/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/090708.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Wednesday, July 8, 2009, Vol. 11, No. 133


DENVER: Tenth Circuit Partially Revives Suit Over Pit Bull Ban
IMMUCOR INC: Faces Pa. Antitrust Litigation Over Blood Reagents
IOMEDIX COLD: Reaches Settlement in Suit Over Dietary Supplement
LANIER GOLF: Class Certification Bid for Ga. Suit in Legal Limbo
MARYLAND: Sued Over Food Stamp, Medicaid, Cash Assistance Delays

MATRIXX INITIATIVES: Shares Tumble as Revelation of Zicam Suits
MERRILL LYNCH: Faces Consumer Fraud Suit Over "Horrific Scheme"
MINNEHAHA COUNTY: Settles S.D. Suit Over Strip Searches at JDC
NEW BRUNSWICK: Defendant Added in "Faulty" Pathology Work Suit
NEW YORK: Appeals Court Affirms Dismissal of Discrimination Case

RHODE ISLAND: ACLU Files Litigation Over Food Stamp Delays
RIO TINTO: Court Sets Hearing for Bougainville Islanders' Suit
SHELBY COUNTY: Court Ends Desegregation Battle Over Schools
SOUTH CAROLINA: Judge Orders $40M Payment in Retirees' Case
SYNOVUS FINANCIAL: Faces Securities Fraud Litigation in Georgia

TOYOTETSU AMERICA: Faces Sexual Discrimination, Harassment Suit
UPONOR INC: Faces Minn. Litigation Over Faulty Plumbing Fittings
WEST VIRGINIA: WVRJA, Director Faces Lawsuit Over Strip-Searches
YUM BRANDS: Faces Mich. Litigation Over Botched Chicken Giveaway


DENVER: Tenth Circuit Partially Revives Suit Over Pit Bull Ban
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit partially
revived the class-action lawsuit, "Dias et al v. Denver, City
and County of et al., Case No. 1:2007-cv-00722," which is
challenging Denver's ban on pit bulls, Annie Youderian of The
Courthouse News Service reports.

The suit was filed on April 6, 2007 in the U.S. District Court
for the District of Colorado by Sonya Dias, Hillary Engel and
Sheryl White.  It was filed against Denver, City and County of,
John W. Hickenlooper, John W. Hickenlooper, Nancy Severson,
Nancy Severson, Doug Kelly, Doug Kelly, Juan Zalasar and Juan

The litigaiton is targeting an ordinance that allows Denver
officials to impound any pit bull within the city or Denver
County.  The dogs, generally considered an aggressive breed, are
to be put down unless the owner pays the costs of impoundment
and agrees to permanently remove the animal from the city.
Violators also face criminal charges that carry a maximum fine
of $999 and up to one year in prison, according to The
Courthouse News Service.

The suit is seeking to overturn the ordinance on constitutional
grounds.  The district court though upheld the ban as clear and

However, in reviving, the lawsuit, the Tenth Circuit said that
dog owners might be able to prove that the ban irrationally
targets a breed that's not as dangerous as the city thinks,
reports The Courthouse News Service.

A copy of the complaint is available free of charge at:

For more details, contact:

          Karen R. Breslin, Esq. (karen.breslin@comcast.net)
          Progressive Law Center, The
          9800 Pyramid Court
          Englewood, CO 80112
          Phone: 303-532-6860
          Fax: 303-232-8073

               - and -

          David Arthur Lane, Esq. (dlane@kln-law.com)
          Killmer, Lane & Newman, LLP
          1543 Champa Street
          Denver, CO 80202
          Phone: 303-571-1000
          Fax: 303-571-1001

IMMUCOR INC: Faces Pa. Antitrust Litigation Over Blood Reagents
Immucor, Inc., Ortho-Clinical Diagnostics Inc. and Johnson &
Johnson Health Care Systems, Inc. face a purported class-action
lawsuit alleging they conspired to fix prices for blood reagents
in the U.S., Law360 reports.

The suit was filed on July 2, 2009 in the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by St. Barnabas
Hospital, Inc., under the caption, "St. Barnabas Hospital, Inc.
v. Immucor, Inc. et al., Case No. 2:2009-cv-02994."

For more details, contact:

          Joseph C. Kohn, Esq. (jkohn@kohnswift.com)
          Kohn Swift & Graf PC
          One S. Broad St
          Ste 2100
          Philadelphia, PA 19107
          Phone: 215-238-1700
          Fax: 215-238-1968

IOMEDIX COLD: Reaches Settlement in Suit Over Dietary Supplement
     A notice program authorized by the Los Angeles County
Superior Court began over the weekend to alert those who
purchased Cold MD dietary supplement from March 26, 2004 through
May 29, 2009 about a proposed settlement against Iomedix Cold
International SRL.  The notice is a result of the Court
certifying, on May 29, 2009, a plaintiff class in a lawsuit
alleging that Defendant made misleading or false statements
about Cold MD dietary supplement.

     The lawsuit, "Eduardo Salcido, et al. v. Iomedix Cold
International SRL, Case No. BC 387942," claims Defendant made
false and misleading statements in their labeling and
advertising of Cold MD dietary supplement.  The settlement
includes only the Cold MD dietary supplement, which was packaged
as "Cold MD" and had the words, "Dietary Supplement" printed on
the lower right corner of the box it was sold in.  The
Settlement does not mean that Defendant did anything wrong, and
the Court has not decided that Defendant did anything wrong.

For more details, contact:

          Cold MD Settlement Administrator
          PO Box 3518
          Portland, OR 97228-3518.
          Phone: 1-888-266-9438
          Web site: http://www.ColdMDSettlement.com

LANIER GOLF: Class Certification Bid for Ga. Suit in Legal Limbo
A request seeking class-action status for a lawsuit that sought
to stop residential development on Lanier Golf Course -- located
in eastern Forsyth County -- is in legal limbo, Julie Arrington
of Forsyth County News Online reports.

In a June ruling, the State Appellate Court said a judge's
decision denying the request must be sent back because the order
was based only on the merits of the request for class-action
status.  The decision, the court said, failed to address whether
each factor of Georgia's class-action statute had been met,
according to Forsyth County News Online.

The initial ruling in September came from visiting Senior
Superior Court Judge Albert Pickett of Augusta, who was assigned
the case after both local Superior Court judges recused
themselves, reports Forsyth County News Online.

Forsyth County News previously reported that Judge Pickett of
Augusta denied a request for class-action status, which would
have allowed anyone with a similar complaint against Lanier Golf
Course, Inc. join the suit.  Judge Pickett's order was filed on
Sept. 2, 2008, in Forsyth County Superior Court (Class Action
Reporter, Sept. 10, 2008).

According to Bob McFarland, Esq., the local attorney who filed
the October 2007 class-action lawsuit, right after the June
ruling is where be believes the case could be in limbo.    Mr.
McFarland, who appealed Judge Pickett's decision, told Forsyth
County News that Judge Pickett can't change the order because
"hes no longer the judge in the case."

The practice of using senior judges to help clear court
calendars and preside over trials was suspended last year due to
the state budget crisis, reports Forsyth County News Online.

Mr. McFarland told Forsyth County News that the order could be
sent to the state's 9th Judicial District, which likely would
appoint a judge to continue the case, Forsyth County News Online

"So the first decision is who's the judge going to be and the
next decision is what is the judge going to do to the order,"
says Mr. McFarland, adding that the process could be lengthy.

MARYLAND: Sued Over Food Stamp, Medicaid, Cash Assistance Delays
     A class action lawsuit, "Thompson v. Donald," was filed by
the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, of New York,
NY, the Public Justice Center and the Homeless Persons
Representation Project, both of Baltimore, Maryland on
Wednesday, April 29, 2009 in the Circuit Court for Baltimore

     Plaintiff seeks to order the State of Maryland to, inter
alia, (1) timely process applications for and provide Food
Stamps, Medicaid, and cash assistance, including expedited
processing of Food Stamp applications for those eligible; (2)
make eligibility determinations for Food Stamp and Medicaid
separate from eligibility determinations for cash assistance;
(3) provide timely and adequate written notices of
determinations of eligibility for Medicaid, including notice of
fair hearing rights.

     On April 29, 2009, plaintiffs filed a class action
complaint, motion for class certification, and motion for
preliminary injunction.

     Each month thousands of Maryland residents wait for their
Food Stamps, Medicaid, and cash assistance beyond the federal
and state time limits set by regulation.  For example, the
motion for preliminary injunction alleges that, in February
2009, defendant timely processed only 84 percent of the food
stamp applications, 88 percent of the cash assistance
applications, and 86 percent of the Family and Children Medicaid
applications.  While they wait, applicants often must pay for
needed food and health care out of their own pockets or forgo
needed nutrition, necessities, and medical care. Many turn to
already strapped food pantries, some of which cannot provide
appropriate food for certain dietary and health concerns.

For more details, contact:

          National Center for Law and Economic Justice Inc.,
          275 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1506
          New York, NY 10001-6708
          Phone: (212) 633-6967
          e-mail: info@nclej.org
          Web site: http://www.nclej.org/

MATRIXX INITIATIVES: Shares Tumble as Revelation of Zicam Suits
     Shares of Matrixx Initiatives (NASDAQ: MTXX) tumbled after
the company revealed several class action lawsuits related to
its product Zicam.  The FDA recently warned consumers that using
the cold treatment could damage a persons sense of smell leading
Matrixx to issue a voluntary recall on June 24.  "The company
intends to vigorously defend each of the recently filed
lawsuits," Matrixx said in a filing with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.  Shares closed lower on the news, down 6.6%
to $6.05.

MERRILL LYNCH: Faces Consumer Fraud Suit Over "Horrific Scheme"
Merrill Lynch is facing a purported class-action lawsuit in
Illinois over a "horrific scheme" to earn "tens of millions of
dollars in commissions" in which financial advisors took money
set aside for funerals and invested it in life insurance
policies that led to a $100 million deficit, Bridget Freeland of
The Courthouse News Service reports.

The suit was filed on June 26, 2009 in Cook County Circuit Court
by the Illinois Funeral Directors Association (IFDA) against
Merrill Lynch, Pierce Fenner & Smith, Inc., Merrill Lynch Life
Agency, Merrill Lynch Life Insurance Co., Edward Louis
Schainker, Paul W. Felsch, and Mark A. Summer, under case
number: 09CH20736.

The association offers "pre-need contracts," which allow people
to arrange and pay for their own funeral services, through the
IFDA Preneed Trust Tax-Exempt Funds.  These funds were "to be
invested in a manner providing optimum growth plus safety of
principal ... on a tax-free basis," the lawsuit states,
according to The Courthouse News Service.

Funeral directors say pre-need contracts give customers peace of
mind, and spare survivors "the emotional and financial
obligations associated with a funeral."

IFDA members claim Merrill Lynch told them that the funds had
been invested in "safe and tax-exempt investment vehicles such
as AAA municipal bonds," reports The Courthouse News Service.

However, Merrill Lynch advisors placed the trust funds in life
insurance policies that did not meet pre-need regulations,
because they are "not easily convertible to cash and do not
confer a fixed death benefit, but rather offer a payout
depending upon the performance of the life insurance policies'
subaccounts," according to the complaint, a copy of which was
obtained by The Courthouse News Service.

"What's more, many of the life insurance policies are subject to
a 10 percent excise tax if the policies are terminated or if
funds are borrowed or withdrawn before the insured reaches 59
years old," the complaint states.

IFDA members say they suffered "great financial losses and
grievous damages to their goodwill and profession," while
Merrill Lynch reaped huge rewards, including tens of millions of
dollars in commissions, administrative fees and mortality
charges, The Courthouse News Service reports.

The plaintiffs are also claiming that Merrill Lynch advisors and
insurance providers also failed to properly analyze if the life
insurance contracts were in the best interest of the IFDA and
its members, and they tried to continue the "charade" even after
it blew up.

They say Merrill Lynch advisors solicited "unsuspecting funeral
directors" in Illinois, "luring them with the promise that
permitting themselves to be insureds would endow IFDA," The
Courthouse News Service reported.

Because of these poor investments, IFDA members have allegedly
been forced to honor the guarantees of the pre-need contracts,
though they no longer have enough money in the pre-need trust.

The Courthouse News Service reported that in general, the
plaintiffs -- represented by Kenneth Wexler, Esq. of Wexler
Wallace, and Barry Montgomery, Esq. of Williams Montgomery --
allege consumer fraud, civil conspiracy, unjust enrichment and

A copy of the complaint is available free f charge at:

For more details, contact:

          Kenneth A. Wexler, Esq. (kaw@wexlerwallace.com)
          55 West Monroe St., Ste. 3300
          Chicago, IL  60603
          Phone: (312) 346-2222 or (312) 589-6270
          Fax: (312) 589-6271
          Web site: http://www.wexlerwallace.com/

               - and -

          C. Barry Montgomery, Esq. (cbm@willmont.com)
          20 North Wacker Drive, Suite 2100
          Chicago, Illinois 60606
          Phone: 312.443.3242
          Fax: 312.630.8542

MINNEHAHA COUNTY: Settles S.D. Suit Over Strip Searches at JDC
Minnehaha County reached a proposed settlement in a class-action
lawsuit by teens who were strip-searched at the Juvenile
Detention Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, The Associated
Press reports.

According to a document, the agreement has been signed, but not
approved by a judge.

A lawyer says an estimated 5,000 teens were taken to the JDC
between November 1997 and December 2003 when the search policy
was in place, according to AP.

Not all of them will qualify for part of the dollar amount
agreed to in the settlement - only those who certify that they
were searched while fully nude, AP reports.

It was previously reported that a Rochester resident and two
others filed a class-action suit against Minnehaha County, South
Dakota over alleged unreasonable strip searches at the county's
juvenile detention center (Class Action Reporter, Oct. 29,

Jillian Clark was arrested for shoplifting at a department store
in Sioux Falls nearly seven years ago.  She was 17 at the time.
She claims she was brought to a holding room and was asked to
strip naked.  Ms. Clark said she kept the humiliating experience
to herself.

The other two plaintiffs suing Minnehaha County are Nicole
Stauffacher, detained for shoplifting in 1997, and Ross
Engelbrecht, who was arrested at 17 for underage alcohol

Ms. Stauffacher said the experience scarred her emotionally and
that she's participating in the suit so no other minors would be
violated in the same manner.

NEW BRUNSWICK: Defendant Added in "Faulty" Pathology Work Suit
The law firm representing those affected by faulty pathology
work at the Miramichi Regional Hospital have decided to add
former pathologist Rajgopal Menon as a defendant in the matter,
Daniel Martins of The Miramichi Leader reports.

Canada.com previously reported that a class-action lawsuit was
launched on July 22, 2008, against New Brunswick's Regional
Health Authority 7 for allegedly providing faulty pathology work
at the Miramichi Regional Hospital (Class Action Reporter, July
24, 2008).

The lawsuit seeks damages on behalf of as many as 50 patients
who received treatment under pathologist Rajgopal Menon between
2004 and 2005, according to a statement of claim filed in the
Court of Queen's Bench.

The report says that the claim alleges the hospital authority
was negligent when it hired Dr. Menon in 1994 against the advice
of its vice-president of medical services at the time, Dr. John

The suit also contends that "an inadequate background check" was
performed and that the authority "ignored warnings and cautions"
from Dr. Menon's previous employer, the Saint John Hospital.
The RHA is also accused of not acting quickly enough to respond
to possible inaccuracies in Dr. Menon's work.

Canada.com points out that Dr. Menon was responsible for
diagnostic testing of 24,000 pathology samples between 1995 and
2007.  An independent audit launched in December 2007 showed
discrepancies in 18% of 227 prostate and breast cancer cases
under Dr. Menon's care in 2004-2005.

The claim says that 6% of these cases were misdiagnosed.  In 41
cases, there was either "a miscalculation of the stage of
cancer, an incomplete protocol, or an incomplete examination."
Nine of the cases involved undetected cancers leading to
misdiagnoses, the claim further outlined.

In a 21 page statement of claim filed with the Court of Queen's
Bench on May 19, which lists both Regional Health Authority B
and Dr. Menon as defendants, said the former pathologist "had a
duty to patients to maintain competency," according to The
Miramichi Leader.

It argued Dr. Menon failed to do so by not introducing proper
quality assurance, keeping inadequate records, failing to follow
proper protocols and about a dozen other alleged failures,
reports The Miramichi Leader.

"It was within contemplation of Menon and the patients whose
specimens he reported ... that a failure on his part to maintain
competency, leading to general questioning of his surgical
pathology diagnoses and the need to repeat or re-read his tests,
would cause mental distress to these patients," according to the
document, a copy of which was obtained by The Miramichi Leader.

NEW YORK: Appeals Court Affirms Dismissal of Discrimination Case
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the
dismissal of a class-action litigation accusing New York
officials of intentionally withholding police protection during
a period of violent unrest on the Mohawk Indian reservation in
the late 1980s and early 1990, Annie Youderian of The Courthouse
News Service reports.

The plaintiffs has alleged that the inadequate response was
racially motivated, and contributed to millions of dollars in
property damage and the death of two young Mohawks.

According to the plaintiffs, a heavily armed Mohawk organization
called the Warrior Society was responsible for the criminal
violence that overtook the New York reservation, reports The
Courthouse News Service.

Government officials charged with policing Indian lands
responded to the crisis by setting up roadblocks at the edge of
the reservation to warn outsiders and possibly keep them from
entering the turmoil.  The police protection was not only
inadequate, but was also discriminatory and amounted to "express
racial classification," according to the plaintiffs.

The plaintiffs challenged officials' policy of notifying the
Warrior Society before police entered the reservation, and of
stopping regular patrols inside the reservation, according to
The Courthouse News Service.

The New York-based federal appeals court did not share the
plaintiffs' view that discrimination was what blocked the
officials from preventing the violence, The Courthouse News
Service reported.

The roadblocks, the court noted, were "aimed at an area, not a
racial class."  Similarly, the policy of informing the Warrior
Society before entering the reservation was not necessarily
biased, the appeals court ruled.

In a per-curiam decision, the three-judge panel from the Second
Circuit said, "Viewed most favorably, the policy was simply a
way for police to avoid a potentially violent standoff with the
Warriors, and perhaps even to show respect for the sovereignty
of the Mohawks."  Nor was the suspension of reservation patrols
an "express racial classification," the court added, according
to The Courthouse News Service.

The Courthouse News Service reports that the panel wrote, "The
violence on the Mohawk reservation was an indisputable tragedy.
But plaintiffs have not shown that defendants' attempts to avert
it, however unsuccessful they might have been, were a violation
of the Equal Protection Clause."

A copy of the complaint is available free of charge at:

RHODE ISLAND: ACLU Files Litigation Over Food Stamp Delays
     The Rhode Island ACLU and a national organization that
promotes economic justice for low-income families have filed a
federal lawsuit against the state Department of Human Services,
alleging that the state's failure to timely process food stamp
applications is resulting in the denial of "desperately needed
assistance to help [applicants] feed their families," and
forcing them to "suffer hunger as a result."  The class-action
lawsuit, filed by RI ACLU volunteer attorney Lynette Labinger
and attorneys for the National Center for Law and Economic
Justice, seeks an injunction requiring the state to process food
stamp applications within the time frames established by federal
law, and a temporary restraining order to provide immediate
benefits to the suit's named plaintiff.

     Under federal law, states participating in the food stamp
program are required to process food stamp applications within
thirty days of the date of application, and to provide expedited
food stamps to eligible households within seven days.  In March
2009, more than 99,000 Rhode Islanders participated in the
program, and in March of this year alone, 3,700 individuals
enrolled in the program.  Yet the most recent statistics from
the federal government's Food and Nutrition Service indicate
that almost one-fifth of Rhode Island's food stamp applications
are not processed in a timely manner.

     The lawsuit was filed as a class action on behalf of all
food stamp applicants affected by DHS' failure to process the
applications in a timely manner.  The named plaintiff is
Providence resident Shalonda Spruill, who lost her job in
January and has been unable to find work since then.  According
to the complaint, she has no income or savings, and does not
have enough money to buy the food that she and her eight-year
old daughter need.  The suit alleges that although she first
applied for food stamps in mid-May and is eligible for expedited
food stamps, her application still has not been acted upon.

     Referring to the many families affected by DHS' failure to
abide by the federal timelines, the brief filed in the case
notes that "food stamps are an essential source of support that
permits them to survive at the barest edge of poverty.  Without
food stamps, a meager subsistence benefit, they will be unable
to purchase food for themselves and their families.  None of
them can suffer the loss of food stamps without experiencing
serious harm."

     RI ACLU volunteer attorney Labinger said: "The time
deadlines in federal law are there for a purpose, and the
state's inaction is causing an intolerable hardship on families.
No child in Rhode Island should have to go to bed hungry due to
paperwork delays."

A copy of the complaint is available free of charge at:

RIO TINTO: Court Sets Hearing for Bougainville Islanders' Suit
The U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
has scheduled a July hearing for a purported class-action
lawsuit filed against against Rio Tinto, Chris Fyall of
HeraldNet reports.

It was previously reported that the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the Ninth Circuit reinstated in August 2006 the human rights
claim brought by the people of the island of Bougainville
against London-based Rio Tinto, one of the world's largest
mining companies (Class Action Reporter, Oct. 16, 2006).

Previously, a U.S. District Court had dismissed the case, siding
with the U.S. State Department's opinion that the case could not
be heard in U.S. courts, a decision that was appealed by the

However, in a two-to-one majority opinion, the Ninth Circuit
stated "we conclude that most of the plaintiffs' claims may be
tried in the United States," rejecting arguments by Rio Tinto
that the U.S. was not the most appropriate venue to hear the

The court also rejected arguments by the U.S. State Department,
which filed a Statement of Interest, saying that "continued
adjudication of the claims would risk a potentially serious
impact on the peace process."  It concluded, "we cannot uphold
the dismissal of the lawsuit solely on the basis of the
Statement of Interest."

The ruling remands the case to the U.S. District Court for the
Central District of California, and could have broad
implications for other groups seeking redress from crimes
committed during wartime by private companies acting in concert
with local governments.  It also states that Rio Tinto could be
held liable for actions by the PNG government if the company's
involvement is proven.

                         Case Background

The suit claims that Rio Tinto conspired with the government of
Papua New Guinea (PNG) to savagely quell civil resistance to an
environmentally devastating mining operation, actions that led
to the deaths of thousands.

The case was filed in 2000 as a class-action suit and seeks to
represent Bougainvilleans who continue to be exposed to toxins
resulting from the Panguna mine, individuals who lost property
due to ongoing environmental contamination, and people injured
or killed during the Bougainville conflict between 1989 and

Under the Alien Tort Claims Act, foreign nationals can bring
suit in the United States against companies that violate
international law.  Rio Tinto is the parent company of
subsidiary U.S. Borax Inc., headquartered in Los Angeles.  The
court also ruled that war crimes, crimes against humanity and
racial discrimination are such universally recognized norms that
they can be heard under the Alien Tort Claims Act.

           Environmental Events Leading to the Lawsuit

The Panguna copper mine and the political events that erupted
since the mine was established are at the core of the case.
Bougainville Island, located northeast of Australia, is part of
the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.

Between 1969 and 1972, the Australian Colonial Administration
leased land on the island to Bougainville Copper Limited (BCL),
a mining subsidiary of Rio Tinto.  The suit claims that
landowners unsuccessfully resisted intrusion onto their land,
and many Bougainvilleans were forced to relocate or flee the
island.  Three principal villages were relocated.

According to the suit, Rio Tinto then destroyed entire villages,
razed the rain forest, sluiced off a hillside and established
the world's largest open-cut mine, spanning two kilometers wide
and half a kilometer deep.  The mine excavated 300,000 tons of
ore and water every day during its operation between 1972 and

The suit alleges that Rio Tinto improperly dumped waste rock and
tailings, emitting chemical and air pollutants without regard
for the villagers.  Those tailings destroyed local fish stock, a
major food source for the islanders.

The Bougainville people -- especially children -- began dying
more frequently from upper respiratory infections, asthma and
tuberculosis, the suit states.

The Panguna mine, located on the Island of Bougainville just off
Papua New Guinea, was once the world's largest copper mine
during the 1980s.

Rio Tinto's actions on Bougainville were so egregious that they
sparked an uprising designed to close the mine in 1990.

According to the complaint, in 1990, villagers started an
uprising, which closed the mine, and in response, Rio Tinto and
the Papua New Guinea (PNG) government brought troops in to
reopen the mine.

The complaint alleges that Rio Tinto provided transport for
these troops and played a role in instituting a military
blockade of the island that lasted for almost 10 years, created
to coerce the Bougainville people into surrendering so that the
mine could be reopened.

The blockade prevented medicine, clothing and other essential
items from reaching the people of Bougainville, closing
hospitals and other vital services.

According to the Red Cross, the blockade killed more than 2,000
children in its first two years of operation.  By the time the
war ended in 1999, 10 percent of the population of Bougainville,
approximately 15,000 civilians, were killed.

The court case alleges that Rio Tinto's conduct violated
customary international law, including prohibitions against
destruction of the right to life and health, and prohibitions
against racial discrimination and war crimes.

SHELBY COUNTY: Court Ends Desegregation Battle Over Schools
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit voted 2-1 to
accept the voluntary dismissal of a long standing class-action
lawsuit aimed at desegregating the public school system in
Shelby County, Tennessee, Annie Youderian of The Courthouse News
Service reports.

The suit was filed in 1963 by students and their parents against
the Shelby County Board of Education, alleging unconstitutional
racial segregation in the Shelby County schools.

The district court issued numerous orders requiring the school
system to desegregate its schools in accordance with the Supreme
Court's landmark ruling in "Brown v. Board of Education," which
rejected the separate-but-equal justification for segregation,
reports The Courthouse News Service.

In August 2006, after decades of court supervision, the parties
moved to dissolve all outstanding orders and declare the school
district a "unitary," or desegregated, school system.

However, Judge Bernice Donald of the U.S. District Court for the
District of Tennessee rejected their claim that the goals of the
desegregation plan had been adequately fulfilled.  Judge Donald
denied the motion for unitary status in the areas of student
assignment, faculty integration and extracurricular activities,
and established new "racial ratios" for students and faculty.
If the new orders were followed, the judge said, court
supervision would end by 2015, according to The Courthouse News

Writing for the Sixth Circuit panel, Judge Richard Allen Griffin
acknowledged that courts should not simply "rubber stamp" all
settlements without considering their constitutional compliance.
But it adhered to the notion that courts should encourage
voluntary dismissals, particularly over divisive issues like
school desegregation, The Courthouse News Service reported.

Judge Griffin said the courts "must afford considerable weight
to the joint motion when it is reasonable, filed in good faith,
and demonstrates that the constitutional mandate requiring
desegregation has been satisfied."  The judge added, "Absent
reasons and evidence to the contrary, the joint motion was
entitled to substantial weight in the exercise of the court's

Judge Algenon L. Marbley, sitting by designation, wrote a 23-
page dissent that sided with Judge Donald.  "I do not believe
that the virtues of compromise can compensate for the lack of
evidence substantiating that the County has in fact eliminated,
to the extent practicable, all remaining vestiges of unlawful
discrimination," Judge Marbley wrote, The Courthouse News
Service reports.

A copy of the complaint is available free of charge at:

SOUTH CAROLINA: Judge Orders $40M Payment in Retirees' Case
Judge James Williams has ruled that the South Carolina
Retirement System must pay back about $40 million in retirement
contributions it improperly took from the paychecks of state
employees who participated in a program that lets them continue
working after retirement, The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News.

The ruling -- which affects 12,688 people who retired from their
state jobs before July 1, 2005 -- stems from class-action
lawsuits filed in Georgetown and Richland counties.  Those
eligible for the refunds should receive a letter.

One of the lawsuits was filed by James Arnold, a former captain
with the Georgetown city police department.  Mr. Arnold's
lawsuit against the retirement system, originally filed in 2005,
became a class-action lawsuit that covered police, firefighters,
judges and other public safety officials.  It was combined with
a second lawsuit that covered other state employees, according
to The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News.

The Retirement System will ask Judge James Williams to
reconsider the ruling, system spokesman Michael Sponhour told
The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News.  The ruling also can be appealed to
the S.C. Supreme Court.

The ruling affects workers who were caught in changes to state
law that require retiree-to-work participants to make
contributions to the retirement system starting July 1, 2005,
reports The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News.

Those contributions are not credited to the retirees who make
them, but are used to supplement the state's retirement fund.

The retiree-to-work program was created so state agencies can
retain skilled workers beyond retirement age.  The program lets
workers retire after 25 years and then return to the same job
for up to five more years earning both a salary and pension
benefits, The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News reported.

Prior to July 1, 2005, retirees who went back to their state
jobs did not have to pay into the retirement system.

When the new law took effect, state officials started taking
money from the paychecks of those people who had entered the
retiree-to-work program under the old rule, The (Myrtle Beach)
Sun News reports.

According to Mr. Williams, changing the law for workers who
already were participating in the program was improper.  He
ordered the state to refund all the money taken.  That money has
been held in an escrow account since the lawsuits were filed.

Gene Connell, Esq., a Surfside Beach lawyer, and Conway lawyer
Brana Williams, Esq. represented the 2,088 public safety
officials covered by the ruling, according to The (Myrtle Beach)
Sun News.

In opting to appeal the ruling, Ms. Sponhour told The (Myrtle
Beach) Sun News that he believes the ruling is "in error because
we believe the General Assembly has the constitutional authority
to amend the law."

SYNOVUS FINANCIAL: Faces Securities Fraud Litigation in Georgia
     An investor in Synovus Financial has filed a proposed
securities class action lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the Northern District of Georgia on behalf of
purchasers of Synovus Financial Corp. (NYSE: SNV) common stock
during the period between January 24, 2008 and January 21, 2009,
against Synovus and other over alleged violations of Federal
Securities laws.

     The plaintiff alleges Synovus Financial and certain of its
officers and directors violated the Securities Exchange Act of
1934 by issuing between January 24, 2008 and January 21, 2009
materially false and misleading statements regarding Synovus
Financial's business and financial results and engaged in
improper behavior which harmed Synovus' investors by failing to
disclose the extent of its large exposure to the Sea Island
Company, a resort in Georgia, and the deteriorating condition of
Sea Island.

     The plaintiff accuses that Synovus also failed to
adequately and timely record losses for its impaired loans,
causing its financial results to be materially false and as a
result of defendants alleged false statements, Synovus stock
traded at artificially inflated prices between January 24, 2008
and January 21, 2009, reaching a high of $13.49 per share on
February 1, 2008.

     Then, on January 22, 2009, so the lawsuit alleges, Synovus
Financial reported a net loss for the fourth quarter of 2008 of
$637 million, or $1.93 per share.  The fourth quarter 2008
results included provision expense of $364 million and a $443
million non-cash goodwill impairment charge.  According to the
complaint on this news, Synovus stock fell to as low as $4.52
before it closed at $4.75 per share on January 22, 2009.

Synovus Financial Corp. -- http://www.synovus.com/-- located in
Columbus, GA, is a diversified financial services company and a
registered bank holding company.  Synovus Financial provides
financial services, including commercial and retail banking,
financial management, insurance, mortgage and leasing services.

TOYOTETSU AMERICA: Faces Sexual Discrimination, Harassment Suit
Toyotetsu America, Inc., Toyotetsu Mid America, Inc., Toyotetsu
Texas, Inc., Toyoda Iron Works Co., Ltd. and Toyota Motor Corp.
are facing a purported class-action lawsuit by a group of women
who claim they were passed over for promotions in favor of less
qualified men, David Saleh Rauf of The San Antonio Express

The suit was filed on June 24, 2009 in the U.S. District Court
for the Western District of Texas by Cheryl Wilkens, Irma Rocha,
Peggy Pope and Yoko Tokushima, who are also claiming that they
were sexually harassed or witnessed harassment.

Captioned, "Wilkens et al v. Toyotetsu America Inc. et al., Case
No. 5:2009-cv-00515," the suit alleges that female employees at
Toyotetsu Texas, Inc. face a "glass ceiling" and are "routinely
assigned to the lowest-paying positions and given little or no
opportunity to advance to higher-ranking positions," according
to The San Antonio Express.

The women are suing for lost compensation and job benefits they
would have received and an unspecified amount for emotional
distress.  They brought their lawsuit on behalf of an estimated
400 female workers at the supplier's three U.S. locations.

According to the lawsuit, the alleged discrimination that women
at Toyotetsu face stem from Toyota's 14-point philosophy, know
as the "Toyota Way," which is described in court filings as a
"mechanism for reinforcing widespread Japanese cultural
prejudices, including discrimination against female employees,"
reports The San Antonio Express.

The San Antonio Express reported that generally the four women
are alleging that they were denied promotions on various
occasions, required to train less qualified male employees to
take those positions and forced to work in a hostile environment
where sexual harassment claims went un-investigated.  In
addition, three claim they ultimately lost their jobs because
they spoke up.

For more details, contact:

          Marisa Bono, Esq. (Mbono@maldef.org)
          Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund,
          110 Broadway - Suite 300
          San Antonio, Tx 78295
          Phone: (210) 224-5476
          Fax: (210) 224-5382

               - and -

          Doanh The Nguyen, Esq. (zone@nguyendelbarrio.com)
          Nguyen & del Barrio, PLLC
          1820 Houston Street - Suite B
          Laredo, TX 78040
          Phone: (956) 753-7636
          Fax: (956) 753-8865

UPONOR INC: Faces Minn. Litigation Over Faulty Plumbing Fittings
     Plumbing fittings sold by Uponor, Inc. (Uponor) and its
wholly-owned subsidiary Radiant Technology, Inc. (RTI) are
defective and fail prematurely, causing extensive water damage
to homes, commercial buildings and other property, according to
allegations in a putative class action lawsuit filed May 15 in
the United States District Court in Minnesota.

     Minnesota-based Uponor has admitted in court filings that
fittings it sold for its plumbing systems are "defective" and
"unreasonably dangerous."  However, the company refuses to
replace all affected plumbing systems or otherwise reimburse all
property owners as required under warranties it issued,
according to the complaint.

     The fittings Uponor admits are defective and unreasonably
dangerous were used in plumbing systems installed in homes and
buildings across the country.  While it has replaced the
fittings in homes built by some of the nation's largest home
builders, Uponor refuses to do the same for individual
homeowners.  "Uponor's conduct in choosing to honor its
responsibilities to large, important construction companies
while ignoring the damage and costs its defective products have
caused the 'little guy' is reprehensible," explained Charles J.
LaDuca, attorney for the plaintiffs and a partner with Cuneo
Gilbert & LaDuca, LLP in Washington, D.C.

     "The named plaintiffs in this lawsuit, John and Helen
McGregor, who live in the small community of Mead, Washington,
are among the thousands of property owners who simply cannot
afford to tear apart the walls and floors of their homes and
replace defective plumbing systems," explained Shawn Raiter,
attorney for the plaintiffs and a partner with Larson King, LLP
in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

     The products at issue are brass fittings inserted into
crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) tubing.  Although Uponor and RTI
advertised and warranted their brass PEX fittings for as long as
25 years, the fittings began failing -- sometimes only months
after installation.  When the fittings fail, water leaks can
extensively damage walls, floors and other personal property.

     The lawsuit, "John and Helen McGregor, et al v. Uponor,
Inc.," seeks certification as a class action and compensation
for damages suffered by home owners, the replacement of the
defective and unreasonably dangerous systems and other remedies.

For more details, contact:

          Shawn M. Raiter, Esq. (sraiter@larsonking.com)
          Larson King, LLP, St. Paul
          Phone: 651-312-6518

          Charles J. LaDuca, Esq. (CharlesL@cuneolaw.com)
          Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca, LLC, Washington
          Phone: 202-789-3960

               - and -

          Michael McShane, Esq. (mmcshane@audetlaw.com)
          Audet & Partners, LLP, San Francisco
          Phone: 415-568-2555

WEST VIRGINIA: WVRJA, Director Faces Lawsuit Over Strip-Searches
The West Virginia Regional Jail and Correctional Facility
Authority (WVRJA) and and its director Terry L. Miller are
facing a purported class-action suit filed by a Cabell County
man who is challenging the alleged policy of strip searching and
delousing people arrested for minor crimes when they're booked
into one of the state's regional jails, Justin Anderson of The
West Virginia Record reports.

The suit was filed on July 1, 2009 in the U.S. Distirct Court
for the Southern District of West Virginia by Michael Cantley,
under the caption, "Cantley v. The West Virginia Regional Jail
and Correctional Facility Authority, Case No. 3:2009-cv-00758."

Mr. Cantley contends that the "wholesale" strip searching and
delousing of arrestees violate constitutional rights when jail
officers have no reasonable suspicion that an arrestee is
concealing a weapon or contraband, according to The West
Virginia Record.

"For at least the past 11 years, the (authority) has had a
policy of strip searching all individuals who enter any of the
West Virginia regional jails and placing them in jail clothing,
regardless of the crime with which they are charged," according
to the complaint, a copy of which was obtained by The West
Virginia Record.

"In addition, the (authority) also requires that all pre-trial
detainees be deloused by having corrections officers use plastic
bottles to spray caustic delousing solution over the genitals of
detainees," the complaint states.

Mr. Cantley, on behalf of the class, says case precedent holds
that people charged with misdemeanors or other minor crimes
can't be subjected to this treatment unless officers have
reasonable suspicion, reports The West Virginia Record.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages as well as an end to the
alleged policy of strip searching and delousing every inmate, no
matter of the severity of the crime or presence of suspicion,
The West Virginia Record reported.

For more details, contact:

          Daniel R. Karon, Esq.
          55 Public Square
          Suite 1500
          Cleveland, OH 44113
          Phone: 216/622-1851

          Elmer Robert Keach, III, Esq.
          P.O.Box 70
          Amsterdam, NY 12010
          Phone: 518/434-1718

          Gary E. Mason, Esq.
          1225 19th Street, NW
          Suite 500
          Washington, DC 20036
          Phone: 202/429-2290

               - and -

          D. Aaron Rihn, Esq. (arihn@peircelaw.com)
          2500 Gulf Tower
          707 Grant Street
          Pittsburgh, PA 15219
          Phone: 412/281-7229
          Fax: 412/281-4229

YUM BRANDS: Faces Mich. Litigation Over Botched Chicken Giveaway
     A class action lawsuit filed seeks to hold Kentucky Fried
Chicken, owned by Yum Brands (NASDAQ:YUM), responsible for its
botched chicken giveaway.

     In May, KFC sought to promote its new grilled chicken by
offering free meals to the public through the highly popular
'Oprah' show.  However, according to the lawsuit, KFC
subsequently sent out letters to its stores telling them not to
honor the offer.  News stories reported that the grilled chicken
was available only to paying customers, but people seeking to
redeem coupons were turned away or asked to provide personal
information for a "raincheck" coupon.

     The suit comes on the heels of a startling admission by KFC
president Roger Eaton.  Eaton was widely quoted as saying that
despite the huge public outcry over KFC's refusal to honor its
coupons, the promotion has been incredibly lucrative: "There's
no one in America right now who doesn't know we're selling
grilled chicken."

     To add insult to injury, Eaton reportedly bragged to the
Associated Press that "the critical thing for us was to get
people to eat the chicken, whatever it took."  News stories
reported that millions of people were turned away by KFC, at
times leading to violence.  In one instance, lawyers bringing
the suit were told a bus load of 28 Californians were turned
away after they traveled to KFC from an adult learning center.

     "KFC's reaction shows that it is not simply out of touch,
it is mean-spirited," explained Jay Edelson, a partner at
KamberEdelson, LLC and one of the lawyers for the plaintiff, Kay
Ready of Michigan.  "People are sick and tired of this culture
of corporate greed.  Companies are going to learn fast that this
is the wrong time in America's history to try to take advantage
of the little guy."

     The lawsuit further takes issue with KFC's claim that its
supposedly healthy grilled chicken is in fact chicken.  The suit
alleges that the product actually contains rendered beef fat and
beef powder.

     The lawyers say they have been contacted by people
interested in starting a boycott of KFC, and its parent company
Yum Brands, Inc. which also owns Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, and Long
John Silvers.

A copy of the complaint is available free of charge at:

For more details, contact:

          KamberEdelson, LLC
          Phone: 1-312-589-6370 or 1-866-354-3015
          Fax: 1-312-589-6378
          Web site: http://www.kamberedelson.com/Edelson.html


A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
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Each Friday's edition of the CAR includes a section featuring
news on asbestos-related litigation and profiles of target
asbestos defendants that, according to independent research,
collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related


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