/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/110110.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Monday, January 10, 2011, Vol. 13, No. 6


ADELPHIA COMMS: Plaintiff Firms Shortchanged in Class Action
BEACON, NY: Business Owners Mull Class Action to Get Tax Refund
BLACK DIAMOND EQUIP: Recalls 3,500 Avalung Backpacks
CERTAINTEED CORP: ClassAction.Org to Review Bad Siding Claims
GETFUGU INC: Faces Shareholder Class Action in Delaware

GOOGLE INC: Faces Class Action in Canada Over Buzz Program
GREYHOUND LINES: Stranded Passengers Mull Class Action
HELZBERG DIAMONDS: Sued Over Hearts & Arrows Diamonds
JC PENNEY: Sued for Not Paying Overtime to Workers
JPMORGAN CHASE: Faces Class Action in Wisconsin Over Robo-calls

LERNER SAMPSON: Sued in Ohio Over Frivolous Foreclosure Actions
POWER BALANCE: Faces Class Action for False Advertising
RADIOSHACK CORP: Sued in Fla. for Misclassifying Store Managers
SOCORRO ELECTRIC: Former Co-Op Officials Face Class Action
SYNDERO INC: Sued Over False Claims on Dermitage Product

TORONTO COMMUNITY: Fire Victims to Get More From Class Action
VODAFONE GROUP: 9,000 Customers to Join Aussie Class Action
GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC: Lawyers to Review Claims Over Avandia Drug
US TELECOM FIRMS: 7th Cir. Allows "Text Message" Suit to Proceed

* Seyfarth Sees 2011 as Tipping Point for Workplace Class Action


ADELPHIA COMMS: Plaintiff Firms Shortchanged in Class Action
Nate Raymond, writing for The American Lawyer, reports a
$22 million New York state supreme court suit filed late last
month by Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossmann and Berman
DeValerio reveals the dealmaking that led up to the selection of
lead counsel in the Adelphia Communications case -- and it ain't

Here's the backstory.  The Adelphia class action ended in 2006
with $455 million in settlements from Deloitte & Touche and almost
three dozen banks.  In 2007 Manhattan federal district court judge
Lawrence McKenna approved $97 million in fees for the plaintiffs
lawyers, who were led by class counsel from Abbey Spanier Rodd &
Abrams and Kirby McInerney.

But it turns out that Abbey Spanier and Kirby McInerney had a
little help en route to their lead counsel appointment, according
to the Bernstein Litowitz and Berman DeValerio complaint.  The
complaint asserts that Bernstein and Berman agreed in 2003 to
withdraw a competing bid to lead the case.  All four plaintiffs
firms, according to the complaint, signed a contract in which, in
exchange for Bernstein and Berman dropping their lead counsel
motion, Abbey and Kirby pledged to support the other firms'
clients as class representatives in future complaints in the
Adelphia litigation and to give Bernstein and Berman 25 percent of
the legal work in the case.

In the years since, Bernstein Litowitz and Berman DeValerio
assert, they "completed every assignment they were given and
repeatedly sought out additional assignments" from Abbey Spanier
and Kirby McInerney.  But Abbey and Kirby "rebuffed" the firms'
"good faith efforts" to take on more work, the complaint says.
Bernstein Litowitz and Berman DeValerio alleged that they did not
even know about the Deloitte and bank settlements until they were
already negotiated, despite the firms' right, under their deal, to
participate in all major decisions.

Part of the problem, the complaint suggests, is that the four
plaintiffs firms actually had two different contracts.  The first
agreement, signed in September 2003, stipulated that Abbey and
Kirby would give "not more than 25 percent" of the legal work to
Bernstein Litowitz and Berman DeValerio.  But according to the
complaint, that wasn't what Bernstein and Berman believed they had
agreed to.  So Max Berger at Bernstein Litowitz talked to Abbey
Spanier partners Arthur Abbey and Judith Spanier, and both sides
agreed to revise the language to say that Berman and Bernstein
would get assignments "intended to generate 25 percent" of the
combined legal work.

Nevertheless, after the 2006 settlement, Robert Stone of Kirby
McInerney claimed the original contract prevailed, according to
the suit.  After Judge McKenna awarded $97 million in fees, Abbey
and Kirby kept $84 million, allocating only $3.5 million to
Bernstein and Berman.

This is not the first time a law firm has disputed the allocation
of fees by Abbey Spanier and Kirby McInerney in the Adelphia
litigation.  In October, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled against Chimicles & Tikellis,
which had sued to boost its share of the Adelphia fees from a
lowly $155,610 to $17 million.  "Although Abbey and Kirby were no
doubt on the stingy side when it came to compensating their
brethren, we have not been convinced that the district court
abused its discretion in approving class counsel's allocation,"
the panel ruled.

The American Lawyer reached out to lawyers and spokespeople at
Bernstein, Berman, Abbey, and Kirby but did not hear back.
Bernstein Litowitz and Berman DeValerio are represented by Gregory
Joseph of the Gregory P. Joseph Law Offices.  He did not return a
call seeking comment.

Gregory P. Joseph Law Offices may be reached at:

          485 Lexington Avenue, 30th Floor
          New York, NY 10017
          Telephone: (212) 407-1200

BEACON, NY: Business Owners Mull Class Action to Get Tax Refund
Susan Campriello, writing for Poughkeepsie Journal, reports a
group of business owners will seek a class action suit against
Beacon and its former administrator to recover taxes it says it
overpaid during a 12-year span beginning in the mid-1990s.

The taxpayers seek a refund of the money they overpaid between
1996 and 2008 due to a tax rate miscalculation made during the
time Joseph Braun was the city's administrator.

Jamie Piccone, a plaintiff, estimated he and other business owners
overpaid $2 million in total.

If the lawsuit is successful, that amount would be divided among
all the business owners in the class action, he said.

"We just want our fair share back," he said.

The city's lawyer in the case, Michael Rhodes-Devy, of Albany,
declined to comment.

In December, Dutchess County Judge James D. Pagones ruled that the
owners of 63 commercial properties who originally brought a
lawsuit against the city at the end of 2009 to recoup their
overpaid taxes did so too late.

The ruling dismissed the claim for recovery but allowed the
taxpayers to amend their lawsuit to include Mr. Braun as a
defendant, said Timothy P. McElduff Jr., a New Windsor attorney
representing the business owners.  He may be reached at:

          Timothy P. McElduff Jr., Esq.
          555 Hudson Valley Avenue Suite 100
          New Windsor, NY 12553
          Telephone: 845-561-0550
          E-mail: tmcelduff@drakeloeb.com

Mr. McElduff said the ruling also permits his clients to amend the
lawsuit to become a class action.  Mr. McElduff said his clients
are pleased with the decision despite its rejection of their
original claim for recovery.

"While this is just the beginning of this lawsuit, it is the first
step to holding Beacon and its former administrator responsible
for the injustices they have committed," Mr. McElduff said.

The class action petition was received by the Dutchess County
Clerk's Office on Dec. 30.

The business owners also have filed a case against the city,
Dutchess County and the Beacon school district before the court in
which they seek a tax credit or refund for property taxes they say
they overpaid in 2007 and 2008 and a refund of school taxes they
say were overpaid between 2006 and 2008.

BLACK DIAMOND EQUIP: Recalls 3,500 Avalung Backpacks
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
Black Diamond Equipment, Ltd., of Salt Lake City, Utah, announced
a voluntary recall of about 3,500 Avalung backpacks.  Consumers
should stop using recalled products immediately unless otherwise

The air intake tubing can crack under cold temperatures, causing
the unit not to function as intended, posing a suffocation hazard.

The company has received one report of an air intake tubing
cracking.  No injuries have been reported.

This recall involves the following Black Diamond 2010 Avalung
backpacks.  These backpacks have an air intake system that the
company states extracts air from the snow, allowing the victim of
an avalanche to breathe while buried under the snow.  The model
name and color are printed on the side of the backpack.  The PO
number is printed on a white label inside the backpack.

     Backpack Model       Color         Size      PO Number
     --------------       -----         ----      ---------

       Anarchist          Black          M/L      101153, 101254
                                         S/M      101104
       Bandit             Black        One Size   101052, 100981
       Green Olive        One Size                100957
       Seth Plaid Red     One Size                101030
       Seth Plaid Orange  One Size                101254
       Outlaw             Black          M/L      101104, 101271,

       Green Olive                       S/M      100981, 101052
       Agent              Black          M/L      101104, 101153
       Ocean Print                       S/M      101104
       Covert             Black          M/L      101104, 101254,
                                                  101330, 101287
                                         S/M      101030
       Revelation         Black          M/L      101254, 101104,
       Chili                             M/L      101213, 101254,
                                                  101030, 101052
                                         S/M      101104
       Bandit Avalung
       Package            Black       One Size    101322, 101330,

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:


The recalled products were manufactured in China and sold through
specialty outdoor and ski shops nationwide from January 2010
through December 2010 for between $180 and $280.

Consumers should immediately stop using these recalled backpacks
and contact Black Diamond Equipment to receive a free replacement
product or a full refund.  For additional information, contact
Black Diamond collect at (801) 278-5533 anytime or visit the
company's Web site at

CERTAINTEED CORP: ClassAction.Org to Review Bad Siding Claims
Homeowners who have experienced problems with CertainTeed
WeatherBoards fiber cement exterior siding may have legal
recourse.  CertainTeed Corp is facing a putative class action
which alleges that this product is defective and that the company
has failed to uphold the terms of its product warranties.  The
complaint alleges that since at least 2002 the company has
manufactured and sold defective siding and failed to properly
design and test its products before their release into the

If you have experienced CertainTeed fiber cement siding problems,
you may be able to file a claim for damages. Visit
today and complete the free case evaluation form to find out if
you have legal recourse.

Property owners who are experiencing problems with the CertainTeed
WeatherBoards fiber cement exterior siding products have reported
a number of issues.  Potential CertainTeed siding problems include
the following: cracking; warping; shrinking; and gapping between
siding boards.  Additionally, two plaintiffs in the putative class
action against CertainTeed allege that they submitted a claim for
their fiber cement siding problems, but the company failed to
uphold the warranty's terms.

If you have experienced cracking, warping, gapping or shrinking of
CertainTeed siding, visit Class Action.org to receive a free
review of your potential fiber cement siding problems claim.  The
attorneys working with the site are offering this online
consultation at no cost and remain dedicated to protecting the
rights of homeowners who have experienced CertainTeed fiber cement
siding problems.

Class Action.org is dedicated to protecting consumers and
investors in class actions and complex litigation throughout the
United States. Class Action.org keeps consumers informed about
product alerts, recalls, and emerging litigation and helps them
take action against the manufacturers of defective products,
drugs, and medical devices.  Information about consumer fraud
issues and environmental hazards is also available on the site.
Visit http://www.classaction.org/today for a no cost, no
obligation case evaluation and information about your consumer

GETFUGU INC: Faces Shareholder Class Action in Delaware
Courthouse News Service reports that Remington Global Capital
bought up all of GetFugu's assets, valued at $35 million to
$52 million, through a $170,000 short-term loan, shareholders say
in a derivative class action in Federal Court.

A copy of the Complaint in Warnock v. GetFugu, Inc., et al., Case
No. 99-mc-09999 (D. Del.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Kenneth L. Dorsney, Esq.
          Peter B. Ladig, Esq.
          500 Delaware Avenue, Suite 1500
          Wilmington, DE 19801-1494
          Telephone: (302) 888-6855
          E-mail: kdorsney@morissjames.com

               - and -

          Richard J. Oparil, Esq.
          2550 M Street, NW
          Washington, DC 20037
          Telephone: (202) 457-6000

GOOGLE INC: Faces Class Action in Canada Over Buzz Program
Kevin Rollason, writing for Winnipeg Free Press, reports a
Manitoban is suing Google for unspecified damages in a class-
action suit over alleged problems with the launch of Google's Buzz
program earlier this year.

It took information from user email and integrated it with social
networking accounts like Facebook.

Lawyer Norman Rosenbaum is acting for Tyler Wereha, of Rosa,
Manitoba.  Mr. Rosenbaum alleges that even though Google told
users on Feb. 9 they had a choice whether or not to activate Buzz,
Google automatically activated it on users' Gmail accounts.

"It's a breach of privacy," Mr. Rosenbaum said.  "It automatically
affected all of your followers.  Even if you said you didn't want
to have your email list forwarded, it did it anyway."

The statement of claim, filed in Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench
last week, alleges anyone who has exchanged at least one email
with a person could add that person to their Buzz "following" list
and immediately see private information, including the user's
profile, Buzz posts and follower and followings lists.

Information available to everyone "following" the user could
contain the user's occupation, where they live and contact

The lawsuit asks the courts to put a permanent injunction on
Google, preventing it from operating Buzz in "a deceptive and
unfair manner whereby causing the unwanted disclosure of personal

Because it's a class-action suit, other complainants can sign on.

Mr. Rosenbaum said it has been alleged that some of the email
addresses forwarded in the U.S. included doctors' email addresses
from patient email directories.

"When Facebook made changes, they provided hard-to-follow
directions, but at least there were some," Mr. Rosenbaum said.

Google Buzz troubled the federal privacy commissioner's office
when it was launched in February.

In November, Google proposed an $8.5-million settlement in the
U.S. over a Buzz class-action privacy lawsuit, but didn't admit
fault and suggested users had misunderstood the system.

Mr. Rosenbaum said under Manitoba law, each privacy breach can
bring $5,000 in damages.

None of the allegations in the statement of claim has been proven
in court

A spokesman for Google could not be reached for comment.

Rosa is 85 kilometres south of Winnipeg on Highway 59.

GREYHOUND LINES: Stranded Passengers Mull Class Action
Jodi Lundmark, writing for tbnewswatch.com, reports Greyhound
Lines Inc. could have avoided a possible class action lawsuit if
they'd spoken to the more than 100 passengers stranded for 14
hours in White River on Jan. 3 and offered a formal apology.

"We were OK with refunds, possibly credits, but now we're past
that point because we feel they've ignored us," said Elaine
Legarde.  "We're angry now, so we've had enough."

The Thunder Bay woman was traveling from Oshawa, where she was
visiting her son, to Thunder Bay when the bus stopped for a
routine driver-switch in White River.

The two buses had stopped at 3:00 a.m. and were stuck in the north
shore community because of highway closures on both sides of the
town one of the drivers told Ms. Legarde.  The closures also
delayed the arrival of the replacement drivers.

Ms. Legarde said the passengers were initially told their driver
would arrive at 2:00 p.m.  Then it was 2:30 p.m., then 3:00 p.m.
and then 4:00 p.m.  An OPP officer told Ms. Legarde the highways
had reopened at 6:00 a.m. that day.  The buses finally left White
River at 5:00 p.m.

The normally 22-hour trip from Oshawa to Thunder Bay took a total
of 32 hours, Ms. Legarde said.

Passengers passed the time on the bus or by waiting in a nearby
doughnut shop.

She phoned three different Greyhound offices around 2 p.m.; all of
them were closed.  She also tried the bus service's toll free
number and received no answer.

"The worst part was not being spoken to, being ignored, the
feeling of abandonment," she said, adding that while one of the
drivers was in contact with a Greyhound official, no inquiries
were made about the passengers comfort or safety.

"They never said anything about coffee, blankets, warmth,
medication, if there were special needs, if there were seniors,
children, pregnant women, diabetics, heat patients, nothing," said
Ms. Legarde, a registered nurse.

The first concern for Ms. Legarde was Greyhound's lack of safety

"I feel they need to put something in place so this doesn't ever
happen again," she said.  "In light of past horrendous tragedies
that have happened on Greyhound (recently), nothing has been done.
There is no behavioral change on the part of management or at the
corporate level.

Greyhound issued a statement laying the blame for the delay on
"unforeseen weather conditions and resulting road closures."

"We sincerely apologize for the lack of communication provided to
our passengers, as well as the inconvenience and concern this
caused," it said.

The company says they are conducting a full investigation and
modify their procedures to ensure something like this does not
happen again.

Greyhound spokesman Tim Stokes told the Canadian Press the company
"will be working with each customer individually" over

But it may be too late as some passengers, including Ms. Legarde,
have already retained a lawyer who she says has experience with
class action suits involving Greyhound.

                Greyhound Offered $100 Consolation

Colin Perkel, writing for The Canadian Press, reports that
passenger Paul Hitchin said some passengers had been offered $100,
which he called inadequate.

According to Canadian Press, paramedic student, Steve Youden, 28,
discovered he had missed his connection from Thunder Bay, Ont., to
Fort Frances, Ontario.  Greyhound told him he would have to wait
two days at the terminal for another bus or could buy a ticket at
triple the price of the original for a roundabout route to his

"It was basically 'Sorry, there's nothing else we can do'," Mr.
Youden said.

Instead, he found a cheap hotel, and managed to bum a ride to Fort
Frances with other guests.

Canadian Press relates Elaine Legarde, 47, a registered nurse from
Thunder Bay, Ont., said she was looking into launching a class-
action lawsuit.  Her ticket from Toronto cost $234.48, but the
$100 she saved by taking the bus rather than flying was eaten up
by the costs incurred at the stop, she said.

"There was just no safety plan; these drivers just left us to fend
on our own," Ms. Legarde said Tuesday.  "Five hours is an
inconvenience. Thirteen hours is an injustice. That's on the
border of abuse and abandonment."

Roofer Jason Hollingsworth, 24, who was en route from Truro, N.S.,
to Calgary, said the delay cost him two days of work.  "They
didn't offer us an apology, no nothing," he said. "I'm never going
to use Greyhound again."

Canadian Press also relates a Greyhound driver told the passengers
it was snowing out and to "sit tight."  He then checked in at a
nearby motel.  "That was the last we seen of our driver," said Mr.
Hitchin, who paid $600 for his round trip, and was en route from
Barrie, Ontario.

Canadian Press says the passengers weren't buying Greyhound's
weather explanation.  They said there was a short-lived road
closure, but complained they watched in frustration as other
buses, trucks and cars whizzed for hours before they finally got
going again.

HELZBERG DIAMONDS: Sued Over Hearts & Arrows Diamonds
Rob Bates, writing for Jewelers' Circular Keystone, reports a
class action complaint filed Jan. 3 alleges diamonds advertised by
Helzberg Diamonds as being "hearts and arrows" stones do not
actually show that pattern.

The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Missouri by Sara Khaliki, a California citizen who
claims to have purchased a Helzberg Diamond Masterpiece in 2010.
It seeks class action status.

The suit says that while Helzberg Diamond Masterpieces are
advertised as "hearts and arrows" stones, "in 2005, Helzberg
decided to increase its revenues by selling its customers Helzberg
Diamond Masterpieces that . . . were instead "princess" diamonds
. . . cut using very different faceting patterns and proportions
than hearts and arrows diamonds."

"The quality of the princess-cut is highly subjective, lacking the
objective certainty of a premium cut that the presence of hearts
and arrows provides consumers," the suit continues.  It asks for
unspecified damages.

Helzberg declined comment.  At press time, the company had not
filed a response to the suit.

JC PENNEY: Sued for Not Paying Overtime to Workers
Courthouse News Service reports that a Los Angeles Superior Court
class action claims J.C. Penney stiffs workers for overtime.

JPMORGAN CHASE: Faces Class Action in Wisconsin Over Robo-calls
Courthouse News Service reports that a federal class action claims
JPMorgan Chase Bank and Chase Auto Finance use robo-dialing
systems to call cell phones of people who have no accounts with
Chase, but who are billed for the unwanted robo-calls.

A copy of the Complaint in Eichner v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, NA,
et al., Case No. 11-cv-_____ (E.D. Wis.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Robert K. O'Reilly, Esq.
          John D. Blythin, Esq.
          ADEMI & O'REILLY, LLP
          3620 East Layton Avenue
          Cudahy, WI 53110
          Telephone: (414) 482-8000
          E-mail: roreilly@ademilaw.com

               - and -

          Peter G. Safirstein, Esq.
          Andrei V. Rado, Esq.
          Anne Marie Vu, Esq.
          MILBERG LLP
          One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th Floor
          New York, NY 10119
          Telephone: (212) 594-5300
          E-mail: avu@milberg.com

LERNER SAMPSON: Sued in Ohio Over Frivolous Foreclosure Actions
Courthouse News Service reports that a class action claims the
Lerner, Sampson & Rothfuss law firm has a pattern of filing and
prosecuting foreclosure actions on behalf of clients who lack the
standing to bring such actions, and files misleading affidavits to
try to persuade the court that their clients do have such

A copy of the Complaint in Turner, et al. v. Lerner, Sampson &
Rothfuss, Case No. 11-cv-744997 (Ohio C.P. Ct., Cuyahoga Cty.)
(Russo, J.), is available at:


The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          James R. Douglass, Esq.
          20521 Chagrin Blvd., Suite D
          Shaker Heights, OH 44122
          Telephone: (216) 991-7640
          E-mail: firedcoach@aol.com

               - and -

          Marc E. Dann, Esq.
          20521 Chagrin Blvd., Suite D
          Shaker Heights, OH 44122
          Telephone: (216) 373-0539
          E-mail: mdann@dannlaw.com

POWER BALANCE: Faces Class Action for False Advertising
On Tuesday, January 4, 2011, plaintiff attorneys Panish Shea &
Boyle and Filippo Marchino of the X-Law Group filed a nationwide
class-action lawsuit against the makers of the Power Balance
bracelet.  The suit alleges unfair business practices and false
advertising.  The suit was filed in the United States District
Court for the Central District of California, Southern Division,
and has been assigned to Judge Cormac J. Carney.

The suit alleges that Power Balance advertised that "Mylar
holograms" at the center of their bracelets were "embedded with
frequencies that react positively with a body's natural energy
field."  Power Balance touted that their bracelets would produce
"faster synaptic response (brain function), enhanced muscle
response (in both fast and slow twitch tissues), increased stamina
(better oxygen uptake and recovery), more flexibility (faster
recovery) and very improved gravitational balance."

But upon investigation by Australian authorities, Power Balance
ultimately admitted in writing that they had no credible
scientific evidence that their bracelets worked, and that it had
in fact engaged in misleading conduct in breach of Australian law.

An investigation by the two southern California law firms that
filed the suit revealed that Power Balance was engaged in the same
misleading trade practices in the United States.  The law firms
filed the suit hours before the Associated Press published a
nationwide story about Power Balance's admission of having no
evidence that their product worked.

It is estimated that in excess of 3 million people were deceived,
including numerous high-profile athletes.  Information for
consumers who purchased Power Balance products will be available
on http://www.powerbalanceclassaction.com/

The case is Batungbacal vs. Power Balance LLC et al., Case No.
11-cv-18 (C.D. Calif.).

RADIOSHACK CORP: Sued in Fla. for Misclassifying Store Managers
Courthouse News Service reports that a federal class action claims
RadioShack classifies workers as store managers though they cannot
hire or fire and spend most of their time on sales, and pays them
only $3 an hour extra for overtime.

A copy of the Complaint in Hancock, et al. v. RadioShack
Corporation, Case No. 11-cv-00011 (M.D. Fla.), is available at:


The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Mark W. Fox, Esq.
          1805 SE 16th Avenue, Suite 902
          Ocala, FL 34471
          Telephone: (352) 402-0947
          E-mail: mfox@fllitigation.com

SOCORRO ELECTRIC: Former Co-Op Officials Face Class Action
El Defensor Chieftain reports District 5 trustee Charlie Wagner
was on the defensive during Socorro Electric Cooperative's board
of trustees meeting on Dec. 22, charged with some of the same
transgressions he's accused his colleagues of in the past.

Mr. Wagner is, in fact, named as representative of the class of
member-owners in a proposed class action lawsuit against his
fellow trustees and four other former co-op officials.  The
request for class action certification comes as part of a
counterclaim in response to a lawsuit the co-op filed against its
approximately 10,000 member-owners last summer.  Among other
things, the counterclaim alleges trustees engaged in "fraudulent
behavior or acts or omissions done in bad faith."

Several trustees spoke out against Mr. Wagner during the meeting,
saying he was guilty of that same kind of behavior.

In Defense of Wagner

At the outset of the meeting during the public comment period,
Virginia Martin, a member-owner residing in District 1, admonished
the board and trustee Donald Wolberg in particular for their
treatment of Mr. Wagner.

"Mr. Wolberg's attacks on Mr. Wagner are totally uncalled for and
totally offensive," she said, and referred to the November meeting
when Mr. Wolberg turned to Mr. Wagner and told him, "senility is
not an excuse for stupidity."

"That was beyond the pale," she said.

Ms. Martin went on to say that because the other trustees allowed
Mr. Wolberg to be so rude, "that makes me think the rest of you
are unprofessional."

Ms. Martin returned to Mr. Wolberg, calling him "ignorant" for
repeatedly making insinuations that Mr. Wagner was using co-op
money to fund the countersuit and pay "his Texas attorneys."  She
said the truth was that attorneys were being paid by members
contributing to a fund set up for their legal defense.  But that
didn't stop Mr. Wolberg and others from making accusations against
Mr. Wagner over the course of a meeting that lasted nearly 3 1/2

Mountain or Molehill?

During approval of expenditures, District 3 trustee Milton
Ulibarri questioned two payments made to Mr. Wagner for attending
New Mexico Rural Electric Cooperatives Association and
Environmental Improvement Board meetings.

"The spreadsheet shows $1,200 was paid twice for attending
meetings, and he hasn't paid that back," Mr. Ulibarri said.

Mr. Ulibarri made the point that when he was the co-op's NMREC
representative that he paid back $2,501 worth of expenses he
incurred for attending three meetings last summer, then got up
from the table and provided an El Defensor Chieftain reporter with
a receipt to prove it.

Mr. Wagner said he fully intended to pay the money back.  He told
the others that he had written a letter to co-op attorney
Dennis Francish inquiring where he stood in terms of the $10,000
expense limit trustees are allowed to incur in a year so he could
pay back the balance.  Mr. Wagner said he only got a written
response from Mr. Francish that night and he hadn't even opened
the envelope.

Trustee Leo Cordova claimed what Mr. Wagner was doing was no
different than what two former co-op managers fired in August did
when they borrowed money from the co-op and didn't pay it back in
a timely manner.

To that, Mr. Wagner responded, "You're making a mountain out of a
molehill," which drew laughter from several members of the board.

Out of Order

The matter came up again later in the meeting when co-op President
Paul Bustamante said that Mr. Wagner was in violation of the bylaw
covering spending limits by attending the NMRECA meeting.

Trustee Dave Wade added that Mr. Wagner violated it again when he
went to the EIB meeting.  Mr. Wade also claimed that Mr. Wagner
had taken $900 for a trip to Biloxi, Miss., that he didn't have
coming and accused him of referring to a Hispanic trustee as a
"Mexican Chihuahua."

"Do we let this man do what he wants and tell us all what to do?"
Mr. Wade asked.

Messrs. Wade and Cordova both charged Wagner with trying to
"steal" money from the co-op.

Mr. Ulibarri then made a motion, seconded by Mr. Wolberg, that
Wagner pay back the money he owed and the motion easily passed.

That wasn't the end of it, however.  Mr. Wolberg made the claim
that Mr. Wagner had accrued $210,000 in expenses over the course
of four years.

"Add to that that I'm a serial killer," Mr. Wagner responded in

Tensions increased further a few minutes later when Mr. Bustamante
called for an executive session just before Mr. Wagner was going
to bring up a matter under the agenda item "subjects by trustees."
When Mr. Bustamante failed to acknowledge him, Mr. Wagner whacked
the table with papers he was holding and stood up.

"Mr. Chairman, you're out of order.  You didn't give me a chance
to make my motion," Mr. Wagner said.

Mr. Ulibarri, who was seated to Mr. Wagner's left, then stood up,
turned to Mr. Wagner and said, "You're out of order right now.
You're out of order right now," repeating the phrase several times
while Mr. Wagner continued his protest.

Getting His Chance

After the 35-minute executive session Mr. Wagner did have a chance
to make his motion, which was to seek outside counsel to eliminate
the risk of EEOC claims before hiring a new general manager.

The motion died for lack of a second.

Mr. Wagner made another motion that trustees not be allowed to
"borrow" from their expense allowance from the upcoming year,
which also failed to be seconded.

Yet another motion from Wagner did receive a second from Prescilla
Mauldin.  That motion called for trustees and employees to produce
receipts for reimbursements when money was advanced to them.  It
was defeated 7-2, with Mr. Wagner and Ms. Mauldin voting in favor.

The board of trustees will hold a special meeting on Tuesday,
Jan. 11, at 5:30 p.m. to elect officers to 2011.  The matter of a
petition to recall Bustamante as trustee will also be addressed at
that meeting.

The next regular meeting of the board is scheduled for Wednesday,
Jan. 26, at 5:30 p.m.

SYNDERO INC: Sued Over False Claims on Dermitage Product
Courthouse News Service reports that a Superior Court class action
claims that Syndero and Iconic Labs push their Dermitage anti-
aging skin treatment with false claims, including "fabricated
before and after pictures."

A copy of the Complaint in Johnson v. Syndero, Inc., et al., Case
No. 1100111 (Calif. Super. Ct., Riverside Cty.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Scott J. Ferrell, Esq.
          James B. Hardin, Esq.
          Michael E. Velarde, Esq.
          610 Newport Center Drive, Suite 700
          Newport Beach, CA 92660
          Telephone: (949) 706-6464
          E-mail: sferrell@trialnewport.com

TORONTO COMMUNITY: Fire Victims to Get More From Class Action
Cynthia Vukets and Donovan Vincent, writing for Toronto Star,
report frustrated residents affected by the Wellesley St.
apartment fire have been given a simple choice: take the $4,000 to
$10,000 in compensation offered by Toronto Community Housing, or
wait for a class action suit that could net about $25,000 per
one-bedroom apartment.

After legal fees are paid out, residents could see an estimated
$17,000 for a one-bedroom unit, lawyer Brian Shell told a meeting
on Jan. 4 attended by about 150 people affected by last
September's fire at 200 Wellesley St. E.

The figure was provided by National Fire Adjustment Co., a company
that Mr. Shell's law firm is working with in a class action bid
launched against TCHC and Greenwin Property Management.  Greenwin
operated the building at the time of the fire.

TCHC is currently offering residents base amounts of $3,300 if
they live in a bachelor suite and $5,300 for a two-bedroom
apartment.  If they accept, residents must agree not to go ahead
with the class action or take further legal action.

But Mr. Shell told the meeting that TCHC's offer is woefully
inadequate, and that his adjusters will sit down with each
claimant to determine exactly what they had in their units and the
value, along with emotional or physical trauma.

"We're concerned TCHC is trying to persuade people to take a deal
that is much less that you're likely to receive in a class action
proceeding," Mr. Shell said, adding the lawsuit could be settled
in three to five months.

Meanwhile, Toronto Community Housing has given residents more time
to consider its compensation offer, after legal aid lawyers shut
down a free clinic to protest the scheme they said was taking
advantage of vulnerable tenants.

The lawyers who had agreed to advise tenants on the compensation
package walked out on the process just before Christmas, saying
they needed more time to evaluate the plan versus the class action
lawsuit.  That forced TCHC to drop a Jan. 21 deadline it had
imposed, said Jeffrey Ferrier, a spokesman for the agency.

"It's a small improvement, but it really doesn't make a whole lot
of difference," said Jack de Klerk, a lawyer with Neighbourhood
Legal Services.  "The deadline was completely arbitrary and it had
no purpose."

Hundreds of tenants were forced from their apartments.  Many have
moved back, but 237 are still staying in hotels and 75 moved

Lawyers for the class action and TCHC were in court Dec. 23 to set
a certification date, which the judge scheduled for the beginning
of July.

Mr. De Klerk said tenants deserve an "interim payment" that would
allow them to make a decision between the compensation package and
the class action without feeling desperate for funds to replace
lost and ruined possessions.

TCHC said it is not considering such a payment.

Tenant Beverly White said she won't take the compensation.

"That's a ridiculous amount of money.  That's an insult," she
said. "The class action is the way to go."

Cliff Martin, the tenant rep for 200 Wellesley, said he hopes TCHC
will offer more money.

"All they're doing now is damage control," he said.

VODAFONE GROUP: 9,000 Customers to Join Aussie Class Action
Josh Taylor, writing for ZDNet.com.au, reports Vodafone customers
in droves have registered interest in joining a potential class
action lawsuit against the telco over 3G network and call dropping
issues on its mobile network.

Since Sydney-based law firm Piper Alderman announced it was
investigating the possibility of a class action suit against
Vodafone for problems with its network over the past few months,
it has been inundated with registrations of interest from
customers.  The law firm posted an update on its site on Jan. 5,
stating that approximately 9,000 customers had registered interest
in the action.

The law firm said it would be using the next 10 business days to
investigate the specific circumstances of people who had
registered for the action and said three customers (now part of
Vodafone Hutchison Australia) could also register their interest
in making a potential claim against the company.

The firm is also accepting interest from mobile broadband
customers who have been affected by the ongoing issues on the 3G

There is no cost to join onto the action if the law firm proceeds,
it states on the site, but should the action be successful, the
firm would seek a commission of 25% to 40% of the compensation
received.  The entire process is expected to take between 12 and
24 months.

Vodafone on Jan. 4 pledged to fix its network in 2011 with a
series of upgrades.  The telco is planning to upgrade or build
more than 2,500 mobile base stations in 2011.

GLAXOSMITHKLINE PLC: Lawyers to Review Claims Over Avandia Drug
The Avandia heart attack lawyers working with Class Action.org are
available to review claims from patients who have suffered a heart
attack or stroke while taking the drug, as well as loved ones who
have lost someone to an Avandia-related cardiac death.  Over the
years, the diabetes drug has been associated with a number of
Avandia cardiac side effects, and users who have suffered heart
problems while taking the medication may have legal recourse.  To
find out if you can participate in an Avandia lawsuit to recover
compensation, visit http://www.classaction.org/avandia.htmland
complete the free case evaluation form.

Used to treat Type 2 diabetes, Avandia has received considerable
attention from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  Most
recently, the FDA issued new Avandia restrictions, allowing the
drug to be taken only by patients who had unsuccessfully tried
other diabetes drugs and were fully aware of the potential Avandia
heart risks.  In November 2007, the FDA added new information to
the Avandia black box warning about the potential risk for heart
attacks.  The previous upgraded warning, issued to certain
diabetes drugs in August 2007, pointed out that these types of
medications may worsen heart failure, a condition in which the
organ cannot provide the body with sufficient blood flow, in some

If you or a loved one has suffered an Avandia stroke, heart attack
or other cardiac side effect, you may be able to participate in an
Avandia lawsuit to recover compensation for medical bills and
other damages.  Visit Class Action.org for a free evaluation of
your claim.  The Avandia litigation attorneys working with Class
Action.org are offering this online consultation at no cost and
remain dedicated to patients and loved ones who were affected by
an Avandia heart attack or other cardiac side effect of this
diabetes drug.

Class Action.org is dedicated to protecting consumers and
investors in class actions and complex litigation throughout the
United States.  Class Action.org keeps consumers informed about
product alerts, recalls, and emerging litigation and helps them
take action against the manufacturers of defective products,
drugs, and medical devices.  Information about consumer fraud
issues and environmental hazards is also available on the site.
Visit http://www.classaction.org/today for a no cost, no
obligation case evaluation and information about your consumer

US TELECOM FIRMS: 7th Cir. Allows "Text Message" Suit to Proceed
Joe Celentino at Courthouse News Service reports that a class
action that accuses Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T and Sprint of
conspiring to fix text message prices will proceed to discovery
after the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
ruled that the amended complaint stated a legally sufficient

The complaint was filed just after Sen. Herbert Kohl, chairman of
the antitrust subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, sent
a letter on Sept. 9, 2008, to the CEOs of the four carriers
expressing concern about antitrust violations.

The companies allegedly discussed price-fixing in trade
association meetings and then hiked rates despite steeply falling
costs.  The class claims that the companies also met through the
association's "leadership council," which had a stated mission to
substitute "co-opetition" for competition among members.

"This is anomalous behavior because falling costs increase a
seller's profit margin at the existing price, motivating him, in
absence of agreement, to reduce his price slightly in order to
take business from his competitors," Judge Richard Posner wrote
for a panel of three 7th Circuit judges.

The cost of text messages, commonly priced at 10 cents per message
in 2005, rose to 20 cents per message by 2008.

The defendants have adopted a uniform pricing structure which "the
complaint suggests . . . could not have been accomplished without
agreement on the details of the new structure, the timing of its
adoption and the specific uniform price increase that would ensue
on its adoption."

An Illinois federal judge had dismissed the class's first
complaint and approved a second amended complaint for discovery
proceedings, but the wireless providers moved for an interlocutory
appeal, arguing that the amended complaint should also be
dismissed for not presenting a plausible claim.

The appeals court upheld the district court's decision, finding
the complaint sufficiently plausible even without direct evidence.
"Discovery may reveal the smoking gun or bring to light additional
circumstantial evidence that further tilts the balance in favor of
liability," Judge Posner wrote.  "All that we conclude at this
early stage in the litigation is that the district judge was right
to rule that the second amended complaint provides a sufficiently
plausible case of price fixing to warrant allowing the plaintiffs
to proceed to discovery."

* Seyfarth Sees 2011 as Tipping Point for Workplace Class Action
The year just ended was a seismic one for employment-related class
action litigation, paving the way for more far-reaching judgments,
court rulings, and changes to class action law in 2011.  The value
of employment discrimination class action settlements also
increased four-fold in 2010 over 2009 and the top ten settlements
of wage & hour, ERISA, and governmental enforcement class actions
increased to $1.16 billion, the highest amount ever.

The "tipping point" aspect of these changes is well captured in
the 2011 edition of Seyfarth Shaw's Workplace Class Action
Litigation Report.  The 664-page Report, the seventh annual
edition, is the most comprehensive analysis of workplace-related
class actions in the U.S.  It examines 848 decisions rendered in
2010 against employers in state and federal courts, including
private plaintiff and government enforcement actions.

As it has since its launch in 2004, the Report is authored and
edited by Seyfarth Shaw partner Gerald L. Maatman, Jr., co-chair
of the firm's class action defense group.  Mr. Maatman, who
represents companies facing labor and employment-related class
actions, won several key workplace class action decisions in 2010,
including a gender discrimination class action that was the first
case testing the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling regarding arbitration
clauses in Stolt-Nielsen v. Animalfeeds.  The Report is the sole
compendium in the U.S. dedicated exclusively to workplace class
action litigation, and has become to "go to" research and resource
guide for businesses and corporate counsel facing complex

A preview of the Seyfarth Shaw 2011 Report can be found
at http://is.gd/kcv57

The new Report makes clear that while securities, shareholder and
commercial class actions remained stable in 2010, workplace class
actions -- especially those brought under the Fair Labor Standards
Act -- spiked considerably.  Employment litigation costs represent
a substantial portion of corporate legal budgets, and constitute a
significant reputational issue for companies.  While the financial
stakes often force class actions to settle before trial, 2010
witnessed a landmark exception: Velez v. Novartis not only went
before a jury, but ended in a $253 million plaintiffs' verdict;
the subsequent $175 million settlement is one of the largest
employment discrimination class action settlements ever.

In its current term, the U.S. Supreme Court has three cases that
may effectuate substantial changes to class action law.  In March
the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the Title VII gender
discrimination case Dukes v. Wal-Mart, covering more than 1.5
million class members.  In AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, argued in
November of 2010, the Supreme Court must resolve whether service
agreements favoring non-class-wide arbitration abrogate consumers'
right to bring a class arbitration -- the outcome could well
impact workplace arbitration agreements.  And in Smith v. Bayer,
scheduled for argument later this month, the Justices must
determine how far one court's rejection of class certification can
go in determining another court's capacity to certify a class on
the same issue.

"The past several years have placed several important issues
governing class action law on the table and 2011 looks like the
year many of these questions will be answered by the Supreme
Court," said Mr. Maatman. He noted that the Supreme Court's
rulings in all three cases could have profound effects on the way
class actions are brought against companies, including wage & hour
class actions and collective actions.

"Wage & hour cases in particular have yet to slow down, even as
the economy is starting to improve," Mr. Maatman noted.  "For most
companies that is their Number 1 exposure -- and we expect to see
even more and bigger cases brought in 2011."

                          Feb. 8 Webinar

Seyfarth Shaw has scheduled a 90-minute webinar on February 8, to
examine the key trends, rulings, and developments in workplace
class action cases this past year and to assess what changes in
the coming year could mean for class action law going forward.

The latest edition of the Workplace Class Action Litigation Report
draws attention to a number of key trends certain to have carry-
over effect into the year ahead:

    * Successful cases brought by plaintiffs' class action lawyers
are likely to inspire copy-cat filings as well as drive up
settlement demands by those bringing workplace actions, especially
in the wake of the $253 million discrimination judgment against
Novartis, the largest employment class action trial verdict on
record.  The case not only increased awareness of the class action
option among employees but broadened the appeal of class actions
among the plaintiffs bar.

    * The Supreme Court's grant of certiorari in Dukes v. Wal-Mart
in December sets the stage for a potentially landmark decision
regarding Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which
governs the standards and parameters for constituting a class and
its claims.  The Ninth Circuit's en banc ruling to certify the 1.5
million-person class in Dukes, the largest employment
discrimination class ever.  Among the issues the Supreme Court
will decide is the extent of commonality that must hold among
plaintiffs' grievances for a class to be certified.

    * The economic downturn and resulting layoffs sparked a major
jump in FLSA collective actions for unpaid overtime wages.  Wage &
hour cases remain the most common form of workplace class action.
(Chapter 5 of the Report analyzes key FLSA decisions from 2010,
while the most significant state-level wage & hour rulings are
addressed in chapter 7.)

    * Setbacks to the Democrats' legislative agenda in the
November mid-term elections will likely place greater emphasis by
the Obama Administration on regulatory means of enforcement.
Increased budgets and renewed hiring at the Department of Labor
and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission suggest that employers
should prepare themselves for more investigations and lawsuits in
the coming year -- a trend at the federal level that state labor
departments have already begun to follow.

    * The latest EEOC annual report asserts that its goal is to
shift emphasis from smaller suits on behalf of individuals to
systemic "pattern or practice" lawsuits encompassing much larger
groups of workers.

    * The Bush Administration's Class Action Fairness Act,
designed to tighten access to state courts in filing class
actions, has prompted a surprisingly large number of decisions,
driven by the high volume of wage & hour filings in California.
Moreover, CAFA rulings have triggered new litigation strategies by
both plaintiffs' and defense class action attorneys, making class
action law one of the most quickly evolving areas of

    * The size of damages settlements in class actions is growing.
In 2010, employment discrimination class action settlements
increased four-fold over 2009.  Plaintiffs' attorneys are pursuing
new methods for expanding the dimensions of classes and the size
of damages sought.

Mr. Maatman says the sluggish economy also will continue to
generate employment-related class actions.  "The current trend --
which might or might not be diverted or arrested by upcoming
Supreme Court decisions -- is toward a more aggressive plaintiffs'
bar and government enforcement philosophy, which combine to
dramatically increase the financial exposure companies face,"
Mr. Maatman said.  "Clearly, the dominant lesson of 2010 is that
shoring up potential weaknesses in compliance and identifying
class action vulnerabilities should remain a priority for
corporate counsel."

Seyfarth Shaw -- http://www.seyfarth.com-- has over 750 attorneys
located in 10 offices throughout the United States, including:
Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York,
Sacramento, San Francisco, and Washington D.C., as well as
internationally in Brussels, Belgium.  Seyfarth Shaw provides a
broad range of legal services in the areas of labor and
employment, employee benefits, litigation, corporate, and real
estate.  The firm's practice reflects virtually every industry and
segment of the country's business and social fabric.  Clients
include over 300 of the Fortune 500 companies, financial
institutions, newspapers and other media, hotels, health care
organizations, airlines and railroads.  The firm also represents a
number of federal, state and local governmental and educational


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.  Leah
Felisilda, Neil U. Lim, Rousel Elaine Fernandez, Joy A. Agravante,
Ronald Sy, Christopher Patalinghug, Frauline Abangan and Peter A.
Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2011.  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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