/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/110502.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

               Monday, May 2, 2011, Vol. 13, No. 85


ALLIED HOME: Sued for Withholding Money From Employees' Paychecks
AT&T MOBILITY: Can Block Suits Thru Arbitration, 9th Cir. Says
CANADA: Certification Expected for Summer School Fee Class Suit
CASH AMERICA: Class Certification in "Strong" Case Upheld
CASH AMERICA: Awaits OK on Arbitration Plea in "Alfeche" Suit

CASH AMERICA: Awaits OK on Arbitration Plea in "Clerk" Suit
CERTAINTEED CORP: Sued Over Defective Fiber Cement Siding
CHALMETTE REFINING: 5th Circuit Vacates Class Certification
CHICAGO TRANSIT: Sued for Diminished Retiree Health Benefits
ENMAX CORP: Faces Class Action for Overcharging Utility Bills

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN: Files for Bankruptcy Amid Class Actions
HALLIBURTON CO: Appeal on Ruling Denying Class Cert. Still Pending
HALLIBURTON: Supreme Court Weighs on Securities Class Action
HALLIBURTON CO: Continues to Face Claims Over Macondo Incident
HEARTLAND AUTOMOTIVE: Sued for Making Unsolicited Text Messages

ITT EDUCATIONAL: Amended Securities Class Action Pending in NY
NEW ORLEANS, LA: Property Tax Fee Class Action Set to Be Heard
NISSAN NA: Sued for Failing to Disclose Defect in Brake System
ROBERT FIANCE: Accused in New Jersey Suit of Consumer Fraud

ROSUKRENERGY: Ukraine PM Files Racketeering Class Action in U.S.
STARBUCKS CORP: Discovery Order in Applicants' Suit Vacated
SIGNATURE HOSPITAL: Class Action Over Sick Leave Amended
SONY CORP: Sued Over PlayStation Network Data Breach
UNITED STATES: Bank Selection in Native American Suit Questioned

XEROX IT: ClassAction.org Attorneys Ready to Review Claims
* Women Suffering With Vaginal Mesh Problems May File Claim


ALLIED HOME: Sued for Withholding Money From Employees' Paychecks
Courthouse News Service reports that employees say in a class
action that Allied Home Mortgage Corp. and affiliates and their
owner Jim C. Hodge, of Spring, Texas, "unlawfully withheld
millions of dollars from the paychecks they issued."

A copy of the Complaint in Stahas v. Allied Home Mortgage Capital
Corporation, et al., Case No. 2011-25238 (Tex. Dist. Ct., Harris
Cty.), is available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Ralph D. McBride, Esq.
          Ross D. Kennedy, Esq.
          Heath A. Novosad, Esq.
          2300 South Tower Penzoil Place
          711 Louisiana Street
          Houston, TX 77002-7881
          Telephone: (713) 223-2300
          E-mail: ralph.mcbride@bgllp.com

AT&T MOBILITY: Can Block Suits Thru Arbitration, 9th Cir. Says
Barbara Leonard at Courthouse News Service reports that AT&T can
block class actions by enforcing an arbitration clause that had
been previously ruled unconscionable, a divided Supreme Court said
on Wednesday.

Federal arbitration law preempts California's findings about the
class-action ban, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote for the five-
justice majority, all conservative appointees.  Justice Stephen
Breyer led a four-justice dissent that laments the court's blow to

Vincent and Liza Concepcion brought a class action against AT&T
Mobility for allegedly fraudulent taxes on their cell phone
contract.  The District Court held that AT&T's arbitration clause
blocking class actions was unconscionable, and thus unenforceable,
and the 9th Circuit affirmed, finding that the Federal Arbitration
Act did not preempt California's law on unconscionable contracts.
Oral arguments occurred in November 2010.

Judge Scalia said the bench conducted a complex inquiry of the
case to see if the lower courts applied the unconscionability
doctrine "in a fashion that disfavors arbitration."

"[I]t is worth noting that California's courts have been more
likely to hold contracts to arbitrate unconscionable than other
contracts," according to the majority opinion.  "The Concepcions
suggest that all this is just a parade of horribles, and no
genuine worry."

Though the majority agreed that the savings clause in Section 2 of
the Federal Arbitration Act would not let states' anti-arbitration
preference "eviscerate arbitration agreements," as the Concepcions
argued in their brief, they said the Concepcions strayed from the
act's purpose.

"Requiring the availability of classwide arbitration interferes
with fundamental attributes of arbitration and thus creates a
scheme inconsistent with the FAA," Judge Scalia wrote, using the
acronym for the act.

Arbitration has many benefits, according to the ruling.

"The point of affording parties discretion in designing
arbitration processes is to allow for efficient, streamlined
procedures tailored to the type of dispute," Judge Scalia wrote.
"It can be specified, for example, that the decisionmaker be a
specialist in the relevant field, or that proceedings be kept
confidential to protect trade secrets.  And the informality of
arbitral proceedings is itself desirable, reducing the cost and
increasing the speed of dispute resolution."

Judge Breyer agreed in the dissent that the arbitration has
advantages, but he noted that Congress never meant to guarantee
such benefits.  "Rather, that primary objective was to secure the
'enforcement' of agreements to arbitrate," Judge Breyer wrote.

"Thus, insofar as we seek to implement Congress' intent, we should
think more than twice before invalidating a state law that does
just what Section 2 requires, namely, puts agreements to arbitrate
and agreements to litigate 'upon the same footing,'" the dissent
also states.

Judge Scalia attacked this characterization of intent as
"misleading."  And though the dissent also argues that class
actions are valuable for small claims that could slip through the
cracks of the legal system, Scalia noted that the lower courts
said the Concepcions would have fared better in their arbitration
agreement with AT&T than as participants of a class action.

Judge Breyer countered that "the merits of class proceedings
should not factor into our decision."

"Why is this kind of decision -- weighing the pros and cons of all
class proceedings alike -- not California's to make?" the dissent

Justice Clarence Thomas said in concurring opinion that, although
he would "reluctantly join" the majority, litigants cannot nullify
an arbitration agreement under federal law unless they prove
fraud, duress or some other challenge to "the formation of the
arbitration agreement."

Judge Breyer concludes that the majority's holding dishonors
federalist ideals.

"But federalism is as much a question of deeds as words," the
dissent states.  "It often takes the form of a concrete decision
by this Court that respects the legitimacy of a State's action in
an individual case.  Here, recognition of that federalist ideal,
embodied in specific language in this particular statute, should
lead us to uphold California's law, not to strike it down.  We do
not honor federalist principles in their breach."

A copy of the Opinion in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, et ux.,
Case No. 09-cv-000893 (9th Cir.), is available at:


CANADA: Certification Expected for Summer School Fee Class Suit
CKNW News Talk 980 reports that North Vancouver lawyer Jim Poyner
says a class-action lawsuit he launched earlier this month will be
certified soon.  He launched the suit on behalf of a Vancouver
couple two years ago.  If it wins, it could mean parents will get
repaid for fees used to pay for summer school.

Mr. Poyner says, "There are another 26 school districts that we
feel have collected school fee's that they shouldn't have
collected and haven't paid them back."

Mr. Poyner says he is launching a separate class action suit
against those districts.

The BC Government was forced to declare summer school charges
illegal in 2007 after an earlier Court ruling.  Mr. Poyner says if
it was illegal in 2007 it should also be illegal between 2004 and

CASH AMERICA: Class Certification in "Strong" Case Upheld
The Supreme Court of Georgia upheld class certification in a
purported class action lawsuit filed by James E. Strong against
Cash America International, Inc., and other defendants, according
to the Company's April 22, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended March 31,

On August 6, 2004, James E. Strong filed a purported class action
lawsuit in the State Court of Cobb County, Georgia against Georgia
Cash America, Inc., Cash America International, Inc., Daniel R.
Feehan, and several unnamed officers, directors, owners and
"stakeholders" of Cash America.  The lawsuit alleges many
different causes of action, among the most significant of which is
that Cash America made illegal short-term loans in Georgia in
violation of Georgia's usury law, the Georgia Industrial Loan Act
and Georgia's Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.
Community State Bank for some time made loans to Georgia residents
through Cash America's Georgia operating locations.  The complaint
in this lawsuit claims that Cash America was the true lender with
respect to the loans made to Georgia borrowers and that CSB's
involvement in the process is "a mere subterfuge."  Based on this
claim, the suit alleges that Cash America was the "de facto"
lender and was illegally operating in Georgia.  The complaint
seeks unspecified compensatory damages, attorney's fees, punitive
damages and the trebling of any compensatory damages.  In
November 2009, the trial court certified the case as a class
action lawsuit, and after an appeal by Cash America, the Supreme
Court of Georgia upheld the class certification in March 2011.

Cash America believes that the Plaintiffs' claims in this suit are
without merit and is vigorously defending this lawsuit.

Cash America and CSB also commenced a federal lawsuit on
September 7, 2004, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Georgia seeking to compel Mr. Strong to arbitrate his
claims against Cash America and CSB.  The U.S. District Court
dismissed the federal action for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction, and Cash America and CSB appealed the dismissal of
their complaint to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
The 11th Circuit issued a panel decision in April 2007 reversing
the district court's dismissal of the action and remanding the
action to the district court for a determination of the issue of
the enforceability of the parties' arbitration agreements.
Plaintiff requested the 11th Circuit to review this decision en
banc and this request was granted.  The en banc rehearing took
place in February 2008, and at the request of the 11th Circuit
panel, the parties provided additional briefing in the summer of
2009 following a ruling by the United States Supreme Court that
federal courts can compel arbitration of a state court action in
certain instances.  The parties are awaiting the 11th Circuit
court's decision.  The Strong litigation is still at an early
stage, and neither the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome nor
the ultimate liability, if any, with respect to this litigation
can be determined at this time.

CASH AMERICA: Awaits OK on Arbitration Plea in "Alfeche" Suit
Cash America of PA, LLC, doing business as CashNetUSA.com, is
awaiting a decision on its motion to enforce an arbitration
provision in certain agreements governing lending activities,
according to Cash America International, Inc.'s April 22, 2011,
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.

On March 5, 2009, Peter Alfeche filed a purported class action
lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Pennsylvania against Cash America International, Inc.,
Cash America Net of Nevada, LLC, Cash America Net of Pennsylvania,
LLC and Cash America of PA, LLC, d/b/a CashNetUSA.com.  The
lawsuit alleges, among other things, that CashNetUSA's online
consumer loan activities in Pennsylvania were illegal and not in
accordance with the Pennsylvania Loan Interest Protection Law or
the licensing requirements of the Pennsylvania Consumer Discount
Company Act.  The lawsuit also seeks declaratory judgment that
several of CashNetUSA's contractual provisions, including choice
of law and arbitration provisions, are not authorized by
Pennsylvania law.  The complaint seeks unspecified compensatory
damages, attorney's fees and the trebling of any compensatory
damages.  CashNetUSA filed a motion to enforce the arbitration
provision located in the agreements governing the lending
activities, and the court has not yet ruled on this motion.  The
Alfeche litigation is still at an early stage, and neither the
likelihood of an unfavorable outcome nor the ultimate liability,
if any, with respect to this litigation can be determined at this
time.  CashNetUSA believes that the Plaintiffs' claims in this
suit are without merit and will vigorously defend this lawsuit.

CASH AMERICA: Awaits OK on Arbitration Plea in "Clerk" Suit
Cash America Net of Nevada, LLC, is awaiting a decision on its
motion to enforce an arbitration provision in certain agreements
governing lending activities, according to Cash America
International, Inc.'s April 22, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
March 31, 2011.

On April 21, 2009, Yulon Clerk filed a purported class action
lawsuit in the Court of Common Pleas of Philadelphia County,
Pennsylvania, against CashNet Nevada and several other unrelated
third-party lenders.  The lawsuit alleges, among other things,
that the defendants' lending activities in Pennsylvania, including
CashNet Nevada's online consumer loan lending activities in
Pennsylvania, were illegal and in violation of various
Pennsylvania laws, including the Loan Interest Protection Law, the
CDCA and the Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Laws.
The complaint seeks payment of potential fines, unspecified
damages, attorney's fees and the trebling of certain damages.  The
defendants removed the case to the United States District Court
for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania where the lawsuit now
resides.  The case was subsequently reassigned to the same judge
presiding in the Alfeche litigation.  In August 2009, the Court
severed the claims against the other defendants originally named
in the litigation.  CashNet Nevada filed a motion with the federal
court to enforce the arbitration provision located in the
agreements governing the lending activities, and the Court has not
yet ruled on this motion.

The Company says the Clerk litigation is still at an early stage,
and neither the likelihood of an unfavorable outcome nor the
ultimate liability, if any, with respect to this litigation can be
determined at this time.  CashNet Nevada believes that the
Plaintiffs' claims in this suit are without merit and will
vigorously defend this lawsuit.

CERTAINTEED CORP: Sued Over Defective Fiber Cement Siding
Bruce Vielmetti, writing for the Journal Sentinel, reports that a
West Bend couple who say the siding on their new home failed in
less than two years have sued the manufacturer, claiming that it
sold defective fiber cement siding to thousands of others
nationwide as well.

Koreen Grube names Pennsylvania-based CertainTeed as the defendant
in the suit, filed last week in Milwaukee federal court, one of
several such lawsuits around the country.

The complaint states Ms. Grube built her home in 2007 and by 2009
noticed cracks and warps in the siding, which had been advertised
as being warranteed for 50 years.  According to the lawsuit, the
company offered to give Ms. Grube new boards, but she would be
responsible for more than $7,000 in installation costs.

The lawsuit cites seven causes of action, from breach of express
and implied warranties to negligence and unjust enrichment, and
seeks unspecified damages and certification as a national class

According to the lawsuit, around 2002, CertainTeed began using fly
ash instead of grain and silica sand in the siding.  While saving
money for the manufacturer, it resulted in "water absorption,
porository problems, and other uniform defects alleged herein."

Bill Seiberlich, a spokesman with the company, issued this
statement: "We have reviewed the allegations of the complaints and
we dispute many of the statements.  Because these matters are in
litigation, we cannot comment further on specifics of the cases or
the allegations being made.  However, if it is determined that the
problems alleged in these complaints are due to manufacturing
error, we will honor the terms of our written warranty, as we do
with any claim."

CHALMETTE REFINING: 5th Circuit Vacates Class Certification
Sabrina Canfield at Courthouse News Service reports that the
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit vacated class
certification in a suit that claims a group of children and
several adult chaperones were exposed to petroleum coke dust
released by a refinery adjacent to a park.

A three-judge panel agreed with Chalmette Refinery that the
District Court failed to prove it had seriously considered how the
trial would be conducted -- a finding it would have to make before
ruling in favor of class certification.

"We do not suggest that class treatment is necessarily
inappropriate," Judge Edith Brown Clement wrote for the court.
"As Chalmette Refining acknowledged at oral argument, class
treatment on the common issue of liability may indeed be
appropriate.  But our precedent demands a far more rigorous
analysis than the district court conducted."

On the afternoon of Jan. 12, 2007, a number of school children,
their teachers and parents were at the Chalmette National
Battlefield participating in an historical reenactment when the
Chalmette Refinery released petroleum coke dust into the air.

Five of the adults present filed a lawsuit on behalf of
themselves, their children and everyone else at the Chalmette
Battlefield who was exposed to the toxic dust.

The suit sought a variety of damages, claiming personal injury,
fear, anguish, psychological injury and evacuation, as well as
economic and property damages.

The District Court granted the plaintiffs' request for class
certification, but the 5th Circuit disagreed, finding the District
Court "abused its discretion" by adopting "a figure-it-out-as-we-
go-along approach."

Before certifying a class, a court must determine that "questions
of law or fact common to the members of the class predominate over
any questions affecting only individual members and that a class
action is superior to other available methods for fairly and
efficiently adjudicating the controversy," Judge Clement wrote.

"By failing to adequately analyze and balance the common issues
against the individual issues, the district court abused its
discretion in determining that common issues predominated and in
certifying the class," the ruling states.

The 5th Circuit said the District Court "oversimplifies the issue"
in concluding that the plaintiffs were either on the battlefield
and exposed to the coke dust, or they were not.

Agreeing with Chalmette Refinery, Judge Clement wrote that "even
among the named class representatives, significant disparities
exist, in terms of exposure, location, and whether mitigative
steps were taken" to prevent harm after the plaintiffs were
exposed to the dust.

A copy of the decision in Madison, et al. v. Chalmette Refining,
L.L.C., Case No. 10-cv-30368 (5th Cir.), is available at:


CHICAGO TRANSIT: Sued for Diminished Retiree Health Benefits
Jerry Matthews, et al., individually and on behalf of others
similarly situated v. Chicago Transit Authority, et al., Case No.
2011-CH-15446 (Ill. Cir. Ct., Cook Cty. April 26, 2011), is filed
on behalf of certain active CTA employees and retirees whose
retiree health benefits have been diminished without their
consent.  Plaintiffs relate that in 2009 defendants began charging
class members for their retiree health care benefits, which
breached defendants' contracts with the class members, violated
Article XIII, Section 5 of the Illinois Constitution (the
"Retirement Benefits Clause"), and breached their fiduciary duties
to class members.

Plaintiff Matthews is a 60-year old employee of the CTA, a
participant of the Retirement Plan for CTA Employees, and a member
of Amalgamated Union Local 308.  Mr. Matthews began working for
the CTA in 1972.

Defendant CTA is a "political subdivision, body politic and
municipal corporation" created by the Illinois Metropolitan
Transit Authority Act, 70 ILCS 3065/3.

Defendant Retirement Plan for Chicago Transit Authority Employees
is the entity established by the Illinois Pension Code, 40 ILCS
5/22-101, to provide specified retirement benefits to CTA

Defendant Board of Trustees of the Retirement Plan for Chicago
Transit Employees administers the Retirement Plan.  It is the
successor to the Retirement Allowance Committee that administered
the Retirement Plan prior to the passage of P.A. 95-708 on
January 18, 2008.

Defendant Retiree Health Care Trust was established on January 18,
2008, pursuant to the Illinois Pension Code, 40 ILCS 5/22-101B(b),
to provide health care benefits to CTA retirees.

Defendant Board of Trustees of the Retiree Health Care Trust
administers the Health Trust.

As required by the terms of collective bargaining agreements
between the CTA and Local 241 and Local 308 (together, the
"Transit Unions"), the CTA began providing fully-paid retiree
health care benefits in 1980, and continued to provide those
benefits until July 2009.

On January 18, 2008, however, then Governor of Illinois Rod
Blagojevich signed into law Illinois Public Act No. 95-708.  The
law, among other things, permitted the Health Trust Board to
charge CTA retirees up to 45% of the total cost of their health
care benefits.  This Complaint challenges the constitutionality of
that statute.

Beginning on July 1, 2009, the CTA, the Retirement Plan, and the
Health Trust joined together to compel retiree class members to
pay for health care benefits by setting up a mechanism to deduct
the improper charges automatically from CTA retirees' monthly
pension checks.  Class members were told they had no choice but to
authorize such automatic deductions or their retiree health care
benefits would end.

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Fay Clayton, Esq.
          Adam N. Hirsch, Esq.
          Anat S. Geva, Esq.
          300 South Wacker Drive, Suite 1700
          Chicago, IL 60605
          Telephone: (312) 633-3100
          E-mail: fclayton@robinsoncurley.com

ENMAX CORP: Faces Class Action for Overcharging Utility Bills
CBC News reports that a $30-million class action lawsuit has been
filed against Enmax, alleging the city-owned utility has breached
consumer protection legislation by overcharging people who have
been late paying their bills.

On Enmax's utility bills, it states that late payments are subject
to a 3.25% monthly fee, which adds up to more than 40% a year.

Under the federal Interest Act, companies can only charge 5%
annually unless they clearly state their annual interest charge.

In its statement of defense, Enmax rejects the lawsuit as
frivolous.  It says it charges a late payment fee, not interest,
so it's not subject to the Interest Act.

But Lawyer Robert Hawkes wants a judge to order Enmax to refund
millions of dollars that it shouldn't have collected, likely much
of it from economically vulnerable customers.

"The very folks who end up not paying their account in time either
because they can't afford to, or they perhaps haven't managed
their monthly bills, are the very people who end up paying these
charges.  And so it's not people in our society who are more well
off who usually end up paying these charges, it's usually the
people who can least afford it."

None of the allegations have been heard, or proven, in court.

GEOFFREY ZAKARIAN: Files for Bankruptcy Amid Class Actions
According to Gothamist's John Del Signore, Geoffrey Zakarian, the
famous chef/restaurateur whom you may recall from TV's Chopped, is
filing for bankruptcy, the Times reported in a sensational article
that details a million dollar class action lawsuit against the
chef, filed by some 152 disgruntled kitchen staffers.
Mr. Zakarian runs The Lambs Club and The National in NYC, as well
as the food and beverage program at the Water Club at the Borgata
in Atlantic City; he's also opening another restaurant at a Miami
Beach hotel, and starring in the Next Iron Chef.  And yes, he's
filing for bankruptcy, presumably so the workers he allegedly
screwed out of overtime pay can't bleed him dry.

The 152 plaintiffs were all employees at Mr. Zakarian's failed
restaurant Country, near Madison Square Park.  They say he never
paid them time and a half for overtime, falsified pay records, and
charged them for staff meals they never even ate.  The lawsuit
seeks $1 million in damages and $250,000 in penalties, but
Mr. Zakarian's bankruptcy filing temporarily stops the lawsuit in
its tracks.  "Isn't it interesting that a TV celebrity chef, who
opens multiple new restaurants around the country, can file for
bankruptcy?" the workers' lawyer asks the Times.  Yes, it is

Mr. Zakarian, who is "sequestered" in LA shooting Next Iron Chef,
denies any wrongdoing.  But what's interesting about this lawsuit
is that his former partners at Country have sided with the
workers; one of them, Adam Block, tells the Times, "I know that
Geoffrey Zakarian's narcissistic behavior and arrogance caused
Country to fail and inevitably allowed whatever wage and hour
violations occurred while he was Country's operator."  According
to the lawsuit, when one worker confronted Mr. Zakarian about the
overtime pay he was owed, Mr. Zakarian -- who rents a $3 million
four-bedroom house in Greenwich, Connecticut -- told him, "Go peel
some asparagus."

HALLIBURTON CO: Appeal on Ruling Denying Class Cert. Still Pending
An appeal from the order denying class certification in a
consolidated lawsuit alleging violations of federal securities
laws remains pending, according to Halliburton Company's April 22,
2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.

In June 2002, a class action lawsuit was filed against the Company
in federal court alleging violations of the federal securities
laws after the SEC initiated an investigation in connection with
the Company's change in accounting for revenue on long-term
construction projects and related disclosures.  In the weeks that
followed, approximately twenty similar class actions were filed
against the Company.  Several of those lawsuits also named as
defendants several of the Company's present or former officers and
directors.  The class action cases were later consolidated, and
the amended consolidated class action complaint, styled Richard
Moore, et al. v. Halliburton Company, et al., was filed and served
upon the Company in April 2003.  As a result of a substitution of
lead plaintiffs, the case is now styled Archdiocese of Milwaukee
Supporting Fund (AMSF) v. Halliburton Company, et al.  AMSF has
changed its name to Erica P. John Fund, Inc.  The Company settled
with the SEC in the second quarter of 2004.

In June 2003, the lead plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to file
a second amended consolidated complaint, which was granted by the
court.  In addition to restating the original accounting and
disclosure claims, the second amended consolidated complaint
included claims arising out of the 1998 acquisition of Dresser
Industries, Inc., by Halliburton, including that the Company
failed to timely disclose the resulting asbestos liability

In April 2005, the court appointed a new co-lead counsel and named
Erica P. John Fund the new lead plaintiff, directing that it file
a third consolidated amended complaint and that the Company file
its motion to dismiss.  The court held oral arguments on that
motion in August 2005, at which time the court took the motion
under advisement.  In March 2006, the court entered an order in
which it granted the motion to dismiss with respect to claims
arising prior to June 1999 and granted the motion with respect to
certain other claims while permitting Erica P. John Fund to re-
plead some of those claims to correct deficiencies in its earlier
complaint.  In April 2006, Erica P. John Fund filed its fourth
amended consolidated complaint.  The Company filed a motion to
dismiss those portions of the complaint that had been re-pled.  A
hearing was held on that motion in July 2006, and in March 2007,
the court ordered dismissal of the claims against all individual
defendants other than the Company's chief executive officer.  The
court ordered that the case proceed against the Company's CEO and

In September 2007, Erica P. John Fund filed a motion for class
certification, and the Company's response was filed in November
2007.  The court held a hearing in March 2008, and issued an order
November 3, 2008, denying Erica P. John Fund's motion for class
certification.  Erica P. John Fund appealed the district court's
order to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.  The Fifth Circuit
affirmed the district court's order denying class certification.
On May 13, 2010, Erica P. John Fund filed a writ of certiorari in
the United States Supreme Court.  In early January 2011, the
Supreme Court granted Erica P. John Fund's writ of certiorari and
accepted the appeal.  The Court was scheduled to hear oral
arguments April 25, 2011.  The appeal is limited to review of the
legal ruling of the Fifth Circuit affirmance of the district
court's order denying class certification and will not include
review of the facts of the underlying lawsuit.

The Company said that as of March 31, 2011, it had not accrued any
amounts related to this matter because it does not believe that a
loss is probable.  Furthermore, an estimate of possible loss or
range of loss related to this matter cannot be made.

HALLIBURTON: Supreme Court Weighs on Securities Class Action
James Vicini and Carlyn Kolker, writing for Insurance Journal,
report that The U.S. Supreme Court considered on April 26 whether
to make it more difficult for shareholders to proceed with certain
class-action securities-fraud lawsuits against publicly traded

The hour-long arguments before the justices in the case comes at a
time when dozens of shareholder class actions stemming from the
financial meltdown are making their way through the federal

At issue in the case, Erica P. John v. Halliburton, is how courts
should set the threshold for certifying a shareholder class action
alleging securities fraud.

A group of mutual and pension fund investors sued Halliburton in
2002, alleging the oilfield services company understated its
asbestos liabilities while overstating revenues in its engineering
and construction business and the benefits of its merger with
Dresser Industries.

Those misstatements artificially pumped up Halliburton's stock
price, the lawsuit alleged, adding that the company eventually
made corrective disclosures that caused its stock price to fall.

A federal trial court in Texas threw out the case, ruling that
shareholders had not proved that their losses were tied to a
particular statement made by the company or its officers -- a
concept known as loss causation.

A U.S. appeals court agreed, ruling that, for the lawsuit to
proceed as a class action, the plaintiffs must first prove at the
outset, by a preponderance of the evidence, that the alleged
misrepresentations caused the stock price to fall, resulting in
investor losses.

David Boies, who represented Al Gore before the Supreme Court in
the disputed U.S. presidential election in 2000, argued on behalf
of the plaintiffs in urging the justices to reinstate the lawsuit.

He said the question of loss causation normally was tested later
in the litigation, such as at trial, and that the appeals court
has imposed a new test at the class-certification stage.

He was supported during the arguments by Nicole Saharsky, a U.S.
Justice Department lawyer who said the appeals court was wrong in
essentially requiring the plaintiffs to prove their entire case at
such an early stage of the litigation.

"You have to prove there was an initial material misstatement,
that it distorted the stock price, that it led to a price decrease
and that the price decrease can't be shown by any other
superceding cause," she said.

Mr. Boies may be reached at:

          David Boies, Esq.
          333 Main Street
          Armonk, NY 10504
          Tel: 914-749-8200
          Fax: 914-749-8300
          E-mail: dboies@bsfllp.com


Justice Antonin Scalia questioned her argument.  "I'm just saying
that seems to me it's a crazy way to run a railroad."

David Sterling of Houston-based Baker Botts argued for Halliburton
and said the proper test had been used.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg said to Mr. Sterling: "Your argument
seems to say, to get a class certification you have to virtually
prove your case on the merits."

Mr. Sterling said class certification was a significant event,
with major repercussions.

"The sheer grant of class certification which aggregates . . .
tens of thousands of these claims together in one big case makes
every one of these cases, in effect, a company case and it puts
huge settlement pressure on the defendant," he said.

Mr. Sterling may be reached at:

          David D. Sterling, Esq.
          Baker Botts LLP
          One Shell Plaza
          910 Louisiana Street
          Houston, TX 77002-4995
          Tel: 713-229-1946
          Fax: 713-229-7946
          E-mail: david.sterling@bakerbotts.com

The justices gave no clear indication of how they would rule.  A
decision is expected by the end of June.

A ruling for Halliburton could have a "devastating effect" on
shareholders' ability to survive the class-certification stage,
said Arthur Miller, a professor at New York University Law School
who also practices law at Milberg LLP, which represents plaintiffs
in shareholder cases.

Having to prove loss causation at that early stage of a case --
when plaintiffs have limited power to demand information from the
other side -- would make it difficult for many classes to be
certified, which is bad news for investors, Miller said.

The issue has particular resonance for shareholders who sued
companies in the wake of the financial crisis.  Many defendants in
these cases have argued that large stock drops were caused by the
broader financial situation, not by company misstatements.

If the appeals court's ruling is upheld, "plaintiffs are going to
be required to separate market losses from particular alleged
misstatements," said Scott Musoff, a lawyer at Skadden, Arps,
Slate, Meagher & Flom, a defense firm.  "That's why this is such a
significant case." He may be reached at:

          Scott Musoff, Esq.
          Four Times Square
          New York, NY  10036
          Tel: 212-735-7852
          Fax: 917-777-7852
          E-mail: scott.musoff@skadden.com

An array of industry trade groups including the Securities
Industry and Financial Markets Association and U.S. Chamber of
Commerce, have filed briefs for the company.

The Supreme Court in recent years has issued a string of decisions
curtailing shareholder lawsuits, rulings that made it harder for
plaintiffs to survive motions to dismiss and limited the kind of
third parties, such as lawyers and accountants, that shareholders
can sue.

This is the second significant case involving class-action
certification argued before the Supreme Court in a month.  In late
March the court consider a case stemming from a lawsuit brought by
female employees of Wal-Mart Inc. that could determine the scope
of class action lawsuits in employment discrimination cases.

The case is Erica P. John Fund v. Halliburton, No. 09-1403.

HALLIBURTON CO: Continues to Face Claims Over Macondo Incident

Halliburton Company has filed claims against, and is facing
counter-claims filed by, co-defendants in the numerous lawsuits
over the Macondo well incident, according to the Company's April
22, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended March 31, 2011.

The semisubmersible drilling rig, Deepwater Horizon, sank on
April 22, 2010, after an explosion and fire onboard the rig that
began on April 20, 2010.  The Deepwater Horizon was owned by
Transocean Ltd. and had been drilling the Macondo exploration well
in Mississippi Canyon Block 252 in the Gulf of Mexico for the
lease operator, BP Exploration & Production, Inc., an indirect
wholly owned subsidiary of BP p.l.c.  The Company performed a
variety of services for BP Exploration, including cementing, mud
logging, directional drilling, measurement-while-drilling, and rig
data acquisition services.  Crude oil flowing from the well site
spread across thousands of square miles of the Gulf of Mexico and
reached the United States Gulf Coast.  Numerous attempts at
estimating the volume of oil spilled have been made by various
groups, and on August 2, 2010, the federal government published an
estimate that approximately 4.9 million barrels of oil were
discharged from the well.  Efforts to contain the flow of
hydrocarbons from the well were led by the United States
government and by BP p.l.c., BP Exploration, and their affiliates.
The flow of hydrocarbons from the well ceased on July 15, 2010,
and the well was permanently capped on September 19, 2010.  There
were eleven fatalities and a number of injuries as a result of the
Macondo well incident.

Since April 21, 2010, plaintiffs have been filing lawsuits
relating to the Macondo well incident.  Generally, those lawsuits
allege either (1) damages arising from the oil spill pollution and
contamination (e.g., diminution of property value, lost tax
revenue, lost business revenue, lost tourist dollars, inability to
engage in recreational or commercial activities) or (2) wrongful
death or personal injuries.  To date, the Company has been named
along with other unaffiliated defendants in more than 370
complaints, most of which are alleged class actions, involving
pollution damage claims and at least 28 personal injury lawsuits
involving six decedents and 54 allegedly injured persons who were
on the drilling rig at the time of the incident.  Another six
lawsuits naming the Company and others relate to alleged personal
injuries sustained by those responding to the explosion and oil
spill.  Plaintiffs originally filed the lawsuits in federal and
state courts throughout the United States, including Alabama,
Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi,
South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.  Except for
approximately three lawsuits not yet consolidated, one lawsuit
that is proceeding in Louisiana state court, one lawsuit that is
pending in Delaware state court, and one lawsuit that is
proceeding in Texas state court, the Judicial Panel on Multi-
District Litigation ordered all of the lawsuits against the
Company consolidated in a multi-district litigation (MDL)
proceeding before Judge Carl Barbier in the U.S. Eastern District
of Louisiana.

The pollution complaints generally allege, among other things,
negligence and gross negligence, property damages, taking of
protected species, and potential economic losses as a result of
environmental pollution and generally seek awards of unspecified
economic, compensatory, and punitive damages, as well as
injunctive relief.  Plaintiffs in these pollution cases have
brought suit under various legal provisions, including the OPA,
the CWA, the MBTA, the ESA, the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act,
the Longshoremen and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, general
maritime law, state common law, and various state environmental
and products liability statutes.

Furthermore, the pollution complaints include suits brought
against the Company by governmental entities, including the State
of Alabama, the State of Louisiana, Plaquemines Parish, the City
of Greenville, and three Mexican states.  The wrongful death and
other personal injury complaints generally allege negligence and
gross negligence and seek awards of compensatory damages,
including unspecified economic damages and punitive damages.  The
Company has retained counsel and are investigating and evaluating
the claims, the theories of recovery, damages asserted, and the
Company's respective defenses to all of these claims.

Judge Barbier is also presiding over a separate proceeding filed
by Transocean under the Limitation of Liability Act.  In the
Limitation Action, Transocean seeks to limit its liability for
claims arising out of the Macondo well incident to the value of
the rig and its freight.  Although the Limitation Action is not
consolidated in the MDL, to this point the judge is effectively
treating the two proceedings as associated cases.

On February 18, 2011, Transocean tendered the Company, along with
all other defendants, into the Limitation Action.  As a result of
the tender, the Company and all other defendants will be treated
as direct defendants to the plaintiffs' claims as if the
plaintiffs had sued each of the Company and the other defendants
directly.  In the Limitation Action, the judge intends to
determine the allocation of liability among all defendants in the
hundreds of lawsuits associated with the Macondo well incident,
including those in the MDL proceeding, that are pending in his
court.  Specifically, the judge will determine the liability,
limitation, exoneration and fault allocation with regard to all of
the defendants in a trial set to begin in the first quarter 2012.

The Company does not believe, however, that a single apportionment
of liability in the Limitation Action is properly applied to the
hundreds of lawsuits pending in the MDL proceeding.  Damages for
the cases tried in the first quarter 2012, including punitive
damages, are currently scheduled to be tried in a later phase of
the Limitation Action.  Under ordinary MDL procedures, such cases
would, unless waived by the respective parties, be tried in the
courts from which they were transferred into the MDL.  It remains
unclear, however, what impact the overlay of the Limitation Action
will have on where these matters are tried.  Document discovery
and depositions among the parties to the MDL are underway.

In April 2011, certain defendants in the proceedings filed
numerous cross claims and third party claims against certain other
defendants.  BP Exploration and BP America Production Company
filed claims against the Company seeking subrogation and
contribution, including with respect to liabilities under the OPA,
and alleging negligence, gross negligence, fraudulent conduct, and
fraudulent concealment.  Transocean filed claims against the
Company seeking indemnification, and subrogation and contribution,
including with respect to liabilities under the OPA and for the
total loss of the Deepwater Horizon, and alleging comparative
fault and breach of warranty of workmanlike performance.  Anadarko
filed claims against the Company seeking tort indemnity and
contribution, and alleging negligence, gross negligence and
willful misconduct, and MOEX Offshore 2007 LLC, who has an
approximate 10% interest in the Macondo well, filed a claim
against the Company alleging negligence.  Cameron International
Corporation, the manufacturer and designer of the blowout
preventer, filed claims against the Company seeking
indemnification and contribution, including with respect to
liabilities under the OPA, and alleging negligence.  Additional
civil lawsuits may be filed against the Company, and other
defendants in the Limitation Action may file claims against the
Company prior to the May 20, 2011 deadline for filing such claims.
In addition to the claims against the Company, generally the
defendants in the proceedings filed claims, including for
liabilities under the OPA and other claims similar to the
proceedings, against other defendants.

The Company also filed claims in April 2011.  The Company filed
claims against BP Exploration, BP p.l.c. and BP America Production
Company, M-I Swaco (provider of drilling fluids and services,
among other things), Cameron, Anadarko, MOEX, Weatherford U.S.
L.P. and Weatherford International, Inc. (providers of casing
components, including float equipment and centralizers, and
services), Dril-Quip, Inc. (provider of wellhead systems) and
numerous entities involved in the post-blowout remediation and
response efforts, in each case seeking contribution and
indemnification and alleging negligence.  The Company's claims
also alleged gross negligence and willful misconduct on the part
of the BP Defendants, Anadarko, and Weatherford.  The Company also
filed claims against M-I Swaco and Weatherford for contractual
indemnification, and against Cameron, Weatherford and Dril-Quip
for strict products liability.  The Company filed its answer to
Transocean's Limitation petition denying Transocean's right to
limit its liability, denying all claims and responsibility for the
incident, seeking contribution and indemnification, and alleging
negligence and gross negligence.

The Company says it intends to vigorously defend any litigation,
fines, and/or penalties relating to the Macondo well incident.
The Company says it has and expects to continue to incur
significant legal fees and costs, some of which it expects to be
covered by indemnity or insurance, as a result of the numerous
investigations and lawsuits relating to the incident.

HEARTLAND AUTOMOTIVE: Sued for Making Unsolicited Text Messages
Rene Heuscher, individually and on behalf of a class of similarly
situated individuals v. Heartland Automotive Services, Inc., Case
NO. 11-cv-02048 (N.D. Calif. April 26, 2011), accuses the largest
Jiffy Lube franchisee in the U.S. of making unsolicited text
message calls to cellular telephones of consumers, which the
plaintiff describes as "an especially pernicious form of
marketing", which is prohibited under the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. Section 227, et seq.

Plaintiff is a resident of Washington.  Defendant Heartland is a
Minnesota corporation with its principal place of business in
Nebraska.  Defendant operates approximately 435 Jiffy Lube
locations throughout the United States, including in California.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Sean P. Reis, Esq.
          30021 Tomas Street, Suite 300
          Rancho Santa Margarita, California 92688
          Telephone: (949) 459-2124
          E-mail: sreis@edelson.com

ITT EDUCATIONAL: Amended Securities Class Action Pending in NY
ITT Educational Services, Inc., continues to defend itself from an
amended securities class action lawsuit pending in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York,
according to the Company's April 22, 2011, Form 10-Q filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
March 31, 2011.

On November 3, 2010, a complaint in a securities class action
lawsuit was filed against the Company and two of its current
executive officers in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York under the following caption:
Operating Engineers Construction Industry and Miscellaneous
Pension Fund, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated v. ITT Educational Services, Inc., et al.

On January 21, 2011, the court named the Wyoming Retirement System
as the lead plaintiff in the Securities Litigation.  On April 1,
2011, an amended complaint was filed in the Securities Litigation
under the following caption: In re ITT Educational Services, Inc.
Securities and Shareholder Derivative Litigation.  The amended
complaint alleges, among other things, that:

   -- the defendants violated Section 10(b) and 20(a) of the
      Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by
      creating and implementing a systemically predatory business
      model that operated as a fraud or deceit on purchasers of
      the Company's common stock during the class period by
      misrepresenting the Company's financials and future business

   -- the defendants' misrepresentations and material omissions
      caused the Company's common stock to trade at artificially
      inflated prices throughout the class period; and

   -- the market's expectations were ultimately corrected on
      August 13, 2010, when the ED published the loan repayment
      rate of the Company's students under a formula contained in
      proposed regulations published by the ED on July 26, 2010.

The putative class period in this action is from October 23, 2008,
through August 13, 2010.  The plaintiff seeks, among other things,
the designation of this action as a class action, and an award of
unspecified compensatory damages, interest, costs, expenses,
attorneys' fees and expert fees.  All of the defendants intend to
defend themselves vigorously against the allegations made in the
complaint.  There can be no assurance, however, that the ultimate
outcome of this or other actions (including other actions under
federal or state securities laws) will not have a material adverse
effect on the Company's financial condition or results of

No further updates were provided in the Company's latest SEC

NEW ORLEANS, LA: Property Tax Fee Class Action Set to Be Heard
Alejandro de los Rios, writing for The Louisiana Record, reports
that a hearing that would determine the fate of a possible class
action against the city of New Orleans has been continued for the
second time in a month, this time without date.

New Orleans residents Jimmie Jackson, Simms Hardin and their
business KSD Properties LLC, are challenging City Ordinance No.
22207, which imposes penalties and attorney and collection fees on
residents who are late paying property taxes.

New Orleans attorney Allain Hardin filed the suit on behalf of KSD
in May 2009 in Orleans Parish Civil District Court.

Mr. Hardin's firm, Fransen & Hardin APLC, sued the city for the
illegal collection of fees in 2008.  In that suit, residents were
assessed a 3% penalty by the city and a 30% attorney collection

In the Fransen & Hardin suit, the Louisiana Supreme Court ruled it
unconstitutional for the city to impose and collect the penalties
and fees.

As a result of the ruling, New Orleans issued the city ordinance
that KSD is now challenging.  The new law charged residents a 10%
penalty on property taxes for late payment as well as a 9.5%
"attorney/collection fee."

The city has filed a motion to transfer and consolidate this case
with the Francis & Hardin suit.

Actions in the KSD suit with Judge Herbert Cade presiding are held
pending a ruling by Judge Ethel Julien to consolidate the cases.

The City of New Orleans is arguing that what they charged
residents were taxes and were not unconstitutional.

"The City of New Orleans fee and the outside collectors fee are
not penal in nature but are in fact designed to cover the cost of
collections from the chronically delinquent taxpayer and hence
would not be unconstitutional," city attorneys argued in
opposition to the plaintiffs.

The city has filed a motion for peremptory exception of no cause
of action, stating that there are no damages at issue because the
additional taxes imposed on late payments are not

Plaintiff attorneys claim that by seeking consolidation, New
Orleans "is telling this Court that those charges imposed by City
Ordinance No. 22207 are the same as the Ordinance that was
declared unconstitutional (Ordinance No. 18637)."

Consolidating the cases will also create a conflict of interest
because the same counsel was being paid attorney/collection fees
under both ordinances, the plaintiffs claim.  In the Fransen &
Hardin case, the city filed a cross claim against its counsel
saying it was liable for returning any unconstitutional fees.

"If counsel is going to be consistent, then he will have to file a
cross claim over and against his own law firm in this case for the
attorney/collection fee his law firm is paid," the plaintiffs

"One could understand that counsel would be hesitant to push any
cross claims given that he may be impacting his own pocketbook.
Who is going to watch out for the City?"

The firm Linebarger, Goggan, Blair, Pena & Sampson LLP was
retained by the city and charges the attorney/collection fee on

New Orleans attorneys Lawrence Jones and Errol Conley are
representing the city in this case.

Orleans Parish Case 2009-05493

NISSAN NA: Sued for Failing to Disclose Defect in Brake System
Brandon Banks, and Erin Banks, individually and on behalf of a
class of similarly situated individuals v. Nissan North America,
Inc., et al., Case No. 11-cv-02022 (N.D. Calif. Apr. 25, 2011),
accuses the defendants of failing to disclose to consumers a
critical defect in certain of its vehicles' delta stroke sensor,
which component in said vehicles controls critical safety aspects
of braking.  The affected vehicles include defendants' 2004-2006
Nissan Armada and Tittan Trucks, and Infinity QX56 vehicles.

Plaintiffs reside within Placer County, State of California, and
is an owner of a 2004 Nissan Armada.

Defendant Nissan North America is an active California
corporation which directs and coordinates all of Nissan's
activities, including design, development, and marketing of Nissan
vehicles including affected vehicles, in the U.S. market.

Plaintiff Erin Banks relates that as result of the failure of the
delta stroke sensor in their vehicle, she was unable to bring her
Nissan vehicle to a complete stop at a controlled and busy
intersection.  Fortunately she and her children were not involved
in a collision.  This defect, according to the plaintiffs, should
have long ago resulted in the timely voluntary recall of the
affected vehicles, but defendants have failed to take this and
other steps "to mitigate the unreasonable danger and hazard posed
by this concealed danger."

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Clayeo C. Arnold, Esq.
          Kirk J. Wolden, Esq.
          Clifford L. Carter, Esq.
          865 Howe Avenue
          Sacramento, CA 95825
          Telephone: (916) 1924-3100
          Email: kwolden@Justice4you.com

               - and -

          Ernest Cory, Esq.
          F. Jerome Tapley, Esq.
          Hirlye R. "Ryan" Lutz, III, Esq.
          2131 Magnolia Avenue
          Birmingham, AL 35205
          Telephone: (205) 328-2200
          E-mail: ecory@cwcd.com

Lindsay Tice, writing for Lewiston Sun Journal, reports that
Possibilities Counseling, a once-thriving, now-shuttered Auburn
mental health agency, is likely to be the subject of a class-
action lawsuit, despite the fact that most of its social workers
and other affiliates have now been paid what they were owed.

In Portland on April 26, a Business and Consumer Court judge said
he'll likely allow hundreds of social workers, counselors and
other affiliates of Possibilities Counseling to band together in a
class-action lawsuit against the agency and its former billing
company, Affiliate Funding.  But Justice Andrew M. Horton also
said he will likely set criteria that limits who can join such a

The two sides will submit their arguments regarding that criteria
this week.  Judge Horton will rule sometime after that.

Located on Center Street in Auburn, Possibilities Counseling had
about 550 affiliate therapists and case managers serving 10,000
mental health clients around Maine.  Possibilities was supposed to
bill the state and private insurance agencies on behalf of the
affiliates and then pay those affiliates.

But last fall, a pair of surprise Maine Department of Health and
Human Services inspections found that 16 of 18 office staffers had
walked out and were replaced largely by the untrained family and
friends of Possibilities owner Wendy Bergeron.  The state issued a
conditional license and gave Ms. Bergeron a number of conditions
she had to meet over the next year.  Instead, Ms. Bergeron closed
the agency.

During that time, hundreds of affiliates claimed Possibilities
Counseling wasn't paying them, and some said the company hadn't
paid for months.  They said they were owed between several hundred
dollars and tens of thousands of dollars.

Since then, with the help of a court ordered "referee," nearly all
of the affiliates have been paid, an amount that totals more than
$1 million.  Much of that money was paid by the state and private
insurers who hadn't been properly billed before.

But there are still unresolved issues, including interest on the
recent payments, agency fees that affiliates feel Possibilities
shouldn't get to keep, and attorneys' fees.  Those will be the
likely focus of any class action lawsuit.

Lawyers for Possibilities Counseling and Affiliate Funding argued
on April 26 that a class-action lawsuit would help only the
lawyers -- who would make money from attorneys' fees -- not the
affiliates or the court system.  They urged the judge to deny the
class action and force each affiliate to file a separate lawsuit,
likely through Small Claims Court.  They believe most of the 550
affiliates won't file, and won't win if they do.

"You could be [defending] that for the next six years," Judge
Horton pointed out.

"I don't mind," said Russell Pierce, lawyer for Possibilities

Lawyers for the affiliates argued that the affiliates have the
right to a class-action lawsuit, and they balked at the idea a
class action was of personal interest.

"This lawsuit isn't about lawyers getting paid, it's about
clinicians getting paid," said Gregory Hansel, a lawyer for the

At one point during the morning-long hearing, Judge Horton said he
was leaning toward approving the class action, and he asked the
two sides to try to agree on the criteria for inclusion in such a
suit.  But after nearly 30 minutes of discussion, no agreement
could be reached.

Judge Horton said he will likely approve a class action and set
the criteria himself after reading the arguments from both sides.
A ruling won't be announced for at least a week.

ROBERT FIANCE: Accused in New Jersey Suit of Consumer Fraud
Courthouse News Service reports that a class action claims
Robert Fiance Beauty Schools, Paul Ferrara, and Reignbow Beauty
Academy lied about their teachers' credentials, rendering their
"degree" "worthless."

A copy of the Complaint in Hughes v. Robert Fiance Beauty Schools,
et al., Case No. 599-11 (N.J. Super. Ct., Somerset Cty.), is
available at:


The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Kevin M. Costello, Esq.
          COSTELLO & MAINS, P.C.
          18000 Horizon Way, Suite 800
          Mount Laurel, NJ 08054
          Telephone: (856) 727-9700

ROSUKRENERGY: Ukraine PM Files Racketeering Class Action in U.S.
Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has filed a
lawsuit in an American court against natural gas company
RosUkrEnergy and one of its co-owners, Ukrainian Dmytro Firtash.

The class action lawsuit was filed on April 26 on behalf of the
Ukrainian people in the U.S. district court in New York.
Ms. Tymoshenko accuses Firtash and RosUkrEnergy of conspiring to
manipulate a Swedish arbitration court ruling, which she says
robbed Ukraine of natural gas supplies.

The case stems from a ruling last year that Ukraine's state run
energy company (NAK Naftogaz Ukrainy) owed RosUkrEnergy 12.1
billion cubic meters of gas for fuel it had "expropriated."

The lawsuit says the ruling deprived the Ukrainian people of fuel
the government had already paid for and allowed Firtash to reap
huge amounts of money when the gas was resold on the open market.

The suit was filed under an American statute that allows actions
in U.S. courts to uphold international law as well as a
racketeering and corrupt practices act.

Ms. Tymoshenko is currently under investigation by the government
for allegedly abusing power in a natural gas deal signed with
Russia in 2009 when she was prime minister.

Since her political rival Viktor Yanukovich took office,
Ms. Tymoshenko has been charged in two other criminal cases
involving alleged misuse of funds.  She says the charges are
politically motivated.

STARBUCKS CORP: Discovery Order in Applicants' Suit Vacated
A three-member panel of the Court of Appeals of California, Fourth
District, ordered a trial court to vacate its discovery order in a
purported class action by job applicants against Starbucks

The class suit was brought by three job applicants in 2005 on
behalf of some 135,000 applicants, contending that Starbucks'
preprinted job application violated provisions of a California
legislation that called for the destruction of all minor marijuana
convictions that were more than two years old.

The trial court initially dismissed plaintiffs as class
representatives as they had no marijuana convictions to reveal,
but they were permitted to file an amended complaint.  The trial
court also allowed class counsel to conduct further discovery to
find a suitable class representative.  To this end, Starbucks was
ordered to randomly review job applications and disclose the
identities of applicants with prior marijuana convictions to class

Starbucks appealed the discovery order.  The case is Starbucks
Corporation v. The Superior Court of Orange County, Erik Lords, et
al., Case No. G043650 (Cal. App. 4th).  The appeal was heard
before Associate Justices Raymond J. Ikola, William F. Rylaarsdam,
and Eileen Moore.

"Far from protecting the public's interest, precertification class
discovery will harm the putative class members' protected privacy
rights, in contravention of the prohibition against employer
inquiries in the marijuana reform legislation," the Appellate
Court said.  It held that the trial court abused discretion in
allowing the proposed pre-certification discovery.

"With no readily apparent means by which class members may be
identified without also violating their statutory privacy rights,
there may well be no ascertainable class, let alone a class
representative plaintiff," the Appellate Court said.

A copy of the Appellate Court's April 25, 2011, opinion is
available at http://is.gd/ahehAUfrom Leagle.com.

SIGNATURE HOSPITAL: Class Action Over Sick Leave Amended
Jody Murphy at NewsandSentinel.com reports that the class-action
lawsuit over accrued sick leave has been amended, and the
representatives for the defendant will soon be filing a response.

Thomas Brandon Jr., an employment law attorney with Whitaker,
Chalk, Swindle & Sawyer, a Fort Worth, Texas, law firm
representing Signature Hospital Corp., said officials had a
30-minute hearing on April 26 to amend an order certifying a
class-action lawsuit against Signature, doing business as St.
Joseph's Hospital.  Mr. Brandon may be reached at:

          Thomas Brandon, Jr., Esq.
          301 Commerce Street, Suite 3500
          Fort Worth, TX 76102
          Tel: (817) 878-0532
          Fax: (817) 878-0501
          E-mail: tbrandon@whitakerchalk.com

The suit was filed by Ginny Conley and George Consenza,
representing former St. Joseph's Hospital employees.

Wood County Circuit Court Judge Bob Waters approved class-action
status for the suit in April, without Signature having legal
representation present.  Mr. Brandon said he's never had a class-
action being certified without the other side being present.

"We ended up agreeing to some changes," he said.  "It makes it
more neutral, as opposed to one-sided.  It better defines the
class and puts more people on notice as to what is involved in
being in a class action."

The employees contend Signature, doing business as St. Joseph's
Hospital, failed to compensate employees for their accrued sick
leave following the hospital's purchase by West Virginia United
Health Systems and merger into what has become Camden Clark
Medical Center.

Ms. Conley and Mr. Consenza believe 613 former employees were
short-changed by Signature.  Ms. Conley contends the accrued leave
ranges from just a few hours to more than 900.  She said at least
one employee lost 980 hours of banked sick time.

Mr. Brandon said Signature has 10 days to file a response to the

"St. Joseph's has been fighting for the sick leave all along. It
is unfortunate it has come to this," Mr. Brandon said.

Mr. Brandon said the suit will boil down to the question of
whether there was a term or contract between Signature and its
employees to provide sick leave.

"My understanding (of West Virginia law) is sick leave, unless it
is actually accrued, doesn't have to be paid out, unless there was
a contract that requires them to be paid out."

Mr. Brandon said hospital employees incorrectly believed the
notation of hours on their paychecks was a "real number."

"That Signature was holding onto that; that it was cash we took
out of state.  That is not the case at all," he said.  "Sick time
is never payable until you get sick.  As far as I know, there has
never been a time when someone left and got sick time.  It wasn't
like Signature withheld some money . . . . that was never the
case.  It wasn't actual money.  It was just a notation for you to
keep on your records."

SONY CORP: Sued Over PlayStation Network Data Breach
Dean Takahashi, writing for GamesBeat, reports that Sony hasn't
yet recovered from the PlayStation Network outage, but it has
already been hit with a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of an
angry user.  The suit comes a day after Sony admitted that
personal information, including credit card data, had been
compromised when hackers broke into its online entertainment

The PlayStation Network has more than 77 million registered users,
and the data breach is one of the worst in hacking history.  Sony
said an external attack compromised user information, including
names, addresses, birthdays, login passwords, and possibly credit
card information.

"We brought this lawsuit on behalf of consumers to learn the full
extent of Sony PlayStation Network data security practices and the
data loss and to seek a remedy for consumers.  We are hopeful that
Sony will take this opportunity to learn from the network
vulnerabilities, provide a remedy to consumers who entrusted their
sensitive data to Sony, and lead the way in data security best
practices going forward," said Ira P. Rothken an attorney who
filed the class action complaint.

"Sony's breach of its customers' trust is staggering.  Sony
promised its customers that their information would be kept
private.  One would think that a large multinational corporation
like Sony has strong protective measures in place to prevent the
unauthorized disclosure of personal information, including credit
card information.  Apparently, Sony doesn't," said J.R. Parker,
co-counsel in the case.

The suit was filed in U.S. district court in San Francisco on
behalf of user Kristopher Johns.  It alleges breach of warranty,
negligent data security, violation of consumer rights to privacy
and other charges.  For sure, you can now add legal costs to the
estimated damages that have resulted from the security breach.

The suite seeks monetary compensation for the data loss and loss
of access to the network, credit monitoring costs, and other

Sony hasn't yet commented on the lawsuit.

UNITED STATES: Bank Selection in Native American Suit Questioned
According to an article posted at The Blog of Legal Times by
Mike Scarcella, the federal judge overseeing the $750 million
settlement in a Native American class action expressed concern on
April 26 over the selection of four banks in which the plaintiffs'
lawyers want to invest money before checks are cut to potentially
thousands of beneficiaries.

The plaintiffs' lawyers in Keepseagle v. Vilsack, a suit over
discrimination in the government's loan processing for Native
American farmers and ranchers, proposed splitting and investing
about $600 million in Bank of America Corporation, Wells Fargo &
Company, Citigroup, Inc. and PNC Financial Services.  A fifth
bank, owned by a Native American tribe in Oklahoma, would receive
about $18 million.

At a hearing in the case on April 26 in Washington federal
district court, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan criticized the
selection of the four major banks, saying the plaintiffs' team
failed to fully examine the use of Native American or minority-
owned banks.

The plaintiffs' lawyers, he said, should have sent proposal
requests to more banks outside of the major national institutions.
The judge called the selection of the big four banks "suspect" and
asked whether their designation marked "business as usual."

Joseph Sellers of Washington's Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll and
Patton Boggs tax partner Sean Clancy said the safe-keeping of the
settlement funds was the driving force behind the selection of the
four banks.  Messrs. Sellers and Clancy said the plaintiffs' team
sought a balance between protecting the money while simultaneously
generating modest interest.  The lawyers anticipate the settlement
money would sit for a year to 18 months before class members
receive money.

The settlement does not require judicial approval of the banks.
Sellers pitched the plaintiffs' proposal to the judge not to ask
him to evaluate the merits of the selection but to apprise him on
the designation process.  That Judge Sullivan cannot control the
banks that are chosen did not stop him from weighing in.

Judge Sullivan said he was expressly concerned with whether the
money is safe in the hands of the four major financial
institutions.  The selection of the four banks, he said,
"troubled" him and he asked the lawyers to come back to him with a
proposal to include more Native American or minority-owned banks.
"I would think that's what the plaintiffs' class would want," he

The judge also asked the plaintiffs' lawyers whether a grand jury
is investigating any of the four banks or whether any has received
a Justice Department target letter notifying the bank of a
government investigation.

Mr. Clancy said he raised those questions with bank officials, but
he expressed doubt that the bank employees with whom he spoke
would have knowledge of a pending grand jury investigation or
inquiry. Sullivan expressed interest in having the lawyers make
follow-up questions to higher-ups at the four banks.

The Justice Department sat on the sidelines in the bank selection
process, and the government has no liability once the money is
transferred to the designated banks.  If anything happens to the
settlement funds, the plaintiffs' lawyers are on the hook, not the
government.  The plaintiffs, not the government, are responsible
for getting class members their money.

In court on April 26, Judge Sullivan insisted several times he was
not "casting aspersions" but raising legitimate questions that any
judge should ask.  He said he planned to share his observations
with colleagues who may, in the future, have to deal with a
similar issue.

Messrs. Clancy and Sellers said in court that the mechanism the
plaintiffs proposed does not put the settlement funds at risk.
The money, the attorneys said, would be intentionally divided
among four major banks to protect against the failure of any one
financial institution.  The plaintiffs' lawyers said the money
would remain largely outside the banks' creditors in segregated

The plaintiffs' lawyers, Mr. Clancy said, did not send formal
requests for proposals to more Native American banks because the
bulk of them are what he called "local" banks that are not large
enough to handle multi-million dollar transactions. Sullivan said
the plaintiffs' lawyers don't know that is true unless they
inquire of the smaller banks.

Mr. Clancy said the plaintiffs' team did not anticipate dividing
the settlement money into smaller portions to make 100 or more
deposits in banks around the country.  The potential loss of funds
is greater in a small bank than in a larger institution, he said.

"We could have a loss of funds with the big four banks," Judge
Sullivan said in response.  "Recent history has demonstrated that
quite clearly."

The lawyers in the case are due back in court tomorrow for a
fairness hearing over the settlement.  Class members will be
allowed to voice objections to the settlement.  Judge Sullivan
said he will rule after the hearing on how much the plaintiffs'
lawyers should receive for their work in the case.

XEROX IT: ClassAction.org Attorneys Ready to Review Claims
The overtime attorneys working with Class Action.org are available
to review claims from Xerox IT employees in California who have
worked more than 40 hours a week without receiving overtime pay.
Reportedly, an employee at the company has filed a lawsuit, which
seeks $50 million on behalf of a proposed class of California IT
employees who were reclassified as ineligible for overtime pay in
2008, alleging that Xerox Company Affiliated Computers Services
Inc. violated federal and state wage and hour law.  If you have
worked as a Xerox IT worker in California and were denied overtime
pay, you may also have legal recourse. Visit
today and fill out the free case evaluation form to find out if
you can file a claim to recover up to three years of unpaid
overtime wages.

According to the Xerox overtime lawsuit, the plaintiff worked at
ACS as a service technician, carrying out IT services for
companies which outsource these departments.  At first, the
plaintiff was reportedly classified as eligible for overtime wages
and received time-and-a-half pay when working more than 40 hours a
week.  However, in April 2008, the company allegedly changed its
classification of employees.

The Xerox overtime lawsuit claims that service technicians could
work as many as 72 hours per week.  However, the suit alleges that
only some of these hours were able to be recorded on ACS time
sheets, with service technicians only receiving a fixed amount of
pay without time-and-a-half compensation.  The plaintiff alleges
that he is owed more than $128,000 in damages, and claims that
there are at least 500 others who are owed approximately $100,000

If you worked as a service technician at Xerox Corp. in
California, you may be able to make a legal claim for your unpaid
wages.  IT workers are among the employees who are commonly denied
overtime in violation of the law, and may have legal recourse if
their employer breached federal or state overtime laws.  To learn
more about the Xerox overtime lawsuit and to find out if you have
legal recourse after being denied overtime pay, visit Class
Action.org today.

                      About Class Action.org

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.orgtoday for a no cost, no
obligation case evaluation and information about your consumer

* Women Suffering With Vaginal Mesh Problems May File Claim
Women who have experienced mesh erosion, bladder sling
complications or other problems after undergoing urinary
incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse repair surgery may have
legal recourse.  In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
notified the public of serious complications associated with these
transvaginal mesh systems, and patients who developed mesh
problems after surgery may be able to file a claim to recover
financial compensation.  If you suffered mesh erosion, bladder
sling complications or other mesh side effects following surgery,
find out if you may be able to file a trans vaginal mesh lawsuit
to recover monetary damages for medical expenses and other losses.
Visit http://www.classaction.org/transvaginal-mesh.htmland
complete the free case evaluation form for a no cost, no
obligation review of your vaginal mesh or bladder sling

A 2008 FDA public health notification cautioned women about the
transvaginal placement of surgical meshes used to treat stress
urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse repair.  According
to the FDA, transvaginal meshes are associated with serious
complications, including mesh erosion and infection.  Reportedly,
the FDA received more than 1000 complaints of these and other
vaginal mesh problems from nine mesh manufacturers during a three-
year time period.  Vaginal scarring, pain during sex, and
recurrence of incontinence or prolapse were among the other mesh
side effects reported to the agency.

Women who experienced vaginal mesh side effects or bladder sling
problems may be able to take legal action to recover compensation
for damages.  A vaginal mesh lawsuit would allow women who
experienced mesh erosion or other side effects the chance to make
a claim for physical pain, medical costs and other losses
resulting from their mesh problems.  To find out if you may be
entitled to financial compensation, visit Class Action today and
complete the free case evaluation form.  The vaginal mesh
attorneys working with the site are providing this initial case
review at no cost and remain dedicated to protecting the rights of
patients who experienced mesh erosion and bladder sling problems.

                     About Class Action.org

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.orgtoday for a no cost, no
obligation case evaluation and information about your consumer


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, Noemi Irene A. Adala, 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
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without prior
written permission of the publishers.

Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed to
be reliable, but is not guaranteed.

The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
e-mail.  Additional e-mail subscriptions for members of the same
firm for the term of the initial subscription or balance thereof
are $25 each.  For subscription information, contact Christopher
Beard at 240/629-3300.

                 * * *  End of Transmission  * * *