/raid1/www/Hosts/bankrupt/CAR_Public/170403.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Monday, April 3, 2017, Vol. 19, No. 66


3321 ASTORIA: "Hristova" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Wages
ALERE INC: Hearing on Motion for Dismissal Scheduled for April 14
ALLIED UNIVERSAL: Faces Suit Over Compensation Acts Violation
AMERICAN TEX-CHEM: Sent Unsolicited Facsimiles, Suit Claims
AT&T: Sales Tax Refund Class Action Kicked Back to State Court

CALIFORNIA: To Follow Special Education "Corrective Action Plan"
CAMBRIDGE SIERRA: Faces "Lyter" Suit Alleging Labor Law Violation
CANADA: Commission to Release Reconciliation Progress Report
DEUTSCHE BANK: Judge Nixes Suit's Class Status
DOLE FOOD: Court Approves Suit Settlement For USD74 Million

ERNST & YOUNG: Obtains Favorable Ruling in Arbitration Issue
FIELDTURF: The Paw Pet Resort to Join Turf Class Action
FORD MOTOR: Shelby GT350 Mustang Owners File New Class Action
FOREMOST INSURANCE: Court Trims Claims in "Arnold"
HARBOR FREIGHT: Settles Class Action Over Bogus Sale Prices

HEALTH ENROLLMENT: Invades Class Members' Privacy, Action Claims
HIRSCHLER FLEISCHER: Cal. App. Affirms Ruling in PPM Dispute
HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: To Pay $900,000 to Settle Freelancers' Suit
JAMES HARDIE: Appeals Decision in Leaky Building Class Action
INSTACART: Agrees to Settle Lawsuit For USD4.6 Million

JBS SA: Faces Class Action Over Bribery Sacandal
JBS SA: May 22 Led Plaintiff Bid Deadline Set
JUST BORN: Faces False Advertising Class Action in Missouri
KEENWAWA: Faces Suit Over Process Unsuitable for Blind Customers
KIWIBANK: Fair Play on Fees Settles Dispute Over Default Fees

LBG EXPRESS: Faces "Long" Lawsuit Alleging Violation of FACTA
LG ELECTRONICS: LG G4, V10 Owners Sue Over Bootloop Issues
LOUISIANA: Faces Class Action Over Broken Public-Defense System
LOUISIANA: Judge Dismisses Suit Over Indigent Defense Funding
LYFT: Judge Okays Drivers' Class Action Settlement

MARC JACOBS: Settles Suit Over Misclassification of Interns
MEDFIRST CONSULTING: Faces "Kiley" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT
MERCK: 3rd Circuit Revives Fosamax Warning Label Class Action
METALDYNE PERFORMANCE: Faces Shareholders' Class Action

MICHAEL ANTHONY: "Davis" Suit Proceeds to Arbitration
MIDLAND CREDIT: Illegally Collects Debt, "Goldman" Suit Claims
MILWAUKEE COUNTY, NY: Shackled Pregnant Women File Class Action
MSLGROUP: Ex-China CEO's Gender Discrimination Suit Resolved
MURRAY GOULBURN: Appoints Restructuring Expert Amid Class Action

NATIONAL CASUALTY: Dismissal of Kansas Settlement Claims Affirmed
NEBRASKA: High Court Upholds Irrigators' Class Action Dismissal
NEIMAN MARCUS: Settles Data Breach Class Action for $1.6 Million
NETFLIX INC: Stockholder Files Class Action Over Financial Damages
NEW ORLEANS, LA: Sheriff's Office Settles Labor Class Action

NORTH AMERICAN: Faces "Mcghee" Class Suit in South. Dist. Cal.
NORTHSTAR LOTTERY: Sued for Manipulating Games to Reduce Payouts
NUVASIVE INC: Court Certifies Shareholders' Class Action
NY DOE: Faces "Brody" Suit Over "Deficient" Rezoning Proposal
ONTARIO HOCKEY: Law Firm Launches Players' Wage Class Action

ORTHOTOUCH: Nic Georgiou Attempted to Sabotage Investors Rights
PACIFIC GAS: Faces "Barragan" Lawsuit Under Calif. Labor Laws
PTT EXPLORATION: Indonesia Mulls Suit Over 2009 Oil Spill
QUALCOMM INCORPORATED: Faces "Acosta" Suit in N.D. California
QUEBEC: Stranded Motorists Attend Class Action Session

RYDER INTEGRATED: Status Conference Continued to May 18
SAFEWAY INC: Has Until April 18 to Respond to "Lorenz"
SEQWATER: Faces Second Class Action Over 2011 Floods
STARWOOD HOTELS: Faces Class Action by Food Service Employees
SUPERIOR STAFFING: "Sanchez" Suit Alleges IDTLS Act Violation

SURGERY OF TOMORROW: "Lysenko" Suit Seeks Unpaid OT Wages
TARGET CORP: "Enombang" Sues Over Failure to Provide Seats
TEMPUR-SEALY: Suit Could Expand Consumers Insurance Coverage
TESLA: Hagens Berman Mulls Class Action Over Self-Driving Claims
TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS: Sued Over Generic Pravastatin Price-fixing

THREE RIVERS: "Cuevas" Suit Alleges Cal. Labor Law Violations
UBER: Magistrate Denies Request for Employees to Arbitrate Claims
UNITED STATES: Sued Over Prisoner Civil Rights Act Violation
VOLKSWAGEN AG: More Than 35,000 Motorists to Join Emissions Suit
WALMART CORPORATION: Sued Over Prisoner Civil Rights Act Breach

WGL HOLDINGS: Faces "Jackson" Suit Over Proposed Sale to AltaGas
WILLIAMS ALEXANDER: Illegally Collects Debt, "Perez" Suit Claims
YAHOO INC: Fails to Act in Timely Manner on Data Breach

* Bill to Resolve Class Ascertainability Split Among Courts
* Brandis Criticized for Trying to Influence Legal System Review
* Class Action Suits Involving Public Pensions Continue to Rise
* Excessive Business Travel May Spur Employer Litigation
* Fiduciary Rule Litigation Costs Overlooked

* Franken Expresses Concern About Gorsuch Pro-Business Rulings
* Gorsuch May Cast Deciding Vote on Validity of Suit Waivers
* Lawyers Sound Off on First-in-a-Decade Class Action Changes
* Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch Praises Class Action Reform Bill
* MPP Responds to Lawyers' Contingency Fees Issue in Bill 103

* Ninth Circuit Blueprint for a RICO Class Action
* Number of Securities Class Action Settlements Up in 2016
* Shaked Sets Fees to Stem Class Actions Flood
* Tort Reform No Longer Just an Idle Threat, Trial Attorneys Says


3321 ASTORIA: "Hristova" Suit Seeks to Recover Unpaid Wages
Diana Hristova and John Doe, on behalf of themselves and FLSA
Collective Plaintiffs v. 3321 Astoria Inc. d/b/a Bareburger and
George Rodas, Case No. 1:17-cv-01633 (E.D.N.Y., March 23, 2017),
seeks unpaid minimum wages, tips illegally retained by the
Defendants, liquidated damages and attorneys' fees and costs
pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Defendants own and operate Bareburger restaurant, located at
33-21 31st Avenue, Astoria, New York 11103. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Anne Melissa Seelig, Esq.
      C.K. Lee, Esq.
      30 East 39th Street, 2nd Floor
      New York, NY 10016
      Telephone: (212) 465-1124
      Facsimile: (212) 465-1181
      E-mail: anne@leelitigation.com

ALERE INC: Hearing on Motion for Dismissal Scheduled for April 14
Deb Hipp, writing for Lawyers and Settlements, report that in
response to plaintiffs' January motion to keep an Alere INRatio
class action lawsuit alive, Alere recently pushed back with
arguments that the court should dismiss the case.

Plaintiffs filed the class action J.E. et al v. Alere Inc. et al,
Case No. 1:16-cv11515, US District Court, District of
Massachusetts in July 2016, claiming that Alere misled consumers
by knowingly selling inaccurate home blood coagulation tests.  The
tests were used to determine how quickly blood clots in patients
taking warfarin, a drug used to stop harmful clots from forming.

The plaintiffs alleged that Alere's INRatio System, which consists
of INRatio Monitors, INRatio 2 Monitors and INRatio Test Strips,
often provided "significantly inaccurate results" and exposed
users to risks caused by inaccurate warfarin dosing.

According to the complaint, Alere received more than 18,000
complaints between 2013 and 2014 about its INRatio System,
including reports of serious injuries and deaths.

Alere in 2014 issued a Class I recall on its INRatio system
products but allegedly failed to take necessary measures to inform
all the patients relying on the inaccurate INRatio system for
critical test results, according to the lawsuit petition.
In January 2017, Alere filed a motion to dismiss the class action,
arguing that the plaintiffs, who reside in Arizona and Virginia,
cannot assert their claims in Massachusetts federal court because
they have no connection to Massachusetts.  Alere attorneys also
argued that the plaintiffs' other "one size fits all" state law
claims were inadequate to make a case for Alere's liability.

Plaintiff attorneys then filed a motion in response nine days
later, arguing that it's too early for a dismissal on choice of
law and maintaining that the proposed class easily clears the "low
hurdle" that makes the lawsuit possible to proceed as a class

Then Alere on February 3 filed another motion in support of its
motion to dismiss the lawsuit and strike class allegations.

"Plaintiffs have failed to counter the numerous, on-point
decisions dictating that where, as here, the complaint fails to
specify which state's law they intend to proceed under, such
claims should be dismissed," according to Alere's motion to

"There is no reason why the court and parties should have to
reinvent the wheel anew, where numerous other courts have analyzed
these claims and concluded that state-by-state variations preclude
certification," according to Alere's motion to dismiss."

A hearing on the motion for dismissal is set for April 14.

ALLIED UNIVERSAL: Faces Suit Over Compensation Acts Violation
Louie Torres at Penn Record reports that a security supervisor has
filed a class-action lawsuit against Allied Universal; Universal
Protection Service LLC; and other individuals with those entities,
citing alleged unpaid wages, violation of applicable minimum wage
law, and violation of workers compensation acts.

Archard "Archie" Simmons filed a complaint on behalf of all others
similarly situated on March 8 in the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the defendants alleging
that they failed to adequately compensate the plaintiff for his
work. Simmons is an employee in the title of "site supervisor" of
the security company.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that he
sustained damages from not being paid proper wages. Simmons holds
the defendants responsible because they allegedly failed to pay
the plaintiff any overtime and failed to pay minimum wages.

Simmons and counsel request a trial by jury and injunction against
the defendant, unpaid overtime wages, restitution, liquidated
damages, court costs and any further relief the court grants. The
plaintiffs are represented by Arkady Rayz -- arayz@kalraylaw.com -
- and Demetri A. Braynin -- LKalikhman@kalraylaw.com --Demetri A.
Braynin of Kalikhman & Rayz LLC of Kalikhman & Rayz LLC in
Huntingdon Valley as well as Gerald Wells III -- gwells@cwglaw.com
-- of Connolly Wells & Gray LLP in King of Prussia.

U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Case
number 2:17-cv-01029-PBT [GN]

AMERICAN TEX-CHEM: Sent Unsolicited Facsimiles, Suit Claims
Gorss Motels, Inc., a Connecticut corporation, individually and as
the representative of a class of similarly- situated persons v.
American Tex-Chem Corporation and John Does 1-5, Case No. 3:17-cv-
00485 (D. Conn., March 23, 2017), seeks to put an end to the
Defendants' practice of sending unsolicited facsimiles.

American Tex-Chem Corporation is a janitorial equipment supplier
in San Bernardino, California. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Aytan Y. Bellin, Esq.
      85 Miles Avenue
      White Plains, NY 10606
      Telephone: (914) 358-5345
      E-mail: Aytan.Bellin@bellinlaw.com

         - and -

      Brian J. Wanca, Esq.
      3701 Algonquin Road, Suite 500
      Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
      Telephone: (847) 368-1500
      E-mail: bwanca@andersonwanca.com

AT&T: Sales Tax Refund Class Action Kicked Back to State Court
Kyle Jahner and Bryan Koenig, writing for Law360, report that a
California federal judge on March 20 kicked back to state court a
class action seeking hundreds of millions in refunds from a sales
tax on cellphones based on full price rather than steeply
discounted promotions, over the objection of the state and major
wireless carriers.

AT&T had removed the damages-seeking lawsuit to federal court on
behalf of the state and other carriers, but U.S. District Judge
Morrison C. England Jr. ruled the Tax Injunction Act does not
allow suits involving state taxes in federal court.  He also said
the Class Action Fairness Act had been misapplied in the effort to
remove the case.

"There are multiple reasons why this case does not belong in
federal court," Judge England's ruling says.  "The TIA mandates
that 'the district courts shall not enjoin, suspend or restrain
the assessment, levy or collection of any tax under state law
where a plain, speedy and efficient remedy may be had in the
courts of such state.'"

The suit requesting a refund of excess taxes from California's
Board of Equalization ropes in the wireless carriers as defendants
because they collect the tax on behalf of the state and because
California case law doesn't allow consumers to sue the state
directly.  The suit awaits the outcome of another class action
from the same plaintiffs pending in state court; that complaint
aims to invalidate the 1999 regulation requiring sales tax on the
phone to match the price of the phone, not the discounted
promotional price for bundling it with a service contract

AT&T, Verizon and T-Mobile, but not Sprint, had attacked efforts
to send the case back in August.  They argued that the Class
Action Fairness Act of 2005 granted federal jurisdiction in cases
over more than $5 million with at least 100 members where parties
involved are from different states.  They said comity -- the
principle barring federal court disruption of state tax collection
-- could not be used because it's not a jurisdictional principle
and the case doesn't directly implicate the collection of taxes;
only the suit against the regulation did.

But Judge England said the Tax Injunction Act, designed to prevent
"federal court intrusion into state tax collection," clearly
applied.  If relief were granted to consumers, he said, it "would
directly restrain the assessment" of California sales tax. The
broader principle of comity also applies, he said, and cited a
1997 Ninth Circuit decision that said "comity alone would bar
federal courts from granting damages in relief in state tax

Judge England also rejected the CAFA basis for federal
jurisdiction, as the carriers were not the primary defendants
because it would be the state ultimately expected to pay most of
the damages if the consumers succeeded.

"Any responsibility on the part of the carriers in requesting
refunds, on the other hand, is merely secondary.  The fact that
the state defendants must be deemed primary then means that CAFA
should not have been invoked as a basis for removing this case to
federal court in the first place," the ruling says.

Judge England did deny the consumer's request that the defendants
pay their legal fees related to the jurisdiction battle. He said
the court has broad discretion on the matter, and said the
wireless carriers "had at least a colorable argument for removal."

The state did not return request for comment on March 20, while
both its counsel and counsel for AT&T declined to comment.  The
attorney for named plaintiff Alina Bekkerman, Daniel Morley Kekoa
Hattis of Hattis Law, also declined to comment aside from saying,
"I think the judge's order is pretty self-explanatory."

Class representatives Alina Bekkerman, Brandon Griffith, Jenny Lee
and Charles Lisser are represented by Daniel M. Hattis of Hattis
Law, Tony J. Tanke of the Law Offices of Tony J. Tanke and Jeffrey
Burke of Burke Law Group.

AT&T is represented by Donald M. Falk, John Nadolenco --
nadolenco@mayerbrown.com -- and Archis A. Parasharami of Mayer
Brown LLP.

California is represented by Molly K. Mosley, Nhan T. Vu and
Michael Sapoznikow with the attorney general's office.

The state cases are Bekkerman et al. v. California Board of
Equalization et al., case number 34-2015-80002242, and Bekkerman
et al. v. California Board of Equalization et al., case number 34-
2015-80002287, in the Sacramento Superior Court.

The federal case is Bekkerman et al. v. California Board of
Equalization et al., case number 2:16-cv-00709, in the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of California.[GN]

CALIFORNIA: To Follow Special Education "Corrective Action Plan"
Jane Meredith Adams, writing for EdSource, reports that the
California Department of Education said that it will comply with a
federal court order to improve significantly its system for
monitoring special education, after years of legal maneuvering to
block the changes.

The department said it would end its legal challenges and follow a
"corrective action plan" for special education monitoring issued
in 2014 by the U.S. District Court of Northern California in San
Francisco.  On March 9, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued
a mandate upholding its December decision that the state must
comply with the district court order to follow the corrective
action plan.  The department had sought a rehearing, after losing
its appeal to overturn the order.  Legal recourse would be an
appeal to the high court, which the department said it had

"We are not considering an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court,"
Cynthia Butler, a spokeswoman for the California Department of
Education said in an email on March 13.  "We are continuing to
work on the corrective action plan imposed by the court monitor."

Advocates for students who receive special education services
welcomed the news.  "The California Department of Education must
now comply with the corrective action plan and reform its
dysfunctional state-level monitoring system," said William Koski,
an attorney from Stanford Law School's Youth & Education Law
Project.  Mr. Koski is one of several public advocacy attorneys
representing the plaintiffs in a 1996 class action lawsuit,
Emma C. et al. v. Delaine Eastin et al., that led to the
corrective action plan.

"The corrective action plan requires reforms to the design of
CDE's state-level monitoring system that will benefit all
concerned about CDE's responsibilities to monitor and enforce
special education laws," said Larisa Cummings, a staff attorney at
the Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund who is
representing the plaintiffs in the Emma C. lawsuit.

The changes in monitoring come as California is taking steps to
address a root concern about special education services statewide:
why many students with disabilities, about 85 percent of whom have
no intellectual disability, are not receiving the supports that
would allow them to achieve at the same high level as their peers,
according to the Statewide Special Education Task Force final
report in 2015.  Achievement levels for students with disabilities
in California are among the lowest in the nation, the report
found.  Changes in credentialing requirements for special
education and general education teachers, urged by the task force,
now are underway as part of a strategy to bring all students --
those with or without disabilities -- into a unified teaching and
administrative system to improve outcomes.

The corrective action plan emerged from a long running 2003
consent decree that settled the Emma C. lawsuit and continues to
govern special education services in East Palo Alto's K-8
Ravenswood City School District.  The lawsuit, brought by eight
students in the Ravenswood district, alleged erratic or
nonexistent special education services in the district, as well as
poor oversight by the California Department of Education.

Under the terms of the consent decree, the California Department
of Education agreed to monitor improvements in special education
in Ravenswood in areas including staff training, student
assessments, the creation of individualized education plans and
the integration of students with disabilities into general

And the department agreed to submit its monitoring system to a
court monitor, appointed by Judge Thelton Henderson of the U.S.
District Court, who would determine whether the system is "capable
of ensuring continued compliance with the law" to serve children
with disabilities in Ravenswood.  Both the Ravenswood plaintiffs
and the California Department of Education agreed in the consent
decree to grant the court "broad authority" to review and improve
the state monitoring system, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

While the consent decree concerns the corrective action plan only
as it applies to the monitoring of the Ravenswood district,
changes to the monitoring system would likely affect oversight of
special education in other districts, said Karli Eisenberg, a
deputy attorney general representing the California Department of
Education.  Ms. Eisenberg argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of
Appeals in San Francisco in November that changes to its
monitoring system should not apply to how the department monitors
districts across the state.

"The parties to this action signed a consent decree outlining an
agreed-upon remedy, the Ravenswood corrective action plan,"
Eisenberg said to a panel of three judges.  "Over 10 years later,
the district court has imposed an entirely new remedy, a statewide
corrective action plan, affecting not just the 400 (special
education) students in Ravenswood but the 600,000 students
statewide receiving special education services."

The judges -- Chief Judge Sidney Thomas and Judges Michelle
Friedland Alex Kozinski -- quickly got to the heart of the state's
approach to monitoring special education.

Judge Friedland asked Mr. Koski: "Am I understanding that
basically it's the state who said if you're challenging
Ravenswood's monitoring, you're really challenging the whole state
because it's a uniform system? Is it the state that said we just
have one system so it is the whole state?"

Mr. Koski: "The state has offered only one system, so that's
exactly right."

The plan requires the California Department of Education to create
a monitoring system that uses more rigorous data collection,
program evaluation and intervention to ensure that a district is
in compliance with the federal Individuals with Disabilities
Education Act.  It calls for the state to explain precisely how it
determines, among other measures, that a district is identifying
children in need of services and providing students with
disabilities who are suspended with behavioral supports that could
allow them to remain in class.

The California Department of Education has been taking steps to
comply with the corrective action plan since it was first ordered
in 2014, after losing its motion in district court to stay the
order while the department worked to overturn it.
Maureen Burness, co-executive director of the Statewide Special
Education Task Force said the Emma C. consent decree already has
spurred changes in special education policy.

"I have been in several different meetings over the last few years
where the ongoing status of that (Emma C.) case has been claimed
as the reason for the increase in monitoring from the state
department of education," Mr. Burness said.

In the Ravenswood district, the termination of the consent decree
depends on two factors: evidence that Ravenswood has met its
improvement goals and proof that the state has a monitoring system
that will keep Ravenswood improvements in compliance with federal

"We are on the verge of having Ravenswood come into full
compliance with the Ravenswood self-improvement plan," Mr. Koski
said.  But before that can happen, he said, "the state must have
in place a system to ensure compliance with the law."

He added, "The federal court has looked at the state-level special
education monitoring system and found it lacking under the
Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and under the consent

CAMBRIDGE SIERRA: Faces "Lyter" Suit Alleging Labor Law Violation
JANE LYTER, an individual, and all other similarly situated
employees; Plaintiff, vs. CAMBRIDGE SIERRA HOLDINGS, LLC dba
Company; and DOES 1 through 50, inclusive; Defendants, Case No. BC
655010 (Cal. Super., County of Los Angeles, March 22, 2017),
alleges that Defendants failed to pay Plaintiff and the Class
Members overtime and/or double-time compensation in violation of
the California Labor Code.

Defendants operate a health care center that provide long-term,
short-term, and hospice care to patients at Defendants' health
care facilities.  Plaintiff worked as a Licensed Vocational Nurse.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Omid Nosrati, Esq.
     Tatiana Toroyan, Esq.
     1875 Century Park East, 6th Floor
     Los Angeles, CA 90067
     Phone: (310) 553-5630
     Fax: (310) 553-5691
     Email: omid@nosratilaw.com

CANADA: Commission to Release Reconciliation Progress Report
CBC News reports that while Canadian society is beginning to move
towards reconciliation with Indigenous peoples, the federal
government still has a long way to go.  That's according to
Senator Murray Sinclair, the former head of the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission.

For six years, the Commission documented the experiences of
survivors of Canada's residential schools, the last of which
closed in 1996 and where tens of thousands Indigenous children
suffered physical and sexual abuse -- and an estimated 6,000 died
from starvation and disease.

The commission released its final report in 2015, which included
94 calls to action.

"We did not deliver the [TRC's final report] to government.  We
recognized that government was going to be slow to respond . . .
but we're not writing it for them, we are writing it for the rest
of society," Senator Sinclair said.

"It's up to society to step up and take the actions that are

'Actions speak louder than words'

Senator Sinclair said he sees movement towards reconciliation in
certain parts of the country, including in legal societies,
hospitals and post-secondary schools offering education like
cross-cultural competency training.

He also said he's seen mixed results from cities and towns that
have declared "years of reconciliation" -- including Winnipeg,
Calgary and Vancouver.

"Actions speak louder than words," Senator Sinclair said.

"The reality is that we're really looking for action that shows
leadership, that causes people to sit up and take notice and
recognize that there is an important process underway here that
they have to be part of."

While the Liberal government has promised to implement all 94
calls to action, Senator Sinclair said it "hasn't moved as far and
as quickly as they might have been able to."

Where are we now?

Since assuming office in 2015, the Liberals have called a long-
awaited inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and
girls and adopted a UN declaration on Indigenous rights -- both of
which are included in the calls to action.

Senator Sinclair was speaking ahead of an event set to take place
in Toronto on March 20 evening called Truth and Reconciliation:
Where are we now? where the Senator will provide a progress report
on the calls to action.

Former National Chief Phil Fontaine, a residential school survivor
who launched the multi-billion dollar class-action lawsuit that
lead to the TRC's creation, and former Native Women's Association
of Canada head Dawn Lavell-Harvard are also speaking at the event,
which is organized by non-profit think-tank Mosaic.

DEUTSCHE BANK: Judge Nixes Suit's Class Status
Anna Sobrevinas at MPA Magazine reports that a federal judge has
ruled that investors seeking to sue Deutsche Bank over toxic
mortgage trusts won't be granted class status, according to

U.S. District Judge Alison Nathan said Royal Park Investments was
unable to justify its claims as a class-action suit, but kept her
ruling under seal, as "it may contain material that Royal Park
believes should not be made public."

In behalf of investors, Royal Park claimed the bank failed to
monitor "10 trusts backed by toxic residential mortgages," which
resulted in a loss of USD3.1 billion.

The trusts date from 2006 and 2007 -- just before the global
financial meltdown. Royal Park claimed the bank, which acted as
bond trustee for the trusts, ignored "widespread" deficiencies in
the underwriting and servicing of the mortgages backing the
trusts. It also accused Deutsche Bank of failing to require that
lenders buy back defective loans. [GN]

DOLE FOOD: Court Approves Suit Settlement For USD74 Million
Tom Karts at The Packer reports that the U.S. District Court of
Delaware has approved a class-action settlement for USD74 million
between Dole Food Co. and investors claiming company CEO David
Murdock and then president C. Michael Carter  depressed Dole's
stock price before taking the company private in November 2013.

Susan Goldman, executive assistant at Dole Food, said the company
had no comment.

U.S. District Judge Sue Robinson in Wilmington, Delaware, granted
preliminary approval to the settlement March 16. She will consider
final approval on July 18.

The settlement for the case includes all persons (excluding
company officials) who sold Dole common stock from Jan. 2, 2013
through Oct. 31, 2013, according to court documents.

The case relates to a desire by Murdock, now 93, to take the
company private in 2013. He announced his intent to do so in June
2013 when the stock was at USD12 per share. In August 2013, court
documents show that Murdock -- who owned 39.5% of the stock -- and
Dole's board of directors agreed that Murdock would acquire all
the rest of the shares at a price of USD13.50 per share. A
majority of shareholders voted in favor of the transaction on Oct.
31, and Dole stock ceased to be publicly traded.

A class-action lawsuit was filed in December 2015, led by the San
Antonio Fire & Police Pension Fund, claiming Murdock and others
made a series of misleading/false statements about Dole's
operations to depress the stock price.

On Jan. 9, court documents show that lawyers for Dole and the
plaintiffs participated in a mediation session, eventually
reaching an agreement to settle the class-action lawsuit for USD74
million. While denying wrongdoing, Dole and Murdock said they were
entering into the agreement to eliminate the uncertainty, burden
and expense of litigation, according to court documents.[GN]

ERNST & YOUNG: Obtains Favorable Ruling in Arbitration Issue
Ashley Tate, writing for Nation Swell, reports that as the Senate
starts confirmation hearings for President Trump's Supreme Court
nominee, Judge Neil Gorsuch, the administration's embattled travel
ban is top of mind.  Twice, federal judges struck down portions of
its latest version.  Now, the Justice Department is appealing.
Will the fight go all the way to the Supreme Court as the
president has vowed? Quite possibly.

Meanwhile, another case that could weaken the rights of American
workers has (relatively) quietly made its way onto the Court's
fall docket.

The case, Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris (which is combined with two
other cases), questions whether businesses can prohibit their
employees from taking collective, legal action over workplace
issues, such as unpaid wages and discrimination. A ruling in favor
of the defendant, "potentially guts many of the core protections
that most workers in this country think they have," says Paul
Schiff Berman, professor of law at George Washington University.

Here's the situation: Big corporations, as well as startups, have
increasingly asked new-hires to sign employment contracts
containing waivers that forfeit the employees' rights to pursue
class-action lawsuits against their employers.  Instead,
individual employees are required to use arbitration to settle

Class-action lawsuits are typically more costly in terms of legal
fees and time, compared to out-of-court settlements, which can be
more appealing to both companies and employees.

"If an employer engages in unlawful activity that affects its
workforce broadly, those claims are often too small to be brought
by one person," says Anne B. Shaver, an attorney with Lieff
Cabraser Heimann and Bernstein, a firm that's represented workers
in landmark class-action lawsuits against numerous top Silicon
Valley companies.

During the Obama administration, the National Labor Relations
Board consistently ruled that these class-action waivers in
employees' contracts were invalid. But conflicting rulings in
three circuit courts have pushed the issue up to the Supreme

To be clear, this lawsuit does not pertain to most members of the
ever-growing gig economy.  Uber drivers, Airbnb hosts and the like
operate as freelancers, not traditional employees.

How would the Supreme Court rule with Gorsuch on the bench? In the
past, it backed arbitration.  With a fifth conservative judge
whose judicial philosophy is similar to the late Justice Antonin
Scalia's, businesses may prevail again.

FIELDTURF: The Paw Pet Resort to Join Turf Class Action
Tim Krohn, writing for Mankato Free Press, reports that The Paw
pet resort in Mankato is among businesses, colleges, schools and
others across the country involved in lawsuits against an
artificial turf maker who they say sold a faulty product.

A class-action suit filed in U.S. District Court for Minnesota is
among several brought against FieldTurf, the leading maker of
artificial turf.

Many of the suits were filed after NJ Advance Media did an
investigation suggesting the company and its executives sold high-
end turf for years after knowing it was falling apart and would
fall short of advertising and marketing claims.

In a statement to NJ.com, company officials said they "strongly
disagree with the representation of the facts in this complaint"
and that, when considered in full, the facts will "show that our
customers were well-served by FieldTurf."

According to the Minnesota lawsuit, in 2007, The Paw, searching
for artificial turf for its yard to be used by dogs staying there,
was promised the turf would stay standing up like natural grass,
rather than falling over and becoming matted like a carpet.

Six months after The Paw bought the turf for $127,000, its
employees noticed the turf was, in fact, lying down and becoming
matted in areas where animals walked around, according to the
suit.  When The Paw complained, the suit said, FieldTurf
recommended buying a special, $700 broom, according to the NJ.com

In 2010, when The Paw complained that the broom had not fixed the
problem, FieldTurf sold it a $1,400 site visit to rake the turf
with a special machine, according to the lawsuit.  The turf still
did not stand up as promised, The Paw said in the suit, but
FieldTurf insisted it was fine.

Tom Yennish, owner of The Paw and Pet Expo, told The Free Press he
couldn't comment on the case on the advice of the lawyer handling
the suits.

Complaints have also been filed in federal courts in New Jersey
and California.

The California class-action suit said there were several dozen
schools across the country that installed faulty turf on their
athletic fields.

NJ.com said most of the fields, which fetched $300,000 to $500,000
or more, were paid with tax dollars.  FieldTurf sold 1,428 of
those fields in the U.S. to everyone from small towns to NFL teams
for an estimated $570 million.  The turf was discontinued in 2012,
and many fields have since failed.

FORD MOTOR: Shelby GT350 Mustang Owners File New Class Action
Consumers nationwide on March 22 sued Ford for knowingly selling
allegedly defective Shelby GT350 models that while marketed as
"track-ready" cannot actually be operated safely on a racetrack,
according to Hagens Berman and Grossman Roth Yaffa Cohen,
co-counsel law firms representing the plaintiffs.

According to the lawsuit, after spending a big premium to own a
piece of racing history, drivers soon learned that once on the
track, their track-ready vehicles can lose speed and power mid-
drive, without warning and in as little as 15 minutes.

The firms say that Shelby owners paid high prices for an iconic
car named after racecar royalty, Carroll Shelby.  Instead of
receiving the modern-day epitome of Mustang performance and
racetrack-ready power, thousands of owners have been left with
pricey vehicles that in no way live up to Ford's marketing that
promised a "track-ready" hotrod, and could put drivers and
passengers at risk of crash and injury.

Shelby GT350 owners are being represented by leading auto defect
consumer-rights law firm, Hagens Berman, which achieved the then
largest automotive settlement in U.S. history -- $1.6 billion
against Toyota for a concealed defect and Grossman Roth Yaffa
Cohen, a nationally recognized trial law firm.  Hagens Berman is
also leading litigation against General Motors for its ignition
switch defects as well as other national lawsuits against
Volkswagen and Mercedes for illegal use of emissions-cheating

If you own or lease a 2016 Shelby GT350 Mustang Base model or
Technology Package model, you may be entitled to compensation for
this defect that inhibits your car's performance.  Contact Hagens
Berman to find out more about this issue and your consumer rights
against Ford.

The ability to purchase a track-capable car that could also
operate on the street is a key factor in what led purchasers to
buy the Shelby GT350 Mustang, according to the suit, but Shelby
GT350 Mustangs with the Base Model or Technology Package model can
overheat due to defective transmissions and rear differentials
that cannot keep cool enough to function at high speeds without
external transmission and differential coolers.  When this occurs,
the vehicles go into Limp Mode, where the vehicle suddenly loses
power and rapidly decelerates.  As a result, these "track-ready"
race cars prove useless on the racetrack and drivers don't get
what they paid for.

The lawsuit, filed Mar. 22, 2017, in the U.S. District Court for
the Southern District of Florida, seeks monetary damages for a
proposed nationwide class of consumers who purchased or leased the
affected vehicles, as well as injunctive relief for Ford's
misconduct related to the design, manufacture, marketing, sale and
lease of affected vehicles.

"When Ford marketed and sold these Shelby GT350 Mustangs, it knew
exactly how to appeal to track-enthusiasts: it marketed enhanced
performance in a limited-edition iconic vehicle that has been
associated with racing for generations," said Steve Berman,
managing partner of Hagens Berman.  "We believe that Ford induced
purchasers with its 'track-ready' marketing, when in fact it knew
that this defect would ultimately bar these Mustangs from ever
being the hotrod consumers paid for."

"Ford's only answer to owners has effectively been, 'pay for a fix
on your own dime,'" Mr. Berman added.

The complaint states, "Mustang testimonial websites and Ford
customer service files are replete with complaints from consumers
who reasonably believed that their Class Vehicles would in fact be
'Track-Ready,' but have been put at risk of accident on race
tracks and during non-track driving when the defective
transmissions and rear differentials overheat, causing the cars to
go into Limp Mode at drastically reduced speed and performance."

According to attorneys, Ford engaged in deceptive business
practices in violation of several consumer protection statutes
when it failed to disclose the defective "track-ready" powertrain
system. It instead continued to market Ford vehicles as fully
capable of track performance, safe, reliable and high quality.

"Shelby owners sought these vehicles specifically because they
appreciate fast cars and the legacy of the Mustang, and wanted to
own a piece of racing history -- to live the dream of being able
to own a car that could be used for everyday driving and also had
the power and performance for the racetrack," said Stuart Grossman
-- szg@grossmanroth.com -- founder and partner at Grossman Roth
Yaffa Cohen.  "What Ford sold them was nothing of the sort."

Plaintiffs also allege that the failure of Ford to properly fix
the powertrain defects at no cost is a breach of express warranty.

The lawsuit seeks reimbursement and all damages permitted by law
for vehicle owners, including diminution in value of the affected
Shelby GT350 Mustangs and/or loss of the benefit of the bargain,
in an amount to be proven at trial to compensate owners for Ford's
fraud that put drivers at risk.  Plaintiffs also seek an order
enjoining Ford's deceptive marketing and sales acts and practices,
as well as punitive damages.[GN]

                      About Hagens Berman

Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP -- http://www.hbsslaw.com-- is a
consumer-rights class-action law firm with offices in 10 cities.

FOREMOST INSURANCE: Court Trims Claims in "Arnold"
In the case captioned DAVID  ARNOLD, et al., Plaintiffs, v.
No. 1:16CV1944 (N.D. Ohio), Judge Benita Y. Pearson of the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of Ohio granted in part
the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or Stay, applying the appraisal
provisions in Plaintiff David Arnold's insurance policy to the
insurance dispute.

The Court dismissed the claims of Plaintiffs Sharon and Ronald
Stone set in the Amended Class Action Complaint, with prejudice,
while the Court directs the Plaintiff and the Defendant to address
by appraisal their disagreements in the calculation of the amounts
owed for Arnold's insured loss, after finding that the claims of
Plaintiff Arnold present a dispute over the amount of loss to his
rental property damaged in the June 30, 2015 fire.

The Court ordered to stay further proceedings and ordered that no
claims of Plaintiff David Arnold or defenses shall be waived as a
result of the stay.

A copy of the Court's decision dated March 17, 2017 is available
at https://goo.gl/E4ZmJc from Leagle.com.

David Arnold, Plaintiff, represented by George Sintsirmas.

David Arnold, Plaintiff, represented by Spyridon G. Sintsirmas,
Andrei V. Rado, Milberg, Christian J. Grostic --
cgrostic@kushnerhamed.com -- Kushner & Hamed & Philip S. Kushner -
- pkushner@kushnerhamed.com -- Kushner & Hamed.

Foremost Insurance Company, Defendant, represented by Brian I.
Hays -- bhays@lordbissell.com -- Lord, Bissell & Brook, Gary W.
Johnson - GJohnson@westonhurd.com -- Weston Hurd, Monica L. Frantz
-- MFrantz@westonhurd.com -- Weston Hurd & Randall A. Hack, Locke

HARBOR FREIGHT: Settles Class Action Over Bogus Sale Prices
NBC reports that if you purchased tools or equipment at Harbor
Freight in the last six years, you may be eligible for some money

Harbor Freight recently agreed to settle a lawsuit alleging the
company violated the law by advertising sale prices on merchandise
with stated regular or "comp at" prices that were not accurate.
Harbor Freight disputed the allegations and believes it complied
with all applicable laws.

If you purchased items at Harbor Freight between April 8, 2011 and
December 15, 2016, you could be eligible for a refund of a
percentage of your purchase.

If you have itemized receipts with a "you saved" amount on the
receipt you could be eligible for 20% of that amount in cash or
30% of that amount as a Harbor Freight gift card.

If you have a credit card statement showing a Harbor Freight
purchase, you can submit copies of the statement and receive 10%
of the purchase amount in cash or 12% as a Harbor Freight gift

If you made a purchase at Harbor Freight but do not have credit
card statements or an itemized receipt, you are eligible for a
USD10 Harbor Freight gift card.

Submissions must be submitted by August 7. [GN]

HEALTH ENROLLMENT: Invades Class Members' Privacy, Action Claims
Susan Hayes, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. The Health Enrollment Group Inc., and Does 1 through
10, inclusive, and each of them, Case No. 2:17-at-00309 (E.D.
Cal., March 23, 2017), seeks damages and any other available legal
or equitable remedies resulting from the illegal actions of The
Health Enrollment Group Inc., in negligently, knowingly, and/or
willfully contacting the Plaintiff on Plaintiff's home telephone
in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, and related
regulations, specifically the National Do-Not-Call provisions,
thereby invading the Plaintiff's privacy.

The Health Enrollment Group Inc. is a nationwide health marketing
company. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Todd M. Friedman, Esq.
      Meghan E. George, Esq.
      Adrian R. Bacon, Esq.
      324 S. Beverly Dr., #725
      Beverly Hills, CA 90212
      Telephone: (877) 206-4741

HIRSCHLER FLEISCHER: Cal. App. Affirms Ruling in PPM Dispute
The Court of Appeals of California sustained the demurrers of the
trial court in the appeals case styled, NNN PARKWAY CORPORATE
PLAZA 8, LLC, et al., Plaintiffs and Appellants, v. HIRSCHLER
FLEISCHER, APC, et al., Defendants and Respondents, Nos. G050412,
G050655 (Cal. App.), on the ground that the Plaintiffs' claims
were time barred.

The case involves the Plaintiffs contending that the private
placement memorandum (PPM) contains confusing and contradictory
statements concerning the costs claimed to have concealed from
them in investing a property.

The Court noted that even if the Plaintiffs' complaint were enough
to state a claim, the Plaintiffs still face a more acute problem,
that is, they filed their lawsuit after the statute of limitations
had run. The Court further noted that even if the PPM was unclear,
the allegedly concealed costs were sufficiently disclosed to put
the Plaintiffs on notice of their claim at the outset of their
investment. Thus, their claims are time barred. Hence, the Court
sustained the demurrers of the trial court.

A copy of the Court of Appeal's Order dated March 16, 2017 is
available at https://goo.gl/i3Etr3 from Leagle.com.

Catanzarite Law Corporation, Kenneth J. Catanzarite, Nicole M.
Catanzarite-Woodward -- ncatanzarite@catanzarite.com -- and Eric
V. Anderton -- eanderton@catanzarite.com -- for Plaintiffs and

Lester & Cantrell, Mark S. Lester, David Cantrell and Colin A.
Northcutt for Defendant and Respondent Hirschler Fleischer.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, J. Warren Rissier --
warren.rissier@morganlewis.com -- and Jordan McCrary for
Defendants and Respondents CBRE, Inc. and William Palmer --

Hahn Loeser & Parks LLP, Michael J. Gleason, mgleason@hahnlaw.com
-- Rupa G. Singh, and Samuel C. Sneed -- ssneed@hahnlaw.com -- for
Defendants and Respondents Chicago Title Company and Chicago Title
Insurance Company.

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER: To Pay $900,000 to Settle Freelancers' Suit
Dominic Patten at Deadline reports that more than three years
after The Hollywood Reporter was accused of playing fast and loose
with how it classified contributors to get out of paying benefits
and more, a judge has approved a class-action settlement that will
see the red-faced Prometheus Global Media publication paying out

The preliminary approval by Judge Ann Jones after a hearing on
March 22 at LA Superior Court downtown means that about 35 THR
contributors who were designated as independent contractors
instead of employees will get a check for around USD14,840.
Approximately USD380,000 of the overall agreement between the
plaintiffs and THR will go to lawyers and other fees related to
the case.

With allegations of  "illegal common policies and practices" by
THR, the case was certified as a class action back in September
2015. Perhaps fearing a jury trial and maybe wanting to get the
matter off its books before any possible sale, THR entered
mediation with the plaintiffs not longer afterward.

A final approval on the settlement that the two sides reached in
January is expected in the next couple of months -- likely. Not
that this is entirely over for THR and Prometheus. Of the 45
punitive class members in the matter, 10 decided not to be
included in the action after the 2015 certification so that they
can make claims of their own at some point.

The road to this resolution so far started on September 27,
2013, when longtime THR contributor David Simpson went to court
and claimed that freelancers at THR are "indistinguishable from
employees in all material respects." Having joined the publication
in October 2008 and worked there until February 2013, Simpson
added, "The sole purpose of misclassifying freelancers as
independent contractors is to deny them benefits and protections
afforded to employees." Not that anyone outside the company would
make the distinction as Simpson was cited as "THR Staff" and an
assistant editor on the mag's website in 2013, despite actually
being a freelancer in his duties as an online video producer and
digital manager.

THR and Prometheus are represented by Nicky Jatana --
Jatana@jacksonlewis.com -- Benjamin Tulis --
Tulis@jacksonlewis.com -- and Cynthia Emery --
EmryC@jacksonlewis.com  from the L.A. offices of Jackson Lewis
LLP. Matthew B. Hayes and Kye D. Pawlenko --
kpawlenko@helpcounsel.com -- of Pasadena's Hayes Pawlenko LLP
represented the THR contributors plaintiffs. [GN]

JAMES HARDIE: Appeals Decision in Leaky Building Class Action
Susan Edmunds, writing for Stuff.co.nz, reports that James Hardie
has appealed the decision that the claims could be brought as a
representative class action.

A High Court decision has put limits on advertising for plaintiffs
to join a leaky building class action case.

A group of owners of leaky buildings was last year given the go-
ahead to take a class action lawsuit over deficient cladding.

They said James Hardie and Studorp were negligent in the design
and manufacture of Harditex and Titan board cladding systems and

The court judgment gave the plaintiffs a limited time, of up to 10
weeks, to add more building owners to the class action.

But the decision was appealed by James Hardie, which argued the
owners' cases should not be seen as representative of other cases.

It sought a stay of execution of the judgment relating to
advertising of the court's decision that the case could be brought
as a class action, while it appeals the ruling.

In the High Court in Auckland, Justice Rebecca Ellis said the
terms of the stay would not prevent less formal publication of the
proceedings, with a view to identifying potential plaintiffs who
could opt in, in the event James Hardie's appeal did not succeed.

"In fact, it seems to be that the plaintiffs will, as a result of
the appeal, end up having considerably more time to rally their
forces than if my judgment were simply to take immediate effect on
its terms."[GN]

INSTACART: Agrees to Settle Lawsuit For USD4.6 Million
Jason Del Rey at Recode reports that the grocery delivery startup
Instacart has agreed to settle a class action lawsuit for USD4.6
million and to make changes to how it explains its fees to

As part of the suit, independent contractors who pick out and
deliver groceries for Instacart claimed 18 violations, including
improper tip pooling and failure to reimburse workers for business
expenses. Instacart still denies all the claims against it.
The settlement is a drop in the bucket for Instacart, which just
closed a new USD400 million investment that values the startup at
around USD3 billion. The company has now raised nearly USD700
million from venture capital firms and strategic partners like
Whole Foods.

No one is getting rich from the deal either -- three of the
workers actively involved in the lawsuit will receive USD5,000
each, while others named in the suit will get either USD1,000 or
USD500 a piece. Instacart workers who aren't named in the lawsuit
will receive, at best, a couple hundred dollars.

But the settlement agreement also requires the startup to alter
the way it describes a new service fee that has led to outrage
among Instacart workers because many customers incorrectly assume
the fee is a tip. Recode recently called out Instacart for how it
introduced this fee, how hard it has made it for customers to find
the tipping option and how it describes tips.

"Instacart will modify the existing user interfaces related to the
Service fee to provide additional information to customers
regarding the nature of the Service fee and the differences
between the Service fee and tip," the agreement reads.

"We have settled a nationwide class action lawsuit, primarily over
the classification of our shoppers as independent contractors," a
spokesperson said in a statement. "This is a positive, early
resolution for the company, and we look forward to finalizing the

Other companies in the burgeoning "on-demand" economy like Uber
and Lyft have also settled class action suits against them. All of
these companies rely on a network of independent contractors to
carry out their core services. Instacart previously converted some
of its in-store shoppers from contractors to part-time employees.
The settlement also requires Instacart to create a formal policy
that explains under what circumstances a worker can be deactivated
from the Instacart system -- essentially, being fired -- and a
process for disputing deactivation. [GN]

JBS SA: Faces Class Action Over Bribery Sacandal
Goldberg Law PC on March 22 announced the filing of a class action
lawsuit against JBS S.A. ("JBS" or the "Company") (OTCMKTS:
JBSAY).  Investors who purchased or otherwise acquired JBS shares
between June 2, 2015, and March 17, 2017, inclusive (the "Class
Period"), are encouraged to contact the firm in advance of the May
22, 2017 lead plaintiff deadline.

If you purchased or otherwise acquired JBS shares and would like
more information regarding the class action lawsuit, we encourage
you to contact Michael Goldberg or Brian Schall, of Goldberg Law
PC, 1999 Avenue of the Stars Suite 1100, Los Angeles, CA 90067, at
800-977-7401, to discuss your rights without cost to you. You can
also reach us through the firm's website at
http://www.Goldberglawpc.com,or by email at

Brazilian federal police raided the offices of JBS after a two-
year investigation into alleged bribery of regulators to subvert
inspections of their plants.  The investigation, known as
"Operation Weak Flesh," had unearthed about 40 cases of
meatpackers who had bribed inspectors and politicians to overlook
unsanitary practices such as processing rotten meat and operating
plants with traces of salmonella.

Police apprehended two JBS employees, as well as 20 public
officials.  JBS commented in a securities filing that three of its
plants and one of its employees were targeted in the probe. When
this information was announced to shareholders, the value of JBS
stock dropped, causing harm to investors.

When this information was revealed to investors, the value of JBS
fell, causing investors harm.

If you have any questions concerning your legal rights, please
immediately contact Goldberg Law PC at 800-977-7401, or visit our
website at http://www.Goldberglawpc.com,or email us at

Goldberg Law PC represents shareholders around the world and
specializes in securities class actions and shareholder rights

JBS SA: May 22 Led Plaintiff Bid Deadline Set
Khang & Khang LLP disclosed the filing of a class action lawsuit
against JBS S.A. (JBSAY). Investors who purchased or otherwise
acquired JBS shares between June 2, 2015, and March 17, 2017,
inclusive (the "Class Period"), are encouraged to contact the firm
in advance of the May 22, 2017 lead plaintiff deadline.

If you purchased shares of JBS during the Class Period, please
contact Joon M. Khang, Esquire, of Khang & Khang, 18101 Von Karman
Avenue, 3rd Floor, Irvine, CA 92612, by telephone: (949) 419-3834,
or via e-mail at joon@khanglaw.com.

There has been no class certification in this case. Until
certification occurs, you are not represented by an attorney. You
may choose to take no action and remain a passive class member.
Brazilian federal police raided the offices of JBS following a
two-year investigation into alleged bribery of regulators to
subvert inspections of their plants. The investigation, referred
to as "Operation Weak Flesh," had identified about 40 cases of
meatpackers who had bribed inspectors and politicians to overlook
unsanitary practices such as processing rotten meat and operating
plants with traces of salmonella.

Police arrested two JBS employees, and 20 public officials. JBS
noted in a securities filing that three of its plants and one of
its employees were targeted in the probe.
When this information was offered to the investing public, JBS
stock dropped, causing investors harm.

If you wish to learn more about this lawsuit at no charge, or if
you have questions concerning this notice or your rights, please
contact Joon M. Khang, a prominent litigator for almost two
decades, by telephone: (949) 419-3834, or via e-mail
at joon@khanglaw.com [GN]

JUST BORN: Faces False Advertising Class Action in Missouri
Jenie Mallari-Torres, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that
consumers have filed a class action lawsuit against Just Born
Inc., citing alleged false advertising and violations of the
federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act and Missouri's Merchandising
Practices Act.

Daryl White Jr. filed a complaint Feb. 16 individually and on
behalf of all others similarly situated in the U.S. District Court
for the Western District of Missouri against Just Born, alleging
that the manufacturer obtained profit through unfair or deceptive
trade or commerce.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that they have
suffered damages from receiving candy products from the defendant
that contain substantially less product than expected, with some
35 percent being non-functional slack-fill.

The complaint also states that the containers are not transparent,
which hinders consumer perception.  The plaintiffs hold Just Born
responsible because it allegedly caused the plaintiffs to purchase
products that were less than the value represented and
intentionally packaged and filled subject products containing non-
functional slack-fill to obtain more profit.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek judgment against
defendant, certification of class action status, designate class
representative and counsel, declaratory relief, compensatory
damages, interest, restitution, injunctive relief, attorneys'
fees, expenses, costs of suit, and further relief as may be just.
They are represented by David L. Steelman, Stephen F. Gaunt and
Patrick J. Horsefield of Steelman, Gaunt & Horsefield in Rolla,

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri Case
number 17-cv-04025

KEENWAWA: Faces Suit Over Process Unsuitable for Blind Customers
Sarah Fritsche at SF Gate reports a federal lawsuit seeking class-
action status has been filed against San Francisco fast-food chain

The lawsuit was filed against Eatsa's parent company, Keenwawa
Inc., in New York on March 22 by Disability Rights Advocates, a
national nonprofit. The plaintiffs are the American Council of the
Blind and Michael Godino, a legally blind New Yorker who said that
he visited one of the restaurant's New York locations and was
unable to use the self-service kiosks or independently collect his
food from the cubbies.

The chain, founded in San Francisco by Tim Young and Scott
Drummond, specializes in quinoa bowls that are served in an
automated setting. While Eatsa has kitchen workers who prepare the
food, aside from a single attendant the restaurants have no
waiters or cashiers. Instead, customers place orders via touch-
screen kiosks or a smartphone app; orders appear several minutes
later in glass cubbies.

Eatsa opened its first outpost in San Francisco's Rincon Centerin
2015. A half-dozen more locations followed, including in the Bay
Area, Washington and New York.

The complaint says "Eatsa has ignored the needs of thousands of
potential blind customers." Because the ordering systems "rely on
exclusively visual displays and do not provide any form of audio
output or tactile input, Eatsa's design is entirely inaccessible
to blind customers."

Though blind customers may request assistance from an attendant,
the complaint says "this denies blind customers the ability to
independently access Eatsa restaurants."

Signs at a San Francisco location on March 22 said it was
"rebooting." A Facebook post advised customers that "big changes
are coming" and to "get ready to meet a whole new Eatsa soon,"
with photos of ingredients like broccoli and pickled onions. [GN]

KIWIBANK: Fair Play on Fees Settles Dispute Over Default Fees
Susan Edmunds, writing for Stuff.co.nz, reports that bank fee
action group Fair Play on Fees has reached a confidential
settlement with Kiwibank.

The group had planned class action suits against many of the major
banks over the default fees they charge customers.

It argued that the fees were out of proportion with the cost of
the defaults to the banks, and were unenforceable penalties.  More
than 7000 customers had signed up to the Kiwibank class action,
Fair Play on Fees had said.

The claim lost some of its steam in this country last year after
the Australian High Court dismissed an appeal there, and found
that credit card late payment fees were not penalties.

A settlement was reached with ANZ last October.

It was confirmed on March 20 that Fair Play on Fees reached a
settlement with Kiwibank on March 16.

"Kiwibank does not admit any liability and all claims against it
will be withdrawn.  Details of the settlement are otherwise

The lead plaintiffs for the Kiwibank case were Auckland couple
Leanne and Sydney Briggs.  The Briggs' banked with Kiwibank for
six-and-a-half years and in that time were hit with more than 100
default fees, totalling almost $2,000.

Leanne Briggs said she was regularly charged despite having
transferred money to her account the day before to cover an
automatic payment.

"Technically Kiwibank said I was still overdrawn because the money
didn't go in until the following day because the payment went out
that same morning.  The default fees happened so often and I
couldn't do anything about it, no matter how many times I called."

She was once charged $10 plus interest for being 2 cents overdrawn
on a mortgage payment for a few days.

Lawyer Andrew Hooker, the face of the action in New Zealand, said
a common theme among the Kiwibank complainants was that they had
joined the bank because they were frustrated with the way they
were being treated by their Australian-owned banks.  "These
customers were then bitterly disappointed to find they were
treated no differently by joining a Kiwi-owned bank."

It had also filed against ANZ and Westpac.

LBG EXPRESS: Faces "Long" Lawsuit Alleging Violation of FACTA
DAVID LONG, an Individual, on behalf of himself and all others
similarly situated, Plaintiffs, V. LBG EXPRESS CAR WASH, a
California limited liability company and DOES 1 through 100,
Inclusive, Defendants, Case No. 654598 (Cal. Super., March 22,
2017), alleges that Defendants willfully and/or knowingly did not
comply with the provision of the Fair and Accurate Credit
Transaction Act by printing more than the last 5 digits of the
card number and/or the expiration date on Plaintiffs' receipt,
thereby putting Plaintiffs in an elevated risk of identity theft.

LBG Express Car Wash -- http://www.lbgcarwash.com/-- utilizes an
eco-friendly car washing system. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Bruce Kokozian, Esq.
     9440 South Santa Monica Boulevard, Suite 510 Q
     Beverly Hills, CA 90210 A
     Phone: (323) 857-5900

LG ELECTRONICS: LG G4, V10 Owners Sue Over Bootloop Issues
Sarmistha Acharya, writing for International Business Times,
reports that several owners of LG G4 and V10 have filed a class-
action lawsuit against LG in the California federal court claiming
repeated bootloop issue "renders the phones inoperable and unfit
for any use".

A plaintiff in the lawsuit that was filed on March 15 claims the
company replaced his G4 twice and his third phone was "manifesting
signs of the bootloop defect and is unmerchantable".

"Despite this admission, LG did not undertake a recall or offer an
adequate remedy to consumers who purchased the LG G4 phone.  LG
instead replaced LG G4s that failed within the one-year warranty
period with phones that had the same defect.  And LG refused to
provide any remedy to purchasers of LG G4s that failed outside the
warranty period because of the bootloop defect," claims the
lawsuit, spotted by Ars Technica.

As for the V10, the lawsuit claims: "LG released the LG V10 phone
in October 2015.  The LG V10's hardware closely resembles the LG
G4 with only a few adjustments, such as expanded storage and an
additional camera.  Within a few months of its release, reports
emerged that the V10 contained the same bootloop defect as the G4.
LG V10 phones unexpectedly crash and then reboot interminably.
Yet LG continues to sell and distribute the V10."

LG reportedly acknowledged the problem with the G4 a year ago
saying the bootloop was the result of "loose contact between
components".  While the company was offering replacement devices
and fixes, the lawsuit claims that after the announcement in 2016,
"LG continued to manufacture LG phones with the bootloop defect".

It further claims that both the processors of the phones were
inadequately soldered to the motherboard as a result of which the
solder bumps connecting the processor to the motherboard were
unable to withstand the heat.  This eventually led to the phones
freezing, becoming temporarily non-functional, suffering
performance slowdowns, overheating and rebooting at random.

The suit further claims: "To the extent they have not been backed
up, all photographs, videos, contacts, and other data on the phone
are permanently lost when LG Phones fail due to the bootloop

The plaintiffs urged LG to provide a comprehensive programme to
fix the phones having bootloop defect and return the members "all
costs attributable to the bootloop defect including economic
losses connected with their purchase of replacement phones".

There are already complaints about the G4 posted on Twitter,
Reddit and YouTube.  The LG V10 is no exception.  Users had filed
an online petition urging LG to "launch a free replacement
programme for all owners affected by this defect, regardless of
the region or model number variant of G4".

LOUISIANA: Faces Class Action Over Broken Public-Defense System
Sara McCleary, writing for Louisiana Record, reports that a
statewide, class-action lawsuit filed with the 19th District Court
alleges that Louisiana's poor lack access to effective legal
representation when faced with criminal charges.

The lawsuit, filed on Feb. 6 in Baton Rouge according to the
Times-Picayune, asserts that this failure of the state to provide
effective public defenders has meant that those in need have not
stood "equal before the law."  The suit names Louisiana Gov. John
Bel Edwards, along with the Louisiana Public Defender Board, as

The case hinges on the Sixth and 14th Amendments of the U.S.
Constitution, which affirm the rights of all citizens to the
"assistance of counsel" when charged with a criminal offense.

"Without effective attorneys, poor defendants across the state are
left literally defenseless against the unchecked power of local
prosecutors and police," Mateya Kelley, the Jerry Shestack Justice
Fellow with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law,
which is acting as co-counsel on the case, told the Louisiana

Ms. Kelley said the system has always been built to fail.

"Louisiana has never been willing to do what it takes to provide
real justice -- real testing of the prosecution's evidence -- in
its criminal courts," she said.

The lawsuit filed with the court pointed out that officials have
long been aware of the state of Louisiana's public-defender

"Plaintiffs support their claim with admissions by the Louisiana
Public Defender Board and State Public Defender and decades of
findings, studies, and investigations by the Louisiana Supreme
Court, the United States Department of Justice, social scientists,
law professors, and government officials from both sides of the
aisle describing the Louisiana public-defense system alternatively
as 'in shambles,' 'chronic[ally] underfunded,'. . . 'on the verge
of collapse,' 'beyond the crisis stage,' 'terrible,' and
'abysmal,'" the filing said.

That the situation has long been known has caused some to question
why nothing has been done about it, and why a lawsuit is needed to
address it.

"Public defenders represent only indigent defendants, so their
clients are among the state's poorest people," Ms. Kelley said.
"Moreover, on account of racial disparities at every step in the
process, beginning with disparate levels of police interaction and
arrest, a disproportionate number of public defenders' clients are
black Louisianans.

"On top of that, there seems to be an erroneous, common feeling
that anyone who gets arrested did something wrong.  So you've got
an affected population of poor, disproportionately black folk, who
people assume are criminals.  The Constitution says that every
individual is presumed innocent and stands equal before the law.
As best I can tell, Louisiana policymakers just don't believe
either of those things and have never been willing to ensure them,
so the state's courts have to step in and enforce Louisianans'
constitutional rights."

The suit is asking the court to declare that the plaintiffs, along
with "all persons who are indigent and facing criminal charges in
Louisiana . . . have been denied the right to counsel and equal
protection under the United States and Louisiana constitutions."

It requests an injunction preventing the defendants from
continuing the broken public-defense system, and wants the court
to "appoint a monitor to supervise the public-defense system until
such time as it determines that defendants have implemented a
system that provides effective representation for the poor
statewide and dismantled the structural barriers to effective
representation which exist in Louisiana."[GN]

LOUISIANA: Judge Dismisses Suit Over Indigent Defense Funding
Rebecca Campbell, writing for Louisiana Record, reports that a
federal judge in Baton Rouge has dismissed a lawsuit brought
against the office by the American Civil Liberties Union that
attempted to force the state to change budget inadequacies for
those who can't afford lawyers under court order.

According to a report by The Times-Picayune, U.S. District Judge
James J. Brady of the Middle District of Louisiana ruled on
Jan. 31 that the court does not have the remedial tools to resolve
the funding crisis, despite saying in his 13-page ruling that "the
Louisiana Legislature is failing miserably at upholding its
obligations" to provide lawyers for defendants who are unable to
afford private counsel.

"Budget shortages are no excuse to violate the United States
Constitution," Judge Brady wrote.  "The Legislature must resolve
the crisis and locate a stable source of funding."

The ACLU's class-action lawsuit was brought against Orleans Chief
Defense Derwyn Bunton's office and the Louisiana Public Defender
Board on Jan. 14, 2016.  The thought was that in doing so, a
federal court order would induce the state to improve funding to
both entities, thus giving indigent defendants the counsel they
need for their cases.

In their initial complaint, according to court documents, the
plaintiffs were requesting declaratory relief that their Sixth and
14th Amendment rights to counsel and their 14th Amendment right to
equal protection were violated with their placement on the waiting
list.  The complaint was amended to request injunctive relief in

However, Judge Brady prevented any type of injunctive relief the
plaintiffs sought.  In his ruling, he stated that while the state
has a crisis when it comes to public-defense funding, it did not
mean that the federal district court is the "correct forum to
remedy this serious systemic problem."  Instead, he added that it
is a problem that needs to be resolved by the Legislature.

In a report by The Times Picayune, the Orleans Public Defenders
office receives its funding from city appropriations, the state
Public Defender Board and a portion of fines and fees collected
from traffic violators and other defendants.

However, the report added, reduced local traffic-ticket revenue
over recent years has caused financial problems for public-
defenders offices statewide, which has resulted in a waitlist for
defendants as well as "hiring freezes, lawyer and investigator
layoffs and other austerity measures."

In his ruling, Judge Brady concluded that the federal court had
"faith that the state-court criminal judges will do their best to
uphold the constitutional rights of the defendants on the

He added, though, that judges "can only offer temporary relief in
this crisis" with relief coming only "when the Legislature locates
an adequate source of funding for public-defense offices."

LYFT: Judge Okays Drivers' Class Action Settlement
Madeline Patrick, writing for Normangee Star, reports that this
settlement seems to conclude the battle over how the ride-hailing
company classifies its drivers.

In this case, it was a class action lawsuit that had the goal of
establishing Lyft drivers as company employees instead of the
current definition of "independent contractors".  "But the
agreement falls within a range of reasonable outcomes given the
benefits it achieves for drivers and the risks involved in taking
the case to trial".

The California-based drivers had sued Lyft as they felt that they
were treated as contractors and were not reimbursed for work-
related costs such as gas, insurance, and other such expenses.

Lyft, which is a top rival to ride-hailing behemoth Uber, launched
its service in 2012 in San Francisco.  Unfortunately for the
drivers, they did not get to be considered Lyft employees, and
their status according to California law remains uncertain going
forward.  Just like Uber, Lyft was called to court by some of its

"The nonmonetary parts of the settlement will provide Lyft drivers
with additional job security, a practical ability to challenge
day-to-day grievances, and other benefits", she said. "The
agreement is not flawless", he wrote in his order approving the
settlement on March 16.

"We are very pleased to be at the end of this process", she said.

According to the settlement, drivers are independent contractors
whose employment can not be terminated by Lyft at its will, as was
the case earlier.

"The question of whether the drivers are appropriately classified
as employees or independent contractors will have to wait for
another day", she said.  After granting preliminary approval in
June previous year, U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria approved
the $27 million settlement.

Uber Technologies faces a similar class-action lawsuit from
drivers in California and MA.

They get some degree of protection, though, thanks to some of the
settlement's terms.

The company sought to settle the suit for $100 million last April,
but in August the judge for the case rejected the offer saying it
was unfair, inadequate and unreasonable for drivers.

"I think the settlement is a still victory for Lyft, even at the
significantly higher dollar amount compared to the original
settlement, as it allows Lyft to continue with their driver
employment model largely unchanged", said
David Francis, research analyst at Staffing Industry Analysts.

"The agreement is not flawless", Judge Chhabria wrote in his order
on March 16.  Judge Vince Chhabria described the agreement as "not
flawless", and stated, "the status of Lyft drivers under
California law remains uncertain going forward".

ABDUS KHALIK, on behalf of himself and on behalf of other
similarly-situated individuals, Plaintiffs, against MADISON
New York County, March 22, 2017), alleges that Plaintiff and other
similarly-situated individuals were subjected to numerous
violations of the federal and state labor laws, including: (i)
failure to pay minimum wage in violation of the Fair Labor
Standards Act and the New York Labor Law; (ii) illegal retention
and distribution to tip ineligible employees of gratuities and
"charges purported to be gratuities" in violation of NYLL; (iii)
failure to pay overtime in violation of the FLSA and the NYLL;
(iv) failure to pay wages for all hours worked, resulting in
substantial "off-the-clock" work in violation of NYLL; (v)
unlawful deductions from wages in violation of NYLL; (vi) failure
to furnish accurate wage statements and wage notices in violation
of NYLL; and (vii) failure to pay "Spread of Hours" pay in
violation of the NYLL.

Plaintiff has been a service employee of a restaurant owned and
operated by Defendant named Lavo NY.  Plaintiff has worked as a
Busser for Defendant. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     David E. Gottlieb, Esq.
     Tanvir H. Rahman, Esq.
     85 Fifth Avenue
     New York, NY 10003
     Phone: (212) 257-6800
     Fax: (212) 257-6845
     E-mail: dgottlieb@wigdorlaw.com

MARC JACOBS: Settles Suit Over Misclassification of Interns
Julianne Escobedo Shepherd at Jezebel reports in 2014 Linney
Warren, a former intern at Marc Jacobs, sued Marc Jacobs
International LLC for allegedly violating New York Labor Law,
claiming the company misclassified interns as "exempt from minimum
wages and overtime compensation" while having them do the work of
a paid employee. On March 22, former Marc Jacobs interns eligible
for the class action suit got a notice that it had been settled
out of court, with the company admitting no wrongdoing but
agreeing to pay eligible former interns a fee ranging from USD835
to USD1,210, depending on when they were with the company.

In Warren's initial suit, she claimed that in her capacity as a
Marc Jacobs intern from April to June 2009, she worked five days a
week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and "approximately 10 to 15 hours over
the course of the weekend" doing such tasks as "transporting raw
materials to and from different studios, organizing fabrics,
correcting patterns, sewing, everyday errands such as picking up
coffee, and other similar duties." This, the suit alleged,
constituted unpaid labor, and that "Marc Jacobs would have hired
additional employees or required existing staff to work additional
hours had the Named Plaintiff and other members of the putative
class not performed work for Marc Jacobs." The suit also claimed
that Marc Jacobs did not provide "academic or vocational training"
to its interns.

The current settlement provides taxable monetary compensation to
former unpaid interns from 2009 to 2014, when Warren filed suit,
from a settlement fund of up to USD510,637. A hearing will be held
on April 11 for its approval, and former interns have until May 22
to make their claim.

As The Fashion Law reported in 2014, another class action intern
suit had been filed against Oscar De La Renta with similar
allegations; that was temporarily halted in 2015 following similar
internship suits against Hearst Corporation and Fox Entertainment
Group Inc. In 2016, Fox agreed to pay former interns USD495 each
in a settlement. [GN]

MEDFIRST CONSULTING: Faces "Kiley" Suit Over Failure to Pay OT
Jill Kiley and Marcus Payne, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated v. Medfirst Consulting Healthcare
Staffing, LLC, Case No. 1:17-cv-00470-CL (D. Or., March 23, 2017),
is brought against the Defendants for failure to pay overtime
wages in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Plaintiffs work for the Defendant as a consultant providing
information technology support services to the Defendant's clients
in Klamath Falls, Oregon.

Medfirst Consulting Healthcare Staffing, LLC is in the business of
providing information technology and educational services for the
healthcare industry across the United States. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Beth Creighton, Esq.
      65 S.W. Yamhill Street, Suite 300
      Portland, OR 97204
      Telephone: (503) 221-1792
      Facsimile: (503) 223-1516
      E-mail: beth@civilrightspdx.com

         - and -

      Harold Lichten, Esq.
      Olena Savytska, Esq.
      729 Boylston Street, Suite 2000
      Boston, MA 02116
      Telephone: (617) 994-5800
      Facsimile: (617) 994-5801
      E-mail: hlichten@llrlaw.com

         - and -

      David M. Blanchard, Esq.
      Daniel Tai, Esq.
      221 N. Main Street, Suite 300
      Ann Arbor, MI 48104
      Telephone: (734) 929-4313
      E-mail: blanchard@bwlawonline.com

MERCK: 3rd Circuit Revives Fosamax Warning Label Class Action
Rick Archer, Joe Van Acker and Jody Godoy, writing for Law360,
report that the Third Circuit on March 22 revived a class action
suit claiming Merck failed to warn patients about the risk of its
osteoporosis drug Fosamax causing irregular hip fractures, saying
the drugmaker must prove to a jury federal regulators blocked the

The panel reversed a district court ruling that had dismissed the
claims against Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp. on the grounds the Food
and Drug Administration would not have approved of the addition of
a fracture warning, saying there was a valid argument Merck could
have gotten approval if it had described the fractures

"A reasonable juror reviewing the evidence in this case could find
it less than highly probable that the FDA would not have approved
a warning about the risk of atypical femur fractures that
eliminated or revised references to 'stress fractures.'" Circuit
Judge Julio Fuentes, writing the opinion for the panel, said.

U.S. District Judge Joel A. Pisano dismissed the labeling claims
from multidistrict litigation over the osteoporosis drug in 2014
after finding they were preempted by federal law, but the Fosamax
users have since argued that the preemption issue boils down to
whether or not Merck proposed "a clear and accurate warning" to
the FDA.

Merck argued a U.S. Supreme Court ruling barred claims like those
brought by Fosamax users over Merck's alleged failure to warn of
painful leg fractures associated with the drug.  In Wyeth v.
Levine, the high court held pharmaceutical companies can't be sued
for a failure to warn where there is "clear evidence" the FDA
considered a proposed warning but rejected it for inadequate data,
Merck said.

The patients argued in an appeal brief filed in December 2015 that
Merck incorrectly interpreted the FDA's rejection of its proposed
warning to mean that the agency wouldn't accept any warnings about
femoral fractures, and argued that the company wasn't entitled to
summary judgment because the FDA had a "long-standing concern"
about those fractures.

Merck told the court that the Fosamax users' reading of the FDA's
communications with the drugmaker took them out of context. The
agency had stopped Merck from changing the prominent "precautions"
section of the label, Merck said.

The panel, however, found a reasonable juror could conclude based
on the FDA's communication to Merck that the agency had
specifically objected to the use of the words "stress fracture" in
the label as potentially misleading, as not all fractures
potentially caused by the drug fit the common definition, and if
Merck had submitted a revised warning with different wording it
could have been approved.

The panel also rejected Merck's arguments that the question was
better decided by the court than by a jury.

"This assessment is certainly complex, but does not require
special legal competence or training," Judge Fuentes.

The panel also reinstated the plaintiffs' other dismissed claims,
saying they had adequately established their claim they might not
have been prescribed Fosamax if Merck had added the fracture risk
to the warning's adverse reaction section earlier than they did.

"A reasonable juror could conclude that some of these physicians
would not have prescribed Fosamax if atypical femur fractures had
been listed in the adverse reactions section," Judge Fuentes said.

Counsel for Merck and the plaintiffs did not immediately respond
to requests for comment on March 22.

Merck is represented by Andrew T. Bayman and Chilton D. Varner of
King & Spalding LLP, John H. Beisner, Jessica D. Miller --
jessica.miller@skadden.com -- Geoffrey M. Wyatt of Skadden Arps
Slate Meagher & Flom LLP, Karen A. Confoy --
kconfoy@foxrothschild.com -- of Fox Rothschild LLP, Wilfred P.
Coronato of Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP, and David J. Heubeck,
Stephen E. Marshall and Paul F. Strain of Venable LLP.

Doris Albrecht is represented by Edward Braniff and Michael E.
Pederson of Weitz & Luxenberg PC, Donald A. Ecklund of Carella
Byrne Cecchi Olstein Brody & Agnello PC and David C. Frederick --
dfrederick@kellogghansen.com -- of Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel &
Frederick PLLC.

The case is In Re: Fosamax, case number 14-1900, in the U.S. Court
of Appeals for the Third Circuit.[GN]

METALDYNE PERFORMANCE: Faces Shareholders' Class Action
Courthouse News Service reports a class of shareholders claims in
a federal lawsuit that metal parts maker Metaldyne's proposed
USD1.6 billion sale to American Axle & Manufacturing undervalues
Metaldyne stock by more than USD8 a share.

The lead plaintiff is Brian Zimmer. The defendants are Metaldyne
Performance Group Inc., George Thanopoulos, Kevin Penn, Loren
Easton, Michael Fisch, Nick Bhambri, William Jackson, Jeffrey
Stafeil and John Pearson Smith. [GN]

MICHAEL ANTHONY: "Davis" Suit Proceeds to Arbitration
The Supreme Court of New Jersey referred the case captioned
SALES, Defendant-Respondent, Docket No. A-3831-15T2 (N.J. S.C.),
to arbitration.

The case involves a class action complaint where the Plaintiff
asserted that she was overcharged for title and registration fees
by the Defendant when she purchased a used car. The Defendant then
moved to compel arbitration and dismiss the complaint, while the
Plaintiff argues that the arbitration clause is unenforceable.

The Court noted that the Plaintiff's arguments lack sufficient
merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion. The Court
concluded that the contract language indisputably demonstrates
that the parties have agreed to arbitrate all disputes between
them if requested by either Plaintiff or Defendant. The Court also
explains that if either party chooses arbitration, the matter will
not be decided in court or by a jury trial. Hence, if a dispute is
arbitrated, there is no right to proceed as a class action member
or representative.

A copy of the Court's Order dated March 17, 2017 is available at
https://goo.gl/DypDYY from Leagle.com.

Lessie Hill, attorney for appellant.

Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, attorneys for respondent
(Anthony E. Bush -- abush@eckertseamans.com -- of counsel and on
the brief; Jill R. Cohen -- jcohen@eckertseamans.com -- on the

MIDLAND CREDIT: Illegally Collects Debt, "Goldman" Suit Claims
Sheva Goldman, on behalf of herself and all other similarly
situated consumers v. Midland Credit Management, Inc., Midland
Funding, LLC, and Encore Capital Group, Inc., Case No. 1:17-cv-
01648 (E.D.N.Y., March 23, 2017), seeks redress for the illegal
practices of the Defendants concerning the collection of debts.

The Defendants are engaged in the business of collecting or
attempting to collect debts. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Adam J. Fishbein, Esq.
      735 Central Avenue
      Woodmere, NY 11598
      Telephone: (516) 668-6945
      E-mail: fishbeinadamj@gmail.com

MILWAUKEE COUNTY, NY: Shackled Pregnant Women File Class Action
Jason Silverstein, writing for New York Daily News, reports that
at least 40 women who were incarcerated at the Milwaukee County
Jail were forced to give birth there in shackles, a new lawsuit

The federal civil suit accuses the notorious lockup of inflicting
"physical pain and suffering" on dozens of pregnant inmates who
endured labor in chains, exposing them to "unreasonable risks of

This is at least the third recent lawsuit alleging similar
treatment of women inmates at the jail -- and the latest in a long
list of alleged horrors that have happened there.

The class action suit was filed March 14 on behalf of former
inmate Melissa Hall.  But the suit says at least 40 women suffered
the same fate, and may join the lawsuit.

According to the civil complaint, the 27-year-old Hall was held at
the jail for seven months in 2013 for an unspecified offense.

She was pregnant at the time, and forced to wear a "belly-chain,"
which kept her wrists tied to her waist and attached her legs with

But armed deputies forced her to keep the chain on when she went
into labor -- even after medical providers insisted she be freed,
the complaint says.

The confinement inflicted more pain on her as she gave birth, left
marks on her body and made it harder for hospital workers to give
her an epidural, court papers say.

The complaint says the jail has a uniform policy that all
detainees must be shackled during medical treatment, with no
exceptions granted for childbirth or any other situation.  The
suit calls this rule "excessive" and "not rationally related to a
legitimate, non-punitive purpose."

The Wisconsin Department of Correction years ago ended its
practice of shackling pregnant inmates during childbirth, and the
Federal Bureau of Prisons has rolled back a previous policy
mandating that.

The suit names Milwaukee County and its sheriff, David Clarke, as
defendants.  The filing demands a jury trial and unspecified
damages for the women.

A 2014 lawsuit from another woman who was held at the jail accused
deputies of handcuffing and shackling her during 21 hours of
labor. Another lawsuit, filed in December 2016, said officials
allowed an inmate's newborn baby to die through negligence.

The jail and the county's strongman sheriff -- a Trump ally who
shares the President's penchant for provocative remarks -- have
been repeatedly accused of abusing detainees, or even leaving them
to die.

The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating the jail after
four inmates died there in six months -- including a bipolar man
who suffered severe dehydration.  A medical examiner also accused
Clarke of verbally harassing him for revealing the mysterious
deaths behind bars.

MSLGROUP: Ex-China CEO's Gender Discrimination Suit Resolved
Douglas Quenqua, writing for CampaignUS, reports that the action
brought by Faith Brewitt in January claimed the Publicis PR agency
had denied her the basic tools to perform her job.

MSLGroup has resolved the gender discrimination suit filed by
former Greater China CEO Faith Brewitt, according to the agency.

"We have worked with Faith to put the situation behind us, and we
continue to be fully focused on maintaining and building our
organization as an exemplary place for women to work and grow,"
the agency said in a statement.

The Publicis Groupe PR agency did not offer further details, and
neither Brewitt nor her attorney, Gregory Louvel of Leaf Legal in
Beijing, responded to emailed questions.

Ms. Brewitt filed the suit with the with the Shanghai Arbitration
Bureau in January, claiming that she had been treated unfairly
from the moment she was hired as Greater China CEO in June 2016,
given fewer resources and less access to her superiors than men
serving in similar positions.

"I didn't have an office, I didn't have a computer for two months,
I didn't get access to the server for three months, I was blocked
on all global calls for four months by the regional president, a
man who was clearly threatened," Ms. Brewitt said in a telephone
interview at the time.  "I didn't have a personal assistant -- all
the other guys had a PA on day one.

Though it is unclear how the two sides came to an agreement,
MSLGroup "resolved the situation before any legal proceedings,"
said an agency source.

The agency, which has over 110 offices worldwide, including 35 in
Asia, took the opportunity to tout its record on female
employment.  "Women hold 25 out of the 33 top positions in our
organization in Greater China," it said in a statement.  "MSLGroup
remains fully committed to the fair, equal, and respectful
treatment of all of our employees around the world and maintaining
workplace practices that are lawful, correct and non-

The lawsuit claimed that MSLGroup had "discharged Ms. Faith
Brewitt without giving any solid reason" in December, according to
a translation provided by Mr. Louvel.  "Such termination is unfair
and grossly illegal according to Chinese law. The way Ms. Brewitt
was treated (considering the way other women senior executive in
MSL have been treated in the past) raises serious questions about
gender discrimination within MSL."

Ms. Brewitt said she was told in December that she was being
dismissed because she "wasn't bringing in the dollars." But she
disputed that claim in January, saying that "China was holding its
numbers during my six months on the job." (Overall, Paris-based
Publicis' revenue in Asia was flat during Q3.) MSLGroup has
maintained that Ms. Brewitt's dismissal had nothing to do with

This was not the first time in recent years that Publicis and
MSLGroup had been accused of gender bias.  In 2015, the holding
company settled a class action discrimination suit brought by more
than 100 female employees who claimed they were denied equal pay,
promotions and other opportunities.  The suit, which the company
settled for $3 million without admitting wrongdoing, also claimed
that former MSLGroup US President Jim Tsokanos frequently used
sexist language around the office.

Last year, Saatchi & Saatchi chairman Kevin Roberts stepped down
after proclaiming in an interview with Business Insider that "the
fucking debate" about gender equality was "all over," and implying
that women weren't traditionally ambitious.

MURRAY GOULBURN: Appoints Restructuring Expert Amid Class Action
The Australian Associated Press reports that Murray Goulburn has
appointed restructuring expert John Spark as chairman as the dairy
cooperative seeks to improve its financial performance and
relations with farmers hurt by a surprise cut to milk prices a
year ago.

Mr Spark will take over at the end of March from current chairman
Philip Tracy, who flagged his retirement at Murray Goulburn's
annual general meeting in October 2016.

Mr Spark's appointment comes five weeks after new Murray Goulburn
chief executive Ari Mervis started work to turn around the co-
operative's poor fortunes over the last year.

Murray Goulburn said on March 20 that Mr Spark, a former chairman
of agribusiness Ridley Corp, is an expert in restructuring
unprofitable companies, with 15 years' experience as a partner and
then managing partner with receivers Ferrier Hodgson.

He also has agricultural experience, having owned a cattle farm
near Yea in Victoria.

Mr Tracy said in October that he was ultimately responsible for
Murray Goulburn's performance and he was deeply sorry for the
impact that the April, 2016 cut to the farmgate milk price had had
on dairy farmers.

Mr Tracy, who has been on Murray Goulburn's board since 2009 and
chairman since 2011, would have been ineligible for re-election in
2018, because the cooperative's charter puts the maximum tenure
period for a director at nine years.

Mr Spark said he was honoured to become chairman of Murray

"I look forward to playing a central role at Murray Goulburn and
working closely with my fellow directors and chief executive
officer Ari Mervis to build a stronger company for the future," he
said in a statement.

Murray Goulburn has endured a difficult period since it cut the
farmgate milk price in 2016 and downgraded its profit forecast.

The managing director at the time, Gary Helou, and chief financial
officer Brad Hingle subsequently stepped down, and three directors
quit the board.

The share price in Murray Goulburn's listed entity, the MG Unit
Trust, has more than halved since April 2016.

Murray Goulburn and the MG Unit Trust face a shareholder class
action, with investors alleging that they had been misled.

Murray Goulburn also cut 200 jobs and in February posted a first-
half loss of $31.87 million, compared to a profit of $10 million a
year earlier.

Mr Tracy oversaw the float of the MG Unit Trust, a special vehicle
that allows non-dairy farmers to invest in Murray Goulburn, on the
Australian Securities Exchange in 2015.

NATIONAL CASUALTY: Dismissal of Kansas Settlement Claims Affirmed
The Court of Appeals of Wisconsin affirmed the dismissal of the
Plaintiff's claim of the Kansas settlement in the case captioned,
CORPORATION, Defendant, Appeal No. 2015AP2367 (Wis. App.).

The case involves the Plaintiff seeking payment of the unpaid
amount of a Kansas judgment that incorporated a settlement reached
between Fun Services and National Casualty's insured, Hertz
Equipment Rental Corporation, without National Casualty's

The Court of Appeals affirmed the circuit court's dismissal of the
complaint based on an interpretation of New Jersey law argued by
National Casualty and unrefuted by Fun Services. According to that
interpretation, one prerequisite for an insurer's liability for
the payment of a settlement reached by its insured without the
insurer's participation is the insurer's wrongful refusal to
defend. National Casualty did not wrongfully refuse to defend in
the Kansas action because there is no evidence that Hertz
requested a defense in the Kansas action under the policies under
which Fun Services seeks payment in the action.

Accordingly, the Court of Appeals ruled that the Plaintiff fails
to establish that it is entitled to payment of the Kansas
settlement, having failed to establish a necessary prerequisite to

A copy of the Court of Appeal's decision dated March 16, 2017 is
available at https://goo.gl/cl6WMq from Leagle.com.

Charles H. Barr, for Fun Services of Kansas City, Plaintiff-

Phillip A. Bock, for Fun Services of Kansas City, Plaintiff-

David M. Oppenheim, for Fun Services of Kansas City, Plaintiff-

Jeffrey A. Berman, for Fun Services of Kansas City, Plaintiff-

Brian J. Wanca, for Fun Services of Kansas City, Plaintiff-

Michael P. Crooks, for National Casualty Company, Defendant-

Hans H.J. Pijls -- hans.pijls@dinsmore.com -- for National
Casualty Company, Defendant-Respondent.

Marie A. Stanton -- mstanton@hbslawfirm.com -- for Hertz Equipment
Rental Corporation, Defendant.

NEBRASKA: High Court Upholds Irrigators' Class Action Dismissal
Andy Raun, writing for Hastings Tribune, reports that the Nebraska
Supreme Court has upheld a May 2016 ruling from the Furnas County
District Court dismissing a legal challenge to the way the
Nebraska Department of Natural Resources has regulated surface
water on the Republican River.

In a ruling issued May 10, the high court rejected an appeal from
principal plaintiffs in the 2014 class action lawsuit claiming
that NDNR was injuring irrigators in the Frenchman Cambridge
Irrigation District by suspending the district's surface water
storage and diversion permits while at the same time allowing
groundwater irrigators in the Republican River Basin to overpump
their wells.

The lawsuit named NDNR and the state of Nebraska generally as
plaintiffs.  The case related to Nebraska's attempt to maintain
compliance with the interstate Republican River Compact of 1943
through the joint adoption of integrated water management plans by
the state Department of Natural Resources and Republican basin
natural resources districts.

Under Nebraska law, NDNR has authority to regulate surface water,
while the NRDs are charged with regulating groundwater use.  IMPs
adopted for the Lower, Middle and Upper Republican NRDs call for
action by both the state agency and the NRDs in Compact Call
Years, when extra management steps are deemed necessary for
Nebraska's compliance with the compact.

District Judge James E. Doyle IV had dismissed the case, ruling
that the interstate river compact, signed by Nebraska, Kansas and
Colorado and the U.S. government, carries the force of federal law
and supersedes their individual property rights.

The high court agreed with Doyle's decision on that question.

"We reject the appropriators' argument that the Compact is an
inferior use to the use rights given to the appropriators under
their permits," the Supreme Court ruling reads.  ". . . As federal
law, the allocations set forth under the Compact are the supreme
law in Nebraska and the DNR must ensure Nebraska remains within
its allocation under the Compact.  Therefore, the appopriators'
rights to use water is subject to the superior obligation of the
state to ensure compliance with the Compact."

Doyle, the district judge, also had ruled that curtailing
deliveries of surface water to the irrigators while failing to
regulate groundwater use in the Republican basin did not amount to
"inverse condemnation" of the irrigators' land

The judge noted that while Nebraska is bound by river compact
provisions related to accounting for groundwater depletions and
recharge, NDNR does not have independent authority to regulate
groundwater.  Again, Nebraska law assigns those regulatory duties
to the state's 23 NRDs.

"If DNR does not have the power or the duty to regulate
groundwater, then an alleged failure to exercise such nonexistent
power or duty does not give rise to a cause of action for inverse

The lawsuit had been filed in 2014 by Greg Hill, Brent Coffey,
James Uerling and Warren Schaffert, all irrigators in the
Frenchman Cambridge district, which serves more than 45,000 acres
upstream of the Harlan County Reservoir, utilizing 41 direct
surface flow permits with priority dates ranging from 1890 to

The Frenchman Cambridge district and the downstream Nebraska
Bostwick Irrigation District, which serves surface irrigation
customers downstream of Harlan, have had their ability to divert
and store water suspended by NDNR each year since 2013.  The year
2017 is Nebraska's fifth consecutive Compact Call Year in the
Republican basin.

Meanwhile, groundwater irrigators in the Republican basin have
seen their pumpage rationed by the NRDs for many years. The
irrigators are held to a certain amount of pumping per year and
per multiyear allocation period.  Meanwhile, the districts
themselves labor under limits on beneficial consumptive use of
groundwater in their jurisdictions.

The Republican River Compact allocates the natural water supply
within the basin to the states of Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska.
Kansas has sued Nebraska twice, alleging the overuse of its
rightful share of the water.

NEIMAN MARCUS: Settles Data Breach Class Action for $1.6 Million
Aaron P. Simpson, Esq., and Justin Keslowitz, Esq., of Hunton &
Williams LLP, in an article for Lexology, report that on March 17,
2017, retailer Neiman Marcus agreed to pay $1.6 million as part of
a proposed settlement (the "Settlement") to a consumer class
action lawsuit stemming from a 2013 data breach that allegedly
compromised the credit card data of approximately 350,000

The consumer plaintiffs sued Neiman Marcus in March 2014, alleging
that the company failed to protect customers' privacy and waited
28 days to inform affected customers of the breach. Neiman Marcus
claimed that, rather than 350,000 customers, the breach affected
only 9,200 customers. The case initially was dismissed on the
grounds that the affected customers lacked standing, having been
reimbursed for their losses; the Seventh Circuit reversed and
remanded, finding that costs for preventative measures like credit
monitoring sufficiently established standing.

Under the terms of the Settlement, each class member who submits a
valid claim is entitled to receive up to $100.  Each class
representative will receive up to $2,500 in service awards, and
class counsel will seek up to $530,000 in attorneys' fees and
costs.  The Settlement also requires Neiman Marcus to maintain the
data security measures it implemented in the wake of the breach,
including the (1) appointment of a Chief Information Security
Officer, (2) creation of an Information Security organizational
unit, (3) increase in frequency and depth of cybersecurity
reporting to the executive team and Board of Directors, (4) use of
chip-based payment card infrastructure in stores, (5) education
and training of employees on privacy and data security matters,
(6) collection and analysis of logs of Neiman Marcus systems for
potential security threats and (7) information sharing
initiatives.  The Settlement awaits preliminary approval from the
United States District Court for the Northern District of

NETFLIX INC: Stockholder Files Class Action Over Financial Damages
Wadi Reformado at Legal Newsline reports a stockholder has filed a
class action lawsuit against Netflix and two of its top
executives, alleging the media company understated the impact of
its subscription price hike in violation of federal law.

James Ziolkowski filed a complaint on behalf of all others
similarly situated on March 1 in the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California against the company, as well as
CEO Reed Hastings and Chief Financial Officer David
Wells, alleging that they issued false and misleading statements
regarding the company's financial results.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that he suffered
damages from purchasing Netflix stock at artificially inflated
prices. The plaintiff holds Netflix, Inc., Reed Hastings, and
David Wells responsible because the defendants allegedly
downplayed the effect a price hike had on the number of
subscribers to the movie and TV-streaming service. Ziolkowski
alleges defendants issued false statements regarding the company
in order to artificially inflate stock prices.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks pay damages,
interest, and any other relief as this court deems just. He is
represented by Ramzi Abadou -- ramzi.abadou@ksfcounsel.com -- of
Kahn Swick & Foti in San Francisco and by Jeffrey Krinsk --
jrk@classactionlaw.com -- David Harris Jr. --
djh@classactionlaw.com -- and Trenton Kashima --
trk@classactionlaw.com -- of Finkelstein & Krinsk in San Diego.

NEW ORLEANS, LA: Sheriff's Office Settles Labor Class Action
Jim Mustian, writing for The Advocate, reports that the Orleans
Parish Sheriff's Office has settled a class-action lawsuit that
accused Sheriff Marlin Gusman of shortchanging deputies for years
on wages they earned attending mandatory roll calls and while
waiting to be relieved at the end of their shifts.

Neither the Sheriff's Office nor the plaintiffs would comment on
the terms of the settlement, which was filed under seal in U.S.
District Court in New Orleans.

The settlement resolves a Fair Labor Standards Act lawsuit filed
in 2015 by Don Marshall Jr., a former Sheriff's Office deputy who
left the office in 2014 after being elected constable in
Tangipahoa Parish.

Even though the case involves taxpayer dollars, U.S. District
Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown allowed its resolution to be filed
under seal, citing the "confidential aspects of the settlement"
and the need "to protect the privacy interests of the parties."

The lawsuit claimed Sheriff Gusman routinely failed to pay
deputies overtime for a shift unless it exceeded 30 minutes,
disregarding "the mandatory nature of a deputy's presence before
and after shift times."  It said deputies weren't compensated for
the time they worked while waiting to be relieved unless it
amounted to more than half an hour -- a policy that Marshall's
attorneys said violated federal labor law.

The Sheriff's Office "cannot argue they did not know of the
existence of unpaid pre- and post-shift clocked time, because the
time was recorded in their own payroll system," the plaintiff's
attorneys wrote in court filings.

"Defendants had a policy whereby time was automatically deducted
for clock punch-ins that occurred within 30 minutes prior to and
immediately after a sheriff's deputy shift," they wrote.

Sheriff Gusman's attorneys said in court filings last year that
the Sheriff's Office made "reasonable, good-faith efforts" to
comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act and that "any alleged
violations of the law were not willful."

It's unclear whether the Sheriff's Office has altered any of its
policies because of the litigation. A Sheriff's Office spokesman
did not respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Labor conducted an investigation into the
matter but concluded its inquiry "with no further action" after
learning of Marshall's class-action lawsuit, a spokesman said.

"It is a longstanding policy of the (Department of Labor's) Wage
and Hour Division not to pursue an investigation when affected
employees have availed themselves of their right to pursue
lawsuits on their own behalf," said the spokesman, Edwin Nieves
Jr. "This policy prevents duplication of efforts and preserves WHD
resources to conduct investigations where no such litigation has
been brought by affected employees."[GN]

NORTH AMERICAN: Faces "Mcghee" Class Suit in South. Dist. Cal.
A class action lawsuit has been commenced against North American
Bancard, LLC.  The case is captioned Gerald Mcghee, an individual,
on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated v. North
American Bancard, LLC, Case No. 3:17-cv-00586-AJB-KSC (S.D. Cal.,
March 24, 2017).

North American Bancard, LLC is a credit card processing company
that offers solutions for credit, debit, EBT, check conversion and
guarantee, gift & loyalty cards and more.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Shaun A. Markley
      225 Broadway, 19th Floor
      San Diego, CA 92101
      Telephone: (619) 325-0492
      E-mail: smarkley@nicholaslaw.org

NORTHSTAR LOTTERY: Sued for Manipulating Games to Reduce Payouts
Jonathan Bilyk, writing for Cook County Record, reports that two
players of the Illinois Lottery's scratch-off games have asked a
court to award a jackpot from the former operators of the state
lottery system, alleging Northstar Lottery Group owes them and
others who played the state's instant games for flooding the
market with tickets to greatly reduce the odds players could win
grand prizes, contrary to advertised odds, allowing the Lottery to
pocket millions of dollars more than it should have.

On March 15, plaintiffs Dennis Atteberry and Tamara Burton filed a
putative class action lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court against
Chicago-based Northstar, alleging consumer fraud, negligence and
other counts, on behalf of perhaps thousands of others who played
Illinois Lottery instant games, won big prizes, but were allegedly
never paid.

The lawsuit centers on an investigation reported by The Chicago
Tribune in December 2016, showing the Illinois Lottery, from July
2011-June 2015, improperly increased the number of tickets printed
for scratch-off instant games, resulting in "the payout rates in
games being lower than the games were designed, projected or
advertised for, and the games being ended prior to most of the
prizes, and, in some cases, the grand prizes being awarded."

"Increasing the number of tickets printed in excess of what was
designed for the game and/or ending the game before the prizes can
be awarded decreases the advertised odds and payout rates for the
players," the plaintiffs said in their lawsuit.

The complaint noted the Illinois Lottery had printed only 3.1
million tickets for scratch-off instant games in the six years
before Northstar began managing the system in 2010, paying out
87.5 percent of grand prizes for those games.  However, during the
five years Northstar ran the system, the Lottery printed 9.8
million tickets, and paid out only 59.6 percent of grand prizes.

Additionally, the complaint alleges Northstar, from 2010-2015,
began and ended 138 instant scratch-off games, with 17 of its
"big-prize games" accounting for more than one-third of ticket
sales. Of those 17, however, only three games awarded all of their
grand prizes.  Further, the complaint alleges, of 57 potential
grand prizes, "23 were never awarded."

In all, the complaint noted the Tribune investigation showed
Northstar did not pay out more than 40 percent of "the awards
designed, projected and advertised in the games, keeping millions
of dollars from the players' pockets, including the award of grand

Atteberry said he purchased "numerous and various Illinois Lottery
tickets" from 2012-2015, including for a game known as "The Good
Life," which the Lottery ended before selling most of its tickets,
and for which it never awarded its top prize.

Burton said she "purchased numerous and various Illinois Lottery
tickets" from 2009-2017, including tickets for "The Good Life" and
another game, known as "7-11-21."

According to the complaint, "'The Good Life' was designed to award
78 percent of its revenue," but paid out only $38 million in small
prizes, out of $63 million in ticket sales.

Northstar, the complaint alleges, "increases the amount of tickets
printed and then ends the games before they sell most of the
tickets printed . . . thus, the pay rates are lower and Plaintiffs
and the Class never have a chance of winning the top prizes."

The plaintiffs have asked the court to expand their lawsuit to
include potentially thousands of others who have played the
Illinois Lottery's instant games, and to award unspecified
damages, plus attorney fees.

Ms. Atteberry and Mr. Burton are represented in the action by
attorney Larry D. Drury, of Chicago.[GN]

NUVASIVE INC: Court Certifies Shareholders' Class Action
Fink Densford reports that a federal court certified a class
of NuVasive Inc. investors in a suit alleging that the company
lost share value after it hid a kickback scheme.

A judge in the US District Court for the Southern District of
California granted a motion for class certification, appointing
Brad Mass and Daniel Popov as class representatives, according to
court documents.

The class action suit is on behalf of investors who purchased
shares in the company between Oct. 22, 2008 and July 30, 2013.
Plaintiffs in the suit allege that NuVasive submitted false claims
to Medicare and Medicaid in violation of state laws and
regulations, and that the company made illegal kickbacks to
doctors and engaged in off-label promotion of its products and
services, according to court documents.

NuVasive paid approximately USD13.5 million in fines and penalties
related to the alleged actions, according to the plaintiffs, while
shareholders "suffered significant losses and damages," according
to court documents.

The payment dates back to 2015, when the company finalized a
previously announced deal with the Justice Dept. NuVasive said in
July 2013 that the U.S. Health & Human Services Dept.'s inspector
general issued a subpoena "in connection with an investigation
into possible false or otherwise improper claims submitted to
Medicare and Medicaid" for documents from January 2007 through
April 2013. In April the company said it agreed to pay USD13.8
million to settle the probe.

On July 29, 2015 NuVasive said the deal called for it to pay
USD13.5 million, plus fees and accrued interest, but admitted no
wrongdoing in the case. [GN]

NY DOE: Faces "Brody" Suit Over "Deficient" Rezoning Proposal
RACHEL BRODY, individually, and as a resident and parent and
natural guardian of M.F, and EMILY RAMSAY, individually, and as a
resident and parent and natural guardian of J.R. and J.R., and on
behalf of themselves, and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Petitioners, for Order and Judgment Pursuant, Article 78
of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, against NEW YORK CITY
the New York City Department of Education, Respondents, Case
(State of New York, County of New York, March 22, 2017), alleges
that Defendants (a) violated the Chancellor of the New York City
Department of Education's Regulations A-185, by proposing,
presenting, and voting on a materially deficient and arbitrarily
drawn rezoning proposal purportedly from the DOE; (b) violated A-
101, depriving and denying Petitioners' families and others
similarly situated the right to attend their respective zoned
school; (c) violated the Public Officer's Law Section 103, by
securing a secret agreement among Community Education Council
District members to send the DOE a letter outlining the CEC3's
agreed to rezoning proposal with knowledge and intent that it
would be mirrored back to the CEC3 as the DOE's proposal at the
next DOE presentation to CEC3, without a public vote or
discussion, and without an entry in the CEC3 minutes or agenda;
and, (d) violated the Freedom of Information Law, by failing to
provide substantive responses to FOIL requests duly issued.

NEW YORK CITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION is a school board organized
under and existing pursuant to the New York Education Law and, for
all purposes, serves as the government or public employer of all
persons appointed to or assigned by it in the City of New York.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Laura D. Barbieri, Esq.
     Arthur Z. Schwartz, Esq.
     225 Broadway, Suite 1902
     New York, NY 10007
     Phone: 212-285-1400
     E-mail: lbarbieri@advocatesny.com

ONTARIO HOCKEY: Law Firm Launches Players' Wage Class Action
Dan Barnes, writing for Edmonton Sun, reports that the economic
hierarchy of hockey is in some turmoil, and games played in courts
and meeting rooms could impact those played on the major junior,
world championship and Olympic ice.

The issue they have in common is one of player as commodity.  It
will be addressed in Canada and the United States, and the results
should be fascinating.

On March 21 in Toronto, a law firm would seek to certify a suit
against the Ontario Hockey League's member clubs as a class
action.  The firm is suing to establish the designation of player
as employee, along with a salary of $10,000 per year and
retroactive pay for juniors who, according to the suit, have been
paid a meagre stipend between $40 and $60 per week.  The Canadian
Hockey League and OHL argue that players are amateur student
athletes, not employees.

The lawyers representing 400 junior players who have joined the
suit feel it's unfair that some OHL and WHL teams can pocket
hundreds of thousands or millions in profit while handing out
crumbs to the talent that drives ticket sales.  A similar class
action certification hearing was held before a judge in Calgary
recently.  There has not been a ruling yet.

Financial documents unsealed recently by an Alberta judge indeed
make it clear that some major junior teams in Canada can surely
afford to pay their 16- to 20-year-old employees at least a
minimum wage that values them as much as other businesses that
employ teenagers . The junior teams owned by NHL teams, like the
Edmonton Oil Kings of the Western Hockey League, can certainly pay
more, given their profitability.

But it's not that simple, because the financial landscape in major
junior isn't nearly as flat as the prairies upon which many of the
WHL's small market teams are located.  The Swift Current Broncos
are in the same league as the Oil Kings, but not really.

And if we're equating a junior hockey league to another business
that employs teenagers and pays them minimum wage, how many of
those fast food companies offer a year of university tuition and
books for each year of service on the job? Major junior kids have
that opportunity, and thank goodness, because it's the avenue for
the vast majority of them, while a smaller percentage go on to
make the NHL and minor pro.

So that fight should go the distance.

On March 20, it was expected USA Hockey officials would meet with
women's national team players threatening a boycott of the world
championships later this month in Plymouth, Mass.  The players
want salaries of $68,000 US per year and benefits like maternity
leave, in addition to the bonuses they get for winning medals at
Olympics and worlds.  They want to be valued as full-time
employees, and the $1,000 per month paid by USA Hockey in non-
Olympic years isn't cutting it.

So they are leveraging the immediacy of an American world
championship, not to mention their potential role in the upcoming
PyeongChang Olympics, to force a resolution of a fight they have
been waging quietly since 2000.  If the gamble pays off, it
advances their cause, and the next generation of women will profit
from this action.

Some of the women's team players say they hold down two part-time
jobs to support their participation on the national team. Some
play for the fledgling NWHL, drawing modest salaries that were
just slashed by 38 per cent. Some players earn decent corporate
endorsements, some don't.

They say they are not fairly compensated or marketed, particularly
in comparison to the men's national team, which is generally full
of NHL players.

But what's fair? Is it fair that NHL players make millions in
salary while NWHL players make a relative pittance? From a
business perspective, of course it is.  The NHL produces billions
in revenue, largely from TV deals, and the game's major
stakeholders are free to distribute that lucre as they may.

But the NHL is apparently feeling undervalued too, as it relates
to player participation in the 2018 Winter Olympics in
PyeongChang, South Korea.  The NHL, the National Hockey League
Players' Association, the International Ice Hockey Federation and
the International Olympic Committee have been unable to hammer out
an agreement, and the clock is ticking.  The National Broadcasting
Corporation must be more than an interested bystander, after
paying $963 million US for television rights to the PyeongChang
Games and investing $7.75 billion more for the six Olympics from
2022 through 2032.

Olympic hockey drives ratings, which affect advertising rates,
which determine a network's ability to cash in on its massive
investment.  Though admittedly, PyeongChang presents a challenge
because of the time zone difference.

NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says league owners feel they don't
derive enough benefit from the Olympic relationship, given that
the IOC and IIHF restrict the league's ability to market its
players as Olympians.

NHL players, in general, want to play in the five-ring circus.
It's an honour and a pleasure to suit up for your country.  Since
they're already extremely well paid by their NHL teams, their
financial stake is less of a motivator or a complicating factor.

That makes the Olympic issue a bit of an outlier, but the
commonality of employee as commodity is still at the very heart of
that tussle too.

ORTHOTOUCH: Nic Georgiou Attempted to Sabotage Investors Rights
Ryk van Niekerk, writing for The Moneyweb Investor, reports that
the South Gauteng High Court labelled property magnate
Nic Georgiou's latest attempt to scuttle the looming class action
suit and the application for the revocation of the Orthotouch
scheme of arrangement, an "act to sabotage the claims of

This judgement by Judge Mohamed Ismail follows an almost bizarre
turn of events which saw Georgiou settle the claims of the six
applicants, who represented around 7 000 other members of the
Highveld Syndication Action Group (HSAG) late last year.  After
these claims were settled, the six applicants secretly appointed
new attorneys and applied to the court to withdraw their original
application against Mr Georgiou and Orthotouch.  This was done
without notifying the HSAG legal team.

If this application had succeeded, it would have ended the HSAG
class action suit.

When HSAG attorney Jacques Theron became aware of these
developments, he opposed it stating that it was a clear attempt by
Georgiou to "buy off" the six applicants and to "hijack" the class
action suit.

He said the six applicants were mere representatives of the 7 000
HSAG members and could not withdraw the application in their
personal capacity.

Judge Mohamed Ismail agreed and had some harsh words in his

"The court was requested to intervene in light of the alleged
abuse by Mr Georgiou who it was submitted devised the scheme by
using Mr Donnenberg (the new lawyer of the six applicants) to
withdraw the main application thereby setting back the current
application and delaying and prolonging the class action.  It was
submitted that the court cannot sit back by indifferently and
nonchalantly permitting this type of abuse and egregious conduct
by a litigant against others rights.

"This is exacerbated by attorney Donnenberg's withdrawal of the
main application without informing Mr Theron or the HSAG thereof
timeously.  This 'scheme or stratagem' it was submitted smacked of
collusive behaviour on the part of Mr Georgiou and
Mr Donnenberg to rid themselves of the HSAG investors claims.

"The withdrawal by the nominal applicants of the action was
nothing other than an act to sabotage the claim of the other
investors, in the form of the HSAG.  I am of the view that this
court cannot idly sit by and observe or countenance such conduct
designed to deprive the investors of their rights to proceed with
any intended action they may have."

In response to the judgement, Mr. Theron said it "is another major
victory for the HSAG as well as the administration of justice".

He added that the path has been cleared for the HSAG members to
pursue their claims against Georgiou and Orthotouch.

Mr. Theron said the next step is to execute Judge Brian Spilg's
order by compelling business rescue practitioner, Hans Klopper, to
provide the names of the Highveld Syndication investors to the

Mr Klopper applied for leave to appeal in the Supreme Court of
Appeal but later withdrew it.

HSAG management committee

Mr Georgiou has not only targeted the applicants in the case, but
also key individuals within the HSAG management committee.  He
allegedly settled their claims, or offered them employment.  These
include Elna Visagie, Herman Lombaard and Helgard Hancke.

Theron confirmed that a new committee member has been appointed to
the HSAG, although he did not name the individual.

The HSAG was represented by Adv Watt Pringle SC, assisted by Adv
CHJ Maree.  Mr Georgiou was represented by Adv N Redman SC,
assisted by Adv Mostert.

Mr Georgiou did not respond to emailed questions.

PACIFIC GAS: Faces "Barragan" Lawsuit Under Calif. Labor Laws
HOMERO BARRAGAN, on behalf of himself and others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMTANY, and DOES
1 through 50, inclusive, Defendants, Case No. RB 178 53920 (Cal.
Super., County of Alameda), seeks to challenge Defendant's alleged
policy and practice of failing to provide Plaintiff and members of
the Proposed Class with the meal periods and rest periods to which
they are entitled to by law under the California Labor Code,
California Industrial Welfare Commission Wage Order, and for
violation of the Unfair Competition Law, and Business and
Professions Code.

PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMTANY is a natural gas and electric
utility and that provides natural gas and electricity.  Plaintiff
has been employed by PG&E in San Luis Obispo County as a PG&E
nuclear security officer. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:
     Antonio Ruiz, Esq.
     Jannah V. Manansala, Esq.
     Michael D. Burstein, Esq.
     Caitlin Gray, Esq.
     1001 Marina Village Parkway, Suite 200
     Alameda, CA 94501
     Phone: (510)337-1001
     Fax: (510)337-1023
     E-Mail: courtnotices@unioncounsel.net

PTT EXPLORATION: Indonesia Mulls Suit Over 2009 Oil Spill
Agustinus Beo Da Costa, writing for Reuters, reports that
Indonesia is preparing to sue a unit of Thailand's PTT Exploration
and Production (PTTEP) over alleged environmental damage from the
Montara oil spill in 2009, the country's Coordinating Maritime
Affairs Ministry said.

The move follows earlier attempts at negotiation that stalled in
2012, and a separate class action suit filed by a group of about
15,000 Indonesian seaweed farmers seeking more than A$200 million
($154 million) from PTTEP Australasia to cover damages from the

A total of about 30,000 barrels of oil were estimated to have
spewed into the Timor Sea over 74 days after an explosion at
PTTEP's Montara drilling rig off Australia's northwest coast in

"This relates to Indonesian sovereignty and poor communities whose
lives depend on the maritime sector, so we must fight this in a
more planned way," Basilio Dias Araujo, Indonesia's assistant
deputy minister for safety and security, said in a statement
published on the ministry's website.

The Indonesian government and state prosecutors are in the process
of compiling evidence and have invited around 50 expert witnesses
to support the case, the statement said.

"The Indonesian government has asked PTTEP for compensation
through non-litigation channels, but the negotiation process
became deadlocked in 2012, so no agreements were reached,"
Mr. Araujo added.

The slick from Montara reached Indonesian waters, and was
Australia's worst offshore drilling accident. An Australian
government inquiry blamed the spill on systemic shortcomings at
the Thai oil giant.

A Bangkok-based spokeswoman for PTTEP, the exploration flagship of
top Thai energy company PTT Pcl, said she could not immediately
comment on the matter.

"No oil from the Montara incident reached the Australian and
Indonesian mainlands," PTTEP Australasia said on its website,
citing independent scientific studies, and "there has been little
or no detectable impact from the spill on any marine eco-system or
species in the Timor Sea."

"There were no lasting negative impacts on the region's
biodiversity" from the spill, it said.

PTTEP was fined A$510,000 ($394,000) by a Darwin court in 2011
after pleading guilty to four charges relating to workplace health
and safety and failure to maintain good oilfield practice. That
outcome "concluded all government legal matters in relation to the
Montara incident," the company said.

The Indonesian seaweed farmers from Nusa Tenggara Timur province
began their action last August and the next hearing is scheduled
to take place in May, according to their legal team.

QUALCOMM INCORPORATED: Faces "Acosta" Suit in N.D. California
A class action lawsuit has been commenced against Qualcomm

The case is captioned Renee Acosta, Patricia Burness, Carol
Harris, Robert D. Links, Nichelle Lyons, and Nuola Vignoles,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated v.
Qualcomm Incorporated, Case No. 5:17-cv-01591 (N.D. Cal., March
24, 2017).

Qualcomm Incorporated is a semiconductor and telecommunications
equipment company that designs and markets wireless
telecommunications products and services. [BN]

Renee Acosta, Patricia Burness, Carol Harris, Robert D. Links,
Nichelle Lyons, and Nuola Vignoles are pro se plaintiffs.

QUEBEC: Stranded Motorists Attend Class Action Session
CTV Montreal reports that ten days after the Highway 13 debacle
that left hundreds of people stranded on Highway 13, many of those
who were trapped met to learn about their legal options.

Marlene Berman is the lead plaintiff in a request for a class-
action lawsuit filed by Joey Zukran. At least one other request
has been filed, and if the cases are allowed to go ahead a judge
will have to decide which legal team will be in charge.

While waiting for permission from the courts, those who were
trapped exchanged stories about being stuck in a car that could
not move.

"I had no heat and I had my dress shoes on so my feet were
completely frozen," said Kevin McKenzie.

It's still unclear exactly what led to people being stuck.
Two Surete du Quebec officers have been suspended, as has been
civil servant with the Ministry of Transportation.

Meanwhile tow truck drivers have said truck drivers refused to get
towed, and truck drivers have said that was not the case.
Zukran said the response has been overwhelming.

"We've received over 300 signups on our website so that's just
people saying I was there, here is my story," said Zukran. "I
haven't slept the last few nights I would like to read every
single one of them."

Berman said she is calling on the government to make sure that
whatever transpired never goes on again.

"We need to mobilize some kind of plan of action. We live in a
different world," said Berman. "The whole premise behind this is
'what if'."

Berman said her point is not getting money out of the government -
- it's creating a change.

"It's not just us and me, it's you, it's you, it's everyone. Now
what happens in the face of a real disaster?" [GN]

RYDER INTEGRATED: Status Conference Continued to May 18
In the case, TIM EURE, on behalf of himself, all others similarly
situated, and on behalf of the general public, Plaintiff, v. RYDER
LOGISTICS, INC., a Corporation; and DOES 1-100, inclusive,
Defendants, Case No. 16-cv-00324-MCE-AC (E.D. Cal.), Judge
Morrison C. England, Jr., of the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of California moved the Status Conference
scheduled for March 23, 2017, to May 18, 2017.

The Order granting the stipulation to continue Status Conference
was made in order to allow the parties to finalize a settlement
agreement and to allow Plaintiff time to file a preliminary
approval motion.

Moreover, the Court ordered the parties to file a Joint Status
Report updating the Court as to the status of the settlement on or
before May 11, 2017, unless the Plaintiff has filed his Motion for
Preliminary Approval by that date.

The Court noted that the case shall remain stayed for all
purposes, except for matters relating to seeking preliminary and
final approval of the class action settlement.

A copy of the Court's Order dated March 16, 2017 is available at
https://goo.gl/eoALws from Leagle.com.

Tim Eure, Plaintiff, represented by Jill Marie Vecchi --
jvecchi@turleylawfirm.com -- The Turley & Mara Law Firm, APLC.

Tim Eure, Plaintiff, represented by William Turley --
bturley@turleylawfirm.com -- The Turley & Mara Law Firm, APLC &
Jamie Kathryn Serb -- jserb@turleylawfirm.com -- The Turley & Mara
Law Firm, APLC.

Ryder Integrated Logistics, Inc., et al., Defendants, represented
by Mara D. Curtis -- mcurtis@reedsmith.com -- Reed Smith LLP.

SAFEWAY INC: Has Until April 18 to Respond to "Lorenz"
In the case styled DENNIS M. LORENZ, Individually and On Behalf of
All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff, v. SAFEWAY INC., BENEFIT
PLANS COMMITTEE SAFEWAY INC., and DOES 1 to 100 inclusive,
Defendants, Case No. 3:16-cv-04903-JST (N.D. Cal.), Judge Jon S.
Tigar of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California entered an Order extending the deadline for the
Defendants to respond to the Plaintiff's Second Amended Complaint
(SAC), or to a further amended complaint filed by the Plaintiff to
April 18, 2017.  The deadline was initially scheduled on March 31,

The parties' Stipulation provides that the Defendants' response to
Plaintiff's SAC will necessarily be affected should Plaintiff
further amend his SAC to drop his class action allegations.

A copy of the Court's Order dated March 17, 2017 is available at
https://goo.gl/8jKRtn from Leagle.com.

Dennis M. Lorenz, Plaintiff, represented by Jason H. Kim --
jkim@schneiderwallace.com -- Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky
Wotkyns LLP.

Dennis M. Lorenz, Plaintiff, represented by Kyle Geoffrey Bates --
kbates@schneiderwallace.com -- Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky
Wotkyns LLP, Garrett W. Wotkyns -- gwotkyns@schneiderwallace.com -
- Schneider Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns LLP, John Joseph
Nestico -- jnestico@schneiderwallace.com -- Schneider Wallace
Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns LLP & Todd M. Schneider, Schneider
Wallace Cottrell Konecky Wotkyns LLPLLP.

Safeway, Inc., et al., Defendants, represented by R. Bradford Huss
-- bhuss@truckerhuss.com -- Trucker Huss, APC, Angel Lin Garrett -
- agarrett@truckerhuss.com -- Trucker Huss, APC, Dylan Daniel
Rudolph, Trucker Huss APC & Joseph Charles Faucher --
jfaucher@truckerhuss.com -- Trucker Huss, APC.

SEQWATER: Faces Second Class Action Over 2011 Floods
Tony Moore, writing for Brisbane Times, reports that Queenslanders
who lost millions of dollars in the devastating 2011 floods -- but
whose properties suffered no physical damage
-- could receive compensation if a second class action against
Seqwater was given the go-ahead on March 24.

But a lawyer warns that the fresh class action, quietly lodged in
Sydney on January 9, could delay the October hearing for the
almost-6800 flood clients who were part of a claim launched in

A directions hearing was set to start in the New South Wales
Supreme Court on March 24 for the second class action, a "pure
economic loss" claim, alleging businesses and property owners lost
millions of dollars in property value on vacant land that had
never been recovered.

The Brisbane man who lodged the second class action, Phil Hassid,
says he alone lost $3 million on his Ipswich riverside properties
and $15 million in development profits on the riverside
development concept he put forward on the Bremer River at Ipswich.

What is pure economic loss

Covered in the first class action lodged by Maurice Blackburn
Lawyers in July 2014 is "consequential" economic loss, which
happens when physical damage causes an economic loss.

"Pure economic loss" occurs without preceding physical or property
damage, such as the negligence of one person causing another to
miss a business opportunity.

Nothing was built on the Ipswich land while Mr Hassid owned it,
but he argues the project was "a $200 million development".

"So that is pure economic loss, because the loss that we suffered
did not derive from some physical damage that occurred. It wasn't
that," Mr Hassid said.

He argues his class action could become as large as Maurice
Blackburn's first flood class action.

Maurice Blackburn principal class action lawyer Vavaa Mawuli said
Mr Hassid's class action faced significant hurdles and could delay
the hearing for the earlier claim, set for October 3.

"But if it does come to that, then clients have a clear choice of
which action to pursue," Ms Mawuli said.

"They will need to weigh up their option very carefully and
consider which action would best represent their interests."

The directions hearing gets under way at 9.30am Sydney time before
Justice Robert Beech-Jones.

Queensland's first 2011 floods class action

Almost 6800 Queenslanders joined the landmark 2011 Queensland
floods class action being negotiated by Maurice Blackburn Lawyers,
Australia's second-largest class action after the Victorian

The first class action is, in effect, a "physical loss" claim --
linked to flood-devastated houses and businesses -- but includes
some economic loss where it is linked to property damage.

Maurice Blackburn and its financial backer IMF Bentham is suing
Seqwater, Sunwater and the Queensland government for
inappropriately operating Wivenhoe and Somerset dams during the
floods of December 2010 and January 2011.

They are seeking "hundreds of millions" in damages, according to
Ms Mawuli.

They claim the release of water from the dams subsequently flooded
people's properties to unnecessary levels.

The suit was brought in the New South Wales' Supreme Court because
Queensland legislation does not allow class actions.

Queensland's second 2011 floods class action

Mr Hassid and his lawyers Gillis Delaney Lawyers are claiming
economic loss linked to his planned $200 million luxury apartment
development project East Bank, which he put forward to Ipswich
City Council planners before the 2011 flood.

No physical work ever started on the project, on six blocks of
land at Blackhall Street, East Ipswich, however Mr Hassid told
Fairfax Media he had extensive talks with Ipswich City Council
over the project.

"It was groundbreaking for Ipswich and the Ipswich City Council
were champing at the bit to do the development," Mr Hassid said.

The development included seven six-storey accommodation blocks
with the equivalent of 250 two-bedroom units along Blackall Street
beside the Bremer River at East Ipswich, including a marina on the

Mr Hassid had applied for and received rezoning for six storeys
along the river.

But a development application had not been lodged and no approval
given before the floods.

Today, Ipswich builder Frank Ribic, his wife and 12-month-old
daughter Valentina live in a house he built on a block of land he
bought from Mr Hassid in 2012.

"When we got it was still zoned for six-storey high-rise," Mr
Ribic said.

"But it's changed now."

Ipswich City Council rezoned the land in 2014 to become "part
recreation and part residential low-density".

Now only one house can be built on each block, "irrespective of
the size of the block," the council's planning and development
committee chair councillor Paul Tully said.

Why is Mr Hassid taking a new class action?

Mr Hassid said because most people in Maurice Blackburn's class
action were Brisbane-based, the issue of "pure economic loss" may
not be as pressing for them because their property values had
bounced back.

"But when you go to Ipswich -- and all of our properties were in
Ipswich, where we had a major development site -- what I described
as the market 'bouncing back', well, that is just not the case up
there," he said.

"It's a tricky one because the Brisbane market is a much deeper
and more resilient market than the Ipswich one."

Ms Mawuli said Maurice Blackburn decided against suing for "pure
economic loss" after assessing the risk in pursuing the difficult
claims, uncertainties, delays, time and expenses.

"After a careful weighing up of the process and the requirements
from our (class action) group members, we made a decision that it
would not be viable to pursue pure economic loss claims."

The NSW Supreme Court approved its decision and members were all
notified, she said.

What the real estate figures show

Brisbane's median house price:

December 2010 - $435,000.
November 2016 - $532,050, tipped to grow to $553,332.
(Source: Domain)

Ipswich median house price:

December 2009 - $325,000.
March 2017 - $337,750.

What does Ipswich City Council say?

Ipswich City Council flood mapping shows two-thirds of Mr Hassid's
Blackall Street properties were under the Q 1:100 flood level in
place at the time of the flood.

After the 2011 floods the council changed its Q 1:100 flood levels
and based them on the 1974 flood levels.

"The entire site is affected by the new adopted flood regulation
line, based on the 1974 flood level," a council spokesman told
Fairfax Media.

Cr Tully said he remembered Mr Hassid's concept as "a series of
plans" that were not submitted as "a firmed project".

Cr Tully said council officers checked and confirmed that after
the 2011 floods Mr Hassid had offered to sell his land to the
council for $1.5 million as parkland.

"On February 7, 2013, council made an offer to him to purchase the
entire site for $800,000. He rejected the offer on February 13,
2013," Cr Tully said.

He said Ipswich City Council's legal advice was that new flood
levels, backed by the state government, were not the base for

"Our advice is very strong that the legislation is very strong
that bringing in new flood levels can't give rise to a
compensation claim."

What impact will the second floods class action have on Maurice
Blackburn's first floods class action?

Ms Maluwi of Maurice Blackburn said there were several questions
Justice Beech Jones had to consider about the impact of the second
class action.

"Our main priority is to our clients who have been waiting
patiently for years to have their rights determined in court," Ms
Maluwi said.

"The impact at this stage is that there is some uncertainty about
what they intend to do and how that might impact on the timetable
to trial," she said.

"But we can only wait and see what happens in court."

Cr Tully, who lost his Goodna home in the 2011 floods and is a
Maurice Blackburn class action client, said his biggest fear was a
delay in the hearing of the first class action.

"I am extremely concerned that this could delay the current class
action for a number of years," Cr Tully said.

Seqwater's response to potential second class action

"Seqwater remains acutely aware of the impact of the January 2011
flood event," a spokesman said in a statement.

"The event was the equivalent of two 1974 flood events 30 hours

"We are confident that our management of the event, and the
decisions made and actions taken by our flood engineers, will
continue to be shown to have significantly reduced the impact of
the flood as the matter progresses through the court."

Fairfax Media understands Seqwater's lawyers, King & Wood
Mallesons, was set to be in court on March 24 to question if Mr
Hassid's claim constitutes a new class action.[GN]

STARWOOD HOTELS: Faces Class Action by Food Service Employees
Louie Torres at Penn Record reports five employees have filed a
class action lawsuit against Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide
LLC, citing alleged breach of contract, unpaid wages, violation of
applicable minimum wage law and violation of workers compensation

Chelsea Henkel, Lisa Hastings, Leonora Mocerino, Craig Mocerino
and Lizeth Larkin, all food-service employees with the resort
chain, filed a complaint on behalf of others similarly situated on
March 2 in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of
Pennsylvania alleging that the defendants failed to pay minimum
wage to the plaintiffs.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that they
sustained from not receiving the gratuity fee entitled to them.
The plaintiffs hold the defendant responsible because it allegedly
breached its contractual agreement with the plaintiffs by failing
to distribute the gratuity fee.

The plaintiffs request a trial by jury and seek to enjoin the
defendant, as well as monetary damages, punitive damages, court
costs and any further relief the court grants. They are
represented by Matthew J. Blit of Levine & Blit PLLC in New York.

U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Case
number 3:17-cv-00384-UN4 [GN]

SUPERIOR STAFFING: "Sanchez" Suit Alleges IDTLS Act Violation
(Ill. Cir., Cook County, March 22, 2017) alleges on behalf of
himself and similarly situated individuals, that Defendant failed
to compensate Plaintiff and similarly situated laborers for a
minimum of four hours of pay at the agreed upon rate when a
laborer was contracted to work for a third party client company
and was utilized for less than four hours in violation of the
Illinois Day and Temporary Laborers Services Act.

Defendant is in the business of recruiting temporary laborers and
selling their labor for a fee.  Plaintiff has been employed by
Defendant as a "day or temporary laborer." [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Alvar Ayala, Esq.
     Christopher J. Williams, Esq.
     53 W. Jackson Blvd. Suite 701
     Chicago, IL 60604
     Phone: (312)795-9121

SURGERY OF TOMORROW: "Lysenko" Suit Seeks Unpaid OT Wages
Yuliya Lysenko, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated persons v. Dr. Gregory Shifrin, OB/GYN P.C., Surgery of
Tomorrow, LLC, Dr. Gregory Shifrin, and Ella Shifrin, Case No.
1:17-cv-01635 (E.D.N.Y., March 23, 2017), seeks to recover unpaid
overtime, liquidated damages, reasonable attorney's fees and
costs, and all other appropriate legal and equitable relief
pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Defendants own and operate a medical clinic located at 1766 E
12th St, Brooklyn, NY 11229. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Gennadiy Naydenskiy, Esq.
      1517 Voorhies Ave., 2nd Floor
      Brooklyn, NY 11235
      Telephone: (718) 808-2224
      E-mail: naydenskiylaw@gmail.com

TARGET CORP: "Enombang" Sues Over Failure to Provide Seats
VALERIE ENOMBANG, individually and on behalf of all other
similarly situated aggrieved employees, Plaintiff, v. TARGET
CORPORATION, and DOES 110, inclusive, Defendants, Case No. RG 178
53 948 (Cal. Super., County of Alameda, March 22, 2017), seeks
recovery of penalties brought under the California Labor Code
Private Attorneys General Act of 2004.  In this case, defendants
allegedly violated California Labor Code section 1198 and Wage
Order 7-2001, sections 14(A) and (B) by failing to provide
suitable seats to plaintiff and other current and former
employees. Plaintiff seeks PAGA penalties on behalf of herself and
other current and former employees of defendants.

Target Corporation is a general merchandise retailer selling
products through its stores and digital channels.  Plaintiff was
employed by Target as a non-exempt Cashier in one of Target's
California stores. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     James F. Clapp, Esq.
     Marita Murphy Lauinger, Esq.
     701 Palomar Airport Road, Suite 300
     Carlsbad, CA 92011
     Phone: 760-209-6565 ext. 101
     Fax: 760-209-6565
     E-mail: jclapp@clapplegal.com

        - and -

     Kevin J. McInerney, Esq.
     18124 Wedge Parkway #503
     Reno, NV 89511
     Phone: 775-849-3811
     Fax: 775-849-3866
     E-mail: kevin@mcinemeylaw.net

TEMPUR-SEALY: Suit Could Expand Consumers Insurance Coverage
Jeff Sistrunk at Law360 reports that Tempur-Sealy International
recently asked the Ninth Circuit to affirm a ruling that it is
entitled to defense coverage for a putative class action alleging
it downplayed the harmful effects of chemicals in its mattresses,
and attorneys say a decision in the company's favor could greatly
expand insurers' burden to defend against class complaints seeking
only economic losses.

Tempur-Sealy's liability insurer, Hartford Fire Insurance Co., is
seeking to reverse U.S. District Judge Haywood S. Gilliam Jr.'s
holding that it has to defend the manufacturer in the underlying
proposed class action, which alleges that Tempur-Sealy made false
statements about a chemical odor in its mattresses that
purportedly made some customers sick.

The insurer has told the Ninth Circuit that the district judge's
ruling can't stand because the underlying complaint seeks only
damages for customers' economic losses, which don't fall within
the scope of Tempur-Sealy's policy. In a March 20 brief, the
mattress company countered that Judge Gilliam had made the right
call because the class complaint sketches out claims for damages
due to covered bodily injury and property damage, or it could be
amended to state such claims.

A pair of insurance industry trade groups, the American Insurance
Association and the Complex Insurance Claims Litigation
Association, have filed an amicus brief in support of Hartford,
contending that allowing coverage for strictly economic losses
would expand the scope of liability policies beyond what was
intended, which would make it impossible for insurers to
accurately price and underwrite such policies.

"Specifically, expanding coverage under the subject liability
policy to include claims other than those seeking to impose
liability because of bodily injury or property damage -- such as
the consumer economic injury claims at issue here -- would
undermine the risk-for-premium exchange," the insurance groups
argued in their brief.

Insurance attorneys agreed with the trade groups' contention that
an appellate decision affirming the lower court could expand
insurers' defense obligations to class actions they previously
would not have been required to cover.

"This could open up some doors that had previously been shut,"
said William T. Um, counsel at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

From policyholders' perspective, a ruling in Tempur-Sealy's favor
would hamper insurers' ability to rely on strategic decisions made
by class action plaintiffs counsel to deny coverage. Here,
Hartford has asserted that the consumers suing Tempur-Sealy
deliberately sought damages only for economic losses to avoid
having to prove bodily injury or property damage on a classwide

Such tactics by plaintiffs counsel can hinder policyholders'
efforts to secure a defense under third-party liability policies,
which generally extend coverage for damages tied to bodily injury
or property damage, among other things, according to attorneys.

"I have always been frustrated by those tactics involved in
seeking coverage for underlying class actions," Um said.
"Insurance carriers latch onto these strategies to argue that no
coverage exists. I would love for the district court's decision to
be affirmed because it would give coverage lawyers something to
hang their hat on for the position that carriers must defend in
these types of cases."

A group of consumers led by Alvin and Melody Todd sued Tempur-
Sealy in California federal court in October 2013, claiming that
the company had misrepresented in marketing materials that its
foam mattresses and pillows have an odor that is allergen-free and
will dissipate over time. In reality, the customers claim, that
chemical odor has made them sick.

The Todds alleged that Tempur-Sealy knew there were problems with
the smell and related physical complaints, including headache,
nausea, asthma, eye and throat irritation, and allergic reactions,
but still assured customers the scent was harmless, according to
court documents.

The judge overseeing the Todds' case refused the plaintiffs' bid
for class certification last fall. That ruling is currently on

Several months after the Todds filed their complaint, Hartford
lodged the instant suit, seeking a declaration that a series of
comprehensive general liability policies it had issued to Tempur-
Sealy do not cover the underlying claims. In January 2016, Judge
Gilliam ruled in the mattress company's favor, finding that,
although the underlying plaintiffs did not seek damages due to
bodily injury, their complaint could potentially be amended to
state such claims.

Hartford argued in an appellate brief filed in January that the
district judge's analysis was flawed, noting that the class action
plaintiffs had explicitly indicated that they were not seeking any
damages on account of physical injury.

Tempur-Sealy fired back that California Supreme Court precedent
establishes that an insurer's duty to defend isn't dependent on
the legal theories asserted in a complaint but rather the specific
factual allegations. The mattress maker said it shouldn't be
denied a defense because the underlying plaintiffs had pursued a
litigation strategy designed to boost their chances at class

According to attorneys, the appeal raises fundamental issues
regarding the scope of an insurer's defense obligations under
California law. The Ninth Circuit will have to decide whether,
even with the underlying plaintiffs' disclaimer of bodily injury
damages, it was proper for the district judge to conclude there
was a possibility that the consumers could amend their complaint
to assert such claims.

"What this case is really about is the standard by which you read
a complaint and the potential for amendment," said Zelle McDonough
& Cohen LLP partner Rina Carmel. "The question the court will
wrestle with is: What does it take for something to have the
potential for amendment, versus speculation on what could happen
in the future?"

Nossaman LLP partner Joan Cotkin said Judge Gilliam's decision is
consistent with a pair of seminal California Supreme Court
insurance decisions: Gray v. Zurich Insurance Co., which
established that a third-party plaintiff suing a policyholder
can't dictate the scope of insurance coverage by pursuing or
omitting certain claims, and Montrose v. Superior Court, which
stated that an insured need only show the mere potential for
coverage to secure a defense.

"There is longstanding case law going back to Gray v. Zurich
establishing that a third-party plaintiff, in asserting theories
of recovery, is not the arbiter of coverage. Under Montrose, if
there are any facts that could give rise to claims potentially
covered under the insurance policies, there is a duty to defend,"
Cotkin said. "That is because the pleadings are malleable and
subject to change."

According to attorneys, Hartford will face an uphill battle in its
bid for a reversal because of the litany of references to specific
bodily injuries in the complaint against Tempur-Sealy. Court
papers indicate that 18 pages of the suit are devoted to
allegations regarding injuries purportedly tied to the company's

Therefore, even though the underlying plaintiffs didn't seek
damages stemming from bodily injury, those pages of exhaustive
factual claims could still support a finding that Hartford must
assume Tempur-Sealy's defense, attorneys say.

"An insurer can only refuse to undertake a defense if there are
conclusive and undisputed facts showing the absence of any
potential for coverage," Cotkin said.

Attorneys say that, while an appellate ruling upholding the lower
court wouldn't mark a sea change in the Golden State's insurance
law, it would curb insurers' ability to refute coverage for class
actions that only ask for economic loss damages.

"This case, to me, only confirms the broad standard for
determining the duty to defend in California," Um said. "Montrose
is still alive and kicking. Potentiality is still the standard,
and showing that there is no potential for a covered claim is
appropriately a heavy burden for the carrier to have to meet."

Hartford is represented by James P. Ruggieri --
jruggieri@goodwin.com -- and Katherine M. Hance --
khance@goodwin.com --  of Shipman & Goodwin LLP and by Gary T.
LaFayette and Melissa A. Dubbs -- mdubbs@lkclaw.com -- of
Lafayette & Kumagai LLP.

Tempur-Sealy is represented by Nicholas Cramb -- nccramb@mintz.com
-- Evan Sean Nadel -- esnadel@mintz.com -- Daniel S. Harary --
dsharary@mintz.com  -- and Heidi Lawson -- halawson@mintz.com --
of Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo PC.

The case is Hartford Fire Insurance Co. v. Tempur-Sealy
International Inc., case number 16-16056, in the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. [GN]

TESLA: Hagens Berman Mulls Class Action Over Self-Driving Claims
Fred Lambert, writing for Electrek, reports that Hagens Berman,
one of the law firms leading a class action lawsuit against VW and
Mercedes for the emissions-cheating software, is attempting to
start a class action against Tesla over the claims made for
Autopilot 2.0 features: Enhanced Autopilot and Full Self-Driving

They wrongly claim that Tesla marketed the vehicle has "Full Self-
Driving" and that those claims "now appear to be false."

The firm has been paying for targeted advertising with potential
Tesla owners to bring them on a page pitching the class action. On
that page they wrote:

"Hagens Berman believes that consumers have the right to
reimbursement for the premium price they paid for what they
thought was a "full self-driving" automobile.  According to the
firm's investigation, Tesla charged consumers high prices for
vehicles that it claimed had "full self-driving capability." Those
claims now appear to be false."

It's not clear what the investigation is based on for them to
determine that customers "thought" they were buying a self-driving
car.  The ordering page for the both the Model S and X has a
warning written in bold font saying that the feature is "dependent
on extensive software validation and regulatory approval".

Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned when releasing the feature that he
thought the first version would be ready around the end of the
year for a demonstration, but he didn't even say when he expected
the regulatory approval to be ready, which Tesla also warns that
it depends upon jurisdiction.

Furthermore, the firm seems to be misinformed about the current
features of Enhanced Autopilot:

"The AP2 was also supposed to include safety features such as
automatic emergency braking, collision warnings, lane holding and
active cruise control, but these features remain unavailable,
despite being available on AP1 cars."

The new Autopilot has "lane holding and active cruise control"
features activated.  They may not be quite on par with AP1 yet,
but they are available.

What is clear here, and it is something that we have often
reported over the past 3 months, Tesla is late to make the
features of AP2 reach parity with the features of AP1.  Mr. Musk
first said that it should happen in December and it's now March.
Maybe Tesla owners who don't want to wait anymore are entitled to
a reimbursement for the Enhanced Autopilot option, but Hagens
Berman seems to be more concerned with the "Full Self-Driving"
option, which is weird since this one isn't even technically
"late" yet.[GN]

TEVA PHARMACEUTICALS: Sued Over Generic Pravastatin Price-fixing
Robby Johnson, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. Teva Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc., Mylan,
Inc., Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Inc., USA, Apotex, Inc., Sandoz,
Inc., Lek Pharmaceuticals, D.D., Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Ltd.,
Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Inc., Lupin Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Lupin
Ltd., Cadila Healthcare, Ltd., Actavis Holdco, U.S., Inc., and
Zydus Pharmaceuticals (USA), Inc., Case No. 2:17-cv-01308-TON
(E.D. Penn., March 23, 2017), is an action for damages as a result
of the Defendants' conspiracy to fix, maintain, and stabilize the
prices of generic pravastatin sodium drug products.

The Defendants own and operate a pharmaceutical company in the
United States. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Stephen A. Corr, Esq.
      680 Middletown Boulevard
      Langhorne, PA  19047-0308
      Telephone: (215) 750-0110
      Facsimile: (215) 750-0954
      E-mail: scorr@begleycarlin.com

         - and -

      Kathleen C. Chavez, Esq.
      Robert M. Foote, Esq.
      10 West State Street, Suite #200
      Geneva, IL 60134
      Telephone: (630) 232-7450
      Facsimile: (630) 232-7452
      E-mail: rmf@fmcolaw.com

         - and -

      R. Alexander Saveri, Esq.
      Lisa Saveri, Esq.
      Cadio Zirpoli, Esq.
      706 Sansome Street
      San Francisco, CA 94111
      Telephone: (415) 217-6810
      Facsimile: (415) 217-6813
      E-mail: rick@saveri.com

         - and -

      E. Kirk Wood, Esq.
      Michael Gurley, Esq.
      P. O. Box 382434
      Birmingham, AL 35238-2434
      Telephone: (205) 612-0243
      Facsimile: (866) 747-3905
      E-mail: kirk@woodlawfirmllc.com

         - and -

      Ryan K. Hicks, Esq.
      P.O. Box 753
      Scottsboro, AL  35768 0753
      Telephone: (256) 259-2004
      E-mail: ryankhicks@gmail.com

THREE RIVERS: "Cuevas" Suit Alleges Cal. Labor Law Violations
FRANCISCO CUEVAS, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. THREE RIVERS TRUCKING, INC., and
DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, Defendant, Case No. BC 655003 (Cal.
Super., March 22, 2017), alleges wage and labor violations under
the California Labor Code and Industrial Wage Order arising out
of, among other things, Defendant's misclassification of
employees, failure to pay wages, failure to reimburse business
expenses, and failure to provide meal and rest breaks to its
employee drivers.

Defendant provides various shipping services throughout the
western United States.  Defendant is a motor carrier in the
business of the transport of cargo between the Port of Long Beach,
its yard in Long Beach, California, and customers within the state
of California. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     David R. Markham, Esq.
     Maggie Realin, Esq.
     Michael J. Morphew, Esq.
     750 B Street, Suite 1950
     San Diego, CA 92101
     Phone: (619) 399-3995
     Fax: (619) 615-2067
     E-mail: dmarkcham@markham-law.com

UBER: Magistrate Denies Request for Employees to Arbitrate Claims
Helen Christophi at Courthouse reports a federal magistrate on
March 22 denied a request by Uber to force its employee to
arbitrate individual claims that it cheated workers out of
valuable stock options, but stayed the class action until the U.S.
Supreme Court decides a similar case.

"If it looks like we're going to get any certainty (from the
Supreme Court's decision), maybe I'll lift the stay at some
point," U.S. Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley said at the

Lead plaintiff Lenza McElrath, a senior software engineer from
Washington state, sued Uber in federal court in December 2016.
According to the class action, Uber lured prospective employees by
promising them higher-value stock options than it actually gave

McElrath says he relocated to the Bay Area to work for Uber over a
competing tech firm based on its offer to give him incentive stock
options, or ISOs, which are more valuable than nonqualified stock
options because they aren't taxed as earnings when they're

He says Uber deprives its employees of the promised ISOs shortly
after they sign on in order to get a "large" payroll-tax

At issue on March 23 was a 2014 arbitration agreement McElrath
signed when he was hired, which contains a severable class action
waiver requiring him to arbitrate on an individual basis any
claims arising out of his employment with Uber.

Uber contends that compelling arbitration of McElrath's individual
claims conforms with an August 2016 decision by the Ninth Circuit
in Morris v. Ernst & Young because the class waiver is severable
from the arbitration agreement.

In Morris, the appellate court ruled an employer can't require
workers to sign an arbitration agreement that prohibits them from
suing on behalf of a class over the terms of their employment.
However, the Second, Fifth and Eighth Circuits have disagreed with
that finding, holding instead that class waivers like the one
McElrath signed are legal.

The Supreme Court plans to review the case sometime this year to
resolve the circuit split between the Seventh and Ninth Circuits
on the one side, and the Second, Fifth and Eighth Circuits on the

Corley focused her March 23 ruling squarely on Morris, concluding
that McElrath's case should be stayed until the Supreme Court
issues its decision.

"There's no guarantee that we'll get anything definitive out of
the decision," she said. Nevertheless, "we should stay the case,
and in this case I don't see any prejudice to the class because
it's a written contract case. It says what it says."
But she allowed McElrath to serve discovery on Uber while the case
is stayed so that Uber is "on notice explicitly that everything
needs to be preserved."

The ruling came after McElrath's attorney Scott Erlewine --
rse@phillaw.com -- protested the stay in order to conduct

Erlewine told the judge his client had stayed a Private Attorneys
General Act case against Uber in San Francisco Superior Court so
that he could pursue discovery in the federal case.
After the state court sustained parts of Uber's demurrer in
December 2016, McElrath filed the federal class action asserting
claims for breach of contract and violations of state labor and
unfair competition laws, among other grievances.

Corely was unsympathetic.

"The reason you're here is Morris," she told Erlewine. "There is a
conflict in the circuits and no one can tell me with any certainty
what the outcome will be."

She continued: "Go back to state court and do that there. The
issue is, we have an arbitration agreement, we have the [Federal
Arbitration Act], we have Morris; it's a unique situation. I will
permit you to serve discovery or you can go back to state court
and do that as well."

Erlewine is with Phillips, Erlewine, Given & Carlin in San
Francisco. Uber is represented by Patrick Gibbs --
pgibbs@cooley.com  -- with Cooley LLP in Palo Alto, California.

UNITED STATES: Sued Over Prisoner Civil Rights Act Violation
Kurt R. Madsen, and other similarly situated citizens of the
United States of America v. United States of America and
Washington State, Case No. 3:17-cv-05218-RBL-DWC (W.D. Wash.,
March 24, 2017), is brought against the Defendants for violation
of the Prisoner Civil Rights Act.

Kurt R. Madsen is a pro se plaintiff.

VOLKSWAGEN AG: More Than 35,000 Motorists to Join Emissions Suit
Sandra Laville, writing for The Guardian, reports that more than
35,000 motorists have joined a class action lawsuit against VW in
England and Wales over the emissions scandal.

The size of the group is increasing at the rate of 500 drivers a
day and lawyers are confident the legal action will eventually
involve about 100,000 owners of VW, Audi, Skoda and Seat cars.

Damon Parker, of the law firm Harcus Sinclair, said the action
began with a small number of individuals coming forward.  "They
came to us with concerns that they had bought these cars which
they thought were of a certain quality, which they thought were
less harmful to the environment.

"They said they would never have bought them if they had known
they were not of satisfactory quality.  From a few people coming
to us it has just grown.  We set up a call centre in our basement
and employed 20 extra people to take calls."

The action is seeking compensation from VW for selling cars that
the lawyers argue were not road worthy because the emissions were
far higher than they purported to be.

This month, the carmaker pleaded guilty to all criminal charges in
the US, admitting to a scheme to sidestep pollution rules on
nearly 600,000 vehicles.  VW admitted conspiracy and obstruction
of justice in the scheme, which used software called a "defeat
device" to suppress emissions of nitrogen oxide during tests.

The firm has agreed to pay $4.3bn (ú3.5bn) in civil and criminal
penalties in the US. But in the UK the government has not taken
the carmaker to court over the scandal.

Lawyers in the UK action will claim British drivers should be
compensated because they paid more for what they thought were
clean diesel cars.  Each motorist is seeking thousands of pounds
in compensation.

Liz Gabrel, the owner of a VW Tiguan, was one of the first to join
the legal action.  "I felt strongly about joining the VW emission
action group because VW have shown total disregard for the
environment and their customers," she said.  "It would not be
right for VW to get away with such poor behaviour and with the
court action they will be answerable in the public arena."

Harcus Sinclair alleges that the diesel cars emitted far higher
levels of NOx -- a mixture of nitrogen oxide and nitrogen dioxide
-- than stated.  "It is clear to us that the vehicles were fitted
with 'defeat devices' which allowed them to appear to pass
emissions tests; and . . . the vehicles did not (and do not) meet
the regulatory requirements necessary to register and sell a car
in the UK, because the levels of NOx emitted are considered to be
dangerous to public health."

Mary Creagh, the Labour chair of the Commons environmental audit
committee, said the government should take VW to court.

"Almost a year and a half on, the government has taken no action
against VW for deliberately fitting cheat devices on their cars to
fool regulators," she said.  "Given the UK government's inertia,
it is inevitable that motorists are taking matters into their own
hands and pursuing private action in the courts.

"The environmental audit committee has called on government to
measure the contribution that Volkswagen's cheat devices made to
meeting UK emissions standards, and use the results to pursue
court action in the UK."

John Hayes, the transport minister, has promised to support the
legal action being taken by consumers.

Harcus Sinclair is collaborating with other law firms who have
clients taking action against VW.  The case is due in the high
court in May.

VW becomes world's No 1 carmaker despite diesel emissions scandal
Read more

VW was contacted for a comment but did not respond.

The firm has recalled 1.2m cars in the UK but the head of VW UK,
Paul Willis, told MPs at a recent select committee hearing that no
cars in Europe had been affected by defeat devices installed in
the vehicles.  He also denied misleading or deceiving customers in
the UK.

VW is carrying out "technical fixes" at the rate of 20,000 a week
in the UK.  It also owes the government ú1m for the cost of
testing the Department for Transport had to carry out when the
scandal emerged.

In 2015 the US Environmental Protection Agency said 482,000 VW-
built cars had been fitted with software that detected when the
vehicles were undergoing official emissions testing and switched
the engines to a cleaner mode.  The company later admitted that
11m vehicles worldwide were fitted with the software.

WALMART CORPORATION: Sued Over Prisoner Civil Rights Act Breach
Tony Dejuan Jackson, individually & on behalf of other similarly
situated prisoners at Stillwater Correctional Facility v. Mark
Dayton, Tina Smith, Tom Roy, David Milton, Jeff Lonski, Joseph
Bjelland, Steve Hamann, Terry Carlson, Chris Dodge, Real Estate &
Construction Services, Eddie Miles, Steve Hammer, Victor Wanchena,
Chris Pawlick, John Quist, Regina Stepney, Lisa Stenseth, Loretta
Rykes, Daniel Kiser, Jim Benson, Bruce Reiser
Gregg Smith, Sandy O'Hara, Joe Winiecki, Walmart Corporation,
3M Corporation, Plastech Corpartion, Department of Labor,
A'Vianvs Food Service, CWF Solutions LLC, Anagram International
Inc., Caroline Lowe, Josh Benson, Jay Alberio, and Jeffrey W.
Baillon, Case No. 0:17-cv-00880-WMW-TNL (D. Minn., March 24,
2017), is brought against the Defendants for violation of the
Prisoner Civil Rights Act.

Walmart Corporation operates a multinational retailing corporation
that operates as a chain of hypermarkets, discount department
stores, and grocery stores.

3M Corporation is a manufacturer of Post-it products, Scotch
Office tapes, packaging products, laminating systems, computer
accessories, presentation and meeting products.

Plastech Corpartion operates a plastic fabrication company in Rush
City, Minnesota.

A'Vianvs Food Service provider of food service management in
schools, higher education, healthcare facilities, correctional
institutions and business dining.

CWF Solutions LLC operates a construction company located at 2860
Middle St., Little Canada, MN 55117.

Anagram International Inc. operates a plastic fabrication company
in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. [BN]

Tony Dejuan Jackson is a pro se plaintiff.

WGL HOLDINGS: Faces "Jackson" Suit Over Proposed Sale to AltaGas
Lisa Jackson, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. WGL Holdings, Inc., Michael D. Barnes, George P.
Clancy, Jr., James W. Dyke, Jr., Nancy C. Floyd, Linda Gooden,
James F. Lafond, Debra L. Lee, Terry D. McCallister, and Dale S.
Rosenthal, Case No. 1:17-cv-00530 (D. Col., March 23, 2017), is
brought on behalf of all public stockholders of WGL Holdings,
Inc., to enjoin the proposed agreement under which AltaGas will
acquire all of the outstanding shares of WGL in an all-cash
transaction for approximately $6.4 billion.

According to the complaint, WGL issued incomplete and misleading
disclosures in the Form PREM14A Preliminary Proxy Statement filed
with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission in
connection with the Proposed Transaction. The Proxy is deficient
and misleading in that it fails to disclose the following Company
projections for years 2017 through 2021: (i) estimates of
unlevered free cash flow "as reflected in the Forecasts" used in
Goldman's Illustrative Discounted Cash Flow Analysis; (ii) the
respective definitions of unlevered free cash flow used by Goldman
Lazard in their Discounted Cash Flow analyses; (iii) the
forecasted values of EBITDA used by Goldman in its Illustrative
Discounted Cash Flow Analysis "as reflected in the Forecasts"
created by the Company; (iv) stock-based compensation expense;
(v) interest; (vi) taxes; (vii) depreciation and amortization;
(viii) change in net working capital; (ix) the forecasted
estimated net income used by Goldman in its Sum-of-the-Parts
Analysis; and (x) the forecasted estimated EBITDA used by Goldman
in its Sum-of-the-Parts Analysis.

WGL Holdings, Inc. provides natural gas, electricity, green power
and energy services, including generation, storage,
transportation, distribution, supply and efficiency. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Donald J. Enright, Esq.
      Elizabeth K. Tripodi, Esq.
      1101 30th Street NW, Suite 115
      Washington, DC 20007
      Telephone: (202) 524-4290
      Facsimile: (202) 333-2121
      E-mail: denright@zlk.com

WILLIAMS ALEXANDER: Illegally Collects Debt, "Perez" Suit Claims
Cathy Perez, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated v. Williams Alexander & Associates, Inc., Case No. 2:17-
cv-01979-JMV-MF (D.N.J., March 27, 2017), seeks to stop the
Defendant's unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt.

Williams Alexander & Associates, Inc. operates a debt collection
firm located at 1479 NJ-23 #207, Wayne, NJ 07470. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

      Lawrence C. Hersh, Esq.
      17 Sylvan Street, Suite 102B
      Rutherford, NJ 07070
      Telephone: (201) 507-6300
      E-mail: lh@hershlegal.com

YAHOO INC: Fails to Act in Timely Manner on Data Breach
Tim Darnell, writing for WXIA, reports that in the aftermath of
the recent news that two Russian agents and two hackers have been
charged in a massive Yahoo data breach, the real news is behind
the headlines, according to an Atlanta expert.

"The real news is Yahoo's failure to act in a timely manner," said
David Barton, managing director with UHYAdvisors.  "Now, they're
facing 43 class-action lawsuits, four stockholder derivative
action, one stockholder class-action suit, and an FCC
investigation on top of that."

Federal prosecutors alleged the suspects hacked into Yahoo systems
to "steal information from about 500 million accounts and then
used some of that stolen information to obtain unauthorized access
to the contents of accounts at Yahoo, Google and other webmail

This marks the first time the U.S. government has issued criminal
charges against Russian officials for cyber attacks.

"It'd be a good idea for any publicly traded Atlanta company, like
Delta and Coca-Cola for example, to take a good, hard look at
their incident-response plans and make sure they know how to
handle a breach," Mr. Barton said.  "Yahoo didn't address this
breach in a timely manner."

Yahoo said when it revealed the security breach in September that
it believed the attack was state-sponsored.  It disclosed a second
security breach in December that was even larger than the first,
affecting approximately one billion Yahoo accounts. That breach
has not been connected to the first.

The two officers of the FSB, Russia's Federal Security Service,
Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin, allegedly paid hackers to
break into Yahoo's systems as part of an intelligence collection
operation and for-profit scheme to "line the pockets" of all
involved, federal prosecutors alleged.

"The hackers were able to get the code that actually controlled
the cookies used in the breach," Mr. Barton said.  "From a
consumer's standpoint, there's not much you can do to safeguard
against that, but it all goes back to the faulty manner in which
Yahoo dealt with this."

Yahoo, which is selling its core Internet business to Verizon, has
paid a heavy price for the security breaches.  Verizon negotiated
a price discount, trimming $350 million from the acquisition of
Yahoo for a total of $4.48 billion.

And the two companies will share some legal and regulatory
liabilities arising from the breaches.  The acquisition is
expected to close in the second quarter.

* Bill to Resolve Class Ascertainability Split Among Courts
Dave Stafford, writing for The Indiana Lawyer, reports that the
battle lines drawn in a fight over federal class-action lawsuits
include skirmishes from class-certification standards to how much
attorneys can collect in legal fees.

The Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act, House Resolution 985,
passed the U.S. House on a 220-201 vote March 9.  Bose McKinney &
Evans LLP partner Brian Jones -- b.jones@boselaw.com   -- handles
complex civil litigation, including class actions, and said the
bill should be called the Class Action Elimination Act.  "This
bill creates procedural and, I think, some evidentiary burdens
that are so high as to make class actions practically impossible,"
he said.

"I would say this is a blowback to a perception of judicial
activism which is, at best, probably characterized as an
alternative fact," Mr. Jones said.

But lawyers who defend against class actions say the bill responds
to abuses they encounter in suits that at the outset can be
nebulous and sometimes cost businesses a bundle to respond to, let
alone defend.

Ice Miller LLP managing partner Judy Okenfuss said a key element
of the bill would resolve a split among federal circuits as to
class ascertainability.  The legislation proposes that before a
class can be certified, courts would have to define the class
"with reference to objective criteria," and class counsel would
have to demonstrate "a reliable and administratively feasible
mechanism" to both determine whether putative class members fit
the class definition and to distribute any money obtained for the

"It's not a specific requirement in the current Rule 23" of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Ms. Okenfuss said.  "We believe
ascertainability should be part of the rule."

Separately, the bill also would require that members of a putative
class share the same "type and scope" of injury.

Frost Brown Todd LLC member Darren Craig said the ascertainability
language in the bill adopts the law of the 3rd Circuit Court of
Appeals in Philadelphia in determining whether claimants are in or
out of a putative class.  The 7th Circuit and other circuits have
not so stringently held that ascertainability is a requirement for
class certification.  Whether the bill clears the Senate -- a slim
chance in Craig's view -- he said the U.S. Supreme Court
ultimately may set a federal standard.

Mr. Craig and other defense attorneys also say the bill's revision
of discovery procedures is warranted. "A lot of businesses are
confronted with claims that they believe lack any merit," he said.
The bill provides discovery would be stayed in most cases during
pending dispositive motions.

Lucy Dollens -- lucy.dollens@quarles.com -- managing partner in
Quarles & Brady LLP's Indianapolis office, said discovery "can be
extremely onerous and burdensome" for class-action defendants.

"It can be crippling at the early stage of litigation," she said,
but noted the bill also preserves discretion so that judges can
allow particularized discovery where warranted to preserve
evidence or guard against prejudicing a litigant.

Dollens' Quarles colleague in Tampa, Florida, Zac Foster, said the
legislation also provides a right of appeal from district court
rulings on class certification, something he said is currently
granted only in about a quarter of cases. "Class certification is
usually the whole ballgame," he said. "I think this piece of
legislation rightfully acknowledges this is really the motion in a
class-action case."

Ms. Okenfuss said the bill's language regulating conflicts and
barring class counsel from representing relatives or employees is
relatable.  She said the firm has defended cases where named
plaintiffs or members would fall within the bill's list of
conflicts.  "Seeing it show up now in a House bill would lead you
to believe others have had the same experience," she said.

But trial lawyers say the bill's response to perceived judicial
activism and litigation abuses is legislative intrusion into the
federal judiciary. Jones ridiculed the conflict language: "I have
no idea what problem this is designed to resolve that the courts
aren't already allowed to address."

Cohen & Malad LLP managing partner Irwin Levin --
ilevin@cohenandmalad.com -- said the Judicial Conference of the
United States has been reviewing Rule 23, taking comments from all
quarters in an effort to improve how class actions are handled.
"That's in stark contrast to this congressional approach in the
House, which is just to throw the baby out with the bathwater in
the dark of night."

Mr. Levin said the bill is the latest in a string of legislative
attempts over the years to limit access to courts.  He called HR
985 "anti-little guy, anti-working-class legislation," but he's
nonetheless optimistic.  The bill passed by a slim margin with 14
Republicans voting against it and no Democrats for it. (Indiana's
House delegation voted along party lines.)  Levin said it's
refreshing to see some members of Congress regard the Seventh
Amendment right to trial by jury as highly the Second Amendment
right to bear arms.

"I think it's significant the true conservatives in the House
voted against it," Mr. Levin said. "They realized this is an
attack on the Constitution and people's access to the courts. . .
. I'm confident the Senate will look at this and just reject it
out of hand."

Trial attorneys said the bill most harms access to the courthouse
for those least able to press claims on their own. Class actions
exist to compensate for sometimes small harms to a broad number of
people, said John P. Young of Young & Young, who's president of
the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association.

"What it basically comes down to is Americans don't like to be
cheated for a lot and they don't like to be cheated for a little,"
Mr. Young said.  Class actions were developed over time through
case law and courts working with all parties to balance the rights
of individuals with those of corporations and the government, and
to encourage the efficient settlement of similar claims.

Mr. Young said the legislation suggested to him an effort to
change those rules by powerful interests who don't like being held
accountable for their bad behavior.

Mr. Jones said the bill's limits on attorney fees would gut civil
rights lawsuits where monetary judgments aren't as significant as
victories that result in changes in policy or practices.
Mr. Young said language in the bill targeting fees plays on public
misconceptions that trial lawyers angle for what he called
"lottery cases."

"These cases take up a hell of a lot of time, and they are costly
cases with experts and depositions" in addition to often
voluminous discovery, he said.  "People don't go into these

* Brandis Criticized for Trying to Influence Legal System Review
Sarah Danckert, writing for Sydney Morning Herald, reports that
the man in charge of the Productivity Commission's inquiry into
access to justice has criticised Attorney-General George Brandis
for attempting to influence the outcome of the review.

Former Productivity Commission commissioner Warren Mundy, who
conducted the review between 2013 and 2014 into the legal system
including class actions, described the behaviour of the Attorney-
General's office before and after the commission issued a draft
report of the inquiry as inappropriate.  Senator Brandis has
denied Dr Mundy's allegations.

The access to justice inquiry by the commission looked at a range
of legal issues, including legal aid funding, access to legal
services and class action funding.

During the inquiry and after the draft report was released
Mr Brandis appeared in a series of media articles threatening a
crackdown on litigation funding despite the review not being

"At one point during our inquiry Brandis was running around like a
headless chook," Dr Mundy told Fairfax Media.

"There was some fairly inappropriate conduct. We were coming under
some pressure to validate the Attorney-General's prejudices.  And
I call them prejudices because they had no basis in fact other
than his stellar career at the Brisbane bar."

Senator Brandis, who was called to the Queensland bar in 1985, was
named a Queen's Counsel in 2006.  His appointment as a QC sparked
controversy in some quarters of the Queensland legal community due
to the fact that he had not practised law since joining Parliament
in 2000.

"At the time we released the draft report, he [Brandis] started
getting all carried away about 'we've got to stop litigation
funding'.  And the commission said [in its report] we should
probably have more of it but we should do it differently," Dr
Mundy said.

"That inquiry, which the Law Council has described as the most
significant inquiry into civil justice in Australia's history, was
received by the government and for the only time that I am aware
of the responsible minister did not seek a briefing from the

"And it took them a year to publish a response and only then was a
very scrappy response provided on request from the state

Claims absurd

A spokesman for Senator Brandis said: "The comments from former
Labor staffer Warren Mundy are absurd and wrong."

"The Attorney-General has never said litigation funding needs to
be stopped. In fact he has said that litigation funding can
contribute to an efficient and effective justice system," the
spokesman said.

"The Attorney-General has expressed concerns over potential
conflicts of interest and moral and ethical hazards exposing
businesses and consumers to unnecessary risk," the spokesman said.

"In expressing concern about ethical hazards of litigation
funding, Senator Brandis joins a long list of judges, including
NSW Chief Justice Tom Bathurst, and former High Court justices
Dyson Heydon and Ian Callinan."

Dr Mundy also criticised the Australian Institute of Company
Directors' submissions to the inquiry and subsequent campaign that
warned of an outbreak of class actions if litigation funding was

"There was no evidence that there was an unexpectedly large number
of these things happening in Australia. The facts didn't bear them
out," said Dr Mundy, who is a fellow of the institute.

"We couldn't get the institute to talk to us. We were close to
subpoenaing the institute."

An institute spokesman said it remained concerned with the
unregulated environment for litigation funding in Australia.

"Third-party funders and entrepreneurial law firms continue to
drive class actions, with private equity funds also partnering
with funders to pursue growth."

"We regret that Mr Mundy feels we did not meet his expectations on
engagement, and remain committed to working with stakeholders on
this important issue.  The AICD also values our constructive
engagement with the Productivity Commission and its important work
across a range of review areas."

* Class Action Suits Involving Public Pensions Continue to Rise
Michael Katz at Ai-Cio reports that the number of class action
suits with pension funds as the lead plaintiff rose for the third
consecutive year, according to a report from Cornerstone Research.
The report also found that more than half of settlements with
estimated damages of more than USD500 million had a public pension
plan as its lead plaintiff.

Last year, US  courts approved the highest number of securities
class action settlements since 2010, according to the Securities
Class Action Settlements--2016 Review and Analysis report.

"While the spike in total settlement value in 2016 was largely
driven by growth in very large cases," said Laura Simmons, a
Cornerstone Research senior advisor, and a coauthor of the report,
"an increase in the median settlement amount also indicates a
shift for more typical securities class actions."

The total value of settlements approved by courts in 2016 was
USD5.99 billion, nearly twice the USD3.07 billion recorded the
previous year. However, the number of settlements only increased
to 85 from 80, which indicates a significant number of those were
so-called mega settlements in 2016.

Of the 10 approved mega settlements in 2016, four were between
USD100 million and USD250 million, four were between USD250
million and USD500 million, and two were more than USD1 billion.
That made the median mega settlement in 2016 USD318 million, which
is almost twice the median reported the previous year. In 2016,
USD4.8 billion of the nearly USD6 billion total settlement value
came from mega settlements.

The report also found that the median settlement amount for cases
with institutional investor lead plaintiffs was more than two and-
a-half times that of cases with no institutional investor as a
lead plaintiff.

Cornerstone said that cases in which public pension plans serve as
lead or co-lead plaintiff typically involve larger defendants,
longer class periods, securities in addition to common stock,
accounting allegations, and other indicators of more serious cases
such as criminal charges. These cases are also associated with
taking longer to reach settlement.

However, the report also said that although growth in the number
of settlements may continue in the coming years, the most recent
data indicate a potential decline in very large cases, as measured
by market capitalization losses. The report suggests that there
could be a drop in mega settlements at some point in the next few
years. [GN]

* Excessive Business Travel May Spur Employer Litigation
Quietly dreading your next business trip? You're not alone,
Nicole Spector, writing for NBC News, reports.  A recent study
found that employees who frequently travel may be sick of
their "hypermobile" work lives, but don't address the issue
because they feel powerless.

The new research from England's University of Surrey determined
two types of employees: the flourishing hypermobile and the
floundering hypermobile.

"Those 'flourishing' viewed business travel as a source of
happiness and a valued part of their identity," said Dr. Scott
Cohen, lead author of the research and head of the department of
tourism and events at the University of Surrey.  "Those
'floundering' saw it as a source of unhappiness, and a danger to
their health and family/social life."

Disrupted Routines, Longer Work Days, and Lost Family Time

Frequent travel can take its toll on anyone, so it's no wonder
that employees may be struggling with it.

"Business travel can be disruptive to employees' regular sleep,
exercise and eating -- all of which can take a toll on their
overall health and well-being," said Dr. William Siegart, medical
director at travel risk management provider On Call International.

What's more, when you're on the road, the concept of a 9-to-5 day
goes out the window.

"Working long hours well beyond the typical 9-to-5 are par for the
course, and flight delays and logistics compound the stress," said
Joost Schreve, co-founder and CEO of the travel platform kimkim,
adding that even ostensibly glamorous trips, like a week in Tokyo,
can be exhausting and "wreak havoc on everything from your
sleeping and eating habits to relationships with friends and

Lawsuits in the Future?

Employees who feel they're spending too much time on the road,
and/or that their health is at stake from frequent business
travel, could have a case in court.

"Litigation is certainly possible," said Thomas Joo, a law
professor at University of California, Davis.  "It's well accepted
that air travel has possible health effects.  Starting about 10
years ago, we saw some lawsuits including class action
[concerning] deep-vein thrombosis against airlines.  There were a
lot of settlements, and it was a big deal.  If you see that
there's a health problem association with flying, and that your
bosses are exposing you to a health hazard, [that can serve] as
logic to sue an employer."

But we have yet to see lawsuits filed against companies
specifically based on the accusation of excessive business travel.
This is because there's no law against such travel.

"There is no U.S. law that in general places limits or conditions
on the travel associated with work," said Richard Reice --
rreice@hnrklaw.com -- partner at Hoguet Newman Regal & Kenney,
LLP.  "Even in this day where there is greater awareness of a
positive work-life balance, there is no cause of action for
'excessive business travel' and determining how much is 'too much'
in order to establish a violation."

What's more, the health hazards associated with flying are still
controversial.  Mr. Reice notes that there is "an absence of
definitive research on the negative health impacts of excessive

And then of course there's the problem that the study noted: the
floundering hypermobile is unlikely to confront his or her

"People see themselves locked into business travel as part of the
job, and speaking out might put them in the 'slow lane' to job
progression," study author Cohen told NBC News.
Companies Can Do Better

So, what's going to happen? Those of us who aren't suited for or
are worn down by frequent business travel are just going to stay
miserable? Or look for work that doesn't require so much time on
the road? Possibly.  But we should also put the pressure on
companies to do right by us.  This doesn't necessarily mean
reducing our travel; it can simply mean improving the conditions
of our travel.

"Companies should consider ways to make traveling for their road
warriors more palpable," said Craig Fichtelberg, president and co-
founder of AmTrav.  "Many companies require tight travel polices
that limit the amount that can be spent on an airline or hotel
stay.  The more rules they pile on, the more stress and strain
this puts on the traveler."

Loosening up the reins, allowing for flexibility in schedule, and
springing for upgrades can make a positive difference.

"Consider allowing travelers to be bumped up to economy-plus
seating or even business class depending on the length of the
flight," suggested Mr. Fichtelberg.  "Consider four-star hotels as
opposed to two- or three-star hotels, [and] even allow for an
extra personal day on the road for the traveler to get acclimated.
The old school mentality was to tighten the rules to save money on
travel, when in essence it makes more economic sense to loosen the
rules.  Business travel should be perceived as a company benefit -
- not a liability."

Who's Gonna Step Up?

Let's be realistic though, what average company is going to spring
for fancy hotels and personal days abroad when it's flying people
out on a routine basis? And what already inhibited employee is
going to step up and ask for more? Something's got to give, and
it's probably going to give in the courtroom.

Since there's no law against excessive business travel, an
employee would need to show proof in the courtroom of the negative
effects of excessive business travel, which could then lead to a
law against it.

"The tipping point for employers will be when there is successful
litigation causing an employer to pay out for damaging the health
of an employee by forcing him or her to travel too frequently,"
said Dr. Cohen.  "Then we'll begin to see the rush by employers to
put safeguards in place, so that it doesn't happen to them."

* Fiduciary Rule Litigation Costs Overlooked
Morning Star reports that the costs of the fiduciary rule --
including class action lawsuits -- could be underestimated.

The report by Morningstar analyst Michael Wong notes that the
assessments of executives, policymakers and stock analysts of the
Department of Labor's fiduciary rule are missing a key input: the
potential class-action litigation cost of using the Best Interest
Contract, or BIC, to receive commissions.

He estimates a long-term annual range for the industry from class
action settlements of USD70 million-USD150 million, but notes that
he wouldn't be surprised if near-term class action lawsuit
settlements "exceed this by a multiple, as firms figure out how to
determine, demonstrate, and document best interest." In fact, he
says he could envision a bearish scenario where the cost of class
action settlements alone could decrease the operating margin on
the advised, commission-based IRA assets of affected firms by 24%-

With regard to the question of "to BIC or not to BIC?", Wong
anticipates that firms with economic "moats" -- sustainable
competitive advantages -- are the most likely to make a successful
transition, since the quality and diversity of their platforms
will retain or attract assets during this tumultuous period.
But if the costs of litigation have been underestimated, Wong
lines up with the Department of Labor's regulatory impact analysis
as "well founded, thoughtful, and responsive to private industry
input," and finds that the overall cost estimate of USD5 billion
of startup costs and USD1.5 billion of ongoing costs for the
financial sector to be "likely in the right range," although he
says that its cost estimate for individual large financial firms
is likely "off by a multiple or, at a minimum, not representative
of the largest wealth management firms." [GN]

* Franken Expresses Concern About Gorsuch Pro-Business Rulings
Mark Joseph Stern, writing for Slate, reports that at March 22
Senate Judiciary Committee hearing for Supreme Court nominee Neil
Gorsuch, Sen. Al Franken expressed his concern about several
decisions that favored businesses over consumers.  "What we're
worried about," he explained, "is another 5-4 Roberts court making
one decision after another . . . that hurts consumers." Mr.
Franken then tied conservatives' interest in preserving these
decisions to Senate Republicans' unprecedented filibuster of
Merrick Garland: "You said earlier, there's no Democratic judges,
there are no Republican judges.  If that's the case, what was
Merrick Garland about? That's what it was about. . . . [This] core
group of cases in which the Roberts court continually has ruled in
favor of corporations."

Mr. Franken then alluded to the GOP's gaslighting of the
Democratic Party -- "my colleagues on the other side say that
we're making something up over here" -- before explaining what he
and his Democratic colleagues are up to.  "We're trying to figure
out whether we're going to see a continuation of this pro-
corporate bias," the Minnesota senator said.

I'm pleased Franken raised these rulings and tethered them to the
Garland blockade, because he's absolutely right: Businesses have
come to rely on the Supreme Court to swat away lawsuits and help
them entrench their monopolies.  In a series of closely divided
rulings, the court's conservatives have crushed class-action
lawsuits while bolstering corporations' ability to shunt legal
challenges into mandatory arbitration, which disfavors consumers.
These decisions are an embarrassment to the court; they are built
upon such flimsy analysis that it is difficult not to conclude
that the conservative majority simply wanted to help out the
business world.  And Mr. Franken was right to ask for Gorsuch's
attitude toward them, though of course the judge provided no
substantive response.

Perhaps the most egregious anti-consumer decision by the Roberts
court is AT&T Mobility v. Concepcion, a 5-4 ruling from 2011 that
split along the usual ideological lines.  In Concepcion, the court
considered a California rule that prohibited contracts from
forcing consumers into individual arbitration.  These contracts
barred consumers from mounting class-action lawsuits; the
California Supreme Court found that they were unconscionable and
therefore unenforceable. But in an opinion written by Justice
Antonin Scalia, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed the California
Supreme Court, finding that the Federal Arbitration Act of 1925
pre-empted California's rule, rendering it invalid.

In reality, the FAA did no such thing.  There is no reason to read
the law to pre-empt the California rule -- unless you really
dislike the California rule and want to overturn it.  That is what
the court's conservatives did, divining from the FAA's penumbras
and emanations that the law somehow prevented California from
trying to protect consumers' rights. Their decision had an
immediately and extraordinarily detrimental impact on class-action
litigation across the country.

The Concepcion ruling came down months before the court further
gutted class actions in the infamous Wal-Mart Stores v. Dukes.
Although the court ruled unanimously that the class action against
Walmart could not proceed as constituted, the five conservative
justices went further and decided that the suit could not proceed
at all.  In doing so, it created a novel roadblock to class
actions, toughening the requirement that plaintiffs share a
"common claim."  Two years later, in American Express v. Italian
Colors Restaurant, the same five conservatives ruled that
corporations can exercise monopoly power, then bar class actions
and require that any anti-trust claims be sent to arbitration.

These ridiculous decisions -- whose reasoning Republicans would
mock if they did not approve of the outcome -- crushed competition
while denying workers and consumers their Seventh Amendment right
to a jury trial.  The rulings are not rooted in the law and barely
pretend to be.  They are policy preferences, coated in a thin
patina of legalese.  Mr. Franken was right to raise them, and
Gorsuch should have wrestled with their incoherence.  Instead, Mr.
Franken's time ran out and Gorsuch ducked the question.  It
appears we won't know how he feels about these precedents until he
has life tenure on the highest court in the country.[GN]

* Gorsuch May Cast Deciding Vote on Validity of Suit Waivers
Molly Hughes Cherry, Esq. -- mcherry@nexsenpruet.com -- at Nexsen
Pruet, in an article for Lexology, wrote that March 22, 2017,
marks the third day of the confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme
Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Many employers throughout the
Carolinas are watching the process with interest given the impact
Judge Gorsuch would have on key labor and employment cases pending
before the Supreme Court, most notably regarding the validity of
class action waivers in arbitration agreements with employees.

Employers often require employees to pursue claims in arbitration,
instead of in court, either as part of an employment application
containing an arbitration provision or as a standalone agreement.
These arbitration agreements long have been enforced by courts
under the Federal Arbitration Act. More recently, as a result of
several cases before the Supreme Court relating to various
business settings, employers have begun including class and
collective action waivers in the arbitration agreements, mandating
that an employee only bring a claim in his individual capacity and
not on behalf of a group or class of employees.

Many employees have challenged the waivers by bringing collective
actions under the Fair Labor Standards Act and other laws,
alleging various wage and hour violations on behalf of themselves
and other similarly situated employees. As employers have sought
to enforce the waivers, the majority of federal appellate courts
across the nation have ruled in their favor. Nevertheless, the
National Labor Relations Board and a few federal appellate courts
have taken the position that the class and collective action
waivers violate the National Labor Relations Act, specifically
employees' rights to engage in concerted activity. Although the
Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, which governs North and South
Carolina, has not addressed the issue, many district courts
throughout the Fourth Circuit have enforced the class action and
collective action waivers.

As a result of the split among appellate courts, on January 13,
2017, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in three cases where
class action waivers are at issue: National Labor Relations Board
v. Murphy Oil USA (No. 16-307), Epic Systems Corp. v. Lewis (No.
16-285), and Ernst & Young LLP v. Morris (No. 16-300),
consolidating them for oral argument. However, the current eight-
member court faces the real risk of ending up in a 4-4 tie on this
critical question, leaving it unresolved and the courts of appeals
split. Thus, assuming Judge Gorsuch is confirmed and participates
in these pending cases, he could cast the deciding vote and
resolve the class action waiver dispute. [GN]

* Lawyers Sound Off on First-in-a-Decade Class Action Changes
Amanda Bronstad at The National Law Journal reports that
professional objector arrested at a Red Roof Inn. A plaintiff who
bought 35 cellphones and phone numbers just to troll for lawsuits.
And a futuristic vision of class notices that sound like they're
straight out of the film "Minority Report."

These are some of the real-world stories and predictions showcased
in dozens of public comments responding to a slate of proposed
amendments to a rule governing class actions, the first changes to
be put forth since 2003.

In August, the U.S. Judicial Conference's Committee on Rules of
Practice and Procedure published its proposed changes to Rule 23.
The public comment period ended last month. The proposals, if
approved, could become effective in 2018.

The comments focus primarily on proposals to increase the use of
electronic notices and crack down on professional objectors.
Attorneys for plaintiffs and defense had different views but one
thing in common: They all had something to add.

Here's a look at some of the comments.

Electronic notice

Currently, courts depend largely on U.S. mail to notify potential
class members of class certification and settlements. But amid
rapid technological changes and with dismal claims rates drawing
increased scrutiny, there's an appetite to drag the process into
the 21st century. The new rule explicitly specifies that sometimes
the legal mandate to provide the "best notice that is practicable"
can be met through "electronic means, or other appropriate means."
Lawyers see the change as an opportunity to use less expensive,
and perhaps more efficient, notices through emails or social

The American Association for Justice (Washington, D.C.)

Who it is: The world's largest trial bar association that
advocates for plaintiffs attorneys
View: In favor, with changes

What it says: AAJ President Julie Kane praised the proposal's
efforts at keeping up with technology but suggested that the
committee's notes, which refer to emails as "the most promising,"
might already be outdated. She suggested that Facebook, Twitter,
Instagram and smartphone applications might be better suited for
some notice programs. "For example, in a case against a ride-share
company, such as Uber, notifying class members of their options
via the application could be considered," she wrote in a Feb. 14

Angeion Group (Philadelphia)

Who it is: A claims administrator hired by the parties to handle
settlement claims and payouts

View: In favor

What it says: Partner Steven Weisbrot gave a glimpse of what class
action settlement notices could look like in the future--and it
sounds a lot like that scene in the 2002 sci-fi movie "Minority
Report," where billboards beam out messages personalized to the
individual passerby. In a Feb. 6 letter, Weisbrot wrote that
emails provide a "virtual treasure trove of data" that can be used
to send notices via Facebook or smartphones. "One of the major
implications this raises for class action notice is that we can
now track when a class member reaches a case website, and even
track what pages they reviewed," he wrote. "If it is determined
that they did not file a claim, we can cause ads to be served
across all their different devices reminding them of the pendency
of the settlement."

Impact Fund (Berkeley, California)

Who it is: Public interest law firm that brings cases involving
economic, environmental or social justice matters.
View: In favor, with changes

What it says: Jocelyn Larkin, the firm's executive director, wrote
that the problem with class notices isn't technology. It's that
they're not written in plain English. "Simply put," she wrote in a
Feb. 7 letter, "no one can understand class notices other than
legal professionals."

The Hilsee Group (Philadelphia)

Who it is: A claims administrator hired by the parties to handle
settlement claims and payouts

View: Against

What it says: Principal Todd Hilsee argued that the push for more
electronic notices is being driven by reduced costs, not
efficiencies. "Email is less expensive than postal mail, but it is
not, as the notes states, 'more reliable,'" he wrote in an Oct. 31
letter. "In fact, data shows the opposite to be true: responses to
class action notices sent by postal mail are typically higher than
by other means--especially when including a claim form with pre-
paid return postage."

Professional objectors

Another proposal would force objectors and their lawyers to get
court approval for fees, rather than negotiate them behind closed
doors, in exchange for withdrawing their objection. The change is
designed to curb what many consider to be abuses in the class
action settlement process.

Kerger & Hartman (Toledo, Ohio)

Who it is: Commercial litigation and criminal defense law firm

View: In favor, with changes

What it says: Partner Richard Kerger said the proposal
oversimplifies the problem of professional objectors. He told a
tale of objector Christopher Andrews, whose antics held up USD151
million in class action settlements over alleged price-fixing of
polyurethane foam in which he represented the plaintiffs. An Ohio
federal judge, who once referred to objectors as "scavenger ants
on a jelly roll," imposed USD15,300 in sanctions against Andrews,
who didn't pay, then held him in contempt. "On January 6th, Mr.
Andrews was arrested at a Red Roof Inn in Michigan and transported
in handcuffs to the courthouse by two Marshals," Kerger wrote in a
Jan. 26 letter. As to whether Andrews will ever pay up? "His major
asset is a car which he claims is owned by his late mother's
trust," Kerger wrote. Yet Andrews, he noted, has made USD67,000
from objecting in past cases.

Tycko & Zavareei (Washington, D.C.)

Who it is: Plaintiffs firm

View: Against

What it says: Partner Hassan Zavareei said the proposal doesn't go
far enough to deter serial objectors and requiring court approval
for payments could have unintended consequences. Sometimes, he
wrote in an Oct. 24 letter, paying a professional objector to
stand down is a "reasonable decision to make in order for members
of the class to receive compensation in a timely fashion."
Moreover, Zavareei wrote, the threat of reputational harm is not
likely to dissuade the professional objector. "Indeed," he wrote,
"professional objectors are frequently chastised by district
courts, and despite this, are still paid off, and repeat their
tactics in case after case."

The Competitive Enterprise Institute (Washington, D.C.)

Who it is: Advocacy group whose Center for Class Action Fairness
unit has objected to numerous class action settlements

View: Against

What it says: Ted Frank and Melissa Holyoak, senior attorneys at
the Center for Class Action Fairness, said the proposal should be
deleted entirely, or at least revised, because it does nothing to
stop bad-faith objectors. Frank said continuing to approve the
payments legitimizes "bad-faith" objectors but does nothing to
incentivize "good-faith" objectors who are entitled to attorney
fees. "Rather than taking away the carrot, the proposed amendments
are giving class counsel a stick to fight against bad-faith
objectors," he wrote in a Feb. 15 letter. "But this stick will
also be used against good-faith objectors."

George Washington University Law School Professor Alan Morrison
(Washington, D.C.)

Who he is: Associate dean for public interest and public service

View: In favor, with changes

What he says: Morrison cautioned that the rule changes not become
too burdensome for objectors. He filed an amicus brief on behalf
of Public Citizen opposing the USD1 billion concussion settlement
with the National Football League. In that case, he wrote, each
objection had to be signed by the class members joining it, not
just their lawyers. Yet clients lived all over the country. "As a
result, some objections were filed on behalf of fewer than all of
the lawyer's clients, which cut down the objection rate," he wrote
in an Oct. 10 letter.

Other issues

Lawyers also had many gripes about issues the rules changes won't
address. Many wanted a requirement that uninjured class members
should not be part of a class action settlement, a particularly
hot issue for the defense bar, which is pushing for a similar
change in a bill that the U.S. House of Representatives passed
this month.

Pepper Hamilton (Philadelphia)

Who it is: Defense firm

View: In favor, with changes

What it says: Yvonne McKenzie, a partner, and Anthony Vale, of
counsel, gave a noteworthy example of why uninjured parties
shouldn't be in class actions. "Some plaintiffs go so far as to
purchase numerous cellphones in the hope of catching firms that
might make calls in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection
Act," they wrote in a Feb. 15 letter. A case against Wells Fargo
involved a plaintiff who had purchased at least 35 cellphones and
phone numbers with prepaid minutes for the purpose of bringing
lawsuits under the U.S. Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which
protects consumers against unsolicited phone calls. [GN]

* Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch Praises Class Action Reform Bill
Nicholas Gueguen, writing for Louisiana Record, reports that
Louisiana Lawsuit Abuse Watch enjoyed seeing the U.S. House of
Representatives recently pass the Fairness in Class Action
Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency Act of 2017.

The House passed the bill, known as House Resolution 985, by a
vote of 220-201 on March 9, according to a report by the U.S.
Chamber Institute for Legal Reform.

According to a report on the National Law Journal, the first bill
would change many aspects of class actions in order to cut down
how many exist, with a focus on those looking for "large payouts
for speculative or nonexistent injuries."  Also, attorney fees
would be tied to the settlement amounts, place restrictions on
"who plaintiffs attorneys could represent," and put a stop to
discovery in the initial phases of cases.

The connected bill would make quarterly reports of payments made
to victims of asbestos-related illnesses required to be filed by
bankrupt-company trusts.  This was needed, according to the bill's
supporters, to counter attorneys who have kept evidence withheld
in suits filed for those who have made claims against said trusts.

LLAW Executive Director Melissa Landry told the Louisiana Record
via email that the bill has "many important reforms."

"That will help stop lawsuit abuse and improve our civil-justice
system," she said.

Landry said the bill motivates lawyers to give their top efforts
in helping their clients.

"By incentivizing lawyers to do the best work for their clients,
HR 985 will help ensure fairer, more-efficient outcomes for
claimants and defendants in class-action litigation," she said.
"By shining a light on the asbestos bankruptcy trust system, it
will also discourage opportunistic personal-injury lawyers from
filing false or exaggerated claims that take away from resources
that should be used to pay future victims."

Ms. Landry said there has been a recent surge in attorneys trying
to use the legal system for their own benefit.

"Frivolous litigation has skyrocketed in recent years as more and
more personal-injury trial lawyers have sought to use and abuse
our legal system for their own personal gain, often at the expense
of the clients they purport to represent," she said.

Ms. Landry hopes the bill helps claimants receive the most that
they can for their injuries or sicknesses.

"Today, it is estimated more than 60 different bankruptcy trusts
collectively manage over $40 billion in compensation funds that
have been set aside for veterans and others exposed to asbestos,"
she said.  "This complex network of bankruptcy trusts operates
with very little oversight, and there is ample evidence that some
are gaming the system.

"HR 985 will help cut down on this abuse by requiring quarterly
reports on claims made to the trusts while taking measures to
protect claimants' personal information. By weeding out bad actors
who are abusing the current system, HR 985 will also help preserve
funds for future claimants and ensure that all deserving victims
receive the maximum relief for their illness and injuries."

Ms. Landry said LLAW "fully supports" the act.

"We applaud the overwhelming majority of Louisiana House
delegation that voted for HR 985 including Rep. Steve Scalise, R-
Jefferson; Rep. Clay Higgins, R-Port Barre; Rep. Mike Johnson, R-
Benton; Rep. Ralph Abraham, R-Mangham; and Rep. Garret Graves, R-
Baton Rouge," Ms. Landry said.

* MPP Responds to Lawyers' Contingency Fees Issue in Bill 103
Mike Colle, MPP Eglinton-Lawrence, responded to an opinion piece
on lawyers' contingency fees published on March 14 at Toronto

Mr. Colle said "The writer claims in his opinion piece that my
bill, the Personal Injury and Accident Victims Protection Act,
2017, will harm injury victims by limiting excessive fees,
contingency and otherwise.  Nothing could be further from the

"Bill 103 would stop injury victims from being victimized twice:
first by their accident and then by the unscrupulous practices of
some lawyers.  The Star has been exposing numerous practices such
as 'double dipping,' where costs are piled onto contingency fees
so that in several cases victims are keeping less than half of
their court settlements.

"The writer doesn't mention the questionable practice of referral
fees.  Some law firms that advertise non-stop receive a fee for
referring a client to another firm, often without the client's
knowledge or consent.  My bill bans referral fees.

"Bill 103 will also put a stop to the tsunami of misleading
advertising by requiring that all ads be reviewed and approved by
the Law Society of Upper Canada, the self-regulatory body of

"The bill will ensure that standard, clear and transparent
language is used in all contracts.  All costs and fees as well as
how they are calculated are to be disclosed so that lay people can
understand what they are signing.  Clients will be allowed a 10-
day cooling-off period after signing an agreement.

"Finally, the writer implies that recent stories of abuse are
"exceptional cases" that the Law Society is addressing. However,
according to the Star, between 2011-2015 there were 604 complaints
reported regarding advertising and not one disciplinary action was
taken by the Law Society.  Currently, there is a case before the
courts where a class-action law suit is being pursued on behalf of
thousands of clients because of the abuses of one personal injury

"The Law Society of Upper Canada has been aware of these abuses
and complaints for years but seems unable to curb these unethical
practices.  If the Law Society and the government won't do its job
of protecting accident victims from this dysfunctional system,
then who will? That is why I have introduced Bill 103, to get
started on the much overdue reforms that will protect accident
victims and restore integrity to the system."

* Ninth Circuit Blueprint for a RICO Class Action
James F. Bogan III, Esq. -- Jbogan@kilpatricktownsend.com -- at
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP, in an article for Lexology,
wrote that civil RICO claims usually present complex issues. As
civil causes of action predicated on violations of criminal law, a
RICO plaintiff must prove (1) conduct (2) of an enterprise (3)
through a pattern (4) of racketeering activity (5) causing injury
to the plaintiff's business or property. Given their inherent
complexity, RICO claims -- especially fraud-based RICO claims --
usually raise fact-intensive issues inappropriate for class
certification. But, as demonstrated in a recent Ninth Circuit
decision, class certifications in RICO cases remain possible,
giving plaintiffs a potentially lethal weapon in winning the
certification of nationwide federal-claim class actions seeking
the treble damages and attorneys' fees mandated under the federal
RICO statute.

In Just Film, Inc. v. Buono, 847 F.3d 1108 (9th Cir. 2017), small
businesses that leased "point of sale" processing equipment for
credit and debit cards filed a putative class action, alleging
that the providers of credit card processing services conspired to
sell fraudulent, long-term equipment leases and processing
services, in violation of the federal Racketeer Influenced and
Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) and other statutes. Plaintiffs
alleged the defendants (the "Leasing Defendants") engaged in two
fraudulent schemes in connection with the equipment leases between
the Leasing Defendants and the class members.

First, in the "Post-Lease Tax Collection Scheme," the Leasing
Defendants allegedly conspired to defraud plaintiffs "by
collecting or attempting to collect taxes that were not actually
due or paid to any taxing authority." Id. at 1113. Notably, on
this issue, the district court had entered a preliminary
injunction earlier in this case, enjoining the collection of these
taxes. The Ninth Circuit upheld this injunction in a prior appeal.
Second, in the "Property Tax Scheme," the Leasing Defendants
allegedly employed a fraudulent means of collecting property taxes
on leased equipment (point of sale swipe terminals and pinpads).
While the Leasing Defendants should have calculated property taxes
under the leases based on the actual cost of the equipment, they
instead calculated the taxes using a much higher base -- the
stream of income a lease would generate. On this point, a Rule
30(b)(6) witness for the Leasing Defendants had conceded in a
deposition that the higher base should not have been used, and
that the tax should have been based on the much-lower equipment
cost. Despite this admitted mistake, the Leasing Defendants never
told the plaintiffs about the tax overcharge and made no effort to
provide refunds to the members of the class.

Based on these alleged schemes, the plaintiffs asserted federal
RICO and related claims against the Leasing Defendants. As
relevant to the RICO claims, the district court certified two
national classes to pursue RICO and RICO conspiracy claims with
respect to both the "Post-Lease Tax Collection Scheme" and the
"Property Tax Scheme." The Leasing Defendants then filed a
petition to appeal these certifications under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 23(f), which the Ninth Circuit granted. On appeal,
the Ninth Circuit affirmed the certification of the classes and,
in so doing, rejected the Leasing Defendants' arguments that the
plaintiffs (1) did not establish typicality, commonality, and
predominance for the "Post-Lease" class and (2) did not establish
commonality, predominance, and superiority for the "Property Tax"

The Ninth Circuit started off by noting its view that a grant of
class certification should be accorded "noticeably more deference"
than a denial of class certification. Id. at 1115. The Court of
Appeals' analysis relative to both classes includes several
highlights summarized below.


Typicality: The representative of this class did not directly lose
money (by having her account debited for taxes and fees), while
the other putative class members did. The Ninth Circuit
nevertheless found that she had established typicality, because
she "was injured by the same pattern of racketeering activity as
the other class members" (the class representative's only injury
consisted of the time and money she spent contesting the allegedly
fraudulent taxes and related fees). Id. at 1116. The Court of
Appeals did not consider it determinative that the class
representative's injury differed from the other class members or
that she relied on different criminal predicate acts that
proximately caused her RICO injury. Rather, the Ninth Circuit
found typicality because the representative's claims were
"reasonably coextensive" with the claims of the other class
members. Id. at 1120.

Commonality and predominance: The Leasing Defendants argued that
the class representative's damages theory -- the time and effort
she spent contesting charges -- did not lend itself to proof on a
class-wide basis. The Court of Appeals rejected this argument,
stating that "damage calculations alone cannot defeat
certification," and that each class member need not experience
identical damages from the illegal conduct. Id. Plaintiffs argued
the class could demonstrate damages in two ways, either by proving
up the amount of unauthorized debits from their accounts or
proving the amount of time and effort they spent in contesting the
charges. The Ninth Circuit accepted this argument, ruling that
common issues in terms of establishing liability predominated over
any individualized issues arising from class members' damages


Commonality and predominance: According to the Leasing Defendants,
the district court assumed that the higher tax base -- the stream
of income a lease would generate -- constituted an inflated figure
unsupported by the record. The Ninth Circuit ruled that while
plaintiffs "may or may not prevail" on that issue, it nevertheless
represented "a merits question not appropriately addressed at the
class certification stage." Id. at 1122. The Leasing Defendants
further argued that plaintiffs had presented no evidence about the
various tax rates in innumerable jurisdictions. This also did not
matter, according to the Ninth Circuit, because, no matter the tax
rate, the issue of whether the Leasing Defendants employed the
wrong tax basis under the equipment leases presented a common
question that predominated over individual ones.

Superiority: While the Leasing Defendants challenged the
superiority of the class device given the number of taxing
jurisdiction involved (over 3,500 taxing jurisdictions), the Ninth
Circuit disagreed. Noting the small recovery sought by each class
member, the Court of Appeals stated: "These considerations are at
the heart of why the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure allow class
actions in cases where Rule 23's requirements are satisfied. This
case vividly points to the need for class treatment." Id. at 1123.

Just Film systematically rejected numerous arguments against class
certification -- arguments that frequently go to the heart of a
class action defendant's opposition to class certification. If
left undisturbed, it could mark the beginning of even more
aggressive class action efforts in the Ninth Circuit. Conversely,
this latest pro-certification ruling may provide an opportunity
for the U.S. Supreme Court to weigh in again on the "rigorous
requirements" for certification under Rule 23. [GN]

* Number of Securities Class Action Settlements Up in 2016
Thomas Gorman, Esq. -- gorman.tom@dorsey.com -- of Dorsey &
Whitney LLP, in an article for JDSupra, reports that the trends in
securities class actions are up.  The number of cases filed last
year was up as previously reported.  The number of settlements in
2016 was up.  The amount of those settlements was up. The number
of mega settlements was up.  These and other trends are detailed
in the latest report from Cornerstone Research, Securities Class
Action Settlements - 2016 Review and Analysis.

The trends in securities class action settlements are evidenced by
key statistics.  The largest settlement in 2016 was $1.575 billion
compared to $982.8 million the prior year.  The minimum settlement
in 2016 was $0.9 million compared to $0.4 the prior year.
Similarly, the average settlement amount increased to $70.5
million in 2016 from $38.4 million the year before.  And, the
number of settlements in 2016 increased to 85 compared to 80 the
prior year.

Last year the number of mega settlements was the highest in 10
years.  The number of settlements over $100 million almost doubled
in 2016 compared to the prior year.  Four of the ten approved mega
settlement in 2016 were between $100 million and $250 million;
four were between $250 million and $500 million; and two exceeded
$1 billion.  That is the first year since 2006 that there were two
settlements over $1 billion in a single year. At the same time the
number of what Cornerstone calls "nuisance settlements" those
under $2 million) declined from 25% in 2015 to 12% in 2016.

Other key trends include:

Total value: The total settlement dollars in 2016 (in millions)
increased to about $5,990 compared to $3,073 the prior year and
$1,164 in 2014, although the 2016 amount did not exceed that of
2007 which was $8,377.

Restatements: Over 30% of the cases settled in 2016 involved a
restatement of the issuer's financial statement, although the
number of actions alleging violations of GAAP declined slightly
and there were no settlements involving accounting irregularities.

Third parties: Only 17% of the settled actions last year named an
auditor as a defendant; the median settlement in those actions was
lower than in the other settled cases; in contrast 79% of the
cases based on Securities Act Section 11 named an underwriter, up
compared to the prior year.

Institutional investor plaintiff: The median settlement amount for
cases with an institutional lead plaintiff was more that two and
one half times that of other cases; at the same time cases with a
public pension plan serving as lead or co-lead plaintiff tended to
have larger issuer defendants, longer class periods and were
associated with longer time periods to reach settlement.

Derivative suits: In 2016 40% of the settled cases were
accompanied by derivative actions, compared to 34% over the period
since the Reform Act.

Parallel SEC action: In 2016 the median amount of the settlement
in actions with a parallel SEC case at $8.6 million differed
little from the $8.4 million in the other actions; traditionally,
however, a corresponding SEC action is associated with a higher
settlement amount -- the actions tend to involve larger issuer
defendants but they are also frequently delisted firms and tend to
settle prior to the ruling on the first motion to dismiss.
Finally, Cornerstone found that median settlement amount tended to
increase over the time the case was pending.  For example, in 2016
the median settlement for cases settling within two years of
filing was 70% lower than those which took longer to resolve,
although the numbers were impacted by the mega settlements.[GN]

* Shaked Sets Fees to Stem Class Actions Flood
Chen Ma'anit at Globes reports that Minister of Justice Ayelet
Shaked has decided that a NIS 24,000 fee will be charged for a
class action in a district court.

Following months of discussions, consultations, and hesitation,
Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked has decided that fees of NIS
24,000 and NIS 12,000 will be charged for filing a class action in
a district court and magistrates court, respectively. The fees are
substantially lower than Shaked originally intended to charge as a
condition for filing a class action. At present, in contrast to
ordinary lawsuits, no fee is required for filing a request for a
class action.

The revised proposal was formulated in cooperation with the Israel
Bar Association, Ministry of Justice legal advisor Erez Kaminitz,
and the Manufacturers Association of Israel. Only half of these
fees will be charged when the class action is filed; the other
half will be paid if and when the evidence in the case is
presented to the court. This stage is reached in very few cases,
because most of the cases are either settled out of court or
approval for the class action is denied.

It was also decided to exempt class actions filed by NGOs and non-
profit organizations and class actions filed against the state
from the fee. The new regulations require approval from both the
Knesset Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee and Minister of
Finance Moshe Kahlon.

Under Shaked's original proposal, the fee would have been NIS
62,500 for a class action in a district court and NIS 50,000 for a
class action in a magistrates court. As is the case with ordinary
lawsuits, the proposed fee varies according to the type of court
in which the action is filed, and according to its authority.
Shaked's proposal is designed to stem the tide of class action
requests in Israel, following studies by Tel Aviv University
Professor of Law Alon Klement, among others, who showed that half
of the class action requests end in dismissal of the action, due
to the fact that its chances of success are low.

Shaked believes that these class action requests are imposing
unnecessary costs on the legal system and increasing its workload,
and should never have been filed.

Shaked wants to combat the common practice in which lawyers
initiate the filing of a class action request and talk their
clients into filing it, with no fee at all being charged, meaning
that they have nothing to lose. The lawyers hope that filing a
multitude of actions will produce at least one ending in either a
settlement or judgment, with a handsome fee for them. [GN]

* Tort Reform No Longer Just an Idle Threat, Trial Attorneys Says
Minnessota Lawyer reports that a new occupant in the White House
is prompting trial lawyers, for the first time in years, to take
seriously tort reform efforts by Republicans in Congress.

Just this month the Republican-controlled House passed bills that
would narrow the scope of membership in class actions, restrict
the payment of class counsel fees, increase transparency in the
asbestos trust compensation system, and codify rules prohibiting
the fraudulent joinder of defendants.

House Republicans topped off that string of successes by also
passing a bill designed to put "teeth" back into Rule 11's
prohibition against the filing of frivolous suits.

The House passed similar measures last year only to see them die
in a Republican-controlled Senate faced with the reality that
President Obama would veto them.

But the election of Donald J. Trump as president has changed the
political landscape, emboldening proponents who no longer see a
veto by the executive branch as a roadblock to reforms enacted by
a Congress that remains solidly in Republican hands.
"With a Republican majority, this becomes a more imminent threat,"
said Annette Gonthier-Kiely, president of the Massachusetts
Academy of Trial Attorneys.

The bills passed by Congress are a threat that must be taken
seriously, agreed Zachary M. Mandell, president of the Rhode
Island Association for Justice.

"These bills significantly and drastically would reduce consumer
rights under the civil justice system," Mandell said.
Meanwhile, Providence products liability attorney John F. Kelleher
sees the changes in Washington as an overdue opportunity for
litigation reform on the federal level.

"The question is what shape it's going to be in once it gets
through the Senate. But with a Republican in the White House, we
see a possibility that if meaningful legislation makes it through
both houses of Congress, that it can become law," said Kelleher,
president of Defense Counsel of Rhode Island.

The reforms are backed by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal
Reform. Matt Webb, ILR's senior vice president of legal reform
policy, said he is cautiously optimistic that at least some of the
reforms will become law. He suggested that there may even be some
Democrats in the Senate who would back the bills.

"There are a number of Democratic senators who are up for
reelection in states that President Trump carried," Webb said.
"They're going to be looking for things they can support that help
differentiate themselves from those [Democrats] who are basically
obstructing everything."

But according to Plymouth products liability lawyer Walter Kelley,
the House action is "nothing more than a corporate handout."
"It essentially is not allowing people to hold the manufacturers
of dangerous products accountable," he said.

While Kelley acknowledged Trump's reputation for litigiousness,
that fact gives him little comfort that the president would not
sign tort reform legislation that makes its way out of Congress.
"I wouldn't put anything past Trump," he said. "It doesn't give me
a warm, fuzzy feeling to know that he'd be the one to sign the

But Gonthier-Kiely isn't so certain that a presidential veto of
litigation reform measures is off the table.

"There's a level of unpredictability," she said. "We really don't
know where President Trump stands on this. Even if he had his own
opinion that he was not in favor of it, it could become a
bargaining chip to get some other legislation."

Class action reform

On March 9, the House passed by a 220-201 vote the Fairness in
Class Action Litigation and Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency
Act of 2017. As suggested by its cumbersome title, H.R. 985
combines two separate acts, one addressing class actions and the
second (the FACT Act) addressing asbestos compensation.
The heart of the Fairness in Class Action Litigation Act is a
provision that prohibits a federal court from certifying a class
unless, after a "rigorous analysis" of the evidence, the plaintiff
affirmatively demonstrates that each proposed class member
suffered the same type and scope of injury as the named class

Kelley, a MATA board member, said such a change would unfairly
favor multi-billion-dollar corporations and their insurance

"By requiring that all plaintiffs in a consolidated action have
identical injuries or losses, they are effectively wiping out a
family's ability to seek justice on an even playing field with the
world's largest and wealthiest corporations when they cause harm,"
Kelley said.

But Webb said limiting class membership to those suffering the
same type and scope of injury would help prevent plaintiffs'
attorneys from artificially inflating the size of a class in an
effort to drive up the settlement value of a case.

"The goal of the act is to maximize recovery for deserving victims
while weeding out unmeritorious claims," Kelleher added.
To avoid conflicts of interests, H.R. 985 would further prohibit
the certification of any class action in which the class
representative or named plaintiff is a relative or employee of
class counsel.

The class action bill also addresses the distribution and
determination of attorneys' fees, providing that no fees may be
"determined or paid . . . until the distribution of any monetary
recovery to class members has been completed."

The bill would further place restrictions on the amount of fees,
limiting awards to class counsel to a "reasonable percentage" of
payments directly distributed to and received by class members.
"In no event shall the attorneys' fee award exceed the total
amount of money directly distributed to and received by all class
members," the bill states.

Webb sees the legislation as including a number of consumer
protection provisions aimed at putting the interests of class
action plaintiffs ahead of lawyers.
"Rather than class counsel getting the lion's share of any award
in a class action, the bulk of it would have to go to class
members," Webb said.

The FACT Act would require asbestos trusts to file quarterly
reports with the bankruptcy court describing the exposure history
of claimants and the basis for any payment from the trust made to
a claimant. Parties to asbestos litigation also would be permitted
access to information regarding claims against and payments from a
particular trust.

Improving transparency is critical to preventing asbestos
claimants from "double-dipping," according to Webb. He said it
would allow defendants in ongoing litigation to determine if a
particular plaintiff's claims history is inconsistent with his
claim of asbestos exposure in a pending case. [GN]


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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USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Washington, D.C., USA.  Marion
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Christopher G. Patalinghug, and Peter A. Chapman, Editors.

Copyright 2017. All rights reserved. ISSN 1525-2272.

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