CAR_Public/180608.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R


              Friday, June 8, 2018, Vol. 20, No. 115



                            Headlines


AIR CANADA: Court Allows Aveos Employees' Class Action to Proceed
ALBERTA: Sued Over Unlawful Bail Hearing Regime
AMERISOURCEBERGEN CORP: Faces Multiple Opioid-Related Suits
AMP LTD: Maurice Blackburn Mulls Shareholder Class Action
AMP LTD: Maurice Blackburn Sparks Class Action Price War

AMP LTD: Put Under Investigation Amid Class Actions
AMP LTD: May Have to Defend Five Competing Class Actions
ANGLO AMERICAN: 50 Litigants Died Before Silicosis Settlement
ANGLO AMERICAN: Litigants Laud Silicosis Class Action Settlement
ANTHEM INC: Special Masters' Atty Fee Recommendation Challenged

APPLE INC: Faces Class Action Over MacBook Pro Keyboard Defect
APPLE INC: Has Yet to Respond to MacBook Keyboard Defect Lawsuit
AT&T MOBILITY: Former Workers File Pregnancy Bias Class Action
BRITISH COLUMBIA: June Trial in Foreign-Buyers Tax Case Set
BHP BILLITON: Faces Suit Over Samarco Mining Disaster in Brazil

BLOOMINGDALE'S: Faces Class Action Over Garment Bag Tax
CANADA: 60s Scoop Survivor Continues to Oppose Settlement
CAREER EDUCATION: Final Settlement Hearing Today in "Surrett"
CLECO CORPORATE: Louisiana Supreme Court Won't Review Decision
COMMUNITY HEALTH: Seeks Supreme Court Review of 6th Cir. Ruling

COMMUNITY HEALTH: Continues to Defend Cyber Attack-Related Suits
COMMUNITY HEALTH: Sept 21 Final Approval Hearing on "Mounce" Deal
COMMUNITY HEALTH: Bid for New Trial in "Gibson" Still Pending
COMMUNITY HEALTH: Plaintiff in "Morrow" Agrees to Dismiss Suit
COMMUNITY HEALTH: Must Defend Against Zwick Partners' Suit

CVS HEALTH: Files Motion to Dismiss HIV Privacy Class Action
DAVITA INC: Bid to Dismiss Peace Officers' Fund Suit Underway
DIVERSCARE HEALTHCARE: Bid to Dismiss Garland Class Suit Pending
EASTERN TOWNSHIPS: Approves Terms of Class Action Settlement
EAZE SOLUTIONS: Faces Class Action Over Unsolicited Text Messages

FACEBOOK INC: Faces Class Action in California Over Data Scraping
FACEBOOK INC: July 9 Trial Set in Facial Recognition Class Action
FAIRMOUNT SANTROL: Class Suits Challenge Merger with Unimin Corp.
FIAT CHRYSLER: Faces Amended Emissions-Cheating Class Action
FLEX LTD: July 9 Class Action Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set

FOX NEWS: Settles Gender Discrimination Class Action for $10MM
GENERAL MILLS: Seeks Dismissal of Trans Fat Class Action
GUAM: H-2B Class Action Notice Awaits Federal Court Approval
HALO TOP: Faces Class Action in New York Over Ice Cream Labeling
HALO TOP: Ice Cream Class Action Plaintiff to Face Uphill Battle

HANOVER INSURANCE: Court Won't Reconsider Order Limiting Claims
HEALTHPORT TECHNOLOGIES: Court Tosses Record Search Fees Lawsuit
HOME DEPOT: Faces Class Action Over 401(k) Plan Fraud
HOMETOWN AMERICA: Senior Residents File Class Action After Fires
INNERWORKINGS INC: Bragar Eagel Files Securities Class Action

INSMED INC: "Hoey" Plaintiffs Fail to Appeal Case Dismissal
JOHNSON CONTROLS: Says "Laufer" Class Suit Underway
KULICKE & SOFFA: Bernstein Liebhard Files Securities Class Action
LAMP PLUS: Case to Significantly Impact Class Action Litigation
MDL 2455: $295M Accord in Sterisafe Contract Suit Has Final OK

MG DESIGN: Faces Class Action Over WARN Act Violation
MORGAN STANLEY: Former Worker Files Labor Class Action
MVM INC: Must Face Race Discrimination Class Action
NISSAN MOTOR: Results Hit by Takata Air Bag Class Actions in U.S.
ORBITAL ATK: Merger Related Suits Voluntarily Dismissed

ORBITAL ATK: Parties in "Knurr" Suit Proceed to Mediation
PACIFIC FERTILITY: Storage Tank Failure Lawsuits Consolidated
PERSONAL INSURANCE: Waddell Launches Privacy Breach Class Action
PURDUE PHARMA: Faces RICO Class Action in California
RENT A CENTER: Class Certification Hearing in "Hall" on Sept. 19

RENT A CENTER: Continues to Defend "Blair" Class Action
RODAN + FIELDS: Faces Second Class Action Over Lash Boost Product
SAINT-GOBAIN: Faces 2 Class Actions in New Hampshire Over PFAs
SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS: "Corban" Plaintiffs' Time to Appeal Elapsed
SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS: 1st Cir. Affirms Dismissal of "Kader" Suit

SOUTHERN COPPER: Discovery Ongoing in "Lacey "Class Suit
SOUTHERN POWER: Wants Remaining Claims Dismissed
SOUTHERN POWER: Franchise Fees Suit v. Georgia Power Ongoing
SOUTHERN RESPONSE: Settles Class Action Over Delayed Quake Claims
SOUTHERN RESPONSE: Court to Address Agreed Resolution Process

ST. FRANCES ACADEMY: Faces Sexual Abuse Class Action
STATE STREET: Suit Over Invoicing Practices Still Ongoing
STATE STREET: Shareholder Class Action Still Ongoing
STATE STREET: Rosen Wants Settlement Report Put Under Seal
STERICYCLE INC: Securities Class Suit Pending in Illinois

STONERIDGE INC: Settlement in "Royal" Suit Granted Final Approval
TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: PROVIGIL(R) Suit vs Cephalon Still Ongoing
TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: Accord Reached in Lidoderm Antitrust Suits
TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: Accord in Aggrenox End Payors' Suit Has OK
TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: "Baker" Suit Transferred to Connecticut

TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: Ontario Teachers' Amended Suit Nixed
TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: Parties Agree to Stay Employee Plan Suit
TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: Court Defers Deadlines in OZ ELS Fund Suit
TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: "Grodko" Suit Transferred to Connecticut
TRANSNET: FF Plus Seeks Class Action Settlement Discussions

TRAVELERS CASUALTY: Wants to Move Class Action to Federal Court
TUESDAY MORNING: "Castillo" Suit Underway in Florida
TUESDAY MORNING: "Velarde" Suit Underway in California
UBER TECHNOLOGIES: Motion to Dismiss Data Breach Suit Granted
UBER TECHNOLOGIES: Nixes Forced Arbitration Policy

UBER TECHNOLOGIES: Judge Awards $2.02MM in Attorney's Fees
UNITED STATES: MSLF Files Lawsuit Over Racial Classifications
UNITED STATES: Army Reservists File Class Action Over Benefits
UNITED STATES: SCOTUS Tackles Mootness Issue in Shackling Case
UNITED STATES: Judge Denies Sanctions v. USCIS Over H-2B Visas

VODEN MEDICAL: Hogan Lovells Attorneys Discuss SCOTUS Ruling
WARWICK UNIVERSITY: Students Mull Class Action Over Strike
WESTJET: Ex-Flight Attendant Files Sexual Harassment Class Action
WESTERN HOCKEY: Court Allows Players' Class Action to Proceed
XEROX CORP: Settlement Agreement Terminates Fujifilm Deal

* Employers Brace for SCOTUS Ruling on Mandatory Arbitration
* Judges Rarely Grant Discovery into Litigation Funding Documents
* Keyless Ignition Carbon Monoxide-Related Deaths Raise Concerns
* Napoli Shkolnik Mulls Blades Water Contamination Class Action
* Rule 23 Amendments to Impact Federal Class Action Litigation


                         Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Arconic, Units Still Defend PI Suits at Dec.31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Allstate Had $884MM Claim Reserves at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: BNSF Still Defends PI Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Forum Energy Unit Faces 150 Suits at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mallinckrodt Had 11,600 PI Cases at Dec. 31

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lincoln Electric Had 3,613 Claims at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ameren Illinois Had US$23-Mil. Fund at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: United Fire Had $2.6MM A&E Reserve at Dec. 31
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Summary Judgment Favoring Coty Inc. Affirmed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Rousseau" Remanded to La. State Court

ASBESTOS UPDATE: GE Dropped as Defendant in "Campbell" PI Suit
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Summary Judgment Bids Granted in "Hedrick"
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Insurer Liable to Worker's Mesothelioma
ASBESTOS UPDATE: J-M Manufacturing Leave to Appeal Denied
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Risk in Environment Highlighted

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos-Containing Debris Found in Island
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Mitigation in Cape May County Complete
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Trial On Lawyer's Asbestos Death Commences
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Co. Facing Suit Over Asbestos Investigation
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Jamie Hardie Profit Tumbles on Asbestos Claims

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Courthouse Asbestos Gave Secretary Lung Cancer
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Released in Ede Town Fire
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Blue Mountains Council Urged to Release Report
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Renovators Drive New Wave of Asbestos Claims
ASBESTOS UPDATE: No Asbestos in J&J Talc Mines, SC Jury Hears

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Abated in Dilapidated Fritz Building
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Killing Carrick Hill People
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Victim Wins First Round Versus Employer
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Welder Dies After Years of Asbestos Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: J&J Hit With $21.7MM Verdict in Talc Case

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Tort Reform Clears House
ASBESTOS UPDATE: St. Paul School Asbestos Removal Underway
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Warren Pumps Can't Get Interest in Coverage Suit






                            *********


AIR CANADA: Court Allows Aveos Employees' Class Action to Proceed
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Trudel Johnston & Lesperance on May 15 disclosed that Aveos
former employees who were laid off following the company's
insolvency have taken an important step in their quest for
justice.  In a judgment dated May 15th, 2018, Justice Jean-
Franáois Michaud of the Quebec Superior Court authorized a
national class action filed against Air Canada on their behalf.

The class action seeks compensation for several thousand persons,
namely workers who were employed at Air Canada's overhaul and
maintenance centers in Montreal, Winnipeg and Mississauga when
Aveos closed on March 18th, 2012, as well as the spouses, heirs
and assigns of these workers.

The class members' representative, Mr. Gilbert McMullen, alleges
a violation of the Air Canada Public Participation Act.  Until
amended by Parliament in June of 2016, this Act required
Air Canada to operate maintenance and overhaul centers in
Winnipeg, Mississauga and in the Montreal Urban Community.  The
Superior Court and five judges of the Quebec Court of Appeal
unanimously concluded that Air Canada had indeed contravened this
Act.  The class action also alleges that Air Canada acted in bad
faith, including by deliberately provoking the collapse of Aveos,
an issue that may give rise to punitive damages.

Justice Michaud wrote: "The Court considers that Mr. McMullen has
demonstrated a serious colour of right (. . . ).  The allegations
of violation of the Act are supported by the chronology of events
and reveal that Air Canada has significantly reduced maintenance
and overhaul activities at the Centers.  These facts were found
by Castonguay J. and the Court of Appeal."

While it is difficult at this time to assess the amount that Air
Canada may be required to pay, the plaintiff's attorneys estimate
that it could reach more than $100 million.

Class members do not have to register to benefit from any
judgment or settlement, but they are encouraged to register to
class counsel's mailing list in order to be made aware of
important developments in the file: http://tjl.quebec/en/class-
action/aircanada/.  A copy of the judgment can be found at the
same address. [GN]


ALBERTA: Sued Over Unlawful Bail Hearing Regime
-----------------------------------------------
Jonny Wakefield, writing for Edmonton Journal, reports that a man
arrested by Edmonton police and held for 36 hours without a bail
hearing early last year is suing the province, claiming the lack
of timely access to bail violated his rights.

A class-action lawsuit, filed by plaintiff Ryan Reilly on behalf
of himself and anyone in Alberta denied a bail hearing within 24
hours of being arrested since February 2017, was filed May 2 in
Court of Queen's Bench in Calgary.

"Alberta had designed an unlawful bail hearing regime, and it
later failed to correct its unlawful regime," the statement of
claim reads. "(Accused persons) have been the victim of Alberta's
systemic failures and the casualties of Alberta's incompetence."

"Alberta has failed, and continues to fail, to provide thousands
of (accused persons) with bail hearings conducted within 24 hours
of arrest and detention."

Edmonton police arrested Reilly, the accused in a domestic
violence case, on April 4, 2017.  He was held in a brightly lit
10-foot by five-foot cell at police headquarters.  The cell's
walls and floor were covered in "fecal matter, blood or other
human substances," the claim states, and he was housed with
another detainee who appeared to be coming down off drugs.

Nearly 36 hours later -- 12 hours past the 24-hour limit set out
in the Criminal Code -- Mr. Reilly received a 15-minute bail
hearing via video conference, after which he was released.
Mr. Reilly was dishevelled, sleep deprived and "ready to agree to
almost any conditions to be released from detention," according
to the claim.

The claim states that the charges against him from the April 4,
2017 arrest were eventually stayed.

The right to have one's detention justified before an independent
court without "unreasonable" delay is entrenched in Canadian
constitutional law, the claim goes on to say, while the Charter
of Rights and Freedoms holds that an accused person has the right
not to be denied reasonable bail "without just cause."

The Criminal Code of Canada sets an "upper limit" of 24 hours
between arrest and the chance to have the "necessity of a
detention determined by a justice," according to the claim.

Until recently, police represented the Crown at first appearances
for bail in Alberta.  On-call justices of the peace presided over
the hearings, which ran 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Then, on Jan. 17, 2015, Shawn Rehn shot two RCMP officers in a
St. Albert casino, killing one and wounding the other.
Mr. Rehn had a violent record, but was released following a bail
hearing prosecuted by a peace officer.

The case prompted a wholesale review of the bail system in
Alberta, the claim states, which found the system of using police
officers to act as prosecutors was not consistent with the
Criminal Code.

Prosecutors known as "bail Crowns" have since taken over first-
appearance bail hearings.

Mr. Reilly's claim states that the bail review noted "systemic
problems" with Alberta's bail hearing system, and that the
province has failed to take steps to address "systemic bail
system delays," such as hiring more prosecutors.

The statement of claim says the plaintiffs are "entitled to a
monetary remedy" in compensation. It also suggests $100 million
in punitive damages for violating the plaintiffs' Charter rights.

The province has 20 days from the date of filing to file a
statement of defence. [GN]


AMERISOURCEBERGEN CORP: Faces Multiple Opioid-Related Suits
-----------------------------------------------------------
Amerisourcebergen Corporation said in its Form 10-Q Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 2, 2018, for
the quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the company is
facing multiple class action suits related to the drug Opioid.

A significant number of counties, municipalities and other
governmental entities in a majority of U.S. states and Puerto
Rico, as well as several states and tribes, have filed lawsuits
in various federal, state and other courts against pharmaceutical
wholesale distributors (including the Company and ABDC),
pharmaceutical manufacturers, retail chains, medical practices
and physicians relating to the distribution of prescription
opioid pain medications.

Additionally, several counties and municipalities have named H.D.
Smith, a subsidiary that the Company acquired in January 2018, as
a defendant in such lawsuits. Other lawsuits regarding the
distribution of prescription opioid pain medications have been
filed by: third-party payors and similar entities; hospitals;
hospital groups; and individuals, including cases styled as
putative class actions.

The lawsuits, which have been filed in federal, state and other
courts, generally allege violations of controlled substance laws
and various other statutes as well as common law claims,
including negligence, public nuisance, and unjust enrichment, and
seek equitable relief and monetary damages. The majority of such
cases remain at the pleading stage and discovery has commenced in
relatively few cases.

After a motion filed by certain plaintiffs and a hearing before
the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation in November 2017,
an initial group of cases was consolidated for Multidistrict
Litigation ("MDL") proceedings before the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Ohio. Additional cases have
been, and will likely continue to be, transferred to the MDL.

Following an initial telephonic conference and several hearings,
the Court has been engaged in preliminary matters, including
oversight of court-ordered settlement discussions with attorneys
for the plaintiffs and certain states.

On April 2, 2018, the United States, through the Department of
Justice, filed a motion to participate (i) in these settlement
discussions and (ii) as a friend of the Court by providing
information to facilitate non-monetary remedies.

On April 11, 2018, the Court issued an order creating a
litigation track, which includes dispositive motion practice,
discovery, and trials in certain bellwether jurisdictions that
are scheduled to commence in March 2019.

Amerisourcebergen Corporation is one of the largest global
pharmaceutical sourcing and distribution services companies,
helping both healthcare providers and pharmaceutical and biotech
manufacturers improve patient access to products and enhance
patient care. The company delivers innovative programs and
services designed to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of
the pharmaceutical supply chain in both human and animal health.
The company is based in Chesterbrook Pennsylvania.


AMP LTD: Maurice Blackburn Mulls Shareholder Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------
Paulina Duran and Byron Kaye, writing for Reuters, reports that
Australian law firm Maurice Blackburn said on May 15 it planned
to sue AMP Ltd on behalf of shareholders after allegations of
misconduct sent the wealth manager's shares tumbling, the fifth
potential lawsuit against the company.

AMP has lost almost 20 percent of its value or A$2.5 billion
($1.9 billion) since the wrongdoing was exposed by a government-
ordered inquiry into Australia's finance sector in April, raising
the prospect of legal fallout.

Two law firms have already filed shareholder class actions
against Australia's biggest wealth manager, while media reports
have said another two are considering suing the 169-year-old
company.  If all five file suit, it would be the most class
actions against an Australian company at one time.

AMP declined to comment on May 15.  It has said it would defend
itself against the two lawsuits that have been filed.

"Investors have every right to be disappointed with AMP's
conduct," Andrew Watson, the National Head of Class Actions at
Maurice Blackburn, said in a statement.

Maurice Blackburn said its suit would offer low funding
commissions and would not charge fees unless it won, a sign of
competition between firms to sign up AMP shareholders.

The Maurice Blackburn action is being funded by Singapore-based
International Litigation Funding Partners.

Global law firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart and Sullivan, and
Melbourne-based firm Phi Finney McDonald each tabled actions
against AMP.

Most likely a judge will decide how to proceed following
discussions between the law firms and their financiers.  AMP
could also submit a request to the courts for the cases to be
amalgamated.

"It's all new, untested territory, but one thing is certain,
there will be one action," said Hugh McLernon, executive director
at Australian-listed litigation funder IMF Bentham, which is
bankrolling the Phi Finney McDonald lawsuit.

The court would decide who runs the action based on factors like
how much lawyers would charge and whether the litigation funders
planned to stay to the end of the case, potentially years away,
McLernon added.

AMP, a household name for Australian financial planning, has
about 740,000 shareholders, one of the country's biggest
registers.  To qualify, shareholders would need to have bought
their stock when the lawsuits allege the misconduct took place.

University of New South Wales Professor Michael Legg said
shareholders should wait before choosing which class action to
join in.

"The problem is once they enter into a litigation funding
agreement or retainer, then they may be stuck with that
agreement," Mr. Legg said.

The Australian Financial Review has reported Australian firms
Slater & Gordon Ltd and Shine Lawyers Pty Ltd are also preparing
lawsuits against AMP.

The AMP lawsuits are the first linked to allegations from the
Royal Commission inquiry, which has uncovered widespread
wrongdoing by Australia's leading financial firms.

The country's biggest lender, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, is
facing a separate Maurice Blackburn-run class action over
allegations it failed to properly disclose breaches of anti-money
laundering rules. [GN]


AMP LTD: Maurice Blackburn Sparks Class Action Price War
--------------------------------------------------------
Misa Han, writing for Australian Financial Review, reports that
Maurice Blackburn has put its hat in the ring in the AMP class
action race, offering a double digit commission discount compared
to its competitors.

The plaintiff firm is the latest to announce a class action
against beleaguered AMP, and will be run the case on a no-win no-
fee basis with funding from International Litigation Funding
Partners.  LFP will take a small 12.5 per cent cut.

A litigation funder's cut in a typical class action usually
varies between 25 to 40 per cent.  In more competitive cases,
such as this one, the commission can be as low as 22.5 per cent.

Maurice Blackburn believes by slashing its commission to 12.5 per
cent it will be able to draw class members away from other law
firms.

The 12.5 per cent figure does not include Maurice Blackburn's
legal fees, which the firm will seek to recover through costs
orders from the court.

AMP is already facing two separate class actions from Quinn
Emanuel and Phi Finney McDonald, which earlier filed their cases,
and two more potential actions from Slater and Gordon and Shine
Lawyers.

'Very clear choice'
Quinn Emanuel, which was the first to file its case, said the AMP
class action had the potential to be worth $2 billion, the
biggest in Australian history.

The Australian Financial Review has previously reported on the
growing competition in the class action space in light of the
banking royal commission.

National head of class actions at Maurice Blackburn, Andrew
Watson, said investors looking to recover from AMP have a "very
clear choice" when it comes to choosing class actions.

"In a world where institutional investors and retail shareholders
alike are grappling with how to choose between competing actions,
we're taking the guesswork out of it and making the choice
crystal clear with these extraordinarily low funding commission
rates," Mr Watson said.

"In addition, we know that recovering larger amounts is one of
the single biggest determinants affecting shareholders' ultimate
recoveries, and no firm other than Maurice Blackburn has resolved
Australian shareholder class actions for more than $100 million.

"I'm proud to say that, including the recent settlement of QBE
for $132.5 million, we've done it on seven separate occasions,"
he said.

The class action will be open to AMP retail shareholders who
purchased the shares between May 27, 2015 and April 13, 2018 and
institutional shareholders.

AMP said it will "vigorously defend" the class actions that have
been filed to date.

Herbert Smith Freehills partner Jason Betts is defending AMP in
all the class actions. [GN]


AMP LTD: Put Under Investigation Amid Class Actions
---------------------------------------------------
Litigation Finance Journal reports that Australia's royal
commission is investigating whether any of the country's
financial institutions have engaged in misconduct, and if
criminal or other legal proceedings should be initiated as a
result.  The fallout from the royal commission has already been
headline-making: The "big four banks" -- Commonwealth, Westpac,
ANZ, National Australia Bank -- are all under investigation, as
are other major entities such as AMP and BT Financial, with
several third party-funded class actions already in the works.
[GN]


AMP LTD: May Have to Defend Five Competing Class Actions
--------------------------------------------------------
David Chau, writing for ABC, reports that scandal-plagued AMP
could soon set a new record in Australian courtroom history.

It runs the risk of defending five competing class actions --
launched by essentially the same pool of disgruntled
shareholders, making the same kinds of allegations about AMP's
wrongdoing.

If all these duplicate cases are allowed to be prosecuted in
court, the biggest losers will be the shareholders as the
enormous legal costs may eat into the pool of funds they hope to
recover.

AMP cover-up claims scalps

AMP's leaders have been dropping like flies after revelations the
company repeatedly misled the corporate regulator.
Even AMP could argue it's a victim here, given its legal costs
may skyrocket if it has to defend five separate cases.

And the biggest winners would be the army of lawyers and
litigation funders, which stand to profit handsomely if they win
the case or secure a lucrative settlement.

"If we end up with five competing class actions against one
defendant, that's likely to be the most we've seen in Australia,"
said Michael Legg, a law professor at the University of New South
Wales.

"The court needs to pick which class action to proceed -- either
by consolidating them, or picking one and staying the others.

"The issue for the judge is which one do I pick to go ahead?"

'Contested marketplace' for corporate class actions
There is a risk that most of these lawyers will incur hefty
preparation fees, but leave empty-handed.

When asked by the ABC, most of the law firms in this matter
conceded it might happen to them. Particularly if the court
decides it would be vexatious, oppressive or an abuse of process
for so many identical class actions to proceed against the same
defendant.

On the other hand, judges have enormous discretion when it comes
to case management.

Some have allowed identical class actions to proceed at the same
time before consolidating them after a few months -- or even
after more than a year.

"Nothing in life is certain, and we understand it's a contested
marketplace," said Andrew Watson, head of class actions at
Maurice Blackburn.

Why gang-up on AMP?
"There's the perception that AMP has a difficult position to
defend due to the admissions it made at the banking royal
commission," said Dr Peter Cashman, a barrister who specialises
in class actions.

"It's on the public record that AMP suffered a major drop in
share value, a lot of money is at stake, and there are a lot more
litigation funders in the marketplace."

Basically, this could be an easy case to win since AMP has
already made several public confessions about its wrongdoing.

Quinn Emmanuel and Phi Finney McDonald were the first plaintiff
firms to launch their AMP class actions -- in the Supreme Court
of NSW and Federal Court respectively.

They were followed by Maurice Blackburn, which started
advertising itself as "a very clear choice" for investors on
May 15.

But Maurice Blackburn hasn't filed its court documents, nor has
it decided which court should hear the dispute.

"We'll take our time, and make our decision over the course of
the next few weeks," Mr Watson said.

Under Australian law, just because a lawyer is the first to file
a class action won't guarantee that their case will be the one
that is allowed to proceed.

Shine Lawyers told the ABC it plans to file its statement of
claim, while Slater & Gordon is waiting to finalise its agreement
with a litigation funder.

"If you haven't already filed a case, you have to factor in -- is
it worth bringing the proceedings knowing that you might not be
the one chosen to run it?" Professor Legg said.

They will all be making similar arguments about how AMP wronged
its shareholders, and that it shouldn't have:

   -- Gouged customers by charging them fees for no services;
   -- Repeatedly lied to the corporate regulator ASIC about the
issue;
   -- Sought to influence a supposedly independent report by law
firm Clayton Utz to downplay the knowledge and involvement of
senior executives;
   -- Engaged in conduct that was "misleading and deceptive" or
"false and dishonest"; and
   -- Breached its continuous disclosure obligations by failing
to disclose material information to the public for several years.

Instead, shareholders had to find out the hard way at the royal
commission, when AMP executive Anthony Regan admitted that his
employer engaged in some of these indiscretions under intense
cross-examination.

How much are they charging?
With no way of knowing which class actions will be allowed to
proceed, which one should AMP shareholders sign up to?

"You'd want to be waiting, especially if you signed up with one
of the earlier class actions," Professor Legg warned.

"Now that there's a third option, you'd start to wonder whether
you got the best deal possible."

Those who sign up to Maurice Blackburn's case will pay "a very
low 12.5 per cent commission upon any successful recovery",
according to its press release.

That amount will end up in the pockets of its financier,
International Litigation Funding Partners (ILFP).

However, what doesn't appear in Maurice Blackburn's press release
is that it typically charges an "uplift fee", which adds 25 per
cent on top of its solicitors' fees (which is a component of the
client's total legal costs).

This is how the firm explains the basis of charging uplift fees,
when a case is taken on a no-win, no-fee basis:

Lawyers are permitted to charge these fees under the Legal
Profession Uniform Law.

But even if a law firm charges a 25 per cent uplift fee, that may
not necessarily make it the most expensive option.

For example, a firm's lawyers may cost $500 per hour (without an
uplift).  Another firm may charge $350 per hour, plus the 25 per
cent uplift -- which equates to $437.50 as the final hourly rate.

In this situation, the latter firm would be the more economical
choice for AMP shareholders.

Shareholders should also keep in mind the Maurice Blackburn class
action is open to them if they purchased AMP shares between 27
May 2015 and 13 April 2018.

From awful to shocking

Extraordinary deception. Atrocious behaviour. No concern about
consequences.  The evidence was consequential and now the
political environment has shifted, writes Dan Ziffer.
Maurice Blackburn's entry into the game appears to have triggered
a bidding war.

QE partner Damian Scattani said he will not charge clients a 25
per cent uplift fee, and financier Burford Capital will charge
clients a 10 per cent commission.

"We have the lowest commission, and no uplift fee for our
lawyers' time," he said.

On the other hand, Ben Phi said PFM's case would be "partially
funded, and partially no-win, no-fee".  When asked to elaborate,
he would not provide further details.

He also refused to confirm how much commission PFM's financier,
IMF Bentham, would charge.

"IMF has made clear it will place itself in the hands of the
court. The rate charged will be determined by the court according
to what's fair and reasonable," he said.

A litigation funder's cut typically varies between 25 and 40 per
cent of the winnings.

Both firm's class actions are open to shareholders who bought AMP
shares between May 2013 and April 2018.

Augusta Ventures is the litigation funder for Shine Lawyer's
case.

Shine's class action expert Jan Saddler said she is currently
discussing the funder's commission with the AMP shareholders who
signed up to its class action, and will reveal the rate after
that consultation.

Mr Saddler said a "modest component" of the case will be run on a
no-win, no-fee basis, which attracts a 25 per cent uplift fee,
similar to Maurice Blackburn.

Slater & Gordon's litigation funder is Therium, and the firm has
been contacted for further information about its fees.

The lawyer 'beauty contest'
As for which law firm's class action will prevail, Dr Cashman
believes it might come down to a metaphoric "beauty contest".

"The judge may ask the firms to submit competing bids, and
outline what's the best offer they can make to class [action]
members".

He also said the court will consider which firm had the most
appropriate resources and expertise.

"The bottom line is, from the class member's [AMP shareholder's]
perspective, which firms will get them the most money at end of
day?"

Professor Legg agrees that cost is an important factor to
consider where there are competing class actions.

"If there are lower legal fees, the litigation funder charges a
lower commission, the court may find that more attractive.

"If you're more expensive on an hourly basis, that might reflect
greater expertise and efficiency -- it's hard to make these
comparisons." [GN]


ANGLO AMERICAN: 50 Litigants Died Before Silicosis Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
Lucas Ledwaba, writing for Mail & Guardian, reports that Ziyanda
Manjati, as she so often does, was calling to inform a former
mineworker living in the rural Eastern Cape about a meeting.  The
family informed her that the man had died that very morning.

"Yooh!" Ms. Manjati exclaims from her office in Main Street, Port
St Johns, when asked how many of her clients have died during her
six years working on the project to sign up former mineworkers
for the silicosis class action.  She works as a project co-
ordinator for lawyer Richard Spoor in the Eastern Cape town.  For
the past six years she has travelled around the province to
encourage former mineworkers and their dependents to sign up for
the class action brought by Mr. Spoor against 29 mining companies
in 2001.

During that time, she reckons at least 50 of the people she has
registered have died.  The number of silicosis deaths since 1965
is estimated to be in the thousands.

Added to the emotional strain of her job is her daily encounter
with the abject poverty and destitution in which most of these
men and their families live.

"Most of them have no [proper] houses.  I could say 100% of them
live in poverty," she says.

In many cases, she found families with no food and no hope, just
waiting and hoping for the case to be finalised.  Many of the men
are unable to do any duties that require physical exertion
because of their poor health.  As a result, women and widows are
left to work the land to sustain their families.

Ms. Manjati's work has included making presentations to
traditional councils, municipal councillors and other local
structures to facilitate the process of informing and gathering
former mineworkers to sign up for the class action.

It was no easy task, made even more difficult by cases of
swindlers who had taken advantage of the former mineworkers under
the guise of helping them to claim their monies from their former
employers, only to disappear with their cash.

There were also other pressing issues, such as the medical
records of the former mineworkers, many of whom are illiterate or
have low levels of formal education.

"Many of them did not undergo exit medical exams.  Many of the
mineworkers were not given their medical records when they left
the mines. [I would say] only about 10% of them had their
records," she says.

This has made the work of the lawyers even more difficult
because, to qualify for a payout, the former workers need to
prove that they already suffered from silicosis or tuberculosis
when they left the mines.  Added to this is the fact that many of
the men died in their homes or in rural clinics.  Their families
did not request postmortems be conducted.  As a result, many were
simply classified as having died of natural causes.

Ms. Manjati's phone hasn't stopped ringing since the announcement
of the settlement.  Desperate former mineworkers are calling
every other minute to ask when they will be paid out. Dependents
and destitute widows are inquiring about the next step.  Former
mineworkers who had not been part of the litigation are calling
to find out whether they can still sign up and how.

According to the settlement, the former mineworkers and their
beneficiaries are likely to receive payouts of between R70000 and
R500000, depending on which of the 10 classes of claimants they
fall under. The payments will be made through the Tshiamo Trust.

According to the Occupational Diseases in Mines and Works Act,
workers diagnosed with first-degree silicosis should be paid out
R63100, and R140506 for second-degree silicosis.  But according
to the settlement, the claimants will be paid close to R7000 more
than the amounts stipulated in the statutes.

The biggest payout, at R500000, will go to those with class-four
silicosis -- a "defined special aggravated medical condition".

Beneficiaries of deceased mineworkers who died either from
silicosis or TB stand to get amounts ranging between R50000 and
R100000.

The mining companies said they will make an initial contribution
of R1.4-billion for the first two years of benefit payments and
that the aggregate amount for the payments will be about R5-
billion.

To qualify, former mineworkers must have worked for more than 10
years on a gold mine.  Those who do not have medical records must
be medically tested to determine the state of their illness. The
parties' statement said: "There is no limit on the number of
potential claimants.  Any claimant who has a qualifying claim
will receive the compensation due to him or her during the
lifetime of the trust.  Individuals will be entitled to opt out
if they do not wish to participate in the settlement."

The lawyers brought the case against 29 mining companies on the
grounds that they had neglected their constitutional duties to
offer effective protective equipment and conditions for workers
who, as a result, contracted silicosis.

More work awaits Ms. Manjati and her colleagues who must now
process thousands of claims and close a grim chapter in South
Africa's gold mining history. [GN]


ANGLO AMERICAN: Litigants Laud Silicosis Class Action Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lucas Ledwaba, writing for Mail & Guardian, reports that Mthobeli
Gangatha often coughs up blood.  This has become a normal part of
life for the former mineworker.  He has learnt to accept that
nothing, not even part of the R5-billion settlement announced by
lawyers recently, will ever reverse his condition.

Although he appears to be a healthy and fit man, he is not. He
has silicosis, an incurable lung disease caused by many years of
exposure to silica dust in mines.

Mr. Gangatha contracted silicosis during the 16 years he worked
at the Unisel Gold Mine in Welkom.  In 2001, he became gravely
ill and was retrenched.  He was told to go home -- essentially to
wait to die.

But on May 8, the very much alive man joined other former gold
mineworkers in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape to sign legal
documents as part of an out-of-court settlement in which mining
companies have agreed to pay R5-billion to former employees who
contracted silicosis and tuberculosis after March 12 1965.

Mr. Gangatha is one of the litigants in the class action brought
against 29 gold-mining companies in the Johannesburg high court
by lawyer Richard Spoor in 2001.  Between them, the companies
have owned 78 gold mines since 12 March 1965.

"We have really, really suffered," says Mr. Gangatha, who now
runs a driving school with his wife Nosisi in the town of
Lusikisiki.

The court must still review and approve the settlement. But news
of the agreement reached between lawyers for the former
mineworkers and the Occupational Lung Disease Working Group has
brought about renewed hope for men like Mr. Gangatha.

The working group represents the respondents -- mining companies
African Rainbow Minerals, Anglo American SA, AngloGold Ashanti,
Gold Fields, Harmony and Sibanye-Stillwater.

Mr. Gangatha was diagnosed with silicosis in 2012.  After he was
retrenched, he was not provided with records of his exit medical
examination. He was paid out R29000 from his provident fund.

"I have always believed that we will win this fight.  Now I just
wish they could pay us out this year so that we can improve our
lives," he says.

But the settlement has come too late for many.  Zwelendaba Mgidi,
one of the litigants, died in February.  His widow, Noziqhamo
Mgidi, says that, during his final days, he agonised over the
class action.  He was paid out just slightly more than R70000
after working on the mines for more than 30 years.

"He was always worried that the case would be finalised long
after he had died," says Noziqhamo, who is dressed in the
traditional navy-blue mourning outfit.

Mgidi, who was also diagnosed with silicosis, supported his
family with the monthly R1600 state disability grant he had
received since 2011.  It was barely enough to sustain Noziqhamo
and their four children.  Now that he is gone and the grant has
been discontinued, life has become even tougher for the
unemployed widow.

The family has to survive on the crops Noziqhamo cultivates in
the garden alongside where Mgidi and four other relatives are
buried.

"I don't know how much they will pay us but I hope it will be
enough to change our lives," says Noziqhamo, three of whose
children are without jobs and are sitting idle at home. The other
is in high school.

"Life is hard. It has become even more difficult since my husband
died," she says.

The death of breadwinners has been devastating for their
families.  Many of them rely on social grants and live in poverty
in rural villages.  So the news of the settlement has brought
hope to former miners, their widows and orphans such as Kanyisa
Fono.

Now 21, Kanyisa was a baby when her father, Malulu Fono, died
from silicosis-related complications in 2001.  His wife,
depressed because of losing her husband, died a few months later.
She was still wearing her mourning clothes.

Kanyisa and her sister, Andiswa, now 30, were left in the care of
their paternal grandmother, Notungana Kwekwe.

She raised the girls and orphaned cousins on her state old-age
pension.  The strain has left her sickly and worn out.

"Let them pay my grandchildren.  I have suffered enough.  I am
old and, if I were to die now, these children would be left all
alone.  I am the only one they have.  I just hope they will not
forget how I suffered with them when they get this money," Kwekwe
says.

Kanyisa, who is among the litigants, says she expects to receive
about R300000.  She hopes to move out of their crumbling mud-
built house and build a new one.  She is also hoping there will
be enough left to help them to pursue their studies.

But some of the former miners, such as S'thembele Mtheza, still
don't fully understand what the settlement means.

Mr. Mtheza, of Bolani village in the Tombo area of Port St Johns,
hadn't heard of the latest developments when he was approached
for comment.  He was retrenched in 2008 after working at the
Westonaria Gold Mine for 28 years.

"They said I was too old," he says.

He was never provided with records of his exit medical
examination when he was discharged.  In 2000, he contracted
tuberculosis and was treated for six months.  He was paid R700 in
appreciation of his long service and R123000 from his provident
fund.  He used part of the money to build a house for his family.
When the money ran out, the family was forced to survive on his
eldest son's disability grant.

"We really suffered because sometimes we had nothing to eat," he
says.

Mr. Mtheza (64) receives a state old- age pension, which has
alleviated the family's dire situation.  But he hopes a
settlement payment will improve his life. [GN]


ANTHEM INC: Special Masters' Atty Fee Recommendation Challenged
---------------------------------------------------------------
Alison Frankel, writing for Reuters, reports that a special
master appointed by U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh of San Jose to
recommend a fair fee for class counsel in the $115 million Anthem
data breach settlement succeeded in pleasing no one with a vested
interest in the outcome, based on filings on May 15 by lawyers
for the class and the objector who first pushed for scrutiny of
class counsel's request for nearly $40 million in fees and
expenses.

Ms. Frankel says, "I'll explain why both sides believe the
special master, retired Santa Clara Superior Court Judge James
Kleinberg, made critical mistakes in recommending a fee award of
$28.6 million, based on a 10 percent chop off the top of class
counsel's adjusted hourly billings in the case.  But more
fundamentally, I was struck as I read both sides' objections to
his recommendation that lodestar fee awards are a quagmire for
judges."

"As you know, most federal judges calculate class action fees as
a percentage of the recovery lawyers obtain for the class,
sometimes applying multipliers to reward plaintiffs' lawyers for
taking on particularly risky or strenuous cases.  Percentage-
based fee awards have the advantage of incentivizing efficiency
and aligning the interests of lawyers and their clients.  They
predominate, although many judges also look at lodestar billings
as a check on percentage-based fees.

"But as I told you last year, there's been a bit of a recent boom
in California federal court for awarding fees based on class
counsel's hourly billings, mostly in megacases in which judges
were worried that a percentage-based fee award, even of 10 or 15
percent, would be an unseemly windfall for plaintiffs' lawyers.
Judge Koh, who is overseeing the Anthem case, has used lodestar
billings to calculate fee awards in big anti-poaching class
actions, 2015's In re High-Tech Employee Antitrust Litigation and
2017's Nitsch v. Dreamworks Animation.  In both cases, lodestar
billings resulted in a smaller award to class counsel than they
would have received as a percentage of the recovery for class
members."

The Anthem case is different.  The hourly fees class counsel said
they generated far exceeded the percentage-based fees they could
have expected, given that courts typically award fees of less
than 20 percent in cases with recoveries of more than $100
million.  Plaintiffs' lawyers said their lodestone fees and costs
were nearly $40 million.  They requested fees of about $38
million, or 33 percent of the $115 million class recovery. That
was an ambitious request.  California's benchmark is 25 percent,
$28.8 million in the Anthem case, and judges seldom award even
that high a percentage in megacases.

After plaintiffs' lawyers submitted their fee request, a class
member represented by the Competitive Enterprise Institute
objected, contending (among other things) that class counsel
overcharged for the services of contract lawyers and otherwise
overbilled their clients for nearly $9 million in unnecessary or
duplicative work.  In her order appointing a special master,
Judge Koh said she was concerned that the sheer number of lawyers
and law firms that billed time in the case -- 331 billers across
53 plaintiffs' firms -- meant the class was overcharged "by
virtue of the fact that so many billers needed to familiarize
themselves with the case and keep abreast of case developments."

Judge Koh ordered the special master to review the billing
records of plaintiffs' lawyers.  Judge Kleinberg said in his
April 24 report that he did, along with explanations of the
records from class counsel at Altshuler Berzon and Cohen Milstein
Sellers & Toll.  But he also said he did not review every line
item in the records because his goal was "a rough cross check,
not auditing perfection."

The special master decided class counsel had billed the time of
contract lawyers at way too high an average rate.  He recommended
slashing fees for their work from the $6 million lodestar class
counsel claimed to $3 million, taking into account his conclusion
that contract lawyers should be billed out at a paralegal rate of
$156 per hour.  Judge Kleinberg said plaintiffs lawyers' blended
rate of $455 per hour was reasonable.  But he said class lawyers
devoted an apparently unreasonable number of hours to deposition
preparation, class certification briefing and settlement
negotiations.  He blamed the "virtual army" of lawyers on the
case.

"How could lead counsel possibly conduct effective oversight of
this very large team of lawyers?" Judge Kleinberg wrote.  "The
special master is not accusing plaintiffs' counsel of deliberate
overbilling.  However, every time a new law firm was added to the
group, those lawyers had to spend time learning the history,
issues and facts being litigated.  Thus, the inevitable result of
the 53 billing participants presents at least a strong
probability of duplication and unreasonable hours."

He offered three alternatives for determining fees: applying the
25 percent benchmark percentage (and subtracting certain costs)
to award $26.75 million; awarding $33.9 million in lodestar fees
after adjusting the lodestar for contract lawyers and shifting
expenses from the class to their counsel; or lodestar fees of
$28.6 million, reflecting Judge Kleinberg's recommendation of a
10 percent trim for potential overbilling.  The special master
said that was the maximum haircut he could apply, short
discounting specific overcharges, under the 9th U.S. Circuit
Court of Appeals' ruling in 2008's Moreno v. City of Sacramento.
Kleinberg recommended that Judge Koh pick the discounted lodestar
option.

In their response to the special master's recommendation, class
counsel protested his recommended 10 percent haircut as
unjustified.  Judge Kleinberg himself said their blended rate was
fair, plaintiffs lawyers said, which implicitly means class
counsel did not overstaff the case with high-cost partners.
"Because the blended hourly rate is the total lodestar divided by
the total number of hours expended, it reflects the cost of the
average hour in the case and captures the extent to which the
work was distributed among higher- and lower-cost professionals,"
their filing said.  "When, as here, the blended hourly rate is
well below the median, it shows that counsel distributed work
among partners, associates, contract attorneys, and paralegals in
an even more cost-effective manner than has been found reasonable
in past cases in this district."

They also repeated previous explanations for why they had to
involve so many lawyers from different firms to maximize
efficiency in a compressed time frame. (The explanations included
an accounting of the hours spent on depositions, class
certification and settlement negotiation.) Class counsel
instructed other firms not to bill for acquainting themselves
with the case and reviewed other firms' time sheets, cutting
hours that seemed duplicative or inefficient. 'The requested
lodestar should be reduced only if the use of multiple firms
actually resulted in duplication or inefficiency. That did not
occur here," the filing said.  "The key assumption underlying the
(special master's) contrary conclusion is that 'every time a new
law firm was added to the group, those lawyers had to spend time
learning the history, issues, and facts being litigated.' This
was incorrect."

More broadly, class counsel said it wouldn't make sense for them
to have churned the case to generate higher lodestar billings
when they didn't even know, during depositions and class
certification briefing, whether the case would even settle, much
less whether any settlement would justify the hours they were
putting in (or whether their ultimate fee would be based on
lodestar billings).  "In general, the court should defer to
counsel's professional judgment as to how much time was required
for class certification and the merits here," class counsel said.

There's merit to that argument.  The point of contingency fees is
to shift risk from clients to their lawyers.  Lawyers in the
Anthem case bet their time and expenses on obtaining a result
that turned out to be much bigger than any previous data breach
settlement.  How can a court step in after the bet turned up a
winner to second-guess how class counsel played its hand?
Especially when, as in this case, the special master did not find
specific instances of overbilling but recommended a haircut based
on his suspicion that it must have occurred because so many firms
were involved.

That brings me to CEI's response to the special master's report
-- and to my aforementioned point that lodestar-based fee awards
are a morass for judges.  CEI faulted the special master for
failing to wade into the billing records to figure out where
overbilling occurred.  It said his review of the records was
"disappointingly superficial," with no attempt to root out
excessive, unnecessary or duplicative billings.  "The special
master's rough review failed to determine the propriety of the
hours billed and is insufficient to uncover the extent of the
duplication and inefficiencies that this court sought," CEI
contended.

Given the lack of specificity in the report, CEI said, Judge Koh
should not accept his recommendation of a lodestar-based fee.
"To justify a lodestar award, the court would need to rigorously
analyze the billing for waste, especially in depositions,
settlement, and motion for preliminary approval -- categories
that the special master recognized to be problematic, but did not
address," CEI said.  Judge Kleinberg's recommended 10 percent
trim on the lodestar was not an adequate way to deal with
potential overcharging but "a crutch to avoid actually
scrutinizing lodestar billing."

CEI urged Judge Koh to abandon the lodestar method and award
class counsel a reasonable percentage of the class recovery.  It
proposed 15 percent of the net class recovery after nearly $25
million in administrative costs, or a grand total of about $14
million.  As a cross-check, CEI undertook its own lodestar
analysis, subtracting contract lawyer fees, slashing billable
hours of firms outside of the appointed leadership structure and
imposing the 10 percent haircut to discourage future bill
padding.  Its lodestar, after these deductions, came to $20.5
million, which, according to CEI, showed the reasonableness of
its proposed $14 million award.

If you've been keeping track, I've mentioned four different
purported lodestar "calculations" of the hourly billing in the
Anthem class action, ranging from $20.5 million to $40 million.
That's a pretty gigantic range for what is supposed to be a
simple matter of multiplying hourly rates by the number of hours
worked -- and it's without even applying a discretionary
multiplier to raise or lower the calculation. Lodestars, in other
words, are a slippery concept unless fact-finders engage in the
line-item examination of billing records that Judge Kleinberg
avoided as the Anthem special master.

Judges have immense discretion over fee awards for class action
lawyers, thanks to the wisdom of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure.  If they take seriously their fiduciary duty to class
members, as Judge Koh quite obviously does, they're going to
award a fee that, in their view, fairly balances the interests of
class members and their lawyers.

The Anthem billing dispute shows why it makes more sense for
judges to exercise their discretion in selecting a percentage of
the class recovery to award as fees than in tinkering with
lodestar discounts and multipliers.  Hard, high-risk cases
justify a higher percentage of fees for plaintiffs' lawyers --
maybe, in rare circumstances, as much as the 33 percent requested
by Anthem lawyers.  Cases in which lawyers didn't have to expend
much effort and expense warrant a much lower percentage.  That's
appropriately up to judges to decide.  But let's stop pretending
that lodestar billings are less a matter of discretion. [GN]


APPLE INC: Faces Class Action Over MacBook Pro Keyboard Defect
--------------------------------------------------------------
Samuel Gibbs, writing for The Guardian, reports that Apple is
facing a class action lawsuit over the design of its MacBook and
MacBook Pro keyboards which, consumers complain, has keys that
are prone to becoming stuck.

The lawsuit follows a litany of complaints across user forums,
specialist media and a petition with over 21,000 signatures
urging Apple to recall the Mac laptops released since late 2016.

"Because of the new keyboard design, consumers report that fixing
affected keys requires replacing the whole keyboard, which costs
$700," Girard Gibbs, counsel for the plaintiffs, state.  "Because
typing is the primary purpose of laptops, over time, consumers
have become more and more frustrated with the keyboard defect."

In 2015 Apple introduced a new key switch mechanism that allowed
it to produce a keyboard much thinner and with a smaller amount
of travel.  It was first used on the 12in MacBook laptop, and
then later on the redesigned MacBook Pro line from late 2016.

The "butterfly" mechanism replaced the older "scissor" mechanism,
which is still used by the majority of laptop keyboards, and was
intended to make the keys more stable and responsive when
pressed.

But the plaintiffs claim the redesign has resulted in a defective
product: "Apple's butterfly keyboard and MacBook are produced and
assembled in such a way that when minimal amounts of dust or
debris accumulate under or around a key, keystrokes fail to
register."

As typing is the keyboard's primary input for the laptops, the
plaintiffs argue that when a keys become stuck on the MacBook or
MacBook Pro the machines, which cost upwards of GBP1,249, become
"unsuitable for its ordinary and intended use".

The lawsuit argues that "Apple has failed to disclose that the
keyboard is defective, and this information would have been
important to Plaintiffs' decision to purchase a MacBook" and that
even after repair the problem reoccurs.

Clearing dust and debris out of the keyboard is difficult.  Apple
has a guide on how to clean a MacBook or MacBook Pro keyboard
with compressed air, but further treatment requires repair by
technicians.

Apple did not immediately comment. [GN]


APPLE INC: Has Yet to Respond to MacBook Keyboard Defect Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Have you bought an Apple MacBook as far back as 2015? How about a
MacBook Pro as far back as 2016?

If so, you may have noticed your keyboard isn't working properly.
If that is the case, you have a reason to join others getting
involved in a class-action lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed by Girard Gibbs LLP, claims Apple knew they
were selling MacBook and MacBook Pros with defective keyboards.
The lawsuit also alleges the keyboards on MacBook laptops with
butterfly keyboards have a tendency to fail.

Girard Gibbs also does not clearly state you have to have
experienced keyboard issues to join the lawsuit.  To get
involved, you can take this online questionnaire detailing how
your experiences are with the laptop keyboards.  You can also
call 866-981-4800 if you prefer the phone route.

Fixing butterfly keyboard issues through Apple can reportedly
cost as much as $700.

Apple has not officially responded to any complaints, which
includes a petition to recall the company's laptops with
defective keyboards.  The petition has nearly 24,000 online
signatures, and its goal is 25,000.

The entire lawsuit can be found at https://is.gd/SjJxSJ
[GN]


AT&T MOBILITY: Former Workers File Pregnancy Bias Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Iafolla, writing for Reuters, reports that two former AT&T
Mobility workers filed a proposed nationwide class action lawsuit
on May 14 accusing the telecommunications company of unlawfully
discriminating against pregnant women who need time off for
doctors' appointments and other pregnancy-related absences.

Katia Hills and Cynthia Allen alleged in a complaint that amended
an existing lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Indiana that AT&T Mobility's attendance policy, which
gives workers demerits for missing work that can lead to
termination, is intentionally biased against pregnant women. The
policy provides for excused absences for several reasons,
including jury duty and short-term disability, but does not
include pregnancy. [GN]


BRITISH COLUMBIA: June Trial in Foreign-Buyers Tax Case Set
-----------------------------------------------------------
Kerry Gold, writing for The Globe and Mail, reports that the
battle is about to begin.

Local real estate experts are submitting their testimonies for
both sides of what promises to be a hugely significant lawsuit,
not just for British Columbia, but for other provinces.

A foreign buyer is claiming that the B.C. property transfer tax
for foreign buyers is unlawful and discriminatory, and she's
setting in motion what could become a class action lawsuit, with
potentially huge costs to the province if it were to lose.

The summary trial for the case runs the week of June 25, and
again on July 16.   A judge will determine whether the foreign-
buyers tax is legal, in response to the lawsuit filed by Chinese
citizen Jing Li against the province of B.C.

At this point, Ms. Li is, technically, waging the battle on her
own.  But she also represents all foreign buyers who paid the tax
and who would become part of a potential class action, her
lawyer, Luciana Brasil, says.  Ms. Brasil couldn't give a number,
but said she's heard from a lot of buyers.

"This is the kind of case that no one individual would have the
resources to prosecute on her own," she says. "We have heard from
lots of people who are interested. Our class definition is
everyone who has paid the tax up to the certification of the
case."

As well, the Class Proceedings Act is currently being amended to
automatically include non-residents in a class action, Ms. Brasil
says, so the number of plaintiffs could significantly grow.

The summary trial is unorthodox because usually there would be a
drawn-out process to determine whether the case would qualify for
class action certification.  In this case, the Crown asked the
judge to first determine the legality of the tax, which is more
efficient and economical for everybody involved.

"Because if the tax is legal, then it's end of the case, but if
illegal, then it also allows us to have a very good understanding
of what are the grounds of illegality and tailor the
certification to match that," Ms. Brasil says.

And if the judge determines the tax is legal, don't expect it to
end there, she quickly adds.

"Nobody should be under any misunderstanding that this case will
be decided at first instance. I think this case is so big and
important --  regardless of who loses, the case is going to be
appealed, and it will go to the court of appeal.  And it may
eventually end up at the Supreme Court of Canada.

"It's not an easy case.  But is an important case we thought it
had to be brought.  The fight is far from over.  It's not going
to end at this hearing."

Ms. Li's legal team is arguing that the foreign-buyers tax, which
is now 20 per cent of a property's fair market value (it was 15
per cent at the time of her purchase), has violated foreign
treaties, is not within the province's power and discriminates
against non-residents on the basis of national origin, which,
they say, is contrary to Canada's Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Experts who've submitted testimony on behalf of Ms. Li include
University of B.C. professors, economist Tom Davidoff, associate
professor of sociology Nathanael Lauster and history professor
Henry Yu, as well as mathematician and data analyst Jens von
Bergmann, who is a consultant.  UBC economist Tsur Somerville and
Simon Fraser finance professor Andrey Pavlov have submitted
affidavits on behalf of the province.  It's a point of interest
that the two lead economists on the proposed B.C. Housing
Affordability Fund -- Prof. Davidoff and Prof. Somerville -- have
filed affidavits for opposing sides in the case.

"We have a multifaceted group of experts, bringing lots of
evidence to this case," Ms. Brasil says.  "[Prof. Davidoff]
brings two things: He is also not only an expert but also a
factual witness, because he was one of the signatories of the
BCHAF proposal put forward by all academics, including the
defence's experts.  So he brings that in factual evidence.  On
expertise, he talks about how it works and whether or not the tax
achieves the purposes that we understood were the purposes that
it was designed to achieve.

"When you get to this breach of charter claim, there is going to
be a component about whether it was the right tool for the job,
or whether it is arbitrary at the end of the day."

The province has a lot at stake.  A loss for the province would
mean substantial repayments to all those who've paid the tax.
That means the province would have no choice but to appeal.  But
because the plaintiff would likely appeal, it means the case
could drag on for years.  Ms. Brasil, whose law firm specializes
in class action suits, is one of several lawyers representing the
plaintiff, including constitutional expert, Joseph Arvay.

The plaintiff, Ms. Li, is from China.  She obtained her degree at
the University of Saskatchewan before settling in Burnaby.  She
was forced to pay the tax after she made an offer on a $560,000
townhouse in Langley, according to court documents. If she
reneged on the deal, she says she would have lost her $55,900
deposit.  Because of the tax, which was introduced by the BC
Liberal government in August, 2016, she was looking at an
additional cost of $83,850, she says in her affidavit.  She went
through with the sale, with the help of borrowed money from her
family and friends, which, she says, put her further into debt.

"Overall, the message I received from the tax and the many public
comments thereafter, is that I am not welcome in Canada," she
says in her claim.  "I felt that the tax unfairly labelled me and
many others like me as being the cause of housing unaffordability
in the [Greater Vancouver Regional District]."

"I feel the tax penalizes me despite no wrongdoing on my part.  I
understand that many people in the GVRD have been frustrated and
even angry with the housing situation.  However, I feel that this
anger has been directed towards people like me and other Asian
nationals, due to unfair biases and stereotypes which the tax has
further reinforced," the claim says.

The plaintiff's lawyers will argue that the foreign-buyers tax
was based on nationality, as opposed to other tax measures.  For
example, the B.C. Housing Affordability Fund taxes those who own
empty homes, or who don't contribute to the economy, at a
surcharge of 1.5 per cent.

"The BCHAF proposal was based on cross-referencing ownership of
homes with people paying taxes and contributing to the economy
and creating credit, so it's a bit different," Ms. Brasil says.

"That's the big issue we have in this case.  We think it was an
arbitrary measure that just decided to target certain people
based on nationality, and, by and large, it was predominantly
aimed at the Chinese."

Mr. von Bergmann is a member of Abundant Housing, a group that
lobbies for higher density zoning in low-density neighbourhoods.
As the founder of MountainMath, he provides data analysis reports
for non-profits, government and commercial enterprises, according
to his submission.

"We concluded [his input] was good because the tax didn't have
the effect of doing what they said they wanted to do, in terms of
increasing affordability," Ms. Brasil says.

Prof. Lauster has written a book called The Death and Life of the
Single Family House: Lessons from Vancouver on Building a Livable
City.  Prof. Lauster prepared a lengthy report for the plaintiff
that says the foreign-buyers tax impedes the immigration process.
As well, he supports the plaintiff's argument that it is a
discriminatory tax.  He says, "There are clear indications that
the inception and implementation of the foreign-buyer tax has
reflected and invoked xenophobic, racist, and specifically
Sinophobic tendencies and sentiments.  Chinese immigrants and
home buyers have been the primary targets of rhetoric.  A variety
of historically rooted stereotypes and biases have been
perpetuated targeting Chinese home buyers and immigrants."

Prof. Lauster says fearful middle-class residents scapegoated the
Chinese buyers, blaming them for rising home prices.  Studies on
their role in escalating prices caused a "moral panic," and
evoked "Yellow Peril" discourse, he says.  He says this moral
panic played out in the B.C. Legislature and in media stories.

Prof. Yu is a historian and his submission, according to Ms.
Brasil, speaks to the history of discrimination toward Chinese
people in B.C. and Canada.

Real estate lawyer Ron Usher, who is watching the case closely,
says it will be a tough case for the plaintiff to win since other
provinces already have restrictions in place that limit foreign
ownership.

He refers to the case of Prince Edward Island, which for many
decades has had strict restrictions on foreign buying of its
properties, particularly its shoreline, even for Canadians living
outside the province.  PEI long ago started to worry about
foreign entities buying up the island, and the province recently
tightened the rules.  Legal challenges to PEI's foreign ownership
laws have so far failed.  Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and
Quebec limit foreign ownership of farmland.  As well, the case
could impact Ontario, which brought in a 15 per cent foreign-
buyers tax last year.

"Would Ontario be very interested in the legality of the B.C.
tax?" Mr. Usher asks. " Yeah.  Would the Supreme Court of Canada
be interested in this as a national issue? Yes.

"Eventually, 10 judges could go at this," he says of the
likelihood of a drawn out process.  "I don't know what 10 judges
would do with this, but my sense is it seems like a weak case.

"It would be very surprising to see a quick end to this, other
than the plaintiff giving up.  The province won't let go of this;
they have a lot at stake."

The expert opinions do not deny the existence of foreign capital
flowing into B.C.

The BC Housing Affordable Fund was the subject of much discussion
with government officials in 2015 and 2016.  Part of Prof.
Davidoff's affidavit includes a letter written in 2015 to then-
deputy minister to the Office of the Premier, John Dyble, in
which the UBC professors write: "We doubt that a property tax
increase will meaningfully slow the flow of foreign capital into
Vancouver real estate, but it would increase the cost of keeping
units vacant while providing funds for improving affordability."

Prof. Pavlov, who specializes in real estate finance at Simon
Fraser University's Beedie School of Business, states in his
submission for the province that in the six weeks prior to the
introduction of the foreign-buyers tax in the summer of 2016,
foreign buyers were involved in approximately 30 per cent of
residential building permits.

"Considering that some building permits represent replacement of
existing properties, foreign buyers absorbed a very high
proportion of the net supply increase in the region, especially
in the single-family segment," he writes.  "Furthermore . . .
foreign buyers spent nearly 50 per cent more than local buyers on
their real estate purchases.  Therefore, foreign investment is
likely to have a larger impact on prices than an equivalent
natural increase in the local population."

"Foreign investment directly increases the demand for real
estate," Prof. Pavlov concludes.  "In addition to the direct
demand, foreign investment likely induces local investors and
residents to also increase, or at the minimum accelerate, their
real estate investments.  Since the GVRD is supply constrained,
the increase in demand translates into higher prices."

The foreign-buyers tax was expected to curtail foreign investment
in the Greater Vancouver Regional District residential property
markets and improve housing affordability.

"Both theoretical considerations on foreign investment and the
prior empirical literature on the topic support this conclusion,"
he writes.

Ms. Brasil says the case will raise "interesting issues" for
Vancouverites.

"I think part of the problem is there has been some discourse
about why shouldn't my kids be able to buy single detached homes?
And I don't know whether that's a realistic expectation in a city
like Vancouver or a city like Shanghai or Tokyo, where there is
densification.  And that's one key issue in this case: What was
the province trying to do when they talk about affordability?
Which type of residence were they trying to make more affordable?
Was it a $10-million home they were trying to make more
affordable? Or was it an entry-level condo?"

Not all affidavits have been filed yet, and some will not be made
available for reasons of confidentiality. [GN]


BHP BILLITON: Faces Suit Over Samarco Mining Disaster in Brazil
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jon Yeomans, writing for The Telegraph, reports that BHP Billiton
is facing the threat of a class action suit in Australia over the
Samarco mining disaster in Brazil, which knocked an estimated
A$25bn (GBP14bn) off its market value in the course of a month.

Lawyers at Melbourne-based Phi Finney McDonald said it was
preparing to file an action alleging that BHP engaged in
"misleading or deceptive conduct" and breached its obligations to
make "continuous disclosures" to its shareholders.

Brett Spiegel, principal lawyer, said that from 2013 BHP was
aware that its Samarco joint venture in Brazil was "behaving in
ways that they were not paying attention to" and that it "failed
to ensure that appropriate safety measures were in place".

On November 5, 2015 a dam at Samarco's iron ore mine collapsed,
releasing a wave of wastewater into a river valley that destroyed
two towns and killed 19 people.  Mr Spiegel claimed that the
company "knew of the imminent risk that the dam would collapse".

Samarco is a joint venture owned 50-50 by BHP and its Brazilian
counterpart Vale, operated by a separate management team.  The
mine has been suspended since the accident and its owners are
locked in protracted negotiations with the government of Brazil
and state and federal prosecutors to reach a comprehensive
settlement to competing civil claims.

Mr Spiegel said Phi Finney McDonald had spent six months combing
evidence acquired from prosecutors in Brazil to build its case.
The firm is looking to represent shareholders in Australia, South
Africa and the UK who bought the stock between October 21, 2013
and November 9, 2015, and who lost out when the value of BHP's
shares plummeted in the weeks following the accident.

BHP's Sydney-listed shares fell 22pc over the course of November
2015 and 23pc in London, though they are now trading well above
those levels.

"We are liaising with institutional shareholders and we have had
a strong response from them," Mr Spiegel added.

Phi Finney McDonald was formed last year by a trio of former
lawyers from Slater & Gordon.

BHP and Vale said they had been granted an extension until June
25 to negotiate a settlement to civil claims relating to Samarco.
The miners have been funding a foundation that has been working
to restore the local environment and rehouse victims of the
disaster.

BHP declined to comment on the class action suit. [GN]


BLOOMINGDALE'S: Faces Class Action Over Garment Bag Tax
-------------------------------------------------------
Jonathan Bilyk, writing for Cook County Record, reports that
Bloomingdale's is facing a class action complaint accusing it of
improperly charging the city of Chicago bag tax, after a woman
said she was charged 7 cents too much.

Illinois resident Sonya Rayford filed a complaint May 10 in Cook
County Circuit Court accusing Bloomingdale's Inc., of charging 7
cents for each garment bag despite the fact the Chicago Checkout
Bag Tax Ordinance says the fee is to be applied only to "a paper
carryout bag or a plastic carryout bag."

Ms. Rayford said the Cincinnati-based retailer "automatically and
uniformly" charges the bag tax at all its Chicago stores, which
she said constitutes a violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud
and Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

According to the complaint, Ms. Rayford said she bought $925
worth of goods on Nov. 9 from the Bloomingdale's on North
Michigan Avenue.  The store added 7 cents for the bag tax as well
as $94.81 in sales tax, bringing the total to $1,019.88, when it
should've been only $1,019.81, which she said she didn't realize
until after leaving the store.

The bag tax has been in place since Feb. 1, 2017, and has
generated more than $9.5 million in revenue for the city of
Chicago, according to the complaint.  Retailers are supposed to
retain two cents per bag and remit the remaining nickel to the
city.  Ms. Rayford said Bloomingdale's qualifies as a store under
the city ordinance because it "sells tangible personal property
at retail," but the ordinance's definition of "'plastic carryout
bag' does not include dry cleaning or garment bags, or bags with
a retail price of at least 50 cents each."

According to her complaint, Ms. Rayford believes there are
thousands of potential class members, as Bloomingdale's "provides
garment bags with hundreds of its merchandise sales per day."

Ms. Rayford said the way the store automatically charges the tax
"created a likelihood of confusion or misunderstanding," giving
rise to the fraud allegations.  She also said the conduct
"offends public policy; it is immoral, unethical, oppressive and
unscrupulous, and collectively as a whole it causes substantial
injury to customers."

In addition to a jury trial, Ms. Rayford wants the court to
appoint her counsel -- attorney Thomas Zimmerman and others at
the Zimmerman Law Offices P.C., of Chicago -- as class
representative. She also wants the court to award actual damages,
legal fees and costs, as well as interest. [GN]


CANADA: 60s Scoop Survivor Continues to Oppose Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------
Rob Drinkwater, writing for The Canadian Press, reports that a
woman who has spent months informing '60s Scoop survivors about
Ottawa's class-action settlement says she'll continue advising
people to object to the deal, even after a federal judge approved
the agreement.

"The biggest problem for me is this entire process was set up to
make sure that we as adoptees could not object," said
Coleen Rajotte, who is one of the survivors who spoke at federal
court hearings on the settlement in Saskatoon.

Ms. Rajotte says it took her months to get a copy of the
agreement after it was struck last fall, and that survivors
believed they would get two days in Saskatoon to tell their
stories of being taken from their Indigenous homes as children
and adopted out to non-Indigenous families.

But one of the two days ended up focused on the lawyers' cut in
the deal.  Survivors who wished to object got just three minutes
and some who went over their time were cut off, in tears, by
Justice Michel Shore.

"Basically to us this looks like a complete sham, that they put
on this day of hearings so they could say, 'Well we listened to
those survivors,'" Ms. Rajotte said.

Justice Shore ruled on May 11 that the settlement, which includes
$750 million for the survivors, $50 million for an Indigenous
healing foundation and $75 million for legal fees, could go
ahead.

Last October, the federal government said the proposed settlement
was for about 20,000 survivors who were moved between 1951 and
1991.

Survivors are each expected to receive between $25,000 and
$50,000.

Justice Shore said he will issue his reasons for his ruling in a
month or longer.

Lawyer Tony Merchant, whose firm represents some of the victims,
said after the May 11 decision that most of the people affected
by the '60s Scoop want to move on after nine years of fighting
for compensation.

But Doug Racine, another lawyer who also represents survivors,
said the 90-day deadline for opting out of the deal is too short
and that anyone who doesn't opt out will be considered to have
accepted it.

Critics argue that accepting the deal could mean waiving the
right to sue for sexual and physical abuse that some adoptees
experienced.

The clock will start ticking soon, which Mr. Racine said doesn't
leave much time for his clients to decide.

"In order to advise your client, you would have to have their
social services record.  You'd want to determine whether or not
when they were taken as a child whether or not it was legal,
because if it wasn't legal, then you want them to opt out because
you have a good lawsuit," Mr. Racine explained.

"I would think you'd want a year.  I mean, our law firm is having
difficulty tracking down the adoption records," he added.

Opponents say there is a clause in the agreement that if 2,000
people agree to opt out it can be declared void.

Ms. Rajotte, who was taken from her community in Saskatchewan
when she was a baby and raised by a Manitoba family, said that
she's travelled to reserves across Canada and found many
survivors who had no knowledge of the settlement.

She said the government should have mailed information to every
First Nation, and that survivors deserve an adjudication process
for compensation similar to what residential school survivors
received.

"The Liberal government when they got voted in said that they
wanted to form a new relationship with us.  This is horrible the
way they've treated us," Ms. Rajotte said.

Mr. Racine said his firm is considering an appeal and will be
examining options.

The deal is also under fire for leaving out Metis survivors.  The
federal government has argued that Metis weren't recognized as
having Indigenous rights at the time, so Ottawa can't be held
responsible for those children. [GN]


CAREER EDUCATION: Final Settlement Hearing Today in "Surrett"
-------------------------------------------------------------
Career Education Corporation said in its Form 10-Q Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 2, 2018, for
the quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the final
approval hearing to consider approval of the settlement in the
case captioned, Surrett, et al. v. Western Culinary Institute,
Ltd. and Career Education Corporation, is scheduled for June 8,
2018.

On March 5, 2008, a complaint was filed in Portland, Oregon in
the Circuit Court of the State of Oregon in and for Multnomah
County naming Western Culinary Institute, Ltd. ("WCI") and the
Company as defendants. Plaintiffs filed the complaint
individually and as a putative class action and alleged two
claims for equitable relief: violation of Oregon's Unlawful Trade
Practices Act ("UTPA") and unjust enrichment. Plaintiffs alleged
WCI made a variety of misrepresentations to them, relating
generally to WCI's placement statistics, students' employment
prospects upon graduation from WCI, the value and quality of an
education at WCI, and the amount of tuition students could expect
to pay as compared to salaries they could expect to earn after
graduation.

The Company entered into a settlement agreement as of February 2,
2018 pursuant to which the Company will make a payment to
settlement class members who complete, sign and return a claim
form within 90 days of mailing of the claim form. The amount of
the payment to each settlement class member returning a form will
be 44% of the total charged to that person by WCI for tuition,
books and fees, less institutional grants and scholarships
received by the person, amounts charged by WCI but not paid by
the person and refunds applied as a result of withdrawal by the
person.

The settlement class consists of 1,169 individuals who enrolled
at WCI primarily from 2006-2007. The institution is no longer in
operation and closed in 2017. Unless they opt out, settlement
class members will release the Company from all claims against
the Company alleged in the case. If more than 30 settlement class
members opt out of the settlement, the Company will have the
option of withdrawing from the settlement.

The Company makes no admission of liability pursuant to the terms
of the settlement. On February 8, 2018, the court preliminarily
approved the settlement. The final approval hearing is scheduled
for June 8, 2018.

Career Education Corporation (CECO) is a for-profit postsecondary
higher education provider with campus-based and online programs,
headquartered in Schaumburg, Illinois. The company's schools
offer associate, bachelor's, master's, doctoral, and certificate
programs in career-focused disciplines.


CLECO CORPORATE: Louisiana Supreme Court Won't Review Decision
--------------------------------------------------------------
Cleco Corporate Holdings LLC said in its Form 10-Q Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 2, 2018, for
the quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the Louisiana
Supreme Court has declined to review a lower court ruling in a
merger lawsuit.

In connection with the Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated as of
October 17, 2014, by and among Cleco Partners; Cleco Merger Sub
Inc., previously an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Cleco
Partners that was merged with and into Cleco Corporation, with
Cleco Corporation surviving the Merger, and Cleco Corporation
converting to a limited liability company and changing its name
to Cleco Holdings; and Cleco Corporation, four actions were filed
in the Ninth Judicial District Court for Rapides Parish,
Louisiana and three actions were filed in the Civil District
Court for Orleans Parish, Louisiana. The petitions in each action
generally alleged, among other things, that the members of Cleco
Corporation's Board of Directors breached their fiduciary duties
by, among other things, conducting an allegedly inadequate sale
process, agreeing to the Merger at a price that allegedly
undervalued Cleco, and failing to disclose material information
about the Merger.

The petitions also alleged that Cleco Partners, Cleco
Corporation, Merger Sub, and in some cases, certain of the
investors in Cleco Partners, either aided and abetted or entered
into a civil conspiracy to advance those supposed breaches of
duty. The petitions seek various remedies, including monetary
damages, which includes attorneys' fees and expenses.

The four actions filed in the Ninth Judicial District Court for
Rapides Parish are captioned as follows:

     * Braunstein v. Cleco Corporation, No. 251,383B (filed
       October 27, 2014),

     * Moore v. Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets,
       No. 251,417C (filed October 30, 2014),

     * Trahan v. Williamson, No. 251,456C (filed November 5,
       2014), and

     * L'Herisson v. Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets,
       No. 251,515F (filed November 14, 2014).

In November 2014, the plaintiff in the Braunstein action moved
for a dismissal of the action without prejudice, and that motion
was granted in November 2014. In December 2014, the Court
consolidated the remaining three actions and appointed interim
co-lead counsel. Also in December 2014, the plaintiffs in the
consolidated action filed a Consolidated Amended Verified
Derivative and Class Action Petition for Damages and Preliminary
and Permanent Injunction (the Consolidated Amended Petition).

The consolidated action named Cleco Corporation, its directors,
Cleco Partners, and Merger Sub as defendants. The Consolidated
Amended Petition alleged, among other things, that Cleco
Corporation's directors breached their fiduciary duties to
Cleco's shareholders and grossly mismanaged Cleco by approving
the Merger Agreement because it allegedly did not value Cleco
adequately, failing to structure a process through which
shareholder value would be maximized, engaging in self-dealing by
ignoring conflicts of interest, and failing to disclose material
information about the Merger.

The Consolidated Amended Petition further alleged that all
defendants conspired to commit the breaches of fiduciary duty.

Cleco believes that the allegations of the Consolidated Amended
Petition are without merit and that it has substantial
meritorious defenses to the claims set forth in the Consolidated
Amended Petition.

The three actions filed in the Civil District Court for Orleans
Parish are captioned as follows:

     * Butler v. Cleco Corporation, No. 2014-10776 (filed
       November 7, 2014),

     * Creative Life Services, Inc. v. Cleco Corporation, No.
       2014-11098 (filed November 19, 2014), and

     * Cashen v. Cleco Corporation, No. 2014-11236 (filed
       November 21, 2014).

Both the Butler and Cashen actions name Cleco Corporation, its
directors, Cleco Partners, Merger Sub, MIRA, bcIMC, and John
Hancock Financial as defendants. The Creative Life Services
action names Cleco Corporation, its directors, Cleco Partners,
Merger Sub, MIRA, and Macquarie Infrastructure Partners III,
L.P., as defendants. In December 2014, the plaintiff in the
Butler action filed an Amended Class Action Petition for Damages.
Each petition alleged, among other things, that the members of
Cleco Corporation's Board of Directors breached their fiduciary
duties to Cleco's shareholders by approving the Merger Agreement
because it allegedly does not value Cleco adequately, failing to
structure a process through which shareholder value would be
maximized and engaging in self-dealing by ignoring conflicts of
interest.

The Butler and Creative Life Services petitions also allege that
the directors breached their fiduciary duties by failing to
disclose material information about the Merger. Each petition
further alleged that Cleco, Cleco Partners, Merger Sub, and
certain of the investors in Cleco Partners aided and abetted the
directors' breaches of fiduciary duty.

In December 2014, the directors and Cleco filed declinatory
exceptions in each action on the basis that each action was
improperly brought in Orleans Parish and should either be
transferred to the Ninth Judicial District Court for Rapides
Parish or dismissed. Also in December 2014, the plaintiffs in
each action jointly filed a motion to consolidate the three
actions pending in Orleans Parish and to appoint interim co-lead
plaintiffs and co-lead counsel.

In January 2015, the Court in the Creative Life Services case
sustained the defendants' declinatory exceptions and dismissed
the case so that it could be transferred to the Ninth Judicial
District Court for Rapides Parish. In February 2015, the
plaintiffs in Butler and Cashen also consented to the dismissal
of their cases from Orleans Parish so they could be transferred
to the Ninth Judicial District Court for Rapides Parish.

In February 2015, the Ninth Judicial District Court for Rapides
Parish held a hearing on a motion for preliminary injunction
filed by plaintiffs Moore, L'Herisson, and Trahan seeking to
enjoin the shareholder vote for approval of the Merger Agreement.
Following the hearing, the Court denied the plaintiffs' motion.

In June 2015, three of the plaintiffs filed their Second
Consolidated Amended Verified Derivative and Class Action
Petition. This will be considered according to a schedule
established by the Ninth Judicial District Court for Rapides
Parish. Cleco filed exceptions seeking dismissal of the amended
petition in July 2015.

In March 2016, the plaintiffs filed their Third Consolidated
Amended Verified Derivative Petition for Damages and Preliminary
and Permanent Injunction. In May 2016, the plaintiffs filed their
Fourth Verified Consolidated Amended Class Action Petition. This
petition eliminated the request for preliminary and permanent
injunction and also named an additional executive officer as a
defendant. Cleco filed exceptions seeking dismissal of the
amended Petition.

A hearing was held on September 15, 2016, and on September 26,
2016, the District Court granted the exceptions filed by Cleco
and dismissed all claims asserted by the former shareholders. The
plaintiffs appealed the District Court's ruling to the Louisiana
Third Circuit Court of Appeal. The Third Circuit Court of Appeal
heard oral arguments in the case in September 2017. In December
2017, the Third Circuit Court of Appeal issued an order reversing
and remanding the case to the District Court for further
proceedings. On January 12, 2018, Cleco filed a writ with the
Louisiana Supreme Court seeking review of the Third Circuit Court
of Appeal's decision. On March 2, 2018, the Louisiana Supreme
Court denied the writ.

Cleco believes that the allegations of the petitions in each
action are without merit and that it has substantial meritorious
defenses to the claims set forth in each of the petitions.

Cleco is a regional energy company that conducts substantially
all of its business operations through its primary subsidiary,
Cleco Power. Cleco Power is a regulated electric utility company
that owns nine generating units with a total nameplate capacity
of 3,310 MW and serves approximately 288,000 customers in
Louisiana through its retail business and supplies wholesale
power in Louisiana and Mississippi. The company is based in
Pineville, Louisiana.


COMMUNITY HEALTH: Seeks Supreme Court Review of 6th Cir. Ruling
---------------------------------------------------------------
Community Health Systems, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 2, 2018, for
the quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the company has
asked the United States Supreme Court to review a decision by the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in a class action
lawsuit.

Three purported class action cases have been filed in the United
States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee;
namely, Norfolk County Retirement System v. Community Health
Systems, Inc., et al., filed May 9, 2011; De Zheng v. Community
Health Systems, Inc., et al., filed May 12, 2011; and Minneapolis
Firefighters Relief Association v. Community Health Systems,
Inc., et al., filed June 21, 2011.

All three seek class certification on behalf of purchasers of our
common stock between July 27, 2006 and April 11, 2011 and allege
that misleading statements resulted in artificially inflated
prices for our common stock. In December 2011, the cases were
consolidated for pretrial purposes and NYC Funds and its counsel
were selected as lead plaintiffs/lead plaintiffs' counsel.

In lieu of ruling on the company motion to dismiss, the court
permitted the plaintiffs to file a first amended consolidated
class action complaint which was filed on October 5, 2015. The
company's motion to dismiss was filed on November 4, 2015 and
oral argument took place on April 11, 2016. The company's motion
to dismiss was granted on June 16, 2016 and on June 27, 2016, the
plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the Sixth Circuit Court of
Appeals.

The matter was heard on May 3, 2017. On December 13, 2017, the
Sixth Circuit reversed the trial court's dismissal of the case
and remanded it to the District Court. The company filed a
petition for writ of certiorari with the United States Supreme
Court on April 18, 2018 seeking review of the Sixth Circuit's
decision.

The company also filed a renewed partial motion to dismiss on
February 9, 2018 in the District Court.

Community Health Systems said, "We believe this consolidated
matter is without merit and will vigorously defend this case."

Community Health Systems, Inc. is one of the largest publicly
traded hospital companies in the United States and a leading
operator of general acute care hospitals and outpatient
facilities in communities across the country. The company
provides healthcare services through the hospitals that the
company owns and operate and affiliated businesses in non-urban
and selected urban markets throughout the United States. The
company is based in Franklin, Tennessee.


COMMUNITY HEALTH: Continues to Defend Cyber Attack-Related Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Community Health Systems, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 2, 2018, for
the quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the company
continues to defend itself in multiple class action suits related
to cyber-attacks.

The company's computer network was the target of an external,
criminal cyber-attack that the company believe occurred between
April and June, 2014. The company and Mandiant (a FireEye
Company), the forensic expert engaged by the company in
connection with this matter, believe the attacker was a foreign
"Advanced Persistent Threat" group who used highly sophisticated
malware and technology to attack the Company's systems.

The attacker was able to bypass the company's security measures
and successfully copy and transfer outside the Company certain
non-medical patient identification data (such as patient names,
addresses, birthdates, telephone numbers and social security
numbers), but not including patient credit card, medical or
clinical information. The company worked closely with federal law
enforcement authorities in connection with their investigation
and possible prosecution of those determined to be responsible
for this attack.

Mandiant has conducted a thorough investigation of this incident
and continues to advise the company regarding security and
monitoring efforts. The company has provided appropriate
notification to affected patients and regulatory agencies as
required by federal and state law. The company had offered
identity theft protection services to individuals affected by
this attack.

The company incurred certain expenses to remediate and
investigate this matter. In addition, multiple purported class
action lawsuits have been filed against the company and certain
subsidiaries. These lawsuits allege that sensitive information
was unprotected and inadequately encrypted by the company.

The plaintiffs claim breach of contract and other theories of
recovery, and are seeking damages, as well as restitution for any
identity theft. On February 4, 2015, the United States Judicial
Panel on Multidistrict Litigation ordered the transfer of the
purported class actions pending outside of the District Court for
the Northern District of Alabama to the District Court for the
Northern District of Alabama for coordinated or consolidated
pretrial proceedings.

A consolidated complaint was filed and the company filed a motion
to dismiss on September 21, 2015, which was partially argued on
February 10, 2016. In an oral ruling from the bench, the court
greatly limited the potential class by ruling only plaintiffs
with specific injury resulting from the breach had standing to
sue. Further, on jurisdictional grounds, the court dismissed
Community Health Systems, Inc. from all non-Tennessee based
cases. Finally, the court set April 15, 2016 for further argument
on whether the remaining plaintiffs have sufficiently stated a
cause of action to continue their cases.

On April 15, 2016 in an oral ruling from the bench, the court
dismissed additional claims and following this oral ruling only
eight of the forty plaintiffs remained with significant
limitations imposed on their ability to assert claims for
damages. These oral rulings were confirmed in a written order
filed on September 12, 2016. On October 20, 2016, the plaintiffs
filed a renewed motion for interlocutory appeal from the motion
to dismiss ruling and on February 15, 2017 this motion was
denied. Plaintiffs refiled their motion for permission to seek
interlocutory appeal on March 15, 2017, and that motion was also
denied.

Community Health Systems said, "At this time, we are unable to
predict the outcome of this litigation or determine the potential
impact, if any, that could result from this litigation, but we
intend to vigorously defend these lawsuits. This matter may
subject us to additional litigation, potential governmental
inquiries, potential reputational damage, and additional
remediation, operating and other expenses."

Community Health Systems, Inc. is one of the largest publicly
traded hospital companies in the United States and a leading
operator of general acute care hospitals and outpatient
facilities in communities across the country. The company
provides healthcare services through the hospitals that the
company owns and operate and affiliated businesses in non-urban
and selected urban markets throughout the United States. The
company is based in Franklin, Tennessee.


COMMUNITY HEALTH: Sept 21 Final Approval Hearing on "Mounce" Deal
-----------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, Mounce v. Community Health Systems, Inc. et al.,
Case No. 5:15-cv-05197 (W.D. Ark., August 18, 2015), Timothy L.
Brooks on May 29, 2018, entered an order granting the Motion for
Preliminary Approval of Class Settlement, Approving the Form and
Manner of Notice, and Setting Final Approval Hearing.  The Class
Settlement Approval Hearing is set for September 21, 2018, at
3:00 p.m. in Fayetteville.

Community Health Systems said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 2, 2018, for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the case is a
purported class action lawsuit filed in the United States
District Court for the Western District of Arkansas and served on
July 29, 2015, claiming that the company's affiliated Arkansas
hospitals violated payor contracts by allegedly improperly
asserting hospital liens against third-party tortfeasors and
seeking class certifications for any similarly situated
plaintiffs at any affiliated Arkansas hospital.

The court has certified a class.

Community Health Systems said, "We have reached a tentative
settlement with plaintiffs in this case. We are awaiting the
trial court's approval of the settlement.

Community Health Systems, Inc. is one of the largest publicly
traded hospital companies in the United States and a leading
operator of general acute care hospitals and outpatient
facilities in communities across the country. The company
provides healthcare services through the hospitals that the
company owns and operate and affiliated businesses in non-urban
and selected urban markets throughout the United States. The
company is based in Franklin, Tennessee.


COMMUNITY HEALTH: Bid for New Trial in "Gibson" Still Pending
-------------------------------------------------------------
Community Health Systems, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 2, 2018, for
the quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the company has
filed a motion for a new trial with respect to class
certification in Gibson v. Byrd Regional Medical Center, and that
motion is pending.

Community Health Systems said, "This case is a purported class
action lawsuit filed in the 30th Judicial District Court for the
State of Louisiana and served on August 3, 2016, claiming our
affiliated Leesville, Louisiana hospital violated payor contracts
by allegedly improperly asserting hospital liens against third-
party tortfeasors and seeking class certifications for any
similarly situated plaintiffs. The court has certified a class
and denied our motion for summary judgment."

The company had filed a motion for a new trial with respect to
class certification, and that motion is pending.

Community Health Systems said, "We believe these claims are
without merit and will vigorously defend the case."

Community Health Systems, Inc. is one of the largest publicly
traded hospital companies in the United States and a leading
operator of general acute care hospitals and outpatient
facilities in communities across the country. The company
provides healthcare services through the hospitals that the
company owns and operate and affiliated businesses in non-urban
and selected urban markets throughout the United States. The
company is based in Franklin, Tennessee.


COMMUNITY HEALTH: Plaintiff in "Morrow" Agrees to Dismiss Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Community Health Systems, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 2, 2018, for
the quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the plaintiff in
the Morrow v. Community Health Systems, Inc., has agreed to
dismiss the case.

The case is a purported class action lawsuit filed on July 25,
2016, in the United States District Court, Middle District of
Tennessee alleging our affiliated hospital, South Baldwin
Regional Medical Center in Foley, AL, violated a payor contract
by allegedly improperly asserting a hospital lien against a
third-party tortfeasor and allegedly unjustly enriching the
hospital.

The plaintiff seeks to represent a class of similarly situated
individuals at any Company affiliated hospital. Plaintiff moved
to amend his complaint on June 26, 2016 to name additional
defendants, which the court allowed.

On October 17, 2017, the court granted Community Health Systems,
Inc.'s motion to dismiss the complaint on all of the plaintiff's
claims save one. On October 20, 2017, the remaining defendants
filed motions to dismiss, which the court granted on December 11,
2017 with respect to all claims save one.

All defendants have filed a motion for summary judgment on the
plaintiff's sole remaining claim, and that motion is pending. The
plaintiff has now agreed to dismiss this case.

Community Health Systems, Inc. is one of the largest publicly
traded hospital companies in the United States and a leading
operator of general acute care hospitals and outpatient
facilities in communities across the country. The company
provides healthcare services through the hospitals that the
company owns and operate and affiliated businesses in non-urban
and selected urban markets throughout the United States. The
company is based in Franklin, Tennessee.


COMMUNITY HEALTH: Must Defend Against Zwick Partners' Suit
----------------------------------------------------------
Community Health Systems, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 2, 2018, for
the quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the District
Court has denied all defendants' motions to dismiss the case
captioned as, Zwick Partners, LP and Aparna Rao, individually and
on behalf of all others similarly situated v. Quorum Health
Corporation, Community Health Systems, Inc., Wayne T. Smith, W.
Larry Cash, Thomas D. Miller, and Michael J. Culotta.

The purported class action lawsuit previously filed in the United
States District Court, Middle District of Tennessee was amended
on April 17, 2017 to include Community Health Systems, Inc.,
Wayne T. Smith and W. Larry Cash as additional defendants.

The plaintiffs seek to represent a class of QHC shareholders and
allege that the failure to record a goodwill and long-lived asset
impairment charge against QHC at the time of the spin-off of QHC
violated federal securities laws. The District Court denied all
defendants' motions to dismiss on April 20, 2018.

Community Health Systems said, "We believe the claims are without
merit and will vigorously defend the case."

Community Health Systems, Inc. is one of the largest publicly
traded hospital companies in the United States and a leading
operator of general acute care hospitals and outpatient
facilities in communities across the country. The company
provides healthcare services through the hospitals that the
company owns and operate and affiliated businesses in non-urban
and selected urban markets throughout the United States. The
company is based in Franklin, Tennessee.


CVS HEALTH: Files Motion to Dismiss HIV Privacy Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
Adam Lidgett, writing for Law360, reports that CVS on May 14
sought to exit a proposed class action alleging the health and
privacy of HIV/AIDS patients are threatened by a program that
requires them to get their specialty medication only at a CVS
pharmacy or by mail order, telling a California federal judge the
whole complaint was "defective."

CVS Pharmacy Inc., Caremark LLC and Caremark California Specialty
Pharmacy LLC filed a motion to dismiss a suit alleging they
targeted people who have prescription drug benefits administered
through CVS Caremark and who need specialty medication.

The case is Doe One et al v. CVS Health Corporation et al, Case
No. 3:18-cv-01031 (N.D. Cal.).  The case s assigned to Judge
Edward M. Chen.  The case was filed February 16, 2018. [GN]


DAVITA INC: Bid to Dismiss Peace Officers' Fund Suit Underway
-------------------------------------------------------------
Davita Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended
March 31, 2018, that the company is seeking dismissal of the
securities class action lawsuit by the Peace Officers' Annuity
and Benefit Fund of Georgia.

The Company said in its Form 10-Q Report for the quarterly period
ended September 30, 2017, that on February 1, 2017, the Peace
Officers' Annuity and Benefit Fund of Georgia filed a putative
federal securities class action complaint in the U.S. District
Court for the District of Colorado against the Company and
certain executives. The complaint covers the time period of
August 2015 to October 2016 and alleges, generally, that the
Company and its executives violated federal securities laws
concerning the Company's financial results and revenue derived
from patients who received charitable premium assistance from an
industry-funded non-profit organization.  The complaint further
alleges that the process by which patients obtained commercial
insurance and received charitable premium assistance was improper
and "created a false impression of DaVita's business and
operational status and future growth prospects."

In its latest SEC report, the Company said that in November 2017,
the court appointed the lead plaintiff and an amended complaint
was filed on January 12, 2018. On March 27, 2018, the Company and
various individual defendants filed a motion to dismiss.

The Company disputes these allegations and intends to defend this
action accordingly.

DaVita Inc. provides kidney dialysis services for patients
suffering from chronic kidney failure or end stage renal disease
(ESRD). The company operates kidney dialysis centers and provides
related lab services in outpatient dialysis centers. The company
is based in Denver, Colorado.


DIVERSCARE HEALTHCARE: Bid to Dismiss Garland Class Suit Pending
----------------------------------------------------------------
Diversicare Healthcare Services, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q
Report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the court has not yet
ruled on the company's motion to dismiss a purported class action
complaint in the Circuit Court of Garland County, Arkansas.

In January 2009, a purported class action complaint was filed in
the Circuit Court of Garland County, Arkansas against the Company
and certain of its subsidiaries and Garland Nursing &
Rehabilitation Center (the "Center"). The Company answered the
original complaint in 2009, and there was no other activity in
the case until May 2017.

At that time, plaintiff filed an amended complaint asserting new
causes of action. The amended complaint alleges that the
defendants breached their statutory and contractual obligations
to the patients of the Center over a multi-year period by failing
to meet minimum staffing requirements, failing to otherwise
adequately staff the Center and failing to provide a clean and
safe living environment in the Center.

The Company has filed an answer to the amended complaint denying
plaintiffs' allegations and has asked the Court to dismiss the
new causes of action asserted in the amended complaint because
the Company was prejudiced by plaintiff's long delay in filing
the amended complaint.

The Court has not yet ruled on the motion to dismiss, so the
lawsuit remains in its early stages and has not yet be certified
by the court as a class action. The Company intends to defend the
lawsuit vigorously.

Diversicare Healthcare Services, Inc. provides long-term care
services to nursing center patients in ten states, primarily in
the Southeast, Midwest, and Southwest. The company is based in
Brentwood, Tennessee.


EASTERN TOWNSHIPS: Approves Terms of Class Action Settlement
------------------------------------------------------------
The Record reports that during a special meeting held on May 15,
the Eastern Townships School Board (ETSB) adopted a resolution
approving the terms of a settlement regarding the class action
lawsuit filed against the province's school boards for charging
parents school fees beyond what is allowable in public schools
according to the Education Act.  The suit covers eight years; the
2009-09 school year, until 2016.  All school boards involved in
the lawsuit held similar meetings to either approve or reject the
proposed settlement.  If majorities on both sides agree and the
judge presiding over the case deems the settlement reasonable to
both parties, then the process to pay parents of the roughly
925,000 students involved in the class action will move forward.
According to media reports, the amount of the proposed settlement
is $153 million, breaking down to between $25 and $28 per student
per year covered by the lawsuit.
[GN]


EAZE SOLUTIONS: Faces Class Action Over Unsolicited Text Messages
-----------------------------------------------------------------
John Schroyer, writing for Marijuana Business Daily, reports that
one of the biggest facilitators of marijuana deliveries in
California faces a possible class-action lawsuit that one Bay
Area attorney says could threaten the company's existence.

Farrah Williams, of San Diego, filed suit against San Francisco-
based Eaze Solutions on May 2, alleging the delivery business
violated federal law by spamming her and other customers with
unsolicited text-message marketing.

Eaze is a technology company that is not licensed to engage in
commercial cannabis activity but, rather, contends it acts as an
intermediary by taking orders online from customers and
facilitating deliveries from retail partners.

The firm operates in more than 100 cities in California and has
reached over 300,000 customers since its founding in 2014,
according to the lawsuit.

The company has raised $52 million -- much of that through
venture capital financing -- and turned itself into a cannabis
industry force.

But Eaze's status could be jeopardized if Williams' lawsuit
succeeds -- although success isn't a sure bet.

The case also could have wide-ranging ramifications for an
industry whose marketing avenues already are limited and heavily
scrutinized.

"The reality is that (Eaze) 'growth hacked' its way to the top of
the pot delivery business -- specifically, by relentlessly
bombarding existing and prospective customers with text messages
and other digital spam . . .  without anyone's permission," the
suit alleges.

An Eaze spokeswoman's only statement to Marijuana Business Daily
was that the company "cannot comment on active litigation."

The suit, filed in a California federal court, hasn't yet
received class-action status.

The case

The lawsuit alleges that Eaze violated the federal Telephone
Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a 1991 law that prohibits any
company from making unsolicited calls or sending uninvited text
messages to possible clients.

The most recent example cited in Ms. Williams' lawsuit are two
April 26 texts, including: "We miss you! Make a purchase in the
next 7 days and get $10 of credit to use on your following
purchase. Shop now at www.eaze.com/menu."

Ms. Williams, who claims in the suit that she received "dozens"
of unsolicited marketing texts from Eaze between September 2017
and May, is asking for up to $2,000 in damages per text message.

The lawsuit estimates there could be "tens of thousands" of other
potential plaintiffs who received illegal and unsolicited texts.

Which means a court judgment could cost Eaze tens of millions of
dollars depending on how the suit is resolved, said San Francisco
attorney Tsan Abrahamson, an expert on the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act.

"The TCPA has, particularly for smaller companies, bankrupted
them," Ms. Abrahamson said.  "They have had to close their doors.
So this is no joke."

For instance, she noted:

Wells Fargo agreed to a $30 million settlement in a TCPA lawsuit
in 2017.

Bank of America agreed to a $32 million TCPA settlement in 2014.
Even if the suit doesn't reach class-action status, it could
spawn copycat legal complaints, Abrahamson said.

"That's certainly the fear," she said.  "You might even see
lawyers that like to bring class-action suits (and advertise
them)."

Mr. Abrahamson pointed out, however, that Eaze has not yet fully
responded to the suit and could have options that will protect
it.  For example, the company notes on its website that text
recipients can opt out of marketing messages by replying "STOP"
to any communication.

However, the lawsuit alleges, Ms. Williams was not given that
option in the texts she received from Eaze.

What's next

The lawsuit is in its infancy and could take months if not years
to wind its way through the courts.

It's been filed as a class-action suit in U.S. District Court in
the Northern District of California, and such complaints
typically require dozens of plaintiffs to gain that legal status.

But so far it appears only Williams has signed on as a plaintiff.
One of her attorneys responded "no comment" when asked by
MJBizDaily if other plaintiffs had joined the suit.

"The case, it's really in its early stages, but we look forward
to litigating it," said David Hall, one of Ms. Williams' lawyers.

The crux of the legal issue for Eaze, Ms. Abrahamson said, is
that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act allows for enormous
sums to be awarded to plaintiffs as a deterrent against companies
engaging in the type of spam marketing that Ms. Williams alleges.

And, according to Ms. Abrahamson, legal precedent has shown that
companies must have some type of prior consent before sending
such text messages.  Otherwise, they've broken the law and are
vulnerable to lawsuits like Williams'.

"The TCPA says that what a consumer opts into has to be what the
consumer believes they opted into, nothing more," Ms. Abrahamson
said, noting that such cases are fairly common, especially in the
tech space.

'Take it seriously'

Colorado-based cannabis industry attorney Rachel Gillette echoed
many of Abrahamson's thoughts about Eaze.

While Gillette declined to speculate on the strengths of the case
or a possible outcome, she said Eaze "needs to absolutely take it
seriously."

"Lawsuits take a long time to play themselves out, and they cost
a lot of money, and that's on both sides," Gillette said. "The
reality is that there will be winners and there will be losers.

"Will it put (Eaze) out of business? I can't speculate. It's just
impossible to know. But they should hire a good lawyer."

Gillette said the cannabis industry's takeaway from this
situation should be a reminder about the importance of due
diligence in every aspect of operations, including marketing.

"What it illustrates is you've got to be really careful out
there, especially when you grow into a successful company," she
said.  "There are always going to be people who want to tap into
your financial success." [GN]


FACEBOOK INC: Faces Class Action in California Over Data Scraping
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Gabriella Buckner, writing for IT Pro, reports that Facebook is
facing a class action lawsuit following the revelation that the
social network was collecting data logs of messages and phone
calls through its smartphone apps.

Filed in a Northern California district court, the lawsuit
alleges that Facebook did not make it clear in its terms and
conditions that it would harvest call and message data within its
apps.

"Facebook's stated business model has morphed into a data
aggregation and marketing scheme disguised as a social network,"
the filing states.  "The terms of service and privacy notice
materials do not inform (and in the past have not informed) the
ordinary and reasonably attentive Facebook user that installing
the application on a mobile device will result in the logging of
all the user's phone and text communications."

The filing goes on to say that the unauthorised scraping
"presents several wrongs, including a consumer bait-and-switch,
an invasion of privacy, wrongful monitoring of minors, and
potential attacks on privileged communications" such as those
between solicitor and client or doctor and patient.

Android users who installed the Facebook app to their phones
before the Android 4.1 version and granted access to their
contact lists were, according to the filing, also granting
Facebook permission to automatically collect data on texts,
calls, duration of calls and recipients.

After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, Facebook users have been
incentivised to dig through the information Facebook had on them,
which revealed the data scraping the lawsuit brings to the court.

The lawsuit also claims that the data scraping violates
California's Unfair Competition law, the Consumer Legal Remedies
Act and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act.

In all likelihood, Facebook has monetised the data and used it
for advertising purposes.  Though Facebook has previously argued
that it only collects data when given permission and does not
record the actual content of messages, users are skeptical on the
truth of such statements.

The primary plaintiff, John Condelles III, is seeking $5 million
and believes millions across the country will join the lawsuit.
[GN]


FACEBOOK INC: July 9 Trial Set in Facial Recognition Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Rebecca Hill, writing for The Register, reports that Facebook's
attempt to push a US court to a quick ruling on a class-action
lawsuit over its use of facial recognition technology has been
denied.

In an order issued on May 14, district judge James Donato said
that the case would go to trial, with a date set for 9 July.

The lawsuit is one of the first tests of Illinois' 2008 Biometric
Information Privacy Act (BIPA).

It was filed in May 2015 by three residents -- Nimesh Patel,
Adam Pezen and Carlo Licata -- who asserted that Facebook had
collected biometric data without adequate notice or consent
through its Tag Suggestions product that uses facial recognition
technology to analyse images uploaded to the site.

Both sides had made requests for a summary judgment in the case,
but the judge said that this was impossible because of the large
number of disputes between the parties on both technical and
legal matters.

However, one element that is not up for debate in the judge's
eyes is Facebook's suggestion that the plaintiffs needed to
demonstrate "actual" injury, beyond the invasion of the privacy
rights that are covered by the BIPA.

The judge said that the court was "concerned" about this theme in
the biz's briefs, saying that Facebook was working on a "faulty
proposition" since the court has "expressly rejected that
contention in considerable detail" in a previous order.

Beyond this, district judge Donato went on to detail the areas in
which there was dispute between the parties, noting that this was
exemplified by their "voluminous submissions" -- which amount to
more than 100 pages of briefs for the cross-motions, along with
several hundred pages of documents, emails, deposition testimony
and other exhibits.

"The parties unleash volleys of other competing evidence," the
judge observed, saying that it would be for a jury to "resolve
the genuine factual disputes surrounding facial scanning and the
recognition technology".

For instance, the plaintiffs' case "turns in large measure" on
whether Facebook collects and stores scans of face geometry, the
judge said, but the two sides offer strongly conflicting
interpretations of how the software processes human faces.

Judge Donato said: Facebook's facial recognition program cannot
be understood to have occurred wholly outside Illinois.  The same
rather metaphysical arguments about where BIPA was violated fare
no better when re-packaged under the dormant commerce clause.

The plaintiffs say the technology behind Facebook Tag Suggestions
has to collect scans of geometry because it uses human facial
regions to process and ultimately recognise face images.

Facebook says the tech has "no express dependency" on human
facial features at all -- instead the biz says it "learns for
itself what distinguishes different faces and then improves
itself based on its successes and failures, using unknown
criteria that have yielded successful outputs in the past".

Elsewhere, the firm also makes a stab at avoiding trial by
questioning the meaning of "scan" as it is written in the BIPA,
which the judge rejected in the order.

On legal matters, the judge took issue with some of Facebook's
arguments, including an assertion that subjecting it to BIPA
would violate a dormant commerce clause.  This clause typically
applies when a state tries to control economic conduct that is
wholly outside its borders with the aim of protecting local biz
from out-of-state competition.

Facebook said it should apply because it processes facial
recognition on servers outside Illinois, but the judge said that
its concerns "are not well taken", especially as similar
arguments about extraterritoriality was rejected earlier on in
the case.

"Facebook's facial recognition program cannot be understood to
have occurred wholly outside Illinois," the judge said.  "The
same rather metaphysical arguments about where BIPA was violated
fare no better when re-packaged under the dormant commerce
clause."

Judge Donato added that nothing indicates that liability under
BIPA would force Facebook to change its practices with respect to
residents of other states.

The judge also considered the issue of damages, in a bid to offer
clarification ahead of the trial.

Under BIPA, negligent violations are subject to damages of
$1,000, while intentional or reckless violations are $5,000.
With potentially millions of Illinois residents able to claim for
compensation, Facebook is eager to argue it isn't liable for such
damages.

Its argument is that it had reasonably understood BIPA to exclude
data harvested from photos, but the judge said that this isn't a
sound proposition because, for a start, the firm's understanding
of the BIPA is in dispute.

"In addition, a good argument can be made that Facebook's
position amounts to a very questionable mistake of law defense,"
the judge said, noting the quote: "Ignorance of the law will not
excuse any person, either civilly or criminally." [GN]


FAIRMOUNT SANTROL: Class Suits Challenge Merger with Unimin Corp.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Fairmont Santrol Holdings Inc. said in its Form 8-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the company is
facing multiple class action suits in connection with merger
transaction with Unimin Corporation.

On April 24, 2018, an alleged stockholder of Fairmount Santrol
Holdings Inc. ("Fairmount Santrol") filed a putative class action
against Fairmount Santrol and its directors, captioned Jennings
v. Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc., et al., No. 1:18-cv-00931, in
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Ohio.

On April 27, 2018, another alleged stockholder of Fairmount
Santrol filed a putative class action against Fairmount Santrol
and its directors, captioned Klein v. Fairmount Santrol Holdings
Inc., et al., No. 1:18-cv-00646, in the United States District
Court for the District of Delaware.

On May 1, 2018, a third alleged stockholder filed a putative
class action against Fairmount Santrol and its directors,
captioned Rosello v. Fairmount Santrol Holdings Inc., et al., No.
1:18-cv-01002, in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of Ohio.

The lawsuits generally allege that Fairmount Santrol and its
directors violated the federal securities laws by issuing
allegedly misleading disclosures in connection with the
previously announced proposed transaction (the "merger") with
Unimin Corporation ("Unimin"), pursuant to the terms of that
Agreement and Plan of Merger, dated December 11, 2017, among
Fairmount Santrol, Unimin and the other parties thereto (the
"Merger Agreement"), and seek, among other things, to enjoin the
special meeting of Fairmount Santrol stockholders scheduled to be
held on May 25, 2018 (the "special meeting") at which Fairmount
Santrol stockholders will vote on, among other items, a proposal
to adopt the Merger Agreement. Fairmount Santrol and its
directors believe that the allegations against them lack merit.

Fairmount Santrol Inc. produces sand and sand-based products. It
offers sand and resin-coated sand products for foundry, building
products, water filtration, glass, oil and gas, and sports and
recreation markets. The company is based in Chesterland, Ohio.


FIAT CHRYSLER: Faces Amended Emissions-Cheating Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
An amended class-action lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler and Cummins
Inc. has unearthed at least two diesel emissions defeat devices
installed in 2007-2012 Dodge RAM 2500 and 3500 trucks to cheat
emissions testing and which result in the vehicles exceeding
emissions as much as 90 percent of the time they are in stop-and-
go (city) driving, according to Hagens Berman.

Affected vehicles include all 2007-2012 Dodge RAM trucks with a
Cummins 6.7 liter engine.  If you own an affected vehicle, find
out more about your consumer rights to potential compensation.

The law firms conducted "rigorous testing," including extensive
portable emission measurement system (PEMS) testing and
dynamometer emissions testing using the same device used by the
EPA and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to discover
defeat devices.  Defeat devices were at the heart of the VW
Dieselgate scandal.

The amended complaint followed the court's order for additional
research, which led attorneys at Hagens Berman and co-counsel to
test a swath of additional vehicles affected by the defeat
devices, uncovering specific instances of de-rated emissions.

"Since Volkswagen was caught red-handed in the Dieselgate
scandal, Hagens Berman and my co-counsel have dedicated time and
resources to individually testing and researching emissions
across the diesel industry," said Steve Berman, managing partner
of Hagens Berman.  "We appreciate the thoroughness the court has
applied to this case and look forward to proving our findings
that Fiat Chrysler and Cummins knowingly installed multiple
illegal devices in their Dodge RAM trucks to cheat emissions
tests."

The complaint outlines a new "comprehensive body of evidence"
illustrating the firms' findings of two separate defeat devices
that were placed in the affected RAM trucks with Cummins' and
Fiat Chrysler's knowledge.

Diesel Testing Reveals Emissions-Cheating

The lawsuit outlines the direct collusion between Cummins Inc.
and Fiat Chrysler, stating the two "saw a golden business
opportunity, and worked together to build a truck that, at least
on paper, met these [emissions] standards, three years ahead of
schedule."

The firms performed emissions testing of the vehicles on a
chassis dynamometer -- essentially a treadmill for vehicles used
to test real-world driving conditions, and also used PEMS, a
"portable laboratory" to measure emissions of oxides of nitrogen,
total hydrocarbon, methane, carbon monoxide, and carbon dioxide
during on-road driving.

The chassis dynamometer testing revealed a defeat device which
allowed the vehicles to pass emissions testing during routine
testing conditions, but failed during regular driving conditions.
Thus, the vehicle performs differently in a certification test
environment (on a dynamometer) than in the real world (PEMS
testing), which should not be the case.

A secondary defeat device was found which involves one of the
vehicles' primary emissions control after-treatment technologies,
the diesel particulate filter.  This is where particulate matter
(soot) is collected after the exhaust is treated by the diesel
oxidation catalyst and NOx adsorber catalyst.  The soot captured
by the diesel particulate filter is removed from the filter
through a process known as regeneration; the regeneration process
can be accomplished either by "passive" or "active" means.

In practice, because the location of the NOx adsorber catalyst is
in front of the DPF, passive regeneration does not occur often
enough to allow the 2007-2012 Dodge RAM 2500 and 3500 trucks to
operate reliably without active regenerations.  This conclusion
was confirmed by PEMS testing of relevant trucks as well as real-
world testing of the plaintiffs' vehicles, using a "logger"
device that tracked the rate of active regeneration during
highway and city driving.

During the active regeneration process, NOx emissions are
significantly increased -- as high as 20 times the NOx standard
-- according to the lawsuit.  In order to compensate for the
trucks' engine design that prioritizes torque and power over
legal emissions standards, Cummins introduced a defeat device to
dramatically increase the active regeneration frequency.  In
stop-and-go driving, the 2007 vehicle performed active
regeneration 15.8 percent of the vehicle miles traveled, 10 times
the frequency allowed in the federal emissions test.

In stop-and-go driving emissions on average were 4.4 times the
standard for the 2007 test vehicle, 5.3 times for the 2009 test
vehicle and 3.8 times for the 2012.  Maximum active regenerations
got as high as 14.9 times the standard in the 2012 vehicle which
occurred in 11.5% of the vehicle miles driven.  The 2007 is out
of compliance with emissions standards 90% of the time, and the
2009 and 2012 80% of the time in stop-and-go conditions.

"This testing refutes the claims made by FCA and Cummins that the
engines were 'clean,' the 'cleanest' and complied with federal
and state emissions laws," noted Berman.

The lawsuit accuses the two of committing fraudulent concealment,
false advertising, and violating the Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and consumer-protection laws by
intentionally misleading the public, concealing emissions levels,
illegally selling noncompliant polluting vehicles, knowingly
profiting from the dirty diesels and using fraudulently gained
emissions credits from the EPA to use on further production of
high-polluting vehicles.

                       About Hagens Berman

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP -- http://www.hbsslaw.com-- is a
consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in 10 cities.
[GN]


FLEX LTD: July 9 Class Action Lead Plaintiff Motion Deadline Set
----------------------------------------------------------------
The following statement is being issued by Levi & Korsinsky, LLP:

To: All persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired
securities of Flex Ltd. ("Flex") (NASDAQ:FLEX) between January
26, 2017 and April 26, 2018.  You are hereby notified that a
securities class action lawsuit has been commenced in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California.
To get more information go to:

     http://www.zlk.com/pslra-d/flex-ltd-2?wire=3

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

The complaint alleges that throughout the class period Defendants
issued materially false and/or misleading statements and/or
failed to disclose that: (1) the Company's internal controls over
financial reporting were materially weak and deficient; (2) the
Company had improperly accounted for obligations in a customer
contract and certain related reserves; and (3) as a result of the
foregoing, the Company's financial statements and Defendants'
statements about Flex's business, operations, and prospects, were
materially false and misleading at all relevant times.

On April 26, 2018, Flex issued a press release disclosing
allegations by a former employee that the Company "improperly
accounted for obligations in a customer contract and certain
related reserves."  The Company further announced that its Audit
Committee was undertaking an investigation of the matter "with
the assistance of independent outside counsel."

If you suffered a loss in Flex you have until July 9, 2018 to
request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. Your
ability to share in any recovery doesn't require that you serve
as a lead plaintiff.

Levi & Korsinsky -- http://www.zlk.com-- is a national firm with
offices in New York, California, Connecticut, and Washington D.C.
The firm represents investors in securities litigation. [GN]


FOX NEWS: Settles Gender Discrimination Class Action for $10MM
--------------------------------------------------------------
Elliot Hannon, writing for Slate, reports that Fox News, hotbed
of workplace sexual harassment, which has also faced serious
accusations about the network discriminating against employees on
the basis of race and gender, was bailed out by its parent
company 21st Century Fox after it reached a roughly $10 million
settlement to resolve discrimination suits brought by 18 current
and former employees at the network.  The settlements include the
class action racial discrimination, filed by staff at the Fox
News accounting department and a former co-host of Fox & Friends
Weekend, who was the only black male anchor at the network.

"Also included in the settlement were the race, gender and
pregnancy discrimination lawsuit brought in 2016 by a former
reporter for Fox 5, the network's New York affiliate, and a
gender discrimination lawsuit filed by a Fox News Radio
reporter," according to the New York Times.  "The roughly $10
million agreement, while still a significant sum, is far less
than the more than $60 million that Mr. Wigdor had proposed last
summer.  At the time, Mr. Wigdor had pointed out how 21st Century
Fox had paid $40 million to Mr. Ailes and $25 million to Mr.
O'Reilly, and said, 'Outside the context of the mediation, any
amount under what Ailes and O'Reilly got in total would be
unjust.'"

The terms of the settlement stipulated the employees leave the
network and not seek future employment there; it also forbids
them from disclosing the amount they were paid, but, crucially,
does not bar them from telling their own stories publicly.  A
pair* of suits were not included in the settlement and remain
outstanding, including a defamation and racial-discrimination
lawsuit, as well as political commentator Scottie Nell Hughes'
suit that claims she was raped by anchor Charles Payne, who
remains on air, and then retaliated against by the network for
filing a complaint. [GN]


GENERAL MILLS: Seeks Dismissal of Trans Fat Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Cara Bayles, writing for Law360, reports that General Mills Inc.
asked a California federal judge at a hearing on May 16 to toss a
proposed class action alleging its baking mixes are unsafe
because they use partially hydrogenated oils containing trans
fat, saying the suit's California law claims are preempted by
federal statute.

Named plaintiff Troy Backus began filing several proposed class
action suits against large food corporations in 2015, as the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration prepared to issue its final
determination that the PHOs are no longer generally recognized as
safe for human.

The case is styled Troy Backus v. General Mills, Inc. et al
Case No. 3:15-cv-01964 (N.D. Cal.).  The case is assigned to
Judge William H. Orrick.  The case was filed April 30, 2015.
[GN]


GUAM: H-2B Class Action Notice Awaits Federal Court Approval
------------------------------------------------------------
Haidee V Eugenio, writing for Pacific Daily News, reports that a
proposed public notice, to inform businesses of a class-action
lawsuit related to the use of foreign labor on island, is waiting
for federal court approval.

The federal government, which was sued by local businesses over
the issue of worker visas, has asked for more time to offer
additional objections to the proposed notice.

U.S. District Court Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-Gatewood gave
the federal government up to May 18 to file any objections to the
proposed notice, submitted by class counsel Jeff Joseph of
Colorado.

Mr. Joseph is the counsel for the Guam Contractors Association
and nearly a dozen businesses that sued the federal government in
2016 for almost blanket denials of H-2B petitions for Guam,
hurting business, residential and government construction
projects.

The court granted the Guam contractors' motion for class
certification on March 31, and ordered the plaintiffs to submit a
proposed plan for notice to class members.

83 employers with denied H-2B petitions
There are two classes of individuals who should be notified of
the class action suit, Joseph said in his May 16 filing.

They include individuals and employers who have already filed in
the past and have received denials. The latest figure is 83.

The second group are individuals and employers who will file in
the future, Mr. Joseph said.

Mr. Joseph proposed that the Guam Department of Labor provide
notification of the class action and potential membership to
every individual or employer who files for a labor certification
with the Guam Department of Labor.

Class-action H-2B lawsuit
Class-action suits allow a group of people to sue on behalf of a
larger group with similar claims.

The class-action certification followed the federal court's Jan.
24 temporary injunction that essentially prohibits U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services from denying petitions on
the basis of reasoning it used in 2015 and 2016 to reject H-2B
visa applications for Guam.

That is, USCIS cannot rely on "peakload" or "one-time occurrence"
conditions as reasons to deny visa applications.

Guam has gone from hosting more than 1,500 H-2B workers annually
to having zero, because of USCIS' denial of applications.  A
federal law allows Guam to have up to 4,000 H-2B workers annually
for military projects. H-2B approvals for non-military projects
on Guam have yet to start. [GN]


HALO TOP: Faces Class Action in New York Over Ice Cream Labeling
----------------------------------------------------------------
Lyn Mettler, writing for Today, reports that one man who was
seeking a fuller-fat dessert is claiming he was tricked into
buying a pint of the lower-calorie dessert -- and now he's taking
the Los Angeles-based creamery to court over it.

Josh Berger, a resident of Queen's County in New York, has filed
a class action lawsuit in a U.S. District Court in the Eastern
District of New York, claiming Halo Top is portraying itself as
ice cream when it's really not.

In his complaint, Mr. Berger alleges that he -- and many others -
- spent $6.99 buying what they thought was "ice cream" due to
misleading packaging and, according to the suit, "paid more than
they would have without getting all they bargained for," thereby
suffering damages.

But what is "ice cream," really? According to the U.S. Food and
Drug Administration (FDA), real ice cream must contain at least
10 percent milk fat, whereas Halo Top, the suit seems to
indicate, does not.  Halo Top also launched a dairy-free line of
products last fall, so some of their products have 0 percent milk
fat.

"The reasons for this distinction [are] so the customer
understands the nutrient and flavor profile of the product being
labeled as ice cream," Jackie Arnett Elnahar, RD, who is also an
attorney, told TODAY Food.  "Ice cream does indeed have more fat
and calories due to its density, and it also tastes creamier.
Because the requirements for ice cream are very black and white,
there is a potential cause of action."

The suit also claims that, according to federal law, the term
"light ice cream" should be more prominent on the label (in bold
lettering) and that Halo Top's use of the terms "All Natural" and
"No Artificial Sweeteners" are also false and misleading due to
the presence of artificial and synthetic ingredients, such as
erythritol, used in place of sugar.

When it comes to food labels, the FDA does have specific
standards for how certain food packages can advertise their
contents.  When it comes to characterizations like "light" or
"low fat," the government agency states that such disclosure
language "must be in legible boldface type, in distinct contrast
to other printed or graphic matter, and generally in a type size
at least as large as the net quantity of contents declaration. It
must also be placed immediately adjacent to the claim."

Mr. Berger's suit alleges that Halo Top's labeling of the word
"light" is "minuscule" and "difficult to see . . ."

Taking things even further, Berger alleges that the brand name
itself is misleading, because consumers may associate the word
"halo" with the color yellow, which is in turn associated with
butter and cream, reinforcing customer expectations that they are
eating super creamy, rich "ice cream."

When reached via email, a representative for Halo Top told TODAY
Food that the company does not comment on pending legislation.

So what does Mr. Berger want from all this?

More than just a refund of the $6.99 he spent on his pint. He's
asking for monetary damages with interest, punitive damages, as
well as legal fees and "further relief as the Court deems just
and proper." If the suit reaches class action status, Mr. Berger
is seeking $5 million in total damages.  Then, he can really buy
all the "real" ice cream he wants!

Halo Top isn't the first company to face a unique legal food
feud.  Dunkin' Donuts was sued for a lack of real blueberries in
its blueberry doughnuts and Burger King was accused of charging
too much for its 2-for-1 Croissan'wich deal. [GN]


HALO TOP: Ice Cream Class Action Plaintiff to Face Uphill Battle
----------------------------------------------------------------
Elaine Watson, writing for Food Navigator, reports that the
plaintiff behind a putative class action lawsuit accusing market
leading light ice cream brand Halo Top of false and misleading
representations will likely face an uphill battle to persuade a
judge there is a case to be heard here, predict legal experts.
[GN]


HANOVER INSURANCE: Court Won't Reconsider Order Limiting Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that a court has denied
the plaintiffs' motion for reconsideration of the order limiting
claims over alleged violations of ERISA's disclosure requirements
and breaches of fiduciary duty.

On March 12, 2007, a putative class action suit captioned
Jennifer A. Durand v. The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc., and The
Allmerica Financial Cash Balance Pension Plan, was filed in the
United States District Court for the Western District of
Kentucky. The named plaintiff, a former employee of the Company's
former life insurance and annuity business who received a lump
sum distribution from the Company's Cash Balance Plan (the
"Plan") at or about the time of her separation from the company,
claims that she and others similarly situated did not receive the
appropriate lump sum distribution because in computing the lump
sum, the Company and the Plan understated the accrued benefit in
the calculation.

The plaintiff claims that the Plan underpaid her distributions
and those of similarly situated participants by failing to pay an
additional so-called "whipsaw" amount reflecting the present
value of an estimate of future interest credits from the date of
the lump sum distribution to each participant's retirement age of
65 ("whipsaw claim").

The plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint adding two new named
plaintiffs and additional claims on December 11, 2009. Two of the
three new claims set forth in the Amended Complaint were
dismissed by the District Court, which action was upheld in
November 2015 by the U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit. The
District Court, however, did allow to stand the portion of the
Amended Complaint which set forth claims against the Company for
breach of fiduciary duty and failure to meet notice requirements
arising under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974
("ERISA") from the various interest crediting and lump sum
distribution matters of which plaintiffs complain, but only as to
plaintiffs' "whipsaw" claim that remained in the case.

On December 17, 2013, the Court entered an order certifying a
class to bring "whipsaw" and related breach of fiduciary duty
claims consisting of all persons who received a lump sum
distribution between March 1, 1997 and December 31, 2003.

The Company filed a summary judgment motion, prior to the
decision on the appeal that was based on the statute of
limitations and seeks to dismiss the subclass of plaintiffs who
received lump sum distributions prior to March 13, 2002.  This
summary judgment motion has been stayed pending additional
discovery.

On November 2, 2017, plaintiffs filed a motion conceding that the
statutory "whipsaw" claims, but not the breach of fiduciary duty
or failure to meet ERISA notice requirement claims, of
participants who received lump sum distributions prior to March
13, 2002 are time-barred.

Consequently, on February 16, 2018, the Court entered an order
limiting the claims of those participants to alleged violations
of ERISA's disclosure requirements and breaches of fiduciary
duty. The Plaintiffs have filed a Motion for Reconsideration,
which the Court denied by an order dated April 24, 2018.

The Hanover Insurance Company, Inc. offers personal and
commercial property and casualty insurance services for
individuals, families, and businesses. Its personal insurance
coverage includes umbrella and personal liability, home, auto,
insurance for valuables, and watercraft and toys insurance. The
company is based in Worcester, Massachusetts.


HEALTHPORT TECHNOLOGIES: Court Tosses Record Search Fees Lawsuit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Charmaine Little, writing for Madison-St. Clair Record, reports
that the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of
Illinois has granted a motion to dismiss a case against a company
that handles medical record requests for persons seeking Social
Security benefits, according to a May 2 opinion.

District Judge Staci Yandle granted defendant Healthport
Technologies LLC's motion to dismiss a proposed class action case
brought by the Law Office of Brent Gaines and others over "basic"
fees charged for record searches that produced no records.

The suit, originally filed in St. Clair County Circuit Court,
claims that Healthport responded to a request that it was unable
to find any medical records on behalf of two of Gaines' clients
and yet billed the firm for a basic search fee.

Healthport argued the activity the law firm accused it of is
legal in the three states named in the complaint where it does
business -- Illinois, Missouri and Georgia.

The plaintiffs claimed that charging a basic fee was against
medical-release laws in Illinois and Missouri as well as consumer
protection regulations in Georgia, where Healthport has its
principal place of business.

Healthport offered to settle and the plaintiffs declined,
according to the ruling.

Judge Yandle ruled that the firm should not receive monetary
damages considering it never paid basic fees in question.

She also found that since Healthport's settlement offer did not
include an admission of guilt and didn't require the company to
finance damages or waive the basic fee for the firm, the
settlement does not give the plaintiffs "full relief," and
therefore "cannot moot Plaintiff's claims."

Judge Yandle did not grant Healthport its requested dismissal for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

But regarding alleged violations of Georgia law, Yandle ruled
that state law could not apply to the case as the alleged
injuries were in Illinois and Missouri.

For Illinois and Missouri, Judge Yandle held that those state
laws allow a "flat charge" for each page of requested medical
records and dismissed claims against Healthport regarding its
alleged violation of state regulations.

She granted the defendant's motion to dismiss with prejudice
pursuant to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. [GN]


HOME DEPOT: Faces Class Action Over 401(k) Plan Fraud
-----------------------------------------------------
John Lohr, writing for Seeking Alpha, reports that HomeDepot,
their Futurebuilder 401K plan, the investment committee,
Financial Engines Advisors, Alight Financial Advisors, and a
lineup of individuals from all those listed have been sued in a
massive class action over abuse in their 401(k) plan.  More of
that in a minute.  The class may include more than 200,000
employees, former employees and other K participants.  The
initial ask is $140 Million.  HD, et al should write a check now
because, if the class is certified, it will wind up to be a lot
more if the plaintiffs win.

Allegations? Aplenty:

The offered funds performed poorly. (Hard to prove given
statistics can be manipulated to make the point for each side).

Unreasonable fees. (Usually a winner, these days. Unless hidden,
it should be obvious on its face. If fees were hidden, it's
worse.)

Kickbacks between the investment advisor and the recordkeeper.
(Easy to prove and never a good thing.)

If it goes on, the legal fees on both sides will be astronomical.
Multiple defendants mean multiple lawyers, multiple finger
pointings, lots of "who did what?", cross motions, replies.
Thousands of pages of documents and lots of work for the lawyers
for years.

Of interest to investment advisors are the accusations leveled at
Financial Engines, hired by HD to provide investment advice and
recommendations to participants.  The plaintiffs charge that the
participants didn't get any personalized advice, but got canned
model portfolios not based on individual participants' investment
objectives.

On top of that, Financial Engines was said to charge fees that
were more than double that of competitors, and kicked back part
of the fee to the plan recordkeeper, which was apparently not
disclosed to participants.  Apparently HD knew, though. [GN]


HOMETOWN AMERICA: Senior Residents File Class Action After Fires
----------------------------------------------------------------
Wayne Freedman, writing for ABC7, reports that a 30-foot travel
trailer is not exactly home sweet home for Dave and Diana Watson.
However, this is their life following the North Bay firestorm.

The couple is part of a class-action suit filed against Hometown
America, the senior living community where their homes burned.

The suit accused Hometown America of mistreating fire victims by
delaying rebuilding, which it says could take a couple of years.

The injunction would force Hometown America to move faster and
more efficiently.

Additionally, displaced residents want the company to not charge
rents of $750 per month on burned plots until they are occupied.

These are all seniors on fixed incomes.

They claim the company is manipulating their misfortunes and
wants them to leave so it can charge new residents higher rents.

Hometown America President Steve Braun told ABC7 News that the
charges are untrue.  The company issued a statement saying, "We
understand how distressful the past few months have been for
everyone affected by the fires.  We're doing everything in our
power, and working as fast as we can given the circumstances, to
get our residents back into homes as quickly as possible.  We
have not seen the lawsuit so we cannot comment on the
allegations, but from what we've heard, the statements are
unfounded."

Senior Residents of The Orchard mobile home park launch class
action suit against Hometown America after being burned out in
Sonoma firestorm.  Some still live on couches. Citing negligence.
[GN]


INNERWORKINGS INC: Bragar Eagel Files Securities Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------------
Bragar Eagel & Squire, P.C. on May 14 disclosed that a class
action lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California on behalf of all persons or
entities who purchased or otherwise acquired InnerWorkings, Inc.
(NASDAQ:INWK) securities between August 11, 2015 and May 7, 2018
(the "Class Period").  Investors have until July 9, 2018 to apply
to the Court to be appointed as lead plaintiff in the lawsuit.

On May 7, 2018, after the market closed, INWK announced that it
was postponing the release of its first quarter 2018 financial
results and conference call due to errors in its historical
financial statements identified during the course of its first
quarter financial reporting close process.  Following this news,
shares of INWK fell $0.62 per share, or 6.4%, to close at $9.06
on May 8, 2018.

The complaint alleges that Defendants made false and/or
misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1)
InnerWorkings' financial statements for the fiscal years ending
December 31, 2017, 2016, and 2015 as well as all interim periods
contained errors that required restating; and (2) InnerWorkings'
financial statements were materially false and misleading at all
relevant times.

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

For additional information concerning the InnerWorkings, Inc.
lawsuit, please go to https://bespc.com/innerworkings/

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


INSMED INC: "Hoey" Plaintiffs Fail to Appeal Case Dismissal
-----------------------------------------------------------
Insmed Incorporated said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on May 2, 2018, for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the deadline for
appeal in the case, Hoey v. Insmed Incorporated, et al, has
passed and the Company considers the case closed.

On July 15, 2016, a lawsuit captioned Hoey v. Insmed
Incorporated, et al, No. 3:16-cv-04323-FLW-TJB (D.N.J. July 15,
2016) was filed in the US District Court for the District of New
Jersey on behalf of a putative class of investors who purchased
the Company's common stock from March 18, 2013 through June 8,
2016.

The complaint alleged that the Company and certain of its
executives violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) by misrepresenting and/or
omitting the likelihood of the European Medicines Agency (EMA)
approving the Company's European marketing authorization
application (MAA) for use of ALIS in the treatment of NTM lung
disease and the likelihood of commercialization of ALIS in
Europe.

On October 25, 2016, the Court issued an order appointing Bucks
County Employees Retirement Fund as lead plaintiff for the
putative class. On December 15, 2016, the lead plaintiff filed an
amended complaint that shortened the putative class period for
the Exchange Act claims to March 26, 2014 through June 8, 2016
and added claims under Sections 11, 12, and 15 of the Securities
Act of 1933 (Securities Act) on behalf of a putative class of
investors who purchased common stock in or traceable to the
Company's March 31, 2015 public offering. The amended complaint
named as defendants in the Securities Act claims the Company,
certain directors and officers, and the investment banks who
served as underwriters in connection with the secondary offering.

The amended complaint alleged defendants violated the Securities
Act by using a purportedly misleading definition of "culture
conversion" and supposedly failing to disclose in the offering
materials purported flaws in its Phase 2 study that made the
secondary offering risky or speculative and sought damages in an
unspecified amount. The Company moved to dismiss the amended
complaint on March 1, 2017.

On February 15, 2018, the Court issued a decision granting the
motion and dismissing the amended complaint without prejudice as
to all defendants. On March 22, 2018 after the lead plaintiffs
failed to file an amended complaint, the Court entered final
judgment in favor of the defendants, and dismissed the case with
prejudice. The deadline for appeal has now passed and the Company
considers the case closed.

Insmed Incorporated is a global biopharmaceutical company focused
on the unmet needs of patients with rare diseases. The company is
based in Bridgewater, New Jersey.


JOHNSON CONTROLS: Says "Laufer" Class Suit Underway
---------------------------------------------------
Johnson Controls International PLC said in its Form 10-Q Report
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the Company continues
to defend against the case, Laufer v. Johnson Controls, Inc.

On May 20, 2016, a putative class action lawsuit, Laufer v.
Johnson Controls, Inc., et al., Docket No. 2016CV003859, was
filed in the Circuit Court of Wisconsin, Milwaukee County, naming
Johnson Controls, Inc., the individual members of its board of
directors, the Company and the Company's merger subsidiary as
defendants.

The complaint alleged that Johnson Controls Inc.'s directors
breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the merger
between Johnson Controls Inc. and the Company's merger subsidiary
by, among other things, failing to take steps to maximize
shareholder value, seeking to benefit themselves improperly and
failing to disclose material information in the joint proxy
statement/prospectus relating to the merger.

The complaint further alleged that the Company aided and abetted
Johnson Controls Inc.'s directors in the breach of their
fiduciary duties. The complaint sought, among other things, to
enjoin the merger.

On August 8, 2016, the plaintiffs agreed to settle the action and
release all claims that were or could have been brought by
plaintiffs or any member of the putative class of Johnson
Controls Inc.'s shareholders. The settlement is conditioned upon,
among other things, the execution of an appropriate stipulation
of settlement. On November 10, 2016, the parties filed a joint
status report notifying the court they had reached such
agreement. On November 22, 2016, the court ordered that a
proposed stipulation of settlement be filed by March 15, 2017 and
scheduled a status hearing for April 20, 2017.

On March 10, 2017, the parties filed a joint letter requesting
that the filing and hearing be adjourned and that the parties be
allowed an additional 90 days to update the court in light of the
Gumm v. Molinaroli action proceeding in federal court, discussed
below. The status hearing has subsequently been rescheduled for
May 2018.

Johnson Controls International said, "There can be no assurance
that the parties will ultimately enter into a stipulation of
settlement or that the court will approve the settlement. In
either event, or certain other circumstances, the settlement
could be terminated."

Johnson Controls International PLC, headquartered in Cork,
Ireland, is a global diversified technology and multi industrial
leader serving a wide range of customers in more than 150
countries. The Company creates intelligent buildings, efficient
energy solutions, integrated infrastructure and next generation
transportation systems that work seamlessly together to deliver
on the promise of smart cities and communities.


KULICKE & SOFFA: Bernstein Liebhard Files Securities Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Liebhard LLP on May 14 disclosed that a class action
lawsuit has been filed on behalf of those who purchased or
acquired the securities of Kulicke & Soffa Industries, Inc.
("K&S" or the "Company") (NASDAQ:KLIC) between November 16, 2017
and May 10, 2018, both dates inclusive (the "Class Period"). The
lawsuit seeks to recover K&S shareholders' investment losses.

To join the K&S class action, and/or if you have information
relating to this matter, please visit our K&S SHAREHOLDER PAGE or
contact Daniel Sadeh toll free at (877) 779-1414 or
dsadeh@bernlieb.com.

According to the lawsuit, throughout the Class Period Defendants
made false and/or misleading statements and/or failed to disclose
that: (1) K&S' consolidated financial statements for the fiscal
year ending September 30, 2017 could no longer be relied upon due
to misstated warranty accruals; and (2) as a result, Defendants'
public statements were materially false and misleading at all
relevant times.

On May 10, 2018, during aftermarket hours, K&S revealed that
"[f]ollowing the end of the fiscal quarter, the Company learned
of certain unauthorized transactions by a senior finance employee
of the Company."  The Company further disclosed that it
"discovered that certain warranty accruals in prior periods had
been accounted for incorrectly and therefore misstated," and
therefore, "the Company's previously issued consolidated
financial statements for the fiscal year ended September 30, 2017
can no longer be relied upon due to the misstated warranty
accruals made in prior periods."  As a result, the Company
disclosed that it will be restating its financial statements.

On this news, K&S' stock price fell $1.80 per share, or over 7%,
from its previous closing price to close at $21.99 per share on
May 11, 2018, damaging investors.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court
no later than July 10, 2018.  A lead plaintiff is a
representative party acting on behalf of other class members in
directing the litigation.  Your ability to share in any recovery
doesn't require that you serve as lead plaintiff.  If you choose
to take no action, you may remain an absent class member.

Since 1993, Bernstein Liebhard LLP -- http://www.bernlieb.com--
has recovered over $3.5 billion for its clients.  In addition to
representing individual investors, the Firm has been retained by
some of the largest public and private pension funds in the
country to monitor their assets and pursue litigation on their
behalf.  As a result of its success litigating hundreds of
lawsuits and class actions, the Firm has been named to The
National Law Journal's "Plaintiffs' Hot List" thirteen times and
listed in The Legal 500 for ten consecutive years. [GN]


LAMP PLUS: Case to Significantly Impact Class Action Litigation
---------------------------------------------------------------
Gerald L. Maatman, Jr., Esq., of Seyfarth Shaw LLP, in an article
for Lexology, wrote that on April 30, 2018, the U.S. Supreme
Court granted a writ of certiorari in Lamps Plus Inc. v. Varela,
No. 17-988.  This matter, which involves the interpretation of
workplace arbitration agreements, has the potential to
significantly impact class action litigation.  Mr. Maatman of
explains the legal framework of this case, as well as its
importance for employers.

Lamps Plus Inc. v. Varela began as a putative class action filed
in 2016 after a phishing incident at Lamps Plus.  Specifically,
Plaintiff Frank Varela's tax information was compromised when an
unknown individual posed as a company executive and gained access
to confidential employee data.  However, Lamps Plus argued that
the company's arbitration agreement signed by Varela mandated
that his claims be handled through arbitration on an individual
basis, thereby precluding his class action. Both the U.S.
District Court for the Central District of California and the
U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit agreed with Varela's
argument that the arbitration agreement allowed for class
arbitration.

The major question in this case regards the circumstances in
which class arbitration can be compelled under the Federal
Arbitration Act ("FAA").  Though the Supreme Court agreed to
review this question in the near future, it answered nearly the
same question in 2010 in a case entitled Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v.
AnimalFeeds International Corp., in which it held that class
arbitration is authorized only when all parties specifically
agree to it.  Within the next 6-12 months, we can expect the
Supreme Court to again a decision on this important class action
topic.

Implications For Employers

Employers and human resources personnel who handle employment
contracts should keep a close eye on this case.  The decision in
Lamps Plus Inc. v. Varela may very well impact an employer's
process in drafting arbitration clauses.

Furthermore, the Supreme Court's decision to review this matter,
while also considering Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis, No. 16-285,
indicates a significant interest in class action issues.  Both of
these matters have the potential to greatly impact employment
class action litigation. [GN]


MDL 2455: $295M Accord in Sterisafe Contract Suit Has Final OK
--------------------------------------------------------------
A $295,000,000 settlement has been granted final approval by the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, in the
case In Re: Stericycle, Steri-Safe Contract Litigation, No. 13-
cv-5795, MDL No. 2455.  The lawsuit claims that Stericycle
engaged in a practice of imposing Automated Price Increases in
violation of the contracts with certain of its customers.

Stericycle, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended
March 31, 2018, "We were served on March 12, 2013 with a class
action complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Pennsylvania by an individual plaintiff for itself
and on behalf of all other "similarly situated" customers of
ours. The complaint alleged, among other things, that we had
imposed unauthorized or excessive price increases and other
charges on our customers in breach of our contracts and in
violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business
Practices Act. The complaint sought certification of the lawsuit
as a class action and the award to class members of appropriate
damages and injunctive relief."

The Pennsylvania class action complaint was filed in the wake of
a settlement with the State of New York of an investigation under
the New York False Claims Act which arose out of the qui tam (or
"whistle blower") action captioned United States of America ex
rel. Jennifer D. Perez v. Stericycle, Inc., Case No. 1:08-cv-
2390, which was settled in the fourth quarter of 2015 as
previously disclosed.

Following the filing of the Pennsylvania class action complaint,
the company was served with class action complaints filed in
federal and state courts in several jurisdictions. These
complaints asserted claims and allegations substantially similar
to those made in the Pennsylvania class action complaint.  All of
these cases appear to be follow-on litigation to the company's
settlement with the State of New York.

On August 9, 2013, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
granted the company's Motion to Transfer these related actions to
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Illinois for centralized pretrial proceedings (the "MDL Action").

"On December 10, 2013, we filed our answer to the Amended
Consolidated Class Action Complaint in the MDL Action, generally
denying the allegations therein. Plaintiffs subsequently filed a
Second Amended Consolidated Complaint on March 8, 2016, and the
company filed an answer to that pleading on March 25, 2016,
generally denying the allegations therein and asserting a variety
of affirmative defenses," the Company said.

Plaintiffs filed a motion for class certification on January 29,
2016. On February 16, 2017, the Court entered an order granting
plaintiffs' motion for class certification. The Court certified a
class of "all persons and entities that, between March 8, 2003
through the date of trial resided in the United States (except
Washington and Alaska), were identified by Stericycle as 'Small
Quantity' or 'SQ' customer, and were charged and paid more than
their contractually-agreed price for Stericycle's medical waste
disposal goods and services pursuant to Stericycle's automated
price increase policy. Governmental entities whose claims were
asserted in United States ex rel. Perez v. Stericycle Inc. shall
be excluded from the class."

On March 2, 2017, Stericycle filed a motion for reconsideration
and clarification relating to the Court's class certification
decision. The parties engaged in discussions through and overseen
by a mediator regarding a potential resolution of the matter and
reached an agreement in principle for settlement in July 2017
(the "Proposed MDL Settlement").

Stericycle said, "As we disclosed in a current report on Form 8-K
filed on August 2, 2017, under the terms of the Proposed MDL
Settlement, we will establish a common fund of $295.0 million
from which will be paid all compensation to members of the
settlement class, attorneys' fees to class counsel, incentive
awards to the named class representatives and all costs of notice
and administration. Our existing contracts with customers will
remain in force, while we will also establish as part of the
Proposed MDL Settlement guidelines for future price increases and
provide customers additional transparency regarding such
increases. The Proposed MDL Settlement also addresses additional
matters, including the availability of alternative dispute
resolution for members of the settlement class. In the Proposed
MDL Settlement, we are admitting no fault or wrongdoing
whatsoever, and are entering into the Proposed MDL Settlement in
order to avoid the cost and uncertainty of litigation."

In view of the Proposed MDL Settlement, the company recorded a
pre-tax charge of $295.0 million during the second quarter of
2017.

On October 17, 2017, the Company executed a definitive written
settlement agreement (the "Settlement"), which incorporates the
terms of the agreement in principle announced in August 2017.
The Settlement incorporates the terms of the Proposed MDL
Settlement, described above, and proposes a global resolution of
all cases and claims against the Company in the MDL Action,
including the allegation that price increases implemented by the
Company allegedly violated the contracts between the Company and
its customers as well as various state consumer protection
statutes.

Under the terms of the Settlement, the Company is admitting no
fault or wrongdoing whatsoever, and it is entering into the
Settlement in order to avoid the cost and uncertainty of
litigation. The Settlement, upon final approval by the Court
following a fairness hearing, will fully and finally resolve all
claims against the Company alleged in the MDL Action.

On October 17, 2017, plaintiffs in the MDL Action filed
Plaintiffs' Unopposed Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class
Settlement and Approval of Notice Plan. Following a hearing on
October 26, 2017, the Court granted preliminary approval of the
Settlement and set certain deadlines, including for notification
of the class of the terms of the Settlement, the submission of
opt-outs or objections to the Settlement, and a fairness hearing.
The fairness hearing was held on March 8, 2018. The Court granted
approval of the Proposed MDL Settlement that same day. A hearing
to address final opt out issues was scheduled for May 3, 2018.

Additional information on the case is available at:

               http://www.stericycleclassaction.com/

Stericycle is a multinational business-to-business services
company with a core purpose to protect people and brands, promote
health, and safeguard the environment.  Stericycle works with its
customers to ensure regulatory compliance, minimize environmental
impact, manage business and personal risk, improve safety, and
facilitate communication. The company is based in lake Forrest,
Illinois.


MG DESIGN: Faces Class Action Over WARN Act Violation
-----------------------------------------------------
Terry Flores, writing for Kenosha News, reports that a federal
class action lawsuit has been filed on behalf of as many as 150
employees whose jobs were terminated without warning at a
Pleasant Prairie design firm.

The suit, filed on May 11 in federal court in Milwaukee, alleges
mg Design Associates, which builds exhibits for clients in the
trade show industry, failed to give the required 60 days advanced
written notice under the federal Worker Adjustment and Retraining
Notification act.

The class action suit was filed by Outten & Golden LLP, an
employee-rights law firm with offices in Chicago and other
cities, on behalf of Denise Mosey and other employees laid off
when the company terminated operations on May 9.  The suit also
seeks unpaid wages and benefits under federal and state laws.

mg Design Associates, with headquarters at 8778 100th St. in the
LakeView Corp Park, also has locations in San Francisco, Las
Vegas and Orlando, Fla.

According to the suit, in addition to failing to give the 60-day
notice, the company violated federal regulations by failing to
pay employees' "respective wages, salary, commissions, bonuses,
accrued holiday pay and accrued vacation" for the same period
after their terminations.

The suit also alleges the company's failure to make pension and
401k contributions and provide benefits subject to federal law.

Following the sudden layoffs, former employees alleged the
company was mismanaged, including overspending on travel, meals
and buffet dinners.  They also cited the company's inability to
pay back bank lines of credit.

On May 10, company president John Patten confirmed the closing,
but neither he nor the company's owner and CEO Michael Grivas
would comment further.

Neither company officials nor the attorney for Mosey could be
reached for comment on May 13. [GN]


MORGAN STANLEY: Former Worker Files Labor Class Action
------------------------------------------------------
Investment News reports that a former Morgan Stanley broker in
San Francisco has filed a class action suit against the firm,
saying that it violated California labor law and "unlawfully
undercompensated" its reps in California for their work.

The suit filed by Brandon Harvey, who worked for Morgan Stanley
from 2013 until this year, when he affiliated with LPL Financial
in Sacramento, charges that the firm "had a policy and practice
of not reimbursing class members" for business expenses.

The suit also questions whether the firm's policies and
procedures for its deductions from commissions or other wages are
legal and whether its wage statements complied with California
law.

For the suit, Mr. Harvey seeks certification of a class that
consists of all financial advisers employed by the firm in
California in the past four years.

The suit is seeking unspecified compensatory damages and
restitution. [GN]


MVM INC: Must Face Race Discrimination Class Action
---------------------------------------------------
Braden Campbell, writing for Law360, reports that a Maryland
federal judge on May 14 refused to let government security
contractor MVM Inc. escape the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission's claims it systematically pushed out a class of
African workers, instead pausing the suit to let the agency amend
charge documents that left out key allegations.

The case is U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. MVM,
Inc., Case No. 1:17-cv-02864.  The case is assigned to Judge
Theodore D. Chuang.  The case was filed September 27, 2017. [GN]


NISSAN MOTOR: Results Hit by Takata Air Bag Class Actions in U.S.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Yuri Kageyaman, writing for The Associated Press, reports that
Nissan Motor Co.'s profit fell 32 percent in the last quarter
from a year earlier as a strong yen, rising raw materials costs
and research expenses bit into earnings, the Japanese automaker
reported on May 14.

Nissan's January-March profit was 168.8 billion yen ($1.5
billion), down from 249 billion yen last year. Quarterly sales
fell 0.9 percent to 3.4 trillion yen ($31.3 billion).

Nissan said some losses for the fiscal year through March, such
as costs from production halts in Japan due to illegal
inspections that surfaced last year, have now ended.

Its results were also hit by class-action lawsuits in the U.S.
over defective air bags made by supplier Takata Corp. Those are
not expected to continue in this fiscal year either.

Nissan's full-year profit rose 12.6 percent to 746.9 billion yen
($6.8 billion), helped by U.S. tax reforms and relatively solid
global vehicle sales, according to the Yokohama-based maker of
the March subcompact, Leaf electric car and Infiniti luxury
models.

Nissan, allied with Renault SA of France, is expecting global
vehicle sales to grow this fiscal year to 5.925 million vehicles.

Its global vehicle sales for the fiscal year through March
reached a record 5.77 million vehicles, up 2.6 percent on- year.

By region, vehicles sales rose in Japan, despite the inspections
scandal and production halts.  Sales also grew in North America,
where the Rogue sport-utility vehicle was popular, Nissan Chief
Executive Hiroto Saikawa told reporters.

Mr. Saikawa said Nissan's alliance with Renault, set up in 1999,
when Nissan was on the verge of bankruptcy, as well as the more
recent one forged with Japanese automaker Mitsubishi Motors Corp.
were going well.

Nissan has been aggressive in pursuing electric vehicles, with
its Leaf being the world's best-selling pure electric vehicle.
Nissan is also aggressive in pursuing new mobility services such
as car-sharing and autonomous drive.

Although all the world's automakers are pursing such technology,
there are clear differences in how quickly, and how passionately,
each company has invested in its development. [GN]


ORBITAL ATK: Merger Related Suits Voluntarily Dismissed
-------------------------------------------------------
Orbital ATK, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended
March 31, 2018, that the purported class actions suits against
the company related to a merger deal have been voluntarily
dismissed.

Seven purported class actions challenging the Merger were filed
in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Virginia, captioned Lickteig v. Orbital ATK, Inc., et al., filed
October 11, 2017 (the "Lickteig Action"), Ayzin v. Orbital ATK,
Inc., et al., filed October 13, 2017 (the "Ayzin Action"), Sedon
v. Orbital ATK, Inc., et al., filed October 16, 2017 (the "Sedon
Action"), Berg v. Orbital ATK, Inc., et al., filed October 16,
2017 (the "Berg Action"), Simnowitz v. Orbital ATK, Inc., et al.,
filed October 18, 2017 (the "Simnowitz Action"), Cramer v.
Orbital ATK, Inc., et al., filed October 25, 2017 (the "Cramer
Action"), and Donato v. Orbital ATK, Inc., et al., filed on
November 7, 2017 (the "Donato Action" and collectively with the
Lickteig Action, Ayzin Action, Sedon Action, Berg Action,
Simnowitz Action and Cramer Action, the "Actions").

The Actions alleged certain violations of the Securities and
Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act"), as amended, and
sought, among other things, damages, attorneys' fees and
injunctive relief to prevent the Merger from closing. While the
Company believed that the Actions lacked merit and that the
disclosures set forth in the proxy statement complied fully with
applicable law, in order to moot plaintiffs' unmeritorious
disclosure claims, avoid nuisance and possible expense and
provide additional information to our stockholders, the Company
determined to voluntarily supplement the proxy statement, as set
forth in the Company's Schedule 14A filed with the SEC on
November 20, 2017.

On November 20, 2017, the Ayzin Action, Sedon Action, Berg
Action, Cramer Action and Donato Action were each voluntarily
dismissed with prejudice as to the plaintiffs. On December 8,
2017, the Simnowitz Action was voluntarily dismissed with
prejudice as to the plaintiff and on January 12, 2018, the
Lickteig Action was voluntarily dismissed with prejudice as to
the plaintiff. While each of the Actions have been voluntarily
dismissed with prejudice as to the plaintiffs, additional
plaintiffs may file lawsuits against the Company and/or its
directors and officers in connection with the Merger.

Orbital ATK, Inc. is an aerospace and defense systems company and
supplier of products to the U.S. Government, allied nations,
prime contractors and other customers. The company is based in
Dulles, Virginia.


ORBITAL ATK: Parties in "Knurr" Suit Proceed to Mediation
---------------------------------------------------------
In the case, Knurr v. Orbital ATK Inc. et al., Case No. 1:16-cv-
01031 (E.D. Va.), District Judge T. S. Ellis, III signed an order
dated May 14, 2018, granting the parties' joint motion for a 30-
day stay of the litigation to permit the parties to engage in
private mediation.  Judge Ellis also directed the parties to
submit a written status report to the Court no later than 30 days
after May 14, advising the Court of the status of their
settlement.

Orbital ATK, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended
March 31, 2018, that on August 12, 2016, a putative class action
complaint, naming the Company, its Chief Executive Officer and
its Chief Financial Officer as defendants, was filed in the
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
(Steven Knurr, et al. v. Orbital ATK, Inc., No. 16-cv-01031 (TSE-
MSN)). The class action complaint asserts claims on behalf of
purchasers of Orbital ATK securities for violations of Sections
10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 thereunder,
arising out of allegedly false and misleading statements and the
failure to disclose that: (i) the Company lacked effective
control over financial reporting; and (ii) as a result, the
Company failed to record an anticipated loss on its long-term
contract with the U.S. Army to manufacture and supply small
caliber ammunition at the U.S. Army's Lake City Army Ammunition
Plant.

On April 24, 2017 and October 10, 2017, the plaintiffs filed
amended complaints naming additional defendants and asserting
claims for violations of additional sections of the Exchange Act
and alleged false and misleading statements in the Company's Form
S-4 filed with the SEC relating to the Orbital-ATK Merger.

The complaint seeks an award of damages, an award of reasonable
costs and expenses at trial, including counsel and expert fees,
and an award of such other relief as deemed appropriate by the
Court.

No further updates were provided in the Company's SEC report.

Orbital ATK, Inc. is an aerospace and defense systems company and
supplier of products to the U.S. Government, allied nations,
prime contractors and other customers. The company is based in
Dulles, Virginia.


PACIFIC FERTILITY: Storage Tank Failure Lawsuits Consolidated
-------------------------------------------------------------
Three class action lawsuits focused on the mishandling of
thousands of embryos and eggs at Pacific Fertility Center have
now been combined in the U.S. District Court for Northern
California.  The federal judge overseeing the case appointed
Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane PLC, Girard Gibbs LLP, and Lieff
Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein LLP (Lieff Cabraser) to serve as
interim co-lead counsel, responsible for directing and
prosecuting the plaintiffs' claims.

In March, Pacific Fertility Center admitted that thousands of
embryos and eggs may have been compromised.  Pacific Fertility
emailed clients a notice informing them that their stored tissue
"may have been impacted" when the liquid nitrogen in Pacific's
Tank No. 4 fell below necessary levels.  The consolidated class
action lawsuit charges Pacific Fertility Center with breach of
contract and negligence, among other claims, relating to the
mishandling of the stored eggs and embryos in the cryogenic
storage tank failure.

Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane Partner Adam Wolf --
awolf@prwlegal.com -- said: "All of the law firms in this matter
are focused first and foremost on the victims of the Pacific
Fertility tragedy.  We are talking about hundreds of individuals
and couples who lost their opportunity to be parents in the
manner they had expected.  The scope of such a loss is hard to
fathom for someone who has not experienced it.  Our goal is to
make sure that these individuals get their day in court."

Attorney Sarah R. London, who filed Lieff Cabraser's complaint on
behalf of the plaintiffs, stated: "Pacific Fertility's
mishandling of the eggs and embryos is irreparable and
devastating.  And heartbreakingly, for some victims, the eggs and
embryos in Tank 4 were the last and only chance to have a
biological child.  These women and their families deserve to be
heard in a court of law."

"This tank failure has caused severe anguish and damage to the
individuals and families who were affected," said Adam Polk --
aep@girardgibbs.com -- of Girard Gibbs.  "We are committed to
holding Pacific Fertility Center accountable for its role and for
the harm it has needlessly inflicted on so many people."

The court order notes that the law firms have already undertaken
"significant effort on behalf of proposed class members,
including a thorough and factual technical investigation into the
March 4, 2018 incident; consultation with experts; meetings with
numerous families whose eggs and/or embryos were stored in the
tank at issue; review of client documents; and coordination with
defense counsel regarding consolidation of the three related
actions."

The lawsuit alleges that Pacific Fertility's gross mishandling of
eggs and embryos has caused panic, confusion, anxiety,
devastation, and irreparable damage to hundreds of prospective
parents and families.  The suit further alleges that since the
incident, Pacific Fertility has not taken appropriate affirmative
efforts to provide clear, consistent communication to those
affected, leaving victims confused and even more anxious, during
an already emotionally difficult time.

In addition, it is alleged that Pacific Fertility told patients
that they could not know for certain whether any of the eggs and
embryos were irretrievably damaged until they were thawed, so in
order to determine whether the embryos remained viable despite
having been exposed to unsafe conditions, plaintiffs would have
to try to get pregnant with those embryos, even if they were not
ready to do so.  These options would entail considerable cost and
risk, and would be fraught with fear, stress, anxiety, and likely
heartache.

The lawsuit seeks monetary compensation and other remedies as a
result of Pacific Fertility's misconduct.

The Pacific Fertility Center incident attracted widespread
national attention not only because of the scale of the embryos
and eggs believed affected, but also because of the coincidental
timing of a very similar tragedy at a fertility center in
Cleveland, Ohio.

                          About Girard Gibbs

Girard Gibbs LLP is a national litigation firm representing
plaintiffs in lawsuits in state and federal courts.  The firm
serves individuals in cases involving catastrophic personal
injury and consumer protection laws.

                  About Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane

Peiffer Wolf Carr & Kane is a national law firm with offices in
San Francisco, Cleveland, New York, Los Angeles, Missouri, and
New Orleans.  PW is nationally recognized for its representing
victims who suffered the loss of their embryos and eggs.

                       About Lieff Cabraser

Recognized as "one of the nation's premier plaintiffs' firms" by
The American Lawyer, Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is a
seventy-plus attorney law firm with offices in San Francisco, New
York, Nashville, and Seattle.  Since its founding 46 years ago in
1972, Lieff Cabraser has litigated and resolved hundreds of class
action lawsuits and thousands of individual cases, including the
successful representation of thousands of families across America
in individual lawsuits due to the injuries they suffered from
product defects and mass disasters. [GN]


PERSONAL INSURANCE: Waddell Launches Privacy Breach Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
Waddell Phillips Professional Corporation on May 15 disclosed
that a proposed privacy breach class action lawsuit has been
launched by the law firm Waddell Phillips Professional
Corporation against The Personal Insurance Company and its
parent, Desjardins General Insurance Group Inc.

The plaintiff, Kalevi Haikola, commenced this claim against his
motor vehicle insurer after it accessed his credit score when it
was adjusting a simple accident benefits claim.  The lawsuit
alleges that credit score information is wholly irrelevant when
an insurer is resolving accident benefit claims, and therefore
the defendants could only be using this information for improper
purposes, and against the interests of their customers.

In fact, Mr. Haikola complained to the Office of the Privacy
Commissioner of Canada, alleging that the demand for credit score
information was improper.  The Privacy Commissioner agreed,
holding that The Personal collected and used credit information
from Mr. Haikola without obtaining meaningful consent, and in a
manner that a reasonable person would consider inappropriate.
The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada concluded that
The Personal violated the Personal Information Protection and
Electronic Documents Act ("PIPEDA").

In February 2018, The Personal told the Privacy Commissioner that
it had stopped the practice of collecting and using credit score
information during its claims assessment process.  Despite this
representation to the Privacy Commissioner, after Mr. Haikola was
involved in a rear-end collision in March 2018, The Personal
asked Mr. Haikola, not only for his consent to access his credit
score (the very thing that it had said it was no longer doing,
and which was found to be a PIPEDA breach), but it also asked for
much more intrusive financial disclosure.

The claim asserts that the foremost obligation of an insurer is
to act with utmost good faith toward its insureds.  This
obligation includes the duty to respect the privacy interests of
insureds.  Intrusive prodding into personal financial affairs,
including credit scores, of insureds is inappropriate and
unlawful under Canadian privacy legislation.  The claim alleges
that persons involved in motor vehicle accidents are particularly
vulnerable in the hands of their insurance companies, and can
reasonably expect their insurers to treat them fairly. This
includes a reasonable expectation that they will not be given
differential treatment based upon their personal financial
circumstances.

In this action, Mr. Haikola seeks damages for defendants' breach
of the privacy rights of Canadians embodied in PIPEDA, and for
the defendants' alleged bad faith based upon continuing the
practice of collecting personal financial information after they
told the Privacy Commissioner that they had stopped the practice.
Mr. Haikola seeks damages on behalf of all class members for the
alleged unreasonable breach of their privacy and the insurer's
alleged breach of the duty of utmost good faith.

Additional information about this case, and a private portal for
class members to communicate with class counsel is available at:
www.personalprivacyclassaction.com. [GN]


PURDUE PHARMA: Faces RICO Class Action in California
----------------------------------------------------
Elizabeth Alt, writing for Northern California Record, reports
that a class action lawsuit has been filed alleging
pharmaceutical companies are directly responsible for the opioid
epidemic that has in turn caused health insurance payments to
increase.

Jordan Chu filed the lawsuit on behalf of himself and a class of
others on May 2, requesting a trial by jury for violations of
California's Unfair Competition Law and Business and Professions
Code, violations of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act, conspiracy to violate the Racketeering
Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, public nuisance, unjust
enrichment, negligence, and civil conspiracy.

The lawsuit claims: "All of the defendants in this action share
responsibility for creating, sustaining, and prolonging the
opioid epidemic."  The defendants listed are pharmaceutical
companies, including Purdue Pharma, Teva Ltd., Janssen
Pharmaceuticals, which is owned by Johnson & Johnson; and Endo
Pharmaceuticals.

Chu filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Northern
California District, claiming the companies that produce, market
and sell opioids have caused insurance premiums to increase for
"Every California purchaser of private health insurance."
Mr. Chu states that his monthly premium has gone up almost $100
from 2017 to 2018.  The lawsuit claims that premiums have been on
the rise for several years as insurance providers began factoring
in the costs of future opioid-related care, such as ER visits,
addiction treatment, and babies born addicted to opioids, and
passing the cost down to their insureds.

Mr. Chu states the companies' "well-funded campaign of deception"
directly caused the opioid epidemic that has led to a devastating
number of deaths because the companies misrepresented the many
risks and dangerous addictive nature of the pain medicine when
marketing and selling the opioids to doctors to treat their
patients, which "generated far more opioid prescriptions than
there should have been."

Mr. Chu says the flood of opioid prescriptions paved the way for
people to sell their prescription opioids, raising the price of
prescriptions, creating an illegal market that eventually forced
people who genuinely needed the medicine to the streets to
purchase opioids and even heroin.  The class states this has
created a national epidemic of opioid abuse and death and that
the defendants have made huge profits.  The lawsuit notes that
Purdue Pharma, for example, has made almost $3 billion from the
sales of the pain medication OxyContin since 2009.

Mr. Chu claims that the defendants knew or should have known that
their alleged deception would result in millions of people
becoming addicted to opioids, "imposing tremendous medical and
other costs that would be borne by all purchasers of health
insurance."

The suit seeks restitution, an order enjoining defendants from
future violations, equitable relief, actual damages, treble
damages, attorneys' fees and other fees.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, case
number 3:18-cv-02576-JCS
[GN]


RENT A CENTER: Class Certification Hearing in "Hall" on Sept. 19
----------------------------------------------------------------
Rent-A-Car Center, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period
ended March 31, 2018, that the hearing on the motion for class
certification is scheduled for September 19, 2018.

On December 23, 2016, a putative class action was filed against
the company and certain of its former officers by Alan Hall in
federal court in Sherman, Texas. The company said, "the complaint
alleges that the defendants violated Section 10(b) and/or Section
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder by issuing false and misleading statements
and omitting material facts regarding our business, including
implementation of our point-of-sale system, operations and
prospects during the period covered by the complaint.  The
complaint purports to be brought on behalf of all purchasers of
our common stock from July 27, 2015 through October 10, 2016, and
seeks damages in unspecified amounts and costs, fees, and
expenses."

A complaint filed by James DePalma also in Sherman, Texas
alleging similar claims was consolidated by the court into the
Hall matter. On October 19, 2017, the magistrate judge entered a
recommendation to deny the company's motion to dismiss the
complaint to the district judge who will decide the issue. The
company filed its objections to the magistrate's recommendation
on November 2, 2017.

On December 14, 2017, the district judge issued an order adopting
the magistrate's report and denying the company's motion to
dismiss the complaint. Discovery in this matter has now
commenced. A hearing on class certification is scheduled for
September 19, 2018.

Rent-A-Car Center said, "We continue to believe that these claims
are without merit and intend to vigorously defend ourselves.
However, we cannot assure you that we will be found to have no
liability in this matter."

Rent-A-Car Center, Inc. is one of the largest rent-to-own
operators in North America, focused on improving the quality of
life for its customers by providing them the opportunity to
obtain ownership of high-quality durable products, such as
consumer electronics, appliances, computers, (including tablets),
smartphones, and furniture (including accessories), under
flexible rental purchase agreements with no long-term obligation.
The company is based in Plano, Texas.


RENT A CENTER: Continues to Defend "Blair" Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------
Rent-A-Car Center, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period
ended March 31, 2018, that the company continues to defend itself
in the case, Blair v. Rent-A-Center, Inc.

This matter is a state-wide class action complaint originally
filed on March 13, 2017 in the Federal District Court for the
Northern District of California. The complaint alleges various
claims, including that the company's cash sales and total rent to
own prices exceed the pricing permitted under the Karnette
Rental-Purchase Act.

In addition, the plaintiffs allege that the company fail to give
customers a fully executed rental agreement and that all such
rental agreements that were issued to customers unsigned are void
under the law.

The plaintiffs are seeking statutory damages under the Karnette
Rental-Purchase Act which range from $100 - $1,000 per violation,
injunctive relief, and attorney's fees.

Rent-A-Car Center said, "We believe that these claims are without
merit and intend to vigorously defend ourselves. However, we
cannot assure you that we will be found to have no liability in
this matter."

Rent-A-Car Center, Inc. is one of the largest rent-to-own
operators in North America, focused on improving the quality of
life for its customers by providing them the opportunity to
obtain ownership of high-quality durable products, such as
consumer electronics, appliances, computers, (including tablets),
smartphones, and furniture (including accessories), under
flexible rental purchase agreements with no long-term obligation.
The company is based in Plano, Texas.


RODAN + FIELDS: Faces Second Class Action Over Lash Boost Product
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jonathan Berr, writing for CBS News, reports that Skincare
products company Rodan + Fields is facing a second federal class
action lawsuit alleging that the multi-level marketing company
failed to disclose the harmful side effects of a key ingredient
in its Lash Boost eye serum which it claims gives users "the
appearance of lush, longer-looking lashes."

As in an April 13 lawsuit, the new case singles out isopropyl
cloprostenate, a type of medication called a prostaglandin analog
that's used to treat glaucoma and other eye diseases.  It has
been linked to dry eye, eye irritation, eye inflammation, eye
redness, and macular edema, the latest lawsuit says, and had the
lead plaintiff, Melissa Ryan of San Diego, known about the
"documented health risks" of the chemical, she wouldn't have
purchased Lash Boost or would have paid less for it.

"R+F (Rodan + Fields) further claims that for 'best results,' use
Lash Boost daily for 8 weeks, which would likely require a
customer to buy at least two tubes of the costly (retail price of
about $150) Lash Boost and further exposing the consumer to
potential serious health effects," according to the court filing.

Attorneys for Ms. Ryan and a spokesperson for Rodan + Fields
couldn't immediately be reached for comment.  San Francisco-based
Rodan + Fields has disputed the claims in the earlier case.

Rodan + Fields also is in a legal tussle with skincare rival
Procter & Gamble's Olay Regenerist line over the marketing of
serums that promise to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

The dispute centers around the different Vitamin A derivatives
used in the companies' products.  Rodan+Fields' Intensive
Renewing Serum contains retinal, which is a precursor to
prescription drugs called retinoids used to treat skin conditions
such as acne and psoriasis.  Procter's Olay Regenerist line uses
Pro-Retinol, a Vitamin A formulation patented by the company.

Rodan + Fields claims the retinal in its product has 20 times the
strength of Procter & Gamble's Retinol and is the closest to
prescription strength Vitamin A that's available on the market.
It's a claim that Procter & Gamble disputes.

Procter & Gamble sent Rodan + Fields a cease and desist letter in
December 2017 over what Procter considered to be "false and
misleading" claims on Rodan's website, YouTube videos and on
social media posts made by Rodan's independent consultants about
the efficacy of retinal and the Intensive Renewing Serum.

Two months later, Procter & Gamble filed a complaint against
Rodan + Fields with the National Advertising Division (NAD) of
the Better Business Bureau.  Cincinnati-based Procter requested
that the NAD order Rodan + Fields to quit making the misleading
claims or risk a referral to the Federal Trade Commission.

The NAD is the advertising industry's self-regulatory body tasked
with examining complaints about advertising claims.  Though its
recommendations aren't binding, they often are followed.
According to P&G, its complaint against Rodan + Fields has been
put on hold temporarily.

"Olay questioned the accuracy and truthfulness of Rodan + Fields
advertising of its Intensive Renewing Serum and, in line with
industry standards, filed a complaint with the NAD,"
Kate DiCarlo, a spokeswoman for Olay, wrote in an email.  "We are
disappointed that Rodan + Fields refused to participate in the
self-regulatory process and instead sought protection in federal
court."

Ms. DiCarlo is referring to a federal lawsuit filed in March by
Rodan + Fields that alleges Procter & Gamble is illegally trying
to block the marketing of Rodan + Fields' Intensive Renewing
Serum so that the consumer products giant can gain an edge for
its rival Olay Regenerist line.

"P&G does not want consumers to know about the ingredients in
Rodan + Fields' Intensive Renewing Serum or the product's
attributes and is actively trying to limit Rodan + Fields'
ability to truthfully advertise them," according to a March 23
court filing.

Rodan + Field has vowed to fight what it sees as a "baseless
legal challenge" from P&G.  "We stand by the quality of our
products and the claims made in marketing our Intensive Renewing
Serum," according to a Rodan + Fields statement.

There is plenty at stake for both companies.  Rodan + Fields
generated $1.5 billion in beauty product retail sales including
skin care in 2017, topping Olay, which had $932 million,
according to Euromonitor.

Dr. Anthony Rossi, a dermatologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering
Cancer Center in New York, urges consumers to be skeptical about
claims made by makers of anti-aging products.  "Marketing claims
can be based on a variety of data that usually is not published
and therefore not subject to scrutiny," he wrote in an email.
[GN]


SAINT-GOBAIN: Faces 2 Class Actions in New Hampshire Over PFAs
--------------------------------------------------------------
Ken Liebeskind, writing for Nashua Telegraph, reports that when
Saint-Gobain signed the consent decree to provide municipal water
connections for the disputed homes in Merrimack, Bedford and
Litchfield on March 20, Clark Friese, the assistant commissioner
of the Department of Environmental Services, said, "The decree
does not limit other legal avenues.  Citizens, towns or
businesses can file class actions suits or sue, there is no legal
infringement."

A class action suit had already been filed and another suit
representing individual plaintiffs was filed more recently.

The first suit, filed by Gottesman & Hollis, Nashua and the
Hannon Law Firm, Denver, is a class action suit that will
represent all residents of occupied properties in Merrimack and
Bedford who are served by the Merrimack Water District.  "The
number of owned properties exceeds 500 and there are over 1,000
members of the classes who have been exposed to PFAs from Saint-
Gobain," the suit states.

The second suit, filed by Nixon, Vogelman, Slawsky Simoneau in
Manchester, represents a series of residents, mostly from
Merrimack who are suing Saint-Gobain and the Merrimack Village
District Water Works.

The class action suit was filed in June, 2016 and will be heard
in September, 2019.  It will be filed for class action
certification this summer.  "We don't think it will be a problem
to be certified," Paul DeCarolis -- pdecarolis@nh-lawyers.com --
a Gottesman & Hollis lawyer said.  "The case started in a state
court and was removed to a federal court after a fight over
jurisdiction."

No court date is available for the second suit.

Both cases condemn Saint-Gobain for its use of PFOAs that
contaminated MVD water.  They ask for compensation for injuries,
the losses in property value of their homes, home repair and
medical monitoring.

The first case seeks "damages arising out of releases,
discharges, spills and leaks of toxic chemicals from the Saint-
Gobain plant.  These damages include the loss of value and
deferred marketability of properties, the cost of remediating the
properties, the cost of mitigating the contaminated water and
cost of alternative water sources.  Damages also include the cost
of medical monitoring for the early detection of illness and
disease caused by their exposure to toxic chemical released from
the Saint-Gobain site."

Both cases cite Saint-Gobain as the primary defendant.  The first
case names Gwenail Busnel, a Saint-Gobain general manager as a
defendant while the second case includes Busnel and Chris Gilman,
who served as a Saint-Gobain facility manager since 2012.

While Saint-Gobain and its managers are the lead defendants in
both suits, the MVD is also charged in the second suit.  "The MVD
did not take appropriate steps to prevent the contamination of
its wells with PFCs, did not adequately warn and notify the
Plaintiffs of the contamination, and did not take adequate steps
to remediate the situation," the suit states.  "As a direct
result of the negligent and unsafe manner in which Defendant
operated the water supply, PFCs have been consumed by
Plaintiffs."

The names of individual plaintiffs were cited in both suits. In
the second suit, all but one of the plaintiffs are from
Merrimack, while the towns of plaintiffs in the first suit are
not listed.

Saint-Gobain is defending itself against a similar lawsuit in
Hoosick Falls, NY and it suspended its own lawsuit against the
state of Vermont that challenged its lowering of the safe water
drinking standard for PFOAs to 20 parts per trillion, which is
lower than the EPA standard of 70 ppt.

The first suit establishes the history of the PFOA issue in
Merrimack, from the days when Chemfab, the company that preceded
Saint-Gobain, first contaminated the water supply of Merrimack
and Litchfield with chemicals affiliated with its plastics
business.  On Feb. 26, 2016, Saint-Gobain reported PFOA in MVD
water.  On March 4, 2016, DES began its investigation into the
presence of PFCs in drinking water in Merrimack.  On March 13,
2016 DES received well test results in Merrimack and Litchfield
and on April 1, 2016 it began providing bottled water to homes
testing above the 70 part per trillion rate for PFOAs in their
well water.

Since then, Saint-Gobain has agreed to fund bottled water to
residents with a mile of the Saint-Gobain facility that tested
above 70 ppt; it reimbursed the state for the cost of providing
bottled water; it supported soil-sampling at locations near the
Merrimack facility; and implemented a site investigation work
plan.

On March 20, 2018, it agreed to pay for municipal water
connections to homes it had initially declined to connect.  And
now it is faced with lawsuits from residents who want to be
compensated for their tribulations since 2016.

Mark Cheffo -- markcheffo@quinnemanuel.com -- a lawyer for the
firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, which represents Saint-
Gobain, said, "In all cases brought against Saint-Gobain to date,
including in New Hampshire, we have or plan to seek dismissal on
the basis that, among other things, medical monitoring is not a
legally recognized cause of action and so-called property
'stigma' claims are not recognized injuries under the law.
Further, Saint-Gobain contends that the plaintiffs' claims are
fundamentally unique and dissimilar and therefore cannot proceed
as class actions.  Saint-Gobain plans to defend itself against
the claims in the pending lawsuits." [GN]


SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS: "Corban" Plaintiffs' Time to Appeal Elapsed
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly
period ended March 31, 2018, that the time to file a petition
with the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari has elapsed
without a filing from class action plaintiffs.

Purported class action complaints were filed against the Company
and certain of its officers in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Massachusetts on January 27, 2014 and January 29,
2014. The complaints were consolidated into a single action
(Corban v. Sarepta, et al., No. 14-cv-10201) by order of the
court on June 23, 2014. Plaintiffs' consolidated amended
complaint, filed on July 21, 2014, asserted violations of Section
10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the
"Exchange Act") and Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 10b-5
against the Company, and Chris Garabedian, Sandy Mahatme, and Ed
Kaye ("Individual Defendants," and collectively with the Company,
the "Corban Defendants"), and violations of Section 20(a) of the
Exchange Act against the Individual Defendants.

Plaintiffs alleged that the Corban Defendants made material
misrepresentations or omissions during the putative class period
of July 24, 2013 through November 12, 2013, regarding a data set
for a Phase 2b study of eteplirsen and the likelihood of the FDA
accepting the Company's new drug application for eteplirsen for
review based on that data set. Plaintiffs sought compensatory
damages and fees.

On August 18, 2014, the Corban Defendants filed a motion to
dismiss, which the Court granted on March 31, 2015. Plaintiffs
subsequently sought leave to file a second amended complaint,
which the Corban Defendants opposed. On September 2, 2015, the
Court denied Plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend as futile.
Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal on September 29, 2015,
seeking review of the Court's March 31, 2015 order dismissing the
case and the Court's September 2, 2015 order denying leave to
amend.

On January 27, 2016, Plaintiffs filed in the district court a
motion for relief from judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 60(b)(2), arguing that the FDA Briefing Document
published on or about January 15, 2016, was material and would
have changed the Court's ruling. On February 26, 2016, the First
Circuit stayed the appeal pending the district court's ruling on
the 60(b)(2) motion.  Defendants opposed the 60(b)(2) motion, and
on April 21, 2016, the Court denied Plaintiffs' motion for relief
from judgment. On May 19, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a motion to
alter or amend the April 21, 2016 order pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 59(e).

On May 20, 2016, the Court denied Plaintiffs' motion, and
Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal of the Court's April 21, 2016
denial of their 60(b)(2) motion and May 20, 2016 denial of their
59(e) motion. On June 13, 2016, the First Circuit granted
Plaintiffs' motion to consolidate the two appeals.

Sarepta Therapeutics said in its Form 10-Q Report for the
quarterly period ended September 30, 2017, that oral argument
took place on March 7, 2017 and the First Circuit affirmed the
District Court's dismissal of this case on August 22, 2017.
Plaintiffs filed a Petition for Panel Rehearing and Rehearing En
Banc, which the First Circuit denied on October 11, 2017.

In its recent report, the Company said the period for filing a
petition with the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari has
elapsed without a filing from the plaintiffs. As such, there is
no risk of loss in connection with this litigation.

Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. is commercial-stage biopharmaceutical
company focused on helping patients through the discovery and
development of unique RNA-targeted therapeutics, gene therapy and
other genetic medicine approaches for the treatment of rare
neuromuscular diseases. The company is based in Cambridge,
Massachusetts.


SAREPTA THERAPEUTICS: 1st Cir. Affirms Dismissal of "Kader" Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly
period ended March 31, 2018, that the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the First Circuit has affirmed the District Court's dismissal of
the case entitled, Kader v. Sarepta et.al

A complaint was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District
of Massachusetts on December 3, 2014 styled William Kader,
Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated v.
Sarepta Therapeutics Inc., Christopher Garabedian, and Sandesh
Mahatme (Kader v. Sarepta et.al 1:14-cv-14318).

On March 20, 2015, Plaintiffs filed an amended complaint
asserting violations of Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act and
Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 10b-5 against the
Company, and Chris Garabedian and Sandy Mahatme ("Individual
Defendants," and collectively with the Company, the "Kader
Defendants"), and violations of Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act
against the Individual Defendants.

Plaintiffs alleged that the Kader Defendants made material
misrepresentations or omissions during the putative class period
of April 21, 2014 through October 27, 2014, regarding the
sufficiency of the Company's data for submission of an NDA for
eteplirsen and the likelihood of the FDA accepting the NDA based
on that data. Plaintiffs sought compensatory damages and fees.

The Kader Defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint on
May 11, 2015. On April 5, 2016, following oral argument on March
29, 2016, the Court granted Defendants' motion to dismiss. On
April 8, 2016, Lead Plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to file
an amended complaint, which Defendants opposed. On January 6,
2017, the Court denied Plaintiffs' motion for leave to amend and
dismissed the case. Plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal on
February 3, 2017.

Sarepta Therapeutics said in its Form 10-Q Report for the
quarterly period ended September 30, 2017, that Appellants' brief
was filed April 24, 2017. Appellee's brief was filed May 24,
2017.

In its latest report, the Company disclosed that oral argument
took place on December 4, 2017 and the First Circuit affirmed the
District Court's dismissal of this case on April 4, 2018.

"The district court dismissed the Plaintiffs' First Amended
Complaint ("FAC") for failure to state a claim, and then denied
them leave to file their Proposed Second Amended Complaint
("PSAC").  We hold that the district court did not err in
dismissing the FAC or in denying Plaintiffs leave to file the
PSAC," the First Circuit held.

A copy of the First Circuit's decision is available at:

http://media.ca1.uscourts.gov/pdf.opinions/17-1139P-01A.pdf

Sarepta Therapeutics said, "Plaintiffs did not file a petition
for rehearing before the operative deadline. As such, the risk of
loss is negligible, barring a successful and highly unlikely
petition for a writ of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court."

Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. is commercial-stage biopharmaceutical
company focused on helping patients through the discovery and
development of unique RNA-targeted therapeutics, gene therapy and
other genetic medicine approaches for the treatment of rare
neuromuscular diseases. The company is based in Cambridge,
Massachusetts.


SOUTHERN COPPER: Discovery Ongoing in "Lacey "Class Suit
--------------------------------------------------------
Southern Copper Corporation said in its Form 10-Q Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 2, 2018, for
the quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the case
captioned as Carla Lacey and Barbara Siegfried, on behalf of
themselves and all other similarly situated stockholders of
Southern Copper Corporation, and derivatively on behalf of
Southern Copper Corporation, is in discovery process.

A purported class action derivative lawsuit filed in the Delaware
Court of Chancery was served on the Company and its Directors in
February 2016 relating to the 2012 capitalization of 99.999% of
MGE by Controladora de Infraestructura Energetica Mexico, S.A. de
C.V., an indirect subsidiary of Grupo Mexico (the "CIEM
Capitalization"), the Company's entry into a power purchase
agreement with MGE in 2012 (the "MGE Power Purchase Agreement"),
and the 2012 restructuring of a loan from the Company's Mexican
Operations to MGE for the construction of two power plants to
supply power to the Company's Mexican operations (the "MGE Loan
Restructuring").

The action purports to be brought on behalf of the Company and
its common stockholders. The complaint alleges, among other
things, that the CIEM Capitalization, the MGE Power Purchase
Agreement and the MGE Loan Restructuring were the result of
breaches of fiduciary duties and the Company's charter. The
Company has filed a response denying these allegations and is
currently in the discovery process.

Southern Copper is one of the world's largest copper mining
companies in terms of production and sales with our principal
operations in Peru and Mexico. The company also has active
ongoing exploration programs in Chile, Argentina and Ecuador. The
company is based Phoenix, Arizona.


SOUTHERN POWER: Wants Remaining Claims Dismissed
------------------------------------------------
Southern Power Company said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 2, 2018, for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the defendants are
asking a district court to toss the remaining claims in a
securities class action lawsuit.

On January 20, 2017, a purported securities class action
complaint was filed against Southern Company, certain of its
officers, and certain former Mississippi Power officers in the
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta
Division, by Monroe County Employees' Retirement System on behalf
of all persons who purchased shares of Southern Company's common
stock between April 25, 2012 and October 29, 2013. The complaint
alleges that Southern Company, certain of its officers, and
certain former Mississippi Power officers made materially false
and misleading statements regarding the Kemper IGCC in violation
of certain provisions under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934,
as amended. The complaint seeks, among other things, compensatory
damages and litigation costs and attorneys' fees.

Southern Power said in its Form 10-Q Report for the quarterly
period ended September 30, 2017, that on June 12, 2017, the
plaintiffs filed an amended complaint that provided additional
detail about their claims, increased the purported class period
by one day, and added certain other former Mississippi Power
officers as defendants. On July 27, 2017, the defendants filed a
motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' amended complaint with
prejudice, to which the plaintiffs filed an opposition on
September 11, 2017.

In its latest report, the Company disclosed that on March 29,
2018, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
Georgia, Atlanta Division, issued an order granting, in part, the
defendants' motion to dismiss. The court dismissed certain claims
against certain officers of Southern Company and Mississippi
Power and dismissed the allegations related to a number of the
statements that plaintiffs challenged as being false or
misleading.

On April 26, 2018, the defendants filed a motion for
reconsideration of the court's order, seeking the dismissal of
the remaining claims in the lawsuit.

Southern Power Company is a public utility company that develops,
acquires, constructs, owns, and manages generation assets,
primarily renewable energy projects. The company sells
electricity in the wholesale market to investor-owned utilities,
independent power producers, municipalities, electric
cooperatives, and other load serving entities, as well as
commercial and industrial customers through power purchase
agreements. The company is based in Atlanta, Georgia.


SOUTHERN POWER: Franchise Fees Suit v. Georgia Power Ongoing
------------------------------------------------------------
Southern Power Company said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission on May 2, 2018, for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that Georgia Power Company
continues to defend itself in a putative class action suit
related to the collection of rates of municipal franchise fees.

In 2011, plaintiffs filed a putative class action against Georgia
Power in the Superior Court of Fulton County, Georgia alleging
that Georgia Power's collection in rates of municipal franchise
fees (all of which are remitted to municipalities) exceeded the
amounts allowed in orders of the Georgia PSC and alleging certain
state tort law claims.

In 2016, the Georgia Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's
previous dismissal of the case and remanded the case to the trial
court for further proceedings.

Georgia Power filed a petition for writ of certiorari with the
Georgia Supreme Court, which was granted in August 2017. A
decision from the Georgia Supreme Court is expected in late 2018.

Georgia Power believes the plaintiffs' claims have no merit and
intends to vigorously defend itself in this matter. The ultimate
outcome of this matter cannot be determined at this time.

Southern Power Company is a public utility company that develops,
acquires, constructs, owns, and manages generation assets,
primarily renewable energy projects. The company sells
electricity in the wholesale market to investor-owned utilities,
independent power producers, municipalities, electric
cooperatives, and other load serving entities, as well as
commercial and industrial customers through power purchase
agreements. The company is based in Atlanta, Georgia.


SOUTHERN RESPONSE: Settles Class Action Over Delayed Quake Claims
-----------------------------------------------------------------
RNZ reports that an out of court settlement has been reached
between Southern Response and 24 of its policy holders who were
taking a class action against it.

The Christchurch homeowners said the government-owned quake
claims settlement business had engaged in a deliberate strategy
to deceive them and delay their claims.

They have now agreed to drop their action in return for their
claims being resolved by the agency with facilitation by retired
High Court judge Sir Graham Panckhurst.

If an agreement could not be reached then Sir Graham would
determine the outcome.

The lawyer who took the class action, Grant Cameron, said he was
pleased at the settlement, especially given how long his clients
had been waiting to have their quake claims resolved.

Southern Response said it was a much more efficient way to handle
their cases than a protracted court case.

One of the 24 earthquake claimants, Bob Burnett, said the long
legal battle had been mind-numbing.

Mr Burnett said he would never have imagined back in 2011 that
his family would be out of their house for so many years.

"My children, they're now seven and 10, they've had a different
life -- they should have grown up in the nice, warm, healthy,
comfortable house up on the top of the hill that we'd planned for
them to live in.

"But instead we've been bouncing around mouldy, substandard
rentals." [GN]


SOUTHERN RESPONSE: Court to Address Agreed Resolution Process
-------------------------------------------------------------
NZCity reports that claims from 24 Southern Response customers
will now be addressed by an agreed resolution process involving a
retired High Court judge.

The group alleged Southern Response had engaged in a strategy of
delaying and misleading conduct for the purpose of minimising
settlement payments . . . which Southern Response denied.

Southern Response Chief Executive Anthony Honeybone says he's
pleased to have settled the class action proceeding as this
process will be quicker and simpler for both parties. [GN]


ST. FRANCES ACADEMY: Faces Sexual Abuse Class Action
----------------------------------------------------
Christina Tkacik, Sarah Meehan and Jonathan Pitts, writing for
The Baltimore Sun, report that a class-action lawsuit has been
filed against an East Baltimore Catholic school and a teacher who
worked there following his arrest in a sex abuse case.  The
lawsuit filed on behalf of the student alleges that Ryan
Penalver, 27, a history teacher who had worked at St. Frances
Academy, used his school email account to prey on the 15-year-old
who expressed a desire to harm herself.

"This family [of the victim] is devastated and has asked us to
uncover exactly how this happened," said attorney Hassan Murphy,
whose firm, Murphy, Falcon & Murphy, is handling the case.

The lawsuit alleges that prior to his abuse of the victim, listed
under the pseudonym "Jill Doe," Penalver had also engaged in
inappropriate communications with other students and that members
of the school community were aware of this.

"Every school should know, should monitor, should understand who
they are entrusting the children that attend their school with,
and it's clear that St. Frances did not do a good job on this."

School principal Deacon Curtis Turner said he could not comment
on the suit, but said, "We remain committed to making sure that
our school environment is a safe one."

On May 11, Mr. Turner sent a letter to parents saying that the
school received a tip that Mr. Penalver was involved with a
student and reported the issue to Child Protective Services.
Child Protective Services notified the Baltimore Police
Department, which investigated the incident and arrested Mr.
Penalver on May 11, police spokesman Det. Jeremy Silbert said.

Mr. Penalver was arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a
minor, third-degree sex offense, two fourth-degree sex offenses,
second-degree child abuse and perverted practice, court records
show.

A spokesman for Baltimore City Police said earlier that no other
students had come forward to report problems with
Mr. Penalver.

No lawyer was listed for Mr. Penalver in court records, and he
could not be immediately reached for comment.

In addition to Mr. Penalver and St. Frances Academy, the lawsuit
names the Archdiocese of Baltimore as a defendant.

Sean Caine, spokesman for the Archdiocese of Baltimore, said that
St. Frances Academy falls outside of the diocesan school system,
and that the Archdiocese does not operate all Catholic schools in
the area.  The school is owned and operated by the Baltimore-
based Oblate Sisters of Providence, which didn't immediately
respond to a request for comment.

"Why we were named, I have no idea," Mr. Caine said.  "We have no
governance over them, no formal relationship with them . . . no
oversight whatsoever."

Murphy said they are still attempting to figure out the corporate
structure of the school and may amend the complaint in the
future.

According to the suit, the alleged sexual abuse of "Jill Doe"
happened on school property, although Mr. Penalver is accused of
"grooming" the victim in the weeks prior through email and
sexually explicit text messages, pictures and videos.

Victims of sexual abuse are at increased risk of suicide,
depression and other mental health problems, said Mr. Murphy.
The suit, he said, aims to seek immediate treatment for "Jill
Doe" and other potential victims.

Asked whether the law firm has calculated an amount they were
seeking in damages, Mr. Murphy said: "It's impossible to know.
This right now is about information gathering."

Mr. Penalver was released on May 14, court records show.  A
preliminary hearing is scheduled for June 12. [GN]


STATE STREET: Suit Over Invoicing Practices Still Ongoing
---------------------------------------------------------
State Street Corporation said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period
ended March 31, 2018, that the company continues to defend itself
in a purported class action suit related to the company's
invoicing practices.

In March 2017, a purported class action was commenced against the
company alleging that its invoicing practices violated duties
owed to retirement plan customers under ERISA.

In addition, the company has received a purported class action
demand letter alleging that the company's invoicing practices
were unfair and deceptive under Massachusetts law.

State Street said, "A class of customers, or particular
customers, may assert that we have not paid to them all amounts
incorrectly invoiced, and may seek double or treble damages under
Massachusetts law."

State Street Corporation, referred to as the Parent Company, is a
financial holding company organized in 1969 under the laws of the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The company is based in Boston,
Massachusetts.


STATE STREET: Shareholder Class Action Still Ongoing
----------------------------------------------------
State Street Corporation said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period
ended March 31, 2018, that the company continues to defend itself
in a purported class action complaint filed by its shareholder.

A State Street shareholder has filed a purported class action
complaint against the Company alleging that the Company's
financial statements in its annual reports for the 2011-2014
period were misleading due to the inclusion of revenues
associated with the invoicing matter referenced above and the
facts surrounding the company's 2017 settlements with the U.S.
government relating to the company's transition management
business.

In addition, a State Street shareholder has filed a derivative
complaint against the Company's past and present officers and
directors to recover alleged losses incurred by the Company
relating to the invoicing matter and to the company's Ohio public
retirement plans matter.

State Street Corporation, referred to as the Parent Company, is a
financial holding company organized in 1969 under the laws of the
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The company is based in Boston,
Massachusetts.


STATE STREET: Rosen Wants Settlement Report Put Under Seal
----------------------------------------------------------
John O'Brien, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that the public
might not get to view the findings of a special master tasked
with examining why a $300 million class action settlement
included inflated hourly rates and a suspicious $200,000 payment
to a public defender who is the brother of one of the lead
plaintiffs lawyers.

The report from retired Judge Gerald E. Rosen in the securities
class action against State Street Bank and Trust probably won't
paint the Thornton Law Firm and other firms that divvied $75
million in fees in a favorable light.  Their practices were
uncovered by the Boston Globe's Spotlight team in 2016.

Judge Rosen, appointed as a special master by U.S. District Judge
Mark Wolf of Boston, earlier this year asked for more time to
prepare his report, which apparently includes an unfavorable
opinion of the plaintiffs lawyers from NYU Law School ethics
expert Stephen Gillers.

But Rosen on May 14 asked Judge Wolf to enter his report and
recommendations under seal.  His brief motion also asks that the
exhibits and evidence compiled to not be available to the public.

The Center for Class Action Fairness, which has sought to
intervene in the case as either a friend of the court or as a
guardian for the interests of class members, says it opposes the
report being filed under seal.

The Boston Globe articles detailed practices that are widespread
in class actions, in which plaintiff lawyers spread their court-
approved fees among a wide collection of firms, stating hourly
rates of $400 or more for the services of contract attorneys who
are paid as little as $20 an hour.

Other firms working on the case included Labaton Sucharow and
Lieff Cabraser.  The Boston Globe articles revealed how several
lawyers were reported to the court as having worked for Thornton
and Labaton simultaneously, which the firms have dismissed as a
mistake.

The firms have objected to the analysis from Gillers of their
fee-sharing practices, calling them "novel."

"We of course do not agree with that characterization," Rosen
wrote earlier this year.

The articles also revealed that the Thornton firm, recently
cleared in a campaign finance investigation, allowed Michael
Bradley, the brother of Thornton partner Garrett Bradley, to bill
more than 400 hours to the class at $500 an hour when his normal
practice is serving as a public defender for a tenth of that
hourly rate.

The Globe articles showed that Garrett Bradley listed 24 staff
attorneys with hourly rates of $425, a total of $4 million in
costs.  One of the lawyers said he was paid an hourly rate of
only $30, and 23 were found to be listed as lawyers for the other
firms working on the case. [GN]


STERICYCLE INC: Securities Class Suit Pending in Illinois
---------------------------------------------------------
Stericycle, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly period ended
March 31, 2018, that the company continues to defend itself in a
putative class action complaint filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Northern District of Illinois.

On July 11, 2016, two purported stockholders filed a putative
class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs purported to sue
for themselves and on behalf of all purchasers of the company's
publicly traded securities between February 7, 2013 and April 28,
2016, inclusive, and all those who purchased securities in the
Company's public offering of depositary shares, each representing
a 1/10th interest in a share of the Company's mandatory
convertible preferred stock, on or around September 15, 2015.

The complaint named as defendants the Company, its directors and
certain of its current and former officers, and certain of the
underwriters in the public offering.  The complaint purports to
assert claims under Sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the
Securities Act of 1933 and Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as well as SEC Rule 10b-5,
promulgated thereunder.

The complaint alleges, among other things, that the Company
imposed unauthorized or excessive price increases and other
charges on its customers in breach of its contracts, and that
defendants failed to disclose those alleged practices in public
filings and other statements issued during the proposed class
period beginning February 7, 2013 and ending April 28, 2016.

On August 4, 2016, plaintiffs filed an Amended Complaint that
purports to assert additional misrepresentations in public
statements through July 28, 2016, and therefore to change the
putative class period to the period from February 7, 2013 to July
28, 2016, inclusive. On October 21, 2016, plaintiffs filed a
Corrected Amended Complaint adding the Company as a named
defendant in plaintiff's claim under Section 11 of the Securities
Act, which had previously been asserted only against the
Underwriters and certain officers and directors.

On November 1, 2016, the Court appointed the Public Employees'
Retirement System of Mississippi and the Arkansas Teacher
Retirement System as Lead Plaintiffs and their counsel as Lead
Counsel. On February 1, 2017, Lead Plaintiff filed a Consolidated
Amended Complaint with additional purported factual material
supporting the same legal claims from the prior complaints for a
class period from February 7, 2013 through September 18, 2016.

Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Consolidated Amended
Complaint on April 1, 2017. On May 19, 2017, plaintiffs filed a
response in opposition to the motion to dismiss and on June 19,
2017, Defendants filed a reply brief in support of their motion.

On March 31, 2018, plaintiffs filed a further Amended Complaint,
alleging additional corrective disclosures and extending the
purported class period through February 21, 2018.

Stericycle said, "We intend to vigorously defend ourselves
against this lawsuit."

Stericycle is a multinational business-to-business services
company with a core purpose to protect people and brands, promote
health, and safeguard the environment.  Stericycle works with its
customers to ensure regulatory compliance, minimize environmental
impact, manage business and personal risk, improve safety, and
facilitate communication. The company is based in lake Forrest,
Illinois.


STONERIDGE INC: Settlement in "Royal" Suit Granted Final Approval
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Stoneridge, Inc. said in its Form 10-Q Report filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission on May 2, 2018, for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the settlement in the
case Royal v. Stoneridge, Inc. et al. has been approved.

Royal v. Stoneridge, Inc. et al. was a legal proceeding in the
United States District Court for the Western District of
Oklahoma, Case No. 5:14-cv-01410-F. Plaintiffs filed this
putative class action against the Company, Stoneridge Control
Devices, Inc., and others on December 19, 2014. Plaintiffs
alleged that the Company was involved in the vertical chain of
manufacture, distribution, and sale of a CD that was incorporated
into Dodge Ram trucks purchased by Plaintiffs between 1999 and
2006. Plaintiffs alleged that the Company and Stoneridge Control
Devices, Inc. breached various express and implied warranties,
including the implied warranty of merchantability.

The putative class consisted of all owners of vehicles equipped
with the subject CD, which includes various Dodge Ram trucks and
other manual transmission vehicles manufactured from 1997-2007,
which Plaintiffs alleged is more than one million vehicles.  On
September 28, 2017, the Company reached an agreement with
Plaintiffs to settle the matter.

Under the terms of the settlement, which was approved by the
Court on January 30, 2018, the Company will provide a replacement
CD to each member of the settlement class who files a claim form
with evidence of eligibility to participate. The terms of the
settlement do not require the Company to provide members of the
settlement class with any cash payments or to reimburse any
installation costs associated with replacement of the CDs.

Counsel for Plaintiffs and the settlement class were awarded
attorneys' fees and costs in an amount of $375. Counsel for
Plaintiffs and the settlement class were also awarded incentive
payments to each of the three named Plaintiffs in an amount of $5
each. The Company previously accrued $525 as of December 31, 2017
related to this matter.

In February 2018, the Company paid the attorneys' fees and costs
and the awarded incentive payments in the amount of $375 and $15,
respectively. The total cost of the settlement remains uncertain
because it is difficult to predict how many members of the
proposed settlement class will request a replacement CD.

The Company believes the likelihood of loss is probable and
therefore the remaining amount accrued of $93 as of March 31,
2018 within accrued expenses and other current liabilities is an
estimate of exposure for potential settlement class members that
may request a replacement CD.

Stoneridge, Inc. is a global designer and manufacturer of highly
engineered electrical and electronic components, modules and
systems primarily for the automotive, commercial, off-highway,
motorcycle and agricultural vehicle markets. The company is based
in Novi, Michigan.


TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: PROVIGIL(R) Suit vs Cephalon Still Ongoing
---------------------------------------------------------------
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited said in its Form 10-Q
Report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that Cephalon, Inc., a
Teva subsidiary, continues to defend itself in a class action
suit related to PROVIGIL(R).

In April 2006, certain subsidiaries of Teva were named in a class
action lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania. The case alleges that the settlement
agreements entered into between Cephalon, Inc., now a Teva
subsidiary ("Cephalon"), and various generic pharmaceutical
companies in late 2005 and early 2006 to resolve patent
litigation involving certain finished modafinil products
(marketed as PROVIGIL(R)) were unlawful because they had the
effect of excluding generic competition. The case also alleges
that Cephalon improperly asserted its PROVIGIL patent against the
generic pharmaceutical companies.

The first lawsuit was brought by King Drug Company of Florence,
Inc. on behalf of itself and as a proposed class action on behalf
of any other person or entity that purchased PROVIGIL directly
from Cephalon (the "Direct Purchaser Class"). Similar allegations
were made in other complaints, including those filed on behalf of
a proposed class of end payers of PROVIGIL (the "End Payer
Class"), by certain individual end payers, by certain retail
chain pharmacies and by Apotex, Inc. (collectively, these cases
are referred to as the "Philadelphia Modafinil Action").

Separately, Apotex challenged Cephalon's PROVIGIL patent, and in
October 2011, the Court found the patent to be invalid and
unenforceable based on inequitable conduct. This decision was
affirmed on appeal in April 2013. Teva has either settled or
reached agreements in principle to settle with all of the
plaintiffs in the Philadelphia Modafinil Action.

However, one of the end payers, United Healthcare Services, took
the position that it is not bound by the settlement that was
agreed to on its behalf and brought a separate action in
Minnesota federal court, which has been transferred to the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, where
Teva has also filed suit to enforce the settlement. A bench trial
in the suit to enforce the settlement commenced on April 23, 2018
and concluded on April 27, 2018. The court ordered post-trial
briefing to be submitted within 45 days and has not yet issued
any decision.

Additionally, Cephalon and Teva have reached a settlement with 48
state attorneys general, which was approved by the court on
November 7, 2016. Certain other claimants, including the State of
California, have given notices of potential claims related to
these settlement agreements. Teva has produced documents and
information in response to discovery requests issued by the
California Attorney General's office as part of its ongoing
investigation of generic competition to PROVIGIL.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited is a global pharmaceutical
company, committed to increasing access to high-quality
healthcare to patients around the world. The company operates
worldwide, with headquarters in Israel and a significant presence
in the United States, Europe and many other markets around the
world.


TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: Accord Reached in Lidoderm Antitrust Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited said in its Form 10-Q
Report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the direct purchaser
and end-payor plaintiffs are seeking preliminary approval of
their respective settlements in their antitrust lawsuits over
Lidoderm(R).

In November 2013, a putative class action was filed in
Pennsylvania federal court against Actavis, Inc. and certain of
its affiliates, alleging that Watson's 2012 patent lawsuit
settlement with Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. relating to Lidoderm(R)
(lidocaine transdermal patches) violated the antitrust laws.

Additional lawsuits containing similar allegations followed on
behalf of other classes of putative direct purchaser and end-
payer plaintiffs, as well as retailers acting in their individual
capacities, and those cases were consolidated as a multidistrict
litigation in federal court in California. On February 21, 2017,
the court granted both the indirect purchaser plaintiffs' and the
direct purchaser plaintiffs' motions for class certification.

The company reached an agreement to settle the multidistrict
litigation with the various plaintiff groups in the first quarter
of 2018. A provision for these settlements has been included in
the financial statements, and on March 20, 2018, the direct
purchaser and end-payor plaintiffs moved the court to
preliminarily approve their respective settlements.

The FTC has also filed suit to challenge the Lidoderm(R)
settlement, initially bringing antitrust claims against Watson,
Endo, and Allergan in Pennsylvania federal court in March 2016,
and then later voluntarily dismissing those claims and re-filing
them along with a stipulated order for permanent injunction, to
settle its claims against Endo in the same California federal
court in which the private multidistrict litigation referenced
above was pending.

On February 3, 2017, the State of California filed a complaint
against Allergan and Watson, and that complaint was also assigned
to the California court presiding over the multidistrict
litigation. After the FTC dismissed its claims in Pennsylvania,
but before it re-filed them in California, Watson and Allergan
filed suit against the FTC in the same Pennsylvania federal court
where the agency had initially brought its lawsuit, seeking a
declaratory judgment that the FTC's claims are not authorized by
statute, or, in the alternative, that the FTC does not have
statutory authority to pursue a disgorgement remedy.

That declaratory judgment action remains pending, and the court
in California has stayed both the FTC's claims and the State of
California's claims against Allergan and Watson, pending the
outcome of the declaratory judgment action in Pennsylvania.
Annual sales of Lidoderm(R) at the time of the settlement were
approximately $1.2 billion, and were approximately $1.4 billion
at the time Actavis launched its generic version in September
2013.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited is a global pharmaceutical
company, committed to increasing access to high-quality
healthcare to patients around the world. The company operates
worldwide, with headquarters in Israel and a significant presence
in the United States, Europe and many other markets around the
world.


TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: Accord in Aggrenox End Payors' Suit Has OK
---------------------------------------------------------------
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited said in its Form 10-Q
Report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the settlement of
lawsuits by Aggrenox(R) end payors has been preliminarily
approved by the court.

Since November 2013, numerous lawsuits have been filed in various
federal courts by purported classes of end payers for, and direct
purchasers of, Aggrenox(R) (dipyridamole/aspirin tablets) against
Boehringer Ingelheim ("BI"), the innovator, and several Teva
subsidiaries. The lawsuits allege, among other things, that the
settlement agreement between BI and Barr entered into in August
2008 violated the antitrust laws.

A multidistrict litigation has been established in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Connecticut. Teva and BI's
motion to dismiss was denied in March 2015. On April 11, 2017,
the Orange County District Attorney filed a complaint for
violations of California's Unfair Competition Law based on the
Aggrenox(R) patent litigation settlement. Annual sales of
Aggrenox(R) were approximately $340 million at the time of the
settlement and approximately $455 million at the time generic
competition began in July 2015. Teva has settled with the
putative class of direct purchasers and the opt-out direct
purchaser plaintiffs.

Additionally, on January 8, 2018, Teva reached an agreement to
settle with the end payer class plaintiffs, and subsequently
settled with two of the opt-out end payer plaintiffs, Humana and
Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Louisiana. The settlement with the end
payer class was preliminarily approved by the court on March 6,
2018. A provision has been included in the financial statements
for this matter.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited is a global pharmaceutical
company, committed to increasing access to high-quality
healthcare to patients around the world. The company operates
worldwide, with headquarters in Israel and a significant presence
in the United States, Europe and many other markets around the
world.


TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: "Baker" Suit Transferred to Connecticut
------------------------------------------------------------
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited said in its Form 10-Q
Report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the putative
securities class suit filed by Barry Baker has been consolidated
in the putative class action securities lawsuit filed by Elliot
Grodko in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania, and then transferred the action to the District of
Connecticut where the securities litigation led by the Ontario
Teachers' Pension Plan Board is pending.

On August 30, 2017, a putative securities class action was filed
by Barry Baker in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania on behalf of purchasers of Teva's
securities between November 15, 2016 and August 2, 2017 seeking
unspecified damages, legal fees, interest, and costs.

The complaint alleges that Teva and certain officers violated the
federal securities laws by making false and misleading statements
in connection with Teva's acquisition and integration of Actavis
Generics. On November 1, 2017, the Court consolidated the Baker
case with the Grodko case.

On April 10, 2018, the Court granted Teva's motion to transfer
this action to the District of Connecticut where the Ontario
Teachers securities litigation is currently pending.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited is a global pharmaceutical
company, committed to increasing access to high-quality
healthcare to patients around the world. The company operates
worldwide, with headquarters in Israel and a significant presence
in the United States, Europe and many other markets around the
world.


TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: Ontario Teachers' Amended Suit Nixed
---------------------------------------------------------
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited said in its Form 10-Q
Report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that a court has granted
the motions to dismiss a lawsuit led by the Ontario Teachers'
Pension Plan Board without prejudice, and a second amended
complaint is expected.

On November 6, 2016 and December 27, 2016, two putative
securities class actions were filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Central District of California against Teva and certain
of its current and former officers. After those two lawsuits were
consolidated and transferred to the U.S. District Court for the
District of Connecticut, the court appointed the Ontario
Teachers' Pension Plan Board as lead plaintiff.

The lead plaintiff then filed a consolidated amended complaint
purportedly on behalf of purchasers of Teva's securities between
February 6, 2014 and August 3, 2017. The consolidated complaint
seeks unspecified damages, legal fees, interest, and costs, and
it asserts that Teva and certain of its current and former
officers and directors violated the federal securities laws and
Israeli securities laws in connection with Teva's alleged failure
to disclose Teva's participation in an alleged anticompetitive
scheme to fix prices and allocate markets for generic drugs in
the United States.

On December 1, 2017, Teva and the current and former officer and
director defendants filed motions to dismiss the consolidated
amended complaint, with prejudice. On April 3, 2018, the Court
granted the motions to dismiss without prejudice. A second
amended complaint is expected with renewed dismissal briefing.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited is a global pharmaceutical
company, committed to increasing access to high-quality
healthcare to patients around the world. The company operates
worldwide, with headquarters in Israel and a significant presence
in the United States, Europe and many other markets around the
world.


TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: Parties Agree to Stay Employee Plan Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited said in its Form 10-Q
Report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that a lawsuit over the
Teva Employee Stock Purchase Plan has been stayed pending
resolution of the motions to dismiss the securities class action
led by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board.

On July 17, 2017, a lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of Ohio derivatively on behalf of the
Teva Employee Stock Purchase Plan, and alternatively as a
putative class action lawsuit on behalf of individuals who
purchased Teva stock through that plan. That lawsuit seeks
unspecified damages, legal fees, interest and costs.

The complaint alleges that Teva failed to maintain adequate
financial controls based on the facts underpinning Teva's FCPA
deferred prosecution agreement, and also based on allegations
substantially similar to those in the putative class action
securities lawsuit pending in U.S. District Court for the
District of Connecticut.

On November 29, 2017, the Court granted Teva's motion to transfer
the litigation to the U.S. District Court for the District of
Connecticut where the putative class action securities lawsuit is
pending. On December 29, 2017, the parties jointly moved to stay
the case pending resolution of the motions to dismiss filed in
the consolidated putative securities class action in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Connecticut, where the court
appointed the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board as lead
plaintiff.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited is a global pharmaceutical
company, committed to increasing access to high-quality
healthcare to patients around the world. The company operates
worldwide, with headquarters in Israel and a significant presence
in the United States, Europe and many other markets around the
world.


TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: Court Defers Deadlines in OZ ELS Fund Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited said in its Form 10-Q
Report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the court has
deferred all deadlines pending the resolution of the motion to
dismiss in the lawsuit led by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan
Board as lead plaintiff.

In August 3, 2017, a securities lawsuit was filed in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Connecticut by OZ ELS Master
Fund, Ltd., OZ Special Funding, L.P, OZ Enhanced Master Fund,
Ltd., Gordel Capital Limited, OZ Global Equity Opportunities
Master Fund, Ltd., OZ Master Fund, Ltd., and OZ Global Special
Investments Master Fund L.P.

The complaint asserts that Teva and certain of its current and
former officers violated the federal securities laws in
connection with Teva's alleged failure to disclose Teva's
participation in an alleged anticompetitive scheme to fix prices
and allocate markets for generic drugs in the United States.

On August 30, 2017, the court entered an order deferring all
deadlines pending the resolution of the motions to dismiss filed
in the consolidated putative securities class action in the U.S.
District Court for the District of Connecticut, where the court
appointed the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board as lead
plaintiff.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited is a global pharmaceutical
company, committed to increasing access to high-quality
healthcare to patients around the world. The company operates
worldwide, with headquarters in Israel and a significant presence
in the United States, Europe and many other markets around the
world.


TEVA PHARMACEUTICAL: "Grodko" Suit Transferred to Connecticut
-------------------------------------------------------------
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited said in its Form 10-Q
Report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarterly period ended March 31, 2018, that the Court has granted
Teva's motion to transfer "Grodko" action to the District of
Connecticut.

On August 21, 2017, a putative class action securities lawsuit
was filed by Elliot Grodko in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania on behalf of purchasers of
Teva's securities between November 15, 2016 and August 2, 2017
seeking unspecified damages, legal fees, interest, and costs.

The complaint alleged that Teva and certain of its current and
former officers violated the federal securities laws and Israeli
securities laws by making false and misleading statements in
connection with Teva's acquisition and integration of Actavis
Generics.

On April 10, 2018, the Court granted Teva's motion to transfer
this action to the District of Connecticut where the Ontario
Teachers securities litigation is currently pending.

Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited is a global pharmaceutical
company, committed to increasing access to high-quality
healthcare to patients around the world. The company operates
worldwide, with headquarters in Israel and a significant presence
in the United States, Europe and many other markets around the
world.


TRANSNET: FF Plus Seeks Class Action Settlement Discussions
-----------------------------------------------------------
Ernest Mabuza, writing for Times Live, reports that The Freedom
Front Plus said it was encouraged by Public Enterprises Minister
Pravin Gordhan's response to its question about the plight of
thousands of Transnet pensioners.

The approximately 40,000 pensioners achieved a victory at the
Constitutional Court when the court granted a go-ahead for their
claim to recover billions owed to them.

The pensioners instituted a class action against the Transport
Pension Fund, the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund and
Transnet.

Their claim was based on a promise made to them in 1989 that they
would receive the same pension benefits under a commercial
entity, Transnet, as they did under the state entity that
employed them until then, the South African Transport Services
(SATS) and its two pension funds.

The pension funds kept the promise until 2002, when the funds
failed to grant any pension increases beyond the minimum of 2%
per year.

The pensioners had calculated that the debt owed to the two
pension funds stood at R80bn by March 2013.

The Freedom Front Plus had asked Mr. Gordhan to discuss a
possible settlement of the class action by the pensioners,
following the Constitutional Court judgment.

Speaking during the budget vote of the department on May 15,
Mr. Gordhan said Transnet appeared willing to settle, but added
that the matter was still with the courts.

"But I think what's blocking the two sides from getting together
is possibly an extravagant evaluation of what pensioners are
entitled to as opposed to what might really be the case.

"If all of us can encourage a realistic amount in this particular
case, we are quite willing to bring parties together and see how
we can deal with this particular story," Mr. Gordhan said.

The FF Plus said it considered the minister's statements to be
positive and a step in the right direction.

"The party hopes that a fair settlement will be reached soon for
the sake of the approximately 40,000 pensioners who have suffered
years of poverty and misery due to the fact that the money in
their pension fund was looted," FF Plus chairman and
parliamentary spokesman on transport Anton Alberts said. [GN]


TRAVELERS CASUALTY: Wants to Move Class Action to Federal Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Thomas, writing for St. Louis Record, reports that
Travelers Casualty and Surety Company has filed a notice to
remove a lawsuit brought by BluCurrent Credit Union from Green
County Circuit Court to the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Missouri.

The notice was filed May 8.

Under 28 U.S.C. section 1332(a), the defendant states the
diversity of citizenship between the BluCurrent Credit Union, a
Missouri company with a principal place of business in Missouri,
and Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America, a
Connecticut company with a principal place of business in
Hartford gives the federal court jurisdiction.  The defendant
also notes that the matter in controversy exceeds $75,000, which
also gives the court jurisdiction.

The lawsuit involves a class action petition filed in June.  The
plaintiffs seek to hold BluCurrent liable for several claims,
which include fraud and violations of the Missouri Merchandising
Practices Act and Missouri Motor Vehicle Time Sales Act.  The
plaintiffs seek damages representing the return of application
fees, down payments, interest, late fees, principal payments, and
trade-ins.  They also seek attorneys' fees, the cancellation of
the full amount of unpaid debts, costs and punitive damages.

BluCurrent reportedly submitted invoices representing the costs
incurred while defending the lawsuit to Travelers for
reimbursement.

"Since the underlying lawsuit was commenced, BluCurrent has
received settlement demands from the underlying plaintiffs," the
notice said.  "Each of those demands has sought total damages
exceeding $75,000."

BluCurrent accuses Travelers of acting to protect its own
financial interests and alleges that the company "is liable to
BluCurrent for attorneys' fees in the underlying lawsuit in this
case, other costs and additional damages."

Travelers is represented by Michael J. Patton --
mpatton@trdlp.com -- of Turner, Reid, Duncan, Loomer & Patton PC
in Springfield.  BluCurrent is represented by Chandler E. Carr --
ccarr@lathropgage.com -- of Lathrop Gage LLP in Kansas City,
Missouri. [GN]


TUESDAY MORNING: "Castillo" Suit Underway in Florida
----------------------------------------------------
Tuesday Morning Corporation said in its Form 10-Q Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly
period ended March 31, 2018, that the company is defending a
purported class action suit filed by Jerry Castillo.

The Company is a defendant in a purported class action lawsuit,
Jerry Castillo v. Tuesday Morning Inc., which was filed on
December 28, 2017 in the United States District Court, Middle
District of Florida.

The case is brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act and
includes allegations that the Company violated various wage and
hour labor laws. Relief is sought on behalf of current and former
Company employees. The lawsuit seeks to recover damages,
penalties and attorneys' fees as a result of the alleged
violations.

Tuesday Morning said, "We are investigating the underlying
allegations and intend to vigorously defend our position. We
cannot reasonably estimate the potential loss or range of loss,
if any, for the lawsuit."

Tuesday Morning Corporation is one of the original off-price
retailers and a leading destination for unique home and lifestyle
goods. The company is a true closeout retailer, selling high-
quality products at prices below those found in boutique,
specialty and department stores. The company is based in Dallas,
Texas.


TUESDAY MORNING: "Velarde" Suit Underway in California
------------------------------------------------------
Tuesday Morning Corporation said in its Form 10-Q Report filed
with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarterly
period ended March 31, 2018, that the company is defending
against a purported class action suit filed by Hector Velarde.

The Company is a defendant in a purported class action lawsuit,
Hector Velarde, on behalf of himself and all other similar
situated, Pltf. vs. Tuesday Morning, Inc., which was filed on
February 26, 2018 in state court and is currently pending in the
United States District Court, Central District of California.

The case is brought under the Unruh Civil Rights Act, California
Code Section 51 ci seq. ("Unruh Act"), the California Disabled
persons Act, California Civil Code Section 54 et seq. ("CDPA"),
and Cal. Civ. Code Section 55 et seq. and includes allegations
that the Company violated various public access laws. The lawsuit
seeks to recover damages, penalties and attorneys' fees as a
result of the alleged violations.

Tuesday Morning said, "We are investigating the underlying
allegations and intend to vigorously defend our position. We
cannot reasonably estimate the potential loss or range of loss,
if any, for the lawsuit."

Tuesday Morning Corporation is one of the original off-price
retailers and a leading destination for unique home and lifestyle
goods. The company is a true closeout retailer, selling high-
quality products at prices below those found in boutique,
specialty and department stores. The company is based in Dallas,
Texas.


UBER TECHNOLOGIES: Motion to Dismiss Data Breach Suit Granted
-------------------------------------------------------------
Dena Castricone, Esq. -- dcastricone@murthalaw.com -- of Murtha
Cullina, in an article for JDSupra, wrote that Uber suffered a
data breach in 2014 resulting in the compromise of more than
50,000 drivers' personal information, including back account and
social security numbers. Drivers brought a class action suit in
federal court in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California.  On May 10, a judge tossed the suit for a
third time for lack of standing because the two named plaintiffs
failed to allege that they suffered an injury in fact.

The first named plaintiff alleged only that hackers stole his
driver's license information and bank account number and the
second named plaintiff alleged only the theft of his driver's
license information. The court held that these allegations do not
establish a material risk of identity theft.  Further, the court
concluded that the class action could not proceed since neither
of the named plaintiffs could establish standing, despite the
allegations of harm of the unnamed class members.  Fortunately
for Uber, the court granted the motion to dismiss with prejudice,
preventing the plaintiffs from filing a fourth amended complaint.

If defending a class action data breach suit, this decision is a
reminder of the importance of analyzing the specific claims of
the named plaintiffs and seeking dismissal of the entire action
if the named plaintiffs cannot meet standing requirements. [GN]


UBER TECHNOLOGIES: Nixes Forced Arbitration Policy
--------------------------------------------------
M.L. Nestel, writing for ABC News, reports that the rideshare
company Uber announced on May 15 that it is doing away with a
rule that forced arbitration on passengers and drivers who come
forward claiming they've been sexually harassed or assaulted.
But the move is drawing some criticism for applying only to
individuals and not class-action suits.

The policy shift was detailed in a letter titled "Turning the
lights on" published on the company's site.

Uber's Chief Legal Officer Tony West wrote that the company "will
no longer require mandatory arbitration for individual claims of
sexual assault or sexual harassment by Uber riders, drivers or
employees."

This update, he continued, will "give riders, drivers and
employees options to continue taking accusations of harassment or
assaults into arbitration, but also allow for a confidential
forum such as mediation or let the case play out in open court,"
according to the statement.

"Whatever they decide, they will be free to tell their story
wherever and however they see fit," Mr. West wrote.

But as the company announced its reforms to adjudicating its
claims process, New York-based attorney Jeanne Christensen, of
the law firm Wigdor LLP, said she was unimpressed.

Ms. Christensen said she filed her first sexual assault against
Uber in 2015.  The case has since expanded, with nine women
making up a class-action lawsuit, she said.

Christensen criticized Uber's rebooted policy for not applying to
class-action cases.

The company had not responded to the claims made by the nine
alleged victims, Ms. Christensen said, and rather than provide an
answer or file a motion to dismiss, Ms. Christensen said Uber
filed a third option "saying, 'We can't proceed because it's the
wrong venue.'"

"They're saying this case and these claims belong in private
arbitration because on the app and embedded deep in the terms of
services is a requirement for people to agree to private
arbitration," she said.

Uber's motion filed on May 15 states that "Uber seeks enforcement
of its arbitration agreement with Plaintiffs" and that the nine
riders who created their accounts between December 2012 and
October 2016 "agreed to be bound by Uber's Terms and Conditions."

Those details, the motion states, "including a clear and
conspicuous arbitration provision."  The motion goes on to state
that the nine accusers essentially "waived 'the right . . . to
participate as a plaintiff or class' in 'any purported class
action.'"

In a statement to ABC News, Mr. West admitted that while the
updated effort "won't apply to class-action suits," it "impacts
the vast majority of assault claims we see on our platform."

"So while these changes may not please everybody, we believe they
represent big, bold steps forward that will ultimately help us
all prevent sexual assault more effectively," Wr. West said in
the statement. [GN]


UBER TECHNOLOGIES: Judge Awards $2.02MM in Attorney's Fees
----------------------------------------------------------
Ryan Croft, writing for Northern California Record, reports that
the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
has awarded $2.02 million in attorneys' fees for a class-action
lawsuit against Uber.

U.S. District Judge Edward M. Chen handed down his decision May 2
as part of an overall $7.5 million class-action settlement in
which drivers accused Uber of violating the Fair Credit Reporting
Act.

The attorney fees awarded amount to approximately one-third of
the settlement fund and 30.86 percent of the approximately $8.1
million common fund, according to court documents.  Judge Chen
denied attorneys an additional $47,500 in expense compensation.

The judge called the $7.5 million settlement, which totaled less
than 1 percent of the potential settlement value "a very modest
result."

The lawsuit was originally brought against Uber in 2014 as two
separate class action suits by lead plaintiffs Ronald Gillette
and Abdul Mohamed.  They consolidated their cases in 2015,
according to website topclassactions.com.

The court granted service awards to Gillette and Mohamed, $7,500
and $5,000, respectively, as compensation for the plaintiff's
assistance to their attorneys in the case.  The court also
granted service awards to plaintiffs Shannon Wise, Brandon Farmer
and Meghan Christenson.  Those award amounts were $4,500, $3,200
and $3,000 respectively.

All plaintiffs alleged they were "denied employment or were
terminated on the basis of information contained in background
checks that Uber procured in violation of the Fair Credit
Reporting Act and related state laws," according to court
documents.

The court originally approved hearings for the lawsuit in June
2017.  After that approval, other potential plaintiffs received
notice of the lawsuit.

According to the court records, more than 1 million emails were
sent to possible members of the class action.  Only 120,000
emails were confirmed opened and almost 800,000 were delivered
with no confirmation they were viewed.

Of 135,209 total received claim submissions, only around 99,000,
or 10 percent of all class members, were deemed valid. The
deadline for requests for exclusion and objections to the
settlement was Dec. 14.  A total of 216 people opted out of the
settlement. [GN]


UNITED STATES: MSLF Files Lawsuit Over Racial Classifications
-------------------------------------------------------------
William Hamilton, writing for Sky-Hi, reports that prior to the
Obama Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)
partnered with 36 college aviation programs to provide the FAA
with a pool of highly qualified applicants to take the
examination to become air traffic controllers.  The FAA also
worked with the military to hire veterans with previous air
traffic control experience.  But the Obama Administration decided
that neither the FAA's College Training Initiative (CTI) Program
nor the military were producing enough air traffic control
examinees of color.

So, despite the fact of their earning four-year degrees from CTI-
accredited universities, and despite their high scores on the
FAA's Air Traffic Selection & Training (AT-SAT) test, hundreds of
aviation college graduates and veterans were told their test
results were purged and they would have to reapply under new
criteria that required only a high-school diploma and the passage
of a "personality-biography" test. No previous aviation training
was required.

The personality-biography test wanted to know if applicants had
played "mid-night" basketball and how many other urban activities
they had or had not engaged in.  Clearly, a test designed to weed
out applicants from rural/mountain America.  When Congress got
wind of this "psycho-babble" test that had nothing to do with
aviation safety, the Obama Administration was forced to open a
one-week window during which those who had not engaged in a
sufficient number of urban activities were allowed to reapply.
But, by that time, many of the aviation college graduates and
military veterans had taken other jobs or switched to other
careers.  Quickly, the FAA snapped the window shut.

But wait.  There is still hope for those rejected aviation
college graduates and military veterans to become air traffic
controllers.  On behalf of between 2,000 and 3,500 highly
qualified air traffic controller wannabes, the Mountain States
Legal Foundation (MSLF) has filed a class-action law suit citing
Adarand Constructors, Inc. vs. Pena in which the U.S. Supreme
Court ordered the federal courts to apply "strict scrutiny in
assessing the constitutionality of a government use of racial
classifications."  In a concurring opinion, the late Justice
Scalia wrote: "In the eyes of the government, there is just one
race.  It is American."

The poster plaintiff for the MSLF class-action law suit is a
young man with two B.S. degrees.  Plus, he completed the CTI
program and scored100-percent score on the AT-SAT.  But the FAA
sent him an e-mail saying that his application had been purged
and he must reapply and take the personality-biography test.  He
failed the psycho-babble test.

It will take some time for the class-action law suit to reach a
federal court with the power to apply Adarand vs. Pena and
correct this injustice.  It will take some time for members of
this class to become air traffic controllers.

But, meanwhile, as I wrote satirically back on June 15, 2015: "So
folks, sit back and relax and know that your flight is being
controlled from the ground by people who are just learning about
aviation and air traffic control with the fresh enthusiasm of
beginners who have just learned something new and do not suffer
from the, say, complacency of having studied air traffic control
for four years of college or operated military control towers."
[GN]


UNITED STATES: Army Reservists File Class Action Over Benefits
--------------------------------------------------------------
John Vandiver, writing for Stars and Stripes, reports that army
reservists deployed to Europe were wrongly denied housing
allowance payments, subjected to humiliating criminal
investigations and forced into debt by the service after the Army
"willfully disregarded" its own policies to refuse benefits owed,
according to a federal court complaint.

The complaint, filed in April in the U.S. Court of Federal
Claims, accuses the Army of "gross negligence," saying it caused
financial and professional damage by intentionally denying
benefits it should have paid.

The lawsuit also says the soldiers faced threats that
"jeopardized their careers and security clearances by flagging
them as subjects to fraud or larceny investigations."

The dispute began in 2016 after reservist soldiers deployed to
Europe and received benefits authorized by the Army, which
included basic housing allowance, or BAH, for their stateside
homes.  They also received overseas housing allowance, or OHA, in
Europe after being ordered by the Army to live off post because
of a lack of available housing.

The benefit is spelled out in the Joint Federal Travel
Regulations, which govern how allowances are paid: "A Service
member called/ordered to active duty in support of a contingency
operation is authorized primary residence-based BAH/OHA beginning
on the first active duty day . . . This rate continues for the
duration of the tour."  Army regulations reiterate the policy.

Months into their respective deployments, the finance office at
U.S. Army Europe decided the benefits should no longer be paid,
said Patrick Hughes, the Washington attorney representing the
seven soldiers who filed the lawsuit.

Army spokeswoman Lt. Col. Nina Hill declined to comment on the
case, citing "ongoing litigation."

The Army Reserve and National Guard officers, who were dispatched
to Europe for contingency operations, are seeking to restore
their benefits and abolish Army-imposed debts that have been
levied.

Over the past two years, Hughes said, soldiers have seen entire
paychecks wiped out through wage garnishments as the Army seeks
to collect on debts that range from $13,000 to $94,000.

INVESTIGATED, REPRIMANDED, INDEBTED
Hundreds of reservists could have been affected by the Army's
actions, Mr. Hughes said.

The court is expected to respond to the complaint within 30 days.
If it's accepted as the proper venue, the soldiers will move to
certify the case as a class-action lawsuit that other reservists
could join.

"You do need power in numbers to get action to be taken in these
situations.  We are trying to address it at a massive scale,"
Mr. Hughes said.  "This is an effort to resolve the issue in its
entirety for everyone."

In some cases, soldiers were issued general officer reprimands,
which are often considered career-killers.

Col. Bradley Wolfing, one of the plaintiffs in the case,
successfully appealed his reprimand, which was the result of
being "erroneously placed under investigation by the Army's CID,
and ultimately punished for BAH fraud on or about March 24,
2017," the complaint says.

A grade determination review board determined Col. Wolfing
satisfactorily served as a colonel and was allowed to retire as
such, the complaint states.

In conjunction with that ruling, Defense Financing and Accounting
Services reviewed the case and "concluded that the Army's
decision to ignore (the Joint Federal Travel Regulation) and deny
COL Wolfing his primary residence location BAH entitlement was
erroneous."

That conclusion will likely factor into any future litigation.

"This DFAS opinion is of great significance, because its analysis
is applicable to virtually all of those affected by the Army's
primary residence location BAH entitlement denial," the complaint
says.

Still, the Army continues to garnish soldiers' wages, a move the
complaint says "amounts to gross negligence." The Army indebted
Col. Wolfing for $94,000.

'CRIMINALLY PROCESSED'
In 2016, the Army launched criminal investigations into the
reservists who received the benefits that the Army itself had
authorized when the reservists were mobilized.

"Basically, I was criminally processed, all because they are
saying I shouldn't (have been) collecting BAH for my Connecticut
residence.  I was stunned," said Capt. Tim Kibodeaux, an
intelligence officer with 27 years in the National Guard.

Criminal Investigation Command agents fingerprinted him and took
his mug shot for their records during the investigation.

The Army levied a $50,000 debt on Capt. Kibodeaux for BAH
payments it says he wasn't entitled to and has repeatedly
garnished his wages, the soldiers' complaint says. Meanwhile, he
hasn't received about $16,000 in owed benefits.

The six other service members in the complaint are in similar
situations.

"My credit has been completely ruined," Capt. Kibodeaux said.  "I
am disgusted at this point. We think about 340 people were
affected by this."

At least 140 soldiers were snared in the BAH investigation in
Europe, according to the complaint, which cites information
relayed by the Criminal Investigation Command.

Given the high numbers of reservists who have been rotating
through Europe in support of Operation Atlantic Resolve -- the
campaign to deter Russian aggression in the region -- the lawsuit
says that the numbers are likely much higher.  If the complaint
grows, millions of dollars could be at stake in future
litigation.

One concern now, Capt. Kibodeaux said, is that lower-ranking
reservists could have been intimidated into silence and may be
unaware that their rights to certain benefits have been violated.

"Several Plaintiffs were informed through their chain-of-command
that any future inquiries into this issue would be met with
negative consequences, and that the denial of the housing
entitlement was a final decision," the complaint says.

NO EXPLANATION
Capt. Kibodeaux said he and his colleagues never received a clear
explanation from the Army why benefits were taken away or why
they were subjected to criminal investigations.

During the probe, Capt. Kibodeaux said, he told Army finance
officials about the regulation that allowed for the allowance.
He said the Army investigators told him they didn't recognize the
policy, which for decades has allowed reservists on deployment
overseas to receive BAH for their home of record.

"They said, 'We don't go by that.  We go by the active duty
one,'" Capt. Kibodeaux said.

When Capt. Kibodeaux pointed out the military's regulations
governing allowances for reservists to a criminal investigator,
the agent's response was, "We just do what finance tells us to
do," Capt. Kibodeaux said.

In recent years, the military has struggled to interpret federal
regulations dealing with living allowances.

In 2013, a reinterpretation of overarching State Department
regulations by the Defense Department put nearly 700 civilians in
debt by cutting off their housing allowances.  Special waivers
were required to eliminate debts that in some cases reached six
figures.

Europe-based reservists have also been affected by new
interpretations of long-standing regulations.  In 2013, the Army
decided to stop paying BAH to reservists who lived in Germany and
deployed on Army missions in other parts of Germany that were
hours away from their home.

The Army, which imposed debts on about 10 soldiers at the time,
never fully explained its legal rationale for changing the rules.

Service members and civilians who have gotten caught up in
benefits disputes have complained that there is little internal
recourse in a one-on-one fight with the military bureaucracy over
benefits.  And the idea of taking on the federal government in a
lengthy court fight also is daunting and costly. [GN]


UNITED STATES: SCOTUS Tackles Mootness Issue in Shackling Case
--------------------------------------------------------------
Howard M. Wasserman, writing for SCOTUS Blog, reports that in
United States v. Sanchez-Gomez, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote
on May 14 for a unanimous Supreme Court, holding in 12
straightforward pages that a challenge by several criminal
defendants to a district-wide policy of shackling pretrial
detainees was moot.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California,
at the suggestion of the U.S Marshal, adopted a district-wide
policy allowing marshals to produce all in-custody pretrial
defendants in full five-point restraints for most nonjury
proceedings.  In full restraints, a defendant's hands are closely
handcuffed together, these handcuffs are connected by a chain to
another chain running around the defendant's waist, and the
defendant's feet are shackled and chained together.  Four
defendants challenged the constitutional validity of their
shackling and of the policy as a whole.  They argued that they
were bringing the challenges on behalf of themselves and
similarly situated defendants.  The district court denied their
challenges.  While the cases were on appeal to the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the 9th Circuit, the four prosecutions were resolved,
either via guilty plea or dismissal.

The question for the Supreme Court was whether resolution of the
four prosecutions eliminated any live controversy, rendering the
dispute moot.  In concluding that the case was moot, the court
rejected the 9th Circuit's recognition of "class-like claims" as
a means to avoid mootness absent certification of an actual class
under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.  The court also
rejected the respondents' argument that the controversy was not
moot because it was "capable of repetition yet evading review."

Precedents such as Gerstein v. Pugh and Sosna v. Iowa establish
that plaintiffs in class actions can avoid mootness when the
named plaintiffs' claims become moot, because the unnamed class
members still have their personal stakes in the matter, retaining
a live controversy with the defendants.  But the Supreme Court
declined to endorse the 9th Circuit's creation of a "freestanding
exception to mootness outside the class action context." The
class action is a unique device, a product of the Federal Rules
and an exception to the "usual rule that litigation is conduct by
and on behalf of the individual named parties only."  A certified
class "acquires a legal status separate from the interest
asserted by the named plaintiff" and the class' "independent
legal status" is essential to avoiding mootness.  But no similar
mechanism applies in this case.  This was not a civil action, so
there was no class certification.  The Federal Rules of Criminal
Procedure do not provide a litigation vehicle comparable to the
class action, and federal courts lack power to "create de facto
class actions at will." That the respondents purported to seek
relief for all in-custody defendants in the district did not
create a "functional class action."  A case does not escape
mootness because the claims of the parties might, if resolved in
some way, benefit other similarly situated individuals.

The 9th Circuit also could not keep the action alive by casting
the appeal as an exercise of supervisory mandamus, the courts of
appeals' authority to supervise and control district courts
through discretionary writs of mandamus.  Whatever the scope of
supervisory mandamus, the power requires live controversies and
does not exempt cases from normal mootness rules.

The respondents argued that their claims remained alive as a
controversy that was capable of repetition yet evading review.
This exception to the regular rules of mootness applies when
litigation (including appeals) cannot be concluded before the
challenged action ends of its own force and there is a
"reasonable expectation that the same complaining party will be
subjected to the same action again."  The respondents argued that
they met the second part of this test because the two who had
been charged with unlawfully entering the United States had
violated the law again by re-entering unlawfully, something the
crime's high recidivism rate suggested was reasonably likely to
occur.  Once unlawfully in the United States, they would likely
be arrested and returned to pretrial custody, where they again
would be subjected to the shackling policy. But the Supreme Court
"refused to 'conclude that the case-or-controversy requirement is
satisfied by' the possibility that a party 'will be prosecuted
for violating valid criminal laws.'" In past cases, the court has
"'assume[d] that [litigants] will conduct their activities within
the law and so avoid prosecution and conviction as well as
exposure to the challenged course of conduct.'"

The court rejected the respondents' reliance on two cases in
which it applied the capable-of-repetition exception to mootness
-- a disabled student's challenge to his unilateral suspension
from school, when his inability to control his behavior made
future misconduct and unilateral suspension reasonably likely to
occur, and an indigent civil litigant's challenge to contempt
citations for failure to pay child support, when his steep
arrearages (more than $13,000) and looming hearing (five months
away) "destined" him to be held in contempt again.  In both civil
cases, the court reasoned, litigants were unable "for reasons
beyond their control, to prevent themselves from transgressing
and avoid recurrence of the challenged conduct." The respondents,
on the other hand, "are 'able -- and indeed required by law' --
to refrain from further criminal conduct." That they have an
incentive to break the law by unlawfully returning to the United
States, and that they are statistically likely to do so, "do not
amount to an inability to obey the law."

The court concluded by acknowledging a point made during oral
argument: There are other avenues to challenge the shackling
policy, notably a civil action for injunctive relief, including a
class action that would allow detainee-plaintiffs to avoid
similar mootness problems. [GN]


UNITED STATES: Judge Denies Sanctions v. USCIS Over H-2B Visas
--------------------------------------------------------------
Kevin Kerrigan, writing for The Guam Daily Post, reports that a
request to hold the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in
contempt and impose sanctions on the federal agency for its
continued denial of H-2B visas sought by Guam employers was
denied.

In an order issued on May 11, Chief Judge Frances Tydingco-
Gatewood of the District Court of Guam clarified her Jan. 24
preliminary injunction against further H-2B denials by explicitly
stating that it applies to all class members as of May 11.

The plaintiffs' attorney, Jeff Joseph, sought the penalties
against the immigration service after the USCIS in April denied
three petitions from a local company seeking skilled foreign
workers for a nonmilitary-related project.  USCIS denied those
three petitions despite the preliminary injunction Tydingco-
Gatewood issued in January, and despite her decision to grant
class-action certification to the lawsuit in March.

Joseph represents the Guam Contractors Association and 11 other
Guam employers who filed a class-action lawsuit against the
immigration service in October 2016 after its yearlong, near-100
percent denial of all petitions for skilled foreign workers under
the H-2B visa program.

In her decision, Judge Tydingco-Gatewood wrote that the
immigration service "may have plausibly relied on language" in
the Jan. 24 preliminary injunction "to conclude the injunction
had not yet been applied classwide."

"After all," wrote the judge, "the certification question . . .
had not yet been decided," and was not decided until March 31.

As a result, she denied Joseph's request for contempt and
sanctions because the USCIS did not disobey "a specific and
definite court order."

However, she rejected the USCIS' request to limit the case to the
12 original class-action plaintiffs, declaring, "now that the
class has been certified . . . the court will therefore make
explicit what may have been previously only implicit: the
preliminary injunction entered in this case shall apply to all
members of the certified class."

"It is unfortunate that we must seek clarification to a clear
order of a federal judge," said AmOrient President John
Robertson.  He chairs the Guam Contractors Association's
committee overseeing the H-2B litigation.

However, Mr. Robertson credited Judge Tydingco-Gatewood for
"being consistent in enforcing her earlier ruling, while doing
the right thing for the Guam economy."

H-2B petitions under the NDAA

Under a provision in this year's National Defense Authorization
Act, the USCIS has been granting H-2B visas to Guam employers
seeking skilled foreign labor for construction projects related
to the military buildup since early April.

The 2018 NDAA includes language that allows contractors working
on Guam to hire up to 4,000 H-2B foreign workers each year for
projects related to the military's expanding presence on the
island.

As of April 20, Gov. Eddie Calvo had signed letters of support
for about 1,500 H-2B petitions and USCIS had approved a total of
654 H-2B visas for foreign workers contracted to build projects
related to the military buildup.

Greg Massey, administrator for the Guam Department of Labor Alien
Labor Processing Certificate Division, said "the clarification by
Judge Tydingco-Gatewood seems to be another positive step forward
for Guam contractors who desperately need supplementary skilled
workers to fill critical positions in their organizations."

"Guam DOL continues to monitor the progress of the lawsuit," said
Mr. Massey, and DOL "looks forward to seeing how USCIS will
decide on H-2B petitions filed under the injunction." [GN]


VODEN MEDICAL: Hogan Lovells Attorneys Discuss SCOTUS Ruling
------------------------------------------------------------
Francesca Rolla, Esq. -- francesca.rolla@hoganlovells.com --
Christian di Mauro, Esq. -- christian.dimauro@hoganlovells.com --
and Mauro Teresi, Esq. -- mauro.teresi@hoganlovells.com -- of
Hogan Lovells Studio Legale, in an article for International Law
Office, report that after seven years, the Supreme Court finally
ended the first product-related class action promoted in Italy
relating to a medical device (Codacons v Voden Medical
Instruments SpA, judgment published on January 31 2018).

Background

'Ego-test-Flu', a do-it-yourself test for the A flu virus (known
as swine flu), was widely marketed in Italy by Voden Medical
during the 2009 swine flu outbreak.  The flu test was presented
as "practical, simple and safe" with 99.1% sensitivity.

In early 2010 consumer association Codacons, acting on behalf of
a claimant, sponsored the class action against Voden Medical,
claiming product-related damage and damage due to unfair
commercial practices.

On December 27 2010 the Court of Milan declared the class action
to be admissible, limiting the relevant claims to unfair
commercial practices.  The Court of Milan order was the first
decision in Italy to declare a class action admissible.  However,
based on the merits, the court dismissed the claim as groundless.

In 2013 the Milan Court of Appeal overruled the first-instance
decision and ordered that Voden Medical reimburse EUR14.50 (equal
to the cost of the flu test kit) as compensation for damages
suffered by consumers.  The decision was rendered on the grounds
that the information and advertising material regarding the
product were misleading, particularly because they failed to warn
of the risk that the test could produce false-negative results.
Voden Medical challenged the decision before the Supreme Court.

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court rejected the appeal filed by Voden Medical
against the Milan Court of Appeal decision.

The Supreme Court acknowledged that even a single claimant could
represent the interests of a class of consumers which could have
potentially purchased the product.  Class actions are aimed at
protecting consumers against unlawful conduct that could affect
numerous individuals.  In the case at hand, the advertising on
Ego-test-Flu's packaging, as well as the instructions provided
with the package insert, erroneously evoked in consumers the idea
that the product could diagnose swine flu with the probability of
success being close to 100%.

Law

Class actions were introduced in Italy by Law 99/2009 and have
been subsequently amended in recent years.  The procedure is
currently regulated by Article 140bis of the Consumer Code,
according to which consumers may bring, directly or through a
representative body, class actions to protect their collective or
individual interests.

Before a class action can be decided on merits, the court should
assess whether the class is admissible. It can declare the class
action non-admissible if:

   -- the claim is manifestly groundless;
   -- there is a conflict of interest;
   -- the rights infringed are not homogenous; and
   -- the lead plaintiff is unable to adequately represent the
interests of the class.

Class actions may be brought, among other things, to seek redress
for the violation of rights arising from product liability,
provided that such rights are homogenous for the entire class.

Unlike in the United States, Italy has adopted an opt-in model
for class actions.  Accordingly, if a class action is deemed to
be admissible, the court will order the defendant to publish a
notice at its own expense, so as to allow other potential members
of the class to opt-in within a certain deadline (which cannot
exceed 120 days from the publication of the class action notice).
In this case, no opt-in had occurred and the Supreme Court ruled
that the class need not be numerous.

Comment

This particular decision is noteworthy, despite the small sum
awarded, because very few class actions have been declared
admissible to date and even fewer cases have been upheld on the
merits due to strict admissibility requirements.

The case law, although limited, appears to exclude commonality
whenever the facts underlying the claim require the assessment of
different individual circumstances -- a situation which occurs
often where health damages are sought.  For these reasons,
Italian consumer associations (which have been considered the
driving force behind class actions) appear to have progressively
lost interest in bringing class actions in Italy and are looking
to the US-style class action regime which seems to be less
restrictive.

The Supreme Court's recent judgment might reverse this trend.
Considering the reform of class action law currently under the
scrutiny of Parliament -- which should enhance the effectiveness
of class actions -- companies which might be potential targets
should start preparing to react.

For further information on this topic please contact Francesca
Rolla, Christian Di Mauro or Mauro Teresi at Hogan Lovells Studio
Legale by telephone (+39 02 7202 521) or email
(francesca.rolla@hoganlovells.com --
christian.dimauro@hoganlovells.com -- or --
mauro.teresi@hoganlovells.com The Hogan Lovells Studio Legale
website can be accessed at www.hoganlovells.com. [GN]


WARWICK UNIVERSITY: Students Mull Class Action Over Strike
----------------------------------------------------------
Daniel Ruben, writing for The Boar, reports that a group aiming
to launch a class action law suit against universities across the
country has been joined by over 1,000 students.

The group aims to compile the grievances of individual students,
and is being assembled by Asserson Legal Services, a firm
specialising in UK law based out of Tel Aviv.

Shimon Goldwater, an associate at the firm, previously commented
that a decision on how to proceed with the case will be taken in
with it likely that it would be "a set of 10 to 20 universities
that we would be suing."

Mr Goldwater told The Times: "Services contracted for have not
been provided", adding that the "website seems like an obvious
thing . . . to do.  Students have paid for a service that has not
been provided.  That looks like a breach of contract."

It has been posited by the firm that the claim could cost each
university involved up to GBP10 million in compensation.

Petitions had previously launched by a number of students, with
students demanding compensation or the reimbursement of their
tuition fees for lost teaching hours.  Professor Chris Forde, of
Leeds University Business School, had been collating data on the
demands with over 100,000 students in total having signed such
petitions by the end of February.

A petition by Warwick students to the University on change.org
has gathered more than 2,100 signatures.

It has been posited by the firm that the claim could cost each
university involved up to GBP10 million in compensation

In a statement to the University of Oxford's Cherwell,
Mr Goldwater argued: "You quickly realise there's millions of
pounds of damage here potentially, and universities won't pay out
millions of pounds on the basis of a few petitions, or letters,
or dare I say even sit-ins and all the other means by which
students normally try to change their University's view about
something."

"No other service provider would get away with charging for 25
weeks of a service and cutting that to 22 with no price reduction
. . . There is no question that universities owe students fair
compensation."

The University of Warwick stated during the strike that "it is
not anticipated that refunds would need to be made" and that
"academic departments will be supported to identify alternative
ways to ensure required learning outcomes can be delivered."

Sam Gyimah, the Minister for Universities, Science, Research and
Innovation, has stated his support for students receiving
compensation in the form of refunding tuition fees or rearranging
lectures.  His support mirrors the sentiments of Education
Secretary Damien Hinds who stated that students possess "rights
as consumers". [GN]


WESTJET: Ex-Flight Attendant Files Sexual Harassment Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Nicole Skuggedal, Esq. -- -- nskuggedal@lawsonlundell.com -- and
Katy Allen, Esq. -- kallen@laswsonlundell.com -- of Lawson
Lundell, in an article for Employment Law Today, report that A
former flight attendant of WestJet, Mandalena Lewis, has
commenced a class action lawsuit on behalf of a proposed class of
WestJet employees, alleging that the company breached its promise
to provide a harassment-free workplace.

Ms. Lewis alleges that she suffered sexual assault at the hands
of a pilot who had previously engaged in similar behaviour with
another flight attendant and, despite WestJet's knowledge of the
previous assault, WestJet did not discipline or dismiss the
pilot.  The claim alleges that Lewis suffered physical,
emotional, and psychological harm from WestJet's systemic breach
of its promise to employees to provide a harassment-free
workplace.  The claim further sets out that WestJet benefited
from the breach by saving the costs of implementing a proper
anti-harassment procedure, and making increased profits from
promoting its reputation as an airline that does not tolerate
harassment.

WestJet brought an application to the British Columbia Supreme
Court to strike the claim, partially on the basis that such
claims must be brought to a human rights and/or workers
compensation tribunal and that the claim had no reasonable
prospect of success.  The court decided that the claim did
disclose a reasonable cause of action and was not bound to fail,
as the claim for breach of the anti-harassment promise was on its
face a valid contractual claim.

This is a novel case as employers rarely face civil class actions
for harassment, given the prevalence of administrative tribunals
designed to deal with discrimination or occupational health and
safety issues.

Nicole K. Skuggedal is a partner with Lawson Lundell in
Vancouver, practicing in all areas of labour and employment law,
including advising clients on wrongful dismissal, labour
relations, human rights and privacy issues. She can be reached at
(604) 631-6795 or nskuggedal@lawsonlundell.com.

Katy E. Allen is an associate in the Labour, Employment and Human
Rights Group for Lawson Lundell in Vancouver, advising and
representing clients regarding a broad range of issues relating
to labour, employment, employment standards, human rights, and
privacy law. [GN]


WESTERN HOCKEY: Court Allows Players' Class Action to Proceed
-------------------------------------------------------------
Canadian Press reports that Alberta's highest court has ruled
that a class-action lawsuit against the Western Hockey League can
proceed with the players involved.

The suit contends that players have been paid less than the
minimum wage -- as little as $35 per week for between 40 to 65
hours of work.

It is asking for back wages, overtime and vacation pay.

The Court of Appeal dismissed various appeals calling for changes
to the suit.

It says in its decision that the judge who granted certification
last June was right to exclude players from the league's teams in
the United States.

It also agreed owners and former owners of teams in British
Columbia can be named in the suit.

"Absent a material change of circumstances, or reversal on
appeal, the order stands," said the ruling released on May 15 in
Calgary.

"Certification does not forbid evolution of the action."

The allegations contained in the suit have not been proven in
court.

The WHL is arguing that its players are "amateur student-
athletes" and it can't afford to pay them minimum wage on top of
benefits they receive, including post-secondary scholarships.

It also alleges several teams would fold if forced to pay players
minimum wage.

It's the second such court case against a major junior league in
Canada.  The Ontario Supreme Court approved an action against the
Ontario Hockey League last April.

A similar suit against the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League is
also pending.

The three major junior hockey leagues, featuring a combined 60
teams of players between the ages of 16 and 20, fall under the
umbrella of the Canadian Hockey League. [GN]


XEROX CORP: Settlement Agreement Terminates Fujifilm Deal
---------------------------------------------------------
Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann LLP on May 14 disclosed
that just weeks after obtaining a landmark injunction blocking
the proposed sale of a majority stake of Xerox Corp. ("Xerox") to
Fujifilm Holdings ("Fuji"), shareholders of Xerox have obtained
an unprecedented settlement agreement terminating the Fuji deal
outright.

In addition to the termination of the deal, the settlement terms
include the resignation of a majority of the Xerox Board's
directors and its CEO, appointments of new, independent directors
and executive leadership, a fair and open future nomination
process for directors, and a commitment to begin evaluating all
strategic alternatives to maximize shareholder value.

Represented by Co-Lead Counsel Bernstein Litowitz Berger &
Grossmann, Grant & Eisenhofer, and Kessler, Topaz, Meltzer &
Check, Xerox shareholders brought suit in January 2018 after the
Company announced a change-of-control transaction with Fuji.  As
alleged by the suing shareholders, the underpriced deal allowed
Fuji to take control of 50.1% of the Company at an unfair price.
Among other conflicts, the shareholders alleged that Xerox CEO
Jeff Jacobson understood his job was in jeopardy and gave Fuji a
sweetheart deal in exchange for a promise that he could run the
combined company, all at Xerox shareholders' expense.

Lead plaintiffs for the class are the Asbestos Workers
Philadelphia Pension Fund, Carpenters Pension Fund of Illinois,
and the Iron Workers District Council of Philadelphia & Vicinity
Benefit & Pension Plan.

Conflicted deal may serve as a watershed moment in governance

On April 27, the shareholders achieved a precedent-setting
injunction against the deal from New York State Supreme Court
Justice Barry Ostrager, who prohibited Xerox and Fuji from
consummating the transaction on a preliminary basis.  In an
extraordinary opinion, Justice Ostrager noted that Fuji was
contributing no cash for acquiring control of Xerox and that the
proposed deal failed to pay Xerox shareholders a premium for
selling control of the company. The Justice wrote: "This
transaction was largely negotiated by a massively conflicted CEO
in breach of his fiduciary duties to further his self-interest
and approved by a Board, more than half of whom were perpetuating
themselves in office for five years without properly supervising
Xerox's conflicted CEO."

Importantly, the settlement with the Xerox Board does not resolve
pending claims against Fuji, which Justice Ostrager found to have
likely aided and abetted the board's breaches during the
original, conflicted deal.  Even though the proposed deal will
not move forward, Fuji will continue to face substantial
litigation risk for its conduct, as the new Xerox Board attempts
to find an alternative suitor for Xerox or renegotiate a better
deal with Fuji.  Notably, Fuji and Xerox currently operate a
joint venture that manufactures and distributes Xerox products in
the Asia-Pacific region.  As revealed when Xerox and Fuji
announced the transaction, the contracts governing the joint
venture contained previously undisclosed change-of-control
provisions that created complications for any sale of Xerox to
other strategic acquirors.  By refusing to dismiss their claims
against Fuji, lead plaintiffs aim to secure a more level playing
field for all bidders and to help ensure that Fuji will not take
further actions to disadvantage Xerox's shareholders for its own
benefit.

The litigation and subsequent termination surrounding the tainted
deal should have long-lasting legal implications, strongly
encouraging boards to insure negotiations with potential buyers
are conducted by non-conflicted parties.

"It took months of aggressive litigation to provide Xerox
shareholders with the fair and open sales process they were
entitled to all along.  This settlement clearly shows the value
that can be created when determined investors and their counsel
act decisively to challenge corporate misconduct," said
Mark Lebovitch -- markl@blbglaw.com -- a partner with Bernstein
Litowitz.

"We are optimistic that conditions have now been created that
will enable a new value-maximizing transaction for Xerox
shareholders to be achieved,: added James Sabella --
jsabella@gelaw.com -- a director at Grant & Eisenhofer.

Kessler Topaz partner Justin Reliford -- jreliford@ktmc.com --
said:  "This litigation should serve as a warning to corporate
fiduciaries who place their own interests ahead of the
shareholders they serve.  Undivided loyalty is a requirement of
the job."

The case is captioned: In re Xerox Corp., Consolidated
Shareholder Litigation; Index Number: 650766/18. [GN]


* Employers Brace for SCOTUS Ruling on Mandatory Arbitration
------------------------------------------------------------
Juliana Feliciano Reyes, writing for The Inquirer, reports that
as with the women peddling brightly printed leggings and tunics
who say they were victims of a pyramid scheme but who likely
won't get their day in court because of the agreement they
signed.  And the Goldman Sachs managing director who couldn't
join one of the biggest sex discrimination class-action lawsuits
on Wall Street because of an agreement she signed when she was
promoted.

And on May 15, there was the ride-sharing giant that, after
pressure from critics and one prominent former employee, is
ending its practice of not allowing employees -- and riders -- to
bring sexual harassment claims against the company to court.

We're talking about arbitration agreements, which require
employees to handle disputes through the private system of
arbitration, instead of the courts, and which can also keep
employees from joining class-action, or other collective, cases.

It's the type of contract that employers make you sign when you
first get hired -- you know, that stack of papers you barely read
when you're getting onboarded.  More than half of the Fortune 100
have used arbitration agreements, including companies such as
Comcast, Amazon, and Wells Fargo, according to a 2018 report by
the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) Institute.

Many folks in business and legal circles say arbitration is
faster and cheaper than court.  Others say that arbitration
agreements remove a powerful tool that employees have against
their employer: class-action lawsuits.  Then-Philadelphia
Inquirer and Daily News workplace reporter Jane von Bergen wrote
a good rundown of the issue in 2016.

But here's the most pressing news: The Supreme Court of the
United States is about to issue a decision on these agreements,
ruling whether or not employers can force employees to sign away
their rights to a class-action.

It's unclear where SCOTUS will land on the issue, though some say
oral arguments seemed to some observers to lean toward employers.
Either way, here's a preview of what it would mean.

The decision will have a big impact if employers continue to use
these types of agreements, said Chris Stief, managing partner of
the Philadelphia office of employer-side law firm Fisher &
Phillips.

If the ruling is favorable to employees, we can expect employers
who use arbitration agreements that bar class-actions to rewrite
those agreements, Mr. Stief said.  He added that some employers
offer an opt-out option to these agreements, and if they do, they
likely won't need to rewrite them.

A ruling that's favorable to employees could also dramatically
increase the number of successful wage theft cases, because
class-actions are the most effective tool to return stolen wages,
said Cliff Palefsky, a San Francisco-based lawyer and NELA member
who has been fighting against mandatory arbitration for more than
a decade.

Another major question, Mr. Palefsky said, is: If companies
couldn't ban employees from class actions, would they even keep
using arbitration agreements? He doesn't think they would,
because companies have to pay for arbitration and, he says, it
can get costly.

And if the ruling is favorable toward employers, Mr. Stief says,
we might see even more employers begin to use arbitration
agreements.  Mr. Palefsky says it would lead to an "explosion of
individual cases" that could end up being very expensive.

And if you're an employee reading this and wondering what you can
do if your new company asks you to sign an arbitration agreement?

You might be out of luck: It's often a condition of employment,
says Pete Winebrake -- pwinebrake@winebrakelaw.com -- a labor
lawyer with Winebrake & Santillo in Montgomery County.  Mr.
Stief, on the other hand, says that he's seen some companies that
"have a tolerance for non-uniformity" and that are willing to
negotiate, but it really depends on company culture and policy.
Mr. Stief also points out that some companies also include that
opt-out provision when it comes to barring class-actions.

But more important, find out whether there is such an agreement
when you're getting hired.  Mr. Winebrake says he's spoken to
hundreds of employees who have signed these agreements and have
not known that they did so. Sometimes they didn't even physically
sign; they could have clicked a button saying they read and
acknowledged the terms -- which is a thing that anyone using the
internet knows about. [GN]


* Judges Rarely Grant Discovery into Litigation Funding Documents
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Ben Hancock, writing for The National Law Journal, reports that
amid a push by litigation funding opponents for greater
transparency in the industry, a new industry study has found that
federal and state court judges have overwhelmingly blocked
attempts by litigants to peer into their opponents' legal
financing arrangements.

The case law analysis by Tennessee-based litigation funding
broker Westfleet Advisors identified 30 cases across the United
States in which a party sought to force disclosure of the other
sides' litigation financing documents.

In 24 of those cases -- or 80 percent -- the judge denied the
discovery requests altogether or granted limited discovery,
according to the study, which was authored by Westfleet CEO
Charles Agee, Adams and Reese partner Lucian Pera, and Vanderbilt
University law student Steven Vickery.

The study, which is presented as a comprehensive analysis of
existing case law, was shared with Law.com on the condition that
it not be re-published in its entirely.

Agee said in an interview that the impetus for doing the study
was to be able to inform potential clients -- litigants and
lawyers seeking funding -- what the state of the law is on
disclosure of related documents.

"When you read about it in the press, it's always presented as,
'Well, it's a mixed bag, anything can happen,'" Mr. Agee said.
"That's not consistent with the research that Lucian and I have
done over the years."

Most of the cases that Westfleet analyzed were in federal court,
including the recent decision by a federal judge in Ohio
requiring plaintiffs in the opioid multidistrict litigation to
disclose any third-party funding agreements to the court in
camera.

But the company also looked at decisions in state courts. It
identified a case as far back as 2004 in Massachusetts called
Conlon v. Rosa, for example, in which the judge allowed discovery
of the redacted funding agreement and non-deal documents.

Perhaps indicating how the litigation finance industry has grown
in recent years, the bulk of the decisions came down between 2014
and 2016, according to the study.

By far, the most reliable argument to shield litigation finance-
related documents from discovery in the cases analyzed was the
"work-product" doctrine.  Of the 24 decisions in which discovery
was denied or granted in a limited way, 20 of them included the
work-product doctrine in their reasoning.  Arguments based on
relevance, the "common interest" doctrine, and attorney-client
privilege did not fare as well.

"Most decisions allowing significant discovery of the funding
agreement and non-deal documents in the face of a strong work-
product argument by the plaintiff were decided several years ago,
before the decision in Miller v. Caterpillar in 2014, the leading
decision in this area," the study said.

The Miller decision, handed down by a federal judge in the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, denied
discovery requests by lawyers for the construction giant
Caterpillar in a trade secrets dispute on relevancy and other
grounds.  It is often cited by the litigation funding industry in
arguing why funding agreements and related documents should not
be subject to disclosure in litigation.

The conclusion of the study -- that judges rarely grant discovery
into litigation funding documents -- helps explain why opponents
of the industry, chiefly the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, are
pushing for legislative and rule changes to require that funding
agreements be disclosed.

The Chamber has twice pushed for a rule change for all federal
courts that would require disclosure of funding agreements in
civil disputes, and also helped lobby for pioneering legislation
in Wisconsin enacted in April that imposes the same obligation.

U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Charles Grassley, R-
Iowa, introduced the Litigation Funding Transparency Act. It
would require the disclosure of litigation funding agreements in
any class action or multidistrict litigation proceeding in
federal court.

One of the six cases that Westfleet identified where the funding
agreement was required to be disclosed by the court was a class
action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California, in which the judge agreed that ascertaining the level
of funding and any other obligations was relevant to whether
class counsel could pursue the case.

But there wasn't any other consistent factor among those set of
cases, the study said, saying that "the unusual circumstances of
the cases distinguishes them from the trend of cases upholding
objections to such discovery requests." [GN]


* Keyless Ignition Carbon Monoxide-Related Deaths Raise Concerns
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to WLKY, a report from the New York Times found that
dozens of people have been poisoned by carbon monoxide after
failing to shut off the keyless ignition on their vehicles.

Since 2006, at least 28 people have died and 45 others have
suffered injuries from the gas after they thought they had turned
off their vehicles, the Times found.

The report highlights the efforts by some groups to push for new
regulations from automakers to combat the problem.

Keyless ignition allows drivers to start their cars with the
press of a button while an electronic key fob remains in their
pocket or purse.  The technology first entered the American
market in the early 2000s.

In 2015, a class action lawsuit claimed there had been 13 carbon
monoxide-related deaths linked to keyless ignition cars.  A judge
dismissed the suit in September 2016.

The Times report, published May 13, indicates the problem may be
more widespread than previously thought.

The Society of Automotive Engineers, a leading standards group
for the auto industry, seven years ago called for requiring
automakers to include warning signals -- such as a series of
beeps -- to alert drivers if their cars were left on, according
to the Times report.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration then proposed
a new regulation in line with the Society of Automotive Engineers
idea.

But the auto industry opposed the rule, and the agency has yet to
follow through with the regulation.

NHTSA also reportedly launched a probe into seven automakers in
2013 that sought to find information on what safety features they
installed on keyless ignition vehicles.

"But the inquiry was quickly and inconclusively wound down," the
Times reported.

"Once NHTSA has finished its review and determined the best path
forward, NHTSA will take appropriate action," the agency said in
March in a statement to the Times.  NHTSA did not immediately
return CNN's request for comment.

Some carmakers have voluntarily included such features, the Times
reports, but others have not.

The Times said that Toyota vehicles, including some Lexus
vehicles, played a part in almost half of the inadvertent carbon
monoxide deaths.

Toyota told the outlet its keyless ignition product "meets or
exceeds all relevant federal safety standards."

The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment
from CNN. [GN]


* Napoli Shkolnik Mulls Blades Water Contamination Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
Madeleine Overturf, writing for WBOC, reports that the law firm
Napoli Shkolnik PLLC has announced plans to file a class action
lawsuit after the town of Blades' water was found to have
elevated levels of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs).

Louise Caro, the firm's environmental law department head, says
they've had a number of people approach them with health
concerns, such as thyroid issues and pregnancy complications.
She says right now they are collecting clients and trying to
determine who or what caused the contamination.

"If there's a facility and it's part of their chemical process,
then that facility for sure would be the only one on the hook,"
she tells WBOC.  "But if they bought from somebody else and they
are using it and this is what's causing it then they both will be
responsible."

Ms. Caro says in the suit, they will ask for a medical monitoring
fund, which would pay for clients to be proactively tested for
diseases possibly contracted from long term exposure to the
contaminated water.

"The defendants would pay," she says.  "So that way [clients]
would make sure if there are any diseases that would be expected,
they would catch them early so there is less chance that they are
going to impact their lives as much."

Ms. Caro says the suit would only be against the party
responsible for the contamination, not the town of Blades or any
Delaware state agencies.

The potential suit comes as the Department of Natural Resources
and Environmental Control is still investigating the cause of the
contamination. Blades Town Administrator Vikki Prettyman says the
agency is currently scheduling expanded well tests to help find
the source.

"Right now they are working on sampling plans," she says.  "Wells
that need to be sampled and the time frame [to be tested] -- like
every three months or six months."

Ms. Prettyman says after the results come back, the town and
DNREC can develop their next steps.  She says once the
information is in, they will hold a public meeting, as they did
many times when the situation first arose.

"When the information came out that we had contaminants in our
wells, we were finding this information out at the exact same
time as everybody," she says.  "As soon as we knew, the public
knew, and we needed to rectify the situation."

The town's water has been safe to drink since they put in a new
carbon filtration system.  Ms. Prettyman says they are
considering purchasing another system as a backup, and making
further improvements to their water treatment plant.  She says
the town is also looking at expanding their water service to
private wells that currently are using temporary filters to make
the water safe to drink.

Ms. Prettyman says they plan to have their next public meeting in
June, the same month that Napoli Shkolnik hopes to discover the
cause of the contamination and file the class action. [GN]


* Rule 23 Amendments to Impact Federal Class Action Litigation
--------------------------------------------------------------
Tal J. Lifshitz, Esq. of Kozyak Tropin Throckmorton  --
tjl@kttlaw.com -- and Rachel Sullivan, Esq., of Coral Gables law
firm -- rs@kttlaw.com -- in an article for Daily Business Review,
wrote that amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
will take effect on Dec. 1, 2018, subject to Supreme Court
approval and arguably no substantive area of law will be more
impacted than federal class action litigation, in particular, the
procedures for addressing objections to class settlements.

The Rule 23 subcommittee and advisory committee seek to achieve
the following with the amendments:

   -- Requiring litigants to provide more information regarding
proposed settlements to the district court before approving
notice of the proposed settlement to the class;
   -- Clarifying that a decision to send notice of a proposed
settlement to the class under Rule 23(e)(1) is not appealable
under Rule 23(f);
   -- Clarifying in Rule 23(c)(2)(B) that the Rule 23(e)(1)
notice triggers the opt-out period in Rule 23(b)(3) class
actions;
   -- Updating Rule 23(c)(2) regarding individual notice in Rule
23(b)(3) class actions;
   -- Establishing procedures to deter frivolous class action
objections;
   -- Refining standards for approval of proposed settlements;
and
   -- Adopting a DOJ proposal to include in Rule 23(f) a 45-day
period in which to seek permission for an interlocutory appeal
when the United States is a party.

The amendments reflect a well-timed effort by the subcommittee
and advisory committee to bring Rule 23 into the 21st century by,
among other things, making better use of technology for notice,
formalizing the preliminary approval process for uniformity and
addressing the increase in objections from "professional" or
"serial" objectors.

Regarding objectors in particular, the proposed amended Rule 23
language would provide as follows:

Rule 23(e)(5) (Settlement, Voluntary Dismissal or Compromise --
Class-Member Objections)

In General. Any class member may object to the proposal if it
requires court approval under [amended Rule 23(e)].  The
objection must state whether it applies only to the objector, to
a specific subset of the class, or to the entire class and also
state with specificity the grounds for the objection.

Court Approval Requirement for Payment in Connection with an
Objection. Unless approved by the court after a hearing, no
payment or other consideration may be provided in connection
with:

   -- Forgoing or withdrawing an objection, or
   -- Forgoing, dismissing, or abandoning an appeal from a
judgment approving the proposal.

In connection with the newly proposed Rule 23(e)(5)(B), the
advisory committee explained that "good faith objections can
assist the court in evaluating a proposal under Rule 23(e)(2). .
. .  But some objectors may be seeking only personal gain, and
using objections to obtain benefits for themselves rather than
assisting in the settlement-review process. At least in some
instances, it seems that objectors -- or their counsel -- have
sought to obtain consideration for withdrawing their objections
or dismissing appeals from judgment approving class settlements.
And class counsel sometimes may feel that avoiding the delay
produced by an appeal justifies providing payment or other
consideration to these objectors. Although the payment may
advance class interests in a particular case, allowing payment
perpetuates a system that can encourage objections advanced for
improper purposes."

These changes address increasing concern among federal district
courts about the rising influence of these objectors. See, e.g.,
In re Whirlpool Front-Loading Washer Products Liability
Litigation, 2016 WL 5338012, at *21 (N.D. Ohio Sept. 23, 2016)
("In nearly every class action settlement today, professional
objectors file objections (often frivolous ones) simply in order
to obtain standing to appeal the district court's final approval
order."); In re Checking Account Overdraft Litigation, 830 F.
Supp. 2d 1330, 1362 (S.D. Fla. 2011) (overruling objections
brought by professional objectors . . .  "whose sole purpose is
to obtain a fee by objecting to whatever aspects of the
settlement they can latch onto.").  As one court observed,
although objections are legitimate in a "small fraction" of
cases, "the vast majority have nothing to do with the merits of
the actual settlement but are motivated by attorneys attempting
to extort a payout from class counsel." Omnibus Order Granting
Approval of Class Action Settlement, [D.E. 407], Bowe v. Public
Storage, No. 14-cv-21559 (S.D. Fla.), at 32.

The new amendments to Rule 23, once effective, will require
serial objectors to articulate the basis for their objections
with particularity; and justify any payments offered to them in
exchange for withdrawing or foregoing an objection to federal
judges who will consider their intent and motives.  These
requirements should reduce the number of frivolous objections
allowed to hold up class action settlements, and deter objectors
with ulterior and personal financial motives from delaying the
distribution of valuable relief to injured class members.

More information on the proposed amendments available at:
http://www.uscourts.gov/rules-policies/pending-rules-and-forms-
amendments

Tal J. Lifshitz is an attorney in Kozyak Tropin Throckmorton's
complex litigation department.  Rachel Sullivan is an attorney
and of counsel to the complex litigation department at the Coral
Gables law firm. [GN]



                        Asbestos Litigation



ASBESTOS UPDATE: Arconic, Units Still Defend PI Suits at Dec.31
---------------------------------------------------------------
Arconic Inc. and its subsidiaries remain defendants in asbestos-
related lawsuits, 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, "Arconic Inc. and its subsidiaries and former
subsidiaries are defendants in lawsuits filed on behalf of
persons alleging injury as a result of occupational or other
exposure to asbestos.  Arconic, its subsidiaries and former
subsidiaries have numerous insurance policies over many years
that provide coverage for asbestos related claims.  Arconic has
significant insurance coverage and believes that Arconic's
reserves are adequate for its known asbestos exposure related
liabilities.  The costs of defense and settlement have not been
and are not expected to be material to the results of operations,
cash flows, and financial position of the Company."

A full-text copy of the Form 10-K is available at
https://bit.ly/2HGlsc0


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Allstate Had $884MM Claim Reserves at Dec. 31
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Allstate Corporation had US$884 million reserves for asbestos
claims net of reinsurance recoverables of US$412 million 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, "Allstate's reserves for asbestos claims were
US$884 million and US$912 million, net of reinsurance
recoverables of US$412 million and US$444 million, as of December
31, 2017 and 2016, respectively.  Reserves for environmental
claims were US$166 million and US$179 million, net of reinsurance
recoverables of US$33 million and US$40 million, as of December
31, 2017 and 2016, respectively.

"Management believes its net loss reserves for asbestos,
environmental and other discontinued lines exposures are
appropriately established based on available facts, technology,
laws and regulations.  However, establishing net loss reserves
for asbestos, environmental and other discontinued lines claims
is subject to uncertainties that are much greater than those
presented by other types of claims.  The ultimate cost of losses
may vary materially from recorded amounts, which are based on
management's best estimate.  Among the complications are lack of
historical data, long reporting delays, uncertainty as to the
number and identity of insureds with potential exposure and
unresolved legal issues regarding policy coverage; unresolved
legal issues regarding the determination, availability and timing
of exhaustion of policy limits; plaintiffs' evolving and
expanding theories of liability; availability and collectability
of recoveries from reinsurance; retrospectively determined
premiums and other contractual agreements; estimates of the
extent and timing of any contractual liability; the impact of
bankruptcy protection sought by various asbestos producers and
other asbestos defendants; and other uncertainties.  There are
also complex legal issues concerning the interpretation of
various insurance policy provisions and whether those losses are
covered, or were ever intended to be covered, and could be
recoverable through retrospectively determined premium,
reinsurance or other contractual agreements.

"Courts have reached different and sometimes inconsistent
conclusions as to when losses are deemed to have occurred and
which policies provide coverage; what types of losses are
covered; whether there is an insurer obligation to defend; how
policy limits are determined; how policy exclusions and
conditions are applied and interpreted; and whether clean-up
costs represent insured property damage.  Further, insurers and
claims administrators acting on behalf of insurers are
increasingly pursuing evolving and expanding theories of
reinsurance coverage for asbestos and environmental losses.
Adjudication of reinsurance coverage is predominately decided in
confidential arbitration proceedings which may have limited
precedential or predictive value further complicating
management's ability to estimate probable loss for reinsured
asbestos and environmental claims.  Management believes these
issues are not likely to be resolved in the near future, and the
ultimate costs may vary materially from the amounts currently
recorded resulting in material changes in loss reserves.

"In addition, while the Company believes that improved actuarial
techniques and databases have assisted in its ability to estimate
asbestos, environmental, and other discontinued lines net loss
reserves, these refinements may subsequently prove to be
inadequate indicators of the extent of probable losses.  Due to
the uncertainties and factors described above, management
believes it is not practicable to develop a meaningful range for
any such additional net loss reserves that may be required."

A full-text copy of the Form 10-K is available at
https://bit.ly/2reyAKe


ASBESTOS UPDATE: BNSF Still Defends PI Claims at Dec. 31
--------------------------------------------------------
Burlington Northern Santa Fe, LLC ("BNSF") remains a party to a
number of personal injury claims by employees and non-employees
who may have been exposed to asbestos, 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 heaviest exposure for certain BNSF
employees was due to work conducted in and around the use of
steam locomotive engines that were phased out between the years
of 1950 and 1967.  However, other types of exposures, including
exposure from locomotive component parts and building materials,
continued after 1967 until they were substantially eliminated at
BNSF by 1985.

"BNSF assesses its unasserted asbestos liability exposure on an
annual basis during the third quarter.  BNSF determines its
asbestos liability by estimating its exposed population, the
number of claims likely to be filed, the number of claims that
will likely require payment and the estimated cost per claim.
Estimated filing and dismissal rates and average cost per claim
are determined utilizing recent claim data and trends.

"During the third quarters of 2017, 2016 and 2015, the Company
analyzed recent filing and payment trends to ensure the
assumptions used by BNSF to estimate its future asbestos
liability were reasonable.  In 2017, management recorded a
decrease to the liability of US$29 million.  No adjustment was
recorded in 2016.  In 2015, management recorded an increase to
the liability of US$5 million.  The Company plans to update its
study again in the third quarter of 2018.

"Throughout the year, BNSF monitors actual experience against the
number of forecasted claims and expected claim payments and will
record adjustments to the Company's estimates as necessary.

"Based on BNSF's estimate of the potentially exposed employees
and related mortality assumptions, it is anticipated that
unasserted asbestos claims will continue to be filed through the
year 2050.  The Company recorded an amount for the full estimated
filing period through 2050 because it had a relatively finite
exposed population (former and current employees hired prior to
1985), which it was able to identify and reasonably estimate and
about which it had obtained reliable demographic data (including
age, hire date and occupation) derived from industry or BNSF
specific data that was the basis for the study.  BNSF projects
that approximately 65, 80 and 95 percent of the future unasserted
asbestos claims will be filed within the next 10, 15 and 25
years, respectively."

A full-text copy of the Form 10-K is available at
https://bit.ly/2rcnypZ


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Forum Energy Unit Faces 150 Suits at Dec. 31
-------------------------------------------------------------
There were currently fewer than 150 lawsuits pending against a
subsidiary of Forum Energy Technologies, Inc., 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, "One of our subsidiaries has been named as
one of many defendants in a number of product liability claims
for alleged exposure to asbestos.  These lawsuits are typically
filed on behalf of plaintiffs who allege exposure to asbestos,
against numerous defendants, often 40 or more, who may have
manufactured or distributed products containing asbestos.  The
injuries alleged by plaintiffs in these cases range from
mesothelioma and other cancers to asbestosis.

"The earliest claims against our subsidiary were filed in New
Jersey in 1998, and our subsidiary currently has active cases in
Missouri, New Jersey, New York, and Illinois.  These complaints
do not typically include requests for a specific amount of
damages.  The trademark for the product line with asbestos
exposure was acquired in 1985.

"Our subsidiary has been successful in obtaining dismissals in
many lawsuits where the exposure is alleged to have occurred
prior to our acquisition of the trademark.  The law in some
states does not find purchasers of product lines to have tort
liability for incidents occurring prior to the acquisition date
unless they assumed the responsibility or in certain other
circumstances.  The law in certain other states on so called
"successor liability" may be different or ambiguous in this
regard.  Most claimants alleging illnesses due to asbestos sue on
the basis of exposure prior to 1985, as by that date the hazards
of asbestos exposure were well known and asbestos had begun to
fall into disuse in industrial settings.

"To date, asbestos claims have not had a material adverse effect
on our business, financial condition, results of operations, or
cash flow, as our annual out-of-pocket costs over the last five
years has been less than US$200,000.  There were fewer than 50
new cases filed against our subsidiary in each of last two years,
and a significant number of existing cases were dismissed,
settled or otherwise disposed over the last year.

"We currently have fewer than 150 lawsuits pending against this
subsidiary.  Our subsidiary has over US$17 million in face amount
of insurance per occurrence and over US$23 million of aggregate
primary insurance coverage; a portion of the coverage has been
eroded by payments made by insurers.

"In addition, our subsidiary has over US$950 million in face
amount of excess coverage applicable to the claims.  There can be
no guarantee that all of this can be collected due to policy
terms and conditions and insurer insolvencies in the past or in
the future.

"In January 2011, we entered into an agreement with seven of our
primary insurers under which they have agreed to pay 80% of the
costs of handling and settling each asbestos claim against the
affected subsidiary.  After an initial period, and under certain
circumstances, our subsidiary and the subscribing insurers may
withdraw from this agreement."

A full-text copy of the Form 10-K is available at
https://bit.ly/2ra23Gk


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mallinckrodt Had 11,600 PI Cases at Dec. 31
------------------------------------------------------------
Mallinckrodt public limited company is defending approximately
11,600 asbestos-related cases as of December 29, 2017, according
to the Company's Form 10-K filing with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission for the fiscal year ended December 29, 2017.

The Company states, "Beginning with lawsuits brought in July
1976, the Company is also named as a defendant in personal injury
lawsuits based on alleged exposure to asbestos-containing
materials.  A majority of the cases involve product liability
claims based principally on allegations of past distribution of
products containing asbestos.  A limited number of the cases
allege premises liability based on claims that individuals were
exposed to asbestos while on the Company's property.  Each case
typically names dozens of corporate defendants in addition to the
Company.  The complaints generally seek monetary damages for
personal injury or bodily injury resulting from alleged exposure
to products containing asbestos.  The Company's involvement in
asbestos cases has been limited because it did not mine or
produce asbestos.  Furthermore, in the Company's experience, a
large percentage of these claims have never been substantiated
and have been dismissed by the courts.  The Company has not
suffered an adverse verdict in a trial court proceeding related
to asbestos claims and intends to continue to defend these
lawsuits.  When appropriate, the Company settles claims; however,
amounts paid to settle and defend all asbestos claims have been
immaterial.  As of December 29, 2017, there were approximately
11,600 asbestos-related cases pending against the Company.

"The Company estimates pending asbestos claims, claims that were
incurred but not reported and related insurance recoveries, which
are recorded on a gross basis in the consolidated balance sheets.
The Company's estimate of its liability for pending and future
claims is based on claims experience over the past five years and
covers claims either currently filed or expected to be filed over
the next seven years.  The Company believes that it has adequate
amounts recorded related to these matters.  While it is not
possible at this time to determine with certainty the ultimate
outcome of these asbestos-related proceedings, the Company
believes, given the information currently available, that the
ultimate resolution of all known and anticipated future claims,
after taking into account amounts already accrued, along with
recoveries from insurance, will not have a material adverse
effect on its financial condition, results of operations and cash
flows."

A full-text copy of the Form 10-K is available at
https://bit.ly/2HIJiA1


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lincoln Electric Had 3,613 Claims at Dec. 31
-------------------------------------------------------------
Lincoln Electric Holdings, Inc. is still a co-defendant in cases
alleging asbestos induced illness involving claims by
approximately 3,613 plaintiffs, 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, "In each instance, we are one of a large
number of defendants.  The asbestos claimants allege that
exposure to asbestos contained in welding consumables caused the
plaintiffs to develop adverse pulmonary diseases, including
mesothelioma and other lung cancers.

"Since January 1, 1995, we have been a co-defendant in asbestos
cases that have been resolved as follows: 54,732 of those claims
were dismissed, 23 were tried to defense verdicts, 7 were tried
to plaintiff verdicts (one of which was appealed by defendants
and was remanded to the trial court for a new trial), 1 was
resolved by agreement for an immaterial amount and 776 were
decided in favor of the Company following summary judgment
motions."

A full-text copy of the Form 10-K is available at
https://bit.ly/2HHZwNy


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ameren Illinois Had US$23-Mil. Fund at Dec. 31
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ameren Illinois Company had trust fund balance of US$23 million
at December 31, 2017 in its litigation rider for asbestos-related
Claims, 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 Ameren Illinois asbestos-related
litigation rider includes a trust fund.  At December 31, 2017 and
2016, the trust fund balance of US$23 million and US$22 million,
respectively, was reflected in "Other assets" on Ameren's and
Ameren Illinois' balance sheets.  This balance is restricted only
for the use of funding certain asbestos-related claims.  The
rider is subject to the following terms: 90% of the cash
expenditures in excess of the amount included in base electric
rates is to be recovered from the trust fund.  If cash
expenditures are less than the amount in base rates, Ameren
Illinois will contribute 90% of the difference to the trust
fund."

A full-text copy of the Form 10-K is available at
https://bit.ly/2jjQRCD


ASBESTOS UPDATE: United Fire Had $2.6MM A&E Reserve at Dec. 31
--------------------------------------------------------------
United Fire Group, Inc. had US$2.6 million in direct and assumed
asbestos and environmental loss reserves 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, "Included in the other liability and assumed
reinsurance lines of business are reserves for asbestos and other
environmental losses and loss settlement expenses.  At December
31, 2017 and 2016, we had US$2.6 million and US$3.7 million,
respectively, in direct and assumed asbestos and environmental
loss reserves.  The estimation of loss reserves for environmental
claims and claims related to long-term exposure to asbestos and
other substances is one of the most difficult aspects of
establishing reserves, especially given the inherent
uncertainties surrounding such claims.  Although we record our
best estimate of loss and loss settlement expense reserves, the
ultimate amounts paid upon settlement of such claims may be more
or less than the amount of the reserves, because of the
significant uncertainties involved and the likelihood that these
uncertainties will not be resolved for many years."

A full-text copy of the Form 10-K is available at
https://bit.ly/2HDW2vL


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Summary Judgment Favoring Coty Inc. Affirmed
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of California for the Second District
affirms the trial court's September 6, 2017 summary judgment
concluding that the Barbara and John Wittman lacked evidence that
Barbara was exposed to asbestos fibers through her use of Coty
Inc.'s product.

Coty was founded in 1904, became a division of Pfizer in 1963,
and reconstituted itself as an independent business in 1992. Coty
bought talcum for its products from Pfizer and Whittaker, Clark
and Daniels (WCD). Pfizer owned talc mines in California and
Montana, and from 1963 to 1987, sold talc to many industries,
including the cosmetics industry. WCD also was a prominent talc
supplier.

In January 2017, the Barbara and John Wittman commenced the
underlying action, alleging that Barbara developed mesothelioma
due to her exposure to asbestos fibers in Coty's talcum powder.

In June 2017, Coty sought summary judgment or adjudication on the
Wittmans' claims, contending the Wittmans' discovery responses
and deposition testimony demonstrated their inability to prove
the claims. Coty requested summary judgment on the ground that
the Wittmans could not show that Barbara was exposed to asbestos
through the particular Coty product she had used, namely, a
specific face powder. In the alternative, Coty sought summary
adjudication on the request for punitive damages on the ground
that the Wittmans could not show oppression, fraud, or malice.

In support of the motion for summary judgment, Coty contended the
Wittmans' discovery responses demonstrated their lack of evidence
to establish Barbara's specific alleged exposure to asbestos from
Coty's products.

When deposed, Barbara stated that she had used Coty's "Airspun
Translucent" face powder from the late 1970's to 2015.

Coty maintained that the Wittmans' discovery responses showed
they had no evidence that the Coty product contained asbestos.
Coty submitted their responses to three sets of interrogatories,
one set of requests for admissions, and one set of requests for
production of documents, as well as excerpts from their
depositions disclosing that they had no personal knowledge
whether the Coty product in question contained asbestos. Coty
contended that insofar as the responses identified particular
documents and witnesses, those sources of evidence either
suggested that Coty's products contained no asbestos or were
irrelevant.

The responses identify no specific witness possessing evidence
that the Coty product that Barbara used contained asbestos.
Rather, they state: "The Wittmans' experts in similar cases have
provided depositions, declarations and trial testimony that, more
likely than not, the products... utilized in Barbara's immediate
presence and vicinity contained asbestos... The Wittmans expect
that their experts, when designated... will testify in accordance
with their past testimony. Defendant and defendant's counsel are
well aware of this testimony."

The responses also identify no specific document constituting
evidence that the Coty product used by Barbara contained
asbestos. The responses refer in particular only to certain
scientific documents regarding the hazards of asbestos, state and
federal regulations regarding asbestos, an FDA (U.S. Food & Drug
Admin.) memorandum establishing WCD's importance as a talc
supplier, and an appellate court decision regarding the
imposition of punitive damages. The responses otherwise contain
only nonspecific references to other documents, including
discovery responses and deposition testimony in the underlying
action, evidence from other actions, Barbara's medical records,
and Coty's records, without stating how those documents showed
that the Coty product in question contained asbestos.

The Wittmans opposed summary judgment and summary adjudication,
arguing that the discovery responses upon which Coty relied were
inadmissible because they were unverified. The Wittmans further
maintained that even had Coty shifted the burden on summary
judgment, they possessed evidence sufficient to raise a triable
issue whether the Coty product Barbara had used contained
asbestos. They submitted a declaration from asbestos analysis
expert John Harris, who stated that he tested a container of Coty
Airspun Translucent powder he received from the Wittmans'
counsel.

In seeking to raise a triable issue regarding Barbara's exposure
to asbestos through her use of the Coty product, the Wittmans
relied exclusively on Harris's declaration. Harris stated: "I
have been asked to provide my opinion as to whether... Coty
Airspun Translucent Powder is asbestos containing. The product
was provided to me by the Wittmans' counsel... I am informed that
Barbara purchased... the Coty Airspun Translucent Powder
approximately sometime between 2015 and 2016, and has used the
product that my laboratory tested." According to the report
attached to the declaration, Harris received a "sealed container"
of talcum powder in a gallon-sized ziplock bag from the Wittmans'
counsel. Also "within the container" were instructions requesting
testing.

According to Harris, upon testing the powder in the container,
Harris found two asbestos fibers. Harris estimated that "based on
the two asbestos fibers... a concentration of 15,700,000 fibers
per gram of material, and a concentration of 1.263 structures...
were detected." Harris opined that Barbara would have been
exposed to respirable asbestos fibers above the ambient level had
she "used the product in a manner that created respirable
dust..."

On September 6, 2017, judgment was entered in favor of Coty and
against the Wittmans. In granting summary judgment, the trial
court concluded that Coty had carried its initial burden
regarding whether the Wittmans lacked needed evidence of
Barbara's exposure to asbestos. The court further ruled that
expert John Harris' declaration was inadmissible to raise a
triable issue regarding Barbara's exposure, concluding that the
Wittmans established no "chain of custody" for the face powder
provided to Harris.

The Court concludes that there is no error in the trial court's
ruling. The Court finds a critical gap in the evidence concerning
a key link in the chain of custody, that is, the link between the
product Barbara found and the sample Harris tested. The Wittmans'
effort to close that evidentiary gap relies on Harris's statement
that he "was informed" that the sample originated with the
Wittmans. Thus, the Court settles that the trial court did not
abuse its discretion in concluding that Harris' hearsay reference
to an unspecified source of information was insufficient to
establish the chain of custody. Accordingly, as the Wittmans
offered no other evidence in order to raise a triable issue,
summary judgment was properly granted.

The appealed case is John Wittman, Plaintiff and Appellant, v.
Coty, Inc., Defendant and Respondent, No. B286135, (Cal. App. 2d)

A copy of the Decision dated May 16, 2018, is available at
https://tinyurl.com/yan6flbd from Leagle.com.

Weitz & Luxenberg, Benno Ashrafi and Josiah Parker for Plaintiffs
and Appellants.

Rhonda R. Trotter -- rhonda.trotter@arnoldporter.com -- Arnold &
Porter Kaye Scholer; Daniel H. Bromberg --
danbromberg@quinnemanuel.com -- and Kirk Goza --
kirkgoza@quinnemanuel.com -- Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan ;
James P. Cunningham -- james.cunningham@tuckerellis.com -- and
Justin E. Garratt -- justin.garratt@tuckerellis.com -- Tucker
Ellis for Defendant and Respondent.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: "Rousseau" Remanded to La. State Court
-------------------------------------------------------
The Hon. Jay C. Zainey of the United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Louisiana remands the case captioned
Marilyn Rousseau, v. Johnson & Johnson, et al., Section: "A" (1),
Civil Action No. 18-2922, (E.D. La.) to the state court from
which it was removed pursuant to 28 U.S.C. section 1447(c) for
lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Plaintiff, a Louisiana citizen, initiated this suit in Orleans
Parish state court against Defendants Johnson & Johnson and
Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc.  and other defendants, who
allegedly designed, manufactured, sold or supplied the talc
products that she and her mother purchased and used in Louisiana.
Plaintiff's alleged exposure period is from approximately 1948
through the late 1970s.

Plaintiff Marilyn Rousseau has been diagnosed with malignant
mesothelioma, which she attributes to her and her mother's use of
cosmetic talc products. According to Plaintiff, talc is regularly
contaminated with asbestos and/or asbestiform contaminants that
distinctly give rise to an increased risk of mesothelioma.

J & J removed the suit to federal court claiming diversity
jurisdiction. All of the defendants, with the exception of K&B
Louisiana Corporation (d/b/a Rite Aid Corporation), are diverse,
non-Louisiana entities. Removal was grounded on the contention
that Ms. Rousseau improperly joined K&B in order to defeat
federal jurisdiction.

Plaintiff moves to remand the case back to state court contending
that J & J has not met its burden of establishing improper
joinder as to the non-diverse defendant, K&B. Defendants Johnson
& Johnson and Johnson & Johnson Consumer, Inc. oppose the Motion
to Remand filed by Plaintiff, Marilyn Rousseau.

Plaintiff argues that she has adequately alleged strict
liability, negligence, and redhibition claims against K&B, even
though K&B was not a manufacturer of talc products but rather was
a non-manufacturer seller of those products. J & J points out
that even under pre-Act law, a non-manufacturer seller cannot be
liable for selling a defective product absent a showing that the
product was defective -- an allegation that Plaintiff cannot
make.

J & J's position is that the factual allegations in the petition
specific to K&B are insufficient to trigger professional vendor
liability even if the allegations might apply that theory to
other defendants.

While the Court agrees that the allegations were not precisely
and carefully drafted to make unequivocally clear that the
pertinent allegations pertain to all defendants, the Court is not
persuaded that the technical deficiencies identified by J & J
establish improper joinder. The facts giving rise to the claims
at issue occurred between forty and seventy years ago, so
Plaintiff will require discovery to flesh out her claims against
all of the defendants, including K&B. The Court settles that this
case is in its infancy and the Court cannot conclude with any
degree of certainty that Plaintiff has no possibility of recovery
against K&B. Accordingly, the Court remands the matter to the
state court from which it was removed.

A copy of the Order and Reasons dated May 17, 2018, is available
at https://tinyurl.com/ybonw234 from Leagle.com.

Marilyn Rousseau, Plaintiff, represented by Lindsey A. Cheek,
Christopher Joseph Fransen, The Cheek Law Firm, Richard J.
Arsenault -- rarsenault@nbalawfirm.com -- Neblett, Beard &
Arsenault, Rubiante Lolana Brown, Cheek Law Firm, LLC & Wesley J.
Gralapp -- wgralapp@nbalawfirm.com -- Neblett, Beard & Arsenault.

Johnson & Johnson, Defendant, represented by Kim E. Moore --
kmoore@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC,
Claire Adams Noonan -- cnoonan@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie
Urquhart & Moore, LLC, James B. Irwin, V -- jirwin@irwinllc.com -
- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC, John W. Sinnott --
jsinnott@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC,
Leila A. D'Aquin -- ldaquin@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie
Urquhart & Moore, LLC & Meera Unnithan Sossamon --
msossamon@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC.

American Talc Company, Individually and as Successor to Suzorite
Mineral Products Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Wold
Companies, Defendant, represented by Paul D. Palermo --
ppalermo@bluewilliams.com -- Blue Williams, LLP & Brett Wayne
Tweedel -- btweedel@bluewilliams.com -- Blue Williams, LLP.

Brenntag Specialties, Inc., Individually and as Successor in
Interest & Whittaker Clark & Daniels, Inc., Defendants,
represented by Richard Munice Crump -- RCrump@maronmarvel.com --
Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson, LLC & Shelley K. Napolitano --
SNapolitano@maronmarvel.com -- Maron Marvel Bradley & Anderson,
LLC.

Charles B. Chrystal Co., Inc., Defendant, represented by Paula
Marcello Wellons, Taylor, Wellons, Politz & Duhe, APLC & Desiree
Weilbaecher Adams, Taylor, Wellons, Politz & Duhe, APLC.

Colgate-Palmolive Company, Defendant, represented by James M.
Garner -- jgarner@shergarner.com -- Sher, Garner, Cahill,
Richter, Klein & Hilbert, LLC, John T. Balhoff, II --
jbalhoff@shergarner.com -- Sher, Garner, Cahill, Richter, Klein &
Hilbert, LLC & Rebekka C. Veith -- rveith@shergarner.com -- Sher,
Garner, Cahill, Richter, Klein & Hilbert, LLC.

Cyprus Amax Minerals Co., Individually and as Successor in
Interest & Imerys Talc America, Inc., Improperly named as
Successor in Interest to and f/k/a Luzenac, Inc., Defendants,
represented by John Dennis Person -- jperson@aarongianna.com --
Aaron & Gianna, PLC, Courtney H. Payton --
cpayton@aarongianna.com -- Aaron & Gianna, PLC, Lezly L.
Petrovich -- lpetrovich@aarongianna.com -- Aaron & Gianna, PLC &
Omar Khalid Mason -- omason@aarongianna.com -- Aaron & Gianna,
PLC.

K&B Louisiana Corporation, Individually and as Successor in
Interest to Katz & Bestoff, Inc., Defendant, represented by
Lambert Joseph Hassinger, Jr. -- jhassinger@gallowaylawfirm.com -
- Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr & Smith, Jeffrey J. Siemann -
- jsiemann@gallowaylawfirm.com -- Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins,
Burr & Smith & Katherine W. Trotter --
ktrotter@gallowaylawfirm.com -- Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr
& Smith.

Johnson & Johnson Consumer Inc., formerly known as Johnson &
Johnson Consumer Companies, Inc, Defendant, represented by James
B. Irwin, V -- jirwin@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart &
Moore, LLC & Meera Unnithan Sossamon -- msossamon@irwinllc.com --
Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: GE Dropped as Defendant in "Campbell" PI Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Appellate Court of Illinois for the First District has
reversed the decision of the circuit court of Cook County denying
General Electric's motion to dismiss the action brought by the
plaintiff, Arlin Campbell, and remands the action with directions
to dismiss General Electric (GE) as a party defendant.

On May 4, 2017, the plaintiff, Arlin Campbell, a resident of
Alabama, filed a complaint in the circuit court alleging that, in
December 2016, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma caused by his
exposure to asbestos at various jobs in Illinois, Alabama,
Louisiana, and Texas between 1961 and 1999.

Plaintiff claimed that asbestos "emanated from certain products"
that he encountered at his various jobs, and that some of the
products that he encountered at those jobs were "manufactured,
sold, distributed or installed" by GE. Those jobs, according to
the complaint, included the plaintiff's sole period of employment
in Illinois, when he worked at Republic Steel in Chicago from
1964 to 1965. The complaint did not specifically allege that the
plaintiff encountered GE products containing asbestos at Republic
Steel.

On June 9, 2017, GE filed a motion to dismiss on the basis that
the plaintiff's complaint failed to allege sufficient facts to
confer personal jurisdiction upon it under the Illinois long-arm
statute. GE asserted that it did not consent to the circuit
court's jurisdiction, no general personal jurisdiction exists
over it, and no specific personal jurisdiction exists because the
plaintiff did not allege that he was exposed to asbestos from its
products in Illinois.

The plaintiff responded, arguing that Illinois has "jurisdiction
by necessity" because he was exposed to asbestos in multiple
states and there is no single forum in which he could sue every
defendant. He further asserted that GE consented to jurisdiction
by doing business and having a registered agent in this State,
and is subject to the circuit court's general personal
jurisdiction due to "systematic and continuous business contacts"
that cause GE to be "at home" in Illinois.

Finally, the plaintiff contended that GE is subject to the
circuit court's specific personal jurisdiction because his
discovery deposition, which occurred on July 19 and 20, 2017,
established that he was exposed to asbestos from GE products in
Illinois. According to the plaintiff, GE manufactured the
electric furnaces containing asbestos which were used to melt
steel at Republic Steel.

On November 14, 2017, the circuit court denied GE's motion to
dismiss in an oral ruling without identifying what basis it found
for personal jurisdiction.

On appeal, GE contends and the Court agrees that the circuit
court erred in denying its motion to dismiss where the plaintiff
failed to establish personal jurisdiction in Illinois. According
to GE, (1) no general personal jurisdiction exists because it is
not "at home" in Illinois; (2) it did not consent to jurisdiction
in Illinois; and (3) no specific personal jurisdiction over it
exists because the plaintiff's injury did not arise from its
contacts in Illinois.

The Court finds that GE is not "at home" in Illinois and,
therefore, not subject to the circuit court's general personal
jurisdiction. The record reveals that GE's place of incorporation
is New York and its principal place of business is in
Massachusetts. Although GE has been licensed to conduct business
in Illinois since 1897, employs 3,000 employees at 30 facilities
that it owns, leases, or operates in Illinois, and bases up to 6
business units in this State, the Court considers that activity
in the context of GE's national and worldwide operations.

The Court points out that GE's business in Illinois constitutes a
relatively small portion of its total operations. The record is
unclear as to the precise annual revenue that GE generates from
its business units in Illinois, but shows that its sales from its
Illinois operations exceed $1 billion and it is claimed to have a
$4.8 billion "economic impact" in Illinois. However, neither
factor establishes that the circuit court has general
jurisdiction over GE. Notably, GE reports annual earnings of more
than $53 billion from its United States operations as a whole.

Further, the Court citing Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471
U.S. 462, 472 (1985) explains that the Supreme Court has stated
that the fact that a defendant has "sizable" sales in a
particular forum does not automatically subject it to general
jurisdiction, as such a rule would prevent out-of-state
businesses from structuring their conduct "with some minimum
assurance as to where that conduct will and will not render them
liable to suit." The Court finds that the record reflects that
approximately 2% of GE's income from U.S. operations is generated
in Illinois and only approximately 2.4% of its U.S. workforce is
employed in Illinois.

Viewing these circumstances together, the Court concludes that
the plaintiff has not established that GE's contacts render it
"at home" in Illinois, or that exceptional conditions exist that
would otherwise support general personal jurisdiction.

To the extent the plaintiff argues that GE's unrelated business
in Illinois constitutes "consent" to the circuit court's
jurisdiction in this case, the Court declines to accept that GE
consented to be sued in Illinois based on the same activities
that the Court found to be insufficient to invoke the circuit
court's general personal jurisdiction. Nor does the fact that GE
has a registered agent for service of process in Illinois show
that it consented to jurisdiction in this State. To the contrary,
a defendant who has a registered agent neither "consents to
general jurisdiction as a condition of doing business in
Illinois" nor "waives any due process limitations on this State's
exercise of general jurisdiction."

The Court also rejects the notion that GE "consented" to
jurisdiction because, in unrelated matters, it sued in Illinois
courts or defended actions without contesting jurisdiction. A
party does not consent to jurisdiction in one proceeding by
reason of failing to contest jurisdiction in another, and we
cannot say that a non-resident defendant's periodic participation
in litigation in Illinois over the course of its existence causes
it to "reasonably anticipate being hauled into court" on any
matter when the requirements for minimum contacts have not
otherwise been met.

Specific jurisdiction exists when there is an affiliation
"between the forum and the underlying controversy," i.e., some
activity or occurrence "that takes place in the forum State and
is therefore subject to the State's regulation."

Applying Supreme Court Rule 191(a) to the plaintiff's deposition
testimony, the Court finds that plaintiff did not establish a
basis for the circuit court's specific personal jurisdiction over
GE.

In his discovery deposition, the plaintiff first denied knowing
what manufacturers produced the equipment used at Republic Steel
in Illinois, but later he expressed his belief that the electric
furnaces used for melting steel were manufactured by GE because
his brother "worked on furnaces." He also admitted that no "tags"
or "writing" on the furnaces "suggested" they were GE products.

In his evidence deposition, the plaintiff admitted that he had no
way of knowing who made the furnaces in use at Republic Steel.
The plaintiff's deposition testimony, taken in its entirety,
shows that he could not competently testify that the furnaces
used at Republic Steel were manufactured by GE. His discovery
deposition, in fact, suggests that his testimony in that regard
is inadmissible hearsay. Other than his deposition testimony, the
plaintiff did not introduce any other evidentiary material
supporting his claim that he was exposed to a product produced by
GE containing asbestos, during his employment in Illinois.

On the other hand, GE's former employee, Bryan Toll Jr., attested
that GE never manufactured an electric furnace designed for
melting steel. Even if the excerpt proffered by the plaintiff
from the 1914 book shows that GE did manufacture such furnaces
prior to Toll's tenure at the corporation, nothing in the record,
including the plaintiff's description of the furnaces in his
evidence deposition, identifies the "vacuum" furnaces described
in the book with the furnaces used at Republic Steel.

The Court finds the evidentiary material in this case does not
support even an inference that the plaintiff was exposed to
asbestos from GE products in Illinois. Therefore, plaintiff
failed to meet his burden of establishing a prima facie basis for
an Illinois court exercising specific personal jurisdiction over
GE in this case.

Accordingly, because the plaintiff has not met his burden of
establishing that GE is subject to personal jurisdiction in
Illinois either under a general or specific jurisdiction theory,
the Court reversed the order of the circuit court denying the
defendants' motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction
and remanded the matter with directions to enter an order
dismissing GE as a party defendant.

A copy of the Opinion dated May 18, 2018, is available at
https://tinyurl.com/y9dhpa3m from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Summary Judgment Bids Granted in "Hedrick"
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Hon. Berle M. Schiller of United States District Court for
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania grants the motions for
summary judgment of Ingersoll-Rand Co., Superior-Lidgerwood-Mundy
Corp., and Warren Pumps, LLC, and denies the motions for summary
judgment of Air & Liquid Systems Corp. and Crane Co. filed in the
case captioned Robert Hedrick, et al., Plaintiffs, v. A.O. Smith
Corp., et al., Defendants, Civil Action No. 16-476, (E.D. Pa.).

Robert Hedrick alleges that he developed lung cancer as a result
of exposure to asbestos while serving in the U.S. Navy from 1953
to 1957. Hedrick enlisted in the Navy in 1953. Over the next four
years, he worked on four different naval vessels: the USS Cabot,
USS Roan, USS Boston, and USS New Jersey. He began his service as
a seaman apprentice, and then became a fireman apprentice, a
fireman, and finally a machinist's mate. In these capacities,
Hedrick did varying amounts of work in the boiler rooms and
engine rooms of the ships. He claims that he was regularly
exposed to asbestos in his work in the boiler rooms and engine
rooms of four different naval vessels.

Hedrick's testimony demonstrates that he was exposed to asbestos.
In addition, Hedrick has offered an expert report to support his
claim that his exposure to asbestos caused his lung cancer.
Hedrick claims that his asbestos exposure, both by itself and in
combination with his cigarette smoking, caused him to develop
lung cancer. Hedrick's medical expert opines that his smoking was
a minor cause, if any, because he quit smoking 47 years before
his cancer was first detected.

However, with one exception noted below, Hedrick did not identify
any of the Moving Defendants by name as a manufacturer of a
product he encountered. Hedrick testified that most of the
equipment he worked on "was Navy gray... or insulated" -- meaning
any manufacturer-identifying markings were not visible.

Because he did not identify individual manufacturers, Hedrick
lacks sufficient direct evidence to demonstrate regular exposure
to each Defendant's products. Instead, Hedrick relies on the
combination of his testimony with Navy records and an expert
report from Captain R. Bruce Woodruff, a former Engineering Duty
Officer who served twenty-nine years in the Navy and "was
responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of a
wide range of" naval vessels.

1. Ingersoll-Rand

Hedrick claims that Ingersoll-Rand supplied pumps incorporating
asbestos-containing parts to each of the ships he worked on. For
instance, he claims it supplied fluid circulating pumps to the
Boston and main feed pumps to the New Jersey. Hedrick claims that
he worked on both of these pumps. However, Hedrick never
testified specifically to working on a main feed pump on the New
Jersey. Moreover, when asked in his deposition whether he or
someone in his presence worked on the "circulating pump" on the
Boston, Hedrick responded, "I don't remember." Based on this
limited testimony, no reasonable person could find that Hedrick
regularly worked on Ingersoll-Rand products without relying on
conjecture. The Court grants Ingersoll-Rand's motion for summary
judgment.

2. Superior-Lidgerwood-Mundy

Hedrick sued Superior-Lidgerwood-Mundy ("SLM") as the successor-
in-interest to Davidson Co. Hedrick claims that Davidson supplied
brine pumps and seawater circulating pumps to the Boston. He
claims that he worked on both of these pumps during his time in
the Navy. As SLM notes, however, Hedrick estimated that he only
worked on the brine pump on the Boston once. Hedrick also
testified that he did not remember whether he or someone in his
presence worked on a circulating pump on the Boston on more than
one occasion.

The Court finds this evidence insufficient to survive summary
judgment. Hedrick's testimony on a single occasion that he worked
on a brine pump allegedly manufactured by Davidson does not
establish more than "minimal" exposure. In addition, the
combination of Hedrick's testimony regarding his work on pumps in
general and the ship records placing Davidson pumps on the Boston
is not sufficient, because it would require speculation to
conclude from these facts that Hedrick regularly worked on
Davidson pumps. Accordingly, the Court grants SLM's motion for
summary judgment.

3. Warren Pumps

Hedrick alleges little in the way of specific exposure to
materials supplied by Warren Pumps. He claims that Warren Pumps
supplied a variety of pumps to the Boston, as well as pumps to
the Cabot and Roan. Hedrick claims that he worked in the engine
rooms of each of these ships. According to Woodruff, the Boston
contained several pumps supplied by Warren, including a saltwater
circulating pump, a brine overboard pump, and a main feed pump.
Hedrick testified to working on the brine discharge pump on the
Boston once. He also testified generally that he worked on
"seawater circulating pumps." Hedrick also testified to
"sometimes" working on a "main feed booster pump."

The Court grants Warren Pumps' motion for summary judgment
concluding that the evidence is not sufficient to allow a
reasonable jury to find that the products were a substantial
factor in causing Hedrick's cancer. Again, the Court holds that
Hedrick's testimony that he worked on a brine pump on the Boston
once does not establish more than minimal exposure. Nor does
Hedrick's generalized testimony regarding his work on pumps--even
when combined with the record evidence--allow a reasonable
inference of regular exposure.

4. Air & Liquid Systems

Hedrick sued Air & Liquid as the successor-in-interest to Buffalo
Pumps, Inc. Woodruff asserts that Buffalo supplied circulating
pumps to the Roan and Boston, and both main feed booster pumps
and condensate pumps to the Boston and New Jersey. Hedrick
testified in a previous lawsuit that he thought he remembered
seeing Buffalo pumps on the Roan. He also claims that Buffalo
Pumps supplied circulating pumps to the Roan and the Boston, and
both main feed booster pumps and condensate pumps to the Boston
and New Jersey. Hedrick claims to have worked on each of these
pumps. The Court concludes that a jury could reasonably find that
Hedrick was regularly exposed to asbestos from Buffalo products.
Whether Hedrick's exposure to asbestos on Buffalo pumps was
"substantial" is a question of fact. Accordingly, the Court
denies Air & Liquid's motion for summary judgment.

5. Crane

Hedrick claims that Crane supplied asbestos-containing valves to
each of the ships he worked on, including gaskets and asbestos
packing. Indeed, he claims that Crane "was one of the most
significant material suppliers" for each of the ships he worked
on. Hedrick testified that he worked on valves "often" because
maintenance of valves "was his job," and that on any given day he
"could work on a handful of valves or none." Hedrick alleges that
he frequently changed packing on valves on the ships he worked
on. In addition, Hedrick testified that 80 percent of his work on
the Roan involved changing insulation, packing, and gaskets.

According to Woodruff and Navy records, Crane supplied valves for
each of the four ships Hedrick worked on. Woodruff also suggests
that Crane was the sole supplier of valves to the Cabot.

Thus, whether Crane products were a substantial factor in causing
Hedrick's lung cancer is a question of fact. The Court denies
Crane's motion for summary judgment because the evidence shows
that a factfinder could reasonably conclude that Hedrick
regularly worked on Crane valves containing asbestos on multiple
naval vessels.

A copy of the Memorandum dated May 22, 2018, is available at
https://tinyurl.com/y9qdrvwp from Leagle.com.

Defendant Crane Co.'s Alternative Motion to Continue Trial Date
and Extend Time for Expert Discovery is granted. Crane will
complete expert discovery by June 21, 2018.

A copy of the Order dated May 22, 2018, is available at
https://tinyurl.com/ycmau2ym from Leagle.com.

Robert Hedrick & Carol Hedrick, Husband And Wife, Plaintiffs,
represented by Jacqueline P. Gruhler -- jgruhler@cprlaw.com --
Cohen Placitella & Roth PC, Marc R. Ruby, O'Kelly & Ruby LLP,
Jonathan D. Rubinstein -- jrubinstein@cprlaw.com -- Cohen
Placitella & Roth PC & William L. Kuzmin -- wkuzmin@cprlaw.com --
Cohen Placitella & Roth PC.

Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, as Successor by Merger to
Buffalo Pumps, Inc., Defendant, represented by John S. Howarth,
Wilbraham, Lawler & Buba.

CBS Corporation, a Delaware Corporation F/K/A Viacom, Inc.,
Successor by Merger to CBS Corp. a Pennsylvania Corporation &
General Electric Company, Defendants, represented by John P.
McShea, McShea Law Firm PC & Conrad O. Kattner, McShea Law Firm
PC.

Cone Drive Operations, Inc., Individually and as Successor in
Interest to Michigan Tool Company, Defendant, represented by
Daniel J. Sinclair -- dsinclair@eckertseamans.com -- Eckert
Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC & Robert V. Campedel --
rcampedel@eckertseamans.com -- Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott
LLC.

Crane Company, Individually and as Successor-In-Interest to
Cochrane, Inc., and Jenkins Valves, Inc. as a Subsidiary of Crane
Company, Defendant, represented by G. Daniel Bruch, Jr.  --
gdbruch@swartzcampbell.com -- Swartz Campbell, LLC.

Elliott Company, formerly known as Elliott Turbomachinery Co.,
Inc, Defendant, represented by Steven A. Luxton --
steven.luxton@morganlewis.com -- Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP &
Nathan J. Andrisani -- nathan.andrisani@morganlewis.com -- Morgan
Lewis & Bockius LLP.

Goulds Pumps, Inc., Defendant, represented by Michael L. Turner -
- mlturner@mdwcg.com -- Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman &
Goggin.

IMO Industries, Inc., Defendant, represented by Joseph I. Fontak
-- jfontak@leaderberkon.com -- Leader & Berkon LLP.

Ingersoll-Rand Company, Defendant, represented by Daniel J. Ryan,
Jr. -- djryan@mdwcg.com -- Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman &
Goggin, Joshua D. Scheets -- jdscheets@mdwcg.com -- Marshall
Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, PC & Mohamed Bakry --
mnbakry@mdwcg.com -- Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman Goggin.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Defendant, represented by
Stewart R. Singer .

Owens-Illinois, Inc., Defendant, represented by Ingrid H. Graff
IHGraff@mdwcg.com -- McCarter & English, LLP.

Superior Lidgerwood Mundy Corporation, Defendant, represented by
Elizabeth A. Weill -- eweill@goldbergsegalla.com -- Goldberg
Segalla & Joel M. Doner -- jdoner@eckertseamans.com -- Eckert
Seamans Cherin & Mellot, LLC.

The Falk Corporation, Defendant, represented by Kimberley J.
Woodie -- kjwoodie@mdwcg.com -- Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, et
al.

Warren Pumps, LLC, Defendant, represented by Timothy D. Rau --
tdrau@mdwcg.com -- Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, pc
& Joshua D. Scheets -- jdscheets@mdwcg.com -- Marshall Dennehey
Warner Coleman & Goggin, PC.

Weir Valves & Controls USA, Inc., formerly known as Atwood
Morrill Co., Inc., Defendant, represented by Timothy D. Rau --
tdrau@mdwcg.com -- Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, PC.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Cross Claimant, represented by
Stewart R. Singer.

Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, As Successor By Merger To
Buffalo Pumps, Inc., Cross Defendant, represented by John S.
Howarth, Wilbraham, Lawler & Buba.

Amtrol, Inc., Individually And As Successor-In- Interest Thrush
Company and H.A. Thrush Company, Cross Defendant, represented by
Frank C.B. Friestedt -- ffriestedt@mklaw.us.com -- McGivney &
Kluger, P.C.

Blackmer Pump & Gardner Denver, Inc., Cross Defendants,
represented by Joshua D. Scheets -- jdscheets@mdwcg.com --
Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, PC.

Carver Pump Company, Cross Defendant, represented by Robert N.
Spinelli -- rspinelli@kjmsh.com -- Kelley Jasons McGowan Spinelli
& Hanna, LLP.

CBS Corporation, A Delaware Corporation F/K/A Viacom, Inc.,
Successor By Merger To CBS Corp. A Pennsylvania Corporation &
General Electric Company, Cross Defendants, represented by John
P. Mcshea, McShea Law Firm PC.

Cone Drive Operations, Inc., Individually And As Successor In
Interest To Michigan Tool Company, Cross Defendant, represented
by Daniel J. Sinclair -- dsinclair@eckertseamans.com -- Eckert
Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC & Robert V. Campedel --
rcampedel@eckertseamans.com -- Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott
LLC.

Crane Company, Individually And As Successor-In-Interest To
Cochrane, Inc., And Jenkins Valves, Inc. As A Subsidiary Of Crane
Company, Cross Defendant, represented by G. Daniel Bruch, Jr. --
gdbruch@swartzcampbell.com -- Swartz Campbell, LLC.

Elliott Company, Cross Defendant, represented by Steven A. Luxton
-- steven.luxton@morganlewis.com -- Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.

FMC Corporation, On Behalf Of Its Former Peerless Pump And
Northern Pump Business, Cross Defendant, represented by W.
Matthew Reber -- mreber@kjmsh.com -- Kelley Jason Mcguire &
Spinelli & Hanna.

Goulds Pumps, Inc., Cross Defendant, represented by Michael L.
Turner -- mlturner@mdwcg.com -- Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman
& Goggin.

IMO Industries, Inc., Cross Defendant, represented by Joseph I.
Fontak -- jfontak@leaderberkon.com -- Leader & Berkon LLP.

Ingersoll-Rand Company & Trane U.S., Inc., Cross Defendants,
represented by Daniel J. Ryan, Jr. -- djryan@mdwcg.com --
Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin.

Owens-Illinois, Inc., Cross Defendant, represented by Ingrid H.
Graff -- IHGraff@mdwcg.com -- McCarter & English, LLP.

Schneider Electric U.S.A., Inc., Cross Defendant, represented by
W. Matthew Reber -- mreber@kjmsh.com -- Kelley Jason Mcguire &
Spinelli & Hanna & Christina M. Rideout -- crideout@kjmsh.com --
Kelley Jasons Mcgowen Spinelli & Hanna.

Superior Lidgerwood Mundy Corporation, Cross Defendant,
represented by Elizabeth A. Weill -- eweill@goldbergsegalla.com -
- Goldberg Segalla & Joel M. Doner -- jdoner@eckertseamans.com --
Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellot, LLC.

THE FALK CORPORATION, Cross Defendant, represented by Kimberley
J. Woodie -- kjwoodie@mdwcg.com -- Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, et
al.

VELAN VALVE CORP., Cross Defendant, represented by EDWARD MICHAEL
KEATING, III, RICCI TYRRELL JOHNSON & GREY, PLLC. & NANCY D.
GREEN, RICCI TYRRELL JOHNSON & GREY PLLC.

Warren Pumps, LLC, Cross Defendant, represented by Timothy D. Rau
-- tdrau@mdwcg.com -- Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin,
PC & Joshua D. Scheets -- jdscheets@mdwcg.com -- Marshall
Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, PC.

Weir Valves & Controls USA, Inc., Cross Defendant, represented by
Timothy D. Rau -- tdrau@mdwcg.com -- Marshall Dennehey Warner
Coleman & Goggin, PC.

Eaton Corporation, Cross Claimant, represented by Jason Wayne
Rubin -- jrubin@gmrlawfirm.com -- Goldberg, Miller & Rubin, PC.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co., Cross Defendant, represented by
Stewart R. Singer.

General Electric Company & CBS Corporation, A Delaware
Corporation F/K/A Viacom, Inc., Successor By Merger To CBS Corp.
A Pennsylvania Corporation, Cross Claimants, represented by John
P. Mcshea, Mcshea Law Firm PC.

Eaton Corporation, Cross Defendant, represented by Jason Wayne
Rubin -- jrubin@gmrlawfirm.com -- Goldberg, Miller & Rubin, PC.

Crane Company, Individually And As Successor-In-Interest To
Cochrane, Inc., And Jenkins Valves, Inc. As A Subsidiary Of Crane
Company, Cross Claimant, represented by G. Daniel Bruch, Jr. --
gdbruch@swartzcampbell.com -- Swartz Campbell, LLC.

Cone Drive Operations, Inc., Individually And As Successor In
Interest To Michigan Tool Company, Cross Claimant, represented by
Daniel J. Sinclair -- dsinclair@eckertseamans.com -- Eckert
Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC & Robert V. Campedel --
rcampedel@eckertseamans.com -- Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott
LLC.

Owens-Illinois, Inc., Cross Claimant, represented by Ingrid H.
Graff -- IHGraff@mdwcg.com -- Mccarter & English, LLP.

Johnson Controls, Cross Defendant, represented by A. Kai Seelaus,
Barnard Mezzanotte Pinnie & Seelaus.

The Nash Engineering Company, Cross Claimant, represented by
Kenneth S. Mroz, Swartz Campbell LLC & Matthew J. Doz, Swartz
Campbell LLC.

IMO Industries, Inc., Cross Claimant, represented by Joseph I.
Fontak -- jfontak@leaderberkon.com -- Leader & Berkon LLP.

Amtrol, Inc., Individually And As Successor-In- Interest Thrush
Company And H.A. Thrush Company, Cross Claimant, represented by
Frank C.B. Friestedt -- ffriestedt@mklaw.us.com -- McGivney &
Kluger, P.C.

Clark Reliance Corporation, Individually And As Successor To
Jerguson & Copesvulcan, Inc., Cross Claimants, represented by
Tiffany F. Turner -- tturner@dmclaw.com -- Dickie Mccamey &
Chilcote.

Carol Hedrick, Husband And Wife & Robert Hedrick, Cross
Defendants, represented by Jacqueline P. Gruhler --
jgruhler@cprlaw.com -- Cohen Placitella & Roth PC & William L.
Kuzmin -- wkuzmin@cprlaw.com -- Cohen Placitella & Roth PC.

Clark Reliance Corporation, Individually And As Successor To
Jerguson & Copesvulcan, Inc., Cross Defendants, represented by
Tiffany F. Turner -- tturner@dmclaw.com -- Dickie Mccamey &
Chilcote.

Viking Pump, Inc., Cross Defendant, represented by Mark F.
MacDonald, Styliades Mezzanotte & Hasson.

Schneider Electric U.S.A., Inc., Cross Claimant, represented by
W. Matthew Reber --  mreber@kjmsh.com -- Kelley Jason Mcguire &
Spinelli & Hanna & Christina M. Rideout -- crideout@kjmsh.com --
Kelley Jasons Mcgowen Spinelli & Hanna.

FMC Corporation, On Behalf Of Its Former Peerless Pump And
Northern Pump Business, Cross Claimant, represented by W. Matthew
Reber --  mreber@kjmsh.com -- Kelley Jason Mcguire & Spinelli &
Hanna.

Viking Pump, Inc., Cross Claimant, represented by Mark F.
MacDonald, Styliades Mezzanotte & Hasson.

The Gorman-Rupp Company & Alfa Laval, Inc., Sued Individually And
As Successor-In-Interest To The DeLaval Separator Company And The
Sharples Corp, Cross Defendants, represented by Theresa M.
Mullaney -- tmullaney@kentmcbride.com -- Kent & Mcbride PC.

The Falk Corporation, Cross Claimant, represented by Kimberley J.
Woodie -- kjwoodie@mdwcg.com -- Marshall, Dennehey, Warner, et
al.

Velan Valve Corp., Cross Claimant, represented by Edward Michael
Keating, III -- mkeating@rtjglaw.com -- Ricci Tyrrell Johnson &
Grey, PLLC. & Nancy D. Green -- ngreen@rtjglaw.com -- Ricci
Tyrrell Johnson & Grey PLLC.

Superior Lidgerwood Mundy Corporation, Cross Claimant,
represented by Elizabeth A. Weill -- eweill@goldbergsegalla.com -
- Goldberg Segalla & Joel M. Doner -- rrobinson@eckertsemans.com
-- Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellot, LLC.

Alfa Laval, Inc., Sued Individually And As Successor-In-Interest
To The Delaval Separator Company And The Sharples Corp & The
Gorman-Rupp Company, Cross Claimants, represented by Theresa M.
Mullaney -- tmullaney@kentmcbride.com -- Kent & Mcbride PC.

Carver Pump Company, Cross Claimant, represented by Robert N.
Spinelli -- rspinelli@kjmsh.com -- Kelley Jasons McGowan Spinelli
& Hanna, Llp.

Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, As Successor By Merger To
Buffalo Pumps, Inc., Cross Claimant, represented by John S.
Howarth, Wilbraham, Lawler & Buba.

Johnson Controls, Cross Claimant, represented by A. Kai Seelaus,
Barnard Mezzanotte Pinnie & Seelaus.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Insurer Liable to Worker's Mesothelioma
--------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Missouri affirms the Labor and Industrial
Relations Commission's determination that Accident Fund National
Insurance Company, as insurer of E.J. Cody Company, Inc.
("Employer"), was liable to Dolores Murphy for benefits under
section 287.200.4, RSMo 2014 because Robert Casey's exposure to
asbestos occurred while he was employed by Employer.

Robert Casey spent his career working as a floor tile installer
for several different companies. He last worked for Employer, a
construction contractor in the business of installing acoustical
ceilings and floor tiles. Mr. Casey began in 1984 in a part-time
capacity but advanced to full-time employment in 1987. He
continued working for Employer until his retirement in 1990.

Mr. Casey died from mesothelioma caused by repeated exposure to
asbestos in the workplace.

Before his death, Mr. Casey filed a claim for workers'
compensation benefits in February 2015, which his widow, Dolores
Murphy, proceeded following his death. At the time he filed the
claim, Employer was covered under an insurance policy purchased
from Insurer. The policy included an endorsement titled "Missouri
Notification of Additional Mesothelioma Benefits Endorsement."

Missouri's workers' compensation law was amended in 2014 to
provide enhanced compensation for individuals diagnosed with
occupational diseases such as mesothelioma. Under Section
287.200.4, coverage is provided for "all claims filed on or after
January 1, 2014, for occupational diseases due to toxic exposure
which result in a permanent total disability or death."

By accepting this policy, Employer opted in to liability coverage
for the additional mesothelioma benefits provided by section
287.200.4, which allows for enhanced compensation for "all
[mesothelioma] claims filed on or after January 1, 2014" --
including Mr. Casey's claim, which was filed in February 2015.

On appeal, Insurer asserts that, irrespective of the plain policy
language, it cannot be liable for Ms. Murphy's claim of benefits
because it did not insure Employer in 1990 -- when Mr. Casey was
last exposed to asbestos.

The Court settles that the last exposure rule immaterial in this
case. The Court points out that if recovery under section
287.200.4 were limited to individuals who were last exposed to
asbestos during the policy period, this policy's mesothelioma
endorsement -- and similar provisions in countless other
insurance policies -- would be rendered essentially worthless.
Because individuals are no longer regularly exposed to asbestos
in the workplace, the pool of individuals who were last exposed
to asbestos in 2015 is miniscule, if any.

Further, the Court explains that if an individual was last
exposed to asbestos on or after January 1, 2014, it is quite
possible that, due to the long latency period of the disease,
mesothelioma symptoms would not manifest until long after the
enhanced benefits provided under section 287.200.4 have expired.
Therefore, the Court concludes that the Commission's decision,
finding the claim originally filed by Mr. Casey and succeeded by
Ms. Murphy was covered under the policy, is supported by
competent and substantial evidence.

In the alternative, Insurer argues section 287.200.4 violates the
Missouri Constitution's prohibition against retrospective laws
and also contends the Commission erred by substituting Ms. Murphy
for Mr. Casey as a claimant. Employer echoes Insurer's
constitutional argument and further asserts the Commission's
award was not supported by sufficient evidence.

The Court holds that Section 287.200.4 is not a retrospective
law. A law is not retrospective merely because it "relates to
prior facts or transactions but does not change their legal
effect, or because some of the requisites for its action are
drawn from a time antecedent to its passage, or because it fixes
the status of an entity for the purpose of its operation."

Because Insurer affirmatively assented to providing these
enhanced benefits, the Court determines that the new law does not
impair any vested right Employer or Insurer once held.
Furthermore, section 287.200 does not create any new duty or
obligation with regard to past transactions or give any past
transaction a new legal effect. Insurer provided, and Employer
accepted, coverage "for... additional benefits," and, in turn,
they provided and accepted coverage for Mr. Casey's claim, filed
February 2015.

Further, the Court explains that the statute does not transform
past occurrences into cognizable claims, but it provides
additional benefits for new claims filed under the new law. It
was not until after the amendments went into effect that Insurer
and Employer contracted for coverage, and it was only after they
entered into the contract that Mr. Casey filed his claim seeking
workers' compensation benefits under the new statutory
provisions. That certain facts, such as Mr. Casey's exposure, are
antecedent to the amendments does not render the law
retrospective. Because this case operates entirely on facts
subsequent to the 2014 amendments, section 287.200 is not a
retrospective law as applied to Mr. Casey's claim.

Moreover, all parties raise concerns as to the propriety of the
claimants in this case. Insurer argues the Commission improperly
allowed the substitution of Ms. Murphy as a claimant because she
failed to file a formal suggestion of Mr. Casey's death or a
written motion for substitution. Ms. Murphy argues the Commission
erred by mistakenly omitting Mr. Casey's eight adult children
from the final award of compensation benefits. Employer,
meanwhile, posits the statute improperly extends liability
benefits to non-dependent children.

The Court settles that the substitution of Ms. Murphy for Mr.
Casey was not improper. If a workers' compensation claimant dies
while the claim is pending, "the same shall not abate, but on
notice to the parties may be revived and proceed in favor of the
successor to the rights or against the personal representative of
the party liable, in like manner as in civil actions."

The Court notes that Ms. Murphy filed an amended claim on October
28, 2015, naming herself and Mr. Casey's children as claimants
and notifying the other parties by letter of her intent to
proceed. Because the amended claim notified all other parties of
the original claimant's death, it was a de facto suggestion of
death. Indeed, Insurer and Employer were clearly on notice of the
substitution, as both parties filed answers to the amended claim.
Moreover, Ms. Murphy made an oral motion for substitution of
parties at the outset of the ALJ hearing on January 7, 2016 --
within the 90-day window for such a motion under Rule 52.13. The
Court finds the procedure was sufficient to properly substitute
Ms. Murphy for Mr. Casey.

In her amended claim, Ms. Murphy listed Mr. Casey's eight adult
children as eligible claimants for the workers' compensation
benefits, but the Commission excluded the children from the
award. The Commission stated in a footnote: "the amended claim
for compensation, filed October 28, 2015, did not identify
employee's children as dependents or claimants, nor is there any
motion on the record before us to include these individuals as
parties to any award in this matter. For this reason, we have
identified Dolores Murphy as the sole claimant herein."

Ms. Murphy concludes that the Commission likely overlooked a
separate third document attached to the amended claim, which
listed all eight individuals as eligible claimants. Accordingly,
Ms. Murphy requests the Court add the children to the
Commission's award or, in the alternative, remand the case to the
Commission so it can correct the error.

Employer argues the amended statute improperly allows Mr. Casey's
non-dependent children to recover benefits. The Court determines
that Mr. Casey's children are not precluded from recovering
benefits, as they were properly delineated as claimants. The
Court explains that they should have been included in the final
award because section 287.200.4 does not limit recovery to
dependent children, rather it allows all children to recover, and
because the children were properly listed on the amended claim,
they are not precluded from recovering benefits. Although the
Commission's omission of the children was inadvertent, it was
nevertheless in error. Consequently, the Court modifies the
Commission's decision to include Mr. Casey's children in the
final award.

The appealed case is Accident Fund Insurance Company; E.J. Cody
Company, Inc., Respondents-Appellants, v. Robert Casey,
Employee/Dolores Murphy, Appellant-Respondent, No. SC96899, (Mo.
banc ).

A copy of the Opinion dated May 22, 2018, is available at
https://tinyurl.com/y73gqlce from Leagle.com.

The surviving family members were represented by Scott Mach, and
Cooper S. Mach, of The Popham Law Firm PC, in Kansas City, (816)
221-2288.

R. Carl Mueller, Jr., of Edelman & Thompson, in Kansas City,
(816) 994-8316.

E.J. Cody and Accident Fund Insurance were represented by James
B. Kennedy -- jkennedy@evans-dixon.com -- of Evans & Dixon LLC,
in St. Louis, (314) 552-4020.

Jeffrey T. McPherson -- jmcpherson@armstrongteasdale.com -- and
Alexander C. Barrett -- abarrett@armstrongteasdale.com -- of
Armstrong Teasdale LLP, in St. Louis, (314) 621-5070.

John Robert Fox, of Kansas City; and Daniel K. Luebbering, of
Kansas City.

The Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys of Jefferson City,
which filed a brief as a friend of the Court, was represented by
Andrew A. O'Brien, Thomas L. Stewart, and Adam J. Reynolds.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: J-M Manufacturing Leave to Appeal Denied
---------------------------------------------------------
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York denied
the motions for reargument or, in the alternative, for leave to
appeal to the Court of Appeals, from the decision and order of
the Court, entered on January 18, 2018 (Appeal No. 5493N) filed
by Defendant-appellant in the case In Re New York City Asbestos
Litigation. Theresa Warren, Etc., Plaintiff-Respondent, v. Amchem
Products, Inc., et al., Defendants, J-M Manufacturing Company,
Inc., Defendant-Appellant, 190281/14, Motion Nos. M-816, M-790,
Index Nos. 40000/88, (N.Y. App. Div.).

A copy of the Decision dated May 24, 2018, is available at
https://tinyurl.com/ycxhup5a from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Mesothelioma Risk in Environment Highlighted
-------------------------------------------------------------
Alex Strauss of Surviving Mesothelioma reported that a new study
is shining a spotlight on the disturbing fact that you don't have
to have worked in an asbestos industry to be exposed to asbestos
and develop malignant pleural mesothelioma, one of the world's
deadliest cancers.

A new study conducted in the Mount Pollino area of Southern
Italy, where asbestos is found in abundance in the soil, finds a
"significant excess" of mesothelioma diagnoses, hospitalizations,
and deaths from asbestos-related conditions.

Asbestos and Malignant Mesothelioma

Asbestos is the name for a set of six naturally-occurring
silicate minerals that were once prized for their high tensile
strength and resistance to heat and corrosion. Asbestos was used
in a variety of building products and insulation materials from
as early as the 1930s.

But by the 1980s, asbestos use was largely phased out in many
developed countries because of its link to malignant
mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Asbestos fibers are
long and thin and tend to stay in the body if they are inhaled or
swallowed, causing chronic inflammation and irritation that can
eventually result in mesothelioma.

Tens of thousands of asbestos-exposed workers around the world
have contracted and died of pleural mesothelioma because they did
not know about the risks or were not protected by their
employers. Others have been sickened by exposure to asbestos-
containing products.

Mesothelioma Risk in the Environment

Unfortunately, since asbestos exists in the soil, mining, making
or handling asbestos products are not the only ways for people to
be exposed to the mesothelioma-causing mineral.

The new study conducted by public health researchers in Rome
focused on people who live in 12 communities in the vicinity of
Mount Pollino where asbestos deposits are located close to houses
and neighborhoods.

Analysis found that there were significantly more cases of
mesothelioma in this region than in other parts of the country
and an unusually large number of people hospitalized for pleural
tumors, a dust inhalation condition called pneumoconiosis, and
asbestosis.

"It is necessary to continue environmental monitoring and
environmental remediation in the area with higher asbestos
exposure," advises the research team in the Italian medical
journal Epidemiology and Prevention.

The researchers suggest that health officials in the region set
up a "permanent process of epidemiological surveillance" in the
area as well as an organized plan for continuing to educate the
population about the risks of asbestos and the signs of
mesothelioma.

Avoiding Environmental Asbestos Exposure

Some of the highest levels of environmental asbestos exposure in
the US have occurred in communities located near former asbestos
mines.

Libby, Montana, location of the asbestos-contaminated WR Grace
vermiculite mine, is a prime example. Asbestos dust from the now-
closed mine has caused the deaths of hundreds of people and has
made thousands of miners and their families sick with malignant
mesothelioma.

Even hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts can raise their risk
for mesothelioma by inadvertently disturbing natural asbestos
deposits or by straying too close to jobsites where asbestos was
prevalent.
Mountainous areas are most likely to be home to asbestos
deposits, but asbestos can be found in almost any area where
there are concentrations of host rocks such as limestone or
serpentine and it has been found in every state.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos-Containing Debris Found in Island
-----------------------------------------------------------
Channel News Asia reported that monthly guided walks at the
Sisters' Islands will be suspended for May and June, after
asbestos-containing debris was found at several areas on Big
Sister's Island.

In a notice on its website on Saturday (May 19), the National
Parks Board (NParks) said "asbestos-containing debris" was found
at "four isolated areas along the beaches at the lagoons on Big
Sister's Island".

NParks added that as a safety precaution, the affected beaches
have been cordoned off for asbestos removal work.

"We aim to complete these works by end June 2018. In the
meantime, the monthly guided walks at the Sisters' Islands will
be suspended for May and June 2018," said NParks.

Part of St John's Island has also been closed until the end of
the year due to asbestos found in the campsite area.

"As investigations and works to remove the asbestos are ongoing,
the St John's Island trail and the Marine Park Outreach and
Education Centre and St John's Island Trail will be closed until
further notice," NParks added.

Earlier this month, pieces of debris containing asbestos were
also discovered around the lagoon and beach areas on Kusu Island.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Mitigation in Cape May County Complete
----------------------------------------------------------------
Camille Sailer of Cape May County Herald reported that Upper
Township Engineer Paul Dietrich updated Upper Township Committee
at its May 14 meeting, about the status of asbestos mitigation at
the former municipal building in Tuckahoe.

"We have the all-clear that asbestos mitigation has been finished
at the old municipal building. The next step for repurposing the
building as a museum for the Township Historical Society is that
the society is researching appropriate grants that will match
consultant fees to get the project moving forward. They need a
design plan to pursue county and other grants." Committee member
John Coggins noted that for historical properties there may be a
county grant to support funding for the design itself.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Trial On Lawyer's Asbestos Death Commences
-----------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad of Law.com reported that Bertila Boyd-Bostic was
looking forward to starting a family once she and her husband,
Antoine Bostic, both graduates of Mercer University School of Law
in Georgia, had built their own law firm, Bostic & Boyd, in
Columbia, South Carolina. But in 2016, she was diagnosed with
mesothelioma and, on Oct. 29, died at age 30.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Co. Facing Suit Over Asbestos Investigation
------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Thomas of St. Louis Record reported that a facilities
management and maintenance company is suing a flooring company
for damages related to repair work performed at a store in
Fenton.

Front Street Facility Solutions filed a lawsuit against River
City Flooring Inc. and its owner, Terry Chatelain on May 17 in
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri Eastern
Division. The lawsuit is related to flooring work River City
completed under a vendor agreement with FrontStreet.

The case involves a lawsuit Advance Stores Company filed against
FrontStreet for alleged damages arising from flooring work
performed by River City at its retail store in Fenton. The case
is pending in U.S. District Court for the Western District of
Virginia, Roanoke Division. Advance alleges that the company
performing the work was required to investigate the presence of
asbestos and obtain an asbestos pre-construction inspection
before beginning work.

Advance claims the inspection wasn't formed. The complaint notes
during the flooring work, "it was determined that certain mastic
beneath the tiles being removed contained asbestos." As a result,
Advance reportedly had to close the Fenton store, destroy or
abandon stock and inventory, and incur expenses to hire
consultants, experts and contractors to perform remedial
measures."

Those costs along with expenses and fees totaled more than $1.2
million.

It it's complaint, FrontStreet argues that River City breached
its "duty of care and is liable for any damages" related to the
flooring work. The complaint also argues that "River City is
obligated to defend, indemnify and/or hold harmless FrontStreet
in the Virginia lawsuit.

"River City has filed to defend FSFS in the Virginia suit," the
complaint said. "River City's failure to defend, indemnify and/or
hold harmless FSFS for the claims asserted by Advance in the
Virginia suit is a deliberate and direct breach and violation of
the Agreement."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Jamie Hardie Profit Tumbles on Asbestos Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Stephen Letts of ABC Online reported that the building materials
maker James Hardie says compensation claims from its historical
production of asbestos fibre are higher than expected and have
dragged down its profits.

In its 2018 full year results, the company noted asbestos-related
claims were almost $US200 million ($264 million) above original
actuarial estimates.

The company's full-year profit dropped almost 50 per cent to $194
million, despite a 7 per cent increase in sales to $2.7 billion.
Based on a new report from the big accounting firm KPMG, James
Hardie has had to ditch assumptions based on mesothelioma claims
peaking in the period between 2014/15 and 2016/17.

"As claim numbers continue to be elevated, KPMG Australia has
formed the view that the increases in mesothelioma claims
reporting seen in recent years was a permanent effect, and
therefore increased the projected number of future mesothelioma
cases," the company said in a statement to the ASX.

While the number of claims are not falling a quickly as
originally forecast, the average claim size is diminishing more
rapidly due to the increasing proportion of claimants over the
age of 80, while claims from the under-60s are decreasing.

KPMG estimated James Hardie's liability to the Asbestos Injuries
Compensation Fund will increase by $196m to $1.853 billion due to
higher allowances for claims past 2025 and the increase in the
current base level of mesothelioma cases.

The company has so far tipped in $1.055 billion to the fund,
which was established in 2006 to cover asbestos-related illness
such as mesothelioma and lung cancer.

James Hardie is obliged to pay 35 per cent of its cash flow into
the AICF. This year the amount is expected be around $136
million.
However KPMG warned estimates of asbestos-related disease
liabilities are subject to considerable uncertainty and it is
expected that new liabilities could emerge.

"No assurance can be given that the actual liabilities . . . to
meet the AICF Trust will not ultimately exceed the estimates
[contained in the KMPG report]", KPMG said.

KPMG estimates for the total AICF liability range between $1.35
billion and $3.06 billion, with the $1.85 billion figure being
the most likely outcome.

The unexpected rise in mesothelioma claims from the original 2006
actuaries' report can in large part be sheeted home to home
renovators.

The KPMG report found there was a significant rise in claims from
renovators between 2012 and 2015.

While that trend has moderated, the claims are still running at
substantially higher levels than previously observed.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Courthouse Asbestos Gave Secretary Lung Cancer
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jessica Lipscomb of Miami New Times reported that there's no
question the historic Miami-Dade County Courthouse, completed in
1928, is in bad shape. County commissioners have described the
building as "hazardous" and "experiencing corrosion, rust, water
intrusion, algae and mold penetration, termites, poor air
quality, and potential asbestos exposure." Yet voters have been
clear they don't want to pay to rebuild it.

But keeping such a building in service for 90 years is almost
certainly harmful to the people who work there. Earlier this
month, Yvonne Stanley, a former courthouse secretary, filed a
lawsuit against Miami-Dade, saying her daily exposure to asbestos
and mold gave her Stage II lung cancer.

"As a result... [Stanley] underwent a lung extraction in November
of 2017," the April 30 complaint reads, adding Stanley is
undergoing chemotherapy.

County spokesperson Myriam Marquez said she could not comment on
the suit because of the pending litigation. Stanley's attorney,
Michelle Muskus, also declined to comment.

Stanley began working at the courthouse in 1994 and was moved to
another county building in Doral in 2005. According to her
complaint, she has never been a smoker and never suffered from
respiratory issues prior to her exposure to mold and asbestos at
her job. The lawsuit indicates she was exposed to poor air
quality throughout her employment, including her time at the
Northside District at 9105 NW 25th St. in Doral.

County employees have complained about conditions at the
courthouse for years. At a meeting of the county commission's
public safety committee in 2014, Chief Judge Bertila Soto said
the 576 people who work at the courthouse were exposed daily to
leaks, termites, mold, and asbestos. The air quality on the 19th
and 20th floors grew so bad at one point they had to be
temporarily evacuated.

"We have lawyers working from their homes through VPN, and other
employees throughout the building, because they cannot be on
those floors," Soto said.

A 2016 report by the county inspector general also showed that
officials had failed to inspect the building since 1988.

After tests in 2013, the county found asbestos in the courthouse
and began remediation. An update regarding whether the abatement
was complete was unavailable from the county this week.

The county estimates a new civil courthouse would cost at least
$400 million to construct. In April, the Miami Herald revealed
the company behind the Brightline train had quietly proposed a
plan to the county to erect the new building in exchange for
decades of payments and 35 years of running the facility. But
county commissioners opted to punt on that idea and for now are
still taking bids for other proposals.

In the meantime, courthouse employees say they're forced to
continue working in a building that's dangerous to their health.
"Every day this decision is delayed, there are more taxpayer
dollars that are going into a courthouse that is too small,
technologically inadequate, and it's making people sick," Judge
Jennifer Bailey told the Herald in April.

The county has yet to file a response to Stanley's lawsuit.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Released in Ede Town Fire
---------------------------------------------------
Janene Pieters of NL Times reported that the municipality of Ede
closed off 16 companies and 8 homes on commercial terrain
Frankeneng after asbestos was released in a fire at a car company
on Fultonstraat on Sunday morning, ANP reports.

Specialist asbestos removers started cleaning the roads and
sidewalks in the area on Sunday night. After they're done, other
certified companies will check the area for sings of the
carcinogenic substance. How long the terrain will remain closed
is unclear.

The residents of the homes on the terrain were given shelter,
according to the municipality. A number of companies will not be
able to open on Monday. Companies that do open before the
asbestos cleaning is done and checked, will be fined, the
municipality said.

Firefighters got it under control fairly quickly. The police
later found a cannabis plantation in the car company where the
fire started. The cause of the fire is still unclear.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Blue Mountains Council Urged to Release Report
---------------------------------------------------------------
Blue Mountains Gazette reported that reports on council's
asbestos management should be publicly released immediately,
according to Greens councillor Kerry Brown.

Cr Brown warned that council's failure to release the reports
five months after voting for an open investigation into asbestos
management was a "betrayal of the workers" and could lead to
further action from the minister.

"The first reason that the report, including the interim
findings, should be released is to honour our commitment to
council workers who came forward in the expectation that their
voices would finally be heard through these investigations.

"At the moment, all we are hearing are the voices of councillors
talking about themselves," she said.

"Some, including the mayor, are claiming councillors have been
cleared.  Cleared of what? By whom? The councillors haven't been
investigated so how can we have been cleared?

"If we are investigated it will be under the Local Government Act
which outlines our role as members of the governing body who are
responsible for decisions and our ommissions."

The investigation by work health and safety lawyer Michael Tooma
looked into allegations from council staff of unsigned, unsealed
asbestos at council's public properties and work sites and of
asbestos being handled by unprotected, untrained workers.

The investigation also examined how and why council failed to
have an asbestos register and management plan for its properties
until late 2017 despite repeated notices in May and July that
year from the regulatory body SafeWork.

Cr Brown said the second reason the reports must be released is
that the ratepayers had spent a million dollars on the
investigations and associated legal activity.

"Ratepayers are entitled to know what has gone on. They bankroll
council, they bankrolled the investigations and they are
bankrolling the clean-up."

She said at least 8,000 tonnes of contaminated and potentially
contaminated waste have been trucked to Blaxland tip and other
facilities with a bill of around $4 million.

"I don't understand these claims that the situation is a
political witch-hunt and the asbestos issues were not as bad as
originally said when we have 8,000 tonnes of evidence.'

"Around 200 workers and their families have been lung tested,
including 77 who are considered medium- to high-risk of
developing an asbestos-related disease. Tell them that this is
just a political witch-hunt."

The final reason cited by Cr Brown for releasing the full
findings was the potential for further action by the Minister for
Local Government.

'Last December we voted for the investigators to release their
report publicly and we promised the Minister in our submission
that 'nothing would be withheld. We used this to argue against
suspending council.

"Do we really want to invite another suspension order or
ministerial inquiry by failing to keep our word?"

In response, Blue Mountains Mayor, Cr Mark Greenhill, said:
"Councillor Brown is aware that the matter of the release of
information from the Clyde & Co independent asbestos
investigation will be considered at the next council meeting on
May 29.

"It is appropriate that the release of information, and the form
of that release, has regard to all relevant legal issues,
including the continuing investigations by SafeWork NSW and the
EPA in respect of the council's historic management of asbestos."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Renovators Drive New Wave of Asbestos Claims
-------------------------------------------------------------
Nick Toscano of The Sydney Morning Herald reported that asbestos-
related cancer claims against building-materials giant James
Hardie have quashed assumptions that the flow of compensation
cases would begin abating after hitting a "peak" last year.

James Hardie has unexpectedly faced a sustained increase in
compensation claims from victims of the fatal asbestos-causer
cancer, mesothelioma, prompting its actuaries to lift its
liabilities by 12 per cent to $195 million.

James Hardie, which was involved in the manufacture and
distribution of products containing asbestos until 1987, is
required to pay 35 per cent of its free cash flow into a fund set
up for asbestos victims.

A KPMG report for the company revealed there had been 392
mesothelioma claims reported in the 2018 financial year, a 5 per
cent increase on the previous year and above its expectations by
about the same amount. Asbestos experts say the bulk of
compensation claims are coming from the "third wave" of asbestos
victims.

"Initially, claimants were mining asbestos in the James Hardie
mines, and then it was the users of James Hardie products -- the
builders, plumbers, electricians who may have installed
asbestos," says Peter Tighe, head of the federal government's
Asbestos Safety and Eradication Agency.

"The third wave is the people who have been exposed peripherally
... maybe they worked in a school or hospital where they were
exposed to asbestos fibres, or, often, they were renovating their
house."

Mr Tighe said there were about 700 reported cases of
mesothelioma, and 700 deaths, every year in Australia, and the
numbers were not reducing. The period between asbestos exposure
and a cancer diagnosis can often be as long as 30 or 40 years, he
said.

"It was previously projected that mesothelioma cases would have
started trending down about now, but it's not -- the figures are
suggesting it may not be until the mid-2020s," he said.

"The overall trend is going up, not hugely, but it's going to
hang around the 700 mark, which means compensation is going to
continue to be sought and James Hardie's fund is going to
continue to have to meet compensation."

Tanya Segelov, a prominent asbestos diseases compensation lawyer,
said James Hardie's actuarial projection of claims was revised by
KPMG at three-year intervals.

"It always goes up, it never goes down. When I started doing this
work, the 'peak' was supposed to be in 2010, and now they are
still saying the estimates are going up, every time," she said.

Ms Segelov said more than 50 per cent of her asbestos diseases
clients were people who had been exposed to deadly asbestos
fibres during home renovations.

She doubted there would be a reduction in mesothelioma cases
without meaningful government action to remove asbestos from
private homes.

"We freak out when there is asbestos found in a shipment, but we
ignore the asbestos that's in one in every three homes," Ms
Segelov said.

"If you've got asbestos in one house, we don't know how many
people are going to be exposed.

"How many people are going to live in that house, renovate it,
put up a shelf, demolish a bathroom? You've got people who are
constantly exposed."

The "unfavourable" adjustments by KPMG actuaries contributed to a
47 per cent decline in the company's full-year profits, the
company said.

Investors, however, appeared encouraged by the company's full-
year results and outlook driving the company's shares up 4 per
cent on Tuesday to $23.35.

James Hardie's adjusted net operating profit, which excludes
asbestos liabilities, was up 17 per cent to $US291.3 million,
beating expectations.

Net sales grew about 7 per cent, helped by strong volume sales in
the North American fibre cement business.

James Hardie chief executive Louis Gries said the company
expected strong performances in the US and Australian markets to
continue into the year ahead.

"We enter fiscal year 2019 with no constraints on capacity and
are focused on driving improved primary demand growth," he said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: No Asbestos in J&J Talc Mines, SC Jury Hears
-------------------------------------------------------------
Daniel Siegal of Law360 reported that Johnson & Johnson's talc
mines in Vermont have been shown to be asbestos-free, a
mineralogy and geology expert hired by the company told a South
Carolina jury on Tuesday hearing the case of an attorney who died
at age 30 from mesothelioma allegedly caused by her use of J&J
baby powder sold by Rite Aid.

This was during the second week of the trial on plaintiff Antoine
Bostic's claims that his late wife and law partner Bertila Boyd-
Bostic's fatal mesothelioma was caused by Johnson & Johnson
Consumer.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Abated in Dilapidated Fritz Building
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bureau County Republican reported that asbestos abatement was
scheduled to commence on the Fritz building, village board
members learned at their meeting May 15.

Carl Minks, village superintendent, reported that the asbestos
abatement was to begin on the dilapidated Fritz building. This
abatement will take approximately 7 to 10 days, he said.

After the completion of the abatement, the building can be
demolished. Permission has been received from the Bureau County
Trustee and the Bureau County Board to proceed with demolition.
Once the building has been pushed into a pile, Liberty Street and
the corner of Main Street can be reopened to traffic, which is
the aim of a yearlong process to get the street reopened and the
Fritz building in a state where it no longer poses a danger to
the public.

Ryan Rosenthal, chairman of the Local Improvement Committee, has
scheduled a meeting of the group at the Walnut Community Building
at 7 p.m. Monday, June 11.

Rosenthal also said Jane Gemein, the grant writer working with
the village, has been contacting numerous public and private
agencies seeking funds to assist the village with projects,
including the Fritz building, other buildings on Main Street and
the village's portion of the cost of the creek bridge currently
being replaced. Gemein will also be in attendance at the meeting
on June 11.

In additional business, Rosenthal reported that there will be a
"postcard survey" sent out to all village residents. This
postcard will be received in the next few weeks and will ask the
community how it fees about the progress being made on projects
in the village.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Killing Carrick Hill People
-----------------------------------------------------
Connor McParland of Belfast Media Group reported that a Carrick
Hill resident is calling for an inquiry into a link between
deaths of local people from exposure to deadly asbestos over the
years in the area.

Daniel Howard Mulcahy has lived in Carrick Hill for over 50 years
and believes there is a strong link between the 'silent killer'
disease and a large number of cancer-related deaths in Carrick
Hill.

Exposure to asbestos can lead to a number of serious illnesses
including asbestosis and lung and breast cancers.

The 79-year-old, who lost his wife Patricia last year and
brother-in-law three years earlier to cancer, says residents in
Carrick Hill are paying the price for a lack of health and safety
around asbestos.

"I used to live in one of the old three-bedroom houses in
Stanhope Street before moving to one of the houses facing the
flats.

"After a few years, they decided to build new houses and demolish
the existing dwellings. This is where the danger lay because not
one resident was informed that this dangerous asbestos was
waiting to be unleashed on the people of the estate.

"There was asbestos on the porch and under the windows. People
should not have been living there.

"We were never told as residents about the risk of asbestos. We
just lived through it. I think part of the problem lies with a
lack of knowledge about asbestos.

"My wife died last year from cancer which spread all over her
lungs and other parts of her body. I nursed her until she stopped
breathing and then watched her die. Her younger brother died
three years earlier."

Daniel Howard believes there is a strong link between asbestos
exposure in Carrick Hill and a large number of young deaths.

"Too many people in Carrick Hill have died in there 40s and 50s
with cancers. I don't think it was by chance," he added.

"I put it down to this deadly disease because once asbestos is
interrupted, the dust enters your lungs and lies dormant for
years then raises its ugly head to kill.

"One morning recently, my daughter was getting her two kids ready
in her flat for school when there was a knock on the door from
two men covered head to toe in white suits.

"She was informed they were there to remove a panel under her
window as there was asbestos.

"A friend of mine in his 50s died last week from cancer. He lived
in Carrick Hill all his life and is just the latest person to
fall victim to this deadly disease. It is just too many deaths in
such a small estate.

"I believe the residents of Carrick Hill should demand an inquiry
into why so many of their loved ones had to die such a horrible
death which could have been avoided."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Victim Wins First Round Versus Employer
--------------------------------------------------------
Mesothelioma.net reported that in many legal cases filed by
mesothelioma victims attempting to get justice from the companies
responsible for their illness, the victims find that the
companies will try to put up roadblocks all along their path to
justice.

Such was the case of Robert Schindler, who has filed a
mesothelioma lawsuit against Dravo Basic Materials Company. Mr.
Schindler worked in the engine room of a vessel called DRAVO in
1973 when the boat was working in the navigable waters of Lake
Pontchartrain in Louisiana, dredging for clam shells.  Mr.
Schindler has indicated that those three months were the only
time that he ever worked in an engine room of a vessel and was
exposed to asbestos, but the Dravo Basic Materials Company made a
motion to dismiss the case for lack of personal jurisdiction,
indicating that because it has been such a long time since they
did any work in Louisiana, the case does not belong in a
Louisiana courtroom. The court hearing the case disagreed and has
allowed the lawsuit to proceed.

In making their argument against having the mesothelioma lawsuit
against them heard in a Louisiana courtroom, Dravo argued that
the court lacked jurisdiction because as a company it was not
organized under Louisiana law and does not have its principal
place of business in Louisiana. It also argued that it had not
had any contact with the state of Louisiana in almost 25 years,
since the state had outlaws clam shell dredging, and that because
of the time that had gone by, it would be unreasonable to expect
it to have to be subject to the state's laws.

In handing down their decision, the court disagreed that it would
be unreasonable for the mesothelioma lawsuit to be heard in
Louisiana, as the state "has an interest in a claim that
allegedly resulted from exposure to asbestos while a person was
working with a company that was performing shell dredging within
the state." It also pointed out that Mr. Schindler had that same
interest.

When facing a mesothelioma diagnosis, victims are faced with many
challenges and need compassionate, understanding advocates on
their side. For support, contact the Patient Advocates at
Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Welder Dies After Years of Asbestos Exposure
-------------------------------------------------------------
Daily Echo reported that a retired welder died after developing
lung cancer from decades of smoking and exposure to asbestos, an
inquest heard.

Graham Irish spent most of his working life in welding, which saw
him help demolish old buildings and work on vehicles as a
mechanic, where he was exposed to asbestos.

Winchester Coroner's Court heard that the 67-year-old, from Upton
Crescent, Nursling, had smoked cigarettes from the age of 16.
Pathologist Dr Hayley Burnley told the inquest that a combination
of smoking and the asbestos exposure resulted in Mr Irish
developing lung cancer.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: J&J Hit With $21.7MM Verdict in Talc Case
----------------------------------------------------------
Tina Bellon of Reuters reported that Johnson & Johnson and its
talc suppliers on Wednesday were hit with a $21.7 million jury
verdict in a lawsuit by a woman who said she developed cancer
after being exposed to asbestos in the company's Baby Powder.

The verdict by a Los Angeles jury came down in the case of 68-
year-old Joanne Anderson, who was diagnosed with mesothelioma, a
form of cancer closely linked to asbestos exposure, and marked
the second trial loss for J&J over similar allegations.
Of the $21.7 million the jury awarded in compensatory damages,
J&J was assigned 67 percent, with the rest distributed among
other defendants.

J&J has vehemently denied that its talc products contain asbestos
or cause cancer, citing decades of testing by independent
laboratories and scientists. But plaintiffs claim that asbestos
and talc, which are closely linked minerals, are intermingled in
the mining process, making it impossible to remove the
carcinogenic substance.

Anderson and her husband in 2017 had sued J&J, a unit of Imerys
SA, Cyprus Amax Minerals, a unit of Brenntag, Honeywell
International, and other local talc suppliers, but it was not
immediately clear which of those companies were subject to the
remaining damages award.

Damages could still grow as the jury debates whether to award
punitive damages, Anderson's lawyer, Chris Panatier, said,
declining to comment further.

"While we are disappointed with this decision, the jury has
further deliberations to conduct in this trial and we will
reserve additional comment until the case is fully completed,"
J&J said in a statement.

J&J has also been battling some 6,000 cases claiming its baby
powder caused ovarian cancer, but the talc litigation has taken a
new focus in recent months with plaintiffs claiming the widely
used product causes mesothelioma due to alleged asbestos
contamination.

Wednesday's verdict marks the second trial loss for J&J over
allegations that its talc-based products contain asbestos.
A New Jersey state court jury in April ordered J&J and its talc
supplier, a unit of Imerys SA (IMTP.PA), to pay $117 million to a
man who alleged he developed mesothelioma due to asbestos
exposure from J&J Baby Powder. An appeal is pending.

A California jury in November last year cleared J&J of liability
in another mesothelioma lawsuit.

The company and Imerys, as well as a local unit of U.S. drugstore
chain Rite Aid (RAD.N), are also facing another mesothelioma
trial in a South Carolina court.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Asbestos Tort Reform Clears House
--------------------------------------------------
Travis Fain of WRAL.com reported that the House voted to add
another step to mesothelioma lawsuits, requiring plaintiffs to
seek out potential payments from all bankruptcy trusts set up to
pay these claims before going after solvent companies.

The change is meant to keep attorneys from double-dipping,
supporters said, by winning a claim against an employer then
turning around and receiving damages from the trust as well.
Opponents said the new step represents a burden for people dying
quickly from an aggressive cancer tied to asbestos exposure and
that it seeks to address a problem not evident in North Carolina.

The argument seems to be, "there's a scam somewhere, in some
state, at some time," state Rep. Robert Reives, D-Chatham, said
during the floor debate.

Senate Bill 470 passed the Senate and a House committee last
year. It came up for a House floor vote Wednesday with the North
Carolina Chamber pushing for passage, calling it a pro-jobs bill
and telling legislators it would include the vote in its election
season ratings.

"SB 470 will help the injured receive the money they are owed
faster, get juries the information they need to conduct fair
trials & eliminate egregious abuses in our legal system," the
chamber tweeted Wednesday.

The House vote was 78-30. The bill had bipartisan support, but
all 30 votes against it came from Democrats. It cleared the House
in a different form than it did the state Senate and heads back
to that chamber for final approval before going to Gov. Roy
Cooper for his signature or veto.

Under federal law, people who have mesothelioma, an untreatable,
incurable cancer caused by asbestos exposure, can file claims
with various bankruptcy trust funds that were set up by now-
insolvent companies that made asbestos products decades ago.
Years of litigation have depleted these funds to the point where
they now pay pennies on the dollar, experts said last year as the
bill was debated in committee.

The bill requires victims to research and file claims with all
potentially liable trust funds within the first 30 days of a
civil suit against an existing company, then provide information
about any awards to the defendant.

That could lower the amount a jury awards in the lawsuit.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: St. Paul School Asbestos Removal Underway
----------------------------------------------------------
Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that crews have begun removing
asbestos from under flooring at Adams Spanish Immersion School in
St. Paul's West End neighborhood.

The work is being done after school hours and is part of a
multimillion-dollar school makeover made possible by a
districtwide long-term facilities plan.

In a notice to families Monday, the district said that a "small
amount of asbestos" was discovered during standard testing in
preparation for summer construction.

Removal of the material began and is expected to run through June
11.

On a Facebook page for the school's parent-teacher organization,
a person objected to the abatement work taking place during the
school year and asked others to join in calling the district to
seek a delay.

District spokeswoman Toya Stewart Downey said in an e-mail
Wednesday, "As with any construction project, there are time
frames in which work needs to be done. To wait three or four more
weeks would delay the project."

Jeff Connell, assistant director of facilities for the district,
wrote in the notice to families that the work will begin at night
after 6 p.m. and that the area is separated from the rest of the
school by a wall and by polyethylene sheeting. The air outside
the area will be tested regularly, he added.

Areas in question include vinyl flooring and sealant in an
unspecified number of classrooms, as well as material above walls
and behind casework that is to be demolished as part of the
renovation.

Plans for the project included a three-story addition with nine
new classrooms. School officials say the goal is to "right-size"
the school for modern uses, not to increase enrollment.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Warren Pumps Can't Get Interest in Coverage Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Rachel Graf of Law360 reported that a Delaware state judge on
Wednesday declined to award industrial pump manufacturer Warren
Pumps LLC prejudgment interest against several excess insurers in
a dispute over asbestos injury coverage without a court or jury
finding on damages.

Superior Court Judge Paul R. Wallace said courts have continually
concluded that breach of contract damages are needed to award
prejudgment interest. Warren, however, had sought declaratory
relief instead of monetary damages and therefore is not owed
prejudgment interest, the judge said.












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