/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/100406.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Tuesday, April 6, 2010, Vol. 12, No. 66


ALLSTATE INSURANCE: High Court Revives Interest Payment Lawsuit
CATERPILLAR INC: Judge Rules Against Retirees in Class Action
CKE RESTAURANTS: Accused of Not Paying Overtime Wages
CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: Sued for Not Honoring Travel Vouchers
CP SHIPS: Settles Investor Class Action Lawsuit for $12.8 Million

EARTHLINK: Settles Early Termination Fee Case for $3.7 Million
HEWLETT-PACKARD CO: Suit Complains About Defective Printers
INDIANA: Foster Parents Allege Violations of Social Security Act
MERCK & CO: Legal-Fee-Only Merger Settlement Approved in D. N.J.
MERRILL LYNCH: S.D.N.Y. Dismisses Auction Rate Securities Suit

MISTRAS GROUP: Charged with Non-Payment of Wages
MOUNTAINS RECREATION: Sued for Illegal Enforcement of Ordinance
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA: U.S. High Court Hears Border Battle Arguments
NATIONAL CREDIT UNION: Small Fla. Credit Union Sues Association
NEW MEXICO: Cockfighters' Class Action Lawsuit Eviscerated

NUPLEX RESINS: Kentucky Chemical Spill Triggers Class Action Suit
ONCOR ELECTRIC: Suit Complains About Smart Meter Overcharges
ONTARIO LOTTERY: Ontario Court Rejects Class Action Lawsuit
OZ MINERALS: Files Cross-Claim In Shareholder Suit Against KPMG
PRATT & WHITNEY: First Cancer Cluster Case Filed in S.D. Fla.

PREMIER BUILDING: Violations of Labor Code Alleged
REDBOX: Moves to Dismiss Class Action Remanded to St. Clair Cty.
RENZENBERGER INC: Sued for Non-Payment of Overtime Wages
SCHERING-PLOUGH: Wins Dismissal of Generic Drug Pay-Off Suit
SONY CORPORATION: Accused of Jacking Up Optical Disk Drive Prices

STRYKER CORP: Directors Accused of Violating Antitrust Law
TECHWELL INC: Being Sold Through Unfair Process, Suit Claims
TENNESSEE VALLEY: Loses Motion to Dismiss Kingston Coal Ash Suit
TFT-LCD LITIGATION: Flat Panel Purchaser Class Certified
WACHOVIA BANK: Muni Issuers' Suit Survives Motions to Dismiss

XCELERA INC: Breach of Fiduciary Duties Alleged
YAMAHA MOTOR: Miss. Suit Alleges Fatal Yamaha Rhino Design Flaws


ALLSTATE INSURANCE: High Court Revives Interest Payment Lawsuit
Maria Dinzeo at Courthouse News Service reports that a hospital
can sue Allstate Insurance for interest that accrued on overdue
benefits, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 vote.  The decision
reverses the United States Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit's finding that Shady Grove Orthopedic Association was
prohibited by New York law from bringing a class action against
the insurance giant.  In dismissing the action, the Second
Circuit had affirmed a lower court's decision that Shady Grove
was precluded from proceeding with its class action, since it was
only seeking to recover unpaid interest "and the suit did not
belong in federal court."

Writing the opinion for the Supreme Court, Justice Antonin Scalia
said Shady Grove's lawsuit may proceed as a class action on
behalf of all medical providers who were denied interest on
overdue benefits from Allstate.

He said federal rules preempt New York law in this case without
significantly interfering with state's rights.

Justice John Paul Stevens wrote, "It is important to observe that
the balance Congress has struck turns, in part, on the nature of
the state law that is being displaced by a federal rule."  While
"that does not mean the federal rule always governs," Judge
Stevens wrote, in this case, state law can be displaced.

A copy of the decision in Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates, P.A.
v. Allstate Insurance Co., No. 08-1008 (U.S.), is available at:


Before the High Court, Shady Grove Orthopedic Associates, P.A.,
is represented by:

          Scott L. Nelson, Esq.
          1600 20th Street, N.W.
          Washington, DC 20009
          Telephone: (202) 588-7724
          E-mail: snelson@citizen.org

               - and -  

          John S. Spadaro, Esq.
          724 Yorklyn Road, Suite 375
          Hockessin, DE 19707
          Telephone: (302) 235-7745

Allstate Insurance Company is represented by:

          Christopher Landau, Esq.
          655 Fifteenth Street, N.W.
          Washington, DC 20005-5793
          Telephone: (202) 879-5087
          E-mail: clandau@kirkland.com

               - and -  

          Andrew Thomas Hahn, Esq.
          620 Eight Avenue, 32nd Floor
          New York, NY 10018
          Telephone: (212)-218-5554

Partnership for New York City, Inc., et al., are represented by:

          Douglas W. Dunham, Esq.
          Four Times Square
          New York, NY 10036
          Telephone: (212) 735-3000
          E-mail: douglas.dunham@skadden.com

and Public Justice is represented by:

          Amanda Frost, Esq.
          4801 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.
          Washington, DC  20016
          Telephone: (202) 274-4046

CATERPILLAR INC: Judge Rules Against Retirees in Class Action
Paul Gordon of The Journal Star reports at pjstar.com that
Caterpillar Inc. retirees and surviving spouses in class action
lawsuits against the company sustained another blow when a
federal judge ruled only a portion were entitled to health
insurance without premiums, but not without ancillary charges.

U.S. District Court Judge Aleta Trauger issued judgments that the
retirees in question are not eligible for free health care for
life, as Caterpillar provided pre-1988 retirees.

Caterpillar is precluded from charging premiums to some surviving
spouses, but is permitted to charge ancillary costs, such as
deductibles and co-payments.

Trauger acted on earlier rulings by the U.S. Court of Appeals for
the 6th Circuit in dismissing some claims, then ruled on others
in a summary judgment that encompassed both cases -- including
subclasses of plaintiffs -- and may preclude the need for trial.

Trauger also dismissed a third-party lawsuit Caterpillar filed
against the United Auto Workers, a suit in which the company
claimed the union breached the labor contract by supporting the
retirees in their lawsuits.

Attorneys representing the retirees declined to comment at this

Caterpillar issued a brief statement that said, "Caterpillar is
pleased the court has dismissed the claims made by the vast
majority of individuals involved in this matter. On the issues
the court resolved in favor of a small number of plaintiffs,
Caterpillar is evaluating next steps, including an appeal."

The company said it is also considering possible next steps
concerning the dismissal of the claim against the UAW, including
an appeal.

"Caterpillar filed this claim against the UAW to ensure that the
union lives up to the contract terms that the parties negotiated
and agreed to in 1998 and 2004. This union held itself out during
those negotiations as the representative of the retiree
plaintiffs, as it had throughout the parties' long bargaining
relationship," the statement said.

Although related, the cases were never consolidated. Both center
on the question of whether retirees and the surviving spouses of
those who left after 1992 were eligible to receive free lifetime
medical coverage, as Caterpillar promised in earlier labor

One case was filed by retirees Gary Winnett and Fred Jackson-
Chittum and other retirees and surviving spouses who contend
provisions of the 1988-1991 contract remained in effect until a
new contract was ratified in 1998. It was filed in Nashville,
Tenn., now the home of Winnett.

Caterpillar contends it capped retiree health benefits in 1992
and, thus, those who retired between then and the 1998 contract
were not eligible for free lifetime medical benefits.

The court agreed, saying vestment in the lifetime health care
plan took effect when the employees retired, not on the date they
became eligible for the benefit but kept working.

Most of the 4,000 plaintiffs of the lawsuit retired when there
was no labor contract in effect between Caterpillar and the
United Auto Workers. The 1988 contract granting the benefit
expired in 1991, and the 1998 contract did not grant the benefit.

The other retirees' lawsuit was filed by surviving spouses of
Caterpillar employees who retired between March 16, 1998, and
Jan. 10, 2005, the date the current contract took effect. It also
claims the spouses should be eligible for free lifetime medical
care, with the question of when the retirees became vested to
receive that benefit.

The court ruled a portion of those spouses would continue to get
insurance without paying premiums but would be subject to the
other costs.

CKE RESTAURANTS: Accused of Not Paying Overtime Wages
Belinda Pinto, on behalf of herself and others similarly situated
v. CKE Restaurants,Inc., Case No. 2010-00357288 (Calif. Super.
Ct., Orange Cty. Mar. 25, 2010), accuses the restaurant operator
of failing to pay overtime wages, not providing meal and rest
periods, and not paying all wages due on termination of
employment, in violation of the Labor Code and the Business &
Professions Code.

The Plaintiff asks for a jury trial and is represented by:

          Roger R. Carter, Esq.
          2030 Main St., Suite 1300
          Irvine, CA 92614
          Telephone: (949) 260-4737

               - and -

          Scott B. Cooper, Esq.
          2030 Main St., Suite 1300
          Irvine, CA 92614
          Telephone: (949) 724-9200

               - and -
          Marc H. Phelps, Esq.
          9595 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 900
          Beverly Hills, CA 90212
          Telephone: (310) 492-04370  

EARTHLINK: Settles Early Termination Fee Case for $3.7 Million
Greg Land at the Fulton County Daily reports that Atlanta-based
Internet service provider EarthLink has settled a long-running
class action suit alleging that it improperly levied early
termination fees against its customers. Among the settlement
conditions, EarthLink agreed to lower its current fees, refund
half of the fees to as many as 850,000 potential class members,
and drop any efforts to collect outstanding fees or report
customers owing such fees to credit reporting bureaus.

The settlement also promises to pay $3.7 million in attorney fees
and expenses, and three class representatives will each receive
$7,500 in "incentive awards."

"We think the result is an excellent one for the class," said
Page Perry partner David J. Worley, who served as local counsel
in the action, along with Bruce V. Spiva and Kathleen R. Hartnett
of Washington, D.C.'s Spiva & Hartnett.

Worley also had kind words for former Georgia Gov. Roy E. Barnes,
who argued the plaintiffs' case before the Georgia Court of
Appeals last year after a Fulton County Superior Court judge had
thrown most of it out on a summary judgment motion.

"Gov. Barnes argued the appeal for us, and we thought it went
very well in the Court of Appeals," said Worley.

Spiva agreed and said the resolution of the suit was a good
result for the plaintiffs. "It has something for all members of
the class," he said, "both current EarthLink customers and former
ones who paid the fees, and who will have an opportunity to get
half their money back if they send in the claim form."

EarthLink was represented by a team of McKenna Long & Aldridge
lawyers including partners David L. Balser, Nathan L. Garroway
and Lawrence A. Slovensky, and of counsel Tracy L. Klingler.

"This is a beneficial settlement that allows EarthLink to move
forward without the costs and risks of further litigation," read
a statement provided by Slovensky, who handled the settlement

The case began in 2005, when plaintiffs Deborah Eaves, William
O'Hara and David Tegart filed a class action claiming that
EarthLink, which charged a $149.99 early termination fee for
customers who terminated their service agreement before one year
had elapsed, had levied the fees despite all three having been
EarthLink customers for a much longer term.

The plaintiffs said EarthLink had charged Eaves' credit card for
the fee after she upgraded to DSL service and, dissatisfied, went
back to dial-up service one week later despite having been
assured she could switch back with no penalty. The suit said
EarthLink restarted the clock on O'Hara each time he moved over a
period of several years, even though he remained an EarthLink
customer, and eventually hit him with the fee when he moved to a
location where DSL was not available and he wanted to change to
the provider's cable service. Tegart was charged the fee when he
moved from one section of the city to another section, according
to the suit.

In their complaint, the plaintiffs charged that EarthLink's
billing practices were deceptive and designed to extract improper
fees and to deter customers from seeking other Internet
providers. They also characterized the amount of the fees as

The suit sought monetary damages on behalf of customers who had
been charged the fees, and injunctive relief seeking to modify
EarthLink's practices regarding current and future customers.

In February 2009, Fulton County Superior Court Senior Judge Alice
D. Bonner, sitting in the court's Business Division, ruled that
the dissatisfied customers had voluntarily signed agreements with
EarthLink that clearly stated the fees would be applied in the
case of early termination and had provided their credit card
numbers to the service provider as a means for it to collect any
charges to their account.

Georgia's "voluntary payment doctrine," which declares that
payments made "through ignorance of the law or where all the
facts are known and there is no misplaced confidence and no
artifice, deception, or fraudulent practice" involved cannot be
recovered, wrote Bonner, barred any damage claims made by the
customers who had already paid the fees.

In their arguments to the Court of Appeals, the plaintiffs
lawyers said that, contrary to EarthLink's position, the
provider's contracts made no mention of automatically deducting
the fees.

"Plaintiffs have cited numerous cases making clear that the
voluntary payment doctrine applies only where -- unlike here --
customers are billed for charges and then choose voluntarily to
pay the charges rather than dispute them," says the plaintiffs'
brief filed with the appellate court.

"The voluntary payment doctrine is not a limitless device to
prevent valid claims by customers, such as plaintiffs, who had no
reasonable opportunity to dispute the charges at issue," it said.

"At the time of the settlement, the damage claim had been wiped
out by Judge Bonner," said Spiva. "We felt confident that we were
going to win that appeal ... [but] this was a disputed case, and
any settlement involves an element of compromise on both sides."

Even so, he said, there are "significant benefits" to the
plaintiff class. "[EarthLink] has agreed to drop their early
termination fee for residential DSL from $149.95 to $90, so
that's significant, and they've agreed to a comparable reduction
in their other services."

In addition to that reduction, the terms of the settlement call
for a similar reduction in EarthLink's DSL and home telephone
fee, and a reduction from $79.95 to $48 for the company's home
networking service.

After six months, the applicable fee will be cut in half for
anyone who incurs such a fee.

EarthLink will discontinue any effort to collect outstanding fees
and will "take steps to clear credit with respect to any prior
ETF balances reported to credit and/or collection agencies,"
according to the agreement.

The provider also agrees not to restart the clock after a 12-
month term has been completed for the same product, unless a new
contract requires the installation of new equipment.

EarthLink already has mailed 859,664 notices to customers it has
identified as having paid the fees, who will have four months
from the date the settlement is finalized to send in a claim form
or reply via a claims Web site; claimants whose forms are
"substantially accurate" will be eligible to a refund of one-half
of their fee.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Melvin K. Westmoreland,
filling in for Bonner, issued preliminary approval of the
settlement in February; a final approval hearing is set for May

The settlement also provides for $3.7 million in attorney fees
and costs.

"We think the attorney fees are fair, given that we litigated it
for five years," said Spiva. "We're also proud that the
attorneys' fees don't impinge on the recovery; even if everyone
makes a claim, everyone gets a recovery."

The case is Eaves v. EarthLink, No. 05-CV-97274.

CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: Sued for Not Honoring Travel Vouchers
Continental Airlines stopped honoring vouchers it issued for
"extremely discounted prices" on tickets, a class action claims
in Essex County Court, Newark.  Federal prosecutors have charged
the agent who allegedly sold the vouchers with wire fraud, in

A copy of the Complaint in Berger, et al. v. Continental
Airlines, Inc., et al., Docket No. L-2282-10 (N.J. Super. Ct.,
Essex Cty.), is available at:

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Jeffrey Schreiber, Esq.
          Williamsburg Commons
          2G Auer Court
          East Brunswick, NJ 08816
          Telephone: 732-432-0073

CP SHIPS: Settles Investor Class Action Lawsuit for $12.8 Million
LawyersAndSettlements.com reports that a $12.8 million settlement
has been reached in the securities class action brought by
investors in CP Ships Ltd.

The class action was brought on allegations that the company had
overstated its profits in 2004, and faced charges of insider
trading. The company was sold in a takeover to Germany's TUI AG
in 2005.

Anyone who bought CP Ships securities between January 29, 2003,
and August 9, 2004, or who held CP Ships securities on Aug. 9
2004, should file their claims by June 7, 2010.

HEWLETT-PACKARD CO: Suit Complains About Defective Printers
Courthouse News Service reports that Hewlett-Packard's Jet Pro
All-in-One 8500 Series printers skip pages when copying, scanning
and faxing, according to a class action in Santa Clara County
Court, Calif.

A copy of the Complaint in Kowalsky v. Hewlett-Packard Company,
et al., Case No. 1-10-CV-167923 (Calif. Super. Ct., Santa Clara
Cty.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jordan L. Lurie, Esq.
          Zev B. Zysman, Esq.
          WEISS & LURIE
          10940 Wilshire Blvd., 23rd Floor
          Los Angeles, CA 90024
          Telephone: 310-208-2800
          E-mail: jlurie@weisslurie.com

INDIANA: Foster Parents Allege Violations of Social Security Act
Dan McCue at Courthouse News Service reports that foster parents
say in a federal class action that the State of Indiana is
forcing them to give up 25 percent of their federally mandated
per diem allowance for children with special needs, in violation
of the Social Security Act.  It's the latest in a series of class
actions across the nation that accuses states of trying to
balance their budgets on the backs of the vulnerable.

A copy of the Complaint in P.C., et al. v. Indiana Department of
Child Services, Case No. 10-cv-00381 (S.D. Ind.), is available


The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Kenneth J. Falk, Esq.
          Gavin M. Rose, Esq.
          1031 E. Washington St.
          Indianapolis, IN 46202
          Tel: 317-635-4059
          E-mail: kfalk@aclu-in.org

MERCK & CO: Legal-Fee-Only Merger Settlement Approved in D. N.J.
Mary Pat Gallagher at the New Jersey Law Journal reports that a
class action suit over the merger of drug giants Merck and
Schering-Plough has ended in a settlement that pays nothing to
the class but $3.5 million in fees to class counsel.

But a federal judge approved it nevertheless, finding counsel
provided a substantial benefit to the class because the suit,
alleging "material deficiencies" in the proxy statement sent to
shareholders before the merger vote, triggered the disclosure of
additional information.

Disposing of objections, U.S. District Judge Dennis Cavanaugh
held on March 26 that a common benefit was rendered because
"extended disclosures permitting the shareholders to exercise a
fully informed decision" would not have occurred but for "Class
Counsel's hard fought negotiation with Defense Counsel."

The class counsel were Carella Byrne Cecchi Olstein Brody &
Agnello of Roseland, N.J., and Grant & Eisenhofer of New York.

Objections to the settlement were lodged by five members out of
an estimated class of 450,000 who held Schering common stock,
between March 8, 2009, and Nov. 3, 2009, the date the merger was

The merger left Schering as the surviving company, renamed as
Merck & Co. Schering shareholders received 0.5767 shares of new
Merck stock and $10.50 in cash for each share. Those in the
original Merck obtained shares in the new entity on a one-to-one

In his ruling, Cavanaugh also denied a request by one objector --
Allan Marain, a New Brunswick solo -- for sanctions against class
counsel for suing so quickly after the merger was announced that
they failed to ascertain if there was a basis for the suit.

The merger was announced March 9, 2009, and the first of 15
suits, 11 in state court and four in federal court, was filed the
next day, seeking to block it. The plaintiffs alleged that
Schering's directors breached their fiduciary duty in approving
the merger because they failed to perform appropriate due
diligence beforehand and the merger terms were unfavorable to
Schering shareholders.

All the suits were eventually consolidated in federal court in
Newark under the caption In re Schering-Plough/Merck Merger
Litigation, 09-cv-1099.

After the suits were filed, Schering and Merck issued a joint
preliminary proxy statement on May 20.

Subsequently, a consolidated complaint, filed June 3, alleged
that the disclosures in the proxy were misleading and incomplete.
Other added allegations focused on the timing of the merger
announcement, three days before an article in the medical journal
Lancet described TRA, a drug in the Schering pipeline, as an
expected blockbuster, lending support for the contention that
Schering shares were undervalued in the merger agreement.

On June 16, 2009, 13 days after those new allegations were made,
Schering and Merck amended the proxy statement, providing
additional disclosures.

The amended statement revealed the fees paid to Schering's and
Merck's financial advisers, Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Morgan
Stanley & Co., including what percentage was contingent on the
merger. It also divulged the existence of a pending arbitration
in which Johnson & Johnson was seeking to terminate a
distribution contract worth more than $2 billion per year to

With the merger vote set for August, the parties agreed to
accelerated discovery and briefing so that Cavanaugh could decide
by the end of July whether to enjoin the vote.

The results of the discovery process, which included review of
180,000 pages of documents and the deposition of Schering's CEO
and Chairman Fred Hassan, "tended to confirm Schering's
representations" in the proxy that its board of directors
considered merger partners other than Merck and that they
negotiated the merger in good faith and at arm's-length, and also
showed the board had not considered the timing of the release of
the Lancet article relative to the timing of the merger
announcement, Cavanaugh said in his ruling.

Based on the discovery, class counsel wanted a preliminary
injunction barring a merger vote until additional disclosures
were made but the defendants agreed to make the disclosures
without an injunction.

On July 24, Schering disclosed in a Form 8-K, that it did not
consider the Lancet article in deciding whether to merge with
Merck or when to go public on it. The 8-K included a chart
showing Schering and Merck stock prices just before and after the
merger announcement, along with a timeline of major disclosures
of TRA trial results and information on other potential suitors
considered and on the negotiation of "deal protection" provisions
in the merger agreement. The class complaint was attached as an
exhibit to the 8-K.

The merger was approved by a 99.1 percent vote on Aug. 7 and the
parties mediated the settlement and fees, aided by retired judge
Nicholas Politan.

Class counsel James Cecchi, of Carella Byrne, says it is crucial
for shareholders to have complete information before voting and
it is "quite common in cases such as this to have the settlement
consist of supplemental disclosures."

Besides Marain, the other objectors focused on the class
counsel's fees, which represented a 2.18 multiplier on a lodestar
of $1,606,466. Cavanaugh dispensed with all the objections,
finding that there was sufficient benefit to the class to approve
the settlement and fees.

Marain's lawyer, Metuchen solo Mark Silber, says he will appeal.
Class counsel "should collect something in order to get a fee but
here they collected nothing and still get a $3.5 million fee
based on what they got in discovery," he says

Maureen Ruane, of Lowenstein Sandler in Roseland, attorney for
the defendants, did not return a call requesting comment.

MERRILL LYNCH: S.D.N.Y. Dismisses Auction Rate Securities Suit
Securities Industry News reports that Merrill Lynch has won
another lawsuit which alleged fraudulent conduct in the auction-
rate securities market.

A New York judge on Wednesday dismissed a class-action suit
against Merrill, a unit of Bank of America. U.S. District Judge
Loretta Preska ruled that Merrill could not have manipulated the
market by propping up the auctions with its own bids because it
disclosed to investors that it participated in the bidding.

The ruling marks the seventh court victory for Merrill since the
$330 billion auction-rate market collapsed in February 2008.

Preska said that Merrill's participation in the auctions was
disclosed on its website and prospectuses. The fact that Merrill
also disclosed the lack of action failures in the past didn't
indicate the market's sound health. Auction-rate securities are
municipal, corporate bonds and preferred stock whose rates of
return are reset periodically through auctions.

"The market is not misled when a transaction's terms are fully
disclosed," said Preska in her ruling on Wednesday. "The fact
that Merrill Lynch could prevent failed auctions through the
placement of support bids was disclosed in numerous publicly
available documents. The plaintiffs took the opportunity to
purchase ARS on their own initiative without availing themselves
of the opportunity to detect the alleged fraud."

Merrill Lynch is one of several Wall Street giants to have
survived the wave of litigation against brokerages over
fraudulent practices in the auction-rate market.

All of the suits have accused brokerages - including Citi; UBS;
Raymond James and Deutsche Bank - of fraudulently promoting
auction-rate securities as safe investments when they eventually
became illiquid. Investors have also claimed that the brokerages
didn't properly reveal that they took part in the auction

Judges have ruled that investors either failed to prove they lost
any money or they did not satisfy the requirements of federal
securities law. On March 24, U.S. District Judge Alvin
Hellerstein dismissed a complaint against Deutsche Bank, saying
the investors had to refile by April 23.

MISTRAS GROUP: Charged with Non-Payment of Wages
Stephen L. Ballard, on behalf of himself and others similarly
situated v. Mistras Group, Inc., et al., Case No. BC434699
(Calif. Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cty. Mar. 29, 2010), charges the
engineering services company with non-payment of wages and not
paying wages at time of termination, and other violations of the
California Labor Code and the Business & Professions Code.

The Plaintiff asks for a jury trial and is represented by:

          William S. Waldo, Esq.
          Michael J. Bononi, Esq.
          Amy Patton, Esq.
          915 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1950
          Los Angeles, CA 90017
          Telephone: (213) 553-9200

MOUNTAINS RECREATION: Sued for Illegal Enforcement of Ordinance  
Gareth Estwick, Jodi Lynn Bice, and Phillip Wayne Robbins Jr., on
behalf of themselves and others similarly situated v. Mountains
Recreation and Conservation Authority, Case No. BC434783 (Calif.
Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cty. Mar. 29, 2010), asserts violations
of the California Bus. & Prof. Code through the government
agency's illegal enforcement of its stop sign photo enforcement
program. Ms. Bice and Mr. Estwick, who are husband-and-wife, say
they received a citation from MRCA for failing to come to a
complete stop while driving through Temescal Canyon Gateway Park,
a park operated by MRCA, on September 21, 2008.  Because Mr.
Estwick and Ms. Bice believe the ordinance is inconsistent with
the California Vehicle Code and therefore illegal, they declined
to pay the $100 penalty.  Under protest, Mr. Estwick and Ms. Bice
eventually ended up paying the $100 fine, a $37.50 late fee, and
a $3.78 credit card processing fee.  The Plaintiffs ask the Court
to enjoin the Defendants from enforcing its enforcement program,
and to refund all amounts illegally collected.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Michael D. Braun, Esq.
          BRAUN LAW GROUP, P.C.
          10680 W. Pico Blvd., Suite 280
          Los Angeles, CA 90064
          Telephone: (310) 836-6000
          E-mail: service@braunlawgroup.com

               - and -

          Roy A. Katriel, Esq.
          12707 High Bluff Drive, Suite 200
          San Diego, CA 92130
          Telephone: (858) 350-4342
          E-mail: rak@katriellaw.com

               - and -

          Steven Boyers, Esq.
          15135 W. Sunset Blvd., Suite 220
          Los Angeles, CA 90272
          Telephone: (310) 573-9100

NATIONAL AUSTRALIA: U.S. High Court Hears Border Battle Arguments
Tony Mauro at The National Law Journal reports that "foreign-
cubed" is the name of the latest legal nemesis that keeps lawyers
for companies ranging from Toyota to Vivendi up at night.

The term refers to securities class action litigation in which
the investors are foreign, the issuers are foreign and the
fraudulent conduct took place on foreign soil. And yet, because
of some company tie to the United States, large or minuscule,
they end up in U.S. courts, where plaintiffs usually can do a lot
better than if the suits were filed abroad.

Six years after the moniker was first coined, a foreign-cubed
suit has made its way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which heard the
case, Morrison v. National Australia Bank, late last month.
Foreign investors accused Australia's largest bank of fraud
involving a Florida subsidiary, but the bank insists all of the
disputed activity took place in Australia. So far, the bank has

Foreign companies and countries have flooded the Court with
friend of the court briefs, signaling the importance of the case
worldwide. Even parties litigating over the Toyota safety
meltdown are watching; several securities class actions have been
filed in federal courts against the company, which trades on the
Tokyo Stock Exchange, based on statements made by Toyota
officials in Japan.

The case comes to a Court that has grown increasingly skeptical
about U.S. courts exerting extraterritorial jurisdiction. In the
2007 case Microsoft v. AT&T, a 7-1 majority spoke approvingly of
the presumption that "United States law governs domestically but
does not rule the world." Three years earlier, in Hoffman-LaRoche
v. Empagran, a unanimous Court said extending the reach of
American antitrust laws too far into foreign situations would be
"an act of legal imperialism."


There is broad concern on the Court and overseas about "the
exporting of American law," said Andrew Pincus, a Mayer Brown
partner in Washington who authored a brief for the International
Chamber of Commerce and other foreign business associations.
Other countries have their own well-developed ways of dealing
with fraud, so Pincus wrote in his brief that "applying U.S. law
to deceptive devices or contrivances that occur abroad,
effectively trumping non-U.S. policy choices, significantly
undermines comity." France, for example, relies on government
enforcement, not private suits, and class actions are unavailable
altogether in Germany. Fraud-on-the-market claims are unheard of
in many countries, but not in the United States.

Domestically, critics have voiced another concern about foreign-
cubed: Exposing foreign companies to class actions in the United
States based merely on the existence of an American subsidiary or
listing on a U.S. exchange will discourage foreign investment

"There could be severe economic consequences," said Robin Conrad,
executive vice president of the National Chamber Litigation
Center, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's public policy law firm.
"Foreign companies will de-list from American exchanges and our
position as the economic capital of the world will be

She said foreign companies are "scared to death" about U.S. class
actions and many joined to file briefs in the Morrison case. Most
have called on New York law firms to file briefs, giving the case
a Manhattan profile before a Court that is used to hearing from
Washington-based Supreme Court specialists. "The briefing is top-
heavy with New York firms," Conrad said. "Companies involved in
the foreign markets are accustomed to looking to the New York law

Most notable among foreign companies filing, she said, is
Vivendi, the French communications firm that was hit with a
securities class action in New York in 2002. The company, whose
common stock is not listed on any U.S. exchange, challenged the
suit on jurisdictional grounds. It lost, and a U.S. jury in
January returned a verdict that could cost the company more than
$9 billion.

The Australia case could have a "substantial impact" on the
ultimate outcome of the Vivendi appeal and others currently
pending, said Ira Feinberg of Hogan & Hartson's New York office,
who filed a brief for Vivendi and other European companies facing
suits in U.S. courts.

Plaintiffs lawyers have countered that the parade of horribles is
overblown. "We are confident the Court will cut through any
rhetoric with respect to this matter and will analyze it
carefully in light of the competing interests and the factual
allegations," said Thomas Dubbs of Labaton Sucharow in New York,
who will argue for the Australian plaintiffs before the high

Another plaintiffs-side brief in the case argues that banishing
foreign-cubed class actions would turn the United States into a
safe haven for securities fraud.

"Without this protection, perpetrators of securities fraud within
the United States are able to 'export' the consequences of their
misdeeds with little or no risk of being held responsible," said
Allyn Lite of Lite DePalma Greenberg in Newark, N.J., in a brief
for two Australian investor groups.

In the case before the high court, Australian plaintiffs claim
that U.S.-based officials of the bank's Florida subsidiary
HomeSide Lending, a mortgage service company, overvalued its
mortgage portfolio in 1998. Those officials transmitted the
fraudulent information back to Australia, misleading shareholders
in that country. Eventually, company officials resigned and the
bank announced writedowns totaling more than 3 billion Australian

"The fraudulent scheme occurred in Florida," Dubbs asserted in
his brief. But the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of New York found otherwise, ruling in 2006 that its jurisdiction
was limited to securities transactions in the United States.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in 2008 on the
ground that the Australian company's actions within the United
States did not "directly cause" the harm to the aggrieved
investors. The Australian headquarters office was responsible for
statements to investors, the panel ruled -- even though it
acknowledged that the Florida subsidiary "may have been the
original source of the problematic numbers." The ruling by Judge
Barrington Parker also noted the "striking absence" of evidence
that the fraud affected American investors or markets.

The appeals panel concluded, "We are an American court, not the
world's court, and we cannot and should not expend our resources
resolving cases that do not affect Americans or involve fraud
emanating from America." Other members of the panel were judges
Jon Newman and Guido Calabresi. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who was
a 2nd Circuit judge at the time of the decision, has recused from
considering the case at the Supreme Court.


The issue before the high court will be the standard used for
assessing whether a suit has enough of a U.S. connection to
justify jurisdiction in foreign-cubed suits.

On that point, there is an odd alignment among the parties.

At earlier stages in the case, the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission sided with the plaintiffs in asserting that U.S.
courts had jurisdiction over the Australia bank dispute. But at
the Supreme Court, the solicitor general filed a brief siding
with the defendant bank, urging the Court to adopt a standard
that would exclude the Australia bank litigation.

But the bank, even though it won under the 2nd Circuit standard
and could win if the solicitor general's standard were adopted,
would just as soon use neither. Criticizing the "we-know-it-when-
we-see-it jurisprudence" that has evolved in foreign securities
cases thus far, the bank's lawyer, George Conway III of Wachtell,
Lipton, Rosen & Katz, urges a bright-line rule that rules out
foreign-cubed cases involving foreign harms and foreign
securities altogether.

"Why should American law supplant Australian's own determination
about how best to protect Australian investors from allegedly
fraudulent conduct engaged in significant part by an Australian
company?" asked Conway in his brief. Conway will argue the case
for the bank today.

The plaintiffs, for their part, are urging the high court to
adopt the solicitor general's proposed standard -- even though
the solicitor general sided with the bank. Under the government
standard, U.S. courts would have jurisdiction over foreign-cubed
cases if the company's disputed conduct in the United States was
"material to the fraud's success."

Most of all, says Marc Gottridge, managing U.S. partner of
Lovells in New York, foreign companies are looking for an end to
the array of subjective and confusing standards that now
determine when they have to face securities suits in the United

"Has there been a flood of hundreds of cases? No there has not,"
said Gottridge, who represents numerous foreign firms but none
involved in the case before the Court. "But what you have now is
chaos. You can't have litigation going on for years and still not
know if the case even belongs in court. We hope the Court will
put the confusion to rest."

                            *   *   *   

Following oral argument before the High Court, Mr. Mauro reports
that the U.S. Supreme Court justices appeared hostile toward so-
called "foreign-cubed" securities fraud class actions in which
the plaintiffs and stock issuers are foreign and the alleged
fraud took place on foreign soil.

The Court heard arguments in Morrison v. National Australia Bank,
brought by Australian investors in U.S. courts to challenge
statements made by Australia's largest bank. A district court
judge and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the
bank in finding no U.S. jurisdiction over the suit.

International companies and foreign governments including France,
the United Kingdom and Australia, filed briefs in the case
arguing against jurisdiction for U.S. courts. Even though class
actions have been reined in lately, plaintiffs face more
favorable rules here than they would in most foreign courts. The
briefs by the foreign nations assert that if the Australian bank
loses, U.S. courts will interfere with the policy choices they
have made in regulating securities.

Speaking of the case before the Court, Justice Ruth Bader
Ginsburg said at one point, "It has Australia written all over
it." She added, "Isn't the most appropriate choice the law of
Australia rather than the law of the United States?"

Thomas Dubbs of Labaton Sucharow in New York, who represents the
plaintiffs, said that, "From our point of view, it has Florida
written all over it." He asserted that the inaccurate information
that misled Australian investors was generated in Florida, the
base of HomeSide Lending, a bank subsidiary that allegedly
overvalued its portfolio in 1998. The subsidiary, a mortgage
services company, had "2 million American homes" in its
portfolio, Mr. Dubbs said, giving the fraud enough of a U.S.
connection to give U.S. federal courts jurisdiction.

But Justice Ginsburg was unconvinced, noting that the information
provided by the Florida subsidiary was made public in Australian
securities filings. "The communication was done in Australia by
the Australian bank," she said.

That kind of exchange was repeated with other justices who showed
skepticism that this kind of litigation belonged in U.S. courts.

"Wouldn't your clients have adequate remedy under Australian law
in Australia, in the Australian court system?" asked Justice
Samuel Alito Jr. And even if the remedy is not adequate, Justice
Alito said, "what United States interest is there?"

"We might or we might not," said Mr. Dubbs, adding that U.S.
courts have an interest in punishing fraud that originates within
its borders.

"You are dragging the American courts into it," said Justice
Antonin Scalia, dubiously.  When Mr. Dubbs replied that "a
misrepresentation was made in the United States," Justice Scalia
shot back, "Not to these plaintiffs." The Australian bank made
those misrepresentations in Australia, Justice Scalia was

George Conway III of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, the lawyer
for the Australian bank, had an easier time at the podium. He
argued that a "presumption against extraterritoriality" has been
imbedded in U.S. law since the Charming Betsy case of 1804. U.S.
securities law has "nothing that comes even close" to a clear
statement stating its intention that the law should cover
disputes like the one before the Court.

Matthew Roberts, assistant to the U.S. solicitor general,
advanced the government's fence-straddling argument against a
private cause of action in the Australia bank case, but in favor
of jurisdiction for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
itself to pursue the case. "Significant conduct material to the
fraud's success occurred in the United States," Roberts said.

But even that position ran into some skepticism. "Do you have any
indication that our friends around the world are comfortable with
your test?" asked Chief Justice John Roberts Jr.

The high court may have been particularly sensitive to how
foreigners viewed the case on Monday. Before the arguments began,
the chief justice announced that six justices of the Supreme
Court of Canada were in the Court chamber as part of a legal
exchange between the two countries.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor left the courtroom as arguments began,
reflecting her decision to recuse in the case.  She was on the
2nd Circuit when that court issued its decision in 2008.

NATIONAL CREDIT UNION: Small Fla. Credit Union Sues Association
Saying it is tired of being "abused" by the National Credit Union
Administration, the American Banker reports, one small credit
union in Jacksonville, Fla., is preparing what it hopes to become
a class-action lawsuit against the federal regulator.

Jacksonville Fireman's Credit Union is planning to sue the NCUA
over the special assessments charged to retail credit unions to
pay for corporate credit union failures.

"We feel like the NCUA has been negligent and derelict of their
duties as far as the oversight of the corporate credit unions,"
Executive VP Thomas Smith said, arguing that corporates should be
forced to carry the burden over the long-term. "When they become
profitable again they should have to reimburse us for the

The $31 million-asset credit union turned to its pension fund
lawyer, who is working at a reduced rate, to prepare a legal
strategy. After a small handful of other credit unions across the
country filed individual suits against the regulator -- the suits
initially were filed against WesCorp and U.S. Central, before
NCUA replaced them as defendant by virtue of the conservatorship
of the institutions -- Smith said it was decided a class-action
suit was a better legal strategy.

Smith was particularly upset that Jacksonville Fireman's CU was
charged a $300,000 assessment last year, which ate into its $4-
million capital cushion and is facing additional assessments this
year despite remaining a well-run and safe institution. "We feel
like we're being abused," he stated.

Smith noted that he has spoken to at least 10 other credit unions
in the region, all of which indicated they're supportive of the
action. He's hoping to bring many other CUs on board with the
class-action litigation and get the item on the agenda of the
League of Southeastern Credit Unions' annual meeting this summer
in Orlando.

NEW MEXICO: Cockfighters' Class Action Lawsuit Eviscerated
Tim Korte at The Associated Press reports from Albuquerque, N.M.,
that a federal judge has denied class action and dismissed
several defendants in a lawsuit filed by New Mexico cockfighters,
gutting the New Mexico Game Fowl Breeders Association's pursuit
of $77 million for alleged civil rights violations.

Animal rights activists hailed Wednesday's decision by U.S. Chief
District Judge Martha Vazquez.

"That pulls the rug out from under it," said Heather Ferguson of
Animal Protection New Mexico, who works with an attorney
general's task force that investigates cockfighting.

However, Game Fowl Breeders Association president Ronnie Barron
of Artesia vowed that the case isn't over. The judge gave the
plaintiffs 10 days to restructure their arguments, and Barron
indicated the group will try to address Vazquez's concerns.

Barron claims cockfighters' civil rights repeatedly have been
violated through New Mexico's enforcement of a 2007 law banning
the bloodsport.

"If we can't get this into court, how are we supposed to prove
what's happening?" he said.

Among the defendants dismissed from the lawsuit were the sheriffs
of Bernalillo, Dona Ana and Otero counties, as well as Dona Ana
County's animal control officer.

Ferguson remains as a defendant, along with Attorney General Gary
King, who characterized the judge's decision as the beginning of
the end for the lawsuit.

"The court's dismissal does not affect all the defendants,
including me, but I think it is the first step toward dismissal
for all defendants," King said in a news release.

Vazquez wrote in her ruling she was troubled by a lack of
evidence to support cockfighters' claims that up to 2,000 people
could be affected in the proposed class action, saying plaintiffs
attorneys failed to substantiate the claim.

She also said a class action was inappropriate because
circumstances can vary widely in the state's prosecution of
individual cases.

"Indeed, a class action may well result in a manifest injustice
for one or more plaintiffs because the individual details of one
or two particularly compelling cases ... might not receive the
consideration and time from this court that their individual
circumstances would truly warrant," the judge wrote.

Ferguson called cockfighters' claims "baseless and absurd" and
noted that last summer, the New Mexico Supreme Court rejected a
challenge by cockfighters to the state law. New Mexico was one of
the last states to ban cockfighting, followed only by Louisiana.

"The courts seemingly have scoured the Constitution and have not
found any indication of a civil right that allows people to strap
knives on the heels of roosters to fight to the death," she said.

NUPLEX RESINS: Kentucky Chemical Spill Triggers Class Action Suit
James Bruggers at Courier-Journal.com reports that eight weeks
after a chemical spill at the Nuplex Resins plant sent vapors
through sewer pipes into the Beechmont neighborhood, in
Louisvilly, Ky., three residents have filed a class-action
lawsuit against the company.

"I want to make sure they don't do this again," said Cherie
Wentworth, a Gillette Avenue resident whose son, Calvin, was
diagnosed with "chemical exposure" on Feb. 4, according to his
discharge papers from Kosair Children's Hospital. "It was a

Wentworth is one of three lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit that was
filed late Friday afternoon in Jefferson Circuit Court. Lawsuit
filings present only one side of a dispute, and Nuplex officials
could not be reached Friday evening for comment. Several days
after the Feb. 1 incident, the company apologized to residents
and promised to cover expenses that were directly related to the

The lawsuit calls for a class-action zone of 1.6 miles around the
plant, at 4730 Crittenden Drive in southern Louisville - an area
potentially covering hundreds of homes and thousands of
residents, said:

          Shawn E. Cantley, Esq.
          Kentucky Home Life Bldg., Suite 700
          239 South Fifth Street
          Louisville, KY 40202
          Telephone: 502-587-2002
          E-mail: shawn@bccjlaw.com

one of three lead attorneys for the residents. The Metropolitan
Sewer District at the time had estimated that as many as 50 homes
were affected by the company's chemical vapors moving through the

The lawsuit also alleges wastewater discharge problems at the
plant going back to at least 2000 and seeks an injunction against
any further neighborhood pollution from the facility. Plaintiffs
have asked for compensation for an anticipated loss in their
property values, an unspecified amount in punitive damages and
attorneys' fees.

"The thing we know, all of the property values are going to go
down," said:

          Vanessa B. Cantley, Esq.
          Kentucky Home Life Bldg., Suite 700
          239 South Fifth Street
          Louisville, KY 40202
          Telephone: 502-587-2002
          E-mail: vanessa@bccjlaw.com
another lead attorney, and Shawn Cantley's wife. "What we don't
know is the extent of the environmental damage in the

She said the lawsuit would help draw out facts for the residents.

The lawsuit also argues that residents have lost "the use and
enjoyment of their property" and says that some also have
suffered health consequences.

But at a community meeting Feb. 8, Dr. Matt Zahn, the Louisville
Metro Health and Wellness Department's medical director, said
none of the chemicals released -- mainly xylene -- were detected
at levels that would cause any long-term health effects.

"At levels we're finding, it's an irritant," Dr. Zahn said at the
time. "And it's unpleasant."

Company officials have said the plant makes resin for industrial-
grade paints, employs more than 80 people, and has operated more
than 60 years at the Crittenden Drive location.  Until 2005, it
was owned by Akzo Nobel Coatings, which was also named in the
complaint.  The suit said Akzo still has some operations at the

ONCOR ELECTRIC: Suit Complains About Smart Meter Overcharges
Jason Whitely at WFAA-TV in Dallas, Tex., reports that an
attorney has filed a class-action lawsuit against Oncor Electric
Delivery Company LLC, accusing it of fraud, after hundreds of
consumers have complained of expensive electric bills in recent

"I think that Oncor knows what's going on," said:

          Jason Berent, Esq.
          BERENT & WILSON, LP
          7557 Rambler Road, Suite 560
          Dallas, TX 75231
          Telephone: 214.692.5800

He represents Robert and Jennifer Cordts.

Their electric bills have been stunning: $1,800 in January, more
than $900 in February, then another $1,800 bill this week. It's
almost $5,000 in charges in three months.

They had averaged $400 to $700 a month, Jennifer said.

"My husband's absolutely furious," she continued. "You know, I'm
probably a little scared. These are big bills. We feel like the
little guy!"

Cordts blames her Smart Meter. Their habits haven't changed, she
said, but their usage has skyrocketed.

The couple's year-to-year comparisons show a difference in usage.
In January 2009, they used 6,989 kWh. Twelve months later, they
were billed for 11,946 kWh -- their highest usage ever.

Oncor said it had communication issues reading the Cordts meter
in February but their usage was still 4,308 kWh higher than the
year before.

Then in March 2009, the used 2,569 kWh. A year later, Oncor said,
the couple consumed 8,816 kWh.

Friday, the Cordts sued Oncor for fraud as the lead plaintiffs.
In the lawsuit, their attorney Jason Berent, claims the utility
"bamboozled" the public and "concealed" the "true reason" why
bills have "increased."

Berent said he believes Oncor's side-by-side tests leave other
questions unanswered.

"Oncor's not talking about the software system and they're not
talking about the communication system," Berent added.

But the Dallas-based utility fired back over the lawsuit laced
with biting language.

"The lawsuit is false and untrue," Chris Schein, Oncor spokesman,
insisted. "[It's] full of hyperbole and misstatements and clearly
written for media attention rather than facts of the case."

Oncor said the facts are its meters haven't been proved

The utility maintains cold weather and inefficient heating caused
high bills, along with consumers paying too much per kilowatt
hour for electricity.

Plus, the Public Utility Commission just launched an independent
test of the meters, their software and communication system.

Right now, the Cordts lawsuit is only the second of its kind in
the country.

A similar one is pending in California over smart meters and
expensive electric bills.

The class-action suit here asks for actual damages rather than

A hearing has yet to be scheduled.

ONTARIO LOTTERY: Ontario Court Rejects Class Action Lawsuit
Onlinecasino.org reports that earlier this year, a group of
problem gamblers in Ontario came together to sue the Ontario
Lottery and Gaming Corporation, claiming that it failed to keep
them out of gambling establishments after signing self-exclusion
agreements.  Although similar cases across Canada have proved
successful for the plaintiffs, their bid to launch a $3.5 billion
class action lawsuit was rejected.

From December 1996 to February 2005, over 10,000 people took part
in a self exclusion program, which asked the OLG to ban them from
gambling venues across the country.  After signing up,
participants would have their photos kept on file, so casino
staff could recognize them if they were to attempt to enter a
casino.  Those identified could be charged with trespassing.

The lawsuit states that the OLG failed to hold up their end of
the deal, as it did not prevent them from entering gambling
establishments. They allege that they suffered losses worth $3.5
billion, as a result of the OLG's negligence.

Late last month, the class-action proceeding was rejected by the
Ontario Superior Court.  Justice Maurice Cullity believes that
each participant's lawsuit should be filed individually, as their
claims were based on different personal circumstances for each

This ruling, Onlinecasino.org says, reflects the increasingly
supported belief that operators are not at the root of gambling
addiction.  The problem lies not in the availability of gambling
but rather personal issues that should be dealt with on a
personal level.

OZ MINERALS: Files Cross-Claim In Shareholder Suit Against KPMG
Steve Finch at The Phnom Penh Post reports that Australian firm
Oz Minerals, which operates mineral concessions in eastern
Cambodia, will file a cross-claim against KPMG over allegations
that it did not sufficiently flag debt in reviewing the
Melbourne-based miner's accounts up to the end of the first half
of 2008, in a shareholder class action accusing the company of
hiding maturing debt in a 2008 financial statement.

PRATT & WHITNEY: First Cancer Cluster Case Filed in S.D. Fla.
The Newsome Law Firm reports on its Blog that a group of families
in Palm Beach County, Florida, filed a class action lawsuit in
February against defense contractor Pratt & Whitney, alleging
that the company is responsible for a cancer cluster in the
Acreage, a local pastoral community.  This is the first class
action lawsuit filed regarding the accusations against Pratt &
Whitney, however more families are coming forward and more
lawsuits and litigation are expected.  This initial lawsuit was
filed in the U.S. District Court in West Palm Beach and is asking
to seek damages for more than 10,000 homeowners and residents.

Florida's Department of Health first began investigating reports
of illness and cancer cases last year. The allegations and
evidential statistics have created a ripple of heated emotions
among residents, as the neighborhood boasts an unusually higher
rate of brain cancer in children and teenagers. However, despite
the allegations and supporting evidence, the Department of Health
has yet to identify a source for the cancer causes, nor has it
been implied that Pratt & Whitney are indeed responsible.

The plaintiffs' primary complaint against the defense contractor
is that the presence and storage of hazardous chemicals for the
past 60 years has created an unhealthy situation, concurrently
and considerably lowering the property value in their community,
which is located less than four miles from the Pratt & Whitney
property in question. None of the plaintiffs have developed
cancer, however they cite the reported cases of disease as the
main reason for their inability to maintain worth and equity in
their homes.

Pratt & Whitney first established a presence in the Palm Beach
County area in the late 1950s. The plaintiffs are alleging that
from that period on, the defense contractor stored and produced
hazardous and toxic chemicals that eventually seeped into the
land surrounding the Acreage, via the Beeline Highway. The
community also faced a major health issue last year when a Palm
Beach Post investigation discovered that thousands of private
water wells had been dug illegally and hazardously shallow. The
shallow wells made it considerably easier for pollutants to get
into the water supplies, and are believed to have increased and
possibly catalyzed the impending detrimental health agents.

As early as 1979, Pratt & Whitney had been responsible for a
considerable amount of toxic spills. In 1980, the company
announced the possibility of workers on-site in Palm Beach County
being exposed to cancerous agents. The contractor, however,
insists that its public safety record is clean and that any
exposed toxic substances have either been cleaned and disposed of
in conjunction with state and federal regulations, or any
residual substances have not migrated enough to affect any
neighboring communities.

Leading up to and since the date of class action filing, a number
of experts and health professionals have conducted studies and
surveys, with the results being either inconclusive or in some
cases favoring Pratt & Whitney. Many officials have been unable
to identify the company as the source of any contaminates.
Unfortunately, with some toxic tort cases, it can take years and
even decades for substantial evidence to be collected. In the
case of the Acreage, at least 13 families have children who have
been diagnosed with brain cancer or central nervous system damage
in the past 16 years. Health experts and officials have been
unable to pin blame on any specific cause, and everyone involved
fears that a source may never be found.

Recent tests of the area and groundwater by the Florida
Department of Health have shown that the water is of good quality
and that there are only minor sources of elevated radiation,
something that can occur naturally. The department surveyed 21
properties in the community, however the results gave little hope
for a determinant cause of these illnesses.

The DOH had medical and health experts test homes -- including
individual rooms in each -- as well as outside. Some homeowners
have installed extensive water treatment systems in their houses,
and the experts tested those as well. The DOH will continue to
conduct tests and surveys with the hopes of uncovering the cause
of these debilitating and fatal cancers. Also included in the
examination are the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the
National Cancer Institute, and the U.S. Environmental Protection

     CONTACT: Newsome Law Firm
              20 North Orange Avenue, Suite 800
              Orlando, FL 32801
              Telephone: (407) 648-5977

PREMIER BUILDING: Violations of Labor Code Alleged
Jaime Rivas, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated
v. Premier Building Maintenance Services, Inc., Case No. BC434732
(Calif. Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cty. Mar. 29, 2010), accuses the
janitorial service provider of failing to compensate employees
for all hours worked, not paying overtime wages, not providing
rest and meal periods, underpayment of wages, and other
violations of the Labor Code.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Shaun Setareh, Esq.
          9454 Wilshire Blvd., Penthouse Suite 3
          Beverly Hills, CA 90212
          Telephone: (310) 888-7771
          E-mail: setarehlaw@sbcglobal.net

               - and -
          Louis Benowitz, Esq.
          9454 Wilshire Blvd., Penthouse Suite 34
          Beverly Hills, CA 90212
          Telephone: (310) 888-7771
          E-mail: louis@benowitzlaw.com

REDBOX: Moves to Dismiss Class Action Remanded to St. Clair Cty.
Amelia Flood at The St. Clair Record reports that the owner of
DVD rental kiosks commonly found in supermarkets is moving to
dismiss a woman's class action suit.

Redbox filed its move to dismiss the St. Clair county class
action suit March 18.

A response from lead plaintiff Laurie Piechur does not appear in
the case file.

Piechur proposes to lead a nationwide class against Redbox,
alleging the company charges inappropriate late fees.

Redbox had taken the case to federal court just a month after the
suit's October 2009 filing.

The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois
remanded the case to St. Clair County Feb. 24.

A move to have that decision overturned failed, according to the
company's March 18 motion to dismiss.

Piechur filed suit against Redbox on claims that the company
breached a contract with her, that it violates the state's
Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, and it is
guilty of unjust enrichment and other claims.

Piechur alleges that the $1 charge per day after a DVD is not
returned to a Redbox kiosk is unfair. That charge tops out at $25
per DVD.

The suit is seeking a judgment of more than $350,000 and
attorney's fees.

In the March 18 filing, Redbox dismisses the suit for allegedly
failing to state a claim.

The motion argues that Piechur and class members knew exactly
what terms they were agreeing to when they rented DVDs from the

"Thus, according to her own factual allegations, Plaintiff rented
DVDs from Redbox, either chose to keep them or failed to return
them within 25 days, and was charged according to the terms of
the agreement she entered into with Redbox at the time of the
rental," the motion reads.

The company argues that Piechur does not expressly say how she
would have acted differently and that she does not establish any
of the causes that would carry the other claims in her suit.

"The Complaint does not allege that Plaintiff did not know the
rental terms at the time she rented DVDs from Redbox," the motion
reads. "The Complaint does not establish in what ways the fees
are oppressive, against public policy, or subsequently injurious
to consumers."

There is no indication as yet in the case file as to when
Redbox's motion to dismiss will be heard by presiding judge
Patrick Young.

Redbox withdrew a move to stay proceedings in the case March 18
as well. Young granted that request.

The suit finds Robert Sprague -- generally a plaintiff's attorney
-- at the defense table with Eric Brandfonbrener of Chicago.

Piechur and the proposed class are represented by Thomas Maag,
Thomas Keefe Jr., Jeffrey Millar and others.

The case is St. Clair case number 09-L-562.

RENZENBERGER INC: Sued for Non-Payment of Overtime Wages
Roderick Wright, Robert Johnson, and Fernando Olivarez, on behalf
of themselves and others similarly situated v. Renzenberger,
Inc., Case No. BC434637 (Calif. Super. Ct., Los Angeles Cty. Mar.
25, 2010), accuses the personnel transportation services company
of non-payment of wages for all hours worked, failing to pay
overtime wages, failing to provide meal breaks, and denial of
lawful rest breaks, in violation of the Labor Code and the
Business & Professions Code.

The Plaintiff demands a jury trial and is represented by:

          Jennifer Kramer, Esq.
          707 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 3600
          Los Angeles, CA 90017
          Telephone: (213) 955-0200

               - and -  
          Robert Ackermann, Esq.
          11040 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 320
          West Los Angeles, CA 90025
          Telephone: (310) 479-2441

SCHERING-PLOUGH: Wins Dismissal of Generic Drug Pay-Off Suit
Charles Toutant at the New Jersey Law Journal reports that a
federal judge in Newark, N.J., dismissed a class action claiming
that Schering-Plough Corp. violated antitrust law by paying
generic drug makers to delay introduction of knockoffs of its
potassium-deficiency drug K-Dur.

The Honorable Joseph Greenaway Jr. adopted the report of special
master Stephen Orlofsky, who found no merit in the plaintiffs'
argument that license fees Schering paid as part of a settlement
of patent litigation against the competitors were presumptively

The case, HIP Health Plan of Florida v. Schering-Plough, Case No.
01-cv-01652 (D. N.J.), was a consolidation of suits by drug
wholesalers, health maintenance organizations, hospitals,
drugstore chains and other direct purchasers who claimed that
Schering improperly paid two companies to postpone their plans to
produce generic versions of K-Dur.

The antitrust litigation stems from patent infringement suits
filed by Schering against Upsher-Smith Laboratories in the
District of New Jersey in 1995 and ESI/Lederle Laboratories in
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in 1996. Both companies had
applied to the Food and Drug Administration to produce generic
versions of K-Dur.

Schering settled the patent suits by paying $60 million to
Upsher-Smith in 1997 to postpone sales of generic K-Dur until
2001 and $5 million to ESI in 1998 to put off release its drug
until 2004.

The payments were in the form of fees that enabled Schering to
license drugs owned by Upsher-Smith and ESI.

But the antitrust suit said Schering made "virtually no sales of
the licensed products. Instead, the licensing provisions were
sham transactions designed to conceal the illegal and
anticompetitive purpose and effect of the agreements."

Schering disputed the assertion. The money paid to Upsher-Smith
for rights to market Niacor, a cholesterol-lowering drug,
represented fair-market value for the license, says Schering
lawyer William O'Shaughnessy.

The $5 million to ESI came in response to intense pressure from a
magistrate judge in Pennsylvania to settle, says O'Shaughnessy of
McCarter & English in Newark.

The antitrust plaintiffs urged Orlofsky to evaluate the case
under an analysis, articulated by the Federal Trade Commission
and Herbert Hovenkamp, a University of Iowa law professor, that
presumes such "reverse payments" are anticompetitive but allows a
rebuttal of that presumption.

But Orlofsky, of Blank Rome in Princeton, N.J., said no court has
ever used that analysis. Instead, he applied a framework adopted
by the 2nd, 11th and Federal circuits. Under that standard, as
long as the Upsher and ESI settlements restrain competition only
within the scope of Schering's patent, and the underlying patent
lawsuits were not objectively baseless, the defendants were
entitled to summary judgment on the antitrust claims, Orlofsky

Orlofsky said the settlements do not exceed the exclusionary
scope of Schering's patent on K-Dur, which gave Schering the
right to exclude infringing products until September 2006. Its
deal with Upsher allowed it to market its generic version five
years before the K-Dur patent expired; the ESI settlement allowed
that company to market a generic product two years before the
patent's expiration.

Schering might have lost had the case proceeded to a decision on
summary judgment or trial, Orlofsky said, noting that during the
summary judgment argument, Judge William Walls expressed doubt
about Schering's infringement claim.

"However, the test is not whether Schering might have lost the
patent suit, it is whether the suit was so objectively baseless
that no reasonable litigant could realistically expect success on
the merits. I conclude as a matter of law that [direct purchaser]
plaintiffs cannot satisfy that test," Orlofsky wrote.

O'Shaughnessy says the case stemmed from the plaintiffs'
mischaracterization of Schering's deal to acquire the rights to
sell Niacor. He says the drug's sales didn't take off "for a
variety of reasons," but at the time of the transaction the
company believed it had commercial potential.

"I see that, from my perspective, as the principal issue in the
case. We argued that it was a bona fide payment. At the time we
entered the license agreement, there was substantial promise for
the drug," says O'Shaughnessy, who was co-counsel with lawyers
from Howrey in Washington, D.C.

The lead plaintiffs' counsel Allyn Lite, of Lite DePalma
Greenberg in Newark, declines to comment.

Schering merged in November 2009 with Merck & Co. Inc.

SONY CORPORATION: Accused of Jacking Up Optical Disk Drive Prices
Warren S. Herman, on behalf of himself and others similarly
situated v. Sony Corporation, et al., Case No. 10-cv-01362 (N.D.
Calif. Mar. 31, 2010), charges the multinational conglomerate
with conspiring to fix the price of optical disc drive products
sold in the United States, in violation of the Sherman Antitrust
Act.  Mr. Herman says that as a result of this price
manipulation, he and other consumers paid more for optical disk
drives than what they would have paid in a normal market.  
Optical disk drives are standard components in CD, DVD and Blu-
Ray Disc players and recorders.

The plaintiff demands a trial by jury and is represented by:

          Guido Saveri, Esq.
          R. Alexander Saveri, Esq.
          Cadio Zirpoli, Esq.
          SAVERI & SAVERI, INC.
          706 Sansome St.
          San Francisco, CA 94111
          Telephone: (415) 217-6810
          E-mail: guido@saveri.com

               - and -

          Gary L. Specks, Esq.
          423 Sumac Road
          Highland Park, IL 60035
          Telephone: (847) 831-1585
          E-mail: gspecks@kaplanfox.com

               - and -   
          Lawrence Walner, Esq.
          20 NORTH Clark St., Suite 2450
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 201-1616
          E-mail: lwalner@walnerlawfirm.com

STRYKER CORP: Directors Accused of Violating Antitrust Law
Courthouse News Service reports that directors damaged Stryker
Corp., an orthopedic implant and surgical equipment company, by
paying kickbacks to surgeons, submitting false claims to the
government, falsifying documents and violating antitrust law,
shareholders say in Grand Rapids, Mich., Federal Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Westchester Putnam Counties Heavy and
Highway Laborers Local 60 Benefit Funds, et al. v. MacMillan et
al., Case No. 10-cv-00284 (W.D. Mich.) (Quist, J.), is available


The Westchester Putnam Counties Heavy and Highway Laborers Local
60 Benefit Funds is represented by:

          Michael W. Donovan, Esq.
          Jacqueline D. Scott, Esq.
          2910 Lucerne Dr. S.E., Suite 120
          Grand Rapids, MI 49546
          Telephone: 616-285-5552

               - and -  

          Maya Saxena, Esq.
          Joseph E. White, III, Esq.
          Christopher S. Jones, Esq.
          Lester R. Hooker, Esq.      
          SAXENA WHITE P.C.
          2424 North Federal Hwy., Suite 257
          Boca Raton, FL 33431
          Telephone: 561-394-3399

TECHWELL INC: Being Sold Through Unfair Process, Suit Claims
Courthouse News Service reports that Techwell is selling itself
through an unfair process to Intersil Corp., for $375 million,
with a termination fee of $17 million, shareholders say in Santa
Clara County Court, Calif.

A copy of the Complaint in Tamashiro v. Techwell, Inc., et al.,
Case No. 1-10-CV-168156 (Calif. Super. Ct., Santa Clara Cty.), is
available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Brian J. Robbins, Esq.
          Marc M. Umeda, Esq.
          S. Benjamin Rozwood, Esq.
          Arshan Amiri, ESq.
          Alejandro E. Moreno, Esq.
          600 B St., Suite 1900
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: 619-525-3990

TENNESSEE VALLEY: Loses Motion to Dismiss Kingston Coal Ash Suit
Elizabeth Alexander of the Nashville office of the national
plaintiffs' law firm Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein,
announced that U.S. District Court Judge Thomas A. Varlan denied,
in major part, a motion by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA)
to dismiss lawsuits arising out of the Kingston coal ash spill.  
The December 2008 environmental disaster released a billion
gallons of toxic coal ash sludge into the surrounding
environment, destroying homes, properties and pristine natural
areas alike.

"This is a tremendous victory in the effort to hold TVA
accountable for the severe damage it has caused to residents and
the environment," said Ms. Alexander. "The Court held that TVA
must answer for its alleged negligence that directly led to one
of the largest environmental catastrophes in our country's

TVA argued that it can not be held liable for the disaster
because it is an arm of the federal government and immune from
lawsuits.  In denying TVA's motion, the Court held that "once a
relevant policy decision has been made, the government is
accountable for its negligence in the implementation of that

The Court explained, "Neglect of the facilities, neglect of day
to day maintenance, ignoring policies and procedures, failing to
implement corrective measures or modifications under those
policies or procedures, and the failure to have in place policies
and procedures are not discretionary decisions involving the
permissible exercise of polices judgment and consideration of
public policy."  For a copy of the Court's order, visit:


To learn more about Kingston coal ash disaster litigation, please


                        About Lieff Cabraser

Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP --
http://www.lieffcabraser.com/-- is a sixty-plus attorney law  
firm that has represented plaintiffs nationwide since 1972.  With
offices in Nashville, San Francisco, and New York, the firm
represents plaintiffs in individual lawsuits in cases involving
substantial losses and in class and group actions.  For the last
seven years, The National Law Journal has selected Lieff Cabraser
as one of the top plaintiffs' law firms in the nation.  

TFT-LCD LITIGATION: Flat Panel Purchaser Class Certified
Karen Gullo at Bloomberg News reports that Samsung Electronics
Co., Sharp Corp. and other makers of liquid-crystal display
panels must face group claims in an antitrust lawsuit by
purchasers of televisions, computer monitors and laptops, a judge

U.S. District Judge Susan Y. Illston in San Francisco certified
In Re TFT-LCD (Flat Panel) Antitrust Litigation, Case No.
07-1827 (N.D. Calif.), as a class action on behalf of direct
purchasers who bought the flat-panel screens or goods containing
them from 1999 to 2006, according to a Mar. 28, 2010, court
filing.  Consumers in 22 states and the District of Columbia also
can sue the companies as a group for damages, Judge Illston

She also certified a nationwide class of indirect buyers, saying
people who purchased TVs, monitors and notebook computers
starting in 1996 can sue the manufacturers as a group.

The rulings came in a 2007 lawsuit over claims that manufacturers
conspired to fix prices and overcharged customers. The suit stems
from a U.S. Justice Department investigation that led to guilty
pleas by LG Display Co., Chunghwa Picture Tubes and Sharp. The
companies agreed in 2008 and 2009 to pay $585 million in criminal
fines, the department said.

                        Leverage for Plaintiffs

Class certification can greatly expand such a suit, bringing in
claims of hundreds of thousands of people who bought goods and
don't have to sue separately. It provides leverage for
plaintiffs, making it easier to finance cases and negotiate

Samsung, based in Suwon, South Korea, is Asia's biggest maker of
chips, flat screens and mobile phones. Sharp, based in Osaka,
Japan, is that country's largest maker of liquid-crystal

A call to Samsung America's legal department after regular
business hours wasn't returned. Chris Loncto, a spokesman for
Sharp, declined to comment.

Chunghwa has agreed to pay $10 million to settle direct purchaser
claims in the civil flat-panel suit, according to court filings.
Joel Sanders, Chunghwa's attorney, confirmed the settlement and
declined to comment further.

Epson Imaging Devices Corp., a division of Seiko Epson Corp., a
Nagano, Japan-based company, has also agreed to settle direct
purchaser claims in the civil case, according to a March 24
filing in San Francisco. The settlement terms weren't disclosed.
The company's board of directors is scheduled to vote next month
on whether to approve the settlement, the filing said. Stephen
Freccero, Epson's attorney, declined to comment.

Epson pleaded guilty in August and agreed to pay a $26 million
fine in the Justice Department case.

Dell Inc., the third-largest personal computer maker; Nokia Oyj,
the world's largest maker of mobile phones; and AT&T Inc. also
sued LCD makers in federal court in San Francisco claiming they
were victims of price-fixing by the manufacturers.

WACHOVIA BANK: Muni Issuers' Suit Survives Motions to Dismiss
Lynn Hume at the Bond Buyer reports that a federal judge in
Manhattan has refused to dismiss class action claims filed by
local governments alleging that Wells Fargo & Co. and 15 other
banks, broker-dealers and investment brokers conspired to rig
bids and fix prices of guaranteed investment and derivatives
contracts in the municipal market.

The Honorable Victor Marrero denied the firms' motion for
dismissal in a 57-page order issued last month in Hinds County,
Mississippi, et al. v. Wachovia Bank, N.A. et al., Case No.
08-cv-02516 (S.D.N.Y.), and ordered the parties to appear at a
pretrial conference on April 30.

Hinds County, Miss., and other municipal issuers had initially
filed the class action suit against more than 40 firms on Aug.
22, 2008. Most of the defendants in the suit filed a motion to
dismiss the suit, claiming the issuers failed to make specific
allegations of involvement in the conspiracy. Marrero dismissed
the suit on April 29, 2009, but agreed to allow the local
governments to replead their case.

The issuers filed a second consolidated class action suit against
16 of the firms on June 18, 2009, this time including more
specific information obtained from an unidentified confidential
witness at Bank of America, now Bank of America Merrill Lynch.
The bank has been cooperating with the plaintiffs in the suits
and with the Justice Department's criminal investigation of these
matters in return for indemnity against criminal charges. The
suit also contained allegations from the Internal Revenue Service
and other investigations.

All but one of the defendant firms moved to dismiss the second
suit. They claimed the issuers failed to state an antitrust
conspiracy claim, that the issuers' claims were time-barred, and
that Internal Revenue Code and Treasury regulations precluded the
antitrust claims.

But Judge Marrero refused to dismiss the suit, saying that the
allegations "support a plausible inference" that each of the
remaining defendants "participated in the alleged conspiracy."
The judge also said the second suit "cures the deficiencies" of
the first one and "pleads fraudulent concealment with sufficient

In rulings in previous cases, courts have found that the statute
of limitations for antitrust violations are "tolled" or halted if
the plaintiff "can show fraudulent concealment," Judge Marrero

In addition, the judge said IRS regulatory enforcement "does not
result in remedies for the underlying conduct alleged here ...
collusive bidding or price fixing." As a result he said, "IRS
regulations do not implicitly preclude private enforcement."

The plaintiff issuers in this suit, in addition to Hinds County,
include Baltimore, the University of Mississippi Medical Center,
the University of Southern Mississippi, the Mississippi
Department of Transportation, the University of Mississippi, the
Bucks County Water & Sewer Authority, the Central Bucks School

The defendants, besides Wells Fargo, include: Bank of America,
Bear Stearns & Co., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley,
National Westminster Bank PLC, Piper Jaffray & Co., Societe
Generale SA, UBS AG, Wachovia NA, Natixis SA, Investment
Management Advisory Group Inc., CDR Financial Products, Winters &
Co., George K. Baum & Co., and Sound Capital Management Inc.

Judge Marrero's ruling comes as Los Angeles and 13 other local
governments in California that filed 11 separate suits against
Wells Fargo and more than 40 other firms are set to file their
opposition tomorrow against the firms' motion to dismiss the
suits. Technically all of the suits -- the ones by Hinds County,
Miss., and other governments, and the ones by the California
localities -- have all been consolidated.

But the California localities' suits currently are being treated
separately because they were filed beginning in July 2008 in
California state courts and were later transferred to the court
in Manhattan.

Related cases are identified in the Class Action Reporter's
"FINANCIAL SECURITY: Consolidated Antitrust Breach Suit Pending"
story published on June 11, 2009.

XCELERA INC: Breach of Fiduciary Duties Alleged
Feiner Family Trust and Ron Krissel, individually and on behalf
of others similarly situated v. Xcelera, Inc., et al., Case No.
650204/2010 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., New York Cty. Mar. 29, 2010), charges
the infrastructure, software, and security solutions provider and
various individual Defendants with breaching their fiduciary
duties by engaging in a scheme to purchase minority shareholders'
stock in the company at substantially reduced prices.  

Feiner Family Trust owns 6,000 shares of Xcelera common stock.  
Mr. Krissel is a former shareholder of the Company.  Defendants
Alexander M. Vik and Gustav M. Vik, who are directors and
executive officers of Xcelera, have voting control in the

Feiner Family alleges that after trading in Xcelera securities
was temporarily suspended in 2006 for failing to file periodic
reports as required, Xcelera did not file any objections.  This
resulted in the revocation of the registration of its securities.  
Feiner Family states that because Xcelera did not provide
shareholders current information about the Company's operations,
they were unable to determine the fair value of their shares.  
Defendants Alexander M. Vik and Gustav M. Vik, acting through
Defendant Michael J. Kugler, thereafter commenced soliciting the
Company's minority shareholders to sell their stock to Defendants
at undervalued prices.  

The Plaintiffs say that as of Jan. 31, 2008, Xcelera had total
assets of over $161 million, of which $137 million was in cash
and cash equivalents, had no long-term debt and shareholders'
equity of $142.3 million and has valuable net operating loss
carry forwards of $65.1 million which can be used to reduce tax
payments during profitable future periods.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Jeffrey S. Abraham, Esq.
          Philip T. Taylor, Esq.
          One Penn Plaza, Suite 2805
          New York, NY 10019
          Telephone (212) 279-5050

YAMAHA MOTOR: Miss. Suit Alleges Fatal Yamaha Rhino Design Flaws
Mark P. Chalos, Esq., of the national plaintiffs' law firm Lieff
Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP, on behalf of Melissa and
Richard Lee Bates, of Southaven, Miss., and Aundria and Thomas
Dilworth, of Olive Branch, Miss., filed a wrongful death lawsuit
against Yamaha Motor Corporation and Yamaha Motor Manufacturing
Corporation of America.  

On October 18, 2008, Emily Ann Bates and Lauren Elizabeth
Dilworth, both 11 years old, were riding in a Yamaha Rhino in
DeSoto County, Miss., when the vehicle at a slow speed rolled
over unexpectedly, pinning Emily Ann Bates underneath and causing
severe trauma to her head.  First responders rushed Emily Ann
Bates to the emergency room of Baptist-DeSoto Hospital in
Southaven, Mississippi, where she was pronounced dead.  Lauren
Elizabeth Dilworth was pronounced dead at the scene.  

"The lawsuit charges that the Yamaha Rhino is dangerously
unstable and contains multiple design and engineering flaws
increasing the likelihood of fatal injuries to occupants in the
event of an accident," stated Mr. Chalos.  "Yamaha's disregard
for safety and the numerous defects in the Rhino, as alleged in
the complaint, led to the deaths of Emily Ann Bates and Lauren
Elizabeth Dilworth."

                          Emily Ann Bates

Melissa and Richard Lee Bates issued the following statement
concerning their daughter:

"Emily Ann was a very happy child.  She always had a smile on her
face, loved her friends and siblings. She was a 6th grader at
Southaven Middle School where she played the trumpet in band.  
When Emily was 4 she took up soccer.  Soccer became her passion,
playing year round.  She had great dreams of playing on the U.S.
Olympic Soccer team.

In her last year, Emily Ann played on two teams.  One was an
under-12 year old team and the other an under-14 year old team.  
The week of her accident she played with her U14 team against an
all boys team.  The girls won 5-2 with Emily Ann scoring 3 of the
goals.  She was quite smaller than the other players, but she was
determined.  She always gave it her all.  Emily had a great love
for fashion.  She never missed a chance to shop with her Mom.

Emily Ann enjoyed spending time with all her friends and was a
very social child.  You don't realize how many lives such a young
child can touch.  Over 500 people attended her funeral.  On the
same day the flag that flew over the United States Capital was
flown in her honor and presented to us from our Congressman
Travis Childers.  The Mayor of Southaven Greg Davis placed a
plaque in city hall honoring Emily Ann and the Desoto Soccer

                    Lauren Elizabeth Dilworth

Aundria and Thomas Dilworth issued the following statement
concerning their daughter:

"Lauren Elizabeth was an amazing child her entire life. She was
an honor roll student until her untimely death, she was in the
gifted programs at both Hampton Cove Elementary in Huntsville,  
Alabama, and at Lewisburg Middle School.  These programs allowed
her to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama. She was always
interested in dance and was able to take 2 years of ballet while
our family lived in Huntsville, AL before moving to Mississippi.

Lauren Elizabeth was a bright, intelligent child who was always
smiling and singing. She was friends with everyone she met.  She
was interested in computers from an early age. She joined the
band at Lewisburg Middle School and was doing exceptionally well.

Lauren Elizabeth attended Lewisburg Middle School for only a
short while, but her impact there was and still is present.  She
immediately bonded with the faculty who were and still overcome
with grief of her passing.  She was a little mother to her
brother, Hayden, and she adored him.

Lauren Elizabeth was born with a sweet spirit; she loved to the
fullest.  Her love and her heart were her biggest strengths.  We
have never met another adult or child who loved and cared so
deeply.  She is missed every minute of every day by scores of

                 Allegations That The Yamaha Rhino
                Is A Defective And Dangerous Vehicle

The Yamaha Rhino was introduced to the market without passing any
government safety tests as no safety standards had been developed
then or subsequently.

The complaint charges that the Yamaha Rhino is excessively prone
to roll over even at low speeds, on flat terrain, and while
conducting safe turns, because of inherent flaws in its design,
including having a narrow track width, high platform, high center
of gravity, wheels too small to maintain stability, and top-heavy

The complaint further alleges that the Yamaha Rhino contains
multiple design and engineering flaws increasing the likelihood
of fatal injuries to occupants in the event of an accident.  The
allegations include that the Rhino is equipped with defective
doors, inadequate seat belts, and a dangerous roll cage.  In many
accidents, occupants have been ejected from their Rhino due to
its deficient seat belt system and then suffered a fatal or
catastrophic injury because they were struck by the vehicle's
roll cage.  With a dry weight of over 1,000 pounds, when a Yamaha
Rhino flips over, its heavy, unpadded, steel roll cage can itself
become extremely dangerous, causing severe injuries or death.

"Despite hundreds of Rhino rollover accidents resulting in
devastating injuries and at least 59 deaths, Yamaha refuses to
take responsibility for the harm caused by its vehicle," stated
Mr. Chalos.  "Yamaha knows that inexpensive alternative designs
and modifications are available that would substantially improve
the Rhino's occupant safety and core stability, but Yamaha
continues to put its own financial interests above the safety of
American families."

The lawsuit was filed in Georgia state court, Gwinnett County,
where defendant Yamaha Motor Manufacturing Corporation of America
has its principal office.  

                       Additional Information

The Web site http://www.yamaharhinorolloverandrecall.com/is an  
online resource for persons injured and families of loved ones
who died in Rhino accidents.

                        About Lieff Cabraser
Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP is a sixty-plus attorney
law firm that has represented plaintiffs nationwide since 1972.
We have offices in San Francisco, New York and Nashville. We
represent plaintiffs in class and group actions and in individual
lawsuits in cases, including cases involving dangerous and
defective cars, SUVs, and recreational vehicles. For the last
seven years, the National Law Journal has selected Lieff Cabraser
as one of the top plaintiffs' law firms in the nation.


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.  Gracele D. Canilao, Leah Felisilda, Joy A. Agravante,
Ronald Sy and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2010.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
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The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
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