/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/110113.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Thursday, January 13, 2011, Vol. 13, No. 9


ABBOTT LABS: Faces Class Action Over Tainted Similac
AMBAC FINANCIAL: Veera Class Suit Survives Motion to Dismiss
BALDOR ELECTRIC: Feb. 15 Hearing Set for Class Action Settlement
CANADIAN RECORD LABELS: Settle Copyright Class Action
ERIE INDEMNITY: Wants Insurance Department to Handle Class Suit

EVERHOME MORTGAGE: 3rd Circuit Upholds Dismissal of "Martino" Suit
GUAM: Police Officers File Class Action Over Overtime Pay
HONDA MOTOR: Vehicle Owners Still Face Transmission Problems
ILLINOIS BELL: Sued for Not Paying Overtime to Workers
JASMINE LTD: New Jersey Court Approves Class Action Settlement

LOCKLEAR ELECTRIC: Feb. 4 Hearing Set for Faxed Ad Class Action
MISSION, B.C.: May Face Class Action Over Grow-Op Inspections
NAKHEEL: May Face Class Action Over Stalled Real Estate Projects
RALPHS GROCERY: Calif. Appeals Court Affirms Denial of Arbitration
SANFORD BROWN: Class Action Heads to Appellate Court

SNACKABLE MEDIA: Class Actions Over Premium Content Fees Settled
SO. CALIF. UNIV.: Appeals Court Upholds Certification
TOYOTA MOTOR: Judge Certifies Prius Headlights Class Action
TOYOTA MOTOR: Settles Antitrust Class Actions
U.S. BANCORP: Mass. Homeowner Foreclosure Class Action to Resume

VODAFONE GROUP: Law Firm Plans to Include Data Breach in Suit
VERITAS SOFTWARE: SEC Fair Fund Consents Due by April 19, 2011
WAGON WHEEL: Lawyer Wants Court to Junk Puppy Mill Suit Appeal
WASHINGTON COUNTY, NY: May Take Financial Hit From Class Action
WEGIVETOGET LLC: Settles Charity Fraud Class Action

* U.S. Shareholder Class Actions Over Mergers on the Rise


ABBOTT LABS: Faces Class Action Over Tainted Similac
Michelle Massey, writing for The Louisiana Record, reports a class
action has been filed against the manufacturers of Similac baby
formula which was recalled in September for possible contamination
by beetles.

John L. and Jennifer M. O'Neil filed suit against Abbott
Laboratories Inc. (Delaware) and Abbott Laboratories on Dec. 16 in
Tangipahoa District Court.  The defendant removed the case to
federal court in New Orleans on Jan. 4.

According to the lawsuit, the parents gave their two-month old
baby Similac Isomil Sensitive beginning in September.  The parents
state their baby began suffering diarrhea shortly thereafter.

Their doctor recommended switching formulas and subsequently, the
infant recovered.  At the end of September, the defendants issued
a voluntary recall order after small common beetles were found at
its Michigan manufacturing facility.

The parents argue that the products were contaminated to such an
extent that their baby was sickened and required medical

The defendants are accused of negligence by breaching their duty
to exercise reasonable care to prevent infants from being sickened
by the "tainted Similac."

"The Abbott defendant's conduct was committed with conscious or
reckless disregard for the rights of plaintiffs and their minor
child and those similarly situated and were grossly negligent and
unreasonable," the lawsuit states.

The proposed class will include consumers who purchased Similac
Advanced, Similac Sensitive and Similac Go and Grow in 2010 and
who fed the Similac product to infant children who then
subequently became sickened.

The proposed class is asking for an award of no more than $10,000
for each named plaintiff, court costs and interest.

The plaintiffs are represented by Patrick W. Pendley of Pendley,
Baudin & Coffin in Plaquemine and William A. Grimley in Baton
Rouge.  A jury trial is requested.

U.S. District Judge Carl J. Barbier is assigned to the case.

Case No. 2:11-cv-00011

Mr. Pendley may be reached at:

          Patrick W. Pendley, Esq.
          Post Office Drawer 71
          24110 Eden Street
          Plaquemine, Louisiana 70765
          Telephone: (888) 725-2477
          Facsimile: (225) 687-6398

AMBAC FINANCIAL: Veera Class Suit Survives Motion to Dismiss
District Judge Harold Baer Jr. denied the defendants' request to
dismiss the class action, Karthikeyan V. Veera, v. Ambac Plan
Administrative Order Committee, et al., Case No. 10-CV-4191
(S.D.N.Y.).  Plaintiff is a former employee of Ambac Financial
Group, Inc., who held Ambac stock as part of an employer-sponsored
Savings Incentive Plan.  Plaintiff purports to represent a class
of all Plan participants who held Ambac stock through the Plan
between October 1, 2006 and July 2, 2008.  Ambac's publicly traded
stock fell sharply during the Class Period, and Ambac filed for
Chapter 11 bankruptcy on November 8, 2010. Plaintiff claims that
the defendants breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA by
continuing to offer Ambac stock as part of the Plan when they knew
or should have known of Ambac's impending decline.

The Amended Complaint targets two categories of defendants, the
Plan Investment Committee and Plan Administrative Committee and
its individual members, who allegedly violated their duty of
prudence, and the Compensation Committee and its members, who
allegedly violated the duty of monitoring.

The Defendants' principal position is that they were under no
fiduciary obligation to remove or diversify the Ambac stock in the
Plan.  They argue that because the Plan required the offering of
Ambac stock, they had no discretion to eliminate it; since they
exercised no control over the offering of Ambac stock in the Plan,
the inclusion of the stock in the Plan creates no fiduciary
liability for them.

Judge Baer, among other things, noted the Court cannot help but
conclude that monitoring fiduciaries failed to provide sufficient
attention, if any, to the risks of the continued purchase and
retention of Ambac stock.

A copy of the Court's January 6, 2011 Opinion and Order is
available at http://is.gd/kxpTFfrom Leagle.com.

                       About Ambac Financial

Ambac Financial Group, Inc., headquartered in New York City, is a
holding company whose affiliates provided financial guarantees and
financial services to clients in both the public and private
sectors around the world.

Ambac Financial filed a voluntary petition for relief under
Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code in Manhattan (Bankr.
S.D.N.Y. Case No. 10-15973) on November 8, 2010.  Ambac said it
will continue to operate in the ordinary course of business as
"debtor-in-possession" under the jurisdiction of the Bankruptcy
Court and in accordance with the applicable provisions of the
Bankruptcy Code and the orders of the Bankruptcy Court.

Ambac's bond insurance unit, Ambac Assurance Corp., did not file
for bankruptcy.  AAC is being restructured by state regulators in
Wisconsin.  AAC is domiciled in Wisconsin and regulated by the
Office of the Commissioner of Insurance of the State of Wisconsin.
The parent company is not regulated by the OCI.

Ambac's consolidated balance sheet -- which includes non-debtor
Ambac Assurance Corp -- showed $30.05 billion in total assets,
$31.47 billion in total liabilities, and a $1.42 billion
stockholders' deficit, at June 30, 2010.

On an unconsolidated basis, Ambac said in a court filing that
it has assets of ($394.5 million) and total liabilities of
$1.6826 billion as of June 30, 2010.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp., as trustee to seven different types
of notes, is listed as the largest unsecured creditor, with claims
totaling about $1.62 billion.

The Vanguard Group, Inc., holds 5.46% of the stock of Ambac and is
its largest shareholder.

Peter A. Ivanick, Esq., Allison H. Weiss, Esq., and Todd L.
Padnos, Esq., at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP represent the Debtor.  The
Blackstone Group LP is the Debtor's financial advisor.  Kurtzman
Carson Consultants LLC is the claims and notice agent.

Anthony Princi, Esq., Gary S. Lee, Esq., and Brett H. Miller,
Esq., at Morrison & Foerster LLP, in New York, serve as counsel to
the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors.

Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., publishes AMBAC BANKRUPTCY
NEWS.  The newsletter tracks the Chapter 11 proceeding
undertaken by Ambac Financial Group Inc.
(http://bankrupt.com/newsstand/or 215/945-7000)

BALDOR ELECTRIC: Feb. 15 Hearing Set for Class Action Settlement
Wanda Freeman, writing for The Times Record, reports a lawsuit
brought by an Arkansas shareholder against Baldor Electric Co.
should be settled by mid-February, if everything goes according to

In the lawsuit -- filed as a class action the day after the
announcement that Switzerland-based ABB would purchase Baldor for
$4.2 billion -- shareholder John Cottrell alleged Baldor's
directors had breached their fiduciary duty by failing to obtain a
price that reflected the true future value of the shares.

ABB had agreed to buy Baldor's stock for $63.50 per share,
representing a 41% premium over the Nov. 29 closing price of

Since then, Baldor and ABB as well as the banks involved in the
merger have contributed to a list of disclosures to justify the
share valuation, and attorneys for both sides of the case have
negotiated a memorandum of understanding that contemplates a

According to a scheduling order issued on Jan. 6 by Sebastian
County Circuit Judge James O. Cox, the parties have agreed to
complete further "confirmatory discovery" by Feb. 4 and attempt to
execute a stipulation of settlement by Feb. 11.

Finally, Judge Cox will hold a hearing on preliminary approval of
the proposed settlement at 3:00 p.m. on Feb. 15.

A settlement of that and several similar shareholder lawsuits will
free Baldor and ABB to focus on the merger in progress, Baldor
spokesman Tracy Long said on Jan. 3.  The disclosures filed in the
Cottrell case were also filed to help settle two cases in St.

ABB on Dec. 8 commenced its tender offer for all outstanding
shares of Baldor's common stock.  The offer expires Jan. 10.

The deal, expected to close in the first quarter of this year,
includes $1.1 billion in debt.

CANADIAN RECORD LABELS: Settle Copyright Class Action
EMI Music Canada Inc., Sony Music Entertainment Canada Inc.,
Universal Music Canada Inc. and Warner Music Canada Co. have
reached an agreement to pay songwriters and music publishers for
outstanding "pending list" claims and to resolve a proposed class
action lawsuit.

The current music licensing system allows for recordings to be
issued without pre-clearance from copyright owners but subject to
licensing agreements with CMRRA and SODRAC, who represent most
publishers and songwriters.  The vast majority of royalties owing
for such sales have always been and will continue to be paid
promptly by the record labels.  The proposed agreement settles all
alleged copyright infringement liability related to that small
minority of unlicensed works that have accumulated over the years.
The proposed agreement also establishes a new mechanism that will
expedite future payments of mechanical royalties to music rights

"The major record labels are to be commended for their efforts in
resolving this matter," said Jon Foreman, a partner at Harrison
Pensa LLP and co-counsel for the plaintiff.  "This agreement
reflects the respect the major record labels have for their unpaid
rights holders.  This is a very good result for songwriters and
music publishers."

"This is a very positive outcome for all parties," said Graham
Henderson, President, Canadian Recording Industry Association
(CRIA), on behalf of EMI Music Canada, Sony Music Entertainment
Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada.  "I
commend the counsel representing rights holders and the major
record labels for their constructive approach in reaching an
agreement and their diligence in working through highly complex

"In this case, copyright owners have been well-served by a timely
and reasonable resolution of a complex problem.  We look forward
to the distribution of the outstanding payments in accordance with
the settlement," said plaintiff's counsel Paul Bates of Bates

Under the agreement, the record labels will pay approximately $45
million to resolve all disputed claims related to their past music
releases in audio and video formats and to settle a copyright
infringement class action lawsuit commenced in 2008.  The
settlement is a compromise of disputed claims and is not an
admission of liability or wrongdoing by the record labels. The
agreement is subject to approval by the Ontario Superior Court of

The agreement was arrived at with the active participation of the
two Canadian licensing collectives, the Canadian Musical
Reproduction Rights Agency (CMRRA), and Societe du droit de
reproduction des auteurs, compositeurs et editeurs au Canada

David Basskin, the President and CEO of CMRRA, said, "This
agreement with the four major labels resolves all outstanding
pending list claims.  EMI, Sony, Universal and Warner are ensuring
that the net result is more money for songwriters and music
publishers.  It's a win for everyone."

Alain Lauzon, the General Manager of SODRAC, commented, "Equally
welcome will be the creation of a new licensing system that will
keep the pending list problem from building up again.  This
solution has been needed for many years."

Songwriters and publishers whose works are on the pending lists
are represented by Jonathan Foreman of Harrison Pensa LLP and Paul
Bates of Bates Barristers.  Additional information about the
settlement can be found at http://www.pendinglistssettlement.com/

ERIE INDEMNITY: Wants Insurance Department to Handle Class Suit
Leo Strupczewski, writing for The Legal Intelligencer, reports in
August, a Fayette County Common Pleas judge rejected a summary
judgment motion filed in a class-action suit against one of the
state's major insurance companies.

The next step, it seems, is trial.

Along the way, however, there have been a series of efforts by
Erie Indemnity Co. to shift the case from the court's jurisdiction
to that of the state's insurance commissioner.

And last month, the Pennsylvania Insurance Department teamed with
Erie -- which had been sued by a class of plaintiffs for denying
stacked uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage under its
household exclusion clause -- in petitioning the Superior Court to
grant an appeal addressing that very issue.

The two parties joined forces after a trial court judge refused to
certify the issue, and a single judge on the front-line appellate
court denied an appeal.

Both argued the Insurance Department was the proper jurisdiction
for the plaintiffs' issues to be heard.

Though it proved unsuccessful, the joint effort shows "this case
is going to end soon," said plaintiff's attorney William Radcliffe
of Radcliffe & DeHaas in Uniontown.

According to Erie, Judge Steve P. Leskinen's August decision
denying the transfer of jurisdiction in Shultz v. Erie could set a
precedent that would tie up courts with insurance-rate litigation.
The Insurance Department later argued in an amicus brief
accompanying the insurance company's petition that such issues are
statutorily reserved for the department.

Further, it argued, prior case law and the primary jurisdiction
doctrine point to the Insurance Department hearing the plaintiffs'

Erie also argued in a petition to the Superior Court that it could
be on the hook for "tens of millions of dollars" if a judge rules
against them.

Asked if he expected the jurisdiction argument from Erie when the
case was filed, Mr. Radcliffe said it was "anticipated."

He did not, however, say why that was.

Scott Cooper, an attorney with Schmidt Kramer in Harrisburg who
often writes friend of the court briefs on automobile insurance
issues for the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, said Erie
would likely want the case before the insurance commissioner for
two reasons.

"The insurance commissioner is probably going to be appointed by
[Gov.-elect Tom] Corbett, who would be more philosophically
oriented with their position," Mr. Cooper said.  "That's probably
one of the reasons.  It'd be a main reason.  The other reason is
that they can say all of these exclusions are valid as long as
they were approved by the Insurance Department."

Terry Keating, deputy chief counsel at the Insurance Department,
said the department became interested in the case once there was a
potential for it to go before the Superior Court.

"When that happens, we like to have our voice heard," Mr. Keating

Mr. Keating said the genesis for the case is the 2000 Supreme
Court case In re Stacking Litigation, in which the justices sent a
case involving allegations of illusory coverage to the Insurance
Department for resolution.

"If you fast forward, what's happened since that time is there
have been various court cases that have modified the law and given
plaintiffs a chance for a second bite at the apple," Mr. Keating
said. "All different court cases have come out that [the
plaintiffs] claim whittle down [In re Stacking].  That's their
claim, that the landscape has changed."

Regardless of that argument, Mr. Keating said, the Insurance
Department believes that it's in the best position to conduct a
"technical analysis" of the claims.

"Here's a really important factor: It would not serve judicial
economy well to go through the entire trial . . . and then go up
[to the Superior Court] and say, 'Wait, you're wrong, you should
go to the Insurance Department.'"

Since Judge Leskinen refused to certify the issue for
interlocutory appeal by ruling the jurisdictional issue wasn't the
sole issue that would determine the case, Erie has made a second
and third attempt to get its case before Superior Court.

A Superior Court panel rejected the insurance company's petition
for interlocutory appeal in December 2007.  In November, however,
Erie petitioned the court to review that decision and the
Insurance Department filed its amicus brief in mid-December.

In petitioning the court en banc, Erie made a two-pronged
argument, submitting that the claims should be dismissed and,
failing that, transferred to the Insurance Department for review.

In support of its dismissal argument, Erie cited the state Supreme
Court's 2009 decision in Erie v. Baker.

In that case, the high court ruled an insurance policy's household
exclusion clause could bar the recovery of UM/UIM benefits in a
claim involving a vehicle owned by the insured but covered by a
different policy issued by another company.

In support of its transfer argument, Erie cited the 2006 Supreme
Court case Ciamaichelo v. Independence Blue Cross and the 2000
Supreme Court case In re Stacking Litigation.

The Ciamaichelo decision, referred to as Ciamaichelo II, held that
trial court judges should refer to the Insurance Department's
regulatory jurisdiction "issues of 'sufficient complexity' that
require the department's 'special competence.'"

EVERHOME MORTGAGE: 3rd Circuit Upholds Dismissal of "Martino" Suit
Carlos and Carol Martino sued EverHome Mortgage and its law firm,
Cooper, Perskie, Levenson, April, Niedelman & Wagenheim, P.A.,
alleging that the Defendants unlawfully charged and collected
various fees and costs. The District Court granted EverHome's and
Cooper's motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim, and it
subsequently denied the Martinos' motion to file an amended
complaint. The Martinos appeal the denial of their motion to

The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit affirmed
the judgment of the District Court.

The Third Circuit agreed that the proposed amended complaint fails
to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. All of the
Martinos' claims rely on the notion that they should not have had
to pay anything more than the foreclosure judgment, plus interest
and some small additional costs. The Martinos' theory of the case
overlooks the fact that they were involved in several years' worth
of bankruptcy proceedings involving EverHome and Cooper. As the
District Court observed, one would expect the bankruptcy
proceedings to give rise to an obligation to make payments
exceeding the amount of the foreclosure judgment plus Sheriff's
fees.  The Third Circuit held that the District Court did not
abuse its discretion in denying the Martinos' motion to file an
amended complaint.

A copy of the Court's opinion is available at http://is.gd/kt2nt
from Leagle.com.

GUAM: Police Officers File Class Action Over Overtime Pay
Mindy Aguon, writing for KUAM News, reports a dozen police
officers have filed a lawsuit against the Guam Police Department
and the director of the Department of Administration.  The
officers represent more than 300 men and women on the force who
have worked 43-hour workweeks without receiving overtime pay for
the three extra hours they worked between March 1998 until
December 2010.

The plaintiffs contend they have been denied just compensation and
have asked the court to order GPD and DOA to calculate and pay the
amount of overtime that is due to them for work performed over 40
hours each week.  Additionally the officers have asked that
interest be applied at a rate of 10% per year.

The lawsuit is similar to a case filed by a number of officers
with the Guam Customs and Quarantine Agency that won their case to
be compensated overtime for any hours worked beyond the regular 40
hours a week.

HONDA MOTOR: Vehicle Owners Still Face Transmission Problems
Christopher Jensen, writing for The New York Times, reports that
despite a huge recall in 2004 and a class-action settlement in
2006, many Honda owners are still having serious problems with the
automatic transmissions of their Accords, Odysseys and Pilots,
requiring thousands of dollars in repairs.

In some cases, transmissions have failed on vehicles recalled in
2004 for a repair that Honda told the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration would fix the safety defect.

Meanwhile, some owners who got a warranty extension as part of the
class-action settlement -- in which the plaintiff's lawyers got
about $5.5 million -- are having transmission failures now that
the additional coverage has expired.

Angry owners of Accords -- as well as Civics, Odysseys and Pilots
-- have filed a total of about 3,500 complaints with the highway
safety administration, the Center for Auto Safety and
CarComplaints.com, although there is likely to be some

Many of the complaints have come in the last year or two.  In the
last six months there has been a spike in the number of complaints
filed with the Center for Auto Safety, according to its executive
director, Clarence Ditlow.  Of the 267 transmission complaints the
center received in that half-year period, 169 were from Honda or
Acura owners.

"It makes no sense except that there's a huge Honda transmission
problem," he said.

Honda owners' transmission problems are not a surprise to Dennis
Madden, the chief executive of the Automatic Transmission
Rebuilders Association.  Mr. Madden said that in the 1990's there
was a feeling that, "Wow, Honda really makes a great transmission.
They last a long time."  But now, he said, Honda transmissions
have a reputation as troublesome.

Consumer Reports' 2010 reliability survey showed "major problems"
with transmissions on the 2001-3 Acura MDX and TL, the Honda
Odyssey and "to a lesser extent, Accord," wrote Anita Lam, the
magazine's Automotive Data Program Manager.  "Honda Civics and
Pilots did not seem to share this problem," she wrote in an

Michael Wickenden, the owner of CarComplaints.com, said he had
almost 2,300 complaints about transmissions on 2001-3 Accords,
Civics and Odysseys, far more than about any other component, he

"Almost half of the transmission failures occur under 90,000
miles," he wrote in an e-mail.  "One in five break down before the
odometer hits 70,000 miles.  Many formerly brand-faithful owners
write they won't be buying a Honda again anytime soon."

A Honda spokesman, Chris Naughton, said Honda "strives to build
reliable vehicles, and the vast majority of our customers have
positive experiences with their vehicles.  When we identify a
potential defect, Honda works to rectify it quickly and
appropriately with minimum inconvenience to the customer."

He also noted that the transmission problems "affect vehicles that
were built over five years ago and do not affect recent or current
Honda or Acura models."

The 2004 recall covered about 1.1 million of Honda's most popular

Honda told the safety administration that the problem was that
"certain operating conditions can result in heat build-up between
the countershaft and secondary shaft second gears."  That could
lead to "gear tooth chipping or, in vary rare cases, gear
breakage."  It is possible, the automaker said, that the
transmission could lock up, increasing the chance of a crash.

The models covered were the 2002-4 Odyssey; the 2003-4 Pilot; the
2001-2 Acura MDX; the 2003-4 Accord V-6; the 2000-4 Acura 3.2 TL
and the 2001-3 Acura 3.2 CL.

In its 2004 filing with N.H.T.S.A., Honda said it had two
approaches to the recall.

For vehicles with 15,000 miles or fewer, the dealer would "update
the transmission with a simple revision to the oil cooler return
line to increase lubrication to second gear."

For vehicles with more than 15,000 miles, the dealer would
"inspect the transmission to identify gears that have already
experienced discoloration due to overheating." If discoloration
existed the transmission would be replaced.  If discoloration was
not present the dealer would perform the revision to the oil-
cooler return line.

It was not clear from the filing how Honda would know that
vehicles with fewer than 15,000 miles might not have already
suffered damage.

Mr. Naughton, the Honda spokesman, said the automaker had studied
the issue and determined that only "prolonged operation" without
adequate oil flow could cause the problem.

But some owners who had the recall work done say their
transmissions failed later anyway.

In a complaint filed with the Center for Auto Safety, Jeremy
Berens of Vienna, Va., said his 2003 Accord was recalled when it
had fewer than 15,000 miles on the odometer.  But it failed in
December, with the mileage at about 67,000, as he tried to merge
onto a busy highway.

"I was nearly rear-ended and had no warning," he wrote in his
complaint.  "Honda has not properly fixed the recall that occurred
in 2004 and are failing to recognize that a problem exists."

He said Honda agreed to pay 40 percent of the repair after the
district manager interceded on his behalf, but it still cost him

Mr. Berens is not alone in his disenchantment.  The N.H.T.S.A. Web
site has some 570 transmission complaints from owners of 2003-4
Accords.  Many refer to problems with second gear.  There are just
over 700 transmission complaints from owners of 2002-4 Odyssey

The safety agency can investigate if it appears that a recall may
not have solved a safety problem.  But the agency never started
such an investigation.

Karen Aldana, a spokeswoman for the agency, said such an inquiry
was now being considered.

Mr. Naughton of Honda said, "In those instances where customers
experience a problem with their transmission, we encourage
customers to work with their local dealer to identify and resolve
the issue, which may be unrelated to the recall."

The class-action suit that was settled in 2006 had been filed in
the Superior Court of California for Alameda County.  It claimed
that Honda had misled consumers by selling them vehicles with
defective transmissions. Honda denied those assertions but settled
the case without admitting a defect.

What owners got was an extension of the warranty on the
transmission to 93 months or 109,000 miles (whichever comes
first), starting when the vehicle is first purchased or leased.
The normal Honda warranty was three years or 36,000 miles (and
four years or 50,000 miles for Acura).

The plaintiff's lawyers received nearly $5.5 million in addition
to about $256,000 in expenses, according to court records.

The models covered were the 2000-1 Accord; 1999-2001 Odyssey;
2000-1 Prelude; 1999-2 Acura 3.2 TL and 2001-2 Acura 3.2 CL.  A
small number of 2003 CL's and TL's were also covered.

But now most if not all those vehicles are past the 93-month time
limit and some owners are unhappy, and poorer, because their
transmissions are now failing outside the warranty extension.

"It is kind of upsetting," said Justin Sexton of Annapolis, Md.

Last March Mr. Sexton bought a 2001 Accord driven only 31,000
miles from the estate of a family friend.  He paid about $6,500.
In late December, after driving it another 10,000 miles, the
transmission failed. Now he's looking at a repair of $3,000 to

"I just graduated from school and am just trying to get a reliable
car to get to and from work, basically," he said in an interview.

"We should have looked into it before I bought it.  But I just
assumed because it was a Honda, Japanese, it would last forever."

ILLINOIS BELL: Sued for Not Paying Overtime to Workers
Courthouse News Service reports that Illinois Bell Telephone Co.
stiffed them for overtime, 44 workers say in a federal class

A copy of the Complaint in Lietz, et al. v. Illinois Bell
Telephone Company, Case No. 11-cv-____ (N.D. Ill.), is available


The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          John William Billhorn, Esq.
          120 S. State Street, Suite 400
          Chicago, IL 60603
          Telephone: (312) 853-1450

JASMINE LTD: New Jersey Court Approves Class Action Settlement
Reed Smith LLP Monday disclosed that the United States District
Court for the District of New Jersey Camden Vicinage has approved
the following announcement of a class action settlement that would
benefit purchasers of securities of Jasmine, LTD.:


YOU ARE HERBY NOTIFIED, that a class has been certified in this
litigation by the United States District Court for the District of
New Jersey and that a settlement in the amount of $650,000 has
been reached for the benefit of this Class among the Class
Representative and one of the Defendants, Fishbein & Company, P.C.

If you purchased Jasmine common stock between December 15, 1993
and June 20, 1995 inclusive, you are eligible to participate in
this settlement.  If you want to share in the distribution of the
Net Settlement Fund, you must submit a Proof of Claim postmarked
no later than April 21, 2011, establishing that you are entitled
to recovery.  Please submit a Proof of Claim to:

          Jasmine LTD Securities Litigation
          c/o Strategic Claims Services
          600 North Jackson Street, Suite 3
          Media, PA 19063
          Telephone: (866) 274-4004
          Fax: (610) 565-7985

Any questions you have about the matter in this notice should not
be directed to the Court, but may be directed in writing to:

          John Moynihan, Esq.
          REED SMITH LLP
          Class Counsel
          10 South Wacker Drive, 40th Floor
          Chicago, IL 60606


Clerk of the Court
United States District Court
District of New Jersey

CONTACT: Strategic Claims Services
         (610) 565-9202
         Fax: (610) 565-7985
         600 N. Jackson Street, Suite 3
         Media, PA 19063

LOCKLEAR ELECTRIC: Feb. 4 Hearing Set for Faxed Ad Class Action
Amelia Flood, writing for The Madison St. Clair Record, reports a
hearing is set next month that will determine how much two
defendants in one of a series of class actions over faxed
advertisements will pay.

Madison County Circuit Judge Andreas Matoesian is set to consider
what damages to award in a default judgment won by plaintiff
Locklear Electric of Wood River.

Locklear won a default judgment in the suit filed against American
Business Lending and Christopher Parks last month.

The hearing is Feb. 4 at 9:00 a.m.

Locklear claims that the defendants violated federal laws when
they faxed unsolicited ads to it and other companies.

The faxes, according to the plaintiffs, resulted in increased ink
and paper expenses.

The suit is one of several faxed class actions that Locklear has
filed in recent years in Madison and St. Clair Counties.

Another suit filed in Madison against Taylorville Chiropractic
Clinic remains pending.

Neither Parks nor American Business Lending entered appearances in
the Locklear suit.

Larry Darr represents Locklear.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-1131.

MISSION, B.C.: May Face Class Action Over Grow-Op Inspections
Sam Cooper, writing for The Province, reports there's no way Len
Gratto is paying a $5,200 fine to Mission city hall for growing
cucumbers in his basement.

Mr. Gratto -- a 67-year-old who has lived for 30 years with his
wife in their Mission home -- says he's raring to join an imminent
class-action lawsuit attacking the municipality's grow-op bylaw

A number of citizens, led by Mission man Stacy Gowanlock, will
allege their homes were illegally searched for pot grow-ops and
they were slapped with fees and repair orders costing upward of
$10,000 -- all on questionable evidence.

Mr. Gratto says he's never grown pot, but "laughable" evidence
against him consists of pictures of some "dirt" on the basement
wall and "a furnace pipe going up into the chimney, where it
should be."

"It's upsetting they can do this," Mr. Gratto said.  "We were
growing cucumbers in the basement because they wouldn't take

Mr. Gowanlock said he was searched in 2009 and hit with thousands
in fees and repair orders despite never growing pot in his home.
A lawyer could be filing his civil suit within days, he said.

"I'm going to be the one that steps forward," he said.  "It's the
whole process.  You're violating people's rights."

And in a move that could potentially alter the landscape of drug
enforcement in B.C., the B.C. Civil Liberties Association says it
will join the battle against Mission but widen the focus into a
region-wide challenge to "home grow-op bylaws."

Grow-op bylaw programs, which are based on provincial legislation,
allow municipal inspectors to enter homes with abnormally high
hydro usage -- about 93 kilowatts per day or more -- and look for
evidence of illegal marijuana grow-ops for public safety reasons.
Inspectors don't have to find grow-ops, but if they find supposed
residual evidence, such as high mould readings, they levy search
fees and order repairs.  If homeowners don't comply, homes are
tagged under the bylaw and effectively condemned as unsafe, and

According to proponents, the bylaws have been phenomenally
successful in driving pot production out of the Lower Mainland.

In mid-December, the BCCLA's Micheal Vonn led a delegation to
Mission's council, warning grounds for a class-action suit are
strong, and searches are "putting innocent people under horrible

David Eby of the BCCLA says council was not receptive and has not
responded.  Even if the promised citizen-led action against
Mission fell apart, the BCCLA would then likely initiate its own

"Our concern is the program is very poorly run, and there is no
due process around these massive fines," Mr. Eby said.

Mission chief administrative officer Glen Robertson said he would
not comment on the allegations or threat of litigation.

Documents released to The Province under freedom of information
law show Mission has drawn $1.43 million in revenue from Public
Safety Inspection Team searches since 2008.  From 2008 to 2010,
there were 362 searches.  In 177 cases, residents were found in
contravention of the bylaw.  Additionally, there were 98 RCMP
grow-op inspections.

Including both RCMP and PSIT searches, inspection fees of $5,200
were levied 275 times.  Mission says its inspection program is
revenue neutral, and paid back its startup costs by Dec. 31, 2009.
Fees include funding for the RCMP, who monitor searches from the

Critics such as Mr. Gowanlock claim Mission's inspection funding
scheme amounts to a "cash grab."

Coun. Jenny Stevens says she initially supported the program, but
now believes about half of homeowners inspected are innocent.

"My biggest worry is about 50 per cent of these people were
subjected to embarrassment and innuendo," she said.  "I'm very
concerned about the threat of litigation . . ."

Mission Mayor James Atebe was unavailable for comment but told The
Province in a report on this subject last November that he
strongly supported the inspection program but was willing to
improve it.

"I don't want to lose the tool because it's imperfect,"
Mayor Atebe said.  "Also, I don't want to keep the tool if it's
encroaching on people's rights."

Another current class-action suit against municipal grow-op bylaws
is unfolding in Coquitlam.

One of the litigants, Drew Smith, told The Province he is
innocent, and his story is almost identical to the complaints made
in Mission.  His home was searched, no grow-op evidence was found,
fees and repair orders were levied and an allegedly innocent
person suffered a damaged reputation.

"I had to get sedatives because I couldn't sleep at night with the
stress and embarrassment in the neighborhood," Mr. Smith said.

"Financially, I don't care if I get a dime [in the Coquitlam
class-action suit]," he said.  "I told my lawyer I don't want to
sue anyone but this is not a just process, and it has to stop."

NAKHEEL: May Face Class Action Over Stalled Real Estate Projects
Karen Leigh, writing for Arabian Business, reports residents
considering legal action in the face of high service fees and
stalled construction of community areas in Nakheel's Jumeirah
Village have a legal case, a top attorney said.

"It's a very valid argument because it's safe to say that when
these charges were named years ago it was done on the assumption
that these people would be receiving full infrastructure in a
retail community," Jonathan Davidson, managing partner at UAE-
based legal firm Davidson & Co., told Arabian Business.

"I don't think anyone anticipated a situation that they were just
getting a house.  From the investors' perspective, they have a
strong argument that they haven't received what they signed up for
and paid for so why should they pay."

Mr. Davidson represented the claimants in a landmark decision by a
Dubai tribunal last month that blocked Nakheel's attempt to raise
AED41 million in late fees from a buyer on the World development.

As for a group legal action, or class-action suit, Jumeirah
Village "does have the makings," he said.  "You've got communities
with hundreds of residents who are being faced with the same
demands and same problem.  They've got to take a stand whether
they're going to pay it or negotiate."

One resident told Arabian Business that he was being asked to pay
AED13,500 per annum in community service charges to receive the
keys to his overdue villa, despite key amenities such as roads,
park and landscaping still uncompleted.

In a second Nakheel development, Discovery Gardens, the developer
has yet to finish a number of facilities promised to buyers,
including community swimming pools, more than two years after

Mr. Davidson said buyers should look closely at their contracts to
determine whether service charges could be claimed in the absence
of community facilities.

"In terms of Nakheel's ability to do this, you have to look back
at sale and purchase agreements and see if Nakheel have reserved
rights to take service charges," he said.

"But the first thing I would look that is whether they're allowed
to do so.  If you haven't had enjoyment of the property yet, why
should you pay a service charge?"

RALPHS GROCERY: Calif. Appeals Court Affirms Denial of Arbitration
Stephanie Rabb Mahmud brought suit against her former employer
Ralphs Grocery Company on behalf of herself and other persons
similarly situated, alleging that Ralphs violated provisions of
the state Labor Code requiring employers to provide employees meal
breaks, to allow rest periods, to pay for unused accrued vacation
time upon termination, and to pay all wages owed upon termination.
The complaint also included an action for unfair competition.
Ralphs petitioned to compel arbitration, presenting evidence of an
arbitration agreement signed by Ms. Mahmud, which contained a
class action waiver.  The trial court denied the petition,
applying Gentry v. Superior Court (2007) 42 Cal.4th 443 (Gentry),
which permits invalidation of contractual class action waivers in
certain circumstances.  The trial court found the class action
waiver unenforceable because there was no practical way to
vindicate the potential claimants' statutory rights outside of
class litigation due to the large number of claimants with
relatively small claims.  Ralphs appeals, contending that Gentry
has been substantially undermined by the United States Supreme
Court's decisions in Preston v. Ferrer (2007) 552 U.S. 346 and
Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. AnimalFeeds International Corp. (2010) ___
U.S. ___ [130 S.Ct. 1758] (Stolt-Nielsen).  Ralphs further
contends that substantial evidence did not support the trial
court's order.

The Court of Appeals of California, Second District, concludes
otherwise and affirmed the trial court's order.

A copy of the Court's opinion is available at http://is.gd/kt5xg
from Leagle.com.

Representing Ralph's Grocery Company are:

          Linda S. Husar, Esq.
          Steven B. Katz, Esq.
          REED SMITH LLP
          355 South Grand Avenue, Suite 2900
          Los Angeles, CA 90071
          Telephone: 213-457-8000
          Facsimile: 213-457-8080
          E-mail: lhusar@reedsmith.com

Representing the Plaintiff is:

          Gregory N. Karasik, Esq.
          SPIRO MOSS LLP
          11377 West Olympic Boulevard, Fifth Floor
          Los Angeles, CA 90064-1683
          Telephone: (310) 235-2468
          Facsimile: (310) 235-2456
          E-mail: greg@spiromoss.com

SANFORD BROWN: Class Action Heads to Appellate Court
Amelia Flood, writing for The Madison St. Clair Record, reports a
class action suit against Sanford Brown College and its corporate
parent is headed to the Fifth District Appellate Court.

The appellate court notified Madison County Jan. 3 that it had
received a plea for leave to appeal in the suit along with the
supporting record on Dec. 28.

The Sanford Brown class action was certified by former Madison
County Circuit Judge Daniel Stack shortly before his Dec. 3

The suit, led by lead plaintiffs Jenna and Jessica Lilley among
others, claims that students at the school's Collinsville campus
were misled about the career paths and job outcomes of Sanford
Brown's medical assistants program.

Sanford Brown and its parent, Career Education Corp., deny the

The defense sought to dismiss the suit claiming that the
plaintiffs' claims were too individual to merit a class action and
that they were attempting to sue the school for "educational

Judge Stack threw out common law fraud claims but let other claims
including those made under the state's Private Business and
Vocational Schools Act to stand.

The class Judge Stack certified includes up to 2,400 students.

Sanford Brown has faced other similar suits in recent years
including individual cases and class actions.

Many of those suits were brought in Missouri by attorneys
including the Klamann Law Firm.

The Klamann firm of Kansas City, Mo. and John Carey of St. Louis
represent the lead plaintiffs and the class.

James Monafo, John Richmond and others represent the defendants.

The case is currently part of the docket assigned to Madison
County Circuit Judge William Mudge.  Judge Mudge was elected to
the seat left vacant by Judge Stack's retirement.

The case is Madison case number 08-L-113.

SNACKABLE MEDIA: Class Actions Over Premium Content Fees Settled
Several class action lawsuits naming providers of "premium
content" -- e.g., products and services such as voicemail and
email services provided by entities other than the Local Exchange
Carriers that are available to customers for a fee that is billed
to the customer's landline telephone account -- as defendants have
recently been settled.  The class action lawsuits involved claims
that premium content charges that appeared on the landline
telephone bills of landline subscribers in the U.S. were
unauthorized.  The premium content providers covered by the
settlement are the following entities related to defendant
Snackable Media LLC: Email Discounts LLC, Intelicom Messaging LLC,
Email Discount Network LLC, Douglas Lambert Laboratories LLC d/b/a
Orbit Telecom, Conxtr LLC, Ezsavr LLC, Residential Email LLC,
Voicemail Direct USA LLC, Email Music Network LLC and Messaging
Plus LLC.  While the defendant denied each of these allegations of
unauthorized billing, the parties involved agreed to settle the
class action lawsuits and asked the court to preliminarily approve
the settlement.

The settlement has been preliminarily approved by the Circuit
Court of Cook County, Illinois; it provides for cash payments and
refunds for unauthorized premium content charges to class members,
and attorney's fees of up to $980,000.  Class members are eligible
to receive a one-time cash payment of $14.95, or a refund of up to
three months of premium content subscription charges.  Members of
the settlement class include any person in the U.S. and its
territories who, at any time prior to December 23, 2010, was
billed and paid for unauthorized premium content associated with
the entities covered by the settlement.  Consumers can determine
whether they are class members and their eligibility to
participate in the settlement, by scanning past phone records for
charges from the premium content providers identified above.
Consumers may also visit the following website to obtain further
information about the settlement and to file a claim:

In addition to the cash payments and refunds made to class
members, the premium content providers have agreed to adhere to
certain guidelines for premium content sales and marketing and to
remain in compliance with the Federal Communication Commission's
"Anti-Cramming Best Practice Guidelines," as applicable, as well
as inform landline subscribers who contact them concerning
allegedly unauthorized charges of such subscribers' option to
unsubscribe upon request.  The premium content providers have
specifically denied any wrongful conduct, and the settlement is in
no way a judgment or ruling by the Court that any party engaged in
any wrongful or illegal conduct.

Attorneys Jay Edelson, Myles McGuire and Michael J. McMorrow of
Edelson McGuire, LLC, were appointed by the Court to serve as the
attorneys for the class.  Full details can be found at

Class members may also call the claims administrator directly at
888-749-8156 or class counsel at 866-354-3015.

Contact: Michael J. McMorrow Esq.,
        Telephone: (866) 354-3015
        Fax: (312)-589-6378
        E-mail: mjmcmorrow@edelson.com

SO. CALIF. UNIV.: Appeals Court Upholds Certification
The Court of Appeals of California, Fourth District, affirmed
orders by a trial court denying a second petition to compel
arbitration filed by Southern California University for
Professional Studies and certifying a class action filed by
Patricia Lee (Lee v. Southern California University For
Professional Studies, No. G042174).

In the appeal from the denial of SCUPS's first motion to compel
arbitration, the California Court of Appeals held that simply
because some members of a potential class -- not including the
named plaintiff -- signed an arbitration agreement, it was
improper to require those who did not sign such an agreement to
arbitrate their claims.  The California Court of Appeals noted
that while the case has been through many procedural maneuverings
since, the trial court ultimately certified a class that only
included students who did not sign arbitration agreements.  The
California Court of Appeals concluded this was not an abuse of
discretion and the class was properly certified. "Given the
composition of the class, no students who signed arbitration
agreements were before the court, and the motion to compel
arbitration was therefore properly denied."

Southern California University for Professional Studies is a
private postsecondary institution in Santa Ana, California. It
operates under the Bureau for Private Postsecondary and Vocational
Education, part of the California Department of Consumer Affairs.
SCUPS provides educational programs, primarily through distance
learning, which may lead to a number of different degrees.

In July 2000, Ms. Lee enrolled as a student in SCUPS's four-year
juris doctorate program.  Ms. Lee filed a civil complaint alleging
violation of the Consumers Legal Remedies Act and the unfair
competition law.  She filed the case as a putative class action
under the CLRA, seeking to represent consumers similarly situated.
The complaint proposed to define the class as, "All adult student
consumers who enrolled in and paid the tuition charged for the
materials and services supplied in a course program with SCUPS and
who subsequently either voluntarily withdrew or were
administratively withdrawn by SCUPS and who did not receive a
refund of their paid tuition from SCUPS upon their dismissal."

A copy of the court's opinion is available at http://is.gd/kiQ07
from Leagle.com.

Representing Southern California University for Professional
Studies are:

          Keith Zakarin, Esq.
          Edward M. Cramp, Esq.
          Oliver E. Benn, Esq.
          101 West Broadway, Suite 900
          San Diego, CA 92101-8285
          Telephone: 619-744-2200
          Facsimile: 619-744-2201
          E-mail: KZakarin@duanemorris.com

Representing Patricia Lee are:

          Jean C. Wilcox, Esq.
          27422 Portola Parkway, Suite 360
          Foothill Ranch, CA 92610
          Telephone: 949-859-5600
          Facsimile: 949-859-5680
          E-mail: jeanw@hhlawgroup.com

               - and -

          Clifford A. Cantor, Esq.
          627 208th Ave. SE
          Sammamish, WA 98074
          Telephone: (425) 868-7813
          Facsimile: (425) 868-7870

               - and -

          Anthony L. Lanza, Esq.
          LANZA & SMITH P.C.
          3 Park Plaza, Suite 1650
          Irvine, CA 92614
          Telephone: 888-244-3934 (Toll Free)
          Facsimile: 949-221-0027

TOYOTA MOTOR: Judge Certifies Prius Headlights Class Action
Amanda Bronstad, writing for The National Law Journal, reports a
federal judge on Monday certified a class of potentially 320,000
owners and lessees of Prius hybrids who have reached a settlement
with Toyota Motor Corp. over claims that their LED headlights are
defective because they intermittently shut off.

U.S. District Judge Manuel Real in Los Angeles scheduled a
fairness hearing for the settlement on July 18.  Toyota, which has
admitted no fault, settled with the potential class on Oct. 4.

The claims are unrelated to separate litigation over sudden
unintended acceleration.  Toyota has recalled more than 8 million
vehicles and faces more than 200 lawsuits in multidistrict
litigation before U.S. District Judge James Selna in Santa Ana,
Calif., regarding those claims.

The Prius case was filed in May 2009, one of two federal class
actions against Toyota over defective headlights.  The settlement
includes the second action, which was filed on Feb. 16, 2010.

The deal resolves claims on behalf of U.S. owners and lessees of
2006 through 2009 model Prius vehicles "originally factory
equipped with genuine high intensity discharges headlights,"
according to court documents.

The plaintiffs claimed that Toyota knew about the problem but
failed to disclose it to drivers.  They sued under California's
Unfair Competition Law and its Consumers Legal Remedies Act.

Toyota, while agreeing to settle the claims, denied allegations
that the vehicles were defective or "pose a safety hazard," citing
a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration investigation
that found no problems.

"Rather, the HID headlights, like any headlights, are maintenance
items that have a finite life and are expected to, and do, fail
before the expiration of a vehicle's life," wrote Michael Mallow,
a partner in the Los Angeles office of Loeb & Loeb, Toyota's

Mr. Mallow had no comment following Monday's hearing.

No dollar figure was assigned in the agreement, which reimburses
in cash those class members who replaced their HID bulbs within
five years or 50,000 miles of driving the vehicle, according to
court documents.  Those class members who paid for parts and labor
for replacements after five years or 50,000 miles will receive
reimbursement on a case-by-case basis.  The settlement will extend
the warranty for class members who have yet to repair their HID

Costs for each class member are estimated at between $300 and
$1,800 per repair, according to court documents.

Lead plaintiffs' attorney Eric Gibbs of San Francisco's Girard
Gibbs said following Monday's hearing that most of the repairs
have fallen in the range of $100 to $500 and that many of the
class members are within the 50,000-mile cap.  He hoped that the
settlement would be approved, although the parties have yet to
agree about attorney fees.  He anticipated filing a request for
fees in coming months.

TOYOTA MOTOR: Settles Antitrust Class Actions
LawyersandSettlements.com report two proposed partial settlements
of several class action lawsuits involving Toyota and the Canadian
Automobile Dealer's Association have been reached.  The lawsuits
allege certain automakers and trade associations conspired in
violation of federal and state antitrust and consumer protection
laws to prevent virtually identical, but cheaper, new cars from
being exported to the United States from Canada, making new
vehicle prices higher for U.S. consumers.

The settling defendants are Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. and
the Canadian Automobile Dealers' Association.  The settlements are
pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maine.
Toyota and CADA assert that they have acted lawfully and
independently and that there is no legal or factual basis for
these lawsuits.

Toyota has agreed to pay $35 million for the benefit of a Class of
people or businesses who bought or leased a new vehicle from
January 1, 2001 to December 31, 2006.  CADA has agreed to pay
$700,000 for the benefit of the Class.  Both Toyota and CADA have
agreed not to conspire with others or share certain types of
information with other automakers aimed at preventing Canadian new
vehicles from entering the United States.  If you bought or leased
a new car between January 1, 2001 and April 30, 2003, you may be
able to receive a payment from these settlements. Plaintiffs'
attorneys will seek reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs and
payment of attorneys' fees in a requested amount not to exceed 30%
of the settlement proceeds plus interest.

To make a claim for money from the Canadian Export Antitrust CADA
class action lawsuit settlement, you must meet the following

   (I) You purchased or leased a new motor vehicle (passenger car,
light truck or SUV) during the period January 1, 2001 to April 30,

  (II) You currently reside or have your principal place of
business in the United States; and

(III) At the time you purchased or leased the new vehicle, you
resided or had your principal place of business in one of the
following "Eligible States": Arizona, Arkansas, California, Idaho,
Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi,
Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, South
Dakota, Tennessee, Vermont, West Virginia or Wisconsin;

  (IV) You purchased or leased the vehicle from an auto dealer
located in an Eligible State; and

   (V) The vehicle you purchased or leased was one of the
following makes: Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet,
Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, GMC, Honda, Hummer, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep,
Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes, Mercury, Mini,
Nissan, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac, Saab, Saturn, Toyota,
Volkswagen or Volvo.

U.S. BANCORP: Mass. Homeowner Foreclosure Class Action to Resume
Thom Weidlich, writing for Bloomberg News, reports a statewide
class action in which Massachusetts homeowners accuse U.S. Bancorp
and Ally Financial Inc. of faulty foreclosures will resume now
that the state's high court ruled in a similar case last week.

The litigation was on hold while the Supreme Judicial Court
decided whether state law required foreclosures to be conducted by
the mortgage owner.  The high court ruled Jan. 7 in U.S. Bank v.
Ibanez that an industry practice allowing post-foreclosure
assignments violated state law.

"This is a statewide class action and it's going to bring relief
to all of the people who are dispossessed homeowners in many
instances," Kevin Costello, Esq. -- costello@roddykleinryan.com --
of Roddy Klein & Ryan in Boston, a lawyer for the borrowers, said
in a telephone interview on Jan. 10.  Mr. Costello on Jan. 10
filed a motion to restart evidence gathering in the case.

Claims of wrongdoing by banks and loan servicers triggered a
50-state investigation last year into whether hundreds of
thousands of foreclosures were properly documented as the housing
market collapsed.

Unwinding of foreclosures may lead to loan workouts with
homeowners or force originators to buy back loans that ended up in
mortgage-backed securities.

Teri Charest, a U.S. Bancorp spokeswoman, didn't have an immediate
comment.  The Minneapolis-based company was sued as overseer of a
mortgage-backed trust.

Gina Proia, a spokeswoman for Detroit-based Ally Financial, didn't
have an immediate comment.

Halt Request

In July, U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns in Boston granted
the defendants' request to halt the class action until the high
court ruled in Ibanez.

Banks and law firms had been conducting foreclosures in the state
before mortgages were transferred to them under a 1995 "title
standard" by the Real Estate Bar Association for Massachusetts, a
group of closing attorneys, that condoned the practice.

"It was basically created by the real-estate bar without adequate
foundation," said Mr. Costello.  "It became an enabler for people
who wanted to do business the way they wanted to do business."

The homeowners in the class-action, or group, lawsuit said their
foreclosures were also brought by the wrong party, often because
of the process of securitization -- bundling mortgages into trusts
that issue bonds.

'Clearly Establishes'

The Ibanez ruling "pretty clearly establishes that our theory of
the case is correct," Mr. Costello said.  "The securitization
machinery didn't allow for individualized treatment of these kinds
of loans and so the sort of standard industry practice was
foreclose first and assign later."

The case has two classes of borrowers, he said: those whose
foreclosures were started though not completed and those with
completed foreclosures.

The homeowners sued Ally unit GMAC Mortgage and U.S. Bancorp unit
U.S. Bank. Other defendants include EMC Mortgage, now owned by
JPMorgan Chase & Co., and two foreclosure law firms, Harmon Law
Offices PC in Newton and Ablitt Scofield PC in Woburn.

Lawrence Scofield of Ablitt Scofield said his firm worked on only
one of the foreclosure cases involved and it didn't concern a late
mortgage assignment, as in Ibanez.

"These are all naked allegations and as far as I know we followed
standard, normal foreclosure practice," he said.

Tom Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan, declined to comment.  Andrew
Harmon of the Harmon firm didn't immediately return a call for

The case is Manson v. GMAC Mortgage LLC, 08-cv-12166, U.S.
District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

VODAFONE GROUP: Law Firm Plans to Include Data Breach in Suit
Suzanne Tindal and Darren Pauli, writing for ZDNet, report that
law firm Piper Alderman, which is planning a class action lawsuit
against Vodafone over the quality of its 3G mobile service, is
investigating whether it can also include the telco's recent
alleged data breach into the case.

The firm is sending out a questionnaire to the over 9,000 Vodafone
customers who have already indicated their interest in the class
action lawsuit, according to Sasha Ivantsoff.  It will add a
question about the alleged breach.

Piper Alderman hopes to know the results of that questionnaire by
the end of the week, and will consider whether there is basis for
including the claim into the action.

If there are no grounds for it to be included, the law firm could
consider it as a separate case.

VERITAS SOFTWARE: SEC Fair Fund Consents Due by April 19, 2011
On November 5, 2010, the Honorable Ricardo M. Urbina, United
States District Court Judge for the United States District Court
for the District of Columbia, issued an Order approving the
Distribution Plan in the matter of SEC v. Veritas Software
Corporation, Case No. C-07-00364 (D.C.).

The Order required that the funds held by the Clerk of the
Court relating to the matter, totaling $30,888,696.27 as of
September 22, 2010, shall become part of an SEC Fair Fund for the
benefit of injured investors who purchased or acquired Veritas
Software Corporation common stock, Veritas 5.25% Convertible
Subordinated Notes due 2004, Veritas 1.856% Convertible
Subordinated Notes due 2006, and options in Veritas between
January 3, 2001 and January 16, 2003, pursuant to Section 308(a)
of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (15 U.S.C. Sec. 7246).

You can review the approved Distribution Plan and Plan of
Allocation at http://www.rg2claims.com/SECVeritas/

Investors who wish to be included in the distribution of the SEC
Fair Fund must complete a Consent to Participate Form and submit
it by April 19, 2011, to:

         Veritas Fair Fund Administrator
         c/o RG/2 Claims Administration LLC
         P.O. Box 59479
         Philadelphia, PA 19102-9479
         Telephone: (866) 742-4955

Investors who do not wish to be included in the SEC Fair Fund
distribution need not take any action.

Veritas is represented in this matter by:

         William R. Baker, III, Esq.
         Latham & Watkins LLP
         555 Eleventh Street, NW, Suite 1000
         Washington, DC 20004-1304
         E-mail: william.baker@lw.com

WAGON WHEEL: Lawyer Wants Court to Junk Puppy Mill Suit Appeal
Brian Gadd, writing for The Zanesville Times Recorder, reports the
state's highest court shouldn't have to hear an appeal filed in a
lawsuit against a New Lexington business owner accused of running
a puppy mill.

L. Jackson Henniger, Esq., an attorney from Logan representing
Donald Dutiel, filed a response last month against Ohio Supreme
Court jurisdiction in the case.

At issue is whether the suit, alleging Mr. Dutiel sold sick and
diseased animals to unwitting customers through his Wagon Wheel
Ranch, should proceed as a class action.

Mr. Henniger said the appellants' argument that the supreme court
should hear the case because it is one of public or great general
interest fall flat because it is based upon "blatant
mischaracterization" of lower court rulings.

"The opinions of the trial court and the 5th District Court of
Appeals simply do not state what appellants claim they do,"
Mr. Henniger wrote.

Previously, Perry County Common Pleas Judge Linton D. Lewis Jr.
denied class action and the 5th District Court of Appeals agreed
no error existed in Judge Lewis' decision, which prompted the
appeal to the supreme court in November.

In the original court filing in 2009, John Bell, a Bexley attorney
representing residents from Perry, Licking, Franklin and Pickaway
counties, alleged Mr. Dutiel, his wife, Louella, and friend
Elizabeth Singleton operated a puppy mill for the past several
years, selling sick and diseased stray animals in violation of
state laws.

Mr. Bell said the number of possible victims might be high enough
that the lawsuit could move forward as a class action.  Under
state laws, affidavits from at least 30 people are needed to meet
the court's requirement of "numerosity," but the supreme court
previously has ruled the threshold number could be as low as 25 or
high as 40 and the particular situations need to be examined on a
case-by-case basis.

Mr. Bell filed 15 affidavits and argued before Judge Lewis that
more than a dozen litigation questionnaires had yet to be

But Judge Lewis denied the motion for class action and was later
upheld by the appeals court in September.

Mr. Bell filed a notice of appeal and memorandum Nov. 5 asking for
Supreme Court jurisdiction in the matter.

WASHINGTON COUNTY, NY: May Take Financial Hit From Class Action
Don Lehman, writing for The Post-Star, reports that how much of a
financial hit Washington County could take from an appeals court
decision on January 6 that opens a lawsuit against the county to
everyone who has been represented by the county Public Defender's
Office remained unknown.

The Appellate Division of state Supreme Court on January 6 ruled
that a lawsuit that claims that Washington County and four
counties named as defendants provided inadequate defense to
indigent people charged with crimes can be a "class action."

That opens it up to more plaintiffs, and also would increase the
legal fees incurred by the plaintiffs' lawyers.  That's important
because plaintiff lawyers in class-action lawsuits typically seek
reimbursement for their fees from the defendants.

"I think that's where the financial risk is for us," Washington
County Attorney Roger Wickes said.

So far, none of the plaintiffs have sought financial awards from
the counties for the alleged substandard legal defense they
received.  The goal of the lawsuit has been to get the counties to
put more resources toward their public defense systems.

"They're not looking to overturn convictions, just change the
system," Mr. Wickes said.

But John Aspland, a Glens Falls lawyer who represents Washington
County, said there are concerns that the NYCLU would seek damages
or reimbursement of fees on behalf of each plaintiff.

"This creates a situation where the counties could have to pay the
legal expenses of each person in the class-action suit," he said.

The counties are weighing an appeal in the state's highest court,
the Court of Appeals.

The New York Civil Liberties Union filed the lawsuit, which names
Washington, Onondaga, Ontario, Suffolk and Schuyler counties as
defendants, in 2007.

The lead plaintiff is a woman who was prosecuted in Washington
County for trying to smuggle marijuana into Great Meadow
Correctional Facility.  She claimed her court-appointed lawyer did
not represent her adequately.

One of the arguments by the NYCLU has been that many indigent
defendants aren't afforded counsel at their initial arraignments.

While such a system is possible in a small geographical area like
New York City, it is unmanageable in bigger rural counties without
putting significantly more money into the system than the counties
can afford, officials said.

"It's a problem that has to be addressed at the state level,"
Mr. Aspland said.

Mr. Wickes said one of the central arguments of the case has been
that the counties spend more money on prosecution than on indigent

That is not true in Washington County, he said.  The indigent
defense budget has typically been higher than the district
attorney's budget, Mr. Wickes said.

WEGIVETOGET LLC: Settles Charity Fraud Class Action
Edelson McGuire LLC has reached a settlement in a class action
suit concerning the alleged charity fraud and deceptive practices
of WeGiveToGet, LLC.  The lawsuit brought against the deal-a-day
website company alleged that the gift certificate provider did not
fulfill the minimum monthly donation to charities that it promised
to its customers.

The settlement provides that WeGiveToGet, LLC make a $16,000
donation to charities and refrain from participating in similar
types of business for five years.  Edelson McGuire waived all
attorneys' fees in representing the putative class.

"We were happy to be able to help some wonderful charities," said
attorney Collin Bond.  "Charitable organizations have been badly
hurt by the economic downturn.  Hopefully, this settlement will
lessen the pain and enable several charities to help those in

Edelson McGuire -- http://www.edelson.com/-- is a commercial
litigation and legal and political consulting firm with attorneys
in Illinois, New York, California, and Florida.

* U.S. Shareholder Class Actions Over Mergers on the Rise
Dionne Searcey and Ashby Jones, writing for Dow Jones Newswires,
report the mergers-and-acquisitions market is heating up again,
but a new raft of lawsuits claiming shareholders are being
shortchanged threatens to complicate and increase the cost of the

Investors are filing an ever-increasing number of lawsuits against
corporations embarking on deals, statistics show.  The number of
lawsuits filed in state and federal courts has risen from 36 in
2008 to 191 in 2009 and 216 in the first 10 months of 2010,
according to Rockville, Md., research firm Securities Class Action

In the hours following the revelation of a deal involving a
publicly traded company, plaintiffs' firms announce investigations
into the matter, soliciting clients to join lawsuits seeking
class-action status and challenging either the prices or the terms
of the deal as unfair to shareholders.

The lawsuits, sometimes called "strike" suits by critics, have
long been in existence and they rarely, if ever, scuttle deals.
They occasionally lead to benefits for shareholders.  They have
mushroomed, legal experts say, partly because the practice has
proven lucrative for plaintiffs' attorneys who know that companies
are eager to be rid of litigation and have been settling quickly.

"It is virtually guaranteed," said Robert Brownlie, a San Diego-
based attorney who has defended corporations from the suits.
Mr. Brownlie, co-chair of DLA Piper LLP's securities litigation
practice, estimates the suits now consume a quarter of his

The lawsuits sometimes hit the docket before the official
paperwork on the deal has even been filed with the Securities and
Exchange Commission.

"Plaintiffs know they're going to be able to wrangle a settlement
out of the company so a deal will go through," said Michael
Perino, a law professor at St. John's University in New York. "The
company knows a suit will be on the way so maybe they'll set aside
extra money in anticipation.  It all seems like an elaborate
kabuki dance."

On Jan. 5, less than 24 hours after Qualcomm Inc. revealed a $3.1
billion proposed acquisition of Atheros Communications Inc., 10
plaintiffs' firms announced that they claimed to be looking into
the fairness of the deal on behalf of the companies' shareholders.
"Qualcomm may be underpaying for Atheros, thus unlawfully harming
Atheros shareholders," read one such news release.

Plaintiffs' lawyers -- and even defense attorneys -- say that some
of the suits can do shareholders some good.  For instance, a
lawsuit that held up the proposed acquisition of Amicas Inc. by
Thoma Bravo LLC in 2009 helped enable a third party, Merge
Healthcare Inc., to make a higher unsolicited bid for Amicas.

But some critics say that the lawsuits have gotten out of hand --
which has oddly been fueled by defense attorneys' willingness to

Sometimes the only beneficiaries of the settlements are
plaintiffs' attorneys, who collect fees of about $400,000 in an
average case, according to several defense attorneys who have
knowledge of numerous legal settlements.

"It's a lucrative area of the law," said Greg Nespole, a partner
at New York law firm Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz LLP,
adding that new firms were catching on.

"The company wants to get the deal done quickly," said Thomas
Sabatino, the former general counsel at both UAL Corp. and
Schering-Plough Corp.  "You've worked very hard to reach an
agreement and the last thing you want is to get hung up on one of
these suits."  Mr. Sabatino said his instinct was to fight such
suits, but that some plaintiffs firms' efforts to earn a fee often
stood in the way of the deal moving forward.  "So you resolve them
as best you can," he said.

Both Merck & Co.'s acquisition of Schering-Plough in 2009 and
UAL's merger with Continental Airlines Inc. in 2010 spawned
shareholder litigation, which Mr. Sabatino pushed to settle

Plus, settlements can often be had for cheap.  In the context of a
multimillion-dollar or billion-dollar deal, with its steep
underwriting and legal fees, another few hundred thousand dollars
to a plaintiffs' lawyer is, "a rounding error," says Jeffrey
Rudman, a defense lawyer at WilmerHale in Boston.

Some lawyers say that in recent months that judges on the Delaware
Chancery Court, a specialized court that hears volumes of cases
involving corporations, have grown more skeptical of the suits.

Last month, during a hearing involving a shareholder suit
concerning a merger between two radiology companies, one of the
judges, Delaware Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster, criticized
these suits, saying that "a lot of these sue-on-every-deal cases"
are "worthless" and "all a bunch of movement for nothing,"
according to a transcript of the hearing.

But in a March ruling in a shareholder lawsuit concerning a
proposed MacAndrews & Forbes merger with Revlon Inc., Vice
Chancellor Laster said that such lawsuits weren't always

"Stockholder plaintiffs can and do achieve meaningful results," he
said.  "But it requires effort."

Vice Chancellor Laster, who didn't respond to a request for
comment, has a nickname for the plaintiffs' firms who take the
cases: "frequent filers."  Among them he lists New York firms Wolf
Popper LLP and Abbey Spanier Rodd & Abrams.LLP.

"There are firms that file more than we do," said Carl Stine, a
partner at Wolf Popper.  A spokewoman for Abbey Spanier didn't
return calls for comment.

Lawyers in turn have been filing the suits in state courts where
they think they may be able to find an unsuspecting judge who
won't see the harm in holding up a deal while the matter works its
way through court.  Edward Welch, Esq. -- edward.welch@skadden.com
-- a defense lawyer at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP in
Wilmington, Del., said some companies are putting provisions into
their corporate charters dictating that all "fiduciary litigation"
must be tried in Delaware.


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.

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