/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/130701.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Monday, July 1, 2013, Vol. 15, No. 128


ADVANCE AMERICA: Faces Class Action Over Wage Assignment
AUBREY J. FERRAO: Former Golf Club Members Dismiss Class Action
BAYER AG: No Recall for Yaz & Yazmin Contraceptives in Canada
BAYER AG: Tony Merchant to Launch Second Birth Control Pill Suit
BAYER AG: Ottawa Woman Joins Birth Control Pill Class Action

BP PLC: Geneva County Commission Joins Oil Spill Class Action
BROOKS BROTHERS: Faces Class Action Over Inadequate Meal Breaks
CANADA: 282 Female Mounties Join Harassment Class Action v. RCMP
CHINA AUTOMOTIVE: Court Refuses to Certify Securities Class Action
CHINA GREEN: Parties Currently Documenting $2.5-Mil. Settlement

CITIZEN'S FINANCIAL: Littler Mendelson Comments on Court Ruling
CLEAN HARBORS: Discovery in Fuel Surcharges Suit to End Sept. 4
COMSCORE: 7th Cir. Allows Privacy Suit to Proceed as Class Action
CONSOLIDATED COAL: Judge Remands Class Action to State Court
DE BEERS: Consumers to Get Class Action Settlement Checks

DERMATECH: Blake, Cassels & Graydon Discusses Court Ruling
DYNEX CAPITAL: Appeal From Claim Dismissal in Suit v. GLS Pending
DYNEX CAPITAL: Continues to Defend Suit by Real Estate Owners
EBIX INC: Faces Three Merger-Related Class Suits in Delaware
EBIX INC: Securities Suit Currently in Fact Discovery Phase

ECRS LLC: Recalls Blue Cheese Chicken Dip Due to Misbranding
EDUCATION MANAGEMENT: Still Awaits Ruling in "Bushansky" Suit
EDUCATION MANAGEMENT: Still Awaits Ruling in "OLERS" Class Suit
FACEBOOK INC: Robbins Geller Files Derivate Lawsuit
FAURECIA EXHAUST: 6th Cir. Upholds Dismissal of "Pearce" Claims

FOX SEARCHLIGHT: N.Y. Court Certifies Unpaid Interns' Class Action
GOOGLE INC: Slocumb Comments on Privacy Class Action & NSA Suit
GREAT SOUTHERN: Overdraft Suit Litigation vs. Bank Still Ongoing
LAKELAND BANCORP: Parties Yet to Ask Court to Approve Settlement
LONG ISLAND POWER: Judge Appoints Class Action Lead Counsel

LOUISIANA: Hundreds Removed From Sex Registry Under Settlement
MEDTRONIC INC: InFuse Risks May Prompt Class Action, Attorney Says
MGIC INVESTMENT: Eight RESPA Violations Suits Remain Pending
MICHIGAN: Student Loan Borrowers File Class-Action Counter-Claim
MICROSOFT INC: Xbox Terms of Service Include Class-Action Waiver

MONSANTO CO: Faces 2 Class Actions Over Genetically Modified Wheat
MONSTER BEVERAGE: Continues to Defend "Wellman" Suit in Canada
MONSTER BEVERAGE: Continues to Defend False Advertising Suits
MONSTER BEVERAGE: Still Awaits Cert. Ruling in Securities Suit
NATIONAL BEEF: FSIS Lists Stores That Received Recalled Products

NEWCREST MINING: Maurice Blackburn Mulls Disclosure Class Action
NEWELL RUBBERMAID: Continues to Defend 4 Product Liability Suits
NOVA SCOTIA HOME: Judge Tentatively Approved C$5MM Settlement
NOVOPAY: PPTA Files Class Action Over Flawed Payroll System
ONLINE TRAVEL COS: Arlington Heights Joins Tax Class Action

ORCHARD SUPPLY: State Court Okays "Rondone" Suit Settlement
OXFORD HEALTH: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Arbitrator's Authority
OXFORD HEALTH: Bracewell & Giuliani Discusses Court Ruling
OXFORD HEALTH: Littler Mendelson Discusses Court Ruling
PHILADELPHIA: Judge Approves $2.65MM PHA Class Action Settlement

PILOT FLYING J: Eagle Motor Files Class Action Over Rebate Scheme
PRICE CHOPPER: Recalls Three Varieties of Burst Brand Cookies
RAWSON-NEAL: ACLU Files Class Action Over Patient Dumping
RAWSON-NEAL: Class Action Lead Plaintiff Seeks Justice
SCENIC FRUIT: Recalls Woodstock Organic Pomegranate Kernels

SYNGENTA CROP: Attorneys Defend Court's Order to Unseal Documents
TAKEDA PHARMACEUTICAL: Australians Join Actos Class Action
TENNESSEE: TSEA Sues Over Failure to Provide Lay-Off Notice
TOWNSEND FARMS: Faces Class Action in Arizona Over Frozen Berries
TOWNSEND FARMS: Faces Class Action in New Mexico Over Berries

TOWNSEND FARMS: Faces Class Action in Wash. Over Frozen Berries
TOWNSEND FARMS: Idaho Couple Files Class Action Over Berries
UNITED STATES: Native Americans Get $96 Million From Settlement
UNITED STATES: Class in NSA Snooping Suit May Include 100 People
UNITED STATES: Larry Klayman Files Class Action Over PRISM Program

VALLEY COMPREHENSIVE: Faces Class Action Over Unpaid Final Wages
VERIZON: Accused of Allegedly Building Fiber-Optic Line for NSA
VOLKSWAGEN: Faces Class Action in Australia Over Recall
WELLS FARGO: Gets Favorable Ruling in Mortgage Kickback Class Suit
WET SEAL: Awaits OK of $7.5-MM Settlement of Discrimination Suit

WINDSET FARMS: Faces Class Action Over Unfair Business Practices

* Arnold & Porter Discusses Surge of TCPA Class Actions
* EU's Proposed Rules to Pave Way for Antitrust Class Actions
* Firms Face Dilemma in Selecting Securities Class Action Counsel
* Mooting Class Action May Provide Settlement Leverage
* NJ Bars & Restaurants Disguise Cheap Liquors, Probe Reveals

* TCPA Regulation Changes Tighten Opt-Out & Consent Requirements


ADVANCE AMERICA: Faces Class Action Over Wage Assignment
Andrea Dearden, writing for The Madison-St. Clair Record, reports
that an Alton man claims a Godfrey quick-cash loan store illegally
notified his employer of its intent to garnish his wages.

Mark A. Lewis, individually and on behalf of a group, filed a
class action lawsuit May 31 in Madison County Circuit Court
against Advance America, Cash Advance Centers of Illinois Inc.

Mr. Lewis says he signed a contract with Advance America in July
2010 that allowed for assignment of his wages if he failed to make
proper payments on the loan.

In May 2012 Advance America faxed to Mr. Lewis' employer a notice
of intent to assign wages, according to the complaint.  Mr. Lewis
contends that violates the Illinois Wage Assignment Act because
the notice should have been served directly to him.

Mr. Lewis claims Advance America has served similar improper
notices of wage assignment to employers of other customers.  He
asks to be appointed as representative for the class and seeks
more than $50,000 in damages plus court costs.

Attorney Shari L. Murphy of Wood River represents the plaintiffs.

Madison County Circuit Court Case No. 13-L-924

AUBREY J. FERRAO: Former Golf Club Members Dismiss Class Action
Five current and resigned members of The Golf Club at Fiddler's
Creek who had filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court
against developer Aubrey J. Ferrao have dismissed their lawsuit
with prejudice (Case No. 2:10-CV-241-FtM-36DNF, as filed in the
United States District Court, Middle District of Florida).

Plaintiffs Matthew Suffoletto, Raymond David, Steven Taub and
Stephen Shulman, together with their attorneys Glenn Vician and
Robert Stochel of Indiana, and Eric Vasquez of Naples, Florida,
have also issued a written public apology to Mr. Ferrao.  In
addition to the issuance of the public apology and payment for
publication of the apology in the local Southwest Florida media,
substantial monies are being paid by the Plaintiffs and their
attorneys.  The written apology was published on June 7, 2013 in
the Naples Daily News (http://www.naplesnews.com)

According to court documents, the lawsuit, filed in U.S. District
Court in Fort Myers in April 2010, accused Mr. Ferrao of
converting more than $10 million in initiation fees paid by
members of The Golf Club for his personal benefit.  From the very
inception of this lawsuit, Mr. Ferrao and his counsel have denied
the claims, and have been committed to correcting the record and
defending Mr. Ferrao's reputation and good name.  The apology
letter confirms that "In separate litigation, a federal judge
ruled based upon, among other things, a report from the well-
respected Certified Public Accounting (CPA) firm of Larson Allen,
LLP, that Mr. Ferrao did not receive or benefit from any of the
initiation deposits paid by the members of The Golf Club."

The Settlement Agreement and written apology letter provide that
Plaintiffs Suffoletto, David, Taub and Shulman, and their
attorneys Vician, Stochel and Vasquez, have agreed to make payment
of specific funds to be used for the publication of the apology
letter to correct any adverse impressions that the lawsuit has or
may have caused Mr. Ferrao, and to repair the injury to Mr.
Ferrao's reputation and good name.

"This litigation stretched on for over three years before it was
dismissed, with prejudice by the Plaintiffs, and proves that while
justice can be delayed, it cannot be denied," stated Joseph L.
Parisi, attorney for Ferrao.  "This has always been about
restoring Mr. Ferrao's impeccable reputation," Mr. Parisi
continued.  "The letter was certainly more important than
obtaining money in a settlement."

                      About Fiddler's Creek

Located just off Collier Boulevard between Naples and Marco
Island, Fiddler's Creek is an award-winning community that has
been selected by the readers of the Naples Daily News and Bonita
Daily News as "Best Community" in the 2012 Southwest Florida
Readers' Choice Awards.  It also is the recipient of three 2012
CBIA Sand Dollar Awards for "Community of the Year," "Best Special
Event for Residents - New Year's Eve Party" and "Best Community

Fiddler's Creek comprises of nearly 4,000 acres and is zoned for
6,000 residences.  With a very low density level of 1.6 homes per
gross acre, Fiddler's Creek will have about 100 distinct
neighborhoods upon completion.  Less than a third of the land will
be developed, while the remainder is dedicated to nature reserves,
lakes, parks, golf courses and recreational areas.

Amenities include the 54,000-square-foot Club & Spa, Fitness
Center, Tropical Lagoon-Style Swimming Complex, Tennis Courts, Tot
Lot, and Casual and Elegant Dining Restaurants.  The Club offers a
luxurious resort lifestyle and is the location of numerous
community-wide parties and special events hosted throughout the
year for residents of all ages at Fiddler's Creek.

Residents also have an opportunity to join The Golf Club at
Fiddler's Creek, ranked in Golfweek's 100 Best Residential Golf
Courses in the U.S. for the eighth consecutive year, and The
Tarpon Club, offering homeowners the opportunity to enjoy a beach
and boating lifestyle.

BAYER AG: No Recall for Yaz & Yazmin Contraceptives in Canada
David Andreatta, writing for The Globe and Mail, reports that two
popular birth control pills linked in media reports to the deaths
of 23 Canadian women will not be recalled, and a national
gynecologists' group says the contraceptives, Yaz and Yasmin, are

The deaths, first reported on June 11 by the CBC, were uncovered
in reports filed with Health Canada about more than 600 adverse
drug side effects.  The women ranged in age from 14 to 44, and
typically died from complications of blood clots within a few
months of being prescribed one of the drugs.

Anyone can file an adverse-effect report, and it is impossible to
determine from a report whether the reaction was the direct result
of using the product.  The reports do not attribute a death to a
side effect.  Health Canada provides a synopsis of reports in an
online searchable database.

"Adverse events are very different from attributable events, and
[the latter] is the number you need," said Jennifer Blake, a
gynecologist and CEO of the Society of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists of Canada, who described being bombarded with calls
from concerned women after the news reports.  "We are advising
that there is no new data and . . . that the pills are safe and

Responding to an inquiry from The Globe and Mail, a spokeswoman
for Health Canada said the agency monitors the safety of
contraceptive pills regularly and has no intention of pulling Yaz
and Yasmin out of circulation.

"At this time, it is Health Canada's view that the benefits of Yaz
and Yasmin continue to outweigh the risks, when used according to
Health Canada's approved labelling instructions," Leslie Meerburg
said, adding later: "The risk of blood clots with these products
is well known, and is included in the drug label."

Whether these contraceptives, and their use of a newer synthetic
hormone called drospirenone, make women more prone to blood clots
than so-called "older generation" birth control pills has been a
subject of debate.

Studies have differed, and Bayer AG, the German company that makes
the drugs, has said they pose no greater risk of blood clots than
other contraceptive pills, all of which have been found to elevate
the risks.

Conversely, a safety review conducted by Health Canada in 2011
determined that the pills may be associated with a 1 1/2 to
threefold increased risk of blood clots compared with other
hormonal contraceptives.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration
arrived at a similar conclusion.

Nevertheless, the elevated risks detected in some studies remain
relatively small.  The FDA analysis, for instance, found that
about 10 in 10,000 women taking pills with drospirenone will get a
blood clot or venous thromboembolism in a year, compared with six
in 10,000 women using another pill.

To put that in perspective, a Society of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists of Canada report on the topic said the risk of
developing a blood clot in pregnancy can be as high as 29 in

Bayer has paid hundreds of millions of dollars to settle thousands
of lawsuits in the U.S. that alleged the pills are behind deaths,
heart attacks, strokes, blood clots and gallbladder ailments.
Bayer told its shareholders last year that the settlements could
reach $1.2-billion (U.S).

In April, a judge in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice
certified a class action lawsuit against Bayer.  It is expected to
be a bellwether for 13 other class actions across the country that
have yet to be approved. Bayer has filed a motion to appeal the
class action certification, and is slated to argue in court on
Sept. 4.

Matthew Baer, a lawyer with Siskinds LLP, in London, Ont., that is
taking the lead in the Ontario case, said more than 2,000 women
have come forward and that likely many more who were taking Yaz or
Yasmin died.

"I think there are a lot more," he said. "It is generally accepted
by the doctors and experts I've talked to that 1 to 10 per cent of
adverse [drug side effects] get reported to Health Canada.  I
think you have to assume that there is at least 200."

BAYER AG: Tony Merchant to Launch Second Birth Control Pill Suit
Adriana Christianson, writing for CJME, reports that Yaz and
Yasmin birth control pills are suspected to be linked to the
deaths of 23 women in Canada and now their families are looking
for answers.

One class-action lawsuit is already underway in Ontario
representing hundreds of women who have faced health problems
after taking the pill.  Regina-based lawyer Tony Merchant is in
the process of launching a second class action lawsuit against the
pharmaceutical company Bayer for women outside Ontario.

"Contacting Merchant law group have been eight families where
their daughter died unfortunately usually very young," Merchant
said.  "The youngest person to die on Yaz and Yasmin was 14, we
have a number of people in their teens or 20s."

He says 200 people in Saskatchewan have already come forward with
other health problems and they expect to see many more.

"Typical problems of gall bladder being removed, high blood
pressure that results in medicine for life, blood thinners being
necessary for life, stroke," Mr. Merchant listed.

Health Canada issued a warning in 2011 about these particular
brands.  They contain a different ingredient that increases blood
clot risks by up to three times compared to other pills.
According to the Health Canada warning one in 100,000 women on
regular birth control are at increased risk of blood clots, but
the risk goes up on Yas or Yasmin to up to three women in 100,000.

In conversations with these women and their families, Merchant
says they believed the Yaz and Yasmin brand pills were just as
safe as any other form of birth control.

The Merchant Law Group is still in the process of certifying the
lawsuit with hundreds of claimants in Saskatchewan and Alberta and
they expect to go to court by next fall.

The news that "the pill" is suspected to be linked to the deaths
of 23 Canadian women has some people wondering if they could be at
risk too.

Alana Raeume is a pharmacist with the Medicine Shoppe in Regina
and she has had several calls from people who are concerned in one
morning.  She assures people these dangers are only linked to the
Yaz and Yasmin brands of birth control.

"It's one of the newer forms of birth control that we have, it's a
synthetic derived hormone and it also is helpful in treating skin
complexions so it is commonly prescribed for sure," she said.

The risk for blood clots is always present when taking birth
control, but Ms. Raeume says it's higher in these two types than
it is for other brands of the pill.

Compared to other reports of deaths or side effects from drugs on
Health Canada's website, Ms. Raeume says 23 is a high number.

"23 deaths are only the tip of the iceberg there's also notes of
333 women taking Yasmin and 257 taking Yaz that have reported
adverse reactions," she noted.

Blood clots in healthy women between 15 and 40 taking the Yaz or
Yasmin pill are still considered rare because only three in
100,000 women will develop them.  But Ms. Raeume advises everyone
to be careful and weigh the risks with the benefits before
deciding on a prescription.

BAYER AG: Ottawa Woman Joins Birth Control Pill Class Action
CBC News reports that Ottawa woman Cristina Germano says when she
was 18 she nearly died from blood clots suspected to be linked to
her birth control pill.

Now she's involved in a class action lawsuit with 1,500 women
against the makers of the birth control pill Yasmin.

According to documents obtained from Health Canada, doctors and
pharmacists say Yaz and Yasmin are suspected in the deaths of at
least 23 Canadian women, who mostly died suddenly from blood

BP PLC: Geneva County Commission Joins Oil Spill Class Action
Mike Gurspan, writing for WTVY.com, reports that the Geneva County
Commission along with Hartford and Slocomb city councils joined a
class action lawsuit against BP.

Joe Riley has been selling and repairing boats at his Hartford
shop for three decades.  Mr. Riley says the summer of 2010 almost
put him out of business.  A BP well spewing millions of gallons of
crude oil into the gulf resulted in few folks purchasing water

BROOKS BROTHERS: Faces Class Action Over Inadequate Meal Breaks
Alex Lawson, writing for Law360, reports that a former Brooks
Brothers Group Inc. employee hit the clothing retailer with a
putative class action in a California court on June 7, alleging
that the company denied employees adequate breaks for meals and
unfairly deducted their wages.

Plaintiff John Hoagland, who worked for Brooks Brothers in both a
sales and management capacity from July 2007 to February 2013,
filed the complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court.  The suit
alleged that the company "willfully required" employees "to work
without all compliant meal periods and failed to compensate"
workers when those meal periods were neglected.

The complaint said that Brooks Brothers "did not staff sufficient
employees to meet customer service demands" or "properly
coordinate employees' schedules," which led to the elimination of
breaks for meals.

The complaint also accused Brooks Brothers of inappropriately
deducting commission wages from employees without their express
written consent.  Specifically, it alleged that if the plaintiff
and class members failed to generate enough commission wages in a
previous pay period, the company would deduct wages from their
next paychecks.

In the complaint, Mr. Hoagland also accused Brooks Brothers of
failing to pay wages in a timely manner upon his termination,
noting that his compensation for missing meal periods was still
not paid at the time he left the company.

Mr. Hoagland is seeking to represent a class of California Brooks
Brothers employees who worked as sales associates within four
years of the class being certified.  The complaint alleges that
the damages in the case will not exceed $5 million for the entire
class, provided that no new evidence comes to light through
investigation or discovery.

Brooks Brothers could not immediately be reached for comment.

Mr. Hoagland is represented by Raul Perez --
Raul.Perez@CapstoneLawyers.com -- Nathan Lowery --
Nathan.Lowery@CapstoneLawyers.com -- and Shooka Maollem of
Capstone Law APC.  Counsel for the plaintiff declined to comment
for this report.

Counsel information for Brooks Brothers was not available.

The case is John Hoagland, et al. v. Brooks Brothers Group Inc.,
et al., case number BC511534, in the Superior Court for the State
of California, County of Los Angeles.

CANADA: 282 Female Mounties Join Harassment Class Action v. RCMP
CBC News reports that almost 300 current and former female
Mounties have come forward to join a class-action lawsuit alleging
harassment within the ranks of the RCMP.

Documents filed in B.C. Supreme Court on June 10 in support of
class-action certification say the action now includes 282 women
from all territories and provinces across Canada, with the
exception of P.E.I.  The largest provincial contingent of women
who joined, 121, are from B.C., while 46 of the women are from
Ontario.  Another 35 are from Alberta.

The lawyers arguing the lawsuit say 100 of the complainants are
still with the force, either as officers, civilian members, or
public service employees.

The civil suit was filed last year by Janet Merlo, a former RCMP
officer who was based in Nanaimo.  Ms. Merlo, who alleges she
suffered bullying and verbal abuse throughout a career that began
in March 1991 and ended in March 2010, says she is overwhelmed by
the number of other women who have come forward.

"I'm amazed, actually, that for so many years a lot of us thought
we were alone and didn't say anything," she told CBC News on
June 11.  "Once we did start talking, we realized that there was
quite a group of us . . . I'm just amazed."

Former Nanaimo RCMP constable Janet Merlo is the lead plaintiff in
a lawsuit seeking class-action certification before B.C.'s Supreme
Court.Former Nanaimo RCMP constable Janet Merlo is the lead
plaintiff in a lawsuit seeking class-action certification before
B.C.'s Supreme Court.

In her claim, Ms. Merlo describes a number of humiliating
incidents that she alleges occurred during the course of her 19
years with the force.  The alleged incidents described in Merlo's
affidavit range from receiving verbal propositions, to facing
gender-based comments challenging her ability to perform her
duties, to witnessing differences in how male and female officers
were accommodated at her workplace.

The RCMP have applied to have certain parts of Merlo's claim
struck.  The plaintiffs' lawyers say they want the application for
certification heard as soon as possible.

Certification of the class action is not a finding of fault
against the RCMP.

CHINA AUTOMOTIVE: Court Refuses to Certify Securities Class Action
China Automotive Systems, Inc., a power steering components and
systems supplier in China, on June 13 announced that, on May 31,
2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New
York declined to certify a class of investors in a securities
fraud class action suit against the Company.  Due to this denial,
depositions in this case have been postponed or canceled, and the
case will proceed only on behalf of the individual named
plaintiffs and not as a class action.

The Company is being represented by the international law firm of
Winston & Straw LLP and it continues to contest the plaintiffs'
individual allegations, which the Company believes to be

CHINA GREEN: Parties Currently Documenting $2.5-Mil. Settlement
The parties are currently in the process of documenting their $2.5
million settlement of a securities class action lawsuit against
China Green Agriculture, Inc., according to the Company's May 10,
2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.

On October 15, 2010, a class action lawsuit was filed against the
Company and certain of its current and former officers in the
United States District Court for the District of Nevada (the
"Nevada Federal Court") on behalf of purchasers of the Company's
common stock between November 12, 2009, and September 1, 2010.
The current version of the complaint alleges that the Company and
certain of its current and former officers and directors violated
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
and Sections 11, 12(a)(2), and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933,
as amended, by making material misstatements and omissions in the
Company's financial statements, securities offering documents, and
related disclosures during the class period.  On October 7, 2011,
the defendants moved to dismiss the amended complaint and to
strike portions of it.  On November 2, 2012, the Nevada Federal
Court issued an order dismissing the claims for violation of
sections 11, 12(a)(2) and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933 as to
all defendants and dismissing certain individual defendants from
the complaint and allowing the claims for violations of section
10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to continue
with respect to the Company and certain of the individual
defendants.  The Nevada Federal Court also denied the defendants'
motion to strike.

The parties to the securities class action held a mediation on
March 7, 2013, which led to an agreement in principle to settle
the case for a payment of $2.5 million by the Company's insurers
in exchange for a release of all claims against all defendants.
The parties are currently in the process of documenting the

China Green Agriculture, Inc. is engaged in the research,
development, production and sale of various types of fertilizers
and agricultural products in China.  The Company's primary
business is fertilizer products, specifically humic acid-based
compound fertilizer produced through Jinong and compound
fertilizer, blended fertilizer, organic compound fertilizer, slow-
release fertilizers, highly-concentrated water-soluble fertilizers
and mixed organic-inorganic compound fertilizer produced through
Gufeng.  The Company also develops and produces agricultural
products, such as top-grade fruits, vegetables, flowers and
colored seedlings.

CITIZEN'S FINANCIAL: Littler Mendelson Comments on Court Ruling
Bill F. Allen, Esq. -- ballen@littler.com -- at Littler Mendelson,
reports that in an unpublished opinion, the Second Circuit vacated
the Southern District of New York's order in Cuevas v. Citizen's
Financial Group certifying a Rule 23 class of assistant branch
managers (ABMs) who claimed they were misclassified as exempt.

The Second Circuit agreed with the company that in deciding the
plaintiff satisfied the commonality requirement under Rule 23(a),
the district court failed to resolve factual disputes regarding
the ABMs' duties.  Although the plaintiff had submitted policy
documents and job descriptions that suggested the ABMs performed
primarily the same duties company-wide, many of the declarations
submitted to the district court from the ABMs, bank managers,
regional managers, and others suggested that the ABMs' primary
duties varied in material ways.  The Second Circuit held that
these factual disputes must be resolved to determine whether the
claims in the case were capable of class-wide resolution, as
required by Dukes. The Second Circuit instructed the district
court, on remand, to conduct a more rigorous analysis to make this

For the same reasons, the Second Circuit agreed with the company
that the district court erred in concluding Rule 23(b)(3)'s
predominance requirement was satisfied.  Again, the district court
relied on company-wide policies and the bank's classification of
all ABMs as exempt to determine that common issues predominated
over individual ones. Reiterating its prior holding in Myers v.
Hertz Corporation, 624 F.3d 537, 548 (2010), the Second Circuit
stated that determining whether employees are exempt from overtime
"should be resolved by examining the employees' actual job
characteristics and duties."  Thus, the Second Circuit concluded,
it was essential for the district court to examine all of the
evidence before it and resolve the disputed facts to determine
whether the ABMs "actually share primary duties such that common
issues predominate over individual ones."

In closing, the Second Circuit noted its decision should not be
read to hold certification is never appropriate in
misclassification cases.  Rather, there must be a rigorous
analysis of the record, weighing and resolving conflicting
evidence and factual disputes, and a determination that the
questions relating to exemption classification can be resolved by
evidence applicable on a class-wide basis.  Thus, in seeking to
defeat class certification in misclassification cases in the
Second Circuit, as elsewhere, employers should continue to focus
on the material factual disputes and differences in employees'
actual job duties.

CLEAN HARBORS: Discovery in Fuel Surcharges Suit to End Sept. 4
The class related fact discovery in one of the class action
lawsuits alleging that a Clean Harbors, Inc. subsidiary improperly
assessed fuel surcharges must now be completed by September 4,
2013, according to the Company's May 10, 2013, Form 10-Q filing
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter
ended March 31, 2013.

In October 2010, two customers filed a complaint, individually and
on behalf of all similarly situated customers in the State of
Alabama, in state court in Alabama alleging that Safety-Kleen Inc.
improperly assessed fuel surcharges and extended area service
fees.  Safety-Kleen disputes the basis of the claims on numerous
grounds, including that Safety-Kleen has contracts with numerous
customers authorizing the assessment of such fees and that in
cases where no contract exists Safety-Kleen provides customers
with a document at the time of service reflecting the assessment
of the fee, followed by an invoice itemizing the fee.  It is
Safety-Kleen's position that it had the right to assess fuel
surcharges, that the customers consented to the charges and that
the surcharges were voluntarily paid by the customers when
presented with an invoice.  The lawsuit is still in its initial
stages of discovery.  The class related fact discovery must now be
completed by September 4, 2013, and a hearing on class
certification will be held in early to mid-2014.

In late June 2012, a nearly identical lawsuit was filed by the
same law firm on behalf of a California-based customer.  The
lawsuit contends, under various state law theories, that Safety-
Kleen impermissibly assessed fuel surcharges and late payment
fees, and seeks certification of a class of California customers
only.  Safety-Kleen will assert the same defenses as in the
Alabama litigation.  In December 2012, a similar lawsuit was filed
by the same law firm on behalf of a Missouri-based customer which
contends under various state law theories that Safety-Kleen
impermissibly assessed fuel surcharges and seeks certification of
a class of Missouri customers only.  Safety-Kleen will assert the
same defenses as in the Alabama and California cases.

The Company says it is unable to ascertain the ultimate aggregate
amount of monetary liability or financial impact with respect to
these matters as of March 31, 2013, and no reserve has been

Clean Harbors, Inc. -- http://www.cleanharbors.com/-- was
incorporated in Massachusetts in 1980 and its principal office is
located in Norwell, Massachusetts.   Clean Harbors is a provider
of environmental, energy and industrial services throughout North

COMSCORE: 7th Cir. Allows Privacy Suit to Proceed as Class Action
Adweek reports that the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in
Chicago on June 11 paved the way for a privacy class action suit
to proceed against comScore.

By denying comScore's request to overturn a lower court's decision
allowing the suit to proceed as a class action suit, comScore
finds itself in the center of the largest privacy class action
suit ever.

The suit was filed August 2011 by two comScore panelists who
downloaded comScore software.  It alleges that comScore collected
and sold consumers' personal information, including Social
Security numbers, credit card numbers, financial information and
retail transactions.  Edelson LLC, the Chicago law firm
representing plaintiffs Mike Harris and Jeff Dunstant, allege that
comScore's software violates the Stored Communications Act, the
Electronic Communications Privacy Act, the Computer Fraud and
Abuse Act, and the Illinois Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices
act.  They are seeking injunctive relief and damages of $1,000 per

Because the suit could cover everyone who has downloaded comScore
software since 2005, the class action suit could have tens of
millions of plaintiffs, according to the law firm Baker Hostetler.

"No privacy case of anything approaching this size has ever been
certified," comScore argued in its appeal.  The Association of
National Advertisers, the 4A's and the Direct Marketing
Association supported comScore's petition that the case should not
go ahead as a class action suit.

Still, the Seventh Circuit issued an order denying comScore's
request, advancing the class action suit to trial, probably by the
end of the year.

ComScore intends to fight the case.  "This is not a negative
finding on any action on the part of comScore," the company said
in a statement.  "We will continue to educate the court on our
practices, which we have had a limited opportunity to do given the
procedural nature of the matters before them to date."

"The suit is filled with factual inaccuracies," comScore said in a
separate statement on its website.  ComScore also tried to
disparage Edelson, which has made its reputation off class action
suits by going after large and growing companies in the hopes that
they will settle.  Edelson has already sued a number of companies
including Groupon, Facebook, Zynga, Time Warner, Yahoo, Bank of
America and JP Morgan Chase.

According to Research Magazine's Brian Tarran, Web measurement
firm comScore was sued by two individuals, Mike Harris and Jeff
Dunstan, in 2011.  Messrs. Harris and Dunstan allege that the
company exceeded the scope of a consumer's consent to monitoring
by intercepting phone numbers, social security numbers, usernames,
passwords and credit card numbers, among other personal

ComScore has said that the claims in the lawsuit are "without
merit".  However in April, Federal Judge James Holderman certified
a class of "all individuals who have had, at any time since 2005,
downloaded and installed comScore's tracking software onto their
computers via one of comScore's third party bundling partners".

According to Research Magazine, Judge Holderman also certified an
additional subclass of "all class members not presented with a
functional hyperlink to an end-user license agreement before
installing comScore's software onto their computers". Estimates
put the size of the class at up to a million people.

ComScore sought to overturn this ruling and won support in the
form of an amicus brief from the Direct Marketing Association,
American Association of Advertising Agencies and Association of
National Advertisers -- among others -- who warned that "an
improper certification order has the probable impact of not only
harming defendant comScore by chilling voluntary participation in
its market research, but also adversely impacting many of the
amici's members who rely on web rating services of the defendant
and companies like it".

CONSOLIDATED COAL: Judge Remands Class Action to State Court
John O'Brien, writing for The West Virginia Record, reports that a
class action lawsuit filed against Consolidated Coal Company by a
former employee will be heard in state court.

On May 24, U.S. District Judge John Preston Bailey remanded Aaron
Birtcher's lawsuit to Marshall County Circuit Court, where it was
first filed on Aug. 9.  Mr. Birtcher alleges his benefits and
wages were not paid in a timely manner.

Consolidated Coal removed the case to federal court on March 29.
Bailey ruled it was not filed in time.

The company had argued it was not aware Mr. Birtcher's lawyer --
Sandra K. Law of Schrader Byrd & Companion -- planned to include
union employees in the proposed class until a March 15 motion to

Judge Bailey ruled the company should have been aware of it after
a Jan. 11 letter and thus missed the 30-day deadline for removal.

"The Jan. 11, 2013, letter specifically stated that '[t]he fact
that someone is in the [United Mine Workers of America] and
subject to their collective bargaining agreement does not change
their right to timely receive a final paycheck," Judge Bailey
wrote . .

"The defendant argues that, despite a reference to the United Mine
Workers of America and a collective bargaining agreement, this
language does not provide 'unequivocally clear and certain' notice
that the class definition includes union employees.

"However, this court notes that in response to the defendant's
argument that the plaintiff is not similarly-situated to hourly
union employees, the January 11, 2013, letter stated that '[t]he
commonality is termination and not being paid on time -- which has
nothing to do with the collective bargaining agreement or a salary
versus hourly consideration.'"

Mr. Birtcher's lawsuit alleges he was not paid his wages and
benefits in full within 72 hours of his discharge from employment
in violation of the West Virginia Wage Payment and Collection Act.

Consolidated Coal employs both union and non-union employees, and
Mr. Birtcher did not belong to UMWA.

UMWA workers are subject to a collective bargaining agreement
known as the National Bituminous Coal Wage Agreement.

The March motion to compel said Mr. Birtcher planned to serve as
representative of a class of union and non-union employees.

The mention of union employees made the lawsuit removable to
federal court under the Labor Management Relations Act,
Consolidated Coal argued.

Consolidated Coal is represented by Steptoe & Johnson attorneys
Larry J. Rector -- larry.rector@steptoe-johnson.com -- and Julie
A. Arbore -- julie.arbore@steptoe-johnson.com

DE BEERS: Consumers to Get Class Action Settlement Checks
Brandon Ballenger, writing for Money Talks News, reports that a
portion of the $295 million settlement in a class action against
De Beers should be arriving soon in the mail.

Diamonds are forever.  Perhaps it's no coincidence that's how long
it has taken De Beers to pay up for a class-action settlement.

The world's largest diamond seller -- controlling 65 percent of
the market, according to plaintiffs -- still denies wrongdoing in
the seven lawsuits filed between 2001 and 2005, StarTribune.com

The lawsuits alleged De Beers and companies working with it
violated antitrust, unfair competition and consumer protection
laws.  They said it monopolized diamond supplies, then conspired
to fix, raise and control diamond prices.

Nearly 552,000 claims were filed against the company by the
May 2008 deadline, StarTribune.com says.  De Beers is paying out
$295 million on them, with nearly half of it going to jewelry
stores and middlemen who purchased from the company.

After the lawyers take their cut, the average payout to consumers
will be $180.75, according to StarTribune.com.  The minimum payout
is $10, although claims deemed worth less than that will not get a
check at all.  Here's how the amounts are figured, according to
the official settlement site, DiamondClassAction.com:

"Payments were calculated based on several factors, including how
much you paid, the quantity and quality of the diamonds you
purchased, the amount of money that is available for your class or
sub-class, and how many class members filed claims."

A Consumerist reader told the site his $3,000 claim ended up being
worth $48, so don't get your hopes up.

If you moved since filing or can't remember whether you were part
of the settlement -- nobody can blame you since the case was tied
up in appeals for so long -- the claims administrator can be
reached at (800) 760-5431.

       Not All Consumers Disappointed With Settlement Checks

Laura Northrup, writing for Consumerist, reports that on June 11,
Consumerist shared the news that people have started to receive
their settlement checks from the class action lawsuit that accused
diamond merchants De Beers of price-fixing.  The first reader we
heard from, Sean, was upset that he only received $48 back on a
$3,000 claim, or about 1.6%.  Other readers are happier with their
settlements . . . but, to point out the obvious here, people with
larger settlements are a lot happier, and people who spent more on
shiny rocks in the first place received larger checks.

Take reader Aimee, for example.  She's happy and surprised with
the check that she received in the mail, even though the
proportion of the original diamond price that she received back is
similar to Sean's settlement.  She writes:

"I have a very nice engagement ring that was custom made using
loose diamonds that my then boyfriend/now husband purchased.  I
believe the claim I filed for these 3 loose diamonds was in the
range of $30,000.  I had to go to the jeweler to get proof of the
cost of my diamonds to send in with my claim.  The jewelers told
me I was wasting my time filing a claim.  After filing, I really
didn't think about the claim any further.  I just figured anything
I got out of it would be gravy.

"Well, [Wednes]day I received a check for $786.34! Woot! It seemed
too good to be true.  I googled the settlement.  The first result
was today's article on Consumerist.  Sean may not be impressed
with $48 but I am freaking ecstatic! I am especially happy to know
now that my check is legit.

"Thank you Consumerist!"

Out of a claim of $30,000, that means Aimee got about 2% back .
She and her how-husband have $786 more than they did, and it's
money they didin't really expect to see.  David sent us a similar

"[Tues]day I arrived home to a completely unexpected $800 from the
Debeers settlement and was thrilled.  Its not every day you get an
extra $800 showing up in your mailbox.  Thanks Consumerist!

That's true.  That is not something that happens every day.  Maybe
it's about expectations: Sean spoke to other class members who
anticipated getting 10-20% back.  Maybe people who anticipated
such big returns would have been delighted to get a check if they
had forgotten about the settlement entirely.

DERMATECH: Blake, Cassels & Graydon Discusses Court Ruling
Robin Reinertson, Esq. -- robin.reinertson@blakes.com -- and Eleni
Kassaris, Esq. -- eleni.kassaris@blakes.com -- at Blake, Cassels &
Graydon LLP report that the British Columbia Court of Appeal
(BCCA) recently ruled to protect patient-physician confidentiality
in the context of a class action in Logan v. Hong.  It set aside
an order that would have required physicians who were not parties
to the litigation to provide the names and contact information of
patients to whom they have administered injections of a cosmetic
dermal filler.  The BCCA held that such an order impermissibly
pierces the physician-patient relationship and trenches upon the
privacy interests of patients in that relationship in
circumstances that do not meet the high test for such


The lower court had certified a class action on behalf of "all
persons who were injected with [a dermal filler called] Dermalive
in Canada and who thereafter developed granulomas in the areas
injected with Dermalive."  Dermalive was designed to be injected
into patients to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and other
cosmetic characteristics associated with aging.  The
representative plaintiff, Ms. Logan, had been injected with
Dermalive into various areas of her face.  Five or six months
after being injected with Dermalive, she developed red lumps or
granulomas in her facial area that became progressively worse.
She alleged permanent disfigurement of her face as a result of the
injections of Dermalive.  The lower court certified common issues
regarding the product's fitness for use, an alleged failure to
warn, whether there was a breach of a duty of care to class
members, the availability of punitive damages, and a statutory
claim pursuant to the Business Practices and Consumer Protection
Act (see Logan v. Dermatech).

Once certified, section 19 of the Class Proceedings Act required
counsel for the representative plaintiff to give notice to the
class members.  The plaintiff's counsel reached the conclusion
that any manner of service other than direct mail would be
problematic and unlikely to reach the class members and that the
best way to locate the class members would be through the
physicians who treated them with Dermalive.  The plaintiff's
counsel made an application to the court for an order that 63
physicians and clinics across Canada who may have injected
patients with Dermalive provide the names, addresses and any other
contact information in their possession of those patients to
counsel for the plaintiff.  The plaintiff claimed that this was
the most efficient way to give notice to the class.

At the lower court application, the physicians who were the
subject of the proposed order appeared and objected.  However, the
plaintiff was successful in obtaining an order that the physicians
provide the requested patient information.  The physicians sought
and were granted leave to appeal on the issue of whether the order
breached the privacy rights of persons who were not parties to the
litigation and not members of the class (see Logan v. Hong).

BCCA Decision

The Court of Appeal noted the laudable intention of the
plaintiff's order to facilitate notice of a class action to
persons who may be members of the class, and thereby provide those
persons residing in British Columbia the opportunity to opt out,
and those residing outside British Columbia the opportunity to opt
in.  The Court of Appeal held that the intention did not justify
the invasion of privacy that is inherent in dipping into the
physician-patient relationship to discover the names, addresses
and contact information of persons who received treatment with
Dermalive.  The BCCA noted that a patient's right of
confidentiality is superseded only by issues of paramount

"Each patient is entitled to maintenance of the confidentiality
implicit in his or her attendance in a physician's examining room
and protection of his or her privacy on a personal matter, absent
serious concerns relating to health or safety, or express
legislative provisions compelling release of the information in
the public interest.  In my view, the judge erred in principle by
elevating the purposes of the Class Proceedings Act and the search
for legal redress above the fundamental principle of
confidentiality that adheres, for the benefit of the community, to
the physician-patient relationship."

In addition, the Court of Appeal noted that, in this particular
case, nearly 95% of the patients whose names were expected to be
produced under the order would not be members of the class, but
this was not material to the decision.  The BCCA expressly stated
that it would have formed the same conclusion if the proportion of
potential class members to non-class members was reversed, (i.e.,
only 5% of those patients affected would not have been members of
the class). Further, the distinction between an order for
disclosure of names and contact information versus disclosure of
medical records was not of assistance to the plaintiff, as the
court concluded that disclosure of the names, in the context of
the order, would disclose the fact that a person received a
particular medical treatment.  The nature of the medical treatment
as a cosmetic one was also of no consequence to the Court of
Appeal's reasoning.


The BCCA concluded that the value of redress through the justice
system is significant, but "one cannot say that recovery of money
trumps the rights of the patient to keep private both the nature
of the medical services received and the contact information held
by the physician."  The Court of Appeal clearly values the
confidential nature of the physician-patient relationship and
patient privacy, and will not permit a breach of that relationship
solely for the purpose of providing notice in a class action.

DYNEX CAPITAL: Appeal From Claim Dismissal in Suit v. GLS Pending
One of Dynex Capital, Inc.'s subsidiaries, GLS Capital, Inc.
("GLS"), and the County of Allegheny, Pennsylvania ("Allegheny
County") are defendants in a class action lawsuit filed in 1997 in
the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania (the
"Court").  Between 1995 and 1997, GLS purchased from Allegheny
County delinquent property tax lien receivables for properties
located in the county.  The plaintiffs in this matter alleged that
GLS improperly recovered or sought recovery for certain fees,
costs, interest, and attorneys' fees and expenses in connection
with GLS' collection of the property tax lien receivables.   The
Court granted class action status and defined the class to include
only owners of real estate in Allegheny County who paid an
attorneys' fee between 1996 and 2003 in connection with the forced
collection of delinquent property tax receivables by GLS
(generally through the initiation of a foreclosure action).
Amendments to the statute that governs the collection of
delinquent tax lien receivables in Pennsylvania, related case law,
and GLS' filing of one or more successful motions for summary
judgment resulted in the dismissal of certain claims against GLS
and narrowed the issues being litigated to whether attorneys' fees
and related expenses charged by GLS in connection with the
collection of the receivables were reasonable.  Such attorneys'
fees and lien costs were assessed by GLS in its collection efforts
pursuant to the prevailing Allegheny County ordinance.

On April 23, 2012, as a result of a petition to discontinue filed
by the plaintiffs, the Court dismissed the remaining claims
against GLS.  The Plaintiffs subsequently appealed the dismissal
to the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court of Appeals.  The claims
made by plaintiffs on appeal include only the legality of charging
and recovering attorneys' fees and tax lien revival and assignment
costs from the class members.  The Plaintiffs have not enumerated
their damages in this matter.

No further updates were reported in the Company's May 10, 2013,
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.

Dynex Capital, Inc. -- http://www.dynexcapital.com/-- is an
internally managed mortgage real estate investment trust, which
invests in mortgage assets on a leveraged basis.  The Company is
headquartered in Glen Allen, Virginia.

DYNEX CAPITAL: Continues to Defend Suit by Real Estate Owners
Dynex Capital, Inc., GLS Capital, Inc. ("GLS"), and the County of
Allegheny, Pennsylvania ("Allegheny County") are named defendants
in a putative class action lawsuit filed in June 2012 in the Court
of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.  The lawsuit
relates to the activities of GLS in Allegheny County related to
the purchase and collection of delinquent property tax lien
receivables.  The purported class in this action consists of
owners of real estate in Allegheny County whose property is or has
been subject to a tax lien filed by Allegheny County that
Allegheny County either retained or sold to GLS and who were
billed by Allegheny County or GLS for attorneys' fees, interest,
and certain other fees and who sustained economic damages on and
after August 14, 2003.  The putative class allegations are that
Allegheny County, GLS, and the Company violated the class's
constitutional due process rights in connection with delinquent
tax collection efforts.  There are also allegations that amounts
recovered from the class by GLS and/or Allegheny County are an
unconstitutional taking of private property.  The claims against
the Company are solely based upon its ownership of GLS.  The
complaint requests that the Court order GLS to account for amounts
alleged to have been collected in violation of the putative class
members' rights and create a constructive trust for the return of
such amounts to members of the purported class.  The same class
previously filed substantially the same lawsuit in 2004 against
GLS and Allegheny County (ACORN v. County of Allegheny and GLS
Capital, Inc.), and GLS's Motion for Summary Judgment is pending
in that action.  The Company believes the claims are without merit
and intends to defend against them vigorously in this matter.

No further updates were reported in the Company's May 10, 2013,
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.

Dynex Capital, Inc. -- http://www.dynexcapital.com/-- is an
internally managed mortgage real estate investment trust, which
invests in mortgage assets on a leveraged basis.  The Company is
headquartered in Glen Allen, Virginia.

EBIX INC: Faces Three Merger-Related Class Suits in Delaware
Ebix, Inc., is facing three merger-related class action lawsuits
in Delaware, according to the Company's May 10, 2013, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended March 31, 2013.

On May 1, 2013, the Company entered into an Agreement and Plan of
Merger (the "Merger Agreement") with Exchange Parent Corp., a
Delaware corporation ("Parent"), and Exchange Merger Corp., a
Delaware corporation and wholly owned subsidiary of Parent
("MergerSub" and, together with Parent, the "Acquiring Parties").
Parent is owned by Broad Street Principal Investments, L.L.C., an
affiliate of Goldman, Sachs & Co.  The Merger Agreement provides
for, upon the terms and subject to the conditions contained
therein, the merger of MergerSub with and into the Company, with
the Company surviving the Merger as a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Parent (the "Merger").

On May 6, 2013, a putative shareholder class action was filed by
Navin Shah, a purported shareholder of the Company, against the
Company and its Board of Directors, among others, in the Court of
Chancery for the State of Delaware styled Shah v. Ebix, Inc., et
al., Case No. 8526.  The complaint generally alleges, among other
things, that the members of the Company's board breached their
fiduciary duties to the Company's shareholders by entering into
the Merger Agreement, approving the proposed Merger and failing to
take steps to maximize the Company's value to its shareholders,
and that the other defendants aided and abetted such breaches of
fiduciary duties.  In addition, the complaint alleges, among other
things, that the Merger improperly favors the Acquiring Parties
and that certain provisions of the Merger Agreement unduly
restrict the Company's ability to negotiate with other potential

The complaint seeks to enjoin the defendants preliminarily and
permanently from proceeding with, consummating, or closing the
Merger and the related transactions, to rescind the Merger and the
related transactions if consummated, an accounting of the damages
allegedly sustained by the putative class, and attorneys' fees.
It is possible that additional complaints may be filed as well.
The defendants believe that the litigation is without merit and
intends to defend it.

On May 7, 2013, a related second putative shareholder class action
was filed by Tomas Lloret Llinares, a purported shareholder of the
Company, in the Court of Chancery for the State of Delaware styled
Llinares v. Ebix, Inc., et al., Case No. 8533.  The Llinares
action names the same defendants and makes similar allegations as
the Shah action.

On May 9, 2013, a related third putative shareholder class action
was filed by TBD Investments, LLC, a purported shareholder of the
Company, in the Court of Chancery for the State of Delaware styled
TBD Investments, LLC v. Ebix, Inc., et al., Case No. 8539.  The
TBD Investments action names virtually the same defendants and
makes similar allegations as the Shah and Llinares actions.

The Company says it is possible that additional complaints may be
filed as well.  The defendants believe that these actions are
without merit and intend to defend them vigorously.

Ebix, Inc. -- http://www.ebix.com/-- was founded in 1976 as
Delphi Systems, Inc., a California corporation.  In December 2003
the Company changed its name to Ebix.  The Atlanta, Georgia-based
Company is an international supplier of software and e-commerce
solutions to the insurance industry.

EBIX INC: Securities Suit Currently in Fact Discovery Phase
The parties in a consolidated securities lawsuit against Ebix,
Inc., and its officers are now in the fact discovery phase of the
litigation, according to the Company's May 10, 2013, Form 10-Q
filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the
quarter ended March 31, 2013.

Between July 14, 2011, and July 21, 2011, securities class action
complaints were filed against the Company and certain of its
officers in the United States District Court for the Southern
District of New York and in the United States District Court for
the Northern District of Georgia.  The complaints assert claims
against (i) the Company and the Company's CEO and CFO for alleged
violations of Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934
(the "Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder and
(ii) the Company's CEO and CFO as alleged controlling persons.
The complaints generally allege false statements in earnings
reports, SEC filings, press releases, and other public statements
that allegedly caused the Company's stock to trade at artificially
inflated prices.  The Plaintiffs seek an unspecified amount of
damages.  The New York action has been transferred to Georgia and
has been consolidated with the Georgia action, now styled In re:
Ebix, Inc. Securities Litigation, Civil Action No. 1:11-CV-02400-
RSW (N.D. Ga.).  A Consolidated Amended Complaint ("CAC") was
filed by the Plaintiffs on November 28, 2011.  On January 12,
2012, the Company filed a Motion to Dismiss the CAC, which raised
various defenses that the CAC failed to state a claim.  On
September 28, 2012, the Court entered an order denying the
Company's Motion to Dismiss.  The parties are now in the fact
discovery phase of the litigation.

In connection with the shareholder class action lawsuit, there
have been three derivative complaints brought by certain
shareholders on behalf of the Company, which name certain of the
Company's officers and its entire board of directors as
Defendants.  The first such derivative action was brought by a
shareholder named Paul Nauman styled Nauman v. Raina, et al.,
Civil Action File No. 2011-cv-205276 (Superior Court of Fulton
County, Georgia).  The second such derivative action was brought
by a shareholder named Gilbert Spagnola styled Spagnola v. Bhalla,
et al., Civil Action No. 1:13-CV-00062-RWS (N.D. Ga.), filed
January 7, 2013.  The third such derivative action was brought by
a shareholder named Hotel Trades Council and Hotel Association of
New York City Pension Fund styled Hotel Trades Council and Hotel
Association of New York City, Inc. Pension Fund v. Raina, et al.,
Civil Action No. 1:13-CV-00246-RWS (N.D. Ga.), filed January 23,
2013.  These derivative actions are based on substantially the
same factual allegations in the shareholder class action lawsuit,
but also variously claim breach of fiduciary duties, abuse of
control, gross mismanagement, the wasting of corporate assets,
negligence, unjust enrichment by the Company's directors, and
violation of Section 14 of the Exchange Act.  The Nauman case has
been stayed pending the completion of expert discovery in the
shareholder class action lawsuit.  On April 12, 2013, the Court
entered an Order consolidating the Spagnola and Hotel derivative
cases under the style In re Ebix, Inc. Derivative Litigation, File
No. 1:13-CV-00062- RWS (N.D. Ga.) and appointing the law firm
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC as Lead Derivative Counsel and
The Law Offices of David A.  Bain LLC as Liaison Counsel.  Lead
Derivative Counsel has stated that it intends to file a
consolidated amended complaint on or about May 13, 2013.
Thereafter, the parties will meet and confer regarding future case

The Company denies any liability and intends to defend the federal
and derivative actions vigorously.  The likelihood of an
unfavorable outcome for this matter is not estimable.

Ebix, Inc. -- http://www.ebix.com/-- was founded in 1976 as
Delphi Systems, Inc., a California corporation.  In December 2003
the Company changed its name to Ebix.  The Atlanta, Georgia-based
Company is an international supplier of software and e-commerce
solutions to the insurance industry.

ECRS LLC: Recalls Blue Cheese Chicken Dip Due to Misbranding
ECRS, LLC, a Hollywood, Florida establishment, is recalling 12,560
pounds of chicken dip products because of misbranding and an
undeclared allergen, the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food
Safety and Inspection Service announced.  The products contain
anchovies, a known allergen which is not declared on the label.

The products subject to recall include:

   * 8-oz. containers with 16 pieces per case of "BUBBA'S Buffalo
     Blue Cheese Chicken Dip" bearing the establishment number
     "P-21299" inside the USDA mark of inspection.  The products
     were produced and packaged on April 10, 2013.

   * 16-oz. containers with 8 pieces per case of "BUBBA'S Buffalo
     Blue Cheese Chicken Dip" bearing the establishment number
     "P-21299" inside the USDA mark of inspection with expiration
     dates from June 25, 2013, through September 24, 2013.  The
     products were produced and packaged from March 21, 2013,
     through June 21, 2013.

The products were distributed to retail grocery stores and through
internet/catalog sales in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri and

The problem was discovered by an FSIS inspector who conducted a
label review which was prompted by the April 30, 2013, release of
FSIS Notice 29-13.  FSIS took the step of issuing the FSIS notice
in an effort to protect vulnerable consumers after observing an
increase in the number of products recalled from 2008 through 2012
due to the presence of undeclared allergens or other ingredients.
FSIS personnel are responsible for verifying that establishments
are actively labeling the eight most common food allergens.  The
problem occurred when the plant began formulating the product
using a dressing containing anchovies and did not make the
necessary change to the product label.  Pictures of the recalled
products' labels are available at: http://is.gd/S85oNL

FSIS and the Company have received no reports of adverse reactions
due to consumption of these products.  Anyone concerned about a
reaction should contact a healthcare provider.

FSIS routinely conducts recall effectiveness checks to verify
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.

Media and consumers with questions about the recall should contact
Charlie Gonzalez, Manager, at (954) 965-2480.

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.

EDUCATION MANAGEMENT: Still Awaits Ruling in "Bushansky" Suit
Education Management Corporation is still awaiting a court
decision on its motion to dismiss a class action lawsuit filed by
Stephen Bushansky, according to the Company's May 10, 2013, Form
10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for
the quarter ended March 31, 2013.

On August 3, 2012, a shareholder derivative class action captioned
Stephen Bushansky v. Todd S. Nelson, et al. was filed against
certain of the directors of the Company in the U.S. District Court
for the Western District of Pennsylvania.  The Company is named as
a nominal defendant in the case.  The complaint alleges that the
defendants violated their fiduciary obligations to the Company's
shareholders due to the Company's use of improper recruiting,
enrollment admission and financial aid practices and violation of
the U.S. Department of Education's prohibition on the payment of
incentive compensation to admissions representatives.  The Company
previously received a demand letter from the plaintiff which was
investigated by a Special Litigation Committee of the Board of
Directors and found to be without merit.  The Company and the
named director defendants filed a motion to dismiss the case on
October 19, 2012.  The Company believes that the claims set forth
in the complaint are without merit and intends to vigorously
defend itself.

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Education Management
Corporation -- http://www.edmc.com/-- provides post-secondary
education in North America.  The Company provides education
through four education systems comprising The Art Institutes,
Argosy University, Brown Mackie Colleges, and South University.
The Company operates 105 schools in 32 states of the United States
and Canada.

EDUCATION MANAGEMENT: Still Awaits Ruling in "OLERS" Class Suit
Education Management Corporation is still awaiting a court
decision on its motion to dismiss a shareholder class action
lawsuit filed by the Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System,
according to the Company's May 10, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended
March 31, 2013.

On May 21, 2012, a shareholder derivative class action captioned
Oklahoma Law Enforcement Retirement System v. Todd S. Nelson, et
al. was filed against the directors of the Company in state court
located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Company is named as a
nominal defendant in the case.  The complaint alleges that the
defendants violated their fiduciary obligations to the Company's
shareholders due to the Company's violation of the U.S. Department
of Education's prohibition on paying incentive compensation to
admissions representatives, engaging in improper recruiting
tactics in violation of Title IV of the Higher Education Act
("HEA") and accrediting agency standards, falsification of job
placement data for graduates of its schools and failure to satisfy
the U.S. Department of Education's financial responsibility
standards.  The Company previously received two demand letters
from the plaintiff which were investigated by a Special Litigation
Committee of the Board of Directors and found to be without merit.
The Company filed a motion to dismiss the case with prejudice on
August 13, 2012.  In response, the plaintiffs filed an amended
complaint making substantially the same allegations as the initial
complaint on September 27, 2012.  The Company and the director
defendants filed a motion to dismiss the amended complaint on
October 17, 2012.  The Company believes that the claims are
without merit and intends to vigorously defend itself.

Based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Education Management
Corporation -- http://www.edmc.com/-- provides post-secondary
education in North America.  The Company provides education
through four education systems comprising The Art Institutes,
Argosy University, Brown Mackie Colleges, and South University.
The Company operates 105 schools in 32 states of the United States
and Canada.

FACEBOOK INC: Robbins Geller Files Derivate Lawsuit
Reuters reports that after Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd lost a bid
to lead an investor class action against Facebook over its $16
billion IPO, it hit back with a derivative lawsuit against
Facebook's directors.

FAURECIA EXHAUST: 6th Cir. Upholds Dismissal of "Pearce" Claims
involves allegations by 75 employees that Faurecia Exhaust Systems
Inc. terminated their employment in violation of the Workers
Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act.  The Plaintiffs assert
that the Defendant failed to give a 60-day notice of plant closing
or mass layoff.  The district court determined that there was no
question of fact that Defendant was entitled to invoke the
"unforeseeable business circumstances" exception to the 60-day
notice requirement, and granted summary judgment in favor of
Defendant.  The district court dismissed Plaintiffs' state law
claims, declining to exercise supplemental jurisdiction.

The Plaintiffs appealed the district court's grant of summary
judgment on the WARN Act claim.

In a June 19, 2013 decision available at http://is.gd/qlgkzufrom
Leagle.com, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
affirmed the district court ruling holding that there is no
genuine issue as to material fact.

The appeals case is BRENDA PEARCE, et. al., Plaintiffs-Appellants,
v. FAURECIA EXHAUST SYSTEMS, INC., Defendant-Appellant, Case No.
12-3983 (6th Cir.).

Faurecia Exchaust Systems Inc. is a "just-in-time" manufacturer,
which means that it makes product for its customers on demand,
when the product is needed by the customer.  In 2008 and early
2009, Faurecia's Troy East plant supplied parts to Chrysler and
General Motors, as well as to some of Pearce, et al.'s other
facilities.  Faurecia was notified that operations would be
affected by the bankruptcy petitions of Chrysler in April 2009.

FOX SEARCHLIGHT: N.Y. Court Certifies Unpaid Interns' Class Action
Outten & Golden LLP on June 12 disclosed that a New York federal
court ruled Fox Searchlight Pictures Inc. and Fox Entertainment
Group, Inc. are liable for failing to pay interns in violation of
federal and state labor laws.

In the first ruling of its kind, U.S. District Court Judge William
H. Pauley III, of the Southern District of New York, ruled on
June 11 that named plaintiffs Eric Glatt and Alexander Footman
were employees of defendant Fox Searchlight Pictures and protected
by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and state wage and
hour law.  Judge Pauley also held that plaintiff Eden Antalik may
prosecute her claims as a class action against the defendants on
behalf of interns employed by certain FEG subsidiaries.

The interns worked as production assistants, bookkeepers,
secretaries and janitors on films produced and co-produced by Fox
Searchlight Pictures.  Mr. Glatt and Mr. Footman were unpaid
interns who worked on production of the film Black Swan in New
York. After production ended, Mr. Glatt took a second unpaid
internship relating to Black Swan's post-production.  Ms. Antalik
was an unpaid intern at Searchlight's corporate offices in New

Mr. Glatt said, "This decision should serve as a warning to
employers across the country.  You cannot simply slap the term
'intern' on a job description and think that relieves you of the
legal and ethical obligation to pay wages for the labor that helps
your organization succeed."

The interns are represented by Adam T. Klein, Rachel M. Bien, Juno
Turner, and Sally J. Abrahamson, of Outten & Golden LLP's New York
office.  The firm was appointed class counsel by the court.

Ms. Bien said, "This important ruling re-affirms that unpaid
internships are not lawful unless they are part of a real training
program that involves much more than just learning on the job, and
they are not lawful if the interns' work provides a direct benefit
to the company.  It also emphasizes the importance of allowing
interns to band together in class actions and challenge companies'
illegal unpaid internship policies."

In his ruling, the judge wrote of the interns, "They performed
tasks that would have required paid employees . . . Menial as it
was, their work was essential.  The fact they were beginners is
irrelevant . . . [T]he FLSA does not allow employees to waive
their entitlement to wages."

Mr. Klein said, "Federal and state law is clear when it comes to
unpaid internships, but too many hard-working students are caught
between their universities and the industries they hope to join
upon graduation.  The court's ruling in this case not only firmly
establishes that the former Fox interns can recover the wages to
which they are entitled, but also shows companies everywhere how
interns should be treated."

The class action covers individuals who had unpaid internships
between Sept. 28, 2008 and Sept. 1, 2010 with one or more of the
following FEG divisions: Fox Filmed Entertainment, Fox Group, Fox
Networks Group, and Fox Interactive Media (renamed News Corp.
Digital Media).

Filed in September 2011, the lawsuit seeks to recover unpaid
wages, overtime pay, unreimbursed expenses, liquidated damages,
interest and attorneys' fees for unpaid interns.

Unpaid interns who believe they may be part of the class should
contact Juno Turner at jturner@outtengolden.com or 1-877-4OUTTEN
to ensure they receive updates on developments in the case.

The case is "Eric Glatt and Alexander Footman, et al., v. Fox
Searchlight Pictures, Inc.," No. 1:11-cv-06784 in the U.S.
District Court, Southern District of New York.

GOOGLE INC: Slocumb Comments on Privacy Class Action & NSA Suit
Baltimore, Maryland personal injury lawyer Mike Slocumb on June 13
said his law firm is handling a class action lawsuit that has
privacy issues similar to the ones being raised in the story
involving the National Security Administration and its collection
of online content.

Mr. Slocumb said his client, Matthew C. Knowles of Maryland, was
interviewed by CBS News on June 11, 2013.  Mr. Knowles is named as
a plaintiff in a Google privacy class action lawsuit (Knowles v.
Google, Inc., case number 5:2013cv01601) filed April 9, 2013, in
California Northern District Court.  The lawsuit was originally
filed in the District of Maryland.

In the complaint, Mr. Knowles alleges that Google's practice of
intercepting emails sent to Maryland residents with Google Gmail
accounts amounts to an invasion of privacy and is in violation of
the Maryland Wiretap Act.

Mr. Knowles alleges in the complaint that the search engine giant
routinely intercepts messages sent by non-Gmail subscribers to
Gmail accounts without their knowledge or consent.  The lawsuit
alleges that Google uses the information it gathers to create a
targeted advertisement directed at the non-Gmail subscriber.

"There are parallels between our client's case and the case
involving the government surveillance of private citizens," said
Mr. Slocumb, a personal injury lawyer with an office in Baltimore.
"Search engine companies are monitoring private emails, and the
National Security Agency is collecting domestic telephone data.
The government's actions came to light after a former employee of
a government contractor blew the whistle.  In the case we're
handling, our client is helping to shine a light on what these
search engine companies are doing.  It's offensive and in some
cases illegal when somebody intercepts communications that parties
have a right to believe is sensitive, privileged and

Edward Snowden, a former employee of a government contractor who
admitted leaking secret government documents about the
controversial surveillance programs, may soon be facing charges,
according CBSNews.com report published on June 11, 2013, and
titled "Feds prepping charges against Edward Snowden: Sources."

Mr. Slocumb said some other states have privacy laws similar to
Maryland's.  He said other lawsuits have been filed against Google
and Yahoo in California, alleging that the companies violated the
California Invasion of Privacy Act.  The 12 states with laws
stating that both parties must consent to being wiretapped or
recorded include California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida,
Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania,
Vermont, Washington and Illinois.

Mr. Slocumb said people who live in any of the above-mentioned
states may be entitled to be a part of a class action lawsuit.
"As personal injury lawyers, we believe in protecting the rights
of people who have suffered losses, whether it's in an accident or
it's through the reckless action of a large corporation.  In the
case involving Google, we believe the search engine company is
intercepting emails and using the content without the senders'
permission.  We believe our class action lawsuit is not just about
any one person.  It's about protecting the rights of everyone.
It's about sending a message that this type of behavior will not
be tolerated."

                  About the Mike Slocumb Law Firm

The Mike Slocumb Law Firm helps people who have been harmed
through the negligent actions of other individuals or companies
pursue compensation.  The firm, which can be founded online at
http://www.slocumblaw.com,handles class action lawsuits as well
as car accident claims, medical malpractice, slip and fall
accidents, nursing home negligence and more.  With offices
throughout the country, the law firm works for clients on a
contingency fee basis.  That means you pay nothing if you don't
win.  For more information about what joining the Google privacy
class action lawsuit, call 1-800-HURTLINE or complete the online
contact form.

The Baltimore office for the Mike Slocumb Law Firm is located at
111 S. Calvert Street, Suite 2700, Baltimore, Maryland, 21202.

GREAT SOUTHERN: Overdraft Suit Litigation vs. Bank Still Ongoing
Litigation is still ongoing in the class action lawsuit commenced
against a subsidiary of Great Southern Bancorp, Inc., according to
the Company's May 10, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended March 31,

On November 22, 2010, a lawsuit was filed against Great Southern
Bank, a Great Southern Bancorp, Inc. subsidiary, in Missouri state
court in Springfield by a customer alleging that the fees
associated with the Bank's automated overdraft program in
connection with its debit card and ATM cards constitute unlawful
interest in violation of Missouri's usury laws.  The lawsuit seeks
class-action status for Bank customers who have paid overdraft
fees on their checking accounts.  The Court denied a motion to
dismiss filed by the Bank and litigation is ongoing.  At this
stage of the litigation, the Company says it is not possible for
management of the Bank to determine the probability of a material
adverse outcome or reasonably estimate the amount of any potential

Great Southern Bancorp, Inc. -- http://www.greatsouthernbank.com/
-- is a bank holding company and a financial holding company and
parent of Great Southern Bank.  The Company is headquartered in
Springfield, Missouri.

LAKELAND BANCORP: Parties Yet to Ask Court to Approve Settlement
The parties in the merger-related class action lawsuit pending in
New Jersey have not yet asked the court to approve their
settlement, according to Lakeland Bancorp, Inc.'s May 10, 2013,
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.

On February 15, 2013, the Company was served with a Civil Action
Summons and Class Action Complaint that was filed in the Superior
Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, Somerset County.  The
complaint states that the plaintiff is bringing the class action
on behalf of the public stockholders of Somerset Hills Bancorp
against the Board of Directors of Somerset Hills for their alleged
breach of fiduciary duties arising out of the Agreement and Plan
of Merger, dated as of January 28, 2013, by and between the
Company and Somerset Hills Bancorp.  The complaint alleges that
the Company has aided and abetted the individual defendants in
their alleged breaches of fiduciary duties.

On or about April 4, 2013, the Company and Somerset Hills Bancorp
began mailing the definitive joint proxy statement and prospectus
(the "Proxy Statement") to their respective shareholders for their
respective Annual Meetings of Shareholders scheduled for May 8,
2013.  At Somerset Hill's Annual Shareholders' Meeting,
shareholders were asked, among other things, to approve the
proposed merger agreement under which Somerset Hills would merge
with and into the Company.  At the Company's Annual Shareholders'
Meeting, shareholders were asked, among other things, to authorize
the issuance of shares of the Company's common stock to the
shareholders of Somerset Hills upon consummation of the merger.

On March 27, 2013, the plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint,
alleging, among other things, inadequate disclosure in the Proxy
Statement.  On April 26, 2013, the defendants entered into a
Memorandum of Understanding with the lead plaintiff regarding
settlement of the action.  As part of the settlement, the
Registrant agreed to make certain additional disclosures, which
are contained in a Current Report on Form 8-K filed on April 29,
2013.  The Memorandum of Understanding contemplates that the
parties will enter into a stipulation of settlement, which will be
subject to customary conditions, including the consummation of the
merger and court approval following notice.  In the event that the
parties enter into a stipulation of settlement, a hearing will be
scheduled at which the Court will consider the fairness,
reasonableness and adequacy of the settlement which, if finally
approved by the Court, will resolve all of the claims that were or
could have been brought in the action being settled, including all
claims relating to the merger, the merger agreement and any
disclosures made in connection therewith.  The Court will also
need to approve the conditional certification of the class of
plaintiffs at such hearing.  In addition, in connection with the
settlement, the parties contemplate that the lead plaintiff's
counsel will petition the Court for an award of attorneys' fees
and expenses to be paid by the Company and/or Somerset Hills.
There can be no assurance that the parties will ultimately enter
into a stipulation of settlement or that the Court will approve
the settlement even if the parties were to enter into such a
stipulation.  In the event that neither of these occurs, the
proposed settlement as contemplated by the Memorandum of
Understanding may be terminated.  The settlement will not affect
the timing of consummation of the merger or the amount or nature
of the merger consideration to be paid to the shareholders of the
Company in the merger.

Other than as described, there are no pending legal proceedings
involving the Company or Lakeland other than those arising in the
normal course of business.  Management does not anticipate that
the potential liability, if any, arising out of such legal
proceedings will have a material effect on the financial condition
or results of operations of the Company and Lakeland on a
consolidated basis.

Lakeland Bancorp, Inc. -- http://www.lakelandbank.com/-- is a
bank holding company headquartered in Oak Ridge, New Jersey.
Through Lakeland State Bank, the Company operates 46 banking
offices, located in Morris, Passaic, Sussex, Warren, Essex and
Bergen counties in New Jersey.  Lakeland Bank offers a full range
of lending services, including commercial loans and leases, real
estate and consumer loans to small and medium-sized businesses,
professionals and individuals located in its markets.

LONG ISLAND POWER: Judge Appoints Class Action Lead Counsel
HarrisMartin reports that the judge presiding over several class
action lawsuits filed against Long Island Power Authority for the
utility's allegedly negligent handling of power outages caused by
Superstorm Sandy has appointed lead and liaison counsel to manage
the litigation.

In a May 30 order that also officially consolidated four cases
into a single proceeding, Nassau County Supreme Court Justice
Antonio I. Brandveen assigned four firms to serve as co-lead
counsel, along with three additional firms serving roles on a
proposed plaintiffs' steering committee.

LOUISIANA: Hundreds Removed From Sex Registry Under Settlement
The Associated Press reports that hundreds of people who were
convicted of soliciting oral or anal sex for money under
Louisiana's "crime against nature by solicitation" law will have
their names removed from the state's sex offender registry
following the settlement of a class-action lawsuit.

U.S District Judge Martin Feldman on June 11 approved the
settlement agreement between the New York-based Center for
Constitutional Rights and Louisiana Attorney General James "Buddy"
Caldwell's office.

Judge Feldman ruled last year that nine plaintiffs who were
convicted of the offense must be stricken from the registry.
Plaintiffs' lawyers argued the ruling should be applied to roughly
700 others in the same position.

Alexis Agathocleous, one of the lead plaintiffs' lawyers on the
case, said the registration requirement for people convicted of
violating the law disproportionately punished black women and
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

"We are gratified that the state has agreed to vindicate the
rights of hundreds of people who continued to be
unconstitutionally registered as sex offenders," he said in a

The settlement doesn't apply to people convicted of soliciting sex
from a minor or anyone who was convicted of another sex offense
subject to registration.  State officials have up to 30 days to
make an initial determination of who is entitled to be removed
from the registry.

Judge Feldman ruled last year that state lawmakers had no
"rational basis" for requiring people to register as sex offenders
if they were convicted of violating the law.  The judge said the
plaintiffs wouldn't have had to register if instead they had been
convicted of soliciting sex for money under the state prostitution

The state Legislature amended the 200-year-old law in 2011 so that
anyone convicted of a "crime against nature by solicitation" no
longer will be required to register. But the legislative change
didn't apply to hundreds who already were registered.

During a hearing in December 2012, a lawyer representing
Mr. Caldwell's office argued that the recent change in state law
leaves the potential class members without any valid claims.
Judge Feldman refused to dismiss the class-action suit, however,
and expressed frustration at the pace of the process for deciding
whether people already had a right to have their names removed
from the registry

"I am incredulous and very concerned about why this process has
been dragged out against the backdrop of politics for so long,"
the judge said.

MEDTRONIC INC: InFuse Risks May Prompt Class Action, Attorney Says
Miami attorney Spencer Aronfeld believes that InFuse (a man made
version of human protein to stimulate bone growth) which was
originally approved by the FDA to treat degenerative disc disease
in the lower spine as well as for oral and dental procedures
should be recalled in light of the results from a U.S. Justice
Department formal investigation against Medtronic for illegally
recommending that physicians use InFuse for "off-label" surgeries.

The Justice Department's investigation led to a 16 month inquiry
by the Senate Finance Committee led by Max Baucus (D-Mont) and
Chuck Grassely (R-Iowa).  As a result of the Senate's
investigation, the committee found Medtronic had improperly
collaborated with the physician consultations that performed
InFuse procedures by rewriting the results of the testing in such
a manner that inaccurately reflected the risks of InFuse.

A full June 21, 2011 Senate report can be found here:

The Senate inquiry revealed that Medtronic paid over $200 million
in consulting fees, royalties and other payments directly to the
doctors that were involved in the research.  The Senate relied in
large part on a recent issue of The Spine Journal (the preeminent
medical peer reviewed publication in the field of orthopedic spine
surgery) and evidence in spinal care articles regarding treatment
related to the spine which was performed by doctors funded by
Medtronic.  These doctors failed to accurately report the findings
of the research and failed to reveal that one of the primary risks
of InFuse was male sterility particularly when the product is used
"off-label."  A New York Times article published May 25, 2011
outlines the male sterility issues found with InFuse:

During its inquiry, the Senate reviewed Medtronic's internal
documentation and found Medtronic had claimed that InFuse was a
superior alternative to traditional bone grafting surgeries
because it was less painful and eliminated the need for a second
surgical site.  These findings are outlined in the June 21, 2011
Senate report linked above.

Medtronic responded October 24, 2012 to the Senate's financing
committee and sent $2.5 million to Yale Medical School's Open Data
Access Project (YODA) to conduct an "independent" study on the
efficacy of InFuse and to fact check research led by Dr. Harlan
Krumholtz who is a cardiologist (and professor of investigative
health and public health), but not an orthopedic surgeon.  An
August 3, 2011 article on Spine.org discusses the Medtronic/Yale
research project in detail.  Details on the YODA project found

The results of the investigation were promised to be released in
February 2013.  Now, according to a recent update of YODA's
website, the results of Dr. Krumholtz's long awaited investigation
is due sometime this month.

Details from Yale's website:

Details on a previous legal settlement in 2012 with Medtronic
shareholders can be found here: reuters.com/article/2012/03/30/us-

Aronfeld Trial Lawyers is currently investigating claims on behalf
of people who have been injured after receiving InFuse in off-
label surgeries.

MGIC INVESTMENT: Eight RESPA Violations Suits Remain Pending
Eight class action lawsuits alleging that the captive mortgage
reinsurance arrangements of a subsidiary of MGIC Investment
Corporation violate provisions of the Real Estate Settlement
Procedures Act remain pending, according to the Company's May 10,
2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.

Consumers continue to bring lawsuits against home mortgage lenders
and settlement service providers.  Mortgage insurers, including
Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation ("MGIC"), have been
involved in litigation alleging violations of the anti-referral
fee provisions of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, which
is commonly known as RESPA, and the notice provisions of the Fair
Credit Reporting Act, which is commonly known as FCRA.  MGIC's
settlement of class action litigation against it under RESPA
became final in October 2003.  MGIC settled the named plaintiffs'
claims in litigation against it under FCRA in December 2004,
following denial of class certification in June 2004.  Since
December 2006, class action litigation has been brought against a
number of large lenders alleging that their captive mortgage
reinsurance arrangements violated RESPA.

Beginning in December 2011, MGIC, together with various mortgage
lenders and other mortgage insurers, have been named as defendants
in twelve lawsuits, alleged to be class actions, filed in various
U.S. District Courts.  Four of those cases have previously been
dismissed.  The complaints in all eight of the remaining cases
allege various causes of action related to the captive mortgage
reinsurance arrangements of the mortgage lenders, including that
the defendants violated RESPA by paying excessive premiums to the
lenders' captive reinsurer in relation to the risk assumed by that
captive.  MGIC denies any wrongdoing and intends to vigorously
defend itself against the allegations in the lawsuits.  There can
be no assurance that the Company will not be subject to further
litigation under RESPA (or FCRA) or that the outcome of any such
litigation, including the pending lawsuits, would not have a
material adverse effect on the Company.

Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, MGIC Investment Corporation
-- http://www.mgic.com/-- is a holding company and through its
wholly-owned subsidiaries, the Company is a large private mortgage
insurer.  In addition to mortgage insurance on first mortgage
loans, the Company, through its subsidiaries, provides lenders
with various underwriting and other services and products related
to home mortgage lending.

MICHIGAN: Student Loan Borrowers File Class-Action Counter-Claim
MLive.com reports that a pair of student loan borrowers who were
being sued by the Michigan Finance Authority in connection to a
now-defunct interest rate reduction program have filed a counter-
claim in federal court.

Former Michigan State University students Hans Kiebler and Donovan
Visser filed a class-action counter-claim against the authority,
alleging that the termination of the "Michigan Students First"
program injured at least 105,000 eligible borrowers.

The program, which was terminated in June 2010, offered zero
percent interest rates on loans to Michigan college students after
the first 36 payments were made on a loan held by the authority.

The finance authority had filed a lawsuit in state court law month
against the pair after they filed notices in February certifying
they would be pursuing actions against the authority.  In the
state court complaint, the finance authority alleged that the
potential claims by Messrs. Kiebler and Visser had jeopardized a
plan to refinance student loan debt and save $54 million.

The state court action sought a declaratory judgment against the
duo, asking an Ingham County judge to find that Messrs. Kiebler
and Visser had waited too long to pursue any claims related to the

According to court documents, the finance authority must finish
repaying a $1 billion student loan refinancing agreement in
November, and failure to do so would result in a default which
would damage the authority's borrowing ability and cause losses of
at least $54.2 million.

In their counter-claim, filed May 31 in U.S. District Court for
the Western District of Michigan, Messrs. Visser and Kiebler deny
that they were required to file the notices which led to the state
court suit, and allege that the finance authority did not give
proper notice that the interest rate program could be terminated.

The counter-claim seeks class-action status on behalf of more than
105,000 borrowers who have made at least 36 months of on-time
payments but have not received the interest rate reduction since
the program was terminated, and asks a federal judge to issue an
injunction against the finance authority requiring them to
institute the zero percent interest rate on those loans.

As part of the removal to federal court, Messrs. Kiebler and
Visser also filed a formal answer to the state's allegations in
the original suit.  A federal judge struck that answer for failure
to comply with procedural requirements and gave the duo's
attorneys a June 12 deadline to re-file.  A check of court records
on June 10 failed to reveal an amended filing.

The pair are represented by Michigan attorneys Jeffrey Hank and
Jason Thompson as well as lawyers from California and Georgia.

MICROSOFT INC: Xbox Terms of Service Include Class-Action Waiver
Eddie Makuch, writing for GameSpot, reports that Microsoft
confirms consumers restricted from partaking in class-action
lawsuits against the company over next-generation platform.

By agreeing to the Xbox One terms of service, consumers will waive
their right to launch a class-action lawsuit against the company,
Microsoft has confirmed.

"Terms include binding arbitration with class-action waiver to
resolve disputes," a new Xbox One policy document reads.

Microsoft originally updated its Xbox Live terms of service in
October 2011 to forbid class-action suits.  The June 12 news is
confirmation that the policy will remain in place going forward.

Microsoft is not the only major game maker to forbid class-action
lawsuits.  Sony's PlayStation terms of service restrict gamers
from suing the company en masse, while Valve also blocks class-
action suits.

It is unclear if Sony has updated its terms of service with the
PlayStation 4 launching this year.  A company representative had
not responded to a request for comment.

Josh West, writing for NowGamer, reports that following the reveal
of the Xbox One and the recent E3 2013 press conferences, there
has been plenty to say about Microsoft's stance on DRM, ownership
rights and the place of a pre-owned market for consumers of the
next generation.

There are, however, still plenty of answered questions about the
Xbox One.  As more information on the day one pre-order bundle has
been revealed, we find ourselves once again lumbered with more
questions than Microsoft is willing to afford to answers.

                    Xbox One's Terms Of Use

According to NowGamer, perhaps the most worrying statement to be
found in the Xbox One disclaimer, surrounds consumer rights after
the mandatory Terms Of Use has been signed upon switching on your
new console.

"You must accept Xbox Terms of Use (including Xbox software terms
and game license terms), Microsoft Services Agreement, and Xbox
One 1-year limited warranty.  Some games have additional license

"Terms include binding arbitration with class action waiver to
resolve disputes."

While it is likely to only be a defensive maneuver on the part of
Microsoft, it does mean that you are restricted from taking out a
class action lawsuit against the company should you find
dissatisfaction with the services provided.

With Microsoft requiring the console to "phone home" every 24
hours to keep the system active, this would protect the company in
the event of the Xbox Live servers going offline -- rendering your
console inactive -- or if a network hacking scandal arose like we
saw with the Sony PSN in 2011, where the network was down for an
entire month, according to NowGamer.

This is becoming a standard clause in many of ToS now, with Sony
and Microsoft both introducing similar waivers in recent years.
While the clause is a standard in the US, it cannot be upheld in
the eyes of EU law.

      Xbox One's Xbox Live Limited To 21 Countries On Launch

The disclaimer also reveals more information about the availablity
of the system, with Microsoft confirming that the Xbox One will
only be released in 21 countries at launch.

Europe and the United States are represented, but Japan is absent
from the list, putting the Xbox One's release in the area into
question.  Microsoft has also confirmed that the Xbox One will be
region locked.

The Xbox One regions available on launch are:

    New Zealand
    United Kingdom
    United States

                   Xbox One's Kinect Limitations

Much like the original Kinect sensor for Xbox 360, Kinect 2.0 will
require some hefty living room requirements.

The disclaimer reveals that 4ft.7in will be required for single
player gaming and 6ft for multiplayer.  As the Kinect sensor is
required to be always plugged in and active, it isn't clear how
the console will function should you be without 4ft 7in between TV
and couch.

                  Xbox One's HDMI Restriction

It has also been confirmed that, much like the PS4, the Xbox One
requires a 720p or higher HDMI compatible TV to function -- though
the Xbox does not include an HDMI cable in the box.

                      Backwards Compatibility

According to NowGamer, Microsoft has already confirmed that the
Xbox One will not play Xbox 360 games, however it also seems that
Kinect and accessories for original Xbox and Xbox 360 will not

MONSANTO CO: Faces 2 Class Actions Over Genetically Modified Wheat
RT USA reports that American Farmers have launched two class
action lawsuits against biotech giant Monsanto following the
discovery of unapproved genetically modified wheat growing in the
Pacific Northwest.  According to farmers, the company's negligence
has ruined sales.

Though the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has
never approved either the growing or sale of GMO wheat in the US,
the agency began investigating its existence when an Oregon farmer
found wheat growing in his fields that was resistant to Monsanto's
patented Roundup pesticide, known by its scientific classification
as glyphosate.

That farmer sent samples of the Roundup-resistant wheat to Oregon
State University, which conducted tests on them.  OSU then
contacted the USDA, which subsequently confirmed that the wheat
was a GMO variety that Monsanto had been authorized to field test
in 16 US states, including Oregon, from 1998 to 2005.

Surprisingly, the GMO wheat discovered in Oregon had somehow been
growing over a decade after test crops should have been destroyed
in 2001.

Though the scientific merits of the growing and consumption of GMO
crops are still a source of contention, genetically modified wheat
is a commercial liability for US farmers, who exported $8.1
billion worth of wheat in 2012 -- nearly half of the total $17.9
billion US wheat crop.

Following the USDA's confirmation that GMO wheat was present,
Japan immediately canceled a 25,000-ton import of soft white
wheat, and both South Korea and Europe announced more stringent
testing of American wheat shipments for possible contamination.

According to the plaintiffs in lawsuits filed against the biotech
giant, Monsanto should have been aware that open-air testing of
transgenic wheat posed a risk to farmers.

"The announcement led to immediate concern that the development
could disrupt exports of soft white wheat from the Pacific
Northwest.  An official with the Japanese Embassy stated that the
country would cancel orders for Pacific Northwest soft white wheat
because Japanese people were 'concerned about the discovery of
unapproved wheat,'" according to the complaint.

MONSTER BEVERAGE: Continues to Defend "Wellman" Suit in Canada
In May 2009, Avraham Wellman, purporting to act on behalf of
himself and a class of consumers in Canada, filed a putative class
action in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, in the City of
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, against Monster Beverage Corporation and
its former Canadian distributor, Pepsi-Cola Canada Ltd., as
defendants (the "Wellman Action").  The plaintiff alleges that the
defendants misleadingly packaged and labeled Monster Energy(R)
products in Canada by not including sufficiently specific
statements with respect to contra-indications and/or adverse
reactions associated with the consumption of the energy drink
products.  The plaintiff's claims against the defendants are for
negligence, unjust enrichment, and making misleading/false
representations in violation of the Competition Act (Canada), the
Food and Drugs Act (Canada) and the Consumer Protection Act, 2002
(Ontario).  The plaintiff claims general damages on behalf of the
putative class in the amount of CAD$20 million, together with
punitive damages of CAD$5 million, plus legal costs and interest.
The plaintiff's certification motion materials have not yet been

No further updates were reported in the Company's May 10, 2013,
Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.

The Company believes that any such damages, if awarded, would not
have a material adverse effect on the Company's financial position
or results of operations.  In accordance with class action
practices in Ontario, the Company will not file an answer to the
complaint until after the determination of the certification
motion.  The Company believes that the plaintiff's complaint is
without merit and plans a vigorous defense.

Monster Beverage Corporation -- http://www.monsterbevcorp.com/--
was incorporated in Delaware in 1990 and its principal place of
business is located in Corona, California.  The Company is a
holding company and conducts no operating business except through
its consolidated subsidiaries.  The Company develops, markets,
sells and distributes "alternative" beverage category beverages
primarily under certain brand names, including Monster Energy(R),
Hansen's(R), Monster Rehab(R), Hansen's Natural Cane Soda(R), and
Monster Energy Extra Strength Nitrous Technology(R).

MONSTER BEVERAGE: Continues to Defend False Advertising Suits
Monster Beverage Corporation continues to defend itself against
class action lawsuits alleging false advertising, according to the
Company's May 10, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities
and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.

The Company has been named as a defendant in various false
advertising putative class actions and in a private attorney
general action, each of which contains allegations similar to
those presented in the class action lawsuit initiated by Avraham
Wellman.  In these actions, the plaintiffs allege that the
defendants misleadingly labeled and advertised Monster Energy(R)
brand products that allegedly were ineffective for the advertised
benefits (including, but not limited to, an allegation that the
products do not hydrate as advertised because they contain
caffeine).  The plaintiffs further allege that the Monster
Energy(R) brand products at issue are unsafe because they contain
one or more ingredients that allegedly could result in illness,
injury or death.  In connection with these product safety
allegations, the plaintiffs claim that the product labels did not
provide adequate warnings and/or that the Company did not include
sufficiently specific statements with respect to contra-
indications and/or adverse reactions associated with the
consumption of its energy drink products (including, but not
limited to, claims that certain ingredients, when consumed
individually or in combination with other ingredients, could
result in high blood pressure, palpitations, liver damage or other
negative health effects and/or that the products themselves are

Based on these allegations, the plaintiffs assert claims for
violation of state consumer protection statutes, including unfair
competition and false advertising statutes, and for breach of
warranty and unjust enrichment.  In their prayers for relief, the
plaintiffs seek, inter alia, compensatory and punitive damages,
restitution, attorneys' fees, and, in some cases, injunctive
relief.  Furthermore, the Company is subject to litigation from
time to time in the normal course of business, including
intellectual property litigation and claims from terminated
distributors.  Although it is not possible to predict the outcome
of such litigation, based on the facts known to the Company,
management believes that such litigation in the aggregate will
likely not have a material adverse effect on the Company's
financial position or results of operations.

Monster Beverage Corporation -- http://www.monsterbevcorp.com/--
was incorporated in Delaware in 1990 and its principal place of
business is located in Corona, California.  The Company is a
holding company and conducts no operating business except through
its consolidated subsidiaries.  The Company develops, markets,
sells and distributes "alternative" beverage category beverages
primarily under certain brand names, including Monster Energy(R),
Hansen's(R), Monster Rehab(R), Hansen's Natural Cane Soda(R), and
Monster Energy Extra Strength Nitrous Technology(R).

MONSTER BEVERAGE: Still Awaits Cert. Ruling in Securities Suit
Monster Beverage Corporation is still awaiting a court decision on
a motion for class certification in the consolidated securities
lawsuit pending in California, according to the Company's May 10,
2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission for the quarter ended March 31, 2013.

On September 11, 2008, a federal securities class action complaint
styled Cunha v. Hansen Natural Corp., et al. was filed in the
United States District Court for the Central District of
California (the "District Court").  On September 17, 2008, a
second federal securities class action complaint styled Brown v.
Hansen Natural Corp., et al. was also filed in the District Court.

On July 14, 2009, the District Court entered an order
consolidating the actions and appointing lead counsel and the
Structural Ironworkers Local Union #1 Pension Fund as lead
plaintiff.  On August 28, 2009, the lead plaintiff filed a
Consolidated Complaint for Violations of Federal Securities Laws
(the "Consolidated Class Action Complaint").  The Consolidated
Class Action Complaint purported to be brought on behalf of a
class of purchasers of the Company's stock during the period
November 9, 2006, through November 8, 2007 (the "Class Period").
It named as defendants the Company, Rodney C. Sacks, Hilton H.
Schlosberg, and Thomas J. Kelly.  The Plaintiff principally
alleged that, during the Class Period, the defendants made false
and misleading statements relating to the Company's distribution
coordination agreements with Anheuser-Busch, Inc. ("AB") and its
sales of "Allied" energy drink lines, and engaged in sales of
shares in the Company on the basis of material non-public
information.  The Plaintiff also alleged that the Company's
financial statements for the second quarter of 2007 did not
include certain promotional expenses.  The Consolidated Class
Action Complaint alleged violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of
the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the "Exchange
Act") and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and sought an
unspecified amount of damages.

On November 16, 2009, the defendants filed their motion to dismiss
the Consolidated Class Action Complaint pursuant to Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) and 9(b), as well as the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act.  On July 12, 2010, following a
hearing, the District Court granted the defendants' motion to
dismiss the Consolidated Class Action Complaint, with leave to
amend, on the grounds, among others, that it failed to specify
which statements the plaintiff claimed were false or misleading,
failed adequately to allege that certain statements were
actionable or false or misleading, and failed adequately to
demonstrate that the defendants acted with scienter.

On August 27, 2010, the plaintiff filed a Consolidated Amended
Class Action Complaint for Violations of Federal Securities Laws
(the "Amended Class Action Complaint").  While similar in many
respects to the Consolidated Class Action Complaint, the Amended
Class Action Complaint drops certain of the allegations set forth
in the Consolidated Class Action Complaint and makes certain new
allegations, including that the Company engaged in "channel
stuffing" during the Class Period that rendered false or
misleading the Company's reported sales results and certain other
statements made by the defendants.  In addition, it no longer
names Thomas J. Kelly as a defendant.  The Amended Class Action
Complaint continues to allege violations of Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder,
and seeks an unspecified amount of damages.

The Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Amended Class Action
Complaint on November 8, 2010.  At a hearing on defendants' motion
to dismiss the Amended Class Action Complaint held on May 12,
2011, the District Court issued a tentative ruling granting the
motion to dismiss as to certain of plaintiff's claims, including
plaintiff's allegations relating to promotional expenses, but
denying the motion to dismiss with regard to the majority of
plaintiff's claims, including plaintiff's channel stuffing
allegations.  On September 4, 2012, the District Court issued a
Notice of Ruling (the "Order") adopting the May 12, 2011 tentative
ruling as its final ruling on defendants' motion to dismiss.  On
October 22, 2012, the District Court denied defendants' motion for
reconsideration of the Order or certification of an interlocutory
appeal from the Order.  The District Court has set a schedule for
briefing and discovery in connection with plaintiff's motion for
class certification, and scheduled a hearing on that motion for
June 20, 2013.  Fact discovery in the action has been stayed
pending resolution of the class certification motion.

The Amended Class Action Complaint seeks an unspecified amount of
damages.  As a result, the amount or range of reasonably possible
litigation losses to which the Company is exposed cannot be
estimated.  Although the ultimate outcome of this action cannot be
determined with certainty, the Company believes that the
allegations in the Amended Class Action Complaint are without
merit.  The Company intends to vigorously defend against this

Monster Beverage Corporation -- http://www.monsterbevcorp.com/--
was incorporated in Delaware in 1990 and its principal place of
business is located in Corona, California.  The Company is a
holding company and conducts no operating business except through
its consolidated subsidiaries.  The Company develops, markets,
sells and distributes "alternative" beverage category beverages
primarily under certain brand names, including Monster Energy(R),
Hansen's(R), Monster Rehab(R), Hansen's Natural Cane Soda(R), and
Monster Energy Extra Strength Nitrous Technology(R).

NATIONAL BEEF: FSIS Lists Stores That Received Recalled Products
The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection
Service disclosed that certain stores in various states received
ground beef products that have been recalled by National Beef
Packing Co.

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/pAJ0Xp,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.

   Nationwide, State-Wide, or Area-Wide Distribution
   Retailer Name      Location
   -------------      --------
   Apple Market       Stores in KS, MO, and NE
   Cash Saver         Stores in AR, IN, KS, MO, MS and TN
   Cosentino's        Stores in KS and MO
   Country Mart       Stores in AR, KS, KY, MO and TN
   Food Giant         Stores in AR, KY, MO, MS, and TN
   Hays               Stores in AR and MO
   IGA                Stores in AL, GA, IN, KS, KY, OH, TN & VA
   Mac's Fresh Market Stores in AR, LA and MS
   Price Chopper      Stores in AR, KS and MO
   Russ's Market      Stores in NE
   Super Saver        Stores in IA, NE and TN
   Thriftway          Stores in AR, IA, KS, MO, NE, and VA
   Piggly Wiggly      Stores in AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, MO,
                                SC and TN

A copy of the list of stores in various states that received the
recalled products and the stores' address is available for free
at: http://is.gd/vZJDLv

NEWCREST MINING: Maurice Blackburn Mulls Disclosure Class Action
Barry FitzGerald, writing for The Australian, reports that law
firm Maurice Blackburn is investigating whether to launch a
shareholder class action against Newcrest Mining Limited for
potential breaches of continuous disclosure laws.

The firm's head of class actions Andrew Watson said the "nature
and extent of the write-downs raises real issues regarding the
adequacy of Newcrest's disclosure to the market".

"It beggars belief that Newcrest knew nothing of the catastrophic
impact that the gold price slump would have on the value of its
assets until the day it announced the write-down," Mr. Watson

The move takes issue with Newcrest's attempt to stare down
criticism of its handling of the June 7 production and profit
downgrade by telling the ASX that it announced the price sensitive
information without delay after a board meeting on the day.

A raft of broker downgrades preceded the June 7 announcement,
sending Newcrest shares in to a tailspin, and prompting
accusations of selective briefings, which Newcrest has previously

The issue of whether selective briefings had occurred ahead of the
June 7 announcement was not directly asked by the ASX in its
questioning of Newcrest under its so-called "aware" letter powers.

But in its response lodged on June 12, Newcrest sought to defuse
the issue by stating it only became aware of the price sensitive
information at "the conclusion of the board's annual business plan
review and budget approval process on the morning of Friday".

"The review and approval process concluded at a meeting of
Newcrest's board executive committee held at that time.  Following
this, Newcrest made the announcement promptly and without delay,"
the company said.

Newcrest also stepped outside of the aware letter process today to
make the following comment: "Newcrest notes some public commentary
raising questions about possible 'selective briefing' of analysts
in recent weeks.  Newcrest treats its disclosure obligations
seriously and engages with the investment community in a manner
consistent with these obligations.  Newcrest will continue to
cooperate fully with the ASX in relation to this matter."

Should the ASX have ongoing concerns with Newcrest's response in
the aware letter, it would pass the matter on to the Australian
Securities & Investments Commission.

As noted by the ASX in its aware letter, the June 7 announcement
was preceded by broker profit and production downgrades as early
June 4.  Along with ongoing weakness in gold prices, the
downgrades -- more than half a dozen by big-name brokers -- served
to drive Newcrest shares down from AUD15.15 a share on June 4 to a
closing price on June 6 of AUD13.36 a share.  Newcrest sunk
further on June 11, falling to AUD12.03 a share.

Newcrest used the decision-making nature of the June 7 board
meeting to defend its decision not to have sought a trading halt
in its shares ahead of the price sensitive information being

"Newcrest considered that a trading halt was neither required nor
appropriate in the circumstances," it told the ASX.

It pointed to ASX guidance note 8 which states a trading halt
should be considered if the market is, or will be, trading at any
time after the company first becomes obliged to give market
sensitive information to the ASX, and before it can give an
announcement with that information to the ASX for release to the

Newcrest argued in the June 12 response that in effect, the
information only became live after the board meeting.

"For example, the relevant information was a function of --
amongst other things -- the board's review of Newcrest's proposed
business plan and the board's approval of the 2014 financial year
budget," Newcrest said.

"While the board was at the relevant time meeting to consider
those documents, there was no certainty that the budget would be
approved, particularly in light of the recent significant fall in
the gold price."

It went on to state that had the board rejected the business plan,
it would not have been in a position to issue an announcement for
"some time".

The June 7 downgrade bombshell from Newcrest revealed the company
would be cash break-even in the 2014 financial year after spending
AUD1 billion on capital expenditure.  It flagged asset writedowns
of up to AUD6 billion, mainly on the troubled Lihir goldmine in
PNG.  It also disclosed that there would be no final dividend this
year -- something that only one of the brokers had tipped in a
research work.

NEWELL RUBBERMAID: Continues to Defend 4 Product Liability Suits
Newell Rubbermaid Inc. continues to defend itself against four
class action lawsuits alleging product liability claims, according
to the Company's May 10, 2013, Form 10-Q filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission for the quarter ended March 31,

The Company is currently a party to three purported state class
actions and one purported national Canadian class action. The
cases include allegations that a certain model car seat sold by an
affiliate of the Company did not satisfy all requisite government
safety standards. The Company is vigorously defending all four

Founded in 1903 and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, Newell
Rubbermaid Inc. -- http://www.newellrubbermaid.com/-- designs,
manufactures, and markets consumer and commercial products.  The
Company operates in three segments: Home & Family, Office
Products, and Tools, Hardware & Commercial Products.

NOVA SCOTIA HOME: Judge Tentatively Approved C$5MM Settlement
The Canadian Press reports that a Nova Scotia judge has
tentatively approved a C$5-million settlement between a Halifax
orphanage and former residents of the home who allege they were
abused there.

Nova Scotia Supreme Court Judge Arthur LeBlanc tentatively
approved the deal on June 10, pending approval from the Children's
Aid Society in the Annapolis Valley.

Judge LeBlanc's decision came as a lawyer for the provincial
government, which is also being sued because of the abuse
allegations, argued that portions of affidavits filed in support
of the lawsuit should be tossed because they contain statements
that can't be proven.

In December, Halifax police and the RCMP announced they would not
be laying criminal charges in the case after concluding there was
not enough evidence to support the abuse allegations.

Premier Darrell Dexter promised in a throne speech earlier this
year that his government would set up an independent panel to
review the accusations.

The orphanage opened in 1921, but its role has evolved over the
years, eventually expanding its services to promote the health and
well-being of children and families within Nova Scotia's black

          Gov't Seeks Dismissal of Evidence in Abuse Suit

Melanie Patten, writing for The Canadian Press, earlier reported
that the Nova Scotia government attempted to weaken a proposed
class-action lawsuit by former residents of a Halifax orphanage
who allege they were abused at the home, asking a judge on June 10
to dismiss some of the evidence contained in their affidavits.

The documents are part of a proposed lawsuit launched against the
government by about 155 ex-residents of the Nova Scotia Home for
Colored Children, who allege they suffered years of sexual,
physical and psychological abuse by staff over a 50-year period up
until the 1980s.

Peter McVey, the lawyer representing the province, asked the Nova
Scotia Supreme Court to toss out portions of selected affidavits,
including ones that he said include hearsay that can't be verified
or speculation of what other people knew about the alleged abuse
at the time.

Mr. McVey challenged the admissibility of an affidavit by Jane
Earle, a former executive director of the home.  Mr. McVey said
Ms. Earle stated information as fact without backing it up,
including that the orphanage's low wages failed to attract
qualified staff.

Mr. McVey said Ms. Earle did not meet the criteria for an expert
witness, but nevertheless gave an "expert-style opinion" in her

"These are opinions being put forward under the guise of a fact
witness," he told the court.

He also took issue with some of the language used in the
affidavits, including an allegation that one victim suffered from
malnutrition.  Mr. McVey said the term "malnutrition" was an
expert diagnosis, and that the plaintiff should have instead
stated she was hungry.

Mr. McVey declined comment outside court.

Ray Wagner, a lawyer representing the former residents, said
outside court there was nothing in the government's arguments that
surprised him.  He said the affidavits are central to their effort
to have the lawsuit against the government certified as a class
action and they were done to the best of the abilities of the
former residents, given that they were children at the time of the
alleged abuse.

"We're dealing with old memories, suppressed memories, difficult
memories," he said.  "So it's not surprising that it's sometimes a
little bit vague."

Lawyers for the former residents were set to make their arguments
on June 11.  Judge Arthur LeBlanc was expected to release his
decision on the affidavits on June 12, after which the
certification hearing would proceed.

If the class action is certified, Mr. Wagner said it could be 2015
before the lawsuit goes to court.

A separate lawsuit launched two years ago against the home was
resolved in April after a C$5-million settlement was reached with
the residents.  The settlement was tentatively sanctioned in court
Monday, pending approval from the Children's Aid Society in the
Annapolis Valley.

In December, Halifax police and the RCMP announced they would not
be laying criminal charges in the case after concluding there was
not enough evidence to support the abuse allegations.

Premier Darrell Dexter promised in a throne speech earlier this
year that his government would set up an independent panel to
review the accusations.

The orphanage opened in 1921, but its role has evolved over the
years, eventually expanding its services to promote the health and
well-being of children and families within Nova Scotia's black

           Plaintiffs' Lawyer Says Gov't Aware of Abuse

Eva Hoare, writing for The Canadian Press, has reported that a
lawyer for ex-residents of a Halifax orphanage who claim they were
abused says the provincial government knew what was allegedly
happening at the home but chose to ignore it.

Mike Dull made the comments in provincial Supreme Court on the
second day of a certification hearing to approve a lawsuit
launched against the government as a class action.

The proposed class includes about 155 ex-residents of the Nova
Scotia Home for Colored Children, who allege they suffered years
of sexual, physical and psychological abuse by staff over a 50-
year period up until the 1980s.

A lawyer for the government spent on June 10 asking the judge to
dismiss portions of selected affidavits filed as part of the
proposed lawsuit because he said they contain speculation or

But Mr. Dull says the affidavits, most of which were filed by
alleged victims, are fair and honest accounts of decades-old

Judge Arthur LeBlanc was expected to render his decision on the
admissibility of the affidavits on June 12, which would clear the
way for arguments to begin on the proposed certification.

"You are the gatekeeper," provincial lawyer Peter McVey told
Judge LeBlanc on June 10.

That battle wore on for most of June 10, the first day the two
sides met to tussle over the proposed class action.

But shortly after 2:00 p.m., Judge LeBlanc tentatively approved a
$5-million payout to the residents by the home itself, essentially
green-lighting a deal that had been arrived at in April.

Some 140 former residents of the home had sued the orphanage,
alleging nothing was done by its staffers to protect them from
decades of severe abuse.

Meanwhile, the same group alleges the province failed to prevent
the members from being harmed at the Dartmouth facility.

In arguments to the justice about the payout approval, both Ray
Wagner, lead lawyer for the residents, and Ward Branch, the lawyer
for the home, agreed the payout was "reasonable."

The lawyers said the home didn't have insurance before 1974 so
this deal was the best for all involved.

"You can't get blood from a stone," Mr. Branch told the court.

He said the home would no longer be dragged into ongoing court

"We're out of these lawsuits, all of these lawsuits," he said.
"We do get to go home."

Final approval will come after Annapolis County's Children's Aid
Society signifies it has no objection to the deal, said Mr.
Wagner.  That consent is expected within a couple of days.

For the majority of the afternoon, Mr. McVey focused much of his
argument on the merits of portions of the affidavits, telling
LeBlanc the rules of law must be followed.  The rules are the
same, he said, "for this case as they are in any other case."

He argued the motion to strike portions of affidavits is not rare,
saying it was more focused on the claims of the child welfare
expert and Dull than those of the residents.

"This motion to strike is not unusual," Mr. McVey said.  "It's a
way a defendant stands up to say 'I object.'"

He also stressed that evidence or information in the documents
could be used "down the road."

"We're not asking you to bury evidence or hide evidence or make
evidence vanish," Mr. McVey said.

Mr. Dull argued a move to strike parts of the affidavits is the
first time this tack has been taken in Canada, to his knowledge.

He stressed that the affidavits and the filings meet the criteria
of a class action, adding that the merits of the case are not
subject to such legal tests at the certification stage.

"Certification is not about getting to the merits of the case,"
Dull told the court.  "I understand . . . my friend doesn't have
much experience with (class actions)."

Judge LeBlanc said he would announce his decision on the
affidavits portion of the case on June 12.  After that, both sides
would continue with arguments for and against certification.

Mr. Wagner said in an interview outside court that if significant
portions of the affidavits were removed, it would be "very, very
troubling" to the case.

Also outside court, Tracey Dorrington-Skinner, one of several
former residents in attendance for the day, said she was
encouraged the settlement with the home has become a reality.

But Mr. Dorrington-Skinner said she was angry that the province is
trying to wipe out what she and her fellow residents have said in
their affidavits.  She said the province is trying to hide what
happened at the orphanage and not deal with the consequences.

The case was set to continue through June 19.

NOVOPAY: PPTA Files Class Action Over Flawed Payroll System
Kate Shuttleworth, writing for APNZ, reports that The Post Primary
Teachers Association has filed a class action against Acting
Secretary for Education Peter Hughes over the Novopay fiasco.

The union signaled in February that it would take legal action on
behalf of many of its 18,000 members who had been unpaid or
underpaid as a result of the flawed payroll system.

The action, filed in the High Court at Wellington on June 13, is
against Mr. Hughes because the union argues he has failed in his
statutory duty to pay teachers.

The PPTA will be represented by Michael Reed QC and Paul Morten,
who represented David Bain and recently won a damages case for Sir
Bob Jones.

President Angela Roberts said it was a union's core business to
fight for members' pay.

"Security of pay for people who work in schools is seen as so
important it is protected by three laws the Wages Protection Act
and the Education Act and the Employment Relations Act."

She said the main relief sought was a statutory declaration, but
sources said a claim for monetary remedies would be part of the

A Ministry of Education spokeswoman said the ministry respected
the right of the PPTA to take such action but would be "defending
it vigorously".

"Our focus remains on fixing the issues with Novopay and we are
making steady progress.

"The fortnightly pay runs have been stabilized, defects in the
system are being resolved and the backlog clearance unit is making

The High Court proceedings are in addition to the individual cases
taken on behalf of PPTA members.

The union said it had resolved 100 pay grievances for members
before the cases reached the Employment Relations Authority.

Four cases had gone to the authority.  Two had been settled
successfully but details have not been released.

Minister Responsible for Novopay Steven Joyce released the
findings of a Ministerial Inquiry, which found Cabinet Ministers
had been misled by advice about the system from officials.

Ministry Deputy Secretary Anne Jackson resigned yesterday and
another staff member was being investigated.

Last year former Secretary for Education Lesley Longstone resigned
after a stormy relationship with Education Minister Hekia Parata.

ONLINE TRAVEL COS: Arlington Heights Joins Tax Class Action
Melanie Santostefano, writing for ArlingtonHeightsPatch, reports
that eleven other northern Illinois municipalities already have
signed onto the lawsuit that will try to recoup thousands of
dollars believed to be lost to travel companies that book hotel
rooms online.

Arlington Heights is the latest municipality to sign onto a class
action lawsuit that will attempt to gain back potentially
thousands of dollars lost in hotel taxes in cases where travel
companies book hotel rooms online for customers.

Other Illinois municipalities already involved include Des
Plaines, Tinley Park, Burr Ridge, Orland Park, Oak Lawn and Oak
Brook Terrace, in addition to Warrenville, Rockford, Bedford Park,
Willowbrook and Orland Hills.

Arlington Heights Finance Director Tom Kuehne said taking into
account that 15 to 30 percent of reservations for hotel rooms are
made through online travel companies, and that those companies are
purchasing the rooms at roughly 40 percent of the retail rate, the
village could be due between $60,000 to $100,000 in potentially
lost revenue over the last ten years.

Mr. Kuehne did add that those details are assumptions based on
expected hotel tax revenue to the village and other statistical
information available.

Though it could take years to recoup the revenue, Mr. Kuehne said
the vote by the Arlington Heights Committee of the Whole carries
no risk.

"By banding together with other villages, there is an economy of
scale in sharing costs," Mr. Kuehne said.  "There are no up front
legal fees, and the lawyers on this case are working on a
contingent-fee basis; if they lose, we owe them nothing.  If they
win, Arlington Heights and the other involved municipalities will
pay a percentage to them."

Mr. Kuehne said the village is expecting approximately $940,000 in
hotel tax revenue receipts this year.

According to the Daily Herald, Schaumburg, Itasca and Lombard will
also consider joining the lawsuit in the coming weeks, and similar
lawsuits in Wyoming, South Carolina, Georgia and Missouri have
already been successful.

ORCHARD SUPPLY: State Court Okays "Rondone" Suit Settlement
Orchard Supply Hardware Stores Corporation received on June 14,
2013, approval of its settlement of a class action lawsuit filed
by Gina Rondone, et al.

The class action lawsuit is Gina Rondone, an individual, Nicholas
Benitez III, an individual, on behalf of themselves, and all
persons similarly situated v. Orchard Supply Hardware Stores
Corporation, Case No, 110 CV 164041, pending in the Superior Court
for the State of California for the County of Santa Clara.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege that Orchard failed under
California law to timely pay wages, to pay overtime wages at the
appropriate rate, and to timely furnish accurate itemized wage
statements, to provide meal and rest breaks, and that Orchard is
liable to pay back wages, damages, interest, penalties, attorneys'
fees and costs.  Orchard has continued to deny the plaintiffs'

Notwithstanding its strong legal position, Orchard and the
Plaintiffs agreed to settle the lawsuit on terms that Orchard
believed were not only economically advantageous, but which would
eliminate the cost and distraction of this litigation for both
Orchard and its employees.  As part of the lawsuit, Orchard agrees
to pay the sum of $800,000, which includes $279,000 in attorneys'
fees.  The claims administrator, Rust Consulting, Inc., will
administer the settlement.  The state court granted approval of
the settlement on June 14.

Although the settlement agreement was approved by the State Court
before the Petition Date, Orchard still needs to take steps to
effectuate the settlement, and seeks entry of an order by the
Bankruptcy Court out of an abundance of caution.

                      About Orchard Supply

San Jose, California-based Orchard Supply Hardware Stores
Corporation operates neighborhood hardware and garden stores
focused on paint, repair and the backyard.  The Company was spun
off from Sears Holdings Corp. in 2012.

OXFORD HEALTH: U.S. Supreme Court Upholds Arbitrator's Authority
Jessica M. Karmasek, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that the
U.S. Supreme Court, in a unanimous ruling on June 10, upheld an
arbitrator's authority in a case over a health care contract.

In its nine-page opinion, the nation's high court affirmed a
decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

The case arises out of a contract between Oxford Health Plans and
one of its health care providers, Dr. John Ivan Sutter.

The contract at issue included a typical broad arbitration clause:
"No civil action concerning any dispute arising under this
agreement shall be instituted before any court, and all such
disputes shall be submitted to final and binding arbitration in
New Jersey, pursuant to the Rules of the American Arbitration
Association with one arbitrator."

Sutter, who filed a proposed class action in New Jersey Superior
Court in 2002, alleged that Oxford failed to fully and promptly
pay him and other physicians with similar Oxford contracts.

On Oxford's motion, the court compelled arbitration.

The parties agreed that the arbitrator should decide whether their
contract authorized class arbitration, and he concluded that it

Oxford filed a motion in federal court to vacate the arbitrator's
decision, claiming that he had "exceeded [his] powers" under
Section 10(a)(4) of the Federal Arbitration Act.

The district court denied the motion, and the Third Circuit

After the Supreme Court decided Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v. AnimalFeeds
Int'l Corp. -- holding that an arbitrator may employ class
procedures only if the parties have authorized them -- the
arbitrator reaffirmed his conclusion that the contract approves
class arbitration.

Oxford renewed its motion to vacate that decision under Section

The district court denied the motion, and the Third Circuit

The Supreme Court granted review of the case.

"Class arbitration is a matter of consent: An arbitrator may
employ class procedures only if the parties have authorized them,"
Justice Elena Kagan wrote for the court.  "In this case, an
arbitrator found that the parties' contract provided for class

"The question presented is whether in doing so he 'exceeded [his]
powers' under Section 10(a)(4) of the FAA.  We conclude that the
arbitrator's decision survives the limited judicial review Section
10(a)(4) allows."

Under the FAA, courts may vacate an arbitrator's decision "only in
very unusual circumstances," Justice Kagan explained.

"So the sole question for us is whether the arbitrator (even
arguably) interpreted the parties' contract, not whether he got
its meaning right or wrong," she wrote.  "Here, the arbitrator did
construe the contract (focusing, per usual, on its language), and
did find an agreement to permit class arbitration.

"So to overturn his decision, we would have to rely on a finding
that he misapprehended the parties' intent.  But Section 10(a)(4)
bars that course: It permits courts to vacate an arbitral decision
only when the arbitrator strayed from his delegated task of
interpreting a contract, not when he performed that task poorly.

"In sum, Oxford chose arbitration, and it must now live with that

DRI: The Voice of the Defense Bar filed an amicus brief in the
case, supporting petitioner Oxford.  The brief took issue with the
arbitrator's interpretation of the contract.

DRI's Center for Law and Public Policy argued in part, "Compelling
parties to resolve disputes through costly, time-consuming and
high-stakes class-wide arbitration, when the parties have not
agreed to do so, frustrates the parties' intent, undermines their
agreements and erodes the benefits offered by arbitration as an
alternative to litigation.  Imposing class arbitration on parties
who have not agreed to that procedure, conflicts with the central
goal of the Federal Arbitration Act: to ensure that arbitration
agreements are enforced strictly according to the terms adopted by
the parties."

The group, which represents more than 20,000 defense lawyers
across the country, said some of its arguments appeared to have
resonated with the court, which ruled solely on the authority to
interpret the contract.

"The Court's latest iteration of the established principle that
arbitration is based on consent should remind parties drafting (or
revising) contracts in the future to be as clear, unambiguous and
explicit as possible in addressing arbitration in general and
class arbitration in particular," said Jerry Ganzfried, chair of
DRI's Amicus Committee and author of the Oxford brief.

                           *     *     *

Steven B. Katz, writing for Forbes, reports that the June 10 U.S.
Supreme Court decision in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter --
prophesied as the second coming of Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v.
AnimalFeeds Int'l Corp., 559 U.S. 662 (2010) -- was to be the
Supreme Court's definitive holding that class relief cannot be
imposed if an arbitration agreement does not expressly permit
class relief.  Employers salivating to hear from Oxford Health
that their arbitration agreements are class-action-proof, however,
were bitterly disappointed.  A (rare) unanimous Court resolved the
case on a simpler principle: when you ask for arbitration, that's
exactly what you get.  If, after the fact, you don't like what you
asked for, tough.

In Oxford Health, a pediatrician filed a class action suit against
a health insurer to collect fees allegedly owed to physicians for
services.  The insurer asked the trial court to send the case to
arbitration, which it did.  The insurer then agreed with the
physician that the arbitrator could decide whether the arbitration
agreement -- which was silent on the question -- permitted class
arbitration.  When the arbitrator decided that it did permit class
arbitration, the insurer challenged the decision in court, arguing
that the arbitrator "exceeded [his] powers" under Sec. 10(a)(4) of
the Federal Arbitration Act, because the arbitrator's decision was
wrong under Stolt-Nielsen.

Justice Kagan, for the unanimous Court, held that the issue was
not whether the arbitrator made the right decision, but whether
the parties got what they asked for -- a decision by an
arbitrator.  Because the parties asked the arbitrator to decide
whether the agreement's silence permitted class arbitration, the
arbitrator's decision "must stand, regardless of the court's views
of its (de)merits." (That's right -- the Court wrote "(de)merits"
-- we didn't add the "de.") Because "the arbitrator did what the
parties had asked," the arbitrator's decision stands, right or

Justice Kagan noted that the Court "would face a different issue"
had the insurer argued that the availability of class arbitration
was a "question of arbitrability" that must be decided by the
courts in the absence of "clear[] and unmistakable[]" evidence
that the parties wanted the arbitrator to decide the question.
Stolt-Nielsen did not settle this question, and Oxford Health
presented no opportunity to do so.

The big lesson? To repeat, when you ask for arbitration, you get
what you asked for.  Don't expect the courts to intervene to save
you if the arbitrator gets it wrong.  The implicit bargain in
arbitration is a much faster process and decision in exchange for
a greater risk of error and very few grounds for appeal.  You pay
your money, and you take your chances.

Employers who consider that bargain worthwhile need to take two
steps to avoid being on the wrong side of a class arbitration
award: First, if the intent is to bar class relief in arbitration,
say so.  Clearly and unmistakably.  Don't rely on silence to do
that work for you. Second, make the availability of class relief a
"question of arbitrability" for the courts, instead of the
arbitrator, to decide, and state that, too.  That way, if a court
gets it wrong, you have recourse in and from courts.

Remember, if you love employee arbitration, keep in mind that love
means never having to say you're sorry -- especially if you are
the arbitrator, and especially if you are wrong.

OXFORD HEALTH: Bracewell & Giuliani Discusses Court Ruling
Rachel B. Goldman, Esq. -- rachel.goldman@bgllp.com -- David J.
Ball, Esq. -- david.ball@bgllp.com -- Benjamin A. Ruzow, Esq. --
ben.ruzow@bgllp.com -- at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP, reports that
reflecting the limited judicial review of an arbitrator's
decision, on June 10, 2013, the United States Supreme Court issued
a unanimous opinion in Oxford Health Plans LLC v. Sutter affirming
an arbitrator's interpretation of a contract to allow class action
arbitration in the absence of clear language to the contrary.  The
opinion has broad implications for the availability of class
arbitration and underscores the importance of including language
in contract provisions that specifically precludes class
arbitration.  Without such language, the plaintiffs' bar will
undoubtedly invoke the Sutter decision to permit class arbitration
even where provisions are silent as to the availability of class

Section 10(a)(4) of the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) limits
federal court review of arbitral decisions to circumstances where
the arbitrator exceeds his or her powers.  See 9 U.S.C. Sec.
10(a)(4).  This restrictive standard of review was of central
importance to the Sutter case.

In Sutter, Defendant Oxford sought to vacate an arbitrator's
decision on the grounds that the arbitrator exceeded his powers
under FAA Sec. 10(a)(4). Sutter, a pediatrician, contracted with
Oxford, a health insurance company, to provide medical care
services to Oxford members in exchange for payment at certain
rates.  Sutter sued Oxford in New Jersey state court on behalf of
himself and a purported class, alleging Oxford did not make
sufficient payments, in breach of the agreement.   Pointing to an
arbitration clause in the contract providing that any "civil
action concerning any dispute under this Agreement
. . . shall be submitted to final and binding arbitration," Oxford
moved to compel arbitration, which relief was granted.  The
parties, however, agreed to allow the arbitrator to determine
whether the contract allowed class arbitration; class arbitration
was not expressly addressed in the contract. Id. The arbitrator
concluded the contract allowed class arbitration because, in
interpreting the relevant provision, the arbitrator found that its
text evinced an intention by the parties to allow any court
proceeding, including class action proceedings, to be held before
the arbitrator.

The district court denied Oxford's motion to vacate the decision
and the Third Circuit affirmed. Id. During the pendency of the
arbitration, the Supreme Court decided Stolt-Nielsen S.A. v.
AnimalFeeds Int'l Corp., 559 U.S. 662 (2010), which held, among
other things, that "[a]n arbitrator may employ class procedures
only if the parties have authorized them."  Oxford requested the
arbitrator reconsider his opinion in light of Stolt-Nielsen, but
the arbitrator reached the same conclusion.  The district and
appellate courts again affirmed, and the Supreme Court agreed to
hear the case in order to resolve a split of authority among the
United States Courts of Appeals.

In the opinion authored by Justice Kagan, the Court stated that
the scope of its review is extremely limited where a party
challenges an arbitral decision on the ground that the arbitrator
exceeded his powers under the FAA.  Accordingly, the Court held
that the arbitrator's interpretation of the parties' contract was
within the scope of the arbitrator's powers and affirmed the
judgment of the Court of Appeals.  The Court stressed that whether
the arbitrator's interpretation of the parties' contract was
correct made no difference, and the Court even suggested that the
arbitrator's interpretation of the parties' intent may have been
wrong.  ("Nothing we say in this opinion should be taken to
reflect any agreement with the arbitrator's contract
interpretation, or any quarrel with Oxford's contrary reading.").
Rather, the Court emphasized that the only relevant inquiry under
Sec. 10(a)(4) "is not whether the arbitrator construed the
parties' contract correctly, but whether he construed it at all."

The Court's discussion of the Stolt-Nielsen decision is
particularly instructive for practitioners facing potential class
action claims.  Oxford argued that under Stolt-Nielsen an
arbitration decision may be set aside where it "imposes class
arbitration without a sufficient contractual basis."  (quoting
Reply Brief at 5) (emphasis added).  The Court disagreed,
explaining that the arbitral decision in Stolt-Nielsen was vacated
because the arbitrator lacked "any" contractual basis for
requiring class procedures on account of the "unusual" stipulation
between the parties in that case, which conceded that they had
never contemplated class arbitration.  The arbitrator's decision
therefore could not have been based on an analysis of the parties'
intent since they stipulated to having no intent at all.
Accordingly, the arbitrator's decision in Stolt-Nielsen improperly
asserted a policy choice, which was easily distinguishable from
the facts of Sutter, where no stipulation existed and the
arbitrator's analysis turned on a permissible interpretation of
the parties' intended meaning of the contractual language.

The holding reflects the extremely limited review of arbitration
decisions afforded to federal courts, which may only be overturned
"if the arbitrator acts outside the scope of his contractually
delegated authority -- issuing an award that simply reflects his
own notions of economic justice rather than drawing its essence
from the contract."  (internal quotation marks and brackets
omitted). Parties who agree to arbitration simply must be willing
to accept the arbitrator's contractual interpretation.

The Court's opinion in Sutter sends a clear message to prospective
class action defendants: to avoid class arbitration, contract
provisions should explicitly prohibit class arbitration.  Any
uncertainty as to the availability of class arbitration will be
left to the discretion of the arbitrator, whose analysis is
unlikely to be disturbed by a court.  As a result of the Sutter
decision, practitioners would be best-served to amend existing
arbitration provisions to prohibit class arbitration and implement
the same proscriptions in future agreements.

OXFORD HEALTH: Littler Mendelson Discusses Court Ruling
Robert F. Friedman, Esq. -- rfriedman@littler.com -- at Littler
Mendelson reports that on June 10, in Oxford Health Plans LLC v.
Sutter, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous opinion
affirming the arbitrator's construction of an arbitration
agreement that did not expressly address class actions.  The
parties had agreed to allow the arbitrator to decide this issue.
The arbitrator ruled that broad language in the arbitration
agreement addressing causes of action and remedies in arbitration
permitted class arbitration.  The Supreme Court, while not
necessarily agreeing with the arbitrator's rationale, held that
the arbitrator's decision under Section 10(a)(4) of the Federal
Arbitration Act could not be disturbed unless the arbitrator
"strayed from his delegated task of interpreting a contract" and
imposed his own policy choice.  "All we say is that convincing a
court of an arbitrator's error -- even his grave error -- is not
enough.  So long as the arbitrator was 'arguably construing' the
contract -- which this one was -- a court may not correct his
mistakes under Sec.10(a)(4)."

After concluding that the price of agreeing to arbitration is the
potential for mistakes by the arbitrator, Justice Kagan wrote that
the "arbitrator's construction holds, however good, bad, or ugly."
Because the parties had agreed to allow the arbitrator to decide
whether the agreement permitted class arbitration, the Supreme
Court did not decide and expressly held open the issue of whether
the availability of class arbitration is a question for the court
or the arbitrator in the first instance.

This decision reiterates the perils of leaving the issue of class
arbitration unaddressed or "silent" in an arbitration agreement
and then allowing the arbitrator to decide the issue. So long as
the arbitrator purports to interpret the agreement, the
interpretation will not be disturbed.  Businesses should review
their existing arbitration policies and implement express class
action waivers, which are enforceable under the Supreme Court's
decision in AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion, 131 S.Ct. 1740
(2011). A more in-depth analysis of this decision and its
implications for employers can be found here.

PHILADELPHIA: Judge Approves $2.65MM PHA Class Action Settlement
Jon Campisi, writing for The Pennsylvania Record, reports that a
federal judge in Philadelphia has approved a $2.65 million
settlement in a case in which plaintiffs in a class action dating
back to the mid-1990s alleged the defendants violated a consent
decree arising from the original settlement in the litigation.

The case has a long history, dating back to the spring of 1997,
when a woman named Jackie McDowell, a tenant in Philadelphia's
public housing system, filed a class action suit against the
Philadelphia Housing Authority alleging that the agency deprived
her and other class members of their federal rights by failing to
take rising gas rates into consideration with regard to the gas
utility allowances she and the other tenants were entitled to
receive under the United States Housing Act.

The record shows that class certification was granted through a
May 22, 1997 court order, and that the case was settled via a
stipulation and consent decree the following January.

The settlement agreement that was approved late last month by U.S.
District Judge Mitchell S. Goldberg, of the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania, establishes a fund in the amount of $2,650,000 to be
distributed among 5,642 class members, and also provides for
attorneys' fees for plaintiffs' counsel in the amount of $730,000.

The court granted the parties' joint motion for preliminary
approval of the proposed settlement back on Jan. 28 of this year.

The plaintiffs had alleged that the PHA violated the earlier
consent decree when it failed to factor rising gas prices into the
gas utility allowances given to the public housing tenants for the
periods of July 1, 1999 through Dec. 21, 2002, and Oct. 31, 2005
through Nov. 30, 2006, the record shows.

Attorney Harris T. Bock was appointed as master and given the
authority to make reports and recommendations concerning the
identification of class members and the calculation and payment of
compensation by the defendants, according to Judge Goldberg's May
24 memorandum and order.

The record shows that the parties began extensive negotiations in
the spring of 2011, both independently and with the assistance of
U.S. Magistrate Judge Felipe Restrepo.

In his memorandum approving the settlement, Judge Goldberg praised
the parties for coming to an agreement over the dispute, writing
that the proposed settlement was "fair, reasonable and adequate."

"The settlement reflects good faith, arms-length negotiations
between the parties as to the reasonable valuation of Plaintiffs'
claims and the attorneys' fees expended," Judge Goldberg wrote.

Judge Goldberg also praised both Magistrate Judge Restrepo for
helping to guide settlement negotiations, and the plaintiffs'
lawyers, who are staff members at Community Legal Services, which
aids low-income residents with legal matters.

According to the court docket in the case, the CLS attorneys who
worked on the case, and who are expected to receive the counsel
fees, are identified as follows: George Gould, Michael Donahue,
Paul A. Brooks, Rachel Garland, and Roxane L. Crowley.

"The settlement fund is adequate and will provide recovery for all
of the class members without delay or the risk of an adverse
determination," Judge Goldberg wrote.

The judge noted that none of the plaintiffs objected to the

This latest settlement comes more than 16 years after the
litigation was first initiated by McDowell and her co-plaintiffs.

PILOT FLYING J: Eagle Motor Files Class Action Over Rebate Scheme
Sindhu Sundar Max Stendahl and Andrew Scurria, writing for Law360,
report that diesel retailer Pilot Flying J and CEO James Haslam --
who owns the Cleveland Browns -- were hit with a proposed class
action on June 7 by yet another disgruntled trucking company
client claiming they lured in clients by dangling discounted fuel
rates and later withheld such discounts.

The latest complaint filed in Alabama federal court was brought by
trucking company Eagle Motor Freight Inc., which claims that Pilot
Flying J, Haslam and other alleged co-conspirators engaged in a
scheme to defraud its customers.  The scheme was revealed when a
court document filed by an FBI agent was unsealed, bringing to
light the criminal investigation of Pilot and its employees over
the alleged scam, according to the complaint.

The FBI affidavit, which was filed in Tennessee federal court in
February, had indicated it was investigating a supposed scheme by
Pilot employees to boost profits and increase sales commissions
while denying their clients the diesel fuel rebates that Pilot had
used to reel them in.

"Pilot Flying J systematically and intentionally targeted what it
considered to be customers who might not have the manpower or
financial sophistication to discover that [it] was cheating them,"
Eagle Motor claims in the suit.  "The defendants' scheme to
shortchange Pilot Flying J's customers was so pervasive that it
became a part of [the company's] culture."

The FBI had filed the affidavit just days after raiding the
company's Knoxville, Tenn., offices. In the document, the agency
alleged that Pilot exploited a program that offered companies
price discounts based on the quantity of fuel they bought.

The program supposedly gave better discounts to customers who
purchased more fuel, and while some buyers received the discount
at the point of sale, others got their savings in the form of a
monthly rebate check.

Eagle Motor detailed the alleged culture of corruption in the
company, describing a meeting in which the company's regional
sales directors were explicitly urged to "fuck 'em early and fuck
'em often," referring to swindling clients out of their discounts,
according to the complaint.

"We've been advised by counsel that class action lawsuits in a
matter like this are expected and no surprise," a Pilot Flying J
representative said in a statement on June 11.  "Our counsel will
review them as they come and defend them appropriately."

The suit follows previous litigation brought by other clients
including Wisconsin-based Edis Trucking Inc., which sued Pilot
Flying J and others in Illinois federal court in May.

Pilot Flying J owns and runs the largest truck stop chain and is
the country's top retailer of diesel fuel, according to the

Eagle Motor's suit lobs Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt
Organizations Act claims and also accuses the company of breach of
contract, deceptive trade practices and fraudulent
misrepresentation, according to the complaint.

Eagle Motor is represented by David Jonathan Guin and Tammy
McClendon Stokes of Donaldson & Guin LLC, and Rex Slate and
Charles R. Watkins of Guin Stokes & Evans LLC.

Counsel information for Pilot could not immediately be identified.

The case is Eagle Motor Freight Inc. v. Pilot Corp. et al., case
number 2:13-cv-00393, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle
District of Alabama.

PRICE CHOPPER: Recalls Three Varieties of Burst Brand Cookies
Price Chopper Supermarket is voluntarily recalling three varieties
of Burst Cookies -- Brownie, Almond and Raspberry -- a frozen
cookie produced by Jacqueline's Wholesale Bakery and baked off in
all of the chain's in-store bakeries, due to the presence of milk,
a known allergen, which was not declared on the ingredient label.
The product is not harmful in any way to those who are not
allergic to milk products.

The presence of milk in this product was discovered by one of
Price Chopper's corporate quality assurance agents who traced it
back to inaccurate ingredient label information submitted by
Jacqueline's Wholesale Bakery to the chain in September 2012,
providing the impetus for the recall to include product with sell-
by dates of September 5, 2012, through June 21, 2013.

Pictures of the recalled products' labels are available at:


In addition to alerting the media, Price Chopper initiated its
SoundBite recall notification procedure, which uses purchase data
and consumer phone numbers on file in connection with the
company's AdvantEdge (loyalty) card to directly alert those
households that may have purchased the product in question.

Customers are encouraged to return any packages of Burst cookies
to the store for a full refund.

Customers with questions may speak to a Price Chopper Customer
Service Agent by calling the chain's in-house Customer
Communications Center at 1-800-666-7667 X3 between 8:30 a.m. and
7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday or between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00
p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

RAWSON-NEAL: ACLU Files Class Action Over Patient Dumping
Jennifer Kastner, writing for Channel 13 Action News, reports that
a civil rights class action lawsuit has been filed against Rawson-
Neal Psychiatric Hospital in Las Vegas, and several providers and
offices that work with it.

The hospital is accused of busing roughly 1,500 mentally-ill
patients out of the state and essentially dumping them off with no
place to go.

On June 11, the lawsuit was filed in the Nevada Federal Court
System.  Sacramento Civil Rights Attorney Mark Merin and the ACLU
filed jointly, claiming the State of Nevada violated patients'
constitutional rights, like inflicting cruel and unusual

Part of the lawsuit reads, "Plaintiffs were medicated before their
discharge and required to leave the facility under the influence
of powerful anti-psychotic/tranquilizing medication.  While
plaintiffs were in a drugged state, and incompetent to give
informed consent, the standard procedure was for institution staff
to physically escort plaintiffs from the facility and place them
in taxis bound for the Greyhound Bus Station in Las Vegas."

At this time, Mr. Merin believes the biggest struggle to come,
will be getting in touch with, what he said, are hundreds of
patients who were abused by the State of Nevada.

"We want to get in touch with all the people who were bused
illegally.  There's no doubt the state is going to refuse to
provide us with that information on the grounds that it's
confidential patient information.  So, the question is, are they
operating in the patients' best interests? Or, are they operating
in their own best interests, trying to thwart our attempt to reach
these folks and let them know they can be part of a class action

Rawson-Neal could not be reached for comment.

On June 5, the patient who ignited this investigation, a man who
said he was "dumped" in Sacramento, will be at a press conference
held at the ACLU in Las Vegas to discuss the lawsuit.

RAWSON-NEAL: Class Action Lead Plaintiff Seeks Justice
Michael Lopardi, writing for KTNV, reports that the man whose
story sparked the initial investigation into allegations of
patient dumping said he wants justice.

James Brown, 48, is the plaintiff in a class action lawsuit filed
against Rawson-Neal Psychiatric Hospital, some hospital staff
members and other government agencies.  Mr. Brown said his first
trip to Rawson-Neal in February was also his last.

"We were dumped off like unwanted people and we're not supposed to
be treated that way because we're human beings," said Mr. Brown at
a news conference on June 12 with attorneys.

Court records show Mr. Brown was admitted to the hospital for
psychosis, hearing voices and thinking of suicide.  With tears in
his eyes, Mr. Brown said he was discharged after three days, put
in a taxi to the bus station and given a bus ticket to Sacramento,
a 15-hour ride he took with some medicine and Ensure in hand.

"Scary.  Terrifying.  Because I didn't know what to do," said
Mr. Brown.

The court records claim the defendants denied or violated
patients' constitutional rights.

"I am a victim of patient dumping and so are the other people in
the class action lawsuit," said Mr. Brown.

Civil rights attorney Mark Merin and the American Civil Liberties
Union of Nevada filed the suit.

"We're already having people contact us just based on the few
stories that have been published," said Mr. Merin.

The hospital has since fired or disciplined some employees.  The
accusations of "patient dumping" have also sparked debate over the
way the state treats patients with mental needs.

"The government didn't seem particularly outraged," said Allen
Lichtenstein with the ACLU of Nevada.  "It seemed pretty sanguine
about the whole thing, which is why we need to dig deeper, find
out how many people this happened to, what happened to them."

The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services referred
questions about the lawsuit to the state attorney general's
office.  In an emailed statement, department spokeswoman
Mary Woods said the hospital has strengthened policies, undergone
rigorous reviews and brought in national experts to evaluate how
patients are treated at Rawson-Neal.

"I feel like I want the true story be told and I want justice to
be done," Mr. Brown.

Mr. Brown, who moved to Nevada about two years ago from South
Carolina, said he is now living with his daughter in North
Carolina and getting the treatment he needs.

Mr. Merin said the defendants have 30 days to respond to the

SCENIC FRUIT: Recalls Woodstock Organic Pomegranate Kernels
Scenic Fruit Company of Gresham, Oregon, announced it is
voluntarily recalling 5,091 cases (61,092 eight ounce bags) of
Woodstock Frozen Organic Pomegranate Kernels.  Based on an ongoing
epidemiological and traceback investigation by the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of
an illness outbreak, the kernels have the potential to be
contaminated with Hepatitis A virus.

No illnesses are currently associated with Woodstock Frozen
Organic Pomegranate Kernels and product testing to date shows no
presence of Hepatitis A virus in Woodstock Frozen Organic
Pomegranate Kernels.  The Company's decision to voluntarily recall
products is made from an abundance of caution in response to an
ongoing outbreak investigation by the FDA and CDC.  The organic
pomegranates are imported from Turkey.

Products were shipped from February 2013 through May 2013 to UNFI
distribution centers in California, Colorado, Connecticut,
Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington State.  UNFI distribution
centers may have further distributed products to retail stores in
other states.

Woodstock Organic Pomegranate Kernels are sold in eight-ounce (227
gram) resealable plastic pouches (see image) with UPC Code 0 42563
01628 9.  Specific coding information to identify the product can
be found on the back portion of these pouches below the zip-lock
seal. The following lots are subject to this recall:

   * C 0129 (A,B, or C) 035 with a best by date of 02/04/2015
   * C 0388 (A,B, or C) 087 with a best by date of 03/28/2015
   * C 0490 (A,B, or C) 109 with a best by date of 04/19/2015

Pictures of the recalled products' labels are available at:


Hepatitis A is a contagious liver disease that results from
exposure to the hepatitis A virus, including from food.  It can
range from a mild illness lasting a few weeks to a serious illness
lasting several months.  Illness generally occurs within 15 to 50
days of exposure and includes fatigue, abdominal pain, jaundice,
abnormal liver tests, dark urine and pale stool.

Hepatitis A vaccination can prevent illness if given within two
weeks of exposure to a contaminated food.  In rare cases,
particularly consumers who have a pre-existing severe illness or
are immune compromised, Hepatitis A infection can progress to
liver failure.

Persons who may have consumed affected product should consult with
their health care professional or local health department to
determine if a vaccination is appropriate, and consumers with
symptoms of Hepatitis A should contact their health care
professionals or the local health department immediately.

For more information about the outbreak, please visit the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention's Web site at
or call 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636), TTY: (888) 232-6348.

Consumers with the product should not consume the product.  The
product should be disposed of immediately.  Please keep proof of
product purchase.

For questions or more information, contact the Scenic Fruit
Company at 877-927-3434 or e-mail to info@scenicfruit.com from
Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Pacific Daylight

SYNGENTA CROP: Attorneys Defend Court's Order to Unseal Documents
Bethany Krajelis, writing for The Madison-St. Clair Record,
reports that the district court did not abuse its discretion when
it ordered certain documents in the now-settled class action
lawsuit over atrazine to remain under seal, the defendants'
attorneys assert.

In a brief filed earlier in June, attorneys representing Syngenta
Crop Protection LLC and Syngenta AG told the 7th Circuit Court of
Appeals that these documents should remain under seal because they
were never cited and didn't "influence or underpin a judicial

The sealed documents now at issue before the federal appeals panel
were filed as exhibits to the plaintiffs' response brief in
opposition to a motion to dismiss the suit over atrazine, an
agricultural herbicide manufactured and distributed by the
Syngenta defendants.

In 2010, municipalities and water providers in six states
including Illinois sued the Syngenta defendants in federal court,
claiming that atrazine had entered their water supplies and forced
them to incur costs associated with testing, monitoring and
filtering their water.

Represented by attorneys at Korein Tillery in St. Louis and Barron
& Budd in Texas, the plaintiffs settled their suit with the
Syngenta defendants in October 2012 for $105 million.

The defendants' brief comes about a month after the Environmental
Law & Policy Center (ELPC) and Prairie Rivers Network (PRN) filed
its own brief with the 7th Circuit.

These two groups have been fighting to unseal documents in the
suit ever since they intervened in 2011 "for the sole purpose of
enforcing the public's presumption right of access to documents in
the judicial record."

After they filed their first motion to unseal in 2011, U.S.
District Judge J. Phil Gilbert divided most of the sealed
documents into three categories: 1) documents that should be
unsealed because they shouldn't have been designated as
"Confidential Information," 2) documents that should be stricken
because they were duplicates or not cited, and 3) documents that
should remain under seal.

While Judge Gilbert ordered some documents to be unsealed, he held
that the documents not directly cited in the plaintiff's briefs
should remain under seal, a ruling the two groups' unsuccessfully
asked him to reconsider.

ELPC and PRN then appealed to Seventh Circuit, which in 2012
dismissed their appeal for lack of jurisdiction.

In December 2012, Magistrate Judge Philip Frazier, who handled
some preliminary matters for Gilbert in the case, ordered several
dozen more documents to be unsealed.

The Syngenta defendants appealed Judge Frazier's order in regards
to eight of the 86 documents he ordered to be unsealed by April,
claiming they should remain under seal because they contained
"confidential business information" regarding business decisions,
financial information and planning strategies.

Judge Gilbert in March affirmed Judge Frazier's order, ruling that
the Syngenta defendants "repeatedly failed to satisfy . . . the
burden of demonstrating that maintaining the documents under seal
is warranted."

Even though Judge Gilbert's order leaned largely in favor of the
two groups, they appealed to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals
again in March in an attempt to unseal the documents that were not
cited in the plaintiffs' brief.

"The District Court erroneously held that the long-recognized
common law presumption of public access to documents filed in the
judicial record only attaches to a document if a judge
specifically relies on that document in making a decision on the
merits," the groups asserted in their May brief.

The Syngenta defendants, however, contend in their recently-filed
brief that the "law is well-established in this Circuit that
sealed documents that do not influence or underpin a judicial
decision are not subject to a presumption of public access."

"This legal principle is consistent with this Court's own
operating procedures for documents filed under seal in the record
on appeal," they claim, adding that "this common sense approach"
avoids wasting judicial resources that would be required to
conduct document-by-document reviews of confidential documents.

While ELPC and PRN point to the public's right to access to unseal
the documents at issue, the Syngenta defendants assert that this
"right to access . . . is not absolute."

They contend that because the court stated it wouldn't consider
any of the sealed exhibits in reaching its decisions, "the
documents essentially remain nothing more than discovery
materials, for which there is no presumption of public

If the 7th Circuit adopts the "intervenors' proposed bright-line
standard" and orders the unsealing of these documents, the
Syngenta defendants assert that there would be far-reaching

Such a ruling, they contend, would require "district courts  . . .
to unseal extraneous and irrelevant confidential documents simply
because they were attached to a party's motion or brief."

This, they add, "would allow a party to publicly disclose all of
the confidential discovery documents produced by its adversary by
simply attaching the documents to any routine motion."

"Such a rule would have a significant chilling effect on the
willingness of parties to disclose their confidential documents
during discovery since they will no longer be able to rely on the
protections of any court imposed protective order," the Syngenta
defendants assert in their brief.

Michael Pope, Christopher Murphy and Brian Fogerty, all of
McDermott, Will & Emery in Chicago, submitted the brief on
Syngenta's behalf.

Howard Learner, ELPC's president and executive director, and his
colleague, Jennifer Cassel, represent ELPC and PRN.

TAKEDA PHARMACEUTICAL: Australians Join Actos Class Action
According to an article by Eric T. Chaffin of Chaffin Luhana LLP,
available at The Legal Examiner, victims from Australia and New
Zealand who claim to have taken Actos and then developed bladder
cancer are now joining a new class action lawsuit taking place in
the U.S. seeking to hold drug maker Takeda liable for alleged
Actos injuries.

Lead plaintiff Peter Marshall, from Bisbane, Australia, alleges
that he took Actos for about a year and a half before he was
diagnosed with bladder cancer.  He states that Takeda failed to
provide adequate warnings about the risks to patients in
Australia, and that the warnings they did eventually provide in
2011 were even weaker than those applied in the U.S.

             Takeda Late in Providing Actos Warnings

The FDA approved Actos in 1999, but it wasn't until 2011 that the
product label mentioned the risk of bladder cancer in the U.S.  On
June 15, 2011 the FDA warned that those taking the diabetes drug
for over a year may have an increased risk of the disease, based
on the five-year results of a 10-year epidemiological study.
Patients using the drug for long-term maintenance of type 2
diabetes had a 40 percent increased risk of bladder cancer.

Takeda implemented an Actos recall in France in 2011.  In Germany,
the health regulatory agency restricted the use of the drug after
discovering the risks.  But in Australia, the drug remained
available, though with a new warning about bladder cancer that was
added in 2011.  It stated the "use of . . .  pioglitazone, for
more than a year may be associated with an increased risk of
bladder cancer." The news led to a significant drop in Actos
prescriptions, from over 430,000 in 2011 to around 379,000 in

               Actos Lawsuits Likely to Increase

Already over 3,000 actions have been filed against Takeda in the
U.S., but with tens of thousands of Australians and New Zealanders
thought to have taken the drug, the number of people with claims
may soon increase substantially.  Claimants are likely to point to
animal studies conducted by the company that indicated a risk of
tumors long before the drug was released on the market.

"They knew before they even released the drug that it had a
tendency to induce tumors in rats but they proceeded irrespective
of that," said Mr. Marshall's Actos lawyer.

Marshall had undergone treatment for his bladder cancer and is now
in remission, but has been told the cancer may return.  He has
stated that he wasn't sure about taking Actos in the first place,
but decided it would be best to prevent problems with his type 2
diabetes later in life.  The cancer diagnosis was a complete

"I wouldn't want anyone else to have to go through what I have,"
he said.

TENNESSEE: TSEA Sues Over Failure to Provide Lay-Off Notice
Chris Dauphin, Communications Director of Tennessee State
Employees Association (TSEA), on June 11 disclosed that the TSEA
has filed a class action lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Davidson
County against the State of Tennessee charging that the state
violated Tennessee law by failing to give the legally required
60-day notice to hundreds of state employees being laid off before
the end June.  On May 9, 2013, only days after lay-off notices
were sent out, the state shut down its NeoGov job-posting site.
By doing so, hundreds of laid-off state employees were deprived
their right to 60 days of career counseling, job placement and job

TSEA Executive Director Robert O'Connell said, "An intention of
the 60-day notice was to provide laid-off state employees
assistance finding other work, including work within state
government.  When the State shut down their NeoGov job-posting
site on May 9th, they made these things unavailable to all those
employees who had only gotten through the first one-third of their
notice period."

The Association's Complaint seeks a proper 60-day notice, as
provided by law, for any state employee who received a layoff
notice on or around April 19th, 2013.  The lawsuit contends that
the state shut down its NeoGov job posting website portal on
May 9 and posted a notice that states, "job postings are suspended
until June 19, 2013."  TSEA asserts the 60-day notice provision of
the Tennessee Excellence, Accountability and Management (TEAM) Act
-- Tenn. Code Ann. Sec. 8-30-314 -- was included by the
legislature for the state to provide career counseling, job
placement and job testing for laid-off state employees, therefore
only the first 20 days of the 60-day notice issued to state
employees on April 19th can be counted as effective notice.

Late afternoon on June 11, Circuit Court Judge Amanda McClendon
issued a temporary restraining order, ordering the state not to
dismiss any state employees in a layoff "until and unless said
employees have received at least 60 days of notice during which a
list and notice of open and available state jobs have been
accessible by said employees" for job placement.  The temporary
restraining order will remain in effect at least until the June
17th, 2013 hearing on TSEA's request for a temporary injunction.

What is the TSEA?

The Tennessee State Employees Association is a nonprofit
association which advocates the work-related interests of their
members.  TSEA was established for state workers in 1974. For
further information, visit the Web site at www.tseaonline.org.

TOWNSEND FARMS: Faces Class Action in Arizona Over Frozen Berries
KTAR Newsroom reports that a class-action lawsuit was filed on
June 11 in Arizona against a company that recently had its frozen
berry mix recalled from Costco stores because of an outbreak of
hepatitis A.

Seattle-based law firm Marler Clark filed the suit against frozen
food distributor Townsend Farms on behalf of plaintiffs Gayle
Prather and Christopher Mason and other residents who consumed the
recalled berries and later received a hepatitis A vaccination or
immune globulin injection.

The "Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend" frozen berry and
pomegranate seed was identified as the source of a hepatitis A
outbreak among consumers in several Western states.

According to a press release, attorney William Marler "noted that
the class action lawsuit asks that all class members be
compensated for the cost of receiving a hepatitis A vaccine or
immune globulin injection and hepatitis A testing in addition to
time missed from work and other expenses incurred due to exposure
to the virus."

Mr. Marler said the suit will also ask Townsend Farms to reimburse
the public health agencies for providing shot clinics and
investigations related to the outbreak.

"Taxpayers should not be held responsible for this company's sub-
par food safety practices," Mr. Marler said.

TOWNSEND FARMS: Faces Class Action in New Mexico Over Berries
The Associated Press reports that a lawsuit has been filed in New
Mexico against an Oregon company linked to a Hepatitis A outbreak.

A spokeswoman for Seattle-based food safety lawyer Bill Marler
says the suit was filed on June 12 in New Mexico's Bernalillo
County against Townsend Farms.

Similar class action lawsuits have been filed in California,
Hawaii and Washington state.  All of the suits seek compensation
for treatment and reimbursement for vaccines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the outbreak
has grown to 87 people with illnesses in eight states.

Townsend Farms recalled its frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend last
week after health officials reported illnesses, but the Food and
Drug Administration is still investigating the cause.

The CDC says illnesses have been reported in Arizona, California
Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Washington.

TOWNSEND FARMS: Faces Class Action in Wash. Over Frozen Berries
Alexis Krell, writing for The News Tribune, reports that a Port
Ludlow man filed a class-action lawsuit on June 10 on behalf of
Washingtonians who took preventative measures after eating a
frozen berry blend linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A.

A Thurston County man was among 87 people in eight states
diagnosed with a strain of the disease that might be linked to the
berries, according to the state Department of Health and the
federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  He has
recovered since he was diagnosed in March.

The King County Superior Court lawsuit, filed by Jay Seward, seeks
compensation for preventative shots, hepatitis A testing, time
missed from work and other expenses because of exposure to the
virus through the Townsend Farms Organic Antioxidant Blend,
according to Mr. Seward's attorney, William Marler.

It also asks Townsend Farms to cover the costs to public health
agencies as a result of the outbreak.

Mr. Seward and his wife got vaccinated and tested after buying the
berries at a Costco store in California, Mr. Marler said.  The
berries have been removed from Costco shelves, according to the

"One of the ingredients of the frozen Organic Antioxidant Blend,
pomegranate seeds processed in Turkey, may be linked to an illness
outbreak," Townsend Farms said on its website.  "Townsend Farms
Inc. follows industry Good Manufacturing Practices and sanitation
procedures to ensure that its food products are safely handled and

For more information and updates about the outbreak, visit

TOWNSEND FARMS: Idaho Couple Files Class Action Over Berries
James Cramer, writing for Today's 6 News, reports that an Idaho
couple has filed a class-action lawsuit against "Townsend Farms",
after berries sold throughout the western United States, have been
linked to an outbreak of hepatitis A.

The lawsuit has been filed by the Seattle based firm, Marler
Clark, which is the nation's leading law firm for food borne

Attorney Robie G. Russell filed the complaint alongside
Marler Clark, and will be representing Michael and Marisa Berndt
and other Idaho residents who received hepatitis A vaccines after
eating the "Townsend Farms Frozen Berry Blend".

According to the complaint, Michael and Marisa Berndt consumed the
berries that were purchased from Costco in Boise, Idaho on
May 14, 2013.  They both received hepatitis vaccines on June 5
after learning of the outbreak.

"Costco did an excellent job of notifying customers of their
potential exposure to hepatitis A and encouraging them to receive
proper treatment to prevent infection," said attorney William
Marler, who is representing the Berndt family.  "Despite the
lessened chances that they will contract hepatitis A from these
berries, Michael and Marisa are still concerned that their unborn
child could have contracted hepatitis A."

The lawsuit is seeking compensation from the cost of the hepatitis
A vaccine, and time missed from work among other expenses.

"We're also asking Townsend Farms to reimburse public health
agencies for the costs associated with providing shot clinics and
outbreak-related investigations.  Taxpayers should not be held
responsible for this company's sub-par food safety practices,"
Mr. Marler concluded.

UNITED STATES: Native Americans Get $96 Million From Settlement
Tristan Ahtone, writing for Fronteras, reports that Native
Americans in the Southwest have received more than $96 million as
a result of the nation's largest class action lawsuit against the
federal government, and an additional $312 million is expected to
be sent out this fall.

The money comes from a $3.4 billion settlement regarding the
mismanagement of money owed to Native Americans during the last
126 years.

Since 1887, the federal government has managed land owned by
Native Americans, as well as the income those lands generated.
For instance, if a Native person leased land to a company or
individual, the money owed to that person went to an account
managed by the government.

The class action lawsuit Cobell vs. Salazar established that the
money basically disappeared.

There's no clear sense of how much money was lost, however, the
final amount the government had to pay was set at $3.4 billion.

Currently, about $96 million has been sent to Native Americans in
Arizona, New Mexico, California and Texas.

Another round of checks are expected to go out this fall, and will
be substantially more.  For example, Arizona tribal members should
see another $110 million in reimbursements by the end of the year.

UNITED STATES: Class in NSA Snooping Suit May Include 100 People
Emily Babay, writing for Philly.com, reports that a Philadelphia
couple and an activist attorney have filed a class-action lawsuit
over the National Security Agency's collection of Verizon
customers' records.

The suit, filed in federal court in D.C., contends that the NSA's
surveillance violates Verizon users' "reasonable expectation of
privacy, free speech and association, right to be free of
unreasonable searches and seizures, and due process rights."

The lawsuit was filed by activist lawyer Larry Klayman, the
founder of Judicial Watch and a former federal prosecutor, and
Charles and Mary Ann Strange.  Charles Strange is the father of
Navy SEAL Michael Strange, who was killed in a helicopter crash in
Afghanistan in 2011.

The suit is the first to be filed after the Guardian disclosed
that a secret court order required Verizon to hand over call data
from millions of customers to the NSA.

"This case challenges the legality of Defendants' participation
and conduct in a secret and illegal government scheme to intercept
and analyze vast quantities of domestic telephone communications,"
the lawsuit says.

In the suit, the Stranges claim their phone records have been
accessed "particularly since these Plaintiffs have been vocal
about their criticism of President Obama as commander-in-chief,
his administration, and the U.S. military regarding the
circumstances surrounding the shoot down of their son's helicopter
in Afghanistan."

The defendants in the suit are President Barack Obama; the
Department of Justice and Attorney General Eric Holder; the NSA
and its director, Keith Alexander; Verizon and its chief
executive, Lowell McAdam; and Roger Vinson, the judge who signed
the secret order.

The Justice Department declined to comment on the suit.  Verizon
spokesman Raymond McConville, who said he was speaking only for
Verizon, said in an email that the "case is without merit."

The suit calls the order authorizing the collection of Verizon
records "the broadest surveillance order to ever have been
issued."  In a statement, Mr. Klayman said the "violations of free
speech, prohibitions against unreasonable search and seizure, and
due process rights are unprecedented in American history."

The day after the surveillance of Verizon records came to light,
the Washington Post and the Guardian reported on PRISM, a program
in which intelligence agencies mined data from the servers of
major Internet companies.

The suit was filed on June 7 and became a class-action on June 10.
The lawsuit says it believes its class includes more than 100
million people.  The parties are seeking $3 billion in damages, a
cease and desist order to prohibit the surveillance activity, the
expungement of the phone records collected, more disclosure about
the programs and for authorities to take up Vinson's alleged

         Host O'Reilly Calls on NSA to Pull Plug on PRISM

POLITICO.com reports that the recent scandals hitting the
administration are great for Fox News, host Bill O'Reilly said on
June 11.

"This is great for ratings, great for us, but bad for the
country," he said during an appearance on "Fox and Friends."

Mr. O'Reilly said "somebody's got to be prosecuted" if the
National Security Agency is monitoring email content.

On June 10 on his show, Mr. O'Reilly called for the NSA to pull
the plug on its PRISM surveillance program.

"This PRISM program should be shut down immediately," Mr. O'Reilly
said.  "If it's not, a class action suit should be filed and the
Supreme Court should hear it as quickly as it can."

Mr. O'Reilly said another program involving the monitoring of the
metadata of phone calls is "questionable" but permissible, but he
called the top-secret PRISM program revealed to the media by
Edward Snowden a "massive intrusion."

"You can't just seize everything and say you're doing so to try
and root out terrorism.  You have to have probable cause to
violate the privacy of Americans," he said, going on to quote the
Fourth Amendment.

Mr. O'Reilly said the danger is in a corrupt government official
who could look at stored email data.

"Who's gonna stop them?" he said.

President Barack Obama wants a powerful federal government that
"runs nearly everything," Mr. O'Reilly said, so these revelations
are "consistent."

"This is dangerous," he said.  "The IRS scandal proves the federal
government can and has abused its power for political reason,
simply can't have American authorities spying on the voters,
storing their emails, this can't happen."

On June 11, Mr. O'Reilly said, "The thread of Benghazi, of James
Rosen, of IRS, of this listening deal, there's one thread -- who's
in charge? There's nobody in charge."

UNITED STATES: Larry Klayman Files Class Action Over PRISM Program
Steven Nelson, writing for US News, reports that former Justice
Department prosecutor Larry Klayman filed a federal class-action
lawsuit on June 12 against the nine companies named in a top-
secret National Security Agency document published June 6 as
partners in the NSA's PRISM Internet surveillance program.

The lawsuit seeks $20 billion in damages and attorney fees and an
injunction ending the highly controversial program that began in

In addition to the nine companies named in a leaked NSA slideshow
as providing government investigators direct, real-time access to
their servers -- AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, PalTalk,
Skype, Yahoo! and YouTube -- the lawsuit targets the CEOs of each
company, the telecom companies AT&T and Sprint and their CEOs,
President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric Holder, NSA director
Keith Alexander, the Department of Justice and the NSA.

Each of the nine companies has denied knowledge of, or
participation in, the PRISM program.

There are three named plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit filed
Wednesday: Charles Strange, a Pennsylvania father whose son
Michael, a Navy SEAL Team VI member, died in Afghanistan in 2011,
and California private investigators Michael Ferrari and Matt

"Defendants' willful acts constitute outrageous conduct insofar as
they violated Plaintiffs' and Class members' basic democratic
rights, constitutional rights, and exposed them to beyond an
'Orwellian regime of totalitarianism,'" the lawsuit says.
"Plaintiffs' and Class members' rights are being surrendered in
secret to the demands of unaccountable intelligence and other
government agencies, as well as all of the Defendants."

The actions of Obama and the other government officials named in
the lawsuit "chill, if not 'kill,' speech by instilling in
Plaintiffs, members of the Class, and over a hundred million of
Americans the fear that their personal and business conversations
with other U.S. citizens and foreigners are in effect tapped and
illegally surveyed," the lawsuit says.

Mr. Klayman filed a similar class-action lawsuit on June 10
against Verizon and several government officials for collecting
the phone records of millions of Americans with a secret court
order.  Within a few months, Mr. Klayman told U.S. News, the court
will likely define the class the suit seeks to represent by ruling
that "everyone's in" or by allowing Verizon customers to either
opt-in or out-out of that class.  He intends for the two cases to
be considered jointly.

In a statement on June 12, Mr. Klayman said: "The American people
can . . . use these class actions to 'man the barricades of
freedom' against the establishment government despots and their
corporate enablers who seek to enslave them through coercive
abuses of their privacy.  This Orwellian power grab can only be
intended to blackmail the masses into submission in order that
these modern day greedy tyrants achieve their corrupt ends."

Both lawsuits were filed in the U.S. District Court for the
District of Columbia.  Mr. Klayman founded the pro-transparency
legal group Judicial Watch in 1994 and currently leads an
organization called Freedom Watch.

          Sen. Rand Backs Klayman's Snooping Class Action

Sonoran News reports that on June 10, Larry Klayman (r), the
founder of Judicial Watch and now Freedom Watch and a former
Justice Department prosecutor, announced that he has expanded his
lawsuit against President Barack Obama, Attorney General Eric
Holder, the heads of the National Security Agency (NSA) and
Verizon, the entities themselves, and the federal judge, Roger
Vinson, who signed the warrant allowing for the alleged illegal
violation of the constitutional rights of well over a hundred
million subscribers and users, to be a class action lawsuit.  The
complaint, which can be found at www.freedomwatchusa.org, was
amended on June 12 in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Columbia. (Case No. 1:13-cv-OO851).

Importantly, Fox News Sunday June 9, Senator Rand Paul, a strict
constitutionalist, expressed support for a class action lawsuit,
obviously knowing that Mr. Klayman had already filed one since it
has been widely reported.

"I applaud Senator Paul for effectively endorsing our lawsuit, and
agree with him that it will serve as a vehicle to have tens and
perhaps hundreds of millions of Americans rise up against
government tyranny, which has grown to historic proportions.  Even
the New York Times has recently opined that the Obama
administration has lost all credibility.  For this venerable
newspaper to make such a strong statement shows just how serious
the Obama administration's alleged violation of the constitutional
rights of citizens has become.  For the issue of the preservation
of civil liberties is not a left or right issue, but one for all
Americans to rise up and fight for.  We cannot allow a 'Big
Brother,' Orwellian government spy on the American people to
access their confidential communications to effectively turn
'citizens into its prisoners.'  That is why this class action
lawsuit, which all Verizon users are welcome to join, no matter
what their political persuasion, will serve as the vehicle for a
second American revolution, one that is carried out peacefully and
legally -- but also forcefully.  It now falls on a 'jury of our
peers' to make sure that justice is done to end this illegal and
coercive power grab -- before it, like a malignant cancerous
tumor, destroys the body politic of our great nation.  Our
Founding Fathers would be proud," stated Mr. Klayman.

VALLEY COMPREHENSIVE: Faces Class Action Over Unpaid Final Wages
Kyla Asbury, writing for The West Virginia Record, reports that
two women are suing Valley Comprehensive Community Mental Health
Center for allegedly failing to pay their final wages in a timely

Valley Comprehensive is doing business as Valley HealthCare

Shelley Weaver and Tesla Hoskins, individually and on behalf of
those similarly situated, claim the defendant failed to pay their
final wages within 72 hours of discharging them from their
employment, according to a complaint filed June 5 in Monongalia
Circuit Court.

Weaver and Hoskins claim they seek relief pursuant to Rule 23 of
the West Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure on behalf of all
persons formerly employed by the defendant at any time in the five
years prior to the filing of this complaint through class
certification in West Virginia who were discharged and not paid
all wages within 72 hours of their discharge.

The defendant failed to pay Weaver and Hoskins, as well as other
similarly situated class members their final employment wages in
full within 72 hours of discharge, according to the suit.

The plaintiffs claim the defendants violated the West Virginia
Wage Payment and Collection Act.

The plaintiffs are seeking compensatory damages with pre- and
post-judgment interest.  They are being represented by Todd S.
Bailess -- bailesslaw@gmail.com -- and Joy B. Mega of Bailess Law
PLLC; and Rodney A. Smith and Jonathan R. Marshall of Bailey &
Glasser LLP.

Monongalia Circuit Court case number: 13-C-429

VERIZON: Accused of Allegedly Building Fiber-Optic Line for NSA
Michael Kelley, writing for Business Insider, reports that for
years Americans' right to privacy, as granted by the Fourth
Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, has come under threat as the
country's surveillance systems have grown.

After intelligence leaks by former National Security Agency
employee Edward Snowden, however, the NSA's domestic dragnet is
finally getting the attention that many people feel it deserves.

James Risen and Eric Lichtblau of The New York Times -- who won a
Pulitzer Prize in 2005 for this story on the NSA gaining the
cooperation of U.S. telecommunications companies to obtain
backdoor access to customer data -- mentioned a detail from 2007:

In Virginia, a telecommunications consultant reported, Verizon had
set up a dedicated fiber-optic line running from New Jersey to
Quantico, Va., home to a large military base, allowing government
officials to gain access to all communications flowing through the
carrier's operations center.

Business Insider recently wrote about a 2006 report by James
Bamford of Wired -- who wrote a book on the nation's premier
covert intelligence gathering organization -- which detailed how
the NSA hired two companies with ties to Israeli intelligence to
bug the communications of AT&T.

The news about the Verizon-NSA fiber optic connection came from a
class action lawsuit brought by a former AT&T engineer who worked
on a proposal to give the NSA access to all the global phone and
email traffic that ran through an AT&T network center in
Bedminster, N.J.

The Israeli hardware, which can record data that comes through an
internet protocol network, was discovered by a former AT&T
engineer named Mark Klein and confirmed by former NSA senior
executive Thomas Drake.

Another former NSA employee named William Binney, who, like
Mr. Snowden, believes the NSA's surveillance has gone too far,
says that ever since 9/11 the NSA has been hoarding electronic
data -- phone calls, GPS information, emails, social media,
banking and travel records, entire government databases -- and
analyzes, in real time, "all of the attributes that any individual
has" in addition to making networks of connections between

Mr. Binney, one of the best mathematicians and code breakers in
NSA history, quit after 32 years in late 2001 because, in his
view, he "could not stay after the NSA began purposefully
violating the Constitution."

Edward Snowden, meanwhile, asserts that the vast majority of human
communications -- including data from Google, Apple, Facebook,
Skype, and YouTube -- are "automatically ingested [by the NSA]
without targeting."

Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsburg described the disclosures,
which included the first concrete evidence of the NSA's domestic
surveillance apparatus, as the most important leak in American

But it's unclear what kind of changes the leaks will spur as the
Obama administration has no plans to scrap the broad spying

In October the NSA will begin data-mining at a $2 billion Utah
Data Center, with help in Tennessee from the Titan Supercomputer
-- reportedly the most powerful computer the world has ever known.

Mr. Bamford, the Wired writer who wrote the 2006 article about NSA
surveillance, published the following details about the new
facility in Reuters on June 10:

Designed to run at exaflop speed, executing a million trillion
operations per second, it will be able to sift through enormous
quantities of data -- for example, all the phone numbers dialed in
the United States every day.

So as Mr. Snowden hides, the NSA continues to intercept and
analyze an estimated 1.7 billion U.S. electronic communications
each day.

VOLKSWAGEN: Faces Class Action in Australia Over Recall
Daniel Mercer, The West Australian, reports that hundreds of WA
motorists could join a multimillion-dollar class action against
German car-making giant Volkswagen amid claims that faulty
engineering has left many models unsafe.

News of WA's involvement in the case came as Audi, which is owned
by VW, announced on June 12 it would recall more than 6000 A1 and
A3 hatchbacks over the same safety concerns.

Skoda -- VW's budget brand -- also moved to recall about 1800

It adds to the fallout from the June 11 announcement in which VW
said it would recall almost 26,000 cars across Australia after
suspicions were raised about its direct-shift gearbox.

The recall affected Golf, Jetta, Polo, Passat and Caddy models
made between June 2008 and September 2011 and which carried the
seven-speed version of the gearbox.

However, The West Australian understands there are also concerns
about the safety of other aspects of VW models that contain the
118TSI engine -- such as some makes of Golf and Tiguan.

The engines, hundreds of which are in cars on WA roads, were not
covered as part of the recall, despite fears they are also faulty
and prone to failure.

VW has faced growing calls to fix the problems surrounding its
trouble-plagued models in Australia after similar issues overseas
prompted wholesale recalls.

Steve Makris, a Melbourne real estate agent who is spearheading a
planned class action against VW, estimated "hundreds and hundreds"
of WA owners could take part in the move.

Mr. Makris attacked VW, saying it had only offered to recall
suspect models at the "11th hour" under heavy pressure from the
media and it was "too little, too late".

He argued that instead of simply repairing cars, which he claimed
were often liable to fail again, the company should be offering to
replace models or refund owners whose cars were defective.

"Some people have had up to five motors changed," Mr. Makris said.

"I mean, doesn't that tell you there's something seriously wrong
with your technology."

Widespread reports have emerged about affected cars suddenly
decelerating or shuddering.

The problems have also been linked to the death of a 32-year-old
Victorian woman in 2011.

Melissa Ryan was killed on the Monash Freeway in Melbourne while
driving a 2008 Golf after the car inexplicably lost speed and was
rear-ended by another vehicle.

VW was contacted for comment.

WELLS FARGO: Gets Favorable Ruling in Mortgage Kickback Class Suit
Kurt Orzeck, Erica Teichert and Daniel Wilson, writing for Law360,
report that a Maryland federal jury on June 7 let Wells Fargo Bank
NA and off the hook in a class action claiming it created a front
organization funneling mortgage referrals from Long & Foster Real
Estate Inc. to Wells Fargo in exchange for kickbacks.

The class, which consisted of Prosperity Mortgage Co. customers,
argued the alleged front organization was designed to circumvent
consumer protection laws.  But the jury returned a verdict in
favor of the defendants, finding that Prosperity wasn't a sham.

Prosperity, formed by a 1993 joint venture between a predecessor
of Wells Fargo and an affiliate of Long & Foster, was a bona fide
provider of settlement services, according to the jury.  The jury
also found that the plaintiffs didn't prove that Long & Foster
referred or affirmatively influenced the plaintiffs to use the
mortgage company for the provision of settlement services, nor did
the plaintiffs prove a similar relationship between Wells Fargo
and Prosperity.

The suit began in December 2007, when a putative class of
Prosperity customers alleged the joint venture between the
independent mortgage lender, Wells Fargo and Long & Foster was
bogus.  The alleged front organization was designed to circumvent
consumer protection laws, violating the Real Estate Settlement
Procedures Act, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations
Act, and the Maryland Consumer Protection Act, the class said.

The original putative class sought to represent all Prosperity
consumers from 1993 onward, but the court cautioned that RESPA's
one-year statute of limitations required different inquiries into
the claims of customers from before and after Prosperity changed
its business practices.

In January 2012, U.S. District Judge William M. Judge Nickerson
decided that the tolling class, made up of plaintiffs who were
Prosperity Mortgage Co. customers before December 2006, couldn't
pursue a kickbacks claim.  The judge said the claim only applied
to customers who worked with Prosperity after being referred there
by Long & Foster.

In February 2013, Judge Nickerson dealt the plaintiffs another
blow when he dismissed their conspiracy claims, saying the
provision for a conspiracy claim hadn't been written into RESPA.

In the same ruling, also granted Wells Fargo and Long & Foster's
motions for summary judgment on the plaintiffs' Maryland Finder's
Fee Act claims, a law making it illegal for a mortgage broker to
collect a finder's fee in any transaction where it or one of its
owners is also the lender.

Two months later, Judge Nickerson decertified the tolling class,
saying it had become unmanageable.

In that ruling, he also said the so-called timely class, composed
of plaintiffs who became Prosperity customers after the business
practice change in late 2006, was too complex for a potential jury
and needed to be shrunk down from the more than 150,000 it
represented.  He limited the class to clients who were referred to
Prosperity by Long & Foster and had their loans passed on to Wells

The defendants didn't score a total victory, however, as the judge
refused to dismiss the case over subject matter jurisdiction, as
they had requested.

Nevertheless, the defendants escaped the lawsuit when the Maryland
jury returned its verdict Friday after 17 days of deliberation.

Attorneys for Foley & Lardner LLP, which is representing Long &
Foster, said on June 7 that they were pleased with the jury's

"This is a very gratifying ruling for a variety of reasons, but
most of all because plaintiffs' case attacked the business model
of [Long & Foster] and the one-stop shopping model that affiliated
business arrangements and joint ventures everywhere utilize," they
said.  "We think the jury saw the value that these arrangements
bring to the marketplace and to consumers."

"We are pleased with the jury's decision and we appreciate putting
this matter behind us," Wells Fargo agreed on June 7.  "Joint
venture companies operate independently and have access to
mortgage products from a number of investors, including Wells
Fargo.  [The] decision allows our Wells Fargo Venture companies
and Wells Fargo team members to continue to provide valuable
support to our customers."

Attorneys for the plaintiffs didn't immediately respond to
requests for comment on June 7.

The plaintiffs are represented by Cyril V. Smith --
csmith@zuckerman.com -- and William K. Meyer --
wmeyer@zuckerman.com -- of Zuckerman Spaeder LLP, and Richard S.
Gordon, Benjamin H. Carney and Thomas M. McCray-Worrall of Gordon
& Wolf Chtd.

Wells Fargo is represented by Andrew Jay Graham --
agraham@kg-law.com and John A. Bourgeois -- jbourgeois@kg-law.com
-- of Kramon & Graham PA, and Irene C. Freidel, Brian M. Forbes
and David D. Christensen of K&L Gates LLP.

Prosperity is represented by David L. Permut --
dpermut@goodwinprocter.com -- Sabrina Rose-Smith --
srosesmith@goodwinprocter.com -- and Sirisha V. Kalicheti of
Goodwin Procter LLP.

Long & Foster is represented by Jay N. Varon -- jvaron@foley.com
-- Melinda F. Levitt -- mlevitt@foley.com -- Jennifer M. Keas --
jkeas@foley.com -- and Jennifer N. Toussaint --
jtoussaint@foley.com -- of Foley & Lardner LLP.

The case is Minter et al. v. Wells Fargo Bank NA et al., case
number 1:07-cv-03442, in the U.S. District Court for the District
of Maryland.

WET SEAL: Awaits OK of $7.5-MM Settlement of Discrimination Suit
The Wet Seal, Inc., is awaiting court approval of its $7.5 million
settlement of a nationwide class action lawsuit over disparate
treatment discrimination of African American employees, according
to the Company's May 10, 2013, Form 8-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission.

On May 8, 2013, The Wet Seal, Inc. (the "Company") and the Class
Representatives of a nationwide class action titled, Nicole
Cogdell et al. v. The Wet Seal, Inc., et al., Case No.12-CV-01138
AG (ANx), in the U.S. District Court, Central District of
California, filed papers memorializing an amicable resolution
pending final court approval.  This nationwide class action was
filed on behalf of certain of the Company's current and former
African American retail store employees.  The complaint alleged
various violations under 42 U.S.C. Section 1981, including
allegations that the Company engaged in disparate treatment
discrimination of those African American current and former
employees in promotion to management positions and against African
American store management employees with respect to compensation
and termination from 2008 through the present.  The Plaintiffs
also alleged retaliation.  The May 8, 2013 Settlement Agreement
provides for a cash payment of $7.5 million and also includes
programmatic relief under which the Company agrees to post open
positions, implement new selection criteria and interview
protocols, revamp its annual performance reviews and compensation
structure, add regional human resources directors, implement more
diversity and inclusion communications and training for field and
corporate office employees, and enhance its investigations
training and processes.  The Company also has reflected its
commitment to use diverse models in its marketing and to
partnerships with organizations dedicated to the advancement and
well-being of African Americans and other diverse groups.

The Wet Seal, Inc. -- http://www.wetsealinc.com/-- is a specialty
retailer of fashionable and contemporary apparel and accessory
items.  The Company was incorporated in Delaware and is
headquartered in Foothill Ranch, California.

WINDSET FARMS: Faces Class Action Over Unfair Business Practices
In a class action complaint filed by Villegas Carrera LLP and
Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky LLP on behalf of current and
former employees of Windset Farms (California), Inc., Windset
Farms Labor Management (California), Inc. (and Pacheco Brothers,
Inc., and Pacheco Labor Services, Inc., Plaintiffs allege that
Windset Farms cheated workers out of a minimum wage and overtime
pay and failed to provide them with meal and rest periods.  The
lawsuit was filed on May 31, 2013, in the Santa Barbara County
Superior Court, Santa Maria Division.

The lawsuit was filed by Villegas Carrera, LLP and Schneider
Wallace Cottrell Brayton Konecky LLP, on behalf of Jose Vidales,
Marin Briseno, and Erika Saurez, three former employees of Windset
Farms and Pacheco.

The suit seeks relief for the three Plaintiffs and current and
former employees, for unpaid wages and penalties for work
performed from 2008 through the present.

According to the complaint, in order to avoid paying overtime, the
employer required employees to work prior to and after clocking in
and prevented the workers from taking full rest and meal breaks as
required by law.

"We would put our uniforms on, gather our equipment, and stand in
long lines prior to clocking in, so we weren't paid for all that
time.  Then we would pick and pack tomatoes all day and only had
15 minutes to eat lunch because we had to walk so far to get to
the lunchrooms.  Many workers were not allowed to use the bathroom
and they got sick," said Jose Vidales, one of the lead Plaintiffs
in the case.

Karen Carrera, partner at Villegas Carrera LLP, represents many
low-wage workers for violation of state and federal wage and hour
laws.  Ms. Carrera states, "this is a particularly outrageous case
because, in addition to not being fully compensated for regular
and overtime wages, the employees allege they were verbally
harassed daily by the employer, were not allowed to use the
bathroom for long periods of time and did back-breaking work under
very difficult conditions."

Carolyn Cottrell, partner at the Schneider Wallace Cottrell
Konecky law firm, also represents many low-wage workers for
violation of state and federal wage and hour laws.  Ms. Cottrell
confirms that it is common for employers like these to deprive
their hardworking employees of appropriate pay for all time

"The complaint alleges that despite the extreme working conditions
that our clients were exposed to, these employers were so callous
as to refuse to provide the employees with legally mandated meal
and rest periods.  In this lawsuit, our clients merely ask for the
same rights as all other hourly workers in California ? to be paid
a lawful wage for their time worked and to be provided meal and
rest periods to which they are entitled."

The class action lawsuit was brought under the California Labor
Code and Business and Professions Code Sec. 17200, the "Unfair
Business Practices" statute, which allows a plaintiff to sue
businesses that engage in unfair business practices to gain a
competitive advantage over their competition.  The California
Supreme Court has ruled in a unanimous decision that the failure
to pay wages is an unfair business practice.  Cortez v. Purolator
(2000) 23 Cal 4th 163.

California's wage and hour laws require hourly workers to be paid
one and a half times their regular rate of pay for any hours
worked in excess of eight in a day and in excess of 40 in a week.
They require payment of double the regular rate for hours worked
in excess of 12 in a day.  Furthermore, California has strict
requirements that employers must provide meal and rest breaks to
their employees throughout their workday.

Mr. Vidales, Mr. Briseno and Ms. Suarez seek recovery of unpaid
wages, penalties and interest on behalf of themselves and all
current and former employees that picked and packed goods destined
for markets throughout California.  They also seek injunctive
relief that, if granted, would force Windset Farms and Pacheco to
comply with the applicable wage and hour laws and pay their
employees appropriately.

Windset Farms is a multi-national corporation based in Canada that
operates in Santa Maria, California, Las Vegas, Nevada, and
throughout Canada.  Windset Farms sells its produce at dozens of
markets throughout California, North America and abroad.  Pacheco
provides farm labor to farms throughout California.

* Arnold & Porter Discusses Surge of TCPA Class Actions
Carolyn Pearce, Esq. -- Carolyn.Pearce@aporter.com -- at Arnold &
Porter LLP report that the law firm has previously discussed class
action lawsuits raising claims under the federal Telephone
Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), involving allegations of improper
use of cell phone numbers to send unsolicited text messages,
faxes, or calls to consumers.

In May, Papa John's agreed to pay $16.5 million to resolve a "text
spamming" nationwide class action certified in November.  The
proposed settlement, which must still be approved by the federal
judge overseeing the case in the Western District of Washington,
provides that each class member who submits a claim will receive a
$50 payment from Papa John's, and all class members will
automatically receive a voucher for a free Papa John's pizza.

Papa John's is far from the only company dealing with TCPA class
action allegations.  Last month, a federal judge also approved a
$10 million settlement resolving a text spamming class action
against shoe retailer Steve Madden.  Another federal court
recently rejected The Coca-Cola Co.'s attempt  at dismissing a
TCPA text spamming putative class action, noting that all is
required to plead a valid TCPA claim was that a call or text was
made to plaintiff's cell phone, and that it was done using an
automated dialing system.

These are just a few examples of the surge of class action
lawsuits brought under the TCPA in recent years, as plaintiffs and
their counsel are drawn to the enticing possibility of statutory
damages in the amount of $500 for each violation and up to $1,500
for each willful violation.  While some defense attorneys have
high hopes that the Supreme Court's recent Comcast decision might
make certification of TCPA class actions more difficult, it is
unclear what effect the decision might have on courts handling
TCPA cases.  On one hand, while not citing Comcast, California
federal judge just this week denied class certification in a
lawsuit alleging that phone sex operator Network Telephone
Services violated the TCPA by sending unsolicited text messages,
holding that the class was unascertainable and that individual
issues, such as whether class members had seen disclosures of text
message practices and whether the class member had attempted to
opt-out, predominated.  On the other hand, a Florida judge last
week vehemently rejected a reconsideration request made by a TCPA
defendant on the grounds that the Comcast decision justified
revisiting the court's prior class certification decision.  Judge
Scola of the Southern District of Florida held that he did not
believe that the Comcast decision "treads any new ground in class
action law" and rather the case simply "restates rules from Wal-
Mart Stores v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011), and other prior

To throw even more fuel on the TCPA fire, at the end of May the
FCC issued a declaratory ruling that sellers who are using third-
party telemarketers may still be vicariously liable for the third
parties' violations of the TCPA under principles of agency.
According to the FCC, companies that hire third party marketers to
promote on their behalf can still be liable for unauthorized
conduct of that third party, "if the seller knew (or reasonably
should have known) that the telemarketer was violating the TCPA on
the seller's behalf and the seller failed to take effective steps
within its power to force the telemarketer to cease that conduct."

One thing is clear: just as unsolicited phone calls, texts, and
faxes continue to pester American consumers, TCPA lawsuits
continue to flood into courts around the country and cause
substantial annoyances for companies across the country.

* EU's Proposed Rules to Pave Way for Antitrust Class Actions
Naftali Bendavid, writing for The Wall Street Journal, reports
that the European Union on June 11 proposed giving consumers
significant new powers in antitrust cases, reflecting a concern
that a patchwork of national laws makes it hard for victims to win

The European Commission, the EU's executive body, also outlined
rules to make collective redress, or class-action cases, more
uniform across the bloc, though those rules would be non-binding.

In both cases, officials were at pains to stress that they were
not proposing a U.S.-style class action system, whose punitive
damages and contingency fees have made it anathema to businesses.
European leaders have long sought ways to empower consumers
without falling into what they see as the excesses of the U.S.

Under the June 11 package, which still requires approval from the
European Parliament and European Council, national courts could
order companies to disclose evidence in antitrust cases -- an
attempt to help victims who can have little access to the
information needed to make their case.

The commission also would require courts to treat a finding of
violation by a national antitrust agency as evidence that the
violation occurred.  And it would ensure that consumers or small
businesses who have paid higher prices passed on by intermediaries
could collect compensation.

EU officials said that while all its member states have some
system for claiming compensation, the legal obstacles have
resulted in victims actually seeking repayment in fewer than 25%
of cases.

             British Business Groups Say Consumer Bill
                       to Spur Class Actions

James Waterson, writing for City A.M., reports that British
business groups on June 12 pledged to fight against part of the
government's proposed consumer rights bill, which they believe
opens the door to US-style class action lawsuits.

The CBI?said the draft bill, unveiled by business minister Jo
Swinson on June 12, risks "fuelling a litigation culture" by
allowing members of the public, businesses, or consumer
associations to bring collective legal actions on an opt-out

Although initially limited to cases involving alleged breaches of
competition law, the CBI?warns it could make the UK "a worse place
to do business".

The British Chambers of Commerce echoed their concerns, saying it
"could establish a dangerous and unwelcome precedent".  Lawyers
have previously warned such a reform could attract competition
lawsuits from across Europe to UK tribunals.

The bill also hands consumers the right to receive money back if
replacement goods fail a second time, demand substandard building
work is redone, and extends more protection to digital purchases.

It also introduces a set 30-day period when consumers can return
faulty goods and obtain a full refund.

           Europe Not Heading for US-Style Class Actions

Francesca Nyman, writing for Insurance Insight, reports that the
European Commission has said Europe is not heading for US-style
class action lawsuits, despite recommending the establishment of
collective redress mechanisms in European Union member states.

The recommendation, published on June 12, asks EU countries to
provide for collective redress mechanisms in national law and/or
ensure that such mechanisms comply with the common European

The introduction of collective redress will affect citizens and
companies when they are involved in a litigation concerning a
"mass harm situation" where a large number of persons are harmed
by the same illegal practice.

Member States will have two years to implement the recommendation.

In a statement, the commission said that it hoped that a number of
procedural safeguards would prevent abuses of collective redress

It said: "As a general rule, the commission recommends opt-in
systems of collective redress.  This means that the claimant group
should in principle include only those individuals or legal
persons who actively decided to join the represented group for
purposes of the specific case at hand.  Opt-out principles systems
are the exception and should be duly justified by reasons of sound
administration of justice."

"Such mechanisms should be available horizontally, in different
areas where Union law grants rights to citizens and companies
(such as consumer protection, competition, environment protection,
financial services, data protection)."

It added: "The collective redress mechanisms established at
national level should be accompanied by important procedural
safeguards aimed at protecting the procedural rights of the
parties and avoiding incentives to abuse the collective redress

"It should be verified at the earliest possible stage of
litigation that manifestly unfounded cases are not continued.
member states should also avoid lawyers' fees calculated as a
percentage of the compensation awarded (contingency fees) and
punitive damages (awarded in excess of actual damage or loss
suffered by the claimants)," it added.

The recommendation follows a public consultation in 2011 in which
around 300 institutions and experts as well as 10,000 citizens
expressed their views on the European framework for collective
redress.  According to the commission the consultation
demonstrated "a divergence of views among stakeholders and a need
for balanced solutions".

* Firms Face Dilemma in Selecting Securities Class Action Counsel
Douglas W. Greene, Esq. -- greened@lanepowell.com -- at Lane
Powell PC reports that when selecting counsel to defend them
against a securities class action, companies usually face the
question of whether they want to hire attorneys from their regular
outside corporate firm. Sometimes, companies will retain their
regular outside firm as a matter of course, without even going
through an audition process to interview other potential defense

But while such an arrangement is frequent, it can be
inappropriate.  Ethical and practical conflicts lurk beneath the
surface that can make it unwise for a company to hire its regular
outside firm for securities class action defense -- and these
conflicts need to be examined more closely by companies, their
insurance carriers, and the counsel seeking to represent them.

It is a dilemma that all securities counsel faces at one time or
another -- when should they turn down representation of a firm
client in a securities lawsuit?  Over the years, I have struggled
with that question, and my analysis has evolved and grown sharper.
The north star of the analysis is a basic principle: attorneys
should not represent a client when they have a conflict that could
compromise the client's defense.  In the context of securities
litigation defense, a conflict can arise when it is in the
client's interest to rely on the defense firm's corporate work as
a defense against allegations of falsity or scienter, or to
establish a due-diligence defense.  For the client, it is a
question that boils down to whether the same firm that provided
disclosure or stock-trading advice can make an objective decision
about whether to disclose that advice in order to assert these

The company, not its lawyers, makes disclosures.  But lawyers play
a prominent role in many disclosures, by drafting or editing them,
by giving advice to the company about their adequacy, and by
weighing in on decisions not to disclose certain information.
This is more true of some disclosures than others -- public
offering materials, for example, are likely to be largely drafted
by the attorneys, who will weigh in on every important disclosure
decision.  Lawyers also advise on matters that bear on scienter
-- primarily the presence or absence of material nonpublic
information in connection with establishment of 10b5-1 plans and
periodic stock sales, and on stock offerings.  Even if lawyers
have not technically provided legal advice or representation on
these matters, directors and officers often rely on their regular
counsel to object to potential misrepresentations or ill-advised
stock sales about which they had notice.

I am not suggesting that it is never appropriate for a company to
hire its regular outside firm to defend a securities class action
? in some cases, the firm may not have had any involvement in the
disclosures or decisions that are being challenged, or that are
likely to be challenged as the case proceeds.  For example, if the
stock price drop that triggered the litigation was caused by a
restatement, the litigation likely will not implicate the lawyers'
disclosure advice, since the case will be about the company's
financial statements, on which the lawyers didn't work.

The above considerations yield two guiding principles:

    If the securities class action challenges a disclosure on
which a firm has provided disclosure advice, as to what was
disclosed or what was not disclosed, the firm generally should not
defend the litigation.

    If the securities class action relies on stock sales as
evidence of scienter, a firm that advised on the stock sales -- or
10b5-1 plans under which the stock sales were made -- generally
should not defend the litigation.

In addressing this issue, some law firms tend to emphasize only
the lawyer-as-witness problem, which in many states can be avoided
by having another firm examine the defense firm's lawyers.  But
the problem can be more significant than this.

Let's analyze the situation with a simple hypothetical.  A
securities class action against Acme Corporation challenges a
statement in Acme's 10-K.  Acme's regular outside corporate
counsel provided advice to the company about the challenged
disclosure, including advice that certain omitted information that
allegedly made it misleading did not need to be disclosed.  As
evidence of scienter, the lawsuit cites Acme's officers' sales of
company stock pursuant to 10b5-1 plans established during the
alleged class period.  Corporate counsel advised that the officers
had no material nonpublic information when they established the

Acme and the individual defendants will have an interest in
defending themselves by asserting that they relied on the law
firm's advice, both as to the disclosure decision and the stock
sales.  At first blush, it may seem that the positions of Acme and
its law firm are the same -- both want to defend the correctness
of the disclosures and stock-sale decisions.  But their interests
are not the same.  Even if their lawyers' advice was wrong, the
defendants may be able to avoid liability, as long as their
reliance upon it was reasonable and genuine.

On the other hand, Acme's lawyers have an interest in preventing
the disclosure of incorrect legal advice, which could not only
prove embarrassing, but also expose them to liability.  And even
if their advice was defensible, lawyers do not like to have their
legal work, including their internal law firm communications,
produced in discovery -- and potentially dissected by competing
firms.  And, like everyone, lawyers have a natural aversion to
testifying, or to making themselves the focus of litigation.

This all means that defense firms that also serve as corporate
counsel have enormous incentives to avoid having their clients
introduce evidence about their legal work, even if that evidence
is plainly in the clients' interest.  These defense firms are
motivated, consciously or not, to steer the clients away from a
defense based on reliance on legal advice -- something that may be
easy to do without many questions being asked, because of the
general bias against revealing privileged information.  This may
not result in substantial prejudice if there are good defenses
otherwise, but no doubt there is prejudice in many cases, which is
largely (if not entirely)  invisible to the client -- through, for
example, higher settlement amounts than would otherwise be
necessary, or pressure to settle a case that might otherwise be a
good trial candidate.

So why do companies hire their corporate counsel so often?  I'd
say there are three reasons.

First, it's fair to say that outside counsel law firms don't
routinely go through this kind of analysis with their clients,
before asking that they be hired to defend a securities class
action.  Few companies have been through securities class actions,
so they need to be guided through this analysis in a candid
fashion.  At most, regular outside counsel discusses the lawyer-
as-witness problem, and correctly notes that it's common for
regular outside counsel to defend securities claims.  Second,
companies often regard securities class actions as frivolous, and
don't take the counsel-selection process as seriously as they
should.  Most companies think their case will be dismissed, so
there won't ever be any conflict issues, and it is safe to just
hand the lawsuit off to their regular firm.  Third, firms tell
companies that if a case does not get dismissed, it will settle --
so, again, conflict issues will never arise.

Because the conflicts that arise from these situations are largely
invisible to the clients and the carriers, and any visible effects
-- such as potentially higher settlements -- cannot be measured,
there is no outcry against the practice.  But the fact that the
harm is difficult to detect or measure doesn't mean it doesn't
exist, or that it is not potentially significant in some cases.

All of the above problems are exacerbated when a company hires its
regular outside firm without even interviewing other firms.  In
failing to interview other firms, companies fail to get an outside
reality check regarding conflict issues, miss out on the free
legal advice they will receive from the firms they interview, and
give up the leverage they have during the selection process to get
economic concessions from the firm that they ultimately hire.  In
addition, without an audition process, companies have no way to
compare the securities litigators from its regular outside firm
with other securities litigators, and sometimes unknowingly engage
less effective and efficient lawyers than they would if they
simply took a half a day to interview a handful of firms.

There is a simple, common-sense remedy: the company should conduct
an interview process during which it can ask other firms about the
regular outside firm's conflict (taking into account those firms'
interest in being hired) -- a process that, as noted above, has
advantages for the company anyway.  Alternatively, the company can
engage securities litigation defense counsel who isn't under
consideration for the defense role to advise on the issue.  Under
either procedure, the company should also seek advice from its
insurers and broker, who have a unique and helpful perspective as
"repeat players" in securities litigation, having typically been
involved in a very large number of securities litigation matters.

Whoever does this analysis needs to think past the initial
complaint to the claims that are likely to be asserted by the lead
plaintiff in a consolidated complaint.  For example, if a class-
period 10-K contains disclosures that are causally related to the
reason the stock dropped, the analysis should consider the 10-K
even if it isn't mentioned in the initial complaint, because the
lead plaintiff is likely to challenge it.  Or if there are class-
period stock sales, the analysis should take them into account,
even if the initial complaint doesn't mention them.

If regular outside counsel were to advise their corporate clients
to obtain counsel-selection advice through an audition process or
an independent firm, as well as from their insurers and broker,
they would do great service to their clients, in ensuring that the
clients received the maximum amount of protection possible from
their appropriate reliance on the advice of counsel to navigate
the difficult waters of disclosures and stock sales.  Significant
potential harm, albeit largely invisible and unmeasurable, can be
avoided by simply insisting upon an impartial counsel-selection
process that allows the client to evaluate the full spectrum of
potential conflicts.  And even if the company and its directors
and officers end up selecting the company's regular outside
counsel, the benefits of the selection process will most certainly
serve the company well throughout the litigation.

* Mooting Class Action May Provide Settlement Leverage
Rebecca R. Hanson, Esq. -- rhanson@foley.com -- at Foley & Lardner
LLP reports that procedural rules that govern lawsuits in federal
court permit defendants to make an "offer of judgment," which is a
mechanism allowing a defendant to offer to settle a lawsuit.  If a
plaintiff is offered such a settlement and rejects it, and
thereafter wins either the same or less than the amount contained
in the offer of judgment, the plaintiff generally cannot recover
for any costs incurred after rejection of the offer of judgment,
such as attorneys' fees.  This mechanism can provide settlement
leverage and, interestingly, it may now provide a helpful defense
strategy for managing class and collective actions.

In Genesis Healthcare Corp. v. Symczyk, the United States Supreme
Court recently dismissed a collective action suit brought under
the FLSA seeking allegedly unpaid wages on a class basis.  In the
case, the employee had sued her employer on her own behalf and on
behalf of those "similarly situated" under the FLSA for back pay
for time she and other employees worked during lunch, but for
which they were not compensated because meal time was
automatically deducted.  Early in the case, the employer made an
offer of judgment.  However, that employee failed to respond to
the employer's offer, a fact that ultimately caused the court
first hearing the matter to dismiss the entire case based on the
assertion that the offer of judgment fully satisfied the
employee's individual claim and no other individuals had yet
joined the employee's suit.

After an intermediate appellate court reversed that dismissal
based on the argument that an employer's ability to use an offer
of judgment to moot a class or collective action, the Supreme
Court reinstated the dismissal of the original court.  Relying on
the assumption that the employee's individual claim was moot
because she had not challenged the issue earlier on appeal,
meaning it was admitted that the offer of judgment fully satisfied
her individual claim, the Supreme Court concluded that both the
individual and collective claims were properly dismissed.  As to
the collective claims, the Court stated that the "mere presence of
collective-action allegations in the complaint cannot save the
suit from mootness once the individual claim is satisfied."

The Genesis decision suggests a potentially powerful strategy to
consider at the outset of an FLSA collective action claim.
However, an offer of judgment may not be an easy out -- in
Genesis, for example, the Supreme Court's decision relied heavily
on the fact that there was no dispute the offer of judgment fully
satisfied the individual employee's claim.  In other words, simply
making an offer of judgment and having it rejected will not
provide an automatic basis for dismissal of collective actions.
Foley expects further development of these issues, but for now,
Genesis suggests a potential defense strategy worth consideration
early on in FLSA collective action cases.

* NJ Bars & Restaurants Disguise Cheap Liquors, Probe Reveals
WTXF Fox 29 reports that investigators allege that bars and
restaurants in New Jersey disguised cheap booze, or worse, as the
expensive stuff and made you pay the higher price.

As part of a year-long probe dubbed "Operation Swill," 29 bars and
restaurants were cited.

Among the establishments were Villari's Lakeside in Sicklerville,
Italian Affair in Glassboro, and 13 T.G.I. Fridays across the

Investigators said at a news conference on June 6 that, in many
cases, the bars were pouring bottom shelf liquor into top shelf
bottles, or they were watering down drinks.

But, they say, some cases were much worse.

"One was described to me as essentially river water, They didn't
even think it was actual tap water.  Another one, we believe, was
rubbing alcohol and caramel color to make it look like it was a
whiskey," New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey S. Chiesa said.

The state's Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control seized liquor
bottles from the establishments, and samples of the suspected bad
booze were sent for further testing.

If the bars were, in fact, cheating their customers, they could
lose their liquor licenses.

WTXF Fox 29 received a statement from T.G.I. Friday's telling WTXF
Fox 29 the company is investigating the allegations against its

* TCPA Regulation Changes Tighten Opt-Out & Consent Requirements
Eric J. Pritchard -- epritchard@kleinbard.com -- partner in
Kleinbard Bell & Brecker LLP, writing for SecurityInfoWatch.com,
reports that one of the nation's largest residential security
providers recently agreed to settle a large consumer class action
lawsuit alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection
Act (TCPA) for telemarketing calls made on its behalf using
automated dialing equipment -- so-called robo-calls.

The class action complaint was filed on behalf of a very large
class -- persons who, from Jan. 1 2007 to Jan. 30 2012, received
either pre-recorded messages, or telemarketing calls to their cell
phones.  Recent changes by the Federal Communications Commission
to its TCPA regulations, imposing stricter consent and opt-out
requirements, also make it even harder for companies to know
what's allowed and what isn't.  And mistakes are expensive -- the
TCPA provides for damages from $500 to $1,500 for each phone call
that violate the statute.

For residential phone lines, the TCPA prohibits any telephone call
using an artificial or prerecorded voice to deliver a message to a
residential phone unless the caller has the prior express consent
of, or an established business relationship with, the called
party.  The law exempts noncommercial (informational) calls or
calls made for emergency purposes.  For cell phones, the TCPA
prohibits calls -- including text messages -- using an autodialer
or an artificial or prerecorded voice unless the caller has the
prior "express consent" of the called party.  The law exempts
emergency calls, but does not exempt calls made for noncommercial
(e.g., debt collection) calls.  It also does not exempt calls
where the caller has an established business relationship with the
called party.

The FCC's recent changes to its regulations tightened opt-out and
consent requirements under the TCPA, as well as imposed new
restrictions on the number of dropped or abandoned calls
permitted.  As of Nov. 15 2012, these calls must amount to no more
than three percent of all calls per campaign (the old rule allowed
three percent over a 30-day period, aggregated over all

As of Jan. 14 2013, all prerecorded telemarketing messages must
include an automated, interactive mechanism permitting the called
party to immediately opt out of receiving calls.  The mechanism
must be announced at the beginning of the message, be accessible
throughout the duration of the call and, when invoked,
automatically add the called party's number to the do-not-call
list and immediately end the call.  Prerecorded telemarketing
messages left on voice mail must include a toll-free number
connecting to an automated opt-out mechanism.

Later this year, stricter consent requirements for calls to both
cell phones and residential lines go into effect.  As of Oct. 16
2013, companies must secure prior express consent in writing from
consumers before initiating prerecorded or autodialed
telemarketing calls to cell phones.  For calls to residential
lines, the new regulations eliminate the exemption for established
business relationships and add a written consent requirement for
telemarketing calls. (No consent is required for informational,
emergency or non-telemarketing calls.)

What constitutes an autodialer, whether specific calls are
informational or commercial (or a hybrid of the two) and when
consumers have -- and have not -- been given prior express consent
have all been litigated with costly results.  Don't let the robots
get you in trouble, because they don't pay, but you will.


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

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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