/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/180102.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Tuesday, January 2, 2018, Vol. 20, No. 2
* Major Court Rulings in Class Action Lawsuits - 2017


* Major Court Rulings in Class Action Lawsuits - 2017
The Class Action Reporter is pleased to provide our subscribers
the following list of court decisions in class action lawsuits
that we have identified as major rulings during 2017.

This list is the product of and copyrighted by Beard Group, Inc.,
and no reproduction or further use of this list is permitted
without the prior written consent of Beard Group, Inc., P.O. Box
40915, Washington, D.C. 20016

ADVOCATE HEALTH CARE NETWORK, et al., Petitioners, v. Maria
STAPLETON, et al.; Saint Peter's Healthcare System, et al.,
Petitioners, v. Laurence Kaplan; and Dignity Health, et al.,
Petitioners, v. Starla Rollins, Nos. 16-74, 16-86, 16-258 (U.S.)

          The question presented in this case is whether a church
          must have originally established an employee benefits
          plan for it to so qualify in the Employee Retirement
          Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) exemption of
          "church plan[s]" from its otherwise-comprehensive
          regulation of employee benefit plans.

          Advocate Health Care Network, et al., Saint Peter's
          Healthcare System, et al., and Dignity Health, et al.,
          identify themselves as three church-affiliated
          nonprofits that run hospitals and other healthcare
          facilities (collectively, hospitals).  They offer
          defined-benefit pension plans to their employees.
          Those plans were established by the hospitals
          themselves -- not by a church -- and are managed by
          internal employee benefits committees.

          ERISA generally obligates private employers offering
          pension plans to adhere to an array of rules designed
          to ensure plan solvency and protect plan participants.
          But in enacting the statute, Congress made an important
          exception for "church plans," which never had to comply
          with ERISA's requirements.

          The statutory definition of "church plan" came in two
          distinct phases.  From the beginning, ERISA provided
          that "[t]he term 'church plan' means a plan established
          and maintained ... for its employees... by a church or
          by a convention or association of churches."  Then, in
          1980, Congress amended the statute to expand that
          definition by deeming additional plans to fall within
          it.  The amendment specified that for purposes of the
          church-plan definition, an "employee of a church" would
          include an employee of a church-affiliated organization
          (like the hospitals here).  And it added the provision
          whose effect is at issue in these cases:

             A plan established and maintained for its employees
             ... by a church or by a convention or association of
             churches includes a plan maintained by an
             organization... the principal purpose or function of
             which is the administration or funding of a plan or
             program for the provision of retirement benefits or
             welfare benefits, or both, for the employees of a
             church or a convention or association of churches,
             if such organization is controlled by or associated
             with a church or a convention or association of

          Under the statute, certain plans for the employees of
          churches or church-affiliated nonprofits count as
          "church plans" even though not actually administered by
          a church.

          ERISA, the Supreme Court held, does not impose that
          requirement for it to so qualify.

          The three federal agencies responsible for
          administering ERISA have long read those provisions,
          when taken together, to exempt plans like the
          hospitals' from the statute's mandates.  The original
          definitional provision -- Section 1002(33)(A), or
          paragraph (A) for short -- defines a "church plan" as
          one "established and maintained... by a church" -- not
          by a church-affiliated nonprofit.  But according to the
          agencies, the later provision -- Section
          1002(33)(C)(i), or just subparagraph (C)(i) -- expands
          that definition to include any plan maintained by a
          principal-purpose organization, regardless of whether a
          church initially established the plan.  And, the
          agencies believe, the internal benefits committee of a
          church-affiliated nonprofit counts as such an
          organization.  That interpretation has appeared in
          hundreds of private letter rulings and opinion letters
          issued since 1982, including several provided to the
          hospitals here.

          The three cases before the Supreme Court are part of a
          recent wave of litigation challenging the agencies'
          view.  Respondents, current and former employees of the
          hospitals, filed class actions alleging that their
          employers' pension plans do not fall within ERISA's
          church-plan exemption (and thus must satisfy the
          statute's requirements). That is so, the employees
          claim, because those plans were not established by a
          church -- and ERISA, even as amended, demands that all
          "church plans" have such an origin.  According to the
          employees, the addition of subparagraph (C)(i) allowed
          principal-purpose organizations to maintain such plans
          in lieu of churches; but that provision kept as-is
          paragraph (A)'s insistence that churches themselves
          establish "church plans."  The District Courts handling
          the cases agreed with the employees' position, and
          therefore held that the hospitals' plans must comply
          with ERISA.

          The Courts of Appeals for the Third, Seventh, and Ninth
          Circuits affirmed those decisions.

          "A church-establishment requirement necessarily puts
          the IRS in the business of deciding just what a church
          is and is not -- for example (as in the IRS's ruling
          about the Sisters), whether a particular Catholic
          religious order should count as one.  And that
          requirement, by definition, disfavors plans created by
          church affiliates, as compared to those established by
          (whatever the IRS has decided are) churches. It thus
          makes key to the "church plan" exemption the very line
          that, on the hospitals' account, Congress intended to
          erase," the Supreme Court held.

          Hearing testimony disclosed that plans run by church
          affiliated pension boards came in different varieties:
          Some were created by church congregations, but others
          were established by the boards themselves.  And still
          others were sufficiently old that their provenance
          could have become the subject of dispute.  So keeping
          the church-establishment requirement would have
          prevented some plans run by pension boards -- the very
          entities the employees say Congress most wanted to
          benefit -- from qualifying as "church plans" under
          ERISA.  No argument the employees have offered here
          supports that goal-defying (much less that
          text-defying) statutory construction.

          ERISA provides (1) that a "church plan" means a "plan
          established and maintained... by a church" and (2) that
          a "plan established and maintained ... by a church" is
          to "include[ ] a plan maintained by" a
          principal-purpose organization. Under the best reading
          of the statute, a plan maintained by a
          principal-purpose organization therefore qualifies as a
          "church plan," regardless of who established it.

          The Supreme Court reversed the judgments of the Courts
          of Appeals.

          Justice Kagan delivered the opinion of the Supreme
          Court.  Justice Gorsuch took no part in the
          consideration or decision of these cases.  Justice
          Sotomayor, concurring.

          Attorneys for Advocate Health Care Network, et al.:

             Lisa S. Blatt, Esq.
             Elisabeth S. Theodore, Esq.
             Sally L. Pei, Esq.
             Washington, DC
             Email: lisa.blatt@apks.com

                -- and --

             Amy L. Blaisdell, Esq.
             Daniel J. Schwartz, Esq.
             Heather M. Mehta, Esq.
             St. Louis, MO
             Email: apb@greensfelder.com

          Attorneys for the United States as amicus curiae
          supporting Advocate Health Care Network, et al.,

             Malcolm L. Stewart, Esq.

          Attorneys for Internal Revenue Service, Department of
          Labor, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation:

             James A. Feldman, Esq.
             Washington, DC

               -- and --

             Lynn Lincoln Sarko, Esq.
             Matthew Gerend, Esq.
             Laura R. Gerber, Esq.
             KELLER ROHRBACK L.L.P.
             Seattle, WA
             Email: lsarko@kellerrohrback.com

                -- and --

             Ron Kilgard, Esq.
             Laurie Ashton, Esq.
             KELLER ROHRBACK L.L.P.
             Phoenix, AZ
             Email: rkilgard@kellerrohrback.com

                -- and --

             Karen L. Handorf, Esq.
             Michelle C. Yau, Esq.
             Julie G. Reiser, Esq.
             Mary J. Bortscheller, Esq.
             Washington, DC
             Email: khandorf@cohenmilstein.com

          Attorneys for Dignity Health, et al.:

             Barry S. Landsberg, Esq.
             Harvey L. Rochman, Esq.
             Joanna S. McCallum, Esq.
             Los Angeles, CA
             Email: blandsberg@manatt.com

                -- and --

             David L. Shapiro, Esq.
             Cambridge, MA

          Attorneys for Saint Peter's Healthcare System, et al.:

             Jeffrey J. Greenbaum, Esq.
             James M. Hirschhorn, Esq.
             Katherine M. Lieb, Esq.
             SILLS CUMMIS & GROSS P.C.
             Newark, NJ
             Email: jgreenbaum@sillscummis.com

MICROSOFT CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. Seth BAKER, et al., No. 15-
457 (U.S.)

          This case concerns options open to plaintiffs, when
          denied class-action certification by a district court,
          to gain appellate review of the district court's order.
          Orders granting or denying class certification, the
          Supreme Court has held, are "inherently interlocutory,"
          Coopers & Lybrand v. Livesay, 437 U.S. 463, 470, 98
          S.Ct. 2454, 57 L.Ed.2d 351 (1978), hence not
          immediately reviewable under 28 U.S.C. Section 1291,
          which provides for appeals from "final decisions."
          Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(f),
          promulgated in 1998, however, orders denying or
          granting class certification may be appealed
          immediately if the court of appeals so permits.  Absent
          that permission, plaintiffs may pursue their individual
          claims on the merits to final judgment, at which point
          the denial of class-action certification becomes ripe
          for review.

          The plaintiffs in this case, respondents here, were
          denied Rule 23(f) permission to appeal the District
          Court's refusal to grant class certification.  Instead
          of pursuing their individual claims to final judgment
          on the merits, respondents stipulated to a voluntary
          dismissal of their claims "with prejudice," but
          reserved the right to revive their claims should the
          Court of Appeals reverse the District Court's
          certification denial.

          The Supreme Court held that the voluntary dismissal
          essayed by respondents does not qualify as a "final
          decision" within the compass of Section 1291.  The
          tactic would undermine Section 1291's firm finality
          principle, designed to guard against piecemeal appeals,
          and subvert the balanced solution Rule 23(f) put in
          place for immediate review of class-action orders.

          Justice Ginsburg, delivered the opinion of the Court.
          Justice Gorsuch took no part in the consideration or
          decision of this case.  Justice Thomas, with whom the
          Chief Justice and Justice Alito join, concurring in the

          Attorney for Microsoft Corporation:

             Stephen M. Rummage, Esq.
             Fred B. Burnside, Esq.
             Email: steverummage@dwt.com

                -- and --

             Jeffrey L. Fisher, Esq.
             Stanford Law School
             Email: jlfisher@law.stanford.edu

                -- and --

             Bradford L. Smith, Esq.
             David M. Howard, Esq.
             Timothy G. Fielden, Esq.

                -- and --

             Charles B. Casper, Esq.
             Philadelphia, PA
             Email: ccasper@mmwr.com

                -- and --

             Jeffrey L. Fisher, Esq.
             Stanford, CA

          Attorney for Respondent, Seth Baker, et al.:

             Darren T. Kaplan, Esq.
             Email: kaplan@stuevesiegel.com

                -- and --

             Peter K. Stris, Esq.
             Brendan S. Maher, Esq.
             Daniel L. Geyser, Esq.
             Douglas D. Geyser, Esq.
             STRIS & MAHER LLP
             Email: peter.stris@strismaher.com

                -- and --

             Radha A. Pathak, Esq.
             Dana Berkowitz, Esq.
             Victor O'Connell, Esq.
             Thomas E. Logan, Esq.
             STRIS & MAHER LLP
             Los Angeles, CA

                -- and --

             Mark A. Griffin, Esq.
             Amy Williams-Derry, Esq.
             Benjamin Gould, Esq.
             Seattle, WA

                -- and --

             Shaun P. Martin, Esq.
             University of San Diego, School of Law
             San Diego, CA

                -- and --

             Robert L. Esensten, Esq.
             Esensten Law
             Los Angeles, CA

                -- and --

             Jeffrey M. Ostrow, Esq.
             Jonathan M. Streisfeld, Esq.
             Kopelowitz Ostrow Ferguson
             Fort Lauderdale, FL
             Email: mostrow@kolawyers.com

                -- and --

             Paul L. Stritmatter, Esq.
             Bradley J. Moore, Esq.
             Stritmatter Kessler Whellan Koehler Moore
             Seattle, WA

             Cory L. Andrews, Washington Legal Foundation
             -- candrews@wlf.org -- for Washington Legal
             Foundation, et al.

             John H. Beisner, Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom
             LLP -- John.Beisner@skadden.com -- for Product
             Liability Advisory Council, Inc.

             Rishi Bhandari, Mandel Bhandari LLP --
             rb@mandelbhandari.com -- for Complex Litigation Law

             Deborah J. La Fetra, Pacific Legal Foundation
             -- dlafetra@pacificlegal.org -- for Pacific Legal

             Jason L. Lichtman, Lieff Cabraser Heimann &
             Bernstein LLP -- jlichtman@lchb.com -- for Public
             Justice, P.C.

             Mary Massaron, Plunkett Cooney --
             mmassaron@plunkettcooney.com -- for DRI-The Voice of
             the Defense Bar.

             Mark W. Mosier, Covington & Burling LLP --
             mmosier@cov.com -- for Chamber of Commerce of the
             United States of America, et al.

             Adina H. Rosenbaum, Public Citizen Litigation Group
             -- arosenbaum@citizen.org -- for Public Citizen,

             E. Joshua Rosenkranz, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe
             LLP -- jrosenkranz@orrick.com -- for Civil Procedure

SECURITIES, INC., et al., No. 16-373 (U.S.)

          Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. formerly was one of the
          largest investment banks in the United States.  In 2007
          and 2008, Lehman raised capital through a number of
          public securities offerings.  Petitioner, California
          Public Employees' Retirement System (sometimes called
          CalPERS), is the largest public pension fund in the
          country.  Petitioner purchased securities in some of
          these Lehman offerings; and it is alleged that
          respondents, various financial firms, are liable under
          the Act for their participation as underwriters in the

          In September 2008, Lehman filed for bankruptcy.  Around
          the same time, a putative class action concerning
          Lehman securities was filed against respondents in the
          United States District Court for the Southern District
          of New York.  The operative complaint raised claims
          under Section 11, alleging that the registration
          statements for certain of Lehman's 2007 and 2008
          securities offerings included material misstatements or
          omissions.  The complaint was filed on behalf of all
          persons who purchased the identified securities, making
          petitioner a member of the putative class.  Petitioner,
          however, was not one of the named plaintiffs in the
          suit.  The class action was consolidated with other
          securities suits against Lehman in a single
          multidistrict litigation.

          In February 2011, petitioner filed a separate complaint
          against respondents in the United States District Court
          for the Northern District of California.  This suit was
          filed more than three years after the relevant
          transactions occurred.  The complaint alleged identical
          securities law violations as the class-action
          complaint, but the claims were on petitioner's own
          behalf.  The suit was transferred and consolidated with
          the multidistrict litigation in the Southern District
          of New York.  Soon thereafter, a proposed settlement
          was reached in the putative class action.  Petitioner,
          apparently convinced it could obtain a more favorable
          recovery in its separate suit, opted out of the class.

          Respondents then moved to dismiss petitioner's
          individual suit alleging Section 11 violations as
          untimely under the 3-year bar in the second sentence of
          Section 13.  Petitioner countered that its individual
          suit was timely because that 3-year period was tolled
          during the pendency of the class action filing.  The
          principal authority cited to support petitioner's
          argument that the 3-year period was tolled was American
          Pipe & Constr. Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538, 94 S.Ct. 756,
          38 L.Ed.2d 713 (1974).

          The District Court disagreed with petitioner's
          argument, holding that the 3-year bar in Section 13 is
          not subject to tolling.  The Court of Appeals for the
          Second Circuit affirmed.  In agreement with the
          District Court, the Court of Appeals held that the
          tolling principle discussed in American Pipe is
          inapplicable to the 3-year time bar.  In re Lehman
          Brothers Securities and ERISA Litigation, 655 Fed.Appx.
          13, 15 (2016).  As the Court of Appeals noted, there is
          disagreement about whether the tolling rule of American
          Pipe applies to the 3-year time bar in Section 13.
          Compare Joseph v. Wiles, 223 F.3d 1155, 1166-1168
          (C.A.10 2000), with Stein v. Regions Morgan Keegan
          Select High Income Fund, Inc., 821 F.3d 780, 792-795
          (C.A.6 2016), and Dusek v. JPMorgan Chase & Co., 832
          F.3d 1243, 1246-1249 (C.A.11 2016).  The Court of
          Appeals also rejected petitioner's alternative argument
          that its individual claims were "essentially 'filed' in
          the putative class complaint," so that the filing of
          the class action within three years made the individual
          claims timely. 655 Fed. Appx., at 15.

          The Supreme Court granted certiorari.

          The question then is whether Section 13 permits the
          filing of an individual complaint more than three years
          after the relevant securities offering, when a class
          action complaint was timely filed, and the plaintiff
          filing the individual complaint would have been a
          member of the class but for opting out of it.  The
          answer turns on the nature and purpose of the 3-year
          bar and of the tolling rule that petitioner seeks to

          "Tolling may be of great value to allow injured persons
          to recover for injuries that, through no fault of their
          own, they did not discover because the injury or the
          perpetrator was not evident until the limitations
          period otherwise would have expired.  This is of
          obvious utility in the securities market, where complex
          transactions and events can be obscure and difficult
          for a market participant to analyze or apprehend.  In a
          similar way, tolling as allowed in American Pipe may
          protect plaintiffs who anticipated their interests
          would be protected by a class action but later learned
          that a class suit could not be maintained for reasons
          outside their control," the Supreme Court said.

          The purpose of a statute of repose, on the other hand,
          is to allow more certainty and reliability.  These
          ends, too, are a necessity in a marketplace where
          stability and reliance are essential components of
          valuation and expectation for financial actors.  The
          statute in this case reconciles these different ends by
          its two-tier structure: a conventional statute of
          limitations in the first clause and a statute of repose
          in the second.  The statute of repose transforms the
          analysis.  In a hypothetical case with a different
          statutory scheme, consisting of a single limitations
          period without an additional outer limit, a court's
          equitable power under American Pipe in many cases would
          authorize the relief
          petitioner seeks.  Here, however, the Court need not
          consider how equitable considerations should be
          formulated or balanced, for the mandate of the statute
          of repose takes the case outside the bounds of the
          American Pipe rule.

          The final analysis, then, is straightforward.  The 3
          year time bar in Section 13 of the Securities Act is a
          statute of repose.  Its purpose and design are to
          protect defendants against future liability.  The
          statute displaces the traditional power of courts to
          modify statutory time limits in the name of equity.
          Because the American Pipe tolling rule is rooted in
          those equitable powers, it cannot extend the 3-year
          period. Petitioner's untimely filing of its individual
          action is ground for dismissal.

          The judgment of the Court of Appeals for the Second
          Circuit is affirmed.

          Justice Kennedy delivered the opinion of the Court.
          Justice Ginsburg, with whom Justice Breyer, Justice
          Sotomayor, and Justice Kagan join, dissenting.

          For the reasons stated, Justice Ginsburg would hold
          the filing of the class complaint commenced CalPERS'
          action under Section 11 of the Securities Act, thereby
          satisfying Section 13's statute of repose.  
          the Supreme Court reverses the judgment of the Second

          A class complaint was filed against respondents well
          within the three-year period of repose set out in
          Section 13 of the Securities Act of 1933, 15 U.S.C.
          Section 77m.  That complaint informed respondents of
          substance of the claims asserted against them and the
          identities of potential claimants.  See American Pipe &
          Constr. Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538, 554-555, 94 S.Ct.
          756, 38 L.Ed.2d 713 (1974); Crown, Cork & Seal Co. v.
          Parker, 462 U.S. 345, 353, 103 S.Ct. 2392, 76 L.Ed.2d
          628 (1983).  Respondents, in other words, received what
          Section 13's repose period was designed to afford them:
          notice of their potential liability within a fixed time

          The complaint also "commence[d] the action for all
          members of the class." American Pipe, 414 U.S., at 550,
          94 S.Ct. 756.  Thus, when petitioner California Public
          Employees' Retirement System (CalPERS) elected to
          exercise the right safeguarded by Federal Rule of Civil
          Procedure 23(c)(2)(B)(v), i.e., the right to opt out of
          the class and proceed independently, CalPERS' claim
          remained timely.  See American Pipe, 414 U.S., at 550,
          94 S.Ct. 756 (demanding that class members
          meet the timeliness requirements... is simply
          inconsistent with Rule 23"). Given the due process
          underpinning of the opt-out right, see Wal-Mart Stores,
          Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S. 338, 363, 131 S.Ct. 2541, 180
          L.Ed.2d 374 (2011), Justice Ginsburg resists rendering
          the underpinning of the opt-out right, see Wal-Mart
          Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 564 U.S. 338, 363, 131 S.Ct.
          2541, 180 L.Ed.2d 374 (2011), Justice Ginsburg resists
          rendering the right illusory for CalPERS and similarly
          situated class members.  Justice Ginsburg reverses the
          judgment of the Second Circuit.  Accordingly, Justice
          Ginsburg dissents from the decision, under which opting
          out cuts off any  chance for recovery.

          Attorneys for California Public Employees' Retirement

             Thomas C. Goldstein, Esq.
             Bethesda, MD

                -- and --

             Darren J. Robbins, Esq.
             Joseph D. Daley, Esq.
             Thomas E. Egler, Esq.
             San Diego, CA

                -- and --

             Thomas C. Goldstein, Esq.
             Kevin K. Russell, Esq.
             Tejinder Singh, Esq.
             GOLDSTEIN & RUSSELL, P.C.
             Bethesda, MD

          Attorneys for Respondents ANZ Securities, Inc.; Bankia,
          S. A.; BBVA Securities Inc.; BMO Capital Markets Corp.;
          BNP Paribas FS, LLC; BNP Paribas S. A.; BNY Mellon
          Capital Markets, LLC; CIBC World Markets Corp.;
          Citigroup Global Markets Inc.; Daiwa Capital Markets
          Europe Limited; DZ Financial Markets LLC; HSBC
          Securities (USA) Inc.; HVB Capital Markets, Inc.; ING
          Financial Markets LLC; Mizuho Securities USA Inc.; M.R.
          Beal & Company; Muriel Siebert & Co. Inc.;
          nabSecurities LLC; Natixis Securities Americas LLC; RBC
          Capital Markets LLC; RBS Securities, Inc.; RBS WCS
          Holding Company; Santander Investment Securities Inc.;
          Scotia Capital (USA) Inc.; SG Americas Securities, LLC;
          Sovereign Securities Corporation LLC; SunTrust Capital
          Markets, Inc.; Utendahi Capital Partners, L. P.; and
          Wells Fargo Securities, LLC:

             Paul D. Clement, Esq.
             Washington, DC

                -- and --

             Victor L. Hou, Esq.
             Jared Gerber, Esq.
             New York, NY
             Email: vhou@cgsh.com

                -- and --

             Paul D. Clement, Esq.
             Jeffrey M. Harris, Esq.
             Matthew D. Rowen, Esq.
             KIRKLAND & ELLIS LLP
             Washington, DC

C.A.F., et al., petitioners, v. VIACOM INC., et al., No. 16-346.

          This is a multidistrict consolidated class action.  The
          plaintiffs are children younger than 13 who allege that
          the defendants, Viacom Inc. and Google Inc., unlawfully
          collected personal information about them on the
          Internet, including what webpages they visited and what
          videos they watched on Viacom's websites.  Many of the
          plaintiffs' claims overlap substantially with those the
          U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for Third Circuit
          addressed in its decision, In re Google Inc. Cookie
          Placement Consumer Privacy Litigation.  Two of the
          plaintiffs' claims -- one for violation of the federal
          Video Privacy Protection Act, and one for invasion of
          privacy under New Jersey law -- raise questions of
          first impression in the Third Circuit.

          The Video Privacy Protection Act, passed by Congress in
          1988, prohibits the disclosure of personally
          identifying information relating to viewers'
          consumption of video related services.  Interpreting
          the Act for the first time, the Third Circuit held that
          the law permits plaintiffs to sue only a person who
          discloses such information, not a person who receives
          such information.  The Third Circuit also held that the
          Act's prohibition on the disclosure of personally
          identifiable information applies only to the kind of
          information that would readily permit an ordinary
          person to identify a specific individual's video
          watching behavior. In the Third Circuit's view, the
          kinds of disclosures at issue in the case, involving
          digital identifiers like IP addresses, fall outside the
          Act's protections.

          The plaintiffs also claim that Viacom and Google
          invaded their privacy by committing the tort of
          intrusion upon seclusion.  That claim arises from
          allegations that Viacom explicitly promised not to
          collect any personal information about children who
          browsed its websites and then, despite its assurances,
          did exactly that.  The Third Circuit faced a similar
          allegation of deceitful conduct in Google, where it
          vacated the dismissal of state-law claims for invasion
          of privacy and remanded them for further proceedings.
          The Third Circuit reached a similar result in this
          case, concluding that, at least as to Viacom, the
          plaintiffs have adequately alleged a claim for
          intrusion upon seclusion.  In so doing, the
          Third Circuit held that the 1998 Children's Online
          Privacy Protection Act, a federal statute that empowers
          the Federal Trade Commission to regulate websites that
          target children, does not preempt the plaintiffs'
          state-law privacy claim.

          Accordingly, the Third Circuit affirmed the District
          Court's dismissal of most of the plaintiffs' claims,
          vacate its dismissal of the claim for intrusion upon
          seclusion against Viacom, and remanded the case for
          further proceedings.

          The U.S. Supreme Court denied the petition for

          The Third Circuit appeals case is IN RE: NICKELODEON
          CONSUMER PRIVACY LITIGATION, No. 15-1441 (3d. Cir.).

          Attorneys for children plaintiffs:

             Jason O. Barnes, Esq.
             BARNES & ASSOCIATES
             219 East Dunklin Street, Suite A
             Jefferson City, MO 65101

                -- and --

             Douglas A. Campbell, Esq.
             Frederick D. Rapone, Esq.
             CAMPBELL & LEVINE, LLC
             310 Grant Street, Suite 1700
             Pittsburgh, PA 15219

                -- and --

             Barry R. Eichen, Esq.
             Evan J. Rosenberg, Esq.
             40 Ethel Road
             Edison, NJ 08817
             Email: beichen@njadvocates.com

                -- and --

             James P. Frickleton, Esq.
             Edward D. Robertson, III, Esq.
             11150 Overbrook Road, Suite 200
             Leawood, KS 66211
             Email: jimf@bflawfirm.com

                -- and --

             Edward D. Robertson, Jr., Esq.
             Mary D. Winter, Esq.
             715 Swifts Highway
             Jefferson City, MO 65109
             Email: crobertson@bflawfirm.com

                -- and --

             Mark C. Goldenberg, Esq.
             Thomas Rosenfeld, Esq.
             2227 South State Route 157
             Edwardsville, IL 62025
             Email: mark@ghalaw.com

                -- and --

             Adam Q. Voyles, Esq.
             LUBEL VOYLES LLP
             5020 Montrose Boulevard, Suite 800
             Houston, TX 77006

          Attorneys for Amicus Curiae Electronic Privacy
          Information Center:

             Alan J. Butler, Esq.
             Marc Rotenberg, Esq.
             Electronic Privacy Information Center
             1718 Connecticut Avenue, N.W., Suite 200
             Washington, DC 20009

          Attorneys for Appellee Viacom, Inc.:

             Jeremy Feigelson, Esq.
             919 Third Avenue
             New York, NY 10022
             Email: jfeigelson@debevoise.com

                -- and --

             David A. O'Neil, Esq.
             801 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 500
             Washington, DC 20004
             Email: daoneil@debevoise.com

                -- and --

             Seth J. Lapidow, Esq.
             Stephen M. Orlofsky, Esq.
             BLANK ROME LLP
             301 Carnegie Center, Third Floor
             Princeton, NJ 08540
             Email: Orlofsky@BlankRome.com

          Attorneys for Appellee Google, Inc.:

             Colleen Bal, Esq.
             Michael H. Rubin, Esq.
             One Market Street
             Spear Tower, Suite 3300
             San Francisco, CA 94105
             Email: cbal@wsgr.com

                -- and --

             Tonia O. Klausner, Esq.
             1301 Avenue of the Americas, 40th Floor
             New York, NY 10019
             Email: tklausner@wsgr.com

                -- and --

             Jeffrey J. Greenbaum, Esq.
             Joshua N. Howley, Esq.
             SILLS, CUMMIS & GROSS P.C.
             One Riverfront Plaza Newark, NJ 07102

          Attorney for Amicus Curiae Chamber of Commerce of the
          United States of America:

             Jeffrey B. Wall, Esq.
             1700 New York Avenue, N.W., Suite 700
             Washington, DC 20006

Alex E. RINEHART, et al., petitioners, v. LEHMAN BROTHERS
HOLDINGS, INC., et al., No. 16-562 (U.S.)

          The case returns to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
          Second Circuit for the second time since 2013.  After
          the September 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers
          Holdings, Inc., Alex Rinehart, on behalf of himself and
          all others similarly situated, brought suit on behalf
          of a putative class of former participants in an
          employee stock ownership plan ("ESOP") invested
          exclusively in Lehman's common stock.  The Plaintiffs
          alleged that LBHI, Richard S. Fuld, and other
          individual defendants ("Plan Committee Defendants" or
          "Benefit Committee Defendants"), who were fiduciaries
          of the ESOP, breached their duty of prudence under the
          Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
          ("ERISA"), 29 U.S.C. Sections 1001 et seq., by
          continuing to permit investment in Lehman stock in the
          face of circumstances arguably foreshadowing its
          eventual demise.  The Plaintiffs also alleged that
          Lehman's former directors, including Lehman's former
          chairman and chief executive officer, Mr. Fuld,
          violated ERISA by failing to keep the
          Plan Committee Defendants apprised of material,
          nonpublic information that could have affected their
          evaluation of the prudence of investing in Lehman

          Applying the presumption of prudence articulated in
          Moench v. Robertson, 62 F.3d 553 (3d Cir. 1995), and
          adopted by the Second Circuit in In re Citigroup ERISA
          Litigation, 662 F.3d 128 (2d Cir. 2011), the United
          States District Court for the Southern District of New
          York dismissed Plaintiffs' consolidated amended
          complaint ("CAC") and second consolidated amended
          complaint ("SCAC") for failure to state a claim under
          Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).  On July 15,
          2013, the Second Circuit affirmed the District Court's
          dismissal of both the CAC and SCAC while also applying
          the Moench presumption, concluding that Plaintiffs had
          failed to "plausibly allege[] that the Benefit
          Committee Defendants knew or should have known that
          Lehman was an imprudent investment given the mixed
          signals with which the fiduciaries grappled." Rinehart
          v. Akers, 722 F.3d 137, 151 (2d Cir. 2013).

          Nearly a year later, on June 25, 2014, the Supreme
          Court of the United States held in Fifth Third Bancorp
          v. Dudenhoeffer that ESOP fiduciaries are not entitled
          to any special presumption of prudence. 134 S. Ct.
          2459, 2463 (2014). On July 1, 2014, the Supreme Court
          granted Plaintiffs' petition for a writ of certiorari,
          vacated the judgment in Rinehart, and remanded the case
          to the Second Circuit for further consideration in
          light of Fifth Third.  Rinehart v. Akers, 134 S. Ct.
          2900 (2014). The Second Circuit, in turn, remanded the
          case to the District Court, and the District Court
          allowed Plaintiffs to replace the SCAC with a third
          consolidated amended complaint ("TCAC") that narrowed
          their claims and shortened the class period.

          On July 10, 2015, the District Court dismissed the
          TCAC, again holding that Plaintiffs had failed to state
          a claim under Rule 12(b)(6). In re Lehman Bros. Sec. &
          ERISA Litig., 113 F. Supp. 3d 745, 769 (S.D.N.Y. 2015).
          Though recognizing that Fifth Third abrogated the
          Moench presumption of prudence formerly governing ESOP
          based ERISA claims in the Second Circuit, the District
          Court nonetheless concluded that Plaintiffs failed to
          allege sufficiently that the Plan Committee Defendants
          violated their ERISA fiduciary duties as measured by
          the Twombly and Iqbal pleading standards.

          Accordingly, the Second Circuit affirmed.

          The Supreme Court denied the petition for writ of
          certiorari to the Second Circuit.

          Attorneys for Alex E. Rinehart, on behalf of himself
          and all others similarly situated, Jo Anne Buzzo,
          Monique Miller Fong, on behalf of herself and others
          similarly situated, Maria DeSousa, and Linda DeMizio:

             Daniel W. Krasner, Esq.
             Matthew M. Guiney, Esq.
             New York, NY

                -- and --

             Thomas J. McKenna, Esq.
             Gregory Egleston, Esq.
             New York, NY

          Attorneys for Mary Pat Archer, Amitabh Arora, Michael
          Branca, Evelyne Estey, Adam Feinstein, David Romhilt,
          and Wendy M. Uvino:

             Jonathan K. Youngwood, Esq.
             Janet Gochman, Esq.
             Alexander Li, Esq.
             New York, NY

          Attorney for Richard S. Fuld, Jr.:

             Todd S. Fishman, Esq.
             ALLEN & OVERY LLP
             New York, NY

Joshua BLACKMAN, petitioner, v. Amber GASCHO, Individually and on
Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, et al., No. 16-364

          Amber Gascho and other Plaintiffs sued Global Fitness
          Holdings, LLC, alleging that between 2006 and 2012
          Global sold gym memberships and incorrectly charged
          fees pertaining to cancellation, facility maintenance,
          and personal training contracts.  When class counsel
          and Global announced the settlement, two objectors --
          Joshua Blackman and the Zik objectors -- challenged its
          terms, both claiming that the settlement was unfair
          under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(e).  They
          argued that class counsel's fees were disproportionate
          to the claims paid, that the settlement unnecessarily
          required a claims process, and that the settlement
          contained "clear-sailing" and "kicker" provisions that
          suggest self-dealing by class counsel.  The Zik
          objectors further argued that the settlement must be
          rejected because it failed to provide adequate
          compensation for the Kentucky plaintiffs' state-law
          claims and for plaintiffs who had signed an early, more
          favorable version of the contract.

          The district court approved the settlement.  Both
          objectors appealed.  The U.S. Court of Appeals for the
          Sixth Circuit found that the district court did not
          abuse its discretion when approving the settlement, and
          therefore affirmed the district court's decision.

          The Supreme Court denied petition for writ of
          certiorari to the Sixth Circuit.

          Attorneys for Robert J. Zik, April Zik, and James
          Michael Hearon:

             Joshua T. Rose, Esq.
             Hummel Coan Miller, Esq.
             SAGE & ROSE LLC
             Louisville, Kentucky

                -- and --

             Gregory A. Belzley, Esq.
             Prospect, Kentucky

          Attorneys for Joshua Blackman:

             Theodore H. Frank, Esq.
             Washington, D.C.

          Attorneys for Gascho and all others similarly situated:

             Kenneth J. Rubin, Esq.
             Thomas N. McCormick, Esq.
             Columbus, Ohio

                -- and --

             Gregory M. Travalio, Esq.
             Mark H. Troutman, Esq.
             Columbus, Ohio
             Email: gtravalio@isaacwiles.com

          Attorneys for Global Fitness:

             V. Brandon McGrath, Esq.
             Cincinnati, Ohio
             Email: bmcgrath@bgdlegal.com

                -- and --

             Richard S. Gurbst, Esq.
             Larisa M. Vaysman, Esq.
             Cleveland, Ohio

HOME DEPOT U.S.A., INC., petitioner, v. Michael BAUER, et ux, No.
16-1205 (U.S.)

          This case began as a simple collection action brought
          in the Small Claims Court of Madison County, Illinois,
          by Tri-State Water Treatment, Inc., against Stacey and
          Michael Bauer.  Tri-State alleged that the Bauers
          failed to pay for a water treatment system it had
          installed at their house following a free, in-home
          assessment of their water.  The Bauers responded on
          June 5, 2015, by answering the complaint and filing a
          counterclaim against Tri-State.  But it was not just
          any counterclaim: it asserted a multi-state class
          action against Tri-State for fraud in connection with
          the sale of its water-treatment system.

          Matters became more complicated when, on February 26,
          2016, the Bauers filed an amended class-action
          counterclaim in which they added Home Depot U.S.A.,
          Inc., and Aquion, Inc., as counterclaim-defendants.
          The Bauers served the amended counterclaim on Home
          Depot on March 15, 2016.

          The amended counterclaim defines the class as consumers
          who purchased a water treatment system from Tri-State,
          Rainsoft, and Home Depot, following an in-home water
          test.  It asserts that the counterclaim-defendants
          conducted in-home water tests that did nothing but
          identify mineral content, rather than contaminants, and
          thereby misled consumers into buying their water
          treatment systems.

          Home Depot filed a timely notice of removal on April
          14, 2016, arguing that even though it was not an
          original "defendant" in the case, its status as an
          additional counterclaim-defendant in an action meeting
          the Class Action Fairness Act's criteria entitled it to
          take the removal step.  The Bauers filed a motion to
          remand pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1447(c), arguing
          that the general removal statute (Section 1446), as
          modified by CAFA, does not permit any kind of
          counterclaim-defendant (original or additional) to
          remove, and thus that the case had to be returned to
          the state court.

          In an order issued on September 29, 2016, the district
          court agreed with the Bauers' position.  It concluded
          that CAFA did not disturb the longstanding rule that
          only original defendants can remove cases to federal
          court.  The court relied in particular on First Bank v.
          DJL Properties, LLC, 598 F.3d 915 (7th Cir. 2010),
          which it read as a broad statement that only the
          original defendants are entitled to remove, not any of
          the hyphenated defendants, whether initial counterclaim
          defendants, new counterclaim-defendants, third-party
          defendants, or anything else in that general family.

          On October 11, 2016, Home Depot petitioned the U.S.
          Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit for permission
          to appeal the remand order pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
          Section 1453(c).  The Seventh Circuit granted that
          request on November 16, 2016, in order to resolve the
          unsettled question whether CAFA permits an additional
          counterclaim-defendant to remove an action.

          In First Bank, the Seventh Circuit held that a
          counterclaim-defendant is not entitled to remove a case
          from state court to federal court under the provisions
          of CAFA, Section 1453(b).  This case presents a related
          question: whether, even though the original
          counterclaim-defendant is barred from removing, an
          additional counterclaim-defendant may nevertheless do
          so.  The Seventh Circuit concluded that the statute
          does not support treating an original
          counterclaim-defendant differently from a new one, and
          so it affirmed the district court's order remanding the
          case to state court.

          The Supreme Court denied petition for writ of
          certiorari to the Seventh Circuit.

          Attorney for Tri-State Water Treatment, Inc.:

             Mark S. Johnson, Esq.
             Cape Girardeau, MO

          Attorney for Home Depot U.S.A., Inc.:

             Sidney Stewart Haskins, Esq.
             KING & SPALDING LLP
             Atlanta, GA

                -- and --

             Russell Kenneth Scott, Esq.
             Belleville, IL

          Attorney for Michael Bauer and Stacey Bauer:

             Sean K. Cronin, Esq.
             Belleville, IL

                -- and --

             Michael R. Reese, Esq.
             REESE LLP
             New York, NY

                -- and --

             Troy E. Walton, Esq.
             Edwardsville, IL

          Attorney for Aquion, Inc., doing business as

             Troy A. Bozarth, Esq.
             Hepler Broom, LLC
             Edwardsville, IL

No. 16-1113 (U.S.)

          Jeremy Meyers appeals the district court's denial of
          class certification brought under the Fair and Accurate
          Credit Transactions Act (FACTA).  This is Meyers'
          second putative class action under the FACTA to reach
          the Seventh Circuit in a matter of months.  In the
          prior appeal, the Seventh Circuit held that sovereign
          immunity barred Meyers' claim against the Oneida Tribe
          of Wisconsin.  This time, the Seventh Circuit concluded
          that Meyers lacks Article III standing.  Therefore, the
          Seventh Circuit vacated the judgment of the district
          court and remanded the case with instructions to
          dismiss for lack of jurisdiction.

          On February 10, 2015, Meyers was given a copy of his
          receipt after dining at Nicolet Restaurant of de Pere
          in de Pere, Wisconsin.  He noticed that Nicolet's
          receipt did not truncate the expiration date, as the
          FACTA requires.  Two months later, Meyers filed a
          putative class action complaint in district court,
          purportedly on behalf of everyone who had been provided
          a non-compliant receipt at Nicolet.  He sought only
          statutory damages.

          The Supreme Court declined a petition for certioriari.

          Attorneys for Jeremy Meyers, individually and on behalf
          of others similarly situated:

             Thomas A. Zimmerman, Jr., Esq.
             Matthew Charles DeRe, Esq.
             Chicago, IL

                -- and --

             Ryan R. Graff, Esq.
             Nicole R. Radler, Esq.
             Manitowoc, WI

Deborah Louise Douez v. Facebook, Inc., 36616 (British Columbia)

          The plaintiff commenced an action in the B.C. Supreme
          Court.  Relying on a contractual forum selection clause
          in favour of the courts of Santa Clara, California, the
          defendant submitted that B.C. is forum non conveniens
          and applied for a stay of proceedings.  The plaintiff
          applied to certify the action as a class proceeding.
          The chambers judge declined to stay the proceeding and
          certified it as a class proceeding.  The defendant

          The Court of Appeal for British Columbia allowed the
          appeal.  The forum selection clause should be enforced
          and the proceeding stayed. The plaintiff is at liberty
          to bring the action in Santa Clara.  The certification
          issues are moot.

          Counsel for the Appellant, M.A. Gelowitz, Esq., and
          T.J. Mallett, Esq.

          Counsel for the Respondent, C. Jones, Q.C., Esq., C.
          Rhone, Esq., and J. Willcock, A/S, Esq.

Harold M. HOFFMAN, petitioner, v. NORDIC NATURALS, INC., No. 16-
1172 (U.S.)

          Harold M. Hoffman is a serial pro se class action
          litigant from New Jersey who frequently sues under the
          New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.  In a previous opinion,
          the Third Circuit noted that Hoffman is "an attorney
          who has made a habit of filing class actions in which
          he serves as both the sole class representative and
          sole class counsel."  According to the record in this
          case, Hoffman has sued nearly 100 defendants in New
          Jersey state court in a period of less than four years.
          These defendants include Target, Whole Foods Market,
          GNC, Trader Joes, Barleans Organic Oils LLC, Paradise
          Herbs & Essentials Inc., Honest Tea Inc., Time Warner
          Cable, American Express, Bio Nutrition Inc., and many

          In this case, Hoffman chose to sue Nordic Naturals,
          Inc. for its allegedly false and misleading
          advertisements for fish oil supplements.  Prior to
          bringing the present action, Hoffman filed a similar
          lawsuit against Nordic, asserting virtually identical
          claims based on the same set of facts.  The District
          Court dismissed that first lawsuit for failure to state
          a claim.  The District Court accordingly dismissed this
          second lawsuit as procedurally barred by the first.
          For these reasons, the Third Circuit affirmed.

          In August 2012, Harold Hoffman filed a putative class
          action lawsuit pro se against Nordic Naturals in New
          Jersey state court for violations of the New Jersey
          Consumer Fraud Act ("Hoffman I").  He alleged that
          Nordic misrepresented the "safety, quality, testing,
          constituent ingredients and purity" of its product
          "Ultimate Omega," a fatty acid fish oil supplement.
          Specifically, Hoffman claimed that, contrary to
          Nordic's product labeling and marketing
          representations, Ultimate Omega is "tainted by an
          undisclosed overdose of a potentially harmful
          ingredient."  Thus, according to Hoffman, Nordic's
          representations that it is committed to delivering the
          "world's safest" omega oils and has achieved "award
          winning" purity levels are false.  The putative class
          consisted of all nationwide purchasers of
          Ultimate Omega within a six-year period.

          Nordic removed Hoffman I to federal court pursuant to
          the CAFA, which gives federal district courts original
          jurisdiction over class actions in which (i) the
          aggregate amount in controversy exceeds $5 million,
          (ii) there are at least 100 members in the putative
          class, and (iii) there is minimal diversity between the
          parties.  Hoffman filed a motion in the District Court
          to remand the case back to state court, which the
          District Court denied.

          Nordic moved for judgment on the pleadings under
          Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(c).  The District
          Court dismissed Hoffman I without prejudice and gave
          Hoffman leave to file an amended complaint within 30
          days.  But rather than file an amended complaint in the
          District Court, Hoffman filed a new class action
          lawsuit against Nordic in New Jersey state court within
          the 30-day window given to amend Hoffman I.  This
          second lawsuit ("Hoffman II") arose from facts
          identical to those in Hoffman I -- Hoffman's purchase
          of Ultimate Omega in May 2012 -- and it asserted
          virtually identical claims under the New Jersey
          Consumer Fraud Act.  But there was one significant
          difference: the putative class size was substantially
          smaller.  Rather than a class consisting of all
          nationwide purchasers of all available sizes of
          Ultimate Omega within a six-year period, the putative
          class in Hoffman II was restricted to New Jersey
          consumers who purchased only a 60-count bottle of
          Ultimate Omega (as opposed to a 120-count or 180-count
          bottle) within a one-year period.  The purpose of this
          change was, it seems, to reduce the amount recoverable
          and therefore defeat federal jurisdiction.

          Undeterred by Hoffman's tactics, Nordic removed Hoffman
          II back to the District Court.  Nordic then moved to
          dismiss the complaint under Federal Rule of Civil
          Procedure 12(b)(6), claiming that Hoffman II was barred
          by New Jersey's entire controversy doctrine, which is
          New Jersey's "application of traditional res judicata
          principles."  In the alternative, Nordic argued that
          the complaint failed to state a claim under the New
          Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.  Hoffman moved for limited
          discovery to determine whether subject matter
          jurisdiction existed under CAFA.  He argued that, given
          the significantly reduced class size in Hoffman II,
          limited discovery would help the court ascertain
          whether the amount in controversy exceeded the $5
          million jurisdictional minimum.

          The District Court granted Nordic's motion and
          dismissed Hoffman II with prejudice.  It held that the
          action was procedurally barred under New Jersey's
          entire controversy doctrine and, in the alternative,
          that Hoffman's claims under the New Jersey Consumer
          Fraud Act failed for substantially the same reasons
          they failed in Hoffman I.  The District Court then
          dismissed as moot Hoffman's motion for limited
          discovery, explaining that Hoffman's artificial
          narrowing of the putative class was a "poorly disguised
          attempt" to destroy CAFA jurisdiction.

          The Supreme Court denied the petition for writ of
          certiorari to the Third Circuit.

          Pro se Attorney:

             Harold M. Hoffman, Esq.
             240 Grand Avenue
             Englewood, NJ 07631

         Counsel for Nordic Naturals, Inc.:

             Michael R. McDonald, Esq.
             Jennifer M. Thibodaux, Esq.
             One Gateway Center
             Newark, NJ 07102


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Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C., USA.
Marion Alcestis A. Castillon, Jessenius Pulido, Noemi Irene A.
Adala, Rousel Elaine T. Fernandez, Joy A. Agravante, Psyche A.
Castillon, Julie Anne L. Toledo, Christopher G. Patalinghug, and
Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
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The CAR subscription rate is $775 for six months delivered via
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are $25 each. For subscription information, contact Peter A.
Chapman at 215-945-7000.

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