CAR_Public/180725.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Wednesday, July 25, 2018, Vol. 20, No. 148

                            Headlines

488 HOSPITALITY: Faces "Martinez" Suit in S.D. New York
AFSCME: California Teachers File Class Action Over Union Fees
AIMCO PROPERTIES: Faces "Fischler" Suit in E.D. New York
AMAZON.COM LLC: Ct. Won't Compel Production of "Ortiz" Class List
AMERICAN FAMILY: Colo. App. Affirms Dismissal of "Arline" Suit

ANADARKO PETROLEUM: Judge Dismisses Securities Class Action
APPLE INC: Faces Class Action Over Defective iPhone Batteries
AUSTRALIA: Class Action Mulled Over Failure to Address Crimes
BANK OF AMERICA: Settles Overdraft Fee Class Action
BERKSHIRE BLANKET: Faces "Kiler" Suit in E.D. New York

BONITA SPRINGS: Faces "Honeywell" Suit in M.D. Florida
BOSQUE FARMS, NM: Partial Dismissal of "Sanchez" Advised
BRAMBLES: Slater & Gordon, IMF Bentham to File Class Action
CAPITAL BRANDS: Faces Class Action Over NutriBullet Blenders
CALVARY LENAH: May Face Class Action Over Colonoscopy Procedures

CENTRAL MAINE: New Bill to Boost Customers' Class Action
CHANG GUANN: Tainted Edible Oil Victims to Get Compensation
CHESAPEAKE BAY: Faces "Honeywell" Suit in M.D. Florida
COMMONWEALTH BANK: Investors File Class Action in Australia
DCT INDUSTRIAL: Faces Class Action Over Proposed Prologis Merger

DENTAL EQUITIES: TCPA Suit Stayed Pending FCC Declaratory Ruling
DETROIT, MI: Judge Dismisses Public School Students' Class Action
DR PEPPER: Faces Class Action Over Canada Dry Ginger Ale Labeling
DR PEPPER: Summary Judgment Bid in Stockholders Suit OK'd
DRYBAR HOLDINGS: Faces "Rodriguez" Suit in California Super. Ct.

EXECUTIVE CARE: Faces "MMatzura" Suit in S.D. New York
FCA US: Tentative Ruling Denying "Victorino" Class Cert. Issued
FIRSTSOURCE ADVANTAGE: Faces "Jang" Suit in D. New Jersey
FOOT LOCKER: Wins Summary Judgment Bid in "Zelaya"
GENERAL MOTORS: Court Narrows Claims in "Hindsman" Suit

GLENCORE PLC: Law Firm Investigates Potential Securities Claims
GOODLIFE FITNESS: Judge Okays $7.5MM Class Action Settlement
GRAIN PROCESSING: July 2 Class Action Jury Trial Date Suspended
HARRIS COUNTY, TX: Prelim Injunction Order in "ODonnell" Vacated
IGNITE PAYMENTS: Dismissal of Amended Zam & Zam Suit Affirmed

ILLINOIS: Denial of Class Certification in "Morris" Recommended
IOWA: Averts Black Workers' Discrimination Class Action
ISRAEL ELECTRIC: Gideon Fisher Attorney Comments on Ruling
J BRAND: Faces "Olsen" Suit in E.D. New York
JB HUNT: Seeks to Decertify Drivers' Wage Class Action

KBR: Veterans' Class Action Over Burn Pits Won't Move Forward
KCMCL COCONUT: Faces "Honeywell" Suit in M.D. Florida
KESHAV HOTEL: Faces "Honeywell" Suit in M.D. Florida
LL BEAN: Judge Tosses Class Action Over Return Policy Change
LOCK HAVEN: Judge Refuses to Certify Retirement Class Action

LONG ISLAND, NY: Sandy Case Plaintiffs Gets Class Action Status
L'OREAL: Faces Class Action Over Defective Cosmetic Bottles
NEW ENGLAND: 11th Cir. Affirms Arbitration Denial in "Gamble"
NGU INC: Denial of Class Certification in "Win-Vent" Affirmed
NQ MOBILE: Cohen Milstein to Lead in Securities Suit

OHIO STATE: Jim Jordan Responds to Wrestling Team Abuse Claims
OLDE NAPLES: Faces "Honeywell" Suit in M.D. Florida
PACIFIC GAS: Faces Class Action Over Securities Violations
PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Makes $983MM Deposit Under Settlement Deal
PHELAN HALLINAN: Pa. Super. Affirms Demurrer in "Johnson"

PURDUE PHARMA: Halts Marketing of Opioids in Canada Amid Suits
QUALITY CARE: Faces Two Class Actions Over Welltower Merger
RETAIL FOOD: Franchisees' Mooted Class Action Dropped
REV GROUP: Glancy Prongay & Murray Files Securities Class Action
RICH BOYS TOYS: Faces "Winston" Suit in California Super. Ct.

RIPPLE LABS: Faces Class Action Over Securities Law Violations
ROCKPORT, MA: Reaches Settlement with Property Leaseholders
ROYAL WINNIPEG: Ontario Court Allows Class Action to Proceed
SAGE TELECOM: Ill. App. Affirms "Grimes" Dismissal
SALON MANAGEMENT: Faces "Boyack" Suit in C.D. California

SANTANDER CONSUMER: Can Compel Non-Class Arbitration in "Graham"
SCI CALIFORNIA: Faces "Delacruz" Suit in California Super. Ct.
SEAWORLD: Settles Annual Pass Holders' Class Action for $11.5MM
SH FRANCHISING: Faces "Burbon" Suit in S.D. New York
SIBANYE GOLD: Rosen Law Firm Files Securities Class Action

SMITHFIELD: Vows to Appeal Hog Farm Class Action Ruling
SOUTH CAROLINA: Faces Class Action Over Foster Care System
STATE FARM: Classic Auto Body Files Class Action in Clair County
STATE FARM: Court Approves Renewed Class Notice in "Durant"
STATE FARM: Must Face Class Action Over Illinois Judge Campaign

SUNTRUST BANKS: Settles ERISA Class Action for $4.7MM
TARGET CORP: 7th Cir. OKs Class Action Objector to Pursue Claim
TATA COMMUNICATIONS: Mahajan Files Class Action Over Lost Data
TEAC CORP: Settles Optical Disc Drive Price-Fixing Class Action
TENNESSEE: Sued Over Court Debt Driver's License Revocations

TWITTER INC: Averts Female Engineers' Gender Bias Class Action
TRANS UNION: "Miller" Transferred to N.D. Cal. for Consolidation
UBER TECHNOLOGIES: BCAC Wins Dismissal of Wage Deductions Suit
UNITED COLLECTION: Court Limits Discovery in "Meredith"
UNITED STATES: DHS Must Give Parole Hearings to Asylum Seekers

UNITED STATES: Fed. Cl. Grants Summary Judgment Bid in "Lucier"
UNITED STATES: Minnesota Plaintiffs in "Ackerman" Suit Reinstated
UNITED STATES: Counties Set to Receive PILT Class Action Payments
UNITED STATES: Petersburg Borough Votes to Join PILT Class Action
UNITED STATES: Town of Weathersfield Joins PILT Class Action

UNITED STATES: Whitman County Agrees to Join PILT Class Action
UNITED STATES: Goshen County Joins PILT Class Action
UNITED STATES: Court Blocks Arbitrary Detention of Asylum Seeker
UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA: Sued Over Nadon Sexual Assault Allegations
URBAN SPACE: N.Y. OKs Prel Approval of $265K Class Settlement

VIRGINIA: Class Action Against SVJC May Face Delay
VIVINT INC: 9th Circuit Affirms Class Action Dismissal
VIZIO: Reaches Tentative Privacy Class Action Settlement
WASHINGTON: Faces Class Action Over Home Care Worker Union Dues
WEINSTEIN CO: Attorney Alleges Fraud, Racism Against Lantern

WHATCOM COUNTY, WA: Sued Over Jail Addiction Therapy Protocol
WILL  RIVER: Bid to Dismiss Amended "Santiago" Suit Partly OK'd

* Skadden Securities Litigators Issue Class Action Update


                            *********


488 HOSPITALITY: Faces "Martinez" Suit in S.D. New York
-------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against 488 Hospitality
Group LLC. The case is styled as Rodolfo Solano Martinez, on
behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v.
488 Hospitality Group LLC, 790 Lounge LLC, Mino Habib and Paul
Seres, Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-06333 (S.D. N.Y., July 12,
2018).

488 Hospitality Group LLC doing business as "The Attic Cafe" is
both a coffee shop and bar located in the heart of Downtown
Tampa.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears PRO SE.


AFSCME: California Teachers File Class Action Over Union Fees
-------------------------------------------------------------
Amanda Bronstad, writing for The Recorder, reports that seven
California teachers have filed a class action to claw back union
fees that were collected, they claim, in violation of their
constitutional rights.

The suit, filed on July 2 in U.S. District Court for the Central
District of California, is among the first filed since the U.S.
Supreme Court's June 27 decision in Janus v. AFSCME. In a 5-4
ruling, the Supreme Court struck down fees used to cover
collective bargaining costs after finding they unconstitutionally
violated the First Amendment rights of the plaintiffs, nonunion
members who disagreed with the union's political views.

"The lawsuit we filed is a refund of the fees that were illegally
extracted," said John Bursch -- jbursch@burschlaw.com -- of
Bursch Law in Grand Rapids, Michigan, who along with the Clark
Hill law firm filed the class action on behalf of California's
public school teachers. He said 20 other lawsuits across the
country seek similar refunds -- although some of those cases
predate the Janus decision.

His suit named two national teacher unions -- the National
Education Association and the American Federation of Teachers --
and three California unions. It also named nine local unions,
nine school districts and nine school superintendents and
chancellors.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of
Teachers, described the suit as politically motivated, noting
that Janus did not require the return of past fees.

"As we have said repeatedly, these efforts by right-wing forces
to weaponize the First Amendment and overrule 40 years of
precedent -- through a 5-4 decision in Janus -- are intended to
defund unions by starving them of the resources they need to
secure a pathway to the middle class and a voice at work for
working people," Mr. Weingarten wrote. "The AFT and its
affiliates are taking great care to comply with the Janus
decision, regardless of how wrongheaded we think it is."
Spokespeople for the National Education Association and
California Teachers Association declined to comment.

Mr. Bursch said he expected each teacher to be seeking "a couple
thousand dollars" in fees paid over the past three years.  The
plaintiffs claim they resigned their union membership but still
had "fair share service fees" taken out of their paychecks.

At least four of the plaintiffs brought a previous case called
Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association that resulted in a
case where the justices tied, 4-4, shortly after Justice Antonin
Scalia died in 2016. [GN]


AIMCO PROPERTIES: Faces "Fischler" Suit in E.D. New York
--------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Aimco Properties,
L.P. The case is styled as Brian Fischler, individually and on
behalf of all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiff v.
Aimco Properties, L.P., Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-04022 (E.D.
N.Y., July 12, 2018).

Aimco or Apartment Investment and Management Company is a
publicly traded real estate investment trust.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Douglas Brian Lipsky, Esq.
   Lipsky Lowe LLP
   630 Third Avenue
   Fifth Floor
   New York, NY 10017
   Tel: (212) 392-4772
   Fax: (212) 444-1030
   Email: doug@lipskylowe.com


AMAZON.COM LLC: Ct. Won't Compel Production of "Ortiz" Class List
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District
California issued an Order on Joint Discovery Dispute in the case
captioned MICHAEL ORTIZ, Plaintiff, v. AMAZON.COM LLC, et al.,
Defendants, Case No. 17-cv-03820-JSW (MEJ) (N.D. Cal.).

The parties filed a joint discovery dispute letter regarding
Defendant Golden State FC LLC's production of a class list.

Plaintiff Michael Ortiz emailed counsel for Golden State,
requesting a class list with the names and contact information of
all persons employed by Golden State FC, LLC and/or Amazon.com
LLC, in California as Level 4 managers at any time after June 2,
2013.  The Plaintiff now seeks an order compelling Golden State
to produce a class list.

The Court notes that, first, the Plaintiff did not propound his
request for a class list in a formal discovery request; he has
only sought this information via an informal email. Given that
the Plaintiff has yet to even engage in formal discovery on this
matter, bringing this dispute to the Court's attention at this
point is premature and wastes Court time and resources. To the
extent Plaintiff argues Golden State should have produced the
class list as part of its initial disclosures, he cites no
authority to support this position.

Second, prior to class certification under Rule 23, discovery
lies entirely within the discretion of the court.  The Plaintiff
makes no attempt to show Rule 23's requirements are satisfied or
that this discovery is likely to substantiate the class
allegations. This in and of itself is not a basis to deny
discovery; however, the Court cannot find this discovery is
warranted under these circumstances, where the Plaintiff also has
yet to propound a formal discovery request and also fails to show
the requested discovery is proportional to the needs of the case.

The Plaintiff argues he needs putative class members' names and
contact information, but he does not explain how this will
resolve factual issues fundamental to the maintenance of his
action.

At this juncture, Golden State's proposed production is
sufficient. The Court declines to impose the Plaintiff's
requested conditions that Golden State stipulate not to contact
the putative class members not on the list and stipulate that the
sample class list is statistically significant. The Plaintiff
does not explain why these impositions are necessary.

The Court directs that Golden State produce, pursuant to its
proposed compromise, a sample list of 20% of Level 4 Shift
Managers at its California Delivery Stations from June 2, 2013 to
the present.

The Court previously reminded the Plaintiff and his attorneys
that they have a responsibility to to secure the just, speedy,
and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding.
Seeking Court intervention prior to propounding a formal
discovery request is inconsistent with these obligations, the
Court notes.

A full-text copy of the District Court's May 31, 2017 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y7n8od9v from Leagle.com.

Michael Ortiz, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by Corey Benjamin Bennett, Scott
Cole & Associates, Scott Edward Cole, Scott Cole & Associates,
APC & Cesar A. Alvarado, Law offices of Scott Cole.

Amazon.com LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company & Golden
State FC LLC, a Delaware Limited Liability Company, Defendants,
represented by Eric Meckley -- eric.meckley@morganlewis.com --
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP & Nancy Villarreal --
nancy.villarreal@morganlewis.com -- Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.


AMERICAN FAMILY: Colo. App. Affirms Dismissal of "Arline" Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of Colorado, Division III, affirmed the
District Court's judgment granting Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
the case captioned Anitra Arline, Plaintiff-Appellant, v.
American Family Mutual Insurance Company, Defendant-Appellee, No.
17CA1296 (Colo. App.).

Arline's complaint alleges that she was injured by an
underinsured motorist. She submitted claims to American under
insurance policies which provided $5000 in MedPay coverage and a
total of $50,000 in individual UIM coverage. Arline sued American
on her own behalf, asserting breach of contract.

American responded that the Agreement was a complete bar to the
cause of action in simultaneous motions to dismiss for (1) lack
of standing, pursuant to C.R.C.P. 12(b)(1); and (2) failure to
state a claim upon which relief can be granted, pursuant to
C.R.C.P. 12(b)(5).

Arline argued that the Agreement was unenforceable because it was
contrary to applicable law and public policy. However, the
district court found that Arline's arguments were relevant only
to the terms of her insurance policy and not to the Agreement.
Accordingly, the court found that the Agreement was enforceable,
granted American's motion to dismiss for lack of standing, and
did not address the Rule 12(b)(5) motion because it was rendered
moot by the Rule 12(b)(1) dismissal.

A release is the relinquishment of a vested right or claim to a
person against whom the claim is enforceable. An insured may
agree to a term of settlement and release as the insured sees
fit, so long as the term does not violate statutory prohibitions
or public policy.

In November 2016, one year after Arline settled, the supreme
court, in Calderon v. Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co., 2016 CO 72, held
for the first time that section 10-4-609(1)(c), C.R.S. 2017,
prohibits insurers from reducing the UIM benefits paid on a claim
by the amount of MedPay benefits paid on that claim, which the
court termed a setoff.

The Court agrees with Arline's assertion that, in Colorado, the
purpose of UIM insurance is to place an injured party having
uninsured motorist coverage in the same position as if the
uninsured motorist had been insured.

Here, however, Arline negotiated her damages benefits and agreed
that the $27,000 UIM benefit amount paid compensated her
sufficiently to warrant releasing American from any further
claims. The present settlement agreement does not concern the
amount of UM/UIM coverage available on her claim, but rather the
amount of money she was willing to accept to release her claim.
Arline now argues, for the first time on appeal, that she was not
compensated in the same manner as if she had been injured by a
fully insured motorist. But she does not allege facts to support
this argument. She alleges only that she did not receive what she
was "entitled to" because of the setoff provision in her UM/UIM
policy.

Accordingly, the Court concludes that the Agreement is
enforceable. The Court's conclusion is consistent with that of
three recent federal district court cases resolving this issue.
Because Arline signed a valid release agreement which is not void
as against public policy or prohibited by statute, the district
court properly dismissed her claim.

The judgment is affirmed.

A full-text copy of the Colo. App.'s May 31, 2017 Opinion is
available at https://tinyurl.com/ydg6rhv5 from Leagle.com.

Bradley A. Levin -- bal@levinsitcoff.com -- Susan S. Minamizono,
Denver, Colorado; Patricia Meester, Keith R. Scranton, for
Plaintiff-Appellant.

Faegre Baker Daniels LLP, Michael S. McCarthy  --
michael.mccarthy@FaegreBD.com --  Todd P. Walker -- todd.walker
@FaegreBD.com -- Matthew D. Clark  -- matthew.clark@FaegreBD.com
--  Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellee.


ANADARKO PETROLEUM: Judge Dismisses Securities Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------
Shearman & Sterling LLP, in an article for Lexology, wrote that
on June 19, 2018, Judge Lee H. Rosenthal of the United States
District Court for the Southern District of Texas dismissed with
leave to amend a putative securities class action against
Anadarko Petroleum Corporation ("Anadarko" or the "Company") and
certain of its officers. Edgar v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp., et
al., No. 17-1372 (S.D. Tex., June 19, 2018). Plaintiffs alleged
that defendants violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 by allegedly making
material misstatements about the safety of its gas wells and
compliance with regulatory requirements. The Court found all but
one of the alleged misstatements was not actionable because they
amounted to opinions and "corporate cheerleading." Although the
Court found one alleged misstatement actionable, it held that the
complaint failed to establish scienter, and granted leave to
amend the complaint.

The Company is an oil and gas exploration and production company.
In 2013, it acquired land north of Denver, including
approximately 1,500 existing oil wells that allegedly were
decades old and did not comply with health, safety, and
environmental laws and regulations. After discovering that
several hundred of the wells posed safety and environmental
hazards, the Company authorized tens of millions of dollars for
remediation. However, after oil prices plummeted in 2014,
Plaintiffs alleged that the Company reversed course, slashed its
remediation budget, and laid off 30 percent of its workforce
responsible for well remediation. Plaintiffs alleged that
defendants' failure to remediate caused a significant oil spill,
and a deadly explosion at a Colorado home, which the local fire
department confirmed was caused by a methane leak from a Company
well. The Company's stock price fell the day following the fire
department's announcement.

Plaintiffs alleged that various statements in the Company's
published "fact sheets" and SEC filings constituted material
misstatements about the Company's compliance with health and
safety standards. The Court found nearly all statements about the
Company's compliance were not misleading because (i) no
reasonable investor would interpret them as a guarantee of full
compliance, (ii) statements that Anadarko believed it was in
compliance constituted non-actionable opinions, which plaintiffs
failed to allege that defendants did not genuinely hold, and
(iii) statements that the operations center's management was
"state of the art" were non-actionable "corporate cheerleading."

The Court held that the Company's statement that it "operates its
global onshore and offshore operations in compliance with
applicable laws" constitutes an actionable misstatement. The
Court reasoned that this statement was a specific and unqualified
assertion of fact. The statement was ultimately untrue because
the Company allegedly violated a Colorado Oil and Gas
Conservation Commission rule. Nevertheless, the Court found that
plaintiffs failed to adequately plead scienter because they did
not show that defendants were aware of a failure to comply with
the Commission's rule at the time the statement was made.

The Court dismissed the claims along with the derivative claim
under section 20(a), but granted plaintiffs leave to amend the
complaint. [GN]


APPLE INC: Faces Class Action Over Defective iPhone Batteries
-------------------------------------------------------------
Rick Archer, writing for Law360, reports that a group of iPhone 6
users has filed a proposed class action against Apple Inc. in
California federal court, claiming the company secretly throttled
phone performance over the last year in an attempt to deal with
power problems caused by a defective design.

The proposed class -- consisting of 76 iPhone owners from
multiple countries -- claimed on July 2 that the phone was
defective, designed with a "mismatch" between its battery and the
demands of Apple's operating system that created power problems.

The case is captioned Rodriguez et al v. Apple, Inc., Case No.
5:18-cv-03989 (N.D. Calif.).  The case was filed July 2, 2018.
[GN]


AUSTRALIA: Class Action Mulled Over Failure to Address Crimes
-------------------------------------------------------------
Cameron Bates, writing for NTNews, reports that Hinchinbrook MP
Nick Dametto says government policies to address crime are
failing and that it is time to find out who is responsible.

"Who picks up the pieces? The taxpayer. Right now, every time the
legislation fails to protect the community, the taxpayer foots
the bill," the Katter's Australian Party politician said.

Mr Dametto, speaking to the Herbert River Express after a string
of burglaries in Ingham, said that small businesses targeted by
criminals were suffering from the cost of stolen items,
vandalised properties, wasted time, stress and insurance hikes.

"And when they do claim insurance, there are shortfalls in what
the items are actually worth and what they are getting paid out."

He said there were grounds to investigate whether the government
was responsible for the mess.

"I'd love for a lawyer to grab a hold of this and do a class-
action lawsuit against the government."

KAP are pushing for a youth relocation sentencing policy, which
would see young offenders sent to remote locations to work on the
land and learn life skills. [GN]


BANK OF AMERICA: Settles Overdraft Fee Class Action
---------------------------------------------------
Joe Ducey, writing for ABC 15, reports that most of the time,
banks make money off of you. How about turning the tables, and
you making money off of them?

Three banks settled class action lawsuits for millions recently.

At Bank of America, a lawsuit claims even if you had overdraft
fees turned off, the ride-sharing service Uber was still able to
put through charges.

And that meant overdraft fees for some customers.

The settlement means $20 back per overdraft if they happened
between 2012 and 2016.

Bank of America claims no wrongdoing.

At JPMorgan Chase, a lawsuit alleges they robocalled cell phones
without getting permission.

If you got a call from the bank about collecting a debt between
April 20, 2010, and March 16, 2018, you may get up to $101 per
call.

The deadline to file a claim is August 13, 2018.

JPMorgan Chase claims no wrongdoing.

Then there's Wells Fargo.

The government has taken action against them, including a one
billion dollar fine for alleged consumer abuses.

Now the bank has settled a class action lawsuit over alleged
opened accounts that consumers didn't know about.

Allegations are many had to pay overdraft fees because of it.

If it happened to you as far back as 2002, you could get part of
the $142 million dollar settlement.

Wells Fargo claims no wrongdoing. [GN]


BERKSHIRE BLANKET: Faces "Kiler" Suit in E.D. New York
------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Berkshire Blanket &
Home Co., Inc. The case is styled as Marion Kiler, individually
and as the representative of a class of similarly situated
persons, Plaintiff v. Berkshire Blanket & Home Co., Inc.,
Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-04007 (E.D. N.Y., July 12, 2018).

Berkshire Blanket & Home Co., Inc. designs, manufactures, and
markets blankets, throws, and soft home goods. It offers plush
and fleece blankets, quilts and comforters, reversible blankets,
natural fibers and blends, and heated blankets and throws;
bedding sets; sheet sets and sheet separates; plush and fleece
throws, luxury throws, velvetloft throws, extra-fluffy throw
blankets, serasoft throws, kids' throw blankets, and throw
blankets for pets; and everyday, kids', luxury, and neck roll
pillows, as well as wedge, body, and floor pouf pillows.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears PRO SE.


BONITA SPRINGS: Faces "Honeywell" Suit in M.D. Florida
------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Bonita Springs
Hotel, LLC. The case is styled as Cheri Honeywell, individually
and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v.
Bonita Springs Hotel, LLC, a Virginia limited liability company,
Defendant, Case No. 2:18-cv-00488-JES-MRM (M.D. Fla., July 12,
2018).

Bonita Springs Hotel I LLC is a privately held company in Estero,
FL and is a Single Location business. Categorized under Hotels-
Apartment. It was established in 2009 and incorporated in
Florida. Current estimates show this company has an annual
revenue of 723469 and employs a staff of approximately 19.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Jessica Lynn Kerr, Esq.
   The Advocacy Group, LLC
   200 SE 6th St Ste 504
   Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-3424
   Tel: (954) 282-1858
   Fax: (844) 786-3694
   Email: jkerr@advocacypa.com


BOSQUE FARMS, NM: Partial Dismissal of "Sanchez" Advised
--------------------------------------------------------
Magistrate Judge Steven C. Yarbough of the U.S. District Court
for the District of New Mexico recommended that the Court grants
in part and denies in part the Defendants' motion to dismiss the
case, MARK SANCHEZ, and PATRICK MARQUEZ, on behalf of themselves
and a class of similarly situated individuals, Plaintiffs, v.
DEREK WILLIAMS, et al., Defendants, Civ. No. 11-1021 KG/SCY (D.
N.M.).

Plaintiffs Sanchez and Marquez, together with former Plaintiffs
Oscar Leyva and Dustin Sarrett, commenced the lawsuit against the
Village of Los Lunas and Bosque Farms Defendants, among others,
in 2011.  In early 2012, the Court consolidated the case with
Wilson v. Montano et al., Civ. No. 11-658 KG/SCY and Ortiz v.
Benavidez et al., Civ. No. 11-951 KG/SCY. Doc. 36.

Plaintiff Sanchez alleges that Bosque Farms police officer Steven
Roberts arrested him without a warrant on July 1, 2010.  Further,
he alleges, Officer Roberts booked him into the Valencia County
Detention Center ("VCDC") and then failed to file a criminal
complaint against him.  As a result, Plaintiff Sanchez claims
that he unnecessarily remained in custody at the VCDC for
approximately eight days.  With regard to the VCDC, Plaintiff
Sanchez asserts that the booking officer never arranged to have
him appear before a magistrate judge and did not release him when
it became apparent no charges were filed.

Plaintiff Marquez alleges that Los Lunas Officer Delinda Chavez
arrested him without a warrant on or about June 15, 2010.
According to him, Officer Chavez booked him into the VCDC
following his arrest but waited until June 28, 2010 to file a
criminal complaint against him.  When Plaintiff Marquez was then
brought before a magistrate judge on June 29, 2010, the
magistrate judge released him.  Further, he alleges that the VCDC
booking officer neither arranged to have him brought before a
magistrate judge nor released him during the time he was kept in
custody without any charges having been brought against him.

Plaintiffs Marquez and Sanchez are also representatives in a
putative class action brought on behalf of all people who have
been incarcerated in VCDC without criminal charges being filed on
the day of their arrest or, if the court is not open on the day
of the arrest, on the next business day of the court.  Their co-
plaintiffs, Sarrett and Leyva, are no longer part of the case, as
the Court dismissed their claims with prejudice on Feb. 6, 2018,
as a sanction for discovery violations and failure to prosecute
their claims.

Discovery stays have been in place throughout much of the
litigation.  In December 2016, the Court ruled on a number of
motions that had been pending.  Magistrate Judge Yarbough held a
status conference on Jan. 24, 2017 and lifted the discovery stay
in place at the time.  He initially bifurcated discovery in the
case to allow all of the parties to conduct written discovery
regarding class certification issues before commencing merits
discovery.  Subsequently, over the course of multiple follow-up
status conferences with the parties, he modified the discovery
process to allow for a phased pre-certification discovery
approach.

On July 24, 2017, he set settlement conferences which, at the
request of the parties, he later vacated and reset to the end of
November 2017.  At a status conference on Sept. 12, 2017, the
parties requested that the commencement of Phase 2 discovery be
delayed until after the November settlement conferences.  On Oct.
26, 2017, he entered an order setting a deadline for Phase 2
discovery to be completed by Jan. 26, 2018.  He also set a
deadline of Feb. 16, 2018 for the Plaintiffs to file their motion
for class certification.

On Dec. 14, 2017, the Defendants filed a motion to compel,
arguing that the Plaintiffs had been completely unresponsive to
their attempts to obtain discovery.  The Court denied this motion
because the Defendants propounded their discovery requests prior
to the commencement of Phase 2 discovery and because the scope of
discovery requested exceeded the amount the Court allowed.

The Court then directed Defendants to serve written discovery
that complied with its order regarding Phase 2 discovery no later
than Jan. 31, 2018, and allowed the Plaintiffs two weeks
thereafter to respond to the discovery.  Having received no
response, the Defendants filed their motion to dismiss on Feb.
14, 2018.  The Plaintiffs, however, did not file a timely
response.

On March 8, 2018, the Magistrate Judge scheduled a hearing on the
Defendants' motion to dismiss to take place on April 5, 2018.  On
March 19, 2018, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel for the
Disciplinary Board of the New Mexico Supreme Court notified the
Court of a pending Petition for Administrative Suspension of the
Plaintiffs' counsel.  On March 29, 2018, Plaintiffs filed a
motion to extend the deadline to respond to, among other things,
the Defendants' motion to dismiss.  The Magistrate Judge denied
this motion with leave to renew it at the April 5, 2018 hearing.

For a portion of the April 5, 2018 hearing, the Magistrate Judge
sealed the courtroom so that he could hear details from the
Plaintiffs' counsel about his medical condition.  Based on the
representations of the Plaintiffs' counsel, he is convinced that
the Plaintiffs' counsel did suffer from a medical condition that
reached a peak in late December 2017 and which significantly
impaired his ability to respond to discovery and meet Court
imposed deadlines.  He recommended that the Court make such a
finding.

During the open portion of the April 5, 2018 hearing, he pointed
out that, while the Plaintiffs had moved to extend the time to
respond to the Defendants' motion to dismiss, they had not filed
a motion to extend the Feb. 16, 2018 class certification
deadline.  The Plaintiffs' counsel responded that he would be
filing a motion for a new scheduling order but that he first
needed to verify with his clients that they continued to be
willing to pursue the class claims as class representatives.  The
Plaintiffs' counsel stated that he could ascertain his clients'
willingness to remain as class representatives within seven to
fourteen days.

At the conclusion of the hearing, he granted the Plaintiffs'
counsel's request for an opportunity to file a written response
to the Defendants' motion to dismiss as well as to the motions
for summary judgment filed by the Valencia County Defendants.
The Plaintiffs filed responses to these motions on April 19,
2018.  To date, however, the Plaintiffs have not filed a motion
to extend the Feb. 16, 2018 deadline to move for class
certification.

Magistrate Judge Yarbough holds that given the Plaintiffs' recent
failures to comply with their discovery obligations, including a
failure subsequent to the April 5, 2018 hearing to file a motion
to extend the time to move for class certification, he is
concerned that they will not diligently prosecute their
individual claims.  Nonetheless, the Plaintiffs' counsel
represented that he intended to associate with an experienced and
well-respected attorney going forward in the case.  Based on this
representation, he recommended that the Court concludes that the
lesser sanction of dismissal of the class claims (as opposed to
all claims) is sufficient to address the Plaintiffs' failure to
provide discovery related to the class claims.

The Magistrate Judge concludes that the Plaintiffs' failure to
comply with their discovery obligations related to the class
claims warrants dismissal of those claims.  Because the
Plaintiffs' violations do not directly relate to discovery on
their individual claims, however, dismissal of their individual
claims is inappropriate at this time.  Therefore, he recommended
that the Court grants in part and denies in part the Defendants'
motion to dismiss such that the Court dismisses with prejudice
the Plaintiffs' class claims and denies the Defendants' motion to
dismiss the Plaintiffs' individual claims.

A full-text copy of the Court's June 1, 2018 Order is available
at https://is.gd/lAFH65 from Leagle.com.

Mark Sanchez & Patrick Marquez, on behalf of themselves and a
class of similarly situated individuals, Plaintiffs, represented
by Jack Bennett Jacks, Law Office of J.B. Jacks.

Derek Williams, Former Warden & Joe David Chavez, Jr., Warden,
Defendants, represented by Andrew Anders -- aa@Keleher-Law.com --
Keleher & McLeod, PA, Brandon Huss, New Mexico Association of
Counties, Dennis K. Wallin, Wallin, Huss, & Associates, LLC &
Kurt Wihl -- kw@keleher-law.com -- Keleher & McLeod PA.

Louis Burkhard, Sheriff, Defendant, represented by Brandon Huss,
New Mexico Association of Counties & Dennis K. Wallin, Wallin,
Huss, & Associates, LLC.

Steven Roberts, Greg Jones, Bosque Farms Police Department,
Police Chief, Delinda Chavez, Nick Balido, Former Los Lunas
Police Department, Chief of Police & Roy Melnick, Los Lunas
Police Department, Chief of Police, Defendants, represented by
James P. Lyle, Law Offices of James P. Lyle P.C..


BRAMBLES: Slater & Gordon, IMF Bentham to File Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------
Lawyerly reports that Slater & Gordon and IMF Bentham will file a
shareholder class action claim against Brambles, the Australian
supply chain logistics company. The pair's class action is the
second the embattled ASX-listed company faces, after Maurice
Blackburn filed a class action several months ago alleging a
breach of continuous disclosure obligations after a pair of
revised projected sales growth forecasts which led to steep
declines in the share price. [GN]


CAPITAL BRANDS: Faces Class Action Over NutriBullet Blenders
------------------------------------------------------------
Jonathan Berr, writing for CBS News, reports that the maker of
the NutriBullet high-speed blender is facing a class action
accusing it of failing to warn consumers about the potential for
the gadget to explode without warning, causing injuries to
consumers, including burns.

In a 64-page court filing dated July 2, Capital Brands is accused
of violating federal and state consumer protection laws along
with warranty laws. Plaintiff Deveta White of Goose Creek, South
Carolina, is seeking both damages and an order preventing Capital
Brands from continuing to sell the defective products. She also
wants the company to warn existing owners about NutriBullet's
potential dangers.

A similar case by North Carolina resident Johanna Suarez was
filed in December 2017 and is pending in federal court, according
to the PACER system. California attorney Danny Abir told CBS
Morning News last year that he had brought nearly two dozen cases
alleging harm from NutriBullets. Unlike the other cases, White's
is seeking class-action status and is the only one of its type
currently pending against the company. An earlier class action
was dismissed.

According to this most recent lawsuit, the blender's canister can
pressurize to the point where it separates from the other parts,
spewing out its contents onto everything and everyone in range.
The explosions can happen without warning even when a consumer is
making a cold smoothie because, according to the lawsuit, heat
from the blender's fast-moving blades can make the ingredients
scalding hot.

Even if the NutriBullet doesn't explode, the suit claims,
consumers are still at risk. The buildup of pressure can send the
blade assembly flying after the blender's lid is removed
following normal use.

"The blenders pose a safety risk to users as well as other people
-- including children -- who may be in close proximity to the
blender when it explodes," according to the filing, which notes
that the company hasn't issued a recall. "Despite its knowledge,
NutriBullet fails to warn its consumers that the product may
explode posing a serious safety risk to users and any living
thing in the proximity of the explosion."

White suffered second-degree burns on her chest and first degree
burns on her arms, forcing her to miss work and incur nearly
$6,000 in medical expenses to date after her NutriBullet exploded
while she was blending water, walnuts, sea moss and cinnamon for
under 60 seconds.

The company claims the blender can be safely operated for up to
60 seconds -- sufficient time to make a smoothie -- before a
safety feature will cut off power to the gadget. Capital Brands
is contesting all claims that the NutriBullet is dangerous when
used properly.

The lawsuit claims that the defects have been present in
NutriBullets, which are marketed as "nutrition extractors," made
since 2007. Consumers have complained about explosions to the
Consumer Product Safety Commission's (CPSC) SaferProducts website
and to the company directly via Facebook. Though the CPSC reviews
all complaints it receives from consumers, they don't necessarily
trigger a formal investigation. A CPSC spokeswoman declined to
comment.

In a statement to CBS MoneyWatch, Los Angeles-based Capital
Brands defended the quality of the NutriBullet, which come in a
range of sizes.

"NutriBullet is dedicated to the safety and satisfaction of its
customers," the company said. "Every day, millions of customers
safely use the Nutribullet to blend nutritious smoothies from
fruits, vegetables, and nuts. NutriBullets are safe and present
no issue if used as directed, such as not blending heated foods,
or using the blender for longer than necessary to make a
smoothie, which is generally less than one minute."

In 2014, Consumer Reports urged its readers not to buy the
NutriBullet Pro 900 after noticing blades cracked during a
durability test, which NutriBullet disputed. Consumer Reports
lifted the warning two years later after NutriBullet made the
machine's blades thicker.

NutriBullets are available at major retailers including Walmart
Amazon, Costco and Bed Bath & Beyond as well as directly from the
company. More than 14 million of the gadgets have been sold
worldwide. [GN]


CALVARY LENAH: May Face Class Action Over Colonoscopy Procedures
----------------------------------------------------------------
David Robertson, Emily Street and Rhiana Whitson, writing for ABC
News, report that a former colonoscopy patient said her doctor,
who was later the subject of nurses' concerns, did not look well
at the time she consulted him in December 2017.

Almost 390 patients of Calvary Lenah Valley Hospital who
underwent a colonoscopy with the late doctor Hugh Jackson between
November 2017 and May 2018 have been advised to have a repeat
procedure.

Dr Jackson died on June 6 following an illness.

Calvary admitted that nurses first raised concerns that the
doctor's health may be affecting his work in November last year,
but the hospital continued to let him carry out the procedures.

Diane -- who wants to remain anonymous -- said she had the
procedure in December and had remarked to her family and GP that
Dr Jackson did not look well.

"I didn't think more about it until I heard on the news that
Calvary were offering free colonoscopies for 390 patients that
were tended by Dr Jackson," she said.

"I got a letter this morning, saying they [Calvary] were sorry,
and that what had happened was that the examination wasn't
proceeded properly."

The patient was told nurses raised their concerns to the hospital
in November.

"I asked why it wasn't stopped then," she said.

"Why wasn't it fixed up in November, instead of letting it go
through to May?"

Diane said she was concerned the nurses weren't listened to.

She said wanted to know if nurses were supported and she intended
to ask that question.

AMA Tasmania's Dr John Davis said his organisation only became
aware of the situation when the hospital had its media conference
on July 3.

Dr Davis said he was not aware of Calvary's internal processes,
but Dr Jackson was a distinguished doctor.

"Clearly if a doctor was not performing to their best, you would
expect the clinical processes would come through in the hospital,
and I guess Calvary has done that," he said.

"What they are saying is that all patients who had a scope, which
may not have been complete, are being invited back at Calvary's
expense to have that scope again."

He stressed there was no certainty that any colonoscopies were
incomplete.

"I feel for the patients that have to go through the procedure a
second time, but I think that it is the right thing for Calvary
to admit there has been a problem and to put in place a clear
process to make sure that patients are well looked after," he
said.

Dr Graham Newstead from Bowel Cancer Australia said it was a
"significantly unusual" case, and he was not familiar with
details of this case, only having read the media reports.

"The important part of the whole exercise is: were possible
polyps and even possible cancers missed in the colonoscopies for
whatever reason that it seems he may not have been unable to
complete in an ideal manner?'" he said.

Dr Newstead said the situation was that if you failed to get
around the whole bowel, you simply couldn't know what was in
there.

"If there is a cancer in the caecum -- the beginning of the large
intestine -- and you don't get around that last corner . . . then
of course you will miss it.

"It's not good enough if one says 'look, I think I was there'."

He said photographs could be taken of various places in the bowel
during the procedure to confirm that various locations had been
covered by the camera.

He said the good news was that all the cancers came from polyps
in the bowel, and they take between five and 15 years to develop.

Dr Newstead said 40 per cent of men and 30 per cent of woman had
polyps -- little mushroom-shaped growths on the surface of the
bowel -- and the frequency of procedures for those who needed
regular checks varied according to family history and any
symptoms or previous discoveries.

He said there was a big difference for someone who had been
notified of the presence of polyps some years previously, as
opposed to someone who had been told they had an early cancer
then.

Lawyer outlines possible legal consequences
Lawyers say Calvary could face a class action if some of the 400
patients develop bowel cancer.

Medical negligence lawyer Dimitra Dubrow from Maurice Blackburn
said the hospital had taken the right step in recalling these
patients for repeat colonoscopies, but if further investigation
found evidence of cancer, there could be legal consequences for
Calvary.

"It may well be that the patients who underwent colonoscopies,
after the time that he should have been removed, may be able to
have recourse if they have suffered injury as a result of delay
or misdiagnosis of bowel cancer," she said.

Ms Dubrow questioned whether the hospital and staff as designated
mandatory reporters had informed the Australian Health
Practitioner Regulation Agency of its concerns. [GN]


CENTRAL MAINE: New Bill to Boost Customers' Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Gina Hamilton, writing for Boothbay Register, reports that a
class action lawsuit that could involve tens of thousands of
Central Maine Power customers got a boost June 21 when LD 1729
passed as an emergency measure. It needed and got more than two-
thirds of the Legislature's "yea" votes. The bill, which was
amended and renamed by the Energy, Utilities and Technology
Standing Committee, "An Act To Restore Confidence in Utility
Billing Systems," was sponsored by Sen. Lisa Keim, R - Dixfield.
Rep. Tina Riley, D-Jay, amended it with Keim's consent. It passed
unanimously, 127-0, with 24 absences.

On July 2, Gov. Paul LePage vetoed the bill. He stated in his
veto message, the bill targeted Central Maine Power specifically
and unfairly. It would affect any investor-owned utility,
including CMP, and Emera, the state's two largest electricity
transmission companies. Then on July 9, the Legislature overrode
the governor's veto of LD 1729 that lets the Public Utilities
Commission put part of an audit's cost on shareholders of
investor-owned utilities, if the audit found "imprudence" by the
utility.

The bill became law after the Legislature unanimously voted to
override the veto.

CMP had record numbers of customer complaints after installing
its new billing system in October. The PUC has received over
97,000 complaints from customers, alleging overbilling.

Despite passing out of committee in April with a divided report
along strict partisan lines, with Democrats for and Republicans
against, the bill had bipartisan support as an emergency measure
in the summer's special session. Rep. Seth Berry, D - Bowdoinham
said that was because between April and June, memos written by
various managers at CMP had been leaked to the press, indicating
CMP knew of billing and possibly metering issues long before
customers, the Public Utilities Commission, and the Public
Advocate had identified them.

LD 1729 will let the PUC split an audit's cost between ratepayers
and shareholders, if the audit contributes to an imprudence
finding that gives ratepayers a break.

The PUC will also determine a method of system accuracy routine
auditing, not unlike the Bureau of Weights and Measures performs
on gas tanks at filling stations, and will create rules for when
and how that auditing will be done by an independent auditor. In
addition, it requires the PUC to produce a report on whether the
investor-owned utilities are doing enough to protect and
strengthen their systems, "especially with what appears to be an
increase in high-intensity storm events."

The class action lawsuit, begun in May by a Facebook User group
called CMP Ratepayers Unite, currently has about 3,000 ratepayers
who have expressed interest in joining the class, according to
members of the page, although more are inquiring every day.
Complete details will not be known until interested class members
file a response to one of the lawyers involved. Local attorneys
Sumner H. Lipman -- slipman@lipmankatz.com -- of Lipman & Katz
and James Belleau of Trafton, Matzen, Belleau & Frenette retained
the New York law firm of Napoli Schkolnik, PLLC to take the lead
on behalf of CMP customers.

According to the Public Utilities Commission, 97,000 customers
experienced bills at least 50 percent higher than normal from
December 2017 through March 2018, just as the investigation in
the Legislature and at the PUC got underway.  CMP initially
claimed it had found no evidence of any billing or metering
issues. The memos demonstrating its knowledge to the contrary
were leaked to the Portland Press Herald in May and later
delivered to the Public Advocate's office and the PUC.

In one of the memos, a Jan. 15 email from CMP's director of
electric supply Susan Clary, to customer services head
Rachel Grenier and other CMP managers, Clary acknowledged billing
errors and warned that the company had to get a handle on the
issue or risk being in the middle of a PUC investigation. For at
least three months after this email, the company denied any
problems with the billing system beyond cosmetic issues such as
graphs not appearing correctly on the bills.

By February, CMP was trying to figure out how to increase
customer service personnel to deal with the onslaught of calls
and complaints. By March, the PUC had opened an investigation,
and by April, the Legislature's Energy, Utilities, and Technology
Committee had scheduled hearings.

On May 4, when he learned of the leaked memos, Public Advocate
Barry Hobbins asked the PUC to elevate the inquiry to an
adjudicatory investigation, which he said would be the only way
he as advocate could intervene with the utility on the consumers'
behalf. He said if the PUC did not act, he might consider taking
legal action himself on behalf of ratepayers, referring to the
memos as "part of the smoking gun." Mr. Hobbins said he did not
receive copies of the memos until they had been published in the
paper and he asked the PUC for copies, around the middle of May.
"The company had represented to the Legislature that there was no
problem, when they were certainly aware of ongoing issues, so now
we have to question what CMP knew, and when did they know it?"

Henry Lanphear of the PUC said May 7 that legal action would be
premature, but held out the option of the PUC taking legal action
after the audit is complete.  In a phone interview, Mr. Hobbins
said he was disappointed and not happy, and said he intended to
maintain his pressure on CMP and did not rule out filing suit on
his own.

The passage of LD 1729 gave the Legislature the legal rationale
to ask the PUC to act. [GN]


CHANG GUANN: Tainted Edible Oil Victims to Get Compensation
-----------------------------------------------------------
Wang Shu-fen and Flor Wang, writing for CNA, report that over
4,000 people involved in a class action suit against edible oil
maker Chang Guann Co. Ltd. will receive the compensation they
were promised, the Consumer Protection Association of Taiwan
(CPAT) confirmed on July 4.

After more than three years of litigation, the association has
received NT$24.42 million (about US$799,500) from auctions of
Chang Guann's assets that will be sent to 4,048 plaintiffs by the
end of July, CPAT Deputy Secretary-General Hsu Pang-han told a
news conference.

The plaintiffs are students and teachers at 22 kindergartens and
schools across the country that used cooking oil from Chang Guann
produced with "gutter oil" -- oil that is recycled from
restaurant waste and animal byproducts and can contain
carcinogens.

The 4,048 plaintiffs filed the class action suit against the
edible oil maker with the help of the association after the
cooking oil scandal broke out in 2014.

According to Hsu, 3,811 plaintiffs reached a settlement with
Chang Guann during the first trial, with each being awarded
NT$6,000 in compensation.

Another 160 plaintiffs were awarded NT$6,000 to NT$9,000 based on
the ruling of the first trial, while the remaining 77 who did not
get compensation following the first trial were eventually
awarded NT$3,000 each as a result of the lawsuit, he said.

However, the company did not have the money to pay the
compensation awarded through the legal process and subsequent
settlement. It was only after its assets were auctioned that the
funds were raised.

Chang Guann Chairman Yeh Wen-hsiang was sentenced to 22 years in
jail with five years commutable to a fine by the Taiwan High
Court in 2016 for fraud and violating the Act Governing Food
Safety and Sanitation, a verdict upheld by the Supreme Court in
September 2017.

Chang Guann General Manager Tai Chi-chuan was given 18 years in
prison, with four years commutable to a fine. [GN]


CHESAPEAKE BAY: Faces "Honeywell" Suit in M.D. Florida
------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Chesapeake Bay
Hotel LLC. The case is styled as Cheri Honeywell, individually
and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v.
Chesapeake Bay Hotel LLC, a Virginia limited liability company,
Defendant, Case No. 2:18-cv-00490-SPC-CM (M.D. Fla., July 12,
2018).

Chesapeake Bay resorts provide opportunities to relax.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Jessica Lynn Kerr, Esq.
   The Advocacy Group, LLC
   200 SE 6th St Ste 504
   Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-3424
   Tel: (954) 282-1858
   Fax: (844) 786-3694
   Email: jkerr@advocacypa.com


COMMONWEALTH BANK: Investors File Class Action in Australia
-----------------------------------------------------------
Garima Chitkara, writing for Regulation Asia, reports that the
Commonwealth Bank of Australia is being sued by a class of
investors backed by large institutional investors in Australia,
Europe and North America for disclosure failures that
artificially inflated the bank's share price. [GN]


DCT INDUSTRIAL: Faces Class Action Over Proposed Prologis Merger
----------------------------------------------------------------
Gainey McKenna & Egleston on July 3 disclosed that a class action
lawsuit has been filed against DCT Industrial, Inc. ("DCT" or the
"Company") (NYSE:DCT) on behalf of a class consisting of all
public stockholders of DCT who have been harmed by DCT and its
board of directors (the "Board") in connection with alleged
violations of Sections 14(a) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") pertaining to the proposed
acquisition of the Company by Prologis, Inc. ("Prologis") and its
controlled entity, Prologis, L.P. ("Prologis OP").

On April 29, 2018, DCT's Board caused the Company to enter into
an agreement and plan of merger (the "Merger Agreement") with
Prologis and Prologis OP.  Pursuant to the terms of the Merger
Agreement, if the proposed transaction is approved by DCT's
shareholders and completed, they will receive 1.02 shares of
Prologis common stock for each share of DCT they own.  On June 8,
2018, the Company filed a Form S-4 Registration Statement (the
"Registration Statement") with the United States Securities and
Exchange Commission ("SEC") in connection with the Proposed
Transaction.

The Complaint alleges that the Registration Statement omits
material information with respect to the Proposed Transaction,
which renders the Registration Statement false and misleading.

If you wish to discuss your rights or interests regarding this
class action, please contact Thomas J. McKenna, Esq. or Gregory
M. Egleston, Esq. of Gainey McKenna & Egleston at (212) 983-1300,
or via e-mail at tjmckenna@gme-law.com or gegleston@gme-law.com.

Please visit our website at http://www.gme-law.comfor more
information about the firm. [GN]


DENTAL EQUITIES: TCPA Suit Stayed Pending FCC Declaratory Ruling
----------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, SCOMA CHIROPRACTIC, P.A., a Florida corporation,
individually and as the representative of a class of similarly-
situated persons, WILLIAM P. GRESS, an Illinois resident,
individually and as the representatives of a class similarly-
situated persons, and FLORENCE MUSSAT M.D., S.C., an Illinois
service corporation, Plaintiffs, v. DENTAL EQUITIES, LLC, JOHN
DOES (1-10), FIRST ARKANSAS BANK & TRUST, and MASTERCARD
INTERNATIONAL INCORPORATED, a Delaware corporation,
Defendants/Third Party Plaintiff, PEER EQUITIES, LLC, Third Party
Defendant, Case No. 2:16-cv-41-FtM-99MRM (M.D. Fla.), Judge John
E. Steele of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of
Florida, Fort Myers Division, granted Mastercard's Motion to Stay
Proceedings pending a decision by the Federal Communication
Commission ("FCC") filed on May 11, 2018.

This is a junk fax case.  On Sept. 26, 2016, the Plaintiffs,
three medical providers, filed a Third Amended Class Action
Complaint against Dental Equities, First Arkansas Bank & Trust,
MasterCard International Inc., and John Does 1-10.  The one-count
Complaint alleges that the Defendants violated the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act of 1991 ("TCPA"), as amended by the Junk
Fax Protection Act of 2005, by sending the Plaintiff (and others)
unsolicited commercial advertisements by facsimile machine
beginning in December of 2015.

The junk faxes the Plaintiffs received invites recipients who are
medical providers to apply for a DoctorsClub MasterCard, and did
not include certain opt-out language that the Plaintiffs argue is
required by the TCPA.  The junk faxes included a picture of the
DoctorsClub credit card, which bears the MasterCard logo.

The Plaintiffs allege on information and belief that MasterCard
entered into an agreement with one or more of the other
Defendants to permit the credit card to carry the MasterCard
brand for which MasterCard was to receive part of the revenue
from the card's use.  They state that MasterCard provided
substantial money to Dental Equities to market the card, and that
MasterCard paid for, knew of, and permitted the fax broadcasting
at issue in this case.  They plead that MasterCard is a
responsible party under the TCPA because MasterCard benefited
from, or would benefit from, the fax marketing of the credit card
and provided the funds for the fax advertising to take place.

Because Plaintiff Florence Mussat, M.D., S.C. (and potentially
other class members) used an online fax service to receive the
fax at issue, MasterCard moves to stay the proceedings under the
primary jurisdiction doctrine pending a decision by the FCC on
the Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling of AmeriFactors
Financial Group, LLC, CG Docket Nos. 02-278, 05-338, filed July
13, 2017.  In the AmeriFactors Petition, AmeriFactors Financial
Group has sought an expedited declaratory ruling from the FCC as
to whether online fax services fit within the scope of telephone
facsimile machines ("TFMs") under the TCPA.  MasterCard argues
that if the AmeriFactors Petition is granted, users of online fax
services such as Mussat and others would not be proper class
members, either negating plaintiffs' attempt to certify a Rule 23
class or drastically reducing the size of the class.  Discovery
has closed, and the Plaintiffs moved for class certification on
May 14, 2018, seeking to certify a nationwide class of 381,011
persons.

The Plaintiffs respond that the FCC has already determined the
issues raised by the AmeriFactors Petition and that a wholesale
change in the FCC's regulatory framework as to how TFMs are
defined would not have retroactive effect on the faxes at issue
in the case, citing Bowen v. Georgetown Univ. Hospital, 488 U.S.
204, 208-09 (1988).  They also argue that a stay would likely
last several years.

Judge Steele finds that a stay will simplify and streamline the
issues raised in the case and reduce the burden of litigation on
the parties and on the Court.  Any delay the Plaintiffs will
experience in the case is outweighed by the potential prejudice
that could inure to MasterCard and its liability to class members
that might very well not fit within the proposed class following
the FCC's decision.

The Judge will stay the case pending resolution of AmeriFactors
Petition by the FCC, and because the FCC's decision could
substantially affect the substance of the Plaintiff's Motion for
Class Certification, he will deny the Motion for Class
Certification without prejudice to be re-filed once the stay is
lifted.  Moreover, the parties' experts have dueling opinions
regarding the technology used by online fax services; therefore,
he will deny Mastercard's request to file a sur-rebuttal report
without prejudice to re-filing as the FCC's conclusions may
affect the experts' opinions.

Accordingly, Judge Steele granted Defendant Mastercard's Motion
to Stay Proceedings.  He stayed case and directed the Clerk to
add a stay flag.  The stay shall remain in effect until such time
as the FCC issues a decision on the Petition for Expedited
Declaratory Ruling of AmeriFactors Financial Group.  Mastercard
is directed to file a notice with the Court when the FCC reaches
a decision.  Once the stay is lifted, the parties should also
propose a briefing schedule for class certification and inform
the Court whether the remaining case deadlines remain feasible.

The Judge denied without prejudice the Plaintiff's Motion to
Certify Class, and the Defendant's Motion for Leave to File Sur-
Rebuttal Report.  He denied as moot the Defendant's Motion to
Stay Briefing and the Motions for Leave to File Replies.

A full-text copy of the Court's June 1, 2018 Opinion and Order is
available at https://is.gd/YRyK4I from Leagle.com.

Scoma Chiropractic, P.A., a Florida corporation, individually and
as the representative of a class of similarly-situated persons,
William P. Gress, an Illinois resident, individually and as the
representatives of a class similarly-situated persons & Florence
Mussat M.D., S.C., an Illinois service corporation, Plaintiffs,
represented by Brian J. Wanca -- bwanca@andersonwanca.com --
Anderson & Wanca, pro hac vice, Curtis Charles Warner --
cwarner@warnerlawllc.com -- Warner Law Firm, LLC, pro hac vice,
Daniel A. Edelman, Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin, LLC, pro
hac vice, Heather A. Kolbus, Edelman, Combs, Latturner & Goodwin,
LLC, Roy W. Foxall, Law Office of Roy W. Foxall, PA, Ryan M.
Kelly -- rkelly@andersonwanca.com -- Anderson & Wanca & Ross M.
Good -- rgood@andersonwanca.com -- Anderson & Wanca, pro hac
vice.

Mastercard International Incorporated, a Delaware corporation,
Defendant, represented by Christopher G. Karagheuzoff --
karagheuzoff.christopher@dorsey.com -- Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, pro
hac vice, Jonathan Montcalm -- montcalm.jonathan@dorsey.com --
Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, Michelle Diaz Cofino --
michelle.cofino@qpwblaw.com -- Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer,
PA & Reginald John Clyne -- reginald.clyne@qpwblaw.com --
Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, PA.

Mastercard International Incorporated, a Delaware corporation,
Third Party Plaintiff, represented by Christopher G.
Karagheuzoff, Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, pro hac vice, Jonathan
Montcalm, Dorsey & Whitney, LLP & Reginald John Clyne,
Quintairos, Prieto, Wood & Boyer, PA.

Mastercard International Incorporated, a Delaware corporation,
Cross Claimant, represented by Christopher G. Karagheuzoff,
Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, pro hac vice, Jonathan Montcalm, Dorsey &
Whitney, LLP & Reginald John Clyne, Quintairos, Prieto, Wood &
Boyer, PA.


DETROIT, MI: Judge Dismisses Public School Students' Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jacey Fortin, writing for The New York Times, reports that do
students at poorly performing schools have a constitutional right
to a better education?

On June 29, a Federal District Court judge in Michigan decided
that they did not when he dismissed a class-action lawsuit filed
by students at troubled schools in Detroit.

The suit, filed in September 2016, argued that students at some
of the city's most underperforming schools -- serving mostly
racial minorities -- had been denied "access to literacy" because
of underfunding, mismanagement and discrimination.

The complaint described schools that were overcrowded with
students but lacking in teachers; courses without basic resources
like books and pencils; and classrooms that were bitingly cold in
the winter, stiflingly hot in the summer and infested with rats
and insects.

Conditions like those, the lawsuit said, contributed to dismal
test scores and left students woefully underprepared for life
after high school. [GN]


DR PEPPER: Faces Class Action Over Canada Dry Ginger Ale Labeling
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Aidan Quigley, writing for Dallas News, reports that Plano-based
Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc. is being accused of falsely
labeling its Canada Dry Ginger Ale by saying it is "made from
real ginger."

A lawsuit filed on June 30 in Massachusetts federal court follows
a judge's decision to allow a similar lawsuit to move forward in
California.

Canada Dry's labeling includes the claim that it is "Made From
Real Ginger." The lawsuits allege this leads consumers to believe
they are receiving the health benefits of ginger. In reality, the
product is made with a ginger extract that includes less than two
parts per million of any ginger compounds in the final product,
the Massachusetts lawsuit states.

This advertising played a role in Canada Dry's sustained
commercial success while overall soda sales have dropped, the
lawsuits allege. In the six months of adding "Made From Real
Ginger" to the label, sales increased by almost 9 percent, the
lawsuit says. Dr Pepper Snapple Group's market research
attributed this partially to consumer belief it is healthier than
regular soda, the lawsuit states.

A federal judge allowed the California class action lawsuit to
proceed on June 26, granting the plaintiff's motion for class
certification.

In that lawsuit, the plaintiffs, Californians Jackie Fitzhenry-
Russell and Geghman Margaryan, allege that the "Made From Real
Ginger" claim affected their purchasing decisions. Mr. Margaryan
bought Canada Dry once while believing it was made from real
ginger, while Ms. Fitzhenry-Russell was a frequent purchaser of
Canada Dry and said if she knew it was not made from real ginger,
she would not have purchased it or would have paid less for it.

The Massachusetts plaintiff, Sam Fisher, said in the lawsuit he
believed Canada Dry was a healthier alternative to regular soda
based on the label.

The soft drink maker decided in 2007 that it needed to market
Canada Dry as healthier than other sodas, according to the
Massachusetts lawsuit. However, the company's internal research
found that two out of three consumers did not believe Canada Dry
included any real ginger, according to the lawsuit.

While the company did consider adding real ginger, it didn't want
to jeopardize changing the taste, and decided instead to market
the product differently, the lawsuit states. Sales increased as a
direct result from the reformed marketing, according to the
lawsuit.

A third class-action lawsuit making similar claims is also
pending in California.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group declined to comment on the pending
litigation. Lawyers for Mr. Fisher, Ms. Fitzhenry-Russell and Mr.
Margaryan did not immediately return requests for comment. [GN]


DR PEPPER: Summary Judgment Bid in Stockholders Suit OK'd
---------------------------------------------------------
In the case, CITY OF NORTH MIAMI BEACH GENERAL EMPLOYEES'
RETIREMENT PLAN and MAITLAND POLICE OFFICERS AND FIREFIGHTERS
RETIREMENT TRUST, on behalf of themselves and all other similarly
situated stockholders of Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.,
Plaintiffs, v. DR PEPPER SNAPPLE GROUP, INC., MAPLE PARENT
HOLDINGS CORP., SALT MERGER SUB, INC., LARRY YOUNG, DAVID E.
ALEXANDER, ANTONIO CARRILLO, JOSê M. GUTIêRREZ, PAMELA H.
PATSLEY, RONALD G. ROGERS, WAYNE R. SANDERS, DUNIA A. SHIVE, and
M. ANNE SZOSTAK, Defendants, C.A. No. 2018-0227-AGB (Del. Ch.),
Judge Andre G. Bouchard of the Court of Chancery of Delaware (i)
granted the Defendants' motions for summary judgment, and (ii)
denied the Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment.

Earlier this year, Dr Pepper and Keurig Green Mountain, Inc.
announced an agreement to combine their businesses to create a
more diversified beverage company.  The transaction is structured
so that Keurig will become an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of
Dr Pepper through a reverse triangular merger.  Dr Pepper
stockholders will receive $103.75 per share in a special cash
dividend and will retain their shares of Dr Pepper, which will
account for 13% of the shares of the combined company.  The
indirect owners of Keurig will receive shares of Dr Pepper and
will hold the remaining 87% of the equity of the combined
company.

Dr Pepper stockholders are not being asked to approve the merger,
which combines a merger subsidiary of Dr Pepper with the parent
of Keurig.  But they are being asked to approve two proposals
necessary to effectuate the transaction at a stockholders meeting
scheduled for June 29, 2018.

On March 8, 2018, Dr Pepper issued a preliminary proxy statement
for the stockholders meeting.  It states that Dr Pepper
stockholders will not have appraisal rights under Section 262 of
the Delaware General Corporation Law in connection with the
proposed transaction.  That filing prompted two stockholder
Plaintiffs to file the action in which they assert that Dr Pepper
stockholders "ought" to be afforded appraisal rights in
connection with the proposed transaction.

The parties agree that the action concerns a purely legal
question concerning the availability of appraisal rights under
Section 262.  They have filed cross-motions for summary judgment
on May 1, 2018, requesting a decision before the upcoming
stockholders meeting.  Briefing was completed on May 18, 2018,
and the Court heard argument on the motions on May 25, 2018.

Section 262 affords stockholders of Delaware corporations a
statutory remedy for appraisal of their shares in certain defined
circumstances.  Relevant here, Section 262(b) expressly provides
that appraisal rights will be available only for the shares of
stock of a "constituent corporation" in a merger or consolidation
to be effected pursuant to certain provisions of the General
Corporation Law.  The three-step process for determining a
stockholder's entitlement to appraisal under Section 262(b) also
contemplates that the stockholder will relinquish its shares in
the merger or consolidation.

Judge Bouchard holds that the term "constituent corporation" as
used in Section 262 means an entity actually being merged or
combined and not the parent of such an entity.  Based on that
construction, he concludes that Dr Pepper's stockholders do not
have a statutory right to appraisal under Section 262(b) because
Dr Pepper is not a constituent corporation. Instead, Dr Pepper is
simply the parent of one of the two corporations that will be
merged in connection with the proposed transaction.

As a second ground for its decision, the court concludes that Dr
Pepper stockholders are not entitled to appraisal because they
are retaining their shares in connection with the proposed
transaction. This type of transaction does not fit the statutory
scheme of Section 262(b), which contemplates that the shares for
which appraisal is sought will be relinquished in a merger or
consolidation.

Based on these conclusions, Judge Bouchard (i) granted the
Defendants' motions for summary judgment, and (ii) denied the
Plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment.

A full-text copy of the Court's June 1, 2018 Opinion is available
at https://is.gd/O2RO6 from Leagle.com.

Michael J. Barry, Jeff A. Almeida -- jalmeida@gelaw.com -- and
Laina M. Herbert -- lherbert@gelaw.com -- of GRANT & EISENHOFER
P.A., Wilmington, Delaware; Mark Lebovitch -- markl@blbglaw.com -
- and John Vielandi -- john.vielandi@blbglaw.com -- of BERNSTEIN
LITOWITZ BERGER & GROSSMAN LLP, New York, New York; Counsel for
Plaintiffs.

S. Mark Hurd -- shurd@mnat.com -- Melissa A. DiVincenzo --
mdivincenzo@mnat.com -- Eric S. Klinger-Wilensky --
ekwilensky@mnat.com -- and Alexandra Cumings -- acumings@mnat.com
-- of MORRIS, NICHOLS, ARSHT & TUNNELL LLP, Wilmington, Delaware;
Brian A. Herman -- brian.herman@morganlewis.com -- of MORGAN,
LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP, New York, New York; Jason H. Wilson --
jason.wilson@morganlewis.com -- of MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP,
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Counsel for Defendants Dr Pepper
Snapple Group, Inc., Salt Merger Sub, Inc., Larry Young, David E.
Alexander, Antonio Carrillo, JosÇ M. GutiÇrrez, Pamela H.
Patsley, Ronald G. Rogers, Wayne R. Sanders, Dunia A. Shive, and
M. Anne Szostak.

Paul J. Lockwood -- paul.lockwood@skadden.com -- Joseph O. Larkin
-- joseph.larkin@skadden.com -- Sarah R. Martin --
sarah.martin@skadden.com -- Alyssa S. O'Connell --
alyssa.schwartz@skadden.com -- and Michelle L. Davis --
michelle.davis@skadden.com -- of SKADDEN, ARPS, SLATE, MEAGHER &
FLOM LLP, Wilmington, Delaware; Counsel for Defendant Maple
Parent Holdings Corp.


DRYBAR HOLDINGS: Faces "Rodriguez" Suit in California Super. Ct.
----------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Drybar Holdings,
LLC. The case is styled as Aracely Rodriguez, an individual and
on behalf of herself and all other similarly situated, Plaintiff
v. Drybar Holdings, LLC a limited liability company and Does 1
through 10 inclusive, Defendants, Case No. CGC18568067 (Cal.
Super. Ct., July 12, 2018).

Drybar is a California-based chain of salons that solely provides
a hair styling service, known as "blowouts." The company was
founded in 2008 by Alli Webb.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears PRO SE.


EXECUTIVE CARE: Faces "MMatzura" Suit in S.D. New York
------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Executive Care
Franchising, LLC. The case is styled as Steven Matzura, on behalf
of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v.
Executive Care Franchising, LLC, Defendant, Case No. 11:18-cv-
06338 (S.D. N.Y., July 12, 2018).

Executive Care is an affordable alternative to assisted living
facilities and nursing homes.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Joseph H Mizrahi, Esq.
   Cohen & Mizrahi LLP
   300 Cadman Plaza West, 12th Floor
   Brooklyn, NY 11201
   Tel: (917) 299-6612
   Fax: (929) 575-4195
   Email: joseph@cml.legal


FCA US: Tentative Ruling Denying "Victorino" Class Cert. Issued
---------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, CARLOS VICTORINO and ADAM TAVITIAN, individually,
and on behalf of other members of the general public similarly
situated, Plaintiffs, v. FCA US LLC, a Delaware limited liability
company, Defendant, Case No. 16cv1617-GPC(JLB)(S.D. Cal.), Judge
Gonzalo P. Curiel of the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of California has issued a tentative ruling denying the
Plaintiffs' amended motion for class certification in advance of
the hearing.

Victorino and Tavitian filed a putative first amended class
action complaint based on defects in the 2013-2016 Dodge Dart
vehicles equipped with a Fiat C635 manual transmission that cause
their vehicles' clutches to fail and stick to the floor against
Defendant FCA, the manufacturer of these vehicles, including the
Plaintiffs' vehicles.  In their amended motion for class
certification, the Plaintiffs claim a design defect in the 2013-
2015 Dodge Dart vehicles equipped with a Fiat C635 manual
transmission built on or before Nov. 12, 2014.

The Plaintiffs claim the hydraulic clutch system is defective
where the clutch pedal loses pressure, sticks to the floor, and
fails to engage/disengage gears.  As a result, the Class Vehicles
exhibit stalling, failure to accelerate, and premature failure of
the Clutch System's components, including the clutch master
cylinder and reservoir hose, clutch slave cylinder and release
bearing, clutch disc, pressure plate, and flywheel.

The Plaintiffs allege two separate defects in the Clutch System.
First, the clutch defect is caused by the degradation of the
clutch reservoir hose, which releases plasticizer and fibers,
causing contamination of the hydraulic fluid that bathes the
components of the Clutch System.  As a result, the contamination
causes the internal and external seals of the clutch master
cylinder ("CMC") and clutch slave cylinder ("CSC") to swell and
fail.  According to them, when fluid in the hydraulic system
becomes contaminated, all of the components that have been
exposed to the contaminated fluid must be replaced and any steel
tubing must also be thoroughly cleaned with brake cleaner and
blown out until dry to ensure that none of the contaminants
remain.

Second, they claim an additional defect in the CSC which
exacerbates the problems with the Clutch System.  FCA designed
its CSC as an assembly composed of an aluminum body with a
clipped-on plastic base whereas other manufacturers' slave
cylinders are composed of a single, solid cast aluminum component
which creates a rigid base.  The Defendant's two-piece design
destabilizes the cylinder at its base, which can result in
unintended lateral movement and cause the piston inside the
cylinder to become jammed.

On Jan. 8, 2016, FCA implemented a voluntary customer service
action, Service Bulletin 06-001-16 entitled "Clutch Pedal
Operation X62 Extended Warranty" to address the issue of the
contaminated hydraulic fluid caused by the degradation of the
clutch reservoir hose and involved the replacement of the
hydraulic clutch master cylinder and reservoir hose for the 2013-
2015 Dodge Dart vehicles.

In the litigation, the Plaintiffs claim that the X62 Extended
Warranty repair failed to fully address and repair the defect and
ignores the systemic effect of the contaminated hydraulic fluid.
According to them, any repair requires replacement of all
component parts, including the CSC, thorough cleaning of any
steel tubing with brake cleaner and drying before reassembly.

The FAC alleged five causes of action for violations of
California's Consumer Legal Remedies Act ("CLRA"), California's
unfair competition law ("UCL"), breach of implied warranty
pursuant to Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, breach of implied
warranty pursuant to the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act ("MMWA"), and
unjust enrichment.  After the Court's ruling on the Defendant's
motion for summary judgment and subsequent motion for
reconsideration, the remaining causes of action are the breach of
implied warranty of merchantability under the Song-Beverly Act,
the MMWA, and a UCL claim premised on the breach of implied
warranty claims.

Because the Court's ruling on reconsideration was filed after the
motion for class certification and opposition were filed and
addresses the CLRA and related claims, the Court only addresses
the issues as it relates to the state and federal claims for a
breach of implied warranty of merchantability as well as the UCL
claim.

The Plaintiffs seek to certify the following:

     a. Nationwide Implied Warranty Class to include, All persons
in the United States or its territories who purchased or leased,
from an authorized dealership, a Dart Vehicle.

     b. California Implied Warranty Class to include, All persons
who purchased or leased in California, from an authorized
dealership, a Dart Vehicle.

     c. Injunctive Relief Class to include, All persons in
California who purchased or leased, from an authorized
dealership, a Dart Vehicle.

Judge Curiel concludes Rule 23(a) factors have been met with the
exception that the adequacy of Tavitian has not been satisfied
under Rule 23(a).  Because the Plaintiffs have not met their
initial burden of demonstrating that due process is satisfied for
purposes of a nationwide class, they cannot demonstrate that
common issues predominate over the different questions posed by
each state's law.  Accordingly, he denied the Plaintiffs' motion
to certify a Nationwide Implied Warranty Class.

Because the Plaintiffs have not set forth a damages model that is
consistent with their theory of liability, the Judge finds that
predominance has not been met as to damages under Civil Code
section 1794 and the benefit of the bargain model.

As to merchantability, the Judge finds that the Plaintiffs have
not demonstrated that the Song-Beverly Act applies to the class
members' purchase of used vehicles from authorized dealerships
for breach of implied warranty.  Thus, the class is overbroad
because the class definition includes purchasers of used vehicles
from authorized dealerships.  Therefore, questions of fact common
to the class members do not predominate.  He concludes that the
Plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate the predominance factor.
Because the Plaintiffs have not met the predominance factor, the
Judge needs not address superiority.

The Judge also finds that the Plaintiffs have failed to
demonstrate that a Rule 23(b)(2) class may be certified.  Thus,
he denied the Plaintiffs' motion to certify a class under Rule
23(b)(2).

Finally, the Defendant filed evidentiary objections to the
Plaintiffs' amended motion for class certification to Victorino's
and Tavitian's recent declarations dated April 5, 2018 that
contradict their deposition testimony taken in April 2017.  FCA
also objects to Exhibit Z to D'Aunoy's declaration.  The Judge
notes that the sham affidavit rule that FCA relies on for
exclusion addresses evidentiary objections in summary judgment
motions, not motions for class certification.  Since the Court is
ruling on a motion for class certification, the sham affidavit
rule is not applicable.  Nonetheless, the Court may consider
inadmissible evidence on class certification.  Accordingly, the
Judge overrules the Defendant's evidentiary objections.

The counsel are advised that Judge Curiel's rulings are tentative
and will entertain additional arguments at the hearing.

A full-text copy of the Court's June 1, 2018 Tentative Ruling is
available at https://is.gd/6WvHle from Leagle.com.

Carlos Victorino, individually, and on behalf of a class of
similarly situated individuals & Adam Tavitian, individually, and
on behalf of a class of similarly situated individuals,
Plaintiffs, represented by Cody R. Padgett --
Cody.Padgett@CapstoneLawyers.com -- Capstone Law APC, Jordan L.
Lurie -- Jordan.Lurie@CapstoneLawyers.com -- Capstone Law, APC,
Robert Kenneth Friedl -- Robert.Friedl@CapstoneLawyers.com --
Capstone Law APC & Tarek H. Zohdy --
Tarek.Zohdy@CapstoneLawyers.com -- Capstone Law APC.

FCA US LLC, a Delaware limited liability company, Defendant,
represented by Kathleen Ann Wisniewski --
kwisniewski@thompsoncoburn.com -- Thompson Coburn LLP, pro hac
vice, Scott H. Morgan -- smorgan@thompsoncoburn.com -- Thompson
Coburn LLP, pro hac vice, Stephen Anthony D'Aunoy --
sdaunoy@thompsoncoburn.com -- Thompson Coburn LLP, pro hac vice,
Thomas L. Azar, Jr. -- tazar@thompsoncoburn.com -- Thompson
Coburn LLP, pro hac vice, William M. Low, Higgs Fletcher & Mack
LLP & Edwin Mendelson Boniske -- boniske@higgslaw.com -- Higgs
Fletcher & Mack, LLP.


FIRSTSOURCE ADVANTAGE: Faces "Jang" Suit in D. New Jersey
---------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Firstsource
Advantage, LLC. The case is styled as Young S. Jang, individually
and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v.
Firstsource Advantage, LLC, Defendant, Case No. 2:18-cv-11560 (D.
N.J., July 12, 2018).

Firstsource Advantage, LLC offers collections and recovery
solutions. It provides debt recovery services for credit card
issuers, retail banking and mortgage. Firstsource Advantage, LLC
was formerly known as Firstsource LLC and changed its name in
February, 2007. The company was founded in 1995 and is based in
Amherst, New York. As of October 8, 2004, Firstsource Advantage,
LLC operates as a subsidiary of Firstsource Solutions
Limited.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears PRO SE.


FOOT LOCKER: Wins Summary Judgment Bid in "Zelaya"
--------------------------------------------------
In the case, NELLY ZELAYA, on behalf of herself, all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. FOOT LOCKER, INC., et al.,
Defendants, Case No. 5:17-cv-03279-EJD (N.D. Cal.), Judge Edward
J. Davila of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California, San Jose Division, granted Foot Locker's Motion for
Summary Judgment.

Zelaya worked at a store owned by Defendants Foot Locker, Foot
Locker Retail, Inc., Foot Locker Corporate Services, Inc. and
Foot Locker Specialty, Inc.  She alleges in this putative class
action that Foot Locker required her to sign a consent form
during the employment application process which violated the Fair
Credit Reporting Act ("FCRA") and other related California
statutes.  She also alleges that the Defendants' records
admittedly indicate that they have conducted a background check
on the Plaintiff based on the Consent Form.

Foot Locker removed the action from Santa Clara County Superior
Court on June 7, 2017.  The Plaintiff asserts five causes of
action: two for violations of the FCRA, one for violation of the
Investigative Consumer Reporting Agencies Act ("ICRAA"), one for
violation of the Consumer Credit Reporting Agencies Act
("CCRAA"), and one under the Unfair Competition Law ("UCL").

Foot Locker filed an Answer to the Complaint on June 14, 2017.
Presently before the Court is Foot Locker's Motion for Summary
Judgment on all of the Plaintiff's causes of action.  Foot Locker
argues Plaintiff cannot establish Article III standing under the
FCRA because she did not suffer any damages as a result of the
Consent Form's alleged defects.

The Plaintiff opposes the motion.  The parties argued the matter
on May 24, 2018.

Judge Davila finds that the Plaintiff alleges Foot Locker
required her to sign a form which violated the FCRA because it
contained extraneous information not permitted by statute, such
as jurisdiction-specific statements and a liability release.
This allegation is sufficient to infer that the Plaintiff was
deprived of the right to information and the right to privacy
guaranteed by the employment disclosure provisions of the FCRA.
Drawing all reasonable inferences in the Plaintiff's favor, the
Judge logically infers that the Plaintiff was confused by the
inclusion of the liability waiver with the disclosure and would
not have signed it had it contained a sufficiently clear
disclosure, as required in the statute.  Thus, the Plaintiff has
sufficiently alleged the invasion of a legally protected interest
that is actual and concrete for standing purposes.

The Judge also finds that there is no dispute of material fact
that Foot Locker did not procure a "consumer report" for
"employment purposes" during the "onboarding" process.  Because
the procurement of a consumer report is a precursor to liability
under Sections 1681b and 1681d, the Plaintiff cannot prove her
causes of action under the FCRA.  Nor can Plaintiff prove her
claims under the ICRAA or the CCRAA.  Even if there is some
distinction between these state authorities and the FCRA, the
definition of "employment purposes" is consistent among all of
them.  Thus, for the same reasons explained with respect to the
FCRA, the Plaintiff cannot show Foot Locker obtained a consumer
report for "employment purposes" under the ICRAA or the CCRAA.
The motion for summary judgment will be granted as to the first
four causes of action.

Finally, the Judge finds that the Plaintiff's UCL claim falls
under the "unlawful" prong, which borrows violations of other
laws and treats them as independently actionable.  Since it is
"tethered" to the consumer reporting claims, this claim falls
along with them.  Foot Locker is therefore entitled to summary
judgment on the UCL claim.

Based on this, Judge Davila granted Foot Locker's Motion for
Summary Judgment in its entirety.  Since the Order effectively
resolves the action, judgment will be entered in favor of Foot
Locker and the Clerk shall close the file.

A full-text copy of the Court's June 1, 2018 Order is available
at https://is.gd/XliSOI from Leagle.com.

Nelly Zelaya, Plaintiff, represented by Chaim Shaun Setareh --
shaun@setarehlaw.com -- Setareh Law Group & Thomas Alistair Segal
--  thomas@setarehlaw.com -- Setareh Law Group.

Foot Locker, Inc., a New York corporation, Defendant, represented
by Amir M. Nassihi -- anassihi@shb.com -- Shook Hardy & Bacon
L.L.P., Elizabeth Anne Lee -- elee@shb.com -- Shook, Hardy Bacon
L.L.P. & Katherine Sinatra -- ksinatra@shb.com -- Shook Hardy
Bacon.

Foot Locker Retail Inc., a New York corporation, Foot Locker
Specialty Inc., a New York corporation & Foot Locker Corporate
Services, Inc., a Delaware corporation, Defendants, represented
by Amir M. Nassihi, Shook Hardy & Bacon L.L.P., Katherine
Sinatra, Shook Hardy Bacon, pro hac vice, William C. Martucci --
wmartucci@shb.com -- Shook, Hardy and Bacon LLP, pro hac vice &
Elizabeth Anne Lee, Shook, Hardy Bacon L.L.P..


GENERAL MOTORS: Court Narrows Claims in "Hindsman" Suit
-------------------------------------------------------
In the case, RYAN HINDSMAN, et al., Plaintiffs, v. GENERAL MOTORS
LLC, Defendant, Case No. 17-cv-05337-JSC (N.D. Cal.), Magistrate
Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley of the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California granted GM's 12(b)(6) motion to
dismiss with leave to amend, except as to the Special Coverage
Adjustment express warranty claims brought by Plaintiffs
Hindsman, James Andrews, and Diana Miranda.

The suit concerns GM's 2010-2017 Chevrolet Equinox 2.4-liter
engine vehicles.  Five named Plaintiffs bring the action in
November 2017 on behalf of a nationwide class and a California
sub-class alleging federal and state express warranty claims,
California implied warranty claims, and California consumer and
tort law claims against GM.  They allege that certain of GM's
Chevy Equinox 2.4-liter engine vehicles suffer from an oil
consumption defect that GM misled consumers about and refused to
repair under applicable warranties.

The Plaintiffs are California citizens.  Their Vehicles were
designed, manufactured, sold, distributed, advertised, marketed,
and warranted by GM with a New Limited Warranty.  None of them
have seen low oil level or pressure indicators illuminate in
their Vehicles

Now pending is GM's motion to dismiss for (1) failure to state a
claim under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), (2) lack
of subject matter jurisdiction under Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(1), and (3) lack of personal jurisdiction under
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2).

After GM filed a motion to dismiss, the Parties stipulated to
allow the Plaintiffs to amend their complaint.  The Plaintiffs'
First Amended Complaint ("FAC") alleges five claims on behalf of
a putative class: two claims for a proposed nationwide class (1)
breach of express warranty under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act,
and (2) breach of express warranty under state common laws; and
three claims for a proposed California sub-class (3) violation of
California's Consumers Legal Remedies Act; (4) violation of
California's unfair competition law; and (5) breach of implied
warranties under the California's Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty
Act.

The Plaintiffs attached to their FAC the May 2017 GM Notice
Letter to Mr. Andrews, Mr. Andrews' correspondence with GM, the
Plaintiffs' attorney's declaration regarding venue, and the July
2015 Service Bulletin as Exhibits 1 through 4 respectively.

Magistrate Judge Corley finds that the New Vehicle Limited
Warranties cover defects in materials and workmanship, not design
defects.  As the Plaintiffs have not pled facts that plausibly
suggest the Oil Consumption Defect is a materials or workmanship
defect, she granted tge the motion to dismiss the First and Fifth
Causes of Action to the extent they are premised on the New
Vehicle Limited Warranties.  An additional ground for dismissal
is the failure to plead facts that plausibly suggest any named
Plaintiff requested repair of the Oil Consumption Defect during
the New Vehicle Limited Warranty period.

The Magistrate Judge also finds that Plaintiffs Hindsman and
Andrews have plausibly alleged that they requested repairs of the
Oil Consumption Defect within the SCA warranties period but GM
refused to perform the repair.  Accordingly, she denied the
motion to dismiss with respect to the SCAs under the first and
fifth causes of action for these Plaintiffs.  In all other
respects, the motion to dismiss the express warranties claims is
granted.

As the plaintiffs other than Mr. Andrews and Ms. Miranda have not
adequately pled GM's knowledge of the Defect prior to their
purchase of their Vehicles, their CLRA and fraudulent prong UCL
claims must be dismissed.  Mr. Andrews and Ms. Miranda have
failed to allege facts that plausibly suggest that they would
have been aware of a disclosure of the Defect; thus, the failure
to disclose claims of Mr. Andrews and Ms. Miranda must also be
dismissed.

The Song-Beverly implied warranty claims of Mr. Andrews, Ms.
Miranda, and Ms. Maryanski are dismissed without leave to amend
as all allege that they purchased used cars.  The Magistrate
Judge finds that the implied warranty claims of Mr. Hindsman and
Ms. Peterson, who purchased new cars, are dismissed with leave to
amend.  The face of the FAC establishes that the claims are
barred by the four-year statute of limitations and Plaintiffs
have not sufficiently pled fraudulent concealment or any other
basis for tolling.  Further, she says the Plaintiffs failed to
address GM's argument that they had not sufficiently alleged that
their Vehicles were unfit for their intended purpose.

Finally, while there may be cases where it is appropriate to
proceed with a nationwide class based on the laws of all 50
states without a named Plaintiff from each of those states, this
is not one of them.  First, the case is a California-centric
case.  Second, there is no named Plaintiff from any of the other
49 states whose laws are at issue in the First and Fifth Causes
of Action.  Accordingly, the claims on behalf of non-California
consumers are dismissed.

For the reasons she explained, Magistrate Judge Corley ruled on
GM's motion to dismiss as follows:

     a. The Plaintiffs' express warranty claims (First and Fifth
Causes of Action) as to all five Plaintiffs are dismissed with
leave to amend to the extent they are based on the New Vehicle
Limited Warranty because they do not allege facts that plausibly
suggest their Vehicles suffered from a manufacturing defect, that
is, a defect in workmanship or materials.

     b. The Plaintiffs' express warranty claims (First and Fifth
Causes of Action) as to Ms. Peterson, Ms. Miranda and Ms.
Maryanski are dismissed with leave to amend to the extent they
are based on the SCA.

     c. The Plaintiffs' failure of essential purpose warranty
claim is dismissed with leave to amend.

     d. The Plaintiffs' UCL and CLRA claims are dismissed with
leave to amend.

     e. The Plaintiffs' Song-Beverly implied warranty claims are
dismissed without leave to amend as to Mr. Andrews, Ms. Miranda
and Ms. Maryanski and with leave to amend as to Mr. Hindsman and
Ms. Peterson.

     f. The claims on behalf of putative class members from
states other than California are dismissed without prejudice.

     g. Any amended complaint will be filed within 30 days of the
date of the Order.

A full-text copy of the Court's June 1, 2018 Order is available
at https://is.gd/KJXcnI from Leagle.com.

Ryan Hindsman, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated & James Andrews, on behalf of himself and all others
similarly situated, Plaintiffs, represented by Gregory F. Coleman
-- greg@gregcolemanlaw.com -- Greg Coleman Law PC, Adam A.
Edwards -- adam@gregcolemanlaw.com -- Greg Coleman Law PC, Daniel
Kent Bryson -- dan@wbmllp.com -- Whitfield Bryson Mason LLP, pro
hac vice, John Hunter Bryson -- hunter@wbmllp.com -- Whitfield
Bryson Mason LLP, pro hac vice, Mark E. Silvey, Greg Coleman Law
PC, pro hac vice, Theodore Walter Maya -- tmaya@ahdootwolfson.com
-- Ahdoot & Wolfson, P.C. & Robert Ahdoot --
RAhdoot@ahdootwolfson.com -- Ahdoot & Wolfson, P.C.

Robin Peterson, Diana Miranda & Vanessa Maryanski, Plaintiffs,
represented by Robert Ahdoot, Ahdoot & Wolfson, P.C., Theodore
Walter Maya, Ahdoot & Wolfson, P.C. & Gregory F. Coleman, Greg
Coleman Law PC.

General Motors LLC, a Delaware limited liability company,
Defendant, represented by Gregory Richard Oxford --
goxford@icclawfirm.com -- Isaacs Clouse Crose & Oxford LLP.


GLENCORE PLC: Law Firm Investigates Potential Securities Claims
---------------------------------------------------------------
Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, on July 3
announced it is investigating potential securities claims on
behalf of shareholders of Glencore plc (OTCMKTS: GLCNF, GLNCY)
resulting from allegations that Glencore may have issued
materially misleading business information to the investing
public.

On July 3, 2018, Glencore disclosed that the U.S. Department of
Justice issued its subsidiary a subpoena to produce documents and
other records in connection with its compliance with U.S. money
laundering statutes and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. On
this news, shares of Glencore have fallen sharply during intraday
trading on July 3, 2018.

Rosen Law Firm is preparing a class action lawsuit to recover
losses suffered by Glencore investors. If you purchased shares of
Glencore please visit the firm's website at
http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases-1373.htmlto join the class
action. You may also contact Phillip Kim or Zachary Halper of
Rosen Law Firm toll free at 866-767-3653 or via email at
pkim@rosenlegal.com or zhalper@rosenlegal.com.

Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe,
concentrating its practice in securities class actions and
shareholder derivative litigation. [GN]


GOODLIFE FITNESS: Judge Okays $7.5MM Class Action Settlement
------------------------------------------------------------
Sara Mojtehedzadeh, writing for The Star, reports that a judge
has approved a $7.5 million class action lawsuit settlement,
launched after employees of gym giant GoodLife Fitness claimed
the company "systematically failed" to accurately compensate them
for hours of work and overtime.

The suit, originally filed in October 2016 by Toronto-based
labour law firm Goldblatt Partners, alleged that the gym did not
pay employees for certain kinds of work, such as preparation for
classes and seeking out new clients, creating "an unlawful
barrier to payment of overtime" at its 166 locations across
Ontario.

The scope of the suit was later expanded to GoodLife outlets
across Canada. Some 22,000 current and former employees are
covered by the class action.

After the suit was filed, GoodLife made significant changes to
its practices, including scheduling paid prospecting time for
personal trainers and removing clawbacks on their commissions. It
also now pays trainers for preparation and administrative tasks
and pays lieu time at time-and-a-half, as required by law, rather
than straight time.

Acting for Carrie Eklund, a Toronto-based personal trainer and
the class action's representative plaintiff, lawyers
Charlie Sinclair and Josh Mandryk said at their settlement
hearing that GoodLife's payment changes made the claim largely
"historical" in nature and paved the way for a settlement
agreement.

Think you may be impacted? Here are some of your questions
answered, as set out by the settlement approved by Superior Court
Justice E.M. Morgan on July 3:

Who is eligible for payments?

All current and former non-managerial staff of GoodLife Fitness
clubs across Canada, except Quebec, who worked at the gym during
the time period covered by the suit (see below). Fit4Less outlets
were not included in the class action.

How will the settlement be distributed?

The $7.5 million will be allocated as follows:

   -- $5.5 million will be divided among personal trainers;
   -- $150,000 for club opening specialists;
   -- $800,000 for fitness advisers;
   -- $1,050,000 for all other non-managerial job categories.

How much will individuals get?

GoodLife will calculate individual payments based on the number
of recorded hours worked by each individual during the time
period covered by the class action.

Here are conservative estimates for individual payments if you
worked for the entire time period:

   -- $2,500 for personal trainers;
   -- $1,600 for fitness advisers;
   -- $7,500 to $10,000 for club opening specialists;
   -- $150 for all other job categories;
   -- Amounts worth less than $50 will not be paid.

Is there a deadline?

GoodLife must make the payments within 90 days of the
settlement's final approval, which came July 3.

If cheques aren't cashed within six months, GoodLife will donate
the uncashed funds to the Canadian Cancer Society.

How are payments made?

If you were non-managerial staff who worked at GoodLife during
the time periods set out below, you don't need to do anything to
receive payment -- unless you moved and have not updated your
contact details with GoodLife.

Cheques will be sent automatically to home addresses. The only
requirement, where necessary, is to notify GoodLife of a change
of address.

What time period does the class action cover?

   -- For personal trainers: Oct. 12, 2014 to Dec. 31, 2017;
   -- For club opening specialists: Oct. 12, 2014 to March 30,
2017;
   -- For fitness advisers: Oct. 12, 2014 to Feb. 28, 2018;
   -- For all other classes of non-managerial employees: from
Oct. 12, 2014 to Feb. 28, 2018.

What if I work for a unionized GoodLife gym?

The period for which you are eligible for compensation ends
slightly earlier -- Dec. 5, 2017, the date collective agreements
came into effect at unionized GoodLife gyms.

For more information visit https://goodlifeclassaction.com/
[GN]


GRAIN PROCESSING: July 2 Class Action Jury Trial Date Suspended
---------------------------------------------------------------
Meredith Ecklund, writing for Muscatine Journal, reports that the
jury trial of the Grain Processing Corporation class action
lawsuit scheduled to begin July 2 has been suspended.

According to an order filed June 21, "The parties have jointly
moved for a two-month stay of the trial schedule so that the
parties may continue negotiations begun at the Court-ordered
Mediation held on June 1, 2018."

The same order states that the issue will be stayed until Aug.
20. If the class and GPC reach a settlement, the appropriate
documents must be submitted on or before that date. If a
settlement is not reached, parties must agree on additional time
for negotiations or determine new deadlines for the jury trial
and remaining pre-trial activities, according to the order.

If a settlement is reached from these negotiations, class action
attorney Sarah Siskind said in an email next steps include court-
approval after notice of the settlement and a hearing is set for
class members to speak. Both processes would take some time, she
said. Class action members will receive notification from class
action lawyers.

The class action lawsuit against GPC over its plant emissions was
certified in May by the Iowa Supreme Court. Around 14,000 area
residents, all whom have lived within 1.5 miles of the plant
since 2007, are included in the lawsuit. The class cites loss of
enjoyment of property and odor from emissions as reasons for
seeking compensation.

The previous development in the case happened in May, when GPC
asked for the dismissal of residents' claims and five separate
summary judgment requests. This was in response to Judge John
Telleen denying the corporation's initial summary judgment
request asking for the dismissal of nuisance, negligence and
trespassing claims. The judge, having decided GPC never notified
neighboring residents of the emissions, denied the request.

The trial was to be held in Muscatine County District Court, but
was moved to Scott County District Court ahead of the July 2
trial. The judge decided to move the trial due to GPC's influence
in the community. The corporation, established in the 1930s, now
employs 1,000 Muscatine residents.

Those who opted out of the class action last winter and signed up
for a settlement agreement between GPC and a group of lawyers
known as the Parry group are unaffected by potential future class
action litigation. [GN]


HARRIS COUNTY, TX: Prelim Injunction Order in "ODonnell" Vacated
----------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, MARANDA LYNN ODONNELL, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. HARRIS
COUNTY, TEXAS; ERIC STEWART HAGSTETTE; JOSEPH LICATA, III; RONALD
NICHOLAS; BLANCA ESTELA VILLAGOMEZ; JILL WALLACE; PAULA GOODHART;
BILL HARMON; NATALIE C. FLEMNG; JOHN CLINTON; MARGARET HARRIS;
LARRY STANDLEY; PAM DERBYSHIRE; JAY KARAHAN; JUDGE ANALIA
WILKERSON; DAN SPJUT; JUDGE DIANE BULL; JUDGE ROBIN BROWN; DONALD
SMYTH; JEAN HUGHES, Defendants-Appellants. LOETHA SHANTA
McGRUDER; ROBERT RYAN FORD, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. HARRIS
COUNTY, TEXAS; JILL WALLACE; ERIC STEWART HAGSTETTE; JOSEPH
LICATA, III; RONALD NICHOLAS; BLANCA ESTELA VILLAGOMEZ,
Defendants-Appellants, Case No. 17-20333 (5th Cir.), Judge Edith
Brown Clement of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
affirmed in part the district court's order denying the County's
summary judgment motion and granting ODonnell's motion for a
preliminary injunction.

ODonnell and the other Plaintiffs ("ODonnell") brought a class
action suit against Harris County, Texas, and a number of its
officials -- including County Judges, Hearing Officers, and the
Sheriff ("County") -- under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983.  ODonnell
alleged the County's system of setting bail for indigent
misdemeanor arrestees violated Texas statutory and constitutional
law, as well as the equal protection and due process clauses of
the Fourteenth Amendment.

ODonnell moved for a preliminary injunction, and the County moved
for summary judgment.  After eight days of hearings, at which the
parties presented numerous fact and expert witnesses and
voluminous written evidence, the district court denied the
County's summary judgment motion and granted ODonnell's motion
for a preliminary injunction.  The County then applied to the
Court for a stay of the injunction pending appeal, but the motion
was denied, and the injunction went into effect.

Before the Court now is the County's appeal, seeking vacatur of
the injunction and raising numerous legal challenges: (i) status
of County Judges and Sheriff as county policymakers under Section
1983; (ii) Younger v. Harris abstention; (iii) the County's
Eighth Amendment argument; and (iv) constitutional claims: due
process claim and equal protection.

Judge Clement agrees with the County that its Sheriff is not an
appropriate party for attaching municipal liability, however.
The Sheriff does not have the same policymaking authority as the
County Judges.  To the contrary, the Sheriff is legally obliged
to execute all lawful process and cannot release prisoners
committed to jail by a magistrate's warrant.  State statutes, in
other words, do not authorize the County Sheriff to avoid
executing judicial orders imposing secured bail by unilaterally
declaring them unconstitutional.  Accordingly, the County Sheriff
does not qualify as a municipal policymaker under Section 1983.

The Judge is not persuaded by the County's argument that Younger
abstention precludes the Court's review of ODonnell's claims.  As
the district court noted, the adequacy of the state court review
of bail-setting procedures is essential to ODonnell's federal
cause of action.  In short, to find that the Plaintiffs have an
adequate hearing on their constitutional claim in state court
would decide its merits.  She also notes that the policy concerns
underlying this doctrine are not applicable.  The injunction
sought by ODonnell seeks to impose nondiscretionary procedural
safeguards, which will not require federal intrusion into pre-
trial decisions on a case-by-case basis.

She also holds that the Court has already concluded that the
incarceration of those who cannot pay money bail, without
meaningful consideration of other possible alternatives,
infringes on both due process and equal protection requirements.
ODonnell's present claims do not run afoul of Graham v. Connor.

Addressing the merits of ODonnell's constitutional claims, the
Judge affirms the court's rulings that the County's bail system
violates both due process and equal protection, though he
modifies the basis for its conclusion as to due process.  The
district court's definition of ODonnell's liberty interests is
too broad, and the procedural protections it required are too
strict.  Nevertheless, even under the Court's more forgiving
framework, he agrees that the County procedures violate
ODonnell's due process rights.

Finally, the Judge concludes that the district court abused its
discretion in crafting an injunction that was not narrowly
tailored to remedy the specific action which gives rise to the
order.  She will vacate the injunction and remand to allow the
court to craft a remedy more finely tuned to address the harm.

The following represents the sort of modification that would be
appropriate, although he leaves the details to the district
court's discretion:

With these principles in mind, the Judge will order the following
relief, to take effect within 30 days, unless those enjoined move
for and show good cause for a reasonable, brief extension.  Any
motions for extension will be set for prompt hearing and
resolution.

      a. Harris County is enjoined from imposing prescheduled
bail amounts as a condition of release on arrestees who attest
that they cannot afford such amounts without providing an
adequate process for ensuring that there is individual
consideration for each arrestee of whether another amount or
condition provides sufficient sureties.

      b. Pretrial Services officers, as County employees and
subject to its policies, must verify an arrestee's ability to pay
a pre-scheduled financial condition of release by an affidavit,
and must explain to arrestees the nature and significance of the
verification process.

      c. The purpose of the explanation is to provide the notice
due process requires that a misdemeanor defendant's state
constitutional right to be bailable by sufficient sureties is at
stake in the proceedings.  Pretrial Services may administer
either the form of the affidavit currently used to determine
eligibility for appointed counsel or the adapted form that Dr.
Van Nostrand testified was prepared for Pretrial Services to be
administered by July 1, 2017, if they comply with the below
guidelines.  Pretrial Services must deliver completed affidavits
to the Harris County Sheriff's Office before a declarant's
probable cause hearing.

      d. The affidavit must give the misdemeanor arrestee
sufficient opportunity to declare under penalty of perjury, after
the significance of the information has been explained, the
maximum amount of financial security the arrestee would be able
to post or pay up front within 24 hours of arrest.  The affidavit
should ask the arrestee to provide details about their financial
situation sufficient to help the County make reliable
determinations regarding the amount of bail that would provide
sufficient sureties.  The question is what amount the arrestee
could reasonably pay within 24 hours of his or her arrest, from
any source, including the contributions of family and friends.

      e. The purpose of this requirement is to provide a better,
easier, and faster way to get the information needed to determine
a misdemeanor defendant's ability to pay.  The Hearing Officers
and County Judges testified that they presently do not know who
has the ability to pay.  The affidavit can be completed within 24
hours after arrest; the current process of verifying references
by phone extends for days after arrest.

      f. The court does not order relief against the Hearing
Officers or against the County Judges in their judicial or
legislative capacities.

      g. Misdemeanor defendants who are not subject to: (1)
formal holds preventing their release from detention; (2) pending
mental-health evaluations to determine competency; or (3)
pretrial preventive detention orders for violating a condition of
release for a crime of family violence, have a constitutionally
protected state-created liberty interest in being bailable by
sufficient sureties before trial.  If a misdemeanor defendant has
executed an affidavit showing an inability to pay pre-scheduled
money bail and has not been released either: (1) on an unsecured
personal bond with nonfinancial conditions of release; or (2) on
a secured money bond for which the defendant could pay a
commercial surety's premium, as indicated on the affidavit, then
the defendant is entitled to a hearing within 48 hours of arrest
in which an impartial decision-maker conducts an individual
assessment of whether another amount of bail or other condition
provides sufficient sureties.  At the hearing, the arrestee must
have an opportunity to describe evidence in his or her favor, and
to respond to evidence described or presented by law enforcement.
The Harris County Sheriff is therefore authorized to decline to
enforce orders requiring payment of pre-scheduled bail amounts as
a condition of release for said defendants if the orders are not
accompanied by a record showing that the required individual
assessment was made and an opportunity for formal review was
provided.  All nonfinancial conditions of release ordered by the
Hearing Officers will remain in effect.

      h. The purpose of this requirement is to provide timely
protection for the state-created liberty interest in being
bailable by sufficient sureties and to prevent the automatic
imposition of pre-scheduled bail amounts without an adequate
process for ensuring that there is individualized consideration
of whether another amount or condition provides sufficient
sureties.

      i. To enforce the 48-hour timeline, the County must make a
weekly report to the district court of misdemeanor defendants
identified above for whom a timely individual assessment has not
been held.  The County must also notify the defendant's counsel
and/or next of kin of the delay.  A pattern of delays might
warrant further relief from the district court.  Because the
court recognizes that the County might need additional time to
comply with this requirement, the County may propose a reasonable
timeline for doing so.

      j. The purpose of this requirement is to give timely
protection to the state-created liberty interest in being
bailable by sufficient sureties by enforcing federal standards
indicating that 48 hours is a reasonable timeframe for completing
the administrative incidents to arrest.  The 48-hour requirement
is intended to address the endemic problem of misdemeanor
arrestees being detained until case disposition and pleading
guilty to secure faster release from pretrial detention.

      k. For misdemeanor defendants who are subject to formal
holds and who have executed an affidavit showing an inability to
pay the pre-scheduled financial condition of release, the Sheriff
must treat the limitations period on their holds as beginning to
run the earliest of: (1) after the probable cause hearing; or (2)
24 hours after arrest.  The purpose of this requirement is to
ensure that misdemeanor defendants are not prevented from or
delayed in addressing their holds because they are indigent and
therefore cannot pay a pre-scheduled financial condition of
release.

      l. Misdemeanor defendants who do not appear competent to
execute an affidavit may be evaluated under the procedures set
out in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 16.22.  If
competence is found, the misdemeanor defendant is covered by the
relief the court orders, with the exception that the 48-hour
period begins to run from the finding of competence rather than
from the time of arrest.  As under Article 16.22, nothing in this
order prevents the misdemeanor arrestee from being released on
secured bail or unsecured personal bond pending the evaluation.

For these reasons, Judge Clement affirmed the district court's
findings of fact.  She affirmed its conclusions of law except its
conclusion that the County Sheriff qualifies as a municipal
policymaker under Section 1983 and its determination of the
specific procedural protections owed under procedural due
process.  On those issues, she reversed the district court's
conclusions.  Accordingly, she vacated the the preliminary
injunction as overbroad and remanded to the district court to
craft a revised injunction -- one that is narrowly tailored to
cure the constitutional deficiencies the district court properly
identified.  But she also stayed the vacatur pending
implementation of the revised injunction, so as to maintain a
stable status quo.

A full-text copy of the Court's June 1, 2018 Opinion is available
at https://is.gd/0TenIC from Leagle.com.

Charles Justin Cooper -- ccooper@cooperkirk.com -- for Defendant-
Appellant.

Murray Jules Fogler -- mfogler@fbfog.com -- for Defendant-
Appellant.

John E. O'Neill, for Defendant-Appellant.

Bruce Stephen Powers, for Defendant-Appellant.

George Allan Van Fleet, for Defendant-Appellant.

Stacy R. Obenhaus -- sobenhaus@foley.com -- for Defendant-
Appellant.

Carter Glasgow Phillips -- CPHILLIPS@SIDLEY.COM -- for Defendant-
Appellant.

Neal Manne -- nmanne@SusmanGodfrey.com -- for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Sheryl Anne Falk -- sfalk@winston.com -- for Defendant-Appellant.

Seth Paul Waxman -- SETH.WAXMAN@WILMERHALE.COM -- for Plaintiff-
Appellee.

Jonathan Lee Marcus -- jonathan.marcus@skadden.com -- for
Plaintiff-Appellee.

Mike Anthony Stafford -- mike.stafford@huschblackwell.com -- for
Defendant-Appellant.

Joseph David Hughes, for Defendant-Appellant.

Rebecca Bernhardt -- bernhard.rebecca@dorsey.com -- for
Plaintiff-Appellee.

Jared Brandon Caplan -- jcaplan@bradley.com -- for Plaintiff-
Appellee.

Ilya Shapiro -- ishapiro@cato.org -- for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Nicole Wignall DeBorde, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Alexandra Giselle White -- lwhite@SusmanGodfrey.com -- for
Plaintiff-Appellee.

Paul D. Clement -- paul.clement@kirkland.com -- for Plaintiff-
Appellee.

Thomas Royal Phillips -- tom.phillips@bakerbotts.com -- for
Plaintiff-Appellee.


IGNITE PAYMENTS: Dismissal of Amended Zam & Zam Suit Affirmed
-------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, ZAM & ZAM SUPER MARKET, LLC, individually and on
behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff-Appellant, v.
IGNITE PAYMENTS, LLC, FIRST DATA MERCHANT SERVICES CORPORATION,
FIRST DATA MERCHANT SERVICES, LLC, Defendants-Appellees, Case No.
17-3571-cv (2d Cir.), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second
Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court dismissing
the amended putative class-action complaint.

Zam & Zam appeals from the dismissal of its amended putative
class-action complaint against the Defendants, asserting breach
of the parties' Merchant Processing Application and Agreement and
its incorporated Program Terms and Conditions.  Zam & Zam alleges
that the Defendants, with whom it contracted to process
customers' credit and debit card payments, charged it an
unauthorized $19.95 monthly fee over a 20-month period for a
package of data protection services that Zam & Zam expressly
declined when first entering the Agreement.

In dismissing the breach of contract claim, the district court
concluded inter alia that the Plaintiff's failure to comply with
the Agreement's notice-of-claim provision, set forth in Section
19.11 of the Program Guide, bars recovery for any breach of the
Agreement. Zam & Zam challenges this ruling on several grounds.

The Plaintiff challenges the district court's dismissal of its
claims for breach of contract, breach of the implied covenant of
good faith and fair dealing, and unconscionability, as well as
the district court's denial of leave to amend.

The Court finds that because Section 19.11 is enforceable and
because Zam & Zam failed to plead compliance with the provision's
60-day written notice requirement, it is barred from pursuing its
contract claim for unnoticed breaches.  Accordingly, it affirmed
dismissal of the breach of contract claim.

The Court also finds that under New York law, parties to an
express contract are bound by an implied duty of good faith, but
breach of that duty is merely a breach of the underlying
contract.  The Plaintiff's claim for breach of the implied
covenant seeks redress for the same conduct and resulting injury
as the breach of contract claim -- namely, the recovery of
damages incurred as a result of the Defendants' charging unwanted
fees for data protection services.  The district court therefore
properly dismissed the Plaintiff's breach of implied covenant
claim as duplicative.

Finally, the district court denied leave to amend on the ground
that Zam & Zam failed to identify how it would cure deficiencies
in the amended complaint and, moreover, that amendment would be
futile.  In urging error, Zam & Zam argues primarily that, if
provided the opportunity, it could plead compliance with Section
19.11 because it terminated the Agreement in August 2016 and at
the same time provided defendants with written notice disputing
certain charges from July 2016.

Amending the pleadings to include these facts, however, would be
futile because Zam & Zam's written notice was effective only as
to fees charged in the preceding 60 days and, at the time of
termination, the Defendants refunded Zam & Zam $481.61,
representing the return of service fees paid from January 2016
through August 2016.  Zam & Zam therefore cannot plead damages or
the time period not otherwise barred by Section 19.11.  As to the
remaining claims, Zam & Zam fails to specify how amendment would
cure the deficiencies identified in the amended complaint.
Accordingly, the Court identifies no error in the district
court's denial of leave to amend.

The Court has considered the Plaintiff's remaining arguments and
concludes that they are without merit.  Accordingly, for the
reasons stated, it affirmed the judgment of the district court.

A full-text copy of the Court's June 1, 2018 Summary Order is
available at https://is.gd/jU0jlZ from Leagle.com.

ROGER N. HELLER -- rheller@lchb.com -- Lieff Cabraser Heimann &
Bernstein, LLP, San Francisco, California (David S. Stellings --
dstellings@lchb.com -- Avery S. Halfon, Lieff Cabraser Heimann &
Bernstein, LLP, New York, New York; E. Adam Webb, Webb, Klase &
Lemond, LLC, Atlanta, Georgia, on the brief). Appearing for
Appellant.

JONATHAN D. POLKES -- jonathan.polkes@weil.com -- (Paul Dutka --
paul.dutka@weil.com -- on the brief), Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP,
New York, New York, Appearing for Appellees.


ILLINOIS: Denial of Class Certification in "Morris" Recommended
---------------------------------------------------------------
Magistrate Judge Reona J. Daly of the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Illinois issued a Report and
Recommendation denying Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification
in the case captioned BARRY MORRIS, Plaintiff, v. JOHN BALDWIN,
et al., Defendants, Case No. 17-cv-1033-DRH-RJD (S.D. Ill.).

Plaintiff Barry Morris, an inmate in the custody of the Illinois
Department of Corrections, filed this lawsuit pursuant to 42
U.S.C. Section 1983 alleging his constitutional rights were
violated while he was incarcerated at Menard Correctional Center
(Menard).

Before a Court can certify a class action, the party seeking
certification must show: 1) joinder of all members of the class
is impracticable due the number of potential claimants; 2) common
questions of law and fact; 3) that the representative parties
have typical claims and defenses as to the proposed class as a
whole; and 4) the representative parties will fairly and
adequately protect the interests of the class.

Here, the Plaintiff alleges that he and other ADA inmates with
similar disabilities are being denied access to numerous services
and activities, but he does not describe the class with any
detail other than that the proposed class is "all ADA inmates at
Menard as a whole from 2016 forward."  The Plaintiff also alleges
that the claims have common questions of law and fact as every
ADA inmate is being denied access to certain opportunities.
However, the ADA requires reasonable accommodations based upon an
individual's disabilities. The required accommodations are
different for different types of disabilities. Each accommodation
request requires a separate consideration and raises different
issues of fact. Based on the record before the Court, it cannot
determine that class certification would be appropriate at this
time.

Accordingly, the Magistrate recommends that the Plaintiff's
Motion for Certification of the Class be denied.

A full-text copy of the District Court's May 31, 2017 Report and
Recommendation is available at https://tinyurl.com/ycboheqb from
Leagle.com.

Barry Morris, Plaintiff, pro se.

John Baldwin, Director of IDOC, Illinois Department of
Corrections, Jacqueline Lashbrook, Warden of Menard CC, Holly
Hawkins, ADA Coordinator & Gail Walls, Health Care Administrator,
Defendants, represented by R. Levi Carwile, Illinois Attorney
General's Office.

Wexford Health Sources Inc., Defendant, represented by Timothy P.
Dugan -- tdugan@cassiday.com -- Cassiday Schade LLP & Maxwell D.
Huber -- mhuber@cassiday.com -- Cassiday Schade LLP.


IOWA: Averts Black Workers' Discrimination Class Action
-------------------------------------------------------
The Gazette reports that a federal judge on July 3 revoked
supervised release for a woman, who was convicted for embezzling
over $43,000 in unemployment insurance benefits, and is sending
her back to prison for 18 months.

U.S. District Senior Judge Linda Reade said most of the
explanations made by Linda F. Pippen, now known as Linda Barnes,
48, of Waterloo, didn't make much sense when she tried to refute
the numerous violations that her probation officer testified
about during a previous hearing and on July 3.

Ms. Pippen pleaded guilty in 2011 to one count of embezzlement
from a program receiving federal funds and one count of
aggravated identity theft and was sentenced to four years in
prison.

She was discharged from prison in 2015 and was serving three
years on supervised release.

Ms. Pippen was also the lead plaintiff in a high profile class
action discrimination lawsuit for black workers suing the state.
Lawyers filed a motion to drop her from the suit after she
pleaded guilty but a judge denied it. The class action didn't go
forward and some of the individuals claims were settled by the
state or dismissed.

During the July 3 hearing, Ms. Pippen wouldn't admit to traveling
out of the district and state, which is a violation, when
confronted with proof that probation had analyzed her cell phone
and could track it in Illinois and North Carolina at different
times. She said her boyfriend took her phone and explained the
texts where she told people not to tell anybody she was in North
Carolina were sent by her boyfriend.

Ms. Pippen also wouldn't admit to opening new lines of credit or
credit card accounts, which are also violations. Even when
Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Tvedt had her credit report and
questioned her about the accounts.

After Ms. Pippen's testimony, Judge Reade bluntly said she didn't
believe her.

Judge Reade pointed out Ms. Pippen tried to hide some jobs from
probation, so her wages wouldn't be garnished since she owes over
$41,000 of the embezzled $43,582 in restitution. She also took a
job at a tax service, which was a violation because she can't
have a job that allowed her access to financial or personal
information, Reade noted. [GN]


ISRAEL ELECTRIC: Gideon Fisher Attorney Comments on Ruling
----------------------------------------------------------
Adv. Daphna Fisher -- daphna@fisher-lawfirm.com -- of Gideon
Fisher & Co. Law Offices and Notary, in an article for Globes,
wrote that a Supreme Court ruling on payments to Israel Electric
employees passed on to customers, means consumers can receive
remedies for unjust government actions.

Israel's Supreme Court recently validated its own landmark and
precedential ruling in regards to a class action filed against
the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC), estimated at NIS 3.5-5
billion, stating essentially that one can file a class action
against the law.

This high-profile case deals with the rate charged to consumers
for electricity by the IEC, a state-owned enterprise that holds a
monopoly over the market. The electricity rate is regulated by
the government and, in theory, it should only reflect the
justified costs directly related to the electricity generation
itself, such as production, transmission, distribution and fixed
payments for a basket of services. It does not even take into
account the electricity consumption, which is charged in an
additional separate rate.

According to the claimants, the IEC financed supposedly unlawful
payments for its employees by including these amounts as part of
the costs for electricity production. The IEC responded to the
claims, stating, inter alia, that those payments were
retroactively authorized by a collective labor agreement which
was effectively signed into law by the government, and as such,
the payments were legally authorized.

The claimants were not deterred and in response, they argued that
this retroactive authorization is not enough to justify charging
the consumers for those internal payments. It is important to
note that this class action does not require the employees to
reimburse the money, and the IEC will need to find a new source
of income to cover the allegedly unlawful expenses. Be that as it
may, the main obstacle in the case was still the fact that the
IEC was allegedly protected by law and thus, the pivotal issue of
the case was -- can one file a class action against an action
authorized by the law? Or to put it in another way -- can a
retroactive law remedy a cause for class action?

This battle has been taking place for nearly a decade, in both
the District Court and on appeal in the Supreme Court of Israel.
In a nontraditional move, the Attorney General sided with the IEC
rather than with the claimants. However, the claimants won on
both legal issues, with the court delivering a precedential
ruling, stating that the collective labor agreement, even if
approved by law, cannot retroactively grant a shield against
litigation.

The IEC, backed yet again by the Attorney General's office, tried
to make use of the rare procedure of a secondary review of the
decision by a wider panel of Supreme Court judges. However, Chief
Justice Esther Hayut denied the motion, stating that the case
against the IEC is clear cut and basing her ruling on unjust
enrichment, among other points. Regardless of the decision, by
certifying the class action the court had made quite an
earthquake in the field. It had long been assumed that a green
light by the government prevented in-court challenges, but in
reality, this assumption has been losing its credibility over the
years as the courts have applied more and more judicial review on
such actions by the regulator where the outcome was unjust to the
public.

However, there was also a counter-current, such as the supreme
court ruling in re: Kol BaRama -- a religious oriented radio
station which refused to put women on air. In this case, the
court ruled that it is permissible to file a class action against
the station, but not for the period of time where it was under
close review by the regulator, who had worked to gradually raise
the number of women to be heard over the station's broadcasts.
The obvious difference here is that the regulator in the
Kol BaRama case had worked to fix the problem, whereas the
regulator in the IEC case had merely redefined the issue at hand
as not a problem.

In recognizing the key differences between the Kol BaRama case
and the case against the IEC, the court turned the green light
given by the government to red, at least for now. This
precedential ruling ensures that the consumer public will be able
to receive remedies for unjust actions by government entities. As
a result, it is to be expected that many more will follow in the
footsteps of the claimants in the case against the IEC. [GN]


J BRAND: Faces "Olsen" Suit in E.D. New York
--------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against J Brand, Inc. The
case is styled as Thomas J. Olsen, individually and on behalf of
all other persons similarly situated, Plaintiff v. J Brand, Inc.,
Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-04025 (E.D. N.Y., July 12, 2018).

J Brand, Inc. was founded in 2005. The company's line of business
includes manufacturing textile products.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Christopher Howard Lowe
   Lipsky Lowe LLP
   630 Third Avenue
   New York, NY 10017
   Tel: (212) 392-4772
   Fax: (212) 444-1030
   Email: chris@lipskylowe.com


JB HUNT: Seeks to Decertify Drivers' Wage Class Action
------------------------------------------------------
Linda Chiem, writing for Law360, reports that months away from
trial, trucking giant J.B. Hunt Transport Inc. moved on July 2 to
slash claims and decertify a California federal class action
alleging it shorted drivers on wages and rest breaks, saying
there's no proof of a uniform compensation system covering
thousands of drivers.

Attorneys for J.B. Hunt filed motions for partial summary
judgment and to decertify an 11,000-strong class led by
plaintiffs Gerardo Ortega and Michael D. Patton as they gear up
for an anticipated late September trial.

The case is Gerardo Ortega et al v. J. B. Hunt Transport, Inc. et
al Case No. 2:07-cv-08336 (C.D. Calif.).  The case is assigned to
Judge R. Gary Klausner.  The case was filed December 27, 2007.
[GN]


KBR: Veterans' Class Action Over Burn Pits Won't Move Forward
-------------------------------------------------------------
Aalia Shaheed, writing for KVOA, reports that Rigo Gonzalez was
inspired to join the military after 9/11. He served in Iraq, but
it wasn't until he returned home in 2005 that he realized
something was very wrong.

"My permanent job was with the US Border Patrol," said
Mr. Gonzalez. "So I had to take a physical when I came back. And
when I came back, I was diagnosed with leukemia."

The veteran believes his illness is directly linked to his
proximity to open burn pits while in Iraq. Private military
contractor, KBR, used the pits to openly burn things like
plastic, tires and other waste.

"You would just see this black smoke, and I was inhaling all that
pollution from the tower," said Mr. Gonzalez. "I'm fortunate
enough to have good response to my chemotherapy medication, which
I have to take daily for life. Other veterans weren't so lucky
and they lost their lives."

Mr. Gonzalez was part of a class-action lawsuit against the
company, but the appellate court recently decided the case will
not go forward. The three-judge panel ruled all decisions
regarding burn pits came down to the military, not KBR.

It was a crushing blow to tens of thousands of veterans who say
their illnesses are linked to the pits.

Officials with the Department of Veterans Affairs did establish
the 'Airborne Hazards and Open Burn Pit Registry', which allows
veterans to document their conditions for future study.

But the department has not yet recognized illnesses from burn
pits exposure as 'service-related disabilities', which means many
who believe they have been impacted are not eligible for
coverage.

Mr. Gonzalez is now pleading with congressional leaders to pass
legislation that will help all those who say they have been
affected.

"Somebody has to be responsible for this," he said. "What we need
is for Congress to step up to help these veterans and to make
their lives easier." [GN]


KCMCL COCONUT: Faces "Honeywell" Suit in M.D. Florida
-----------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against KCMCL Coconut Point
LLC. The case is styled as Cheri Honeywell, individually and on
behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. KCMCL
Coconut Point LLC, a Florida limited liability company,
Defendant, Case No. 2:18-cv-00491-SPC-CM (M.D. Fla., July 12,
2018).

Coconut Point is a picturesque outdoor mall featuring over 140
stores.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Jessica Lynn Kerr, Esq.
   The Advocacy Group, LLC
   200 SE 6th St Ste 504
   Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-3424
   Tel: (954) 282-1858
   Fax: (844) 786-3694
   Email: jkerr@advocacypa.com


KESHAV HOTEL: Faces "Honeywell" Suit in M.D. Florida
----------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Keshav Hotel, LLC.
The case is styled as Cheri Honeywell, individually and on behalf
of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Keshav Hotel, LLC,
a Florida limited liability company, Defendant, Case No. 2:18-cv-
00489-UA-CM (M.D. Fla., July 12, 2018).

Keshav Hotel LLC is a privately held company in Estero, FL and is
a Single Location business. Categorized under Hotels-
Apartment.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Jessica Lynn Kerr, Esq.
   The Advocacy Group, LLC
   200 SE 6th St Ste 504
   Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-3424
   Tel: (954) 282-1858
   Fax: (844) 786-3694
   Email: jkerr@advocacypa.com


LL BEAN: Judge Tosses Class Action Over Return Policy Change
------------------------------------------------------------
Lori Valigra, writing for BDN, reports that a Chicago man who
tried to start a class-action lawsuit against L.L .Bean after the
iconic Maine retailer changed its return policy in February has
come up empty after a judge ruled in federal court to dismiss the
case.

U.S. District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois
Robert W. Gettleman ruled on June 28 that plaintiff Victor Bondi
failed to state a claim against L.L. Bean.

L.L. Bean filed a motion to dismiss the case on April 6, saying
Mr. Bondi had failed to establish that he had suffered a concrete
loss or that he had tried to return any product he bought before
Feb. 9, 2018, when L.L. Bean announced the changed policy.

"L.L.Bean is very pleased with the recent ruling granting our
motion to dismiss the Illinois case in its entirety," L.L. Bean
spokeswoman Carolyn Beem said in an email to the Bangor Daily
News.

"As we have maintained from the outset, this suit is without
merit and the complaint misstated L.L.Bean's policies. Products
purchased prior to Feb. 9, 2018 are not subject to the new one-
year restriction on returns," she said. "This plaintiff did not
claim to be dissatisfied with his L.L.Bean purchase, was never
denied a refund, and therefore has no basis on which to pursue
this case."

Mr. Bondi filed the 16-page lawsuit on Feb. 12, saying he was a
loyal customer who made purchases based on L.L. Bean's
unconditional satisfaction guarantee. The proposed class-action
lawsuit included more than 100 people seeking at least $5 million
in damages, excluding interest and costs.

Three other similar lawsuits seeking class-action status and
targeting the policy change have not yet been decided.

The most recent lawsuit was filed May 4 by William A. Shirley of
Berkeley, California. Another was filed Feb. 28 in New York by
Anita Berger, and another on April 24 in Massachusetts by
Benjamin Pershouse. [GN]


LOCK HAVEN: Judge Refuses to Certify Retirement Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
John Beauge, writing for PennLive, reports that a judge has
refused to certify as a class action the federal lawsuit that
accuses Lock Haven University of forcing out older employees to
avoid paying the retirement benefits they would receive at age
60.

U.S. Middle District Judge Matthew W. Brann on July 2 ruled the
class action motion of Pattiann Merrifield was premature but that
she could refile it after discovery is completed.

However, moments before the judge issued his order,
Ms. Merrifield, of Mill Hall, filed notice she was withdrawing
her motion.

Besides making his class action ruling, Judge Brann dismissed
part of Ms. Merrifield's complaint against Deana Hill, associate
vice president of human resources, and the university.

Among the claims dismissed were those against Hill in her
official capacity which the judge pointed out Merrifield could
pursue in state court.

Judge Brann ordered the parties to participate in mediation that
is to be completed by Oct. 30.

Ms. Merrifield, a clerk since 2006, was fired Jan. 20, 2016, at
age 58 after she says she refused the option of early retirement.
She was replaced by a 34-year-old, she says.

She contends the university fired her to avoid paying her the
retirement benefits to which she would be entitled when she
turned 60.

Attached to the court complaint are affidavits from two other
former Lock Haven employees who claimed they were treated
similarly.

The suit also accuses Lock Haven of failing to adequately adopt,
post and implement procedures to respond to allegations of age
discrimination. [GN]


LONG ISLAND, NY: Sandy Case Plaintiffs Gets Class Action Status
---------------------------------------------------------------
Zachary R. Dowdy, writing for Newsday, reports that a state
Supreme Court justice has granted class-action status to former
LIPA customers who alleged in a lawsuit that the utility company
and its operating partner provided shoddy service when superstorm
Sandy struck Long Island in October 2012.

In a June 26 order, Nassau-based Justice Antonio I. Brandveen
allowed the plaintiff classification to include all residential
Long Island Power Authority customers who lost electricity during
the Oct. 29, 2012, storm, continued without power for three days
afterward, and did not need electrical inspections for their
service to resume.

Justice Brandveen also appointed several plaintiffs to play lead
roles in the lawsuit and named four law firms, Wolf Popper of
Manhattan, Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz of Manhattan,
Douglas & London of Manhattan and Parker Waichman of Port
Washington, to serve as their counsel.

The one-page decision is the latest development in a lawsuit
filed shortly after the storm that claims LIPA and National Grid,
LIPA's operating partner, were negligent in efforts to restore
power to its more than 945,000 customers. PSEG now manages the
system.

Plaintiffs contend in the lawsuit that the utilities provided bad
information to customers, did not fortify substations and delayed
replacing a storm-outage management system. The lawsuit also
includes allegations that LIPA and National Grid failed to heed a
2006 study that flagged problems and recommended fixes that could
have kept outages to a minimum.

"It's obviously an important decision because all Long Islanders
felt the effect of superstorm Sandy and we all share a common
cause, and that common cause was the failure of our power company
to protect its ratepayers and its consumers," said Jay L.T.
Breakstone, appellate attorney for Parker Waichman. He said
Justice Brandveen's decision to grant class-action status "allows
the ratepayers to band together in an action which no individual
ratepayer could undertake by his or herself."

A PSEG Long Island representative referred inquiries about the
Justice Brandveen's ruling to LIPA.

LIPA's director of communications, Sid Nathan, said the utility
intends to appeal the judge's decision.

In an email, National Grid spokeswoman Wendy Ladd said the
utility "is reviewing the decision and will respond with
appropriate motions and/or appeals within the time frame required
by the order. We will continue to defend National Grid's storm
response as the litigation progresses. We are proud of the
tireless efforts of our employees, supported by thousands of
supplemental workers, who worked around the clock to restore
power to LIPA's customers and to help rebuild our communities
following superstorm Sandy." [GN]


L'OREAL: Faces Class Action Over Defective Cosmetic Bottles
-----------------------------------------------------------
Global Cosmetic News' Georgina Caldwell, citing Legal Newsline,
reports that that L'Oreal may have to defend itself in a class
action lawsuit which alleges that the French beauty giant is
deliberately packaging liquid cosmetics in defective bottles that
routinely fail to disgorge all of the product they contain.

The complaint was filed in the Southern District of New York at
the end of June by four consumers, and others in the same boat,
who claim that that the bottles in question (for L'Oreal's
Maybelline Super Stay Better Skin Skin Transforming Foundation
and Age Perfect Eye Renewal Eye Cream) only dispense between 43
and 81 percent of the advertised contents. L'Oreal has therefore
misrepresented the consumable amount of product in the bottle,
they contend.

"The low dispensation rate deceives and damages plaintiffs and
the class of consumer, who typically spend approximately US$15
for the products, meaning that consumers may lose on the average
approximately US$7 on each purchase because of defendant's
alleged defective packaging," reads the suit, per Legal Newsline.
[GN]


NEW ENGLAND: 11th Cir. Affirms Arbitration Denial in "Gamble"
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit, affirmed
the District Court's judgment denying Defendant's Motion to
Compel Arbitration in the case captioned HOPE GAMBLE, on behalf
of herself and others similarly situated, Plaintiff-Appellee, v.
NEW ENGLAND AUTO FINANCE, INC., Defendant-Appellant, No. 17-15343
(11th Cir.).

Several months after paying off her auto loan with New England
Auto Finance, Inc., Hope Gamble began to receive text messages
from NEAF seeking new business from her. Although Ms. Gamble
informed NEAF that she did not want to receive these text
messages, NEAF continued to send them.

Ms. Gamble entered into an auto loan agreement (Loan Agreement)
with NEAF. The Loan Agreement contained a clause (Arbitration
Provision) requiring arbitration of any claim, dispute or
controversy whether preexisting, present or future, that in any
way arises from or relates to this Agreement or the Motor Vehicle
securing this Agreement. The Loan Agreement document also
contained a provision (Text Consent Provision) granting NEAF the
right to send its customers e-mails, text messages and other
electronic communications.

The district court denied NEAF's motion on the grounds that Ms.
Gamble's claim under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
claim fell outside the scope of the loan agreement. NEAF appeals
that dismissal.

NEAF argues that Ms. Gamble's TCPA claim is subject to
arbitration because her complaint touches matters within the Loan
Agreement containing the Arbitration Provision.

The Court disagrees. NEAF fundamentally misunderstands this
important factor. Contrary to what NEAF asserts in its briefs, it
is not the unsigned Text Consent Provision which gives Ms. Gamble
the right not to receive unconsented-to text messages from NEAF.
Congress provided Ms. Gamble that right through the TCPA, and she
had that right and could assert it through litigation against
NEAF, for example well before she signed the Loan Agreement and
refused to sign the Text Consent Provision with NEAF.  The fact
that NEAF requested, but was refused, Ms. Gamble's consent to
receive text messages does not somehow transform the Text Consent
Provision into the source of Ms. Gamble's rights regarding those
text messages.

NEAF cannot force Ms. Gamble to arbitrate her TCPA claim just
because the contract she entered into with NEAF, a contract that
had nothing to do with the TCPA or with text messages, contained
a separate provision, with a separate signature line, requesting
Ms. Gamble's consent. NEAF cannot avoid the strictures of the
TCPA, and force arbitration of its alleged TCPA violations, by
placing the request for consent to receive text messages in the
same document as, but after and apart from, a separate and
independent contract, and then, after it failed to get the
individual's consent, claim that the consent request was actually
part of that contract. The Court will not accept NEAF's
invitation to bootstring independent TCPA claims to a completely
distinct contract.

The bottom line is that Ms. Gamble's TCPA claims did not in any
way arise from or relate to the Loan Agreement, and the parties
did not agree to arbitrate those TCPA claims.

Accordingly, the Eleventh Circuit holds that the district court
properly denied NEAF's motion to compel arbitration.

A full-text copy of the Eleventh Circuit's May 31, 2017 Opinion
is available at https://tinyurl.com/ya6xdx9d from Leagle.com.

Mark J. Levin -- LEVINMJBALLARDSPAHR.COM -- for Defendant-
Appellant.

Shireen Hormozdi, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Daniel L. Delnero -- DELNERODBALLARDSPAHR.COM -- for Defendant-
Appellant.

James L. Davidson, for Plaintiff-Appellee.


NGU INC: Denial of Class Certification in "Win-Vent" Affirmed
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, First
Department, affirmed the state Supreme Court's judgment denying
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification in the case captioned
WIN-VENT ARCHITECTURAL WINDOWS, A DIVISION OF EXTRUSIONS, INC.,
ETC., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. NGU, INC., DOING BUSINESS AS
CHAMPION ARCHITECTURAL WINDOW AND DOOR, ET. AL., Defendants-
Respondents, [And a Third-Party Action] 6733N, 652570/16. (N.Y.
App. Div.).

The Supreme Court, New York County entered an Order which denied
the plaintiff's motion for class certification pursuant to Lien
Law article 3-A and CPLR 901 on its causes of action alleging
diversion of trust funds, unanimously affirmed, with costs.

The N.Y. App. Div. holds that the state supreme court properly
denied class certification on the ground that the prerequisites
to a class action were not met.  As the state supreme court
observed, the plaintiff failed to show how the 15 different trust
diversion claims on 15 unrelated contracts and projects, owned by
15 different owners, meet the requirements of commonality,
typicality, and superiority of CPLR 901(a)(2), (3), and (5).

A full-text copy of the N.Y. App. Div.'s May 31, 2017 Opinion is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y8ga3p6f from Leagle.com.

Constantine T. Tzifas, PLLC, White Plains (Albert A. Hatem, of
counsel), for appellant.

Morrison Cohen LLP, New York (David J. Kanfer --
dkanfer@morrisoncohen.com -- of counsel), for respondents.


NQ MOBILE: Cohen Milstein to Lead in Securities Suit
----------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Texas, Sherman Division, granted Xiang Cao's Motion for
Appointment of Lead Plaintiff and Approval of Section of Counsel
in the case captioned SHIQIANG CHEN, Individually and on Behalf
of All Others Similarly Situated v. NQ MOBILE, VINCENT WENYONG
SHI, ROLAND WU, and ZEMIN XU, Civil Action No. 4:18-CV-00096
(E.D. Cal.).

Plaintiff Shiqiang Chen filed this federal securities class
action on behalf of a class consisting of all persons and
entities, other than Defendants and their affiliates, who
purchased publicly traded NQ Mobile securities.

The Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (PSLRA)
requires all proposed lead plaintiffs to submit a sworn
declaration to assure the Court that the proposed plaintiff: (1)
has suffered financial harm; (2) is not a serial litigant; and
(3) is interested and able to serve as lead plaintiff. There is
then a rebuttable presumption that the most adequate plaintiff
has: (1) either filed the complaint or made a motion in response
to a notice; (2) the largest financial interest in the relief
sought by the class during the proposed class period; and (3)
otherwise satisfied the requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure.

Largest Financial Interest

If a motion is timely filed, the presumptive lead plaintiff must
have the largest financial interest. Cao argues that he has the
largest financial interest of any other movant, which is not
contested by any of the movants.  Therefore, the Court is
satisfied that Cao has the largest financial interest.

Rule 23 Requirements

Typicality

Cao asserts that his claims are typical of the class. No party
challenges Cao's claim of typicality. The Court is satisfied that
Cao is typical of the class; in other words, he has "the same
essential characteristics as those of the other class members.

Fair and Adequate Representation

Here, the Court exercises its discretion in this case and does
not bar Cao from serving as lead plaintiff of the class. The
reasons behind the PSLRA are to prevent lawyer-driven litigation
and to ensure that the plaintiff has the ability to actively
participate in the litigation.

Cao has a large enough interest, individually, to maintain
control over his attorneys and to remain invested in the outcome
of the case. The Court finds that Cao is able to fairly and
adequately represent the class. Accordingly, because Cao timely
filed its motion, has the largest financial interest, and
satisfies the requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23,
Cao is the presumptive lead plaintiff. Further, the presumption
has not been overcome.

Therefore, the Court appoints Cao as lead plaintiff in this
action.

Lead Counsel

Cao seeks to appoint Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC as lead
counsel for the class and MT2 Law Group as liaison counsel for
the class. The Court has reviewed the resumes provided for each
attorney, and is satisfied that each could adequately represent
the plaintiff in this action.

Accordingly, Xiang Cao's Motion for Appointment of Lead Plaintiff
and Approval of Section of Counsel is granted.  Xiang Cao's
choice of lead counsel and liaison counsel are appointed.

A full-text copy of the District Court's May 31, 2017 Memorandum
Opinion and Order is available at https://tinyurl.com/y7mn2xfe
from Leagle.com.

Shiqiang Chen, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated, Plaintiff, represented by R. Dean Gresham --
dean@stecklerlaw.com -- Steckler Gresham Cochran LLP.

Xiang Cao, Plaintiff, represented by Steven J. Toll --
stoll@cohenmilstein.com -- Cohen, Milstein, Hausfeld & Toll &
James Mark Mann -- mark@themannfirm.com -- Mann Tindel &
Thompson.

Kin Sun Ho & Fong Lau, Movants, represented by Thane Tyler
Sponsel, III  -- sponsel@smglawgroup.com -- Sponsel Miller
Greenberg PLLC.


OHIO STATE: Jim Jordan Responds to Wrestling Team Abuse Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
Darrel Rowland of The Columbus Dispatch and Jessica Wehrman  of
Dispatch Washington Bureau report that U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan's
office fought back on July 4 against accusations that he knew
about allegations of abuse by a doctor for the Ohio State
University wrestling team two decades ago but did not report it.

In what looks to become a sustained and full-throated defense,
Mr. Jordan's office produced statements backing him from former
Ohio State head wrestling coach Russ Hellickson and three-time
world wrestling champ Lee Kemp, who went to the University of
Wisconsin.

Mr. Kemp said that "the idea that Jim would know of abuse of his
wrestlers and do nothing is utterly absurd."

Mr. Hellickson said: "We dealt with many challenges together when
he was one of my assistant coaches, and it's important to know
that neither Jim nor I would sidestep or avoid challenges for our
wrestlers just because the circumstances were painful or
uncomfortable -- in fact, those are the kind of circumstances
that motivated Jim the most. At no time while Jim Jordan was a
coach with me at Ohio State did either of us ignore abuse of our
wrestlers."

Mr. Jordan, speaking at a Fourth of July event in Fremont, Ohio,
insisted that reports by three wrestlers at Ohio State that he
knew of the abuse and did not report it were "not accurate."

"The things he said are just not true," Mr. Jordan said of
Michael DiSabato, who told NBC that Mr. Jordan was aware of
sexual abuse by Dr. Richard Strauss at Ohio State. "We knew of no
abuse, never heard about abuse; if we had, we would've reported
it."

Mr. Jordan said he had received an email from Mr. DiSabato at
4:30 a.m. on July 4, and the congressman said he planned to
report it to the Capitol Police. A spokesman said Jordan has
considered calling the police because of earlier correspondence
from
Mr. DiSabato.

Mr. Jordan said he knew Dr. Strauss at Ohio State, "but there's
no truth to the fact that I knew of any abuse. And I've talked to
other coaches, they didn't know about any abuse; that's just not
accurate to say those things -- that we know of it and didn't
report it. That's just not true."

The Urbana Republican also took issue with a statement from
Kathleen Trafford, a partner with the law firm Porter Wright
Morris & Arthur, that he had not responded to emails or phone
calls requesting an interview. The law firm was hired by OSU last
spring to probe allegations against Strauss, who killed himself
in 2005.

Jordan said his office searched for communications from the law
firm but couldn't find any. On July 4, in Fremont, he said he
would willingly answer questions.

Politico noted that two of the wrestlers making allegations
against Mr. Jordan, Mr. DiSabato and Dunyasha Yetts, have had
run-ins with the law or the university.

Mr. DiSabato, who sold OSU merchandise, lost a contract with the
university and has fought with it over his right to license the
Ohio State brand. Mr. Yetts served 18 months in prison after
pleading guilty to fraud charges in an investment scheme.

Mr. DiSabato told The Dispatch that Jordan is a "coward" for not
acknowledging that he knew about Strauss' mistreatment of
athletes.

Mr. Yetts told The New York Times that he informed Jordan
multiple times -- on road trips, in the sauna and after practices
-- about "the way Strauss performed physicals on us."

"Coach Jordan knew what was going on, 100 percent," Mr. Yetts
said. [GN]


OLDE NAPLES: Faces "Honeywell" Suit in M.D. Florida
---------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Olde Naples Grand
Hotel Inc. The case is styled as Cheri Honeywell, individually
and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Olde
Naples Grand Hotel Inc, a Florida corporation, Defendant, Case
No. 2:18-cv-00487-UA-MRM (M.D. Fla., July 12, 2018).

Olde Naples Grand Hotel Inc. is a 4-star hotel in Naples,
Florida.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Jessica Lynn Kerr, Esq.
   The Advocacy Group, LLC
   200 SE 6th St Ste 504
   Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-3424
   Tel: (954) 282-1858
   Fax: (844) 786-3694
   Email: jkerr@advocacypa.com


PACIFIC GAS: Faces Class Action Over Securities Violations
----------------------------------------------------------
Tom Gogola, writing for Pacific Sun, reports that a proposed
class action lawsuit brought by shareholders has been filed
against the Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation (PG&E) in federal
court.

Suits were filed by PG&E shareholders John Paul Moretti and David
C. Weston on June 12 in the United States District Court,
Northern District of California, alleging violations of federal
securities law by the utility. The law firms representing the
plaintiffs note in their court filings from early June that there
are potentially hundreds of thousands of shareholders in the
proposed class-action suit.

The two suits charge that between April 29, 2015, and June 8,
2018, PG&E executives engaged in what amounted to an ongoing
pattern of deceptive statements concerning the utility's
vegetation-removal policies. Those statements and the subsequent
wildfires that tore through California last year are the fulcrum
of the suit, as recent official investigations into last year's
wildfires have identified the culprit in a number of fires: PG&E
power lines coming into contact with tree limbs during a high-
wind event last October.

The class period dates back to April 29, 2015, because that's the
day, charge lawyers for the plaintiffs, that then-PG&E CEO
Christopher Johns, during a conference call with investors to
discuss the company's performance during first quarter of fiscal
year 2015, "assured investors of the company's commitment to step
up vegetation-management activities to mitigate wildfire risk."

Those assurances, the suit alleges, were made to shareholders for
the next several years leading up to the 2017 fires -- which, the
suit argues, make a compelling case that the utility had not
stepped up its efforts at managing vegetation.

Johns is named in the suit along with company vice presidents
Jason Wells, David Thomason and Dinyar Mistry; Geisha Williams,
the current CEO and president of the utility, is also named in
the suit.

The defendants, charges the suit, by reason of their position as
executive officers within the company, "possessed the power and
authority to control the contents of PG&E's quarterly reports,
press releases and presentations to securities analysts, money
and portfolio managers, and institutional investors."

The suit alleges that the executives "knew that the adverse facts
specified herein had not been disclosed to and were being
concealed from the public, and that the positive representations
being made were then materially false and misleading."

Along with the April 2015 reassurances about vegetation removal,
the suit charges that the company's media-relations department
maintains a website which "repeatedly touts the safety of its
network and the company's proactivity in fighting wildfire risk."

Those claims were also made in filings that the utility submitted
to the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2016 and 2017, which
stated that the utility had "upgraded several critical
substations and reconductored a number of transmission lines to
improve maintenance and system flexibility, reliability and
safety."

The events of October 2017 and subsequent inquiries by Cal Fire
into the cause of the fires has rendered those statements
"materially false and/or misleading" because they misrepresented
and failed to disclose to investors that the utility hadn't
maintained electrical lines under state law.

The suit alleges violations of two sections of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and seeks a jury trial to determine the
utility's culpability.

The plaintiffs in the current suit, Mr. Moretti and Mr. Weston,
both purchased shares in the investor-owned utility, the largest
in the state of California, only to see shares in PG&E stock
decline in value in the aftermath of the 2017 infernos that tore
through the North Bay.

Mr. Moretti purchased 280 shares of PG&E common stock between
Oct. 12 and Oct. 13, 2017. On Oct. 12, he purchased 95 shares at
$66.15 per share. By the next day, the shares were selling for
between $57 and $58 a share, and Mr. Moretti purchased 195
additional shares.

According to court records, Mr. Weston purchased 1,000 shares
just a few days before the fires broke out, on Sept. 27, 2017. He
paid $68.75 per share. Mr. Weston then sold 1,000 shares on Oct.
13 when they were trading at $57.96 per share. The plaintiffs are
being represented by law firms in New York, Beverly Hills and San
Francisco.

At the time of the fires, which scorched some 250,000 acres in
the Northern California, PG&E shares were trading at $69.15. By
Oct. 16, they'd dropped to $53.43 and would continue to slide
throughout 2018. By May of this year, shares were trading at
$42.34. On June 8, PG&E shares were trading at $41.45 per share.
Three days later, June 11, shares of PG&E common stock closed at
$39.76.

In December 2017, the company announced the suspension of a 2018
cash dividend for investors, and the utility said it would take a
$2.5 billion charge this year in order to deal with mounting
insurance and legal issues related to the fires that had driven
down its common-stock value. PG&E has not admitted to any
culpability in the fires.

In public statements and media interviews, the company has
repeatedly stressed that global warming has coaxed forth a "new
normal" in California wildfires, and that at the time of the
fires, it believed it was in compliance with its obligations to
state law.

As fire-related class action lawsuits mounted this year, and as
Cal Fire investigations started to conclude that power lines
coming into contact with tree limbs had been a predominant cause
of the wildfires, the utility hired heavyweight Sacramento
lobbying firm Platinum Advisors in May. The firm was founded by
Sonoma County developer Darius Anderson.

On June 8, Cal Fire reported that PG&E power lines coming into
contact with trees were the culprit in a dozen Northern
California fires in Mendocino, Humboldt, Butte, Sonoma, Lake and
Napa counties

The precipitous devaluation of the common stocks in PG&E, to the
plaintiffs, are a sign that executives at the utility "engaged in
a scheme to deceive the market and a course of conduct that
artificially inflated the company's stock price, and operated as
a fraud or deceit on acquirers of the company's common stock."

As of April of this year, the suit notes, PG&E had 516,427,502
shares of common stock, which are held by "thousands if not
millions of individuals located throughout the country and
possibly the world."

In a statement, the utility did not directly address the
substance of these latest, shareholder-led lawsuits as it
highlighted its commitment to its customers.

"Nothing is more important to us than the safety and well-being
of our customers and communities we serve," says Paul Doherty, a
San Francisco-based marketing and communications specialist with
the utility. "Our thoughts are with everyone impacted by these
devastating wildfires. We are aware that lawsuits have been
filed. We're focused on doing everything we can to help these
communities rebuild and recover." [GN]


PETROLEO BRASILEIRO: Makes $983MM Deposit Under Settlement Deal
---------------------------------------------------------------
Carolina Mandl, writing for Reuters, reports that Brazil's state-
run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA said on July 3 it made a
$983 million deposit as part of a deal to settle a class action
in the United States.

In a securities filing, Petrobras said this deposit is the second
one related to the class action. A third one, of $984 million, is
due on January 15, 2019. [GN]


PHELAN HALLINAN: Pa. Super. Affirms Demurrer in "Johnson"
---------------------------------------------------------
In the case, EDELLA JOHNSON (A/K/A EDELLA ROBINSON A/K/A EDELLA
ROBINSON JOHNSON), ERIC JOHNSON, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF
OTHER SIMILARLY SITUATED FORMER AND CURRENT HOMEOWNERS IN
PENNSYLVANIA. Appellants, v. PHELAN HALLINAN & SCHMIEG, LLP, Case
No. 359 WDA 2017 (Pa. Super.), Judge Mary Jane Bowes of the
Superior Court of Pennsylvania affirmed the trial court's Feb. 6,
2017 order sustaining the preliminary objections in the nature of
a demurrer filed by Phelan.

On May 23, 2002, the Johnsons executed a mortgage and associated
promissory note in the amount of $74,000.  The mortgage was
secured by property located at 636 Collins Avenue, Pittsburgh,
Allegheny County.  That instrument was duly delivered, recorded,
and subsequently assigned to the Bank of New York Mellon Trust
Co.

In December 2008, the Johnsons defaulted on the mortgage.  On
March 31, 2009, Mellon, through its counsel, Phelan, filed a
complaint in mortgage foreclosure. In the complaint, Mellon
asserted, inter alia, that the Johnsons owed $1,300 in attorney
fees.  After a non-jury trial, the trial court found in favor of
Mellon.  The Johnsons appealed that decision, and the Court
affirmed.

On March 23, 2012, while the foreclosure action was pending, the
Johnsons initiated the instant class action against Phelan.  In
their complaint, the Johnsons alleged, inter alia, that Phelan
violated section 406 of the Pennsylvania Loan Interest and
Protection Law ("Act 6"), by pursuing and obtaining an award in
the mortgage foreclosure action of attorney fees that were not
actually incurred.  They argued that the same harm had been
suffered by other former and current Pennsylvania homeowners
against whom Phelan had filed foreclosure complaints.  In
reliance on section 502 of Act 6, which provides remedies for
violations of section 406, the Johnsons claimed that they and
other similarly-situated mortgagors were entitled to treble
damages for excess attorney fees assessed by Phelan.

Phelan filed preliminary objections in the nature of a demurrer,
contending that section 406 applies solely to "residential
mortgage lenders," and not to their foreclosure counsel.  On May
2, 2012, the trial court sustained Phelan's preliminary
objections, and consolidated the matter for appeal with another
case raising similar issues, Glover v. Udren Law Offices, P.C.,
docketed in the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas at GD-11-
18015.

In the consolidated appeal, the Court affirmed the trial court's
order, and determined that a "residential mortgage debtor" can
only maintain a cause of action for a violation of section 406
against a "residential mortgage lender," and not against their
foreclosure counsel.  Subsequently, the Pennsylvania Supreme
Court reversed, holding that foreclosure counsel constituted a
"person" for purposes of section 502, and, thus, a borrower may
recover under Section 502 from any entity that collects excessive
attorney's fees in connection with a foreclosure.  However, the
High Court offered no opinion regarding the term "collected," as
used in section 502, and remanded the matter for further
proceedings.

On remand, Phelan again filed preliminary objections in the
nature of a demurrer.  However, for the first time, it asserted
that the Johnsons were barred from pursuing relief under Act 6
because their $74,000 mortgage did not qualify as a "residential
mortgage" under section 101 of the Act, as their mortgage
exceeded the $50,000 statutory limit in effect at the time it was
executed in 2002.  The Johnsons maintained that the court should
apply the version of section 101 in effect in 2009, at the time
the foreclosure action was commenced, which raised the limit for
a "residential mortgage from $50,000 to $217,873.

On Feb. 6, 2017, the trial court sustained Phelan's preliminary
objections on the basis that the version of section 101 in effect
at the time the mortgage was executed was controlling, and the
Johnsons were precluded from bringing an action against Phelan
under Act 6 because their mortgage was not a "residential
mortgage" under the Act.  In so finding, the trial court
determined that, when the legislature amended section 101 in
2008, it did not manifest an intent that the amendment apply
retroactively.

The Johnsons filed a timely notice of appeal.  The trial court
did not order the Johnsons to file a Rule 1925(b) concise
statement of errors complained of on appeal.  However, the court
authored a Rule 1925(a) opinion relying on the reasoning it
employed in its Feb. 6, 2017 opinion and order.

The Johnsons raise five questions for the Court's consideration:

     1. Whether the prior decisions of the Pennsylvania appellate
courts, and the Pennsylvania agencies that were delegated by the
Legislature to regulate Act 6, as amended in 2008, erroneously
interpreted the statutory language of new Act 6.

     2. Whether the lower court erred when it concluded that a
district court decision discussing considerably different issues
under Act 6 enacted in 1974, as amended, with respect to quite
different loan transactions, constitutes error as a matter of
law.

     3. Whether the lower court erred in holding that the general
rule that contracts cannot be regulated applies to the contracts
of highly regulated banks engaged in mortgage financing.

     4. Whether the lower court erred in holding that the general
rule that the attorney fee terms of a contract cannot be
regulated although the Pennsylvania Supreme Court held that,
because an attorney has no vested rights in the attorney fee
terms, they can be regulated.

     5. Whether the lower court erred when it failed to follow
Supreme Court's earlier mandate and remand in Glover v. Udren Law
Offices, P.C.

Judge Bowes concludes that the Johnsons' mortgage is not a
residential mortgage protected by Act 6.  The mortgage simply did
not meet section 101's definition of a "residential mortgage"
because the principal amount exceeded the $50,000 limit for
residential mortgages in place at the time the transaction was
consummated in 2002.  The 2008 amendment to Act 6 cannot be
retroactively applied to their 2002 mortgage.  Since the
Johnson's mortgage is not a "residential mortgage" under the Act,
they are without a predicate violation of Act 6 for which they
can recover under section 502.

She therefore holds that the trial court did not err in
sustaining Phelan's preliminary objections in the nature of a
demurrer on the basis that the Johnsons were precluded from
bringing an action under the Act.

Accordingly, she affirmed the Order.

A full-text copy of the Court's June 1, 2018 Opinion is available
at https://is.gd/rvjlvj from Leagle.com.

Michael P. Malakoff, for Appellants, Eric Johnson and EdElla
Johnson.

Jonathan J. Bart -- jbart@wilentz.com -- Wilentz, Goldman &
Spitzer, P.A., for Appellee, Phelan Hallinan & Schmieg LLP.


PURDUE PHARMA: Halts Marketing of Opioids in Canada Amid Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Karen Howlett and Stephanie Chambers, writing for The Globe and
Mail, report that the pharmaceutical giant whose pain pill
triggered an overdose epidemic that has devastated communities
across North America has stopped marketing its opioids in Canada.

Purdue Pharma announced the change in response to the federal
government calling on drug companies to suspend all marketing and
advertising activities associated with opioids. The move comes
more than four months after Purdue's Stamford, Conn.-based parent
company stopped promoting prescription painkillers in the United
States.

David Pidduck, chief executive officer of Purdue's Canadian
operation, says in a letter dated June 27 to Health Minister
Ginette Petitpas Taylor that the company ceased "all promotional
and advertising activities relating to our prescription opioids"
as of June 20.

Any requests from physicians about Purdue's opioid products will
be handled "reactively" through direct communication with health-
care staff in the medical-affairs department, Mr. Pidduck says in
his letter, which is posted on the company's website.

"While we have taken this action, we remain steadfast in our
belief that Canadian prescribers require the most recent
information . . . to ensure that patients are treated
appropriately," the letter says.

Ms. Petitpas Taylor has asked drug makers to voluntarily suspend
their promotional activities relating to opioids while Health
Canada develops policies aimed at restricting the marketing and
advertising of the drugs. Health Canada plans to introduce
proposed regulations in early 2019.

Purdue is one of five drug companies that have stopped marketing
opioids since receiving the minister's letter with the request,
Mathieu Filion, her director of communications, said in an e-mail
response on July 4. He did not identify the other companies.

Ms. Petitpas Taylor sent the letter on June 19, the same day the
federal government released new figures showing that opioid-
related overdoses claimed the lives of nearly 4,000 Canadians in
2017, up 34 per cent from the previous year. Overprescribing is
behind the opioid crisis, which has worsened in recent years with
the arrival of illicit fentanyl, leading to a sharp spike in
overdose deaths.

Canada's opioid epidemic traces its roots to 1996, with the
introduction of OxyContin, a prescription painkiller made by
Purdue. Until then, opioids had been used primarily for terminal
cancer patients. But Health Canada approved OxyContin to relieve
pain that was moderate to severe and Purdue marketed the drug as
safer and less addictive than other opioids.

OxyContin became the top-selling long-acting opioid in Canada for
more than a decade. At the same time, reports of addiction and
overdose due to the drug mounted -- both among those who had been
prescribed the painkiller, and those who used diverted pills
illicitly.

Purdue pulled OxyContin from the market in 2012, shortly before
the patent was to expire. A host of other, stronger drugs filled
the void, including illicit fentanyl, which began appearing on
the streets in Canada in 2012.

Purdue has acknowledged in the United States that its marketing
of OxyContin was misleading and paid $634.5-million (U.S.) in
2007 to settle criminal and civil charges. The company stopped
marketing opioids to physicians in the United States in February
amid mounting lawsuits from states and American municipalities
accusing it of deceptive marketing.

However, Purdue's Canadian operation has not made a similar
admission of wrongdoing. A proposed national class-action
settlement remains on hold after a Saskatchewan judge rejected it
in March, saying the $20-million in compensation that Purdue has
agreed to pay is neither fair nor reasonable for the people who
became addicted to the drug after their doctors prescribed it.

Purdue is seeking leave to appeal the judgment. Lawyers for
Purdue argue in their draft notice of appeal that judges in three
other provinces -- Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia -- approved
the proposed settlement last year.

The settlement cannot go ahead unless it is approved in all four
provinces. A hearing is scheduled for Aug. 22 in the Court of
Appeal for Saskatchewan. [GN]


QUALITY CARE: Faces Two Class Actions Over Welltower Merger
-----------------------------------------------------------
McKnight's Senior Living reports that a potential rival to real
estate investment trust Welltower's plans to merge with Quality
Care Properties has withdrawn its acquisition proposal and no
longer is considering a transaction with the company.

QCP made the disclosure on July 2 in a filing with the Securities
and Exchange Commission in which it also revealed two class
action lawsuits related to the proposed Welltower merger.

The unnamed company that was considering making an offer, which
was referred to in the SEC filing as "Financial Sponsor B,"
informed QCP on July 1 that it no longer was interested, QCP
said. QCP had said June 21 that it believed Financial Sponsor B
was continuing to conduct due diligence in anticipation of
possibly making a merger bid; that bid never came.

QCP had revealed the potential new interest in a June 12 SEC
filing, noting that it "could reasonably be expected to lead to a
'superior offer'" to the one announced in April with Welltower.
The board continued to recommend that shareholders vote to
approve the merger with Welltower, however.

In the Welltower deal, the REIT would acquire the assets of QCP
for $20.75 per share while nonprofit health system ProMedica
simultaneously would acquire QCP tenant HCR ManorCare, including
assisted living and memory care communities as well as skilled
nursing facilities, for approximately $1.35 billion. ManorCare
would become a wholly owned indirect subsidiary of QCP.

A new 80/20 joint venture between Welltower and ProMedica would
lease ManorCare's real estate to ProMedica for 15 years.
ProMerica also would acquire ManorCare's operations.

Two class action lawsuits

Financial Sponsor B's withdrawal comes less than a month from the
July 25 special meeting at which QCP shareholders are expected to
vote on the Welltower merger. The company's board already has
approved the deal. Two apparent shareholders, however, have filed
class action lawsuits to try to delay or prevent it, QCP said on
July 2.

"The defendants believe these actions are without merit," the
company said in the SEC filing.

Todd Sanderson and Michael Kent -- each of whom "alleges he is a
stockholder," QCP said -- filed the civil actions June 25 and
June 27, respectively, in U.S. District Court for the District of
Maryland. They claim that QCP and its directors violated the
Exchange Act because some public disclosures contained in a June
21 proxy statement related to the merger allegedly are "false and
misleading," the company wrote.

Mr. Sanderson's lawsuit claims that the proxy statement is
missing financial projections for the company as well as some
information regarding the sale process leading up to the merger
agreement. "It appears that that the merger consideration fails
to adequately compensate the company's shareholders in exchange
for the assets on the company's balance sheet," the complaint
states.

Mr. Sanderson also said that the proxy statement "fails to
provide any substantive information" about Financial Sponsor B
and its acquisition proposal.

Shareholders need more information to be able to vote, he said.

Mr. Kent's lawsuit makes similar claims to those made by
Mr. Sanderson and also said it was unclear whether QCP financial
adviser Lazard Freres & Co. LLC has a conflict of interest
related to the merger. Goldman, Sachs & Co. LLC also advised QCP.

"The proxy statement fails to disclose whether Lazard has
provided services to Welltower or its affiliates in the past, as
well as the amount of compensation received for such services,"
Kent's complaint states. "Full disclosure of investment banker
compensation and all potential conflicts is required due to the
central role played by investment banks in the evaluation,
exploration, selection, and implementation of strategic
alternatives."

The two plaintiffs are represented by different law firms.

They said they are suing on behalf of all of the company's
shareholders except for the defendants in their lawsuits and
people related or affiliated with them, according to QCP. Both
lawsuits name QCP and board members Mark Ordan (also CEO), Glenn
Cohen Jerry Doctrow, Paul Klaassen, Philip Schimmel, Kathleen
Smalley and Donald Wood.

Mr. Sanderson, the company said, is seeking an injunction that
would prevent the company from proceeding with the July 25
special meeting at which the merger vote is expected to take
place and also would prevent QCP from finalizing the merger until
additional public disclosures are made. Mr. Sanderson also is
requesting unspecified financial damages and payment for expenses
related to the litigation.

Mr. Kent, according to QCP, is seeking an injunction that would
prevent the company from consummating the merger, rescission of
the merger, an award of damages in an unspecified amount if the
merger is consummated, direction to disseminate a proxy statement
with revised disclosure, declaration that the defendants violated
various sections of the Exchange Act, and a monetary award to
cover litigation expenses of an unspecified amount. [GN]


RETAIL FOOD: Franchisees' Mooted Class Action Dropped
-----------------------------------------------------
Cara Waters and Mathew Dunckley, writing for The Sydney Morning
Herald, report that a mooted class action against beleaguered
franchise chain Retail Food Group has been dropped after
Bannister Law, the law firm representing the franchisees, said it
was unable to fund the case.

Retail Food Group controls major brands such as Gloria Jeans,
Crust Pizza, Brumbies Bakeries and Donut King.

In a letter to applicants, Charles Bannister --
charles@bannisterlaw.com.au -- of Bannister Law, said the law
firm had been continuing its investigations into a potential
class action against Retail Food Group.

The investigation had looked at the disclosure provided to
franchisees when they purchased a franchise, any representations
made to franchisees, the operation of affairs under the franchise
agreement, and any potential breaches in the franchise conduct of
conduct, the Australia Consumer Law and the Corporations Law.

Bannister Law engaged franchisees and consultancy and research
group Franchise Redress to provide assistance on the class action
but the partnership is no longer continuing.

Michael Fraser of Franchise Redress said on a number of occasions
Retail Food Group franchisees told him they attempted to make
contact with Bannister Law.

"Franchise Redress has begun exploring other options for the
hundreds of franchisees impacted by the practices of Retail Food
Group in the hopes that they can be compensated and begin
rebuilding their lives," Mr Fraser said.

A spokesperson for Retail Food Group declined to comment.
Bannister law was contacted for comment. [GN]


REV GROUP: Glancy Prongay & Murray Files Securities Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------------
Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP ("GPM") on July 3 disclosed that it
has filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District
Court for the Central District of California on behalf of persons
and entities that acquired REV Group, Inc. ("REV" or the
"Company") (NYSE: REVG) securities: (1) pursuant and/or traceable
to the Company's registration statement and prospectus issued in
connection with the Company's initial public offering on or about
January 27, 2017; or (2) between January 27, 2017 and June 7,
2018, inclusive (the "Class Period"). The claims are asserted
under Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933, and
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

Investors are hereby notified that they have until August 7, 2018
to move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff in this action.

Investors that suffered losses on their REV investments are
encouraged to contact Lesley Portnoy of GPM to discuss their
legal rights at 310-201-9150 or by email to
shareholders@glancylaw.com, or visit the REV case page on our
website at www.glancylaw.com/case/rev-group-inc.

The complaint filed in this class action alleges that throughout
the Class Period and/or in the Company's offering documents,
Defendants made materially false and/or misleading statements, as
well as failed to disclose material adverse facts about the
Company's business, operations, and prospects. Specifically,
Defendants failed to disclose: (1) that the Company was
experiencing cost inflation across many of the commodities and
services it bought; (2) that the Company was experiencing
difficulty obtaining the chassis necessary for production; (3)
that the Company's margins were being negatively impacted by a
lower sales of high margin products, including custom fire
apparatus, large commercial buses, and Class A RVs; (4) that the
Company did not have "strong visibility into future net sales" to
"effectively plan" and manage its backlog of vehicles; (5) that
the Company's manufacturing operations were not operating
efficiently or at a low cost to satisfy customer demand; and (6)
that, as a result of the foregoing, Defendants' statements about
REV's business, operations, and prospects, were materially false
and/or misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis.

If you purchased REV securities in the IPO or during the Class
Period, you may move the Court no later than August 7, 2018 to
ask the Court to appoint you as lead plaintiff. To be a member of
the Class you need not take any action at this time; you may
retain counsel of your choice or take no action and remain an
absent member of the Class. If you wish to learn more about this
action, or if you have any questions concerning this announcement
or your rights or interests with respect to these matters, please
contact Lesley Portnoy, Esquire, of GPM, 1925 Century Park East,
Suite 2100, Los Angeles California 90067 at 310-201-9150, Toll-
Free at 888-773-9224, by email to shareholders@glancylaw.com, or
visit our website at www.glancylaw.com. If you inquire by email
please include your mailing address, telephone number and number
of shares purchased. [GN]


RICH BOYS TOYS: Faces "Winston" Suit in California Super. Ct.
-------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Rich Boys Toys Inc.
The case is styled as Christie Winston, on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Rich Boys Toys Inc, Feras
Abughaban and Does 1-20, Defendants, Case No. 34-2018-00236820-
CU-OE-GDS (Cal. Super. Ct., July 12, 2018).

RBT has established a global network of elite vendors. They
provide their clients with access to the most exclusive, elegant,
and luxurious products on earth, in addition to organizing
extraordinary travel and leisure packages.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Ronald W Makarem, Esq.
   Makarem & Associates
   11601 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 2440
   Los Angeles, CA 90025
   Tel: 800-610-9646
   Fax: 310-312-0296


RIPPLE LABS: Faces Class Action Over Securities Law Violations
--------------------------------------------------------------
John Moore, writing for Crypto News Review, reports that Ripple
(the company), creators of Ripple (the cryptocurrency) has been
served with a class action lawsuit alleging securities law
violations

Ripple Labs Inc., is now facing three legal actions in the US
alleging that it broke securities law. The latest, filed in
California on June 27th, is being bought by an XRP (the
cryptocurrency Ripple Labs created, but now maintains is
independent of it) investor who believes that it has profited
from the confusing relationship between the two allegedly
separate entities -- and that it has used the massive cache of
XRP that it holds to profit from price increases as part of a
'never-ending ICO'.

Ripple (the cryptocurrency) is not mined, as is the case with
competitors Bitcoin, Ethereum, and EOS. Instead, it operates a
centralised distribution model with Ripple (the company) holding
and regulating the supply of the pre-mined XRP tokens. It's this
controversial part of the Ripple Labs business model that the
suit focuses on, claiming that this XRP stash is being sold off
to fund the company -- with $100 million+ of XRP revenue being
generated by it in the last quarter of 2017, which according to
reports, "dwarfed any other source of revenue at Ripple".

While recent comments by the SEC have established its stance that
Bitcoin and Ethereum are sufficiently decentralised in their
operation to pass the so-called Howey Test -- the legal precedent
in the US that establishes whether something should be defined as
a security -- the XRP/Ripple Labs relationship could yet fall
foul of the three major criteria it outlines. These are that a
security is an investment of assets in a common enterprise, made
with the expectation of profit that will be the result of efforts
by a third party.

Were XRP to be classified as such, Ripple Labs Inc. would
essentially have been illegally selling shares the whole time. It
has also allowed -- the suit claims -- confusion regarding the
relationship between its inter-bank payments technology and the
cryptocurrency (when there really isn't a relationship at all),
and an artificial scarcity of supply, to inflate it price

Ripple (the company) is apparently bringing in some heavy hitting
legal power to defend it, appointing Mary Jo White -- a former
Securities and Exchange Commission -- to head up its legal team.
It can't really afford for them to fail, lest it be forced to
refund investors in XRP and/or see its management team up on
criminal rather than civil charges. [GN]


ROCKPORT, MA: Reaches Settlement with Property Leaseholders
-----------------------------------------------------------
Ray Lamont, writing for Gloucester Times, reports that the town
of Rockport and 83 leaseholders on properties at Long Beach have
reached a settlement agreement resolving a pair of lawsuits that
have centered on allowing public access through the properties to
the beach and rental rate hikes that date to 2013.

The agreement, announced on July 3 by the town, effectively ends
one lawsuit brought by Long Beach resident Stephen Sheehan, who
initially sought to file a class action suit on behalf of all 154
Long Beach tenants, and another filed by 82 leaseholders once
Sheehan's class-action bid was denied by a Superior Court judge.

Under the settlement, the town is not required to pay the tenants
any damages, but agrees to cap any rent increases at 4 percent
once the current 10-year leases expire in 2023 if the town wants
to continue to lease the properties.

The agreement also gives tenants a right of first refusal to
match any offer of the town, at some point, seeks to sell the
properties.

The agreement requires leaseholders to allow members of the
public to cross the leased properties to reach the beach between
Dec. 2 through March 31. A court injunction in the tangled case
had, until now, denied members of the public any access through
the properties year-round. [GN]


ROYAL WINNIPEG: Ontario Court Allows Class Action to Proceed
------------------------------------------------------------
Cameron Poitras, writing for Global News, reports that a lawsuit
is moving forward as a class proceeding in the Ontario Superior
Court against the Royal Winnipeg Ballet over photos taken by
Bruce Monk.

Mr. Monk is alleged to have taken nude photos of teen students
from the 1980s to 2013 while working at the RWB as an instructor
and photographer.

He was fired in 2015 after police confirmed they were
investigating a series of complaints.

Mr. Monk has adamantly denied the allegations, none of which have
been proven in court.

No charges were ever filed.

Lawyer Margaret Waddell has taken on the case and said that she
doesn't know the exact dollar figure that will emerge or how many
people will be a part of the class action lawsuit.

"We'll probably have a better sense of that once the notice goes
out," Ms. Waddell said. "We've had a number of people contact us
and had identified 55 people at the time of certification, but
since the notice came, we've had another six come forward. We
expect them to keep rolling in."

Sarah Doucet, a former student of Mr. Monk's, launched the class
action lawsuit after alleging Mr. Monk took topless photos of her
without her consent when she was 16 or 17.

"Now the action will be going ahead on behalf of all the students
that were at the school between 1984 and 2015, the time when Mr.
Monk was employed by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet."

The Royal Winnipeg Ballet sent this statement to Global News
regarding the latest news in this story.

"We cannot comment on the specific details of the legal process
or June 27th's procedural motion.

Our primary focus is the safety, security and well-being of every
student entrusted to our care; It is a responsibility that we
take very seriously, and we assess and evaluate our processes and
procedures on an ongoing basis.

We can share with you that our Child Protection Policies and
Procedures Manual was developed in keeping with guidelines from
the Canadian Centre for Child Protection. All staff working with
our students are trained on our policy and supporting
procedures." [GN]


SAGE TELECOM: Ill. App. Affirms "Grimes" Dismissal
--------------------------------------------------
Judge Shelvin L.M. Hall of the Appellate Court of Illinois for
the First District, Fifth Division, affirmed the dismissal of the
case, MAURICE H. GRIMES, on Behalf of Himself and All Persons
Similarly Situated, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. SAGE TELECOM
COMMUNICATIONS, LLC, Defendant-Appellee, Case No. 1-17-1455 (Ill.
App.).

Grimes, on behalf of himself and all persons similarly situated,
brought a class action suit against the Defendant on Nov. 10,
2016, seeking damages for breach of contract between the
Defendant and the Plaintiff and other consumers.  The complaint
alleged that the Defendant provided telephone service to him for
which he paid a monthly charge of $53.84, in advance.  Due to a
service interruption between Aug. 28, and Sept. 10, 2015, the
Plaintiff, along with other customers of the Defendant, was
without telephone service, depriving him of the ability to
conduct business and personal matters over the telephone.

In a hand-delivered letter dated Jan. 19, 2017, the Defendant
offered to resolve the dispute and enclosed a cashier's check in
the amount of $100 payable to the Plaintiff.  It requested that
on or before Jan. 20, 2017, the Plaintiff notify the Defendant
that he was dismissing the complaint with prejudice.  Otherwise,
it would file a section 2-619 motion to dismiss the complaint.

On Jan. 20, 2017, the Defendant filed its appearance and a motion
to dismiss.  In the motion, it alleged that the tendered amount
of $100 covered the full monthly payment of $53.84 plus interest.
It further alleged that the Plaintiff had agreed to the extension
of time and had not filed a motion to certify the class.
Finally, the Defendant pointed out that Illinois courts have held
that a voluntary acceptance of the tender by a plaintiff was not
required.

On Feb. 6, 2017, the Plaintiff filed a motion for certification
of the class.  He also filed a memorandum of law in response to
the motion to dismiss.  In the memorandum, the Plaintiff argued
that the Defendant's tender of $100 did not constitute complete
relief in that it did not include the cost he incurred in filing
the complaint and the service of process fee.  He alleged that
the Defendant was not acting in good faith when it requested the
extension of time to respond to the complaint but never mentioned
the possibility of a settlement.

In its reply, the Defendant pointed out that the Plaintiff's
actual damages for the two-week loss of service was $26.92, and
with prejudgment interest at 5%, the total amount was $28.94.
Therefore, its $100 tender was in excess of the full amount of
the plaintiff's damages.  The Defendant maintained that the
plaintiff was not required to wait until after the defendant
appeared to file his motion to certify the class.  On March 29,
2017, the circuit court ordered the parties to file supplemental
memoranda addressing the costs issue.

On May 3, 2017, after considering the briefs and arguments, the
circuit court granted the Defendant's motion.  In its order, it
noted that, generally, a class action complaint is moot where the
putative class representative's claims are resolved prior to the
filing of a motion for class certification.

The Plaintiff filed a timely notice of appeal from the circuit
court's May 3, 2017, order dismissing the complaint with
prejudice.  He contends that the circuit court erred in
dismissing his complaint.  The Plaintiff requests that the Court
determine that to be effective, statutory costs -- whether
specifically requested or not -- must be included in the tender
of relief.  He further requests that the Court revisits cases
holding that a class action is moot if a tender of relief is made
before the he files a motion for certification of the class.

Judge Hall finds that the Plaintiff was not entitled to the
inclusion of costs in the Defendant's tender to afford him the
complete relief he sought in his complaint.  He also finds that
nothing prevented the Plaintiff from filing his motion to certify
the class at any time at the time of or after filing the class
action complaint.  He was not required to wait until the
Defendant filed an appearance.  Any need for additional discovery
or further development of the facts to support the motion for
class certification is left to the discretion of the trial court.
Finally, he observes that it was the Plaintiff who chose to
pursue his claim against the Defendant in a class action suit
rather than as an individual.

For all these reasons, Judge Hall concludes that the Defendant's
tender mooted the Plaintiff's class action, and the dismissal of
the complaint was proper.  He affirmed the judgment of the
circuit court dismissing the complaint with prejudice.

A full-text copy of the Court's June 1, 2018 Opinion is available
at https://is.gd/76u2iv from Leagle.com.


SALON MANAGEMENT: Faces "Boyack" Suit in C.D. California
--------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Salon Management
Corporation. The case is styled as Lauren Boyack, individually
and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v.
Salon Management Corporation, Regis Corporation and Regis Corp.
which will do business in California as Minnesota Regis Corp.,
Defendants, Case No. 8:18-cv-01233 (C.D. Cal., July 12, 2018).

Regis Corporation is an American operator of hair salons, and the
largest such chain in the world, with over 10,000 salons. It has
its headquarters in Edina, Minnesota.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears PRO SE.


SANTANDER CONSUMER: Can Compel Non-Class Arbitration in "Graham"
----------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, Troy Graham, v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc., Civil
Action No. CCB-17-3148 (D. Md.), Judge Catherine C. Blake of the
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland (i) granted
Santander's motion to compel non-class arbitration and to seal
several filings; and (ii) denied Graham's motion to strike and
his motion under Fed. R. Evid. 106.

The dispute arises from two financing agreements used by Graham
to purchase a 2008 Dodge Avenger -- a Buyer's Order and a Retail
Installment Sales Contract ("RISC") -- from Darcars of Auth Way
Inc.  After Darcars assigned these agreements to Santander,
Graham defaulted on his monthly payments in breach of the RISC,
prompting Santander to repossess the Dodge Avenger in November
2013.  Three years later, Santander assigned its rights to any
monetary claim on Graham's debt to NCB Management services.

On Sept. 22, 2017, Graham filed a class-action complaint in
Maryland state court alleging that Santander violated the
Maryland Credit Grantor Closed End Credit Provisions.  The
complaint alleged that four classes of consumers have been harmed
by Santander: (1) those charged a convenience fee; (2) those who
had their vehicles repossessed and were charged a storage fee to
redeem personal property; (3) those who had their vehicles
repossessed and were required to pay a different fee to redeem
personal property; and (4) those who had their vehicles
repossessed and did not receive a timely redemption notice.

Santander removed the case to federal court in October 2017.
Since then, Santander moved to compel non-class arbitration under
the Buyer's Order and RISC, and to seal several filings; and
Graham filed a motion to strike a portion of Santander's reply to
Graham's opposition to the motion to compel, and filed a motion
to compel Santander to provide additional evidence.

Judge Blake finds that Santander may enforce the arbitration
agreement.  An assignment grants the assignee the same rights as
the original party to the contract, the arbitration agreement
remains actionable on assignment, except as to monetary claims,
and Santander did not assign away its rights to arbitration.
Santander's motion to compel arbitration will be granted.

Graham argues that Santander's submission is misleading because a
missing portion may state that, in addition to its monetary claim
on Graham's debt, Santander assigned to NCB the right to take
action related to the purchased debt in any manner which
Santander has had or was entitled to exercise as the owner of
certain Financial Assets.  But this language does not add
anything new.  Rather it affirms what Santander has said all
along: it assigned all of its rights to take action on its
monetary claim on Graham's debt to NCB.  And as stated, an
assignee to a contract right holds that right in exactly the same
manner as its previous owner.  Thus, if the alleged missing
material does anything, it merely reaffirms the effect of the
assignment -- NCB could do with Graham's purchased debt all that
Santander previously could -- without once suggesting that
Santander assigned away its rights to arbitrate this dispute.  As
a result, Santander has not shown that fairness requires
compelling Santander to submit the remaining pages of the Forward
Flow Financial Assets Sale Agreement, and the motion will be
denied.

The Judge finds that Santander has not provided reason for the
court to close its filings to the public.  In each of its
motions, Santander hangs its arguments to seal on the
confidentiality of the business records attached to, and relied
on by, the relevant filings.  But Santander has not provided any
reason why redacted versions of the documents would not just as
well satisfy its effort to protect sensitive business
information.  Indeed, it has even offered redaction as a suitable
alternative to sealing the filings.  Thus, Santander will be
granted leave to file redacted versions of the documents it has
moved to seal.

For the reasons stated, Judge Blake granted in part and denied in
part Santander's motions.  Its motion to compel arbitration is
granted because a binding arbitration agreement exists between
the parties, but its motions to seal are denied because Santander
has not shown that redaction would not just as well serve its
needs.  The Judge denied Graham's motions as he has not shown
that he has been prejudiced by any new arguments raised in
Santander's reply nor has he shown that compelling the
introduction of additional evidence is necessary to avoid
unfairness.  A separate order follows.

A full-text copy of the Court's June 1, 2018 Memorandum is
available at https://is.gd/XPt9cd from Leagle.com.

Troy Graham, Plaintiff, represented by Cory L. Zajdel, Z Law LLC.

Santander Consumer USA, Inc., Defendant, represented by Andrew
Lynch Cole -- andrew.cole@leclairryan.com -- LeClairRyan & Robert
John Brener -- robert.brener@leclairryan.com -- LeClairRyan, pro
hac vice.


SCI CALIFORNIA: Faces "Delacruz" Suit in California Super. Ct.
--------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against SCI California
Funeral Services Inc. The case is styled as Rosalinda Delacruz,
on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. SCI
California Funeral Services Inc, SCI Shared Resources LLC and
Does 1-10, Defendants, Case No. 34-2018-00236794-CU-FR-GDS (Cal.
Super. Ct., July 12, 2018).

SCI California Funeral Services Inc. is a provider of funeral
goods and services as well as cemetery property and services.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Annick Marie Persinger, Esq.
   Tycko & Zavareei, LLP
   483 9th St Ste 200
   Oakland, CA 94607
   Tel: (510) 254-6808


SEAWORLD: Settles Annual Pass Holders' Class Action for $11.5MM
---------------------------------------------------------------
WFTV9 reports that SeaWorld will settle a class-action lawsuit
with annual pass holders for a proposed $11.5 million.

An Orange County man and three others sued the company, claiming
it automatically renewed their annual passes without their
permission.

SeaWorld did not admit to wrongdoing, but agreed to settle the
suit, which still needs final approval of a judge.

Florida residents who bought an annual pass between December 2008
and December 2014 could be eligible for the settlement.

It's estimated that more than 131,000 customers could be eligible
for the settlement if it's approved by the court.

Checks will be mailed within 40 days of the final settlement
date. [GN]


SH FRANCHISING: Faces "Burbon" Suit in S.D. New York
----------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against SH Franchising,
LLC. The case is styled as Luc Burbon, on behalf of herself and
all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. SH Franchising, LLC
doing business as: Senior Helpers, Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-
06337 (S.D. N.Y., July 12, 2018).

SH Franchising, LLC, an in-home senior care company, connects
professional caregivers with seniors who wish to live at home as
opposed to a nursing or assisted living facility in the United
States and Canada. It has a network of franchises that offer
personal and companion care services to assist seniors living
independently. The company offers companion care, Alzheimer's and
dementia care, housekeeping, and personal care services; and care
management and evaluation, wellness watch, nurse visits, surgery
assistance and sitter, and veteran services. SH Franchising, LLC
was founded in 2001 and is based in Timonium, Maryland.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Joseph H Mizrahi, Esq.
   Cohen & Mizrahi LLP
   300 Cadman Plaza West, 12th Floor
   Brooklyn, NY 11201
   Tel: (917) 299-6612
   Fax: (929) 575-4195
   Email: joseph@cml.legal


SIBANYE GOLD: Rosen Law Firm Files Securities Class Action
----------------------------------------------------------
Rosen Law Firm, a global investor rights law firm, on July 3
disclosed that it has filed a class action lawsuit on behalf of
purchasers of the securities of Sibanye Gold Limited (NYSE: SBGL)
from April 7, 2017 through June 26, 2018 (the "Class Period").
The lawsuit seeks to recover damages for Sibanye investors under
the federal securities laws.

To join the Sibanye class action, go to
http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases-1369.htmlor call Phillip Kim,
Esq. or Zachary Halper, Esq. toll-free at 866-767-3653 or email
pkim@rosenlegal.com or zhalper@rosenlegal.com for information on
the class action.

NO CLASS HAS YET BEEN CERTIFIED IN THE ABOVE ACTION. UNTIL A
CLASS IS CERTIFIED, YOU ARE NOT REPRESENTED BY COUNSEL UNLESS YOU
RETAIN ONE. YOU MAY ALSO REMAIN AN ABSENT CLASS MEMBER AND DO
NOTHING AT THIS POINT. YOU MAY RETAIN COUNSEL OF YOUR CHOICE.

According to the lawsuit, defendants made false and/or misleading
statements and/or failed to disclose that: (1) Sibanye's culture
places short-term profits over safety; (2) consequently, almost
half of South Africa's 2018 mining fatalities occurred in Sibanye
mines; and (3) as a result, defendants' statements about the
company's business, operations, and prospects were materially
false and misleading and/or lacked a reasonable basis at all
relevant times. When the true details entered the market, the
lawsuit claims that investors suffered damages.

A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to
serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no later than
August 27, 2018. A lead plaintiff is a representative party
acting on behalf of other class members in directing the
litigation. If you wish to join the litigation, go to
http://www.rosenlegal.com/cases-1369.htmlor to discuss your
rights or interests regarding this class action, please contact
Phillip Kim or Zachary Halper of Rosen Law Firm toll free at 866-
767-3653 or via email at pkim@rosenlegal.com or
zhalper@rosenlegal.com.

Rosen Law Firm represents investors throughout the globe,
concentrating its practice in securities class actions and
shareholder derivative litigation. [GN]


SMITHFIELD: Vows to Appeal Hog Farm Class Action Ruling
-------------------------------------------------------
Christine Haughney, Liz Crampton and Caitlin Emma, writing for
Politico report that Smithfield had hoped this would be a case it
could win -- it was the one that it selected as part of a class-
action involving hundreds of plaintiffs.

But on June 29, a federal jury in North Carolina decided to award
$25 million in damages to a couple complaining of miserable
living conditions near a hog farm. It's another blow to
Smithfield, the company that contracts with hog farms across the
state, Pro Ag's Liz Crampton reports.

Second time around: In April, a jury unanimously decided to award
North Carolina plaintiffs millions in a nuisance lawsuit against
Murphy-Brown, a subsidiary of Smithfield.

That verdict was the first trial in a series of cases in North
Carolina filed against the company. About 500 people who live
near Smithfield-contracted farms in the eastern part of the state
complain that living in proximity to industrial-scale hog farms
has ruined their quality of life, forcing them to cope with foul
smells, swarms of flies and buzzards.

Money may not be the biggest thing: As Liz reported previously,
those suing are unlikely to see much of the millions of dollars
mentioned in headlines. The total amount of the verdict will
likely be reduced under a state law capping how much plaintiffs
can be awarded in punitive damages. For example, the first trial
resulted in a more than $50 million verdict that was reduced to
$2.5 million per the cap.

What it means: The juries' decisions indicate that plaintiffs
have made a strong argument against Smithfield, the world's
largest pork producer, as the company prepares to litigate more
trials in the class-action lawsuit throughout the year.
Smithfield has vowed to appeal the latest decision. It also gives
a range of damages that could result from any potential
settlements. [GN]


SOUTH CAROLINA: Faces Class Action Over Foster Care System
----------------------------------------------------------
Anne Emerson, writing for WCIV, reports that leadership at the
state level for the Department of Social Services just shifted
with Susan Alford retiring.

A new federal law and a lingering lawsuit shines a light on a
vulnerable state child welfare system.

What does that mean for the 4,700 children who are in state
custody now?

"There will be a revolution to the child welfare system
throughout the country," says Debbie Mckelvey, executive director
for Windwood Farm Home for Children and Family Services in
Awendaw.

Any revolution will directly impact the work that Ms. Mckelvey
does.

She oversees a sprawling 33-year-old group foster home campus.
Twenty-five children currently live at Windwood and 12 are part
of the group home program.

"Unfortunately there are 4,700 children in state custody, there
are not enough homes to house all of the children," she said.

So they come to Windwood instead to have some semblance of normal
life, like fish, learn, feel safe when their worlds are turned
upside down.

But with the passing of the new Federal Families First Prevention
Services Act, group homes are considered less than desirable.

Starting October 2019, the children will have two weeks to be
placed with a regular foster family. That means several foster
children may be living with one family.

"Will the child be safe if he returns to the community and is the
community going to be safe with the child living there? And is
the family or entity taking over care of that child adequately
equipped to do so?" asks Ms. Mckelvey.

She says those are the questions that need to be asked before a
child moves on.

On the bright side, Ms. Mckelvey says she hopes that the Families
First Act will restructure the foster care system, bringing more
services to children and families.

But she asks, "Are we prepared? Where are the children going to
go and on top of that when that law goes into effect, will our
state be saddled with the threat of 'if it doesn't happen there
will be a fine?"

There is also the Michelle H federal lawsuit. This class action
lawsuit directly targets the group homes, particularly children
under 12. With good enough intentions, it throws a shadow over
the work done at the states' 50-60 group homes.

And now comes the resignation of the director who is supposed to
implement all of these changes.

"When I heard the news that was what I all the thoughts going
through my mind -- who is going to lead us to the next step to be
prepared for what is coming for families and children in need in
our community?" says Ms. Mckelvey.

ABC News4 has reached out to a DSS spokesperson for comment, but
have not heard back yet.

According to Ms. Mckelvey, South Carolina will have up to two
years to implement the Families First Prevention Services Act.

However, that delay could result in a fine affecting community
based prevention services.

She says the hope is that Windwood will qualify as a residential
treatment provider. [GN]


STATE FARM: Classic Auto Body Files Class Action in Clair County
----------------------------------------------------------------
According to Fender Bender, Madison-St. Clair Record reported
that an auto repair shop filed a class-action lawsuit against
State Farm for allegedly telling its customers that the
plaintiff's work is substandard and steering them towards shops
that provide discounts.

Classic Auto Body Inc., filed a complaint on June 20 in the St.
Clair County Circuit Court against State Farm Fire and Casualty
Company.

According to the report and complaint, the plaintiff alleges the
defendant interfered with its business expectancy by telling
Classic Auto Body's customers that it does not guarantee its work
and the work was substandard. The shop also claimed State Farm
steers its customers to its preferred shops that provide
discounts.

Madison-St.Clair Record reported that the plaintiff requests a
trial by jury and seeks an order certifying this case as a class
action and appointing the plaintiff and its counsel as
representatives. Classic Auto Body also seeks an injunction order
enjoining the defendant form continuing to divert business from
the plaintiff, award for all damages and legal fees and any
further relief as the court deems just and proper.

It is represented by Alvin C. Paulson of Alvin C. Paulson,
Attorneys at Law in Belleville. [GN]


STATE FARM: Court Approves Renewed Class Notice in "Durant"
-----------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Washington, Seattle, granted Plaintiffs' Amended Motion to
Approve Class Notice and Appoint Class Counsel in the case
captioned BRETT DURANT, On Behalf of Himself and all other
similarly situated Plaintiffs, v. STATE FARM MUTUAL AUTOMOBILE
INSURANCE COMPANY, a foreign automobile insurance company,
Defendant, No. 2:15-cv-01710 RAJ (W.D. Wash.).

The Court certified this class action as well as questions to the
Washington Supreme Court. The questions posed to the Washington
Supreme Court are relevant to any dispositive motions that the
Defendant may file in this matter. But the answers to those
questions will not act to void this Court's order certifying the
class.  Accordingly, the Court finds that sending notice to
potential class members is procedurally appropriate.

The Defendant raises several objections to the Plaintiff's
proposed amended notice. The Plaintiff does not oppose some of
the Defendant's proposed changes to the class notice. The Court
approves the notice with the changes proposed by the Defendant
and agreed to by the Plaintiffs. However, the Court agrees with
the Plaintiff regarding the remaining changes proposed by the
Defendant; these are not appropriate and will not be included in
the class notice. Therefore, the Court approves the Plaintiff's
class notice subject to the agreed changes found in the
Defendant's opposition brief and the Plaintiff's reply brief.

The Plaintiff also seeks to appoint class counsel. The
Defendant's opposition relates only to its wish to stay this
matter pending Washington Supreme Court's decision on the
certified questions. But the Defendant raises no substantive
arguments that go to the merits of whether David Nauheim should
be appointed class counsel. Seeing no issue with the merits of
the Plaintiff's request, the Court grants the Plaintiff's motion
to appoint Mr. Nauheim as class counsel.

A full-text copy of the District Court's May 31, 2017 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y9kjf6a4 from Leagle.com.

Brett Durant, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by Tyler K. Firkins, VAN SICLEN
STOCKS & FIRKINS, & David A. Nauheim -- david@nauheimlaw.com --
NAUHEIM LAW OFFICE.

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, a foreign
automobile insurance company, Defendant, represented by David
Dworsky -- ddworsky@sheppardmullin.com -- SHEPPARD MULLIN RICHTER
& HAMPTON, pro hac vice, Frank Falzetta --
ffalzetta@sheppardmullin.com -- SHEPPARD MULLIN RICHTER &
HAMPTON, pro hac vice, Gregory S. Worden --
Gregory.Worden@lewisbrisbois.com -- LEWIS BRISBOIS BISGAARD &
SMITH LLP, Jennifer M. Hoffman -- jhoffman@sheppardmullin.com --
SHEPPARD MULLIN RICHTER & HAMPTON, pro hac vice & Laura Hawes
Young -- Laura.Young@lewisbrisbois.com -- LEWIS BRISBOIS BISGAARD
& SMITH LLP.


STATE FARM: Must Face Class Action Over Illinois Judge Campaign
---------------------------------------------------------------
Andrew Strickler, writing for Law360, reports that a slew of
factual disputes remain in a class action accusing State Farm of
secretly spending millions to get a judge elected to the Illinois
Supreme Court and help overturn a $1.05 billion judgment against
the company, a federal judge said on July 3 in an order denying
the insurer and other defendants a win.

U.S. District Judge David R. Herndon said a group of plaintiff-
policyholders had presented enough evidence to support
allegations that Judge Lloyd Karmeier had been aware State Farm
was central in recruiting him.

The case is Hale et al v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance
Company et al, Case No. 3:12-cv-00660 (S.D. Ill.).  The case is
assigned to Judge David R. Herndon.  The case was filed May 24,
2012. [GN]


SUNTRUST BANKS: Settles ERISA Class Action for $4.7MM
-----------------------------------------------------
Jessica Saunders, writing for Atlanta Business Chronicle, reports
that a federal judge approved the proposed $4.7 million
settlement of a class-action lawsuit by participants in the
SunTrust Banks Inc. 401(k) Savings Plan claiming the Atlanta-
based bank violated provisions of the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act.

U.S. District Judge Richard W. Story entered the final approval
order following a fairness hearing in U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of Georgia on June 28.

The plan is a defined contribution retirement plan sponsored by
SunTrust to allow participants to save for retirement.

In an amended complaint filed Dec. 15, 2014, the plaintiffs
claimed that the defendants, who are fiduciaries of the ERISA
plan, breached their fiduciary duty in administering the plan and
the plan's assets. The plaintiffs said SunTrust continued to
offer SunTrust stock as a plan investment when it was imprudent
to do so, and that it failed to provide complete and accurate
information to plan participants regarding the company's
financial condition. They also claimed the plan maintained
significant investment in SunTrust stock even when the stock was
no longer a prudent investment. The plaintiffs further argued
SunTrust failed to properly monitor its fiduciary appointees to
ensure that they were performing their duties to evaluate the
continued prudence of offering SunTrust stock as a plan
investment option.

Plan participants lost hundreds of millions of dollars as the
market price of SunTrust stock fell 73 percent between May 2007
and October 2009.

The case was certified as a class action in 2016. The original
complaint was filed in 2008.

Under the settlement, plan participants will each receive a share
of the payment from the settlement fund as a member of the
settlement class. Named plaintiffs each receive a case
contribution award of $10,000. Class counsel were awarded
attorney fees in the amount of $1,583,333.33 and reimbursement of
expenses totaling $462,810.18, according to the final order and
judgment.

Under the terms of the settlement, members of the settlement
class also received certain non-monetary relief, including
quicker vesting on matching contributions and a guarantee that
the vesting schedule won't change to a less generous one for a
period of at least three years. SunTrust also agreed to fund
matching contributions in cash and enhance training for its
fiduciary committee, according to the unopposed motion for
settlement filed March 9.

The fairness hearing June 28 determined whether the proposed
settlement agreement is "fair, reasonable, and adequate and
should receive final approval by the court," whether the
settlement class and its representation satisfied federal rules
of civil procedure and whether to grant the class counsel's
application for attorney fees and reimbursement of litigation
expenses.

In a separate action against SunTrust Banks Inc. in U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of Georgia, U.S. District Judge
Orinda Dale Evans certified eight classes in a lawsuit by a group
of former workers alleging that SunTrust breached ERISA duties by
offering its retirement plan participants mutual funds managed by
its own affiliate, despite the funds' allegedly tepid
performance. The former workers were participants in the SunTrust
401(k) plan while at the company.

"Plaintiffs allege Defendants violated their fiduciary duties to
the Plan and to participants by disloyally and imprudently
monitoring the Plan investment options," according to court
documents filed in the case, which is "Barbara J. Fuller; Mariah
C. Williams; Natalie Brown; Elaine Jefferson; Barbara A. Kennedy;
Selethia Pruitt, Plaintiffs v. SunTrust Banks Inc.; The SunTrust
Banks Inc. Benefits Plan Committee; Ridgeworth Capital Management
Inc.; Jorge Arrieta; Harold Bitler; Mimi Breeden; Mark Chancy;
Alston D. Correll; David Dierker; Ted Hoepner; Ken Houghton;
Thomas Kuntz; Donna Lange; Joseph L. Lanier Jr.; Jerome Lienhard;
Thomas Panther; William O'Halloran; Larry L. Prince; William H.
Rogers, Jr.; Christopher Shults; John Spiegel; Mary Steele; John
and Jane Does 1 to 20; Gregory Miller; Aleem Gillani; The
Suntrust Banks Inc. Benefits Finance Committee, Defendants." [GN]


TARGET CORP: 7th Cir. OKs Class Action Objector to Pursue Claim
---------------------------------------------------------------
Madison-St. Clair Record reports that Ted Frank of the Center for
Class Action Fairness can pursue a claim that phony objectors
cheated a class, U.S. Seventh Circuit judges ruled on June 26.

They reversed District Judge John Blakey of Chicago, who denied
Frank a chance to prove his claim.

Judge Blakey approved settlement of a false advertising suit
against Target after three objectors dismissed their objections.

Mr. Frank alleged that they settled for cash, and he called it
blackmail. He argued that they leveraged a better settlement for
the class for a purely personal side bargain.

The district court record shows Mr. Frank pleading alone against
plaintiffs, defendants, objectors, and two district judges.

He trusted Seventh Circuit judges because they broke up the first
settlement of the action in 2014, on his objection.

This time, they elevated him from objector to party in light of
his initial objection and his litigation of a prior appeal.

Chief Justice Diane Wood wrote, "Objectors voluntarily dismissed
their appeals."

"At this stage we do not know why, but there is a real risk that
they did so at the expense of the class," Justice Wood wrote.

Plaintiff Nick Pearson of Cook County filed the action in 2011,
claiming Target deceived him and others about Up and Up
glucosamine products.

Represented by Stewart Weltman of Chicago, Mr. Pearson alleged
that that numerous cause and effect studies showed the
ingredients didn't work as Target represented.

He claimed that the products didn't renew or maintain joints or
improve their mobility or flexibility.

Mr. Pearson paid about $20 for a bottle, and claimed wouldn't
have bought it if he had known the truth.

In 2013, Target and Mr. Weltman agreed to settle Mr. Pearson's
action and five potential class actions in other courts.

The $6.5 million settlement fund provided $5 per bottle for
claims with proof of purchase, $3 without proof.

Target agreed to notify members of an ambassador's club, a
loyalty program, and a wholesale club, about five million in all.

Target agreed to change labels for 30 months.

The settlement allowed class counsel to seek up to $4.5 million.

On Mr. Frank's behalf, Melissa Holyoak of the Center for Class
Action Fairness objected.

Ms. Holyoak wrote that the deadline for objections fell before
plaintiffs would apply for fees, and that the settlement should
be rejected for that reason alone.

"Second, the class has no information as to the actual amount of
the class benefit," she wrote.

A generous estimate, she wrote, wouldn't exceed $2 million.

As it turned out, claims didn't exceed $1 million.

Barely 30,000 persons filed claims, at an average of $29.

The fund donated more than $1 million to orthopedic education and
research.

Mr. Weltman had estimated the value of the settlement at $20.2
million, including notice, fees, and the value of label changes.

District Judge James Zagel approved the settlement in January
2014, and awarded $1,933,592.75 to Mr. Weltman and eight other
lawyers for the plaintiffs.

Mr. Frank appealed to the Seventh Circuit, which reversed Judge
Zagel in December 2014.

Justice Richard Posner wrote, "The $20.2 million figure has
barely any connection to the settlement's value to the class."

Justice Posner wrote that showing how a settlement is split
between class counsel and the class "gives class counsel an
incentive to design the claims process in such a way as will
maximize the settlement benefits received by the class, rather
than to connive with the defendant in reformulating claims filing
procedures that discourage filing and so reduce the benefit to
the class."

"The requirement of needlessly elaborate documentation, the
threats of criminal prosecution, and the fact that a claimant
might feel obliged to wade through the five other documents
accessible to him from the opening screen of the website, help to
explain why so few recipients of the postcard notice bothered to
submit a claim."

He wrote that, "realism requires recognition that probably all
that class counsel really care about is their fees."

Plaintiffs and Target settled for $7.5 million in 2016, with
recovery for the class at least $3.3 million greater than in the
original agreement.

The settlement provided 33 percent of the fund for class counsel.

Judge Zagel approved it and awarded Mr. Frank $180,000 in
attorney fees.

Mr. Frank objected to the settlement and the fees, as did Randy
Nunez, Steven Buckley, and Patrick Sweeney.

Target and plaintiffs stipulated to dismissal with prejudice, and
Judge Zagel granted it.

Mr. Frank moved to intervene as guardian ad litem for absent
class members, in order to seek disgorgement of funds from Nunez,
Buckley, and Sweeney.

Judge Zagel then reached retirement age and took senior status,
allowing him to choose the cases he wanted.

He transferred the case to an executive committee that assigned
it to Judge Blakey.

Judge Blakey struck Mr. Frank's disgorgement motion, writing that
he lacked jurisdiction because Judge Zagel dismissed the action
with prejudice.

Target and plaintiffs then moved for approval of fund
distribution.

Mr. Frank moved to reopen the action so he could disgorge "side
payments paid to rent extracting objectors."

He claimed Target offered valuable consideration in exchange for
dismissals.

Judge Blakey denied the motion, and Mr. Frank appealed to the
Seventh Circuit.

Chief Judge Wood and Justices Ilana Rovner and David Hamilton
held that Blakey mistook the scope of his discretion and the
nature of the problem.

"Inequitable settlements are an unfortunate recurring bug in our
system of class action litigation," Judge Wood wrote.

"All too often, class counsel negotiate a settlement with
substantial attorneys' fees but meager benefits for the class.

"Named plaintiffs fail to live up to their ethical obligations as
fiduciaries to the class."

"We do not know whether class counsel intended to bargain away
rights with the stipulated dismissal, or merely did so
accidentally," she wrote.

She wrote that whatever the reason, the class was disadvantaged
and received no offsetting benefit.

She wrote that on remand, Judge Blakey could tailor evidentiary
proceedings to resolve factual disputes before confronting the
propriety of any remedy.

Mr. Weltman represents plaintiffs in association with David
Golanty, and Max Stein of Chicago, Charles Sweedler and Howard
Sedran of Philadelphia, Jeffrey Carlton and Peter Freiberg of
White Plains, N.Y., and Elaine Ryan of Phoenix.

Todd Carpenter and James Patterson of San Diego represent Nunez,
Buckley, and Sweeney.

Bradley Andreozzi, David Sudzus, Justin Kay, Kara McCall, Michael
Davis, and Theodore Scarborough represent Target. [GN]


TATA COMMUNICATIONS: Mahajan Files Class Action Over Lost Data
--------------------------------------------------------------
Bar & Bench reports that The National Consumer Disputes Redressal
Commission (NCDRC) has allowed a public notice to be issued in a
class action complaint instituted by a medical imaging company
against Tata Communications Limited.

The complainant, Mahajan Imaging Private Ltd, had moved a class
action suit against Tata Communications seeking compensation for
having lost their data. The complainant had entered into a
contract with Tata to preserve clinical records of their
customers in 2012 but lost access to the data in 2016. [GN]


TEAC CORP: Settles Optical Disc Drive Price-Fixing Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
Jennifer Bieman, writing for The London Free Press, reports that
from classes to a class action lawsuit, Fanshawe College is
leading the charge in court, taking aim at an alleged price-
fixing conspiracy involving some of the world's largest
electronics companies.

The London-based college, under the legal direction of Siskinds
Law Firm, is the plaintiff in a civil court action seeking
compensation from a number of technology companies for alleged
price-fixing of optical disc drives, technology used in CD, DVD
and Blu-Ray players.

In April, the Ontario's Superior Court of Justice approved
settlements from three defendants, totaling more than $9.3
million. In May, the settlements from the three tech giants were
later approved by courts in two other jurisdictions, British
Columbia and Quebec, where parallel class actions are underway.

Japan-based manufacturer TEAC Corp. and its Canadian subsidiary
agreed to pay US$500,000 to settle the class action. Another
Japanese tech company, NEC Corp., has paid $730,000. HLDS, a
joint venture between Hitachi and LG, has paid $8.1 million as
part of the settlement.

The three companies are not admitting liability.

The companies have agreed to cooperate with the class action's
lawyers, handing over sales and cost documents and allowing
witness interviews, Justice H.A. Rady's decision said.

The college and its lawyers will pursue further action against
the remaining defendants, a long list that includes Sony,
Toshiba, Samsung Electronics, Philips and Panasonic.

"The case against the others continues," said Charlie Wright, a
partner at Siskinds Law Firm and the lawyer representing Fanshawe
College in the class action. "Our obligation and business is to
keep pursuing the others and proving the case for as long as we
have to until they decide they're prepared to pay what we think
is an appropriate sum to resolve the litigation."

Request for comment from the counsel for HLDS and NEC went
unreturned. The lawyers for TEAC declined comment on the case,
saying the issue is before the courts.

People who have purchased optical disc drives from companies
caught up in the class action eventually will be able to sign up
to receive compensation. Payments will begin once more
settlements are brokered or a judge hands down a decision on more
defendants, Mr. Wright said.

"There are many other defendants and it costs a fair bit of money
and takes a lot of time to collect all the claims, do the math
and pay out the money," he said. "We usually wait until there's
enough in the bank."

The Canadian class action comes as other jurisdictions pursue
legal action of their own.

In 2011, three HLDS executives pleaded guilty to criminal charges
in the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, Calif., related to
bid-rigging and price-fixing conspiracies of optical disc drives.

After a years-long investigation, the European Commission in 2015
slapped eight optical disc drive suppliers, including HLDS, with
more than $177 million in fines for violating antitrust rules.
The investigation found the companies intentionally colluded on
bidding strategies, shared results of tenders and shared
sensitive information with each other between June 2004 and
November 2008.

More recently, several of the optical disc drive companies
implicated in the Fanshawe College class action have settled
similar price-fixing antitrust cases in 23 states and the
District of Columbia.

With a precedent of other legal action over price-fixing
allegations, Siskinds approached Fanshawe College to see if the
school was willing to step in as the representative plaintiff in
the Ontario suit.

"We thought about entities in the London area . . . who might
have a significant claim for recovery in a pending class action,"
Mr. Wright said. "Fanshawe . . . we thought, would have a not
insignificant claim."

Partnering with the London law firm to advance the price-fixing
class action was a natural fit, Fanshawe's senior manager of
retail services David Smith said. The school purchases scores of
computers and other technology.

"We're a direct purchaser and re-seller. . . We sell them to
students and we use them in-house as well," he said.

Siskinds approached Fanshawe and drafted an agreement where the
college would not be on the hook financially if the class action
went wrong and there were costs to be paid, Wright said.

"Fanshawe, when they agreed to do this, made certain and knew
that they were not, as a college, at risk of paying legal fees,
either our fees of the other side's," Wright said, adding the
Fanshawe case has a few more motions scheduled this fall and
winter.

The optical disc drive price-fixing class action is not the first
tech-related court battle waged by Fanshawe College. In 2007, the
school took aim at a lengthy list of electronics manufacturers
alleging the companies engaged in price-fixing of LCD panels,
technology found in many laptop screens, flat-screen televisions
and computer monitors.

Settlements to date on the LCD class action total $37.4 million.
Payments are being made, including to at least a half dozen other
Ontario colleges and universities, Mr. Smith said.

Though it might seem unusual for a publicly-funded college to
wade into years-long class actions against multinational,
multimillion-dollar tech companies, Mr. Wright said there's no
better organization to bring the case to court.

"Arguably, they're funded by taxpayers, and if they know they
were ripped off and have the ability to recover some money that
will help fund the college. . . I'd say, good on them for
stepping up," Mr. Wright said. [GN]


TENNESSEE: Sued Over Court Debt Driver's License Revocations
------------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that Tennessee officials can't keep
revoking the driver's licenses of people who can't pay off their
court debts, a federal judge wrote on July 2 in a decision that
could have wider implications for similar policies in dozens of
other states.

U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger in Nashville wrote that
revocations imposed under state law when a driver hasn't paid
court debt for a year or more violate constitutional due process
and equal protection rights and are "powerfully
counterproductive."

Similar suspensions are allowed in more than 40 states. Lawsuits
challenging them have been filed in at least five states over the
past two years, contending that the punishments unfairly target
poor people. The Tennessee class action case was brought on
behalf of two indigent men affected by the law, James Thomas and
David Hixson.

"If a person has no resources to pay a debt, he cannot be
threatened or cajoled into paying it; he may, however, become
able to pay it in the future," the judge wrote. "But taking his
driver's license away sabotages that prospect."

Since the Tennessee law went into effect in 2012, only 7 percent
of people who lost their licenses because of unpaid fines have
been able to get them back, the group's lawsuit said. Tennessee
revoked 146,211 driver's licenses from July 2012 to June 2016
under state law for failure to pay court debts, and only 10,750
licenses were reinstated, the ruling says.

The National Center for Law and Economic Justice, which helped
lead the lawsuit, said the ruling will improve the lives of
people who can't afford court debts.

"We just think this is going to have a tremendous impact on low-
income people in Tennessee because so many people have been shut
out of their driver's licenses, and with that, the ability to
work, to take care of their families, to visit their doctors,
even to run simple errands like grocery shopping," said
Claudia Wilner, senior attorney for the National Center for Law
and Economic Justice. "Now, people are going to be able to do all
these things without fear of criminal consequences for driving on
a revoked license."

Judge Trauger ordered state officials to submit a plan within 60
days to stop revoking licenses over court debts and lift related
previous license revocations that were based solely on failing to
pay court debt or reinstatement fees.

State officials haven't decided yet whether to appeal.

"We are disappointed with the trial court's decision and are
considering all of our legal options," said Kelly Smith, a senior
adviser in Attorney General Herbert Slatery's office. [GN]


TWITTER INC: Averts Female Engineers' Gender Bias Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
Joel Rosenblatt, writing for Bloomberg News, reports that Twitter
won't have to face a group lawsuit alleging systematic
discrimination against female software engineers.

The case stood to be the first in the technology sector to
advance to class-action status, and the July 3 ruling signals
that a movement to level the playing field for women in the tech
industry has yet to gain traction in courts.

California Superior Court Judge Mary E. Wiss in San Francisco
found the 135 current and former engineers didn't have enough in
common in how they were allegedly held back from promotions and
raises relative to male employees to proceed as a group, which
would have given them more leverage as the case heads toward a
trial.

Not winning class certification "is a setback, though not the end
of the case," said Charlotte Garden, a law professor at Seattle
University, before the ruling. She added that the decision would
be a "doubly bad sign" for the plaintiff because it may point to
weaknesses in the heart of her allegations that women engineers
at Twitter are treated unfairly by company policies that weren't
intentionally designed to be biased.

A Seattle federal judge denied class-action status on June 25 for
a gender bias case against Microsoft. Similar cases are pending
against Google and Oracle, while Uber Technologies settled a
class action in April.

Twitter argued the case isn't fit to proceed as a class action
because the women didn't show proof that managers used a common
set of practices to decide promotions. The company counts more
than 3,500 employees, about 850 of them software engineers, in 35
offices worldwide. It leaned heavily on a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court
decision that blocked 1.5 million female workers at Walmart from
pursuing their discrimination claims as a group.

Tina Huang, the woman leading the case against Twitter, argued
that a 2017 report by an economist and statistician shows that
female engineers are promoted at a lower rate, remain stuck in
lower positions longer and are almost absent from senior ranks.
Her lawyer, Jason Lohr, contended there's enough similarity in
the experiences of Huang's peers to proceed as a group because
the company required managers to use a particular process for
promoting engineers.

Mr. Lohr said in an emailed statement that he is disappointed in
the ruling and that Huang hasn't decided on her next steps in the
case. [GN]


TRANS UNION: "Miller" Transferred to N.D. Cal. for Consolidation
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Middle District of
Pennsylvania granted Joint Motion to Transfer to the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California the
case captioned RONALD J. MILLER, on behalf of himself and all
others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. TRANS UNION, LLC,
Defendant, Case No. 3:12-cv-01715 (M.D. Pa.), for settlement
purposes.

The case is transferred to the United States District Court for
the Northern District of California to be consolidated for
settlement purposes with the case of Larson v. TransUnion, LLC,
No. 12-5726-WHO (N.D. Cal.).

A full-text copy of the District Court's May 31, 2017 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y9gvwg65 from Leagle.com.

Ronald J. Miller, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by Andrew J. Ogilvie --
andy@ogilvie-brewer.com -- Ogilvie & Brewer, LLP, David A.
Searles -- dsearles@consumerlawfirm.com -- Francis & Mailman,
P.C., James A. Francis -- jfrancis@consumerlawfirm.com -- Francis
& Mailman, PC & John Soumilas -- jsoumilas@consumerlawfirm.com --
Francis & Mailman PC, pro hac vice.

Trans Union, LLC, Defendant, represented by Brian C. Frontino --
bfrontino@stroock.com -- Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, pro hac
vice, Bruce S. Luckman -- bluckman@shermansilverstein.com --
Sherman Silverstein, Donna A. Walsh -- dalsh@mbklaw.com -- Myers
Brier & Kelly, LLP, Stephen J. Newman -- snewman@stroock.com --
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP, pro hac vice & Jason S. Yoo --
Jason.yoo@affirm.com -- Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP.


UBER TECHNOLOGIES: BCAC Wins Dismissal of Wage Deductions Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of New
York granted Defendants The Black Car Fund, Black Car Assistance
Corporation, and New York Black Car Operators Injury Compensation
Fund, Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss the case captioned GUSTAVO CAMILO,
individually, on behalf of all others similarly situated,
Plaintiffs, v. UBER TECHNOLOGIES, INC., et al., Defendants, No.
17 Civ. 9508 (AKH)(S.D.N.Y.).

The Plaintiff sues the Uber Technologies Defendants alleging
violations of N.Y. Labor Law Section 193 and other State laws for
unlawful wage deductions.  The Amended Complaint asserts four
claims for relief: unlawful wage deduction under N.Y. Labor Law
Section 193 (Claim 1); breach of contract, fraud, and unjust
enrichment (Claim 2); breach of contract (Claim 3); and breach of
fiduciary duty (Claim 4).  Claim 4 is the only claim that
references the Black Car Fund and BCAC, alleging that the Black
Car fund intentionally took on the responsibility to oversee
member's actions for collections of the surcharges.

The Court finds that the Complaint fails to state a plausible
claim for relief against the Black Car Fund or BCAC, and the
Court therefore grant Defendants' motion to dismiss the Complaint
against Black Car Fund and BCAC.

None of the four claims asserted in the Complaint are plausible
against the Black Car Fund or BCAC. Regarding Claim 1, Section
193 of the New York State Labor Law prohibits employers from
making "any deduction from the wages of an employee, unless
authorized by law." The Black Car Fund or BCAC were not
Plaintiff's employer, nor did they make any deductions from
Plaintiff's wages. Uber, Plaintiff's employer, is the proper
defendant for this claim, since Uber is the entity paying the
employees' wages.

Regarding Claim 2 and 3, there is no plausible claim that Black
Car Fund or BCAC were unjustly enriched, engaged in fraud, or
breached their contractual duties to Plaintiff. The Black Car
Fund received its 2.5% fee from Uber, and, whether Uber
improperly deducted such fees from Plaintiff did not benefit the
Black Car Fund. The Black Car Fund had no contractual
relationship with Plaintiff. There are no allegations that the
Black Car Fund or BCAC engaged in fraudulent activity or were
otherwise enriched by Uber's actions.

Regarding Claim 4, there is no plausible claim that the Black Car
Fund owed fiduciary duties to Plaintiff and breached those duties
by allowing Uber to engage in its illegal deductions. The Black
Car Fund is not in a fiduciary relationship with Plaintiff, and
it has no duty to monitor the contractual or other obligations
between the dispatching bases, i.e., Uber, and the drivers.

A full-text copy of the District Court's May 31, 2017 Order and
Opinion is available at https://tinyurl.com/yb9m5pya from
Leagle.com.

Gustavo Camilo, Individually, and on behalf of others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by Joseph Albert Romano, Law
Offices of Joseph A. Romano.

Uber Technologies, Inc., jointly and severally, Uber Logistik,
LLC, jointly and severally, Uber USA LLC, jointly and severally,
Acht-NY, LLC, jointly and severally, Achtzehn-NY, LLC, jointly
and severally, Danach-NY, LLC, jointly and severally, Dreist-NY,
LLC, jointly and severally, Dreizehn- NY, LLC, jointly and
severally, Drinnen-NY, LLC, Eins-NY, LLC, jointly and severally,
Elf-NY, LLC, jointly and severally, Einundzwanzig-NY, LLC,
jointly and severally, Funf- NY, LLC, jointly and severally,
Funfzehn-NY LLC, Grun, LLC, jointly and severally, Hinter, LLC,
jointly and severally, Neun-NY, LLC, jointly and severally,
Neunzehn-NY, LLC, jointly and severally, Schmecken, LLC, jointly
and severally, Sechs-NY, LLC, jointly and severally, Sieben-NY,
LLC, jointly and severally, Siebzehn-NY, LLC, jointly and
severally, Unter, LLC, jointly and severally, Vier, NY, LLC,
jointly and severally, Vierzehn- NY, LLC, jointly and severally,
Weiter, LLC, jointly and severally, Zehn-NY, jointly and
severally, Zwanzig-NY LLC, jointly and severally, Zwei-NY, LLC,
jointly and severally, Zwolf- NY LLC, jointly and severally &
Rasier LLC, jointly and severally, Defendants, represented by
David Wirtz -- dwirtz@littler.com -- Littler Mendelson,
P.C.,Kevin Robert Vozzo -- kvozzo@littler.com -- Littler
Mendelson, P.C., Maayan Deker -- mdeker@littler.com -- Littler
Mendelson, P.C. & Andrew M. Spurchise -- aspurchise@littler.com -
- Littler Mendelson, P.C.


UNITED COLLECTION: Court Limits Discovery in "Meredith"
-------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
Ohio, Eastern Division, granted in part and denied in part
Plaintiffs' Motion to Compel Discovery in the case captioned
Deborah Meredith, Plaintiff, v. United Collection Bureau, Inc.,
Defendant, Case No. 1:16 CV 1102 (N.D. Ohio).

The Plaintiff asserts that Defendant United Collection Bureau
(UCB) violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) by
initiating multiple telephone calls to her cell phone in an
attempt to collect a debt.

Based on the Plaintiff's own discovery requests, the class data
that the Court ordered UCB to produce was limited to the
Plaintiff's definition of the class -- the Court would not order
UCB to produce more information than the Plaintiff herself had
requested. Moreover, the information that the Plaintiff believes
the Court ordered UCB to produce and that she now seeks appears
to be significantly broader than her own proposed class
definition. Requiring UCB to produce such information would,
therefore, not be proportional to the needs of the case.

Thus, the Plaintiff's motion to compel is denied to the extent it
asks the Court to compel production of all wrong number calls UCB
made using its dialer or with an unattended message to the
Plaintiff and the class.

The Plaintiff requested that UCB's data be produced in a format
that can be reviewed and manipulated in a way that still
maintains its integrity.

Rule 34(b)(1)(C) allows a requesting party to specify the form or
forms in which electronically stored information is to be
produced.

The information that UCB produced is ordinarily maintained in a
way that makes it searchable by electronic means, but the fixed
.pdf document that UCB produced removes this feature. Beirdneau
stated only that the requested data cannot be extracted and then
imported into an Excel spreadsheet; he did not testify that it is
impossible to produce the data in a searchable format. Thus, when
UCB produces the results of the new query that the Court has
ordered, it must do so in a manner that is electronically
searchable.

In addition, in light of the protective order in place in this
case, UCB has not adequately explained the need for redacting the
material that it is producing. Thus, the data must be produced
without redactions.

A full-text copy of the District Court's May 31, 2017 Memorandum
Opinion and Order is available at https://tinyurl.com/yct3oobc
from Leagle.com.

Deborah Meredith, Plaintiff, represented by Alexander H. Burke,
Burke Harvey, David M. Marco -- dmarco@smithmarco.com -- Smith
Marco, Larry P. Smith  -- lsmith@smithmarco.com -- Smith Marco &
Mitchel E. Luxenburg -- mitch@luxenburglevin.com -- Luxenburg &
Levin.

United Collection Bureau, Inc., Defendant, represented by Ethan
G. Ostroff -- ethan.ostroff@troutman.com -- Troutman Sanders,
Lindsey B. Mann -- lindsey.mann@troutman.com -- Troutman Sanders,
Jason P. Ferrante -- JPFerrante@mdwcg.com -- Marshall, Dennehey,
Warner, Coleman & Goggin & Keith J. Barnett --
keith.barnett@troutman.com -- Troutman Sanders.


UNITED STATES: DHS Must Give Parole Hearings to Asylum Seekers
--------------------------------------------------------------
Lydia Wheeler, writing for The Hill, reports that a federal
district court judge ruled on July 2 that the Trump
administration must consider on an individual basis whether
immigrants who come to the U.S. seeking asylum represent a flight
risk or a danger to their community before they can be detained
if they've proven a credible fear of persecution.

Judge James Boasberg, on the U.S. District Court for the District
of Columbia, issued a preliminary injunction blocking the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS) from arbitrarily detaining
asylum seekers.

The order stems from a class-action lawsuit the American Civil
Liberties Union (ACLU) filed on behalf of asylum seekers who have
been denied parole even though Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) officials found they had a credible claim of
persecution in their home countries, which is the first step
toward gaining asylum status.

The ACLU argued that DHS violated its own parole directive,
immigration law and the Constitution in an effort to deter other
asylum seekers from coming to the country.

In his ruling, Judge Boasberg said he was ordering DHS to follow
a policy the government admitted it was required to follow.

"To mandate that ICE provide these baseline procedures to those
entering our country -- individuals who have often fled violence
and persecution to seek safety on our shores -- is no great
judicial leap," he said. "Rather, the issuance of injunctive
relief in this case serves only to hold defendants accountable to
their own governing policies and to ensure that plaintiffs
receive the protections they are due under the Parole Directive."

In the lawsuit, ACLU argued DHS had created a blanket policy of
detaining asylum seekers at ICE field offices in Detroit; El
Paso, Texas; Los Angeles; Newark, N.J. and Philadelphia.

The civil rights group hailed the court for its ruling on July 2.

"This ruling means the Trump administration cannot use indefinite
detention as a weapon to punish and deter asylum seekers,"
Michael Tan, senior staff attorney with the ACLU's Immigrants'
Rights Project, said in a statement.

DHS said as a policy it does not comment on pending litigation.

The Department of Justice also declined to comment. [GN]


UNITED STATES: Fed. Cl. Grants Summary Judgment Bid in "Lucier"
----------------------------------------------------------------
In the cases, ANDREW S. LUCIER, et al., THOMAS E. BEATTIE, et
al., Plaintiffs, v. UNITED STATES, Defendant, Case Nos. 16-865L,
16-893L (Fed. Cl.), Judge Marian Blank Horn of the U.S. Court of
Federal Claims (i) granted the Defendant's motion for summary
judgment in Lucier, Case No. 16-865, and Beattie, Case No. 16-
893; (ii) denied the Lucier Plaintiffs' partial motion for
summary judgment; and (iii) denied the Beattie Plaintiffs'
partial motion for summary judgment.

The Plaintiffs are landowners in Thurston County, Washington, who
allege that the United States government effected takings of
their reversionary property interests through the operation of
the National Trails System Act (2012).  They allege a taking
occurred when the United States Surface Transportation Board
issued a Notice of Interim Trail Use related to a railroad
corridor abutting their property that prevented their state-law
property rights from reverting to and vesting in them.  As a
result of the government's alleged taking of their reversionary
property interests, the Plaintiffs assert they are entitled to
just compensation under the Fifth Amendment to the United States
Constitution.

The BNSF Railway Co. ("BNSF") previously operated a railroad
corridor that extended, in relevant part, approximately 1.43
miles through Belmore, Thurston County, Washington.  The
Plaintiffs and the Defendant agree that BNSF held an easement for
railroad purposes in the railroad corridor.  In both of the
cases, however, the parties dispute whether recreational trail
use exceeded the scope of BNSF's easement in the railroad
corridor, and whether the Plaintiffs had an interest in the land
underlying the railroad corridor.

Although they, in both cases, assert claims relating to the same
railroad corridor in the State of Washington, the Plaintiffs
filed their takings claims in the United States Court of Federal
Claims separately and are represented by two separate counsels of
record.  The two cases are captioned as Andrew S. Lucier, et al.
v. United States, No. 16-865, and Thomas E. Beattie, et al. v.
United States, No. 16-893.

On July 22, 2016, the Plaintiffs in Lucier filed their initial
complaint against the United States in the Court.  The Plaintiffs
in Lucier amended their complaint twice, filing their second and
final amended complaint on Jan. 11, 2017.  the Plaintiffs in
Beattie filed their initial and only complaint against the United
States in the Court on July 27, 2016.  On Jan. 11, 2017, the
Court, finding the factual and legal issues in the two cases to
be substantially similar, consolidated the cases for case
management purposes.

On Oct. 6, 2017, the Plaintiffs in Lucier and Beattie each filed
a partial motion for summary judgment addressing BNSF's interest
in the railroad corridor, and whether the scope of the easements
previously held by BNSF had been exceeded.  In Lucier Plaintiffs'
Oct. 6, 2017 motion, Lucier Plaintiffs Jan Pettigrew, Keith D.
Quentin, and Skiview Estates Association moved for partial
summary judgment on the issue of fee ownership of the land
underlying the railroad corridor.  They stated that all other
Plaintiffs reserve this issue of ownership of the land underlying
the railroad corridor for trial.  The Beattie Plaintiffs stated
that they do not move for summary judgment on the issue of their
ownership of property in the railroad corridor, but instead
request that it be reserved for trial, along with damages.

On Nov. 6, 2017, the Defendant responded to the Lucier
Plaintiffs' and the Beattie Plaintiffs' partial motions for
summary judgment and cross-moved for summary judgment, including
on the issue of ownership of the land underlying the railroad
corridor.  On Dec. 6, 2017, the Lucier and Beattie Plaintiffs
filed their replies to the Defendant's response and response to
the defendant's cross-motion for summary judgment, and also
cross-moved for partial summary judgment regarding the issue of
ownership of the land underlying the railroad corridor.

The Lucier Plaintiffs stated, initially, they [in their Oct. 6,
2017 motion for partial summary judgment] suggested that
determination of whether the remaining Plaintiffs owned the fee
underlying the easements should be reserved for trial.  However,
the United States brought that issue front and center suggesting
that summary judgment on that issue is appropriate.  The Beattie
Plaintiffs stated while they initially stated their preference
that this issue be reserved for trial, upon reflection, now that
the government has raised the issue of cognizable property
interests in its cross-motion, they believe that the Court should
grant summary judgment in their favor on this issue.

The Lucier Plaintiffs attached to their Dec. 6, 2017 motion an
expert affidavit of Mark D. Schedler and an affidavit of John A.
Kilpatrick, attached to which were the chains of title for Lucier
Plaintiffs Andrew S. Lucier, Kris Allen O'Bannon, Jan Pettigrew,
Scott L. and Susan K. Putzier, Kenneth T. and Shannon L. Kratina,
Jon Sandberg, and Robert M. and Kathleen L Shaputis.  The Beattie
Plaintiffs attached to their Dec.r 6, 2017 motion an expert
affidavit of Mr. Schedler, which was identical to the affidavit
of Mr. Schedler submitted in Lucier, and a different affidavit of
Dr. Kilpatrick, attached to which were the chains of title for
all three Beattie Plaintiffs.

On Jan. 8, 2018, the Defendant filed its reply, in which it
sought to strike the Plaintiffs' experts and their affidavits.
Both sets of the Plaintiffs moved for leave to file sur-replies
in order to address the Defendant's argument that the Court
should strike the Plaintiffs' experts and their affidavits, which
the Court granted, and, on Feb. 7, 2018, both sets of the
Plaintiffs filed their sur-replies.

The Lucier Plaintiffs attached to their sur-reply another expert
affidavit of Dr. Kilpatrick, chains of title for Lucier
Plaintiffs Jan Pettigrew and Keith D. Quentin, and updated chains
of title for the six Lucier Plaintiffs whose chains of title had
already been submitted to the court.  Likewise, the Beattie
plaintiffs attached to their sur-reply another expert affidavit
of Dr. Kilpatrick and updated chains of title for them.  Both
sets of Plaintiffs indicated in their sur-replies that they did
not oppose the Defendant having an opportunity to address the
materials attached to their sur-replies, and the Court provided
the Defendant with an opportunity to respond.  On March 7, 2018,
the defendant filed a response to the Plaintiffs' sur-replies, in
which it again moved to strike the Plaintiffs' experts and their
affidavits.

The Court heard oral argument on May 16, 2018 regarding the
parties' cross-motions and the Defendant's motion to strike the
affidavits of Mr. Schedler and Dr. Kilpatrick. During the May 16,
2018 oral argument, Mr. Sears, the counsel of record for the
Lucier Plaintiffs, and Thomas Stewart, the counsel of record for
the Beattie Plaintiffs, indicated that, if the cases were to
proceed to trial, the Lucier and the Beattie Plaintiffs would not
produce any additional evidence relevant to the resolution of
their claims in the cases.

Additionally, during the May 16, 2018 oral argument, the Court
struck the affidavits of Mr. Schedler and Dr. Kilpatrick.
Regarding Mr. Schedler's affidavits, on May 18, 2018, the Court
issued another order stating that as it explained at the May 16,
2018 hearing, Mr. Schedler's affidavits do not contain
information which assists the Court with evaluating the evidence
before it in the cases.

Regarding Dr. Kilpatrick's affidavits, on May 18, 2018, the Court
issued another order stating that after consideration of the
briefs filed by the parties and the presentation at the argument
on May 16, 2018, it strikes the two affidavits of Dr. Kilpatrick
submitted by the Plaintiffs in Lucier and the two affidavits of
Dr. Kilpatrick submitted by the Plaintiffs in Beattie, subject to
renewal of Dr. Kilpatrick's affidavits in both cases if
appropriate at a later date on motion by the parties.

However, upon the Plaintiffs' request, the Court admitted into
evidence the chains of title attached to Dr. Kilpatrick's
affidavits as exhibits to the parties' motions and cross-motions
for partial summary judgment.

Judge Horn finds that the plat maps of the referenced short
subdivisions, which are referenced by the Plaintiffs' individual
deeds and correspond with tracts of land on LLS-0146, indicate
that the plaintiffs do not own the land underlying the railroad
corridor.  None of their deeds contain language which purports to
convey the land underlying the railroad corridor, and the
illustrations in the referenced short subdivisions are consistent
with the illustrations on the sheets of the plat map of LLS-0146
and indicate that the referenced short subdivisions end at the
edge of the railroad corridor.

Additionally, the chains of title offered by the Plaintiffs do
not create a genuine issue of material fact.  The Judge finds
that nothing in the chains of title indicates that any of the
nine aforementioned Plaintiffs own the land underlying the
railroad corridor.  The deeds in the chains of title that post-
date the creation of the plat map of LLS-0146 by Black Lake
Estates, G.P. in 1982 for the nine Plaintiffs owning land
corresponding with tracts in LLS-1046 all describe the land being
conveyed as either being in a short subdivision, the plat maps of
which reference being located on LLS-0146.  The post-1982 deeds
in the chains of title for the nine plaintiffs do contain any
language indicating that any of the plaintiffs own anything more
than the properties described in the plat maps of the short
subdivisions or LLS-0146, which, as stated above, do not include
the land underlying the railroad corridor.

The Judge will therefore grant the Defendant's motion for summary
judgment against Lucier Plaintiffs Andrew S. Lucier, Kris Allen
O'Bannon, Kenneth T. and Shannon L. Kratina, Jon Sandberg, Scott
and Susan Putzier, and Robert M. and Kathleen L Shaputis and
Beattie plaintiffs Thomas E. Beattie, Clinton L. Termini, and
Stephen Upton.

Unlike the decision in Sutton v. United States, the deeds and
plat maps of all of the Plaintiffs' properties demonstrate that,
under Washington law, the parties did not intend to pass fee
interest in the land underlying the railroad corridor to them.

For the reasons she articulated, Judge Horn (i) granted the
Defendant's motion for summary judgment in Lucier, Case No. 16-
865, and Beattie, Case No. 16-893.  She denied both the Lucier
Plaintiffs' and the Beattie Plaintiffs' partial motion for
summary judgment.  The clerk will enter judgment consistent with
the Opinion.

A full-text copy of the Court's June 1, 2018 Opinion is available
at https://is.gd/Jgd2dl from Leagle.com.

ANDREW S. LUCIER, ALLEN O'BANNON, JAN PETTIGREW, SCOTT L.
PUTZIER, &, SUSAN K. PUTZIER, AND & KEITH D. QUENTIN, For
Themselves and As Representatives of a CLass of Similarly
Situated Persons, Plaintiffs, represented by John Robert Sears --
sears@bscr-law.com -- Baker Sterchi Cowden and Rice, LLC.

USA, Defendant, represented by Sarah Izfar, U.S. Department of
Justice.


UNITED STATES: Minnesota Plaintiffs in "Ackerman" Suit Reinstated
-----------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, GREGORY ACKERMAN, et al, Plaintiffs, v. UNITED
STATES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, et al., Defendant, Case No. 17-
cv-11779 (E.D. Mich.), Judge Thomas L. Ludington of the U.S.
District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan, Northern
Division, granted in part the Plaintiffs' motion for
reconsideration and reinstating, severing, and transferring their
claims against Federal Defendants to the District of Minnesota.

On June 5, 2017, a group of farmers and incorporated farms filed
suit against a number of insurance companies, the United States
Department of Agriculture, the Risk Management Agency, and the
Federal Crop Insurance Corp.  The Plaintiffs are dry bean farmers
in Michigan, Minnesota, and North Dakota who have not received
indemnity for crop insurance to which they believe they are
entitled.

The Plaintiffs are bringing the putative class action on behalf
of all dry bean farmers in Michigan (navy pea beans and small red
beans), Minnesota (dark red kidney beans), and North Dakota (dark
red kidney beans).  Each Plaintiff purchased Dry Bean Revenue
Endorsement ("DRBE") crop insurance for their dry bean crops in
2015.  The purpose of this insurance was to protect dry bean
farmers against a market price decline.  However, even though dry
bean market prices declined greatly in 2015, no indemnity was
paid to the Plaintiffs.  In the present suit, the Plaintiffs seek
a declaratory judgment invalidating certain administrative
determinations related to the DBRE, reforming or invaliding the
insurance contracts, and ordering the Defendants to pay indemnity
to them.

On November 22, 2017, the Federal Defendants and the Insurance
Defendants both filed motion to dismiss.  On March 8, 2018, the
Plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to file a second amended
complaint which corrects the names of certain Plaintiffs.  On
April 18, 2018, the Court issued an order granting the motions to
dismiss and also granting the motion for leave to file an amended
complaint.
In that order, the Court dismissed without prejudice all the
Plaintiffs who do not farm or reside in the Eastern District of
Michigan.  It also dismissed all the Insurance Defendants after
concluding that the Plaintiffs had failed to comply with the
contractual requirements for bringing suit found within the
insurance policies.

On May 2, 2018, the Plaintiffs filed a motion for
reconsideration. In the motion, they argue that the Plaintiffs
from outside the Eastern District of Michigan should have been
transferred to the proper venue instead of dismissed.  They also
argue that the claims against the Insurance Defendants should not
have been dismissed because the Insurance Defendants never
refused to provide indemnification (which would have triggered
the mandatory arbitration provisions of the policies) and because
the Plaintiffs' claim for contractual damages from the Insurers
can be advanced without first receiving a determination of
noncompliance with the policy from the FCIC or undergoing
arbitration.

The Plaintiffs raise two arguments in their motion for
reconsideration.  First, they argue that the Court should have
transferred the Minnesota Plaintiffs to the District of Minnesota
instead of dismissing them without prejudice for lack of venue.
Second, they argue that the Court should not have dismissed the
Insurance Defendants.

Judge Ludington holds that neither argument identifies a palpable
defect in the Court's prior order.  Nevertheless, in the
interests of justice, he will reinstate the claims of the
Minnesota Plaintiffs against the Federal Defendants and transfer
them to the District of Minnesota.  The Plaintiffs' present
arguments simply demonstrate exactly why their claims against the
Insurance Defendants must be dismissed, and so no relief is
warranted in that respect.

Accordingly, the Judge granted in part the Plaintiffs' motion for
reconsideration.  He reinstated Plaintiffs Rich Elbert, Jeff A.
Kosek, and Reichmann Land & Cattle LLP.  The Judge severed and
transferred to the District of Minnesota the said Plaintiffs and
their claims against the Federal Defendants.

A full-text copy of the Court's June 1, 2018 Order is available
at https://is.gd/q8Ob6c from Leagle.com.

Ackerman Brothers Farms, LLC, Back Road Farming, Inc., Daniel E.
Balcer, Becker Farms, LLC, Randy Beckering, Bernia & Sons Farms,
Inc., Bernia Family Farms, Inc., Brian Brandenburg, Gary Bulzan,
D. T. Rouech Farms, LLC, Todd W. Draggoo, Beatrice Elenbaum,
French Farms, Harry Gaiser, Jr., Jason Gaiser, Goebel Farms,
Inc., James Gremel, Gro Green Acres, Gruehn Farms, Inc., Gruehn
Acre Farms, Jason Haag, Terry Haag, Tom Haag, Scott Hawken, John
Schluckebier Farms, Inc., Fred Karg, Kurtis Kreger, Timothy
Kubacki, Kundinger Farms, Inc., Laracha Farms, LLC, Matthew Lutz,
R & J Farms, Inc., Robert Rathje, Rayl Farms, Inc., Richmond
Brothers Farms, LLC, Rodammer Farms, Inc., Russell Transport,
Inc., Daniel Sahr, Leasly Schaper, Gregory Schian, Jeffrey
Schian, John Schian, Brad Singer, Stacer Farms Ltd. Partnership,
Constance Kreger, Mark Stambaugh, Donald Stecker, Vern Stephen,
Lucas M. Stockmeyer, Robert Stockmeyer, Kendall Stoeckle,
Stoutenburg Farms, Three R Farms, Inc., Vader and Son, LLC, Vader
Farms, Inc., Vanhoost Farms, Inc., Glenn L. Vogel, Joseph
Vohwinkle, Jim Wilkinson, Terry Wood, Don Zaremba, Zimmer Farms,
Inc. & Ackerman & Son LLC, Plaintiffs, represented by John D.
Tallman.

United States Department of Agriculture, Risk Management Agency &
Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, Defendants, represented by
Sarah Pring Karpinen, U.S. Attorney's Office.


UNITED STATES: Counties Set to Receive PILT Class Action Payments
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Alex Paul, writing for Albany Democrat-Herald, reports that Linn
and Benton counties will receive an unknown amount of money from
a class action lawsuit filed in Utah that charged the federal
government underfunded the Payments in Lieu of Taxes program in
2015, 2016 and 2017.

Linn County Commissioner John Lindsey told fellow commissioners
Roger Nyquist and Will Tucker on July 3 that he has been
following the case in part because it is similar to the class
action lawsuit filed by Linn County and others against the Oregon
Department of Forestry.

Because much of the Pacific Northwest is owned by the federal
government and therefore does not pay local property taxes, the
PILT program helps mitigate those tax losses to counties, in some
cases by several million dollars per year.

PILT income is derived by fees charged for livestock grazing,
timber harvesting and oil and gas leases.

In general, federal lands can be owned by a variety of agencies
and entities, including the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of
Land Management, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service and branches of the military.

Linn County has about 561,000 acres of federal lands. Benton
County has about 74,000 acres of federal lands.

Linn County budgeted $190,000 in 2017-18 in PILT money. But Linn
County received about $1.023 million from the PILT program, said
County Administrator Ralph Wyatt.

Benton County will receive about $185,000.

The latest payments do not reflect the funds from the lawsuit
settlement, which are forthcoming, although the government has
the right to appeal the court's decision.

Oregon's 36 counties will receive nearly $37 million from the
lawsuit settlement.

"These funds are welcome news for rural communities across our
state," said U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, the Republican who represents
the state's 2nd Congressional District. "I worked with my
colleagues in the House to fully fund this program that is part
of the federal government's obligation to our rural counties."

Mr. Walden added, "With the majority of Oregon's land managed by
the federal government, these funds, along with Secure Rural
School funds and timber receipts, help ensure our communities
have well-functioning schools, law enforcement, and
infrastructure."

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said that 1,900 government
entities will receive portions of $552.8 million from the PILT
program, the largest amount allocated in its 40-year history.

Mr. Zinke said he grew up in northwest Montana and understands
the importance of the PILT program to rural areas.

"PILT investments often serve as critical support for local
communities as they juggle planning and paying for basic services
such as public safety, firefighting, social services and
transportation," Mr. Zinke said.

Since its founding in 1977, the PILT program has also distributed
more than $8.5 billion to the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico,
Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. [GN]


UNITED STATES: Petersburg Borough Votes to Join PILT Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Petersburg Pilot reports that the Borough Assembly voted to opt-
in on a class action lawsuit against the United States on July 2.

The Petersburg Borough is one of the local governments which
receive payment from the Payment in Lieu of Taxes Act, according
to a noticed issued by the United States Court of Federal Claims.
During the 2015, 2016 and 2017 fiscal years, the government did
not pay the required full amounts to local governments under the
PILT Act. [GN]


UNITED STATES: Town of Weathersfield Joins PILT Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
Valley News reports that town officials said Weathersfield will
join a class-action lawsuit that alleges the federal government
failed to make payments between 2015-17 for land owned by the
Army Corps of Engineers.

A federal court has ruled that the government owes money to
municipalities across the country as part of a PILOT, or payment
in lieu of taxes, program that underpaid local governments for
several years. While an agreement has been reached for the total
owed for 2015 and 2016, negotiations are ongoing to determine
2017 payments, according to court documents. Officials believe a
resolution will be reached soon, however.

Weathersfield Town Manager Ed Morris said on June 28 that there
is no taxpayer cost to join the suit. But failing to do so means
the town would not be eligible to receive any money, he said.

The federal land in question is located in the Stoughton Pond
Recreation area near the North Springfield dam. Weathersfield
only receives a few thousand dollars from the federal government
each year -- expected to amount to roughly $3,000 in 2018 --  but
the town decided joined the suit on principle, Mr. Morris said.

"We are not doing it because we need the money," he said. "We
want to stand behind the county (in Utah)."

Kane County, Utah, filed a lawsuit against the federal government
in June 2017 seeking to recover underpayments through the PILOT
program.

A federal claims court ruled in favor of the county in December,
saying the federal government is obligated to pay local
governments a certain amount based on a formula, even though
Congress failed to appropriate sufficient funds from 2015-17.
[GN]


UNITED STATES: Whitman County Agrees to Join PILT Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
William L. Spence, writing for The Lewiston Tribune, reports that
the Whitman County commissioners agreed to join a class action
lawsuit that deals with alleged underpayments in the federal
Payment In Lieu of Taxes program from 2015 to 2017.

The program compensates counties that have large tracts of
untaxed federal lands, such as national forests or Army Corps of
Engineers property. The money can be used for public schools,
roads and other public services.

Nationwide, the program will pay out more than $550 million to
about 1,900 jurisdictions this year.

Congress, however, didn't fully fund the program from 2015 to
2017. Kane County, Utah, filed suit last year, alleging that the
underpayments were contrary to federal code. The U.S. Court of
Federal Claims ruled in its favor in December, and granted class-
action status to the case.

Whitman County expects to receive about $57,000 this year in
funding from the program. The alleged underpayments would be a
small fraction of that. Nevertheless, the commissioners voted
unanimously to join the lawsuit.

"The amount of money that's at stake for Whitman County is de
minimus," said Commissioner Michael Largent. "But for other
counties, it can be quite significant. To the extent that we can
support them in their efforts to provide public services, I think
we should."

Washington should receive about $29 million in funding from the
program this year, according to estimates from the Washington
State Association of Counties. From 2015 to 2017, the total
alleged underpayments amount to less than $1 million statewide.
For some individual counties, however, the figure could exceed
$300,000. [GN]


UNITED STATES: Goshen County Joins PILT Class Action
----------------------------------------------------
Mark Gaschler, writing for StarHerald.com, reports that the
Goshen County Board of Commissioners voted to opt-in on a
nationwide class-action lawsuit against the federal government

The class action lawsuit is over PILT (payment in lieu of taxes)
funds from the federal government, which compensates counties for
the lack of property taxes on federal lands, with the counties
alleging the federal government underpaid PILT for a number of
years. While the government only holds a small fraction of Goshen
County's land-assessor Debbi Surratt said federal lands account
for under 27,000 acres of the county, less than two percent --
Commissioner Carl Rupp said he wanted to show solidarity with
other counties across the country.

"We don't have a lot (of federal land) in Goshen County, so we
don't get a lot of money," he said. "Some counties make at least
half-a-million dollars from just that payment."

Rupp agreed, noting that it costs Goshen County nothing to
support the other counties. "We're in a unique situation where
this doesn't really affect us," he said, "but it affects some of
those other counties big."

Commissioner John Ellis agreed. "It's financially responsible,"
he said.

The county stands to gain a little money from the lawsuit, about
$2,800, although legal fees would be paid out of the county's
winnings. [GN]


UNITED STATES: Court Blocks Arbitrary Detention of Asylum Seeker
----------------------------------------------------------------
Jamaica Observer reports that a United States federal court has
blocked the arbitrary detention of a Haitian asylum seeker and
others fleeing persecution, torture or death in their countries
of origin.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the court
also ordered a case-by-case review of whether each asylum seeker
in the class-action lawsuit should be released on humanitarian
parole.

Named plaintiff Ansly Damus, an ethics teacher from Haiti, has
been locked up in Ohio for more than a year and a half, the ACLU
said.

The case, Damus v Nielsen, was filed in US District Court in
Washington, DC It names the US Department of Homeland Security
and the Department of Justice as defendants.

The court's ruling on July 2 stems from a challenge brought by
the ACLU, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies, Human Rights
First, and Covington & Burling LLP.

The ACLU said US Government policy stipulates that asylum seekers
be granted humanitarian parole as they await their immigration
proceedings, provided they meet a series of stringent
requirements.

Instead, the ACLU said Trump administration has "categorically
jailed them indefinitely, in violation of the Constitution, US
immigration laws, and the Department of Homeland Security's own
written policy."

"This ruling means the Trump administration cannot use indefinite
detention as a weapon to punish and deter asylum seekers," said
Michael Tan, senior staff attorney with the ACLU's Immigrants'
Rights Project.

The lawsuit targets five US Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) field offices that have almost entirely stopped granting
parole since early 2017, the ACLU said.

Those offices are Detroit (which covers Michigan and Ohio), El
Paso (which covers New Mexico and West Texas), Los Angeles,
Newark (which covers New Jersey), and Philadelphia (which covers
Pennsylvania).

The ACLU said all the plaintiffs passed credible fear screenings
-- meaning a US asylum officer has determined their fear of
persecution is credible, and that they have a significant
possibility of receiving full asylum.

More than 1,000 asylum seekers are estimated to have been denied
parole in those five ICE districts alone, said the ACLU, stating
that the court's decision will have "an enormous impact on asylum
seekers, who pose no risk, and are currently languishing in
detention."

"It is a rejection of the Trump administration's blanket policy
of denying parole to those seeking protection in this country,"
said Human Rights First's Legal Director Hardy Vieux. "We hope
that our clients and those like them will no longer be wrongly
held in prison-like conditions."

The ACLU said Mr. Damus committed no crime in Haiti. Rather, it
said, he had spoken out against a government official "and was
then forced to flee violent, political persecution."

When he arrived in the US, the ACLU said Mr. Damus presented
himself to immigration authorities and requested asylum.

"He passed his credible fear interview and was granted asylum by
a judge -- not once, but twice," the ACLU said. "Despite that, he
has remained behind bars while the government appealed his grants
of asylum.

"The Trump administration had put Mr. Damus behind bars
indefinitely alongside thousands of other asylum seekers like
him," it added. "ICE has not allowed him outside even once in
over a year."

"I have not breathed fresh air or felt the sun on my face, and I
never know if it is cold or hot outside, if the sun is out, and
if the seasons are changing," the ACLU quoted Mr. Damus as saying
when the lawsuit was filed. [GN]


UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA: Sued Over Nadon Sexual Assault Allegations
----------------------------------------------------------------
OttawaMatters.com reports that a Chelsea doctor, facing dozens of
sex assault and voyeurism charges, stemming from incidents while
he practiced medicine at University of Ottawa Health Services now
faces a $210-million dollar class action lawsuit.

Vincent Nadon, 57, was charged earlier this year. The allegations
against him involve video-taping and assaulting nearly 40
patients.

The university has been named in the lawsuit as well.

Attorney with Toronto law firm Flaherty McCarthy, Candice Mak,
told OttawaMatters that they represent the lead plaintiff for the
class action, and other patients with allegations against
Dr. Nadon are thinking hard about whether or not to come forward.

"Those are the ones that, we understand, have gone to the
police," she explained. "And of course, it's common in sexual
assault cases that victims are reluctant to come forward,
completely understandable [because] they don't want to be re-
victimized."

Ms. Mak said Dr. Nadon is only "part of the problem."

The University of Ottawa, as operators of the Health Services
Centre, is named in the suit, and the lawyer adds many of the
patients at the clinic were students who had an expectation they
would be safe.

None of the allegations against Dr. Nadon, dating back to 1990,
have been proven in court. [GN]


URBAN SPACE: N.Y. OKs Prel Approval of $265K Class Settlement
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court, New York County, granted Plaintiff's Unopposed
Motion for Preliminary Approval of His Proposed Class Action
Settlement Procedure and Conditional Class Certification of the
Action in the case captioned CRAIG McCLENDON, individually and on
behalf of all other persons similarly situated who were formerly
or are presently employed by URBAN SPACE WORKS, LLC, URBANSPACE
GRAND CENTRAL LLC, URBAN SPACE 230 PARK LLC, and ELDON SCOTT
and/or any other entities affiliated with or controlled by URBAN
SPACE WORKS LLC, URBANSPACE GRAND CENTRAL LLC, URBAN SPACE 230
PARK LLC, and ELDON SCOTT, Plaintiff, v. URBAN SPACE WORKS LLC,
URBANSPACE GRAND CENTRAL LLC, URBAN SPACE 230 PARK LLC, and ELDON
SCOTT and/or any other entities affiliated with or controlled by
URBAN SPACE WORKS LLC, URBANSPACE GRANT CENTRAL LLC, URBAN SPACE
230 PARK LLC, and ELDON SCOTT, Defendants, Docket No.
153586/2017, Motion Seq. No. 1 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co.).

The Plaintiff, individually and on behalf of a putative class of
approximately 60 similarly situated people who work or have
worked for the defendants, brings this purported class action
lawsuit against them for their alleged failure to pay appropriate
overtime compensation.

The parties attended a mediation at which the plaintiff presented
a detailed audit of the alleged class damages. They reached an
agreement, settling for $265,000, and in the settlement
agreement, they define the class as follows:

     The Named Plaintiff and a Class of all individuals employed
by Urban Space Works, LLC, Urban Space Grand Central LLC, Urban
Space 230 Park LLC, and Eldon Scott, and their related affiliates
and subsidiaries who performed work as security guards, porters,
maintenance workers, and janitorial workers, and all work
incidental thereto from April 11, 2011 through August 8, 2017.
The Class shall not include any clerical, administrative,
professional, or supervisory employees.

Pursuant to CPLR 901(a), a lawsuit may qualify as a class action
if the following criteria are met: (1) the class is so numerous
that joinder of all members is impracticable (numerosity); (2)
there are questions of law or fact common to the class which
predominate over any questions affecting only individual members
(commonality); (3) the claims of the representative parties are
typical of the claims of the class (typicality); (4) the
representative parties will fairly and adequately protect the
class's interests (adequacy of representation); and (5) a class
action is superior to other available methods for the fair and
efficient adjudication of the controversy (superiority).

Numerosity

The approximately 60-member class is so numerous that joinder of
all its members would be impracticable.

Commonality

Notwithstanding the difference among class members in terms of
their specific jobs and damages, common questions of law and fact
predominate, namely, whether defendants failed to pay the class
overtime wages and thereby violated state labor laws.

Typicality

The Plaintiff's claim is typical of the claims of the class, as
it arises from overtime work performed for which he was not
compensated; a finding in his favor would result in all members
of the class obtaining relief.

Adequacy of representation

As the plaintiff alleges that he worked for the defendants as a
security employee, cleaner, and maintenance worker, and that they
unlawfully deprived him of overtime wages during that period, he
adequately represents the class, as he and other members seek the
same relief.

Having served as class counsel in numerous actions in this
county, plaintiff's counsel are adequate representatives for the
class.

Superiority

As the costs of prosecuting individual actions are likely to
exceed the damages suffered by one class member, the class action
is a superior vehicle for resolving this claim.

Settlement agreement

The following factors are considered: (1) the complexity, expense
and likely duration of the litigation; (2) the reaction of the
class to the settlement; (3) the stage of the proceedings and the
amount of discovery completed; (4) the risks of establishing
liability; (5) the risks of establishing damages; (6) the risks
of maintaining the class through the trial; (7) the ability of
the defendants to withstand a greater judgment; (8) the range of
reasonableness of the settlement fund in light of the best
possible recovery; and (9) the range of reasonableness of the
settlement fund to a possible recovery in light of all the
attendant risks of litigation.

Here, the settlement agreement appears to be the product of
serious, informed negotiations, as the parties attended a
mediation at which the plaintiff presented a detailed accounting
of damages incurred. The Plaintiff's request for attorney fees,
however, requires a detailed breakdown of the reasonable value of
services provided.

Based on the plaintiff's proposed order, the Court adopts the
settlement procedure.

Accordingly, the proposed class action settlement is
preliminarily approved and the settlement class is conditionally
certified.

A full-text copy of the Supreme Court's May 31, 2017 Decision and
Order is available at https://tinyurl.com/yadw53mu from
Leagle.com.


VIRGINIA: Class Action Against SVJC May Face Delay
--------------------------------------------------
Bob Leweke, writing for WMRA, reports that the class-action
lawsuit against the Shenandoah Valley Juvenile Center may be
delayed, as lawyers try to add a fourth teen to the suit. [GN]


VIVINT INC: 9th Circuit Affirms Class Action Dismissal
------------------------------------------------------
Global Legal Chronicle reports that on June 13, 2018, the United
States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the
District Court's dismissal with prejudice of a putative class
action lawsuit against Vivint, Inc. The Ninth Circuit held that
Vivint did not violate California Labor Code Section 432.7, which
generally prohibits employers from asking about or taking
employment actions based on expunged criminal convictions. The
Ninth Circuit ruled that such general prohibition is inapplicable
when the employer is required by law to obtain information
regarding the conviction of an applicant -- which the Ninth
Circuit held was the case here.

Vivint, Inc. provides home security, energy management, home
automation, local cloud storage, and high-speed Internet
solutions to customers in the United States and Canada.

The Simpson Thacher team for the appeal includes Chet Kronenberg
-- ckronenberg@stblaw.com -- and Tyler Bernstein --
tyler.bernstein@stblaw.com -- Mr. argued the appeal before the
Ninth Circuit. [GN]


VIZIO: Reaches Tentative Privacy Class Action Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------
Wendy Davis, writing for MediaPost, reports that smart TV
manufacturer Vizio has reached a "potential settlement" of a
privacy class action, the company said in court papers filed in
Santa Ana, Calif.

The agreement is expected to be finalized by August 10, and
presented to U.S. District Court Judge Josephine Staton the
following month. Tentative terms have not yet been disclosed.

If approved, the deal will resolve a lawsuit alleging that Vizio
violated several laws, including a federal video privacy law, by
sharing information about consumers with ad-tech companies and
data brokers.

The legal battle dates to 2015, when a group of consumers alleged
that Vizio tracks TV viewers by default, and shares data with
companies that send targeted ads to people's phones, tablets and
other devices. The first complaint came several days after
ProPublica published a report about the company.

Last year, Judge Staton rejected Vizio's bid to dismiss the
lawsuit. The manufacturer had argued that the federal Video
Privacy Protection Act -- which prohibits video providers from
disclosing personally identifiable information about people's
video-viewing history without their explicit consent -- doesn't
apply to device manufacturers.

Vizio also argued that the type of data allegedly disclosed --
including IP addresses, media access control (MAC) addresses, ZIP
codes, computer names, and product serial numbers -- wasn't
personally identifiable.

Judge Staton sided against Vizio on both points. She said in a
ruling issued in March 2017 that Congress intended for the video
privacy law to apply to companies that are "in the business of
delivering video content."

The judge also rejected Vizio's contention that the type of
information allegedly disclosed couldn't be personally
identifiable. While Judge Staton made clear that the ruling was
only preliminary, and could change depending on facts that
emerged as the case progressed, she also suggested that even
theoretically "anonymous" data could be used to identify
individuals.

In the written opinion, she pointed to allegations in the
complaint that MAC addresses can be used to learn specific
geolocation data, and to identify individuals when combined with
data about IP addresses, ZIP codes, serial numbers, and other
data.

Vizio unsuccessfully asked Judge Staton to authorize an immediate
appeal of her decision.

Last year, the Federal Trade Commission brought a separate
enforcement action against Vizio for allegedly engaging in an
unfair practice by tracking consumers, and for deceiving
consumers by failing to adequately explain its data practices.
The company agreed to settle the charges by paying $2.2 million
to the FTC and the state of New Jersey, which also brought a
complaint against the company. [GN]


WASHINGTON: Faces Class Action Over Home Care Worker Union Dues
---------------------------------------------------------------
Associated Press reports that an Olympia-based think tank is
suing to force Washington state and a union for home-care workers
to reimburse those workers for union dues or fees they didn't
want to pay.

The Freedom Foundation filed the lawsuit on July 3 in U.S.
District Court in Tacoma. It seeks class-action status on behalf
of hundreds or thousands of in-home care providers for elderly or
disabled clients covered by Medicaid in the past four years.

The lawsuit says the state automatically collects 3.2 percent of
the workers' pay and turns it over to the union, SEIU 775.

Workers can choose to opt out, but the organization says the
state has failed to honor some of those requests.

Maxford Nelsen, the Freedom Foundation's labor policy director,
says the organization was already planning to sue, but the U.S.
Supreme Court's 5-4 Janus decision helped its cause.

That ruling said forcing public employees to pay union dues
without their prior consent is unconstitutional.

The home care workers aren't considered full public employees,
but Nelsen says the same logic should apply to them.

SEIU spokeswoman Nina Jenkins and Jaime Smith, a spokeswoman for
Gov. Jay Inslee, said they had not seen the lawsuit and could not
immediately comment. [GN]

WEINSTEIN CO: Attorney Alleges Fraud, Racism Against Lantern
------------------------------------------------------------
Dawn C. Chmielewski, writing for Deadline, reports that the lead
attorney in a class action lawsuit against Harvey Weinstein on
July 3 voiced concern over allegations of fraud and racism
leveled against the Dallas-based private equity firm poised to
acquire The Weinstein Company.

Producer Marvin Peart hit Lantern Capital with a $110 million
lawsuit on July 2, claiming he was excluded from the deal after
bringing Lantern to the negotiating table. "Institutional racism"
is being cited as part of the reason for Mr. Peart, who is
African American, being dumped by Lantern.

Cris Armenta, the national class-action counsel for the six women
who filed a suit last December against Weinstein, on behalf of
all women who found themselves on the disgraced movie producer's
"casting couch," issued a statement to Deadline raising concerns
about the allegations in the Lantern suit.

"We wish this deal would go to close for the benefit of all the
unsecured creditors. However, I have always been suspicious about
the debtors' hostility to making justice happen. Our clients only
care about justice and their voices.

In Georgia this year, there was a verdict rendered for a woman
who was raped while people should have known better. The $1
billion verdict was the single largest rape verdict in the
history. That should be a barometer for Harvey Weinstein's
misdeeds and for all the people who enabled him.

The victims will not stand down and their voices will be heard.

The recent allegation of racism only calls more into question the
misogyny that has been TWC's legacy. We stand together: Race,
Gender, LGBTQ. We are one."

The U.S. bankruptcy court approved the sale of The Weinstein
Co.'s assets to Lantern Capital in May. As the stalking horse in
the bankruptcy action and the favorite to take over the company
from the beginning, pledging to run a business "with the utmost
respect for all employees and promote a diverse and transparent
environment."

Mr. Peart's 23-page civil suit, in which claimed he had been
gradually frozen out of the deal, seeks payment for orchestrating
a sale that has not yet closed. And it landed at a critical time
for TWC.

The studio warned in bankruptcy court filings that its pending
sale to Lantern could collapse. The Weinstein Co. said it has
been arguing with the firm over who would pay potentially tens of
millions of dollars owed to actors and others involved in various
film and TV projects.

A Lantern spokesperson said the company does not comment on
litigation, but issued the following statement:

"In response to the question, 'Was Marvin Peart excluded from any
meetings?' To the extent that he was, the (Weinstein) company and
its advisors requested that Lantern exclude Marvin Peart from
certain meetings due to his long-term personal and business
relationship with David Glasser."

The Weinstein Co. board fired Mr. Glasser, the company's former
president and chief operating officer, in February. [GN]


WHATCOM COUNTY, WA: Sued Over Jail Addiction Therapy Protocol
-------------------------------------------------------------
Cascadia Weekly reports that with Whatcom County facing legal
action for its glacial pace in developing a therapy protocol for
jail inmates who suffer addiction issues from painkillers, the
other housekeeping arrived as the county joined a class-action
lawsuit against the manufacturers of those prescription drugs.

In June, the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington filed a
class-action civil rights lawsuit against Whatcom County and the
Whatcom County Sheriff's Office for denying people with opioid
use disorder (OUD) in the County Jail medications necessary to
treat their addiction and ease their withdrawal. Sheriff Bill
Elfo reported to Whatcom County Council that a medication-
assisted treatment protocol for inmates had been under
development at the jail for some time, but had not been fully
initiated.

County Council, meanwhile, had been for some time considering
their own initiative, joining the widening legal fight against
makers and wholesalers of prescription opioids, claiming they
have contributed to a public health crisis.

"There is a fairly strong record that certain pharmaceutical
companies engaged in deceptive practices with doctors and
patients about whether these products would be addictive, and
aggressively over-encouraged physicians to overprescribe them,"
Councilmember Todd Donovan explained.

In April, County Council voted unanimously to retain legal
counsel to join Everett, Tacoma, and other communities around the
state in lawsuits against the distributors of over-prescribed
painkillers.

The Whatcom County Prosecutors office confirmed that legal
documents had been filed in a federal lawsuit against Purdue,
Endo, Teva Pharmaceuticals, Mallinckrodt, and Janssen, the
largest manufacturers of prescription opioids in the United
States, as well as AmerisourceBergen, Cardinal Health, and
McKesson, the three primary wholesale distributors of
prescription opioids in the country.

The lawsuit seeks damages from these companies for their role in
creating the opioid crisis that has seriously impacted Whatcom
County and communities nationwide, and alleges that they violated
the Washington Consumer Protection Act and federal corrupt
enterprise statutes (RICO).

Prescription opioids are a class of powerful pain relievers,
including oxycodone and hydrocodone. The chemical make-up of
these prescription drugs is nearly identical to heroin. Opioid-
related overdoses are the leading cause of death in the United
States, surpassing fatal car accidents.  Since 2000, more than
300,000 people have died from fatal opioid overdoses.

The ultimate goal of this and similar actions from municipalities
across the state is to bring these companies that have profited
greatly from the manufacture and distribution of a heavily
marketed addictive product into the constellation of financial
solutions to address a public health epidemic.

"The goal for Whatcom County is to get some kind of judgment that
requires these companies to help mitigate [these issues] and help
us support programs to combat opioid addiction," Mr. Donovan
said.

In May 2007, Purdue Pharma, producer of oxycontin, pleaded guilty
to misleading the public about the drug's risk of addiction and
agreed to pay $600 million in one of the largest pharmaceutical
settlements in U.S. history. The City of Everett successfully
initiated a lawsuit against Purdue based on increased costs for
the city from the use of oxycontin.

Research indicates that 80 percent of those addicted to opioids
and opiates of any form began their addiction with prescription
painkillers. One study by Johns Hopkins Center for Drug Safety
and Effectiveness estimated the volume of prescription opioids in
circulation in 2017 amounted to 52 pills for every American.

In Whatcom County, 30 percent of residents surveyed reported
experiencing a situation where they or someone they know
personally had medicines taken from them for use or abuse by
someone else.

"In Whatcom County, the opioid crisis has become a public health
emergency, and the costs to the county have been substantial,"
Deputy Civil Prosecutor Karen Frakes noted in her narrative.
"Between 2002-2004 and 2011-2013, the number of deaths attributed
to opioids rose over 300 percent in Whatcom County. Moreover,
according to the Health Department, the county had the second
highest rate of treatment admissions for opioids in Washington
State.

Of the 39 counties in the state, Whatcom County ranks third for
overall negative impacts from heroin abuse and sixth for overall
negative impacts from prescription opioids.

"The crisis has significantly strained county departments and
services," attorneys detailed in their complaint, "including
through increased costs in the areas of public health, the
county's jail system, the county's court and social service
systems, and emergency medical services. Opioid addiction has
caused a substantial increase in crime in Whatcom County,
including property and retail crimes. The county also estimates
that a large proportion of the county's homeless population is
addicted to heroin, which compounds the problem of homelessness
and makes it more difficult for the county to address."

Yet in light of the county's ranking among other communities
around the state in the incidence of opioid abuse, the complaints
filed by the ACLU seem particularly damning.

Whatcom County's policy and practice has been to to deny
medically assisted treatment (MAT) for all inmates suffering
addiction withdrawal, except for pregnant women, and only now --
years into the epidemic -- is beginning to slow walk the protocol
to the wider jail population.

"The county's Subutex protocol for pregnant women indicates that
county understands that MAT is a safe, effective treatment for
OUD," the ACLU reasoned in their complaint. "It also indicates
that the county has the means and resources, including trained
staff and internal protocols, to provide Subutex to anyone with
OUD."

As the county prepares to clean house on the failings of the
pharmaceutical industry, the county should also proceed to sweep
their own front door. [GN]


WILL  RIVER: Bid to Dismiss Amended "Santiago" Suit Partly OK'd
---------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, MARISSA SANTIAGO, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v.  WILL  RIVER ASSOCIATES,
LLC, Defendants, Case No. 3:17-cv-2054-VAB (D. Conn.), Judge
Victor A. Bolden of the U.S. District Court for the District of
Connecticut granted in part and denied in part MRA's motion to
dismiss the Amended Complaint.

Ms. Santiago filed the lawsuit on behalf of herself and a
putative class.  She claims that MRA violated the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act ("TCPA") when it called her cellphone and
used a pre-recorded artificial voice message for political
polling.

Ms. Santiago alleges that at all relevant time for the lawsuit
she subscribed to a wireless telephone number.  The number --
which ended in "2845" -- was always assigned to a cellphone and
not to a landline.  She also alleges that the phone was
registered on the National Do Not Call Registry.

In October 2017, she received the first of three calls she
maintains came from MRA and to which she had not consented.  Ms.
Santiago alleges that none of the three calls seemed to have any
human involvement or interactivity and that she heard only an
artificial voice.  She alleges that the Defendant made the calls
at issue using an artificial or prerecorded voice and/or an
automated telephone dialing system.  She also maintains that that
she is informed and believes that MRA called others throughout
the United States.

Ms. Santiago filed the initial Complaint in the matter on Dec. 7,
2017.  The Complaint included two causes of action: violations of
the TCPA and "Knowing and/or Willful violation of the TCPA.  The
Complaint also included allegations on behalf of a putative
class.

MRA then moved to dismiss the Complaint.  First, it argued that
dismissal was warranted in its entirety because the Complaint
contained no allegation that the calls went to a number assigned
to a cellphone.  Second, it moved to dismiss the second count,
arguing that the Complaint did not plausibly state a claim that
MRA's behavior was "willful."

Instead of responding to the motion to dismiss, Ms. Santiago
filed an Amended Complaint.  The Amended Complaint included only
one cause of action, but alleged that the phone calls constitute
numerous and multiple negligent, willful and/or knowing
violations of the TCPA, including but not limited to all of the
above-cited provisions of 45 U.S.C. Section 227 et seq. and its
implementing regulations.  Ms. Santiago seeks statutory damages
between $500 and $1,500 per violation, attorneys' fees, costs,
and injunctive relief.

She also renews her claims on behalf of a putative class. The
Amended Complaint includes the class of all persons within the
United States who received an artificial voice or prerecorded
telephone call from the Defendant, or a caller acting on behalf
of Defendant, after October 16, 2013 to said person's wireless
telephone number.  She alleges that the class would meet the
requirements of Rule 23 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

MRA now moves to dismiss the Amended Complaint under Rule
12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  It argues that
the Amended Complaint is procedurally improper because it
combines both negligent and willful violations into a single
count.  Second, MRA argues that Ms. Santiago has failed to
properly allege that any of the violations were knowing or
willful.  Third, it moves to "dismiss" any claims for attorneys'
fees, arguing that the TCPA does not allow for the recovery of
fees and costs.  Finally, MRA moves to "dismiss and/or strike"
parts of the class definition because it argues those claims are
barred by the TCPA's statute of limitations.

Ms. Santiago disagrees.  She argues that the Amended Complaint
adequately places MRA on notice of the claims as required by
Rules 8 and 10 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and that
she has included adequate factual allegations demonstrating
willfulness on the part of MRA.  She argues that attorneys' fees
are appropriate because she would be entitled to recover fees as
part of a common fund if the class is certified.  Finally, she
argues that the class allegations should not be dismissed in
their entirety, but does not oppose reforming the class
definition to start on Dec. 7, 2013, rather than Oct. 16, 2013,
for pleading purposes.

Judge Bolden finds that accepting all facts in the complaint as
true and drawing all inferences in her favor, Ms. Santiago has
properly alleged a knowing and willful violation of the TCPA.
The motion to dismiss is denied with respect to Count I of the
Amended Complaint.

While the Amended Complaint could be more clearly drafted, the
Judge finds that it appears that Ms. Santiago seeks attorneys'
fees primarily -- if not only -- in relation to the class
allegations, and her representation of the putative class.  And
because it could ultimately result in a common fund, as Ms.
Santiago argues, without more, he will not strike the request for
attorneys' fees from the Amended Complaint.  Nevertheless, since
Ms. Santiago will be amending her Complaint to address the
definition of the purported class, she should amend the Complaint
to provide greater clarity over the basis for relief with respect
to attorneys' fees and costs.

As to the class allegations, the Judge finds that the initial
complaint here was filed on Dec. 7, 2017, so calls occurring
before Dec. 7, 2013, would be barred by the statute of
limitations. Ms. Santiago has consented to reforming the class
definition to start on Dec. 7, 2013, rather than Oct. 16, 2013.
Since the parties are in agreement, and the statute of
limitations clearly forecloses relief on the face of the Amended
Complaint, the Judge will grant MRA's motion solely with respect
to claims accruing before Dec. 7, 2013.  Ms. Santiago should file
a Second Amended Complaint to address this issue.

For the reasons he stated, Judge Bolden granted in part and
denied in part MRA's motion to dismiss the Amended Complaint.
The Plaintiff may file a Second Amended Complaint by June 15,
2018, addressing any of the concerns raised.  Additionally, the
parties will submit a new 26(f) Report by June 30, 2018.

A full-text copy of the Court's June 1, 2018 Order is available
at https://is.gd/8mDOfu from Leagle.com.

Marissa Santiago, Individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, represented by Jonathan M. Shapiro
-- jshapiro@shapirolawofficesct.com -- Shapiro Law Offices, LLC &
Kevin Abramowicz -- kabramowicz@carlsonlynch.com -- Carlson Lynch
Sweet Kilpela & Carpenter, LLP.

Will River Associates, LLC, Defendant, represented by Dena M.
Castricone -- castricone@murthalaw.com -- Murtha Cullina, Henry
F. Murray -- hfmurray@lapm.org -- Livingston, Adler, Pulda,
Meiklejohn & Kelly, Kristen Luise Zaehringer --
kzaehringer@murthalaw.com -- Murtha Cullina, LLP & Michael J.
Donnelly -- mdonnelly@murthalaw.com -- Murtha Cullina LLP.


* Skadden Securities Litigators Issue Class Action Update
---------------------------------------------------------
Skadden Securities Litigators issued a June 2018 update.

This quarter's issue includes summaries and associated court
opinions of selected cases principally decided between February
2018 and May 2018.

US Supreme Court

Actionable Statements

Class Actions

Fiduciary Duties - Derivative Litigation

Loss Causation

Materiality

Misrepresentations

Pleading Standards

Proxy Solicitations

Scienter

Securities Exchange Act

Securities Fraud Pleading Standards

SLUSA Preclusion

Statutory Appraisal

US Supreme Court
Supreme Court Rules That Pending Class Actions Do Not Toll
Limitations Period for Subsequent Class Actions

China Agritech v. Resh, No. 17-432 (U.S. Jun. 11, 2018)

The U.S. Supreme Court held that a pending class action does not
toll the statute of limitations for absent class members who
bring a subsequent class action. The Supreme Court thereby
declined to extend its holdings in American Pipe & Construction
Co. v. Utah, 414 U.S. 538 (1974), and Crown, Cork & Seal Co. v.
Parker, 462 U.S. 345 (1983), in which the Court concluded that a
timely filed class action tolls the statute of limitations for
absent class members who file subsequent individual claims.

China Agritech involved the third of three successive and
substantially similar putative class actions alleging that the
petitioner, a manufacturer of organic fertilizer, engaged in
securities fraud in violation of the Securities Exchange Act. The
district court had denied class certification in the prior two
actions for failure to satisfy certain requirements of Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 23. The respondents -- absent class
members of the first two putative classes -- then filed a third
class action outside of the two-year statute of limitations
applicable to Exchange Act claims. After the district court
dismissed the respondents' action as time-barred, the Ninth
Circuit reversed. It held that the equitable tolling doctrine
recognized by the Supreme Court in American Pipe and Crown, Cork
applied to both individual claims and class actions.

The Supreme Court reversed, holding that "American Pipe does not
permit the maintenance of a follow-on class action past
expiration of the statute of limitations." The Court reasoned
that the efficiencies that support tolling of individual claims
do not also support tolling of class actions, as efficiency
favors early assertion of competing class claims. The Court
further noted that diligence is generally a prerequisite to
equitable tolling and suggested that a class member who waits
until the expiration of the limitations period to file a class
action has not acted diligently.

Supreme Court Holds That Securities Act Class Actions May Be
Adjudicated in State Court

Cyan, Inc. v. Beaver Cnty. Emps. Ret. Fund, No. 15-1439 (U.S.
Mar. 20, 2018)

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court held that state
and federal courts have concurrent jurisdiction over class action
claims brought under the Securities Act and that such claims are
not removable to federal court under the Securities Litigation
Uniform Standards Act (SLUSA). The act precludes certain
securities class actions based on alleged violations of state law
("covered class actions"). The Supreme Court held that SLUSA does
not deprive state courts of jurisdiction to adjudicate securities
class actions that allege claims only under federal law and not
also state law.

The plaintiffs-investors had filed a putative class action in
California state court against a telecommunications company,
alleging claims solely under the Securities Act in connection
with purported misrepresentations made in the defendant's initial
public offering (IPO) documents. The company moved to dismiss,
arguing that SLUSA stripped state courts of power to adjudicate
federal law claims in covered class actions. The California state
court disagreed and denied the company's motion to dismiss.

The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the plain language of
SLUSA does not limit state court jurisdiction over class actions
brought under the Securities Act. The Court explained that SLUSA
bars certain securities class actions based on state law, but it
"says nothing, and so does nothing, to deprive state courts of
jurisdiction over class actions based on federal law." The Court
reasoned that a contrary interpretation would improperly prevent
state courts from adjudicating any Securities Act claims, even if
they did not involve a "covered security," i.e., a security
traded on a national stock exchange. As the Court has previously
held, SLUSA "expresses no concern with transactions in uncovered
securities" and "maintains state legal authority to address
them." Accordingly, the Court determined that SLUSA does not
deprive state courts of jurisdiction to adjudicate in this area
of state concern.

The Court further held that SLUSA does not alter the Securities
Act's general prohibition against removing state court actions
brought under that statute to federal court and also does not
authorize removal of federal law class actions.

Actionable Statements
Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Complaint Against Online
Marketplace Company

Altayyar v. Etsy, Inc., No. 17-1180-cv (2d Cir. Apr. 24, 2018)

The Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of claims that an
online marketplace company violated Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act and Sections 15, 11 and 12(a)(2) of the
Securities Act by making material misstatements and omissions
about the quality of its products. The company is an online forum
for purchasing handmade items, vintage goods and craft supplies.
The plaintiffs alleged that the company made misleading
statements about the quality of its products and its policy on
verifying the products because it poorly monitored whether the
items sold on its marketplace met its terms and guidelines or if
those items infringed on trademarks or copyrights. The court held
that the plaintiffs failed to plead that the company made any
factual misstatements. It determined that the majority of the
alleged statements concerning the company's values and policies,
which contained phrases such as "we believe," "we strive" or "we
are committed," were not statements of fact but rather,
nonactionable vague aspirational statements or statements of
opinions.

Class Actions
Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Securities Fraud Suit, Holding
Plaintiff Failed to Adequately Plead Scienter

Webb v. SolarCity Corp., No. 16-16440 (9th Cir. Mar. 8, 2018)

The Ninth Circuit affirmed the dismissal of a putative securities
fraud class action, holding that the plaintiff failed to plead
facts giving rise to a strong inference of scienter.

The plaintiff alleged that the defendant corporation
misrepresented certain financial information leading up to its
2012 IPO. In 2014, the company revealed that "tens of millions in
overhead expenses" had been "incorrectly classified." The
plaintiff claimed that this incorrect classification was
intentional "in order to make the sales division and company as a
whole appear more profitable than it actually was, and thereby
maximize their gains from the company's IPO."

The Ninth Circuit disagreed. While the panel credited
confidential witness statements that the individual defendants
knew the company "was generally unprofitable" and that they were
"hands-on managers who generally understood the company's
accounting obligations, and that they had reason to suspect that
the company's internal accounting controls were imperfect," the
court held that those allegations "[a]t best ... paint a picture
of a mismanaged organization in need of closer financial
oversight that made a minute error at a critical stage in its
development." In addition, neither individual defendant sold
stock during the alleged class period, which also "detract[s]
from a scienter finding." The court also rejected the plaintiff's
invocation of the core operations doctrine, concluding that the
accounting error was not "so dramatic that it would be absurd to
think that Defendants-Appellees did not know that something was
wrong."

Fiduciary Duties-Derivative Litigation
Delaware Supreme Court Reverses Court of Chancery's Dismissal
Under Corwin

Appel v. Berkman, No. 316, 2017 (Del. Feb. 20, 2018)

The Delaware Supreme Court reversed and remanded a Court of
Chancery dismissal under the Corwin doctrine, holding that
stockholders were not fully informed in approving the challenged
transaction because the proxy statement contained "materially
misleading" disclosures.

The action arose from a stockholder challenge to Diamond Resorts
International's two-step merger with Apollo Global Management. In
2016, Diamond Resorts engaged in a "public sales process" that
resulted in indications of interest from several parties, and
ultimately two bids. The Diamond Resorts board voted in favor of
Apollo's bid; however, the company's founder and former CEO
abstained from that vote and in two board meetings stated "he was
disappointed with the price and the Company's management for not
having run the business in a manner that would command a higher
price, and that in his view, it was not the right time to sell
the Company." The proxy did not identify why he abstained from
approving the merger.

In the case below, the Court of Chancery dismissed the action
under Corwin, finding that the merger had been approved by a
fully informed, uncoerced stockholder vote. The "sole issue" on
appeal was whether the stockholder's approval of the transaction
was in fact "fully informed" given that the proxy did not
identify the Diamond Resorts founder's reasons for abstaining.

The Delaware Supreme Court found that the failure to disclose
this information was sufficient to plead a claim that the proxy
materially was misleading, explaining that the founder was a
"'key board member' if ever there were one," his objections to
the sale were clearly and concisely documented in board minutes,
and such "views regarding the wisdom of selling the company were
ones that reasonable stockholders would have found material in
deciding whether to vote for the merger or seek appraisal." The
Supreme Court therefore reversed the Court of Chancery's
dismissal because, as a pleading matter, the failure to disclose
this information stated a claim that the proxy was materially
misleading and the stockholder vote uninformed.

Court of Chancery Rejects Corwin Defense on Motion to Dismiss

In re Tesla Motors, Inc. Stockholder Litig., No. 12711-VCS (Del.
Ch. Mar. 28, 2018)

Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III declined to dismiss a post-
closing damages action arising from Tesla's 2016 acquisition of
SolarCity, concluding that the complaint pleaded facts making it
reasonably conceivable that Elon Musk, who held 22.1 percent of
Tesla's voting power, was a controlling stockholder with respect
to the transaction.

The stockholder plaintiffs alleged that the Tesla board of
directors and Tesla's founder, chairman and CEO, Elon Musk,
breached their fiduciary duties in connection with the
acquisition. At the time of the transaction, in addition to his
stake in Tesla, Musk owned 21.9 percent of SolarCity and was also
its chairman. The plaintiffs alleged that SolarCity faced a
liquidity crisis at the time of the transaction and that Musk
persistently pressed Tesla to pursue an acquisition of SolarCity,
in what the plaintiffs characterized as a "bailout" of SolarCity
for the benefit of Musk and other allegedly conflicted Tesla
board members. The complaint also alleged that the Tesla board
never considered forming a special committee and that a majority-
conflicted board, including Musk, was heavily involved in the
purchase process.

The defendants moved to dismiss the action under Corwin, which
requires dismissal of post-closing challenges to mergers approved
by a fully informed, uncoerced stockholder vote absent a
conflicted controller. The plaintiffs countered by arguing that a
conflicted controller was present.

While emphasizing that whether an individual is a controller is
"intensely factual" and "difficult" to resolve on the pleadings,
the Court of Chancery ultimately found that the combination of
facts pleaded made it reasonably conceivable that Musk was a
controller. In its decision, the court found "the combination of
well-pled facts relating to Musk's voting influence, his
domination of the Board during the process leading up to the
Acquisition against the backdrop of his extraordinary influence
within the Company generally, the Board level conflicts that
diminished the Board's resistance to Musk's influence, and the
Company's and Musk's own acknowledgements of his outsized
influence, all told, satisfy Plaintiffs' burden to plead that
Musk's status as a Tesla controlling stockholder is reasonably
conceivable." Because the plaintiffs sufficiently pleaded the
presence of a conflicted controller, Corwin could not apply, and
the complaint otherwise stated a claim subject to entire fairness
review.

Court of Chancery Concludes Minority Blockholder Is Not a
Controlling Stockholder and Dismisses Claims Under Corwin

In re Rouse Props., Inc. Fiduciary Litig., No. 12194-VCS (Del.
Ch. Mar. 9, 2018)

Vice Chancellor Joseph R. Slights III dismissed breach of
fiduciary duty claims and aiding and abetting claims challenging
a 33.5 percent stockholder's acquisition of Rouse Properties Inc.
under Corwin, finding that the complaint failed to adequately
allege the existence of a controlling stockholder or a disclosure
violation.

In June 2016, more than 80 percent of Rouse's shares voted in
favor of a transaction pursuant to which Rouse would be acquired
by its 33.5 percent stockholder, Brookfield Asset Management,
Inc., for $18.25 per share in cash. The transaction was approved
by a special committee of Rouse directors, and the merger was
subject to a "majority of the minority" vote condition, which was
obtained by the special committee through negotiations with
Brookfield.

The defendants moved to dismiss under Corwin, arguing that the
transaction had been approved by a fully informed, uncoerced
stockholder vote and that Brookfield was not a conflicted
controller. The plaintiffs, in turn, argued that Corwin did not
apply because Brookfield was Rouse's controlling stockholder and
the stockholder vote was not fully informed.

Vice Chancellor Slights rejected both of the plaintiffs'
arguments. First, while acknowledging that "Corwin cannot protect
a board's determination to recommend a transaction when it is
reasonably conceivable that a conflicted controller may have
influenced the board and stockholder decisions to approve the
transaction," the Court of Chancery found that the plaintiffs had
not adequately pleaded Brookfield was a controlling stockholder.
Although a 33.5 percent "majority blockholder," the plaintiffs
failed to plead that Brookfield actually dominated and controlled
the special committee with respect to the merger or actually
dominated and controlled the company more generally.

Moreover, the court did not believe that the formation of a
special committee or the committee's insistence on a "majority of
the minority" condition was evidence of Brookfield's "control,"
contending that it was simply the product of hard bargaining on
behalf of the unaffiliated stockholders, and "to hold otherwise
might discourage fiduciaries from employing these important
measures for fear they might unwittingly signal that they
perceive a minority blockholder with whom they are dealing to be
a controller." Because Brookfield was not a controlling
stockholder of Rouse, the court concluded that it owed no
fiduciary duties to Rouse's stockholders and dismissed the claim
for breach of fiduciary duty against Brookfield.

The court then rejected the plaintiffs' contention that the
disclosures issued in connection with the merger were deficient
such that the stockholder vote was not fully informed, analyzing
a number of disclosure claims involving the fairness opinion
given by Rouse's financial advisor, as well as alleged potential
conflicts of Rouse's financial and legal advisors.

The court also dismissed an aiding and abetting claim against
Brookfield because the plaintiffs failed to plead that Brookfield
acted with scienter -- that is, in a culpable state of knowledge
that its conduct advocated or assisted any breach of fiduciary
duty.

Loss Causation
Eighth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Federal Securities Fraud
Claim Relating to Stock Redemption Agreement Between Shareholder
and Closely Held Corporation

Ryan v. Ryan, No. 16-3149 (8th Cir. May 7, 2018)

Judge James B. Loken penned the opinion of a unanimous court that
affirmed, in relevant part, the dismissal of claims against a
closely held corporation and one of its shareholders, under
Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, and various Nebraska state laws. The
plaintiff, a former shareholder of the defendant corporation,
alleged that the corporation and the defendant shareholder
engaged in a series of wrongful acts to cause the plaintiff to
sell her shares. Among those alleged wrongful acts was that the
corporation misrepresented to the plaintiff that the defendant
shareholder would sell her own shares. Judge Laurie Smith Camp of
the District of Nebraska dismissed the federal securities fraud
claim for failure to plead loss causation, and the Eighth Circuit
affirmed.

In affirming the district court's dismissal, the Eighth Circuit
noted that the plaintiff and the corporation had entered into a
stock redemption agreement that stated, in part, that the
corporation "shall have the right to repurchase the stock, in
whole or in part, owned by Stockholder at any time." Because the
corporation had the "absolute right to repurchase," the alleged
misrepresentations subsequent to the execution of the redemption
agreement could not have caused the plaintiff's losses. Thus, the
Eighth Circuit agreed with the district court that the plaintiff
did not plausibly plead loss causation.

Materiality
Northern District of Illinois Denies Dismissal of Federal
Securities Fraud Claim Against Insurance Company

Carpenters Pension Trust Fund for N. Cal. v. Allstate Corp., No.
16 C 10510 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 27, 2018)

The Northern District of Illinois denied a motion to dismiss
claims under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder. The plaintiffs, a
class of investors that purchased Allstate common stock, brought
their action against Allstate, its CEO and two of its presidents
for material false statements and omissions regarding the cause
of an alleged spike in the frequency of auto insurance claims.
The plaintiffs alleged that, in an effort to attract more auto
insurance customers, the defendants reduced their underwriting
standards. According to the plaintiffs, this plan resulted in an
increase in insurance claims, which the defendants falsely
attributed to external factors instead of their own underwriting
changes. The plaintiffs alleged that Allstate's stock price fell
when it finally disclosed the negative impact of its underwriting
standards.

Judge Robert W. Gettleman disagreed with the defendants that
their alleged misstatements were opinions, not facts, and noted
statements such as "our frequency trends have been good." The
court held that even if the defendants indicated uncertainty as
to the cause of the increased claim frequency with terms such as
"we believe" and "we think," those statements could still have
been misleading. They would not have been understood by
reasonable investors as uncertain when coupled with the
defendants' assurances that they had considered all possible
reasons for the increase and concluded it was due to external
factors, the court stated.

Furthermore, Judge Gettleman concluded that the plaintiffs had
sufficiently pleaded scienter for the claim that Allstate's two
consecutive presidents had engaged in insider trading when they
sold off portions of their own shares before disclosing that
reduced underwriting standards were impacting claim frequency.
The court found the plaintiffs had also sufficiently pleaded loss
causation when stock prices dropped more than 10 percent the day
after the defendants disclosed the impact of their reduced
underwriting standards.

Southern District of New York Dismisses Claims That Mobile
Technology Company Made Allegedly Misleading Statements About Its
Value

Finocchiaro v. NQ Mobile, Inc., No. 15 Cir. 6385 (NRB) (S.D.N.Y.
Feb. 27, 2018)

Judge Naomi Reice Buchwald dismissed claims that a mobile
technology company violated Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act by making alleged misstatements about its value and
omissions about its acquisitions. The plaintiffs alleged that the
company misled investors to believe that the company was "worth
billions" and that the company made material omissions by waiting
5 1/2 months to disclose that it had acquired "small, private
Chinese companies of little or no value."

The court held that statements about the company's worth were
immaterial puffery because they were made during negotiations to
be acquired when the acquisition proposal was too low. The court
also reasoned that the plaintiffs failed to allege that investors
reasonably relied on the alleged misrepresentations; the
company's financial history was publicly available and the
company did not have any fiduciary, long-standing or personal
relationship with the plaintiffs.

The court further determined that the plaintiffs failed to plead
that the company had a duty to disclose the acquisitions of the
Chinese companies sooner because there were no allegations of
insider trades on confidential information, that a statute or
regulation required disclosure or that a statement was otherwise
inaccurate, incomplete or misleading because of the alleged
omission.

Misrepresentations
Northern District of Illinois Dismisses Federal Securities Claim
for Fraudulent Inducement

Petri v. GeaCom, Inc., No. 17-cv-02579 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 6, 2018)

Judge Andrea R. Wood granted in part and denied in part defendant
GeaCom, Inc.'s motion to dismiss shareholders' complaint alleging
that they invested more than $3.5 million in the company based on
false representations. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that
the defendants, both publicly and privately, made several false
statements regarding the company's success, sales and customer
contracts.

The plaintiffs brought five state claims and one federal claim
under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act. While the
court allowed some of the state claims to proceed, it dismissed
the federal claim, for false and misleading statements, in full.
It did so because the plaintiffs failed to specify the reason why
the statements were misleading or the facts known to the
defendants at the time that rendered the statements misleading.
Merely alleging that the statements were false, as the plaintiffs
did, is not sufficient to meet the heightened pleading
requirements of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
(PSLRA).

The only allegation that the court found came close to the
PSLRA's heightened requirement was the allegation that "none of
[GeaCom's] so-called pending sales were ever realized." But the
court noted that the defendants' public statements such as
"GeaCom 'attracted major strategic relationships,' 'expects to
produce' or 'hopes to sell' a certain number of units,
anticipated an increase in monthly production, 'started taking
orders for shipment,' and future projections of number of units
to be sold the following year are not statements regarding
pending sales." Similarly, the court noted that the defendants'
private statements that a potential customer is "pounding at the
door" or has "indicated orders are coming" or "will finalize the
order" are not statements about pending sales. Thus, the court
found that the plaintiffs failed to plead any false or misleading
statement with sufficient specificity, and, in any case, the
statements were mere puffery or forward-looking statements
protected under the PSLRA's safe harbor provision.

Pleading Standards
Ninth Circuit Holds That Claims Under Section 14(e) of Securities
Exchange Act Need Only Show Negligence

Varjabedian v. Emulex Corp., No. 16-55088 (9th Cir. Apr. 20,
2018)

The Ninth Circuit held that plaintiffs bringing claims under
Section 14(e) of the Securities Exchange Act need only show
negligence, not scienter. Five other circuit courts have
previously held that Section 14(e) requires a showing of
scienter. The Ninth Circuit panel based its decision on the
provision of Section 14(e) that makes it unlawful "to make any
untrue statement of a material fact or omit to state any material
fact ... or engage in any fraudulent, deceptive, or manipulative
acts or practices." The word "or," the court reasoned,
illustrates that Congress intended to proscribe two different
sets of offenses: The former clause prohibits negligent offenses
while the latter applies to intentional acts.

In creating the circuit split, the Ninth Circuit declined to
analogize Section 14(e) claims to claims brought under Section
10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act, as other circuit courts
have done. The panel instead looked to Section 17 of the
Securities Act, which contains language similar to Section 14(e),
prohibiting "any untrue statement of a material fact or any
omission to state a material fact necessary in order to make the
statements made ... not misleading." The U.S. Supreme Court, the
panel observed, has interpreted that language in Section 17 to
require a showing of only negligence.

Southern District of California Dismisses Complaint With
Prejudice, Holding That Allegations in Separately Filed Complaint
Are Not Corrective Disclosures

In re BofI Holding Inc. Sec. Litig., No. 3:15-cv-02324-GPC-KSC
(S.D. Cal. Mar. 21, 2018)

Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel dismissed with prejudice a complaint
brought under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act
alleging that the defendant bank made false or misleading
statements regarding the adequacy and effectiveness of its
internal controls and risk management, holding that the plaintiff
failed to adequately plead loss causation.

First, the court held that short-seller articles regarding the
defendant corporation could not qualify as corrective disclosures
"because they relied on publicly available information, and
offered no analysis not generally available to the rest of the
market." While the plaintiff alleged that "the market did not
appreciate the implications of the publicly available information
relied upon" in the short-seller articles, "those conclusory
allegations" did not "suggest any plausible reason why market
participants would not have understood the implications of the
information in front of them."

Second, the court held that allegations in a complaint in another
action could not, on their own, serve as a corrective disclosure.
Rather, "allegations in a complaint are analogous to an
announcement of internal or regulatory investigations into
misconduct, which have been held insufficient, on their own, to
serve as corrective disclosures." Such revelations "raise[]
merely a 'risk' or 'potential' of fraud" but are not themselves
"a disclosure of fraud."

An appeal of this decision is pending before the Ninth Circuit.

Northern District of California Holds That Affiliated Ute
Presumption Does Not Apply When the Only Omission Alleged Is of
the Truth That an Affirmative Misstatement Misrepresents

In re Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Mktg., Sales Practices & Prods.
Liab. Litig., MDL No. 2672 CRB (JSC) (N.D. Cal. Mar. 2, 2018)

Judge Charles R. Breyer granted the defendants' motion to dismiss
claims brought under Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange
Act, holding that the plaintiff failed to adequately plead that
it relied on the defendants' emission-related statements when it
decided to purchase the securities at issue.

The district court previously held that plaintiffs could rely on
a presumption of reliance under Affiliated Ute Citizens of Utah
v. United States, 406 U.S. 128 (1972), because the allegations
were for fraudulent omissions rather than misstatements. The
defendants asked the court to reconsider that holding in light of
the Second Circuit's decision in Waggoner v. Barclays PLC, 875
F.3d 79 (2d Cir. 2017), where that court held that the Affiliated
Ute presumption does not apply when the only omission alleged is
of the truth that an affirmative misstatement misrepresents.

The district court found Waggoner persuasive and held that the
plaintiff could not rely on the Affiliated Ute presumption to
plead reliance. The theory behind the Affiliated Ute presumption
is that direct proof of reliance in omission cases requires
"proof of a speculative negative" -- that "I would not have
bought had I known." Blackie v. Barrack, 524 F.2d 891, 908 (9th
Cir. 1975). The court further explained that "whether the
Affiliated Ute presumption of reliance is applicable is a
decision that should be based on whether the presumption's
purpose -- of avoiding the need to prove a speculative
negative -- is implicated." Because the plaintiff's claims here
were predicated on the defendants' affirmative misstatements
rather than omissions, the Affiliate Ute presumption of reliance
did not apply.

Proxy Solicitations
Northern District of Indiana Grants Motion to Dismiss Proxy
Solicitation Claims Against Technology Company

Trahan v. Interactive Intelligence Grp., Inc., No. 1:16-cv-03161-
SEB-MPB (S.D. Ind. Mar. 28, 2018)

Judge Sarah Evans Barker granted a motion to dismiss claims
alleging technology company Interactive Intelligence Group issued
a false and misleading proxy solicitation in connection with its
shareholders' approval of a proposed merger, in violation of
Sections 14(a) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act. At the
heart of the plaintiff's claims was his estimation that the proxy
solicitation failed to provide shareholders with information
about Interactive's future success commensurate with the
directors' "public puffing" about the predicted growth of a new
product. The plaintiff alleged that the proxy solicitation
statement was false and misleading in four respects: (1) it
omitted longer-range projections from its financial forecasts;
(2) it omitted separate financial projections for its three
business lines; (3) Interactive's financial advisor used an
inappropriate method to calculate the terminal value; and (4)
Interactive's directors expressed insufficient optimism about the
possible future success of the business, inducing shareholders to
approve the merger rather than sell as a going concern.

The district court ruled that the plaintiff showed neither
materiality nor objective and subjective falsity as to any of the
alleged omissions or misrepresentations. The court reasoned the
emerging technology about which directors allegedly puffed was
too new to necessitate any longer than the 1 1/2-year year
forecasts used. Moreover, shareholders held an interest in
Interactive's entire enterprise, not in any one of its business
lines, and Interactive was not proposing separate treatment.
Further, Interactive's financial advisor sufficiently described
its analysis to permit curious shareholders to do their own
calculations. And finally, as a running theme, the court noted
that the plaintiff could not show that the directors knew the
business would be more valuable as a going concern than its
merger value based exclusively on the hopes for success that
Interactive publicly professed.

The court also ruled that the directors' statements in the proxy
solicitation were entitled to protection under the PSLRA's safe
harbor provision. The court noted that all statements at issue
were forward-looking and accompanied by cautions, and the
plaintiff failed to plead facts showing that Interactive made the
statements with actual knowledge of their falsity. Finally, the
court characterized the plaintiff's loss causation allegation as
"no more than a speculative possibility that he was economically
injured by any misrepresentation in connection with the Merger."
As such, he could not plead the element of loss causation, and
the district court dismissed his claims with prejudice.

Scienter
Second Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Securities Fraud Claims
Against Bank

Sfiraiala v. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft, No. 17-2560 (2d
Cir. Apr. 13, 2018)

The Second Circuit affirmed the dismissal of claims that a bank
and its officers violated Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act by allegedly misrepresenting the effectiveness of
its internal controls concerning anti-money laundering
compliance.

The court determined that the plaintiffs failed to adequately
plead a strong inference of scienter. The court first held that
allegations that the bank's Russia office had a culture of "greed
and corruption" were insufficient because they failed to show
that the individual defendants personally benefited from making
the alleged misrepresentations about the internal control. The
court also held that the plaintiffs failed to sufficiently allege
conscious misbehavior or recklessness. The plaintiffs'
allegations that a consent order between the bank and its state
regulator -- in which the bank admitted that it had serious
compliance deficiencies and demonstrated that one of its local
offices allowed a money laundering transaction to take place --
did not show that the individual defendants knew of any
wrongdoing at the time they allegedly made any
misrepresentations. The consent order confirmed that any alleged
suspicious illegal laundering activities were never escalated out
of the local office and thus, the bank did not learn of them
until after the issue was escalated and the bank had commenced an
internal investigation.

The court also found that certain public regulatory reports
criticizing the bank's regulatory reporting controls did not
support an inference of scienter because the reports did not
concern the bank's money laundering controls, which was the
subject matter of the alleged misrepresentations. Finally, the
court held that an agreement between the bank and state and
federal regulators to improve the bank's anti-money laundering
controls showed no indication that the bank had failed to comply
with its obligations pursuant to the agreement.

Securities Exchange Act
Fourth Circuit Holds Plaintiff Adequately Alleged Exposure
Element of Loss Causation Pursuant to 'Amalgam' of Corrective
Disclosure and Materialization of Risk Theories

Singer v. Reali, No. 15-2579 (4th Cir. Feb. 22, 2018)

A split panel for the Fourth Circuit held that a plaintiff
sufficiently pleaded loss causation to support a claim under
Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act where the exposure
element of the loss causation analysis was based on "an amalgam"
of the corrective disclosure theory and the materialization of
the risk theory.

TranS1, Inc., a medical device company that sells a system
designed for minimally invasive surgery (the System), derives its
revenues from sales of the System and related surgical
instruments, as well as from a share of the reimbursements made
by health insurers and government-funded health care programs to
surgeons.

The plaintiff brought a putative class action against TranS1 and
its officers, under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder, alleging that
the defendants perpetrated a fraudulent scheme to instruct and
encourage surgeons to secure unwarranted reimbursements from
health insurers and government-funded health care programs by
continuing to use an incorrect Category I code (which was more
likely to result in reimbursement) after January 1, 2009, when
the American Medical Association required procedures using the
System to be coded as Category III. The complaint alleged that
TranS1 made misrepresentations and omissions in its Securities
and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings and press releases by
failing to disclose that a substantial portion of its revenues
were generated by the purportedly fraudulent reimbursement scheme
or that the company was engaged in the scheme.

The Eastern District of North Carolina dismissed the plaintiff's
second amended complaint. On appeal, a significant issue was
whether the complaint adequately pleaded the two elements of loss
causation: (1) the "exposure" of the defendant's
misrepresentation or omission (i.e., the revelation of new facts
suggesting the defendant perpetrated a fraud on the market), and
(2) that such exposure resulted in the decline of the defendant's
stock price. The defendants argued that the plaintiffs failed to
plead the exposure element under either the materialization of a
concealed risk theory or the corrective disclosure theory.

A majority of the Fourth Circuit concluded that the complaint
sufficiently alleged exposure by an amalgam of the two theories.
The majority noted that the ultimate inquiry under both theories
is the same: whether a misstatement or omission concealed
something that, when disclosed, negatively affected the value of
the security. The complaint relied on a Form 8-K filed by TranS1
after market close on October 17, 2011 (reporting it had received
a subpoena from the Department of Health and Human Services under
the authority of the federal health care fraud and false claims
statutes) and an analyst report published the next day (revealing
that the subpoena sought reimbursement communications with
surgeons and that half of TranS1's revenues came from surgeons
who still used the Category I reimbursement code). The two
documents, the majority concluded, collectively revealed enough
information for investors to recognize that TranS1 had
perpetrated a fraud on the market.

The majority also concluded that the complaint's allegation that
the Form 8-K and analyst report caused Trans1's stock price to
plummet more than 40 percent on the day the analyst report was
published was "wholly adequate" to demonstrate that the exposure
of TranS1's fraud was at least one substantial cause of the
decline in value.

Judge G. Steven Agee dissented, highlighting decisions from the
Ninth and Eleventh circuits to support his opinion that the
analyst report and Form 8-K's disclosure of the investigation
were insufficient to demonstrate loss causation since, without
more, they would not reveal fraud. Judge Agee also opined that
the report's disclosure about the source of TranS1's revenues
"just as plausibly" suggested non fraudulent activity.

The Fourth Circuit has not had prior occasion to apply the
materialization of the concealed risk theory; the majority's
incorporation of that theory in the amalgam analysis could signal
a future express adoption of the theory. Moreover, the court's
holding leaves open the question of how much more beyond
disclosure of an investigation will be required to establish loss
causation.

Eastern District of Virginia Grants Motion to Dismiss Section
10(b) Claim, Holding Plaintiffs' Complaint Fails to Plead Any
Specific Allegations of Fraud

Langley v. Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp., No. 1:17-cv-696
(LMB/TCB) (E.D. Va. Feb. 8, 2018)

On June 15, 2017, Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation (BAH)
disclosed that its subsidiary, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., was
informed that the Department of Justice was conducting a civil
and criminal investigation regarding certain elements of the
subsidiary's cost accounting and indirect cost charging practices
with the U.S. government. On June 16, 2017, the plaintiffs
alleged that BAH's stock price fell approximately 19 percent.

On June 19, 2017, a putative class action complaint was filed
against BAH and certain of its officers alleging that the
defendants made materially false and misleading statements
regarding BAH and its subsidiary in violation of Section 10(b) of
the Securities Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder.

On October 20, 2017, lead plaintiffs Uniformed Sanitationmen's
Association Local 831 Compensation Accrual Fund and Teamsters
Locals Nos. 175 & 505 Pension Trust Fund (collectively, the
plaintiffs) filed an amended complaint alleging that the
defendants falsely and/or misleadingly represented that BAH "was
'on the path to sustainable quality growth,'" that "BAH 'must
comply with laws and regulations relating to the formation,
administration, and performance of U.S. government contracts,'"
that BAH was complying with ethical requirements and that "BAH
was expecting a 'slight uptick in billable expenses.'" The
plaintiffs alleged that "these statements were materially false
or misleading because they failed to disclose that BAH was
defrauding the government." The defendants (who were represented
by Skadden) filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' amended
complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure and the PSLRA.

On February 8, 2018, the court granted the defendants' motion.
The court held that, even assuming the truth of the plaintiffs'
allegations and drawing all reasonable inferences in the
plaintiffs' favor, the complaint fell short of alleging facts
sufficient to state a claim under Section 10(b). The court
reasoned that the "gravamen of plaintiffs' Complaint is that
defendants' various statements were fraudulent or misleading
because defendants made the statements while, at the same time,
failing to disclose that BAH was committing fraud on the
government; however, plaintiffs do not include any specific
allegations relating to the commission of fraud."

The court observed that the plaintiffs did not allege any details
about the commission of the alleged fraud, including "who was
committing the fraud, what the nature or extent of the fraud was,
or for how long the fraud had been taking place." Rather, the
amended complaint merely alleged "a variety of relatively weak
circumstantial evidence -- such as various corporate officers'
stock trades during the class period and pre-class period
examples of fraudulent behavior at BAH, all of which were
promptly disclosed to the public." The court remarked that
drawing an inference of fraud from such allegations would require
it "to pile inference upon inference, all the while disregarding
the heightened requirements of the PSLRA," which the court
refused to do. The decision illustrates the exacting level of
scrutiny that courts will apply and the factual specificity
courts will require with respect to complaints alleging
securities fraud in the Fourth Circuit.

Securities Fraud Pleading Standards
Securities Fraud Claims Against Chinese Social Network Dismissed
With Prejudice

Goldsmith v. Weibo Corp., No. 17-4728 (SRC) (D.N.J. Jun. 6, 2018)

Judge Stanley R. Chesler dismissed a complaint made under
Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act alleging
that Weibo made false and misleading statements in public filings
with the SEC regarding its compliance with Chinese law and
regulations concerning a licensing requirement for companies
engaged in internet transmissions.

Chinese law and regulations require a company to obtain a
government-issued license before it may engage in the internet
transmission of audio-visual programs. However, Weibo is not
eligible for a license because the license is only available to
state-owned companies. According to the complaint, Weibo stated
in SEC filings that Weibo "was not required to have a license"
and "gave investors the false impression that Weibo was in full
compliance with Chinese laws and regulations by operating through
third-party websites."

The district court held that the plaintiff failed to identify
which statements in Weibo's public disclosures bolstered the
impression that Weibo was in compliance with China's laws, given
that Weibo disclosed its noncompliance. Weibo's 2014 prospectus
and Form 20-F annual reports contain a section titled "Risks
Relating to Doing Business in China," which states that
uncertainties in China's licensing scheme may adversely affect
Weibo, as the company lacks a license because it is not eligible
for one. Further, the disclosures state that Weibo intends to
apply for a license in the event that licenses become available
to companies not owned by the state.

First Circuit Holds That Pharmaceutical Company Did Not Mislead
Investors When It Underestimated Time for Filing New Drug
Application

Kader v. Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc., No. 17-1139 (1st Cir. Apr.
4, 2018)

The First Circuit affirmed the dismissal of claims brought under
Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act alleging that a
pharmaceutical company misled investors about the time it would
take to file a new drug application with the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) for its Duchenne muscular dystrophy drug.
The plaintiffs alleged that the company fraudulently
misrepresented the FDA's communications to them concerning the
drug's data and the expected timeline of approval after it
disclosed that the company's new drug application (NDA) would be
half a year behind schedule.

The court determined that the plaintiffs failed to adequately
allege any material misrepresentations or omissions by the
company. The court reasoned that the FDA's public statement in
October 2014 addressing questions it received from patients did
not suggest that the FDA had previously communicated concerns to
the company that would have rendered its previous statements --
that it expected to file an NDA at the end of 2014 -- false or
misleading. The court also reasoned that an interim request in
July 2014 from the FDA for additional data did not show that the
company knew it could not reasonably expect to file an NDA by the
end of 2014. The company had previously disclosed to investors a
similar request for data from the FDA in April 2014, and the
court could not assume that this new request had a materially
different impact on the timing for approval. The court further
held that the plaintiffs had not adequately pleaded scienter:
"When defendants do not divulge the details of interim
'regulatory back-and-forth' with the FDA, that alone cannot
support an inference of scienter . . . when the defendants do
provide warnings in broader terms." The fact that the company
stood to gain an advantage over its competitor by filing its
application first did not give rise to an inference of scienter.

Materiality

Second Circuit Vacates Jury Conviction of RMBS Broker-Dealer

United States v. Litvak, No. 17-1464-cr (2d Cir. May 3, 2018)

The Second Circuit vacated the jury conviction of a residential
mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) broker-dealer on the charge
that he violated Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act by
making material misrepresentations in connection with a
particular RMBS transaction. At trial, the government alleged
that the broker-dealer lied to a trader about the price at which
a certain bond could be obtained from a seller, causing the
trader to pay $73,000 more for the bond than he otherwise would
have. The trial court permitted the trader to testify that he had
believed that the broker-dealer was acting as his agent during
the course of that transaction. The government submitted to the
jury that although the trader's belief was mistaken because
broker-dealers are principals and not agents, the trader's belief
nonetheless was evidence that the broker-dealer's misstatements
were material.

The Second Circuit vacated the conviction. The court first
determined that "there was sufficient evidence for a rational
jury to find [the broker-dealer's] misstatements material beyond
a reasonable doubt," regardless of the trader's belief. The
court, however, reasoned that the trial court's admission of the
trader's mistaken testimony was erroneous. It reasoned that the
materiality standard is objective and "centers on the views of a
hypothetical, reasonable investor in the market at issue," that
reasonable investors in the RMBS market tend to be more
sophisticated than investors in more mainstream markets and that
"[m]ateriality cannot be proven by the mistaken beliefs of the
worst informed trader in a market." The court concluded that the
admission of "evidence of the idiosyncratic and erroneous belief"
of the RMBS trader was not harmless because it could have
"substantially influence[d] the jury."

Omissions

Southern District of New York Dismisses Claims Against Pharmacy
Benefit Management Organization

In re Express Scripts Holding Co. Sec. Litig., No. 16-cv-03338-ER
(S.D.N.Y. May 21, 2018)

Judge Edgardo Ramos dismissed claims that a pharmaceutical
benefit management company violated Section 10(b) of the
Securities Exchange Act by making alleged misstatements about the
strength of its contractual relationship with its largest client
and how it treated that contract for accounting purposes. The
court had previously dismissed the plaintiffs' first complaint,
finding that statements about the company's negotiations with its
client regarding the contract, which were disclosed, were not
actionable. The court also had determined that there were no
plausible allegations that the company did not believe its
statements regarding the useful life of the contract for
accounting purposes at the time they were made. The court
reasoned that the company's public disclosures sufficiently
warned investors that its contract might not be renewed. In their
amended complaint, the plaintiffs alleged that the company misled
investors to believe that the parties were actively engaged in
good faith discussions to renew the contract and that the company
accounted for the contract as if it were "highly probable" that
it would be renewed for another five-year period.

The court held that the plaintiffs' amended complaint failed to
allege new facts showing that the company misled investors about
the strength of its relationship with its client and the nature
of the contract renewal negotiations. The court again reasoned
that high-level statements disclosing the company's ongoing
negotiations with its client were not actionable. The court
further determined that the plaintiffs' amended allegations about
the accounting treatment of the contract were not actionable; the
plaintiffs failed to adequately allege that generally accepted
accounting principles required the company to revise its
accounting treatment of the contract earlier than it did.
Finally, the court determined that the plaintiffs failed to
adequately allege scienter. The plaintiffs failed to allege any
facts showing that the company knew that its public statements
about the contract renewal were incorrect or that it had specific
knowledge of or access to facts that contradicted those disclosed
in public statements.

SDNY Dismisses Putative Class Claims Against Fast-Food Retailer

Ong v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., No. 16 Civ. 141 (KPF)
(S.D.N.Y. Mar. 22, 2018)

Judge Katherine Polk Failla dismissed a second amended complaint
brought by a putative class of investors alleging that a fast-
food retail company violated Section 10(b) of the Securities
Exchange Act and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder by failing to
disclose certain conduct related to the company's food handling
processes that led to several E. coli outbreaks at restaurants
across the United States and a related investigation by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The plaintiffs alleged that the company failed to accurately
disclose (1) the company's transition from using central
commissary kitchens to prepare and process food to in-store
processing and the attendant increased risk of food-borne illness
outbreaks; (2) the extent of certain E. coli outbreaks that
occurred at the company's restaurants; (3) the status of the
CDC's investigations into the outbreaks; and (4) the impact of
the outbreaks on the company's risk profile, profitability and
financial outlook. The plaintiffs further alleged the company
made misleading statements about its ability to trace its
ingredients purchased through various supply chains.

The court determined that the plaintiffs failed to adequately
allege any material misrepresentation or omission because the
company made adequate disclosures about the risks associated with
the company's food processing, the status of CDC investigations
and the company's risks and financial outlook. Although
additional E. coli outbreaks were alleged to have been concealed,
the company was not required to update that "lengthy disclosure"
to account for each of the E. coli outbreaks. The court also
determined that statements about the status of the CDC
investigations were not misleading because in context, the
company was "only speaking of the 43 restaurants they were
reopening rather than the entirety of the CDC's investigation."
Similarly, the alleged omission regarding the traceability of the
company's food ingredients was not material because "no
reasonable investor would have considered significant [the
company's] ability to trace ingredients through its supply chain
in deciding whether to invest in [the company]."

The court also held that the plaintiffs failed to adequately
plead a strong inference of scienter because they failed to show
that the defendants had access to material information (i.e.,
instances of customer sickness) that was allegedly concealed. The
court also reasoned that stock sales that occurred months before
the alleged corrective disclosures did not create a strong
inference of scienter because the transactions were not unusual.
The court reasoned that the more plausible and nonculpable
inference is that "the negative publicity associated with the
food-borne illness outbreaks and the consequent diminution in
value of [company] stock" caused the executives to sell less
stock after the disclosure.

District of Colorado Dismisses Securities Fraud Claims Against
Poultry Company Premised on Purported Price-Fixing Conspiracy

Hogan v. Pilgrim's Pride Corp., No. 16-cv-02611-RBJ (D. Colo.
Mar. 14, 2018)

Judge R. Brooke Jackson dismissed putative class claims against a
poultry company alleging that the company violated Section 10(b)
of the Securities Exchange Act by failing to disclose that it was
engaging in a price-fixing conspiracy that only came to light
when the company was sued for antitrust violations. The plaintiff
alleged that the company colluded with other poultry companies to
depress production of broiler chickens so as to artificially
stabilize their prices and artificially inflate the value of the
company's securities. The plaintiff further alleged that the
company effected the reduction by, among other means, destroying
eggs, reducing breeder flocks, destroying chicks and shutting
down facilities. The plaintiff alleged that evidence of this
conspiracy was that the Georgia Department of Agriculture's
Georgia Dock pricing index -- an industry index of broiler prices
compiled by telephone calls to top broiler producers -- was
higher than other industry indexes that performed verification of
prices reported by broiler producers.

The court first determined that because the complaint was
premised on an alleged underlying antitrust conspiracy, the
plaintiff was required to plead with particularity the facts
"that establish the existence of the antitrust conspiracy."
Although the court determined that the plaintiff met the PSLRA's
heightened pleading standard with respect to the alleged falsity
of the company's statements, the plaintiff failed to meet the
standard with respect to the underlying conspiracy. The court
found that the plaintiff failed to adequately allege a Sherman
Antitrust Act claim because the allegations "lack[ed] facts about
the means and amounts by which the alleged conspirators cut
production or when those particular cuts occurred," making it
"difficult to determine whether the conspirators were acting in
parallel." The court also determined that even if the plaintiff
had adequately pleaded parallel conduct, the plaintiff failed to
plead that there was any agreement among the alleged co-
conspirators, noting that "membership in industry associations,
attendance at industry conferences" were insufficient indicia of
an agreement. The court concluded that the complaint essentially
"plead[ed] fraud by innuendo" and dismissed it without prejudice.

SLUSA Preclusion
Eighth Circuit Rules That State Law Claims by Retail Investors
Against Brokerage Firm Are Precluded by SLUSA

Zola v. TD Ameritrade, Inc., No. 16-3013 (8th Cir. May 10, 2018)

In an opinion by Judge Roger L. Wollman, the Eighth Circuit held
that the class action complaints of retail investors alleging
various state law claims were precluded by SLUSA. The plaintiffs
in three related class complaints alleged that the brokerage firm
defendant breached its "duty of best execution" when it routed
orders to buy and sell securities to trading venues that paid the
most "kickbacks." Judge Joseph F. Bataillon of the District of
Nebraska had dismissed all complaints, ruling that the claims
were precluded by SLUSA. Relying on its recent decision in Lewis
v. Scottrade, Inc., 879 F.3d 850 (8th Cir. 2018), the Eighth
Circuit affirmed, holding that the complaints were a "covered
class action" under SLUSA that alleged "a misrepresentation or
omission" of a material fact that was "in connection with the
purchase or sale of a covered security."

The plaintiffs first argued that they were not pleading that the
defendants made a misrepresentation or omission but rather, that
they breached their uniform client agreement by failing to
consider required factors for directing orders. The Eighth
Circuit disagreed. Although it noted that the complaint carefully
avoided words that expressly alleged fraud such as
misrepresentation, omission or deception, the focus of the
plaintiffs' claims was the defendant's alleged failure to
disclose the fact that it was selling its order flow to the
highest bidder. In coming to this conclusion, the Eighth Circuit
noted "a disconnect between the alleged breach ([the defendant]'s
failure to consider the factors set forth in the client
agreement) and the damaged sought (disgorgement of profits) based
on [the defendant]'s misconduct (engaging in a secret scheme to
increase profits at the expense of its clients."

The plaintiffs then argued that under Chadbourne & Parke LLP v.
Troice, 571 U.S. 377 (2014), the purchase or sale of a security
must be "induced by the fraud" in order to meet SLUSA's "in
connection with" requirement. Because the defendant's alleged
misconduct did not affect the plaintiffs' decision to buy or sell
a security, the plaintiffs reasoned that their claims were not
precluded by SLUSA. The Eighth Circuit, however, rejected the
plaintiffs' contention, noting that the correct standard for the
"in connection with" requirement was that the alleged fraud
"coincide" with a securities transaction. Merrill Lynch, Pierce,
Fenner & Smith v. Dabit, 547 U.S. 71 (2006). Because there was no
dispute that the plaintiffs purchased and sold covered securities
and that the defendant allegedly received kickbacks when it
routed those purchases and sales, the "in connection with"
requirement was met. Thus, the Eighth Circuit held that the
plaintiffs' claims were precluded by SLUSA and affirmed the
district court's dismissal.

Statutory Appraisal
Court of Chancery Relies on Discounted Cash Flow Analysis to
Determine Fair Value Below Deal Price in Statutory Appraisal

In re Appraisal of AOL Inc., No. 11204-VCG (Del. Ch. Feb. 23,
2018)

In the statutory appraisal of AOL Inc., Vice Chancellor Sam
Glasscock III relied on a discounted cash flow (DCF) analysis to
determine that the fair value of AOL's stock was below the deal
price of $50 per share.

On the facts of the case, the Court of Chancery stated that it
was a "close question" as to whether the AOL transaction was
"Dell compliant" -- in other words, whether the transaction
"represent[ed] an unhindered, informed, and competitive market
valuation," in accordance with the Delaware Supreme Court's
recent ruling in Dell. However, while finding that many of the
indicia of a competitive market process were present, the Court
of Chancery concluded that certain statements made by AOL's CEO,
the lead negotiator of the deal, signaled to the market that
there was no other deal to be made and that no topping offers
would therefore be successful. The court held that the "unusually
preclusive" public statements of the CEO, when combined with
other attributes of the transaction, rendered the deal price
unreliable as the sole indicator of fair value. Moreover, because
the court could not rely on deal price as the sole determinant of
fair value, it was unable to find a principled way to assign the
deal price any weight in its fair value analysis. Therefore, the
court assigned full weight to its own DCF valuation and
"relegate[d] transaction price to a role as a check on that DCF
valuation." The result of the vice chancellor's DCF analysis was
$48.70 per share, which represented $1.30 less than the deal
price.

Court of Chancery Relies on 30-Day Average Unaffected Trading
Price in Statutory Appraisal

Verition Partners Master Fund Ltd. v. Aruba Networks, Inc., No.
11448-VCL (Del. Ch. Feb. 15, 2018)

In this statutory appraisal action involving Aruba Networks,
Inc., Vice Chancellor J. Travis Laster determined that the most
reliable indicator of fair value was the 30-day average
unaffected trading price of Aruba's stock on the Nasdaq
composite.

In the decision, the Court of Chancery accorded full weight to
the unaffected trading price and gave no weight to the merger
price. Vice Chancellor Laster held that under the Delaware
Supreme Court's recent decisions involving the appraisals of Dell
and DFC Global, "when the subject company's shares are 'widely
traded on a public market based upon a rich information base,'
then the fair value of a proportionate interest in the company as
a going concern would 'likely be best reflected by the prices at
which [the] shares were trading as of the merger.'" Put
differently, "when the market for a company's shares has the
requisite attributes [associated with market efficiency], the
stock price is 'likely a possible proxy for fair value.'" Thus,
the court reasoned that "[u]nder Dell and DFC, the critical
question is whether the market for the subject company's shares
has attributes associated with market efficiency." Because
Aruba's stock price exhibited the same requisite attributes of
market efficiency as those found sufficient in Dell and DFC, the
court held that "Aruba's market price provides reliable evidence
of the going concern value of the firm."

Analyzing the reliability of deal price, the court interpreted
Dell and DFC to hold that a sales process is not "sufficiently
bad to warrant discounting the deal price" so long as "the deal
in question was an arm's-length transaction," and that a court
should not inquire "into whether a different transaction process
might have achieved a superior result." However, in this case,
the court ultimately found that the deal price was unreliable
because, among other uncertainties, relying on the deal price
would require excluding both synergies and the value of a
reduction in agency costs, both subjective factors. Therefore,
the court accorded full weight to the unaffected market price of
$17.13, which it found "provides the more straightforward and
reliable method for estimating the value of the entity as a going
concern." [GN]




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

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