/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/100107.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Thursday, January 7, 2010, Vol. 12, No. 4


ARROW TRUCKING: Drivers File Class-Action Suit in N.D. Okla.
CELLCOM ISRAEL: Subscribers' Lawsuit Dismissed with Prejudice
CERTAINTEED CORP: $400-$600 Mil. Homeowner Settlement Projected
CHUBB INSURANCE: Texas Judge Sets Strict Discovery Deadline
COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL: Data Breach Fairness Hearing on July 19

COVERALL CLEANING: Faces Class-Action Lawsuit in Mass.
DOREL JUVENILE: Recalls 213,000 Disney & Eddie Bauer Play Yards
KENDAMASPOT LLC: Recalls 300 Wooden Skill Ball Toys
KOSS CORP: Lawyers Looking for Defrauded Shareholders
LG ELECTRONICS: Recalls 98,000 Portable Dehumidifiers

MRT HOLDINGS: Plaintiffs Suspect Related Ponzi Scheme in Tenn.
OSI RESTAURANT: Settles Sex-Bias Lawsuit for $19 Million
RC2 CORP: Agrees to Pay $1.25 Mil. Penalty After Toy Recall
SAN DIEGO: Class Action Suit Seeks Refund of City Taxes
UNITEDHEALTH GROUP: ETF's Confirm Receipt of Settlement Payments

UNITED STATES: ACORN Adds Class Action Count to USDA/EEO Suit
WILHELMENIA MODEL: Five Charities Share $2 Mil. Cy Press Fund


ARROW TRUCKING: Drivers File Class-Action Suit in N.D. Okla.
Laurent Belsie at The Christian Science Monitor reports that a
class-action lawsuit against Arrow Trucking was filed in federal
court last week.  A principal charge: The Tulsa, Okla., flatbed
carrier broke federal law by not giving its employees 60 days'
notice about its precarious financial state.

Instead, Arrow last week stranded hundreds of its drivers around
the country.  Many of them found out their employer was shutting
down when their company-issued fuel cards wouldn't work.  Two
weeks ago, the company abruptly told its headquarters staff to
pack up and go home.

The suit is Smith, et al. v. Arrow Trucking Co., Case No.
09-cv-00810 (N.D. Okla.) (Kern, J.).

"It was just outrageous conduct, I think, to do it on the eve of
Christmas," said the Plainitffs' lead counsel:

          Charles A. Ercole, Esq.
          Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg LLP
          1835 Market St., Suite 1400
          Philadelphia, PA 19103

"People's paychecks on the 15th bounced."

The Plaintiffs' local counsel is:

          Kevin R Donelson, Esq.
          Fellers Snider Blankenship Bailey & Tippens
          100 N. Broadway, Ste. 1700
          Oklahoma City, OK 73102-8820
          Telephone: 405-232-0621

Mr. Ercole, who said he's been contacted by some 100 Arrow
employees, planned to file suit Dec. 28 in federal district court
in Tulsa, Okla. The suit claims the company violated the federal
Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), which
mandates that employees with at least 100 employees give them 60
days' notice before a plant closing or mass layoff.

The suit will also address other violations of state and local
laws that Arrow employees have alleged, including bounced
paychecks, unpaid medical premium payments, and nonreimbursement
of out-of-pocket expenses, Mr. Ercole said.

With the company in apparent limbo -- and company executives
unreachable -- Arrow's next step was unclear. If it files for
bankruptcy, that might make for a more orderly disposition of
assets, the attorney said, although employees' claims would come
behind banks that loaned money to Arrow as well as Daimler Trucks
and Navistar, which leased trucks to the company.

The two companies swung into action to help the stranded drivers
after reports of Arrow's shutdown last week. Daimler booked at
least 75 Greyhound tickets to get drivers home and gave $200 in
compensation for personal travel to another 150 drivers or more.
As of Monday, Daimler had recovered 590 of the nearly 1,000
Freightliner trucks it had leased to Arrow.

A key question in the lawsuit is whether Arrow executives knew
their company was in trouble or whether a lender pulled out
unexpectedly. Apparently, the company's operations broke down
after the weekend of Dec. 19, when its drivers could no longer
use their company credit cards to buy fuel.

Transportation Alliance Bank, an Ogden, Utah, issuer of credit
cards to truck owner-operators and trucking companies, would not
confirm that it was the issuer of those cards. But in an ad
earlier this year, it prominently featured a quote by Arrow's
chief financial officer calling the bank "a strategic partner."

In court, Arrow will claim that a creditor pulled out suddenly,
Mr. Ercole predicts. But "my experience has been in these cases
that we're going to find evidence months earlier that things were

CELLCOM ISRAEL: Subscribers' Lawsuit Dismissed with Prejudice
RTT News reports that Israeli cellular provider Cellcom Israel
Ltd. (CEL: News ) said that a purported class action filed
against the company in May 2007, in the District Court of Tel-
Aviv-Jaffa, by two subscribers of the company, has been dismissed
with prejudice with plaintiffs' consent.

Two subscribers had alleged that the company, unlawfully and in
violation of its license, raised its tariffs, in pricing plans
that included a commitment to purchase certain services for a
predefined period, Cellcom said.

The company said, had the lawsuit been certified as a class
action, the total amount claimed from Cellcom was estimated by
the plaintiffs to be about NIS 875 million.

Late November, Cellcom said that a purported class action lawsuit
against the company, two other cellular operators and the
Minister of Communications was filed in the District Court of
Jerusalem, by four plaintiffs alleging to be subscribers of the
two other cellular operators.

The company then said that the plaintiffs had alleged that the
defendant cellular operators unlawfully discriminated against non
orthodox customers by offering them less favorable prices and

Cellcom Israel noted that if the lawsuit is certified as a class
action, the total amount claimed is estimated by the plaintiffs
to be about NIS 900 million, without specifying the amount
attributed to the company individually.

CERTAINTEED CORP: $400-$600 Mil. Homeowner Settlement Projected
A nationwide class action settlement received preliminary
approval by Judge Louis Pollak, U.S. District Court Judge for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to make payments to tens of
thousands of homeowners across the U.S. and Canada whose roofs
have been adversely affected by defective organic shingles
manufactured by CertainTeed Corporation. The settlement has an
expected value to the class of between $400 and $600 million,
depending on the number of claims made.

Clayton D. Halunen, Esq., of HALUNEN & ASSOCIATES, one of the
lead attorneys representing consumers in Minnesota as well as 17
other states, stated that, "The number of people who have been
affected by these faulty shingles is truly shocking. The result
we achieved for the plaintiffs proves that consumers can achieve
real change if they are willing to stand up to corporations such
as CertainTeed."

The Complaint filed against CertainTeed on behalf of the
consumers alleges that the CertainTeed organic shingles on their
homes were substandard. The shingles were marketed as durable and
offering long-lasting protection, yet not long after their
installation many consumers experienced noticeable damage to
their roofs and the underlying felt and plaster, as well as to
their walls and ceilings.

Mr. Halunen noted that "the settlement was reached after over 3
years of contentious litigation . It will benefit all people who
have owned, or currently own, a home or structure on which
CertainTeed organic shingles were installed from July 1987
through the present." Based in Valley Forge, PA with about 300
offices throughout the United States and in Canada, CertainTeed
sells the shingles under dozens of brand names including
Centennial Slate, Hallmark, Hearthstead, Horizon, Independence,
Landmark, Sealdon and Woodscape.

Qualified individuals who own, or have owned, buildings affected
by the defective shingles can expect to receive between $34 and
$74 per square, depending on whether or not they have a valid
warranty. For more information on the settlement and details on
how to file a claim, consumers are encouraged to visit

                    About Halunen & Associates

Halunen & Associates was established in 1998. With offices in
Minneapolis and Chicago, the firm focuses on employment law and
consumer rights litigation, working tirelessly to protect the
rights of working people and consumers across the country.

CHUBB INSURANCE: Texas Judge Sets Strict Discovery Deadline
Lynn LaRowe at the Texarkana Gazette reports that a Miller
County, Tex., judge has imposed a deadline on major insurance
companies to obey court orders in a class-action lawsuit alleging
they cheated policyholders.

"The facts show that the defendant, Chubb, has refused for years
to comply with discovery requests of plaintiffs regarding
production of e-mails unless it could dictate the parameters of
the search," states a Dec. 21 order by Circuit Judge Kirk
Johnson.  "To avoid other piecemeal litigation on this issue, the
court orders that all defendants in this litigation comply with
discovery requests. . . ."

COUNTRYWIDE FINANCIAL: Data Breach Fairness Hearing on July 19
WKLY.com reports that a federal judge has given preliminary
approval to a settlement between Countrywide Financial Corp. and
millions of customers whose detailed financial information was
exposed during a security breach.

Under terms of the settlement, Countrywide, now owned by Bank of
America, would give free credit monitoring to up to 17 million
people whose information was exposed during the security breach.
That group includes anyone who obtained a mortgage and anyone who
used Countrywide to service a mortgage prior to July 1, 2008.

U.S. District Judge Thomas B. Russell in Paducah, Ky., who
oversaw more than 35 lawsuits related to the security breach,
granted class-action status to the suit and gave preliminary
approval of the settlement last month.  A fairness hearing is
scheduled for July 19 in Louisville.

Brett Barrouquere at The Associated Press reports that the
settlement entitles a person up to $50,000 in reimbursements from
Countrywide per instance of identity theft, provided they
actually lost something of value, were not reimbursed and it is
more likely than not the theft stemmed from Countrywide.

Mr. Barrouquere relates that the lawsuits stem from the arrest of
Rene Rebollo Jr., of Pasadena, Calif., a former senior analyst
for Countrywide, and Wahid Siddiqi, of Thousand Oaks, Calif.  
Federal investigators said Rebollo used a flash drive to download
data from about 20,000 customers a week for two years from 2006
through August 2008.  Mr. Rebollo then sold the information to
Mr. Siddiqi for $500 and earned a combined $50,000, federal
investigators said.  Mr. Siddiqi pleaded guilty on Dec. 9 to 10
counts of fraud and admitted to selling the information to third
parties, including an undercover FBI agent.  Mr. Rebollo has
pleaded not guilty and is scheduled for trial in January.  
Countrywide has said it has worked closely with the FBI and
federal investigators and that the security breach does not
appear to have resulted in anyone's identities being stolen.

COVERALL CLEANING: Faces Class-Action Lawsuit in Mass.
David Segal's The Haggler column published in The New York Times
relates that a class-action lawsuit is pending in Boston against
Coverall Cleaning, in his response to a reader's question.  

Here's a reprint of the reader's question and Mr. Segal's answer:

     Q. I am writing on behalf of my housekeeper, Jagoda Walczak,
a Polish immigrant who has been cleaning homes for years. She
thought she could find new clients by investing in a franchise
called Coverall Cleaning.

     She borrowed $17,600 from her brother and friends to cover
the franchise fee, and Coverall guaranteed that it would send her
$5,000 worth of commercial cleaning business - basically
janitorial services for offices - every month. They assure people
that they can make $18 to $20 an hour with these accounts. More
than three months later, she had been offered less than $2,500
worth of business, and the monthly payments for these jobs were
so low that, calculated at an hourly rate, they were minimum

     She tried to get her money back, but Coverall will not send
her a refund. Is there any way the Haggler can help?

                              Channa Steinberg
                              New York City

     A. The commercial cleaning franchise world is a new one to
the Haggler, but it's been around since the mid-1970s, and
Coverall is just one of several national players.

     It works like this: You give Coverall a big fat check and it
provides training, some start-up supplies and initial leads to
companies in need of cleaning service. The goal is steady income
from cleaning gigs that are serviced, ideally, with your own

     In theory, it's not a bad idea, and the company, which is
based in Boca Raton, Fla., says it has 8,000 franchisees
servicing 50,000 customers in the United States. It also has a
pretty lengthy record of settling lawsuits brought by former
Coverall franchisees - more than two dozen suits since 1998,
according to its 2008 franchise disclosure document, with one
settlement as high as $450,000. In every instance, the company
denies wrongdoing.

     Read through a summary of the complaints, and themes emerge.
Again and again, franchisees allege that Coverall presented them
with a job at a set fee that required so much time and/or
additional employees that the income, per hour, was a pittance.

     Shannon Liss-Riordan, a lawyer in Boston who has filed a
class-action lawsuit against Coverall, says that this is standard
operating procedure.

     "Companies like Coverall are competing for commercial
cleaning contracts against regular janitorial companies that pay
their workers as employees, which means they pay worker's
compensation and have to abide by minimum-wage laws," she says.
"Using the independent contractor model, Coverall doesn't have to
worry about any of that, so they underbid for contracts and
obviously the person who gets hurt is the worker."

     Ms. Walczak says she was offered a job cleaning a Vidal
Sassoon salon -- six nights a week -- for just over $1,300 a
month. A Coverall manager gave her a tour of the premises and
said the whole job should take two and a half hours an evening.
It took five hours, minimum, Ms. Walczak said she discovered.
After three weeks, she told Coverall that the job was financially

     When she demanded her money back, Coverall refused and
suggested that she sell her franchise. Ultimately, she was paid
less than $700 for all of her Coverall-related work, including
the three weeks at that Sassoon salon.

     A spokeswoman for Coverall, Jacqueline Vlaming, sent a
lengthy e-mail message in response to the Haggler's inquiries
about Ms. Walczak. In it, Ms. Vlaming says that the company
doesn't guarantee $5,000 worth of cleaning jobs a month, but
instead promises an initial set of jobs worth that sum of money,
after which you're basically on your own.

     She also said that Ms. Walczak declined nine perfectly good
cleaning gigs - worth $7,000, altogether - and that the Sassoon
salon is now serviced by another Coverall franchisee for the same
fee that Ms. Walczak found inadequate.

     "Ms. Walczak was difficult to work with from the outset,"
Ms. Vlaming wrote. "We tried repeatedly to explain to her the
methodology inherent in bidding commercial accounts. She simply
did not want to hear it."

     For a competing perspective, we turn to Steven Cumbow, a
former chief financial officer at Coverall who has left the
company and was recently deposed by Ms. Liss-Riordan as part of
her class-action lawsuit.

     "Coverall has built its business around charging individuals
- many of whom are non-English speakers - thousands of dollars in
exchange for a promise that it will provide paid cleaning work,"
a court document says, paraphrasing Mr. Cumbow's deposition.
"Instead of supplying this business, however, Coverall utilizes a
'churning' model whereby it offers business to workers who,
Coverall knows, will be unable to accept or to adequately service
the account, or revokes business for pretextual reasons."

     Ms. Vlaming called Mr. Cumbow a "disgruntled terminated
employee with a grudge."

     The Haggler spoke to Ms. Walczak last week, and she
described her struggles to make a living and provide for two
teenage children. "I called the company and I just cried," she
said. "I told them: 'You lied to me. You said I could make money
and I can't and now I'm borrowing money and I'm in a worse
situation than before.'"

     See? The Haggler warned you that this is not a feel-good
story. But in the e-mail message, Ms. Vlaming said Coverall would
be willing to discuss Ms. Walczak's situation with her and to
"work toward a solution." The Haggler will follow those
discussions and report on their outcome in a forthcoming column.

DOREL JUVENILE: Recalls 213,000 Disney & Eddie Bauer Play Yards
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in
cooperation with Dorel Juvenile Group Inc., of Columbus, Ind.,
announced a voluntary recall of about 213,000 Safety 1st Disney
Care Center(tm) Play Yard and Eddie Bauer Complete Care Play Yard
products.  Consumers should stop using recalled products
immediately unless otherwise instructed.

The one piece metal bars supporting the floorboard of the
bassinet attachment can come out of the fabric sleeves and create
an uneven sleeping surface, posing a risk of suffocation or
positional asphyxiation.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.  

The play yards are portable and were sold with a bassinet
attachment and a built-in changing station. Models included in
this recall are 05025, 05026, 05037, 05088 and 05350. The model
number is printed on a sticker on one of the support legs
underneath the play yard. "Safety 1st" or "Eddie Bauer" are
printed near the bottom of the fabric sides of the play yards.  
Pictures of the recalled products are available at

The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold at
Babies "R" Us, Kmart, Sears, Target and Walmart from January 2007
through October 2009 for between $100 and $130.

Consumers should immediately stop using the bassinet attachment
to the play yard and contact Dorel Juvenile Group for a free
repair kit including replacement bassinet fabric, bassinet bars
and installation instructions.  For additional information,
contact Dorel Juvenile Group toll-free at (866) 762-2166 between
8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Eastern Time, Monday through Thursday,
8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Eastern Time, Friday, or visit the
firm's Web site at http://www.djgusa.com/

KENDAMASPOT LLC: Recalls 300 Wooden Skill Ball Toys
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in
cooperation with Kendamaspot LLC, of Redmond, Wash., announced a
voluntary recall of about 300 Wooden Skill Ball Toys.  Consumers
should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise

The surface paint coating on the ball contains excessive levels
of lead, violating the federal lead paint standard.

No incidents or injuries have been reported.  

This recall involves Oozora and Shin-Fuji Kendama Japanese wooden
skill toys.  The toys have a ball connected by a string to a
handle with three cups and spike on top.  A Japanese Kendama
Association sticker is affixed to the toy.  The red and green
balls on the Oozora and only the red balls on the Shin Fuji are
included in the recall.  Pictures of the recalled products are
available at:


The recalled toys were manufactured in Japan and sold at
Kendamaspot's Web site and cultural festivals in Washington State
from July 2008 through April 2009 for about $20.

Consumers should immediately take the recalled toys away from
children and contact Kendamaspot to receive a free replacement
ball.  For additional information, contact Kendamaspot toll-free
at (866) 903-7795 between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Pacific Time,
Monday through Friday, or visit the firm's Web site at

KOSS CORP: Lawyers Looking for Defrauded Shareholders
Rich Kirchen at The Business Journal in Milwaukee reports that
two law firms are seeking plaintiffs in possible class-action
lawsuits against Koss Corp. for possible securities law
violations after the company said an embezzlement case may cause
it to restate financial statements going back to 2006.

The law firms are Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman LLC of New York
City and the Law Offices of Howard G. Smith in Philadelphia.

Milwaukee-based Koss (NASDAQ: KOSS) on Christmas Eve announced it
had fired its longtime vice president of finance, Sujata
Sachdeva, after the company discovered unauthorized financial
transactions that may exceed $20 million.  Mr. Sachdeva made an
initial appearance last week in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee
on charges of using interstate wire communications to defraud
Koss Corp. of more than $4.5 million in 2008 and this year. She
is free on bond.

Koss Corp. also announced Christmas Eve that its financial
statements since at least the end of fiscal 2006 are no longer

The law firms are seeking anyone who has purchased shares of Koss
since January 2006 to possibly participate in a suit.

LG ELECTRONICS: Recalls 98,000 Portable Dehumidifiers
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Health Canada, in
cooperation with LG Electronics Tianjin Appliance Co., of China,
announced a voluntary recall of about 98,000 Portable
Dehumidifiers.  Consumers should stop using recalled products
immediately unless otherwise instructed.

The power connector for the dehumidifier's compressor can short
circuit, posing fire and burn hazards to consumers.

LG has received 11 reports of property damage incidents involving
arcing, heat, smoke, including four fires that spread to the
building structure and involved significant smoke/water damage.
No injuries have been reported.

This recall involves 30-pint portable dehumidifiers sold under
these brand names:

  Brand          Model No.   Serial Number Range  Sold at
  -----          ---------   -------------------  -------
  Goldstar       GHD30Y7     611TAxx00001~08400   Home Depot

  Goldstar       DH305Y7     612TAxx00001~00600   Wal-Mart

  Comfort-Aire   BHD-301-C   611TAxx00001~01697   Heat Controller
                             612TAxx00001~04200   Inc.

The dehumidifiers are white with a red shut-off button, controls
for fan speed and humidity control and a front-loading water
bucket. "Goldstar" or "Comfort-Aire" is printed on the front. The
model and serial numbers are printed on the interior of the
dehumidifiers and can be viewed after the water bucket is
removed.  Pictures of the recalled products are available at

The recalled appliances were manufactured in China and sold at
The Home Depot, Walmart and Heat Controller Inc. nationwide from
January 2007 through June 2008 for between $140 and $150.

Consumers should immediately stop using the recalled
dehumidifier, contact LG to determine if it is included in the
recall and return it to an authorized LG service center for a
free repair.  For additional information, contact LG toll-free at
(877) 220-0479 between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., Central Time,
Monday through Friday and between 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.,
Central Time, on Saturday for the location of an authorized LG
service center for the repair, or visit the firm's Web site at

MRT HOLDINGS: Plaintiffs Suspect Related Ponzi Scheme in Tenn.
Tony Rutherford at Huntington News reports that James Clements is
listed as a defendant in the Tennessee securities fraud civil
suit which involves one or more defendants from the Apostolic
Life Church.

In November 2008, a Florida court awarded 600 class action
plaintiffs a total of $50 million dollars in a ponzi scheme
securities fraud trial, according to WTVJ, Miami, Florida.

An attorney for the plaintiffs in that case believe that Clements
and MRT Holdings possibly has a connection to a similar ponzi
scheme in Tennessee.

"We believe some of the money may have been secreted overseas and
we also think that the con man may have gotten conned," said
attorney Jeff Sonn, whose law firm won the judgment.  "Some of
the money was ultimately invested in yet what we believe is
another Ponzi scheme in Tennessee, and now we're going to be
pursuing the promoters in Tennessee as well."

Mark, Mike and Greg Manuel are named in a Tennessee securities
fraud suit along with Clements related to Mpire Holdings, MRT,
LLC and the Momentum Group.


The Manuel Brothers --- Mike, Greg, and Mark --- in the mid 90s
were part of the Manuel Family Band where their three gospel
songs climbed to the Singing News Top Forty. They reached #1 in
the Christian County and County Gospel markets, traveling to
hundreds of churches and concert halls.

In 1996 Mike split from his brothers and moved to Nashville where
he soloed with a progressive country sound. Manuel had fifteen
number one radio singles and over twenty awards from
organizations such as the County Gospel Music Association and was
named 1999 CCMA Male Vocalist of the Year.

The securities fraud civil action filed May 30, 2008 charged them
with selling unlicensed securities and a ponzi scheme.


Ironically, Fort Lauderdale has endured another similar scheme. A
prominent attorney, Scott Rothstein, had been running a scheme
while wining and dining with political elite, such as Florida
Governor Charlie Crist.

Florida's Governor claimed in a Sun-Sentinel interview he had no
reason to suspect his high rolling lawyer friend could be behind
an alleged $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme.

"I give people the benefit of the doubt...Unless I have a reason
to believe that somebody is doing something wrong, then I don't
have a reason to believe they're doing something wrong," the
Florida governor said.  Gov. Crist received major political
contributions from Rothstein.

The U.S. attorney has charged the 47-year-old attorney with five
counts of fraud and racketeering.

A copy of the class action complaint is available from Sonn &
Erez at http://is.gd/5O9km


The bank's complaint against Apostolic Life, et al., alleges that
the on Oct. 14, 2009, "a release of mortgage [and] note prepared
by DigiGreeters, LLC and Mark Shannon Manuel" was recorded in the
Office of the Clerk of the County Commission of Cabell County,

OSI RESTAURANT: Settles Sex-Bias Lawsuit for $19 Million
Kathy Shwiff at Dow Jones Newswires reports that OSI Restaurant
Partners LLC agreed to pay $19 million to settle a class-action
lawsuit alleging sex discrimination against thousands of women at
hundreds of its Outback Steakhouse restaurants.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Outback
discriminated against female employees and denied them equal
opportunities for advancement.

The lawsuit, filed by the EEOC in federal court in Colorado in
2006, said female employees couldn't get promoted to the higher-
level profit-sharing management positions in the restaurants and
were denied favorable job assignments, particularly kitchen
management experience, which was required for employees to be
considered for the top management job.

"There are still too many glass ceilings left to shatter in
workplaces throughout corporate America," said EEOC Acting
Chairman Stuart Ishimaru. "The EEOC will continue to bring class
lawsuits like this one against employers who engage in gender
discrimination on a systemic scale."

In addition to the money, the settlement requires that Outback
launch an online application system for employees interested in
managerial and other supervisory positions; hire a human resource
executive in the newly created position of vice president of
people; employ an outside consultant for at least two years who
will determine compliance with the settlement terms and analyze
data from the online application system to determine whether
women have equal opportunities for promotion.

OSI noted that the settlement includes no finding of fault by
Outback and said it settled with insurance funds because that was
preferable to the cost and distraction of further litigation.

OSI Chief Executive Liz Smith said, "I am very pleased the
company and the EEOC have resolved this legacy issue. There is no
glass ceiling at OSI, and we do not tolerate discrimination in
any form."

RC2 CORP: Agrees to Pay $1.25 Mil. Penalty After Toy Recall
As part of its commitment to protecting the safety of children,
the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) announced
today that RC2 Corp., of Oak Brook, Ill. has agreed to pay a
$1.25 million civil penalty for allegedly violating the federal
lead paint ban.

The penalty settlement, which has been provisionally accepted by
the Commission, resolves CPSC staff allegations that RC2 Corp.
and one of its wholly-owned subsidiaries Learning Curve Brands
Inc., knowingly (as defined by the Consumer Product Safety Act)
imported and sold various Thomas & Friends(tm) Wooden Railway
toys with paints or other surface coatings that contained lead
levels above legal limits. In 1978, a federal ban was put in
place which prohibited toys and other children's articles from
having more than 0.06 percent lead (by weight) in paints or
surface coatings. As a result of the Consumer Product Safety
Improvement Act of 2008, the regulatory limit was reduced to
0.009 percent on August 14, 2009.

CPSC staff alleged that RC2 failed to take adequate action to
ensure that the toys would comply with the lead paint ban. This
failure created a risk of lead poisoning and adverse health
effects to children.

In May 2007, RC2 reported that more than two dozen styles of
vehicles, buildings and other train set components from the
Thomas & Friends(tm) Wooden Railway product line were determined
to have paints with lead levels that exceeded the then-applicable
regulatory limit of 0.06 percent. Later, in August and September
2007, RC2 further reported that five additional toys from this
product line were determined to have exceeded this limit.

This civil penalty settles the following allegations:

   * RC2 imported up to 1.5 million units of non-compliant
     Thomas & Friends(tm) Wooden Railway toys between January
     2005 and June 2007, and distributed them to its retail
     customers for sale to U.S. consumers. These toys were
     recalled in June 2007.

   * RC2 imported up to 200,000 units of five additional non-
     compliant toys from this product line between March 2003 and
     April 2007, and distributed them to its retail customers for
     sale to U.S. consumers. In September 2007, the original June
     2007 recall was expanded to include these additional units.

"The highly publicized recall of Thomas & Friends(tm) Wooden
Railway toys was a catalyst for Congressional action aimed at
strengthening CPSC and making the lead-in-paint limits under
federal law even stricter," said CPSC Chairman Inez Tenenbaum.

This settlement also resolves other potential matters. In
agreeing to the settlement, RC2 denies that it knowingly violated
federal law, as alleged by CPSC staff.

SAN DIEGO: Class Action Suit Seeks Refund of City Taxes
The San Diego Union-Tribune reports that a Mira Mesa, Calif.,
small business owner has filed a class-action lawsuit against the
city of San Diego seeking an estimated $13.5 million in refunds
of fees the city charged to cover the cost of collecting business

From approximately July 2004 through September 2009, San Diego
charged a processing fee when landlords and other businesses paid
their rental unit taxes or sought annual business licenses. The
fee started out at $25 per year but was lowered to $15.

After the 4th District Court of Appeals ruled in favor of two
landlords who argued the fees were illegal taxes, San Diego
dropped them and agreed to refund money collected from landlords
citywide over the past 12 months.

The refund offer, however, did not extend to non-landlord
businesses, and the city is not returning fees collected since
2004 -- the entire duration the fees were in effect -- citing
statutes of limitations.

"We think it's unfair. We think they got it wrong," Eric
Schumacher, owner of Swift Frame Picture Framing in Mira Mesa,
said at a news conference in front of his business last week.

The latest lawsuit could affect tens of thousands of people. Last
year, the city collected taxes from 95,000 businesses and owners
of 67,000 rental units.

Mr. Schumacher is being represented by Edward Teyssier, Esq., a
local libertarian leader and attorney who sued the city on behalf
of the landlords to overturn the processing fee.

Mr. Teyssier said it doesn't make sense for the city to repeal
the fee for everybody, but not refund it to non-landlord

"I think they are indicting themselves when they do that," Mr.
Teyssier said.

He noted that the inconsistency is particularly glaring
considering that the processing fee charged to landlords and non-
landlords were approved on the same day in the same resolution by
the City Council as a way to generate revenue to close a budget

City Attorney Jan Goldsmith said he hasn't seen the lawsuit but
he reiterated his earlier position that the appellate court
ruling only applied to landlords. He said the processing fee
charged to non-landlord businesses is not the same as that levied
on landlords. "The business charge may have a somewhat different
legal analysis as the proceeds were used for city services to
businesses, according to the City Treasurer's Office," Goldsmith
wrote in an email message. "It is certainly a gray area, however,
which is the reason we acted to eliminate the charge going

Mr. Teyssier said a second lawsuit against the city is necessary
because he doesn't believe the city should be allowed to limit
refunds to a 12-month period.  He noted it took almost four years
for the landlords' lawsuits to wind through the court system, and
while the case was being adjudicated, they had to continue paying
the processing fee.

"If the city in this case is allowed to keep any of the fees it
has collected to date, then every other municipality throughout
the state would be emboldened to impose similar, unconstitutional
fees because they would know they would be able to keep, without
penalty, everything they can collect while any legal challenge
winds its way through the courts," the lawsuit said.

Mr. Teyssier has set up a website at http://www.stopfee.org/to  
help businesses file claims against the city.

UNITEDHEALTH GROUP: ETF's Confirm Receipt of Settlement Payments
The SPDR(R) S&P 500 ETF (SPDR Trust, Series I, NYSE:SPY,
The Health Care Select Sector SPDR(R) Fund (NYSE: XLV)
and SPDR(R) Dow Jones Large Cap Growth ETF (NYSE: ELG)
confirmed last week that they collectively received about $13
million in payments as authorized claimants from a class action
settlement related to UnitedHealth Group, Inc.  

UNITED STATES: ACORN Adds Class Action Count to USDA/EEO Suit
On December 21, 2009 Michael McCray, National Spokesman for the
ACORN 8 included a Class Action count in a formal EEO Complaint
Number 19028 filed against USDA yesterday. In the cover letter
addressed to Pearlie Reed, Assistant Secretary for
Administration, Mr. McCray alleges that the entire EEO Process --
as applied -- at USDA has a disparate impact on minority
complainants under Title VII and seeks EEO class certification.  
A USDA civil rights veteran from the Clinton Administration,
Secretary Vilsack tapped Mr. Reed to solve USDA's lingering civil
rights claims.

The Agriculture Department plans to review more than 14,000 civil
rights complaints that have been filed against the agency since
2000.  Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said only a small number
of those complaints were eventually decided against the
department and that 3,000 of the complaints have not even been

"This issue has lingered too long," Vilsack told reporters.
Vilsack said the department would create a task force to review a
sample of the complaints filed in the last nine years, supported
by an independent legal counsel.  On August 24, 2009, U.S.
Senator Blanch Lincoln (D-AR) wrote a letter to Secretary Vilsack
encouraging him to process Mr. McCray's and others unresolved EEO

Ironically, Michael McCray started his career in community
development, and became a whistleblower after he suffered
retaliation for his efforts to ensure that government funds
actually benefited the low and moderate income communities it was
intended to serve; just like he did as a national board delegate
for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now
(ACORN).  McCray alleges that he was demoted, discharged and
"blacklisted" from subsequent federal and non-profit employment
after he reported government waste, fraud and abuse by USDA.

McCray alleges that this case was unusual because USDA officials
refused to cooperate with the investigation or sign their own
affidavits.  "This was the rare case where the complainant
presented a prima fascia case with evidence and collaboration and
the government presented no legitimate defense. No evidence and
no corroboration, but the civil rights division refused to
process the complaints."

Unfortunately, this case was never processed, investigated or
heard.  Mr. McCray established a prima facie case of
discrimination and retaliation with admissible evidence,
eyewitness testimony and legal admissions. However, after 4,380
days (from May 20, 2007) Attorney McCray never received a hearing
or any due process; he alleges due to baseless, dilatory
litigation tactics and reported judicial misconduct amounting to
coordinated judicial wrongdoing. Judicial Complaint No. 03-9
(June 11, 2003).

Undaunted, Mr. McCray continues to fight for the rights of
others; including low and moderate income families and federal
worker's rights as National Spokesperson for the ACORN 8, co-
chair of the International Association of Whistleblowers and
member of the No FEAR Coalition.

The ACORN 8, L.L.C. -- http://www.ACORN8.com/-- is an  
organization of ACORN leaders; current and former board members
who are struggling to reform the association following the
discovery of a multi-million dollar embezzlement; and is
dedicated to empowering low and moderate income people through
advocacy, direct action and integrity in community organizing.

In May 26, 2009, the No FEAR Coalition wrote a letter to
Secretary Vilsack requesting that Michael McCray's prior EEO case
be immediately processed at this time EEO Case Number 990026.
Consequently, the ACORN 8 join with the No FEAR Coalition in
their support of Michael McCray and federal workers rights at

The Associated Press reports that, charges of discrimination at
the department of Agriculture are nothing new. Black farmers,
mostly from the South, have long complained that they have been
consistently denied loans, grants and other assistance by a "good
old boy" network of local USDA field offices. Hispanic and
American Indian farmers have also filed lawsuits against the

"What know now, but didn't know then, was that McCray's case was
not an isolated event, ignoring EEO/whistleblower cases was
business as usual for USDA." states Retired Chief Deputy Marshal
Matthew Fogg. "Secretary Vilsack recently announced his intention
to reopen 14,000 EEO cases over the last ten years; 3,000 of
which were never even processed at all."

Chief Deputy Fogg won a historic $4 Million verdict against the
Justice Department; "declaring the U.S. Marshal's service as a
discriminating agency for African-Americans." Chief Deputy Fogg,
is Co-chair of the No FEAR Coalition and is the EEO
representative for Michael McCray. The No FEAR Coalition is
committed to the full enforcement and implementation of the
Notification of Federal Employees Anti-Discrimination and
Retaliation Act (No FEAR) of 2002 and the introduction of new No
FEAR II legislation.

"It is a shame that USDA could blatantly violate these worker's
civil service protections and constitutional rights." concludes
Chief Deputy Marshal Fogg.

According to the Associated Press, USDA settled a class-action
lawsuit from black farmers, in 1999, agreeing to pay $50,000 plus
tax benefits to those who could show they faced discrimination.
The government has paid out nearly $1 billion in damages on
almost 16,000 claims.

In closing, "Secretary Vilsack promised a New Era for Civil
Rights at USDA," McCray concludes. "We will see how they respond
to the first Class Action filed in this celebrated New Era."

WILHELMENIA MODEL: Five Charities Share $2 Mil. Cy Press Fund
Alison Gendar at the New York Daily News reports that five
women's charities -- including an eating disorder program -- will
share $2 million from a class-action settlement with major
modeling agencies in Fears v. Wilhelmina Model Agency, Case No.
02-CV-4911 (S.D.N.Y.), a federal judge ordered last week.  

The money is what is left over after thousands of aspiring and
established models got their share of a $21 million settlement
with the agencies, including Wilhelmenia, Ford and Click.

The models sued in 2002, claiming the agencies fixed prices. A
settlement was reached in 2005, but legal disputes delayed the
final payouts, court records show.

Manhattan Federal Judge Harold Baer originally ruled that after
the models and their lawyers were paid, the remaining $6 million
would be divvied up among the charities. The models and their
lawyers appealed his decision, and after recalculating the
payouts, a $2 million pool was left.

Baer signed a final order Tuesday that included $347,826 for
Columbia University's eating disorders program and $173,913 for
its heroin detox program.

The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute will receive $86,956
for its "Heart Truth" campaign and New York University School of
Medicine will receive $347,826 for two heart research studies
aimed at women.


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

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