CAR_Public/180220.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R


            Tuesday, February 20, 2018, Vol. 20, No. 37



                            Headlines


ADAMS AUTO: "Layden" Sues Over Illegal SMS Advertisements
AIRBNB INC: Court Stays "Plazza" Pending Outcome of Arbitration
ALMOST FAMILY: "Stein" Suit Seeks to Halt Merger Deal
AMAYA INC: Court Prohibits Pre-Leave Discovery in Securities Case
ANTHEM INC: Special Master Appointed to Investigate Overbilling

ANTHEM INC: Judge Balks at Plaintiffs' Lawyers $38BB Fee Request
APPLE INC: Acknowledges US Probes Into Slowdown of Old iPhones
APPLE INC: Update to Fix iPhone Throttling Expected This Spring
APPLE-METRO INC: Court Denies Bid for Judgment on Pleadings
AUSTRALIA: More Than $60MM Paid to Former Manus Island Detainees

AVEO: Levitt Robinson Meets with Residents Amid Class Action
BAHAMAS: Jubilee Gardens Residents Sue Over Toxic Emissions
BANK OF NEW YORK: 11th Cir. Affirms Dismissal of "Manyoma" Suit
BESTCOMP INC: Medical Providers Class Certification Affirmed
BRANDON SANATORIUM: Named in Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Patients

BULLSEYE GLASS: Judge Clears Way for $1.2-Billion Lawsuit
BULLSEYE GLASS: Toxic Air Pollution Class Action Can Proceed
BUMBLE BEE: Consents to Relabeling Smoked Salmon Products
CANADA: Lawyers in Toronto Mull Class Action for Cannabis Amnesty
CANADA: Former Nanaimo Indian Hospital Named in Class Action

CAVALRY PORTFOLIO: "Schurger" Disputes Collection Letter
CERES MARINE: "Mattson" Action to Recover Overtime Pay
COMCAST CABLE: Court Dismisses "Scott" FLSA Suit
DON HERRING: Loses Bid to Dismiss "Lopez" DPPA Suit
COSTCO WHOLESALE: Court OKs $9MM Wage & Hour Suit Settlement

CREATIVE HAIRDRESSERS: "Sanford" Suit to Recover Overtime Pay
DIRDEN LANDSCAPE: "Johnson" Action Seeks to Recover Overtime Pay
DUKE UNIVERSITY: Antitrust Case Expanded to Class Action
DUNN-EDWARDS CORP: Cal. App. Affirms Summary Judgment in "Khan"
DYNEGY INC: Gul Seeks to Halt Merger Deal, Seeks Projections

EI DUPONT: Faces Class Action Over Cape Fear River Contamination
EL MIRADOR: Settlement in "Lopez" Unpaid OT Wages Suit Denied
EQUIFAX INC: CFPB Puts Data Breach Probe on Ice Amid Lawsuits
EQUIFAX INC: Six Teams of Lawyers Compete for Lead Counsel Posts
EQUIFAX INC: CFPB Faces Backlash for Dropping Data Breach Probe

FARMERS GROUP: Wins Dismissal of Abante's TCPA Suit
GARDNER, MA: Faces Class Action Over Corrosive Water Problem
GENESIS HEALTH: Court Dismisses KWPA Claim in "McGowan" Suit
HARVEY WEINSTEIN: K&L Not Named Defendant in Cover-up Suit
ILLINOIS: Court Dismisses "Henrichs" Suit

INDUCTOR MAKERS: Lifetime Service Asserts Inductor Price-fixing
INTEREXCHANGE INC: Judge Certifies Class of 90,000 Au Pairs
JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Opening Arguments Begin in Talcum Product Case
LE CORDON BLEU: Culinary Students' Class Action Nears Settlement
LG ELECTRONICS: No Deal Over Bootlooping LG Phones, Atty Said

LINCOLN, CA: Feb. 27 Status Conference in "MacCracken"
MAGNACHIP SEMICONDUCTOR: June 9 Proof of Claim Deadline Set
MARRONE BIO: Court Grants Withdrawal of M. McGaughey
MDL 2353: Court Certifies Class of Consumers in Juice Label Suit
MDL 2804: Howard County Plans to File Suit Over Opioid Crisis

MDL 2804: Lewis County to Look Into Opioid Crisis Lawsuit
MDL 2804: Marblehead Joins National Suit Over Opioid Crisis
MDL 2804: Opioid Multidistrict Litigation Pending
MENZIES AVIATION: Court Awards $416K Atty Fees in "Jimenez"
METLIFE INC: Rosen Law Firm Files Securities Class Action

MIDLAND FUNDING: Ill. App. Allows "Raney" Suit to Proceed
MISSION CHINESE: Workers Sue for Racial Discrimination
MISSION CHINESE: Faces Class Action Over Racism, Unpaid Wages
MIZUHO BANK: Lack to Recover Fund Lost in Cryptocurrency Fraud
NORDSTROM INC: Court Narrows Claims in "Keating" Suit

NRG YIELD: Court Dismisses IRA Trust's Suit
OASIS POWER: "Gallagher" Sues Over Illegal Telemarketing Calls
OKLAHOMA: Class Action Challenges Jail Debt-Collection System
OSI SYSTEMS: Saxena White Files Securities Fraud Class Action
PARALIA CORP: "Lopez" Employees Class Conditionally Certified

PEI WEI ASIAN DINER: "Rike" Seeks Unpaid Overtime Pay
PERRY ELLIS: Pre-Certification Settlements Require Class Notice
PERSONAL HOME CARE: "Lemon" Action Seeks to Recover Overtime Pay
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: USS Agrees to $50MM Deal with PwC
PRINCESS CRUISES: Class Action Mulled Over Norovirus Outbreaks

PROFESSIONAL TRANSPORT: Branch Administrators Class Decertified
RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN: June 25 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
SANTANDER CONSUMER: Court Denies "Lindblom" Class Certification
SARBANAND FARMS: Fined $149,000 on Breaks and Meals
SHERWOOD, AR: Faces New Lawsuit Filed Over Hot-Check Court

SOLARCITY CORP: Ct. Awards $4.5M in Attorneys' Fee in "Lucero"
SOUTH BRISTOL, NY: Tom Golisano Pledges Property Tax Class Action
SOUTHCROSS ENERGY: Franchi Seeks to Halt Sale to Midstream
SPOKEO INC: High Court Denies Certiorari to Review Remand Opinion
SQUARE ENIX: Faces Suit Over Hoshi no Dragon Quest's Loot Boxes

STATE FARM: Spine Care's Suit Remains in District Court
STEINHOFF: Faces Possible Class-Action Style Lawsuits in Europe
SYNGENTA AG: Court Sets Status Conference in Mass Tort Actions
T-MOBILE USA: Court Denies Bid to Dismiss 2nd Amended "Boone"
TAURUS: Faces Class Action Over Defective Pistols

TEXAS: Prison Officials Agree to Deal on Wallace Pack Housing
THORN GROUP: Chair Steps Down Following Class Action Settlement
TOSHIBA CORP: "Lightsey" Suit Removed to South Carolina
TOYOTA MOTORS: Faces Class Action Over Defects in Prius Cars IPM
TRUDY GILMOND: Court Denies Bid to Decertify Net Winners Class

UNITED STATES: Judge to Review ACLU-NJ's Class Action Against ICE
UNITED STATES: Class Action Against HSS Over CSR Payments Pending
UNITED STATES: Court Denies Bid to Dismiss "Ibrahim" Suit
UNITED STATES: Court Denies Limpin's Request for Counsel
UNITED STATES: Court Dismisses "Rohland" Suit

UNITED STATES: Court Grants $160M Settlement in "Haggart" Suit
UNITED STATES: Feb. 16 Deadline for "Schneider" Case Mngt Plan
US STEEL: Seeks Dismissal of Donora Zinc Works Lawsuit
WEST WIND: Fond-du-Lac Plane Crash Survivors File Class Action
WILLIAM K'S: Ex-Workers' Minimum Wage Class Action Pending

* Employers Face Wave of Background Check-Related Class Actions
* Judicial Panel Orders MDLs on Six Matters





                            *********


ADAMS AUTO: "Layden" Sues Over Illegal SMS Advertisements
---------------------------------------------------------
Jonathon Layden, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. Adams Auto Corp., Defendants,
Case No. 18-cv-00065 (W.D. Mo., January 23, 2018), seeks an
injunction prohibiting Adams Toyota from continuing to engage in
illegal text messaging ads.  The Plaintiff also seeks attorneys'
fees and costs for violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection
Act.

Adams Toyota is an auto dealership that sells and services new
and used Toyota brand vehicles. It either directly or through a
third-party telemarketer, and without prior consent, sent
unsolicited text messages to the cellular telephones of the
Plaintiff in order to advertise and market its products and
services, build brand trust through interaction with the public,
improve its rankings in local online searches, increase its
exposure on business review websites and pursue other marketing
objectives. [BN]

Plaintiff is represented by:

      Ari N. Rodopoulos, Esq.
      WOOD LAW FIRM, LLC
      1100 Main Street, Suite 1800
      Kansas City, MO 64105-5171
      Tel: (816) 256-3582
      Fax: (816) 337-4243
      Email: ari@woodlaw.com


AIRBNB INC: Court Stays "Plazza" Pending Outcome of Arbitration
---------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, FRANCESCO PLAZZA and SYLVIE NAUDE, individually and
on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v.
AIRBNB, INC., Defendant, Case No. 16-CV-1085 (VSB) (S.D. N.Y.),
Judge Vernon S. Broderick of the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York granted in part and denied in part
Airbnb's motion to compel arbitration and dismiss the action, and
the action is stayed pending the outcome of arbitration.

The Plaintiff originally created her account and registered as a
user with Airbnb on July 29, 2009.  Plaintiff Plazza initially
registered with Airbnb on Aug. 21, 2011, and created a second
account on Oct. 2, 2014.  They allege that by creating and
maintaining a website that lists, advertises, and takes fees or
commissions for property rentals posted by individual members on
the site, Airbnb is acting as an unlicensed real estate broker in
violation of New York Real Property Law Section 440, et seq.
They assert that in this way Airbnb avoids being subject to the
laws governing real estate brokers, and places itself in the
position of sole arbiter and decision-maker in all member
disputes and vests itself with complete discretion with regard to
the fees and commissions its takes as well as the distribution of
rental payments it processes.  The Plaintiffs allege that
Airbnb's actions and behavior are "deceptive and fraudulent" and
result in actual harm to Airbnb's members.

The Plaintiffs filed their putative class action complaint on
Feb. 11, 2016 on behalf of themselves and all similarly situated
individuals who paid any fee, commission, or rent to Airbnb for
the purpose of listing and/or renting real property, including
apartments, co-ops, condominiums, and houses, within the State of
New York within the six-year period preceding the filing of the
complaint in the action.  Specifically, they claim violations
under New York Real Property Law Section 440, et seq., deceptive
trade practices under New York General Business Law Section 349,
fraud, and unjust enrichment.

In accordance with Judge Broderick's Individual Rules, on March
28, 2016, the Defendant filed a letter that requested a pre-
motion conference on its anticipated motion to compel arbitration
and outlined the basis for such a motion.  It filed a letter with
supplemental authority on March 29, 2016.  On March 31, 2016, the
Plaintiffs responded to the letter, and on April 28, 2016, the
Judge held a conference regarding the Defendant's anticipated
motion.

On May 9, 2016, the Judge granted the parties' joint letter
proposing deadlines for discovery and motion practice.  On July
7, 2016, he granted the parties' stipulation requesting an
extension of time in connection with the motion to compel
arbitration.

Pursuant to that stipulation, the Defendant filed its motion to
compel arbitration on July 22, 2016, the Plaintiffs filed their
opposition on Aug. 22, 2016, and Defendant filed its reply on
Sept. 12, 2016.  The Plaintiffs filed a notice of supplemental
authority on Oct. 5, 2016, to which the Defendant responded on
Oct. 11, 2016.

The Defendant filed its own notice of supplemental authority on
Nov. 1, 2016, to which the Plaintiffs responded on Nov. 16, 2016.
The Defendant filed an additional notice of supplemental
authority on Aug. 17, 2017, to which Plaintiffs responded on Aug.
18, 2017.  The Defendants filed a reply to the Plaintiffs' letter
that same day, and the Plaintiffs filed a response on Aug. 30,
2017, which provided an update noting that the Second Circuit had
denied without prejudice a motion to amend its decision in Meyer
v. Uber Technologies, Inc., which was the subject of the
Defendant's notice of supplemental authority filed on Aug. 7.

Before the Court is Airbnb's motion to compel arbitration and
dismiss the action.

Judge Broderick finds that the Plaintiffs and the Defendant
entered into a valid and enforceable arbitration agreement.
Given that Airbnb's broad arbitration clause applies
retroactively, the arbitration clauses in the modified versions
of the 2009 Terms of Service ("TOS") are sufficient to govern the
dispute and refer the entire matter to arbitration.

The Judge says each version of the TOS between 2011 and 2015
contained a broadly worded arbitration clause stating that any
dispute, claim or controversy arising out of or relating to these
Terms or the breach, termination, enforcement, interpretation or
validity thereof will be settled by binding arbitration.  Even
without the notice provided after the terms of service were
modified, he finds that Airbnb's original sign-up procedure was
sufficient inquiry notice of the terms of service which included
an arbitration provision.

As to the Plaintiffs' two issues that they claim will impact the
enforceability of Airbnb's arbitration clause: fraudulent
inducement and unconscionability, the Judge holds that given that
the Plaintiffs' fraudulent inducement claim here rests solely on
the same faulty foundation upon which they base some of their
arguments as to lack of notice, he finds that the fraudulent
inducement argument fails.  Since any argument that the
arbitration clause at issue is procedurally or substantively
unconscionable is unpersuasive and not supported by the case law;
he finds that the arbitration clause in Airbnb's TOS is not
unconscionable.

Although the Defendant urges that he dismisses the action, Judge
Broderick finds that a stay, rather than dismissal, is
appropriate given the Second Circuit's holding in Katz v. Cellco
Partnership, and subsequent case law addressing the same issue.
Although the Second Circuit only decided the issue in the context
of the moving party having requested the stay, the Second Circuit
opted to stay rather than dismiss the proceedings for reasons
applicable in the instant case, including that the dismissal of
an arbitrable matter would convert the decision into an
appealable order, thus controverting the FAA's underlying policy
to move the parties to an arbitrable dispute out of court and
into arbitration as quickly and easily as possible.  As a result,
he exercises his discretion to impose a stay pending the outcome
of arbitration.

For these reasons, Judge Broderick granted in part and denied in
part the Defendant's motion to compel arbitration and dismiss the
action, and stayed the action pending the outcome of arbitration.
The Clerk of the Court is respectfully directed to close the
motion on the docket.

Francesco Plazza, Individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated & Sylvie Naude, Individually and on behalf of
all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, represented by Roger
Alan Sachar, Jr., Newman Ferrara LLP & Jeffrey Michael Norton --
jnorton@nfllp.com -- Newman Ferrara LLP.

Airbnb, Inc., Defendant, represented by Roberta Ann Kaplan --
rkaplan@kaplanandcompany.com -- Kaplan & Company, LLP & John
Charles Quinn -- jquinn@kaplanandcompany.com -- Sullivan &
Cromwell, LLP.


ALMOST FAMILY: "Stein" Suit Seeks to Halt Merger Deal
-----------------------------------------------------
Leonard Stein, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. Almost Family, Inc., William B. Yarmuth,
Steven B. Bing, Donald G. McClinton, Tyree G. Wilburn, Jonathan
D. Goldberg, W. Earl Reed III, Henry M. Altman, Jr., and Clifford
S. Holtz, Defendants, Case No. 18-cv-00126 (D. Del., January 23,
2018), seeks to enjoin defendants and all persons acting in
concert with them from proceeding with, consummating or closing
the merger between Almost Family and a subsidiary of LHC Group,
Inc., or rescinding it in the event defendants consummate the
merger.  The lawsuit also seeks rescissory damages, costs of this
action, including reasonable allowance for plaintiff's attorneys'
and experts' fees and such other and further relief under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Almost Family shareholders stand to receive 0.9150 shares of LHC
common stock for each share of stock they own representing
approximately $2.4 billion in implied transaction value.

The complaint says the merger documents omitted material
information regarding Almost Family and LHC financial projections
as well as projected free cash flows as well as the valuation
analyses performed by Guggenheim Securities, LLC. Said disclosure
of projected financial information is material because it
provides stockholders with a basis to project the future
financial performance of a company, and allows stockholders to
better understand the financial analyses in support of its
fairness opinion.

Almost Family is a provider of home health nursing,
rehabilitation and personal care services, with over 340
locations in 26 states. [BN]

Plaintiff is represented by:

      Nadeem Faruqi, Esq.
      James M. Wilson, Jr., Esq.
      FARUQI & FARUQI, LLP
      685 Third Ave., 26th Fl.
      New Yor006B, NY 10017
      Telephone: (212) 983-9330
      Email: nfaruqi@faruqilaw.com
             jwilson@faruqilaw.com

             - and -

      Michael Van Gorder, Esq.
      FARUQI & FARUQI, LLP
      20 Montchanin Road, Suite 145
      Wilmington, DE 19807
      Tel: (302) 482-3182
      Email: mvangorder@faruqilaw.com


AMAYA INC: Court Prohibits Pre-Leave Discovery in Securities Case
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Eric Prefontaine, Esq. -- eprefontaine@osler.com -- Fabrice
Benoit, Esq. -- fbenoit@osler.com -- and Frederic Plamondon, Esq.
-- fplamondon@osler.com -- of Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, in an
article for Lexology, wrote that in its decision released January
31, 2018, Amaya inc. c. Derome, the Quebec Court of Appeal
overturned a ruling by the Quebec Superior Court in holding that
parties seeking leave to institute an action for secondary market
misrepresentations under Section 225.4 of the Quebec Securities
Act (QSA) were entitled to compel a public issuer defendant to
disclose documents and information for the purpose of the leave
proceedings.  Harmonizing the regime in Quebec with those of the
other Canadian provinces, the Court of Appeal held that such pre-
leave disclosure is incompatible with the legislative policy for
the leave requirement, which is to prevent strike suits against
public issuers.

Background

On March 23, 2016, the Autorite des marches financiers (the AMF)
issued a press release announcing that it had filed penal
proceedings against, among others, David Baazov, then president,
chief executive officer, board chairman and shareholder of
Appellant, Amaya Inc. (now The Stars Group Inc.).  The AMF
accused these persons of having used privileged information
pertaining to Amaya, and having conspired to commit offences
under the QSA. A proposed class action pursuant to Article 574 of
the Code of Civil Procedure (CCP) and Section 225.4 of the QSA
was immediately bought against Amaya and certain of its
directors.

Before the hearing on their requests for leave under the QSA, and
for authorization of the class action, the proposed class
representatives filed a preliminary motion to compel documentary
disclosure from Amaya, as well as from the AMF and the RCMP.  In
their motion, the proposed class representatives sought the
production of documents, the majority of which were not publicly
available, in order to assist them in meeting the evidentiary
burden on their leave application under Section 225.4 of the QSA.

The Superior Court granted their motion, holding that plaintiffs
requesting leave to institute an action for secondary market
misrepresentations pursuant to Section 225.4 of the QSA were
entitled to compel a public issuer to disclose documents and
information for the purpose of the leave proceeding, even in
situations where such disclosure is prohibited elsewhere in
Canada.  In his reasons, the motion judge relied on, among other
things, differences between the wording of the relevant
provisions in the statutory regime and rules applicable in Quebec
and Ontario. Amaya appealed the decision.

Reasons of the Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal reversed the Superior Court decision, holding
that documentary disclosure should not be permitted at the leave
stage, as allowing it would run counter to legislative policy
underlying Section 225.4 of the QSA; in particular the protection
of public issuers against strike suits.

The Court of Appeal agreed with Amaya, finding that the Quebec
regime was intended to be harmonized with equivalent provincial
regimes in Canada.

While the Court of Appeal agreed with the motion judge that the
Ontario rules and the Quebec rules were not identical, it held
that their differences did not impact the threshold that the
proposed class plaintiffs had to meet at the leave stage. To the
contrary, the Court of Appeal held that the Quebec securities
regime, "as a matter of substantive securities law, reflects the
same legislative policy as that in Ontario" [para. 95].  Given
that such pre-leave discovery is prohibited in all other Canadian
provinces, there was no reason for an exception in Quebec.

The Court of Appeal further held that Quebec's CCP, in particular
Article 20 (duty for parties to co-operate), did not create an
independent right to pre-leave disclosure in secondary market
misrepresentation cases.

Commentary

The Court of Appeal's decision in this case harmonizes the law
across Canadian provinces with regard to the prohibition against
discovery at the leave stage of a securities class action.  In
doing so, it eliminates a potential tactical advantage to
proceeding in Quebec on behalf of a national class in secondary
market misrepresentation cases.

This decision could be subject to an application for leave to
appeal before the Supreme Court of Canada. [GN]


ANTHEM INC: Special Master Appointed to Investigate Overbilling
---------------------------------------------------------------
Frank Bednarz, writing for Competitive Enterprise Institute,
reports that "I would never have appointed you . . . had I known
you were going to pile on 53 law firms on this case," Judge Lucy
Koh of the Northern District of California reportedly told class
counsel on Feb. 1 in the data privacy settlement of In re Anthem,
Inc. Data Breach Litigation.  Judge Koh agreed with a motion
filed by the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Center for Class
Action Fairness that a special master should be appointed to
investigate overbilling.

Final approval hearings are normally sedate affairs in which
settling parties ask for final approval of a class action
settlement that the count preliminarily approved months before.
Anthem didn't turn out this way, and this should caution courts
to scrutinize proposed settlements earlier in the process, when
improvements to class relief are more feasible.

Repeat Players in Multidistrict Litigation

The Anthem litigation arose from a data breach of insurance
provider Anthem's computer systems containing personal
information of 78.8 million people.  Numerous lawsuits were filed
across the country and consolidated in Judge Koh's court by the
Joint Panel of Multidistrict Litigation (JPMDL).

Overbilling is common in such consolidated cases (called MDLs)
because dozens of firms may file suit and all expect to be
generously compensated -- sometimes at the expense of class
members.  Lawyers who prosecute MDLs are repeat players, and this
breeds cronyism; MDL lawyers get along to get ahead.  In each
case, courts appoint a small number of lead attorneys.  As these
"lead lawyers can influence and sometimes directly control one
another attorneys' fees, lawyers must often rely on each other to
form funding coalitions, and. . . being dubbed 'uncooperative'
may render defectors ineligible for future leadership roles," as
Professors Burch and Williams have documented.

The Anthem settlement epitomized such backscratching. From the
outset of the case in 2015, Judge Koh sought to control costs,
trimming the eight firms proposed for leadership positions down
to four.  The steering committee had originally assured the court
that "No one other than the attorneys and firms proposed here
will necessarily work on this case," but this proved to be a
meaningless promise.  The four appointed firms distributed over
$3.5 million worth of work to the four firms Judge Koh
specifically excluded, and distributed an additional $10 million
to 45 other firms.

Such overbilling is harmful to class members because class
counsel negotiates both attorneys' fees and class benefit from
defendants.  Defendants simply want to minimize their costs and
would happily overpay attorneys if it means less liability to
class members.  Courts usually understand this dynamic, so will
not knowingly approve a settlement where attorneys get more than
class members, but class lawyers have tricks to exaggerate the
size of their settlements.

Anthem Settlement: A Case Study in Disproportional Fees

Anthem settled after two years, with attorneys earmarking $42
million for their own fees and costs, but only securing credit
monitoring services for most class members.  Class counsel
preposterously claimed that this in-kind benefit would be worth
up to $500 million if everyone signed up, such that their fee
request was only 8%.  Instead, merely 1.86% of class members
signed up, for a total value of perhaps $51 million benefit out
of a $115 million common fund, with the rest claimed for
attorneys' fees and costs.  This claim rate is so low that the
settling parties contend that millions of dollars must be
distributed to an unrelated charity through the "cy pres"
doctrine. Class members are frequently shortchanged by abusive
"cy pres" awards like this, which CEI is challenging in other
settlements, and CEI disputes the parties' interpretation of
their agreement here which suggests that credit monitoring should
be extended "as many months as possible."

Meanwhile, class counsel arranged that they would be compensated
with hard cash, not credit monitoring service.  While Anthem
class members will receive less than a dollar of benefit on
average, their supposed attorneys seek $38 million in fees.
Judge Koh observed that this upside-down settlement puts
attorneys first: "It does bother me that 55 percent would go to
attorney fees and administrative costs and only 45 percent goes
to class members."

Judge Koh chastised attorneys for their bill request due to the
waste of 53 law firms billing, and also their markup of contract
attorney fees.  Temporary staff attorneys perform low-level legal
work like document review and are typically billed at cost --
perhaps $50/hour -- to paying clients.  Yet parties submitted
millions of dollars' worth of billing for contract attorneys at
hundreds of dollars an hour.  "I would like you to find a single
paying client that would have approved these type of markups in a
contract attorney," challenged Judge Koh.

Second Special Master Appointed Within the Last Year

By appointing a special master to review billing in Anthem, Judge
Koh follows the lead of Arkansas Teacher Retirement System v.
State Street in the District of Massachusetts, which appointed a
special master after the Boston Globe published an expose on
inflated billing.  Both cases reveal enormous markups of contract
attorney fees, and both happen to feature Lieff Cabraser Heimann
& Bernstein, LLP -- one of the most prolific MDL and class action
firms.

While a special master might lessen the windfall to class
counsel, it cannot remake a settlement to better benefit class
members.  In Anthem, $23 million has already been spent on notice
of a settlement that attempts to prioritize attorney welfare over
the class member victims of the data breach.  The court has not
decided whether the settlement itself will be approved, but the
sunk costs of notice alone should caution courts to apply
scrutiny earlier in the settlement approval process. [GN]


ANTHEM INC: Judge Balks at Plaintiffs' Lawyers $38BB Fee Request
----------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad, writing for Law.com, reports that plaintiffs'
lawyers in the Anthem data breach settlement should have known
what was coming when U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh began the
Feb. 1 final approval hearing with: "I have a number of
questions, as you might imagine."

It went downhill from there.  A clearly exasperated Koh, who had
trimmed the leadership committee in the Anthem MDL to four law
firms, indicated she was incensed over the $38 million in fees
being sought by -- get ready for this -- 53 law firms.  She
ordered that a special master review their bills.

"I'm deeply disappointed," she told plaintiffs attorneys
Eve Cervantez of Altschuler Berzon and Andrew Friedman of Cohen
Milstein, who are lead counsel.  "I would never have appointed
you, or Mr. Friedman, had I known you were going to pile on 53
law firms on this case."

It's a big win for Ted Frank, of the Competitive Enterprise
Institute's Center for Class Action Fairness, who had asked for a
special master, calling the fee request "outrageous on its face."
He was quick to note that a special master in Boston is
investigating three law firms for potential over-billing in a
$74.5 million fee request in securities class action settlements
with State Street.

It could be a rough couple of months for Lieff Cabraser, which
not only is one of the firms under the microscope in State Street
but, along with Girard Gibbs, serves on the Anthem steering
committee. [GN]


APPLE INC: Acknowledges US Probes Into Slowdown of Old iPhones
--------------------------------------------------------------
Michael Liedtke, writing for The Associated Press, reports that
Apple is cooperating with U.S. government inquiries into its
secret slowdown of older iPhones, further complicating its
efforts to move past an issue that irked customers whose devices
bogged down.

The company acknowledged the probes late on Jan. 30 after both
The Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg reported the U.S. Justice
Department and Securities and Exchange Commission were
investigating how investors have been affected by Apple's
handling of the situation.

A software update released in 2016 began to slow down older
iPhones when their batteries weakened to prevent them from
abruptly turning off.  But Apple didn't fully disclose what it
was doing until December 2017.

Apple has since apologized for not being more forthcoming and is
replacing batteries on iPhone 6 models or later for $29, a $50
discount.

The Cupertino, California, company is also working on another
software update that will give consumers the option of turning
off the slowdown feature, if they are willing to risk a sudden
shutdown.  That free update, due out this spring, also will
include a feature measuring the battery's strength.

In its latest statement, Apple reiterated its belief that it was
acting in the best interest of its customers by extending the
lives of their iPhones.  Many consumers, however, remain
convinced that the company torpedoed the older iPhones to prod
them to upgrade to the latest -- and more expensive -- models
released in last fall.

"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," Apple said.  "Our goal
has always been to create products that our customers love."

Despite its contrition, Apple is still grappling with the fallout
from its slowdown of older iPhones.

Authorities in France are in the midst of an investigation
whether Apple violated laws protecting consumers in that country
and lawyers in the U.S. are pursuing a variety of class-action
lawsuits on behalf of millions of consumers.

Meanwhile, the head of the commerce committee in the U.S. Senate
had previously sent a letter to Apple demanding more information
about the iPhone slowdown.  Apple was supposed to respond by Jan.
23, but was granted an extension, said Frederick Hill, a
spokesman for Sen. John Thune, a South Dakota Republican who
confronted the company.

Both the Justice Department and the SEC have declined to comment
on their investigations, leaving it unclear what piqued their
interest.

Apple's delayed disclosure of the iPhone slowdown doesn't appear
to have done significant harm to investors so far.

Just a few weeks after Apple disclosed it had been slowing down
older iPhones, the company's stock surged to an all-time high,
despite consumer outrage.  The shares have retreated but that
downturn has been driven by concerns about lackluster demand for
its high-priced iPhone X. [GN]


APPLE INC: Update to Fix iPhone Throttling Expected This Spring
---------------------------------------------------------------
Indian Wire reports that Apple iOS 11.3 preview reveals battery
health and acclaims when a battery needs to be serviced.  Users
can also see if the power management affection is on and can
choose to turn it off.  However, not all iPhone will get the
affection.  The new gimmicks will be available for iPhone 6,
iPhone 6 plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s plus, iPhone 7 and
iPhone 7 plus.

Apple has been trying to fix the issue ever since it cropped up
in December last year.  In a letter, Apple says it will never do
anything to "deliberately condense the life of any Apple product,
or mud-sling the user experience to drive customer upgrades."

The incident was brought into the picture when Apple was hit with
the fifth class action lawsuit after the company admitted slowing
down older iPhones to prevent battery reduction.  Apple is
pushing to make iOS the biggest platform in the world for
intensify reality, which melds pragmatic reality with the real
world. Using Apple's ARKit1.5 software, developers can turn
posters, signs and artwork into interchangeable AR experiences.

For example, iPhone users will be able to see a menagerie with
interactive exhibits or "bring a movie posters to life."  Apple
will implement new battery health information and the ability to
customize power settings after it was revealed that the company
throttles CPU performance on older devices where the battery is
disintegrating.  Apple's throttling is done to prevent random
shutdowns of the device and ensure smooth operation, but some
customers took misdemeanor to the fact that the slowdowns were
occurring without gossamer to the user.

Health Records:

Apple's Health app will also add a new Health Records gimmick,
enabling hospitals and clinics to share patient data more easily.
This will allow consumers to see available medical data from
multiple providers.  With the update, users can receive regular
notifications for lab results, medications, conditions and more.
The data is encrypted and protected with a pass-code.

Business Chat for Messages:

Apple will also launch a new beta gimmick dubbed Business Chat,
allowing companies to directly connect with consumers.  Launch
partners will include Discover, Hilton, Lowe's, and Wells Fargo.

"With Business Chat, it is easy to have a confabulation with a
service delineation, schedule an appointment or make purchases
using Apple pay in the Messages app".  Business Chat doesn't
share the user's contact information with business and gives
users the ability to stop converse at any time. [GN]


APPLE-METRO INC: Court Denies Bid for Judgment on Pleadings
-----------------------------------------------------------
In the case, KENDALL GHEE and YANG SHEN, on behalf of themselves
and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. APPLE-METRO,
INC., 42ND APPLE LLC, and BROADWAY APPLE, LLC, Defendants, Case
No. 17-CV-5723 (JPO) (S.D. N.Y.), Judge J. Paul Oetken of the
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York denied
the Defendants' motion for judgment on the pleadings.

A diner in a typical American restaurant orders from a server and
gets a paper bill at the end of the meal.  If she pays with a
credit card, she then gets a receipt.  If she wishes to leave a
tip, she writes the amount of the tip on the receipt.  Assuming
that the diner is not a scrooge and the service was not
atrocious, a typical New Yorker tips between 15% and 25%.

In contrast, a diner at the Broadway or Times Square Applebee's,
as alleged in the Complaint, orders through a table-top computer
tablet.  At the end of her meal, she pays through that tablet.
During the payment process, the tablet prompts her: "Select your
Tip."  But the tablet does not give her the option of not leaving
a tip.  At the Times Square Applebee's, the tablet requires that
the customer leave at least an 18% tip.  At the Broadway
Applebee's, the tablet requires that the customer leave at least
a 15% tip.  If the customer tries to enter a number less than the
minimum, a message appears on the screen: "Amount entered is
under the minimum service charge of 15% [or 18%], please enter a
higher amount.

The Plaintiffs are two individuals who ate at the two Applebee's
restaurants in question.  There are three the Defendants: Apple-
Metro, which owns 35 Applebee's franchises in the New York City
area; and 42nd St. Apple and Broadway Apple, which operate the
two Applebee's restaurants at issue in the case.

The crux of the Complaint is that the two offending Applebee's
restaurants deceive their customers and force them into tipping
their servers.  The Complaint alleges that the menu prices are
misleading because they do not disclose that customers must pay a
mandatory tip.  Along the same lines, the Complaint alleges that
it is misleading to call the end-of-meal charge a "tip" because
it is really a mandatory surcharge.

The Plaintiffs seek to represent a class of consumers who dined
at the two Applebee's restaurants.  They assert claims under New
York law, including unfair business practices, false advertising,
breach of contract, negligent misrepresentation, and unjust
enrichment.

The Defendants answered the Complaint and now move for judgment
on the pleadings.  They argue that the Complaint should be
dismissed because (1) the tipping structure was adequately
disclosed on the menu, (2) the tips were not really mandatory,
(3) tipping is an accepted social norm, (4) the Plaintiffs did
not properly allege that they were injured, and (5) there was no
unjust enrichment because the tips went to the waitstaff, not to
Applebee's.

Judge Oetken finds that the Defendants' first argument fails.
The Complaint adequately alleges that the restaurant did not
fully disclose its tipping structure.   The Judge also finds that
the Defendants' second argument is more appropriate at the
summary judgment stage.  Their argument is based on facts not in
the Complaint, and there are likely disputed factual issues --
for example, as to whether customers knew that this option was
available to them.

The Judge does not doubt the Defendants' contention that all tips
go to the waitstaff and not to the restaurants.  Indeed, their
intentions may be noble -- to make sure that their hardworking
servers are not stiffed by uninformed tourists.  Nevertheless,
not all of the Defendants' customers expected to be assessed a
mandatory 15% or 18% tip.  Accordingly, the fact that tipping is
a well-accepted social norm does not defeat the Plaintiffs'
claims.

Judge Oetken further finds that the Complaint adequately alleges
that the Plaintiffs went to the two restaurants, wished to leave
a tip of less than 15% or 18%, but were effectively forced to pay
a higher amount.  Accordingly, the Plaintiffs' Section 349 claims
survive to the extent they allege that diners tipped more than
they otherwise would have.

Finally, as to the Defendants' final argument, the Judge is not
convinced.  The management could have been enriched by the tips
even if all the tips went to the waitstaff.  The extent to which
the management benefitted is a factual issue, and is therefore
more appropriately decided after discovery has taken place.

For the reasons he stated, Judge Oetken denied the Defendants'
motion for judgment on the pleadings.  The Clerk of Court is
directed to close the motion at Docket Number 19.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Opinion and Order
is available at https://is.gd/ol1X9j from Leagle.com.

Kendall Ghee, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly
situated & Yang Shen, on behalf of themselves and all others
similarly situated, Plaintiffs, represented by Anne Melissa
Seelig -- anne@leelitigation.com -- Lee Litigation Group, PLLC &
C.K. Lee -- cklee@leelitigation.com -- Lee Litigation Group,
PLLC.

Apple-Metro, Inc., a New York corporation, 42nd Apple LLC., a New
York corporation doing business as Applebee's Neighborhood Grill
& Bar & Broadway Apple, LLC, a New York corporation doing
business as Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Defendants,
represented by Andrew B. Lustigman -- alustigman@olshanlaw.com --
Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP & Scott Allen Shaffer --
sshaffer@olshanlaw.com -- Olshan Frome Wolosky LLP.


AUSTRALIA: More Than $60MM Paid to Former Manus Island Detainees
----------------------------------------------------------------
Megan Neil, writing for Newcastle Herald, reports that more than
$60 million has so far been paid to former Manus Island detainees
as part of Australia's largest human rights class action
settlement.

Most of the 1696 people sharing the total $70 million settlement
have been sent their payments, the Victorian Supreme Court heard
on Feb. 5.

By the end of Feb. 5, almost $60.3 million will have been paid to
1447 former detainees.

The court has extended the deadline for payments by four weeks to
allow more time for the remaining people to provide their banking
details or have the arrangements confirmed.

The class action was settled in June by the Australian government
and operators of the now-closed offshore immigration detention
centre without any admission of liability.

Payments under the class action, which was launched by legal firm
Slater and Gordon in December 2014, began in mid-December.

The individuals stand to receive anything from a few thousand
dollars to close to $100,000, with most of the compensation being
for false imprisonment following a Papua New Guinea court ruling.
[GN]


AVEO: Levitt Robinson Meets with Residents Amid Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
The Weekly Source reports that over 100 residents of Aveo's
Botanic Gardens village in Cranbourne, 43km southeast of the CBD,
had a two-hour meeting with lawyer Stewart Levitt on Jan. 31 as
he looks to grow his client base for the firm's class action
against the village operator.

It appears he has less than 100 people signed up despite
commencing his hunt for aggrieved residents (and families) last
August.

In his presentation, he talks of his successes, like the $200 to
$300 million won in Storm Financial. He is funded by a New York
litigation fund.

Mr Levitt will need to move fast. The case is due to head to
court in March. [GN]


BAHAMAS: Jubilee Gardens Residents Sue Over Toxic Emissions
-----------------------------------------------------------
Nico Scavella, writing for Tribune242, reports that more than 100
residents of Jubilee Gardens have filed a class action lawsuit
against the government and Renew Bahamas for causing them to be
"sickened to near death" as a result of the "toxic and hazardous"
emissions caused by the recurring fires at the New Providence
Landfill.

The 111 residents, in a writ dated February 2 and obtained by The
Tribune, are suing the government and Renew Bahamas for breaching
their respective duties to ensure that adequate measures were
taken to manage the landfill and prevent the fires and resulting
"toxicity" from adversely impacting them and their "convenience
of living".

The residents are also suing the government in particular for
breaching its "duty of care" by failing to "properly assess the
danger of placing them so close" to the landfill and for not
properly managing the dumpsite "so as to not pose a danger to the
health and well-being of the residents of Jubilee."

The residents are seeking compensation including but not limited
to medical costs, repair costs to the homes in Jubilee Gardens
and damages for the "breach of the covenant of quiet enjoyment"
outlined in the conveyances between minister of environment and
housing -- the second defendant -- and the residents.

The residents are also seeking special damages to be specifically
pleaded in a schedule for each plaintiff in the action in due
course.  Those include, but are not limited to, expenses incurred
in relation to drapes and cloth cleaning due to the thick smoke
associated with the fires; displacement costs and professional
fees including that of appraisers and environmentalists.

The writ further states that as some of the "heads of loss" are
continuing and are "likely to increase," the residents reserve
the right to provide "further voluntary particulars of loss and
damage in due course."

The residents are also seeking interest on all of the sums
awarded both before and after judgement, costs, and any other
relief the court deems just.

According to the writ, Melissa Allen-Maynard and the 110 other
residents of Jubilee Gardens are the plaintiffs in the action.

Renew Bahamas, a company engaged in 2014 by the Christie
administration to manage the landfill, is listed as the first
defendant.  The minister of environment and housing, the director
of the Department of Environmental Health and the minister of
public works are listed as the second, third and fourth
defendants respectively.

The attorney general is listed as the fifth defendant in the
action due to his capacity as representative of the second and
third defendants as officers of the Crown under the Crown
Proceedings Act.

According to the writ, the residents of Jubilee contracted with
the second defendant to purchase homes in an area that was
designated by the second defendant to be a "safe residential
neighbourhood."  Thus, they relied on that defendant to provide
land for their homes in a "non-hazardous, non-toxic, non-
dangerous environment," and that the fourth defendant would
"approve construction of homes in likewise."

However, the writ asserts the residents have since been "unable
to enjoy their homes and lives" due to the "thick black smoke and
noxious fumes" emanating from the "continuous uncontrolled fires"
which take place at the landfill, due to the defendants failing
to take any, or any adequate measures to prevent the fires and
resulting toxicity.

The writ further asserts that as a result of the recurrent fires,
the residents have been "poisoned" due to them being forced to
inhale gases from burning materials such as pyrolitic oil; metals
such as lead, arsenic, mercury and magnesium; and pyrolitic
aromatic hydrocarbons.

The writ asserts that before purchasing the homes, the residents
were never made aware by the second defendant of the
"insurmountable problems" and the "toxic, dangerous and hazardous
emissions" at the landfill, which was established in 1971, prior
to the building of the Jubilee Gardens subdivision.

Thus, the residents charge the fourth defendant ought not to have
granted permission to the minister of environment and housing to
create a subdivision in Jubilee Gardens, and ought not to have
given building permits to the residents of that community in all
the circumstances.

The residents charged there has thus been "gross dereliction of
duty, negligence and breach of their statutory obligations" on
the part of both the second and fourth defendants.

"Said defendants owed a duty of care to the residents of Jubilee
to ensure that they would be able to enjoy their homes and lives
in Jubilee to the normal standards of safety, cleanliness,
comfort and convenience of living that are normally enjoyed by
home owners in general in other housing developments in the
Bahamas and not be subjected to the abuse described in this
statement of claim," the writ said.

"It was foreseeable that their omission to properly operate the
landfill and ensure that the disposal of waste at the landfill in
according with the methods prescribed in the Environmental Health
Services (Collection and Disposal of Waste) Regulation would
ultimately lead to unauthorised and uncontrolled fires, which was
and is negligent and the scent and smoke which was and remains a
nuisance."

The residents have retained the services of attorney Fred Smith,
QC, to represent them in the class action. [GN]


BANK OF NEW YORK: 11th Cir. Affirms Dismissal of "Manyoma" Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, JACKLYN MANYOMA, individually and on behalf of a
class of persons similarly situated, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. BANK
OF NEW YORK, as trustee for the certificate holders CWALT, Inc.,
Alternatives Loan Trust 2006-OC1 Mortgage Pass-Through
Certificates, DECISION ONE MORTGAGE COMPANY, LLC, MORTGAGE
ELECTRONIC REGISTRATION SYSTEM, as nominee for Decision One
Mortgage Systems, LLC, Defendants-Appellees, Case No. 14-14621
(11th Cir.), the Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
affirmed the district court's judgment dismissing Manyoma's
claims.

Manyoma obtained a loan from Decision One to purchase a home in
Miami, Florida.  The note required Manyoma to repay the loan in
monthly installments by Nov. 1, 2035.  To secure the note,
Manyoma executed a mortgage on the property, which Decision One
later assigned to BONY.  The mortgage contained an optional
acceleration clause, allowing the lender to accelerate all
amounts due and foreclose in the event of a default.

Manyoma defaulted in November 2007.  In April 2008, BONY
initiated a foreclosure action in state court.  In its complaint,
BONY stated that it was exercising its rights under the
acceleration clause and declared the entire amount owed under the
loan due.  After BONY failed to appear at a case management
conference, the state court dismissed the foreclosure action
without prejudice.  To this day, Manyoma continues to reside in
the home.

In July 2013, Manyoma filed a class action suit against BONY and
others in state court.  She asserted that the limitations period
for BONY to enforce the note or bring a foreclosure action had
expired because the limitations period began to run either when
Manyoma defaulted or when BONY filed the foreclosure action and
declared the loan accelerated.  She thus sought a declaratory
judgment extinguishing the note and mortgage and also quieting
title to the property.

BONY removed the case to federal court and moved to dismiss.  The
district court granted the motion and dismissed Manyoma's
complaint.  Manyoma timely appealed.  After she filed her initial
brief, the Appellate Court stayed the appeal pending the Supreme
Court of Florida's resolution of Bartram v. U.S. Bank National
Ass'n.  After Bartram was decided, the Court lifted the stay and
ordered BONY to file a response brief.  Manyoma's counsel moved
to withdraw, and Court granted the motion.

Applying its ruling, the Appellate Court concludes that the
statute of limitations did not continue to run after the state
court dismissed BONY's foreclosure action because the dismissal
in effect revoked the bank's declaration that the mortgage had
been accelerated.  That is, the parties were placed back in the
same contractual relationship as before with the residential
mortgage as an installment loan.  The Court thus cannot say that
the statute of limitations bars BONY from enforcing the mortgage
or from foreclosing on the property based on a separate and
distinct default.  As such, the district court properly dismissed
Manyoma's claims seeking declarations that BONY was barred from
enforcing the note or foreclosing on the mortgage because the
note and mortgage remain enforceable, meaning her claims fail as
a matter of law.  Because the mortgage remains enforceable,
Manyoma also failed to allege an invalid cloud on her title,
meaning her claim seeking to quiet title on her property was
properly dismissed.  For the reasons set forth, the Court
affirmed the district court's judgment.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Order is available
at https://is.gd/kAh4VM from Leagle.com.

Dora Faye Kaufman -- dfk@lgplaw.com -- for Defendant-Appellee.

Juan A. Gonzalez -- jag@lgplaw.com -- for Defendant-Appellee.

James Randolph Liebler -- jrlii@lgplaw.com -- for Defendant-
Appellee.

John H. Ruiz -- jruiz@msprecovery.com -- for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Karen Jill Barnet-Backer, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Douglas E. Winter -- dewinter@bryancave.com -- for Defendant-
Appellee.

Joshua Robert Levine, for Defendant-Appellee.

Jennifer A. Jackson -- jjackson@bryancave.com -- for Defendant-
Appellee.

Steve Louis-Charles -- steve@charleslegalpl.com -- for Plaintiff-
Appellant.

Rosy Anette Aponte -- a2aponte@aol.com -- for Plaintiff-
Appellant.

Phillip Edward Holden, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Jed P. White -- jed.white@bryancave.com -- for Defendant-
Appellee.

Robert Edward Boone, III -- reboone@bryancave.com -- for
Defendant-Appellee.

Jennifer Espinet -- jeportell@jplawfirm.org -- for Plaintiff-
Appellant.


BESTCOMP INC: Medical Providers Class Certification Affirmed
------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Third Circuit, issued an
Opinion affirming judgment of the Trial Court granting Class
Certification in the case captioned GEORGE RAYMOND WILLIAMS,
M.D., ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY, A PROFESSIONAL MEDICAL LLC, ET AL. v.
BESTCOMP, INC., ET AL., No. 17-478 (La. App.).

The plaintiffs seeking class certification in this matter, George
Raymond Williams, M.D., Orthopedic Surgery, A Professional
Medical L.L.C.; West Louisiana Health Service, Inc., d/b/a
Beauregard Memorial Hospital; Joe Wilson; and Wilson Chiropractic
Center, Inc., all allege that they represent healthcare providers
who rendered treatment to injured employees under the terms of
the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Act.

The trial court heard the plaintiffs' class certification motion.
Putative class counsel and class representatives testified. Many
exhibits were offered and filed to support and oppose the motion.
Among those exhibits was Plaintiffs' Exhibit 4, the corporate
deposition of StrataCare, which included a data disc containing
information regarding recommended PPO discounts, presented as a
Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

A judgment was signed, certifying the following class:

     All medical providers who have provided services to workers'
compensation patients as contemplated in La. R.S. 23:1201, et
seq., and whose bills have been discounted after January 1, 2000
pursuant to a preferred provider organization agreement, as
defined in La. R.S. 40:2202, by and through Bestcomp, Inc. and
Stratacare.

The trial court determined that there were 49,988 claims to be
adjudicated, based upon the information on the disc. Because
there was evidence that no discount that StrataCare's software
recommended was not applied. The trial court further found that
it would be impractical to join all potential claimants, given
the existence of 49,988 potential claims.

The trial court found that the issue of commonality was
satisfied. The common issue herein, according to the trial court,
was whether Bestcomp improperly applied.

The trial court found that there were no conflicting or
antagonistic claims between the class representatives and the
other class members. The trial court found that the class was
susceptible of being objectively identified in ascertainable
criteria. The StrataCare spreadsheet would serve as a means of
identifying the potential members without the necessity of
inquiring into the merits of each claimant's claim.

Essential to the trial court's findings was the information
contained on the data disc. This disc revealed over 49,000
claims, upon which the trial court found the potential for 49,988
claims and the impracticality of joinder of the individual class
members satisfies the numerosity requirement.

Defendants object to the certification of the class on the basis
of a lack of commonality. The facts of the present case are
similar to Gunderson, 977 So.2d 1128. Gunderson involved
different defendants, but the allegations as to the alleged
misconduct were identical; PPO discounts were applied without
notice to discount the bills of health care providers who treated
workers' compensation patients.

The defendants interposed the same arguments in Gunderson as the
present defendants in this matter.  This court rejected each of
them. The claims involve liability that is imposed solely in the
failure to timely give notice. The fact that some claimants'
demands are far larger than others' was not of great moment. The
fact that Wilson Chiropractic had settled its demands is no more
an impediment to his class representation as was a similar
situation in Gunderson.

Because the named class representatives each have less than
[sixty-five] instances of alleged discounts, involving only one
or a few patients, as opposed to other members of the putative
class, for whom the typical claim exceeds $200,000.00, Defendants
argue that the class representatives lack the typicality to
adequately represent the class. The typicality element determines
whether a sufficient relationship exists between the injury to
the named plaintiff and the conduct affecting the class, so that
the court may properly attribute a collective nature to the
challenged conduct.

Thus, "A plaintiff's claim is typical if it arises out of the
same event, practice, or course of conduct giving rise to the
claims of the other class members and those claims arise from the
same legal theory."

In the present matter, while the class representatives' claims my
not be as great as those of other members of the class, they do
arise from the same conduct and recovery is sought under the same
legal theory.  The trial court did not manifestly err in finding
this element of La.Code Civ.P. art. 591 satisfied.

The La. App. cannot say the trial court manifestly erred in
finding that the requisites for class certification of La.Code
Civ.P. art. 591 were met.  The La. App. added that it certainly
cannot say the trial court abused its discretion in certifying
the class. The judgment of the trial court certifying the class
is affirmed.

A full-text copy of the La. App.'s January 4, 2018 Opinion is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y8elxyqy from Leagle.com.

Thomas A. Filo, Cox, Cox, Filo, Camel & Wilson, LLC, 723 Broad
Street, Lake Charles, LA 70601, (337) 436-6611, COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE: George Raymond Williams, M.D., Orthopedic
Surgery, A Professional Medical L.L.C.

Patrick C. Morrow -- PatM@mmrblaw.com -- James P. Ryan --
JamesR@mmrblaw.com- Morrow, Morrow, Ryan, Bassett & Haik, 324 W.
Landry Street, Opelousas, LA 70570, (337) 948-4483, COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE: George Raymond Williams, M.D., Orthopedic
Surgery, A Professional Medical L.L.C.

Stephen B. Murray, Sr. -- smurray@murray-lawfirm.com -- Stephen
B. Murray, Jr. -- smurrayjr@murray-lawfirm.com -- Arthur M.
Murray, The Murray Law Firm, 909 Poydras Street, Suite 2150, New
Orleans, LA 70112, (504) 525-8100, COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE: George Raymond Williams, M.D., Orthopedic
Surgery, A Professional Medical L.L.C.

John S. Bradford, William B. Monk, Stockwell, Sievert, Viccellio,
Clements & Shaddock, L.L.P., One Lakeside Plaza, Fourth Floor,
Lake Charles, LA 70601, (337) 436-9491, COUNSEL FOR
PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE: George Raymond Williams, M.D., Orthopedic
Surgery, A Professional Medical L.L.C.

George D. Fagan, Margaret F. Swetman -- gfagan@leakeandersson.com
-- Anton L. Hasenkampf -- ahasenkampf@leakeandersson.com -- Leake
& Anderson. L.L.P., 1100 Poydras Street, Suite 1700, New Orleans,
LA 70163, (504) 585-7500, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT:
Chartis Specialty Insurance Company.

Michael A. Balascio -- mbalascio@barrassousdin.com -- Barrasso
Usdin Kupperman, 909 Poydras Street, 24th Fl, New Orleans, LA
70112, (504) 589-9700, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Darwin
Select Insurance Company.

Patrick A. McShane, T.A. -- pmcshane@frilot.com -- Carl E.
Hellmers, III -- chellmers@frilot.com -- Heather A. McArthur --
hmcarthur@frilot.com -- Frilot LLC, 1100 Poydras St., Suite 3700,
New Orleans, LA 70163, (504) 599-8000, COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Landmark American Insurance Company.

Maureen O. Sullivan Maureen.Sullivan@lewisbrisbois.com., Tabitha
R. Durbin -- Tabitha.Durbin@lewisbrisbois.com -- Christie Noel --
Noel.Johnson@lewisbrisbois.com -- Jean Ann Billeaud --
Jean.Billeau@lewisbrisbois.com -- Lewis, Brisbois, Bisgaard &
Smith, LLP, 100 E. Vermilion, Suite 300, Lafayette, LA 70501,
(337) 326-5777, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Illinois
National Insurance Company, Westchester Surplus Lines Insurance
Company.

Christine Lipsey -- clipsey@mcglinchey.com -- Jamie D. Seymour --
jseymour@mcglinchey.com -- McGlinchey, Stafford, PLLC, 301 Main
St., 14th Fl, Baton Rouge, LA 70801, (225) 383-3683, COUNSEL FOR
DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Cinga Health Management, Inc.
Marshall M. Redmon -- marshall.redmon@phelps.com -- Phelps,
Dunbar, P. O. Box 4412, Baton Rouge, LA 70821-4412, (225) 346-
0285, COUNSEL FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: Indian Harbor Insurance
Company.


BRANDON SANATORIUM: Named in Lawsuit Filed on Behalf of Patients
----------------------------------------------------------------
Tyler Clarke, writing for The Brandon Sun, reports that a class-
action lawsuit on behalf of former "Indian hospital" patients has
named the "Brandon Indian Hospital" as one of the 29 segregated
hospitals targeted.

This hospital is more commonly known as the Brandon Sanatorium,
which served Indigenous tuberculosis patients from 1947 to 1958.

At the time of its closure, patients were shipped out to the
Ninette Sanatorium and the Brandon location was restructured as
the Assiniboine Hospital.

According to a CBC News story, the $1.1-billion class-action
lawsuit cites allegations of widespread mistreatment and abuse
among so-called "Indian hospitals," where patients were forcibly
detained.

Brandon woman Alice Marina Young spent approximately eight years
at the Brandon Sanatorium in the 1950s, during which she said
that she was shut off from her family and society at large.

She escaped on at least one occasion, only to be captured by a
police officer and returned to the hospital.

Now an 83-year-old resident of the Valleyview Long Term Care Home
in Brandon, her time at the Brandon Sanatorium remains cemented
in her mind.

During a conversation with The Brandon Sun in September, she
asked on several occasions whether she was at the Brandon
Sanatorium.

Daughter Sharon Dixon said that although her mother has never
said anything about being mistreated, she believes that the
class-action lawsuit is worthwhile.

University of Winnipeg historian Mary Jane McCallum has been
studying Manitoba's racially segregated tuberculosis treatment
facilities with postdoctoral fellow Scott de Groot for the past
few years, collecting the oral histories of those involved.

While certain cases of abuse might not have been overt, McCallum
said she has found a parallel between how the Brandon Sanatorium
operated and how the residential school system was structured.

Located at the corner of 10th Street and Queens Avenue, the
Brandon Sanatorium had a "social orientation" program that helped
assimilate patients into white communities.

McCallum and de Groot conducted and processed six substantial
interviews with patients of Manitoba sanatoriums.

"All of the interviewees spoke about their experiences of being
removed from their families and the hardships they faced -- both
short and long-term -- as a result," McCallum wrote. "These
consequences included a loss of language -- which resulted in
difficulties adjusting back to family and community life after
their return from the hospitals."

These past patients also complained about the extreme isolation
they faced at sanatoriums, as well as the length of time they
were made to remain in the health-care facilities.

Manitoba Lung Association CEO Neil Johnston said that what he has
heard from past patients of these sanatoriums has been "certainly
very troubling and tragic and something that we're concerned
about."

The Manitoba Lung Association was founded in 1975 as a division
of the Sanatorium Board of Manitoba to tackle community health
programs and education services.

The Sanatorium Board of Manitoba's only activity at present is
its operation of the Manitoba Lung Association, and Johnston said
that they've long since divested of medical records that
individual sanatoriums would have kept.

Uncertain as to the local implications of the national class-
action lawsuit, Johnston said that they're currently trying to
figure out things themselves.

"Because we're basically starting from scratch ourselves, from a
record perspective, we have to be careful and make sure we get
the information we need to take any kind of steps," he said.

Although the Ninette Sanatorium is not listed in this class-
action lawsuit, Winnipeg-based Indigenous advocate Gerald McIvor
is working on developing a wider-reaching class-action lawsuit,
which he said on February 2 would be national in scope and field
in federal court.

This class-action lawsuit would centre on "a serious breach of
human rights and Canada's fiduciary responsibility toward First
Nations people," he said.

Unlike the Brandon Sanatorium, the Ninette Sanatorium was not
dedicated exclusively to Indigenous people.

The class-action lawsuit that cites the "Brandon Indian Hospital"
(Brandon Sanatorium) was filed in Toronto by Koskie Minsky LLP
and Masuch Albert LLP of Alberta. [GN]


BULLSEYE GLASS: Judge Clears Way for $1.2-Billion Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------
Katherine Kisiel, writing for KATU News, reports that a judge
ruled in favor of a group of residents February 2, allowing them
to move forward with a $1.2 billion class action lawsuit against
a Southeast Portland glassmaker.

Bullseye Glass Co. stopped using the chemicals cadmium and
arsenic in its glass production in 2016, after air monitoring
stations detected high levels of the chemicals around the
company, prompting concerns from nearby residents and a day care
center. The company also said it stopped using chromium a week
later, after a request from the state.

The company later resumed using cadmium after installing an
updated filtration system known as a baghouse.

Dozens of people packed the courthouse in downtown Portland and
listened to both sides present their cases.

The plaintiffs argued the lawsuit should move forward based on
their research that shows hundreds of people were potentially
affected by dangerous chemicals coming from the facility.

The defense disagreed.

After the ruling, Bullseye Glass's Vice President Jim Jones said
he believed his company would prevail at trial.

"It's hard for us to imagine that we affected someone a mile and
a half, two miles away from us the same as someone close to us,
and I believe that at trial we'll be able to show that the merits
of the case don't stand up," said Jones, in response to claims
related to the class action suit.

Joshua Baker lives about a quarter of a mile away from Bullseye
Glass. He's one of about 2,000 people who are part of the
lawsuit.

"They have from the very start challenged all the scientific
findings that determined that they were the source for these
contaminants, and apparently they're still claiming they are not
responsible for it," he said.

Bullseye argues it's been in compliance with the state since it
started business about 40 years ago.

"I would like people to understand is the owners of Bullseye
decided to stay and put in the correct emissions equipment
probably faster than any other company in Oregon has," said
Jones.

Baker acknowledged this isn't an isolated case.

"It's just not Bullseye, and that's been a case they've made the
whole time as well, which I agree, but it doesn't excuse what
they got away with for so long," he said.

Meanwhile, Bullseye Glass has filed its own lawsuit against the
state, claiming several state agencies used Bullseye as a
scapegoat to hide the facts about air quality. [GN]


BULLSEYE GLASS: Toxic Air Pollution Class Action Can Proceed
------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that Portland residents can move
forward with a $1.2 billion class-action lawsuit against a local
glass maker over concerns about toxic air pollution, a Multnomah
County judge has ruled.

Circuit Court Judge Stephen Bushong on Feb. 2 granted a motion to
certify the lawsuit as a class-action against Bullseye Glass Co.,
KATU-TV reported.

Several residents filed a lawsuit in March 2016 alleging Bullseye
released arsenic, cadmium and other potentially toxic-heavy
metals from its plant in southeast Portland over decades.  The
lawsuit alleges Bullseye knew or should have known that it is and
has been emitting significant amounts of toxic materials.

Company Vice President Jim Jones said on Feb. 2 he believes his
company will prevail at trial.

"It's hard for us to imagine that we affected someone a mile and
a half, 2 miles away from us the same as someone close to us, and
I believe that at trial we'll be able to show that the merits of
the case don't stand up," he said.

According to Bullseye, it has been in compliance with the state
since it started business about 40 years ago.  Mr. Jones said the
company has installed the correct emissions equipment.

Bullseye was one of two Portland-based glass manufacturers that
sparked public outcry over toxic air pollution in 2016.

Dozens of people packed the courthouse in downtown Portland for
the Feb. 2 hearing. Among them was Joshua Baker, who lives about
a quarter of a mile away from the factory.  He is one of about
2,000 people who are part of the lawsuit.

"They have from the very start challenged all the scientific
findings that determined that they were the source for these
contaminants, and apparently they're still claiming they are not
responsible for it," Baker told KATU-TV.

In December, Bullseye filed a $30 million lawsuit against Oregon
Gov. Kate Brown and other top state officials, claiming they used
the company as a scapegoat to cover up the state's lax record of
environmental protection. [GN]


BUMBLE BEE: Consents to Relabeling Smoked Salmon Products
---------------------------------------------------------
Richard M. Blau, Esq., of GrayRobinson PA, in an article for
Lexology, wrote that on February 1, 2018, Bumble Bee Foods, LLC
agreed to repackage its canned salmon filets to end a proposed
class action in California federal court.  In the case of Miguel
Rodriguez et al. v. Bumble Bee Foods LLC, case number 3:17-cv-
02447 (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
California), the plaintiff was a consumer accusing Bumble Bee of
misrepresenting that its canned salmon was smoked and wild-
caught, when in fact the fish was farm-raised and processed using
added liquid smoke flavoring.  The plaintiff sought class action
status on behalf of all similarly-situated consumers of Bumble
Bee's canned Premium Select Medium Red Smoked Salmon Filets in
Oil.

Consumers prize salmon because the fish has many health benefits:
it is relatively a good source of protein, low in calories, and
high in omega 3 fatty acids.  Wild salmon feed on krill, which
gives them their distinctive red or pink color and generally are
considered to be of higher quality than farm-raised salmon.
Consequently, consumers typically are willing to pay a higher
price for wild-caught salmon products.

The canned fish at issue in the Bumble Bee lawsuit was purchased
at a Wal-Mart location in the Fall of 2017.  The plaintiff
alleged that he paid a premium for the product because he
believed that the wording and images on the label were accurate,
but that he would not have brought the product at all, and
certainly not for a premium price, but for being misled by Bumble
Bees false claims.

According to the plaintiff's lawsuit, the medium red product he
purchased looked identical to the Bumble Bee fish product labels
that are in fact caught in the wild.  The medium red label
product uses an illustration of a fish leaping out of a body of
water and uses the word "premium." In reality, according to the
plaintiff's complaint, the fish were farm-raised in Chile, where
they allegedly were penned in aqua cages off the coast and
exposed to fecal matter, fungicides, and antibiotics.

Moreover, farm-raised salmon naturally have a dull, grey flesh.
To make the fish appealing to consumers, colorants -- typically
canthaxanthin or astaxanthin -- are added to farmed salmons' feed
to mimic the desired color of wild-caught salmon.  The Bumble Bee
Salmon false advertising lawsuit alleged that the company's
intention was to mislead consumers into believing they were
purchasing wild salmon filets when that was not the case.

The Bumble Bee class action lawsuit alleged violations of the
California False Advertising Law, the California Consumers Legal
Remedies Act, the California Unfair Competition Law, breach of
express warranty and breach of the implied warranty of
merchantability.  Under the terms of the stipulated settlement,
Bumble Bee agreed to: (i) change the product's packaging, (ii)
pay reasonable attorneys' fees (between $30,000 and $85,000) as
well as an incentive award to the named plaintiffs who initiated
the litigation, and (iii) not require the proposed class to
release any claims for damages or personal injury.  Because the
parties agreed that the misleadingly labeled products are not
inherently dangerous, the settlement does not compel Bumble Bee
to recall the products with the old packaging.

Bumble Bee explained that settlement made sense because of the
product's modest sales and because the expense of litigating the
class' damages claims likely would substantially outweigh the
class' potential recovery.  However, the plaintiff's counsel
estimated consumers purchased approximately 2.3 million units of
the smoked salmon filets, with a market value of $5.2 million,
during the period of time covered by the proposed class action.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, Bumble Bee will
repackage the salmon filets with more accurate labeling beginning
in the Second Quarter of 2018.  The new packaging will specify
that the product is "smoke-flavored" rather than "smoked," omit
claims that the fish is "Premium" or "Medium Red" and more
accurately depict a farm-raised Coho salmon, according to the
settlement filing.

Consumer class action lawsuits are on the rise, especially with
regards to processed foods. Consumer advocates, food
professionals, and industry observers attribute this trend to a
growing concern among consumers, especially Millennials, over the
provenance, quality and safety of their diets.  Accuracy in
product labeling has become a focal point for consumer advocates
as well as plaintiffs' lawyers, as more and more consumers demand
detailed and accurate information regarding the contents of their
food. [GN]


CANADA: Lawyers in Toronto Mull Class Action for Cannabis Amnesty
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Shree Paradkar, writing for Toronto Star, reports that
"Entrepreneurial" is one of the terms used to describe a bunch of
Canadian bootleggers who found varying success in the illicit
running of alcohol to the U.S. about a century ago.

They are portrayed as swashbuckling adventurers who dared to defy
laws that banned alcohol, laws that in retrospect were not only
archaic but perhaps misplaced and costly.  They are fondly
posited as cheeky and rebellious, the forerunners of a liberal
era of alcohol-infused pleasures.

It was legal in Canada to produce alcohol -- prohibition was
lifted by the 1920s -- while Americans still faced a ban.  That
illicit trade was the building blocks on which Canadian
distilleries, the suppliers of that booze, made a fortune.  The
histories of the Bronfman family (who owned Seagram) and the
Corbys, among others, are just a Google search away.

During the "roaring twenties," says the official Bay of Quinte
website, many a Canadian lad . . . risked his life during this
time for the daring and dangerous life of bootlegging."

No such indulgent descriptors - or profits - appear to await the
forerunners of a Liberal era of cannabis-infused pleasures.

Canada sold $1.2 billion of illegal cannabis outside country in
2017, StatCan estimate suggests

As the banned substance begins to burgeon into a multi-billion-
dollar industry, the once-petty crooks, many of them Black, with
the grassroots know-how of how to run the business and who could
become contributing members of society, are once again being shut
out because they have criminal records.

The government has talked about amnesty for past marijuana crimes
that would mean erasure of those records.  But it is unlikely to
take any action until after legalization -- and already, others
with money have plunked their grubby fingers in this pie to make
more money.

This includes, of course, that shameless hypocrite and former
chief of multiple police forces Julian Fantino, who helped passed
into law Bill C-10 that included mandatory minimum sentences on
people for having as few as six plants.

On Feb. 2, The Canadian Press reported that a group of frustrated
lawyers in Toronto is considering a class-action lawsuit against
the government to push it into granting cannabis amnesty.

They should just do it.

Some advocates are also seeking an apology.

A reckoning of the unfairness with which anything related to
marijuana has been treated is a long time coming.

Even the usage of the word marijuana -- which comes from Mexico--
came into being during the Prohibition Era to warn off Americans
by appealing to their xenophobic sensibilities with the
suggestion that it could lead to the intermingling of races.

In Canada, too, marijuana has proven handy as a system of racial
control. In July last year, the Star published an analysis of 10
years of Toronto police data -- including two years when Fantino
was police chief -- to show that Black people with no history of
criminal convictions were three times more likely to be arrested
for possession of small amounts of marijuana than white people.

The users are Black and white at about equal rates, but the
people behind bars are disproportionately Black.

More recently, the American experience shows that even in states
where the plant is legalized, while overall numbers of arrests
have plummeted, Black people are still arrested at higher rates.

Four times higher in Washington, D.C., 10 times higher in Alaska.

From Richard Nixon's so-called "war on drugs" to Ronald Reagan's
drug war to Bill Clinton's "tough on crime" laws, the crackdown
on drugs has always been an assault on race.

The scholar Michelle Alexander points out in her seminal book The
New Jim Crow that Nixon's White House Chief of Staff H.R.
Haldeman recalled that Nixon "emphasized that you have to face
the fact that the whole problem is really the Blacks.  The key is
to devise a system that recognizes this while not appearing to."

The Reagan administration created an indelible link between drug
abuse and Black people, she wrote in HuffPost. It hired staff
whose responsibility it was "to publicize inner-city crack
babies, crack mothers, crack whores, and drug-related violence."

Clinton's policies wrought the highest increase in number of
people imprisoned.

But a change was coming. The face of drug users in the public
imagination was getting lighter-skinned. Think Breaking Bad.
Ozark.

"Changing attitudes and policies became possible in large part
because the media was no longer saturated with images of Black
and brown drug dealers," Alexander said at a Drug Policy Reform
conference in 2017.  "The colour of drug users and dealers got
whiter in the public imagination, and so we, as a nation, got
nicer."

Nicer in Canada would mean erasing criminal records without a
fight, the flawed structure of the RCMP's national criminal
record database notwithstanding.  That database can show whether
someone has a record for possessing an illegal drug, but not
necessarily which one, according to a report in Global News.

"That means that erasing marijuana possession (or trafficking)
records could turn into a painstaking, manual process, involving
searches in court and police archives across the country."

No reason why people imprisoned for petty crimes should pay for
the carelessness of those trafficking in power. [GN]


CANADA: Former Nanaimo Indian Hospital Named in Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
Nanaimo News reports that the former Nanaimo Indian Hospital has
been named in a $1.1-billion class action lawsuit against the
Canadian government.

A statement of claim was filed in the Federal Court of Canada on
Jan. 25, on behalf of aboriginal people who were patients of 29
government-run Indian hospitals, which the lawsuit alleges were
overcrowded, poorly staffed, unsanitary and had widespread
physical and sexual abuse like beating with rods and sticks and
physical restraint to beds.

Ann Cecile Hardy of Edmonton, the plaintiff, was admitted to the
Charles Camsell Indian Hospital with tuberculosis in 1969 when
she was 10 and the claim says while there, she was repeatedly
sexually abused by medical technicians at the hospital and also
witnessed other patients being sexually abused.

Indian hospitals were part of a separate health care system for
indigenous people, which the claim says were initially limited to
those who contracted or were suspected to have tuberculosis, but
other illnesses were subsequently treated.

A facility opened in Nanaimo in 1946 in an old military hospital
near Vancouver Island University and had 210 beds, which made it
second in size to Charles Camsell Hospital in Alberta, shows
'Indian' Hospitals and Tuberculosis in Canada: a mini history by
Laurie Meijer Drees, chairwoman of indigenous studies at
Vancouver Island University.

By the time the hospital closed in 1966, the Nanaimo Daily Free
Press reported it had seen 14,000, or more, patients from
Vancouver Island.

Steven Cooper -- steve.cooper@masuchalbertlaw.com -- with Cooper
Regel, co-counsel, said this case is coming to the courts now
because one or more of the survivors is finding a place in life
and the strength to tell the stories, and more scholarly work has
been done lately on the Indian Hospital system.

These cases are never just about compensation, he said, and like
any other situation, when an institution and in this case a
government or even an individual, causes harm, they are brought
to account in the civil system.

"When you have these historical injustices, these historical
damages, it's an opportunity for the survivors to take control of
their own history, their own lives, to bring these things to the
knowledge of Canadians," he said.

The Office of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs
Minister Carolyn Bennett stated in an e-mail that Canada is
committed to righting historical wrongs committed against
indigenous people.

"While the Government of Canada respects the decision of
plaintiffs to pursue their claims through the courts, Canada
believes that the best way to address outstanding issues and
achieve reconciliation with indigenous people is through
negotiation and dialogue rather than litigation," it said.  "We
are committed to working with all parties involved to explore
mechanisms outside the adversarial court process to deal with
these claims."

Cooper said he agrees these things are best solved around the
table, but context is still needed and in Canada, that context in
these cases are class actions.

"We will proceed to court and look to get the class certified and
hope concurrently that the government will carry out their
promise to talk to us," he said.  "We are not anxious to run a
trial on this, we are not anxious to get anything other than a
proper, fair and quick settlement where that's possible." [GN]


CAVALRY PORTFOLIO: "Schurger" Disputes Collection Letter
--------------------------------------------------------
Darren Schurger, Michael Blake, and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiffs, v. Cavalry Portfolio Services, Defendant,
Case No. 18-cv-00027 (E.D. Wash., January 23, 2018), seeks to
recover statutory and actual damages, prejudgment interest and
post-judgment interest and attorneys' fees and costs under the
Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Cavalry is a Delaware corporation engaged in the business of
collecting debts in Washington State.

Some time prior to 2009, Plaintiffs incurred an obligation to
HSBC Bank Nevada N.A. credit card for a purchase from Furniture
Row where Calvary was assigned to collect via letter sent
sometime in May 2017. Said letter failed to inform the Plaintiff
that should he choose one of the payment plans offered it may
restart the statute of limitations, which may expose the
Plaintiffs to future litigation for this debt and did not inform
them that should the statute of limitations reset, the Defendant
may have the right to commence legal action, which would
otherwise have been barred. [BN]

Plaintiff is represented by:

      Kirk D. Miller, Esq.
      KIRK D. MILLER, P.S.
      421 W. Riverside Avenue, Suite 660
      Spokane, WA 99201
      Tel: (509)413-1494
      Fax: (509)413-1724


CERES MARINE: "Mattson" Action to Recover Overtime Pay
------------------------------------------------------
Lawton Mattson, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. Ceres Marine Terminals Inc., Defendant,
Case No. 18-cv-00192 (D. S.C., January 23, 2018), seeks to
recover overtime compensation, liquidated damages and attorneys'
fees and costs pursuant to the provisions of the Fair Labor
Standards Act of 1938.

Ceres Marine Terminals Inc. is a stevedoring and terminal
operating company where Mattson worked as a stevedore at their
Charleston Ports facility. Plaintiff claims overtime for hours in
excess of forty in a work week. [BN]

Plaintiff is represented by:

     Marybeth Mullaney, Esq.
     MULLANEY LAW
     1037-D Chuck Dawley Blvd, Suite 104
     Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
     Tel/Fax: (800) 385-8160
     Email: marybeth@mullaneylaw.net


COMCAST CABLE: Court Dismisses "Scott" FLSA Suit
------------------------------------------------
Judge Edward M. Chen of the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California dismissed without prejudice the case,
ANDRE SCOTT, an individual; KEN FASSLER, an individual; ELIJAH
MAXWELL-WILSON, an individual, and on behalf of themselves, all
other similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. COMCAST CABLE
COMMUNICATIONS MANAGEMENT, LLC, a Delaware Corporation; and DOES
1-50, Inclusive, Defendants, Case No. 3:16-cv-06869-EMC (N.D.
Cal.).

The parties stipulated and Judge Chen approved that (i) all of
the Plaintiffs' individual claims in the action are dismissed
with prejudice pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
41(a)(1)(A)(ii); and (ii) the Plaintiffs' claims alleged on
behalf of the putative class are dismissed without prejudice to
the other putative class members pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 41(a)(1)(A)(ii).  The Plaintiffs will not re-
assert or re-file any class, collective, or representative action
claims that were, or could have been, alleged in the action.
Each party is to bear their own fees and costs.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Order is available
at https://is.gd/VsWdfc from Leagle.com.

Andre Scott, Ken Fassler & Elijah Maxwell-Wilson, Plaintiffs,
represented by Chaim Shaun Setareh -- shaun@setarehlaw.com --
Setareh Law Group & Thomas Alistair Segal --
thomas@setarehlaw.com -- Setareh Law Group.

Comcast Cable Communications Management, LLC, Defendant,
represented by Daryl Steven Landy -- daryl.landy@morganlewis.com
-- Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Jennifer P. Svanfeldt --
jennifer.svanfeldt@morganlewis.com -- Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
& Sarah Jane Allen -- sarah.allen@morganlewis.com -- Morgan,
Lewis and Bockius LLP.


DON HERRING: Loses Bid to Dismiss "Lopez" DPPA Suit
---------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Texas, Dallas Division, issued a Memorandum Opinion and Order
denying Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the case captioned ARTHUR
LOPEZ, individually, and on behalf of himself and all other
similarly situated individuals Plaintiff, v. Don Herring Ltd.,
Defendant, Civil Action No. 3:16-CV-02663-B (N.D. Tex.).

Herring, the only remaining defendant, moves the Court to dismiss
Lopez's suit under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6),
contending that Lopez has failed to plead sufficient facts to
support a Driver's Privacy Protection Act ("DPPA") claim.

When Lopez first filed this class-action lawsuit, he sued
Herring, Tacito, BB Direct, and Monica Braverman, the owner of
Data Shark, alleging they violated the DPPA and purporting to
represent a class of "millions, if not tens of millions" of
victims of the defendants' allegedly unlawful practices. But the
Court dismissed Lopez's original complaint. Electronic Order.
Lopez then filed an Amended Complaint, naming Herring as the only
defendant but still claiming to represent a class possibly
numbering in the tens of millions.

Though, Lopez more realistically describes the class he purports
to represent as consisting of those whose personal information
Herring obtained from state DMVs.  And whereas Lopez attached
emails from Tacito and BB Direct to his original complaint, he
attaches only emails from Herring to his amended complaint and
omits from his pleadings any mention of Tacito, BB Direct, or
Data Shark.

Herring now argues that Lopez has failed to plead a plausible
claim.  The Court disagrees.

Herring's arguments that the sales person's and General Sales
Manager's statements do not make Lopez's claim plausible fail.
Herring first contends that the sales person and the General
Sales Manager were incorrect about how Herring obtained Lopez's
information and therefore that their statements do not make
Lopez's claim plausible. But the Court must take Lopez's factual
pleadings as true and construe factual allegations in the
plaintiff's favor.

Thus, the mere possibility that the sales person and General
Sales Manager were incorrect about the source of Lopez's
information does not render Lopez's claim implausible.

Second, Herring argues that the General Sales Manager's
statement, even if taken as true, does not make Lopez's claim
plausible. Because the General Sales Manager said Herring
obtained the information from third parties, Herring contends,
the General Sales Manager could only have been speculating about
the origin of the information. But although the manager could
have been speculating, the Court can still reasonably infer that
Herring knew Lopez's information came from the DMV based on what
he said and the query to which he was responding.

Here, Herring wants the Court to consider not only emails
attached to the challenged complaint but also emails attached to
a complaint the Court has already dismissed. But the Court may
not consider the emails. First, the emails are not attached to
the challenged complaint.  Second, the Court cannot judicially
notice the facts Herring says the emails establish.

Federal Rule of Evidence 201 determines what facts a court may
judicially notice. Courts may judicially notice facts not subject
to reasonable dispute that are not subject to reasonable dispute
because they are "generally known within the trial court's
territorial jurisdiction; or can be accurately and readily
determined from sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be
questioned.

Herring argues that the emails show that third parties from which
it obtained Lopez's information did not obtain Lopez's
information from the Texas DMV, which means Herring could not
possibly have violated the DPPA.

Even if the Court considered the email incorporated into Lopez's
complaint, the Court would deny Herring's motion. At the 12(b)(6)
stage, the Court must accept Lopez's pleadings as facts. The
emails Herring wants the Court to consider contradict the facts
Lopez pleaded, but that does not mean the emails render Lopez's
claim implausible. At any rate, the oddity of the Court comparing
pleadings it must accept as facts and actual evidence
demonstrates why courts generally limit their 12(b)(6) analysis
to the pleadings.

There is still one way for the Court to consider the emails
attached to Lopez's original complaint. But that would require
converting Herring's motion to dismiss into a motion for summary
judgment, Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(d), a procedural vehicle that allows
court to consider evidence the parties submit, The Court declines
to issue summary judgment for Herring at this time. Although the
emails on which Herring relies may be some evidence tending to
disprove Lopez's claim, granting summary judgment before Lopez
has had the chance to gather and submit evidence would be
improper.

One matter remains unresolved: Herring's motion to strike
portions of Lopez's amended complaint under Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(f). Rule 12(f) allows courts to strike any
redundant, immaterial, impertinent, or scandalous matter. Motions
to strike under rule 12(f) are disfavored.  A court should grant
a 12(f) motion to strike only when the matter of which the movant
complains bears no possible relation to the controversy or may
cause the objecting party prejudice. The Court will not strike
Lopez's pleadings because the pleadings are related to the
controversy and do not prejudice Herring.

The Court denies Herring's motion to dismiss Lopez's Amended
Complaint and denies Herring's motion to strike.

A full-text copy of the District Court's January 4, 2018
Memorandum Opinion and Order is available at
https://tinyurl.com/yc8b5eun from Leagle.com.

Arthur Lopez, individually, and on behalf of himself and all
others similarly situated individuals, Plaintiff, represented by
Joseph Hanson Malley, Law Offices of Joseph H. Malley PC., 1045 N
Zang Blvd Dallas, TX 75208-4142

Don Herring Ltd, Defendant, represented by David B. Tabor -
dtabor@shackelfordlaw.net -- Shackelford, Bowen, McKinley &
Norton & Martha Hardwick Hofmeister --
mhofmeister@shackelfordlaw.net -- Shackelford Bowen McKinley &
Norton LLP.


COSTCO WHOLESALE: Court OKs $9MM Wage & Hour Suit Settlement
------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
California issued an Order granting Final Approval of Class
Settlement in the case captioned MARJAN ATAIPOUR, et al.,
Plaintiffs, v. COSTCO WHOLESALE CORPORATION, Defendant, Case No.
14cv1156-LAB (JLB) (S.D. Cal.).

About three years ago, Marjan Ataipour and other employees filed
a class action against Costco for labor code violations. After
the parties settled for $9 million, the Court held a fairness
hearing.

The Court confirms its previous findings certifying the class for
settlement, approving the class action as the best method for
resolution, appointing class counsel and representatives, and
approving the notice program to class members.

The Court also approves the following expenses as fair and
reasonable: (i) payment to the California Labor and Workforce
Development Agency under the Private Attorneys General Act for
$37,500; and (ii) payment to the settlement administrator CPT
Group for $17,500.

Accordingly, the motion for final approval of the settlement is
granted.

A full-text copy of the District Court's January 4, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/yd2jwowd from Leagle.com.

Paula Dittmar, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by Bevin Allen --
Bevin.Pike@CapstoneLawyers.com -- Capstone Lawyers APC, Daniel M.
Holzman -- dholzman@caskeyholzman.com -- Caskey and Holzman,
Daniela Saspe -- dsaspe@gmail.com -- Jennifer R. Bagosy --
Jennifer.Bagosy@CapstoneLawyers.com -- Capstone Law APC, Jonathan
Sing Lee -- Jonathan.Lee@CapstoneLawyers.com -- Capstone Law APC,
Rebecca G. Gundzik -- rgundzik@gghslaw.com -- Gartenberg Gelfand
Hayton & Selden LLP, Robert Joseph Drexler, Jr.  --
Robert.Drexler@CapstoneLawyers.com -- Capstone Law APC, THOMAS L.
DOROGI -- tdorogi@lightgablerlaw.com -- Caskey and Holzman &
Aaron C. Gundzik -- agundzik@gghslaw.com -- Gartenberg Gelfand
Hayton LLP.

Pauline Tilton, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, represented by Bevin Allen,
Capstone Lawyers APC, Daniela Saspe, Jennifer R. Bagosy, Capstone
Law APC, Jonathan Sing Lee, Capstone Law APC, Robert Joseph
Drexler, Jr., Capstone Law APC, Aaron C. Gundzik, Gartenberg
Gelfand Hayton LLP & Rebecca G. Gundzik, Gartenberg Gelfand
Hayton & Selden LLP.

Marjan Ataipour & Brian Kim, Plaintiffs, represented by Jennifer
R. Bagosy, Capstone Law APC, Raul Perez, Capstone Law APC &
Andrew Joseph Sokolowski, Matern Law Group, PC.

Costco Wholesale Corporation, a Washington corporation,
Defendant, represented by David D. Kadue  -- dkadue@seyfarth.com
-- Seyfarth Shaw, Emily Elizabeth Schroeder --
eschroeder@seyfarth.com -- Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Matthew Scott
McConnell -- mmcconnell@sheppardmullin.com -- Sheppard Mullin
Richter and Hampton, Timothy M. Rusche  -- trusche@seyfarth.com -
- Seyfarth Shaw, LLP & Tara Wilcox twilcox@sheppardmullin.com --
Sheppard Mullin Richter and Hampton.


CREATIVE HAIRDRESSERS: "Sanford" Suit to Recover Overtime Pay
-------------------------------------------------------------
Zsuzy Sanford, and Stephanie Jo Tobin, individually and on behalf
of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. Creative
Hairdressers, Inc. and Ratner Companies, LLC, Defendant, Case No.
1:18-cv-10132 (D. Mass., January 23, 2018), seeks compensatory
and liquidated damages equal to the amount of unpaid compensation
found due, costs and reasonable attorneys' fees incurred
prosecuting this claim and such further relief under
Massachusetts General Law.

Zsuzy Sanford and Stephanie Jo Tobin worked as hair stylists in
"Hair Cuttery" salons owned and operated by Creative
Hairdressers, Inc. and Ratner Companies, LLC, claiming that they
were not paid minimum wage or overtime. Defendants required them
to report to work prior to their scheduled shifts and stay after
their shifts have ended without being compensated for that time
as well as to attend mandatory meetings and run errands for which
they are not compensated. [BN]

Plaintiff is represented by:

     Shannon Liss-Riordan, Esq.
     Jill Kahn, Esq.
     LICHTEN & LISS-RIORDAN, P.C.
     729 Boylston Street, Suite 2000
     Boston, MA 02116
     Tel: (617) 994-5800
     Email: sliss@llrlaw.com
            jkahn@llrlaw.com

DIRDEN LANDSCAPE: "Johnson" Action Seeks to Recover Overtime Pay
----------------------------------------------------------------
Vernon Johnson on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiffs v. Ginger Dirden, executor of the estate of
Lindsey Dirden, and Dirden Landscape & Irrigation, Inc., Case No.
18-cv-00217, (S.D. Tex., January 24, 2018), seeks unpaid overtime
pay in an amount which is one and one-half times their regular
rates of pay, liquidated damages, reasonable attorneys' fees and
costs for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Dirden Landscaping provides landscaping services in Harris
County, Texas where Johnson is a former laborer and was
misclassified as exempt from the Fair Labor Standards Act, thus
denied overtime for work more than forty hours in a workweek.
[BN]

Plaintiff is represented by:

      Clayton D. Craighead, Esq.
      THE CRAIGHEAD LAW FIRM, PLLC
      440 Louisiana, Suite 900
      Houston, TX 77002
      Tel: (832) 798-1184
      Fax: (832) 553-7261
      Email: clayton.craighead@thetxlawfirm.com


DUKE UNIVERSITY: Antitrust Case Expanded to Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Bre Bradham, writing for Duke Chronicle, reports that on Feb. 1,
a district court judge ruled that the antitrust lawsuit against
Duke for an alleged no-hire agreement can be expanded into a
class-action suit.

The lawsuit can now cover a total of 5,500 doctors at the Duke
University School of Medicine or the University of North Carolina
School of Medicine, the Associated Press reported.  By becoming a
class-action suit, U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles ruled
that all faculty members with an academic appointment at any
point from 2012 to the present at either school are represented,
and may receive compensation for damages depending on the outcome
of the case.

The court appointed Danielle Seaman, who filed the original suit,
as class representative and the law firms Lieff Cabraser Heimann
and Bernstein, LLP and Elliot Morgan Parsonage, P.A. as class
counsel, to prosecute the case.

The lawsuit began in May 2015 when Seaman, then-assistant
professor of radiology, sued Duke, saying that she had lost a job
opportunity due to a no-hire agreement between the University and
UNC that she said violated federal antitrust laws.

UNC was originally a co-defendant alongside Duke in the case, but
Eagles officially approved a settlement by UNC on Jan. 4 that did
not require the school to pay any money.  As part of the
settlement, UNC did have to commit to never enter into such an
agreement in the future and provide testimonies and internal
documents to Ms. Seaman's attorneys. As part of the settlement,
UNC denied wrongdoing.  The faculty from UNC are included in the
class action suit.

The lawsuit arose after Seaman expressed interest in a job at UNC
and claims she received an email from their chief of
cardiothoracic imaging saying that the two schools have agreed to
not allow lateral moves of faculty.

"I just received confirmation from the Dean's office that lateral
moves of faculty between Duke and UNC are not permitted," the
email allegedly states, based on Ms. Seaman's second amended
complaint.  "There is reasoning for this guideline which was
agreed upon between the deans of UNC and Duke a few years back."

Both universities deny the existence of such an agreement.

As part of Judge Eagles' decision to certify a faculty class in
the lawsuit, all faculty physicians at the two medical schools
are covered.  However, non-faculty physicians, nurses and other
skilled medical staff are not included under the class action
suit, as Ms. Seaman's lawyers had originally wanted.

Judge Eagles contended that such an inclusion would make the
lawsuit difficult to manage, and any notion of collusion
involving individuals who were not faculty physicians is
substantially weaker. [GN]


DUNN-EDWARDS CORP: Cal. App. Affirms Summary Judgment in "Khan"
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of California, Second District, Division
Eight, issued an Opinion affirming judgment of the trial court
granting Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment in the case
captioned HAMID H. KHAN, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. DUNN-EDWARDS
CORPORATION, Defendant and Respondent, No. B270382 (Cal. App.).

Khan worked at Dunn-Edwards from September 6, 1994, to September
2, 2011. During normal pay periods, all of Khan's wage statements
included the pay period start date. Khan never looked at his wage
statements. His payments were deposited directly into his bank
account. Khan received his final paycheck on September 13, 2011.
In contrast to all other wage statements, Khan's final wage
statement did not include the start date for the pay period.

Khan provided Dunn-Edwards's counsel and the California Labor and
Workforce Development Agency with a notice saying that
"correspondence shall constitute written notice under Labor Code
Section 2699.3 of my claims against my former employer, Dunn-
Edwards Corporation (Defendant')."

Khan further said in the notice that he alleges that Dunn
Edwards: 1. violated Labor Code Section 226(a) by failing to
identify all of the required information on my final paycheck
stub/itemized wage statement that he received, including but not
limited to the pay period begin date, the correct pay date, and
the total hours worked; and 2. violated Labor Code Sections 201-
203 by failing to pay all of my earned wages immediately upon
termination and failure to pay waiting time penalties as a result
thereof.

The trial court granted Dunn-Edwards's motion for summary
judgment. Among other reasons, the trial court concluded that
Khan's notice was insufficient.  The trial court concluded that
compliance with the pre-filing notice and exhaustion requirements
are mandatory. The trial court further concluded that Khan failed
to comply.

On appeal, Khan challenges the trial court's conclusion, arguing
that his notice was sufficient even though he limited it to his
claims. Khan argues that his notice did not need to specify that
it is being sought for aggrieved employees because plaintiff is a
proxy of the state. He argues that his notice should be assumed
to being brought on a representative capacity.

The Cal. App. finds Khan's argument lacking in merit. Because his
notice expressly applied only to him, it failed to give the Labor
and Workforce Development Agency an adequate opportunity to
decide whether to allocate resources to investigate Khan's
representative action. Because Khan referred only to himself, the
agency may have determined that no investigation was warranted.
Additionally, the notice failed to provide Dunn-Edwards with an
adequate opportunity to respond to the agency since the notice
suggested only an individual violation.

Because Khan failed to give fair notice of the individuals
involved, he failed to comply with the administrative
requirement, and the trial court properly granted summary
judgment, the Cal. App. further finds.

A full-text copy of the Cal. App.'s January 4, 2018 Opinion is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y9h84ngq from Leagle.com.

Diversity Law Group, BLarry W. Lee -- lwlee@diversitylaw.com --
Law Offices of Choi & Associates and Edward W. Choi --
edward.choi@choiandassociates.com -- for Plaintiff and Appellant.

Reed Smith, Michele J. Beilke -- mbeilke@reedsmith.com -- Raymond
A. Cardozo -- rcardozo@reedsmith.com -- Julia Y. Trankiem --
jtrankeim@reedsmith.com -- and Brian A. Sutherland
bsutherland@reedsmith.com -- for Defendant and Respondent.


DYNEGY INC: Gul Seeks to Halt Merger Deal, Seeks Projections
------------------------------------------------------------
Waled Gul, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. Dynegy Inc., Robert C. Flexon, Pat Wood
Iii, Hilary E. Ackermann, Paul M. Barbas, Richard Kuersteiner,
Jeffrey S. Stein and John R. Sult, Defendants, Case No. 18-cv-
00219 (S.D. Tex., January 24, 2018), seeks to enjoin defendants
and all persons acting in concert with them from proceeding with,
consummating or closing the acquisition of Dynegy by Vistra
Energy Corp., or rescinding it in the event defendants consummate
the merger.  The Plaintiff further seeks rescissory damages,
costs of this action, including reasonable allowance for
plaintiff's attorneys' and experts' fees and such other and
further relief under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Under the terms of the merger, Dynegy stockholders will receive
0.652 shares of Vistra Energy common stock for each share of
Dynegy stock they own. The proposed transaction is valued at
approximately $1.7 billion.

The merger documents omitted the Dynegy's financial projections
utilized by the company's financial advisors, Morgan Stanley &
Co. LLC and PJT Partners LP in their financial and valuation
analyses in connection with the rendering of their fairness
opinions and failed to disclose the company insiders' potential
conflicts of interest, notably, three members of the Board have
secured positions for themselves following completion of the
Merger. Such information is needed in order to cast a fully
informed vote in connection with the merger, says the complaint.

Dynegy is a holding company whose primary business is the
production and sale of electric energy, capacity, and ancillary
services from its fleet of 50 power plants in 12 states totaling
approximately 31,000 megawatts of generating capacity. [BN]

Plaintiff is represented by:

      Thomas E. Bilek, Esq.
      THE BILEK LAW FIRM, L.L.P.
      700 Louisiana, Suite 3950
      Houston, TX 77002
      Tel: (713) 227-7720

             - and -

      Richard A. Acocelli, Esq.
      Michael A. Rogovin, Esq.
      Kelly C. Keenan, Esq.
      WEISSLAW LLP
      1500 Broadway, 16th Floor
      New York, NY 10036
      Tel: (212) 682-3025
      Fax: (212) 682-3010
      Email: racocelli@weisslawllp.com
             mrogovin@weisslawllp.com


EI DUPONT: Faces Class Action Over Cape Fear River Contamination
----------------------------------------------------------------
Marc S. Reisch, writing for c&en, reports that lawyers have filed
a new class action lawsuit against DuPont and Chemours claiming
that the two firms contaminated the Cape Fear River in North
Carolina with fluorosurfactants.  The river is a source of
drinking water for much of the southeast part of the state.

The filing, made late last month, consolidates and updates three
class action suits filed since October by lawyers representing
thousands of people who claim they are ill or could get ill
because they drank water from the Cape Fear River and from wells
surrounding the plant, now run by DuPont spin-off Chemours.  A
judge in the U.S. Federal District Court in Wilmington, N.C.,
ordered the consolidation in early January to streamline the
effort to try claims.

The consolidated suit charges that DuPont dumped potentially
toxic fluorosurfactants from the Fayetteville, N.C., plant
starting in the 1980s.  It also claims that DuPont knew that some
of those fluorosurfactants, such as perfluorooctanoic acid
(PFOA), had toxic effects on laboratory animals as far back as
the 1960s.

DuPont acknowledges that the lawsuits and ongoing federal and
state investigations "could result in penalties or sanctions,"
according to documents it has filed with the U.S. Securities &
Exchange Commission (SEC).  Chemours says in its SEC filings that
it believes discharges from the Fayetteville site "have not
impacted the safety of drinking water in North Carolina."

In February 2017, the two firms agreed to pay $670 million to
settle 3,550 lawsuits in Ohio and West Virginia by residents who
say they were sickened by drinking water that was contaminated
with PFOA released from what is now Chemours' Parkersburg, W.Va.,
site.

Chemours recently began capturing all of its fluorochemical
production wastewater at Fayetteville and sending it to Texas for
disposal in a deep injection well.  But the suit charges that the
chemicals in the river and wells persist and have caused
complications including colon cancer, stomach cancer, and
ulcerative colitis.

The suit seeks funding for an epidemiological study to gauge the
impact of PFOA, other polyfluoroalkyl substances, and GenX --
which Chemours considers a safer alternative to PFOA -- on
residents along the Cape Fear River. It also seeks undetermined
compensatory and punitive damages for illness, reduced property
value, and the cost of water filtration.

"We will make these companies take responsibility for what they
have put in the local air and water, for ensuring that the air
and water are safe going forward, and for addressing the serious
harms their actions have caused," says Steve Morrissey --
smorrissey@susmangodfrey.com -- plaintiff counsel at the law firm
Susman Godfrey.

In an unusual twist, the suit picks up on new reports that the
plant has emitted GenX into the air. At least one of the wells
containing traces of GenX is uphill from the Fayetteville plant,
plaintiff attorneys say.  According to local reports, the state
has expanded its testing program of wells outside the plant to a
radius of 4 km from an earlier 1.5 km. [GN]


EL MIRADOR: Settlement in "Lopez" Unpaid OT Wages Suit Denied
-------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, MARGARET J. LOPEZ, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. EL MIRADOR,
INCORPORATED, and LOUIS PEREA, Defendants, Case No. CV 16-01257
RB-KBM (D. N.M.), Judge Robert C. Brack of the U.S. District
Court for the District of New Mexico denied the parties' joint
motion to approve the settlement.

The Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") provides certain
protections to vulnerable workers.  Due to concerns about the
unequal bargaining power between workers protected by the FLSA
and their employers, settlements of FLSA suits are only
enforceable if supervised by the Secretary of Labor or approved
by a court.

Plaintiff Lopez brought suit on behalf of herself and similarly-
situated workers against the Defendants to recover unpaid
overtime wages under the FLSA.  She also brought a class action
pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to
recover unpaid wages for herself and similarly-situated employees
under the New Mexico Minimum Wage Act ("NMMWA").

After discovery and negotiations, the parties reached a
settlement.  Ms. Lopez and El Mirador now ask the Court to
approve their settlement.  According to the joint motion, the
settlement negotiations between Ms. Lopez and El Mirador had
centered on a dispute about when the Final Rule became effective.
Ms. Lopez believed that the Final Rule was effective on Jan. 1,
2015, while El Mirador argued that the effective date was Oct.
13, 2015.

Owing to the dispute over the effective date of the Final Rule,
the proposed settlement agreement compromised on wages: in the
disputed period from Jan. 1, 2015, to Oct. 12, 2015, Ms. Lopez
and any class members would receive 60% of the overtime wages
they were allegedly owed, while in the period from Oct. 13, 2015,
to the date the Court approves the settlement, Ms. Lopez and any
class members would receive 100% of the overtime wages they were
allegedly owed.

Specifically, under the terms of the settlement, El Mirador
agrees to pay a maximum of $160,484.96.  The Gross Settlement
Amount includes a service award of $2,500 to Ms. Lopez for coming
forward as the class representative.  It also includes 60% of
alleged overtime wages from the Disputed Period, totaling
$57,334.50, as well as 100% of alleged overtime wages from the
Undisputed Period, totaling $63,650.46 as of April 5, 2017.
Finally, the Gross Settlement Amount contains attorney's fees and
costs of $37,000.  Any amount of the service award, attorney's
fees, or allocated payment to class members that is not awarded
to its designated recipient will remain the property of El
Mirador.  The amount allocated to class members will be subject
to withholding for taxes.

The settlement agreement also requires El Mirador to retain and
pay for a Settlement Administrator, who will assist with the
implementation of the settlement, including mailing notices to
the potential settlement class members.  Payment to the
Settlement Administrator will not come out of the Gross
Settlement Amount.

The parties ask the Court to (1) certify the class as a
collective action under Section 216(b) of the FLSA.  Ms. Lopez
has defined "similarly situated" employees, on whose behalf she
hopes to sue, as all current and former home health workers
employed by Louis Perea or El Mirador who were not paid overtime
for all hours worked over 40 in a work week from Jan. 1, 2015 to
the present.  The parties have asked the Court for approval,
however, of a final settlement.

After weighing the factors, Judge Brack concludes that final
collective action certification is inappropriate given the
proposed settlement.  He finds that the fact that the Section
216(b) collective action is an opt-in regime, where class members
are not bound unless they affirmatively opt in to the litigation,
does not absolve the Court of its responsibility to ensure that
the class is similarly situated.  Under the proposed settlement,
the disparate factual and employment settings of the individual
Plaintiffs strongly suggest that the potential class members are
not sufficiently similarly situated for final certification.  In
addition, the policy of allowing the Plaintiffs to pool their
resources for litigation and the policy encouraging settlement of
litigation weigh in favor of certifying the collective action.

As to the settlement, at the fairness hearing, the Court asked
the parties why the settlement did not provide for liquidated
damages.  The parties' answers do not convince Judge Brack that
it was fair to eliminate liquidated damages altogether.  First,
workers from the Undisputed Period appear to have a viable claim
for liquidated damages.  Second, the Judge is not convinced that
the Plaintiff's counsel justifiably sacrificed the entirety of
certain workers' liquidated damages claims.  He is convinced that
the Plaintiff's counsel unduly sacrificed the potential recovery
for workers from the Undisputed Period to pay for the recovery of
workers from the Disputed Period.  Such an arrangement, according
to him, is unfair to workers from the Undisputed Period, who are
not subject to the same "effective date" dispute as workers from
the Disputed Period.  After considering these factors, he
concludes that the proposed settlement is not fair and equitable
to all parties.

Because he has determined that the proposed settlement is not
fair and equitable, the Judge holds that an analysis of the
attorney's fees and costs is premature.

For the reasons provided, Judge Brack denied the joint motion to
approve the settlement.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Memorandum Opinion
and Order is available at https://is.gd/ozlk8j from Leagle.com.

Margaret J. Lopez, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, represented by Brian Kinsley,
Crumley Roberts, Scott E. Brady -- scott@bohrerbrady.com --
Bohrer Brady, LLC & Philip Bohrer -- phil@bohrerbrady.com --
Bohrer Brady, LLC.

El Mirador, Inc. & Louis Perea, Defendants, represented by Andrea
K. Robeda -- Andrea.Robeda@jacksonlewis.com -- Jackson Lewis, LLC
& Victor P. Montoya -- MontoyaV@jacksonlewis.com -- Jackson Lewis
LLP.


EQUIFAX INC: CFPB Puts Data Breach Probe on Ice Amid Lawsuits
-------------------------------------------------------------
Patrick Rucker, writing for Reuters, reports that Mick Mulvaney,
head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has pulled back
from a full-scale probe of how Equifax Inc failed to protect the
personal data of millions of consumers, according to people
familiar with the matter.

Equifax said in September that hackers stole personal data it had
collected on some 143 million Americans. Richard Cordray, then
the CFPB director, authorized an investigation that month, said
former officials familiar with the probe.

But Mr. Cordray resigned in November and was replaced by
Mr. Mulvaney, President Donald Trump's budget chief.  The CFPB
effort against Equifax has sputtered since then, said several
government and industry sources, raising questions about how Mr.
Mulvaney will police a data-warehousing industry that has
enormous sway over how much consumers pay to borrow money.

The CFPB has the tools to examine a data breach like Equifax,
said John Czwartacki, a spokesman, but the agency is not
permitted to acknowledge an open investigation.  "The bureau has
the desire, expertise, and know-how in-house to vigorously pursue
hypothetical matters such as these," he said.

Three sources say, though, Mr. Mulvaney, the new CFPB chief, has
not ordered subpoenas against Equifax or sought sworn testimony
from executives, routine steps when launching a full-scale probe.
Meanwhile the CFPB has shelved plans for on-the-ground tests of
how Equifax protects data, an idea backed by Mr. Cordray.

The CFPB also recently rebuffed bank regulators at the Federal
Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp and Office of the
Comptroller of the Currency when they offered to help with on-
site exams of credit bureaus, said two sources familiar with the
matter.

Equifax has said it is under investigation by every state
attorney general and faces more than 240 class action lawsuits.

The Federal Trade Commission is examining the breach and the
company may face financial penalties. The last time the FTC
penalized a major credit bureau was in 2012, a $393,000
settlement with Equifax.

In contrast, the CFPB fined credit bureaus more than $25 million
just last year for over-marketing its monitoring services, which
generated monthly fees.

The FTC confirmed in September it was investigating Equifax but a
spokesman declined further comment.

Credit bureaus like Equifax, TransUnion and Experian collect and
store personal information on scores of millions of consumers.
Banks and other lenders rely on the information to track how
consumers spend money and manage debt, then use it to decide what
interest rate to charge for loans.

The Equifax breach exposed vulnerabilities in how the companies
keep data safe. It also highlighted how credit bureaus exist in a
regulatory gray zone where they are partly regulated by several
agencies.

Under Mr. Cordray, the CFPB and FTC agreed to work together on
the Equifax inquiry, sources said.  But while the agencies have
similar powers to investigate, only the FTC has issued a
subpoena.

And while Mr. Cordray had asked bank regulators to join in fresh
cyber security exams of the bureaus, last month the CFPB told the
regulators that no on-site exams were planned, so their help was
not needed, said three officials, who declined to be identified
because they were not authorized to speak publicly.

The banking regulators declined to comment, and the credit
bureaus declined to comment on their dealings with regulators.

But TransUnion said the CFPB has no authority to examine the
company over cyber security concerns.  "We believe that it is
clear that the CFPB was not given legal authority to supervise
any financial institutions with respect to cybersecurity," the
company said in a statement.

The CFPB has come under sustained attack from Republicans during
the seven years of its existence.

Mr. Mulvaney put a hold on much agency work when he took over in
November, and said it would last at least 30 days to give him a
chance to understand the job. [GN]


EQUIFAX INC: Six Teams of Lawyers Compete for Lead Counsel Posts
----------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad, writing for Law.com, reports that at least six
teams of lawyers are competing for the top leadership posts in
the lawsuits brought over Equifax Inc.'s massive data breach.

Four proposed slates, ranging from seven to 12 lawyers, have
filed motions to lead the class actions filed by consumers.
Equifax revealed last year that more than 145 million of its
customers had their personal information hacked in a data breach.
Two other teams are hoping to lead lawsuits brought by financial
institutions over the breach.

Most of the lawyers have backgrounds in data breach cases, such
as Yahoo and Target, but some include attorneys who were involved
in the litigation over Home Depot's data breach, which was before
U.S. District Judge Thomas Thrash of the Northern District of
Georgia.

Thrash, now overseeing more than 350 class actions brought over
Equifax, has scheduled a Feb. 9 hearing over appointments for
lead counsel.

Thrash told lawyers at a hearing last month that he planned to
establish two tracks in the multidistrict litigation -- one for
consumers and one for financial institutions.  He also indicated
that he wanted the leadership teams to be thin.

Lawyers filed about 50 applications for leadership roles.  Many
referenced their appointments in Home Depot or their previous
work against King & Spalding, the law firm representing Equifax.
Some firms cited their work in the Anthem data breach litigation,
even as U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh of the Northern District of
California chastised lead counsel for bringing in 49 additional
law firms on the case.

In an unusual twist, several insisted they had not cut deals with
other plaintiffs firms for work -- a reference to side deals and
quid pro quo agreements that critics contend has led to repeat
players leading MDLs. Some lawyers said they would keep costs
down, while others insisted they would add diversity to MDL
leadership, historically dominated by white, male attorneys.

Here is a quick look at the competing slates:

The Worley Group (for consumers): Spearheaded by David Worley of
Atlanta's Evangelista Worley, this nine-person group claims to
have the support of 64 firms representing consumers in the
Equifax litigation.  Worley, who was co-lead counsel in the Home
Depot MDL consumer cases, would serve as co-lead counsel along
with Ben Barnow -- b.barnow@barnowlaw.com -- of Chicago's Barnow
and Associates and Timothy Blood of Blood Hurst & O'Reardon in
San Diego. A proposed steering committee would include Janine
Pollack -- pollack@whafh.com -- of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman
& Herz in New York and Kevin Sharp -- ksharp@sanfordheisler.com -
- of Sanford Heisler Sharp in Nashville.

The Barnes/Canfield Group (for consumers): Lead by former Georgia
Gov. Roy Barnes of the Barnes Law Group and Ken Canfield --
kcanfield@dsckd.com -- of Doffermyre Shields Canfield & Knowles,
both in Atlanta, this 10-person group brags that its lawyers have
been involved in "every major data breach litigated to date,"
including Home Depot, Anthem, Target and Yahoo.  Mr. Canfield,
who was co-lead counsel of the financial institution cases in
Home Depot, would be co-lead counsel along with Amy Keller --
akeller@dlcfirm.com -- of Chicago's DiCello Levitt & Casey and
Norman Siegel -- siegel@stuevesiegel.com -- of Stueve Siegel
Hanson in Kansas City, Missouri, who was co-lead in the Home
Depot consumer cases. Barnes, co-liaison counsel in Home Depot
consumer cases, would be liaison counsel.  The steering committee
would include Andrew Friedman -- afriedman@cohenmilstein.com --
of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll in Washington, D.C., and Eric
Gibbs -- ehg@classlawgroup.com -- of San Francisco's Girard
Gibbs, who were lead attorneys in the Anthem case, where Judge
Koh appointed a special master to look into the billing of the
plaintiffs' attorneys.

Robbins Geller/Hagens Berman slate (for consumers): Stuart
Davidson of Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd and Thomas Loeser of
Seattle's Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro proposed a seven-member
team.  It includes four women: Cari Laufenberg --
claufenberg@kellerrohrback.com -- of Seattle's Keller Rohrback,
Jodi Flowers -- jflowers@motleyrice.com -- of Motley Rice in
Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Jennifer Scullion --
jscullion@seegerweiss.com -- of New York's Seeger Weiss and
Jennifer Joost -- jjoost@ktmc.com -- of Kessler Topaz Meltzer &
Check in San Francisco. The application notes that none of the
lawyers on the team "have their names on the door" but "have
spent years running nationwide MDLs -- albeit often behind the
scenes assisting their more 'notable' senior partners."

The Susman Group (for consumer): This eight-person slate lead by
Stephen Susman -- ssusman@susmangodfrey.com -- of Susman Godfrey
in Houston includes committee members Dianne Nast of NastLaw and
Berger & Montague chairwoman Sherrie Savett, both in
Philadelphia.  Ms. Savett was on the executive committee of a
data breach class action against Experian. The team has agreed
not to apply for a fee worth more than 2 percent of potential
credit monitoring services distributed to class members or 15
percent of any cash fund.

CUNA/ICBA Group (for financial institutions): This group of 12
lawyers boasts they have "lead and litigated every successful
major data breach action on behalf of financial institutions,"
including Home Depot and Target.  They claim to represent 63 of
the 71 financial institution plaintiffs suing Equifax, and the
Credit Union National Association and the Independent Community
Bankers of America are among their clients.  Nine of the
attorneys held leadership positions for the financial
institutions track in Home Depot. Co-lead counsel would be the
same co-leads of the financial institution cases in Home Depot:
Joseph Guglielmo -- jguglielmo@scott-scott.com -- of Scott +
Scott in New York and Gary Lynch -- glynch@carlsonlynch.com -- of
Carlson Lynch Sweet Kilpela & Carpenter in Pennsylvania.

The Atlanta Group (for financial institutions): This nine-person
group would be led by Michael McGlamry --
mmcglamry@popemcglamry.com -- of Pope McGlamry and Ranse Partin
-- ranse@conleygriggs.com -- of Conley Griggs Partin, both of
Atlanta, who served as co-liaison counsel for the financial
institution cases in Home Depot.  The steering committee includes
Robert Kaplan -- rkaplan@kaplanfox.com -- of New York's Kaplan
Fox & Kilsheimer, who was on the steering committee of the
financial institution cases in Home Depot. [GN]


EQUIFAX INC: CFPB Faces Backlash for Dropping Data Breach Probe
---------------------------------------------------------------
Renae Merle, writing for Washington Post, reports that democratic
lawmakers lashed out at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
on Feb. 5 amid a report that the agency was backing off an
investigation into a massive data breach at Equifax last year
that exposed sensitive data about millions of people.

Reuters, citing former officials familiar with the probe,
reported that the CFPB has not taken routine steps to move
forward with an investigation into the incident, including
ordering subpoenas or seeking sworn testimony from Equifax
executives.

The report stirred backlash from Democratic lawmakers, who have
feared that President Trump's pick to temporarily lead the
agency, Mick Mulvaney, is weakening the consumer watchdog.
Failing to investigate the data breach would put "145 million
Americans at risk [and] is malpractice," said Sen. Sherrod Brown
(Ohio), ranking Democrat of the Senate Banking Committee. Sen.
Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) said, "The Trump administration
has chosen to protect Equifax while denying Americans justice and
accountability."

The CFPB's former director, Richard Cordray, said on Twitter "if
you're not going to stand up for consumers on something this
important, then what good are you?"

The CFPB, in a statement, denied that it had dropped its
investigation into Equifax's data breach, but said it could not
comment further on an ongoing investigation.  The agency has the
authority to act against companies "in response to the failure of
institutions to engage in reasonable data security practices in
connection with the collection and maintenance of consumer report
information," the CFPB statement said. "As noted previously, the
Bureau is looking into Equifax's data breach and response."

Mr. Mulvaney has said he would be reviewing all of the CFPB
ongoing enforcement cases before they moved forward.

Mr. Mulvaney's efforts to remake the agency have repeatedly
received protests from Democrats and consumer groups.  A CFPB
unit responsible for pursuing discrimination cases was stripped
of its enforcement powers.  Mr. Mulvaney has also dropped a
lawsuit against payday lenders and said the agency would
reconsider rules the financial industry complained would be
particularly onerous.

For Republicans, who have long been critical of the CFPB,
Mr. Mulvaney's efforts are a welcome change for the agency, which
they say has been too aggressive.  In a memo to his staff,
Mr. Mulvaney said the agency would act with "humility and
prudence" and no longer "push the envelope."

But Democrats say Mr. Mulvaney is gutting the CFPB, which was
created after the global financial crisis.

Equifax drew the ire of lawmakers last year after the company's
massive data breach and its bungled response.  For several days,
the company's Twitter account directed consumers in search of
help to a fake site pretending to be Equifax and it initially
required consumers to agree not to join a class-action lawsuit to
get some form of help.  It eventually dropped that demand.

The company is now under investigation by several agencies,
including the Federal Trade Commission and the CFPB.  In
September, Cordray, then the CFPB director, said credit bureaus
such as Equifax should prepare for a "different regime" and that
"some of the critics of the consumer bureau are among the 143
million people who've now had their precious financial
information compromised and are going to have to worry about what
it means for them and their families."

But, so far, despite the heavy criticism, lawmakers have yet to
take up legislation to address the matter and regulators have not
penalized the company.  New York Attorney General Eric
Schneiderman said on Twitter that he is "continuing to move full
steam ahead" with a multistate investigation into the matter.
[GN]


FARMERS GROUP: Wins Dismissal of Abante's TCPA Suit
---------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California issued an Order granting Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
the case captioned ABANTE ROOTER & PLUMBING, Plaintiff, v.
FARMERS GROUP, INC., Defendant, Case No. 17-cv-03315-PJH (N.D.
Cal.).

This putative class action asserts two causes of action against
Farmers Group for negligently and willfully violating the
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  Abante, a California
corporation, alleges that on four occasions over an approximately
one-year period its employees received calls from defendant on
plaintiff's cellular phones and that those calls were made using
an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS).

Plaintiff alleges he did not have a previous relationship with
defendant and never provided written consent to receive any of
the above solicitation calls. Plaintiff also alleges that the
number defendant called was assigned to a cellular telephone
service for which plaintiff incurs a charge for incoming calls.
Plaintiff, however, does not allege it pays per call received.

Defendant first argues that plaintiff does not have standing to
sue under the TCPA because plaintiff has not adequately alleged a
concrete harm.

The court need not reach defendant's argument because plaintiff
has also alleged, and defendant all but ignores, a cognizable
economic injury. Plaintiff alleges that it lost employee time as
a result of plaintiff's employees receiving and answering the
calls. The diversion of employee time is a concrete injury that
confers standing.

The three elements of a TCPA claim are: (1) the defendant called
a cellular telephone number; (2) using an automatic telephone
dialing system; (3) without the recipient's prior express
consent.

For a person to "make" a call under the TCPA, the person must
either (1) directly make the call, or (2) have an agency
relationship with the person who made the call.  Defendant
contends that plaintiff has failed to establish this element
under either theory.

The court agrees.

Plaintiff's complaint is devoid of factual allegations from which
the court could infer defendant controlled or could control the
representatives.

A number of representatives stated they were calling on behalf of
"Farmers Insurance", not the defendant, or inquired whether
plaintiff was interested in Farmers insurance.

The only allegation that comes close to connecting the purported
agents and defendant is Williams' profile on defendant's website
and the use of defendant's mark and trade name. While the profile
does show that there is some connection between defendant and
Williams, it does not show what that connection is or how that
relationship relates to the alleged calls. In fact, the
allegations in the complaint leave open the possibility that
Williams paid defendant to host his profile to increase Williams'
profitability rather than the opposite scenario that plaintiff
envisions.

Plaintiff points to three allegations that supposedly establish
apparent authority. First, plaintiff argues that defendant's
agents called on defendant's behalf. Second, plaintiff argues
that the agents promoted defendant's brand and products. Third,
plaintiff argues that one of the defendant's agents is listed on
defendant's website as a Farmers Insurance Agent. The court finds
each of these insufficient.

The website, which defendant never specifically disclaims as its
own, shows Williams is a Farmers Insurance representative. It is
reasonable to infer that defendant has control over the website,
and its willingness to display Williams as a Farmers Insurance
agent implies that there is some relationship between Williams
and defendant. But again the bare existence of a relationship
does not indicate that Williams was authorized to act on
defendant's behalf or speak to the scope of that purported
authorization. Nor does it give rise to a reasonable belief that
Williams is authorized to act on defendant's behalf for all
purposes.

More fundamentally, plaintiff has not even alleged that it
reasonably relied on the website.

The Court finds that Plaintiff cannot show defendant is liable
under a ratification theory because the principal-agent
relationship is still a requisite, and ratification can have no
meaning without it.

The court finds the complaint's allegations sufficient to satisfy
this element of plaintiff's TCPA claim. Plaintiff alleges, and
defendant's briefing ignores, that Williams stated the other
agents were Farmers agents calling from a call center using an
auto dialed system. These specific factual allegations do not, as
defendant asserts, merely parrot the ATDS definition.

A full-text copy of the District Court's January 4, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y6vnub9p from Leagle.com.

Abante Rooter & Plumbing, Individually and on Behalf of All
Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff, represented by Seyed Abbas
Kazerounian -- ak@kazlg.com -- Kazerouni Law Group, APC, Yana
Hart -- yana@westcoastlitigation.com. -- Hyde and Swigart &
Joshua B. Swigart  -- josh@westcoastlitigation.com -- Hyde &
Swigart.

Farmers Group, Inc., doing business as Farmers Insurance,
Defendant, represented by Franz Phillip Hosp --
phosp@lockelord.com -- Locke Lord LLP & Randall Allan Hack --
rhack@lockelord.com -- Locke Lord LLP, pro hac vice.


GARDNER, MA: Faces Class Action Over Corrosive Water Problem
------------------------------------------------------------
Paula Owen, writing for Telegram, reports that a Boston law firm
has filed a class action lawsuit against Gardner and two of its
water consultants, alleging the city and the companies the city
hired to manage its water supply were negligent and sold,
supplied and distributed corrosive water to residents and
businesses.

Lawyer Michelle Blauner of the firm Shapiro Haber & Urmy said
that the corrosive water is alleged to have caused damage to
copper heating coils, water heaters and boilers.  Some residents
had to replace copper heating coils on multiple occasions, she
said.

The class action was filed against the city, Suez Water
Environmental Services and AECOM Technical Services, on behalf of
all residents and businesses in Gardner whose copper heating
coils, water heaters and boilers have been damaged by the
corrosive water, Ms. Blauner said.

"The city and its water companies knew for years that they could
fix the problem by adjusting the water chemistry through the
addition of an orthophosphate corrosion protector," according to
the complaint.

In August, Gardner announced its plan to add orthophosphates to
the water supply.  Nevertheless, Shapiro Haber & Urmy states, as
of the time the case was filed, that solution had not been
implemented.

Mayor Mark P. Hawke referred questions on the matter to the city
solicitor's office.

In an email, City Solicitor John M. Flick said Gardner legal
counsel was reviewing the complaint and preparing the city's
response. He said the city had no comment at this time but "a
more thorough public response" might be issued after the city
formally responded to the lawsuit.

Mr. Flick said he did not have any information regarding the
addition of orthophosphate to the city's water.

Ms. Blauner said she has no reason to believe that the corrosive
water is a potential health risk.

"To our knowledge, but we don't know," she said.

When the city sought approval from the state to build the Crystal
Lake and Snake Pond wastewater treatment plants, she said, a
consultant recommended adding orthophosphate to the water to
protect the pipes in the late 1990s. The city's water company
sought approval to add orthophosphate to the water and though the
state approved the measure, it was never added, she said.

"Before the failed coils arose, the city had an approved plan to
protect the pipes and just never added it," Ms. Blauner said.
"In doing so, in our view, they were negligent."

When coils started to fail in the mid- to early 2000s,
Ms. Blauner said, Gardner still did not add the orthophosphate.
The city began receiving complaints of coil failures and started
investigating, she said, and eventually contacted the
Environmental Protection Agency in 2011 about the issue.

Documents from 2012 indicate 400 coil failures, she said.  The
average cost of replacing one of the coils is around $500 to
$600, she said.  Coils affected are mostly in tankless hot water
systems, she said. "Their general response was telling people the
problem was with the coils, not the water," Ms. Blauner said.

The EPA determined the alkalinity of the water was very low, she
said. A year after a 2015 report, the city asked the state,
again, for approval to add orthophosphate, she said.  That was
approved in August 2017.

"As far as we know, they haven't still added it," Ms. Blauner
said. [GN]


GENESIS HEALTH: Court Dismisses KWPA Claim in "McGowan" Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Daniel d. Crabtree of the U.S. District Court for the
District of Kansas granted the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
Count II of the case, RONNIE McGOWAN, on behalf of himself and
all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. GENESIS
HEALTH CLUBS MANAGEMENT, INC., Defendant, Case No. 17-2419-DDC-
KGS (D. Kan.).

The Defendant is a health and fitness club who operates about 40
locations in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, and Oklahoma.  From
February 2017 until April 2017, it employed the Plaintiff as a
Fitness Advisor at one of its health clubs in Overland Park,
Kansas.  The Defendant paid the Plaintiff on a salary plus
commission basis.

During the Plaintiff's employment, the Defendant had a policy and
practice of failing and refusing to pay overtime compensation to
its Fitness Advisors for all hours worked exceeding 40 hours per
week.  It subjected the Plaintiff and other employees to this
policy and practice during their employment.  According to the
Plaintiff, the Defendant requires its Fitness Advisors to work
about 50 hours per week.  Thus, the Plaintiff asserts, the
Defendant failed to pay him and other similarly situated
employees overtime compensation for all hours worked.

The Plaintiff asserts that the Defendant's pay practices violate
the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and the Kansas Wage Payment
Act ("KWPA").  He seeks to bring his FLSA claim as a collective
action under 29 U.S.C. Section 216(b) and his KWPA claim as a
class action under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.  He asks
to represent a putative class that includes current and former
employees of the Defendant who worked as Fitness Advisors in
Kansas, and throughout the nation, and who never received
overtime compensation for all hours worked.

The Defendant has filed a Motion to Dismiss, asking the Court to
dismiss Count II of the Plaintiff's Complaint -- the KWPA claim -
- under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).  The Defendant
asserts that the Plaintiff's KWPA claim fails to state a
plausible claim for relief because Kansas law precludes him from
asserting state law overtime wage claims against an employer
covered by the FLSA.  The Plaintiff has filed an Opposition to
the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss.  And the Defendant has filed a
Reply.

Judge Crabtree explains that majority of the Court's cases have
reached the conclusion that the Defendant urges the Court to
reach that the Plaintiff's KWPA claim for overtime wages fails to
state a claim against an employer covered by the FLSA.  Also, one
of the more recent cases determined that the FLSA preempts any
state law claim that attempts to assert a cause of action for
overtime claims because the federal statute expressly provides
for such a claim.

The Judge finds the reasoning of these more recent cases sound
and convincing.  And, he predicts that the Kansas Supreme Court -
- if presented with the issue -- would reach the same conclusion
as these cases.  The Judge thus follows the majority of cases the
Court has decided on the issue.  And he concludes that the
Plaintiff's KWPA claim for overtime violations fails to state a
plausible claim for relief because Kansas law precludes state
statutory claims to recover overtime wages against FLSA-covered
employers, like the Defendant.

For reasons he explained, Judge Crabtree granted the Defendant's
Motion to Dismiss, and dismissed the Plaintiff's KWPA claim
(Count II) from the action.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Memorandum and
Order is available at https://is.gd/kveSZN from Leagle.com.

Ronnie McGowan, On behalf of himself and all other persons
similarly situated, Benjamin Alaniz, David Knox & Shaun Waufle,
Plaintiffs, represented by Mark A. Kistler --
mkistler@mbradylaw.com -- Brady & Associates Law Office & Sara T.
Ballew -- sballew@mbradylaw.com -- Brady & Associates Law Office.

Genesis Health Clubs Management, Inc., Defendant, represented by
Brendan McPherson -- bmcpherson@polsinelli.com -- Polsinelli PC,
James C. Sullivan -- jsullivan@polsinelli.com -- Polsinelli PC &
Robert J. Hingula -- rhingula@polsinelli.com -- Polsinelli PC.


HARVEY WEINSTEIN: K&L Not Named Defendant in Cover-up Suit
----------------------------------------------------------
The Class Action Reporter, citing Scott Flaherty of The American
Lawyer, previously reported that a racketeering lawsuit claims
several law firms, including K&L Gates and Boies Schiller
Flexner, were key participants in an alleged scheme to cover up
widespread sexual misconduct on the part of disgraced Hollywood
producer Harvey Weinstein.

K&L Gates LLP provided the following statement to Mr. Flaherty:

     "We are aware of the lawsuits filed against Harvey Weinstein
and others that mention K&L Gates.  K&L Gates is not named as a
defendant in the lawsuits but the suits attempt to claim that the
firm was involved in a scheme to facilitate or cover up
Mr. Weinstein's activities.  The claims relating to K&L Gates are
false.  K&L Gates has never represented Mr. Weinstein or any
other person or entity concerning investigations or inquiries
relating to Mr. Weinstein."

According to The American Lawyer, six women, represented by
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro, filed a proposed class action in
Manhattan federal court on December 6, 2017, accusing Mr.
Weinstein, the Weinstein Co., the company's board members,
Miramax Film Corp. and others of violating the Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.  The complaint
parallels a similar one filed in California, with both complaints
alleging that advisers and others in Weinstein's orbit --
referred to as members of a "Weinstein Sexual Enterprise" --
helped "facilitate and conceal" a pattern of unwanted sexual
conduct perpetrated by the film producer, The American Lawyer
said.

The American Lawyer related that prominent litigator David Boies
and his law firm Boies Schiller had already been in the public
spotlight over his work for Weinstein following a New Yorker
report that the lawyer contracted with an Israeli private
intelligence agency, Black Cube, as it was trying to derail a
potential New York Times story about Weinstein's predatory
behavior toward women.  That scrutiny continued when Boies'
actions came up again in a lengthy New York Times article looking
at people who helped Weinstein keep his misconduct under wraps,
the report said.

But the successive RICO suits also suggest that the fallout from
the Weinstein scandal is expanding to include other legal
advisers, the report added.

Although it does not specifically name lawyers or law firms as
defendants, the Dec. 6 complaint casts the lawyers and law firms
surrounding Weinstein -- including Boies Schiller, K&L Gates,
U.K.-based BCL Burton Copeland, and Israel-based Gross,
Kleinhendler, Hodak, Halevy, Greenberg & Co. -- as central
figures in the alleged scheme to cover up his misconduct, The
American Lawyer report noted.  The firms are described as "co-
conspirators" along with others that included Weinstein's
business associates and private intelligence firms, the report
said.

"The law firm participants provided cover and shield to the
Weinstein participants by contracting with the intelligence
participants on behalf of the Weinstein participants and
permitting the Weinstein participants to protect evidence of
Weinstein's misconduct under the guise of the attorney-client
privilege or the doctrine of attorney work product when that was
not the case," the complaint said.  "The law firm participants
also approved the intelligence participants' 'operational
methodologies,' which were illegal."


ILLINOIS: Court Dismisses "Henrichs" Suit
-----------------------------------------
In the case, WILLIAM J. HENRICHS, MYRON S. ALEXANDER, ROBERT
PELUSO, JOSEPH RIZZO, and JEFFREY L. SPICER, individually and on
behalf of all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v.
ILLINOIS LAW ENFORCEMENT TRAINING AND STANDARDS BOARD, VALERIE L.
SALMONS, PATRICK HARTSHORN, JOHN H. SCHLAF, TIM BECKER, TIMOTHY
NUGENT, LAUREL LUNT PRUSSING, RICHARD WATSON, BRENT FISCHER, TIM
GLEASON, DARRYL STROUD, PAUL D. WILLIAMS, JAN W. NOBLE, LISA
MADIGAN, GARRY McCARTHY, THOMAS DART, SEAN M. COX, DOROTHY BROWN,
MICHAEL SCHLOSSER, LEO SCHMITZ, and DONALD STOLWORTHY,
Defendants, Case No. 15 C 10265 (N.D. Ill.), Judge Gary Feinerman
of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois,
Eastern Division, denied the Defendants' Rule 12(b)(1) motions,
but granted their Rule 12(b)(6) motions.

The Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act ("LEOSA") gives retired
law enforcement officers satisfying certain requirements the
right, notwithstanding any state or local law to the contrary, to
carry a concealed weapon.  One such requirement is that the
retired officer meets LEOSA's definition of qualified retired law
enforcement officer.  The other is that the retired officer
possesses an identification, issued by the officer's former law
enforcement agency, that identifies the person as having been
employed as a police officer or law enforcement officer and that
certifies that the officer has recently had the requisite
training.

Illinois law commits to the Illinois Law Enforcement Training and
Standards Board the responsibility under the Illinois Retired
Officer Concealed Carry ("IROCC") program to certify qualified
retired law enforcement officers for eligibility under the
program.  The term "qualified retired law enforcement officer"
under the Board's regulations incorporates the term "law
enforcement officer" from the same regulations, which is defined
to mean any police officer of a governmental agency who is
primarily responsible for prevention or detection of crime and
the enforcement of a criminal code or traffic or highway laws of
any state or any political subdivision.  This definition of "law
enforcement officer" mirrors the definition set forth in the
Illinois Police Training Act, 50 ILCS 705/2, although it is
narrower than LEOSA's definition of "qualified retired law
enforcement officer."

Henrichs, Alexander, Peluso, and Rizzo ("Cook County Plaintiffs")
retired in good standing after at least 10 years' service as Cook
County Deputy Sheriffs.  Each was assigned to correctional or
court service.  In 2013 and 2014, each applied to the Board for
IROCC eligibility.  The Board denied their applications in
October 2015, explaining as to each that the Cook County
Sheriff's Office indicated that he did not attend an approved law
enforcement academy and therefore, he was not issued a law
enforcement certificate and could not verify that he was a police
officer under the definition of the Illinois Police Training Act
and the corresponding IROCC rules.

The Plaintiffs allege that the Board deprived them of their LEOSA
right to carry a concealed firearm by refusing to verify that
they are qualified retired law enforcement officers. They also
allege that the Board's refusal violated their procedural due
process rights by depriving them of their property interest in
the concealed carry permits for which they applied.

The Plaintiffs further allege that the Board violated the Equal
Protection Clause by arbitrarily treating them differently from
other Sheriff's Deputies who received IROCC certification.
Finally, the Cook County Plaintiffs allege that the Board and
Dart conspired to deprive them of their federal rights.  They
seek a declaration that they qualify for concealed carry permits,
an injunction directing the Defendants to issue certifications to
that effect, and damages.

The Board and Dart move under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) to dismiss the complaint.  They argue that
the Plaintiffs' LEOSA claims actually arise under state law
because the crux of the suit is whether correctional and court
officers like the Plaintiffs qualify as "law enforcement
officers" under Illinois law.

Judge Feinerman holds that unlike the federal definition, the
Illinois definition does not include officers who worked in a
correctional environment.  That is precisely the ground on which
the Board rested its denial of the Plaintiffs' IROCC applications
-- the Plaintiffs worked as Sheriff's Deputies in corrections,
not in any of the capacities referenced by the Illinois
definition.  The Plaintiffs allege that the Board's exclusion of
them from the IROCC program violated their LEOSA right to a
concealed carry permit because, regardless of what Illinois law
might say, they are qualified retired law enforcement officers
under LEOSA.  And they seek to use Section 1983 as the vehicle to
enforce what they believe to be their LEOSA rights.

Therein lays the flaw in the Plaintiffs' LEOSA claim.  The Judge
finds that LEOSA does not give concealed carry rights to any
individual who satisfies its definition of qualified retired law
enforcement officer.  Rather, LEOSA gives such rights to a
qualified retired law enforcement officer only if that individual
has the identification required by subsection (d).

Judge Feinerman also holds that the Plaintiffs' procedural due
process claim fails on the merits.  The Plaintiffs contend that
they possess a legitimate claim of entitlement to their status as
law enforcement officers and to its specific retirement benefit,
to wit: an IROCC card issued pursuant to LEOSA.  The Judge says
that theory fails for the reasons that the LEOSA claim fails:
LEOSA gives them no right to, and thus no property interest in,
the concealed carry permits that they seek.  Nor do they have a
state law entitlement to the concealed carry permits or their
"status as law enforcement officers."

The Judge further holds that the Plaintiffs' own pleadings
establish that the Board's refusal to confirm their eligibility
for concealed carry permits was rationally related to a
legitimate government interest.  They were assigned to
corrections or court service during their careers as Sheriff's
Deputies, and the Board determined that they do not qualify as
"law enforcement officers" under its regulations, which cover
only those officers primarily responsible for the prevention or
detection of crime.

Finally, as to the Plaintiffs' claim that the Board and Dart
conspired to deprive them of their federal rights, the Judge
holds that because the Cook County Plaintiffs have no viable
LEOSA, due process, or equal protection claim, their conspiracy
claim fails as well.

For the reasons stated, Judge Feinerman denied the Defendants'
Rule 12(b)(1) motions, but granted their Rule 12(b)(6) motions.
He dismissed the Plaintiffs' claims, and because the flaws in
their claims cannot be cured with repleading, the dismissal is
with prejudice.  Although the Plaintiffs have no right under
LEOSA or the Fourteenth Amendment to a concealed carry permit,
they of course remain entitled under Illinois law to apply for a
concealed carry permit in the ordinary course.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Memorandum Opinion
and Order is available at https://is.gd/Q1CjQa from Leagle.com.

William J. Henrichs, Individually and on behalf of all other
persons similarly situated, Myron S Alexander, Individually and
on behalf of all other persons similarly situated, Robert Peluso,
Individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly
situated & Joseph Rizzo, Individually and on behalf of all other
persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs, represented by Lucy
Kirschinger , Attorney Consumer Counseling.

Illinois Law Enforcement Training and Standards Board, Valerie L.
Salmons, Patrick Hartshorn, John H. Schlaf, Tim Becker, Timothy
Nugent, Laurel Lunt Prussing, Richard Watson, Brent Fischer, Tim
Gleason, Darryl Stroud, Paul D Williams, Jan W Noble, Lisa
Madigan, Garry McCarthy, Dorothy Brown, Michael Schlosser, Leo
Schmitz & Donald Stolworthy, Defendants, represented by T. Andrew
Horvat, Illinois Attorney General's Office General Law Bureau &
Chad Michael Skarpiak, Office of the Illinois Attorney General.

Thomas Dart, Defendant, represented by Marie D. Spicuzza, Cook
County State's Attorneys Office.


INDUCTOR MAKERS: Lifetime Service Asserts Inductor Price-fixing
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lifetime Service Center, Inc., Plaintiff, on behalf of itself and
others similarly situated, v. Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd.,
Murata Electronics North America, Inc., Panasonic Corporation,
Panasonic Corporation Of North America, Panasonic Electronic
Devices Co. Ltd, Panasonic Electronic Devices Corporation Of
America, Sumida Corporation, Sumida Electric Co., Ltd., Sumida
America Components, Inc., Taiyo Yuden Co., Ltd., Taiyo Yuden
(U.S.A.) Inc., TDK Corporation, TDK-EPC Corporation and TDK
U.S.A. Corporation, Defendants, Case No. 18-cv-00511 (N.D. Cal.,
January 23, 2018), seeks damages and any other available legal or
equitable remedies resulting from violations of the Sherman Act.

Defendants are manufacturers of discrete inductors and are
accused of fixing and stabilizing the prices of inductors.
Discrete inductors are passive electronic components fixed to a
circuit board and are ubiquitous in thousands of products that
rely on electronic circuits for power including laptop and
desktop computers, cars, televisions, wireless handsets, video
game consoles and wireless LAN boxes. Defendants allegedly formed
a cartel in the late 1990s resulting from increased competition
from Korean and Taiwanese manufacturers.

Lifetime Service Center offers repair and reverse logistic
solutions to the consumer electronics industry. It purchased
inductors directly from said Defendants. [BN]

Plaintiff is represented by:

      Allan Steyer, Esq.
      D. Scott Macrae, Esq.
      STEYER LOWENTHAL BOODROOKAS ALVAREZ & SMITH LLP
      One California Street, Suite 300
      San Francisco, CA 94111
      Telephone: (415) 421-3400
      Facsimile: (415) 421-2234
      Email: asteyer@steyerlaw.com
             smacrae@bamlawca.com

             - and -

      Arthur N. Bailey, Esq.
      R. Anthony Rupp, III, Esq.
      Marco Cercone, Esq.
      RUPP BASE PFALZGRAF CUNNINGHAM, LLC
      424 Main Street, 1600 Liberty Building
      Buffalo, NY 14202
      Tel: (716) 854-3400
      Email: bailey@ruppbaase.com
             rupp@ruppbaase.com
             cercone@ruppbaase.com


INTEREXCHANGE INC: Judge Certifies Class of 90,000 Au Pairs
-----------------------------------------------------------
Robert Iafolla, writing for Reuters, reports that a Denver
federal judge has certified a nationwide class of more than
90,000 au pairs in a lawsuit that accuses companies that recruit
and place au pairs with families in the United States of
conspiring to keep their wages low.

U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello certified 18 separate
classes of au pairs on Feb. 2, including a nationwide class
alleging 15 companies authorized by the U.S. State Department to
sponsor au pairs under the J-1 visa program violated federal
antitrust law by fixing their pay at the same weekly rate.  The
plaintiffs' attorneys at Boies Schiller Flexner estimated total
damages could exceed $2.5 billion. [GN]


JOHNSON & JOHNSON: Opening Arguments Begin in Talcum Product Case
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad, writing for Law.com, reports that opening
arguments began in the second trial linking Johnson & Johnson's
talcum powder products to mesothelioma.  Law.com's Charles
Toutant had this report on the contrasting stories told to jurors
about what caused plaintiff Stephen Lanzo to be exposed to
asbestos.  Johnson & Johnson, which denies that its baby powder
contains asbestos, blamed it on basement pipes and school
buildings.

Ms. Bronstad reached out to Mr. Toutant, who added this detail
about the plaintiff, as told by Moshe Maimon of Levy Konigsberg
during openings:

"Maimon said Lanzo has had a lifelong love of hockey.  He played
it when he was younger and coached hockey teams as an adult.  He
said Lanzo used the defendant's powder after showering, and that
Lanzo's wife, Kendra, would buy two large bottles of Johnson's
Baby Powder each month." [GN]


LE CORDON BLEU: Culinary Students' Class Action Nears Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Nina Mehlhaf, writing for KGW8 News, reports that imagine paying
$40,000 to go to a prestigious school, but only being taught
enough to make minimum wage.

That's what 2,200 students of a Portland cooking school said
happened to them at the now-closed Le Cordon Bleu Culinary
School.  Their class-action lawsuit is now headed toward
settlement after 10 years.

Once this settlement is finalized, the school has agreed to pay
back 44 percent of students' tuition or loan amount.

Le Cordon Bleu Culinary School was above the downtown Portland
Target store, but all 16 locations across the country closed down
in 2017.  The closures were unrelated to the lawsuit.

Several big name Portland chefs graduated from there, and
students say the culinary school billed itself as a prestigious,
hard-to-get-into stepping stone to becoming a successful chef or
owning your own restaurant.

"I'm a shift suprerviser for Round Table Pizza, and for a year
and a half I was at Subway managing over there," said 2008
graduate Carrie Rios.  It's a far cry from her dream of owning
her own restaurant or being a chef.

She took out the $40,000 loan they said it cost to attend. That
was more expensive than a 4-year bachelor's degree at the
University of Oregon at that time.

But the lawsuit says most graduates, including Rios, only ever
get minimum wage jobs like dishwasher, bussing tables or
bartenders.  The suit said the students over-paid in a predatory
loan process, and got the most basic skills for an entry-level
position.

"The whole application process, that was a complete lie they let
in anybody as long as they had money or approval for a loan, they
took them," said Ms. Rios.  "This whole thing of it's so
prestigious is all a lie and that made me real angry when I found
out about it."

Portland Attorney David Sugerman has been working on this case
for 10 years.  "The schools aren't allowed to sell education to
someone who's not likely to benefit," said Mr. Sugerman.

He discovered a secret deal between the school's Chicago-based
parent company Career Education Corp. and loan company Sallie Mae
that overcharged students by 44 percent so the loan company could
pocket the money.

On top of that, Mr. Sugerman says the promise of a good salary,
in a chef-type job was not what was happening.  "Instead these
are jobs people could get off the street without ever going to
culinary school that pay minimum wage.  So now all you have is
$40,000 of high interest debt."

Ms. Rios will now get $17,000 back if all gets approved with the
settlement.  She wants to put it toward buying a house.

"I just hope this is an awareness for other people to prevent
them from scamming more innocent people," Ms. Rios said.

To get the money, you will need to file a claim.  You can check
here if you qualify.

Claim forms should be going out in March. Once the claim period
starts, you will have 90 days to file your claim.  If you don't
file it by then, you lose your right to make a claim, and Career
Education Corp. gets to keep the money. [GN]


LG ELECTRONICS: No Deal Over Bootlooping LG Phones, Atty Said
-------------------------------------------------------------
Dominik Bosnjak, writing for Android Headlines, reports that LG
Electronics did not agree to a class-action settlement over
widespread bootlooping issues with some of its smartphones
earlier this month, according to law firm Girard Gibbs LLP which
filed for litigation against the company last year. While the
matter has ultimately been resolved as originally reported, the
attorneys representing the plaintiffs issued a comment to clarify
the case never received class-action status, so the settlement
itself isn't class-action in nature, i.e. it cannot benefit the
vast majority of the millions of people who purchased one of the
Android devices that were the subject of the lawsuit. Instead,
only several hundreds of consumers who participated in the
litigation targeting the bootlooping issues of the LG G4, G5,
V10, V20, and the Nexus 5X are legally entitled to the $700
rebate toward the purchase of a new LG phone or $425 in damages.

Girard Gibbs also revealed that LG agreed to extend the warranty
of the affected devices to 30 months from their date of purchase,
using that as the basis for the rebate and compensation it
offered. Those who haven't participated in the lawsuit but have a
bootlooping device from the company that's been targeted by the
litigation are recommended to contact LG directly and see if
they're able to be compensated by the firm's customer service
department or receive a replacement unit in light of recent
developments but must be aware the company isn't legally
compelled to comply with their requests. If that fails, Girard
Gibbs says new complainants are welcomed to contact it,
indicating that an identical lawsuit with another roster of
plaintiffs may be in the works.

The law firm filed to have the litigation classified as being
class-action in nature on request of a Los Angeles-based federal
court, though the move itself only allowed it to continue
pursuing individual arbitrations against the South Korean tech
giant on behalf of its clients. While its class-action request
wasn't approved, its existence is likely what led to numerous
media outlets reporting the settlement as such, prompting people
who haven't participated in bringing the case to court to think
that they're still able to join the settlement as they would be
if it was defined as a class-action one. LG has been accused of
delivering a number of devices with high bootlooping rates in
recent times but none of its 2017 offerings exhibited similar
problems. The term "bootloop" refers to an unusable smartphone
state that has the device being stuck on its operating system
boot screen, being unable to load up the OS -- Android, in LG's
case -- that's powering it. [GN]


LINCOLN, CA: Feb. 27 Status Conference in "MacCracken"
------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
California issued an Order setting Status Conference in the case
captioned RICHARD MACCRACKEN, et al. Plaintiffs, v. CITY OF
LINCOLN, Defendant, Case No. 16-cv-01680-WHO (E.D. Cal.).

The Court sets a Status Conference for February 27, 2018 at 3:00
p.m.  If the parties file their motion for approval of the
settlement agreement before that date, the hearing will be
automatically vacated and no appearance will be required.

A full-text copy of the District Court's January 4, 2018 Order is
available at  https://tinyurl.com/y7heffjg from Leagle.com.

Richard MacCracken, on behalf of himself and all similarly
situated individuals, Plaintiff, represented by David Emilio
Mastagni -- davidm@mastagni.com -- Mastagni Holstedt, APC, Ace
Thomas Tate -- atate@mastagni.com -- Mastagni Holstedt, APC &
Isaac Sean Stevens -- istevens@mastagni.com -- Mastagni Holstedt,
APC.

City of Lincoln, Defendant, represented by Larry M. Kazanjian --
lkazanjian@pkwhlaw.com -- Palmer Kazanjian Wohl Hodson LLP.


MAGNACHIP SEMICONDUCTOR: June 9 Proof of Claim Deadline Set
-----------------------------------------------------------
Pomerantz LLP and The Rosen Law Firm, P.A. on Feb. 5 disclosed
that the United States District Court for the Northern District
of California has approved the following announcement of a
proposed class action settlement that would benefit purchasers of
common stock of MagnaChip Semiconductor Corp. (NYSE:MX):

SUMMARY NOTICE OF PENDENCY AND PROPOSED SETTLEMENT OF CLASS
ACTION

TO:    ALL PERSONS WHO PURCHASED THE COMMON STOCK OF MAGNACHIP
SEMICONDUCTOR CORP. ("MAGNACHIP") BETWEEN FEBRUARY 1, 2012 AND
MARCH 11, 2014, INCLUSIVE

This Settlement pertains to remaining claims against Avenue
Capital Management II, L.P.  IF YOU ALREADY PROVIDED A PROOF OF
CLAIM IN CONNECTION WITH THE PRIOR SETTLEMENT, YOU DO NOT NEED TO
SUBMIT ANOTHER. THE NOTICE AND PROOF OF CLAIM FORM ARE AVAILABLE
ON THE SETTLEMENT WEBSITE www.strategicclaims.net/MagnaChip, or
by calling the Claims Administrator at 1-866-274-4004.

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED, pursuant to an Order of the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California,
that a hearing will be held on May 10, 2018, at 2:30 p.m. in
Courtroom 9 before the Honorable Jon S. Tigar, United States
District Judge of the Northern District of California, 450 Golden
Gate Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102 (the "Settlement Hearing")
to determine whether (1) the $6,200,000 Settlement of remaining
claims and proposed Plan of Allocation should be approved as
fair, reasonable, and adequate; (2) to finally determine whether
the Order and Final Judgment as provided under the Stipulation
should be entered; (3) to consider the application of Class
Counsel for an award of Attorneys' Fees not to exceed 25% of the
Gross Settlement Fund and reimbursement of expenses not to exceed
$1,100,000, and for an Award to Class Representatives Keith
Thomas and Herb Smith not to exceed $2,000 each; and (4) to
consider any objections to the Settlement.

If you already submitted a Proof of Claim to the Claims
Administrator in this Action, you need not submit another.  If
you are a member of the Class and did not previously submit a
Proof of Claim to the Claims Administrator in connection with the
previous settlement in this Action, you must submit a Proof of
Claim and Release postmarked no later than June 9, 2018.  Unless
you submit a written exclusion request to the Claims
Administrator so that it is received no later than April 19,
2018, you will be bound by any judgment rendered in the Action
whether or not you have submitted a Proof of Claim.  You may
object to the Settlement or exclude yourself from the Settlement
as provided in the Notice available on
www.strategicclaims.net/MagnaChip.  Full contact information for
the Claims Administrator and Class Counsel is also provided in
the Notice.

PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT THE COURT OR THE CLERK'S OFFICE REGARDING
THIS NOTICE.

DATED: January 22, 2018

BY ORDER OF THE UNITED STATES
DISTRICT COURT FOR THE
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA [GN]


MARRONE BIO: Court Grants Withdrawal of M. McGaughey
----------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
California issued an Order Granting Lead Plaintiff's Motion to
Withdraw as Counsel in the case captioned SPECIAL SITUATIONS FUND
III QP, L.P., SPECIAL SITUATIONS CAYMAN FUND, L.P, and DAVID M.
FINEMAN, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated, Plaintiffs, v. MARRONE BIO INNOVATIONS, INC., PAMELA G.
MARRONE, JAMES B. BOYD, DONALD J. GLIDEWELL, HECTOR ABSI, ELIN
MILLER, RANJEET BHATIA, PAMELA CONTAG, TIM FOGARTY, LAWRENCE
HOUGH, JOSEPH HUDSON, LES LYMAN, RICHARD ROMINGER, SHAUGN
STANLEY, SEAN SCHICKEDANZ, and ERNST & YOUNG LLP, Defendants,
Master No. 2:14-cv-2571-MCE-KJN (E.D. Cal.).

Upon consideration of Lead Plaintiffs' Motion for Leave to
Withdraw as Counsel, and for good cause shown, it is ordered that
Michael J. McGaughey is withdrawn as a counsel of record.

A full-text copy of the District Court's January 4, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/ycgsv727 from Leagle.com.

Special Situations Fund III QP, L.P., Special Situations Cayman
Fund, L.P. & David M. Fineman, Plaintiffs, represented by Katie
Rose Glynn -- kglynn@lowenstein.com -- Lowenstein Sandler LLP.
Kent Oldham, Plaintiff, represented by Robert S. Green --
gnecf@classcounsel.com -- Green & Noblin, P.C.

Marrone Bio Innovations, Inc., Pamela G. Marrone, James B. Boyd,
Donald J. Glidewell, Elin Miller, Ranjeet Bhatia, Pamela Contag,
Tim Fogarty, Lawrence Hough, Joseph Hudson, Les Lyman, Richard
Rominger, Shaugn Stanley & Sean Schickedanz, Defendants,
represented by Judson Earle Lobdell -- jlobdell@mofo.com --
Morrison & Foerster LLP.

Hector Absi, Defendant, represented by John V. McDermott --
jmcdermott@bhfs.com  -- Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP, pro
hac vice, Jonathan Charles Sandler -- jsandler@bhfs.com  --
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck & Judson Earle Lobdell, Morrison
& Foerster LLP.

Piper Jaffray & Co., Roth Capital Partners, LLC, Jefferies, LLC &
Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc., Defendants, represented by
Charlene Sachi Shimada -- charlene.shimada@morganlewis.com --
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP & Lucy Han Wang --
lucy.wang@morganlewis.com -- Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.
Ernst & Young, LLP, Defendant, represented by Elizabeth Dianne
Mann -- emann@mayerbrown.com -- Mayer Brown LLP & Stanley J.
Parzen -- sparzen@mayerbrown.com -- Mayer Brown and Platt, pro
hac vice.

Special Situations Cayman Fund, L.P. & Special Situations Fund
III QP, L.P., Movants, represented by Lawrence M. Rolnick --
lrolnick@lowenstein.com -- Lowenstein Sandler LLP, pro hac vice,
Steven M. Hecht -- shecht@lowenstein.com -- Lowenstein Sandler
LLP, pro hac vice & Thomas E. Redburn, Jr. --
tredburn@lowenstein.com -- Lowenstein Sandler LLP, pro hac vice.
Marrone Investor Group, Movant, represented by Jon A. Tostrud --
jtostrud@tostrudlaw.com -- Tostrud Law Group, P.C.
United States of America, Movant, represented by Todd A. Pickles,
United States Attorney's Office.


MDL 2353: Court Certifies Class of Consumers in Juice Label Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lawrence I Weinstein, Esq. -- lweinstein@proskauer.com -- and
Daniel Werb. Esq. -- dwerb@proskauer.com -- of Proskauer Rose
LLP, in an article for The National Law Review, wrote that
recently, a New Jersey federal district court judge refused to
certify a class of consumers claiming an orange juice product was
mislabeled as "pasteurized."  In re: Tropicana Orange Juice
Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, 2018 WL 497071 (D.N.J.
Jan. 22, 2018).  According to plaintiffs, Tropicana's "Pure
Premium" orange juice contained added natural flavoring in
violation of FDA pasteurization standards.  The court denied the
class certification motion because plaintiffs failed to prove
that common issues predominated under Rule 23(b)(3) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  Since multiple named
plaintiffs testified that they did not even see the word
"pasteurized" on the product label, much less rely on it, class
certification was put out to pasture.

At the certification stage, the evidence showed that plaintiffs
considered various factors when buying orange juice, including
price, vitamin content, taste, reduced sugar content and name
recognition.  However, only one of seven named plaintiffs cited
the product being pasteurized as a factor in her purchasing
decision.  One plaintiff did not recall seeing the word
"pasteurized" on the label, and another admitted she did not even
look at the label.  Additionally, plaintiffs' own survey showed
that over twenty percent of respondents would purchase the
product even with knowledge it did not conform to the FDA's
pasteurization standard, which "suggest[ed] a great variation in
how putative subclass members would react to the knowledge that
[Tropicana's Pure Premium] did conform to the standard."  Id. at
*8.  On this evidence, the court held that questions of fact
predominated over common issues with respect to all of
plaintiffs' remaining claims for relief. [GN]


MDL 2804: Howard County Plans to File Suit Over Opioid Crisis
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kate Magill, writing for Howard County Times, reports that Howard
County will take its first steps toward filing a lawsuit against
drug companies that make powerful painkillers that have been
linked to tens of thousands of overdose deaths nationwide.

The county's Office of Law will start interviewing law firms as
part of a plan to seek monetary damages related to the
"tremendous amount of resources that local jurisdictions have had
to devote to the [opioid] crisis," county spokeswoman Deidre
McCabe said.

Decisions on which manufacturing companies the county will sue,
as well as the amount of money the county is seeking, won't be
made until a firm has been selected, according to McCabe.  The
firm will also determine the court in which to pursue the
county's case; McCabe said it could be a state circuit court.

If it decides to take legal action, the county would join
Baltimore, Anne Arundel, Harford and Montgomery counties and
Baltimore City in suing drug makers.

The county continues its battle against opioid overdoses, with 18
fatal and non-fatal overdoses in the county last month, compared
to 10 in January 2017, according to police.  In 2017, there were
228 fatal and non-fatal overdoses.

A representative for the national Pharmaceutical Research and
Manufacturers of America said the trade association does not
comment on legal matters related to individual lawsuits, but that
the association is "deeply committed" to combating the national
opioid crisis.

Kathleen Hoke, a law professor at University of Maryland's
Francis King Carey School of Law and director of the Legal
Resource Center for Public Health Policy, said that as more
jurisdictions sue manufacturers, common claims fall under
consumer-protection law, including fraudulent misrepresentation
from manufacturers to consumers.

"The theme being in some instances directly manipulating
providers and patients into believing the drug would do things
that it wouldn't do, and more importantly not disclosing the
potential and significant negative consequences of starting to
use the drugs at all," she said.

Ms. Hoke said some jurisdictions may also claim the opioid crisis
has caused a public nuisance, but that this could be a tougher
legal claim to uphold in court.

The next step for cases across the country, Ms. Hoke said, is the
discovery phase, during which law firms will begin researching
what manufacturers knew about the risks behind opioids and what
they failed to disclose to the public.

"Preliminarily there is certainly sufficient evidence to bring
these claims," Ms. Hoke said.  "The industry will fight this very
hard."

Ms. Hoke said it's possible that counties could choose to file a
class-action suit, consolidating individual lawsuits.

Some jurisdictions, including Anne Arundel County and Baltimore
City, have also sued individual doctors if or acting as "pill
mills" to push large amounts of drugs onto consumers.

It's too early in the litigation process, Ms. Hoke said, to know
how many of the lawsuits across the country will go to trial. She
said that many of the jurisdictions are looking to recoup costs
including, emergency response to overdoses, supplies of the
lifesaving drug Naloxone and substance abuse counseling.

"The local governments are going to stay in the game until they
have to get out [because of dismissal] or they have a good reason
to get because they've reached a settlement," she said.

It's unclear, if Howard County files a lawsuit, who would pay the
attorneys and other costs. [GN]


MDL 2804: Lewis County to Look Into Opioid Crisis Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------------
Steve Virkler, writing for Watertown Daily Times, reports that
Lewis County legislators were expected on Feb. 6 to take a second
look at joining a class-action lawsuit against the major
manufacturers of opioid drugs after handily rejecting it last
fall.

However, Legislator Jerry H. King, R-West Leyden, who is slated
to reintroduce the resolution at the lawmakers' 5 p.m. meeting,
said he will only support it if an amendment is made to allocate
any awarded funding for a specific purpose.

"I want it to be used for the purpose it was intended, not to run
the county," said Mr. King, chairman of the legislative Ways and
Means Committee.

County legislators in November by a 6-2 vote opposed contracting
with New York City law firm Simmons, Hanly, Conroy P.C., to join
planned legal proceedings against manufacturers of prescription
opiates, with only Legislator Richard A. Chartrand, D-Lowville,
and now ex-Legislator Craig R. Brennan, R-Deer River, in favor.

Most legislators at the time suggested they felt uncomfortable
placing so much culpability on drug-makers.

Mr. King, who voted against the resolution in November, said he
still believes there is plenty of blame to go around.  However,
he said he could see the value of seeking settlement funding if
it goes directly toward fighting the epidemic and is not just put
into the county general fund, as money from a past settlement
with a big tobacco company has been.

"It needs to go where it will do the most good," Mr. King said.

Any money received from opioid manufacturers would be best spent
on ways to help residents battle drug addictions, he said.

Mr. King also suggested the county lobby for insurance companies
to pay for longer-term addiction treatment and find ways to keep
addicts from going back to the environments that helped foster
the addictions.

Several other counties, including St. Lawrence, have already
signed on with Simmons, Hanly, Conroy to participate in the legal
action. The firm won't charge the counties any money unless the
lawsuit results in a financial settlement from the companies.

According to the resolution, "the intent of the County litigation
against manufacturers of these addicting painkillers is to hold
opioid manufacturers responsible for their fraudulent marketing
tactics, declaring opioids safe for pain management, despite
contrary medical statistics and studies.  This deliberate and
misleading marketing is a contributing cause to this crisis and
the increased costs the County has incurred and continues to
incur as a result of this crisis in our communities."

The Legislature now has three new members: John V. Lehman, R-
Indian River; Ronald J. Burns, R-Copenhagen, and Randall L.
LaChausse, I-Beaver Falls.

Legislators at the Feb. 6 meeting were also slated to consider
$67,502.99 in one-time payments to six villages with water
systems "so that overall economic development may improve where
water infrastructures are properly maintained."

The money would effectively reimburse the villages -- primarily
Lowville -- for county taxes paid on watershed properties outside
their municipal boundaries. With the county having some budgetary
surplus from 2017, the move, if approved, would offer the
villages and their water users some relief this year, Mr. King
said.

Legislators late last year discussed re-establishing a tax
exemption for Lewis County villages on water or sewer properties
located outside their boundaries but have been hesitant to take
action, citing pending legal action.

The city of Rome is challenging the assessment on its Boyd Dam
and Tagasoke Reservoir property in the town of Lewis, suggesting
it should be dropped from $18 million to $11.45 million.  Further
arguments and a ruling in the case are expected some time this
year. [GN]


MDL 2804: Marblehead Joins National Suit Over Opioid Crisis
-----------------------------------------------------------
Chris Stevens, writing for Wicked Local, reports that a legal
consortium takes aim at recouping expenses from manufacturers
tied to the epidemic

Marblehead has joined a number of other cities and towns by
signing onto a lawsuit aimed at trying to help communities recoup
some of the expenses tied to the opioid crisis.

"We're at no risk," Town Administrator John McGinn told the Board
of Selectmen during a recent meeting.  "This is all done on a
contingency basis."

Mr. McGinn said Town Counsel was approached about joining in a
series of lawsuits where legal teams are going after opioid
manufacturers.  However, the lawsuits are not focused on the
individual and often heartbreaking stories and families tied to
the epidemic. This suit is concerned about the communities that
are suffering financially under the same burden.

"In addition to the devastation caused to families, this crisis
has placed enormous economic burdens on already limited public
resources," said Attorney Richard Sandman, of Rodman, Rodman &
Sandman out of Malden.

The increase in opioid use and abuse has resulted in communities
paying out-of-pocket for things like NARCAN, police task forces,
education programs and first responder training, Sandman
explained.

NARCAN is an FDA approved nasal spray that when applied,
counteracts the effects of an opioid overdose.  It's a prime
element in helping those with opioid addiction.  Unfortunately,
it's very expensive and cities and towns are paying for it on
their own.

Marblehead Police Chief Robert Picariello said his department
keeps NARCAN on hand for when they visit homes, post overdose.
They will offer to leave some.  He said when he last purchased it
cost about $70 per pack, which consisted of two-4mg doses.  He
said he hasn't seen the need impact his budget yet, "but it may
in future years."

Mr. McGinn said he couldn't begin to estimate what the financial
costs have been for the community.  Mr. Sandman's firm will work
with town officials to identify costs, Mr. McGinn said before
adding, "This is nothing unique to Marblehead. It's clearly been
a problem for us just as it is for, well, I would say every
community."

Currently there are about 30 cities and towns that have signed
the lawsuit and Sandman is expecting more to come.

The legal team, according to Sandman, is a consortium of six
national and two local law firms.

"Our local team, known as MOLA (Massachusetts Opioid Litigation
Attorneys), consists of Sweeney Merrigan Law and my firm, Rodman,
Rodman & Sandman, which has represented municipalities in
contamination cases for many years," he said.

Communities all over the country have been submitting complaints
on behalf of manufacturers and distributors of opioids. According
to Mr. Sandman, often times doctors will treat opioid addiction
with more opioids.

"Distributors and manufacturers are required by the Controlled
Substance Act (CSA), to report suspicious orders of opioids," he
added.  "Although many haven't been reporting it.  That's a
crime."

The lawsuit will hold the manufacturers and distributors of three
major corporations accountable, Mr. Sandman said.

Sandman also noted this is a lawsuit, not a class action suit.

"That's misconception," he said. "It's a litigation."

Mr. Sandman said they are filing cases in the federal courts in
Massachusetts which are then being consolidated nationally in a
Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) for pretrial, discovery, and
possible settlement discussions.

"We believe the MDL offers Massachusetts cities and towns the
best opportunity to achieve the greatest results while lessening
the litigation burdens placed upon them," he said.

This lawsuit seeks to help with past and future damages, meaning
to provide funds for future problems while trying to fix past
ones, Sandman said.

They are only going after the manufacturers and distributors to
hold them accountable for the harm that they've caused, he added.
The lawsuit will be sent to Ohio to be reviewed and if a
settlement is not reached, then the lawsuit will return to
Massachusetts for trial.

"Frankly, I don't think anyone is looking at this as way to get a
windfall," Mr. McGinn said.

Selectman Judy Jacobi asked if there were any time frame for the
suit, but Mr.  McGinn shook his head.

"We really don't know," he said. "It could go on for awhile."
[GN]


MDL 2804: Opioid Multidistrict Litigation Pending
-------------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad, writing for Law.com, reports that well, they
didn't exactly reach the settlement the court has been pressing
for, but lawyers in the opioid litigation had "a very long day"
of presentations and meetings with U.S. District Judge Dan
Polster on Jan. 31.

That's according to Paul Hanly -- phanly@simmonsfirm.com --
co-lead plaintiffs counsel in the multidistrict litigation
pending in Cleveland.  Mr. Hanly, of Simmons Hanly Conroy, told
me there were at least eight state attorneys general at the
hearing.

"There were no decisions of any kind made other than the judge is
going to have a session in early March," he said.  "He doesn't
want any motions to be filed, he's not going to decide anything.
He's very committed as he was in earlier hearings to exploring
all avenues of potential resolution."

Here's who didn't go: On the same day of the hearing, a coalition
of "firms and civil rights leaders" including the Rev. Al
Sharpton announced that they planned to create an "alternative
track" for cities and counties that wanted to avoid the federal
opioid MDL.  In this opinion piece, Rev. Sharpton referenced
attorneys Jay Edelson and Tom Girardi as being part of the
coalition.

Then he threw this zinger: That the MDL is "largely rural, white
communities being represented by rural, white lawyers," which
"leaves out the significant and rapidly growing number of African
Americans suffering from this modern plague."

Mr. Hanly's response? "Frankly, I find it incomprehensible." [GN]


MENZIES AVIATION: Court Awards $416K Atty Fees in "Jimenez"
-----------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, San Francisco Division, issued an Order granting
Final Approval of Class Settlement, Award of Attorney's Fees and
Costs, and Class Representative Incentive Award in the case
captioned JESSICA JIMENEZ and ORLANDO MIJOS, individually and on
behalf of all other current and former similarly situated
California employees of Defendants, Plaintiffs, v. MENZIES
AVIATION, INC., MENZIES AVIATION GROUP (USA), INC., and DOES 1
THROUGH 10, inclusive, Defendants, Case No. 15-CV-02392-WHO (N.D.
Cal.).

The Settlement Administrator will pay the Service Payment of
$10,000.00 to Named Plaintiff Sara Wright, $6,500.00 to Named
Plaintiff Jessica Jimenez and $3,500.00 to Named Plaintiff
Orlando Mijos because the Court finds the Service Payment is fair
and reasonable for the work she provided to the Class and Class
Counsel.

The Settlement Administrator will pay the Fee and Expense Award
of $416,666.66, plus $199,030.47 in actual costs, to Class
Counsel because Class Counsel's request falls within the range of
reasonableness and the result achieved justified the award. Class
Counsel's actual expenses in prosecuting this Lawsuit are
approved as reasonably incurred.

The Settlement Administrator will pay the PAGA Payment of
$20,000.  Of this amount, 75%, or $15,000.00 will be paid to the
Labor and Workforce Development Agency and 25% or $5,000.00 will
be distributed to Class Members.

The Settlement Administrator will be paid Administration Costs of
$55,000.00 for its services in administering the Settlement.

A full-text copy of the District Court's January 4, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/ya7o8xuo from Leagle.com.

Jessica Jimenez, Orlando Mijos & Sara Wright, individually and on
behalf of all other current and former similarly situated
California employees of Defendants, Plaintiffs, represented by
Graham Stephen Paul Hollis -- ghollis@grahamhollis.com --
GrahamHollis A.P.C. & Vilmarie Cordero --
vcordero@grahamhollis.com -- GrahamHollis APC.

Menzies Aviation Inc & Menzies Aviation (USA) Inc, formerly known
as Menzies Aviation Group (USA), Inc., Defendants, represented by
Archana A. Manwani -- amanwani@foley.com -- Foley and Lardner &
Christopher Gary Ward -- cward@foley.com -- Foley & Lardner LLP.


METLIFE INC: Rosen Law Firm Files Securities Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------
Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, on Feb. 5
disclosed that it has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of MetLife, Inc. (NYSE: MET) between
February 27, 2013 and January 29, 2018, both dates inclusive
("Class Period").  The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for
MetLife investors under the federal securities laws.

To join the MetLife class action, go to
http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases-1279.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) MetLife's practices and procedures used to estimate its
reserves set aside for annuity and pension payments were
inadequate; (2) MetLife had inadequate internal controls over
financial reporting; and (3) as a result, defendants' statements
about MetLife's business, operations and prospects were
materially false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis
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
April 6, 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-1279.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 represents investors throughout the globe,
concentrating its practice in securities class actions and
shareholder derivative litigation.


MIDLAND FUNDING: Ill. App. Allows "Raney" Suit to Proceed
---------------------------------------------------------
The Appellate Court of Illinois, Fifth District, issued an
Opinion affirming the judgment of the Circuit Court denying
Defendant's motion to dismiss and to compel arbitration of
counterclaims filed by the defendants-counter plaintiff in the
case captioned MIDLAND FUNDING, LLC, Plaintiff and Counter-
defendant-Appellant, v. TERESA RANEY and SHIRLEY DARNELL,
Defendants and Counter-plaintiffs-Appellees, No. 5-16-0479 (Ill.
App.).

Darnell and Raney acquired consumer credit card accounts issued
by Citibank, N.A. (Citibank), wherein they were provided with
specified lines of credit for consumer purchases in exchange for
paying at least the minimum amounts shown on monthly billing
statements.

Midland Funding alleged that it was the successor in interest to
the Citibank accounts, that Midland Funding had purchased
Darnell's and Raney's credit card account obligations from
Citibank in the regular course of business, that Darnell and
Raney had failed to make the monthly payments on said accounts
and were in default on the accounts, and that Midland Funding was
entitled to a judgment for the unpaid balances plus costs.
Midland Funding alleged that it had purchased the accounts from
Citibank.

Raney and Darnell filed answers and affirmative defenses. They
also filed class action counterclaims seeking to certify state-
wide and nationwide classes and seeking damages based on
purported violations of the Collection Agency Act, the Consumer
Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, and the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act.  The counterclaims challenged Midland
Funding's alleged practice of suing to collect debt purchased
from others without sufficient proof of ownership of the debt.

Midland Funding filed motions to dismiss the counterclaims
pursuant to section 2-619 of the Code of Civil Procedure and to
compel arbitration. Midland Funding argued that because the
counterclaims were within the scope of a binding card agreement
that included an agreement to arbitrate and a class action waiver
provision (the Card Agreement), the class claims were barred and
should be dismissed.  Midland Funding argued that the arbitration
provision in the Card Agreement was subject to the Federal
Arbitration Act and that Midland Funding was entitled to elect
arbitration as the forum within which to address the putative
class claims alleged in the counterclaims.

The circuit court entered its order denying Midland Funding's
motion to dismiss and to compel arbitration.  The circuit court
found, inter alia, that Raney and Darnell were not subject to
arbitration because there was no competent evidence that the Card
Agreement containing the arbitration provision applied to them.
The circuit court noted that the Card Agreement did not include
the signature of any party, did not include information that it
related to Darnell's or Raney's account, and did not indicate
that Darnell or Raney had received it or had agreed to its terms.

Generally, the standard of review for a decision on a motion to
compel arbitration is whether there was a showing sufficient to
sustain the circuit court's order. However, where the circuit
court's decision is based on a legal analysis, the decision to
deny the motion to compel arbitration is reviewable de novo. In
this case, the circuit court did not hold an evidentiary hearing
where it determined credibility issues but decided the issue as a
matter of law.

The Ill. App. finds that Midland Funding did not demonstrate when
or how the generic Card Agreement containing the arbitration
provision pertained to Darnell or Raney or that it was
communicated to Darnell or Raney prior to subsequent credit card
use.

As noted by the circuit court, the Card Agreement itself did not
contain any signature, name, or account information and included
no indication that it was mailed or in any way communicated to
Darnell or Raney. Instead, Darnell and Raney executed sworn
statements that they had never seen the Card Agreement nor agreed
to its terms.

Accordingly, the Ill. App. finds that Midland Funding failed to
show that it had communicated the arbitration provision to
Darnell or Raney as a modification of the agreement or that
Darnell or Raney received the arbitration provision modification
before charging additional funds and accepting it as a
modification of their agreements.

The Court had just held, however, that the parties did not
clearly and unmistakably enter into an agreement regarding
arbitration. Darnell and Raney challenged the arbitration clause
itself and whether it was communicated to them as a modification
of their credit card agreement. Having concluded that Midland
Funding failed to demonstrate that Darnell or Raney was subject
to the generic Card Agreement in the record, the Court decline to
adopt Midland Funding's view that the Card Agreement's
arbitration language controls and requires claims regarding its
application to be subject to arbitration. In failing to
demonstrate when or how the Card Agreement's arbitration
provisions were communicated to Raney or Darnell, Midland Funding
failed to demonstrate that the agreement between it and Raney and
the agreement between it and Darnell included the arbitration
provisions found in the Card Agreement.

Thus, the Court cannot conclude that the agreements governing the
Darnell and Raney accounts contained mandatory arbitration
clauses requiring the enforceability of the arbitration
agreements to be decided by the arbitrator.

In sum, the Ill. App. concludes that the circuit court properly
determined that Midland Funding failed to demonstrate that it had
communicated the arbitration provision to Darnell or Raney in
order to modify their agreements.

Accordingly, the circuit court's decision is affirmed.

A full-text copy of the Ill. App.'s January 4, 2018 Opinion is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y78jofyt from Leagle.com

Theodore W. Seitz -- tseitz@dykema.com -- Dykema Gossett PLLC,
Capitol View, 201 Townsend Street, Suite 900, Lansing, MI 48933;
Heather L. Kramer -- hkramer@dykema.com -- Rosa M. Tumial†n --
rtumialan@dykema.com -- Jennifer A. Warner, Dykema Gossett PLLC,
10 South Wacker Drive, Suite 2300, Chicago, IL 60606, Attorneys
for Appellant.

David I. Cates, Chad M. Mooney, Cates Mahoney, LLC, 216 West
Pointe Drive, Suite A, Swansea, IL 62226; Brendan M. Nester, Sean
K. Cronin, Donovan Rose Nester, P.C., 201 South Illinois Street,
Belleville, IL 62220, Attorneys for Appellees.


MISSION CHINESE: Workers Sue for Racial Discrimination
------------------------------------------------------
Emily Saul, writing for The New York Post, reports that four
former employees of cult favorite Mission Chinese are suing the
eatery -- alleging in court papers the kitchen is a "hotbed of
racial discrimination" that withheld pay and retaliated against
workers for speaking out.

Untold horrors unfolded in the back of the critically acclaimed
restaurant, according to the proposed class action suit,
including one staffer burning the arm of the restaurant's sole
black kitchen employee with a spoon dipped in hot oil.

Plaintiff Illana Engelberg claims in the papers she later
discovered the same, scalded employee cowering under a counter,
after the chef Eric Tran referred to him as a "f-king idiot."

The burn victim was later fired for speaking out, according to
the Manhattan Supreme Court suit, which targets the restaurant as
well as chef-owner Danny Bowien and managers Jane Hem and
Adrianna Varedi.

Plaintiff Erin Lang, who is black, claims she was also mocked by
Hem, who once saw some bills fall from her pocket and referred to
the cash as "stripper money."

Hem later told Lang her dreadlocked hair looked like "Grinch's
fingers."

When Lang confronted Hem about the racial comments and
discrimination, she raised her arms and shouted, according to the
complaint, "How dare you? I am blacker than you!"

The suit states that Hem is not black or African-American. She
inexplicably later tried to explain away the outburst to Lang,
who identifies as queer, by saying she is an "Asian lesbian," the
complaint states.

The four ex-staffers leading the suit -- Lang, Engelberg, former
server Bayley Blaisdell and former food runner Zayn Shaikh -- say
they went to HR together last November but found it only worsened
their work environment.

One employee claims they heard Hem and Varedi say they would
"turn up the screws" on the four staffers, while retaliation
escalated from "kindergarten-like behavior to downright nasty
behavior."

The four eventually quit or were fired for bogus reasons, the
papers say.

"I think it's about time that Mission Chinese is held accountable
for allowing rampant discrimination and relation to run wild,"
attorney Maimon Kirschenbaum, Esq. -- maimon@jhllp.com -- said.

The suit, citing civil rights abuses and wage violation, requests
back wages, front wages, and damages.

"In nearly a decade of operations, Mission Chinese restaurants
have continually invested in our staff and their training to
ensure we provide a culture of acceptance and opportunity," the
restaurant's lawyer, Robert Ontell, Esq. said in a statement. "It
is disheartening and frustrating that any former staff person
would choose to file a suit based on this unwarranted and
inaccurate description of our business practices." [GN]


MISSION CHINESE: Faces Class Action Over Racism, Unpaid Wages
-------------------------------------------------------------
Taylor Rock, writing for The Daily Meal, reports that Mission
Chinese in New York City is being sued by four former employees
over alleged unpaid wages and for being a "hotbed of racial
discrimination."  Eater reports that in said suit, former
staffers claim that black people were treated poorly and that
management retaliated against workers who spoke out against
discriminatory behavior and poor working conditions. (The Daily
Meal has requested a copy of the lawsuit from the plaintiffs'
attorney, Maimon Kirschenbaum.)

Chef-owner Danny Bowien and managers Jane Hem and Adrianna Varedi
are reportedly named in the lawsuit, which the plaintiffs hope to
make a class action.

"I purposely took [this job] because I was tired of working in
hostile environments, with favoritism and verbal abuse," ex-
server and plaintiff Erin Lang told Eater.  "This place was
exactly that."

Lang also told Eater that she was denied promotions and saw her
shifts reduced because of her race.  The suit reportedly alleges
that Hem used racial language with her, saying she wouldn't want
to be with her "in a dark alley," using "hip hop" slang, and
saying that Lang's dreadlocks looked like the "Grinch's fingers."
According to Eater, the three other former employees on the suit
did not personally experience racial discrimination, though they
claim to have witnessed it -- and then allegedly faced
retaliation from management after taking their concerns to human
resources.

Eater reported that the suit also alleges Mission Chinese paid
less than the legal wage and deducted half-hour breaks from
employees' earnings despite not actually allowing such breaks.

In a statement to The Daily Meal, attorney Rob Ontell, who
represents Mission Chinese, said: "In nearly a decade of
operations, Mission Chinese restaurants have continually invested
in our staff and their training to ensure we provide a culture of
acceptance and opportunity.  It is disheartening and frustrating
that any former staff person would choose to file a suit based on
this unwarranted and inaccurate description of our business
practices."

The popular Lower East Side establishment at 171 East Broadway
has a three-star rating on its Yelp page. The menu offers cold
and hot appetizers, chef specialties (like kung pao pastrami,
koji fried chicken, clams in black bean sauce), rice, noodles,
vegetables, and family packages ranging from $45 to $99 per
person. [GN]


MIZUHO BANK: Lack to Recover Fund Lost in Cryptocurrency Fraud
----------------------------------------------------------------
Joseph Lack, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. Mizuho Bank, Ltd., a Japanese financial
institution, and Mark Karpeles, an individual, Defendants., Case
No. 18-cv-00617 (C.D. Cal., January 24, 2018), seeks actual,
punitive or exemplary damages, restitution, reasonable attorneys'
fees and costs and such other and further relief resulting from
fraud, unjust enrichment and negligence.

Karpeles owned and ran Mt. Gox KK, a business into buying and
selling bitcoins using its trading platform with Mizuho as its
banking partner who maintained Mt. Gox's operating accounts.
Mizuho, a Japanese banking firm, likewise received transaction
fees on every wire deposit that it processed into the exchange.

Mt. Gox was under scrutiny by US authorities for alleged money
laundering while Mizuho Bank allegedly loaned money to organized
crime syndicates and was under investigation by Japan's Financial
Services Agency. Eventually, Mizuho Bank decided to distance
itself from Karpeles and Mt. Gox. Ultimately, in June 2013,
Mizuho stopped processing international wire withdrawals for Mt.
Gox altogether but continued to accept user deposits into the Mt.
Gox Exchange. In September 2015, Karpeles was arrested by Tokyo
police and formally charged with fraud and embezzlement in
connection to his management of Mt. Gox after it went bankrupt.
[BN]

Lack joined Mt. Gox in early 2014 with $40,000 to his account
which he never recovered after the bankruptcy.

Plaintiff is represented by:

      Rafey S. Balabanian, Esq.
      J. Aaron Lawson, Esq.
      EDELSON PC
      123 Townsend Street, Suite 100
      San Francisco, CA 94107
      Telephone: (415) 212-9300
      Facsimile: (415) 373-9435
      Email: alawson@edelson.com
             rbalabanian@edelson.com


NORDSTROM INC: Court Narrows Claims in "Keating" Suit
-----------------------------------------------------
In the case, MAUREEN KEATING, on her own behalf and on behalf of
all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. NORDSTROM, INC., a
Washington Corporation, Defendant, Case No. 3:17-cv-00030-SLG (D.
Alaska), Judge Sharon L. Gleason of the U.S. District Court for
the District of Alaska granted in part and denied in part the
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss First Amended Complaint Under
F.R.C.P. 12(b)(1) and 12(b)(6) and/or to Strike Allegations Under
F.R.C.P. 12(f).

Keating seeks to bring a class action on behalf of herself and
residents of Alaska and California who have purchased goods from
Nordstrom.  Her First Amended Complaint ("FAC") alleges that
Nordstrom has a pattern and practice of advertising false sales
prices while regularly charging its customers more than the
ticketed price.  She also asserts that Nordstrom falsely claims
that it is committed to delivering low prices to its customers
and that it will not be undersold and that it price matches.

The Plaintiff further alleges Nordstrom regularly advertises pre-
season sales in which it purports to discount the prices of
fashion items, which it buys in limited quantities at the
purported full value.  Finally, she contends that Nordstrom
engages in other deceptive sales practices, including misleading
representations that prices are reduced by 'more than' or 'up to'
certain percentages, when the markdowns do not reflect the
prominently displayed amounts, misrepresenting the savings of
items which are regularly bought as multiple items and/or fails
to apply the discounts it offers for multiple purchases.  Ms.
Keating's FAC then contains a list of various purchases she has
made at Nordstrom over the last few years.

On Feb. 16, 2017, Ms. Keating initiated the action.  On June 9,
2017, she filed her FAC, alleging four causes of action: common
law fraud; violations of California's Unfair Competition Law
("UCL"); violations of AS 45.50.471; and violations of
California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act ("CLRA").  In July 2017,
Nordstrom reimbursed Ms. Keating's credit card for the Feb. 12,
2015 and Feb. 15, 2017 overcharges.

Ms. Keating seeks class certification.  She defines the proposed
class as all persons who reside in the States of Alaska and
California and who within the applicable statute of limitations
preceding the filing of the action purchased goods from Nordstrom
which reflected a purported discount price whether by posted
signage and/or by amendment to the affixed hang tag price, and
who were not afforded the sales price.  The putative class will
also include those who purchased items that are regularly
discounted for multiple purchases, and for whom the purported
percentage of savings was misrepresented.  The Alaska class will
include all Nordstrom customers, because all were subject to
deceptive sales practices including false advertising.  The
California class will include all Nordstrom customers who shopped
during purported sales as a result of inducement of reduced
prices and misleading and deceptive sales practice including a
commitment to low prices and price matching, and who would not
have made purchases but for those inducements and/or who relied
upon Nordstrom's representations as to savings.

On Aug. 7, 2017, Nordstrom filed the Motion to Dismiss Ms.
Keating's FAC.  It asserts that Ms. Keating lacks standing to
bring her claims under Federal Rule of Civil Procedural 12(b)(1)
and that the FAC fails to state any claims pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6).  Nordstrom also requests the
Court strike Ms. Keating's allegations and class definitions
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(f).  Nordstrom
asserts that the Court should strike the Plaintiff's conclusory
accusations throughout the FAC, which are clearly irrelevant and
impertinent because they are entirely untethered to any facts
concerning the Plaintiff.  It further requests the Court to
strike the class definition as to California consumers, asserting
the Plaintiff does not have standing to represent them.

Judge Gleason granted in part and denied in part Nordstrom's
Motion to Dismiss.  She granted with leave to amend Nordstrom's
Motion to Dismiss Ms. Keating's (i) claims as they relate to pre-
season sales and multiple item discount; (ii) First Cause of
Action or common law fraud; (iii) Second Cause of Action for
violations of California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act; and (iv)
Third Cause of Action for violations of Alaska Statute Section
45.50.471(b)(5).

The Judge denied Nordstrom's Motion to Dismiss Ms. Keating's (i)
Third Cause of Action for violations of Alaska Statute Section
45.50.471(b)(10), (11) and (12); (ii) Fourth Cause of Action for
violations of California's Unfair Competition Law.  She also
granted Nordstrom's Motion to Strike Allegations under FRCP 12(f)
as to Ms. Keating's claims relating to preseason sales, multiple
item discount and her CLRA claim, and is denied as to all other
claims.

Nordstrom's opposition to Ms. Keating's Motion to Amend is due 14
days from the date of the Order.  The Judge granted Nordstrom's
Motion for Extension of Time to File Scheduling and Conference
Planning Report as follows:  the report will be filed within 14
days of the date of the Order.  She denied Nordstrom's Motion to
Strike Ms. Keating's Supplemental Authority in Support of Her
Opposition.  However, she has considered both parties' briefing
and finds Veera v. Banana Republic inapposite.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Order is available
at https://is.gd/rzWdq6 from Leagle.com.

Maureen Keating, on her own behalf and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, represented by Robert John
Campbell, Caliber Law Group & Jason E. Skala --
jayskala@hotmail.com -- Law Office of Jason Skala, LLC.

Nordstrom, Inc., a Washington Corporation, Defendant, represented
by Brewster H. Jamieson -- jamiesonb@lanepowell.com -- Lane
Powell LLC, Phillip Craig Cardon -- ccardon@sheppardmullin.com --
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP, pro hac vice & Shanna M.
Pearce -- spearce@sheppardmullin.com -- Sheppard, Mullin, Richter
& Hampton LLP, pro hac vice.


NRG YIELD: Court Dismisses IRA Trust's Suit
-------------------------------------------
Judge Andre G. Bouchard of the Court of Chancery of Delaware
granted the Defendants' motion to dismiss with prejudice the
case, IRA TRUST FBO BOBBIE AHMED, on behalf of similarly situated
Class A stockholders of NRG YIELD, INC., Plaintiff, v. DAVID
CRANE, JOHN F. CHLEBOWSKI, MAURICIO GUTIERREZ, KIRKLAND B.
ANDREWS, BRIAN R. FORD, FERRELL P. MCCLEAN, CHRISTOPHER S. SOTOS
and NRG ENERGY, INC., Defendants, C.A. No. 12742-CB (Del. Ch.).

The action arises out of a reclassification of the shares of
Yield that went into effect in May 2015.  Yield's business model
is to own a portfolio of income-producing energy generation and
infrastructure assets from which dividends can be distributed to
public stockholders--a model often referred to as a "yieldco."
Since its formation in 2012, Yield has been controlled by NRG
Energy, Inc. ("NRG"), which manages Yield's day-to-day affairs
and is responsible for identifying and placing assets into Yield.

After its initial public offering in 2013, Yield had two classes
of stock, both of which were entitled to one vote per share.  NRG
then held approximately 65% of Yield's voting power through its
ownership of all of Yield's Class B shares, and public
stockholders held approximately 35% of Yield's voting power
through their ownership of Class A shares.  By 2015, NRG's voting
control of Yield had been diluted to approximately 55% as a
result of Class A shares being issued to acquire assets to
transfer to Yield.

Concerned that its voting control of Yield was in jeopardy if
Yield continued to fund asset acquisitions with Class A shares,
NRG proposed that Yield undertake a recapitalization where Class
A stockholders would be issued one share of a new class of non-
voting common stock for each Class A share they held.  NRG
intended for Yield to use the non-voting common stock as currency
to acquire assets in the future.

NRG's proposal was conditioned from the beginning on the receipt
of the approval of a majority of the outstanding shares of Yield
not affiliated with NRG, meaning a majority of Yield's
outstanding Class A shares.  Upon receipt of the proposal,
Yield's board delegated to its standing Conflicts Committee the
authority to evaluate and negotiate the proposal.  The
independence of the three members of the Conflicts Committee is
not challenged.

Through negotiations with the Conflicts Committee, NRG's proposal
was revised so that newly-created Class C and Class D shares
would be issued on a one-for-one basis to Class A and Class B
stockholders, respectively, i.e., stockholders would receive one
Class C share for every Class A share and one Class D share for
every Class B share.  The Class C and Class D shares would have
the right to 1/100 of one vote per share instead of being non-
voting, as initially proposed.  NRG also agreed to amend a
contract, under which Yield had a right of first offer on certain
NRG assets, to include some additional assets. As finally
negotiated, the proposal is referred to herein as the
"Reclassification."  In May 2015, the Reclassification received
the necessary stockholder approvals and went into effect that
same month.

On Sept. 12, 2016, the Plaintiff, a Class A stockholder, filed
the Complaint on behalf of a putative class of Class A
stockholders, asserting that the members of the Yield board
breached their fiduciary duties in connection with their approval
of the reclassification, and that NRG breached its fiduciary duty
as a controlling stockholder by causing Yield to undertake the
Reclassification.  They assert two claims.  Count I asserts that
the members of the Board breached their fiduciary duties in
connection with their approval of the Reclassification.  Count II
asserts that NRG breached its fiduciary duty as the controlling
stockholder of Yield by causing Yield to undertake the
Reclassification.

On Nov. 4, 2016, the Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the
Complaint under Court of Chancery Rule 12(b)(6) for failure to
state a claim for relief.  The Court heard the motion on June 20,
2017.  At the Court's request, the parties submitted supplemental
briefing on Sept. 22, 2017 to address Vice Chancellor Slights's
decision in In re Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc.
Stockholder Litig., which was rendered after the oral argument.

Judge Bouchard explains that the resolution of the Motion
implicates three questions: (1) Whether Reclassification is a
conflicted transaction subject to entire fairness review even
though it nominally involved a pro rata distribution of shares;
(2) If so, whether the analytical framework articulated in Kahn
v. M&F Worldwide, Corp. ("MFW"), a squeeze-out merger case,
should apply to the Reclassification; and (3) If so, whether that
framework has been satisfied in the case from the face of the
pleadings.

He finds that the Plaintiff has pled sufficient facts for
purposes of the Motion to warrant review of the Reclassification
as a conflicted controller transaction that presumptively would
be subject to entire fairness review.  Having decided that the
Reclassification should be analyzed as a conflicted controller
transaction, the next issue is whether the MFW framework should
be applied to analyze the Plaintiff's challenge to the
transaction.  The Judge concludes that it should.

Judge Bourchard reasons that the animating principle of the MFW
framework is that, if followed properly, the controlled company
replicates an arm's-length bargaining process in negotiating and
executing a transaction.  In his opinion, the use of these types
of protections should be encouraged to protect the interests of
minority stockholders in transactions involving controllers,
whether it be a squeeze-out merger, a merger with a third party,
or one in which the minority stockholders retain their interests
in the corporation.

Because the MFW framework applies to the Reclassification, the
operative question is whether the process implemented satisfied
that framework.  The Judge finds among other things that where
the Proxy fully disclosed the Conflict Committee's deliberations,
including its negotiation of improvements to the Reclassification
as originally proposed, the failure to disclose different
potential strategic alternatives to the Reclassification that the
stockholders were not asked to approve does not state a
disclosure claim under well-established precedent.  He also finds
that there was no partial disclosure violation concerning a non-
existent analysis by Moelis of the value that may have been
transferred to NRG.

In sum, for the reasons stated, Judge Bouchard concludes that the
Plaintiff has failed to plead facts sufficient to call into
question satisfaction of any of the six elements set forth in the
MFW framework.  Thus, the Reclassification is subject to the
business judgment rule, which the Plaintiff has made no effort to
overcome.  Accordingly, both of the Plaintiff's fiduciary duty
claims fail to state a claim for relief.  Therefore, the Judge
granted the Defendants' motion to dismiss the Complaint with
prejudice.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Opinion is
available at https://is.gd/IPcpME from Leagle.com.

Peter B. Andrews -- pandrews@andrewsspringer.com -- Craig J.
Springer -- pandrews@andrewsspringer.com -- & -- David M. Sborz -
- dsborz@andrewsspringer.com -- of ANDREWS & SPRINGER LLC,
Wilmington, Delaware; Jeremy S. Friedman -- jfriedman@fotpllc.com
-- Spencer Oster -- soster@fotpllc.com -- & David Tejtel --
dtejtel@fotpllc.com -- of FRIEDMAN OSTER & TEJTEL PLLC, New York,
New York; Jason M. Leviton jason@blockesq.com -- Joel Fleming --
joel@blockesq.com -- of BLOCK & LEVITON LLP, Boston,
Massachusetts; Counsel for Plaintiff.

William M. Lafferty -- wlafferty@mnat.com -- & D. McKinley
Measley -- mmeasley@mnat.com -- of MORRIS, NICHOLS, ARSHT &
TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, Delaware; Counsel for Defendants John F.
Chlebowski, Brian R. Ford, and Ferrell P. McClean.

Brian C. Ralston -- bralston@potteranderson.com -- Andrew H.
Sauder asauder@potteranderson.com -- & -- Mathew A. Golden --
mgolden@potteranderson.com -- of POTTER ANDERSON & CORROON LLP,
Wilmington, Delaware; Counsel for Defendants David Crane,
Mauricio Gutierrez, Kirkland B. Andrews, Christopher S. Sotos,
and NRG Energy, Inc.


OASIS POWER: "Gallagher" Sues Over Illegal Telemarketing Calls
--------------------------------------------------------------
Patrick Gallagher, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. Oasis Power, LLC d/b/a Oasis
Energy, a Texas limited liability company, Defendant, Case No.
18-cv-00136 (D. Nev., January 24, 2018), seeks an injunction
prohibiting Oasis from continuing to engage in illegal
telemarketing and attorneys' fees and costs in violation of the
Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Oasis Power is a supplier of electricity and natural gas,
offering its services to consumers in deregulated energy markets.
It regularly engages in mass telemarketing to consumers
throughout the United States. Defendant contacted Gallagher using
prerecorded telemarketing message that sought to convince
Plaintiff to switch his energy supply services to Oasis which has
resulted in invasion of privacy, harassment, aggravation and
disruption of daily life. [BN]

Plaintiff is represented by:

      David H. Krieger, Esq.
      HAINES & KRIEGER, LLC
      8985 S. Eastern Avenue, Suite 350
      Henderson, NV 89123
      Tel: (702) 880-5554
      Fax: (702) 385-5518
      Email: dkrieger@hainesandkrieger.com

            - and -

      Manuel S. Hiraldo, Esq.
      HIRALDO P.A.
      401 E. Las Olas Boulevard, Suite 1400
      Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
      Telephone: 954-400-4713
      Email: mhiraldo@hiraldolaw.com

            - and -

      Andrew J. Shamis, Esq.
      SHAMIS & GENTILE, P.A.
      14 NE 1st Avenue, Suite 400
      Miami, FL 33132
      Telephone: 305-479-2299
      Email: ashamis@shamisgentile.com

             - and -

      Scott A. Edelsberg, Esq.
      KOPELOWITZ OSTROW
      1 W. Las Olas Blvd., Suite 500
      Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
      Telephone: (954) 449-4602
      Email: edelsberg@kolawyers.com


OKLAHOMA: Class Action Challenges Jail Debt-Collection System
-------------------------------------------------------------
KTUL reports that a federal lawsuit filed Nov. 2 challenges the
debt-collection system that jails poor Oklahomans for their
inability to pay court fines and fees.  Lawyers claim that when
the plaintiffs were unable to pay, warrants were issued for their
arrest and/or they were incarcerated for failure to pay the
criminal court fines and costs.

Linda Meachum's story begins in a bad place.

"I was incarcerated for a misdemeanor," said Ms. Meachum.  She
spent a month in jail and was ordered to pay a fine and court
costs of $200.

It was money Ms. Meachum didn't have, so she set up a payment
plan.

"My payment plan was $40 a month," said Ms. Meachum.

Which brings us to a massive class-action lawsuit against the
Oklahoma Sheriffs' Association, and a collection agency named
Aberdeen Enterprizes II, Inc.

Ms. Meachum said she lost her job and was unable to pay the $40 a
month.  The lawsuit alleges her case was sent to Aberdeen, who
then increased the minimum payment.

"Aberdeen's minimum was $75," said Ms. Meachum.

When she couldn't pay, the suit claims the courts issued a
warrant, and Ms. Meachum was sent back to jail.

Now that $200 fine has grown to more than $800.

"And if you didn't come up with that, you going to jail," said
Ms. Meachum.

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Department and dozens of other sheriff
departments are named as defendants in the lawsuit, but the list
of plaintiffs is even longer. Thousands of people who claim to
have similar stories to Ms. Meachum.

Jill Webb, with Smolen, Smolen and Roytman Law Firm is one of the
attorneys in the case.

"They're putting people in jail, all the time, every day for not
being able to pay," said Ms. Webb.  "In America, we don't put
people in prison for being poor."

Ms. Webb said the Sheriffs' Association is making millions of
dollars working with Aberdeen.

"Everything that Aberdeen collects, the Sheriffs' Association
gets a kickback," said Ms. Webb.

Ms. Webb knows they're making waves, but says they're ready for a
fight.

KTUL reached out to the Sheriffs' Association and Aberdeen, but
have not heard back. [GN]


OSI SYSTEMS: Saxena White Files Securities Fraud Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------------
Saxena White P.A. on Feb. 5 disclosed that it has filed a
securities fraud class action lawsuit in the United States
District Court for the Central District of California against OSI
Systems, Inc. ("OSI" or the "Company") (NYSE:OSIS) on behalf of
investors who purchased or otherwise acquired the common stock of
the Company between August 21, 2013 and February 1, 2018 (the
"Class Period").  A previous securities fraud class action filed
against OSI asserted a class period of August 21, 2013 through
December 6, 2017.  The Class Period is being expanded to
incorporate material new information that the Company disclosed
after the close of trading on February 1, 2018.

OSI designs and manufactures specialized electronic systems and
components.  It sells its products and provides related services
in diversified markets, including homeland security, healthcare,
defense and aerospace. Notably, OSI entered into a 15 year
agreement with the Government of Albania in August of 2013 to
provide turnkey services to their Security Division.  On December
6, 2017, Muddy Waters Research published a report entitled "OSIS:
Rotten to the Core" (the "Muddy Waters Report") which accused the
Company of using corrupt and illegal methods to obtain contracts
in both Albania and also in Mexico.  Following the publication of
the Muddy Waters report, the Company denied the facts set forth
therein, calling the report "misleading."

Then, after the close of trading on February 1, 2018, OSI
announced that the SEC and the U.S. Department of Justice had
both commenced investigations of the Company for FCPA violations
and insider trading, and that in connection with these
investigations, the Company had already "taken action with
respect to a senior-level employee."  As a result, on February 2,
2018, OSI stock fell nearly 20%, or $12.00 per share, to a new
52-week low of $54.60 per share.

The Complaint asserts claims for violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934. The Complaint alleges that, throughout the
Class Period, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements,
as well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the
Company's business, operations, and prospects.

Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements
and/or failed to disclose that: (1) that OSI acquired the Albania
concession through bribery or other illicit means; (2) that OSI
transferred 49% of its project company associated with the
Albania concession, S2 Albania SHPK, an entity purportedly worth
millions, for consideration of less than $5.00; (3) that OSI
engaged in other illegal acts, including improper sales and cash
payments to government officials; (4) that these practices caused
the Company to be vulnerable to potential civil and criminal
liability, and adverse regulatory action; and (5) that, as a
result of the foregoing, Defendants' statements about OSI's
business, operations, and prospects, were materially false and/or
misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

You may obtain a copy of the Complaint and join the class action
at www.saxenawhite.com

If you purchased OSI Systems, Inc. shares between August 21, 2013
and February 1, 2018, you may contact Lester Hooker
(lhooker@saxenawhite.com) at Saxena White P.A. to discuss your
rights and interests.

If you purchased OSI Systems, Inc. shares during the Class Period
of August 21, 2013 through February 1, 2018 and wish to apply to
be the lead plaintiff in this action, a motion on your behalf
must be filed with the Court by no later than February 5,  2018.
You may contact Saxena White P.A. to discuss your rights
regarding the appointment of lead plaintiff and your interest in
the class action. Please note that you may also retain counsel of
your choice and need not take any action at this time to be a
class member.

Saxena White P.A., with offices in Florida, New York, and
Massachusetts, concentrates its practice on prosecuting
securities fraud and complex class actions on behalf of
institutions and individuals. [GN]


PARALIA CORP: "Lopez" Employees Class Conditionally Certified
-------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, PORFIRIO LOPEZ, PEDRO CANDELARIO TORRES, MARINO
CUANUTENCOS, MIRYM UDY, RUPERTO EMIGDIO, JOSE ANGEL LOPEZ,
ESTEBAN TOSHUA, FELIPE CRUZ, on behalf of themselves and all
others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. PARALIA CORP. d/b/a DEL
RIO DINER, BENSOHURST REST. CORP. d/b/a VEGAS DINER, THEODOROS
VLAMIS, LARRY GEORGETON, DEMETRIOS "JAMES" VLAMIS, FRANK
MAVROMICHALIS, jointly and severally, Defendants, Case No. 16-CV-
6973 (SLT)(PK)(E.D. N.Y.), Magistrate Judge Peggy Kuo of the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of New York granted the
Plaintiffs' Motion to Certify a Collective Action.

The Plaintiffs were employed variously as dishwashers, line
cooks, bussers, food preparers, servers, and/or hostess.  All the
Plaintiffs worked for the Defendants.  The four individual
Defendants are alleged to have owned, operated, or managed the
Diners as a single, unified enterprise with common payroll
practices, ownership, and staff.

On Dec. 16, 2016, the Plaintiffs brought the action against the
Defendants under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), and the
New York Labor Law ("NYLL").  On May 1, 2017, they moved to
conditionally certify a collective action pursuant to 29 U.S.C.
Section 216(b).

The Plaintiffs seek an order (1) conditionally certifying their
FLSA minimum and overtime wage claims as an FLSA collective
action on behalf of all non-management employees who worked at
the Diners from Dec. 16, 2013 to the present; (2) approving the
Notice of Lawsuit with Opportunity to Join and Consent to Become
a Party Plaintiff forms; (3) directing the Defendants to furnish
the Plaintiffs the names, last known addresses and telephone
numbers of all the potential opt-in Plaintiffs; and (4) approving
the deadline reminder notice for mailing the potential opt-in
Plaintiffs.

The Defendants oppose conditional certification and object to the
content of the proposed Notice and Consent forms.  They challenge
the scope of the proposed class in two ways.  First, the
Defendants contend that the class definition of all non-
management employees is overly broad, because tipped and non-
tipped employees are, by definition, subjected to different pay
policies.  Second, the Defendants argue that the Plaintiffs have
not alleged sufficient facts to subject the Vegas Diner to a
collective action.

The Court granted the parties leave to file supplemental
memoranda of law.

Magistrate Judge Kuo finds that the Plaintiffs have carried their
burden of proving that all non-management employees who worked at
the Diners may be similarly situated to the named Plaintiffs with
respect to whether a FLSA violation has occurred.  Accordingly,
she granted the Plaintiffs' Motion, pursuant to Section 216(b),
to conditionally certify the action as a collective action.

Specifically, she approved conditional certification of the
Plaintiffs' FLSA minimum and overtime wage claims as an FLSA
collective action on behalf of all non-management employees who
worked at the Del Rio Diner and the Vegas Diner from Dec. 16,
2013 to the date of the Order.  She required the Defendants to
provide the Plaintiffs' counsel, within 10 days of the Order,
with a complete list in electronic form of names, mail addresses,
and telephone numbers including cell phone numbers of their
current and former employees from Dec. 16, 2013 -- three years
before the filing of the action -- until the date of the Order.

Magistrate Judge Kuo also approved the text of the Plaintiffs'
Notice and Consent forms as modified in accordance with Section 6
of the Order.  She permitted the Plaintiffs to circulate the
Notice and Consent forms by certified mail to all non-managerial
workers who were employed by the Defendants and who were denied
minimum and overtime wages.  She required the Defendants to post
a copy of the Notice and Consent forms at the Vegas Diner,
provided that it is still in business.

The Magistrate Judge permitted all individuals similarly situated
to the named Plaintiffs 60 days to opt into the action; and
permitted the Plaintiffs to send a deadline reminder notice to
all the potential opt-in Plaintiffs prior to the termination of
the opt-in period.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Memorandum and
Order is available at https://is.gd/acyZgm from Leagle.com.

Porfirio Lopez, Individually and on Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated, Pedro Candelario Torres, Individually and on
Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Marino Cuanutencos,
Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated,
Mirym Udy, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated, Ruperto Emigdio, Individually and on Behalf of All
Others Similarly Situated, Jose Angel Lopez, Individually and on
Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Esteban Toshua,
Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated &
Felipe Cruz, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated, Plaintiffs, represented by Taylor B. Graham --
Graham@PeltonGraham.com -- Pelton & Associates, PC & Brent E.
Pelton -- Pelton@PeltonGraham.com -- Pelton & Associates, PC.

Paralia Corporation, Jointly and Severally doing business as Del
Rio Diner, Bensonhurst Rest. Corp., Jointly and Severally doing
business as Vegas Diner, Theodoros Vlamis, Jointly and Severally,
Larry Georgeton, Jointly and Severally, Demetrios "James" Vlamis,
Jointly and Severally & Frank Mavromichalis, Jointly and
Severally, Defendants, represented by Howard M. Wexler --
hwexler@seyfarth.com -- Seyfarth Shaw LLP, Lorie Elizabeth Almon
-- lalmon@seyfarth.com -- Seyfarth Shaw LLP & Chryssa V.B.
Valletta -- cvalletta@Seyfarth.com -- Seyfarth Shaw LLP.


PEI WEI ASIAN DINER: "Rike" Seeks Unpaid Overtime Pay
-----------------------------------------------------
Nicholas Rike, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiffs, v. Pei Wei Asian Diner, LLC, Defendant,
Case No. 18-cv-00102 (E.D. Mo., January 23, 2018), seeks to
recover overtime compensation, unpaid wages, liquidated damages,
and attorneys' fees and costs under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Defendant operates a restaurant chain with approximately 200
location in the United States where Plaintiff worked as an
Assistant Manager in St. Louis, Missouri location. Rike regularly
worked in excess of forty hours in each workweek, but was not
compensated at one and one-half times their respective regular
rates of pay for all hours worked over forty in each such
workweek, says the complaint. [BN]

Plaintiff is represented by:

      George A. Hanson, Esq.
      Alexander T. Ricke, Esq.
      STUEVE SIEGEL HANSON LLP
      460 Nichols Road, Suite 200
      Kansas City, MO 64112
      Telephone: (816) 714-7100
      Facsimile: (816) 714-7101
      Email: hanson@stuevesiegel.com
             ricke@stuevesiegel.com

             - and -

      Gregg I. Shavitz, Esq.
      SHAVITZ LAW GROUP, P.A.
      1515 S. Federal Highway
      Boca Raton, FL 33432
      Telephone: (561) 447-8888
      Facsimile: (561) 447-8831
      Email: gshavitz@shavitzlaw.com

             - and -

      Michael Palitz, Esq.
      830 3rd Avenue, 5th Floor
      New York, NY 10022
      Telephone: (800) 616-4000
      Email: mpalitz@shavitzlaw.com


PERRY ELLIS: Pre-Certification Settlements Require Class Notice
---------------------------------------------------------------
Vorys Sater Seymour and Pease LLP, in an article for Lexology,
reports that the New York Court of Appeals (the state's highest
court) recently issued a potentially game-changing decision on
pre-certification settlements in class actions.  In Desrosiers v.
Perry Ellis Menswear, the Court ruled that an individual
settlement in a purported class action requires notice be sent to
all putative class members -- even though no class had been
certified.

Desrosiers involved two wage-hour cases, initially filed as class
actions. In both cases, the plaintiffs accepted pre-
certification, individual settlements and the defendants moved to
dismiss their complaints accordingly.  The plaintiffs did not
oppose the dismissals (having already released their claims in
their settlement).  Instead, the plaintiffs requested that the
courts allow them to provide notice of the proposed dismissal to
putative class members. The defendants objected because either
the time for moving for class certification had expired or
because no class had been certified.  The lower courts rejected
the defense arguments.

At issue on appeal was the interpretation of New York's Civil
Practice Law and Rules (CPLR) Sec 908, which provides that "[a]
class action shall not be dismissed, discontinued, or compromised
without the approval of the court," and that "[n]otice of the
proposed dismissal, discontinuance, or compromise shall be given
to all members of the class in such manner as the court directs."
The Court of Appeals (in a 4-3 decision) found that the text of
CPLR 908 is ambiguous with respect to whether pre-certification
notice is required.

The Court rejected the defendants' argument that the reference to
"class action" necessarily meant a "certified" class action.  The
Court explained that a New York appellate decision in 1982
holding that notices must be sent to putative class members when
there was a pre-certification individual settlement had never
been overruled, nor had the New York Legislature acted on the
issue.  Given this, the Court determined that CPLR 908 applies to
class actions that are settled or dismissed even before the class
has been certified.  "As a result, notice to putative class
members of a proposed dismissal, discontinuance, or compromise
must be given."  The majority dismissed concerns that its ruling
will likely create problems for class action defendants: "Any
practical difficulties and policy concerns that may arise   . . .
are best addressed by the legislature."

This decision raises several practical considerations that
employers must weigh when determining whether to settle a case
pre-certification that is pending in state court.  Who is a
member of the class entitled to notice? And won't providing
notice potentially stir up more litigants? As the dissent pointed
out, because no class had been certified "it is unclear to whom
notice was purportedly required.  Not only would this uncertainty
create administrative difficulties that would entail the
expenditure of time and resources, the ultimate purpose of the
notice appears, at most, to be to allow plaintiffs' counsel to
identify more clients at the expense of the court and
defendants."  The Court's ruling may thus discourage early
settlement because notice and class data are now required when an
individual settlement occurs in a case that includes class
allegations. [GN]


PERSONAL HOME CARE: "Lemon" Action Seeks to Recover Overtime Pay
----------------------------------------------------------------
Iraida Lemon, on behalf of herself and all other similarly
situated employees, Plaintiffs, v. Personal Home Care, LLC and
Matthew Auman, Defendants, Case No. 18-cv-00212, (D. Md., January
23, 2018), seeks all wages due and owing pursuant to the Fair
Labor Standards Act, Maryland Wage and Hour Law and Maryland Wage
Payment and Collection Law.

Lemon worked as an hourly-paid caretaker, personal care aide or
provider for Personal Home Care, assisting elderly clients and
offering personal care such as assistance with bathing, eating,
cooking, toileting, laundry and light housekeeping. She usually
works in excess of 40 hours in a workweek on multiple occasions,
and was not paid overtime wages at the rate of time-and-one-half
for hours worked in excess of a 40 in a workweek. [BN]

Plaintiff is represented by:

      Judd G. Millman, Esq.
      Bruce M. Luchansky, Esq.
      Samuel C. Pinsky, Esq.
      LUCHANSKY LAW
      606 Bosley Avenue, Suite 3B
      Towson, MD 21204
      Telephone: (410) 522-1020
      Facsimile: (410) 522-1021
      Email: judd@luchanskylaw.com
             lucky@luchanskylaw.com
             sam@luchanskylaw.com


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: USS Agrees to $50MM Deal with PwC
------------------------------------------------------
Oliver Gill, writing for City A.M., reports that Britain's
biggest pension fund on Feb. 5 confirmed it has agreed a $50m
(GBP35m) settlement with PwC's Brazilian arm as part of the
Petrobras corruption scandal.

The Universities Superannuation Scheme (USS) on Feb. 5 announced
the deal, which draws to a close a larger $3bn class action
against the Brazilian oil giant, the big four auditor and certain
former executives and directors.

Last month a partial agreement was struck between shareholders
and Petrobras -- which did not admit any wrongdoing under the
deal -- after former executives were accused of accepting more
than $2bn in bribes over a decade.

Established in 1975 as the principal pension fund for employees
at universities, the USS has fund assets of approximately GBP60bn
and represents around 390,000 members.

USS group general counsel Jeremy Hill said: "Further to the
announcement made last month, we continue to lead this securities
class action diligently and intensively, and we welcome this
important additional step in the litigation process for the
class.

"We are pleased with the settlement agreement which has been
reached with PwC Brazil, which we believe is in the best
interests of the class and concludes an important stage in the
action."

The confirmation follows reports late on Feb. 2 that a final deal
had been struck.

"We were keen to put this protracted legal matter behind us, and
a settlement was the best way to achieve this," said
Marcia Avruch, a spokeswoman for PwC Brazil. [GN]


PRINCESS CRUISES: Class Action Mulled Over Norovirus Outbreaks
--------------------------------------------------------------
Hannah Moore, writing for Daily Mail Australia, reports that up
to 16,000 Australians could be owed thousands in compensation
because of outbreaks of norovirus on cruise ship the Sun Princess
in late 2016 and early 2017.

A class action is being investigated for passengers on the
Carnival cruises ship, which was hit by eight consecutive
outbreaks of gastro.

Thomas Janson of Shine Lawyers told Nine News the ships were not
cleaned properly in between journeys . Ideally, the ship would be
dry docked for between two and three days to be sanitised.

What we've been told is that there were very short turnarounds,
usually of around two hours, to clean the ship before the next
lot of passengers and new crew boarded. . .  that's manifestly
inadequate to sanitise a ship that's the size of a skyscraper,'
he said.

Mr Janson believes compensation would average out as triple the
original price of a cruise on the Sun Princess, encompassing a
full refund plus double that amount for damages.

David Jones, a spokesman for Princess Cruises, has refuted
Mr Janson's argument, telling Daily Mail Australia the cruise
line leaves 'nothing to chance to maintain a healthy on-board
environment'.

"[We have] robust procedures that are in line with the highest
international public health management standards," he said.

The risk of becoming ill while on a cruise holiday is tiny -- in
fact, a factor of just 0.02%. Last year, 265,000 Australians and
New Zealanders cruised on Princess's locally based ships during a
period in which norovirus and influenza were at times widespread
in the shore-side community in Australia.

"In spite of these challenges, the overwhelming majority of our
guests enjoyed trouble free cruise holidays as did the more than
1 million Australians who cruised industry wide."

The spokesman said it was 'absurd' to suggest up to 16,000 people
could have come down with novovirus on the Sun Princess during
that time.

"Australians spend more nights on Princess ships than on any
other cruise line and the high proportion of repeat business is
testament to their well placed loyalty and confidence in the
onboard environment," he said.

The Sun Princess can hold up to 2000 passengers per voyage, and
more than 900 crew members. [GN]


PROFESSIONAL TRANSPORT: Branch Administrators Class Decertified
---------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, PEGGY JO SMITH individually and on behalf of
similarly situated individuals, Plaintiff, v. PROFESSIONAL
TRANSPORTATION INC., and RONALD D. ROMAIN individually and as
president and secretary of Professional Transportation, Inc.,
Defendants, Case No. 3:13-cv-00221-RLY-MPB (S.D. Ind.), Judge
Richard L. Young of the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of Indiana, Evansville Division, granted PTI's motion to
decertify the collective class.

In the action, Smith, individually and on behalf of similarly
situated individuals, alleges that the Defendants violated the
Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") when they failed to pay Branch
Administrators overtime compensation or when they failed to
classify Branch Administrators as exempt and pay them as
prescribed by the Act.

The parties stipulated to the conditional certification of the
following class under Section 16(b) of the FLSA, 29 U.S.C.
Section 216(b):  All individuals who were employed or are
currently employed by PTI as a Branch Administrator at any time
between Nov. 10, 2011, and Jan. 9, 2015.

PTI has moved to decertify the conditional class arguing that
Smith cannot show that any common policy or practice violates the
FLSA.

Judge Young, having reviewed the parties' briefs, their
designated evidence, and the applicable law, finds that PTI's
motion to decertify the collective class should be granted.  The
Judge says Smith's allegations may be read to claim that PTI
improperly classified her and the Opt-In Plaintiffs as non-
exempt, when they should have been classified as exempt and paid
at least $455 per week.  However, Smith points to no statute,
regulation, or case law that requires an employer to classify
employees as exempt because they perform some amount of
managerial work.

The statutes and regulations instead require that employees who
are classified as non-exempt be paid for all hours that they work
at a minimum rate, and compensated for overtime work.  Therefore,
he will decline to certify a collective class action on this
ground.

With respect to Smith's theory that PTI had an unwritten policy
that required Branch Administrators to work more than their
authorized hours, but not pay them for those hours, regardless of
whether they were regular time or overtime, the Judge finds that
individualized issues predominate over common ones.  A simple
comparison of the testimony provided by Smith and Coffey
evidences the problem.  Even though Smith and Coffey had similar
BA Agreements for the same territory, there is no common policy
from which a jury or the court could determine that PTI violated
the FLSA.

Although each of them say that they worked more Branch
Administrator hours than were authorized in their BA Agreements
and that they were not paid for additional time, those statements
alone do not constitute a PTI policy.  The evidence supports that
PTI's policy was to pay Branch Administrators for all excess
administrative time for which they sought payment, even if the
time was not preapproved.  Under the circumstances presented, the
Judge is left with the firm impression that factual differences
predominate over any common ones, and that Smith's proposed
method for determining damages would prejudice PTI.

For the reasons stated, Judge Young granted PTI's Motion to
Decertify Collective Action.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Order is available
at https://is.gd/8BO5pm from Leagle.com.

PEGGY JO SMITH, individually and on behalf of similarly situated
individuals, Plaintiff, represented by Joseph H. Cassell --
jhcassell@eronlaw.net -- ERON LAW OFFICE, PA & Terry D. Smith --
tsmith@smithlawoffices.net -- LAW OFFICES OF TERRY D. SMITH.

PROFESSIONAL TRANSPORTATION INC., Defendant, represented by Brian
D. Burbrink, OGLETREE, DEAKINS, NASH, SMOAK & STEWART,
Christopher C. Murray , OGLETREE DEAKINS NASH SMOAK & STEWART,
P.C., Jia Li , OGLETREE, DEAKINS, NASH, SMOAK & STEWART PC, John
A. Drake , OGLETREE, DEAKINS, NASH, SMOAK & STEWART PC, Libby Yin
Goodknight, KRIEG DEVAULT LLP & Patrick F. Hulla, OGLETREE
DEAKINS NASH SMOAK & STEWART, PC.

RONALD D. ROMAIN, individually and as president and secretary of
Professional Transportation, Inc., Defendant, represented by
Brian D. Burbrink -- brian.burbrink@ogletree.com -- OGLETREE,
DEAKINS, NASH, SMOAK & STEWART, Christopher C. Murray --
christopher.murray@ogletree.com -- OGLETREE DEAKINS NASH SMOAK &
STEWART, P.C., Jia Li -- jia.li@ogletree.com -- OGLETREE,
DEAKINS, NASH, SMOAK & STEWART PC, John A. Drake --
john.drake@ogletree.com -- OGLETREE, DEAKINS, NASH, SMOAK &
STEWART PC, Libby Yin Goodknight -- lgoodknight@kdlegal.com --
KRIEG DEVAULT LLP & Patrick F. Hulla --
patrick.hulla@ogletree.com -- OGLETREE DEAKINS NASH SMOAK &
STEWART, PC.


RUTHERFORD COUNTY, TN: June 25 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
--------------------------------------------------------------
If you paid court-imposed fees arising from a misdemeanor or
traffic case in Rutherford County, and were supervised on
probation by Providence Community Corrections, Inc. ("PCC") or
Rutherford County, at any time from October 1, 2011 to October 5,
2017, your rights may be affected by a class action settlement.

What is this lawsuit about?

A class action civil rights lawsuit was filed against Rutherford
County, Tennessee, PCC and other individual defendants relating
to fees or other costs arising from misdemeanor or traffic cases
in the Rutherford County courts and probation practices in
Rutherford County.  Defendants deny any wrongdoing or liability.
The Court has not decided who is right and who is wrong.  The
Parties have agreed to settle to avoid the uncertainties and
expenses of ongoing litigation.

What are the terms of the settlement?

Each eligible Settlement Class Member who was supervised by or
paid fees to (a) PCC after October 1, 2011 or (b) Rutherford
County's Probation Department in or after March 2016 solely for
purposes of paying court-imposed financial obligations, and
submits a valid Claim Form by April 27, 2018, will receive a
portion of the $14,300,000 settlement fund as determined by the
Settlement Administrator in accordance with the Settlement.
Settlement Class Members will also receive injunctive relief
against Rutherford County and may have their fees waived if they
petition the court and earn below 125% of the federal poverty
line.

How do I know if I am affected?

If you paid court-imposed fees arising from a misdemeanor or
traffic case in Rutherford County, and were supervised on
probation by Providence Community Corrections, Inc. ("PCC") or
Rutherford County, at any time from October 1, 2011 to October 5,
2017, your rights may be affected.  You may be eligible to
receive a payment from the settlement fund if during the relevant
time (a) you were supervised by PCC or (b) were supervised by
Rutherford County between March 2016 and October 5, 2017 solely
due to an inability to pay court fees and costs.

What are my legal rights?

If you stay in the Settlement Class, you will be legally bound by
its terms and you will release your claims against Defendants.
You will need to file a Claim Form before April 27, 2018 in order
to receive the benefits of the Settlement.  If you Opt Out of the
Settlement Class, you will not receive benefits from the
Settlement, but you will keep your rights to sue Defendants for
these claims and will not be bound by the terms of the
Settlement.  To Opt Out, you must act before April 27, 2018.  If
you Object, you stay in the Settlement Class and can object to
the Settlement. To object, you must act by April 27, 2018 to
ensure your objection is considered by the Court.  If you are a
valid Settlement Class member, you have the right to enter your
appearance in this matter through an attorney.

The Proposed Settlement.

The Court will hold a Final Approval Hearing on June 25, 2018 at
10:00 a.m., to determine whether the proposed settlement is fair,
reasonable, and adequate, and to approve requested attorneys'
fees up to $1,381,115, plus reimbursement of reasonable, actual
out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the litigation, and incentive
awards of up to $10,000 for each of the Named Plaintiffs.  The
hearing is at the United States District Court for the Middle
District of Tennessee located in Room 800 at 801 Broadway,
Nashville, TN 37203.

How can I get more information?

For more information, including specific instructions on how to
file a claim, object, Opt Out and request to speak at the
hearing, as well as about the attorneys representing the class
and their request for fees and costs, call 1-888-805-9120, write
to: PCC Rutherford Settlement, c/o Dahl Administration LLC, PO
Box 3614, Minneapolis, MN 55403-0614, or visit
www.PCCRutherfordSettlement.com


SANTANDER CONSUMER: Court Denies "Lindblom" Class Certification
---------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, APRIL LINDBLOM, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. SANTANDER CONSUMER USA,
INC., Defendant, Case No. 15-cv-0990-BAM (E.D. Cal.), Magistrate
Judge Barbara A. McAuliffe of the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of California denied the Plaintiff's Motion for
Class Certification.

Santander is a specialized consumer finance company focused in
large part on vehicle financing.  On March 11, 2007, the
Plaintiff signed a Retail Installment Contract to purchase a 2006
Jeep Liberty from Michael Automotive Center, in Madera,
California.  She purchased this vehicle with a loan from Drive
Financial Services, which through a merger, was renamed Santander
Consumer USA.

Following her vehicle purchase, the Plaintiff occasionally made
her loan payments over the internet or by telephone.  In order to
do so, Santander directed her to use Western Union's Speedpay
service.  Santander often encouraged the use of Speedpay to allow
customers to pay immediately and avoid late charges.

To use Speedpay, the Plaintiff and similarly situated class
members were charged a fee of $10.95 per transaction, ostensibly
by third-party payment processor, Western Union, for the payment
processing service.  However, prior to April 2017, Western Union
and Santander contractually agreed that Western Union would
return a portion of all Speedpay fees collected to Santander as
profit.

The amount of fees retained by Santander varied based on the
volume of transactions and the method of payment customers used
for Speedpay, but at times, Santander would retain over 99% of
the $10.95 Speedpay fee.  While the Plaintiff was informed by
Western Union of the fee when she used the Speedpay service, the
Contract between Santander and the Plaintiffs did not expressly
mention or provide for a Speedpay fee.  At the time the Plaintiff
paid the Speedpay fees, she was unaware that Santander retained
part of the fee charged by Western Union.

While the Plaintiff owned the vehicle, she was charged a Speedpay
fee on more than 40 occasions.  On approximately two of those
occasions, the Speedpay fee was waived.  After she made over 65
total monthly payments, the Plaintiff was unable to stay current
on her loan obligation and her car was repossessed in 2014.

The Plaintiff challenges the legality of the Speedpay fees
retained by Santander under Section 1692f(1) of the Fair Debt
Collections Practices Act and in turn, its California counterpart
the Rosenthal Fair Debt Collections Act.  Section 1692f(1) makes
it unlawful for a debt collector to collect any amount unless
such amount is expressly authorized by the agreement creating the
debt or permitted by law.  She contends that the Speedpay fees
violate the Rosenthal Act because Santander retains a portion of
the fee as compensation.

The Plaintiff filed the putative class action alleging that
Santander has engaged in a uniform course of conduct with respect
to hundreds of thousands of customers in California.  From those
customers, the Plaintiff alleges that Santander has violated the
Rosenthal Act by retaining millions of dollars in Speedpay fees
which are neither allowed by state law nor authorized under the
retail installment sales contracts between Santander and the
members of the Class.

The Plaintiff's operative complaint seeks to certify a single
statewide California class based on individuals who paid Speedpay
fees as all individuals in the state of California, who, during
the applicable limitations period, paid a convenience fee through
Western Union's Speedpay service in connection with any consumer
loan held and/or serviced by Santander.

In the alternative, the Plaintiff proposed a modified class
definition in her reply brief: All Santander customers, who have,
since Oct. 30, 2013, paid a Speedpay fee to Santander, or who
have, prior to the date of certification, asserted that the
statute of limitations should be equitably tolled in the case.

Judge McAuliffe considers it inappropriate to grant the class
certification.  In denying the motion, he limits its findings to
the motion's most obvious deficiencies in satisfying Rule 23(a)'s
typicality and adequacy requirements.

As proposed by the Plaintiff, the class definition includes
individuals who paid Speedpay fees during the applicable
limitations period, which is on or after Oct. 30, 2013.  The
Plaintiff, however, is not a member of that class.  Her last
Speedpay fee was beyond the one-year statute of limitations; the
Plaintiff last used Speedpay on Aug. 22, 2012.  Absent equitable
tolling, she is not within the class definition.
The Plaintiff's claim does not arise within the statute of
limitations.  Hence, the Judge finds that she cannot be an
adequate representative.

Turning to the related question of typicality, Judge McAuliffe
finds that the Plaintiff's case is not like the case in Hanlon v.
Chrysler Corp., where the named class representatives included a
broad cross-section of claimants, representing the interests of
all the potential subclasses.  Instead, the situation is closer
to that in Hanon v. Dataproducts, where the potential defense
plaintiff is likely to face is exclusive to her and not the
class.  The Plaintiff has a unique defense against her which
makes her claims atypical of the class.

Ultimately, either the Plaintiff is defined out of the class by
operation of the definition which incorporates a one-year statute
of limitations rendering her an inadequate representative, or she
is by definition atypical of the class because she is vulnerable
to a defense that is unique to only her.  For the reasons he
stated, Judge McAuliffe denied the Plaintiff's motion for class
certification.

At the hearing on the Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification,
the counsel for the Plaintiff indicated that he could identify
different potential class representatives who might be better
suited to represent the interests of the class, given the Court's
concerns regarding adequacy and typicality.  Following the
hearing, the Plaintiff filed a motion to intervene to include
several alternative class representatives.  The only motion
currently before the Court is whether it should certify a class
action based on the Plaintiff's current class definition.  The
Judge did not address the motion to intervene.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Order is available
at https://is.gd/ShJH8Q from Leagle.com.

April Lindblom, Plaintiff, represented by D. Frank Davis --
fdavis@davisnorris.com -- Davis & Norris, LLP, pro hac vice, John
E. Norris -- jnorris@davisnorris.com -- Davis & Norris, LLP, pro
hac vice, Kristan B. Rivers -- krivers@davisnorris.com -- David &
Norris LLP, pro hac vice, Wesley W. Barnett , Davis & Norris,
LLP, pro hac vice & Benjamin P. Tryk -- ben@tryklaw.com -- Tryk
Law, PC.

Santander Consumer USA Inc., Defendant, represented by Chad R.
Fuller -- chad.fuller@troutman.com -- Troutman Sanders LLP, David
S. Reidy -- dreidy@mcguirewoods.com -- McguireWoods LLP, Marc A.
Lackner, Mcguirewoods LLP, R. Frank Springfield --
fspringfield@burr.com -- Burr & Forman, LLP, pro hac vice,
Virginia Bell Flynn -- virginia.flynn@troutman.com -- Troutman
Sanders LLP, pro hac vice, Zachary D. Miller -- zmiller@burr.com
-- Burr & Forman, LLP, pro hac vice & Justin M. Brandt --
justin.brandt@troutman.com -- Troutman Sanders LLP.


SARBANAND FARMS: Fined $149,000 on Breaks and Meals
---------------------------------------------------
Emily Hamann, writing for Herald Net, reports that a Whatcom
County blueberry farm has been fined $149,000 after a state
investigation found violations related to late or missed rest
breaks and meal periods for hundreds of workers.

Sarbanand Farms in Sumas received the largest fine of its kind,
according to the state Department of Labor & Industries.

Investigators started looking into the farm's practices in August
after farmworker Honesto Silva Ibarra fell ill while at the farm,
was hospitalized and later died. The three different L&I teams
investigated workplace safety, pesticide concerns and employment
standards.

The team looking into workplace safety sought to find out if
Ibarra's death was related to his work on the farm -- the
investigation found no related violations. An autopsy conducted
by the King County Medical Examiner's Office determined that
Ibarra died from natural causes not related to occupational
issues, the L&I release stated.

The team looking into pesticide use on the farm also found no
violations.

The fine is a result of the investigation into employment
standards, which includes issues like wages, hours worked and
rest and meal breaks.

About half that fine, $73,000, is from L&I; the rest is from the
Whatcom County District Court, where the civil infraction is
filed, according to an L&I press release.

"These violations are serious. Meal and rest breaks are
especially important for farm workers," said Elizabeth Smith,
assistant director of L&I's Fraud Prevention and Labor Standards.
"It's physical labor, and they often work long hours outside in
the elements. They need regular breaks, and they're required by
law to get them."

Sarbanand Farms told L&I that it has corrected the violations,
according to an L&I press release. L&I will conduct a follow-up
inspection to ensure those corrections are still in place.

The farm, along with its parent company Munger Farms, also got
hit with a class action lawsuit on behalf of more than 600
migrant farmworkers who picked blueberries on the company's farms
in Washington and California, including in Sumas, during the 2017
season.

The lawsuit alleges that Sarbanand "violated federal anti-
trafficking laws through a pattern of threats and intimidation
that caused its H-2A workforce to believe they would suffer
serious harm unless they fully submitted to Sarbanand's labor
demands."

The H-2A program is a special type of visa specifically designed
to help farms bring in seasonal workers from other countries.
Workers in the program must be paid a special minimum wage, which
in Washington during the 2017 blueberry season was $13.38. At
Sarbanand Farms, H-2A workers live onsite, in housing that was
built for them, and are given meals, the cost of which is
deducted from their paycheck.

Ibarra, who was from Mexico, was at the farm on an H-2A visa, as
were Barabaro Rosas and Guadalupe Tapia, the two plaintiffs
specifically named in the suit.

After Ibarra was hospitalized, about 60 workers went on a one-day
strike to protest working conditions at the farm.

According to the lawsuit, workers were fed unhealthy food, and
sometimes there wasn't enough for all the workers, or they were
given small portions.

They were also not provided shade in the fields, and weren't
given enough water, the lawsuit says.

"You came here to suffer, not for vacation," California workers
were allegedly told by a Munger manager, according to the
lawsuit.

In Sumas, the workers -- many of whom were transferred there
after working the earlier blueberry season at Munger Farms in
California -- were told they were required to work "unless they
were on their death bed," the lawsuit alleges.

That speech "had the intended effect of informing all the H-2A
foreign workers that they should not report sickness or workplace
injuries to management," the lawsuit says.

After the one-day strike Aug. 4, all the workers who participated
in the strike were fired.

According to the lawsuit, they were told they had one hour to
gather their belongings and leave, or the farm would contact the
police and immigration authorities. Owners of a neighboring
property offered the workers temporary shelter, and many of them
moved into a makeshift camp on that farm.

Ibarra died at Harborview Hospital in Seattle on Aug. 6. [GN]


SHERWOOD, AR: Faces New Lawsuit Filed Over Hot-Check Court
----------------------------------------------------------
Linda Satter, writing for Arkansas Online, reports that a new
lawsuit filed in federal court in Little Rock mirrors the
allegations in a 2016 lawsuit backed by two civil-rights
organizations that targeted Sherwood's hot-check court and was
settled in November.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Tamatrice Williams, one of
hundreds of people who both lawsuits said were subjected for
years to unconstitutional practices in the court, such as jailing
people for being unable to pay fines.  It seeks compensatory and
punitive damages against the city.

On Nov. 14, attorneys for the city and its hot-check judge, Milas
"Butch" Hale, joined five Sherwood residents who sued over the
practices in signing a 20-page agreement that put an end to the
case.  The residents were backed by the American Civil Liberties
Union of Arkansas and the national Lawyers' Committee for Civil
Rights Under the Law.

The agreement, over which U.S. District Judge James Moody Jr.
agreed to retain jurisdiction for two years, stipulates that the
court will no longer jail people who can't afford to pay court
fines and fees imposed for bouncing a check.  It also requires
the court to evaluate each defendant's ability to pay before
determining a sentence.

The city didn't concede that it had violated the plaintiffs'
rights, but it acknowledged that several new practices were put
into place after the lawsuit was filed, and Hale attended a
training program offered by the state's Administrative Office of
the Courts.

In its mandatory annual training sessions for state judges, the
administrative office began placing an emphasis on concerns about
debt-collection practices that had been raised by the U.S.
Department of Justice in a letter to state courts across the
country.  The concerns were similar to those raised in the
lawsuit, which reflected a national movement to rein in many
constitutionally suspect practices in the nation's low-level
courts.

At the time the agreement was signed, Judge Moody was considering
a request by the plaintiffs to reinstate the case.  He had thrown
the case out of federal court, saying its issues first needed to
be addressed in the state courts.

The plaintiffs disputed that four of the five plaintiffs still
had "ongoing" cases in state court as a result of hot-check
charges that, despite being filed against them years earlier,
still had lingering payments due as a result of fines imposed for
failing to pay earlier fines, and fees on each round of fines.
The defendants, and Judge Moody, said the cases were still
considered ongoing.

Asked on Feb. 2 about how the allegations in the new suit differ
from those in the settled case, attorney Mike Laux of Little Rock
said the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis, which
has jurisdiction over federal courts in Arkansas, "has held that
allegations against a city claiming it runs an unconstitutional
debtors' prison state a viable cause of action for monetary
damages as long as there are no pending criminal charges and the
litigant is not challenging the underlying condition. This is a
very important distinction."

The lawsuit Mr. Laux filed on Williams' behalf -- which,
coincidentally, was randomly assigned to Moody -- emphasizes that
Williams "does not challenge her underlying hot check convictions
or fines imposed for those conviction(s), . . . does not allege
that her underlying hot check convictions or fines were invalid
. . . [and] does not challenge any state court judgments."

"Judge Moody's rulings were based on doctrines that do not apply
to an individual such as Tammy Williams seeking monetary
damages," Mr. Laux said in an email.  "It may be unclear how it
proceeds down the road, but as pled, it should be impervious to
dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6), which is what happened to Dade,"
as the other case led by Charles Dade of Sherwood is known.

Michael Mosley, an Arkansas Municipal League attorney who
represented Sherwood and Judge Hale in the previous case, said on
Feb. 2 that he hadn't yet had time to thoroughly review the new
lawsuit, but, "The city denies any wrongdoing alleged and will
defend the litigation."

"For nearly 20 years," Mr.  Laux said in an email, "Tammy
Williams, a hard-working mother of five, was repeatedly harassed,
threatened, arrested and jailed pursuant to an unconstitutional
official policy at the City of Sherwood which turned nominal
bounced checks in 1997 into thousands and thousands of dollars,
padding its ill-gotten coffers on her back.  It is only fair that
Ms. Williams be reasonably compensated for this tragic upending
of her life. She deserves justice and we hope to secure it for
her."

Mr. Laux didn't say whether he might later seek class-action
status for the lawsuit or if he is aware of any other potential
lawsuits with similar allegations on behalf of other individuals.
[GN]


SOLARCITY CORP: Ct. Awards $4.5M in Attorneys' Fee in "Lucero"
--------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, JOSE ALBINO LUCERO JR., Plaintiff, v. SOLARCITY
CORP., et al., Defendants, Case No. 15-cv-05107-RS (N.D. Cal.),
Judge Richard Seeborg of the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California granted the Plaintiff's counsel $4,500,000
fee award, and the three representative Plaintiffs $2,500 each,
for a total of $7,500, incentive award.

The application of the Plaintiff's counsel to recover attorney
fees was heard in conjunction with the motion for final approval
of the parties' settlement of the class action.  The counsel
seeks a fee award in the amount of $5 million, representing one-
third of the settlement fund.

Upon review of the entire record, including the counsel's
contingent risk, delay in payment, skill demonstrated, and
results achieved, Judge Seeborg finds an upward adjustment to a
30% recovery is warranted.  Although there may sometimes be sound
reasons to apply such a percentage to the class' net recovery
after deducting administration costs and incentive awards, in
this instance an appropriate award can be calculated by applying
the percentage to the  $15 million settlement fund.  Accordingly,
the fee application is granted in the amount of $4,500,000,
which, as previously noted, is inclusive of all expenses and
costs incurred by the counsel.

The representative Plaintiffs in the action and in the related
action that is encompassed in the settlement also seek incentive
awards of $5,000 each, for a total of $15,000.  Given the
estimated recovery of individual class members, and all other
circumstances, the Judge holds that an appropriate incentive
award to the representative Plaintiffs is $2,500 each, for a
total of $7,500.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Order is available
at https://is.gd/kYN0Pf from Leagle.com.

Jose Albino Lucero Jr., on Behalf of himself and all Others
Similarly Situated, Plaintiff, represented by Joel Dashiell Smith
-- jsmith@bursor.com -- Bursor & Fisher, Joshua David Arisohn --
jarisohn@bursor.com -- Bursor Fisher, P.A., pro hac vice, Reuben
D. Nathan -- rnathan@nathanlawpractice.com -- Nathan &
Associates, APC, Scott A. Bursor -- scott@bursor.com -- Bursor &
Fisher, P.A., pro hac vice, Yeremey O. Krivoshey --
ykrivoshey@bursor.com -- Bursor Fisher, P.A. & Lawrence Timothy
Fisher -- ltfisher@bursor.com -- bursor & Fisher, P.A.

SolarCity Corp., Defendant, represented by Randall Scott Luskey -
- rluskey@orrick.com -- Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP,
Claudia Yvette Sanchez Wilson, SolarCity Corporation Legal
Department, Elyse D. Echtman -- eechtman@orrick.com -- Orrick
Herrington Sutcliffe LLP, pro hac vice, Jonathan A. Direnfeld --
jdirenfeld@orrick.com -- Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP,
pro hac vice & Tiffany Cheung -- tcheung@mofo.com -- Morrison &
Foerster LLP.

Lead Genesis, Inc., Defendant, represented by Jeffrey Michael
Rosenfeld -- jeff@KRInternetLaw.com -- Kronenberger Rosenfeld,
LLP & Karl Stephen Kronenberger -- karl@KRInternetLaw.com --
Kronenberger Rosenfeld, LLP.


SOUTH BRISTOL, NY: Tom Golisano Pledges Property Tax Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Mary Esch, writing for Associated Press, reports that billionaire
Tom Golisano says he tried stringing up fishing line, spraying
smelly repellent and even posting a wolf decoy, but nothing could
rid his lakeside vacation home of the Canada geese that turned
his lawn into a minefield of poop.

His next line of attack? Refusing to pay his $90,000 school tax
bill until officials in the Finger Lakes town of South Bristol
find a way to control the birds.

"This past summer it was horrible.  We'd drive in and find 100 to
200 geese parked on our lawn," said Mr. Golisano, founder of
payroll company Paychex and former owner of the Buffalo Sabres
hockey team.  "You can't walk barefoot, can't play Frisbee, can't
have your grandchildren run around . . . . Here I am paying all
this money in taxes and I can't use my property because of the
geese droppings."

Mr. Golisano also owns a home in Naples.  His stand over bird
poop is just one part of his one-man protest campaign against a
taxation system he believes is flawed and inequitable.

He's pledging to file a class-action lawsuit on behalf of other
upstate homeowners who believe they are being overtaxed.  And he
recently launched a website, TaxMyPropertyFairly.com, to give
ordinary taxpayers the tools to challenge their property tax
bills.

Mr. Golisano contends that tax assessors often lack the training,
time and expertise to accurately assign property values that
determine what share of the local tax collection each homeowner
pays.

"A lot of people are suffering significant injustice because of
the assessment system," said the 76-year-old Golisano, founding
member of the New York Independence Party and three-time
candidate for governor.

Escaping high taxes was part of the reason Mr. Golisano changed
his permanent home address to Naples, Florida, nearly a decade
ago.  In 2010, he spent $200,000 in legal fees to get the
property taxes on his home in Mendon, near Rochester, reduced
from $200,000 to $60,000.

He said western New York is notorious for high property taxes.
While his wife, tennis Hall of Famer Monica Seles, pays about
$4,000 a year in taxes on her New York City condo assessed at
$800,000, Mr. Golisano said a home with that assessed value in
Rochester-area Monroe County would have a $28,000 tax bill.

Mr. Golisano's fight over the bird poop in the town South
Bristol, population 1,600, is based on the argument that the
value of his Canandaigua Lake property is driven down by the
flocks of wild geese that congregate there and it's government's
duty to solve the problem.

Town Supervisor Daniel Marshall disagrees.  "It's a resident's
problem to take care of, not the town's," he said.  Mr. Marshall
said no other shoreline residents have complained about the
geese. "It is a lake, after all."

New York's Department of Environmental Conservation says the
state has an overpopulation of non-migrating Canada geese and
it's causing problems for some homeowners, farmers, golf courses
and parks.  But it says nuisance wildlife on private property
isn't the responsibility of the municipality.  The agency
recommends numerous ways to shoo them off, including those
Golisano has tried.  When it's a community-wide problem, the DEC
suggests local officials may want to hire a "goose control
officer" and devise a coordinated control plan.  That's what
Golisano wants.

For now, the tax fight remains unresolved. Mr. Golisano says his
next step is to seek a reduced property assessment based on the
goose scourge.

Mr. Golisano, whose net worth is listed by Forbes at $3.4
billion, is renowned for his generosity to health care, higher
education and opportunities for those with intellectual and
developmental disabilities.  There are three children's hospitals
named for him, in Fort Myers and Rochester and Syracuse in
New York.

But he doesn't want his pocket picked by local tax assessors or
anyone else. In November, he sued the remodeler of his yacht for
overcharging him on furnishings. A jury awarded him $50,000,
which he said he'll add to the $2.5 million he recently donated
for the Mr. Golisano Autism Center being built in Rochester.

"It's the principle," he said. [GN]


SOUTHCROSS ENERGY: Franchi Seeks to Halt Sale to Midstream
----------------------------------------------------------
Anthony Franchi, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. Southcross Energy Partners, L.
Southcross Energy Partners GP, LLC, Bruce A. Williamson, David W.
Biegler, Andrew A. Cameron, Nicholas J. Caruso, Jr., Jason H.
Downie, Jerry W. Pinkerton, Randall S. Wade, American Midstream
Partners, LP, American Midstream Partners GP, LLC and Cherokee
Merger Sub LLC, Defendants, Case No. 18-cv-00179 (N.D. Tex.,
January 24, 2018), seeks to enjoin defendants and all persons
acting in concert with them from proceeding with, consummating or
closing the acquisition of Southcross by American Midstream
Partners, LP, American Midstream GP, LLC and Cherokee Merger Sub
LLC, or rescinding it in the event defendants consummate the
merger.  The Plaintiff also seeks rescissory damages, costs of
this action, including reasonable allowance for plaintiff's
attorneys' and experts' fees and such other and further relief
under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Unitholders of Southcross Energy will receive 0.160 common units
of American Midstream for each common unit they own. Immediately
following completion of the merger, it is expected that
Southcross current unitholders will own approximately 5% of the
outstanding American Midstream common units.

The complaint says merger documents omitted the valuation
analyses performed by Jefferies LLC, its financial advisor,
including the discounted cash flow analysis of American
Midstream. Said disclosure of projected financial information is
material because it provides stockholders with a basis to project
the future financial performance of a company, and allows
stockholders to better understand the financial analyses in
support of its fairness opinion.

Southcross provides natural gas gathering, processing, treating,
compression and transportation services and natural gas liquids,
fractionation and transportation services. [BN]

Plaintiff is represented by:

      Joe Kendall, Esq.
      Jamie J. McKey, Esq.
      KENDALL LAW GROUP, PLLC
      McKinney Avenue, Suite 700
      Dallas, TX 75204
      Tel: (214) 744-3000
      Fax: (214) 744-3015 (fax)
      Email: jkendall@kendalllawgroup.com
             jmckey@kendalllawgroup.com

             - and -

      RIGRODSKY & LONG, P.A.
      300 Delaware Avenue, Suite 1220
      Wilmington, DE 19801
      Telephone: (302) 295-5310
      Facsimile: (302) 654-7530

             - and -

      RM LAW, P.C.
      1055 Westlakes Drive, Suite 300
      Berwyn, PA 19312
      Telephone: (484) 324-6800
      Facsimile: (484) 631-1305


SPOKEO INC: High Court Denies Certiorari to Review Remand Opinion
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The New Jersey Law Journal Editorial Board is disappointed that
the United States Supreme Court recently denied certiorari to
review the Ninth Circuit's remand opinion in Spokeo, Inc. v.
Robins.

Spokeo Inc. operates a "people search engine" which provides
information about potential employees.  Plaintiff Thomas Robins
filed a federal class action against Spokeo alleging that it
provided inaccurate information about him in violation of the
federal Fair Credit Reporting Act, which requires the
implementation of procedures to assure maximum accurate
reporting.  A district court in California dismissed the case for
lack of Article III standing, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit reversed.

In May 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the Ninth Circuit's
judgment and remanded to that court to determine whether
plaintiff had suffered a concrete injury, or "injury in fact,"
which required plaintiff to establish "an invasion of a legally
protected interest" that is both "concrete and particularized"
and "actual or imminent, not conjectural or hypothetical."  The
Supreme Court found that the circuit had failed to consider the
"concreteness" requirement and erroneously focused only on the
separate and distinct "particularization" prong of the
"concreteness and particularization" test.  A concrete injury
generally requires more than a mere procedural violation of a
statute, or of a statutory right providing the ability to file a
suit.  Accordingly, the court remanded to the Ninth Circuit to
determine (in the first instance) whether Spokeo's false
reporting or inaccurate information relating to Robins'
education, family and job status was sufficiently concrete.


In August 2017, a Ninth Circuit panel unanimously found that
Robins had standing because the FCRA violations were actually
alleged to cause, and could cause, real or concrete harm to the
plaintiff's employment opportunities.  The court stated that the
alleged inaccuracies were more likely to cause concrete injury,
than for example, reporting his zip code incorrectly.  Although
the errors in the credit report tended to overstate Robins'
income, job and educational status, that did not preclude his
allegation that prospective employers passed over his application
thinking he appeared overqualified for the jobs for which he was
applying.

Spokeo petitioned for certiorari again.  It argued that there has
been "widespread confusion" in application of the standing
requirements and that Robin's injuries are too speculative.  That
confusion is well-illustrated by the fact that on a single day in
January, the Third Circuit revived a putative class action under
the FCRA based on a data breach with no alleged misuse of the
data (In re Horizon Healthcare Services, Inc.), and the Seventh
Circuit affirmed dismissal of a class action under the Cable
Communications Policy Act because former customers had not
alleged any concrete injury stemming from improper retention of
personal information. (Gubala v. Time Warner Cable).  We hope
that the Supreme Court grants certiorari to develop and clarify
the "concrete and particularized" pleading requirements of
Article III standing as soon as another case with a similar issue
is before the court. [GN]


SQUARE ENIX: Faces Suit Over Hoshi no Dragon Quest's Loot Boxes
---------------------------------------------------------------
Madeline Ricchiuto, writing for Bleeding Cool, reports that
technically, Hoshi no Dragon Quest features a gacha system, but
the Japanese gacha system is very similar to western games' loot
boxes. That said, 8 players are seeking a class action lawsuit
against developer Square Enix over the gacha system in Hoshi no
Dragon Quest.

Now, because this is a Japanese class-action suit mostly being
reported by Japanese gaming sites, there's a few layers of
possible translation error that we're looking at here. Going by
reports on Sankei and Nlab, it would appear that the lawsuit
stems from the claims of 8 players who assert that the
explanation and odds for the game's gacha system are different
than the actual drop rates, which violates Japan's prize marking
law. Those players filed a lawsuit in the Tokyo District Court
seeking ù 3,350,000 JPY or approximately $30,552.00 USD.

The players are seeking damages for the ù 980,000 JPN spent from
November 20th, 2015 to March 28th, 2016 in-game attempting to win
items using Hoshi no Dragon Quest's gacha system. Specifically,
the players argue that the "Legend Treasure Chest Fukubiki"
gacha, which was provided from October 15, 2015 to March 14,
2016, did not drop the 11 types of 5 soba" items at the rates
outlined in the game.

The case was initially filed December 4, 2017 and saw it's first
oral argument on January 25, 2018. During January's oral
arguments, Square Enix called for a dismissal of claims.

A spokesperson for Square Enix commented on the lawsuit saying,
"We will clarify our claims in litigation, we will not comment at
this stage."

Depending on the outcome of this suit, it could be something of
landmark in gamers' ongoing quest to kill in-game loot boxes
which started this fall with the controversial appearance of
weapons in loot boxes in games like Destiny 2, Middle-earth:
Shadow of War, and Star Wars: Battlefront II. The controversy
spawned due to players' concerns of a pay-to-win structure but
rapidly developed into a conversation about laws and whether loot
boxes need to be regulated as a form of gambling. [GN]


STATE FARM: Spine Care's Suit Remains in District Court
-------------------------------------------------------
In the case, SPINE CARE DELAWARE, LLC, v. STATE FARM MUTUAL
AUTOMOBILE INSURANCE COMPANY, et al., Civil Action No. 17-1816
(D. Del.), Judge Mark A. Kearney of the U.S. District Court for
the District of Delaware denied Spine Care's motion for
reconsideration because it fails to identify a manifest error in
law in the Court's denial of its motion to remand.

Spine Care, a Delaware medical treatment facility, sued State
Farm insurance company in state court claiming the insurer fails
to pay personal injury protection claims to its insureds under
its automobile policies.  The parties agree State Farm is an
Illinois citizen.  Spine Care seeks in excess of $75,000 and, if
it can state a claim, hopes to recover damages as a class
representative for non-parties similarly situated.

State Farm timely removed based solely on diversity jurisdiction.
State Farm then moved to dismiss Spine Care's case.  Spine Care
moved to remand the case back to state court arguing the Court
lack subject matter jurisdiction because absent, the unnamed
class members "almost certainly" include Illinois citizens and
their possible non-diverse presence in the possible class would
extinguish our ability to exercise diversity jurisdiction.  The
Court denied remand because it has original jurisdiction based on
Spine Care's and State Farm's diverse citizenship and the
citizenship of unnamed possible class members who are not, and
will not be, parties does not affect its jurisdiction analysis.

Spine Care asks the Court to reconsider its denial of its remand
motion because of a manifest error of law.  It asks the Court to
consider the citizenship of unknown class members a month after
the removal and months before a class may be certified.  It asks
the Court to hold, for apparently the first time, the possibility
it may later certify a class which may include an Illinois
insured or claimant "contaminates" its exercise of diversity
jurisdiction upon removal.  Spine Care argues 28 U.S.C. Section
1367 (enacted in 1990) and the Supreme Court's 2005 decision in
Exxon Mobil Corp. v. Allapatah Serv., Inc. abrogates or
supersedes the caselaw relied upon by the Court in denying
remand.

Judge Kearney holds that studying the facts underlying Spine
Care's arguments readily confirms the lack of merit in applying
these principles to today's issue.  He finds that the Court has
original jurisdiction over the named parties based on diversity
because Spine Care is a Delaware limited liability company and
maintains its principal place of business in Delaware.  Both
State Farm entities are Illinois corporations and both their
principal places of business are in Illinois and the parties do
not dispute the amount in controversy requirement is satisfied.

For these reasons, Judge Kearney denied Spine Care's motion for
reconsideration because it fails to identify a manifest error in
law in the Court's denial of its motion to remand.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Memorandum is
available at https://is.gd/6NUfxI from Leagle.com.

Spine Care Delaware, LLC, on behalf of themselves and all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, represented by John S. Spadaro --
jspadaro@johnsheehanspadaro.com -- John Sheehan Spadaro, LLC.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company & State Farm Fire
and Casualty Company, Defendants, represented by Colin M. Shalk -
- cshalk@casarino.com -- Casarino Christman Shalk Ransom & Doss,
P.A., Gavin Reinke -- gavin.reinke@alston.com -- Alston & Bird,
LLP, pro hac vice & Kyle G.A. Wallace -- kyle.wallace@alston.com
-- Alston & Bird, LLP, pro hac vice.


STEINHOFF: Faces Possible Class-Action Style Lawsuits in Europe
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fin24 reports that Steinhoff is now facing at least two possible
class-action style lawsuits in Europe, as aggrieved investors try
and recoup losses from its share price plunge.

On Feb. 2 a Dutch investor association said it wants to take the
global retail conglomerate to court over publishing incorrect and
misleading financial statements.

In December 2017 German law firm TILP said it had filed a lawsuit
against the firm.

Steinhoff has its headquarters in Stellenbosch but is registered
in the Netherlands and falls under Dutch law.

The international retail group has been under a cloud since its
former CEO Markus Jooste stepped down in early December amid a
still-ongoing accounting scandal.

Since its share price crashed in the wake of Mr. Jooste's abrupt
resignation, some R200bn in shareholder value has been erased.

In a media statement posted to its website on Feb. 2, the Dutch
Vereniging van Effectenbezitters (VEB) said that Steinhoff had
published "inaccurate and misleading information about the
company in at least two annual reports (2015 and 2016) and
various press releases".

"Steinhoff also wrongly maintained the accuracy of this
information," it said.

The firm's finances are being investigated by forensic auditors
PwC, and it has said that investors can no longer rely on the
veracity of its 2015 and 2016 financial statements.

Steinhoff's share price has fallen by over 80% since the news of
Mr. Jooste and the PwC investigation broke.

On Feb. 5 at 11:30 it was trading at R6.14 a share on the JSE.

'Misleading statements'

The VEB said on Feb. 2 it wants a court in Amsterdam to declare
that Steinhoff was responsible for making a number of incorrect
and misleading statements around its financial situation.

If a court were to declare this, it would constitute a first step
in opening Steinhoff up to possible class-action style lawsuits.

The VEB argued that, due to the incorrect information made public
by Steinhoff, investors bought and held onto Steinhoff shares at
too high a price.

Its director Paul Koster told De Telegraaf that, if a judge were
to rule that Steinhoff is responsible for the losses, the
investor association could recover damages.

Steinhoff's leadership, who appeared before Parliament, meanwhile
said they could not yet say when the PwC investigation would be
complete.

This investigation, they said, would show the extent of financial
irregularities at the firm.

The retailer has, however, referred its former CEO Markus Jooste
to the Hawks, based on initial feedback from PwC.

In addition to VEB, German law firm TILP also filed a lawsuit
against Steinhoff on December 19 on behalf of an aggrieved
shareholder.  It has also filed a petition requesting a lawsuit
under Germany's Capital Markets Model Case Act, which it says
would allow more shareholders and bondholders the opportunity to
jointly litigate their claim before a court.

Local trade union the Public Servants Association, for one, has
said it would likely join legal action against the company.

Steinhoff did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
[GN]


SYNGENTA AG: Court Sets Status Conference in Mass Tort Actions
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Illinois issued an Order Setting Settlement Status Conference in
the case captioned IN RE SYNGENTA MASS TORT ACTIONS. Poletti, et
al. v. Syngenta AG, et al. No. 3:15-cv-01221-DRH and Tweet et al.
v. Syngenta AG et al. No. 3:16-cv-00255-DRH. Case No. 3:15-cv-
01221-DRH. (S.D. Ill.).

The United States District Court for the District of Kansas
entered a judgment following a class jury verdict in favor of
Plaintiffs in the Kansas class action. On September 11, 2017, the
Minnesota class trial began before Judge Miller. On September 25,
2017, Settlement Counsel for Plaintiffs and Syngenta entered into
an agreement on broad terms of settlement, and the jury in the
Minnesota class trial was dismissed.

A full-text copy of the District Court's January 4, 2018 Order is
available at  https://tinyurl.com/ycglwecs from Leagle.com.

Ellen K. Reisman, Special Master, Pro Se.

Wiemers Farms, Inc., Plaintiff, represented by Gerardo L. Guerra
-- guerra@onderlaw.com -- OnderLaw, LLC.

All Plaintiffs in Case 15-1221, Plaintiff, represented by William
W. Blair -- blair@onderlaw.com -- OnderLaw, LLC, Amanda Scott
Williamson --  amanda@hgdlawfirm.com -- Heninger, Garrison et
al., Anna M. Carroll -- acarroll@hgdlawfirm.com -- Heninger,
Garrison et al., pro hac vice, Brian E. Jorde, Domina law Group,
PC LLO, 2425 S. 144th Street, Omaha, Nebraska. 68144, Brian
Leighton Kinsley, Crumley Roberts,  2400 Freeman Mill Rd
Greensboro, NC, 27406, Caroline U. Hollingsworth --
caroline@hgdlawfirm.com -- Heninger, Garrison et al., Christopher
B. Hood -- chood@hgdlawfirm.com -- Heninger, Garrison et al.,
David Alan Domina, Domina law Group, PC LLO, 2425 S. 144th
Street, Omaha, Nebraska. 68144, Derek P. Sieck --
sieck@onderlaw.com -- OnderLaw, LLC, Evan C. Murphy --
murphy@onderlaw.com -- OnderLaw, LLC, Jacqueline Desiree Dodd,
Heninger, Garrison et al., James G. Onder  -- onder@onderlaw.com
-- Onder, Shelton et al., Justin M. Durel, OnderLaw, LLC, Mark
Ekonen mark@hgdlawfirm.com -- Heninger, Garrison et al., Michael
J. Quillin -- quillin@osclaw.com -- OnderLaw, LLC, Peter H. Burke
-- info@burkeharvey.com -- Burke Harvey LLC, Stephanie L. Rados -
- rados@onderlaw.com -- Onder, Shelton, et al., LLC, Taylor
Christopher Bartlett -- taylor@hgdlawfirm.com -- Heninger,
Garrison et al., pro hac vice, W. Lewis Garrison, Jr.
wlgarrison@hgdlawfirm.com -- Heninger, Garrison et al., pro hac
vice, W. Todd Harvey -- info@burkeharvey.com -- Burke Harvey LLC,
William L. Barton, IV, OnderLaw, LLC & William L. Bross --
wlbross@hgdlawfirm.com -- Heninger, Garrison et al.
Syngenta AG, Syngenta Crop Protection AG, Syngenta Corporation,
Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, Syngenta Biotechnology, Inc. &
Syngenta Seeds, Inc., Defendants, represented by Michael J.
Nester -- mnester@drnpc.com -- Donovan Rose Nester PC, Anne
Kathleen Collesano -- anne.collesano@kirkland.com -- Kirkland &
Ellis, Devin Allan DeBacker -- devin.debacker@kirkland.com --
Kirkland & Ellis, Devin Charles Ringger --
devin.ringger@kirkland.com -- Kirkland & Ellis, pro hac vice,
Edwin U. John, Kirkland & Ellis, Jeffery D. Nye, Kirkland &
Ellis, pro hac vice, Jessica Marie Pettit --
jessica.pettit@kirkland.com -- Kirkland & Ellis LLP, pro hac
vice, Jordan M. Heinz -- jordan.heinz@kirkland.com -- Kirkland &
Ellis LLP, Joseph J. Stroble -- coverby@bradley.com -- Bradley
Arant et al, Leslie M. Smith -- leslie.smith@kirkland.com --
Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Marcy Gray Blattner --
marcy.blattner@kirkland.com -- Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Michael D.
Jones -- michael.jones@kirkland.com -- Kirkland & Ellis, Michael
Onufer -- michael.onufer@kirkland.com -- Kirkland & Ellis LLP,
Patrick F. Philbin -- patrick.philbin@kirkland.com -- Kirkland &
Ellis, Ragan Naresh -- ragan.naresh@kirkland.com -- Kirkland &
Ellis, Sarah J. Schultes -- sarah.schultes@kirkland.com --
Kirkland & Ellis LLP & Shiran Zohar -- shiran.zohar@kirkland.com
-- Kirkland & Ellis LLP.


T-MOBILE USA: Court Denies Bid to Dismiss 2nd Amended "Boone"
-------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, DEAN BOONE, individually and on behalf of others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. T-MOBILE USA INC., Defendant,
Civ. No. 17-378-KM-MAH (D. N.J.), Judge Kevin McNulty of the U.S.
District Court for the District of New Jersey granted Boone's
motion for leave to file the third amended complaint, and denied
the T-Mobile's motion to dismiss Boone's second amended
complaint.

Mr. Boone resides in Mahwah, New Jersey.  T-Mobile is a
corporation that provides telephone and data services throughout
the country.  Boone seeks to certify nationwide and New Jersey
classes based on T-Mobile's purported violations of the FCRA and
NJ FCRA.

On April 21, 2016, Boone went to a T-Mobile store in Paramus, New
Jersey, and asked a T-Mobile employee about available cell phone
plans and rates.  Boone made it clear that he did not want his
credit report accessed if a "hard" credit inquiry would be
required.  The employee confirmed that T-Mobile would conduct a
soft inquiry and not a hard inquiry.  Boone did not sign any
agreement, did not agree to any services, and did not provide
written consent for a hard inquiry.  Nonetheless, T-Mobile
obtained his credit report through a hard credit inquiry.  T-
Mobile has "routinely and systematically" obtained such hard
inquiries on prospective customers without a permissible purpose
or written consent.  Those prospective customers form the
putative classes.

Boone seeks to represent classes of prospective T-Mobile
customers who, like him, were allegedly subject to improper hard
credit inquiries.  In his second amended complaint, Boone defines
two putative classes of putative customers for whom T-Mobile
conducted hard inquiries on "false pretenses":

     a. FCRA False Pretense Class: All persons within the United
States who had a hard credit inquiry performed on his or her
credit by T-Mobile who had not previously authorized a hard
inquiry within the five years prior to the filing of the
Complaint until the date of final judgment in the action.

     b. NJ False Pretense Class: All persons within New Jersey
who had a hard credit inquiry performed on his or her credit by
T-Mobile who had not previously authorized a hard inquiry within
the five years prior to the filing of the Complaint until the
date of final judgment in the action.

On Jan. 19, 2017, Boone filed a complaint against T-Mobile on
behalf of himself and all others similarly situated for purported
violations of the Fair Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") and the New
Jersey Fair Credit Reporting Act ("NJ FCRA").  T-Mobile moved to
dismiss the complaint on Feb. 27, 2017.

On March 17, 2017, Boone filed an amended complaint.  T-Mobile
moved to dismiss the amended complaint on April 14, 2017.  On
June 15, 2017, Boone and T-Mobile attended a scheduling
conference before the Hon. Michael A. Hammer.  At the scheduling
conference, T-Mobile consented to Boone's filing a second amended
complaint.

Boone filed that second amended complaint on June 28, 2017.  On
July 26, 2017, T-Mobile filed the motion to dismiss the second
amended complaint for failure to state a claim and for lack of
standing.  On Aug. 24, 2017, Boone sought leave to file a third
amended complaint, which T-Mobile opposes.

In his proposed third amended complaint, Boone proposes two
additional classes of prospective customers for whom T-Mobile
sought hard inquiry credit reports for an "impermissible
purpose":

     a. FCRA Impermissible Purpose Class: All persons within the
United States who had a hard credit inquiry performed on his or
her credit by T-Mobile, who had not authorized a hard inquiry,
thereby obtaining a persons' credit report without any
permissible purpose, within the five years prior to the filing of
the Complaint until the date of final judgment in the action.

     b. NJ FCRA Impermissible Purpose Class: All persons within
New Jersey who had a hard credit inquiry performed on his or her
credit by T-Mobile, who had not authorized a hard inquiry,
thereby obtaining a persons' credit report without any
permissible purpose, within the five years prior to the filing of
the Complaint until the date of final judgment in the action.

As the titles suggest, any FCRA class would seek relief under the
federal FCRA, while any NJ FCRA class would seek relief under the
NJ FCRA.

T-Mobile argues that (a) Boone lacks Article III standing, (b)
Boone fails to state a claim under the FCRA or the NJ FCRA, and
(b) Boone's request to submit a third amended complaint should be
denied.

Judge McNulty cannot find at this, the pleading stage, that Boone
has not alleged actual damages under the FCRA as a matter of law.
The motion to dismiss on the grounds that (a) civil false
pretenses claims cannot be asserted against corporate entities;
(b) Boone's complaint should be dismissed for failure to cite the
specific subsection authorizing private rights of action under
the FCRA; (c) T-Mobile had permissible purposes for obtaining
Boone's credit report; and (d) there are no allegations that T-
Mobile made a calculated attempt to mislead anyone in connection
with obtaining credit reports, is denied.

As to Boone's NJ FCRA claims T-Mobile, the Judge finds that Boone
has stated a claim under the NJ FCRA.  T-Mobile's motion to
dismiss Boone's NJ FCRA claims is therefore denied.  First, a
private right of action exists against corporate entities under
the NJ FCRA.  Second, T-Mobile did not have permissible purposes
to obtain Boone's credit report through a hard inquiry.  ird, as
discussed in subsection III.B.1(d), Boone has alleged that T-
Mobile attempted to mislead consumers in connection with
obtaining a credit report.

Finally, Judge McNulty will grant Boone permission to file the
third amended complaint.  He says, first, Boone's proposed
amendments do not threaten to prejudice T-Mobile.  Second, the
amendment would not be futile.  Boone aligns the putative classes
with the legal theories under which he seeks relief.  Third,
while Boone's repeated amendments have caused some delays, it
does not appear that the third amended complaint will cause any
further serious postponements.

For the foregoing reasons, Judge McNulty finds that Boone has
established Article III standing and has adequately stated claims
under the FCRA and the NJ FCRA.  The motion to dismiss is
therefore denied.  He granted Boone leave to file the third
amended complaint.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Opinion is
available at https://is.gd/bBi9E6 from Leagle.com.

DEAN BOONE, individually, and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by JEFFREY JOSEPH CIARLANTO --
ciarlanto@prolawpa.com -- PROFY PROMISLOFF & CIARLANTO, P.C.,
RICHARD HAN KIM -- jonghankim@paulhastings.com -- THE KIM LAW
FIRM, LLC., DRUCILLA HUGHES TIGNER, THE KIM LAW FIRM & KEVIN J.
KOTCH, FERRARA LAW GROUP, P.C.

T-MOBILE USA INC., Defendant, represented by READE WILLIAM
SELIGMANN -- reade.seligmann@alston.com -- Alston & Bird LLP.


TAURUS: Faces Class Action Over Defective Pistols
-------------------------------------------------
Ray Simon, writing of Daily Hornet, reports that careful there,
butterfingers.  That loaded handgun you're holding could actually
be more dangerous than a . . . loaded handgun.

Getting shot is never a good thing, but shot by your own pistol,
by a combination of your clumsiness and Taurus' allegedly shoddy
craftsmanship, well that's just a bad day.  It's enough to make
the unfortunate victim pray the bullet strikes a vital organ.

The class action lawsuit blames the problem on a manufacturing
defect in at least 9 models of Taurus Millenium pistols that can
cause them to unintentionally discharge when dropped or --
perhaps even more dangerous -- when the safety is on, according
to the lawsuit.

If you own one of the following models being recalled, don't
walk, RUN -- but not so fast you drop your pistol -- to make the
end of the claims period, which was February 6. Literally.

So if you own one of the Taurus pistols listed below but have not
filed a claim, thinking you're going to be cut in on any
compensation, think again.  You're SOL.  Should've been quicker
on the draw.

Gun owners who do meet the claims deadline have 3 options per the
$239 million settlement agreement: a cash payment, enhanced
warranty, or safety training.  Owners of the recalled pistols can
receive up to $200 cash in exchange for their defective piece, or
may have the guns inspected and repaired for free.

Recalled Taurus pistols include:

   * PT-111 Millennium
   * PT-132 Millennium
   * PT-138 Millennium
   * PT-140 Millennium
   * PT-145 Millennium
   * PT-745 Millennium
   * PT-609; PT-640
   * PT-24/7

The 'Pro" series of each of these handguns is also being recalled
for the same issue, Taurus said.  The recall affects about one
million firearms, give or take.

In addition to the terms above, Taurus has agreed to publish free
online training videos and instructions on how to properly
operate and handle the guns.

The company is covering all shipping and handling costs, but says
members should review their state and federal regulations before
sending firearms through the mail. Detailed instructions can be
found on the settlement website. [GN]


TEXAS: Prison Officials Agree to Deal on Wallace Pack Housing
-------------------------------------------------------------
Gabrielle Banks, writing for The Houston Chronicle, reports that
Texas prison officials and lawyers reached a tentative settlement
in a landmark class action lawsuit February 2, agreeing to
provide air conditioning at a geriatric prison outside of Houston
and resolving lawsuits involving inmates who died or were injured
by excessive heat during oppressivesummers in other state
lockups.

The proposed agreement at the Wallace Pack Unit in Navasota could
have lasting ramifications for thousands of inmates at more than
100 prisons statewide, the majority of which do not provide air
conditioning on the housing units. Texas prison officials have
acknowledged nearly two dozen inmates have died of heatstroke in
prison units since 1998.

State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, a longtime advocate for
updating the aging infrastructure at prisons, called the deal "a
game changer" for top brass at the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice, and especially for inmates and employees who live and
work in torrid Texas weather.

"It's certainly a departure from the position that TDCJ and the
state has taken as long as I can remember," he said.

Whitmire said installing cooling systems will be expensive, but
the prison's leaders have shown they are willing to invest in
making the Pack Unit safer.

"I'm certain there will be discussions as we go forward as to
what would be the next logical step -- to see what other units
can be made safer and more habitable for people who have been
placed there and for the workers."

Court must approve

U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison, who has overseen the Pack case
and several wrongful heat death cases from the start, offered
"enormous congratulations all around" at an impromptu hearing in
Houston via teleconference with a team of lawyers from state
Attorney General Ken Paxton's office, Edwards Law and the Texas
Civil Rights Project who were involved in lengthy settlement
negotiations. The settlement will have to be presented to the
court for approval.

"The case literally raised life-or-death issues," the judge told
them. "It's a triumph all the way around for the state, the
inmates and the lawyers, and I feel enormously lucky to have been
a small part of it."

Jason Clark, a TDCJ spokesman, said the deal resolves the 2014
class action lawsuit over air conditioning as well as individual
lawsuits involving eight heat deaths and one injury during heat
waves in 2011 and 2012.

"The agreement would end the protracted legal proceeding and
provide additional safeguards for offenders at the Pack Unit who
may be susceptible to extreme heat," Clark said.

Jeff Edwards, Esq. -- jeff@edwards-law.com -- lead attorney for a
group of Pack inmates who launched the class action suit, said he
was gratified by the state's willingness to come to the
negotiating table and thrilled for his clients.

"Six inmates took on a state system with $3 billion in resources
and accomplished what they sought out to do from the very start,"
he said. "Unless we provide the same basic rights to inmates in
terms of dignity, safety and medical care, everybody's rights are
at risk."

Ellison said the proposed settlement was "nothing less than
fundamental change in the daily existence of hundreds of men --
transformative change."

'A civil rights movement'
For the inmates, a resolution would mark significant progress.

Shanda Carter said the settlement was startling news for her 39-
year-old husband Michael, a diabetic former Pack resident who was
among of busloads of inmates transferred to Leblanc Unit under
the judge's order last summer protect him from the heat. He
called her January 31 when rumors of a deal began to circulate.

Carter, 51, of Seabrook, said the settlement means she no longer
has to fear that his life is in danger.

"I worried that he'd tell them he was sick and they would ignore
him and tell him to go back to his bunk and he'd end up dying,"
she said.

She said she hoped the deal would have a ripple effect.

"It's like a civil rights movement, you accomplished something
new to history," she said.

The comprehensive deal calls for temporary cooling systems to be
installed at the Pack Unit dormitories for all inmates with
permanent systems to be installed with approval from the Texas
Legislature. The cost of the systems is still being assessed.

The state also agreed to transport heat-sensitive inmates from
Pack in air-conditioned buses.

Other claims settled

In addition to air conditioning at the Pack Unit, the state has
agreed to settle claims over eight deaths and one injury related
to heat exposure.

Experts testified that heat deaths were preventable, a finding
echoed by Dr. Tyson Pillow, an emergency physician at Ben Taub
and director of the emergency medicine residency program at
Baylor College of Medicine.

Indoors or outdoors, the most important factor in preventing heat
exhaustion and heat stroke is prevention, rather than treatment,
he said.

"Heat in a room will lead to your body compensating, sweating,
dehydration, heat exhaustion and, at the extreme heat stroke," he
said. "A very hot room could lead to the same symptoms and
disease process."

Elderly people and people who take certain medicines are
especially at risk, he said. At an emergency injunction hearing
in June, inmates testified they became dizzy and vomited from the
heat. Texas prison officials provided documentation that 22
inmates had died from heat stroke at 15 Texas prisons since 1998.

This threat compelled Ellison to order air conditioning for heat-
sensitive inmates.

Ellison ruled in July that the indoor heat at Pack was life-
threatening for vulnerable inmates, writing in a scathing opinion
that the summer conditions amounted to "cruel and unusual
punishment."

He ordered the prison to provide cool housing units during the
summer months for medically sensitive inmates, but he gave TDCJ
officials the flexibility to fulfill his order as they saw fit.

Citing the prohibitive cost of installing air conditioning,
officials opted to ship more than 1,000 inmates from the Pack
Unit to prisons that already had air conditioning. Additional
inmates were transferred to make room for the Pack evacuees.

But Ellison's ruling was only temporary, and the case had been
set for trial in March. That trial has now been canceled. [GN]


THORN GROUP: Chair Steps Down Following Class Action Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Roma Christian, writing for ChannelNews, reports that Radio
Rentals owner, Thorn Group, has announced its Chairman Joycelyn
Morton is stepping down, following its recent $6.1 million
settlement with ASIC for consumer lease breaches.

Ms Morton will step down as Chair, however, will remain a
Director until a replacement is appointed. Non-executive
Director, David Foster, has been named Chairman in the interim.

Mr Foster was formerly the CEO of Suncorp Bank, with several
other non-executive directorships in government and private
placements.

The company's board has expressed its thanks for Ms Morton's
seven-year Chairmanship, including her actions in the recent
Radio Rentals' ASIC settlement.

Thorn Group owned Radio Rentals stores faced a class action from
Sydney-based law firm, Maurice Blackburne, who represented over
200,000 consumers from its 'Rent Try $1 Buy' lease.

Following an agreement with ASIC, Thorn Group agreed to remediate
various fees and expenses of $6.1 million, plus pay a civil
penalty of $2 million.  The company also agreed to several
changes within its consumer lease operations.

Thorn Group Radio Rentals stores are not associated with South
Australian owned Radio Rentals outlets. In South Australia, Thorn
Group trades as Rentlo Reinvented.

Ms Morton affirms her departure is at the "right time", and will
compliment a "refreshed board":

"During my time as chair we achieved a great deal under difficult
circumstances. We have a refreshed board, new leadership team,
completed the ASIC settlement and appointed a new CEO who will
commence on February 15.  I therefore believe this is the right
time for me to hand over to a new chair." [GN]


TOSHIBA CORP: "Lightsey" Suit Removed to South Carolina
-------------------------------------------------------
The case captioned Richard Lightsey and Jessica Cook, and others
similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. Toshiba Corporation,
Defendant, Case No. 2017-cp-25-0414 (S.C. Com. Pleas, October 3,
2017) was removed from the Court of Common Pleas of Hampton
County, South Carolina, to the United States District Court for
the District of South Carolina on January 23, 2018, and assigned
Case No. 18-cv-00190.

Plaintiffs allege that Toshiba executed a guarantee in which it
allegedly agreed to pay for losses suffered at the VC Summer
Project where South Carolina Electric & Gas Company and the South
Carolina Public Service Authority were constructing two nuclear
power units. [BN]

Toshiba is represented by:

      Mark H. Wall, Esq.
      Thomas B. Boger, Esq.
      WALL TEMPLETON & HALDRUP, P.A.
      Post Office Box 1200
      Charleston, SC 29402
      Tel: (843) 329-9500
      Facsimile: (843) 329-9501
      E-mail: Mark.Wall@walltempleton.com
              Tommy.Boger@walltempleton.com

              - and -

      David B. Leland, Esq.
      Paul A. Solomon, Esq.
      Paul M. Kerlin, Esq.
      SKADDEN, ARPS, SLATE, MEAGHER & FLOM, LLP
      1440 New York Avenue, N.W.
      Washington, DC 20005-2111
      Telephone: (202) 371-7000
      Facsimile: (202) 393-5760
      E-mail: David.Leland@skadden.com
              Paul.Solomon@skadden.com
              Paul.Kerlin@skadden.com

Plaintiffs are represented by:

      Algernon Gibson Solomons, III, Esq.
      Daniel Alvah Speights, Esq.
      SPEIGHTS & RUNYAN
      2015 Boundary Street, Suite 239
      Beaufort, SC 29902
      Tel: (800) 348-3805
      Website: www.speightsrunyan.com


TOYOTA MOTORS: Faces Class Action Over Defects in Prius Cars IPM
----------------------------------------------------------------
David A. Wood, writing for CarComplaints.com, reports that a
Toyota Prius intelligent power module (IPM) recall and warranty
extension weren't good enough for a California driver who filed a
lawsuit against the automaker.

According to the lawsuit, 2010-2016 Toyota Prius cars have
defects in the hybrid systems that cause the cars to stall,
including while traveling at highway speeds.

The lawsuit references a 2014 Toyota warranty extension (ZE3) for
about 711,000 model year 2010-2014 Prius cars nationwide.  The
extension involves the intelligent power module (IPM) located
inside the inverter assembly and covers failure of the IPM and
other internal inverter components potentially damaged by IPM
failure.

This condition is indicated by diagnostic trouble codes P0A94,
P324E, P3004 or P0A1A.

If any of those codes exist, Toyota says various warning lights
will illuminate and the car will enter fail-safe mode, also
called limp-home mode.

To qualify for the warranty extension, Prius owners must have had
repairs made under a 2014 IPM recall.

Toyota recalled nearly 700,000 model year 2010-2014 Prius cars in
2014 because of the intelligent power modules (IPMs) with sensors
that can become damaged by high temperatures.

As mentioned in the warranty extension, the recall described
warning lights activating and the Prius going into limp-home
mode. Toyota also said the hybrid system could completely shut
down and cause the Prius to stall.

The recall, which began in March 2014, saw Toyota dealers update
software for the motor/generator control and hybrid electronic
control units.  For a vehicle that had already experienced a
failure of the inverter before the software update, the dealer
replaced the inverter assembly.

The plaintiff says Toyota's previous actions didn't solve the IPM
problems because the automaker wanted to save money on parts, and
the software Toyota used allegedly did nothing but cause more
problems.

According to the plaintiff, the software update affected the
ability of the cars to accelerate properly.  Calling the Toyota
Prius recall a "sham," the plaintiff says drivers, occupants and
others on the roads are at risk because the automaker took the
cheap way out.

The California lawsuit also alleges replacing the IPM can cost
thousands of dollars and replacing one bad module with another
faulty IPM does nothing to help the car.

Included in the proposed class-action are current and former
California owners and lessees of 2010-2016 Prius cars who paid
their own money related to the intelligent power modules.

The Toyota Prius IPM lawsuit was filed in the Los Angeles County
Superior Court of California -- Jevdet Rexhepi, et al., v. Toyota
Motor Sales USA Inc.

The plaintiff is represented by Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin,
Portis, & Miles PC, Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca LLP, DiCello Levitt &
Casey, and Fazio Micheletti LLP.

CarComplaints.com has complaints submitted by owners of the
Toyota Prius cars named in the IPM lawsuit. [GN]


TRUDY GILMOND: Court Denies Bid to Decertify Net Winners Class
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for Western District of North
Carolina, Charlotte Division, certified the Net Winner Class in
the case captioned KENNETH D. BELL, in his capacity as court-
appointed Receiver for Rex Venture Group, LLC d/b/a
ZeekRewards.com, Plaintiff, v. TODD DISNER, in his individual
capacity and in his capacity as trustee for Kestrel Spendthrift
Trust; TRUDY GILMOND; TRUDY GILMOND, LLC; JERRY NAPIER; DARREN
MILLER; RHONDA GATES; DAVID SORRELLS; INNOVATION MARKETING, LLC;
AARON ANDREWS; SHARA ANDREWS; GLOBAL INTERNET FORMULA, INC.; T.
LEMONT SILVER; KAREN SILVER; MICHAEL VAN LEEUWEN; DURANT
BROCKETT; DAVID KETTNER; MARY KETTNER; P.A.W.S. CAPITAL
MANAGEMENT LLC; LORI JEAN WEBER; and a Defendant Class of Net
Winners in ZEEKREWARDS.COM; Defendants, No. 3:14cv91 (W.D.N.C.),
more than two and a half years ago.

Net Winner Class members Darlene Armel, Ronald Cox, Frank
Scheuneman, Edward Rourke, Theresa Bridie, Marc Kantor, Paola
Kantor, Tim Rice, Wayland Woods and two movants listed only as
D.W. and T.H. (collectively "Movants") filed a motion to
intervene in this action and decertify the class or alter the
Final Judgments issued.

The Court denied the Movants' Motion for Class Decertification.

In the Certification Order, the Court explained the basis for the
certification of the Class and responded to the same concerns
over commonality and alleged conflicts expressed in the Movants'
motions. While acknowledging the challenges of a defendant class
action and the due process concerns of those opposed to the
Class, the Court concluded that the Court is firmly convinced a
class action is the only means to reasonably and efficiently
resolve the Receiver's claims against 9,400 Net Winners.
The Receiver's Motion seeking Final Judgments against the
remaining Movants who chose not to disagree with the amount of
their net winnings or for whom the Receiver accepted their
alternate amount was filed on June 27, 2017.  In the Notice by
the Court related to the Receiver's June 27 motion  the Court
stated that the Court expects to rule on the Receiver's Motion
and enter Final Judgments as appropriate on or after July 31,
2017.

Final Judgments were accordingly entered on August 14, 2017.
Movants filed the present motion on September 11, 2017.
Therefore, despite being on notice that any filing challenging
the Receiver's motion seeking Final Judgments should have been
made before July 31, 2017, Movants failed to do so.

The Movants seek to decertify the Net Winner Class on the grounds
that Class Counsel has not adequately protected the interests of
the members of the Class.  Movants criticize class counsel for
unnecessarily conceding the existence of a Ponzi scheme, not
deposing the Receiver's expert or challenging the expert's
findings, and not vigorously arguing that the expert's
calculations were flawed and unreliable.

Courts are in agreement that speculation as to the basis for
certain strategic decisions made by counsel for the Class is not
a sufficient basis to show that counsel for the Class is not
adequate. The Court finds that class counsel has adequately
represented the Class in accordance with the facts and applicable
law.

In addition to arguing that class counsel was inadequate, Movants
contend that potential conflicts existed where class counsel
represented a member of the Class in another action related to
the Ponzi scheme. Courts have generally held that the mere
existence of parallel representation does not create an
insurmountable conflict of interest.

Further, Courts are in general agreement that speculative
conflicts resting on strings of suppositions do not preclude a
finding that class counsel is adequate. The Court finds that
Movants' arguments herein as to purported conflicts are entirely
speculative and do not render Class counsel inadequate.

Finally, courts are appropriately reluctant to decertify classes
in late stages of litigation. Indeed, the Court may not disturb
its prior certification absent some significant intervening event
or a showing of compelling reasons to re-examine the question.

A full-text copy of the District Court's January 4, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y6vnub9p from Leagle.com.

Kenneth D. Bell, in his capacity as court-appointed Receiver for
Rex Venture Group, LLC d/b/a ZeekRewards.com, Plaintiff,
represented by Irving M. Brenner -- ibrenner@mcguirewoods.com --
McGuireWoods LLP & Matthew E. Orso -- morso@mcguirewoods.com --
McGuireWoods LLP.

Kenneth D. Bell, in his capacity as court-appointed Receiver for
Rex Venture Group, LLC d/b/a ZeekRewards.com, Plaintiff, Pro Se.
Trudy Gilmond, Defendant, Pro Se.

Trudy Gilmond, LLC, Defendant, Pro Se.

Jerry Napier, Defendant, Pro Se.

Darren Miller, Defendant, Pro Se.

Rhonda Gates, Innovation Marketing LLC, Aaron Andrews & Shara
Andrews, Defendants, represented by James Kevin Edmundson --
kevin@edmundsonpllc.com -- Edmundson PLLC, pro hac vice.
Global Internet Formula, Inc., T. Lemont Silver & Karen Silver,
Defendants, represented by William James Jonas, III --
jonas@wjamesjonas.com -- W. James Jonas III, P.C., pro hac vice.
Durant Brockett & Defendant Class, Defendants, represented by
James Kevin Edmundson, Edmundson PLLC.

David Kettner, Defendant, Pro Se.

Mary Kettner, Defendant, Pro Se.

Defendant Class of Net Winners in ZeekRewards.com, Defendant,
represented by James Kevin Edmundson, Edmundson PLLC & Gabriel L.
Mathless -- gabrielmathless@mvalaw.com -- Moore & Van Allen PLLC.


UNITED STATES: Judge to Review ACLU-NJ's Class Action Against ICE
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Daniel J. Munoz, writing for TAPinto, reports that three
Indonesian Christians taking sanctuary in a Highland Park church
will be able to return home, after a federal judge issued an
order halting their deportation.

On Feb. 2, U.S. district judge Esther Salas issued a temporary
restraining order to Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE)
agents, preventing them from moving forward with any deportation
attempts of Indonesian Christians living in New Jersey without
legal status.

Currently, three Indonesian Christians are taking sanctuary in
the Reformed Church of Highland Park.  ICE has a policy of not
pursuing deportations on individuals while they're residing in
places of worship.

As a result, a person with deportation orders might stay in a
religious site indefinitely.  Other "sensitive locations" include
schools and hospitals.  In January, ICE removed courthouses from
the category.

The order means that the three Indonesian Christians, Pangemanan
of Highland Park, Arthur Jemmy of Edison and Yohanes Tasik of
Woodbridge, can return to their homes without concern of being
detained and deported by ICE agents, according to Rev. Seth
Kaper-Dale, an immigrants' rights activist and head of the
church.

Jemmy has been in the church since October 2017 and Tasik since
mid-January. ICE's de facto policy has been to not detain
undocumented immigrants while they're in a place of worship, and
so often, they'd reside at the site indefinitely.

"We are extremely heartened and relieved," said Farrin Anello, a
senior staff attorney with the ACLU-NJ, whose involved with the
case.

The hold will be in place indefinitely, while Salas reviews the
class action suit brought forward by the New Jersey Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU-NJ) on behalf of Pangemanan and two
Indonesian residents who were detained by ICE.

Pangemanan came into the church on the morning of Jan. 25, after
ICE agents tried to detain him just as he was about to drive his
daughter to school.

That same morning, ICE detained two other Indonesians, Roby
Sanger of Metuchen and Gunawan Liem of Franklin Park, who are
also plaintiffs in the class action suit. The two are being held
at the Essex County Jail and it is uncertain if they will be
released in light of the decision.

A spokesperson for ICE could not be immediately reached for
comment.

With the order in place for the next few weeks, Pangemanan, Jemmy
and Tasik can return to their homes without worry they'd be
scooped up and detained by ICE agents.

"I just thank God," Pangemanan said.

The argument of the class action suit, filed by the ACLU-NJ's
Immigrants' Rights Project, was two-fold. It argued first, that
the plaintiff's detention and deportation would deprive them of a
constitutionally-guaranteed right to apply for asylum.

Second, the suit argued that U.S. law prohibits deportation back
to a country where the person could face religious persecution
and violence.

It's uncertain how long Jemmy, Pangemanan and Tasik will be
shielded by operations by ICE agents.

The hold is only in effect until Salas makes a decision on the
case, Mr. Anello noted.  The plaintiffs will have to their
written arguments by Feb. 16, the plaintiff's by March 2, and
counter-arguments from the plaintiffs by March 9.

"I feel strongly that there is not a huge risk for going back a
normal life for the next five weeks," Rev. Kaper-Dale told
congregants at an impromptu celebratory church service on the
morning of Feb. 3.

Allen noted the order only prohibits deportation and transfer
between facilities, say from the Essex County Jail to one in
California.  No mention is made of detention, so strictly
speaking, ICE agents could still arrest Jemmy, Pangemanan and
Tasik.

Though Allen was doubtful that ICE would detain the three, as was
Rev. Kaper-Dale.

"It would be really concerning in my mind, if after a judge has
taken the step to say what this judge said on Feb. 2, if ICE
continued to round people up in put them in detention,"
Rev. Kaper-Dale said.

Rev. Kaper-Dale added: "Part of me feels like we should try to
live normal lives, knowing that there is a risk, but not living
with the same level of fear of that risk."

The order came just a few days after Pangemanan had a health
episode, with his blood pressure rising to a worrisome level,
according to Rev. Kaper-Dale.

"It was purely driven by the anxiety of what was going on," Rev.
Kaper-Dale said.  "I told him about the passport thing and he
started shaking and he couldn't stop shaking for three hours."

TAPinto New Brunswick is partnering with ProPublica to track hate
crimes in the region. The partnership is part of a nationwide
project to track and report bias incidents across the country.
[GN]


UNITED STATES: Class Action Against HSS Over CSR Payments Pending
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Katie Keith, writing for Health Affairs, reports that in late
January 2018, two additional insurers separately filed complaints
against the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) for
failing to reimburse marketplace insurers for cost-sharing
reductions (CSRs) for 2017.  These lawsuits were brought by the
Montana Health CO-OP and the Sanford Health Plan.  The Montana
Health CO-OP offers marketplace coverage in Montana and Idaho and
is suing for nearly $5.3 million; the Sanford Health Plan, which
is based in South Dakota and offers marketplace coverage in North
Dakota, South Dakota, and Iowa, is suing for about $1.6 million.

This now makes at least four lawsuits, one of which is a class
action, brought against HHS in the Court of Federal Claims for
failure to make CSR payments.  All four lawsuits make claims for
CSR payments from October, November, and December of 2017; the
class action additionally includes CSR payments for 2018.  The
Sanford Health Plan appears to be the first non-CO-OP entity that
has filed a lawsuit challenging the government's failure to make
CSR payments, and three of the cases (all but the class action)
are being handled by the same law firm. (For those keeping score,
you might consider this to be five lawsuits if you count the
recent litigation brought by New York and Minnesota to contest
the government's refusal to provide the "CSR component" of funds
for their Basic Health Programs.)

All four lawsuits make claims that are similar to those outlined
here: that the government's failure to make CSR payments violates
Section 1402 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and an implied-in-
fact contract between HHS and insurers. (An "implied-in-fact"
contract is an agreement evidenced by the conduct of the parties,
even though not reduced to written form.) First, the insurers
argue that Section 1402 and implementing regulations 1) require
insurers to reduce cost-sharing for certain silver marketplace
plans; and 2) require the federal government to make CSR payments
even in the absence of a congressional appropriation.  As both
the Montana Health CO-OP and Sanford Health Plan argued in their
complaints, "regardless of whether Congress appropriated
sufficient funds to HHS to make the CSR payments, the
government's statutory obligation to make such payments, and
plaintiff's right to those payments, remains."

Second, the insurers point to CSR payments made in 2014, 2015,
2016, and nine months of 2017 as well as "actions of agency
officials" to bind the government to make CSR payments.  They
argue that the ACA, its regulations, and these government actions
collectively constituted a clear offer by the government that
insurers accepted by offering marketplace coverage in 2017.  This
formed an implied-in-fact contract that HHS then breached for CSR
payments during October, November, and December of 2017.

These lawsuits are being filed even as stakeholders near a
resolution in the House v. Azar litigation over the federal
government's authority to make CSR payments in the absence of an
explicit appropriation from Congress.  At the same time, the
government requested an additional extension of time in the class
action lawsuit on CSR payments brought by Common Ground
Healthcare Cooperative, from January 29 to February 20, 2018.
Common Ground recently amended its class action lawsuit on risk
corridor payments to include CSR payments. Because this change to
add CSRs was not made until November 2017 and this new potential
class on CSRs raises "significant and new issues that are
different from those raised in the risk corridors portion of the
case," the government requests additional time to coordinate
within the Department of Justice and with HHS.

In the meantime, Common Ground's claims on risk corridor payments
continue to move forward following class certification on
January 8, 2018.  On January 26, Common Ground filed a motion
requesting approval of a plan to notify potential members of the
class (i.e., insurers that offered qualified health plans in the
2016 benefit year whose allowable costs were more than 103
percent of their target amounts); this motion was granted on
February 1, 2018.  In a separate risk corridors case brought by
the Oregon Health CO-OP for about $25 million, the government
asked for a stay pending a decision by the Court of Appeals for
the Federal Circuit in one of two other risk corridors cases that
were argued on January 10, 2018.

Little Sisters And March For Life To Appeal Injunction On Trump
Birth Control Rule To Ninth Circuit

On January 26, 2018, the Little Sisters of the Poor Jeanne Jugan
Residence filed a notice of appeal in California v. Trump to the
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  The appeal will
challenge the district court's nationwide preliminary injunction-
obtained by California and four other states-that blocks the
implementation of HHS's interim final rules from October 2017.
These rules grant broad exemptions to organizations with
religious or moral objections from the Affordable Care Act's
(ACA's) requirement that many health plans cover contraception
without cost-sharing.

The Little Sisters have now appealed both cases -- one in
California and one in Pennsylvania -- where attorneys general
challenged the Trump administration's rules. In December 2017,
the Little Sisters filed a notice of appeal to the Third Circuit
in similar litigation in Pennsylvania where the district court
judge also issued a preliminary injunction, albeit using slightly
different reasoning, that similarly blocked implementation of
these rules.

Also on January 26, Judge Haywood Gilliam of the United States
District Court for the Northern District of California granted a
petition to intervene in California v. Trump by the March for
Life Education and Defense Fund.  In doing so, he incorporated
his reasoning from when he allowed the Little Sisters to
intervene: The judge concluded that March for Life did not have a
right to intervene because its interests are adequately
represented by the Trump administration; he did, however, grant
them permission to intervene, recognizing that they had a strong
interest in the outcome of the case.  Five days later, the March
for Life (like Little Sisters) filed a notice of appeal to the
Ninth Circuit.

GAO Finds Small Percentage Of Potentially Improper Or Fraudulent
Marketplace Enrollment From 2015

On January 23, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued
a new analysis of the enrollment process for the 2015 plan year
and found a small percentage-about 1 percent-of enrollment in the
37 states that relied on HealthCare.gov in 2015 to be potentially
improper or fraudulent.  The GAO undertook this analysis in
response to a request from seven Republican members of Congress,
including Sen. Orrin Hatch and Reps. Greg Walden, Kevin Brady,
and Fred Upton, and has produced similar reports and made
previous recommendations to improve quality assurance in
marketplace enrollment.

All marketplaces are required to assess and verify applicant
information and eligibility for coverage and premium subsidies
that make health insurance more affordable.  To verify applicant
information such as citizenship or validate a Social Security
Number (SSN), HealthCare.gov uses data from federal sources such
as the Department of Homeland Security and the Social Security
Administration (SSA).  If an applicant's information does not
match those data sources, HealthCare.gov will generate an
"inconsistency" that the applicant must typically resolve by, for
instance, submitting relevant documentation.

For this study, GAO analyzed eligibility and enrollment data for
about 8 million subsidy-eligible applicants for plan year 2015.
GAO specifically identified those 1) who had an inconsistency
regarding citizenship, status as a national, or lawful presence;
2) whose information did not match records with the Social
Security Administration (SSA); or 3) who were reportedly
deceased. GAO did not analyze data on income, residency, or
incarceration.

GAO found that the vast majority of the 8 million applicants
provided information that allowed the marketplace to verify
citizenship or status and match SSA records -- about 43,000 had a
data matching inconsistency related to citizenship while 33,000
had an inconsistency regarding their SSN.  Although
HealthCare.gov did not actively resolve SSN inconsistencies for
the 2015 plan year (and having an SSN is not a requirement for
eligibility), the marketplace has since upgraded its system and
adopted procedures in May 2017 to verify SSNs through
documentation provided by applicants.

GAO also found that HealthCare.gov did not always identify
individuals as deceased in a timely manner.  Some deceased
applicants or enrollees were, for instance, automatically
reenrolled in coverage.  Although the marketplace checks an
applicant's information against death information from SSA before
he or she is enrolled initially, it does not reverify this
information prior to reenrollment.  About 17,000 accounts
received or maintained subsidized coverage after their reported
date of death, which was associated with about $23 million in
advance premium tax credits.  Of these 17,000 policies, about
3,000 policies began after the applicant's reported date of
death. HHS told GAO that the agency is exploring ways to identify
enrollees who may be deceased and should be unenrolled from
coverage.

Minnesota To Receive $130 Million In Pass-Through Funding For
2018

On January 26, 2018, HHS issued a letter to notify Minnesota
officials that the state would be receiving pass-through funding
of $130,719,696 for the 2018 calendar year (which is slightly
less than anticipated in 2017).  The pass-through funding is
pursuant to Minnesota's approved waiver under Section 1332 of the
ACA. Under the waiver, Minnesota established a reinsurance
program, known as the Minnesota Premium Security Plan, and asked
to waive the ACA's single risk pool requirement.

In approving Minnesota's waiver in 2017, HHS had estimated that
the state would receive approximately $139 million in pass-
through funding for the reinsurance program for 2018.  The amount
of pass-through funding for calendar years 2018 through 2022 will
be calculated and communicated by HHS to the state on an annual
basis. [GN]


UNITED STATES: Court Denies Bid to Dismiss "Ibrahim" Suit
---------------------------------------------------------
Judge Darrin P. Gayles of the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Florida denied the Respondents' Motion to
Dismiss the case, Farah IBRAHIM, Ibrahim MUSA, Khalid Abdallah
MOHMED, Ismail JIMCALE ABDULLAH, Abdiwali Ahmed SIYAD, Ismael
Abdirashed MOHAMED, and Khadar Abdi IBRAHIM, on behalf of
themselves and all those similarly situated,
Plaintiffs/Petitioners, v. Juan ACOSTA, Assistant Field Officer
Director, Miami Field Office, Immigration and Customs
Enforcement; David HARDIN, Sheriff of Glades County; Marc J.
MOORE, Field Office Director, Miami Field Office, Immigration and
Customs Enforcement; Thomas HOMAN, Acting Director, Immigration
and Customs Enforcement; Kirstjen NIELSEN, Secretary of Homeland
Security, Defendants/Respondents, Case No. 17-cv-24574-GAYLES
(S.D. Fla.).

There are approximately 4,800 Somali nationals with outstanding
orders of removal who live in the United States.  For decades,
Somali nationals were seldom removed from the United States, in
large part due to Somalia's lack of a functioning central
government.  Instead, Somali nationals with final removal orders
-- including some of the Petitioners -- were placed under Orders
of Supervision ("OSUPs").

The OSUPs authorized Somali nationals to remain in the United
States and seek employment, provided they complied with periodic
check-in requirements and other conditions of release.  Until
recently, only a small fraction of the Somali nationals with
outstanding removal orders were ever actually removed to Somalia.
However, in 2017, following a change in policy, United States
Immigration and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") began deporting
Somalis with increased frequency.

On Dec. 7, 2017, ICE agents attempted to deport the Petitioners
to Somalia.  The Petitioners were bound and shackled and placed
on a chartered airplane departing from a Louisiana detention
center.  The flight landed in Dakar, Senegal, for refueling.
While accounts differ as to whether the plane remained grounded
due to mechanical or crew-rest issues, it is not disputed that
the plane remained grounded at the Dakar airport for
approximately 23 hours.  For unclear reasons, the flight could
not continue to Somalia and was forced to return to the United
States.

On Dec. 9, 2017, the plane landed in Miami, Florida.  The
Petitioners remained bound and shackled for the entirety of the
48-hour trip, including the 23-hour holdover in Senegal.  Upon
landing in Miami, some Petitioners were taken to the Krome
Service Processing Center while others were placed in the Glades
County Detention Center, where they remain detained.

The Petitioners allege they were subjected to inhumane conditions
and egregious abuse as the plane sat on the runway in Senegal.
They were left to urinate on themselves when the plane's
lavatories overfilled with human waste.  In addition, they allege
that ICE agents and/or government contractors physically
assaulted them and subjected them to verbal abuse and threats.

The Petitioners assert that their immigration circumstances have
changed based on the escalation of Al-Shabaab-related violence in
Somalia and the government's failed attempt to repatriate them to
Somalia.  They further contend that the international news
attention surrounding the botched deportation flight have
exacerbated the changed circumstances that make their return to
Somalia unsafe.

The Petitioners propose to represent a class that would include
the 92 Somali men and women present on the December 7th
deportation flight, as well as all Somali nationals with final
orders of removal within the jurisdiction of the Miami ICE Field
Office.  They seek to reopen their removal cases to assert claims
for asylum, withholding of removal, or relief under the United
Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or
Degrading Treatment or Punishment based on new circumstances that
did not exist at the time their initial removal orders were
entered.  They argue that if they are removed prior to the filing
and adjudication of motions to reopen, their ability to seek
meaningful relief will effectively be foreclosed.

The Petitioners filed this habeas petition pursuant to 28 U.S.C.
Section 2241 and 28 U.S.C. Section 1331, raising claims under the
Immigration and Nationality Act ("INA"), the Convention Against
Torture, and the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment of the
United States Constitution, and seeking temporary stays of their
removal.  They seek to stay their removals until they have
meaningful opportunities to move to reopen their immigration
cases based on changed circumstances and have their cases heard.

Before the Court is the Respondents' Motion to Dismiss for Lack
of Subject Matter Jurisdiction.  On Dec. 18, 2017, the
Petitioners filed their Class Action Complaint and Emergency
Motion for Temporary Restraining Order and/or Stay of Removal
("Motion").  The Court held an emergency hearing on Dec. 19,
2017.  At the hearing, the government posited that the Court
lacked subject-matter jurisdiction over the action.  The Court
ordered jurisdictional briefing and, on Jan. 8, 2018, heard
argument on the jurisdictional issue.

While the Court recognizes that the executive branch has broad
discretion to carry out removal orders, Judge Gayles finds that
the Court has jurisdiction in the case to prevent an unlawful
exercise of that discretion against these specific Petitioners.
As applied in these circumstances, the jurisdictional bar in 8
U.S.C. Section 1252(g) would preclude the Petitioners from
raising their new legal claims in a manner which comports with
the law, in violation of the Suspension Clause.  Therefore, he
finds that the jurisdiction stripping provisions of the REAL ID
Act are unconstitutional as applied to the Petitioners, based on
the extraordinary circumstances of the case, because it suspends
their right to habeas relief without providing an adequate and
effective alternative.  Therefore, the Judge concludes that it
has subject-matter jurisdiction.

Accordingly, Judge Gayles denied the Respondents' Motion to
Dismiss.  The Respondents are temporarily enjoined from removing
the Petitioners from the United States until the Court issues an
Order on the Motion for Temporary Restraining Order, which the
Court now construes as a Motion for Preliminary Injunction.  The
terms of the Court's Orders Staying Removal will remain in effect
until further order of the Court.

The parties will appear before the Court on Feb. 1, 2018, at
10:00 a.m. for a Status Conference.  They will be prepared to
discuss a briefing schedule on the merits of the Motion for Class
Certification and Motion for Preliminary Injunction.  Pursuant to
Rule 65(a)(2), they will also be prepared to discuss whether the
Court should consolidate a trial on the merits with the hearing
on the Motion for Preliminary Injunction.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Order is available
at https://is.gd/ShJH8Q from Leagle.com.

Farah Ibrahim, Ibrahim Musa, Khalid Abdallah Mohmed, Ismail
Jimcale Abdullah, Abdiwali Ahmed Siyad, Ismael Abdirashed Mohamed
& Khadar Abdi Ibrahim, on behalf of themselves and all those
similarly situated, Plaintiffs, represented by Andrea Nahra
Crumrine -- acrumrine@aijustice.org -- Americans for Immigrant
Justice, Andrea Montavon-McKillip -- amontavon@legalaid.org --
Legal Aid Service of Broward County, Inc., Benjamin Richard
Casper -- caspe010@umn.edu -- James H. Binger Center for New
Americans, Lee Gelernt, America Civil Liberties Union, pro hac
vice, Lisa M. Berlow-Lehner -- llehner@aijustice.org -- Americans
for Immigrant Justice, Michele Garnett McKenzie, The Advocates
for Human Rights, pro hac vice & Rebecca Ann Sharpless --
rsharpless@law.miami.edu -- University of Miami School of Law
Immigration Clinic.

Assistant Field Office Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement, Juan Acosta, Field Office Director, U.S. Immigration
and Customs Enforcement, Miami Office, Marc J. Moore, Acting
Director, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Thomas Homan
& Secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen Nielsen, Defendants,
represented by Dexter Lee, United States Attorney's Office,
Sheetul S. Wall, U.S. Department of Justice Office of Immigration
Litigation & Anthony D. Bianco, U.S. Department of Justice Civil
Division Office of Immigration Litigation.

Sheriff of Glades County, David Hardin, Defendant, represented by
Dexter Lee, United States Attorney's Office & Anthony D. Bianco,
U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division Office of Immigration
Litigation.


UNITED STATES: Court Denies Limpin's Request for Counsel
--------------------------------------------------------
In the case, MELCHOR KARL T. LIMPIN, et al., Plaintiffs, v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant, Case No. 17-CV-1729-JLS
(WVG) (S.D. Cal.), Judge Janis L. Sammartino of the U.S. District
Court for the Southern District of California denied without
prejudice the Plaintiff's Motion Requesting Appointment of
Counsel Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1915(e)(1).

In support of his request for counsel, the Plaintiff reiterates
the allegations of his Complaint.  The Plaintiff asserts he will
likely prevail on the merits of his claims for various reasons.
He asserts he requires counsel for the complexity of legal issues
involved in this suit such as pursuing preliminary and
declaratory relief injunctions.  He also alleges this case
requires development of further facts and he cannot do this
easily given his pro se and indigent status.

Judge Sammartino finds that the Plaintiff has not satisfied the
standards for appointment of counsel under 28 U.S.C. Section
1915(e)(1).  First, the Plaintiff's success on the merits is
still unclear at the early stage of litigation.  The Defendant
has filed a motion to dismiss his complaint; this motion has not
yet been opposed nor ruled upon, thus, the Judge cannot at this
time determine the Plaintiff's likelihood of success on the
merits.  Second, in the present Motion, the Plaintiff
demonstrates his ability to articulate his claims.  The Plaintiff
provides an in-depth analysis of legal authority that he believes
support his allegations.  The Plaintiff has also successfully
filed a Complaint (along with various accompanying motions), has
been granted permission to proceed in forma pauperis, and has
even filed a petition for permission to appeal the Court's order
denying class action certification.

The Judge finds that neither the interests of justice nor any
exceptional circumstances warrant appointment of counsel at this
time, and denied the Plaintiff's motion.  The denial is without
prejudice should the Plaintiff later be able to make the
requisite showing of exceptional circumstances.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Order is available
at https://is.gd/XQcvuK from Leagle.com.

United States of America, Defendant, represented by Hans Chen,
U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division & Caroline Clark
Prime, U S Attorney's Office.


UNITED STATES: Court Dismisses "Rohland" Suit
---------------------------------------------
Judge Margaret M. Sweeney of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
granted the Defendant's motion to dismiss the case, WILLIAM J.
ROHLAND, Plaintiff, v. THE UNITED STATES, Defendant, Case No. 17-
1175C (Fed. Cl.).

The Plaintiff is currently serving a life sentence in
Pennsylvania state prison.  His sentence was imposed in October
2007, and he has been incarcerated since approximately June 2006.
He has unsuccessfully sought federal habeas relief on the basis
of an allegedly defective sentencing order.

The Plaintiff, on behalf of himself and unnamed others, filed his
complaint in the instant action on Aug. 30, 2017.  He complains
of conduct by various individual federal and state actors and the
federal government generally.  Attached to the complaint was an
"Affidavit of Fact" in which he alleges that Judge Saparito, by
stipulation and process, admitted to having violated Article IV
and Amendments Four, Five, Six, Eight, and Fourteen of the United
States Constitution.  He further alleges therein that Judge
Saparito waived any immunity he might have based on his lack of
attempt to preserve and defend his temporal limit.

The Plaintiff contends that Judge Saparito's actions in not
effecting payment of the $1 billion owed to him amount to a
breach of the settlement agreement and thus the use, trespass,
and destruction of the Plaintiff's private res.  Further, he
avows that Judge Saparito failed in his fiduciary duty to protect
him against kidnapping perpetrated by the Pennsylvania Department
of Corrections, and that Judge Saparito and Chief Judge Conner
conspired to deny him an absolute, plain course at law in his
2017 habeas action.

According to the Plaintiff, the alleged breach of the settlement
agreement amounts to a Fifth Amendment taking by the government.
The "res" to which he makes repeated references as being
illegally taken is ostensibly composed of his patents, trust,
droits, intellectual property, work products, and marks.  He
lists the following Defendants in his action on the second page
of his complaint: Michael Fedor of the Pennsylvania Treasury
Bureau of Unclaimed Property; Pennsylvania State Treasurer Joe
Torsella; United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions, United
States Secretary of the Treasury Steven Terner Mnuchin; Mr.
Kauffman; Robert Monahue, Krisandra Capozzi, and Frank Capozzi
(the three named Defendants in Capozzi); Judge Saparito; Chief
Judge Conner; and the United States federal government.

After filing the complaint, the Plaintiff filed separate motions
for class certification, a jury trial, and leave to proceed in
forma pauperis.  In an Oct. 12, 2017 Opinion and Order, the Court
granted the Plaintiff's motion for leave to proceed in forma
pauperis, denied his motion for a jury trial due to the
"nonexistence of jury trials" in the Court of Federal Claims, and
reserved ruling on his motion for class certification pending a
response from the Defendant.

The Defendant has subsequently moved for dismissal for lack of
subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) of the
Rules of the United States Court of Federal Claims ("RCFC") and,
alternatively, for failure to state a claim upon which relief can
be granted pursuant to RCFC 12(b)(6).  The Plaintiff failed to
respond to the Defendant's motion despite being granted a sua
sponte extension to do so.

Judge Sweeney has considered all of the parties' arguments.  To
the extent not discussed, they are unpersuasive, without merit,
or immaterial.  She finds that the Plaintiff has failed to meet
his burden of demonstrating that the Court has subject matter
jurisdiction over any of his claims.  In any event, the
Plaintiff's claims before the Court are so insubstantial,
implausible, foreclosed by prior decisions, or otherwise
completely devoid of merit as not to involve a federal
controversy.

She also finds that Court lacks jurisdiction to (1) entertain
claims against parties other than the federal government, (2)
review the decisions of state courts and other federal courts,
(3) entertain plaintiffs constitutional claims, (4) entertain
claims sounding in tort, and (5) entertain previously filed
claims that are pending in another court.  Further, although the
Court of Federal Claims has jurisdiction to entertain contract,
takings, and patent claims generally, the Plaintiff has failed to
state a claim upon which the Court can grant relief.

Therefore, Judge Sweeney granted the Defendant's motion to
dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and denied as
moot the Defendant's motion to dismiss for failure to state a
claim upon which relief can be granted.  She also denied as moot
all other pending motions.  The Plaintiff's complaint is
dismissed without prejudice.  No costs.  The clerk is directed to
enter judgment accordingly.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Opinion and Order
is available at https://is.gd/F7cVLR from Leagle.com.


UNITED STATES: Court Grants $160M Settlement in "Haggart" Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, DANIEL and KATHY HAGGART, et al., For Themselves and
As Representatives of a Class of Similarly Situated Persons,
Plaintiffs, v. UNITED STATES, Defendant, Case No. 09-103L (Fed.
Cl.), Judge Charles F. Lettow of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims
granted the Class Counsel's Motion for Approval of the
Settlement.

The action concerns land previously held as a right-of-way by
Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railway Company in the State of
Washington.  That right-of-way was converted into a recreational
trail pursuant to Section 208 of the National Trails System Act
Amendments of 1983.  In February 2009, the Plaintiffs filed a
complaint alleging that this conversion constituted a taking of
their property without just compensation.

A class of 521 members, owning 659 parcels of land, was initially
certified, and then split into six subclasses.  The Court then
ruled on cross-motions for summary judgment, finding the
government liable to certain class members within Subclass Two
and Categories A through D of Subclass Four while also granting
the government summary judgment as to class claimants in Subclass
Four, Category E.  In all other respects, summary judgment was
denied: The Court reserved some questions of ownership for trial,
did not address liability for Subclasses One, Three, Five, or
Six, and did not address issues of valuation.

Starting in April of 2013, the parties engaged in extensive
mediation with Senior Judge John Weise, eventually reaching a
settlement in February 2014.  Of the 521 claimants and their 659
parcels of land, the settlement would dismiss the claims of 268
class members and their corresponding 343 parcels, without
compensation, and then pay $110 million to the remaining 253
class members as just compensation for the alleged taking of
their 316 parcels, plus interest, attorneys' fees, and litigation
costs.  The Court held a fairness hearing in March 2014, approved
the settlement, and entered final judgment.  In so doing, the
Court awarded attorneys' fees to class counsel through a common
fund.

An appeal of the Court's final judgment was sought by Mr. and
Mrs. Woodley as class members.  Although receiving just
compensation under the settlement, the Woodleys challenged the
Court's approval of the settlement on the ground that the class
counsel had not provided information in written form that would
enable class members to cross-check calculations of the
settlement amount to be received by them individually.  They also
challenged the award of attorneys' fees based on a common fund.

In the appeal, the government abandoned the position it had taken
at the fairness hearing and supported the Woodleys, but it did
not itself file an appeal or raise any additional issues on
appeal.  The Federal Circuit vacated the approval of the
Settlement Agreement on the ground that sufficient information in
written, as contrasted to oral, form had not been provided to
enable the Woodleys and class members generally to comparatively
calculate their individual awards, and reversed the Court's award
of attorneys' fees under the common-fund doctrine.  The case was
remanded for further action by the Court.  The Court denied the
government's motion.

After the parties' remand-oriented motions practice had abated,
on Aug. 11, 2017, the Plaintiffs filed a motion for approval of
the settlement.  The government responded in opposition,
objecting to the Settlement Agreement on the grounds it had
raised in its prior post-remand motions.  On Sept. 25, 2017, the
Court issued a revised draft notice, proposing changes to the
draft notice that had been submitted by class counsel.  Its draft
was issued in advance of a hearing held on Oct. 20, 2017, at
which further revisions and objections to the notice were
considered.  After incorporating additional changes suggested by
the parties to the proffered notice and addressing the objections
raised by the government at that hearing, the Court preliminarily
approved the settlement, scheduled a fairness hearing, prescribed
the notice to be issued to the class, and ordered class counsel
to provide notice of both the settlement and the fairness hearing
to class members.  The fairness hearing was held on Dec. 18, 2017
in Seattle, Washington, to enable as many class members as
possible to attend and participate in the proceedings.

Judge Lettow finds that the numerous objections raised by the
government to the fairness of the Settlement Agreement are
ultimately unconvincing, whether considered individually or taken
together.  The government objects to any modification to the
settlement, claiming that a modified agreement would cease to be
binding upon the government and would require a return to
negotiations.  The Judge says he simply cannot satisfy this
objection in a way that is fair to the rest of the class.
Overturning the entire Settlement Agreement to rectify an
admitted mutual mistake by the parties would be grossly unfair to
the class.  So, while the mistaken inclusion of the three class
members is unfortunate, he will not make any changes to the
Agreement but will retain the three class members in the group to
receive awards.

The government also objects to the fairness of the Settlement
Agreement due to three separate agreements entered between class
counsel and four class members: the Woodleys, Faramarz
Ghoddoussi, Westpoint Properties, LLC, and Annop Chaipatanapong.
The Judge finds that because these separate agreements do not
affect the terms of the Settlement Agreement itself and have been
fully disclosed and addressed extensively at the fairness
hearing, he has considered them comprehensively and concludes
that they do not render the Settlement Agreement unfair.

Judge Lettow rejects the government's objections to the
contingent fee agreements because the class members have been
fully informed as to the agreements, as shown both by the renewed
notice to the class and in commentary at the fairness hearing.
At the fairness hearing, after discussion of the contingent fee
agreements, many of the class members commented, noting their
approval of the fee arrangements and expressing their concern
that class counsel has not been paid despite eight years of work.
The sentiment among class members in attendance was not that
class counsel would be overpaid or that the class members were
being treated unfairly, but rather that the government was
seeking to use the issue of contingent fee agreements to stall
and work against class members' interests.

Finally, as to the government objection to any use of RCFC 54(b)
to bifurcate the judgments in the case, separating attorneys' fee
determinations from the approval of the Settlement Agreement, the
Judge does not find any just reason for delay.  The government
has made evident that it intends to appeal.  Efficiency therefore
favors addressing fees and merits separately because attorneys'
fees will continue to accumulate through the appeal, which would
then necessitate multiple, redundant proceedings.

For the reasons stated, Judge Lettow granted the Class Counsel's
Motion for Approval of the Settlement.  He directed the clerk to
enter judgment in the total amount of $159,636,521.65, consisting
of $110,000,000 in principal and $49,636,521.65 in interest as of
December 18, 2017, for prevailing class members. Interest
continues to accrue at the rate of 4.2%, compounding annually
from the dates of the taking, Oct. 27, 2008 and Nov. 25, 2008,
until the date of payment by the government.  The judgment is
payable to the class counsel for distribution to the class
according to the terms of the Settlement Agreement and the
Opinion and Order.

The final judgment to this effect will be entered under Rule
54(b) of the Rules of the Court of Federal Claims because there
is no just reason for delay.  The clerk will issue judgment in
accord with this disposition.  After all proceedings respecting
this settlement have been completed and the Court's judgment is
final, the Court will address attorneys' fees and expenses under
Section 304(c) of the Uniform Relocation Act, 42 U.S.C. Section
4654(c).

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Opinion and Order
is available at https://is.gd/fvQMjw from Leagle.com.

DANIEL HAGGART, AND & KATHY HAGGART, Husband and Wife, For
Themselves and As Representatives of a Class of Similarly
Situated Persons, Plaintiffs, represented by Thomas Scott Stewart
-- Stewart@swm.legal -- Stewart Wald & McCulley LLC.

SUBCLASS TWO PLAINTIFFS, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

SUBCLASS FOUR PLAINTIFFS, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

GORDON ARTHUR WOODLEY, Personal Counsel for Kittinger Deed
Claimants & DENISE L. WOODLEY, Plaintiffs, represented by David
Charles Frederick, Kellogg, Hansen, et al.

WESTPOINT PROPERTIES, LLC, C/O FARAMARZ GHODDOUSSI, Plaintiff,
represented by Richard Browning Sanders, Goodstein Law Group.

CLEVELAND SQUARE, LLC, RC TC MERIDIAN RIDGE, LLC, TWOSONS LLC,
GRETCHEN CHAMBERS, DENNIS CRISPIN, DEBLOIS PROPERTIES, LLC, c/o
David and Debra Deblois, STAR L. EVANS, MICHAEL B. JACOBSEN,
FRANCES JANE LEE, SUSAN B. LONG, CLAUDIA MANSFIELD, FREDERICK P.
MILLER, SUSAN L. MILLER, PBI ENTERPRISES, LLC, MICHAEL G.
RUSSELL, ELANA RUSSELL, JAMES M. SATHER, KELLY J. SATHER, JAMES
E. STRANG, D. MICHAEL YOUNG, JULIA H. YOUNG, MOLLY A JACOBSEN,
LESLIE MILSTEIN, ALISON L. WEBB & PATRICIA STRANG, Plaintiffs,
represented by Michael R. Scott -- michael.scott@hcmp.com --
Hillis Clark Martin & Peterson P.S.

WILLIAM AMES, Plaintiff, Pro Se.

USA, Defendant, represented by Lucinda J. Bach, U.S. Department
of Justice.


UNITED STATES: Feb. 16 Deadline for "Schneider" Case Mngt Plan
--------------------------------------------------------------
In the cases, WILLIAM SCHNEIDER, et al., Plaintiffs, v. UNITED
STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant. PAUL F. SEFER, et al., Plaintiffs,
v. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and RAILS-TO TRAILS, Conservancy,
Defendant. LAZY HORSE RANCH, et al., Plaintiffs, v. UNITED STATES
OF AMERICA, Defendant. TIMOTHY M. GRAY, et al., Plaintiffs, v.
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Defendant, Case Nos. 8:99CV315,
4:99CV3056, 4:99CV3154 (D. Neb.), Magistrate Judge Michael D.
Nelson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska
has entered an order regarding the parties' detailed case
management plan following decertification.

Pursuant to the Court's Order Granting the parties' Joint Motion
to Decertify the Class Action and Approving the Parties' Notice
Plan, the case has now been decertified as a class action and all
individual claimants should have been identified.  The parties
anticipated submitting a detailed case management plan following
decertification.

Accordingly, Magistrate Judge Nelson ordered that on or before
Feb. 16, 2018, the parties will file a status report and detailed
case management plan with the Court, containing, at a minimum,
the following information: (i) the status of the required
declassification notices and any individual claimants that sought
joinder; (ii) whether the Plaintiffs will request leave to file
an amended complaint; (iii) the need for additional discovery;
(iv) anticipated dispositive motion deadlines; and (v) readiness
to set a trial date(s).

Upon the Court's receipt of the status report and detailed case
management plan, a planning conference will be set by telephone
with the undersigned magistrate judge to discuss case progression
through a trial date.

A full-text copy of the Court's Jan. 26, 2018 Order is available
at https://is.gd/TW5ncM from Leagle.com.

Paul F. Seger, Plaintiff, represented by Andrew W. Cohen, OFFICE
OF U.S. SENATOR EDWARD J. MARKEY, Ann D. White, ANN D. WHITE LAW
OFFICES, Boyd W. Strope, STROPE, GOTSCHALL LAW FIRM, Cecilia Fex
-- fex@ackersonlaw.com -- ACKERSON, KAUFFMAN LAW FIRM, Howard J.
Sedran -- hsedran@lfsblaw.com -- LEVIN, FISHBEIN LAW FIRM,
Jeffrey Klafter , BERNSTEIN, LITOWITZ LAW FIRM, Marc H. Edelson,
HOFFMAN, EDELSON LAW FIRM, Max W. Berger -- mwb@blbglaw.com --
BERNSTEIN, LITOWITZ LAW FIRM, Michael B. Hyman, MUCH, SHELIST LAW
FIRM & Stephen D. Mossman , MATTSN, RICKETTS LAW FIRM.

Karen M. Seger, Douglas W. Matschullat & Helen Sue Matschullat,
Plaintiffs, represented by Andrew W. Cohen, OFFICE OF U.S.
SENATOR EDWARD J. MARKEY, Ann D. White, ANN D. WHITE LAW OFFICES,
Boyd W. Strope, STROPE, GOTSCHALL LAW FIRM, Howard J. Sedran,
LEVIN, FISHBEIN LAW FIRM, Jeffrey Klafter, BERNSTEIN, LITOWITZ
LAW FIRM, Marc H. Edelson  HOFFMAN, EDELSON LAW FIRM, Max W.
Berger, BERNSTEIN, LITOWITZ LAW FIRM, Michael B. Hyman, MUCH,
SHELIST LAW FIRM & Stephen D. Mossman, MATTSON, RICKETTS LAW
FIRM.

David Schwaninger & Dewane Spilker, Plaintiffs, represented by
Andrew W. Cohen, OFFICE OF U.S. SENATOR EDWARD J. MARKEY, Cecilia
Fex, ACKERSON, KAUFFMAN LAW FIRM, Daniel J. Millea --
dmillea@zelle.com -- ZELLE, HOFMANN LAW FIRM, Eric E. Caugh --
ecaugh@zelle.com -- ZELLE LAW FIRM, pro hac vice & Stephen D.
Mossman, MATTSON, RICKETTS LAW FIRM.

United States of America, Defendant, represented by Laurie A.
Kelly -- laurie.kelly@usdoj.gov -- U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE &
Luther L. Hajek, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE - ENVIRONMENT &
NATURAL RESOURCES.

Rails-to-Trails, Conservancy, Defendant, represented by Richard
A. Allen -- raallen@zsrlaw.com -- ZUCKERT, SCOUTT LAW FIRM, pro
hac vice.

William Schneider, Intervenor, represented by Cecilia Fex,
ACKERSON, KAUFFMAN LAW FIRM, Eric E. Caugh, ZELLE LAW FIRM, pro
hac vice & Stephen D. Mossman, MATTSON, RICKETTS LAW FIRM.

US STEEL: Seeks Dismissal of Donora Zinc Works Lawsuit
------------------------------------------------------
Gideon Bradshaw, writing for Observer-Reporter, reports that it's
up to a Washington County judge to decide whether a group of Mon
Valley property owners can proceed with their lawsuit against
U.S. Steel Corp. over the Donora Zinc Works' alleged legacy of
heavy metal contamination.

Judge Michael J. Lucas heard arguments on the company's motion
for summary judgment, seeking dismissal of the civil complaint.
His ruling is pending.

The property owners who brought the suit allege the zinc works --
which U.S. Steel subsidiary American Steel & Wire operated from
1915 to 1957 -- emitted fine particles of hazardous substances
including zinc, cadmium, lead and arsenic that now must be
removed through professional remediation.

In one among a number of arguments U.S. Steel's lawyers made in
requesting the dismissal, they pointed to the statute of
limitations on the lawsuit's claim under the Hazardous Sites
Cleanup Act. The state law allows parties to bring a civil action
within 20 years of discovering the release of a hazardous
substance.

The steelmaker's attorneys allege that period lapsed decades ago,
pointing to a report prepared the year after a temperature
inversion trapped heavily polluted air in the valley around
Donora, killing at least 20 people and leaving thousands more
ill.

"Here, the release of arsenic, cadmium, zinc and lead was
discovered at the latest in 1949 when the United States Public
Health Service released its final report describing the emissions
and reporting on the findings of such emissions in air sampling
data," attorney Kathy Condo, Esq. -- kcondo@babstcalland.com --
wrote in a filing.

Lawyers for plaintiffs Louise Kowall and Evelyn Vehouc, both of
Donora, and Donna Kopecek of Charleroi, whose child and
grandchildren live in a home she owns in Donora, argued the suit
should proceed.

"The fact that this risk began many years ago, but has never been
fully understood, does not eliminate plaintiffs' rights,"
attorney Michael Jacks, Esq. -- mike@jackslegal.com -- wrote in
another filing.

The lawsuit names U.S. Steel and USX Corp. -- the name the
company adopted from 1986 to 2001 before reverting to the
previous one -- as defendants. It seeks designation as a class
action, with the named plaintiffs as proposed class
representatives.

It cites a study published in March that reportedly found
"elevated levels of hazardous materials including arsenic, lead,
cadmium and zinc" in soil seven miles from the zinc works,
specifically attributed to the former mill.

U.S. Steel's lawyers also asserted the other three claims in the
lawsuit -- negligence, nuisance and trespass -- are also barred
by a two-year statute of limitations because the plaintiffs "knew
of the alleged contamination on their property more than two
years prior to filing the lawsuit on July 7, 2017."

Condo's filing noted Jacks discussed soil sampling with the local
historical society in March 2015 and sought permission from
property owners the following month to conduct sampling on their
property.

He provided a toxicologist's expert report and sampling data to
the plaintiffs, who weren't his clients at the time, in September
2015.

Condo argued it wasn't necessary for the plaintiffs to have the
expert opinion to trigger the two-year window on bringing those
claims.

She also pointed to "widely known and available" information
about the source of the alleged emissions dating back to lawsuits
that garnered publicity in the 1930s.

Jacks maintained the various historical materials she cited
wouldn't have alerted his clients to the contamination in their
properties, or to the former zinc works as the alleged source.

For his clients, he wrote, "the problem of hidden and dangerous
heavy metals lingering on their topsoil and in dust in their
homes was a problem totally unknown to them until, at the
earliest, testing and analysis showed there to be a potential
problem in September 2015 and, more likely, until those analyzed
results were linked to the smelter by the March 2017 article."
[GN]


WEST WIND: Fond-du-Lac Plane Crash Survivors File Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lyle Adriano, writing for Insurance Business Mag, reports that
the survivors of the Fond-du-Lac plane crash have filed a lawsuit
against airline West Wind Aviation, claiming that the company
violated safety protocols.

The lawsuit also named Athabasca Basin Development, a company
which owns a 65% share of the airline, as a defendant.

The court document, filed late last month by Merchant Law Group,
claims that the airline traumatized passengers who were allegedly
left to fend for themselves.  Claims made by the lawsuit include
general, special exemplary and punitive damages, as well as costs
and "other relief the court may allow," the documents said.

As of January 29, none of the claims detailed in the lawsuit have
been tested in court, Prince Albert Daily Herald reported.

The statement of claim said that passengers were forced to wait
to board the plane outdoors on a cold runway, additionally
alleging that the airline took no steps to de-ice the runway and
plane.

Moments after take-off, the airplane suddenly suffered a
malfunction and subsequently crashed.  The passengers allegedly
did not receive any direction or instructions from pilots or
flight staff during the crash, the claim read.

The lawsuit also said that there was no warning from the pilot or
flight staff that the plane experienced problems during the
crash.

Injuries to the passengers listed by the suit include broken
vertebrae, pelvis, arms, ribs, ankles, noses, other broken and
fractured bones, punctured lungs and internal bleeding, facial
injuries and lacerations, death, PTSD and severe emotional
stress. Some claimants also suffered mental shock and distress as
a result of the disaster.

The airline has issued a response following the lawsuit.

"We are hearing that legal proceedings may be initiated. If this
does come to pass, we certainly will respect the legal process
and its due diligence processes," West Wind vice-president of
business development and corporate services Dennis Baranieski
told CBC. [GN]


WILLIAM K'S: Ex-Workers' Minimum Wage Class Action Pending
----------------------------------------------------------
Phil Fairbanks, writing for The Buffalo News, reports that in
mid-December, during a radio interview, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo
declared his opposition to New York's lower minimum wage for
restaurant workers and said it exploits immigrants and women.

A month later, in his State of the State address, Mr. Cuomo
followed up by ordering public hearings into the so-called "tip
credit" and suggested again it was an issue of "fairness and
decency."

But while Mr. Cuomo was doing that, lawmakers at Buffalo City
Hall were taking a far different path.

At the urging of a waterfront restaurant owner, the Common
Council voted to create a new, lower minimum wage for restaurant
workers who were previously entitled to the city's much higher
living wage.

Even more important, perhaps, the lower hourly wage -- it dropped
from $13.06 to $7.50 --  was adopted as some of those same
workers sought the higher living wage from their employer,
William K's restaurant, which contracts with the city.

Six of those workers are now suing the restaurant and its owners,
Molly and William Koessler, in Buffalo federal court.

"I naively sat around and waited for her to make it right," said
Katie Lane, a former server at William K's. "I also thought,
'What can I do?' "

Ms. Lane and five other workers are suing the Koesslers in an
effort to collect $75,000 in back pay they believe is owed to
them. The workers claim in their civil suit that, as a contractor
for the city, William K's was required to pay Buffalo's living
wage, but never did.

"I wasn't even making as much as the kid scooping ice cream next
door," said Chris Keroack, a former server at the Erie Basin
Marina restaurant near The Hatch.

Mr. Keroack and Lane said they knew nothing about the higher
minimum wage until the city's Living Wage Commission alerted them
to discrepancies in their pay.

The commission also informed the Koesslers of their obligation to
pay the higher minimum wage of $13.06 an hour and reminded them
that, unlike state law, there was no "tips" exemption in
Buffalo's living wage ordinance.

Workers say the restaurant didn't budge and, in December 2016,
Molly Koessler appeared at a commission hearing and told members
she had asked Mayor Byron W. Brown for "assistance."

Two weeks later, with the dispute still unsettled, the commission
recommended the Koesslers make restitution to their workers. The
panel also warned them that, if they failed to do so, it would
recommend that City Hall end its contract with the restaurant.

The city's response was to change the law, not enforce it.

"The State of New York is moving to protect restaurant workers
and the City of Buffalo is moving backward," said Nicole Hallett,
director of the Community Justice Clinic at the University at
Buffalo School of Law.

Ms. Hallett doesn't know why the Council did what it did, or if
the Koesslers' played a role in influencing Brown or the Council.
The mayor declined to comment.

"It wasn't intended to hurt anyone," said Niagara Council Member
David Rivera.  "The whole idea was to make sure everyone earned a
wage they could live on."

Mr. Rivera, who sponsored the legislation that led to the lower
minimum wage, expressed surprise when told about its impact on
workers at William K's.

He also wasn't aware of Mr. Cuomo's proposal to do away with the
tip credit -- which allows a lower minimum wage for workers who
earn tips -- and he left the door open to adopting a similar
change in Buffalo's ordinance.

"There's no perfect law," he said.  "If there's a better way to
protect the workers, I'm open to it."

Despite its enforcement actions against William K's, the Living
Wage Commission took no position on the creation of a new lower
minimum wage for restaurant workers covered by the ordinance.

The commission, in a statement explaining its position, said the
changes were viewed "as a reasonable way to resolve the question
of how to handle tipped workers -- something that the original
drafters of the law were not likely to have considered, as it is
an unusual situation for a living wage law to apply to tipped
workers."

The civil suit filed by the six former workers at William K's is
not the only federal court case against the Koesslers.

A class action suit by about 25 former banquet servers at Acqua
and other Koessler restaurants claims the owners charged a 20
percent "service charge" on all banquet bills but did not share
the money with servers.

In 2016, U.S. Magistrate Judge Leslie G. Foschio denied the
Koesslers' motion to dismiss the case. In their motion, the
Koesslers argued that the 20 percent fee was a service charge,
not tip income for the servers.

Their lawyers also said in court papers, "Documentary evidence
also shows that the named plaintiffs were paid an hourly wage
well in excess of the amount required under New York minimum wage
law."

Lawyers for the Koesslers declined to comment further on the two
suits and the Koesslers did not respond to requests for comment..

The latest William K's lawsuit came on the heels of Cuomo's
announced opposition to continuing New York's tip credit.

In his State of the State, the governor referred to widespread
abuses by tipping-related businesses such as restaurants and car
washes. He also noted that 70 percent of all tipped workers are
women and that African-American workers are tipped less than
white workers.

Advocates for a change in the law also point to research showing
that tipping practices lead to a higher rate of sexual harassment
in the workplace.

"There's a lot of abuse in the restaurant business," said
Ms. Hallett.

She said the UB clinic took on the William K's suit because of
those well-documented abuses. She also thinks it raises questions
about the city's priorities -- workers or business -- and how it
spends taxpayers' money.

The lawsuit claims the city, which leases the site to the
Koesslers, invested $900,000 in the waterfront venue over the
years. In return for that investment and a contract to operate
there, there was an expectation the owners would pay a living
wage, not the lower minimum wage, Ms. Hallett said.

"By making it lower for servers, the city took a step in the
wrong direction," said Genevieve Rados, a law student
representing the workers.

Ms. Lane and Mr. Keroack said they never knew they were entitled
to the higher living wage and that it's clear now that the
Koesslers kept that from them.

"I've always been a waitress and always earned $7.50 an hour,"
said Lane.  "I didn't question it." [GN]


* Employers Face Wave of Background Check-Related Class Actions
---------------------------------------------------------------
Roy Maurer, writing for Society for Human Resource Management,
reports that organizations that conduct pre-employment background
checks in 2018 will need to focus on compliance in the wake of
increased class-action litigation and adapt to screening more
workers in nontraditional employment relationships.

FCRA Class-Action Lawsuits Will Continue

Employers faced a wave of class-action lawsuits alleging
technical violations under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA)
-- like failure to provide notice to applicants in a stand-alone
format and getting written permission before running a background
check -- in 2017.

That's even after the 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Spokeo v.
Robins holding that plaintiffs must prove "concrete injury" in
class-action lawsuits under the FCRA.

The Supreme Court stated in its opinion that plaintiffs could not
allege procedural violations, "divorced from any concrete harm,"
which requires an injury to be "actual or imminent, not
conjectural or hypothetical."

But instead of clearing up the issue, the court's decision to
send the case back to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to
determine whether the plaintiff in the case suffered real harm
has led to confusion among courts across the country.

"Lower courts have continued to allow plaintiffs access to
federal courts with a simple allegation of a bare procedural
violation or technical inaccuracy, resulting in forum-shopping by
plaintiffs for the court most likely to rule in their favor,"
said Melissa Sorenson, executive director of the National
Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS).

"The impact of these decisions, post Spokeo, is the encouragement
of FCRA, data breach and other privacy-related class-action
litigation where no evident harm is yet suffered by plaintiffs,"
said Vu Do, vice president of compliance at PreCheck, a leading
background screening provider for the health care industry.

There are numerous ways that an employer can be sued for
technical violations, explained Robert Drusendahl, president of
The Pre-Check Company, a screening firm in Westlake, Ohio.  "For
example, presenting an indemnification of liabilities at the same
time as an applicant release can be construed as too confusing,
leading to a claim.  Or, just a statement by the job applicant
that receipt of a post-adverse action letter preceded a pre-
adverse action letter can lead to a claim," he said.

"It's important to understand that Spokeo established a
threshold, but not a barrier to litigation," said Henry Chalmers
-- henry.chalmers@agg.com -- co-chair of the litigation group at
law firm Arnall Golden Gregory in Atlanta.  "Even in a favorable
interpretation of Spokeo for employers, there are still
situations in which plaintiffs could have a viable claim for
violations of the FCRA based on disclosures and authorization
forms.  Pivot points seem to be whether the plaintiffs allege
that they had a negative employment outcome as a result of the
background check, or whether they would have acted differently if
they had received what they would argue is a compliant disclosure
form."

The Supreme Court will take the Spokeo case up again later this
year after the Ninth Circuit found that the plaintiff in the case
did have standing to sue.  But regardless of the ultimate
decision, employers must remain vigilant in complying with even
the finer points of the FCRA.

"In no way did the Supreme Court decision in the Spokeo case mean
employers could relax obligations for FCRA compliance and it did
not mean employers had the right to ignore the technicalities of
the FCRA," explained Les Rosen, an attorney and the CEO of
Employment Screening Resources, a background screening firm based
in the San Francisco area. "Employers will always need to ensure
that they are in compliance with their FCRA obligations and that
they are working with a background check provider that
understands the FCRA inside and out."

Screening of Contingent Workforce Will Grow

Employers will need to figure out how to adapt their screening
processes to the fast-growing contingent workforce in 2018.
Contingent workers -- staff not on the employer's payroll -- may
be engaged for a particular project or time period and be self-
employed or employed by a third party.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly four out of
five employers use some form of nontraditional staffing such as
hiring freelancers, temporary workers or independent contractors
on an as-needed basis.

Yet many organizations do not realize they potentially face the
same liability exposure from their contingent workforce as from
their own employees.  "Whether the individual is an employee,
independent contractor or otherwise, the worker represents the
employer's brand, therefore, background screening -- particularly
when access to people or sensitive material is involved -- is a
critical risk mitigation tool, regardless of the worker's
classification," Sorenson said.

Clare Hart, CEO of global screening firm Sterling Talent
Solutions in New York City, said more third-party employment
agencies, such as for freelancers, are realizing they need to
screen gig workers.  "This recognition comes as a result of both
expectation on behalf of their customers or users and from
litigation which has held on-demand providers accountable for
screening practices."

Employers should have contingent workers go through the same
screening as regular employees to protect against allegations of
disparate treatment and insisting in service contracts that
contingent workers be subject to employment screens before they
appear for work.

"Who will be doing the background screening, and what does the
screening cover?" said Montserrat Miller --
montserrat.miller@agg.com -- an attorney with Arnall Golden
Gregory, based in Washington, D.C. "Depending on the sensitivity
of the population or information the workers will be working
with, I would want to clearly understand what type of screen is
being performed." [GN]


* Judicial Panel Orders MDLs on Six Matters
-------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad, writing for Law.com, reports that the U.S.
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered MDLs in six
matters.  The panel, citing the increased number of cases, sent
40 cases alleging bacterial infections in Sorin 3T heater-cooler
devices to U.S. District Judge John Jones in the Middle District
of Pennsylvania, in what would be his first MDL.  The panel also
sent 167 cases alleging transmission defects in Ford vehicles to
U.S. District Judge Andre Birotte in the Central District of
California.

Also of note: Dicamba herbicide cases went to U.S. District Judge
Stephen Limbaugh in the Eastern District of Missouri, where
defendant Monsanto is headquartered.  And antitrust cases over
Restasis eye drops went to defendant Allergan's choice, the
Eastern District of New York, before U.S. District Judge Nina
Gershon.  No word yet on diabetes drugs Onglyza and Kombiglyze.
[GN]



                            *********


S U B S C R I P T I O N  I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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