/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/130130.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

           Wednesday, January 30, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 21


ADVANCE PIERRE: Recalls 1,200 Pounds of Fried Chicken Breasts
ANKA BEHAVIORAL: Accord in Workers' Class Suit Gets Initial OK
APPLE INC: Antitrust Class Action Suits Still Pending in Calif.
BAYER: Mirena Suits May Head to MDL Instead of Class Action
FLORIDA'S NATURAL: Court Dismisses Orange Juice Labeling Suit

GAB HALAL: Recalls 550 Lbs. of Ground Beef Due to Salmonella Risk
GROUPON INC: Alfred Yates Law Firm Files Class Action in Ill.
HYUNDAI MOTOR: Faces Class Action in Korea Over Gas Mileage
JOUNI MEATS: FSIS Lists Stores That Received Recalled Products
LIVINGSOCIAL: Class Action Lawyers Seek $3 Million in Fees

LONGWEI PETROLEUM: Robbins Geller Files Class Action in New York
MASSACHUSETTS: Trial in Foster Care System Class Action Commences
MERCK & CO: Court Tosses Motion to Authorize Fosamax Class Action
MI WINDOWS: Court Dismisses Consumer Fraud Class Action
MICROSOFT CORP: Continues to Defend Antitrust Suits in Canada

NC BAPTIST: March 15 Deadline Set for Class Action Claims Payments
ROCK OF AGES: February 19 Class Action Deal Opt-Out Deadline Set
SEQWATER: Law Firm Has Yet to Decide on Where to File Class Action
SEQWATER: Couple Launch Class Action Over Wivenhoe Dam Flood
SP AUSNET: Gov't. Objects to Use of Police Evidence in Fire Suit

SPECIALIZED BICYCLE: Recalls 12,200 Bicycles Due to Fall Hazard
SUBWAY: Sued Over Missing Inch in "Footlong" Sandwiches
SYNGENTA CROP: City of Lima Gets Share in Atrazine Settlement
TEMPUR-PEDIC INT'L: Inks MOU to Settle Del. Merger-Related Suit
TEXXXAN.COM: Kris Kronowski Named in Revenge Porn Class Action

WAL-MART STORES: Workers Defend $187-Mil. Class Action Victory
WAL-MART: Dukes Impacts Viability of Class Cert. in ERISA Cases
WHITE RIVER: Hearing on TRO Bid in Merger-Related Suit on Jan. 31
WHOLE FOODS: Recalls Whole Catch Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon

* Low Securities Fraud Class Actions in 2012 Due to Dip in M&As
* Securities Class Action Settlements Outside U.S. to Rise


ADVANCE PIERRE: Recalls 1,200 Pounds of Fried Chicken Breasts
Advance Pierre Foods, an Enid, Oklahoma establishment, is
recalling approximately 1,200 pounds of chicken fried chicken
breasts that may contain small pieces of metal, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service
(FSIS) announced.

These products are subject to recall:

   * 22.75-oz. pouches of Fast Classics Chicken Fried Chicken

   * Cases containing 6, 22.75-oz pouches Fast Classics Chicken
     Fried Chicken Breasts

The recalled product bears the establishment number "P-2260Y"
inside the USDA mark of inspection, and a "best by" date of
January 22, 2014, the lot number 1522960202, and a UPC number
75901-33100.  The products were distributed in Kansas, Louisiana,
Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas.  Pictures of the recalled products'
labels are available at: http://is.gd/qrG8ac

The problem was discovered after the Company received two consumer
complaints.  The problem occurred when a small metal hand tool
fell into a grinder, which was discovered by the Company's metal
detectors.  Although the Company began diverting product, the
product being recalled was packaged and shipped before all
corrective actions could be taken.  FSIS and the Company have
received no reports of injury associated with consumption of these

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify that
recalling firms notify their customers of the recall and that
steps are taken to make certain that the product is no longer
available to consumers.  When available, the retail distribution
list(s) will be posted on FSIS' Web site at:


Consumers with questions about the recall should contact
AdvancePierre Consumer Affairs at (855) 328-8888.  Media with
questions about the recall should contact Jennifer Hutchinson,
Accounts Director, at (312)573-5468 or (630)258-8752.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS
virtual representative available 24 hours a day at
www.AskKaren.gov or via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov.  "Ask Karen"
live chat services are available Monday through Friday from 10:00
a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Eastern Time.  The toll-free USDA Meat and
Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in
English and Spanish and can be reached from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00
p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday.  Recorded food safety
messages are available 24 hours a day.  The online Electronic
Consumer Complaint Monitoring System can be accessed 24 hours a
day at: http://is.gd/vlfH9I

ANKA BEHAVIORAL: Accord in Workers' Class Suit Gets Initial OK
District Judge Thelton E. Henderson granted preliminary approval
of the settlement in the class action captioned JULIE CARLSON and
Defendant, No. C10-3914 THE, (N.D. Cal.).

The Court said the Settlement is fair, adequate, reasonable, and
within the range of possible approval.  The Court vacated a
hearing that was scheduled for January 28, 2013.

The Court certified the Class as composed of: All non-exempt
persons who are or have been employed by Defendant in the State of
California and who worked as hourly and/or piece rate employees at
any time between August 30, 2006, and July 31, 2012.

Plaintiffs Julie Carlson and Robert Stark were appointed as Class

Stan S. Mallison, Hector R. Martinez, Marco A. Palau, and Joseph
D. Sutton of the Law Offices of Mallison & Martinez were appointed
as Class Counsel.

The Court appointed CPT Group, Inc. to act as the Settlement

Class Members have until May 6, 2013, to object to the Settlement,
including the Class Counsel's request for attorneys' fees and the
Class Representatives' request for incentive payments.  This
deadline will not affect the agreed-upon deadlines for Class
Members to submit Claim Forms or Elections Not to Participate in

The Plaintiffs must file a motion for judgment and final approval
of the Settlement, as well as any supplemental briefing in support
of their motion for attorneys' fees and costs and payment of
incentive awards, on or before May 20, 2013.  The motion papers
will include the parties' responses to any objections.  Counsel
will also include a declaration setting forth the number of Class
Members who opted out of the Class.

In preparing the motion for final approval, the Plaintiffs will
confer with the Defendant. The Court does not contemplate the need
for a separate submission by the Defendant, but if the Defendant
wishes to submit any additional information, it must do so on or
before May 28, 2013.

The Final Approval Hearing will be held on June 10, 2013, at 10:00
a.m.  At that hearing, the Court will consider whether to grant
final approval of the Settlement and will also consider the
Plaintiffs' request for attorneys' fees and costs and incentive
payments to the Class Representatives.  Any Class Member who
submits a timely written objection may appear at the Final
Approval Hearing in person or by his or her own attorney.

A copy of the District Court's January 24, 2013 Order is available
at http://is.gd/QP8RiYfrom Leagle.com.

APPLE INC: Antitrust Class Action Suits Still Pending in Calif.
The related cases The Apple iPod iTunes Antitrust Litigation
(formerly Charoensak v. Apple Computer, Inc. and Tucker v. Apple
Computer, Inc.);  and Somers v. Apple Inc. have been filed on
January 3, 2005, July 21, 2006, and December 31, 2007, in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California on behalf of a purported class of direct and indirect
purchasers of iPods and iTunes Store content, alleging various
claims including alleged unlawful tying of music and video
purchased on the iTunes Store with the purchase of iPods and
unlawful acquisition or maintenance of monopoly market power under
Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act, the Cartwright Act,
California Business & Professions Code Section 17200 (unfair
competition), the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act and
California monopolization law.  Plaintiffs are seeking unspecified
compensatory and punitive damages for the class, treble damages,
injunctive relief, disgorgement of revenues and/or profits and
attorneys fees.  Plaintiffs are also seeking digital rights
management free versions of any songs downloaded from iTunes or an
order requiring the Company to license its digital rights
management to all competing music players.  The cases are
currently pending.

No further updates were reported in the Company's January 24,
2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended December 29, 2012.

Cupertino, California-based Apple Inc. designs, manufactures, and
markets mobile communication and media devices, personal
computers, and portable digital music players, and sells a variety
of related software, services, peripherals, networking solutions,
and third-party digital content and applications.  The Company
sells a variety of third-party iPhone, iPad, Mac, and iPod
compatible products, including application software, and various
accessories through its online and retail stores.

BAYER: Mirena Suits May Head to MDL Instead of Class Action
The patient advocates at the DrugRisk resource center are alerting
women using the IUD contraceptive Mirena of new information added
to the site showing those filing injury claims have asked that the
growing lawsuits be moved to a central federal court rather than a
Mirena class action lawsuit.

"The goal of DrugRisk is to improve patient safety through
education.  By providing the latest drug warnings, recalls and
litigation news, patients can have informed discussions with their
doctors about drug side effects and decide if they need to seek
the advice of a lawyer," explains DrugRisk representative Ryan

DrugRisk has reported that the FDA has received over 45,000 AERS
reports of women suffering complications while using the Mirena
IUD.  Of these, 5,079 involved dislocation and 1,421 involved
migration of the devices, which can perforate or damage the
uterine wall.*  In more than 6% of cases, patients required
hospitalization or surgery.

The resource center has also learned that the FDA warned the maker
of Mirena, Bayer, about the marketing of the device in 2009, after
they failed to disclose safety risks while claiming the devices
could help busy moms with intimacy and make them "look and feel

Now, with litigation over Mirena perforation growing, DrugRisk
reports that plaintiffs have filed a petition requesting cases be
consolidated to a special federal Multi-District Litigation court
in Ohio instead of a class action lawsuit.***  The petition
estimates that, with more than 2 million Mirena users, hundreds of
perforation cases may be filed.

Anyone affected by a Mirena device is urged to learn about their
legal rights to file a claim.  Due to the specialized nature of
federal MDL drug injury cases, the Drug Risk Resource Center only
recommends lawyers who are already handling Mirena lawsuits.

For more information on the research, side effects and litigation
news related to Mirena and other medical devices, or to speak with
a lawyer, visit http://www.DrugRisk.com

*FDA AERS Reports for Mirena through June 30, 2012

**NDA 21-225, Mirena (levonorgestrel-releasing intrauterine
system) MACMIS # 18166, 12/30/09

***In Re: Mirena IUD Product Liability Litigation, Case No. 1:12-

FLORIDA'S NATURAL: Court Dismisses Orange Juice Labeling Suit
Ginamarie Caya, Esq. and Jonathan L. Koenig, Esq. at Arnold &
Porter LLP report that a federal court in Alabama recently
dismissed a putative class action challenging the labeling of
Florida's Natural Orange Juice as "100% orange juice," "fresh,"
and "pure," when the product had allegedly undergone processing
and contained added flavors and aromas.  The plaintiff asserted
claims for breach of contract and breach of express warranty.
This case is one of several similar cases brought against orange
juice manufacturers in recent years, including at least two other
cases brought by the same plaintiff that are pending in the
Northern District of Alabama.  Veal v. Winn Dixie Stores, Inc.;
Veal v. Wal Mart Stores, Inc.

In granting the motion to dismiss, the court held that the named
plaintiff lacked standing because he had not suffered an actual
injury by purchasing the Florida's Natural Orange Juice.  The
court doubted the plaintiff's assertions that he believed the
juice to be fresh squeezed, stating that "[a]s a matter of common
sense, whatever is in a container on a store shelf with an
expiration date some weeks hence cannot contain 'fresh' anything."
The court went on to state that even if the plaintiff "believed
defendant hired individuals to hand squeeze oranges one by one
into juice cartons," learning that the orange juice was
commercially produced did not amount to an injury.  According to
the court, the plaintiff simply did not allege any harm when he
purchased and received the exact product, packaged orange juice,
that he intended to purchase.

The court also rejected the plaintiff's argument that his injury
arose when he allegedly did not receive the benefit of the
bargain.  Put simply, the court stated "[h]e paid for orange juice
mass produced and supplied to grocery stores all over the country,
and that is exactly what he received."

After finding that the plaintiff had failed to allege any injury,
the court went on to note that there were no remedies to redress
the plaintiff's grievances and injunctive relief was improper.
Finally, although unnecessary to its holding, the court noted that
Florida Natural Orange Juice was properly labeled under FDA
standards, suggesting that the plaintiff could not suffer injury
by purchasing a product that had been labeled in accordance with
those standards.

The court denied the plaintiff's motion to amend the complaint
because there was "nothing in the labeling of Florida Natural
Orange juice that would in any way deceive a reasonable consumer
into believing that the orange juice in question is anything but
pasteurized orange juice."

Offering insight into the apparent motive of many food-related
consumer class actions, the court also noted that it viewed
plaintiff counsel's actions as "shopping for plaintiffs in an
attempt to manufacture a claim," which the court would not

The court's opinion was a refreshing win for the juice maker, in
what has become a hostile climate of food-and-beverage related
consumer class actions.  However, the reach of the holding in this
case may be somewhat limited, as the plaintiff did not assert a
false advertising or misrepresentation claim, which are often at
the core of these cases.

GAB HALAL: Recalls 550 Lbs. of Ground Beef Due to Salmonella Risk
Gab Halal Foods, a Troy, Michigan retail store, is recalling
approximately 550 pounds of ground beef products that may be
contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Typhimurium, the U.S.
Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service
(FSIS) announced.

The products subject to recall are:

   * Various size bags of ground beef, wrapped in clear plastic

These products were produced between December 4, 2012, and
December 10, 2012, and distributed to a restaurant in Macomb
County, Michigan, and sold directly to consumers at Gab Halal Meat
located at 42889 Dequindre, in Troy, Michigan.  These products
were sold without a label.

This recall has been initiated because of concerns involving a
cluster of Salmonella Typhimurium illnesses that may be associated
with consumption of raw ground beef from a restaurant in Macomb
County, Michigan.  Working in conjunction with the Michigan
Department of Community Health, Michigan Department of Agriculture
and Rural Development, Arizona Department of Health Services, and
the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), FSIS
determined that there is a link between this illness cluster and
the ground beef products from Gab Halal Foods, as well as another
retail store (Jouni Meats, Inc., which recalled ground beef
products on January 24, 2013).  Based on epidemiologic and
traceback investigations, seven case-patients with the same
outbreak strain have been identified in Arizona and Michigan with
illness onset dates ranging from December 9, 2012, to December 13,
2012.  The seven case-patients consumed raw beef kibbeh on
December 7, 2012, and December 8, 2012.  It is not known at this
time if this outbreak strain has any drug resistance; results are
pending.  FSIS is continuing to work with public health partners
and CDC on this investigation.  FSIS will continue to provide
information as it becomes available.

FSIS and the Company are concerned that some product may be frozen
and in consumers' freezers.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks (including at
restaurants) to ensure that steps are taken to make certain that
the product is no longer available to consumers.

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause
salmonellosis, one of the most common bacterial foodborne
illnesses.  The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are
diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours.  The
illness usually lasts 4 to 7 days.  In some persons, however, the
diarrhea may be so severe that the patient needs to be
hospitalized.  Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened
immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness.
Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health
care provider.

FSIS advises all consumers to safely prepare their raw meat
products, including fresh and frozen, and only consume ground beef
that has been cooked to a temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
The only way to confirm that ground beef is cooked to a
temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria is to use a food
thermometer that measures internal temperature.

Consumers and media with questions regarding the recall should
contact the Company's owner, Robert M. Berry, at (248) 879-0927.

Consumers with food safety questions can "Ask Karen," the FSIS
virtual representative available 24 hours a day at AskKaren.gov or
via smartphone at m.askkaren.gov.  "Ask Karen" live chat services
are available Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Eastern Time.  The toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-
MPHotline (1-888-674-6854) is available in English and Spanish and
can be reached from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (Eastern Time) Monday
through Friday.  Recorded food safety messages are available 24
hours a day.  The online Electronic Consumer Complaint Monitoring
System can be accessed 24 hours a day at:

GROUPON INC: Alfred Yates Law Firm Files Class Action in Ill.
The Law Office of Alfred G. Yates Jr., P.C. disclosed that it has
filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court
for the Northern District of Illinois on behalf of purchasers of
Groupon, Inc. common stock during the period between May 14, 2012
and November 8, 2012.

If you wish to discuss this action or have any questions
concerning this notice or your rights or interests, please contact
plaintiff's counsel, Alfred G. Yates Jr., at 1-800-391-5164, toll
free, or at yateslaw@aol.com by e-mail.  Please visit

Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as
lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to
do nothing and remain an absent class member.  If you wish to
serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than
February 19, 2013.

The complaint alleges defendants issued materially false and
misleading statements regarding Groupon's business which led to an
inflated stock price during the Class Period, reaching a high of
$13.05 per share on May 16, 2012.

On November 8, 2012, Groupon issued a press release announcing its
third quarter 2012 earnings results, reporting disappointing
revenue results for the third quarter and lowered revenue guidance
for the fourth quarter of 2012 below analysts' expectations.

As a result of this news, Groupon stock dropped $1.16 per share to
close at $2.76 per share on November 9, 2012, a one-day decline of
nearly 30% and a decline of 78% from the stock's Class Period

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of
Groupon common stock during the Class Period.

The firm is also investigating actions on behalf of shareholders
for the following companies: Diodes Inc., Hemispherex Biopharma,
Inc., ISIS Pharmaceuticals, Inc., K-Swiss Inc., MAP
Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Neptune Technologies & Bioressources Inc.,
SeaCube Container Leasing Ltd., Spirit AeroSystems Holdings Inc.,
Verisign, Inc., and Yum! Brands, Inc.

If you are a shareholder of any of the above companies and wish
learn more about any of the investigations or have any questions,
please contact Alfred G. Yates Jr., Esquire at 1-800-391-5164,
toll free, or at yateslaw@aol.com  by e-mail.

HYUNDAI MOTOR: Faces Class Action in Korea Over Gas Mileage
The Chosun Ilbo reports that Hyundai Motor is facing a class-
action lawsuit in Korea for overstating the gas mileage on most of
its 2012 and 2013 models.  The lawsuits follow similar ones in the
U.S. and Canada last year.

According to legal sources, 48 people who bought Hyundais filed
their class-action suit at Seoul Central District Court seeking
KRW500,000 (US$1 = KRW1,066) each in damages and another
KRW500,000 in compensation per person.

In November last year, U.S. consumers filed a class-action lawsuit
against Hyundai and Kia after the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency said the two carmakers exaggerated the gas mileage of 13
out of 20 models sold in the U.S.  U.S. customers filed a KRW840
billion class-action lawsuit in a California district court.

A lawyer representing the 48 Korean customers said they will file
additional lawsuits.

JOUNI MEATS: FSIS Lists Stores That Received Recalled Products
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection
Service disclosed that Walmart stores in Louisiana, Kansas,
Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas received ground beef products that
may be contaminated with a strain of Salmonella Typhimurium that
have been recalled by Jouni Meats, Inc., a Sterling Heights,
Michigan retail store.

The FSIS says the list of store locations may not include all
retail locations that have received the recalled product or may
include retail locations that did not actually receive the
recalled product.  Therefore, the FSIS says, it is important that
consumers use the product-specific identification information
available at http://is.gd/qrG8ac,in addition to the list of
retail stores, to check meat or poultry products in the consumers'
possession to see if they have been recalled.

LIVINGSOCIAL: Class Action Lawyers Seek $3 Million in Fees
According to an article posted by Zoe Tillman at The Blog of Legal
Times, lawyers behind a class action against daily deal company
LivingSocial are hoping to collect $3 million in fees, the maximum
amount that the two sides agreed to in a settlement.  The fees are
on top of the $4.5 million that LivingSocial agreed to pay to
settle claims that its deal voucher expiration dates and other
restrictions violated federal and state laws.

The fee arrangement was spelled out in an agreement that U.S.
District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle gave preliminary approval to in
October.  Under the agreement, LivingSocial said it wouldn't
contest a request for attorney fees up to $3 million.  On January
18, the plaintiffs filed a motion for attorney fees, asking Judge
Huvelle to order the award.

Plaintiffs in the District of Columbia, Florida, California,
Minnesota, and Washington filed class actions in early 2011
against LivingSocial, all alleging similar violations of the
federal Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure
Act and state laws.  The cases were consolidated into a single
multi-district litigation in D.C. federal court.

The plaintiffs claimed that LivingSocial's daily deals should be
considered the same as gift certificates or gift cards, which
can't have an expiration date of less than five years under
federal law.  They accused the company of selling deals with
illegally short expiration dates with the knowledge that consumers
wouldn't use them.

In settling, LivingSocial denied any wrongdoing and maintained
that its products were not gift certificates or gift cards.
According to the settlement agreement, the company took into
account the "uncertainty and risks inherent in litigation" and
wanted to avoid the expense and time of mounting a defense.

Under the settlement, LivingSocial agreed to pay $4.5 million to
reimburse consumers with expired deals.  Any leftover funds would
go to two nonprofits that work on consumer protection issues, the
National Consumers League and the Consumers Union.  The company
also agreed to split and specify the expiration dates for the
promotional value of a deal -- $10 for $20 of services, for
instance -- and the actual paid value, so that the paid value
expired in compliance with federal law or state law (whichever was

A final fairness hearing on the settlement is scheduled for
March 7.

In the motion for attorney fees filed on Jan. 18, plaintiffs'
lawyers said that $3 million was reasonable because of the time
they put into the case and its complexity, claiming that the
figure represented less than five percent of the value of the
settlement: the $4.5 million cash payment, the estimated $80,000
that LivingSocial spent on administrative costs, and the estimated
$54 million in savings for consumers, in light of the policy
changes LivingSocial made as part of the settlement.

LivingSocial and its attorneys at Cooley declined to comment.
Lead attorneys for the plaintiffs, Charles LaDuca --
charlesl@cuneolaw.com -- of Washington's Cuneo Gilbert & LaDuca,
and John Stoia Jr. -- johns@rgrdlaw.com -- of Robbins Geller
Rudman & Dowd in San Diego, could not be reached for comment by

LONGWEI PETROLEUM: Robbins Geller Files Class Action in New York
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP announced that a class action has
been commenced in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of purchasers of Longwei
Petroleum Investment Holding Limited common stock during the
period between May 17, 2010 and January 3, 2013.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no
later than 60 days from January 4, 2013.  If you wish to discuss
this action or have any questions concerning this notice or your
rights or interests, please contact plaintiff's counsel, Samuel H.
Rudman or David A. Rosenfeld of Robbins Geller at 800/449-4900 or
619/231-1058, or via e-mail at djr@rgrdlaw.com

If you are a member of this class, you can view a copy of the
complaint as filed or join this class action online at

Any member of the putative class may move the Court to serve as
lead plaintiff through counsel of their choice, or may choose to
do nothing and remain an absent class member.

The complaint charges Longwei and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
Longwei is an energy company based in the People's Republic of
China that engages in the wholesale distribution of finished
petroleum products.

The complaint alleges that, during the Class Period, defendants
issued materially false and misleading statements regarding the
Company's financial performance and future prospects.
Specifically, it alleges that defendants misrepresented and/or
failed to disclose the following adverse facts: (a) that, contrary
to Longwei's Class Period statements that it had taken action to
provide shareholders with more transparent disclosures and to keep
investors better "informed" as to corporate activities and the
Company's financial condition, Longwei's Class Period financial
reports and statements contained false and misleading statements
and omissions; (b) that, contrary to Longwei's Class Period
statements that it had intentionally increased inventory of crude
products "to take advantage of additional product purchases during
a period of fluctuating prices," the Company's inventory "on-hand"
was increasing during the Class Period because the Company was
experiencing lower demand and decreasing sales; that, contrary to
Longwei's Class Period statements that it was funding its
corporate acquisitions of additional operating facilities,
including the acquisition of a facility from Huajie Petroleum Co.,
Ltd., from "operating cash flow from operations," Longwei was
instead obtaining and funding these acquisitions with the millions
of dollars being generated through the exercise of warrants to
acquire Longwei stock issued in its October 2009 private
placement; (d) that, contrary to Longwei's Class Period reports of
strong demand fueling quarter after quarter of "record revenues,"
Longwei's facilities in the cities of Taiyuan and Gujiao in
China's Shanxi Province were not operating as profitably as
represented by Longwei during the Class Period; (e) that, contrary
to Longwei's Class Period financial reports filed with the SEC,
Longwei was not disclosing a $32 million investment in a tourism
business made by its subsidiary Shanxi Zhonghe Energy Conversion
Co., Ltd.; (f) that, contrary to Longwei's description of its
Class Period corporate acquisitions, Ming Zhao and Puda Coal Group
had undisclosed ties to Longwei's Zhonghe and Huajie facility
acquisitions; (g) that, contrary to Longwei's statements that its
Class Period financial reports complied with Generally Accepted
Accounting Principals, a minority interest in Longwei's Taiyuan
Facility owned by defendant Cai Yongjun, Longwei's founder, CEO
and Chairman, was not reflected in the Company's balance sheet as
a non-controlling interest during the Class Period; (h) though
Longwei's 2011 Annual Report stated that Longwei's wholly-owned
subsidiary Shanxi Heitan Zhingyou Petrochemical Co., Ltd. was an
operating subsidiary with taxable income during fiscal 2011, the
Company's 2012 Annual Report would state that Zhingyou was a non-
operating subsidiary during fiscal 2012 and that Zhingyou
generated no taxable income for Longwei during fiscal 2011; (i)
though Longwei's 2011 Annual Report stated that Zhingyou reported
operations at its Gujiao Facility during fiscal 2011, the
Company's Tax Reconciliation Report filed on June 29, 2012 for the
calendar year 2011 stated that Longwei operating subsidiary
Taiyuan Longwei Economic & Trade Co., Ltd. was Longwei's only
facility that generated taxable revenue and paid income tax and
VAT tax for calendar year 2011; (j) that, as a result of the
foregoing, Longwei was not on track to "repeat the success of
[Longwei's 2007] Gujiao acquisition with the near-term closing of
the assets of the Huajie facility" or to "nearly double [its]
overall capacity"; and (k) that, as a result of the foregoing,
contrary to its repeated Class Period statements, Longwei was not
on track to achieve $70 million in net income on $500 million in
revenues in fiscal 2011 or $78 million in net income on $576
million in revenues in fiscal 2012.

On January 3, 2013, GeoInvesting.com published a report exposing
the fraud perpetrated by Longwei.  The complaint alleges that the
Company's stock price was hammered on the publication of
GeoInvesting.com's expose, with the trading price of Longwei
common stock falling more than 72% from its opening price of $2.29
that day to a closing price of $0.62, on extremely high trading

Plaintiff seeks to recover damages on behalf of all purchasers of
Longwei common stock during the Class Period.  The plaintiff is
represented by Robbins Geller, which has expertise in prosecuting
investor class actions and extensive experience in actions
involving financial fraud.

Robbins Geller -- http://www.rgrdlaw.com-- represents U.S. and
international institutional investors in contingency-based
securities and corporate litigation.  With nearly 200 lawyers in
nine offices, the firm represents hundreds of public and multi-
employer pension funds with combined assets under management in
excess of $2 trillion.

MASSACHUSETTS: Trial in Foster Care System Class Action Commences
Susan Ferris, writing for The Center for Public Integrity, reports
that the state of Massachusetts was set to go to trial last week,
fighting accusations that it is systematically failing to protect
children in foster care from allegedly unfit foster homes,
physical abuse, medical and educational neglect, questionable
psychotropic drug doses and other harm.

Children's Rights, a New York-based children's national advocacy
group, filed suit against Massachusetts Gov. Deval  Patrick and
two health and human services officials in April 2010.  The trial
that opened in federal court in Boston Tuesday could last for

Massachusetts has a good reputation as a state concerned with
child welfare, Children's Rights' executive director Marcia
Robinson Lowry said.  But after two years of research, her group
was surprised to conclude that the state's child-welfare system is
"one of the most dangerous in the country on a number of
significant measures."

The Children's Rights' suit is a class-action lawsuit with six
young plaintiffs whose alleged neglect is specifically described,
along with findings based on data measuring various aspects of
children's care.  Massachusetts tried, unsuccessfully to get a
court to block Children's Rights' pursuit of a class-action
lawsuit representing all the state's foster children, who
currently number about 7,500.

Massachusetts is the first state to decide to go to full trial --
instead of settling -- in response to a legal challenge by
Children's Rights alleging that foster children's constitutional
rights are being violated. Children's Rights has sued 15 other
states' foster-care and welfare systems for alleged neglect of

"The accusation of deliberate indifference just does not fit,"
said Angelo McLair, commissioner of the Massachusetts Department
of Children and Families, who is also named as a defendant in the
suit.  He told the Center for Public Integrity that the trial --
expected to last weeks -- is an opportunity for the state to air
its side of the story, including a description of changes it has
undertaken to improve the foster-care system.

Court documents show that Mr. McLair and the defendants, including
Gov. Patrick, have argued that Children's Rights can't establish a
link between the alleged harm done to the six individual
plaintiffs and the need for "systemic" changes that the class-
action lawsuit seeks -- including federal court-ordered reforms
and oversight.  In a background document given to the Center, the
state says, "We expect the full evidence at trial to show that the
Department (of Children and Families) meets its obligations under
the law to protect children from abuse and neglect."  The state
has a more "comprehensive process of screening in cases for
investigation" of alleged abuses than 44 other states, the
document also says.

Unlike other states that the Children's Right's group has sued,
Ms. Lowry said, Massachusetts "has expressed no interest in
settling this case."

She said that in Massachusetts, "there has been, from time to
time, lip service to fix these problems."

But while some changes have been instituted, Ms. Lowry said, "they
have been improvements around the edges -- with plans." And some
of the state's own witnesses so far have said it's too soon to
tell if they'll work, Ms. Lowry said.

"The state is actually misspending money," Ms. Lowry said, because
of allegedly poor practices that end up "compounding" children's
problems and costing taxpayers more as children languish in state
care for years, requiring ever more specialized care, or cycle in
and out of the system.

In its lawsuit, Children's Rights describes harrowing allegations
of suffering by the plaintiffs, including a boy named Connor B.,
who was removed from the care of his mother when he was six-years-
old because of alleged neglect and endangerment in her home.

Connor was placed in a foster home with another older boy
officials knew could pose a threat, the lawsuit says, but there
were insufficient safety plans in place inside that home and the
boy began to allegedly sexually abuse Connor in his room.  Connor
was moved at least five times during his first year in foster
care, the suit says.

Because of abuses suffered following his abuse in foster care,
according to the lawsuit, Connor was hospitalized for more than
four months and diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.  A
specialist made specific recommendations for where Connor should
be placed.  But child-welfare officials allegedly disregarded
those recommendations and Connor, as a result, failed to get
appropriate therapy and access to schooling as he was shuttled
about from home to home,  the suit says.

Mr. McLair said the state's attorney didn't want him to get into a
discussion of legal strategy, but that once in court, the state
will address allegations of neglect and the system's
transformation in recent years.

The lawsuit says Massachusetts moves children around among foster
homes with "damaging frequency."  A federal audit ranked the state
eighth worst among 51 jurisdictions, including states and the
District of Columbia, reporting data on "placement stability."
This is a measurement of how well a jurisdiction does at keeping
children in stable foster homes rather than shuffling them around.
The suit also notes that a federal audit ranked Massachusetts at
13th worst among 47 jurisdictions reporting data related to
"timeliness of adoptions" of children in foster care.

In a background document, the state's Department of Children and
Families says that its decision to contest the Children's Rights'
lawsuit is "further evidence that we are confident in the work
that we are doing on behalf of children in the Commonwealth."

In the last four years, the document says, the state has increased
"placement stability" of foster children from 73 to 79 percent, an
improvement in the measurement of how well a jurisdiction is doing
in avoiding transfers of children from home to home.  Officials
attribute to better rates of placement of children with relatives.

Mr. McLair, the commissioner of children and families, said that a
review in 2009 led officials to acknowledge that they had to
strive to improve the rate at which they were placing children
with kin rather than non-relative foster parents.  The rate of
placement with kin increased from 72 percent in 2008 to 80 percent
today, Mr. McLair said.

He also said that Massachusetts has improved its child-to-social
worker caseload in recent years, from 18 to one to a current level
of 16 to one.  And, Mr. McLair added, the state recently boosted
payments to foster parents, who were being underpaid.

The state doesn't dispute examples of some problems that need to
be addressed, Mr. McLair said.  But he said officials disagree
that the state needs federal court oversight to keep making

MERCK & CO: Court Tosses Motion to Authorize Fosamax Class Action
Dominic Dupoy, Esq. at Norton Rose reports that the Quebec Court
of Appeal just handed down its decision on a motion to authorize a
class action related to the use of the well-known antiosteoporotic
drug Fosamax (Option Consommateurs c Merck & Co.).  On January 16,
the Court of Appeal dismissed the motion on the ground that the
designated person was not suffering from the problems that,
according to her, were caused by the use of Fosamax.  The Court of
Appeal also concluded that, in all likelihood, the group of
consumers she wished to represent did not exist.

Ms. Syed-Logister and Option Consommateurs applied to the Court of
Appeal for authorization to institute a class action against the
manufacturer of Fosamax.  According to the motion, the
manufacturer had failed in its duty of safety and duty to inform
by distributing the drug when there was a risk that it would cause
osteonecrosis of the jaw and bone embrittlement.  The motion
alleged that Ms. Syed-Logister was suffering from "symptoms
associated with osteonecrosis of the jaw" and it was supported by
several scientific articles dealing with the effects of Fosamax on
the human skeleton.

During the examination for discovery, the drug's manufacturer
obtained an order forcing Ms. Syed-Logister to submit her dental
and medical records.  These records revealed two important facts.
First, Ms. Syed-Logister had never obtained a diagnosis confirming
that she was, in fact, suffering from osteonecrosis of the jaw or
bone embrittlement.  Second, she had continued to take Fosamax
after filing her motion for authorization, in spite of claiming in
the motion that she would never have taken Fosamax if she had been
aware of the drug's purported risks.

The Court of Appeal found that, at the motion for authorization
stage, it is the individual situation of the designated person
that must be examined to determine whether the conditions for
authorization of a class action have been met.  In this case, it
was clear that Ms. Syed-Logister was not suffering from the
problems that she attributed to the use of Fosamax.  The fact that
the motion for authorization was not supported by a medical report
confirming that Ms Syed-Logister was suffering from osteonecrosis
of the jaw or bone embrittlement was fatal to her action.  The
court also noted that the motion for authorization at no point
alleged that Ms. Syed-Logister was suffering from bone

Finally, the Court of Appeal concluded that in the absence of
indicators permitting it to assess the size and composition of the
group, it was impossible to evaluate the advantages of a class
action.  The court pointed out that, in light of the various
scientific articles submitted in support of the motion, it was
statistically possible that the proposed group did not exist.

This decision shows just how important it is for a person bringing
a class action to have a bona fide cause of action.  If that
person is not able to bring an individual action, then he or she
does not have the standing to institute a class action on behalf
of the group.

Merck & Co. and Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. were represented before
the Court of Appeal by Norton Rose Canada.

MI WINDOWS: Court Dismisses Consumer Fraud Class Action
Class action lawsuits have been filed against MI Windows & Doors
Inc., alleging that windows manufactured by the company are
defective and caused damage to homes throughout the country.
These lawsuits were consolidated in a multidistrict litigation
proceeding pending in U.S. District Court for the District of
South Carolina.

On January 24, 2013, District Judge David C. Norton dismissed,
without prejudice, a purported class suit filed by Daniel Kennedy.
In doing so, Judge Norton, who sits in Charleston, S.C., federal
court, was tasked to interpret Illinois laws governing business

Mr. Kennedy filed his class action complaint against MI Windows
and Doors on March 9, 2012, in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Illinois.  Mr. Kennedy alleges that MIWD
designed, manufactured, marketed, and sold certain windows that
were defective.

At a hearing on September 19, 2012, in South Carolina federal
court, the parties agreed that the complaint should be dismissed
and that Mr. Kennedy should be permitted to amend his complaint.
The Court granted Mr. Kennedy's motion for leave to amend, and he
amended his complaint on October 3, 2012.  The amended complaint
brings five claims: (1) violation of the Illinois Consumer Fraud
and Deceptive Business Practices Act; (2) common law fraud by
omission; (3) negligence; (4) fraudulent concealment; and (5)
declaratory relief.

MIWD moved to dismiss the amended complaint on October 18, 2012;
and for Mr. Kennedy's request for equitable tolling of the statute
of limitations to be stricken.

The South Carolina court granted MIWD's motion to dismiss;
dismissed all counts of the amended complaint without prejudice;
and denied MIWD's motion to strike.  The court said it is
unnecessary to strike the allegations regarding equitable tolling
from the complaint, since all counts of the complaint will be
dismissed without prejudice.

Judge Norton held that the complaint does not allege specific
facts that detail fraudulent transactions between MIWD and Mr.
Kennedy.  Furthermore, Mr. Kennedy has not alleged that he
conducted any transaction at all with MIWD, and he failed to
allege that he had any special relationship with MIWD.

Mr. Kennedy may re-file an amended complaint within 20 days of the
Court order.

The case before Judge Norton is styled, DANIEL KENNEDY, et al.,
Plaintiffs, v. MI WINDOWS AND DOORS, INC., Defendant, Nos. 2:12-
mn-1-DCN, 2:12-cv-2305-DCN (D. S.C.).  A copy of Judge Norton's
Court's January 24, 2013 Order is available at http://is.gd/aI2e7Y
from Leagle.com.

MICROSOFT CORP: Continues to Defend Antitrust Suits in Canada
Microsoft Corporation continues to defend itself against three
antitrust class action lawsuits pending in Canada, according to
the Company's January 24, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
December 31, 2012.

A large number of antitrust and unfair competition class action
lawsuits were filed against the Company in various state, federal,
and Canadian courts on behalf of various classes of direct and
indirect purchasers of the Company's PC operating system and
certain other software products between 1999 and 2005.  The
Company obtained dismissals or reached settlements of all claims
made in the United States.

All settlements in the United States have received final court
approval.  Under the settlements, generally class members can
obtain vouchers that entitle them to be reimbursed for purchases
of a wide variety of platform-neutral computer hardware and
software.  The total value of vouchers the Company may issue
varies by state.  The Company will make available to certain
schools a percentage of those vouchers that are not issued or
claimed (one-half to two-thirds depending on the state).  The
total value of vouchers the Company ultimately issues will depend
on the number of class members who make claims and are issued
vouchers.  The maximum value of vouchers to be issued is
approximately $2.7 billion.  The actual costs of these settlements
will be less than that maximum amount, depending on the number of
class members and schools that are issued and redeem vouchers.
The Company estimates the total cost to resolve all of the state
overcharge class action cases will range between $1.9 billion and
$2.0 billion.  At December 31, 2012, the Company has recorded a
liability related to these claims of approximately $500 million,
which reflects its estimated exposure of $1.9 billion less
payments made to date of approximately $1.4 billion mostly for
vouchers, legal fees, and administrative expenses.

The three cases pending in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec,
Canada, have not been settled.  In March 2010, the court in the
British Columbia case certified it as a class action.  In April
2011, the British Columbia Court of Appeal reversed the class
certification ruling and dismissed the case, holding that indirect
purchasers do not have a claim.  The plaintiffs have filed an
appeal to the Canadian Supreme Court, which was heard in the fall
of 2012.  The other two actions have been stayed.

Microsoft Corporation develops, licenses and supports a wide range
of software products by offering an array of services, including
cloud-based services to consumers and businesses, by designing and
selling hardware that integrates with the Company's cloud-based
services, and by delivering relevant online advertising to a
global audience.  The Company is based in Redmond, Washington.

NC BAPTIST: March 15 Deadline Set for Class Action Claims Payments
Richard Craver, writing for Winston-Salem Journal, reports that a
U.S. District Court judge has set March 15 as the deadline for
members of a class-action lawsuit to claim their payments in a
settlement involving N.C. Baptist Hospital.

After that date, Judge James Beaty Jr. ruled that any money linked
to unclaimed payments would be escheated, or placed in a state
account in the participant's or employee's name.  Another option
was reallocating the remaining money on a pro-rata basis to
participants who have received claim payments.

The lawsuit brought to light that Baptist and certain affiliates'
group health plans required their employees to pay more in fees
for health benefits than other corporate clients paid.

Baptist has denied any wrongdoing in the case, saying its actions
were not governed by the federal Employee Retirement Income
Security Act, and the extra charges to its employees were
justified because employees benefited from a better health-care

There were about 15,000 potential participants, including family
members, in the MedCost ERISA class-action lawsuit.  The last
update, in May, had about 1,100 participants who had not claimed a

Those eligible for the settlement participated in the plan from
March 6, 2002, to May 7, 2009.  Plan participants made
contributions of $9 million to $13 million a year beginning in
March 2002, the lawsuit said.

The money listed for participants at www.wakehealth.edu/erisa is
considered pretax income.  The Web site is active until the funds
are placed in the account as the judge directed.

Judge Beaty approved in February 2012 a final settlement of $5.38
million, ruling the total was "fair, reasonable and adequate."
That included Baptist agreeing to pay $438,500 in plaintiffs'
attorney fees.  The deduction of other administrative expenses
lowered the settlement amount to $4.07 million.

The unclaimed amount could be worth more than $162,000 - $97,137
for potential claimants where a valid address has not been
determined, and $65,205 for checks that were sent but have not
been cashed or returned.

Most of the checks were sent out in April.  However, because
checks worth a combined $14,613 were sent out in September and
October, the remaining amount could be below the $150,000 legal
threshold where escheating becomes mandatory under the settlement

According to the filing, without escheating, class members who
have received payments would have gotten additional money
representing 2 percent of their individual claim amounts.

Robert Zaytoun, an attorney for the class-action members, said in
a legal filing he recommended escheating the remaining funds
because Baptist "is not entitled to reimbursement of any expenses"
with an escheat.

Baptist is allowed to deduct distribution and other expenses from
the funds if money is reallocated to identified class members.

According to a legal filing, Baptist said its reallocation
expenses could reach $110,000.  The expense primarily would be the
cost of hiring outside vendors, including FirmLogic, a division of
the law firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice PLLC, to handle
sending out an estimated 6,273 checks to participants who are not
currently Baptist employees and to stop payment on uncashed

ROCK OF AGES: February 19 Class Action Deal Opt-Out Deadline Set
Rust Consulting, the Settlement Administrator for the Rock of Ages
Corporation Settlement, released a statement on Jan. 24.

If you held shares of Rock of Ages Corporation common stock at any
time during the period beginning on and including May 7, 2010,
through and including January 19, 2011, your rights may be
affected by a class action settlement.

-- This Summary Notice is provided pursuant to an Order of the
United States District Court for the District of Vermont in a
class action lawsuit known as Semon, et al. v. Swenson, et. al.,
No. 10-cv-00143-cr, to inform you of a proposed settlement reached
between Todd Semon and Jerome Meister on behalf of a proposed
class of ROAC shareholders, and ROAC's former Board of Directors.

-- Plaintiffs alleged that the transaction on January 19, 2011,
pursuant to which ROAC was acquired by Swenson Granite Company LLC
and its wholly owned subsidiary Granite Acquisition LLC for $5.25
per share in cash, was part of an alleged scheme to acquire the
Company for inadequate consideration and in breach of Defendants'
fiduciary duties.  Defendants have denied, and continue to deny,
that they breached any duty, committed any violation of law, or
engaged in any of the wrongful acts alleged in the Action.  Among
other things, Defendants contend that the Merger (i) was designed
to, and in fact did, comply with all applicable laws, (ii) was
determined by an independent special committee of directors to be
fair to shareholders, (iii) was approved by a majority of
shareholders who were unaffiliated with any Original Defendant;
(iv) provided an 84% premium to shareholders, and (v) was in
accordance with all of Defendants' duties as ROAC Board members.
Defendants are entering into the Settlement solely because it
would eliminate the burden, inconvenience, expense, risk, and
uncertainties inherent in litigation.

-- A hearing will be held on March 11, 2013 at 1:00 p.m., before
the Court at the United States District Courthouse, 151 West
Street, Room 204, Rutland, Vermont 05701, to determine, among
other things, whether the proposed Settlement should be approved
by the Court as fair, reasonable, and adequate, and whether to
grant an award of attorneys' fees and expenses to Plaintiffs'
counsel and an incentive award to Plaintiff.  If approved, the
Settlement will provide for a fund of $3,200,000, which, after
deducting any Plaintiffs' counsels' fees and costs and Plaintiffs'
Award, will be automatically distributed on a pro rata basis to
Class members who exchanged their ROAC shares for the Merger
Consideration.  If you are a Class member, you are entitled, but
not required, to be present at the Settlement Hearing.

-- The Notice of Pendency of Class Action, Proposed Settlement of
Class Action and Settlement Hearing defines the Class and
describes in detail the terms of Settlement, including how to
object to the proposed Settlement and how to exclude yourself from
the Settlement.  The deadline to object and for exclusion is
February 19, 2013.  If you have not received a copy of the Notice,
you may obtain one free of charge by contacting:

          Rock of Ages Corporation Settlement
          c/o Rust Consulting, Inc.
          P.O. Box 2888
          Faribault, MN 55021-8688
          E-mail: Info@RockofAgesCorporationSettlement.com

-- Brokerage firms, banks and/or other persons or entities who
held shares of the common stock of ROAC for the benefit of Class
members are directed to promptly send the Notice to all of their
respective beneficial owners or to furnish the names and addresses
of such beneficial holders in writing to Rust Consulting, Inc.,
which will then be responsible for sending the Notice to such
beneficial holders.

SEQWATER: Law Firm Has Yet to Decide on Where to File Class Action
Tuck Thompson, writing for The Courier-Mail, reports that the law
firm expected to represent thousands of flood victims in a looming
lawsuit against dam operators will be venturing into uncharted
legal waters, and not everyone signed up for the case will be
coming with them.

Maurice Blackburn and its lawsuit funder IMF have not made a final
decision on where to file, but have initially rejected the Federal
Court despite a track record of class action settlements there.

Complex litigation such as the flood case can take years and,
unlike NSW and Victoria, Queensland does not have a class action

A Queensland lawsuit would be a representative action in the
Supreme Court, alleging negligence in the flooding of parts of
Brisbane and Ipswich in 2011.

Maurice Blackburn class action principal Damian Scattini said it
was wrong to assume the case would be settled and not go to trial

"Our preference is that it be litigated in Queensland.  It
happened in Queensland's back yard," he said.

However, he said a filing south of the Queensland border was being

About 4,400 people registered with the law firm.

Hopes are high for a large payday, but experts say that is

Most cases don't go to court, and are settled for amounts that
give people a tiny share of their loss, after fees are deducted.

To strengthen their case and provide for larger payouts, law firms
often reduce the size of the class or representative group, they

Mr. Scattini said it was inappropriate to discuss the number of
lead applicants now.

"We'll assess things at the end of registration," he said.

University of New South Wales associate law professor Michael Legg
said deciding to go to the Supreme Court could be risky as the
process was not suited to multiple complaints.

Monash University professor Vince Morabito said class actions
filed in the past 20 years in the federal courts had a 50-50
chance of being settled for between AUD2 million and AUD200

Prof. Morabito did not think it would be difficult for Maurice
Blackburn to get the flood class-action into the Federal Court by
alleging trade practice breaches such as misleading and deceptive

"Maurice Blackburn must demonstrate to the Federal Court it has
jurisdiction over the matter, negligence is not sufficient.  But I
don't think it would be difficult to identify legislation that
would give them that jurisdiction," he said.  "It's not hard."

SEQWATER: Couple Launch Class Action Over Wivenhoe Dam Flood
Cameron Brown, writing for Insurance Business, reports that two
Queenslanders who were unaware the home and contents insurance
purchased through a broker did not include riverine flood coverage
had their claim rejected by the insurer and have now launched a
class-action lawsuit.

Tony and Julie Reed have launched the case against the operators
of the Wivenhoe Dam as a financial lifeline, according to a report
in The Herald Sun.

The Reeds suffered more than AUD1 million in damages and lost
value to their family home in Mt Ommaney and a former rental
property in Fig Tree Pocket.

"We have a lot at stake," Mr. Reed told The Herald Sun.  "We hope
we can get a settlement.  Even 50% of what we lost is better than

Mr. Reed said he wasn't surprised that experts hired by the law
firm acting for flood victims suggested many homes would not have
flooded if the dam was properly managed.

They received a charity payout of AUD60,000 and about AUD5,000
from the government.  The broker used by the Reeds was not named.

SP AUSNET: Gov't. Objects to Use of Police Evidence in Fire Suit
Nine MSN reports that the Victorian government is trying to
prevent evidence given by public servants at the Black Saturday
Royal Commission from being used in a class action by bushfire
victims, a court has been told.

Victims of the Kilmore East fire, which killed 119 people and
destroyed 1,000 homes on February 9, 2009, are suing electricity
company SP AusNet.

At a directions hearing in the Victorian Supreme Court on Jan. 24,
SP AusNet lawyer Jonathan Beach QC said his client sought to
tender the evidence of police, CFA members and Department of
Sustainability and Environment employees given at the Royal

But in response, the state government had issued "blanket
objections," questioning the authority under which the statements
were given, Mr. Beach said.

He said the state had even questioned the admission of evidence
from former police chief Christine Nixon.

"Is the state suggesting that she didn't give evidence on behalf
of that agency?" he said.

However, lawyers for the government said there would be "thousands
of pages" of evidence if all testimony was admitted, and that some
public servants were to be called as witnesses in the civil trial.

Justice Jack Forrest asked for SP AusNet to provide the state with
specific details of the royal commission evidence it wanted from
three public servants.

SP AusNet has promised to "vigorously defend" the class action,
which centers on the maintenance and inspection of its assets.

The case is next due for another directions hearing in the same
court on February 12.

SPECIALIZED BICYCLE: Recalls 12,200 Bicycles Due to Fall Hazard
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, in cooperation with
importer, Specialized Bicycle Components Inc., of Morgan Hill,
California, and manufacturer, Topkey, of Taiwan, for the forks;
and Merida Industry Co. Ltd., of Taiwan for the bicycles,
announced a voluntary recall of about 12,200 bicycles and frame
sets.  Consumers should stop using recalled products immediately
unless otherwise instructed.  It is illegal to resell or attempt
to resell a recalled consumer product.

The steerer tube in the front fork can break, posing a fall

Two incidents were reported, one involving a fall with facial
injuries and lacerations requiring stitches.

The 2012 and 2013 model road bicycles and framesets come in
various colors and have the brand name "Specialized" on the frame.
The model name "Tarmac SL4," "Crux" or "Secteur" is also located
on the frame.  The recall includes all models of the 2012 Tarmac
SL4, 2013 Tarmac SL4, 2013 Crux and 2013 Secteur Disc.  The model
year and style names are on the sales documents.

Pictures of the recalled products are available at:


The recalled products were manufactured in Taiwan.

Consumers should immediately stop using the bicycles and take them
to an authorized dealer for free inspection and, if needed, a free
repair.  Specialized Bicycle Components may be reached toll-free
at (877) 808-8154 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time Monday
through Friday, or at its Web site at http://www.specialized.com/
for more information and click on Support and then Safety Notices.

SUBWAY: Sued Over Missing Inch in "Footlong" Sandwiches
Ben Popken, writing for TODAY, reports that the image of the 11-
inch Subway sandwich marketed as "Footlong" that ignited an online
chuckle-fest has now sparked a lawsuit.

Citing "false, deceptive" and "misleading affirmative statements
of fact," two New Jersey men, John Farley of Evesham and Charles
Pendrak of Ocean City, sued Subway on Jan. 22 to regain losses of
5 to 8.3 percent on the several "Footlong" sandwiches they bought
from the sandwich store -- about $.41-$.54 per sub, depending on
whether it was the $5 or $6.50 kind.  The lawsuit, which is
seeking class-action status for anyone who bought a sandwich in
New Jersey from January 22, 2007 to the present, asks for triple
damages.  That comes to a grand total of $1.23-$1.62, which is not
even enough to buy yourself a new sub.  The lawsuit specified one
date in December Mr. Farley bought a Footlong, and three dates
between December and January that Mr. Pendrak bought Footlongs,
along with "various other dates" on which each bought Footlong

After Australian Matt Corby, having a bit of fun, posted a photo
of a "Footlong" Subway sandwich next to a measuring tape showing
it as only 11 inches long, the picture went viral and kicked off a
media pig pile.  The two approached lawyers after reading the
short sandwich news coverage, their lawyer Stephen DeNittis told
the New York Post.  Online commenters identifying themselves as
Subway employees speculated that the consumers were receiving
exactly the same dough as others who got 12-inch subs but that the
dough, which arrives frozen at franchise locations, hadn't been
properly tugged, pulled and "proofed" before it was baked.

Because the legal action is still pending, Subway spokesperson Les
Winograd declined to comment on the case specifically.

"We regret any instance where we did not fully deliver on our
promise to our customers," Mr. Winograd told TODAY via e-mail.
"We freshly bake our bread throughout the day in our more than
38,000 restaurants in 100 countries worldwide, and we have
redoubled our efforts to ensure consistency and correct length in
every sandwich we serve.  Our commitment remains steadfast to
ensure that every SUBWAY(R) Footlong sandwich is 12 inches at each
location worldwide."

Stephen DeNittis, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, told TODAY that
his firm had "Footlong" sandwiches from 14 different Subway
locations measured, and each fell short.

Mr. DeNittis shrugged off the suggestion that regardless of the
sandwich length, consumers were still getting the same amount of
dough in their loaf, saying, "If they were selling by net weight,
that would be a good argument."

The case is worthy of the court's time, Mr. DeNittis said.  "It's
no different than if a wireless company is profiting on a 14-cent
hidden fee."

Mr. DeNittis, an experienced class-action lawyer, is familiar with
the criticisms of his trade, such as class actions profit the
lawyers with big fees while consumers walk away with coupons.
Mr. DeNittis said class-action courts were set up to deal with
consumers with small-damage cases.  Any fees lawyers receive are
court-approved, he said, and are based on the "hundreds of
thousands of hours" they can take to prosecute, as well as
factoring for the risk the lawyers take on when they accept the

"If you believe it's OK to shortchange consumers on little fraud .
. . if you think it's only OK to go after companies for big
fraud," then you probably won't think this case measures up, he

The case is about "holding big companies to deliver what they
promised," said Mr. DeNittis.  "When you expend it over millions
of sandwiches, it adds up."  He added that his firm "will be
investigating to find out if Subway intentionally made sandwiches
smaller to profit unfairly off consumer deception."

SYNGENTA CROP: City of Lima Gets Share in Atrazine Settlement
Bob Blake, writing for The Lima News, reports that the city of
Lima will be receiving $227,000 as a result of the settlement
against Swiss-based Syngenta, the largest manufacturer of the weed
killer atrazine.

Mike Caprella was skeptical.  Officials with the city of Lima had
been approached about joining a class action lawsuit against the
manufacturer of a herbicide that ended up in the city's water
supply.  Doubting the city would see a substantial settlement, if
any, he made a bet with the city law director: to buy a Kewpee for
every $10 worth of settlement the city received.

If Law Director Tony Geiger intends to collect, it's going to cost
Mr. Caprella, the city's deputy director of utilities, more than
22,000 Kewpees.  How does Caprella intend to fulfill the good-
natured wager?

"One at a time," Mr. Caprella said with a chuckle.

Syngenta was ordered to pay a total of $65 million to 1,100
municipalities, with Lima's share being the 66th largest among the
group, Mr. Geiger said.

The money will go back into the Lima's water fund to help pay for
other ongoing projects.

Farmers use the chemical to treat corn crops.  Eventually,
rainfalls wash it into streams and rivers and the chemical ends up
in the city's water supply. The settlement ordered municipalities
to be paid for the cost of removing the chemical from drinking
water, Mr. Geiger said.

Mr. Caprella said residents were never in any danger as levels of
atrazine did not approach the limits set by the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency.

"There never was an issue with atrazine being even close to the
maximum contaminant level which is the amount the EPA regulates
you can have in the water," Mr. Geiger said.  "We monitored for it
and we treated for it and we never had high levels.  If you had
any amounts, that qualified you for this lawsuit."

Lima was asked to join the suit because it had experience in
getting the chemical out of the city water supply.

"The city submitted the necessary records associated with the
levels of atrazine in the system dating back to 1995," Mr. Geiger
said.  "That data was plugged into a complex mathematical formula
approved by the court in the class action lawsuit and as a result
the city's share of some $65 million was a little over $227,000."

TEMPUR-PEDIC INT'L: Inks MOU to Settle Del. Merger-Related Suit
Tempur-Pedic International Inc. entered into a memorandum of
understanding to settle a consolidated Delaware class action
lawsuit arising from its proposed merger with Sealy Corporation,
according to the Company's January 24, 2013, Form 8-K filing with
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Company is aware of six purported class action lawsuits
relating to the proposed merger (the "Merger") with Sealy, one in
North Carolina state court and five in the Delaware Court of
Chancery, filed by purported stockholders of Sealy against Sealy,
Sealy's directors, the Company and Silver Lightning Merger
Company, a subsidiary of the Company (the "Merger Sub").
Justewicz v. Sealy Corp., et al. ("North Carolina Action") was
filed on October 3, 2012, in the General Court of Justice,
Superior Court Division in North Carolina ("North Carolina
Court").  On November 13, 2012, the Delaware Court of Chancery
consolidated all five Delaware actions into a single action, which
is now styled as In re Sealy Corporation Shareholder Litigation
("Delaware Action").  Plaintiff in the North Carolina Action and
plaintiffs in the Delaware Action allege, among other things, that
the defendants have breached their fiduciary duties to Sealy's
stockholders and that Sealy, the Company and Merger Sub aided and
abetted the Sealy directors' alleged breach of fiduciary duties.
The complaints also claim that the consideration to be paid in the
Merger to Sealy stockholders (the "Merger Consideration") is
inadequate, that the merger agreement among Sealy, the Company and
Merger Sub (the "Merger Agreement") contains unfair deal
protection provisions, that Sealy's directors are subject to
conflicts of interests, and that the preliminary information
statement filed by Sealy with the Securities and Exchange
Commission on October 30, 2012, omits material information
concerning the negotiation process leading to the proposed
transaction and the valuation of Sealy.

On October 12, 2012, plaintiff in the North Carolina Action
brought a Motion for Expedited Discovery and for a Hearing and
Briefing Schedule on Plaintiff's Motion for a Preliminary
Injunction.  On October 24, 2012, defendants in the North Carolina
Action brought a Motion to Stay the North Carolina Action in favor
of the Delaware Action.  On November 7, 2012, the North Carolina
Action plaintiff amended his complaint to add allegations claiming
that the preliminary information statement filed by Sealy on
October 30, 2012, did not provide sufficient information.
Following briefing and a hearing on November 8, 2012, the North
Carolina Court stayed the North Carolina Action.

On November 19, 2012, plaintiffs in the Delaware Action filed a
consolidated amended complaint, a motion for expedited
proceedings, and a motion for a preliminary injunction.

The Company believes that the allegations in these lawsuits are
entirely without merit.

On January 22, 2013, solely to avoid the burden, expense and
uncertainties inherent in litigation, and without admitting any
liability or wrongdoing, the parties to the Delaware Action
entered into a memorandum of understanding setting forth an
agreement-in-principle providing for a settlement of the Delaware
Action (the "Proposed Settlement").  In connection with the
Proposed Settlement, Sealy agreed to include certain supplemental
disclosures in the information statement to be sent to Sealy
stockholders.  The Proposed Settlement provides for the release of
all claims by Sealy stockholders concerning the Merger Agreement,
the Merger, and the disclosures made in connection with the
Merger, including all claims that were asserted or could have been
asserted in the Delaware Action and the North Carolina Action.
The Proposed Settlement does not provide for the payment of any
additional monetary consideration to Sealy stockholders and the
Proposed Settlement does not affect the rights of any Sealy
stockholder to seek appraisal pursuant to Section 262 of the
Delaware General Corporation Law (the "DGCL").  The Proposed
Settlement is subject to definitive documentation and approval by
the Delaware Court of Chancery.

Tempur-Pedic International Inc. is a manufacturer, marketer and
distributor of premium mattresses and pillows, which it sells in
approximately 80 countries under the TEMPUR(R) and Tempur-Pedic(R)
brands.  The Company is headquartered in Lexington, Kentucky.

TEXXXAN.COM: Kris Kronowski Named in Revenge Porn Class Action
Dallas News' Travis Hudson, citing the Beaumont Enterprise,
reports that a Richardson man has been named in a class-action
lawsuit filed in southeast Texas against a "revenge porn" Web

The man, Kris Kronowski, is listed as an administrative contact
for Texxxan.com, the porn Web site in question.  Texxxan allows
users to upload, rate and discuss photos.  It also sorts the
photos, which include name and contact information, based on the
Texas region.

Beaumont attorney John S. Morgan filed the class-action suit on
behalf of dozens of women in Orange and Jefferson counties whose
photos were posted on the Web site.  One woman is identified as
32-year-old Hollie Toups.

Ms. Toups tells the Beaumont Enterprise that she found photos she
had sent to an ex-boyfriend and personal information on the
Web site and contacted administrators about having them removed.
Web site administrators asked her to pay a fee to have the photos

Ms. Toups said the photos were removed, but returned months later
and began popping up on other "revenge porn" Web sites.

"I guess that's what it took to piss me off enough to talk to
someone," she said.

Mr. Morgan is seeking to shut down and obtain damages from the
Web site, users that post content and users that subscribe to the
content.  Internet hosting company GoDaddy.com is also listed in
the class-action suit.

WAL-MART STORES: Workers Defend $187-Mil. Class Action Victory
Matt Fair, writing for Law360, reports that a class of employees
who won $187 million in damages from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. after
being forced to work off the clock told the Pennsylvania Supreme
Court on Jan. 22 that their victory was based on classwide
evidence and that the retailer was not subjected to a so-called

Wal-Mart is seeking an appeal of the judgment, rendered by a
Philadelphia County judge in 2007, on grounds that it was
improperly based on testimony from only six workers, attorneys for
the plaintiffs told the state's highest court.

WAL-MART: Dukes Impacts Viability of Class Cert. in ERISA Cases
Nicole A. Eichberger, Esq., at Proskauer Rose LLP reports that the
Supreme Court's decision in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes
impacted not only employment class actions but the viability of
class certification in ERISA cases.  The Supreme Court's grant of
certiorari last term in Comcast Corporation v. Behrend has the
potential to similarly impact the future availability of class
certification in ERISA actions.  The Supreme Court granted
Comcast's petition for certiorari with respect to the following
question on which the federal circuit courts have been divided
since Dukes:

   Whether a district court may certify a class action without
   resolving whether the plaintiff class has introduced admissible
   evidence, including expert testimony, to show that the case is
   susceptible to awarding damages on a class-wide basis.

Although Comcast is an antitrust lawsuit, the Supreme Court's
decision could affect certification decisions in ERISA class
actions, since the evaluation of class certification motions in
ERISA cases often involves an assessment of the parties'
respective expert analyses.

Experts have always played a significant role in complex class
action litigation, including ERISA lawsuits, but the courts' views
as to the role of experts at the class certification stage were
inconsistent at best.  The Supreme Court's decision in Dukes
arguably affected the analysis, insofar as the Court set forth a
"significant proof" standard for satisfying Fed. R. Civ. P. 23.
As part of the "significant proof" discussion, the Supreme Court
stated in dicta that the admissibility standard for expert
evidence set forth in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals
Inc.,[1] should apply at the class certification stage. After
Dukes, the circuit courts have divided on whether a ruling on the
admissibility of expert evidence is a prerequisite to a class
certification ruling.  The Supreme Court's ruling in Comcast
should resolve this split and, in so doing, significantly impact
the outcome of class action litigation, including ERISA

Role of Experts in ERISA Class Actions Pre-Dukes

To appreciate the significant role experts can play in class
certification, it is helpful to consider the courts' approaches to
class certification in ERISA lawsuits.  The propriety of class-
wide resolution is particularly important in the ERISA context,
since courts apply class certification criteria both to suits
brought on behalf of a class of plan participants and to suits
brought "on behalf of" an ERISA plan.[2]  These decisions
typically emphasize the due process considerations underlying Rule
23's procedural protections for absentee plan participants.

As in all class actions, the plaintiff in an ERISA class action
must satisfy Rule 23(a)'s requirements of numerosity, commonality,
typicality, and adequacy.  In addition, the plaintiff must satisfy
at least one of Rule 23(b)'s requirements. Before Dukes,
commonality requirements were satisfied readily in ERISA 401(k)
excessive fee claims and prudence claims based on alleged breaches
in selecting investment options.  In contrast, ERISA putative
classes alleging misrepresentation and/or estoppel claims
generally were not certified because of the predominance of
individualized issues.  Regardless of the type of claims involved,
the courts have reached inconsistent results regarding the proof
needed to sustain a showing of commonality, including the need for
expert evidence and the circumstances under which such evidence
should be considered.

For example, in Langbecker, plaintiffs brought a class action
alleging breach of fiduciary duty claims, including prudence and
disclosure claims, stemming from the company's offering of a
401(k) plan in which the employer stock fund was an ESOP.  The
district court certified the prudence claim for class treatment,
notwithstanding an expert analysis offered by defendants to
demonstrate that plaintiffs could not satisfy their Rule 23 burden
of proof.[3]  On appeal, the Fifth Circuit decertified the
prudence claims.  In so ruling, the Fifth Circuit stated that a
district court's analysis under Rule 23 required an inquiry into
the merits to determine whether sufficient admissible evidence had
been presented, and that this inquiry should include consideration
of the admissibility of the expert evidence.[4]

In parallel class action challenges to administrative fees levied
against ERISA plans, the Seventh Circuit found class resolution
improper[5] based in part on expert testimony proffered by
defendants, which demonstrated that damages could not be awarded
on a class-wide basis.  In so ruling, the court rejected
plaintiffs' arguments that they did not have to offer evidence in
advance of trial to show that damages could be awarded on a class-
wide basis.

Contrasting these rulings is the district court's ruling in
Brieger v. Tellabs.[6]  In Brieger, plaintiffs filed a putative
class action alleging that Tellabs and various individual
defendants breached their fiduciary duties of prudence and
disclosure because Tellabs common stock was offered as an
investment option in the company's 401(k) plan.  In granting
plaintiffs' motion for certification, the district court rejected
defendants' proffered expert opinion, holding that it need not
consider expert reports at the certification stage.

The Supreme Court's Ruling in Wal-Mart v. Dukes

Although the Supreme Court's ruling in Dukes did not rule on the
admissibility of expert evidence at the class certification stage,
many of the Court's pronouncements may be relevant to the issue.
Plaintiffs in Dukes filed a Title VII class action suit on behalf
of past, present, and future female employees of Wal-Mart's retail
stores in the United States.  Plaintiffs alleged that the company
systematically paid women less than their male counterparts and
promoted men to higher positions at faster rates than women, in
violation of Title VII.  The district court granted class
certification, and the Ninth Circuit affirmed.

At the outset of the opinion, the Supreme Court held that Rule 23
is not a mere pleading standard. Rather, a party seeking class
certification "must affirmatively demonstrate his compliance with
the Rule -- that is, he must be prepared to prove that there are
in fact sufficiently numerous parties, common questions of law or
fact, etc.," and the moving party's burden is one of "significant
proof."  The Court confirmed its prior rulings that class
certification is not the rule but the exception.  When assessing
class certification, a district court may not refuse to consider
the merits of plaintiffs' underlying claims that bear on whether
they have satisfied Rule 23.  The Dukes Court stated if plaintiffs
lack "significant proof" that a question central to establishing
liability for each class member can be answered in the same way
for each class member, the case is not proper for class
certification.  Thus, when discussing what constitutes
"significant proof," the majority suggested in dicta that the
admissibility standards enunciated in Daubert should be applied to
expert evidence offered at the class certification stage.

Under the "significant proof" burden, the Dukes Court concluded
that plaintiffs could not satisfy either Rule 23(a) or 23(b), and
the class never should have been certified.

Role of Experts in ERISA Class Actions Post-Dukes

Following Dukes, courts have divided as to whether the
admissibility of expert evidence must be decided when ruling on
class certification motions.  This division has manifested itself
to some extent in the ERISA arena as well, insofar as courts have
differed as to the need to evaluate expert testimony at the class
certification stages and, in some instances, have conditioned that
evaluation on a determination of the admissibility of the expert

Courts within the Seventh and Eleventh Circuits have considered,
and been guided by, expert testimony at the Rule 23 stage.  For
example, in Groussman v. Motorola, Inc.,[7] plaintiffs moved to
certify a class of 401(k) plan participants whose accounts
included investments in employer stock.  Relying on defendants'
brief and attached expert report, the court ruled that plaintiffs'
employer stock claims failed to satisfy Rule 23(a)'s commonality
and typicality requirements because of the individualized
inquiries needed to determine each class member's understanding of
the company's financial state when making investment decisions.[8]

In Sher v. Raytheon Co.,[9] the Eleventh Circuit held that the
district court erred in certifying a class where it failed to
weigh conflicting expert testimony presented by both parties at
the class certification stage.  Furthermore, the court held that
the district court must conduct a Daubert admissibility analysis
of the proffered expert testimony at the Rule 23 stage, especially
when conflicting expert reports are presented and those opinions
are critical to the certification issues.

Following Sher, the district court in Bacon v. Stiefel Labs.,
Inc.[10] held that the plaintiffs failed to satisfy Rule
23(b)(3)'s predominance and superiority requirements in a putative
ERISA class action.  In Bacon, plaintiffs filed a class action,
alleging a common scheme to defraud ESOP participants by
concealing the true value of the company's stock, which was
alleged to have been done to reap a windfall by acquiring stock
from the participants at an artificially reduced price prior to a
proper fair market valuation of the company.  Relying in part on
defendants' expert reports, the court rejected plaintiffs'
argument that a presumption of reliance, without further proof,
should flow from the alleged common scheme of misstatements and
omissions.  The court concluded that plaintiffs failed to sustain
their burden of demonstrating that common questions as to reliance
and damages predominated.

Other courts have declined to resolve the admissibility of expert
evidence at the Rule 23 stage.  For example, in Cox v. Zurn Pex,
Inc.,[11] the Eighth Circuit affirmed class certification,
rejecting defendants' contention that the district court should
have undertaken a Daubert admissibility analysis prior to class
certification.  In so ruling, the court held that a Daubert
analysis was not necessary at this stage, but was instead more
appropriate at trial.  Similarly, in Churchill v. CIGNA Corp.,[12]
the district court certified a class in a case challenging CIGNA's
national policy as to coverage of autism spectrum disorder.  In
its opinion, the court rejected defendants' argument that
plaintiffs had not provided sufficient evidence - including expert
evidence - that damages could be awarded on a class-wide basis. In
rejecting this argument, the court concluded that plaintiffs need
only show by a preponderance of the evidence that they would
satisfy Rule 23's commonality and typicality requirements at
trial, and that plaintiffs had made a sufficient showing in their
certification briefs, notwithstanding the contrary testimony of
defendants' experts.

Thus, at the time the Supreme Court granted certiorari in the
Comcast case, the state of the law with respect to the role of
experts at the Rule 23 stage was uncertain in ERISA complex class

Comcast Corp. v. Behrend: Expert Admissibility at Class
Certification Stage

The Supreme Court's grant of certiorari in Comcast Corp. et al. v.
Behrend[13] picks up where the Supreme Court left off in Dukes.
As noted above, the Dukes Court suggested in dicta that the
Daubert admissibility standard should apply at the class
certification stage.  In Comcast, the Supreme Court will have the
opportunity to consider whether to convert that dictum to a

Factual and Procedural History

Comcast is an antitrust class action brought on behalf of select
Comcast customers against Comcast Corp., alleging class action
antitrust claims under Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act.  The
plaintiffs alleged the company obtained a monopoly via a series of
transactions and/or acquisitions with competitors for allocation
of regional cable markets, and that conduct excluded and prevented
competition.  The parties exchanged competing expert reports at
the class certification stage and Comcast submitted a Daubert
challenge as to the admissibility of plaintiffs' class expert.
The district court granted plaintiffs' motion for class
certification and certified a class under Fed. R. Civ. P.
23(b)(3).  In its opinion, the district court stated that the
plaintiffs proved by a preponderance of the evidence that they
would satisfy Fed. R. Civ. P. 23's commonality required at trial
and that it need not decide Daubert admissibility issues until

Following the district court's decision, defendants filed a Fed.
R. Civ. P. 23(f) petition to appeal the district court's order
granting class certification.  On June 9, 2010, the Third Circuit
granted Comcast's Rule 23(f) petition.  Following briefing and
oral argument, the Third Circuit affirmed the district court's
decision to grant class certification.  The Third Circuit held
that the district court did not abuse its discretion in declining
to resolve expert admissibility at the certification stage and
concluding, instead, that plaintiffs' class certification evidence
was susceptible to proof at trial.  Although the Third Circuit
held that Fed. R. Civ. P. 23 requires a rigorous analysis
including a preliminary inquiry into the merits, it held that it
was "precluded from addressing any merits inquiry unnecessary to
make a Rule 23 determination."

Certiorari Granted

Following the Third Circuit's decision to affirm the district
court's opinion, Comcast petitioned for certiorari before the
Supreme Court as to the following question:

Whether a district court may certify a class action without
resolving merits arguments that bear on Fed. R. Civ. P. 23's
prerequisites for certification, including whether common issues
predominate over individual ones under Rule 23(b)(3).

The Supreme Court granted Comcast's petition for certiorari, but
on a narrower question as to whether a district court must resolve
whether the plaintiff has introduced admissible evidence,
including expert testimony, that damages can be awarded class

The parties have now briefed the issue to the Supreme Court,
eliciting various amicus briefs in support of both positions, and
held oral argument on November 5, 2012.

Future Role of Experts in ERISA Class Actions

The role of experts in resolving class certification issues is
particularly pronounced in ERISA class action litigation.  Among
other things, expert opinions help to determine whether the claims
are sufficiently uniform to permit class certification under Rule
23.  In the past, this issue has been presented in claims arising
from investment losses or alleging excessive fees, where different
participants may have experienced different outcomes, which in
turn could give rise to conflicts defeating class certification.
In light of the Supreme Court's recent ruling in CIGNA Corp. v.
Amara,[14] which recognizes the viability of claims for recovery
of monetary relief in claims alleging communications violations,
it is likely that these issues will extend to many other types of
cases.  As courts are presented with arguments as to whether ERISA
claims are sufficiently uniform to proceed as class actions, they
will inevitably confront issues as to the admissible evidence
required of plaintiffs to satisfy Rule 23's requirements, and
whether the application of the Daubert expert evidence
admissibility standard is implicated.

For these reasons, the ERISA community should view favorably the
Supreme Court's decision to grant certiorari in Comcast.  The
outcome will hopefully resolve one aspect of the complex class
certification process that has been particularly inconsistent in
ERISA class action litigation.

WHITE RIVER: Hearing on TRO Bid in Merger-Related Suit on Jan. 31
A hearing on a plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining
order in the merger-related lawsuit captioned Fundamental Partners
v. Eggemeyer, et al., is currently scheduled for January 31, 2013,
according to White River Capital, Inc.'s January 24, 2013, Form 8-
K filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

On January 17, 2013, White River Capital, Inc. ("White River")
received notice that a putative class action lawsuit was filed on
January 14, 2013, in the Superior Court of San Diego County,
California, against White River, each of the members of White
River's board of directors, Parthenon Investors IV, L.P.
("Parthenon"), Coastal Credit Holdings, Inc. ("Parent"), and
Coastal Credit Merger Sub, Inc. ("Merger Sub") alleging, among
other things, that the board of directors breached fiduciary
duties in connection with the board's approval of the merger
between White River and Merger Sub (the "Merger") and issuing the
proxy statement for the special meeting of shareholders to be held
to consider and vote upon the Merger, and that Parthenon, Parent,
and Merger Sub aided and abetted such alleged breaches of
fiduciary duties.  The cause of action is captioned Fundamental
Partners v. Eggemeyer, et al. (Case No. 37-2013-00029777-CU-SL-
CTL).  The plaintiff seeks a declaratory judgment that the
defendants breached, or aided and abetted in the breach of, their
fiduciary duties to the plaintiff and the class members,
injunctive relief preventing the consummation of the Merger, and
damages as a result of the alleged actions of the defendants,
including attorneys' fees and experts fees.  Additionally, on
January 23, 2013, the plaintiff filed with the court a motion for
a temporary restraining order and expedited discovery seeking to
temporarily restrain the consummation of the proposed Merger and
seeking limited discovery pending a full preliminary injunction
hearing.  A hearing before the court on the plaintiff's motion is
currently scheduled for January 31, 2013.

White River strongly believes that the lawsuit is without merit
and intends to vigorously defend against the pending claims,
including vigorously defending against the motion for temporary
restraining order.

In addition, on January 24, 2013 White River filed with the SEC a
supplement to its definitive proxy statement for the special
meeting of shareholders to be held to consider and vote upon the
Merger, providing disclosure about the filing of the cause of
action and motion for temporary restraining order and expedited
discovery.  The proxy statement supplement also will be mailed to
White River's shareholders.

WHOLE FOODS: Recalls Whole Catch Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
Whole Foods Market is recalling one lot code of Whole Catch Wild
Alaskan Sockeye Salmon (4 oz.), cold smoked and sliced, sold in
stores in 12 states, because it may contain Listeria
Monocytogenes, an organism which can cause a sometimes fatal
infection in young children, frail or elderly people, and others
with weakened immune systems.  Although healthy individuals may
suffer short term symptoms, such as high fever, severe headaches,
nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea, Listeria infection can cause
miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

The recalled items were sold in stores in Colorado, Connecticut,
Florida, Idaho, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New
Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and Utah.

The recalled salmon is sold in black-and-gold, flat, rectangular
vacuum-sealed packages; the lot code being recalled is 7425A2298B.
The lot code is ink-jet printed on the back of the package, on the
upper left side.  The UPC code is 0 99482 40880 0.  Signage is
posted in Whole Foods Market stores to notify customers of this
recall.  A picture of the recalled products is available at:

No illnesses have been reported.  A sample of the product tested
positive for listeria.

Customers should dispose of the product in the garbage and wash
their hands immediately to avoid any potential cross-
contamination.  Full refunds will be given at the store.
Customers with questions may call 512-542-0060, Monday through
Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Central Time.

* Low Securities Fraud Class Actions in 2012 Due to Dip in M&As
Claims Journal reports that federal securities fraud class action
filing activity decreased sharply in 2012, according to Securities
Class Action Filings-2012 Year in Review, a semiannual report
prepared by Cornerstone Research and the Stanford Law School
Securities Class Action Clearinghouse.

Only 152 federal securities class actions were filed in 2012
compared with 188 in 2011 -- the second-lowest number of annual
filings in 16 years.

The decrease in total filings was largely due to declines in
federal merger and acquisition (M&A) and Chinese reverse merger
(CRM) filings.  Together, they accounted for only 23 filings in
2012 compared with 74 in 2011.  These waves of cases are most
likely over, and future filings of these types are likely to
remain at very low levels.  In addition, 2012 was the first year
in which there were no new filings related to the credit crisis.

Overall, filings in the financial sector continued to decrease,
with 15 filings in 2012 compared with 25 in 2011 and 43 in 2010.
Filing activity continued to be most prevalent against companies
in the Consumer Non-Cyclical sector.  Of the 49 filings in this
sector, 33 were against healthcare, biotechnology, and
pharmaceutical companies.

Continuing a pattern observed in 2011, fewer filings targeted very
large companies in 2012.  An analysis of S&P 500 companies named
as defendants in securities class actions shows that only one out
of every 29 was the subject of a new filing in 2012, making 2011
and 2012 the least litigious for S&P 500 companies in the past 13

Data in the recently published SEC report on the Dodd-Frank
whistleblower program provide potentially valuable insights for
possible future securities litigation trends.  From October 1,
2011, through September 30, 2012, the SEC received 3,001
whistleblower tips.  The most common tip categories were Corporate
Disclosure and Financials, Offering Fraud, and Market
Manipulation.  Together, these categories accounted for nearly 49
percent of all tips received.

"What stood out in 2012 was the absence of a filing trend that
influenced the total number of new cases.  In the past there have
been observable filing types, such as IPO cases, options
backdating, mergers and acquisitions, or most recently, Chinese
reverse mergers.  But 2012 was not dominated by any such trend.
Interestingly, in a year characterized by a dramatic drop in
securities class action filings, the number of traditional Rule
10b-5 "stock drop" filings actually increased in 2012," said Dr.
John Gould, senior vice president of Cornerstone Research.

"Is there a shoe waiting to drop? The SEC claims that the Dodd-
Frank bounty program has helped it build a large inventory of
high-quality leads as to fraud at publicly traded corporations.
But will the Commission be able to transform these leads into
quality enforcement actions? And, will private-party plaintiffs be
successful in prosecuting "piggyback" claims that copy the
Commission's complaints? The current quiet patch in private
securities fraud litigation could certainly be unsettled if the
Dodd-Frank bounty program generates a new wave of private claims,"
said Professor Joseph Grundfest, director of the Stanford Law
School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse.

                   Number and Type of Filings

There were 152 federal securities class actions filed in 2012 --
21 percent below the annual average of 193 filings observed
between 1997 and 2011.

The number of filings decreased from 88 in the first half of 2012
to 64 in the second half -- a 27 percent decrease.  There was a
substantial reduction in filing activity in the fourth quarter of
2012.  The 25 filings in the fourth quarter represent the lowest
number of filings in any quarter during the last 16 years.

Compared with the last two years, federal filings associated with
M&A transactions fell sharply to 13 cases in 2012, from 43 cases
in 2011 and 40 cases in 2010.  After the unusual jump in federal
M&A filings in 2010 and 2011, these cases are now being pursued
almost exclusively in state courts.  CRM filings also declined
substantially, from 31 filings in 2011 to 10 in 2012.  The
majority of these filings occurred in the first half of 2012.

                   Classification of Complaints

The percentage of filings with Rule 10b-5 claims increased to 85
percent in 2012 from 71 percent in 2011.  This is the highest
percentage of Rule 10b-5 claims since 2008 and the second year-
over-year increase since 2010.

The number of filings in which no Rule 10b-5, Section 11, or
Section 12(2) claims were made decreased from 23 percent in 2011
to 9 percent in 2012, due to the decline in federal M&A filings.

The percentage of filings in 2012 alleging violations of GAAP
decreased to 23 percent from 37 percent in 2011.  This is below
the previous five-year low of 26 percent observed in 2010.  This
decrease is due in part to a decline in CRM filings from 2011 to
2012.  SEC enforcement actions related to financial fraud also
declined over the same timeframe.  It is also notable that a
sizable portion of tips that the SEC received in 2012 related to
financial disclosure issues.

                           Filing Lag

The median filing lag between the end of the class periods and the
filing dates decreased from 36 days in the first six months of
2012 to 23 days in the second half of the year.

Based on a sample of 2,472 filings from 1996 to 2010 that have
been resolved, filings that occurred within 60 days of the alleged
class period (faster filings) were more likely to settle early and
less likely to reach a motion to dismiss than filings that took
longer than 60 days (slower filings).  Overall, slower filings
were more likely to be dismissed.

                         Foreign Filings

The number of filings against foreign issuers decreased from a
historic high of 61 in 2011 (32 percent of total filings) to 32 in
2012 (21 percent of total filings).  Despite the decrease, foreign
filings in 2012 remained higher than the historical average of 9
percent, due primarily to non-CRM filings related to Chinese

* Securities Class Action Settlements Outside U.S. to Rise
Donia O'Loughlin, writing for FTAdviser, reports that settlements
in securities class actions outside the US will rise to $8.3
billion (GBP5.17 billion) per year by 2020, a study from Goal
Group has predicted.

The study also identified that if non-participation rates seen in
US class actions spread to non-US activity, then by the end of the
decade $2.02 billion (GBP1.27 billion) of investors' rightful
returns will be left unreclaimed each year.

Furthermore, the report warns that because non-US legislatures
require participants to register at the beginning of a case,
investors need to participate now to receive returns.

Any level of non-participation presents fiduciaries such as fund
managers and custodians with a potential legal risk, the class
action services specialist said.

The firm claimed "this is a wake-up call" to fiduciaries, as
growth in non-US collective actions and evidence that some
custodians are restricting the geography of their class action
service level, indicate that non-participation rates are likely to
be at least at current US case levels, and probably considerably

Stephen Everard, chief executive of Goal Group, said: "Class
action growth outside the US is now increasing rapidly, and is
predicted to mirror the growth of the US class action scene in the
early part of the 21st century.

"The root of this international diversification seems to have been
a combination of restrictions on jurisdiction definitions in the
US Federal courts, along with a growing desire to develop domestic
class action procedures in many countries around the globe.

"Moreover, certain legislatures -- currently The Netherlands and
Canada -- have defined and admitted the idea of a global 'class'
where non-US investors in shares listed on a non-US exchange can
pursue their securities class actions in those countries' courts.
There is no viable excuse for non-participation as a number of
specialist service providers can now perform this function at
relatively low cost."



Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills, Pennsylvania,
USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C., USA. Noemi Irene
A. Adala, Joy A. Agravante, Ivy B. Magdadaro, Julie Anne L.
Toledo, Christopher Patalinghug, Frauline Abangan and Peter A.
Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. ISSN 1525-2272.

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