CAR_Public/180124.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R


            Wednesday, January 24, 2018, Vol. 20, No. 18



                            Headlines


ACUITY BRANDS: March 5 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
ADVANCED CALL CENTER: Faces "Hudson" Suit in E.D. New York
ALGIN MANAGEMENT: Faces "Camacho" Suit in E.D. New York
ALLTRAN FINANCIAL: Faces "Madar" Suit in E.D. New York
AMERICAN AIRLINES: "Thompson" Class Suit Dismissed for 30 Days

APOLLO POWER: Faces Investor Class Action in Tel Aviv Court
APPLE INC: Australian Law Firms Mull iPhone Battery Class Action
APPLE INC: Class Action May Attract 300,000 iPhone Users in Korea
APPLE INC: 180,000 Koreans to Join iPhone Battery Class Action
APPLE INC: Starts Offering iPhone Battery Replacements in Korea

APPLE INC: Faces 15th Class Action iPhone Battery Issue
APPLE INC: Faces 16th, 17th iPhone Battery Issue Class Actions
APPLE INC: Faces 18th Class Action Over iPhone Battery Issue
APPLE INC: Reeds Spring Teen Discovers iPhone Battery Issue
APPLE INC: Class Actions Raises Right to Repair Legislation Issue

APPLE INC: Apologizes for Slowing Down Older iPhone Models
APPLE INC: Starts Offering iPhone Battery Swaps for $29
BANK OF AMERICA: Faces "Velez" Suit in Middle District Florida
BAY BANCORP: Rigrodsky & Long Files Securities Class Action
BED BATH: Faces "Camacho" Suit in Eastern District New York

BLINK HOLDINGS: Faces "Olsen" Suit in Southern District New York
BMW OF NORTH AMERICA: Kessler Topaz Sues Over Defective Sunroofs
BURGER KING: Faces "Mendizabal" Suit in S.D. New York
BURGER KING: Settles Class Action Over Croissan'wich BOGO Coupon
CALATLANTIC GROUP: Jeweltex Suit Challenges Sale to Lennar Corp

CALIFORNIA SERVICES: Cell Phone Class Certified in "West" Suit
CANADA: PM Apologizes for LGBTQ Discrimination After Settlement
CANADIAN MALARTIC: Court Examines How Class Members Receive Info
CAPITALA FINANCE: Feb. 26 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
CAREFIRST: No Split on Article III Standing in Data Breach Cases

CARTER DISTRIBUTING: Fails to Pay Overtime, "Hill" Suit Alleges
CCB CREDIT: Faces "Reyes" Suit in Eastern District New York
CENERGY INT'L: Fails to Pay Overtime Under FLSA, "Dunn" Suit Says
CENTRA TECH: March 5 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
CHEMFAB CORP: PFOA Class Action Trial Scheduled for October

CLAIRES NAILS: Faces "Sancho" Suit in E.D. New York
CLERMONT NEW YORK: Court Abused Discretion in Dismissing Case
CLIENT SERVICES: Faces "Hudson" Suit in E.D. New York
CLIENT SERVICES: Faces "Rodriguez" Suit in S.D. New York
COINBASE: Class Action Mulled Over Delayed Payments

CONVERGENT OUTSOURCING: Faces "Leon" Suit in N.D. Illinois
CORECIVIC INC: Securities Class Action Survives Motion to Dismiss
DALLAS, TX: Faces "Gbalazeh" Suit in N.D. of Texas
DUKE UNIVERSITY: Faces Antitrust Suit Over Alleged Medical Deal
ECLINICALWORKS: Faces Second Class Action Over EHR Offering

EGS FINANCIAL: Faces "Shimonov" Suit in E.D. New York
EKSO BIONICS: Rosen Law Firm Files Securities Class Action
EMERGENCY COVERAGE: "Harbin" Suit Settlement Has Interim Approval
EKSO BIONICS: March 5 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
EQUIFAX INC: Faces Atlantic City Union Suit Over Data Breach

FIAT CHRYSLER: Faces Class Action Over Pacifica Engine Defect
FINICITY CORPORATION: Class Certification Sought in "Doman" Suit
FLEET DESIGN: Faces "Medellin" Suit in E.D. New York
FLORIDA, USA: Shabazz Moves for Certification of Inmates Class
GINZA ONODERA: Faces "Mendizabal" Suit in S.D. New York

GOOGLE INC: Ex-Female Workers File Amended Gender Bias Complaint
GOOGLE INC: CEI Wants Supreme Court to Review Privacy Settlement
GREAT LAKES: Sued Over Government Loan Forgiveness Program
HALLIBURTON ENERGY: Faces "Rodriguez" Suit in Cal. Super. Court
HARD ROCK: "Aviles" Seeks to Recover Unpaid Wages and Overtime

HCC MEDICAL: Lieff Cabraser Files Fraud Class Action in Indiana
IMPAX LABORATORIES: Rigrodsky & Long Files Class Action in Calif.
INDIANA: Decker Files Suit v. Warden of Correction Complex
INTEROIL CORPORATION: Robbins Geller Files Class Action in Texas
J.P. LICK'S: Faces "Godino" Suit in District of Massachusetts

JOE & THE JUICE: Faces "Olsen" Suit in S.D. of New York
JPAY INC: Faces "Reyes" Suit in Central District California
JZANUS LTD: Faces "Schlesinger" Suit in Eastern District New York
K & C INTERIOR: Faces "Vega" Suit in Eastern District New York
KENTUCKY: Teacher Mulls Another Lawsuit Over Pensions

KOBE STEEL: Feb. 26 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
KOL BARAMA: Court Has Yet to Rule on Class Action
LIQUIDITY SERVICES: Feb. 20 Class Action Opt-Out Deadline Set
LOBLAW COS: Registration for $25 Cards Begins
LOBLAW COS: Former Manitoba Grand Chief Files Class Action

LOLA'S GOURMET: Sued by Labrador for Not Paying Minimum, OT Wages
LQ MANAGEMENT: Faces "Adkins" Suit in W.D. Penn.
MAKESPACE LABS: Faces "Mendizabal" Suit in S.D. New York
MICHIGAN: Targets Water Chemical Contaminants Amid Class Action
MIDLAND CREDIT: Faces "Espinal" Suit in E.D. New York

MINNESOTA: Prison Inmates File Class Action Over DAA Drugs
MORTON WILLIAMS: Faces "Mendizabal" Suit in S.D. New York
MURRAY GOULBURN: Denies Giving Misleading Statements to Investors
NATIONAL ENTERPRISE: Faces "Abrahamov" Suit in E.D. New York
NATIONAL ENTERPRISE: Faces "Shimonov" Suit in E.D. New York

NEW DEAL: Faces "Kiler" Suit in Eastern District New York
NEW JERSEY COMMUNITY: Potential Securities Violations Probed
NEW YORK, NY: Wins Prelim OK of $4.9-Mil. Accord in "Parker" Suit
NFL: Ex-Richmond Football Player Joins Concussion Suit
NORTHWOOD ASSET: Faces "Squire" Suit in E.D. Virginia

OKLAHOMA BLOOD: Misclassifies Account Consultants, Lenore Claims
ONWARD LUXURY: Faces "Mendizabal" Suit in S.D. New York
PAYPAL HOLDINGS: Feb. 5 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
PETROBRAS BRASILEIRO: Settles Class Action for $2.95-Bil.
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Pomerantz Achieves Largest Class Settlement

PHILLIPS 66 CO: Atiram Seeks to Recover Plan Losses Under ERISA
PIPEFITTERS ASSOCIATION: Class of Members Certified in "Porter"
PORTFOLIO RECOVERY: Must Face Debt Collection Class Action
PRINCE GEORGE: Class Actions Over Fake Doctor Pending
PROGRESSIVE FINANCIAL: Faces "Reyes" Suit in Connecticut

QBE INSURANCE: Settles Shareholder Class Action for AU$132.5MM
RAMEN NOODLE: Judge Allows Price-Fixing Class Action to Proceed
RBC TRANSPORT: Moves to Decertify Class of Employees in "Reynoso"
REGRESO FINANCIAL: Karcauskas Moves to Certify Settlement Class
RHODE ISLAND: ACLU Files Second Class Action Over UHIP System

SAN PIETRO RESTAURANT: Faces "Borja" Suit in S.D. New York
SCAPE RESTAURANT: Former Workers Sue Over Unpaid Wages
SCRANTON, PA: Judge Certifies Class Action Over $300 Trash Fee
SIGNET JEWELERS: Feb. 13 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
SIX FLAGS: Proskauer Rose Attorney Discusses BIPA Case Ruling

SPOTIFY USA: Wixen Music Won't Participate in Class Action
STARBUCKS CORP: Taft Stettinius Attorneys Discuss Court Ruling
SUNRUN INC: Certification of Classes Sought in "Slovin" Suit
SWATCH GROUP: Faces "Mendizabal" Suit in S.D. New York
TERMINIX INT'L: Faces Class Action Over Unpaid Overtime Wages

TEXAS: Awaits Final Order in Foster Care System Class Action
TRIDENT ASSET: Faces "Zilbershlag" Suit in E.D. New York
UNION PACIFIC: Faces "Mlsna" Suit in W. Dist. Wisc.
UNITED PETROLEUM: Drivers Mull Class Action Over Wrong Petrol
UNITED STATES: Ordered to Release Iraqis or Grant Bond Hearings

UNITED STATES: Smith Moves for Certification of Class & Subclass
US ENERGY: "Assad" Suit Seeks to Stop APEG Exchange Agreement
VAN CLEEF & ARPELS: Faces "Mendizabal" Suit in S.D. of New York
VEDGE RESTAURANT: Faces "Conner" Suit in E.D. Pennsylvania
VIGO COUNTY, IN: Jail Construction Class Action Pending

VITA-MIX CORP: March 28 Settlement Approval Hearing Set
VOLKSWAGEN AG: Seeks Dismissal of "Clean Diesel" Class Actions
WEDRON SILICA: Resident Mulls Class Action Over Silica Dust
WEISMAN DISCOUNT: Faces "Camacho" Suit in E.D. New York
WEST POINT CHIPS: Residents File $7.5-Million Class Action

WESTROCK COMPANY: "Griswold" Accuses Glass Ceiling for Females
WILLOCK, OH: Must Face Negligence Claim in Sewer System Case

* D&O Insurance Premiums in Australia Rise as Class Actions Spike
* Regina Hoppe Named A2L Litigation Consulting Managing Director
* South Korea Unveils Measures to Strengthen Consumer Safety




                            *********



ACUITY BRANDS: March 5 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
---------------------------------------------------------
Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, on Jan. 3
announced the filing of a class action lawsuit on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of Acuity Brands, Inc. (NYSE: AYI)
from June 29, 2016 through April 3, 2017, inclusive (the "Class
Period").  The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for Acuity
investors under the federal securities laws.

To join the Acuity class action, go to
http://rosenlegal.com/cases-1264.htmlor call Phillip Kim, Esq.
or Daniel Sadeh, Esq. toll-free at 866-767-3653 or email
pkim@rosenlegal.com or dsadeh@rosenlegal.com for information on
the class action.

NO CLASS HAS YET BEEN CERTIFIED IN THE ABOVE ACTION. UNTIL A
CLASS IS CERTIFIED, YOU ARE NOT REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL UNLESS YOU
RETAIN ONE. YOU MAY ALSO REMAIN AN ABSENT CLASS MEMBER AND DO
NOTHING AT THIS POINT. YOU MAY RETAIN COUNSEL OF YOUR CHOICE.

According to the lawsuit, defendants during the Class Period made
materially false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to
disclose that: (1) known trends were negatively impacting sales
of Acuity's products; (2) Acuity's ability to achieve profitable
sales growth was overstated; and (3) as a result, defendants'
positive statements about Acuity's current and future business
and financial prospects lacked a reasonable basis.  When the true
details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors
suffered damages.

A class action lawsuit has already been filed.  If you wish to
serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than
March 5, 2018. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting
on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation. If
you wish to join the litigation, go to
http://rosenlegal.com/cases-1264.htmlor to discuss your rights
or interests regarding this class action, please contact Phillip
Kim, Esq. or Daniel Sadeh, Esq. of Rosen Law Firm toll free at
866-767-3653 or via e-mail at pkim@rosenlegal.com or
dsadeh@rosenlegal.com

Rosen Law Firm -- http://www.rosenlegal.com-- represents
investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in
securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation.
Since 2014, Rosen Law Firm has been ranked #2 in the nation by
Institutional Shareholder Services for the number of securities
class action settlements annually obtained for investors. [GN]


ADVANCED CALL CENTER: Faces "Hudson" Suit in E.D. New York
----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Advanced Call
Center Technologies, LLC. The case is styled as Daryl Hudson, on
behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v.
Advanced Call Center Technologies, LLC, Defendant, Case No. 1:18-
cv-00234 (E.D. N.Y., January 12, 2018).

Advanced Call Center Technologies, LLC provides contact center
and back office support services to companies in the United
States.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Daniel C Cohen, Esq.
   Daniel Cohen, PLLC
   407 Rockaway Avenue
   Brooklyn, NY 11212
   Tel: (646) 645-8482
   Fax: (347) 665-1545
   Email: dancohenlaw@gmail.com


ALGIN MANAGEMENT: Faces "Camacho" Suit in E.D. New York
-------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Algin Management
Co., LLC. The case is styled as Jason Camacho, on behalf of
himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Algin
Management Co., LLC, Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-00282 (E.D.
N.Y., January 16, 2018).

Algin Management is a family-owned real estate management and
development company.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears PRO SE.


ALLTRAN FINANCIAL: Faces "Madar" Suit in E.D. New York
------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Alltran Financial,
LP. The case is styled as Itschak Madar, on behalf of himself and
all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Alltran Financial,
LP, Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-00198 (E.D. N.Y., January 11,
2018).

Alltran Financial is a debt collector.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Daniel C Cohen, Esq.
   Daniel Cohen, PLLC
   407 Rockaway Avenue
   Brooklyn, NY 11212
   Tel: (646) 645-8482
   Fax: (347) 665-1545
   Email: dancohenlaw@gmail.com


AMERICAN AIRLINES: "Thompson" Class Suit Dismissed for 30 Days
--------------------------------------------------------------
The case entitled Cher Thompson, et al. v. American Airlines
Group, Inc., et al., Case No. 1:14-cv-07980 (N.D. Ill.), has been
dismissed after the parties reached a resolution.

The clerk of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois made a docket entry on Dec. 11, 2017, relating the case,
which was before the Honorable Sharon Johnson Coleman.  The
minute entry states that:

   -- Parties having reached a resolution, the case is dismissed
      without prejudice for 30 days;

   -- If no motion to reinstate is filed by January 30, 2018, the
      dismissal shall automatically convert to one with prejudice
      with no further action by the Court;

   -- Status hearing set to December 20, 2017, before Magistrate
      Judge Cox is hereby stricken; and

   -- Civil case terminated.

A copy of the Notification of Docket Entry is available at no
charge at http://d.classactionreporternewsletter.com/u?f=GbTldf0f


APOLLO POWER: Faces Investor Class Action in Tel Aviv Court
-----------------------------------------------------------
Avi Mizrahi, writing for Bitcoin.com, reports that an application
for a class action lawsuit against Apollo Power (TASE: APLP) has
been submitted to the Tel Aviv District Court.  The solar energy
technology company is accused of misleading investors by making a
false report. The matter at hand is how its share price jumped by
150% on December 18 after Apollo announced it entered the
cryptocurrency mining business.

Apollo Power, its chairman, CEO and directors are accused of
gravely misleading investors by making an immediate report to the
TASE which had crucial missing details.  According to the
application for a class action lawsuit, the accused "identified
an attractive trend called blockchain."

So, at the morning of the 18th, the company made a dramatic
breaking announcement regarding an experiment in mining
cryptocurrencies with its system.  Investors were led to believe
this was a breakthrough that will save significant electricity
costs for miners, making the system more valuable.

With bitcoin at over $19,000 and ether close to $800 that day,
the stock price of Apollo shot up in price from 4.3 shekels to
over 10 shekels immediately after this first report, as many
investors regarded the announcement as credible and bought the
stock.  However, just six hours later Apollo made a second report
which made it clear, according to class action application, that
the first announcement was, "partial, false, misleading, fake,
fraudulent and at the very least negligent."

Bitcoin Verbal Gymnastics
Public Firm Faces Class Action Lawsuit for Falsely Claiming Link
to BitcoinApollo was forced by the Israel Securities Authority to
issue its second announcement on the December 18, which revealed
its earlier report was missing many crucial details.  According
to its accusers, the company used artistic verbal gymnastics to
jam in the word bitcoin into the report "in order to motivate
investors to buy the stock."  The ISA is already separately
investigating the matter on its own.

The second announcement revealed that the half hour experiment
produced just 0.000054 ETH worth about 4 cents at the time.
Furthermore it was made clear that the system can only mine about
35 cents worth of altcoins a day, and no bitcoin at all.  There
are also yet unestimated extra costs for mining with the system,
while the original announcement said that the breakthrough can
create a substantial additional income source for users.  The
class action lawsuit application thus accuses the company of
causing great financial losses to the group of investors who
bought it after the first report. [GN]


APPLE INC: Australian Law Firms Mull iPhone Battery Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
Matthew Dunn, writing for The Advertiser, reports that a
Queensland-based law firm could be the latest practice in the
world to launch a class action against Apple for intentionally
slowing down old iPhones.

The legal battle stems back to December when Reddit users
discovered Apple had issued updates that caused older iPhones to
slow.

Apple apologized for the "misunderstanding", but suggested it was
more about prolonging the life of its devices as opposed to
forcing users to upgrade or pay for a new battery.

While the tech giant might have thought a simple sorry was good
enough, numerous class actions were filed across the United
States against Apple for not warning customers it was slowing
down devices.

Now it appears Australia is joining the fight, with Shine Lawyers
considering taking its own legal action, putting the call out for
affected Australian iPhone users to come forward.

Shine Lawyers class action expert Jan Saddler said the defects
found in the iPhone 6, 6S, SE and 7 could see several cases
brought against Apple.

"In Australia, we will be looking at a class action for strict
product liability, negligence, breach of warranty, and a
violation of consumer trust," she told Business Insider.

"There was no express consent among iPhone users to have their
phones slowed down."

While nothing official has been announced, Ms Saddler said the
firm would deliver a decision on a class action by early 2018.

"[Apple] misled millions of consumers globally into believing
that their iPhones were malfunctioning, causing them to upgrade
to newer and more costly devices," she said.

"[Slowing down devices gave the company an] unfair sales
advantage over their competitors."

The law firm couldn't explicitly state what compensation might
result from a class action, however, seeking compensation from
Apple for the cost of the replacement for users who

had upgraded due to a slowing phone was not out of reach.

A secondary firm, Bannister Law, has also announced it will be
joining the fight.

"Consumers may not be aware or may not have agreed to purchase a
phone that may slow down or not perform how it should after
updating the software," a spokesman said.

"We have spoken with consumers who have updated their iPhone
software and experienced issues with phone usage." [GN]


APPLE INC: Class Action May Attract 300,000 iPhone Users in Korea
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Herh, writing for Business Korea, reports that according
to industry sources on December 2, Apple Korea began accepting
applications for battery replacement for discounted prices.  When
a user of the iPhone 6 or later models visits an Apple service
center, it costs the user 34,000 (US$30), down 66,000 won (US$59)
from the original official price of 100,000 won (US$90) to
replace an old battery with a new one at the center.

However, Apple is still showing an attitude to make profits such
as receiving 34,000 won (US$30) for battery replacement as one
new battery is below US$10 (about 11,000 won).  It is pointed out
that even in the midst of replacing batteries in the US, Apple
did not officially announce the start of the battery replacement
service, making Korean consumers say, "Apple is not sincere about
coping with its battery scandal.  The controversy does not show
any sign of dying down as nearly 300,000 consumers showed will to
join a class action suit against Apple in Korea.

Consumers are dissatisfied with the fact that they are willing to
make a profit by replacing the battery even after deliberately
manipulating product performance.  According to a report
published by global research firm IHS Markit in 2014, the costs
of replacing an iPhone 6 battery and an iPhone 6 battery were
US$3.6 and US$4.6, respectively.  Although Apple is taking credit
to itself for discounted batter replacements, consumers are
complaining, running down Apple.  "Discounted battery
replacements are not enough compensations compared to the
severity of the damage," and "Apple is still interested in making
money."

As the controversy continues, consumers to file lawsuits against
Apple are on a sharp rise.  There are 15 lawsuits in five
countries, including the United States, Israel, France, Korea and
Australia. In France, criminal lawsuits against Apple were filed
by consumer rights groups.

In the case of the Korean market, the number of consumers who
expressed their intentions to participate in a class action
lawsuit through law firm Hannuri topped 240,000 by noon of the
day.  If the current trend holds, the number will hit over
300,000 consumers.  In particular, after Hannuri, the Citizens
United for Consumer Sovereignty (CUCS) decided to take a class
action lawsuit against Apple.

"The average temperature in Korea is 25.9 degrees celcius, so
ambient temperature does not affect power supply for iPhone
batteries," said a representative of the CUCS.  "The iPhone
models in question were released just one to three years ago so
they are not inferior to new smartphone models.  Apple claims
that the company intentionally slowed down the performance of the
iPhone due to concern that a low battery percentage may turn the
device off. [GN]


APPLE INC: 180,000 Koreans to Join iPhone Battery Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
Jae-Hee Kim, writing for DongA.com, reports that consumer
dissatisfaction is at an all-time high over the compensation plan
for intentionally slowing down older iPhones.  The number of
people wanting to participate in the domestic class action
lawsuit against Apple has passed 180,000 as of Dec. 31.

According to Hannuri Law, the law firm currently taking
application for participation in the "slowing iPhone performance
class action lawsuit," around 180,000 people applied by Dec. 31 2
p.m.  The number of applicants was around 20,000 by Dec. 30, but
since Apple's compensation plan announcement, which was made on
Dec. 29, the number increased by 150,000 in one day.  Law Firm
Hwimyung is also accepting an authorization to conduct through an
online forum.

Consumer anger toward Apple has not dissipated because of the
dissatisfaction over the compensation plan Apple presented.  The
tech giant said it would reduce the price of an out-of-warranty
iPhone battery replacement from 79 dollars to 29 dollars for
anyone with an iPhone 6 or later whose battery needs to be
replaced.

Apple Korea also announced it would cut the price of battery
replacements for Korean users with an iPhone 6 or later from
100,000 won to 34,000 won.  As Apple has acknowledged slowing
down older iPhone performance with its iOS update, more iPhone
users are urging a free battery replacement. [GN]


APPLE INC: Starts Offering iPhone Battery Replacements in Korea
---------------------------------------------------------------
Korea Joongang Daily reports that Apple Korea unexpectedly
started offering battery replacements for out-of-warranty iPhones
at 34,000 won ($31.96) on Jan. 2.

The company said in a statement on Dec. 28 that it would lower
battery exchange prices from 100,000 won to 34,000 won for the
iPhone 6, 6S, SE and 7, but did not specify when consumers can
start requesting the replacement.

Owners of the iPhone were infuriated after Apple revealed on
Dec. 20 that an iOS upgrade in the iPhone 6, 6S, SE and 7 reduces
their processing power to prevent the devices from unexpectedly
shutting down.  Customers were unaware that the feature existed.
Apple issued an apology and vowed to lower the price of an out-
of-warranty iPhone battery replacement from $79 to $29 for all
customers in late January, but started the service on Dec. 30 in
the United States.

On Jan. 2 Apple's certified repair centers in Korea started
receiving applications for the battery exchange.  The
replacements will be offered until December this year.

However, public outrage was far from eased and the number of
applicants hoping to sue Apple kept on growing around the world.

Over 240,000 iPhone users in Korea have applied to join a lawsuit
against Apple as of Jan. 2 according to Hannuri Law, a local firm
taking on the case.

The number of potential plaintiffs has been growing rapidly after
applications began on Dec. 28.  The number of applicants reached
66,800 on Dec. 29 before tripling in just two days.

Application will be taken until Jan. 11 for a formal lawsuit
against Apple, and presumably Apple Korea, in February according
to attorney Ku Hyun-ju from the Korean law firm.

The tech giant already faces at least eight lawsuits from iPhone
owners in the United States and Israel, including a suit that
seeks a whopping $999 billion in compensation from Apple filed at
a court in California.

"iPhones are a luxury item, and can cost in excess of $1,000,"
said Jan Saddler, a class action expert from Australian
compensation law firm Shine Lawyers in a report on Dec. 29.  "In
a case such as this where Apple have admitted they misled their
loyal customers, it is not unreasonable that class action members
would be seeking compensation for the cost of their replacement
phones."

While Apple had already said in its apology that it has "never --
and would never -- do anything to intentionally shorten the life
of any Apple product" industry experts say there are reasons why
the apology doesn't ring true with disappointed fans.

To start with, some say consumers just don't understand why Apple
implemented a software update that could slow down a phone's
performance.

"Consumers are feeling the absence of Apple's innovative spirit,
which they used to feel when Steve Jobs was alive," said IT
market analyst Park Yong-hu.  "While Apple has always been a
symbol of technological revolution, people are starting to have
doubts."

One of the biggest issues users have with Apple is the appearance
that they intentionally kept the details of the update secret in
the first place.

"If Apple had been upfront from the beginning, customers could
have been more understanding," said Professor Jung Ok-hyun of
Sogang University's department of electronic engineering. [GN]


APPLE INC: Faces 15th Class Action iPhone Battery Issue
-------------------------------------------------------
Patently Apple reports that as 2017 is closing, new class action
lawsuits have been filed in the courts against Apple.  Class
Action number 15 was filed by law firm Cohen & Malad on behalf of
Peter A. Schroeder of Indianapolis Indiana.  According to
Schroeder, "Apple Inc.'s unlawful failure to inform consumers
that updating their iPhone versions prior to the iPhone 8 (the
"Legacy Devices") to iOS 10.2.1 (and/or later to iOS 11.2) would
dramatically and artificially reduce the performance of the
Legacy Devices."  Mr. Schroeder added that "Normal lithium-ion
battery wear does not reduce performance; a weakening battery has
no effect on performance unless there is software that links the
two.  And that is precisely what Apple did."

Causes of Action

Count 1: Violations of Indiana's Deceptive Consumer Sales Act

Count 2: Trespass to Chattels

Count 3: Breach of the Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing

Count 4: Breach of Implied Contract [GN]


APPLE INC: Faces 16th, 17th iPhone Battery Issue Class Actions
--------------------------------------------------------------
Patently Apple reports that as 2017 is closing, new class action
lawsuits have been filed in various courts against Apple.  Class
Action numbers 16 and 17 were filed on Dec. 29.  The first
lawsuit was filed by Kim Burton and William Ellis of Missouri,
while the second lawsuit was filed by Neill McInnis and J. Scott
Archer of Mississippi.

After a while, the lawsuits all tend to blur into one, with the
complaints almost mirroring each other at times.  In the Missouri
case they bring in the iPad as well.  This case, as with most,
point to iOS upgrades slowing down their devices and make it
clear that Apple's purpose for slowing iDevices is to get Apple
fans to buy new devices on a rotating basis.

They further noted that Apple goes out of their way to fight
third party repair shops as a means to make it difficult to
repair devices at reasonable prices.  They point to a Verge
report titled "Why Apple and other tech companies are fighting to
keep devices hard to repair," as just more 'proof' that Apple
purposely pushes customers into buying new iPhones. [GN]


APPLE INC: Faces 18th Class Action Over iPhone Battery Issue
------------------------------------------------------------
Patently Apple reports that Abdul Mohammed of Chicago has filed a
six count class action lawsuit against Apple for purposely
slowing iPhones.  Mr. Mohammed states in his filing that "To
induce consumers to purchase newer model iPhones, Apple
purposefully throttled the processing speed of iPhone 5s, iPhone
6, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 65, iPhone 65 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7
and iPhone 7 Plus ("Affected iPhones"), intentionally making the
phones unnecessarily slow at ordinary tasks like opening apps,
updating apps, loading webpages, and responding to inputs like
scrolling and swiping."

Causes for Action

Mr. Mohammed's Class Action lists six causes for Action as
presented below:

Count 1: ILLINOIS CONSUMER FRAUD AND DECEPTIVE BUSINESS PRACTICES
ACT

Count 2: TRESPASS TO CHATTELS

Count 3: BREACH OF THE COVENANT OF GOOD FAITH AND FAIR DEALING

Count 4: COMPUTER FRAUD AND ABUSE ACT

Count 5: ILLINOIS COMPUTER CRIME PREVENTION LAW

Count 6: VIOLATION OF PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES - 18 U.S. Code S 1962
[GN]


APPLE INC: Reeds Spring Teen Discovers iPhone Battery Issue
-----------------------------------------------------------
KY3 reports that a teenager born in Reeds Spring is in the world
spotlight after discovering Apple slowed down the older versions
of its iPhones.

Tyler Barney, 17, who now lives in Tennessee, noticed his iPhone
6S slowed down with a software update.  But it sped up again with
a new battery.  His discovery posted to the website Reddit went
viral, sparking criticism aimed at Apple.

Apple admitted to the accusation and is apologizing.  The company
says that it slowed down the phones to keep them from turning off
unexpectedly.

Several class-action lawsuits filed in recent days by iPhone
users.  They claim Apple should have disclosed the slowdowns
sooner.  Starting now, the company will offer replacement
batteries for $29 for iPhones 6 or later. [GN]


APPLE INC: Class Actions Raises Right to Repair Legislation Issue
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Dave Altavilla, writing for Forbes.com, report that Apple has
been making headlines for all the wrong reasons lately it seems,
from the underselling iPhone X, to its recent #ThrottleGate PR
nightmare where the company was caught throttling iPhone
processors, in an effort it claimed was aimed at preserving
device battery life.  This situation has since gone legal and
Apple is enduring multiple class action law suits now, as a
result of what appears to be more of an issue with the company's
lack of transparency.  Perhaps if Apple had only made consumers
aware of this practice, and maybe even made it optional, the
whole ordeal could have been avoided.  Regardless of the outcome,
the issue of what to do with aging iPhones raises what many
consider to be a more critical topic of legislation in the area
of consumers' rights to repair devices themselves.  And, in
short, allegedly Apple has been paying lobbyists to fight against
right to repair legislation in multiple states.

A bill called the "Fair Repair Act" would require companies to
sell replacement parts and tools, as well as prohibit software
lockdowns and require the publication of repair guides where
available, for the devices they manufacture.  Apple and other
companies like Lexmark, Verizon, Toyota and Caterpillar are
alleged to have been opposing the legislation in several states.
In New York -- where lobbying disclosure laws make information
public about what companies are hiring lobbyists and what bills
the money is being spent on -- a direct correlation to fighting
Fair Repair Act has been observed with these companies, as well
as the Consumer Technology Association, which represents
thousands of electronics manufacturers across multiple states
(likely Android phone makers too).

So Apple certainly may not be alone in fighting this legislation,
but the company really seems to be talking out both sides of its
mouth, when it says "At Apple, our customers' trust means
everything to us.  We will never stop working to earn and
maintain it," relative to getting caught with its hand in the
cookie jar, slowing down devices without consumer consent.
Perhaps if Apple wasn't so concerned about customers looking to
get their old iPhones repaired or refreshed with a new battery,
the need to throttle iPhone processor power draw might not be so
pressing.  As Paul Lilly at HotHardware notes, it's kind of a
"sorry not sorry" apology, when you consider, on the other side
of the equation, Apple is one of the companies leading the charge
to fight against your right to repair iPhones on your own.

Obviously, not everybody is willing to get their hands dirty,
pulling apart a phone in order to replace its battery, but there
are many repair shops that would love to be able offer repairs
with original OEM replacement parts.  As it stands now, there are
plenty of aftermarket repair kits out there, but most folks would
prefer original equipment any day. It's one thing to void a
warranty if a consumer repairs a device on their own, it's
something very different to try and stop consumers from fixing a
device that they paid hard-earned money for.  Of course, there
are many in the DIY community that love fixing things on their
own, while learning about the hardware and saving a few pennies
to boot. It's just plain fun after all.

Regardless of where you might fall on this issue, it's imperative
to raise awareness of it and speak to your state legislators
about supporting your right to repair your devices.  Otherwise,
you'll be left at the mercy of whatever a manufacturer like Apple
might decide to support for your particular device, or not. [GN]


APPLE INC: Apologizes for Slowing Down Older iPhone Models
----------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that Apple apologized for secretly
slowing down older iPhones, a move it said was necessary to avoid
unexpected shutdowns related to battery fatigue.

Many customers had interpreted the move as a way to for Apple to
juice demand for newer iPhone models, their suspicions fueled by
the fact that the company didn't initially disclose the slowdowns
or its reasons for them.

Apple also said it will cut the price of a battery replacement by
$50 to $29 through next year.  New batteries had previously cost
$79 for those who didn't purchase the Apple Care maintenance
plan.

"We apologize," the company said on its website.  "We have never
-- and would never -- do anything to intentionally shorten the
life of any Apple product, or degrade the user experience to
drive customer upgrades."

The replacement plan begins in late January for anyone with an
iPhone 6 or later that requires a new battery.

Apple said it will also issue an update to its operating system
early next year to give users a better understanding of the
health of their battery, so they can see if its condition is
affecting performance.

Hostile customer reaction was swift after a report this month
uncovered the intentional slowdown in speed tests.

Only then did Apple acknowledge that the slowdown was due to a
fix it rolled out last year.

At least five groups seeking class action status, involving
consumers in Texas, Illinois, California and New York, have also
sued the company in the wake of the slowdown revelation. [GN]


APPLE INC: Starts Offering iPhone Battery Swaps for $29
-------------------------------------------------------
Thuy Ong, writing for The Verge, reports that Apple has started
offering battery swaps for $29 (a month earlier than promised),
after apologizing to customers for slowing older iPhones down as
the batteries aged.  However, the company did not clarify how it
qualified batteries as eligible for the discounted replacement,
as the Apple Genius Bar uses a diagnostic test to check whether a
battery can retain 80 percent of its original capacity at 500
complete charge cycles.  This led to some confusion, with some
consumers claiming that Apple denied them a battery swap since
their devices passed the diagnostic test.

Apple has now confirmed to MacRumors that it would replace
batteries on an iPhone 6 or later, regardless of whether or not a
diagnostic test shows that the battery retains less than 80
percent of its original capacity.  The clarification came after
the company reportedly passed along an internal memo regarding
the new replacement policy, adding that customers who paid $79
for a battery swap prior to the offer are eligible for a refund
in price difference.  Though Apple doesn't consider battery
condition in the replacement offer, it's important to note that
it might not replace your battery if it finds other damage to the
phone, or if there are third-party components in your device.

Apple slowing down older devices has been a long-held rumor, and
this recent information has led to multiple class action
lawsuits. [GN]


BANK OF AMERICA: Faces "Velez" Suit in Middle District Florida
--------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Bank of America,
NA. The case is styled as George Velez and Nancy Velez, on behalf
of themselves and those similarly situated, Plaintiffs v. Bank of
America, NA and Specialized Loan Servicing, LLC, Defendants, Case
No. 8:18-cv-00088-RAL-MAP (M.D. Fla., January 11, 2018).

Defendant owns and operate full service banks, which serve the
general public with call centers, throughout the United States,
including California, where Castillo worked as a call center
agent. [BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

   Bryant Dunivan , Jr., Esq.
   Owen & Dunivan, PLLC
   615 E. De Leon St.
   Tampa, FL 33606
   Tel: (813) 502-6768
   Fax: (813) 330-7924
   Email: bdunivan@owendunivan.com


BAY BANCORP: Rigrodsky & Long Files Securities Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------
Rigrodsky & Long, P.A., on Jan. 3 disclosed that it has filed a
class action complaint in the United States District Court for
the District of Maryland on behalf of holders of Bay Bancorp,
Inc. ("Bay") (NasdaqCM:BYBK) common stock in connection with the
proposed acquisition of Bay by Old Line Bancshares, Inc. ("Old
Line") announced on September 27, 2017 (the "Complaint").  The
Complaint, which alleges violations of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 against Bay, its Board of Directors (the "Board"),
and Old Line, is captioned Franchi v. Bay Bancorp, Inc., Case No.
1:17-cv-03699 (D. Md.).

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions
concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please
contact plaintiff's counsel, Seth D. Rigrodsky or Gina M. Serra
at Rigrodsky & Long, P.A., 300 Delaware Avenue, Suite 1220,
Wilmington, DE 19801, by telephone at (888) 969-4242, by e-mail
at info@rl-legal.com, or at http://rigrodskylong.com/contact-us/.

On September 27, 2017, Bay entered into an agreement and plan of
merger (the "Merger Agreement") with Old Line.  Pursuant to the
terms of the Merger Agreement, shareholders of Bay will receive
between approximately 0.4047 and 0.4600 shares of Old Line common
stock, subject to certain adjustments, for each share of Bay they
own (the "Proposed Transaction").

Among other things, the Complaint alleges that, in an attempt to
secure shareholder support for the Proposed Transaction,
defendants issued materially incomplete disclosures in a Form S-4
Registration Statement (the "Registration Statement") filed with
the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.  The
Complaint alleges that the Registration Statement omits material
information with respect to, among other things, Bay's and Old
Line's financial projections, the analyses performed by Bay's
financial advisors, and the background of the Proposed
Transaction.  The Complaint seeks injunctive and equitable relief
and damages on behalf of holders of Bay common stock.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court
no later than March 5, 2018.  A lead plaintiff is a
representative party acting on behalf of other class members in
directing the litigation.  Any member of the proposed 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.

With offices in Wilmington, Delaware and Garden City, New York,
Rigrodsky & Long, P.A. -- http://www.rigrodskylong.com--
regularly prosecutes securities fraud, shareholder corporate, and
shareholder derivative litigation on behalf of shareholders in
state and federal courts throughout the United States. [GN]


BED BATH: Faces "Camacho" Suit in Eastern District New York
-----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Bed Bath and
Beyond, Inc. The case is styled as Jason Camacho, on behalf of
himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Bed Bath
and Beyond, Inc. d/b/a Harmon Stores, Defendant, Case No. 1:18-
cv-00279 (E.D. N.Y., January 16, 2018).

Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. is an American chain of domestic
merchandise retail stores in the United States, Puerto Rico,
Canada and Mexico.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Daniel C Cohen, Esq.
   Daniel Cohen, PLLC
   407 Rockaway Avenue
   Brooklyn, NY 11212
   Tel: (646) 645-8482
   Fax: (347) 665-1545
   Email: dancohenlaw@gmail.com


BLINK HOLDINGS: Faces "Olsen" Suit in Southern District New York
----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Blink Holdings,
Inc. The case is styled as Thomas J. Olsen, individually and on
behalf of all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiff v.
Blink Holdings, Inc. d/b/a Blink Fitness, Defendant, Case No.
1:18-cv-00343 (S.D. N.Y., January 12, 2018).

Blink Holdings, Inc., doing business as Blink Fitness, operates
fitness clubs.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Douglas Brian Lipsky, Esq.
   Lipsky Lowe LLP
   630 Third Avenue Fifth Floor
   New York, NY 10017
   Tel: (212) 392-4772
   Fax: (212) 444-1030
   Email: doug@lipskylowe.com


BMW OF NORTH AMERICA: Kessler Topaz Sues Over Defective Sunroofs
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP on Jan.3
disclosed that it has filed a class action lawsuit against BMW of
North America, LLC and Bayerische Motoren Werke
Aktiengesellschaft (collectively "BMW") in the District of
New Jersey on behalf of all persons in the United States who
purchased, own, owned, lease or leased the following BMW or MINI
vehicles containing a sunroof or moonroof: MY 2005-2013 BMW 3
series; MY 2004-2018 BMW X5s; MY 2005-2018 X3s; MY 2009-2018 BMW
X1s; MY 2008-2018 MINI Clubmans; MY 2006-2008 MINI Coopers; MY
2011-2018 MINI Countrymans; MY 2009-2018 MINI Hardtops; and MY
2013-2016 MINI Pacemans.

Owners or Lessees of BMW or MINI vehicles with a sunroof or
moonroof who wish to discuss their legal rights or interests are
encouraged to contact Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLC (James
Maro, Esq. or Adrienne Bell, Esq.) at (888) 299-7706 or (610)
667-7706, or via e-mail at info@ktmc.com. For additional
information please visit https://www.ktmc.com/bmw-defective-
sunroof.

BMW and MINI began installing panoramic sunroofs/moonroofs in
certain vehicles in or around 2004, generally marketing the
panoramic sunroofs/moonroofs as a luxury upgrade.  However, the
vehicles equipped with the sunroofs/moonroofs expose drivers and
passengers to a risk of sudden explosion or shattering. In
addition to the defect in panoramic sunroofs, non-panoramic
sunroofs/moonroofs installed in BMW 3 series vehicles are also
prone to shattering.

The complaint alleges that the defective sunroofs/moonroofs are
defective in design, manufacturing, materials and/or workmanship.
The complaint also alleges that BMW has wrongfully refused to
cover replacement of the defective sunroofs/moonroofs, which
typically cost thousands of dollars, under the applicable
warranties.  Further, despite BMW's knowledge of the defect in
the sunroofs/moonroofs, BMW never disclosed to owners or lessees
that the defect exists or that drivers and occupants of the
vehicles are at risk.

BMW owner/lessees have lodged numerous complaints with the
federal government about exploding sunroofs in their vehicles.

Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP -- http://www.ktmc.com--
prosecutes class actions in state and federal courts throughout
the country.  Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP is a driving
force behind corporate governance reform and has recovered
billions of dollars on behalf of institutional and individual
investors from the United States and around the world.  The firm
represents investors, consumers and whistleblowers (private
citizens who report fraudulent practices against the government
and share in the recovery of government dollars).  [GN]


BURGER KING: Faces "Mendizabal" Suit in S.D. New York
-----------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Burger King
Corporation. The case is styled as Maria Mendizabal, on behalf of
herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Burger
King Corporation, Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-00324 (S.D. N.Y.,
January 12, 2018).

Burger King is an American global chain of hamburger fast food
restaurants.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Joseph H Mizrahi, Esq.
   Joseph H Mizrahi Law PC
   337 Avenue W Suite 2f
   Brooklyn, NY 11223
   Tel: (917) 299-6612
   Fax: (347) 665-1545
   Email: jmizrahilaw@gmail.com


BURGER KING: Settles Class Action Over Croissan'wich BOGO Coupon
----------------------------------------------------------------
Alexandra Deabler, writing for Fox News, reports that
Croissan'wich lovers may be entitled to a refund now that a class
action lawsuit accusing Burger King of charging customers more to
use a coupon has reached a settlement.

In May, Maryland resident Koleta Anderson hired an attorney to
file the lawsuit alleging that the fast food chain was inflating
prices for customers that purchased a Croissan'wich using a Buy
One Get One coupon.

Burger King denied -- and still denies -- any wrongdoing, and the
court did not find a guilty party in the matter.  However, a
settlement has been reached, requiring the hamburger chain to pay
$5 or $2 gift cards to those who "purchased two or more modified
Croissan'wich breakfast sandwiches (without egg, cheese and/or a
meat) from a Burger King restaurant, redeemed a BOGO coupon in
connection with the purchase, and paid more than the amount that
restaurant was charging at the time for a single, unmodified,
higher-priced Croissan'wich," according to a press release.

Ms. Anderson first discovered the price discrepancy when she used
a BOGO coupon to purchase two sandwiches and was charged $3.19
pre-tax for a sausage, egg and cheese Croissan'wich, Today.com
reported.  However, when she went back to buy one Croissan'wich
without use of a coupon, she was charged $2.16 pre-tax.

Ms. Anderson claims to have tried this at several other Burger
Kings, all of which seemed to charge more for the use of the
BOGO. Her lawyer used an investigator to check out other Burger
Kings and came up with the same result.

Now, Burger King is offering refunds to those who purchased a
Croissan'wich between October 1, 2015 and Mary 19, 2017.  To
receive compensation, you must first file a valid claim by
January 19, 2018. [GN]


CALATLANTIC GROUP: Jeweltex Suit Challenges Sale to Lennar Corp
---------------------------------------------------------------
JEWELTEX MANUFACTURING INC. RETIREMENT PLAN, on behalf of itself
and all others similarly situated v. CALATLANTIC GROUP INC.,
SCOTT D. STOWELL, WILLIAM L. JEWS, LARRY T. NICHOLSON, BRUCE A.
CHOATE, DOUGLAS C. JACOBS, DAVID J. MATLIN, ROBERT E. MELLOR,
NORMAN J. METCALFE, PETER SCHOELS, and CHARLOTTE ST. MARTIN, Case
No. 1:17-cv-01416-TSE-IDD (E.D. Va., December 11, 2017), alleges
violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 arising out of
defendants' attempt to sell the Company to Lennar Corporation and
its wholly owned subsidiary Cheetah Cub Group Corp.

On Oct. 30, 2017, the Company issued a press release announcing
that it had entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger to sell
CalAtlantic to Lennar.  CalAtlantic stockholders will have the
right to receive either (i) 0.885 shares of Class A common stock
of Lennar and 0.0177 shares of Class B common stock of Lennar, or
(ii) $48.26 in cash, without interest, per share of Company
common stock, subject to proration such that CalAtlantic
stockholders who elect to receive cash will receive in the
aggregate no more than $1,162,250,000 in cash (the "Merger
Consideration").  The Proposed Transaction is valued at
approximately $9.3 billion.

CalAtlantic is a Delaware corporation with its principal
executive offices located in Arlington, Virginia.  The Individual
Defendants are directors and officers of the Company.

Founded in 1965, CalAtlantic builds single-family attached and
detached homes in the United States.  The Company operates
through two business segments: Homebuilding and Financial
Services.  As of August 13, 2017, CalAtlantic provided crafted
homes from entry level to luxury in approximately 43 metropolitan
statistical areas spanning 19 states.  The Company also provides
mortgage, title examination, and escrow services for homebuyers.

Lennar is a Delaware corporation with its principal offices
located in Miami, Florida.  Merger Sub, a wholly-owned subsidiary
of Lennar, is a Delaware corporation formed for the purpose of
being a party to the Merger Agreement.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Elizabeth K. Tripodi, Esq.
          LEVI & KORSINSKY, LLP
          1101 30th St. NW, Suite 115
          Washington, DC 20007
          Telephone: (202) 524-4290
          Facsimile: (202) 333-2121
          E-mail: etripodi@zlk.com

               - and -

          Richard A. Acocelli, Esq.
          Michael A. Rogovin, Esq.
          Kelly C. Keenan, Esq.
          Alexandra E. Eisig, Esq.
          WEISSLAW LLP
          1500 Broadway, 16th Floor
          New York, NY 10036
          Telephone: (212) 682-3025
          Facsimile: (212) 682-3010
          E-mail: racocelli@weisslawllp.com
                  mrogovin@weisslawllp.com
                  kkeenan@weisslawllp.com
                  aeisig@weisslawllp.com


CALIFORNIA SERVICES: Cell Phone Class Certified in "West" Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Hon. Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers grants the Plaintiffs' motion for
class certification under both Rule 23(b)(2) and Rule 23(b)(3) of
the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in the lawsuit entitled
SANDRA WEST, ET AL. v. CALIFORNIA SERVICES BUREAU, INC., Case No.
4:16-cv-03124-YGR (N.D. Cal.).

The Cell Phone Class is defined as:

     All persons within the United States who, within the four
     years prior to the filing of the complaint in this action,
     through the date of class notice (the "Class period"),
     Defendant or its agent/s or employee/s caused to be made at
     least 2 telephone calls using its Global Connect dialer to
     said person's cellular telephone through the use of any
     automatic telephone dialing system or an artificial or
     prerecorded voice, where such person was not listed in
     Defendant's records as the intended recipient of the calls.

Plaintiffs Sandra West and Hector Membreno bring this putative
class action, alleging that the Defendant called the Plaintiffs
without consent, in violation of the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act.  The Plaintiffs bring the action against
Defendant in connection with its allegedly unlawful debt
collection practices.

The Court also appoints the Plaintiffs as the class
representatives and appoints their counsel, Bursor & Fisher,
P.A., and Martin & Bontrager, APC, as class counsel.

A copy of the Order is available at no charge at
http://d.classactionreporternewsletter.com/u?f=WSSmLa6S


CANADA: PM Apologizes for LGBTQ Discrimination After Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Kristy Kirkup, writing for The Canadian Press, reports that
moments after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau apologized on behalf
of Ottawa for decades of discrimination against the LGBTQ
community, Veterans Affairs Minister Seamus O'Regan emerged from
the House of Commons.

In a dark navy suit, tie and a crisp white shirt, he looked down
solemnly and paused.

The others cabinet ministers around him fell silent as
Mr. O'Regan delivered remarks far more personal than some had on
offer that November day.

The apology was about more than prejudice and discrimination, he
said.

"This is about shame," he said.  "Being made to feel shame for
being different.  Growing up terrified of being ostracized,
growing up, keeping some of the most beautiful, intimate parts of
your life a secret, wondering if there was something twisted in
you."

Mr. O'Regan, 46, said he is now reflecting on how he internalized
shame over his sexuality -- something he did not embrace until
about a decade ago, when he met the man who became his husband,
Steve Doussis.

"When the time came when I fully realized I'm gay . . . I went
'OK, this is not in question anymore,'" Mr. O'Regan said in a
recent interview.  "This is not an exercise in fluidity . . . I
realized I was in love and there was no question."

It wasn't until after he became an MP and went through rehab for
alcohol addiction in late 2015, however, that Mr. O'Regan
realized his sexuality was connected to his substance abuse.

He describes this is an emotional holdover.

"This is what happens often," Mr. O'Regan said.  "Men who were
struggling with their sexuality often turn to alcohol to deal
with the anxieties of it and I did.  I am very typical."

Mr. O'Regan said he now hopes he can help reframe the discussion
around discrimination toward LGBTQ people in Canada.

"There's the battle that is fought on 'This is my identity, this
is who I am,"' Mr. O'Regan said.  "There is also the battle of
'Who the hell is the government to tell me who to love? Who the
hell is the government to tell me who I can't love?"

As part of its apology, the Liberal government earmarked $110-
million to compensate members of the military and other federal
agencies whose careers were sidelined or ended due to their
sexual orientation -- the centrepiece of a class-action
settlement with employees who were investigated, sanctioned and
sometimes fired as part of the so-called "gay purge."

Ottawa also said it will pay $20-million for legal fees and
administration and devote at least $15-million more for projects
to "promote collective reconciliation and remembrance," including
museum exhibits, a national monument and possible archival
projects as part of the settlement.

The government also introduced legislation proposing the
expungement of criminal records for people convicted of
consensual sexual activity with same-sex partners.

For his part, Mr. O'Regan said he is appreciative of those who
fought "lonely, lonely battles" to facilitate Trudeau's historic
apology.

He said he was never the subject of violence but witnessed people
who were.

"That kind of guilt weighs on you," he said.  "I wasn't self
aware enough.  I wasn't ready." [GN]


CANADIAN MALARTIC: Court Examines How Class Members Receive Info
----------------------------------------------------------------
Daniel Urbas, writing for The Lawyer's Daily, reports that two
motions in one class action presented the Quebec Superior Court
with a choice between competing visions of when and how class
members can receive information and the court's role, if any, in
supervising the content of that information.  The two decisions
on those motions demonstrate some limits of controlling that
information and the court's willingness to be part of that
control.

In his motion presented before the authorization, representative
plaintiff Louis Trottier applied to force the defendant, Canadian
Malartic Mine GP (CMM), to communicate to members a memorandum
containing information that the plaintiff judged necessary.  In
its motion presented after the authorization, CMM applied to
communicate individual settlement offers to members but without
the plaintiff's lawyers filtering the information.  The solution
to each motion can be traced to a condition imposed by the
government when it first authorized the activity on which the
class action would eventually be based.

The class action arose in Malartic, Que., a town about 500
kilometres northeast of Montreal, with a population of around
3,000. Within Malartic city limits, CMM operates Canada's largest
open-air gold mine.  Each year, CMM drills, blasts, shovels,
transports and unloads 50 million metric tonnes of rock.  The
plaintiff's class action, filed Aug. 1, 2016, seeks compensatory
and exemplary damages related to inconveniences stemming from
dust, noise and blasts, each of which allegedly exceeds mining
operation standards.

As a condition of allowing the mine to operate, the government
decree authorizing CMM's mining operations provided for the
creation of a monitoring committee.  The committee has a
diversity of views, including three residents, one merchant, a
regional environmental group, and representatives for CMM, the
mining industry and a university.

The committee struck a 12-member working group whose mandate was
to develop a guide for cohabitation targeting the mitigation of
and compensation for the inconveniences and the acquisition of
properties.  The working group began its work May 27, 2015.

The group held public information meetings and door-to-door
consultations. Its work resulted in a guide in the summer of
2016.  The guide sets varying compensatory amounts as a function
of the inconveniences experienced and the beneficiary's proximity
to CMM's operations.

To benefit from the guide's compensation, members had to sign up
within a three-month period. Anyone who accepted the compensation
had to undertake to exclude themselves from an eventual class
action.

As of the May 5, 2017, authorization of the class action, 70 per
cent of members had accepted CMM's offer contained in the guide.
By the time of the Nov. 28, 2017, decision, 83 per cent had
accepted.

The plaintiff and CMM applied separately for measures each
alleged would enhance members' access to information and the
quality of that information.  Before the class action was
authorized, the plaintiff presented a sui generis motion to
inform members of their rights.  After the class action was
authorized, CMM presented a motion for a declaratory judgment
allowing it to present its settlement offers directly to
citizens.

Justice Robert Dufresne issued three decisions: one dated Nov.
15, 2016, on a motion by the plaintiff (Trottier v. Canadian
Malartic Mine, 2016 QCCS 6083); a second dated May 5, 2017,
authorizing the class action (Trottier v. Canadian Malartic Mine,
2017 QCCS 1845); and a third dated Nov. 28, 2017, on a motion by
CMM (Trottier v. Canadian Malartic Mine, 2017 QCCS 5446).  The
activities of the committee, the working group and the work team,
as well as the guide, played decisive roles in the court's
decisions.

The plaintiff's motion sought an order that for every member
interested in signing a release in exchange for compensation, CMM
must provide them for signature a memorandum that stipulates:

   -- a class action had been filed that could benefit them and
the amounts of financial compensation claimed;

   -- they could consult for free the plaintiff's lawyers or a
lawyer of their choice at their own cost;

   -- signing the release might waive the possibility to receive
indemnification through the class action;

   -- they could not sign the release or accept money from CMM
before a 14-day delay expired; and

   -- contact information for the plaintiff's lawyers.

In support of his motion, the plaintiff argued that members
lacked true and reliable information; had a right to be advised
by a lawyer, either one of their own choice or those representing
the plaintiff; and should be informed of the class action.

Justice Dufresne disagreed.  He found no evidence that members
were not informed of the class action or that CMM denied their
right to consult a lawyer.  The uncontradicted evidence before
him was that members were informed of the right to legal advice
and that the plaintiff's lawyers had held information sessions
and given their contact information.

He observed that the court's role in communicating notices to
members set out in the Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) arose after
a class action was authorized, but at the date of the plaintiff's
motion, no authorization had issued.

Justice Dufresne held that he did have inherent authority to
issue orders safeguarding the rights of the parties.  However, no
evidence showed that members were subject to either
disinformation or lack of information. On the contrary, the
evidence convinced him that members had the exact information
listed in the plaintiff's draft order.  An order would be useless
and he declined to issue one.

CMM's motion sought authorization for the company to meet
directly with those members wanting to consider its offer between
Jan. 3 and March 31, 2018.  Members would not meet with CMM's
lawyers but with its staff.

In support of its motion, CMM invoked its right to freedom of
expression and relied on the introductory provisions of the CCP,
which encouraged litigants to resolve their disputes.  It also
drew an important distinction by seeking to make individual
offers in a class action rather than settling a class action with
a single offer.

The plaintiff objected.  He argued that CMM's approach was
contrary to the philosophy of class actions but could point to no
particular article that prevented that approach.  He claimed that
the members were genuine plaintiffs and had the right to be
represented by lawyers.  In addition, the settlement of a class
action required court approval, including communications sent to
members. CMM's approach would deprive members of the court's
oversight.

The plaintiff also claimed that the contents of what CMM's staff
might say would escape court review and that the company's
presentation already contained statements contrary to the court's
conclusions in the authorization decision.

Justice Dufresne distinguished the plaintiff's arguments, finding
that the right to be represented by a lawyer did not mean the
obligation to be so represented.  He also determined that the
plaintiff's reliance on the CCP for court approval of offers was
misdirected.  Court approval applied only to settlements of a
class action and not to individual offers made by a defendant.

The CCP's provisions imposing the court's control over
communications to members are limited to those communications
that advance the class action.  Justice Dufresne noted that
neither the class action's opting-out period nor the period
covered by the class action had been fixed.  It would be against
the rights of the individuals to prevent them from settling with
CMM. No one was obliged to accept CMM's offer, but 83 per cent
found it compelling.

Seeing no need and no role for the court in the circumstances,
Justice Dufresne granted CMM's motion, allowing the parties to
meet without lawyers and the court's involvement.

Daniel Urbas is an arbitrator at Urbas Arbitral in Montreal,
focusing on international and domestic commercial arbitration.
With 25 years of dispute resolution experience, he has handled
trial and appellate advocacy, as well as urgent and extraordinary
applications, appearing before the provincial and federal courts,
including the Supreme Court of Canada.  He is a member of the
bars of Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and Newfoundland.  [GN]


CAPITALA FINANCE: Feb. 26 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
------------------------------------------------------------
Gainey McKenna & Egleston on Jan. 3 disclosed that a class action
lawsuit has been filed against Capitala Finance Corp. ("Capitala
Finance" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:CPTA) in the United States
District Court for the Central District of California on behalf
of a class consisting of investors who purchased or otherwise
acquired Capitala Finance securities on the open market from
January 4, 2016 through and including August 7, 2017 (the "Class
Period"), seeking to recover compensable damages caused by
Defendants' violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The Complaint alleges that Capitala Investment Advisors, LLC
manages Capitala Finance in exchange for an annual base
management fee and an incentive fee.  On January 4, 2016,
Capitala Finance announced that Capitala Investment Advisors
agreed to voluntarily waive its quarterly incentive fee.
Throughout the Class Period, Capitala Finance emphasized in its
SEC filings that the Company's success "depends on the ability of
Capitala Investment Advisors to attract and retain qualified
personnel in a competitive environment."  On August 7, 2017,
Capitala Finance revealed that six of its investments were on
non-accrual status -- twice as many as it had the previous
quarter.  The next day, Capitala Finance revealed that Capitala
Investment Advisors had been losing professional talent in
underwriting and portfolio management due to the waiving of its
incentive fee.  Capitala Finance further acknowledged that the
rising number of nonaccrual investments was connected to the loss
in talent, causing the company's stock to fall nearly 30% over
the next three trading days to close at $8.99 per share on August
10, 2017.

Investors who purchased or otherwise acquired shares during the
Class Period should contact the Firm prior to the February 26,
2018 lead plaintiff motion deadline.  A lead plaintiff is a
representative party acting on behalf of other class members in
directing the litigation.  If you wish to discuss your rights or
interests regarding this class action, please contact Thomas J.
McKenna, Esq. or Gregory M. Egleston, Esq. of Gainey McKenna &
Egleston at (212) 983-1300, or via e-mail at tjmckenna@gme-
law.com or gegleston@gme-law.com. [GN]


CAREFIRST: No Split on Article III Standing in Data Breach Cases
----------------------------------------------------------------
Reuters' Alison Frankel says "Circuit splits, like beauty, can be
in the eye of the beholder."

"Last October, I told you about a petition for U.S. Supreme Court
review by the health insurer CareFirst, which asked the justices
to clarify constitutional standing requirements for plaintiffs
exposed in corporate data breaches.  CareFirst's lawyers at
Eversheds Sutherland argued that the District of Columbia U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals, which revived a data breach class
action against the insurer, applied an overly permissive
interpretation of constitutional standing requirements that is at
odds with decisions by the 3rd, 4th and 8th Circuits, which have
held that the mere theft of personal information does not give
plaintiffs a right to sue.

"CareFirst said the lower courts are in such disarray that judges
in different circuits have reached opposite conclusions in
competing class actions stemming from the exact same data breach.
"Lower courts have struggled to consistently apply Article III
standing principles to future injuries allegedly caused by data
theft, including the increased risk of future identity theft,"
its Supreme Court petition said.  'Without guidance, courts,
litigants, cybersecurity insurers and corporate America will
remain uncertain as to when a federal court can hear such
claims.'

"Or not, according to a newly filed brief opposing Supreme Court
review in the CareFirst case. The brief, by lawyers for the
plaintiffs suing CareFirst, contends the much-ballyhooed (by me,
among others) circuit split on standing in data breach class
actions is a mirage.

"In fact, according to plaintiffs' lawyers from Paulson & Nace,
Nidel & Nace and the Giatras Law Firm, the federal circuits all
agree on how to interpret Supreme Court precedent on
constitutional standing.  The circuits may have reached different
conclusions about standing in particular data breach class
actions, the new brief said, but those conclusions were based on
particular facts, not on the law.

"'A review of these opinions does not demonstrate a split, but
only that the courts are applying the facts to the appropriate
precedent to weed out only those cases that do not meet the
Article III standards the court has long identified,' the new
Supreme Court brief said.  'Not a single case cited by
petitioners suggests a split on the legal issue.'

"The brief addressed three circuit court rulings that held data
breach victims do not have standing based only on the theft of
their personal information.  The 3rd Circuit's 2011 decision in
Reilly v. Ceridian predates the Supreme Court's latest precedent
on standing and imminent threat of injury, 2013's Clapper v.
Amnesty International and 2014's Susan B. Anthony List v.
Driehaus.  After the Supreme Court clarified the test for
standing, the new brief said, the 3rd Circuit revised its
analysis in a 2017 decision holding that plaintiffs in a data
breach class action against Horizon Healthcare had standing based
only on alleged violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

"Similarly, the CareFirst plaintiffs said, the 4th Circuit held
last year, in Wikimedia v. NSA that data misappropriation can
confer constitutional standing, despite its earlier decision in
Beck v. McDonald that the mere risk of identity theft is not
concrete enough to give data breach victims standing to sue. And
even in the Beck decision, the CareFirst plaintiffs' brief said,
the 4th Circuit based its holding on the premise that no
plaintiffs alleged their stolen data had actually been misused.
That fact pattern distinguished the data breach class action at
the 4th Circuit from the CareFirst case and others in which
federal circuits have found the risk of identity theft sufficient
to establish standing.

"Finally, the CareFirst plaintiffs' Supreme Court brief quoted
the 8th Circuit's own language in 2017's In re SuperValu, which
it concedes to be the best evidence of a split amongst the
circuits on standing for data breach victims.  But the big
problem with that evidence, according to the opposition brief, is
that the 8th Circuit said all of the circuit rulings 'ultimately
turned on the substance of the allegations before each court,' so
the different outcomes 'need not' be reconciled.

"Computer hackers have compromised personal information belonging
to scores, if not hundreds, of millions of Americans.  All of
them are likely to be members of data breach class actions
(whether they know it or not).  So far, as I've said many times,
consumer class actions based on the theft of personal data have
not produced big-money damages.  But these cases affect more
people than any other class actions I can think of.

"The Supreme Court has already ducked a big class action issue
this term, when it declined to take up the issue of
ascertainability and class certification.  The CareFirst
plaintiffs seem to be banking on the court's disinclination to
discern a circuit split when there may not actually be one." [GN]


CARTER DISTRIBUTING: Fails to Pay Overtime, "Hill" Suit Alleges
---------------------------------------------------------------
JASON SHAUN HILL and, JOSHUA GORDON, individually, and on behalf
of themselves and on behalf of all other similarly situated
current and former employees v. CARTER DISTRIBUTING COMPANY,
INC., a Tennessee Corporation, PREMIUM BRANDS, INC., a Tennessee
Corporation, BOB MONROE, MIKE DENTON and, BLAIR CARTER,
Individually, Case No. 1:17-cv-00340 (E.D. Tenn., December 11,
2017), alleges that the Defendants did not compensate the
Plaintiffs and those similarly situated for all overtime hours
worked in excess of 40 per week within weekly pay periods.

Based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Carter Distributing Company,
Inc., is a craft wines and beer distributor, as well as the
MillerCoors distributor for Southeast Tennessee.

According to the Tennessee Secretary of State, Premium Brands,
Inc. merged with Carter in May 2015.  Prior to the merger Premium
Brands was a subsidiary of Carter and distributed craft wines and
beers.  On October 20, 2017, Carter was sold to Cherokee
Distributing of Knoxville.  The Individual Defendants are
directors and officers of the Defendant Corporations.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Gordon E. Jackson, Esq.
          James L. Holt, Jr., Esq.
          J. Russ Bryant, Esq.
          Paula R. Jackson, Esq.
          JACKSON, SHIELDS, YEISER & HOLT
          262 German Oak Drive
          Memphis, TN 38018
          Telephone: (901) 754-8001
          Facsimile: (901) 759-1745
          E-mail: gjackson@jsyc.com
                  jholt@jsyc.com
                  rbryant@jsyc.com
                  pjackson@jsyc.com


CCB CREDIT: Faces "Reyes" Suit in Eastern District New York
-----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against CCB Credit
Services, Inc. The case is styled as Audelina Reyes, on behalf of
herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. CCB
Credit Services, Inc., Defendant, Case No. 2:18-cv-00229 (E.D.
N.Y., January 12, 2018).

CCB Credit Services, Inc. provides accounts receivable management
services for banks, finance companies, and credit card issuers in
the United States.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears PRO SE.


CENERGY INT'L: Fails to Pay Overtime Under FLSA, "Dunn" Suit Says
-----------------------------------------------------------------
MARDIS DUNN, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. CENERGY INTERNATIONAL SERVICES, LLC and SHELL OIL
COMPANY, Case No. 4:17-cv-03738 (S.D. Tex., December 11, 2017),
accuses the Defendants of failure to pay overtime wages under the
Fair Labor Standards Act and the Alaska Wage and Hour Act.

Cenergy International Services LLC is a Delaware company with its
headquarters and principal place of business in Harris County,
Texas.  Cenergy is a staffing company that provides the energy
industry with specialized energy personnel, safety solutions,
inspection solutions, logistics optimization and vendor
management.

Headquartered in Harris County, Texas, Shell Oil Company is a
massive enterprise consisting of more than one entity.  Shell
produces oil and gas, and petrochemicals for customers in the
United States and internationally.  Shell focuses on oil and gas
exploration and production; oil and natural gas production;
gasoline and natural gas marketing; and petrochemical
manufacturing.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Richard J. (Rex) Burch, Esq.
          Matthew S. Parmet, Esq.
          BRUCKNER BURCH PLLC
          8 Greenway Plaza, Suite 1500
          Houston, TX 77046
          Telephone: (713) 877-8788
          Telecopier: (713) 877-8065
          E-mail: rburch@brucknerburch.com
                  mparmet@brucknerburch.com

               - and -

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


CENTRA TECH: March 5 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
-------------------------------------------------------
The following statement is being issued by Levi & Korsinsky, LLP:

To: All persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired
Centra Tokens ("CTR Tokens") pursuant to Centra Tech's Initial
Coin Offering between approximately July 30, 2017 and October 5,
2017.  You are hereby notified that a securities class action
lawsuit has been commenced in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of Florida. To get more information go
to:

http://www.zlk.com/pslra-sbm/centratech

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

The complaint alleges that Centra Tech violated Sections 12(a)(1)
and 15(a) of the Securities Act of 1933, by engaging in
interstate commerce for the purposes of offering, selling, or
delivering unregistered securities.  The complaint alleges that
despite defendants attempt to represent CTR Tokens as "utility
tokens," the CTR Tokens constitute securities by virtue of
defendants' assertions that the CTR Tokens would "surge in value"
as well as the continuous focus in Centra Tech's marketing
campaigns on the potential profit to be made from investing in
the Centra ICO.

If you purchased CTR Tokens pursuant to the ICO you have until
March 5, 2018 to request that the Court appoint you as lead
plaintiff. Your ability to share in any recovery doesn't require
that you serve as a lead plaintiff.

Levi & Korsinsky -- http://www.zlk.com--  is a national firm
with offices in New York, California, Connecticut, and Washington
D.C.  The firm's attorneys have extensive expertise and
experience representing investors in securities litigation, and
have recovered hundreds of millions of dollars for aggrieved
shareholders. [GN]


CHEMFAB CORP: PFOA Class Action Trial Scheduled for October
-----------------------------------------------------------
Jim Therrien, writing for VTDigger, reports that the past year
was one in which some of the trauma began to subside for
residents whose wells and yards were found in 2016 to be
contaminated with PFOA.

Two meetings in North Bennington early in 2017 illustrated the
mood at that time. These sessions included one of the periodic
updates from state officials on the perfluorooctanoic acid
contamination. The other was a public hearing featuring testimony
on the widespread local impacts.

Officials had traced the pollution to stack emissions from former
ChemFab Corp. plants that spread PFOA over a wide area, where it
worked into the groundwater.

On Jan. 26, health experts presented the results of blood testing
of residents for PFOA levels. Meanwhile, locals pressed state
environmental officials on whether the new administration of Gov.
Phil Scott would be as aggressive as the former Shumlin
administration in pursuing funding from Saint-Gobain Performance
Plastics to provide clean drinking water to the affected
properties.

Agency of Natural Resources and Department of Environmental
Conservation officials repeated that they and the attorney
general's office were continuing to negotiate a settlement with
Saint-Gobain, which acquired ChemFab in 2000.  The international
firm moved the local fabric coating operations to New Hampshire
in 2002, but PFOA remained in soil and groundwater.

A salient point health officials made at the meeting was that
"there's some uncertainty" concerning the meaning of testing for
PFOA, which has been linked to certain cancers, high blood
pressure and colitis.  What blood level can be said to cause one
or more of the diseases has yet to be fully determined and will
require more testing, they said.

But many residents knew they had PFOA in their blood, primarily
acquired, health experts said, through drinking contaminated well
water.

The levels found in the blood of Bennington residents who were
tested averaged 10 micrograms per liter, health officials said,
compared with the national average of 2.1 micrograms per liter.
Some individual blood levels were much higher.

In addition, health officials stressed that studies have shown
PFOA in the blood declines slowly -- dropping by about half
roughly every two to four years.

The meeting held less than a week later was a hearing of the
Vermont Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee, of which
Sen. Brian Campion, D-Bennington, serves as vice chairman.  The
hearing sought input on legislation sponsored by Campion and Sen.
Dick Sears, D-Bennington, that would hold any party releasing
PFOA into the atmosphere liable for costs of extending municipal
water service to contaminated properties.

The state was engaged in negotiations with Saint-Gobain over the
estimated $30 million cost of extending municipal water lines to
the more than 300 properties with contaminated water.  If no
agreement could be reached, officials said, the state would go to
court to recoup the cost of water line extensions and other
expenses related to dealing with the pollution.

The bill did pass the Legislature, and Scott signed it in June.

Even before that highlight moment, officials and many residents
had begun to express more optimism that long-term drinking water
solutions could eventually be secured.

In late April, it was announced that Saint-Gobain would fund
design of water line extensions to about 200 of the affected
properties, while continuing to negotiate with the state over
extensions to other properties.

In July, the company agreed to provide $20 million to fund new
water lines to about half the state-defined contamination zone
around two former ChemFab factories. Negotiations on a similar
settlement concerning the other properties are expected to reach
some resolution by mid-2018.

Construction of some 14 miles of new water lines began in the
fall and will continue through next fall.

While that effort continues, attorneys are pressing a private
class-action suit in U.S. District Court on behalf of affected
households within the contamination zone. The case schedule calls
for a trial in October.

In a brief ceremony Dec. 11, Scott, local lawmakers and others
celebrated connection of the first home to one of the new water
lines, while acknowledging there is more work to be done.

"This is a great day, and good for Bennington," said the
homeowner, David Laplante, after the officials toasted with
glasses of water from the kitchen tap. [GN]


CLAIRES NAILS: Faces "Sancho" Suit in E.D. New York
---------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Claires Nails & Spa
Inc. The case is styled as Julia Sancho, individually and on
behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Claires Nails &
Spa Inc. doing business as: Claire Nails & Spa, Best Nail &
Tanning Inc. doing business as: Claire Nails & Spa, Kyong J Kang
also known as: Helen and Sanghee Lee, Defendants, Case No. 1:18-
cv-00224 (E.D. N.Y., January 14, 2018).
Defendants are engaged in nail service.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears PRO SE.


CLERMONT NEW YORK: Court Abused Discretion in Dismissing Case
-------------------------------------------------------------
Warren A. Estis, Esq. -- westis@rosenbergestis.com -- and
Jeffrey Turkel, Esq. -- jturkel@rosenbergestis.com -- of
Rosenberg & Estis, in an article for New York Journal, wrote that
following Roberts v. Tishman Speyer, (13 NY3d 270 [2009]), many
tenants commenced Supreme Court actions seeking declarations that
their apartments were rent stabilized, in addition to damages for
rent overcharge.  The question then arose as to whether such
disputes should be adjudicated in the first instance in Supreme
Court (a court of general jurisdiction) or before the Division of
Housing and Community Renewal (DHCR), the expert agency
responsible for administering the Rent Stabilization Law (RSL).
The answer to this question would turn on the so-called doctrine
of primary jurisdiction.

Landlords generally wanted DHCR to determine these matters.
DHCR, which prior to Roberts had ruled that luxury deregulation
was available in buildings receiving J-51 benefits, was
responsible for putting landlords in this fix to begin with, and
was more likely than Supreme Court to be lenient with respect to
rent calculations, allegations of fraud, and claims for treble
damages.  In addition, DHCR decisions were more likely to be
uniform in application, lending some predictability to a
regulatory scheme that Roberts had turned on its head.

This article will trace the application of the doctrine of
primary jurisdiction in the post-Roberts era.

The Doctrine
In Davis v. Waterside Housing Co. (274 AD2d 318 [1st Dept.
2000]), the landlord filed an application with DHCR to remove the
housing complex from Mitchell-Lama regulation.  The tenants then
brought an action in Supreme Court seeking a declaration that the
complex would be subject to rent stabilization upon such removal.
Reversing Supreme Court, the First Department dismissed the
action, stating:

The doctrine of primary jurisdiction is intended to co-ordinate
the relationship between courts and administrative agencies to
the end that divergence of opinion between them not render
ineffective the statutes with which both are concerned, and to
the extent that the matter before the court is within the
agency's specialized field, to make available to the court in
reaching its judgment the agency's views concerning not only the
factual and technical issues involved but also the scope and
meaning of the statute administered by the agency.

The IAS court erred in ruling that the doctrine does not apply in
this instance because the issues before the court were not within
DHCR's specialized field and do not involve that agency's
technical expertise.  To the contrary, the Legislature has
specifically authorized that agency to administer questions
relating to rent regulation" (internal citations and quotation
marks omitted).

Initial Application of the Doctrine
In Gerard v. Clermont New York Assoc., (81 AD3d 497, 497-98 [1st
Dept. 2011]), the landlord moved to dismiss a post-Roberts
putative class action. Supreme Court (Sherwood, J.) granted that
motion.  The First Department reversed, holding:

The court abused its discretion in dismissing the complaint under
the doctrine of primary jurisdiction.  This action presents legal
issues left open after the Court of Appeals' decision in Roberts
v Tishman Speyer, including whether that decision is to be
applied retroactively or prospectively.  It is the courts, not
the Division of Housing and Community Renewal, that should
address these issues in the first instance. (citation omitted).

Later Application
While the courts decided various post-Roberts issues, see e.g.,
Gersten v. 56 7th Ave., LLC (88 AD3d 189 [1st Dept. 2011]), both
DHCR and the courts were adjudicating the proper method of
calculating stabilized rents in erroneously deregulated
apartments, as well as claims of fraud, demands for treble
damages, and whether rents should be "frozen" because landlords,
upon DHCR's advice, had not registered these apartments as rent
stabilized.  The question of whether these more routine issues
should be decided by DHCR or the courts arose in Davidson v. 730
Riverside Dr., (2015 WL 5171072 [Sup Ct, NY County]).  The court
(Kalish, J.) determined that DHCR should adjudicate the tenant's
claim for rent overcharge:

Pursuant to the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, the instant
matter should be determined by DHCR, given its expertise in rent
regulation. DHCR can investigate Plaintiffs' fraud allegations,
determine the regulatory status of the Premises, and, if
warranted, apply the default formula adopted in Thornton to
determine the base rate. (citations omitted).

2017 Rulings
As existing post-Roberts cases matured in the courts, the primary
jurisdiction issue reached a critical mass, resulting in numerous
Supreme Court decisions in 2017.  In Chester v. Cleo Realty,
(2017 WL 3396466 [Sup Ct, NY County]), eight tenants brought an
action in Supreme Court seeking overcharges, reformation of their
leases, and a declaration that their apartments were rent
stabilized.  The landlord moved to dismiss, asserting that DHCR
should determine these issues in the first instance.  The court
(Heitler, J.) agreed, holding that "this court will almost
certainly be required to consider issues that fall squarely
within the purview and expertise of DHCR, including whether and
when the apartments at issue should have been registered with
DHCR, what the base rent should be for each apartment, and
whether there were any rent overcharges with respect to the
apartments."

Justice Debra James addressed the primary jurisdiction issue in
Mintzer v. 510 W. 184th St., (2017 WL 4217272 [Sup Ct, NY
County]).  There, the landlord moved to dismiss, arguing that
Supreme Court did not have jurisdiction to determine rent
regulatory matters.  The court disagreed, but nevertheless
granted the motion, holding that "the matter should be determined
by DHCR, given its expertise in rent regulation."

In Comfort v. 118 2nd Ave NY, (2017 WL 4708067 [Sup Ct, NY
County]), Justice Arlene P. Bluth dismissed an action for rent
overcharges and related relief concerning an apartment that had
been erroneously deregulated in a building receiving J-51
benefits.  Citing the doctrine of primary jurisdiction, Bluth
held:

DHCR's expertise is necessary given the unique nature of the
disputed issues in this case.  DHCR can consider whether the
large rent increase from 2002 to 2003 was justified, analyze
defendants' purported treatment of the apartment as rent-
stabilized throughout plaintiff's tenancy and evaluate the
significance of defendants' refund check for overcharging
plaintiff.  DHCR has the knowledge and experience to decide
whether it is appropriate to look beyond four years, to determine
the current regulatory status of the apartment and to conclude
the exact amount, if any, owed to plaintiff.

In Wang v. Jedmon Realty (2017 WL 5270683 [Sup Ct, NY County]),
Justice Kathryn E. Freed dismissed an action for declaratory
relief and rent overcharge, holding that DHCR was "best suited to
determine whether the apartment was not registered as rent
stabilized when it should have been, whether there were any rent
overcharges for the apartment based on renovations which were or
were not made, and whether plaintiff is entitled to any damages
as a result of any acts, fraudulent or otherwise, which
defendants are alleged to have committed." See also Wright v. 116
Ave. C Investors (2017 WL 5270661 [Sup Ct, NY County]).

The First Department addressed this issue in its Nov. 28, 2017
decision in Collazo v. Netherland Prop. Assets (155 AD3d 538 [1st
Dept. 2017]).  The court held that Supreme Court had "providently
exercised its discretion in ruling that plaintiffs' rent
overcharge claims should be determined by the New York State
Division of Housing and Community Renewal in the first instance."

In Lamb v. 118 2nd Ave. NY, (2017 WL 6039503 [Sup Ct, NY
County]), the tenant commenced an action for claims of rent
overcharge.  The landlord moved to dismiss based on primary
jurisdiction, and thereafter filed an application with DHCR
seeking a declaration that the apartment was in fact exempt from
rent regulation.  In a Dec. 6, 2017 order, Justice Barbara Jaffe
granted the motion to dismiss, observing that DHCR "has expertise
in these matters." Thus, the landlord prevailed even though the
tenant sought relief in Supreme Court before the landlord filed
its complaint with DHCR.

Conclusion
Practitioners representing landlords in similar Supreme Court
actions should strongly consider moving to dismiss based on
primary jurisdiction.  Defending a DHCR complaint is far less
expensive than defending a Supreme Court action, and DHCR is more
likely to adopt a lenient attitude toward landlords who were
misled by DHCR's faulty advice.

Warren A. Estis is a founding member of Rosenberg & Estis.
Jeffrey Turkel is a member of the firm. [GN]


CLIENT SERVICES: Faces "Hudson" Suit in E.D. New York
-----------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Client Services,
Inc. The case is styled as Daryl Hudson, on behalf of himself and
all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Client Services,
Inc., Defendant, Case No 1:18-cv-00192 (E.D. N.Y., January 11,
2018).

Client Services offers mortgage modifications and credit card
rate reductions.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears PRO SE.


CLIENT SERVICES: Faces "Rodriguez" Suit in S.D. New York
--------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Client Services,
Inc. The case is styled as Katherine Rodriguez, on behalf of
herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Client
Services, Inc., Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-00264 (S.D. N.Y.,
January 11, 2018).

Client Services, Inc. operates as a customer relationship
management company that offers a suite of accounts receivable
management, business processing outsourcing (BPO), and healthcare
solutions.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Daniel Chaim Cohen, Esq.
   Daniel Cohen PLLC
   407 Rockaway Avenue, 3rd Floor
   Brooklyn, NY 11212
   Tel: (646) 645-8482
   Email: dancohenlaw@gmail.com


COINBASE: Class Action Mulled Over Delayed Payments
---------------------------------------------------
Jason Murdock, writing for IBT, reports that users of Coinbase, a
popular website used to buy and sell cryptocurrencies, claim to
be mulling over legal action after trades and customer service
have allegedly stalled to a halt.

For months now, amid rising interest in virtual currencies
including bitcoin, monero and ethereum, Coinbase has faced
complaints from users left frustrated over ID verification --
with some saying that money had been lost and that personal
accounts had been locked.

On January 1, multiple comments were posted to the Coinbase
community page on Reddit which pledged to take fresh action
against the California-based cryptocurrency exchange.

"I propose a class action lawsuit against Coinbase for all the
victims," wrote user brightapps, also posting a link to a website
where others could submit interest.

"In the first instance I would like to gather information on the
scale of the problem and enough for me to pass on details to a
lawyer for them to handle the case.

"I am proposing that the lawyer take a small % of the recovered
funds to cover their fees but this has not yet been finalised.  I
am hoping that this alone will prompt Coinbase into action."

The same day, another Reddit user wrote: "It's been two months
since I first contacted Coinbase without any response from them
at all. I think it's time to collectively start pursuing legal
action."

A third commenter claimed that up to $10,000 worth of bitcoin was
being held "hostage."  It remains unclear, however, how
widespread the issues are in the context of the website's vast
userbase.

Coinbase could not be reached for comment by the time of
publication.  On its website, a notice said its support team "is
currently under heavy load", adding that it was now prioritizing
responses for users who had been locked out of accounts or had
suffered delayed payments.

Responding to mounting questions online, a Coinbase engineer
identified only as Justin wrote: "The fact that you had to resort
to Reddit is not something we take lightly.  This is definitely
not the kind of experience or customer support we're trying to
provide, and for that I apologize."

Cryptocurrency fanatics flocked to Coinbase -- which boasts more
than 10 million users across the world -- as the value of bitcoin
spiked during the tail end of last year.

The platform ultimately stumbled under the weight of visitors, as
officials admitted problems in a series of corporate blog posts.

In one, its CEO, Brian Armstrong, was forced to publicly deny
accusations of insider trading upon the launch of Bitcoin Cash, a
fork of bitcoin which launched in August last year.

"Coinbase services may become degraded or unavailable during
times of significant volatility or volume," Mr. Armstrong
acknowledged in the post, published on Twitter-owned blogging
site Medium.

Still, despite several company assurances, users say that the
majority of complaints have been met with silence.  One person
claimed a financial transfer had been pending for more than a
month.

In mid-December 2017, the last update posted to its website,
Coinbase warned users about delays in wire transfers -- by up to
five business days -- due to a "high transaction volume." [GN]


CONVERGENT OUTSOURCING: Faces "Leon" Suit in N.D. Illinois
----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Convergent
Outsourcing, Inc. The case is styled as Marlene Leon,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff v. Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. and John Does 1-25,
Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-00248 (N.D. Ill., January 12, 2018).

Convergent Outsourcing, Inc. offers business process outsourcing,
revenue cycle, and receivables management services. It also
provides receivables collection services to credit grantors in
retail, telecommunications, and utilities industries.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Yaakov Saks, Esq.
   RC Law Group
   285 Passaic Street
   Hackensack, NJ 07601
   Tel: (201) 282-6500
   Email: ysaks@rclawgroup.com


CORECIVIC INC: Securities Class Action Survives Motion to Dismiss
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Shareholder rights law firm Robbins Arroyo LLP is investigating
whether certain officers and directors of CoreCivic, Inc.
(NYSE: CXW) breached their fiduciary duties to shareholders.  On
March 13, 2017, investors filed a securities class action
complaint against CoreCivic (formerly "Corrections Corporation of
America" or "CCA") for alleged violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.  The complaint alleges that CoreCivic
officials engaged in a scheme to defraud investors by falsely
representing that the outsourcing of correctional services to CCA
resulted in improved correctional services for government
agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Prisons ("BOP"), and
that CCA's facilities were operated in accordance with applicable
policies and procedures.  In reality, the BOP had uncovered and
notified CCA of numerous violations of BOP policies, including
understaffing and underqualified staff and failure to provide
adequate health care to its inmates.  On December 18, 2017, the
Honorable Aleta A. Trauger of the U.S. District Court for the
Middle District of Tennessee, Nashville Division, denied
CoreCivic's motion to dismiss in Grae v. Corrections Corporation
of America.

View this information on the law firm's Shareholder Rights Blog:
www.robbinsarroyo.com/corecivic-inc.

CoreCivic Shareholders Have Legal Options

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

Robbins Arroyo LLP -- http://www.robbinsarroyo.com-- is a
shareholder rights law firm. The firm represents individual and
institutional investors in shareholder derivative and securities
class action lawsuits, and has helped its clients realize more
than $1 billion of value for themselves and the companies in
which they have invested. [GN]


DALLAS, TX: Faces "Gbalazeh" Suit in N.D. of Texas
--------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against City of Dallas
Texas a municipality of the State of Texas. The case is styled
Ms. Yvette Yah Gbalazeh, on behalf of herself and all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. City of Dallas Texas a
municipality of the State of Texas, Defendant, Case No. 3:18-cv-
00076-N (N.D. Tex., January 11, 2018).

Dallas is a city in the U.S. state of Texas. It is the most
populous city in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex, which is the
fourth most populous metropolitan area in the United States.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Ramon de Jesus Rodriguez, Esq.
   Law Offices of Ramon Rodriguez
   5001 Spring Valley Rd., Suite 400E
   Dallas, TX 75244
   Tel: (972) 383-1510
   Fax: (972) 692-7719
   Email: Ramon@rrtxlaw.com


DUKE UNIVERSITY: Faces Antitrust Suit Over Alleged Medical Deal
---------------------------------------------------------------
Emery P. Dalesio, writing for The Associated Press, reports that
the basketball rivalry between Duke University and the University
of North Carolina battle is legendary, but a federal lawsuit says
the two elite institutions have agreed not to compete in another
prestigious area: the market for highly skilled medical workers.

The anti-trust complaint by a former Duke radiologist accuses the
schools just 10 miles apart of secretly conspiring to avoid
poaching each other's professors.  If her lawyers succeed in
persuading a judge to make it a class action, thousands of
faculty, physicians, nurses and other professionals could be
affected.

"The intended and actual effect of this agreement is to suppress
employee compensation, and to impose unlawful restrictions on
employee mobility," Dr. Danielle Seaman's lawyers wrote.

Class-action status: U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles was
expected to hear arguments on Jan. 4 on whether Dr. Seaman's
complaint should include all skilled medical workers employed
between 2012 and 2017 at the Duke medical school, the Duke
University Health System, the UNC-Chapel Hill med school and the
University of North Carolina Health Care System.

Eagles could approve a smaller class instead, perhaps limiting
the litigation to faculty members and medical doctors. The two
medical schools together employ about 3,000 faculty members, the
lawsuit said.

The judge also is considering a proposed settlement between UNC
and Seaman's team, which has experience securing major antitrust
settlements from powerful companies.  Her San Francisco law firm
got $415 million from Google Inc., Intel Corp., Adobe Systems
Inc. and Apple Inc., in 2015 after accusing them of agreeing not
to hire each other's best workers.

Dr. Seaman's lawyers made this deal in part because as a public
institution, UNC could invoke constitutional limits on federal
lawsuits against states, and in part because UNC would be
required to deliver a trove of documents, data and testimony
supporting her efforts to win monetary damages from Duke, a
private university in Durham.

UNC wouldn't pay any money in the settlement and would promise
not to participate in any unlawful restraints on competition.

Alleged agreement: Both UNC and Duke deny the existence of the
no-hire agreement that Seaman claims was reached by top
administrators to allow promotions while preventing lateral
transfers.

But Dr. Seaman's complaint cites emails referencing the inside
deal after an employment courtship of more than three years with
UNC's chief of cardiothoracic imaging ended in frustration.

"I agree that you would be a great fit for our cardiothoracic
imaging division.  Unfortunately, I just received confirmation
from the Dean's office that lateral moves of faculty between Duke
and UNC are not permitted.  There is reasoning for this
'guideline' which was agreed upon between the deans of UNC and
Duke a few years back. I hope you understand," Dr. Paul Molina
wrote in 2015.

Disappointed, Dr. Seaman wrote that "there are only two academic
centers in this area where I could work, and I am already at one
of them."

Reasoning: Dr. Molina then said the agreement was hatched to
reduce competition and costs after a previous effort by Duke to
recruit UNC faculty.

"Dear Danielle, . . . In answer to your question, the 'guideline'
was generated in response to an attempted recruitment by Duke a
couple of years ago of the entire UNC bone marrow transplant
team; UNC had to generate a large retention package to keep the
team intact," his email said.

Dr. Molina said when he was deposed that he was already preparing
an offer to another candidate when Dr. Seaman's application
arrived. Only two of the 116 pages transcribing his deposition
were included in a filing not under seal, and Molina doesn't
address the alleged no-hire agreement in that fragment.

Dr. Seaman's lawyers say other emails within the two medical
schools also mentioned the prohibition on recruiting or hiring
from the other school. Internal records produced so far amount to
more than 220,000 pages of documents and 70 gigabytes of employee
data, nearly all of it under seal, they wrote to the court.

Dr. Seaman's employment at Duke ended in September 2015, three
months after she filed suit. Neither Duke nor her lawyers would
explain why.  She retains an unpaid courtesy appointment as a
Duke instructor, which enables her to supervise Duke residents
who rotate through the local Veterans Administration hospital,
Duke spokesman Michael Schoenfeld told The Associated Press.

Meanwhile, another Duke radiologist's testimony could undercut
her claim.

Dr. Laura Heyneman worked and taught at UNC. She transferred to
Duke in November 2015, Mr. Schoenfeld said.

Dr. Heyneman said in her deposition that Molina never told her
about any recruiting restrictions while she was at UNC. She said
she thinks Molina invented the idea of a no-hire pact to save
face as he turned Seaman down.

"It would be essentially an easier excuse, because it wouldn't be
personal for him to essentially blame the higher-ups rather than
accepting responsibility and saying he didn't want to hire
Danielle," Dr. Heyneman testified. [GN]


ECLINICALWORKS: Faces Second Class Action Over EHR Offering
-----------------------------------------------------------
Tom Sullivan, writing for HealthcareITews, reports that EHR
vendor eClinicalWorks has been charged in a new legal suit that
aims to both recover damages and obtain restitution for what the
plaintiffs allege is fraud and breach of contract relating to the
vendor's EHR offering, according to a document Healthcare IT News
obtained on Jan. 3.

An eClinicalWorks spokesperson said that the allegations are
without merit.

That document names eClinicalWorks as the defendant and
Carrollton Family Clinic and Perrin Curran, MD, as partner in
Primary Health Partners, as the plaintiff and it lists
Kara White, a registered nurse practitioner, as the sole member
of CFC.  It also describes the proposed class of potential
plaintiffs as those who "actually relied upon ECW's statements
that its software did and would satisfy the certification
criteria of the Meaningful Use program," which could be anyone
who paid eClinicalWorks to use its software between Jan.14, 2010
and May 30, 2017 -- the day before eClinicalWorks $155 million
False Claims Act settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice
was first reported.

That original False Claims suit charged the EHR vendor with
adding 16 drug codes necessary for meaningful use certification
straight into its software instead of equipping the product to
access those via a qualified database.  It also said
eClinicalWorks did not conduct drug-to-drug interaction checks,
satisfy data portability criteria, record users audit logs or
diagnostic imaging orders.

Some of those issues also pertain to Carrollton Family Clinic.
The new suit alleges that eClinicalWorks engaged in deceptive
trade practices that caused the plaintiffs and the proposed class
to suffer a loss of money by paying inflated prices for
eClinicalWorks' products, which caused Carrollton to renew its
contract with eClinicalWorks instead of switching to a
competitor.

Specifically, Curran had to forfeit $18,000 in meaningful use
incentives it had already collected after attesting for a
reporting period spanning Sept. 1, 2011 through Dec. 26, 2011.

"In 2017, CFC planned to apply for a Meaningful Use incentive
payment based on its use of ECW, but was informed by a
representative of the Mississippi Division of Medicaid that ECW
would not enable her to attest to the meaningful use of certified
EHR software because ECW did not perform formulary checks itself
and required CFC to go through a separate process to verify those
checks," according to the document.

The suit also alleges that eClinicalWorks caused the "plaintiffs
and the proposed class to expend out-of-pocket expenses, time,
and other resources to cure or cope with the many deficiencies in
ECW's software."

Specifically, the document listed those deficiencies as
eClinicalWorks software failing to meet meaningful use Stage 2
criteria to automatically and reliably perform drug formulary
checks or preferred drug lists for patients as required under
Stage 2 of meaningful use.

"Had CFC known that ECW's software did not in fact satisfy the
requirements of the Meaningful Use program, it would not have
contracted with ECW and would not have made payments to ECW under
the contract."

In response to a request for comment, eClincalWorks spokesperson
Bhakti Shah wrote: "We have reviewed the complaint and believe
that the allegations are wholly without merit.  eClinicalWorks'
software has been continuously certified for use in connection
with the Meaningful Use program since the program was created,
and tens of thousands of eClinicalWorks users have demonstrated
meaningful use and successfully attested and received incentives.
eClinicalWorks plans to vigorously defend itself against these
allegations."

In the wake of the May settlement, one practice claimed that
eClinicalWorks was holding its patient data hostage.  The False
Claims settlement also mandated that eClinicalWorks had to offer
free upgrades to its existing clients or transfer customer data
to rival EHR vendors should they elect to do so.

The EHR maker was charged in mid-November with a first class-
action suit seeking one dollar less than $1 billion by the estate
of a cancer patient claiming that he died because "he was unable
to determine reliably when his first symptoms of cancer appeared
[as] his medical records failed to accurately display his medical
history on progress notes." [GN]


EGS FINANCIAL: Faces "Shimonov" Suit in E.D. New York
-----------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against EGS Financial Care,
Inc. The case is styled as Yohanan Shimonov, on behalf of himself
and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. EGS Financial
Care, Inc., Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-00252 (E.D. N.Y., January
14, 2018).

EGS Financial Care, Inc. is a debt collections agency.[BN]
The Plaintiff is represented by:

  Joseph H. Mizrahi, Esq.
  Joseph H. Mizrahi Law, P.C.
  337 Avenue W, Suite 2f
  Brooklyn, NY 11223
  Tel: (917) 299-6612
  Fax: (347) 665-1545
           Email: jmizrahilaw@gmail.com


EKSO BIONICS: Rosen Law Firm Files Securities Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, on Jan. 2
disclosed that  it has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc.
(NASDAQ: EKSO) between March 15, 2017 and December 27, 2017, both
dates inclusive ("Class Period").  The lawsuit seeks to recover
damages for Ekso investors under the federal securities laws.

To join the Ekso class action, go to
http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases-1262.htmlor call Phillip Kim,
Esq. or Daniel Sadeh, Esq. toll-free at 866-767-3653 or email
pkim@rosenlegal.com or dsadeh@rosenlegal.com for information on
the class action.

NO CLASS HAS YET BEEN CERTIFIED IN THE ABOVE ACTION. UNTIL A
CLASS IS CERTIFIED, YOU ARE NOT REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL UNLESS YOU
RETAIN ONE. YOU MAY ALSO REMAIN AN ABSENT CLASS MEMBER AND DO
NOTHING AT THIS POINT. YOU MAY RETAIN COUNSEL OF YOUR CHOICE.

According to the lawsuit, defendants throughout the Class Period
made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose
that: (1) there was a material weakness in Ekso's internal
control over financial reporting and Ekso's disclosure controls
and procedures were not effective; and (2) as a result,
Defendants' public statements were materially false and
misleading at all relevant times. When the true details entered
the market, the lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

A class action lawsuit has already been filed.  If you wish to
serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than
March 5, 2018. A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting
on behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.  If
you wish to join the litigation, go to
http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases-1262.htmlor to discuss your
rights or interests regarding this class action, please contact
Phillip Kim or Daniel Sadeh of Rosen Law Firm toll free at 866-
767-3653 or via email at pkim@rosenlegal.com or
dsadeh@rosenlegal.com.

Rosen Law Firm -- http://www.rosenlegal.com-- represents
investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in
securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation.
[GN]


EMERGENCY COVERAGE: "Harbin" Suit Settlement Has Interim Approval
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Hon. Travis R. McDonough granted the parties' joint motion
for an order conditionally certifying class and granting
preliminary approval of class settlement agreement in the lawsuit
titled DUSTIN HARBIN and JIMMY PRUITT, on behalf of themselves
and the class defined herein v. EMERGENCY COVERAGE CORPORATION
and ACCOUNT RESOLUTION TEAM, INC., Case No. 3:16-cv-00125-TRM-HBG
(E.D. Tenn.).

The matter is certified as a class action for settlement purposes
only on behalf of this class:

     (a) All persons sued by Defendants; (b) in the General
     Session Court of Hamblen County, Tennessee; (c) that had
     garnishments issued against their wages that included
     amounts of post-judgment interest or fees that exceeded the
     amount allowed under Tennessee state law; (d) that made
     payments to Defendants as a result of the wrongful
     garnishments issued to their employers by garnishments of
     wages or direct payment to the clerk between March 16,
     2013[,] and ending on April 5, 2016.

The Court preliminarily approves the settlement set forth in the
settlement agreement, subject to final consideration at the final
fairness hearing set before Magistrate Judge H. Bruce Guyton on
March 26, 2018, at 9:30 a.m.

Judge McDonough appoints Alan C. Lee, Esq., Peter A. Holland,
Esq., and Scott C. Borison, Esq., as Class Counsel, and
designates Dustin Harbin and Jimmy Pruitt as the representatives
of the Class.

Within 30 days of the entry of the Order, the Defendants will
send notice to the class members.  Class members will have 45
days after the initial mailing of the notice to exclude
themselves from, or to object to, the settlement agreement.  Any
class member desiring to exclude themselves from the action must
serve copies of the requests on the Class Administrator by the
same date.  The Defendants shall file with the Court proof of
compliance with the notice requirements of the Class Action
Fairness Act of 2005.

A copy of the Order is available at no charge at
http://d.classactionreporternewsletter.com/u?f=maTK1Vl5


EKSO BIONICS: March 5 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
--------------------------------------------------------
Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., on Jan. 3 disclosed that a class
action lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of New York on behalf of all persons or entities
who purchased or otherwise acquired Ekso Bionics Holdings, Inc.
(NASDAQ:EKSO) securities between March 15, 2017 and December 27,
2017 (the "Class Period").  Investors have until March 5, 2018 to
apply to the Court to be appointed as lead plaintiff in the
lawsuit.

On December 14, 2017, Ekso announced that "the Company's internal
control over financial reporting as of December 31, 2016 should
no longer be relied upon and that a material weakness in the
Company's internal control over financial reporting existed as of
such date."  Following this news, Ekso's share price fell $0.15,
or 6.17%, to close at $2.28 on December 15, 2017.

On December 27, 2017, post-market, Ekso filed its amended annual
report for 2016 and amended quarterly reports for the first three
quarters of 2017.  The following trading day, shares of Ekso fell
$0.34, or 13.2%, to close at $2.23 per share on December 28,
2017.

The complaint alleges that, throughout the class period,
defendants made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed
to disclose that: (1) there was a material weakness in Ekso's
internal control over financial reporting and Ekso's disclosure
controls and procedures were not effective; and (2) as a result,
Defendants public statements were materially false and misleading
at all relevant times.

If you purchased or otherwise acquired Ekso securities and
suffered a loss, continue to hold shares purchased prior to the
Class Period, have information, would like to learn more about
these claims, or have any questions concerning this announcement
or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please
contact Brandon Walker or Melissa Fortunato by email at
investigations@bespc.com, or telephone at (212) 355-4648, or by
filling out this contact form. There is no cost or obligation to
you.

Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. -- http://www.bespc.com-- is a
New York-based law firm concentrating in commercial and
securities litigation. [GN]


EQUIFAX INC: Faces Atlantic City Union Suit Over Data Breach
------------------------------------------------------------
ATLANTIC CITY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, ELEMENTS FINANCIAL FEDERAL
CREDIT UNION, FIRST NEBRASKA CREDIT UNION, PUTNAM BANK, and
WRIGHT-PATT CREDIT UNION, individually and on behalf of a class
of all similarly situated financial institutions v. EQUIFAX INC.,
Case No. 1:17-cv-05065-TWT (N.D. Ga., December 11, 2017), is
brought on behalf of financial institutions that suffered, and
continue to suffer, financial losses and increased data security
risks that are a direct result of Equifax's alleged egregious
failure to safeguard, and affirmative mishandling of the
financial institutions' customers' highly sensitive, personally
identifiable information and payment card data.

Specifically, between at least May 2017 and July 2017, Equifax
was subject to one of the largest data breaches in this country's
history when intruders gained access to the highly sensitive PII
of over 145.5 million U.S. consumers -- roughly 44% of the United
States population -- as well as the Payment Card Data for an
untold number of credit and debit cards.

Equifax Inc. is a publicly traded corporation with its principal
place of business in Atlanta, Georgia.  Equifax is the oldest and
second-largest consumer credit reporting agency in the United
States.  Equifax was founded in 1899 and had $3.1 billion in
revenue in 2016.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Thomas A. Withers, Esq.
          GILLEN WITHERS & LAKE, LLC
          8 E. Liberty Street
          Savannah, GA 31401
          Telephone: (912) 447-8400
          Facsimile: (912) 629-6347
          E-mail: twithers@gwllawfirm.com


FIAT CHRYSLER: Faces Class Action Over Pacifica Engine Defect
-------------------------------------------------------------
Dorothy Atkins, writing for Law360, reports that Fiat Chrysler
Automobiles has been hit with a putative class action in
California federal court, alleging its 2017 and 2018 Chrysler
Pacifica vehicles equipped with a 3.6-liter V6 engine contain a
design defect that causes the vehicles to stall at high speeds
without warning.

In a complaint filed Dec. 30, lead plaintiffs Ryan and Sarah
Wildin allege they would not have purchased their new 2017
Chrysler Pacifica, or they would have paid less for it, had they
known about the defect.

The case is Wildin et al v. FCA US LLC, Case No. 3:17-cv-02594.
The case is assigned to Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel.  The case was
filed December 30, 2017. [GN]


FINICITY CORPORATION: Class Certification Sought in "Doman" Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Doman moves the Court for an order certifying the case
captioned ROBERT DOMAN, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated v. FINICITY CORPORATION d/b/a MVELOPES, a Utah
corporation, Case No. 2:17-cv-00942-DB (D. Utah), as a class
action pursuant to Rules 23(b)(2) and (b)(3) of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure.

Mr. Doman further asks that the Court: (1) enter and reserve
ruling on Plaintiff's Motion for and Memorandum in Support of
Class Certification; (2) allow for and schedule discovery to take
place on class-wide issues; (3) grant him leave to file a
supplemental memorandum in support of his Motion for Class
Certification upon the conclusion of class-wide discovery; (4)
and grant his Motion for Class Certification after full briefing
of the issues presented herein.

Through a common course of conduct, Finicity obtained the
telephone numbers of thousands of consumers nationwide --
including Plaintiff and a proposed Class of consumers -- and sent
unsolicited text message advertisements to the cellular phones of
those consumers in an unlawful effort to promote its Mvelopes
mobile application, Mr. Doman contends.  Through that conduct, he
insists, Finicity not only invaded their personal privacy, but
repeatedly violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a
federal statute enacted specifically to protect consumers from
unsolicited text messages exactly like those alleged in this
case.

A copy of the Motion is available at no charge at
http://d.classactionreporternewsletter.com/u?f=u7x4GRqQ

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Matthew Morrison, Esq.
          MORRISON LAW OFFICE
          1887 N 270 E
          Orem, UT 84057
          Telephone: (801) 845-2581
          E-mail: matt@oremlawoffice.com

               - and -

          Blake J. Dugger, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF STEFAN COLEMAN, P.A.
          1011 W. Colter St., #236
          Phoenix, Arizona 85013
          Telephone: (602) 441-3704
          Facsimile: (888) 498-8946
          E-mail: blake@stefancoleman.com

               - and -

          Benjamin H. Richman, Esq.
          Sydney M. Janzen, Esq.
          Schuyler R. Ufkes, Esq.
          EDELSON PC
          350 North LaSalle Street, 13th Floor
          Chicago, IL 60654
          Telephone: (312) 589-6370
          Facsimile: (312) 589-6378
          E-mail: brichman@edelson.com
                  sjanzen@edelson.com
                  sufkes@edelson.com


FLEET DESIGN: Faces "Medellin" Suit in E.D. New York
----------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Fleet Design Inc.
The case is styled as Adan Esteban Medellin, Fernando Mejia and
Moises Perez Aguirre, individually and on behalf of others
similarly situated, Plaintiffs v. Fleet Design Inc. doing
business as: Fleet Designs, Isaac Fisch, Yitzchok A Fisch also
known as: Mr. Hisco and John Doe also known as: Mr. Fishy,
Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-00241 (E.D. N.Y., January 12, 2018).

Fleet Design Inc. is in the Ceramic Floor Tile Installation
business.[BN]

The Plaintiffs appear PRO SE.


FLORIDA, USA: Shabazz Moves for Certification of Inmates Class
--------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiff in the lawsuit titled ABDUL HAKEEM JAHMAL NASEER
SHABAZZ A/K/A OWEN D. DENSON, JR. v. JULIE L. JONES, Secretary of
the Florida Department of Corrections, et al., Case No. 2:17-cv-
00648-JES-CM (M.D. Fla.), asks the Court to classify the lawsuit
as "class-action" on behalf of all other people, who are in the
same situation within the Department of Corrections.

Mr. Shabazz, in Arcadia, Florida, contends that ordering him to
shave his moustache and beard violates his First and Fourteenth
Amendment Constitutional rights.  He asserts that no law will
prohibit inmates from free exercise of religion.

A copy of the Motion is available at no charge at
http://d.classactionreporternewsletter.com/u?f=KC273C1A


GINZA ONODERA: Faces "Mendizabal" Suit in S.D. New York
-------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Ginza Onodera New
York, Inc. The case is styled as Maria Mendizabal, on behalf of
herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Ginza
Onodera New York, Inc., Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-00323 (S.D.
N.Y., January 12, 2018).

Ginza Onodera New York, Inc. operates in the restaurant
industry.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Joseph H Mizrahi, Esq.
   Joseph H Mizrahi Law PC
   337 Avenue W Suite 2f
   Brooklyn, NY 11223
   Tel: (917) 299-6612
   Fax: (347) 665-1545
   Email: jmizrahilaw@gmail.com


GOOGLE INC: Ex-Female Workers File Amended Gender Bias Complaint
----------------------------------------------------------------
Daniel Wiessner, writing for Reuters, reports that a group of
female former employees at Alphabet Inc's Google filed an amended
complaint on Jan. 3 accusing the tech giant of discriminating
against women in pay and promotions, after a state judge said
their claims were too broad and vague.

The amended complaint filed in California state court in
San Francisco follows a state judge's ruling last month that said
the class action claims were inappropriate because they were
brought on behalf of all women who worked for Google in
California, and that the plaintiffs failed to show how specific
groups of women were affected by Google's pay policies. [GN]


GOOGLE INC: CEI Wants Supreme Court to Review Privacy Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Melissa A. Holyoak, a senior attorney with CEI's Center for Class
Action Fairness, said " On [Jan. 3], the Competitive Enterprise
Institute (CEI) asked the Supreme Court, on my behalf, to review
a Google settlement resulting from a class action over the
company's alleged privacy violations by its search engine. In In
re Google Referrer Header Privacy Litigation, Google settled for
$8.5 million, but class members (including me) will see none of
that money.  This is because the lawyers representing the class
members decided to take $2 million for themselves and the rest
will go to five organizations that had nothing to do with the
lawsuit.  This unfair practice of giving away class members'
money to third-party groups is known in the legal world as abuse
of the 'cy pres principle.'"

"The French term cy pres comes from 'cy pres comme possible,'
meaning 'as near as possible.'  In class action settlements, any
money that a defendant--in this case, Google--pays under a class
action settlement belongs to the class members because they are
the ones who claimed harm.  Some of the settlement money is used
to pay attorneys, but the rest is distributed to the class.  Now,
if some class members don't cash their settlement checks (and
it's impossible to return that leftover money to class members),
the leftover dollars are sometimes given to a cy pres recipient
--a charity with a connection 'as near as possible' to the
harmed class members."

"Where the Google Referrer settlement goes wrong, is that it
skips over class members completely, not even attempting to give
the millions of class members any of their $6 million.  Instead,
those Google dollars go directly to groups that are not part of
the lawsuit.  And these weren't just any organizations.  The
attorneys just happened to pick their "favorites" as cy pres
recipients -- their own alma maters -- Chicago-Kent College of
Law, Stanford, and Harvard.  While attorneys have an obligation
to zealously advocate for their clients, in the Google Referrer
settlement, the lawyers representing the class favored their
schools over me and the other class members.

"Here's the kicker.  To make matters worse, Google already
donates to these cy pres organizations.  This means that apart
from the $2 million my attorneys' will get paid, Google got rid
of an enormous lawsuit brought by 100 million class members by
doing exactly what they were already doing.  So the lawyers make
$2 million, Google takes credit in the settlement for money they
are already giving, and the class members, who claimed they were
harmed by Google, get nothing.

"CEI's petition asks the Supreme Court to strike down the Google
Referrer settlement and put in place clear rules that prevent
lawyers from taking class members' money and giving it to their
favorite organizations.  This settlement sets a terrible example
that encourages companies to try to get off cheap with cy pres-
only settlements that direct money to organizations they already
give to. And, since the plaintiffs' attorneys get paid either
way, they agree to these settlements at the expense of their
clients --the class members who were wronged in the first place.

"The attorneys representing class members in the Google Referrer
case argue it was okay to give away the class members' money
because the class includes more than 100 million members, and it
would be impossible to split up the $6 million among that many
people.  This is disingenuous.  These attorneys regularly
litigate class actions and know that this is not how class
actions work. The vast majority of class actions involve a
process where class members have to submit a claim before getting
any settlement money.  The Google Referrer settlement money could
easily be distributed to the class using a claims process.

"Don't believe it? It's been done before in Fraley v. Facebook,
which also included more than 100 million class members.  With a
claims process, the $20 million Facebook settlement offered $10
to class members that submitted claims. In the end, class members
actually received $15 each.  While the plaintiffs' attorneys in
the Google Referrer settlement regularly use claims processes in
the other class actions they litigate, a claims process was
somehow too complicated in the Google Referrer case, where they
instead delivered millions to their favorite organizations.

"As a Google Referrer class member, I would have preferred to
receive my portion of the settlement instead of giving it away to
the attorneys' alma maters.  I wholly support and encourage
charitable giving but I want to choose where my money goes.  The
attorneys who were supposed to represent me took away my choice
and gave my money to their schools." [GN]


GREAT LAKES: Sued Over Government Loan Forgiveness Program
----------------------------------------------------------
Katie Lobosco, writing for CNN Money, reports that Amanda Lawson-
Ross planned her career around a government loan forgiveness
program.  But after making payments for four years, it turns out
she doesn't qualify.

Ms. Lawson-Ross was in graduate school at the University of Akron
when she first heard about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness
program.  Launched in 2007 under the George W. Bush
administration, it promises loan forgiveness to people who work
at non-profits or for the government once they've made 10 years'
worth of payments.

It sounded like a good option for Ms. Lawson-Ross, who was
pursuing her Ph.D. in counseling psychology and would be saddled
with more than $100,000 in debt when she finished in 2013.  She's
been planning her life around the repayment program ever since,
choosing internships that set her up for a career in the public
sector. She's now a counselor and professor at the University of
Florida.

Ms. Lawson-Ross told CNNMoney that she called her loan servicer,
Great Lakes, many times over the years to make sure she was on
track to qualify. She says she was told that all she had to do
was make 120 monthly payments and work in a public sector job.

She believed she had made more than four years of qualifying
payments when she called again this past summer.  But this time,
a Great Lakes customer service agent told her something
different.

"I lucked out, I guess, and got a kind Great Lakes customer
service agent on the phone who shared with me that not all my
loans would qualify for the program.  It was the first time I had
been told that, even though I had asked before," Ms. Lawson-Ross
said.

The only way for her to receive forgiveness now is to consolidate
her student loans and start all over again and make 10 years of
qualifying payments.

"I started sobbing right away.  But something sounded fishy.
Here I am, an organized and intelligent person who does my
research and I just found this out.  So, I started looking for an
attorney," she said.

In October she sued Great Lakes, alleging that the company
repeatedly gave "false information" regarding her eligibility for
Public Service Loan Forgiveness, resulting in monetary damages
because it will now be more expensive to finish paying off her
debt.

Her attorney, Gus Centrone, filed two similar lawsuits against
the loan servicer Navient this fall.  He's seeking class action
statuses.

"The harm here is so great there needs to be a remedy for the
people who volunteered for public service," Mr. Centrone said.

A spokesman for Great Lakes said he could not comment on pending
litigation as per company policy.  A Navient spokeswoman said she
couldn't comment on the specific cases except to say that the
company disagrees with the allegations and will defend against
them in court.

Many other student loan borrowers have had similar experiences.
In June, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau issued a report
spotlighting complaints from borrowers claiming they had not
received accurate information from their loan servicers about the
program even after identifying themselves as a public worker.

"When the companies responsible for delivering on this promise
aren't up to the task, our dedicated public servants shouldn't
have to pay the price," said CFPB Student Loan Ombudsman Seth
Frotman at the time.

Related: My student debt is delaying my retirement

Part of the problem is that there was no formal process in place
for borrowers to find out if they qualified when the program
launched in 2007. A form was eventually made available in 2012,
which could have notified borrowers that they didn't have the
right kind of loans -- but many say they were never told about
it. Borrowers are not required to submit the form prior to making
all the payments.

"We're hearing the same story time and time again. Loan servicers
were telling people 'No problem, you're going to qualify.' And
then they find out 10 years later that they never qualified at
all," Ms. Centrone said.

Bill Cottrill, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service,
filed one of the lawsuits against Navient. He expected to see his
remaining student debt forgiven this year, but when he applied in
March, he was told he didn't have qualifying loans either.

"My first inclination was that it was a clerical error.  I didn't
expect I'd have to start all over," Mr. Cottrill said.

Much of the confusion lies with where the loans originated. Those
eligible for forgiveness were originated by the federal
government.  Both Mr. Cottrill's and Lawson-Ross' loans are
Family Federal Education Loans, which were made by private
lenders but backed by the government.  Those kinds of loans were
phased out after 2010 and replaced by William D. Ford Direct
Loans, which are both made by and guaranteed by the government.
Unlike the FFEL loans, the Direct Loans qualify for the
forgiveness program.

Those with FFEL loans can still qualify for the loan forgiveness
program by consolidating their debt into Direct Loans.  Any
payments already made on their loans won't count toward
forgiveness.  But many students didn't know they had the wrong
kind of loans until they'd already been making years of payments.

The Navient spokeswoman said that a "borrower's loan type is
stated in the loan contract and on other multiple documents."
The company's representatives, she said, "take care to explain
Public Service Loan Forgiveness eligibility to interested
borrowers and refer customers to complete an Employment
Certification Form annually to ensure they are eligible."

Mr. Cottrill, now 60, said Navient never told him about the form
and he only discovered it after coworkers pointed him to it.  Now
that he won't be receiving forgiveness this year, he expects to
delay his retirement.  He and his wife have just relocated from
Key West to Kansas City, where the cost of living is lower.  It's
a move partly driven by his outstanding student debt, which tops
$140,000.

"It's frustrating that there are some public service employees
who are getting this benefit and others who aren't just because
they don't have a certain loan," he said. [GN]


HALLIBURTON ENERGY: Faces "Rodriguez" Suit in Cal. Super. Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Halliburton Energy
Services, Inc.  The case is styled as Juan Rodriguez, as an
individual and on behalf of all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff v. Halliburton Energy Services, Inc., a Delaware
Corporation, Defendant, Case No. BCV-18-100065 (Cal. Super. Ct.,
January 11, 2018).

Halliburton Energy provides products, services, and integrated
solutions for oil and gas exploration, development, and
production.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Paul K. Haines, Esq.
   5900 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 920
   Los Angeles, CA 90036
   Tel: 323-937-9900


HARD ROCK: "Aviles" Seeks to Recover Unpaid Wages and Overtime
--------------------------------------------------------------
TIMOTHY AVILES, BRADLEY DURBIN, and STANLA LINDOR, individually
and on behalf of other persons similarly situated v. HARD ROCK
CAFE INTERNATIONAL (USA), INC., Case No. 1:17-cv-09723 (S.D.N.Y.,
December 11, 2017), seeks to recover alleged unpaid wages and
overtime compensation owed to the Plaintiffs and all similarly
situated persons, who are presently or were formerly employed by
Hard Rock at its Times Square location.

Hard Rock Cafe is a foreign business corporation organized and
existing under the laws of the state of Florida, and is
authorized to do business in the state of New York.  Hard Rock
Cafe operates a business engaged in the food service, catering,
and restaurant industry.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Lloyd Ambinder, Esq.
          LaDonna Lusher, Esq.
          Claire Vinyard, Esq.
          VIRGINIA & AMBINDER, LLP
          40 Broad Street, 7th Floor
          New York, NY 10004
          Telephone: (212) 943-9080
          E-mail: lambinder@vandallp.com
                  llusher@vandallp.com
                  cvinyard@vandallp.com


HCC MEDICAL: Lieff Cabraser Files Fraud Class Action in Indiana
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP partners Rachel Geman --
rgeman@lchb.com -- and Elizabeth J. Cabraser, with co-counsel,
have filed a multi-state class action lawsuit in Indiana federal
court alleging that HCC Medical Insurance Services, LLC, HCC Life
Insurance Company, and Health Insurance Innovations, Inc.
("Defendants") have cheated the plaintiffs -- consumers of short-
term insurance plans who have incurred sometimes catastrophic
medical expenses -- by routinely and systematically refusing to
pay promised insurance benefits, including through the common
vehicle of post-claims underwriting.  The named plaintiffs are
residents of South Portland, Maine, Box Elder, South Dakota, and
Post Falls, Idaho.

Nature of the HCC Medical Insurance Fraud Lawsuit

The lawsuit arises out of Defendants' sale of short-term medical
("STM" or "short-term") insurance plans. Short-term insurance
provides limited coverage that is targeted to particularly
vulnerable buyers, and that is exempt from certain consumer
protections contained in the federal Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act ("ACA").

Defendant HCC has historically been the largest short-term
insurer in the U.S., contracting with policyholders to provide
Defendants' STM products which are underwritten through HCC Life.
Defendants began jointly developing, marketing, selling, and
administering HCC's short-term insurance plans in July 2013, at
the latest, and continued to do so until at least May 2017.
Defendants developed, marketed, sold, and administered STMs in at
least 45 states.

The lawsuit alleges that Defendants' marketing and claims
processing procedures are purposely engineered and uniformly
applied to accomplish the delay and denial of valid claims,
rendering their short-term insurance products effectively
worthless and violating federal and state law in the process.

"HCC and HII colluded to prey on consumers when they are at their
most vulnerable," notes plaintiffs' attorney Rachel Geman, a
partner in Lieff Cabraser's New York office.  "The large bills
come fast and furious, and, rather than getting basic protection,
people face an intentional, demoralizing, and confusing run-
around."

Plaintiffs' counsel Jay Angoff, a partner at DC-based Mehri &
Skalet, oversaw the implementation of the ACA during the Obama
Administration, and explains that "the ACA was intended to
prevent the types of practices this lawsuit challenges."

"Given the volatile state of the health insurance landscape
there's a real danger that, left unchecked, bad actors like HCC
and HII will flood the marketplace with these deficient insurance
products," says David Slade, an attorney with the Little-Rock-
based firm Carney Bates & Pulliam, PLLC, an attorney for
plaintiffs.  "Households will be at a higher risk than ever of
being tricked into buying these plans," noted plaintiffs'
attorney Michael Flannery -- mflannery@cuneolaw.com -- a partner
with the DC-based firm Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca LLP.

Allegations in the Class Action Fraud Complaint

The class action complaint alleges that Defendants enter into STM
contracts that purport to have only limited, well-defined
exclusions of coverage, such as pre-existing condition exclusions
for health issues occurring in periods ranging from six months to
two years prior to the effective date of the policy.  But,
notwithstanding these commitments (and other prompt pay
obligations), Defendants delay and deny valid claims by seeking
burdensome (often completely irrelevant) health records
stretching back as much as five years, and spanning across all of
an insured's healthcare providers, regardless of their relation
to the claim or the ailment.  As the complaint notes:

Defendants violate the law through employing an undisclosed and
unlawful "five-year look-back," through which they: (1) extend
their pre-existing conditions exclusion well beyond the
contracted-to period of six, twelve, or twenty-four months, in
search of a condition to use as the basis to deny a valid claim;
(2) engage in post-claims underwriting, in search of a condition
that would have made the policyholder ineligible for Defendants'
insurance in the first place; and (3) delay policyholder claims
to the point of constructive denial, by claiming they are
constantly in need of difficult to obtain and legally irrelevant
medical records and/or by pretending not to have medical records
already in their possession.

The five-year look-back is not disclosed to prospective
purchasers of HCC's insurance, so the first time policyholders
are made aware it is only after they have suffered the distress
of a recent hospitalization or other medical incident.  Further,
Defendants scour policyholders' medical records for evidence of
any pre-existing condition during a much longer, undisclosed time
period-the previous five years-and deny policyholder claims based
on medical conditions suffered well before the disclosed period,
whether or not such conditions are remotely related to the
current medical incident.

When Defendants obtain medical records from policyholders through
the five-year look-back, they then use these records to seek out
purported medical conditions that would have made the
policyholder ineligible for HCC's insurance in the first place.
Once such a condition is found, Defendants use it to justify
denial of the policyholder's claim or the complete rescission of
the policy.  This practice is commonly known as "post-claims
underwriting."  Many states have explicitly made such practices
unlawful.

Finally, many policyholders who attempt to provide Defendants
with the documents requested, either directly or through their
health care providers, are prevented from doing so by Defendants'
intentionally dilatory claims processing procedures.

Defendants' practices have come under scrutiny by various state
regulators, and certain Defendants are facing a multi-state
market conduct examination.  Plaintiffs assert that Defendants'
conduct violates the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act ("RICO"), 18 U.S.C. Secs. 1961 et seq., the law
of contract in each state in the multi-state classes, and the
state statutory and common law of the states where the named
plaintiffs and class representatives reside.

Relief Sought in the HCC Medical Insurance Fraud Lawsuit

The lawsuit seeks monetary and equitable remedies for the class,
including treble damages based on the fraudulent and damaging
nature of the conduct, and an order requiring Defendants to
immediately cease their unlawful, deceptive, and obstructive
practices . Plaintiffs also seek the establishment of a common
fund for the payment of medical expenses incurred by plaintiffs
and the Class as a result of Defendants' practices.

Plaintiffs' Counsel

Plaintiffs are represented by Carney Bates & Pulliam, PLLC; Cohen
& Malad, LLP; Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca LLP; Lieff Cabraser Heimann
& Bernstein, LLP (lieffcabraser.com); and Mehri & Skalet, PLLC.
[GN]


IMPAX LABORATORIES: Rigrodsky & Long Files Class Action in Calif.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Rigrodsky & Long, P.A., on Jan. 2 disclosed that it has filed a
class action complaint in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California on behalf of holders of Impax
Laboratories, Inc. ("Impax") (NasdaqGS:IPXL) common stock in
connection with the proposed acquisition of Impax by Amneal
Pharmaceuticals LLC ("Amneal") announced on October 17, 2017 (the
"Complaint").  The Complaint, which alleges violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 against Impax, its Board of
Directors (the "Board"), and Amneal, is captioned Vana v. Impax
Laboratories, Inc., Case No. 3:17-cv-07079 (N.D. Cal.).

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions
concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please
contact plaintiff's counsel, Seth D. Rigrodsky or Gina M. Serra
at Rigrodsky & Long, P.A., 300 Delaware Avenue, Suite 1220,
Wilmington, DE 19801, by telephone at (888) 969-4242, by e-mail
at info@rl-legal.com, or at http://rigrodskylong.com/contact-us/.

On October 17, 2017, Impax entered into an agreement and plan of
merger (the "Merger Agreement") with Amneal.  Pursuant to the
terms of the Merger Agreement, shareholders of Impax will receive
one share of Class A common stock of a new holding company, which
will be renamed Amneal Pharmaceuticals, Inc., for each share of
Impax they own (the "Proposed Transaction").

Among other things, the Complaint alleges that, in an attempt to
secure shareholder support for the Proposed Transaction,
defendants issued materially incomplete disclosures in a Form S-4
Registration Statement (the "Registration Statement") filed with
the United States Securities and Exchange Commission.  The
Complaint alleges that the Registration Statement omits material
information with respect to, among other things, Impax's and
Amneal's financial projections, the analyses performed by Impax's
financial advisor, and potential conflicts of interest.  The
Complaint seeks injunctive and equitable relief and damages on
behalf of holders of Impax common stock.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court
no later than March 5, 2018.  A lead plaintiff is a
representative party acting on behalf of other class members in
directing the litigation.  Any member of the proposed 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.

With offices in Wilmington, Delaware and Garden City, New York,
Rigrodsky & Long, P.A. -- http://www.rigrodskylong.com--
regularly prosecutes securities fraud, shareholder corporate, and
shareholder derivative litigation on behalf of shareholders in
state and federal courts throughout the United States. [GN]


INDIANA: Decker Files Suit v. Warden of Correction Complex
----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against J. E. Krueger
Complex Warden. The case is styled as Robert Decker and all
persons similarly situated in the F.B.O.P., Plaintiff v. J. E.
Krueger Complex Warden, Defendant, Case No. 2:18-cv-00022-JMS-MJD
(S.D. Ind., January 17, 2018).

Jeffrey E. Krueger is the warden of Terre Haute Correctional
Complex in Indiana.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears PRO SE.


INTEROIL CORPORATION: Robbins Geller Files Class Action in Texas
----------------------------------------------------------------
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP ("Robbins Geller") on Jan. 4
disclosed that a class action has been commenced on behalf of all
persons who purchased or otherwise acquired Exxon Mobil
Corporation ("Exxon") shares worth $45.00 and a contingent
resource payment ("CRP") for each outstanding InterOil
Corporation ("InterOil") (NYSE:IOC) share in connection with the
acquisition of all of the issued and outstanding shares of
InterOil by an affiliate of Exxon on or about February 22, 2017
(the "Acquisition").  This action was filed in the Northern
District of Texas and is captioned Block v. InterOil Corporation,
et al., No. 18-00007.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court
no later than 60 days from January 4, 2018.  If you wish to
discuss this action or have any questions concerning this notice
or your rights or interests, please contact plaintiff's counsel,
Darren Robbins of Robbins Geller at 800/449-4900 or 619/231-1058,
or via e-mail at djr@rgrdlaw.com.  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 InterOil, its Board of Directors and Exxon
with violations of the Securities Act of 1933.  InterOil was a
publicly traded oil and gas company listed on the New York Stock
Exchange prior to the Acquisition.  InterOil engaged in the
exploration, appraisal and development of hydrocarbon resources.
One of InterOil's primary assets was a gross 36.5% interest in
petroleum retention license 15 in the Gulf Province of Papua New
Guinea, which includes the world-class Elk and Antelope gas
fields.

The complaint alleges that in connection with the Acquisition, on
January 13, 2017, defendants issued the Management Information
Circular for a Special Meeting of Holders of Common Shares,
Options and Restricted Share Units of InterOil Corporation with
Respect to an Arrangement Involving InterOil Corporation and
Exxon Mobil Corporation, dated January 13, 2017 (the "Information
Circular"), which contained material omissions and misstatements
concerning the final appraisal well to be drilled prior to
commencement of the Interim Resource Certification process and
the actual value of the increase in the CRP cap.  These omissions
and misstatements were material to InterOil shareholders because
they directly and significantly impacted the perceived value of
the CRP and, thus, prevented InterOil shareholders from
accurately valuing the CRP and casting an informed vote on the
Acquisition.

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all persons who
purchased the common stock of Exxon and the CRP pursuant to the
Information Circular and in connection with the Acquisition on or
about February 22, 2017 (the "Class").  The plaintiff is
represented by Robbins Geller, which has extensive experience in
prosecuting investor class actions including actions involving
financial fraud.

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]


J.P. LICK'S: Faces "Godino" Suit in District of Massachusetts
-------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against J.P. Lick's
Homemade Ice Cream Company, Inc. The case is styled as Michael
Godino, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff v. J.P. Lick's Homemade Ice Cream Company, Inc.,
Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-10066 (D. Mass., January 12, 2018).

J.P. Licks sells homemade ice cream, frozen yogurt and fresh-
roasted coffee.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   C.K. Lee, Esq.
   Lee Litigation Group PLLC
   30 E39th Street, 2nd Flr.
   New York, NY 10016-2555
   Tel: (212) 465-1188
   Email: cklee@leelitigation.com


JOE & THE JUICE: Faces "Olsen" Suit in S.D. of New York
--------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Joe & The Juice New
York LLC. The case is styled as Thomas J. Olsen, individually and
on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiff v.
Joe & The Juice New York LLC and Joe & The Juice Management LLC,
Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-00344 (S.D. N.Y., January 14, 2018).

The Defendants are engaged in the restaurant industry.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Douglas Brian Lipsky, Esq.
   Lipsky Lowe LLP
   630 Third Avenue Fifth Floor
   New York, NY 10017
   Tel: (212) 392-4772
   Fax: (212) 444-1030
   Email: doug@lipskylowe.com


JPAY INC: Faces "Reyes" Suit in Central District California
-----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against JPay, Inc. The case
is styled as Joe Rudy Reyes, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. JPay, Inc., Sunrise Banks
National Association and Praxell Inc., Defendants, Case No. 2:18-
cv-00315-R-MRW (C.D. Cal., January 12, 2018).

JPay is a privately held corrections-related service provider
based in the United States with its headquarters in Miramar,
Florida.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Lisa Faye Petak, Esq.
   Keller Rohrback LLP
   801 Garden Street Suite 301
   Santa Barbara, CA 93101
   Tel: (805) 456-1496
   Fax: (805) 456-1497
   Email: lpetak@kellerrohrback.com


JZANUS LTD: Faces "Schlesinger" Suit in Eastern District New York
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Jzanus Ltd. The
case is styled as Frida Schlesinger, individually and on behalf
of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Jzanus Ltd. and
John Does 1-25, Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-00226 (E.D. N.Y.,
January 12, 2018).

Jzanus Ltd. provides revenue recovery and improvement consulting
services. The Company offers revenue cycle, home care, and HIM
services. Jzanus serves customers in the State of New York.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears PRO SE.


K & C INTERIOR: Faces "Vega" Suit in Eastern District New York
--------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against K & C Interior
Construction Corp. The case is styled as Cristhian Vega, on
behalf of himself and all other persons similarly situated,
Plaintiff v K & C Interior Construction Corp., Kevin Doe and John
Does 1 through 10, inclusive, Defendants, Case No 1:18-cv-00182
(E.D. N.Y., January 11, 2018).

K & C Interior Construction Corp operates in the constructions
industry.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears PRO SE.


KENTUCKY: Teacher Mulls Another Lawsuit Over Pensions
-----------------------------------------------------
John Cheves, writing for Lexington Herald Leader, reports that
Kentuckians will watch this winter as Gov. Matt Bevin and the
General Assembly struggle with an estimated $41 billion public
pension shortfall.  Retirement benefits for public workers are
likely to be cut.  The rest of the state budget -- education,
social services, public safety -- will get squeezed.

Randy Wieck wants to know why everyone is just now starting to
take this mess seriously.

Mr. Wieck, 63, teaches American history at duPont Manual High
School in Louisville.  Over the last four years, he has filed
three lawsuits related to Kentucky's teacher pensions in state
and federal courts.  Sometimes he challenged the state's massive
under-funding of the Kentucky Teachers' Retirement System.  Other
times he fought to get KTRS to fully disclose its investments in
higher-risk, higher-fee private equities -- or simply to get out
of those funds altogether.

So far, all of Mr. Wieck's litigation has been dismissed by
judges, gaining him nothing but a reputation as a malcontent at
the state Capitol, with KTRS and among his own teachers' unions,
which he sharply criticizes for not doing enough to protect the
retirement security of their members.

"Mr. Wieck is disgruntled because we have not agreed to
participate in any of his failed legal challenges to date, on the
advice of our attorneys, who did not believe they had any chance
of success," said Brent McKim, president of the Jefferson County
Teachers Association.

In October, the Kentucky Educational Professional Standards Board
opened an inquiry into Mr. Wieck's use of school email to
communicate with other teachers about the pension shortfall.
That put his teaching certificate at risk. This month, without
explanation, the board dropped the matter for the moment.

Mr. Wieck said he can live with his unpopularity.  He's already
preparing another state lawsuit to highlight the fact that the
Kentucky legislature -- for 10 of the last 11 years -- paid many
hundreds of millions of dollars less than the annual recommended
contributions into KTRS. Largely as a result of this trend, KTRS
now holds about $17 billion in assets, which is only 56 percent
of what it's expected to need for teachers' future pension
checks.

"It's not a mystery how we got here," Mr. Wieck said in a recent
interview.

"You try paying three-quarters of your mortgage for a few years
and then see how the bank responds to you," he said.  "You try
paying three-quarters of your restaurant tab and then walk out
the door after dinner and see what happens.  But the state of
Kentucky thought nothing of paying three-quarters of what was due
the teachers' pensions for year after year. And we're surprised
there's a problem now?"

Mr. Wieck said his newest suit will demand that Kentucky raise
enough revenue through tax increases to repay the teachers'
pension fund for what it was supposed to be getting all along.

Raising taxes needn't be as difficult as it sounds, he said.
During this fiscal year, the state expects to forfeit about $13
billion in "tax expenditures" -- a vast collection of tax breaks
and tax incentives -- which is more money than it will collect
for the General Fund.  Lawmakers should go through that list with
a fine-toothed comb and "close the loopholes" that don't make
sense anymore, he said.

Mr. Wieck originally filed his suits on his own. But the advocacy
nonprofit that he launched with a GoFundMe campaign, the Teacher
Retirement Legal Fund, has hired Ted Lavit, one of the lawyers
who worked on the landmark litigation that convinced the Kentucky
Supreme Court to require a systemic overhaul of school funding
under the Kentucky Education Reform Act of 1990.  He's confident
this case will make a similar impact.

"We're not even asking for new laws to be written here," Mr.
Wieck said.

"We're simply saying, 'Honor the contract.' Teachers did. We paid
into the retirement system, as the contract required, with every
paycheck since the day we started work.  We started by
contributing about nine percent of our salary, and as time went
on and more money was needed, it slowly rose, and now it's about
13 percent of our salary.  So we did our part under our
employment contract.  The state needs to hold up its end."

Mr. Wieck is a Louisville native who spent years studying and
teaching his way across Western Europe.  He was in Finland when
he felt compelled to come home briefly because his aging parents
needed his assistance.  That was two decades ago.  Teaching in
his hometown was a good fit, it turned out.

His epiphany on pensions came in September 2013 when Rolling
Stone magazine published an article by Matt Taibbi called Looting
the Pension Funds.

In the article, Mr. Taibbi warned that on a national scale,
private equity firms were charging exorbitant fees to place
public pension money in complex investment schemes, such as hedge
funds, many of which yielded disappointing returns.  Neither the
fees nor the nature of the investments were ever fully explained
to the public workers whose nest eggs were being mishandled, Mr.
Taibbi wrote.

Aggravating this problem, Mr. Taibbi wrote, politicians for many
years diverted much of the government money legally obligated for
pensions to other spending.  That diversion allowed them to
balance state budgets without having to raise taxes. He
accurately named Kentucky as one of the worst pension under-
funding offenders. (This year, for example, the primary pension
fund for Kentucky's state workers has just 13 percent of the
assets it's expected to need to meet future obligations, putting
it in far worse shape than KTRS.)

"Here's what this game comes down to," Mr. Taibbi wrote.
"Politicians run for office, promising to deliver law and order,
safe and clean streets, and good schools.  Then they get elected,
and instead of paying for the cops, garbage men, teachers and
firefighters they only just 10 minutes ago promised voters, they
intercept taxpayer money allocated for those workers and blow it
on other stuff.  It's the governmental equivalent of stealing
from your kids' college fund to buy lap dances."

As public pension funds predictably run low, the politicians who
wrecked the system suddenly insist they have no choice but to
slash benefits, Mr. Taibbi wrote.  Traditional pensions
guaranteed for life are replaced with 401(k)-style accounts that
shift the burden to modestly paid workers to save enough money to
carry them through 30 years of retirement. Other retiree benefits
-- cost-of-living adjustments, relatively cheap medical coverage
-- become unaffordable luxuries.

"Suddenly my eyes opened.  What he was describing, it was exactly
what we were seeing here in Kentucky!" Mr. Wieck said.

Appalled, he began making phone calls.

The Jefferson County Teachers Association and the Kentucky
Education Association told Mr. Wieck not to worry, they had
representatives at the state Capitol monitoring the pension
situation, he said.  Among other things, the unions were
promoting the idea of a "pension bond" -- several billion dollars
in borrowed money, to be repaid over 30 years at 5 percent
interest -- to prop up KTRS. However, the legislature rejected
that idea as too risky.

Various lawmakers assured him they had enacted rounds of "pension
reform" at the state's retirement systems.  That very year,
Senate Republican and House Democratic leaders congratulated
themselves on passing Senate Bill 2, which enrolled future state
workers in a less generous "hybrid cash-balance" plan rather than
defined-benefits pensions. Also, future public employees will
have to work longer and contribute more money for their benefits
before they retire.

"This is a shining example of how government should tackle
pressing problems facing the state," Senate President Robert
Stivers, R-Manchester, said in 2013.  "Public pension reform was
accomplished through a bipartisan, bicameral and collegial way."

Yet for all of the confident talk, as time passed, the state's
public pension debt kept rising.

"What surprised me was, I felt like people were lying to me,"
Mr. Wieck said.  "They'd been telling all of us that this was a
healthy retirement system, when even a cursory look at the
numbers told you it was anything but healthy. All of the national
ratings agencies, they just looked at our numbers and they knew
right away that we didn't have anywhere near the level of money
we were going to need to meet our future obligations. That's why
they keep down-grading us. It's simple math."

Taking them to court
Although he knew little about the law -- "not enough to get
arrested," he quipped -- Mr. Wieck typed up and filed his first
lawsuit in November 2014 in Jefferson Circuit Court against the
KTRS Board of Trustees.

Mr. Wieck alleged that the retirement system's trustees had
failed in their fiduciary duty by not "aggressively and publicly
demanding the full funding they need to stay solvent;" by not
informing teachers of the "dire funding status;" and by not
"aggressively exposing flawed and biased research in the
legislature's pension reform process."

Officials at KTRS declined to discuss Mr. Wieck for this story,
citing his history of litigation against the agency.

That first suit was dismissed for improper venue.  Mr. Wieck
lives and works in Jefferson County; KTRS is headquartered in
Franklin County.

So he tried again nearly a year later, suing in U.S. District
Court along with two other teachers and requesting class-action
status to represent everyone enrolled in KTRS.  This time, the
defendants included KTRS and private equity firms KKR, Blackstone
Group, Carlyle Group and Rockwood Capital.  Mr. Wieck said the
underfunded retirement system inappropriately risked nearly $600
million in pension assets with those firms during the previous
eight months.

This suit also was dismissed.  Senior U.S. District Judge Charles
R. Simpson III cited several reasons, including sovereign
immunity -- the concept that, in general, governments are immune
from civil liability -- and what he described as Mr. Wieck's
failure to state a specific harm suffered at the hands of the
private equity firms.

Not one to let matters drop, Mr. Wieck sued once more in November
2016. (By now, thanks to a GoFundMe campaign that he says has
raised about $25,000 so far, his nonprofit Teacher Retirement
Legal Fund was able to hire legal counsel and operate a website
to promote his ongoing battles.) This time, Mr. Wieck and 29
other Louisville teachers sued Bevin, Stivers and Jeff Hoover,
who at that time was incoming speaker of the Kentucky House of
Representatives.

The teachers accused the state's leaders of short-changing KTRS,
collectively cheating them of secure retirements in violation of
state law and their rights under the state and federal
constitutions to life, liberty and property.

The case started in Franklin Circuit Court, the state court in
the capital city of Frankfort.  But the defendants shrewdly had
it removed to U.S. District Court, where a federal judge declared
that he lacked the jurisdictional authority to tell state
officials how to spend state money. Dismissed.

"The main thrust of the suit is monetary," wrote U.S. District
Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove in his dismissal order.  "In fact,
there is no other remedy available to plaintiffs except for this
court to force the defendants to withdraw from the treasury to
fully fund KTRS."

'Nobody wants to rock the boat'
One of Mr. Wieck's staunchest allies, Betsey Bell, 66, just
retired from teaching high school English in Louisville in the
middle of the school year.

Ms. Bell said Bevin made the decision for her in August after a
Facebook Live video he gave on the pension shortfall "felt like
he was insulting every one of us.  It was really the last straw.
Teaching is already such a tough job, and here is the governor of
the state talking about how teachers only care about themselves
and they're so greedy and they hoard sick days.  I just said,
'The heck with this.'"

Ms. Bell was one of the teachers who joined Mr. Wieck in his last
two suits.  She admires him for taking action to defend his
pension, something she says few other educators seem willing to
do.

"People will complain in private, but in public, nobody wants to
rock the boat," Ms. Bell said.  "Honestly, I can't figure out why
we're not more vocal.  Teachers seem to live in fear for their
jobs, so they almost never speak up. Principals live in fear of
someone filing a grievance.  Everyone in education is so afraid."

Mr. Wieck said he's working with his lawyer on their next pension
funding lawsuit, which they will do their best to keep in the
state courts.  If the Kentucky Supreme Court had the authority to
order the General Assembly to spend more on schools nearly 30
years ago, then it can tell lawmakers to better fund the pension
systems today, he said.

He's keeping one eye on the ongoing pension debate in Frankfort,
but he doesn't see much in Bevin's proposals that impresses him.
Mr. Wieck said shifting future teachers into newly established
defined-contribution accounts simply cuts off badly needed
funding for the existing pensions because, as time goes on, there
will be fewer active teachers contributing into the current
system with each paycheck as older teachers keep retiring and
withdrawing money.

And freezing retired teachers' annual cost-of-living adjustments
on their only income -- in Kentucky, teachers don't collect
Social Security -- is a heartless way to save money, he said.

"This whole discussion has taken on a diabolical quality that I
don't think is accidental," Mr. Wieck said.  "It's supposed to
make all of us in the public sector look greedy.  It's supposed
to turn people against us. 'Look, you people hoard sick days! Why
do you even still get pensions? At least the governor is trying
to do something, why won't you just shut up and support him?' And
meanwhile, our contract has been violated year after year."
[GN]


KOBE STEEL: Feb. 26 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
------------------------------------------------------
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP alerts investors in Kobe Steel
Ltd. (OTHER OTC:KBSTY) to the pending securities class action
filed in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York and to the February 26, 2018 Lead Plaintiff
deadline.  If you purchased or otherwise acquired securities of
Kobe Steel between May 29, 2013 and October 12, 2017 and suffered
losses contact Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP.  For more
information, visit https://www.hbsslaw.com/cases/KBSTY or contact
Reed Kathrein, who is leading the firm's investigation, by
calling 510-725-3000 or emailing KBSTY@hbsslaw.com

On October 10, 2017, TheStreet reported in an article entitled
"Kobe Steel Shares Are Getting Torn to Shreds After New Scandal
Emerges" that the group falsified data on the strength and
durability of copper and aluminum shipments to customers for as
much as a decade.

According to TheStreet, Kobe admitted "[a] portion of the
products traded with customers did not comply with the product
specifications which were agreed between the Company and its
customers" and "[d]ata in inspection certificates had been
improperly rewritten etc., and the products were shipped as
having met the specifications concerned."  Kobe reportedly stated
the falsifications may have occurred over a period of ten years.

This news drove the price of Kobe securities down $1.30 to close
at $4.00 on October 10, 2017 -- a loss of over 24%.

"We're focused on the matters leading up to Kobe's emergency
quality audit findings, its belated disclosures and the damages
inflicted on Kobe investors," said Hagens Berman partner Reed
Kathrein.

Whistleblowers:  Persons with non-public information regarding
Kobe Steel should consider their options to help in the
investigation or take advantage of the SEC Whistleblower program.
Under the new program, whistleblowers who provide original
information may receive rewards totaling up to 30 percent of any
successful recovery made by the SEC.  For more information, call
Reed Kathrein at 510-725-3000 or email KBSTY@hbsslaw.com.

                    About Hagens Berman

Hagens Berman -- http://www.hbsslaw.com-- is a national
investor-rights law firm headquartered in Seattle, Washington
with 70+ attorneys in 11 offices across the country.  The Firm
represents investors, whistleblowers, workers and consumers in
complex litigation. [GN]


KOL BARAMA: Court Has Yet to Rule on Class Action
-------------------------------------------------
Judy Maltz, writing for Haaretz, reports that a group of Israeli
lawmakers piled onto a bus and set out for Beit Shemesh -- a city
at the forefront of the country's battle over religious
radicalization.  Their aim was to figure out why the municipality
was having such a difficult time complying with a recent High
Court of Justice ruling, ordering it to tear down offensive
modesty signs plastered around town.

When they arrived at their destination, the Knesset members were
joined by several local women, all Modern Orthodox, who have been
spearheading the campaign against the modesty signs.  The women
were introduced by representatives of the Israel Religious Action
Center -- the local advocacy arm of the Reform movement, which
has been fighting their battle in court for the past five years.

That Orthodox women would join forces with the Reform movement to
fight other Orthodox groups might not seem immediately obvious.
But as spokeswoman Nili Philipp explains, when she and her fellow
Beit Shemesh activists initially sought assistance, no one else
was willing to lend a hand.

Some of the modesty signs that were inflaming these women
instruct them on how to dress and require them to wear long
sleeves, long skirts and no tight-fitting clothing. Other signs
order them to keep off the sidewalks near synagogues and
yeshivas, where men tend to congregate.  For violating these
rules, these women and their daughters have been cursed and spat
on. Determined to fight back, their first stop was the local
police. But as Ms. Philipp recounts, that did little good.

They then reached out to an organization that represents Orthodox
feminists in Israel, Kolech, which they assumed would be a
natural ally.  Indeed, Kolech was extremely sympathetic to the
Beit Shemesh women, but it informed them it had no resources to
spare, not even for its own causes.

So when IRAC reached out to the group and offered to help with
their legal battles, Philipp and her friends were genuinely
moved, but also a bit hesitant.  After all, in certain parts of
the Orthodox world, Reform Judaism is not considered a legitimate
movement and such cooperation might reflect badly on them.

"We realized, though, that there was no way we could fight this
battle on our own," Ms. Philipp explains.  "We knew we were going
to have to pay a price in terms of public opinion, but we just
didn't care."

The collaboration between the Beit Shemesh women and the Reform
movement has proven fruitful -- at least on paper.  IRAC's legal
department has won every single case it brought to court against
the modesty signs.

The modesty signs in Beit Shemesh are but one example of how
Orthodox groups have joined forces in recent years with the
Reform movement -- as well as secular organizations -- to fight
perceived injustices.  Sometimes, as in this particular case,
these collaborations take the form of legal battles.  In other
instances, they involve cooperative lobbying efforts in the
Knesset or joint public opinion campaigns.

Sometimes, as in the Beit Shemesh case, these collaborations are
above board. Often, though, they are not.  For example, IRAC
petitioned the High Court in 2007, demanding an end to gender
segregation on bus lines that run through ultra-Orthodox (or
Haredi) communities.  That followed complaints from women who had
been forced to sit at the back of the bus and enter through the
back door.  The High Court ruled in 2011 that gender segregation
on buses was illegal without the consent of the passengers.

Not only were women's rights groups cheering the victory.  As
Orly Erez-Likhovski, the head of IRAC's legal department,
recalls, she received some unexpected phone calls at the time.
"Of course, it was all very hush-hush," she says, "but there were
quite a few Haredim who reached out to say they were thankful for
the Reform movement because we're the only ones out there
fighting their battles."

In a related case, IRAC is representing Kolech in a class-action
suit against an ultra-Orthodox radio station, Kol Barama, which
refuses to put women on the air.  A ruling has yet to be handed
down.

According to Ms. Erez-Likhovski, a combination of factors can
explain why such alliances, which transcend the usual
denominational divides, have become more common in recent years.

"Within Orthodoxy, there is far more focus today on women's
rights, especially among certain more progressive streams," she
says. "At the same time, the Israeli Chief Rabbinate has become
more and more rigid, forcing many people into a corner."

Another recent example of the IRAC going to bat for Orthodox
individuals and groups involves kashrut regulations.  In 2014, it
petitioned the High Court on behalf of two Jerusalem restaurant
owners to fight the Rabbinate's monopoly in awarding kashrut
certificates.  IRAC lost the case, but when the High Court handed
down its ruling last September, it said restaurateurs are allowed
to tell their clients they serve kosher food even if they don't
have kashrut certification from the Rabbinate.

The Rabbinate's nemesis

Seth Farber, the founder and executive director of ITIM -- an
organization that helps individuals navigate Israel's religious
bureaucracy -- has become the Rabbinate's nemesis in recent
years. He has been a driving force in the battle to break the
Rabbinate's monopoly over marriage and conversion in the country.
And last July, he helped expose the fact that the Rabbinate
maintains a blacklist of rabbis from abroad, whose rulings on the
Jewishness of people it does not recognize.

People are often surprised, Mr. Farber notes with irony, when
they learn he is an Orthodox rabbi.  "The other day, I got a call
from somebody at one of the local religious councils who was
convinced I was part of the Reform movement," he reveals.

In recent years, ITIM has worked closely with both the Reform and
Conservatives movements in trying to break the Rabbinate's
monopoly on conversions.  This has included waging legal battles
together and joining hands in lobbying the Knesset.

"Often, we have found we have parallel agendas with Reform and
Conservative Jews," Mr. Farber says.  "The big difference,
however, is that they are trying to get recognition for their
respective movements is Israel, whereas for us the main goal is
to make the State of Israel more responsive to all Jews."

Ne'emanei Torah Va'avodah -- an Orthodox-Zionist movement that is
more moderate in its approach to Judaism than the larger and
better-known Bnei Akiva -- has also time and again found itself
on the same side as the non-Orthodox movements in critical
matters concerning religion and state.

Last summer, for example, its leaders launched a video campaign
in which they urged the Israeli government not to turn its back
on Diaspora Jews and to fulfill its pledge to provide an
egalitarian prayer space at Jerusalem's Western Wall.  Of course,
as Orthodox Jews they would not want to pray at this space, but
for members of this Modern Orthodox movement, it was the
principle that was paramount.

Ne'emanei Torah Va'avodah often helps the non-Orthodox movements
in their lobbying efforts in the Knesset.  "There are many
lawmakers who might not talk to representatives of the
Conservative and Reform movements, but who will talk to us
because we're religious," says Tani Frank, who coordinates such
efforts for the movement.

The organization broke with convention in the religious world
recently when it came out in support of civil marriage in Israel,
backing a campaign led by the non-Orthodox movements and Be Free
Israel (Israel Hofsheet), a civil society organization that
supports religious freedom in Israel.

This would not be the first time Be Free Israel has cooperated
with Orthodox groups and individuals. T he organization works
closely with Chuck Davidson, an American-born Orthodox rabbi who
has devoted his life to fighting the Rabbinate's monopoly on
marriage and conversion.  Often, couples who wish to be married
by an Orthodox rabbi but want to avoid the Rabbinate will be
referred to Davidson when they come to consult with Be Free
Israel.

"There were a few instances where the parents of couples I was
about to marry expressed concerns about my affiliation with Be
Free Israel," Mr. Davidson says. "But I explained that I'm not
interested in promoting non-Orthodox or secular Judaism.  I just
don't want to force things down people's throats, and I'll work
with any organization that shares those values."

In the end, he says, he won over the concerned parents. [GN]


LIQUIDITY SERVICES: Feb. 20 Class Action Opt-Out Deadline Set
-------------------------------------------------------------
The following statement is being issued by Labaton Sucharow LLP
and Spector Roseman & Kodroff, P.C. regarding the class action
Howard v. Liquidity Services Inc., et al., Case No. 14-cv-1183
(D.D.C.).

To all persons and entities who purchased or otherwise acquired
the publicly traded common stock of Liquidity Services, Inc.
("LSI") during the period from February 1, 2012 through May 7,
2014, and were damaged thereby (the "Class"):

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED, pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure and an Order of the United States District
Court for the District of Columbia (the "Court"), that the above-
captioned action (the "Action") has been certified to proceed as
a class action on behalf of the Class defined above, subject to
certain exclusions.  IF YOU ARE A MEMBER OF THE CLASS, YOUR
RIGHTS WILL BE AFFECTED BY THIS ACTION.  At this time, there is
no judgment, settlement, or monetary recovery.

If you are a Class Member, you have the right to decide whether
to remain a member of the Class.  If you choose to stay in the
Class, you do not need to do anything at this time other than
retain your documents relating to LSI, including documents
reflecting all of your transactions (purchases and sales) in LSI
publicly traded common stock during the period from February 1,
2012 through May 7, 2014.  You will automatically be included in
the Class and all orders or judgments in the Action, whether
favorable or unfavorable, will apply to you.

If you do not wish to remain a member of the Class, you must take
steps to exclude yourself from the Class.  If you ask to be
excluded from the Class, you will not be bound by any order or
judgment in the Action, but you will not be eligible to receive a
share of any money which might be recovered for the benefit of
the Class.  To exclude yourself from the Class, you must submit a
written request for exclusion postmarked no later than February
20, 2018 in accordance with the instructions set forth in the
full printed Notice.  Pursuant to the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure, it is within the Court's discretion whether to allow a
second opportunity to request exclusion from the Class in the
event there is a future settlement or judgment in the Action.

This notice is only a summary.  A full printed Notice of Pendency
of Class Action (the "Notice") is currently being mailed to known
potential Class Members.  If you have not received a copy of the
Notice, you may obtain a copy of the Notice by downloading it
from www.liquidityservicessecuritieslitigation.com or by
contacting the Administrator at:

         Liquidity Services Inc. Securities Litigation
         c/o GCG
         P.O. Box 10520
         Dublin, Ohio 43017-5589
         888-684-4985
         info@LiquidityServicesSecuritiesLitigation.com

If you did not receive the Notice by mail, and you are a member
of the Class, please send your name and address to the
Administrator so that if any future notices are mailed in
connection with the Action, you will receive them.

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

         Jonathan Gardner, Esq.
         LABATON SUCHAROW LLP
         140 Broadway
         New York, NY 10005
         www.labaton.com
         888-219-6877

         Andrew D. Abramowitz, Esq.
         SPECTOR ROSEMAN & KODROFF, P.C.
         1818 Market Street, Suite 2500
         Philadelphia, PA 19103
         www.srkattorneys.com
         888-844-5862

Please Do Not Call the Court with Questions.

Dated: January 3, 2018

BY ORDER OF THE COURT
United States District Court
District of Columbia [GN]


LOBLAW COS: Registration for $25 Cards Begins
---------------------------------------------
Ellen Roseman, writing for Toronto Star, reports that starting
Jan. 8, you can register to receive a $25 card from Loblaw
Companies Ltd.

It's not a gift card you can use anywhere.  It can be redeemed
only at grocery stores operated by Loblaw across Canada.

In late December, Loblaw and parent George Weston Ltd. said they
became aware of an arrangement to co-ordinate retail and
wholesale prices on some packaged breads from late 2001 until
March 2015.

The companies notified the Competition Bureau at the time and
have been co-operating with its investigation in exchange for
immunity from criminal charges or penalties.

How do you apply to get $25 worth of free groceries? Who is
eligible? What proof is required? And can you lose out on future
court or consumer class action settlements if you accept the
offer?

Here are answers to these and other questions.

How do you register and what information is required?

Go to the Loblaw Card Program website (www.loblawcard.ca) and
enter your email address.  This will ensure you receive a notice
once registration opens on Jan. 8.

"We will only use your email address to notify you that
registration has opened and not for Loblaw customer marketing or
any other purpose, unless you have already given us your consent
to do so," Loblaw says.

When you do so, you will receive an email saying you must
complete and submit a registration form to be eligible to get a
$25 Loblaw card.

How do you qualify to get the card?

Generally speaking, you will have to declare you are at or above
the age of majority (18 in Ontario) and you purchased certain
packaged bread products at an eligible store before March 1,
2015.

Although nothing is certain until registration opens, it seems
unlikely that customers will have to submit proof of age or any
sales receipts (unless irregularities pop up).

Will the information on the registration form be kept secure?

Loblaw is subject to, and fully intends to comply with,
applicable data protection laws, said communications vice-
president Kevin Groh.

Your email address won't be used for other purposes unless you
give consent, and it must be deleted when no longer needed for
the purpose for which it was collected.  A more detailed privacy
policy will appear on the website on Jan. 8.

If you accept the card, will you lose out on possible settlements
of future class action suits?

Canadians are waiting for the full bread-price story -- including
Loblaw's response and the role other retailers played -- to come
out early this year, when court documents are made public.

Meanwhile, Loblaw is making this offer as a first step to regain
its customers' trust.  Compensating customers in price-fixing
cases can take many years, while the $25 card will be available
more quickly.

Many people have assumed the card offer is part of a settlement
deal with the Competition Bureau.  It is not, Groh emphasized.
It was created by Loblaw, independent of any bureau involvement.

Accepting the card will not affect your right to participate in
class actions or receive any incremental compensation that may be
awarded by the court, he said.

I like the company's commitment to avoid any fine-print
restrictions. It's making a public pledge that obtaining a card
won't put you at a disadvantage in terms of anything the courts
may do.

Where can you use the $25 card?

Here is a full list of Loblaw-operated stores.

In Ontario: Loblaws, No Frills, Valu-mart, Fortinos, Zehrs, Bloor
Street Market, Independent City Market, Cash and Carry, Real
Canadian Superstore, Real Canadian Wholesale Club, Wholesale
Club, Your Independent Grocer.

Elsewhere in Canada: Atlantic Superstore, Cash & Carry, Club
Entrepot, Dominion (in Newfoundland and Labrador), Extra Foods,
Maxi, Maxi & Cie, Presto, Provigo, Provigo Le Marche.

Can you donate your $25 card to a nonprofit group or charity?

Toronto Star columnist Gail Vaz-Oxlade told people to do that in
a Dec. 20 tweet: "Everybody.  Absolutely everybody in Canada.
Sign up.  Then send your cards to the food bank."  She had about
6,000 retweets.

Will Loblaw's send a card directly to a cause you designate?

"At this point, our focus is entirely on customer trust and
making sure we can efficiently put money in the hands of our
individual customers," Groh said.

"That said, we think it's a lovely idea, as we're already a
leading contributor to food charities nationwide.  With the card
in hand, customers could easily buy food for themselves or for a
food bank."

Is there a deadline to apply for the card?

Registration closes May 8, just over four months from now.
Loblaw said the estimated cost is $75 to $150 million, but it
could be higher because of the publicity this story has
generated.

Ellen's Advice

The $25 card is a goodwill gesture, outside the context of
litigation.  It's a public relations move by Loblaw to win back
shoppers.

Assuming you won't lose any legal rights -- and that your privacy
will be safeguarded -- you might as well register for the card.
Then you can choose to use it or give it to a worthy cause. [GN]


LOBLAW COS: Former Manitoba Grand Chief Files Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
CBC News' Kelly Malone and The Canadian Press report that
Derek Nepinak, the former grand chief of the Assembly of Manitoba
Chiefs, has filed a $1 billion class-action lawsuit against
multiple Canadian grocers after Loblaw Companies said it
participated in industry-wide bread price-fixing for 14 years.
Nepinak is the lead plaintiff in the case on behalf of all
Canadians who purchased bread from the grocery giants beginning
in January 2001.  He is being represented by Winnipeg-based law
firm Boudreau Law.

"I know majority of the Canadians, they [say], 'Well, it's a
couple of cents on each loaf of bread, it doesn't really matter.'
But for the poorest of the people, who are really affected by a
couple of cents on the loaf of bread, that is significant,"
lawyer Norman Boudreau told CBC News.

"We are hoping with Derek's involvement in this that First
Nations will in fact join the class action."

The statement of claim, filed at Manitoba's Court of Queen's
Bench on Dec. 29, names Loblaw Companies Ltd. and its parent
company George Weston Ltd., the baking giant Canada Bread Company
Ltd., and the retailers Walmart Canada, Metro Inc. and Giant
Tiger Stores Ltd.

None of the claims have been proven in court. Defendants in
Manitoba have 20 days to file a statement of defense, while those
outside the province have 40 days.

In December, George Weston and Loblaw revealed the companies
participated in an industry-wide bread price-fixing arrangement.
They notified the Competition Bureau and have co-operated with
the investigation, receiving immunity from criminal charges that
may arise.

Metro, Sobeys, Canada Bread and Walmart Canada also said they
were fully co-operating with the investigation.

The suit claims the companies conspired to limit the production
of bread to inflate the price from January 2001 to Dec. 20, 2017,
contrary to the Competition Act.  That means Canadians paid
higher prices than they would have if the companies were not
acting illegally, the statement of claim says, and the price-
fixing was "reckless, without care, deliberate and in disregard
of the rights of [Nepinak] and members of the [class action]."

It's not the first class-action suit since the investigation
became public.  A senior citizen and anti-poverty activist from
Elliot Lake, Ont., represented by Toronto-based law firm Sotos
LLP, has also filed a $1-billion lawsuit.

Saskatchewan-based Merchant Law Group LLP is also pursuing a
class-action lawsuit.

The multiple suits could lead to a motion for carriage, which
would see one firm chosen to proceed.  But Mr. Boudreau said it
is more likely there will be a consortium of firms that will lead
the class action, similar to the recently settled class action
against Volkswagen.

Regardless, the case is expected to be large and include a lot of
Canadians, and Mr. Boudreau said he hopes it sends a message to
other companies that "there is enough profit to be made without
having to fix prices."

"Manitobans and Canadians take an issue like this seriously," he
said.

In order for the class-action lawsuit to proceed, it will have to
be certified by a judge.

Loblaw has since offered a $25 gift card as an apology to
customers but Mr. Boudreau said Canadians should be hesitant to
take up the offer.

"We don't know what the terms of the gift certificate [are].  In
fact, Canadians may hamper their rights in using that gift
certificate," he said.

"It may preclude them from being part of this class action or
benefiting any advantage that this class action may provide."
Loblaw has said it expects as many as six million Canadians will
receive the gift card and it will cost them $75 million to $150
million.  Some people have suggested people donate those cards to
food banks, but Mr. Boudreau said the payout of the class action
should be worth much more.

'Drop in the bucket'
The president of the Consumer's Association of Canada (CAC),
Bruce Cran, calls the price-fixing "disgusting" and also cautions
people against taking the gift card without reading all the fine
print.

"First of all, $25 is a drop in the bucket. It's nothing like you
would have paid out for bread over that time in excess of what
the price should have been," he said.

"You can take that $25 or you can join the class-action lawsuits,
and our feeling at the moment is you might just as well joining
one of the class-action lawsuits and see what comes out of it."
Cran said he would like to see the companies held accountable for
the price-fixing to make it very clear to others that if it's
done there will be serious consequences, both criminally and
financially.

"Bread is something that most families in Canada eat, it's
certainly a main part of the diet of Canada," he said.

"To see something like this happen from the biggest grocery
retailer in Canada is quite disgusting."

The CAC is monitoring the situation and will be releasing advice
for consumers, he added.

Reached for comment, a spokesperson for Giant Tiger said via
email the company has "no reason to believe at this time" that it
or any of its employees was involved with a price-fixing scheme.
The company declined to comment on the class-action suit.

A Walmart spokesperson said the retailer "takes its legal
obligations very seriously" but would not comment on the lawsuit
as it is before the courts.

The other companies in the lawsuit did not respond to calls for
comment. [GN]


LOLA'S GOURMET: Sued by Labrador for Not Paying Minimum, OT Wages
-----------------------------------------------------------------
SISI LABRADOR, and all others similarly situated under 29 U.S.C.
Section 216(b) v. LOLA'S GOURMET, LLC, ERNESTO LEFRANC,
individually, and DOLORES LEFRANC, individually, Case No. 1:17-
cv-24479-JEM (S.D. Fla., December 11, 2017), alleges that the
Defendants have failed to compensate similarly situated employees
in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act by depriving them
of the FLSA's required overtime premium and minimum wage
payments.

LGL is a Florida corporation that conducted business in Miami-
Dade County, Florida.  The Individual Defendants are owners and
operators of LGL.  The Defendants operate a restaurant.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          J. Freddy Perera, Esq.
          PERERA LAW GROUP, P.A.
          12555 Orange Drive, Suite 268
          Davie, FL 33330
          Telephone: (786) 485-5232
          E-mail: freddy@pereralaw.com


LQ MANAGEMENT: Faces "Adkins" Suit in W.D. Penn.
------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against LQ Management
L.L.C. The case is styled as Samantha J. Adkins, individually and
on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. LQ
Management L.L.C., Defendant, Case No. 2:18-cv-00059-LPL (W.D.
Penn., January 11, 2018).

LQ Management L.L.C. operates limited-service hotels in the
United States. It operates and provides franchise services to La
Quinta Inn and La Quinta Inn & Suites brands.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   R. Bruce Carlson, Esq.
   Carlson Lynch Sweet & Kilpela, LLP
   1133 Penn Avenue
   5th Floor
   Pittsburgh, PA 15222
   Tel: (412) 322-9243
   Email: bcarlson@carlsonlynch.com


MAKESPACE LABS: Faces "Mendizabal" Suit in S.D. New York
--------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Makespace Labs. The
case is styled as Maria Mendizabal, on behalf of herself and all
others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Makespace Labs,
Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-00325 (S.D. N.Y., January 12, 2018).

MakeSpace Labs, Inc. provides storage services.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Joseph H Mizrahi, Esq.
   Joseph H Mizrahi Law PC
   337 Avenue W Suite 2f
   Brooklyn, NY 11223
   Tel: (917) 299-6612
   Fax: (347) 665-1545
   Email: jmizrahilaw@gmail.com


MICHIGAN: Targets Water Chemical Contaminants Amid Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
David Eggert, writing for The Associated Press, reports that
while the city of Flint still recovers from a lead-tainted water
crisis, Michigan is scrambling to combat potential health risks
in other tap water that stem from chemicals long used in
firefighting, waterproofing, carpeting and other products.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances have been detected at
military bases, water treatment plants and, most recently, an old
industrial dump site for footwear company Wolverine World Wide.
The contaminants, classified by the Environmental Protection
Agency as "emerging" nationally, have sparked enough concern that
Gov. Rick Snyder created a state response team and approved $23
million in emergency spending.

The chemicals do not break down easily and can migrate from soil
to groundwater.  They were used in scores of U.S. industrial
applications and have been detected in human and animal blood
around the globe.  The Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease
Registry says scientists are uncertain about how they affect
human health at exposure levels typically found in food and
water.  But some studies suggest the chemicals might affect fetal
development, disrupt hormonal functions, damage fertility and
immune systems, and boost the risk of cancer.

At least 1,000 homes with private wells in the Plainfield
Township area north of Grand Rapids -- near where Wolverine
dumped hazardous waste decades ago -- have been tested for
contamination in recent months.

Cody Angell, 28, who lives in the area, said he has had
"sleepless nights," even though his home is on the local water
system that has been deemed safe.  He's concerned because the
chemicals have been discovered in the municipal supply, and
Plainfield Township for years pulled water from backup wells that
have tested positive for the substances.  He wonders if the
contamination caused his mother's thyroid disease.

Angell said he lacks confidence in state regulators, pointing to
their failures that led to Flint's crisis.  Environmental
activist and legal consultant Erin Brockovich recently met with
area residents, urging them to join a class-action lawsuit that
alleges Wolverine illegally disposed of per- and polyfluoroalkyl
substances from Minnesota-based 3M's Scotchgard product in the
area.  The suit seeks financial damages and steps such as
targeted, more frequent medical testing.

Another lawsuit alleges that a family of four living near
Wolverine's unlined tannery waste dump drank highly contaminated
well water for 17 years, causing the father to develop colon
cancer, the mother to have a miscarriage and one of their
children to develop a rare bone cancer.

The chemicals have been identified at 28 sites in 14 Michigan
communities.  Nearly half are on or near military installations,
where the source is believed to be firefighting foam.

The $23 million will be used to hire new state employees to
sample and analyze well water, buy lab equipment and help public
health departments with unexpected response costs.  Samples have
been sent to California because no Michigan labs can test for the
chemicals; state officials want quicker results.

"People are starting to get an understanding of a whole class of
chemicals that . . . are in so many things.  How much of that is
getting into our systems? I don't think people really know," said
state Rep. Chris Afendoulis, a Republican whose district includes
the Wolverine dump area. He warned it could become "a nationwide
problem."

Of about 1,050 homes tested in neighborhoods north of Grand
Rapids, 74 had per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances levels above
70 parts per trillion -- the U.S. government's combined health
advisory level for drinking water, set in 2016.  Some houses had
concentrations measuring hundreds of times higher than the
lifetime advisory level.  Results are not back yet for every
home. Wolverine has provided affected residents with bottled
water and whole-house filters and, at the state's request, is
investigating 20 reports of discarded barrels or leather scraps
at five sites.

For now, the Snyder administration and majority Republicans in
the Legislature are comfortable with the 70 parts per trillion
standard -- a nonenforceable and unregulated limit unlike the
federal restrictions on other contaminants such as lead, asbestos
and mercury.

"It is largely used for trying to communicate to the public the
point at which if you're below that, we don't have public health
concern.  When you get above that, then that is when we start to
say there are some people who may be at risk of harm from a
lifetime of drinking levels above 70," said Kory Groetsch,
environmental health director at the Michigan Department of
Health and Human Services.  "I like to think of it as a speed
limit. If you're doing 58 in a 55, your chance of anything bad is
very small. If you're doing 95 in a 55, your chance of something
going wrong is quite high."

Michigan Democrats are proposing legislation to establish a 5
parts per trillion limit, which would be the country's toughest
and follow states such as New Jersey, Minnesota and Vermont that
have imposed stricter guidelines. [GN]


MIDLAND CREDIT: Faces "Espinal" Suit in E.D. New York
-----------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Midland Credit
Management, Inc. The case is styled as Nelson Espinal, on behalf
of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v.
Midland Credit Management, Inc., Defendant, Case No. 2:18-cv-
00233 (E.D. N.Y., January 12, 2018).

Midland Credit Management, Inc., a licensed debt collector,
assists customers in resolving past-due financial obligations
through various education and payment plans.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Daniel C Cohen, Esq.
   Daniel Cohen, PLLC
   407 Rockaway Avenue
   Brooklyn, NY 11212
   Tel: (646) 645-8482
   Fax: (347) 665-1545
   Email: dancohenlaw@gmail.com


MINNESOTA: Prison Inmates File Class Action Over DAA Drugs
----------------------------------------------------------
Stephen Montemayor, writing for Star Tribune, reports that five
prison inmates infected with hepatitis C are seeking class-action
status for a lawsuit that would require the Minnesota Department
of Corrections to offer a class of groundbreaking, but extremely
expensive, new drugs.

The medications, known as "direct acting antiviral" (DAA) drugs,
can have a 95 percent cure rate, but they can cost anywhere from
$26,400 to well above $100,000 per patient.

The litigation joins a series of similar lawsuits across the
country that ask whether prison inmates have a right to the
latest, most effective drugs even if the cost could overwhelm a
state's corrections budget.

Private and government health insurers have increasingly agreed
to cover the drugs for patients suffering from all levels of
hepatitis C, a contagious disease that attacks the liver.  But
the cost for Minnesota inmates could well exceed the department's
entire annual budget.

Attorneys for the inmates and the Department of Corrections plan
to meet to determine if they can reach a settlement.

Attorneys for the prisoners argue that any potential costs
associated with treating the more than 1,000 potentially infected
inmates is outweighed by the constitutional violation of not
doing so, as well as the potential public health risks.

The inmates "would have public and private access to the cure
were they not incarcerated," wrote Andrew Mohring, an attorney
for the plaintiffs, in an amended complaint filed in December.
"Their sentences include the extrajudicial punishment of being
deprived of an available cure, while their disease advances."

Left untreated, hepatitis C can cause severe liver scarring and
even cancer.

Although some inmates are now getting the new drugs, the lawsuit
alleges that the DOC's medical guidelines contravene the medical
standard of care endorsed by "practitioners, major medical
associations, and care providers" that requires testing and
immediate treatment of all patients with chronic hepatitis C,
with limited exceptions.

The DAAs, first approved by federal regulators in 2013, have
limited side effects and only require taking a pill once or twice
daily for eight to 12 weeks.

The prisoners' lawsuit says inmates bear a disproportionate risk
of viral hepatitis, and that public health experts now view
active treatment and testing as a vital tool in eliminating the
disease as a threat to the larger community.

Mr. Mohring pointed to Corrections Department estimates that the
state is monitoring only about 400 of the more than 1,000 to
1,500 prisoners it believes could be infected. Of that number,
just 66 were being treated with DAAs as of March 2017.

A spokeswoman said the department could not comment on ongoing
litigation.  But in court filings this month asking U.S. District
Judge Patrick Schiltz to dismiss the case, an attorney for the
state denied that drug costs were the department's primary
motive.

Assistant Attorney General Kathryn Fodness wrote that "many
factors are taken into consideration when determining whether a
prisoner will be treated with DAA medications."  A decision for
the plaintiffs, she wrote, could "result in a fundamental
alteration to the DOC or its programming."

At a July hearing, Ms. Fodness argued that simply having
hepatitis C, which can take decades to progress, is not by itself
a "serious medical condition."  Thus, she argued, denying DAAs to
inmates not suffering from advanced stages of the infection does
not amount to "deliberate indifference," she said.

"If I get infected today," Ms. Fodness told the judge, "I could
go years without any sort of medical impact to my health."

"You could, but you wouldn't," Judge Schiltz replied.  "You, like
anybody in this courtroom, would go to your doctor and get the
drugs so that you didn't even risk it, especially since it
appears that the experts agree that the progression of the
disease can vary among people and can be unpredictable."

'Cost-effective'

The advent of DAAs proved to be an early strain on both public
and private insurers. But some insurers have since suggested that
covering the highly effective drugs now can curb costs associated
with liver transplants or chemotherapy later.

"From a societal perspective it's a cost-effective intervention,"
said Lawrence Lee, the chief medical officer for UCare Minnesota,
one of the state's bigger health insurers.  Mr. Lee said the
market has expanded from two such drugs to nine, and the most
recent is among the cheapest to date.

While the federal Bureau of Prisons has issued its own guidelines
for screening and treating hepatitis C, states are still trying
to figure out how to pay for such treatments.  More than a half-
dozen similar federal lawsuits are pending in other states.

A 2016 article in the influential journal Health Affairs
recommended that states increase funding for treating inmates
with hepatitis and that corrections departments consider
partnering with other government agencies to negotiate discounts
through federal programs.

"It's a Catch-22 where you have lots of people with hepatitis C,
but your ability to treat it is constrained by the cost of the
drug," said Gregg Gonsalves, an epidemiology and law professor at
Yale University and one of the report's authors. [GN]


MORTON WILLIAMS: Faces "Mendizabal" Suit in S.D. New York
---------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Morton Williams
Supermarkets, Inc. The case is styled as Maria Mendizabal, on
behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v.
Morton Williams Supermarkets, Inc., Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-
00319 (S.D. N.Y., January 12, 2018).

Morton Williams is a family-owned and operated food retailer of
fifteen stores in New York Metropolitan area -- in business since
1946.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Joseph H Mizrahi, Esq.
   Joseph H Mizrahi Law PC
   337 Avenue W Suite 2f
   Brooklyn, NY 11223
   Tel: (917) 299-6612
   Fax: (347) 665-1545
   Email: jmizrahilaw@gmail.com


MURRAY GOULBURN: Denies Giving Misleading Statements to Investors
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Peter Hemphill, writing for The Weekly Times, reports that Murray
Goulburn and its directors have denied they provided misleading
statements to investors when listing units on the Australian
Securities Exchange in mid-2015.

In its defense filed in the Federal Court of Australia against a
class action taken by aggrieved unit holders, MG rejected dozens
of accusations by litigants taking a class action against the
dairy co-operative.

In a document lodged with the court on November 10 last year, the
litigants alleged MG's prospectus issued on May 1 and Murray
Goulburn Responsible Entity's product disclosure statement issued
four weeks later both made misleading forecasts for the 2015 and
2016 financial years.

The plaintiffs alleged that if the misleading statements were not
made, they would not have bought units in MG, or would have
acquired them for less than the $2.10 issue price.

MG's share price fell from about $2.15 to about 82 cents within a
couple of days when the co-operative announced in April 2016 it
was reducing the farmgate milk price.

In its defense, MG said the forecast financial information was
"based on estimates and assumptions" and carried disclaimers and
qualifications.

Further, it said the forecasts were inherently likely to change.

The court case is likely to centre on the veracity of information
provided in the PDS.

Hearings are expected to be held later this year. [GN]


NATIONAL ENTERPRISE: Faces "Abrahamov" Suit in E.D. New York
-------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against National Enterprise
Systems, Inc. The case is styled as Daniel Abrahamov, on behalf
of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v.
National Enterprise Systems, Inc., Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-
00273 (E.D. N.Y., January 16, 2018).

National Enterprise Systems, Inc. operates as a full-service debt
collection agency.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Daniel C Cohen, Esq.
   Daniel Cohen, PLLC
   407 Rockaway Avenue
   Brooklyn, NY 11212
   Tel: (646) 645-8482
   Fax: (347) 665-1545
   Email: dancohenlaw@gmail.com


NATIONAL ENTERPRISE: Faces "Shimonov" Suit in E.D. New York
-----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against National Enterprise
Systems, Inc. The case is styled as Yohanan Shimonov, on behalf
of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v.
National Enterprise Systems, Inc., Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-
00190-ENV-JO (E.D. N.Y., January 11, 2018).

National Enterprise Systems, Inc is a debt collection agency in
Solon, Ohio.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Joseph H. Mizrahi, Esq.
   Joseph H. Mizrahi Law, P.C.
   337 Avenue W, Suite 2f
   Brooklyn, NY 11223
   Tel: (917) 299-6612
   Fax: (347) 665-1545
   Email: jmizrahilaw@gmail.com


NEW DEAL: Faces "Kiler" Suit in Eastern District New York
---------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against New Deal, LLC. The
case is styled as Marion Kiler, individually and as the
representative of a class of similarly situated persons,
Plaintiff v. New Deal, LLC doing business as: Against All Odds,
Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-00305 (E.D. N.Y., January 17, 2018).

New Deal, LLC, doing business as Against All Odds USA, Inc.,
operates fashion stores in the United States.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Dan Shaked, Esq.
   Shaked Law Group, P.C.
   44 Court Street, Suite 1217
   Brooklyn, NY 11217
   Tel: (917) 373-9128
   Fax: (718) 504-7555
   Email: shakedlawgroup@gmail.com


NEW JERSEY COMMUNITY: Potential Securities Violations Probed
------------------------------------------------------------
Juan Monteverde, founder and managing partner at Monteverde &
Associates PC, a boutique securities firm headquartered at the
Empire State Building in New York City, is investigating New
Jersey Community Bank ("NJCB" or the "Company") (OTC: NJCB)
relating to the sale of the Company to 1st Constitution Bancorp
("FCCY")(NasdaqGM: FCCY).  As a result of the merger, NJCB
shareholders are only anticipated to receive a combination of
FCCY common stock and cash valued at approximately $4.00 per
share, or approximately $7.6 million in total consideration.

Click here for more information:
http://monteverdelaw.com/investigations/m-a/
It is free and there is no cost or obligation to you.

The investigation focuses on whether NJBC and its Board of
Directors violated securities laws and/or breached their
fiduciary duties to the Company's stockholders by 1) failing to
conduct a fair process 2) whether and by how much this proposed
transaction undervalues the Company by and 3) failing to disclose
all material financial information in connection with the
upcoming shareholder meeting.

Monteverde & Associates PC is a boutique class action securities
and consumer litigation law firm that has recovered millions of
dollars and is committed to protecting shareholders and consumers
from corporate wrongdoing.  Monteverde & Associates lawyers have
significant experience litigating Mergers & Acquisitions and
Securities Class Actions, whereby they protect investors by
recovering money and remedying corporate misconduct.
Mr. Monteverde, who leads the legal team at the firm, has been
recognized by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in Securities
Litigation in 2013 and 2017, an award given to less than 2.5% of
attorneys in a particular field.  He has also been selected by
Martindale-Hubbell as a 2017 Top Rated Lawyer.

If you own common stock in NJBC and wish to obtain additional
information and protect your investments free of charge, please
visit our website or contact Juan E. Monteverde, Esq. either via
e-mail at jmonteverde@monteverdelaw.com or by telephone at
(212) 971-1341. [GN]


NEW YORK, NY: Wins Prelim OK of $4.9-Mil. Accord in "Parker" Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Hon. Cheryl L. Pollak entered a memorandum and order in the
lawsuit styled ROY PARKER et al. on behalf of themselves and all
others similarly situated v. CITY OF NEW YORK, Case No. 15 CV
6733 (CLP) (E.D.N.Y.), granting the Plaintiffs' motions for
preliminary approval of the class settlement, for conditional
class certification, and for the appointment of the Plaintiffs'
counsel as class counsel.

On November 23, 2015, Roy Parker, on behalf of himself and all
others similarly situated, filed a class action complaint against
the City of New York, claiming that the New York City Department
of Corrections had violated the Constitution by holding pre-trial
detainees in solitary confinement or punitive segregation
("PSEG") without providing them with due process and for no
legitimate purpose.

According to the terms of the Stipulation, the Class is defined
as the named plaintiffs and all people, who were confined in PSEG
while a pretrial detainee based on the Old Time Policy at any
time between November 23, 2012 and September 16, 2015 (the
"Class").

The Settlement provides that Class members will receive minimum
compensation of $175 per day spent in PSEG while a pretrial
detainee, as a result of the Old Time Policy.  Class members, who
were diagnosed as having a serious mental illness or who were
under the age of 18 when they served PSEG time due to the Old
Time Policy, will receive $200 per day spent in PSEG.

Based on the discovery conducted during the litigation, the
parties have identified approximately 470 class members, and
thus, on average, the class members will receive approximately
$10,500, with an anticipated total maximum amount paid of
$4,963,175.  Unlike some settlements, in which the defendant
makes a fixed payment into a common fund marked for distribution
to the class, the Stipulation provides for direct payments to
each class member by the Defendant based on claims forms
submitted to the Claims Administrator.

The Class members, who participate in the settlement will receive
the full value of their claims.  The Plaintiffs' counsel have
agreed to seek fees in a separate motion brought before the Court
with no prior agreement with the Defendant.  The Stipulation
further provides for modest service awards to the named
Plaintiffs of no more than $500 per person.  The parties have
designated Garden City Group, Inc. as the proposed Claims
Administrator.

A copy of the Memorandum and Order is available at no charge at
http://d.classactionreporternewsletter.com/u?f=UuAXLVs7


NFL: Ex-Richmond Football Player Joins Concussion Suit
------------------------------------------------------
Noah Frank, writing for WTOP, reports that every day, Fred Pettus
gets dizzy.  He doesn't know when the spells will hit him, but he
knows they're coming, sooner or later.  It's been this way every
day for more than 20 years, ever since a concussion ended his
promising college football career at the University of Richmond
and changed his life forever.

"Sometimes I'm walking and I look like I'm drunk," he told WTOP
in a recent conversation.  "And I've never had a drink in my
life."

That's why Pettus, along with nearly 100 other former college
players, has signed onto a single sport class action litigation
against the NCAA.  An earlier class action suit settled in 2016
resulted in a medical monitoring settlement, providing some
benefits for former athletes, but gave no monetary compensation
for actual injuries.

"The schools, the NCAA, they made their money," said Pettus,
though he never did.  Once on the radar of the Buffalo Bills to
potentially play defensive end on Sundays, he never got that
shot.

When the case was initially filed in late 2016, NCAA chief legal
office Donald Remy dismissed its legitimacy, saying "the NCAA
does not believe that these complaints present legitimate legal
arguments and expects that they can be disposed of early by the
court."  But that didn't happen, and the case has made its way
into a yearlong discovery phase, as the sides gather evidence.
The NCAA did not respond to a request for an updated comment
regarding the current status of the suit.

The parties have worked together to identify four sample cases,
including that of Zack Langston.  The former Pittsburgh State
player shot himself in the chest at the age of 26 to preserve his
brain, in which CTE was detected posthumously.  The more Pettus
learns about the crippling, degenerative disease profiled in the
film "Concussion" -- which 110 of 111 brains tested positive for
in a recent Boston University study -- the more he worries the
worst is yet to come.

The dizzy spells started November 17, 1989, the day after the
third game of Pettus' junior season as a star defensive end for
the University of Richmond football team.  That game was a
nationally televised affair against James Madison.  Pettus
doesn't remember exactly what happened on the play itself, but he
woke up on the sideline, being loaded into an ambulance.

"I couldn't walk straight for a week," he recalled, struggling to
sit up in class and even to make it down the hallways to the
right room.  "I had my pinkie extended to trace the wall to make
sure I was walking straight."

He'd had several concussions before in practice, but they would
be shrugged off and he'd be sent back in to play after a few
minutes.

"It was not considered anything serious at that time," he said.
"You got your head dinged.  You got your bell rung.  You got a
little dinger.  Basically, brush yourself off, sit out for a few
plays, and get back in there when you can."

Pettus said that if a player suffered a concussion in a game,
they'd be held out until the next week, but there was no official
protocol.

"With us being so young, of course we didn't know any better,"
said Pettus.  "We just did what the coaches told us to do and
tried to do our best at doing that."

By law, college players are seldom actual kids, most turning 18
before they play.  But they are student-athletes, unpaid amateurs
not privy to multimillion dollar salaries or even workers'
compensation laws protecting them financially from career-ending
injuries.

That fateful, severe concussion against JMU ended Pettus' playing
career, but has affected his life every day since.  Now 49, he
worries the damage he suffered might be even worse.

Pettus checks all the boxes for risk factors for CTE. As we
cataloged in our Bad Brains series, linemen bear the brunt of the
types of subconcussive hits that have been tied to the disease.
Another study showed that kids who start playing football before
age 12 are more likely to suffer late-life cognitive impairment;
Pettus started playing the game when he was just 8 years old.

Some days, Pettus experiences the other symptoms, too, the
disconcerting ones associated with CTE: mood swings, frustration,
memory loss.  He'll ask his wife to watch a movie with him, only
for her to tell him they've seen it twice already.  While there
is no test for CTE in the living yet, Pettus wasn't about to wait
around for the science to catch up.  He knows what happened to
Dave Duerson, to Junior Seau.

Pettus got an MRI on his brain, to see what damage had already
been done, but also to hopefully set a baseline standard as he
got older.  The doctor who looked at the results found that
Pettus' brain had significantly atrophied in certain areas,
leaving space between the skull and the brain, where the soft
tissue had receded.  But she was preparing to deliver the bad
news to a family member.  Based on the damage, she couldn't
believe Pettus was walking straight and could speak to and
understand her.

"She was surprised that I was in here by myself having a
conversation with her and articulating clear thought," he said.

But despite being proactive, and despite the new attention being
paid to brain injuries, Pettus is very much on his own, just as
he was after his injury, fighting an unpopular battle against the
sport he once loved to play. Back in school, it meant a sudden
break from his peer group, no longer attending meetings and
practices, no longer putting on his pads and helmet.  Now,
despite being one of dozens involved in this class action suit,
he often finds himself isolated in his fight, waiting, hoping for
justice.

"There is no community of concussed that meet every week, like an
AA meeting," he said.

"No one knows the other.  They're all on their own separate
island." [GN]


NORTHWOOD ASSET: Faces "Squire" Suit in E.D. Virginia
-----------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Northwood Asset
Management Group, LLC. The case is styled as Rayfield Squire, on
behalf of himself and all individuals similarly situated,
Plaintiff v. Northwood Asset Management Group, LLC, Defendant,
Case No. 3:18-cv-00032-JAG (E.D. Va., January 12, 2018).

Northwood Asset Management Group, LLC is a debt collection
agency.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Kristi Cahoon Kelly, Esq.
   Kelly & Crandall PLC
   3925 Chain Bridge Rd, Suite 202
   Fairfax, VA 22030
   Tel: (703) 424-7570
   Fax: (703) 591-9285
   Email: kkelly@kellyandcrandall.com

      - and -

   Andrew Joseph Guzzo, Esq.
   Kelly & Crandall PLC
   3925 Chain Bridge Rd, Suite 202
   Fairfax, VA 22030
   Tel: (703) 424-7576
   Fax: (703) 591-0167
   Email: aguzzo@kellyandcrandall.com

      - and -

   Casey Shannon Nash, Esq.
   Kelly & Crandall PLC
   3925 Chain Bridge Rd, Suite 202
   Fairfax, VA 22030
   Tel: (703) 640-3334
   Fax: (703) 591-0167
   Email: casey@kellyandcrandall.com


OKLAHOMA BLOOD: Misclassifies Account Consultants, Lenore Claims
----------------------------------------------------------------
LEILA LENORE, individually and on behalf of other similarly
situated employees and former employees v. OKLAHOMA BLOOD
INSTITUTE, An Oklahoma not for profit corporation, Case No. 5:17-
cv-01326-M (W.D. Okla., December 11, 2017), accuses the Defendant
of purposely and wrongfully misclassifying Account Consultants as
exempt from the application of the Fair Labor Standards Act to
deprive them of overtime pay.

Oklahoma Blood Institute is an Oklahoma not for profit
corporation with its principal place of business in Oklahoma
City, Oklahoma.  OBI operates as a blood center in America.  OBI
provides transfusion blood products and clinical services for
medical facilities.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Rand C. Eddy, Esq.
          Riley W. Mulinix, Esq.
          Joshua K. Hefner, Esq.
          MULINIX GOERKE & MEYER, PLLC
          210 Park Avenue, Suite 3030
          Oklahoma City, OK 73102
          Telephone: (405) 232-3800
          Facsimile: (405) 232-8999
          E-mail: rand@lawokc.com
                  riley@lawokc.com
                  jhefner@lawokc.com


ONWARD LUXURY: Faces "Mendizabal" Suit in S.D. New York
-------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Onward Luxury
Group, Inc. The case is styled as Maria Mendizabal, on behalf of
herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Onward
Luxury Group, Inc. d/b/a Jil Sander, Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-
00318 (S.D. N.Y., January 12, 2018).

Onward Luxury Group, Inc. is a manufacturer and distributor of
sportswear, footwear, and formal wear.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Joseph H Mizrahi, Esq.
   Joseph H Mizrahi Law PC
   337 Avenue W Suite 2f
   Brooklyn, NY 11223
   Tel: (917) 299-6612
   Fax: (347) 665-1545
   Email: jmizrahilaw@gmail.com


PAYPAL HOLDINGS: Feb. 5 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
----------------------------------------------------------
The Klein Law Firm on Jan. 1 disclosed that a class action
complaint has been filed on behalf of shareholders of PayPal
Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:) who purchased shares between February
14, 2017, and December 1, 2017.  The action, which was filed in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, alleges that the Company violated federal securities
laws.

In particular, the complaint alleges that throughout the Class
Period, defendants made materially false and/or misleading
statements and/or failed to disclose that (1) TIO's data security
program was inadequate to safeguard the personally identifiable
information of its users; (2) the vulnerabilities threatened
continued operation of TIO's platform; (3) PayPal's revenues
derived from its TIO services were thus unsustainable; (4)
consequently, PayPal had overstated the benefits of the TIO
Acquisition; and (5) as a result, PayPal's public statements were
materially false and misleading at all relevant times.  On
November 10, 2017, PayPal suspended its TIO services, pending a
security review, stating that it had discovered security
vulnerabilities on the TIO platform and that the TIO data
security program did not meet PayPal's standards.  Then on
December 1, 2017, PayPal disclosed that personal information for
roughly 1.6 million TIO users had potentially been compromised as
a result of the previously announced security vulnerabilities.

Shareholders have until February 5, 2018to petition the court for
lead plaintiff status.  Your ability to share in any recovery
does not require that you serve as lead plaintiff. You may choose
to be an absent class member.

If you suffered a loss during the class period and wish to obtain
additional information, please contact Joseph Klein, Esq. by
telephone at 212-616-4899 or visit.

Joseph Klein, Esq. represents investors and participates in
securities litigations involving financial fraud throughout the
nation.

CONTACT:

          Joseph Klein, Esq.
          Empire State Building
          350 Fifth Avenue
          59th Floor
          New York, NY 10118
          Telephone: (212) 616-4899
          Fax: (347) 558-9665
          http://www.kleinstocklaw.com[GN]


PETROBRAS BRASILEIRO: Settles Class Action for $2.95-Bil.
---------------------------------------------------------
Brendan Pierson, writing for Reuters, reports that Brazil's
state-controlled oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA, said on
Jan. 3 that it has agreed to pay $2.95 billion to settle a U.S.
class action brought by investors who claim they lost money as a
result of a corruption scandal.

Petrobras, as the company is known, denied any wrongdoing under
the deal, which is one of the largest securities class action
settlements in the United States. U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff
in Manhattan must approve the settlement.

The company said the settlement will be paid in three roughly
equal installments and will affect fourth quarter results.

Investors sued Petrobras after prosecutors in Brazil accused
former executives at the company of accepting more than $2
billion in bribes over a decade, mainly from construction and
engineering companies.

Petrobras claimed it was itself a victim, and it expressly denied
wrongdoing in a securities filing on Jan. 3.  But its market
value has plunged as the so-called Lava Jato or "car wash"
corruption scandal has deepened.

Petrobras said that it hoped the settlement would resolve all
investor claims in the United States over the scandal.

The deal does not include investors who bought non-U.S.-based
Petrobras securities outside the United States, according to the
company.

The deal came just days after Brazil's securities regulator CVM
formally accused eight former Petrobras executives of corruption.

According to a legal filing by the regulator on Dec. 29, the
accusations relate to possible irregularities in the contracting
process for three drill ships.

Among the accused in CVM's filing are former Petrobras chief
executives Maria das Gracas Foster and Jose Sergio Gabrielli.

The largest securities fraud settlements in U.S. history include
$7.2 billion stemming from the collapse of Enron, $6.2 billion
over an accounting scandal at WorldCom and $3.2 billion over an
accounting scandal at Tyco International, according to Stanford
Law School's Securities Class Action Clearinghouse. [GN]


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Pomerantz Achieves Largest Class Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
In a significant victory for investors, Pomerantz LLP, as sole
lead counsel for the class, along with Lead Plaintiff
Universities Superannuation Scheme Limited, has achieved a
historic $2.95 billion partial settlement with Petroleo
Brasileiro S.A. -- Petrobras -- and its related entity Petrobras
International Finance Company, as well as certain of Petrobras'
former executives and directors.  This settlement represents the
largest securities class action settlement in a decade.  It is
also the largest settlement ever in a class action involving a
foreign issuer and it is the fifth largest class action
settlement ever achieved in the United States.  It is also the
biggest settlement achieved by a foreign lead plaintiff.  Based
on the charges taken by Petrobras relating to the opt-out
settlements to date, the class settlement also represents a
significant premium over the settlement of the individual actions
on a pro rata basis.  Claims against Petrobras' auditor,
PricewaterhouseCoopers Auditores Independentes are still pending.

The settlement was achieved after nearly three years of hard-
fought litigation, including U.S. and foreign discovery and
complex motion practice in the Southern District of New York, an
appeal at the United States Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit, and during the pendency of a petition by defendants for
a writ of certiorari to the United States Supreme Court.

Pomerantz' achievement is significant not only for the
outstanding multi-billion recovery to investors but also for the
precedent-setting decisions achieved during the litigation.
Defendants appealed the District Court's opinion certifying
classes of both purchasers of Petrobras equity and debt on
multiple grounds, including for failure to satisfy the
requirement of ascertainability and for failure to satisfy the
burden of showing that the Petrobras securities traded in
efficient markets.  The Second Circuit accepted the appeal and,
in an issue of first impression, squarely rejected defendants'
invitation to adopt the heightened ascertainability requirement
promulgated by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit,
which would have required plaintiffs to demonstrate that
determining membership in a class is "administratively feasible."
The Second Circuit also refused to adopt a requirement, urged by
defendants, that all securities class action plaintiffs seeking
class certification prove through direct evidence (i.e., via an
event study) that the prices of the relevant securities moved in
a particular direction in response to new information.  The
Second Circuit rejected the notion that complicated event studies
be submitted by Plaintiffs at the class certification stage,
agreeing with plaintiffs that "event studies offer the seductive
promise of hard numbers and dispassionate truth, but
methodological constraints limit their utility in the context of
single-firm analyses."

The litigation involved one of the largest securities class
actions pending in the United States, in which Brazil's energy
giant, Petrobras, was accused of concealing a sprawling, decades-
long kickback scheme from investors.  The scandal ensnared not
only Petrobras' former executives but also Brazilian politicians,
including former presidents and at least one-third of the
Brazilian Congress.  According to plaintiffs, defendants'
fraudulent scheme involved billions of dollars in kickbacks, tens
of billions of dollars in overstated assets, as well as
significant losses to Petrobras investors.  Plaintiffs asserted
claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 and Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities
Act of 1933.

Building on its decision in Petrobras, in Strougo v. Barclays
PLC--another case where Pomerantz serves as sole lead counsel--in
another significant win for plaintiffs, the Second Circuit held
that "direct evidence of price impact . . . is not always
necessary to establish market efficiency and invoke the Basic
presumption" of reliance.  Importantly, the Second Circuit also
held that defendants seeking to rebut the presumption of reliance
must do so by a preponderance of the evidence rather than merely
meeting a burden of production.

Jeremy Lieberman, Co-Managing Partner of Pomerantz, commented on
the Petrobras class action settlement:

"We are very pleased with this historic settlement, which
represents the largest securities class action settlement in a
decade and the largest class action settlement ever involving a
foreign issuer.  In addition, throughout the course of this
litigation, Plaintiffs achieved important precedents at the
Second Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the ascertainability
requirement during class certification, as well as the utility of
event studies for establishing predominance in securities class
actions.   These precedents will form the bedrock of class action
jurisprudence in the Second Circuit for decades to come.   Simply
put, this litigation and its ultimate resolution have yielded an
excellent result for the Class."

With offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris, The
Pomerantz Firm -- http://www.pomerantzlaw.com-- concentrates its
practice in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust
class litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known
as the dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered
the field of securities class actions.  Today, more than 80 years
later, the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he
established, fighting for the rights of the victims of securities
fraud, breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct.  The
Firm has recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on
behalf of class members. [GN]


PHILLIPS 66 CO: Atiram Seeks to Recover Plan Losses Under ERISA
---------------------------------------------------------------
ZAM ATIRAM, on behalf of the Phillips 66 Savings Plan, himself,
and a class consisting of similarly situated participants of the
Plan v. PHILLIPS 66 COMPANY, GREG C. GARLAND, PAULA A. JOHNSON,
BRIAN R. WENZEL, JOHN D. ZUKLIC, PHILLIPS 66 SAVINGS PLAN
COMMITTEE, INVESTMENT COMMITTEE, BENEFIT COMMITTEE, PLAN
FINANCIAL ADMINISTRATOR, PLAN BENEFITS ADMINISTRATOR, GREG G.
MAXWELL, KEVIN MITCHELL, JESSE A. STEPHAN, ALEX J. SHABET, and
JOHN DOES 1-20, Case No. 4:17-cv-03740 (S.D. Tex., December 11,
2017), seeks to recover the Plaintiff's and other Participants'
losses, and losses to the Phillips 66 Savings Plan, caused by the
Defendants' alleged breaches of fiduciary duties and failure to
manage and administer the Plan as required under Employee
Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.

Mr. Atiram alleges that the Defendants negligently and
imprudently failed to diversify the Plan's investments in
violation of ERISA.  He contends that the Plan's substantial
investment in ConocoPhillips Stock Fund shares and ConocoPhillips
Leveraged Stock Fund shares overexposed the Participants to
volatility and the risk of large losses when it was clearly
prudent not to do so.  He asserts that ERISA required the
Defendants to divest Conoco Fund Shares from the Plan.

Phillips 66 Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Phillips 66, is
incorporated in Delaware and shares offices with Phillips 66.
Phillips 66 Company is the Plan's sponsor, the participating
employer in the Plan, and provides funding for the Plan.

The Defendants are fiduciaries of the Plan within the meaning of
the ERISA.  The identities of the Doe Defendants are unknown to
Plaintiff at this time.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Thomas E. Bilek, Esq.
          THE BILEK LAW FIRM, L.L.P.
          700 Louisiana, Suite 3950
          Houston, TX 77002
          Telephone: (713) 227-7720
          Facsimile: (713) 227-9404
          E-mail: tbilek@hb-legal.com

               - and -

          Patrick K. Slyne, Esq.
          Michael J. Klein, Esq.
          STULL, STULL & BRODY
          6 East 45th Street
          New York, NY 10017
          Telephone: (212) 687-7230
          Facsimile: (212) 490-2022
          E-mail: pkslyne@ssbny.com
                  mklein@ssbny.com


PIPEFITTERS ASSOCIATION: Class of Members Certified in "Porter"
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Hon. Sara L. Ellis grants the pllaintiffs' motion to certify
the class pursuant to Rule 23(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure in the lawsuit captioned DUANE PORTER, KENNETH BLACK,
RONALD BOUIE, RICKY BROWN, SAMUEL CLARK, FRANK CRADDIETH, DONALD
GAYLES, STEVEN WILSON, and JEFFREY PICKETT, on their own behalf
and on behalf of a class of all others who are similarly situated
v. PIPEFITTERS ASSOCIATION LOCAL UNION 597, Case No. 1:12-cv-
09844 (N.D. Ill.).

The Class is defined as: "All African American persons who are
currently members of Local 597."  The Court appoints Jeffrey
Pickett as the class representative of the Rule 23(b)(2) class.

The Plaintiffs, comprised of African American journeyman
pipefitters, who currently or previously belonged to Defendant
Pipefitters Association Local Union 597, claim that they and
other African American pipefitters worked comparatively fewer
hours than their non-African American counterparts due to Local
597's inequitable job assignment system.

The Plaintiffs filed this suit against Local 597, alleging
intentional and disparate impact discrimination in violation of
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and breach of Local
597's duty of fair representation under the Labor Management
Relations Act of 1947 for failing to represent the interests of
all its members.

A copy of the Order is available at no charge at
http://d.classactionreporternewsletter.com/u?f=BGv8DbYz


PORTFOLIO RECOVERY: Must Face Debt Collection Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
Tom McParland, writing for New Jersey Law Journal, reports that a
federal appeals court on Jan. 2 rejected an attempt by a New
Jersey-based debt collector to escape a proposed class action
lawsuit over untimely debt collection.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit said in an 11-
page precedential opinion that a debtor's New Jersey residency
did not work to extend the three-year window in which he could be
sued under the Delaware statute of limitations.

The three-judge panel reversed a New Jersey federal judge's
decision that granted summary judgment to Portfolio Recovery
Associates.  PRA had argued that the debtor's New Jersey
residence -- which made him an out-of-state resident under
Delaware law -- activated a tolling provision that paused the
running of the statute of limitations.

But Judge Luis Felipe Restrepo, writing for the appeals court,
rejected the reasoning based on a decades-old line of Delaware
case law, which holds that statutory tolling does not stop the
statute of limitations from running.  Instead, Judge Restrepo
said he saw no reason to predict that the state Supreme Court
would abandon its own precedent in order to allow for what would
be indefinite tolling.

"For decades, the Delaware tolling statute has abrogated the
state's statute of limitations only as to defendants not
otherwise subject to service of process," Judge Restrepo wrote
for the three-member panel of the Third Circuit.  "We have heard
no evidence that the Delaware Legislature intended to export the
state's tolling statute into out-of-state forums so as to
substantially limit the application of the Delaware statute of
limitations."

The Jan. 2 ruling remanded the case to the U.S. District Court
for the District of New Jersey, where a federal judge in 2016
ruled that Delaware's tolling statute had halted the statute of
limitations and allowed PRA to sue Andrew Panico in New Jersey
state court, outside of Delaware's three-year statute of
limitations.

On appeal, PRA defended the decision, saying that Delaware's
tolling statute applied to out-of state consumers who signed
contracts adhering to Delaware law.  The tolling provision, PRA
argued, stopped the statute of limitations from running because
Mr. Panico had lived in New Jersey during the entire credit
relationship and could not be served in the First State.

But Judge Restrepo denied that Mr. Panico could not be served
while out of the state.  He pointed to the Delaware Supreme
Court's 1959 decision in Hurwitch v. Adams, which held that the
tolling statute "has no tolling effect . . .  when the defendant
in the suit is subject to personal or other service to compel his
appearance."  Delaware courts, he said, have since found that
tolling does not stop in cases involving defendants who could
reasonably be served in the First State.

Departing from that precedent, Judge Restrepo said, would
effectively eliminate federal and state laws designed to protect
debtors and to regulate unfair debt-collection practices.

"We see no reason to predict that the Delaware Supreme Court
would reject the Hurwitch line of cases in contravention of
federal and out-of-state consumer protection law in a manner that
would result in indefinite tolling of the state statute of
limitations," Judge Restrepo wrote.

Mr. Panico is represented by Philip D. Stern and Andrew T.
Thomasson of Stern Thomasson.

PRA is represented by David N. Anthony --
david.anthony@troutman.com -- Stephen C. Piepgrass --
stephen.piepgrass@troutman.com -- Amanda L. Genovese --
amanda.genovese@troutman.com -- and Cindy D. Hanson --
cindy.hanson@troutman.com -- of Troutman Sanders.

The case, on appeal, was captioned Panico v. Portfolio Recovery
Associates. [GN]


PRINCE GEORGE: Class Actions Over Fake Doctor Pending
-----------------------------------------------------
Lynh Bui, writing for The Washington Post, reports that he
delivered their babies and examined their bodies.  Now patients
are suing after learning he used a fake name and stolen Social
Security numbers for credentials.

His patients called him Dr. Akoda.

As an obstetrician-gynecologist at Prince George's Hospital
Center, women trusted him to care for them in some of their most
vulnerable moments.  He gave them their annual checkups, treated
their ailments and delivered their babies.

But their faith in the doctor who had practiced for years at the
hospital just outside Washington quickly vanished after federal
authorities announced that Akoda was not the man he said he was.

Dr. Akoda was actually Oluwafemi Charles Igberase, who used a
fake Social Security number to obtain his medical license in
Maryland.  A federal investigation revealed his true identity and
that he had been using stolen Social Security numbers to advance
his medical career and obtain professional certifications for at
least 25 years.

"I'm shook because of this," said one of Mr. Igberase's former
patients, who said she feels betrayed.  "This makes me even
scared to go to the hospital.  He could have put my son's life
and my life in danger."

The woman, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the
sensitive nature of her claims, is one of more than 100 patients
who are part of a class-action lawsuit against Prince George's
Hospital Center.  The women said the hospital failed to perform a
proper background check on Mr. Igberase and allowed an impostor
to practice medicine at the facility for five years.

Mr. Igberase was removed from the hospital in 2016 after he was
indicted on federal fraud charges.  In a statement to The
Washington Post, the hospital said Mr. Igberase's conduct failed
to meet the facility's expectations regarding "sound moral
character" but that his credentials and experience appeared
valid.

"We are exploring many aspects of this case, researching records,
and evaluating processes and procedures upon which we rely to
validate information," the statement from Prince George's
Hospital Center said.  "Several highly reliable agencies
validated his credentials including the states in which he held
medical licenses."

Mr. Igberase, whose attorney did not respond to a request for
comment, pleaded guilty in November 2016 to a federal fraud
charge.  He admitted to using four Social Security numbers under
three names to apply for medical certifications, federal
education loans for his children and his license to practice
medicine.  Authorities also found that Mr. Igberase had not only
forged or altered his medical diploma, medical transcripts and
letters of recommendation but also had a false passport, visa,
birth certificate and immigration documents.

Jonathan Schochor, an attorney representing the plaintiffs in the
class-action lawsuit, said the former patients were "shocked and
betrayed" to learn of the fraud conviction. Patients in hospitals
where births, surgeries, diagnoses and treatments occur expect a
private safe haven, Mr. Schochor said.  But the revelations that
Mr. Igberase wasn't who he said he was created a breach of trust.

"They've all said to us that they're worried for themselves and
they're worried for their children," Mr. Schochor said.  "Has he
performed cesareans or surgeries that he shouldn't have? Has he
performed or not performed tests that he shouldn't have?"

Mr. Schochor said he doesn't understand how Prince George's
Hospital Center missed so many red flags concerning Igberase.

Igberase came to the United States in October 1991 on a
nonimmigrant visa, according to federal court documents.  He
obtained fraudulent Social Security numbers and claimed someone
else's identity a month later, as well as twice more, in 1995 and
1998.

In 1992 and 1993, he failed basic exams for the Foreign Medical
Graduate Certification, required for people from other countries
to enter medical education programs in the United States, the
lawsuit says.  He eventually met the requirements, but in 1995,
the certifications were revoked because the committee discovered
he had used different names and dates of birth to apply for the
credentials, the lawsuit says.

About five years later, a medical center in New Jersey removed
him from its residency program after learning he had used a false
date of birth and Social Security number to apply as "Akoda," the
lawsuit says, and in 2012, the federal government rejected his
application for a Medicare claim after saying it had received
someone else's Social Security number for the application.

Mr. Schochor said a thorough background check would have
uncovered the discrepancies in the doctor's history, names and
Social Security numbers.

"How in the dickens does a hospital permit that kind of a person
to go ahead and practice at that institution as a credentialed
OB/GYN for years?" Schochor said.

There are multiple class-action lawsuits in the case, including
the first one filed by attorney Cory Zajdel, who is working with
attorneys David Ellin and Peter Angelos to represent more than
180 patients separate from Schochor's clients.

In a motion to dismiss claims, attorneys for the hospital's
parent company, Dimensions Health Corp., wrote in court filings
that although the doctor who treated patients who are suing was
not really named Akoda, he still was licensed to practice
medicine in Maryland.

"As Shakespeare wrote over 400 years ago, 'What's in a name? That
which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet,'"
the lawyers for Dimensions wrote.  "Whether the patients knew him
as 'Akoda' or 'Igberase,' both names denote the exact same
person, and that person was a licensed physician who was
experienced and competent in the practice of obstetrics and
gynecology."

According to the hospital, "Akoda" was certified by the
Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates; "applied
to, was accepted, and successfully completed a four-year
residency program at Howard University from 2007-2011";
"performed satisfactorily" on exams administered annually and
nationally to obstetrics and gynecology residents; and had
obtained medical licenses from Maryland and Virginia, which
remained in good standing through the time of his work at the
hospital.

Prince George's Hospital Center said he was also board certified
from the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and was
named "Resident of the Year" in his final year at Howard
University.

"We acknowledge the concerns expressed by some of his former
patients," the hospital said.  "However, it remains a fact that
Dr. Akoda was a trained, licensed, and qualified obstetrician and
gynecologist during the entire period he had privileges to
practice at our facility."

But the former patients said that if they can't trust that their
doctors are who they say they are, they can't trust that they
were getting the right medical care for themselves and their
families.

The woman whose child was delivered by Igberase five years ago
said she discovered he was a fraud after her friend told her to
turn on the news one day and she saw Igberase's face flashing on
the television in a piece about his federal conviction -- and
immediately broke into tears.

The woman, who had complications during her delivery and a very
difficult labor, said she immediately began to question whether
she received appropriate medical care, and she worried about her
and her child's health.

"I trusted him," the woman said in an interview.  "This is
something where you're dealing with lives, you're dealing with
babies, you're dealing with personal areas."

Now, she said, "I don't know who is this man that touched me in a
private area and delivered my child." [GN]


PROGRESSIVE FINANCIAL: Faces "Reyes" Suit in Connecticut
--------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Progressive
Financial Services, Inc. The case is styled as Icela Reyes,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff v. Progressive Financial Services, Inc. and John Does
1-25, Defendants, Case No. 3:18-cv-00069 (D. Conn., January 12,
2018).

Progressive Financial is a national collection agency with
offices in Arizona and Pennsylvania.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Yaakov Saks, Esq.
   RC Law Group, PLLC
   285 Passaic Street
   Hackensack, NJ 07601
   Tel: (201) 282-6500
   Fax: (201) 282-6501
   Email: ysaks@rclawgroup.com


QBE INSURANCE: Settles Shareholder Class Action for AU$132.5MM
--------------------------------------------------------------
Judy Greenwald, writing for Business Insurance, reports that
Sydney-based QBE insurance Group Ltd. has agreed to pay AU$132.5
million ($103.5 million) to settle class action litigation filed
in September 2015 on behalf of shareholders who had bought QBE
securities between Aug. 20, 2013, and Dec. 6, 2013.

The settlement is without any admission of liability by QBE, the
insurer said in a Dec. 28 statement, and is subject to approval
by the Federal Court of Australia in Sydney.

QBE said the settlement will not have a material impact on 2017
second-half earnings.  A spokesman could not immediately be
reached for comment.

Melbourne, Australia-based plaintiff law firm Maurice Blackburn
said on its website the litigation in Money Max Int. Pty. Ltd.
(Trustee) v. QBE Insurance Group Ltd. stems from the insurer's
December 2013 announcement that it would post a loss of around
$250 million for fiscal year 2013, after which its stock price
plunged.

It reported a AU$254 million loss in February 2014, with the
major contributor being the insurer's North American operations.
[GN]


RAMEN NOODLE: Judge Allows Price-Fixing Class Action to Proceed
---------------------------------------------------------------
Adam Rhodes, writing for Law360, reports that a California
federal judge refused to let a pair of Korean ramen noodle
companies rely on statutes of limitations to dodge a price-fixing
class action against them, ruling that evidence destruction means
that the Sherman Act claims in the suit weren't time-barred.

U.S. District Judge William H. Orrick on Dec. 28 ruled that the
buyers suing the companies over alleged price-fixing provided
slim but "sufficiently unambiguous" evidence of a conspiracy, and
denied the summary judgment motions lobbed by Nongshim Co. Ltd.,
Ottogi Co. Ltd. and their affiliates.

The case is In Re Korean Ramen INDIRECT Antitrust Litigation,
Case No. 3:13-cv-04115 (N.D. Calif.).  The case is assigned to
Judge William H. Orrick.  The case was filed September 5, 2013.
[GN]


RBC TRANSPORT: Moves to Decertify Class of Employees in "Reynoso"
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The defendant in the lawsuit titled CARMEN REYNOSO v. RBC
TRANSPORT DYNAMICS, A DIVISION OF ROLLER BEARING COMPANY OF
AMERICA, INC.; and DOES 1 through 20, inclusive, Case No. 8:16-
cv-01037-JVS-JCG (C.D. Cal.), moves the Court for an order
decertifying this certified class:

    "all hourly, non-exempt, first-shift employees of Transport
     Dynamics who began their shift before 6:30 a.m. between
     April 27, 2012 and October 1, 2016."

The Motion is made pursuant to Rule 23(c)(1)(C) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure on the grounds that certification here
is no longer proper, because FRCP 23(b)(3)'s predominance and
superiority prongs are not satisfied, the Defendant contends.

A copy of the Notice of Motion is available at no charge at
http://d.classactionreporternewsletter.com/u?f=DXtwxPid

The Defendant is represented by:

          Ryan D. Saba, Esq.
          Krystle D. Meyer, Esq.
          ROSEN SABA, LLP
          9350 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 250
          Beverly Hills, CA 90212
          Telephone: (310) 285-1727
          Facsimile: (310) 285-1728
          E-mail: rsaba@rosensaba.com
                  kmeyer@rosensaba.com


REGRESO FINANCIAL: Karcauskas Moves to Certify Settlement Class
---------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiff in the lawsuit styled POVILAS KARCAUSKAS, on behalf
of himself and all others similarly situated v. REGRESO FINANCIAL
SERVICES LLC; GOLDSMITH & HULL, APC; WILLIAM I. GOLDSMITH; and
DOES 1 to 10, Case No. 2:15-cv-09225-FMO-RAO (C.D. Cal.), asks
the Court to certify a class defined as:

     (i) all persons having an address within the state of
     California (ii) who were sent a communication from
     Defendants Goldsmith & Hull or William I. Goldsmith in the
     form of Exhibit A (attached to the Complaint) (iii) when a
     wage garnishment order had not been obtained (iv) to recover
     a debt incurred for personal, family, or household purposes
     (v) which was not returned undelivered by the United States
     Postal Service (vi) during the period of time one year prior
     to the filing of the Complaint through the date of class
     certification.

Mr. Karcauskas also asks the Court to preliminarily approve the
parties' settlement agreement, to direct that Notice be provided
to Settlement Class Members, and to set a Final Approval hearing
date on June 7, 2018.

The proposed settlement resulted from the settlement negotiations
between the parties.  Essentially, the proposed settlement
provides that Goldsmith Defendants will pay $20,000
(approximately 1% of their net worth) to the class, whereby each
class member will receive a pro rata share (approximately $18.66
each, based on 1,072 putative class members), and will pay
additional amounts for the costs of notice and administration up
to $10,000, Mr. Karcauskas' statutory damages of $2,000 and,
except for Defendant William I. Goldsmith, an incentive award of
$5,000 to the Class Representative, and attorney's fees, costs or
expenses as determined by the Court to be awarded to Class
Counsel.

A copy of the Motion is available at no charge at
http://d.classactionreporternewsletter.com/u?f=9ds8Ht7h

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Robert Stempler, Esq.
          CONSUMER LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT STEMPLER, APC
          8200 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 200
          Beverly Hills, CA 90211-2331
          Telephone: (323) 486-0102
          Facsimile: (323) 488-6895
          E-mail: Robert@StopCollectionHarassment.com

               - and -

          O. Randolph Bragg, Esq.
          HORWITZ, HORWITZ & ASSOCIATES
          25 East Washington Street, Suite 900
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 372-8822
          Facsimile: (312) 372-1673
          E-mail: rand@horwitzlaw.com


RHODE ISLAND: ACLU Files Second Class Action Over UHIP System
-------------------------------------------------------------
Bob Plain, writing for RI Future.org, reports that Rhode Island
put low-income residents "at risk of losing their homes and their
utilities and deprives them of funds needed for their daily
living expenses, including food," by removing them from a popular
Medicaid program without proper notice, according to a new class
action lawsuit filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of
Rhode Island.  It is the second suit filed by the ACLU of RI
relating to the state's problematic Unified Health Infrastructure
Project, or UHIP, system for disbursing social service benefits.

"State officials keep on talking about how hard they are working
to fix UHIP," said Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU
of RI.  "Nobody should find that response acceptable anymore.
It's been 15 long months for many of the state's poorest
residents, so our response is: you clearly aren't working hard
enough."

This lawsuit concerns the Medicaid Payment Program, or MPP, which
pays for Medicaid Part B costs for some elderly, disabled, and
other people.  "More than a thousand Rhode Island residents
receive MPP benefits," says the lawsuit.  "Many have had their
MPP benefits terminated without adequate advance written notice,
and all are at risk of having their MPP benefits terminated
without adequate advance written notice."

The Executive Office of Health and Human Services, which
administers the program and is defendant in the case, is working
to address the issue with the ACLU of RI, said spokeswoman Ashley
O'Shea.  She blamed the issue on Deloitte, the contractor hired
to build the UHIP system.

"The State is working to address this issue -- a result of the
flawed Deloitte system -- and has been working in good faith with
the ACLU on both an immediate mitigation plan and a plan to fully
resolve the issue," she said via an email to RI Future.  "Even
one Rhode Islander experiencing this issue is one too many.  We
are continuing to hold Deloitte accountable for delivering a
system that works for Rhode Island."

Rhode Island knows about at least two people whose benefits were
wrongfully terminated, according to the lawsuit.

Christopher Scherwitz and John Figuried, the two named defendants
in the case, first brought the matter to the state's attention in
January, with the help of the Rhode Island Legal Services. There
issues were resolved, but the lawsuit says there are likely many
others experiencing the same problems.

"Rhode Island Legal Services first brought this problem to the
state in January 2017, about a year ago," said volunteer ACLU
attorney Ellen Saideman.  "It is outrageous that low-income
individuals are still being deprived of these important benefits
without the notice required by federal law.  And, given the
problems that have plagued UHIP, I'm confident that there is no
valid reason why our clients and other class members have had
their benefits terminated."

The lawsuit seeks to create a class of "All Rhode Island
residents who now or in the future have received inadequate
written notice of Medicare Premium Payment termination or who had
(or will have) Medicare Premium Payment benefits terminated
without adequate advance written notice." [GN]


SAN PIETRO RESTAURANT: Faces "Borja" Suit in S.D. New York
----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against San Pietro
Restaurant Inc. The case is styled as Marco Borja, Luis Calle-
Calle and Rushe Selimaj, individually and on behalf of others
similarly situated, Plaintiffs v. San Pietro Restaurant Inc.
doing business as: San Pietro Restaurant, Gerardo Bruno, Giuseppe
Bruno and Cosimo Bruno, Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-00291 (S.D.
N.Y., January 12, 2018).

San Pietro features authentic Italian Cuisine.[BN]

The Plaintiffs appear PRO SE.


SCAPE RESTAURANT: Former Workers Sue Over Unpaid Wages
------------------------------------------------------
Sarah Fenske, writing for Riverfront Times, reports that a class-
action lawsuit filed in December alleged that workers at two
Central West End restaurants were deprived of pay due to company
policies that had them logging out for meal breaks.  That's even
though, the workers alleged, they sometimes did work for their
employer during those periods.

The suit was filed by eleven former employees of Scape and its
now-shuttered sister restaurant, Crepes Etc., against Maryland
Plaza Restaurant LLC. It sought to cover anyone who'd worked at
the two restaurants from May 2011 to May 2016.

The lawsuit sought backpay for the half-hour shifts when the
workers were off the clock, as well as any overtime accrued as
the result of not getting those 30 minutes off.

"At times, Plaintiffs and other similarly situated employees
worked during or through their meal breaks," the suit alleges.
"Plaintiffs' meal periods were sometimes interrupted by customers
or to perform work-related tasks for Defendant's benefit during
their meal periods.  Defendant nonetheless deducted the meal
period from the wages of Plaintiffs and those similarly
situated."

Bob Koplar, the general counsel for Maryland Plaza Restaurant,
said the suit had already been settled.  "We don't believe we did
anything wrong, and we didn't admit to any wrongdoing," he says.

Mr. Koplar said the settlement was reached even before the suit
was filed in court. The filing was a formality that, in essence,
prevents anyone within the settlement to later file the same
claim.

The restaurant workers were represented by attorney
Thomas SanFilippo. [GN]


SCRANTON, PA: Judge Certifies Class Action Over $300 Trash Fee
--------------------------------------------------------------
Jim Lockwood, writing for The Times-Tribune, reports that a
judge's class-action certification on Jan. 2 of a lawsuit
challenging Scranton's $300 annual garbage fee as excessive
potentially opens the case to about 18,000 property owners to
seek partial refunds.

Garbage fee payers would have to formally join the class of
plaintiffs to be eligible for refunds, according to the
certification by Lackawanna County Court Judge James Gibbons in a
lawsuit by resident Adam Guiffrida filed in December 2016.

Mr. Guiffrida and his attorneys would have to issue a public
notice alerting the prospective class of fee payers to the
existence of the class-action lawsuit, and to the legal steps
required for them to voluntarily "opt in" as plaintiffs.

Judge Gibbons scheduled a hearing for March 5 to discuss such a
notice.

The lawsuit remains far from over. Gibbons has not yet determined
whether the city must pay refunds or how much.

Still, Mr. Guiffrida called the designation of the lawsuit as a
class action a "big win" for property owners. He noted the
lawsuit is one of a few pending against the city challenging its
various methods of setting fees and taxes.

"Residents of Scranton have been taxed to death," Mr. Guiffrida
said in an email.  "Elderly people, young professionals, working
families and landlords cannot afford to live and operate in
Scranton anymore.  The taxes and fees have driven the real estate
prices in Scranton into a downward spiral. Prosperity and growth
are never results in overtaxation."

Efforts to reach city solicitors were unsuccessful.

The former mayor and council raised the trash fee from $178 to
$300 for the 2014 budget year.  Since then, Mayor Bill
Courtright, his administration and city council have maintained
the fee at $300.

The lawsuit argues that the $300 annual fee is excessive and the
city profited $935,498 in 2013, $1.26 million in 2014, $1.82
million in 2015, and a projected $1.54 million in 2016.

The dispute involves an interpretation of the city's trash
collection ordinance, which says the fee must be used solely for
"costs incurred directly for the disposal of refuse."
Mr. Guiffrida maintains that means fee revenue cannot be used for
other purposes. The city disagrees.

If Gibbons ultimately rules that the trash fees were excessive,
payers would be entitled to pro-rated refunds.

A step in the case was for the judge to determine if it should
proceed individually or as a class action.  Both sides debated
that issue during a hearing four months ago.  Mr. Guiffrida's
attorneys argued that a class action would be more effective at
providing refunds and, without class certification, residents
essentially would be on their own and likely would not know about
a refund or how to get one.  A city solicitor claimed that
keeping the case an individual lawsuit would more quickly resolve
the question of whether the $300 trash fee is arbitrary and
excessive and, if so, determine a refund amount.  A judge then
could simply order the city to give refunds to those who come
forward with garbage bills proving their eligibility.

Judge Gibbons ruled in favor of a class action.

"The sheer number of potential class plaintiffs is sufficiently
large to justify a class action," Judge Gibbons said. [GN]


SIGNET JEWELERS: Feb. 13 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
-----------------------------------------------------------
Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, on Jan. 2
announced the filing of a class action lawsuit on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of Signet Jewelers Limited
(NYSE:SIG) from August 24, 2017 through November 21, 2017,
inclusive (the "Class Period").  The lawsuit seeks to recover
damages for Signet investors under the federal securities laws.

To join the Signet class action, go to
http://rosenlegal.com/cases-1263.htmlor call Phillip Kim, Esq.
or Daniel Sadeh, Esq. toll-free at 866-767-3653 or email
pkim@rosenlegal.com or dsadeh@rosenlegal.com for information on
the class action.

NO CLASS HAS YET BEEN CERTIFIED IN THE ABOVE ACTION. UNTIL A
CLASS IS CERTIFIED, YOU ARE NOT REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL UNLESS YOU
RETAIN ONE. YOU MAY ALSO REMAIN AN ABSENT CLASS MEMBER AND DO
NOTHING AT THIS POINT. YOU MAY RETAIN COUNSEL OF YOUR CHOICE.

According to the lawsuit, defendants during the Class Period made
materially false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to
disclose that: (1) Signet's efforts to convert IT systems in
connection with the credit portfolio transition were negatively
impacting sales; (2) the magnitude of in-store process changes
related to the new credit program were negatively impacting
sales; (3) as such, Signet was experiencing systems and process
disruptions associated with the outsourcing of its credit
portfolio; (4) the disruptions were negatively impacting Signet's
performance; and (5) as a result, defendants' positive statements
about Signet's business, operations, and prospects were false and
misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.  When the true
details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that investors
suffered damages.

A class action lawsuit has already been filed.  If you wish to
serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than
February 13, 2018. A lead plaintiff is a representative party
acting on behalf of other class members in directing the
litigation.  If you wish to join the litigation, go to
http://rosenlegal.com/cases-1263.htmlor to discuss your rights
or interests regarding this class action, please contact Phillip
Kim, Esq. or Daniel Sadeh, Esq. of Rosen Law Firm toll free at
866-767-3653 or via e-mail at pkim@rosenlegal.com or
dsadeh@rosenlegal.com.

Rosen Law Firm -- http://www.rosenlegal.com-- represents
investors throughout the globe, concentrating its practice in
securities class actions and shareholder derivative litigation.
Since 2014, Rosen Law Firm has been ranked #2 in the nation by
Institutional Shareholder Services for the number of securities
class action settlements annually obtained for investors.  [GN]


SIX FLAGS: Proskauer Rose Attorney Discusses BIPA Case Ruling
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jeffrey D. Neuburger, Esq. -- jneuburger@proskauer.com -- of
Proskauer Rose LLP, in an article for Lexology, wrote that as
2017 drew to an end, we noted the continuing flood of Illinois
biometric privacy suits filed over the past year.  There are
literally dozens of cases pending, most in Illinois state courts,
alleging violation of Illinois's Biometric Information Privacy
Act (BIPA), which regulates the collection, retention, and
disclosure of personal biometric identifiers and biometric
information.  The suits initially targeted the use of biometrics
on social media platforms, but, perhaps reflecting the increased
use of biometrics in the workplace, have increasingly been
asserted against businesses that collect biometric data to
authenticate customers or employees.

While federal courts have weighed in on whether litigants have
standing for asserting procedural violations of BIPA, it was not
clear if mere procedural violations of BIPA's consent and data
retention requirements, without any showing of actual harm or
data misuse, were actionable under the statute (i.e., whether
persons pleading procedural violations are "aggrieved" under the
statute, as BIPA expressly provides that "any person aggrieved by
a violation" of the BIPA may pursue money damages and injunctive
relief against the offending party).

As the year came to a close, an Illinois appellate court may have
cooled the New Year's Eve celebrations of BIPA class action
lawyers a bit, as the court issued a decision which could provide
defendants with a shield against BIPA suits.  The court ruled
that if a party alleges only a technical violation of BIPA
without alleging any injury or adverse effect, then such a party
is not "aggrieved" under the Act and may not seek remedies (i.e.,
monetary damages or injunctive relief). (Rosenbach v. Six Flags
Entertainment Corp., No. 2-17-0317, 2017 IL App (2d) 170317 (Ill.
App. Dec. 21, 2017)).

In Rosenbach, plaintiff brought a putative class action against
theme park operators for fingerprinting season-pass holders
allegedly without properly obtaining written consent and without
properly disclosing their plan for the collection, storage, use,
or destruction of the biometric identifiers or information, in
violation of BIPA. Plaintiff did not allege any actual injury or
data misuse, but only that she would not have allowed her son to
buy a pass had she known about such fingerprint collection.

The trial court denied Six Flags' motion to dismiss but later
certified two questions to the appellate court relating to
whether a "person aggrieved by a violation of [the] Act" must
allege some actual harm.  In answering the questions, the court
found that a "person aggrieved" by such a violation must allege
some actual harm, rejecting the plaintiff's position that a mere
technical violation of the Act is sufficient to render a party
"aggrieved" (though, the court did hold that an injury or adverse
effect need not be pecuniary).

"[I]f the Illinois legislature intended to allow for a private
cause of action for every technical violation of the Act, it
could have omitted the word 'aggrieved' and stated that every
violation was actionable.  A determination that a technical
violation of the statute is actionable would render the word
'aggrieved' superfluous.  Therefore, a plaintiff who alleges only
a technical violation of the statute without alleging some injury
or adverse effect is not an aggrieved person under . . . the
Act."

In ruling for Six Flags, did the Rosenbach court put an end to
the roller coaster ride of BIPA class actions over procedural
violations? Perhaps, for now. While the Second Circuit and some
other federal courts have dismissed BIPA suits over a lack of
standing under Spokeo, this is the first time an Illinois
appellate court has weighed in on the meaning of an "aggrieved"
party under BIPA.  This one-two punch will certainly empower BIPA
defendants to seek dismissal of suits that allege mere procedural
violations of the statute and will likely affect the ongoing
biometric privacy litigation in California courts against social
media platforms over photo tagging practices.  However, following
similar strategies in data breach litigation, plaintiffs' lawyers
will undoubtedly in the future seek new angles to pleading a
concrete harm under BIPA that can survive a motion to dismiss.
Thus, it seems clear that biometrics-related litigation will
continue to be active in 2018 and we will continue to monitor and
report on developments as it evolves. [GN]


SPOTIFY USA: Wixen Music Won't Participate in Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
Music News Desk reports that Wixen Music Publishing, Inc., is
well-known in the music industry for supporting the rights of
songwriters and publishers.  Founded in 1978, the Los Angeles-
based company represents thousands of songwriters and publishers,
including many of the top acts in music.

On December 21, 2017, Congressman Doug Collins introduced the
Music Modernization Act Of 2017. Wixen Music Publishing, Inc.
recognizes that a good deal of compromise went into crafting a
bill that would please a diverse coalition of music industry
groups and praises David Israelite and the NMPA for their help in
working with Congressman Collins on this legislation.

In spite of its general support for the Act, Wixen Music
Publishing, Inc., president Randall Wixen explains that
"unfortunately the bill disenfranchises our clients from legal
redress for infringements made of their songs without proper
licenses by various streaming services."  Within the Act is a
provision that (once the bill becomes law) would eliminate
important legal remedies that publishers have against Spotify and
similar services that may have infringed their works if suits
were filed on or after January 1, 2018.

Wixen Music Publishing, Inc., and its clients have elected not to
participate in the Ferrick vs. Spotify class action lawsuit that
addresses this wrongdoing by Spotify, in part because of their
belief that the proposed settlement is inadequate, because too
much of the settlement is going to legal fees, and because the
terms of the go-forward license in the settlement are not in
their long-term best interests.  Wixen Music Publishing, Inc.,
was and is desirous of sitting down with Spotify to work out an
amicable settlement for its past infringements and unlicensed
uses, and seeks to work out a go-forward license which is fair to
all parties.

Mr. Wixen remarked: "We are very disappointed that these services
will retroactively get a free pass for actions that were
previously illegal unless we actually file suit before January 1,
2018.  Neither we nor our clients are interested in becoming
litigants but we have been faced with a choice of forfeiting
rights and damages, or taking action at this time.  We regret
that this otherwise admirable proposed bill has had this effect,
and we hope that Spotify nonetheless comes to the table with a
fair and reasonable approach to reaching a resolution with us. We
are fully prepared to go as far forward in the courts as required
to protect our clients' rights."

Wixen continues: "We're just asking to be treated fairly. We are
not looking for a ridiculous punitive payment. But we estimate
that our clients account for somewhere between 1% and 5% of the
music these services distribute.  Spotify has more than $3
billion in annual revenue and pays outrageous annual salaries to
its executives and millions per month for ultra-luxurious office
space in various cities.  All we're asking for is for them to
reasonably compensate our clients by sharing a miniscule amount
of the revenue they take in with the creators of the product they
sell.  Music fans should be able to enjoy Spotify, knowing that
their favorite artists are being treated fairly." [GN]


STARBUCKS CORP: Taft Stettinius Attorneys Discuss Court Ruling
--------------------------------------------------------------
Heather Jackson, Esq. -- hjackson@taftlaw.com -- and Rachel
Schaller, Esq. -- rschaller@taftlaw.com -- of Taft Stettinius &
Hollister LLP, in an article for Workforce, wrote that Starbucks
applicant Jonathan Santiago Rosario received a notification from
Starbucks stating he was rejected from hiring consideration
because of criminal history information contained in a third-
party background investigation report.

Mr. Rosario disputed the accuracy of the information and the
third-party background investigator removed it.  But Starbucks
did not reinstate Mr. Rosario's job offer.  Mr. Rosario brought a
putative class action against Starbucks under the Fair Credit
Report Act for failing to provide affected applicants with a copy
of their background investigation reports and a summary of their
rights under the FCRA before taking an adverse employment action.

Starbucks argued Mr. Rosario did not have an FCRA claim because
he was provided a copy of his background report and an
opportunity to contest the report before he received the letter
notifying him that he was rejected from hiring consideration. The
court rejected this argument.

Mr. Rosario successfully argued he was actually rejected when the
third-party investigator "adjudicated his application for
employment based on Starbucks' hiring requirements and when
Starbucks 'adopted' that adjudication."

Thus, because Mr. Rosario alleged Starbucks "rubber stamped" the
third-party investigator's decision before sending Mr. Rosario
notice of his rejection, the court allowed Rosario's putative
class action to proceed past the motion to dismiss stage. Rosario
v. Starbucks Corp., Case No. C16-1951 RAJ, 2017 WL 4811493 (W.D.
Wash. Oct. 25, 2017)

Impact: FCRA notices should contain clear and reasonable
deadlines for disputing the accuracy of background investigation
reports, and no final decision should be made until after the
expiration of the dispute period, and consideration of
information, as corrected by the third-party investigator.  [GN]


SUNRUN INC: Certification of Classes Sought in "Slovin" Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
Lynn Slovin, Samuel Katz, Jeffery Price and Justin Birkhofer,
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit captioned LYNN SLOVIN, an individual,
on her own behalf and on behalf of all others similarly situated
v. SUNRUN, INC., a California corporation, CLEAN ENERGY EXPERTS,
LLC, a California limited liability company doing business as
SOLAR AMERICA, and DOES 1-5, inclusive, Case No. 4:15-cv-05340-
YGR (N.D. Cal.), move to certify certain classes pursuant to
Rules 23(a), 23(b)(3) and 23(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure.

The Plaintiffs also ask the Court to appoint them as class
representatives, and to appoint Parisi & Havens LLP and Parasmo
Lieberman Law as class counsel.

The Court will commence a hearing on February 13, 2018, at 2:00
p.m., to consider the Motion.

A copy of the Notice of Motion is available at no charge at
http://d.classactionreporternewsletter.com/u?f=hlDR5iUV

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          David C. Parisi, Esq.
          Suzanne Havens Beckman, Esq.
          PARISI & HAVENS LLP
          212 Marine Street, Suite 100
          Santa Monica, CA 90405
          Telephone: (818) 990-1299
          Facsimile: (818) 501-7852
          E-mail: dcparisi@parisihavens.com
                  shavens@parisihavens.com

               - and -

          Yitzchak H. Lieberman, Esq.
          PARASMO LIEBERMAN LAW
          7400 Hollywood Blvd, #505
          Los Angeles, CA 90046
          Telephone: (917) 657-6857
          Facsimile: (877) 501-3346
          E-mail: ylieberman@parasmoliebermanlaw.com

               - and -

          Ethan Preston, Esq.
          PRESTON LAW OFFICES
          4054 McKinney Avenue, Suite 310
          Dallas, TX 75204
          Telephone: (972) 564-8340
          Facsimile: (866) 509-1197
          E-mail: ep@eplaw.us


SWATCH GROUP: Faces "Mendizabal" Suit in S.D. New York
------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against The Swatch Group
(U.S.), Inc. d/b/a Longines. The case is styled as Maria
Mendizabal, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. The Swatch Group (U.S.), Inc. d/b/a
Longines, Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-00320 (S.D. N.Y., January
12, 2018).

Swatch Group is an international group active in the design,
manufacture and sale of finished watches, jewelry, watch
movements and components.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Joseph H Mizrahi, Esq.
   Joseph H Mizrahi Law PC
   337 Avenue W Suite 2f
   Brooklyn, NY 11223
   Tel: (917) 299-6612
   Fax: (347) 665-1545
   Email: jmizrahilaw@gmail.com


TERMINIX INT'L: Faces Class Action Over Unpaid Overtime Wages
-------------------------------------------------------------
Philip Gonzales, writing for Southeast Texas Record, reports that
an employee of a pest control company alleges he is owed unpaid
overtime wages.

Jethro Cooper, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, filed a complaint on Dec. 4, 2017, in the Houston
Division of the Southern District of Texas against Terminix
International Co. LP and Terminix International Co. Inc. alleging
violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges in the last
three years, he regularly worked more than 40 hours per workweek
for the defendants without being paid time-and-a-half of his
regular wage for overtime hours worked.

The plaintiff holds Terminix International Co. LP and Terminix
International Co. Inc. responsible because the defendant
allegedly paid plaintiff and the putative class members a salary
and failed to compensate them for off-the-clock hours worked.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks an order
allowing this action to proceed as a class action, award for all
unpaid overtime compensation, liquidated damages, attorneys'
fees, costs and interest and such other relief to which plaintiff
and the class members are justly entitled. He is represented by
Taft L. Foley II of The Foley Law Firm in Houston.

Houston Division of the Southern District of Texas case number
4:17-cv-03671 [GN]


TEXAS: Awaits Final Order in Foster Care System Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
Becky Fogel, writing for Texas Standard, reports that in 2017,
Texas lawmakers focused on improving the state's ailing child
welfare system.  Even before the 85th legislative session began,
lawmakers approved $150 million in emergency funding for the
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services.  In his
"State of the State" address. Gov. Greg Abbott also listed
reforming Child Protective Services, or CPS, as one of several
emergency items for the Texas House and Senate to tackle.

Improving CPS and foster care proved to be a largely bipartisan
issue for state lawmakers and they passed several major bills.
They include raising payments for relatives that care for abused
and neglected children, and making the Department of Family and
Protective Services a standalone agency.  They also pushed ahead
with efforts to further privatize foster care.

In December, Hank Whitman, who heads the Department of Family and
Protective Services, testified before a panel of state
representatives.  "I am pleased to tell you that as of October
31, 2017, turnover in CPS has decreased by 18.4 percent," Whitman
told them.

He told lawmakers that the increased funding from the Legislature
to provide raises and hire more staff contributed to the lowest
CPS caseworker turnover rate in seven years.

Whitman also said there was still room for improvement.  "We've
seen a slight decrease in the number of sibling groups placed
together and children placed in their home regions," he
testified.  That means many kids entering the foster care system
are getting sent to another part of Texas.

One of the major bills Texas lawmakers passed in 2017 is aimed at
keeping kids closer to home by shifting foster care to what's
known as a community-based care model.  Basically, it gives a
single nonprofit or local government entity regional control.
That includes the responsibility of finding more foster families.
Court-appointed experts in a nearly seven-year lawsuit over Texas
foster care recently said Texas needs to recruit thousands of
foster parents to provide more placements for kids.

The only agency in the state currently operating this community-
based care model is ACH Child and Family Services in Fort Worth.
Earlier this year, CEO Wayne Carson told the Texas Standard that
since 2014, the organization had been able to increase the number
of foster families in their region by 20 percent.

The Department of Family and Protective Services is already
looking for lead agencies in Bexar County and around Abilene to
establish a community-based care model.  Eventually, the plan is
to allow these organizations to take over case management duties
from the state. That idea has been fairly controversial.

However, the Department of Family and Protective Services says
transitioning case management services from the state would be a
gradual process that would take several years.  Though some are
skeptical about how this would work, Carson says it will allow
groups like his "to engage families very quickly to try to help
them understand what has led to them losing their child
temporarily to the foster care system and what they can do to get
their child back."

But one state representative who helped craft child welfare
reforms in 2017 has some concerns.  Houston Democrat Gene Wu said
this summer that he's worried about what could happen if one of
the lead agencies doesn't think a child should go back to their
family.  "In the civil world we call termination of parental
rights the death penalty of the civil court and it's a serious
thing," Mr. Wu said.  He says only the state should be able to
decide if a parent loses their rights.

Federal Judge Janis Graham Jack's impending final order in the
class action lawsuit over Texas foster care, a system she has
previously deemed "broken" and "unconstitutional," could impact
or halt many of the changes state lawmakers made in 2017.  But
whatever Jack rules, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton plans to
appeal the decision. [GN]


TRIDENT ASSET: Faces "Zilbershlag" Suit in E.D. New York
----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Trident Asset
Management, LLC. The case is styled as Joshua Zilbershlag, on
behalf of himself and all similarly situated consumers, Plaintiff
v. Trident Asset Management, LLC, Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-
00338 (E.D. N.Y., January 17, 2018).

Trident Asset Management, LLC is a debt collection agency.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears PRO SE.


UNION PACIFIC: Faces "Mlsna" Suit in W. Dist. Wisc.
---------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Union Pacific
Railroad. The case is styled as Mark Mlsna, individually and on
behalf of other similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Union Pacific
Railroad, Defendant, Case No. 3:18-cv-00037 (W.D. Wis., January
17, 2018).

The Union Pacific Railroad is a freight hauling railroad that
operates 8,500 locomotives over 32,100 route-miles in 23 states
west of Chicago and New Orleans.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Nicholas Delton Thompson, Esq.
   The Moody Law Firm, Inc.
   500 Crawford Street, Ste. 200
   Portsmouth, VA 23704
   Tel: (757) 393-4093
   Fax: (757) 397-7257
   Email: nthompson@moodyrrlaw.com


UNITED PETROLEUM: Drivers Mull Class Action Over Wrong Petrol
-------------------------------------------------------------
Georgia Comensoli, writing for The West Australian, reports that
drivers in Melbourne's south east are facing expensive repair
bills after the wrong petrol was put into a local service station
fuel bowser.

The motorists thought they were filling up with unleaded petrol
at United in Cranbourne, but it was diesel flowing through the
pump.

"I was in tears, I wanted to cry," motorist Lorena said after her
Mazda broke down.

The service station says it has since shut off the unleaded pump
after a number of complaints.

It blames the delivery truck driver for the mix up.

But the news has done little to help those motorists who are
facing thousands of dollars in repair bills for the error.

Victims are considering a class action, given a similar issue at
the same station earlier in 2017.

According to 7 News, on that occasion water came through the
petrol pumps.

"Something has to be done about it," Lorena said.

"I mean it is not fair that you've trusted that you've put the
right petrol in and you got given something else and therefore
you don't have a car." [GN]


UNITED STATES: Ordered to Release Iraqis or Grant Bond Hearings
---------------------------------------------------------------
Yeganeh Torbati, writing for Reuters, reports that a U.S. judge
ordered the government on Jan. 2 to either release Iraqi
immigrants it arrested last year or grant them bond hearings, in
the latest judicial curb on the Trump administration's efforts to
tighten U.S. immigration.

Last year the federal government detained hundreds of Iraqi
immigrants who had been ordered deported years ago due to
criminal convictions. Iraq until recently had refused to take
them back, but struck a deal with the United States in March to
repatriate its citizens, sparking the immigration sweeps.

The Iraqis and civil rights groups representing them sued the
federal government. U .S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith, in
Detroit, had previously halted the deportation of the Iraqis,
many of whom are Christian, who argued they would face
persecution if they were sent back to Iraq.

In his ruling on Jan. 2, Judge Goldsmith said that any of the
Iraqis held for six months or longer must either be released or
granted a bond hearing before an immigration judge within 30
days.

"Our legal tradition rejects warehousing human beings while their
legal rights are being determined," wrote Judge Goldsmith.

The Trump administration has tried to deport the Iraqis as part
of its push to increase immigration enforcement and make
countries, which have resisted in the past, take back nationals
ordered deported from the United States.

Since June, immigration enforcement officers have detained
approximately 300 Iraqi nationals with final deportation orders,
according to information provided to the court by the Iraqis'
lawyers.  There are approximately 1,400 Iraqis in the United
States with final deportation orders.

The U.S. government said in March that Iraq had agreed to
repatriate Iraqi nationals ordered deported from the United
States.

But Judge Goldsmith noted in his order that the United States has
"no written agreement" with Iraq regarding its cooperation, and
that it is therefore unclear whether Iraq had agreed to take back
all its nationals, and if so, under what conditions.

Judge Goldsmith said his ruling would apply to Iraqi detainees in
similar circumstances nationwide, even if they are not involved
in the litigation.

"(Goldsmith) just really reaffirmed the principle that indefinite
detention in this country is not acceptable," said Kary Moss,
executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of
Michigan, which is representing the Iraqis.

The Department of Justice, which is arguing on behalf of the
government, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
[GN]


UNITED STATES: Smith Moves for Certification of Class & Subclass
----------------------------------------------------------------
The plaintiff in the lawsuit styled MARTIN D. SMITH, Does 1-1,000
v. DEPARTMENT OF TREASURY/INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, Case No.
3:17-cv-05394-EMC (N.D. Cal.), moves for certification of class
and subclass.

The Class consists of taxpayers, who have been issued a
Substitute Return by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), failed
to file a tax return before the running of said Substitute
Return, and lack "reasonable cause" for failing to timely file a
return.

The Subclass consists of taxpayers, who fit into the class
category, yet still filed a Form 1040 (which the Ninth Circuit
has declared a "nullity" (see In re Smith, 828 F.3d 1094 (9th
Cir. 2016)) and based upon the Form 1040 the IRS assessed
additional tax against the taxpayer while case law holds that a
nullity has no effect and thus any assessment based upon the Form
1040 would also be null and void.

The Court will commence a hearing on January 25, 2018, at 1:30
p.m., to consider the Motion.

A copy of the Motion is available at no charge at
http://d.classactionreporternewsletter.com/u?f=MRR62mja

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Robert Goldstein, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF ROBERT L. GOLDSTEIN
          100 Bush Street #501
          San Francisco, CA 94104
          Telephone: (415) 391-8700
          Facsimile: (415) 391-8701
          E-mail: rgoldstein@taxexit.com


US ENERGY: "Assad" Suit Seeks to Stop APEG Exchange Agreement
-------------------------------------------------------------
GEORGE ASSAD, Individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. U.S. ENERGY CORP., ENERGY ONE LLC, DAVID A. VELTRI,
J. WELDON CHITWOOD, JOHN G. HOFFMAN, JAVIER F. PICO, and APEG
ENERGY II, L.P., Case No. 1:17-cv-02966-NYW (D. Colo., December
11, 2017), seeks to preliminarily and permanently enjoining the
Defendants and all persons acting in concert with them from
proceeding with, consummating, or closing the proposed exchange
agreement.

On October 3, 2017, U.S. Energy Corp.'s Board of Directors caused
the Company and its wholly owned subsidiary, Energy One LLC, to
enter into an exchange agreement with APEG Energy II, L.P., an
entity controlled by Angelus Private Equity Group, LLC, which
currently holds $6,000,000 in principal amount of loans under a
credit agreement between Energy One and APEG.

Pursuant to the terms of the Exchange Agreement, APEG will
exchange $4,463,380 of outstanding borrowings under the Credit
Facility for 5,819,270 new shares of U.S.

Energy common stock at an exchange price of $0.767, representing
only a 1.3% premium over the 30-day volume weighted average price
of the Company's common stock on September 20, 2017, the
Plaintiff contends.  In addition, the Company will pre-pay
$600,000 of the outstanding principal under the Credit Facility,
leaving approximately $937,000 outstanding, and the Company will
pay at closing any accrued, unpaid interest on the Credit
Facility held by APEG (collectively, the "Proposed Transaction").
Immediately following the close of the Proposed Transaction, APEG
will hold approximately 49.3% of U.S. Energy's outstanding common
stock.

U.S. Energy is a Wyoming corporation and maintains its principal
executive offices in Denver, Colorado.  Energy One is a Wyoming
limited liability company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of U.S.
Energy, and a party to the Exchange Agreement.  The Individual
Defendants are directors and officers of the Company.

U.S. Energy is an independent energy company focused on the
acquisition and development of oil and gas producing properties
in the continental United States.  The Company's business
activities are currently focused in South Texas and the Williston
Basin in North Dakota, although the Company does not intend to
limit its focus to these geographic areas.

APEG is a Texas limited partnership that is controlled by Angelus
and is a party to the Exchange Agreement.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Karen Cody-Hopkins, Esq.
          CODY-HOPKINS LAW FIRM
          4610 S. Ulster Street
          Denver, CO 80237
          Telephone: (303) 221-4666
          Facsimile: (303) 221-4374
          E-mail: Karen@codyhopkinslaw.com

               - and -

          RIGRODSKY & LONG, P.A.
          2 Righter Parkway, Suite 120
          Wilmington, DE 19803
          Telephone: (302) 295-5310

               - and -

          RM LAW, P.C.
          1055 Westlakes Drive, Suite 300
          Berwyn, PA 19312
          Telephone: (484) 324-6800


VAN CLEEF & ARPELS: Faces "Mendizabal" Suit in S.D. of New York
---------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Van Cleef & Arpels,
Inc. The case is styled as Maria Mendizabal, on behalf of herself
and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Van Cleef &
Arpels, Inc., Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-00317 (S.D. N.Y.,
January 12, 2018).

Van Cleef & Arpels is a French jewelry, watch, and perfume
company.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Joseph H Mizrahi, Esq.
   Joseph H Mizrahi Law PC
   337 Avenue W Suite 2f
   Brooklyn, NY 11223
   Tel: (917) 299-6612
   Fax: (347) 665-1545
   Email: jmizrahilaw@gmail.com


VEDGE RESTAURANT: Faces "Conner" Suit in E.D. Pennsylvania
----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Vedge Restaurant
Group, LLC. The case is styled as Mary Conner, on behalf of
herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Vedge
Restaurant Group, LLC, Defendant, Case No. 2:18-cv-00194-PD (E.D.
Penn., January 16, 2018).

Vedge Restaurant Group, LLC operates in the restaurant
industry.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   C. K. LEE, Esq.
   LEE LITIGATION GROUP, PLLC
   30 EAST 39TH STREET
   SECOND FLOOR
   NEW YORK, NY 10016
   Tel: (212) 465-1188
   Email: cklee@leelitigation.com


VIGO COUNTY, IN: Jail Construction Class Action Pending
-------------------------------------------------------
Howard Greninger, writing for Tribune-Star, reports that the
biggest 2017 news in Vigo County government revolved around a
proposed new county jail, including where to build one, how big
it should be, how much it should cost and how to pay for it.

The topic stirred public involvement, with many citizen groups
saying county officials failed to include the public in the
decision-making process, citing a better example of Marion County
which held community meetings and input for more than 1 1/2
years.

Groups such as newly formed Citizens for Better Government in
Vigo County as well as existing groups such as the Taxpayers
Association voiced concern over costs and jail size, as well as a
need to increase use of alternatives such as community
corrections or mental health services to reduce jail population.

Groups advocated for an independent criminal justice assessment
and needs study, and the Vigo County Council's president later
requested such a study.

Vigo County Superior Court Division 5 Judge Michael Rader in
October also requested funding for an independent study, but in
November asked the County Council to table that request as county
judges support an in-depth study through an office of the
National Institute of Corrections.

The Vigo County Board of Commissioners also revived a criminal
justice advisory council, originally established in 2005.

While the cost of a new jail from the Vigo County Board of
Commissioners is projected around $62 million, long-term funding
is projected to range from $100.6 million to about $111.03
million, depending on the term of a bond.  The more than $100
million cost is over 20 years, while the more than $111 million
cost spans 25 years.

The county's adviser said the annual cost to pay off a bond at 20
years is $5,175,400 and is $4,513,950 at 25 years.

However, to better market the bond, the county must have 150
percent of that bond available for payment in the event of an
economic downturn or unforeseen event.  That adds more than $2.5
million on a 20-year bond and more than $2.25 million on a 25-
year bond.

Vigo County Commissioners requested the County Council increase
the local income tax to 2.25 percent from 1.25 percent.  It
included a provision to have a 0.25 percent special purpose tax
for a new jail.  This special purpose tax has a sunset and can be
implemented for a maximum of 30 years.

It also includes a 0.75 percent public safety income tax, which
includes 0.1 percent for a Public Safety Access Point (PSAP) rate
that funds 911 dispatching.  The public safety tax covers police
and fire departments and fire protection districts.  It would be
distributed to Vigo County, the city of Terre Haute and towns of
West Terre Haute, Seelyville, Riley, fire districts and some
townships for town marshals or other public safety.

The increase of local income tax to 2.25 percent would annually
generate $20,199,644, according to projections from Crowe
Horwath, financial consultant for Vigo County.  The public safety
portion would generate more than $13.1 million of that while the
PSAP would generate more than $2 million.  The special purpose
tax would account for more than $5 million annually.

The Vigo County Council in September tabled action on a vote for
an income tax increase aimed at paying for a new county jail over
concern that a first-draft version of an income tax ordinance was
incorrectly published. Council President Bill Thomas later
requested further study on the issue.

The new-jail proposal had other issues, including location.

In November 2016, the Vigo County Council approved a $600,000
request from the Vigo County Redevelopment Commission to purchase
nearly 65 acres along the Wabash River from Highland TH LLC.
Vigo County Councilman Mike Morris then suggested the county
could use this site for a jail, since the county would soon own
it.

Facing a federal court hearing in late February 2017 for a status
update on jail overcrowding, the Board of Commissioners in mid-
February announced they had selected the former International
Paper site for the jail.

However, that stirred public opposition on several fronts, in
part because some groups felt there had been little public
involvement in the siting process.  Groups including Wabash
Valley Riverscape objected to the site, as did supporters of a
school corporation aquatic center adjacent to the International
Paper property.  The site also came into question under a Terre
Haute zoning ordinance.

In May, commissioners backed away from that site and later
shifted their focus to a site across from the U.S. Penitentiary
near Indiana 63 and Springhill Road.  However, that site would
require additional foundation work.  That resulted in
commissioners considering other sites, including a former par-3
golf course next to Terre Haute's sewage treatment plant.

By August, Commissioners halted a search for a new jail site and
said they would await a funding decision from the Vigo County
Council.

Although currently not under court order to build a new jail,
Vigo County is under continuing legal pressure resolve
overcrowding resulting in unconstitutional conditions at the
jail.

The county has stipulated to, or admitted, its jails' problems as
part of two lawsuits: One that began in 2000 and filed by the
American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana and a class-action suit
filed in 2016 by an Indianapolis attorney on behalf of several
inmates

A 2002 agreement in the first lawsuit caps jail capacity at 268
inmates.

In March 2017, Vigo County officials announced a stipulation or
agreement was being sought in the latter, class-action lawsuit to
have a new jail completed by Oct. 1, 2019.  That stirred public
concern, as residents began questioning the location and costs of
a new jail.

In May, Chief U.S. District Judge Jane Magnus-Stinson ordered
attorneys back to work after denying a broad joint stipulation in
the class-action lawsuit, which included a timeline for
construction.

That federal lawsuit is currently scheduled to go to trial in or
after January 2019.

Convention center

The year also appeared to bring to a close to the idea of adding
a convention center as part of a renovation project of Indiana
State's Hulman Center in downtown Terre Haute.

In 2015, the state legislature approved an authorization of $37.5
million to Indiana State to be used as the state's end of a one-
to-one match for a planned $75 million project.

A seven-member Capital Improvement Board (CIB) was formed to
oversee the project.  While the three local partners -- the city,
the county and the Convention and Visitors Bureau -- had
committed about $26 million, there remained a roughly $11.5
million to $12 million funding gap.

By August, 2017, the partnership and the direct connection
between a new convention center and the Hulman Center had
collapsed. Instead, ISU sought the state's approval to use the
$37.5 million state appropriation to renovate Hulman Center, and
the state eventually said yes.

Capital Improvement Board members said the group still will
pursue a downtown convention center, but not one attached to
Hulman Center. Plans are to fund it with the money originally
pledged by the city, county and visitors bureau and with private
investment. [GN]


VITA-MIX CORP: March 28 Settlement Approval Hearing Set
-------------------------------------------------------
If you own a Vitamix household blender with a blade assembly
dated between January 1, 2007 and October 1, 2016 or a Vitamix
commercial blender purchased after September 15, 2015 but before
August 9, 2016, your rights may be affected by a class action
settlement.

A settlement has been reached in a class action lawsuit known as
Vicki Linneman, et al. v. Vita-Mix Corp., et al., Case No. 1:15-
cv-748, pending in the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Ohio, alleging that the top seal of blade assemblies
in certain Vitamix containers may fleck, causing black flecks to
enter food or drink during blending.  These flecks are of a non-
stick material (polytetrafluoroethylene or "PTFE") that is common
in cookware and many other products in the food industry.
Plaintiffs' Complaint does not allege any medical harm resulted
from any consumption of PTFE.  Vitamix produced information from
an independent third-party lab reporting that the flecks are
harmless when consumed and do not present a human health or
safety risk.  However, Plaintiffs allege that, as a result of the
black flecks Vitamix blenders are worth less than what consumers
and businesses paid to purchase them.  Vitamix denies the
allegations in the Lawsuit and has asserted numerous defenses.
The Court has not ruled on the merits of Plaintiffs' claims.

Who's included? You are included in the settlement as  a "Class
Member" if you: (a) own a Vitamix household blender with a blade
assembly dated on or after January 1, 2007 but before October 1,
2016; or (b) own a Vitamix commercial blender that was (i)
purchased on or after September 15, 2015 but before August 9,
2016 or before April 7, 2017 in the case of a commercial blender
from the XL product line, (ii) never used in connection with the
Replacement Seal, and (iii) purchased through a third- party,
such as a dealer, distributor, or restaurant supply store and not
acquired directly from Vitamix.

What does the settlement provide? Class Members who timely submit
a Valid Claim are eligible for certain benefits depending on
whether they purchased a household or commercial Vitamix blender.
Class Members who own a Vitamix household blender may choose
between (1) a $70 gift card to purchase certain Vitamix products;
or (2) a newly designed replacement blade assembly that does not
produce flecks.  Owners of one or more Vitamix commercial
blenders submitting Valid Claims can receive a new replacement
blade assembly from Vitamix, with a maximum of two blade
assemblies.  Vitamix has also agreed to pay (1) reasonable
attorneys' fees and expenses to Class Counsel, as awarded by the
Court; (2) court-approved Service Awards of $3,000 each to the
two Named Plaintiffs; and (3) the costs and expenses of
administering the Settlement.

How to get benefits? To receive any settlement benefits, you must
submit a valid Claim Form on or before September 28, 2018.
Details regarding how to submit a claim are available on the
Settlement Website at www.BlenderSettlement.com.

What are your options? If you submit a claim or do nothing and
the Court approves the Settlement, you will give up your right to
sue Vitamix for any of the claims released in the Settlement.  If
you do not want to receive a Gift Card or Replacement Blade
Assembly, but you want to keep your right to sue Vitamix
separately for the same claims resolved by this settlement, you
must exclude yourself by submitting an exclusion request
postmarked no later than March 7, 2018.  If you do not exclude
yourself, you may object and notify the Court that you or your
lawyer intend to appear at the Court's Fairness Hearing.
Objections and intentions to appear are due and must be filed
with the Court no later than March 7, 2018.

The Court will hold a hearing on March 28, 2018 to determine
whether to approve: the settlement agreement; Class Counsels'
request for fees and expenses; payments to the Named Plaintiffs;
and settlement administration expenses.  The payment of these
amounts will not reduce the amount of the Class benefits.  Class
Counsel's Fee Application (not to exceed $9 million) will be
filed with the Court by January 31, 2018, and it will also be
posted to the Settlement Website.

Want more information? THIS IS ONLY A SUMMARY. Details regarding
the Settlement (including the Settlement Agreement), your rights,
the Claim Form, and important dates can be found at
www.BlenderSettlement.com. You may also call toll-free (855) 233-
4747 or email BlenderSettlement@jndla.com with any questions.

Questions? Call the Settlement Administrator at (855) 233-4747 or
go to www.BlenderSettlement.com; PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT.

Judge Culotta's next step in the case is to determine whether it
will be certified as a class-action lawsuit. [GN]


VOLKSWAGEN AG: Seeks Dismissal of "Clean Diesel" Class Actions
--------------------------------------------------------------
David A. Wood, writing for CarComplaints.com, reports that
Volkswagen says a lawsuit filed on behalf of former owners and
lessees of Audi and Volkswagen "clean diesel" vehicles should be
dismissed because those customers weren't included in previous
class-action lawsuits for a reason.

The plaintiffs say they didn't qualify for the class-action
lawsuits that won current owners and lessees big payouts and
buybacks involving the following vehicles.

2.0-Liter Diesel Vehicles
2009-2015 Volkswagen Jetta
2009-2014 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen
2012-2015 Volkswagen Beetle
2012-2015 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible
2010-2015 Audi A3
2010-2015 Volkswagen Golf
2015 Volkswagen Golf SportWagen
2012-2015 Volkswagen Passat
3.0-Liter Diesel Vehicles
2009-2016 Volkswagen Touareg
2014-2016 Audi A6 Quattro
2014-2016 Audi A7 Quattro
2014-2016 Audi A8
2014-2016 Audi A8L
2014-2016 Audi Q5
2009-2016 Audi Q7

The proposed class-action lawsuit includes all customers who
owned or leased any of the affected vehicles and who "no longer
owned, held an active lease for, or otherwise had a legal
interest" in the vehicles on September 18, 2015.

Volkswagen told the judge those former owners and lessees are
attempting to pry money out of the automaker's pockets even
though the former owners didn't lose anything.  When they sold or
traded their diesel vehicles, or ended the lease agreements, the
transactions occurred before the emissions scandal was known.

VW argues there was no loss of value because all involved
transaction parties didn't know the cars were equipped with
illegal emissions defeat devices.

Volkswagen also says the proposed class-action should be
dismissed because attorneys who represented current owners and
lessees in settled litigation specifically said former owners and
lessees shouldn't have been included in previous lawsuits because
those customers suffered no economic harm.

The plaintiffs say they did suffer actual harm by paying for
diesel vehicles allegedly friendly to the environment that in
reality were polluting the air because VW cheated on emissions
tests.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs chose the "clean diesel"
cars for the purpose of helping the environment and paid a lot of
money specifically based on the environmental claims, something
VW disputes.

Attorneys for VW argue the lawsuit never mentions an amount of
money the plaintiffs paid based on an alleged claim of lower
nitrogen oxide emissions.

The Audi and Volkswagen lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco
Division - Nemet et al v. Volkswagen Group of America, Inc. et
al.

The plaintiffs are represented by Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro
LLP, and the Paynter Law Firm, PLLC. [GN]


WEDRON SILICA: Resident Mulls Class Action Over Silica Dust
-----------------------------------------------------------
Clare Howard, writing for Community Word, reports that
Thomas and Diane Skomski moved to Wedron in rural LaSalle County
in 2003 to recuperate close to nature after Thomas suffered a
massive stroke. They purchased a beautiful 23-acre property
bordered by Indian Creek with sheer limestone cliffs and bluffs
like those at nearby Starved Rock and Matthiessen state parks.

Thomas was an art professor at DePaul University but the stroke
forced the couple into a new life.  Two large studios were
constructed on their rural Wedron property and an arduous process
of therapy, exercise and work began.

But rather than healing close to nature, the couple has battled
health and environmental problems they trace to Wedron Silica
Fairmount mine less than a mile from their property.

The mine has doubled in size since 2003 and is now one of the
busiest mine operations in the county, Thomas Skomski said,
blaming that growth on increases in ambient air pollution, noise,
truck traffic and water resource issues.

Fairmount Santrol owns eight mines, and the company's annual 2016
report lists the size of the Wedron mine as 1,992 acres with
231,990 tons of proven reserves.  Located along the banks of the
Fox River, most of the mining is open pit using blasting,
excavating and requiring millions of gallons of water to wash the
sand.  Mr. Thomas said blasting at the mine is routine.

Silica sand is in growing demand because it is ideal for the oil
and gas hydraulic fracking boom spreading across the country.
Fairmount Santrol lists 2016 revenues of $535 million with $416
million of that from sand for fracking.  The Wedron mine received
32 safety citations in 2016, according to an SEC filing by the
company.

Fairmount Santrol did not respond to a request for an interview.
However, the U.S. EPA issued this statement in response to an
inquiry about Wedron:

"EPA has investigated past complaints to determine compliance
with federally-enforceable regulations and air quality standards.
The year-long air monitoring study conducted with EPA oversight
began in February 2015 and was completed in March 2016.  The
results did not show an exceedance of a health-based criteria,
and there is no regulatory standard for ambient silica.  The
continuous monitoring also did not show an exceedance of the
National Ambient Air Quality Standards for PM10.  Residents can
consider contacting the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
or LaSalle County to inquire whether state or local authorities
exist to address their concerns."

Silica is especially fine sand that can permeate lungs.  It is
considered carcinogenic.  Diane, who has a Ph.D. in psychology
and is also a Zen Buddhist priest, has 50 lung polyps, cancer and
is on oxygen 14 hours a day.

She said, "They've taken some of our most valuable farmland for
mining. The demand for silica for fracking won't last 30 years,
but the land will never be productive again."

Mr. Thomas said, "So much of the gas from fracking is being
shipped to Europe.  We get the environmental damage and health
damage, and the gas goes to Europe with a few people getting the
profits."

Even with their house sealed and closed, silica dust permeates
indoor air.

"We don't leave windows open," Diane said, noting the silica dust
is easy to notice when the vacuum cleaner bag is emptied. A fine
layer of silica coats furniture.

"We've lost our investment and our life savings. The county has
lowered the assessment of our property. We're concerned for our
health and safety," she said.

Thomas has spoken with the Robert Kennedy Law Firm in New York
about a class action lawsuit, but he was unsuccessful in
mobilizing the community.

"This is a poor area and a lot of people work for the mines," he
said. "The mine bought eight houses and a church in Wedron to
tear down to make the roads wider for trucks."

Silica sand has been called the new gold. LaSalle County is
pocketed with silica sand mines. One particularly controversial
mine is proposed on the border of Starved Rock State Park.

Cindy Skrukrud, Ph.D. and clean water program director with
Sierra Club Illinois Chapter, understands the threat these silica
sand mines pose for aquifers.

"These mining operations use a lot of water, and as they continue
to mine and go down to the water table, that raises concerns,"
she said.  "The mines are allowed to discharge certain amounts of
waste water at certain volume" but she questioned how rigorously
that is monitored.

The balance between agriculture, environmental tourism and mining
creates added friction when mines are approved at the county or
municipal level and government bodies collect fees per ton.
That's new revenue used to fill budget gaps.

"But this is an irreversible use of the land," St. Skrudrud said.
"It is ironic and sad that the St. Peter Sandstone that forms
Starved Rock and the palisades along the Fox River is so
beautiful, and it's this rounded sandstone that is so valuable in
fracking."

St. Peter Sandstone was formed during the Paleozoic Era, 541 to
251 million years ago.

Jessica Fujan, Midwest Regional Director with Food & Water Watch,
said, "We have the environmental damage and the health damage,
but the oil isn't even being used in our country."

Each fracked drill well uses two to five million pounds of silica
sand, she said.  That's the amount carried on 25 railroad cars.
Both semi trucks and railroad cars of silica sand used to
routinely travel through residential areas uncovered and the
carcinogenic sand would blow into neighborhoods.  Now trains and
trucks are covered.

Crispin Pierce, associate professor at University of Wisconsin at
Eau Claire, has conducted research around silica sand mines and
found ambient air with higher levels of silica than government
readings.  He believes silica dust can cause damage at low levels
of exposure, but more research is needed.

St. Fujan agrees.  She said, "Just because a handful of readings
from the government come back below thresholds doesn't mean these
levels are safe." [GN]


WEISMAN DISCOUNT: Faces "Camacho" Suit in E.D. New York
-------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Weisman Discount
Home Centers, Inc. The case is styled Jason Camacho, on behalf of
himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Weisman
Discount Home Centers, Inc., Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-00276
(E.D. N.Y., January 16, 2018).

Weisman Discount Home Centers, Inc. operates home improvement
outlets that provide kitchen cabinets, bath and flooring
products, and ceramic products.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Daniel C Cohen, Esq.
   Daniel Cohen, PLLC
   407 Rockaway Avenue
   Brooklyn, NY 11212
   Tel: (646) 645-8482
   Fax: (347) 665-1545
   Email: dancohenlaw@gmail.com


WEST POINT CHIPS: Residents File $7.5-Million Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
Jack Jacobs, writing for The Virginia Gazette, reports that a
dust-up over wood dust has prompted several West Point residents
to sue WestRock paper mill for $7.5 million in damages in a
class-action lawsuit.

Plaintiffs Ashton and Delilah Bell and Lucy Edwards allege dust
is blown onto their properties from the mill's wood-chip piles
and the wood processing conducted by West Point Chips, an
Arkansas-based company that operates a wood chipper adjacent to
the mill, according to the lawsuit filed Dec. 15, 2017 in U.S.
District Court.

The plaintiffs are bringing claims of nuisance and trespass by
the wood dust on behalf of a class of roughly 300 residences
living within a mile of the mill.  They seek no less than $25,000
per property in damages.  The plaintiffs also seek an injunction
to prohibit future migration of dust onto their properties,
according to the complaint.

"From time to time, a great amount of dust is blown from the wood
and wood chip piles into the air and then onto other properties
in West Point, creating a nuisance and trespassing onto property
owned and occupied by the plaintiffs' and members of the class,"
according to the complaint.

The plaintiffs, who live within 100 feet of the facilities,
allege the dust impedes their ability to live at their properties
and poses a threat to their health.  The complaint claims dust
accumulates on their properties, vehicles and clothing.

"We're hopeful we can resolve this with them," WestRock spokesman
John Pensec said.

What that resolution may look like is unclear at this time as
WestRock is still reviewing the suit," Mr. Pensec said.

The complaint claims the plaintiffs and members of the class have
complained to WestRock about the dust in the past.  The
plaintiffs request a jury trial.

Town Council approved a special-use permit for a $50 million
upgrade to the mill's wood chip storage and transfer facilities
in May.  Mill officials said new equipment is expected to
minimize airborne dust more efficiently than the equipment to be
replaced.  The construction is underway and expected to last a
couple years. [GN]


WESTROCK COMPANY: "Griswold" Accuses Glass Ceiling for Females
--------------------------------------------------------------
MONA GRISWOLD, individually and on behalf of others similarly
situated v. WESTROCK COMPANY, Case No. 3:17-cv-00817-REP (E.D.
Va., December 11, 2017), challenges an alleged pattern of
discriminatory employment practices by WestRock and its
predecessor organizations, which were intended to implement a
'glass ceiling' for female employees and applicants in the terms,
conditions and privileges of employment and prospective
employment as compared to male employees and applicants.

Ms. Griswold is a 63-year-old female former employee of WestRock
Company and its predecessor MeadWestvaco.  She alleges that she
suffered selective gender-based treatment and the ongoing adverse
gender based impact of policies and practices regarding
compensation, employment opportunities, and other terms and
conditions of her employment, including her selection for
termination as ongoing gender discrimination and in retaliation
for opposition to WestRock's practices with respect to
advancement in position and pay.

WestRock is an employer within the definitions of Title VII to
the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  WestRock is an international
packaging company with 42,000 employees in 30 countries, with
operating offices in Norcross, Georgia and executive offices in
Richmond, Virginia.  WestRock operates some 31 mills
internationally and listed 16 mill operations (and an additional
Canadian mill) in its Forest Resources division (denoted the
Operations division under MeadWestvaco).[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Harris D. Butler, III, Esq.
          Paul Falabella, Esq.
          BUTLER ROYALS, PLC
          140 Virginia Street, Suite 302
          Richmond, VA 23219
          Telephone: (804) 648-4848
          Facsimile: (804) 237-0413
          E-mail: harrris.butler@butlerroyals.com
                  paul.falabella@butlerroyals.com


WILLOCK, OH: Must Face Negligence Claim in Sewer System Case
------------------------------------------------------------
Tracey Read, writing for The News-Herald, reports that the city
of Willowick is not entitled to political subdivision immunity in
a resident's pending negligence lawsuit accusing city officials
of failing to properly maintain Willowick's sewer system,
according to a recent decision by the 11th District Court of
Appeals.

The original plaintiff, Micasa Court resident Dominic Trinetti,
filed a lawsuit in July 2013, on behalf of himself and others,
claiming about 200 Willowick homes flooded with sewage,
pollutants, water, feces, dirt, debris and noxious odors
repeatedly since June 2010.

After that lawsuit was withdrawn, Ronald Drive resident Kimberley
Ragazzo filed a similar case on behalf of any Willowick citizen
who suffered damages following a July 20, 2013, rainstorm.

Last year, Lake County Common Pleas Judge Vincent A. Culotta
dismissed Ms. Ragazzo's trespassing and nuisance claims.

Willowick officials argued that the city cannot be held liable on
the remaining claim alleging negligent maintenance of the sewer
system because as a political entity, the city is entitled to
general immunity.

However, Judge Culotta found it was too soon in the proceedings
to decide the immunity issue.

"Ohio courts have long recognized that a city can be held liable
for the negligent maintenance of its sewers," Judge Culotta
stated in his 2017 judgment entry.

In a 3-0 opinion, an appellate panel found Judge Culotta did not
err by finding the city was not immune from Ragazzo's negligence
claim.

The city argued Ms. Ragazzo's complaint must be dismissed because
she failed to allege the specific cause of the 2010 backup, that
she was affected by that backup and whether the problems with the
sewer system in 2010 had anything to do with the 2013 backup.

"Contrary to the city's argument, Ms. Ragazzo alleged sufficient
facts to support her claim and to defeat the city's immunity
defense," 11th District Judge Cynthia Westcott Rice wrote. ". . .
The complaint and Council's (meeting) minutes . . . provide facts
regarding at least three different potential causes of the 2010
backup, i.e. calcification in the sewer lines, bricks falling and
blocking the sewers, and collapsed sewers. The city engineer said
the calcification blockage might have been the cause of the sewer
backup on Willowick Drive.  The mayor himself acknowledged the
serious nature of the problems with the sewer system by saying
that, 'The city is now at the point where they cannot fix the
sewers.'

". . . The city ignores Ms. Ragazzo's allegations that city
officials remained concerned about the condition and maintenance
of the sewer lines throughout 2011 and that, despite these
ongoing concerns, the city failed to repair the sewers, resulting
in the 2013 backup."

Appellate Judges Thomas R. Wright and Diane V. Grendell concurred
with Rice's opinion.

Ms. Raggazzo is seeking a jury trial, unspecified damages, fees
and expenses.

Judge Culotta's next step in the case is to determine whether it
will be certified as a class-action lawsuit.

A similar negligence claim without class action allegations,
filed by Crescent Drive resident Ronald Abramezyk in 2015,
remains pending in Lake County Common Pleas Court. [GN]


* D&O Insurance Premiums in Australia Rise as Class Actions Spike
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Alice Uribe and James Frost, writing for Australian Financial
Review, report that insurance premiums for directors and officers
have surged by as much as 300 per cent in the last six months
following a sharp rise in the number of class actions launched
against Australian companies.

Industry experts told The Australian Financial Review class
actions, often related to alleged failures to meet continuous
disclosure obligations, have tripled in the last five years.

Insurer QBE agreed to pay $132.5 million to settle a shareholder
class action over a 2013 profit downgrade.  It is understood the
settlement will be covered by the insurer's own insurance and
provisions.

Lendlease chairman David Crawford and Westpac chairman Linsday
Maxsted told the Financial Review they were carefully watching
the rising costs of D&O premiums.

But Mr Maxsted questioned whether investors were really
benefiting from the increased class action trend.

"On one view there is a place for class actions, but if you think
about it, very few end up benefiting the class they are supposed
to benefit and very few get to court -- mostly that's because of
their nuisance value and they get paid out and so on," he said.

"I'm not sure how much value that whole exercise takes."

Hit especially hard
Unlike the personal indemnity market, where premiums have only
grown by 1 per cent in recent years, the D&O market is now
regarded as loss-making by the insurance sector.

Susie Amos, principal at actuarial firm Finity, said some sectors
had been hit especially hard because of the increased liabilities
insurers are facing for share-related claims against businesses
and their directors.

"Some risks have increased threefold.  If it's a large listed
company in mining, or a financial area or in manufacturing, then
I've heard of 300 per cent increases happening a few times.  But
even 'good' risks are increasing by 20 per cent," she said.

"Fundamentally it's because the insurers are making big losses,
that's the main reason it's crystallised in the last six months."

Scott Curley, a director at GSA Insurance Brokers, said "well-
run" financial services companies, fund managers and banks had
been hit with 40 per cent increases on their D&O policies since
March, while "obscure" businesses such as Chinese companies
listing on the ASX are now paying up to 300 per cent more for
their cover.

D&O cover is comprised of three parts: "Side A" insurance, which
protects past and present directors and executives; "Side B"
insurance, which protects the company for their liability to
indemnify their directors; and "Side C" cover, which protects the
company for claims made against it and its D&Os.

More expensive
Mr Curley said it was in "Side C" cover, which most listed
companies take out, where premiums had risen the most.  He added
that the "banks' [policies] are definitely getting more
expensive".

Industry experts say that the country's bigger banks tend to take
out D&O policies with a ceiling cover of $500 million, and
generally pay up to $5000 per $1 million of cover -- or $2.5
million a year -- for insurance with a "Side C" component.

This means even a 30 per cent hike on cover within a $500 million
policy would mean a $750,000 increase on the cost of the cover
for a big institution.

A 2017 report by law firm Wotton Kearney and insurer XL Catlin
found nine out of 10 filed securities class actions were settled
in Australia, with insurers facing an average bill of $40 million
for each securities class action settled.

Since a landmark class action against GIO was settled for $97
million in 2003, more than 30 actions have been finalised, with
the largest being a case against Centro, settled for $200 million
in 2012.

Class action firm Maurice Blackburn, which led the QBE action on
behalf of shareholders, said this latest settlement sends a
"signal to corporate Australia regarding the importance of be
scrupulous in their adherence to good governance standards and
their continuous disclosure obligations."

Tougher policy arrangements
Currently, Maurice Blackburn is running cases against the
Commonwealth Bank of Australia over the AUSTRAC money laundering
scandal, as well as actions against Sirtex, Crown Resorts and
Bellamy's Australia.

Finity's Ms Amos said some companies had elected to not take out
"Side C" cover "because of the view that they may be a target if
they have insurance cover".

According to Mr Curley, insurers will often not allow companies
to disclose if they have D&O cover and are driving tougher policy
arrangements as the raft of class actions hits their profits.

"[For policies] above a $20 million cover limit, you used to be
able to work with insurers to get a relatively reduced price. For
the next $30 million above the $20 million, it may come in at
half the price of the first $20 million.  But what insurers are
saying now is 'we don't feel safe unless we're above $50
million'," he said.

"They still feel that the first $50 million is vulnerable to a
class action, where previously they thought if they were sitting
above $20 million they were going to be pretty safe.  With all
the litigation going on, a company with a $50 million limit is
pretty fair game."

In 2016 premiums of $200 million for D&O "Side C" policies
compared with an estimated claims cost of double this amount.
Many larger companies get a proportion of their cover from the
London market, due to capacity constraints in Australia, and
spread their risk across a number of insurers.

US insurers AIG and Chubb are the hardest being hit companies
claiming on their policies due to class actions Mr Curley said.
[GN]


* Regina Hoppe Named A2L Litigation Consulting Managing Director
----------------------------------------------------------------
Regina Hoppe takes the reins as A2L's Managing Director of
Litigation Consulting.  In her new role, Ms. Hoppe will be
responsible for directing the efforts of A2L's 20+ litigation
consultants, litigation graphic artists, and trial technicians
nationwide.  For A2L clients, who are most often trial attorneys
from large law firms representing large companies, her experience
brings added depth to A2L's already robust 23-year-old litigation
consulting and litigation communications practices.

Ms. Hoppe comes to A2L with an extremely broad background in
litigation, trade association work, public policy, and the media.
She joined A2L in 2017 and she also serves as senior vice
president for global public policy of GRIDSMART, a company that
develops smart, cost-effective technologies to improve the safety
and efficiency of the nation's transportation system.

Before joining GRIDSMART, Ms. Hoppe was president and CEO of the
Intelligent Transportation Society of America, the nation's
largest organization dedicated to advancing the research,
development, and deployment of intelligent transportation systems
to improve the nation's surface transportation system.  The group
has taken the lead in introducing Congress, the media, and the
nation to the concept of driverless cars.

She also served for four years as president and CEO of America's
Natural Gas Alliance, a trade group that advocates for the
development and utilization of natural gas resources.  While
there, Ms. Hoppe first encountered A2L who she engaged to support
ANGA's advocacy and persuasive communication efforts.

Ms. Hoppe also served as executive vice president of US Telecom
and of the American Trucking Associations.  Prior to that she was
senior vice president of litigation communications at Weber
McGinn, a leading public relations firm.  She was a D.C.-based
correspondent for CBS News, where she won an Emmy award for her
work on the "48 Hours" show.

In her various trade association positions, Ms. Hoppe developed
an expertise in assisting industry leaders communicate legal and
public policy initiatives to the public and federal, state and
local policymakers.

Ms. Hoppe is a graduate of the University of Arkansas School of
Law and is licensed in Arkansas.

In 2012, CEO Update selected Ms. Hoppe as one of the nation's top
association CEOs.  In that same year, The Hill named her to its
annual list of top lobbyists.

"What pulls my whole career together is my interest in
storytelling and my ability to tell a story," Ms. Hoppe says.
"Whether someone is doing advocacy for a trade association,
testifying as an expert witness, or reporting a story as a White
House correspondent, it's always a matter of working with a team
to tell a story.  It all has to be concise, understandable, well-
written and logical."

Ms. Hoppe succeeds Tony Klapper who is now Assistant General
Counsel for Products, Regulatory, and Litigation at Volkswagen.
Mr. Klapper succeeded Ryan Flax who is now an Administrative
Patent Judge at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.


* South Korea Unveils Measures to Strengthen Consumer Safety
------------------------------------------------------------
Won Ho-jung, writing for The Korea Herald, reports that as the
dust settles on a year riddled with back-to-back controversies
involving the safety of everyday products such as eggs and
sanitary pads, the South Korean government has announced a series
of measures to begin 2018 with a more regulated and safe consumer
market.

In 2017, consumers and manufacturers alike underwent a series of
crises as revelations of toxins being included in common
household goods continued to surface.

The biggest shock came in August, when it was discovered that
eggs being sold in Korea showed potentially toxic traces of the
pesticide fipronil and insecticide bifenthrin.

The Agriculture Ministry began a comprehensive investigation
testing 1,659 egg farms all over the country in mid-August, which
concluded that 52 farms had sold eggs that fell short of safety
regulations.

The Agriculture Ministry and the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety
have put forward a series of policy changes to prevent another
crisis including creating a new industry specifically for
screening and packaging eggs for consumption.

On Dec. 28, the government also announced that eggs will be
stamped with codes indicating their date of production and the
environment in which the hens are kept.

However, it is unclear whether these measures will bring peace to
consumers who have become hypersensitive about safety issues
since the humidifier sanitizer crisis, which linked sanitizing
products from RB Korea (formerly Oxy Reckitt-Benckiser) with over
a hundred deaths.

"Consumers in Korea are looking for products that offer the most
value for price, but in the case of important consumer goods they
are willing to pay more for premium products, and that includes
products that are safe," said an official with the Korea National
Council of Consumer Organizations.

"Instead of assuming that consumers want low prices over all
else, companies should focus on providing the most essential
information regarding product safety."

The willingness of consumers to pay more for safety was
demonstrated in the fall, when a previous study indicating that
traces of toxins were found in leading brands of sanitary
products for women went public.  The brands in the study included
those that made up nearly all of the Korean market share, and
consumers turned to buying organic products from overseas out of
mistrust.

The Korean government also ran its own study of major brands in
Korea, and concluded that all sanitary pads were safe to use.
The Drug and Food Safety Ministry also announced that beginning
next October, sanitary pads will be required to list all of the
materials used in making the products on their packaging.

"We already list all of the materials used in our sanitary pads
on our website for consumers' convenience," said an official with
Yuhan-Kimberly, which makes the leading brands White and Good
Feel here.  "We understand that simply listing all the materials
may be confusing for consumers, and we are eager to take every
opportunity to provide objective information on our products."

One of the main criticisms levied on the government by consumer
groups following these retroactive measures is the frequent
absence of set guidelines regarding safe levels of toxins in
various products which lead to belated studies, such as the one
on sanitary pads this year.

The Food and Drug Safety Ministry is also conducting a study on
the health risks of heat-not-burn tobacco products such as IQOS
from Philip Morris International, which have been on the market
since April.  The results are expected this year.

Over 60,000 packs of heat-not-burn tobacco sticks, which
manufacturers claim are potentially less dangerous than
combustible cigarettes, were sold in the first month alone,
leading to concerns that a health study now may be too late to
protect consumers.

Following a series of safety issues related to daily consumer
goods, fundamental debate has also been rekindled, whether to
introduce class-action suits and punitive damages for consumers.

Consumer groups contend that punitive damages will help curb the
development of potentially dangerous products even without
government intervention.

"This is why we're pushing for the government to allow class-
action suits for consumers across all product categories," said
the KNCCO official. "We are seeing similar safety issues repeat
themselves because the repercussions are weak. This is one way
for consumers to protect themselves."

However, consumer groups also do recognize that Korean consumers
must become savvier in their shopping.  According to the Korea
Consumer Agency, which runs a hotline for consumer complaints,
calls regarding product safety remained nearly unchanged between
2016 and 2017 despite continued safety crises -- with 1,062 calls
about safety in November 2016 and 1,199 in the same month in
2017.

"Consumers must recognize that they have rights, but they also
have responsibilities.  As policies change to provide more
information to consumers, shoppers must educate themselves as
well," the official said. [GN]



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S U B S C R I P T I O N  I N F O R M A T I O N

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