violated by the San Juan
County Adult Detention Center.  Among these immigrants was one of
the original plaintiffs, Susana Palacios-Valencia. Palacios-
Valencia was awarded $25,000. Somos Un Pueblo Unido received

"These types of collaborations between our local government and
ICE make our entire community less safe," said Susana Palacios-
Valencia in a press release.  "This settlement is proof of what is
possible when we come together, organize to defend our rights
under the constitution and fight back. We are not afraid to defend
our families and community."

More than 190 people who were held at the detention center for
three years leading up to the lawsuit were eligible to receive
$2,000.  Mr. Echols said 27 of them came forward.  Mr. Echols said
the county paid a $50,000 deductible and the rest was paid by the
county's insurance. The insurance paid about $300,000.

He said the majority of the changes stipulated in the settlement
were already made prior to the lawsuit being filed.  A series of
federal cases ruled that holding inmates for ICE detainers was
unconstitutional. Following the recommendations of the New Mexico
Association of Counties, San Juan County changed its policy.

"It was easy to agree to not do something we were already not
doing," Echols said about the settlement. [GN]

SANDFORD OIL: "Arenas" Suit Transferred to East. District Texas
The class action lawsuit filed on April 12, 2016, entitled Ashland
Arenas, Jason Villareal, Cedric Camp and Joe Rojas, on behalf of
themselves and all others similarly situated v. Sandford Oil
Company, Inc., Sandford Oil South Texas, Inc., Western
Transportation, Inc., Coastline Transportation, Inc. and R Blake
Sandford, Case No. 2:16-cv-00119, was transferred on August 11,
2017, from District of Texas Southern to the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of Texas (Sherman). The District Court
Clerk assigned Case No. 4:17-cv-00562-ALM to the proceeding.

The case is brought against the Defendants for failure to pay
overtime wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Defendants are in the business of distributing distillate fuel
in the southern United States. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      James M. Loren, Esq.
      George Z. Goldberg, Esq.
      Rachael Rustmann, Esq.
      3102 Maple Ave, Suite 450
      Dallas, TX 75201
      Telephone: (469) 412-4222
      Facsimile: (954) 585-4886
      E-mail: Jloren@goldbergloren.com

The Defendant is represented by:

      Edward Mason Smith, Esq.
      1607 West Avenue
      Austin, TX 78701
      Telephone: (512) 328-1540
      Facsimile: (512) 328-1541
      E-mail: tsmith@cornellsmith.com

         - and -

      Kimberly Rives Miers, Esq.
      Earl M. Jones III, Esq.
      Jessica E Anderson, Esq.
      2001 Ross Ave., Suite 1500, Lock Box 116
      Dallas, TX 75201-2931
      Telephone: (214) 880-8100
      Facsimile: (214) 880-0181
      E-mail: kmiers@littler.com

SCE&G: Faces Class Action Over V.C. Summer Project
FITS reports that the fallout from #NukeGate is headed to a South
Carolina courtroom . . . the first of what we suspect will be
multiple legal entanglements related to the abandonment of a
multi-billion dollar nuclear power project in the Palmetto State.

Two weeks ago, government-run energy provider Santee Cooper pulled
the plug on the V.C. Summer project -- a pair of half-completed
nuclear reactors under construction in Jenkinsville, S.C.

The state-owned utility's decision to terminate the V.C. Summer
project killed at least 5,000 jobs, threw the state's energy
future into chaos and squandered billions of dollars in investment
(including $2 billion coughed up by Palmetto State ratepayers).

Now a lawsuit has been filed seeking to recoup this investment,
although the party named in the suit isn't the government utility
that killed the project -- it's a subsidiary of SCANA, the private
sector utility that was partnering with Santee Cooper on the
abandoned reactors.

SCANA's subsidiary -- SCE&G -- was allowed to raise energy rates
on consumers to fund the project thanks to the so-called "Base
Load Review Act."  This legislation -- which former governor Mark
Sanford allowed to become law -- was supported by the vast
majority of the state's legislators at the time.

The lawsuit -- filed on behalf of plaintiff LeBrian Cleckley by
former U.S. attorney Pete Strom -- alleges SCE&G was negligent in
its management of the project and deliberately concealed
information from its consumers.

It seeks class action status, citing that SCE&G has more than
700,000 electricity customers and more than 350,000 natural gas
customers in the Palmetto State.

News of the lawsuit was reported exclusively by Meg Kinnard of The
Associated Press.

"SCE&G has taken over $1 billion of their customers money to
'invest' for corporate benefit," Mr. Strom said in filing the suit
on Aug. 11.  "The project has been mismanaged and the customers
want their money back."

Mr. Strom added that "customers didn't get to decide if they
wanted to invest, SCE&G used their power with state government to
force the working people of South Carolina to contribute to a
project that should have been funded by them and not their

FITS agrees . . . completely.

Of course as we've repeatedly stated, we believe the real onus for
this debacle lies with Santee Cooper -- which sandbagged SCANA on
this project right up to the very end.

As we've pointed out, Santee Cooper's political appointees
proposed hiking rates on consumers to play for the reactors just
eight days before unexpectedly pulling the plug.

That's textbook deception.

"Santee Cooper pulled a bait and switch -- signaling its intention
to move forward with the V.C. Summer project one week before
pulling the plug the next," FITS wrote.

Also, the ultimate culpability for rate increases paid by SCE&G
consumers lies not with SCANA but with the South Carolina
politicians who enabled the authority to "socialize" their
investment risk, to borrow the wording of S.C. Senator Tom Davis.

"We must we start taking broader steps to restore market forces in
our energy sector and take as much power as possible out of the
control of politicians and their special-interest supporters," Mr.
Davis said.  "Nothing less will suffice."

FITS agrees . . .

Whatever one thinks of this lawsuit's merits, it is past time to
get government out of the power generation business. [GN]

SEARS ROEBUCK: 7th Cir. Halves Attorneys' Fees in Washer Case
Diana Novak Jones and Hannah Meisel, writing for Law360, report
that the Seventh Circuit on Aug. 14 slashed in half a nearly $5
million fee award for six law firms who worked on a class action
involving allegedly malfunctioning washing machines sold by Sears
and Whirlpool, saying the award needed to be closer to the amount
given to the class.

Writing for a unanimous panel, Circuit Judge Richard Posner agreed
with Sears, Roebuck & Co. and Whirlpool Corp. that the $4.8
million an Illinois federal magistrate judge awarded plaintiffs
counsel has to be compared to the estimated $900,000 the class
will recover.  The firms' efforts over the nearly decade-long case
are worth more than the class' award, the appellate panel said,
but the billable hours they racked up are enough to reach an
appropriate total.

"They failed to prove that a reasonable fee would exceed $2.7
million -- the pre-multiplier figure sought by class counsel and
already thrice the damages awarded the class," Judge Posner wrote
of class counsel Carey Danis & Lowe, Chimicles & Tikellis LLP,
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP, Quantum Legal LLC, Seeger
Weiss LLP and Shepherd Finkelman Miller & Shah LLC.

The opinion ends with instructions to the lower court to award the
firms $2.7 million -- "no more, no less," Judge Posner wrote.

Attorneys for the class did not respond to requests for comment on
Aug. 14.

The class action, which began with a series of separate suits in
2006, accused Sears and Whirlpool of selling defective Kenmore
front-loading washing machines.  The Sears machines stalled in the
middle of a wash cycle, prevented the door from locking or
unlocking or showed error codes on its control panel, while the
Whirlpool ones grew mold, according to the complaints.

After several years, and two previous trips to the Seventh Circuit
and the U.S. Supreme Court, the parties settled in 2015. Class
counsel asked for close to $6 million in fees, citing the length
of the litigation and its appeals.

In a lengthy opinion, Magistrate Judge Mary Rowland awarded the
firms $4,770,834, or 1.75 times the firms' hourly total of
$2,726,191, saying the novelty and complexity of the case combined
with its benefit to the public and the class warranted the
multiplier.  Class members would receive about $275 on average,
reimbursing them for nearly everything they spent repairing or
replacing their washer, the judge said.

Sears and Whirlpool appealed Judge Rowland's fee award in

Judge Rowland's reasoning was "questionable," Judge Posner wrote,
because the novelty and complexity of the case are already
compensated for in the number of billable hours the firms worked.

"Novelty and complexity influence the base fee -- the more novel
and complex a case, the more hours will be billed and the higher
the hourly billing rates will be," the judge wrote.

But the magistrate judge decided the case was not overly complex,
making her decision to use a multiplier to increase the attorneys
fees puzzling, Judge Posner said.

The appellate court also found it odd that the amount going to the
class had yet to be finalized, but it decided to use the $900,000
the parties estimated the class would receive after the claims
process ends as a guideline for the fee award's size.

Normally, the Seventh Circuit would say the fee award should not
exceed what the class is receiving, Judge Posner said.

But the court rejected Sears' request that the fee award be cut
below $900,000.

"In this case, the extensive time and effort that class counsel
had devoted to a difficult case against a powerful corporation
entitled them to a fee in excess of the benefits to the class,"
Judge Posner said.

Counsel for Sears, Michael Williams of Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell
LLP, told Law360 the amount paid out to the class so far is around
$475,000 and will likely be less than the $900,000 originally

In a statement, Sears and Whirlpool lauded the reduction of what
they called an "excessive and unreasonable" fee award.

"We hope that the Seventh Circuit and other courts will continue
their efforts to rein in abusive attorneys' fees in class actions
and enforce the general rule that the fee should be less than the
amount recovered by the plaintiff class members," the companies

Sears and Whirlpool are represented by Timothy S. Bishop --
tbishop@mayerbrown.com -- Joshua D. Yount --
jdyount@mayerbrown.com -- and Logan A. Steiner --
lsteiner@mayerbrown.com -- of Mayer Brown LLP and Michael T.
Williams and Allison R. McLaughlin of Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP.

The class is represented by James J. Rosemergy of Carey Danis &
Lowe and Steven A. Schwartz -- SteveSchwartz@chimicles.com -- of
Chimicles & Tikellis LLP.

The case is In Re: Sears, Roebuck and Co. Front-Loading Washer
Products Liability Litigation, Case No. 16-3554 (7th Cir.).  The
case was filed September 28, 2016. [GN]

SECURUS TECHNOLOGIES: "Antoon" Suit Transferred to W.D. Arkansas
The class action lawsuit filed on August 3, 2017, captioned
Patrick Antoon Jr., individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Securus Technologies, Inc., Case No. 1:17-
mc-91274, was transferred on August 11, 2017, from the District of
Massachusetts to the U. S. District Court for the Western District
of Arkansas. The District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 5:17-mc-
00097-TLB to the proceeding.

Securus Technologies, Inc. provides civil and criminal justice
technology solutions for public safety, investigation, correction,
and monitoring in the United States. [BN]

The Defendant is represented by:

      Arcangelo Silvio Cella
      One Federal Street
      Boston, MA 02110
      Telephone: (617) 951-8713

SHERIDAN ASSISTED: Does Not Properly Pay Workers, Suit Claims
Adilia Y. Lemus, as an individual on behalf of herself, and all
others similarly situated v. Sheridan Assisted Living, Inc. and
Does 1 to 20, Case No. CAC-D-323-BERLE (Cal. Super. Ct., August
10, 2017), is brought against the Defendants for failure to pay
state-mandated minimum and overtime wages for all overtime hours
worked, failure to provide meal periods, failure to provide paid
rest periods, and failure to timely furnish accurate itemized wage

Sheridan Assisted Living, Inc. is in the business of providing
caregiver and personal attendant services. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Sam Kim, Esq.
      Yoonis Han, Esq.
      841 Apollo Street, Suite 340
      El Segundo, CA 90245
      Telephone: (424) 320-2000
      Facsimile: (424)221-5010
      E-mail: skim@verumlg.com

SIERRA PETROLEUM: Faces "Burgan" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT
Justin M. Burgan, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. Sierra Petroleum Services, LLC d/b/a SPS
Sierra Petroleum Services, LLC and Sierra Hamilton, LLC, Case No.
4:17-cv-02478 (S.D. Tex., August 11, 2017), is brought against the
Defendants for failure to pay overtime compensation for work more
than 40 hours a week.

The Defendants operate an oilfield services company with locations
and personnel throughout the United States. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Michael A. Josephson, Esq.
      Andrew W. Dunlap, Esq.
      11 Greenway Plaza, Suite 3050
      Houston, TX 77046
      Telephone: (713) 352-1100
      Facsimile: (713) 352-3300
      E-mail: mjosephson@mybackwages.com

         - and -

      Richard J. (Rex) Burch, Esq.
      8 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1500
      Houston, TX 77046
      Telephone: (713) 877-8788
      Facsimile: (713) 877-8065
      E-mail: rburch@brucknerburch.com

SPIROS ZORBALAS: Tenants' Class Action Can Proceed
Randy Furst, writing for Star Tribune, reports that a rare class-
action lawsuit against two Minneapolis landlords could cost them
millions of dollars and benefit thousands of low-income tenants if
they prevail.

Hennepin County District Judge Mary Vasaly certified the class-
action status on Aug. 11 in the case against Spiros Zorbalas,
Stephen Frenz and the companies they own, including Apartment Shop
and Equity Residential Holdings.

"It could be the largest case in terms of damages and rent refunds
in U.S. history," said Larry McDonough, a housing attorney with
Dorsey & Whitney who crafted the state law that created the
housing courts in Hennepin and Ramsey counties but who is not
involved in the case   "I could not find a single class action
around the country that had this kind of price tag on it."

The lawsuit, brought on behalf of the tenants, accuses Messrs.
Zorbalas and Frenz of hatching a scheme to hide their joint
ownership of properties from the city, in breach of city
ordinances, and of creating a financial arrangement to benefit Mr.
Frenz, if he could hold down the costs of repairs.

Mr. Frenz is one of the city's largest landlords.  Tenants have
accused him of failing to fix properties that were in disrepair
and burdened by pest and rodent infestations.

Mr. McDonough, who called the case against Zorbalas and Frenz
"historic," can recall only one other local class-action housing
case. He filed that one in the late 1980s, and it resulted in a
payout of a few thousand dollars.

More than 1,000 units in about 60 buildings are covered by the new
lawsuit, said Michael Cockson -- michael.cockson@FaegreBD.com --
of Faegre Baker Daniels, the lead attorney for the tenants.

"We are seeking the return of the total amount of rent paid by the
tenants, which could be in the tens of millions of dollars, but
the final figure has not yet been confirmed," Mr. Cockson said.

Bradley Kletscher, an attorney for Mr. Frenz, and Malcolm Terry,
an attorney for Mr. Zorbalas, did not respond to requests for
comment on Aug. 14.

Troubled properties

The Minneapolis City Council revoked Mr. Zorbalas' rental licenses
in 2011 for repeated housing code violations and in 2012, Mr.
Frenz bought all of his properties.  According to the city, Mr.
Frenz failed to disclose that Mr. Zorbalas continued to be an

Within the year, Mr. Frenz was being accused of operating the same
substandard buildings that Mr. Zorbalas had operated. And in 2016,
Mr. Frenz was sued by tenants for a pest and rodent infestation
and lack of repairs at one apartment building.  During the trial,
Mr. Cockson and his team of pro bono attorneys discovered that Mr.
Zorbalas still had a financial interest in Frenz's buildings.  The
city investigated, concurred and began a revocation action against
Mr. Frenz.

A September hearing is scheduled on a proposal by the city's
regulatory division to strip Mr. Frenz of his rental licenses.  If
an administrative judge approves, the City Council must vote on

On Aug. 11, Judge Vasaly issued a 35-page court order certifying
the class-action suit.

"All of the plaintiffs experienced repeated problems with their
units, including broken windows, electrical outlets and
inoperative stoves," she wrote.  "Most also had problems with
roach, bedbug and rodent infestation that required repeated

The judge's ruling also spells out previously undisclosed
allegations about the financial arrangements between
Messrs. Zorbalas and Frenz intended to conceal their shared
ownership of the properties.  To that end, Mr. Vasaly wrote, the
two men established additional companies that made it appear that
Mr. Frenz owned them and that Mr. Zorbalas no longer had an

At Equity Residential, she wrote, Mr. Zorbalas, the chief
executive officer, exercised control over Mr. Frenz, the chief
operating officer.  After March 2015, Mr. Frenz was entitled to a
monthly cash distribution "but only if Equity Residential hit its
'Net Operating Income Target' for the preceding year," Judge
Vasaly wrote.

"According to plaintiffs, this provision incentivized Mr. Frenz to
limit, as much as possible, maintenance expenses needed to comply
with lead, asbestos, pest control, and other statutes and
regulations," the judge wrote.

Wider repercussions?

In Minneapolis, where renters make up more than half the
population, a class-action case could have repercussions,
according to attorneys with expertise in housing law.

While most landlords take care of their properties, the lawsuit
sends a signal that saving money by putting off maintenance might
not be worth the risk, McDonough said.

Prof. Ann Juergens of the Mitchell Hamline School of Law and a
longtime housing attorney, said the lawsuit has the potential "of
drying up the sources of capital" for landlords who don't comply
with housing regulations because lenders may be less inclined to
invest in them.

It is still unclear what will happen to Mr. Frenz's buildings and
his tenants, should Mr. Frenz lose his licenses. [GN]

SPRINT SPECTRUM: Emilio Appeals Opinion & Order to Second Circuit
Plaintiff Vincent Emilio filed an appeal from a District Court
opinion and order dated July 27, 2017, entered in the lawsuit
styled Emilio v. Sprint Spectrum L.P., Case No. 11-cv-3041, in the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (New
York City).

As previously reported in the Class Action Reporter on August 8,
2017, the District Court issued an order denying the Defendant's
motion for summary judgment and denying the Plaintiff's motion for
class certification.

In the operative amended class action complaint, Mr. Emilio
alleges that Sprint violated the Kansas Unfair Trade and Consumer
Protection Act primarily by misrepresenting a discretionary charge
as a mandatory tax imposed on customers by New York state.  He
cites provisions of the KCPA that bar companies from
misrepresenting or willfully omitting material facts from
consumers or engaging in unconscionable acts.

The appellate case is captioned as Emilio v. Sprint Spectrum L.P.,
Case No. 17-2454, in the United States Court of Appeals for the
Second Circuit.[BN]

Plaintiff-Petitioner Vincent Emilio, Individually and on behalf of
all others similarly situated, is represented by:

          William Robert Weinstein, Esq.
          199 Main Street
          White Plains, NY 10601
          Telephone: (914) 997-2205
          Facsimile: (646) 448-8215
          E-mail: wrw@wweinsteinlaw.com

Defendant-Respondent Sprint Spectrum L.P., DBA Sprint PCS, is
represented by:

          Joseph Boyle, Esq.
          1 Jefferson Road
          Parsippany, NJ 07054
          Telephone: (973) 503-5900
          E-mail: jboyle@kellydrye.com

STATE FARM: "McKinnie" Suit Moved to Middle District of Tennessee
The class action lawsuit titled James McKinnie, Lonnie McKinnie,
and Tina Roberts, Individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, the Plaintiffs, v. State Farm Fire and
Casualty Company, the Defendant, Case No. CC2823, was removed on
Aug. 17, 2017 from the Circuit Court for White County, Tennessee,
to the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee
(Cookeville). The District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 2:17-cv-
00048 to the proceeding. The case is assigned to the Hon. Chief
Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw, Jr.

State Farm Fire and Casualty Company was formed in 1935 to provide
property insurance for State Farm customers in the United

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Clinton H. Scott, Esq.
          101 North Highland Ave
          Jackson, TN 38301
          Telephone: (731) 664 1340
          Facsimile: (731) 664 1540
          E-mail: cscott@gilbertfirm.com

               - and -

          J. Brandon McWherter, Esq.
          Gilbert Russell McWherter PLC
          101 North Highland Ave
          Jackson, TN 38301
          Telephone: (731) 664 1340
          Facsimile: (731) 664 1540
          E-mail: bmcwherter@gilbertfirm.com

The Defendant is represented by:

          Bradford Telfeyan, Esq.
          Jason M. Pannu, Esq.
          424 Church Street, Suite 2500
          Nashville, TN 37219
          Telephone: (615) 259 1366
          Facsimile: (615) 259 1389
          E-mail: btelfeyan@lewisthomason.com

               - and -

          James P. Gaughan, Esq.
          Joseph Cancila, Jr., Esq.
          70 W Madison St. No. 2900
          Chicago, IL 60602
          E-mail: jgaughan@rsch-law.com

TAKATA CORP: Judge Temporarily Halts Lawsuits Over Air Bags
Randall Chase, writing for The Associated Press, reports that a
Delaware bankruptcy judge on Aug. 16 temporarily halted the
prosecution of lawsuits filed by Hawaii, New Mexico and the U.S.
Virgin Islands against Japanese auto-parts supplier Takata over
its lethally defective air bag inflators.

Judge Brendan Shannon ordered the 90-day stay after hearing
arguments on Takata's request to halt hundreds of air bag-related
lawsuits while it works on a reorganization plan.  Takata sought a
six-month halt to various lawsuits while it proceeds with its
restructuring efforts, which include the planned sale of most of
its assets to a Chinese-owned rival for $1.6 billion.

Judge Shannon also granted Takata's request to temporarily halt
individual lawsuits against automobile manufacturers who installed
the faulty air bags but, again, only for 90 days.  He refused,
however, to extend that ruling to scores of lawsuits consolidated
in a federal multi-district litigation case in Miami.

While acknowledging and expressing sympathy for the circumstances
facing many claimants, including those grievously injured and
survivors of those who have been killed, Judge Shannon said Takata
had met its burden of proving that a halt to litigation was

The company was forced into bankruptcy in June amid personal
injury and economic loss lawsuits, multimillion-dollar fines and
crushing air bag recall costs.  Takata's air bag inflators can
explode with too much force, spewing shrapnel into drivers and
passengers.  At least 16 people have died and more than 180 have
been injured due to the problem.  The inflators have prompted the
largest automotive recall in U.S. history, with more than 45
million being called back for repairs.

"The debtors are engaged . . . in the largest recall in history
while simultaneously trying to implement a reorganization strategy
around the globe," Shannon noted.

The judge also said that a failed reorganization could negatively
affect the recall effort.  Takata's bankruptcy is unique in that
the automobile manufacturers play a critical role as both its
largest customers and largest creditors.  They also are
indemnified in their agreements with Takata from losses and
liabilities related to the air bag inflators, putting a further
financial and legal burden on Takata.

"What the debtors seek and need is a breathing spell," Judge
Shannon said.

While noting the actions taken by Hawaii, New Mexico and the U.S.
Virgin Islands to protect their citizens and enforce their laws
are "entirely appropriate," Judge Shannon also pointed out that
all states are equally situated in this circumstance.

"The fact is that there is nothing unique about the threat to the
citizens of those two states and that territory," he said.

"The state actions represent the proverbial race to the
courthouse," Judge Shannon added. ". . . Any relief obtained by
those entities in the state actions will necessarily be to the
detriment of the citizens of other states."

While partially granting Takata the relief it sought, the judge
encouraged lawyers for the company to be receptive to any
individual plaintiff who might face extraordinary or unique
hardship because of the 90-day stay, which ends at midnight
Nov. 15.

"I do expect the debtors to be responsive where circumstances
warrant," he said.

TATA CONSULTANCY: Discrimination Class Action Pending
Bloomberg reports that Google isn't the only Silicon Valley
employer being accused of hostility to white men.

Yahoo! Inc. and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. were already
fighting discrimination lawsuits brought by white men before
Google engineer James Damore ignited a firestorm -- and got
himself fired -- with an internal memo criticizing the company's
diversity efforts and claiming women are biologically less suited
than men to be engineers.

The Yahoo case began last year when two men sued, claiming they'd
been unfairly fired after managers allegedly manipulated
performance evaluations to favor women.  They claim Marissa Mayer
approved the review process and was involved in their
terminations, and a judge ordered the former chief executive be
deposed.  TCS, meanwhile, is fighting three men who claim the
Mumbai-based firm discriminates against non-Indians at its U.S.

A growing backlash against diversity advocates has gained momentum
with the election of Donald Trump and his embrace of right-wing
media figures including Steve Bannon, who ran Breitbart News until
joining Trump's presidential campaign.  Mr. Trump has ordered a
review of affirmative action policies in higher education,
proposed banning transgender people in the military and advocated
curbing immigration of non-English speakers to the delight of
conservatives who say they've been muzzled by liberals.

While gender discrimination complaints aren't uncommon in the tech
industry, they are usually made by women, who are outnumbered by
nearly 3 to 1.  Ellen Pao put Silicon Valley's "Bro Culture" front
and center in 2015 during a trial pitting her against the venture
capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. She claimed there
was a sexually charged atmosphere where men preyed on their female
coworkers and that she'd been blocked from promotion and fired for
her gender. She lost, but the trial rallied other women to speak
out.  That year Microsoft Corp. and Twitter Inc. were both sued on
behalf of female engineers claiming men are favored for
advancement.  This year, Travis Kalanick was ousted as Uber
Technologies Inc.  CEO after allegations of rampant sexual
harassment at the company.

Mr. Damore's memo circulated widely internally, then became public
over the weekend as some right-wing websites lionized him for
speaking out. Over 10 pages, he complained that efforts at Google
to boost diversity were themselves a form of discrimination that
are "unfair, divisive, and bad for business." He filed a complaint
with a federal labor board on Aug. 7 and says Google smeared his
reputation by firing him. He told Bloomberg he planned to take
further legal action, though he declined to say on what grounds.

In the Yahoo case, Scott Ard, an editor for the company's auto,
shopping and small business portals until January 2015, alleged
that Mayer encouraged supervisors to evaluate employees using
"subjective biases and personal opinions, to the detriment of
Yahoo's male employees."  Women eventually accounted for more than
80 percent of the top management positions in the media division,
according to the suit.

Yahoo denies wrongdoing and argued against Ms. Mayer's deposition,
saying she had no special knowledge of the circumstances
surrounding the firings of Mr. Ard and Gregory Anderson, another
online news editor who said he was fired, along with hundreds of
staffers, in 2014.

A Yahoo spokeswoman defended the performance review process in
February 2016 after Anderson filed his complaint, saying "fairness
is a guiding principle."  Mr. Anderson was slated for termination
in April 2014 because he was on the "bad managers list," Yahoo
said in a filing last month.  The evaluation process ranked him in
the bottom 5 percent.

Ms. Mayer, who isn't a defendant, couldn't be reached for comment
and it isn't clear from court filings whether she's already given
her deposition.  She was CEO from 2012 until June, when Verizon
Communications Inc. completed its acquisition of Yahoo's internet
Verizon's Oath, the unit that includes Yahoo's assets, declined to
comment on the Mayer deposition.  The men's attorney didn't
respond to requests for comment.

The case against TCS was filed in 2015 by Steven Heldt, a white
U.S.-born IT worker who accused the company of "grossly
disproportionate" favoritism toward hiring people of South Asian
descent.  Mr. Heldt, who said he was terminated after about 20
months, claims he experienced "substantial anti-American
sentiment" during his time there.

TCS calls their claims unfounded, arguing the men haven't proven
of a pattern of discrimination, in part because their statistical
analysis doesn't properly account for foreign workers legally
hired with U.S. work visas.

In September, the men will ask a judge to allow potentially
thousands of non-Indians who say they were either blocked from
jobs or, if hired, benched and eventually fired, to be included in
their suit.  TCS says their case isn't suited to be a class action
based on common allegations for all job seekers because it uses
varied hiring methods -- some applicants go directly through the
company while others are recruited by outside vendors.  The cases
are Ard v. Yahoo Inc., 16-cv-05635, and Anderson v. Yahoo Inc.,
16-cv-00527, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
(San Jose).; and Heldt v. Tata Consultancy Services, 15-cv-01696,
U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (Oakland).

TEP ROCKY: Elna Sefcovic Suit Moved to District of Colorado
The class action lawsuit titled Elna Sefcovic, LLC, a Colorado
limited liability company; and Juhan, LP, a Colorado limited
partnership, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, the Plaintiffs, v. TEP Rocky Mountain, LLC; TRDC LLC;
and G2X Resources LLC, Case No. 2017-CV-32575, was removed on Aug.
17, 2017 from the District Court City and County of Denver,
Colorado, to the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
(Denver). The District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 1:17-cv-
01990-MEH to the proceeding. The case is assigned to the Hon.
Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty.

TEP Rocky Mountain is a private exploration and production company
that operates the piceance basin assets acquired by Terra Energy

TEP Rocky Mountain, LLC is represented by:

          Christopher Anthony Chrisman, Esq.
          P.O. Box 8749, 555 17th Street, Suite 3200
          Denver, CO 80201-8749
          Telephone: (303) 295 8013
          Facsimile: (303) 291 9123
          E-mail: cachrisman@hollandhart.com

TRINITY INDUSTRIES: Faces Class Action Over E-T-Plus Rails
The Madison County Record reports that St. Clair County State's
Attorney Brendan Kelly and special assistant David Cates, who
claim a Texas firm must remove bad guardrails from roads
statewide, expect local crews to distinguish good ones from bad

Their Aug. 11 motion to certify a class action against Trinity
Industries at U.S. district court didn't begin to measure the size
and cost of the project.

They asserted only that St. Clair County and second plaintiff
Macon County together have about 141 ET-Plus model rails requiring

They would require similar counting not only in 100 other counties
but also in 1,298 municipalities and 1,431 townships.

All ET-Plus rails with a certain channel five inches wide would
pass their test, but those with a channel four inches wide would
require replacement.

"It will merely require class members that cannot already
distinguish between five inch and four inch feeder channels to
simply count the number of four inch ET-Plus units in their
jurisdiction," Mr. Cates wrote.

He declared it no more burdensome than average for class members
in other cases.

He wrote that members of the proposed class have already responded
to information requests, and that some members produced hundreds
of documents, "which was certainly a much more burdensome and
substantial individualized inquiry for proposed class members than
simply counting their four inch ET-Plus units."

He offered the fact that no other class member pursued a claim
against Trinity as evidence in support of a class action.

"Practically speaking, this is not surprising, as many if not all
counties, cities, villages, incorporated towns, and township
governments in the state of Illinois cannot afford to replace the
guardrails, let alone undertake the cost associated with fighting
a corporate giant with unlimited funds who has demonstrated it
will use any and all means and funds necessary to fight this and
other companion litigation across the United States," he wrote.

He wrote that four simple steps would calculate the replacement

"Inventory the modified ET-Plus units for each member," he wrote.

"Solicit a detailed replacement cost proposal from a qualified

"Each member shall provide a detailed inventory of currently
installed Type A guardrail with replacement cost per foot, that
will need to be brought up to current height standards of 31
inches when the modified ET-Plus units are removed and replacement
end terminals are installed.

"Calculate the total value of the replacement cost."

Messrs. Kelly and Cates sued Trinity in November 2014, claiming it
sacrificed safety by narrowing the channel and concealing the
change from regulators.

A month earlier, jurors at U.S. district court in Marshall, Texas,
had assessed $175 million in damages against Trinity on behalf of
the United States.

The verdict prompted the Illinois Department of Transportation to
ban ET-Plus rails, and the ban remains in place.

The verdict didn't alter the position of the U.S. Highway Safety
Administration, which regards the ET-Plus as safe.

It remains in suspense at the Fifth Circuit appellate court in New
Orleans, where judges heard oral argument last December.

U.S. District Judge David Herndon presides over the local case.

He dismissed counts of deceptive trade practices and breach of
implied warranty in January, while allowing St. Clair and Macon
counties to allege unjust enrichment.

Along with Mr. Cates as lead lawyer, Mr. Kelly has appointed Eric
Holland, Seth Crompton, Christopher Ellis and Shane Mendenhall as
special assistants. [GN]

VANTIV INTEGRATED: Aug. 26 Class Action Settlement Hearing Set
Mary Shinn, writing for Durango Herald, reports that Vantiv
Integrated Payments could pay $52 million to settle a class-action
lawsuit that claims the company charged customers unauthorized and
marked-up fees.

Businesses in Ohio, California and Tennessee claim that Mercury
Payment Systems, a company founded in Durango, and a company it
contracted with, Global Payments Direct, overcharged customers for
the fees that major credit card companies require and imposed
unauthorized fees.

The lawsuit, filed in 2016, claims that Mercury committed fraud,
breach of contract, unjust enrichment and violated the state
Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.  Vantiv bought
Mercury in 2014, making it part of the case.

"Mercury (with the knowledge and assistance of Global) has for
years carried out a widespread and systematic fraud on its
customers.  Without notice to merchants, Mercury has been
surreptitiously and gradually inflating certain small,
per-transaction fees," court documents claimed.

The overcharged fees may add up to hundreds or thousands of
dollars per merchant and tens or hundreds of millions of dollars
in fraudulent profits, the claim states.

Mercury does not admit fault, but it agreed to settle the case to
avoid the expense, risk, inconvenience and distraction of
continuing the case, court documents state.

"We firmly believe that all of Mercury's business practices were
both legal and transparent," said Adam Kiefaber, a spokesman for
the company, in an email.

Those who used Mercury or were referred by Mercury to Global for
payment processing from Oct. 9, 2009, through May 16, 2017, and
paid certain fees could receive money or credit in the settlement,
according to information provided by the settlement administrator.

A hearing scheduled for Aug. 26 will likely determine the amount
owed to businesses in the settlement.

Prosecuting attorney Adam Levitt said in an email the settlement
is an example of the positive effect of class-action litigation.

Several months after the lawsuit was filed, Mercury changed the
worst of its practices and saved customers millions, he said.

"We believe that it is a well-thought-out, well-researched, well-
documented and strongly and effectively litigated settlement that
does a lot of good for a lot of hardworking, American small
business owners and other merchants.  We hope that the court
agrees and grants final approval to this settlement at the end of
the month," he said in an email. [GN]

VITAMIN SHOPPE: Faces Class Action Over Weight Loss Supplement
Rachel Graf, writing for Law360, reports that Vitamin Shoppe Inc.
has falsely advertised that a dietary supplement can contribute to
weight loss when the product's active ingredients have no such
benefits, according to a proposed class action removed to
California federal court on Aug. 8.

Andrea Nathan said the company's Garcinia Cambogia Extract dietary
supplement claims to facilitate "weight management" and "appetite
control," but its only active ingredients, hydroxycitric acid and
chromium, "are scientifically proven to be incapable of providing
such weight-loss benefits."

"Defendant markets and advertises the product as an effective
weight-loss supplement through claims placed directly on the
bottle product despite that it provides no such benefits," the
suit said.

Ms. Nathan, who filed the suit in California state court in June,
alleges she paid about $20 in February for a 180-caplet bottle of
the Garcinia Cambogia Extract based on its weight loss claims.
Vitamin Shoppe purposefully made the misleading claims to entice
the average consumer to buy the product, the suit said.

But instead of purchasing a weight loss aid, the customers were
actually purchasing a product that is "no more effective than a
placebo," Ms. Nathan argued.

Ms. Nathan says that she lost money due to the company's
misrepresentations, since she paid more than she would have for
similar products that did not make weight loss claims.

"The senior officers and directors of defendant allowed the
product to be sold with full knowledge or reckless disregard that
the challenged claims are fraudulent, unlawful, and misleading,"
according to the filing.

Ms. Nathan is seeking to represent a class of people who have
bought Vitamin Shoppe's Garcinia Cambogia since June 26, 2013.

Ms. Nathan is alleging violations of California's Unfair
Competition Law, False Advertising Law and Consumer Legal Remedies
Act, as well as breach of warranties.

Counsel for the parties didn't respond on Aug. 9 to requests for

Ms. Nathan is represented by Paul K. Joseph of The Law Office of
Paul K. Joseph PC.

Vitamin Shoppe is represented by Amy B. Alderfer and Brett N.
Taylor -- btaylor@cozen.com -- of Cozen O'Connor.

The suit is Andrea Nathan v. Vitamin Shoppe Inc., case number
3:17-cv-01590 in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of California. [GN]

VOLKSWAGEN GROUP: Faces "Wilson" Suit Over Defective Vehicles
Lila Wilson, Matthew Martino, Thomas Wilson, Teresa Garella, Mary
Blue, Ryan Brown, Brian Maytum, Leigh Glasband & Nick Panopoulos,
on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated v.
Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. and Volkswagen AG, Case No.
1:17-cv-23033-RNS (S.D. Fla., August 10, 2017), is brought on
behalf of  a nationwide class of owners and lessees and the state
of Florida Subclass, of Volkswagen CC model vehicles who, on or
after June 1, 2012, leased or purchased Volkswagen CC model
vehicles with faulty suspensions, shocks, and struts, which cause
rapid and uneven wear and premature degradation of the vehicle's
tires -- an effect often referred to as "Tire Cupping."

The Defendants operate an automobile company headquartered in
Virginia. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Roy K. Altman, Esq.
      One SE 3rd Avenue, Suite 2700
      Miami, FL 33131
      Telephone: (305) 358-2800
      Facsimile: (305) 358-2382
      E-mail: raltman@podhurst.com

         - and -

      Francesco P. Trapani, Esq.
      1325 Spruce St.
      Philadelphia, PA 19107
      Telephone: (215) 907-7290
      Facsimile: (215) 907-7287
      E-mail: frank@krehertrapani.com

         - and -

      Andrew J. Sciolla, Esq.
      Eight Tower Bridge, Suite 940 161 Washington Street
      Conshohocken, PA 19428
      Telephone: (610) 941-4204
      Facsimile: (610) 941-4245
      E-mail: asciolla@pbmattorneys.com

WALGREENS: Faces Class Action Over "Fraudulent Scheme"
Scott Holland, writing for Cook County Record, reports that a
customer who said Walgreens charged him $21.80 for a generic drug
through his insurance plan without telling him he could have paid
only $10 if he paid in cash, has filed a federal class action
complaint against the Deerfield-based retail pharmacy giant,
saying the overcharge is part of a "fraudulent scheme" between the
retailer and insurance companies.

In his complaint filed on Aug. 9 in Chicago, David Grabstald, of
San Francisco, said he made his purchase May 30 and no one at the
store told him he could save 54 percent by not running the
purchase through his insurer, Anthem Blue Cross.  He said his
experience is emblematic of a "fraudulent scheme" in which
Walgreens participates with pharmacy benefit managers.

According to Mr. Grabstald, the benefit managers negotiate prices
insurance companies pay the pharmacies. That arrangement causes
the insured to bring their medication prescriptions to those

"As a result," the complaint alleged, "Walgreens is eager to reach
agreements with PBMs that will drive more people to the stores,
where customers often purchase more than their generic drugs."

Mr. Grabstald further said such agreements "are based on secret,
undisclosed contracts, under which Walgreens agrees to specific
amounts it will charge and collect from insured customers -- but
the customers can neither see nor learn about these agreements or
their terms from the pharmacies, the insurance companies, or
anyone else.  The linchpin of the scheme is that the consumer pays
the amount negotiated between the PBM and Walgreens even if that
amount exceeds the price of the drug without insurance."

He also said co-pays collected from customers exceed both
Walgreens' price and profits, then sends the excess back to the
benefit managers, a practice known as "clawback" or spread
payments.  Mr. Grabstald cited benefits manager OptumRx, which
calls the practice its Pharmacy Reimbursement Overpayment program.

According to the complaint, the National Community Pharmacists
Association conducted a survey of hundreds of member pharmacies
and found clawbacks to be a common practice.  Mr. Grabstald also
cited a New Orleans television station's series on the practice,
"with pharmacists interviewed in the dark with voice distorters as
they detailed the scheme."

Yet he singled out Walgreens as "motivated by profit" and saying
it "deliberately entered into these contracts, dedicating itself
to the secret scheme that kept customers in the dark about the
true price of the affected drugs" -- this despite promoting itself
as committed to being candid and honest with customers.  He also
cited a 2016 SEC filing in which Walgreens said being expelled
from a benefit manager network could substantially harm its

According to the complaint, Walgreens' posts about $84 billion in
annual prescription drug sales.

Mr. Grabstald said Walgreens cannot rely on any statutes of
limitations because it failed to disclose the scheme to customers.
He requested certification of a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations (RICO) Act class, for anyone insured under a health
benefit plan administered by a pharmacy benefit manager, and a
subclass for those on plans subject to the Employee Retirement
Income Security Act, as well as a California subclass.

In addition to a jury trial, Mr. Grabstald seeks more than $5
million in damages and wants the court to block Walgreens from
engaging in clawback schemes with benefit managers.

Representing Mr. Grabstald, and putative class attorneys, are
lawyers from Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP in Seattle and
Chicago; and Stanley Law Group, of Dallas. [GN]

WEBMD HEALTH: Faces "Berg" Suit Over Proposed Sale to MH Sub
Robert Berg, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated v. WebMD Health Corp., Martin J. Wygod, Steven L. Zatz,
Mark J. Adler, Ian G. Banwell, Neil F. Dimick, James V. Manning,
William J. Marino, Joseph E. Smith, Stanley S. Trotman, Jr.,
Kristiina Vuori, MH Sub I, LLC, and Diagnosis Merger Sub, Inc.,
Case No. 1:17-cv-06064-UA (S.D.N.Y., August 11, 2017), stems from
a proposed transaction announced on July 24, 2017, pursuant to
which WebMD Health Corp. will be acquired by MH Sub I, LLC and its
wholly-owned subsidiary, Diagnosis Merger Sub, Inc., which are
affiliates of Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. L.P. for $66.50 per
share in cash.
According to the complaint, WebMD filed a
Solicitation/Recommendation Statement with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission, which recommends that WebMD stockholders vote
in favor of the Proposed Transaction.  However, the Proxy omits or
misrepresents material. First, the Solicitation Statement omits
material information regarding the Company's financial projections
and the analyses performed by the Company's financial advisor,
J.P. Morgan Securities LLC. Second, the Solicitation Statement
omits material information regarding potential conflicts of
interest of the Company's officers. Third, the Solicitation
Statement omits material information regarding potential conflicts
of interest of J.P. Morgan. Fourth, the Solicitation Statement
omits material information relating the background leading to the
Proposed Transaction. The Complaint says the Proposed Transaction
will unlawfully divest WebMD's public stockholders of the
Company's valuable assets without fully disclosing all material
information concerning the Proposed Transaction to Company
stockholders. To remedy the Defendants' Exchange Act violations,
Plaintiff seeks to enjoin the stockholder vote on the Proposed
Transaction unless and until such problems are remedied.

WebMD Health Corp.is a provider of health information services,
serving consumers, physicians, healthcare professionals,
employers, and health plans through its public and private online
portals, mobile platforms, and health-focused publications.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Brian D. Long, Esq.
      Gina M. Serra, Esq.
      2 Righter Parkway, Suite 120
      Wilmington, DE 19803
      Telephone: (302) 295-5310
      E-mail: bdl@rl-legal.com

         - and -

      Richard A. Maniskas, Esq.
      RM LAW, P.C.
      1055 Westlakes Drive, Suite 300
      Berwyn, PA 19312
      Telephone: (484) 324-6800

WELLS FARGO: Expects Costs from Legal Claims to Reach $3.3 Bil.
Peter J. Henning, writing for New York Times, reports that there
is an adage that "it's better to ask forgiveness than it is to get
permission."  In the world of corporate misconduct, it seems that
there is even less need to beg forgiveness these days as the
government scales back how much it will police companies that
appear to have violated the law.

There may be no better recent example of how a corporate culture
devolved into an almost preternatural focus on expanding the
bottom line at the expense of customers and the law than Wells

In April, a report of an internal investigation into how the bank
opened more than two million bogus customer accounts blamed
leadership in its community banking division, saying that it
"resisted and impeded outside scrutiny and oversight" while the
former chief executive "failed to appreciate the seriousness of
the problem."  Wells Fargo recently disclosed that further
investigation "may lead to a significant increase" in the number
of unauthorized accounts, meaning that the problem may go far
deeper than first thought.

If Wells Fargo hoped that the bogus accounts issue was its only
problem, it was sadly mistaken.

The investigation also unearthed problems at its Merchant Services
subsidiary that processed credit card transactions in which
smaller companies may have been overcharged.  A report on CNN
about a recent lawsuit accusing the bank of breaching its
agreements quoted an anonymous former employee of the bank who
said, "We used to be told to go out and club the baby seals: mom-
pop-shops that had no legal support" -- a "customer-be-damned"
attitude to increase revenue.

The New York Times reported that Wells Fargo is facing new
questions about failing to refund insurance payments to borrowers
who repaid their car loans early, and that it forced some to take
unneeded collision insurance that pushed more than 250,000
borrowers into delinquency, including 25,000 whose cars were
repossessed improperly. A statement from a bank spokeswoman said,
"If we find customer impacts, we will make customers whole"  --  a
way of asking forgiveness rather than permission.

In its most recent quarterly report, Wells Fargo disclosed that it
increased its estimate of the costs from legal claims to about
$3.3 billion.  Yet, for all the issues the bank has faced, the
only regulatory action against it has been a $185 million
settlement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, its lead
regulator, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the
Los Angeles City Attorney.

A review of the Corporate Prosecution Registry maintained by the
University of Virginia Law Library does not show Wells Fargo being
the defendant in a criminal prosecution. It did settle a civil
suit filed by the Justice Department in 2016 by paying $1.2
billion and admitted improperly certifying mortgages to obtain
insurance from the Federal Housing Administration.

The bank has not been the subject of an enforcement action by the
Securities and Exchange Commission over its disclosure or
accounting practices, although last year its investment bank was
sued, accused of fraud related to a bond underwriting in Rhode

Will Wells Fargo be held to account for the many ways in which it
mistreated its customers? The prospect of governmental action
appears to be diminishing, and any fines it might face are likely
to be at the low end of the scale based on recent enforcement
trends since the start of the administration of President Trump.

Penalties imposed by financial regulators so far in 2017 are much
lower than for the comparable period last year, according to The
Wall Street Journal. That may be a reflection of the end of the
financial crisis cases, but the new chairman of the Securities and
Exchange Commission, Jay Clayton, stated during his confirmation
hearing that "shareholders do bear those costs and we have to keep
that in mind."

A report issued by the Environmental Integrity Project shows that
federal environmental enforcement has also dropped, with fewer
lawsuits against companies and a 60 percent drop in civil
penalties during the first six months of the new administration.

Even private litigation by consumers against corporations would be
substantially reduced under a bill passed by the House in March.
One part in the legislation would require each member of a class
action to show the same injuries as all others before a federal
court can certify it to proceed, severely limiting the number of
such cases when the harm may not be the same to all.

The flow of information about potential problems in banks will be
curtailed under new regulatory guidance from the Federal Reserve,
which oversees the largest banks. To ease the burden on the board
of directors, the Fed would no longer require that the findings of
a supervisory examination of the bank be given to the directors,
and instead management would be responsible for passing along
information about those matters that affect corporate governance.

Of course, the proposal is offered as a major benefit to corporate
boards, with the Fed asserting that it will "improve corporate
governance overall, increase efficiency, support greater
accountability, and promote compliance with laws and regulations."
Directors would still be "responsible for holding senior
management accountable for remediating supervisory findings,"
although they might not be aware of them.

One of the basic requirements of corporate governance is the
"Caremark duty" imposed on directors, named for an opinion from
the Delaware Chancery Court in 1996. A board must put in place
reporting systems to ensure that sufficient information reaches
the directors to enable them to oversee the company and, when
necessary, deal with problems. That duty does not permit
delegating oversight responsibility to management, and directors
should not just sit back and wait for information to pop to the

A problem in holding individuals accountable for misconduct in an
organization is the disconnect between the actual decisions and
those charged with overseeing the company, so that executives and
corporate boards usually plead ignorance about an issue until it
is too late. As Gretchen Morgenson pointed out in her Fair Game
column about the Fed's proposal, "reducing the information flow
between bank boards and their examiners just doesn't seem smart."

Government regulation and enforcement can be a ham-fisted way of
ensuring corporate compliance, so decreased regulation and lower
penalties do not necessarily mean there will be an uptick in the
number of violations. But if the regulatory environment sends the
message that there will be few consequences for misconduct, then
there may be little need to even seek forgiveness when there is a
reduced prospect of being caught and punished. [GN]

WEST MARINE: Parking Lot Not Accessible to Disabled, Pizzaro Says
RAMON PIZZARO, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, the Plaintiff, v. WEST MARINE, INC., the Defendant, Case
No. RG17871968 (Cal. Super. Ct., Mar., 2017), seeks to recover
statutory damages and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs, and
injunctive relief as a result of Defendant's violation of anti-
discrimination state statutes of California, the Unruh Civil
Rights Act, the California Disabled Persons Act, and California

According to the complaint, on June 16, 2017, the Plaintiff
patronized the West Marine store located at 7 Pacific Coast
Highway, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254 to purchase supplies and suffered
discrimination as a result of being denied full and equal access.
Specifically, this store denied Plaintiff equal access because it
did not provide an accessible parking lot and/or restroom area.

West Marine, founded in 1968 and based in Watsonville, California,
operates a chain of boating supply and fishing retail stores.  On
February 23, 2017, West Marine reported net revenues for fiscal
2016 of $703.4 million.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Evan J. Smith, Esq.
          BRODSKY & SMITH, LLC
          9595 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 900
          Beverly Hills, CA 90212
          Telephone: (877) 534 2590
          Facsimile: (310) 247 0160

WEYERHAEUSER COMPANY: Faces "Esanbock" Suit Over Defective Joists
Dennis and Barbara Esanbock, Christopher Spinks, and Kevin Swehla,
on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated v.
Weyerhaeuser Company, Case No. 0:17-cv-03702-SRN-DTS (D. Minn.,
August 11, 2017), arises out of the damages sustained by the
Plaintiffs and the Class that were proximately caused by
Weyerhaeuser's defective TJI Joists with Flak Jacket Protection
(the "Joists") used in the construction of the Plaintiffs' and
Class members' homes and other structures.

Weyerhaeuser Company is one of the world's largest forest products
companies, controlling 13.1 million acres of timberlands,
primarily in the United States, and managing additional
timberlands under long-term licenses in Canada. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      E. Michelle Drake, Esq.
      Joseph C. Hashmall, Esq.
      43 SE Main Street, Suite 505
      Minneapolis, MN 55414
      Telephone: (612) 594-5933
      Facsimile: (612) 584-4470
      E-mail: emdrake@bm.net

         - and -

      Shanon J. Carson, Esq.
      Lawrence Deutsch, Esq.
      Jacob M. Polakoff, Esq.
      1622 Locust Street
      Philadelphia, PA  19103
      Telephone: (215) 875-4656
      Facsimile: (215) 875-4604
      E-mail: scarson@bm.net

XL AUTO: Accused of Wrongful Conduct Over Vehicle Price
Sandra Rago and Adam Rago, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated v. XL Auto Group LLC, d/b/a Autos
Wholesale, Michael Steadman, Jr., Mery Duran, Sean Joseph, Gateway
One Lending & Finance, LLC, d/b/a Gateway Lending, and Does 1
through 500, inclusive, Case No. 17-cv-03649 (Cal. Super. Ct.,
August 10, 2017), arises out of the Defendants' illegal pattern
and practice of failing to sell vehicle and related goods or
services at the advertised price.

XL Auto Group LLC is engaged in the business of buying and selling
automobiles to the general public.

Gateway One Lending & Finance, LLC operates a financial institution
engaged in the business of holding conditional sale contracts and
collecting payments made by consumers pursuant to such contracts.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Louis A. Liberty, Esq.
      553 Pilgrim Drive, Suite A
      Foster City, CA 94404
      Telephone: (650) 341-0300
      Facsimile: (650) 403-1783
      E-mail: lou@carlawyer.com

         - and -

      Martin Pumam, Esq.
      1300 Clay Street, Suite 600
      Oakland, CA 94612
      Telephone: (510) 466-6300
      Facsimile: (510) 225-2625
      E-mail martin@gutnamlaw.com

ZTO EXPRESS: Bottini & Bottini Files Securities Class Action
Bottini & Bottini, Inc., a law firm specializing in securities
class action litigation, on Aug. 15 disclosed that it has filed a
class action lawsuit on behalf of all persons who purchased the
common stock of ZTO Express (Cayman), Inc. pursuant to the
Registration Statement and Prospectus issued in connection with
the Company's initial public offering ("IPO").  The lawsuit --
pending in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York -- seeks to recover damages under the federal
securities laws for those who purchased or otherwise acquired ZTO
Express' stock pursuant or traceable to its October 27, 2016 IPO.

Purchasers of ZTO Express securities who wish to serve as
lead plaintiff in this lawsuit must apply to the court for lead-
plaintiff appointment no later than October 16, 2017.  If you
purchased ZTO Express' stock in connection with its IPO and
suffered losses, please contact plaintiff's counsel, Frank A.
Bottini, Esq., of Bottini & Bottini, at (858) 914-2001 or
fab@bottinilaw.com, to discuss your rights and interests in this
lawsuit.  You can also go to Bottini & Bottini's website
(http://www.bottinilaw.com)for more information.

The lawsuit charges that ZTO, certain of its directors and
officers, and underwriters of its IPO violated Sections 11, 12,
and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933.  Defendants priced ZTO's IPO
shares at $19.50 per share.  Through the IPO, defendants issued
and sold over 72 million ADSs, generating over $1.36 billion for
defendants.  The lawsuit alleges that the IPO Registration
Statement and Prospectus contained materially false and misleading
information, and failed to disclose that that ZTO was improperly
inflating its stated profit margins by keeping certain low-margin
segments of its business out of its financial statements.  ZTO
failed to disclose that it used a system of "network partners" to
handle lower-margin pickup and delivery services, while
maintaining ownership of core hub operations.  By keeping the
"network partners" businesses off its own books, the Company
allegedly was able to exaggerate its profit margins to investors.

Subsequent to the IPO, ZTO Express' stock declined immediately.
As of August 11, 2017, the stock was trading at just $13.25 -- a
decline of over 32% from the IPO price.

If you wish to join the litigation or discuss your interests in
this lawsuit, contact Frank A. Bottini of Bottini & Bottini at
(858) 914-2001 or fab@bottinilaw.com. [GN]

* Buckley Sandler Attorneys Discuss Class Ascertainability Debate
Amanda Lawrence, Esq. -- alawrence@buckleysandler.com -- and
Michael Rome, Esq. -- mrome@buckleysandler.com of Buckley Sandler
LLP, in an article for Law360, report that in recent years, courts
have divided sharply over whether or not Rule 23 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure creates an implicit requirement that a
class must be ascertainable in order to be certified.  This
article addresses the meaning of ascertainability, the circuit
split over whether and to what extent it is required, and
implications of the ascertainability circuit split for class
action litigants.

What is Ascertainability? Assessing the Growing Circuit Split

In addition to the Rule 23(a) and 23(b) requirements for class
certification, most circuit courts have recognized another
implicit requirement that must be met before a Rule 23(b)(3) class
can be certified: ascertainability.  But what ascertainability
means and whether and when that requirement can be satisfied has
been hotly debated in the courts.

Two definitions of (or tests for) ascertainability have emerged:
heightened ascertainability and lesser ascertainability.  Courts
in the First, Third, Fourth and Eleventh Circuits have adopted the
heightened ascertainability requirement.  In these circuits, a
class cannot be certified unless the class is sufficiently
definite and plaintiffs demonstrate an administratively feasible
way for the court to determine whether a particular individual is
a member of the class.  "If class members are impossible to
identify without extensive and individualized fact-finding or
'mini-trials,' then a class action is inappropriate." Marcus v.
BMW of North America LLC, 687 F.3d 583, 593 (3d Cir. 2012). On the
other hand, the Second[1], Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth
Circuits have rejected the heightened ascertainability
requirement, finding that there is no independent "administrative
feasibility" prerequisite to class certification.

The Third Circuit's Heightened Ascertainability Requirement

The leading case in favor of imposing the heightened
ascertainability standard is Carrera v. Bayer Corp., 727 F.3d 300
(3d Cir. 2013).  Carrera was a putative class action against a
weight loss supplement provider alleging that the defendants
deceptively advertised the product as enhancing metabolism.  The
weight loss supplement provider did not sell its product directly
to consumers but instead sold the product in retail stores such as
pharmacies.  The plaintiffs advanced two ways to ascertain the
class: (1) by retailer records of online sales and sales made with
loyalty or rewards cards; and (2) by affidavits from class members
attesting that they bought the product and stating the amount they
paid. While the district court granted class certification, the
Third Circuit vacated the order on ascertainability grounds,
finding that these two methods in this case were insufficient
because (1) there was no evidence that the retailers had such
records, and (2) the affidavits were not subject to a reliable
screening methodology to identify fraudulent claims.  In so doing,
the Carrera court stated that a class cannot be certified unless
there is an administratively feasible method of determining
whether individuals are members of the class.

In Carrera, the Third Circuit provided a number of rationales for
the precertification heightened ascertainability requirement.
First, a precertification administrative feasibility requirement
eliminates significant administrative burdens -- such as the need
to conduct mini-trials to identify proper class members -- that
are inconsistent with the efficiencies that are supposed to be
achieved in class actions.  Second, the administrative feasibility
requirement is necessary to provide proper notice to absent class
members and protect legitimate claimants from dilution of their
recovery that would result from fraudulent claims.  Third, the
administrative feasibility requirement is necessary to protect the
due process rights of defendants to raise individual defenses and
challenges to claims, including the opportunity to challenge
whether class members are truly part of the proposed class.

Recent Decisions Rejecting the Heightened Ascertainability

A number of circuits, including the Second, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth
and Ninth Circuits, have rejected the heightened precertification
ascertainability requirement.  Instead, in these circuits, any
ascertainability requirement is met so long as a class is defined
using objective criteria that establish a class membership with
definite boundaries.

One of the most recent cases rejecting the heightened
ascertainability requirement came from the Ninth Circuit in
Briseno v. ConAgra Foods Inc., 844 F.3d 1121 (9th Cir. 2017).
Briseno was a putative class action against a packaged food
company alleging that a consumer product was mislabeled. The
proposed classes included consumers in 11 states that purchased
cooking oils labeled "100% natural."  The defendant moved to
dismiss the class claims on ascertainability grounds, arguing that
there was no administratively feasible way to reliably identify
members of the proposed classes because "consumers do not
generally save grocery receipts and are unlikely to remember
details about individual purchases of a low-cost product like
cooking oil."

The Ninth Circuit rejected this argument, concluding that "a
separate administrative feasibility prerequisite to class
certification is not compatible with the language of Rule 23." The
court relied heavily on the absence of any language in the text of
Rule 23 imposing an administrative feasibility requirement. It
explained: "The language of Rule 23 does not impose a freestanding
administrative feasibility prerequisite to class certification.
Mindful of the Supreme Court's guidance, we decline to interpose
an additional hurdle into the class certification process
delineated in the enacted Rule."

In reaching this decision, the Briseno court rejected each of the
rationales set forth by the Third Circuit in support of such a
rule.  First, it rejected the administrative efficiency rationale,
noting that the manageability requirement in Rule 23 already
addresses administrative concerns in a more balanced way. Second,
it rejected the concern regarding providing reliable individual
notice to absent class members, explaining that all that is
required is the best notice practicable under the circumstances,
not actual notice.  Third, it dismissed the concerns regarding the
submission of fraudulent claims, finding it to not be a
substantial concern given the low response rates to class
settlements.  Finally, the Briseno court rejected the Third
Circuit's due process rationale, finding that defendants can raise
individual challenges and defenses to claims of named class
members immediately, and can challenge those of absent class
members if and when they file claims.  The Briseno court found
that these opportunities to challenge the plaintiffs' claims were
sufficient to protect defendants' due process rights, noting that
while "ConAgra may prefer to terminate this litigation in one fell
swoop at class certification rather than later challenging each
individual class member's claim to recovery, [] there is no due
process right to a 'cost-effective procedure for challenging every
individual claim to class membership.'"

A panel in the Second Circuit also recently rejected the
heightened ascertainability requirement in In re Petrobras
Securities Litigation, 862 F.3d 250 (2d Cir. July 2017).  This
decision was a surprise to many observers, because the Second
Circuit previously embraced Carrera in Brecher v. Republic of
Argentina, 806 F.3d 22 (2d Cir. 2015) as well as a more recent
opinion following Brecher, Leyse v. Lifetime Entertainment
Services LLC, 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2607 (2d Cir. Feb. 15, 2017).

The defendants in Petrobras have petitioned the Second Circuit for
en banc review in light of these apparently inconsistent
positions.  Before July of this year, the Second Circuit was
generally considered to be on the Third Circuit's side of the
circuit split.  Class action lawyers will be closely following the
Second Circuit's response to the petition for en banc review,
which may be a precursor to review by the U.S. Supreme Court.


These different ascertainability standards have significant
consequences for class certification. For example, consider a
hypothetical class action on behalf of consumers that purchased a
mislabeled product.  Under the heightened ascertainability test,
the class may not be ascertainable because the consumers could not
reliably identify themselves as having bought the mislabeled
version of the product.  However, under the less restrictive
ascertainability test, the class may be considered ascertainable
because it is defined by objective criteria.  In the First, Third,
Fourth and Eleventh Circuits, defendants may be able to defeat
class certification in such a case on ascertainability grounds.
In the Second, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth and Ninth Circuits, the
class might be certified, and the defendant would have to litigate
whether putative class members are properly members of the class
on an individual basis after certification. Given the economic
realities of class litigation, litigating the proper inclusion of
individual putative class members after class certification could
prove cost-prohibitive for defendants in most cases. As such,
defendants in that position may consider settlement rather than
mount a challenge to the class membership of individual class

The Ninth Circuit's opinion in Briseno and recent opinions in the
Eighth and Second Circuits have deepened an already significant
circuit split on the issue of ascertainability.  Given the Ninth
Circuit's forceful rejection of the legal and policy rationales
put forward by the Third Circuit, this issue is now ripe for
Supreme Court review. In the interim, favorable decisions in the
Second and Ninth Circuits -- two of the most popular circuits in
which to bring class claims -- will be seen as a boon to
plaintiffs. Class counsel should keep these differences in mind as
they strategize where to bring and defend class claims.

Amanda R. Lawrence is a partner at Buckley Sandler LLP in
Washington, D.C. Michael A. Rome is an associate at Buckley
Sandler in Los Angeles.  They regularly represent clients in
putative consumer class actions.

The opinions expressed are those of the author(s) and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the firm, its clients, or
Portfolio Media Inc., or any of its or their respective
affiliates.  This article is for general information purposes and
is not intended to be and should not be taken as legal advice.

[1] The Second Circuit recently rejected the administrative
feasibility requirement in In re Petrobras Sec. Litig., 862 F.3d
250 (2d Cir. July 2017).  The decision distinguished two prior
circuit opinions that had embraced this standard, and is now the
subject of a petition for en banc review. [GN]

* Class Actions Over Data Collection Methods Surge
Glenn Minnis, writing for Cook County Record, reports that a
growing number of U.S. companies are turning to measures like
biometric tools to validate time entries and other forms of
tracking an employee's movements and actions.  And as technology
rapidly changes, it has also sparked a surge of litigation over
data collection methods, and the levels of protection dedicated to
electronically-gleaned data.

A simple scan of an employee's fingerprints can conclusively
validate a worker and who they are signing in as, seemingly doing
away with employer concerns such as "buddy punching."

Still, the issue remains perplexing for employers, who now must
face potential lawsuits, as well.

In Illinois, for instance, the Biometric Information Protection
Act allows individuals to sue over alleged violations, leaving
some companies exposed to "liquidated damages" of as much as
$5,000 per violation, along with attorney and expert witness fees.

"People become more nervous as breaches happen," Joseph
Lazzarotti, an attorney at the New Jersey office of law firm
Jackson Lewis, told the Cook County Record.  "There has not been a
lot of case law on the issue, and the Illinois law is unique. In
the end, some companies might try to find different ways of

In the meantime, Mr. Lazzarotti advises companies that still rely
on the technology to take precautions, including making sure they
don't keep any personal information for longer than needed and by
obtaining written consent from targeted individuals prior to
collecting any data.

"Employees need to understand tech and what it does,"
Mr. Lazzarotti said.  "They need to think of that before just
dumping on employees.  They need to work to have employees embrace
the process."

In Illinois, both the parent company of Mariano's supermarkets and
the Intercontinental Hotel Group have been hit with class action
lawsuits alleging they improperly collected and stored employee
fingerprints and other biometric data.

Presently, 48 states have enacted laws requiring notification of a
breach of "personal information."  From state to state, the
definition of personal information varies, but is largely not
limited to just Social Security numbers.  Laws in Illinois,
Connecticut, Iowa and Nebraska also include biometric information.

Mounting confusion aside, Mr. Lazzarotti predicts that such
technology will continue to grow as it becomes even more

"It's much easier to put a thumb on everything and not have to
remember passwords," he said.  "With that, you're likely to see
more laws in more states."

Meantime, Mr. Lazzarotti is closely monitoring developments in
biometric technology, including an employer in Wisconsin that
recently offered to implant a microchip in employees to help with
time tracking and plant security.

"Some have raised the question of, if that might lead to medical
conditions, or the matter of what happens when an employee leaves
and how much monitoring is too much," Mr. Lazzarotti said.
"Employees need to always be vigilant with data and remember that
nothing is completely secure.  Tech helps us to be more
productive, but we also have to be concerned about making people
more comfortable with it." [GN]

* Employers Face Biometric Data Privacy Litigation Threat
John Myers, writing for Cook County Record, reports that as they
face a growing number of class action lawsuits from workers
accusing them of improperly collecting and storing their
fingerprints and other biometric data, employers should not ignore
the litigation threat arising from a growing number of state laws
protecting biometric privacy.

"Companies should consult with their lawyers and . . . adopt
policies and procedures to comply with these [and other]
requirements," said attorney Steve Gold, with McguireWoods in
Chicago. "It is also important for a company to work with its
lawyers and its information technology personnel to take steps to
maintain the security and privacy of private information including
biometrics so as to reduce any possible harm to the individuals
whose information is collected."

In the Chicago area, two recent cases highlight the risk. First,
in March, former Mariano's supermarket employee Norman Baron sued
Roundy's, an affiliate of Kroger, the parent company of Mariano's,
alleging the supermarket chain's policy requiring employees to use
a unique fingerprint to clock in or out of their shifts violated
the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

The law was enacted in 2008, purportedly to protect the security
of biometric data belonging to Illinois residents, including
fingerprints and retinal data.

For Mariano's system to work, the company allegedly had to scan
and store each employee's unique fingerprint. However, the company
never acquired the express written consent of its employees before
storing the data, according the to the lawsuit.

Shortly after, Intercontinental Hotel Group was also hit with a
similar lawsuit in Chicago, as employees there similarly alleged
the hotel chain had also improperly collected and stored employee
biometric data.

Gold said Illinois has unusually strict guidelines when it comes
to the manner by which companies handle employee biometric data.

"In Illinois [and a few other states], there is a specific statute
addressing biometric information, such [as] a fingerprint," he
said. "That law provides that no private entity may collect such
information unless it first follows certain guidelines."

Gold said these guidelines include three key rules.

"The company must inform the person in writing that it is
collecting the biometric information; it must inform the person in
writing of the purpose and length of time for which it is
collecting the information; and obtain an informed written
consent, which must, in the context of employment, be signed as a
condition of employment," he said.

Baron's class action suit, which was originally filed in the Cook
County Circuit Court, was removed to the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of Illinois.

In its request for removal, the supermarket chain estimates that
the total cost of damages could surpass $5 million. [GN]

* Forced Arbitration Not Just a Trend in Nursing Homes
According to Levin & Perconti, Binding or Forced Arbitration, the
process of requiring customers, patients, and nursing home
residents to agree to settle disputes outside of court, has been
gaining popularity.  From a big business perspective, arbitration
significantly reduces the costs associated with a legal dispute
and traditionally favors the party being sued over a death,
injury, or other grievance.

In the past year, binding or forced arbitration in nursing homes
has been a frequent topic of conversation as conflicting actions
have played out within the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services (CMS), the agency that oversees federally funded nursing
homes in this country.  Last year, the Obama Administration and
CMS passed a rule that would ban binding arbitration clauses as a
condition of admission to nursing homes.  In December, a federal
judge in Mississippi blocked the enforcement of the ban.  And in
the most surprising move of all, just CMS did a 180 and decided
that they would support binding arbitration clauses in nursing
home admission contracts.

What is Binding Arbitration?

Binding arbitration clauses, one of many rules embedded in lengthy
nursing home admission paperwork, require nursing home residents
to agree to settle disputes with a nursing home-selected third
party serving as a negotiator.  Often unsure what a binding
arbitration clause entails, residents or their loved ones are
signing on the dotted line, unaware that they have given up their
7th Amendment right to a jury trial.  Families have found
themselves grief-stricken after a loved one has wrongfully died or
is injured, only to have their grief compounded by discovering
that their only path to demanding accountability is by negotiating
with a nursing-home selected represented who essentially holds all
of the cards.  Studies have shown that arbitration tips the scales
in favor of the defendant, leaving the injured party (plaintiff)
with less favorable outcomes than they would receive from a jury

Bank Customers and Student Loan Recipients Also Victims to Binding

In Closing the Courthouse Door, a New York Times piece published
recently, the newspaper addressed other victims of binding
arbitration, including bank customers and those who obtained
student loans from for-profit colleges and educational

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently issued a
rule that would allow bank customers to initiate or join a class-
action lawsuit against their financial institution, thereby
eliminating binding arbitration clauses as a legal and cost-saving
tactic used by banks.  The paper points out the victims of the
Wells Fargo banking scandal, which left thousands of customers
unaware that 2 million false accounts had been opened in their
names as a way to meet banker sales quotas.  Wells Fargo clients
had to sign binding arbitration agreements, essentially allowing
the bank to get away with paying significantly less to the victims
of their deceit and fraud.

The CFPB rule has caused a stir among some Republicans, who
unsuccessfully tried to stall the rule until they could determine
what financial impact it would have on big banks.  The rule is
currently set to go into effect next year.

For those who receive student loans from a for-profit university,
the Department of Education is attempting to reverse another
Obama-era rule that prevented the institutions from forcing
disagreements over student loans to go through arbitration and not
through the court.

The bottom line is that arbitration agreements are everywhere.
Former President Obama passed several laws to prevent their use,
including in nursing home admission contracts, in employment
agreements (for those suing businesses receiving federal funding),
and in student loan agreements.  However, with a current pro-
business administration, it seems binding arbitration is coming
back with a vengeance.  To quote the New York Times, "If Senate
Republicans, once again blinded by their antipathy to President
Barack Obama, vote to repeal this rule, they will join their House
colleagues and the Trump administration in closing the courthouse
door to vulnerable, victimized and defrauded Americans." [GN]

* Pillsbury Winthrop Attorneys Discuss CPB Arbitration Rule
Mercedes K. Tunstall, Esq. -- mercedes.tunstall@pillsburylaw.com
-- and Andrew Caplan, Esq. -- andrew.caplan@pillsburylaw.com -- of
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, in an article for Lexology,
report that financial Institutions may need to revise consumer
contracts to remove class action waivers in preparation for a
March 2018 federal rule.

On July 19, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the
federal regulator for a sweeping range of depository and non-
depository consumer financial services companies (including the
largest of U.S. banks), published a final rule that makes it
illegal for many of the CFPB's regulated entities to include
consumer class action waivers in pre-dispute arbitration
agreements.  The Rule's effective date is September 18, 2017, and
applies to contracts entered into after March 19, 2018. (The Rule
does not apply to pre-existing contracts.)

As a result, covered consumer contracts entered into after March
19, 2018, will need to: (a) remove language in pre-dispute
arbitration provisions that bars consumers from participating in
class actions; and (b) add language informing consumers of their
rights to participate in class actions.  The Rule will also
require such companies to provide information on individual
arbitration awards to the CFPB for publication in a public
database (redacting consumers' private financial information).
Although the Rule does not outright prohibit pre-dispute
arbitration agreements themselves (as many expected the CFPB
might), companies will need to reconsider the economics behind
offering consumers a full arbitration program in light of a future
reality of increased class actions.

Unlike the majority of the CFPB's regulations, which cover
specific financial products or services, the Rule applies across a
wide swath of traditional and online consumer financial products
and services, including among other things deposit accounts,
credit cards and consumer reporting products. (Arbitration
agreements, themselves, are already prohibited in residential
mortgage transactions, so the Rule does not cover those.)

Although the Rule was issued as "final" (as opposed to a mere
proposal), the Rule is currently subject to fierce political
headwinds from Congressional Republicans, the White House and
industry trade groups, all of whom strongly oppose the CFPB's
current director, Richard Cordray, an Obama appointee.

Indeed, the House of Representatives has already passed a
resolution that, if adopted by the Senate and signed by the
President, would nullify the Rule and bar the CFPB from issuing a
similar rule in the future without an express Congressional
directive.  The catch is that the procedure Congress would invoke
to nullify the Rule, the Congressional Review Act, must be used
within 60 legislative days of the Rule's publication of the
Federal Register. While the House of Representatives has taken the
first step, it remains to be seen if the Senate will have
opportunity to act in light of other legislative priorities.

Notwithstanding these potential threats to the Rule from Congress,
as of the time of this writing, the CFPB appears to be moving full
steam ahead.  As a result, companies that fall within the Rule's
coverage are well advised to begin reviewing their consumer
agreements and dispute resolution procedures in preparation for
the distinct possibility that prohibitions on consumer class
action waivers become the law in March 2018. [GN]

* Towers Watson Sues Morgan Lewis for $30MM for Helping Meriter
Lizzy McLellan, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, reports that
Towers Watson Delaware is suing Morgan, Lewis & Bockius for more
than $30 million, based on its claims that the firm knowingly
helped another client, Meriter Health Services, sue Towers.

The complaint claims Morgan Lewis' alleged conflict of interest in
representing Towers was "just the tip of the iceberg."  Towers
said Morgan Lewis used its representation of Towers to assist
another law firm, referred to in the complaint as "Law Firm 2," in
developing Meriter's lawsuit.

That case ended in a settlement in June, according to a Towers
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.  The
terms were confidential, but Towers has alleged that by assisting
Law Firm 2, Morgan Lewis caused Towers to lose more than $25
million, in addition to legal fees already paid.  "Morgan Lewis'
actions in developing and assisting in the development of claims
against the interests of its client Towers, in concert with Law
Firm 2, are as shocking as they are abundant," the complaint said.
"Although Morgan Lewis paid lip service to its inability to 'be
involved in any discussions involving Towers,' it regularly
participated in those discussions."

While "Law Firm 2" isn't identified in the lawsuit, court records
show that Nixon Peabody and Gass Weber Mullins LLC represented

According to the complaint, Morgan Lewis represented Towers from
2009 to 2016, and partner Jeremy Blumenfeld was the lead defense
counsel in one Towers matter.  In 2010, Morgan Lewis, led by
Blumenfeld and partner Charles Jackson, began defending Meriter in
a class action over a retirement plan, the complaint said.

After the class action settled in 2014, Meriter sued Towers, the
complaint said, alleging that Towers was responsible for Meriter's
liability in the class action. Towers Perrin, a predecessor of
Towers, designed the retirement plan at issue in the class action
lawsuit. (Towers Watson is now part of consulting company Willis
Towers Watson.)

Morgan Lewis acknowledged long before the settlement that the two
clients would have conflicting interests, the complaint said,
bringing in another firm in 2010 to work on the tolling agreement
between Meriter and Towers.  Meriter also retained a second firm
to handle third-party provider participation in the class action,
including Towers' involvement.

But Towers alleged that Morgan Lewis still never informed them of
the conflict or sought Towers' consent to the conflict.  Instead,
they alleged, the firm caused Towers to implicate itself in the
underlying class action.

"Throughout the class action, Morgan Lewis knowingly allowed, and
at times induced, its current client, Towers, to take positions as
a nonparty in the class action that Morgan Lewis knew would harm
Towers in subsequent litigation with Meriter," the complaint said.

Additionally, Towers alleged that Morgan Lewis worked with Law
Firm 2 to create a strategy for the class action that would shift
blame from Meriter to Towers.  This allegedly involved Morgan
Lewis eliciting testimony from a Towers witness that would later
support Meriter's claims. It also included changes to the
settlement notice to avoid statute of limitations issues on
Meriter's lawsuit, the complaint alleged.

In December 2014, after Towers learned of Meriter's intent to sue,
Towers' in-house counsel contacted Morgan Lewis to confirm that
the firm would not play a role in Meriter's litigation, the
complaint said, "unaware of the role Morgan Lewis had already
played in developing Meriter's case against Towers." Towers'
complaint alleges breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty
by Morgan Lewis and Blumenfeld.

A spokeswoman for Morgan Lewis declined to comment on the
complaint.  Richard Sprague, who is representing Towers Watson,
did not respond to a call seeking comment.  Neither did Nixon
Peabody and Gass Weber Mullins. [GN]

* Trump Organization Requires Mandatory Arbitration Agreements
Valerie Bolden-Barrett, writing for HRDrive, reports that CBS News
obtained documents that revealed the Trump Organization requires
signed mandatory arbitration agreements from employees at its
properties.  The document informs all Trump employees, including
housekeepers, gardeners and manicurists, that they must settle
disputes through arbitration and forfeit their right to go to
court or join class-action suits, according to CBS.  The Trump
Organization says that mandatory arbitration is a faster, cheaper
and less complicated means of settling disputes than lawsuits.
CBS notes that up to 20% of all businesses across the country
require employees to forfeit their right to sue. They say that
resolving claims this way saves both employers and workers money.
Courts have recently handed employers several wins on this issue,
supporting their demands that workers sign arbitration agreements,
CBS notes.

Dive Insight:

Following the administration change, the U.S. Department of
Justice (DOJ) in June switched its stance on mandatory arbitration
and took employers' side, arguing that courts should uphold these
agreements.  DOJ submitted an amicus brief in the NLRB v. Murphy
Oil lawsuit supporting the legality of class-action waivers in
arbitration agreements.  Many employers adopted arbitration
agreements to curtail increased liability that comes with class-
action suits.

The DOJ's about-face comes alongside several other Trump
administration attempts to reverse Obama administration positions.
So far, courts haven't exactly provided clarity on this.  A year
ago, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals took the National Labor
Relations Board's side against Ernst & Young, ruling that the
company's contract clause denied employees the right to
participate in class action suits. But the U.S. Supreme Court has
generally supported arbitration agreements in the past.

Employers might well benefit from the DOJ's new stance, but they
should review their arbitration agreements to make sure they don't
cross the line into violating employees' rights, as currently
defined by controlling appellate courts and any relevant laws.


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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