CAR_Public/180417.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R


             Tuesday, April 17, 2018, Vol. 20, No. 77



                            Headlines


A10 NETWORKS: Bragar Eagel Files Securities Class Action
A10 NETWORKS: Bronstein Gewirtz Files Securities Class Action
A10 NETWORKS: Rosen Law Firm Files Securities Class Action Suit
ACADIA HEALTHCARE: Faces Securities Class Action
AFL: Barnes Seeks to Lead Concussion Class Action

AKORN INC: Faces Class Action, May 7 Lead Plaintiff Deadline
AKORN INC: Robbins Arroyo Files Securities Class Action
AMERICAN MULTI-STATE: Faces Class Action Over Rigged System
ANSCHUTZ ENTERTAINMENT: Faces Lawsuit Over Block-Booking Policy
ANTHEM BLUE CROSS: Special Master to Review Fee Applications

ARCHSTONE INT'L: Faces "McDonough" Suit in S.D. California
ARCIMOTO INC: Faces Class Action Over IPO Misrepresentations
ASHBURN CORP: Consumer Class Action Settlement Challenged
ATLAS FINANCIAL: Faces Securities Class Action in Illinois
AT&T CORP: Class Action Over "Unlimited" Data Plans Can Proceed

AT&T CORP: To Appeal Ruling in "Unlimited" Data Class Action
ATLANTIC RECOVERY: Scavo Seeks Damages for Invasion of Privacy
AVINGER INC: Enters Into Class Action Settlement Agreement
BALLARD POWER: Howard G. Smith Files Securities Class Action
BEER STORE: Ontario Court Dismisses $1.4-Bil. Class Action

BELLICUM PHARMACEUTICALS: Faces "Rudy" Securities Suit in Texas
BIOCRYST PHARMA: Gainey McKenna Files Securities Lawsuit
BLACKBERRY LTD: Judge Rejects Request to Dismiss Class Action
BLAIR COUNTY, PA: Inmates' Class Action Over Cash Bail Dismissed
BLUE BUFFALO: Dog Food Lead Contamination Suit Dismissed

CANADA: Class Action Against RCMP Over Seized Guns Dropped
CEMEX SAB: Faces Class Action, May 15 Lead Plaintiff Deadline
CENTRA TECH: Moves to Compel Arbitration of Cryptocurrency Case
CENTURYLINK: Faces Lawsuit Over Customer Data Privacy Violation
CHINA AGRITECH: Case Will Turn on Justices' Opinions of CA

CHINA AGRITECH: Justices Consider Tolling Statues Limitation
CHOICE HOTELS: Lawsuit Accuses Companies of Antitrust Tactics
CHOICE HOTELS: Hagens Berman Files Antitrust Class Action
CHURCH AVENUE: Santiago Files Suit Over Unpaid Minimum & OT Wages
CIGNA HEALTH: Class Action Over Inflated Drug Costs Can Proceed

COLORADO: Judge Grants ACLU's Request to Halt ICE Holds
CORINTHIAN COLLEGES: Partial Student Debt Relief Plan Challenged
CYAN INC: SCOTUS Ruling Opened Gates to Crypto Suits Filing
CYAN INC: State Courts Have Jurisdiction Over Class Actions
DOLLAR GENERAL: Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Class Action

EPZ LTD: Opening of Kenya Class Action Proceedings Rescheduled
FACEBOOK INC: Bragar Eagel Files Securities Class Action
FACEBOOK INC: May 21 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
FACEBOOK INC: Maryland Woman Files Suit Over Cambridge Analytica
FACEBOOK INC: Faces Class Action Over Cambridge Analytica Issue

FACEBOOK INC: Morgan and Morgan Files Class Action Lawsuit
FACEBOOK INC: Scott+Scott Attorneys Files Securities Class Action
FEDERAZIONE ITALIANA: Lazio Fans Sue Over Refereeing Decisions
FLINT, MI: Two Water Contamination Class Actions Can Proceed
FLORIDA: Broward Homeowners Set to Get Payment for Lost Trees

GETSWIFT: Faces Suit Over Misleading Amazon Deal Statements
GETSWIFT: ASX Tightens Listing Rules Following Investor Suit
GETSWIFT: Expanded Statement of Claim Filed in Australian Court
GIGA WATT: Lawyers File Class Action Lawsuit
GRUPO TELEVISA: Klein Law Firm Files Securities Class Action

GRUPO TELEVISA: Vincent Wong Files Securities Class Suit
GUAM: Opposes Contractors' H-2B Class Action Certification Bid
HARVEY WEINSTEIN: Meryl Streep Balks at Class Action Response
HEALTH-ADE KOMBUCHA: Faces False Advertising Class Actions
HEARTWARE: Must Face Class Action Over Failed MVAD Trial

HGGC LLC: Falsely Labels Health Supplements, "Larson" Suit Claims
HOT SPRINGS, AR: Establishes $110,000 False Alarm Settlement Fund
HYATT HOTELS: Faces Search-Engine Antitrust Class Action
HYUNDAI MOTORS: Amicus Groups Want 9th Cir. to Rehear Decision
HYUNDAI MOTORS: ATRA Files Amicus Brief in Fuel Economy Suit

HYUNDAI MOTORS: NHTSA Probes Air-Bag Related Deaths Amid Lawsuits
INTEL CORP: Unravel the Gavel Files Suit Over Defective CPUs
JAMAICA: Councillor Explores Suit as Air Pollution Persists
KRAFT FOODS: CFTC Can Use Class Action Transcripts in Wheat Case
LA QUINTA: "Bushansky" Suit Alleges Exchange Act Violation

LOS ANGELES, CA: Ordered to Halt Enforcement of Gang Injunctions
MDL 2804: Nitro City Council Joins Opioid Crisis Class Action
MDL 2804: Traverse City Joins Class Action Over Opioid Epidemic
MDL 2804: Marshfield Joins Class Action Over Opioid Crisis
METLIFE INC: Glancy Prongay File Securities Class Action

METLIFE INC: Sanford Heisler Wins Conditional Class Certification
METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON: Faces "Schneider" Suit in E.D. Virginia
MIRAMICHI REGIONAL: Court Approves $1.3MM Class Action Settlement
MISSISSIPPI: Faces Class Action Over Poor Prison Conditions
MONAT GLOBAL: Federman & Sherwood Files Second Class Action

MONSTER INC: Man to Face Sanctions for Lying About Class Standing
NEW JERSEY, USA: Faces "Wahab" Class Suit Alleging Discrimination
NEW SOUTH WALES: Bushfire Suit Considered vs. Gov't-Owned Utility
NEW SOUTH WALES: Slater and Gordon Mulls Suit Over Tathra Fire
NEW YORK: "Juvenile Lifers" File Class Action v. Parole Board

NEW YORK: MTA Hit with Class Action Demanding Subway Guardrails
NILES GRAND: Sued by Flores for Illegally Storing Biometric Info
NORTHEAST CREDIT: Judge Allows Overdraft Fee Suit to Proceed
OHIO STRIP CLUBS: Exotic Dancers File Wage Class Action
OWENS CORNING: Judge Denies Class Certification in Shingles Case

PABS BREWING: Faces Beer False Advertising Class Action
PALM BEACH, FL: Class Action Over Undergrounding Pending
PERKINS & MARIE: Ex-Female Workers File Sexual Harassment Suit
PERKINS FAMILY: Andreopoulos Sues for Civil Rights Violations
PETLAND NOVI: Sued for Allegedly Selling Sick Puppies

POWERCOR: Class Action Mulled Over South-west Victoria Bushfires
PRN AMBULANCE: Sued by Burgamy for Not Paying OT to Drivers, EMTs
PROFESSIONAL CLAIMS: Faces "Riezes" Suit in E.D. New York
PROVIDENCE, RI: Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Speed Camera
PUPPY MANAGEMENT: Tapp Seeks to Recover Overtime & Minimum Wages

RALPH LAUREN: Interns Get $305 Each Out of Settlement
RAWSON-NEAL PSYCHIATRIC: Mentally Ill Patients Can Pursue Damages
REPUBLIC SERVICES: Faces Class Action Over Unpaid Overtime Wages
SAGINAW, MA: City Officials Sued Over Dangerous Housing Code
SAINT-GOBAIN: Bill Won't Aid Residents Pursuing Class Action

SAINT JOHN, NB: Responds to West Side Water Class Action
SAN DIEGO, CA: Lawsuit Filed for Misuse of Taxpayers Fund
SAN DIEGO, CA: Encroachment Code Unconstitutional, Suit Claims
SANDBOX TRANSPORTATION: "Barnes" Suit Alleges FLSA Violations
SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO: Must Face Class Action Over Tainted Bird Food

SHANDA GAMES: Faces Class Action, May 21 Lead Plaintiff Deadline
SHANDA GAMES: Astor BK Suit Alleges Exchange Act Violation
SIERRA PACIFIC: "Cole" Suit Alleges TCPA Violation
SONY CORP: PS3 Owners Have a Month Left to Claim Settlement
STRAIGHT PATH: Sept. 7 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set

SUNTRUST BANK: June 28 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
SURFSTITCH: Future Uncertain, Shareholder Class Action Pending
SURFSTITCH: Class Action Creditors to Get Dividend Under Proposal
TELETECH HOLDINGS: Faces "Underwood" Suit in M.D. Florida
TELEVISA: 'FIFA Gate' Leads to Class Action Lawsuit

TIGER BRANDS: Closes Pretoria Plant Amid Listeriosis Class Suits
TIGER BRANDS: Unsure of Listeria Outbreak Class Action Costs
TIGER BRANDS: To Take Steps to Address Listeriosis Claims
UNITED STATES: Certiorari Denied in Shackling Class Action
UNITED STATES: Faces "Wolfing" Suit in US Court of Federal Claims

UTC FIRE: Beats TCPA Class Action-Suit
VODEN MEDICAL: Jones Day Attorneys Discuss Class Action Ruling
VOLKSWAGEN AG: Dieselgate Case Enters Closing Submission Phase
WAGEWORKS INC: Levi & Korsinsky Files Securities Class Action
WAGEWORKS INC: Pomerantz Law Firm Files Securities Class Action

WELLS FARGO: Customers Await $142MM Class Action Settlement
WEST VIRGINIA: $151MM Water Settlement Expected to Be Paid Out
WESTERN ONE: Has Agreement to Settle Securities CA Litigation
WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC: Two Law Firms Vie for Lead Counsel Role
WESTMINSTER MANAGEMENT: Tenants' Class Action Over Fees Pending

XTO ENERGY: Reaches Tentative Settlement in Chieftain Case
ZOETIS: Horse Owners Launch Class Action Over Hendra Vaccine

* Asserson Urges Students to Join Suit Over Lecturers' Strike
* Class Action Over Listeria Outbreak Likely in Australia
* Class Actions Rising Due to More Litigation Funding Options
* Fate of Canada's Anti-Spam Litigation Remains Unclear
* GDPR-K Puts in Place Framework for Class Action Lawsuits

* Germany's New Government Plans to Allow Collective Lawsuits
* LCO Conducts Comprehensive Review of Class Actions
* New Bill Limits Ability to File Defective Products Cases
* Value of Securities Class Action Settlements Down 76% in 2017





                            *********


A10 NETWORKS: Bragar Eagel Files Securities Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., disclosed that a class action
lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California on behalf of all persons or
entities who purchased or otherwise acquired A10 Networks, Inc.
(NYSE:ATEN) securities between February 9, 2016 and January 30,
2018 (the "Class Period"). Investors have until May 21, 2018 to
apply to the Court to be appointed as lead plaintiff in the
lawsuit.

The complaint alleges that defendants made false and/or
misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) A10
Networks had issues with its internal controls that required an
Audit Committee investigation; (2) A10 Networks' revenues since
the fourth quarter of 2015 were false due to improper revenue
recognition which prompted an investigation by the Company's
Audit Committee; and (3) as a result, Defendants' public
statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant
times.

If you purchased or otherwise acquired A10 securities and
suffered a loss, continue to hold shares purchased prior to the
Class Period, have information, would like to learn more about
these claims, or have any questions concerning this announcement
or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please
contact Brandon Walker or Melissa Fortunato by email at
investigations@bespc.com, or telephone at (212) 355-4648, or by
filling out this contact form. There is no cost or obligation to
you.

Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. is a New York-based law firm
concentrating in commercial and securities litigation. For
additional information concerning the A10 Networks, Inc. lawsuit,
please go to http://www.bespc.com/aten.For additional
information about Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C., please go to
www.bespc.com.

         Brandon Walker, Esq.
         Melissa Fortunato, Esq.
         Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.
         Tel: 212-355-4648
         Website: www.bespc.com
         Email: walker@bespc.com,
                fortunato@bespc.com [GN]


A10 NETWORKS: Bronstein Gewirtz Files Securities Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------------
Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC, notified investors that a
class action lawsuit has been filed against A10 Networks, Inc.
("A10" or the "Company") (NYSE: ATEN) and certain of its
officers, on behalf of shareholders who purchased A10 securities
during the period between February 9, 2016 and January 30, 2018,
both dates inclusive (the "Class Period"). Such investors are
encouraged to join this case by visiting the firm's site:
http://www.bgandg.com/aten.

This class action seeks to recover damages against Defendants for
alleged violations of the federal securities laws under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period,
defendants made materially false and misleading statements and/or
failed to disclose that: (1) A10 Networks had issues with its
internal controls that required an Audit Committee investigation;
(2) A10 Networks' revenues since the fourth quarter of 2015 were
false due to improper revenue recognition which prompted an
investigation by the Company's Audit Committee; and (3) as a
result, Defendants' public statements were materially false and
misleading at all relevant times.

On January 16, 2018, A10 Networks revealed that it expected its
fourth quarter 2017 revenue to be between $55.5 million and $56
million, lower than its previous guidance of $64 million to $67
million. Following this news, A10 stock dropped $0.99 per share
or over 13% to close at $6.32 per share on January 17, 2018.
Then, on January 30, 2018, A10 revealed that its Audit Committee
was investigating its revenue recognition practices from the
fourth quarter of 2015 through the fourth quarter of 2017.
Following this news, A10 stock dropped $0.86 per share or over
12% to close at $6.13 per share on January 31, 2018.

A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to
review a copy of the Complaint you can visit the firm's site:
http://www.bgandg.com/atenor you may contact Peretz Bronstein,
Esq. or his Investor Relations Analyst, Yael Hurwitz of
Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC at 212-697-6484. If you
suffered a loss in A10 you have until May 21, 2018 to request
that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff.  Your ability to
share in any recovery doesn't require that you serve as a lead
plaintiff.

Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC is a corporate litigation
boutique.  Our primary expertise is the aggressive pursuit of
litigation claims on behalf of our clients.  In addition to
representing institutions and other investor plaintiffs in class
action security litigation, the firm's expertise includes general
corporate and commercial litigation, as well as securities
arbitration.

         Peretz Bronstein, Esq.
         Yael Hurwitz
         Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC
         Tel. No.212-697-6484
         E-mail: info@bgandg.com
                 peretz@bgandg.com [GN]


A10 NETWORKS: Rosen Law Firm Files Securities Class Action Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, has filed a
class action lawsuit on behalf of purchasers of the securities of
A10 Networks, Inc. (NYSE: ATEN) between February 9, 2016 and
January 30, 2018, both dates inclusive ("Class Period"). The
lawsuit seeks to recover damages for A10 Networks investors under
the federal securities laws.

To join the A10 Networks class action, go to
http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases-1284.htmlor call Phillip Kim,
Esq. or Zachary Halper, Esq. toll-free at 866-767-3653 or email
pkim@rosenlegal.com or zhalper@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, throughout the Class Period defendants
made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose
that: (1) A10 Networks had issues with its internal controls that
required an Audit Committee investigation; (2) A10 Networks'
revenues since the fourth quarter of 2015 were false due to
improper revenue recognition which prompted an investigation by
the Company's Audit Committee; and (3) as a result, Defendants'
public statements were materially false and misleading at all
relevant times.

A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to
serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than
May 21, 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-1284.htmlor to discuss your
rights or interests regarding this class action, please contact
Phillip Kim or Zachary Halper of Rosen Law Firm toll free at 866-
767-3653 or via email at pkim@rosenlegal.com or
zhalper@rosenlegal.com.

Follow us for updates on LinkedIn:
https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-rosen-law-firm or on
Twitter: https://twitter.com/rosen_firm.

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

         Contacts
         Laurence Rosen, Esq.
         Phillip Kim, Esq.
         Zachary Halper, Esq.
         The Rosen Law Firm, P.A.
         275 Madison Avenue, 34th Floor
         New York, NY 10016
         Tel: 212-686-1060
         Toll Free: 866-767-3653
         Fax: 212-202-3827
         Email: lrosen@rosenlegal.com
                pkim@rosenlegal.com
                zhalper@rosenlegal.com [GN]


ACADIA HEALTHCARE: Faces Securities Class Action
------------------------------------------------
Shareholder rights law firm Robbins Arroyo LLP on March 19
disclosed that purchasers of Acadia Healthcare Company (NASDAQGS:
ACHC) have filed a class action complaint against the company's
officers and directors for alleged violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 between February 23, 2017 and October 24,
2017.  Acadia operates inpatient and outpatient psychiatric
facilities to support behavioral health and recovery needs in the
United States, United Kingdom ("U.K."), and Puerto Rico.

View this information on the law firm's Shareholder Rights Blog:
www.robbinsarroyo.com/acadia-healthcare-co

Acadia Accused of Making Materially False and Misleading
Statements to Investors Regarding Its Business and Operations

According to the complaint, Acadia materially misled the
investing public, which had the effect of inflating the prices of
Acadia's securities.  Beginning on February 23, 2017, Acadia
represented in its public filings and press releases that it was
"the leading independent provider of mental health services in
the U.K." and that "[f]avorable industry and legislative trends"
gave the company a "competitive strength," which would drive
future growth and profitability.  Acadia further misrepresented
the extent of the company's actual and projected 2017 revenue,
earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization
("EBITA") and earnings per share ("EPS").  With Acadia's stock
artificially inflated, its officers and directors sold over $143
million worth of Acadia stock through a continuous offering
process.  On October 24, 2017, Acadia announced its financial
results for the third quarter 2017, which revealed a drastic
shortfall in EBITA for its U.K. facilities and a lowered
financial guidance for 2017, including EPS.  As a result,
Acadia's stock plunged 26% on October 25, 2017, on extremely high
volume.

Acadia Shareholders Have Legal Options

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

Robbins Arroyo LLP -- http://www.robbinsarroyo.com-- is a
shareholder rights law firm.  The firm represents individual and
institutional investors in shareholder derivative and securities
class action lawsuits. [GN]


AFL: Barnes Seeks to Lead Concussion Class Action
-------------------------------------------------
Michael Gleeson, writing for The Age, reports that Western
Bulldogs forward Liam Picken has been ruled out of playing
indefinitely due to the effects of his second big concussion in
the last 12 months.

The Bulldogs revealed the 2016 premiership player would take an
open-ended break from playing as he struggled to overcome the
effects of a serious concussion in the JLT series.

The 31-year-old was also badly knocked out in round three last
year when Fremantle's Tommy Sheridan landed on his head.

Picken suffered his latest concussion when he clashed with
teammate Josh Dunkley in a marking contest in the pre-season win
over Hawthorn.  Picken had to be stretchered from the ground.
"He doesn't know any other way.  He's just full on and wants to
make a contest," assistant coach Daniel Giansiracusa said after
that incident on March 3.  "We'll assess him throughout the week
so."

A former midfield tagger Picken reinvented himself as a
goalkicking defensive forward in their premiership year.

"It was pretty scary with like any concussion, and I was right
next to Liam when it happened on the ground," Bulldogs captain
Easton Wood told the AFL website at the AFL Captains Day on
March 15.

"He's had a couple of bad ones already, (and) I'm not sure where
he's currently at, at the moment.

"What I'm enjoying with the way concussion is (treated) now is
that the cautious approach is the best approach.

"It was a very quick call that he wouldn't play in that JLT game
(against Collingwood), so he had limited stuff to do that week
and just be at home, recover and get himself right."

Richmond forward Ben Griffiths retired from football earlier this
year to pursue a punting career in the NFL. He had missed most of
last season after two concussions, managing one game in 14 weeks.

Melbourne midfielder Angus Brayshaw played the first two games
last year then suffered his fourth concussion in 12 months
forcing him to put his career on hold as he tried to recover from
the head knocks.

St Kilda defender Sean Dempster retired last year because of the
concern of another serious concussion if he continued to play.

"The reason I am pulling the pin early is . . . the head knocks,"
the then 33-year-old said.

"It is a bit more of a risk and there is a bit more of the
unknown about it.  And given my history, I have a pretty strong
history in terms of concussions. It was probably an easier
decision to make that I probably thought it would be."

The treatment of players in recent years has been more
conservative by clubs and in particular came after highly rated
Brisbane Lions defender Justin Clarke retired from the game at
the age of just 22 and after 56 games after the doctor's advice
was that his brain simply could not cope with more head knocks.
A large number of former players including Greg Williams,
John Platten, Nicky Winmar and John Barnes have admitted they
have struggled badly with the effects of concussions suffered
when playing.

Barnes is seeking to lead a class action law suit for players who
had suffered concussions in their playing careers and were
suffering the consuences in retirement.

Melbourne's Heritier Lumumba, a former Collingwood premiership
player, walked away from the game citing the effect of head
knocks as did former Hawthorn and Melbourne ruckman
Jack Fitzpatrick who retired at the end of last season after
suffering seven concussions in five years.

"The doctor said if you stop know you should be OK, but if you
get another one, we don't know," Mr. Fitzpatrick said in November
last year.

A new hardship and injury scheme has been launched for past AFL
players by the players union with players who suffered the
effects of concussion or had their careers shortened by
concussion eligible for payouts under the scheme.  The AFL
Players' Association allocated $24.7 million to the fund. [GN]


AKORN INC: Faces Class Action, May 7 Lead Plaintiff Deadline
------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP on March 21
disclosed that class action litigation has been filed on behalf
of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired the publicly
traded securities of Akorn, Inc. ("Akorn" or the "Company")
(Nasdaq: AKXR) between March 1, 2017 and February 26, 2018 (the
"Class Period").

If you purchased or otherwise acquired Akorn publicly traded
securities during the Class Period, you may move the Court for
appointment as lead plaintiff by no later than May 7, 2018.  A
lead plaintiff is a representative party who acts on behalf of
other class members in directing the litigation. Your share of
any recovery in the actions will not be affected by your decision
of whether to seek appointment as lead plaintiff.  You may retain
Lieff Cabraser, or other attorneys, as your counsel in the
actions.

Akorn investors who wish to learn more about the litigation and
how to seek appointment as lead plaintiff should contact Sharon
M. Lee of Lieff Cabraser toll-free at 1-800-541-7358.

Background on the Akorn Securities Class Litigation

Akorn, incorporated in Louisiana and headquartered in Lake
Forrest, Illinois, develops, manufactures, and markets
specialized generic and branded pharmaceuticals, over-the-counter
drug products, and animal health products in the United States
and internationally.

On April 24, 2017, it was announced that Fresenius SE & Co. KGaA
("Fresenius") agreed to acquire Akorn. The transaction was
expected to close by early 2018.

The action alleges that Defendants made false and/or misleading
statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Akorn's failure to
comply with Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") data integrity
requirements would jeopardize Akorn's acquisition by Fresenius;
(2) the Company lacked effective internal controls over financial
reporting; and (3) as a result, the Company's financial
statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant
times.

On February 26, 2018, Fresenius announced that it is conducting
an investigation into alleged breaches of FDA data integrity
requirements at Akorn. Fresenius also stated that consummation of
the transaction may be affected if the closing conditions under
the merger agreement are not met. On this news, the Company's
share price fell 38.41%, or $11.63, from the previous closing
price of $30.28 per share on February 26, 2018, to close at
$18.65 per share on February 27, 2018, on extremely elevated
trading volume.

                     About Lieff Cabraser

With offices in San Francisco, New York, Nashville, and Seattle,
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP --
http://www.lieffcabraser.com-- is a nationally recognized law
firm committed to advancing the rights of investors and promoting
corporate responsibility.

The National Law Journal has recognized Lieff Cabraser as one of
the nation's top plaintiffs' law firms for fourteen years. In
compiling the list, the National Law Journal examines recent
verdicts and settlements and looked for firms "representing the
best qualities of the plaintiffs' bar and that demonstrated
unusual dedication and creativity." Law360 has selected Lieff
Cabraser as one of the Top 50 law firms nationwide for
litigation, highlighting our firm's "laser focus" and noting that
our firm routinely finds itself "facing off against some of the
largest and strongest defense law firms in the world." In late
2016, Benchmark Litigation named Lieff Cabraser one of the "Top
10 Plaintiffs' Firms in America." [GN]


AKORN INC: Robbins Arroyo Files Securities Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------
Shareholder rights law firm Robbins Arroyo LLP disclosed that
purchasers of Akorn, Inc. (NasdaqGS: AKRX) have filed a class
action complaint against the company's officers and directors for
alleged violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 between
March 1, 2017 and February 26, 2018. Akorn, a specialty generic
pharmaceutical company, develops, manufactures, and markets
generic and branded prescription pharmaceuticals, over-the-
counter consumer health products, and animal health
pharmaceuticals in the United States and internationally.

             Akorn Accused of Jeopardizing Acquisition

On April 24, 2017, Fresenius SE Co. KGaA ("Fresenius") agreed to
acquire Akorn, with the transaction expected to close by early
2018. Akorn subsequently discussed the company's compliance with
U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") regulations in its
public filings, noting that all of the company's FDA approved
facilities received satisfactory status from the FDA. According
to the complaint, however, the company failed to mention that
Fresenius' acquisition of Akorn could be in jeopardy due to
potential breaches of FDA data integrity requirements relating to
product development at Akorn. On this news, Akorn's stock fell
over 38% to close at $18.65 per share on February 27, 2018.

            Akorn Shareholders Have Legal Options

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

Robbins Arroyo LLP is a nationally recognized leader in
shareholder rights law. The firm represents individual and
institutional investors in shareholder derivative and securities
class action lawsuits, and has helped its clients realize more
than $1 billion of value for themselves and the companies in
which they have invested.

         Leonid Kandinov, Esq.
         Robbins Arroyo LLP
         Telephone:(619) 525-3990
         E-mail: LKandinov@robbinsarroyo.com [GN]


AMERICAN MULTI-STATE: Faces Class Action Over Rigged System
-----------------------------------------------------------
Fernando Ramirez, writing for Chron, reports that last year,
former Houston resident Eddie Tipton pleaded guilty to a
Hollywood-style lottery heist that netted him and his friends $24
million in prizes from several states.

In court, Mr. Tipton confessed that during his time as
information security chief for the American Multi-State Lottery
Association -- the group that runs lottery games like Powerball
and Hot Lotto -- he installed software that allowed him to
predict winning lottery numbers.

Now an Iowa man is seeking a class action against the Multi-State
Lottery Association on behalf of all players who bought lottery
tickets and lost in the rigged system.

"Anybody who purchased a lottery ticket is guaranteed, according
to the rules of the game, to have a random drawing," Gary Dick,
the attorney representing the Iowa resident, told WHO-TV.  "And
what we know from Eddie Tipton's circumstances is that in certain
games, that is not what they were given."

Mr. Tipton's rigged software allowed him and his associates to
secure winning tickets in Iowa, Colorado, Wisconsin, Kansas and
Oklahoma.  In 2017, he was sentenced to 25 years in prison after
security footage showed him buying a winning $14.3 million
lottery ticket at a convenience store. [GN]


ANSCHUTZ ENTERTAINMENT: Faces Lawsuit Over Block-Booking Policy
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jem Aswad, writing for Variety, reports that in February,
Sharon Osbourne, Ozzy Osbourne's manager, threatened in a public
letter to sue AEG over its policy requiring artists who want to
play the O2 Arena in London to also play at the Staples Center in
Los Angeles -- and on March 21 she followed through on that
threat, filing a strongly worded lawsuit against AEG seeking to
end the block-booking policy.

The lawsuit brings into the open a long-running turf battle
between AEG and Azoff-MSG, which owns the Forum, Staples' main
competitor in the Los Angeles area.  For several years the two
companies have been embroiled in a bitter venue war in Los
Angeles that pits AEG's 21,000-capacity Staples Center against
Azoff-MSG's 17,500-capacity Forum.  AEG chief Jay Marciano claims
that the policy was implemented in response to a similar policy
connection Madison Square Garden and the Forum; Irving Azoff has
said that such a policy is no longer in place at his company's
venues.

In his lawsuit, Osbourne's attorney Daniel Wall --
dan.wall@lw.com -- of Latham Watkins accuses AEG of "blatant,
anticompetitive conduct -- specifically, tying -- by Anschutz
Entertainment Group, Inc. ("AEG") and certain subsidiary and
affiliated entities," and of being a "clear monopolist for arena-
sized venues in greater London" that "through management
contracts it also controls a number of other large concert venues
in greater London in addition to the O2," which it notes is the
only indoor arena in London with the capacity to host major
concerts."

Mr. Marciano said in a statement: "This suit is without merit and
we will vigorously fight it.  We welcome a closer look at the
global live entertainment market and, specifically, our practices
and the practices of our competition. AEG has always worked hard
to put artists first.  At the same time, we must respond to the
actions of those we compete with, specifically Live Nation and
Madison Square Garden.  Fighting for a level playing field is
fair competition at its core."

The conflict came about when Osbourne's promoter attempted to
book the singer's "No More Tours 2" tour into the O2 and were
confronted with the Staples requirement.  Claiming that AEG
"would not relent" after the situation was made public via
Osbourne's letter, the complaint says that "Ozzy commences this
action (on his own behalf and for all similarly situated artists)
to prohibit AEG from enforcing the Staples Center Commitment, an
unlawful tying arrangement that unfairly leverages AEG's
dominance in greater London to distort and deter competition in
greater Los Angeles."  He seeks class-action status for the suit,
which opens the possibility of incorporating other artists who
have been asked to take part the O2-Staples Center commitment.

In her letter, Sharon Osboune said, "Shame on AEG for bringing
artists into a power struggle you're having with your competitor,
Live Nation. I can assure you that Live Nation would never
strong-arm an artist into playing a venue they're not comfortable
performing in."

Mr. Marciano responded, saying: "Please understand this dispute
is between The Forum and Staples Center and we couldn't agree
with you more -- it should always be the artist's choice.  We
long for the days when artists and fans came first," adding, "PS
-- The other guys started this!"

In response to Marciano's February letter, Irving Azoff said:

"Dearest Jay -- This is a pack of lies.  I've put artists first
my entire career, name one time you've put an aritst above your
own self-interest. Why do they continue to do business with you?
We do not block book Madison Square Garden and The Forum, it is
well-established. You guys continue to use lies to validate your
anti-artist, anti-industry behavior. Love, Irving.  PS -- Sharon,
you rock.  You're welcome at The Forum any time."

Sources tell Variety that AEG's O2/Staples requirement came about
in response to a challenge from MSG that, according to sources,
found the company refusing to book acts into Madison Square
Garden if they played at AEG's Staples Center in Los Angeles
instead of the MSG-operated Forum.  In response, sources say, AEG
informed agents and promoters that acts who perform at The Forum
instead of Staples will not be booked at London's O2 Arena.  The
O2 is operated by AEG and is the only venue of its category --
20,000 capacity -- in the city.  The policy went into effect in
July 2017.

The MSG-Staples standoff has affected several artists --
including Chance the Rapper, Tom Petty, and Hall & Oates -- who
played their major New York shows at the approximately 16,000-
capacity Forest Hills Stadium instead of the 20,000-plus-sized
Garden, amid reports of threats that they would be prevented from
playing at the Garden on future tours as well. [GN]


ANTHEM BLUE CROSS: Special Master to Review Fee Applications
------------------------------------------------------------
Law.com's Law Journal Editorial Board reports that final approval
hearings in class action settlements, which follow preliminary
approval months before, and awards of attorney's fees often are
sedentary proceedings.  Not so when plaintiffs' attorneys in In
re Anthem a few weeks ago walked into a hornet's nest in Judge
Lucy Koh's courtroom in the Western District of California
seeking $38 million in fees and $2 million for disbursements.

This litigation centered on a data breach of insurance provider
Anthem's computer systems releasing personal information
concerning 78.8 million people, triggering more than 100 lawsuits
all consolidated before Judge Koh.  After two years, four lead
counsel with court approval had settled the case for $115
million. Subtracting the requested $40 million for fees and
disbursements and additional millions for related costs,
including $23 million paid to one firm to administer the
settlement, this would leave 45 percent of the putative
settlement for class members, but not for cash.  Instead they
will receive free credit monitoring services for two years in
addition to the two years of monitoring Anthem gave when it made
the breach public.  Counsel claimed this would be worth up to
$500 million if everyone signed up, because if customers sought
such coverage on their own they would pay at least $250. In fact,
only 1.86 percent of class members signed up.  Those not signing,
if they file claims, would get all of $50, for which there is a
total pot of $13 million.  Anthem also agreed to conduct twice
yearly adversarial simulations mimicking a malicious attacker and
triple its security spending over three years, for which another
$17 million is allocated.  The net result of all this, according
to one critic, is 65 cents per class member.

In their defense, the class action attorneys asserted that to
achieve this remarkable settlement, they spent more than 78,000
hours of work, took 200 depositions and reviewed 3.8 million
pages of documents, briefed class certification and successfully
defeated motions to dismiss in the absence of precedent
certifying a data breach class.  None of this convinced Judge Koh
or made her happy.  Imagine counsels' consternation when they
were greeted by Judge Koh: "I'm deeply disappointed."  "I would
never have appointed you [counsel's spokesperson and co-lead
counsel] had I known you were going to pile on 53 law firms on
this case." She added: "It does bother me that 55% [of the
settlement amount] would go to attorney fees and administrative
costs and only 45% goes to class members."  And to emphasize her
disappointment, she added: "I'm going to keep that in mind if you
apply for appointment of counsel in another case with me."

Competitive Enterprise Institute blew the whistle on this
application, and rightly so.  Anthem's disclosure of the data
breach triggered dozens of lawsuits all over the country.  They
were consolidated in Judge Koh's court.  Eight firms competed for
leadership positions; she trimmed the list to the four
applicants.  Their steering committee originally assured her "No
one other than the attorneys and firms proposed here will
necessarily work on this case" but they brought 49 more firms
into the case.  They passed out $3.5 million in work to the four
firms the court had excluded, and another $10 million to 45 other
firms, and then they engaged 53 law firms.  "If I thought eight
was too many, what made you think I wanted 53 firms churning on
this case?" Judge Koh asked.  They paid 329 lawyers (100 were
partners) millions of dollars, more than two dozen of whom were
contract attorneys charging $300-$400 per hour to perform low-
level work such as document review for which $50 per hour is the
usual fee.  "I would like you to find a single paying client that
would have approved these types of markups in a contract
attorney!" Judge Koh challenged.

The court has appointed a special master to review the fee
applications and report his conclusions and recommendations for
appropriate fee awards.  He certainly will scrupulously review
the requested fees of the more than 100 partners and two dozen
contract attorney who charged $300-400 for their pedestrian work.

Maybe, one commentator facetiously has suggested, "the Special
Master can bring on a few $400 contract attorneys to help sort
through the bills faster?" The Law Journal Editorial Board
commends Competitive Enterprise Institute and Judge Koh for a
step toward restoring public confidence in the cost of the
litigation process. [GN]


ARCHSTONE INT'L: Faces "McDonough" Suit in S.D. California
----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Archstone
International, LLC. The case is styled as Steven McDonough,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff v. Archstone International, LLC and Archstone
International Holdings, LLC, Defendants, Case No. 3:18-cv-00704-
JM-BLM (S.D. Cal., April 9, 2018).

Archstone International, LLC operates as an investment management
firm.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Leslie E. Hurst, Esq.
   Blood Hurst & O'Reardon LLP
   501 West Broadway, Suite 1490
   San Diego, CA 92101
   Tel: (619) 338-1100
   Fax: (619) 338-1101
   Email: lhurst@bholaw.com


ARCIMOTO INC: Faces Class Action Over IPO Misrepresentations
------------------------------------------------------------
Shareholder rights law firm Robbins Arroyo LLP on March 19
disclosed that purchasers of Arcimoto, Inc. (NASDAQCM: FUV) have
filed a class action complaint against the company's officers and
directors for alleged misrepresentations and omissions made
during the company's initial public offering ("IPO") on
September 21, 2017.  Arcimoto is attempting to make a three-
wheeled electric vehicle.

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

Arcimoto Accused of Making Materially False and Misleading
Statements in Connection With its IPO

According to the complaint, Arcimoto materially misled the
investing public regarding its ability to deliver vehicles to
paying customers and failed to disclose that commercial
production was not feasible due to the company's inability to
produce a safe, reliable, and properly working product.  On
July 31, 2017, Arcimoto priced its IPO at $6.50 per share.
Between August and September 20, 2017, Arcimoto engaged in a six-
week multi-city roadshow to market its common stock to the
investing public, raising more than $19 million through the sale
of nearly three million shares of common stock.  Following the
IPO, investors learned that Arcimoto had only delivered one
vehicle to a paying customer during the second half of 2017 and
was in no position to begin mass production as it had no facility
capable of scaled production.  The stock now trades at around $3
per share, less than half the price investors paid in the IPO.

Arcimoto Shareholders Have Legal Options

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

Robbins Arroyo LLP -- http://www.robbinsarroyo.com-- is a
shareholder rights law firm.  The firm represents individual and
institutional investors in shareholder derivative and securities
class action lawsuits. [GN]


ASHBURN CORP: Consumer Class Action Settlement Challenged
---------------------------------------------------------
Nicholas Malfitano, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that
representatives for the Department of Justice and a group of
state attorneys general showed up to a New Jersey courtroom
March 19 to voice concerns with a controversial class action
settlement that initially paid plaintiffs attorneys $1.7 million
while providing $2 per bottle-sold coupons to class members.

After hearing five hours of argument, U.S. District Judge Renee
Marie Bumb did not issue a final decision on the settlement
involving a discount wine distributor.  The initial iteration of
the settlement attracted controversy and opposition from 19 state
attorneys general nationwide and the U.S. Department of Justice's
Consumer Protection Branch.

In the case of Cannon et al., v. Ashburn Corp. et al., Bumb
provided the parties with an additional week in which to submit
supplemental briefs on a revised version of the settlement,
totaling no more than five pages and due March 26, after which
she will approve or reject the new settlement.

Plaintiffs Kyle Cannon, Lewis Lyons, Dianne Lyons and those
similarly situated claimed defendants Ashburn Corporation and
Wines 'Til Sold Out (WTSO), an online discount wine retailer,
falsely advertised its prices.

An initial proposed settlement offer from the defendants awarded
consumers who completed a special verification form a maximum of
a $2 coupon to be used at WTSO, while class counsel would have
been compensated $1.7 million.

Though the federal court in New Jersey granted preliminary
approval of the initial settlement offer in November, the
proposal's opponents argued that it violated the federal Class
Action Fairness Act (CAFA) of 2005.

The attorneys general of 19 states filed a joint amicus brief in
opposition to the initial version of the proposed settlement.
Leading the opposition group of state attorneys general is
Arizona's Attorney General, Mark Brnovich.

Mr. Brnovich and his colleagues believed the customer credits
offered were considered "coupons" under the auspices of the CAFA,
because they are worth "significantly less" than their face value
and are only valid with a number of restrictions attached.

In addition to Mr. Brnovich, attorneys general from Alabama,
Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi,
Missouri, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island,
South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming were
opposed to the proposed settlement offer.

A statement of interest was also filed by the DOJ's Consumer
Protection Branch, which believed that the initial settlement
proposal's structure was more harmful to consumers than the
alleged deceptive marketing and pricing scheme committed by
Ashburn.

Hearing Discusses Second Settlement Offer

During the March 19 proceeding, Judge Bumb inquired to counsel
how class members could make the determination that they were not
harmed by any allegedly unfair pricing of the wines they
purchased and determine if the first settlement offer on the
table was a fair one.

Suzanne Ilene Schiller, counsel for WTSO, replied that consumers
made the determination by drinking the wine and appreciating it,
adding that out of a potential 240,000 class members, 34,000 (or
15 percent) had already filled out the verification form attached
to the first settlement offer, to determine one's eligibility for
class membership.  Another 4,000 claims are pending verification.

The major discussion topic of the March 19 hearing was a revised,
second version of the settlement offer.  Unlike the first
version, which would have seen class counsel compensated to the
tune of $1.7 million, the second version stipulated a counsel fee
of $1.2 million, with the remaining $500,000 being put into a
separate fund for class members who would rather opt for a cash
disbursement instead of the coupons offered by WTSO.

When asked by Judge Bumb how a class member would decide whether
they would take the coupon credit or cash, Schiller replied, "We
think our consumers want to buy wine."

Schiller stated that 70 percent of the 34,000 class members who
filled out the verification form haven't bought further product
from WTSO yet, and they wanted the sales credits and the
settlement offer to be approved to begin buying again.

Plaintiff counsel Oren S. Giskan clarified that class members do
not yet know of the cash option and will be notified of that
settlement offer provision shortly via email, in addition to
being informed that the redemption credit period has been
extended by six months.

"The cash option was brought in after talking to the Arizona
Attorney General," Mr. Giskan said.  "There has been a positive
reaction to the settlement. [They] know this is good for the
class. With this, [the class] will get something back."

A recurring theme throughout the proceeding was the judge's
inquiry of what tools were available to consumers and class
members to inform and assist them of making the decision to join
the class, such as their own purchasing history with WTSO, but
counsel said that information was not immediately available.

"I wouldn't want to approve a settlement where a consumer would
have to greatly increase [the quantity of] their buying history
to take advantage of a settlement.  That wouldn't be fair," Judge
Bumb stated.

Mr. Giskan later said that a settlement is a compromise between
parties based on the information available at the time, and that
solution would not only change WTSO's marketing practices, it
would be certain to get the class members something -- rather
than go to trial and potentially leave class members with nothing
at the end.

"The marketing practices [of Ashburn Corporation] should want to
be stopped by the state attorneys general and the United States.
They should not want to scuttle this, they should be on our
side," Mr. Giskan said.  "We gave the attorneys general what they
wanted.  We should focus on the settlement we have, not the one
they want or the one the objectors want."

Arizona AG's Representative & U.S. DOJ Attorney Comment

O.H. Skinner, an Arizona assistant attorney general, said he was
helping to lead a bipartisan coalition of various state attorneys
general against the settlement offer.

"We are all motivated here by a grave concern of low redemption
rate [of the coupons].  Certain class members are unaware of the
$2 cap on coupons.  We think these coupons are very restrictive
and we asked the parties to have a cash election option.  The
consumers should get to make that choice.  People need to be told
there is an available cash component [to the settlement] and an
extension of the class [eligibility] period," Mr. Skinner said.

Mr. Skinner offered his opinion that the second settlement offer
was "a better deal," but still not ideal.

"We would like to see other things loosened," Mr. Skinner said.

Mr. Skinner specifically commented that the $500,000 cash fund
under the second settlement wasn't sufficient under CAFA, and
that the class members fund should be set at a minimum amount of
$1.2 million -- with only $500,000 to be awarded to class counsel
instead.

"We have a deep and abiding concern, between the notice
structure, $500,000 fund amount and the coupon value, that
consumers will be getting a low value," Mr. Skinner stated.  "The
redemption rate is the ultimate arbiter in this case.  In order
for class members to get [what we feel is] an appropriate
percentage, 80 percent of the coupons would need to be redeemed."

Gus Eyler, a special assistant U.S. attorney, said the DOJ was
concerned with the first settlement proposal's perceived conflict
with CAFA, but that the second version remedied some of the
government's objections.

"Since we entered [the case], we feel the revised settlement has
significantly improved the deal, especially the moving of class
counsel fees to the end of the [credit] redemption period.
Though, we have some lingering concerns," Mr. Eyler said.

According to Mr. Eyler, such concerns had to do with the
"unreasonably-restricted nature and limited capacity" of the
coupons, and that the inclusion of a verification form may limit
class member participation.

"We would have preferred to see direct mailing instead of a
verification form," Mr. Eyler said.  "This case may be one where
verification is necessary, but some additional notice is good."

Mr. Eyler seconded Skinner's point on the availability of more
cash for the class members instead of class counsel being a good
idea.

"We were pleased to see such a quick and positive response, and
the proposed settlement is improved," Mr. Eyler stated.

In addition, Judge Bumb said she would require re-noticing of the
class members, as the second version of the settlement contained
"material changes" compared to the first one, and consumers
should have another opportunity to opt-out or object to the
settlement offer.

Mr. Eyler agreed, commenting the people who previously may not
have wanted to join the class may change their minds upon
receiving notice of the second settlement version's new
provisions.

Another Objector - The Center For Class Action Fairness

Another opponent is the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Center
for Class Action Fairness, which represents a member of the class
who objected to the first settlement in a brief.

A CCAF press release further states, "While class members receive
nominal benefits under the settlement, class counsel is seeking
$1.7 million in fees and expenses, unopposed by Wines 'Til Sold
Out, without regard to the actual recovery by class members.  The
result is a settlement that impermissibly allocates the bulk of
the settlement benefit to the class attorneys rather than class
members."

U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey case 1:16-cv-
01452 [GN]


ATLAS FINANCIAL: Faces Securities Class Action in Illinois
----------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Vincent Wong on March 19 disclosed that a
class action lawsuit has been commenced in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of
investors who purchased Atlas Financial Holdings, Inc. ("Atlas
Financial ") (NASDAQ:AFH) securities between March 13, 2017 and
March 2, 2018.

Click here to learn about the case: http://www.wongesq.com/pslra-
sbm/atlas-financial-holdings-inc?wire=3. There is no cost or
obligation to you.

The complaint alleges that throughout the class period Defendants
issued materially false and/or misleading statements and/or
failed to disclose that: (1) the Company failed to employ
internal controls to ensure appropriate accounting practices;
including, but not limited to, the calculation of certain loss
reserves; (2) as a result, the Company's internal controls over
financial reporting were materially weak; (3) as a result the
Company's financial statements were inaccurate and misleading;
and (4) as a result of the foregoing, Defendants' statements
about Atlas Financial's business, operations, and prospects, were
false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

If you suffered a loss in Atlas Financial you have until May 4,
2018 to request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff.
Your ability to share in any recovery doesn't require that you
serve as a lead plaintiff.  To obtain additional information,
contact Vincent Wong, Esq. either via email vw@wongesq.com by
telephone at 212.425.1140, or visit
http://www.wongesq.com/pslra-sbm/atlas-financial-holdings-
inc?wire=3

Vincent Wong, Esq. is an experienced attorney that has
represented investors in securities litigations involving
financial fraud and violations of shareholder rights. [GN]


AT&T CORP: Class Action Over "Unlimited" Data Plans Can Proceed
---------------------------------------------------------------
Wendy Davis, writing for MediaPost, reports that in a setback for
AT&T, a federal judge has ruled that wireless customers who live
in California and purchased "unlimited" data plans can proceed
with false advertising claims against the company.

In the ruling, U.S. District Court Judge Edward Chen reversed his
earlier decision to send the case to arbitration.  Two years ago,
Chen ruled that AT&T's contract with users required arbitration
of disputes.  But he changed course, ruling that a recent
decision by the California Supreme Court supports the conclusion
that the arbitration agreement is unenforceable.

The dispute dates to 2014, when several consumers alleged in a
class-action complaint that AT&T duped customers by selling
"unlimited" mobile broadband plans, but throttling users who hit
monthly caps that ranged from 3 GB to 5 GB.  From 2011 until
2015, AT&T allegedly throttled more than 3.5 million customers
with "unlimited" data plans. (The company subsequently revised
its throttling practices, and now only slows down "unlimited"
subscribers who exceed 22 GB in a month, and only when the
network is congested.)

After Chen sent the case to arbitration, the users appealed to
the 9th Circuit. That court upheld Chen's ruling in December.

The consumers subsequently asked Chen to reconsider, arguing that
the California Supreme Court recently invalidated arbitration
agreements that prohibit consumers from seeking injunctions
against companies.  Judge Chen partially granted that request,
ruling that California residents could proceed in court.

In addition to the lawsuit by consumers, AT&T is facing a Federal
Trade Commission enforcement action over the mobile slowdowns.
[GN]


AT&T CORP: To Appeal Ruling in "Unlimited" Data Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
Jon Brodkin, writing for Ars Technica, reports that a federal
judge has revived a lawsuit that angry customers filed against
AT&T over the company's throttling of unlimited mobile data
plans.

The decision comes two years after the same judge decided that
customers could only have their complaints heard individually in
arbitration instead of in a class-action lawsuit.

The 2016 ruling in AT&T's favor was affirmed by a federal appeals
court. But the customers subsequently filed a motion to
reconsider the arbitration decision, saying that an April 2017
decision by the California Supreme Court "constitutes a change in
law occurring after the Court's arbitration order," Judge Edward
Chen of US District Court for the Northern District of California
said in the new ruling.

The state Supreme Court "held that an arbitration agreement that
waives the right to seek the statutory remedy of public
injunctive relief in any forum is contrary to California public
policy and therefore unenforceable," Chen wrote.

AT&T argument rejected
AT&T argued that the court shouldn't consider the new argument,
saying that plaintiffs raised it too late.  The plaintiffs could
have made the same argument before the April 2017 Supreme Court
ruling, since the ruling was based on California laws that "were
enacted decades ago," according to AT&T.

Chen was not persuaded, noting that "there had been no favorable
court rulings" the plaintiffs could have cited earlier in the
case.  "The Court also finds that Plaintiffs acted with
reasonable diligence once there was a ruling favorable to them,"
Chen wrote.

The state Supreme Court ruling is applicable in this case because
the customer agreement between AT&T and the plaintiffs "contained
the problematic provision above barring public injunctive relief
in any forum (arbitration or otherwise)," Judge Chen wrote.
"That renders the arbitration agreement in its entirety -- per
the poison pill -- a nullity."

Judge Chen did rule that arbitration should be compelled for one
of the plaintiffs, who lives in Alabama, but not for the
plaintiffs that live in California.  Judge Chen thus granted the
plaintiffs' motion to reconsider its arbitration ruling, and --
upon reconsideration -- denied AT&T's motion to compel
arbitration for California residents.

As a result, the plaintiffs can now proceed with their case in US
District Court against AT&T.  However, AT&T will appeal Judge
Chen's latest decision, presumably in the US Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit.  "We respectfully disagree with the decision
and we plan to appeal," AT&T told Ars.

This isn't the only lawsuit AT&T faces over its unlimited data
throttling.  The Federal Trade Commission has been trying to get
refunds for customers since October 2014, but AT&T claimed the
FTC has no jurisdiction over the company.  In February, the Ninth
Circuit appeals court ruled against AT&T, allowing the FTC to
continue its lawsuit against the company.

Customers' suit seeks refunds
The proposed class-action lawsuit in California was filed in July
2015.  An amended complaint alleged that AT&T "lured consumers
into purchasing smartphones, wireless data cards and mobile
service plans by aggressively promoting 'unlimited' data service
plans without disclosing, or adequately disclosing, that its so-
called 'unlimited' plans are actually limited."

AT&T had been throttling customers' unlimited data plans for the
remainder of each month after non-LTE users exceeded 3GB of data
usage and after LTE users exceeded 5GB.  Shortly before the
lawsuit was filed, AT&T eased up on the aggressive throttling so
that it no longer applied 24 hours a day.  Currently, AT&T
customers can be throttled after using 22GB in a month but only
during periods of "network congestion."

The 2015 complaint sought certification of the class of customers
who were affected by the throttling and an injunction permanently
barring AT&T from continuing the alleged "improper conduct and
practices."

Plaintiffs also sought refunds for customers, financial damages
including "all profits and unjust enrichment that Defendant
obtained as a result of its unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent
business practices and conduct," and further damages "for
Defendant's knowing, willful, and intentional conduct." [GN]


ATLANTIC RECOVERY: Scavo Seeks Damages for Invasion of Privacy
--------------------------------------------------------------
MICHAEL SCAVO, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. ATLANTIC RECOVERY SOLUTIONS, LLC; DOES 1-10,
inclusive, Case No. 2:18-cv-01094-GJP (E.D. Pa., March 14, 2018),
seeks damages and other available legal or equitable remedies
resulting from the Defendants' alleged illegal actions in
negligently, knowingly and willfully contacting the Plaintiff on
his cellular telephone in violation of the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act, thereby, invading his privacy.

Atlantic Recovery Solutions, LLC, is a company involved in
consumer debt buying and recovery/collection.  The identities of
the Doe Defendants are currently unknown to the Plaintiff.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Cynthia Z. Levin, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF TODD M. FRIEDMAN, P.C.
          1150 First Avenue, Suite 501
          King of Prussia, PA 19406
          Telephone: (888) 595-9111
          Facsimile: (866) 633-0228
          E-mail: clevin@attomeysforconsumers.com


AVINGER INC: Enters Into Class Action Settlement Agreement
----------------------------------------------------------
Avinger, Inc. (Nasdaq:AVGR) ("Avinger" or the "Company"), a
leading developer of innovative treatments for peripheral artery
disease (PAD), on March 21 disclosed that it has entered into a
binding memorandum of understanding to settle the securities
class actions pending against the Company and several of its
officers and directors.  The settlement is subject to final
documentation, notice to class members, and approval of the
court.

Avinger took part in a mediation on this matter on February 8,
2018.  While a settlement was not reached then, the parties
continued discussions and they ultimately reached agreement.  The
settlement is for a total of $5 million and, if approved by the
court, will result in a full release of claims against all
defendants.  The Company's total contribution to the settlement
fund will be $1.76 million and has been accrued as of the fourth
quarter of 2017.

                     About Avinger, Inc.

Avinger -- http://www.avinger.com-- is a commercial-stage
medical device company that designs and develops the first-ever
image-guided, catheter-based system that diagnoses and treats
patients with peripheral artery disease (PAD).  Avinger is
dedicated to radically changing the way vascular disease is
treated through its Lumivascular platform, which currently
consists of the Lightbox imaging console, the Ocelot family of
chronic total occlusion (CTO) catheters, and the
Pantheris(R)family of atherectomy devices.  Avinger is based in
Redwood City, CA. [GN]


BALLARD POWER: Howard G. Smith Files Securities Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
Law Offices of Howard G. Smith disclosed that a class action
lawsuit has been filed on behalf of investors that purchased or
otherwise acquired securities of Ballard Power Systems Inc.
("Ballard" or the "Company") (NASDAQ: BLDP) securities between
September 30, 2016, and January 25, 2018, inclusive (the "Class
Period"). Ballard investors have until March 28, 2018 to file a
lead plaintiff motion.

Investors that suffered losses on their Ballard investments are
encouraged to contact the Law Offices of Howard G. Smith to
discuss their legal rights in this class action at 888-638-4847
or by email to howardsmith@howardsmithlaw.com.

On January 25, 2018, Spruce Point Capital Management published a
report asserting, among other things, that Ballard misrepresented
its operations. For example, the report alleges that contrary to
Ballard's public statements, "there are no demonstration lines
operating in Guangdong and that no bus lines are in service in
Sanshui or Yunfu." The report further stated that local press
releases indicate that Foshan has produced 114 fuel cell vehicle
buses, but that a Foshan employee claimed that "far fewer buses
have been produced to date and only 11 are licensed." On this
news, shares of Ballard fell $0.52, or over 13%, to close at
$3.27 on January 25, 2018, thereby injuring investors.

The Complaint filed in this class action alleges that throughout
the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading
statements regarding the Company's business, operational and
compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or
misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) the
Company had overstated the operations of its China-based partners
Broad Ocean and Synergy JV; (ii) Ballard's technologies had not
been deployed in China to the extent the Company had represented;
and (iii) as a result of the foregoing, Ballard shares traded at
artificially inflated prices during the Class Period, and class
members suffered significant losses and damages.

If you purchased shares of Ballard, have information or would
like to learn more about these claims, or have any questions
concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with
respect to these matters, please contact Howard G. Smith,
Esquire, of Law Offices of Howard G. Smith, 3070 Bristol Pike,
Suite 112, Bensalem, Pennsylvania 19020 by telephone at (215)
638-4847, toll-free at (888) 638-4847, or by email to
howardsmith@howardsmithlaw.com, or visit our website at
www.howardsmithlaw.com

Investors that suffered losses on their Ballard investments are
encouraged to contact the Law Offices of Howard G. Smith to
discuss their legal rights in this class action at 888-638-4847
or by email to howardsmith@howardsmithlaw.com.

On January 25, 2018, Spruce Point Capital Management published a
report asserting, among other things, that Ballard misrepresented
its operations. For example, the report alleges that contrary to
Ballard's public statements, "there are no demonstration lines
operating in Guangdong and that no bus lines are in service in
Sanshui or Yunfu." The report further stated that local press
releases indicate that Foshan has produced 114 fuel cell vehicle
buses, but that a Foshan employee claimed that "far fewer buses
have been produced to date and only 11 are licensed." On this
news, shares of Ballard fell $0.52, or over 13%, to close at
$3.27 on January 25, 2018, thereby injuring investors.

The Complaint filed in this class action alleges that throughout
the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading
statements regarding the Company's business, operational and
compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or
misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) the
Company had overstated the operations of its China-based partners
Broad Ocean and Synergy JV; (ii) Ballard's technologies had not
been deployed in China to the extent the Company had represented;
and (iii) as a result of the foregoing, Ballard shares traded at
artificially inflated prices during the Class Period, and class
members suffered significant losses and damages.

If you purchased shares of Ballard, have information or would
like to learn more about these claims, or have any questions
concerning this announcement or your rights or interests with
respect to these matters, please contact Howard G. Smith,
Esquire, of Law Offices of Howard G. Smith, 3070 Bristol Pike,
Suite 112, Bensalem, Pennsylvania 19020 by telephone at (215)
638-4847, toll-free at (888) 638-4847, or by email to
howardsmith@howardsmithlaw.com, or visit our website at
www.howardsmithlaw.com.

         Howard G. Smith, Esq.
         Law Offices of Howard G. Smith
         Telephone: 215-638-4847
                    888-638-4847
         E-mail: www.howardsmithlaw.com [GN]


BEER STORE: Ontario Court Dismisses $1.4-Bil. Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
The Beer Store on March 19 disclosed that a $1.4 billion class
action lawsuit launched against the Company three years ago has
been dismissed by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

"We have always believed this case was completely without merit
and now the court has agreed," said the Beer Store Board Chair
Charlie Angelakos.  "The case was filled with factual errors and
fundamentally misunderstood the way alcohol products are sold in
Ontario."

The sale of alcohol has always been regulated by the Province of
Ontario, as is its jurisdiction.  Regulations fall under the
Liquor Control Act.  The Beer Store has always operated according
to the rules established by the Province for the regulation, sale
and distribution of beer, and continues to do so today.

The plaintiffs have 30 days to commence an appeal.

                     About the Beer Store

The Beer Store --http://www.thebeerstore.ca-- offers customers
over 800 brands, provided by over 200 brewers.  It's a completely
open system that allows any brewer in the world to sell its brand
in any Beer Store location it chooses.  The Beer Store is also
deeply committed to the responsible sale of alcohol.  In 2016,
over 3.5 million customers were challenged on the basis of their
age or intoxication. It is also one of the greenest retailers in
the world, collecting around 1.6 billion beer containers and 349
million wine and spirit containers in 2016.  The Beer Store is
owned by 30 Ontario-based brewers and employs 7,000 hard-working
Ontarians. [GN]


BELLICUM PHARMACEUTICALS: Faces "Rudy" Securities Suit in Texas
---------------------------------------------------------------
FRANCES J. RUDY, Individually and on Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated v. BELLICUM PHARMACEUTICALS, INC., RICHARD A.
FAIR and ALAN A. MUSSO, Case No. 4:18-cv-00795 (S.D. Tex., March
14, 2018), is a securities fraud class action brought on behalf
of all persons, who purchased Bellicum securities between May 8,
2017, and January 30, 2018, seeking to pursue remedies under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Throughout the Class Period, the Defendants violated the federal
securities laws by disseminating false and misleading statements
to the investing public regarding the Company's business,
operations and financial results, the Plaintiff contends.
Specifically, the Plaintiff asserts, the Defendants failed to
disclose that a substantial undisclosed risk of encephalopathy
(brain damage) was associated with the Company's lead product
candidate, BPX-501, and that as a result, the Company's public
statements were materially false and misleading and omitted
material information at all relevant times.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Bellicum operates as a clinical-
stage biopharmaceutical company.  The Company is focused on
discovering and developing novel cellular immunotherapies for
various forms of cancer.  The Company's lead clinical product
candidate, BPX-501, is an adjunct T-cell therapy administered
after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation
("HSCT"), also known as bone marrow transplantation.

Richard A. Fair is the President, Chief Executive Officer and a
director of the Company.  Alan A. Musso is the Chief Financial
Officer and Treasurer of the Company.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jason A. Richardson, Esq.
          MCDOWELL HETHERINGTON LLP
          1001 Fannin Street, Suite 2700
          Houston, TX 77002
          Telephone: (713) 337-8872
          Facsimile: (713) 337-8862
          E-mail: Jason.Richardson@mhllp.com

               - and -

          Robert J. Robbins, Esq.
          ROBBINS GELLER RUDMAN & DOWD LLP
          120 East Palmetto Park Road, Suite 500
          Boca Raton, FL 33432
          Telephone: (561) 750-3000
          Facsimile: (561) 750-3364
          E-mail: rrobbins@rgrdlaw.com

               - and -

          David C. Walton, Esq.
          ROBBINS GELLER RUDMAN & DOWD LLP
          655 West Broadway, Suite 1900
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 231-1058
          Facsimile: (619) 231-7423
          E-mail: davew@rgrdlaw.com

               - and -

          Michael I. Fistel, Jr., Esq.
          JOHNSON FISTEL, LLP
          40 Powder Springs Street
          Marietta, GA 30064
          Telephone: (770) 200-3104
          Facsimile: (770) 200-3101
          E-mail: michaelf@johnsonfistel.com


BIOCRYST PHARMA: Gainey McKenna Files Securities Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------
Gainey McKenna & Egleston disclosed that they have filed a class
action lawsuit on behalf of their client against BioCryst
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. in the United States District Court for the
District of Delaware on behalf of current common stock holders of
BioCryst, seeking to pursue remedies under the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act").

On January 21, 2018, BioCryst and Idera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
("IDRA"), Nautilus Holdco, Inc., a direct, wholly owned
subsidiary of BCRX ("Holdco"), Island Merger Sub, Inc., a direct,
wholly owned subsidiary of Holdco ("Merger Sub A"), and Boat
Merger Sub, Inc., a direct, wholly owned subsidiary of Holdco
("Merger Sub B"), entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger
(the "Merger Agreement").  Pursuant to the Merger Agreement, and
subject to the satisfaction or waiver of the conditions specified
therein, (a) Merger Sub A shall be merged with and into IDRA (the
"IDRA Merger"), with IDRA surviving as a wholly owned subsidiary
of Holdco, and (b) Merger Sub B shall be merged with and into
BCRX (the "BCRX Merger", and, together with the IDRA Merger, the
"Proposed Mergers"), with BCRX surviving as a wholly owned
subsidiary of Holdco.  Holdco will be renamed prior to the
closing of the Mergers.

At the effective time of the Mergers (the "Effective Time"), (i)
each share of common stock, par value $0.01 per share, of BCRX
("BCRX Common Stock") issued and outstanding immediately prior to
the Effective Time (other than the shares that are owned by BCRX,
IDRA, Holdco, Merger Sub A or Merger Sub B or any wholly owned
subsidiary of BCRX, IDRA, Holdco, Merger Sub A or Merger Sub B)
will be converted into the right to receive 0.50 (the "BCRX
Exchange Ratio") of a newly issued share of common stock (the
"Holdco Common Stock"), par value $0.01 per share, of Holdco (the
"BCRX Merger Consideration").  No fractional shares of Holdco
Common Stock will be issued in the Mergers, and BCRX stockholders
will receive cash in lieu of fractional shares as part of the
BCRX Merger Consideration, as specified in the Merger Agreement.
Following the Effective Time, BCRX common stockholders will own
approximately 51.6% of the shares of Holdco Common Stock on a
fully diluted basis, and IDRA common stockholders will own 48.4%.

On February 27, 2018, Defendants filed a Form S-4 Registration
Statement (the "S-4") with the United States Securities and
Exchange Commission ("SEC") in connection with the Proposed
Mergers.

The Complaint alleges that the Proposed Mergers and the S-4
issued describing them are materially deficient and misleading
because, inter alia, the S-4 fails to disclose material
information about the process leading to the Proposed Mergers.
Without all material information, BioCryst common stock holders
cannot make an informed decision on whether to approve the
Proposed Mergers.  The Complaint alleges that the failure to
adequately disclose such material information constitutes
violations of Sections 14(a) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act and
Rule 14a-9 promulgated thereunder.

Investors who currently hold BioCryst common stock should contact
the Firm prior to the May 22, 2018 lead plaintiff motion
deadline.  A lead plaintiff is a representative party acting on
behalf of other class members in directing the litigation.  If
you wish to discuss your rights or interests regarding this class
action, please contact Thomas J. McKenna, Esq. or Gregory M.
Egleston, Esq. of Gainey McKenna & Egleston at (212) 983-1300, or
via e-mail at tjmckenna@gme-law.com or gegleston@gme-law.com.

Please visit our website at http://www.gme-law.comfor more
information about the firm.

         Thomas J. McKenna, Esq.
         Gregory M. Egleston, Esq.
         Gainey McKenna & Egleston
         Telephone:(212) 983-1300
         E-mail:  tjmckenna@gme-law.com
                  gegleston@gme-law.com [GN]


BLACKBERRY LTD: Judge Rejects Request to Dismiss Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------------
Jonathan Stempel and Jim Finkle, writing for Reuters, report that
a U.S. judge on March 19 rejected BlackBerry Ltd's request to
dismiss a lawsuit claiming it inflated its stock price and
defrauded shareholders by painting a misleadingly positive
picture of sales prospects for its BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

While an earlier version of the case was dismissed in March 2015,
Chief Judge Colleen McMahon of the U.S. District Court in
Manhattan said the proposed class action can proceed now.

She said new information about BlackBerry's alleged conduct had
surfaced during the criminal prosecution of an executive at a
retailer that sold its smartphones.

The judge also cited a new legal standard adopted by the U.S.
Supreme Court that could make it easier for some plaintiffs to
show that statements of opinion might be misleading.

Other defendants include former Chief Executive Thorsten Heins,
former Chief Financial Officer Brian Bidulka and Chief Legal
Officer Steve Zipperstein.

BlackBerry spokeswoman Sarah McKinney declined to comment.

A lawyer for the defendants did not immediately respond to
requests for comment.

The BlackBerry 10 won positive reviews from critics, but never
caught on with the public, which preferred Android-based phones
and Apple Inc's iPhone.  BlackBerry decided in 2016 to stop
making its own smartphones.

Shareholders had accused BlackBerry of concealing BlackBerry 10's
true sales prospects in public statements during 2013.

The amended complaint was based in part on information from the
2015 prosecution of James Dunham, a former chief operating
officer at the retailer Wireless Zone.

That case revealed how an April 2013 report by Detwiler Fenton
showing a high return rate for the BlackBerry 10 was based on
data sold by Dunham from some 400 Wireless Zone stores.

Dunham pleaded guilty to selling confidential wireless industry
information and was sentenced to five months in prison.

Judge McMahon said the plaintiffs have made a "plausible showing"
that BlackBerry's public response to the Detwiler report,
including that customers were "satisfied" and return rates were
"at or below our forecasts and right in line with the industry,"
contradicted data it allegedly had from Wireless Zone.

She said she would address later the merits of BlackBerry's
arguments that its statements were not misleading. [GN]


BLAIR COUNTY, PA: Inmates' Class Action Over Cash Bail Dismissed
----------------------------------------------------------------
Phil Ray, writing for Altoona Mirror, reports that an Altoona man
awaiting trial on multiple drug charges is asking a federal judge
to release him from the Blair County Prison because, he said he
has already spent 20 months behind bars awaiting disposition of
his case.

Carlos S. Benitez, 46, contends he has lost two jobs since his
initial arrest in June 2016 and that relationships with his
family "have suffered indescribably" because of his arrests.

He stated that during his incarceration, his mother in
Philadelphia died and his requests to be released to attend her
funeral were denied.

Mr. Benitez also complains that his mental health has "suffered
greatly" because of the damage to his reputation, and because he
had to grieve in prison, "Not being able to say proper goodbyes
to his mother, to whom he was extremely close."

Acting as his own attorney for the federal complaint, Mr. Benitez
complains about the specifics of his drug charges.

He stated he is facing trial on six charges, but contends the
initial search warrant was defective in several ways.

His complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court in Johnstown,
asks that he be immediately released from prison.

Mr. Benitez's latest attempt to be released on bail occurred in
February when he appeared before Blair County Judge Daniel J.
Milliron.

His bail, he said, was revoked Sept. 1 by Judge Timothy M.
Sullivan and he was asking that new bail be set since he had
spent yet another six months behind bars without trial on the
2016 charges.

Blair County First Assistant District Attorney Pete Weeks argued
in February that Benitez had his bail revoked because he failed
several urine tests that were required for his pretrial release.

Judge Milliron refused to grant new bail, pointing out Judge
Sullivan revoked bail after an extensive hearing.

Mr. Weeks explained that Mr. Benitez's cases have not taken an
unusual amount of time to make their way through the justice
system.  He pointed out that after Mr. Benitez's initial arrest,
his bail was lowered so he could be released.

Mr. Weeks said Mr. Benitez violated conditions of his release and
that led to Judge Sullivan's revocation order.

The first assistant district attorney pointed out that a jury was
selected to try Mr. Benitez and that trial is scheduled for
April 11-13.

The trial has been delayed due to the filing of pretrial motions
by Benitez's attorney, Scott N. Pletcher, but, Mr. Weeks said the
delays have not been unusually lengthy.

The federal petition was filed and so far no action has been
taken by authorities to review it.

Mr. Benitez is among several suspects from Blair County who this
year have asked the U.S. District Court to intervene in their
Blair County cases.

David Barr Jr., who is awaiting trial on drug offenses, filed a
petition in January asking for release after months of pretrial
incarceration so he could seek drug treatment.  That petition is
on appeal.

Recently, Mr. Barr attempted to file a class action lawsuit on
behalf of six inmates who have remained in prison in lieu of cash
bail.

That has been dismissed pending the payment of filing fees by the
inmates.

Olubaya Ranger, a convicted drug dealer, sought federal
intervention to delay his imprisonment as he continues his
challenge to a search conducted by local police that led to his
initial arrest.  His case remains under federal review although
Ranger in late February was ordered to begin serving his prison
sentence. [GN]


BLUE BUFFALO: Dog Food Lead Contamination Suit Dismissed
--------------------------------------------------------
Corrado Rizzi, writing for ClassAction.org, reports that after a
drawn-out fight, a U.S. District Judge has ruled that the claims
brought forth by the June 2017 lead contamination suit are barred
by a previous settlement.  Blue Buffalo in 2016 paid $32 million
to settle false advertising claims over its dog food products --
and while the claims made in both cases weren't identical, the
judge found that they were similar enough to prevent the most
recent case from proceeding any further.

A copy of the order is available at:

   https://www.classaction.org/media/blue-buffalo-dismiss.pdf

A proposed class action lawsuit filed in California alleges Blue
Buffalo Pet Products, Inc. knowingly makes, markets and sells dog
food contaminated with material and significant levels of lead.

Which products are mentioned in the lawsuit?
The 24-page lawsuit, filed in California, claims the below
products, at minimum, are contaminated with lead:

   -- Blue Wilderness Chicken Recipe for Small Breed Adult Dogs
   -- Blue Freedom Grain-Free Chicken Recipe for Small Breed
Adult Dogs
   -- Blue Basics Grain-Free Turkey & Potato Recipe for Adult
Dogs

The complaint notes each of the above products are sold by the
defendant alongside claims that they contain "LifeSource Bits,"
which are advertised as a "precise blend of antioxidants,
vitamins and minerals" chosen by holistic veterinarians and
animal nutrition experts.

What are the allegations?
The lawsuit alleges Blue Buffalo Pet Products has knowingly
advertised and sold dog food contaminated with lead without
providing proper warning to consumers.  Blue Buffalo Pet
Products' claims, especially that some of its ostensibly
contaminated food contains blends of antioxidants, vitamins and
minerals, for instance, is likely to deceive the public into
believing the dog food is healthy and "holistic," according to
the suit.

"Nothing could be further from the truth," the case argues, "as
the contaminated foods' inclusion of an unsafe amount of lead
creates a health hazard for dogs."

The plaintiff argues he and other pet owners paid a premium price
for dog food that did not deliver on what was promised.  Even
worse, proposed class members bought the above dog food with the
belief that the products were safe and that the labeling on the
products' packaging was accurate, the case says.

What health problems can lead exposure cause in dogs?
The complaint wages lead builds up in the body slowly over time
and has been scientifically linked to the development of chronic
poisoning, cancer, and developmental and reproductive disorders,
as well as injuries to the nervous system.

Does the case say if any Good Dogs were injured?
The plaintiff alleges his dog, a four-year-old cocker spaniel-
poodle mix, experienced kidney disease and ultimately kidney
failure as a result of ingesting the defendant's products as its
primary source of food.  The case describes this Good Dog's
condition as a "shocking occurrence" since it was only four years
old.

Who's covered by the lawsuit?
The suit seeks to cover a proposed class of consumers in the
United States who purchased any of the above-listed dog food for
household use (not for resale) between July 1, 2013 and the
present.  A California subclass has also been proposed. [GN]


CANADA: Class Action Against RCMP Over Seized Guns Dropped
----------------------------------------------------------
Kevin Martin, writing for Calgary Sun, reports that a proposed
class action lawsuit seeking $5 million from the RCMP for the
unlawful seizure of firearms during the 2013 flood has been
dropped due to lack of interest.

Lawyer Clint Docken said on March 19 the claim against the
Mounties was discontinued after no one other than the
representative couple came forward to join the lawsuit.

"We had heard from a couple who were prepared to act as
representative plaintiff, we essentially didn't hear from
others," Mr. Docken said.

"I had no one come forward other than the representative
(plaintiffs)."

To proceed with a class action claim, a party needs to identify a
group of similarly aggrieved individuals.

Despite what Mr. Docken "considered illegal actions on the part
of the RCMP," no other potential class members came forward.

He said the amount of damages each individual plaintiff would
have been due wasn't enough for plaintiff Jane White, and her
husband Donald, to continue with the lawsuit.

"In this case, an individual claim wouldn't have been
economical," Mr. Docken said.  "In class actions, there's
strength in numbers."

He said small groups can proceed with class action claims, but
only where the likely damages would be high.

"It can be a small class with large damages or a large class with
small damages," Mr. Docken explained.

"We had a small damages class (action) and we didn't have a large
class."

A discontinuance of the lawsuit was filed with neither the
plaintiffs nor the defendants, the RCMP and Attorney General of
Canada, incurring any of the other's costs.

In the claim filed by Mr. Docken in February 2015, it was alleged
the Mounties breached the Charter rights of High River residents
by going into their homes and seizing firearms after the
residences were evacuated.

"The RCMP's actions were outside what was sanctioned by the
Alberta Emergency Management Act and beyond what was necessary or
reasonable in the circumstances," the statement of claim said.

"The defendant's conduct . . . was without care and in disregard
of the rights and security of the plaintiff and class, and took
advantage of vulnerable peoples faced with dire circumstances."

Because the class action was never certified by a court, no
statements of defence were ever filed in response to the unproven
allegations. [GN]


CEMEX SAB: Faces Class Action, May 15 Lead Plaintiff Deadline
-------------------------------------------------------------
The securities litigation law firm of Brower Piven, A
Professional Corporation, on March 19 disclosed that a class
action lawsuit has been commenced in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York on behalf of
purchasers of Cemex, S.A.B. de C.V. (NYSE:CX) ("Cemex" or the
"Company") securities during the period between August 14, 2014
and March 13, 2018, inclusive (the "Class Period").  Investors
who wish to become proactively involved in the litigation have
until May 15, 2018 to seek appointment as lead plaintiff.

If you wish to choose counsel to represent you and the class, you
must apply to be appointed lead plaintiff and be selected by the
Court.  The lead plaintiff will direct the litigation and
participate in important decisions including whether to accept a
settlement for the class in the action.  The lead plaintiff will
be selected from among applicants claiming the largest loss from
investment in Cemex securities during the Class Period.  Members
of the class will be represented by the lead plaintiff and
counsel chosen by the lead plaintiff.  No class has yet been
certified in the above action.

The complaint accuses the defendants of violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 by virtue of the defendants'
failure to disclose during the Class Period that Cemex executives
had engaged in an unlawful bribery scheme in connection with the
Company's business dealings in Colombia which would likely
subject the Company to heightened regulatory scrutiny and
potential criminal sanctions, and that the Company lacked
adequate internal controls over financial reporting.

According to the complaint, following a September 23, 2016
announcement regarding the dismissal of two senior executives
after an internal probe found that payments worth $20 million
relating to a land deal in Colombia had breached company
protocols, and a March 14, 2018 announcement that the U.S.
Department of Justice is investigating over payments made by the
Company relating to a cement plant it is building in Colombia,
the value of Cemex American Depositary Receipts declined
significantly.

If you have suffered a loss in excess of $100,000 from investment
in Cemex securities purchased on or after August 14, 2014 and
held through the revelation of negative information during and/or
at the end of the Class Period and would like to learn more about
this lawsuit and your ability to participate as a lead plaintiff,
without cost or obligation to you, please contact Brower Piven
either by email at hoffman@browerpiven.com or by telephone at
(410) 415-6616.

Attorneys at Brower Piven have extensive experience in litigating
securities and other class action cases and have been advocating
for the rights of shareholders since the 1980s.  If you choose to
retain counsel, you may retain Brower Piven without financial
obligation or cost to you, or you may retain other counsel of
your choice.  You need take no action at this time to be a member
of the class. [GN]



CENTRA TECH: Moves to Compel Arbitration of Cryptocurrency Case
---------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Friedman, Esq. -- tfriedman@knpa.com -- of Kenny Nachwalter,
in an article for Law.com, reports that the cryptocurrency market
capitalization peaked in January at $835 billion and then
promptly lost nearly half of its value by the following month.
After $400 billion vanished, lawsuits quickly filled the void,
including two class actions filed in the Southern District of
Florida.  These cases present the Southern District of Florida
with an opportunity to serve as the first federal court to
publish decisions on digital currency issues, including whether
these currencies are securities, commodities, or an altogether
new class of assets.

Centra Tech

The first cryptocurrency-related class action filed in the
Southern District of Florida alleges that Miami Beach's Centra
Tech violated federal securities law by selling unregistered
securities.  The class claims that Centra Tech raised over $30
million by hosting an ICO (initial coin offering) of CTR tokens.
According to Centra Tech, CTR tokens enable its holders to access
and navigate Centra Tech's product line.  The product line boasts
a variety of audacious digital currency financial products under
development, none of which would be more revolutionary than a
prepaid card purportedly capable of holding any major digital
currency (i.e., Bitcoin, Ether, Ripple, etc.), transacting on any
existing payment card network (like Visa or MasterCard), and
exchanging digital for fiat currency in real time.

The class seeks a determination that CTR tokens are securities,
entitling the class to certain rights and privileges under
federal securities law.  However, it is unlikely that the court
will weigh in on that issue for quite some time.  Centra Tech has
moved to compel arbitration, and separately, it argues that the
class representative lacks standing because he did not suffer a
monetary loss.

In arguing that arbitration should be compelled, Centra Tech
claims the class representative signed an agreement containing an
arbitration clause and a class-action waiver provision.  Centra
Tech contends that the "main way" customers, including the class
representative, purchased CTR tokens was by registering on Centra
Tech's website.  To register, users necessarily clicked through a
series of online pages and links, including digitally signing an
agreement containing an arbitration and class-action waiver
provision.  Centra Tech points to its possession of the class
representative's personal information as proof of his
participation in the registration process.

In response, the class representative counters that he did not
register on Centra Tech's website.  Rather, he claims he
purchased his tokens from a "smart contract" address.  Smart
contracts are automated, self-executing protocols that control
the transfer of digital assets in accordance with specified
conditions (analogous to a vending machine).  Digital currencies
are platforms on which developers build and host smart contracts.
In practice, this means the class representative would not have
to visit Centra Tech's website to purchase CTR tokens. Instead,
he could purchase CTR tokens by sending Ether (ETH) from his
digital wallet to a smart contract address on Ethereum's
blockchain and avoid visiting Centra Tech's website altogether.

Resolution of this arbitration issue will require an examination
of the facts, and might provide an opportunity for the court to
discuss smart contracts.

The class representative's standing is also at issue.  Centra
Tech argues that the class representative did not suffer a loss.
The class representative purchased approximately 8,000 CTR tokens
valued at $0.42 per token.  He then sold those tokens three
months later at $0.50 per token, apparently reaping a profit of
nearly 20 percent.  However, the class representative counters
that he suffered a loss of 2.38 Ether (ETH) or nearly $2,000.  He
says he purchased his 8,000 CTR tokens with 16.1 ETH and then
sold them three months later, receiving 13.72 ETH in return. (ETH
rose in value by more than 30 percent during that timeframe,
hence the smaller payout.) In other words, if the class
representative had never purchased these unregistered securities
and merely held onto his ETH, he claims would have 2.38 ETH more
in his pocket.  This issue presents an opportunity to render an
early decision on the proper mechanism for measuring damages when
assessing these volatile currencies.

Utility Tokens
Ultimately, if the class representative overcomes these initial
obstacles, the ultimate question is whether CTR tokens are
securities under the Howey test.  Under the Howey test, a
security is an investment of money in a common enterprise with an
expectation of profits predominantly from the efforts of others.
Centra Tech is positioning itself toward arguing that CTR tokens
are not securities because they are "utility tokens."  In other
words, Centra Tech will argue along the lines that CTR tokens are
assets with functional utility beyond serving as, for example,
digital stock certificates.  Centra Tech has yet to describe the
CTR token's functional utility in detail, but any judicial
decision on this argument will garner intense scrutiny by all
interested parties for guidance.  For an idea of what constitutes
a utility, two contrasting examples are useful.

Codex Protocol
Codex Protocol is developing the Codex Title token that could
serve as a strong example of a pure utility token.  Codex
Protocol aims to build a digital, decentralized title registry to
track ownership of art and collectibles.  To track art and
collectibles on this digital registry, owners of artwork or
collectible will acquire discrete, nonfungible Codex Title
tokens.  Each token will correspond to discrete, non-fungible
artwork or collectibles.  In other words, each Codex Title token
serves as a digital record of title and ownership, like a
certificate of title or bill of sale.  Thereafter, anytime owners
sell their art or collectible, they will also transfer their
Codex Title token to the purchaser.  Using Codex Title tokens,
anyone can verify an items ownership and provenance on a public,
immutable ledger to better ascertain an item's authenticity.
Altogether, Codex Title tokens exemplify utility tokens because
they serve the functional purpose of registering ownership,
recording provenance, and facilitating the exchange of property.

Munchee
As distinct from the Codex Title token, Munchee's token--the MUN
Token--presents an example of a token that will likely not be
deemed a utility token.  Toward the end of 2017, the SEC ordered
Munchee to cease and desist from hosting an ICO to publicly sell
MUN Tokens.  Munchee represented that MUN Tokens would serve as
utility tokens on its decentralized application (commonly known
as a DApp).  Munchee developed a restaurant-review DApp (like
Yelp), which required the use of MUN tokens to access and
navigate.  Under its model, MUN token holders would draft
restaurant reviews and upload content on Munchee's DApp. Munchee
would reward reviewers with MUN tokens.  In return, MUN Ttoken
holders would then pay for meals at participating restaurants
with MUN tokens or exchange them for a share of Munchee's
advertising revenues.

The SEC concluded that profits from MUN tokens would primarily
come from the entrepreneurial and managerial efforts of Munchee
"and its agents" because Munchee would "revise the Munchee app,
create the 'ecosystem' that would increase the value of MUN,"
"and support secondary markets." (In contrast, Codex Protocol is
"open source" meaning that anyone can modify its code, somewhat
like the way anyone can modify content on Wikipedia.)
Consequently, the SEC argued, "Investors had little choice but to
rely on Munchee and its expertise.  At the time of the offering
and sale of MUN tokens, no other person could make changes to the
Munchee app or was working to create an 'ecosystem' to create
demand for MUN tokens."  The SEC also pointed to the sale of MUN
Tokens on secondary markets as evidence of investors expecting
profits.

Conclusion
Although the cryptocurrency market lost an eye-popping $400
billion in value over the past month, it still boasts a $435
billion valuation.  It has continued to persevere and gain
mainstream adoption, notwithstanding a corresponding increase in
skepticism.  Indeed, the SEC, the Chinese Communist Party and the
South Korean Financial Supervisory Service have both encouraged
regulated development of blockchain technology, central banks in
England and Saudi Arabia have announced experimentation with
digital currency projects, and even Venezuela launched a national
cryptocurrency supposedly backed by oil and other commodities.
It is only a matter of time until the Southern District of
Florida will play a pivotal role in contributing to this rapidly
developing space.

Todd Friedman, an associate at Kenny Nachwalter, focuses his
practice on business litigation.  He has second-chaired several
trials in Florida's state and federal courts and first-chaired an
appeal before a Florida appellate court.  In addition to his
trial and appellate experiences, Todd also has participated in
several arbitrations, mediations, settlement conferences,
hearings and other court proceedings. [GN]


CENTURYLINK: Faces Lawsuit Over Customer Data Privacy Violation
---------------------------------------------------------------
Nat Levy, writing for GeekWire, reports that a lawsuit against
internet provider CenturyLink and AT&T-owned DirecTV alleges the
companies fail to adequately protect personal customer data -- to
the point that it can be found through a simple internet search.

The suit was filed on March 19 in U.S. District Court in Seattle
and seeks class action status.  The plaintiff, James Jantos, a
resident of King County, claims he discovered the issue last year
when he ran an internet search on his phone number and came
across a March 2017 bill for a bundle with CenturyLink and
DirecTV he subscribed to that included his name, address,
telephone number and other information.  He performed other
searches to make sure the information wasn't just available to
him because it was his account.

According to court documents, Mr. Jantos was able to find other
subscribers' personal information through internet searches.  He
had someone else run a search on his number, and that person was
able to access his data.

Mr. Jantos, through legal representatives, alerted CenturyLink to
the issue, the suit alleges.  According to his suit, CenturyLink
acknowledged that customer information had been made publicly
available.

CenturyLink declined to comment on the suit. DirecTV parent
company AT&T said it is reviewing the complaint and claimed the
allegations do not involve DirecTV bills directly.  Members of
Mr. Jantos' legal team have not returned a request for comment.

Mr. Jantos' team asked for "punitive damages" and "liquidated
damages computed at the rate of $100 a day for each violation."
The suit alleges that CenturyLink and DirecTV are in violation of
Section 338 of the Communications Act, which says satellite
carriers can't disclose customer information without written
consent and must take steps to protect customer information from
being accessed by others.

Customer data privacy has become a major issue in recent years,
with companies of all kinds coming under fire for hacks, data
breaches and other situations.  Facebook is in hot water over
reports that Cambridge Analytica, a firm that uses data to
determine voter personality traits and behavior, illegitimately
obtained information about 50 million Facebook users to help
conservative campaigns, including that of President Donald Trump.

On March 20, online travel company Orbitz disclosed a potential
hack of a legacy booking system that exposed two years worth of
customer data and affected approximately 880,000 payment cards.
[GN]


CHINA AGRITECH: Case Will Turn on Justices' Opinions of CA
----------------------------------------------------------
Rich Samp, writing for Forbes, reports that during oral arguments
in China Agritech, Inc. v. Resh, the U.S. Supreme Court
ostensibly will be considering a technical issue regarding
statutes of limitations: when should the doctrine of "equitable
tolling" be applied to extend the deadline for filing a class
action lawsuit? But how the justices determine the scope of that
judge-made doctrine has little to do with applying well-
established equitable doctrines in this area of the law (there
aren't any) and everything to do with how warmly they feel about
class litigation as a vehicle for providing effective relief for
large numbers of plaintiffs with small claims. The evidence
suggests that the Court is far less enamored with class actions
than it once was and will use China Agritech to cut back on their
use.

In its 1974 decision in American Pipe and Construction Co. v.
Utah, the Court held that the filing of a putative class action
extends the deadline by which absent class members would
otherwise be required to file their own individual claims. The
Court concluded that class members could reasonably assume that
their interests were being adequately represented in the initial
class action and thus need not file their own separate lawsuits.
It held that if the judge hearing the initial lawsuit ultimately
denies a motion to certify a plaintiff class, the running of the
limitations period for filing individual suits should be deemed
to have been tolled until the date of denial. As a result, absent
class members still have time to file their own lawsuit following
the denial of class certification--even if the events giving rise
to the suit occurred many years previously.

In China Agritech, the Supreme Court will decide what sort of
lawsuit those absent class members are entitled to file. The U.S.
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (in its decision below)
ruled that equitable tolling should apply not only to the filing
of individual claims but also to the filing of class claims. In
other words, an individual plaintiff should be permitted to file
a claim on behalf of all the other individuals who also were
absent class members in the initial (uncertified) class action--
and whose claims also would be time-barred but for application of
American Pipe's equitable tolling rule.

The Supreme Court can look to no statute or rule to help it
determine whether to extend American Pipe in the manner advocated
by the Ninth Circuit. The issue essentially boils down to an ad
hoc determination by the justices regarding whether an extension
would be "fair." Arguing in support of the fairness of extending
American Pipe, Respondents note that a suit by an individual
plaintiff often is not economically viable. Thus, they argue, the
right of an absent class member to file an otherwise-time-barred
lawsuit won't amount to much if he is not permitted to pull other
absent class members into his lawsuit as a means of reducing the
per-plaintiff costs.

Petitioners counter by asserting that there is nothing "fair"
about providing a continued right-of-action to absent class
members who sat on their hands even after class certification was
denied. American Pipe excused their inaction while class
certification was pending. But if they do not respond by filing
their own claims following denial of class certification,
Petitioners argue, there is no reason to keep their otherwise-
tardy claims alive simply because some other plaintiff wishes to
reduce his own costs by including them in his lawsuit.

Confronted with an issue that cannot be decided on the basis of
any objective rules, the justices may well decide China Agritech
based on whether they view class actions as an essential tool for
dispensing justice or, as many critics contend, a device all too
frequently used by the plaintiffs' bar to extort funds from free
enterprise. If so, that would be bad news for those seeking to
extend the American Pipe rule; a majority of the Court in recent
years has regularly ruled against class-action plaintiffs. Most
recently, in CalPERS v. ANZ Securities, Inc., the Court held 5-4
that the American Pipe equitable-tolling rule does not apply to
"statutes of repose" (i.e., limitations statutes that begin to
run from the date of wrongdoing, not the date that the plaintiff
discovers the wrongdoing). The Court thus barred tardy claims
filed by absent class members who opted out of a certified class
and sought to file their own lawsuits after the time specified in
the applicable statute of repose had elapsed.

On March 19 argument, a clear sign of trouble for plaintiffs will
be questions focusing on the danger of serial class actions. If
the Ninth Circuit's ruling is upheld, there is a theoretical
possibility that plaintiffs' lawyers could file an infinite
number of putative class actions until they finally find a judge
willing to certify a plaintiff class. After each successive
denial of class certification, lawyers could simply file another
lawsuit on behalf of a new group of absent class members. If
equitable tolling were applied, the claims of each new group
would be timely, and the presence of a new group of named
plaintiffs would mean that the defendant could not invoke
preclusion doctrines as a basis for preventing consideration of a
renewed certification motion.

Indeed, the Respondents in China Agritech are the third group of
plaintiffs--all represented by the same set of lawyers--to file a
putative class action (raising securities law claims) against the
defendant. The district court denied class certification in the
first two lawsuits, but the plaintiffs' lawyers would not take
"no" for an answer. Unless the Supreme Court accepts their pleas
to expand American Pipe tolling, the two-year statute of
limitations for filing securities claims will bar their class
claims. Extensive questioning from the justices regarding why
counsel felt compelled to file seriatim lawsuits would be a
telltale sign that they have little sympathy for the plaintiffs'
claims.

Many class action critics argue that the certification of a large
class imposes undue pressure on defendants to settle even
insubstantial claims. That pressure is due both to the high costs
of litigating certified claims and to the unwillingness of
stockholders to chance even a slight risk of a crushingly large
judgment. Those settlement pressures will only increase if
defendants come to realize that even successful opposition to a
class certification motion will not bring litigation peace--it
will only result in a new lawsuit in which other members of the
proposed class bring identical claims. For justices already wary
of the utility of the modern class action, the tolling claims
asserted by Respondents in China Agritech may be a bridge too
far.
[GN]


CHINA AGRITECH: Justices Consider Tolling Statues Limitation
------------------------------------------------------------
Ronald Mann, writing for SCOTUS Blog, reports that as the melting
snow reveals the first buds of spring, the justices turn again to
a subject perhaps all too familiar to them -- statutes of
limitation in class actions.  You would think that the Supreme
Court had resolved every possible variation on that topic
(usually in favor of the defendants, at least in recent years),
but China Agritech v. Resh brings a new variation on the ability
of plaintiffs to use equitable tolling to file successive
actions.

Much of the litigation in this area involves American Pipe and
Construction Co. v. Utah, a precedent from the Burger era, when
the Supreme Court was still enamored of the potential for class
actions to reduce docket pressures.  American Pipe established a
rule of "equitable tolling," a judge-made doctrine that extends
the deadlines that otherwise would bar an action as untimely.
Specifically, American Pipe permits the individual claimants who
did not participate in an unsuccessful class action to file their
own separate actions after the failure of the class proceeding.
Importantly, American Pipe "tolls" (or suspends) the limitations
period on the actions that the individuals could bring for as
long as the class action is pending. (If you think you've read
something on the blog recently about "tolling," you're probably
remembering the fiercely discordant understandings of that word
in the opinions earlier this year in Artis v. District of
Columbia.) In this context, American Pipe leaves individual
claimants an opportunity to pursue their claims separately after
the failure of the joint proceeding, even if their filings come
after the deadline established by the relevant statute.

The question in this case is whether individuals who have claims
made timely only by American Pipe can band together and file
those claims as a subsequent class action.  In this case, for
example, a group of plaintiffs filed a 2011 class action against
China Agritech, alleging violations of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934. In 2012, the district court rejected a motion for
class certification, holding that the claims were not suited for
joint adjudication.  When the individual plaintiffs settled their
claims, that case was dismissed in September 2012.  A few weeks
later, in October 2012, another group of plaintiffs filed a
similar class action against China Agritech, raising claims under
the Securities Exchange Act related to the same events as the
first class action.  After the district court rejected a motion
for class certification, the second group of plaintiffs
voluntarily dismissed their claims in January 2014.

Several months later, in June 2014, yet another group of
plaintiffs filed this action, raising claims under the Securities
Exchange Act based on the same events as the two previous class
actions.  Because the filing in this case came more than two
years after the events in question, outside the applicable
statute of limitations, China Agritech argued that the district
court should dismiss it as untimely.  The district court ruled
for China Agritech, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th
Circuit overturned that ruling, reinstating the class action.
Presumably responding to disagreement in the lower courts about
the extent to which American Pipe validates so-called "stacked"
class actions, the Supreme Court agreed to review the decision.

Because the tolling doctrine is entirely a creation of case law,
the arguments are straightforward, turning for the most part on
questions about the social value of class actions and the
potential for tolling to facilitate them.  The plaintiffs offer
the simplest path to a decision, emphasizing the undeniable fact
that under American Pipe, all of them had a not-yet-expired right
to file individual actions on the date that they commenced this
case.  Building from that point, they argue that the benefits of
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23, which authorizes class
actions, flow directly to them, necessarily giving them the right
to take the efficient path of bringing their actions collectively
as a class rather than individually in discrete pieces of
litigation.

Conversely, the defendant, China Agritech, portrays the case as
seeking an extension of American Pipe: The Supreme Court has
never approved tolling the limitations period for follow-on class
actions, as opposed to follow-on individual actions. On the
question of whether an extension would be appropriate, China
Agritech makes two principal points.  The first is structural:
The primacy of legislative authority compels a narrow application
of equitable tolling. China Agritech's second, practical, point
is that the sequential burden of repeated class actions (three in
this case) unduly undermines the interests of finality that
statutes of limitation reflect.

It will be fascinating to observe the justices' resolution of
this problem. On the one hand, the plaintiffs may have the better
of the case as a purely doctrinal matter.  It is hard to believe
that the unanimous court that decided American Pipe would have
hesitated to permit the action in this case to proceed. But two
dominant strands in the jurisprudence of the Roberts court
suggest that several of the justices at least will prefer
limiting American Pipe.  The first is the obvious concern about
class actions that has led to new limits on the types of actions
that warrant class adjudication in cases like Wal-Mart v. Dukes
and Comcast v. Behrend.  If you think those cases aren't on the
front burner for the justices this spring, consider the last
section of the blockbuster immigration opinion in Jennings v.
Rodriguez, which goes out of its way to recommend that the lower
courts on remand consider the implications of Wal-Mart even
though none of the briefs of the parties or the amici mention it!
The briefs for the defendant in this case play to that concern
with repeated references to "abusive" and "lawyer-driven" class
actions.  However irrelevant it is to the doctrinal question
presented, that concern is likely to play a role in a case like
this one, which involves three successive class actions based on
the same nucleus of operative facts.

The second strand is perhaps not as obvious -- the steady retreat
from the application of equitable doctrines to temper the effects
of statutes of limitation.  Here Mr. Mann is referring not only
to last term's decision in CalPERS v. ANZ Securities, which held
that tolling under American Pipe did not apply to statutes of
repose, but also to Petrella v. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and SCA
Hygiene Products v. First Quality Baby Products.  The opinions in
those cases (by Justices Anthony Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and
Samuel Alito, respectively) run the ideological gamut, reflecting
an apparently growing consensus among the sitting justices that
it is Congress' role to decide when a lawsuit is stale and not
the role of the justices to tinker around the edges.  It won't
matter so much what a fair reading of American Pipe might suggest
to justices skeptical of its central logic.

The oral argument should indicate whether the justices view this
case as a narrow exercise in interpreting American Pipe or rather
as an opportunity to fashion policies for governing class-based
adjudication.

[Disclosure: Goldstein & Russell, P.C., whose attorneys
contribute to this blog in various capacities, is among the
counsel on an amicus brief in support of the respondents in this
case.  The author of this post is not affiliated with the firm.]
[GN]


CHOICE HOTELS: Lawsuit Accuses Companies of Antitrust Tactics
-------------------------------------------------------------
Elliot Mest, writing for Hotel Management, reports that six of
the hospitality industry's largest hotel companies are named in a
new class-action lawsuit, which claims to have uncovered an
antitrust scheme to reduce competition and raise consumer prices.

The lawsuit, which has been filed by class-action law firm Hagens
Berman, contests that Choice Hotels International, Hilton, Hyatt
Hotels Corporation, InterContinental Hotels Group, Marriott
International and Wyndham Worldwide took part in an
anticompetitive agreement to reduce or eliminate online branded
keyword search advertising against each other. Hagens Berman
maintains that as a result of this, consumers were deprived of
the "free flow of competitive information," raising the price of
hotel rooms as well as the cost of finding rooms.

"Instead of honest competition, these hotel chains chose to cheat
the system and deceive their customers," Steve Berman, Esq. --
steve@hbsslaw.com -- managing partner of Hagens Berman, said in a
statement. "We believe consumers deserve payback from defendants
for their deceptive advertising practices. Millions of consumers
have collectively been upcharged by billions of dollars since
2015."

The lawsuit states that each hotel defendant entered into an
agreement to refrain from using specific online advertising
methods to compete for consumers. The agreement prevented
competing hotel entities from bidding for online advertising that
used their competitors' brand names. In the example included in a
release from Hagens Berman, Hilton Hotels declined to bid on
keywords that would prompt its hotels to appear in searches for
Hyatt-branded properties, in turn making it more difficult for
consumers to obtain information about competing hotels. Because
of this, Hagens Berman maintains that the defendants made it more
difficult to compare and contrast information such as price and
quality when booking hotel stays.

"By agreeing not to advertise in response to searches for
competitors' brands, these hotel chains have effectively reduced
the ability for consumers to conduct a reasonable comparison
between various hotel chains to get the best price for their
hotel rooms," a statement from Hagens Berman reads. "This leaves
hotel chains with free rein to keep prices high, with no threat
of consumers seeing competing ads."

The suit also claims that the defendants also prevented online
travel agencies from bidding on branded keywords, specifically
naming Expedia and Priceline.

"Online travel agencies need access to hotels' room availability
and other information. In exchange, these hotel chains made the
travel agencies play by their rules, keeping them from
advertising for their branded keywords, thus making it less
likely consumers would see the choices available on those online
travel agency websites," the release reads.

Behind Closed Tabs

The veracity of these claims remains to be seen. However, if
true, it would mean that roughly 60 percent of hotel rooms in the
U.S. were compromised by inaccurate search results. Proving these
claims may be difficult, but the lawsuit includes a number of
examples. For example, Hagens Berman claims searches for the
Honolulu Hyatt no longer produce advertisements from entities
other than Hyatt or non-owned OTAs. The lawsuit goes on to
display the same information for searches of "Detroit Marriott"
and "Los Angeles InterContinental," which results in displaying
only ads for the parent company listed in the search.[GN]


CHOICE HOTELS: Hagens Berman Files Antitrust Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------
A new class-action lawsuit has uncovered an antitrust scheme by
major hotel chains, including Choice Hotels, Hilton, Hyatt,
InterContinental, Marriott and Wyndham, alleging they conspired
to reduce competition and raise consumer prices, according to
Hagens Berman.

Attorneys say millions of consumers have been affected by the
years-long anti-competitive practices that cost them billions of
dollars.

The suit, filed Mar. 19, 2018, in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois states that defendants engaged in
an anti-competitive agreement to eliminate online branded keyword
search advertising against each other.  This in turn, according
to the suit, deprives consumers of the free flow of competitive
information, raising prices for hotel rooms, and raising the cost
of finding hotel rooms.

Which Hotels Are Included?

Approximately 60 percent of all hotel room inventory in the
United States is involved in this lawsuit, including:

   * Choice Hotels International -- Comfort Inn, Comfort Inn
Suites, Quality Inn, Sleep Inn and all other Choice Hotels
International-branded hotels
   * Hilton -- Hampton Inn, DoubleTree, Embassy Suites, Homewood
Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Waldorf Astoria and all other Hilton-
branded hotels
   * Hyatt -- Park Hyatt, Grand Hyatt and all other Hyatt-branded
hotels
   * InterContinental -- Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express,
Candlewood Suites, Crowne Plaza, Staybridge Suites and all other
InterContinental-branded hotels
   * Marriott -- Sheraton, Starwood, Ritz-Carlton, Residence Inn
and all other Marriott-branded hotels
   * Wyndham -- Travelodge, Super 8, Knights Inn, Ramada, Days
Inn, Howard Johnson's and all other Wyndham-branded hotels

This lawsuit seeks reimbursement for consumers who paid high
prices for hotel rooms and an injunction from the court to force
the hotel chains to end their deceptive marketing practices.

If you booked a hotel room online in 2015, 2016 or 2017, you may
have paid too much. Find out your rights to potential
compensation.

"Instead of honest competition, these hotel chains chose to cheat
the system and deceive their customers," said Steve Berman,
managing partner of Hagens Berman.  "We believe consumers deserve
payback from defendants for their deceptive advertising
practices."

"Millions of consumers have collectively been upcharged by
billions of dollars since 2015," Berman added.

The Hotel Overpricing Scheme

The lawsuit states that each hotel defendant agreed to refrain
from using certain online advertising methods to compete for
consumers.  The agreement prevents competitors from bidding for
online advertising that uses competitors' brand names.  For
example, Hilton Hotel declined to bid on keywords that would
allow its ads to appear in response to internet searches for
Hyatt.  This makes it more difficult for consumers to get
information about competing hotels, and to compare and contrast
competitive information, such as price and quality, between the
two hotels.

By agreeing not to advertise in response to searches for
competitors' brands, these hotel chains have effectively reduced
the ability for consumers to conduct a reasonable comparison
between various hotel chains to get the best price for their
hotel rooms.  This leaves hotel chains with free reign to keep
prices high, with no threat of consumers seeing competing ads.

To increase their hold on the hotel market, defendants also
forced their hand with online travel agencies (such as
Priceline.com or Expedia), to keep them from bidding on branded
keywords as well.

Online travel agencies need access to hotels' room availability
and other information.  In exchange, these hotel chains made the
travel agencies play by their rules, keeping them from
advertising for their branded keywords, thus making it less
likely consumers would see the choices available on those online
travel agency websites.

Hagens Berman represents consumers against major hotel companies
that conspired to reduce competition and raise consumer prices.
If you booked a hotel in 2015, 2016 or 2017, you are encouraged
to join this class action.

                    About Hagens Berman

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP -- http://www.hbsslaw.com-- is a
consumer-rights class-action law firm with 11 offices across the
country. [GN]


CHURCH AVENUE: Santiago Files Suit Over Unpaid Minimum & OT Wages
-----------------------------------------------------------------
MARVIN SANTIAGO, LINO ORELLANA, JASON RODRIGUEZ, and SANDRA
DELGADO, individually and on behalf of others similarly situated
v. CHURCH AVENUE EXPRESS INC. (D/B/A CHURCH AVENUE CAR SERVICE),
CHURCH AVENUE CAR SERVICE INC. (D/B/A CHURCH AVENUE CAR SERVICE),
CARLOS BENTANCOURTH, and PAOLO BETANCOURTH, Case No. 1:18-cv-
01594 (E.D.N.Y., March 14, 2018), alleges that the Plaintiffs
have worked for the Defendants in excess of 40 hours per week,
without appropriate minimum wage and overtime compensation for
the hours that they have worked.

Church Avenue Express Inc. is a domestic corporation organized
and existing under the laws of the state of New York.  Church
Avenue Car Service Inc. is a domestic corporation organized and
existing under the laws of the state of New York.  The Individual
Defendants serve or served as owners, managers, principals, or
agents of the Defendant Corporations.

The Defendants own, operate, or control a car service, located at
3411 14th Ave., in Brooklyn, New York, under the name "Church
Avenue Car Service."[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Michael Faillace, Esq.
          MICHAEL FAILLACE & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
          60 East 42nd Street, Suite 4510
          New York, NY 10165
          Telephone: (212) 317-1200
          Facsimile: (212) 317-1620
          E-mail: Faillace@employmentcompliance.com


CIGNA HEALTH: Class Action Over Inflated Drug Costs Can Proceed
---------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Storace, writing for BenefitsPro, reports that a federal
judge in Connecticut has denied most of Cigna Health and Life
Insurance's claims in its request to dismiss a lawsuit which
alleges it artificially inflated prescription drug costs in
violation of the health insurance policies of its clients.

The March 19 ruling by U.S. District Judge Warren Eginton means
the class-action lawsuit against both Cigna and OptumRx Inc. will
move forward.  The insurance giant hired OptumRx as its pharmacy
benefits manager to negotiate drug prices on behalf of Cigna and
the Cigna network.

The October 2016 lawsuit, filed on behalf of five individuals who
were covered by Bloomfield-based Cigna, alleges the two companies
conspired over several years to make consumers pay higher prices
for prescription drugs.  The defendants allegedly misrepresented
the costs of the drugs through increased charges to patients and
then "clawbacks" to get a larger portion of patients' payments.
Related: Increasing number of individuals spending $50,000+
annually on prescription drugs

In his ruling, Judge Eginton, who presides in Bridgeport, wrote,
in part: "The court finds the plaintiffs have plausibly alleged
more than an entitlement to lower-cost prescription drugs or
breach of contract. . . . The complaint plausibly alleges the
defendant CIGNA acted with scienter by alleging that it
intentionally sought to charge excess amounts for prescription
drugs and that it required the pharmacies to conceal from the
insureds the amounts of the prescription drug costs."

The lawsuit claims violation of the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act and violation of the Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organization Act against both defendants.  Judge Eginton
denied the motion to dismiss most claims, but did dismiss the
RICO claim against OptumRx, while keeping the RICO claim against
Cigna.

The lawsuit cites numerous alleged examples of the defendants and
their agents taking clawback and/or so-called spread payments
thousands of times each day from pharmacies across the country.
Examples cited in the lawsuit show a class member in November
2014 paid a pharmacy a $20 co-payment for the prescription drug
Amlodipine Besylate, 1,043 percent more than the actual $1.75 fee
paid to the pharmacist.  Without disclosing it to the consumer,
the lawsuit alleges, the defendants clawed back the $18.25
overcharge.

In another cited case, a class member, also in November 2014,
paid a pharmacy a $20 co-payment for the prescription drug
Clopidogrel, a 468 percent premium over the actual $3.52 fee paid
to the pharmacist.  Again without disclosing it to the customer,
defendants clawed back the $16.48 overcharge, the lawsuit states.

Craig Raabe -- craabe@ikrlaw.com -- a partner with Izard, Kindall
and Raabe in West Hartford and attorney for the plaintiffs,
called Judge Eginton's decision, "A great ruling for consumers.
We now look forward to going into the discovery phase."

That phase, Mr. Raabe told the Connecticut Law Tribune on
March 20, should determine "the mechanism and scope of the
overcharges.  Discovery will also determine how much in
overcharges there have been and how many people were overcharged.
We are seeking reimbursement for the class for all of the
overcharges."

Mr. Raabe said his office became involved in the case after
getting a call from a client.  "We received a complaint about
drug overcharges, investigated the issue thoroughly and
discovered the overcharge scheme set forth in the complaint," he
said.

Cigna is represented by Brian Shaffer --
brian.shaffer@morganlewis.com -- of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius in
Philadelphia.  Mr. Shaffer did not respond to a request for
comment on March 20.

OptumRx, a subsidiary of the Minnesota-based United Health Care,
is represented by Michelle Grant of Dorsey & Whitney in
Minnesota. Grant also did not respond to a request for comment.

The five plaintiffs are Kimberly Negron, Daniel Perry, Courtney
Gallagher, and Nina and Roger Curol.  The plaintiffs are from
four states: Massachusetts, New Jersey, Washington and Louisiana.
[GN]


COLORADO: Judge Grants ACLU's Request to Halt ICE Holds
-------------------------------------------------------
KUSA reports that a judge ordered a Colorado sheriff on March 19
to stop holding prisoners illegally for immigration officials,
siding with the American Civil Liberties Union's request for a
preliminary injunction.

State District Court Judge Eric Bentley ordered El Paso County
Sheriff Bill Elder to immediately stop relying on ICE immigration
detainers or ICE administrative warrants as grounds for refusing
to release plaintiffs from custody when they post bond, complete
their sentences or otherwise resolve their criminal cases.

ACLU of Colorado filed a class action lawsuit on Feb. 27 alleging
Sheriff Elder had unlawfully imprisoned dozens of individuals for
days, weeks and even months without legal authority, solely on
the ground that ICE suspected that they were subject to
deportation for civil immigration violations.

According to court documents, the two named plaintiffs --
Saul Cisneros and Rut Noemi Chavez Rodriguez -- both attempted to
post bond, but the sheriff's office told them it wouldn't be
accepted because they were on ICE holds.  The most recent EPSO
policy stated the office would hold people for up to 48 hours, to
give ICE an opportunity to provide proper documentation and take
them into custody.

At a hearing on March 19, ACLU attorneys requested a preliminary
injunction to stop the practice, arguing Elder's policy violated
Colorado law and the prisoners held by Elder would suffer
irreparable harm by continuing to forfeit their liberty while the
case proceeded.

The sheriff said ICE's request to hold someone allows him to do
so because of probable cause, court documents say.  The ruling
explains that because a person's immigration status is a civil
matter, not a criminal one, ICE detainers do not apply.

"Accordingly, the ICE forms at issue, at best, provide the
Sheriff with probable cause to believe an individual is subject
to a civil deportation proceeding, but not with "probable cause
to believe an offense was committed." Thus, a federal officer's
finding that an individual may be removable from the United
States does not authorize the Sheriff, under the warrantless-
arrest statute, to deprive that individual of liberty."

Judge Bentley said that previous cases indicate keeping someone
in custody, who would otherwise be released, is essentially a new
arrest, and that ICE detainers are not considered warrants under
Colorado law.  Therefore, keeping someone in custody makes that a
warrantless arrest.

"The ICE forms also raise the issue of whether Sheriff Elder may
rely on a federal immigration officer's finding of probable
cause, which is set forth on the form simply by checking a box,
without providing meaningful specifics as to the basis for the
finding . . . . Even if the Sheriff personally had information
that amounted to probable cause to believe that an individual is
removable, he would still lack authority to make a warrantless
arrest, since he would still lack probable cause that a crime had
been committed."

In a ruling issued late on March 19, Judge Bentley granted the
injunction:

"In addition to the warrantless-arrest statute, the legislature
has expressly recognized certain other limited circumstances in
which the power to detain is appropriate.  In each case, a
statute spells out the scope and limits of that power.  That is
appropriate, in light of the fact that there is no greater
deprivation of freedom than the taking of a person into
confinement.  I am reluctant (as was the Massachusetts Supreme
Court in the Lunn case, 78 N.E.3d at 1157) to interpret silence
in the law as the basis for a heretofore-unrecognized power of
arrest."

According to the documents, El Paso is one of two counties that
honor ICE requests.  The ruling also listed Adams County. If
you're wondering about that, Adams County issued a statement on
March 15 emphasizing that information is inaccurate and they
should not have been included in the documents.  Their statement
included a portion of their policy, which states: "That Adams
County Sheriff's Office will not maintain custody of an inmate
solely based on an ICE detainer and/or federal administrative
warrant." [GN]


CORINTHIAN COLLEGES: Partial Student Debt Relief Plan Challenged
----------------------------------------------------------------
Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, writing for The Washington Post,
reports that the Project on Predatory Student Lending at Harvard
University, a legal services clinic, has asked a federal judge to
stop Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and the Education Department
from using earnings data to grant only partial student loan
forgiveness to defrauded borrowers.

The motion for an injunction filed over the weekend stems from
the department's decision in December to provide debt relief to
former students of Corinthian Colleges by comparing the average
earnings of students in similar vocational programs.  That
earnings information is collected under gainful employment, a
regulation that penalizes career-training programs for producing
too many graduates with more debt than they can repay.

Project lawyers say the Education Department has no right to use
the data, which is supplied by the Social Security
Administration, for any purpose other than to evaluate vocational
programs. And denying full relief to Corinthian students under
the law is illegal, they argue.

"The Department of Education had already unfairly and unlawfully
refused to cancel these bogus loans for so long," said
Joshua Rovenger, a lawyer at the Project.  "Now, it has secretly
and illegally co-opted Social Security data to try to argue for
something less than the complete cancellation and refund that
these borrowers are due."

Mr. Rovenger is among several attorneys at the legal aid clinic
leading a class-action lawsuit on behalf of former Corinthian
students seeking a full discharge of their federal loans.  The
attorneys are working with Housing and Economic Rights Advocates,
a legal aid group based in Oakland, on the case. The team amended
its complaint and filed the motion for an injunction on March 17.

Corinthian closed in 2015 after the Education Department cut off
its access to federal student aid for lying about its graduation
and job placement rates.  At the time, the for-profit chain was
being investigated and sued by state and federal authorities for
fraud, deceptive marketing and steering students into predatory
loans.  Despite the evidence against Corinthian unearthed by the
Education Department, former students are still struggling to
have their federal loans fully discharged.

A federal statute known as borrower defense to repayment gives
the Education Department authority to discharge federal student
loans when a college uses illegal tactics to persuade students to
borrow money.  Debt relief applications have piled up over the
past year as the Trump administration refused to take action
until education officials could fully review procedures
instituted under President Barack Obama.

As pressure from lawmakers and consumer groups mounted, DeVos
announced the approval of 12,900 applications for student loan
forgiveness and denial of 8,600 claims from former Corinthian
students in December.  She said applicants would receive full
loan forgiveness if their earnings are less than 50 percent of
those of their peers. If their pay is at or above that threshold,
the department would provide relief on a sliding scale.

Critics said the model will create more hardship for people who
have been victimized by unscrupulous schools, robbing them of
their legal right to have their federal loans fully discharged.

A group of congressional Democrats, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren
(Mass.), wrote DeVos about the matter after The Washington Post
first reported the partial relief plan in October.  They insisted
that the department must publish a notice in the Federal Register
and solicit public comment to change the purpose of the gainful
employment data.  They also said the agency is required to
prepare reports for Congress on such a proposal.  Months later,
Warren asked the Education Department's inspector general to
investigate the use of the earnings data.

The Education Department has said that its partial relief plan is
legal.  Furthermore, the agency has said that the use of the
earnings data is fully consistent with its agreement with the
Social Security Administration.  The Education Department did not
immediately respond to requests for comment on the motion filed
by the legal services project.

The Social Security Administration has said its general counsel
is consulting with lawyers at the Education Department on the
permissible use of data under their data exchange agreement.  Yet
in an email obtained by The Washington Post in December, the
agency told a Democratic staff member that based on an
"unofficial, non-legal, staff-level understanding .  .  . we do not
believe [the Education Department] would be authorized to use
earnings information we provide under any current agreement to
make decisions about whether or not to grant debt relief to
borrowers in certain vocations." [GN]


CYAN INC: SCOTUS Ruling Opened Gates to Crypto Suits Filing
-----------------------------------------------------------
Justin Wales, writing for Daily Business Review, This week's U.S.
Supreme Court decision in Cyan v. Beaver County Employees
Retirement Fund could have a major impact on how and where we see
class action securities claims brought against issuers of new
cryptocurrencies.

By way of background, not even Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous
developer credited with creating Bitcoin, could have predicted
that the first truly transformative use of his innovative
blockchain technology would be to disintermediate venture
fundraising through the sale of proprietary virtual tokens.
Unfortunately for the issuers of the more than 1,500
cryptocurrencies or tokens that have already been issued -- many
of which were promoted to inexperienced and unaccredited
investors as nonsecurity "utility tokens" -- the Securities and
Exchange Commission has taken an increasingly hostile view of
token sales. SEC head Jay Clayton has gone so far as stating that
he has not seen a token sale that he does not consider the sale
of securities.

The burgeoning crypto bar has been anticipating a wave of
litigation around token sales instigated by the regulatory
uncertainty over whether a token issuance necessarily constitutes
the sale of a security, as well as by bad actors attracted to the
space by the possibility of raising millions of dollars from an
exuberant market that has not demanded the issuer first
demonstrate that its technology is not mere vapor or that its
claims are true. Thus far, however, there have only been a
handful of class actions filed nationwide. As of the date of this
publication, all of the class cases have been filed in federal
court.

The Cyan decision provides a road map for plaintiffs to file
federal class claims against token issuers (as well as noncrypto-
related securities issuers) in state court jurisdictions that are
friendlier to class claims. In Cyan, a group of shareholders
initiated a class action in California state court against
telecommunication company Cyan Inc. alleging that its IPO was
misleading under federal securities law. Cyan moved for judgment
on the pleadings, alleging the state court lacked subject matter
jurisdiction because the Securities Litigation Uniform Standards
Act of 1998 divested state courts of concurrent jurisdiction to
hear claims brought under the 1933 Securities Act. Cyan's motion
was denied. The company then lost before the California Court of
Appeal and was denied further review by the California Supreme
Court. The U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to settle the
question of whether state courts retained concurrent jurisdiction
under the 1933 Securities Act, a question that had been
interpreted differently by district courts throughout the
country.

The Cyan plaintiffs' claim arose entirely under the 1933
Securities Act, which Congress enacted during the Great
Depression as a mechanism for protecting investors from
misleading or fraudulent investment claims. The 1933 act provides
a private cause of action to defrauded or misled investors. By
the statutory plain text, the claims could be brought in state or
federal courts. However, the law contains a unique provision that
prevents removal of certain class action claims to federal court.
The act (which is exempt from the 2005 Class Action Fairness Act
and its grant of federal jurisdiction to class action claims
seeking aggregate damages of $5 million or more) takes a
fundamentally different remedial approach than other federal
securities laws, including the 1934 Securities Act, which grants
federal courts the exclusive right to enforce regulations on the
sale of existing securities.

Cyan argued that by enacting SLUSA in the 1990s (itself a
response to an increase in state class action securities claims
unintentionally caused by the passage of Private Securities Law
Reform Act), Congress intended to divest state courts of
jurisdiction to hear securities class action claims. The U.S.
solicitor general advocated for a middle approach that preserved
concurrent jurisdiction but gave a defendant the right to remove
the case to federal court.

In an opinion authored by Justice Elena Kagan, a unanimous court
rejected Cyan's argument and held that a plain language reading
of SLUSA demonstrates that Congress intended to only divest state
courts of jurisdiction with regard to state law claims. The
court's decision creates a pathway by which plaintiffs are now
able to bring federal securities claims under the '33 act in
state court as long as the they do not allege additional federal
or state law claims which, if added, would allow the defense to
remove the case to federal court.

The court's decision allows plaintiffs to venue shop between
state and federal courts in order to seek out a jurisdiction that
they perceive to be friendlier to class claims or that offer more
lenient pleading or discovery standards than available in federal
court. The decision could also have a major impact on the
development of securities case law as applied to the issuance of
cryptocurrencies, especially considering nearly every issue in
the space is an issue of first impression, which could further
incentivize venue shopping by class plaintiffs.

Ultimately, it is now up to Congress to determine whether to
amend SLUSA and the 1933 act to divest state courts concurrent
jurisdiction over large federal securities class actions. Until
that time, we may see some state courts emerge as the preferred
venue for federal securities class claims against token issuers.
[GN]


CYAN INC: State Courts Have Jurisdiction Over Class Actions
-----------------------------------------------------------
Jessica Lasky, writing for Jurist, reports that the US Supreme
Court ruled unanimously that the Securities Litigation Uniform
Standards Act of 1998 (SLUSA) did not strip state courts of
jurisdiction over class action lawsuits under the 1933 Securities
Act.

The Supreme Court decided that the statute does not say that
state courts cannot hear class actions brought only on federal
claims, and therefore states have concurrent jurisdiction over
these cases.  Although not disputed, the Supreme court also
decided that these cases cannot be removed from state court.

Most of the case, Cyan Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement
Fund, revolved around the SLUSA's "except clause" and whether it
stripped state courts' jurisdiction to hear cases under the
Securities Act of 1933.

Cyan argued that the purpose of SLUSA was to bring class action
lawsuits exclusively to federal court, but the Supreme Court
decided that it was the purpose to curb state courts hearing
class actions, and it achieved that goal.  However, the court did
not believe that SLUSA was a complete bar to state courts for
class actions under federal law.

In an opinion by Justice Elena Kagan, the court reasoned that:

if Congress had wanted to deprive state courts of jurisdiction
over 1933 Act class actions, it had an easy way to do so: just
insert . . . an exclusive federal jurisdiction provision . . . by
contrast, a mere definition [as is the case here] . . . does not
so provide [exclusive jurisdiction].

The decision is thought to be pro-plaintiff because the barriers
for states accepting class actions lawsuits are generally lower
than federal courts. [GN]


DOLLAR GENERAL: Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------------
Shearman & Sterling LLP on March 20 disclosed that on March 8,
2018, the United States District Court for the Middle District of
Tennessee dismissed a consolidated class action alleging
securities fraud claims under Section 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act against Dollar General Corporation
("Dollar General"), and certain of its executives. Iron Worker
Local Union No. 405 Annuity Fund, et al. v. Dollar General
Corporation, et al., No. 3:17-cv-00063 (M.D. Tenn., Mar. 8,
2018).  Plaintiffs alleged defendants misled investors about the
negative impact reductions to government benefits, including
Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program ("SNAP") benefits,
would have on Dollar General's business.  The Court held, among
other things, that defendants sufficiently disclosed the
importance of SNAP recipients to Dollar General's business, the
impact of an earlier reduction in SNAP benefits did not render
the impact of a later change to benefits foreseeable, and that
risk factors accompanying optimistic projections rendered certain
forward-looking statements inactionable.

Dollar General's "core customers" are low and fixed income
households who rely on SNAP benefits.  Dollar General's business
grew after SNAP and other benefits programs expanded during the
financial crisis, and waivers of restrictions on able-bodied
adults without dependents receiving benefits ("ABAWDs") were
implemented due to high unemployment.  When SNAP's across-the-
board benefits increases expired in 2013, Dollar General's same-
store sales allegedly fell.  Dollar General allegedly lost
additional business when ABAWDs expired in 2016.  Plaintiffs
alleged that statements by Todd Vasos, Dollar General's CEO
("Vasos") made in March and May of 2016 were misleading because
they did not sufficiently describe the impact the expiration of
ABAWDs would have on Dollar General's business.

The Court held that no reasonable investor could have interpreted
any of the alleged misstatements as reassurance that the
expiration of ABAWDs would not materially impact Dollar General's
business, especially because Vasos specifically acknowledged that
the Company's core customer relied on SNAP benefits in "a lot" of
cases.  The Court also concluded that allegedly misleading
statements about customers' shopping habits, such as statements
describing the value proposition sought by Dollar General
customers, were generalized statements of optimism that were
incapable of objective verification and therefore immaterial.
The Court also rejected plaintiffs' argument that Dollar General
should have known that the ABAWD expiration would profoundly
impact its business merely because the 2013 reductions in SNAP
had impacted its business.  The Court ruled that plaintiffs pled
no facts to infer that Dollar General should have forecasted the
same result in 2016, especially because the change in benefits
substantially differed.

In addition, several statements about the strength of various
merchandise initiatives and expressions of confidence in future
sales were held to be forward-looking generalized statements of
corporate optimism that were accompanied by specific cautionary
language identifying as risk factors the decreases in government
subsidies and the possibility of unsuccessful implementations of
the initiatives.  The Court dismissed the remaining allegations
because they were puffery, forward looking, not false or
misleading, or because plaintiffs failed to adequately plead
scienter or, with respect to claims based on Item 303, actual
knowledge of a negative trend.

The Court's decision serves as a powerful reminder that company
announcements of negative sales trends or disappointing sales
results cannot be reverse-engineered into a securities fraud
claim, particularly when there are no allegations from which to
infer that the negative results were anticipated and the company
includes specific risk disclosures. [GN]


EPZ LTD: Opening of Kenya Class Action Proceedings Rescheduled
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cristina Krippahl, Kathryn Omwandho and Diana Wanyonyi, writing
for Deutsche Welle, report that a landmark class action suit
against the Kenyan government and a company over compensation for
victims of pollution scheduled to start on March 19 was held up
by two conflicting lawyers, prolonging the plaintiffs' misery.

Residents of Owino Uhuru in Mombasa County filed the class action
lawsuit against the government and the Metal Refinery EPZ Ltd
after they fell ill from lead poisoning.  They are asking for the
equivalent of EUR13 million ($16 million) in compensation for
health problems and to clean up contaminated land.

The lead battery recycling factory EPZ opened in 2007 next to the
Owino Uhuru slums.  Soon, people in the area started feeling the
effects of lead poisoning originating from the plant.  At least
20 factory workers and 100 children died.  It is estimated that
3,000 residents have been affected by the toxic waste.  The
factory was established to collect used batteries for smelting.
Expert analysis has indicated that carbon compounds emitted from
the process entered the food chain and living quarters in
adjacent Owino Uhuru slums through effluent and smoke emissions.

Wrangling lawyers

Now, two years after the lawsuit was launched, the plaintiffs
were scheduled to give their testimony in court in Mombasa for
the first time on March 19.  But the hearing did not take place
because of a dispute between two lawyers representing the
victims.  Justice Anne Omollo ordered both counsels to come
forward on April 27 for the hearing of their applications and
rescheduled the opening of the court proceedings to the 15th and
16th of May this year.

Two years after the class action suit was filed in 2015 under the
leadership of activist and founder of the non-governmental
organization Centre for Justice, Governance and Environmental,
Phyllis Omido, the victims are still waiting for their day in
court.  They include Omido herself, whose son was poisoned by the
lead-smelting factory.

Her organization succeeded in forcing the shutdown of the plant,
before pushing the courts to secure compensation for the victims
and a clean-up of the community.  Thousands of locals joined the
suit.

Expensive treatment

Among the victims is Catherine Akello, who takes part in a
clinical trial to treat lead poisoning. Her life depends on the
success of the doctors' attempt to clean her blood using
dialysis.  Two of her children have died of lead poisoning and
she lost two kidneys: "I started getting sick in 2015, coughing,
my skin was itchy and I couldn't walk," she said.

The plant was closed in 2014, but the consequences are still
making themselves felt.  Owino Uhuru has dangerously high levels
of lead in both in the water and soil.  Irene Akinyi suffers from
a swollen thyroid gland.  Her brother and father worked at the
plant and she used to wash their clothes: "If the liquid would
pour out of the batteries, I would be the one to clean the mess.
I didn't know it would affect me."  Ms. Akinyi is still waiting
for the expensive medical treatments she urgently needs.

Like Ms. Akello and Ms. Akinyi, the plaintiffs will now have to
wait even longer to find out if they will be compensated.
[GN]


FACEBOOK INC: Bragar Eagel Files Securities Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. disclosed that a class action lawsuit
has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California on behalf of all persons or entities who
purchased or otherwise acquired Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB)
securities between February 3, 2017 and March 19, 2018 (the
"Class Period"). Investors have until May 21, 2018 to apply to
the Court to be appointed as lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.

The complaint alleges that Defendants made false and/or
misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i)
Facebook violated its own purported data privacy policies by
allowing third parties to access the personal data of millions of
Facebook users without the users' consent; (ii) discovery of the
foregoing conduct would foreseeably subject the Company to
heightened regulatory scrutiny; and (iii) as a result, Facebook's
public statements were materially false and misleading at all
relevant times.

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

Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. is a New York-based law firm
concentrating in commercial and securities litigation. For
additional information concerning the Facebook, Inc. lawsuit,
please go to http://www.bespc.com/facebook.

         Brandon Walker, Esq.
         Melissa Fortunato, Esq.
         Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C.
         Tel. No.212-355-4648
         Email: investigations@bespc.com
                walker@bespc.com,
                fortunato@bespc.com [GN]


FACEBOOK INC: May 21 Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
-------------------------------------------------------
Pomerantz LLP on March 20 disclosed that a class action lawsuit
has been filed against Facebook, Inc. ("Facebook" or the
"Company") (NASDAQ:FB) and certain of its officers.   The class
action, filed in United States District Court, Northern District
of California, and docketed under 18-cv-01725, is on behalf of a
class consisting of investors who purchased or otherwise acquired
common shares of Facebook between February 3, 2017 and March 19,
2018, both dates inclusive (the "Class Period").  Plaintiff seeks
to recover compensable damages caused by Defendants' violations
of the federal securities laws and to pursue remedies under
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
(the "Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

If you are a shareholder who purchased Facebook securities
between February 3, 2017, and March 19, 2018, both dates
inclusive, you have until May 21, 2018 to ask the Court to
appoint you as Lead Plaintiff for the class.  A copy of the
Complaint can be obtained at www.pomerantzlaw.com.   To discuss
this action, contact Robert S. Willoughby at
rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888.476.6529 (or 888.4-POMLAW), toll
free, Ext. 9980.  Those who inquire by e-mail are encouraged to
include their mailing address, telephone number, and number of
shares purchased.

Facebook operates a social networking website that allows people
to communicate with their family, friends, and coworkers.
Facebook develops technologies that facilitate the sharing of
information, photographs, website links, and videos.  Facebook
users have the ability to share and restrict information based on
their own specific criteria.  As of the end of 2017, Facebook had
roughly 2.2 billion active users.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period,
Defendants made materially false and misleading statements
regarding the Company's business, operational and compliance
policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading
statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Facebook violated
its own purported data privacy policies by allowing third parties
to access the personal data of millions of Facebook users without
the users' consent; (ii) discovery of the foregoing conduct would
foreseeably subject the Company to heightened regulatory
scrutiny; and (iii) as a result, Facebook's public statements
were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On May 16, 2017, Reuters reported that France's Commission on
Informatics and Liberty ("CNIL") had fined Facebook EUR150,000 --
the maximum amount then allowed within the CNIL's authority --
for "failing to prevent its users' data being accessed by
advertisers." The article stated that the fine was said to be
"part of a wider European investigation also being carried out in
Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain and Germany into some of
Facebook's practices."

On this news, Facebook's share price fell $5.34, or 3.55%, over
two trading days, to close at $144.85 on May 17, 2017.

On March 17, 2018, the New York Times published an investigative
report entitled "How Trump Consultants Exploited the Facebook
Data of Millions," revealing that Cambridge Analytica, a firm
that worked to target voters online in connection with the 2016
presidential campaign of Donald Trump, used the data of 50
million people obtained from Facebook without proper disclosures
or permission.

On this news, Facebook's share price fell $12.53, or 6.76%, to
close at $172.56 on March 19, 2018.

On March 19, 2018, post-market, Bloomberg published an article
entitled "FTC Probing Facebook For Use of Personal Data, Source
Says," disclosing that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission ("FTC")
is "probing whether Facebook violated terms of a 2011 consent
decree of its handling of user data that was transferred to
Cambridge Analytica without [user] knowledge." Under the 2011
settlement with the FTC, Facebook "agreed to get user consent for
certain changes to privacy settings as part of a settlement of
federal chargers that is deceived consumers and forced them to
share more personal information than they intended." The article
further stated that "if the FTC finds Facebook violated terms of
the consent decree, it has the power to fine the company more
than $40,000 a day per violation."

On March 20, 2018, several media outlets reported that the U.K.
Parliament had summoned Facebook Chief Executive Officer Mark
Zuckerberg to give evidence over the scandal involving London-
based Cambridge Analytica.  In a statement, the U.K. House of
Commons committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee
said: "The Representatives from Facebook previously gave evidence
to the inquiry in Washington DC on February 8. However, Facebook
has since failed to supply requested supplementary evidence to
the Committee by the deadline of 14th March. Subsequent
information about Facebook's connection to Cambridge Analytica
raises further questions which the Committee intends to put to
Facebook to answer in full."  The British lawmakers stated they
want to "hear from a senior Facebook executive with the
sufficient authority to give an accurate account of this
catastrophic failure of process."  Zuckerberg was asked to
respond by March 26, 2018.

Following these news reports, Facebook's share price fell $7.73,
or 4.48%, to close at $164.83 on March 20, 2018.

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


FACEBOOK INC: Maryland Woman Files Suit Over Cambridge Analytica
----------------------------------------------------------------
Bloomberg reports that a Facebook user has sued the social
network and Cambridge Analytica, a data research firm that played
a role in the election campaign of President Trump, alleging that
her privacy was violated when information on about 50 million
users was improperly disclosed.

Lauren Price of Maryland sued the companies in federal court in
San Jose, where Facebook is based, on behalf of other U.S.
Facebook users whose data Cambridge Analytica obtained.

The lawsuit is the latest development in a wave of backlash
against Facebook over ways its platform was used to influence the
2016 election.  Revelations about Cambridge Analytica's access to
Facebook users' information follows controversies over the
proliferation of "fake news" and Russian propaganda through the
site.

"This case involves the absolute disregard with which defendants
have chosen to treat plaintiff's personal information," lawyers
for Price said in her complaint.  "Facebook, for its part, knew
this improper data aggregation was occurring and failed to stop
it, or actively avoided discovering such knowledge in order to
profess supposed ignorance."

The law firms representing Price specialize in personal injury
cases, including auto accidents, work injuries and defective
medical products.

Ms. Price sued on March 20, not long after another lawsuit was
filed on behalf of Facebook investors seeking to recoup losses
suffered when the social media giant's stock price fell when
reports on Cambridge Analytica's activities broke.

Ms. Price's lawsuit seeks damages for all U.S. Facebook users
whose information was harvested without their authorization, and
it asserts claims of negligence and violations of California's
unfair-competition laws.

A judge will decide whether the lawsuit will be certified as a
class action.

Facebook said on March 16 that Aleksandr Kogan, a Soviet-born
researcher, on his Facebook page asked other users to take a
personality quiz that he claimed was for academic purposes.  He
collected data from about 270,000 quiz participants as well as
all the friends in their social circles and turned the
information over to Cambridge Analytica in violation of Facebook
rules.

Cambridge Analytica said it deleted the data when it learned of
the violation and denied on March 17 that it still had access to
it.  But Facebook said on March 17 it learned that the
information wasn't erased.  In fact, the research firm used the
data to create tools and techniques that were put to use in the
2016 election campaign, according to the New York Times.

Price, who has had a Facebook account for eight years, remembered
that she was "frequently targeted" with political ads during the
2016 election, according to the complaint.

John Yanchunis, head of the consumer class-action practice at
Morgan & Morgan and lead counsel in the lawsuit, said Price
thought the messaging in the ad seemed designed to influence her
vote for a candidate.  He said she did not take the personality
quiz designed by Kogan.

Facebook spokeswoman Genevieve Grdina declined to immediately
comment on Price's lawsuit. [GN]


FACEBOOK INC: Faces Class Action Over Cambridge Analytica Issue
---------------------------------------------------------------
Janko Roettgers, writing for Variety, reports that Facebook
continued to find itself under pressure late on March 20
following revelations that Trump campaign-linked Cambridge
Analytica had accessed data from 50 million users without their
consent.  The company said in a statement that it was "deceived,"
but at least one class action lawsuit alleged that Facebook
itself deceived its shareholders.

Mark Zuckerberg remained silent about the crisis throughout the
day, but a company spokesperson said in a statement to media that
the Facebook CEO was "working around the clock" alongside COO
Sheryl Sandberg and their respective teams on getting all the
facts about the incident to take the appropriate actions moving
forward.

"The entire company is outraged we were deceived," the statement
continued.  "We are committed to vigorously enforcing our
policies to protect people's information and will take whatever
steps are required to see that this happens."

At least one Facebook shareholder begged to disagree.  Fan Yuan,
who purchased Facebook shares between early 2017 and March of
2018, filed a lawsuit against the company on March 20, alleging
that it didn't properly disclose the fact that Cambridge
Analytica had access to data of millions of the company's
customers, leading to inflated share prices.

The lawsuit, which was filed in a Northern California federal
court, seeks class action status, suggesting that there could be
"hundreds of thousands" of shareholders negatively impacted by
Facebook's actions.  Gizmodo was first to report about the
lawsuit.

A Facebook spokesperson didn't directly comment on the lawsuit,
and instead pointed to a statement made by the company's general
counsel Paul Grewal, in which he said that the company was
"committed to vigorously enforcing our policies to protect
people's information."

Facebook also faced some more pressure in the court of public
opinion on March 20.  Brian Acton, the co-founder of Whatsapp,
took to Twitter on March 20 to suggest that it was time for users
to delete Facebook. [GN]


FACEBOOK INC: Morgan and Morgan Files Class Action Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------
Jeff Patterson, writing for News Channel 8, reports that Florida
attorney Mike Morgan, Esq., of the Orlando Law firm Morgan and
Morgan believes the data breach by Facebook has impacted more
than 16 million Floridians.

Morgan's law firm filed a class action lawsuit against the social
media giant.

Morgan says anyone who took a personality quiz and even their
friends may be impacted.

"It's not just these people that took a personality quiz, it's
the friends of the people who took the personality quiz and
possibly the friends of those friends. So it just keeps going on
and on, when you think about the six degrees of separation where
you had a friend that knows a friend that knows a friend, that's
who could have been affected here," said Morgan.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg apologized for the data breach
by Cambridge Analytica and vowed to take steps to correct the
problem.

Morgan says Facebook violated the trust of users.

"These users have entrusted this private data, very personal
data. When they sign up, Facebook says 'we need this data, we
need your personal information to make Facebook work, to make it
great, to make it an enjoyable experience and in exchange for
that, we will safeguard it,'" said Morgan.

The law firm filed their suit in California, but Morgan says
anyone impacted by the data breach will be able to join the legal
action at a later date.

"This class action is meant to encompass everyone that was
similarly situated. As we get into the litigation, there will be
notices that go out to people that were directly affected," said
Morgan. [GN]


FACEBOOK INC: Scott+Scott Attorneys Files Securities Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Scott+Scott Attorneys at Law LLP ("Scott+Scott"), a national
shareholder and consumer rights litigation firm, has filed a
class action lawsuit against Facebook, Inc. ("Facebook" or the
"Company") (NASDAQ: FB) and certain of its executives
(collectively, "Defendants"). If you purchased or otherwise
acquired common shares of Facebook between February 3, 2017 and
March 19, 2018, both dates inclusive (the "Class Period"), you
are encouraged to contact a Scott+Scott attorney at (844) 818-
6982 for more information.

The lawsuit alleges that, during the Class Period, Defendants
made materially false and misleading statements regarding the
Company's business, operational and compliance policies.
Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading statements
and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Facebook violated its own
purported data privacy policies by allowing third parties to
access the personal data of millions of Facebook users without
the users' consent; (ii) discovery of the foregoing conduct would
foreseeably subject the Company to heightened regulatory
scrutiny; and (iii) as a result, Facebook's public statements
were materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On March 17, 2018, The New York Times reported that voter-
profiling company Cambridge Analytica "harvested private
information from the Facebook profiles of more than 50 million
users without their permission, according to former Cambridge
employees, associates and documents, making it one of the largest
data leaks in the social network's history."

The next day, March 18, 2018, the Massachusetts Attorney General
said her office was launching an investigation into Facebook. On
March 19, 2018, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and European
Union officials also said they would investigate.

On this news, the price of Facebook stock fell nearly 6.8% on
March 19, 2018.

On March 20, 2018, several media outlets reported that the United
Kingdom Parliament had summoned Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to
give evidence related to the Cambridge Analytica news.

Following these news reports, Facebook's share price fell an
additional $4.41, or 2.5%, on March 20, 2018.

As of market close on March 22, 2018, the stock price had fallen
to $164.89, a 10.9% drop from the March 16, 2018 close price.

What You Can Do

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions
concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please
contact plaintiff's counsel, Joe Pettigrew of Scott+Scott at
(844) 818-6982, or at jpettigrew@scott-scott.com. The lead
plaintiff deadline is May 21, 2018.

About Scott+Scott Attorneys at Law LLP

Scott+Scott has significant experience in prosecuting major
securities, antitrust, and employee retirement plan actions
throughout the United States. The firm represents pension funds,
foundations, individuals, and other entities worldwide with
offices in New York, London, Connecticut, California, and Ohio.

         Joe Pettigrew, Esq.
         Scott+Scott Attorneys at Law LLP
         Tel: 844-818-6982
         Email: jpettigrew@scott-scott.com[GN]


FEDERAZIONE ITALIANA: Lazio Fans Sue Over Refereeing Decisions
--------------------------------------------------------------
Football Italia reports that Lazio fans are staging a protest
against referees who are "ridiculous and in bad faith" and
pledged they will have "respect or war."

The Aquile have been on the end of a series of contentious
decisions this season, even with the use -- or non-use of VAR
technology.

This prompted a sit-in with hundreds of fans in the streets of
Rome, while the ultras will enter the Curva Nord only 15 minutes
into tonight's game against Bologna.

Messages were read out by the ultras groups and flyers passed
around to spread the message: 'Respect or War.'

"Enough is enough! Fiorentina, Torino, Milan, Juve, Cagliari, not
to mention the games we won despite the shocking errors.

"We are here, like 18 years ago, when we took back the Scudetto,
in order to defend Lazio. Now we will take back what we are owed.

"Tired of watching evident errors made by a class of referees who
are ridiculous and in bad faith."

Lazio fans also took out a class action lawsuit against the
Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC) over refereeing
decisions that they claim damaged the club and its supporters.

"We have to raise our voices to ensure we are respected,"
declared an ultras leader through a megaphone.

"Lazio were damaged scientifically by a system that is clearly in
bad faith.  There is a clear plan to massacre Lazio and the
Laziali.  We ask for respect and normality." [GN]


FLINT, MI: Two Water Contamination Class Actions Can Proceed
------------------------------------------------------------
Lawrence Hurley, Barbara Grzincic and Ben Klayman, writing for
Reuters, report that the U.S. Supreme Court on March 19 gave the
green light to two class-action lawsuits filed by residents of
Flint, Michigan who are pursing civil rights claims against local
and state officials over lead contamination in the city's water
supply.

The justices left in place a July 2017 ruling by the Cincinnati,
Ohio-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals that revived the
litigation after the lawsuits were thrown out by a lower court.

The high court rejected separate appeals filed by the city of
Flint, Genesee County's drainage commissioner and Michigan
Department of Environmental Quality officials.

The 6th Circuit decided that the civil rights claims brought by
the plaintiffs under federal law could proceed, ruling they were
not precluded by a statute that sets the standards for drinking
water, the Safe Drinking Water Act.  That law has its own
provisions for people to file suit over unsafe water, although
they cannot seek monetary damages like those available under
civil rights law.

Flint, a predominantly black city, switched its public water
source from Lake Huron to the Flint River in a cost-cutting move
in April 2014.  The polluted river water caused lead to leach
from pipes.  Lead poisoning stunts children's cognitive
development.  No level of exposure is considered safe.

The city switched back to Lake Huron water in October 2015, but
lead levels remained above federal standards until early 2017.

The crisis prompted several lawsuits against the city, state,
Republican Governor Rick Snyder and several individual city and
state officials.  Two of those suits were the subject of the
Supreme Court appeals.

In one, Melissa Mays and several other Flint-based parents sued
in November 2015 on behalf of themselves and their children.  In
the other, Flint residents Beatrice Boler, Edwin Anderson and
others sued in January 2016 on behalf of Flint residents and
businesses.

Julie Hurwitz and Bill Goodman, lawyers representing Mays,
praised the March 19 action by the justices, saying in a
statement that it "signals that the State of Michigan and all of
its cronies are reaching the end of the line in their ongoing
efforts to avoid being held accountable."

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality declined
comment.  The plaintiffs' attorney in the second case, as well as
officials with Flint and the governor's office, could not
immediately be reached for comment.

In June 2017, six current and former state and city officials
were charged criminally -- including five accused of involuntary
manslaughter -- for their roles in the crisis, which also was
linked to a Legionnaires' disease outbreak that caused at least
12 deaths. [GN]


FLORIDA: Broward Homeowners Set to Get Payment for Lost Trees
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that thousands of Florida homeowners
who had healthy citrus trees cut down by the state are finally
going to get paid for their losses.

Gov. Rick Scott on March 16 approved a new state budget that
includes more than $52 million to pay homeowners in Broward and
Palm Beach counties whose trees were removed more than a decade
ago in a failed attempt to eradicate citrus canker.  The
homeowners were part of class action lawsuits against the state.

Gov. Scott's decision was surprising since last year he vetoed
more than $37 million in payments that legislators had approved
for homeowners in Broward and Lee counties.

In a last-ditch attempt to battle contamination, the state in
2000 ordered the destruction of even healthy citrus trees within
1,900 feet of an infected tree with or without the owner's
permission. [GN]


GETSWIFT: Faces Suit Over Misleading Amazon Deal Statements
-----------------------------------------------------------
Dominic Powell, writing for Smart Company, reports that the
embattled listed tech startup GetSwift has found itself in
further strife, with Fairfax reporting a class action lawsuit
filed against the company has been expanded to include market
statements made by the company about possible arrangements with
Amazon and YUM! Foods in 2017.

A class action lawsuit was filed against the company by firm
Squire Patton Boggs on February 20, alleging "misleading and
deceptive conduct" against the company and its founder and
director Joel MacDonald, and alleging GetSwift breached its
continuous disclosure obligations.

The lawsuit, estimated by Squire Patton Boggs to have a claim
size exceeding $300 million, was filed after an investigation by
Fairfax alleged the company had routinely failed to update the
market on lost contracts, including ones with Commonwealth Bank
and Fantastic Furniture.

GetSwift denied the claims, but the company's shares were put in
a trading halt for almost three weeks. The startup also confirmed
in February the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
(ASIC) has served the startup a notice to produce documents.

The class action claim, which Getswift will reportedly contest,
has now been expanded to include the company's statements from
December last year around possible deals with retail giant Amazon
and YUM! Foods, the operator of Pizza Hut and KFC in Australia.
At the time, little detail was supplied about the nature of the
deals.

The expansion of the claim is reportedly so another competing
class action does not establish itself with a broader scope.
GetSwift also made statements from in 2017 promising it would
only update the market on executed contracts that were "secure,
quantifiable and measurable". This claim was then followed up
with one on February 19 this year which said only 50% of
GetSwift's enterprise clients were producing revenue.

"This leaves GetSwift with serious questions to answer as to why
a number of contracts were announced when they had not progressed
beyond the trial stage. The announcements relating to Fruitbox
and CBA indicated to the market that significant revenue would be
generated from those contracts," Squire Patton Boggs states.

GetSwift's shares are currently trading at 50c, down from $3.66
in early January this year.[GN]


GETSWIFT: ASX Tightens Listing Rules Following Investor Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
Jonathan Shapiro, writing for Financial Review, reports that the
Australian Securities Exchange has tightened its listing rules to
clamp down on companies over-hyping customer contracts and force
the disclosure of past misconduct by directors, following
scandals at Big Un and GetSwift that cost investors hundreds of
millions of dollars.

The changes come after The Australian Financial Review
investigations into technology companies Big Un and GetSwift
revealed investors in the company were kept in the dark about
facts that could be considered materially important.

In a compliance update, the ASX firmed up its guidelines to stamp
out the over-exaggeration of gains from customer contracts and
also announced immediate changes to rules relating to disclosures
of past misdemeanours of individuals seeking directorships or
control of listed companies.

The exchange said it would crack down on companies that announce
contracts with major global customers that lack details; that
don't mention the contract is conditional or subject to a trial
period; that include loosely derived revenue projections; that
aren't updated if the contract is terminated; or are presented as
material or with other "superlatives" when they are not.

"Whenever the ASX detects this sort of behaviour it will not
hesitate to suspend the entity, query it and require it to
correct any inadequate or misleading disclosures," the update
said.

The ASX said it could also refer any entity to the Australian
Securities and Investments Commission for consideration of
further action.

The exchange had previously acted on GetSwift in December by
suspending the shares when a details-lite announcement of an
agreement with Amazon sent its shares up 83 per cent.

In response, the company disclosed more details about the
contract, and days later raised $75 million from investor
including large institutions.

But GetSwift once again found itself suspended from the exchange
after an investigation by the Financial Review revealed that some
of the agreements it had announced to the market had ended with
no accompanying announcements, while other contracts were merely
pilot schemes.

The company was suspended for almost a month and its share price
subsequently fell around 55 per cent upon relisting.

GetSwift is also the subject of a $300 million class action from
aggrieved shareholders led by Squire Patton Boggs as its share
price has now almost 90 per cent lower than the $4 price at which
the company raised capital in December.

The ASX also announced a change in policies effective immediately
that requires all directors or proposed directors in back-door
listings (where a new company uses the shell of an existing
company to list on the ASX) to provide evidence of their good
fame and character.  This includes existing directors who have
been elected by shareholders to the board.  Previously for back
door listings, the ASX only required "good fame and character"
checks for new directors being appointed to the board.

ASX has also highlighted its power for both front door and back
door listings to require "good fame and character" checks from
those involved in management of a company where ASX suspects that
the reason they are not joining the board is to avoid those
checks for directors.

This would either result in a disclosure of the results of the
checks or in some cases the rejection of the listing.

The changes were a result of attempts known to the exchange to
circumvent the good fame and character test introduced in 2012.

Examples the ASX has mentioned include major shareholders being
appointed as a company secretary or a consultant to the board so
that they can participate in board meetings without formally
being a director.

That change comes shortly after the Financial Review revealed
that Big Un chief executive Richard Evertz, who had previously
run a failed ASX listed company under a different name, was
reportedly charged with blackmail in 1994.

In a statement to the exchange made earlier this month, Big Un
said "all necessary criminal and background checks were
undertaken for members of its board and senior management," as
required by the listing rules.

The company said Mr Evertz "does not have a criminal record" and
all relevant disclosures were made to the market.

The company, which found its way onto the exchange via reverse
listing in 2014 has been suspended from the ASX for over a month
as regulators make further inquiries.

The listing rule changes come as more technology companies with
big ambitions but small initial revenues find their way onto the
exchange and are seeking to attract investor interest with upbeat
projections.

The exchange also reminded companies statements about projected
revenue to be derived from customer contracts will be considered
"forward looking statements" and "therefore must have a
reasonable basis in fact or else it will be deemed to be
misleading".  [GN]


GETSWIFT: Expanded Statement of Claim Filed in Australian Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Australian Financial Review reports that a $300 million class
action against GetSwift has been expanded to include the last
mile logistics group's announcements about NA Williams, YUM
Brands and Amazon ahead of its first court hearing.

The expanded statement of claim filed in the Federal Court of
Australia on March 22 comes as the former market darling
continues its search to recruit new directors and an independent
chairman.

According to filed documents, law firm Squire Patton Boggs has
broadened its claim following GetSwift's statement to the market
in February about enterprise clients, which are clients with
multi-site requirements and monthly volumes of more than 10,000
deliveries.  The company said almost 50 per cent of its
enterprise client contracts had progressed through to early
stages of revenue generation.

"It's in the context of GetSwift making announcements that they
won't make fake announcements, and only make announcements where
there are real income-generating prospects," Squire Patton Boggs'
Amanda Banton said.  "If 50 per cent of the enterprise contracts
are not revenue generating, you have to wonder why they were
announced at all."

The Squire Patton Boggs class action was filed in February on an
open class basis, meaning shareholders who acquired shares during
that period will be automatically included.  It is not clear
whether some investors will exercise their right to opt out of
the action.

Broader scope
Ms Banton said among the reasons for expanding the claim was to
allay market concerns that a potential competing class action may
have a broader scope.

"You have to look at the futility of a competing class action,"
she said.

The action is set to be heard on March 29, though the parties are
expected to meet before then to discuss a potential settlement.
GetSwift, which has said it will contest the action, is being
represented by Quinn Emanuel for both the class action and the
investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments
Commission, which were triggered by an investigation by The
Australian Financial Review into GetSwift's market announcements
and failure to disclose contract losses.

Ms Banton said the law firm was seeking details from investors
about when they bought and sold GetSwift shares to better assess
the potential damages.

Part of the Squire Patton Boggs claim relies on the company's
statement on October 31 that said: "The company will only report
executed commercial agreements.  Unlike some other groups, it
will not report on memorandum of understandings or letters of
intent that are by their very nature not commercially binding and
not a valid assurance of future commercial outcomes."

GetSwift shares closed at 51õ.  Following the announcement about
a deal with Amazon, which triggered an ASX query, the company
raised capital at $4 a share. [GN]


GIGA WATT: Lawyers File Class Action Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------
Jack Filiba, writing for Coin Square, reports that Silver Miller,
the law firm behind the pending BitConnect class action
complaint, is now taking on the digital currency mining company
Giga Watt. The firm's new lawsuit is commencing on behalf of an
investor in the organization's 2017 Initial Coin Offering (ICO),
alleging over a million dollars in loss.

According to a press release, Moss v. Giga Watt will be brought
to a United States district court, and will occur alongside the
law firm's currently pending action against BitConnect.

According to the firm, Giga Watt was in violation of local laws
during its ICO.

"Giga Watt violated securities laws by selling investments in its
cryptocurrency mining farm without registering those investments
with the necessary regulatory entities," the release stated.

Further, the suit claims that Giga Watt "failed to timely issue"
the digital currency tokens that the defendant purchased during
the ICO. As a result, it alleges that the plaintiff was robbed of
the tokens he purchased, and incurred a loss "in excess of a
million dollars."

"In recent months, it has become apparent that government
officials will no longer tolerate unregistered ICO fundraisers
like Giga Watt's because such crowdfunded events lack the
protective measures needed to prevent widespread fraud upon the
investing public," added the law firm.

The lawsuit seeks retribution to the amount that the plaintiff
invested in Giga Watt, hoping to return his assets. Further, it
pleads that the courts "impose a constructive trust over the
funds and assets collected by Giga Watt that were invested by the
plaintiff and other investors."

With this lawsuit, it appears that Silver Miller is attempting to
serve the community, as many of its currently pending cases
involve digital currencies.

Perhaps its most notable case amongst the community is the firm's
actions against BitConnect. On behalf of investors, Silver
Miller's class action complaint against BitConnect is hoping to
retrieve hundreds of thousands of dollars for investors, alleging
that the company was running a Ponzi scheme.

Currently, the firm states that it has various pending actions
against Coinbase, Kraken, and Cryptsy as well as "pre-functional
token ICO promoters" Monkey Capital and Tezos.[GN]


GRUPO TELEVISA: Klein Law Firm Files Securities Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
The Klein Law Firm disclosed that a class action complaint has
been filed on behalf of shareholders of Grupo Televisa S.A.B.
(NYSE:TV) who purchased shares between April 11, 2013 and January
25, 2018. The action, which was filed in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleges
that the Company violated federal securities laws.

In particular, the complaint alleges that throughout the Class
Period, defendants made materially false and/or misleading
statements and/or failed to disclose that (1) Grupo Televisa
executives engaged in an unlawful bribery scheme involving
Federation Internationale de Football Association ("FIFA")
executives; (2) discovery of the foregoing conduct would likely
subject Grupo Televisa to heightened regulatory scrutiny; and (3)
Grupo Televisa lacked effective internal controls over financial
reporting. When the true details entered the market, the lawsuit
claims that investors suffered damages.

Shareholders have until May 4, 2018 to petition the court for
lead plaintiff status. Your ability to share in any recovery does
not require that you serve as lead plaintiff. You may choose to
be an absent class member.

If you suffered a loss during the class period and wish to obtain
additional information, please contact Joseph Klein, Esq. by
telephone at 212-616-4899 or visit
http://www.kleinstocklaw.com/pslra-c/grupo-televisa-s-a-b?wire=3.

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

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


GRUPO TELEVISA: Vincent Wong Files Securities Class Suit
--------------------------------------------------------
The Law Offices of Vincent Wong announce that a class action
lawsuit has been commenced in the United States District Court
for the Southern District of New York on behalf of investors who
purchased Grupo Televisa S.A.B. ("Grupo Televisa") (NYSE: TV)
securities between April 11, 2013 and January 25, 2018.

Click here to learn about the case: http://www.wongesq.com/pslra-
c/grupo-televisa-s-a-b?wire=2. There is no cost or obligation to
you.

According to the complaint, throughout the Class Period, the
Company issued materially false and misleading statements and/or
failed to disclose that: (1) Grupo Televisa executives engaged in
an unlawful bribery scheme involving Federation Internationale de
Football Association ("FIFA") executives; (2) discovery of the
foregoing conduct would likely subject Grupo Televisa to
heightened regulatory scrutiny; and (3) Grupo Televisa lacked
effective internal controls over financial reporting. When the
true details entered the market, the lawsuit claims that
investors suffered damages.

If you suffered a loss in Grupo Televisa you have until May 4,
2018 to request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff.
Your ability to share in any recovery doesn't require that you
serve as a lead plaintiff. To obtain additional information,
contact Vincent Wong, Esq. either via email vw@wongesq.com, by
telephone at 212.425.1140, or visit http://www.wongesq.com/pslra-
c/grupo-televisa-s-a-b?wire=2.

Vincent Wong, Esq. is an experienced attorney that has
represented investors in securities litigations involving
financial fraud and violations of shareholder rights.

         Vincent Wong, Esq.
         The Law Offices of Vincent Wong
         Phone: 212-425-1140
         Fax. 866-699-3880
         E- mail vw@wongesq.com [GN]


GUAM: Opposes Contractors' H-2B Class Action Certification Bid
--------------------------------------------------------------
Haidee V Eugenio, writing for Pacific Daily News, reports that a
federal court has received opposing motions from the federal
government and some contractors in a request to certify as a
class-action lawsuit a case involving the denial of hiring
skilled foreign workers for Guam under the H-2B visa program.

If the U.S. District Court of Guam certifies the lawsuit as a
class-action status, businesses not named as plaintiffs in the
case could apply for H-2B visas for Guam.

The Guam Contractors Association and nearly a dozen businesses
sued the federal government in 2016 for denying almost all
petitions to hire H-2B workers for the island, when H-2B
petitions under the same set of facts were approved in the past.

The federal government opposes the contractors' request to
certify the case as a class-action lawsuit, arguing the
plaintiffs lack standing to proceed because no relief can be
granted to them because the period of needs for hiring H-2B
workers have expired.

"Further, any claim of injury by plaintiffs on future-filed H-2B
petitions is unripe, as United States Citizenship and Immigration
Services has yet to make a determination on 'temporary need' and
issue final agency actions in those instances," the federal
government said.

The contractors, represented by attorneys Jeff Joseph and
Jennifer Davis, asked the court to strike the federal
government's opposition to the motion, saying it was untimely
filed, among other things.

"Alternatively, if the court considers the opposition, the court
should still grant the motion for class certification as the
plaintiffs have clearly established eligibility for class
certification under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure," the
contractors' attorneys said in a March 19 motion to strike.

The federal government, in a March 21 filing, said it timely and
properly filed its opposition brief. The federal government said
the plaintiffs' motion to strike is meritless and should be
denied in its entirety by the court.

Resumption
The opposing parties' filings came days after U.S. District Court
Chief Judge Frances Tydingo-Gatewood allowed on March 5 the
resumption of the process of determining whether to certify the
H-2B lawsuit as a class-action status.

The judge on Jan. 24 issued a preliminary injunction, saying the
federal government cannot rely on "peakload" or "one-time
occurrence" conditions as reasons to deny any past or future
petitions for H-2B worker visas.  While a number of motions in
the H-2B lawsuit have been resolved, the contractors' class-
action certification motion remains.

Moreover, the latest National Defense Authorization Act has
allowed Guam contractors for military projects to bring in as
many as 4,000 H-2B workers every year, but not for contractors
working on non-military projects.

Guam used to have more than 1,000 H-2B workers at any one point,
but the number dwindled to about 30 this year. [GN]


HARVEY WEINSTEIN: Meryl Streep Balks at Class Action Response
-------------------------------------------------------------
Matt Donnelly, writing for The Wrap, reports that Oscar winner
Meryl Streep is striking back yet again after finding herself
dragged into the Harvey Weinstein scandal.

In a response to a class action lawsuit filed over his accused
misconduct, Weinstein invoked previous statements from Streep
that he had been "respectful" to her when they worked together.
Streep did not appreciate his associating that remark in relation
to the rape, assault and harassment he stands accused of by over
80 women.

"Harvey Weinstein's attorneys' use of my (true) statement -- that
he was not sexually transgressive or physically abusive in our
business relationship -- as evidence that he was not abusive with
many OTHER women is pathetic and exploitive," the actress said
through a spokesperson.

"The criminal actions he is accused of conducting on the bodies
of these women are his responsibility, and if there is any
justice left in the system he will pay for them -- regardless of
how many good movies, made by many good people, Harvey was lucky
enough to have acquired or financed."

The response also cites previous comments from actress Jennifer
Lawrence, who told Oprah the disgraced mogul had been "nothing
but nice to her" since they had met.

And that is still not the last Oscar winner mentioned in the
proceedings, which have several undisclosed plaintiffs suing him.
Weinstein challenged the account given by Gwyneth Paltrow that he
attempted to assault her in a Beverly Hills hotel room.

Weinstein said that after the alleged incident, Paltrow continued
to work with his then-studio Miramax and filmed the project that
would deliver her the 1998 Best Actress Oscar -- "Shakespeare in
Love.:"

Weinstein has routinely denied any occasion on nonconsensual sex.
He and his legal team are asking the suit be dismissed.

This is not Streep's first contact with the scandal.  Weinstein
accuser Rose McGowan said the beloved movie star was being
complicit in his alleged abuse, something the actress denied and
said she attempted to speak to McGowan about. [GN]


HEALTH-ADE KOMBUCHA: Faces False Advertising Class Actions
----------------------------------------------------------
Mart°n Caballero, writing for BevNET, reports that issues
regarding the accuracy of sugar, alcohol and probiotic content in
kombucha continue to haunt some of the category's fastest-growing
brands, as evidenced by a pair of class action lawsuits.

First, in a complaint filed March 6 in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of California, the plaintiff,
Gabriela Bayol, alleges that Health-Ade Kombucha "has passed off
its entire line of . . . beverages as non-alcoholic, when, in
fact, the beverages contain more than twice the alcohol allowed
for non-alcoholic beverages."

The suit also names Whole Foods as a defendant, claiming that the
natural retailer "materially contributes, controls and abets the
fraud and misleading advertising" by placing the drink on shelves
next to non-alcoholic beverages.

In addition, the complaint states that the brand's sugar levels
have been understated in order position its products as a
healthier alternatives, while contributing to the continued
fermentation of the drink in the cooler.

Ms. Bayol's attorneys point to independent testing by Alcohol and
Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) certified lab Brewing &
Distilling Analytical Services, conducted on multiple batches of
Health-Ade Kombucha, to support their case.  According to the
complaint, tests of multiple bottles of four Health-Ade flavors
purchased from different stores revealed that none fell below the
federally mandated limit of 0.5 alcohol by volume (ABV) required
for non-alcoholic beverages.

The complaint also cited Health-Ade's prior history of litigation
over labeling issues.  In 2015, two consumers sued the company in
California state court for inaccurately stating the products'
sugar and alcohol content on the bottle.  Both cases were
dismissed.

A separate case filed by The Tortilla Factory, makers of Kombucha
Dog brand kombucha, which is marketed as an alcoholic beverage,
is still pending.

Health-Ade declined to comment on pending litigation for this
story.

Meanwhile, a class action lawsuit filed March 6 alleges that Brew
Dr. Kombucha overstates the amount of probiotic colony forming
units (CFUs) in its products.

The complaint, made in Illinois state court by the plaintiff
Vladislav Bazer, claims that independent third-party lab testing
found the drinks have as little as 50,000 CFUs, the measure of
the viable bacterial cells in a sample.  According to the
complaint, that is 20,000 times less than the "billions of
probiotic bacteria" that Brew Dr. advertises is in every bottle.

Mr. Bazer seeks to sue on behalf of a class of people nationwide
who have purchased Brew Dr. Kombucha drinks, as well as people
who have done so in Illinois during the past three years.

In an email to BevNET, Brew Dr. founder and CEO Matt Thomas said
the company has "absolute confidence" in its products.

"We have shown our commitment to the consumer through our
innovative solution to keeping kombucha authentic while removing
alcohol content.  Upon early review it appears this lawsuit is
likely not based on thorough testing," he wrote.

As kombucha's popularity has grown in recent years, legal
scrutiny over sugar and alcohol content in the drinks has also
increased.  In February 2017, a California federal judge approved
an $8.25 million settlement between a group of consumers and co-
defendants GT's Living Foods and Whole Foods Market Inc. over
claims that the' antioxidant, alcohol and sugar content on GT's
labels were inaccurate.  The company also agreed to stop using
the term "antioxidant" on packaging, and include a warning that
the product contains alcohol.

In October, a class action complaint was filed in California
against PepsiCo-owned probiotic beverage brand KeVita, alleging
that it violates consumer expectations that kombucha is a raw
product by pasteurizing its drinks and adding shelf-stable
probiotics afterwards. [GN]


HEARTWARE: Must Face Class Action Over Failed MVAD Trial
--------------------------------------------------------
Brad Perriello, writing for MassDevice, reports that a federal
judge in New York City shot down a bid by Medtronic subsidiary
HeartWare to dismiss a class-action lawsuit brought over a failed
trial of its MVAD implantable heart pump.

Framingham, Mass.-based HeartWare in July 2015 launched a
clinical trial aimed at winning CE Mark approval in the European
Union for the next-generation MVAD pump, but hit the pause button
in September 2015 after running into an issue with the
manufacturing process for the device's controller.  The problems
persisted into January of the following year, when the company
said it couldn't predict when it would be able to get the MVAD
program back on line.

That prompted the class-action suit by lead plaintiff the St.
Paul Teachers' Retirement Fund Assn., alleging that HeartWare and
then-CEO Douglas Godshall "failed to heed directives by the U.S.
Food & Drug Administration to remedy dangerous deficiencies in
its processes for manufacturing and testing its devices,"
according to the amended complaint.

"Instead, HeartWare disregarded serious defects in MVAD and
implanted the flawed device in patients enrolled in a pivotal
clinical trial.  Defendants nevertheless stated that the company
fixed the defects found by the FDA and repeatedly emphasized
MVAD's purported commercial value, superior safety profile and
cutting edge technological enhancements.  None of these
statements were true.  As a direct result of this misconduct,
HeartWare's clinical trial of MVAD ended in disaster, with nearly
half the patients experiencing serious adverse side effects, and
the company's stock price losing more than two-thirds of its
value."

HeartWare, which was acquired for $1.1 billion by Medtronic in
August 2016, moved to dismiss the case, arguing that "optimism
does not become securities fraud when the hope wanes" after a
failed clinical trial.

The lawsuit, "brought in the wake of a disappointing development
in a clinical trial for a new medical technology" is based
"entirely on implausible and impermissible hindsight inferences
that plaintiff asks the court to draw from the trial results,"
according to the motion to dismiss.

"Plaintiff asks the court to infer, for example, that HeartWare
and its CEO, Douglas Godshall, were misleading investors when,
throughout the class period, they updated investors on when they
expected to complete remediation of certain documentation issues
identified by the FDA, when they expected initiation of clinical
trials for their development-stage medical technology, and how
well the new technology was performing in lab and in animal
testing.  Plaintiff also asks the court to infer that the company
and Godshall rushed the new technology into a clinical trial that
they supposedly knew was doomed to fail, all the while allegedly
misleading investors about the prospects for success. These
hindsight inferences make no sense," the company alleged in the
motion.

But Judge Ronnie Abrams of the U.S. District Court for Southern
New York ruled from the bench that evidence from six former
HeartWare employees, who said the problems with the MVAD device
were know to the company, was plausible enough to warrant a
trial.

Judge Abrams gave the defendants until May 16 to respond to the
lawsuit, according to court documents. [GN]


HGGC LLC: Falsely Labels Health Supplements, "Larson" Suit Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------------
ASHLEIGH LARSON and JUSTIN LOVELACE, Individually and On Behalf
of All Others Similarly Situated v. HGGC LLC a/k/a NEUTRACEUTICAL
INTERNATIONAL CORP. a/k/a ZHOU, INC. d/b/a ZHOU NUTRITION, Case
No. BC698215 (Cal. Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cty., March 14, 2018),
arises from the Defendant's alleged false promotion, and unlawful
labeling of consumable products.

The "Products" include Neuro-Peak, Milk Thistle, Green Tea
Extract, Driftoff, Horny Goat Weed, Thyroid Support, Saw
Palmetto, or Calm Now, and substantially similar products,
including Spirulina, Selenium, MCT Powder, Garlic, Turmeric, K2 +
D3, Water Away, and Hairfluence.

The health supplement products are each advertised and labeled
with some combination of promises that the Product was either
"Manufactured In The USA," or is "Natural," the Plaintiffs
assert.  However, the Plaintiffs allege, all of these claims are
false and misleading to the customer because, on information and
belief, the Products active ingredients are 85% to 100% sourced
from outside of the United States and each product contains
synthetic ingredients.  The Plaintiffs point out that the
Products are neither "Natural" nor "Made in USA" by definition.

HGGC, LLC, is a private equity firm specializing in leveraged
buyouts, add-on acquisitions, platform investments,
recapitalizations, growth equity, public to private, corporate
carve-outs, restructuring in middle market and mid cap private
and public companies.  HGGC acquired Neutraceutical International
Corp. in August 2017.

Nutraceutical International Corporation manufactures, markets,
distributes, and retails branded nutritional supplements and
other natural products in the United States and internationally.
Zhou, Inc., was founded in 2011 and acquired by Neutraceutical in
April 2017.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Abbas Kazerounian, Esq.
          Jason A. Ibey, Esq.
          KAZEROUNI LAW GROUP, APC
          245 Fischer Avenue, Unit Dl
          Costa Mesa, CA 92626
          Telephone: (800) 400-6808
          Facsimile: (800) 520-5523
          E-mail: ak@kazlg.com
                  jason@kazlg.com

               - and -

          Joshua B. Swigart, Esq.
          HYDE & SWIGART
          2221 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 101
          San Diego, CA 92108-3551
          Telephone: (619) 233-7770
          Facsimile: (619)297-1022
          E-mail: josh@westcoastlitigation.com


HOT SPRINGS, AR: Establishes $110,000 False Alarm Settlement Fund
-----------------------------------------------------------------
David Showers, writing for The Sentinel-Record, reports that a
settlement approved in the class action lawsuit filed against Hot
Springs' false alarm ordinance established a $110,000 fund for
the 255 class members.

City Attorney Brian Albright said the city and Arkansas Municipal
League, which represented the city in the class action filed by
ABC Block & Brick in November, will each contribute $55,000 to
the settlement approved by Division 3 Circuit Judge Lynn
Williams.  A final settlement hearing was scheduled for March 15.

Claims had to be submitted by March 14, according to the claim
notice mailed to class members. Unclaimed proceeds will be
disbursed back to the city and Municipal League. Municipal League
attorney Michael Mosley said his office has received about 30
claims, which, according to the settlement, have to be paid
within 90 days of the final approval order.

The settlement allows up to $40,000 in fees for the class'
attorneys to be paid from the fund.

The class comprises those fined or who paid fines from Nov. 15,
2014, to Jan. 12 of this year as a result of the city's false
alarm ordinance, which imposes a fine after five false alarms.  A
$25 fine is assessed on the sixth false alarm, with the penalty
increasing to $50 on the 11th false alarm and $100 on the 16th
and every one after that.

Any outstanding balances are no longer valid, according to the
claim notice, and the city has ceased enforcing the ordinance.
Albright said the city and Municipal League will work with the
class' attorneys on drafting a new ordinance that will include a
definition for a false alarm.

The complaint class attorney Chris Corbitt filed in November
argued the ordinance was vague, allowing the police department,
in the absence of a clear standard enshrined in the city code, to
determine whether an alarm was false.  The complaint said the
city imposed an undue burden on property owners, making them
solely responsible for false alarms when installation and
monitoring companies and "acts of God" can also be at fault.

Mr. Corbitt said the new ordinance should include verified
response, which requires verification that a crime is taking
place before police are dispatched.  According to the complaint,
false alarms account for 94 percent of all alarm signals
nationwide.

"We're setting up a meeting with the Municipal League to come up
with a better (ordinance) because the current one also puts a
burden on police who have to respond to false alarms,"
Mr. Corbitt said.

He said Tractor Supply Co. at 2307 Albert Pike Road will be the
class member that benefits the most from the settlement. City
billing records obtained by The Sentinel-Record last year showed
Tractor Supply was fined $9,525 for 125 false alarms from 2015 to
July 2017.

"They're going to get $10,000 back," Mr. Corbitt said.

ABC Block, the lead plaintiff that filed the lawsuit under its
corporate designation, Newoods Inc., was fined $125 for 10 false
alarms from April to August of last year.  St. Mary's Catholic
Church was fined $375 for 15 false alarms in 2015 and $575 for 17
in 2016.

The KFC at 114 Airport Road was fined $975 for 21 false alarms in
2015, and Las Americas Supermarket was fined $875 for 20 false
alarms in 2016.  The city assessed 264 businesses, churches and
residences false alarm fines totaling $25,200 in 2014.

Mr. Corbitt said class actions ABC Block filed against Little
Rock and Fayetteville's false alarm ordinances are pending. [GN]


HYATT HOTELS: Faces Search-Engine Antitrust Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Hannah Meisel, writing for Law360, reports that hospitality
giants such Hyatt Hotels Corp., Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.,
Marriott International Inc. and Wyndham Worldwide Corp. were
named in a class action on March 19, alleging the companies are
engaged in an anti-competitive agreement to not advertise against
each other via Google and other search engine-generated results.

The suit, which also names Choice Hotels International Inc. and
Intercontinental Hotels Group PLC as defendants, alleges the
companies entered into this alleged anti-competitive agreement in
2015, promising to stop bidding for each other's branded keywords
on prominent search engines.

The case is Tichy v. Hyatt Hotels Corporation et al, Case No.
1:18-cv-01959 (N.D. Ill.).  The case is assigned to Judge
Honorable Rebecca R. Pallmeyer.  The case was filed March 19,
2018. [GN]


HYUNDAI MOTORS: Amicus Groups Want 9th Cir. to Rehear Decision
--------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad, writing for Law.com, reports that a flurry of
amicus groups on both sides of the class action bar urged the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to rehear en banc a
decision that they say would effectively nullify nationwide
settlements.

Public Justice, the Impact Fund, the American Tort Reform
Association and three other groups, plus a law professor and a
former federal judge, wrote in briefs filed on March 19 that the
Ninth Circuit's Jan. 23 panel decision in In re Hyundai and Kia
Fuel Economy Standards would make it next to impossible to
certify nationwide settlements.  The 2-1 decision de-certified a
nationwide class action settlement after concluding that the
district judge failed to conduct an analysis over whether
consumer laws in several states were so different from one
another as to defeat the common claims of class members.

The groups said the ruling conflicts with its own precedent and
decisions in the Third and Seventh circuits, parroting the
arguments of plaintiffs and defendants Hyundai Motor America and
Kia Motors America Inc. in dual petitions for en banc review.

In a brief for the plaintiffs groups, Elizabeth Cabraser, of
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, wrote that the decision
"added requirements and shifted burdens" that would have
"potentially devastating consequences for consumer class
actions."

"In practice, eviscerating nationwide settlements will not result
in 50+ customized settlements tailored to the laws of each state
and district, but rather, will operate to prevent settlements at
all," she wrote in the brief, filed by Public Justice, the Impact
Fund, the National Consumer Law Center and the National
Association of Consumer Advocates.

Public Justice Executive Director Paul Bland said the Hyundai
decision would have a "very substantial" impact on nationwide
class action settlements.

"The panel majority in Hyundai seems to create a sweeping rule
that would make choice-of-law issues the predominant factor, that
would bar nationwide settlements, in the majority of cases
proceeding under state law, and would appear to require dozens of
individual state-wide cases settling or adjudicating the same
factual and legal issues again and again for all sorts of cases,"
he wrote.  "Hopefully, the Ninth Circuit will just return the
situation to the status quo as it's existed for many years, and
avoid the mass duplication and even chaos threatened by this
broad panel decision."

In a separate brief, attorney Cary Silverman --
csilverman@shb.com -- of Shook, Hardy & Bacon in Washington D.C.,
wrote for the American Tort Reform Association and the
Association of Global Automakers (whose members including
Hyundai) that the ruling imposes "a significant unnecessary
obstacle" to nationwide settlements.

"If courts within this Circuit cannot certify fair agreements
between businesses and their customers to resolve their disputes
at a nationwide level, the result will be either the need to
create highly complex arrangements with multiple subclasses or to
settle consumer litigation on a state-by-state basis," he wrote.
"Each option would needlessly multiply and prolong litigation,
with the additional legal fees undoubtedly outweigh in any
additional benefit to the class.  Such a result is not good for
consumers or businesses."

The ruling involved a settlement of Hyundai consumers who had
sued over misstatements about fuel standards.  In a dissent,
Ninth Circuit Judge Jacqueline Nguyen said the majority's opinion
"deals a major blow" to nationwide class actions.

In the March 19 brief, Ms. Cabraser wrote that the ruling
conflicts with the Ninth Circuit's own 1998 opinion in Hanlon v.
Chrysler, which "has guided settlement of nationwide consumer
class actions for twenty years." Hyundai also would create a
"needless, avoidable circuit split" with the Third Circuit's en
banc decision in Sullivan v. DB Investments in 2011 and the
Seventh Circuit's 2001 ruling in In re Mexico Money Transfer
Litigation, she wrote.  In those cases, she wrote, "it is the
defendants' common course of conduct, including material
misrepresentations to consumers, that sits at the heart of the
litigation and provides the necessary common questions."  A
similar analysis took place in the $14.7 billion emissions
settlement with Volkswagen in which she served as lead counsel.

The defense groups, in their brief, made a point of
distinguishing when a choice-of-law analysis was appropriate.

"There is a difference between parties sitting down and finding a
way to resolve disputes in a manner that is fair to all and
attempting to litigate a case including plaintiffs from around
the country and involving different laws with different
requirements of proof and damages," Mr. Silverman wrote in an
email.  "Certification of multistate classes for litigation and
trial come with a significant risk that the proof required by
each law and available defenses will be thrown out the window--
violating due process--but that should not impede the ability of
businesses and consumers to reach an agreement that is fair under
any state law."

A third brief was filed by Stephen Larson of Larson O'Brien in
Los Angeles, a former district judge in the Central District of
California, where the Hyundai case originated, and Harvard Law
School professor David Rosenberg.

That brief, written by Ryan Wu of Capstone Law in Los Angeles,
said the panel did not give adequate discretion to the district
judge in the case, U.S. District Judge George Wu, and required an
analysis that is "unnecessarily burdensome" on the courts.  If
left in place, Wu wrote, the Hyundai ruling would defeat a chief
goal of class actions: efficiency.

"The Hyundai decision threatens to place unsupportable roadblocks
to the pursuit and settlement of nationwide class actions and
would further erode the key features of class actions: efficiency
in handling numerous claims and deterrence of harmful business
conduct," he wrote.  "All parties would suffer from this result."
[GN]


HYUNDAI MOTORS: ATRA Files Amicus Brief in Fuel Economy Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
Alison Frankel, writing for Reuters, reports that the American
Tort Reform Association is no fan of class actions, which it
describes on its website as "meritless cases in which thousands,
or millions, of plaintiffs with unique injuries and grievances
are granted class status, often without the knowledge of class
members."

"I suspect it will not surprise you to hear that an association
comprised of oft-sued corporations, which is perhaps best known
for its annual Judicial Hellholes report on plaintiffs-friendly
jurisdictions, avers that class actions mostly exist to shower
plaintiffs lawyers with millions of dollars at the expense of
unwitting class members who may never even realize their claims
have been traded away for mere pennies," Ms. Frankel says.

"Here's what may surprise you, in light of ATRA's well-document
conviction that class action litigation is rife with abuse: On
March 19, ATRA teamed up with the Association of Global
Automakers in an amicus brief asking the 9th U.S. Circuit Court
of Appeals to reconsider en banc a panel decision that will make
it much tougher for defendants to settle nationwide class
actions.  Yes, that's right: The panel's ruling in In re Hyundai
and Kia Fuel Economy Litigation is so problematic that has pushed
the granddaddy of tort reform groups into arguing in favor of
nationwide class action settlements.

"The 2-1 Hyundai decision, as I've explained, struck down a $200
million nationwide settlement of claims that the car makers
misrepresented the fuel efficiency of their vehicles, holding
that the trial judge failed adequately to analyze differences in
state consumer laws.  Almost instantly, class action lawyers
began fretting about the ruling's impact on pending nationwide
settlements and insisting the panel analysis put the 9th Circuit
at odds with the 3rd Circuit's en banc 2011 decision in Sullivan
v. DB Investments.

"Defendants Hyundai and Kia and class counsel from Hagens Berman
Sobol Shapiro filed petitions for en banc review, arguing that
the panel's decision departs from the 9th Circuit's own 1998
precedent in Hanlon v. Chrysler and from the U.S. Supreme Court's
reasoning in 1997's Amchem v. Windsor."

Hyundai's lawyers at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and Kia
counsel at Dykema Gossett emphasized the burden the decision
creates for trial courts and defendants.  "In addition to
establishing inter- and intra-circuit conflicts, the ruling
imposes a new and unworkable requirement on district courts to
review sua sponte the laws of all 50 states before certifying any
nationwide settlement class involving state-law claims," the
petition said.  "Allowed to stand, the decision will not only sow
confusion but obstruct fair and efficient resolution of class
actions throughout this nation's most active class action
circuit.  Defendants that seek good-faith resolutions of
expansive class actions -- meritorious or dubious -- should not
bear a further tax for procedural formalism that fails to make
the settlement more fair."

That's also the theme of the ATRA and global automakers' amicus
brief, filed by Shook, Hardy & Bacon.  The brief highlights the
distinction between class actions in which defendants want to
settle and those in which defendants are battling class
certification.  Courts shouldn't certify classes in nationwide
cases headed for trial, the brief said, because litigating claims
under the laws of different states is not feasible.  But
variations in state consumer laws are not important in the
settlement context, the brief argued, as long as the proposed
deal is fair to class members.

Ms. Frankel asked ATRA lawyer Cary Silverman of Shook Hardy if
there's any incongruity between ATRA's ideological suspicion of
class actions and its support of nationwide class action
settlements.  He said no. "ATRA's position, as it is in other
contexts, is that it's opposed to needless, costly litigation,"
Silverman said.  The group calls out class action abuses when it
sees them, Mr. Silverman said, but regarded the Hyundai
settlement as a just resolution.  "ATRA wants to assure we don't
create a situation where parties are unable to fully, fairly and
efficiently resolve consumer disputes," he said.

ATRA was the only member of the business lobby to weigh in as the
9th Circuit weighs en banc rehearing of Hyundai.  Other groups it
frequently allies with in amicus filings, such as the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of
Manufacturers, didn't submit Hyundai amicus briefs.

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein filed an amicus brief for
Public Justice, the National Association of Consumer Advocates,
the National Consumer Law Center and the Impact Fund, which, of
course, want the en banc 9th Circuit to overturn the panel's
ruling.

The objecting class members who succeeded in squelching the
Hyundai settlement have until March 30 to file a brief opposing
en banc review. [GN]


HYUNDAI MOTORS: NHTSA Probes Air-Bag Related Deaths Amid Lawsuits
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Michelle Kaske, Naureen S. Malik, Christie Smythe, Steven Church,
John Lippert, and Sohee Kimm, writing for Bloomberg News, report
that safety regulators in the U.S. are investigating air bags in
certain Hyundai and Kia vehicles that failed to deploy in frontal
collisions linked to four deaths and six injuries.

As many as 425,000 automobiles made by the South Korean
manufacturers may be affected, according to an investigation
report posted on the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration's website.  NHTSA is investigating whether
vehicles made by other carmakers also may be at risk.  Hyundai
Motor Co. and Kia Motors Corp. shares fell.

The crashes were reported in the past six years and involved
Hyundai Sonatas and Sonata hybrids made in 2011, and Kia Forte
and Kia Forte Koups made in 2012 and 2013.  Hyundai on Feb. 27
recalled almost 155,000 Sonatas after determining that an
electrical overstress failed to inflate the air bags during
collisions.  Hyundai is looking into the product supplier, ZF-
TRW, for a possible cause for the electrical problem.

Air bags already are linked to the largest and most complex auto-
related recall in U.S. history -- the one that ultimately led to
Japan's Takata Corp. to seek court protection from creditors
after its devices were linked to at least 17 deaths.  Unlike the
Takata situation, which involved exploding air bags with
shrapnel, the latest probe involves devices that failed to deploy
at all.

Shares Fall
Shares of Hyundai declined 3.8 percent in Seoul, the biggest drop
in more than two months.  Kia lost 3.5 percent, the most in more
than six months.

"This is just the start of an investigation -- we don't know how
much it will be expanded yet," said Lee Hang-koo, a senior
researcher at state-run Korea Institute for Industrial Economics
& Trade in Sejong City, South Korea.  "It is surely bad news for
Hyundai, which is already seeing sluggish sales in the U.S."

The federal agency said it will work to determine whether any
other automaker use air-bag control units that are the same or
similar to those supplied by ZF-TRW, and whether those units
behave the same way in similar crashes.  A safety expert said
that's critical to determining how widespread the problem is and
whether it's just a Hyundai and Kia issue.

"If there is a component in the module that is used by other
systems as well, that number could increase significantly,"
Keith Friedman, automotive safety researcher at Friedman Research
Corp. in Austin, Texas, said in a telephone interview.  "If it
has to do with the way this particular module has been
manufactured, it could be localized to these particular
vehicles."

Automakers Cooperating
The Korean companies said they're cooperating in the probe.
Hyundai is "announcing this recall now to ensure the safety of
our customers," the company said in a statement.  Kia said it
will work closely with NHTSA, including monitoring crash reports
and conduct more crash tests as needed.

The Sonatas and Sonata hybrids made in 2011 that were sold in
Hyundai's home market of South Korea don't have ZF-TRW air bags,
said Koh Sung-woo, deputy director at the country's transport
ministry.  About 30,000 Kia Forte cars produced in South Korea
have ZF-TRW air bags, though those have different ways of
deploying air bags than in the U.S. cars, he said.  The ministry
will wait for the result of the U.S. probe and see if there are
any similar consumer complaints in South Korea, he said.

ZF-TRW was formed when closely held German company ZF
Friedrichshafen AG bought U.S.-based TRW Automotive Holdings
Corp. for more than $12 billion in 2015.

Takata agreed to pay as much as $650 million to settle claims in
44 states and the District of Columbia for defective air bags
that can explode in car crashes, sending metal shards flying.
The company has recalled millions of air bags, the largest in
history, that had been linked to the deaths and spurred lawsuits
leading to more than $1 billion in settlements from automakers
including Honda Motor Co., Toyota Motor Corp., Subaru Corp.,
Mazda Motor Corp., Nissan Motor Co. and BMW AG.

U.S. consumers filed class-action complaints in Miami federal
court to recover costs against units of General Motors and
Volkswagen as well as Daimler AG's Mercedes-Benz and Fiat
Chrysler.  The complaints allege that the automakers deceived the
public about the defects and associated dangers. [GN]


INTEL CORP: Unravel the Gavel Files Suit Over Defective CPUs
------------------------------------------------------------
UNRAVEL THE GAVEL, INC., Individually and on Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated v. INTEL CORPORATION, Case No. 3:18-cv-00448-
YY (D. Ore., March 14, 2018), alleges that Intel's processors are
defective.

Specifically, the Plaintiff alleges, Intel processors are
incapable of operating at represented processing speeds without
exposing users to two security vulnerabilities -- known as
"Meltdown" and "Spectre" -- which "allow programs to steal data
which is currently processed on the computer."  "Although both
[Defects] are based on the same general principle, Meltdown
allows malicious programs to gain access to higher-privileged
parts of a computer's memory, while Spectre steals data from the
memory of other applications running on a machine," the Plaintiff
contends, citing Andy Greenberg, A Critical Intel Flaw Breaks
Basic Security for Most Computers, WIRED, January 3, 2018.

Intel Corporation is a Delaware corporation with its principal
place of business located in Santa Clara, California.  The
Company is engaged in the business of designing, manufacturing,
selling, and distributing CPUs.

Intel is one of the largest manufacturers of central processing
units.  Intel's processors are integrated -- with Intel's
assistance and guidance -- into desktop and laptop computers,
servers, and smartphones manufactured by, inter alia, Dell Inc.,
Lenovo Group Limited, HP Inc., Acer Inc., and Apple Inc.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Robert C. Weaver, Jr., Esq.
          Paul H. Trinchero, Esq.
          Eryn Karpinski Hoerster, Esq.
          GARVEY SCHUBERT BARER
          121 SW Morrison Street, Eleventh Floor
          Portland, OR 97204-3141
          Telephone: (503) 228-3939
          Facsimile: (503) 226-0259
          E-mail: rweaver@gsblaw.com
                  ptrinchero@gsblaw.com
                  ehoerster@gsblaw.com

               - and -

          Joseph H. Meltzer, Esq.
          Samantha Holbrook, Esq.
          KESSLER TOPAZ MELTZER & CHECK, LLP
          280 King of Prussia Road
          Radnor, PA 19087
          Telephone: (610) 667-7706
          Facsimile: (610) 667-7056
          E-mail: jmeltzer@ktmc.com
                  sholbrook@ktmc.com


JAMAICA: Councillor Explores Suit as Air Pollution Persists
-----------------------------------------------------------
Claudienne Edwards, writing for the Jamaica Observer, reports
that the issues affecting residents are said to be linked to
late-night tyre burning in the area. The air pollution issue in
the area has been highlighted at the Parish Disaster and
Committee meetings of the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal
Corporation (KSAMC) since January, but the Jamaica Observer was
told by NEPA that the air quality monitor in Washington Gardens
has been out of service since 2015.

Perry told the KSAMC meeting on March 20 that he is consulting
his lawyers on the matter of the class action suit.

KSAMC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Robert Hill said in February
that the corporation was trying to find the alleged illicit sites
where tyres were being burnt at nights.

The councillor also told the committee on March 20 that NEPA had
given minister without portfolio in the Ministry of Economic
Growth and Job Creation, Daryl Vaz, the results of air quality
tests done in Washington Gardens.

Perry said that he attended a stakeholders' meeting at NEPA on
March 8, and that at the meeting Vaz had said that the results of
the air quality tests were not good.

"The tests showed the air quality to be so poor that it was
deemed as dangerous to health," Perry said on March 20.

The councillor said, too, that, according to the results, one of
the long-term effects of the air pollution on the residents'
health could be cancer. Perry said that many of the residents who
were having asthma attacks as a result of the issue "can't afford
drugs".

He said that people living in Plantation Heights, Belvedere and
parts of Meadowbrook are also experiencing poor air quality due
to the alleged late-night tyre burning.

Perry pointed out that the KSAMC officers who attended the March
8 meeting should update the council on the discussions. However,
after the committee meeting, the Vice-Chairman Beverly Prince
told the Observer that the CEO said he received the PowerPoint
presentation made at the stakeholders' meeting on March 12 and
was reviewing it.

The Observer requested a copy of the presentation that was
delivered at the March 8 meeting from NEPA, but was told that it
would not be released "at this time".

A press release from NEPA stated that: "There was general
agreement from the meeting that the situation necessitated
immediate and resolute multi-agency intervention to ameliorate
the threatening health conditions residents are being predisposed
to as a direct result of the high-risk air quality situation
caused by illicit and open burning."

One of the actions the NEPA press release said stakeholders
"identified for immediate commencement over the next two weeks"
was that "known illicit operating [of] open burning sites
contributing to the air quality challenges are to be shut done".

On March 20, the Observer posed six questions in an e-mail to
NEPA CEO Peter Knight, one of which was how many of the illicit
burning sites have been shut down since the March 8 stakeholders'
meeting.

The questions are yet to be answered. However, the permanent
secretary's office in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job
Creation told the Observer that NEPA said Minister Vaz would have
to be briefed before the questions could be answered.

Some of the other actions the NEPA release said were identified
for immediate commencement were:

   -- community engagement meetings to sensitise and mobilise
residents on the planned action plan and broad intervention
measures to be pursued;

   -- alternative livelihood opportunities for community members
involved in the illicit burning (trade) activities will be
explored as well as proposing other solutions to open burning;

   -- engaging trade, industry and commerce operating along the
corridor on the proposed plans and interventions, and obtain the
sectors support; and

   -- requesting the Ministry of Health's support and
interventions to respond to health issues impacting the
residents.[GN]


KRAFT FOODS: CFTC Can Use Class Action Transcripts in Wheat Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
Diana Novak Jones, writing for Law360, reports that an Illinois
federal judge said on March 20 he will allow the Commodity
Futures Trading Commission to use transcripts from depositions in
a proposed investor class action over Kraft Foods' alleged
manipulation of the wheat market in the trial for the regulator's
suit over the same claims.

At a hearing, U.S. District Judge John Robert Blakey said he
would only allow Kraft Foods and the CFTC to use the transcripts
for impeachment purposes when the CFTC's lawsuit against the food
giant goes to trial.

The case is US Commodity Futures Trading Commission v. Kraft
Foods Group, Inc. et al, Case No. 1:15-cv-02881 (N.D. Ill.).  The
case is assigned to Judge Honorable John Robert Blakey.  The case
was filed April 1, 2015. [GN]


LA QUINTA: "Bushansky" Suit Alleges Exchange Act Violation
----------------------------------------------------------
Stephen Bushansky, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated v. La Quinta Holdings Inc., Keith A. Cline, Mitesh B.
Shah, James R. Abrahamson, Glenn Alba, Scott O. Bergren, Alan J.
Bowers, Henry G. Cisneros, Giovanni Cutaia, Brian Kim, and Gary
M. Sumers, Case No. 3:18-cv-00648 (N.D. Tex., March 19, 2018), is
brought against the Defendants for violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.

Plaintiff Stephen Bushansky owns La Quinta common stock.

La Quinta is a Delaware corporation and maintains its principal
executive offices at 909 Hidden Ridge, Suite 600, Irving, Texas
75038. La Quinta is an owner, operator and franchisor of select-
service hotels. La Quinta's common stock is traded on the New
York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "LQ."

The Individual Defendants are members of the board of La Quinta.
[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      William B. Federman, Esq.
      FEDERMAN & SHERWOOD
      2926 Maple Ave., Suite 200
      Dallas, TX 75201
      Tel: (214) 696-1100
      Fax: (214) 740-0112
      E-mail: wbf@federmanlaw.com


LOS ANGELES, CA: Ordered to Halt Enforcement of Gang Injunctions
----------------------------------------------------------------
Jennifer Velez, writing for L.A. Taco, reports that a federal
court has ordered the city of Los Angeles to stop enforcing most
of its remaining gang injunctions, marking the end of the
controversial practice that critics long called unconstitutional.

The preliminary injunction will end restrictive sanctions for
roughly 1,500 people put under gang injunctions without due
process by the Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles
City Attorney's office, according to the ACLU of Southern
California.  Because the city did not allow accused individuals
the opportunity to defend themselves, the court issued a
preliminary holding that the city likely violated the
Constitution, the statement said.

The ACLU Foundation of Southern California, the Urban Peace
Institute, and the law firm of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP filed a
class action suit on behalf of people unconstitutionally
subjected to gang injunctions, along with the Youth Justice
Coalition, an organization fighting against unjust accusations of
gang affiliation.

According to the LAPD's online site a gang injunction is a
restraining order that "seeks a court order declaring the gang's
public behavior a nuisance and asking for special rules directed
toward its activity." They argue that "injunctions can address
the neighborhood's gang problem before it reaches the level of
felony crime activity."

The ACLU says that the city has put a number of Angelenos, mostly
men of color, under probation-like conditions for years, solely
based on arbitrary claims of gang membership.  Some of the
effects of the injunctions included people being unable to ride
in vehicles together to schools or churches, and in some alleged
gang territories, being unable to wear blue Dodgers gear.

"This decision is historic in confirming what communities of
color have said for decades," Youth Justice Coalition's Kim
McGill said in the release.  "Gang injunctions are prisons
without walls.  They are overly harsh, serve to cut people off
from the opportunities and supports they need to succeed, serve
as tools of gentrification and displacement, and criminalize
thousands of people for non-criminal acts further enforcing
racial and economic discrimination in the implementation of
public safety." [GN]


MDL 2804: Nitro City Council Joins Opioid Crisis Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------------
Mara Regling, writing for The Gazette-Mail, reports that Nitro
City Council voted on March 20 to join a class-action lawsuit
against drug manufacturers as a result of the ongoing opioid
crisis.

Rusty Webb, a Charleston attorney, will be representing Nitro and
other cities and towns in the area against three distributors of
opioid drugs.  The lawsuit alleges that AmerisourceBergen Drug
Co., Cardinal Health Inc., and McKesson Corp. failed to follow
state and federal law to prevent the distribution and abuse of
prescription pain medication thorough the state.

"The city now has authority to enter into an agreement with an
attorney to pursue a lawsuit on behalf of the city for all the
damages that have been caused by the over-manufacturing of
opioids and the other drugs that some of our citizens are
unfortunately addicted to," said Johnnie Brown, the city's
attorney.  "Basically, the city of Nitro will become a party to
those other cities who are already pursuing this class-action
lawsuit and they will be handled together."

Mr. Brown said Nitro suffers from an increase in the number of
people with addictions that are supported through criminal acts.
Brown said he hopes, if this class-action lawsuit is successful,
that prescription drugs will begin being distributed responsibly.
The lawsuit seeks damages for reimbursement for increased
expenses of drug-related crimes, law enforcement training and
overtime costs among other expenses.

"What I want out of this lawsuit is for drug companies to be held
accountable," Mayor David Casebolt said. "There was a town that
had 9 million pills coming in for 300 residents. Every city
fights it and we have a lot of money in this."

Mr. Casebolt said he believes if this lawsuit is successful that
it will result in less crime, more responsible citizens and a
tremendous difference in the city.

"What we hope to do is prevent more people from becoming
addicted," Mr. Casebolt said.  "I know we can't stop it all but
they can't just lay it out like candy."

Council also announced it has been approached with a proposal for
an athletic training complex that would be built behind Nitro
High School, on the site of the tennis courts.  The proposal
included a layout for an athletic complex that would include
multiple training areas for football, golf, wrestling and an
indoor baseball field for the baseball and softball teams to hold
practice.

"This proposal came from some people involved with the high
school who want to allow the kids better areas for training,"
Mr. Casebolt said.  "Nitro High School's baseball coach brought
this to me and there are several people involved trying to pull
this off."

Mr. Casebolt said that the group of individuals pursuing this
possibility would be responsible for raising the funds for it and
that money raised for the Greater Nitro Youth Foundation would
not be designated for this project.

Council also announced that their budget meeting to discuss and
finalize the fiscal year 2018-19 budget will be March 29. [GN]


MDL 2804: Traverse City Joins Class Action Over Opioid Epidemic
---------------------------------------------------------------
Beth Milligan, writing for the TICKER, reports that Traverse City
commissioners will consider joining their counterparts in Grand
Traverse and Leelanau counties in suing drug manufacturers over
costs related to the opioid epidemic as part of a federal class-
action lawsuit.

Commissioners were set to meet at 7:00 p.m. on March 19, to vote
on retaining a legal team comprised of local, state and national
attorneys -- including Traverse City-based Smith Johnson,
Farmington Hills' Bernstein Law Firm, and New York City's Weitz &
Luxenberg -- in a lawsuit against pharmaceutical manufacturers,
distributors, and retailers.  The lawsuit alleges that the
targeted companies aggressively pushed the sale of highly
addictive narcotic drugs like OxyContin, Vicodin, methadone,
codeine, morphine, and fentanyl to consumers despite knowing the
dangers they posed.  A skyrocketing number of national opioid
prescriptions -- which quadrupled between 1999 and 2013 --
directly led to the heroin epidemic, with four out of five heroin
users starting out on prescription opioids, according to the
lawsuit.

Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties are already participants in
the class-action case along with numerous other Michigan
municipalities.  Traverse City will consider joining under the
same terms as those communities, paying no upfront legal fees but
sharing 30 percent of the recovered damages with attorneys if the
lawsuit is successful.

Ahead of the vote, city commissioners met with Grand Traverse
County Deputy Civil Counsel Christopher Forsyth to learn more
about the lawsuit as well as the impact the opioid epidemic has
had locally.  There have been 31 overdose deaths in Grand
Traverse County in the past three years, according to Forsyth --
with opioids responsible for more deaths locally than car
accidents and the same number of deaths as caused by firearms.
Data provided to commissioners by Weitz & Luxenberg show that for
every 10,000 residents of Grand Traverse County in 2015, 10,698
opioid prescriptions were written -- with prescriptions
increasing 33 percent since 2009.  Local enforcement agencies
continue to receive "several calls weekly for overdose
situations," according to Forsyth.

"We've learned that one, all opioids are addictive, and they do
not discriminate," Mr. Forsyth said.  "They don't discriminate
between the young and the old, the rich and the poor. They affect
everybody.  They will eventually lead to heroin. Once that
(prescription) runs out, once you can't doctor shop anymore, you
will turn to the black market -- and that will lead you to
heroin."

The lawsuit seeks to recover costs for local communities caused
by the opioid epidemic, including increased costs for emergency
room visits, treatment programs, addiction and mental health
counseling, law enforcement response and training, court cases,
and child protective services.  Each community participating in
the lawsuit will provide its own estimate of damages.  According
to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, opioid misuse costs
$78.5 billion annually in healthcare costs, lost productivity,
addiction treatment, and criminal justice intervention.  The
lawsuit alleges pharmaceutical companies are responsible for
bearing those costs because starting in the late 1990s, they
falsely "reassured the medical community that patients would not
become addicted to prescription opioid pain relievers, and
healthcare providers began to prescribe them at greater rates,"
according to Weitz & Luxenberg.  "This subsequently led to
widespread diversion and misuse of these medications . . . (and)
opioid overdose rates began to increase."

The law firm provided as one example Purdue Pharma's introduction
of OxyContin in 1996; an aggressive marketing campaign for the
drug caused its sales to swell from $48 million in 1996 to almost
$1.1 billion in 2000, making it a leading drug of abuse in the
country by 2004.  OxyContin sales reps were trained to promote
the drug in the "non-malignant pain market," to encourage
primary-care physicians to prescribe the drug liberally, and to
state the risk of addiction for patients was less than one
percent, according to attorneys. Such strategies were common
practice across the industry for numerous addictive opioids, with
patients prescribed potent medications for symptoms as common as
headaches, arthritis, and back pain, the lawsuit alleges.

During commissioners' meeting with Mr. Forsyth, numerous
residents spoke during public comment about the opioid epidemic's
effect on their lives.  Traverse City East Middle School teacher
Jody Mackey told commissioners three of her former students died
from opioid overdoses in 2017, and said she personally intervened
to prevent medical practitioners from prescribing opioids to her
children following a childbirth and dental procedure,
respectively.  "My concern is that I'm still seeing even in my
own life evidence that we're still way overprescribing in this
community," she said.  "If we don't stop prescribing this amount
. . . we're getting people that have no other reason to become a
drug addict other than they have a health incident, we're getting
people hooked on drugs. And it's kids, too."

Several of Ms. Mackey's digital media students produced a
documentary on the local epidemic called Predator & Prey:
Opioids' Savage Effect On Our Community. The 18-minute film will
screen for free at the State Theatre on April 15 at 11:30am,
followed by a panel of speakers who will discuss addiction.
Mackey encouraged city commissioners to see and promote the film,
as well as to use their position in the city "to leverage some
talks with the medical community" about opioids and the rate at
which they are prescribed locally.

Commissioners affirmed their interest in exploring options beyond
joining the federal class-action lawsuit to address opioid
addiction in the community.  The board discussed the possibility
of reinstating a drug interdiction officer position within the
Traverse City Police Department; such an officer would specialize
in illegal drug interception and reach out to local hotels and
other locations where drugs commonly appear to train staff on how
to recognize drug activity.  Commissioner Michele Howard also
said she wanted to see the city play a more proactive role in the
Grand Traverse Drug Free Coalition and ramp up educational
programming and campaigns, such as promoting Good Samaritan laws
that allow individuals to report drug overdoses without risk of
being arrested.  Howard said joining with other municipalities in
a lawsuit against pharmaceutical companies was "a great idea,"
but emphasized the city needed a multi-pronged approach to
address the opioid epidemic.

"I think we have a role that we can play to take action, and
maybe some of that would be through budgetary means," Ms. Howard
said.  "I'd like to see us get involved a step deeper." [GN]


MDL 2804: Marshfield Joins Class Action Over Opioid Crisis
----------------------------------------------------------
James Kukstis, writing for Wicked Local, reports that throughout
the country, communities are coping with the devastating effects
being wrought by the current opioid crisis, and now Marshfield is
joining more than 70 other communities in Massachusetts to try
and hold someone responsible.

Selectmen agreed to join a class action lawsuit being brought
against manufacturers and distributors of opioids being organized
by Richard Sandman, part of Massachusetts Opioid Litigation
Attorneys.

The suit seeks monetary damages to cover the costs of emergency
response, NARCAN, management programs, outpatient treatment,
counseling and other services and programs that communities have
needed to offer residents as a result of the epidemic.

"We'll be asked to provide information on the costs the community
has incurred and future costs projected as a result of the
hazards associated with abuse for which there was not fair
warning," said Town Counsel Robert Galvin.

Between 2012 and 2016, at least 25 Marshfield residents died from
opioid overdoses and a large number of overdoses were reversed
thanks to emergency response teams. Nine of those deaths occurred
in 2016 alone.

"There's clearly a problem with regards to the use of opioids,"
said Michael Bradley, chairman of the board of selectmen.  "I'm
happy to be joining this.  There's clearly a problem, and we're
all trying to do something about it."

In 2008, Mr. Sandman represented Marshfield in a class action
lawsuit over the presence of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MBTE)
in drinking water supplies, which resulted in a $500,000
settlement for the town. [GN]


METLIFE INC: Glancy Prongay File Securities Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Glancy Prongay disclosed that a class action lawsuit has been
filed on behalf of investors that purchased or otherwise acquired
securities of MetLife, Inc. ("MetLife" or the "Company") (NYSE:
MET) securities between February 27, 2013, and January 29, 2018,
inclusive (the "Class Period"). MetLife investors have until
April 6, 2018 to file a lead plaintiff motion.

To obtain information or actively participate in the class
action, please visit the MetLife page on our website at
www.glancylaw.com/case/metlife-inc. Investors that suffered
losses on their MetLife investments are encouraged to contact
Lesley Portnoy of GPM to discuss their legal rights in this class
action at 310-201-9150 or by email to shareholders@glancylaw.com.

On January 29, 2018, MetLife announced it postponed the Company's
2017 earnings report and conference call, citing "material
weakness" in its financial reporting. MetLife also disclosed that
it expected to increase its annuity reserves in total between
$525 million and $575 million. On this news, shares of MetLife
fell $6.28 per share or over 11.6% over the next two trading days
to close at $47.67 per share on January 31, 2018, thereby
injuring investors.

The Complaint filed in this class action alleges that throughout
the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and misleading
statements regarding the Company's business, operational and
compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or
misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (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.

Follow us for updates on Twitter: twitter.com/GPM_LLP.

If you purchased shares of MetLife during the Class Period you
may move the Court no later than April 6, 2018 to ask the Court
to appoint you as lead plaintiff. To be a member of the Class you
need not take any action at this time; you may retain counsel of
your choice or take no action and remain an absent member of the
Class. If you wish to learn more about this action, or if you
have any questions concerning this announcement or your rights or
interests with respect to these matters, please contact Lesley
Portnoy, Esquire, of GPM, 1925 Century Park East, Suite 2100, Los
Angeles California 90067 at 310-201-9150, Toll-Free at 888-773-
9224, by email to shareholders@glancylaw.com, or visit our
website at www.glancylaw.com. If you inquire by email please
include your mailing address, telephone number and number of
shares purchased.

         Lesley Portnoy, Esq.
         Glancy Prongay and Murray LLP
         Los Angeles
         Tel: 310-201-9150
              888-773-9224
         E-mail: lportnoy@glancylaw.com [GN]


METLIFE INC: Sanford Heisler Wins Conditional Class Certification
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Attorneys at Sanford Heisler Sharp, LLP, disclosed that U.S.
District Judge Alison J. Nathan granted conditional certification
of a nationwide class for unpaid overtime brought against
MetLife. The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court,
Southern District of New York on behalf of hundreds of workers
and seeks in excess of $50,000,000 for lost wages and liquidated
damages.

The ruling came down in the form of a succinct Order and
concurrently filed Memorandum Opinion under temporary seal.  The
parties have been given ten (10) days to propose and justify any
redactions to the Memorandum Opinion, after which it will be
available on the public docket.

The lawsuit alleges that Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
("MetLife") knowingly failed to pay claim specialists who worked
on long term disability insurance claims ("LTD Claim
Specialists") earned overtime for over four years. The nationwide
action is brought by Plaintiffs Debra Julian, a former LTD Claim
Specialist in New York, and Stephanie McKinney, a former LTD
Claim Specialist in Connecticut. The Plaintiffs are represented
in the matter by Sanford Heisler Sharp and Krakower DiChiara LLC.

MetLife formerly paid its LTD Claim Specialists hourly wages and
overtime pay, but stopped doing so in November 2013, after
"reclassifying" them without any change in their job duties. The
Complaint asserts MetLife made the classification change as a
"cost-cutting measure."

"Judge Nathan's conditional certification is a welcome first step
in addressing MetLife's flagrant compensation practices," said
Michael Palmer, Esq. -- mpalmer@sanfordheisler.com -- Co-Chair of
Sanford Heisler Sharp's Wage & Hour Practice. "Despite
consistently having to work more than 40 hours per week, LTD
Claim Specialists are denied overtime pay. With this ruling, the
class action can now proceed on behalf of hundreds of workers."

The Plaintiffs allege that MetLife's LTD Claim Specialists' job
principally involves gathering information about disability
claimants, entering the information into MetLife's computer
systems, and consulting with supervisors and specialized staff.
According to the Complaint, LTD Claim Specialists at the company
regularly work between 45 and 60 hours weekly, without the
appropriate compensation for their overtime hours.

"MetLife has underpaid and overworked their employees through a
'reclassification' scheme," said David Sanford, Esq. --
dsanford@sanfordheisler.com -- chair of Sanford Heisler Sharp.
"There are significant public interest issues at stake in this
class action. All too often, companies use 'reclassifications' to
wrongfully deny their employees overtime compensation."

The lawsuit seeks to recover damages, including unpaid wages, on
behalf of the Plaintiffs and the class of LTD Claim Specialists.
It also seeks an injunction against MetLife requiring the Company
to change its wage practices going forward.[GN]


METROPOLITAN WASHINGTON: Faces "Schneider" Suit in E.D. Virginia
----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Metropolitan
Washington Airports Authority. The case is styled as Mark
Schneider, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. Metropolitan Washington Airports
Authority, Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-00402-TSE-IDD (E.D. Va.,
April 9, 2018).

Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority operates and manages
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles
International Airport that provide domestic and international air
services for the mid-Atlantic region.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Brian Patrick Perryman, Esq.
   Carlton Fields Jorden Burt, P.A.
   1025 Thomas Jefferson Street, NW, Suite 400 East
   Washington, DC 20007
   Tel: (202) 965-8100
   Email: bperryman@carltonfields.com

      - and -

   William Glenn Merten, Esq.
   Jorden Burt LLP
   1025 Thomas Jefferson St NW, Suite 400 East
   Washington, DC 20007
   Tel: (202) 965-8100
   Email: gmerten@carltonfields.com


MIRAMICHI REGIONAL: Court Approves $1.3MM Class Action Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Canadian Press reports that a court has approved a settlement
of nearly $1.3 million in a class-action lawsuit against a New
Brunswick hospital over the use of unsterilized biopsy forceps on
women over a 14-year period.

Lawyer Ray Wagner said individual payments will be between $350
and $1,000, depending on the number of women who submit claims.

"We're talking about 2,497 individuals," he said on March 20.
"Some of those people unfortunately have passed away since then,
so the numbers will decline from that amount."

Mr. Wagner said the Horizon Health Network has 20 days in which
to provide him with the full list of individuals affected.

In 2013, the Miramichi Regional Hospital urged the affected women
to get tested for hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV after
discovering the problem.

At the time, Horizon CEO John McGarry said that while the forceps
used for colposcopies were sterilized at the end of every day,
some forceps were only cleaned and disinfected before being
reused during the day.

A colposcopy is a procedure used to examine the cervix, vagina
and vulva to detect cervical cancer.

Mr. McGarry said the problem began in May 1999, when the clinic
started reusing biopsy forceps without sterilizing them in order
to handle patient load.

Compensation notices will be mailed

Mr. Wagner said once his Halifax law firm, Wagners, receives the
full list of individuals, it will send notices to each one.

"Within 60 days of the actual mailing out of that form, anybody
that is interested in claiming compensation should send that
notice back to ensure that they are included in the compensation
group," he said.

About $873,000 will be distributed to class members, with the
rest going to legal fees and class administration fees for the
company that's going to administer the distribution of funds.

The settlement is not an admission of guilt by the hospital or
health authority and none of the allegations in the suit have
been proven in court.

Not just about compensation
Documents obtained in 2014 under access-to-information laws
showed that health authority officials deliberated for three
months about whether to inform the public about the unsterilized
forceps.

The documents said the officials spent weeks trying to assess the
risk to patients. In the end, it was decided the information
would be released and a news conference was held.

Mr. McGarry urged the affected women to be tested, but stressed
that the risk of infection was extremely low, even without
sterilization.

Mr. Wagner said on March 20 no one has come forward to say they
contracted anything.

He said the case is about more than just getting a financial
settlement.

"It's not just about compensation for those individuals who have
concern about whether they contracted an illness or not, but it's
also about behaviour modification to ensure people in health care
who are administering these systems do it in the appropriate
manner," he said. [GN]


MISSISSIPPI: Faces Class Action Over Poor Prison Conditions
-----------------------------------------------------------
WJTV reports that according to the Southern Poverty Law Center,
the conditions at East Mississippi Correctional Facility are
unconstitutional.

For over seven years the SPLC has been investigating conditions
at EMCF, and in 2013, they filed a lawsuit.

The trial started in March, and March 19 marked the start of week
three in the class-action case against the Mississippi Department
of Corrections.

So far, attorneys have presented pictures of blood stained floors
and charred doors.  The pictures are just a couple of the
examples lawyers in Dockery v. Hall say prove EMCF needs
improvement.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs are basing their case around
inappropriate use of force, denial or lack of medical and mental
health care, poor use of solitary confinement and isolation, as
well as nutrition and sanitation violations.

Current and former inmates have testified about the prison.

Charlie Jones was released in 2017, after serving 12 years at
EMCF.

"I done witnessed rats, snakes, roaches.  It's roach infested,
especially in the kitchen where the food is processed because
it's so filthy," Mr. Jones said after testifying in court.

"We've had testimony after testimony of offenders not receiving
their medication and being suicidal and violent as a result.  We
don't think that it's too much to ask that when individuals are
in custody that they receive the medicine that they've been
prescribed," SPLC Managing attorney, Jody Owens II said.

The private prison is operated by a Utah-based company called
Management and Training Corporation.

"We've heard these claims in other prisons, but no prison as much
violence, as much drugs, as much unsanitary conditions,
particularly as much use of solitary confinement as this private
prison...It's a mentally ill prison.  A lot of our incarceration
populations are incarcerated largely because they have certain
mental health diagnoses," Ms. Owens said.

Ms. Owens says they expect the trial to last another three weeks.

The warden and MDOC Commissioner Felicia Hall are expected to
testify.

The Department of Corrections is not commenting on the case while
it is being tried. [GN]


MONAT GLOBAL: Federman & Sherwood Files Second Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Federman & Sherwood filed a second class action
lawsuit against Monat Global Corp., this one in the United States
District Court for the Northern District of Texas.  The lawsuit
alleges that MONAT misled consumers about the safety and
characteristics and potential danger of using MONAT hair care
products.

On March 21, 2018, Federman & Sherwood filed a Motion for
Consolidation and Transfer with the United States Judicial Panel
on Multidistrict Litigation to have all of the proposed class
action lawsuits transferred to the United States District Court
for the Western District of Oklahoma or as an alternative to the
Northern District of Texas.

If you wish to discuss this action, obtain further information
and participate in this litigation, or should you have any
questions or concerns regarding this notice, please contact Robin
Hester at rkh@federmanlaw.com or visit the firm's website
www.federmanlaw.com. [GN]


MONSTER INC: Man to Face Sanctions for Lying About Class Standing
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Chicago Daily Law Bulletin reports that a Cook County judge will
issue monetary sanctions against a man attorneys allege is lying
about his standing as a proposed settling class member.

California resident Benjamin Perez intervened in Amy Joseph's and
Robert O'Brien's class-action suit against Monster Inc. and Best
Buy, arguing he filed a substantially similar lawsuit.  The Cook
County action represents more than 1 million class members. [GN]


NEW JERSEY, USA: Faces "Wahab" Class Suit Alleging Discrimination
-----------------------------------------------------------------
ATIYA WAHAB (on behalf of herself and others similarly situated)
v. STATE OF NEW JERSEY, NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL
PROTECTION, PHIL MURPHY, Governor of the State of New Jersey,
GURBIR GREWAL, Attorney General of the State of New Jersey and
John Does 1-5 (being persons whose identity is presently
unknown), Case No. MER-L-000527-18 (N.J. Super. Ct., Mercer Cty.,
March 14, 2018), seeks injunctive and declaratory relief, as well
as damages and attorneys' fees for the Defendants' alleged
unconstitutional actions, customs, practices and policies, which
constitute a prior restraint and unlawful restriction on the
Plaintiff's constitutionally protected right of free speech.

Ms. Wahab, who is originally from Bangladesh, alleges that she
has been subject to unlawful discrimination during her employment
with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.  She
filed a suit in 2012 alleging discrimination and retaliation and
a failure to monitor and enforce policies to prevent incidents of
unlawful discrimination and seeking injunctive, compensatory and
punitive damages.  The action is pending in the U.S. District
Court for the District of New Jersey under Civil Action No.: 12-
6613 (BRM-TJB).

New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection is an agency of
the State of New Jersey.  Phil Murphy is employed by the State as
Governor.  Gurbir Grewal is employed by the State as Attorney
General.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Donald F. Burke, Esq.
          LAW OFFICE OF DONALD F. BURKE
          45 Gale Road
          Brick, NJ 08723
          Telephone: (732) 966-4922
          E-mail: donaldburkeesq@gmail.com

The Defendants are represented by:

          Gurbir Grewal, Esq.
          ATTORNEY GENERAL OF NEW JERSEY
          Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex
          25 Market Street
          Trenton, NJ 08625
          Telephone: (609) 376-2803
          Facsimile: (609) 341-5030


NEW SOUTH WALES: Bushfire Suit Considered vs. Gov't-Owned Utility
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Guardian reports that lawyers are investigating a potential
class action over the Tathra bushfires, alleging failings by the
government-owned corporation responsible for maintaining and
inspecting the state's power lines.

On March 22, the Rural Fire Service released its early findings
into the cause of the fire, which destroyed 65 houses and 35
caravans and cabins, and also damaged 48 houses.

The RFS believes the fire was probably caused by electrical
infrastructure at Reedy Swamp Road.

In less than 24 hours, the law firm Slater and Gordon said it was
investigating the possibility of a class action on behalf of
Tathra residents.

It said it was "looking closely at whether the blaze could have
been prevented".

The firm's practice group leader, Rory Walsh, Esq., said the
adequacy of power line maintenance would be a key question in any
litigation.

"The initial investigations are likely to come down to the
adequacy of the power pole inspection process, which has been a
central issue in many of our other bushfire cases as well as the
Victorian bushfire royal commission," Walsh said.

"We will be looking at whether Essential Energy adhered to
stringent inspection and ongoing maintenance requirements, and
ultimately what could have been done to prevent this bushfire."

Essential Energy has already rejected claims that it failed to
properly maintain the lines.

Its chief executive officer, John Cleland, said in a statement
that inspections and maintenance were up to date and in
accordance with standards. He said early investigations suggested
"trees fell on to power lines during extreme weather conditions".

The cause of the fire has prompted criticism of the funding and
staff cuts at Essential Energy. The Electrical Trades Union said
the loss of resources had compromised the company's ability to
properly maintain NSW's power infrastructure.

The fire is now the subject of two inquiries, one conducted by
the former police chief Mick Keelty and another by the NSW
coroner's court.

Slater and Gordon said it would be watching the outcome of the
inquiries.

"This type of litigation tends to be fiercely contested by
electrical infrastructure providers, but we have extensive
experience and are well equipped to take on this legal battle for
Tathra," Walsh said.[GN]


NEW SOUTH WALES: Slater and Gordon Mulls Suit Over Tathra Fire
--------------------------------------------------------------
Greg Brown, writing for The Australian, reports that law firm
Slater and Gordon asked victims of the Tathra bushfire to
register their interest in a potential class action, with the
firm open to suing the council if it is found there was
inadequate hazard-reduction burning in the bushlands of the NSW
south coast.

The law firm announced it was investigating the potential for a
lawsuit on behalf of people affected by Sunday's blaze, which
damaged 100 properties in the small beach town of about 1700
people.

The investigation will be "broad" and will look at whether the
Rural Fire Service's response to the emergency was adequate and
whether the Bega Shire Valley Council should have done more to
make the town safe.

Slater and Gordon practice group manager Rory Walsh, Esq. said
the main part of the investigation would look at whether state-
owned electricity company -- Essential Energy could have done
more to prevent a power line falling in the nearby town of Bega.

"We have seen time and time again how bushfires can tear
communities apart, but learning that such devastation could have
been avoided adds another level of suffering," Mr Walsh said.
"The initial investigations are likely to come down to the
adequacy of the power pole inspection process, which has been a
central issue in many of our other bushfire cases as well as the
Victorian bushfire royal commission.

"We will be looking at whether Essential Energy adhered to
stringent inspection and ongoing maintenance requirements, and,
ultimately, what could have been done to prevent this bushfire."

Slater and Gordon will study the findings of a coroner's report
and a separate inquiry by former Australian Federal Police
commissioner Mick Keelty.

IMF Bentham and William Roberts Lawyers announced it would also
initiate possible compensation claims for Tathra victims.

A spokesman for Maurice Blackburn, which handled the class action
lawsuits after Victoria's Black Saturday bushfires, said it had
not decided whether it would investigate a class action for the
Tathra fires. "Our primary consideration at this unfortunate time
is for the welfare of affected families, residents and businesses
having to deal with this terrible event," the spokesman said.

The Australian reported that victims of the Black Saturday
bushfires did not receive money from the $494 million class
action payout to Maurice Blackburn until as late as last year.
[GN]


NEW YORK: "Juvenile Lifers" File Class Action v. Parole Board
-------------------------------------------------------------
John Riley, writing for Newsday, reports that the 17-year-old
convicted of a notorious Christmas 1990 killing during a showing
of "The Godfather" at a Valley Stream movie theater filed a
federal class action suit against the state parole board for
alleged unconstitutional handling of applications from juvenile
criminals.

Lawrence Bartley, now 45, earned a master's degree, raised $8,000
for a gun buyback program, and won support from both guards and
Sing Sing's superintendent for his rehabilitation efforts during
27 years in prison, but was denied parole last fall because it
would "deprecate the serious nature of the crime," the lawsuit
says.

Lawyers for Mr. Bartley in the Manhattan federal court suit say
New York's parole board violates the rights of 630 so-called
"juvenile lifers" -- youths sentenced to a minimum number of
years up to life -- by unconstitutionally ignoring their prison
records and looking only to their past conduct.

"No one is coming from the position that murder is anything but a
tragedy and a deep moral wrong," said Issa Kohler-Hausmann, one
of the lawyers.  "The claim here is the Supreme Court has found
murderers are capable of rehabilitation, especially kids. They
are capable of change and they deserve some chance to prove
that."

Mr. Bartley, of Laurelton, was convicted in 1992 of second-degree
murder for the shootout between two feuding groups at a Nassau
County theater that left a bystander dead and three others
wounded, and was sentenced to 27-1/3 years to life.  He became
eligible for parole last year because of prison credits.

A second named plaintiff in the case, Carlos Flores, now 54, was
convicted of second-degree murder for participating in a 1981 bar
robbery in which an off-duty cop was killed.  Mr. Flores, then
17, got 21 years to life and has been denied parole 10 times
despite a spotless disciplinary record for 25 years, the suit
said.

Neither man is challenging his conviction, the lawsuit said, but
based on maturity differences between adults and juveniles, the
Supreme Court has barred life without parole for juveniles as
"cruel and unusual punishment," except for rare crimes that
reflect "irreparable corruption."

While young offenders theoretically become eligible for parole in
New York after their minimum sentence is served, the lawsuit said
the parole board's practices effectively undercut their chances
by looking back to the original crime and disregarding an
inmate's prison record.

"The U.S. Constitution prohibits statutory schemes that fail to
provide juvenile lifers with a meaningful and realistic
opportunity for release based on demonstrated maturity and
rehabilitation," the lawsuit claims.

Both Messrs. Flores and Bartley, the lawsuit said, were denied
parole despite scoring as low risks for reoffending on internal
ranking systems of the state's Department of Corrections and
Community Services, the lawsuit said.

In Mr. Bartley's case, the parole board denied him release while
finding that his record "exemplifies an extraordinary effort to
give back, demonstrates restoration and evidenced change," the
suit said.

The lawsuit said 630 individuals are serving up-to-life sentences
in New York for crimes committed between the ages of 13 and 17.
Fourteen state parole board commissioners are named as
defendants.  A spokesman for the state did not return a call for
comment. [GN]


NEW YORK: MTA Hit with Class Action Demanding Subway Guardrails
---------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Ottaway, writing for Courthouse News Service, reports that
nearly a dozen cases of tragedy on New York City's subway tracks,
one woman who had a close call brought a federal class action on
March 21 demanding safety reforms.

Lead plaintiff Mary West suffered only superficial injuries when
her leg got caught last year between a uptown 1 train and the
platform at the West 23rd Street station, but her 36-page
complaint is brimming with disturbing photographs of other
commuters who did not fare as well.

One shows the harrowing image of an oncoming train barreling
toward Ki Suk Han as the 58-year-old tried to climb off the
tracks onto which he was pushed by a homeless person.

Han's death "sparked public debate about subway safety, although
this coverage did not spur Defendants to undertake the necessary
safety measures," the complaint states, filed in Brooklyn by the
Lee Litigation Group.

Alleging three counts of negligence, strict products liability
and breach of warranty, lead plaintiff West says guardrails are
the only solution.

There is even evidence that the Metropolitan Transportation
Authority and the New York City Transit Authority have discussed
handrails and gates internally, according to the complaint, but
still little has been done beyond awareness campaigns.

"They also have the financial means to construct them but simply
choose not to," the complaint continues.

Though the agencies declined to comment on pending litigation,
they emphasized in a statement that safety is their "No. 1
priority." A line item in the MTA's 2018 budget projects a cost
of $31.4 million to install a pilot platform screen door at a
subway station in the East Village. The projected completion date
is March 2020.

In her complaint meanwhile, West notes that the city turned down
an offer from a company called Crown Infrastructure to put up
platform doors for free if it could keep all the advertising
revenue from whatever appeared on the doors.

"Defendant's public service announcements are no substitute for
actual safety features," said the complaint. "Defendant's
messages do not prevent injuries and death, yet defendant simply
repeats its messaging with updated injury and death totals."

While New York City's subway system dates back to 1904, versions
of the safety barriers described in the complaint, known as
Platform Screen Doors (PSD), exist in subway stations in many
Asian and European cities including Tokyo, Beijing, Copenhagen,
Paris, and Chennai, India.

Lead plaintiff West notes that her injury occurred at the station
right beside her apartment on West 23rd Street.

While boarding a train in May 2017 on her way to a writing group
meeting, West accidentally stepped into the gap between the train
and the platform. Though she was helped to safety by other
passengers, photographs included in the complaint show that West
suffered bruising, cuts and swelling on the leg.

Implying that even the subway safety matters for even the most
seasoned riders, the complaint notes that West, who turns 66 this
year, has been using the subway for "nearly her entire life."

"A PSD system would be a much-needed addition to the subway
platform safety, at the West 23rd Street station [where her
accident occurred] and all the other 471 MTA stations," the
complaint states.

West's attorney, C.K. Lee, Esq., has not returned a phone call
seeking comment.[GN]


NILES GRAND: Sued by Flores for Illegally Storing Biometric Info
----------------------------------------------------------------
MARICELA FLORES, individually and on behalf of a class of
similarly situated individuals v. NILES GRAND, LLC d/b/a FRESH
FARMS INTERNATIONAL MKT, an Illinois limited liability company,
Case No. 2018CH03334 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook Cty., March 14, 2018),
seeks to stop the Defendant's alleged unlawful collection, use,
and storage of individuals' biometric identifiers and biometric
information in violation of the Illinois Biometric Information
Privacy Act.

Ms. Flores asserts that the case concerns the misuse of
individuals' biometric identifiers and/or biometric information
by a super market chain, which is capturing, converting,
transferring, storing and using its workers' biometric
information without lawful consent.  Ms. Flores, who worked at
one of the Defendant's facilities in the Chicago area, contends
that the Defendant does this through the use of biometric
scanning devices and associated software technology, which
capture a person's handprint information derived from their hands
and the fingerprint associated with each finger to authenticate
the identity of such persons in the future.

Headquartered in Niles, Illinois, Niles Grand, LLC, doing
business as Fresh Farms International Mkt, is an Illinois limited
liability company that conducts, and is licensed to conduct,
business in Illinois.  The Company operates as a super market and
retails canned foods and dry goods such as fruits, vegetable, and
other related products.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Myles McGuire, Esq.
          William P.N. Kingston, Esq.
          MCGUIRE LAW, P.C.
          55 W. Wacker Drive, 9th Floor
          Chicago, IL 60601
          Telephone: (312) 893-7002
          Facsimile: (312) 275-7895
          E-mail: emeyers@mcgpc.com
                  wkingston@mcgpc.com


NORTHEAST CREDIT: Judge Allows Overdraft Fee Suit to Proceed
------------------------------------------------------------
Palash Ghosh, writing for Credit Union Journal, reports that a
federal judge has agreed to let a class action suit against
Portsmouth, N.H.-based Northeast Credit Union proceed after
granting some of the defendant's motions to dismiss the case but
denying others.

The suit, originally filed in the United States District Court
for the District of New Hampshire by Joseph Walbridge, alleges
that Walbridge, a Northeast FCU member, was charged overdraft
fees by the credit union based on his available balance rather
than his actual balance or ledger balance.  The difference
between the available balance and the actual balance results from
the way that Northeast CU credits deposits made to an account and
reduces the balance by debits that are pending but not yet paid.
As a result, the court filing explained, the available balance
can be "less, and even considerably less," than the actual
balance, depending on the delay in crediting deposits and the
anticipatory deductions of pending debits.

Northeast CU then assesses an overdraft fee when the available
balance is insufficient to cover a transaction, even though the
actual balance shows enough money to cover the transaction.

Mr. Walbridge alleges that on March 15, 2016, he had an actual
balance in his Northeast CU checking account of $111.09. He made
a debit card payment of $32.43, which left a balance of $78.66.
Northeast, however, determined that he had "insufficient funds"
and charged an overdraft fee of $32.  The credit union then
allegedly assessed additional overdraft fees of $32.00 on March
29 and March 30, 2016.

Court documents claim Mr. Walbridge believes subsequent improper
overdraft fees were charged but provide no allegations in
support.

Mr. Walbridge's suit alleges breach of contract, breach of the
implied duty of good faith and fair dealing and unjust
enrichment, among other claims.

Northeast CU had moved to dismiss all claims, arguing, among
other things, that it did not promise to use the actual balance
for its overdraft service and instead properly explained its
overdraft policy based on the available balance.

According to court documents, the federal court has set a
two-week trial period beginning on Sept. 4, 2019.

Dozens of similar suits nationwide

Michael M. Bell, a Michigan-based attorney who represents credit
unions in class action matters (but is not involved in the
Northeast CU suit), commented that this case looks like a
"typical and standard" overdraft lawsuit.  "These suits have been
making the rounds," he said.  "We successfully defended LGE
Community CU in Georgia against this [same issue] and are
actively defending two others."

Mr. Bell says there are probably about 30 similar cases currently
pending nationally.  "None have gone all the way to a jury/judge
verdict yet," he added.  "Only three of four have been dismissed
or won by the credit union prior to trial.  Quite a few credit
unions have decided to settle.  In general we recommend an
aggressive defense strategy that is not focused on a settlement."

According to its call reports, Northeast CU generated fee income
of about $6.7 million in 2017, up from $5.8 million in the prior
year.

The credit union generated net income of about $9.3 million in
2017, up from $7.4 million in the previous year. [GN]


OHIO STRIP CLUBS: Exotic Dancers File Wage Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------
Falycia Campbell, writing for abc6, reports that a group of
exotic dancers has filed a class action lawsuit against several
Ohio strip clubs for unpaid wages.

According to court documents, "the lawsuit alleges that the strip
clubs implement illegal policies to systematically oppress and
deny dancers the wages they are entitled to under the law."

The dancers claim that the clubs pay no wages and require them to
pay illegal rent, fines, fees, and charges, as well as a club fee
to work their shift.  Court documents say, "the clubs attempt to
circumvent the by calling dancers "tenants," instead of
employees."

The exotic dancers say they should be giving the same protection
and rights the law provides other employees.

"Chapin Legal Group, LLC is currently investigating similar
claims against strip clubs throughout Ohio," according to a press
release. [GN]


OWENS CORNING: Judge Denies Class Certification in Shingles Case
----------------------------------------------------------------
Max Mitchell, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, reports that a
federal judge has denied class certification to a nationwide
group of plaintiffs who claimed that a company's shingles were so
unreliable that using them were like "playing roulette."

On March 19, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
determined that a proposed class of consumers from Pennsylvania,
Texas, California and Illinois, who bought Owens Corning
shingles, failed to identify a defect that was common to each
plaintiff's case.  The precedential ruling affirmed a decision
from the U.S. District Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania, which had said plaintiffs' theories were too broad
to show that the class would be sufficiently cohesive under the
predominance requirement for class certification.

Although the plaintiffs had argued that the proposed class had
uniformity because buying Owens Corning's Oakridge shingles was
essentially entering a "shingle lottery," Third Circuit Judge
Thomas Hardiman said that argument failed to give enough
specifics to warrant class certification.

"Instead of alleging a defect common to the class that might be
proved by classwide evidence, plaintiffs invite us to equate the
existence of a defect with the mere possibility that one might
exist," Mr. Hardiman said in the 34-page opinion.  "We find no
support in Rule 23 or case law for class certification on such a
speculative basis."

According to Mr. Hardiman, the plaintiffs are homeowners who had
Oakridge shingles installed before 2006.  The shingles were all
subject to warranties of at least 25 years, but, according to the
plaintiffs, the shingles had high failure rates, which caused
property damage and required some plaintiffs to have their roofs
reshingled.  Mr. Hardiman noted that, during the 20-year proposed
class period, Owens Corning made at least 23 kinds of Oakridge
shingles at 13 plants around the country, using 500 design
specifications.

The plaintiffs claimed the shingles were defective for having
insufficient tear strength, mat mass, or asphalt quantity or
quality.  They eventually hired expert Dean Rutila to examine
nearly 300 shingles that had been returned in connection with the
warranty claims.

Mr. Rutila, Mr. Hardiman said, determined that about half of the
shingles fell at the low end of the company's specifications;
however, he could not pinpoint any specific measurement that
would constitute a design defect.

The plaintiffs also admitted that many Oakridge shingles will
last through the end of the warranty periods, and that a shingle-
by-shingle inspection would be necessary to distinguish which
shingles are defective, Mr. Hardiman said.  But, focusing on
misrepresentation and breach of warranty claims, the plaintiffs
contended that, because buying the shingles was like "playing
roulette," they "did not get the benefit of the bargain"
regardless of the individual performance of each shingle.

Mr. Hardiman rejected that argument, saying the plaintiffs would
still need to show a common underlying defect to obtain class
certification.

"Plaintiffs attempt to circumvent the need to identify a common
defect by, in effect, redefining the concept to include a subset
of defective shingles," he said.  "Unsurprisingly, they cite no
case sanctioning such a remarkable proposition."

Although the plaintiffs also contended that the lower court
improperly limited Mr. Rutila's testimony, Mr. Hardiman did not
address those claims, finding that "Even if all of the testimony
offered by Mr. Rutila were admissible, plaintiffs would not have
been able to cure their inability to identify a meaningful defect
in the Oakridge shingles susceptible to classwide evidence."

Washington, D.C.-based Carter Phillips -- cphillips@sidley.com --
of Sidley Austin represented Owens Corning.

A spokeswoman for Owens Corning said in an emailed statement, "We
are pleased with the circuit court's affirmation of the district
court's decision rejecting all of the plaintiffs' class claims.
Owens Corning has been and continues to be committed to
designing, manufacturing, testing and delivering quality products
to serve the needs of our customers."

Robert Klonoff, a professor at Lewis & Clark Law School, who
argued on behalf of the plaintiffs, did not return a call seeking
comment. [GN]


PABS BREWING: Faces Beer False Advertising Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------
Sam Stanton, writing for The Sacramento Bee, reports that most
people who don't care for a beer they've purchased simply switch
brands.

Brendan Peacock goes a bit further.  He sues.

The 37-year-old Sacramento man filed a federal lawsuit against
Pabst Brewing Co., alleging false advertising in the sales of its
Olympia beer products.

At issue, which Mr. Peacock's lawsuit says is important enough to
be considered a class-action matter covering all drinkers of the
beer, is the slogan "It's the Water."

Mr. Peacock's suit says the beer company falsely implies that the
beer comes from artesian spring water in Tumwater when, in fact,
the company brews Olympia in the San Gabriel Valley city of
Irwindale, California.

"It is unclear where the water is actually from," the lawsuit
claims, adding that parts of Irwindale are served by a utility
that chlorinates its water and that the area's water supply "has
been contaminated by industrial solvents in the past."

The Olympia website says its beer "blends nature's finest raw
materials from the fields of the Great Northwest into an icon as
stunning as the land itself. Pure mountain water and golden
barley tan this smooth sculpted beer like Mount Olympia itself."

Mr. Peacock, who has brought two similar suits in the past -- one
against the 21st Amendment Brewery CafÇ, another against a
guacamole maker -- declined to comment on March 19 when reached
on his cellphone.

Pabst also did not immediately respond to an email request for
comment.

But Mr. Peacock's suit says his disenchantment with the beer
stemmed from his April 21, 2017, purchase of some Olympia from a
Rancho Cordova Grocery Outlet store.

Mr. Peacock's suit says he bought the beer because of the Olympia
marketing efforts and that he was "deceived" by the advertising.

Mr. Peacock, whose suit describes him as "a beer, and craft beer,
consumer," apparently takes his beer very seriously.

He sued the Bay Area's 21st Amendment Brewery CafÇ last April
after purchasing the company's "Brew Free or Die!" IPA and its
"Hell or Highwater Watermelon Wheat Beer" at the BevMo on Arden
Way.

That lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Francisco, also
sought class-action status and alleged that 21st Amendment's
marketing falsely duped consumers into believing all its beer is
brewed in the Bay Area when, in fact, some is made in Minnesota.

Court papers say Peacock "would not have bought Defendant's beer,
and paid a premium price, if he knew it was not brewed in San
Francisco as advertised, but brewed in an 'old (out-of-state)
brewery known to make kind of crappy beer.'"

21st Amendment replied in court papers that it never made a
secret of the fact that it brews some beer in Minnesota.

That case is being settled, although court papers do not indicate
the terms of the settlement.

In the guacamole case, filed in federal court in Los Angeles,
both sides agreed to dismiss the case in January.

The craft beer industry in Sacramento has experienced tremendous
growth in recent years, with visitsacramento.com estimating more
than 50 breweries have opened in and around the city, and the
University of Pacific's McGeorge School of Law hiring a professor
to teach the first craft beer law class in a U.S. law school.

Daniel Croxall, an assistant professor of lawyering skills, said
California has roughly 920 craft beer breweries statewide and the
Sacramento region now has around 60.

Olympia, of course, is not a craft brew, and Mr. Croxall said the
lawsuit is "a tough claim."

"It's definitely not an open and shut case," said Mr. Croxall,
who maintains a blog called Craft Beer Law Prof.  "I would expect
Pabst is going to move to dismiss this one."

But it's difficult to determine just how important beer is to
Peacock.  He would not discuss anything about himself or if he
works in Sacramento, and his Miami-based attorney, Elizabeth Lee
Beck, did not return a telephone call. [GN]


PALM BEACH, FL: Class Action Over Undergrounding Pending
--------------------------------------------------------
Palm Beach Daily News reports that have the lights gone out on
the opposition to undergrounding? Although it's been almost two
years since the Town Council approved the plan to bury utility
lines townwide, vocal resistance from some residents has not let
up.  Three lawsuits have been filed over the project, slowing the
town's ability to pay for the first phase, and the subject was
contentious during this year's council election.  Although the
proposed new recreation center and beach renourishment were
campaign issues, utilities clearly was the hottest topic.

The fierce critics of the undergrounding and its $90 million bond
issue might have thought they were seeing some light at the end
of the tunnel when Town Council candidate Harris S. Fried made
putting a stop to it his key campaign issue.

Mr. Fried was forceful during two debates with opponent Lew
Crampton, saying the project should be stopped after the
completion of the first phase this summer and re-evaluated.  But
the project appeared to be reaffirmed not once but twice with the
election of Mr. Crampton and an appellate court's decision to
uphold a judge's dismissal of a South End resident's lawsuit
challenging the referendum.

If there ever was a chance for the utilities project to be
stopped, it was with Mr. Fried, who is a Midtown resident.  But
while Mr. Crampton, a South End resident, ran a standard campaign
in which he raised more than $120,000 and held several meet and
greets, Mr. Fried ran a low-key, low-budget operation, raising
more than $9,500 as of Feb. 28.

In the end, Mr. Crampton's campaign attracted more support and
spent more than 10 times Mr. Fried's campaign, pulling in nearly
60 percent of the vote.  Turnout was also only about 30 percent,
similar to previous elections.  Despite the fervor of
undergrounding opponents, any significant groundswell to stop it
failed to materialize.

Now with the 4th District Court of Appeal's decision upholding
the dismissal of resident Arthur Goldmacher's lawsuit, a class-
action suit by Carol Kosberg and Michael Scharf and one filed by
a Palm Beach Towers resident remain in the path of
undergrounding.

Opponents have 30 years of assessments for a project many say
they don't want or believe to be unnecessary to direct their
anger at.  Criticism will no doubt continue. But the movement to
actually stop it has obviously lost some momentum, and may be
buried forever. [GN]


PERKINS & MARIE: Ex-Female Workers File Sexual Harassment Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Laura Dimon and Stephen Rex Brown, writing for New York Daily
News, report that Perkins promotes itself as a "family
restaurant" -- but behind the scenes a Staten Island outpost was
anything but wholesome, according to a new lawsuit.

Seven women who worked at the Hylan Blvd. chain restaurant say in
papers to be filed March 19 that they were relentlessly sexually
harassed by a longtime cook who was enabled by management.

Humberto Cuenca, 51, who worked at the Perkins in Dongan Hills
for over 20 years, created a work environment "of unmitigated
sexual harassment, degradation, assault and abuse," papers to be
filed in Brooklyn Federal Court charge.

The women, who worked as hostesses or waitresses from 2001
through the present, said the harassment ranged from wildly
inappropriate remarks to gross gestures with bananas and
kielbasas to violent gropings and even one assault in the kitchen
freezer.

"Every day that we worked there he was totally disgusting," a
former waitress, Raven Pedone, 29, told the Daily News. "When you
went to management, she'd make it like it was our fault."

The suit says that when several female staffers separately
complained about Mr. Cuenca, the general manager, Jacinta
Plutzer, gave them the same answer: They were "replaceable."

Mr. Cuenca, as a cook, was not.

Ms. Plutzer denied having made that remark and said she fired
Mr. Cuenca after first hearing an allegation against him.

"That's just a stupid comment.  Nobody is irreplaceable," she
said.  "The first time I was aware anything happened, he was
terminated."

The lawsuit comes amid growing awareness of sexual harassment in
the food service industry.  While high-profile chefs like Mario
Batali and Ken Friedman have received the most attention, sexual
harassment is pervasive throughout the industry, according to a
December report by the National Women's Law Center.

The women claim that Humberto Cuenca, the Hylan Blvd. chain
restaurant's cook, engaged in brazen sexual harassment while they
worked there as hostesses or waitresses from 2001 through the
present.

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also received
more complaints in 2015 from women about harassment in the hotel
and food industry than from any other sector.

The female staffers at Perkins said they reached a breaking point
in May 2017 when Mr. Cuenca followed a waitress, Stevie Fontana,
into the freezer while she looked for brownies.

"He really came after me," Ms. Fontana, 23, said. "Then he just
started touching me everywhere.  And he licked his lips as he was
doing it."

After the assault, the powder from the white gloves Cuenca wore
was all over her clothes, she said. Fontana's brother then
confronted Cuenca while he was on the job and threatened to
contact police.

The ordeal prompted Ms. Plutzer to finally fire Mr. Cuenca, the
general manager said.

Mr. Cuenca could not be reached.

"Perkins failed to protect its workers," the women's attorney
Adam Slater said.

"I do a lot of these cases.  This one is on another level."

Perkins' corporate office did not respond to a request for
comment. [GN]


PERKINS FAMILY: Andreopoulos Sues for Civil Rights Violations
-------------------------------------------------------------
Elainie Andreopoulos, Beth Collins, Stevie Fontana, Annmarie
Haas, Heather Konig, Raven Pedone, Kelly Quinn, and Rose Suter,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated v.
Perkins Family Restaurants, L.P., Perkins & Marie Callender's,
LLC, 1745 Forest Ave. Corp., GDG Enterprises, Inc., Jampaan
Corp., Pacande Corp., Humberto Cuenca and Jacinta Plutzer, Case
No. 1:18-cv-01711 (E.D. N.Y., March 19, 2018), seek redress
against Defendants for discriminatory acts in which Plaintiffs
were subjected to a hostile work environment permeated with
constant and extreme sexual harassment in violation of Title VII
of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, New York State Human Rights Law
and New York City Human Rights Law.

Plaintiffs worked for Defendants as waitresses and hostesses at
Defendants' franchise restaurant known as Perkins, located in
Richmond County, New York, from periods encompassing 2001 through
present.

Defendants are the owners, operators, franchisors and/or
franchisees of a chain of casual dining restaurants commonly
known as "Perkins" with hundreds of locations throughout the
United States. [BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

      Adam Slater, Esq.
      Matthew Madzelan, Esq.
      SLATER SLATER SCHULMAN LLP
      909 Third Avenue, 28th Floor
      New York, NY 10022
      Tel: (212) 922-0906
      E-mail: aslater@sssfirm.com


PETLAND NOVI: Sued for Allegedly Selling Sick Puppies
-----------------------------------------------------
Ann Zaniewski, writing for Detroit Free Press, reports that more
than a dozen people are alleging in a new lawsuit that a Petland
store in Novi sold them sick puppies that were passed off as
healthy.

Some of the pups -- stricken with parasites, genetic conditions
and other ailments -- were so ill they had to be euthanized,
according to the lawsuit filed in Oakland County Circuit Court.

Officials at Petland Novi deny any wrongdoing.

The plaintiffs say the pet shop committed fraud, breach of
contract and violations of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act.

"Specifically, the dogs were not their stated ages, were sold in
horrific condition including with intestinal parasites and worms,
with genetic defects, infected with deadly and highly contagious
disease (Parvo), dehydrated, malnourished and underweight," the
lawsuit says.

Petland Novi refused to replace the dogs or pay for veterinary
care, according to the complaint.

The puppies' illnesses have taken an emotional and financial toll
on their owners, said Jenifer Measel, an attorney for the
plaintiffs.

"I have people who have forked over thousands of dollars for
life-saving treatment just to have the dog pass away," she said.

Elizabeth Kunzelman, director of public affairs for Petland,
Inc., stressed that the Novi store is independently owned and
operated.  It has been in business for more than 22 years.

Ms. Kunzelman forwarded the Free Press a message provided by
Petland Novi.  It says puppy health is a top priority and the
lawsuit's allegations are baseless.

"To begin with, the puppies come first in everything we do at
Petland Novi.  We are leaders in the animal care industry.
And -- most importantly -- we are pet lovers. We love our pets. .
. . Healthy pets have always been, and continue to be to this
day, our number one priority," the statement from Petland Novi
said.

It continued: "Recently, there have been false allegations made
from a few who are determined to destroy our business and our
relationship with our valued customers.  Understand that we do
not deal with puppy mills. Nothing could be further from the
truth.

"We would never intentionally purchase a puppy from a breeder
that does not care for that puppy and its health. We deny each of
these false claims.  Each puppy that we purchase comes from a
reputable breeder."

The statement said that all puppies are checked by a
veterinarian, receive age-appropriate vaccinations and come with
a lifetime warranty. Only a small percentage require extra
veterinary care, it said.

The lawsuit notes that the Michigan Department of Agriculture and
Rural Development used to license and regulate pet shops, but it
ended its pet shop program in 2009 because of financial
constraints.

The 17 plaintiffs are suing Petland Novi and store operator Randy
Horowitz.

Petland has recently been the subject of negative headlines amid
an illness outbreak linked to sick puppies and a different
lawsuit.

An advocacy group called the Animal Legal Defense Fund sued
Petland, Inc., a Petland store in Georgia and a Petland-linked
entity in 2017.  The suit, which seeks class action status,
alleges racketeering and says Petland fraudulently guarantees
puppies are healthy when being sold, even though its animals are
prone to illnesses and other defects.  Attorneys for the
defendants have asked for the case to be dismissed.

In September, federal health officials announced they were
investigating a multistate outbreak of bacterial infections
linked to puppies sold at Petland stores.

The drug-resistant campylobacter infections sickened 113 people
from 17 states between Jan. 12, 2016 and Jan. 7, 2018, according
to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  Twenty-
three people were hospitalized; no deaths occured.

Twenty-five of the ill people worked at Petland stores.

The investigation, which ended in January, did not identify a
common breeder where the sick puppies originated.  Officials said
the pups may have become infected at various points along the
distribution chain when they had contact with infected puppies
from other breeders or distributors while being transported to
pet stores. [GN]


POWERCOR: Class Action Mulled Over South-west Victoria Bushfires
----------------------------------------------------------------
Kirsten Diprose and Nicole Chvastek, writing for ABC News, report
that lawyers are planning a class action against power company
Powercor over at least one of the devastating bushfires in south-
west Victoria.

It comes as Victoria Police arson and explosive detectives report
the cause of all four of the blazes involved powerlines.

The fires in the Gazette, Garvoc and Camperdown regions were
originally thought to have been started by lightning strikes, as
wild winds and unstable weather struck the region on the night of
March 17.

Up to 18 houses were destroyed in the fires along with 52 sheds,
and at least 14,000 hectares of land was burnt.

Maddens Lawyers has confirmed it is speaking to affected property
owners, who claim the Garvoc fire started from a power pole.

Fire never should have happened, lawyer says
The Warrnambool firm's class action principal Brendan Pendergast
said the firm had had a fire-start expert examine the seat of the
fire and the power pole.

He told the ABC's Statewide Drive there was no doubt in his mind
that is where the fire emanated from.

"It started as a result of the pole failure," Mr Pendergast said.

He said the fire was avoidable and should never have happened.

"This pole has obviously been identified as being structurally
compromised.

"It had been patched up by attaching semi-circular sleeves to the
pole. So that is sort of a band-aid means of extending the life
of the pole."

Power poles 'snapped' in strong wind gusts

Jack Kenna lives at the Sisters near Terang, and said the blaze
started on his farm.

"I believe it started with a pole snapping off and there's very
strong evidence of that," he said.

"The pole that snapped off was supported by two steel props, so
obviously there had been a problem with the pole in the past and
I suppose they wanted to get a bit more life out of the pole."

In the report released by Victoria Police on March 22, the Garvoc
fire is said to have been caused by a power pole snapping in high
winds and falling onto the ground.

Electrical arcs then ignited vegetation.

The report found the Gazette fire started when a tree in a
bluegum plantation fell onto powerlines.

The Camperdown-Bullen Merri fire was also started by a tree limb
falling on powerlines and bringing them to the ground.

The report also found the Terang-Cobden fire was the result of
powerlines clashing in high winds, causing electrical arcs and
igniting the surrounding vegetation.

Not practical to put power lines underground'
Victoria's emergency management commissioner Craig Lapsley also
confirmed the blazes were not sparked by lightning, but power
assets.

He said it was simply not practical to put power lines
underground.

"As long as we've got electrical assets above ground and we've
got weather conditions like we've got, these things will
challenge us," Mr Lapsley said.

"And we know ourselves you can't put all electrical assets
underground, and even if you wanted to it would take a number of
years to do so."

Earlier, Powercor conceded the Garvoc fire may have started from
one of its power poles.

General manager of electricity networks Steve Neave said, "Yes, I
think it's possible. It's too early to draw a conclusion to that
nature."

Mr Neave said the pole at Garvoc had been inspected four months
ago and was of "sound condition".

"The pole has certainly come down in the extreme conditions. The
wind is part of that event," he said.

Maddens Lawyers was set to meet affected residents in Terang on
March 28, and planned to issue proceedings for a class action
once enough evidence has been gathered. [GN]


PRN AMBULANCE: Sued by Burgamy for Not Paying OT to Drivers, EMTs
-----------------------------------------------------------------
CHARLES BURGAMY, AN INDIVIDUAL, on behalf of himself and other
similarly situated individuals v. PRN AMBULANCE, LLC, A
CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, Case No. BC698216 (Cal. Super. Ct., Los
Angeles Cty., March 14, 2018), accuses the Defendant of failure
to pay overtime compensation to its ambulance drivers and
Emergency Medical Technicians.

PRN Ambulance, LLC, is a California Corporation doing business in
the County of Los Angeles, California.  PRN is a Medical
Transportation Company.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Michael L. Tracy, Esq.
          Matthew Raposas, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF MICHAEL TRACY
          2030 Main Street, Suite 1300
          Irvine, CA 92614
          Telephone: (949)260-9171
          Facsimile: (866) 365-3051
          E-mail: mtracy@michaeltracylaw.com
                  mraposas@michaeltracylaw.com


PROFESSIONAL CLAIMS: Faces "Riezes" Suit in E.D. New York
---------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Professional Claims
Bureau, Inc. The case is styled as Esther Riezes, on behalf of
herself and all other similarly situated consumers, Plaintiff v.
Professional Claims Bureau, Inc., Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-
02115 (E.D. N.Y., April 9, 2018).

Professional Claims Bureau, Inc. is a credit reporting
agency.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Adam Jon Fishbein, Esq.
   Adam J. Fishbein, P.C.
   735 Central Avenue
   Woodmere, NY 11598
   Tel: (516) 668-6945
   Email: fishbeinadamj@gmail.com


PROVIDENCE, RI: Class Action Lawsuit Filed Over Speed Camera
------------------------------------------------------------
Kate Nagle, writing for GoLocalProv News, reports that
GoLocalProv has received a copy of a class action suit filed in
Rhode Island Superior Court that alleges, "The City of Providence
has utterly failed to: (1) comply with several provisions of the
recently enacted Automated Speed Enforcement Law that authorizes
the use of automated camera technology for the issuance of school
zone motor vehicle speeding violations; and, (2) to provide motor
vehicle owners and operators, charged with automated school zone
motor vehicle speeding violations, basic federal and state
constitutional procedural due process protections."

The suit goes on, "Defendant (City of Providence) has
purposefully and knowingly issued and continue to issue defective
and invalid summonses to illegally collect and illegally attempt
to collect monetary fines from owners and operators of motor
vehicles for alleged school zone motor vehicle speeding
violations, through information obtained from Defendant's
Automated Speed Camera System."

"Despite Defendant's failure to comply with several mandatory
provisions of the Automated Speed Enforcement Act, Defendant has
issued thousands of defective summonses, each demanding a fine of
ninety-five dollars ($95.00).  Defendant has collected thousands
of dollars in fines and fees from owners and operators of motor
vehicles and is attempting to collect thousands of dollars in
fines from owners and operators of motor vehicles for alleged
school zone motor vehicle speeding violations."

About the Suit

The suit was filed on behalf of Roberta Ricci, Dachelle Threats,
Vincent Pizzi, and others.

The 47-page complaint ridicules the Elorza administration's
program. Nearly every aspect of the traffic camera program is
challenged in the suit, from how the cameras are deployed, to
what and how they program cites drivers, to due process and
penalties.

As an example the suit states, "All the summonses issued by the
Defendant to the Plaintiffs and the Class, pursuant to the
employment and operation of the Automated Speed Camera System,
are invalid and legally insufficient because the summonses have
not provided actual notice to Plaintiffs and the Class as to the
specific alleged motor vehicle speeding violation that the
Plaintiffs and the Class have been accused of violating."

Since the traffic cameras were launched at the beginning of the
year, an estimated 20,000 tickets have been issued. The program
was launched without a public education campaign by the city, and
the initial claim was that the cameras were intended to improve
public safety in schools zones. The majority of the cameras are
blocks away from the school zones.

After earning of the lawsuit, Victor Morrente -- the spokesman
for Elorza -- told GoLocal in an email, "The City does not
comment on ongoing litigation."

Expansion of the Traffic Cameras By Elorza
The Elorza administration recently added five more cameras.

The program has been widely criticized and legislative leaders at
the State House including the legislator that authored the
enabling legislation says the City of Providence is abusing the
program. State Representative Robert Craven is the author of the
original legislation that allowed Providence to develop their
program.

"While the intent of the cameras is laudable, I am working with
Rep. Robert Craven to amend his 2016 legislation to provide
warnings before tickets are issued and to reduce the fines,"
Speaker of the House Nick Mattiello said on GoLocal LIVE. "He is
working with me and my legal staff on an amendment he intends to
introduce."

Other legislators have been more critical of Elorza's program.
"These camera systems are nothing more than a government cash
grab. They penalize the registered owner of a vehicle rather than
the person actually driving which is unfair," stated Senior
Deputy Minority Leader Anthony Giarrusso, who appeared on GoLocal
LIVE at the Rhode Island State House to discuss House Bill 7760,
which would end the use of traffic cameras in Rhode Island --
which Giarrusso said he has been advocating for well before the
speed camera rollout in Providence.

One person who will not comment on the program or his role in
initiating the traffic cameras is former Elorza Chief of Staff
Tony Simon. GoLocal recently unveiled that Simon is now being
paid by the traffic camera vendor that operates the city's
program. Simon is paid $5,000 a month to lobby at the State
House.

Conduent, Inc., the company who owns and operates the traffic
cameras that have issued upwards of 20,000 tickets and could
potentially reap millions in revenue.

Simon, who served as Elorza's Chief of until July of 2016, now
operates a political consulting firm and is a significant donor
to top Democrats. Conduent is a $6 billion publicly traded
company.  A leading segment of its business is technology
applications to help cities and states drive revenue through
camera and tolling technology.

The class action suit was filed by Providence Attorney Peter
Wasylyk, Esq., a former Providence State Representative. He has a
significant record in filing class action suits.

"[Wasylyk] and I jointly drafted the complaint," said attorney
Peter Petrarca, Esq. -- info@petrarcalaw.com  "Most likely I'll
file for injunctive relief and declaratory relief -- [Wasylyk] is
handling the class side."

"So that motion will be to enjoin the court from issuing or
hearing any further tickets until the court [decides this
matter]," said Petrarca.

Some of those suits include:

In 2005, the Insurance Journal reported that, "Blue Cross & Blue
Shield of Rhode Island will pay $17.5 million to settle a pair of
lawsuits accusing it of bilking subscribers by failing to pass
along discounts negotiated for prescription drugs and health
services. The settlement means 115,000 people will receive checks
from $10 to $25,000, many of them Rhode Islanders. Five
plaintiffs each get $25,000. The lawsuits were filed in 1996.
Plaintiffs sought up to $75 million on behalf of people insured
by Blue Cross dating back to 1990. . . . Peter Wasylyk, Esq., a
lawyer for the plaintiffs, said the settlement ends one of the
hardest-fought class-action suits against a health insurer.

In 2013, Wasylyk settled a suit against B.J.'s for a reported
$2.5 million.

Also in 2013, GoLocalProv reported a nationwide class action
lawsuit has been filed against Target by two Rhode Islanders,
William B. Knowles and Patricia A. Doyle, relating to the
retailer's massive data breach.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Rhode Island, alleges that Target breached its duties to
safeguard the confidential financial and personal information of
nearly 40 million members of the proposed nationwide class.

"I am hopeful that the class action lawsuit will provide relief
to the millions of consumers affected by one of the largest data
breaches in US history," said Wasylyk, attorney for the
Plaintiffs.

And there have been dozens of other high profile suits against
companies such as Facebook.[GN]


PUPPY MANAGEMENT: Tapp Seeks to Recover Overtime & Minimum Wages
----------------------------------------------------------------
CIANTE TAPP v. PUPPY MANAGEMENT INCORPORATED, a Florida
corporation, and JAMES WRIGHT, JR., individually, Case No. 1:18-
cv-20960-RNS (S.D. Fla., March 14, 2018), is brought under the
Fair Labor Standards Act on behalf of all those similarly
situated seeking alleged unpaid overtime wages, minimum wages,
liquidated damages, reasonable attorney's fee and costs from the
Defendants.

Puppy Management Incorporated is a Florida corporation formed and
existing under the laws of the state of Florida.  James Wright,
Jr., owns and operates Puppy Management.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Brian J. Militzok, Esq
          MILITZOK LAW, P.A.
          Wells Fargo Building
          4600 Sheridan Street, Suite 402
          Hollywood, FL 33021
          Telephone: (954) 780-8228
          Facsimile: (954) 719-4016
          E-mail: bjm@militzoklaw.com


RALPH LAUREN: Interns Get $305 Each Out of Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------
Julia Marsh, writing for New York Post, reports that hundreds of
Ralph Lauren interns have been left too cash-strapped to afford
one of the designer's outfits -- even after winning a lawsuit
settlement against the fashion house.

The large group of former interns took home only $305 each out of
a $323,000 settlement because the lawyers in the case scooped up
$108,000 for themselves, court records show.

That's barely half the cost of one of Lauren's signature $598
double-breasted wool blazers.

Lead plaintiff Nadine Craparotta, 28, of Lindenhurst, Long
Island, will be the only former Lauren intern able to go on a
shopping spree.  She gets $7,500 for her top position in the
Manhattan Supreme Court suit, which was settled.

The Fashion Institute of Technology grad's lawyers, from the
firms of Virginia & Ambinder and Leeds Brown Law, will take 33
percent of the settlement.

Ms. Craparotta's attorneys claim the deal is "fair and
reasonable," even though their original suit argued that more
than 200 interns should have been paid at least minimum wage, or
between $114 and $210 weekly, for 24 hours of work each week.

The suit claimed interns were paid nothing to prep samples for
fit meetings, create product codes, update progress reports and
review designs.

"Ralph Lauren denied significant benefit from the work performed
by" the interns, the plaintiffs' lawyers said in 2015 court
papers.

Former Ambinder lawyer Alison Genova said the payout "represents
a significant recovery given the potential damages and the
substantial risks if the case were to proceed to trial."

Tom Stebbins of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance said the case showed
"how broken the class-action system is because you have people
who actually were not paid money getting pennies on the dollar
while lawyers are walking away with over $100,000."

Interns who worked at Lauren's Fifth Avenue headquarters from
2009 through 2017 have at least until mid-June to object to the
settlement terms.

Ms. Craparotta and her lawyers did not return messages requesting
comment.

Reps for Ralph Lauren did not comment. [GN]


RAWSON-NEAL PSYCHIATRIC: Mentally Ill Patients Can Pursue Damages
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Cynthia Hubert, writing for The Sacramento Bee, reports that
mentally ill people who were cast out of a Las Vegas psychiatric
hospital and issued Greyhound bus tickets to cities across the
country without proper consent, care or planning soon will have
their day in court.

A Nevada court has ruled that James Flavy Coy Brown, whose 2013
bus trip took him to Sacramento, and potentially hundreds of
others who had similar experiences, may as a group pursue damages
against Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas, Southern
Nevada Adult Mental Health Services, which oversees the hospital,
and various treatment professionals.

Sacramento attorney Mark Merin filed the class-action lawsuit on
behalf of Brown and others who allegedly were victims of
"Greyhound therapy," or patient dumping, by the state's primary
psychiatric hospital.

Martha Framsted, spokeswoman for the Nevada Department of Health
and Human Services, declined to comment on the latest legal
action.

The Clark County District Court granted class-action status to
the lawsuit's plaintiffs after years of legal wrangling.  Mr.
Merin now will launch an intensive search for Rawson-Neal
patients, many of them homeless and psychotic, who were issued
one-way Greyhound tickets by the hospital.

The Sacramento Bee documented Mr. Brown's story beginning in
2013. Subsequent investigations by the newspaper found that
Rawson-Neal regularly discharged homeless patients via Greyhound
bus, sometimes to places where they had never been and had no
ties.

Mr. Brown, who suffers from schizophrenia, was desperate and
confused when he arrived in Sacramento, a place he had never
visited and where he had no connections.  No prior arrangements
had been made for his care or housing.  He told police he was
advised by the Nevada psychiatric hospital to "call 911" when he
arrived in the capital city.

He was on the streets for days before he was admitted to UC Davis
Medical Center, and then to a group home in Sacramento.  He
reunited with his daughter in his home state of North Carolina
for a time, and now lives in a care home there.

The Bee found that Mr. Brown's experience was not an isolated
one.  The newspaper discovered that Rawson-Neal bused roughly
1,500 patients out of Nevada between 2008 and 2013, a third of
them to California.  Some of the patients, The Bee documented,
became homeless and went missing after their bus trips.  Some
died tragically.  Some committed serious crimes in their new
cities.

Rawson-Neal denied that it routinely sent patients to other
cities without planning for their welfare, but federal and state
investigations confirmed other cases in addition to Brown's. The
hospital has said that it no longer buses people out of state
without chaperones.

The Bee's stories about the busing scandal won several national
journalism awards, and were a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in
investigative reporting.

The class-action complaint against Rawson-Neal alleges that
patients "were discharged with deliberate indifference to, and
reckless disregard of, their serious medical and psychiatric
needs for which no plan was developed or followed."

Patients, it states, "were administered powerful psychotropic
medications and, while unable to intelligently and knowingly
consent, were involuntarily placed into taxis and conveyed to
Greyhound buses into which they were loaded" for trips to
destinations across the country.

The suit accuses the hospital, its staff and the mental health
agency with negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. It asks for
an injunction preventing the hospital from improperly discharging
patients, as well as unspecified financial damages.

In its order granting class certification, District Judge Mark
Denton said the case's allegations "rise and fall based on
whether defendants implemented a blanket policy" to discharge
patients out of state without adequate documentation and
planning.

When it routinely was sending unescorted patients out on buses,
the Nevada hospital was under financial stress because of severe
budget cuts and eager to discharge poor patients, Mr. Merin said
in an interview with The Bee. Rawson-Neal's staff was "under a
'hurry up and get these people out of here' directive," he said.

To assist Mr. Merin's team in locating previous patients, the
court has ordered the hospital to supply records, including any
contact information, for everyone who was given one-way tickets
during the class period, which the court ruled began in 2011 and
runs through the present. As many as 700 people could be
affected, Mr. Merin said.

"We're setting up a process whereby we reach out to every one of
those people for whom we have contact information so that we can
try to get notice to them," he said.  "Otherwise, we are left
sending notices to homeless shelters and placing public
announcements in newspapers. It's very hard to reach this class
of individual."

The trial is scheduled for Aug. 24 in Nevada, though the case
could settle before then, Mr. Merin said.

Any settlement would require attorneys to negotiate the amount
paid to everyone who is identified as part of the class and wants
to participate in the lawsuit, he said.

"We would get claim forms out to everyone, so everybody will get
compensation of some sort," Mr. Merin said.

Reached at his care home in North Carolina, Brown, whose story
triggered the investigations and lawsuit against the hospital,
said he was pleased that the class-action case finally is moving
forward, more than five years after he stepped off a bus in
downtown Sacramento following his discharge 15 hours earlier from
Rawson-Neal.

Mr. Brown, who had been homeless in Las Vegas, had only a few
bottles of Ensure nutritional supplements to sustain him during
his trip.

Now 53, Mr. Brown said he is unhappy that he currently lives in a
retirement home where most residents are far older than him.
"But I don't have any money or any other place to go," he said.
"So it's better than being on the streets. It's better than being
homeless."

Mr. Brown said he never imagined that his case would have drawn
national attention, nor that it would still be moving through the
legal system after so many years.

"I feel good that it's going ahead," Mr. Brown said.  "I almost
gave up on it, for sure.  I got to the point where I felt that
everybody had forgotten about me." [GN]


REPUBLIC SERVICES: Faces Class Action Over Unpaid Overtime Wages
----------------------------------------------------------------
Cole Rosengren, writing for Waste Dive, reports that twenty-five
employees represented by Teamsters Local 284 have filed a
putative class and collective action suit against Republic
Services for alleged overtime violations in Columbus, OH.  At
issue is a policy requiring employees to change in and out of
their uniforms off the clock.  The complaint alleges violations
of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), Ohio Prompt Pay Act,
state minimum wage law and state recordkeeping law.

According to the complaint, this policy started May 17, 2017.
"For decades, the employees at this facility have gotten in
uniform and out of uniform on the clock.  That's always been the
practice," Brian Basham, vice president of Local 284, told Waste
Dive, adding he's heard of similar situations at other Republic
locations.  "We believe that this problem may exist in more
places than just Columbus."

In response to questions about whether Republic has a similar
policy company-wide, or had prevailed in similar cases before, a
company spokesperson emailed the following statement.  "Republic
complies with federal and state wage laws and believes this
lawsuit to be without merit.  Because the matter is in
litigation, we cannot comment further." [GN]


SAGINAW, MA: City Officials Sued Over Dangerous Housing Code
------------------------------------------------------------
Bob Johnson, writing for Mlive.com, reports that an attorney has
filed a federal class-action lawsuit against two Saginaw city
officials, alleging that an ordinance violates the Fourth
Amendment rights of property owners.

Phillip Ellison, a Hemlock-based attorney, file a lawsuit on
March 14 in U.S. District Court naming the city's Chief Inspector
John Stemple and Clerk Janet Santos.

The lawsuit alleges that language at the bottom of an application
to register unoccupied or vacant properties strips property
owners of their protections against unreasonable searches and
seizures by forcing them to sign them away in order to be
compliant with the city law.

The particular part of the language reads:

"I hereby agree that in the event my property becomes dangerous
as defined by the City of Saginaw Dangerous Housing Code, I give
permission for the City, its agents, employees, or
representatives, to enter and board the premises or do whatever
necessary to make the property secure and safe."

Mr. Ellison said that that paragraph makes the application
illegal, for one, because that language is not a part of the
ordinance and secondly, because it gives government officials the
right to enter someone's property without a warrant.

"Law presumes that the government can't just enter your
property," Mr. Ellison said.

According to Mr. Ellison, a government official would have to
file a request for an administrative warrant by presenting an
affidavit and evidence to a judge to obtain a warrant.

"The judge might not be convinced and may want to hear from the
owner before making a decision," Mr. Ellison said.  "They can't
just walk in and start boarding it up."

The lawsuit arose because James Benjamin, trustee of the Rebekah
C. Benjamin Trust and client of Ellison, was ticketed by the city
for two vacant or unoccupied properties he failed to register.

Mr. Ellison said his client does not have a problem registering
the properties but does have a problem signing over his Fourth
Amendment rights.

"If the city changes it, we can resolve this without going to
court," Ellison said.

The class-action suit will represent anyone who could be, or has
been, signing these applications, Mr. Ellison said.

"We want to make sure that they don't do this to anyone else,"
Ellison said.

No money is being sought other than legal fees, Mr. Ellison said.

Mr. Ellison said Santos and Stemple were named in the complaint
because it's the city clerk's responsibility to have the
application available and the inspector's job to enforce it.

"She's requiring everyone to use it," he said.  "Stemple would
authorize inspections and searches."

Mr. Stemple and Ms. Santos are being represented by O'Neill,
Wallace, & Doyle, of Saginaw Township.

Mr. Stemple declined to comment on pending litigation.
Ms. Santos could not be reached for comment. [GN]


SAINT-GOBAIN: Bill Won't Aid Residents Pursuing Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
Mike Polhamus, writing for VTDigger, reports that a lawmaker who
pulled a bill off the Senate floor on March 15 that would make
companies liable for toxic pollution has been accused of delaying
action on the legislation at the behest of industry lobbyists.

Sen. Ann Cummings diverted the bill from the Senate floor on
March 15 in a move critics say was unorthodox.  They accused her
of acting on behalf of insurance and manufacturing industries.

The Washington County Democrat flatly denies that charge and says
she has an obligation to ensure that Vermonters insurance
premiums won't go up.

Sen. Cummings, who chairs the Senate Committee on Finance, sent
the bill, S.197, back to her committee for further review, after
pitching an amendment that would require the Department of
Financial Regulation to monitor the impact of the bill on
insurance rates and report back to the Legislature.

Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, accused her of capitulating to
special interests.  "Inevitably the insurance industry had gotten
to her, or the chemical industry or whatever," Sen. Sears said.

In its review on March 16, Senate Finance did not alter the
substance of the bill, Sen. Cummings said.

"I don't know what the senators from Bennington are so afraid
of," Sen. Cummings said.  "We did nothing to the bill and never
intended to."

The legislation makes changes to insurance, and she said the
committee of jurisdiction had a right to take a look at it.  "We
never tried to kill the bill because we never had the bill,"
Cummings said.

Both insurance companies and environmental advocates lobbied her.

"I had two insurance representatives come in catching me in the
hall, telling me they had concerns about the impact on the
insurance market," Sen. Cummings said.  "I had people from the
environmental groups doing the same thing, so I consider myself
equally lobbied.  I felt my arm twisted harder by the
environmental community."

A strict liability standard

Sears is sponsoring the bill with Sen. Brian Campion,
D-Bennington.  The two senators have worked closely to help
residents of Bennington County cope with the impact of toxic
chemical contamination from a local Teflon fabric coating plant
that has rendered water from 500 wells in the area unpotable.  A
carcinogen, perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA, was a byproduct of
manufacturing at the ChemFab factory.

The bill employs a legal principle known as "strict liability."
The legislation requires companies to pay for costs associated
with harms caused by pollution.  Under current law, victims and
taxpayers are liable for the cost of medical care.

Insurance representatives say the bill could raise insurance
rates and limit access to insurance coverage.  That's because a
strict liability standard applied to toxic chemical releases
would make it difficult for actuaries to assign a fair value to
insurance policies for Vermonters and Vermont companies.

A strict liability standard for chemical contamination would be
unique, according to Maggie Siedel, the American Insurance
Association's vice-president of public affairs.

"There is a reason no other state in the country has a law like
this -- it is very clearly unreasonable," Ms. Siedel said.  "As
far as specific predictions about the impact of this bill on the
insurance marketplace, each company will make their own
assessments.  Broadly speaking, this would be unprecedented, so
policymakers would be remiss if they weren't prepared for
significant consequences."

Ms. Siedel said while there is no direct comparison, a strict-
liability law in New York that has been in place since 1923 and
applies to construction sites for use of scaffolding has made
premiums "prohibitively high," while failing to make construction
sites any safer.

Vermont Law School professor Kenneth Rumelt told the Senate
finance committee on March 16 there is precedent for a strict
liability standard in environmental law.  The body of law that
was created for the Superfund clean-up program, known as the
Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability
Act (CERCLA), assigns strict liability to polluters who endanger
public health and the environment, Mr. Rumelt said.

That law has existed since 1980.  "These are things that have
existed in Vermont for a long time," Mr. Rumelt said. "It's not a
completely foreign concept, it's a concept that's been around for
decades."

Vermont already has a strict liability law on the books for
dangerous animals, Mr. Rumelt said.

Residents liable for medical costs

Bennington residents who face costs associated with medical
monitoring and illnesses brought on by PFOA contamination are now
in federal court attempting to recover money from Saint-Gobain
Performance Plastics, the French multinational firm that bought
ChemFab in 2000.

Sears' and Campion's bill would make polluters strictly,
severally and jointly liable for the harm they cause Vermonters
by releasing toxic substances.  That means if a company or an
individual has harmed a Vermonter with toxic pollution, that
person or company can't use ignorance, lack of malicious intent,
or other factors as a defense in court.

The bill is not retroactive, so it wouldn't aid the Bennington
residents currently pursuing a class-action suit against Saint-
Gobain, Campion said, but the bill could avert similar incidents
in the future.

Campion vigorously defended the bill on March 15 in the Senate
Committee on Finance.  He said on March 16 that there's an
emotional component for him in protecting Vermonters from toxic
pollution.

"None of this can really benefit my area at this point, but
having witnessed first-hand what happens when major corporations
pollute, it's heartbreaking to look at the health issues and the
environmental impacts," Campion said.

The Superfund laws provided a model for the two Senators who
crafted the bill, Sears has said.

Sears formerly owned stock in ChemFab, and lived a mile from the
factory, and he now is among the plaintiffs in the federal class-
action suit against Saint-Gobain.

ChemFab was a valued part of Bennington's economy before the
company moved to New Hampshire to escape Vermont's environmental
laws, Sears said.

The company nevertheless poisoned hundreds of his constituents,
who shouldn't be on the hook for harm caused by ChemFab, Sears
said.

"S.197 basically says, `The polluter pays,'" Sears said, "and
that's why the chemical industry and the insurance industry
oppose the bill."

Sears said his constituents who are fighting to recover damages
through the courts from Saint-Gobain probably won't see any
relief through the case for another five to 10 years.

"That is very, very slow," he said.

It often takes years for people harmed by polluters to recover
damages, if they prevail, said Emily Joselson, an attorney
representing the Bennington residents, in testimony on March 15
to the Senate finance committee. People harmed by polluters often
don't bother taking the cases to court because they know
corporations can hire better lawyers who'll get their corporate
clients off the hook, Ms. Joselson said.

Gov. Phil Scott's administration opposes S.197, saying it will
"hurt hardworking Vermonters."

Joan Goldstein, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of
Economic Development, said that the bill would deter Vermont
companies from making investments in new technologies.

"This bill treats the responsible corporate citizen, one who
takes care in procuring the proper permits, following all
applicable state and federal regulations, same as the malicious
polluter," Goldstein told the judiciary committee in February.

"Asking companies to be responsible for the foreseeable as well
as the unforeseeable, despite acting as responsible corporate
citizens in the eyes of the law, may discourage those companies
from pursuing innovations in advanced manufacturing, bioscience,
ag-tech and clean technologies," she said.

The commerce agency used that same logic in the 1990s when it
sought to exempt ChemFab from pollution laws at the time,
according to state documents. [GN]


SAINT JOHN, NB: Responds to West Side Water Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Bobbi-Jean MacKinnon, writing for CBC News, reports that
Saint John's decision to change the water source for west side
users from Spruce Lake to the South Bay aquifer was a policy
decision made in good faith and based on the best available
advice and does not give rise to liability in negligence, the
city argues in its statement of defence to a class-action
lawsuit.

The city also denies any breach of contract, arguing the
provision of water services is not contractual in nature but
rather a legislated requirement, according to the document filed
with the Court of Queen's Bench in Saint John on March 19.

In addition, the city contends the lawsuit cannot be certified as
a class action for several reasons, including that the
plaintiffs, Frances Brownell and Cheryl Steadman, "do not fairly
and adequately represent the interests of the proposed class
members," and a class proceeding would not result in a "fair and
efficient resolution of the dispute."

The city, represented by two law firms, along with its staff
solicitors, is seeking to have the action dismissed with costs
and any other relief the court deems just and reasonable.

The lawsuit was launched on behalf of west Saint John residents
faced with leaking pipes and costly repairs they allege are due
to their water source being changed.

Charles Bryant, one of the lawyers who filed the suit, said the
city "responded in form, but not in substance."

Bryant and fellow lawyer Rodney Gillis will now move to the
discovery phase, gathering more detailed information from the
more than 200 people who have signed up to be part of the class
action to determine the scope of the alleged liability.

Complaints have ranged from burst pipes and water heaters
breaking down, to hard, discoloured water and irritated skin.

The statement of claim alleges the city was "negligent and
breached duties of care" by failing to "adequately test, analyze
and/or review the distinct chemistry of the new water source and
condition of the water pipes before, during and after the
switchover."

It also accuses the city of failing to "adequately design,
construct, inspect, repair, maintain, operate and supervise the
water supply and distribution system" and is seeking damages to
cover existing and future costs of repairing structural damage,
and repairing or replacing pipes, appliances and other equipment.

None of the allegations in the statement of claim have been
proven in court.

Spruce Lake water a health risk
About 5,600 customers in west Saint John were switched over to
water drawn from the South Bay wellfield instead of the Spruce
Lake reservoir in September, as part of the Safe Clean Drinking
Water project.

The city says in its statement of defence that the Spruce Lake
water lacked filtration to protect against certain
microbiological contaminants, including giardia and
cryptosporidium, which "posed a potential health risk."

The water did not meet provincial guidelines and without
"significant and costly infrastructure changes," the city could
not comply with the regulatory obligations imposed by the Clean
Water Act and the Clean Environment Act, the document states.

During the course of the water project, which included
approximately three years of exploration and testing, according
to the document, the city decided the South Bay aquifer was the
best available source of safe, clean potable water for west Saint
John users.

The city "exercised all due care and caution and relied upon the
best available advice with respect to all decisions regarding the
change in the water supply," the document states.

The new water source meets both provincial and federal
guidelines, satisfies all of the city's regulatory obligations
and is safe and clean, it says.

The class action lawyers hope to seek certification of the
lawsuit within a few months. [GN]


SAN DIEGO, CA: Lawsuit Filed for Misuse of Taxpayers Fund
---------------------------------------------------------
Tom Jones, writing for NBC 7 news, reports that  a class-action
lawsuit was filed against the city of San Diego, the Public
Utilities Department and the city council, alleging the city
misused taxpayer funds to pay for the city's new smart water
meters.

The legal action alleges the city's Public Utilities Department
fostered an "illegal financing scheme" by using municipal sewer
funds to pay for the advanced metering infrastructure, also known
as the "AMI smart water meter program".

NBC 7 Responds has been investigating the smart meter program
since last July and has revealed problems with meter
installations and questions surrounding the financing behind
retrofitted water meters.

The class action lawsuit is not related to a recent surge of
complaints about high water bills.

Approximately $33-million dollars used to pay for the more than
$67-million dollar meter project came from sewer ratepayers or
the Municipal Sewer Fund, the suit claims. Attorney Paul Neuhart,
Esq., whose office filed the case, said the city has 2.2-million
sewer users and 1.3-million water users.

Neuhart told NBC 7 Responds that ratepayers who only have sewer
services were forced to pay for metering equipment they will
never use.

The lawsuit states that in March 2016, the Public Utilities
Department determined the cost of the project and recommended the
city apply for more than $42-million dollars of financing from
the State Water Board's Clean Water State Revolving Fund. That
amount comprised 70% of the total project cost. The Public
Utilities Department also recommended an additional $18-million
dollars in funding from the Municipal Sewer Fund for the smart
meter project.

Then in December 2016, at an Independent Rates Oversight
Committee hearing, Public Utilities Department staff reported
half of the cost was going to be paid for by the Sewer Fund,
rather than state financing. In addition, the project's total
cost increased by more than $7-million dollars.

The lawsuit claims these financing decisions violated Proposition
218, a state measure that requires public input on public
spending for any items the money was not originally designated
for. The suit also demands the city repay ratepayers for sewer
funds used to purchase the water meters.

Neuhart told NBC 7 Responds this case highlights the need for
increased oversight over how the Public Utilities Department
spends taxpayer dollars. NBC 7 Responds found the Independent
Rates Oversight Committee, created in 2007 to oversee the Public
Utilities Department, has no staff or budget and committee
members work on a volunteer basis.

NBC 7 Respond asked the Public Utilities Department, City Council
Members and the City Attorney's office for a comment, but none of
them have responded to the allegations raised in the lawsuit.

"We will review the complaint and respond through the court,"
City Attorney spokesperson Gerry Braun said in an email.[GN]


SAN DIEGO, CA: Encroachment Code Unconstitutional, Suit Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lisa Halverstadt, writing for Voice of San Diego, reports that as
colorful bikes and scooters pop up on sidewalks citywide,
homeless advocates are seizing on what they see as a
contradiction: The city is ignoring bike rental companies while
hammering homeless San Diegans for the same violations.

A lawyer who's sued the city for applying its encroachment code
to homeless San Diegans says he expects to highlight the
differing enforcement decisions in his ongoing case.

Nearly a decade ago, city officials began using the new city code
intended to clear trash from public spaces to force homeless San
Diegans to move along.

Use of that code has since exploded. In 2009, police handed out
just 77 encroachment citations and made no arrests. Last year,
amid deadly hepatitis A outbreak, police recorded 2,742
encroachment arrests and citations.

Now San Diego's seeing an explosion of so-called dockless
bikeshare companies.  Bikes are parked on sidewalks, not tethered
to racks or signs, throughout the central city neighborhoods
where many homeless San Diegans have settled, waiting to be
checked out by residents with smart phones.

San Diego police do not cite the companies that own the bikes for
encroachment violations.

City officials say they're doing their best to respond to a
sudden bicycle boom, but homeless advocates think it's unfair.

"You have a statute that says you can't leave anything there on
any public property and the only people who get the tickets are
homeless people," said Scott Dreher, one of two attorneys behind
the class-action lawsuit alleging the city's encroachment code is
unconstitutional.  The suit, brought on behalf of homeless San
Diegans affected by the policy, aims to halt the city's approach.

Fellow attorney Coleen Cusack, who's represented homeless San
Diegans in a slew of other cases, is raising similar concerns.
She sent me these photos of bikes blocking sidewalks.

Ms. Cusack said she'd expect homeless people who set their
belongings in the same places to be ticketed -- or to have their
belongings discarded or impounded if they weren't there when
authorities showed up.

"If (the city) were consistent, they would be confiscating all
these bikes and throwing them away, and fining the company,"
Cusack said.

That isn't happening.  A spokesman for the city's Environmental
Services Department, which often impounds homeless San Diegans'
property during sweeps, confirmed the department has yet to
confiscate any dockless bikes.

Instead, he said, the city's working behind-the-scenes on
policies to combat rule breakers. He said the regulations could
be released soon.

First, though, the city is simply urging bike companies to follow
the rules.

Assistant Chief Operating Officer Stacey LoMedico sent letters to
the bike companies warning that "a number of violations" should
be addressed.

"We have received a particularly high number of complaints
regarding bicycles/scooters being placed in the right of way by
users.  This is a reminder that it is illegal to block the public
right of way, including the sidewalk," Ms. LoMedico wrote in the
March 6 letters.  "Not only is this a violation of the city's
municipal code, but the right of way must remain free of
impediments to comply [with] the federal Americans with
Disabilities Act.  The city must impound bicycles found to be in
violation of these laws, as appropriate."

City officials say these warnings are consistent with how they
handle other encroachment violations, including those involving
homeless people. They prefer to have property owners move their
belongings rather than city workers.

When homeless San Diegans are standing with their property,
police are adamant that they almost always offer services and
suggest that a homeless person move along before writing a
ticket.

"Enforcement's usually the last resort," said police Capt. Scott
Wahl, who just took the helm of a new police division focused on
addressing homelessness and quality-of-life issues.

But Wahl acknowledged the city's still figuring out how to handle
the onslaught of bikes.

"These bikes have surfaced in the last few days downtown,"
Capt. Wahl said earlier this month.  "This is just evolving."

An encounter homeless advocate Michael McConnell recently had
with officers underscores the lack of clarity.

Mr. McConnell said he recently saw some bikes blocking a sidewalk
and asked San Diego police officers who had just arrested a
homeless person to move the bikes as well.

"I said, 'You remove homeless people's belongings.  I would like
you to remove those bikes.  It's the same thing,'" Mr. McConnell
said.

The officers drove away without moving them, he said.

Greg Block, a spokesman for Mayor Kevin Faulconer, said in a
statement that police and other city staffers are authorized to
move or impound any objects blocking the right of way but that
more urgent public safety issues can take precedence.

"People or businesses are encouraged to contact the dockless bike
business operators directly to ask them to move their property
out of the public right of way," Mr. Block said.

LimeBike and ofo, two of the companies, say they're trying to
prevent violations by educating riders and monitoring where bikes
are parked.  A LimeBike spokeswoman said her company's trying to
upgrade existing sensors to detect those parked improperly.

For now, the onus seems to largely be on bike companies and
riders to handle this.

Addressing homelessness, on the other hand, is a higher priority
for the city.

"Our comprehensive approach to reducing homelessness is about
saving lives," Mr. Block wrote.  "Keeping our sidewalks clean and
getting individuals off of the streets and into supportive
services will continue to be a public safety priority."

While the city's debuted new shelter tents and other services for
homeless San Diegans, it's also increasingly turned to
enforcement.

Encroachment arrests and citations spiked 25 percent from 2016 to
2017, in part due to the hepatitis A outbreak.

Mr. Dreher argues the differing treatment of homeless people and
newly arrived bikes underlines the problem with the city's
encroachment code: it's subject to interpretation.

"Maybe you can craft some statute that states no camping on a
public street or no blocking more than 50 percent of a sidewalk.
Those would probably be valid statutes," Mr. Dreher said.  "But
you can't have a statute that says no one can put anything
anywhere at any time." [GN]


SANDBOX TRANSPORTATION: "Barnes" Suit Alleges FLSA Violations
-------------------------------------------------------------
Matthew Barnes, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated v. Sandbox Transportation, LLC, Case No. 7:18-cv-00050
(W.D. Tex., March 19, 2018), seeks to recover unpaid overtime
pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Plaintiff Matthew Barnes began working for Defendant on or about
June 28, 2016 as an hourly paid operator and continued employment
with Defendant through on or about February 25, 2018.

Defendant is a logistics company that delivers sand, or proppant,
directly to the frac sites of its customers in the oil and gas
industry. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      James M. Loren, Esq.
      George Z. Goldberg, Esq.
      Rachael Rustmann, Esq.
      GOLDBERG & LOREN, PA
      3102 Maple Ave, Suite 450
      Dallas, TX 75201
      Tel: (800) 719-1617
      Fax: (954) 585-4886
      E-mail: jloren@lorenlaw.com
              rrustmann@goldbergloren.com
              ggoldberg@goldbergdohan.com


SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO: Must Face Class Action Over Tainted Bird Food
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Joyce Hanson, writing for Law360, reports that a California
federal judge declined on March 19 to grant Scotts Miracle-Gro
Co.'s bid to throw out a class action alleging the lawn and
garden products maker knowingly sold bird food laced with toxic
pesticides, ruling it can't get a quick win based on a 2017 U.S.
Supreme Court ruling.

U.S. District Judge John A. Houston denied Scotts' motion to
dismiss out-of-state class members' claims based on stricter
jurisdictional standards established by the Supreme Court's
June 17 ruling in Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Court of
California.

The case is In Re: Morning Song Bird Food Litigation, Case No.
3:12-cv-01592 (S.D. Calif.).  The case is assigned to Judge John
A. Houston.  The case was filed June 27, 2012. [GN]


SHANDA GAMES: Faces Class Action, May 21 Lead Plaintiff Deadline
----------------------------------------------------------------
The following statement is being issued by Levi & Korsinsky, LLP:

To: All persons or entities who held shares of Shanda Games
Limited ("Shanda") (formerly NASDAQ: GAME) on November 18, 2015
or sold such shares between May 5, 2015 and November 18, 2015.
You are hereby notified that Levi & Korsinsky filed a securities
class action lawsuit in the Southern District of New York, Case
No. 1:18-cv-02463. To get more information go to:

   http://www.zlk.com/pslra-d/shanda-games-limited?wire=2

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

The complaint alleges that Shanda issued materially false and
misleading statements in Proxy Statements and other materials
related to the proposed merger of Shanda with Capitalhold, thus
inducing shareholders to sell their shares of Shanda common stock
at artificially deflated prices or to refrain from exercising
their appraisal rights.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court
no later than May 21, 2018.  Any member of the putative class may
move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of
their choice or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent
class member.

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


SHANDA GAMES: Astor BK Suit Alleges Exchange Act Violation
----------------------------------------------------------
Astor BK Realty Trust, on behalf of itself and all others
similarly situated v. Shanda Games Limited, YingFeng Zhang, Li
Yao, Lijun Lin, Heng Wing Chan, Yong Gui, Shaolin Liang, and
Danian Chen, Case No. 1:18-cv-02463 (S.D. N.Y., March 19, 2018),
is brought against the Defendants for violations of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Plaintiff Astor was at all relevant times the owner of Shanda
common stock.

Defendant Shanda is a Cayman Islands corporation with its
principle executive offices located at No. 1 Office Building, No.
690 Bibo Road, Pudong New Area, Shanghai, 201203, People's
Republic of China. Shanda is an on-line game developer, operator
and publisher. Until the end of the Class Period, Shanda common
stock traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol "GAME".

The Individual Defendants are members of the board of Shanda.
[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Eduard Korsinsky, Esq.
      LEVI & KORSINSKY, LLP
      30 Broad Street, 24th Floor
      New York, NY 10004
      Tel: (212) 363-7500
      Fax: (212) 363-7171
      E-mail: ek@zlk.com


SIERRA PACIFIC: "Cole" Suit Alleges TCPA Violation
--------------------------------------------------
Devin Cole, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, v. Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc. and Does 1
through 10, Case No. 3:18-cv-01692 (N.D. Calif., March 19, 2018),
seeks damages pursuant to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Plaintiff Devin Cole is an individual and a resident of Solano
County, California, and operates a business in Contra Costa
County, California.

Defendant Sierra Pacific Mortgage Company, Inc. is a California
Domestic Stock Corporation that does business in California.
Defendant's business is engaged in mortgage lending sale,
brokerage, solicitation, lead generation, lead purchase and
related activities for profit. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      David W. Martin, Esq.
      LAW OFFICE OF DAVID W. MARTIN
      5350 James Avenue
      Oakland, CA 94618
      Tel: (510) 332-3943
      Fax: (510) 601-6944
      E-mail: davidwmartin@email.com

          - and -

      Patric A. Lester, Esq.
      LESTER & ASSOCIATES
      5694 Mission Center Road, #358
      San Diego, CA 92108
      Tel: (619) 665-3888
      Fax: (314) 241-5777
      E-mail: pl@lesterlaw.com


SONY CORP: PS3 Owners Have a Month Left to Claim Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------
Owen S. Good, writing for Polygon, reports that owners of the
phabulous Phat PlayStation 3 -- have one month left to collect up
to $65 as one of the longest and silliest controversies in the
console's history winds down.

The settlement was reached in October 2016, and originally PS3
owners were told to expect up to $55.  That's increased to $65
now, possibly because fewer claims than expected were submitted
in the 18 months since.

This resolves, legally anyway, the removal of the so-called
"OtherOS" feature from the PS3's operating system eight years
ago. That feature allowed users to partition their PS3's hard
drive and install Linux on it.  You may remember that, before
then, the console was pitched and even used as a computer,
including by the Air Force (which created a supercomputer cluster
out of more than 1,700 of the consoles) and in distributed
computing applications such as Folding@home and SETI@home.

But in April 2010, Sony stripped out the OtherOS feature, citing
security concerns, which pissed off a small but very vocal
contingent of PS3 users.  That led to the lawsuit, which alleged
false advertising, breach of warranty and etc.  Sony admits no
wrongdoing, which is customary in civil settlements.

To make a claim, a PS3 Phat owner has to legally swear a bunch of
stuff, including that the Phat was bought from an "authorized
retailer," (so, not from a friend, or an employer, as mine was);
then that you knew you could install Linux on it, or lost some
value when Sony pulled that option. You also need to provide your
PSN username or your PS3's serial number (the image above shows
where that is located).

Again the eligible models are the 20 GB, 40 GB, 60 GB and 80 GB
PlayStation 3's, which seem so quaint by today's standards.  The
total settlement is $3.75 million, basically pocket change for a
company that size, so you can see why they chose to end this
litigation instead of contest it.  Five named plaintiffs will get
$3,500, the attorneys will get up to $400,000, and the rest goes
to people harmed by a video games console no longer being able to
run an open-source operating system.  The settlement page says
claimants can receive up to $65; CNET estimates that about 30,000
claims would need to be filed to reach that distribution.

In October 2016, the settlement was announced with two classes of
claimants, one due for just $9; a judge threw out that condition
and made all claimants equal.

In any event, this is one of the further reaching and richer
paying class action settlements to video game consumers of late.
In 2012, Electronic Arts settled a class action suit brought in
2008 by people pissed off at the exclusive license the NFL gave
to the Madden NFL series.  That sent a bunch of payments to
people who bought the Madden NFL, NCAA Football or Arena Football
League (yes, there was actually a game for that) series. I
expected $58.29 and got $64.14. [GN]


STRAIGHT PATH: Sept. 7 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
------------------------------------------------------
DARLAN ZACHARIA, Individually and on Behalf
of All Others Similarly Situated,


                                               Plaintiff,


                        v.




STRAIGHT PATH COMMUNICATIONS, INC.,
DAVIDI JONAS, and JONATHAN RAND,




                                                Defendants.



Case No. 2:15-cv-08051-JMV-MF


SUMMARY NOTICE OF (I) PENDENCY OF CLASS ACTION AND PROPOSED
SETTLEMENT; (II) SETTLEMENT FAIRNESS HEARING; AND (III) MOTION
FOR AN AWARD OF ATTORNEYS' FEES AND REIMBURSEMENT OF LITIGATION
EXPENSES

TO:  All persons and entities who, during the period between
August 1, 2013 and July 22, 2016 inclusive, purchased or
otherwise acquired Straight Path common stock and were damaged
thereby (the "Settlement Class"):

PLEASE READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY, YOUR RIGHTS WILL BE AFFECTED
BY A CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT PENDING IN THIS COURT.

YOU ARE HEREBY NOTIFIED, pursuant to Rule 23 of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure and an Order of the United States District
Court for the District of New Jersey, that the above-captioned
litigation (the "Action") has been certified as a class action on
behalf of the Settlement Class, except for certain persons and
entities who are excluded from the Settlement Class by definition
as set forth in the full printed Notice of (I) Pendency of Class
Action and Proposed Settlement; (II) Settlement Fairness Hearing;
and (III) Motion for an Award of Attorneys' Fees and
Reimbursement of Litigation Expenses (the "Notice").

YOU ARE ALSO NOTIFIED that Lead Plaintiff in the Action has
reached a proposed settlement of the Action for $9,450,000 in
cash (the "Settlement"), that, if approved, will resolve all
claims in the Action.

A hearing will be held on September 7, 2018 at 10:30 a.m., before
the Honorable John Michael Vazquez at the United States District
Court for the District of New Jersey, Lautenberg Post Office and
U.S. Courthouse, Federal Square, Newark, NJ 07101, to determine
whether: (i) the proposed Settlement should be approved as fair,
reasonable, and adequate; (ii) the Action should be dismissed
with prejudice against Defendants, and the Releases specified and
described in the Amended Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement
dated December 1, 2017 (and in the Notice) should be granted;
(iii) the proposed Plan of Allocation should be approved as fair
and reasonable; and (iv) Lead Counsel's application for an award
of attorneys' fees and reimbursement of expenses should be
approved.

If you are a member of the Settlement Class, your rights will be
affected by the pending Action and the Settlement, and you may be
entitled to share in the Settlement Fund.  If you have not yet
received the Notice and Claim Form, you may obtain copies of
these documents by contacting the Claims Administrator at
Straight Path Class Action Litigation, c/o A.B. Data, Ltd., P.O.
Box 170400, Milwaukee, WI 53217, 1-866-540-4948.  Copies of the
Notice and Claim Form can also be downloaded from the website
maintained by the Claims Administrator,
www.StraightPathSecuritiesLitigation.com.

If you are a member of the Settlement Class, in order to be
eligible to receive a payment under the proposed Settlement, you
must submit a Claim Form postmarked no later than August 2, 2018.
If you are a Settlement Class Member and do not submit a proper
Claim Form, you will not be eligible to share in the distribution
of the net proceeds of the Settlement, but you will nevertheless
be bound by any judgments or orders entered by the Court in the
Action.

If you are a member of the Settlement Class and wish to exclude
yourself from the Settlement Class, you must submit a request for
exclusion such that it is received no later than August 17, 2018,
in accordance with the instructions set forth in the Notice.  If
you properly exclude yourself from the Settlement Class, you will
not be bound by any judgments or orders entered by the Court in
the Action and you will not be eligible to share in the proceeds
of the Settlement.

Any objections to the proposed Settlement, the proposed Plan of
Allocation, or Lead Counsel's motion for attorneys' fees and
reimbursement of expenses, must be filed with the Court and
delivered to Lead Counsel and Defendants' Counsel such that they
are received no later than August 17, 2018, in accordance with
the instructions set forth in the Notice.

Please do not contact the Court, the Clerk's office, Straight
Path, or its counsel regarding this notice.  All questions about
this notice, the proposed Settlement, or your eligibility to
participate in the Settlement should be directed to Lead Counsel
or the Claims Administrator.

Inquiries, other than requests for the Notice and Claim Form,
should be made to Lead Counsel:

          GLANCY PRONGAY & MURRAY LLP
          Kara M. Wolke, Esq.
          1925 Century Park East, Suite 2100
          Los Angeles, CA 90067
          (310) 201-9150
          info@glancylaw.com

Requests for the Notice and Claim Form should be made to:

          Straight Path Class Action Litigation
          c/o A.B. Data, Ltd.
          P.O. Box 170400
          Milwaukee, WI 53217
          866-540-4948
          www.StraightPathSecuritiesLitigation.com

By Order of the Court [GN]


SUNTRUST BANK: June 28 Settlement Fairness Hearing Set
------------------------------------------------------
Jessica Saunders, writing for Atlanta Business Chronicle, reports
that a federal court in Georgia will hold a fairness hearing in
June on a proposed $4.75 million settlement in a lawsuit against
SunTrust Bank over offering company stock in its 401(k) plan.

The proposed settlement could end a 10-year lawsuit alleging
SunTrust Banks Inc. breached its fiduciary duties under the
Employee Retirement Income Security Act, according to Bloomberg
BNA. Plan participants lost hundreds of millions of dollars as
the market price of SunTrust stock fell 73 percent between May
2007 and October 2009.

The case was certified as a class action in 2016.

The proposed deal would also provide plan participants with
certain nonmonetary relief, including quicker vesting on matching
contributions and a guarantee that the vesting schedule won't
change to a less generous one for a period of at least three
years.  SunTrust also agreed to fund matching contributions in
cash and enhance training for its fiduciary committee, according
to an unopposed motion for settlement filed March 9 in federal
court in Georgia.

The fairness hearing on June 28 will determine whether the
proposed settlement agreement is "fair, reasonable, and adequate
and should receive final approval by the court," as well as
whether the settlement class and its representation satisfy
federal rules of civil procedure and whether to grant the class
counsel's application for attorney fees and reimbursement of
litigation expenses, among other issues. [GN]


SURFSTITCH: Future Uncertain, Shareholder Class Action Pending
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ben Hall, writing for Business News Australia, reports that the
future of surfwear chain SurfStitch Group could be decided at a
meeting of creditors which will consider an offer for the
embattled retailer.

Administrators, John Park, Quentin Olde and Joseph Hansell of FTI
Consulting, released an ASX statement which confirmed the meeting
would be held on April 4 in Sydney.

"At the second creditors' meeting, the creditors will determine
the future of the companies and outcome of voluntary
administrations," the statement says.

"The administrators consider that it would be in the creditors'
interest for a deed of company arrangement to be executed in
accordance with a proposal received from Ezibuy Holdings Ltd."

Ezibuy is an online New Zealand business which sells apparel and
homewares and they presented a second deed of company arrangement
to creditors.

The first one was a proposal from non-executive director Abigail
Cheadle in September last year.  That offer was conditional on
settlement of class actions against SurfStitch and included
swapping debt for equity for major creditors.

SurfStitch went into voluntary administration in August after the
impact of a series of legal battles and class actions took their
toll on the online retailer and ASX listed company.

The company downgraded its earnings three times, largely because
of a dispute with surf technology group Coastalwatch and Crown
Financial over the licencing deals which fell through, and this
wiped around $20 million off revenues.

The company was reluctant to enlist administrators FTI Consulting
and it still faces a $100 million class action filed on behalf of
shareholders by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

SurfStitch entered the ASX as a market favourite in 2014, however
its spectacular fall from grace wiped almost 93 per cent off its
total market value. [GN]


SURFSTITCH: Class Action Creditors to Get Dividend Under Proposal
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Sue Mitchell, writing for Australian Financial Review, reports
that private equity firm Alceon Group says it has no intention of
changing the culture of hip online surf and skate wear retailer
SurfStitchif if creditors approve a merger with EziBuy, which
sells clothing and homewares to middle-aged women.

Alceon director Richard Facioni said under a deed of company
arrangement proposal announced on March 19, SurfStitch and EziBuy
would become part of the same ownership structure but would be
run independently and maintain their cultural identities.

"They're two very different businesses with very different target
customers," Mr Facioni told The Australian Financial Review.

"There's no intention to merge the two businesses in to one --
EziBuy has its customers and products and SurfStitch has its
(customers and products)," he said.

"The only commonality is they're both online retail businesses
and so we'd be looking to the backend opportunities to improve
both businesses and get synergies but keep the two brands and
businesses quite distinct.

"What we won't do is impose the EziBuy culture on SurfStitch or
vice versa."

SurfStitch creditors will meet on April 4 to consider whether to
accept the EziBuy proposal or a rival DOCA proposed by SurfStitch
non-executive director Abigail Cheadle and backed by general
manager Justin Hillberg and co-founder Lex Pedersen.

In their long-awaited report to creditors, SurfStitch's
administrators -- John Park, Quentin Olde and Joseph Hansell of
FTI Consulting -- recommended creditors approve the EziBuy DOCA,
saying it would deliver the best overall return to creditors and
had low execution risk.

The administrators found that SurfStitch Group and SurfStitch
Holdings were solvent at the time of their appointment, but one
or more directors may have broken the law and engaged in market
misconduct and potentially insider trading.

Under the EziBuy proposal backed by Alceon, which also owns
womens wear retailer Noni B, SurfStitch Group and SurfStitch
Holdings shareholders and employees would be paid in full in six
to eight weeks.

Class action creditors would receive a cash dividend between $3.4
million and $4.3 million and convertible notes which would
convert to shares in EziBuy valued at between $6 million and $20
million, while current SurfStitch shareholders would receive a
convertible note that would convert to shares in EziBuy worth
between $1.5 million and $5 million.

These shares would be issued at the time of a "liquidity event"
such as an IPO or trade sale of EziBuy, whichs sells mainly
clothing, sleepwear and lingerie for mature-aged women through
catalogues and online.

EziBuy turnaround
Alceon acquired the loss-making EziBuy from Woolworths last year
and appears to have achieved a turnaround as stunning as that at
Noni B by clearing aged stock and improving its catalogues.

Alceon is forecasting earnings (EBITDA) of $NZ18.2 million at
EziBuy this year on sales of $NZ167 million compared with losses
(before interest and tax) of $2.5 million in 2017 and $15.2
million in 2016 when EziBuy was owned by Woolworths.

Under the Cheadle proposal, SurfStitch Group shares would relist
on the Australian stock exchange, employees and ordinary
creditors would be paid in full in six to eight weeks and class
action creditors would receive shares in SurfStitch worth between
$3.8 million and $6.1 million.  Current SurfStitch shareholders
would emerge with 47.85 per cent of the relisted group worth
between $6.2 million and $9.7 million.

The administrators found that SurfStitch Group and SurfStitch
Holdings were solvent at all times prior to their appointment on
August 24 last year.

However, they found that one or more former directors of
SurfStitch Group -- including co-founder and former chief
executive Justin Cameron -- may have contravened the Corporations
Act and breached his statutory duties at the time of entering
into agreements with Kim Sundell's Three Crowns Investments (TCI)
Group.

The administrators said the director/s may have failed to take
reasonable steps to cause the company to keep adequate written
financial records, breached continuous disclosure rules and
potentially engaged in insider trading.

SurfStitch Group took legal action against Mr Cameron last year
as part of a claim against TCI, alleging that Mr Cameron breached
directors' duties, did not act in good faith or in the best
interests of the group and entered into the agreements with TCI
for the purpose of inflating revenues and profits.

ASIC probe
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has also
commenced investigations into the TCI agreement and is looking
into potential civil and criminal breaches of directors' duties,
continuous disclosure contraventions, market misconduct, insider
trading and provision of false information.

ASIC has issued notices under Section 19 of the Act to certain
senior executives of SurfStitch Group requiring them to appear
before ASIC for examination under oath.  ASIC declined to comment
further on March 19.

The TCI legal action was settled last year, but two class action
claims alleging SurfStitch Group breached continuous disclosure
obligations and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct are
still before the courts.

The administrators said they had not yet formed a view on
liability but if some or all of claims made in the class actions
were admitted the claims could potentially be worth more than $85
million and exceed the available assets of the group. [GN]


TELETECH HOLDINGS: Faces "Underwood" Suit in M.D. Florida
---------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Teletech Holdings,
Inc. The case is styled as Faith Underwood, on behalf of herself
and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Teletech
Holdings, Inc., TTEC Services Corporation, TTEC Consulting, Inc.,
TTEC Government Solutions, LLC and TTEC@Home, LLC, Defendants,
Case No. 8:18-cv-00840-EAK-TGW (M.D. Fla., April 9, 2018).

TTEC is a business process outsourcing company headquartered in
Englewood, Colorado, United States which was founded by Kenneth
D. Tuchman in 1982.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Andrew Ross Frisch, Esq.
   Morgan & Morgan, PA
   600 N Pine Island Rd, Suite 400
   Plantation, FL 33324
   Tel: (954) 318-0268
   Fax: (954) 333-3515
   Email: afrisch@forthepeople.com

      - and -

   C. Ryan Morgan, Esq.
   Morgan & Morgan, PA
   20 N Orange Ave Ste 1600
   Orlando, FL 32801-4624
   Tel: (407) 420-1414
   Fax: (407) 245-3401
   Email: rmorgan@forthepeople.com

      - and -

   Marc Reed Edelman, Esq.
   Morgan & Morgan, PA
   One Tampa City Center Ste 700
   201 N Franklin Street
   Tampa, FL 33602-5157
   Tel: (813) 223-5505
   Fax: (813) 257-0572
   Email: MEdelman@forthepeople.com

The Defendants are represented by:

   Arthur James Rooney, Esq.
   Baker & McKenzie, LLP
   300 E Randolph St Suite 5000
   Chicago, IL 60601
   Tel: (312) 861-2838
   Email: arthur.rooney@bakermckenzie.com

      - and -

   Benjamin Cody Davis, Esq.
   Baker & McKenzie, LLP
   1111 Brickell Ave, Suite 1700
   Miami, FL 33131-2827
   Tel: (305) 789-8922
   Fax: (305) 789-8953
   Email: benjamin.davis@bakermckenzie.com

      - and -

   Melissa Ann Logan, Esq.
   The Trial Professionals, PA
   250 N. Orange Avenue, 14th Floor
   Orlando, FL 32801
   Tel: (407) 839-1160
   Fax: (407) 839-1838
   Email: melissa@trialpro.com


TELEVISA: 'FIFA Gate' Leads to Class Action Lawsuit
---------------------------------------------------
Juan Fernandez Gonzales, writing for Rapid TV News, reports that
according to the US firm of lawyers, the investors who acquired
Televisa's American Depositary Receipt (ADR) between 11 April
2013 and 25 January 2018, have been notified.

Following the complaint, Alejandro Burzaco, a former CEO of the
sports-marketing company Torneos y Competencias SA, testified
that Televisa had paid bribes to FIFA executives in order to
secure broadcasting rights for soccer tournaments. Following this
news, Televisa's American depositary receipt price fell by 2.4%.

Then, at the beginning of 2018, Televisa announced that it had
detected that certain material weaknesses in the company's
internal control over financial reporting existed as of 31
December 2016.

As a result, the complaint alleges that false and misleading
statements had been made, failing to disclose that Televisa's
executives engaged in unlawful bribery schemes, the Mexican
broadcaster lacked effective internal controls over financial
reporting.

"As a result of the foregoing, Televisa's ADRs traded at
artificially inflated prices during the class period, and class
members suffered significant losses and damages," concluded the
note published by Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check.

So far, Televisa has not reacted publicly to the lawsuit, but the
price of its shares dropped by nearly 10% during the week.[GN]


TIGER BRANDS: Closes Pretoria Plant Amid Listeriosis Class Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Nqobile Dludla and Tanisha Heiberg, writing for Reuters, report
that Tiger Brands has closed its factory in Pretoria where
listeria was detected as South Africa faces the worst outbreak of
the disease, which has killed 180 people since January 2017.

The government, which has been criticized for taking too long to
find the cause, linked the outbreak to a meat product known as
"polony" made by Tiger's Enterprise Food in the northern city of
Polokwane.

Health authorities are also examining a second Tiger Brands
factory in the town of Germiston, near Johannesburg.

Officials ordered a recall of polony made by Tiger Brands plants
in Polokwane and Germiston and also by RCL Foods which has a
plant under investigation by authorities.  RCL Foods has said it
had found no deadly strain at its plant.

Tiger Brands said on March 19 it recalled products made at the
Pretoria facility, but added that it was not clear if the
bacteria detected there were the same as the strain that has
infected about 950 people since January 2017.

"We will be sending samples for genome sequencing to establish
the specific strain of listeria," the company said in a statement
adding that the level detected was well within the range of
government standards for the presence of listeria.

Tiger Brand chief financial officer Noel Doyle said in an
interview on Radio 702 that the company had hired international
experts and was working "flat out" to find the source of the
outbreak.

Tiger Brands estimated it lost up to 33 million rand ($3 million)
at its meat products unit in March.

The food producer said it was taking a 337-377 million rand pre-
tax hit due to the costs of a product recall and suspension of
production at its Polokwane, Germiston, Pretoria and Clayville
sites, which produce polony, and other cold meats.

Tiger Brands said it has received notice of two class action
suits against the firm, with the total amount claimed against the
company estimated at 425 million rand.

Mr. Doyle told the radio station the company had yet to calculate
the total financial impact of the suits.

Kenya, Zimbabwe and Zambia have banned imports of South African
processed meat, dairy products, vegetables and fruit.  Mozambique
and Namibia halted imports of the processed meat items and
Botswana said it was recalling them. Malawi stepped up screening
of South African food imports.

On March 19, Mozambican health authorities said they had
incinerated 55 tonnes of processed meat from South Africa
produced by Tiger Brands and RCL Foods. [GN]


TIGER BRANDS: Unsure of Listeria Outbreak Class Action Costs
------------------------------------------------------------
Mfuneko Toyana, writing for Reuters, reports that South Africa's
Tiger Brands has not calculated the potential financial impact of
class action suits following the outbreak of listeria at its
factories which has resulted in 180 deaths since January 2017,
its chief financial officer said on March 19.

"At this stage doing the calculations has been something that
hasn't been something that has preoccupied management,"
Noel Doyle told Radio 702, adding that Tiger Brands was working
"flat out" to find the source of the outbreak.

Tiger Brands said earlier it has received notice of two class
action suits against it, with the total amount claimed estimated
at 425 million rand ($35 million). [GN]


TIGER BRANDS: To Take Steps to Address Listeriosis Claims
---------------------------------------------------------
Destiny Man reports that South African food company Tiger Brands
said that it would take steps to consider and address any valid
claims which may be made against it over the deaths of more than
180 people due to the listeriosis outbreak

Tiger Brands was served with an application for an order
declaring the constitution of two classes for claims -- the first
comprising all people who consumed a processed meat product
manufactured by the company and who became ill as a result of
such food product being contaminated with listeria any time
between 1 May 2017 to the date of issue of summons in a class
action to be brought.

The second class comprises the dependants of such persons.  The
total amount claimed against Tiger Brands and subsidiary
Enterprise Foods is estimated at R425 million.

Tiger Brands has closed its food manufacturing plants in
Polokwane and Germiston after it received independent laboratory
testing results that confirmed the presence of ST6 strain of
listeria monocytogenes in the physical plant environment at the
Enterprise Foods Factories.

The company decided to recall to include all products at the
Pretoria facility of its Value Added Meat Products (VAMP) brand,
after similar earlier moves at its Polokwane and Germiston plants
over a listeriosis outbreak.

Tiger Brands CEO Lawrence MacDougall estimated the cost of the
recalls and suspension of production at the Polokwane, Germiston,
Pretoria and Clayville sites, including the cost of destruction
of the affected products, raw materials and work in progress, was
between R337 million and R377 million on a pre-tax basis.

"Although no link has, as yet, been confirmed between the
presence of LST6 at our Polokwane plant and the loss of life, I
deeply regret any loss of life and I want to offer my heartfelt
condolences to all those who have lost their loved ones.  Any
loss of life, no matter the circumstance, is tragic," MacDougall
said.

"We acknowledge that we are dealing with a national crisis and
want to assure the public that in the event that a tangible link
is established between our products and listeriosis illnesses or
fatalities.  Tiger Brands will take steps to consider and address
any valid claims which may be made against it in due course."

The Department of Health has reported that people have lost their
lives as a result of listeriosis and that 90 percent of these are
as a result of LST6.

Mr. MacDougall said that they were investing all their time and
energy into not only understanding the cause of the LST6
detection, but also how it could have come into their facility.

He said that the company was working with a team comprising some
of the world's leading local and international scientific experts
in listeria management in a bid to improve quality, safety and
internal controls.

"Local and international experts are helping us put measures in
place to prevent this happening again in any of our meat
processing facilities.  While every effort is being made to get
to the bottom of this outbreak it will take time to complete our
investigation," Mr. MacDougall said.

"Our Polokwane, Germiston and Pretoria factories are undergoing
an extensive deep clean of all the equipment, machinery and some
structural upgrades of the facilities with the view of ensuring
that our facilities exceed the highest, best practice standards
for meat processing facilities.  We will continue to work closely
with the Capricorn and Ekurhuleni Departments of Health as we
progress with these remedial actions." [GN]


UNITED STATES: Certiorari Denied in Shackling Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
Howard M. Wasserman, writing for SCOTUS Blog, reports that the
Supreme Court declined to grant certiorari on the substantive
constitutional issue in United States v. Sanchez-Gomez -- the
validity of a district-wide policy permitting United States
marshals to place full restraints on defendants during most non-
jury proceedings, even without a determination of cause to
restrain the defendant.  But the disputed nature of any
constitutional right to be free from shackling hovers over the
jurisdictional issues the court will resolve, with long-term
consequences for appellate review and constitutional litigation
challenging policies related to criminal proceedings.

Litigation background

In 2013, the U.S. Marshals Service asked the judges of the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of California (which
includes San Diego) to adopt a district-wide policy allowing
marshals to produce all in-custody defendants in full five-point
restraints for most non-jury proceedings.  In full restraints, a
defendant's hands are closely handcuffed together, these
handcuffs are connected by chain to another chain running around
the defendant's waist, and the defendant's feet are shackled and
chained together.  The judges adopted a policy to defer to the
marshals' shackling decisions.  They retained discretion to ask
the marshals to produce a defendant without restraints, to order
removal of restraints unless the marshals had information showing
the defendant needed to be restrained, and to grant a defendant's
request that restraints be removed.

The Federal Defenders of San Diego objected on behalf of their
clients to the routine use of shackles in every case, although
every request for removal of the shackles was denied.  Four
defendants objected unsuccessfully to the use of shackles, then
filed emergency motions challenging the district-wide policy,
which also were denied.

Those four defendants appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the 9th Circuit.  A panel of the court vacated the district-court
orders, but the court granted rehearing en banc.  A divided en
banc court declined to reconsider circuit precedent on which the
panel relied in finding it had appellate jurisdiction.  The court
instead recognized that the four defendants sought relief not
merely for themselves, but for all in-custody defendants, class-
like claims seeking class-like relief (albeit without class
certification under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23).  The
court treated the appeals as petitions for supervisory writs of
mandamus under the All Writs Act (28 U.S.C. Sec 1651) and
reviewed the district-court decisions.  The court also found that
the case was not moot, even though the four petitioners were no
longer detained; the court emphasized the class-like structure of
the case and the "inherently transitory" nature of claims
affecting individual defendants who move quickly through criminal
proceedings.  Reaching the merits, the majority declared the
policy to be constitutionally invalid, although it withheld
issuance of the writ of mandamus because the policy no longer
affected the four petitioners.

On the petition of the United States, the Supreme Court agreed to
review only the questions of appellate jurisdiction and mootness.

Arguments of the United States

The United States begins by insisting that the court of appeals
lacked ordinary appellate jurisdiction.  The district-court
orders refusing to unshackle the defendants were not final,
because they did not terminate the litigation.  Neither the
defendants nor the 9th Circuit dispute that point.

The orders also were not reviewable under the collateral order
doctrine (the basis on which the 9th Circuit panel relied), under
which a "limited class" of collateral rulings are treated as
final for purposes of 28 U.S.C. Sec 1291 and subject to immediate
review.  Collateral-order review should be limited in criminal
proceedings, in which the policy against piecemeal appeals holds
greater urgency.  The Supreme Court has allowed collateral-order
review of four types of orders in criminal cases -- those setting
excessive bail, authorizing forced medication, and denying
motions to dismiss on grounds of double jeopardy and speech-or-
debate immunity.  All other criminal orders remain outside this
doctrine, including orders affecting constitutional rights, such
as orders delaying trial or disqualifying defense counsel.
Shackling orders are not effectively unreviewable on appeal from
final judgment; they affect the procedures under which the
criminal proceedings will be conducted, making them
"indistinguishable" from typical orders in criminal proceedings
that are regularly reviewed on appeal from final judgment.  The
defendants also can vindicate their rights through other
proceedings, such as a civil action challenging shackling as a
condition of confinement, unconnected to their individual
criminal cases.

The 9th Circuit erred in exercising its supervisory mandamus
authority.  Mandamus requires that the party seeking the writ has
no other adequate means to obtain relief, shows a "clear and
indisputable" right to the writ, and shows extraordinary
circumstances, such as a judicial usurpation of power or clear
abuse of discretion in the lower court.  None of those is
present. The defendants could challenge their individual
shackling decisions by appealing final judgments of conviction
and could challenge the district-wide policy through a civil
action.  Mandamus is inappropriate for review of a simple lower-
court error on a matter within its discretion. And there is
nothing extraordinary about this case, which involves a good-
faith effort by the district judges to follow circuit precedent,
as opposed to willful disregard for the rules laid down by the
higher courts.

Even if the 9th Circuit had some statutory authority to review
district-court decisions of this kind, these cases became moot
before the en banc decision, because the four defendants had been
released from custody and no longer were subject to the shackling
policy.  The government concedes that a class action can remain
alive when the representative parties' claims have become moot,
because the class gains independent legal status and replaces the
representative as the party adverse to the defendant.  This
approach to mootness is essential in class actions adjudicating
"inherently transitory" claims, such as claims arising from the
rules of criminal proceedings, in which class members move
through the criminal-justice system before the constitutional
litigation can be resolved.  But this case is not a class action.
The government urges the Supreme Court to reject the 9th
Circuit's "novel and legally unsupported notion of a 'functional
class action'" as a way to overcome mootness.  That the claims in
this case are transitory does not justify a judicially created
supplement to Rule 23.

Finally, the government argues that the "capable of repetition
yet evading review" limitation on mootness -- under which an
action is not moot when time is too short to fully litigate the
issues before the party's interest expires and there is a
"reasonable expectation" that the party will be subjected to the
same action in the future -- does not apply.  The defendants
cannot show a reasonable expectation that they will be subject to
the shackling policy in the future.  That two defendants have in
fact been arrested on new charges, brought to court, and shackled
pursuant to the policy does not overcome mootness.  As the
government puts it, a "party's avowed commitment to recidivism is
not a sufficient basis for maintaining" a constitutional
challenge to criminal procedures.

Arguments of the defendants

Although the Supreme Court will not reach the constitutional
merits in this case, in arguing for collateral-order
jurisdiction, the defendants emphasize the scope and nature of
the underlying constitutional liberty.  The "centuries-old common
law right to appear at pretrial proceedings without shackles
protects the interest in liberty from bodily restraint that lies
at the core of the Due Process Clause's guarantees.  This liberty
protects the presumption of innocence, the right to meaningfully
participate in one's own defense, and the dignity and decorum of
the courts."  The dignitary interest in remaining free from
shackling prior to conviction exists independent of any result or
prejudice in the criminal proceeding.

This affects the collateral-order analysis.  A dignitary right
cannot be reviewed effectively on appeal from final judgment: The
liberty was lost when the defendant was shackled.  It cannot be
restored on appeal of a conviction, and it is lost forever if the
defendant is acquitted and has nothing to appeal.  The right to
be free from shackling is akin to the right against excessive
bail or the right against forced medication.  Those rights are
lost by the defendant's remaining in custody pending trial or
being medicated, regardless of the outcome of the trial, and
decisions affecting both those rights are appealable collateral
orders.  It follows that the right to be free from shackling
should be immediately reviewable. The defendants also reject the
government's argument that collateral-review is inappropriate
because the constitutional claim can be raised in a distinct
action.  The Supreme Court in Mohawk Industries Inc. v. Carpenter
stated that courts should not base jurisdiction on the collateral
order doctrine when alternative statutory or rule-based bases for
review might be available.  But those alternative means of review
must be available and applied in the same proceeding; Mohawk did
not suggest that collateral-order review is unavailable in one
action because the parties could initiate a distinct action.

The case also was properly reviewed as a mandamus petition.  It
is an exceptional case, because it challenges a general federal-
district-court policy requiring that every defendant at every
pretrial proceeding be shackled without cause.  The policy
produces an oft-repeated error by every judge in the district,
rather than a possibly erroneous single decision on a matter
within the judge's jurisdiction.  The defendants had no other
adequate means to obtain review because the right does not infect
the conviction and could not be reviewed on appeal from a
judgment of conviction.  Once the court of appeals recognized the
constitutional right and declared that the shackling policy
violated that right, the right to the writ was clear and
indisputable.

Finally, the defendants argue that their claims are not moot
because they are capable of repetition yet evade review.  In
fact, two of the defendants have already been arrested again and
have been shackled in court without cause pursuant to the policy.
Because "[r]eturning to federal court to face new charges is not
uncommon for individuals who reenter the United States after
removal," there was a reasonable expectation that these
defendants would return and be harmed by the district's shackling
policy -- an expectation that became "factual certainty."  And
the defendants compare favorably to rights claimants in past
cases who avoided mootness because their injuries were capable of
repetition.  The arrest and shackling of these defendants was an
injury as likely to recur as a contempt-of-court order against an
individual refusing to pay child support, an abortion ban
enforced against a pregnant woman or a closure order enforced
against a news organization attempting to cover a criminal
proceeding. [GN]


UNITED STATES: Faces "Wolfing" Suit in US Court of Federal Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against the USA. The case
is styled as Bradle Wolfing, James Copas, Ryan Maribal, Louis
Morelli, Alexander Gardner, Timothy Kibodeaux and William
Schneck, on behalf of themselves and all other individuals
similarly situated, Plaintiffs v. USA, Defendant, Case No. 1:18-
cv-00523-MCW (Court of Federal Claims, April 9, 2018).

The U.S. is a country of 50 states covering a vast swath of North
America, with Alaska in the northwest and Hawaii extending the
nation's presence into the Pacific Ocean.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Patrick Joseph Hughes, Esq.
   Patriots Law Group of Lyons & Hughes
   5819 Allentown Road
   Suitland, MD 20746
   Tel: (301) 952-9000
   Email: patrickhughes@patriotslaw.com


UTC FIRE: Beats TCPA Class Action-Suit
--------------------------------------
Rodney Bosch, writing for Security Sales & Integration, reports
that UTC Fire & Security Americas and Honeywell have defeated
class-action litigation involving the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act (TCPA). The litigation sought to hold both
companies vicariously liable for telemarketing calls made by
security dealers that attempted to sell alarm systems made by UTC
and Honeywell.

On Dec. 22 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of West Virginia, Judge John Preston Bailey wrote that there was
no evidence that UTC or Honeywell "turned a blind eye" when they
learned of improper and illegal telephone calls, the West
Virginia Record reported.

The decision dismissed UTC and Honeywell from multidistrict
litigation (MDL) containing 30 cases. The MDL alleged that
Monitronics Int'l authorized dealers, such as Versatile Marketing
Solutions (d/b/a VMS Alarms, VMS Alliance Security and Alliance
Home Protection) and ISI Alarms, phoned consumers to pitch a
security system package that consisted of a free alarm system and
a multiyear monitoring contract.

The TCPA forbids calls that use a prerecorded message and calling
numbers on the national Do-Not-Call Registry.  Neither
manufacturer was accused of engaging in or directing the improper
telemarketing; however, both were accused of ratifying the
actions of the security dealers that sold their products and for
benefiting from those sales.

Bailey dismissed UTC and Honeywell from the litigation and
granted their motions for summary judgment. The judgement was
affirmed on appeal March 14 in U.S. Court Of Appeals for the
Fourth Circuit (No. 17-1222).

"In evaluating these arguments, two things must be kept in mind.
First, while in-person telemarketing calls may be harassing to
the consumer, they do not violate the TCPA," the order stated.
"It is only when the calls are 'robo-calls' or are made to
persons on the do-not- call list that the calls violate the Act.
Accordingly, assisting a party in setting up telemarketing
centers or providing scripts for in-person calls is not evidence
of agency."

In his "The Alarm Exchange" newsletter, security industry
attorney, Ken Kirschenbaum, Esq. -- Ken@kirschenbaumesq.com --
explained that since UTC and Honeywell did not authorize the
security dealers to engage in the improper conduct, and because
there was no proof offered that the manufacturers benefited
directly from the improper conduct, the court determined there
was no vicarious liability for the alleged telemarketing
misconduct.

"The facts in the case are that the telemarketers were accused of
'aggressive sales calls,' but there didn't seem to be any
specific allegations of pre-recorded calls or calling numbers on
the national Do-Not-Call directory," Kirschenbaum said. "The
manufacturers were able to show that they did, in fact, repudiate
the telemarketers' alleged misconduct." [GN]


VODEN MEDICAL: Jones Day Attorneys Discuss Class Action Ruling
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lamberto Schiona, Esq. -- lschiona@jonesday.com -- Christian
Fulda, Esq. -- cfulda@jonesday.com -- and Ozan Akyurek, Esq. --
oakyurek@jonesday.com -- of Jones Day, in an article for Mondaq,
report that on January 31, 2018, the Italian Supreme Court ruled
on the first Italian product-related class action promoted by a
consumers' association.

The Result: The Court upheld the consumer's class action claim
regarding the unlawful advertising of a medical device.

Looking Ahead: The decision might cause Italian courts to further
enhance the consumers' position in class action procedures while
legislative reform is pending, which would broaden and simplify
the use of class actions.

Following the alarming spread of the swine flu in 2009, Voden
Medical Instruments S.p.A. ("Voden") marketed a medical device
("Ego Test Flu") that, according to promotional advertising and
an illustration leaflet, enabled patients to diagnose the disease
with close to 100 percent accuracy. After the first applications,
the product did not seem to meet the expected results.

In 2010 the Italian Consumers' Association ("Codacons"), on
behalf of a single consumer, filed a legal suit before the Court
of Milan against Voden, seeking the refund of the cost for the
Ego Test Flu, claiming that the medical device had been purchased
on the basis of misleading advertising.

In the first instance judgement on procedure, the Court of Milan
declared the class action admissible.  This was a first in Italy.
However, in the decision on the merits the claim was rejected
because the claimant failed to prove the material impact of the
misleading advertising on his choice to buy the medical device.

This decision was overturned in 2013 by the Court of Appeal of
Milan, which ordered Voden to reimburse the cost of the Ego Test
Flu (EUR 14.50) to the only consumer who opted into the class
action, on the ground that the advertising and the illustration
leaflet were certainly suitable to create false expectations of
the consumer as to the accuracy of the Ego Test Flu.

Voden appealed to the Italian Supreme Court.  In its decision,
the Supreme Court confirmed the reasoning of the Court of Appeal
of Milan by stating that, in matters of class actions, to the
extent the advertising might effectively mislead and thereby
influence the consumer's behaviour, then such conduct is unlawful
regardless of the individual reasons behind the consumers'
choice.  Under this approach, the potential to influence the
consumer choice is sufficient, actual causation or even
predominant causation is not required.

Legal Framework
Article 140-bis of the Italian Consumer Code sets forth the legal
framework for Italian class actions: multiple parties damaged by
the same wrongful act are allowed to bring their respective
claims for damages or restitution through a single action against
a common defendant.

The Italian Consumer Code sets no minimum or maximum number of
persons for bringing a class action, which can be filed only by
consumers or users.  Having said that, a plaintiff may empower a
consumer association or committee to file the suit on his or her
behalf, even if he or she is not a member of the association.
Defendants can only be business entities, such as professionals,
corporations, or other legal entities acting within the scope of
their businesses.

Italian private class actions have three main stages: (i) the
admissibility stage; (ii) the organization of the procedure; and
(iii) the assessment of the merits.  If the class action is
admissible, the judge determines the requirements that each
member must fulfil to be part of the class.  The admissibility
order must set out the characteristics of the rights that may
obtain protection through the class action and the 120-day term
to opt in.

Unlike class actions in the United States, Italy has adopted an
opt-in model, according to which the final judgment is effective
and binding only and exclusively upon the damaged parties who
joined the class action.  A consumer may decide not to opt in.
In that case, he or she will not enjoy the effects of the
favorable judgment, but will still be able to file a separate
individual action.  The final judgment has res judicata effects
for all those who have joined the class action, but the
individuals who failed to opt in do not directly benefit from the
decision.

Class actions in Italy are not yet a widespread phenomenon.  This
is because Italian civil law principles traditionally required
plaintiffs to individually protect their own rights before
courts, and some critical procedural aspects of Article 140-bis
of the Italian Consumer Code may delay the proceedings.

Product-related class actions are available in Europe also in
Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK, among
others, though the procedures vary from jurisdiction to
jurisdiction.  The new German coalition is proposing to introduce
such class actions based on an opt-in model in 2018.

Three Key Takeaways
Among the rights enforceable under Article 140-bis are the rights
of consumers and users to damages deriving from unfair commercial
practices or from anticompetitive conduct, which also include
misleading advertising.

In its decision, the Italian Supreme Court upheld the consumer's
class action claim regarding the unlawful advertising of a
medical device.  The dispute has been one of the first cases of
class actions brought before the Italian courts and the first one
that passed the admissibility test provided by the law.
As liability is confirmed already on the abstract basis of the
potential to mislead, without requiring actual causation, this
decision might cause Italian courts to further enhance the
consumers' position in class actions procedures, while a
legislative reform is pending, which would broaden and simplify
the use of class actions. [GN]


VOLKSWAGEN AG: Dieselgate Case Enters Closing Submission Phase
--------------------------------------------------------------
Barry Park, writing for Wheels Mag, reports that lawyers
representing Volkswagen owners launching a class action against
the car maker over Dieselgate claim the company has conceded its
cars would not have passed Australia's emissions testing
standards had they not contained a cheat mode.

Maurice Blackburn, the legal firm fighting the case on behalf of
disgruntled owners, said on March 16 that almost 100,000 versions
of VW's EA189 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre engines sold here and
affected by the Dieselgate scandal failed the required emissions
standards tests unless they were operating in cheat mode -- known
internally as the "customer" or "comfort" mode.

The trial -- which includes separate court action from
Australia's consumer watchdog, the Australian Competition and
Consumer Commission -- entered its closing submission phase on
March 19.  Volkswagen has denied it has broken any Australian
laws relating to the scandal.

According to Maurice Blackburn, the legal firm behind the class
action claiming VW misled owners, the car maker's closing address
on March 16 "conceded on the major point that only its test mode
was able to pass Australia's emissions testing standards".

Class action principal Jason Geisker said the March 16 alleged
admission was a major bombshell and a pivotal point in the trial.
"This belated concession was only wrested from the company after
sustained pressure and in the face of overwhelming evidence put
before the court against VW on this issue," he said.

"This entire Dieselgate scandal, as it impacts on Australian
consumers, could and should have been resolved a long time ago.
Australian motorists deserve far better from VW."

Volkswagen Group Australia has consistently denied the class
action's claims.  "Volkswagen maintains its defence that all
affected vehicles complied with Australian vehicle standards and
continue to do so," it said in a statement.

"The stage one trial is the first step in the case and the
determination of the questions in stage one will not determine
the case finally.  Stage two has been set down for 9 September
2019.

"Volkswagen has not conceded anything which fundamentally alters
its vigorous defence of the proceedings."

The car maker faced further scrutiny after the Australian
Automobile Association, the group representing motoring groups
such as the RACQ, NRMA and the RACV, claimed the car maker's
fixes for the emissions cheats increased fuel use by up to 14
percent, and did not affect the vehicles' noxious emissions.

Volkswagen Group Australia managing director Michael Bartsch
dismissed the study, claiming that "major flaws render the tests
wholly unfit", including "substantial variations" in the pre- and
post-recall tests.

The class action against Volkswagen is split into two parts.  The
first, which was set to end on March 19, will help the court
decide if Australian Audi, Skoda and Volkswagen owners should be
compensated by Volkswagen Group Australia, similar to what the
company has had to do to customers in North America and Europe.

The final part of the trial will take place in September and is
expected to seek answers to questions including why the defeat
device was installed, and how Volkswagen Group Australia's fix
that it has made to the recalled cars affects fuel economy and
performance. [GN]


WAGEWORKS INC: Levi & Korsinsky Files Securities Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------------
To: All persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired
securities of WageWorks, Inc. ("WageWorks") (NYSE:WAGE) between
May 6, 2016 and March 1, 2018. You are hereby notified that a
securities class action lawsuit has been commenced in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California. To
get more information go to:

http://www.zlk.com/pslra-d/wageworks-inc?wire=3

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

The complaint alleges that throughout the class period Defendants
issued materially false and/or misleading statements and/or
failed to disclose that: (1) there were material weaknesses in
WageWorks' systems of internal controls and that its practices
and controls were ineffective; (2) WageWorks failed to adequately
manage and assess risk relating to certain complex transactions,
including certain government contracts; (3) WageWorks improperly
recognized revenue thereby inflating its earnings and related
financial metrics; and (4) as a result, WageWorks' financial
statements were materially false and misleading at all relevant
times.

If you suffered a loss in WageWorks you have until May 8, 2018 to
request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. Your
ability to share in any recovery doesn't require that you serve
as a lead plaintiff.

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

         Joseph  E. Levi, Esq.
         Levi & Korsinsky, LLP
         30 Broad Street, 24th Floor
         New York, NY 10004
         Tel: (212) 363-7500
         Fax: (212) 363-7171
         E-mail: jlevi@levikorsinsky.com [GN]


WAGEWORKS INC: Pomerantz Law Firm Files Securities Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
Pomerantz LLP disclosed that a class action lawsuit has been
filed against WageWorks, Inc. ("WageWorks" or the "Company")
(NYSE:WAGE) and certain of its officers.   The class action,
filed in United States District Court, Northern District of
California, San Jose Division, and docketed under 18-cv-01796, is
on behalf of a class consisting of investors who purchased or
otherwise acquired common shares of WageWorks between May 5, 2016
and February 28, 2018, both dates inclusive (the "Class Period").
Plaintiff seeks to recover compensable damages caused by
Defendants' violations of the federal securities laws and to
pursue remedies under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder.

If you are a shareholder who purchased WageWorks shares between
May 5, 2016, and February 28, 2018, both dates inclusive, you
have until May 8, 2018, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead
Plaintiff for the class.  A copy of the Complaint can be obtained
at www.pomerantzlaw.com.   To discuss this action, contact Robert
S. Willoughby at rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888.476.6529 (or
888.4-POMLAW), toll-free, Ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail
are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone
number, and the number of shares purchased.

WageWorks, Inc. provides tax-advantaged programs for consumer-
directed health, commuter, and other employee spending account
benefits, or CDBs, in the United States. The Company operates
spending account management programs such as health and dependent
care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Savings Accounts
(HSAs), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs), and transit
programs.

The Complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period,
Defendants made materially false and misleading statements
regarding the Company's business, operational and compliance
policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or misleading
statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) there were
material weaknesses in WageWorks' systems of internal controls
and that its practices and controls were ineffective; (ii)
WageWorks failed to adequately manage and assess risk relating to
certain complex transactions, including certain government
contracts; (iii) WageWorks improperly recognized revenue, thereby
inflating its earnings and related financial metrics; and (iv) as
a result, WageWorks' public statements were materially false and
misleading at all relevant times.

On March 1, 2018, WageWorks issued a press release entitled
"WageWorks to Delay Form 10K Filing for Fiscal Year 2017,"
announcing that it was delaying the filing of its Form 10-K for
the fiscal year ending December 31, 2017, admitting that there
were material weaknesses in WageWorks' systems of internal
controls and that its practices and controls as to its accounting
and preparation of earnings disclosures were ineffective.

On this news, WageWorks' share price fell $9.75, or 18.58%, to
close at $42.70 per share on March 1, 2018, on heavy volume.

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


         Robert S. Willoughby, Esq.
         Pomerantz LLP
         Tel: 888-476-6529 Ext. 9980
         Email: rswilloughby@pomlaw.com [GN]


WELLS FARGO: Customers Await $142MM Class Action Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------
OzarksFirst.com reports that Wells Fargo customers may have more
time to get a piece of a $142-million class-action settlement.
The bank admits it didn't tell all eligible customers about the
payout stemming from its scandal over creating unauthorized
accounts.

A judge is deciding if there should be a new July deadline to
file a claim. [GN]


WEST VIRGINIA: $151MM Water Settlement Expected to Be Paid Out
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kate Mishkin, writing for Charleston Gazette-Mail, reports that a
$151 million class-action settlement over the 2014 Kanawha Valley
water crisis might be completely paid out, the most recent report
of the settlement administrator shows.

All told, there were 95,155 claim forms worth $159,102,307 in
settlements, according to the eight-page Periodic Report of the
Settlement Administrator report filed in federal court. The
deadline to file a claim was Feb. 21.

The turnout rate, lawyers said, was especially pleasing.

"I've done a number of class actions in areas of West Virginia
and elsewhere and usually the so-called participation rate is
usually quite low, surprisingly," said Stuart Calwell, a lead
lawyer for businesses and residents.  "But in this case it looks
as though the entirety of the settlement will be paid out."

The claims reflect 86,917 households -- about 74 percent of
residents on a known customer list who filed claims.  There were
5,683 business claims, 408 government entity claims, 500 wage
earner claims, 1,302 pregnancy claims and 345 medical claims,
court documents show.

The lawsuit alleges West Virginia American Water Company didn't
react to or prepare for the spill when, in January 2014, the
chemical MCHM spilled from a Freedom Industries tank into the Elk
River.  MCHM-maker Eastman Chemical Co. didn't properly warn
Freedom Industries of the chemical's dangers or take any action,
the lawsuit alleges.  Both companies place blame on Freedom
Industries, which admitted to criminal violations following the
spill.

The settlement covered anyone who may have received tap water
from the Elk River, or whose business had to close because of the
spill -- in all, a class of about 224,000 residents and 8,000
businesses.

Now, administrators are tasked with checking for duplicate
claims, consolidating claims filed by several people with the
same address and finding claims filed without stating the claimed
value or providing documentation that the business was shut down.

"These are not approved amounts," the report warns.

Then, the amounts payable will likely be adjusted for the $151
million settlement.

"I think it's going to be remarkably close to matching up and
depleting those funds," Mr. Calwell said.

Lawyers are waiting for U.S. District Judge John T. Copenhaver to
enter his final approval of the settlement.

"We're anticipating the judge will enter the final approval
soon," said Anthony Majestro, another lawyer for the residents.
[GN]


WESTERN ONE: Has Agreement to Settle Securities CA Litigation
-------------------------------------------------------------
WesternOne Inc. ("WesternOne") (Toronto Stock Exchange: WEQ and
WEQ.DB) announced that the parties to the pending class action
lawsuit in Ontario against WesternOne and certain of its current
and former directors and officers, among others, alleging
misrepresentation have entered into an agreement to settle the
proceedings. The claims are unproven, and the settlement is made
without any admission of liability. The agreement will result in
the dismissal of the action in its entirety, and all members of
the class bound by the settlement will be prohibited from
bringing further actions relating to the same subject matter of
the lawsuit. The settlement is subject to court approval.

The agreement provides for a total settlement payment of $1
million for distribution to eligible class members in accordance
with a plan of allocation to be approved by the court, less
court-approved fees for class counsel and other expenses
(including the litigation funder's fees). The entire settlement
amount will be fully funded by insurance.

WesternOne continues to firmly believe that its disclosure
satisfied applicable disclosure requirements and defended itself
vigorously in this action. The agreement to settle the class
action avoids the potential cost of a trial and brings to an
efficient conclusion the disclosure litigation. Given these
circumstances, WesternOne believes the settlement is fair,
reasonable and in the best interests of WesternOne.

The agreement contains no admission of wrongdoing by WesternOne
or any of its current or former directors and officers, nor are
WesternOne or any of its current or former directors and officers
acknowledging any liability, wrongdoing or violation of laws by
entering into the settlement agreement.

The proposed settlement is subject to court approval. Details
regarding the proposed settlement will be provided to potential
class members. At this time, there can be no assurance that the
settlement will receive the required court approval. Dates have
not been set for settlement approval hearings.

Forward-looking Information

Certain statements in this news release may constitute "forward-
looking" information that involves known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other factors, and it may cause actual results
to be materially different from any future results expressed or
implied by such forward-looking information. Such information
includes, without limitation, statements with respect to the
prospective settlement of the securities class action litigation.
Actual events or results may differ materially.

Forward-looking information contained in this news release is
based on certain key expectations and assumptions made by
WesternOne, including, without limitation, that court approval of
the settlement will be obtained. Although the forward-looking
information contained in this news release is based upon what
WesternOne's management believes to be reasonable assumptions,
WesternOne cannot assure investors that actual results will be
consistent with such information.

Forward-looking information reflects current expectations of
management as of the date of this news release. Such information
involves significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read
as guarantees of results, and will not necessarily be accurate
indications of whether or not such results will be achieved. A
number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially
from the results discussed in the forward-looking information,
including, without limitation, the risk that the settlement will
not be finalized or approved by the court. If the settlement is
not finalized, the ultimate resolution and the impact to
WesternOne cannot be assessed. Whether or not the settlement is
approved depends on various factors, including, without
limitation, the number of and reasons for any potential
objections to the settlement or the number of class members
excluding themselves from the settlement.

         Carlos Yam
         Chief Financial Officer
         WesternOne Inc.
         Suite 910, 925 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
         BC V6C 3L2
         Phone: (604) 678-4042
         E-mail: cyam@weq.ca [GN]


WESTINGHOUSE ELECTRIC: Two Law Firms Vie for Lead Counsel Role
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ryan Boysen, writing for Law360, reports that two law firms are
battling it out in New York bankruptcy court to see who will lead
a proposed class action against Westinghouse Electric on behalf
of workers laid off on short notice, with both firms trading
barbs and beating their chests in an attempt to muscle out the
competition.

Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP represents lead plaintiff
Elton Massey in his Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification
Act suit against bankrupt Westinghouse and several
subcontractors, while Outten & Golden LLP represents lead
plaintiff Kent Gladden.

The case is Westinghouse Electric Company LLC, et al., Case No.
1:17-bk-10751 (S.D.N.Y.).  The case was filed March 29, 2017.
[GN]


WESTMINSTER MANAGEMENT: Tenants' Class Action Over Fees Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
Mary Papenfuss, writing for Huffington Post, reports that the
family real estate company co-owned by White House adviser Jared
Kushner repeatedly filed false reports with New York City
concerning rent-regulated tenants in an effort to push them out
of the buildings and boost profits, an investigation by The
Associated Press found.

Hundreds of Kushner Cos. tenants were protected by city law from
being hit with major rent hikes or forced out by a new owner.
However, the company "routinely" filed false paperwork saying
buildings had no rent-regulated tenants, AP reported.

According to city documents -- obtained by the tenant watchdog
group Housing Right Initiative -- at least 80 fraudulent
applications were filed for construction permits in 34 buildings
from 2013 to 2016.  They all stated the buildings had no rent-
regulated tenants, when in fact they included 300 rent-regulated
units, according to tax documents, AP reported. Kushner was CEO
of the company during that time.

In one case, Kushner Cos. filed false statements about tenants in
three buildings with 94 rent-regulated units that it purchased in
Queens in 2015, reports AP.  After the company displaced most of
the residents, it sold the buildings two years later for $60
million, nearly 50 percent more than their purchase price,
according to AP.

A statement from the company to AP said that a contracted third
party, not Kushner Cos., was responsible for filing the
paperwork. Any errors discovered were addressed "immediately," it
added.  "Kushner Cos. would never deny any tenant their due-
process rights," the statement said.  Housing Rights Initiative
said several amended documents were filed after the initial
paperwork but often as long as one or two years later, by which
time many tenants were gone.

Accurate paperwork would have afforded building tenants more city
help and supervision of construction and landlord treatment.
Instead, some tenants reported they were urged to get out or
forced to live amid the disruption of ongoing construction work
as the Kushners prepared to boost rents or sell a building.

New York City Council member Ritchie Torres called the Kushner
strategy a "weaponization of construction."

Jared Kushner stepped down from his role as CEO last year, but
still holds major stakes in a number of family real estate
holdings.  He maintains a holding in Westminster Management, the
Kushner Cos. subsidiary that oversees its residential properties.
He earned $1.6 million from that business alone, according to
Kushner's financial disclosure filing last year.

Westminster Management has been hit with a class-action lawsuit
by tenants who say that rents in 15 Baltimore-area buildings were
padded with mysteriously added fees or late fees as part of a
ruse to evict them when the money wasn't paid.  In January, a
federal judge ordered the family to reveal the identities of the
real estate operation's business partners. The family then took
action to move the case out of the judge's jurisdiction to state
court. The company has denied the accusations.

Special Counsel Robert Mueller is reportedly looking into
Jared Kushner's efforts to secure financing for family real
estate operations from foreign investors during the presidential
transition that may have impacted his work in the White House.
[GN]


XTO ENERGY: Reaches Tentative Settlement in Chieftain Case
----------------------------------------------------------
XTO Energy has advised Simmons Bank, as Trustee of the Hugoton
Royalty Trust, that it has reached a tentative settlement with
the plaintiffs in the Chieftain class action royalty case, and
believes that the portion of the settlement that relates to the
Trust is as much as $20 million. XTO Energy has advised the
Trustee that the settlement requires final approval by a judge,
which is expected to occur in late first quarter of 2018.  The
Trustee has asked for additional information regarding the
allocation of the settlement amount and has asked to be advised
by XTO as the matter progresses.  Once additional information is
made available, the Trustee intends to review any claimed
reductions in payment to the Trust based on the facts and
circumstances of the settlement.  The Trustee has previously
stated that to the extent any such claimed reductions are similar
to claimed reductions from XTO Energy's settlement in the
Fankhouser v. XTO Energy, Inc. class action lawsuit that an
arbitration tribunal ruled were not permitted to be borne by the
Trust, the Trustee would likely object to such claimed
reductions.  After a review of the claimed reductions in payments
to the Trust relating to the settlement and a determination
whether the Trustee will object to any such reductions, a
determination will be made as to what amount of reserve will be
maintained for anticipated future Trust expenses. [GN]


ZOETIS: Horse Owners Launch Class Action Over Hendra Vaccine
------------------------------------------------------------
Hilary Cassell, writing for ABC, reports that horse owners have
launched a $53 million law suit against the pharmaceutical
company responsible for developing the Hendra vaccine.

The owners, from New South Wales and Queensland, are claiming
that Zoetis Australia PTY LTD did not provide adequate warnings
about the potential side effects of the vaccine on their horses.

Half a million doses have been administered to horses across
Australia since 2012.

About 1,500 horses have experienced adverse reactions and have
not been able to return to their regular work.

The barrister instructed by LHD Lawyers, John Rowe, said Zoetis
failed to inform horse owners of the potential side effects and
have breached the Agricultural and Veterinary Chemicals Act by
failing to properly trial and test the vaccine before its
release.

"The reality is the vets that administered the vaccination
initially didn't give the owners any warning at all," Mr Rowe
said.

"Many of the horse owners would not have agreed to the
inoculation had they been warned of the possible side effects."

Class action a risk: company
Damages are being sought for any individual horse owner whose
horse was effected by the vaccine resulting in death or loss of
use.

Michael Hyland, special counsel for LHD Lawyers, says the owners
that are part of the class action had suffered significantly.

"It's had a profound impact on the horse owners and it's
something they are struggling to come to terms with," Mr Hyland
said.

Zoetis has issued a statement saying the vaccine wass "safe and
effective" and "no vaccinated horse has contracted the Hendra
virus".

The company said it has not been notified of a claim and a class
action would put people and animals at risk.

"Attacks on vaccination have the potential to put the lives of
vets, the horse owning public and horses at risk," a spokesperson
said.

The Hendra virus has killed 103 horses and four people across 60
separate outbreaks in QLD and NSW. [GN]


* Asserson Urges Students to Join Suit Over Lecturers' Strike
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Times reports that universities could face compensation
claims for millions of pounds over the lecturers' strike after an
international law firm took the first step in opening a class
action.

Asserson, a specialist in class action litigation, created a
website for students interested in joining the group action to
reclaim part of their tuition fees.  More than 100,000 students
have signed petitions protesting against the loss of lectures,
classes and assessments they have paid for through tuition fees.

Many of the 65 universities affected by the strike are trying to
head off claims by putting the money saved from striking
lecturers' salaries into student hardship funds. [GN]


* Class Action Over Listeria Outbreak Likely in Australia
---------------------------------------------------------
David Claughton and Tyne Logan, writing for ABC News, report that
a class action involving Australians affected by the listeria
outbreak in rockmelons is likely, according to a United States
legal expert.

Lawyer Bill Marler has been involved in food safety cases around
the world for 25 years, including a listeria outbreak in
rockmelons in the US that killed 33 people in 2011.

He is advising lawyers in South Africa on the current outbreak in
cold meat products that has killed 200 people so far.

Mr Marler said Australian authorities had done well to contain
the listeria outbreak in this country.

"The fact that you've been able to keep this outbreak down to
lower numbers is a credit to your health department," he said.

In South Africa it took authorities a year to trace the source of
the listeria outbreak to processed meat.

A class action has been launched on March 20 in that country and
the crisis has "rocked the meat world in South Africa", according
to Mr Marler.

"Hundreds of people are out of business -- people who make
sandwiches, workers in the plant.  It is really a national
disaster," he said.

The death toll includes 67 women whose children were born
prematurely and subsequently died.

Listeria can cause brain injury in survivors

Mr Marler said the mortality rate for listeria was high at around
20-30 per cent, and it could cause debilitating brain injury in
people who survived.

"Listeria causes brain swelling, it gets into the spinal fluid,
that's what usually causes death, and if it doesn't it can cause
brain trauma," he said.

Mr Marler said victims could make a range of claims under
Australian law.

"They would be able to claim for medical expenses, wage losses
and future medical needs and expenses," he said.

In the United States rockmelon outbreak, a case was made against
the growers as well as the large supermarkets.

"Not only were they [the growers] fined significantly by the
criminal court, they also went bankrupt," Mr Marler said.

"Their insurance proceeds went to the victims, and [the
retailers] Walmart and Kroger also wound up paying tens of
millions to the victims who survived."

Explanation needed to restore consumer confidence

Thomas Karst, national editor of The Packer, a trade publication
for the fruit and vegetable industry in the US, said Australian
consumers would need to know the exact cause of the outbreak
before confidence could be restored in the product.

"What happened on the particular operation, what was the
explanation for how the outbreak occurred?" he said.

Mr Karst said while most of the growing areas in the US had
recovered by the following season, production in Colorado where
the listeria outbreak occurred had been cut by a third.

Investigations by the US Food and Drug Administration found the
source of infection in the US case was probably a combination of
dirty equipment and placing the melons in cold storage after
cutting that allowed the listeria to spread on-farm.

The NSW Food Authority is still investigating the source of
contamination at the Rombola farm in the Riverina. [GN]


* Class Actions Rising Due to More Litigation Funding Options
-------------------------------------------------------------
Harpreet Sidhu, writing for Canadian Lawyer, reports that why are
class actions on the rise? There is an increase in the amount of
litigation funding options for these class actions, coupled with
encouragement from regulators, which have spurred the amount of
class actions.  Class actions are one of the top legal risks for
businesses in 2018, a year focused on privacy, cybersecurity,
data breach, anti-spam and major product recalls.

Many business executives question who funds these class action
lawsuits. Litigation funding helps to facilitate litigation --
especially class actions.  Individual shareholders in a class
action will recover only small damages, which will be
insufficient to pay for their litigation costs, and class members
do not want to be personally liable for costs. So litigation
funding agencies step in by offering to pay the legal costs in
return for a share of the winnings if the class action is
successful.

From the 100 companies surveyed, 69.1 per cent advised they had
one or more open class actions on an ongoing basis.  This number
was up from the year before of 68.5 per cent.  From the companies
surveyed, 17.6 per cent advised they got a class action almost
every two years and 13.2 per cent advised class actions were rare
and were happening every few years.

In-house experts say class action lawyers were rubbing their
hands together and counting the days until phase two of Canada's
Anti-Spam Legislation came into effect on July 1, 2017, ushering
in the much-feared private right of action while general counsel
across the country were slamming the private right of action and
the consequences of it.

Much to everyone's surprise, the Canadian government indefinitely
suspended the commencement of CASL's private right of action, and
a parliamentary committee recommended that CASL be revised to
clarify its scope and application, reduce the cost of compliance
and better focus enforcement.  A significant theme of the report
and its recommendations is concern for the "unintended cost of
compliance": lack of clarity in the legislation and associated
regulations adds to the cost of compliance, estimated by some
witnesses as reaching into the millions of dollars for large
organizations.  Imagine if there was no parliamentary review of
CASL and the private right of action had been effective July 1,
2017.  There would an increase in the number of lawsuits, many of
them class actions.

Sometimes, a small risk goes a long way, and the smaller risks an
executive team is willing to take can quadruple into millions of
dollars of class action litigation.  Some of these perils can
come from taking risks around data protection, collection of
proper consent from customers and cybersecurity.  As an in-house
counsel, you just have to be ready for "the next thing."

"Like I always say, keep your corporate insurance up to date and
talk to your carriers or brokers on a regular basis so you are
all on the same page when a class action suit lands on your desk
so coverage counsel can be assigned quickly to assist you.  The
moral of the story is: Class actions are the next big thing for
Canadian in-house legal departments to be aware of -- as if you
didn't have enough risk to worry about!," Ms. Sidhu says.

Harpreet K. Sidhu is general counsel, corporate secretary and
privacy officer at Pethealth Inc. -- A Fairfax Company. She
advises in all areas of corporate compliance, litigation, general
contracts, employment, mergers and acquisition, and patent and
trademark matters.  She also manages governance and regulatory
compliance for the corporation and is responsible for in-house
ethics programs, government affairs and public policy activities
on domestic and international affairs. [GN]


* Fate of Canada's Anti-Spam Litigation Remains Unclear
-------------------------------------------------------
Marg. Bruineman, writing for Law Times, reports that Shaun Brown
-- sbrown@nnovation.com -- says companies and organizations are
concerned about a section of Canada's anti-spam legislation that
could leave them vulnerable to a $1-million lawsuit.

The fate of a controversial section in Canada's anti-spam
legislation that allowed consumers the right to sue for breaches,
before it was put on hold, remains unclear.

The section was abruptly suspended last June, a month before it
was to be enacted, when businesses, charities and organizations
expressed concerns about the section, which would allow consumers
to the private right of action to sue under s. 51 of CASL.

Critics of the section said that allowing a private right of
action would have unnecessarily exposed organizations to class
actions.  It is now under review and its fate remains to be
determined.

"The private right of action in CASL perhaps created a perfect
storm for class actions," says Michael Fekete --
mfekete@osler.com -- a partner in the technology group and the
national innovation leader at Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP.

The provisions in CASL that were originally proposed would have
allowed people to sue businesses and groups for breaches related
to spam, as well as for breaches related to the Personal
Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act and the
Competition Act.

Most components of CASL came into force in 2014.

The provisions pertaining to the private right of action were to
follow in July 2017, and they would have allowed awards of up to
$1 million per day for sending spam.

However, critics said the legislation would allow people to sue
for statutory damages, meaning they would not have to prove harm.

It was widely anticipated by the legal community that this would
lead to a cottage industry of class actions brought against
companies and organizations for non-compliance, even where no
damage was done.

Therefore, the current federal government put the brakes on the
section related to the private right of action after hearing
concerns from businesses and sent it to a parliamentary committee
for review.

The Standing Committee on Industry, Science and Technology issued
a report in December 2017 after conducting a series of meetings
and receiving 63 submissions.  It concluded that the legislation
and its regulations required clarifications to reduce the cost of
compliance and better focus enforcement.

The committee also suggested the government needs to consider
issues related to consent and the effects of the private right of
action created by the legislation.

"There's always a concern when you combine statutory damages,
broad standing to sue and a prescriptive law because you can find
yourself as a defendant in a class action very easily, even if
there isn't significant harm to consumers.  And the fact that
CASL created those conditions has led the government to
reconsider bringing it into force," says Mr. Fekete.

By suspending it, there is acknowledgement that the government is
alive to concerns about whether the private right to action
provisions created a huge amount of unquantifiable risk, adds
Mr. Fekete.

Allowing anyone to sue for alleged violation of the legislation
without requiring them to prove harm makes it difficult to
clearly identify the risks and mitigate against them, says
Shaun Brown, a partner with nNovation LLP in Ottawa.

If an organization is trying to comply but is considered by some
to be in violation of the legislation, it could quickly find
itself having to defend against legal action.

Mr. Brown says it's frustrating for companies that are concerned
that the private right of action could leave them vulnerable to a
$1-million lawsuit.

"The industry is pretty much aligned on the private right of
action, that it's unnecessary and unhelpful and that it should be
at least altered in the legislation if it is brought into
effect," he says, adding that the law is so "complex and
confusing" that it's difficult for companies to navigate if they
are complying properly.

The federal government could tweak the legislation to follow the
lead of other jurisdictions and limit who has standing to sue,
says Mr. Brown.

He also says it's possible to remove the statutory damages.

"Finding a way so that the organizations, the businesses that are
directly impacted by spam pursue the bad actors [who purposely
defy the anti-spam legislation] does make a lot of sense," says
Mr. Fekete.

Another approach that may be considered in Canada is allowing
internet service providers and companies the private right of
action to go after spammers to try to recover some of the costs
they incurred by vast amounts of spam they must manage in their
networks.

That makes sense to Stikeman Elliott LLP privacy lawyer
David Elder, who also sees a similar enforcement approach
applying to malware, which is also covered by CASL.

Service providers can directly attribute damages to spammers, he
says, because they must invest in screening software and
overprovisioning networks.

They also may suffer network outages they can directly attribute
to mass spam.

Allowing the current provisions allowing the private right of
action "really takes the implementation and supervision of CASL
out of the hands out of the government and effectively puts it in
the hands of private parties and plaintiffs' counsel," says
Mr. Elder.

"I think there's too much uncertainty with the law now to do
that," he says. [GN]


* GDPR-K Puts in Place Framework for Class Action Lawsuits
----------------------------------------------------------
Romany Reagan, writing for Exchange Wire, reports that the clock
is ticking for enforcement of GDPR in May, which will trigger
unprecedented change across Europe's digital media ecosystem. In
this piece for ExchangeWire, Dylan Collins, co-founder and CEO,
SuperAwesome, explains why it's not enough to look for GDPR-
compliance -- in the kids' space, you also need GDPR-K-
compliance.

While the new regulations affect general audience publishers and
advertisers, there's a separate set of requirements for those
engaging with the kids' audience, now being referred to as "GDPR-
K".  GDPR-K dramatically changes the landscape for kids and
family advertisers, agencies, and digital publishers operating in
Europe.

Think of GDPR-K as COPPA for Europe
The U.S. pioneered a kids' digital privacy law with COPPA
(Children's Online Privacy and Protection Act). This law prevents
the capture of personal information from under-13s (e.g.,
cookies) and thus banned behavioural advertising, retargeting,
etc. COPPA ultimately led to the creation of what is now the
biggest privacy-based digital ad market and, in parallel, the
emergence of "kidtech", "zero-data" tools for brands to safely
engage with kids.

Dylan Collins, Co-Founder & CEO, SuperAwesome

GDPR-K effectively replicates COPPA in Europe, with some
important nuances.  It extends this "zero-data" digital
environment from the U.S. to Europe and sets the stage for a
global standard for digital engagement with kids.  As well as
larger fines, GDPR-K also puts in place a framework for class
action lawsuits, which we have already seen occurring in the U.S.
for alleged breach of kids' data privacy laws.

Reshaping the landscape for kids & family publishers
GDPR-K will radically change the kids and family publisher
landscape in Europe.  Many of those probably feel their
obligations only extend to GDPR.  However, this is not enough for
those with a kids' audience or even a potential kids' audience.

   -- Children are now being defined as anyone under 16 in
Germany, France, and the Netherlands.  This means that many
publishers that previously had a non-kids' audience (i.e., over
13) are now firmly categorised as children.  This almost
certainly has a huge impact on games publishers, many of which
will now be classified as kids' publishers and, therefore, need
to make urgent changes to their ad-stack

  -- No more behavioural ad targeting. For all those publishers
monetising with ads (the vast majority), this will be a huge
change.  All kids' publishers will need to strip out their
existing ad-tech providers.  Critically, this will also mean
removing social media plugins, which are one of the top culprits
for capturing data on kids.
  -- You need to rewrite your privacy notices and policies.
GDPR-K requires that all language presented in your privacy
policy is transparent, concise, and completely comprehensible by
both parents and children.

GDPR-K marks the moment where publishers must make a decision
about their content and audience.  If your audience is 'family',
you'll need to commit to a kids strategy, or age-gate your
audience between kids and grown-ups.  You can no longer be
ambiguous about younger users.

What kids' brands & their agencies need to know about GDPR-K
Historically, as a brand or agency, you could largely ignore what
kind of technology was delivering your ad to children in Europe.
Under GDPR-K, this will change.

   -- Unless parental consent is in place (unlikely), any kind of
behavioural targeting, profiling, or retargeting of children in
the EU will be banned from 25 May.  Instead, agencies and brands
must stick to contextual advertising and ensure their partners
are using dedicated "kidtech" or other technology that is clearly
"zero-data" by design.

  -- Many advertisers have previously used games ad networks to
reach kids.  Those operations are typically repurposing data-
gathering ad tech to deliver kids' ads into games publishers.
Unless those vendors can show you how they've re-tooled to be
zero-data, you may have a significant liability under GDPR-K.

   -- Be wary of any "nuanced" interpretations of the GDPR.  In
particular, two dangerous and misguided rumours are circulating:
1) that persistent identifiers such as IP addresses and device
IDs are not personal information (they are); 2) that advertisers
can engage in behavioural advertising with children because they
have a "legitimate interest" to do so (they don't).  Don't be
fooled, both notions have been thoroughly debunked by the
authorities.

For many brands and agencies, the practical reality of running
campaigns across Europe (e.g., movie releases) will mean
defaulting to zero data collection from anyone under 16.
Although this sounds challenging, the emergence of the "kidtech"
sector over the last few years means there are clear solutions
for achieving this.  It's not enough to look for GDPR-compliance
-- in the kids' space, you also need GDPR-K-compliance.

This seems like a lot of change . . .

Yes, although that is not unexpected.  With the growing number of
kids online, we're now seeing the emergence of global standards
for digital kids' privacy.  The good news is that with the
rapidly declining kids TV market, digital budgets are growing at
25% annually (PwC Kids Advertising Report 2017).  So, although
GDPR-K will trigger major change across the European kids media
landscape, the reward for compliance is guaranteed years of
growth. [GN]


* Germany's New Government Plans to Allow Collective Lawsuits
-------------------------------------------------------------
Dietmar Neuerer, writing for Handelsblatt Global, reports that
much to the dismay of peeved VW owners keen to sue the cheating
automaker for compensation over the diesel emissions scandal in
2015, German law makes no provision for class-action lawsuits.
It is great for Volkswagen, because German VW customers would
have to wage costly David v. Goliath legal battles to get their
money back.  Meanwhile in the US, class-action clout gives
drivers strength in numbers to get payouts from the Wolfsburg-
based company.

But the tide is turning now that Germany's new government finally
plans to allow collective lawsuits, a decision that not only
deeply upsets VW, but other business leaders who are afraid they,
too, will eventually have to pay up.  Their argument against the
change is that class-action lawsuits wouldn't help consumers but
just line lawyers' pockets. [GN]


* LCO Conducts Comprehensive Review of Class Actions
----------------------------------------------------
Jeff Buckstein, writing for The Lawyer's Daily, reports that the
Law Commission of Ontario (LCO) is conducting a comprehensive
review of class actions in the province, the first since
Ontario's Class Proceedings Act (CPA) came into force in 1993.

"It's been a generation since the Class Proceedings Act came into
force.  It's widely acknowledged that the number, complexity and
impact of class actions has grown dramatically.  It's also widely
acknowledged that the three basic objectives of class actions --
access to justice, judicial economy and behaviour modification --
remain sound," said Nye Thomas, the LCO's executive director in
Toronto.

"In these circumstances, we think it makes sense to ask if, or
how, the Act should be updated in light of what we've learned
about class actions in the last 25 years," he added.

Class actions, which can involve up to thousands of potential
litigants and billions of dollars in compensation, have had major
financial, policy and even cultural implications across the
country, said the LCO in its recently released consultation
paper, "Class Actions: Objectives, Experiences and Reforms."

The paper cited high profile cases in Ontario, such as the
Walkerton e-coli water tragedy in 2000.

"We now have the data of more than 25 years of experience with
this statute that allow us to identify where it's working and
where it's not, and to address concerns about where it's not
working by recommending reform," said Michael Rosenberg --
mrosenberg@mccarthy.ca -- a partner with McCarthy Tetrault LLP in
Toronto, and a member of the Technical Advisory Committee for the
LCO's class actions project.

(Mr. Rosenberg emphasized that his views in this article were as
a practitioner, not a member of the LCO committee.)

One of the key issues addressed by the LCO was costs.  Ontario,
like most Canadian provinces (except for British Columbia,
Manitoba and Newfoundland) has adopted the two-way costs rule for
class actions.  Stakeholders are being asked what, if any changes
they think are necessary.

There are a variety of perspectives with respect to cost.  On the
plus side, the current two-way costs rule discourages the
commencement of frivolous proceedings.  Moreover, imposing cost
consequences on both plaintiffs and defendants keeps both sides
alert against tactical, but meritless procedural steps and
motions, Rosenberg said.

But there are also criticisms of the current cost structure.  For
example, because significant costs awards are possible, that can
inhibit parties from taking steps to assert their rights because
of the inherent risks.  There are also concerns that the
availability of third party funders to indemnify the
representative plaintiff against costs awards removes the
incentive to curb undesirable behaviour, he added.

In contrast, "a no-costs rule means plaintiffs are not exposed to
the potential of large costs awards like the US$2.3 million
awarded against the plaintiffs last year in the action related to
the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh, though the plaintiffs in
that case were indemnified by the Class Proceedings Fund," said
James Gotowiec -- jgotowiec@torys.com -- a senior associate with
Torys LLP in Toronto.

"Combined with the increased availability of third party
litigation funding, this lowers the financial risks to plaintiffs
and class counsel in bringing claims, and so may lead to more
actions being started," he added.

Stakeholders are also being asked whether the current approach to
certification remains appropriate.

Section 5 of the CPA states that the court shall certify a class
proceeding on a motion under various circumstances, including:
the pleadings or the notice of application discloses a cause of
action; there is an identifiable class of at least two
individuals represented by the representative plaintiff or
defendant; and the claims or defences of the class members raise
common issues, among other requirements.

Rosenberg said the test for certification causes friction between
plaintiffs and defendants.

"Once an action is certified, the plaintiff has enormous leverage
with which to force a settlement.  The critique is that a
certification is too easily obtained.  Defendants are then faced
with a case that cannot go to trial because it would simply be
unmanageable to try, and they are forced to settle unmeritorious
claims," he said.

In response, it has been suggested there should be a tougher test
to certify an action, one that either tests preliminary merits or
that imposes a higher evidentiary standard to ensure this is the
kind of case that could be litigated on the merits as a class
proceeding, Mr. Rosenberg added.

Another theme addressed by the consultation paper is how the
courts should manage an increasing caseload of multi-
jurisdictional class actions in Canada.

"Most interviewees, including plaintiff and defence counsel,
cited the procedural challenges in multi-jurisdictional class
actions as one of their primary concerns.  There is a lack of
clarity as to which court should take jurisdiction when competing
or overlapping class actions have been filed in multiple
provinces," the LCO noted.

Unlike in the United States, Canada does not have a federal
mechanism to remove class actions commenced on the same subject
in different provinces to a single venue where they can all be
heard together, Mr. Rosenberg explained.

The Canadian Bar Association's (CBA) Canadian Judicial Protocol
for the Management of Multi-Jurisdictional Class Actions in 2011
created a notification list to allow counsel in various
jurisdictions to remain apprised of developments in proposed
national class actions.  It also sought to co-ordinate settlement
approval hearings where a joint settlement is proposed for class
actions.

In February 2018, that protocol was revised to establish best
practices to better co-ordinate early stage multi-jurisdictional
class actions between lawyers and judges before a settlement is
proposed.  It also further addressed settlement approvals.

Mr. Gotowiec believes the 2018 CBA protocol is a positive step
toward addressing multi-jurisdictional class actions.
"Generally, it seems like we're still relying on the ability of
all the actors in the system to work together, and to the extent
this formalizes that a bit more, it's helpful," he said.

Stakeholders were also asked if statutory guidance for multi-
jurisdictional class actions was desirable, or whether that issue
should be left to the courts.

"More certainty is always helpful because you don't want to be
fighting or defending multiple actions in different provinces at
the same time.  That just doesn't make sense," Mr. Gotowiec said.

Another issue addressed was the process for appealing class
action certification decisions, including whether appeals from
successful certification decisions should be taken directly to
the Divisional Court without the need to obtain leave.

"The paper refers to the fact that the need to obtain leave in
the case of a successful certification decision, compared to no
leave where there is an unsuccessful certification decision,
seems lopsided.  If they're going to take a look at that [then
it] makes sense to think more about whether that's still needed,"
said Mr. Gotowiec.

The LCO also asked whether all appeals from certification
decisions should proceed directly to the Court of Appeal, or
whether the current leave to appeal test under s. 30(2) of the
CPA remains appropriate. That section states "A party may appeal
to the Divisional Court from an order certifying a proceeding as
a class proceeding, with leave of the Superior Court of Justice
as provided in the rules of court."

"It seems that cases that get leave to the Divisional Court often
engage in issues that then get appealed to the Court of Appeal
anyway, so whether that intermediate step is still serving the
function that the legislators originally envisioned is something
I think the LCO should look at," Mr. Gotowiec said.

The consultation deadline to respond is May 11.  The Law
Commission of Ontario (LCO) is conducting a comprehensive review
of class actions in the province, the first since Ontario's Class
Proceedings Act (CPA) came into force in 1993. [GN]


* New Bill Limits Ability to File Defective Products Cases
----------------------------------------------------------
Tony Messenger, writing for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reports
that the daughter of two journalists, Laura Cobb was destined to
be a great writer.

As a senior in high school at Villa Duchesne in 2005, her college
entrance essay was so good it was posted on a national website as
an example for others.

"She did that totally on her own," says Ron Cobb, her father, a
former sports writer and travel editor for the Post-Dispatch. His
wife, Lucinda, used to work at the Globe-Democrat.  "She was such
a great student."

Laura ended up at Washington University. She was on the dean's
list.  She sang in an a cappella group and planned to pursue a
graduate degree at Vanderbilt.  She was a psychology major and
wanted to work with kids who are on the autism spectrum.

A drunk driver ended those dreams on Sept. 16, 2008.

She was driving north on Big Bend Boulevard.  At the intersection
with Forest Park Parkway, she was T-boned.

"The bright future that she had in front of her is gone," her
father tells me.

Laura, now 31, lives at home with her parents.  She suffers from
aphasia, a communication disorder.  She has difficulty speaking
and writing, even after hundreds of hours of speech therapy. Her
brain will never be what it was.

Cobb is telling me his daughter's story now, nearly a decade
after her accident, because the Missouri Legislature is debating
a bill that, if passed, would have made it next to impossible for
the couple to properly care for their daughter.  The bill, Senate
Bill 596, would create a "statute of repose" for certain kinds of
lawsuits in Missouri, placing an arbitrary 10-year limit on
claims against defective products.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jeanie Riddle, R-Mokane, is part of
the Republican majority's attack on individual rights, seeking to
pass numerous bills under the umbrella of "tort reform" that
protect corporations at the expense of individuals.

When Laura was injured, the Cobbs sued the drunk driver. But
then, their attorney went to the junkyard to examine the 1998
Toyota Camry that Laura had been driving.  The air bag and seat
belt system didn't appear to work properly, causing her injuries
to be much worse than they should have been. By the time they
sued the manufacturer, it was more than 10 years after the car
had been built, but most definitely within its useful life.

Under Riddle's bill, the lawsuit would have been disallowed.

A foreign company wins. Laura loses.

"What happens when my wife and I are gone?" Ron Cobb asks. "Laura
is going to be all alone in the world.  She is going to need a
lot of money in the future for the people who are her caregivers.
Had we not gotten that settlement, then we really would have been
in dire straits."

St. Louis attorney Amy Gunn says the statute of repose bill is a
solution in search of a problem. Gunn, who handles product
liability cases, says Missouri law already has a strong standard
that protects companies, requiring plaintiffs to prove that a
product was defective when it was sold.  A company can't be sued,
for instance, because a used car 20 years after its lifespan has
parts that start to fail.

"Whatever problem they think exists, doesn't," she says.  "Who
are they protecting? Out-of-state manufacturers of defective
products. Not Missouri citizens."

State Sen. Rob Schaaf is one of the few members of the majority
party who sees a problem with this rush to strip individuals of
their rights.

"It's disgusting," says the St. Joseph Republican.

Sen. Schaaf tried to share a spreadsheet with his colleagues that
explains who is behind various bills to protect corporations at
the expense of Missouri residents. The spreadsheet showed the
amount of campaign donations made by various corporations and
business owners who were facing lawsuits of some sort or another
under Missouri's Merchandising Practices Act.  The total was
about $3 million. Senate Bill 546, sponsored by Sen. Brian
Munzlinger, R-Williamstown, would make it harder for residents to
file class-action lawsuits against companies over defective
products.

The bill has been pushed for a couple of years by one of the
Republican Party's biggest Missouri donors, Tamko Roofing owner
David Humphreys of Joplin.  He and his family have given more
than $1.5 million to Missouri senators, Sen. Schaaf's spreadsheet
shows.

"This is a case study in wealthy special interests buying favor
through campaign contributions to the detriment of the people's
liberty," he says.

Senate leaders didn't let him pass out the spreadsheet.
Apparently, they don't want to be faced with the truth that they
have already been bought.

Sen. Schaaf fears that in the end, the big money will win.

If it does, the next time a young college student leaves the
library one late night only to have her bright future cut short,
Missouri lawmakers will have themselves to blame when taxpayers
end up with the bill. [GN]


* Value of Securities Class Action Settlements Down 76% in 2017
---------------------------------------------------------------
Anthony Baldo, writing for The Insurance Insider, reports that
the value of securities class action settlements fell by 76
percent to nearly $1.5bn in 2017, the second-lowest level in the
past decade, according to Cornerstone Research.

In addition, for the first time in more than five years, there
were no settlements for more than $250mn, the consulting firm
said.

However, while the 81 securities class action settlements
approved by a court in 2017 did not match 2016's total of 85,
they did represent the second-highest amount recorded since 2010.
[GN]




                            *********


S U B S C R I P T I O N  I N F O R M A T I O N

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