CAR_Public/180427.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R


             Friday, April 27, 2018, Vol. 20, No. 85



                            Headlines


24 HOUR: "Valdez" Suit Seeks Overtime Wages under FLSA
A&B INSURANCE: Bid for Prelim Approval of "Youngman" Deal Moot
ABERCROMBIE & FITCH: Class Suits Granted Preliminary Approval
AUDIOEYE INC: Proposed Modified Plan of Allocation Approved
ANTERO RESOURCES: Court Conditionally Certifies "Stallings" Class

ANTHEM INC: Court Dismisses "Resse" TCPA Suit
AVIS BUDGET: "Wan" Suit Moved to Eastern District of New York
BEST BUY: Bid for Leave to Amend Class Complaint Underway
BOCAS HOUSE: Alvarado Seeks Minimum Wages & Tips under FLSA
BRE SELECT: Continues to Defend "Wilchfort" Class Action Suit

BRIDGEPOINT EDUCATION: Court Dismisses "Zamir" Securities Suit
CAL-MAINE FOODS: Pays $80.8 Million to Non-Class Plaintiffs
CANADA: Spent $40MM on Legal Proceedings Involving Veterans
CARGURUS INC: Wins Summary Judgment in "Serban" TCPA Suit
CBOE EXCHANGE: Class Calls Out Key Volatility Index Manipulation

CHURCHILL DOWNS: Class Action Remanded to Initial Trial Court
CIGNA HEALTH: Court Narrows Claims in "Negron"
CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: Court Certifies TCPA Class
CR ENGLAND: Court Limits Request of Fin'l Docs in "Roberts"
CRYPTO CO: Dismissal of "Shepherdson" Suit Upheld

DENVER, CO: High Ct. to Decide Lawfulness of Homeless Sweeps
DXP ENTERPRISES: Winkle Seeks Overtime Compensation under FLSA
EMCORE CORP: Accrued $0.2MM Related to "Mirasol" Settlement
ENDO INT'L: Lidoderm Dispute Ends With Settlements
EQUIFAX INFORMATION: Response Time in "Bruno" Extended

EQUIFAX INFORMATION: McGinley Time to Respond Extended
EVERGREEN RECREATIONAL: Ct. Certifies Class of Terminated Workers
FACEBOOK INC: More Communities Join Crypo Ads Ban Class Action
FACEBOOK INC: Court Denies Amendment to "Gullen" BIPA Complaint
FACEBOOK INC: Tracy Sues over Unauthorized Use of Users' Data

FIAT CHRYSLER: Must Face Emissions-Cheating Claims
FIRST FEDERAL: Wins Dismissal of "Chase" Suit
FTD COMPANIES: Oral Arguments on EasySaver's Suit Set for May 17
FRANCE: Class Action Mulled Over Linky Electricity Meters
GDFRIEND INC: Ct. Won't Stay "Amdezewicz" Pending ACA Decision

GLOBAL CREDIT: Faces "Farro" Suit in District of New Jersey
GLOBAL EAGLE: Notice of Appeal Filed in M&M Hart Suit
GOLDOC: Gold Coast Business Owners Mull Class Action
GUARDIAN LIVING: Court Conditionally Certifies "Williams" Class
HALYARD HEALTH: Award of Punitive Damages Reduced to $24.4MM

HALYARD HEALTH: Court Grants Bid to Dismiss "Jackson" Suit
HAPPILY COMPANY: Fails to Pay OT & Minimum Wages, Fortt Says
HERTZ CORP: Court Compel Arbitration in "Olivas"
HMS HOST: Oct. 25 Class Certification Hearing in "Garcia"
HOVNANIAN ENTERPRISES: Settlement Approval Hearing Set for May 3

INDIANA: Court Denies Certification of "Garcia" Class
INDIANA: Court Denies Class Certification in "Hale"
INFORMATION RESOURCES: Court Issues Order on ESI Production
INTERSTATE HOTELS: Court Certifies Class in "Richardson"
IQ FORMULATIONS: Court Tosses Class Action Over DMBA Ingredient

JPMORGAN CHASE: Loses Bid to Dismiss "Nypl" Antitrust Suit
LAHORI KEBAB: "Vasquez" Suit Seeks OT & Earned Wages under FLSA
LIMBACH HOLDINGS: Appeal Made in "Garfield" Suit Dismissed
LONGFIN CORP: Wei Sues over Plunge in Stock Price
MAJOR LEAGUE: Minors Baseball Players to Lose Min Wage Protection

MDL 2804: Buckhannon Has Yet to Decide on Joining Opioid Suit
MDL 2826: "Agans" Suit over Data Security Breach Consolidated
MDL 2827: "Mazzeo" Suit over iPhone Performance Consolidated
MDL 2827: "Mailyan" Suit over iPhone Performance Consolidated
MDL 2827: "Speas" Suit over iPhone Performance Consolidated

MDL 2827: "Drantivy" Suit over iPhone Performance Consolidated
MDL 2827: "Brand" Suit over iPhone Performance Consolidated
MDL 2828: "Bernstein" Suit over Defective CPUs Consolidated
MDL 2828: Alrose Suit over Defective CPUs Consolidated
MDL 2828: "Inman" Suit over Defective CPUs Consolidated

MDL 2828: "Murphy" Suit over Defective CPUs Consolidated
MDL 2828: "Robbins" Suit over Defective CPUs Consolidated
MGT CAPITAL: Says Time to File Notice of Appeal Already Expired
MIDLAND FUNDING: "Smith" Suit Moved to Western Dist. of Arkansas
MILLENNIUM LABS: "Booth" Suit Seeks Overtime Wages

MODESTO, CA: Court Approves $100K Settlement in "Beidleman" Suit
MURRAY GOULBURN: Slater & Gordon to Proceed with Class Action
NANO: Faces Investor Class Action in New York
NORMAN BARWIN: May Face Suit for Using Sperm to Impregnate Women
NOVUS THERAPEUTICS: "Doshi" Consolidated with "Garbowski" Suit

NOVUS THERAPEUTICS: Multiple Suits over Tokai IPO Pending
OPEN DOOR: "Conde" Plaintiffs Must Respond to RFPs
OOMA INC: Continues to Defend "Barnett" Suit Over IPO
PENNSYLVANIA: Court Dismisses "Marmolejos" Suit
PERRY'S STEAKHOUSE: Court Certifies Table-Servers Class

PETROBRAS: June 9 Settlement Claims Submission Deadline Set
PURE STORAGE: California Shareholder Class Suit Dismissed
QUEST NUTRITION: Court Dismisses FAC in "Cairo"
RAMOS FURNITURE: Time to File Damages Bid in "Topete" Extended
RAYMOURS FURNITURE: Court Compels Arbitration in "Castellanos"

RESHAPE LIFESCIENCES: Discovery Ongoing in "Du" Class Suit
SIBANYE GOLD: Mine Workers Class Action Suit Still Ongoing
SIGNET JEWELERS: Oral Argument Set for May 7 in 2nd Cir. Appeal
SIGNET JEWELERS: Dismissal of "Masten" Class Action Sought
SIGNET JEWELERS: To Seek Dismissal of N.Y. Securities Suit

SITO MOBILE: Bid to Dismiss "Roper" Suit Still Pending
SMURFIT KAPPA: Fails to Pay Overtime & Minimum Wage, Chavez Says
SPAR GROUP: Court Denies Dismissal of "Hogan" Suit
SPAR GROUP: Continues to Defend "Hogan" Class Action Suit
TARGET CORP: Settles Racial Discrimination Suit for $3.7MM

TECHNIPFMC PLC: Faces "Prause" Shareholder Class Action
TIGER BRANDS: Listeriosis Outbreak Class Action Pending
TRANSNATIONAL FOODS: Court Narrows Claims in "Lejbman"
TRIANGLE CAPITAL: Wolf Haldenstein to Lead in Securities Suit
UBER TECH: "Webber" Suit over Data Security Breach Consolidated

UNITED STATES: Travel Ban Ruined Lives, Class Action Claims
VHS OF ILLINOIS: Marker et al Sue over Sensitive Personal Info
VSE CORPORATION: "Tefteller" Suit Seeks Overtime Pay under FLSA
WH ADMINISTRATORS: Court Denies Arbitration of ERISA Class Claims
XCERRA CORP: "Stallings" Suit Dismissed

XCERRA CORP: "Berg" Suit Dismissed
XCERRA CORP: "Khan" Class Action Dismissed
YALE UNIVERSITY: Class Action Over Retirement Plan Fees Okayed

* California Becomes Hub for Litigation Over Failed IPOs
* Confusing New Laws to Fuel Growth of Employment Law Practices
* EU to Propose Giving Consumer Groups Right to Seek Compensation
* Lawyer Expects Litigation Against Promoters of ICOs


                         Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Carbide Has 15,427 PI Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Carbide Has $1.4BB Liability at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NewMarket Corp. Has $8.25MM Litigation Reserve
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 193 Talcum Suits vs. Colgate-Palmolive Pending
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Dismissed "Johnson" Asbestos PI Suit

ASBESTOS UPDATE: PI Claims vs. MetLife Dropped in "Airey"
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Utica Must Disclose Docs on Burnham Deal
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Consolidated Edison Leave to Appeal Withdrawn
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Clarks Not Estopped for Not Disclosing Diagnosis
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Denial to Exclude Schonfeld Testimony Reversed

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crane's Bid for Summary Ruling in "Chesher" OK'd
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Syngenta, INA Dispute Sent to Arbitration
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rule 2019 Exhibits Access Decision Affirmed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 9th Cir. Affirms Denial of Crane's Judgment Bid
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Reargument on Bid to Appeal "Warren" Denied

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Attempt to Appeal "North" PI Suit Denied
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 1 in 4 Construction Workers Exposed to Asbestos
ASBESTOS UPDATE: J&J Loses 1st Asbestos Talcum Powder Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: City Can't Recoup $1.4MM Asbestos Defense Costs
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Widow Says Railway Co. Failed to Warn Risks

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exposure Hidden Risk for Asia's Budget Tourist
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Council Asked to Scrub Asbestos Walls
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Uninformed Workers Face Mesothelioma Risks
ASBESTOS UPDATE: School Battling Asbestos Issues to Reopen
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crane Co., Others Named in "Scudder" Suit

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Claire's Accessories Kit Banned in UK
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Family Battles Home Asbestos Contamination
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Auditorium Closes After Asbestos Testing
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Violation of Ark. Asbestos Regulation Addressed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cherokee Council OKs Asbestos Removal Funding

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Firm Prosecuted for Forging Health Docs
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Closes Fishing Spot in Bluff
ASBESTOS UPDATE: $200K for Old Elementary School Asbestos Removal
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Man Dies After 50 Years From Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Unresolved Asbestos Issue Raised on Debate

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Oil Refinery Worker Dies From Asbestos Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 200+ Asbestos Hotspots on Alness Academy
ASBESTOS UPDATE: University Criticized for Poor Asbestos Handling
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hotel Owner Likely Died from Asbestos Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Couple Says Exposure Caused Husband's Cancer

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Tort Reform Urged After $60MM Asbestos Deal
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Jury Awards $60MM Asbestos Verdict
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Fraud Leads to GBP25000 Bill
ASBESTOS UPDATE: High Ct. Urged to Expedite Asbestos Pay
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Authorities Urged to Remove Asbestos From School

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Linked with Laryngeal Cancer
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Latest Push for Asbestos Tort Reform in Missouri
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ct. Denies Personal Jurisdiction in Suit



                            *********


24 HOUR: "Valdez" Suit Seeks Overtime Wages under FLSA
------------------------------------------------------
HECTOR VALDEZ, and all others similarly situated under 29 U.S.C.
216(b), the Plaintiff, v. 24 HOUR FITNESS, J&D SERVICE SOLUTIONS
CORP, JOSE RODRIGUEZ a/k/a JOE RODRIGUEZ, DAYLE RODRIGUEZ, a/k/a
DAYLE ENRIQUEZ, VANNEZZA CASTORENA, and ANA MARIA SEPULVEDA, the
Defendants, Case No. 3:18-cv-00981-D (N.D. Tex., April 19, 2018),
seeks to recover overtime wages as required by the Fair Labor
Standards Act.

According to the complaint, the Defendants have employed several
other similarly situated employees like the Plaintiff who have
not been paid overtime and/or minimum wages for work performed in
excess of 40 hours weekly from the filing of this complaint back
at least three years. From on or about December 17, 2015 through
on or about October 11, 2017 -- except for the period from on or
about July 25, 2017 through on or about August 15, 2017 during
which Plaintiff was unable to work due to injury -- the Plaintiff
was paid an average straight time rate of $9.25 per hour and
worked an average of 71 hours per week, but was not paid the
extra halftime overtime rate for hours worked above 40 hours in a
week as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Plaintiff claims the unpaid half-time overtime rate for each
overtime hour worked above 40 in a workweek. The Defendants
willfully and intentionally refused to pay Plaintiff's overtime
wages as required by the FLSA as Defendants knew of the FLSA's
overtime requirements and recklessly failed to investigate
whether Defendants' payroll practices were in accordance with the
FLSA.

24 Hour Fitness is the world's largest privately owned and
operated fitness center chain, and third in number of clubs
behind Gold's Gym and Fitness First of the UK.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Robert Manteuffel, Esq.
          J.H. Zidell, Esq.
          Joshua A. Petersen, Esq.
          J.H. ZIDELL, P.C.
          6310 LBJ Freeway, Ste. 112
          Dallas, TX 75240
          Telephone: (972) 233 2264
          Facsimile: (972) 386 7610
          E-mail: zabogado@aol.com
                  rlmanteuffel@sbcglobal.net
                  josh.a.petersen@gmail.com


A&B INSURANCE: Bid for Prelim Approval of "Youngman" Deal Moot
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Middle District of
Florida, Orlando Division, denied as moot Plaintiff's Unopposed
Renewed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action
Settlement as moot in the case captioned JIM YOUNGMAN and ROBERT
ALLEN, Plaintiffs, v. A&B INSURANCE AND FINANCIAL, INC.,
Defendant, Case No. 6:16-cv-1478-Orl-41GJK (M.D. Fla.).

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/ya7xa42m from Leagle.com.

Jim Youngman, individually and on behalf of a class of all
persons and entities similarly situated, Plaintiff, represented
by Anthony Paronich -- anthony@broderick-law.com -- Broderick &
Paronich, P.C., pro hac vice, Edward A. Broderick --
ted@broderick-law.com -- Broderick & Paronich, P.C., pro hac
vice, Matthew P. McCue -- mmccue@massattorneys.net- Law Office of
Matthew P. McCue, pro hac vice & Phillip T. Howard, Howard &
Associates, PA.

Robert Allen, Plaintiff, represented by Edward A. Broderick,
Broderick & Paronich, P.C., pro hac vice, Matthew P. McCue, Law
Office of Matthew P. McCue, pro hac vice, Phillip T. Howard,
Howard & Associates, PA & Anthony Paronich, Broderick & Paronich,
P.C.

A&B Insurance and Financial, Inc., Defendant, represented by
Christina Marie Kennedy -- ckennedy@foley.com -- Foley & Lardner,
LLP & Michael D. Leffel -- mleffel@foley.com -- Foley & Lardner,
LLP, pro hac vice.


ABERCROMBIE & FITCH: Class Suits Granted Preliminary Approval
-------------------------------------------------------------
Abercrombie & Fitch Co. said in its Form 10-K report filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for
the fiscal year ended February 3, 2018, that the U.S. District
Court of Ohio granted preliminary approval of the proposed
settlement of a class action lawsuit.

The Company is a defendant in two separate class action lawsuits
filed by former associates of the Company who are represented by
the same counsel.

The first lawsuit, filed in 2013, alleges failure to indemnify
business expenses and a series of derivative claims for compelled
patronization, inaccurate wage statements, waiting time
penalties, minimum wage violations and unfair competition under
California state law on behalf of all non-exempt hourly
associates at Abercrombie & Fitch, abercrombie kids, Hollister
and Gilly Hicks stores in California. Four subclasses of
associates have since been certified, and was before a U.S.
District Court of California.

The second lawsuit, filed in 2015, alleges that associates were
required to purchase uniforms without reimbursement in violation
of federal law, and laws of the states of New York, Florida and
Massachusetts, as well as derivative putative state law claims
and seeks to pursue such claims on a class and collective basis.
On December 12, 2017, a U.S. District Court of California granted
the parties' stipulation to transfer the first lawsuit pending
and combine it with the second lawsuit then pending before a U.S.
District Court of Ohio.

Both matters were mediated and the parties signed a $25.0 million
claims-made settlement agreement which, subject to final approval
by a U.S. District Court of Ohio, is intended to result in a full
and final settlement of all claims in both lawsuits on a class-
wide basis.  On February 16, 2018, a U.S. District Court of Ohio
granted preliminary approval of the proposed settlement and
ordered that notice of the proposed settlement be given to the
absent members of the settlement class. The ultimate settlement
amount is dependent upon the actual claims made by members of the
class and is also subject to final approval by the U.S. District
Court of Ohio. A final approval hearing is set to occur in the
second quarter of Fiscal 2018.

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. ("A&F"), a company incorporated in
Delaware in 1996, through its subsidiaries, is a global, multi-
brand specialty retailer, which primarily sells its products
through its wholly-owned store and direct-to-consumer channels,
as well as through various third-party wholesale, franchise and
licensing arrangements. The Company offers a broad assortment of
apparel, personal care products and accessories for men, women
and kids under the Hollister, Abercrombie & Fitch and abercrombie
kids brands. The company is based in New Albany, Ohio.


AUDIOEYE INC: Proposed Modified Plan of Allocation Approved
-----------------------------------------------------------
AudioEye, Inc. said in its Form 10-K report filed with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, that the Court has
authorized distribution of the Net Settlement Fund and to
approved the proposed modified plan of allocation in the case
captioned as, In re AudioEye, Inc. Sec. Litigation.

In April 2015, two shareholder class action lawsuits were filed
against the Company and former officers Nathaniel Bradley and
Edward O'Donnell in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Arizona. The plaintiffs alleged various causes of action against
the defendants arising from the company's announcement that its
previously issued financial results for the first three quarters
of 2014 and the guidance for the fourth quarter of 2014 and the
full year of 2014 could no longer be relied upon.

The complaints sought among other relief, compensatory damages
and plaintiff's counsel's fees and experts' fees. The Court
appointed a lead plaintiff and lead counsel, and consolidated the
actions. A consolidated amended complaint was filed under the
caption In re AudioEye, Inc. Sec. Litigation. The Company and
individual defendants filed a motion to dismiss.

On July 25, 2016, in connection with a voluntary mediation, the
parties reached an agreement in principle to settle the
consolidated actions. The terms of the agreement include a
settlement payment to the class of $1,525,000 from the Company's
insurer, with no admission of liability by any party. In 2015,
the Company paid a deductible under its D&O insurance policy in
the amount of $100,000 regarding this matter. On May 8, 2017, the
Court approved the settlement in all respects, and dismissed the
case with prejudice.

On January 23, 2017, the court granted preliminary approval of
the settlement pursuant to the terms set forth in the Stipulation
of Settlement, provisionally certified a settlement class of
shareholders, and directed plaintiffs' counsel to provide notice
to that class. The Court held a Settlement Hearing May 8, 2017 to
consider any objections to the Settlement that might be raised by
settlement class members, to consider plaintiffs' counsel's
application for an award of fees and costs, and to determine
whether the Order and Final Judgment as provided under the
Stipulation of Settlement should be entered, dismissing the case
with prejudice.

AudioEye said in its Form 10-Q Report for the quarterly period
ended September 30, 2017, that on May 8, 2017, the Court approved
the settlement in all respects, and dismissed the case with
prejudice.

In its Form 10-K Report, the Company said that on February 9,
2018, the Court authorized distribution of the Net Settlement
Fund and to approved the proposed modified plan of allocation.

AudioEye, Inc. provides Web accessibility solutions to Internet,
print, broadcast, and other media to people regardless of their
network connection, device, location, or disabilities in the
United States. The company is based in Tuczon, Arizona.


ANTERO RESOURCES: Court Conditionally Certifies "Stallings" Class
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Colorado
granted in part and denied in part Plaintiffs' Motion for
Conditional Certification in the case captioned BRETT STALLINGS,
individually and as on behalf of all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff, v. ANTERO RESOURCES CORP., Defendant, Civil Action No.
1:17-cv-01939-RM-NYW (D. Colo.).

The Plaintiff initiated the matter, asserting violations of
section 7 of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) against Antero.
The Plaintiff alleges that the Defendant improperly classifies
Solids Control Operator (SCOs) and Pipeline Inspector (PIs) as
independent contractors to avoid paying such workers overtime
compensation for hours worked in excess of forty hours per week.

The Plaintiff brings this claim on behalf of himself and all
similarly situated SCOs and PIs, and seeks overtime wages under
the FLSA in an amount equal to 1.5 times their rate of pay, plus
liquidated damages, attorney's fees, and costs.

Mr. Stallings requests conditional certification for the
following potential opt-in plaintiffs:

     All current and former Solids Control Operators and Pipeline
Inspectors employed by, or working on behalf of, Antero Resources
Corp., who were classified as independent contractors and paid a
day-rate, at any time from [the date three years back from the
date that any Court-approved Notice and Consent form is
distributed to potential class members, to present.

Antero opposes conditional certification for several reasons.

Are There Substantial Allegations to Support a Finding that
Plaintiff is Similarly Situated to Potential Opt-In Plaintiffs?

In review of both the Complaint and Declaration, Mr. Stallings's
knowledge is limited to his personal observations and his
discussions with co-workers at the location(s) he actually
worked. He makes no factual allegations that permit the court to
conclude that he can extend any of his assertions to any Antero
locations beyond those where he worked. There are no allegations
that Mr. Stallings knew of other SCOs and PIs that worked in
other Antero locations; that he visited or personally observed
any other locations; that he spoke to any SCOs or PIs who worked
at any other location; or that any of his co-workers had
previously or subsequently worked at other Antero locations and
informed him that the job duties or applicable pay policies were
substantially similar. Mr. Stallings does not point the court to
a job description or other documentation that reflects that there
is a standard set of duties, or a standard pay policy, for SCOs
and PIs working for Antero at any U.S. location.

The Complaint's general statements related to current and former
oilfield personnel, employed by, or working on behalf of, Antero
Resources Corp. are too vague and conclusory to support potential
opt-in plaintiffs beyond Mr. Stallings's specific locations of
employment. Despite the lenient standard at this stage, mere
conclusory declarations or those based on hearsay or speculation
are insufficient to grant conditional FLSA collective action
certification.

Willfulness

Defendant also argues that the court should limit any
certification to the two-year limitations period, as opposed to a
three-year limitations period for willful violations, because
Plaintiff has made no factual allegations from which willfulness
can be inferred by the Court.

In ruling that willfulness had been adequately pleaded, the Tenth
Circuit first observed that a statute of limitations defense is
an affirmative defense and, thus, the defendant bears the burden
at the motion to dismiss phase. Fernandez v. Clean House, LLC, F.
3d, 2018 WL 1123873 (10th Cir. Mar. 2, 2018). Further, the
Fernandez court held that dismissal of an allegation of
willfulness on a Rule 12(b)(6) motion is only appropriate when
all the elements of the affirmative defense appear plainly on the
face of the complaint itself.

Here, the Plaintiff alleges that Antero knowingly, willfully, or
in reckless disregard carried out an illegal pattern or practice
of failing to pay the Putative Class Members overtime
compensation. Antero's failure to pay overtime compensation to
these employees were neither reasonable, nor was the decision not
to pay overtime made in good faith.

In light of Fernandez, the court concludes that these allegations
are sufficient at this stage, and the proposed notice should
extend three, rather than two, years back.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/yak5e4w2 from Leagle.com.

Brett Stallings, Individually and on Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated, Plaintiff, represented by Andrew Wells Dunlap
-- adunlap@mybackwages.com -- Josephson Dunlap Law Firm, Lindsay
R. Itkin -- litkin@mybackwages.com -- Josephson Dunlap Law Firm,
Matthew Scott Parmet -- mparmet@brucknerburch.com -- Bruckner
Burch PLLC & Michael Andrew Josephson --
mjosephson@mybackwages.com -- Josephson Dunlap Law Firm.
Antero Resources Corp., Defendant, represented by Edwin Packard
Aro -- ed.aro@apks.com -- Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP &
Vanessa M. Griffith -- vgriffith@velaw.com -- Vinson & Elkins,
LLP.


ANTHEM INC: Court Dismisses "Resse" TCPA Suit
---------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Louisiana granted Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the case
captioned RENEE REESE, ON BEHALF OF HERSELF AND OTHER PERSONS
SIMILARLY SITUATED, v. ANTHEM, INC., ET AL. SECTION L (4), Civil
Action No. 17-07940 (E.D. La.).

The Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Anthem, Inc., Anthem
Foundation, and the American Heart Association (AHA) violated the
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) when they sent text
messages to Plaintiff and other consumers nationwide.

In this case, the Plaintiff provided her cellular number to AHA a
nonprofit organization when she attended a CPR training event.
The Plaintiff concedes that she submitted her phone number to AHA
to receive monthly CPR reminders, healthy messaging information,
and questions from AHA. Therefore, because the Plaintiff
voluntarily opted for this information, she has provided prior
express consent to AHA. Despite this acknowledgment, the
Plaintiff's main contention is that she never consented to
receiving text messages from Anthem Foundation and by the
Plaintiff's logic and extension, Anthem Inc.

However, although the text messages reference Anthem Foundation,
this is irrelevant because the sender was, in fact, AHA.  The
Plaintiff has not cited any persuasive cases that says a
nonprofit's association with a donor or another charitable
entity, Anthem Foundation gives rise to a TCPA claim when she
voluntarily sought to receive certain communications and
information.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order and
Reasoms is available at https://tinyurl.com/ycwmj52r from
Leagle.com.

Renee Reese, on behalf of herself and other persons similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by Roberto L. Costales --
costaleslawoffice@gmail.com -- Costales Law Office, Emily
Westermeier -- emily.costaleslawoffice@gmail.com -- Costales Law
Office, Jonathan Mille Kirkland, Beaumont Costales LLC & William
Henry Beaumont, William H. Beaumont Law, 3801 Canal St Ste 207,
New Orleans, LA, 70119-6065

Anthem, Inc., American Heart Association, Inc. & Anthem
Foundation, Inc., incorrectly named as Anthem Blue Cross and Blue
Shield Foundation, L.L.C., Defendants, represented by Covert J.
Geary -- cgeary@joneswalker.com -- Jones Walker, Michael C. Drew
-- mdrew@joneswalker.com -- Jones Walker & Samantha M. Schott-
sschott@joneswalker.com -- Jones Walker.


AVIS BUDGET: "Wan" Suit Moved to Eastern District of New York
-------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Kenneth Wan, individually and on
behalf of all other persons similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v.
Avis Budget Car Rental, LLC and Budget Rent A Car System, Inc.
and/or other entities affiliated with or controlled by, Avis
Budget Car Rental, LLC; Budget Rent A Car System, Inc., the
Defendants, Case No. 603714/2018, was removed from the Supreme
Court of the State of NY, County of Nassau, to the U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of New York (Central Islip) on
April 19, 2018. The District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 2:18-
cv-02320-ADS-AKT to the proceeding. The case is assigned to the
Hon. Judge Arthur D. Spatt.

Avis Budget Car Rental, LLC operates and franchises vehicle
rental services under the names Avis and Budget. The company
offers domestic car rental services providing car rentals and
ancillary products and services to business and leisure travelers
in the United States.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jeffrey Kevin Brown, Esq.
          Michael Alexander Tompkins, Esq.
          LEEDS BROWN LAW, P.C.
          One Old Country Road, Suite 347
          Carle Place, NY 11514
          Telephone: (516) 873 9550
          Facsimile: (516) 747 5024
          E-mail: jbrown@leedsbrownlaw.com
                  mtompkins@leedsbrownlaw.com

Attorneys for Defendants:

          Jay P. Warren, Esq.
          Courtney Janae Peterson, Esq.
          BRYAN CAVE LLP
          1290 Avenue of the Americas
          New York, NY 10104
          Telephone: (212) 541 2110
          Facsimile: (212) 541 1466
          E-mail: jpwarren@bryancave.com
                  courtney.peterson@bryancave.com


BEST BUY: Bid for Leave to Amend Class Complaint Underway
---------------------------------------------------------
Best Buy Co., Inc. said in its Form 10-K report filed with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, that the motion for leave to
file a second amended class action complaint, in the case IBEW
Local 98 Pension Fund v. Best Buy Co., Inc., et al., is still
pending.

In February 2011, a purported class action lawsuit captioned,
IBEW Local 98 Pension Fund, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated v. Best Buy Co., Inc., et al., was
filed against the company and certain of its executive officers
in the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota.

This federal court action alleges, among other things, that the
company and the officers named in the complaint violated Sections
10(b) and 20A of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 under the
Exchange Act in connection with press releases and other
statements relating to the company's fiscal 2011 earnings
guidance that had been made available to the public.

Additionally, in March 2011, a similar purported class action was
filed by a single shareholder, Rene LeBlanc, against the company
and certain of its executive officers in the same court. In July
2011, after consolidation of the IBEW Local 98 Pension Fund and
Rene LeBlanc actions, a consolidated complaint captioned, IBEW
Local 98 Pension Fund v. Best Buy Co., Inc., et al., was filed
and served.

The company filed a motion to dismiss the consolidated complaint
in September 2011, and in March 2012, subsequent to the end of
fiscal 2012, the court issued a decision dismissing the action
with prejudice. In April 2012, the plaintiffs filed a motion to
alter or amend the court's decision on our motion to dismiss. In
October 2012, the court granted plaintiff's motion to alter or
amend the court's decision on the company's motion to dismiss in
part by vacating such decision and giving plaintiff leave to file
an amended complaint, which plaintiff did in October 2012.

The company filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint in
November 2012 and all responsive pleadings were filed in December
2012. A hearing was held on April 26, 2013. On August 5, 2013,
the court issued an order granting the company's motion to
dismiss in part and, contrary to its March 2012 order, denying
the motion to dismiss in part, holding that certain of the
statements alleged to have been made were not forward-looking
statements and therefore were not subject to the "safe-harbor"
provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act.

Plaintiffs moved to certify the purported class. By Order filed
August 6, 2014, the court certified a class of persons or
entities who acquired Best Buy common stock between 10:00 a.m.
EDT on September 14, 2010, and December 13, 2010, and who were
damaged by the alleged violations of law. The 8th Circuit Court
of Appeals granted the company's request for interlocutory
appeal. On April 12, 2016, the 8th Circuit held the trial court
misapplied the law and reversed the class certification order.

IBEW petitioned the 8th Circuit for a rehearing en banc, which
was denied on June 1, 2016. In October 2016, IBEW advised the
trial court it will not seek review by the Supreme Court. On June
23, 2017, the trial court denied plaintiff's request to file a
new Motion for Class Certification. On October 30, 2017,
plaintiffs filed with the trial court a motion for leave to file
a second amended class action complaint which Best Buy opposed in
a filing on November 6, 2017. That motion is pending.

Best Buy said "We continue to believe that the remaining
individual plaintiff's allegations are without merit and intend
to vigorously defend our company in this matter."

Best Buy Co., Inc. operates as a retailer of technology products,
services, and solutions in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.
The company operates through two reportable segments, Domestic
and International. The company is based in Richfield, Minnesota.


BOCAS HOUSE: Alvarado Seeks Minimum Wages & Tips under FLSA
-----------------------------------------------------------
DOUGLAS J. ALVARADO, and other similarly situated non-exempt
employees, the Plaintiff, v. BOCAS HOUSE CORAL GABLES, LLC,
Florida Limited Liability Company and MAURICIO MANTOVANI,
Individually, the Defendant, Case No. 70448161 (Fla. Cir. Ct.,
Miami Dade Cty., April 9, 2018), seeks to recover unpaid minimum
wages and tips, and additional equal amount as liquidated
damages, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs pursuant to the
Fair Labor Standards Act and the Florida Minimum Wage Act.

According to the complaint, the Plaintiff and Defendants were
engaged in an implied agreement whereby the Plaintiff would be
employed by Defendants and that the Plaintiff would be properly
paid as provided for by, and not in violation of the laws of the
United States and the State of Florida, During the relevant time
period of August 2017 to on or about April 2, 2018, the Plaintiff
performed approximately 32 hours per week; which were compensated
at approximately $5.50 plus tips. The Defendants utilized an
improper tip pool where tips earned by servers, and other "front
of the house" employees, were illegally shared with Managers and
the staff that prepares desserts with worked in the "back of the
house" and did not regularly and customarily share in tips as
envisioned by the FLSA. As such, the Plaintiff is owed proper
minimum wages and his tips so illegally shared. In addition, the
Plaintiff worked approximately three hours off the clock weekly;
cleaning dishes and utensils and was not properly compensated for
those hours.

Bocas House, a Venezuelan-Peruvian restaurant based in Doral. The
concept, known for large portions and indulgent milkshakes, is
part of Bocas Group Corporation, led by Cesar Gonzalez and Levin
De Grazia.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jason s. Remer, Esq.
          Brody M. Shulman, Esq.
          REMER & GEORGES-PIERRE, PLLC
          44 West Flagler Street, Suite 2200
          Miami, FL 33130
          Telephone: (305) 416 5000
          Facsimile: {305) 416 5005
          E-mail: jremet@rgpattorney.com


BRE SELECT: Continues to Defend "Wilchfort" Class Action Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
BRE Select Hotels Corp said in its Form 10-K report filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for
the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, that the company
continues to defend itself in a putative class action suit
captioned as, Wilchfort v. Knight, et al.

The Company, as the successor to Apple Six, is subject to claims
for alleged acts of Apple Six that occurred prior to the Merger.

On February 24, 2017, a putative class action, captioned
Wilchfort v. Knight, et al., Civil Action No. 17-cv-01046
(E.D.N.Y.), was filed in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of New York against BRE Select Hotels Corp, as
successor-in-interest to Apple REIT Six, Inc., Apple Hospitality
REIT, Inc., Apple REIT Seven, Inc., Apple REIT Eight, Inc.
(together with Apple REIT Six, Inc. and Apple REIT Seven, Inc.,
the "Apple REITs"), certain of the Apple REITs' directors,
officers and advisors, and Apple Fund Management, LLC.

Plaintiff seeks to represent a class of all persons and entities
who elected to participate in Apple REITs' Dividend Reinvestment
Plans ("DRIPs") between July 17, 2007 and the later of the
termination and/or suspension of the respective DRIPs or February
12, 2014. The complaint alleges, among other things, that the
prices at which Plaintiff and the purported class members
purchased additional shares through the DRIPs were artificially
inflated and not indicative of the true value of units in the
Apple REITs.

Plaintiff asserts claims for breach of contract, tortious
interference with contract and tortious interference with
business expectancy and breach of implied duty of good faith and
fair dealing and seeks, among other things, damages and other
costs and expenses.

BRE Select Hotels said in its Form 10-Q Report for the quarterly
period ended September 30, 2017, that the plaintiff filed a
response in opposition to the Company's motion to dismiss on July
18, 2017. The response, among other things, voluntarily dismisses
the tortious interference with contract and tortious interference
with business expectancy claims and no longer names the Apple
REITs' directors, officers and advisors, and Apple Fund
Management, LLC, as defendants.

The Company believes that any claims against it are without
merit, and it intends to defend against them vigorously. At this
time, the Company cannot reasonably predict the outcome of this
proceeding or provide a reasonable estimate of the possible loss
or range of loss due to this proceeding.

BRE Select Hotels Corp is a real estate investment trust ("REIT")
focused on the ownership of upscale, extended-stay and select
service hotels. The company's hotels operate under the Homewood
Suites by Hilton, Hilton Garden Inn, Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn &
Suites, Courtyard by Marriott, Fairfield Inn by Marriott,
Residence Inn by Marriott, SpringHill Suites by Marriott,
TownePlace Suites by Marriott and Marriott brands. The company is
based in New York.


BRIDGEPOINT EDUCATION: Court Dismisses "Zamir" Securities Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
California granted Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Plaintiffs'
Third Amended Class Action Complaint in the case captioned NELDA
ZAMIR, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated, Plaintiff, v. BRIDGEPOINT EDUCATION, INC., et al.,
Defendants, Case No. 15-CV-408 JLS (DHB)(S.D. Cal.).

Plaintiff Zamir filed an initial complaint alleging two causes of
action for violation of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and
Rule 10b-5 and violation of Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.

Bridgepoint disclosed that the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission was investigating its accounting practices, including
revenue recognition and receivables. The SEC also issued a
subpoena for the revised and restated time periods, and documents
and information. Via a Form 8-K filed with the SEC, Bridgepoint
announced that the Department of Education would commence a
review of Ashford's administration of federal student financial
aid programs for certain students identified in the 2009-2012
calendar year.

In this same Form 8-K, Bridgepoint also announced that the U.S.
Department of Justice was conducting an investigation concerning
allegations that the Company may have misstated Title IV refund
revenue or overstated revenue associated with private secondary
loan programs and thereby misrepresented its compliance with the
90/10 rule of the Higher Education Act.

Plaintiffs assert two causes of action: (1) violation of Section
10(b) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 against all Defendants,
and (2) violation of Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act against
Defendant Devine.

Whether Defendants' GAAP Violation Was Unreasonable

Whether Defendants Conducted a Revenue Collectability Assessment
Plaintiffs argue that Defendant Devine admitted to the SEC that
Bridgepoint made no revenue collectability assessment at the time
revenue was recorded.

Here, the Plaintiffs demonstrate that Bridgepoint's
collectability analysis violated GAAP, but the factual
allegations in the Third Amended Complaint are not as cogent and
at least as compelling as any opposing inference of non-
fraudulent intent. Instead, the more compelling inference from
the Plaintiffs' allegations is that the Defendants made a good
faith but mistaken attempt to account for students with and
without financial aid. Bridgepoint did so by using the 120-day
mark as a proxy for students with or without federal financial
aid. The Court finds that the Defendants' revenue collectability
assessment was not so unreasonable as required to support an
inference of scienter.

Whether Defendant Bridgepoint Violated Its Professed Accounting
Policies

The Court addresses the Plaintiffs' two contentions. First, the
Plaintiffs argue GAAP requires identifying the smallest group of
homogenous consumers and Defendants did not do this for students
with and without financial aid.  Second, the Plaintiffs allege it
was extremely unlikely Defendants were ignorant following the
2012

Here, the Plaintiffs point to Defendant Devine's statement made
during a May 6, 2013 earnings calls where he said: "The Court did
a deeper analysis. The issue that kind of caused the spike so to
speak is that, in our underlying data we use to build our models,
those models that certain credits applied to them from when a
student would leave the institution or receive a credit for
another reason. That created one version of kind of our aging
buckets, and then we made the decision that it may be more
appropriate if we kind of suppressed those credits and that
created another view of the aging buckets which we feel is more
appropriate."

The Court finds that Defendant Devine's statement is not a model
of clarity to assess whether Bridgepoint conclusively should or
should not have been on notice to change its policy to assess
collectability on a student-by-student basis. Indeed, the
Defendants had an historical 93% tuition collection rate in cash
each year since 2010. Then, the Defendants did a deeper analysis
and changed the way they analyzed students when they left an
institution.

There are no particularized allegations that the Defendants were
on notice of the specific problem of evaluating collectability on
a student-by-student basis.  The Plaintiffs' allegations
demonstrate the Defendant recognized issues and attempted to
correct them. Thus, the Plaintiffs have not established that
Bridgepoint's design of its accounts receivable system raises an
inference of scienter.

The Plaintiffs argues that Bridgepoint's policy was that each
student was responsible for tuition payment.

Whether Bridgepoint's Accounting Practices Allowed it to
Manipulate Its Revenue

The Plaintiffs allege that Bridgepoint's accounting methodology
had the benefit of meeting its revenue consensus in various
financial quarters. Bridgepoint disclosed that its revenue
recognition errors were quantitatively significant. In Fiscal
Year 2012, Bridgepoint missed its revenue consensus, but had
Bridgepoint assessed its revenue without error it would have
missed revenue estimates by $44 million more than double the
amount it actually missed consensus. Thus, it is plausible that
Bridgepoint derived tangible benefit from their erroneous
accounting method. Given the lack of any other factual
allegations demonstrating motive, the allegations here are not
overly compelling. Thus, the Court will consider this factor in
its holistic analysis.

Whether Bridgepoint's Reliance on Its Auditor Negates Scienter

The Defendants do not argue that their independent auditor gave
them a clean bill of health that might inoculate them against any
scienter allegation. The district court in Oklahoma Firefighters
Pension & Retirement System explained that, absent discovery,
there is no way to know what communications transpired between
the defendant and its independent auditor. 50 F. Supp. 3d at 1365
n. 183. Oklahoma Firefighters teaches that, absent discovery,
this Court would need to evaluate what an auditor was told and
what, if anything, was withheld from the auditor.

The Plaintiffs have not alleged facts to this end. Yet, the
Plaintiffs invite the Court to speculate as to what Bridgepoint's
independent auditor might have concluded if the auditor had all
the facts. The Court will not engage in unsupported conjecture;
the appropriate conclusions are that (1) the Defendants are not
suggesting an independent audit inoculates them and (2) the
Plaintiffs have not alleged an auditor counseled against the
Defendants' accounting practice. Neither conclusion alters the
Court's analysis: there is no support here for the scienter
inference and no support that the Defendants were absolved due to
an auditor.

Whether Bridgepoint Omitted Relevant Facts

Here, the Plaintiffs point to the Defendants' 2014 Restatement as
disclosing material information regarding Bridgepoint's
methodology that it previously did not disclose in its FY 2012
and FY 2013 Form 10-K's. This is not an accurate description of
the Defendants' disclosures. The 2014 Restatement did include new
descriptions about its accounting methodology, but the new
disclosure were prompted by the SEC's inquiries and implicitly
recognized that their previous methodology violated GAAP. The
Third Amended Complaint alleged that on May 12, 2014, Bridgepoint
admitted that it was evaluating whether to restate its financial
results due, in part, to the lack of student-by-student
reassessment of revenue. The Plaintiffs then allege that the
Defendant Devine explained during the May 12, 2014 earnings
conference call: "Under previous revenue recognition, revenues
recognized subsequent to a student losing financial aid
eligibility, and ultimately not collected, were included in our
bad debt expense. Going forward, our policy will exclude these
revenues and will result in a corresponding decrease in our bad
debt expense that will be realized over subsequent quarters."

Thus, the Defendants disclosed to the SEC its accounting method:
it stratified accounts receivable into inactive vs. active and
less than vs. greater than 120 days. In its June 3, 2014 letter
to the SEC, Bridgepoint admitted that historically, the Company
was not performing a reassessment of collectibility under such
circumstances such circumstances meant reassessing collectability
on a student-by-student basis. The Court finds the Defendants
were not hiding their questionable or tenuous accounting method,
but rather disclosed the erroneous method to the SEC and then
changed their assessment because it was in error.

Loss Causation

In addition to scienter, the Plaintiffs must also show loss
causation. The Court previously concluded that the Plaintiffs
could plausibly establish loss causation. The Defendants suggest
that the Plaintiffs' loss causation allegations are identical to
their Second Amended Complaint.

Thus, neither party takes up the loss causation argument except
that the Defendants request the Court incorporate its loss
causation argument by reference. The Court agrees that the
Plaintiffs' loss causation allegations are identical. Therefore,
the Court finds no reason to depart from its previous holding the
Plaintiffs' allegations could plausibly establish loss causation.
However, in light of the Court's scienter conclusion, this
finding does not alter the outcome of the Plaintiffs' first cause
of action.

The Court finds that the Plaintiffs have not established the
Defendants' acted with the requisite scienter. The Plaintiffs'
first cause of action cannot prevail without proving the scienter
element.

Therefore, the Court therefore grants the Defendants' Motion to
Dismiss, and dismisses the Plaintiffs' first cause of action.
This Order ends the litigation in this matter and the Clerk of
Court is directed to close the file.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/yddulfyq from Leagle.com.

Nelda Zamir, Individually and on behalf of all other similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by Casey Edwards Sadler --
csadler@glancylaw.com -- Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP, Laurence M.
Rosen -- lrosen@rosenlegal.com -- The Rosen Law Firm, P.A.,
Lionel Z. Glancy -- lglancy@glancylaw.com -- Glancy Prongay &
Murray LLP, Robert Vincent Prongay -- rprongay@glancylaw.com, -
Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP & Sara Fuks -- sfuks@rosenlegal.com -
- The Rosen Law Firm, pro hac vice.

Bridgepoint Education, Inc. & Daniel J. Devine, Defendants,
represented by Daniel John Tyukody, Jr. -- TyukodyD@gtlaw.com --
Greenberg Traurig, LLP.


CAL-MAINE FOODS: Pays $80.8 Million to Non-Class Plaintiffs
-----------------------------------------------------------
Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for the
quarterly period ended March 3, 2018, that the Company paid has
paid $80.8 million to the non-class plaintiffs.

On September 25, 2008, the Company was named as one of several
defendants in numerous antitrust cases involving the United
States shell egg industry. The cases were consolidated into In
re: Processed Egg Products Antitrust Litigation, No. 2:08-md-
02002-GP, in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania (the "District Court"), in three (3)
groups of cases - the "Direct Purchaser Putative Class Action",
the "Indirect Purchaser Putative Class Action" and the "Non-Class
Cases."

The Direct Purchaser Putative Class Action

The named plaintiffs in these cases alleged that they purchased
eggs or egg products directly from a defendant and sued on behalf
of themselves and a putative class of others who claimed to be
similarly situated. As previously reported, in November 2014, the
District Court approved the Company's settlement with the direct
purchaser plaintiff class and entered final judgment dismissing
with prejudice the class members' claims against the Company.

The Indirect Purchaser Putative Class Action

The named plaintiffs in these cases are individuals or companies
who allege that they purchased shell eggs indirectly from one or
more of the defendants - that is, they purchased from retailers
that had previously purchased from defendants or other parties -
and have sued on behalf of themselves and a putative class of
others who claim to be similarly situated.

The indirect purchaser plaintiffs filed two (2) motions for class
certification, one of which sought certification of 21 separate
classes seeking damages under the laws of 21 states and another
which sought certification of an injunctive-relief class under
federal law, and the District Court denied both of these motions.
After each ruling, the plaintiffs filed a petition with the
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, asking that
court to hear an immediate appeal of the District Court's refusal
to certify a class. The Third Circuit denied both petitions.

Therefore, there is no certified class in the indirect purchaser
putative class action case, although the plaintiffs could appeal
the denials of class certification after a trial on the merits.
At this time, all that remains for trial are the claims of the
individual named plaintiffs, who seek treble damages under the
statutes and common law of various states and injunctive relief
under the Sherman Act attacking certain features of the United
Egg Producers' (UEP) animal-welfare guidelines and program used
by the Company and many other egg producers.

Management believes that neither the aggregate treble damages nor
the injunctive relief sought by the individual plaintiffs in
these cases, even if awarded, would be material to the Company.
The District Court has not set a trial date for the indirect
purchaser case.

The Non-Class Cases

In the remaining cases, the named plaintiffs allege that they
purchased shell eggs and egg products directly from one or more
of the defendants but sue only for their own alleged damages and
not on behalf of a putative class. Effective January 30, 2018,
the Company entered into a settlement agreement resolving all
claims brought by the following non-class plaintiffs: The Kroger
Co.; Publix Super Markets, Inc.; SUPERVALU, Inc.; Safeway, Inc.;
Albertsons LLC; H.E. Butt Grocery Co.; The Great Atlantic &
Pacific Tea Company, Inc.; Walgreen Co.; Hy-Vee, Inc.; and Giant
Eagle, Inc. Pursuant to the agreement, the Company paid the non-
class plaintiffs $80.8 million on March 23, 2018.

The only non-class plaintiffs that are not included in the
settlement agreement are the following companies that sought
substantial damages allegedly arising from the purchase of egg
products (as opposed to shell eggs): Conopco, Inc., Kraft Food
Global, Inc., General Mills, Inc., Nestle USA, Inc., and The
Kellogg Company. The egg products plaintiffs sought treble
damages and injunctive relief under the Sherman Act attacking
certain features of the UEP animal-welfare guidelines and program
used by the Company and many other egg producers. On September 6,
2016, the District Court granted defendants' motion for summary
judgment and dismissed with prejudice all claims based on the
purchase of egg products. That ruling was appealed to the United
States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and on January 22,
2018, the Third Circuit reversed the District Court's grant of
summary judgment and remanded the case to the District Court.

Even though the appealing egg-products plaintiffs had asked the
Third Circuit to remand the case for trial, the Third Circuit
declined, instead remanding the case for further proceedings,
including the suggestion that the District Court determine
whether the egg-products plaintiffs had sufficient evidence of
causation and damages to submit the case to a jury. On March 5,
2018, defendants filed a motion in the District Court seeking
leave to file a motion for summary judgment in light of the
remand statements in the Third Circuit's opinion. Plaintiffs
opposed that motion, and on March 26, 2018, the defendants filed
a reply in support of the motion. The court has not issued a
ruling.

Allegations in Each Case

In all of the cases described, the plaintiffs allege that the
Company and certain other large domestic egg producers conspired
to reduce the domestic supply of eggs in a concerted effort to
raise the price of eggs to artificially high levels. In each
case, plaintiffs allege that all defendants agreed to reduce the
domestic supply of eggs by: (a) agreeing to limit production; (b)
manipulating egg exports; and (c) implementing industry-wide
animal welfare guidelines that reduced the number of hens and
eggs.

The Company intends to continue to defend the remaining cases as
vigorously as possible based on defenses which the Company
believes are meritorious and provable. While management believes
that the likelihood of a material adverse outcome in the overall
egg antitrust litigation has been significantly reduced as a
result of the settlements and rulings described above, there is
still a reasonable possibility of a material adverse outcome in
the remaining egg antitrust litigation. At the present time,
however, it is not possible to estimate the amount of monetary
exposure, if any, to the Company because of these cases.
Adjustments, if any, which might result from the resolution of
these remaining legal matters, have not been reflected in the
financial statements.

Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. produces, grades, packages, markets, and
distributes shell eggs. It offers specialty shell eggs, such as
nutritionally enhanced, cage free, organic, and brown eggs under
the Egg-Land's Best, Land O' Lakes, Farmhouse, and 4-Grain brand
names, as well as under private labels. The company is based in
Jackson, Mississippi.


CANADA: Spent $40MM on Legal Proceedings Involving Veterans
-----------------------------------------------------------
Elizabeth Thompson, writing for CBC News, reports that the
federal government has spent more than $38 million on legal
proceedings involving Canada's veterans over the past two years.

Nearly $1 million of that amount has been spent on legal fees for
two lawsuits launched in 2016 by former members of the military
who allege they were sexually assaulted or sexually harassed
while they were serving.

Another $1.3 million was spent on legal fees for 73 other cases
involving veterans.

Most of the spending was to resolve disputes over veterans'
benefits or pensions through the Veterans Review and Appeal
Board.  Operating that tribunal cost the government $18.4
million.  Another $17.9 million went to advocates who represent
veterans appealing decisions made by the Veterans Affairs
department, according to documents tabled in the House of
Commons.

'I was shocked'
Conservative MP Phil McColeman said he was surprised to discover
how much the government has been spending on legal proceedings
involving veterans.

"I was shocked.  I had no idea it would be that kind of number."

NDP MP Finn Donnelly said the government should be spending money
on helping veterans -- not fighting benefit and pension claims.

"Putting that almost $40 million towards veterans benefits would
go a long way to helping either lifetime benefits or any kind of
mental health issues or concerns that, obviously, our veterans
deal with day in and day out," he said.

During the last election, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promised
that a Liberal government would do a better job of caring for
veterans and pledged to "ensure that no veteran has to fight the
government for the support and compensation they have earned."

Some veterans feel that the Trudeau government's actions haven't
matched its campaign rhetoric.

Trudeau further raised tensions with the veterans community in
February when he told a town hall meeting in Edmonton that his
government couldn't afford to settle with some of them.

"Why are we fighting certain veterans groups in court? Because
they're asking for more than we are able to give right now," he
said.

The federal government's highest legal tab over the past couple
of years has been for the Heyder and Beattie class action
lawsuits launched in 2016.

The Heyder case was filed on behalf of all current and former
female members of the armed forces who have been sexually
assaulted or sexually harassed.  The Beattie case covers current
and former male members of the forces who experienced sexual
assault or sexual harassment.

Together, the lawsuits are asking for a billion dollars in
compensation.

As of February, the federal Department of Justice has spent an
estimated $546,401 fighting the Heyder case and $417,171 on the
Beattie case.

The government's initial strategy was to aggressively challenge
the lawsuits.  But in late February, the government shifted its
approach and began talks to negotiate a settlement.

"We look forward to commencing these discussions to bring
closure, healing and acknowledgement to the victims and survivors
of sexual assault, racism, harassment and discrimination,"
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said in a statement.

Negotiating is cheaper, says lawyer
Jonathan Ptak, a lawyer working on the legal team representing
veterans in both cases, said the government could have saved a
lot of money if it had agreed from the outset to negotiate a
settlement.

"It's unfortunate that the government elected to spend that
amount of money and time in defending the action and in bringing
the motion to strike the action, which they have now agreed to
drop, before agreeing to explore a negotiated resolution with
us," he said.

"We're now going down that road and we're looking forward to
working cooperatively with the federal government to determine if
a resolution can be reached in this case, so we can avoid further
litigation."

If the two sides can't reach a settlement, the Heyder and Beattie
cases could together cost the federal government millions of
dollars in legal fees, said Mr. Ptak.

In Scott vs. the Attorney General of Canada, also known as the
Equitas case, a group of disabled veterans launched a landmark
class action challenge of the former Conservative government's
decision to overhaul the compensation program for soldiers
injured in the line of duty.

The veterans won a victory in 2014 when the B.C. Supreme Court
ruled that the case had enough merit to proceed to trial, but
then they lost at the B.C. Court of Appeal in December 2017.
They are now seeking leave to appeal that ruling to the Supreme
Court.

The government says Equitas has cost it $235,496 in legal fees
since 2016.  Don Sorochan, lawyer for the veterans, wonders how
Department of Justice lawyers managed to spend that much, given
that both sides were waiting for the B.C Court of Appeal to rule
for much of that time.

Mr. Sorochan said he is more concerned by the $17.9 million the
government spent on advocates to represent veterans appealing
decisions about their benefits because the Department of Veterans
Affairs has too much of a tendency to deny claims.

"They are supposed to go to bat for the people who want a pension
and they haven't been."

While the government announced changes in December to once again
give veterans the option of a pension, it has not tried to reach
an out-of-court settlement in the Equitas case.

Toth vs. Her Majesty the Queen, a class action which centres on
clawbacks to veterans benefits, has cost the government $433,649
in legal fees to date.  The case affects more than 13,000 former
members of the armed forces.

The case currently is at the discovery stage and lawyers for the
plaintiffs are talking with the Department of Justice in a bid to
resolve the lawsuit.

Most of the other cases involving veterans have cost the
government far less to fight.

For example, Arial vs. the Attorney General of Canada -- in which
the daughter of a Quebec veteran is fighting for retroactive
benefits her father was owed -- has cost the government $40,203
in legal fees.

The least expensive case -- Marshall Dmytryshyn vs. the Attorney
General of Canada and the Minister of Veterans Affairs -- has
cost the federal government just $82 since Jan. 1, 2016.

Marc Lescoutre, spokesman for Veterans Affairs, said the
department does not itself take veterans to court but recognizes
that veterans have a right to file suit.

"The Department of Justice Canada assesses and defends all cases
based on the merits of the claim and conducts all litigation in a
respectful manner as required by the rules of court," he said.

Veterans unhappy with decisions about their benefits already have
two levels of redress available to them through the Veterans
Review and Appeal Board, he added.

CBC News has asked Veterans Affairs for the numbers for spending
on legal proceedings during the previous two years under the
Conservative government, but has not yet received them.

Conservatives 'probably made mistakes'
Mr. McColeman said he had no idea how much the government spent
on legal fees when the Conservative Party was in power and said
his party "probably made some mistakes."  However, he said former
Veterans Affairs minister Erin O'Toole was trying to settle the
Equitas suit when the election began and he ran out of time.

Going forward, the Conservatives will treat veterans with the
respect they deserve, he said.

"We need to treat them with the utmost respect and when we run
into disagreements with them, we need to resolve them outside the
courtroom," he said.

"If we can settle with a convicted terrorist for $10.5 million
outside a courtroom, we should be able to settle with veterans on
their issues outside the courtroom." [GN]


CARGURUS INC: Wins Summary Judgment in "Serban" TCPA Suit
---------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois, Eastern Division, granted Defendant's Motion for
Summary Judgment in the case captioned IARINA SERBAN,
individually and on behalf of a class of similarly situated
individuals, Plaintiff, v. CARGURUS, INC., a Delaware
Corporation, Defendant, No. 16 C 2531 (N.D. Ill.).

After conducting discovery regarding CarGurus' text messaging
functionalities, CarGurus filed a motion for summary judgment.

Plaintiff Iarina Serban, on behalf of herself and all others
similarly situated, filed this class action lawsuit alleging that
Defendant CarGurus, Inc. (CarGurus) violated the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), by sending text messages to
Serban and other putative class members without their consent via
an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS).

CarGurus operates a car shopping service through its website,
cargurus.com. CarGurus designed its website and text messaging
software in-house. On the website, users can search listings of
vehicles for sale using specific parameters, including geographic
location, make, model, or year. When a user selects a specific
car listing, the listing page includes, among other things, a
Send to Phone link.

This link allows users to have information about that specific
car listing sent in a text message to a phone number the user
inputs. This Send to Phone process is the only way in which a
user may send information from a vehicle listing displayed on
cargurus.com through the website by text message to a user's
cellphone.
A cargurus.com website user registered an account under the name
Donnavee Ennis. CarGurus assigned Ennis a person info ID of
2800752. She listed 1-336-880-5055 as her telephone number.
Between August 29, 2014 and July 30, 2015, a person logged into
Ennis' account used the Send to Phone function on CarGurus'
website to send twelve text messages about cars listed on the
website. Eleven of these text messages were sent to Ennis' phone
number, 1-336-880-5055. On July 30, 2015, a person logged into
Ennis' account used the Send to Phone function to send a listing
to 1-336-880-5505, transposing two of the digits in Ennis' phone
number. This number belonged to Serban.

Serban received the following text message from CarGurus'
shortcode, 64142:

     CarGurus Request. 2006 Jaguar XK-Series XK8 Convertible-
$16,595 (Fair Deal): http://cargur.us/3K5kx

CarGurus argues that Serban cannot prevail on her claim because
the evidence demonstrates that CarGurus did not send the text
message at issue in this case. In order to be liable, CarGurus
must have made or initiated the text message.

In considering whether CarGurus made or initiated the text
message at issue here, the Court is guided by the FCC's
determinations in the 2015 Order with respect to three different
cell phone applications (apps).  In the case of YouMail, where
the app user determines whether auto-reply messages are sent in
response to a caller leaving a message for the app user, the FCC
found that the app user, not the app, was the sender of the
messages where the app exercises no discernible involvement in
deciding whether, when, or to whom an auto-reply is sent, or what
such an auto reply says, nor does it perform related functions,
such as pre-setting options in the app, that physically cause
auto-replies to be sent.
The FCC highlighted the fact that YouMail did not control the
recipients, timing, or content of the messages. Similarly, in the
case of the TextMe app, the app allowed users to send
invitational text messages to contacts by (1) tapping a button
that read invite your friends, (2) choosing to invite all friends
or individually selecting contacts, and (3) pressing another
button to send the text. Although TextMe controlled the content
of the text message, the FCC did not find this dispositive, and
instead considered the choices [the app user] makes in
determining whether to send an invitational message, to whom to
send an invitational message, and when that invitational message
is sent.

The FCC concluded that the app user's actions and choices
effectively program the cloud-based dialer to such an extent that
he or she is so involved in making the call as to be deemed the
initiator of the call.

Here, the user of the CarGurus website chooses to send a message
to a specific phone number using CarGurus' "Send to Phone"
function. In order to send the message, the user must navigate to
a vehicle listing page, click on the "Send to Phone" function,
enter a telephone number, and then click "Send." CarGurus'
software then initiates a process by which CarGurus, through
Twilio, texts information about that particular vehicle to the
cellular telephone number that the user inputted. The user
chooses which vehicle listing to send to the specified number;
and although CarGurus has prewritten the message, CarGurus merely
fills in the details about the specific vehicle upon selection.

The Court grants CarGurus' motion for summary judgment.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Opinion
and Order is available at https://tinyurl.com/y7dmowps from
Leagle.com.

Iarina Serban, individually and on behalf of a class of similarly
situated individuals, Plaintiff, represented by Evan M. Meyers --
emeyers@mcgpc.com -- McGuire Law, P.C. & Paul T. Geske, McGuire
Law, P.C., 55 W. Wacker Drive, 9th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601.

Cargurus, Inc., a Delaware corporation, Defendant, represented by
Charles L. Solomont -- carl.solomont@morganlewis.com -- Morgan,
Lewis & Bockius, LLP, pro hac vice, Emma D. Hall --
emma.hall@morganlewis.com -- Morgan, Lewis & Bockius Llp, pro hac
vice & Tinos Diamantatos -- tinos.diamantatos@morganlewis.com --
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.


CBOE EXCHANGE: Class Calls Out Key Volatility Index Manipulation
----------------------------------------------------------------
Barbara Leonard, writing for Courthouse News Service, reports
that not waiting for regulators to finish their investigation, an
investor brought a federal class action that accuses the Chicago
Board Options Exchange of allowing the so-called fear index to be
manipulated for years, costing billions of dollars in losses.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and Securities and
Exchange Commission opened investigations into such allegations
last month after a letter detailing widespread abuses was sent to
the institutions by an anonymous whistleblower.

Claiming to have "held senior positions at some of the largest
investment firms in the world,"  the whistleblower reported that
a flaw in the calculation of the CBOE's Volatility Index (VIX),
Wall Street's most widely followed gauge of future stock market
volatility, allows trading firms to manipulate the volatility
index by posting quotes for S&P 500 options without actually
trading.

The whistleblower further claimed that such manipulation was at
least partially responsible for the stock market's 10 percent
plunge in February.

While the agencies have made no announcement about their findings
so far, investor Jeffrey Tomasulo took matters into his own hands
March 20.

Represented by the firm Korein Tillery, Tomasula brought a
federal class action against the CBOE Exchange, CBOE Global
Markets, CBOE Futures Exchange, and unnamed financial
institutions that carried out the index manipulation.

"Essentially, the John Doe defendants use their CBOE-granted
privileged access to the S&P 500 options market and their high-
frequency trading algorithms to manipulate the VIX Index
calculation in concert, and, by doing so, generate massive
profits for their much larger positions in VIX Futures and VIX
Options," the complaint states.

Tomasulo says manipulation of the index has caused billions in
losses to average investors since 2009, and that CBOE actively
colluded in the scheme.

"CBOE intentionally designed its products, operated its
platforms, and formulated the method for calculating VIX in a
manner that could be collusively manipulated in a single, narrow
period of time with even low-premium trades by the John Doe
defendants, and especially by the John Doe defendants who were
given status as SPX Options market makers by CBOE," the complaint
states.

A representative for the CBOE meanwhile called Tomasulo's without
merit. "We vehemently deny the allegations in this complaint
leveled against Cboe, which are without merit," the
representative said in a statement. "As this is ongoing
litigation, we have no further comment at this time."

Tomasulo says CBOE's complicity is further shown by the fact that
it continues to allow trading of the VIX index, despite having
reason to suspect that big market players are abusing their
privileged access for their own advantage.

CBOE allegedly profits from the scheme because the ability of the
traders to manipulate the index has led to the proliferation of
VIX-tied financial instruments, increasing CBOE's revenues and
transaction fees.

There are at least 18 active financial products that track VIX
futures, with a combined market cap of $3.4 billion, according to
the complaint.

Alleging violation of the Sherman Act and the Commodity Exchange
Act, the class seeks and an injunction.

The class is represented by George Zelcs, Esq. --
gzelcs@koreintillery.com -- with Korein Tillery in Chicago.


CHURCHILL DOWNS: Class Action Remanded to Initial Trial Court
-------------------------------------------------------------
Flushdraw reports that the decision by PokerStars and a small
handful of social-gaming sites to stop all play-money services to
Washington State, in the wake of an adverse legal decision in a
case involving Churchill Downs' play-chip Big Fish Casino games,
might turn out to be a case of over-the-top self-exclusion once
the full take of the Big Fish case plays out.

It's one of those "there's more to the story" stories, where what
most news pieces have offered doesn't really offer an accurate
take on the situation.  A little less than two weeks ago, a
Washington appellate court remanded the case of Kater v.
Churchill Downs Inc. to its initial trial court, reversing that
lower court's dismissal of the case against Churchill Downs.

The reason for the remanding is summarized in this take from
Justia:

"The Ninth Circuit reversed the dismissal of a purported class
action against Churchill Downs alleging violations of
Washington's Recovery of Money Lost (RMLGA) at Gambling Act and
Consumer Protection Act, and unjust enrichment.  The panel held
that Big Fish Casino constituted illegal gambling under
Washington law because its virtual chips were a 'thing of value.'
The panel also held that plaintiff could recover the value of the
virtual chips lost under the RMLGA.  In this case, plaintiff
alleged that she lost over $1,000 worth of virtual chips while
playing Big Fish Casino, and she can recover the value of these
lost chips from Churchill Downs, as proprietor of Big Fish
Casino.  Therefore, the panel remanded for further proceedings."

So, play chips are a "thing of value," according to the appellate
court.  However -- and here's where most reports miss the mark --
there's more to the case than a free-play casino site selling
extra allotments of those chips for real money.

Let's add in a couple of excerpts from the ruling, and we can
then see that the plot thickens:

All online or virtual gambling is illegal in Washington.  Big
Fish Casino's virtual chips have no monetary value and could not
be exchanged for cash, but Big Fish Casino did contain a
mechanism for transferring chips between users, which could be
used to "cash out" winnings.

This "mechanism" thing turns out to be a big deal:

"Big Fish Casino's Terms of Use, which users must accept before
playing any games, state that virtual chips have no monetary
value and cannot be exchanged 'for cash or any other tangible
value.' But Big Fish Casino does contain a mechanism for
transferring chips between users, which can be utilized to 'cash
out' winnings: Once a user sells her chips on a secondary 'black
market' outside Big Fish Casino, she can use the app's internal
mechanism to transfer them to a purchaser.  Plaintiff-Appellant
Kater alleges that Churchill Downs profits from such transfers
because it charges a transaction fee, priced in virtual gold, for
all transfers.  In other words, Kater alleges that Churchill
Downs 'facilitates the process' of players cashing out their
winnings."

There's not just one special circumstance here, but two. First,
thousands of social-gaming sites charge a little bit of real
money for play-money chips, but Big Fish Casino appears to be
exceptional in allowing player-to-player transfers for unlimited
amounts of chips.  Other sites allow one player to "gift" chips
to friends, but almost always in predetermined, nominal amounts.

Second, most other sites don't charge a transaction fee for
allowing one player to transfer chips to another.  If the play-
money chips have a uniform utility (entertainment) value, then
there aren't many good reasons to allow players to transfer chips
to each other anyway.

It also undercuts the possible argument that Churchill Downs and
Big Fish Casino shouldn't be responsible for unofficial "black
market" deals taking place elsewhere on the Internet.  While
Churchill Downs almost certainly isn't involved in that, their
system for selling additional chips is ill-conceived, and thus
allows that black-market activity to take place.

The appellate court's ruling isn't that strong, meaning there are
other points involved where Churchill Downs could continue the
legal fight, but Big Fish Casino essentially created nominal
value in their play chips on their own.  But the value wasn't
created by Big Fish selling the chips themselves, since there's
no cashout option, and thus no direct consideration. Oddly, it's
the charging the transaction fee in connection with the player-
to-player transfers that's the rub . . . and the difference.

PokerStars does allow small play-chip transfers, but they are
capped at a nominal 1,000 chips and there's no transfer fee
involved.  That's a key difference, and it's an argument that
Stars may have jumped the gun when it left the state.  And it's
not the only difference: PokerStars doesn't even sell their play
chips for real money.

Ergo, PokerStars has no legal issues in Washington concerning
play-chip poker games.  A statement issued on April 4 by the
Washington State Gambling Commission indicates every bit as much:

On April 5, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued a published
decision in Kater v. Churchill Downs Inc. (Big Fish Casino).  The
Court found that Big Fish Casino's use of virtual casino chips
within its games constitutes gambling under the Washington State
Gambling Act, and remanded the case back to the U.S. District
Court to allow the civil lawsuit to proceed forward.

"Since the decision was published, we have become aware that some
online social gaming websites, including Poker Stars, have
proactively made the business decision to deny Washington
residents access to their sites.  We are not a party to the civil
court case, we did not testify in the case, and we did not order
these sites to discontinue free online play for Washington
residents.  Customers with concerns should contact these websites
directly."

As that statement notes, the case involving Big Fish Casino was a
private lawsuit, filed by a lawyer as a class action, likely in
the hopes of winning a healthy settlement at Churchill Downs'
expense. (One would expect Churchill Downs to continue fighting
this case, including filing its own appeal if necessary, but
that's a separate story.)

What the WSGC statement doesn't say is every bit as clear.
Regarding PokerStars and other sites that have left Washington
State, that state's officials don't seem to believe the play-
money games constitute illegal online gambling.

It will be interesting to see if Stars and a few of these other
sites reopen their virtual doors to Washington, once the dust
settles.  There doesn't seem to be a good reason why not. [GN]


CIGNA HEALTH: Court Narrows Claims in "Negron"
----------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
granted in part and denied in part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
the case captioned KIMBERLY NEGRON, individually and on behalf of
all others similarly situated DANIEL PERRY, individually and on
behalf of all others similarly situated COURTNEY GALLAGHER,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated NINA
CUROL, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, and ROGER CUROL, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. CIGNA HEALTH AND LIFE
INSURANCE and OPTUMRX, INC., Defendants, No. 3:16cv1702 (WWE),
consolidated with, No. 16cv1904 (WWE). (D. Conn.)

The Plaintiffs allege that defendants Cigna Health and Life
Insurance Company and OptumRx, Inc., have violated the Employee
Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Racketeer
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).  The Plaintiffs
allege that the defendants have artificially inflated
prescription drug costs in violation of the terms of their health
insurance policies.

Count One

In count one, the plaintiffs allege a claim under ERISA Section
502(a)(1)(B), asserting that they have been denied their rights
under the plans due to the defendants' Clawbacks from the
inflated prescription drug costs.

The Defendants respond that the plaintiffs were required to
exhaust their administrative remedies by appealing a denial of
benefits.

The Plaintiffs counter that there were no claim denials to
appeal; that imposing the exhaustion requirement would be
inequitable; and that pursuing administrative remedies would be
futile.

The Court finds that the Plaintiffs have alleged plausible claims
that they complied with the claim procedure relevant to
prescription drugs, received their benefit of the prescription
drugs, and that the pharmacy received the payment for the
charges. At a minimum, the plaintiffs have plausibly alleged that
they did not receive notice of an adverse benefits determination
that complies with the DOL regulation; that the defendants
administered the claims procedure in a way that inhibited or
hampered the plaintiffs' ability to initiate a claim procedure to
recover the inflated cost of the prescription drugs; and that the
defendants did not establish a reasonable claims and appeals
procedure in compliance with DOL regulations relevant to their
overcharge claims.  The Court finds that the Defendants have
failed to prove as a matter of law that the plaintiffs' claims
are barred due to failure to satisfy their administrative
remedies. The Court will allow the plaintiffs' claims to proceed
beyond the motion to dismiss.  The Courts' consideration of
defendants' affirmative defense of exhaustion is more appropriate
on summary judgment.

ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty: Counts Two, Three,
Four, Five, Six and Seven

The Defendants maintain that the plaintiffs' counts two through
seven which all assert ERISA breach of fiduciary duty should be
dismissed for failure to establish any plausible fiduciary duty
under ERISA. The Defendants maintain that neither Cigna nor
OptumRx were acting as fiduciaries when engaging in the plan
design decisions and business conduct alleged to be in violation
of ERISA.

The Plaintiffs argue that, pursuant to contracts between Cigna
and the employers, the defendants exercised discretionary
authority concerning computation of payments under the plans.

Discretionary Authority and Control as to Computation of Benefits

The complaint alleges that the defendants went beyond any
ministerial action by disregarding the plan terms to charge
excessive cost-sharing amounts.

The Defendants counter that the amount of cost-sharing for
prescription drugs was calculated by the terms of the plan.

In UnitedHealth Group, the Court found that the defendants did
not act as fiduciaries where the complaint alleged
'instantaneous' calculations, based on plan terms, and relay of
those calculation to pharmacies. 2017 WL 6512222, at *9.

UnitedHealth Group went on to explain: "Plaintiffs do not allege
facts demonstrating that Defendants had discretion over the
instantaneous calculations they were performing, except to the
extent that Plaintiffs allege Defendants did not apply the
correct calculations. But if calculations may be construed as an
exercise of discretion solely on the basis that the calculations
were incorrect under the terms of the plan, any mistake could
transform ministerial conduct into fiduciary act."

In the instant case, the plaintiffs do not allege that the
defendants made incorrect or mistaken calculations. Instead, they
have alleged that the defendants' exercise of discretion violated
the plan terms by instituting the charging of cost-sharing
payments greater than the amount paid to the pharmacy.

For purposes of ruling on this motion to dismiss, the Court finds
that the plaintiffs have asserted a plausible claim of fiduciary
status based on the defendants' exercise of discretion as to
computation of benefits that violated the plan terms.

Discretion as to Compensation

The Plaintiffs argue that the defendants are fiduciaries due to
their control over factors that determined their own
compensation. Specifically, the plaintiffs maintain that
defendants act as fiduciaries because (1) they determine the
amount of Spread and Clawbacks; and (2) the defendants were not
authorized to charge Spread and to take Clawbacks as additional
compensation.

At paragraphs 106-107, the complaint alleges that the defendants
have (1) discretion to determine the amount of Spread, and (2)
that by taking Clawbacks, they thereby exercised discretion in
setting their compensation. The Defendants counter that the
plaintiffs describe business operations that are not plan-
specific administrative functions. However, for purposes of
ruling on a motion to dismiss, the Court finds that the
plaintiffs have alleged that the defendants acted as fiduciaries
by dictating the amount of Spread to charge that would ultimately
represent a Clawback to compensate defendants. An entity's
exercise of authority that is not contemplated by the plan can
confer fiduciary status.

Accordingly, the Court finds that the plaintiffs have plausibly
alleged that the defendants exercised discretion over factors
that determined their compensation.

Negotiation of contracts

OptumRx argues that negotiation of drug prices, payment terms
with pharmacies, and communication of copayment information to
pharmacies constitute ministerial, non-fiduciary duties. See
Chicago District Council of Carpenter Welfare Fund v. Caremark,
Inc., 474 F.3d 463, 475 (7th Cir. 2007) (concluding that PBM was
not fiduciary for purposes of negotiating prices with drug
retailers).

The Plaintiffs respond that they do not assert that OptumRx was a
fiduciary when it negotiated drug prices to be paid to
pharmacies. As previously explained, the plaintiffs maintain that
defendants acted as fiduciaries by setting inflated cost-sharing
payments that violated the plan terms. The Court will leave the
plaintiffs to their proof.

The Court will deny the motion to dismiss for failure to state
plausible claims that the defendants exercised any fiduciary
duty.

Counts Two and Three

The Plaintiff alleges that the defendants engaged in prohibited
transactions based upon the Spread charged and Clawbacks taken in
connection with providing prescription drug coverage services to
the plans. The Defendants seek dismissal of counts two and three,
which assert violations of ERISA's prohibited transactions
enumerated in ERISA Section 406(a)(1) (C)-(D) and Section 406(b)
respectively. ERISA Section 406(a)(1)(C)-(D) prohibits a
fiduciary from knowingly causing a benefit plan to engage in a
transaction such as furnishing of goods, services or facilities
or a transfer of plan assets with a party in interest.

The Court finds that the plaintiffs have stated plausible
violations of ERISA Section 406(a) and (b).  The Court has found
that the defendants acted as fiduciaries with regard to the
implementation of the Spread and Clawbacks. With regard to count
two, the plaintiffs have plausibly alleged that the defendants
are fiduciaries engaged in furnishing prescription drug benefit
services that resulted in unauthorized overcharges to insureds
with Clawbacks to Cigna in violation of Section 406(a). As to
count three, the plaintiffs have plausibly alleged that the
defendants had an interest adverse to those of the participants
when they charged Spread and took Clawbacks in connection with
the prescription drug transactions in violation of Section
406(b)(1)-(3). The Court will leave the plaintiffs to their proof
on summary judgment.

Count Four

In count four, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants have
breached their fiduciary duties of loyalty and prudence by
setting undisclosed amounts of Spread and taking Clawbacks in
violation of ERISA Section 404(a)(1), which provides that a
fiduciary shall discharge his duties with respect to the plan
solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries and
(A) for the exclusive purpose of (i) providing benefits to
participants and beneficiaries; and (ii) defraying reasonable
expenses of administering the plan.

As previously stated, the complaint implicates plausible breach
of fiduciary duties, including the duty based on the fiduciary's
profiting from imposing Spread and taking  The Court finds that
the plaintiffs have stated plausible breach of fiduciary duty
claims in count four.

Count Five

In count five, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants violated
ERISA Section 702(b), which prohibits a group health plan or
insurer from discriminating against an individual by requiring
the individual (as a condition of enrollment or continued
enrollment under the plan) to pay a premium or contribution which
is greater than such premium or contribution for a similarly
situated individual enrolled in the plan on the basis of any
health status-related factor, including a medical condition.

At paragraph 86, the plaintiffs allege that Spread and Clawbacks
apply most frequently on widely-used low-cost drugs. At paragraph
209, the plaintiffs allege that plan participants who need
medications subject to the defendants' undisclosed excessive
Spreads were required to pay hidden additional premium or
contributions in the form of Clawbacks in order to use their
benefits as enrollees. Even construed most liberally, the Court
finds that the plaintiffs have not alleged that the cost-sharing
provisions are not applied uniformly to all participants or
beneficiaries who need widely-used or low-cost prescription
drugs, or that insureds with specific medical conditions have
been targeted. Accordingly, the Court will grant the motion to
dismiss as to count five.

Counts Six and Seven

In counts six and seven, the plaintiffs have alleged that the
defendants are liable as co-fiduciaries or non-fiduciaries based
on the knowing participation in breaches of fiduciary duties.
Consistent with the prior discussion relative to counts two,
three, and four, the Court finds that the plaintiffs have pleaded
plausible claims of liability in these counts based on the
defendants' alleged knowing participation in conduct by a
fiduciary that constituted a breach of fiduciary duty.

RICO Counts Eight, Nine, and Ten

Count Eight

In count eight, the plaintiffs allege that Cigna, as a person
under RICO, was associated with the RICO enterprises consisting
of Argus and OptumRx; that CIGNA participated in the conduct of
the Argus and OptumRx Enterprises through contracts and
agreements;
Cigna asserts that it does not conduct the affairs of OptumRx or
Argus; that alleged violations of the plan terms do not amount to
mail or wire fraud that could constitute predicate acts in
support of a RICO claim; and that plaintiffs have failed to meet
the threshold particularity standard of Rule 9(b) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure.

Count Nine Against OptumRx

In count nine, the plaintiffs allege that OptumRx, as a RICO
person, was associated with the OptumRx Pharmacy Enterprise,
which consists of OptumRx and pharmacies in OptumRx's pharmacy
networks or solely of such pharmacies; that OptumRx participated
in the conduct of the OptumRx Pharmacy Enterprise's affairs
through contracts and agreements to defraud plaintiffs by
overcharging for prescription drug costs; and that OptumRx
committed RICO predicate acts of racketeering activity in
furtherance of its Clawback scheme through mail and wire fraud.

OptumRx argues that the RICO claim fails as a matter of law
because the plaintiffs have failed to allege any predicate acts
of fraud in the conduct of the OptumRx Pharmacy Enterprise; that
the plaintiffs have failed to plead the predicate acts with
particularity; and that the plaintiffs have pleaded neither the
existence of the OptumRx Pharmacy Enterprise nor OptumRx's
control of that enterprise.

Count Ten: RICO Conspiracy

In count ten, the plaintiffs allege that the defendants conspired
with themselves or other unnamed health insurance companies and
PBMs to engage in the Clawback scheme in violation of RICO. The
Defendants argue that the plaintiffs have failed to establish
allegations of a plausible RICO conspiracy between Cigna and
OptumRx pursuant to 18 U.S.C. Section 1962(d), which provides
that it is unlawful for any person to conspire to violate any of
the provisions of 18 U.S.C. Section 1962(a), (b) or (c).

The Plaintiffs must establish (1) that the defendants agreed to
facilitate the operation of a RICO enterprise through a pattern
of racketeering activity; and (2) that the defendants agreed to
commit the requisite predicate acts in furtherance of a pattern
of racketeering activity in connection with the enterprise.

The Court finds that the plaintiffs have alleged a plausible
conspiracy between Cigna and OptumRx or other unnamed health
insurance companies and PBMs, to engage in the Clawback scheme in
violation of RICO. The Court will deny the motion to dismiss on
this count.

Accordingly, the Court grants and denies the motions to dismiss
in part. Counts five and nine are dismissed.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/yaytxsor from Leagle.com.

Kimberly A. Negron, Individually and on Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated, Plaintiff, represented by Brian C. Gudmundson
-- brian.gudmundson@zimmreed.com -- Zimmerman Reed, PLLP, pro hac
vice, Daniel K. Bryson -- dan@wbmllp.com -- Whitfield Bryson &
Mason, LLP, pro hac vice, Derek W. Loeser --
dloeser@KellerRohrback.com -- Keller, Rohrback, L.L.P., pro hac
vice, Gretchen S. Obrist -- gobrist@kellerrohrback.com -- Keller,
Rohrback, L.L.P., pro hac vice, Jeremy R. Williams --
jeremy@wbmllp.com -- Whitfield Bryson & Mason, LLP, pro hac vice,
Robert A. Izard, Jr. -- rizard@ikrlaw.com -- Izard, Kindall &
Raabe, LLP, Carey Alexander -- CALEXANDER@SCOTT-SCOTT.COM --
Scott & Scott, LLP, Christopher M. Barrett -- cbarrett@ikrlaw.com
-- Izard, Kindall & Raabe, LLP, Craig A. Raabe --
craabe@ikrlaw.com -- Izard, Kindall & Raabe LLP, Erin Green
Comite -- ecomite@scott-scott.com -- Scott & Scott LLP, Joseph P.
Guglielmo -- jguglielmo@scott-scott.com -- ScottScott, Attorneys
at Law, LLP, Mathew P. Jasinski -- mjasinski@motleyrice.com --
Motley Rice LLC, Ronen Sarraf -- ronen@sarrafgentile.com --
Sarraf Gentile, LLP & William H. Narwold --
bnarwold@motleyrice.com = Motley Rice LLC.

CIGNA Corporation, Defendant, represented by Brian W. Shaffer --
brian.shaffer@morganlewis.com -- Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, pro
hac vice, Eleanor R. Farrell -- eleanor.farrell@morganlewis.com -
- Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, pro hac vice, Evan K. Jacobs-
evan.jacobs@morganlewis.com -- Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, pro
hac vice, Joseph J. Costello -- joseph.costello@morganlewis.com -
- Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, pro hac vice, Lisa Rose Veasman --
lisa.veasman@morganlewis.com -- Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, pro
hac vice, Margaret M. McDowell --
margaret.mcdowell@morganlewis.com -Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP,
pro hac vice, Matthew D. Klayman --
matthew.klayman@morganlewis.com -Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, pro
hac vice & Michael D. Blanchard --
michael.blanchard@morganlewis.com -- Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Defendant, represented
by Brian W. Shaffer, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, pro hac vice,
Eleanor R. Farrell, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, pro hac vice,
Evan K. Jacobs, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, pro hac vice, Joseph
J. Costello, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, pro hac vice, Lisa Rose
Veasman, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP,Margaret M. McDowell, Morgan
Lewis & Bockius LLP, pro hac vice, Matthew D. Klayman, Morgan
Lewis & Bockius LLP, pro hac vice & Michael D. Blanchard, Morgan,
Lewis & Bockius LLP.


CIRQUE DU SOLEIL: Court Certifies TCPA Class
--------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois, Eastern Division, granted in part Plaintiffs' Motion
for Class Certification in the case captioned PRACTICE MANAGEMENT
SUPPORT SERVICES, INC., an Illinois corporation, individually and
as the representative of a class of similarly-situated persons,
Plaintiff, v. CIRQUE DU SOLEIL INC., CIRQUE DU SOLEIL (US), INC.,
AND JOHN DOES 1-10, Defendants, No. 14 C 2032 (N.D. Ill.).

The Defendants produce theatrical shows worldwide under the
Cirque du Soleil trade name. In January 2009, one or both of the
defendants contracted with a fax broadcasting company called
ProFax to market shows to a list of fax numbers purchased from
list providers. A single employee of the defendants was in charge
of communicating with ProFax with respect to all of the fax
blasts at issue in this case, and two other employees were
responsible for determining what fax target lists would be sent
to Profax. The Defendants' employees do not recall calling any
companies on the lists to seek permission to send the faxes.

The ad sent to Practice Management contains the following opt-out
notice at the bottom in fine print:

     To opt out from future faxes go to
www.deletemyfaxnumber.com. Enter pin # 15263 or call 877-284-
7878. The recipient may make a request to the sender not to send
any future faxes and failure to comply with the request within 30
days is unlawful.

Practice Management alleges that this opt-out notice was
deficient although its complaint does not specify why. ProFax
retained an opt-out list associated with defendants' account,
which is comprised of 935 fax numbers.

Here, the plaintiffs seek certification under Rule 23(b)(3),
which requires a finding that questions of law or fact common to
class members predominate over any questions affecting only
individual members, and that a class action is superior to other
available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the
controversy.

Practice Management seeks to certify the following class:

     All persons or entities who were successfully sent a
facsimile from Cirque du Soleil from January 29, 2009, through
July 8, 2009, offering tickets for sale to the following
performances: [1] Saltimbanco at Rockford MetroCentre, Rockford,
Illinois, opening February 25, 2009; [2] A New Twist on
Vaudeville at Chicago Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, opening
November 19, 2009; [3] Kooza at Pepsi Center Grounds, Denver,
Colorado, opening August 20, 2009; [4] Kooza at Santa Monica
Pier, Santa Monica, California, opening October 16, 2009; [5]
Kooza at Orange County Great Park, Irvine California, opening
January 7, 2010; [6] Kooza at the Broadway/Kellog Lot, St. Paul,
Minnesota, opening July 3, 2009; [7] Saltimbanco at Conseco
Fieldhouse, Indianapolis, Indiana, opening February 12, 2009; [8]
Saltimbanco at USA Mitchell Center, Mobile, Alabama, opening
April 2, 2009; [9] Saltimbanco at Sommet Center, Nashville,
Tennessee, opening April 9, 2009; [10] Saltimbanco at North
Charleston Coliseum, North Charleston, South Carolina, opening
April 22, 2009; [11] Saltimbanco at Von Braun Center, Huntsville,
Alabama, opening April 15, 2009.

Numerosity

The numerosity requirement of Rule 23(a)(1) is satisfied where
joinder of all putative class members is impracticable. 2002). A
class of forty is generally sufficient. The Defendants do not
contest that the numerosity requirement is easily satisfied in
this case based on the numbers of faxes at issue.

Commonality

Commonality requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that the
putative class members' claims depend upon a common contention of
such a nature that it is capable of class-wide resolution which
means that determination of its truth or falsity will resolve an
issue that is central to the validity of each one of the claims
in one stroke.

Addressing a similar TCPA class action involving faxes that
lacked compliant opt-out notices, the Seventh Circuit in Turza
explained that "class certification is normal" in such cases
because the main questions, such as whether a given fax is an
advertisement, are common to all recipients" and have common
answers. 728 F.3d at 684. As in Turza, key questions in this case
including whether defendants qualify as senders, whether the
faxes were solicited, whether they were advertisements, whether
they contained complaint opt-out notices, and the appropriate
remedies have common answers that are all "apt to drive the
resolution of the litigation."
Thus, the Court finds and defendants do not dispute that
commonality is satisfied.

Typicality

A claim is typical if it arises from the same event or practice
or course of conduct that gives rise to the claims of other class
members and the claims are based on the same legal theory.

Because Practice Management's claim is based on the same course
of conduct, sending fax blasts through the same fax broadcaster,
at the direction of the same employees, bearing the Cirque du
Soleil trade name, and promoting Cirque shows during a discrete
period of time and legal theory an opt out notice theory based on
faxes sent on behalf of the defendants as the other class members
it seeks to represent, the Court holds that typicality is
satisfied.

Adequacy

Rule 23(a)(4) requires representative parties both the named
plaintiff and class counsel to fairly and adequately represent
the class.

Here, putative class counsel Anderson + Wanca and the Margulis
Law Group satisfy all four factors. With respect to the first
factor, putative class counsel have done significant work in
identifying or investigating the claim in this case. Anderson +
Wanca have been pursuing claims related to the fax campaign at
issue since 2009.  With respect to the second and third factors,
putative class counsel have considerable experience and knowledge
of this area of the law. Both Anderson + Wanca and the Margulis
Law Group have been appointed lead or co-lead counsel in many
TCPA cases.
Anderson + Wanca also has filed a petition in the Supreme Court
challenging the Sixth Circuit's decision in Sandusky Wellness
Ctr., LLC v. ASD Specialty Healthcare, Inc., 863 F.3d 460 (6th
Cir. 2017), addressing issues discussed later in this opinion.
See Sandusky Wellness Ctr., LLC v. ASD Specialty Healthcare,
Inc., petition for cert. (U.S. Dec. 4, 2017) (No. 17-803).

Finally, with respect to the fourth factor, both firms have
expressly committed to devote adequate human and financial
resources to properly represent their class clients. An analysis
under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(g) thus supports that putative class
counsel will adequately protect the class' interests.

In sum, the Court finds that both Practice Management and
putative class counsel meet the adequacy requirement for class
certification.

Predominance

There is no mathematical or mechanical test for evaluating
predominance. Rule 23(b)(3)'s predominance requirement is
satisfied when common questions represent a significant aspect of
a case and can be resolved for all members of a class in a single
adjudication.

The second part of Practice Management's argument goes to class
member identification, identifying to whom the faxes were sent.
It is with respect to this issue that the absence of the fax
transmission logs showing who successfully received the faxes
presents a problem. As described in the petition for certiorari
in Sandusky, courts of appeals are split as to whether class
identification issues like this one pertain to class
ascertainability, predominance, or superiority. Sandusky,
petition for cert. at 22-29 (U.S. Dec. 4, 2017) (No. 17-803). But
the Seventh Circuit's position on this issue is clear. It
squarely held in Mullins that class identification issues relate
to superiority under Rule 23(b)(3).

Birchmeier, 302 F.R.D. at 253-54, arguments about whether someone
belongs in the classes do not speak to whether common questions
predominate among class members; those who are in the classes
will be those who can document that they meet the class
definitions. Rather, these arguments go to whether an individual
may join the classes, which is more appropriately addressed under
the manageability component of the superiority requirement. The
Court therefore addresses this question as part of its
superiority analysis below.

The Court concludes that common questions predominate in this
case.

Superiority

The Defendants further complain that it would be unfair for them
to face exposure for the total number of faxes that the invoices
show as successfully sent when few people are likely to come
forward with affidavits or other identifying information
regarding faxes sent back in 2009. But this claimed unfairness is
a legislative problem rather than a judicial one. The TCPA, with
its draconian penalties for multiple faxes, is what it is.
Congress decided "that, to prompt compliance, the requirement
needed bite in the form of at least $500 in statutory damages for
each violation. Congress wanted to put an end to unsolicited fax
advertising.

In sum, at this juncture, the Court finds the superiority element
met. If class counsel cannot, down the road, propose a feasible
solution for managing the litigation or for identifying and
providing notice to class members, the Defendants can move to
decertify the class.

The Court grants Practice Management's motion for class
certification in part.

The Court defines the class, for current purposes, as:

     All persons who are residents of Illinois and all entities
located in Illinois who were successfully sent a facsimile in
Illinois containing the Cirque du Soleil trade name from January
29, 2009, through July 8, 2009, offering tickets for sale to the
following performances: Saltimbanco at Rockford MetroCentre,
Rockford, Illinois, opening February 25, 2009; and A New Twist on
Vaudeville at Chicago Theatre, Chicago, Illinois, opening
November 19, 2009.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018
Memorandum Opinion and Order is available at
https://tinyurl.com/yaljxfmw from Leagle.com.

Practice Management Support Services, Inc., an Illinois
corporation, individually and as the representative of a class of
similarly-situated persons,, Plaintiff, represented by Brian J.
Wanca -- bwanca@andersonwanca.com -- Anderson & Wanca, Glenn L.
Hara -- ghara@andersonwance.com -- Anderson & Wanca, Max G.
Margulis -- MaxMargulis@MargulisLaw.com -- Margulis Law Group,
Ross Michael Good -- rgood@andersonwanca.com -- Anderson Wanca,
Ryan M. Kelly -- rkelly@andersonwanca.com -- Anderson & Wanca &
Wallace Cyril Solberg -- wsolberg@andersonwanca.com -- Anderson
Wanca.

Cirque Du Soleil Inc. & Cirque Du Soleil (US), Inc., Defendants,
represented by Eric L. Samore -- esamore@salawus.com --
SmithAmundsen LLC, Albert M. Bower -- abower@salawus.com --
SmithAmundsen LLC, Molly Anne Arranz -- marranz@salawus.com --
Smith Amundsen, LLC, Ronald David Balfour -- rbalfour@salawus.com
-- Smithamundsen Llc & Yesha Sutaria Hoeppner --
yhoeppner@salawus.com -- Smithamundsen LLC.


CR ENGLAND: Court Limits Request of Fin'l Docs in "Roberts"
-----------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Utah,
Central Division, granted in part Defendant's Motion to Quash
Subpoena Issued to Houlihan Valuation Advisors in the case
captioned Charles Roberts et al., Plaintiffs, v. C.R. England,
Inc., et al., Defendants, Case No. 2:12-cv-0302 (D. Utah).

This matter is a class action involving the Plaintiffs who allege
that the Defendants fraudulently solicited and sold them a
business opportunity to drive large trucks. The Defendants own
and operate a trucking company, a company that leases trucks, and
a school that provides instruction for students so they can
obtain a commercial driver license. The Plaintiffs allege
violations of various state and federal laws. In short, the
Plaintiffs assert that the Defendants misrepresented the income
that was available to students who ended up leasing trucks from
the Defendants.

The Plaintiffs seek approximately ten years of information
pertaining to the Defendants' net worth and financial condition
in support of their claims for punitive damages.

Here, the Defendants have already provided tax returns and
financial statements for the last 10 years and that is presumably
why the Plaintiffs request mirrors the same time frame. But,
despite this prior production, the court finds the current
discovery requests are overbroad as to time and go beyond what is
reasonable for the Plaintiffs to show the Defendants current net
worth or financial condition. Therefore, in considering relevant
case law found in this circuit, the court will limit any allowed
requests to the last two years plus the current year of three
months (2016, 2017 and 2018).

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018
Memorandum Decision and Order is available at
https://tinyurl.com/y7bumbkz  from Leagle.com.

Charles Roberts, an individual & Kenneth McKay, an Individual, on
behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
represented by Benjamin J. Glicksman -- bjg@kravitlaw.com --
KRAVIT, HOVEL & KRAWCZYK, pro hac vice, Jason E. Greene, ANDERSON
& KARRENBERG, 50 West Broadway Ste 700. Salt Lake City, UT 84101,
Kevin P. Roddy -- kroddy@wilentz.com -- WILENTZ GOLDMAN & SPITZER
PA, pro hac vice, Robert S. Boulter, pro hac vice, Thomas R.
Karrenberg, ANDERSON & KARRENBERG, 50 West Broadway Ste 700. Salt
Lake City, UT 84101, Aaron H. Aizenberg -- aha@kravitlaw.com --
KRAVIT HOVEL & KRAWCZYK SC, pro hac vice, Benjamin R. Prinsen --
brp@kravitlaw.com -- KRAVIT HOVEL & KRAWCZYK SC, pro hac vice,
Christopher J. Krawczyk, KRAVIT HOVEL & KRAWCZYK SC, 825 North
Jefferson Street. Milwaukee, WI 53202, pro hac vice, Heather M.
Sneddon, ANDERSON & KARRENBERG, 50 West Broadway Ste 700. Salt
Lake City, UT 84101,  Jon V. Harper, HARPER LAW PLC & Stephen E.
Kravit -- kravit@kravitlaw.com -- KRAVIT HOVEL & KRAWCZYK SC, pro
hac vice.

C.R. England, a Utah corporation, Defendant, represented by Drew
R. Hansen -- dhansen@tocounsel.com -- THEODORA ORINGHER PC, pro
hac vice, James S. Jardine -- jjardine@rqn.com -- RAY QUINNEY &
NEBEKER, Adam Kenji Richards -- arichards@rqn.com -- RAY QUINNEY
& NEBEKER, Andrew S. Jick -- ajick@akingump.com -- AKIN GUMP
STRAUSS HAUER & FELD LLP, pro hac vice, Christopher K. Petersen,
-- cpetersen@akingump.com -- AKIN GUMP STRAUSS HAUER & FELD LLP,
pro hac vice, David B. Dibble -- ddibble@rqn.com -- RAY QUINNEY &
NEBEKER (SLC), Gregory W. Knopp -- gknopp@akingump.com -- AKIN
GUMP STRAUSS HAUER & FELD LLP, pro hac vice, Neal R. Marder --
nmarder@akingump.com -- AKIN GUMP STRAUSS HAUER & FELD LLP, pro
hac vice, Rex S. Heinke -- rheinke@akingump.com -- AKIN GUMP
STRAUSS HAUER & FELD LLP, pro hac vice & Scott A. Hagen --
shagen@rqn.com -- RAY QUINNEY & NEBEKER.


CRYPTO CO: Dismissal of "Shepherdson" Suit Upheld
-------------------------------------------------
The Crypto Company said in its Form 10-K report filed with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, that the Court denied the
motion and upheld the dismissal in the class action complaint
filed by Monika Shepherdson in the U.S. District Court, Central
District of California.

On December 21, 2017, a class action complaint was filed in the
United States District Court, Central District of California, by
Monika Shepherdson, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, as the plaintiff, against the Company,
Michael Poutre and Ivan Ivankovich, as the defendants, alleging
that the defendants made public misrepresentations of material
facts, issued false and misleading financial statements and
artificially inflated the price of the Company's common stock.
(Case No. 2:17-cv-09157-CAS-FFM).

On February 15, 2018, the Shepherdson Matter was voluntarily
dismissed in its entirety by the plaintiff, without any payment
by the Company, in exchange for an agreement by the Company to
forego seeking sanctions against plaintiff and her counsel for
the filing of a frivolous lawsuit.

On February 20, 2018, a motion was filed by Paul Van Loon and
Hassan Yahfoufi for appointment as lead plaintiffs and approval
of selection of lead counsel on the Shepherdson Matter. On
February 27, 2018, counsel for Monika Shepherdson filed a Letter
with the court stating that "Ms. Shepherdson no longer wishes to
pursue the claims against the Defendants set forth in her
complaint." On February 28, 2018, the Court denied the motion and
upheld the dismissal.

The Crypto Company was incorporated in the State of Utah on
December 2, 2013 under the name Croe, Inc. On October 3, 2017,
the Company filed Articles of Conversion with the Utah Secretary
of State and the Nevada Secretary of State to effectively change
its state of Incorporation to Nevada, and filed Articles of
Incorporation with the Nevada Secretary of State to change its
name to The Crypto Company.


DENVER, CO: High Ct. to Decide Lawfulness of Homeless Sweeps
------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Pampuro, writing for Courthouse News Service, reports that
a federal judge refused to dismiss a class action challenging the
city and county of Denver's infamous homeless sweeps.

The lawsuit filed by lead plaintiff Raymond Lyall in August 2016
alleges that Denver's enforcement of its 2012 Urban Camping Ban
sanctioned unlawful searches and seizures, depriving thousands of
persons of their property without adequate notice or due process.

According to the complaint, "these sweeps that have been ratified
and implemented by defendants not only violate plaintiffs'
rights, but our concept of a just society."

On March 26, U.S. District Judge William Martinez denied two
motions for summary judgment from both the plaintiffs and the
city, declaring the case to go to trial.

For the purpose of the trial, this action began on a cold
December morning in 2015, when a police officer filled a garbage
truck with "medicines, tents, and blankets" belonging to 15
people who were sleeping outside a shelter.

The court will only be addressing "homeless sweeps," incidents in
which ten or more city employees were sent to deprive individuals
of their property, but the plaintiffs have also argued that
sweeps are one of many discriminatory practices enacted by the
city in efforts to drive out the homeless population.

Still, Martinez wrote that the court will only consider the
narrow issue of whether, "Denver indeed has a policy, custom, or
practice of sending ten or more officials or agents to clear away
an encampment of multiple homeless persons by immediately seizing
and discarding the property found there."

Additionally, the court will weigh in on whether "whether such
sweeps are likely to recur such that plaintiffs have standing to
seek a permanent injunction."

While Denver did not carry out any major sweeps from 2017 to
present, it also has not made any policy changes that would
prevent it from doing so.

The city claims the sweeps were made in response to local
complaints about unsafe and unsanitary parks, and that homeless
encampments allowed for "violent crime against the female
homeless population, open drug dealing and other safety issues."

The lawsuit was awarded class certification in January 2017 for
some 3,000 homeless Denver citizens who claim the city wrongfully
seized or destroyed their property.

On March 14, the Colorado Legislature voted against passing a
Homeless Bill of Rights. Presented for the fourth year in a row,
the bill would have solidified the right to rest and the right to
eat in public.

The class is represented by Jason Flores-Williams, Esq. a
criminal justice lawyer who recently made history by attempting
to represent the Colorado River. City Attorney Conor Farley, Esq.
is leading Denver's defense.


DXP ENTERPRISES: Winkle Seeks Overtime Compensation under FLSA
--------------------------------------------------------------
JACK VAN WINKLE, Individually and On Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated, the Plaintiff, v. DXP ENTERPRISES, INC. and
CHEVRON U.S.A., INC., the Defendant, Case No. 7:18-cv-00071 (W.D.
Tex., April 19, 2018), seeks to recover overtime compensation and
all other available remedies under the Fair Labor Standards Act
of 1938.

The complaint alleges DXP Enterprises and Chevron U.S.A. were
formerly the employers, joint and/or co-employers of the
Plaintiff and others similarly situated.  Mr. Van Winkle worked
as a "Safety Consultant" for DXP's client, Chevron, from July of
2016 through February of 2017.  He interviewed and was hired
through DXP, and he worked exclusively as a Safety Consultant on
Chevron's drilling rigs. While employed by DXP and/or Chevron,
Mr. Van Winkle was misclassified as an independent contractor,
despite the fact that he worked full time for DXP and/or Chevron,
and virtually every aspect of his job was controlled by DXP
and/or Chevron. DXP and/or Chevron misclassified Mr. Van Winkle
as an independent contractor to avoid paying employment taxes,
benefits and overtime. During his time with DXP and Chevron, Mr.
Van Winkle typically worked approximately 100 hours per week. Mr.
Van Winkle received a day rate regardless of the number of hours
he worked in a given day or week, and never received overtime
pay. There are a large number of workers that have been hired
through DXP (and are paid through DXP) but are working strictly
at Chevron facilities, all of whom are classified as independent
contractors and all of whom are paid a day rate and/or straight
time and denied overtime pay.

DXP Enterprises, incorporated on July 26, 1996, is engaged in the
business of distributing maintenance, repair and operating (MRO)
products, equipment and service to industrial customers.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Josh Borsellino, Esq.
          BORSELLINO, P.C.
          1020 Macon St., Suite 15
          Fort Worth, TX 76102
          Telephone: (817) 908 9861
          Facsimile: (817) 394 2412
          E-mail: josh@dfwcounsel.com


EMCORE CORP: Accrued $0.2MM Related to "Mirasol" Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------
Emcore Corporation said in its Form 10-K report filed with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
September 30, 2017, that the Company recorded an accrual of $0.2
million within Operating Expenses related to the settlement on
the putative class action suit filed by Christina Mirasol.

On December 15, 2015, Plaintiff Christina Mirasol ("Mirasol"), on
her own behalf and on behalf of a putative class of similarly
situated individuals composed of current and former non-exempt
employees of the Company working in California since December 15,
2011, filed a complaint against the Company in the Superior Court
of California, Los Angeles County (the "Court").

The complaint alleged seven causes of action related to: (1)
failure to pay overtime; (2) failure to provide meal periods; (3)
failure to pay minimum wages; (4) failure to timely pay wages
upon termination; (5) failure to provide compliant wage
statements; (6) unfair competition under the California Business
and Professions Code Section 17200 et seq.; and (7) penalties
under the Private Attorneys General Act. The claims were premised
primarily on the allegation that Mirasol and the putative class
members were not provided with their legally required meal
periods. Mirasol sought recovery on her own behalf and on behalf
of the putative class in an unspecified amount for compensatory
and liquidated damages as well as for declaratory relief,
injunctive relief, statutory penalties, pre-judgment interest,
costs and attorneys' fees.

In exchange for a one-time cash payment offered by the Company,
certain current and former employees previously agreed to release
the Company from all potential claims related to the matters
alleged in the Mirasol lawsuit. The Company had recorded an
accrual for these amounts at September 30, 2016 that was not
material to the Company's results of operations, financial
condition or cash flows, which had been recorded within Operating
Expenses for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2016. On January
6, 2017, the Company and Mirasol agreed to a class action
settlement of $0.3 million with regards to all outstanding
claims.

The parties have agreed to a formal settlement agreement, which
was preliminarily approved by the Court, and will require final
Court approval. As of September 30, 2017, the $0.3 million
settlement remains outstanding. During the fiscal year ended
September 30, 2017, the Company recorded an accrual of $0.2
million within Operating Expenses related to the settlement.

Emcore Corporation together with its subsidiaries was established
in 1984 as a New Jersey corporation. Emcore pioneered the linear
fiber optic transmission technology that enabled the world's
first delivery of Cable TV directly on fiber, and today is a
leading provider of advanced Mixed-Signal Optics products that
enable communications systems and service providers to meet
growing demand for increased bandwidth and connectivity.


ENDO INT'L: Lidoderm Dispute Ends With Settlements
--------------------------------------------------
Matthew Renda, writing for Courthouse News Service, reports that
three pharmaceutical companies are poised to shell out a total of
$270 million to settle antitrust claims related to their alleged
collusion to prevent a generic form of an expensive pain
medication from reaching market, according to documents.

Plaintiffs in the Lidoderm Antitrust case requested U.S. District
Court Judge William Orrick grant preliminary approval to the
multimillion dollar settlement between purchasers of Lidoderm --
a pain alleviation patch that numbs tissue in the area where it
is applied -- and the drug makers Endo, Teikoku and Watson.

Endo and Teikoku manufacture Lidoderm. In 2013, Watson was in
process of bringing a generic version of the drug to market when
it struck a $266 million deal to delay the introduction of that
product in exchange for assurances Endo would wait 7 and a half
months after Watson released its product to introduce its generic
version of the drug. Watson also agreed to drop its patent
dispute against Endo and Teikoku as part of the arrangement.

Plaintiffs claimed the deal violated antitrust laws, harming
consumers by artificially inflating Lidoderm's cost.

Last February, Judge Orrick certified two separate classes of
plaintiffs -- one consisting of direct purchasers of the drug and
another group called end-payer plaintiffs, whose financial harm
as a result of the scheme was more indirect.

The various parties have agreed the direct purchasers will be
awarded $166 million, according to March 21's motion. Endo will
pay $60 million, Watson is on the hook for $71 million and
Teikoku is slated to disburse $35 million.

A separate settlement stipulates defendants pay end-payer
plaintiffs about $104 million, with Watson paying $41 million,
Endo $40 million and Teikoku paying a smaller share of
approximately $23 million.

"The settlements were negotiated by counsel experienced in
antitrust class actions and the negotiations were overseen by
Chief Magistrate Judge (Joseph) Spero," wrote Dena Sharp, Esq. --
chc@girardgibbs.com -- attorney for the plaintiffs in the motion.
"The settlements have no obvious deficiencies and are well within
the range of final approval."

The primary purchasers settlement is about 55 to 79 percent of
the damages calculated by an independent expert. For end-payer
plaintiffs, the settlement was about 40 percent of damages.

The plaintiffs for both classes argued the settlements are fair,
with end-payer attorneys saying their clients' burden of proof
was such that it made agreeing to a settlement a welcome
conclusion to the dispute.

"This case involved numerous complex issues of law on which
courts have diverged and the Ninth Circuit has not yet spoken,"
Sharp wrote.

Orrick must approve each settlement before they become final and
the payments get disbursed.

A hearing on the preliminary approval is slated for April 25.


EQUIFAX INFORMATION: Response Time in "Bruno" Extended
------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
California extended the Deadline for Equifax Information
Services, LLC, to Respond to the Second Amended Class Action
Complaint in the case captioned DANIEL BRUNO, Individually and on
behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. EQUIFAX
INFORMATION SERVICES, LLC et al., Defendants, Case No. 2:17-cv-
00327-WBS-EFB (E.D. Cal.).

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/ybbldwhe from Leagle.com.

Daniel Bruno, Individually and on behalf of others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by James Louis Kohl-
jamesk.legal@gmail.com -- Law Offices Of James Louis Kohl &
Joseph Messer, Messer Strickler, Ltd., pro hac vice.

Equifax Information Services, LLC, Defendant, represented by
Matthew H. Dawson -- mdawson@kslaw.com -- King & Spalding LLP,
Allison L. Hill White -- awhite@kslaw.com -- King & Spalding,
LLP, King & Spalding, LLP, pro hac vice, Meryl W. Roper --
mroper@kslaw.com -- King & Spalding LLP, pro hac vice & Zachary
A. McEntyre -- zmcentyre@kslaw.com -- King & Spalding LLP, pro
hac vice.


EQUIFAX INFORMATION: McGinley Time to Respond Extended
------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
California extended the deadline for John McGinley to Respond to
the Second Amended Class Action Complaint in the case captioned
DANIEL BRUNO, Individually and on behalf of others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES, LLC et al.,
Defendants, Case No. 2:17-cv-00327-WBS-EFB (E.D. Cal.).

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y83tjcza from Leagle.com.

Daniel Bruno, Individually and on behalf of others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by James Louis Kohl --
jamesk.legal@gmail.com -- Law Offices Of James Louis Kohl &
Joseph Messer, Messer Strickler, Ltd., pro hac vice.

Equifax Information Services, LLC, Defendant, represented by
Matthew H. Dawson -- mdawson@kslaw.com -- King & Spalding LLP,
Allison L. Hill White -- awhite@kslaw.com -- King & Spalding,
LLP, King & Spalding, LLP, pro hac vice, Meryl W. Roper --
mroper@kslaw.com -- King & Spalding LLP, pro hac vice & Zachary
A. McEntyre -- zmcentyre@kslaw.com -- King & Spalding LLP, pro
hac vice.


EVERGREEN RECREATIONAL: Ct. Certifies Class of Terminated Workers
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Indiana, South Bend Division, granted Plaintiffs' Motion for
Class Certification in the case captioned MATTHEW GRIMES, on
behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v. EVERGREEN RECREATIONAL VEHICLES, LLC, et al., Defendants, Case
No. 3:16-CV-472-JD (N.D. Ind.).

After being employed as a regional sales manager out of the
County Road Facility since January 2011, Grimes was terminated on
June 8, 2016, without written notice pursuant to the Worker
Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN Act).
Thereafter, he received a letter dated June 14th, purporting to
provide him notice under the WARN Act.  The letter stated that
the closure of the two Evergreen RV facilities would be completed
by June 24th and would affect approximately 270 employees.

The WARN Act requires that certain employers provide sixty days'
notice to employees before engaging in a plant closing1 or mass
layoff at a single site of employment, as those terms are defined
by the statute. If an employer fails to give notice as required
under the WARN Act, a person seeking to enforce such liability
has the right to sue the employer for back pay and benefits.

Class Certification

Here, Grimes initially sought to certify the following class:

     The Plaintiff and all former employees of Defendants: (i)
who worked at or reported to one of the Defendants' facilities,
(ii) who were terminated from employment on or about June 8,
2016, within 30 days of that date, or in reasonable anticipation
of or as the foreseeable consequence of the mass layoffs or plant
closings ordered by the Defendants on or about June 8, 2016,
(iii) who are affected employees within the meaning of 29 U.S.C.
Section 2101(a)(5) and (iv), who have not filed a timely request
to opt-out of the class.

Rule 23(a)(1): Numerosity

The first requirement under Rule 23(a) is that the purported
class be so numerous that joinder of all members is
impracticable.

The defense does not contend that Grimes failed to meet the
numerosity requirement, likely because a class of this size
unquestionably fulfills said requirement. The number of potential
class members, as well as the judicial inefficiency of attempting
to try a case with so many individual plaintiffs, convinces the
Court that the class is so numerous as to make joinder
impracticable.

Rule 23(a)(2): Commonality

The second requirement under Rule 23(a) is that the plaintiff
must show that there are questions of law or fact common to the
class.
The defense poses no objection to this requirement having been
met by Grimes. And here, the Court agrees with Grimes that there
are questions of law and fact common to the proposed class. The
very nature of this WARN Act litigation indicates the presence of
a single large employment event that took place in June 2016
without adequate notice by Defendants, which resulted in the
termination of over 250 employees who worked at one of two
Middlebury facilities. Accordingly, the requirement of
commonality is established with respect to the proposed class.

Rule 23(a)(3): Typicality

The third requirement under Rule 23(a) is that the plaintiff must
show that the claims or defenses of the representative parties
are typical of the claims or defenses of the class.

Rule 23(a)(3): Typicality

The third requirement under Rule 23(a) is that the plaintiff must
show that the claims or defenses of the representative parties
are typical of the claims or defenses of the class.

The Defendants also contend that Grimes' claims are not typical
of the class members' claims because he only worked remotely from
his home in North Carolina, as opposed to working at one of the
facilities.

The fact that Grimes worked remotely does not mean that his
claims are not typical of the proposed class. Federal regulations
clarify that for workers who are out-stationed or whose primary
duties involve work outside any of the employer's regular
employment sites, their site of employment is the one to which
they are assigned as their home base, from which their work is
assigned, or to which they report.

Thus, absent evidence calling into doubt Grimes' declaration that
he worked remotely as a regional sales manager out of the County
Road Facility, that facility would be considered his employment
site. Moreover, the WARN Act does not require that a person
seeking to enforce the WARN Act be employed at the actual site of
the mass layoff or plant closing. The Act provides that: "A
person seeking to enforce such liability, including a
representative of employees or a unit of local government
aggrieved under paragraph (1) or (3), may sue either for such
person or for other persons similarly situated, or both, in any
district court of the United States."

Accordingly, the Court is satisfied that Grimes has met his
burden of demonstrating typicality.

Rule 23(a)(4): Adequacy of Representation

The final requirement of Rule 23(a) is that the representative
parties will fairly and adequately protect the interests of the
class.

Grimes' delay in submitting his declaration to support class
certification does not suffice as a basis for disallowing his
representation of the proposed class. Ultimately, the claims of
Grimes are identical to those of the other members of the
proposed class and there is no evidence of some unique defense or
circumstance that would cause conflict between Grimes and the
other members of the proposed class. Based on this record, the
Court finds that Grimes is adequate to represent the interests of
the proposed class.

With respect to the adequacy of class counsel, the Defendants do
not contest the qualifications of attorneys Rene Roupinian and
Jack Raisner of the law firm Outten & Golden LLP, who are
assisted by other local attorneys as well. Rene Roupinian
submitted a declaration outlining their qualifications,
credentials, and vast experience in handling employment rights
litigation, and specifically, the firm's involvement in at least
one hundred WARN Act class actions. The Court is satisfied that
the law firm of Outten & Golden LLP will be adequate to represent
the interests of the proposed class.

With Grimes having satisfied the Rule 23(a) factors, the Court
considers the request that the class be certified under Rule
23(b)(3).

Rule 23(b)(3): Predominance of Common Questions & Superiority of
Class Determination

While it is true that success on the claim will result in the
need to determine the amount of individual damages suffered by
each member of the proposed class, this distinction does not
concern the core question of whether Defendants violated the WARN
Act. The WARN Act provides for readily calculable back pay
damages based on an employee's prior rate of pay, which should
readily be discoverable from Defendants' own files.

Here, several of these considerations work in favor of the
superiority of this case as a class action. The 270 individual
members of the proposed class likely have little interest in
individually prosecuting WARN Act claims, due to the expense
required and minimal individual recovery. This finding is
supported by Grimes' declaration which indicates that he only
suffered about eight thousand dollars in lost pay, plus any
additional benefits. It is also desirable to consolidate the
claims against Defendants in this district, where Evergreen RV
has its base of operations and where many documents and witnesses
are likely to be located.

The Court finds that the proposed class meets the requirements of
Rule 23(b)(3).

Conclusion and Class Certification

Because Grimes has demonstrated that certification is appropriate
pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(a) and (b)(3),
the Court orders that this case be certified as a class action.
The Court certifies a class comprised of:

     Any and all persons who worked at or reported to a facility
located at 10758 County Road 2, Middlebury, Indiana 46540 or
51700 Lovejoy Drive, Middlebury, Indiana 46540, within sixty days
prior to the closing of those facilities.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018
Memorandum Opinion and Order is available at
https://tinyurl.com/y9gt2ea7 from Leagle.com.

Matthew Grimes, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by Irwin B. Levin --
ilevin@cohenandmalad.com -- Cohen & Malad LLP, Jack Raisner --
jar@outtengolden.com -- Outten & Golden LLP, pro hac vice, Rene
S. Roupinian, Outten & Golden LLP, pro hac vice, Richard E.
Shevitz -- rshevitz@cohenandmalad.com -- Cohen & Malad LLP & Vess
A. Miller -- vmiller@cohenandmalad.com -- Cohen & Malad LLP.

Evergreen Recreational Vehicles, LLC & KR Enterprises Inc,
Defendants, represented by Bradford R. Shively, Sanders Pianowski
LLP & Jonathan R. Slabaugh, Sanders Pianowski LLP, 300 Riverwalk
Dr., Elkhart, Indiana, United States.


FACEBOOK INC: More Communities Join Crypo Ads Ban Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lubomir Tassev, writing for Bitcoin.com, reports that
cryptocurrency associations and businesses from Switzerland,
Kazakhstan and Armenia have joined the initiative to sue Internet
corporations over restrictions on crypto-related advertisements.
The class action lawsuit will be filed in New York.  Legal costs
will be covered with funds raised through donations to a wallet
registered in Estonia.

Lawsuit to Be Filed In May
Organizations uniting cryptocurrency investors and blockchain
companies from three more countries have supported the class
action against internet giants banning crypto ads.  The move was
initiated by Russian, Chinese and South Korean crypto
associations, as news.Bitcoin.com reported.  During a conference
in Moscow last month, they founded a new organization called the
Eurasian Blockchain Association (EBA).  EBA is tasked with
asserting their interests on an international level.

More Communities Join the Legal Action against Crypto Ads
BanCrypto communities from Switzerland, Kazakhstan, and Armenia
have now joined its efforts to defend the rights of crypto
businesses affected by the ban.  Support came from the Swiss
company Innmind, working to bring together startups and
investors, the Armenian Association of Developers and Users, and
representatives of the crypto sector in Kazakhstan.

EBA members intend to file the class action lawsuit against
several large corporations which introduced restrictions on
advertising of cryptocurrencies and related projects, like
initial coin offerings.  The social networks Facebook and
LinkedIn, the search engines Google and Yandex, and the
microblogging platform Twitter have imposed similar bans since
the start of the year.

The case will be taken to court in the State of New York next
month, Yuri Pripachkin, president of the Russian Cryptocurrency
and Blockchain Association, told RNS. RACIB organized the
BlockchainRF-2018 congress in Moscow (March 27-28) where the
initial agreement for the legal action was signed.  EBA
representatives have said that lawsuits may be filed in other
U.S. jurisdictions, as well, including the states where the
companies are registered. Wyoming has also been mentioned as a
state with "fair" attitude towards cryptocurrencies.

More Communities Join the Legal Action against Crypto Ads Ban

The associations will be represented by a new fund registered in
Luxembourg.  They plan to cover the legal costs through voluntary
donations.  Lawyers will be paid with funds collected in a
cryptocurrency wallet that will be registered in Estonia.

"We are witnessing a revival of the censorship," Mr. Pripachkin
said during a round-table on internet advertising opportunities
and barriers held at the Russian Chamber of Commerce and
Industry. In his words, Russians have received their "censorship
vaccine" and that's why their reaction is so sharp. Internet
should be a territory of freedom, he told Finversia.

"A business player decides to introduce special requirements in
regards to the freedom of information, taking advantage of a
monopolized resource.  Next time we'll face racial, religious and
other discrimination," RACIB's president warned.

Every Action Has Reaction
The initial agreement to take the matter to court was reached by
the Russian Cryptocurrency and Blockchain Association (RACIB),
the Korea Venture Business Association (KOVA), and the Chinese
Association of Cryptocurrency Investors (LBTC).  They believe the
simultaneous refusal by leading Internet companies to publish
crypto ads is a sign of cartel collusion and abuse of monopoly
power.

More Communities Join the Legal Action against Crypto Ads
BanFacebook issued its ban in January claiming the measure is due
to complaints about spammy and fraudulent advertisements.  The
popular social network said ads of financial products should not
be misleading or deceptive.  The ban covers binary options,
initial coin offerings, and cryptocurrencies.

Google announced restrictions on ads of cryptocurrencies and
related content in March.  The global search engine banned
advertisements of coin offerings, crypto exchanges and wallets,
and cryptocurrency trading advice.

Following these decisions, other Internet companies implemented
similar policy changes.  At the end of March, Twitter banned ads
for ICOs, whose organizers are unable to prove the sales are
legally regulated in the targeted country.  It has been reported
that LinkedIn has introduced restrictions, too.  According to
Russian media, the largest search engine in the Runet, Yandex,
has also banned crypto ads. [GN]


FACEBOOK INC: Court Denies Amendment to "Gullen" BIPA Complaint
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California denied Plaintiffs' Motion to Amend Class Action
Complaint in the case captioned FREDERICK WILLIAM GULLEN,
Plaintiff, v. FACEBOOK, INC., Defendant, Case No. 3:16-cv-00937-
JD (N.D. Cal.) to add a second named plaintiff and by narrowing
the class definition.

The complaint alleged that defendant Facebook, Inc. violated the
Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), by collecting
Gullen's biometric identifiers without notice or consent. Gullen
sought to represent all non-Facebook users who, while residing in
the State of Illinois, had their biometric identifiers, including
face templates' or face prints, collected, captured, received,
stored, used, or otherwise obtained by Facebook.

Facebook timely removed to federal court under the Class Action
Fairness Act.

Unlike Rule 15(a)'s liberal amendment policy which focuses on the
bad faith of the party seeking to interpose an amendment and the
prejudice to the opposing party, Rule 16(b)'s good cause standard
primarily considers the diligence of the party seeking the
amendment. If that party was not diligent, the inquiry should
end.

The required degree of diligence is missing here.

In December 2016, Gullen received dozens of documents from
Facebook referring to the fact that Facebook does not apply
facial recognition to photographs uploaded to Facebook pages.  On
January 31, 2017, Gullen produced the two Facebook photos in
which he is featured but did not request discovery on those
photos until November 7, 2017.  Facebook responded on November
17, 2017, and advised Gullen that one of the photographs was
uploaded from Michigan, while the other photograph was uploaded
to an organizational account.

None of these undisputed facts suggests good cause for delaying a
request to amend to this late date, when discovery is closed,
expert reports have been exchanged, and motions for class
certification and summary judgment are fully briefed and ready
for hearing and disposition.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/ycpkvzev from Leagle.com.

Frederick William Gullen, on behalf of himself and all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, represented by Albert Y. Chang --
achang@bottinilaw.com -- Bottini and Bottini, Inc., David Philip
Milian -- DMilian@CareyRodriguez.com -- Carey Rodriguez Milian
Gonya LLP, pro hac vice, Francis A. Bottini, Jr. --
fbottini@bottinilaw.com -- Bottini & Bottini, Inc. & Frank S.
Hedin -- fhedin@careyrodriguez.com -- Carey Rodriguez, LLP.
Facebook, Inc., Defendant, represented by Archis Ashok
Parasharami -- aparasharami@mayerbrown.com -- Mayer Brown LLP,
pro hac vice, Lauren R. Goldman -- rgoldman@mayerbrown.com --
Mayer Brown Llp, pro hac vice, Matthew David Provance --
mprovance@mayerbrown.com -- Mayer Brown LLP, pro hac vice & John
Nadolenco -- jnadolenco@mayerbrown.com -- Mayer Brown LLP.


FACEBOOK INC: Tracy Sues over Unauthorized Use of Users' Data
-------------------------------------------------------------
The LELAND TRACY, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. FACEBOOK, INC., the Defendant,
Case No. 3:18-cv-02128-SK (N.D. Cal., April 9, 2018), seeks to
enjoining Defendant from engaging in further negligent,
deceptive, unfair, and unlawful business practices.

Facebook operates a social networking website through which
owners of Facebook accounts can communicate with family, friends,
and coworkers that they choose and can access services promoted
and allowed by Facebook. The Facebook develops technologies for
the sharing of information, photographs, website links, and
videos and allows others to promote services on Facebook with
restrictions that Facebook determines. By the end of 2017,
Facebook had more than 2.2 billion active users.

Facebook provides multiple mechanisms through which users may
access its social media product. These include but are not
limited to a website accessed through a computer's web browser,
Facebook mobile device applications available on various
operating systems (e.g. Android, iOS), and auxiliary applications
such as Facebook Messenger and Facebook Lite. Facebook's
marketing of its mobile device applications has led many Facebook
users to install its applications on their cell phones, including
phones with the Android operating system.

When installing such applications, Facebook users are not advised
that using the application on an Android cell phone will result
in the logging of all the user's call and text communications
(including recipients, dates of communication, length of
communication, and mode of communication) on Facebook's servers
for Facebook's own use, even when not using the Facebook
application.

In the Android versions of Facebook's mobile application,
Facebook has collected and stored information in a scope and
manner beyond that which users knowingly authorized, and the
practice is ongoing. This activity includes accessing users' call
and text histories, including, but not limited to, metadata such
as the names and numbers of persons contacted, the times of such
contacts, and the lengths of such contacts, hereafter referred to
as "Android Users Personal Communications Information."

Android Users' Personal Communications Information has been and
continues to be stored to Facebook's own servers. Facebook's
Terms of Service state properly that the Facebook user is the
owner of all of their data.

The Android operating system for mobile devices allowed and
allows Facebook applications to obtain Android Users' Personal
Communications Information without fully disclosing that Facebook
applications would access all of the Android Users' Personal
Communications Information and send it to Facebook's private
servers for storage and use. Facebook took advantage of this
technical structure of the Android operating system to obtain
Android Users' Personal Communications Information with
insufficient notice such that ordinary Facebook users do not
understand that they were allowing Facebook the ability to
download, save, and utilize Android Users' Personal
Communications Information through the use of Facebook
applications.

Facebook's unauthorized taking and use of Android Users' Personal
Communications Information constitutes wrongful taking and
storage of the Plaintiff's and Class Members' personal data, and
constitutes a consumer bait-and-switch, an invasion of privacy,
wrongful monitoring of minors, and an attack on privileged
communications in the context of Facebook users who use their
cell phones (but not Facebook) to communicate in the context of
protected relationships including but not limited to that of
attorney/client and doctor/patient.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff and the Class:

          Francis J. "Casey" Flynn, Jr., Esq.
          LAW OFFICE OF FRANCIS J. FLYNN, JR.
          6220 W 3rd St # 115
          Los Angeles, CA 90036
          Telephone: (323) 424 4194
          E-mail: francisflynn@gmail.com

               - and -

          Kevin S. Hannon, Esq.
          THE HANNON LAW FIRM, LLC.
          1641 Downing Street
          Denver, CO 80218
          Telephone: 303 861 8800
          Facsimile: 303 861 8855
          E-mail: khannon@hannonlaw.com


FIAT CHRYSLER: Must Face Emissions-Cheating Claims
--------------------------------------------------
Nicholas Iovino, writing for Courthouse News Service, reports
that a federal judge on March 15 refused to dismiss a nationwide
class action accusing Fiat Chrysler of selling more than 100,000
"EcoDiesel" trucks tainted with emissions-cheating software.

Facing the same claims that cost Volkswagen more than $20 billion
in U.S. fines and settlements, Fiat Chrysler asked a federal
judge to dismiss the multidistrict litigation last year. The
carmaker argued that consumers' claims of fraud and racketeering
are pre-empted by federal law because only U.S. regulators can
police emissions rules.

U.S. District Judge Edward Chen rejected that argument March 15,
finding consumers' claims are based on alleged fraud and deceit,
not the violation of environmental rules.

"The fraud claims here do not arise 'solely by virtue of'
noncompliance with [Clean Air Act] emissions rules; they arise
out of the alleged deceit practiced on consumers by defendants,"
Chen wrote in his 134-page ruling.

However, the judge dismissed state-law warranty claims, finding
them "entirely predicated on compliance with federal emissions
standards" and therefore pre-empted by federal law.

The class accuses Fiat Chrysler of installing emissions-cheating
software in nearly 104,000 Grand Jeep Cherokees and Ram 1500
EcoDiesel trucks between 2014 and 2016.

Fiat Chrysler allegedly used defeat devices created by German
auto parts maker and co-defendant Robert Bosch to mask nitrogen
dioxide pollution during emissions tests. The cars spew up to 20
times more pollution on the road than when hooked up for tests,
according to the plaintiffs' 378-page complaint.

The automaker said the plaintiffs lack standing to sue because
they failed to identify specific advertisements touting the
trucks as environmentally friendly. The consumers must show they
relied on such representations when they bought the trucks, Fiat
Chrysler contended.

Chen scoffed at that argument, finding no authority requires
consumers to identify ads they relied on to establish standing.
Even if such a requirement existed, Chen said the plaintiffs
would easily satisfy it.

"One does not need to look far to find this representation: as
alleged, it appeared on the class vehicles themselves, which each
had an 'EcoDiesel' logo that used a leaf and green coloring,"
Chen wrote.

The carmaker argued the "EcoDiesel" label was mere puffery, not a
specific statement that any reasonable consumer could rely on
when buying a truck.

Chen found "the record is sparse" on whether a reasonable
consumer could rely on the label as meaning the trucks spew less
pollution. That dispute must be resolved at a later stage of
litigation, he said.

The judge also dismissed with leave to amend consumer-protection
claims for plaintiffs in Iowa and Mississippi. Both states
require state attorney general approval to file such claims, he
found.

Chen further dismissed consumer-protection claims for Kentucky
plaintiffs because that state requires consumers have a direct
contractual relationship with the defendant, not a third-party
intermediary like a car dealer.

The judge also found the plaintiffs cannot sue co-defendant
Robert Bosch, who manufactured the illicit defeat devices, for
aiding and abetting a Racketeer-Influenced Corrupt Organizations
Act conspiracy. That's because aiding and abetting is only a
criminal offense with no civil liability attached to it, he
found.

Chen refused to dismiss all other claims of warranty, fraud and
racketeering.

The plaintiffs say they paid $3,120 to $5,000 more for the trucks
than they otherwise would have because of the EcoDiesel label.

Last December, attorneys told Judge Chen they would begin
extensive settlement talks early this year and that the EPA was
working with the automaker to approve a potential emissions fix
for the 104,000 trucks.

Attorneys for the plaintiff class and Fiat Chrysler did not
immediately return emails and phone calls seeking comment March
16 afternoon.

Jessica Thompson, Esq. -- jessicat@hbsslaw.com -- of Hagens
Berman Sobol Shapiro in Seattle, represents the class; Amie
Vague, Esq. -- avague@lightfootlaw.com -- of Lightfoot Franklin &
White in Birmingham, Alabama, represents Fiat Chrysler.


FIRST FEDERAL: Wins Dismissal of "Chase" Suit
---------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Missouri, Western Division, granted Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
the First Amended Class Action Complaint in the case captioned
STEVEN CHASE and SHAWN PENNER, individually and on behalf of
others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. FIRST FEDERAL BANK OF
KANSAS CITY, et al., Defendants, Case No. 4:17-CV-0094-DGK (W.D.
Mo.).

The Plaintiffs brought a putative class action suit against First
Federal and five of Inter-State's former directors. The First
Amended Complaint alleges the directors breached their fiduciary
duties to Inter-State's member-depositors by not distributing
Inter-State's accumulated capital and earnings, and by approving
the merger. It also claims First Federal unjustly enriched itself
in the merger.

Inter-State's Charter

Section 10 of Inter-State's charter speaks to two types of
potential distributions to members: (1) periodic net earnings and
(2) surplus funds.

The Complaint asserts three claims. Count I alleges the former
directors breached their fiduciary duties to the members in
numerous ways, including by: (a) failing to ratably distribute
excess capital and earnings, as required by the Charter; (b)
failing to call for a member vote on the Inter-State-First
Federal merger; (c) failing to properly notify Plaintiffs and the
Class of the merger's terms and consequences; (d) failing to make
capital distributions in advance of the merger and the dilution
members would suffer because of the known capital disparity
between the two banks; (e) failing to retain an experienced,
independent third-party evaluator to analyze the merger and its
consequences; (f) acting inconsistent with and in violation of
the Charter's terms; and (g) by approving, permitting, and
participating in the merger at the Plaintiffs and the Class's
expense.

Kansas law governs this dispute.

The parties agree that Kansas law governs this dispute, and the
Court concurs. A federal court exercising its diversity
jurisdiction applies the choice of law rules of the state where
it sits. This Court sits in Missouri, and Missouri follows the
most significant relationship' test from the Restatement (Second)
of Conflict of Laws Section 145 for resolving choice-of-law
questions in tort actions.

The Complaint fails to plead a claim for breach of fiduciary
duty.  Under Kansas law, the essential elements of a breach of
fiduciary duty claim are duty, breach, causation, and damages.

The member-depositors ownership of Inter-State did not give them
rights comparable to those of stockholders in a bank, thus the
directors did not owe them a fiduciary duty to distribute
accumulated capital or retained earnings.

A federal mutual savings association differs most prominently
from a federal stock savings association in that an individual
has no specific individual equity interest in the association

The net worth of the mutual savings association belongs to the
members as a whole; individual members are unable to exercise the
rights of equity holders.  Another fundamental difference is that
whereas stock associations can raise capital by issuing stock,
mutual savings associations are limited in their ability to raise
capital. Mutual savings associations issue no capital stock and
therefore have no stockholders; they build capital almost
exclusively through retained earnings.

The cases the Plaintiffs rely on for their claim that the
directors owed them a fiduciary duty under the circumstances of
this particular case, Appeal of Corporators of Portsmouth Sav.
Bank, 525 A.2d 671 (N.H. 1987) and In re Springfield Savings
Society, 231 N.E. 314 (Oh. Ct. App. 1966), are distinguishable.
Both cases concern state-chartered institutions, and no federal
court has followed either case for the propositions cited by the
Plaintiffs.

Hence, the Court concludes that the Plaintiffs and the putative
class members do not have an ownership right in the association's
accumulated capital or retained earnings that can possibly give
rise to a claim for breach of fiduciary duty for failure to
distribute the accumulated capital or retained earnings.
Inter-State's charter did not give the Plaintiffs a right to vote
on the merger.

The Complaint does not cite any charter provision supporting such
an assertion, nor can the Court find any. While the plain text of
the charter requires a member vote for any amendment, addition,
alteration, change or repeal of the charter, it does not require
a vote for a merger. A merger is sufficiently different from an
amendment or repeal that if the authors of the charter had meant
to require a member vote for such an event, they would have
included the word merger in the charter.

The Court also notes that a ruling that a member vote was
required would be inconsistent with long-standing regulatory
guidance given to mutual savings associations.  Thus no member
vote was required.
Plaintiffs did not suffer any damage.

The Complaint alleges the Plaintiffs suffered damages in the form
of unpaid capital distributions and dilution of their ownership
interest in the accumulated excess capital.  The Plaintiffs never
had an enforceable right to any capital distributions or to
Inter-State's accumulated excess capital, and so they did not
suffer any damages. And without damages, they do not have a
viable claim for breach of fiduciary duty.

The Complaint fails to plead a claim for unjust enrichment or
conversion.

Both of these claims are premised on the Plaintiffs owning Inter-
State's accumulated surplus, and both fail because the Plaintiffs
lacked enforceable rights in this surplus. The Plaintiffs cannot
show the first element of an unjust enrichment claim, that they
conferred a benefit upon First Federal in the form of the Inter-
State's accumulated surplus, because they did not have any right
to the surplus. Likewise, the Plaintiffs' conversion claim fails
because they lacked an ownership interest in Inter-State's
accumulated surplus that was transferred to First Federal.
Consequently, Counts II and III fail as a matter of law.

Defendants' motion is granted and the Plaintiffs' First Amended
Complaint is dismissed.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/ycb2jjvp from Leagle.com.

Steven Chase, On Behalf of Himself and All Others & Shawn Penner,
On Behalf of Himself and All Others, Plaintiffs, represented by
John F. Edgar -- jfe@edgarlawfirm.com -- Edgar Law Firm LLC.

First Federal Bank of Kansas City, Richard T. Merker, Helen
Skradski, Benjamin J. Fries, William W. Hutton & James R.
Jarrett, Defendants, represented by Charles W. German --
charlieg@germanmay.com -- German May, PC, Jason M. Hans --
jasonh@rhgm.com -- German May, PC & Ryan Thomas Scarborough --
rscarborough@wx.com -- Williams & Connolly, LLP, pro hac vice.


FTD COMPANIES: Oral Arguments on EasySaver's Suit Set for May 17
----------------------------------------------------------------
FTD Companies, Inc. said in its Form 10-K report filed with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, that the Ninth Circuit has
calendared oral arguments in the EasySaver's suit for May 17,
2018.

Commencing on August 19, 2009, the first of a series of putative
consumer class action lawsuits was brought against Provide
Commerce, Inc. and co-defendant Regent Group, Inc. d/b/a Encore
Marketing International ("EMI"). These cases were ultimately
consolidated during the next three years into Case No. 09 CV 2094
in the United States District Court for the Southern District of
California under the title In re EasySaver Rewards Litigation.

Plaintiffs' claims arise from their online enrollment in
subscription based membership programs known as EasySaver
Rewards, RedEnvelope Rewards, and Preferred Buyers Pass
(collectively the "Membership Programs"). Plaintiffs claim that
after they ordered items from certain of Provide Commerce's
websites, they were presented with an offer to enroll in one of
the Membership Programs, each of which is offered and
administered by EMI.

Plaintiffs purport to represent a nationwide class of consumers
allegedly damaged by Provide Commerce's purported unauthorized or
otherwise allegedly improper transferring of billing information
to EMI, who then posted allegedly unauthorized charges to their
credit or debit card accounts for membership fees for the
Membership Programs.

In the operative fourth amended complaint, plaintiffs asserted
ten claims against Provide Commerce and EMI: (1) breach of
contract (against Provide Commerce only); (2) breach of contract
(against EMI only); (3) breach of implied covenant of good faith
and fair dealing; (4) fraud; (5) violations of the California
Consumers Legal Remedies Act; (6) unjust enrichment; (7)
violation of the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (against EMI
only); (8) invasion of privacy; (9) negligence; and (10)
violations of the Unfair Competition Law. Plaintiffs seek
damages, attorneys' fees, and costs.

After motion practice regarding the claims asserted and numerous
settlement conferences and mediations in an effort to informally
resolve the matter the parties reached an agreement on the high
level terms of a settlement on April 9, 2012, conditioned on the
parties negotiating and executing a complete written agreement.
In the weeks following April 9, 2012, the parties negotiated a
formal written settlement agreement (the "Settlement"), which the
court preliminarily approved on June 13, 2012. After notice to
the purported class and briefing by the parties, the court
conducted a final approval hearing (also known as a fairness
hearing) on January 28, 2013, but did not rule.

On February 4, 2013, the court entered its final order approving
the Settlement, granting plaintiffs' motion for attorneys' fees,
costs, and incentive awards, and overruling objections filed by a
single objector. The court entered judgment on the Settlement on
February 21, 2013. The objector filed a notice of appeal with the
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on March 4, 2013. After the
completion of briefing, the Ninth Circuit set oral argument for
February 2, 2015. But on January 29, 2015, the Ninth Circuit
entered an order deferring argument and resolution of the appeal
pending the Ninth Circuit's decision in a matter captioned Frank
v. Netflix, No. 12 15705+.

On March 19, 2015, the Ninth Circuit entered an order vacating
the judgment in this matter and remanding it to the district
court for further proceedings consistent with its opinion in
Frank v. Netflix issued on February 27, 2015. The district court
ordered supplemental briefing on the issue of final Settlement
approval May 21, 2015. After briefing, the district court
conducted a hearing on July 27, 2016 and took the matter under
submission. On August 9, 2016, the district court entered an
order reapproving the Settlement without any changes, and
accordingly entered judgment and dismissed the case with
prejudice. On September 6, 2016, the objector filed a notice of
appeal. On November 22, 2016, plaintiffs filed a motion for
summary affirmance of the district court's judgment, to which the
objector responded and filed a cross-motion for sanctions.

Plaintiffs' motion for summary affirmance temporarily stayed
briefing on the appeal. On March 2, 2017, the Ninth Circuit
denied plaintiffs' motion for summary affirmance and objector's
cross-motion for sanctions, and reset the briefing schedule. The
objector filed his opening brief on May 1, 2017. Thirteen state
Attorneys General filed an amicus brief in support of the
objector on May 8, 2017. The parties filed their answering briefs
on June 30, 2017.

Various legal aid organizations filed an amicus brief in support
of no party regarding cy pres relief also on June 30, 2017. The
objector's optional reply brief was filed on August 14, 2017. The
Ninth Circuit has calendared oral arguments for May 17, 2018.

There are no assurances that other legal actions or governmental
investigations will not be instituted in connection with the
Company's current or former business practices. The Company
cannot predict the outcome of governmental investigations or
other legal actions or their potential implications for its
business.

FTD Companies, Inc., together with its subsidiaries is a premier
floral and gifting company with a vision to be the world's floral
innovator and leader, creating products, brands, and technology-
driven services to its customers love. The company is based in
Downers Grove, Illinois.


FRANCE: Class Action Mulled Over Linky Electricity Meters
---------------------------------------------------------
The Connexion reports that a former minister has called on the
government to halt the roll-out of Linky electricity meters amid
claims they are dangerous for people's health.

Lawyer Corinne Lepage, who was environment minister between 1995
and 1997 has called on current incumbent of her government post,
Nicolas Hulot, and health minister Agnes Buzyn to suspend the
deployment of Linky meters as a precaution, after many users
claimed electromagnetic radiation was affecting their health.

She has called for scientific studies "to assess the health
effects of these meters".

"If the government does not react within two months, we will
launch a class action against the State in the tribunal
administratif on behalf of the mayors and citizens opposed to
Linky," Ms Lepage told Le Parisien.

The threat of legal action comes on top of another court case.  A
lawyer is due to file a summary judgment on June 5 with 11
regional courts on behalf of 3,000 householders who want the
meter withdrawn or who refuse to have one fitted at their homes.

Meanwhile, an email calling for the suspension of the Linky
programme, signed by 92 associations, was sent to MPs.

Enerdis has insisted that the meters "present no danger", adding
"This has been demonstrated twice by reports from the Agence
nationale de securite sanitaire (Anses) which conclude that the
emission level is very low and the same as an induction hob, hair
dryer or refrigerator."

In December 2016, an Anses survey concluded that "exposure to
electromagnetic fields emitted by meters is unlikely to cause
short- or long-term health effects".

However, Anses qualified its position by pointing out that its
judgment is based on "data available to date".

Ms Lepage said. "Twenty years ago, the same health authorities
explained that mobile phone waves were not serious. Since then,
we have realized that this can have effects on health and on some
people more than others."

Some 10million Linky meters have already been installed at a rate
of 30,000 a day.  Some cities, such as Lyon, Nice or Amiens, are
already fully equipped and the objective is to reach 35 million
meters by the end of 2021. [GN]


GDFRIEND INC: Ct. Won't Stay "Amdezewicz" Pending ACA Decision
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
California denied defendant's motion to stay the case captioned
LUCAS AMBEZEWICZ, et al, Plaintiffs, v. GDFRIEND, INC.,
Defendant, Case No. 3:17-cv-02234-L-JMA (S.D. Cal.).

The plaintiffs in this action are three individuals1 who claim to
have received multiple telemarketing calls to their cell phones
from the Defendant. The Plaintiffs allege that the Defendant
placed these calls using an automated telephone dialing system
and without prior express consent. The Plaintiffs filed a
putative class action complaint alleging violations of the
Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).

The Defendant argues that it makes no sense to move forward with
costly discovery while a decision pending an appeal is expected
to clarify the proper definition of an ATDS an essential element
of Plaintiff's entire lawsuit.

While it is true that the forthcoming ACA (ACA International v.
Fed. Commc'ns Comm'n, Case No. 15-1211 (D.C. Cir.) (ACA))
decision may clarify the ATDS definition, it does not follow that
allowing discovery in the interim would amount to waste, the
Court said.  Indeed, whatever ATDS definition emerges from the
ACA decision, resolution of this dispute will still require
consideration of whether the specific equipment the Defendant
used to place the calls at issue triggers that definition. Such
an analysis will require consideration of a factual record,
developed through discovery, showing what type equipment the
Defendant used to place the calls.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/yapjsvdp from Leagle.com.

Lucas Ambrezewicz, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Edward Timmons, individually and on behalf of
all others similarly situated & Mark Haigler, individually and on
behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, represented
by Blake J. Dugger -- blake@stefancoleman.com -- Law Offices of
Stefan Coleman, pro hac vice & Bryan Kenton Theis, Theis Law
Group, 533 2nd St Ste 400, Encinitas, CA 92024.

GDFriend, Inc., a California corporation, Defendant, represented
by David J. Kaminski -- kaminskid@cmtlaw.com -- Carlson and
Messer.


GLOBAL CREDIT: Faces "Farro" Suit in District of New Jersey
-----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Global Credit &
Collection, Corp. The case is captioned as MELANIE A. FARRO, on
behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, the
Plaintiff, v. GLOBAL CREDIT & COLLECTION, CORP. and JOHN DOES
1-25, the Defendants, Case No. 2:18-cv-05720-JMV-CLW (D.N.J.,
April 9, 2018). The case is assigned to the Hon. Judge John
Michael Vazquez.

Global Credit & Collection provides customer and account
receivable management services. The company also offers business
process outsourcing services that include Email transmissions,
telephone operator services (411), social network management,
letters and fax, call backs, and voicemail message
processing.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Joseph K. Jones, Esq.
          JONES, WOLF & KAPASI, LLC
          375 Passaic Avenue, Suite 100
          Fairfield, NJ 07004
          Telephone: (973) 227 5900
          Facsimile: (973) 244 0019
          E-mail: jkj@legaljones.com


GLOBAL EAGLE: Notice of Appeal Filed in M&M Hart Suit
-----------------------------------------------------
Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. said in its Form 10-K report
filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April
2, 2018, for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, that the
plaintiffs in the putative stockholder suit filed by M&M Hart
Living Trust and Randi Williams, filed a notice of appeal to the
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit from the
Court's denial of the plaintiffs' motion to alter or amend the
judgment.

Global Eagle said "We and certain of our former officers and
directors are named as defendants in certain purported
stockholder class action lawsuits."

Specifically, on February 23, 2017 and on March 17, 2017,
following the Company's announcement that it anticipated a delay
in its 2016 Form 10-K filing and that its former CEO Dave Davis
and former CFO Tom Severson would separate from the Company,
three putative securities class action lawsuits were filed in
United States District Court for the Central District of
California. These lawsuits allege violations of Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act against the Company, Mr.
Davis, Mr. Severson and Michael Zemetra (who was the company's
CFO prior to Mr. Severson). The plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed
two of these lawsuits.

The third lawsuit, brought by putative stockholder M&M Hart
Living Trust and Randi Williams (the "Hart complaint"), alleges
that the Company and the other Defendants made misrepresentations
and/or omitted material information about the EMC Acquisition in
July 2016, the Company's projected financial performance and
synergies following that acquisition, and the impact of that
acquisition on the Company's internal controls over financial
reporting. Plaintiffs seek unspecified damages, attorneys' fees
and costs.

Global Eagle said in its Form 10-K report for the fiscal year
ended December 31, 2016, that on November 2, 2017, the Court
granted the Company's and the other defendants' motion to dismiss
the Hart complaint, and dismissed the action with prejudice. The
plaintiffs may appeal that ruling, and their period in which to
appeal has not yet expired.

On November 30, 2017, the plaintiffs filed a motion to alter or
amend the Court's previous judgment of dismissal to permit them
to file a further amended complaint. On January 8, 2018 the Court
denied the plaintiffs' motion to alter or amend the previous
judgment. On January 29, 2018, the plaintiffs filed a notice of
appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth
Circuit from the Court's denial of the plaintiffs' motion to
alter or amend the judgment.

Global Eagle said "We intend to vigorously defend ourselves
against this claim."

Global Eagle Entertainment Inc. is a leading provider of media
and satellite-based connectivity to fast-growing, global
enterprise, consumer and government markets across air, land and
sea. Supported by proprietary and best-in-class technologies, the
company entertains, informs and connects travelers and crew with
its integrated suite of rich media content and seamless
connectivity solutions that cover the globe. The company is based
in Los Angeles, California.


GOLDOC: Gold Coast Business Owners Mull Class Action
----------------------------------------------------
9Now reports that irate Gold Coast business owners say they would
join a class action against Commonwealth Games organisers and the
Queensland Government to recoup losses, after claiming the
normally thriving tourist strip has been left a "ghost town" by
the event.

Hospitality traders say the Easter lead-up to the Games and the
first week of competition has been their slowest period in years.

Many are angry at the messaging directed at locals to leave town
during the two weeks of the event to avoid traffic.

Main Beach restaurant owner Carlo Percuoco is demanding answers
from GOLDOC, the Games organisers.

"Their projections and numbers were way off.  The crowds they
predicted just haven't eventuated," Mr Percuoco told 9News.

Asked whether he'd consider joining a class action, Mr Percuoco
confirmed he would explore the option to make up his losses.

Mick Ellison, owner of Tedder Ave pub Mano's, invested thousands
of dollars to promote his venue in a bid to make it a go-to for
locals wanting to watch the Commonwealth Games, but has been left
out of pocket with small crowds.

"It's disappointing . . . it's just the locals aren't here and
they are our lifeblood," Mr Ellison said.

GOLDOC chairman Peter Beattie denied the "ghost town" tag but
admitted that some parts of the Gold Coast are missing out on the
increased tourist trade, with most Games visitors concentrated in
a few hubs.

"What we need to do is encourage people that were apprehensive
about coming to come and get them to go to the places that aren't
packed," Me Beattie told 9News.

Mr Beattie appealed to locals and people further away in Brisbane
to come and experience the biggest event ever held in Queensland,
saying "you don't want to miss this."

Visiting crowds are expected to pick up in the second week of the
Games as more athletes finish competing and begin to explore the
Gold Coast. [GN]


GUARDIAN LIVING: Court Conditionally Certifies "Williams" Class
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District Texas,
Houston Division, granted in part and denied in part Plaintiffs'
First Amended Motion for Conditional Certification and Notice
Motion for Class Certification in the case captioned TIFFERY
WILLIAMS, Plaintiff, v. GUARDIAN LIVING SERVICES, INC., et al,
Defendants, Civil Action No. 4:17-CV-1901 (S.D. Tex.).

For nine months, Ms. Williams worked for Guardian as a Direct
Care Staff (DCS) employee. In that role, Ms. Williams's duties
included mopping the floor, cleaning patient rooms, preparing
lunch for the patients, assisting patients with daily activities,
transporting patients to their doctor appointments, inspecting
the patients for injuries or abuse and filling out paperwork. The
Plaintiff relied on two pay stubs and a timesheet as prima facie
evidence that she and her co-workers were subject to a policy of
no overtime payment.

The Plaintiff seeks conditional certification of a collective
action consisting of:

     All Direct Care Staff employees employed by Guardian Living
Services, Inc., in the past three (3) years who were not paid the
full time-and-a-half overtime premium for overtime hours worked
in a given workweek.

In order to obtain conditional certification, the plaintiff must
make a minimal showing that: (1) there is a reasonable basis for
crediting the assertions that aggrieved individuals exist and (2)
those aggrieved individuals are similarly situated to the
plaintiff in relevant respects given the claims and defenses
asserted.

The other two requirements at this stage  (1) that there is a
reasonable basis for crediting the assertions that aggrieved
individuals exist, and (2) that those aggrieved individuals are
similarly situated to the plaintiff in relevant respects given
the claims and defenses asserted-sufficiently safeguard against
the risk of stirring up unwarranted litigation.

Recordkeeping violation

The Plaintiff argues that Guardian required Ms. Williams to
prefill her timesheets and record only her assigned shifts and
not her actual work hours or any overtime hours. There is no
evidence, however, of any such generally applicable rule, policy,
or practice. In fact, the Plaintiff's own timesheets and pay
stubs reflect compensated .5-hour overtime work on multiple
occasions.
Accordingly, this claim is unfit for conditional certification
because there is no reasonable basis for crediting Ms. Williams's
assertions that similarly aggrieved individuals exist.

Off-the-clock work

The Plaintiff's Motion states that Guardian requires DCS
employees to conduct body checks off-the-clock before the
beginning of their shifts.

There is no documentary evidence in the record to verify the body
check procedure as Ms. Williams recounts it. There is ample
evidence in employee declarations suggesting that no such body
check requirement existed.

There is also evidence that pre-shift or post-shift work was
required in the form of verbal shift summaries from the outgoing
to the incoming employee.

There has been a minimal showing that Guardian scheduled its
employees to work consecutive 8-hour shifts with no overlapping
time and yet required its employees to overlap for some period of
time at the shift change at least to communicate shift summaries
and possibly also to perform patient inspections.

This level of detail provides a reasonable basis for crediting
the assertion that Ms. Williams was required to work compensable
off-the-clock time. And because all DCS employees perform similar
job duties and experience shift changes, she and the putative
class members are similarly situated. Therefore, the action
should proceed collectively.

The Plaintiff's Motion is denied with respect to the allegation
of recordkeeping violations and is granted with respect to the
claim for off-the-clock work.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018
Memorandum and Order is available at https://tinyurl.com/yb5v7jjr
from Leagle.com.

Tiffery Williams, Plaintiff, represented by Trang Q. Tran --
Ttran@tranlawllp.com -- Tran Law Firm LLP.

Guardian Living Services, Inc. & Christina E. Kizzee, Defendants,
represented by Terrence B. Robinson, TB Robinson Law Group, PLLC,
1616 S. Voss Rd., Suite 870, Houston, Texas 77057.


HALYARD HEALTH: Award of Punitive Damages Reduced to $24.4MM
------------------------------------------------------------
Halyard Health, Inc. said in its Form 8-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission filed on April 2, 2018, that
the court in Bahamas Surgery Center, LLC v. Kimberly-Clark
Corporation and Halyard Health, Inc., had reduced the award for
punitive damages to $24.4 million.

Halyard Health said in its Form 10-Q Report for the quarterly
period ended September 30, 2017, that, "We have an
Indemnification Obligation for, and have assumed the defense of,
the matter styled Bahamas Surgery Center, LLC v. Kimberly-Clark
Corporation and Halyard Health, Inc., No. 2:14-cv-08390-DMG-SH
(C.D. Cal.) ("Bahamas"), filed on October 29, 2014.  In that
case, the plaintiff brought a putative class action asserting
claims for common law fraud (affirmative misrepresentation and
fraudulent concealment) and violation of California's Unfair
Competition Law ("UCL") in connection with our marketing and sale
of MicroCool surgical gowns.

On April 7, 2017, after a two-week trial, a jury returned a
verdict for the plaintiff, finding that Kimberly-Clark was liable
for $4 million in compensatory damages (not including prejudgment
interest) and $350 million in punitive damages, and that Halyard
was liable for $0.3 million in compensatory damages (not
including prejudgment interest) and $100 million in punitive
damages. Subsequently, the court also ruled on the plaintiff's
UCL claim and request for injunctive relief. The court found in
favor of the plaintiff on the UCL claim but denied the
plaintiff's request for restitution. The court also denied the
plaintiff's request for injunctive relief.

On May 25, 2017, the company filed three post-trial motions: a
renewed motion for judgment as a matter of law; a motion to
decertify the class; and a motion for new trial, remittitur, or
amendment of the judgment. The renewed motion for judgment as a
matter of law seeks to have the court reverse the jury's verdict
in whole or in part because it was based on insufficient facts
and/or did not correctly apply the law. The motion to decertify
the class seeks to have the court decertify the class on the
basis that the evidence at trial did not support the Court's
initial class certification order and therefore the case should
not have proceeded as a class action. The motion for new trial,
remittitur or amendment of the judgment seeks, among other
relief, to have the court reduce the jury's punitive damages
award because it was not supported by the facts and was excessive
in violation of due process under the U.S. Constitution.

Halyard Health said "The U.S. Supreme Court has stated that the
Constitutional outer limit for the ratio between punitive damages
and compensatory damages in cases such as ours is approximately 9
to 1 or lower, and we believe that in a case such as ours that,
if there is any award of punitive damages (a premise we dispute),
the ratio should be 1 to 1. We intend to continue our vigorous
defense of the Bahamas matter."

In the Form 8-K report, the Company said that on March 30, 2018,
the Court in the matter styled Bahamas Surgery Center, LLC v.
Kimberly-Clark Corporation and Halyard Health, Inc., No. 2:14-cv-
08390-DMG-SH (C.D. Cal.) ("Bahamas"), ruled on the defendants'
three post-trial motions.

The court denied all three motions, except it granted in part the
motion to reduce the award of punitive damages. The Court reduced
the punitive damages awarded against Halyard Health from $100
million to $1.3 million, and it reduced the punitive damages
awarded against Kimberly-Clark Corporation ("Kimberly-Clark")
from $350 million to $19.4 million.

The total compensatory and punitive damages plus pre-judgment
interest awarded against Halyard Health is $1.6 million, and
against Kimberly-Clark it is $24.4 million.

The plaintiff had until April 9, 2018 to either agree to the
reduction in the punitive damages or seek a new trial limited to
determining the proper amount of the punitive damages, if any.

Halyard Health said "We intend to continue our vigorous defense
of the Bahamas matter. We have previously notified Kimberly-Clark
that we have reserved our rights to challenge any purported
obligation to indemnify Kimberly-Clark for the punitive damages
awarded against them in the Bahamas matter. That issue remains
the subject of litigation in the matters styled Halyard Health,
Inc. v. Kimberly-Clark Corporation, Case No. BC659662 (County of
Los Angeles, Superior Court of California) and Kimberly-Clark
Corporation v. Halyard Health, Inc., Case No. 2017-0332-AGB
(Court of Chancery of the State of Delaware). We intend to
vigorously pursue our case against Kimberly-Clark in California
and to vigorously defend against their case against us in
Delaware."

Halyard Health, Inc. operates as a medical technology company
that focuses on eliminating pain, speeding recovery, and
preventing infection for healthcare providers and patients
worldwide. The company is based in Alpharetta, Georgia.


HALYARD HEALTH: Court Grants Bid to Dismiss "Jackson" Suit
----------------------------------------------------------
Halyard Health, Inc. said in its Form 8-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission filed on April 2, 2018, that
the court in the case entitled, In the matter styled Jackson v.
Halyard Health, Inc., Robert E. Abernathy, Steven E. Voskuil, et
al., granted the company's motion to dismiss, without leave to
amend.

Halyard Health said in its Form 10-Q Report for the quarterly
period ended September 30, 2017, "We were served with a complaint
in a matter styled Jackson v. Halyard Health, Inc., Robert E.
Abernathy, Steven E. Voskuil, et al., No. 1:16-cv-05093-LTS
(S.D.N.Y.), filed on June 28, 2016." In that case, the plaintiff
brings a putative class action against the Company, our Chief
Executive Officer, our Chief Financial Officer and other
defendants, asserting claims for violations of the Securities
Exchange Act, Sections 10(b) and 20(a). The plaintiff alleges
that the defendants made misrepresentations and failed to
disclose certain information about the safety and effectiveness
of our MicroCool gowns and thereby artificially inflated the
Company's stock prices during the respective class periods.

The alleged class period for purchasers of Kimberly-Clark
securities who subsequently received Halyard Health securities is
February 25, 2013 to October 21, 2014, and the alleged class
period for purchasers of Halyard Health securities is October 21,
2014 to April 29, 2016. On February 16, 2017, we moved to dismiss
the case.

In its Form 8-K report, the Company said that on March 30, 2018,
the court granted the company's motion to dismiss, without leave
to amend. The plaintiff will have 30 days after entry of judgment
to file his notice of appeal. If the plaintiff appeals, we intend
to continue our vigorous defense of this matter.

Halyard Health, Inc. operates as a medical technology company
that focuses on eliminating pain, speeding recovery, and
preventing infection for healthcare providers and patients
worldwide. The company is based in Alpharetta, Georgia.


HAPPILY COMPANY: Fails to Pay OT & Minimum Wages, Fortt Says
------------------------------------------------------------
MICHELLE FORTT, an individual; MARIO JOHNSON, an individual, on
behalf of themselves, and on behalf of all persons similarly
situated, the Plaintiffs, v. HAPPILY COMPANY, a California
corporation; and DOES 1 through 50, inclusive, the Defendant,
Case No. BC702715 (Cal. Super. Ct., April 19, 2018), seeks to
recover overtime wages and minimum wages under the California
Labor Code.

Happily is a nationwide event planning company comprised of a
network of freelance individuals who specialize in all types of
event management and onsite logistics. Happily operates an online
platform that connects event hosts with its network of freelance
individuals looking to help produce, coordinate and/or assist
events. Happily employs the network of freelance individuals as
independent contractors, and notifies them of available work
either through email or text message. Once a job is secured, the
freelance individuals are introduced to their project manager --
a Happily employee -- who provides the remaining details and
requirements of the job, which includes without limitation: what
to do, where to go, when to arrive, what to wear, what to bring,
and where to park.

According to the complaint, the freelance individuals submit a
standard form invoice to Happily for payment. The Plaintiffs
assert that they were hired by Happily to perform work as
independent contractors. The agreement between Plaintiffs and
Happily is titled "Independent Contractor Agreement". The ICA,
which Plaintiffs and all other similarly situated individuals who
were and are classified by Happily as independent contractors are
required to sign to be eligible for employment, was drafted by
Happily, is not subject to negotiation, and is presented to
prospective individuals seeking employment with Happily during
the application process. The cost, as proscribed by law, of the
personnel hired to work for Happily, includes not only the pay
and overtime pay of these individuals, but also the cost of the
employer's share of tax payments to the federal and state
governments for income taxes, social security taxes, Medicare
insurance, unemployment insurance, and payments for workers'
compensation insurance. To avoid the payment of these legally-
proscribed Business-Related Expenses, to the fullest extent
possible, Happily devised a scheme to place the responsibility
for payment of these costs and expenses of Happily on the
shoulders of Plaintiffs and other similarly situated employees.

As an employer, Happily is legally responsible for the payment of
all Business-Related Expenses. This lawsuit is brought by
Plaintiffs as a class and collective action in order to collect
the wages due them and all other similarly situated individuals
as employees of Happily, the cost of the employers share of
payments to the federal and state governments for income taxes,
social security taxes, medicare insurance, unemployment
insurance, and payments for workers' compensation insurance, as
well as all applicable penalties and interest.  Despite Happily's
intentional and explicit classification of the Plaintiffs as
independent contractors, the Plaintiffs were and are, in fact,
employees of Happily, consequence of this misclassification, the
Plaintiffs have suffered and continue to suffer actual economic
harm.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Frank J. Johnson, Esq.
          Chase M. Stern, Esq.
          JOHNSON FISTEL, LLP
          600 West Broadway, Suite 1540
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 230 0063
          Facsimile: (619) 255 1856
          E-mail: FrankJ@johnsonfistel.com
                  ChaseS@johnsonfistel.com


HERTZ CORP: Court Compel Arbitration in "Olivas"
------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
California granted Defendant's Motion to Compel Arbitration in
the case captioned MOISES OLIVAS, individually and on behalf of
others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. THE HERTZ CORPORATION,
Defendant, Case No. 17-cv-01083-BAS-NLS (S.D. Cal.).

Plaintiff Moises Olivas brings this putative class action against
Defendant The Hertz Corporation. He challenges the company's
practice of charging administrative fees to rental car customers
in connection with their use of toll roads.

Based on these allegations, the Plaintiff asserts claims against
Hertz for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of
good faith and fair dealing, conversion, and violation of
California's Unfair Competition Law, California Business &
Professions Code Section 17200.  He also seeks to certify a class
action of similarly-situated Hertz Gold Plus members who were
charged at least one administrative toll fee.

Hertz's Evidence

The Gold Agreement

Hertz operates a loyalty program called the Hertz Gold Plus
Rewards Program (Gold Program). The Plaintiff electronically
enrolled in the Gold Program on June 7, 2006. At that time, the
loyalty program was titled Hertz #1 Club Gold. Further, when the
Plaintiff enrolled, he agreed to the Hertz #1 Club Gold Program
Rental Terms & Conditions (Gold Agreement), which Hertz submits
contains the terms and conditions in effect at the time of
Plaintiff's November 25, 2014, rental from Hertz's John Wayne
Airport Location.

Responsibility for Determining Formation of the Agreement

The Rental Record's Arbitration Provision contains language
delegating questions of arbitrability to the arbitrator. It
provides that all issues are for the arbitrator to decide,
including his or her own jurisdiction, and any objections with
respect to the existence, scope or validity of this Arbitration
Provision.

The problem with Hertz's position is it presupposes that an
agreement to arbitrate arbitrability exists.  Yet, the Plaintiff
challenges whether he agreed to the Arbitration Provision,
including its delegation clause. This Court cannot enforce the
delegation clause let alone the remainder of the Arbitration
Provision without first concluding the Plaintiff entered into an
agreement.

Accordingly, the Court, not the arbitrator, will determine
whether the Plaintiff agreed to the Arbitration Provision and its
delegation clause.

Formation Framework

The FAA authorizes enforcement of a written provision to
arbitrate a dispute. Courts generally apply ordinary state-law
principles that govern the formation of contracts to decide
whether the parties agreed to arbitrate a certain matter
including arbitrability.

To determine whether the Plaintiff and Hertz agreed to arbitrate,
the Court turns to California's principles governing the
formation of contracts. A contract of an exchange of promises.
Under California law, the essential elements of a contract are:
(1) parties capable of contracting; (2) their consent; (3) a
lawful object; and (4) a sufficient cause or consideration.

Formation of the Rental Record and Its Arbitration Provision

While the Court may not review the merits of the case in deciding
a motion to compel arbitration, it may consider the pleadings,
documents of uncontested validity, and affidavits submitted by
either party. Hertz, as the party seeking to compel arbitration,
bears the burden of demonstrating an agreement to arbitrate was
formed. The company meets its burden.

The Plaintiff attempts to draw a dispositive distinction based on
when he admits to receiving the Rental Record. The Plaintiff
alleges he received the Rental Record from an agent as he was
exiting Hertz's premises in a queue of rental cars as opposed to
before he got into his vehicle.  The Plaintiff believes this
distinction should mean the Rental Record is not part of his
agreement with Hertz -- despite that he accepted the document
from an agent before taking Hertz's car from its facility.

This point is unconvincing. The arrangement the Plaintiff attacks
is the one he agreed to by becoming a Gold Member. The Gold
Agreement puts the Plaintiff on notice that he would receive at
the time of a rental a written document (called a Rental Record'
or Rental Agreement') which contains specific terms of that
rental and may also contain other information pertaining to Car
rentals in the jurisdiction in which the rental commences.

Hence, although the Plaintiff was able to proceed directly to the
stall where his rental car awaited with the keys inside, he had
not yet received the anticipated Rental Record for his Gold
Program rental. The Court therefore rejects the Plaintiff's
argument that his contractual relationship was complete before he
received the Rental Record. Moreover, the circumstances here are
distinguishable from other cases where a significant delay in
receipt of an arbitration provision indicated the parties did not
form an agreement to arbitrate.

The Plaintiff had ample reason to believe the Rental Record
containing the Arbitration Provision was an offer, and because
the Plaintiff accepted the Rental Record in taking the rental
car, the Court concludes Hertz meets its burden of proving the
existence of an agreement to arbitrate.

Delegation of Arbitrability Determination

Given that the Plaintiff agreed to the Arbitration Provision, he
also agreed to its delegation clause, which provides that all
issues are for the arbitrator to decide, including his or her own
jurisdiction, and any objections with respect to the existence,
scope or validity of this Arbitration Provision.

The Court will grant Hertz's motion to compel arbitration and
require the parties to submit to the arbitrator whether their
dispute is arbitrable.

The Court grants Hertz's motion to compel arbitration. The Court
terminates as moot Hertz's motion to dismiss the Plaintiff's
claims.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 and Order
is available at https://tinyurl.com/y7zbgqho from Leagle.com.

Moses Oliva, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by Robert J. Gralewski, Jr. --
bgralewski@kmllp.com -- Kirby McInerney LLP.

The Hertz Corporation, Defendant, represented by Daniel J. Weiss
-- jweiss@jenner.com -- Jenner & Block LLP, pro hac vice, Jessica
Ring Amunson -- jamunson@jenner.com -- Jenner & Block LLP, pro
hac vice, John F. Ward, Jr. -- jward@jenner.com Jenner & Block
LLP, pro hac vice, Kenneth Kiyul Lee -- klee@jenner.com -- Jenner
& Block, LLP & Michelle R. Singer -- msinger@jenner.com -- Jenner
& Block LLP, pro hac vice.


HMS HOST: Oct. 25 Class Certification Hearing in "Garcia"
---------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California issued an Order to Continue Class Certification
Briefing Schedule in the case captioned JOSHUA GARCIA,
individually, and on behalf of other members of the general
public similarly situated, and as aggrieved employees pursuant to
the Private Attorneys General Act ("PAGA"), Plaintiff, v. HMS
HOST, USA, INC., a Delaware Corporation; and DOES 1 through 100,
inclusive, Defendants, Case No. 3:17-cv-03069-RS (N.D. Cal.).

The parties stipulate to continue the current briefing schedule
for class certification.  Accordingly, the Class Certification
hearing is continued from August 23, 2018 to October 25, 2018 at
1:30 p.m.  The Plaintiff's deadline to file his motion for class
certification is continued from May 30, 2018 to July 26, 2018.
The Defendant's opposition to class certification is continued
from July 16, 2018 to September 10, 2018; and the Plaintiff's
reply, if any, to the defendant's opposition is continued from
August 6, 2018 to October 1, 2018.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y8nc2ehb from Leagle.com.

Joshua Garcia, individually, and on behalf of other members of
the general public similarly situated, and as aggrieved employees
pursuant to the Private Attorneys General Act (PAGA), Plaintiff,
represented by Matthew Roland Bainer --
mbainer@bainerlawfirm.com -- The Bainer Law Firm.

HMS Host, USA, Inc, a Delaware Corporation, Defendant,
represented by Matthew D. Pearson -- mpearson@bakerlaw.com --
Baker & Hostetler LLP, Margaret Rosenthal --
mrosenthal@bakerlaw.com -- Baker & Hostetler LLP, Nicholas D.
Poper -- npoper@bakerlaw.com -- Baker & Hostetler LLP & Shareef
Swamy Farag, Baker & Hostetler LLP, 11601 Wilshire Blvd., Suite
1400. Los Angeles, CA 90025-0509.
Host International, Inc., incorrectly sued as HMS Host, USA,
Inc., Defendant, represented by Shareef Swamy Farag, Baker &
Hostetler LLP.


HOVNANIAN ENTERPRISES: Settlement Approval Hearing Set for May 3
----------------------------------------------------------------
Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. said in its Form 8-K filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission filed on April 2, 2018,
that the Chancery Court has rescheduled the hearing to approve a
Settlement Agreement for May 3, 2018.

On December 18, 2017, the parties to the derivative and class
action lawsuit filed in the Court of Chancery of the State of
Delaware (the "Chancery Court") by Plaintiff Joseph Hong entitled
Joseph Hong v. Ara K. Hovnanian, et al, Civil Action No. 12999-
CB, finalized a settlement agreement (the "Settlement Agreement")
to resolve the matter. The Settlement Agreement remains subject
to approval by the Chancery Court.

On April 2, 2018, the Chancery Court rescheduled the hearing to
approve the Settlement Agreement to Thursday, May 3, 2018 at
10:00 a.m.

Hovnanian Enterprises, Inc. designs, constructs, markets, and
sells residential homes in the United States. It constructs
single-family detached homes, attached townhomes and
condominiums, urban infill, and active lifestyle homes. The
company is based in Matawan, New Jersey.


INDIANA: Court Denies Certification of "Garcia" Class
-----------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, denied Plaintiffs' Motion for Class
Certification in the case captioned MARCO GARCIA, JOSHUA MacKIN,
and EUGENE LALLOW, on behalf of themselves and all others
similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. DAVID GLADIEUX, Defendant,
Cause No. 1:17-CV-109-TLS (N.D. Ind.).

Plaintiffs Marco Garcia, Joshua Mackin, and Eugene Lallow bring
this action on behalf of themselves and all others similarly
situated against Defendant David Gladieux, the Allen County
Sheriff.  The Plaintiffs allege that the Defendant
discriminatorily and substantially burdens their exercise of
religion in violation of the First Amendment, the Indiana
Constitution, the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized
Persons Act, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The law in this Circuit used to be that when a plaintiff received
an offer of judgment for full relief requested, the claim became
moot. Damasco v. Clearwire Corp., 662 F.3d 891, 896 (7th Cir.
2011), overruled in part by Chapman v. First Index, Inc., 796
F.3d 783 (7th Cir. 2015).

After Chapman, the premature filing of a motion for class
certification is no longer necessary to prevent buy-off because a
defendant's offer of compensation does not moot the litigation or
otherwise end the Article III case or controversy. Additionally,
the parties are still in the process of discovery, and no party
has indicated that the certification issue is ripe for
adjudication.

Accordingly, the Court denies the Motion to Certify Class.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Opinion
and Order is available at https://tinyurl.com/y83hx2xp from
Leagle.com.

Marco Garcia, Individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Joshua Mackin, Individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated & Eugene Lallow, Individually and on behalf of
all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, represented by
Christopher C. Myers -- cmyers@myers-law.com -- Christopher C.
Myers & Associates & David W. Frank -- dfrank@myers-law.com --
Christopher C. Myers & Associates.

David Gladieux, Defendant, represented by J. Spencer Feighner --
jsf@hallercolvin.com -- Haller & Colvin PC.


INDIANA: Court Denies Class Certification in "Hale"
---------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Indiana, Fort Wayne Division, denied Plaintiffs' Motion for Class
Certification in the case captioned THOMAS HALE, and JUSTIN
WALLS, for themselves and on behalf of themselves and other
similarly situated persons, Plaintiffs, v. TERRY STOFFEL, in his
official capacity, Defendant, Cause No. 1:17-CV-108-TLS (N.D.
Ind.).

The Plaintiffs, on behalf of themselves and others similarly
situated, bring this class action against Defendant Terry Stoffel
in his official capacity as the Huntington County Sheriff. The
Plaintiffs assert that they have been denied access to the courts
in violation of their Fourteenth Amendment right to due process
and in violation of Section 12 of Article 1 of the Indiana State
Constitution.

The Plaintiffs seek to certify a class of individuals defined as
the following:

     All indigent individuals incarcerated in the Huntington
County Jail who seek to bring non-frivolous civil rights or
habeas corpus claims, are not represented by counsel for those
claims, and are prevented from bringing those claims in court or
have had their claims dismissed due to lack of access to a law
library, legal research materials, or professional legal
assistance.

The Plaintiffs' proposed class identifies indigent inmates with
non-frivolous claims that are prevented from bringing those
claims in court or have had their claims dismissed due to lack of
access to a law library, legal research materials, or
professional legal assistance. This would require the Court to
make a determination regarding why each inmate failed to bring
his non-frivolous claim or why his claim was dismissed, which
would require an examination not only of the merits of the
potential class member's claims, but also how the presentation of
the merits of those claims would have been affected had the class
member had greater access to a law library, legal research
materials, or professional legal assistance.

In short, the Court must delve both into the merits of each
individual's civil rights or habeas corpus claims and into each
individual's claim against the Defendant prior to acceptance into
the class.

Courts have repeatedly held that this sort of individualized
determination requires denial of a motion to certify a class.

Accordingly, the Court finds that parsing out whether each
proposed class member has a non-frivolous civil rights or habeas
corpus claim and whether each proposed class member was prevented
from pursuing his claim or had his claim dismissed as a result of
the Defendant's policies and actions would require significant
individual analysis.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Opinion
and Order is available at https://tinyurl.com/y95u8kuh from
Leagle.com.

Thomas Hale, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated & Justin Walls, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiffs, represented by David W. Frank --
dfrank@myers-law.com -- Christopher C. Myers & Associates.

Terry Stoffel, in his official capacity, Defendant, represented
by Theodore T. Storer -- tstorer@rlwlawfirm.com -- Rothberg Logan
& Warsco LLP, Andrew L. Palmison -- apalmison@rlwlawfirm.com --
Rothberg Logan & Warsco LLP & Lauren R. Deitrich --
ldeitrich@rlwlawfirm.com -- Rothberg Logan & Warsco LLP.


INFORMATION RESOURCES: Court Issues Order on ESI Production
-----------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, San Francisco Division, approved a stipulation in the
case captioned IRAM BAKHTIAR, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. INFORMATION RESOURCES,
INC, and DOES 1 through 50, inclusive, Defendants, Case No. 3:17-
cv-04559-JST (N.D. Cal.) holding that the production of
privileged or work-product protected documents, electronically
stored information (ESI), or information, whether inadvertent or
otherwise, is not a waiver of the privilege or protection from
discovery in this case or in any other federal or state
proceeding.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y7dyrolq from Leagle.com.

Iram Bakhtiar, individually, and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, represented by Bryan Jeffrey
Schwartz -- bryan@bryanschwartzlaw.com -- Bryan Schwartz Law &
Logan McMillan Starr -- logan@bryanschwartzlaw.com -- Bryan
Schwartz Law.
Information Resources, Inc., Defendant, represented by Robert
Irving Lockwood -- Robert.Lockwood@jacksonlewis.com -- Jackson
Lewis P.C., Janelle Jad Sahouria --
janelle.sahouria@jacksonlewis.com -- Jackson Lewis P.C. &
Mitchell F. Boomer -- boomerm@jacksonlewis.com -- Jackson Lewis
P.C..


INTERSTATE HOTELS: Court Certifies Class in "Richardson"
--------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California granted in part and denied in part Plaintiffs' Motion
for Class Certification in the case captioned DINA RAE
RICHARDSON, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. INTERSTATE HOTELS & RESORTS, INC., and
INTERSTATE MANAGEMENT COMPANY, LLC, Defendants, No. C 16-06772
WHA. (N.D. Cal.).

Richardson asserts eight claims for relief against Interstate for
(1) failing to provide meal periods, (2) failing to authorize and
permit rest periods, (3) failing to pay minimum wages, (4)
failing to pay overtime wages, (5) failing to pay wages due to
discharged and quitting employees, (6) failing to furnish
accurate itemized wage statements, (7) failing to indemnify
employees for necessary expenditures incurred in discharging
their duties, and (8) unfair and unlawful business practices in
violation of California laws.

Richardson seeks to certify the following five classes pursuant
to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 23(a) and 23(b)(3):

   1. Rest Period Class: All persons employed by Interstate as
room attendants at the hotel during the proposed class period who
worked at least one shift over 3.5 hours.

   2. Meal Period Class: All persons employed by Interstate as
non-exempt employees at the hotel during the proposed class
period who worked at least one shift over five hours.

   3. Second Meal Period Class: All persons employed by
Interstate as non-exempt employees at the hotel during the
proposed class period who worked at least one shift over ten
hours.

   4. Off-the-Clock Class: All persons employed by Interstate as
room attendants at the hotel during the proposed class period who
worked while clocked out.

   5. Rounding Class: All persons employed by Interstate as non-
exempt employees at the hotel during the proposed class period
who had their time punches rounded.

Numerosity

Numerosity is satisfied if the class is so numerous that joinder
of all members is impracticable. There is no dispute that the
proposed classes, each of which encompasses approximately sixty
to 350 members, satisfy this requirement.

Commonality

Commonality is satisfied if there are questions of law or fact
common to the class.

Rest Period Class

Employers must authorize and permit employees to take rest
periods at the rate of ten minutes rest time per four hours
worked or major fraction thereof, except for employees whose
total daily work time is less than 3.5 hours.

Interstate disputes that room attendants were disciplined for
failing to clean all assigned rooms and argues that Richardson
has failed to supply adequate evidence of a uniform policy or
practice that denied rest periods.  At least on this record,
these arguments go to the merits of Richardson's claims, not to
their commonality. In a similar vein, Interstate claims highly
individualized inquiries into the actual work schedules of room
attendants will be necessary to determine whether or not
Interstate actually routinely denied room attendants their rest
periods. This is a red herring. True, answering the question of
whether or not Interstate's policies and practices had the
practical effect of pressuring room attendants to skip breaks may
require analysis of granular data points, but the question itself
remains focused on policies and practices common to the proposed
class, not on individual wage and hour violations.

Meal Period and Second Meal Period Classes

Employees who work for a period of more than five hours are
entitled to a meal period of at least thirty minutes. If a work
period of not more than six hours will complete the day's work,
however, the meal period may be waived by mutual consent of the
employer and employee. Employers who fail to provide the required
meal periods must pay one additional hour of regular compensation
for each workday that the meal period is not provided.

Richardson falls well short of articulating any policy or
practice by which Interstate denied the class members of legally-
required meal periods. Her thesis boils down to the contention
that employees were often unable to take meal periods when the
hotel was busy because, in the business of hospitality, there was
a strong focus on customer service that ostensibly created
tension with employees' ability to stop work for meals.

In other words, under Richardson's theory, any employer in the
hospitality industry with high standards for excellent customer
service is liable for denying meal periods because the demands of
customer service will pressure employees to skip meals. This
theory proves far too much indeed, would capture virtually every
employer in any customer-service industry and defies common
sense.  While the class certification inquiry generally does not
involve probing into the merits of the claims, it would be absurd
to certify a class on such a facially untenable theory of
liability.

Off-the-Clock Class

Employers must compensate employees for time worked and overtime.

Under California law, a plaintiff may establish liability for an
off-the-clock claim by proving that (1) they performed work for
which they did not receive compensation, and (2) the employer
knew or should have known as much, but (3) the employer stood
idly by.  Richardson's theory of liability for the off-the-clock
class piggybacks off her theories for the rest period and
rounding classes. As a result of the same unlawful policies and
practices underlying those claims, she contends, Interstate also
did not fully compensate employees for hours worked, including
overtime. The off-the-clock class satisfies the commonality
requirement for the same reasons that the rest period and
rounding classes do.

Rounding Class

Employers can engage in employee time-rounding as long as the
rounding policy is neutral, both facially and as applied, such
that employees are fully compensated over a period of time.
Richardson's theory of liability for the rounding class is
essentially that, despite being facially neutral, Interstate's
rounding policy actually had the cumulative effect of under-
compensating employees over time. Whether or not the record
supports Richardson's theory is also a question common to the
class.

According to Richardson and her expert witness, Richard Drogin,
the alleged effect can be gleaned by sampling data from
Interstate's time and payroll records Interstate criticizes
Drogin's analysis and insists that its rounding policy is
sufficiently neutral in application to avoid liability, but these
arguments go to the merits of Richardson's claims, not to their
commonality.

Typicality

Typicality is satisfied if the claims or defenses of the
representative parties are typical of the claims or defenses of
the class.

This order concludes Richardson does not have claims typical of
the meal period classes. As to the rest period, off-the-clock,
and rounding classes, however, Richardson's claims are
sufficiently coextensive with those of absent class members to
satisfy typicality. Interstate's main critique on typicality is
that Richardson suffered from knee pain, which further slowed her
ability to finish cleaning assigned rooms and take rest periods
on time.

As Richardson argues, however, the point is not whether or not
other factors specific to her exacerbated the injury allegedly
caused by Interstate's policies and practices. Rather, the point
is whether or not those policies and practices indeed functioned
as Richardson alleges, and there is no dispute that Richardson,
like absent class members, would have been subject to the effects
of said policies and practices.

Adequate Representation

A proposed class representative is adequate if they will fairly
and adequately protect the interests of the class. Our court of
appeals has explained that a representative meets this standard
if they (1) have no conflicts of interest with other class
members and (2) will prosecute the action vigorously on behalf of
the class. The parties do not dispute that Richardson and her
counsel meet this requirement. As explained, however, this order
concludes Richardson is not an adequate representative for any
meal period class.

RULE 23(b)

A class action may be maintained if Rule 23(a) is satisfied and
if the court finds that the questions of law or fact common to
class members predominate over any questions affecting only
individual members, and that a class action is superior to other
available methods for fairly and efficiently adjudicating the
controversy.

As to the rest period, off-the-clock, and rounding classes, this
order finds that the common questions described above predominate
over any questions affecting only individual members. The record
does not show and Interstate does not contend that absent class
members would be interested in individually controlling the
prosecution of these claims, that any other litigation concerning
this controversy has already begun, or that concentrating
litigation of these claims in this forum would be undesirable.
Nor is there any reason to believe these claims would be unduly
difficult to manage as a class action. To the contrary, the class
claims would involve specific groups of employees from just one
hotel in this district and would facilitate the efficient
prosecution of their wage and hour claims.

Accordingly, Plaintiff's motion for class certification is
granted in part and denied in part. The following classes are
certified:

   Rest Period Class: All persons employed by Interstate as room
attendants at the Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco,
California, at any time from September 23, 2012, through November
29, 2016, who worked at least one shift over 3.5 hours.

   Off-the-Clock Class: All persons employed by Interstate as
room attendants at the Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf in San
Francisco, California, at any time from September 23, 2012,
through November 29, 2016, who worked while clocked out.

   Rounding Class: All persons employed by Interstate as non-
exempt employees at the Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf in San
Francisco, California, at any time from September 23, 2012,
through November 29, 2016, who had their time punches rounded.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/yad57yul from Leagle.com.

Dina Rae Richardson, Plaintiff, represented by Matthew John
Matern, Matern Law Group, PC, Deanna S. Leifer, Matern Law Group,
PC, Kayvon Sabourian, Matern Law Group, PC & Launa Nicole Everman
Adolph, Matern Law Group, PC. 1230 Rosecrans Ave., Ste. 200.
Manhattan Beach, CA 90266

Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Inc., a Delaware corporation &
Interstate Management Company, LLC, a Delaware corporation,
Defendants, represented by Rebecca Licht Jensen --
rjensen@morganlewis.com -- Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, Hien
Nguyen -- hnguyen@morganlewis.com -- Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP,
Jason S. Mills -- jmills@morganlewis.com -- Morgan, Lewis &
Bockius LLP & Robin Marie Lagorio --
robin.lagorio@morganlewis.com -- Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP.


IQ FORMULATIONS: Court Tosses Class Action Over DMBA Ingredient
---------------------------------------------------------------
Hank Schultz, writing for NUTRAingredients-usa.com, reports that
a Florida court has dismissed a class action lawsuit predicated
on the presence of an illegal ingredient -- DMBA -- in weight
loss products.  The court didn't buy the argument that the
plaintiffs had been harmed by not knowing the ingredient's
impaired regulatory status at the time of purchase.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of two Florida defendants
representing a class of plaintiffs who bought produces from the
defendants two companies called IQ Formulations LLC and Europa
Sports Products Inc. [GN]


JPMORGAN CHASE: Loses Bid to Dismiss "Nypl" Antitrust Suit
----------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York denied Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the Third Amended
Complaint in the case captioned JOHN NYPL, et al., Plaintiffs, v.
JPMORGAN CHASE & CO., et al., Defendants, No. 15 Civ. 9300 (LGS)
(S.D.N.Y.).

The Defendants move to dismiss the TAC in its entirety under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), or, alternatively, to
dismiss the Plaintiffs' claims extending past January 2013 and
certify this Order for appeal under 28 U.S.C. Section 1292(b).

The Plaintiffs commenced this putative class action under the
Sherman Antitrust Act (Sherman Act), alleging that they paid
inflated foreign currency exchange rates as a result of a
conspiracy among the Defendants to fix prices in the foreign
exchange (FX) or foreign currency market.

Defendants essentially renew and further elaborate on an argument
they raised opposing leave to amend that the Plaintiffs cannot
adequately allege antitrust injury under In re Aluminum
Warehousing Antitrust Litig. (Aluminum III), 833 F.3d 151 (2d
Cir. 2016).

Antitrust Injury

The TAC sufficiently pleads antitrust injury because it alleges
facts supporting a reasonable inference that the foreign currency
consumer retail market in which the Plaintiffs participated was
directly restrained by the Defendants' alleged manipulation of FX
benchmark rates.

To suffer antitrust injury, the putative plaintiff must be a
participant in the very market that is directly restrained.

The Second Circuit held in Gelboim v. Bank of Am. Corp. that
plaintiffs sufficiently alleged antitrust injury where they
claimed to have purchased financial instruments with rates of
return pegged to LIBOR from defendant banks responsible for
setting the benchmark rate. 823 F.3d 759, 765 (2d Cir. 2016). The
Second Circuit held that the plaintiffs had suffered antitrust
injury when they received a lower rate of return on account of
defendants' collusion to depress LIBOR. Even if none of
[plaintiffs'] financial instruments paid interest at LIBOR,
Socony-Vacuum allows an antitrust claim based on the influence
that a conspiracy exerts on the starting point for prices.

That other variables besides LIBOR affected the plaintiffs'
return did not undermine their assertion of antitrust injury. The
plaintiffs included bondholders, as well as derivatives holders
and others; but the Second Circuit's analysis and conclusion
regarding antitrust injury were the same without regard to the
type of financial instrument purchased, each by definition
purchased in a different market.

Following Gelboim, the district courts have similarly found
antitrust injury in other cases alleging manipulation of
financial or commodities benchmarks. Courts in this Circuit
consider manipulation of a price benchmark to constitute
restraint of the market which that benchmark guides.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Opinion
and Order is available at https://tinyurl.com/yaw43zd7 from
Leagle.com.

Lisa McCarthy, an individual, Mad Travel, Inc., also known as,
Valarie Jolly, an individual, Go Everywhere, Inc., a corporation
& William Rubinsohn, on behalf of themselves and those similarly
situated, Plaintiffs, represented by Lingel Hart Winters --
sawmill2@aol.com -- Lingel H. Winters Prof. Corp., pro hac vice,
Joseph M. Alioto, Sr. -- jmalioto@aliotolaw.com -- Alioto Law
Firm & Theresa Driscoll Moore -- tmoore@aliotolaw.com -- Alioto
Law Firm

JP Morgan Chase & Co., Defendant, represented by Harry Peter
Koulos -- harry.koulos@skadden.com -- Skadden, Arps, Slate,
Meagher & Flom LLP, Peter Edward Greene -- peter.green@skaden.com
-- Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom Llp, Tansy Woan --
tansy.woan@skadden.com -- Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom
LLP, Boris Bershteyn -- boris.bershteyn@skadden.com -- Skadden,
Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, pro hac vice, Douglas Allen
Smith -- douglas.smith@skadden.com -- Skadden, Arps, Slate,
Meagher and Flom LLP & John Coghlan -- john.coghlan@skadden.com -
- Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP.

J.P. Morgan Bank, N.A., Defendant, represented by Boris
Bershteyn, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, pro hac vice
& Douglas Allen Smith, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom
LLP.



LAHORI KEBAB: "Vasquez" Suit Seeks OT & Earned Wages under FLSA
---------------------------------------------------------------
ARNOLDO LOPEZ VASQUEZ, DIANA LETICIA LINAREZ RAMIREZ, ELIAS LOPEZ
VASQUEZ, ADELA SOFIA MURILLO, individually and on behalf of all
other similarly situated individuals, the Plaintiff, v. LAHORI
KEBAB & GRILL CORP., DISTINCTIVE FLAVORS, INC., MASALA WOK. INC.,
THE EAST AND WEST PUNJAB INC., MUZAMIL ZIA, SOHAIL DOE, SOURAV
JHA, the Defendant, Case No. 2:18-cv-02117-JS-SIL (E.D.N.Y. Fla.,
April 9, 2018), seeks to recover unpaid overtime compensation and
earned wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York
Labor Law.

The claims are brought by Plaintiffs on behalf of themselves and
other similarly situated persons, i.e., cooks, dishwashers,
porters, cleaners, wait staff and other laborers, who are current
and former employees of Defendants since the date three years
prior to the filing of this Complaint who elect to opt-in to this
action.

According to the complaint, the Defendants failed to compensate
Plaintiff and members of the FLSA Collective at minimum wage for
all hours worked. The exact accounting of such discrepancy can
only be determined upon completion of discovery. The Defendants
failed to compensate Plaintiff and members of the FLSA Collective
at one and one-half times the employee's wage for all hours
worked in excess of 40 during any workweek. The exact accounting
of such discrepancy can only be determined upon completion of
discovery.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Gregory A. Goodman, Esq.
          THE LAW OFFICE OF GREGORY A. GOODMAN P.C.
          380 North Broadway, Suite 203
          Jericho, New York 11753
          Telephone: (516) 597 5840
          Facsimile: (866) 415 1019
          E-mail: ggoodman@gganylaw.com


LIMBACH HOLDINGS: Appeal Made in "Garfield" Suit Dismissed
----------------------------------------------------------
Limbach Holdings, Inc. said in its Form 10-K report filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for
the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, that the appeal made by
Robert Garfield on the Circuit Court of Du Page County's decision
in granting the company's motion to dismiss, was dismissed with
prejudice.

On May 10, 2016, Robert Garfield, on behalf of himself and all
other similarly situated public holders of Company's common
stock, filed a Verified Class Action and Derivative Complaint
(the "Complaint") against the Company, Gordon G. Pratt, Hassan R.
Baqar, Larry G. Swets, Jr., John T. Fitzgerald, Joshua Horowitz,
Leo Christopher Saenger III, and Thomas D. Sargent (the
"Defendants") in the Circuit Court of Du Page County, Illinois.

In his Complaint, Mr. Garfield alleged that (1) the Defendants'
efforts to consummate the Business Combination were "ultra vires"
acts in violation of the Company's amended and restated
certificate of incorporation (the "Charter"), (2) the Defendants
breached their fiduciary duties to the stockholders in
negotiating and approving the merger, and (3) the Defendants
filed a proxy statement that was incomplete and misleading.

Limbach Holdings said in its Form 10-Q Report for the quarterly
period ended September 30, 2017, that the Company filed a motion
to dismiss on November 14, 2016 and, on August 3, 2017, the
Circuit Court of Du Page County, Illinois, granted the Company's
motion to dismiss, with prejudice. On September 1, 2017, Garfield
filed a Notice of Appeal of the trial court's ruling. Briefing
has not yet begun and the parties engaged in settlement
negotiations.

According to the Company's Form 10-K Report, as of December 31,
2017, the appeal was dismissed with prejudice.

Limbach Holdings, Inc. (the "Company" or "Successor"), formerly
known as 1347 Capital Corp. ("1347 Capital"), is a Delaware
corporation headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The
Company is a commercial specialty contractor in the areas of
heating, ventilation, air-conditioning ("HVAC"), plumbing,
electrical and building controls for the design and construction
of new and renovated buildings, maintenance services, energy
retrofits and equipment upgrades.


LONGFIN CORP: Wei Sues over Plunge in Stock Price
-------------------------------------------------
CHEN WEI, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated, the Plaintiff, v. LONGFIN CORP., VENKATA S. MEENAVALLI,
and VIVEK KUMAR RATAKONDA, the Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-03462
(S.D.N.Y., April 19, 2018), seeks to recover 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.

Longfin purports to be an independent finance and technology
company that offers commodity trading, alternate risk transfer,
and carry trade financing services. It also provides hedging and
risk management solutions to importers, exporters, and small
medium business enterprises. Longfin is headquartered in New
York, New York, and its securities traded on the NASDAQ Capital
Market under the ticker symbol "LFIN."

Trading on the Company's stock was halted by the SEC on April 6,
2018. On December 15, 2017, Longfin issued a press release
entitled "Longfin Corp acquires Blockchain empowered Global
Micro-lending solutions provider Ziddu.com" announcing the
acquisition of Ziddu.com.

On this news, the price of Longfin stock increased from $5.39 per
share on December 14, 2017, to close at $72.38 per share on
December 18, 2017, an increase of more than 1,200% in just two
trading days. Throughout the Class Period, Defendants made
materially false and misleading statements regarding the
Company's business, operational and compliance policies.
Specifically, the Defendants made false and/or misleading
statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Longfin had
misrepresented material facts about its business and operations,
including the extent of its capabilities at its New York offices
and the identity and qualifications of key employees; (ii)
Longfin had material weaknesses in its operations and internal
controls over financial reporting; (iii) Longfin was ineligible
for inclusion in the Russell Indices; (iv) Longfin's lack of
profitability had imperiled its ability to continue as a going
concern; and (v) as a result of the foregoing, Longfin's
financial statements and Defendants' statements about Longfin's
business, operations, and prospects, were materially false and
misleading at all relevant times.

On March 26, 2018, Citron Research posted a tweet on Twitter.com
accusing the Company of inaccuracies in its financial reporting
and fraud. The same day, FTSE Russell issued a statement
announcing that Longfin would be removed from its global indices
after market close on March 28, 2018, approximately 12 days after
being added. On this news, Longfin's share price fell $11.82, or
16.62%, to close at $59.28 on March 26, 2018. The stock continued
to decline over the next trading sessions, closing on April
2, 2018 at $14.31 per share, for a total decline of $61.21 per
share since the stock's close on March 23, 2018.

Longfin is a publicly traded American company involved in
blockchain technology. It was established in December 2017 and
the same month made headlines when its stock price increased more
than 200%.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Jeremy A. Lieberman, Esq.
          J. Alexander Hood II, Esq.
          Patrick V. Dahlstrom, Esq.
          POMERANTZ LLP
          600 Third Avenue, 20th Floor
          New York, New York 10016
          Telephone: (212) 661 1100
          Facsimile: (212) 661 8665
          E-mail: jalieberman@pomlaw.com
                  ahood@pomlaw.com
                  pdahlstrom@pomlaw.com


MAJOR LEAGUE: Minors Baseball Players to Lose Min Wage Protection
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Ronald Blum, writing for Courthouse News Service, reports that
minor league baseball players who make as little as $5,500 a
season were stripped of the protection of federal minimum wage
laws under a provision in government spending legislation signed.

The "Save America's Pastime Act" is included on page 1,967 of the
$1.3 trillion spending bill and appears to pre-empt a lawsuit
filed four years ago in U.S. District Court in San Francisco by
three players alleging Major League Baseball and its teams
violate the Fair Labor Standards Act and state minimum wage and
overtime requirements for a work week they estimated at 50-to-60
hours.

The provision in the legislation exempts "any employee employed
to play baseball who is compensated pursuant to a contract that
provides for a weekly salary for services performed during the
league's championship season (but not spring training or the
offseason) at a rate that is not less than a weekly salary equal
to the minimum wage . . . for a workweek of 40 hours,
irrespective of the number of hours the employee devotes to
baseball related activities."

The House approved the spending bill Thursday, the Senate
followed early Friday and President Donald Trump signed the bill
in the afternoon.

"Instead of going through the regular committee process where it
has a hearing, all of this was done in secret and a in a very
rushed manner," Garrett Broshuis, Esq. --
gbroshuis@koreintillery.com -- the lawyer for the players, said
Thursday. "It's emblematic of how things are getting done in
Washington these days, where the people with a lot of money are
able to flex their political muscle and make a lot of
contributions and get things done in secret that benefit only
them."

Major League Baseball spent $1.32 million on lobbying expenses in
both 2016 and 2017, up from $330,000 in 2015, according to the
nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. MLB paid $400,000
each of those years to an outside firm, the Duberstein Group,
which reported lobbying the House and Senate on the issue, as did
MLB's in-house lobbyist.

"We aren't billionaire business owners and billionaire team
owners," said Broshius, a minor league pitcher from 2004-09 who
later became a lawyer.

The language in the spending bill is nearly identical to a stand-
alone bill introduced in 2016 by Republican Rep. Brett Guthrie of
Kentucky and Democratic Rep. Cheri Bustos of Illinois. At the
time, the pair said the exemption from minimum wage laws was
necessary because without it, minor leagues would have to make
cuts that could imperil teams and hurt the economy in cities
where they play.

Only major league players are unionized, and their collective
bargaining agreement sets minimum salaries for players on 40-man
rosters: $545,000 for those in the major leagues this season,
$88,900 for 40-man roster players in the minors signing at least
their second big league contract and $44,500 for 40-man roster
players in the minors signing their first big league contract.

While early selections in the annual draft of players residing in
the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and top amateurs from
the rest of the world can command signing bonuses as high as
about $8 million under the current rules, monthly minimum
salaries for most players on minor league rosters are low: $1,100
at rookie ball and Class A, $1,500 at Double-A and $2,150 at
Triple-A. Players also receive a $25 per diem on the road and
dinner at the ballpark following games.

Teams have spent just under $289 million on signing bonuses for
last year's amateur draft picks and about $150 million on
international amateurs in the signing period that started July 2.
MLB calculates the average monthly salaries last year at $10,000
in Triple-A, $3,000 in Double-A, $1,600 at upper-level Class A
and $1,300 at lower-level A-ball.

"We stand shoulder to shoulder with the minor league players and
the labor community in opposing this legislation," Tony Clark,
head of the Major League Baseball Players Association, said in an
email.

The lawsuit has been certified as a class action for minor
leaguers who played in a California league, instructional league
or extended spring training since February 2011, but MLB has
asked the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn that
decision, which has delayed the case from going to trial.

MLB had no comment on the legislation, spokesman Michael Teevan
said. The National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues,
which governs the minors, deferred to MLB because players are
employees of the major league teams, spokesman Jeff Lantz said.

David Popp, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Mitch
McConnell, said in an email: "If the leader issues a statement on
this I'll be sure to forward." Doug Andres, a spokesman for House
Speaker Paul Ryan, did not respond to an email seeking comment.

AP Sports Writer Ben Nuckols contributed to this report.


MDL 2804: Buckhannon Has Yet to Decide on Joining Opioid Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Katie Kuba, writing for The Record Delta, reports that should
Buckhannon City Council vote to join a class action lawsuit
that's being brought against pharmaceutical manufacturers for
dumping massive amounts of opioids into the Mountain State?

That was one of the key questions council pondered during its
April 5, but made no definitive decision on the matter, opting to
wait until its April 19 meeting when mayor David McCauley and
city attorney Tom O'Neill hope to have more information to
present.

The city recently received a letter from Charles R. "Rusty" Webb
of the Charleston-based law firm, Webb Law Centre PLLC, offering
to represent the city in a class action suit against opioid
manufactures and distributors.  According to his April 4 letter
to the city, Mr. Webb currently represents 28 cities,
municipalities and counties in similar suits against drug
manufacturers for "excessive distribution of pills."

Mr. O'Neill asked council how it wished to proceed, saying the
first decision the city needs to make is who will represent it,
should Buckhannon decide to pursue litigation against opioid
manufacturers.

"It's way outside my area of competence, so I could not represent
the city beyond outside counsel management," Mr. O'Neill said.
"The question that council should consider is whether or not it
makes sense to join that group [that Webb Law Centre is
representing] or seek its own counsel as part of litigation."

Mr. McCauley asked Mr. O'Neill if he was ready to make a
recommendation to council about how it should proceed.

Mr. O'Neill said he thought the city should approach Mr. Webb to
discuss the terms of his offer of representation.

"The purpose of this is to compensate local governments for the
cost of law enforcement, the cost of Narcan (an opioid-antagonist
capable of reversing an overdose), the cost of firefighting, the
cost of societal damage and social services," Mr. O'Neill said.
"When we discuss the drug epidemic in our state and country and
all of the ills that it's responsible for, each of those ills has
a dollar figure attached to it as far as local government is
concerned, so the purpose of this is to seek reimbursement for
wrongful acts by these corporate actors in dumping opioid
medication recklessly -- or frankly, probably intentionally --
into our communities far beyond the community's rational need."

Councilman CJ Rylands asked Mr. O'Neill to outline any potential
risks or costs to the city.  Mr. O'Neill replied that typically
such class action lawsuits have "little to no risk to the
client." Compensation is usually paid on a contingency basis,
O'Neill added, meaning the city will only have to pay the law
firm representing it if it is awarded a settlement.

"There will be a major settlement on the order of the tobacco
settlement 20 years ago, and the question is, 'Does the city of
Buckhannon want to be named a party in the lawsuit that is going
to precipitate that settlement?'" Mr. O'Neill said.

Councilman David Thomas said it's important to consider all the
parties benefiting from the drug epidemic, including the
manufacturers of the life-saving drug, Narcan or Naloxone.

"It's a multi-faceted problem that we have in our country today,
and I don't really think we're looking at it that way
oftentimes," Mr. Thomas remarked.  "I think there's another side
of this whole equation that ought to have some discussion in our
society.  That's just my opinion."

Mr. O'Neill ultimately recommended council authorize himself and
Mr. McCauley to enter into discussions with Mr. Webb and/or other
attorneys to hash out a representation agreement, which could be
presented at council's next meeting on April 19.  Council members
agreed but did not officially vote on the matter.

Mr. McCauley noted that while the West Virginia Municipal League
has recommended cities and towns join a class-action lawsuit
against opioid manufacturers, the organization did not specify or
endorse one particular law firm over another.  According to
Webb's letter, his firm is representing Charleston, Huntington
and Parkersburg.

In February, the Upshur County Commission entered into a contract
with the Wheeling-based Fitzsimmons Law Firm PLLC, which will
represent it in a suit against drug manufacturers. [GN]


MDL 2826: "Agans" Suit over Data Security Breach Consolidated
-------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Steven Agans, Audrey Diaz
Sanchez, and Charity Bustamante, individually and on behalf of
all others similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v. Uber
Technologies Inc., a Delaware Corporation, the Defendant, Case
No. 3:17-cv-06759, was transferred from the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of California, to the U.S. District
Court for the Central District of California (Western Division -
Los Angeles) on April 9, 2018. The District Court Clerk assigned
Case No. 2:18-cv-02970-PSG-GJS to the proceeding.

The Agans case is being consolidated with MDL 2826 in re: Uber
Technologies, Inc., Data Security Breach Litigation. The MDL was
created by Order of the United States Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation on April 4, 2018. These putative class
actions share complex factual questions arising from Uber's
announcement on November 21, 2017, that a data security breach of
its network occurred in late 2016 in which the personal
information of 57 million Uber users was downloaded by
unauthorized individuals outside the company. Common factual
questions are presented with respect to Uber's practices in
safeguarding its users' personal information, the investigation
into the breach, the alleged delay in disclosing the breach, and
the nature of the alleged damages. Centralization will eliminate
duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings,
including with respect to class certification; and conserve the
resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.

In its April 4, 2018 Order, the MDL Panel found that the Central
District of California is an appropriate transferee district for
this litigation. Three actions are pending in this district. The
Uber defendants support this district if centralization is
granted over their objection, and plaintiffs in two Northern
District of Illinois actions support it as their second choice.
California has a significant connection to this litigation, as
Uber Technologies, Inc., has its headquarters in this state,
where much of the common evidence, including witnesses, will be
located.

Judge Philip S. Gutierrez, to whom we assign this litigation, is
an experienced transferee judge, and we are confident he will
steer this litigation on a prudent course. The lead case is 2:18-
ml-02826-PSG-GJS.

Uber Technologies is a peer-to-peer ridesharing, food delivery,
and transportation network company headquartered in San
Francisco, California, with operations in 633 cities
worldwide.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Tina Wolfson, Esq.
          Theodore Walter Maya, Esq.
          AHDOOT AND WOLFSON PC
          10728 Lindbrook Drive
          Los Angeles, CA 90024
          Telephone: (310) 474 9111
          Facsimile: (310) 474 8585
          E-mail: twolfson@ahdootwolfson.com

               - and -

          Daniel Kent Bryson, Esq.
          WHITFIELD BRYSON & MASON LLP
          900 West Morgan Street
          Raleigh, NC 27603
          Telephone: (919) 600 5000
          Facsimile: (919) 600 5035
          E-mail: dan@wbmllp.com

              - and -

          Daniel Stewart Robinson, Esq.
          Wesley Kaikaina Polischuk, Esq.
          ROBINSON CALCAGNIE, INC.
          19 Corporate Plaza Drive
          Newport, CA 92660
          Telephone: (949) 720 1288
          Facsimile: (949) 720 1292
          E-mail: drobinson@robinsonfirm.com
                  tmaya@ahdootwolfson.com
                  wpolischuk@robinsonfirm.com

Attorneys for Defendant:

          Allison M Holt, Esq.
          E. Desmond Hogan, Esq.
          Michelle A Kisloff, Esq.
          Vassiliki Iliadis, Esq.
          HOGAN LOVELLS LLP
          Columbia Square
          555 Thirteenth Street NW
          Washington, DC 20004
          Telephone: (202) 637 5872
          Facsimile: (202) 637 5910
          E-mail: allison.holt@hoganlovells.com
                  desmond.hogan@hoganlovells.com
                  michelle.kisloff@hoganlovells.com
                  vassi.iliadis@hoganlovells.com


MDL 2827: "Mazzeo" Suit over iPhone Performance Consolidated
------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled ELIEZER RABINOVITS and VICTOR
MAZZEO, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly
situated, the Plaintiffs, the Apple Inc., the Defendant, Case No.
1:17-cv-10032, was transferred from the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of New York, to the U.S. District Court for
the Northern District of California (San Jose) on April 19, 2018.
The Northern District of California Court Clerk assigned Case No.
5:18-cv-02326-EJD to the proceeding.

The Mazzeo case is being consolidated with MDL 2827 in re: Apple
Inc. Device Performance Litigation. The MDL was created by Order
of the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
on April 4, 2018. All responding parties support centralization,
but there is some disagreement as to the transferee district.

Plaintiffs in 30 actions and potential tag-along actions (as well
as plaintiff in one action in the alternative) support
centralization in the Northern District of California. The
Plaintiff in a Southern District of Florida action proposes
centralization in that district, while common defendant Apple
Inc. supports centralization in the Northern District of
California or, alternatively, the Central District of California.

In its April 4, 2018 Order, the MDL Panel found that these
actions share factual questions arising from allegations that
Apple included code in updates to its mobile operating system
(iOS) that significantly reduced the performance of older-model
iPhones.

The Plaintiffs also allege that Apple misrepresented the nature
of the iOS updates and failed to adequately disclose to iPhone
owners the impact the iOS updates would have on the performance
of their iPhones. Discovery regarding the engineering of the
iPhone and the iOS updates likely will be technical and complex.

Plaintiffs assert similar causes of action for false advertising,
alleged unfair business practices, trespass to chattels, breach
of contract, and unjust enrichment. Moreover, plaintiffs bring
these actions on behalf of overlapping putative classes of iPhone
owners. Centralization thus will eliminate duplicative discovery;
prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, including with respect to
class certification; and conserve the resources of the parties,
their counsel, and the judiciary.

The case is assigned to the Hon. Judge Edward J. Davila. The lead
case is 2:15-md-02661-MHW-EPD.

Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company
headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops,
and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online
services.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Peter James Harrington, Esq.
          Stephanie M. Beige, Esq.
          Stanley D. Bernstein, Esq.
          BERNSTEIN LIEBHARD, LLP
          10 East 40th Street
          New York, NY 10016
          Telephone: (212) 779 1414
          Facsimile: (212) 779 3218
          E-mail: pharrington@bernlieb.com
                  ottensoser@bernlieb.com

Attorneys for Apple Inc.:

          Jillian Nicole London, Esq.
          GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP (LOS ANGELES)
          333 S. Grand Avenue, Suite 4600
          Los Angeles, CA 90071
          E-mail: jlondon@gibsondunn.com


MDL 2827: "Mailyan" Suit over iPhone Performance Consolidated
-------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Violetta Mailyan, an individual,
on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated, the
Plaintiff, v. Apple Inc., a California corporation, the
Defendant, Case No. 2:17-cv-09192, was transferred from the U.S.
District Court for the Central District of California, to the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (San
Jose) on April 19, 2018. The Northern District of California
Court Clerk assigned Case No. 5:18-cv-02312-EJD to the
proceeding.

The Mailyan case is being consolidated with MDL 2827 in re: Apple
Inc. Device Performance Litigation. The MDL was created by Order
of the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
on April 4, 2018. All responding parties support centralization,
but there is some disagreement as to the transferee district.

Plaintiffs in 30 actions and potential tag-along actions (as well
as plaintiff in one action in the alternative) support
centralization in the Northern District of California. The
Plaintiff in a Southern District of Florida action proposes
centralization in that district, while common defendant Apple
Inc. supports centralization in the Northern District of
California or, alternatively, the Central District of California.

In its April 4, 2018 Order, the MDL Panel found that these
actions share factual questions arising from allegations that
Apple included code in updates to its mobile operating system
(iOS) that significantly reduced the performance of older-model
iPhones. Plaintiffs also allege that Apple misrepresented the
nature of the iOS updates and failed to adequately disclose to
iPhone owners the impact the iOS updates would have on the
performance of their iPhones. Discovery regarding the engineering
of the iPhone and the iOS updates likely will be technical and
complex.

Plaintiffs assert similar causes of action for false advertising,
alleged unfair business practices, trespass to chattels, breach
of contract, and unjust enrichment. Moreover, plaintiffs bring
these actions on behalf of overlapping putative classes of iPhone
owners. Centralization thus will eliminate duplicative discovery;
prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, including with respect to
class certification; and conserve the resources of the parties,
their counsel, and the judiciary.

The case is assigned to the Hon. Judge Edward J. Davila. The lead
case is 2:15-md-02661-MHW-EPD.

Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company
headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops,
and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online
services.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Hovsep Hovsepyan, Esq.
          Armen Kiramijyan, Esq.
          KAASS LAW
          313 East Broadway Suite 944
          Glendale, CA 91209
          Telephone: (310) 943 1171
          Facsimile: (310) 943 1172
          E-mail: hhovsepyan@kaass.com
                  akiramijyan@kaass.com

Attorneys for Apple Inc.:

          Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., Esq.
          Christopher Chorba, Esq.
          Timothy William Loose, Esq.
          GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP
          333 South Grand Avenue
          Los Angeles, CA 90071-3197
          Telephone: (213) 229 7804
          Facsimile: (213) 229 6804
          E-mail: tboutrous@gibsondunn.com
                  cchorba@gibsondunn.com
                  tloose@gibsondunn.com


MDL 2827: "Speas" Suit over iPhone Performance Consolidated
-----------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Stefan Bogdanovich and Dakota
Speas, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, the Plaintiff, v. Apple, Inc., a corporation, the
Defendant, Case No. 2:17-cv-09138, was transferred from the U.S.
District Court for the Central District of California, to the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (San
Jose) on April 19, 2018. The Northern District of California
Court Clerk assigned Case No. 5:18-cv-02311-EJD to the
proceeding.

The Speas case is being consolidated with MDL 2827 in re: Apple
Inc. Device Performance Litigation. The MDL was created by Order
of the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
on April 4, 2018. All responding parties support centralization,
but there is some disagreement as to the transferee district.

Plaintiffs in 30 actions and potential tag-along actions (as well
as plaintiff in one action in the alternative) support
centralization in the Northern District of California. The
Plaintiff in a Southern District of Florida action proposes
centralization in that district, while common defendant Apple
Inc. supports centralization in the Northern District of
California or, alternatively, the Central District of California.

In its April 4, 2018 Order, the MDL Panel found that these
actions share factual questions arising from allegations that
Apple included code in updates to its mobile operating system
(iOS) that significantly reduced the performance of older-model
iPhones. Plaintiffs also allege that Apple misrepresented the
nature of the iOS updates and failed to adequately disclose to
iPhone owners the impact the iOS updates would have on the
performance of their iPhones. Discovery regarding the engineering
of the iPhone and the iOS updates likely will be technical and
complex.

Plaintiffs assert similar causes of action for false advertising,
alleged unfair business practices, trespass to chattels, breach
of contract, and unjust enrichment. Moreover, plaintiffs bring
these actions on behalf of overlapping putative classes of iPhone
owners. Centralization thus will eliminate duplicative discovery;
prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, including with respect to
class certification; and conserve the resources of the parties,
their counsel, and the judiciary.

The case is assigned to the Hon. Judge Edward J. Davila. The lead
case is 2:15-md-02661-MHW-EPD.

Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company
headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops,
and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online
services.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Colin Matthew Jones, Esq.
          B. Bobby Saadian, Esq.
          WILSHIRE LAW FIRM
          3055 Wilshire Boulevard 12th Floor
          Los Angeles, CA 90010
          Telephone: (213) 381 9988
          Facsimile: (213) 381 9989
          E-mail: colin@wilshirelawfirm.com
                  bobby@wilshirelawfirm.com

               - and -

          Thomas V Girardi, Esq.
          GIRARDI KEESE
          1126 Wilshire Boulevard
          Los Angeles, CA 90017
          Telephone: (213) 977 0211
          E-mail: tgirardi@girardikeese.com

Attorneys for Apple, Inc.:

          Christopher Chorba, Esq.
          Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., Esq.
          Timothy William Loose, Esq.
          GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP
          333 South Grand Avenue
          Los Angeles, CA 90071-3197
          Telephone: (213) 229 7000
          Facsimile: (213) 229 7520
          E-mail: cchorba@gibsondunn.com
                  tboutrous@gibsondunn.com
                  tloose@gibsondunn.com


MDL 2827: "Drantivy" Suit over iPhone Performance Consolidated
--------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Raisa Drantivy, Plaintiff, on
behalf of themselves individually and all others similarly
situated, the Plaintiff, v. Apple Inc., a corporation and Does 1
through 10, inclusive, the Defendant, Case No. 1:17-cv-07480, was
transferred from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of New York, to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of California (San Jose) on April 19, 2018. The Northern District
of California Court Clerk assigned Case No. 5:18-cv-02324-EJD to
the proceeding.

The Drantivy case is being consolidated with MDL 2827 in re:
Apple Inc. Device Performance Litigation. The MDL was created by
Order of the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict
Litigation on April 4, 2018. All responding parties support
centralization, but there is some disagreement as to the
transferee district.

Plaintiffs in 30 actions and potential tag-along actions (as well
as plaintiff in one action in the alternative) support
centralization in the Northern District of California. The
Plaintiff in a Southern District of Florida action proposes
centralization in that district, while common defendant Apple
Inc. supports centralization in the Northern District of
California or, alternatively, the Central District of California.

In its April 4, 2018 Order, the MDL Panel found that these
actions share factual questions arising from allegations that
Apple included code in updates to its mobile operating system
(iOS) that significantly reduced the performance of older-model
iPhones. Plaintiffs also allege that Apple misrepresented the
nature of the iOS updates and failed to adequately disclose to
iPhone owners the impact the iOS updates would have on the
performance of their iPhones. Discovery regarding the engineering
of the iPhone and the iOS updates likely will be technical and
complex.

Plaintiffs assert similar causes of action for false advertising,
alleged unfair business practices, trespass to chattels, breach
of contract, and unjust enrichment. Moreover, plaintiffs bring
these actions on behalf of overlapping putative classes of iPhone
owners. Centralization thus will eliminate duplicative discovery;
prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, including with respect to
class certification; and conserve the resources of the parties,
their counsel, and the judiciary.

The case is assigned to the Hon. Judge Edward J. Davila. The lead
case is 2:15-md-02661-MHW-EPD.

Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company
headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops,
and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online
services.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Gregg A Pinto, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF GREGG A. PINTO
          225 Broadway, Suite 307
          New York, NY 10007
          Telephone: (646) 328 2434
          Facsimile: (212) 898 0117
          E-mail: pinto@pintolawoffices.com


MDL 2827: "Brand" Suit over iPhone Performance Consolidated
-----------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Blake Brand and Matt Hosking,
Individually And On Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, the
Plaintiff, v. Apple Inc., the Defendant, Case No. 2:17-cv-03453,
was transferred from the U.S. District Court for the District of
South Carolina, to the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California (San Jose) on April 19, 2018. The Northern
District of California Court Clerk assigned Case No. 5:18-cv-
02327-EJD to the proceeding.

The Brand case is being consolidated with MDL 2827 in re: Apple
Inc. Device Performance Litigation. The MDL was created by Order
of the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
on April 4, 2018. All responding parties support centralization,
but there is some disagreement as to the transferee district.

Plaintiffs in 30 actions and potential tag-along actions (as well
as plaintiff in one action in the alternative) support
centralization in the Northern District of California. The
Plaintiff in a Southern District of Florida action proposes
centralization in that district, while common defendant Apple
Inc. supports centralization in the Northern District of
California or, alternatively, the Central District of California.

In its April 4, 2018 Order, the MDL Panel found that these
actions share factual questions arising from allegations that
Apple included code in updates to its mobile operating system
(iOS) that significantly reduced the performance of older-model
iPhones. Plaintiffs also allege that Apple misrepresented the
nature of the iOS updates and failed to adequately disclose to
iPhone owners the impact the iOS updates would have on the
performance of their iPhones. Discovery regarding the engineering
of the iPhone and the iOS updates likely will be technical and
complex.

Plaintiffs assert similar causes of action for false advertising,
alleged unfair business practices, trespass to chattels, breach
of contract, and unjust enrichment. Moreover, plaintiffs bring
these actions on behalf of overlapping putative classes of iPhone
owners. Centralization thus will eliminate duplicative discovery;
prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings, including with respect to
class certification; and conserve the resources of the parties,
their counsel, and the judiciary.

The case is assigned to the Hon. Judge Edward J. Davila. The lead
case is 2:15-md-02661-MHW-EPD.

Apple Inc. is an American multinational technology company
headquartered in Cupertino, California, that designs, develops,
and sells consumer electronics, computer software, and online
services.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Aaron Cole Mayer, Esq.
          MAYER LAW LLC
          18 Carolina Street, Suite B
          Charleston, SC 29403
          Telephone: (843) 225 7240
          E-mail: aaron@mayerlawpractice.com

Attorneys for Defendant:

          Paul T. Collins, Esq.
          NELSON MULLINS RILEY & SCARBOROUGH LLP
          1320 Main Street, 17th Floor
          Columbia, SC 29201
          Telephone: (803) 255 9747
          Facsimile: (803) 255 9128
          E-mail: paul.collins@nelsonmullins.com


MDL 2828: "Bernstein" Suit over Defective CPUs Consolidated
-----------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Eric H. Bernstein and Stephen C.
Bevilacqua, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated, the Plaintiffs, v. Intel Corporation, the Defendant,
Case No. 1:18-cv-00526, was transferred from the U.S. District
Court for the Eastern District of New York, to the U.S. District
Court for the District of Oregon (Portland) on April 19, 2018.
The District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 3:18-cv-00670-SI to
the proceeding.

The Bernstein case is being consolidated with MDL 2828 in re:
Intel Corp. CPU Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability
Litigation. The MDL was created by Order of the United States
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on April 5, 2018. All
responding parties agree that the actions share factual issues
arising out of allegations that Intel manufactured its computer
processors to use "speculative execution" technology, which left
the processors exposed to security vulnerabilities known as
"Spectre" and "Meltdown," and that the fix for this problem can
considerably slow the processors' speed. Centralization will
eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial
rulings on class certification and other issues, and conserve the
resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.

In its April 5, 2018 Order, the MDL Panel found that
centralization in the District of Oregon is appropriate. The
Defendant Intel and the Plaintiffs in at least nine related
actions support centralization in that district. Intel has
extensive operations there, including its employees who evaluated
the security vulnerabilities and developed patches to mitigate
them, as well as the team that led the development of the first
Intel processor to use speculative execution. It is likely,
therefore, that relevant evidence and witnesses will be located
in this district.

The Hon. Judge Michael H. Simon, located in Portland, is an
experienced transferee judge who can steer this litigation on a
prudent course. The lead case is 2:15-md-02661-MHW-EPD.

Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and
technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in
the Silicon Valley.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Michael P. Canty, Esq.
          LABATON SUCHAROW
          140 Broadway
          New York, NY 10005
          Telephone: (212) 907 0700
          Facsimile: (212) 883 7063
          E-mail: mcanty@labaton.com


MDL 2828: Alrose Suit over Defective CPUs Consolidated
------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Allen Rosenberg and Alrose Group
LLC, individually on behalf of themselves and all others
similarly situated, the Plaintiffs, v. Intel Corporation, the
Defendant, Case No. 2:18-cv-00147, was transferred from the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of New York, to the U.S.
District Court for the District of Oregon (Portland) on April 19,
2018. The District Court Clerk assigned Case No. 3:18-cv-00668-SI
to the proceeding.

The Alrose case is being consolidated with MDL 2828 in re: Intel
Corp. CPU Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability
Litigation. The MDL was created by Order of the United States
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on April 5, 2018. All
responding parties agree that the actions share factual issues
arising out of allegations that Intel manufactured its computer
processors to use "speculative execution" technology, which left
the processors exposed to security vulnerabilities known as
"Spectre" and "Meltdown," and that the fix for this problem can
considerably slow the processors' speed. Centralization will
eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial
rulings on class certification and other issues, and conserve the
resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.

In its April 5, 2018 Order, the MDL Panel found that
centralization in the District of Oregon is appropriate. The
Defendant Intel and the Plaintiffs in at least nine related
actions support centralization in that district. Intel has
extensive operations there, including its employees who evaluated
the security vulnerabilities and developed patches to mitigate
them, as well as the team that led the development of the first
Intel processor to use speculative execution. It is likely,
therefore, that relevant evidence and witnesses will be located
in this district.

The Hon. Judge Michael H. Simon, located in Portland, is an
experienced transferee judge who can steer this litigation on a
prudent course. The lead case is 2:15-md-02661-MHW-EPD.

Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and
technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in
the Silicon Valley.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Adam R. Gonnelli, Esq.
          THE SULTZER LAW GROUP
          85 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 104
          Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
          Telephone: (845) 483 7100
          Facsimile: (888) 749 7747
          E-mail: gonnellia@thesultzerlawgroup.com

               - and -

          Akiva Meir Cohen, Esq.
          KAMERMAN, UNCYK, SONIKER, & KLEIN, PC
          1700 Broadway, 42nd Floor
          New York, NY 10019
          Telephone: (212) 400 4930
          Facsimile: (866) 221 6122
          E-mail: acohen@kusklaw.com

               - and -

          Jeffrey Kevin Brown, Esq.
          LEEDS BROWN LAW, P.C.
          One Old Country Road, Suite 347
          Carle Place, NY 11514
          Telephone: (516) 873 9550
          Facsimile: (516) 747 5024
          E-mail: jbrown@leedsbrownlaw.com

               - and -

          Joseph Lipari, Esq.
          Jason P. Sultzer, Esq.
          THE SULTZER LAW GROUP P.C.
          85 Civic Center Plaza, Ste. 104
          Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
          Telephone: (845) 483 7100
          Facsimile: (888) 749 7747
          E-mail: liparij@thesultzerlawgroup.com
                  sultzerj@thesultzerlawgroup.com


MDL 2828: "Inman" Suit over Defective CPUs Consolidated
-------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Amy Storey, Michael Inman, and
Dennis Chavez, all individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v. Intel Corporation, a
Delaware corporation, the Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-00051, was
transferred from the U.S. District Court for the District of New
Mexico, to the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
(Portland) on April 19, 2018. The District Court Clerk assigned
Case No. 3:18-cv-00665-SI to the proceeding.

The Inman case is being consolidated with MDL 2828 in re: Intel
Corp. CPU Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability
Litigation. The MDL was created by Order of the United States
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on April 5, 2018. All
responding parties agree that the actions share factual issues
arising out of allegations that Intel manufactured its computer
processors to use "speculative execution" technology, which left
the processors exposed to security vulnerabilities known as
"Spectre" and "Meltdown," and that the fix for this problem can
considerably slow the processors' speed. Centralization will
eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial
rulings on class certification and other issues, and conserve the
resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.

In its April 5, 2018 Order, the MDL Panel found that
centralization in the District of Oregon is appropriate. The
Defendant Intel and the Plaintiffs in at least nine related
actions support centralization in that district. Intel has
extensive operations there, including its employees who evaluated
the security vulnerabilities and developed patches to mitigate
them, as well as the team that led the development of the first
Intel processor to use speculative execution. It is likely,
therefore, that relevant evidence and witnesses will be located
in this district.

The Hon. Judge Michael H. Simon, located in Portland, is an
experienced transferee judge who can steer this litigation on a
prudent course. The lead case is 2:15-md-02661-MHW-EPD.

Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and
technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in
the Silicon Valley.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Nicholas Koluncich, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF NICHOLAS KOLUNCICH LLC
          500 Marquette Ave NW, Suite 1200
          Albuquerque, NM 87102
          Telephone: (505) 881 2228
          Facsimile: (505) 881 4288
          E-mail: nkoluncich@newmexicoclassactions.com


MDL 2828: "Murphy" Suit over Defective CPUs Consolidated
--------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Kyle Murphy and Timothy Grunloh,
on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated, the
Plaintiffs, v. Intel Corporation, the Defendant, Case No. 2:18-
cv-02009, was transferred from the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of Illinois, to the U.S. District Court for the
District of Oregon (Portland) on April 19, 2018. The District
Court Clerk assigned Case No. 3:18-cv-00666-SI to the proceeding.

The Murphy case is being consolidated with MDL 2828 in re: Intel
Corp. CPU Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability
Litigation. The MDL was created by Order of the United States
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on April 5, 2018. All
responding parties agree that the actions share factual issues
arising out of allegations that Intel manufactured its computer
processors to use "speculative execution" technology, which left
the processors exposed to security vulnerabilities known as
"Spectre" and "Meltdown," and that the fix for this problem can
considerably slow the processors' speed. Centralization will
eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial
rulings on class certification and other issues, and conserve the
resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.

In its April 5, 2018 Order, the MDL Panel found that
centralization in the District of Oregon is appropriate. The
Defendant Intel and the Plaintiffs in at least nine related
actions support centralization in that district. Intel has
extensive operations there, including its employees who evaluated
the security vulnerabilities and developed patches to mitigate
them, as well as the team that led the development of the first
Intel processor to use speculative execution. It is likely,
therefore, that relevant evidence and witnesses will be located
in this district. The Hon. Judge Michael H. Simon, located in
Portland, is an experienced transferee judge who can steer this
litigation on a prudent course. The lead case is 2:15-md-02661-
MHW-EPD.

Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and
technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in
the Silicon Valley.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Irwin B. Levin, Esq.
          Lynn A. Toops, Esq.
          Richard E. Shevitz, Esq.
          Vess Allen Miller, Esq.
          COHEN & MALAD, LLP
          One Indiana Square, Suite 1400
          Indianapolis, IN 46204
          Telephone: (317) 636 6481
          Facsimile: (317) 636 2593
          E-mail: ilevin@cohenandmalad.com
                  ltoops@cohenandmalad.com
                  rshevitz@cohenandmalad.com
                  vmiller@cohenandmalad.com


MDL 2828: "Robbins" Suit over Defective CPUs Consolidated
---------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Jordan Robbins, individually and
on behalf of all others similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v.
Intel Corporation, the Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-00540, was
transferred from the U.S. District Court for the District of New
Jersey, to the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
(Portland) on April 19, 2018. The District Court Clerk assigned
Case No. 3:18-cv-00667-SI to the proceeding.

The Robbins case is being consolidated with MDL 2828 in re: Intel
Corp. CPU Marketing, Sales Practices and Products Liability
Litigation. The MDL was created by Order of the United States
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on April 5, 2018. All
responding parties agree that the actions share factual issues
arising out of allegations that Intel manufactured its computer
processors to use "speculative execution" technology, which left
the processors exposed to security vulnerabilities known as
"Spectre" and "Meltdown," and that the fix for this problem can
considerably slow the processors' speed. Centralization will
eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pretrial
rulings on class certification and other issues, and conserve the
resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.

In its April 5, 2018 Order, the MDL Panel found that
centralization in the District of Oregon is appropriate. The
Defendant Intel and the Plaintiffs in at least nine related
actions support centralization in that district. Intel has
extensive operations there, including its employees who evaluated
the security vulnerabilities and developed patches to mitigate
them, as well as the team that led the development of the first
Intel processor to use speculative execution. It is likely,
therefore, that relevant evidence and witnesses will be located
in this district.

The Hon. Judge Michael H. Simon, located in Portland, is an
experienced transferee judge who can steer this litigation on a
prudent course. The lead case is 2:15-md-02661-MHW-EPD.

Intel Corporation is an American multinational corporation and
technology company headquartered in Santa Clara, California, in
the Silicon Valley.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Christopher L. Ayers, Esq.
          David R. Buchanan, Esq.
          SEEGER WEISS LLP
          55 Challenger Road, 6th Floor
          Ridgefield Park, NJ 07660
          Telephone: (973) 639 9100
          E-mail: cayers@seegerweiss.com
                  cseeger@seegerweiss.com
                  dbuchanan@seegerweiss.com

               - and -

          Donald A. Ecklund, Esq.
          James E. Cecchi, Esq.
          CARELLA, BYRNE, CECCHI,
          OLSTEIN, BRODY & AGNELLO, P.C.
          5 Becker Farm Road
          Roseland, NJ 07068
          Telephone: (973) 994 1700
          Facsimile: (973) 994 1744
          E-mail: decklund@carellabyrne.com
                  jcecchi@carellabyrne.com


MGT CAPITAL: Says Time to File Notice of Appeal Already Expired
---------------------------------------------------------------
MGT Capital Investments, Inc. said in its Form 10-K report filed
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2,
2018, for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, that the time
for plaintiffs to file a notice of appeal expires on March 30,
2018.

In September 2016, various shareholders in the Company filed
putative class action lawsuits against the Company, its president
and certain of its individual officers and directors. The cases
were filed in the Court and alleged violations of federal
securities laws and seek damages. On April 11, 2017 those cases
were consolidated into a single action (the "Securities Action")
and two individual shareholders were appointed lead plaintiffs by
the Court.

MGT Capital said in its Form 10-Q Report for the quarterly period
ended September 30, 2017, that on June 30, 2017, the lead
plaintiffs filed an amended complaint.  On August 29, 2017, the
defendants moved to dismiss the plaintiffs' amended complaint,
which the plaintiffs opposed on October 13, 2017. On November 3,
2017, the defendants filed a reply brief in support of their
motion to dismiss the amended complaint.

In its Form 10-K Report, the Court heard oral argument on the
motion to dismiss on February 7, 2018. On February 27, 2018, the
Court issued a Memorandum and Order dismissing the case in its
entirety, with prejudice. The time for plaintiffs to file a
notice of appeal expires on March 30, 2018.

MGT Capital Investments, Inc., together with its subsidiaries,
focuses on acquiring and developing a portfolio of cybersecurity
technologies. It intends to address various cyber threats through
protection technologies for mobile and personal tech devices, as
well as corporate networks. The company is based in Durham, North
Carolina.


MIDLAND FUNDING: "Smith" Suit Moved to Western Dist. of Arkansas
----------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Kandis K. Smith, on behalf of
herself and others similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v. Midland
Funding, LLC and Midland Credit Management, Inc., the Defendants,
Case No. CV2018-29, was removed from the Circuit Court of Carroll
County, Arkansas, the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Arkansas (Harrison) on April 19, 2018. The District
Court Clerk assigned Case No. 3:18-cv-03044-TLB to the
proceeding. The case is assigned to the Hon. Judge Timothy L.
Brooks.

Midland Funding LLC provides debt collection services. The
company was incorporated in 2005 and is based in San Diego,
California. Midland Funding LLC operates as a subsidiary of
Midland Portfolio Services, Inc.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Corey D. McGaha, Esq.
          CROWDER MCGAHA, LLP
          5507 Ranch Drive, Suite 202
          Little Rock, AR 72223
          Telephone: (501) 205 4026
          Facsimile: (501) 367 8208
          E-mail: cmcgaha@crowdermcgaha.com

               - and -

          Daniel Turner, Esq.
          Todd M. Turner, Esq.
          ARNOLD, BATSON, TURNER & TURNER, P.A.
          501 Crittenden Street
          P.O. Box 480
          Arkadelphia, AR 71923
          Telephone: (870) 246 9844
          Facsimile: (870) 246 9845
          E-mail: Dan@arnoldbatsonturner.com
                  todd@abtt.us

               - and -

          William Thomas Crowder, Esq.
          CROWDER MCGAHA LLP
          5507 Ranch Drive, Suite 202
          Little Rock, AR 72223
          Telephone: (501) 205 4026
          Facsimile: (501) 367 8208
          E-mail: wcrowder@crowdermcgaha.com

               - and -

          Michael N. Shannon, Esq.
          QUATTLEBAUM, GROOMS, TULL & BURROW PLLC
          111 Center St., Suite 1900
          Little Rock, AR 72201
          Telephone: (501) 379 1700
          E-mail: mshannon@qgtb.com


MILLENNIUM LABS: "Booth" Suit Seeks Overtime Wages
--------------------------------------------------
ALLIE BOOTH, individually, and on behalf of other members of the
general public similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v. MILLENNIUM
LABORATORIES, INC., a California corporation; MILLENNIUM HEALTH,
LLC, a California limited liability company; and DOES 1 through
100, inclusive, the Defendant, Case No. 37-2018-0001961 (Cal.
Super. Ct., April 19, 2018), seeks to recover unpaid overtime,
unpaid rest period premiums, unpaid minimum wages and unpaid meal
period premiums under the California Labor Code.

The Defendants hired Plaintiff and the other class members,
classified them as hourly-paid or non-exempt employees, and
failed to compensate them for all hours worked and missed meal
periods and/or rest breaks. The Defendants had the authority to
hire and terminate Plaintiff and the other class members, to set
work rules and conditions governing Plaintiffs and the other
class members' employment, and to supervise their daily
employment activities. The Defendants exercised sufficient
authority over the terms and conditions of Plaintiffs and the
other class members' employment for them to be joint employers of
Plaintiff and the other class members.

The Defendants directly hired and paid wages and benefits to
Plaintiff and the other class members. The Defendants continue to
employ hourly-paid or non-exempt employees within the State of
California. The Plaintiff and the other class members worked over
eight hours in a day, and/or 40 hours in a week during their
employment with Defendants. The Plaintiff alleges that Defendants
engaged in a pattern and practice of wage abuse against their
hourly-paid or non-exempt employees within the State of
California. This pattern and practice involved, inter alia,
failing to pay them for all regular and/or overtime wages earned
and for missed meal periods and rest breaks in violation of
California law.

Millennium Laboratories, is a national, research-based medication
monitoring company whose test panels, technology, customer
support, educational resources and experts are specifically
focused on clinicians who treat chronic pain.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Stanley D. Saltzman, Esq.
          MARLIN & SALTZMAN, LLP
          29800 Agoura Road, Suite 210
          Agoura Hills, CA 91301
          Telephone: (818) 991 8080
          Facsimile: (818) 991 8081

               - and -

          Edwin Aiwazian, Esq.
          LAW YERS for JUSTICE, PC
          410 West Arden Avenue, Suite 203
          Glendale, CA 91203
          Telephone: (818) 265 1020
          Facsimile: (818) 265 1021


MODESTO, CA: Court Approves $100K Settlement in "Beidleman" Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
California approved the Settlement Agreement and dismissed the
Case in the case captioned MICHAEL CHARLES BEIDLEMAN,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff, v. CITY OF MODESTO, Defendant, No. 1:16-cv-01100-DAD-
SKO (E.D. Cal.).

In his complaint, the plaintiff alleges that he and the putative
class members were denied proper compensation in violation of the
provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), when the
defendant failed to include all statutorily required forms of
compensation in the regular rate of pay used to calculate the
plaintiffs' overtime compensation.

Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the defendant will
pay a gross amount of $100,085.58 to the plaintiffs and the
putative plaintiffs, which reflects the parties' best reasonable
belief of a fair settlement value, based on the variables at play
in this action.

The parties state that the gross amount of settlement is a fair
valuation of the damages if neither the plaintiffs nor the
defendant were to prevail on all issues in dispute. At the
hearing on March 2, 2018, the parties indicated that the
plaintiffs' initial settlement demand was for $179,000, which the
plaintiffs' counsel recognized was an overstatement of the actual
damages. In light of the complexity of this case and the
difficulty the parties face in estimating the likely value of the
plaintiffs' claim without conducting an exact calculation, the
court finds the rationale of the agreement and the recovery
obtained as a result to be reasonable. This factor weighs in
favor of approval of the FLSA settlement.

Here, the parties have sufficient information to make an informed
decision regarding settlement. The Ninth Circuit's decision in
Flores makes it likely that the plaintiffs would prevail in some
aspect of their claim. The parties engaged in informal discovery
that involved the exchange of payroll data to evaluate the
potential range of recovery.  The Plaintiff retained an expert to
review payroll data and perform back pay calculations, and also
consulted with city payroll staff. Under these circumstances, the
court finds that the parties had sufficient information to reach
an appropriate early-stage settlement.

Here, the named plaintiff believes his claims are meritorious but
concedes that if this case were to proceed to trial, he would
face uncertainties about how to calculate damages due to the bona
fide disputes in the case. Additionally, at trial, the defendant
could assert offsets and credits from the way that it calculated
overtime, which was more favorable than required by the FLSA,
thus reducing the plaintiffs' recovery. All of these concerns
pose a risk to the plaintiffs and could decrease their overall
recovery.  Accordingly, this factor weighs in favor of approval
of the FLSA settlement.

Here, the release provision is limited to claims against the
released parties arising in, or in connection with, or out of the
litigation and any such claim arising in, or in connection with,
or out of the claims. The parties agreed at the most recent
hearing that the Released Claims as indicated in the Settlement
Agreement refers to the FLSA claims for the plaintiffs and the
putative plaintiffs who received cash-in-lieu of health benefit
payments at any time since July 28, 2013. In light of this
understanding, consideration of this factor weighs in favor of
approval of the FLSA settlement.

In determining whether a settlement is fair and reasonable, the
opinions of counsel should be given considerable weight both
because of counsel's familiarity with the litigation and previous
experience with cases.

Here, the plaintiffs' counsel, attorney David Mastagni, has
considerable experience in litigating and settling cases
asserting liability pursuant to the Flores decision and has
stated that this settlement is fair, adequate, and in the best
interests of the class members. Accordingly, consideration of
this factor weighs in favor of approval of the FLSA settlement.

The likelihood of fraud or collusion is low when the Settlement
was reached through arm's-length negotiations, facilitated by an
impartial mediator.

Here, the court finds that there is a low probability of fraud or
collusion because the settlement negotiations were presided over
and facilitated by a magistrate judge of this court.  This
settlement also lacks any evidence of more subtle signs of
collusion, such as when counsel receive a disproportionate
distribution of the settlement, or when the class receives no
monetary distribution but class counsel are amply rewarded.

The court finds that the proposed settlement is a fair and
reasonable resolution of the parties' bona fide disputes.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/yccm8whg from Leagle.com.

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

City of Modesto, Defendant, represented by Genevieve Y. Ng --
gng@sloansakai.com -- Sloan Sakai Yeung & Wong LLP.


MURRAY GOULBURN: Slater & Gordon to Proceed with Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------------
Paris Faint, writing for Business News Australia, reports that
Slater and Gordon (ASX: SGH) confirmed it is going ahead with a
class action against one of Australia's largest milk suppliers
Murray Goulburn.

The firm has formally opened registrations for shareholders and
the proposed lawsuit will be backed by litigation funder IMF
Bentham.

Slater and Gordon will allege that Murray Goulburn misled its
investors by issuing its FY16 profit forecast in a product
disclosure statement, and subsequent revision, without a
reasonable basis.

It will also allege that Murray Goulburn is responsible for
breaches of continuous disclosure obligations by failing to
announce a second FY16 downgrade prior to 27 April 2016.

"Thorough analysis of the recent ACCC and ASIC inquiries into
Murray Goulburn have strengthened our initial findings that
suggest the company misled the market by forecasting profits it
could never have achieved in the 2016 financial year," said
Andrew Paull, senior associate at Slater and Gordon.

"We have identified significant inconsistencies between Murray
Goulburn's statements to the market regarding its likely revenue
and profits that year and the information available to the
company's management internally.

"As a result, we now have increased confidence the 27 April 2016
profit downgrade was the result of an overly optimistic forecast,
rather than any factors beyond its control."

The timeline in question
On 29 May 2015, Murray Goulburn's subsidiary MG Responsible
Entity issued a product disclosure statement which forecast a
full year net profit after tax (NPAT) of $85.8 million.

In February 2016, the company went on to revise its NPAT guidance
at $63 million stating that the dairy market had been
historically weak.

Murray Goulburn then downgraded its forecast again to between $39
million and $42 million just two months before the end of the
financial year.

Regarding its second and most severe downgrade, which occurred on
27 April 2016, the company blamed weak growth in Chinese markets,
the AUD-USD exchange rate and a downward revaluation of milk
product inventory.

Corporate watchdog inquiries lend weight to Slater's case
Slater and Gordon's proposed class action against Murray Goulburn
cites separate investigations by watchdogs the Australian
Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian
Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).

In April 2017, the ACCC launched proceedings against the company
alleging it contravened Australian Consumer Law after suddenly
reducing its prices.

The ACCC claimed Murray Goulburn engaged in unconscionable
conduct and made false or misleading representations and filed
proceedings in the Federal Court.

Later that year, ASIC alleged that the company failed to meet its
continuous disclosure obligations when it forecast the price of
milk at $5.60 and subsequently slashed its profit guidance and
announced retrospective price cuts on its milk payments to
farmers.

Murray Goulburn admitted to breaching its disclosure obligations
in the ASIC case and agreed to pay a $650,000 settlement.

Registrations for the class action will remain open until 18 May
2018 with formal proceedings expected to be filed soon after.

Murray Goulburn the subject of a Saputo takeover
At the company's extraordinary general meeting (EGM), Murray
Goulburn shareholders voted in the clear majority to approve the
sale of all MG operating assets to Canadian dairy company Saputo
for $1.31 billion.

The ACCC confirmed it would not oppose the buyout, on the
condition that Saputo accept a court-enforceable undertaking to
divest Murray Goulburn's Koroit plant once purchased.

Saputo owns the Allansford plant at Warrnambool, and the ACCC
said it would substantially lessen competition if Saputo were to
also own the Koroit plant which is based in the same region.

Under the buyout, Saputo would also assume all liabilities
associated with Murray Goulburn.

The company made no mention of a looming class action at its EGM.
However, it released a statement on April 9 denying that any
action had commenced against Murray Goulburn Co-operative (MG)
and MG Responsible Entity (MGRE).

"[Murray Goulburn] notes the media release on 6 April from Slater
and Gordon Lawyers of the opening of registrations for a proposed
unitholder class action against MG and MGRE, which would be
conditionally funded by IMF Bentham," said the company.

"MG and MGRE note that no such action has been commenced." [GN]


NANO: Faces Investor Class Action in New York
---------------------------------------------
Molly Jane Zuckerman, writing for Coin Telegraph, reports that a
new class action lawsuit has been filed in the United States
District Court Eastern District of New York on behalf of
investors in Nano (XRB, formerly Raiblocks), according to a class
action complaint signed April 5.

The lawsuit is being filed by an American individual, Alex Brola,
through Silver Miller law firm, and alleges that Nano's core team
both violated US securities laws by selling unregistered
securities as well as negligently misrepresented the reliability
of crypto exchange BitGrail, from which around 17 mln Nano ($187
mln at the time) were stolen in mid-February.

The lawsuit asks that Nano be ordered by court to "rescue fork"
the investors' missing NANO "into a new cryptocurrency in a
manner that would fairly compensate the class of victims."

In the aftermath of BitGrail's Feb. 9 announcement on their
website that the 17 mln Nano had been hacked from the exchange,
Nano developers and BitGrail's owner and operator Francesco "The
Bomber" Firano reportedly entered into a conflict over whether or
not Firano had asked for the ledger to be edited to "cover his
losses."

Nano then accused Firano of "misleading the Nano Core Team and
the community" on their official blog.

Although Nano investor Alex Brola is the named plaintiff in the
lawsuit, having reportedly bought $50,000 worth of Nano on Dec.
10, 2017, the complaint claims there are "at least hundreds if
not thousands of putative Class members" that Silver Miller plans
to contact during the discovery period.

Silver Miller writes in the class action notice that they are a
"strong advocate for aggrieved investors harmed by the
misrepresentations and illegal actions of cryptocurrency
exchanges and issuers."  The law firm is currently working on
class actions against crypto exchanges and services Coinbase,
Kraken, BitConnect, Cryptsy, and Initial Coin Offering (ICO)
promoters Monkey Capital, Giga Watt, and Tezos.

Tezos has been the subject of multiple lawsuits over the question
of its compliance with SEC regulations.  The Tezos class action
lawsuit filed last fall by Silver Miller alleges that Tezos
violated securities laws during their ICO, which raised $232 mln,
making it the world's second largest ICO to date in terms of most
funds raised. [GN]


NORMAN BARWIN: May Face Suit for Using Sperm to Impregnate Women
----------------------------------------------------------------
Xinhua reports that a Canadian fertility doctor, Norman Barwin
may face a class action lawsuit in which he is accused of using
his own sperm to inseminate 11 of his clients without their
knowledge or consent.

In a statement, Nelligan O'Brien Payne LLP, the law firm behind
the case, said that DNA investigation shows that Barwin is the
biological father in 11 individuals whose parents went to the
doctor for assistance with fertility.

The law firm said it has been in contact with more than 150
people who have allegedly been "adversely affected" by Barwin's
fertility practice dating back to the 1970s, according to the
statement released on April 5.

In addition, the firm said it has been aware of another 51 cases
in which the identity of the biological father remains unknown.

Among these cases, 16 individuals who were to be conceived using
their father's sperm are not a biological match to their father,
while 35 individuals who were to be conceived using anonymous
donor sperm may not be a biological match with the intended
donor.

The proposed lawsuit against Barwin was first launched in 2016 by
Davina and Daniel Dixon, an Ottawa couple who turned to the
doctor for help in 1989.

Their daughter was born the following year.  It took more than
two decades for the couple to discover the dark secret.

In 2016, they underwent a blood test due to concerns over how two
parents with blue eyes could have conceived a daughter with brown
eyes.  The test result showed their daughter had type O-positive
blood and Daniel had type AB blood, proving it was impossible
that they were father and daughter, reported the Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation in 2016, citing the initial statement of
claim.

The law firm said it is finalising the materials for the
certification of the class action and expects the action to be
certified in the coming months.

In 2013, Barwin was suspended from practice for two months after
he admitted inseminating four women with the wrong sperm and
stopped practicing the following year. [GN]


NOVUS THERAPEUTICS: "Doshi" Consolidated with "Garbowski" Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Novus Therapeutics, Inc. said in its Form 10-K report filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for
the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, that the case entitled
Doshi v. Tokai Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., has been
consolidated with Garbowski, et al. v. Tokai Pharmaceuticals,
Inc., et al.

On August 1, 2016, a purported stockholder of Tokai filed a
putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of New York against Tokai, Jodie P. Morrison,
and Lee H. Kalowski, entitled Doshi v. Tokai Pharmaceuticals,
Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-06106 ("Doshi Action"). The plaintiff
sought to represent a class of purchasers of Tokai securities
between June 24, 2015, and July 25, 2016, and alleges that, in
violation of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act")
and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, defendants made false and
misleading statements and omissions about Tokai's clinical trials
for its drug candidate, galeterone. The lawsuit sought, among
other things, unspecified compensatory damages, interest, costs,
and attorneys' fees.

On October 3, 2016, the case was transferred to the U.S. District
Court for the District of Massachusetts. On September 28, 2017,
this action was consolidated with Garbowski, et al. v. Tokai
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-11963.

Novus Therapeutics said "Given the uncertainty of litigation, the
preliminary stage of the case, and the legal standards that must
be met for, among other things, success on the merits, we are
unable to predict the ultimate outcome of these actions, and
therefore we cannot estimate the reasonably possible loss or
range of loss that may result from this action."

Novus Therapeutics is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused
on developing products for disorders of the ear, nose, and throat
(ENT). The company is based in Irvine, California.


NOVUS THERAPEUTICS: Multiple Suits over Tokai IPO Pending
---------------------------------------------------------
Novus Therapeutics, Inc. said in its Form 10-K report filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for
the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, that Tokai
Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is facing multiple class action suits
related to its initial public offering.

On September 22, 2014, Tokai completed the initial public
offering of its common stock (the "IPO"). Subsequent to the IPO,
several lawsuits were filed against Tokai, Jodie P. Morrison, Lee
H. Kalowski, Seth L. Harrison, Timothy J. Barberich, David A.
Kessler, Joseph A. Yanchik, III, and the underwriters of the IPO.

The lawsuits allege that, in violation of the Securities Act of
1933 ("Securities Act"), Tokai's registration statement for the
IPO made false and misleading statements and omissions about
Tokai's clinical trials for galeterone (the "Securities Act
claims").

Each lawsuit sought, among other things, unspecified compensatory
damages, interest, costs, and attorneys' fees.

Novus Therapeutics said "Given the uncertainty of litigation, the
preliminary stage of these cases, and the legal standards that
must be met for, among other things, success on the merits, we
are unable to predict the ultimate outcome of these actions, and
therefore we cannot estimate the reasonably possible loss or
range of loss that may result from these actions."

     * Jackie888 Action

On August 19, 2016, a purported stockholder of Tokai filed a
putative class action lawsuit in the Superior Court of the State
of California, County of San Francisco, entitled Jackie888, Inc.
v. Tokai Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. CGC-16-553796. The
plaintiff sought to represent a class of purchasers of Tokai
common stock in or traceable to the IPO. On October 19, 2016, the
defendants moved to dismiss or stay the action on grounds of
forum non conveniens, and certain individual defendants moved to
quash the plaintiff's summons for lack of personal jurisdiction.
On February 27, 2017, the Superior Court entered an order
granting defendants' motion to stay the lawsuit.

     * Garbowski Action

On September 29, 2016, two purported stockholders of Tokai filed
a putative class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for
the District of Massachusetts, entitled Garbowski, et al. v.
Tokai Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 1:16-cv-11963
("Garbowski Action"). In addition to the Securities Act claims,
this lawsuit also alleges that the defendants made false and
misleading statements and omissions about Tokai's clinical trials
for galeterone, in violation of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder. The plaintiffs sought to represent a
class of purchasers of Tokai common stock in or traceable to the
IPO as well as a class of purchasers of Tokai common stock
between September 17, 2014, and July 25, 2016. On September 28,
2017, the action was consolidated with the Doshi Action.

     * Wu Action

On December 5, 2016, a putative securities class action was filed
in the Business Litigation Session of the Superior Court
Department of the Suffolk County Trial Court, Massachusetts
("Massachusetts State Court"), entitled Wu v. Tokai
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., 16-3725 BLS ("Wu Action").

The plaintiff seeks to represent a class of purchasers of Tokai
common stock in or traceable to the IPO. On December 19, 2016,
defendants removed the Wu Action to the U.S. District Court for
the District of Massachusetts, where it was captioned Wu v. Tokai
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., 16-cv-12550, and assigned to the
same judge presiding over the Doshi and Garbowski Actions. On
December 22, 2016, defendants filed a motion to consolidate the
Wu Action with the Doshi and Garbowski Actions.

On January 6, 2017, plaintiff filed a motion to remand the Wu
Action to Massachusetts State Court. On September 28, 2017, the
court stayed the case pending a decision by the United States
Supreme Court in Cyan, Inc. v. Beaver County Employees Retirement
Fund, S. Ct. Case No. 15-1439.

On March 20, 2018, the United States Supreme Court ruled in Cyan
that state courts have subject matter jurisdiction over covered
class actions alleging only Securities Act claims and that such
actions are not removable to federal court. On March 22, 2018,
plaintiff moved for leave to submit the Cyan decision in support
of plaintiff's remand motion.

     * Angelos Action

On July 25, 2017, a purported stockholder of Tokai filed a
lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Massachusetts, entitled Peter B. Angelos v. Tokai
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., et al., No. 1:17-cv-11365-MLW. The case
has been assigned to the same judge presiding over the Doshi,
Garbowski, and Wu Actions.

The Company has always maintained and continues to believe that
it did not engage in any wrongdoing or otherwise commit any
violation of federal or state securities laws or other laws.

Novus Therapeutics is a specialty pharmaceutical company focused
on developing products for disorders of the ear, nose, and throat
(ENT). The company is based in Irvine, California.


OPEN DOOR: "Conde" Plaintiffs Must Respond to RFPs
--------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California granted Defendant 20/20's request to compel production
of documents and denied Defendant 20/20's request to compel
answers to its interrogatories in the case captioned CARLOS
CONDE, et al., Plaintiffs, v. OPEN DOOR MARKETING, LLC, et al.,
Defendants, Case No. 15-cv-04080-KAW (N.D. Cal.).

The Plaintiffs filed this putative class and collective action
against Defendants 20/20 Communications, Inc. (20/20), Open Door
Marketing, LLC (Open Door), Larry Clark, and Jerrimy Farris,
alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and
various California labor laws.

Rule 408 states:

"(a) Prohibited Uses. Evidence of the following is not admissible
on behalf of any party either to prove or disprove the validity
or amount of a disputed claim or to impeach by a prior
inconsistent statement or a contradiction:

(1) furnishing, promising, or offering or accepting, promising to
accept, or offering to accept a valuable consideration in
compromising or attempting to compromise the claim; and

(2) conduct or a statement made during compromise negotiations
about the claim except when offered in a criminal case and when
the negotiations related to a claim by a public office in the
exercise of its regulatory, investigative, or enforcement
authority.

(b) Exceptions. The court may admit this evidence for another
purpose, such as proving a witness's bias or prejudice, negating
a contention of undue delay, or proving an effort to obstruct a
criminal investigation or prosecution."

The Plaintiffs make three arguments for why Rule 408 should apply
in this case. First, the Plaintiffs argue that information going
to the parties' credibility is explicitly prohibited under Rule
408, relying on Rule 408's prohibition on the use of conduct or
statements made in compromise negotiations to impeach through a
prior inconsistent statement or contradiction.

Second, the Plaintiffs argue that the cases cited by Defendant
20/20 regarding the discoverability of settlement communications
are patent cases, and therefore not applicable to this case.

The Court disagrees.

The Plaintiffs offer no persuasive reason why the discoverability
of settlement communications should be limited to patent cases,
and the plain language of Rule 408 does not suggest that patent
cases should be treated differently from any other case.

Thus, the Court concludes that Rule 408 does not apply to shield
discovery of the settlement communications between the Plaintiffs
and Defendants Clark and Farris.

The Plaintiffs argue that the Court should use its [broad]
discretion to control discovery to deny 20/20's attempt to compel
their production.

Here, Defendant 20/20 seeks discovery of the settlement
communications to impeach the credibility of Defendants Clark and
Farris because to the extent the Plaintiffs did offer dismissal
to Clark, Farris and/or Open Door in exchange for testimony, this
raises the concern that Clark, Farris and/or both were (or will
be) influenced in their testimony to say what the Plaintiffs' sic
wanted (or want) to hear in order to get out of the case. At the
hearing, Defendant 20/20 also explained that it was concerned
that Plaintiff was obtaining other substantive information from
Defendants Clark and Farris, including informal testimony.

The Court declines to use its inherent power to control the
discovery at this juncture. This is not a situation where the
defendants are seeking information about a settlement in another
matter; instead, Defendant 20/20 is seeking information on a
settlement brokered between its co-defendants and the Plaintiffs,
in which the Plaintiffs have agreed to drop claims against the
co-defendants in exchange for information and evidence that maybe
used against Defendant 20/20.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/ydydpkc3 from Leagle.com.

Carlos Conde, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Shikwana Jennings, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated & Lisa Drake, individually and on
behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, represented
by Harold Lichten -- hlichten@llrlaw.com -- Lichten and Liss-
Riordan P.C., Jill Stephanie Kahn -- jkahn@llrlaw.com -- Lichten
and Liss-Riordan P.C., Michael Louis Freedman --
mfreedman@llrlaw.com -- Lichten & Liss-Riordan, P.C. & Matthew
David Carlson -- mcarlson@llrlaw.com -- Lichten & Liss-Riordan,
P.C.

Open Door Marketing, LLC, Larry Dale Clark & Jerrimy Farris,
Defendants, represented by Kristin Alexandria Smith --
ksmith@fosteremploymentlaw.com -- Foster Employment Law & Michael
Leslie Thompson, Lehr Middlebrooks Vreeland and Thompson, P.C.


OOMA INC: Continues to Defend "Barnett" Suit Over IPO
-----------------------------------------------------
Ooma, Inc. said in its Form 10-K report filed with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for the
fiscal year ended January 31, 2018, that the company continues to
defend itself in a consolidated class action suit initiated by
Michael Barnett.

On January 14, 2016, Michael Barnett filed a purported
stockholder class action in the San Mateo County Superior Court
of the State of California (Case No. CIV536959) against the
Company, certain of its officers and directors, and certain of
the underwriters of the company's IPO on July 17, 2015. Since
that time two additional purported class actions making
substantially the same allegations against the same defendants
were filed, and on May 18, 2016, all three complaints were
combined into a "consolidated complaint" filed in the same court
(the "Securities Litigation").

The consolidated complaint purports to be brought on behalf of
all persons who purchased shares of common stock in the company's
IPO in reliance upon the Registration Statement and Prospectus
the Company filed with the SEC. The consolidated complaint
alleges that the Company and the other defendants violated the
Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act") by
issuing the Registration Statement and Prospectus, which the
plaintiffs allege contained material misstatements and omissions
in violation of Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities
Act.

The plaintiffs seek class certification, compensatory damages,
attorneys' fees and costs, rescission or a rescissory measure of
damages, equitable and/or injunctive relief, and such other
relief as the court may deem proper.

On July 1, 2016, the Company filed its answer to the complaint,
on August 26, 2016 the Company filed a motion for judgment on the
pleadings, and on January 5, 2017, the Superior Court issued an
order in response to such motion, granting the Company's motion
to dismiss the claims pursuant to Sections 12(a)(2) and 15 of the
Securities Act, with leave to amend, and denying the Company's
motion to dismiss the claims pursuant to Section 11 of the
Securities Act.

Ooma said in its Form 10-Q Report for the quarterly period ended
October 31, 2017, that the parties participated in a confidential
mediation session on August 4, 2017 that did not result in a
resolution of the Securities Litigation. On August 28, 2017, the
plaintiffs filed a motion to amend the consolidated complaint,
which, among other things, added back in the original claims
based on Sections 12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act (The
"Section 12 and 15 Claims").

On November 29, 2017, the court dismissed the Section 12 and 15
Claims with prejudice, but denied the Company's motions to (a)
dismiss the amended consolidated case on grounds that state
courts lack subject matter jurisdiction to hear federal
securities class action claims, and (b) to stay the case pending
the United States Supreme Court's decision in Cyan v. Beaver
Cnty. Emp. Ret.' Fund, which takes up the same issue of subject
matter jurisdiction.

In its Form 10-K Report, the Company said that on January 11,
2018, Ooma filed a petition for writ of mandate with the
California Court of Appeal seeking to overturn the Superior
Court's denial of the motion to stay, and on February 21, 2018,
the writ was denied. On March 20, 2018, the United States Supreme
Court published its decision in the Cyan case, holding that state
courts have subject matter jurisdiction to hear claims brought
under the Securities Act, such as the claims alleging violations
of Section 11 of the Securities Act (the only remaining claims in
the Securities Litigation) brought against the Company in the
Superior Court.

The Company believes the plaintiffs' claims are without merit and
the Company is vigorously defending against the Securities
Litigation and will continue to do so. However, litigation is
unpredictable and there can be no assurances that the Company
will obtain a favorable final outcome or that it will be able to
avoid unfavorable preliminary or interim rulings in the course of
litigation that may significantly add to the expense of its
defense and could result in substantial costs and diversion of
resources.

Based on the Company's current knowledge, the Company has
determined that the amount of any material loss or range of any
losses that is reasonably possible to result from the Securities
Litigation is not estimable.

Ooma creates powerful connected experiences for businesses and
consumers. The company's smart SaaS platform serves as a
communications hub, which offers cloud-based telephony, home
security and other connected services. The company is based in
Sunnyvale, California.


PENNSYLVANIA: Court Dismisses "Marmolejos" Suit
-----------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Pennsylvania granted Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the case
captioned MARVIN MARMOLEJOS, and KEVIN WILLIAMS (aka Kirby
Stewart), Plaintiffs, v. PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS,
and GLOBAL TEL*LINK CORP., Defendants, Civil Case No. 17-cv-13
(W.D. Pa.), after adopting a magistrate judge's report and
recommendation recommending that the Court grant the Defendant's
Motion.

Plaintiffs, Marvin Marmolejos and Kevin Williams, acting pro se,
filed this purported class action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. Section
1983 on January 18, 2017. Plaintiffs complain that computer
tablets offered for purchase by Global Tel*Link through a
Department of Corrections program are overpriced and faulty for
several reasons. The Plaintiffs allege that the Pennsylvania
Department of Corrections and Global Tel*Link are liable for
false advertising, fraud, misrepresentation, and gross
negligence.

The Defendant argues that it is not amenable to suit because it
is not a person as required for the purposes of Section 1983 and
that it is entitled to immunity under the Eleventh Amendment.

The R&R is plainly correct. Eleventh Amendment immunity prevents
Plaintiffs from suing the Department of Corrections as a matter
of law. Because the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's Department of
Corrections is a part of the executive department of the
Commonwealth, it shares in the Commonwealth's Eleventh Amendment
immunity. Pa. Stat. Ann., tit. 71, Section 61.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y9ye4cfw from Leagle.com.

MARVIN MARMOLEJOS, Plaintiff, pro se.

KEVIN WILLIAMS, also known as KIRBY STEWART, Plaintiff, pro se.
GLOBEL TEL*LINK CORP, Defendant, represented by Karl S. Myers --
kmyers@stradley.com -- Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLP, pro
hac vice & Jonathan F. Bloom -- jbloom@stradley.com -- Stradley,
Ronon, Stevens & Young.


PERRY'S STEAKHOUSE: Court Certifies Table-Servers Class
-------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois, Eastern Division, granted Plaintiffs' Motion for
Partial Class and Collective Action Certification in the case
captioned JESSICA BERGER AND TIMOTHY RENDAK, Plaintiffs, v.
PERRY'S STEAKHOUSE OF ILLINOIS, LLC; HOWARD CORTES; AND JEFFERY
PAGNOTTA, Defendants, No. 14 C 8543 (N.D. Ill.).

Jessica Berger and Timothy Rendak worked as table-servers at
Perry's Steakhouse and Grille in Oak Brook, Illinois. They allege
that Perry's and their managers, Howard Cortes and Jeffery
Pagnotta, failed to pay them all the tips which they were owed,
and required them to perform non-table-service related work at
less than minimum wage, in violation of the federal Fair Labor
Standards Act and the Illinois Minimum Wage Law.

Here, the Plaintiffs seek certification under subsection (3),
which requires a finding that questions of law or fact common to
class members predominate over any questions affecting only
individual members, and that a class action is superior to other
available methods for the fair and efficient adjudication of the
controversy.

Sub-Class Two: Tip Refund Claim

Numerosity

The Defendants do not dispute that they had a tip refund policy
regarding credit card processing fees. The Defendants employed 41
individual table-servers in the month of December 2013 alone.
This is sufficient to satisfy the numerosity requirements.

Commonality

The Defendants admit that they had a policy of retaining 3.25% of
all credit card tips paid to table-servers to offset the expense
of converting the tip to cash.  The Plaintiffs cite the
Defendants' December 2013 credit card processing fee statement to
assert that the Defendants paid only a 1.8% fee to process credit
card charges. The Court's review of this document shows total
credit card sales of $543,304.46 and total interchange fee of
$10,990.91. This is a 2% fee. In any case, it is less than the
3.25% the Defendants withheld from table-servers. Whether
retention of 3.25% of tips violates the FLSA and the IMWL is a
question common to all table-servers who were subject to the
retention policy.

Typicality

A claim is typical if it arises from the same event or practice
or course of conduct that gives rise to the claims of other class
members and [the] claims are based on the same legal theory.  The
Plaintiffs' claims arise from their work for the Defendants as
servers, and the putative class is defined as those who worked
for the Defendants as servers. The Defendants have not
identified, and the Court does not perceive, any meaningful fact
that would distinguish the Defendants' conduct towards the named
plaintiffs from the Defendants' conduct toward the rest of the
class. Thus, the named plaintiffs' claims are typical of the
class as a whole.

Adequacy

Lead Plaintiffs' counsel, Colleen M. McLaughlin, is an
experienced employment law attorney, and has been lead trial
counsel on three other wage and hour class actions, two of which
resulted in settlements favorable to the plaintiffs. The
Defendants do not challenge the Plaintiffs' counsel's adequacy.
The Court finds that Ms. McLaughlin meets the adequacy
requirement.

The Court does not perceive there to be any conflict between the
named plaintiffs, Ms. Berger and Mr. Rendak, and the Defendants
have identified none. Thus, the Court finds they are adequate
class representatives.

Predominance

Rule 23(b)(3)'s predominance requirement is satisfied when common
questions represent a significant aspect of a case and can be
resolved for all members of a class in a single adjudication.

Here, whether the Defendants' policy of withholding 3.25% of tips
to pay credit card processing fees complied with the FLSA and
IMWL is the primary question regarding the Defendants' potential
liability.  The Defendants have not identified any questions
regarding any individual plaintiff's liability that would
undermine this commonality, and the Court does not perceive there
to be any at this time. Thus, this common question predominates
over any individual questions.

Superiority

Factors used to evaluate superiority include: (A) the class
members' interests in individually controlling the prosecution or
defense of separate actions; (B) the extent and nature of any
litigation concerning the controversy already begun by or against
class members; (C) the desireability or undesireability of
concentrating the litigation of the claims in the particular
forum; and (D) the likely difficulties in managing a class
action.

Here, the clear predominance of the question of the legality of
the Defendants' tip retention policy makes class treatment of
this question the superior method of adjudication. The Defendants
do not suggest a more efficient alternative.

The Plaintiffs' motion to certify the classes and collective
actions identified in Plaintiffs' motion is granted.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018
Memorandum Opinion and Order is available at
https://tinyurl.com/y8lnkn6z from Leagle.com.

Jessica Berger & Timothy Rendak, Plaintiffs, represented by
Colleen M. McLaughlin, The Law Offices of Colleen M. McLaughlin,
1751 S Naperville Rd # 209, Wheaton, IL 60189, USA,  Elissa Joy
Hobfoll, Hobfoll Law, 73 W Monroe St., Chicago, IL, 60603-4910&
Gregory Scott Dierdorf, The Law Offices of Colleen M. McLaughlin,
1751 S Naperville Rd # 209, Wheaton, IL 60189, USA

Perry's Steakhouse of Illinois, LLC, doing business as Perry's
Steakhouse and Grille, Defendant, represented by Jeffrey S.
Fowler -- jfowler@lanermuchin.com -- Laner Muchin, Ltd. & Lionel
M. Schooler -- lschooler@jw.com -- Jackson Walker L.l.p., pro hac
vice.


PETROBRAS: June 9 Settlement Claims Submission Deadline Set
-----------------------------------------------------------
Battea Class Action Services provided an update on the Petrobras
class action settlement.

USD $3 Billion US settlement: In January 2018, Petrobras
announced that in connection with the losses investors suffered
from the Lava Jato bribery scandal, it had agreed to a USD $3
Billion settlement with investors who purchased Petrobras Common
or Preferred American Depository Shares (ADS) and certain bonds
in the U.S.  The court has preliminarily approved the proposed
settlement.  The deadline to submit a claim in the U.S. case is
set for June 9, 2018.

International Litigation and Settlement Initiative in the
Netherlands: Separately, litigation efforts conducted by
Stichting Petrobras Compensation Foundation against Petrobras
continue in the Netherlands on behalf of investors who also
suffered billions of dollars in losses in Petrobras common shares
(PETR3) and Petrobras preferred shares (PETR4), which are listed
on BM&F Bovespa, as well as Petrobras bonds that were sold
outside of the U.S.  The next hearing date for that litigation is
on June 28, 2018 in District Court in Rotterdam.

Investor Claims Filing and Participation: The landscape
surrounding the global litigations against Petrobras and related
settlements and loss recovery opportunities for investors is more
complex than usual due to a multitude of factors, including the
complexity of Petrobras' capital structure, with its equity being
listed on exchanges in the US, Brazil, and through global linked
market systems, and the numerous securities that are eligible for
recovery, as well as the multiple currency denominations of
Petrobras bonds that were issued and offered both in the US and
internationally.  The proposed US settlement has a number of
qualifying conditions and more than 20 different equity related
price loss calculations.  Identifying and asserting the proper
securities in each of the proposed or pending settlements will be
critical for investors to ensure they receive all of the monies
to which they are entitled.

Battea is the leading global expert in all stages of class
actions and class settlements in connection with securities,
foreign exchange, derivatives, and antitrust litigations and
settlements, acting on behalf of more than 700 institutional
investors worldwide, including the world's biggest banks, hedge
funds, and buy-side investors.  Battea has provided litigation
research and analyzed massive streams of Petrobras trading
transaction data on behalf of its global client base and is
uniquely positioned to assist interested institutional investors
who have transacted in both US and non-US based Petrobras
securities.  Underscoring the Company's specialized expertise in
the Petrobras matter, it has been retained to process and analyze
investor transaction eligibility by the international coalition
undertaking the international litigation efforts in the
Netherlands.

Who is Eligible to Recover in the US Settlement:

The US Settlement covers persons or entities that purchased or
otherwise acquired equity or debt securities of Petrobras (or
Petrobras International Finance Company S.A. and/or Petrobras
Global Finance B.V., its wholly owned financing subsidiaries) on
the NYSE or that cleared or settled through DTC's book-entry
system, or pursuant to certain other covered transactions between
January 22, 2010 and July 28, 2015; and/or purchased or otherwise
acquired debt securities issued by Petrobras or its financing
subsidiaries directly in, pursuant to and/or traceable to a
May 13, 2013 public offering registered in the U.S. and/or a
March 10, 2014 public offering registered in the U.S. before
August 11, 2014, in the case of the May 13, 2013 public offering,
or before May 15, 2015, in the case of the March 10, 2014 public
offering.

Who is Eligible to Participate in the International Recovery
Action in the Netherlands:

The pending international recovery action in the Netherlands
covers all persons who purchased or acquired before July 28, 2015
any Petrobras security not covered by the US Settlement, which
includes both Petrobras common and preferred shares traded on
Bovespa or through linked market systems outside of the US, as
well as all bonds offered outside of the US.  Petrobras Global
Finance B.V., which promoted Petrobras to the international
capital markets, is not headquartered in Brazil, but rather in
Rotterdam, the Netherlands, where other Petrobras subsidiaries
involved in the Lava Jato bribery scandal are domiciled as well.
Further in the EU, Petrobras became subject to the CNMV, the
Spanish Financial Market Regulator, when the Company opened
access to its shares listed on Bovespa through a linked market
system arrangement with Bolsa de Madrid.

           About Battea - Class Action Services, LLC

Battea - Class Action Services, via its comprehensive secure
datacenter hosted technology platforms and The Claims Engine(R),
automates class action settlement award recovery across all asset
classes for nearly 20 years and in excess of 700 institutional
investors, including hedge funds, asset management firms,
sovereign and pension funds, endowments and family offices.
Battea is trusted as a global leader, and consulted as experts,
in all stages of asserting and processing settlement claims in
connection with antitrust and securities litigation.  Battea
maintains corporate headquarters in Stamford, CT and San
Francisco, CA and has support agents in several international
locations including London, Madrid, Scandinavia, Luxembourg and
others.

          About Battea Global Litigation Research, Inc.

Battea Global Litigation Research, Inc., a subsidiary of Battea
Class Action Services, LLC, is responsible tracking of
settlements and litigation initiatives globally and provide in-
depth analysis, expert event and damages studies for clients and
shareholder associations and foundations.  Comprised of an
international team of experts in the legal and financial markets,
Battea Global Litigation Research maintains offices in both
Stamford, CT and Copenhagen, Denmark. [GN]


PURE STORAGE: California Shareholder Class Suit Dismissed
---------------------------------------------------------
Pure Storage, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended
October 31, 2017, that the Court dismissed a consolidated
securities class action captioned, In re Pure Storage, Inc.
Shareholder Litigation.

In September 2016, a purported securities class action entitled
Ramsay v. Pure Storage, Inc., et al. was filed in the Superior
Court of the State of California (San Mateo County) against the
company and certain of its officers, directors, investors and
underwriters for the company's initial public offering (IPO),
asserting claims under sections 11, 12 and 15 of the Securities
Act. Substantially identical lawsuits were subsequently filed in
the same Court, bringing the same claims against the same
defendants.

In October 2016, these actions were consolidated under the
caption In re Pure Storage, Inc. Shareholder Litigation. In
January 2017 and May 2017, the defendants filed demurrers
(motions to dismiss) to plaintiffs' complaints on the grounds
that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim under the Securities
Act, and both times, in April 2017 and August 2017, the Court
sustained the demurrers in defendants' favor as to all claims
with leave to amend. The plaintiffs subsequently agreed to
dismiss the lawsuit entirely, with no amendment or appeal, and in
October 2017, the Court dismissed the consolidated action without
prejudice.

Pure Storage, Inc. engages in building a data platform that
enables businesses to enhance performance and reduce complexity
and costs worldwide. The company is based in Mountain View,
California.


QUEST NUTRITION: Court Dismisses FAC in "Cairo"
-----------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Central District of
California, Southern Division, dismissed the First Amended Class
Action Complaint in the case captioned CAIRO, an individual,
SEDALE ADAMS, an individual, and ASAIAH SQUITIERI, an individual,
on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated,
Plaintiffs, v. QUEST NUTRITION, LLC, Defendant, Case No. 8:17-cv-
00137-CJC-KES (C.D. Cal.), pursuant to a Joint Stipulation to
Dismiss the First Amended Class Action Complaint.

The Plaintiffs' individual claims in the First Amended Class
Action Complaint are dismissed with prejudice and all of the
Plaintiffs' putative class claims on behalf of the alleged
putative class members are dismissed without prejudice.

Cairo, an individual, Sedale Adams, an individual & Asaiah
Squitieri, an individual, on behalf of themselves and others
similarly situated,, Plaintiffs, represented by C.K. Lee, CK Lee
Law Offices, pro hac vice & Benjamin Michael Lopatin --
blopatin@elplawyers.com -- Eggnatz Lopatin and Pascucci LLP.

Quest Nutrition, LLC, Defendant, represented by George C. Salmasg
-- salmas@salmas-law.com -- Salmas Law Group &Michael Robert
Hambly -- mhambly@salmas-law.com -- Salmas Law Group.


RAMOS FURNITURE: Time to File Damages Bid in "Topete" Extended
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
California granted Plaintiffs' Request for Extension of time to
file the Rule 55 motion and to file a Rule 23 motion to dismiss
the class claims in the case captioned MARISOL TOPETE and ROSALBA
MALDONADO, Plaintiffs, v. RAMOS FURNITURE; FURNITURE DEALS, INC.;
DIMAS MANUEL, INC.; and DOES 1-100, inclusive, Defendants, Case
No. 1:16-cv-00271-EPG (E.D. Cal.).  The Plaintiffs commenced this
class action alleging violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act,
etc.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/yay9a9hv from Leagle.com.

Marisol Topete & Rosalba Maldonado, Plaintiffs, represented by
Andrew Butler Jones, Esq. -- abutlerjones@akingump.com -- Wagner
& Jones, Angela Elizabeth Martinez, Wagner, Jones, Kopfman &
Artenian LLP, Daniel Myers Kopfman, Law Offices of Wagner Jones &
Nicholas John Paul Wagner, Law Offices of Wagner & Jones. 1111 E
Herndon Ave Ste 317. Fresno, CA, 93720-3100

Ramos Furniture, Defendant, pro se.

Furniture Deals, Inc., Defendant, pro se.


RAYMOURS FURNITURE: Court Compels Arbitration in "Castellanos"
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York granted Defendant's Motion to Compel Arbitration in the case
captioned ERIC CASTELLANOS, ET AL., Plaintiffs, v. RAYMOURS
FURNITURE COMPANY, INC., Defendant, No. 17-CV-1923 (JFB)(ARL)
(E.D.N.Y.).

The Plaintiffs bring this putative class action on behalf of
themselves and similarly situated individuals against Raymours
Furniture Company, Inc., for violations of the Fair Labor
Standards Act (FLSA) and related New York state wage and labor
laws.

While employed by Raymours, each plaintiff agreed to be bound by
an Employee Arbitration Program (EAP). The EAP also establishes a
180-day2 statute of limitations for asserting a claim.

Specifically, the EAP provides:

     A Claim must be filed with the Administrator within 180 days
after it arises. If a Claim is not filed with the Administrator
within the time period described above, the party wishing to
assert it will forever waive and lose the right to seek relief
for that Claim.

Raymours moves to compel arbitration on an individual basis,
strike plaintiffs' class allegations, and dismiss the complaint.

Whether the EAP's Limitations Period is Enforceable is for the
Court to Decide

The issue before the Court is not whether the EAP's limitations
period has been met; it is whether the EAP's limitations period
is enforceable. That issue falls squarely within the Court's
province. The EAP expressly reserves issues concerning the EAP's
enforceability for the Court. Specifically, it states that
disputes about the validity, enforceability or scope of this
Program or any part thereof are for a court or agency and not an
arbitrator to decide.

The Court will determine whether the EAP's statute of limitations
is enforceable.

The EAP's Limitations Period is Unenforceable

The FAA mandates that arbitration agreements subject to that
statute shall be valid, irrevocable, and enforceable, save upon
such grounds as exist at law or in equity for the revocation of
any contract.

The Court finds the non-binding case authority discussed above to
be persuasive, and concludes that the EAP's 180-day statute of
limitations is unenforceable as to plaintiffs' FLSA claims.
First, the provision contravenes congressional commands. Congress
chose to distinguish between ordinary and willful FLSA violations
by providing an extended limitations period for the latter. The
EAP which provides employees with 180 days to assert a claim
without regard to the egregiousness of the violations --
eliminates that intended distinction.

Second, the EAP's limitations period is unenforceable under the
effective vindication exception. The Supreme Court made clear in
Italian Colors that the effective vindication exception applies
when a provision operates as a prospective waiver of a party's
right to pursue statutory remedies. The Supreme Court further
instructed that the exception would certainly cover a provision
in an arbitration agreement forbidding the assertion of certain
statutory rights.

Here, because the EAP's limitations period operates as a waiver
of the plaintiffs' rights to pursue the full amount of damages
provided for by the FLSA, the effective vindication doctrine
applies.

The EAP's Class Action Waiver is Enforceable

Binding Second Circuit precedent requires the Court to enforce
the EAP's class action waiver. Specifically, in Sutherland, the
Second Circuit held that the FLSA does not preclude the waiver of
collective action claims. 726 F.3d at 296. Accordingly, the
plaintiffs must proceed to arbitration on an individual basis. In
addition, because the EAP provides that claims cannot be
litigated on a class basis, the Court grants the defendant's
motion to strike the complaint's class allegations.

The Court grants defendant's motion to compel arbitration on an
individual basis, but severs the EAP's 180-day statute of
limitations.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018
Memorandum and Order is available at https://tinyurl.com/y9yxu2dw
from Leagle.com.

Eric Castellanos, Luis Rios, Allen Stetler, Jean Pierre Louis &
Jose Portillo, on behalf of themselves and all other persons
similarly situated, Plaintiffs, represented by Peter Arcadio
Romero -- promero@romerolawny.com

Raymours Furniture Company, Inc., Defendant, represented by David
M. Wirtz -- dwirtz@littler.com -- Littler Mendelson, P.C., Edward
T. Groh, Raymour & Flanigan, 1314 U.S. Highway 22. Phillipsburg,
NJ 08865. & Kevin Robert Vozzo -- kvozzo@littler.com -- Littler
Mendelson.


RESHAPE LIFESCIENCES: Discovery Ongoing in "Du" Class Suit
----------------------------------------------------------
ReShape Lifesciences Inc.said in its Form 10-K report filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for
the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, that discovery is
ongoing in the class action and derivative complaint filed by
Vinh Du.

On February 28, 2017, the Company received a class action and
derivative complaint filed on February 24, 2017 in U. S. District
Court for the District of Delaware by Vinh Du, one of the
Company's shareholders. The complaint names as defendants ReShape
Lifesciences, the board of directors and four members of our
senior management, namely, Scott Youngstrom, Nick Ansari, Peter
DeLange and Paul Hickey, and contains a purported class action
claim for breach of fiduciary duty against the board of directors
and derivative claims for breach of fiduciary duty against the
board of directors and unjust enrichment against our senior
management.

The allegations in the complaint relate to the increase in the
number of shares authorized for grant under the company's Second
Amended and Restated 2003 Stock Incentive Plan (the "Plan"),
which was approved by the company's shareholders at the Special
Meeting of Shareholders held on December 12, 2016 (the "Special
Meeting"), and to its subsequent grant of stock options on
February 8, 2017, to the Company's Directors and senior
management to purchase an aggregate of 1,093,450 shares of the
company's common stock (the "Option Grants").

In the complaint, the plaintiff contends that (i) the number of
shares authorized for grant under the Plan, as adjusted by the
board of directors after the Special Meeting for the subsequent
recapitalization of the Company, resulted from an alleged breach
of fiduciary duties by the board of directors, and (ii) the
company's senior management was allegedly unjustly enriched by
the subsequent Option Grants. The plaintiff seeks relief in the
form of an order rescinding the Plan as approved by the
shareholders at the Special Meeting, an order cancelling the
Option Grants, and an award to plaintiff for his costs, including
fees and disbursements of attorneys, experts and accountants.

ReShape Lifesciences said in its Form 10-Q Report for the
quarterly period ended September 30, 2017, that on April 17,
2017, the company filed a motion to dismiss the complaint based
on the plaintiff's failure to satisfy Delaware's demand
requirement for a derivative action and failure to state a valid
claim. The motion was fully briefed and the Court was slated to
hear oral argument on November 28, 2017.

In its Form 10-K Report, the Company said the court denied the
motion to dismiss on November 30, 2017. Discovery is on-going.

ReShape Lifesciences said "We believe the allegations in the
complaint are without merit, and intend to defend the action
vigorously."

ReShape Lifesciences Inc., a medical device company, focuses on
the design and development of devices that use neuroblocking
technology to treat obesity, metabolic diseases, and other
gastrointestinal disorders. The company is based in San Clemente,
California.


SIBANYE GOLD: Mine Workers Class Action Suit Still Ongoing
----------------------------------------------------------
Sibanye Gold Limited said in its Form 10-K report filed with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, that the company continues
to defend itself in a consolidated class action suit filed by
mine workers.

During 2012 and 2014, two court applications were served on
Sibanye-Stillwater and its subsidiaries (as well as other mining
companies) by various applicants who represent classes of mine
workers (and where deceased, their dependents) who were
previously employed by or who are employees of, among others,
Sibanye-Stillwater or any of its subsidiaries and who allegedly
contracted silicosis and/or tuberculosis. The two class actions
were consolidated into one application on 17 October 2014. In
terms of the consolidated application, the court was asked to
allow the class actions to be certified.

On 13 May 2016, the High Court ordered, among other things: (1)
the certification of two classes: (a) a silicosis class
comprising current and former mine workers who have contracted
silicosis and the dependents of mine workers who have died of
silicosis; and (b) a tuberculosis class comprising current and
former mine workers who have worked on the mines for a period of
not less than two years and who have contracted pulmonary
tuberculosis and the dependents of deceased mine workers who died
of pulmonary tuberculosis; and (2) that the common law be
developed to provide that, where a claimant commences suing for
general damages and subsequently dies before close of pleadings,
the claim for general damages will transmit to the estate of the
deceased claimant.

The progression of the classes certified will be done in two
phases: (i) a determination of common issues, on an opt-out
basis, and (ii) the hearing and determination of individualized
issues, on an opt-in basis. In addition, costs were awarded in
favour of the claimants. The High Court ruling did not represent
a ruling on the merits of the cases brought by the Claimants.

Sibanye-Stillwater and the other respondents believed that the
judgment addressed a number of highly complex and important
issues, including a far reaching amendment of the common law,
that have not previously been considered by other courts in South
Africa. The High Court itself found that the scope and magnitude
of the proposed claims is unprecedented in South Africa and that
the class action would address novel and complex issues of fact
and law. The respondents applied for leave to appeal against the
judgment because they believed that the court's ruling on some of
these issues is incorrect and that another court may come to a
different decision.

On 21 September 2016, the Supreme Court of Appeal granted the
respondents leave to appeal against all aspects of the class
certification judgment of the South Gauteng High Court delivered
in May 2016, however the appeal case has since been postponed
indefinitely as Sibanye-Stillwater, the other respondents and the
claimants representatives have made significant progress in the
attempt to have this matter settled out of court.

Sibanye Gold said "It has to be noted, however, that whatever
settlement and whenever it is concluded, will still be subject to
approval by court."

Sibanye Gold Limited (trading as Sibanye-Stillwater (Sibanye-
Stillwater)), a South African domiciled global, precious metals
mining company, which produces a mix of metals that includes gold
and the platinum group metals (PGMs). Sibanye-Stillwater owns and
operates a portfolio of high-quality operations and projects,
which are grouped into two regions: the southern Africa region
and the United States region.


SIGNET JEWELERS: Oral Argument Set for May 7 in 2nd Cir. Appeal
---------------------------------------------------------------
Signet Jewelers Limited said in its Form 10-K report filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for
the fiscal year ended February 3, 2017, that the United States
Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has scheduled oral
argument for May 7, 2018, in an appeal related to a class action
lawsuit.

In March 2008, a group of private plaintiffs (the "Claimants")
filed a class action lawsuit for an unspecified amount against
SJI, a subsidiary of Signet, in the US District Court for the
Southern District of New York alleging that US store-level
employment practices are discriminatory as to compensation and
promotional activities with respect to gender.

In June 2008, the District Court referred the matter to private
arbitration where the Claimants sought to proceed on a class-wide
basis. The Claimants filed a motion for class certification and
SJI opposed the motion. On February 2, 2015, the arbitrator
issued a Class Determination Award in which she certified for a
class-wide hearing Claimants' disparate impact declaratory and
injunctive relief class claim under Title VII, with a class
period of July 22, 2004 through date of trial for the Claimants'
compensation claims and December 7, 2004 through date of trial
for Claimants' promotion claims.

The arbitrator otherwise denied Claimants' motion to certify a
disparate treatment class alleged under Title VII, denied a
disparate impact monetary damages class alleged under Title VII,
and denied an opt-out monetary damages class under the Equal Pay
Act.

On February 9, 2015, Claimants filed an Emergency Motion To
Restrict Communications With The Certified Class And For
Corrective Notice. SJI filed its opposition to Claimants'
emergency motion on February 17, 2015, and a hearing was held on
February 18, 2015. Claimants' motion was granted in part and
denied in part in an order issued on March 16, 2015. Claimants
filed a Motion for Reconsideration Regarding Title VII Claims for
Disparate Treatment in Compensation on February 11, 2015, which
SJI opposed. April 27, 2015, the arbitrator issued an order
denying the Claimants' Motion.

SJI filed with the US District Court for the Southern District of
New York a Motion to Vacate the Arbitrator's Class Certification
Award on March 3, 2015, which Claimants opposed. On November 16,
2015, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York
granted SJI's Motion to Vacate the Arbitrator's Class
Certification Award in part and denied it in part. On December 3,
2015, SJI filed with the United States Court of Appeals for the
Second Circuit SJI's Notice of Appeal of the District Court's
November 16, 2015 Opinion and Order.

On November 25, 2015, SJI filed a Motion to Stay the AAA
Proceedings while SJI appeals the decision of the US District
Court for the Southern District of New York to the United States
Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which Claimants opposed.
The arbitrator issued an order denying SJI's Motion to Stay on
February 22, 2016. SJI filed its Brief and Special Appendix with
the Second Circuit on March 16, 2016. The matter was fully
briefed and oral argument was heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals
for the Second Circuit on November 2, 2016. On April 6, 2015,
Claimants filed in the AAA Claimants' Motion for Clarification or
in the Alternative Motion for Stay of the Effect of the Class
Certification Award as to the Individual Intentional
Discrimination Claims, which SJI opposed. On June 15, 2015, the
arbitrator granted the Claimants' motion.

On March 6, 2017, Claimants filed Claimants' Motion for
Conditional Certification of Claimants' Equal Pay Act Claims and
Authorization of Notice, which SJI opposed The arbitrator heard
oral argument on Claimants' Motion on December 18, 2015 and, on
February 29, 2016, issued an Equal Pay Act Collective Action
Conditional Certification Award and Order Re Claimants' Motion
For Tolling Of EPA Limitations Period, conditionally certifying
Claimants' Equal Pay Act claims as a collective action, and
tolling the statute of limitations on EPA claims to October 16,
2003 to ninety days after notice issues to the putative members
of the collective action.

SJI filed in the AAA a Motion To Stay Arbitration Pending The
District Court's Consideration Of Respondent's Motion To Vacate
Arbitrator's Equal Pay Act Collective Action Conditional
Certification Award And Order Re Claimants' Motion For Tolling Of
EPA Limitations Period on March 10, 2016. SJI filed in the AAA a
Renewed Motion To Stay Arbitration Pending The District Court's
Resolution Of Sterling's Motion To Vacate Arbitrator's Equal Pay
Act Collective Action Conditional Certification Award And Order
Re Claimants' Motion For Tolling Of EPA Limitations Period on
March 31, 2016, which Claimants opposed.

On April 5, 2016, the arbitrator denied SJI's Motion. On March
23, 2016 SJI filed with the US District Court for the Southern
District of New York a Motion To Vacate The Arbitrator's Equal
Pay Act Collective Action Conditional Certification Award And
Order Re Claimants' Motion For Tolling Of EPA Limitations Period,
which Claimants opposed. SJI's Motion was denied on May 22, 2016.

On May 31, 2016, SJI filed a Notice Of Appeal of Judge Rakoff's
opinion and order to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, which
Claimant's opposed. On June 1, 2017, the Second Circuit Court of
Appeals dismissed SJI's appeal for lack of appellate
jurisdiction. Claimants filed a Motion For Amended Class
Determination Award on November 18, 2015, and on March 31, 2016
the arbitrator entered an order amending the Title VII class
certification award to preclude class members from requesting
exclusion from the injunctive and declaratory relief class
certified in the arbitration.

The arbitrator issued a Bifurcated Case Management Plan on April
5, 2016, and ordered into effect the parties' Stipulation
Regarding Notice Of Equal Pay Act Collective Action And Related
Notice Administrative Procedures on April 7, 2016. SJI filed in
the AAA a Motion For Protective Order on May 2, 2016, which
Claimants opposed. The matter was fully briefed and oral argument
was heard on July 22, 2016. The motion was granted in part on
January 27, 2017. Notice to EPA collective action members was
issued on May 3, 2016, and the opt-in period for these notice
recipients closed on August 1, 2016.

Approximately, 10,314 current and former employees submitted
consent forms to opt in to the collective action; however, some
have withdrawn their consents. The number of valid consents is
disputed and yet to be determined.

SJI  believes the number of valid consents to be approximately
9,124. On July 24, 2017, the United States Court of Appeals for
the Second Circuit issued its unanimous Summary Order that held
that the absent class members "never consented" to the Arbitrator
determining the permissibility of class arbitration under the
agreements, and remanded the matter to the District Court to
determine whether the Arbitrator exceeded her authority by
certifying the Title VII class that contained absent class
members who had not opted in the litigation.

On August 7, 2017, SJI filed its Renewed Motion to Vacate the
Class Determination Award relative to absent class members with
the District Court. The matter was fully briefed and an oral
argument was heard on October 16, 2017.

On January 15, 2018, District Court granted SJI's Motion finding
that the Arbitrator exceeded her authority by binding non-parties
(absent class members) to the Title VII claim. The District Court
further held that the RESOLVE Agreement does not permit class
action procedures, thereby, reducing the Claimants in the Title
VII matter from 70,000 to 254. Claimants dispute that the number
of claimants in the Title VII is 254. On January 18, 2018, the
Claimants filed a Notice of Appeal with the United States Court
of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

The appeal will be fully briefed by April 16, 2018. The Second
Circuit has scheduled oral argument for May 7, 2018, on this
appeal. On November 10, 2017, SJI filed in the arbitration
motions for summary judgment, and for decertification, of
Claimants' Equal Pay Act and Title VII promotions claims. On
January 30, 2018, oral argument on SJI's motions was heard. On
January 26, 2018, SJI filed a Motion to Vacate The Equal Pay Act
Collective Action Award And Tolling Order asserting that the
Arbitrator exceeded her authority by conditionally certifying the
Equal Pay Act claim and allowing the absent claimants to opt-in
the litigation.

On March 12, 2018, the Arbitrator denied SJI's Motion to Vacate
The Equal Pay Act Collective Action Award and Tolling Order. SJI
still has a pending motion seeking decertification of the EPA
Collective Action before the Arbitrator. On March 19, 2018, the
Arbitrator issued an Order partially granting SJI's Motion to
Amend the Arbitrator's November 2, 2017, Bifurcated Seventh
Amended Case Management Plan resulting in a continuance of the
May 14, 2018 trial date. A new trial date has not been set.

Signet Jewelers said "SJI denies the allegations of the Claimants
and has been defending the case vigorously. At this point, no
outcome or possible loss or range of losses, if any, arising from
the litigation is able to be estimated."

Signet Jewelers Limited engages in the retail sale of diamond
jewelry, watches, and other products in the United States,
Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland,
and the Channel Islands.


SIGNET JEWELERS: Dismissal of "Masten" Class Action Sought
----------------------------------------------------------
Signet Jewelers Limited said in its Form 10-K report filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for
the fiscal year ended February 3, 2017, that Veronica Masten
filed a request for dismissal with the district court.

On May 12, 2017, SJI received notice that a Class Action
Complaint against SJI and Signet Jewelers Ltd. (improperly named
as a party) was filed by Veronica Masten in the Superior Court of
California, County of Los Angeles, alleging violations of various
wage and hour labor laws.

The claims include: (1) failure to pay overtime; (2) failure to
provide meal periods; (3) failure to reimburse business expenses;
(4) failure to provide itemized wage statements; (5) failure to
timely pay wages; and a derivative claims for (6) unfair
competition.

SJI filed its Answer to the Complaint on June 13, 2017. On June
14, 2017, SJI removed this matter to the United States District
Court for the Central District of California. After engaging in
limited discovery, Plaintiff agreed to pursue her claims on an
individual basis in a separate forum, and sought to dismiss her
claims in this action without prejudice.

Plaintiff filed a request for dismissal with the district court
on December 18, 2017. The Court has not yet formally ruled on the
dismissal, however, the Court's docket indicates that the matter
is closed.

Signet Jewelers Limited engages in the retail sale of diamond
jewelry, watches, and other products in the United States,
Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland,
and the Channel Islands.


SIGNET JEWELERS: To Seek Dismissal of N.Y. Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------------
Signet Jewelers Limited said in its Form 10-K report filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for
the fiscal year ended February 3, 2017, that defendants intend to
seek dismissal of the fifth amended complaint in a consolidated
securities class action lawsuit in New York.

In August 2016, two alleged Company shareholders each filed a
putative class action complaint in the United States District
Court for the Southern District of New York against the Company
and its then-current Chief Executive Officer and current Chief
Financial Officer (Nos. 16-cv-6728 and 16-cv-6861, the "S.D.N.Y.
cases"). On September 16, 2016, the Court consolidated the
S.D.N.Y. cases under case number 16-cv-6728.

On April 3, 2017, the plaintiffs filed a second amended
complaint, purportedly on behalf of persons that acquired the
Company's securities on or between August 29, 2013, and February
27, 2017, naming as defendants the Company, its then-current and
former Chief Executive Officers, and its current and former Chief
Financial Officers.

The second amended complaint alleged that the defendants violated
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
by, among other things, misrepresenting the Company's business
and earnings by (i) failing to disclose that the Company was
allegedly having issues ensuring the safety of customers' jewelry
while in the Company's custody for repairs, which allegedly
damaged customer confidence; (ii) making misleading statements
about the Company's credit portfolio; and (iii) failing to
disclose reports of sexual harassment allegations that were
raised by claimants in an ongoing pay and promotion gender
discrimination class arbitration (the "Arbitration").

The second amended complaint alleged that the Company's share
price was artificially inflated as a result of the alleged
misrepresentations and sought unspecified compensatory damages
and costs and expenses, including attorneys' and experts' fees.

In March 2017, two other alleged Company shareholders each filed
a putative class action complaint in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Texas against the Company and
its then-current and former Chief Executive Officers (Nos. 17-cv-
875 and 17-cv-923, the "N.D. Tex. cases"). Those complaints were
nearly identical to each other and alleged that the defendants'
statements concerning the Arbitration violated Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The N.D. Tex. cases
were subsequently transferred to the Southern District of New
York and consolidated with the S.D.N.Y. cases (the "Consolidated
Action").

On July 27, 2017, the Court appointed a lead plaintiff and lead
plaintiff's counsel in the Consolidated Action. On August 3,
2017, the Court ordered the lead plaintiff in the Consolidated
Action to file a third amended complaint by September 29, 2017.
On September 29, 2017, the lead plaintiff filed a third amended
complaint that covered a putative class period of August 29,
2013, through May 24, 2017, and that asserted substantially
similar claims to the second amended complaint, except that it
omitted the claim based on defendants' alleged misstatements
concerning the security of customers' jewelry while in the
Company's custody for repairs.

The defendants moved to dismiss the third amended complaint on
December 1, 2017. On December 4, 2017, the Court entered an order
permitting the lead plaintiff to amend its complaint as of right
by December 22, 2017, and providing that the lead plaintiff would
not be given any further opportunity to amend its complaint to
address the issues raised in the defendants' motion to dismiss.

On December 15, 2017, Nebil Aydin filed a putative class action
complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York against the Company and its current Chief
Executive Officer and Chief Financial Officer (No. 17-cv-9853).

The Aydin complaint alleged that the defendants made misleading
statements regarding the Company's credit portfolio between
August 24, 2017, and November 21, 2017, in violation of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and
sought unspecified compensatory damages and costs and expenses,
including attorneys' and experts' fees. On January 7, 2018, the
Aydin case was consolidated into the Consolidated Action.

On December 22, 2017, the lead plaintiff in the Consolidated
Action filed its fourth amended complaint, which asserted
substantially the same claims as its third amended complaint for
an expanded class period of August 28, 2013, through December 1,
2017. On January 26, 2017, the defendants moved to dismiss the
fourth amended complaint. This motion was fully briefed as of
March 9, 2018.

On March 20, 2018, the Court granted the lead plaintiff leave to
file a fifth amended complaint. On March 22, 2018, the lead
plaintiff in the Consolidated Action filed its fifth amended
complaint which asserts substantially the same claims as its
fourth amended complaint for an expanded class period of August
29, 2013, through March 13, 2018. The prior motion to dismiss was
denied as moot. The defendants were slated to file a new motion
to dismiss the fifth amended complaint by March 30, 2018.

Signet Jewelers Limited engages in the retail sale of diamond
jewelry, watches, and other products in the United States,
Canada, Puerto Rico, the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland,
and the Channel Islands.


SITO MOBILE: Bid to Dismiss "Roper" Suit Still Pending
------------------------------------------------------
Sito Mobile, Ltd. said in its Form 10-K report filed with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, that the motion to dismiss
filed by the defendants in the case entitled, Roper v. SITO
Mobile, Ltd., is still pending.

On February 17, 2017, plaintiff Sandi Roper commenced a purported
securities class action against the company and certain of its
current and former officers and directors in the United States
District Court for the District of New Jersey captioned Roper v.
SITO Mobile, Ltd., Case No. 17-cv-1106-ES-MAH (D.N.J. filed Feb.
17, 2017).

Sito Mobile. said in its Form 10-Q Report for the quarterly
period ended September 30, 2017, that a lead plaintiff was
appointed on May 8, 2017 and has until June 22, 2017 to file an
amended complaint. Discovery has not commenced.

In its Form 10-K Report, the Company said that on May 8, 2017,
Red Oak Fund, LP, Red Oak Long Fund LP, Red Oak Institutional
Founders Long Fund, and Pinnacle Opportunities Fund, LP
(collectively, "Red Oak") were appointed lead plaintiffs. On June
22, 2017, Red Oak filed an amended complaint, purporting to
represent a class of shareholders who purchased our common stock
between August 15, 2016 and January 2, 2017 ("Class Period"). The
amended complaint names as defendants the company's directors and
certain of its officers during the Class Period.

It alleges that defendants violated section 11 the Securities Act
in connection with the September 16, 2016 offering of stock, by
allegedly omitting material information from the registration
statement and prospectus, and that the individual defendants are
liable as controlling persons under section 15 of the 1933 Act.
The amended complaint also alleges that defendants violated
section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ( "Exchange
Act") and SEC Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by allegedly
making materially false or misleading statements regarding its
media placement revenues, and that the individual defendants are
liable as controlling persons under section 20(a) of the Exchange
Act. The amended complaint seeks unspecified damages.

Defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint on September 1,
2017. That motion is pending. Discovery has not commenced, and no
trial date has been set for this action.

SITO Mobile, Ltd. operates a mobile location-based advertising
platform in the United States and Canada. Its mobile location-
based advertising platform allows to transform digital marketing
by delivering targeted mobile advertising campaigns based on geo-
location, in-store traffic, and customer response for brands,
agencies, and retailers. The company is based in Jersey City, New
Jersey.


SMURFIT KAPPA: Fails to Pay Overtime & Minimum Wage, Chavez Says
----------------------------------------------------------------
EDUARDO CHAVEZ, individually, and on behalf of other members of
the general public similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v. SMURFIT
KAPPA ORANGE COUNTY LLC, an unknown business entity; SMURFIT
KAPPA NORTH AMERICA LLC, an unknown business entity; and DOES 1
through 100, inclusive, the Defendants, Case No. BC70936 (Cal.
Super. Ct., April 19, 2018), seeks to recover unpaid overtime,
unpaid meal period premiums, unpaid rest period premiums, and
unpaid minimum wages under the California Labor Code.

The Defendants employed Plaintiff and other persons as hourly-
paid or non-exempt employees within the State of California,
including the County of Los Angeles. The Defendants hired
Plaintiff and the other class members, classified them as hourly-
paid or non-exempt employees, and failed to compensate them for
all hours worked and missed meal periods and/or rest breaks. The
Defendants had the authority to hire and terminate Plaintiff and
the other class members, to set work rules and conditions
governing Plaintiffs and the other class members' employment, and
to supervise their daily employment activities. The Defendants
exercised sufficient authority over the terms and conditions of
Plaintiffs and the other class members' employment for them to be
joint employers of Plaintiff and the other class members.

The Plaintiff and the other class members worked over eight hours
in a day, and/or 40 hours in a week during their employment with
the Defendants. The Plaintiff alleges that Defendants engaged in
a pattern and practice of wage abuse against their hourly-paid or
non-exempt employees within the State of California.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Edwin Aiwazian, Esq.
          LAWYERS for JUSTICE, PC
          410 West Arden Avenue, Suite 203
          Glendale, CA 91203
          Telephone: (818) 265 1020
          Facsimile: (818) 265 1021


SPAR GROUP: Court Denies Dismissal of "Hogan" Suit
--------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts denied Defendant's Motion to Dismiss in the case
captioned PARADISE HOGAN, on behalf of himself and all other
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. SPAR GROUP, INC. and SPAR
BUSINESS SERVICES, INC., Defendants, Civil No. 17-10024-LTS (D.
Mass.).

Hogan alleges that SBS and SPAR misclassify him and other Field
Specialists as independent contractors rather than employees,
such that SBS and SPAR avoid paying Wage Act-mandated expenses in
relation to Hogan and other Field Specialists and compensate
Hogan and other Field Specialists in an amount below the hourly
minimum wage.

The Defendants contend that, while Hogan brings claims under
M.G.L. c. 149, he does not make a single factual allegation that
the Defendants failed to pay him in accordance with this statute.

The Court disagrees.

Rather, the Complaint alleges that the Defendants classify Field
Specialists as independent contractors that a Field Specialist's
engagement with the Defendants bears qualities that establish an
employment relationship that, in the course of their engagement,
Field Specialists are required to incur costs and expenses that
the Defendants do not reimburse and that the effect of
misclassifying Field Specialists as independent contractors and
not reimbursing their costs and expenses is that Field
Specialists effectively earn an hourly wage that is less than
minimum wage.

These allegations contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as
true, to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face
that Hogan and similarly situated Field Specialists, by virtue of
being employees misclassified as independent contractors, (1)
have earned wages that the Defendants have not paid and/or (2)
have incurred costs that the Defendants by law may not exempt
themselves from paying through special contracts or otherwise.
Either of these theories, if proven, would establish a violation
of M.G.L. c. 149 Section 148, which could serve as a predicate
for Hogan's claim under Section 150.

The Court thus denies Defendants' motion to dismiss Hogan's
claims on Rule 12(b)(6) grounds.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/ybquckso from Leagle.com.

Paradise Hogan, Plaintiff, represented by Brook S. Lane --
brook@fairworklaw.com -- Fair Work P.C. & Hillary A. Schwab, Fair
Work, P.C.,  192 South Street, Suite 450. Boston, MA 02111.

SPAR Group, Inc., Defendant, represented by James M. Nicholas --
jnicholas@foley.com -- Foley & Lardner LLP & Jillian M. Collins
-- jcollins@foley.com -- Foley & Lardner LLP.

SPAR Business Services, Inc., Defendant, represented by Delia A.
Isvoranu -- delia.isvoranu@sedgwicklaw.com -- Sedgwick, LLP, pro
hac vice, James M. Nicholas, Foley & Lardner LLP, Marc A. Koonin,
Duane Morris LLP, pro hac vice, Robert D. Eass --
robert.eassa@sedgwicklaw.com -- Sedwick, LLP, pro hac vice &
Jillian M. Collins, Foley & Lardner LLP.


SPAR GROUP: Continues to Defend "Hogan" Class Action Suit
---------------------------------------------------------
Spar Group, Inc. (SGRP) said in its Form 10-K report filed with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for
the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, that the company
continues to defend itself in a class action suit filed by
Paradise Hogan.

Paradise Hogan was engaged by and provided services to SBS (SPAR
Business Services, Inc.) as an independent contractor pursuant to
the terms of an "Independent Contractor Master Agreement" with
SBS acknowledging his engagement as an independent contractor.
On January 6, 2017, Hogan filed suit against SBS and SGRP (and
part of the Company), styled Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-10024-LTS,
in the U.S. District Court for District of Massachusetts.

Hogan initially asserted claims on behalf of himself and an
alleged nationwide class of similarly situated individuals who
provided services to SBS and SGRP as independent contractors.
Hogan alleged that he and other alleged class members were
misclassified as independent contractors, and as a result of this
purported misclassification, Hogan asserted claims on behalf of
himself and the alleged Massachusetts class members under the
Massachusetts Wage Act and Minimum Wage Law for failure to pay
overtime and minimum wages, as well as state law claims for
breach of contract, unjust enrichment, quantum meruit, and breach
of the covenant of good faith and fair dealing.

In addition, Hogan asserted claims on behalf of himself and the
nationwide class for violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act's
overtime and minimum wage provisions. On March 28, 2017, the
Company moved to refer Hogan's claim to arbitration pursuant to
his agreement, to dismiss or stay Hogan's case pending
arbitration, and to dismiss Hogan's case for failure to state a
specific claim upon which relief could be granted.

On November 13, 2017, the Court convened a status conference call
with the parties to discuss the impact on the case of the Supreme
Court's pending decision in Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, in which
the Supreme Court heard arguments in October 2017 and ultimately
will decide whether arbitration clauses that include a waiver of
a worker's right to bring or participate in a class action
violate the National Labor Relations Act.

On March 12, 2018, the Court denied both defendants' Motion to
Dismiss for failure to state a claim, denied the Motion to Compel
Arbitration as to SGRP, denied the Motion to Stay as to SGRP, and
allowed the Motion to Stay as to SBS pending the outcome of the
Supreme Court's decision in Epic Systems), which (depending on
the Supreme Court's ruling) could result in all SBS disputes
being sent to arbitration.

SGRP has decided to appeal the District Court's decision to the
First Circuit Court of Appeals and to seek a stay of the
underlying litigation pending the outcome of the appeal, and the
court has indicated that it would stay the action against SGRP
pending the outcome of its appeal. This means that, if the appeal
is unsuccessful, SGRP could have to go to trial without SBS,
which SGRP will vigorously contest against all parties.

SPAR Group, Inc., a Delaware corporation incorporated in 1995
("SGRP"), and its subsidiaries (together with SGRP, the "SPAR
Group" or the "Company"), is a diversified international
merchandising and marketing services company and provides a broad
array of services worldwide to help companies improve their
sales, operating efficiency and profits at retail locations. The
Company provides its merchandising and other marketing services
to manufacturers, distributors and retailers worldwide, primarily
in mass merchandise, office supply, grocery, drug, dollar,
independent, convenience, home improvement, and electronics
stores. The company is based in White Plains, New York.


TARGET CORP: Settles Racial Discrimination Suit for $3.7MM
----------------------------------------------------------
Nigel Roberts, writing for Newsone, reports that Target settled a
racial discrimination suit over its background check hiring
process.  The lawsuit highlights the unfair bias against Black
job seekers with a criminal record, compared to Whites in the
same situation.

The retailer agreed on April 5 to pay $3.7 million in the class-
action suit, which was brought on behalf of thousands of Black
and Latino job applicants who've been denied positions at Target
since May 2006, USA Today reported.  Target routinely rejected
job seekers for offenses that were irrelevant to the positions
that applicants sought, the suit alleged.

"Target's background check policy was out of step with best
practices and harmful to many qualified applicants who deserved a
fair shot at a good job," Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP
Legal Defense and Education Fund, said in a statement.

Having a criminal record is a major barrier to obtaining a job
for the approximately 600,000 people released from incarceration
each year, according to the Center For American Progress.  That's
especially true for the disproportionate number of Black former
inmates who try to rebuild their lives.  African-American men are
incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of White men.  And when
formerly incarcerated Black and White men seek jobs, Black men
are 50 percent less likely to get a call back from a potential
employer compared to White men.

Target had conditionally offered the two primary plaintiffs,
Carnella Times and Erving Smith, jobs.  However, the company
decided not to hire them because Times had two misdemeanor
convictions, and Smith had a felony drug charge that was 10 years
when he applied.

The company's hiring process violated Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964, the attorneys for the plaintiffs argued.
What's more, Target's screening practice was "overly broad" and
"unfairly limited opportunities for Black and Latino applicants"
because of the discriminatory criminal justice system, Ifill
added.

In addition to the payment, Target also agreed to modify its
background check process and to donate $600,000 to organizations
that assist former inmates. [GN]


TECHNIPFMC PLC: Faces "Prause" Shareholder Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------
TechnipFMC plc said in its Form 10-K report filed with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission on April 2, 2018, for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2017, that the company faces a
putative shareholder class action suit entitled, Prause v.
TechncipFMC, et al.

A purported shareholder class action filed in 2017 and amended in
January 2018 and captioned Prause v. TechncipFMC, et al., No.
4:17-cv-02368 (S.D. Texas) is pending in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of Texas against the Company and
certain current officers and a former employee of the Company.

The suit alleges violations of the federal securities laws in
connection with the Company's restatement of our first quarter
2017 financial results and a material weakness in our internal
control over financial reporting announced on July 24, 2017.

TechnipFMC said "The Company is vigorously contesting the
litigation and cannot predict its duration or outcome."

TechnipFMC plc, a public limited company incorporated and
organized under the laws of England and Wales, with registered
number 09909709, and with registered office at One St. Paul's
Churchyard, London EC4M 8AP, United Kingdom is a global leader in
the subsea, onshore/offshore, and surface industries, with
market-leading positions in oil and gas projects, technologies,
systems, and services.


TIGER BRANDS: Listeriosis Outbreak Class Action Pending
-------------------------------------------------------
Christine Botha, writing for Daily Maverick, reports that World
Health Day -- the global health awareness day initiated by the
World Health Organisation (WHO) -- was celebrated on April 7. The
theme for 2018 is universal health coverage, urging governments
to actively pursue making access to essential quality healthcare
services available to everyone.  This theme is in line with the
state's obligation to healthcare in terms of section 27(2) of the
Constitution, to take "reasonable legislative and other measures
within its available resources" to achieve the "progressive
realisation" of the right.

Universal health coverage, according to the WHO, is not limited
to ensuring access to medical care but also includes public
health service campaigns.  A vital element of public healthcare
is food safety.  South Africa is currently facing the world's
largest outbreak of listeriosis, a serious food-borne disease
caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.

As of 26 March 2018, 982 laboratory-confirmed cases have been
reported and thus far more than 180 people have died.  The goal
of health for all would mean very little in wake of this epidemic
unless an urgent review of food safety management in South Africa
is undertaken.

Listeriosis, according to the WHO, is one of most severe food-
borne diseases, associated with a high mortality rate of 20% to
30%.  The bacterium is found in soil, water and animal digestive
tracts, and it is estimated that 2% to 10% of the general
population carry the bacterium without any noted health impact.

The bacterium, however, has the unique ability to multiply
dangerously at low temperatures.  Further, its resistance to high
salt and acidity, often used as preservatives, makes it
particularly difficult to control once contamination occurs in
the processing chain.  Refrigerated foods with a long shelf life,
and ready-to-eat foods which require no further cooking, are
particularly viable for high concentrations of the bacterium.
The most vulnerable in society -- pregnant women, newborns, the
elderly and immunodeficient people -- are especially at risk of
contracting invasive listeriosis.

After the Department of Health (DoH) identified the Polokwane
food production facility of the processed-meat-manufacturer
Enterprise Foods as the source of the current outbreak of
listeriosis (driven by the bacterium's ST6 strain), a national
recall of Enterprise's chilled meat products and an export ban of
these products followed.

Not only is the extent of the health impact to date unknown --
due to the long incubation period of listeriosis -- but the
socio-economic impacts have also been extensive, with an
estimated loss of over $8-million from the banned exported
products alone.

Enterprise and its holding company, Tiger Brands, are also
potentially facing an enormous class action in terms of the
Consumer Protection Act of 2008.  The proposed class action
envisages four classes of people claiming damages after consuming
the contaminated Enterprise products, and a two-stage process to
be followed regarding liability.  Currently, the High Court has
been asked to certify the four identified groups, and the
applicants need to show that a class action is appropriate before
leave will be granted to pursue the mooted class action.

Turning to the regulation of food safety management in South
Africa, various pieces of legislation and different state
departments play a role. However, a glaring legislative lacuna in
the public health sector is the out-of-date regulations, in terms
of the Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants Act of 1972 (the
Act).  The Act regulates the sale, manufacture and export of
foodstuffs, cosmetics and disinfectants. Foodstuffs, in terms of
the Act, essentially include any article or substance, or
ingredient thereof, which is ordinarily manufactured or sold for
human consumption.

Regulation 692 in terms of the Act, known as the Microbiological
Standards for Foodstuffs and Related Matters Regulations, unpacks
how microorganisms in foodstuffs should be tested, and includes
microbiological limits.  For example, there is a restriction on
the quantity of bacterium Escherichia coli (E coli) in edible
gelatin, but the regulations do not provide for the bacterium
Listeria monocytogenes, or the manner it should be tested.

Ample international guidance specifically targeting Listeria
monocytogenes exists, including an international risk assessment
framework published by the WHO and the United Nations Food and
Agricultural Organisation (FAO).  This can be used by governments
to monitor the control of Listeria monocytogenes -- specifically
in ready-to-eat foods.  The European Commission's 2005
Regulation, Microbiological criteria for foodstuffs also
specifically provides for the microbiological criteria of
Listeria monocytogenes.

Furthermore, Regulation 908 in terms of the Act, the Application
of the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point system (HACCP
system), also needs to be updated.  The HACCP system, used to
identify and control hazards in the food production process, only
regulates food-handling enterprises processing groundnuts in
terms of these Regulations.  The Minister of Health may require
other food sector enterprises to comply with the HACCP system,
which in light of the listeriosis epidemic must be urgently
attended to.

Food-handling enterprises may already comply with international
standards and specifically apply the HACCP system to fulfil the
requirements of clients.

However, the fact that the DoH has failed to update the above
legislative lacuna in consideration of international trends is
not reasonable.  The listeriosis epidemic has exposed the crucial
need for healthcare legislation to be regularly reviewed -- not
only to ensure it is in line with international developments but
also to prevent potential health catastrophes.  A core provision
of ensuring health for all should be to ensure that no harm is
done and that the state is taking all reasonable measures to
prevent health hazards. [GN]


TRANSNATIONAL FOODS: Court Narrows Claims in "Lejbman"
------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
California granted in part and denied in part Defendant's Motion
to Dismiss the case captioned VIVIAN LEJBMAN individually and on
behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v.
TRANSNATIONAL FOODS, INC., a Florida corporation, et al.,
Defendants, Case No. 17-CV-1317-CAB-MDD (S.D. Cal.).

The FAC asserts California's False Advertising Law ("FAL")
Business & Professions Code Section 17500, et seq.; the Unfair
Competition Law, Business & Professions Code Section 17200, et
seq. ("UCL"); California's Consumers Legal Remedies Act,
California Civil Code Section 1750, et seq. ("CLRA"); negligent
misrepresentation; and intentional misrepresentation against
Defendants for misrepresenting and misleading consumers regarding
three the Pampa Octopus Products (Product).  The FAC alleges that
the Product is not octopus, but is actually squid (also known as
Calamari). Squid is a lower quality form of seafood that is
cheaper than octopus.

Plaintiff Has Adequately Alleged the UCL, FAL, CLRA and
Misrepresentation Claims

In order to protect its citizens from unfair, deceptive or
fraudulent business practices California has enacted a number of
consumer protection statutes. The CLRA prohibits unfair or
deceptive acts or practices undertaken by any person in a
transaction intended to result or which results in the sale or
lease of goods or services to any customer.

Here, the Plaintiff has set forth the factual allegations that
the Product she purchased is not octopus. Her theory of fraud is
that the Defendants, when faced with the increased cost of
octopus, replaced the octopus in the Products with a cheaper
substitute, squid, imported the product into the United States,
and then marketed and sold the Product as octopus.

In order to perpetuate the alleged fraud, the word Octopus or
Pulpo is prominently displayed on the label of the Product to
induce and mislead customers into buying a Product purporting to
be octopus. Relying on the misrepresentations on the label, and
believing she was buying octopus, the Plaintiff purchased the
Product at a Wal-Mart store in San Diego County, California in
2016.

For purposes of a motion to dismiss, the Court accepts as true
the factual allegations of the FAC that the Product is not
octopus and is in fact made with squid. The allegations of the
FAC are sufficient to provide enough details concerning the who,
what, when, where and how of the alleged fraud sufficient to
satisfy Rule 9(b)'s specificity requirements.

The Plaintiff has adequately pled her UCL, FAL, CLRA and
misrepresentation claims. Accordingly, the motions to dismiss are
denied as to these claims. The Court finds that the FAC
adequately alleges that the Product is not what it purports to
be.

Plaintiff's Claims on Behalf of the Proposed Nationwide Class are
Dismissed with Leave to Amend

The Plaintiff has failed to establish that the claims of the
nationwide class are sufficiently related to California to
trigger application of the government interest test and its
resulting determination whether California law should be applied
on a class-wide basis. All that is alleged is that the Plaintiff
is located in California and that she purchased the Product in
2016 from a Wal-Mart, located in San Diego County, California.
The claims are being brought against Cerqueira, a company located
in Spain, and Transnational, a company located in Florida with
its principal place of business in Miami. Additionally, the FAC
contains the general allegation that Transnational sells its
products throughout the United States.

But, noticeably absent from the pleading is any evidence that the
out-of-state purchases were directed from California or had
anything to do with California, such that California law might
apply to those claims. Without more, the Plaintiff has not met
her initial burden of demonstrating that California has
significant contact or significant aggregation of contacts to the
claims of each class member.

Accordingly, the motions to dismiss the claims brought on behalf
of a nationwide class are granted. The Plaintiff may renew her
nationwide class claims if she can amend to demonstrate the
requisite nexus.

The Defendants' motions are granted in part and denied in part.
The Court orders as follows:  Defendants' motions to dismiss the
UCL, FAL, CLRA, and misrepresentation claims are denied; and the
Defendants' motion to dismiss the claims for injunctive relief
are denied.

The Plaintiff's claims brought on behalf of a nationwide class
are dismissed without prejudice.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 and Order
is available at https://tinyurl.com/y99rqmrv from Leagle.com.

Vivian Lejbman, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, represented by Benjamin Michael
Lopatin -- BLopatin@ELPLawyers.com -- Eggnatz, Lopatin &
Pascucci, LLP.

Transnational Foods, Inc., a Florida corporation, Defendant,
represented by Christopher W. Wasson -- wassonc@pepperlaw.com --
Pepper Hamilton LLP, pro hac vice, Katrina M. Long --
longk@pepperlaw.com -- Pepper Hamilton LLP, pro hac vice, Tambry
Lynette Bradford -- bradfordt@pepperlaw.com -- Pepper Hamilton
LLP & Yvonne M. McKenzie -- mckenziey@pepperlaw.com -- Pepper
Hamilton LLP, pro hac vice.


TRIANGLE CAPITAL: Wolf Haldenstein to Lead in Securities Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
North Carolina, Western Division, granted LifeWise Family
Financial Security, Inc.'s Motion to be appointed as lead
plaintiff and its selection of Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman &
Herz LLP as lead counsel and Whitfield Bryson & Mason LLP as
local counsel in the cases captioned GARY W. HOLDEN, individually
and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v.
TRIANGLE CAPITAL CORPORATION, E. ASHTON POOLE, STEVEN C. LILLY,
and GARLAND S. TUCKER, III, Defendants; ELIAS DAGHER,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated,
Plaintiffs, v. TRIANGLE CAPITAL CORPORATION, E. ASHTON POOLE,
STEVEN C. LILLY, and GARLAND S. TUCKER, III, Defendants, Nos.
5:18-CV-10-FL, 5:18-CV-15-FL (E.D.N.C.).

Movants include: (1) Geraldine Checkman (Checkman). Yun Cheng,
Steven Lynn Koeppel, Susan Marie Koeppel, and Chi Wai Leung
(Triangle Investor Group), LifeWise Family Financial Security,
Inc. (LifeWise) and Julie Serrano (Serrano).

The Plaintiffs allege that defendants have violated Section 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended by
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA) and
Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, concerning Triangle's
securities traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol
TCAP.  It is asserted that the defendants knowingly or recklessly
made material false statements, misrepresentations, and omissions
about the financial success of Triangle while adopting improper
underwriting practices, and in doing so artificially inflated
stock prices.

The PSLRA directs district courts to appoint as lead plaintiff
the member or members of the purported plaintiff class that the
court determines to be the most capable of adequately
representing the interests of the class members.

First, regarding the threshold requirements, there is no dispute
that the three contending movants, LifeWise, Triangle Investor
Group, and Serrano, have brought their motions within the
appropriate time limit and included the requisite certifications.
There is additionally no dispute that LifeWise has the largest
financial interest, which raises a rebuttable presumption in
favor of LifeWise serving as lead plaintiff, that can be overcome
with evidence that the presumptively most adequate plaintiff will
not fairly represent the class or is subject to unique defenses.

The only dispute among the parties is whether LifeWise is subject
to unique defenses and therefore should not serve as lead
plaintiff. The only evidence offered by Triangle Investor Group
and Serrano to support their contentions that LifeWise should not
serve as lead plaintiff is that LifeWise's registered principals,
father and son Henry Salzhauer and Michael Salzhauer
(Salzhauers), were found in 2001 by the Securities and Exchange
Commission (SEC) to be in violation of the same securities fraud
provisions at issue in the instant action.

LifeWise argues in response that "the attacking movants make one
argument: that a settled SEC administrative proceeding nearly two
decades ago that did not involve, let alone mention, either
LifeWise or its general counsel, nevertheless proves that
LifeWise (and Mr. Axel) are inadequate and atypical and thereby
unable to serve as a fiduciary on behalf of the class."

The court finds that the evidence submitted by Triangle Investor
Group and Serrano is inadequate to rebut the presumption in favor
of LifeWise serving as lead plaintiff. While the court does not
minimize the seriousness of Salzhauers' violations, the court is
mindful that the events in question took place roughly two
decades ago; the result was a consent entry of a cease and desist
order and agreement to pay; the SEC litigation in no way
implicates LifeWise's general counsel, notwithstanding any family
ties, or the business LifeWise; and the present situation is
significantly different than those found in the authority cited
to by Triangle Investor Group and Serrano in support of their
contentions.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 Order is
available https://tinyurl.com/ycgwx54z from Leagle.com.

Gary W. Holden, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, represented by Joseph Alexander
Hood, II -- ahood@pomlaw.com -- Pomerantz LLP & Jeremy Alan
Lieberman -- jalieberman@pomlaw.com -- Pomerantz LLP.

Triangle Capital Corporation, E. Ashton Poole, Steven C. Lilly &
Garland S. Tucker, III, Defendants, represented by Chelsea J.
Corey -- ccorey@kslaw.com -- King & Spalding LLP,   Benjamin
Warren Pope -- wpope@kslaw.com -- King & Spalding, LLP, Bethany
M. Rezek -- brezek@kslaw.com -- King & Spalding LLP, Israel Dahan
-- idahan@kslaw.com -- King & Spalding LLP & Michael R. Smith --
mrsmith@kslaw.com -- King & Spalding LLP.


UBER TECH: "Webber" Suit over Data Security Breach Consolidated
---------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled Susan Webber, Livia Soibelman,
Kendrick Lewallen, Donna Bakun, Oscar Hernandez, Ernest Faulkner,
and Anita Herman, individually, and on behalf of a class of
similarly situated individuals, the Plaintiff, v. Jeremy Revitch,
the Movant, and Uber Technologies Inc., a Delaware corporation;
and Rasier-CA, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company; and
Rasier, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Case No. 3:17-
cv-06758, was transferred from the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California, to the U.S. District Court for
the Central District of California (Western Division - Los
Angeles) on April 9, 2018. The District Court Clerk assigned Case
No. 2:18-cv-02941-PSG-GJS to the proceeding.

The Webber case is being consolidated with MDL 2826 in re: Uber
Technologies, Inc., Data Security Breach Litigation. The MDL was
created by Order of the United States Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation on April 4, 2018. These putative class
actions share complex factual questions arising from Uber's
announcement on November 21, 2017, that a data security breach of
its network occurred in late 2016 in which the personal
information of 57 million Uber users was downloaded by
unauthorized individuals outside the company. Common factual
questions are presented with respect to Uber's practices in
safeguarding its users' personal information, the investigation
into the breach, the alleged delay in disclosing the breach, and
the nature of the alleged damages. Centralization will eliminate
duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial rulings,
including with respect to class certification; and conserve the
resources of the parties, their counsel, and the judiciary.

In its April 4, 2018 Order, the MDL Panel found that the Central
District of California is an appropriate transferee district for
this litigation. Three actions are pending in this district. The
Uber defendants support this district if centralization is
granted over their objection, and plaintiffs in two Northern
District of Illinois actions support it as their second choice.
California has a significant connection to this litigation, as
Uber Technologies, Inc., has its headquarters in this state,
where much of the common evidence, including witnesses, will be
located.

Judge Philip S. Gutierrez, to whom we assign this litigation, is
an experienced transferee judge, and we are confident he will
steer this litigation on a prudent course. The lead case is 2:18-
ml-02826-PSG-GJS.

Uber Technologies is a peer-to-peer ridesharing, food delivery,
and transportation network company headquartered in San
Francisco, California, with operations in 633 cities
worldwide.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Trisha Kathleen Monesi, Esq.
          Bevin Elaine Allen Pike, Esq.
          Robert K Friedl, Esq.
          CAPSTONE LAW APC
          1875 Century Park East Suite 1000
          Los Angeles, CA 90067
          Telephone: (310) 556 4811
          Facsimile: (310) 943 0396
          E-mail: trisha.monesi@capstonelawyers.com
                  bevin.pike@capstonelawyers.com
                  robert.friedl@capstonelawyers.com

Attorneys for Movant Jeremy Revitch:

          Joel D. Smith, Esq.
          BURSOR AND FISHER PA
          1990 North California Boulevard Suite 940
          Walnut Creek, CA 94596
          Telephone: (925) 300 4455
          Facsimile: (925) 407 2700
          E-mail: jsmith@bursor.com

Attorneys for Defendants:

          E. Desmond Hogan, Esq.
          Allison M Holt, Esq.
          Michelle A Kisloff, Esq.
          Vassiliki Iliadis, Esq.
          HOGAN LOVELLS LLP
          Columbia Square
          555 Thirteenth Street NW
          Washington, DC 20004-1109
          Telephone: (202) 637 5493
          Facsimile: (202) 637 5910
          E-mail: desmond.hogan@hoganlovells.com
                  allison.holt@hoganlovells.com
                  michelle.kisloff@hoganlovells.com
                  vassi.iliadis@hoganlovells.com


UNITED STATES: Travel Ban Ruined Lives, Class Action Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------
Courthouse News Service reports that President Donald Trump's
third travel ban has ruined lives and kept citizens of Muslim-
majority nations from visiting their loved ones in the United
States, dozens claim in a class action filed March 13.

The case is Soheil Vazehrad; Atefehossadat Motavaliabyazani;
Behnam Babalou; Hoda Mehrabi Mohammad Abadi; Mahdi Afshar
Arjmand; Ehsan Heidaryan; Najmeh Maharlouei; Nastaran
Hajiheydari; Afrooz Kharazmi; Afshan Alamshah Zadeh; Bamshad
Azizi; Roghayeh Azizikoutenaei; Hojjatollah Azizikoutenaei; Clyde
Jean Tedrick II; Mitra Farnoodian-Tedrick; Farajollah Farnoudian;
Farangis Emami; Tannaz Toloubeydokhti; Fathollah Tolou Beydokhti;
Behnaz Malekghaeini; Maral Charkhtab Tabrizi; Zahra Rouzbehani;
Bahram Charkhtab Tabrizi; Maryam Mozafari; Nahid Golestanian;
Mohammad Mehdi Mozaffary, Plaintiffs, - against - DONALD J.
TRUMP, as President of the United States of America; JEFFERSON
BEAUREGARD SESSIONS III, in his official capacity as Attorney
General of the United States; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE;
KIRSTJEN NIELSEN, in her official capacity as Secretary of
Homeland Security; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY; REX W.
TILLERSON, in his official capacity as Secretary of State; U.S.
DEPARTMENT OF STATE; DAN COATS, in his official capacity as
Director of National Intelligence; OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR OF
NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE Defendants, Case No. 3:18-cv-01587 (N.D.
Calif.).

Attorneys for Plaintiffs:

     Shabnam Lotfi, Esq.
     Veronica Sustic, Esq.
     LOTFI LEGAL, LLC
     22 East Mifflin Street, Suite 302
     Madison, WI 53703
     Telephone: (608) 259-6226
     Facsimile: (208) 977-9974
     Email: shabnam@lofilegal.com
            veronica@lotfilegal.com

        -- and --

     Mark D. Rosenbaum, Esq.
     Judy London, Esq.
     PUBLIC COUNSEL
     610 South Ardmore Avenue
     Los Angeles, CA 90005
     Telephone: (213) 385-2977
     Facsimile: (213) 385-9089
     Email: mrosenbaum@publiccounsel.org
            jlondon@publiccounsel.org

        -- and --

     Luis Cortes Romero, Esq.
     Alma David, Esq.
     IMMIGRANT ADVOCACY & LITIGATION CENTER, PLLC
     19309 68th Avenue S., Suite R102
     Kent, WA 98032
     Telephone: (253) 872-4730
     Facsimile: (253) 237-1591
     Email: lcortes@ia-lc.com
            adavid@ia-lc.com


VHS OF ILLINOIS: Marker et al Sue over Sensitive Personal Info
--------------------------------------------------------------
Dorothy Marker, Robert Kotek, and Betty Miller, individually and
on behalf of all others similarly situated, the Plaintiff, v. VHS
of Illinois, Inc. d/b/a MacNeal Hospital, the Defendant, Case No.
2018-CH-05086 (Ill. Cir. Ct., April 19, 2018), seeks to recover
damages caused by Defendant's violation of the Illinois Personal
Information Protection Act and Illinois Consumer Fraud and
Deceptive Business Practices Act.

This case arises out of a hospital's failure to safeguard its
patients' confidential and sensitive personal information while
they were hospitalized. As a result of this failure, Plaintiffs'
respective homes were burglarized by a then - current employee of
Mac Neal Hospital, and they each suffered significant harm, In an
untimely letter sent only to some of the Plaintiffs, MacNeal
Hospital admitted that its employee accessed Plaintiffs'
respective confidential and sensitive personal information --
e.g., names, addresses, spousal and/or emergency contact
information, birthdates, medical services, and medical history --
in order to commit crimes against Plaintiffs.

VHS of Illinois Inc., is a general acute care hospital in Berwyn,
Illinois.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Karl Leinberger, Esq.
          Markoff Leinberger LLC
          134 N. LaSalle Street, Suite 1050
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Facsimile: (312) 726 4162
          E-mail: karl@markleinlaw.com


VSE CORPORATION: "Tefteller" Suit Seeks Overtime Pay under FLSA
---------------------------------------------------------------
JOSEPH WAGGONER and CLIFFORD TEFTELLER, on behalf of themselves
and all similarly situated individuals, the Plaintiffs, v. VSE
CORPORATION, XOTECH SOLUTIONS, LLC, and WHITE'S PAINT BLAST,
L.L.C., the Defendants, Case No. 5:18-cv-00058 (E.D. Tex., April
19, 2018), seeks to recover overtime pay under the Fair Labor
Standards Act.

The case is a collective action brought by Plaintiffs on their
own behalf and on behalf of all similarly situated current and
former employees of Defendants to recover for Defendants' willful
violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Plaintiffs were non-exempt, hourly-paid employees of
Defendants, working under a contract between Defendants and the
United States Army at the Red River Army Depot in Texarkana,
Texas. The Plaintiffs and other similarly situated employees
performed their work in order to fulfill Defendants' contractual
obligations to the Army, including painting, servicing, and
maintaining military vehicles.

The Defendants subjected their hourly employees at Red River to
an illegal policy or practice of failing to pay overtime at the
rate of one and one-half times the regular rate of pay for all
hours worked over 40 in a workweek. Defendants' illegal policy or
practice involved providing Plaintiffs and other similarly
situated employees with two 15-minute unpaid rest breaks each
day. This illegal policy or practice violated the FLSA and its
implementing regulations, which provide that rest periods of
short duration (from 5 to 20 minutes) "must be counted as hours
worked."

The Defendants illegally failed to count these 15-minute rest
breaks as hours worked and did not pay their employees for this
time, in violation of the FLSA. The Plaintiffs and other
similarly situated employees are entitled to payment at their
overtime rate of at least one and one half times their regular
rate of pay for each unpaid 15-minute break taken in any workweek
where they worked over 40 hours (including the 15-minute breaks).

VSE Corporation is a diversified technical services company
formed in 1959.[BN]

Counsel for Plaintiffs:

          Laura E. Reasons, Esq.
          Kenneth P. Abbarno, Esq.
          Mark M. Abramowitz, Esq.
          DICELLO LEVITT &CASEY
          Ten North Dearborn Street, Eleventh Floor
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 214 7900
          Facsimile: (312) 253 1443
          E-mail: lreasons@dlcfirm.com
                  kabbarno@dlcfirm.com
                  mabramowitz@dlcfirm.com

               - and -

          T. John Ward, Jr., Esq.
          Claire Abernathy Henry, Esq.
          WARD, SMITH & HILL, PLLC
          P.O. Box 1231
          Longview, TX 75606-1231
          Telephone: (903) 757 6400
          Facsimile: (903) 757 2323
          E-mail: jw@wsfirm.com
                  claire@wsfirm.com


WH ADMINISTRATORS: Court Denies Arbitration of ERISA Class Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Tennessee, Eastern Division, granted in part and denied in part
Defendant's Third Motion to Compel Arbitration in the case
captioned TENNESSEE TRACTOR, LLC, on behalf of itself and the
Tennessee Tractor, LLC Health and Welfare Benefit Plan, and KERRY
YOUNG, on behalf of himself and all similarly situated persons,
Plaintiffs, v. WH ADMINISTRATORS, INC., Defendant, No. 1:17-cv-
02829-STA-egb (W.D. Tenn.).

Tennessee Tractor entered into a Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act Compliance Service Agreement with Defendant
WH Administrators, Inc., to administer the Plan. Under the
Agreement, the Defendant was to, among other things, ensure
Tennessee Tractor's compliance with the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act and administer the Plan. The Plan was to
commence on June 1, 2016. Tennessee Tractor was named as Plan
Sponsor. The Defendant was the duly appointed Plan Administrator
and named fiduciary. Tennessee Tractor's employees, including
Young, were participants in the Plan and therefore eligible to
receive benefits under it. Over the course of the parties'
contractual relationship, Tennessee Tractor performed all of its
duties and obligations under the Agreement.

But in December 2016, the Defendant abruptly and without
explanation ceased processing or paying the claims of Tennessee
Tractor's employees, including those of Young. Young now brings
statutory claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security
Act on behalf of himself and the other Plan participants. And
Tennessee Tractor further brings claims of breach of contract,
fraud and misrepresentation, and indemnification under Tennessee
law.

According to the Defendant, the Plan unequivocally requires Young
to arbitrate claims.  While the plain language of the arbitration
provision would seem to encompass Young's claims, the problem
with this argument, according to the Plaintiffs, is that the Plan
document is of no effect. The Defendant, despite its obligations
under ERISA and requests from the Plaintiffs, failed to provide
them with any Plan document. Neither the Plaintiffs nor any
representative thereof had even seen much less approved or
ratified the Plan document.

Upon attempt to access a plan document online through the
Defendant's website, the Plaintiffs say they would find only the
message No files found. At this stage of the proceedings, and
viewing the evidence in a light most favorable to the Plaintiff,
the Court cannot conclude there is a valid arbitration agreement
between Young and the Defendant. An unsigned document is simply
insufficient. And the addition of Scott Delle's Declaration
raises serious questions as to the document's validity.

Because the Court has concluded that Young's claims are not
arbitrable, the Court has no need to inquire as to whether
Congress intended ERISA claims to be non-arbitrable under the
third step of its arbitrability analysis and may proceed to the
final step: whether Young's claims should be stayed while
Tennessee Tractor's claims against the Defendant are resolved in
arbitration.

Tennessee Tractor's claims are governed by the arbitration
provision of the Agreement, while Young's class-action claims are
not.

A full-text copy of the District Court's March 12, 2018 and Order
is available at https://tinyurl.com/ybzruyww from Leagle.com.

Tennessee Tractor, LLC, on behalf of itself and the Tennessee
Tractor, LLC Health and Welfare Benefit Plan & Kerry Young, on
behalf of himself and all similarly situates persons, Plaintiffs,
represented by John I. Houseal, Jr. -- jhouseal@glanker.com --
GLANKLER BROWN, PLLC & Don Lester Hearn, Jr. --
dhearn@glankler.com -- GLANKLER BROWN, PLLC.

WH Administrators, Inc., Defendant, represented by James Allison
Holifield, Jr., HOLIFIELD JANICH & ASSOCIATES, PLLC, 11907
Kingston Pike. Suite 201. Knoxville, TN 37934 & Ronald Scott
Kravitz -- rkravitz@sfmslaw.com -- SHEPARD FINKELMAN MILLER &
SHAH, LLP.


XCERRA CORP: "Stallings" Suit Dismissed
---------------------------------------
Xcerra Corporation said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended
October 31, 2017, that the plaintiffs in the case, Chris
Stallings v. Xcerra Corporation, et al., have dismissed the
complaint.

The case was terminated on November 13, 2017.

On August 22, 2017, a putative shareholder class action complaint
was filed in the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts against the Company and each member of the Board,
captioned Chris Stallings v. Xcerra Corporation, et al., C.A. No.
1:17-cv-11579. The complaint alleged, among other things, that
the Company and each member of the Board violated federal
securities laws and regulations by soliciting stockholder votes
in connection with the Merger through a proxy statement that
omitted material facts. The parties agreed on certain additional
disclosures to the Company's definitive proxy statement, which
were filed on October 3, 2017. The plaintiffs dismissed the
complaint on November 1, 2017.

Xcerra Corporation a global provider of test and handling capital
equipment, interface products, test fixtures and related services
to the semiconductor and electronics manufacturing industries.
The company is based in Norwood, Massachusetts.


XCERRA CORP: "Berg" Suit Dismissed
----------------------------------
Xcerra Corporation said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended
October 31, 2017, that the plaintiffs in the case, Robert Berg v.
Xcerra Corporation et al., have dismissed the complaint.

On August 23, 2017, a putative shareholder class action complaint
was filed in the United States District Court for the District of
Massachusetts against the Company, each member of the Board,
Parent, Unic Capital, Sponsor and Merger Sub, captioned Robert
Berg v. Xcerra Corporation et al., Case No. 1:17-cv-11583. The
complaint alleged, among other things, that the Company and each
member of the Board violated federal securities laws and
regulations by soliciting stockholder votes in connection with
the Merger through a proxy statement that omitted material facts.

The parties agreed on certain additional disclosures to the
Company's definitive proxy statement, which were filed on October
3, 2017. The plaintiff dismissed the complaint on November 1,
2017.

The case was terminated on November 13, 2017.

Xcerra Corporation a global provider of test and handling capital
equipment, interface products, test fixtures and related services
to the semiconductor and electronics manufacturing industries.
The company is based in Norwood, Massachusetts.


XCERRA CORP: "Khan" Class Action Dismissed
------------------------------------------
The Plaintiff in the case, Khan v. Xcerra Corporation et al.,
Case No. 1:17-cv-12226 (D. Mass.), filed on March 9, 2018, a
Notice of Voluntary Dismissal of the case.

Khan filed a Motion to Appoint Counsel and Lead Plaintiff, which
was unopposed, on January 24, 2018.  No ruling was entered on
that request.

Xcerra said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended October 31,
2017, 2017, that on November 10, 2017, a putative shareholder
class action complaint was filed in the United States District
Court for the District of Massachusetts against the Company and
each member of the Board, captioned Waseem Khan v. Xcerra
Corporation et al., Case No. 1:17-cv-12226. The complaint
alleges, among other things, that the Company and the Board
violated federal securities laws and regulations by soliciting
stockholder votes in connection with the Merger through a proxy
statement that includes false and misleading material information
with respect to the proposed Merger, which renders the proxy
statement false and misleading. The complaint seeks damages.

Xcerra said "The Company is reviewing the complaint and has not
yet formally responded to it, but believes that the plaintiffs'
allegations are without merit and intends to defend against them
vigorously.

Xcerra Corporation a global provider of test and handling capital
equipment, interface products, test fixtures and related services
to the semiconductor and electronics manufacturing industries.
The company is based in Norwood, Massachusetts.


YALE UNIVERSITY: Class Action Over Retirement Plan Fees Okayed
--------------------------------------------------------------
Jingyi Cui, writing for Yale Daily News, reports that United
States District Judge Alvin Thompson ruled on March 30 to allow
four Yale employees to proceed with most of the claims they filed
in an August 2016 lawsuit alleging that the Yale's retirement
plan comes with excessive administrative fees that the University
has not done enough to reduce.

Yale's retirement plan is overseen by outside investment managers
who charge administrative and record keeping fees for their
services.  The plaintiffs -- Joseph Vellali, Nancy Lowers, Jan
Taschner and James Mancini -- in the case claim that Yale did not
drive a hard enough bargain with the investment managers it hired
to handle the retirement plan and that, as a result, University
staff and faculty members pay $200 to $300 per person in
recordkeeping fees to these managers, which the plaintiffs claim
is nearly five times higher than what is reasonable.  As of June
30, 2015, Yale's retirement plan held $3.8 billion in assets and
had 17,138 participants.

The plaintiffs hope to file a class-action lawsuit on behalf of
all participants of Yale's retirement plan but will need court
approval to do so.  More than a dozen other colleges and
universities have also recently been hit with the threat of
class-action lawsuits raising concerns about their retirement
plans.

The University filed a motion in January 2017 requesting that the
court dismiss all the claims made by the plaintiffs.  Last
month's 40-page ruling dismissed some of the plaintiffs' claims
-- such as the allegation that Yale provides "too many"
investment options in the retirement plan and thus paralyzes
decision-making -- but allowed the plaintiffs to proceed with
most of them.  In an email to the News, University spokesman Tom
Conroy said Yale will continue to fight the lawsuit.

"We are pleased that the court dismissed some claims, in allowing
some others to move forward through the process," Mr. Conroy
wrote.  "As we have said before, we believe that all these
allegations are without merit and -- working with our legal team
-- we will continue to respond to these allegations and intend to
oppose this suit vigorously."

Jerome Schlichter, one of the lawyers representing the
plaintiffs, and Vellani, one of the four plaintiffs, did not
respond to requests for comment. The other three plaintiffs could
not be reached for comment.

The plaintiffs argue that the University failed to scrutinize all
the investment options included in the retirement plan before
contracting with the investment managers.  They also find fault
with Yale's decision to enact a bundling agreement with its
investment management companies under which the University
relinquished the right to reconfigure its investments if some
start to underperform.

Judge Thompson allowed such claims to proceed, despite Yale's
argument that bundling arrangements are commonplace and generally
beneficial.

"The process of selecting vendors and negotiating service fees
can materially affect an employee's retirement income because
every dollar spent on either recordkeeping or investment
management is a dollar that is not contributing to increasing the
amount of the employee's retirement savings," Judge Thompson
wrote in his ruling.  "Over time, excessive service fees can
erode an employee's retirement savings to the tune of tens or
hundreds of thousands of dollars."

Judge Thompson dismissed the claim that Yale breached "duty of
loyalty" to its employees, concluding that Yale has not sought to
benefit itself or a third party at the expense of the plan's
participants.

Mr. Schlichter is a pioneer in retirement plan litigation.  He
and the law firm he founded have obtained over $300 million in
settlements with big companies like Boeing Co. over claims of
excessive retirement plan fees.

Mr. Schlichter is behind similar ongoing cases against the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology and New York University,
each of which -- like Yale -- has over $3 billion in retirement
plan holdings.  The University of Pennsylvania is the only
university to have defeated outright a lawsuit over retirement
plan mismanagement, when a federal judge ruled in September 2017
to dismiss all the plaintiffs' claims.

Scott Dauenhauer, a consultant on teacher retirement plans, said
that before the recent series of lawsuits against Yale and other
universities emerged, mismanagement claims were made exclusively
against 401(k) plans, which are generally used by corporations
and not by nonprofit organizations.

Mr. Dauenhauer said Mr. Schlichter's firm is copying the template
used for retirement plan cases against companies for its cases
against higher educational institutions, whose plans are often in
better shape.

"I'm not a fan of these lawsuits in general," he said.  "I think
they are basically a money grab, not by the participants filing
them but the attorneys who are filing them." [GN]


* California Becomes Hub for Litigation Over Failed IPOs
--------------------------------------------------------
Sujeet Indap, writing for The Financial Times, reports that
Silicon Valley is the pre-eminent location for start-ups.  But to
the lament of the tech entrepreneurs there, Northern California
is also a hub for another type of innovation: litigation against
companies that have disappointing IPOs.

An otherwise nondescript state courthouse in Redwood City,
California, has become one of the most popular venues for class-
action securities lawsuits where shareholders argue for
compensation from newly-listed companies whose shares have
fallen, claiming they filed false or misleading prospectuses.

California state courts, and in particular the San Mateo Superior
Court in Redwood City, have been receptive to taking these
lawsuits -- with the likes of Etsy, Lending Club, and GoPro among
the targets.

The law invoked, the Securities Act of 1933, is, however, a
federal statute written by the US Congress in the wake of the
1929 stock market crash.

In 2012, just five 1933 Act claims were filed in California.  By
2016, that figure was up to 14. The probable reason: west coast
state courts have been less willing to grant early dismissals.
That has forced companies to either settle with shareholders or
spend years in expensive litigation and risk a hefty judgment
from a jury.

It could be about to become more prevalent still.  In a landmark
9-0 ruling in March, the US Supreme Court affirmed the right of
shareholders to sue companies in state court using federal
securities laws such as the '33 Act.

The Supreme Court weighed in because lower federal courts
differed on whether 1933 Act claims could go forward in state
courts.  The situation has been ambiguous since reforms in the
1990s -- particularly 1998 Securities Litigation Uniform
Standards Act (SLUSA) -- which had been designed to reduce the
amount of opportunistic litigation faced by companies.

The case that made its way to Supreme Court involved Cyan Inc, a
telecoms equipment company that went public on Nasdaq in 2013.
Six months later, its shares had halved.  A group of shareholders
sued in a California state court, believing that company had not
been forthcoming in its offering documents about how much of its
revenue was tied to a single customer.

Supreme Court justices ruled unanimously a few weeks ago that
SLUSA did not explicitly force the "removal" of federal 1933 Act
claims from state to federal courts.

The ferocity of the fight over IPO litigation demonstrates that
prevailing in court can be as much about where a case is heard as
the precise merits of a legal argument.

Companies have claimed that state courts are less equipped and
too friendly towards suing shareholders.  State courts like the
one in Redwood City are less likely to dismiss cases at early
stages, no matter how weak a shareholder's case, according to
multiple defence lawyers.

Additionally, the average settlement of state IPO litigation case
is above $8m, twice that of federal settlements, according to
data compiled by Cornerstone Research.

Worries about 1933 Act claims in state court have led companies
planning an IPO, including Snap, BlueApron and Stitch Fix, to
resort to the so-called Grundfest solution.  Named after a former
SEC commissioner-turned-law professor, the tactic is to write
into the company charter and bylaws that any 1933 Act claim can
only be brought in federal court.

Companies have had success writing such charter provisions that
force corporate law litigation into one specific state court.
Typically that is Delaware, a state that has become increasingly
corporation friendly.  But whether these federal forum provisions
that Grundfest developed are legal under Delaware law has yet to
be determined.

Naturally, plaintiffs lawyers do not believe state courts are any
less capable of handling federal securities law cases, nor that
they should be deprived of their right to hear them.

"The [Supreme] Court underscored basic principles of federalism
while confirming that creative lawyering cannot displace
statutory text," says Darren Robbins of Robbins Gellar.

Litigation risk, some observers believe, is one of the reasons
private companies have been avoiding public markets.  One SEC
commissioner concerned about the dearth of IPOs recently floated
the idea that companies should be allowed to force shareholder
claims into arbitration, not courts.

A sensible outcome would be for Congress to force claims based on
federal law into federal court only.

That will mean fewer cases for San Mateo Superior Court and its
California peers, but not necessarily the end of the road for
plaintiffs lawyers.

Flawed disclosures by Facebook in its 2012 IPO documents, which
recently led to a $35m settlement of a 1933 Act claim in federal
court in New York, show that even the highest profile Silicon
Valley listings can be worth examination on shareholders' behalf.

Restricting the litigation to ostensibly favourable venues will
not amount to a get out of jail free card. [GN]


* Confusing New Laws to Fuel Growth of Employment Law Practices
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gayle Cinquegrani, writing for Bloomberg Law, reports that
confusing new employment laws and the possibility of lucrative
class action settlements may be fueling growth for employment law
practices in California, several practitioners told Bloomberg
Law.

"The legislature out here is prone to passing laws that are
hyper-technical and hard to comply with," according to John
Polson, a member of the management committee at labor and
employment law firm Fisher Phillips.  This tends to create "more
employment litigation for us to defend" and more need for
advising clients, he told Bloomberg Law April 2.

Many jurisdictions have their own employment-related laws,
distinct from state-level requirements.  By January 2019, for
example, California will have at least 24 different jurisdictions
-- municipalities or counties -- with their own minimum wage
requirements for private employers, according to the State and
Local Law Chart Builders database on Bloomberg Law's Labor &
Employment Practice Center.  New Mexico has the second most sub-
state jurisdictions with different wage floor requirements, at
five, according to Bloomberg Law data.

The state's employment law encompasses "more laws, more money,
and more lawyers," Joe Beachboard, a managing director at
Ogletree Deakins, told Bloomberg Law April 2.  "People really
want a California lawyer to handle a California matter" because
"the laws are so different and the risks are so great," he said.

California Dreamin' for Plaintiffs
Multi-million dollar settlements and high damage awards in the
state also can attract more lawyers and litigation.

"Damages in California under our state statutes tend to be higher
than anywhere else in the country," Mr. Beachboard said.  "The
reward factor leads to more lawyers doing this kind of work on
the plaintiffs' side," which in turn "drives more litigation."

In March, Lyft and its drivers told a federal judge the $27
million settlement payout in a wage case is proceeding on
schedule.  That case was filed in 2013 in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of California to a $27 million
settlement. In 2016, a judge in the same federal court rejected a
$100 million settlement between Uber and its drivers because the
amount was too small.

Legal consultants confirm the upturn in business.  "We definitely
can confirm that employment law is a huge market" in California,
Jamy Sullivan, executive director of legal staffing and
consulting firm Robert Half Legal, told Bloomberg Law April 2.
"We haven't seen a ton of new offices, but adding attorneys to
their team, we've definitely seen that growth," especially for
small and midsize firms, Mr. Sullivan said.

"Employment practice in general is growing faster in California
than in most places," Mr. Polson of Fisher Phillips said.  "It's
the hot spot in our firm" right now.

"We definitely need to grow to keep up with the workflow that we
have," so "we are expanding" in all five California offices,
Mr. Polson said.  The firm doubled its office size in Los Angeles
and increased the physical space in the Irvine, Calif., office by
50 percent to accommodate an additional 18 attorney offices, he
said.

By the end of April, Fisher Phillips will have added about 10
lawyers in California so far in 2018, Mr. Polson said.  The firm
has about 95 lawyers in the nation's most populous state and
expects to grow to more than 100 by the end of the year, he said.

Class Actions Fueling Business

"The class action practice in California is really growing for
us," Polson said. "That's being fueled by court decisions that
essentially change the rules after the fact on employers."

New wage-and-hour laws focused on employees who are paid by
commission or piece rate also are prompting a lot of queries from
clients, Mr. Polson said.

For example, California considers commissions to be wages for
purposes of the state's wage-payment rules and must be paid at
least semi-monthly, according to Bloomberg Law's Labor and
Employment Practice Center.

Class action litigation also is helping to spur growth for labor
and employment firm Seyfarth Shaw.  "We're seeing a never-ending
growth pattern" in California, partner Gerald Maatman told
Bloomberg Law.  Mr. Maatman has led the defense teams for many of
Seyfarth's largest California cases.

"Our class action docket continues to expand," Mr. Maatman said.
Recent statistics on class actions filed in California aren't
available because the state hasn't reported the number since
2009, he said, but he's noticed "there are more and more every
year" as he reviews dockets for Seyfarth's annual Workplace Class
Action Report.

Other sources of business for employment lawyers are California's
new salary history ban, which prohibits employers from asking job
applicants about their prior salaries, and employers' fear of
sexual harassment claims, Mr. Maatman said.

War for Talent
As a result, "the war for talent is as acute on the ground in
California for labor and employment lawyers as I've seen it in
the last 20 years," Mr. Maatman said.

One sign of the increased importance of California to Seyfarth's
overall business is its recent selection of a San Francisco
partner as the national chair of its labor and employment
department.  Previously, partners from the East Coast or the
firm's Chicago headquarters led that department, Mr. Maatman
said.

Workplace law firm Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete also is
growing quickly in California, Ken Sulzer told Bloomberg Law.
Sulzer heads the firm's California practice.

"The firm clients really fueled the growth," he said.  "They
wanted to use Constangy in California if we had a substantial
practice here" because of the intricacy of the state's employment
laws.

Constangy opened its first California office with three lawyers
just over two years ago. It now has 30 lawyers in three offices,
Mr. Sulzer said.  Its Los Angeles office has grown to 22 lawyers
since February 2016, its San Francisco office has grown to six
lawyers since it opened at the start of 2017, and its Orange
County office, with two lawyers, opened in January 2018.

"We will continue to grow," Mr. Sulzer said.  Constangy is
"looking for more lawyers and will add more in each of our
offices in the next two to three months."

Seeing Rapid Growth
Mr. Beachboard, of labor and employment law firm Ogletree, said
his firm has grown rapidly in California.  It opened its first
California office in Los Angeles in 2003 and now has more than
130 attorneys in six offices throughout the state.

"California now constitutes about 16 percent of our firm
revenues," Mr. Beachboard said.

Ogletree is "happy with where we are" and plans to "grow within
those offices" rather than open new offices in California,
Beachboard said.

Other firms also are strengthening their employment law presence
in California.

McDermott Will & Emery's new employment practice group will have
a strong West Coast presence, the firm announced April 3, with
several class action litigators joining its offices in San
Francisco, San Diego, and Los Angeles.

Baker McKenzie recently opened an office in Los Angeles with a
labor and employment lawyer as a founding partner.  The firm now
has three offices in California, with 40 lawyers that practice
labor and employment or executive compensation law, Barbara
Klementz, Baker McKenzie's California managing partner, told
Bloomberg Law April 3.

Lawyers predict the demand for employment lawyers in California
will continue. "It's incredibly difficult to comply with all the
California labor and employment laws and commit the resources to
do so and still run a profitable enterprise," Mr. Sulzer said.
The more difficult the task, the more clients need their lawyers.
[GN]


* EU to Propose Giving Consumer Groups Right to Seek Compensation
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jim Brunsden, writing for The Financial Times, reported that
consumers hit by scandals such as emissions-test cheating by
carmakers would get greater powers collectively to sue companies
that violate their rights, under EU plans that reflect Brussels'
frustration with corporate-rule breaking.

The European Commission was on April 11 expected to propose
giving consumer groups the right to seek compensation on behalf
of large numbers of customers, opening up legal avenues that are
limited or non-existent in many EU countries.

Brussels would also seek to increase the financial penalties for
companies that break EU consumer law, saying national authorities
should be able to levy fines of up to 4 per cent of turnover for
"widespread infringements".  Countries would be free to legislate
for higher maximum penalties if they wished.

Vera Jourova, the EU's justice commissioner, said that the plans,
which need approval from national governments and the European
Parliament, would be "a moment for everyone to show their cards
whether we are serious in drawing the consequences from
dieselgate and give a fair chance for compensation to consumers".

Ms Jourova fought Volkswagen, the company at the centre of the
dieselgate scandal, over its refusal to compensate EU customers
despite doing so in the US.  The episode, along with others such
as Ryanair's mass cancellations of flights in 2017, have hardened
Brussels' view that the EU lacks the legal armoury to tackle
cases affecting large numbers of people in multiple countries.

Jean-Claude Juncker, commission president, last year pledged a
"new deal for consumers" that would give them better protection.

"It cannot be cheap to cheat, especially in the globalised world
where the big companies have a huge advantage over individual
consumers," Ms Jourova said. "We need to level these odds."

Citizens rights' groups have long called for greater collective
redress powers, saying EU consumer law is under-enforced.  Only
Belgium, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Sweden have well-developed
and functioning procedures, according to the BEUC, the European
consumer organisation.  The German government has pledged in its
coalition agreement to introduce a new system.

"On paper European consumers have rights, but getting them
respected when things go wrong is too frequently mission
impossible," Monique Goyens, the BEUC's director-general, said.

However business leaders said Brussels risked leading the EU
towards a US-style class-action system that would encourage
frivolous lawsuits in search of payouts. Concern has also been
expressed that Brussels was overstating the problems consumers
faced in upholding their rights.

"EU citizens already enjoy the most efficient and strongest
consumer protection in the world," Markus Beyrer, director-
general of BusinessEurope, said.

Ms Jourova said her plans contained safeguards that would protect
businesses from spurious cases -- notably the fact that
collective actions would only be open to consumer organisations
and other non-profit groups.

"We are not following the US model, but we will make sure EU
citizens can fully benefit from their rights," she said. "It's
not about more business, but about more fairness."

The package would also tackle other consumer issues, notably some
companies' use of lower-quality ingredients in food sold in
central and eastern Europe, even when they were branded
identically to products marketed in the west.  Officials said
rules would clarify that it was illegal to market different
products as being identical.

Other changes are aimed specifically at the online market,
including making it easier for a person to know whether they are
buying from an individual or from a business, as well as giving
people clearer information about the terms and conditions of
social media networks and cloud storage platforms. [GN]


* Lawyer Expects Litigation Against Promoters of ICOs
-----------------------------------------------------
Joshua Oliver and Hannah Murphy, writing for The Financial Times,
reported that celebrity endorsers of cryptocurrency fundraisers
are at risk of legal action from regulators and investors, legal
experts have warned, following a US case that highlighted the
involvement of famous promoters in a so-called initial coin
offering that collapsed.

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged two men with
taking $32m from thousands of investors via an ICO, a
crowdfunding mechanism used to raise money for digital currency
ventures.  The co-founders allegedly raised the funds for a
"fraudulent" start-up called Centra Tech, with the scheme touted
on social media by champion boxer Floyd Mayweather and musician
DJ Khaled.

While the SEC stopped short of naming the celebrity promoters in
their statement, it noted their involvement -- an unusual move
because they are not defendants in the case.  Experts said
celebrities who have endorsed ICOs could now face legal action
from regulators, as well as investors who believe they have been
scammed.

"They are clearly sending a signal," said Nick Morgan, a former
SEC attorney and a partner at US law firm Paul Hastings.  He
added that the SEC had "left the door open" to pursue celebrities
or others who may have broken the law while promoting ICOs.

"There was nothing in there that I think anyone should take
comfort from, just because they were not individually named," he
said.

ICOs exploded in popularity last year in tandem with rising
cryptocurrency prices. During the boom many assumed that
securities laws did not apply to the new way of raising capital
and several famous faces used social media to promote digital
coins.  Academy Award-winning actor Jamie Foxx tweeted an
endorsement of one ICO to his nearly 5m followers, while
socialite Paris Hilton used Twitter and Instagram to announce her
participation in another offering.

But the so-called "digital wild west" has come under growing
legal scrutiny, with some regulators arguing that novel
technology should be subject to securities laws.  According to
research by Satis Group, an ICO advisory company, 81 per cent of
ICOs from the beginning of 2017 to early March 2018 were scams.

Charles Whitehead, a professor at Cornell Law School, warned that
even if an ICO was not a scam, promoters could face legal action.
In most cases, someone who promoted an ICO that was not
registered with the regulator could have violated market rules,
he said, noting that US laws tightly regulate publicity around
the sale of new securities.

"This is why, at a Goldman Sachs offering, you don't see Kanye
[West]," he said.

US regulators in particular have been clamping down on the
sector, halting several offerings in recent months.  Jay Clayton,
SEC chairman, said in February that where an ICO might qualify as
a financial instrument, businesses would need to comply with
financial regulations.  He also said that "every ICO I've seen is
a security".

The SEC late last year warned that celebrities had to disclose
any compensation they received to promote an ICO.

Beth-ann Roth, a former SEC litigator and partner at Capital Fund
Law, said that in cases such as the Centra ICO, there was also a
risk that promoters could be found to have "aided and abetted"
the alleged fraud.  The lesson for celebrities, she added, is
"know what you're endorsing".

The SEC declined to comment on whether they would pursue those
who may have broken the law while promoting ICOs.

It is not only regulators' wrath that ICO promoters now face.
There have already been dozens of class action lawsuits from
disgruntled investors against people who have launched ICOs in
the US.  Now that SEC has flagged celebrity promoters in its
announcement, this could prompt lawsuits targeting those who
marketed the offerings as well, experts predicted.

David Silver, a partner at law firm Silver Miller who is managing
more than a dozen cryptocurrency-related class actions, said: "In
the next ninety days we are going to see lots of litigation
surrounding the promoters of these ICOs." [GN]


                     Asbestos Litigation


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Carbide Has 15,427 PI Claims at Dec. 31
--------------------------------------------------------------
Union Carbide Corporation has 15,427 unresolved asbestos-related
claims at December 31, 2017, according to the Company's Form 10-K
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
fiscal year ended December 31, 2017.

The Company states, "The Corporation is and has been involved in
a large number of asbestos-related suits filed primarily in state
courts during the past four decades.  These suits principally
allege personal injury resulting from exposure to asbestos-
containing products and frequently seek both actual and punitive
damages.  The alleged claims primarily relate to products that
UCC sold in the past, alleged exposure to asbestos-containing
products located on UCC's premises, and UCC's responsibility for
asbestos suits filed against a former subsidiary, Amchem.  In
many cases, plaintiffs are unable to demonstrate that they have
suffered any compensable loss as a result of such exposure, or
that injuries incurred in fact resulted from exposure to UCC's
products.

"Plaintiffs' lawyers often sue numerous defendants in individual
lawsuits or on behalf of numerous claimants.  As a result, the
damages alleged are not expressly identified as to UCC, Amchem or
any other particular defendant, even when specific damages are
alleged with respect to a specific disease or injury.  In fact,
there are no asbestos personal injury cases in which only the
Corporation and/or Amchem are the sole named defendants.  For
these reasons and based upon the Corporation's litigation and
settlement experience, the Corporation does not consider the
damages alleged against it and Amchem to be a meaningful factor
in its determination of any potential asbestos-related
liability."

A full-text copy of the Form 10-K is available at
https://is.gd/l71Y3Y


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Union Carbide Has $1.4BB Liability at Dec. 31
--------------------------------------------------------------
Union Carbide Corporation has US$1,369 million asbestos-related
liability for pending and future claims at December 31, 2017,
according to the Company's Form 10-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended
December 31, 2017.

The Company states, "Separately, the Corporation is and has been
involved in a large number of asbestos-related suits filed
primarily in state courts during the past four decades.  These
suits principally allege personal injury resulting from exposure
to asbestos-containing products and frequently seek both actual
and punitive damages.  The alleged claims primarily relate to
products that UCC sold in the past, alleged exposure to asbestos-
containing products located on UCC's premises, and UCC's
responsibility for asbestos suits filed against a former UCC
subsidiary, Amchem Products, Inc. ("Amchem").  In many cases,
plaintiffs are unable to demonstrate that they have suffered any
compensable loss as a result of such exposure, or that injuries
incurred in fact resulted from exposure to the Corporation's
products.

"The Corporation expects more asbestos-related suits to be filed
against UCC and Amchem in the future, and will aggressively
defend or reasonably resolve, as appropriate, both pending and
future claims.

"Based on a study completed by Ankura Consulting Group, LLC
("Ankura") in January 2003, the Corporation increased its
December 31, 2002, asbestos-related liability for pending and
future claims for a 15-year period ending in 2017 to US$2.2
billion, excluding future defense and processing costs.  Since
then, the Corporation has compared current asbestos claim and
resolution activity to the results of the most recent Ankura
study at each balance sheet date to determine whether the accrual
continues to be appropriate.  In addition, the Corporation has
requested Ankura to review the Corporation's historical asbestos
claim and resolution activity each year since 2004 to determine
the appropriateness of updating the most recent Ankura study.

"In October 2016, the Corporation requested Ankura to review its
historical asbestos claim and resolution activity and determine
the appropriateness of updating its December 2014 study.  In
response to the request, Ankura reviewed and analyzed asbestos-
related claim and resolution data through September 30, 2016.
The resulting study, completed by Ankura in December 2016,
provided estimates for the undiscounted cost of disposing of
pending and future claims against UCC and Amchem, excluding
future defense and processing costs, for both a 15-year period
and through the terminal year of 2049.

"Based on the study completed in December 2016 by Ankura, and the
Corporation's own review of the asbestos claim and resolution
activity, it was determined that an adjustment to the accrual was
necessary.  The Corporation determined that using the estimate
through the terminal year of 2049 was more appropriate due to
increasing knowledge and data about the costs to resolve claims
and diminished volatility in filing rates.  Using the range in
the Ankura December 2016 study, which was estimated to be between
US$502 million and US$565 million for the undiscounted cost of
disposing of pending and future claims, the Corporation increased
its asbestos-related liability for pending and future claims
through the terminal year of 2049 by US$104 million, included in
"Asbestos-related charge" in the consolidated statements of
income.  At December 31, 2016, the Corporation's asbestos-related
liability for pending and future claims was US$486 million, and
approximately 14 percent of the recorded liability related to
pending claims and approximately 86 percent related to future
claims.

"In September 2014, the Corporation began to implement a strategy
designed to reduce and to ultimately stabilize and forecast
defense costs associated with asbestos-related matters.  The
strategy included a number of important changes including:
invoicing protocols including capturing costs by plaintiff;
review of existing counsel roles, work processes and workflow;
and utilization of enterprise legal management software, which
enabled claim-specific tracking of asbestos-related defense and
processing costs.  The Corporation reviewed the information
generated from this new strategy and determined that it now had
the ability to reasonably estimate asbestos-related defense and
processing costs for the same periods that it estimates its
asbestos-related liability for pending and future claims.  The
Corporation believes that including estimates of the liability
for asbestos-related defense and processing costs provides a more
complete assessment and measure of the liability associated with
resolving asbestos-related matters, which the Corporation
believes is preferable in these circumstances.

"In October 2016, in addition to the study for asbestos claim and
resolution activity, the Corporation requested Ankura to review
asbestos-related defense and processing costs and provide an
estimate of a reasonable forecast of defense and processing costs
associated with resolving pending and future asbestos-related
claims facing UCC and Amchem for the same periods of time that
the Corporation uses for estimating resolution costs.  In
December 2016, Ankura conducted the study and provided the
Corporation with an estimate of future defense and processing
costs for both a 15-year period and through the terminal year of
2049.  The resulting study estimated asbestos-related defense and
processing costs for pending and future asbestos claims to be
between US$1,009 million and US$1,081 million through the
terminal year of 2049.

"In the fourth quarter of 2016, the Corporation elected to change
its method of accounting for asbestos-related defense and
processing costs from expensing as incurred to estimating and
accruing a liability.  This change is believed to be preferable
as asbestos-related defense and processing costs represent
expenditures related to legacy activities that do not contribute
to current or future revenue generating activities of the
Corporation.  The change is also reflective of the manner in
which the Corporation manages its asbestos-related exposure,
including careful monitoring of the correlation between defense
spending and resolution costs.  Together, these two sources of
cost more accurately represent the "total cost" of resolving
asbestos-related claims now and in the future.

"This accounting policy change was reflected as a change in
accounting estimate effected by a change in accounting principle.
As a result of this accounting policy change and based on the
December 2016 Ankura study of asbestos-related defense and
processing costs and the Corporation's own review of the data, a
pretax charge for asbestos-related defense and processing costs
of US$1,009 million was recorded in the fourth quarter of 2016,
included in "Asbestos-related charge" in the consolidated
statements of income.  The Corporation's total asbestos-related
liability, including defense and processing costs, was US$1,490
million at December 31, 2016, and was included in "Asbestos-
related liabilities -- current" and "Asbestos-related liabilities
-- noncurrent" in the consolidated balance sheets.

"In October 2017, the Corporation requested Ankura to review its
historical asbestos claim and resolution activity (including
asbestos-related defense and processing costs) and determine the
appropriateness of updating its December 2016 study.  In response
to that request, Ankura reviewed and analyzed data through
September 30, 2017.  In December 2017, Ankura stated that an
update of its December 2016 study would not provide a more likely
estimate of future events than the estimate reflected in the
study and, therefore, the estimate in that study remained
applicable.  Based on the Corporation's own review of the
asbestos claim and resolution activity (including asbestos-
related defense and processing costs) and Ankura's response, the
Corporation determined that no change to the accrual was
required.  At December 31, 2017, the asbestos-related liability
for pending and future claims against UCC and Amchem, including
future asbestos-related defense and processing costs, was
US$1,369 million, and approximately 16 percent of the recorded
liability related to pending claims and approximately 84 percent
related to future claims.

"The Corporation has receivables for insurance recoveries related
to its asbestos liability as well as receivables for defense and
resolution costs submitted to insurance carriers that have a
settlement agreement in place regarding their asbestos-related
insurance coverage.  The Corporation continues to believe that
its recorded receivable for insurance recoveries from all
insurance carriers is probable of collection.  At December 31,
2017, the Corporation's receivable for insurance recoveries
related to its asbestos liability was US$37 million (US$41
million at December 31, 2016)."

A full-text copy of the Form 10-K is available at
https://is.gd/l71Y3Y


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NewMarket Corp. Has $8.25MM Litigation Reserve
---------------------------------------------------------------
NewMarket Corporation has asbestos litigation reserve of
US$8,251,000 as of December 31, 2017, according to the Company's
Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2017.

The Company states, "We are a defendant in personal injury
lawsuits involving exposure to asbestos.  These cases involve
exposure to asbestos in premises owned or operated, or formerly
owned or operated, by subsidiaries of NewMarket.  We have never
manufactured, sold, or distributed products that contain
asbestos.  Nearly all of these cases are pending in Texas,
Louisiana, or Illinois and involve multiple defendants.  We
maintain an accrual for these proceedings, as well as a
receivable for expected insurance recoveries.

"The accrual for our premises asbestos liability related to
currently asserted claims is based on the following assumptions
and factors:

   * We are often one of many defendants.  This factor influences
both the number of claims settled against us and the indemnity
cost associated with such resolutions.

   * The estimated percent of claimants in each case that, after
discovery, will actually make a claim against us, out of the
total number of claimants in a case, is based on a level
consistent with past experience and current trends.

   * We utilize average comparable plaintiff cost history as the
basis for estimating pending premises asbestos related claims.
These claims are filed by both former contractors and former
employees who worked at past and present company locations.  We
also include an estimated inflation factor in the calculation.

   * No estimate is made for unasserted claims.

   * The estimated recoveries from insurance and Albemarle
Corporation (a former operation of our company) for these cases
are based on, and are consistent with, the 2005 settlement
agreements with Travelers Indemnity Company.

"Based on the assumptions, we have provided an undiscounted
liability related to premises asbestos claims of US$10 million at
December 31, 2017 and US$11 million December 31, 2016.  The
liabilities related to asbestos claims are included in accrued
expenses (current portion) and other noncurrent liabilities on
the Consolidated Balance Sheets.  Certain of these costs are
recoverable through the settlement agreement with The Travelers
Indemnity Company, as well as an agreement with Albemarle
Corporation.  The receivable for these recoveries related to
premises asbestos liabilities was US$5 million at both December
31, 2017 and December 31, 2016.  These receivables are included
in trade and other accounts receivable, net on the Consolidated
Balance Sheets for the current portion.  The noncurrent portion
is included in deferred charges and other assets."

A full-text copy of the Form 10-K is available at
https://is.gd/HSjj4t


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 193 Talcum Suits vs. Colgate-Palmolive Pending
---------------------------------------------------------------
Colgate-Palmolive Company had 193 individual cases pending in
state and federal courts throughout the United States as of
December 31, 2017, according to the Company's Form 10-K filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the fiscal
year ended December 31, 2017.

Colgate-Palmolive states, "The Company has been named as a
defendant in civil actions alleging that certain talcum powder
products that were sold prior to 1996 were contaminated with
asbestos.  Most of these actions involve a number of co-
defendants from a variety of different industries, including
suppliers of asbestos and manufacturers of products that, unlike
the Company's products, were designed to contain asbestos.

"As of December 31, 2017, there were 193 individual cases pending
against the Company in state and federal courts throughout the
United States, as compared to 115 cases as of December 31, 2016.
During the year ended December 31, 2017, 132 new cases were filed
and 54 cases were resolved by voluntary dismissal, appeal in the
Company's favor or settlement.  The value of settlements in the
years presented was not material, either individually or in the
aggregate, to each such period's results of operations."

A full-text copy of the Form 10-K is available at
https://is.gd/zKBaIq


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Court Dismissed "Johnson" Asbestos PI Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------
Judge Thomas S. Zilly of the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Washington dismissed the case styled Thomas A.
Johnson and Barbara C. Johnson, Plaintiffs, v. CBS Corporation;
and General Electric Company, Defendants, No. C17-834 TSZ, (W.D.
Wash.).

Counsel had advised the Court that the matter has been resolved
and that no issue remains for the Court's determination.
Consequently, the trial date of May 1, 2018, and all related
dates and deadlines, including the hearing set for March 30,
2018, are stricken. All remaining motions are also stricken.

A full-text copy of the Order dated March 27, 2018, is available
at https://tinyurl.com/ydyzzo5k from Leagle.com.

Thomas A. Johnson & Barbara C. Johnson, Husband and Wife,
Plaintiffs, represented by Kristin M. Houser -- houser@sgb-
law.com -- Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, Lucas W.H. Garrett --
garrett@sgb-law.com -- Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, Thomas J.
Breen -- breen@sgb-law.com -- Schroeter Goldmark & Bender --
mclafferty@sgb-law.com -- Schroeter Goldmark & Bender & Joseph A.
Campagna -- campagna@sgb-law.com -- Schroeter Goldmark & Bender.

CBS Corporation, successor by merger to CBS Corporation, formerly
known as Westinghouse Electric Corporation, Defendant,
represented by David A. Speziali, Speziali, Greenwald & Hawkins,
pro hac vice, Erin P. Fraser -- efraser@tktrial.com -- Tanenbaum
Keale LLP, William D. Harvard -- wdharvard@ewhlaw.com -- Evert
Weathersby Houff, pro hac vice & Christopher S. Marks --
cmarks@tktrial.com -- Tanenbaum Keale LLP.

General Electric Company, Defendant, represented by David A.
Speziali, Speziali, Greenwald & Hawkins, pro hac vice, Erin P.
Fraser -- efraser@tktrial.com -- Tanenbaum Keale LLP &
Christopher S. Marks -- cmarks@tktrial.com -- Tanenbaum Keale
LLP.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: PI Claims vs. MetLife Dropped in "Airey"
---------------------------------------------------------
Judge Louis Guirola, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the
Southern District of Mississippi has dismissed with prejudice
Defendant Metropolitan Life Insurance Company from the claims of
Plaintiffs in the case styled Beatrice H. Airey, Individually and
on Behalf of the Estate and Wrongful Death Beneficiaries of
Albert J. Airey, Deceased, Plaintiffs, v. A.O. Smith Water
Products Co., et al., Defendants, Cause No. 1:16-cv-00317-LG-RHW,
(S.D. Miss.).

A full-text copy of the Agreed Order dated March 28, 2018, is
available at https://tinyurl.com/yanlroyp from Leagle.com.

Beatrice H. Airey, Individually and on behalf of the Estate and
Wrongful Death Beneficiaries of Albert J. Airey, Deceased,
Plaintiff, represented by James L. Farragut, III, Farragut Law
Firm, PLLC.

Foster Wheeler, LLC, Defendant, represented by Thomas E. Vaughn,
Vaughn & Bowden, PA.

CBS Corp., formerly known as Viacom, Inc. Successor-by-merger
with CBS Corp. fka Westinghouse Electric Corp., Defendant,
represented by Rose Marie Wade -- rmwade@ewhlaw.com -- Evert
Weathersby Houff.

IMO Industries, Inc., Defendant, represented by Claire W. Ketner
-- cketner@brunini.com -- Brunini, Grantham, Grower & Hewes.

Gardner Denver Nash, LLC, as successor by acquisition to Nash
Elmo Industries LLC fka Nash Engineering Co., Defendant,
represented by Paul D. Palermo -- ppalermo@bluewilliams.com --
Blue Williams, LLP.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Utica Must Disclose Docs on Burnham Deal
---------------------------------------------------------
In the case is Utica Mutual Insurance Company, Plaintiff, v. R&Q
Reinsurance Company, Defendant. No. 6:15-CV-270 (BKS/ATB),
(N.D.N.Y.), Judge Andrew T. Baxter of the United States District
Court for the Northern District of New York, granted in part R&Q
Reinsurance Company's Motion for Reconsideration of the court's
May 1, 2017 ruling denying R&Q access to internal documents of
Utica Mutual Insurance Company regarding its settlement
negotiations with Burnham Corporation and related coverage
issues.

Consequently, Utica will be required to disclose to R&Q:

     (1) non-privileged documents, for the period between January
1, 2016 and March 1, 2018, reflecting internal observations of,
and/or communications between, personnel of Utica, Resolute,
and/or NICO (including in-house counsel), relating to the efforts
of Utica and Resolute to negotiate and finalize a coverage-in-
place agreement ("CIP") with Burnham Corporation relating to
asbestos claims.

     (2) non-privileged documents, for the period between July 1,
2015 and March 1, 2018, reflecting internal observations of,
and/or communications between, personnel of Utica, Resolute,
and/or NICO (including in-house counsel), relating to direct
coverage issues involving Utica/Burnham primary and umbrella
policies relevant to the Utica/Burnham negotiations, in
particular:

         -- The alleged lack of explicit aggregate limits in the
documentation of some of Utica's primary policies with Burnham.

         -- The agreed-upon expansion of the coverage block to
include Utica/Burnham primary policies before 1960.

         -- The resolution of which umbrella policies covered
defense costs within limits, and which did not.

         -- Whether the Utica/Burnham umbrella policies for 1977
through 1985 covered defense costs at all.

         -- Utica's ability to recoup or recover from Burnham for
past payments of defense costs or orphan shares.

         -- The allocation of future defense payments.
Defendant's motion for reconsideration is otherwise denied.

R&Q would not be permitted to question Attorney John Roda, Esq.
of Burnham with internal Utica/Resolute documents not previously
disclosed to him by Utica/Resolute.

The Court also directed the parties, after conferring, to submit
a status report by April 13, requesting any revisions to the
deadlines previously proposed, including the deadline for Utica
to produce the supplemental discovery.

A full-text copy of the Order dated March 28, 2018, is available
at https://tinyurl.com/y9rgmdcw from Leagle.com.

Utica Mutual Insurance Company, Plaintiff, represented by Mary
Beth Forshaw -- mforshaw@stblaw.com -- Simpson, Thacher &
Bartlett LLP, Christopher G. Lee -- cglee@stblaw.com -- Simpson,
Thacher & Bartlett LLP & Elisa Alcabes -- ealcabes@stblaw.com --
Simpson, Thacher Law Firm.

R&Q Reinsurance Company, formerly known as INA Reinsurance
Company, Defendant, represented by John F. Finnegan --
john.finnegan@nortonrosefulbright.com -- Norton Rose Fulbright US
LLP, Susan C. Aldridge -- susan.aldridge@nortonrosefulbright.com
-- Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP, pro hac vice & Allison G. Gold -
-  allison.gold@nortonrosefulbright.com -- Norton Rose Fulbright
US LLP, pro hac vice.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Consolidated Edison Leave to Appeal Withdrawn
--------------------------------------------------------------
Consolidated Edison of New York, Inc., has moved for leave to
appeal to the Court of Appeals from the decision and order of the
Court, entered on January 10, 2017 in the case In Re New York
City Asbestos Litigation. Phyllis Brown, as Administratrix of the
Estate of Harry E. Brown, etc., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Bell &
Gossett Company, Defendant, Consolidated Edison of New York,
Inc., Defendant-Respondent. Motion No. M-631, Index No.
190415/12, (N.Y. App. Div. 1d).

The First Department of the Appellate Division of the Supreme
Court of New York has deemed withdrawn, in accordance with the
correspondence, dated February 8, 2018, filed by counsel for
Defendant-Respondent, Defendant-Respondent's leave to appeal,
upon reading the papers with respect to the motion, and the
correspondence.

A full-text copy of the Order dated March 29, 2018, is available
at https://tinyurl.com/ybjmnnp8 from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Clarks Not Estopped for Not Disclosing Diagnosis
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit vacated the
April 28, 2017 judgment of the district court granting The Boeing
Company's motion to dismiss and remanded the case for further
proceedings.

By early 2010, John Edward Clark and his wife, Michele, found
themselves more than $100,000 in debt. Seeking to regain their
financial footing, the couple filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy in
the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of
Connecticut. Under the Clarks' proposed Bankruptcy Plan, the
couple agreed to repay their creditors in full over five years
through monthly payroll deductions.

For nearly five years, everything went as planned. Each month
$2,152 was deducted from Mr. Clark's paycheck from his then
employer, Boeing, and each month the couple inched closer to a
discharge from bankruptcy. Then, only a few weeks before the
Clarks' sixtieth (and final) monthly deduction was taken in July
2015, tragedy struck: Mr. Clark was diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Although the Clarks fulfilled their last remaining obligations
under the plan within a matter of weeks, their bankruptcy
proceedings remained formally open for another full year before
finally coming to a close on August 5, 2016.

On July 29, 2016, the Clarks filed a personal injury action in
New York State Court against The Boeing Company and a host of
other corporations he believed responsible for exposing him to
the known carcinogen. One week later, with every creditor having
been paid in full, the couple received a final discharge from
bankruptcy.

Mr. Clark -- unsure of whether his bankruptcy asset schedules
needed to be updated to reflect his diagnosis and intention to
litigate -- alerted his bankruptcy counsel to this information
and "trusted him to do what was required under the law." Mr.
Clark's counsel, however, never passed this information along to
the bankruptcy court during the pendency of the Clarks'
bankruptcy proceeding.

Boeing soon thereafter moved to dismiss the Clarks' personal
injury suit on grounds of judicial estoppel. Boeing argued that
the couple's failure to disclose Mr. Clark's diagnosis during
bankruptcy bars them from pursuing personal injury claims related
to that diagnosis forever thereafter. The district court agreed,
characterizing judicial estoppel as a "harsh rule," it granted
Boeing's motion on April 28, 2017, and dismissed the suit in its
entirety. The Clarks timely appealed on May 26, 2017. Mr. Clark
succumbed to his illness approximately six months later on
November 24, 2017.

The Second Circuit finds it as axiomatic that judicial estoppel -
- an equitable doctrine -- is to be construed in light of
equitable principles considering that it seems equally evident to
the Court that the balance of equities tips overwhelmingly in the
Clarks' favor, and yet, the district court found judicial
estoppel to be required. The Second Circuit concludes that the
district court abused its discretion in invoking judicial
estoppel against the Clarks.

The Second Circuit explains that the district court's April 28,
2017 judgment dismissing this suit started off on the right foot.
It began by noting that the party asserting judicial estoppel
must show (i) that "the party against whom the estoppel is
asserted took an inconsistent position in a prior proceeding" and
(ii) that "that position was adopted by the first tribunal in
some manner, such as by rendering a favorable judgment." As to
the first element, the district court held that the Clarks'
failure to disclose their personal injury causes of action to the
bankruptcy court amounted to an implicit false representation
that no such causes of action existed. As to the second element,
the district court reasoned that the bankruptcy court "adopted"
the Clarks' inconsistent position by "rendering a favorable
judgment" -- i.e., by discharging them from bankruptcy.

The Second Circuit points out that the district court erred for
ruling ipso facto that the couple's personal injury claims must
be estopped after having satisfied itself that the Clarks met the
judicial estoppel doctrine's two prerequisite elements. The
Second Circuit maintains that judicial estoppel is not a
mechanical rule. Before judicially estopping a litigant, a court
must inquire into whether the particular factual circumstances of
a case "tip the balance of equities in favor" of doing so.

As the Standing Trustee for the District of Connecticut certified
in an affidavit submitted on the Clarks' behalf, disclosure
"would not have altered the outcome" of the couple's bankruptcy
proceeding. This is because the Plan already required the Clarks
to repay their creditors in full. Disclosing Mr. Clark's
diagnosis to the bankruptcy court would therefore have only
affected the couple's bankruptcy proceeding if their creditors
were able to convince the bankruptcy court to raise the
applicable interest rate under the Plan. Given that the Clarks
were mere weeks away from completing repayment at the time of Mr.
Clark's diagnosis, and were already paying interest at a standard
rate, the Second Circuit finds this scenario as more than
implausible.

Boeing, however, it urges that, because "judicial estoppel
protects the sanctity of the oath and the integrity of the
judicial process," there are cases in which a court may properly
invoke the doctrine even in response to a prior inconsistent
position that had only a de minimis effect.

The Second Circuit clarifies that there may be unusual
circumstances in which the need to safeguard the integrity of the
courts may tip the equities in favor of judicial estoppel even
when the inconsistency in question made no material difference,
but this case is surely not of that sort. The Second Circuit
finds nothing in the record that suggests that the Clarks
withheld Mr. Clark's diagnosis from the bankruptcy court in an
effort to game the bankruptcy system. Indeed, it is hard to see
what benefit they could even have hoped to obtain from
nondisclosure.

In these circumstances, the Second Circuit holds that the
principles of equity require the courts to entertain Mrs. Clark's
personal injury claims. The Second Circuit clarifies that it is
not giving unscrupulous litigants the green light to play "fast
and loose with the courts," nor does the Court wish to hamper
district courts who deem judicial estoppel necessary to ensure
the "full disclosure by debtors" that is "essential to the proper
functioning of the bankruptcy system." But to hold on the facts
of this case that Mrs. Clark's claims are barred by an equitable
doctrine would be to deprive the concept of equity of any
meaning.

The appealed case is Michele Clark, Individually and as
Representative of the Estate of John Clark, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v. AII Acquisition, LLC, AWC 1997 Corporation, Crane Co., Domco
Products Texas, LP, Eaton Aeroquip LLC, General Cable Industries,
Inc., General Gasket Corp., goodrich corporation, fka B.F.
Goodrich Company, Industrial Holdings Corporation, fka
Carborundum Corporation, Lockheed Martin Corp., McDonnell Douglas
Corporation, Navistar, Inc., fka International Truck and Engine
Corporation, Pecora Corporation, Pfizer Inc., Pirelli Inc.,
Pirelli Tire, LLC, Pneumo Abex Corporation, Saint-Gobain
Abrasives, Inc., Defendants-Cross Defendants-Appellees, The
Boeing Company, Borgwarner Morse TEC LLC, CBS Corporation,
General Electric Company, Goodyear Canada, Inc., Goodyear Tire
And Rubber Company, Harco LLC, fka Harco Laboratories, Inc.,
Henkel Corporation, Hollingsworth & Vose Company, IMO Industries,
Inc., Lennox Industries Inc., Mine Safety Appliance Company, LLC,
Parker Hannifin Corporation, United Technologies Corporation,
Prysmian Cables And Systems Usa, LLC, fka Pirelli Cable
Corporation, Defendants-Cross Defendants-Cross Claimants-
Appellees, Advanced Group Composites, Inc., Certainteed
Corporation, Georgia-Pacific LLC, Rockwell Automation, Inc., as
Successor in Interest to Allen-Bradley Company, LLC, Union
Carbide Corporation, WELCO Manufacturing Company, Wyeth Holdings
LLC, Defendants-Cross Defendants-Cross Claimants, Ciba-Geigy
Corporation, Curtiss-Wright Corporation, Eaton Corporation, E.V.
Roberts Headquarters, FMC Corporation, Greene, Tweed & Co., Hitco
Carbon Composites, Inc., Kaiser Gypsum Company Inc., Northrop
Grumman Systems Corporation, Schneider Electric, USA, Inc., fka
Square D Company, Trane U.S. Inc., fka American Standard Inc.,
BMCE, Inc., Aerco International Inc., BASF Corporation,
Defendants-Cross Defendants, No. 17-1727-cv, (2d Cir.).

A full-text copy of the Order dated March 30, 2018, is available
at https://tinyurl.com/yaobyzfk from Leagle.com.

Alani Golanski ( Robert E. Shuttlesworth, Shrader & Associates,
LLP, Houston, TX, on the brief) Alani Golanski, Esq., New York,
NY, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Martin F. Gaynor III ( Brian D. Gross -- bgross@mgmlaw.com --
Matthew T. Giardina, Jr. -- mgiardina@mgmlaw.com -- Manion Gaynor
& Manning LLP, Providence, RI, Amaryah K. Bocchino --
abocchino@mgmlaw.com -- Stephan D. Dargitz, Manion Gaynor &
Manning LLP, Wilmington, DE, on the brief), Manion Gaynor &
Manning LLP, Boston, MA, for Defendant-Appellee The Boeing
Company.

Bradley M. Wanner -- bwanner@harrisbeach.com -- ( Abbie Eliasberg
Fuchs -- afuchs@harrisbeach.com --  on the brief), Harris Beach,
PLLC, New York, NY, for Defendant-Appellee Prysmian
Communications Cables & Systems USA, LLC.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Denial to Exclude Schonfeld Testimony Reversed
---------------------------------------------------------------
Justice Lee Gabriel of the Court of Appeals of Texas for the
Second District reverses the trial court's order denying BNSF
Railway Company's motion to exclude Dr. Alvin Schonfeld's expert
testimony, and remands the appealed case BNSF Railway Company
(Individually and as Successor-in-Interest to the Burlington
Northern, Inc., Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railway Company
and Atchison Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company), Appellant, v.
Leonard A. Baca, Appellee, No. 02-17-00168-CV, (Tex. App. 2d),
for further proceedings; and grants BNSF's petition for
permissive appeal.

In this permissive interlocutory appeal, Appellee Leonard A. Baca
alleges that while working for Appellant BNSF's predecessor in
interest, he was exposed to asbestos, causing him to develop
asbestosis. Baca retained as an expert Dr. Alvin Schonfeld, a
pulmonologist, who provided a report in which he concluded Baca's
asbestosis was causally related to his exposure to asbestos
during his employment. BNSF moved to exclude Dr. Schonfeld's
causation opinion as inadmissible because it was unreliable under
well-established caselaw. The trial court denied the motion but
also granted permission in its order for BNSF to immediately
appeal, finding that the order involved a controlling question of
law as to which there is a substantial ground for difference of
opinion and an immediate appeal from the order would materially
advance the ultimate termination of this litigation.

The controlling question of law the trial court identified and
ruled upon in its order, and the sole issue in this appeal, is
whether the Federal Employers Liability Act's lower causation
standard -- i.e., whether a railroad's negligence played any
part, even the slightest, in bringing about the injury -- makes
inapplicable the expert admissibility standards expressed in
cases like E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. v. Robinson, 923 S.W.2d
549 (Tex. 1995) and Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Havner,
953 S.W.2d 706 (Tex. 1997).

FELA makes any railroad engaged in interstate commerce liable in
damages for an injury to or death of an employee sustained while
employed by the railroad if the injury or death resulted in whole
or in part from the negligence of the railroad's employees or by
reason of any defect or insufficiency in its equipment due to its
negligence.

To prevail on a FELA claim, a plaintiff must establish the
traditional common-law elements of negligence: duty, breach,
foreseeability, and cause-in-fact. But a plaintiff's burden to
establish a railroad's liability under FELA is lighter than it
would be in an ordinary negligence case because FELA prescribes a
relaxed standard of causation. Under that relaxed causation
standard, a plaintiff is entitled to prevail on a FELA claim if
the railroad's negligence played any part, even the slightest, in
producing the injury or death for which damages are sought.

Baca sued BNSF alleging a claim under FELA -- he claims that his
exposure to toxic substances and dusts, including asbestos and
asbestos-containing products and materials, while in the course
of his employment with BNSF caused him to develop asbestosis.
Because whether a causal connection exists between a person's
exposure to a chemical and a disease from which he suffers is
outside the common knowledge and experience of lay persons,
expert testimony is generally required to prove such a causal
connection. Baca retained Dr. Schonfeld to do just that.

Dr. Schonfeld's report sets forth the history of Baca's exposure
to asbestos, which was relayed to Dr. Schonfeld by Baca.
According to the report, Baca's working career has almost
exclusively been as a railroad worker. Baca was laid off from the
railroad in approximately 1965, so for a few months he worked for
the Arizona Highway Department, where he used asbestos gloves
when removing hot objects from a stove. But other than those few
months in 1965, the report says, Baca worked for the railroad
from 1964 to 1996.

Based upon all of this information, Dr. Schonfeld concluded as
follows: "Given [Baca's] history of significant exposures to
asbestos in the workplace and given an appropriate latency and
given the roentgenographic findings, I feel with a reasonable
degree of medical certainty that Mr. Baca is diagnosed as having
bilateral asbestosis. I feel with a reasonable degree of medical
certainty that this diagnosis is causally related to his
workplace exposures to asbestos."

In its motion to exclude, BNSF argued that Dr. Schonfeld's
causation opinion was inadmissible because it was unreliable.
BNSF argued Dr. Schonfeld's causation opinion was not based on a
reliable evidentiary foundation. BNSF argued that Dr. Schonfeld's
methodology was unreliable.

BNSF argued that in the context of an asbestosis case, evidence
of the amount -- or dose -- of asbestos the plaintiff was exposed
to is a necessary evidentiary foundation for an expert to
reliably opine that the plaintiff's exposure to asbestos caused
him to develop asbestosis because without knowing the dose, an
expert has no reliable basis upon which to conclude that the
plaintiff's exposure to asbestos met or exceeded the
scientifically-accepted exposure threshold that is necessary to
cause that disease.

BNSF further argued that conducting that inquiry requires the
trial court to consider whether the expert's methodology (1) has
been subjected to peer review and publication, (2) has a high
known or potential rate of error, (3) has standards controlling
its operation, and (4) enjoys general acceptance within a
relevant scientific community. BNSF acknowledged that in a toxic-
tort case such as this one, a plaintiff simply may not be able to
obtain reliable, direct evidence of the amount of the plaintiff's
exposure to the toxin.

BNSF stated that in such cases, the expert can utilize
epidemiological studies to circumstantially establish that the
plaintiff's exposure or dose levels were comparable to or greater
than the levels of the subjects in those studies, but the expert
must exclude any other plausible causes of the plaintiff's injury
or condition with reasonable certainty. BNSF then argued that Dr.
Schonfeld's opinion did not satisfy either of these two
reliability requirements.

In its motion to exclude, BNSF anticipated Baca would argue that
"in light of the causation standard under FELA, the standards for
reliability and admissibility of expert causation opinions should
be relaxed." BNSF maintained that FELA's relaxed causation
standard does not relax the standards for admissibility of expert
causation opinions in a FELA case.

However, Baca argued, whether an expert's testimony is relevant
and, therefore, admissible is a question that necessarily depends
upon the causation standard that applies to the claim under
consideration. Baca maintained that state procedural rules cannot
be applied in such a way as to impose unnecessary burdens upon
the rights of recovery authorized by FELA and argued that FELA's
featherweight causation standard should "significantly influence
a determination of the admissibility of an expert's causation
testimony."

The Court finds that the trial court ultimately signed an order
denying BNSF's motion to exclude and granting it permission to
seek a permissive interlocutory appeal because it found the order
involved a controlling question of law as to which there is
substantial ground for difference of opinion and an immediate
appeal would materially advance the ultimate termination of this
litigation.

In its petition for permissive appeal, BNSF stated that the sole
issue it was presenting for appeal was "whether FELA's lower
causation standard -- i.e., whether a railroad's negligence
played any part, even the slightest, in bringing about the injury
-- makes Texas's expert admissibility standards inapplicable?"
BNSF argues that the trial court abused its discretion by
concluding that in a FELA case, FELA's featherweight causation
standard lowers Texas' standards governing the admissibility of
expert testimony.

The Court agrees with the reasoning of the courts that have
concluded that the standard of causation under FELA and the
standards for admission of expert testimony under the applicable
rules of evidence are distinct issues that do not affect one
another and that, consequently, FELA's featherweight causation
standard does not require a Texas trial court to admit expert
testimony in a FELA case that would be inadmissible in a non-FELA
case. The Court concludes that FELA's featherweight causation
standard does not render inapplicable in FELA cases Texas'
procedural law governing the admissibility of expert testimony.
Thus, the Court determines that the trial court abused its
discretion by concluding to the contrary.

A full-text copy of the Memorandum Opinion dated March 29, 2018,
is available at https://tinyurl.com/yan3h8oe from Leagle.com.

J.D. Bashline -- jdbashline@mapalaw.com -- John W. Proctor --
jproctor@browndean.com -- David E. Keltner  --
david.keltner@kellyhart.com -- for BNSF Railway Company,
Appellant.

Kirk L. Pittard -- kpittard@kdplawfirm.com -- Kevin Camp, for
Leonard A. Baca, Appellee.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crane's Bid for Summary Ruling in "Chesher" OK'd
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Judge David C. Norton of the U.S. District Court for District of
South Carolina grants defendant Crane Co.'s renewed motion for
summary judgment in the case styled James Wilson Chesher, and
Cheryl Ann Chesher, Plaintiffs, v. 3M Company, et al.,
Defendants. No. 3:15-cv-02123-DCN, (D. S.C.).

James Wilson Chesher is a former machinist mate and a
commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy. He and his wife, Cheryl
Ann Chesher, allege that Chesher's exposure to asbestos
throughout his Naval career caused him to develop mesothelioma.
Chesher served in the Navy from 1965 to 1989. For a significant
portion of his career, Chesher conducted or oversaw maintenance
and repair work on various types of equipment, including valves
and de-aerating feed tanks -- large tanks which remove dissolved
oxygen from the water before it is sent to the boiler. Chesher's
work on valves required him, or his subordinate, to remove and
replace internal packing and bonnet gaskets, which were
frequently made from asbestos-containing materials. Chesher's
work on de-aerating feed tanks required him to access nozzles
inside the tank by crawling through a manhole. The record
contains evidence that this manhole was sealed by an asbestos-
containing gasket, which needed to be removed and replaced
whenever the tank was inspected.

Crane supplied valves for use on board the ships where Chesher
performed, or closely supervised, valve maintenance. Indeed,
Chesher recalls working on Crane valves frequently throughout his
career. Though Crane did not manufacture asbestos-containing
sheet packing or gaskets, these products were installed in
Crane's valves at the time they were supplied to the Navy, and
Crane was aware that the valves' sheet packing and gaskets would
need to be replaced periodically. Crane is also alleged to be the
successor-in-interest to Cochrane Corp., which manufactured the
de-aerating feed tanks for two of the ships on which Chesher
served. Like the gaskets used in Crane valves, the gaskets used
to seal the manhole on the de-aerating feed tanks would have been
replaced periodically -- namely, each time the tanks were opened.

On April 15, 2015, plaintiffs brought the instant action in the
Court of Common Pleas in Richland County, South Carolina,
alleging claims for negligence, gross-negligence, negligence per
se, conscious pain and suffering, punitive damages, and loss of
consortium against a number of defendants. The action was removed
to this Court on May 22, 2015.

On March 4, 2016, Crane filed a Daubert motion to preclude
specific causation testimony from plaintiffs' expert, Dr. Carlos
Bedrossian, which the court granted after holding an evidentiary
hearing on the matter. The court granted the motion to exclude
Bedrossian's specific causation testimony because it found that
under Federal Rule of Evidence 403, the probative value of the
testimony is substantially outweighed by a danger of unfair
prejudice, confusing the issues, and misleading the jury. Federal
Rule of Evidence 403 empowers the court to "exclude relevant
evidence if its probative value is substantially outweighed by a
danger of one or more of the following: unfair prejudice,
confusing the issues, misleading the jury, undue delay, wasting
time, or needlessly presenting cumulative evidence."

The Court explains that in products liability action under
maritime law, the plaintiff must show "that (1) he was exposed to
the defendant's product, and (2) the product was a substantial
factor in causing the injury he suffered." Plaintiffs offered Dr.
Bedrossian as an expert to give specific causation testimony that
Chesher's exposure to Crane's products was a substantial factor
in causing his mesothelioma. The Court granted Crane's motion to
exclude Dr. Bedrossian's specific causation testimony, because it
found that his opinions amounted to the "every exposure" theory -
- a theory about the causal link between exposure to asbestos and
mesothelioma.

However, the Court finds that Bedrossian assumes that, because
every 'occupational' exposure contains exponentially more fibers
than any background exposure, every 'occupational' exposure
significantly contributes to the total cumulative dose. Thus, in
Bedrossian's view, whenever the total cumulative dose results in
mesothelioma, every 'occupational' exposure should be considered
causative, no matter how small." Because Bedrossian's opinions
are based on a method that has been rejected by the courts, the
Court found that they are not relevant, and any probative value
they may have is easily outweighed by their tendency to confuse
or mislead the jury. Thus, the Court denied plaintiffs' motion to
reconsider.

Crane's renewed motion for summary judgment argues that
plaintiffs lack the evidence necessary to make out a prima facie
claim at trial without Bedrossian's specific causation testimony.
Plaintiffs must "bring forward some evidence of actual cause; the
mere showing that the asbestos manufacturer's product was present
somewhere at his place of work is insufficient." Crane asserts
that courts "do not require that cause necessarily be established
by expert testimony." In fact, plaintiffs can prove that a
product was a substantial factor in causing a plaintiff's injury
by offering evidence of substantial exposure to a defendant's
product for a substantial period of time. However, the
substantial factor test requires "a plaintiff relying on
circumstantial evidence of exposure to prove causation to show a
high enough level of exposure that an inference that the asbestos
was a substantial factor in the injury is more than conjectural."

The Court finds that Chesher has not sufficiently demonstrated
that his exposure to defendant's asbestos-containing products can
satisfy the substantial factor test. Although Chesher has alleged
exposure, he has not presented any evidence regarding the actual
amount of asbestos dust he was exposed to or the duration of his
exposure. If a plaintiff does not present specific causation
testimony, the Court requires plaintiff to provide evidence on
the amount of asbestos dust he was exposed to and approximately
how long he actually breathed in this asbestos-laden air in order
for him to sufficiently allege that an exposure was substantial
enough to constitute a "substantial factor" in causing his
injury.

Chesher alleged that for over twenty years in the Navy he
conducted or oversaw maintenance work on equipment which
contained asbestos and that this work released asbestos into the
air that he breathed. However, none of this deposition testimony
alleges specifically how much asbestos dust he was exposed to or
approximately how long he was exposed to it. The Court explains
that allegations of periodic exposure over the course of twenty-
four years of work is not sufficient "evidence of substantial
exposure for a substantial period of time to provide a basis for
the inference that the product was a substantial factor in
causing the injury."

Because Chesher has failed to put forth sufficiently specific
evidence of substantial exposure, the Court finds that he has
failed to establish that Crane's product was a substantial factor
in causing the injury he suffered. Having failed the substantial
factor test, and having no expert testimony on specific
causation, the Court concludes that Chesher has not established a
prima facie case under maritime law for a products liability
mesothelioma action.

A full-text copy of the Order dated March 29, 2018, is available
at https://tinyurl.com/ycrbuf6u from Leagle.com.

James Willson Chesher & Cheryl Ann Chesher, Plaintiffs,
represented by Charles S. Siegel, Waters and Kraus LLP, pro hac
vice, Gibbs C. Henderson, Waters and Kraus LLP, pro hac vice,
John Daniel Kassel -- jkassel@kassellaw.com -- John D Kassel Law
Firm, Jonathan A. George, Waters and Kraus LLP, pro hac vice,
Peter Andrew Kraus, Waters and Kraus LLP, pro hac vice, Robert
Walker Humphrey, II -- whumphrey@willoughbyhoefer.com --
Willoughby and Hoefer, pro hac vice & Theile Branham McVey --
tmcvey@kassellaw.com -- John D Kassel Law Firm.

Crane Co, (sued individually and as successor-in-interest to
Chapman Valve Co and as successor-in-interest to Cochrane Corp.)
A Delaware Corporation, Defendant, represented by David A. Fusco
-- david.fusco@klgates.com -- K&L Gates, pro hac vice, Neil
Joseph MacDonald -- nmacdonald@macdonaldlawgroup.com -- MacDonald
Law Group LLC, pro hac vice, Richard Ashby Farrier, Jr., K&L
Gates LLP, Ronald A. Charlot, K&L Gates, pro hac vice,
Christopher Austin Jaros  -- christopher.jaros@klgates.com -- K&L
Gates & Tara Cloer Sullivan -- Tara.Sullivan@klgates.com -- K&L
Gates LLP.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Syngenta, INA Dispute Sent to Arbitration
----------------------------------------------------------
Judge Denise Cote of the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of New York stayed the case styled Syngenta Crop
Protection, LLC, Plaintiff, v. Insurance Company Of North
America, Inc., Century Indemnity Company, and Ace Propery and
Casualty Insurance Company, Defendants. No. 18cv715 (DLC), (S.D.
N.Y.), in favor of arbitration.

This litigation arises out of an insurance coverage dispute
regarding the relationship between a set of decades-old insurance
policies and a subsequent settlement agreement. Syngenta Crop
Protection, LLC seeks coverage under these policies for a set of
claims involving asbestos exposure among contract workers
associated with its predecessors. The defendant insurance
companies, Insurance Company of North America, Inc., Century
Indemnity Company, and ACE Property and Casualty Insurance
Company (collectively, "INA"), believe that the Asbestos Claims
were released by a settlement agreement signed in 1999. Syngenta
claims that INA has waived its right to enforce the release.

From approximately 1958 to 1986, INA and its predecessors issued
insurance policies of which Syngenta is the beneficiary. Syngenta
has been named as a defendant in numerous lawsuits, collectively
asserting claims on behalf of approximately 1,700 non-employee
contractors, who claim to have been harmed from exposure to
asbestos while working on Syngenta's premises in Louisiana -- a
group of claims this Opinion refers to as the "Asbestos Claims."
Syngenta first notified INA about the Asbestos Claims in March
1999, which at the time involved 325 plaintiffs, in order to seek
a coverage determination.

After a long-running litigation concerning environmental damage
allegedly caused by Syngenta, a settlement agreement was reached
in January 1999 (the "1999 Settlement"). Pursuant to the 1999
Settlement, Syngenta released any "Environmental Claims", a
carefully defined term, which it had against INA. It also agreed
that: "In the event of any dispute with respect to this
Settlement Agreement and Release, the Parties agree to resolve
that dispute through arbitration, to be held in New York City,
pursuant to the Rules of Arbitration of the American Arbitration
Association."

Two months after the 1999 Agreement was signed, Syngenta formally
notified INA about the Asbestos Claims. The parties dispute
numerous aspects of what happened over the next 18 years. What is
not disputed, however, is that INA initially responded to the
coverage request on April 15, 1999 through a reservation of
rights letter, which listed numerous potential grounds for
denying coverage, but not a defense of prior release under the
1999 Settlement. After years of periodic updates on the claims,
Syngenta made a formal demand for payment on the Asbestos Claims
in 2008. INA has since requested periodic status updates on the
Asbestos Claims, but had never formally denied coverage until
2017, when it first invoked the defense of prior release pursuant
to the 1999 Settlement.

On November 2, 2017, INA commenced an arbitration under the 1999
Settlement against Syngenta and the agreement's other
signatories, seeking a declaration that the Asbestos Claims were
released by the agreement. On January 29, 2018, Syngenta filed a
complaint in this Court seeking a declaration that INA is
obligated to pay for the defense costs and liabilities incurred
by Syngenta in connection with the Asbestos Claims, damages it
has incurred thus far in connection with Asbestos Claims, and an
injunction to preclude INA from pursuing the prior release
defense against Syngenta in the arbitration. On February 1, 2018,
Syngenta filed a preliminary and permanent injunction motion
seeking to enjoin the arbitration.

At a conference on February 9, 2018, INA indicated that it would
move for a stay of these proceedings pending arbitration. The
Court deferred further briefing on plaintiff's motion for an
injunction pending the resolution of this motion to stay. INA has
represented that it will not proceed with the arbitration until
the resolution of its motion. The motion for stay was filed on
February 23 and became fully submitted on March 23.

Section 3 of the Federal Arbitration Act, 9 U.S.C. Section 3,
provides authority for a court to stay an action pending the
result of an arbitration. The parties do not dispute that there
has been an agreement to arbitrate. This dispute instead centers
on whether the arbitrator or the court has the power to decide
whether the underlying issues are subject to arbitration, and, if
the court has that power, whether the issues should be
arbitrated.

Syngenta contends that INA has waived its right to seek
arbitration through its failure to assert the 1999 Settlement as
a defense to coverage for more than 18 years after being notified
of the Asbestos Claims. INA argues that the validity of the
waiver argument is for the arbitrator to decide, and that in any
event there has not been such a waiver.

The question of whether INA has waived its right to arbitrate
through its conduct is one for the arbitrator, not this Court.
Syngenta does not assert, nor could it assert, that INA has
waived its right to arbitrate through any litigation conduct.
Because Syngenta's assertion that INA has waived the right to
arbitrate is a "waiver, delay, or like defense to arbitrability,"
Accordingly, Syngenta's claim that INA has waived its right to
arbitrate through conduct is for the arbitrator to decide, not
this Court.

Syngenta next contends that INA has waived its right to assert
prior release as a defense to insurance coverage under New York
Insurance Law Section 3420. Syngenta further argues that that
this contention is outside the scope of the arbitration clause
because it is independent of, or collateral to, the 1999
Settlement. That is, Syngenta believes that this argument turns
not on the question of whether the Asbestos Claims were in fact
released under the 1999 Settlement, but rather on whether INA has
waived its right to assert this defense to covering the Asbestos
Claims through its delay.

The parties disagree, however, over whether the court or the
arbitrator decides the question of arbitrability -- that is, who
decides whether Syngenta's argument under New York Insurance Law
is within the scope of the arbitration clause.

The Court explains that parties to an arbitration agreement may
provide that the arbitrator, not the court, will determine
whether an issue is arbitrable. But the issue of arbitrability
may only be referred to the arbitrator if there is clear and
unmistakable evidence from the arbitration agreement, as
construed by the relevant state law, that the parties intended
that the question of arbitrability will be decided by the
arbitrator. The Court also explains that parties can further
reflect their intent to arbitrate questions of arbitrability by
incorporating rules of an arbitration association that empower
arbitrators to decide such questions into their agreement.
Incorporation of such rules has repeatedly been held to
constitute a clear and unmistakable intention to delegate
questions of arbitrability to the arbitrator.

The Court finds that the arbitration clause in the 1999
Settlement requires that "any dispute with respect to" the
agreement be resolved through arbitration. This language, which
is effectively identical to that of clauses that have previously
been held to be clear and unmistakable delegations to the
arbitrator of questions of arbitrability, must also be held to
reflect a clear and unmistakable delegation to the arbitrator to
decide questions of arbitrability.

The Court determines that the arbitration clause also provides
that the rules of the American Arbitration Association ("AAA")
are to govern. Although the arbitration clause is silent as to
exactly which rules of the AAA would apply, the AAA's commercial
arbitration rules, both when the agreement was signed in 1999 and
now, state that "the parties will be deemed to have made these
rules a part of their arbitration agreement whenever they have
provided for . . . arbitration by the AAA of a domestic
commercial dispute without specifying particular rules."

The Court points out that the 1999 Agreement and the disputes
here both arise out of, and are, domestic commercial disputes,
and choosing to use the AAA's rules necessarily implies, absent
evidence to the contrary, that the AAA is to administer the
arbitration. Therefore, the Court finds no ambiguity in
concluding that the parties to the 1999 Agreement, by choosing
the rules of the AAA, meant to choose the AAA's commercial
arbitration rules.

The AAA commercial arbitration rules provided in 1999, and do
today, that "the arbitrator will have the power to rule on his or
her own jurisdiction, including any objections with respect to
the existence, scope, or validity of the agreement." This rule,
necessarily incorporated into the parties' arbitration clause,
clearly and unmistakably demonstrated the parties' intent to
delegate the power to determine arbitrability to the arbitrator.

Syngenta does not attempt to distinguish the cases holding very
similar clauses to be clear and unmistakable delegations to the
arbitrator to decide questions of arbitrability. Nor can it
refute that the applicable AAA rules are its commercial
arbitration rules, which also provide an unmistakable delegation
to the arbitrator to decide arbitrability. Accordingly, the Court
concludes that the question of arbitrability is for the
arbitrator.

Accordingly, the action is stayed in favor of arbitration, and
the parties are directed to submit a joint letter on the status
of the arbitration proceedings by August 31, 2018. Likewise, the
parties are directed to inform the Court within seven days after
the conclusion of the arbitral proceedings.

A full-text copy of the Opinion and Order dated March 29, 2018,
is available at https://tinyurl.com/yd6sxpcf from Leagle.com.

Syngenta Crop Protection, LLC, Plaintiff, represented by Joshua
Langsam Blosveren -- jblosveren@hnrklaw.com -- Hoguet Newman
Regal & Kenney, LLP.

Insurance Company of North America, Inc., Century Indemnity
Company & Ace Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Defendants,
represented by Robert F. Walsh -- walshr@whiteandwilliams.com --
White and Williams LLP.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rule 2019 Exhibits Access Decision Affirmed
------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Leonard P. Stark of the U.S. District Court for the
District Delaware issues an Opinion in the matter: Motions
Seeking Access to 2019 Statements, Civ. No. 16-1078-LPS, (D.
Del.) affirming the Bankruptcy Court's Access Decision.

This appeal relates to nine Delaware bankruptcy cases, each
commenced in connection with the respective debtors' asbestos-
related liabilities ("Consolidated Cases"). The appeal arises
from the most recent attempt to access thousands of Exhibits that
were submitted to the Bankruptcy Court pursuant to Federal Rule
of Bankruptcy Procedure 2019 in connection with administering the
nine asbestos bankruptcies. Consistent with a series of orders
entered by the Bankruptcy Court in implementing Rule 2019, the
2019 Exhibits are in the possession of the Clerk of the
Bankruptcy Court, but are not available on the public docket.

On November 8, 2016, the Bankruptcy Court entered its opinion and
order in each of the Consolidated Cases, granting Appellants
limited access to the 2019 Exhibits for the purpose of
investigating potential fraud in the claims process. The
Bankruptcy Court imposed additional limitations on access as
well. Because Appellants want unlimited access to the 2019
Exhibits, they have appealed the Bankruptcy Court's decision "to
the extent that the Opinion and Order restrict Appellants'
ability to access and use the 2019 Exhibits." Appellees have
cross-appealed on the basis that the Bankruptcy Court should have
denied Appellants access to the 2019 Exhibits altogether.

Appellants filed a motion seeking access to all 2019 Exhibits
submitted in the nine Consolidated Cases. All nine of the
Consolidated Cases began in the 2000s. Under the version of
Bankruptcy Rule 2019 in effect at that time, a 2019 Statement
(when required) needed to contain certain identifying information
(e.g., name and address, nature and amount of claim or interest,
etc.) about the creditors and equity holders being represented by
the entity preparing the 2019 Statement (e.g., a law firm).

In 2004 and 2005, Bankruptcy Judge Judith K. Fitzgerald was
assigned to nearly all of the asbestos bankruptcies filed within
the Third Circuit, including the Consolidated Cases. In the
course of administering these cases, Judge Fitzgerald determined
that because the 2019 Exhibits contain personal-identifying
information of potential asbestos claimants, disclosure of that
information on the electronic docket posed a risk to privacy
interests and presented the potential for identity theft. On
August 25, 2004, Judge Fitzgerald entered the first in a series
of the 2019 Orders, which together standardized disclosures
required by Bankruptcy Rule 2019 for the asbestos cases filed in
the Third Circuit.

Pursuant to the 2019 Orders, lawyers representing multiple
claimants were required to file 2019 Statements, which included
the name and address of the law firm but excluded any substantive
information. The 2019 Statements were electronically filed and
available on the public docket. These lawyers were also required
to submit exhibits to the 2019 Statements, which contained
substantive information about their clients (and potential
clients) and their clients' claims (and potential claims). The
2019 Exhibits -- which might include full social security numbers
and names and extent of disease conditions -- were submitted to
the Clerk of the Bankruptcy Court on compact disc (CD). Unlike
the 2019 Statements, the 2019 Exhibits were not electronically
docketed.

The 2019 Orders did not, however, seal the 2019 Exhibits. Rather,
the 2019 Orders regulated access to the 2019 Exhibits, in light
of privacy concerns, and established a procedure by which a party
seeking access to the 2019 Exhibits may request it. The
procedures established by Judge Fitzgerald in her 2019 Orders
have been reviewed and approved by several courts within the
Third Circuit. Former District Judge Farnan of this Court
emphasized that "the Bankruptcy Court is regulating access to the
information because of privacy concerns" and found that the 2019
Orders "strike the appropriate balance between maintaining the
public's right to access the Rule 2019 information and ensuring
that the information is not misused."

Litigation over access to the 2019 Exhibits from the Consolidated
Cases arose again in 2009, when an asbestos defendant, Garlock
Sealing Technologies, LLC, filed a motion for access in the
Pittsburgh Corning bankruptcy, in connection with its objections
to confirmation of the Pittsburgh Corning bankruptcy plan. The
Bankruptcy Court denied Garlock's motion for access in 2010.

A year later, Garlock, by then itself a debtor in an asbestos
bankruptcy -- pending in the Western District of North Carolina,
No. 10-31607 (Bankr. W.D.N.C.) -- filed a new series of motions
seeking access to the 2019 Exhibits submitted in each of the
Consolidated Cases (and also in three Pennsylvania bankruptcy
cases, which, like the Consolidated Cases, were all before Judge
Fitzgerald at the time). Certain asbestos claimants' committees,
along with plaintiffs' law firms, filed objections, as did
certain debtors. Garlock subsequently filed amended motions.
Judge Fitzgerald denied the motions.

On appeal, the Court reversed, concluding that "access should be
provided" but "subject to certain limitations." The Court
subsequently entered an implementing order, which authorizes
Garlock to use such 2019 Exhibits solely in connection with the
estimation proceedings in Garlock's chapter 11 bankruptcy cases.
. . and neither the 2019 Exhibits nor the information contained
therein may be used for any other purpose. Garlock will not
disclose publicly the information contained in any 2019 Exhibit
except in an aggregate format that does not identify any
individual represented person.

Recognizing that Garlock has requested the North Carolina
Bankruptcy Court to enter a proposed protective order pursuant to
the Protective Order Motion, public disclosure of the information
in any 2019 Exhibit will be subject to the terms of a protective
order entered by the North Carolina Bankruptcy Court that is
consistent with the Court's Opinion and Order and the terms of
this Order.

On June 30, 2016, Appellant Honeywell, joined by Ford filed a
request in each of the Consolidated Cases seeking unlimited
access to the 2019 Exhibits, even though all but one of the nine
Consolidated Cases are closed. Appellants contend that they, like
any entity, are entitled to indefinite access to the 2019
Exhibits, to use them for any purpose, including, but not limited
to, investigating potential fraud in the claims process and
advancing Appellants' legislative and lobbying activities.
Appellees -- including various Trust Advisory Committees ("TAC")
and the Future Claimants Representatives ("FCR") -- opposed the
request, on grounds including that Appellants' admitted purposes
for requesting access to the 2019 Exhibits are improper and,
anyway, the 2019 Exhibits are useless for such purposes.

Honeywell and Ford seek use of the 2019 Exhibits by "any entity,"
not just themselves. Honeywell stated that it intended to use the
information "to review and analyze all aspects of the NARCO
Trust's operations, including, without limitation, its claims
processing procedures and the claims submitted to the NARCO Trust
under the individual review and expedited review processes. The
valuable information contained in the 2019 Exhibits will help to
ensure that the purpose of the NARCO Trust, which is to promptly
pay holders of `valid' claims, is fulfilled...." Both Honeywell
and Ford also seek to use the 2019 Exhibits for unspecified
lobbying efforts.

On December 1, 2016, the Bankruptcy Court entered the Access
Decision. Recognizing the Court's ruling in Garlock, the
Bankruptcy Court looked to whether Appellants had articulated a
proper purpose for access. Reviewing Third Circuit case law, the
Bankruptcy Court found no precedent for unlimited use of'
materials outside of bankruptcy proceedings and no precedent
holding that lobbying and legislative efforts constitute a proper
use.

The Bankruptcy Court determined that Appellants were entitled to
access the 2019 Exhibits only for the limited purpose of
investigating fraud in the claims process. Accordingly, the
Bankruptcy Court set certain limitations to protect individuals.
In particular, the Bankruptcy Court held that access would be
granted solely to Honeywell and Ford, for a three-month period,
after which the exhibits had to be destroyed. Appellants were
further prohibited from sharing the identity of individuals by
name or other identifying means with the NARCO Trust. Finally,
the Bankruptcy Court determined it appropriate to appoint a
facilitator to oversee production of the 2019 Exhibits, including
the removal of the retention agreements and all but the last four
digits of social security numbers, and imposed the costs
associated with the efforts of the facilitator on Appellants.

The Bankruptcy Court specifically found that the 2019 Exhibits
contain the following: (1) the names and addresses of the clients
of the submitting attorney; (2) exemplars or actual copies of the
relevant retention agreements; (3) identification of disease; (4)
claim amounts, if liquidated; (5) sometimes full or partial
social security numbers; (6) sometimes medical records, with
information including full or partial social security numbers;
family histories (including causes of death of family members),
results of physical examinations, chest x-rays, and lung function
tests, and other similarly sensitive medical information; and (7)
sometimes other records that the law firm maintained in
connection with or commingled with the required information.
These are the same facts that were before the Court in Garlock,
where this Court found no error in the Bankruptcy Court's
determination that the 2019 Exhibits (the same 2019 Exhibits at
issue here) contained identifying material triggering privacy
concerns.

On November 22, 2016, Because Appellants want unlimited access to
the 2019 Exhibits, Honeywell and Ford filed notices appealing the
Access Decision to the extent that it restrict Appellants'
ability to access and use the 2019. In addition, on November 23,
2016, Honeywell moved to stay the Access Decision pending
resolution of this appeal (otherwise the three months of access
would have expired), which the Bankruptcy Court granted on
December 1, 2016. Collectively, the Appeals of the Access
Decision have generated 45 separate cases before the District
Court. By order entered May 24, 2017, the Appeals are
consolidated for procedural purposes under Civ. No. 16-1078-LPS.

In turn, the FCR and TAC Appellees' have cross-appealed based on
their contention that the Bankruptcy Court should not have
provided Appellants any access to the 2019 Exhibits. Appellee
Owens Coming, a former debtor whose bankruptcy is now closed,
takes no position on the merits of the issues that are the
subject of the Appeals. But it has appeared solely for the
purpose of arguing that if access is granted, and if costs are
incurred in connection with providing Appellants such access,
none of the debtors in the Consolidated Cases (including Owens
Coming) should be required to bear any of those expenses.

The Court agrees with Appellees. The Bankruptcy Court did not
abuse its discretion in adopting the additional protections it
imposed as conditions of Appellants' access to the 2019 Exhibits.
The Court clarifies that the Bankruptcy Court entered the 2019
Orders in 2004, based on its supervisory power over its own
records, its ability to tailor the requirements of Bankruptcy
Rule 2019, its equitable powers under Section 105(a), and, later,
the discretion granted by Congress in Section 107(c). The Court
makes clear that the 2019 Orders are not, at this point,
appealable. Beginning in 2004 with the first of the 2019 Orders,
the Bankruptcy Court has consistently acted to protect
individuals by putting procedural protections in place to
regulate access. Thus, the 2019 Exhibits were not publicly filed,
in order to eliminate widespread public access on the electronic
docket.

The 2019 Orders implemented certain procedures to protect the
privacy of individuals involved in the Consolidated Cases. Those
protections included filing the 2019 Exhibits with the Clerk and
requiring a party seeking access to file a motion and explain why
access was sought. In determining that Appellants should be
granted access to the 2019 Exhibits, the Bankruptcy Court
properly looked to the Appellants' asserted purpose, as required
by the 2019 Orders.

In particular, the Bankruptcy Court did not abuse its discretion
in limiting access to Honeywell and Ford, the only entities that
have moved for access, which is entirely consistent with the 2019
Orders and is the process that has been followed for all access
requests. Nor was there any abuse of discretion in limiting
Appellants' use of the 2019 Exhibits to sharing with the NARCO
Trust, as this was the only proper purpose Appellants identified
for having access to these materials. With respect to the three-
month time limit on Appellants' access to the 2019 Exhibits,
there was also no abuse of discretion. While the Bankruptcy Court
did not expressly state the basis for imposing this limitation,
there is also no basis in the record to make any finding as to
what amount of time (presumably longer than three months)
Appellants would need to accomplish the purpose for which the
Bankruptcy Court provided access.

Finally, there was also no abuse of discretion in imposing on
Appellants, as the parties seeking access, any costs that may
arise with implementing the limited access approved by the
Bankruptcy Court, particularly any costs related to review and
redaction of the 2019 Exhibits. As Appellants are now seeking
access only to the same materials that have already been redacted
and processed and provided to Garlock, it is likely that any
additional costs will be minimal (and it appears Appellants may
anyway be willing to pay them). Whatever the costs, they would
not have been incurred by anyone were it not for the fact that
Appellants have -- appropriately, under Section 107(c) -- been
granted access not to the full and complete 2019 Exhibits as
submitted to the Bankruptcy Court but to redacted versions.

Appellants are not well-positioned to meet their burden to show
that any of the restrictions on access are the result of an abuse
of discretion because they did nothing to help inform the
Bankruptcy Court's exercise of its discretion. As Appellants'
position was that everyone should be given unlimited,
unrestricted access, they did not advocate any restrictions.
Thus, in imposing restrictions on Appellants' access to the 2019
Exhibits, the Bankruptcy Court acted consistent with its
authority. It did not abuse its discretion. Therefore, the Court
will affirm the Bankruptcy Court's Order.

A full-text copy of the Opinion dated March 27, 2018, is
available at https://tinyurl.com/ydxsvmzj from Leagle.com.

Acands, Inc., Debtor, represented by Thomas Henry Kovach, A M
Saccullo Legal, LLC.

Honeywell International Inc., Appellant, represented by Justin K.
Edelson -- jedelson@polsinelli.com -- Polsinelli PC & Darren
Azman -- dazman@mwe.com -- McDermott Will and Emery, pro hac
vice.

Ford Motor Company, Defendant, represented by Christian J.
Singewald -- singewaldc@whiteandwilliams.com -- White & Williams
& Gregory W. Werkheiser -- gwerkheiser@mnat.com -- Morris,
Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell LLP.

North American Refractories Company Asbestos Personal Injury
Settlement Trust Advisory Committee, Appellee, represented by
Anthony Michael Saccullo -- ams@saccullolegal.com -- A M Saccullo
Legal, LLC & Thomas Henry Kovach, A M Saccullo Legal, LLC.

Owens Corning Sales, LLC, f/k/a Owens Corning, and its Affiliated
Reorganized Debtors, Appellee, represented by Mark Minuti --
Mark.Minuti@saul.com -- Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr LLP.

Washington Legal Foundation, Amicus, represented by Nicholas E.
Skiles -- nskiles@swartzcampbell.com -- Swartz Campbell LLC.

American Association for Justice, Amicus, represented by Raeann
Warner -- raeann@jcdelaw.com -- Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. & Robert
S. Peck -- robert.peck@cclfirm.com -- Center for Constitutional
Litigation, P.C, pro hac vice.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 9th Cir. Affirms Denial of Crane's Judgment Bid
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit affirms the
district court's judgment denying Crane Company's motion for
judgment as a matter of law both before and after the verdict in
the appealed case Sandra Brown Coulbourn, surviving wife and on
behalf of decedent's surviving beneficiaries George Coulbourn Jr,
Scott Alan Coulbourn and Shannon Coulbourn Moses, Plaintiff-
Appellee, v. Crane Co., sued individually and as: successor in
interest Cochrane Corporation successor in interest Chapman Valve
Company successor in interest Deming Pump Company Defendant-
Appellant, No. 16-16925, (9th Cir.).

George Coulbourn was a machinist for the Navy from 1959 to 1966,
during which time he worked with several products sold by
defendant-appellant Crane Company that contained significant
amounts of asbestos. His work exposed him to dust from this
asbestos, which he inhaled. Coulbourn was diagnosed with
mesothelioma in September 2012 and passed away in August 2013.
Coulbourn sued Crane, alleging, among other things, that Crane's
products were defective in failing to warn of the dangers that
asbestos posed. After his death, Coulbourn's wife, plaintiff-
appellee Sandra Coulbourn, filed an amended complaint on behalf
of herself and Coulbourn's family, asserting a claim for wrongful
death based upon the same allegations of defect. Following trial,
the jury awarded plaintiffs a total of $9 million in compensatory
damages, with Crane bearing responsibility for 20%, or $1.8
million, of those damages, and $5 million in punitive damages
against Crane.

Crane moved for judgment as a matter of law both before and after
the verdict, and the district court denied both motions. Crane
appeals the district court's denial of its motion, arguing that
plaintiffs failed to present sufficient evidence that its
products were the only causes of Coulbourn's death because he
worked with many other products from other companies that also
contained asbestos.

The Ninth Circuit points out that under Arizona law, "when
multiple tortfeasors are alleged to have created an indivisible
injury and each defendant's causal role is potentially
indeterminable, such causal uncertainty will not prevent a
plaintiff from recovering altogether. The test under such
circumstances is whether the defendant's actions were 'a
substantial factor' in producing the injury." The Court explains
that an independently sufficient cause is a substantial factor
even if it is not a but for cause because there were other
independently sufficient causes. Given the evidence of
Coulbourn's frequent, direct contact with asbestos dust from
Crane products during a substantial period, the Court determines
that a reasonable juror could find that Crane products were more
likely than not independently sufficient to cause his
mesothelioma, and were thus a substantial factor in causing
plaintiffs' injuries.

Crane next argues that there was insufficient evidence for
plaintiffs' failure-to-warn theory to go to a jury because
plaintiffs put forward no evidence that Coulbourn would have
heeded a warning had Crane provided one. However, the Ninth
Circuit points out that there was expert testimony and other
evidence before the jury that asbestos causes mesothelioma, and
from this, a jury could infer from this evidence that Coulbourn
would have heeded an adequate warning of this serious danger.

Crane also challenges the sufficiency of the evidence supporting
the jury's award of punitive damages.

Plaintiffs argue that the award is justified because Crane,
"although not intending to cause injury... consciously pursued a
course of conduct knowing that it created a substantial risk of
significant harm to others." Plaintiffs adduced evidence of
Crane's awareness as early as the 1930s that inhaling asbestos
dust can be fatal, including, inter alia, a number of articles
reflecting that finding that were published by organizations of
which Crane officers were members. One of the principal Crane
products with which Coulbourn worked was Cranite, which was
composed of 75-85% asbestos and used to make gaskets, which were
in turn used to seal joints between pipes and prevent leaks.

As both Coulbourn and plaintiffs' naval engineering expert
testified, the heat to which the gaskets were exposed in the
course of their normal use invariably caused them to stick to the
joints. Removing and replacing these gaskets was therefore part
of the normal maintenance of the ships, and when repairing or
replacing the gaskets, which Coulbourn did every day while in
certain roles, Crane employees such as Coulbourn had to scrape
them off with wire brushes, which caused the interior asbestos
dust to enter the air.

The Ninth Circuit maintains that a jury could reasonably infer
from this evidence that Crane knew that the normal use of its
gaskets would cause them to stick to the joints such that their
inevitable removal would require scraping and so expose workers
to potentially fatal asbestos dust. This is sufficient to justify
punitive damages under Arizona law.

Crane also appeals the district court's denial of its motion for
judgment as a matter of law on plaintiffs' claim for punitive
damages, arguing that such damages are precluded by an Arizona
statute barring punitive damages for products approved by a
government agency. The Ninth Circuit clarifies that Arizona law
bars punitive damages if the "product alleged to have caused the
harm was designed, manufactured, packaged, labeled, sold or
represented in relevant and material respects according to the
terms of an approval, conditional approval, clearance, license or
similar determination of a government agency." However, Crane put
forward no evidence that the Navy "approved" of its failure to
warn of the dangers of asbestos. The Navy therefore had not
approved of the product in the "relevant and material respect,"
as required under the statute.

Crane also argues that the imposition of punitive damages in this
suit, and indeed in any single case arising out of a mass tort,
will inevitably result in unconstitutional double punishment. The
Ninth Circuit mentioned Philip Morris USA v. Williams, 549 U.S.
346 where the Supreme Court has held, in the context of another
mass tort case, that, while juries cannot use punitive damages to
punish the defendant for harms it caused to others, they may
consider those harms to determine reprehensibility. However, the
Court finds that Crane has offered no evidence that the jury
strayed from that obligation.

Crane last contends that the punitive damages imposed are grossly
excessive. The ratio of punitive to compensatory damages in this
case is approximately 2.8 to 1. Although there is no safe harbor
ratio for punitive damages, both the Supreme Court and the Ninth
Circuit have repeatedly held that ratios much higher than this
are constitutionally permissible. In cases where there are
significant economic damages and punitive damages are warranted
but behavior is not particularly egregious, a ratio of up to 4 to
1 serves as a good proxy for the limits of constitutionality. But
Crane has not shown that its conduct makes this award, which is
well under 4 to 1, unconstitutional.

A full-text copy of the Memorandum dated March 29, 2018, is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y79lytze from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Reargument on Bid to Appeal "Warren" Denied
------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of New York denied the motion for reargument
of motion for leave to appeal the case styled In the Matter of
New York City Asbestos Litigation. Theresa Warren, etc.,
Respondent, v. AMCHEM Products, Inc., et al., Defendants, J-M
Manufacturing Company, Inc., Appellant. Motion No. 2018-226,
(N.Y. App. Div.)

A copy of the Decision dated April 3, 2018, is available at
https://tinyurl.com/ycdjzhd7 from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Attempt to Appeal "North" PI Suit Denied
---------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of New York denied the motion for leave to
appeal the case In the Matter of New York City Asbestos
Litigation. Charles D. North, etc., Respondent, v. Air & Liquid
Systems Corporation, etc., et al., Defendants, National Grid
Generation, LLC, Respondent, O'Connor Constructors, Inc.,
Appellant. Motion No. 2018-164, (N.Y. App. Div.).

A copy of the Decision dated April 3, 2018, is available at
https://tinyurl.com/ya93yf5o from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 1 in 4 Construction Workers Exposed to Asbestos
----------------------------------------------------------------
David Price of Construction News reported that one in four
construction workers say they have been exposed to asbestos while
two-thirds do not know that it can cause cancer, according to a
survey by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health
(IOSH).


ASBESTOS UPDATE: J&J Loses 1st Asbestos Talcum Powder Suit
----------------------------------------------------------
Mesothelioma.com reported that Johnson & Johnson lost its first
asbestos talcum powder lawsuit, ordered by a jury to pay Stephen
Lanzo and his wife $37 million in compensatory damages. Lanzo
claimed his regular use of the company's talcum powder since
1972, which has been found to be contaminated by asbestos, led to
his mesothelioma diagnosis years later.

The trial, which has been ongoing for over two months already,
will reconvene to determine if the company owes any further
punitive damages. The jury found both Johnson & Johnson and its
talc supplier, Imerys Talc, liable.

The company is currently facing over 6,600 lawsuits in relation
to their talcum powder. Though the majority of these cases are in
connection with later ovarian cancer diagnoses, there have
already been several lawsuits in regard to mesothelioma. Most
recently, Johnson & Johnson won an asbestos talcum powder lawsuit
against a mesothelioma victim in Los Angeles in November.

The company has stated many times that they stand behind their
products and there is no asbestos contamination of their talcum
powder. Documents have revealed in these ongoing trials, however,
that the company was aware of possible contamination from several
of their talc sources. Plaintiffs in these cases are seeking to
hold the company liable for their wrongdoing and not properly
warning consumers.

In a statement, the company explained their disappointment in the
verdict, but would not further comment until the trial's
completion. Many expect the company to appeal, as they have
appealed every other similar lawsuit in which they have lost. So
far, they have been rather successful in having verdicts
overturned or reduced. After the trial's expected completion this
month, all eyes will be on Johnson & Johnson to see if they are
able to appeal.
This trial has the potential to help pave the way for future
talcum powder lawsuits against Johnson & Johnson and other
similar companies, like Colgate Palmolive, should the jury decide
to add punitive damages. While compensatory damages can help make
up for lost income and cover expensive medical bills, punitive
damages are not awarded as regularly and may be considered as a
punishment when a defendant's behavior or product is particularly
harmful. Should the jury award the Lanzos further punitive
damages, it could set a precedent for future cases


ASBESTOS UPDATE: City Can't Recoup $1.4MM Asbestos Defense Costs
----------------------------------------------------------------
HarrisMartin Publishing reported that the City of Phoenix cannot
recoup $1.4 million in asbestos defense costs from its insurer,
Hartford Insurance Co., because the city failed to exhaust the
$500,000 underlying limit of its excess policies, the 9th Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled.

In an April 4 memorandum, the appellate court further held that
because the excess policies' limit was not exhausted, the City is
not entitled to indemnity under the Hartford umbrella policies.
Carlos Tarazon was exposed to asbestos through his work as an
underground pipe layer in the City of Phoenix from 1968 to 1993.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Widow Says Railway Co. Failed to Warn Risks
------------------------------------------------------------
Lhalie Castillo of Madison-St. Claire Record reported that a
widow claims her husband was exposed to asbestos during the
course of his career, leading to his cancer diagnosis.

Sarah Rashid, individually and as special representative of the
estate of Kenneth Rashid, deceased, filed a complaint March 20 in
the St. Clair County Circuit Court against BNSF Railway Co., The
Budd Co., 3M Co. and others alleging they breached their duties
to exercise due care and caution for the safety of others.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that at various
times during Kenneth Rashid's life, he was exposed to asbestos
fibers from certain products manufactured, sold, distributed or
installed by the defendants. On June 19, 2015, he became aware
that he developed lung cancer, and the suit claims it was
wrongfully caused. The plaintiff holds the defendants responsible
because they allegedly intentionally included asbestos fibers in
their products when they knew that it had toxic, poisonous and
highly deleterious effects to humans health and failed to provide
adequate warnings and instructions about the dangers of working
with or around products containing asbestos fibers.


The plaintiff seeks compensatory damages of more than $50,000.
She is represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian & Associates
PC in Edwardsville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 18-L-196


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Exposure Hidden Risk for Asia's Budget Tourist
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jill Margo of The Australian Financial Review reported that we
are just beginning to realise that exposure to asbestos is a
hidden travel risk in Asia, particularly for those on a low
budget who stay in cheap deteriorating buildings or next to
demolition sites.
It's a small but real risk.

Asbestos is a popular building material in many parts of Asia and
given that it only takes a few fibres to cause a fatal cancer,
tourists may unknowingly be facing a health risk.

While there is no safe level of exposure to asbestos, risk does
increase with dose.

The longer and higher the level of exposure, the greater the
dose. This explains why asbestos workers are at higher risk of
developing disease. But others get it too and some are totally
disbelieving when they get the diagnosis because they can't
recall ever being exposed.

Although asbestos may be locked into insulation, floor tiles and
coating, walls and roofing material, as buildings decay fibres
can be freed.

These fibres can be 1000 times thinner than a human hair and can
be inhaled without detection.

Some travel blogs suggest opting for new hotels and avoiding
construction or renovation sites where fibres may be in the air,
the soil or on nearby surfaces.

Australians who may be hyper-vigilant about exposure to asbestos
at home, travel though Asia oblivious of the risks.

Professor Ken Takahashi, director of the Asbestos Diseases
Research Institute (ADRI) says the travel risks have not
previously been considered by researchers.

"But in the case of travel, one can assume that the exposure
level is low and the duration of exposure is short. Therefore,
the risk would be small," he says.

"A practical recommendation would thus be to avoid going near
places where asbestos may be obviously present, the most typical
of which is asbestos factories or mines.

"Of course, presence of asbestos is not always obvious, such as
in the case of exposure to buildings containing asbestos or
exposure to asbestos-containing products.

"It then becomes a matter of practicality whether one should
avoid travel in view of the small risk.

He strongly believes Australia has a responsibility to raise
awareness of asbestos in Asia, provide education on protection
against it and hopefully, help to get rid of it completely "for
the sake of workers and residents of the country itself, much
more than for the sake of travellers".

He says more than 60 per cent of the world consumption of
asbestos occurs in parts of Asia where commercial convenience and
the need for development and housing outweigh public health
concerns.
Causing persistent damage

While Japan and South Korea have banned it, China, India,
Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam are among the top 10 consumers in
the world.

The small country of Laos has the highest per capita consumption
of asbestos on the planet.

For almost 50 years, it has been known that inhaled asbestos
fibres can cause cancer of the lungs or can pass through the
lungs into a cell layer that surrounds all internal organs.

This layer is called the called the mesothelium and where
malignant mesothelioma forms.

While the asbestos itself is chemically harmless, its long-
pointed fibres lodge in the body and cause a series of micro-
injuries.
As the body is unable to clear these fibres, they remain stuck
and cause persistent damage to the tissue.

About 30 years ago, scientists observed that a single dose of
asbestos fibres damages the mesothelium tissue.

It was proposed that persistent injury led to chronic
inflammation and that cell proliferation somehow paved the way
for fatal mesothelioma.

Asbestos can also cause asbestosis, a non-malignant disease that
results in irreversible lung damage, difficulty breathing, a
cough and, in severe cases, an enlarged heart.

Australia should 'share knowledge

Professor Takahashi says Australia is the only country in the
world that has a dedicated federal agency to deal with the legacy
of the asbestos industry.

In other countries, if it is managed at all, it is done so within
health, labour or environmental ministries.

"Australia should be taking a lead in the global effort to ban
asbestos in developing countries that continue to use it at a
very high level because it is cheap, widely available and has
many advantageous characteristics."

He says Australia should share its knowledge and technology about
substitutes for asbestos within the Asian neighbourhood.

"These countries are hesitant to make the transition because they
prioritise economy over health and added to that is the fact that
there are many pro-asbestos lobbies trying to maintain the global
trade.

"And there is corruption among officials of ministries of
developing countries, so they are not fully motivated to make the
transition.

"I believe Australia should assist these counties in developing
their own expertise to detect the disease and also develop
systems so that workers and consumers are not exposed to asbestos
while they are using it.

"Until these countries stop the manufacture and export of
products containing asbestos, Australia will have to deal with
illegal imports for a long time."

Occupational exposure

Professor Takahashi says this as the epidemic of asbestos-related
disease in Australia has begun peaking.

Although Australia implemented a complete asbestos ban in 2003,
classic asbestos cancer -- mesothelioma -- can take up to 40
years to develop, which means new cases will continue to occur
and people will be dying from it for many years to come.

In the 1950s and 1960s, Australia had the world's highest per
capita rate of asbestos consumption. Today it has among the
highest rates of mesothelioma.

In 2016, about 700 people -- the great majority male -- were
newly diagnosed with this fatal disease.

Apart from those involved in mining or manufacturing asbestos,
many more people have been affected because vast numbers of
houses built before 1990 had materials containing asbestos.

Tradesmen, such as plumbers and electricians, working in such
residential properties had a high degree of occupational
exposure.
Mesothelioma has been characterised by nihilism in the past but
an international research effort is making some inroads into the
disease.

Swiss researchers unmasked an underlying mechanism that helps
explain why asbestos causes cancer.

Detecting disease earlier

They say that until now, this cancer was "a black box" and they
are hopeful their discovery may lead to detecting the disease
much earlier in its development.

This may then lead to a means of slowing it.

They say over time the immune system can't cope with the changes
induced by the presence of the fibres.

"The immune system goes out of balance and is no longer strong
enough to combat tumour formation," said lead researcher Dr
Emanuela Felley-Bosco, of the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Published in the journal Oncogene, the study proposes that
immunotherapy, a treatment that triggers the body's own immune
system to fight disease, may work in this cancer.

Using mice, the researchers showed that micro-injuries caused by
asbestos triggered an immune reaction.

The team also found an accumulation of mutations in RNA (a kind
of working copy of DNA), which they thought weakened the tissue-
repair immune response.

As a result, tumour formation was no longer effectively combated
and cancer developed.

Immune imbalance

An analysis of data from a human gene bank revealed that human
mesothelioma tumours also produce large amounts of the enzyme
that causes the mutations in the RNA.

It's hoped this will be useful in recognising early signs of
inflammation and in developing a specific immunotherapy against
mesothelial cancer.

A clinical study of immunotherapy at the advanced stage of this
disease is under way at hospitals in Switzerland, Spain and
Britain.

Dr Yuen Cheng, a molecular biologist at ADRI, says the Swiss
research has taken the science of mesothelioma a step forward.
While it was known an immune imbalance occurred, the importance
and the potential triggers for it were not known.

The Swiss have shown immune imbalance plays a major role and have
provided list of genes that were previously not considered.

While these genes were found in the animal model, they were also
found in mesothelioma tumours in human gene banks.

The problem is that the banks have samples from fewer than 100
tumours and hundreds of thousands are needed to confirm the
finding.

"They've clearly shown a link, something different to what other
researchers have done, but we don't know for certain until we
have done a large sample," Dr Cheng says.

The next step, which is not difficult, is to confirm this in
humans. If proved correct, it could be useful in the clinical
setting.

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Council Asked to Scrub Asbestos Walls
------------------------------------------------------
2GB reported that there doesn't seem to be an end to the Blue
Mountains City Council asbestos saga, with yet another
mismanagement allegation arising.

Ray Hadley has been told council staff were ordered to scrub
exposed asbestos sheeting walls in a change room at Katoomba
Aquatic Centre.

Council staff say warning signs were put in the ladies change
room about two months ago but, despite the danger, cleaners were
instructed to scrub asbestos sheeting where paint was peeling
off.

Some workers refused but others didn't, with a pregnant staff
member reportedly helping.

Staff tell Ray they raised concerns about the exposed asbestos to
their superiors, but surprise, surprise, nothing was done.

The change room is still open to the public and children have
been spotted peeling off the potentially deadly material.

Safe Work NSW has given the following statement:

"SafeWork NSW has been made aware of the issue relating to
asbestos at the Katoomba Aquatic Centre.  The issue relates to
peeling paint on asbestos sheeting at the centre.

Blue Mountains City Council has an Asbestos Management Plan, is
aware of this issue, and has activated the plan in response.

SafeWork NSW has reviewed the plan and rectification procedures,
including the sealing of the wall.

SafeWork NSW will continue to monitor the situation at the
aquatic centre, and ensure that the plan is followed."

Ray is fed up with the inaction, calling on Better Regulation
Minister Matt Kean to act.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Uninformed Workers Face Mesothelioma Risks
-----------------------------------------------------------
Alex Strauss of Surviving Mesothelioma reported that a new survey
conducted among asbestos workers in the UK finds that too many do
not fully understand the laws about asbestos exposure and how to
reduce their risk of deadly malignant mesothelioma.

The survey was commissioned by the Institution of Occupational
Safety and Health (IOSH), the British equivalent of the US
National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The goal was to determine how much construction workers know
about the risks and regulations regarding asbestos, the primary
cause of pleural mesothelioma in the UK and around the world.

Too Many Don't Know How to Manage Mesothelioma Risk

Most people have heard that asbestos -- once a common component
of many building products -- is associated with the risk of
mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestos and other diseases. The
surveyed construction workers were no exception.

However, when it came to what exactly what they should be doing
to reduce their risk or what to do if they encountered asbestos
on the job, many were unclear.

According to the report, fifteen percent of surveyed construction
workers had never been informed of the mesothelioma risk from
asbestos exposure and had not been given any training in how to
manage that risk.

Almost a quarter of respondents said they had been exposed to
asbestos.

Although the UK requires every company to maintain a record
(called a register) of the presence and state of asbestos in
their buildings, a third of the workers surveyed had not checked
the register before starting a project. Nearly half did not know
such a record existed.

One in five of the construction workers surveyed said, if they
did encounter asbestos on the job, they would have no idea what
to do.

"This is particularly the case among small companies, sole
traders, and older workers," Dr. Lesley Rushton, the new Chair of
the UK's Industrial Injuries Advisory Council, told the UK trade
journal Planning and Building Control Today. "Uncertainty and
ignorance surrounding how to prevent workers from breathing in
the fibres is deeply worrying."

US Asbestos Law and Malignant Mesothelioma

Asbestos is the top worldwide cause of malignant mesothelioma, in
both its pleural and peritoneal forms. The World Health
Organization estimates that more than 100,000 people die of
mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses every year,
many of them construction workers.

Although 62 countries, including the UK, have now banned
asbestos, asbestos is still legal in the US. Multiple attempts
have been made to pass federal legislation which would ban the
carcinogen, but they have continually been blocked by
corporations with an interest in asbestos.

However, there are strict regulations on asbestos handling and
removal (called abatement) intended to minimize mesothelioma risk
to US workers and the public. The US Environmental Protection
Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration (OSHA) are the primary entities charged with
enforcing these laws.

Among other things, they require employers to supply workers with
protective gear and to train them in its use and in proper
asbestos handling. Independent contractors are expected to know
the asbestos regulations and abide by them.

According to the American Cancer Society, more than a million
American employees in construction and other industries "face
significant asbestos exposure on the job."

Sources:
"Survey reveals 'uncertainty and ignorance' over exposure to
asbestos", April 9, 2018, Planning & Building Control Today
"Asbestos and Cancer Risk", September 15, 2015, American Cancer
Society


ASBESTOS UPDATE: School Battling Asbestos Issues to Reopen
----------------------------------------------------------
Suzanne Russell of MyCentralJersey reported that Indiana Avenue
Elementary School 18 in the Iselin section will reopen after
being temporarily closed during the past month to address mold
and asbestos issues.

In a recorded message to parents, Superintendent of Schools
Robert Zega said based on the recommendations of the consultants,
all staff and 600 students will return.

He said School 18 and Iselin Middle School will return to their
full-day class and bus schedules. School 18 students had been
attending the middle school for split session classes while their
elementary school was closed.

The message also thanked everyone for their patience.

Since early March, the school  --  built in 1955  --  has been
closed off and on to address mold and asbestos issues following
the discovery of a leak in the roof.

An April 9 report on the district's website indicates that West
Point Cleaners cleaned all rooms except 1, 5, 6, 7, 14, 22, 26
and the media center.  Those rooms were cleaned by B&G, the
asbestos abatement company.  After the work was completed, tests
found no asbestos fibers.

The report indicates that wipe test results from Rooms 6  and 7
found no asbestos.

A new floor was installed in Room 1, the report states.

According to the report, a pipe found in Room 37, the copy room,
contained asbestos insulation. The insulation was encapsulated by
B&G and post tests found no asbestos fibers.

Ceiling tiles in the guidance office were repaired. After the
work was completed, post tests found one fiber. The room was
slated to be cleaned again by B&G and retested.

T&M Associates, the consulting company working on behalf of the
parents, recommended that the district hold off on any work on
the roof until the summer. That work will include the flashing
repair. Until then, the district is working on a temporary fix.

Parent Apurva Patel said hundreds of parents walked through the
school during an open house and left comments.

According to the report, district workers reviewed all of the
comments that included treating the ceiling and floor tiles over
the summer, removing and replacing the lockers over the summer,
evaluating the wall cracks, discarding the dirty rugs and
cleaning the floors underneath and discarding or washing dirty
back-of-chair bags.

In addition, teachers will be addressing any excess clutter, the
report states.

In an email to Zega, parents also noted mold found in air
conditioners, by the windows, and pipes in corners of classrooms
8, 10 and 15. The issue will require a cleaning, remediation and
an expert's review and clearance.

Parents noted vents in all the lockers need to be cleaned and
sealed because dust, wet spills, rustiness was noticed in
multiple lockers. They also asked for an inspection of ceilings
with loose, saggy, gaps or cracks in the tiles, cleaning and
remediation of water marks and wet ceiling spots in Room 24 and
cracking, swelling and loose floor tiles in the main office,
corner room and Room 23.




ASBESTOS UPDATE: Crane Co., Others Named in "Scudder" Suit
----------------------------------------------------------
Lhalie Castillo of Madison County Record reported that a couple
is suing a number of companies claiming the husband's cancer is
related to asbestos exposure.

Robert Scudder and Barbara J. Scudder filed a complaint March 16
in the St. Clair County Circuit Court against Crane Co., General
Electric Co., Ingersol-Rand Co and others alleging they failed to
exercise due care and caution for the safety of others.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that at times
during Robert Scudder's employment from 1964 to 1996, he was
exposed to and inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers emanating from
certain products manufactured, sold, distributed or installed by
the defendants.  After he learned he developed lung cancer, he
claims he suffered great pain and anguish and accrued expenses
for medical care and treatment. The plaintiffs hold the
defendants responsible because they allegedly negligently
included asbestos fibers in their products when adequate
substitutes were available and failed to provide adequate
warnings and instructions concerning the dangers of working with
or around products containing asbestos fibers.

The plaintiffs seek compensatory damages of more than $50,000.
They are represented by Ethan A. Flint and Laci M. Whitley of
Flint Law Firm LLC in Edwardsville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 18-L-189


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Claire's Accessories Kit Banned in UK
------------------------------------------------------
GlobalCosmeticsNews reported that two make-up kits sold to
children by high-street retailer Claire's Accessories have been
banned from sale in the UK after tests revealed that they
contained asbestos, according to a report published by The Daily
Mail.

The retailer has been ordered to destroy remaining stock and a
Europe-wide alert has been issued.

Claire's Accessories is challenging the results, which found the
kits to contain asbestos fibers. The tests were carried out by
the Dutch authorities and reported to the European Commission at
the end of March. Further testing ordered by the European
Commission verified the Dutch findings.

"Our multiple independent testing of these products by certified
laboratories show they comply with all EU cosmetic regulations.
We are confident that these products are safe," a spokesperson
for Claire's Accessories told the Daily Mail.

The company has also posted a statement on its website, reading:
"We had asked the authorities to send through further information
on their testing and proposed to carry out further testing using
the appropriate and most accurate testing method in the
Netherlands in conjunction with them to prove the products'
safety.

"We are therefore disappointed the authorities have chosen to
ignore these reasonable requests and have taken the steps they
have. We will obviously continue to work with the Authorities on
this matter but we stand by the safety of our products."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Family Battles Home Asbestos Contamination
-----------------------------------------------------------
Alex Dominguez of KRDO reported that Colorado Springs homeowner
Brett Byrum tells us the lower half of his house is no longer
accessible to him after he found asbestos in the wall.

He bought his home seven years ago, and a few weeks ago, he found
a leak and tried to fix it himself.

Days later, he had a portion of his drywall tested for asbestos.

It tested positive, and he was forced to leave his home
immediately with only the clothes off his back.

"Washer, dryer, everything's gotta go," Byrum said.

The cleanup has already cost him thousands of dollars, including
the cost of living in a hotel, and receipts continue to pile up.

"Most of these are food receipts. I mean living here for three
weeks, it's been kind of hectic," he said.

It's all coming out of his pocket. It turns out his insurance
company does not cover asbestos.

It's Frank Tims' job to test for it, and he says every home built
before the '70s has it.

But it can still be found in buildings of any age.

"You're supposed to have your home tested even after the '78
because the ban was reverted in '91," Tims said. "We don't find
it too often after that It's very, very rare but it's pretty
common in Colorado."

Even with the high number of homes he finds asbestos in, Tims
says most homeowners are unaware.

"We find about half the homeowners when they call us, they didn't
have any clue about asbestos being in there," Tims said. "So they
find out from a contractor or a friend or a family member who had
it before."

Experts say it's important to check with your insurance for
asbestos policies, as many do not include coverage.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Auditorium Closes After Asbestos Testing
---------------------------------------------------------
South Strand news reported that  Wheelwright Auditorium at
Coastal Carolina University has been closed until further notice.

Effective immediately, all events will be moved to a different
facility or venue, or will be canceled. Questions about specific
events scheduled at Wheelwright in the near future should be
directed to the individual party responsible for the specific
event.

According to a CCU press release, the University received a
report from Summit Engineering, Laboratory and Testing April 9,
notifying them that a low concentration of asbestos fibers was
present on the stage at Wheelwright, but air quality levels
remained below what is permissible by the Occupational Health and
Safety Administration. However, the Administration decided to
proceed with immediate remediation based on the recommendation of
the

Environmental Health and Safety Department at CCU.

During an annual operational test of the fire curtain in the
auditorium conducted on March 7 by Productions Limited Inc., the
release states it was recommended on March 8 that the curtain be
tested for asbestos due to its age. Wheelwright Auditorium was
completed in 1981.

EHS worked with Summit Engineering, Laboratory and Testing to
conduct an asbestos test on the fire curtain on March 14. Results
from that test were received on March 17 and revealed a low
concentration of asbestos within the materials of the curtain.

Upon receiving these results, an additional test was immediately
requested by EHS and performed by Summit on the stage area on
March 26. That test involved lowering the fire curtain twice,
then wipe-sampling the stage and taking air quality measurements.
Those results were received April 9 and were positive for a low
concentration of asbestos fibers on the stage, but air quality
levels remained below what is permissible by OSHA.

A fire curtain is a safety device used in large proscenium
theaters that is only lowered in case of fire or for operational
testing. Due to the infrequent use of the fire curtain and its
location, the asbestos risk remains low; however, measures are
being taken by the University to quickly and effectively address
the concern.

Wheelwright Auditorium was closed by administration upon
receiving notification from EHS about the test results, and event
staff are working with parties to reschedule and move planned
events. The process is underway to safely replace the fire
curtain as soon as possible.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Violation of Ark. Asbestos Regulation Addressed
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality ("ADEQ") and
Mississippi County Road Department ("Road Department") entered
into a Consent Administrative Order ("CAO") on April 2nd
addressing an alleged violation of the Arkansas Asbestos
Regulations. See LIS No. 18-033.

The Arkansas Asbestos Regulations are incorporated in Arkansas
Pollution Control and Ecology Commission Regulation 21.

The CAO provides that the Road Department demolished or caused to
be demolished on or before May 24, 2017, a structure formerly
located near 4701 Memorial Drive, Blytheville, Arkansas ("Site").

ADEQ is stated to have received a complaint on May 19, 2017,
regarding the demolition of a structure located at the Site.
ADEQ personnel are stated to have conducted an investigation of
the complaint on May 24, 2017. The investigation allegedly
indicated that the Road Department had failed to conduct or have
conducted an asbestos inspection of the affected facility prior
to demolition, constituting a violation of Arkansas Pollution
Control and Ecology Commission Reg. 21.501.

The alleged violations include the failure to submit a written
NOI and appropriate NOI fee to ADEQ at least 10 working days
prior to commencing the demolition activity, therefore violating
Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission Reg. 21.601.

The Road Department is stated to have responded to an ADEQ letter
identifying the compliance issues. The letter from the Road
Department stated that new management is in place and that the
demolition was conducted under the direction of a former
Mississippi County official. Further, the demolition was stated
to have been done to help the Westminster Village where there are
numerous dilapidated structures that are dangerous and hazardous
to senior residents living there.

The CAO assesses a civil penalty of $750, which could be reduced
by one-half if signed and returned to ADEQ on or prior to April
2nd.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cherokee Council OKs Asbestos Removal Funding
--------------------------------------------------------------
Chronicle Times reported that after considerable review and
discussion over the last few months, Cherokee's City Council,by a
narrow 3-2 vote, approved funding the cost of asbestos
remediation of a former bar at 208 W. Main St.

With the city citing a willingness to facilitate the proposed
transfer of ownership and future demolition of the aged building
in serious disrepair, and renovation of the lot, the Council
approved funding $16,300 for the removal of asbestos before
demolition by owner occurs.

On a motion by Council member Chad Brown, seconded by Wayne
Pingel, the Council voted to adopt a Resolution to Authorize
Reimbursement for Removal of Asbestos to Facilitate Demolition of
208 W. Main, not to exceed $16,300, to be paid after the removal
has been certified as complete. Council members Brown, Pingel,
and Emily Johnson voted for the measure, while Jim Agnitsch and
Will Miller voted against it, with majority vote prevailing.

Earlier in the meeting, Brown spoke in favor of the City
reimbursing for asbestos removal charges in the building at 208
W. Main, noting that the City has been consistent with financial
support toward downtown development and feels it would be a shame
to let the building sit there in its current condition when there
is someone willing to take it down.

Resident Ann Peck spoke out in opposition of the reimbursement
and does not think that the City should fully reimburse for the
asbestos removal charges since the building belongs to a private
citizen. She questioned how the property will generate more taxes
as an empty lot.

Brown replied that the property does not generate much tax
revenue currently, and there could possibly be a structure built
on the lot in the future, and demolishing the building will make
the lot more attractive for future development. Without
demolition, Brown maintains that any prospective buyer would have
to pay to take down the building, which could deter them from
redeveloping the property.

As proposed, John P. Loughlin, with his wife Mollie a business
owner adjacent to the property, will pay the demolition costs and
develop the lot to complement their business. It is Loughlin who
requested the City pay the asbestos removal costs, according to
the City.

A preliminary estimate from Loughlin totaled about $16,500 to
demolish the building, plus the estimated $16,300 for asbestos
removal. Further lot development costs would be paid by Loughlin.
Mayor Craig Schmidt explained that John, Rich and Will Cook of
the neighboring Cook Law Firm purchased the building in 2001 to
eliminate a hazardous blight and that their purchase was good for
the City. They've offered to sell the building to Loughlin for
$1. Schmidt added that Loughlin will make the property much more
attractive than it is now.

Peck replied that the Cooks and Loughlin could share in the cost
of the asbestos removal. Schmidt replied that the Cooks have
already invested about $50,000 in the property at this juncture.
Loughlin added the Cooks did a service and said he is not looking
to get any return on this and he won't. He will pay to tear the
building down and whatever costs it takes to get the lot looking
presentable.

Peck questioned that as a private citizen, if she buys something
that has asbestos in it can she come to the Council and ask for
money? "That is basically what is going on here," said Peck.
Brown replied that the City has already spent a considerable
amount on improvements to downtown buildings and this is just a
continuation of what the City has done in the past.

Peck replied that this building should then be treated the same
as the buildings that participated in the Downtown FaƔade
Program. Pingel stated that 208 W. Main does not have any
redeemable value and can't be saved.

Peck remained dissatisfied and said she still disagrees with the
City paying for the entire cost of asbestos removal.

In other business, City Administrator Sam Kooiker advised the
Council that an agreement with Lynn Waggoner, owner of The Pub
property at 119 E. Main St. has been reached. There are some
changes in wording to the agreement presented at the last Council
meeting, but the offer of $18,000 for the cost of the sidewall
sealing remains unchanged.

The Council authorized a settlement offer in the amount of
$14,250 in November 2017. However,Waggoner did not accept that
offer, and counter offered with a settlement amount of $26,933
which would include installing five courses of 4" block with
insulation to match the existing south and west walls and
covering the remaining wall with 1-inch of insulation and cement
siding, as well as some roof work.

The Council authorized the Mayor to sign a Construction
Settlement Agreement with Waggoner. The matter evolved when the
City negotiated the demolition of an aged dangerous building at
123 E. Main St. whose removal exposed The Pub's east wall.

The Council also voted 5-0 to agree with the Board of
Adjustment's recommendation to deny both aspects of a set-back
variance request for 425 Gillease St. and to consider amending
the ordinance to allow for larger garages in the future.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Firm Prosecuted for Forging Health Docs
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jack Simpson of Construction News reported that two managers of a
Warrington-based asbestos removal company have been prosecuted
after forging documents to obtain an asbestos removal licence
from the Health and Safety Executive.

As the city works with Angels Share on the platting of the former
Dana College campus, discussions have included the demolition of
five buildings. But, before demolition can occur, Public Works
Director Al Schoemaker said asbestos will have to be removed,
which will require several steps.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Closes Fishing Spot in Bluff
------------------------------------------------------
Otago Daily Times reported that a popular fishing and diving spot
in Bluff has been closed to the public after asbestos was
discovered in the area.

Coastal erosion has caused what could be a former landfill site
to spill asbestos onto the foreshore.

Central Coast council issued a statement saying trained staff had
examined the site and removed "a small amount" of asbestos. The
contamination scare comes on the first day of the school
holidays.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: $200K for Old Elementary School Asbestos Removal
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Brett Knese of WGEM reported that efforts to demolish the old
elementary school in La Grange, Missouri are finally moving
forward.

The city received three bids from companies for asbestos removal
that needs to be done before the building can come down.

La Grange received a $200,000 dollar grant from the DNR to cover
the costs of the removal.

City Administrator John Roach said the building has been a
nuisance to the community.

"It's an eyesore. It's dangerous, the building in itself the way
it sits. So having it ultimately removed and taken down, its
gonna clean the town up." said Roach.

City council will vote on which bid to accept on April 23rd.
Roach said the goal is to have the building demolished by the end
of the year.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Man Dies After 50 Years From Exposure
------------------------------------------------------
Luke Powell of Norfolk Eastern Daily Press reported that the
daughter of an engineer who died from a rare asbestos-related
cancer is urging people to understand the dangers of the toxic
substance.

Rachael Fretter said her dad David Spooner was diagnosed with
mesothelioma in August 2016 having been exposed to asbestos when
he was aged 19.

Over the following five months his condition rapidly deteriorated
and he died on January 2 last year, aged 70.

Since then, Mrs Fretter, who lives near Norwich, has been raising
awareness about the substance, which was once commonly used for
insulation.

She said: "After my dad was diagnosed, it was unbelievable how
quickly his health declined and it was heartbreaking to see him
like that.

"It is so toxic and people really don't understand the dangers it
can possess.

"How many people are aware that even when replacing parts of your
home there might be asbestos lying there.

"All it takes is a tiny fibre being absorbed into your body and
40 to 50 years later you can have a huge problem on your hands."

Mrs Fretter said her dad, who lived in Sheffield, was working as
an apprentice when he was exposed.

Decades later, in the spring of 2016, he started feeling unwell
and was found to have fluid in his lungs.

It was initially believed to be pneumonia, but a biopsy revealed
it was mesothelioma -- an aggressive cancer which develops in the
lining of the lungs.

The cancer is often associated with asbestos exposure.

Mrs Fretter, who works for the Norwich Business Improvement
District (BID), said: "Someone told me it is like being
suffocated from the inside out.

"By November it was very apparent he was suffering, and leading
up to Christmas he had lost weight and his appetite.

"You would not want your worst enemy to go through something like
that."

Asbestos is now banned in the UK, but buildings constructed
before 2000 may still have the substance in them.

It is when asbestos-containing material is disturbed that fibres
can be released and breathed in.

Solicitor Phoebe Osborne, who works with the Anglia Asbestos
Disease Support Group, said the number of asbestos victims was
increasing.

The support group is meeting on April 16 from 11am at Postwick
Village Hall.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Unresolved Asbestos Issue Raised on Debate
-----------------------------------------------------------
Central Coast Community News reported that Mr Aiken said he had
paid an independent laboratory to test materials he had collected
from Wamberal Beach, and multiple types of asbestos had been
identified as present in the materials. According to the SERS
laboratory results, all four samples included Amosite Asbestos
(AMO), Crocidolite Asbestos (CRO) and Chrysotile Asbestos (CHR).

"Why is it that a report on the impact of the June 2016 storm on
Wamberal Beach can't be published in the public domain, when the
Council has stated that it is a document with high public
interest?" Mr Aiken asked when addressing Councillors at the
April 9 meeting.

"Why does someone have to sign a copyright form and give two
days' notice to view of copy of this report for up to two hours,
when it could be available on Council's website to make access
much easier and simpler? "And why did Council literally cover up
a legacy dumping of asbestos on Wamberal Beach instead of
removing it before another major storm event sweeps it into our
local environment?" he asked. Mr Aiken was referring to Central
Coast Council's efforts to use sand from the beach to cover
building materials and debris exposed by the 2016 storm with
sand, rather than removing it from the beach. Some material was
removed.

"I have got video evidence, I have got a lot of documentary
evidence, I have documented very well, I have no doubt that there
is a significant amount of asbestos at Wamberal, it is on public
land. "Council initially denied it is on public land, but it is
on a public beach." Mr Aiken also outlined the lengths he had to
go to gain access to a document about erosion at Wamberal Beach.
Council made the report confidential, so Mr Aiken had to apply
via Government Information Public Access (GiPA), a process that
can be lengthy. He was then informed he could only inspect a
heavily redacted version of the document. He then appealed to the
Information and Privacy Commission, who ruled that the document
should not have been so heavily redacted by Council. "Council
reduced the redaction, but did not add it to their register for
matters relating to GIPA."

Mr Aiken explained to the meeting that it was Council who held
copyright over the document, and one of its units did not want
the document released. "I am aware that all Councillors here
tonight had an election policy of maintaining open and
transparent governance," he said, but contended that information
of public interest was now being "buried under layers of
bureaucratic secrecy". "We don't release our confidential
documents ever," said Clr Greg Best, following Mr Aiken's address
to Council. "So, if we do an arrangement or a deal somewhere . .
. . the public out there says this is terrible, why have you done
it . . . . we don't explain six weeks, months, or even years
later . . . . the real reasons for our decision." Mayor Jane
Smith questioned whether there was evidence that the amount of
information being kept confidential by Central Coast Council was
actually increasing. "We just spent $40,000 in the past few
months on additional legal advice around confidential matters
that we haven't released, on the vegetation policy, the airport,
dredging, and a couple of others we decided to lock away."

Clr Best responded "We have got two in confidential tonight," he
said. Acting CEO, Mr Brian Glendenning, said although there was
no formal policy around keeping items confidential, Council had
recently "entered a process where there is a proactive release of
material". Staff at the next ordinary Council meeting will be
detailing a proposed new policy process around the proactive
release of information formerly held as confidential. "There is
no policy to actively release and we have said we will pursue
that." Clr Doug Vincent said: "My experience at the moment is
this Council is on an agenda to release confidential items. "My
experience on previous councils has been, and particularly on the
last Wyong Council, the six pack had an art of locking things up
in confidential.

"I am finding this Council, as opposed to previous councils I
have been involved with, more liberal in sharing documents with
the public." "I think we can acknowledge there is a practice of
keeping matters confidential," said Clr Louise Greenaway. "If we
are discussing something that involves salaries or CVs, I think
the public understand, but on other matters, I think the public
are justifiably outraged. Clr Greenaway said she believed Central
Coast Council needed to "review its policies in regard to
informing the public as to the reasons behind making documents or
business confidential, "because I think the community is fed up
with being excluded and not being told why. "I don't believe the
Copyright Act was ever intended to restrict public access to
local government documents," she said. Council agreed to provide
Plain English explanations, in addition to outlining the section
of the Local Government Act that was the basis for keeping
something confidential, in future Council agendas.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Oil Refinery Worker Dies From Asbestos Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------------
Southern Daily Echo reported that an inquest heard Anthony Jones,
from Hornchurch Road, Southampton, was working as a textile
operator in the 1960s when it is thought he was exposed to the
carcinogenic substance.

Winchester Coroner's Court heard that Mr Jones had spent many
years working for various contractors at Fawley Oil Refinery, and
it is during this time that he is believed to have come into
contact with asbestos.

A post mortem conducted by Sanjay Jogai revealed that although no
asbestos fibres were found in his lung, several cancerous tumours
were found which pointed towards the 76 year old's death being
the result of asbestos exposure.

Senior Coroner Grahame Short recorded a verdict of death due to
industrial disease.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 200+ Asbestos Hotspots on Alness Academy
---------------------------------------------------------
Scott McLennan of Press and Journal reported that Highland
Council will get a progress report next week on the GBP30 million
project to replace Alness Academy with a new cleaner and greener
school.

Under proposals the academy will be demolished and a new school
erected to replace it with funding from both the Scottish
Government and the council.

The property has suffered all manner of problems over the years
including at least 218 -- mostly small -- examples of asbestos.

The material was found in roofs, walls, doors, and even
classrooms -- although the human exposure potential is considered
to be zero in most cases and low in all others.

A flea infestation forced the school to close after a bank
holiday and leaks meant a classroom and stairwell were unusable
for a time.

Alness has been kept on the list of projects to be completed even
as the council slashed its capital spending budget in half due to
cuts.

The complex development will see some of the playing fields used
for the site of the new academy while pupils still attend classes
in the old school.

Alness-based Councillor Carolyn Wilson who chairs the stakeholder
committee said it has been a huge community effort, adding "as a
community we are delighted."

She said: "It is a partnership project, a huge amount of work
went into it from the stakeholder group looking at the designs
and plans and sports facilities.

"Community representative groups, parent council put forward have
been involved from the start and put forward good points.

"The architect has taken on their local knowledge and has
included it in the designs process.

She added: "It's really important that we get it right, we have
only got one chance to build it and we must to build it right."

That the Scottish Government has demanded the new school be
completed by March 2020 which was also welcomed by Mrs Wilson.

Mrs Wilson said: "The Scottish Government deadline is good
because it means they need to get cracking, it could not come
soon enough.

"It is just a shame that it has taken so long to deliver because
the teachers and children deserve a positive clean environment."

The arrival of the new school will coincide with an increase in
house building so the extra places at the academy are already
needed.

The North Planning Applications Committee will be briefed on
progress when it meets.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: University Criticized for Poor Asbestos Handling
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Tavia Grant of The Globe and Mail reported that more than a year
after several asbestos breaches at the University of Toronto's
medical-sciences building, some faculty, staff and students still
have health and safety concerns about exposures to the known
carcinogen.

The university's faculty association has forceful criticism of
how the administration has handled the situation, saying that
people are still not being properly informed about asbestos
abatement work or what went wrong related to last year's
breaches. These safety concerns aren't just at the medical
building, it says, but at all three campuses.

U of T -- like most universities in Canada -- is grappling with
the legacy of asbestos-containing materials in buildings that are
now aging and requiring renovation work. This can entail
abatement work, which can increase exposure risks. The situation
at Canada's largest university stands out, however, for its
handling of a key health and safety issue, experts say.

U of T is "the poster child for the things that can go wrong" if
people don't receive clear enough information to help them feel
safe at work, said Laura Lozanski, occupational health and safety
officer for the Canadian Association of University Teachers.

Though this is a challenge across Canadian campuses, U of T "has
stood out recently because of a lack of, and apparently
continuing, appropriate consultation with the joint health and
safety committee and the unions, and effective communication with
everyone on campus regarding the issue."

The university experienced its worst asbestos breach in more than
a decade early last year at its medical-sciences building. Since
then, another incident occurred in July when a worker transported
two wheelbarrows with asbestos-containing materials in a basement
corridor, which contravened proper procedure (the university
issued a notice about this on Aug. 1). In October, a hot-water
pipe burst in the building, causing flooding. Starbucks and a
cafeteria were temporarily closed due to risk of asbestos
contamination.

Adria Giacca, a professor of physiology whose office tested
positive for asbestos last March, is among those who are worried.
"We don't feel safe. Personally, I don't feel safe," she said.
Communication has improved from a year ago, she says, though
ongoing renovation mishaps in her building mean people "have lost
confidence in management."

All forms of asbestos cause cancer in humans and even low levels
of exposure increase cancer risks, according to the World Health
Organization. The latency period for mesothelioma, an asbestos-
related cancer, is long, typically ranging from 20 to 40 years.
Asbestos, once widely used in materials across Canada, will be
banned this year. Itis the top source of workplace deaths in the
country, according to data from the Association of Workers'
Compensation Boards of Canada.

Both the faculty association and CUPE 3902, which represents
contract academic employees, currently have asbestos-related
grievances filed against the university.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Hotel Owner Likely Died from Asbestos Exposure
---------------------------------------------------------------
Greame Wilkinson of Cornwall Live reported that a former hotel
owner and champion of tourism in Cornwall most likely died as a
result of exposure to asbestos at his business, an inquest heard.

Soterios "Chris" Christopheros passed away in Cyprus last
November after a short illness linked to possible asbestos
poisoning. He was 70 years old.

He was born in Chelsea in London of a Cypriot family but spent
much of his working life in Cornwall with the family hotel
business Cranstar. He ran hotels and holiday parks from 1965 to
2000 and was a prominent and well-known businessman.

A former Newquay town councillor, Mr Christopheros stood for
elections as a Liberal Democrat candidate with Restormel Borough
Council and was instrumental in securing CCTV for Newquay.

His son Andreas Christopheros was the victim of a sickening acid
attack on his doorstep in Truro in 2014 in a case of mistaken
identity.

In 1998, Mr Christopheros saved the life of a young boy who was
found wandering naked in the road in Rejerrah, near Newquay,
during rush hour. He stopped his car across the road and scooped
up the toddler who had wandered from a nearby house. The boy was
safely reunited with his mother.

He was also the organiser of the former Newquay VW festival Run
to the Sun, which was based at his Trevelgue Holiday Park in
Porth.
In 2000 Mr Christopheros moved to Cyprus where he lived for the
past 17 years.

The inquest in Truro on April 13 heard that Mr Christopheros
complained of shortness of breath in May last year. He was
diagnosed with mesothelioma, a condition linked to exposure to
asbestos, and, after a period of hospital treatment, passed away
in Cyprus in November.

As a UK citizen, details of his death were shared with the
coroners' court in Cornwall which resulted in the inquest in
Truro.

Coroner Emma Carlyon said it was "more likely than not" that his
death was linked to exposure to asbestos during his working life
in the hotel industry. She recorded a death of natural causes as
a result of industrial disease.

Mr Christopheros' family declined to comment.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Couple Says Exposure Caused Husband's Cancer
-------------------------------------------------------------
Lhalie Castillo of Madison County Record reported that a couple
is suing several companies over the husband's alleged exposure to
asbestos, citing alleged failure to warn and negligence.

Richard Baker and Carolyn Baker filed a complaint March 20 in the
St. Clair County Circuit Court against Burnham LLC, Cyprus Amax
Minerals Co., Warren Pumps LLC and others alleging they breached
their duties to exercise due care and caution for the safety of
others.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege at times during
Richard Baker's career from 1949 to 1999, he was exposed to
asbestos fibers emanating from certain products manufactured,
sold, distributed or installed by the defendants. He was
diagnosed with lung cancer Dec. 6, and the suit claims it was
caused by asbestos exposure.

The suit also claims he became liable for high medical expenses.
The plaintiffs holds the defendants responsible because they
allegedly intentionally included asbestos fibers in their
products when they knew that it had a negative effect on human
health and failed to provide adequate warnings and instructions
concerning the dangers of working with or around products
containing asbestos fibers.

The plaintiffs seek compensatory damages of at least $50,000.
They are represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian &
Associates PC in Edwardsville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court case number 18-L-204


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Tort Reform Urged After $60MM Asbestos Deal
------------------------------------------------------------
Julia Marsh of New York Post reported that a Manhattan jury
awarded $60 million to the family of a construction worker who
died from asbestos exposure, in a verdict that critics say shows
the need for tort reform.

Pietro Macaluso did demolition work on single-family homes in
Brooklyn in the 1970s and '80s. The work required ripping out
boilers laden with cancer-causing asbestos. The units were
manufactured by A.O. Smith Corp., Burnham Commercial and
Peerless.

Macaluso sued the three companies a year before he died in July
2016 at age 56.

The award will be split between Macaluso's 11-year-old twins and
his girlfriend, Mary Murphy-Clagett.

"Pietro was great man and nobody should have to go through what
he went through," Murphy-Clagett told The Post. "Nothing can
bring him back and I'd do anything to never have had this happen,
but I'm glad justice was served."

The family's attorney, Daniel Blouin, argued during the nine-week
trial that the boiler companies knew about health risks
associated with asbestos, but did nothing to warn the public.

"Many of the defendants had safety precautions in their own
factories to protect against the dangers of asbestos but they
were not passing those warnings on to people like Pietro
Macaluso," Blouin said.

"As a result, he never had an opportunity to protect himself."

Macaluso was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma in July 2015.
Blouin believes the jury was swayed by a video of him as he lay
on his deathbed.

"It was very, very sad. He was just so skinny and frail," Blouin
said.

He also thinks the jurors "responded" to his request for damages
for emotional pain and suffering after watching Macaluso "saying
goodbye to his kids and knowing that they would grow up without a
father."

The jury found the boiler companies negligent and reckless in
causing Macaluso's death.

But the payout  --  eight times the national average  --  also
shows why the city's special asbestos-litigation division known
as "NYCAL" is one of the most plaintiff-friendly in the country,
critics said.

"Another runaway verdict in the NYCAL, higher than the national
average, illustrates the need for court officials and lawmakers
to re-evaluate how New York deals with asbestos lawsuits," said
Tom Stebbins, executive director of the Lawsuit Reform Alliance
of New York.

Stebbins encouraged the state Legislature to pass pending bills
that would require the disclosure of trust claims, ban punitive
damages and make other changes in trial rules.

The verdict in the Macaluso case is the largest asbestos award in
the city since a $75 million verdict in January 2017.

Lawyers for A.O. Smith and Burnham did not return calls for
comment. Philip O'Rourke, an attorney for Peerless, said his
client plans to appeal the verdict


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Jury Awards $60MM Asbestos Verdict
---------------------------------------------------
Andrew Denney of Law.com reported that a Manhattan jury has
awarded a record-breaking $60 million asbestos verdict to the
estate of a man who died from mesothelioma after working for
years as a laborer near asbestos-laden boilers and construction
implements.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Fraud Leads to GBP25000 Bill
------------------------------------------------------
Gareth Simkins of ENDS Report reported that a demolition
contractor and two of its managers have been prosecuted for
forging documents needed to obtain an asbestos licence from the
Health and Safety Executive.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: High Ct. Urged to Expedite Asbestos Pay
--------------------------------------------------------
Sean Fewster of The Advertiser reported that the fate of the
biggest asbestos compensation payout in Australian history will
be debated before the nation's highest court but its recipient
may not live to learn its outcome.

Adelaide mesothelioma sufferer Anthony Latz is too ill to attend
today's hearing, at the High Court in Canberra, over his $1.06
million victory against Amaca Pty Ltd.

In a landmark decision, the company -- formerly James Hardie --
was found to have put its "thirst for profit" ahead of keeping
the public safe from asbestos products.

Amaca wants the High Court to overturn that judgment, while
counsel for Mr Latz also want judges to intervene.

They say a second judgment, which increased Amaca's punitive
damages but reduced Mr Latz's main payout to $864,000, was made
in error and should be dismissed.

The Advertiser understands counsel for Mr Latz will ask the court
to take the unusual step of expediting its judgment.

They fear Mr Latz's death is imminent, and will urge the court to
rule immediately so that he can have some peace of mind before
that occurs.

Last year Mr Latz, 70, won a District Court case against Amaca
over his exposure to cancerous fibres in 1976-77.

At the time, he had used James Hardie asbestos cement sheets to
build a 56.7m fence around his Stonyfell home.

That court ruled James Hardie "knew asbestos could kill end-
users" at the time Mr Latz was exposed but "failed" to warn
consumers.

It also ruled the company "was motivated by its thirst for
profit, which it valued ahead of his safety".

It awarded Mr Latz $1,032,000 for pain, suffering, loss of life
expectancy, medical expenses and economic loss and $30,000 in
exemplary  --  or punitive  --  damages.

On appeal, counsel for Mr Latz argued the $30,000 exemplary
damages were "manifestly inadequate" given the nature of Amaca's
actions, and the Supreme Court agreed.

It ordered an eightfold increase in punitive damages -- up to
$250,000 -- but slashed the core payout to $864,174.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Authorities Urged to Remove Asbestos From School
-----------------------------------------------------------------
ITV News reported that there's growing pressure on the Government
and local authorities to do more to remove asbestos from schools.

It's thought asbestos is present in virtually all schools built
between 1950 and 2000 -- and according to the campaign group 'I
Asbestos in Schools', 40,000 people have died as a result of
exposure to it during almost seven decades.

Even low levels of exposure to asbestos fibres can cause both
lung cancer, as well as cancer of the lining of the lung called
mesothelioma.

It's a condition Sally Millsopp's mother died from in 2015.
Jennifer Earnshaw had been a headteacher at two primary schools
in Norfolk.

"They were having major renovation works going on at the school
and so she had breathed in spores unknowingly and then years and
years later she started having some symptoms, some breathing
difficulties, coughing and then she got this terrible diagnosis."
- SALLY MILLSTROPP, LOST HER MOTHER TO MESOTHELIOMA

The family won compensation. Sally would occasionally pop in to
her mother's school, so could have been exposed to asbestos
herself.

"It's a ticking time bomb." she added. "You don't realise you
have these problems until years and years later and equally all
the staff that worked within the school itself and the pupils.
Who's to say whether other people will find in the future they
have single issues going on?" - SALLY MILLSTROPP

According to figures from the Department of Education, thousands
of schools across the country are failing to follow safety
guidelines on asbestos.

A survey of more than 5,500 schools in 2016 found:

More than four out of every five had asbestos.

19 % were not fully compliant with asbestos procedures

Of these, 114 were said to give "significant cause for concern".

The Health and Safety Executive's view is that if asbestos is in
a good, sealed condition it isn't a risk if left undisturbed. But
that's not good enough for teaching unions, with the joint union
asbestos committee saying the Government should commit to
removing all asbestos in schools by 2028.

"It only takes one fibre and that could be a death sentence."
says Bob Groome from the National Education Union, who's trying
to raise awareness of the potential dangers.

"Every school must have an asbestos register and that should be
kept in reception, and it should detail every incident of
asbestos in the school and where it is, " he said. "We would
encourage teachers, parents and grandparents to look at it, and
contractors must sign that register before they come on site, so
they know where asbestos is." - BOB GROOME, NATIONAL EDUCATION
UNION

Phoebe Osborne's a Cambridge based lawyer with Ashtons Legal and
chair of the Anglia Asbestos Disease Group, and is seeing an
increasing amount of cases involving asbestos related disease.

She says there has to be greater transparency on how real the
dangers arising from older school buildings should be.

"However pressing the potential hazard, national government
effectively turns a blind eye to the very real danger of asbestos
in old school buildings, since they have no money for the
enormous programme of phased removal which is required. The same
is true of county councils, who have responsibility for schools
in each area. They have no money either. No head teacher wants to
go public and admit that his or her school may not be safe, so we
have a reluctant conspiracy of silence among those who are in a
position to point out the dangers." - PHOEBE OSBORNE, CHAIR OF
THE ANGLIA ASBESTOS DISEASE GROUP

The Department for Education has said nothing's more important
than the health and safety of children and staff in schools.

"That's why we are investing GBP23 billion in school buildings by
2021. This will help ensure asbestos is managed safely and that
the amount in school buildings continues to reduce over time."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Linked with Laryngeal Cancer
------------------------------------------------------
Reports Healthcare reported that We will discuss the link between
asbestos exposure and laryngeal cancer in this article. Vocal
cords are found in larynx which is located in the upper part of
the trachea.

The vocal cords join and meet together and vibrate appropriately,
so if there is the change in the voice, it demonstrates an early
manifestation of something wrong like laryngeal cancer.

Tumor in the larynx begins inside the vocal cords or nerves. The
hoarse pitch is habitually the underlying indication of
malignancy in the larynx or voice box.

If croaked voice is experienced for over one month, it will be
advisable that the influenced individual should see a specialist
who is a specialist on ear, nose, and throat (ENT) diseases.
In some rare instances, malignancy may start in the part of the
voice box or larynx which is not located adjacent to the vocal
cords or nerves. In this occurrence, there will not be any change
in the voice.

The underlying sign could be swelling of the throat or neck, or
there is inconvenience or feel of pain in gulping. At times,
there is an ear infection as beginning signs.

An extremely uncommon illness, laryngeal malignancy or tumor of
the larynx is accepted to have been caused by presentation to
asbestos.

In any case, the latest research proposes that asbestos
introduction is a conceivable hazard factor yet no considerable
information that can demonstrate the correct connection of
asbestos with the laryngeal disease.

Be that as it may, this still does not change the way that later
on, specific information could set up the likelihood that
asbestos could truly prompt laryngeal malignancy.

Various asbestos-related ailments may grow once an individual is
presented adequately to high degrees of asbestos fiber.

This is on account of introduction to asbestos functions on the
dosage response rule where just a specific amount must be met
before one's well being achieves the risk point. Something else,
the individual is sheltered, at any rate for some time.

Be that as it may, persistent presentation even to low levels of
asbestos fiber may, in any case, wind up creating illnesses.

The latency time of most asbestos malignancy, including laryngeal
malignancy, is somewhere close to 20 to 50 years.

The minimum time allotment is 5 years. So this implies side
effects of laryngeal malignancy or any tumor, will just surface
following quite a while of the first infliction.

This is the basic cause behind why most patients of asbestos-
related malignancies don't know about their infections in its
beginning times.

Everybody who has close contact with asbestos may conceivably
breathe in asbestos fiber. Be that as it may, the individuals who
are exposed consistently will probably create illnesses quicker.

In any case, introduction alone isn't reason enough for a man to
get a sickness. As we have prior stated, one ought to be
presented to a moderately abnormal state of asbestos fiber before
his or her body starts to respond.

With constant introduction one's at a more serious danger of
being sick before 20 to 50 years. Indeed, even groups of the
individual who was straightforwardly in contact with asbestos
fiber may experience the ill effects of hazard factors.

Laryngeal malignancy starts from the larynx infection. This is
the route of both air and sustenance during breathing and
gulping.
Any individual who is presented to asbestos-filled air risks
taking in asbestos fiber which may be caught in the larynx and
the succeeding sections of the air or the sustenance.

Shockingly, there is no real way to expel the asbestos fiber from
the body of the victim once it has made its way into the body.

Asbestos causes deaths somewhere in the range of thousands of
individuals consistently. The vast majority of these have worked
in mines, production lines, shipyards and construction sites and
numerous originate from individuals who have family members
working in these businesses.

Consistently, in any case, there are around 10,000 individuals
determined to have laryngeal malignancy and half of them die
because of the malignancy.

Since laryngeal malignancy and asbestos are considered as
occupational maladies, men are probably going to build up the
sickness more than ladies since about all occupations utilizing
asbestos are overwhelmed by men.

The normal time of people determined to have the laryngeal
disease is something like 50 years of age to 70 years of age or
more. This further builds up the connection amongst asbestos and
laryngeal tumor since both require almost a similar time of
dormancy.

Time of inertness is the time allotment for the full development
of the infection. Additionally, it has been noticed that asbestos
can likewise expand the danger of creating lung disease close to
the all the more dominating sick impacts of smoking.

Further, different asbestos maladies and larynx malignancy have
similar manifestations, for example, croaked voice, the formation
of lumps in influenced regions because of cancer, pain in the
ear, the trouble of gulping and breathing, sore throat, and
consistent cough.

A few treatment choices for laryngeal malignancy and asbestos are
chemotherapy for more exasperated and aggravated illnesses,
radiation treatment that evacuates immature cells of cancer and
small tumors, surgery for both large and small tumors, blend of
Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAMS), and practicing
life modifications.

To know about your choices for treatment, it is most appropriate
to look for more thorough therapeutic counsel. Look for authority
in asbestos or laryngeal tumor to find out about your ailment.
Diagnosis of laryngeal cancer

Cancer of larynx or laryngeal cancer cannot be analyzed without
the series of x-rays and tests. The doctor will allude the
patient to see an ENT (ear, nose, and throat) specialist. At that
point, the ENT expert will take the total therapeutic history and
inspect the patient.

The specialist will check the neck for any occurrence of enlarged
glands. The ENT specialist will then look at the larynx via an
endoscope (a flexible tube which has a light toward the end).
The instrument goes into the throat by going through the nose.
This can be awkward, yet the throat must be anesthetized by
spraying it initially with anesthesia.

At the point when the specialist sees any strange or uncommon
thing in the throat, or in case he cannot see the larynx
obviously through the endoscope, the patient is admitted to the
hospital for intensive examination of the larynx under general
anesthesia.

While the patient is under anesthesia, the specialist might have
the capacity to see the larynx totally by the utilization of an
endoscope. In case any area looks unusual, a biopsy is done,
which means, an extremely small segment of the tissue is taken
away and inspected by the utilization of microscope.

Staging and grading system of laryngeal cancer

Grading of tumor alludes to portray the measurement of the tumor
and degree it has scattered outside where it has begun. The grade
of the tumor alludes to how the sporadic cells of the tumor show
up in the microscope. Grading of malignancy gives a thought how
quick the tumor may develop.

Distinguishing the stage and grade of the malignancy are
extremely important. The specialist may choose what sort of
treatment is best for the patient.

The stage and grade of tumors may help the specialist to expect
how the tumor may act, how it can respond to treatment, likewise
what are odds of the cure.

The TNM system of staging is generally for laryngeal malignancy.
TNM implies tumor, node, and metastasis.

   * T refers to the extent of tumor
   * N describes the possibility if tumors have scattered to the
nodes of lymph
   * M describes if the tumor has scattered to different regions
of the body (secondary or metastatic cancer)
The precise TNM staging system expected for the disease of the
larynx relies upon what bit of the larynx is influenced by the
tumor.

Laryngeal malignancy is categorized into three grades

   * Grade I It is a low-grade tumor. The tumor cells appear to
be like the standard cells in the larynx
   * Grade II The tumor cells seem less resembled as compare to
the normal cells in the larynx. It is the intermediate grade
cancer.
   * Grade III The tumor cells seem anomalous and disparate from
normal cells of the larynx. It is the higher grade cancer.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Latest Push for Asbestos Tort Reform in Missouri
-----------------------------------------------------------------
JD Supra reported that the stage is set for a heated showdown
between GOP leaders and bipartisan critics over implementation of
HB 1645. If adopted by the Senate, the bill would alter several
provisions related to a plaintiff's ability to bring asbestos
tort claims. The main contention sparked by HB 1645 requires
plaintiff-side attorneys to identify and file claims against all
potentially liable defendants or bankruptcy trusts at the onset
of lawsuits alleging injury from asbestos exposure. The idea
behind this segment of the bill is twofold: (1) to embed built-in
transparency preconditions allowing asbestos claim resolution
with minimal delay; and (2) thwart the practice of "double-
dipping" by granting injured plaintiffs compensation from one
defendant at a time -- before pursuing claims against additional
defendants. As an added benefit to defendants, the bill currently
includes provisions expressing that trust applications "may be
sufficient" for jury findings which deduce that products for
which the trusts were established constituted a "substantial
contributing factor" in causing alleged injuries; and also, that
trust claim materials may be used to prove alternative causation
for alleged injuries. These provisions suggest that trust
materials can be used to off-set liability by viable defendants
without any additional burden of causation.

The lines of demarcation are clearly drawn. On one side stands
the bill's proponents, led by Rep. Bruce DeGroot, who argue that
historically asbestos litigation in Missouri has been blemished
by mass exploitation, which in turn diminishes availability of
trust fund capital for future claimants. DeGroot explains HB 1645
"is designed to keep [Missouri] from being called the 'sue-me
state' instead of the Show-me State[.]"  On the other side stand
the bill's bipartisan critics who contend the proposed reform
adds additional roadblocks, effectively hampering victims of
asbestos related illnesses -- such as firefighters, laborers, and
military veterans -- by demanding identification of every source
of possible asbestos exposure in initial filings.  Moreover,
critics believe added measures would prolong the adjudicative
process by placing claimants with declining health in a position
where death may arrive well before the opportunity to confront
defendants in court.

If HB 1645 becomes law, Missouri would be the thirteenth state to
increase transparency in the somewhat murky and convoluted world
of asbestos litigation. However, the bill's adversaries question
its true intent: whether HB 1645 is being pushed to protect
Missouri's corporate base from distribution of just damages to
aggrieved victims; or whether the bill's enactment is fueled by a
notion of "fair litigation," which would ensure trust companies
are aware of, and are able to, unimpededly defend against
multiple exposure allegations under equitable circumstances.

HB 1645, along with HB 1512 (changes to the Uniform Arbitration
Act) and HB 1531 (modification to interpleading in civil
proceedings) are components of contemporary tort reform. Experts
surmise HB 1645 has a 50/50 chance of going the distance and
converting into law due to developing agenda being promoted by an
overwhelmingly Republican majority General Assembly.  Based on
sheer numbers alone, both house Republicans have the votes to
pass the bill in the Senate, nevertheless, the tactical warfare
of filibuster could be a cause for concern.

The current session of the General Assembly ends mid-May, leaving
approximately seven weeks left for negotiations. On April 4, HB
1645 was voted out of committee in the Senate; next, it will be
placed on the calendar by the Senate Floor Leader and then
presented to the Senate for a final show of hands.  In short, the
process mimics the all too familiar cycle of life -- some
proposed legislation will survive at the expense of others that
will parish. Either way, the struggle for control of procedures
governing asbestos litigation in Missouri is well and alive in
the political streets of Jefferson City. Only time will tell
whether Missouri's true mantra will be the "Sue-me State" or the
"Show-me State."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ct. Denies Personal Jurisdiction in Suit
---------------------------------------------------------
JD Supra reported that the Circuit court in Cook County, Illinois
has recently clarified one of the limitations on which it applies
personal jurisdiction and venue protections to Defendants in
asbestos cases.

In John C. Clark v. A.W. Chesterton Company, et al., the Court
performed personal jurisdictional analyses of general and
specific jurisdiction, and also analyzed Defendant's Motion to
Dismiss for forum non conveniens. While the Defendant in this
case won the argument on general jurisdiction, it lost the
arguments on specific jurisdiction and forum non conveniens. The
court reasoned that Plaintiff's "take-home" exposure to asbestos
brought both the Defendant's actions and the alleged resulting
injury into Illinois.

The Plaintiff in Clark alleged exposure to asbestos on the
premises of Great River Energy's ("GRE") factory in North Dakota,
while working as a contractor.  Significantly, the Plaintiff also
alleged "take-home" exposure in his pleadings and argument,
although the Court's opinion provided no underlying facts
regarding this claim, and there is no spouse or second Plaintiff
named in the case. The contracting company for which Plaintiff
worked was an Illinois company -- United Conveyor Corporation
("UCC"), who had contracted with GRE to do the work on GRE's
premises.  Plaintiff lived in Cook County, Illinois.  Plaintiff
alleged that the fact that GRE had contracted with an Illinois
corporation was enough to subject GRE to personal jurisdiction.
However, the Court acknowledged Defendant's argument that the
contract alone was not enough to show "minimum contacts" between
GRE and Illinois, and that, under Illinois law, other factors
must be considered.

In reviewing whether there was general jurisdiction over GRE, the
Court applied the requirements set forth by the U.S. Supreme
Court in Daimler A.G. v. Bauman, 134 S.Ct. 746 (2014) and adopted
in Illinois by Aspen Am. Ins. Co. v. Interstate Warehousing,
Inc., 2017 IL 121281. The Circuit Court thus found that Defendant
GRE was not "at home" in Illinois because it was not incorporated
there, did not have a principal place of business there, and did
not "meet the example of a rare exception."  As a result, the
Court did not have general jurisdiction over Defendant GRE.

The Circuit Court next reviewed whether there was specific
jurisdiction over GRE, and looked to the Illinois Supreme Court
case of Russell v. SNFA, 2013 IL 113909 for the proposition that
"[a]lthough the United States Supreme Court has not clarified
what is meant by 'arising out of' or 'relating to' in the context
of a jurisdiction question, Illinois has determined that the
applicable standard is lenient or flexible." [1]

The Cook County Circuit Court also cited to Bolger v. Nautica
Int'l, Inc., 369 Ill. App. 3d 947 (2d Dist. 2007) to explain the
factors to consider in determining whether a Defendant has
"purposefully availed" itself of the benefits of the forum state,
beyond simply contracting with a business located there: (1) who
initiated the transaction, (2) where the contract was formed, and
(3) where the contract was performed.   Significantly, the
appellate court in Bolger began its specific jurisdiction
analysis by stating " . . . . .The focus is on the defendant's
activities within the forum State, not on those of the
plaintiff," before articulating the three factors to consider
when a contract forms the basis for the jurisdictional dispute.

However, without going through an analysis of specific
application of these Bolger factors to the facts at issue in
Clark, the Circuit Court determined that "GRE (through its
predecessor) and this Illinois resident's Illinois employer
contracted in and agreed to be bound by Illinois law and courts.
This choice of forum was explicit and bargained for by
experienced and sophisticated business parties.  Moreover,
plaintiff's proposed injury directly arose from Defendant's own
contacts with Illinois through alleged exposure to Defendant's
asbestos both at its facility [which was in North Dakota] and
again in Chicago when he brought the asbestos fibers home"
(emphasis added).  By considering the "take-home" exposure by
Plaintiff in addition to the other named factors, the Circuit
Court also concluded that Illinois courts would have "concern for
a case where the Defendant allegedly allowed people working on
its premises and around asbestos containing products to travel
back to Illinois without proper safety precautions in place to
disrupt exposures back home, and that a dismissal would result in
Plaintiff's having to 'commence separate lawsuits in several
states where he worked and was exposed' thus finding that it was
also "reasonable to litigate this case in Illinois."

Having found personal jurisdiction over GRE, the Circuit Court
turned to the Defendant's argument regarding forum non
conveniens. Because the Court found that part of the Plaintiff's
injury occurred in Cook County, Illinois (via take-home
exposures), the court applied that finding in both the private
and public interest factor analyses, and determined that they
weighed in favor of keeping the case in Illinois.

The Circuit Court's extensive consideration of Plaintiff's
alleged take-home exposure in this way is significant to
Defendants in several ways.  First "take-home" exposure in
asbestos cases takes on new meaning ordinarily reserved for
family members who were not working at the jobsite at issue,
opening the door for potential liability for additional exposure
by the Plaintiff's own actions once he is at home.  Second, from
a jurisdictional standpoint, a finding that take-home exposure
from a Defendant's premises in another state constitutes a
Defendant's relationship to that forum State will limit a
Defendant's ability (in asbestos exposure claims) to argue
against specific jurisdiction in any state in which a Plaintiff
lives.  The consideration of Plaintiff's exposure once he gets
home also arguably shifts the focus from the Defendant's
activities (as stated by the Illinois appellate court in Bolger)
to those of the Plaintiff.

[1] The Circuit Court made no mention of the U.S. Supreme Court's
decision in Walden v. Fiore, 134 S.Ct. 1115 (2014) (decided
shortly after Daimler), wherein the relationship between the
defendant and the forum state was analyzed for minimum contacts
under a specific jurisdiction inquiry.  The Court in Walden
identified two necessary factors: 1) "the relationship must arise
out of contacts that the 'defendant himself' creates with the
forum State" and 2) "our 'minimum contacts' analysis looks to the
defendant's contacts with the forum State itself, not the
defendant's contacts with persons who reside there" (emphasis in
original). Id.



                            *********


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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Patalinghug, and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

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