CAR_Public/190104.mbx               C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, January 4, 2019, Vol. 21, No. 4

                            Headlines

3M COMPANY: Battisti Sues Over Exposure to Contaminated Water
AIMBRIDGE HOSPITALITY: Flynn Seeks Prelim. OK of Class Settlement
ALABAMA: EJI Releases Prison Homicide Rate Report Amid Lawsuit
ALLAN STONE GALLERIES: Tucker Files ADA Suit in New York
ALLERGAN PLC: Cook Files Securities Class Action

ALLIED INTERNATIONAL: Mitchell Suit Removed to N.D. Georgia
ALLTRAN FINANCIAL: Saifi Files Suit under ADA in New York
AMSTERDAM WHITNEY: Tucker Files Suit under ADA
ANDREW EDLIN: Violates ADA, Says Tucker Suit
ANTHEM UM SERVICES: Removes Rainville Suit to N.D. California

ANTON KERN INC: Faces ADA Class Suit
ANZAI ASIAN: Underpays Teriyaki Chefs, Chen Suit Alleges
APHRIA INC: Shareholders File Securities Class Action
APHRODITE ANCIENT:  Online Auction House Faces ADA Suit
ARADER & ASSOCIATES: Mortgage Banker Faces ADA Suit

ARMOURY GROUP: Dennis Files Suit under ADA in New York
ART VAN: Womble Bond Discusses TCPA Class Action Settlement OK
AT&T SERVICES: Gorss Motels' Bid to Certify Under Advisement
AUSTRALIA: Won't Call Ludwig as Witness in Cattle Export Ban Case
AUSTYN SPENCER: Underpays Delivery Drivers, Abel Suit Alleges

AVCOA INC: Moyer Sues over Hidden Charges in Vending Machine
BAAHNG GALLERY: Tucker Files Suit under ADA in S.D. New York
BARBARA MATHES: Faces Tucker ADA Suit in NY
BAUMAN BOOKS: Tucker Suit Asserts ADA Breach
BAYWAY HOTEL: Borozny Files Suit under ADA in M.D. Florida

BLENDER 135 MADISON: Olsen Files Suit under ADA in New York
BLUE HILLS: Faces Paul Parshall Securities Suit in Maryland
BOJANGLES' INC: Faces 6 Class Suits over Durational Capital Merger
CANADA: Black Coalition of Quebec Sues Montreal Police Dep't
CANADA: Day Scholars React to Class Action Settlement

CANIDO BASONAS: Underpays Construction Workers, Jose Ayala Says
CENTRAL CREDIT: Miranda Files FDCPA Class Action
CHAMPION PETFOODS: Removes Vado Suit to N.D. California
CITRUS WORLD: Court Dismisses Orange Juice Mislabeling Suit
CLEARWATER BEACH HOTEL: Borozny Suit Asserts ADA Breach

CONAGRA FOODS: Court Narrows Claims in Parkay Spray Suit
CORNERSTONE RESIDENTIAL: Martinez-Coll Seeks Minimum & OT Wages
COSTCO WHOLESALE: Faces Securities Class Action in Washington
CULLIGAN WATER: Faces Class Action Over TCPA Violation
CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH: Inmates Sue Over Jail Inhumane Conditions

DANIEL'S DELI: Castillo Soto Sues Over Unpaid Compensation
DANSTE HOSPITALITY: Violates ADA, Borozny Suit Says
DISNEY: Faces Class Action Over Home Video Profits
ENDO INTERNATIONAL: Court Narrows Claims in SEB Securities Suit
EQUUS TOTAL: Zalmanoff Sues Over Misleading Disclosures

FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE: Swimmers File Monopoly Class Action
FITBIT INC: Court Extends Time to Respond in Lopes
FMC TECHNOLOGIES: Balderas Sues Over Unpaid Overtime Wages
FORBES ENERGY: Brown Sues Over Unpaid Overtime Compensation
GENERAL MOTORS: Moonan et al. Sue over Defective Injection Pumps

GENOCEA BIOSCIENCES: Court Dismisses Securities Class Action
GNC: Averts Investors' Securities Class Action Over Supplements
GUCCI AMERICA: Faces Haggar ADA Suit in C.D. California
HABITAT RESTORATION: Underpays Maintenance Keepers, Chavez Says
HARDEE'S RESTAURANT: Settles Hep A Exposure Class Action

HCR MANOR: Six Subclasses of Residents Certified in MacRae Suit
HEARTLAND PAYMENT: Court Affirms Order in Wage Class Action
HIGHER LEARNING: Students Launch Class Action Following Closure
IBM: 2d Cir. Revives Securities Fraud Claims
IBM: 2nd Cir. Reverses Dismissal of Jander ERISA Suit

ILLINOIS: 7th Cir. Affirms Class Certification Denial in Riffey
ISLE OF CAPRI: IOC Wins Summary Judgment in Larson FLSA Suit
JAMES SQUARE: Judge Approves Class Action Settlement
JOSEPH UK: Dennis Suit Asserts ADA Violation
KAISER PERMANENTE: Must Face Discrimination Class Action

KELLOG CO: Class Action Ruling May Spur More Frivolous Lawsuits
LATIUM NETWORK: Must Face Class Action Over Initial Coin Offering
LIFETOUCH INC: Eighth Cir. Appeal Filed in Vigeant ERISA Suit
MARIN, CA: Perez Moves to Certify 3 Classes of Social Workers
MARRIOTT HOTEL: Hanna Seeks to Certify Employees Class Under FLSA

MARRIOTT INT'L: Gates Sues Over Failure to Secure and Safeguard PII
MDL 2804: Judge Refuses to Dismiss Racketeering Claims
MIDLAND CREDIT: Geisinsky Files Consumer Credit Class Suit
MIDLAND FUNDING: Court Grants Bid to Amend Velazquez FDCPA Suit
MISSOURI: 8th Cir. Affirms Class Certification in Postawko

NCAA: No Decision Yet on Pay Restrictions Issue
OLIPHANT FINANCIAL: Vedernikov Sues over Debt Collection Practices
OVERNIGHT CLEANSE: Garcia Sues Over Unpaid Overtime Wages
P.S.C. INC: Court OKs Filing of Confidential Doc in Open Court
PACIFIC BIOSCIENCES: Rosenblatt Balks at Merger Deal with Illumina

PAPA JOHN'S: Ashley Page Sues over No-Poach Policy
PEGASUS RESIDENTIAL: Williams Suit Moved to M.D. North Carolina
QUANTEL RESEARCH: Nefcy Sues over Unwanted Cellular Phone Calls
RED HAT: Orgel Balks at Merger Deal with IBM
REGIONS BANK: Files Joint Bid to Approve Notice in Hodapp FLSA Suit

SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO: Settles Class Action Over Tainted Bird Seed
SERVICE EMPLOYEES: Workers to Seek Review of 7th Cir. Ruling
SHANGHAI ORIGINAL: Second Circuit Appeal Filed in Lin FLSA Suit
SHAREWITHNYC INC: Violates ADA, Dennis Suit Asserts
SHIVA & NANBAI: Faces Borozny ADA Class Action in Fla.

SNZ GROUP: Mateos Seeks Minimum Wages & Overtime
SOUTH COUNTY ORTHOPEDIC: Bautista Seeks Unpaid Overtime Wages
STATE FARM: 8th Cir. Affirms Class Certification in Stuart
SWEPI LP: 6th Cir. Reverses Arbitration Denial in Rogers
SYNGENTA AG: Settles GMO Corn Seed Class Action for $1.5-Bil.

SYSTEMATIC NATIONAL: Gregory Sues over Debt Collection Practices
TAKATA CORP: Podhurst Orseck Coordinates Work in Air Bag Deal
UNITED STATES: Court Narrows Claims in CAM Program Suit
UNITED STATES: Judge OKs Discrimination Class Action Settlement
UOMINI & KUDAI: Borozny Files Suit Asserting ADA Violation

VERVE HOLDINGS: Beverage Retailer Sued for ADA Breach
WATERSTONE MORTGAGE: 7th Cir. Vacates $10MM FLSA Award
WEST LIBERTY: Daniels Moves to Certify Class of Illinois Workers
WEWORK COMPANIES: Website not Accessible to Blind, Olsen Says
WGACA LLC: Faces Dennis Suit Alleging ADA  Violation

WORKHOUSE NYC: Olsen Bring ADA Class Action in New York
WORKVILLE LLC: Olsen Sues Coworking Space Co. Under ADA
WYETH BIRCH: Violates Disabilities Act, Dennis Suit Says
YARD INC: Olsen Suit Asserts Disabilities Act Breach
ZOCDOC: Drinker Biddle Attorneys Discuss Court Ruling

[*] EU Legal Affairs Committee Passes Class Action Proposal
[] Class Action Lawyers Find Allies in Arbitration Fight

                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Consolidation for Discovery in Deem's Case OK'd
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cox Claims vs. Parker Hannifin Dismissed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cox Claims vs. Standard Motor Dismissed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Determination of Utica's Liability Caused Remand
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ford Motor's Summary Judgment Granted in Doolin

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Jenkins Time to Enter Additur Stipulation Enlarged
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Louisiana Pacific is Liable to Atchley's ARD
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rivera's Suit Remains With District Court
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Uzee's Suit Remanded to La. State Court


                            *********

3M COMPANY: Battisti Sues Over Exposure to Contaminated Water
-------------------------------------------------------------
The case captioned David Battisti, Regina Saueracker, Mary Ann
Benson, Susan Schell, Carol Smith, and Gerald Smith, her husband;
and Anita Pringle and David Pringle, her husband; for themselves
and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. THE
3M COMPANY (f/k/a Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, Co.); TYCO
FIRE PRODUCTS L.P., as successor in-interest to THE ANSUL COMPANY;
BUCKEYE FIRE EQUIPMENT CO.; CHEMGUARD, INC.; NATIONAL FOAM, INC.;
KIDDE FIRE FIGHTING, INC. (f/k/a CHUBB NATIONAL FOAM, INC. f/k/a
NATIONAL FOAM, INC.), individually and as successor in interest to
NATIONAL FOAM, INC.; KIDDE PLC, INC. (f/k/a WILLIAMS US INC. f/k/a
WILLIAMS HOLDINGS, INC.), individually and as successor in interest
to NATIONAL FOAM, INC.; KIDDE-FENWAL, INC. (f/k/a FENWAL INC.),
individually and as successor-in-interest to NATIONAL FOAM, INC.;
and UTC FIRE & SECURITY AMERICAS CORPORATION, INC. (f/k/a GE
INTERLOGIX, INC.), individually and as successor-in interest to
NATIONAL FOAM, INC., Defendants, Case No. 5:18-cv-00642 (M.D. Fla.,
December 20, 2018) was filed by Plaintiffs for damages sustained to
their person and for medical monitoring resulting from exposure to
aqueous film-forming foams ("AFFF") containing the toxic chemicals
perfluorooctane sulfonate ("PFOS") and/or perfluorooctanoic acid
("PFOA") and/or from exposure to groundwater, surface water, and
affected areas contaminated with PFOS and/or PFOA from AFFF
products that were manufactured, designed, sold, supplied and/or
distributed by each of the above-named Defendants, individually or
through their subsidiaries.

PFOS and PFOA are fluorosurfactants that repel oil, grease, and
water. PFOS and PFOA, and/or their precursors, are or were
components of the Defendants' AFFF products, which are firefighting
suppressant agents used in training and firefighting activities for
fighting Class B fires. Class B fires include fires involving
hydrocarbon fuels such as petroleum or other flammable liquids.

On or about August 2018, the Florida Department of Environmental
Protection Agency began testing the wells at the Fire College and
found significantly elevated levels of PFOS and PFOA greater than
the national average as a result of contamination of the Fire
College's water supply. Over the course of the past several
decades, the Plaintiffs and putative Class members routinely used
and were exposed to the Defendants' AFFF products and/or were
exposed to PFOS- and PFOA-contaminated water at the Fire College
where the Defendants' AFFF products were used and stored resulting
in significant personal injuries and the need for medical
monitoring, the complaint relates.

According to the complaint, PFOS and PFOA are highly toxic and
carcinogenic chemicals. The Defendants knew or should have known
that PFOS and PFOA are persistent when released into the
environment and present significant risks to human health and the
environment. Nevertheless, the Defendants knowingly and willfully
manufactured, designed, marketed, sold, and distributed AFFF
products containing PFOS and/or PFOA when they knew or reasonably
should have known that these harmful compounds would be released
into the air, soil, and groundwater during firefighting training
exercises and in firefighting emergencies, and would threaten the
health and welfare of firefighters and other individuals exposed to
these dangerous and hazardous chemicals.

Through this action, the Plaintiffs, for themselves and on behalf
of the putative Class, seek to recover compensatory and punitive
damages arising out of the permanent and significant damages
sustained as a direct result of their exposure to the Defendants'
PFOS- and PFOA-containing AFFF products and/or to PFOS- and/or
PFOA-contaminated groundwater, surface water, and affected areas
from the use and/or storage of the Defendants' AFFF products at the
Fire College. Plaintiffs, for themselves and on behalf of the
putative Class, also seek an order directing the Defendants to fund
and support a medical monitoring program, says the complaint.

Plaintiff David Battisti is a resident of Tamarac, Florida, who
currently resides at 6940 NW 83rd Terrace, Tamarac, Florida 33321.
At all material times, Plaintiff David Battisti worked as a
firefighter in or around Ocala, Florida and worked as a firefighter
instructor at the Fire College in Ocala, Florida.

Plaintiff Regina Saueracker is a resident of Ocala, Florida, who
has resided at all material times at 4725 SW 110th Street, Ocala,
Florida 34476. At all material times, Plaintiff Regina Saueracker
worked as an operations management consultant at the Fire College
in Ocala, Florida.

Plaintiff Mary Ann Benson is a resident of Ocala, Florida, who has
resided at all material times at 3216 SE 54th Circle, Ocala,
Florida 33480. At all material times, Plaintiff Mary Ann Benson
worked as an administrative assistant at the Fire College in Ocala,
Florida.

Plaintiff Susan Schell is a resident of Ocala, Florida, who has
resided at all material times at 10886 SW 45th Terrace, Ocala,
Florida 34476. At all material times, Plaintiff Susan Schell worked
at the Fire College in Ocala, Florida.

Plaintiff Carol Smith is a resident of Ocala, Florida, who has
resided at all material times at 8265 SW 115th Lane, Ocala, Florida
34481. At all material times, Plaintiff Carol Smith worked as a
Senior Clerk Registrar at the Florida State Fire College in Ocala,
Florida.

Plaintiff Gerald Smith is a resident of Ocala, Florida, who has
resided at all material times at 8265 SW 115th Lane, Ocala, Florida
34481. At all times material, Gerald Smith was and is the husband
of Carol Smith.

Plaintiff Anita Pringle is a resident of Ocala, Florida, who has
resided at all material times at 3231 NE 42nd Place, Ocala, Florida
34479. At all material times, Plaintiff Anita Pringle worked as an
administrative assistant at the Fire College in Ocala, Florida.

Plaintiff David Pringle is a resident of Ocala, Florida, who has
resided at all material times at 3231 NE 42nd Place, Ocala, Florida
34479. At all material times, David Pringle was and is the husband
of Anita Pringle.

3M Company (f/k/a Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company)
("3M") is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of
the state of Delaware, having its principal place of business at 3M
Center, St. Paul, Minnesota 55133.

Tyco Fire Products, L.P. ("Tyco") is a limited partnership formed
in the State of Delaware with its principal place of business at
One Stanton Street, Marinette, Wisconsin 54143. Tyco is an indirect
subsidiary ultimately wholly owned by Johnson Controls
International plc, an Irish public limited company listed on the
New York Stock Exchange.

Buckeye Fire Equipment Company ("Buckeye") is a foreign corporation
organized and existing under the laws of the state of Ohio, with
its principal place of business at 110 Kings Road, Kings Mountain,
North Carolina 28086.

National Foam, Inc. ("National Foam") is a Delaware corporation,
having its principal place of business and corporate headquarters
located in Angier, North Carolina.

Kidde Fire Fighting, Inc. (f/k/a Chubb National Foam, Inc. f/k/a
National Foam Inc.), is a North Carolina corporation having a
principal place of business at 160 Mine Lake Court, Suite 200,
Raleigh, North Carolina 27615. At all times relevant, Kidde Fire
Fighting, Inc. designed, manufactured and sold AFFF used in
training operations and for emergency fire-fighting situations
including at the Fire College.

Kidde plc, Inc. (f/k/a Williams US Inc. f/k/a Williams Holdings,
Inc.), is a Connecticut corporation having a principal place of
business at One Carrier Place, Farmington, Connecticut 06302. At
all times relevant, Kidde plc, Inc. designed, manufactured, and
sold AFFF used in training operations and for emergency
fire-fighting situations including at the Fire College.

John F. Hannon was the CEO and Secretary of Williams Holdings, Inc.
At all times relevant, Williams Holdings, Inc. designed,
manufactured, and sold AFFF used in training operations and for
emergency firefighting situations including at the Fire College.

Williams Holdings, Inc., a Delaware corporation, filed as a foreign
corporation with the Massachusetts Secretary of State on June 2,
1987.

Kidde-Fenwal, Inc. (f/k/a Fenwal, Inc.) is a Massachusetts
corporation with its principal place of business at 400 Main
Street, Ashland, Massachusetts 01721. At all times relevant,
Kidde-Fenwal, Inc. designed, manufactured, and sold AFFF used in
training operations and for emergency fire-fighting situations
including at the Fire College.

UTC Fire & Security Americas Corporation, Inc. (f/k/a GE
Interlogix, Inc.), is a North Carolina corporation with its
principal place of business at 3211 Progress Drive, Lincolnton,
North Carolina 28092. At all times relevant, UTC Fire & Security
Americas Corporation, Inc. designed, manufactured and sold AFFF
used for training operations and fighting fires including at the
Fire College.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

     James L. Ferraro, Esq.
     Janpaul Portal, Esq.
     James L. Ferraro, Jr., Esq.
     THE FERRARO LAW FIRM
     Brickell World Plaza
     600 Brickell Avenue, 38th Floor
     Miami, FL 33131
     Phone: (305) 375-0111
     Facsimile: (305) 379-6222
     Email: jlf@ferrarolaw.com
            jpp@ferrarolaw.com
            jjr@ferrarolaw.com


AIMBRIDGE HOSPITALITY: Flynn Seeks Prelim. OK of Class Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Plaintiff in the lawsuit captioned GERTRUDE MAE FLYNN,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated v.
AIMBRIDGE HOSPITALITY, LLC, Case No. 2:17-cv-01649-JFC (W.D. Pa.),
moves the Court for an order preliminarily approving the terms of a
proposed class action settlement; approving the form and method of
providing notice of the settlement to the class; and scheduling a
final hearing regarding the settlement.

After conducting discovery, mediation, and multiple
proposals/counterproposals, as well as consideration of the risks,
possible delays and expense likely to result from prolonged
litigation, Ms. Flynn and Aimbridge have reached agreement on the
terms of a proposed class settlement.  The Settlement Agreement
represents a comprehensive settlement of the issues raised in the
case.

The Parties believe that the Settlement Agreement offers a fair and
equitable result to those affected by it.  The Parties believe that
the Settlement Agreement will result in significant long-term
benefits for individuals who are members of the proposed settlement
class.[CC]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          R. Bruce Carlson, Esq.
          Gary F. Lynch, Esq.
          Kelly K. Iverson, Esq.
          CARLSON LYNCH SWEET KILPELA & CARPENTER, LLP
          1133 Penn Avenue, 5th Floor
          Pittsburgh, PA 15222
          Telephone: (412) 322-9243
          E-mail: bcarlson@carlsonlynch.com
                  glynch@carlsonlynch.com
                  kiverson@carlsonlynch.com


ALABAMA: EJI Releases Prison Homicide Rate Report Amid Lawsuit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Tribune reports that in the span of three hours at a southwest
Alabama prison, one inmate was fatally stabbed and another was
seriously wounded after being stabbed in a separate fight.

Eighteen inmates have been killed by other inmates since October of
2016, according to statistics and news releases from the Department
of Corrections.

The Montgomery-based nonprofit organization Equal Justice
Initiative released a report finding that Alabama's prisons are the
most lethal in the nation. The report found that Alabama's rate of
over 34 homicides per 100,000 people incarcerated is more than 600
percent greater than the national average from 2001 to 2014.

Equal Justice Initiative attorney Charlotte Morrison said prison
staff and inmates live "under constant threat of violence."

"The violence is epidemic," Morrison said. "We have a crisis that
is not going to get better until we see a more effective and
committed response from state leadership to addressing the issue

Bob Horton, a spokesman for the Department of Corrections, said the
prison homicide rate is a "priority concern." He said he could not
comment on the nonprofit's findings because he did not know how
they did their comparison.

"There is a direct correlation between the level of prison violence
and the shortage of correctional staff in an overpopulated prison
system with limited resources for rehabilitating offenders. The
proliferation of drugs and criminal activity inside prisons also
contribute to an increase in violent incidents," Horton wrote in an
email.

"The Alabama Department of Corrections recognizes the seriousness
of the problem and is taking steps to reverse this trend," Horton
wrote.

The prison system's monthly reports list that 16 inmates died in
homicides in fiscal years 2017 and 2018. So far this fiscal year,
the department has reported two fatal stabbings.

Twenty-nine-year-old Vaquerro Kinjuan Armstrong was fatally stabbed
Dec. 2 at William C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore.
Armstrong was serving a 22-year sentence on a 2009 first-degree
robbery conviction in Talladega County. About three hours later,
another inmate was critically wounded when another fight broke out
in the same prison.

Staffing levels have been raised as an issue in an ongoing lawsuit
over prison mental health care. Alabama Corrections Commissioner
Jeff Dunn told The Associated Press earlier this year that
estimates filed with the court show the state needs to add about
1,800 officers -- nearly doubling current staffing levels.

The department has begun an effort to recruit and retain additional
staff. As an initial effort to increase officer ranks, the
department authorized a five and 10 percent pay increase for
officers at minimum and maximum security prisons.

State Sen. Cam Ward, co-chair of the legislative prison oversight
committee, said EJI's finding sounded accurate.

Ward said a side effect of sentencing reform efforts, which sought
to relieve prison overcrowding by keeping nonviolent offenders out
of prison, is that prison populations are made up mostly of violent
offenders.

The Equal Justice Initiative filed a class-action lawsuit in 2014
against the state Department of Corrections in connection with
previous homicides and assaults at St. Clair correctional
facility.

The Equal Justice Initiative said it re-initiated its investigation
of Elmore Correctional Facility this year after receiving dozens of
reports of stabbings, assaults, extortion, and excessive use of
force. [GN]


ALLAN STONE GALLERIES: Tucker Files ADA Suit in New York
--------------------------------------------------------
Allan Stone Galleries, Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit filed
pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled
as Henry Tucker, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. Allan Stone Galleries, Inc., Defendant, Case
No. 1:18-cv-11726 (S.D. N.Y., December 14, 2018).

Allan Stone Galleries, Inc. is a New York gallery founded in 1960,
with a far-reaching collection of Modern Masters, Contemporary Art,
Tribal, and Folk art, Americana, Decorative Arts.[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


ALLERGAN PLC: Cook Files Securities Class Action
------------------------------------------------
Thomas F. Cook, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. Allergan PLC, Brenton L. Saunders, William
Meury, C. David Nicholson, Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-12089 (S.D.
N.Y., December 20, 2018) is a federal securities class action
brought on behalf of the Class for violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934.

The complaint asserts that Allergan misled investors by boasting
about various "pharma and device approvals" while concealing from
investors the fact that the Company's CE Mark for its textured
breast implants and tissue expanders was expiring in Europe. The
truth was revealed on December 19, 2018, when the Company announced
that it had suspended the sale of these products and that it was
withdrawing all remaining supplies from European markets. The
withdrawal followed a compulsory recall request from Agence
Nationale de Securite du Medicament ("ANSM"), the French regulatory
authority. The suspension of sales stemmed directly from the
expiration of the company's CE Mark for these products.

In connection with the acts alleged in this complaint, Defendants,
directly or indirectly, used the means and instrumentalities of
interstate commerce, including, but not limited to, the mails,
interstate telephone communications and the facilities of the New
York Stock Exchange ("NYSE"), a national securities exchange, says
the complaint.

Plaintiff Thomas F. Cook is an individual residing in Maricopa
County, in the State of Arizona. Plaintiff acquired and held shares
of the Company at artificially inflated prices during the Class
Period and has been damaged by the revelation of the Company's
material misrepresentations and material omissions.

Allergan PLC is an Irish-tax registered pharmaceutical company with
its principal place of business in Dublin, Ireland. The Company's
stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol
"AGN".

Brenton L. Saunders has been the Chairman, President, and Chief
Executive Officer of Allergan since March 2015.

William Meury has been the Chief Commercial Officer, and Executive
Vice President, of Allergan since May 2016.

C. David Nicholson has been the Chief Research & Development
Officer, and Executive Vice President, of Allergan since March
2015.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Greg Blankinship, Esq.
     FINKELSTEIN BLANKINSHIP FREI-PEARSON & GARBER LLP
     445 Hamilton Ave, Suite 605
     White Plains, NY 10601
     Phone:: 914-298-3281
     Fax: 914-824-1561
     Email: Gblankinship@fbfglaw.com

          - and -

     Jeffrey C. Block, Esq.
     Jacob A. Walker, Esq.
     BLOCK & LEVITON LLP
     155 Federal Street, Suite 400
     Boston, MA 02110
     Tel: (617) 398-5600
     Fax: (617) 507-6020
     Email: jeff@blockesq.com
            jake@blockesq.com


ALLIED INTERNATIONAL: Mitchell Suit Removed to N.D. Georgia
-----------------------------------------------------------
The case captioned as Devonte Mitchell, on behalf of himself and
all others similarly situated, Plaintiff against Allied
International Credit Corp., a Delaware Corporation, Defendant, Case
No 18-A-3010, was removed from the State Court of Cobb County to
the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on
December 20, 2018, and assigned Case No. 1:18-cv-05821-LMM.

The docket of the case states the cause of action as violation of
Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Allied International Credit Corp was founded in 1977. The Company's
line of business includes collection and adjustment services on
claims and other insurance related issues.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Clifton R. Dorsen, Esq.
   Skaar and Feagle
   2374 Main Street, Suite B
   Tucker, GA 30084
   Tel: (404) 373-1978
   Email: cdorsen@skaarandfeagle.com

      - and -

   James Marvin Feagle, Esq.
   Skaar and Feagle
   2374 Main Street, Suite B
   Tucker, GA 30084
   Tel: (404) 373-1970
   Fax: (404) 601-1855
   Email: jfeagle@skaarandfeagle.com

      - and –

   Justin Tharpe Holcombe, Esq.
   Skaar & Feagle, LLP -Woodstock
   133 Mirramont Lake Drive
   Woodstock, GA 30189
   Tel: (770) 427-5600
   Fax: (404) 601-1855
   Email: jholcombe@skaarandfeagle.com

      - and -

   Kris Kelly Skaar, Esq.
   Skaar & Feagle, LLP -Woodstock
   133 Mirramont Lake Drive
   Woodstock, GA 30189
   Tel: (770) 427-5600
   Fax: (404) 601-1855
   Email: krisskaar@aol.com

The Defendant is represented by:

   Kirsten H. Smith, Esq.
   Sessions, Fishman, Nathan & Isreal, LLP-LA
   3850 North Causeway Blvd., Suite 200
   Metairie, LA 70002-7227
   Tel: (504) 846-7943
   Email: ksmith@sessions.legal


ALLTRAN FINANCIAL: Saifi Files Suit under ADA in New York
---------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Alltran Financial,
LP. The case is styled as Hameed Saifi, on behalf of himself and
all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Alltran Financial, LP,
Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-07276 (E.D. N.Y., December 20, 2018).

The docket of the case states the nature of suit as Consumer Credit
filed pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Alltran Financial, LP specializes in revenue cycle, accounts
receivable, and contact center solutions within healthcare,
financial services, higher education, and government industries in
the Unites States.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Jonathan Shalom, Esq.
   Shalom Law, PLLC.
   124-04 Metropolitan Avenue
   Kew Gardens, NY 11374
   Tel: (718) 971-9474
   Email: jshalom@jonathanshalomlaw.com


AMSTERDAM WHITNEY: Tucker Files Suit under ADA
----------------------------------------------
Amsterdam Whitney International Fine Art, Inc. is facing a class
action lawsuit filed pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities
Act. The case is styled as Henry Tucker, on behalf of himself and
all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Amsterdam Whitney
International Fine Art, Inc., Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-11728
(S.D. N.Y., December 14, 2018).

Amsterdam Whitney International Fine Art, Inc. is a premier
vanguard gallery.[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



ANDREW EDLIN: Violates ADA, Says Tucker Suit
--------------------------------------------
Andrew Edlin, Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit filed pursuant
to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled as Henry
Tucker, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff v. Andrew Edlin, Inc., Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-11730
(S.D. N.Y., December 14, 2018).

Andrew Edlin, Inc. is in the art gallery business in New York City,
New York.[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



ANTHEM UM SERVICES: Removes Rainville Suit to N.D. California
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Defendants in the case of RICHARD RAINVILLE, individually and
on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. ANTHEM UM
SERVICES, INC.; BLUE CROSS OF CALIFORNIA; ANTHEM BLUE CROSS LIFE
AND HEALTH INSURANCE COMPANY; and DOES 1 THROUGH 100, Defendants,
filed a notice to remove the lawsuit from the Superior Court of the
State of California, County of San Francisco (Case No.
CGC-18-568664) to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of California on November 21, 2018. The clerk of court for the
Northern District of California assigned Case No. 3:18-cv-07099.
The case is assigned to Richard Seeborg.

Anthem UM Services, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of UNICARE
Specialty Services, Inc. [BN]

The Defendants are represented by:

          Kenneth N. Smersfelt, Esq.
          Karen  A.  Braje, Esq.
          Nicole Medeiros, Esq.
          REED SMITH LLP
          355 South Grand Avenue, Suite 2900
          Los Angeles, CA 90071-1514
          Telephone: (213) 457 8000
          Facsimile: (213) 457 8080


ANTON KERN INC: Faces ADA Class Suit
------------------------------------
Anton Kern, Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit filed pursuant to
the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled as Henry
Tucker, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff v. Anton Kern, Inc., Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-11731
(S.D. N.Y., December 14, 2018).

On April 22, 2017, Anton Kern Gallery officially opened its doors
at 16 East 55th Street. Designed by studioMDA, the six-story
townhouse features three floors of exhibition space, with permanent
installations by Martino Gamper and Jim Lambie.[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


ANZAI ASIAN: Underpays Teriyaki Chefs, Chen Suit Alleges
--------------------------------------------------------
KEWEI CHEN, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. ANZAI ASIAN INC. d/b/a ANZAI ASIAN; ANZAI
ASIAN EAST MEADOW, INC. d/b/a ANZAI ASIAN; HONGYAN SHEN; and ANDY
CHEN, Defendants, Case No. 2:18-cv-06659-JMA-ARL (E.D.N.Y., Nov.
21, 2018) seeks to recover from the Defendants unpaid overtime
compensation, prejudgment interest, maximum liquidated damages,
reasonable attorneys' fees, and costs under the Fair Labor
Standards Act.

The Plaintiff Chen was employed by the Defendants as teriyaki
chef.

Anzai Asian Inc. d/b/a Anzai Asian is a corporation organized under
the laws of the State of New York. The Company is engaged in the
restaurant business.

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Xiaoxi Liu, Esq.
          HANG & ASSOCIATES, PLLC.
          136-20 38th Ave., Suite 10G
          Flushing, NY 11354
          Telephone: (718) 353-8588
          E-mail: xliu@hanglaw.com


APHRIA INC: Shareholders File Securities Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------
Shareholder rights law firm Robbins Arroyo LLP on Dec. 11 disclosed
that purchasers of Aphria, Inc. (NYSE: APHA) filed a class action
complaint against the company's officers and directors for alleged
violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 between July 17,
2018 and December 4, 2018. Aphria produces and sells medical
cannabis.

View this information on the law firm's Shareholder Rights Blog:
https://www.robbinsarroyo.com/aphria-inc/

Aphria Insiders Accused of Self-Dealing

According to the complaint, Aphria failed to disclose that the
entities it acquired through its acquisition of LATAM Holdings Inc.
lacked adequate licenses, were overvalued, and would enrich the
company's CEO and other insiders at the expense of shareholders.
The truth came out on December 3, 2018, when Quintessential Capital
Management and Hindenburg Research published a report alleging that
Aphria's recent acquisition was part of a series of transactions
designed to enrich company insiders and that these acquisitions
lacked operations. On this news, Aphria's stock price fell $3.39,
or over 42%, over the next two trading days, closing at $4.51 on
December 4, 2018.

Aphria Shareholders Have Legal Options

Concerned shareholders who would like more information about their
rights and potential remedies can contact attorney Leonid Kandinov
at (800) 350-6003, LKandinov@robbinsarroyo.com, or via the
shareholder information form on the firm's website.

Robbins Arroyo LLP -- http://www.robbinsarroyo.com-- is a
nationally recognized leader in shareholder rights law. The firm
represents individual and institutional investors in shareholder
derivative and securities class action lawsuits, and has helped its
clients realize more than $1 billion of value for themselves and
the companies in which they have invested. [GN]


APHRODITE ANCIENT:  Online Auction House Faces ADA Suit
-------------------------------------------------------
Aphrodite Ancient Art LLC is facing a class action lawsuit filed
pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled
as Henry Tucker, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. Aphrodite Ancient Art LLC, Defendant, Case
No. 1:18-cv-11732 (S.D. N.Y., December 14, 2018).

Aphrodite Gallery is widely regarded as the leading online auction
house, featuring exclusive and authentic ancient art works.[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


ARADER & ASSOCIATES: Mortgage Banker Faces ADA Suit
---------------------------------------------------
Arader & Associates, LLC is facing a class action lawsuit filed
pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled
as Henry Tucker, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. Arader & Associates, LLC, Defendant, Case
No. 1:18-cv-11733 (S.D. N.Y., December 14, 2018).

Arader & Associates LLC is in the Mortgage Bankers business.[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



ARMOURY GROUP: Dennis Files Suit under ADA in New York
------------------------------------------------------
The Armoury Group (US) Limited is facing a class action lawsuit
filed pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is
styled as Derrick U Dennis, on behalf himself and all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. The Armoury Group (US) Limited,
Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-07153 (E.D. N.Y., December 16, 2018).

The Armoury offers classic, well-crafted men's products.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Jonathan Shalom, Esq.
   Shalom Law, PLLC.
   124-04 Metropolitan Avenue
   Kew Gardens, NY 11374
   Tel: (718) 971-9474
   Email: jshalom@jonathanshalomlaw.com



ART VAN: Womble Bond Discusses TCPA Class Action Settlement OK
--------------------------------------------------------------
Eric Troutman, Esq. -- eric.troutman@wbd-us.com -- of Womble Bond
Dickinson (US) LLP, in an article for The National Law Review,
reports that another day, another 7 figure TCPA settlement.

The settlement approval comes from the Eastern District of Michigan
where a local furniture store saw its 2016 telemarketing effort
turn into a multi-million dollar windfall for call recipients. See
Bowman v. Art Van Furniture, Case No. 17-11630, 2018 WL 6445389
(E.D. Mich. Dec. 10, 2018).

In Bowman the defendant had allegedly left a bunch of voicemails
regarding a VIP party at their stores with prizes. Fun. But the
messages were (allegedly) left using a pre-recorded voice and
without consent. Not fun. Because the messages were promotional in
nature, this was (allegedly) a pretty straightforward violation of
the TCPA.

Art Van Furniture allegedly sent similar messages to about
1,150,000 folks who made up the settlement class. The settlement
figure was $5,875,000.00–or about $5.10 a class member.

As one objector pointed out, the potential liability in this
case–if the claims were proven–might exceed $575,000,000.00 so
the recovery for the class was about 1% of the potential recovery.
The Court was not bothered by this argument and whisked it away
with a single line: "The Court agrees with Plaintiff that the
recovery in this settlement is consistent with other TCPA class
action settlements." Bowman at *7. So there.

Notably the Bowman settlement is in line with similar settlements.
But then again, so was the Snyder settlement that was
unceremoniously rejected by the Court a few months back. [GN]


AT&T SERVICES: Gorss Motels' Bid to Certify Under Advisement
------------------------------------------------------------
The Hon. Janet Bond Arterton has taken under advisement the Motion
to Certify Class filed in the lawsuit styled Gorss Motels, Inc. v.
AT&T Services, Case No. 3:17-cv-00403-JBA (D. Conn.).

The Motion to Seal is granted and the second Motion to Seal is
granted in part and denied in part.[CC]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Ryan Kelly, Esq.
          ANDERSON + WANCA
          3701 Algonquin Rd, Suite 500
          Rolling Meadows, IL 60008
          Telephone: (847) 368-1500
          E-mail: rkelly@andersonwanca.com

The Defendant is represented by:

          Kyle Steinmetz, Esq.
          MAYER BROWN LLP
          71 S. Wacker Drive
          Chicago, IL 60606
          Telephone: (312) 701-8547
          E-mail: ksteinmetz@mayerbrown.com


AUSTRALIA: Won't Call Ludwig as Witness in Cattle Export Ban Case
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Shan Goodwin, writing for Queensland Country Life, reports that the
decision by the defence not to call former Labor Agriculture
Minister Joe Ludwig as a witness has arguably been the standout
development in the landmark class action claim against the
Commonwealth Government over the infamous 2011 Indonesian live
cattle export ban.

Closing submissions in the case have been presented to the Federal
Court in Sydney and Justice Steven Rares will now consider the
evidence, with a judgment not expected until next year.

Over the past week, the Court heard evidence of detriment in the
second phase of the case, following a liability hearing in June.

Lead litigants the Brett Cattle Company, from the Northern
Territory, outlined the importance of the Indonesian live export
market on not just the pastoral industry but the many other
businesses reliant on it and devastating effects of the ban.

The class action, involving 300 plaintiffs, is seeking to prove
misfeasance in Mr Ludwig's decision to suspend the live cattle
trade to Indonesia for up to six months in mid-2011.

If successful, this will be the first time a case of misfeasance
has been proven against an Australian Government minister.

The plaintiffs are seeking $600 million in compensation.

Spokesperson for the plaintiffs, former Northern Territory
Cattlemen's Association boss Tracey Hayes said the decision not to
have Mr Ludwig as a witness left a vacuum of information.

There were questions only he could answer, she said.

Evidence presented prior to closing submissions by businesses
involved in the live export business in Indonesia, such as Elders,
had proven very powerful, Ms Hayes said.

"Evidence was able to be provided as to the capacity of existing
supply chains to function in a manner that complied with OIE (World
Organisation for Animal Health) standards," she said.

"The trade could have continued to operate -- there are fattening
periods in feedlots which have considerable capacity -- if there
needed to be time for the government to satisfy itself these supply
chains were indeed functioning and compliant."

This part of the case was set down for three weeks but finished
ahead of time with the defence's closing submission. [GN]


AUSTYN SPENCER: Underpays Delivery Drivers, Abel Suit Alleges
-------------------------------------------------------------
SHAWN ABEL, individually and on behalf of all other similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. AUSTYN SPENCER ENTERPRISES, LLC; BLUE SKY
PIZZA, LLC; and RHETT HIGHTOWER, Defendants, Case No.
1:18-cv-00166-SPW (D. Mont., Nov. 21, 2018) seeks to recover proper
minimum wages and overtime compensation, under the Fair Labor
Standards Act.

The Plaintiff was employed by the Defendants as delivery driver.

Austyn Spencer Enterprises, LLC is an Arizona limited liability
company which has operated a chain of Domino's Pizza franchise
stores. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          William D'Alton, Esq.
          D'ALTON LAW FIRM, P.C.
          1643 24th Street West, Suite 314
          Billings, MT 59102
          Telephone: (406) 245-6643
          Facsimile: (406) 245-6693
          E-mail: bill@daltonlawpc.com


AVCOA INC: Moyer Sues over Hidden Charges in Vending Machine
------------------------------------------------------------
JOSHUA MOYER, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. AVCOA, INC., Defendant, Case No. 2018CH14539
(Ill. Cir., Cook Cty., Nov. 21, 2018) alleges that the Defendant is
engaged in consumer fraud and deceptive business practices.

According to the complaint, when the Plaintiff purchased item from
the Defendant's vending machines via credit or debit card, the
transactions include additional hidden charges or fees which were
not disclosed or displayed on the vending machine or at any time
during the transaction. The Plaintiff is completely unaware of the
unauthorized charges at the time of the purchase.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Anthony S. DiVincenzo, Esq.
          Robert J. Stein, III, Esq.
          DIVINCENZO SCHOENFIELD STEIN
          33 N. Dearborn, Suite 1130
          Chicago, IL 60602
          Telephone: (312) 344-4809
          E-mail: adivincenzo@dsschicagolaw.com

               - and –

          Vivek Jayaram, Esq.
          JAYARAM LAW, INC.
          125 S. Clark Street, 17th Floor
          Chicago, IL 60603
          Telephone: (646) 325-9855
          E-mail: vivek@jayaramlaw.com


BAAHNG GALLERY: Tucker Files Suit under ADA in S.D. New York
------------------------------------------------------------
Baahng Gallery, Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit filed
pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled
as Henry Tucker, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. Baahng Gallery, Inc., Defendant, Case No.
1:18-cv-11734 (S.D. N.Y., December 14, 2018).

Baahng Gallery is a contemporary art gallery founded in New York
City.[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


BARBARA MATHES: Faces Tucker ADA Suit in NY
-------------------------------------------
Barbara Mathes Gallery, Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit filed
pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled
as Henry Tucker, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. Barbara Mathes Gallery, Inc., Defendant,
Case No. 1:18-cv-11735 (S.D. N.Y., December 14, 2018).

Barbara Mathes Gallery offers a wide selection of artworks by
leading artists.[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


BAUMAN BOOKS: Tucker Suit Asserts ADA Breach
--------------------------------------------
Bauman Books Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit filed pursuant
to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled as Henry
Tucker, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff v. Bauman Books Inc., Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-11737
(S.D. N.Y., December 14, 2018).

Bauman Books Inc. offers an extraordinary selection of rare books
and autographs in all fields.[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


BAYWAY HOTEL: Borozny Files Suit under ADA in M.D. Florida
----------------------------------------------------------
Bayway Hotel Holdings, LLC is facing a class action lawsuit filed
pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled
as Austin Borozny, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Bayway Hotel Holdings, LLC, a
Florida limited liability company, Defendant, Case No.
8:18-cv-03068 (M.D. Fla., December 20, 2018).

Bayway Hotel Holdings, LLC is a Florida Limited Liability Company
from INDIAN SHORES in Florida, United States.[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


BLENDER 135 MADISON: Olsen Files Suit under ADA in New York
-----------------------------------------------------------
Blender 135 Madison, LLC is facing a class action lawsuit filed
pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled
as Thomas J. Olsen, individually and on behalf of all other persons
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Blender 135 Madison, LLC,
Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-11779 (S.D. N.Y., December 16, 2018).

Blender 135 Madison, LLC is a coworking space provider located on
Madison Avenue in NoMad New York City.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Christopher Howard Lowe, Esq.
   Lipsky Lowe LLP
   630 Third Avenue
   New York, NY 10017-6705
   Tel: (212) 392-4772
   Fax: (212) 444-1030
   Email: chris@lipskylowe.com



BLUE HILLS: Faces Paul Parshall Securities Suit in Maryland
-----------------------------------------------------------
Blue Hills Bancorp, Inc. said in its Form 8-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission filed on December 28, 2018, that
the company has been named as defendant in a putative class action
suit entitled Paul Parshall v. David J. Houston Jr. et. al.

On December 26, 2018, Paul Parshall, a purported Blue Hills
stockholder, filed, on behalf of himself and all Blue Hills
stockholders other than the named defendants and their affiliates
(the "Purported Class"), a derivative and putative class action
complaint in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City, Maryland,
captioned Paul Parshall v. David J. Houston Jr. et al., naming each
Blue Hills director (collectively, the "Individual Defendants"),
and Blue Hills as defendants.  

The complaint identifies Blue Hills as a nominal defendant. The
complaint alleges that the Individual Defendants have breached
their fiduciary duties to the Purported Class by initiating a
process to sell Blue Hills that undervalues Blue Hills and Blue
Hills Bank, and that Blue Hills has omitted certain material
information from Independent's Registration Statement on Form S-4
filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"),
which includes Independent's prospectus with respect to the shares
of Independent's common stock to be issued to Blue Hills'
stockholders in the proposed merger, the Blue Hills proxy statement
for the Blue Hills special stockholders' meeting to be held on
January 16, 2019, and Independent's proxy statement for the
Independent special stockholders' meeting to be held on January 25,
2019.  

The relief sought by the complaint includes preliminary and
permanent injunction from proceeding with, consummating, or closing
the proposed merger, rescission and rescissory damages if the
proposed merger is completed, and damages, including attorneys' and
experts' fees.

Blue Hills Bancorp said, "The defendants believe the allegations in
the complaint are without merit and intend to defend against them
vigorously. Currently, however, it is not possible to predict the
outcome of the litigation or the impact the litigation may have on
Blue Hills, Independent or the proposed merger, if any."

Blue Hills Bancorp, Inc. operates as the bank holding company for
Blue Hills Bank that provides financial services to individuals,
families, small to mid-size businesses, government, and non-profit
organizations in Massachusetts. Blue Hills Bancorp, Inc. was
founded in 1871 and is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts.


BOJANGLES' INC: Faces 6 Class Suits over Durational Capital Merger
------------------------------------------------------------------
Bojangles', Inc. said in its Form 8-K filing with the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission filed on December 31, 2018, that
the company has been named as defendant in six putative class
action suits related to the merger transaction with Walker Parent,
Inc.

On November 5, 2018, the Company, Walker Parent, Inc., a Delaware
corporation ("Parent"), and Walker Merger Sub, Inc., a Delaware
corporation and wholly-owned subsidiary of Parent ("Merger Sub"),
entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger (as it may be amended
from time to time, the "Merger Agreement") pursuant to which, upon
the terms and subject to the conditions set forth in the Merger
Agreement, Merger Sub will merge with and into the Company (the
"Merger" and, collectively with the other transactions contemplated
by the Merger Agreement, the "Transactions"), with the Company
continuing as the surviving corporation and as a wholly-owned
subsidiary of Parent.

Parent and Merger Sub are affiliates of investment funds affiliated
with Durational Capital Management LP and The Jordan Company, L.P.
On November 30, 2018, Bojangles' filed with the SEC a preliminary
proxy statement in connection with the Transactions, and on
December 10, 2018, Bojangles' filed with the SEC a definitive proxy
statement in connection with the Transactions (the "Definitive
Proxy Statement"), which was mailed to Bojangles' stockholders of
record.

In connection with the Transactions, four putative class action
lawsuits were filed in the United States District Court for the
District of Delaware, and two putative class action lawsuits were
filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District
of New York.

The four lawsuits filed in the United States District Court for the
District of Delaware are captioned Kasper v. Bojangles', Inc., et
al., No. 1:18-cv-01961-UNA (filed December 12, 2018), Franchi v.
Bojangles', Inc., et al., No. 1:18-cv-01981-UNA (filed December 13,
2018), Shibata v. Bojangles', Inc., et al., No. 1:18-cv-01986-UNA
(filed December 14, 2018), and Crowley v. Bojangles', Inc., et al.,
No. 1:18-cv-01993-UNA (filed December 14, 2018).

The two lawsuits filed in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York are captioned Purdessy v. Bojangles',
Inc., et al., No. 1:18-cv-11649 (filed December 13, 2018) and
Boyette v. Bojangles', Inc., et al., No. 1:18-cv-11697 (filed
December 13, 2018) (each of the six complaints, a "Complaint," and
all six lawsuits, collectively, the "Merger Litigation").

Each Complaint alleges that the Definitive Proxy Statement contains
false and/or misleading statements and asserts claims for
violations of Sections 14(a) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange
Act of 1934, as amended, and SEC Rule 14a-9 against Bojangles' and
its directors. Each Complaint generally seeks, among other things,
injunctive relief preventing the Transactions, damages and an award
of plaintiffs' costs and disbursements, including reasonable
attorneys' and expert fees and expenses.

The Company believes that the claims asserted in the Complaints are
without merit and that no supplemental disclosure is required under
applicable law.

However, in order to avoid the risk of the Merger Litigation
delaying or adversely affecting the Transactions, particularly in
light of recent market conditions, and to minimize the costs, risks
and uncertainties inherent in litigation, and without admitting any
liability or wrongdoing, the Company has determined to voluntarily
supplement the Definitive Proxy Statement. Nothing in the Current
Report on Form 8-K shall be deemed an admission of the legal
necessity or materiality under applicable laws of any of the
disclosures set forth herein. To the contrary, the Company
specifically denies all allegations in the Merger Litigation that
any additional disclosure was or is required.

The Current Report on Form 8-K will not affect the merger
consideration to be paid to stockholders of the Company in
connection with the Merger or the timing of the special meeting of
the Company's stockholders scheduled for January 10, 2019 at
Bojangles' corporate offices, 9600 Southern Pine Boulevard, Suite
J, Charlotte, North Carolina 28273 beginning at 9:00 a.m., Eastern
Time (the "Special Meeting"). The Company's board of directors
continues to recommend that Bojangles' stockholders vote "FOR" the
proposal to adopt the Merger Agreement and "FOR" the proposal to
approve one or more adjournments of the Special Meeting, if
necessary or appropriate, to solicit additional proxies if there
are insufficient votes at the time of the Special Meeting to
approve the proposal to adopt the Merger Agreement.

A copy of the supplemental disclosure is available at
https://goo.gl/XFpmwD.

Bojangles', Inc. develops, operates, and franchises limited service
restaurants in the United States. Its restaurants offer
made-from-scratch biscuit breakfast sandwiches, hand-breaded
bone-in chicken, fixin’s, and iced tea. Bojangles', Inc. was
founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina.


CANADA: Black Coalition of Quebec Sues Montreal Police Dep't
------------------------------------------------------------
Tim Sargeant, writing for Global News, reports that he hasn't been
formally sworn in but already the Montreal police department's new
Chief, Sylvain Caron, presented a ten point action plan to prevent
racial and social profiling in the city over the next three years.

Mr. Caron led a team of four senior SPVM officials before
Montreal's public security commission.

Caron and others took a lot of questions from councillors and
members of the public concerning racial profiling.

Some wanted to know concrete actions officers have already taken to
prevent racial profiling. Others asked to know how the department
plans to measure the problem of racial profiling and pointing out
it's a breach of the Canadian constitution.

The SPVM direction said there are consequences if actions aren't
put into place which is why the action plan was written up.

"We don't pretend the plan is perfect and this is why there will be
follow-ups, in order to make sure that adjustments need to be
made," said Andre Durocher, the force's communications director.

Some of the action plan's ten points include:

-- Favour diversity in human resources value and promote work of
officers who show appropriate responses to diversity

-- Consolidate confidence with residents

-- Better communication between police and people

While the SPVM was making a case to end racial profiling, the Black
Coalition of Quebec has submitted a $4 million class action lawsuit
against the police department.

"Too many members of our community are being harrassed by police
officers," Gabriel Bazin from the Black Coalition of Quebec told
Global News.

"They have no respect for them, no respect for their dignity,
nothing at all."

The coalition's lawyer says there are 500 claimants named in the
suit, each seeking approximately $8,000 in damages as victims of
racial profiling. [GN]


CANADA: Day Scholars React to Class Action Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------
Day Scholars reacted to news that Canada has entered into a
settlement agreement regarding the Indian Day Schools class-action
lawsuit by questioning why Canada has not yet resolved a similar
class action lawsuit brought on behalf of Day Scholars who attended
Indian Residential Schools. "Day Scholars" are individuals who
attended a federally owned and operated Indian Residential School
during the day but returned home at night. Day Scholars suffered
many of the same harms and abuses as other students at Residential
Schools.

"We are happy that the pain and suffering our brothers and sisters
endured in Day Schools is being recognized and compensated. But I
can't help but feel angry and frustrated that once again we are
being left behind," said Jo-Anne Gottfriedson, the Tk'emlùps Day
Scholar coordinator and Day Scholar Executive Committee Chair. "I
am optimistic that we will include the excluded and settle a fair
and just settlement for those day scholars who suffered as a result
of residential schools."

Councilor Selina August, Sechelt First Nation stated, "Too many Day
Scholars have already died waiting for justice. When will it be our
turn? When will the horrific wrongs done to us by Canada's shameful
Residential School policy be recognized and made right?"

Lawyers say that Day Scholars are one of the few remaining groups
who suffered the evils of Canada's Residential School policy who
have yet to receive proper compensation. The Day Scholars' class
action was certified by the Federal Court in 2015, and yet Canada
continues to delay reaching a fair resolution of the claim.

Lawyers for Day Scholars are in active negotiations with Canada
with the goal of reaching a positive settlement of the class
action. The next negotiation session is scheduled for January
2019.

"Enough is enough. We urge the government of Canada to come to the
table in the spirit of reconciliation with a fair offer. This
should happen now, before one more Day Scholar dies without having
received justice," said Doctor Matthew Coon Come, former National
Chief of the Assembly of First Nations. [GN]


CANIDO BASONAS: Underpays Construction Workers, Jose Ayala Says
---------------------------------------------------------------
MIGUEL JOSE AYALA, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. CANIDO BASONAS CONSTRUCTION CORP.;
and MICHAEL BRION, Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-06664-KAM-ST
(E.D.N.Y., Nov. 21, 2018) seeks to recover from the Defendant
unpaid overtime compensation, prejudgment interest, maximum
liquidated damages, reasonable attorneys' fees, and costs under the
Fair Labor Standards Act.

Mr. Jose Ayala was employed by the Defendants as construction
worker.

Canido Basonas Construction Corporation works on facade envelopes
and building exteriors utilizing the latest industry technology.
The Company is located in Brooklyn, New York. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Roman Avshalumov, Esq.
          HELEN F. DALTON & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
          69-12 Austin Street
          Forest Hills, NY 11375
          Telephone: (718) 263-9591


CENTRAL CREDIT: Miranda Files FDCPA Class Action
-------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Central Credit &
Finance, Inc. The case is styled as Lisa Miranda, on behalf of
herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Central
Credit & Finance, Inc. and John Does 1-25, Defendants, Case No.
1:18-cv-11782-JSR (S.D. N.Y., December 16, 2018).

The docket of the case states the nature of suit as Consumer Credit
filed pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Central Credit & Finance, Inc. is a debt collector.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Ben A. Kaplan, Esq.
   Chulsky Kaplan LLC
   280 Prospect Avenue, Apt. 6G
   Hackensack, NJ 07601
   Tel: (877) 827-3395
   Fax: (877) 827-3394
   Email: benkap232@aol.com




CHAMPION PETFOODS: Removes Vado Suit to N.D. California
-------------------------------------------------------
The Defendant in the case of JESIKA VADO, individually and on
behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. CHAMPION
PETFOODS USA, INC.; CHAMPION PETFOODS LP; PET FOOD EXPRESS, LTD.;
and DOES 1 through 100, inclusive, Defendants, filed a notice to
remove the lawsuit from the Superior Court of the State of
California, County of Alameda (Case No. RG18925590) to the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California on November
21, 2018. The clerk of court for the Northern District of
California assigned Case No. 3:18-cv-07118.

Champion Petfoods LP produces and markets pet food products for
dogs and cats. The company offers meat ingredients, fruits and
vegetables, and meat concentrated and protein based products. Its
products are sold through pet specialty shops and retailers in the
United States and Canada; veterinary clinics in Canada; and
distributors in the United States and internationally. The company
was founded in 1975 and is based in Edmonton, Canada. [BN]

The Defendants are represented by:

          Jeffrey R. Krinsk, Esq.
          Joshua C. Anaya, Esq.
          FINKELSTEIN & KRINSK LLP
          550 West C Street, Suite 1760
          San Diego, CA 902101-3593
          Telephone: (619) 238-1333
          Facsimile: (619) 238-5425

               - and –

          Mark L. Knutson, Essq.
          LAW OFFICES OF MARK L. KNUTSON, APC
          1554 Plantation Way
          El Cajon, CA 92019
          Telephone: (619) 334-9979


CITRUS WORLD: Court Dismisses Orange Juice Mislabeling Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of New
York issued an Opinion and Order granting defendant's motion to
dismiss plaintiff's complaint for lack of subject matter
jurisdiction, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1),
and for failure to state a claim, pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) in the
case captioned ALEXANDRA AXON, on behalf of herself and all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. CITRUS WORLD, INC. and FLORIDA'S
NATURAL GROWERS, INC., Defendants. No. 18-cv-4162 (ARR) (RML).
(E.D.N.Y.).

Florida's Natural sells a variety of orange juice products
(products) that contain trace amounts of glyphosate, an herbicide
used to kill weeds. Plaintiff alleges that the use of the term
natural in defendant's brand name is deceptive because glyphosate
is not a natural ingredient.

The Defendant claims that the plaintiff lacks Article III standing
because she has not suffered any injury as a result of the
defendant's alleged wrongdoing.

The Plaintiff contends that she has suffered an economic injury
because she purchased the products at a price premium based on the
defendant's misleading labeling. A plaintiff's allegation that she
purchased products bearing misleading labels and sustained
financial injury as a result is sufficient to give that plaintiff
Article III standing. Thus, plaintiff has Article III standing.

The Defendant also argues that the plaintiff lacks statutory
standing to bring her NYGBL claims. Defendant alleges that under
the NYGBL, simply purchasing a product is insufficient to support a
cause of action for deceptive practices.  While New York courts
have held that allegations of pecuniary loss arising solely from
the purchase of the defendant's product do not suffice to plead
actual injury for a Section 349 claim. According to defendant,
plaintiff has not adequately alleged injury because she has failed
to demonstrate that she paid a premium for defendant's products.
However, while identifying the prices of competing products in the
complaint would strengthen plaintiff's allegation of injury, the
failure to do so is not fatal to her claim.

Thus, plaintiff's unsupported assertion that she paid a premium for
defendant's products is sufficient to give her statutory standing.

The Defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's claims for failure to
state a claim is granted.

The Defendant first argues that plaintiff's claims are expressly
preempted because FDA regulations require Florida's Natural to
label its orange juice 100 percent juice and that the FDA allows
100 percent juice products to be labeled 100 percent natural. This
is not accurate. The parties do not dispute that defendant is
entitled to label its products 100 percent juice. However, while 21
C.F.R. Section 101.30(1) prohibits products that contain less than
100 percent juice from bearing the label 100 percent natural, it
does not grant products permissibly labeled 100 percent juice
permission to declare themselves 100 percent natural.

Thus, the FDCA does not expressly permit Florida's Natural to use
the term natural on its products.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 10, 2018 Opinion
and Order is available at https://tinyurl.com/ydf7zhwr from
Leagle.com.

Alexandra Axon, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by Bradley Forrest Silverman --
bsilverman@fbfglaw.com -- Finkelstein, Blankenship, Frei-Pearson &
Garber, LLP, Todd Seth Garber -- tgarber@fbfglaw.com --
Finkelstein, Blankinship, Frei-Pearson & Garber, LLP & Kim Richman
-- krichman@richmanlawgroup.com -- The Richman Law Group.

Florida's Natural Growers, Inc. & Citrus World, Inc., Defendants,
represented by Daniel H. Coultoff -- coultoff@lseblaw.com --
Latham, Shuker, Eden & Beaudine, LLP, pro hac vice, Christina Y.
Taylor -- ctaylor@lseblaw.com -- Latham, Shuker, Eden & Beaudine,
LLP, pro hac vice & Tom M. Fini -- tom@catafagofini.com -- Catafago
Fini LLP.


CLEARWATER BEACH HOTEL: Borozny Suit Asserts ADA Breach
-------------------------------------------------------
Clearwater Beach Hotel, LLC is facing a class action lawsuit filed
pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled
as Austin Borozny, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Clearwater Beach Hotel, LLC, a
Florida limited liability company, Defendant, Case No.
8:18-cv-03065-VMC-AEP (M.D. Fla., December 20, 2018).

Clearwater Beach Hotel, LLC is engaged in the hotel industry in
Florida.[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




CONAGRA FOODS: Court Narrows Claims in Parkay Spray Suit
--------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California issued an Order granting in part and denying in part
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the case captioned ERIN ALLEN, et
al., Plaintiffs, v. CONAGRA FOODS, INC., Defendant. Case No.
3:13-cv-01279-WHO. (N.D. Cal.).

Plaintiff Erin Allen filed a complaint proposing a nationwide
putative class of people who purchased Parkay Spray believing it to
be a fat- and calorie-free alternative to butter. The class argues
that defendant ConAgra Brands, Inc. (ConAgra) deceptively labels
and markets Parkay Spray by using artificially small serving sizes.
Instead of being zero calorie and zero fat, each bottle contains
832 calories and 93 grams of fat.

The Plaintiffs' asterisk claim and all common law claims asserted
under the laws of states other than California are dismissed with
prejudice.  The remainder of ConAgra's motion to dismiss is
denied.

ConAgra moved to dismiss the plaintiffs' claims on the grounds that
they are expressly and impliedly preempted by the Food, Drug, and
Cosmetic Act (FDCA) and the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of
1990 (NLEA).  ConAgra argues that the plaintiffs' claims are
preempted because it labels Parkay Spray in compliance with the
requirements of the FDCA, the NLEA, and the FDA regulations.
Accordingly, plaintiffs' claims necessarily impose additional or
different requirements and must be dismissed as preempted.

In his 2013 Order, Judge Tigar concluded that Allen's claims were
not preempted because they did not seek to impose requirements that
differ from those imposed by the FDCA, NLEA, and FDA regulations.
The complaint adequately alleged that Parkay Spray was subject to
the labeling requirements of the butter, margarine, oil, and
shortening category because it was a liquid butter substitute. The
court disagreed with ConAgra that Parkay Spray belonged in the
spray type and fat and oils category.  

The Court agrees with Judge Tigar's conclusion that the plaintiffs
have adequately alleged that Parkay Spray is imitation butter and
belongs in the same reference amount category as butter. They
assert that ConAgra markets its Parkay products as a guilt-free
alternative to butter and an excellent dietary choice. A campaign
going back to 1973 read, The label says Parkay, the flavor says
butter. The Parkay Spray label includes an image of an ear of corn.
ConAgra counters that one of its dual, on-label uses is as a
cooking spray and that it can also be used as a topping does not
change that fact. ConAgra can rely on these arguments as this case
proceeds, but they have not successfully shown that plaintiffs'
claims are preempted.

The plaintiffs' claims arise California's Sherman Food, Drug and
Cosmetic Law, which incorporates the FDCA and NLEA by reference.
ConAgra argues that although they ostensibly sue under state law,
the plaintiffs' claims in fact impermissibly arise under the FDCA,
which does not have a private right of action.  

Judge Tigar rejected this same argument by ConAgra in 2013 and
found that while plaintiffs successfully alleged that that the
Parkay Spray labeling violates the FDA regulations in order to
avoid preemption, they had no need to rely on those allegations to
bring the state law causes of action. His conclusion holds true
here with the exception of the plaintiffs' asterisk claim. That
claim is based on the absence of an asterisk disclosing the
presence of fat on the Parkay Spray bottle, as required by 21
C.F.R. Section 101.62. ConAgra argues that this claim arises under
the FDCA because state law does not obligate it to include an
asterisked warning.  

The Court finds that the Plaintiffs failed to defend this claim in
their briefing or when asked at oral argument; it is therefore
dismissed with prejudice.  ConAgra's motion with regard to the
remaining claims is denied.

ConAgra moves to dismiss counts one through four for failure to
allege which state's law applies. Plaintiffs state that they do not
intend to seek certification of a nationwide class or multistate
subclass for counts two through four; Allen alone brings those
claims under California common law.   

California common law claims brought by plaintiffs other than
Allen, they are dismissed with prejudice.  With respect to count
one for unjust enrichment, the second amended complaint asserts
that there are few real differences between the elements of the
claims in different states. As the Court concludes below, in this
case this question must wait until the class certification stage to
be resolved.

ConAgra argues that the eight named plaintiffs in this case, who
purchased Parkay Spray in ten different states, lack standing to
pursue claims on behalf of purchasers from the remaining 40 states.
Plaintiffs argue that this question is more appropriate for
resolution at the class certification stage.  

The Court decided to address the question at the pleading stage and
required that plaintiffs present named class representatives who
possess individual standing to assert each state law's claims
against the defendant. The Court is unable to adopt the same
approach here because the parties did not devote sufficient
briefing to this issue to allow me to resolve it at this stage.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 10, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y9gekje5 from Leagle.com.

Erin Allen, on behalf of herself and all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff, represented by Adam Gutride -- adam@gutridesafier.com --
Gutride Safier LLP, Anthony J. Patek -- anthony@gutridesafier.com
-- Gutride Safier LLP, Kristen Gelinas Simplicio --
kristen@gutridesafier.com -- Gutride Safier LLP, Seth A. Safier --
seth@gutridesafier.com -- Gutride Safier LLP & Ureka Ellie Idstrom
-- uidstrom@eurekalawfirm.com -- The Eureka Law Firm.

Tyoka Brumfield, Ofelia Frechette, Shelley Harder, Deana Marr,
Tammie Shawley, Brian Smith & Betty Vazquez, on behalf of
themselves and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
represented by Anthony J. Patek , Gutride Safier LLP & Kristen
Gelinas Simplicio , Gutride Safier LLP.

ConAgra Foods, Inc., a Delaware corporation, Defendant, represented
by Rachel Elizabeth King Lowe , Alston & Bird, Andrew G. Phillips
-- aphillips@mcguirewoods.com -- McGuireWoods LLP, pro hac vice,
Angela M. Spivey -- angela.spivey@alston.com -- Alston & Bird LLP,
Jamie Smith George -- jamie.george@alston.com -- Alston and Bird
LLP, pro hac vice & Patrick E. Brookhouser, Jr. --
pbrookhouser@mcgrathnorth.com -- McGrath North Mullin & Kratz, PC
LLO.


CORNERSTONE RESIDENTIAL: Martinez-Coll Seeks Minimum & OT Wages
---------------------------------------------------------------
QUIRINO MARTINEZ-COLL and all others similarly situated under 29
U.S.C. 216(b), the Plaintiff, vs. CORNERSTONE RESIDENTIAL
MANAGEMENT, L.L.C., the Defendant, Case No.: 1:18-cv-25312-JEM
(S.D. Fla., Dec. 18, 2018), seeks overtime and minimum wages under
the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the complaint, the Defendant employed several other
similarly situated employees, like Plaintiff, who have not been
paid overtime and/or minimum wages for work performed in excess of
40 hours weekly from the filing of this complaint back three
years.

Cornerstone Residential Management, L.L.C. is headquartered in the
United States. The company's line of business includes the
operation of apartment buildings.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          J.H. Zidell, Esq.
          J.H. ZIDELL, P.A.
          300 71 st Street, Suite 605
          Miami Beach, FL 33141
          Telephone: (305) 865-6766
          Facsimile: (305) 865-7167
          E-mail: ZABOGADO@AOL.COM

COSTCO WHOLESALE: Faces Securities Class Action in Washington
-------------------------------------------------------------
Pomerantz LLP on Dec. 11 disclosed that a class action lawsuit has
been filed against, Costco Wholesale Corporation ("Costco" or the
"Company") (NASDAQ: COST) and certain of its officers.   The class
action, filed in United States District Court, Western District of
Washington, Seattle Davison, and indexed under 18-cv-01779, is on
behalf of a class consisting of all persons and entities, other
than Defendants and their affiliates, who purchased or otherwise,
acquired Costco securities between June 6, 2018 through October 25,
2018, both dates inclusive (the "Class Period"), seeking to recover
damages caused by Defendants' violations of the federal securities
laws and to pursue remedies under Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the "Exchange Act") and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder, against the Company and certain of its top
officials.

If you are a shareholder who purchased Costco securities between
June 6, 2018, and October 25, 2018, both dates inclusive, you have
until January 7, 2019, to ask the Court to appoint you as Lead
Plaintiff for the class.  A copy of the Complaint can be obtained
at www.pomerantzlaw.com.   To discuss this action, contact Robert
S. Willoughby at rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888.476.6529 (or
888.4-POMLAW), toll-free, Ext. 9980. Those who inquire by e-mail
are encouraged to include their mailing address, telephone number,
and the number of shares purchased.

Costco engages in the operation of membership warehouses in the
United States (U.S.) and Puerto Rico, Canada, United Kingdom
(U.K.), Mexico, Japan, Australia, Spain, France, Iceland and
through majority-owned subsidiaries in Taiwan and Korea. As of
September 3, 2017, Costco operated 741 warehouses worldwide.
Through the membership warehouses, Costco aims at offering low
prices on a limited selection of national products in certain
categories to produce high sales volumes and rapid inventory
turnover.

Given the size of the Company, including its worldwide operations,
it is forced to "rely extensively on information technology to
process transactions, compile results, and manage [its]
businesses."

Throughout the Class Period, Defendants made materially false and
misleading statements regarding the Company's business, operational
and compliance policies. Specifically, Defendants made false and/or
misleading statements and/or failed to disclose that: (i) Costco
lacked effective internal control over financial reporting; and
(ii) as a result, the Company's public statements were materially
false and misleading at all relevant times.

On October 4, 2018, Costco issued a press release announcing its
financial and operating results for the fiscal fourth quarter and
year ended September 2, 2018.  In the press release, Costco stated,
in part, that "it expects to report a material weakness in internal
control", specifically "relat[ing] to general information
technology controls in the areas of user access and program
change-management over certain information technology systems that
support the Company's financial reporting processes."

On this news, Costco's stock price fell $12.86 per share, or
roughly 5.55%, to close at $218.82 per share on October 5, 2018.

Then, on October 26, 2018, Costco filed its annual report for the
fiscal fourth quarter and year ended September 2, 2018, which
reported that the Company had identified a material weakness as
previously described in its October 4, 2018 press release.

On this news, Costco's stock price fell $8.21 per share, or roughly
3.63%, to close at $218.90 per share on October 26, 2018.

With offices in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and Paris, The
Pomerantz Firm -- http://www.pomerantzlaw.com-- concentrates its
practice in the areas of corporate, securities, and antitrust class
litigation. Founded by the late Abraham L. Pomerantz, known as the
dean of the class action bar, the Pomerantz Firm pioneered the
field of securities class actions. Today, more than 80 years later,
the Pomerantz Firm continues in the tradition he established,
fighting for the rights of the victims of securities fraud,
breaches of fiduciary duty, and corporate misconduct. The Firm has
recovered numerous multimillion-dollar damages awards on behalf of
class members. [GN]


CULLIGAN WATER: Faces Class Action Over TCPA Violation
------------------------------------------------------
Jenie Mallari-Torres, writing for Cook County Record, reports that
a Wisconsin man has brought a class action against Culligan Water
Technologies, accusing the company of calling him without his
consent.

Aaron Kapp filed a complaint individually and as the representative
of a class of similarly situated persons on Nov. 26 in Cook County
Circuit Court alleging violation of the Telephone Consumer
Protection Act.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges the defendant
calls residential landline phones for advertising purposes using a
prerecorded message. He alleges he contacted the defendant to
explain he no longer had a Culligan water system and asked to be
removed from the call list, but the calls continued.

The plaintiff alleges the defendant failed to obtain prior express
written consent from consumers, invaded consumers' rights to
privacy and seclusion, and failed to provide consumers with any
function to opt out of the calls.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks judgment against
defendant; asks the court approve the case as a class action; to
award statutory and actual damages of at least $500-$1,500 per
call; attorney fees; costs of suit; and other relief. He is
represented by Phillip A. Bock -- phil@classlawyers.com -- Tod A.
Lewis -- tod@classlawyers.com -- David M. Oppenheim --
david@classlawyers.com -- and Mara A. Baltabols --
mara@classlawyers.com -- of Bock, Hatch, Lewis & Oppenheim LLC in
Chicago and Ilan Chorowsky and Mark Bulgarelli of Progressive Law
Group LLC in Evanston, Illinois.

Cook County Circuit Court case number 18-CH-14636 [GN]


CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH: Inmates Sue Over Jail Inhumane Conditions
--------------------------------------------------------------
Matt Reynolds, writing for Courthouse News Service, reported that a
class of inmates sued Ohio jail officials on Dec. 20 claiming
chronic overcrowding and understaffing, lack of access to safe
drinking water and food, and other inhumane conditions have led to
a spike in deaths and assaults.  

Seven inmates filed a class action against Cuyahoga County and
county officials in Cleveland federal court. They say detainees are
also routinely denied access to proper medical care and religious
services in violation of their civil rights.

The county's jails have a stated 1,765-person capacity but they
currently hold more 2,400, the inmates say. The lawsuit states that
between June and October, at least seven inmates died, three of
whom committed suicide. Fifty-five people attempted suicide in the
past year, according to the complaint.  

"Defendants have long been on notice of the horrific conditions and
constitutional deprivations occurring daily at CCCC, yet have
failed to timely or effectively remedy the deplorable state of
affairs," the 61-page lawsuit states, abbreviating the Cuyahoga
County Corrections Center.

The plaintiffs' attorney Sarah Gelsomino said on Dec. 20 that she
had heard from some inmates that conditions were so bad that they
were accepting plea deals to get out of the jail and into state
penitentiary.

"It's creating a sense of dread among inmates that's truly
dangrous," Ms. Gelsomino said in a phone interview.

The lawsuit targets four facilities. Two of the jails are on the
same site at Cuyahoga County Corrections Center. Two others are in
Euclid and Bedford.

The goal of the lawsuit is to completely reform the jails, increase
staffing and reduce in-custody deaths, the attorney said.

"Seven deaths in one year in a facility is far beyond any average
or acceptable number," Ms. Gelsomino said.

County officials did not immediately respond on Dec. 20 to a
request for comment.

The in-custody deaths occurred during the tenure of Regional
Corrections Director Kenneth Mills, who according to the inmates
had "absolutely no experience in the field of corrections
administration."

He was hired four years ago by Cuyahoga County Executive Armond
Budish, the lawsuit states.

Lead plaintiff Tonya Clay says she had to sleep on a mat in her
cell due to overcrowding and that showers in the jail are covered
in mold.  She also claims she has received inadequate medical
treatment for her conditions, which include liver damage and
glaucoma. She has also been denied access to Alcoholics Anonymous
meetings, according to the lawsuit.

A U.S. Marshals Service report issued in November and cited in the
complaint condemned conditions in the jail.

A dozen inmates were reportedly packed into one cell, two pregnant
inmates were forced to sleep on the floor, and mice and other
vermin were seen during food service.

Inmates have also been confined for up to 27 hours at a time
without showers, recreational time or toiletries, the complaint
adds.

The proposed class seeks the appointment of an independent monitor
and an injunction that brings an end to the alleged constitutional
violations in the county jails.

The case is Clay, et al. v. Cuyahoga County, Ohio, et al., Case No.
18-cv-02929 (N.D. Ohio).

A copy of the Complaint is available at https://is.gd/J0hawj


DANIEL'S DELI: Castillo Soto Sues Over Unpaid Compensation
----------------------------------------------------------
Eudis Nokaidel Castillo Soto, individually and on behalf of others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. Daniel's Deli & Grocery Corp.
(d/b/a BBC Deli & Grocery (f/d/b/a Daniel's Deli & Grocery)), BBC
Deli Grocery Corp. (d/b/a BBC Deli & Grocery (f/d/b/a Daniel's Deli
& Grocery)), Benjamin Jasquez and Rafael Clase, Defendants, Case
No. 1:18-cv-12031 (S.D. N.Y., December 20, 2018) seeks unpaid
minimum and overtime wages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act
of 1938, and for violations of the N.Y. Labor Law and the "spread
of hours" and overtime wage orders of the New York Commissioner of
Labor including applicable liquidated damages, interest, attorneys'
fees and costs.

Plaintiff Castillo worked for Defendants in excess of 40 hours per
week, without appropriate minimum wage, overtime, and spread of
hours compensation for the hours that he worked, says the
complaint. Rather, Defendants failed to maintain accurate
recordkeeping of the hours worked, failed to pay Plaintiff Castillo
appropriately for any hours worked, either at the straight rate of
pay or for any additional overtime premium. Further, Defendants
failed to pay Plaintiff Castillo the required "spread of hours" pay
for any day in which he had to work over 10 hours a day.
Defendants' conduct extended beyond Plaintiff Castillo to all other
similarly situated employees, the complaint asserts.

Plaintiff Eudis Nokaidel Castillo Soto is an adult individual
residing in Bronx County, New York.  Plaintiff Castillo was
employed by Defendants at Daniel's Deli and Grocery (currently
doing business as BBC Deli & Grocery) from approximately September
26, 2015 until on or about October 2018.

Daniel's Deli & Grocery Corp. (d/b/a BBC Deli & Grocery (f/d/b/a
Daniel's Deli & Grocery)) is a domestic corporation organized and
existing under the laws of the State of New York. Upon information
and belief, it maintains its principal place of business at 51 E
Tremont Ave, Bronx, NY 10453.

BBC Deli Grocery Corp. (d/b/a BBC Deli & Grocery (f/d/b/a Daniel's
Deli & Grocery)) is a domestic corporation organized and existing
under the laws of the State of New York. Upon information and
belief, it maintains its principal place of business at 51 E
Tremont Avenue, Bronx, New York 10453.

Benjamin Jasquez is an individual engaging (or who was engaged) in
business in this judicial district during the relevant time period.
Defendant Benjamin Jasquez is sued individually in his capacity as
officer and/or agent of Defendant Corporations.

Rafael Clase is an individual engaging (or who was engaged) in
business in this judicial district during the relevant time period.
Defendant Rafael Clase is sued individually in his capacity as
owner  and/or agent of Defendant Corporations.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Michael Faillace, Esq.
     MICHAEL FAILLACE & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
     60 East 42nd Street, Suite 4510
     New York, NY 10165
     Phone: (212) 317-1200
     Facsimile: (212) 317-1620


DANSTE HOSPITALITY: Violates ADA, Borozny Suit Says
---------------------------------------------------
Danste Hospitality Group, LLC is facing a class action lawsuit
filed pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is
styled as Austin Borozny, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Danste Hospitality Group, LLC,
Defendant, Case No. 8:18-cv-03067 (M.D. Fla., December 20, 2018).

Danste Hospitality Group, LLC (trade name Quality Beach Resort) is
in the Hotels business.[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


DISNEY: Faces Class Action Over Home Video Profits
--------------------------------------------------
Gene Maddaus, writing for Variety, reports that Disney is facing a
class-action lawsuit from the screenwriter of the 1982 hospital
parody "Young Doctors in Love," who alleges that the studio has
withheld millions in home video revenue.

Michael Elias filed the suit on Dec. 6 in Los Angeles Superior
Court. His attorney, Neville Johnson, filed similar class-action
lawsuits against six other studios in 2013 and 2014, resulting in
multi-million dollar settlements.

The controversy dates to the early days of the VCR, when the major
studios would contract out to independent distributors for VHS
production. The distributors would return 20% of their receipts to
the studios. Later, the studios brought their home video
distribution in-house, but did not adjust the profit calculation,
the suit alleges.

"In other words, 80% of the revenue generated from such
distribution is never subject to potential remittance to profit
participants and is, instead, wrongfully kept by Disney outright,"
the suit alleges.

According to the suit, Mr. Elias' contract entitled him to 5% of
net profits on the film, which starred Michael McKean and Sean
Young. Mr. Elias, now 78, also co-wrote the screenplay for "The
Jerk" and co-created the 1980s TV show "Head of the Class."

The suit seeks to represent profit participants on Disney films who
are owed home video revenue, generally those with contracts signed
before 1981. After that, studio contracts explicitly spelled out
that profit participants are entitled only to 20% of home video
revenue. [GN]


ENDO INTERNATIONAL: Court Narrows Claims in SEB Securities Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania issued a Memorandum Opinion granting in part and
denying in part Defendants' Motion to Dismiss the case captioned
SEB INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT AB, Individually and On Behalf of All
Others Similarly Situated, v. ENDO INTERNATIONAL, PLC, SUSAN HALL,
ENDO HEALTH SOLUTIONS INC., PAUL V. CAMPANELLI BLAINE T. DAVIS,
MATTHEW W. DAVIS, RAJIV KANISHKA LIYANAARCHCHIE DE: SILVA, IVAN
GERGEL, DAVID P. HOLVECK, ALAN G. LEVIN, JULIE H. McHUGH, SUKETU P.
UPADHYAY, DANIEL A. RUDIO, ROGER H. KIMMEL, SHANE M. COOKE, JOHN J.
DELUCCA, NANCY J. HUTSON, MICHAEL HYATT, WILLIAM P. MONTAGUE, JILL
D. SMITH and WILLIAM F. SPENGLERCivil Action No. 17-3711. (E.D.
Pa.)

In this putative class action for violations of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) and the Securities Act of 1933
(Securities Act), SEB Investment Management AB (SEB) claims that
the defendants publicly downplayed the risks of Endo's reformulated
opioid pain medication, Opana ER.

In essence, SEB alleges that the defendants misrepresented and
omitted facts regarding the safety of the reformulated drug and the
results of surveillance data that significantly impacted the
chances of obtaining FDA approval for abuse-deterrent labeling,
which would make the drug more marketable.

In moving to dismiss, Endo International plc and Endo Health
Solutions Inc. (Endo) and the individual defendants1 argue SEB
engages in hindsight pleading and alleges no facts suggesting any
statements were false when made, the challenged statements were
merely opinions and optimistic or forward-looking statements
protected by the safe harbor provision of the Exchange Act, and the
alleged facts do not establish that the defendants knew their
statements were untrue.

Invoking Colorado River abstention, they also maintain that the
Securities Act claims should be dismissed because they are being
litigated in state court.

The Court concludes that SEB has stated causes of action for
violations of the Exchange and Securities Acts. SEB has alleged
that Endo and certain of its officers consciously or recklessly
made material representations and omissions regarding the safety
and efficacy of reformulated Opana ER, resulting in a significant
drop in Endo's share price. Therefore, the Court will deny the
motion to dismiss, except as to certain individuals who made no
misrepresentations.

SEB alleges that the Defendants made materially false statements
and omitted material facts. It avers that they misrepresented
reformulated Opana ER's abuse deterrent properties and its
similarity to reformulated OxyContin. It alleges they failed to
disclose that reformulated Opana ER could still be manipulated for
easy injection and was being abused intravenously at a greater rate
than the original drug.

The Defendants contend that SEB has not alleged any material
omissions or misrepresentations. Endo argues that statements
regarding the surveillance data, the Citizen Petition, the
similarities to OxyContin, and abuse-deterrent labeling were
nothing more than optimistic opinions that later proved to be
wrong. The statements, according to the defendants, are
inactionable personal opinions, puffery or forward-looking
statements.

SEB's allegations, if proven, will establish that when they made
the statements, the defendants were aware of the negative
information. Despite knowing that the data revealed a shift from
intranasal to intravenous abuse and a resulting increase in
intravenous abuse, they did not publicly disclose those facts when
they touted the decrease in intranasal abuse. According to the
amended complaint, the defendants possessed the adverse intravenous
abuse data regarding reformulated Opana ER when it relied on the
NAVIPPRO and RADARS post-marketing surveillance data in its Citizen
Petition supplement filed in November 2012. They had received
NAVIPPRO data on February 22, May 18, August 31, and November 2,
2012; and RADARS data on October 12, 2012.

In its second supplement to the Citizen Petition filed on March 21,
2013, Endo relied on NAVIPPRO and RADARS data it had received six
weeks earlier. Thus, we conclude that SEB has sufficiently alleged
that the Exchange Act Defendants' statements regarding abuse
deterrent features of reformulated Opana ER were false when made in
the November 2012 Citizen Petition and March 2013 supplement.

SEB also alleges that Endo falsely claimed that reformulated Opana
ER was virtually identical to reformulated Oxycontin. In a third
supplement to its Citizen Petition, Endo argued that the FDA should
grant the Petition because of the two drugs' shared abuse-deterrent
and physiochemical properties. Id. In fact, according to SEB, the
drugs were markedly different. The post-marketing data for
reformulated Opana ER was only preliminary and limited, unlike that
for reformulated Oxycontin. Reformulated Opana ER was also easily
prepared for injection. Reformulated Oxycontin was not. When it was
placed in a syringe, it became a viscous hydrogel that made
injection difficult.

SEB's allegations, if proven, will show that the Exchange Act
Defendants knowingly misstated the similarities between
reformulated Oxycontin and Opana ER.

SEB has not alleged facts stating claims against Holveck, Matthew
Davis, Hall and Campanelli. SEB has stated a claim under Section 20
of the Exchange Act against De Silva only. Thus, the Court will
grant the motion as to Holveck, Matthew Davis, Hall and Campanelli
and deny it as to the other defendants.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 10, 2018
Memorandum Opinion is available at https://tinyurl.com/ybrhna8y
from Leagle.com.

SEB INVESTMENT MANAGEMENT AB, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL
OTHERS SIMILIARY SITUATED, Lead Plaintiff, represented by DARREN J.
CHECK -- dcheck@ktmc.com -- KESSLER TOPAZ MELTZER CHECK LLP,
JOHNSTON DEFOREST WHITMAN, Jr. -- jwhitman@ktmc.com -- KESSLER
TOPAZ MELTZER & CHECK, LLP, MARGARET E. MAZZEO -- mmazzeo@ktmc.com
-- KESSLER TOPAZ MELTZER & CHECK, LLP, MICHELLE MARIE NEWCOMER --
mnewcomer@ktmc.com -- KESSLER TOPAZ MELTZER & CHECK, LLP, NAUMON A.
AMJED -- namjed@ktmc.com -- KESSLER TOPAZ MELTZER & CHECK, LLP,
RYAN THOMAS DEGNAN -- rdegnan@ktmc.com -- KESSLER TOPAZ MELTZER
CHECK LLP & SHARAN NIRMUL -- snirmul@ktmc.com -- KESSLER TOPAZ
MELTZER & CHECK, LLP.

ENDO INTERNATIONAL, PLC & SUSAN HALL, Defendants, represented by
JAMES E. BRANDT -- james.brandt@lw.com -- LATHAM & WATKINS, JEFF G.
HAMMEL -- jeff.hammel@lw.com -- LATHAM & WATKINS LLP, MILES N.
RUTHBERG -- miles.ruthberg@lw.com -- LATHAM & WATKINS LLP, THOMAS
J. GIBLIN, Jr. -- thomas.giblin@lw.com -- LATHAN & WATKINS, J.
GORDON COONEY, Jr. -- gordon.cooney@morganlewis.com -- MORGAN,
LEWIS,& BOCKIUS LLP & LAURA HUGHES MCNALLY --
laura.mcnally@morganlewis.com -- MORGAN LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP.

ENDO HEALTH SOLUTIONS INC., PAUL V. CAMPANELLI, BLAINE T DAVIS,
MATTHEW W DAVIS, RAJIV KANISHKA LIYANAARCHCHIE DE SILVA, IVAN
GERGEL, DAVID P HOLVECK, ALAN G LEVIN, JULIE H MCHUGH, SUKETU P.
UPADHYAY, DANIEL A RUDIO, ROGER H. KIMMEL, SHANE M. COOKE, JOHN J.
DELUCCA, ARTHUR J. HIGGINS, NANCY J HUTSON, MICHAEL HYATT, WILLIAM
P. MONTAGUE, JILL D. SMITH & WILLIAM F. SPENGLER, Defendants,
represented byJEFF G. HAMMEL , LATHAM & WATKINS LLP.

STRATHCLYDE PENSION FUND, Movant, represented by ROBERT A. HOFFMAN
, BARRACK, RODOS & BACINE.
MAQSOOD SHEIKH, YUHAI DING & RA CONSULTING APS, Movants,
represented by RYAN M. ERNST , O'KELLY ERNST & JOYCE, LLC.


EQUUS TOTAL: Zalmanoff Sues Over Misleading Disclosures
-------------------------------------------------------
Samuel Zalmanoff, Plaintiff, v. John A. Hardy, Kenneth I. Denos,
Fraser Atkinson, Richard F. Bergner, Henry W. Hankinson, Robert J.
Knauss, Bertrand des Pallieres and Equus Total Return Inc.,
Defendants, Case No. 12912-VCS (Del. Ct. of Chancery, December 13,
2018) is a single-count complaint against the members of the board
of directors of Equus Total Return, Inc. in which Plaintiff alleges
that Defendants breached their fiduciary duty of disclosure when
seeking stockholder approval of an equity incentive plan.

Plaintiff, an Equus stockholder, alleges that Defendants breached
their fiduciary duty of disclosure by omitting material facts and
making false and misleading disclosures in the 2016 Schedule that
Equus filed with the Security Exchange Commission ("SEC") to
solicit stockholder approval of the EIP.

The Board proposed the EIP to stockholders as Equus was in the
midst of significant transition. Specifically, in May 2014, Equus
disclosed that it was considering a merger or consolidation with
MVC Capital, Inc. through a two-step Plan of Reorganization. In the
first step, effected in May 2014, Equus engaged in a share exchange
with MVC for 20% of its shares. The exchange ratio was based on
respective net asset values ("NAV"). The second step contemplated
that MVC and Equus would merge, although this has yet to occur and,
according to Defendants, likely will not occur, says the
complaint.

Plaintiff, Samuel Zalmanoff, owned Equus common stock at all times
relevant to the Complaint. He brings this action on behalf of
himself and a class of similarly situated Equus stockholders.

The Defendants, John A. Hardy, Kenneth I. Denos, Fraser Atkinson,
Richard F. Bergner, Henry W. Hankinson, Robert J. Knauss and
Bertrand des Pallieres comprise the Equus Board of Directors at the
time of the events giving rise to the Complaint. Hardy is Equus's
CEO and Denos is its Chief Compliance Officer.

Equus is a Delaware corporation with its principle place of
business in Houston, Texas. At the time this action was filed,
Equus was classified as a business development company.[BN]


FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE: Swimmers File Monopoly Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------------
Perry Cooper, writing for Bloomberg Law, reports that the
Federation Internationale de Natation has a monopoly on top-tier
swimming events, swimmers say in a class action filed Dec. 7.

FINA's actions amount to the "unlawful restraint of the ability of
the athletes, on whose bodies FINA's income and power depend, to
earn what they would command in a market free of FINA's iron grip,"
the suit alleges.

Swimmers Thomas A. Shields, Michael C. Andrew, and Katinka Hosszú
filed the case. [GN]


FITBIT INC: Court Extends Time to Respond in Lopes
--------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, San Francsico Division, issued an Order extending Time
for the Defendants to Respond to the Complaint in the case
captioned STEPHEN LOPES, Individually and On Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated, Plaintiff, v. FITBIT, INC., JAMES PARK, and
WILLIAM ZERELLA, Defendants. Case No. 3:18-cv-06665-JST. (N.D.
Cal.).

This action is a proposed class action alleging violations of the
federal securities laws against Fitbit, Inc. (Fitbit), James Park,
and William Zerella.

The Reform Act provides for the appointment of a lead plaintiff to
act on behalf of the purported class, and further provides that the
appointment of lead plaintiff shall not be made until after a
decision on a motion to consolidate.

Because the special procedures specified in the Reform Act
contemplate (i) the consolidation of similar actions, if any (ii)
appointment of Lead Plaintiff and (iii) the filing of a single
consolidated complaint by Lead Plaintiff, requiring defendants to
respond to the existing complaint in the above-referenced action
would result in the needless expenditure of private and judicial
resources.

Pursuant to Civil L.R. 6-1(a), the defendants' obligation to
answer, move or otherwise respond to the complaint is extended
until after the appointment of a Lead Plaintiff and lead counsel,
at which time the parties shall meet and confer and submit to the
Court a mutually agreeable schedule for the filing of a
consolidated or amended complaint and Defendants' responses
thereto.

Pursuant to Civil L.R. 16-2, the Initial Case Management Conference
scheduled for January 30, 2019 is vacated, along with any
associated deadlines under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and
Civil Local Rules, to be reset for a date that is 30 days after the
Court rules on Defendants' anticipated motion(s) to dismiss Lead
Plaintiff's complaint, or such other date as the Court shall
determine to be appropriate.

All Associated ADR Program deadlines are likewise deferred.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 10, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y9s37wb7 from Leagle.com.

Stephen Lopes, Individually and On Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated, Plaintiff, represented by Robert Vincent Prongay --
rprongay@glancylaw.com -- Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP, Charles
Henry Linehan -- clinehan@glancylaw.com -- Glancy Prongay & Murray
LLP, Lesley F. Portnoy -- lportnoy@glancylaw.com -- Glancy Prongay
& Murray LLP & Lionel Zevi Glancy -- lglancy@glancylaw.com --
Glancy Prongay & Murray LLP.

Fitbit, Inc., James Park & William Zerella, Defendants, represented
by Alexis I. Caloza -- acaloza@fenwick.com -- Fenwick and West LLP,
Jennifer Corinne Bretan -- jbretan@fenwick.com -- Fenwick & West
LLP & Susan Samuels Muck -- smuck@fenwick.com -- Fenwick & West
LLP.


FMC TECHNOLOGIES: Balderas Sues Over Unpaid Overtime Wages
----------------------------------------------------------
Daniel Balderas, individually and on behalf of all similarly
situated persons, Plaintiff, v. FMC Technologies, Inc., a/k/a
TechnipFMC, Defendant, Case No. 4:18-cv-04796 (S.D. Tex., December
20, 2018) arises under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, and
brought both as an individual action and a collective action to
recover unpaid overtime compensation, liquidated damages, and
attorney's fees owed to Plaintiff and all other similarly situated
employees employed by, or formerly employed by, Defendant, its
subsidiaries and affiliated companies.

Plaintiff Daniel Balderas has been employed by Defendant as an
hourly technical service employee, or service technician, since
September 7, 2012. Balderas's duties include, but are not limited
to, installing and maintaining equipment that is supplied by
Defendant to Defendant's customers.

The Defendant has a policy of paying Balderas and employees like
him at an improper overtime rate, the complaint asserts. This
policy of not factoring non-discretionary supplemental pay into the
calculation of employees' effective hourly rate is, upon
information and belief, widespread across Defendant's employees.
Balderas and those hourly employees who have similar
non-discretionary supplemental pay that is not calculated into
their effective hourly rate for overtime purposes are entitled to
be compensated for this institutionalized pattern of underpayment,
asserts the complaint.

The Defendant has knowingly, willfully, or with reckless disregard
carried out its illegal pattern or practice regarding overtime
compensation with respect to Plaintiff. Such practice was and is a
clear violation of the FLSA. The Defendant's actions were willful
and in blatant disregard for Plaintiff's federally protected
rights, says the complaint, says the complaint.

Plaintiff Daniel Balderas, a current employee of Defendant, is
personally engaged in interstate commerce during his employment
with the Defendant.

FMC Technologies, Inc., a/k/a TechnipFMC is a Delaware corporation
and an "employer" as defined by the FLSA. Defendant is an
enterprise engaged in interstate commerce, operating on interstate
highways, purchasing materials through commerce, transporting
materials through commerce and on the interstate highways,
conducting transactions through commerce, including the use of
credit cards, phones and/or cell phones, electronic mail and the
Internet. Defendant supplies equipment and technical support
services to oil and gas companies for land-based as well as
offshore projects around the world.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Josef F. Buenker, Esq.
     THE BUENKER LAW FIRM
     2060 North Loop West, Suite 215
     Houston, TX 77018
     Phone: 713-868-3388
     Facsimile: 713-683-9940
     Email: jbuenker@buenkerlaw.com

          - and -

     Vijay Pattisapu, Esq.
     THE BUENKER LAW FIRM
     2060 North Loop West, Suite 215
     Houston, TX 77018
     Phone: 713-868-3388
     Facsimile: 713-683-9940
     Email: vijay@buenkerlaw.com


FORBES ENERGY: Brown Sues Over Unpaid Overtime Compensation
-----------------------------------------------------------
Carlos Brown, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. Forbes Energy Services, Ltd., Defendants,
Case No. 5:18-cv-01330-DAE (W.D. Tex., December 21, 2018) is
brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") for declaratory
judgment, monetary damages, liquidated damages, prejudgment
interest, civil penalties and costs, including reasonable
attorneys' fees as a result of Defendant's failure to pay Plaintiff
and other Supervisors lawful overtime compensation for hours worked
in excess of 40 hours per week.

Plaintiff and other similarly-situated employees worked in excess
of 40 hours per week throughout their tenure with Defendant.
Plaintiff and other similarly-situated employees worked
approximately 90-100 hours per week. They did not receive any
overtime compensation. Defendant failed to pay these workers at the
proper overtime rate. These employees are similarly situated to
Plaintiff, and are owed overtime for the same reasons, says the
complaint.

Plaintiff Carlos Brown is a resident and citizen of Refugio County.
He was employed by Defendant as a Supervisor within the 3 years
preceding the filing of this Original Complaint.

Defendant is a Delaware limited liability company, registered and
licensed to do business in the State of Texas. Defendant's
registered agent for service of process in Texas is John E. Crisp,
3000 South Business Highway 281, Alice, Texas, 78332. Defendant is
an "employer" within the meaning set forth in the FLSA, and was, at
all times relevant to the allegations in this Complaint,
Plaintiff's employer, as well as the employer of the members of the
class.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Josh Sanford, Esq.
     SANFORD LAW FIRM, PLLC
     One Financial Center
     650 South Shackleford Road, Suite 411
     Little Rock, AR 72211
     Phone: (501) 221-0088
     Facsimile: (888) 787-2040
     Email: josh@sanfordlawfirm.com


GENERAL MOTORS: Moonan et al. Sue over Defective Injection Pumps
----------------------------------------------------------------
CHRISTOPHER MOONAN; SEAN T. SMITH; ISAIAH RUDY; JOSE HERNANDEZ;
SEAN M. BUOB; RICHARD SAMSON; RYAN ARTHUR JENSEN; DOUGLAS CRENSHAW;
ANTHONY RAYMOND SMITH; BRADLEY RICE; BRUCE K. GARLOCK; CHRIS S.
MCALISTER; COLBY BARRY; DEBRA KAY CASKEY; DOUGLAS HUGHES; ERIC
THOMAS CORDER; ERNEST HAROLD MILLER; GEOFF COCHEMS; JOHN THOMAS
WHITE; KALEB BEAN; KENNETH MUNRO; KENNY TRAN; KEVIN ALLEN LAWSON;
KEVIN SUTHERLAND; MICHAEL L. MCCOY; MILTON LEON HUSS, JR.; NICHOLAS
BROCK; STACY WADE SIZELOVE; THORIN JAY ASKIN; RYAN MADURO; MARCOS
R. COBAIN, JR.; MICHELE DINIZ; JAMES DUSTIN MORGANTI; and BRANDON
TIROZZI, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiffs v. GENERAL MOTORS LLC, Defendant, Case No.
3:18-cv-07054-JST (N.D. Cal., Nov. 20, 2018) is an action against
the Defendants for selling and manufacturing a diesel-tank
automobiles equipped with a defective CP4 high-pressure fuel
injection pumps.

According to the complaint, the Defendants knew all along, Bosch's
CP4 pump was never compatible with American diesel fuel standards.
The CP4 pump is not built to withstand the specifications for U.S.
diesel fuel in terms of lubrication or water content, and it
struggles to lift a volume of fuel sufficient to lubricate itself.
As a result, the pump is forced to run dry and destroy itself as
air bubbles allow metal to rub against metal. As a result of this
defect, the pump secretly deposits metal shavings and debris
throughout the fuel injection system and the engine until it
suddenly and cataclysmically fails without warning, further
contaminating the fuel delivery system with larger pieces of
metal.

The improved fuel efficiency of the Bosch-made component CP4 pump
in American vehicles comes at the cost of running the pump nearly
dry so that it destroys itself, and—ultimately and
catastrophically—destroys the fuel injection system and the
engine altogether. American diesel fuel is cleaner, which means
that it also provides less lubrication than European diesel fuel.
The lubricity specifications of American diesel are incompatible
with the specifications of the CP4 system. When American diesel
fuel is run through the fast moving, high pressure, lower volume
CP4 pump, it struggles to maintain lubrication. The cleaner,
thinner diesel allows air pockets to form inside the pump during
operation, causing metal to rub against metal, generating metal
shavings which are dispersed throughout the fuel injection system,
contaminating and destroying the fuel system and indeed the entire
engine. Contrary to the Defendants' claims that the CP4 fuel
injection system is more reliable, more durable, more powerful, and
more fuel-efficient, the CP4 fuel injection system is costly,
destructive, and dangerous.

General Motors LLC was incorporated in 2009 and is based in
Wilmington, Delaware. General Motors LLC operates as a subsidiary
of General Motors Company. [BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Jeff D. Friedman, Esq.
          HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP
          715 Hearst Avenue, Suite 202
          Berkeley, CA 94710
          Telephone: (510) 725-3000
          Facsimile: (510) 725-3001
          E-mail: jefff@hbsslaw.com

               - and –

          Steve W. Berman, Esq.
          Sean R. Matt, Esq.
          HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP
          1301 Second Avenue, Suite 2000
          Seattle, WA 98101
          Telephone: (206) 623-7292
          Facsimile: (206) 623-0594
          E-mail: steve@hbsslaw.com
                  sean@hbsslaw.com


GENOCEA BIOSCIENCES: Court Dismisses Securities Class Action
------------------------------------------------------------
Shearman & Sterling LLP, in an article for JDSupra, reports that on
December 6, 2018, Chief Judge Patti Saris of the United States
District Court for the District of Massachusetts dismissed a
putative class action asserting claims under the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder against
the early-stage biopharmaceutical company Genocea Biosciences, Inc.
and certain of its officers and directors. Emerson v. Genocea
Biosciences, Inc., No. 17-12137-PBS (D. Mass. Dec. 6, 2018).
Plaintiffs alleged that Genocea omitted to disclose to investors
certain six-month post-dosing clinical trial test results because
it knew the results to be negative, thereby causing class members
to purchase Genocea stock at an inflated price. The Court dismissed
the action, holding that the alleged omissions were not material
and that other disclosures weighed against finding the required
strong inference of scienter.

The Court rejected plaintiffs' argument that Genocea had made a
material omission in failing to disclose certain six-month
post-dosing results in January 2017, emphasizing that the Exchange
Act "did not create an affirmative duty to disclose any and all
material information," but rather only required disclosures
necessary to make other statements not misleading. Slip op. at 14.
The Court determined that, contrary to plaintiffs' assertion that
defendants must have known in January 2017 that the six-month
results were negative, Genocea's disclosures provided evidence that
the data had not been expected until the "first quarter" or "first
half" of 2017. Id. at 16. Without any specific factual allegation
that Genocea was aware of the results sooner, the Court adopted
only the inference that Genocea was aware of the results by July
2017, when the corresponding 12-month results were disclosed. Id.
at 17-18. Furthermore, the Court noted that even though the
12-month results were negative, the stock price did not drop when
the company released those negative results, thus supporting the
conclusion that the disclosure of negative six-month results would
likely not have been material to investors either. Id. at 20-21.

The Court also held that plaintiff had failed to adequately allege
scienter. The Court determined that Genocea's disclosure of
negative 12-month results "weakens any showing of scienter," as the
disclosure of some but not all adverse events gave rise to a
competing inference that defendants disclosed what they considered
to be relevant. Id. at 23. For this reason, the Court rejected
plaintiffs' argument that scienter could be inferred through a
"core operations" theory, based on how important the drug allegedly
was to the company. Id. The Court also rejected plaintiffs'
arguments that Genocea executives' stock sales were sufficient to
show scienter, emphasizing that "insider trading cannot establish
scienter on its own," and that while one executive was alleged to
have sold stock during the proposed class period, there was no
evidence that Genocea knew of the six-month results at the time of
the first transaction, and the second trade was pursuant to a
10b5-1 plan, which had been entered into before Genocea allegedly
knew of the six-month negative results, and that trades are
effectuated pursuant to such a plan "generally rebuts an inference
of scienter." Id. at 24-25. Thus, while the alleged insider trading
was a "concern," it did not, standing alone, support a strong
inference of scienter. Id. at 25.

This decision is a helpful reminder that the materiality of alleged
omissions (and allegations of scienter in connection with any
omissions) must be analyzed in the context of other disclosures
made by defendants. [GN]


GNC: Averts Investors' Securities Class Action Over Supplements
---------------------------------------------------------------
Bill Wichert, writing for Law360, reports that GNC knocked down a
proposed securities class action accusing the retailer of
misleading investors about nutrition supplements that contained
unlawful ingredients ,the Third Circuit rules. [GN]


GUCCI AMERICA: Faces Haggar ADA Suit in C.D. California
-------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Gucci America, Inc.
d/b/a Gucci. The case is captioned as ELIA HAGGAR, individually and
on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. GUCCI
AMERICA, INC. d/b/a GUCCI, Defendant, Case No. 2:18-cv-09758-PA-FFM
(C.D. Cal., Nov. 20, 2018). The lawsuit alleges violation of the
Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is assigned to Judge
Percy Anderson and referred to Magistrate Judge Frederick F. Mumm.

Gucci America, Inc. operates as a multi-brand luxury goods company
that designs, produces, and distributes personal luxury items for
men and women in the United States and internationally. The company
was formerly known as Gucci Shops, Inc. The company was founded in
1953 and is based in Secaucus, New Jersey. Gucci America, Inc.
operates as a subsidiary of Gucci North American Holdings, Inc.
[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          B. Bobby Saadian, Esq.
          WILSHIRE LAW FIRM
          3055 Wilshire Boulevard 12th Floor
          Los Angeles, CA 90010
          Telephone: (213) 381-9988
          Facsimile: (213) 381-9989
          E-mail: bobby@wilshirelawfirm.com


HABITAT RESTORATION: Underpays Maintenance Keepers, Chavez Says
---------------------------------------------------------------
ISABEL CHAVEZ, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. HABITAT RESTORATION SCIENCES, INC.; and DOES
1 through 100, Defendants, Case No. 37-2018-00059030-CU-OE-CTL
(Cal. Super. San Diego Cty., Nov. 20, 2018) is an action against
the Defendants for failure to pay minimum wages, overtime
compensation, authorize and permit meal and rest periods, and
provide accurate wage statements.

Ms. Chavez was employed by the Defendants as maintenance keeper for
the Defendants' landscaping services.

Habitat Restoration Sciences Inc. offers habitat restoration
landscaping and general engineering services in California. The
company is based in Carlsbad, California. Habitat Restoration
Sciences Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Dudek. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Farzad Rastegar, Esq.
          Amir Seyedfarshi, Esq.
          RASTEGAR LAW GROUP, APC
          22760 Hawthorne Blvd., Suite 200
          Telephone: (310) 961-9600
          Facsimile: (310) 961-9094
          E-mail: farzad@rastegarlawgroup.com
                  amir@rastegarlawgroup.com


HARDEE'S RESTAURANT: Settles Hep A Exposure Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
QSRweb reports that a class action lawsuit against a Charlotte,
North Carolina Hardee's outlet has been reached, after the filing
around incidents of alleged Hepatitis A exposure at the location at
2604 Little Rock Road in the city. A settlement of $246,000 was
reached on behalf of those exposed to virus while at the restaurant
between June 13, 2018 and June 23, 2018, according to a news
release from food safety law firm, Marler Clark.

The class in this case includes people who were potentially exposed
to the virus at that location on those days, who then received
preventive medical treatment as a result within 14 days after their
exposure.

Class members must obtain a claim form and instructions at
www.CharlotteHepA.com and submit it to receive settlement money. A
detailed notice of settlement and claim form is being sent by mail
to each class member. [GN]


HCR MANOR: Six Subclasses of Residents Certified in MacRae Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Hon. David O. Carter grants the Plaintiff's Motion for Class
Certification in the lawsuit captioned THOMAS HAROLD MACRAE, by and
through his Successor in Interest, Heather Watters; FRANCISCA
DENNING, by and through her Successor in Interest Claudette
Denning; and TOMASITA HOFFMAN, by and through her Successor in
Interest Gilda Molinar v. HCR MANOR CARE SERVICES, LLC; MANOR CARE
OF CITRUS HEIGHTS CA, LLC; MANOR CARE OF FOUNTAIN VALLEY CA, LLC;
MANOR CARE OF HEMET CA, LLC; and DOES 1 through 250, inclusive,
Case No. 8:14-cv-00715-DOC-RNB (C.D. Cal.).

The six subclasses are:

   a. Plaintiff Subclass One 'Private Pay Residents of ManorCare
      Health Services (Fountain Valley) -- Consumer Legal
      Remedies Act Violations':

      all persons who resided in (or continue to reside in) the
      skilled nursing facility doing business under the
      fictitious business name ManorCare Health Services
      (Fountain Valley) at any time within the three years prior
      to the filing of the original complaint in this action
      through the date of the final disposition of this action
      wherein the Defendants were reimbursed for services
      provided to 'class member' by private pay and/or privately
      acquired insurance and/or any HMO or PPO;

   b. Plaintiff Subclass Two 'All Residents of ManorCare Health
      Services (Fountain Valley) -- Consumer Legal Remedies Act
      Violations':

      all persons who resided in (or continue to reside in)
      ManorCare Health Services (Fountain Valley) at any time
      within the three years prior to the filing of this
      Complaint through the date of the final disposition of this
      action.  This subclass shall seek injunctive relief and
      attorneys' fees and costs only;

   c. Plaintiff Subclass Three 'Health & Safety Code Section
      1430(b) Violations to Residents of ManorCare Health
      Services (Fountain Valley)':

      all persons who were resided in (or continue to reside in)
      ManorCare Health Services (Fountain Valley) at any time
      within the three years prior to the filing of this
      Complaint through the date of the final disposition of this
      action regardless of the manner in which Defendants were
      reimbursed for services;

   d. Plaintiff Subclass Four 'Private Pay Residents of ManorCare
      Health Services C Hemet) -- Consumer Legal Remedies Act
      Violations':

      all persons who resided in (or continue to reside in) the
      skilled nursing facility doing business under the
      fictitious business name ManorCare Health Services (Hemet)
      at any time within the three years prior to the filing of
      the original complaint in this action through the date of
      the final disposition of this action wherein the Defendants
      were reimbursed for services provided to 'class member' by
      private pay and/or privately acquired insurance and/or any
      HMO or PPO;

   e. Plaintiff Subclass Five 'All Residents of ManorCare Health
      Services (Hemet) -- Consumer Legal Remedies Act
      Violations':

      all persons who resided in (or continue to reside in)
      ManorCare Health Services (Hemet) at any time within the
      three years prior to the filing of this Complaint through
      the date of the final disposition of this action.  This
      subclass shall seek injunctive relief and attorneys' fees
      and costs only; and

   f. Plaintiff Subclass Six 'Health & Safety Code Section
      1430(b) Violations to Residents of ManorCare Health
      Services (Hemet)':

      all persons who were resided in (or continue to reside in)
      ManorCare Health Services (Hemet) at any time within the
      three years prior to the filing of this Complaint through
      the date of the final disposition of this action regardless
      of the manner in which Defendants were reimbursed for
      services."

The Plaintiffs are former residents of one of the skilled nursing
facilities owned, operated, managed and/or controlled by the
Defendants in the state of California.   They allege that during
the proposed class period, the Defendants' skilled care facilities
did not employ an adequate number of qualified personnel to carry
out the functions of the facilities, in violation of California
law.  They allege that, prior to becoming residents of the
Defendants' facilities, they (and their legal representatives) were
provided with a standard admission agreement with an attachment
containing a resident bill of rights as mandated by California
Health and Safety Code Section 1599.1(a).[CC]


HEARTLAND PAYMENT: Court Affirms Order in Wage Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------
Chandra Lye, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that the
California Court of Appeal 2nd Appellate District, Division Eight
has affirmed an order issued by the Los Angeles County Superior
Court in a class action lawsuit over allegations of wage
violations.

The Superior Court denied a motion to intervene filed by two
plaintiffs who sought to intervene in another plaintiff's lawsuit.
The appeals court affirmed this ruling.

Plaintiff Robin Edwards, a former employee of defendant Heartland
Payment Systems, filed a class action lawsuit in January 2016
stating that some California-based employees did not get paid
minimum wage for work they did. Jaime Torres and Jorge Martinez
later filed a separate suit in March 2016 over similar
allegations.

"The basic claims were the same as in Edwards, albeit adding
factual detail and adding claims for failure to pay wages and to
pay overtime compensation," the ruling states.

Mr. Edwards later entered into a proposed class action settlement
with Heartland and amended her complaint to include the claims
filed by Messrs. Torres and Martinez, and Messrs. Torres and
Martinez filed to intervene.

"Torres and Martinez filed a motion to intervene in Edwards'
lawsuit. The trial court denied the motion, and Torres and Martinez
appealed the court's order. We affirm."

Heartland attempted mediation with the plaintiffs but was only able
to come to an agreement with one.

"The plaintiffs in Edwards and Heartland reached a settlement in
principle and executed a memorandum of understanding," the appeals
court decision stated.

"The Torres plaintiffs contend the trial court erred in denying
both mandatory and permissive intervention pursuant to Code of
Civil Procedure section 387.3 We find no error under either
provision," the court ruled.

The appeals court also noted the Torres argument that "the trial
court applied the 'incorrect legal standard' when it focused on its
fiduciary duties to the class, rather than on the adequacy of the
class representatives themselves."

However, the judges also stated they saw no reason "why the court's
fiduciary duties to review the settlement cannot reinforce the
conclusion that the Torres plaintiffs' ability to protect their
interests would not be practically impaired or impeded by the
settlement." [GN]


HIGHER LEARNING: Students Launch Class Action Following Closure
---------------------------------------------------------------
Ashley A. Smith, writing for Inside Higher Ed, reports that about
30 colleges are shutting their doors at the end of this month,
nearly a year after becoming the latest group of for-profit
institutions to convert to nonprofit status.

The colleges, most of which are part of the once renowned Art
Institutes brand, are owned by the Pennsylvania-based nonprofit
Dream Center Education Holdings, or DCEH. They were formerly owned
by Education Management Corporation. Despite having a recognizable
brand, EDMC struggled with decreases in enrollment and revenue and
increased scrutiny by state and federal investigations before
selling the properties last year to the Dream Center Foundation, a
Christian missionary organization.

The Dream Center purchased Argosy University, the Art Institutes,
South University and Western State College of Law, which together
had more than 100 campuses, from EDMC and converted the large
for-profit institutions into nonprofit entities. It was reported in
July that DCEH would stop enrolling students at 30 campuses and
shut down those locations. The campuses have about 50,000 students
enrolled in total.

Officials at DCEH did not respond to multiple calls and emails
seeking more information about the closures of the colleges.

Trace Urdan, a managing director at the consulting firm Tyton
Partners who follows and analyzes the for-profit sector, said
several factors led to the closures.

"The challenge of turning the business around has proven to be more
difficult than anticipated and that simply declaring it nonprofit
has been insufficient to shake the negative associations with the
brand," he said in an email.

Urdan said the dwindling appeal and high costs of programs at the
Art Institutes -- the programs include culinary arts, media
production, fashion, animation and interior design -- also worked
against the universities. These programs require students to buy
expensive course materials and equipment, which are essentially
investments with low returns since most graduates end up in jobs
with low starting salaries.

"In the context of a full-employment economy, attracting students
to what are effectively vocational programs remains very
challenging," Urdan said. "They have to be persuaded that spending
or borrowing money will boost their earning power enough to justify
the expense. And because [the Art Institutes] is primarily a
four-year degree institution, the cost and hurdle involved are that
much greater."

Tuition at the Art Institute of Philadelphia, for example, ranged
from about $48,000 for an associate degree in graphic design to
about $93,000 for a bachelor's degree in graphic design. The
Philadelphia campus is among the locations that are closing.
Tuition at Argosy University's San Francisco and Nashville, Tenn.,
campuses, which are also closing, ranged from $445 per credit hour
to more than $1,000 per credit hour, according to its website. The
Argosy campuses offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs.

But it isn't just the cost of the programs that may be turning off
potential students. The wages for the careers that the degrees lead
to aren't high enough for these programs to be a good value, said
Spiros Protopsaltis, an associate professor of education policy at
George Mason University and former deputy assistant secretary for
higher education and student financial aid at the U.S. Department
of Education under the Obama administration.

Employers don't seem to value these degrees, especially from a
former for-profit, as much as they do when students are coming from
a traditional public university or a nonprofit institution that
hasn't undergone a conversion, he said.

"People see through some of these things for what they are, and at
the end of the day, consumers realize that just because a school
converted to a nonprofit, it doesn't mean that it necessarily
changed its education model," he said. "If outcomes don't improve
and quality doesn't go up and the value proposition isn't there,
changing tax status doesn't change the underlying problems with the
business model."

Prior to the Education Department's decision in August to drop the
gainful-employment rule, which required for-profit institutions to
prove they are preparing graduates for remunerative employment, and
before the nonprofit conversion, career education programs like
some of those offered at the Art Institutes failed to meet the
guidelines. For example, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh charges
more than $44,800 for an associate degree in graphic design, but
only 12 percent of students graduated on time. And those graduates
typically earned less than $22,000 a year and had more than $40,000
in federal student loan debt, according to the Institute for
College Access & Success.

"Changing the tax status without changing the culture or changing
the product is not going to lead to any different outcomes,"
Protopsaltis said.

When the Dream Center took over the struggling EDMC campuses,
critics questioned whether the organization was equipped with the
necessary knowledge and skills to run one of the country's largest
for-profits. At the time of the sale, EDMC records indicated an
enrollment of 65,000 students.

Critics also point to another example of a failed attempt to
convert a for-profit institution into a nonprofit by the ECMC
Group, a student loan guarantee agency. ECMC created the Zenith
Education Group to turn some of the former for-profit Corinthian
Colleges into nonprofit entities.

ECMC purchased 56 former Everest and WyoTech campuses in 2015 and
together with Zenith spent more than $500 million to keep the
former Corinthian Colleges operating. The company closed 21 of the
campuses in 2017 but left three open.

Protopsaltis said these types of conversions need to be scrutinized
more carefully.

Dream Center supporters dispute the assessment that the company
doesn't understand the complexity of turning around former
for-profit institutions. They point to Brent Richardson, who was
previously the executive chairman of Grand Canyon University, a
private, nonprofit Christian university in Phoenix. Richardson
spent years investing in and helping to build GCU when it was a
struggling for-profit entity.

Michael Clifford, a former board member of the Dream Center who has
invested in for-profit colleges and describes himself as a "friend
of the nonprofit," said the campus closings are a sign that the
Dream Center's administrative teams are moving the company in the
right direction and in the best interests of the students who
continue to attend the institutions.

"They've done more positive things in six or seven months than
anyone in this business," he said while declining to give specific
examples on the record. "I've never seen a management team turn
around a nonprofit school center as this group has done."

Clifford's appraisal of Dream Center's financial outlook did not
include other challenges the organization is currently facing.

The Art Institute of Seattle, which was not on the list of campuses
closing this year, laid off 10 of 13 full-time instructors this
fall. The institute also employs 75 part-time instructors, none of
whom were laid off.

Meanwhile, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which
is the accreditor for the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, recently
ruled that Dream Center had to provide more evidence that it
adheres to commission standards by March 1 in order for the
institution to be accredited.

Middle States, along with other regional accreditors for the DCEH
campuses such as the Higher Learning Commission, has also approved
teach-out agreements for the 30 campuses slated to close. The
Higher Learning Commission, for example, approved a plan that would
allow Illinois Institute of Art and Art Institute of Colorado
students to transfer their earned credits to Columbia College
Chicago or Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, in Denver.

Students who attended the Illinois campuses launched a class action
lawsuit with the National Student Legal Defense Network. They
accused the institution of hiding the fact that HLC revoked
accreditation in January while continuing to encourage students to
pay for courses and to graduate with unaccredited degrees.

Clifford is optimistic that regulatory changes made by Education
Secretary Betsy DeVos will help put DCEH campuses on stronger
financial footing. He points to the administration's accreditation
overhaul and its concerns that accreditors may not be in the best
position to properly scrutinize the financial health of
institutions and nonprofit conversions. Clifford said he supports
the idea of shifting oversight from the accreditors to the states.

"No one wants another Corinthian or ITT [Technical Institutes],"
Clifford said, referring to for-profit chains that collapsed in
recent years after being subjected to increased federal oversight.
[GN]


IBM: 2d Cir. Revives Securities Fraud Claims
--------------------------------------------
Amanda Ottaway, writing for Courthouse News Service, reported that
reviving securities fraud claims, the Second Circuit ruled on Dec.
10 that IBM must face a suit by workers accusing the company of
having mismanaged their retirement plans.

The New York class action stems from a 2014 announcement by IBM
that it was selling its microelectronics business to
GlobalFoundries Inc. Up until then IBM had been valuing its
business at approximately $2 billion, but IBM revealed in 2014 that
it would take a $4.7 billion pretax charge because it had been
overvaluing the microelectronics business.

IBM's stock price declined by more than $12 a share on the heels of
the lawsuit, prompting the suit here by participants in IBM's
retirement plan.

Lead plantiffs Larry Jander and Richard Waksman contend that IBM
officials were opting to invest their employees' retirement funds
in common stock while failing to disclose their knowledge that
IBM's stock price was inflated.

Though a federal judge dismissed the suit, the Second Circuit
reversed on Dec. 10, concluding that the plaintiffs met the
standard with their claim that IBM's management violated its duty
of prudence under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

"We're gratified by the court's decision, we wholeheartedly agree
with it and we look forward to litigating the case," Zamansky
attorney Samuel Bonderoff said in a phone interview this
afternoon.

In the Dec. 10 ruling, Chief U.S. Circuit Judge Robert Katzmann
called it "particularly important" that IBM is accused here of
knowing "that disclosure of the truth regarding IBM's
microelectronics business was inevitable, because IBM was likely to
sell the business and would be unable to hide its overvaluation
from the public at that point."

"In the normal case, when the prudent fiduciary asks whether
disclosure would do more harm than good, the fiduciary is making a
comparison only to the status quo of nondisclosure," the opinion
states. "In this case, however, the prudent fiduciary would have to
compare the benefits and costs of earlier disclosure to those of
later disclosure -- nondisclosure is no longer a realistic point of
comparison."

U.S. Circuit Judges Robert Sack and Reena Raggi concurred in the
ruling.

"While the Court's ruling on this preliminary matter is
disappointing, IBM will continue to vigorously defend against these
claims," IBM spokesman Doug Shelton said in an email on Dec. 10.

Lawrence Portnoy of Davis Polk, who represented the defendants, did
not comment, referring Courthouse News to IBM instead.

In the underlying complaint, the plaintiffs said the plan
administrators could have halted trading, disclosed the correct
numbers or bought a hedging product to help with risk management.
U.S. District Judge William Pauley found in dismissing the case,
however, that those suggestions would have done the company more
harm than good.

Judge Katzmann wrote in the Dec. 10 reversal, on the other hand,
that it plausible IBM could have foreseen that artificial inflation
of stock prices would harm the company in the long term. [GN]


IBM: 2nd Cir. Reverses Dismissal of Jander ERISA Suit
-----------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, issued an
Opinion reversing the judgment of the District Court granting
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the case captioned LARRY W. JANDER,
and all other individuals similarly situated, RICHARD J. WAKSMAN,
Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. RETIREMENT PLANS COMITTEE OF IBM, RICHARD
CARROLL, ROBERT WEBER, MARTIN SCHROETER, Defendants-Appellees,
INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION, Defendant. Docket No.
17-3518. (2nd Cir.).

The plaintiffs here, IBM employees who were participants in the
company's Employee’s Stock Option Plan (ESOP), claim that the
plan's fiduciaries knew that a division of the company was
overvalued but failed to disclose that fact. This failure, the
plaintiffs allege, artificially inflated IBM's stock price, harming
the ESOP's members. To state a duty-of-prudence claim, plaintiffs
must plausibly allege that a proposed alternative action would not
have done more harm than good.

The district court first dismissed Jander's case on the same day it
decided the securities fraud lawsuit. As an initial matter, the
district court relied on the reasoning set forth in its securities
fraud decision to find that the pensioner plaintiffs had plausibly
pled that IBM's Microelectronics unit was impaired and that the
Plan fiduciaries were aware of its impairment.

The district court granted Jander an opportunity to file a second
amended complaint. Jander availed himself of that opportunity,
adding further details and alleging a third alternative by which
the Plan defendants could have avoided breaching their fiduciary
duty: by purchasing hedging products to mitigate potential declines
in the value of IBM common stock. The district court again found
lacking the allegations concerning the three alternatives available
to the Plan defendants, determining that each might have caused
more harm than good.

Duty of Prudence

29 U.S.C. Section 1104(a)(1), a fiduciary shall discharge his
duties with respect to a plan solely in the interest of the
participants and beneficiaries and with the care, skill, prudence,
and diligence under the circumstances then prevailing that a
prudent man acting in a like capacity and familiar with such
matters would use in the conduct of an enterprise of a like
character and with like aims

ERISA's Duty-of Prudence Standard

The parties disagree first and most fundamentally about what the
plaintiffs must plead to state a duty-of-prudence claim under
ERISA. Their arguments are premised on competing readings of two
recent decisions by the United States Supreme Court and differing
views of how they interact with the decisions of our sister
circuits. Some background is therefore in order.

In 2014, the Supreme Court definitively rejected the presumption of
prudence in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, which held that
the law does not create a special presumption favoring ESOP
fiduciaries. 134 S.Ct. 2459, 2467 (2014).

The Court recognized that there is a legitimate concern that
subjecting ESOP fiduciaries to a duty of prudence without the
protection of a special presumption will lead to conflicts with the
legal prohibition on insider trading, given that ESOP fiduciaries
often are company insiders subject to allegations that they were
imprudent in failing to act on inside information they had about
the value of the employer's stock. Nevertheless, the Court reasoned
that an ESOP-specific rule that a fiduciary does not act
imprudently in buying or holding company stock unless the company
is on the brink of collapse or the like is an ill-fitting means of
addressing that issue.  

The Supreme Court summarily reversed the Ninth Circuit, holding
that it failed to adequately scrutinize the plaintiffs' pleadings.
Amgen Inc. v. Harris, 136 S.Ct. 758, 760 (2016) (per curiam).

The Court did not reject the Ninth Circuit's reasoning outright.
Rather, it found a mismatch between that reasoning and the
allegations in the current form of the complaint regarding whether
a prudent fiduciary in the same position `could not have concluded'
that the alternative action would do more harm than good. The Court
stated:

The Ninth Circuit's proposition that removing the Amgen Common
Stock Fund from the list of investment options was an alternative
action that could plausibly have satisfied Fifth Third's standards
may be true. If so, the facts and allegations supporting that
proposition should appear in the stockholders' complaint. Having
examined the complaint, the Court has not found sufficient facts
and allegations to state a claim for breach of the duty of
prudence.

Amgen's analysis, however, neglects to offer any guidance about
what facts a plaintiff must plead to state a plausible claim for
relief." Saumer v. Cliffs Nat. Res. Inc., 853 F.3d 855, 865 (6th
Cir. 2017). This is in part because the complaint in Amgen included
no allegations regarding proposed alternative actions beyond the
bare assertion that they were available.

Accordingly, Amgen's import could be interpreted in multiple ways.
It might clarify what was implicit in Fifth Third: that allegations
about why an alternative action would do more good than harm must
appear in the complaint itself, not merely in a court's opinion. Or
it might instead confirm that the could not have concluded language
from Fifth Third created a separate standard that must
independently be satisfied to plead a duty-of-prudence claim. The
parties spar over which of these two interpretations is correct.
The Plan defendants urge us to view Fifth Third and Amgenas setting
out a restrictive test, noting that at least two of our sister
circuits have adopted that interpretation.   

Jander notes that no duty-of-prudence claim against an ESOP
fiduciary has passed the motion-to-dismiss stage since Amgen, and
he asserts that the courts and the Plan defendants have misread
that decision. According to Jander, imposing such a heavy burden at
the motion-to-dismiss stage runs contrary to the Supreme Court's
stated desire in Fifth Third to lower the barrier set by the
presumption of prudence. Our sole precedential post-Amgen
duty-of-was never amended following Fifth Third prudence opinion
does not explicitly take a side in this dispute.   

The Court need not here decide which of the two standards the
parties champion is correct, however, because we find that Jander
plausibly pleads a duty-of-prudence claim even under the more
restrictive could not have concluded test.

The Plaintiffs' Duty-of-Prudence Claim

The district court held that Jander failed to state a
duty-of-prudence claim under ERISA because a prudent fiduciary
could have concluded that the three alternative actions proposed in
the complaintdisclosure, halting trades of IBM stock, or purchasing
a hedging product would do more harm than good to the fund.

The Court respectfully disagree. Jander has limited the proposed
alternative actions on appeal to just one: early corrective
disclosure of the microelectronics division's impairment, conducted
alongside the regular SEC reporting process. Several allegations in
the amended complaint, considered in combination and drawing all
reasonable inferences in plaintiff's favour plausibly establish
that a prudent fiduciary in the Plan defendants' position could not
have concluded that corrective disclosure would do more harm than
good.

First, the Plan defendants allegedly knew that IBM stock was
artificially inflated through accounting violations. As the
district court found, Jander has plausibly alleged a GAAP
violation, and in view of the lower pleading standards applicable
to an ERISA action, he has plausibly pled that IBM's
Microelectronics unit was impaired and that the Plan fiduciaries
were aware of its impairment.

Second, the Plan defendants allegedly had the power to disclose the
truth to the public and correct the artificial inflation. Two of
the Plan defendants were uniquely situated to fix this problem
inasmuch as they had primary responsibility for the public
disclosures that had artificially inflated the stock price to begin
with. The district court thought that the complaint failed to
account for the risks that an unusual disclosure outside the
securities laws' normal reporting regime could spook the market,
causing a more significant drop in price than if the disclosure
were made through the customary procedures. This reasoning assumes
that any disclosure would have to have been outside the securities'
laws normal reporting regime. Yet the class period here runs from
January through October 2014. The amended complaint therefore
plausibly alleges that disclosures could have been included within
IBM's quarterly SEC filings and disclosed to the ESOP's
beneficiaries at the same time in the Plan defendants' fiduciary
capacity.

Third, Jander alleges that the defendants' failure promptly to
disclose the value of IBM's microelectronics division hurt
management's credibility and the long-term prospects of IBM as an
investment because the eventual disclosure of a prolonged fraud
causes reputational damage that increases the longer the fraud goes
on. The district court dismissed this allegation as an argument
[that] rests on hindsight, which "says nothing about what a prudent
fiduciary would have concluded under the circumstances then
prevailing. But Jander's argument is not retrospective. A
reasonable business executive could plausibly foresee that the
inevitable disclosure of longstanding corporate fraud would reflect
badly on the company and undermine faith in its future
pronouncements.  

Fourth, the complaint alleges that IBM stock traded in an efficient
market, such that correcting the Company's fraud would reduce IBM's
stock price only by the amount by which it was artificially
inflated.  It is well established that the market price of shares
traded on well-developed markets reflects all publicly available
information.  Accordingly, Jander plausibly alleges that a prudent
fiduciary need not fear an irrational overreaction to the
disclosure of fraud.

Fifth and finally, the defendants allegedly knew that disclosure of
the truth regarding IBM's microelectronics business was inevitable,
because IBM was likely to sell the business and would be unable to
hide its overvaluation from the public at that point. This
allegation is particularly important. In the normal case, when the
prudent fiduciary asks whether disclosure would do more harm than
good, the fiduciary is making a comparison only to the status quo
of non-disclosure. In this case, however, the prudent fiduciary
would have to compare the benefits and costs of earlier disclosure
to those of later disclosure non-disclosure is no longer a
realistic point of comparison. Accordingly, when a drop in the
value of the stock already held by the fund is inevitable, it is
far more plausible that a prudent fiduciary would prefer to limit
the effects of the stock's artificial inflation on the ESOP's
beneficiaries through prompt disclosure.

The Court therefore hold that Jander has stated a claim for
violation of ERISA's duty of prudence.

The Interplay Between the ERISA and Securities Fraud Suits

One issue remains for us to address: the relevance, if any, of the
parallel securities fraud suit against IBM. As already noted, the
district court dismissed that case, and the plaintiffs did not
appeal. The district court found that the plaintiffs had failed to
raise a strong inference that the need to write-down
Microelectronics was so apparent to Defendants before the
announcement, that a failure to take an earlier write-down amounts
to fraud, or that the Plan defendants knew that IBM's
earnings-per-share projections lacked a reasonable basis when they
were made. The plaintiffs therefore could not plausibly plead
scienter. The Plan defendants assert that allowing Jander's ERISA
claim to go forward on essentially the same facts would lead to an
end run around the heightened pleading standards for securities
fraud suits set out in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act
(PSLRA). While this concern is not without merit, it does not
provide a basis to affirm the district court's dismissal of
Jander's duty-of-prudence claim.

Accordingly, the Second Circuit reverses the judgment and remands
the matter to the district court for further proceedings consistent
with this opinion.

A full-text copy of the Second Circuit's December 10, 2018 Opinion
is available at https://tinyurl.com/y8zaoqxb from Leagle.com.

SAMUEL E. BONDEROFF (argued), JACOB H. ZAMANSKY, Zamansky LLC, 50
Broadway - 32nd Floor New York NY, 10004, for
Plaintiffs-Appellants.

LAWRENCE PORTNOY -- Lawrence.portnoy@davispolk.com -- (argued), J.
STAN BARRETT -- j.barrett@davispolk.com -- MICHAEL S. FLYNN --
michael.flynn@davispolk.com -- W. TRENT THOMPSON --
trent.thompson@davispolk.com -- Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, New
York, NY, for Defendants-Appellees.


ILLINOIS: 7th Cir. Affirms Class Certification Denial in Riffey
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, issued an
Opinion affirming the District Court's judgment denying Plaintiffs'
Motion for Class Certification in the case captioned THERESA
RIFFEY, et al., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. BRUCE V. RAUNER, in his
official capacity as Governor of the State of Illinois, and SEIU
HEALTHCARE ILLINOIS & INDIANA, Defendants-Appellees. No. 16-3487.
(7th Cir.).

When this case was last before the circuit court, the Court upheld
the district court's decision declining to certify a class of home
health care assistants (Assistants) who were seeking a refund of
the fair-share fees they had paid to a union for
collective-bargaining representation. The Court agreed with the
putative class that no one could be compelled to pay fair-share
fees, pursuant to the Supreme Court's decision in Harris v. Quinn,
134 S.Ct. 2618 (2014), and that any such objector would be entitled
to have his or her payments refunded.

Seeking review of the Court's decision, the putative class
representatives filed a petition for a writ of certiorari in the
Supreme Court. On June 28, 2018, the Court granted that petition
and remanded the case to this court for further consideration in
light of Janus v. State, County, and Municipal Employees, 138 S.Ct.
2448 (2018). See 138 S.Ct. 2708 (2018).

On remand, the Assistants amended their complaint to substitute new
named plaintiffs for the class, and to substitute Governor Bruce V.
Rauner for his predecessor, Governor Quinn. They sought
certification of a class of all non-union member assistants from
whom fair-share fees were collected from April 2008 until June 30,
2014 (the date of the Supreme Court's Harrisdecision), when the
state stopped the fair-share deductions. The proposed class
included some 80,000 members; the class representatives asserted
that the total amount that needed to be refunded was approximately
$32 million.  

As the Court explained in its 2017 opinion, the district court
denied certification for several reasons: The class definition was
overly broad in light of evidence (detailed by the court) that a
substantial number of class members did not object to the fee and
could not have suffered an injury; the named plaintiffs were not
adequate representatives; individual questions regarding damages
predominated over common ones; the class faced serious
manageability issues; and a class action was not a superior method
of resolving the issue.

Janus was an individual action brought by Mark Janus, an employee
of the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services.
Unlike the assistants in the Harris litigation, Janus was
indisputably a state employee. The people in his unit were
represented by the American Federation of State, County, and
Municipal Employees (AFSCME) Council 31, but Janus elected not to
join the Union because he disagreed with its positions on a variety
of public policy matters. Although he was required to pay only a
fair-share fee, he objected to that as a matter of principle. His
fees amounted to about $535 a year.

The Court's resolution of the agency-fee issue meant that only one
further point needed to be resolved on the Harris remand: whether
the remaining issues concerning refunds of agency fees that were
paid by nonconsenting employees could be resolved in a class
action. If this was to be a class at all, the Court recognized, it
was one for money damages for each individual class member, and it
would accordingly have to satisfy the requirements of Rule
23(b)(3).

The decision whether to certify a class is one that depends on a
careful assessment of the facts, of potential differences among
class members, of management challenges, and of the overall
importance of the common issues of law or fact to the ultimate
outcome.  Rule 23 gives the district courts broad discretion to
determine whether certification of a class-action lawsuit is
appropriate and thus this court reviews such decisions
deferentially.

The Court sees nothing approaching an abuse of discretion in the
district court's decisions here that whatever common questions
remain among the proposed class members do not predominate, and
that a class action is not superior to other available methods for
fairly and efficiently adjudicating the controversy.

And this is not all that supports the district court's
determination. The Union presented evidence of disharmony within
the class: some of the Assistants supported the Union and have no
desire to collect a refund, while others are eager to get their
money back; and once they no longer had the intermediate option of
paying an agency fee, some moved in one direction to join the
Union, while others moved in the opposite direction and severed all
ties with the Union. The court also noted that the answer to the
central question that remains how much money each individual class
member is entitled to recoup is particularly ill-suited for class
treatment, because it depends on a myriad of factors particular to
each individual worker.

The Court therefore concludes, as the Court did before, that the
district court acted well within its authority when it declined to
certify a class action for the clean-up proceedings that are
necessary in the wake of Harris and Janus. Individual assistants
who wish to pursue refunds are free to seek to do so; the Court
makes no comment on those cases or the defenses the Union may
endeavor to raise in them.

Accordingly, the decision of the district court is affirmed.

A full-text copy of the Seventh Circuit's December 6, 2018 Opinion
is available at https://tinyurl.com/yb8lsojc from Leagle.com.

Nadine J. Wichern -- nwichern@atg.state.il.us -- for
Defendant-Appellee.

William L. Messenger, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Scott A. Kronland -- skronland@altshulerberzon.com -- for
Defendant-Appellee.

Frank Henry Bieszczat, for Defendant-Appellee.

Amanda Kae Freeman, for Plaintiff-Appellant.


ISLE OF CAPRI: IOC Wins Summary Judgment in Larson FLSA Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Missouri, Western Division, issued an Order and Opinion granting
Defendants Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. (IOC)'s Motion for Summary
Judgment in the case captioned CYNTHIA D. LARSON, Plaintiff, v.
ISLE OF CAPRI CASINOS, INC., et al., Defendants. Case No.
16-00902-CV-W-ODS. (W.D. Mo.).

The Plaintiff filed this matter on behalf of herself and others
similarly situated, alleging IOC and IOC-KC violated the Fair Labor
Standards Act (FLSA) and the Missouri Minimum Wage Law (MMWL), and
IOC and IOC-KC were unjustly enriched by receiving the benefit of
unpaid work. She later amended her complaint to include additional
FLSA and MMWL claims.  

The Plaintiff alleges the Defendants' timekeeping policy did not
compensate employees for all time worked (Counts I and V), the
Defendants miscalculated the regular hourly rate (Counts II and
VI), the Defendants did not properly inform employees of the tip
credit policy (Counts III and VII), the Defendants failed to pay
employees for required training (Counts IV and VIII) and the
Defendants were unjustly enriched by employees' unpaid work (Count
IX).

IOC contends the Plaintiff was employed by IOC-KC only, and thus,
IOC is entitled to summary judgment on the Plaintiff's claims
against IOC. The Plaintiff, however, contends she was jointly
employed by IOC and IOC-KC. The Plaintiff bears the burden of
proving an employer-employment relationship existed.

Power to Hire and Fire

IOC sets forth declarations and deposition testimonies from current
and former employees of IOC and IOC-KC establishing IOC did not
have the power to hire and fire Plaintiff.   IOC-KC managers had
unilateral authority to hire and fire IOC-KC employees. IOC-KC used
its own interview process, and IOC was not involved.  Nothing in
the record indicates IOC-KC had to obtain approval from IOC to hire
or fire employees. Other than IOC-KC's VP/GM, IOC played no role in
hiring or firing OC-KC employees.  

Plaintiff directs the Court to other portions of the record in an
attempt to establish IOC had the power to hire and fire IOC-KC
employees. Plaintiff first points to the fact that IOC-KC's VP/GM
had a contract with IOC, and he reported to IOC. Plaintiff suggests
that, because Steffen had the power to hire and fire IOC-KC
employees, IOC (through Steffen) had the power to hire and fire
IOC-KC employees. Plaintiff's argument is an unconvincing attempt
to connect the dots. She neither provides evidence Steffen was
acting as an IOC employee while he made hiring and firing
decisions, nor points to anything in the record establishing IOC
had anything to do with Steffen's (or IOC-KC managers') hiring and
firing decisions. Also, Plaintiff does not set forth legal
authority supporting her argument that simply because the
subsidiary's top official reports to a parent company, the Court
should assume the parent company has the power to hire and fire the
subsidiary's employees.

Supervised and Controlled Work Schedules or Conditions of
Employment

It is undisputed that IOC did not supervise Plaintiff's day-to-day
activities, did not control her work hours or work schedule, and
did not determine her job duties. There is no evidence IOC
evaluated Plaintiff's job performance. Rather, IOC-KC managers
supervised Plaintiff's day-to-day activities, controlled her work
hours and work schedule, determined her job duties, and evaluated
her performance.

Plaintiff argues IOC supervised the daily work activities of
Plaintiff and other IOC-KC employees through the VP/GM" of IOC-KC.
This argument fails for the same reasons noted above. Further,
IOC-KC's VP/GM was not involved in day-to-day scheduling of hourly
employees, their job duties, or their job performance. Also,
Plaintiff does not identify legal authority to support her argument
that, because the subsidiary's top official reports to a parent
company, the parent company automatically supervises and controls
the subsidiary's employees.

Determined Rate of Pay and Method of Compensation

IOC-KC managers determined Plaintiff's rate of pay. IOC-KC paid its
employees from its bank account via direct deposit or debit card.
IOC-KC paid payroll taxes, unemployment insurance, and workers
compensation insurance for its employees.  

Plaintiff asks the Court to consider other facts when analyzing
whether IOC determined her rate of pay and method of compensation.
Once more, she points to IOC-KC's VP/GM serving as a conduit for
IOC to control IOC-KC employees, and therefore, determine IOC-KC
employees' rates of pay and methods of compensation. As set forth
above, there is no evidence supporting this contention.

Next, Plaintiff refers to IOC-KC seeking approval from IOC
regarding promotion decisions and pay raises for employees, and IOC
had the final decision regarding pay. These representations are not
entirely accurate. Missouri Gaming Commission regulations
prohibited IOC-KC's Surveillance Department Manager from directly
reporting to anyone at IOC-KC. Consequently, IOC made decisions as
to her pay. There is no evidence that Plaintiff was prohibited from
reporting to anyone at IOC-KC, or that IOC determined her pay.
Thus, this fact is irrelevant.

Maintained Employment Records

IOC-KC set forth evidence that it maintained records of its
employees, including personnel files, which were not shared with
IOC. To support her argument that IOC maintained employment records
of IOC-KC employees, Plaintiff calls attention to (1) IOC's
maintenance of a website through which applications for employment
with IOC subsidiaries were submitted (2) IOC's operation of
timekeeping, human resources, and payroll systems (3) the Team
Member Access portal (4) IOC's contract with ADP to provide and
handle certain documentation (5) IOC's operation of a benefits
website; (6) IOC's maintenance of 401(k) documentation; and (7) the
confidential toll-free number.

IOC maintained and had access to a timekeeping system as well as a
human resources and payroll system. Both systems were offered to
subsidiaries, but they were not required to use them. The
timekeeping system contained team member name, badge number, time
clock punch activity, and monetary adjustments entered by the
subsidiaries. The human resources and payroll system included team
member name, address, position, rate of pay, and deductions, all
entered by the subsidiary.

IOC keeps timekeeping and payroll data for seven years, and then
the data is transferred to a storage company.

The Team Member Access self-service portal allowed subsidiaries'
employees to view, change, or access personal information, benefits
information, pay history, and tax documents. The portal was
maintained by IOC through its contract with the human resources and
payroll program. Plaintiff, however, does not present evidence that
IOC had access to or maintained employees' information contained in
the portal.

Premises and Equipment

The MMWL contains a fifth factor: premises and equipment used by
the employee. IOC-KC owned all personal property and equipment it
used. IOC-KC purchased the timekeeping system and time clocks
utilized by Plaintiff during her employment. However, Plaintiff
argues IOC-KC's use of two software programs establish IOC's
systems were used for her work. IOC acquired and maintained a
timekeeping system, and a human resources payroll system. IOC
offered these services to IOC's subsidiaries. Subsidiaries had a
choice to use the programs, or whatever timekeeping or payroll
programs they saw fit. If IOC-KC chose to use a program, it could
make changes in that program. Plaintiff does not set forth evidence
as to who controlled the premises on which she worked. She also
does not counter IOC's supported facts that IOC-KC owned all
personal property and equipment.

Thus, this factor weighs against a finding that IOC was a joint
employer of Plaintiff.  

Acknowledgment as Employer

Plaintiff asks the Court to consider one additional factor: IOC
acknowledged it was her employer. A case from this Court, Childress
v. Ozark Delivery of Missouri LLC  is the sole support for her
argument. But Plaintiff's reliance on Childress is misplaced. In
Childress, the purported joint employers (Ozark and Advantage
expressly acknowledged that they were entering into a joint
employer agreement, and that Advantage will enter into a written
agreement with each employee recognizing Advantage's role as a
joint employer. Advantage also sent new hire documents to
Plaintiffs indicating Plaintiffs were entering into an employment
relationship with Advantage. Unlike Childress, IOC and IOC-KC did
not agree to be joint employers. No document recognizes IOC as a
joint employer of Plaintiff, and IOC did not send documentation to
her about an employment relationship.

While there are many references to IOC in these documents, IOC,
contrary to Plaintiff's representation, did not identify itself as
Plaintiff's employer.

Strong Presumption Parent Company Is Not Employer

In Brown, the plaintiff provided evidence the parent company
processed payroll and performed other services for its subsidiary
in exchange for a fee. The plaintiff also demonstrated parent
company's name appeared on the plaintiff's payroll check and other
documents, including a handbook. Brown, 494 F.3d at 739-40. But the
plaintiff did not set forth evidence suggesting the parent company
and its subsidiary were a single entity. More specifically, the
Eighth Circuit found there was insufficient evidence showing the
parent company actually controlled individual employment decisions
involving the plaintiff. While the Court understands Brown was
analyzed under Title VII, the FLSA, similar to Title VII, has an
expansive definition of employer.

Individually, and in the aggregate, the factors discussed above
establish IOC was not Plaintiff's employer and was not a joint
employer with IOC-KC of Plaintiff. Considering the totality of the
circumstances, the Court finds IOC did not have direct or indirect
power to control significant aspects of Plaintiff's employment, and
IOC did not act in the interest of IOC-KC in relation to Plaintiff.


Accordingly, the Court grants IOC's motion for summary judgment on
all of Plaintiff's FLSA and MMWL claims against IOC.

Unjust Enrichment/Quantum Meruit Claims

IOC also seeks summary judgment on Plaintiff's unjust
enrichment/quantum meruit claims. To establish an unjust enrichment
claim, Plaintiff must show (1) she conferred a benefit on IOC, (2)
IOC appreciated the benefit, and (3) IOC accepted and retained the
benefit under inequitable and/or unjust circumstances.  

To prevail on a quantum meruit claim, Plaintiff must show (1) she
provided services to IOC at IOC's request or with IOC's
acquiescence, (2) the services provided were of a certain and
reasonable value, and (3) IOC refused to pay for such services
after Plaintiff demanded payment.  

When responding to IOC's motion, Plaintiff, in a footnote, asked
the Court to deny summary judgment on these claims for the same
reasons the Court should deny summary judgment on Plaintiff's other
claims. Other than the arguments and evidence discussed above,
Plaintiff did not establish she conferred a benefit on IOC, IOC
appreciated the benefit, or IOC accepted and retained the benefits
under inequitable or unjust circumstances. Also, Plaintiff did not
show IOC requested (or acquiesced to) her services, her services
were of a certain and reasonable value, she demanded payment from
IOC, and IOC refused to pay her. Accordingly, Plaintiff has failed
to set forth a prima facie case of unjust enrichment or quantum
meruit.

Thus, the Court grants IOC's motion for summary judgment on these
claims.

IOC's Motion for Summary Judgment is granted with regard to all of
Plaintiff's claims against IOC.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 10, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y7xa4tmp from Leagle.com.

Cynthia D. Larson, Individually, and on Behalf of all Others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, represented by Kelly L. McClelland,
McClelland Law Firm, P.C., Kenneth Eugene Cox, McClelland Law Firm,
P.C., Michael James Rahmberg, McClelland Law Firm, P.C. & Ryan L.
McClelland, McClelland Law Firm, P.C.

Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. & IOC-Kansas City, Inc., d/b/a Isle of
Capri Casino Kansas City, Defendants, represented by Amanda Colvin
-- amanda.colvin@bclplaw.com -- Bryan Cave, LLP, Charles Bernard
Jellinek -- cbjellinek@bclplaw.com -- Bryan Cave, LLP & Charles A.
Weiss -- caweiss@bclplaw.com -- Bryan Cave LLP.


JAMES SQUARE: Judge Approves Class Action Settlement
----------------------------------------------------
WSYR-TV reports that Onondaga County Supreme Court Judge Anthony
Paris has approved a settlement between the class action plaintiffs
and the current owner of the former James Square Nursing and
Rehabilitation Centre, now renamed Bishop Health.

The judge preliminarily approved the settlement over the summer,
allowing the invitations to join the suit to go out to the affected
patients or surviving relatives.

Nearly all of the 532 patients invited opted in. Four opted out for
personal reasons.

Payout is based on days under the care of the current owners, with
the average around $560.

With the settlement's approval, a court order now oversees the
required improvements at the facility, including staffing
requirements and ten benchmarks for measuring quality of care,
including reducing the number of patients hurt by falling.

The bigger case against the former owners is still ongoing. [GN]


JOSEPH UK: Dennis Suit Asserts ADA Violation
--------------------------------------------
Joseph (UK) Inc is facing a class action lawsuit filed pursuant to
the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled as Derrick
U Dennis, on behalf himself and all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff v. Joseph (UK) Inc, Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-07155
(E.D. N.Y., December 16, 2018).

Joseph is a fashion brand and retail chain that was established in
London by Moroccan entrepreneur Joseph Ettedgui and his family in
1972.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Jonathan Shalom, Esq.
   Shalom Law, PLLC.
   124-04 Metropolitan Avenue
   Kew Gardens, NY 11374
   Tel: (718) 971-9474
   Email: jshalom@jonathanshalomlaw.com



KAISER PERMANENTE: Must Face Discrimination Class Action
--------------------------------------------------------
Maria Dinzeo, writing for Courthouse News Service, reported that
two black women who were fired from Kaiser Permanente after 16
years of employment may proceed with a class action that claims
Kaiser hospitals have a policy of discriminating against black
employees by firing them and denying them promotions.

Lunell Gamble worked in Kaiser's human resources department for 16
years, until she was fired on false allegations of falsifying work
records and acting aggressively toward her boss, she said in her
lawsuit originally filed in Alameda County Superior Court in 2016.

Ms. Gamble said she was routinely denied promotions despite her
qualifications and clean record. In 2012, Gamble said her new
supervisor Rosa Grajeda began harassing her.

Among other things, Gamble said, Ms. Grajeda followed her into a
bathroom and accused her of being lazy; scolded her in front of
co-workers for laughing; and told her that the entire department
had complained about her perfume, then acknowledged that she,
Ms. Grajeda, was the only one who complained.

Ms. Gamble said she received a "final written warning" in July
2014, with a negative evaluation of her performance and accusations
of hostile behavior toward Ms. Grajeda. Despite making improvements
and meeting with hospital officials about the discipline imposed on
her, Kaiser fired Gamble within the month, she said.

Sheila Kennedy, who was added to the case in 2018, also worked for
Kaiser for 16 years in various positions in its chemical dependency
and rehabilitation programs. She also claims she was denied
promotions, transfers and pay raises that were given to other
non-black employees and was eventually fired when she complained.

Both women are over 40 and also claim that Kaiser discriminated
against them based on their ages.

On Dec. 18, U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers delivered a
blow to Kaiser, rejecting the hospital's argument that the women
had failed to allege plausible claims for class-wide
discrimination, writing "plaintiffs' allegations of a completely
arbitrary and subjective system for making employment decisions
including promotions are sufficient to state a claim."

Kaiser also claimed neither had identified a specific employment
policy that created a disparate impact against African-Americans in
the administrative charges they filed with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission prior to the lawsuit.

Judge Gonzalez Rogers rejected that argument as well, saying that
while Gamble did not raise allegations that Kaiser discriminated
against African-Americans in her charge, she can piggyback on
Kennedy's claim.

The women's attorney Jeremy Friedman said in an email that he is
still reviewing the 27-page ruling, but believes it could have a
significant influence on future employment cases involving race
discrimination.

"Judge Rogers' carefully considered opinion resolves a number of
important legal questions under California and federal laws," he
said. "We think it will be extremely helpful to the continuing
litigation of the claims in this lawsuit, and will help guide other
parties and courts addressing race discrimination and class actions
in the employment setting."

Attorneys for Kaiser could not be reached for comment on Dec. 18.

The case is Gamble, et al. v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc.,
et al., Case No. 17-cv-06621 (N.D. Cal.).

A copy of the Order Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion to
Dismiss; Granting in Part and Denying in Part Motion to Strike;
Denying Motion for Rule 11 Sanctions is available at:

          https://is.gd/w9TJEf


KELLOG CO: Class Action Ruling May Spur More Frivolous Lawsuits
---------------------------------------------------------------
Andrew Keshner, writing for Marketwach, reports that consumers
shouldn't have to hunt for information on the side of a product's
box when they're seeking the truth about certain nutrition claims,
a federal appeals court ruled in a case about the wording on whole
grain Cheez-Its.

The Second Circuit smacked the Kellogg snack with a decision on
Dec. 11 in a deceptive labeling class action lawsuit.

The crackers in question said "made with whole grain" on the front
of the box. But that wasn't the whole story. The aggrieved cracker
consumers successfully argued that the nutrition facts panel on the
side of the box, which listed enriched white flour as the main
ingredient, "contradict, rather than confirm, [Kellogg's] 'whole
grain' representations on the front of the box," the unanimous
decision said.

(Enriched white flour is flour that's been processed, but with some
of the stripped-out nutrients returned back.)

"The representation that a cracker is 'made with whole grain' would
thus plausibly lead a reasonable consumer to conclude that the
grain ingredient was entirely, or at least predominately, whole
grain," Judge Pierre Leval wrote.

The ruling will allow the case to move forward after a lower court
tossed the matter last year.

Michael Reese, the attorney for the suing consumers, said the
decision "upholds the idea that consumers should be able to rely
upon representations made on the front of food packages" instead of
letting products tuck away disclaimers elsewhere on the product.

He said the ruling put the Second Circuit, based in New York City,
in line with the Ninth Circuit, on the West Coast, which made a
similar ruling 10 years ago in a case about "fruit juice snacks"
for toddlers.

Kellogg said it did not comment on pending litigation.

Foods are subject to various state and federal labeling laws,
including mandated disclosures related to prevalent allergens like
peanuts and shellfish. But critics on the consumer side have their
issues with labels and point fingers at manufacturers and
government regulators.

Here, the court noted the disputed Cheez-It crackers came in two
versions. One version said "Whole Grain" on the front, adding "MADE
WITH 5G OF WHOLE GRAIN PER SERVING" on the front's bottom. Another
version said "MADE WITH WHOLE GRAIN" and then "MADE WITH 8G OF
WHOLE GRAIN PER SERVING."

In both cases, nutrition facts on the side listed "enriched white
flour" as the first ingredient, with whole wheat flour listed as
either the second or third ingredient.

The labeling was entirely accurate because the crackers were made
with whole grain, lawyers for the food maker insisted.

But Judge Leval said the argument was half-baked.

He disagreed with the assertion it's not misleading to say a
product is made with a certain ingredient if the ingredient's
there.

"Such a rule would permit Defendant to lead consumers to believe
its Cheez‐Its were made of whole grain so long as the crackers
contained an iota of whole grain, along with 99.999% white flour.
Such a rule would validate highly deceptive marketing," he wrote.

The Second Circuit ruling comes a week after the American Tort
Reform Foundation dubbed New York one of the nation's top 10
"judicial hellholes," places where plaintiffs' lawyers and a
friendly bench allegedly run roughshod on all types of businesses
getting sued in civil courts.

The national group gave New York the No. 3 spot in a report, partly
for its big role in what the organization calls "the food court"
where the main ingredient is "frivolous food lawsuits."

The report cited research that New York accounted for 22% of food
class-action cases filed in federal court while California -- the
state getting the organization's award for the most hellish hall of
justice -- had 36% of all food-related class action cases.

The American Tort Reform Association said the ruling "opens the
door for more of these frivolous food lawsuits to be filed in New
York City."

Mr. Reese said food lawsuits were serious matters, that can often
get "noxious ingredients" removed; Reese noted he had one of the
first cases 10 years ago to get trans fats removed from a food.

"These cases are about nutrition, and they are very important for
the public," he told MarketWatch.

When it came to Cheez-Its, Mr. Reese said enriched flour was
stripped its nutritional value and was "regarded as almost empty
calories." [GN]


LATIUM NETWORK: Must Face Class Action Over Initial Coin Offering
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Jennifer Bennett, writing for BloombergLaw, reports that Latium
Network Inc. can't duck a would-be class action over its initial
coin offering because the company's tokens seem to pass the legal
test for securities, a New Jersey federal judge said Dec. 10.

The blockchain-based task platform faces an investor suit alleging
its ICO was an unregistered offer and sale of securities.

The first wave of putative class actions alleging unregistered ICOs
violate federal securities laws began in late 2017. Since then,
judges have been grappling with how to apply the 72-year-old test
for securities to cryptocurrencies.

Here, Latium said its LATX tokens weren't securities because they
weren't part of a common enterprise and the investors didn't expect
profits solely from Latium's efforts, according Judge Susan D.
Wigenton's unpublished order.

But the investors sufficiently alleged that ICO funds were "pooled
to develop and maintain" the company's platform, Ms. Wigenton said,
refusing to dismiss the case.

The investors also provided enough facts to suggest that they
expected to profit from their purchase of LATX tokens, the order
said. Latium "stressed the limited supply of tokens," according to
the judge. The company also touted the tokens as a "unique
investment opportunity," the judge said, quoting the company's
white paper.

Although investors could eventually use the tokens to pay for tasks
through Latium's platform, the platform wasn't fully functional
yet, the judge said. The investors sufficiently alleged that they
were dependent on Latium to promote the ICO and finish building the
platform, according to the order.

Calcagni & Kanefsky LLP represented the investors. Lewis Brisbois
Bisgaard & Smith LLP represented Latium.

The case is Solis v. Latium Network Inc., 2018 BL 456329, D.N.J.,
No. 18-10255, unpublished 12/10/18. [GN]


LIFETOUCH INC: Eighth Cir. Appeal Filed in Vigeant ERISA Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs Lawrence Anderson, Amanda Eckelbecker, Douglas
Eckelbecker, Elizabeth Milane, Rodney Uting, Deborah Vigeant and
Rhonda Wood filed an appeal from a court order filed November 7,
2018, and judgment filed November 8, 2018, in their lawsuit styled
Deborah Vigeant, et al. v. Michael Meek, et al., Case No.
0:18-cv-00577-JNE, in the U.S. District Court for the District of
Minnesota.

The appellate case is captioned as Deborah Vigeant, et al. v.
Michael Meek, et al., Case No. 18-3616, in the United States Court
of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

As reported in the Class Action Reporter on Dec. 4, 2018, Judge
Joan N. Ericksen dismissed with prejudice the case.

Lifetouch is a professional photography company focused primarily
on school pictures.  Until its recent sale to Shutterfly, Lifetouch
was 100% owned by its employees through an Employee Stock Ownership
Plan ("ESOP") sponsored by Lifetouch.  Lifetouch made all
contributions to the Plan and the Plan invested primarily in shares
of Lifetouch stock.  According to the Summary Plan Description,
Defendant Lifetouch -- the Plan Administrator -- was responsible
for managing the Plan and communicating with Plan participants.
Under the terms of the Trust Agreement, Lifetouch's Directors
appointed a Trustee, who had exclusive authority to manage the Plan
assets in the trust.  Defendants Ted Koenecke and Glenn Elo,
Lifetouch senior executives, served as the Trustees through May
2017.

Starting in 2015, Lifetouch struggled financially as new
technologies transformed the professional photography industry and
consumer tastes.  In 2015 and 2016, Lifetouch suffered repeated
financial setbacks.  Lifetouch closed J.C. Penney and Target
brick-and-mortar portrait studio locations.  In November 2015,
Lifetouch closed an entire production facility in North Carolina
and laid off 206 employees.  Additionally, several Lifetouch senior
executives retired, culminating in the retirement of then-CEO Paul
Harmel in July 2016.  In August of 2016, the StarTribune, a major
Minnesota newspaper, published an article about Lifetouch's
struggles to stay relevant, adapt to modern technology, and satisfy
consumer needs.

During this time, Lifetouch's stock value decreased.  Its financial
troubles continued.  On Jan. 30, 2018, CEO Michael Meek explained
in a StarTribune article that Lifetouch had put itself up for sale
because growth had slowed, and Lifetouch was not generating enough
cash flow to invest in new technologies and other areas of
business.  That same month, Shutterfly announced it was acquiring
Lifetouch for $825 million plus unspecified cash and investments.
After receiving a fairness opinion from a third-party financial
advisor, Trustee Newport Trust reviewed and approved the sale
price.  Lifetouch's sale terminated the Plan and commenced the
distribution of proceeds to participants.

The Plaintiffs brought a class action to recover the hundreds of
millions of dollars lost when Lifetouch's stock value declined.
Under Section 502 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act
("ERISA"), the Plaintiffs claim that this loss resulted from
breaches of fiduciary duties by Lifetouch, Lifetouch's Board of
Directors, and Lifetouch Trustees directly responsible for managing
the ESOP.

The Plaintiffs allege two breach of prudence claims.  First, they
claim that that the Trustees and other senior executives
manipulated data provided to the independent appraiser to inflate
Lifetouch's stock value in 2015 and 2016.  Second, they assert that
the Defendants should have investigated the evident discrepancy
between the 2015 and 2016 valuations and Lifetouch's financial
reality and removed imprudent investments.

The briefing schedule in the Appellate Case is set as follows:

   -- Transcript is due on or before January 22, 2019;

   -- Appendix is due on January 30, 2019;

   -- Brief of Appellants Lawrence Anderson, Amanda Eckelbecker,
      Douglas Eckelbecker, Elizabeth Milane, Rodney Uting,
      Deborah Vigeant and Rhonda Wood is due on January 30, 2019;

   -- Appellee brief is due 30 days from the date the Court
      issues the Notice of Docket Activity filing the brief of
      appellant; and

   -- Appellant reply brief is due 14 days from the date the
      Court issues the Notice of Docket Activity filing the
      appellee brief.[BN]

The Plaintiffs-Appellants are represented by:

          Samuel E. Bonderoff, Esq.
          Edward H. Glenn, Esq.
          Justin Sauerwald, Esq.
          Jacob H. Zamansky, Esq.
          ZAMANSKY, LLC
          50 Broadway, 32nd Floor
          New York, NY 10004
          Telephone: (212) 742-1414
          E-mail: samuel@zamansky.com
                  eglenn@zamansky.com
                  justin@zamansky.com
                  jake@zamansky.com

               - and -

          Douglas J. Nill, Esq.
          NILL, PLLC
          120 S. Sixth Street, Suite 2050
          Minneapolis, MN 55402-1801
          Telephone: (612) 573-3669
          E-mail: dnill@farmlaw.com

Defendants-Appellees Michael Meek, Paul Harmel, Robert P. Larson,
Donald Goldfus, John Anderson, Bruce Nicholson, Bernie Alrich, Ted
Koenecke, Glenn Elo and Lifetouch, Inc., are represented by:

          Nicholas J. Bullard, Esq.
          Andrew J. Holly, Esq.
          Stephen P. Lucke, Esq.
          DORSEY & WHITNEY LLP
          50 S. Sixth Street, Suite 1500
          Minneapolis, MN 55402-1498
          Telephone: (612) 340-2600
          E-mail: bullard.nick@dorsey.com
                  holly.andrew@dorsey.com
                  lucke.steve@dorsey.com

Defendant-Appellee Paul Harmel is represented by:

          Lars Golumbic, Esq.
          GROOM LAW GROUP
          1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 1200
          Washington, DC 20006-0000
          Telephone: (202) 857-0620
          E-mail: lcg@groom.com

Defendants-Appellees Ted Koenecke and Glenn Elo are represented
by:

          Theodore M. Becker, Esq.
          MCDERMOTT WILL & EMERY
          444 W. Lake Street, Suite 4000
          Chicago, IL 60606-0029
          Telephone: (312) 372-2000
          E-mail: tbecker@mwe.com

Defendant-Appellee Lifetouch, Inc., is represented by:

          Heather Lehman Kriz, Esq.
          Cardelle B. Spangler, Esq.
          WINSTON & STRAWN LLP
          35 W. Wacker
          Chicago, IL 60601
          Telephone: (312) 558-5600
          E-mail: hkriz@winston.com
                  cspangler@winston.com


MARIN, CA: Perez Moves to Certify 3 Classes of Social Workers
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Plaintiffs in the lawsuit entitled VERONICA PEREZ; ALICIA
BALENCIA; CLARISSA CHUI; JOLIE CLARK; SARAH COLTON; DIELLY DIAZ;
LAURA ESTRADA-SHEPHERD; CHELSEA GEYER; ANDREA GONZALEZ; ROSIE
HERNANDEZ; TERESA HIGUERA-TABASSI; ALANA KAPUST; LORRY KRONE; ERIN
LYNCH; JILL MAIER; MILA MALDONADO; DULCE McALLISTER; SASHA CHELSEA
McGOWAN; HALEY MEARS; TONY MILANI; MOLLY MILLER; LOREN ROTHBERRY;
KRISTIN SHORE; DAVID SLOTTERBACK; DANIEL SOLIS; and TRACY VEGA v.
COUNTY OF MARIN; and DOES 1 through 10, inclusive, Case No.
3:18-cv-04938-EDL (N.D. Cal.), move the Court for an order
conditionally certifying this case as a representative collective
action under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

The three opt-in plaintiff classes are defined as:

   * Class A: All persons employed by the County of Marin as
     child welfare social workers after August 14, 2015, who were
     in positions classified as exempt under the Fair Labor
     Standards Act, and who were not compensated for overtime
     worked;

   * Class B: All persons employed by the County of Marin as
     supervising child welfare social workers after August 14,
     2015, who were in positions classified as exempt under the
     Fair Labor Standards Act, and who were not compensated for
     overtime worked; and

   * Class C: All persons employed by the County of Marin as
     child welfare senior support services workers after
     August 14, 2015, who were in positions classified as exempt
     under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and who were not
     compensated for overtime worked.

The Plaintiffs also ask the Court to (i) require Defendant County
of Marin to provide the names, last known mailing and e-mail
addresses, dates of employment and job classifications for all
absent class members within five days of the issuance of the order
of conditional certification; and (ii) approve the form and manner
of notice to the absent class members.

The Court will commence a hearing on February 5, 2019, at 9:00
a.m., to consider the Motion.[CC]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          David W. Kesselman, Esq.
          Trevor V. Stockinger, Esq.
          Kara McDonald, Esq.
          KESSELMAN BRANTLY STOCKINGER LLP
          1230 Rosecrans Avenue, Suite 690
          Manhattan Beach, CA 90266
          Telephone: (310) 307-4555
          Facsimile: (310) 307-4570
          E-mail: dkesselman@kbslaw.com
                  tstockinger@kbslaw.com
                  kmcdonald@kbslaw.com

               - and -

          Michael D. McLachlan, Esq.
          Edward M. Chavez, Esq.
          McLACHLAN LAW, APC
          2447 Pacific Coast Highway, Suite 100
          Hermosa Beach, CA 90254
          Telephone: (310) 954-8270
          Facsimile: (310) 954-8271
          E-mail: mike@mclachlan-law.com
                  edward@mclachlan-law.com


MARRIOTT HOTEL: Hanna Seeks to Certify Employees Class Under FLSA
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Plaintiff in the lawsuit entitled SAMEH HANNA, Individually and
on behalf of others similarly situated v. MARRIOTT HOTEL SERVICES,
INC., MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. And OPRYLAND HOSPITALITY, LLC,
Case No. 3:18-cv-00325 (M.D. Tenn.), asks the Court to enter an
order conditionally certifying a proposed collective of Banquet
Staff who:

   a. worked over 40 hours in any work week for Defendants in the
      United States during the Relevant Period;

   b. whom Defendants classified as exempt pursuant to 29 U.S.C.
      Section 207(i); and

   c. whom Defendants compensated similarly to the way Plaintiff
      was paid (the "Collective").

Mr. Hanna also asks the Court to order the Defendants to produce
contact information for all potential Collective members and to
authorize the issuance of the Proposed Court-Authorized Notice,
Proposed Consent to Join Form, and Proposed Reminder Notice to all
Collective members.[CC]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Charles P. Yezbak, III, Esq.
          YEZBAK LAW OFFICES PLLC
          2002 Richard Jones Rd., Suite B-200
          Nashville, TN 37215
          Telephone: (615) 250-2000
          E-mail: yezbak@yezbaklaw.com

               - and -

          Gregory A. Owens, Esq.
          Wolfgang Florin, Esq.
          FLORIN GRAY BOUZAS OWENS, LLC
          16524 Pointe Village Drive, Suite 100
          Lutz, FL 33558
          Telephone: (888) 814-6199
          E-mail: greg@fgbolaw.com
                  wolfgang@fgbolaw.com

One of the Plaintiff's attorneys certifies that notice was sent to
these attorneys of record:

          Andrew S. Naylor, Esq.
          Robert E. Boston, Esq.
          WALLER LANSDEN DORTCH & DAVIS, LLP
          Nashville City Center
          511 Union Street, Suite 2700
          Nashville, TN 37219
          Telephone: (615) 244-6380
          E-mail: andy.naylor@wallerlaw.com
                  bob.boston@wallerlaw.com

               - and -

          Ariel D. Cudkowicz
          SEYFARTH SHAW LLP
          2 Seaport Lane, Suite 300
          Boston, MA 02210
          Telephone: (617) 946-4884
          E-mail: acudkowicz@seyfarth.com

               - and -

          Cheryl A. Luce, Esq.
          SEYFARTH SHAW LLP
          233 S. Wacker Dr., Suite 8000
          Chicago, IL 60606
          Telephone: (312) 460-5838
          E-mail: cluce@seyfarth.com


MARRIOTT INT'L: Gates Sues Over Failure to Secure and Safeguard PII
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Kerry Gates, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. Marriott International, Inc., Defendant,
Case No. 8:18-cv-03956-CBD (D. Md., December 21, 2018) is class
action against Marriott International, Inc., parent of Starwood
Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, LLC, for its failure to secure and
safeguard hundreds of millions of Starwood's customers' personally
identifiable information ("PII"), including highly sensitive
information such as passport information, credit and debit card
numbers, and other payment card data. Starwood collected this
information at the time customers registered on its website,
checked in at any of its properties, or used its loyalty program.

In 2014 (or even earlier), hackers broke into Starwood's
information systems to steal confidential and sensitive guest data
for hundreds of millions of customers. The hackers' efforts
continued through early September 2018, allowing the hackers access
to PII for Starwood guests for at least four years. Incredibly,
despite the Data Breach first occurring at least four years ago,
neither Starwood nor Marriott discovered the breach until September
2018. Even then, Marriott -- responsible for Starwood's systems
since the completion of its acquisition -- failed to notify
customers about the breach until nearly three months later on
November 30, 2018, asserts the complaint.

Marriott disregarded Plaintiff's and Class Members' rights by
intentionally, willfully, recklessly, or negligently failing to
take adequate and reasonable measures to ensure its data systems
were protected, failing to take available steps to prevent and stop
the breach from ever happening, and failing to disclose to its
customers the material facts that it did not have adequate computer
systems and security practices to safeguard customers' confidential
and sensitive information, says the complaint.

Plaintiff, Kerry Gates, is a resident of the state of Florida. Ms.
Gates is and was a Starwood Preferred Guest Member.

Marriott International, Inc. is a Delaware corporation with its
principal place of business in Bethesda, MD. Marriott primarily
derives its revenues from hotel and restaurant operations, and it
operates more than 6,700 properties across 130 countries and
territories. Its brands include Marriott, Starwood, and The
Ritz-Carlton. Starwood, which operates popular properties such as
Westin, Sheraton, and St. Regis, is a wholly-owned subsidiary of
Defendant Marriott.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     Glenn Ivey, Esq.
     PRICE BENOWITZ LLP
     409 Seventh Street NW, Suite 200
     Washington, DC 20004

          - and -

     Michael P. Canty, Esq.
     Brian R. Morrison, Esq.
     LABATON SUCHAROW LLP
     140 Broadway
     New York, NY 10005
     Phone: 212-907-0700
     Facsimile: 212-818-0477
     Email: mcanty@labaton.com
            bmorrison@labaton.com

          - and -

     Mark S. Goldman, Esq.
     GOLDMAN SCARLATO & PENNY, P.C.
     161 Washington Street, Suite 1025
     Conshohocken, PA 19428
     Phone: 484-342-0700
     Facsimile: 484-580-8747
     Email: goldman@lawgsp.com


MDL 2804: Judge Refuses to Dismiss Racketeering Claims
------------------------------------------------------
Matt Reynolds, writing for Courthouse News Service, reported that a
federal judge in Ohio refused on Dec. 19 to dismiss racketeering
claims against Purdue Pharma and other drug manufacturers,
distributors and pharmacies in a massive collection of cases
blaming them for the nation's opioid epidemic.

The claims of hundreds of cities and counties against opioid makers
including Purdue and Johnson & Johnson have been consolidated in
Cleveland federal court. U.S. District Judge Dan Polster is
overseeing the case.  

Judge Polster wrote in a 39-page ruling that it "remains to be
seen" whether the cities and counties can prove that the defendants
are responsible for the nationwide crisis. Nevertheless, the
plaintiffs should be given the opportunity to test their claims, he
wrote.

"It is accurate to describe the opioid epidemic as a man-made
plague, twenty years in the making. The pain, death, and heartache
it has wrought cannot be overstated," Judge Polster wrote.

The judge continued, "Plaintiffs allege that defendants have
contributed to the addiction of millions of Americans to these
prescription opioids and to the foreseeable result that many of
those addicted would turn to street drugs. While these allegations
do not fit neatly into the legal theories chosen by Plaintiffs,
they fit nevertheless."

The plaintiffs' lead attorneys Paul Farrell, Paul Hanly and Joseph
Rice foresee a day of reckoning for the drug makers, distributors
and pharmacies.

"In 2019, we expect opioid manufacturers, distributors and
pharmacies will finally be held accountable for the public crisis
they wrought when they fraudulently marketed and over-distributed
addictive and dangerous opioids," they said in a joint statement.

Purdue did not respond to requests for comment.

A Johnson & Johnson spokesman deferred comment to a Janssen
Pharmaceuticals spokesman. Janssen said in an emailed statement
that it will continue to fight the litigation and that its
marketing was "appropriate and responsible."

"The labels for our prescription opioid pain medicines provide
information about their risks and benefits, and the allegations
made against our company are baseless and unsubstantiated," the
company said.  

The cities and counties accuse the defendants of laying the
foundation for today's epidemic by encouraging doctors and
pharmacies to overprescribe opioids and exaggerating how safe they
were to use. Deceptive marketing practices and inaction led
millions of Americans on a path to addiction and fed a black market
for opioid drugs, the cities and counties claim.

They want to claw back the billions they say they have lost from
tackling the public health crisis.

The defendants asked the judge to dismiss the racketeering claims
brought by the cities and counties The drug makers, distributors
and pharmacies had claimed they should not be held liable for those
claims and that the cities and counties lacked legal standing to
move forward.

Judge Polster rejected the arguments and ordered the defendants to
file court papers answering the plaintiffs' second amended
complaint by Jan. 15.

Trial in the case is set for September 2019.

Other defendants include opioid distributors McKesson and Cardinal
Health.

The case is In Re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation, Case
No. 17-md-02804 (N.D. Ohio).

A copy of the Opinion and Order is available at:

          https://is.gd/7rOLP3


MIDLAND CREDIT: Geisinsky Files Consumer Credit Class Suit
----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Midland Credit
Management, Inc. The case is styled as Yisroel Geisinsky, on behalf
of himself and all other similarly situated consumers, Plaintiff v.
Midland Credit Management, Inc., Midland Funding LLC and Encore
Capital Group, Inc., Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-07265 (E.D. N.Y.,
December 20, 2018).

The docket of the case states the nature of suit as Consumer Credit
filed pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Midland Credit Management, Inc., a licensed debt collector, assists
customers in resolving past-due financial obligations through
various education and payment plans. The company was founded in
1953 and is based in San Diego, California. Midland Credit
Management, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Encore Capital Group,
Inc.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears PRO SE.





MIDLAND FUNDING: Court Grants Bid to Amend Velazquez FDCPA Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Idaho issued a
Memorandum Opinion and Order granting Plaintiffs' Motion to Amend
the Complaint in the case captioned RAMON VELAZQUEZ, Plaintiff, v.
MIDLAND FUNDING, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company,
Defendant. Case No. 1:18-cv-00043-CWD. (D. Idaho).

The Plaintiff's complaint against Defendant Midland Funding LLC
included one count for misrepresentation under the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act and one count for abuse of process.

The Defendant contends the Plaintiff's representation that the
class claims were not known until certain discovery was conducted
in this case is not true, as the class claims should have been well
known due to the public nature of the Citibank consent order, and
the fact that nothing was learned during the Defendant's deposition
that was not already apparent from that consent order. Accordingly,
the Defendant asserts that, because the factual basis for the class
claims should have been known, the filing of the proposed amended
complaint on the eve of the deadline is in bad faith or was pursued
with undue delay.

The Court holds that the Defendant's reliance upon Fidelity Fin.
Corp. v. Fed. Home Loan Bank of San Francisco, 792 F.2d 1432, 1438
(9th Cir. 1986), for the proposition that the motion should be
denied when the factual bases of the claims were known prior to
previous amendments, is misplaced. There, the plaintiff sought
leave to file a fourth amended complaint after the court had
announced its decision to grant summary judgment for the defendant.
The court denied the motion to amend, finding that the new claims
merely restated earlier claims and that permitting amendment would
be prejudicial.  

Upon review, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit agreed,
finding that the plaintiff was merely restating its prior claims
under new labels when the factual bases of the claims were known to
the plaintiff long before. Further, given the posture of the case,
the court found also that the defendant would be prejudiced if the
motion to amend was granted.  

Such is not the case here. First, the posture of this case is quite
different than in Fidelity, because dispositive motions have not
been filed, and Plaintiff filed the motion to amend prior to the
agreed upon and Court imposed deadline. And second, Defendant's
argument that the factual bases of the claims based upon the
consent order cuts both ways the consent order and its terms would
have been equally available to Midland Credit and Defendant, and
the complaint alleges also that Defendant should have known of the
amounts Citibank forgave under the terms of the asset purchase
agreement. Last, it appears disingenuous for Defendant to argue
that the proposed addition of Midland Credit as a defendant is not
undertaken in bad faith or with undue delay, yet the class claims
are.

The Defendant raises two objections. First, the Defendant contends
the allegations related to the classes proposed by the Plaintiff do
not provide sufficient information suggesting that a class actually
exists. Second, the Defendant asserts the definitions of the two
classes impermissibly require a determination of the merits prior
to ensuring the existence of a class.

The Defendant explains that, because the classes are defined as
either individuals whom the Defendant or Midland Credit
impermissibly sued for amounts charged off by Citibank, or to whom
Defendant or Midland Credit mailed 1099-C's that included costs and
service fees not allowed by contract or statute, the class
definitions erroneously require a finding of liability.

The Plaintiff argues that the facts concerning the individuals
comprising the two classes have been adequately pled, and any
deficiencies concerning the class descriptions can be remediated at
the time class certification is sought.

The Court finds the factual allegations have been adequately plead
and are sufficiently detailed to provide notice to Defendant and
Midland Credit as to the claims against them, including the class
claims. Plaintiff alleges that Defendants misrepresented the
amounts owed by Citibank cardholders like Plaintiff and later
misrepresented the debt forgiveness amounts in 1099-C's issued to
debtors upon resolution of underlying debt collection actions. The
allegations in the proposed second amended complaint do not differ
materially from those asserted in the first amended complaint or in
the initial complaint.

The Plaintiff simply seeks to expand the same factual assertions
applicable to his situation to individuals similarly situated.
Defendant has not moved to dismiss the first amended complaint on
the grounds of factual deficiency under Rule 8 or Rule 12(b)(6).
Defendant has therefore not carried its burden to demonstrate how
the facts as pled in the proposed second amended complaint fail to
state class claims under the FDCPA and under state law for abuse of
process on behalf of those similarly situated to the Plaintiff.

Because this matter is in early stages of development, the Court
finds it would be inappropriate to rule at this time that the case
should not proceed as a class action, especially given the
opportunity exists to amend the class descriptions at the close of
discovery. Should the Court reach the question of certifying a
class, and later find that Plaintiff has not or cannot adequately
identify a class or classes which he can properly represent, the
Court may reconsider its preliminary decision to allow the case to
proceed as a class action.  

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 10, 2018
Memorandum Decision and Order is available at
https://tinyurl.com/yc96ohn6 from Leagle.com.

Ramon Velazquez, Plaintiff, represented by Ryan Adam Ballard,
Ballard Law, PLLC.

Midland Funding, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company,
Defendant, represented by Fredric V. Shoemaker --
fshoemaker@parsonsbehle.com -- Parsons Behle & Latimer & Jason R.
Mau -- jmau@parsonsbehle.com -- Parsons Behle & Latimer.


MISSOURI: 8th Cir. Affirms Class Certification in Postawko
----------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, issued an
Opinion affirming the judgment of the District Court granting
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification in the case captioned
Michael Postawko; Christopher Baker; Michael C. Jamerson
Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. Missouri Department of Corrections;
Corizon LLC; Trinidad Aguilera; John Williams; FNU Stamps; Thomas
Pryor; FNU Proctor; FNU Hardman; FNU Davison; Paul Jones; FNU
Stieferman; T. Bredeman; Julie Fipps; FNU Cofield; FNC Rucker;
Jamie Campbell; Dawn Baker; Geeneen Wilhite; Adrienne Hardy; Bonnie
Boley; Amanda Yates; Julie LNU; J. Doe; Anne Precythe, in her
official capacity as Director of the Missouri Department of
Corrections Defendants-Appellants, The Arc of the United States;
Center for Children's Law and Policy; Judge David L. Bazelon Center
for Mental Health Law; Disability Rights Arkansas, Inc.; Human
Rights First; Impact Fund; National Disability Rights Network;
National Immigrant Justice Center; National Juvenile Defender
Center; Missouri Protection & Advocacy Services; Lawyers' Committee
for Civil Rights Under Law Amici on Behalf of Appellee(s). No.
17-3029. (8th Cir.).

Michael Postawko, Christopher Baker, and Michael Jamerson sought
class certification for their claims alleging that the Missouri
Department of Corrections (MDOC) and various related defendants
violated the Eighth Amendment and Title II of the Americans with
Disabilities Act (ADA) by providing inadequate medical screening
and care for chronic Hepatitis C (HCV) viral infections.

The district court granted certification of a class comprised of
the following:

     All those individuals in the custody of MDOC, now or in the
future, who have been, or will be, diagnosed with chronic HCV, as
that term is defined medically, but who are not provided treatment
with direct acting antiviral drugs.

The district court relied on evidence submitted by both the
Plaintiffs and the Defendants to support its certification
decision. For example, the court found that the size of the
proposed class was likely to number at least 2,000 persons, relying
on evidence from one of the Defendants' experts to determine how
many of the roughly 5,000 inmates with HCV were likely to develop
chronic HCV. The court found that evidence submitted by the
Defendants bolstered Plaintiffs' typicality arguments by confirming
the Named Plaintiffs' allegations that they were diagnosed with
chronic HCV and had not received treatment with DAA drugs.

To be certified as a class, plaintiffs must meet all of the
requirements of Rule 23(a) and must satisfy one of the three
subsections of Rule 23(b). Plaintiffs carry the burden of showing
that they have met those requirements.

Rule 23(a)

Rule 23(a) requires plaintiffs to show that the class satisfies the
requirements numerosity, commonality, typicality, and fair and
adequate representation. The Defendants challenge the district
court's conclusion that the numerosity, commonality, and typicality
requirements were satisfied.

The district court did not abuse its discretion in concluding that
the numerosity requirement was satisfied. Given the evidence before
the district court on the number of people suffering from chronic
HCV under the MDOC's care, the district court's finding that the
class was likely to include at least 2,000 people was not clearly
erroneous. A class of that size would make joinder of all members
impracticable.

Here the district court ably identified common questions whose
answers were apt to drive the resolution of the litigation. For
example, the members of the proposed class must show the Defendants
acted with deliberate indifference to an inmate's serious medical
needs to succeed on their Eighth Amendment claim.  

The Defendants argue that the unique medical condition of each
member of the class means that resolving their claims will require
a highly individualized inquiry. This misunderstands the nature of
the class's claims. Plaintiffs assert that the failure of the
Defendants to screen properly for a life-threatening disease and
provide appropriate treatment exposes all inmates suffering from
chronic HCV to the same unconstitutional injury. While a putative
class seeking damages for such claims might struggle to satisfy
Rule 23(a)(2), a class certified under Rule 23(b)(2) seeking only
injunctive and declaratory relief suffers no such difficulty.5Here
the physical symptoms eventually suffered by each class member may
vary, but the question asked by each class member is susceptible to
common resolution.  

The typicality requirement was also satisfied. Typicality is fairly
easily met so long as other class members have claims similar to
the named plaintiff. The Defendants argue that the Named
Plaintiffs' claims require individualized inquiries, such that
their claims are not typical of the class. This argument overlaps
significantly with their arguments on commonality.   

The Court therefore rejects the argument for similar reasons. In
this suit for prospective injunctive and declaratory relief, the
potential for minor factual variations does not undermine the
district court's conclusion that the violation allegedly suffered
by the Named Plaintiffs is typical of that suffered by the class as
a whole. The district court did not clearly err in finding that the
Named Plaintiffs are exposed to the same alleged risk under the
Defendants' policies as all other inmates suffering from HCV. The
Named Plaintiffs' claims are therefore typical of the class.

Rule 23(b)(2)

The Plaintiffs must demonstrate that the party opposing the class
has acted or refused to act on grounds that apply generally to the
class, so that final injunctive relief or corresponding declaratory
relief is appropriate respecting the class as a whole. For
certification to be appropriate, the class claims must be cohesive.
Rule 23(b)(2) applies only when a single injunction or declaratory
judgment would provide relief to each member of the class.

This case involves claims that the Defendants uniformly applied a
screening and treatment policy for HCV that was so inadequate that
it amounted to a constitutional violation as to each and every
incarcerated person who either suffered or will suffer from HCV. If
those claims are true, they describe a party acting on grounds
generally applicable to the class.  

Whether or not the class will be able to show that each proposed
injunction is warranted on the merits is not before us. Rather, we
are tasked only with determining whether the district court abused
its discretion by holding that the proposed class action satisfies
the requirements of Rule 23(b)(2). The district court's modified
proposed injunctions identify relief that would respond to the
alleged harm on a uniform, generally applicable basis. While the
Defendants may continue to challenge the existence and parameters
of the alleged policy at trial, at this stage they are unable to
show that the district court abused its discretion in holding that
sufficient evidence of a common policy existed to comply with Rule
23(b)(2).

Accordingly, the Court affirms the certification decision of the
district court.

A full-text copy of the Eighth Circuit's December 6, 2018 Opinion
is available at https://tinyurl.com/y946vzj4 from Leagle.com.

Omri E. Praiss, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Jessica L. Liss -- Jessica.Liss@jacksonlewis.com -- for
Defendant-Appellant.

Myesha K. Braden, 601 D St SE, Criminal Section Phb 5th Floor,
Washington, DC,  20003-2715, for Amicus on Behalf of Appellee.

Anthony E. Rothert, 906 Olive St, Ste 1130, St. Louis, MO
63101-1432, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Dean John Sauer, 1523 New Hampshire Avenue, NorthWest, Washington,
DC 20036, for Defendant-Appellant.

Jon M. Greenbaum -- jgreenbaum@lawyerscommittee.org -- for Amicus
on Behalf of Appellee.

Andrew Ehrlich -- aehrlich@paulweiss.com -- for Amicus on Behalf of
Appellee.

Gillian R. Wilcox, 3601 Main StreetKansas City, MO 64111, for
Plaintiff-Appellee.

Carrie Lynne Kinsella -- Carrie.Kinsella@jacksonlewis.com -- for
Defendant-Appellant.


NCAA: No Decision Yet on Pay Restrictions Issue
-----------------------------------------------
Helen Christophi, writing for Courthouse News Service, reported
that a federal judge in Oakland gave no indication on Dec. 18
whether she will loosen or even abolish longstanding National
Collegiate Athletic Association restrictions on pay for
student-athletes, even as she stated the restrictions violate
federal antitrust law.

The violation will figure prominently in U.S. District Judge
Claudia Wilken's decision capping a September bench trial over
class action claims by Division I football and basketball players
accusing the NCAA and its conferences of funneling maximum profits
to themselves while the students were left scrambling to pay for
food and rent.

Judge Wilken presented the question at the heart of her inquiry in
a hearing on Dec. 18 -- how should she weigh the anti-competitive
and pro-competitive effects of the NCAA's pay restrictions to
determine their impact on competition when "these two concepts
aren't particularly monetized" in this case?

"It seems one should balance the anti-competitive conduct against
the pro-competitive justification just to see if it's meaningful,"
Judge Wilken said. "In other words, if you had an egregious
anti-competitive violation against a tiny pro-competitive
justification, does this pro-competitive justification justify the
violation?"

The seemingly arcane legal question will dictate the terms of any
injunction Judge Wilken issues loosening or eliminating the rules
-- or if she issues an injunction at all.

The case stretches back to 2014, when former Clemson University
football player Martin Jenkins sued the NCAA and its conferences
for anti-competitive conduct and an injunction eliminating caps on
compensation for student-athletes.

Now encompassing 53,000 class members, the plaintiffs reason the
individual conferences will step in under an injunction to enact
their own pay restrictions to preserve amateurism in college
sports, which is valued by many fans and believed to be a
significant revenue driver.

But the NCAA predicts wealthier schools in this scenario will begin
offering potential team members "millions of dollars" to play for
them, essentially turning them into professional athletes and
hurting revenues as fans turned off by professional-grade student
salaries stop buying tickets to games and television networks pay
conferences less money to broadcast them.

In September, Judge Wilken heard three weeks of testimony,
including testimony from three former student-athletes who are
plaintiffs in the case. A former West Virginia University football
player testified his scholarship only covered 10 months of rent and
that he was routinely hungry because he couldn't afford to buy
food. A University of California at Berkeley basketball player said
she skipped classes because she was too hungry to concentrate for
lack of food.

On cross-examination, it emerged that both students had misspent
their scholarship money.

Returning to court for closing arguments on Dec. 18, the plaintiffs
asked Judge Wilken to make her decision using a four-step balancing
test, a request the NCAA vehemently opposed.

Pushing instead for a three-step test, the league's attorneys
argued that adding a fourth step will gift the plaintiffs a second
chance to win an injunction if they fail to show earlier in the
test either that the pay limits aren't "reasonably" necessary for
achieving the NCAA's pro-competitive goals of preserving amateurism
and integrating student-athletes into campus life, or that the
goals can be achieved in a "less restrictive" way through an
injunction.

They contend the plaintiffs will fail because all three of their
proposed injunction schemes will "destroy the identified
pro-competitive benefits" by permitting "unlimited pay-for-play."

The NCAA's goals "should be able to be replicated with less
restrictive means," league attorney Beth Wilkinson --
bwilkinson@wilkinsonwalsh.com -- of Wilkinson Walsh & Eskovitz,
said on Dec. 18. "The reason they can't do that is because there is
no less restrictive alternative that would be just as effective."

Hitting back, class attorney Steve Berman scoffed at the idea that
capping student-athlete compensation to the cost of attendance
helps integrate players into the university community.

"This whole notion of integration is a myth; there is no
integration," said Mr. Berman, who is with Hagens Berman Sobol
Shapiro. "The NCAA knows the time demands on these kids is so
great, they're spending 40 to 50 hours a week just on sports, then
they spend another 40 on school, so they have no time to be
integrated."

He added, "If they cared about integration, for example, they could
pass national rules that kids have to live in dorms, but they
don't."

Also representing the class, Winston & Strawn attorney Jeffrey
Kessler disputed the contention that the NCAA's conferences won't
impose their own pay restrictions under an injunction.

"I do believe they can be trusted to do the right thing," he said.

Ms. Wilkinson attacked this argument on rebuttal, telling the
judge, "You're not going to say that in your order, ‘The
conferences must have rules.' They can do whatever they want."

She also addressed Judge Wilken's question about whether
student-athletes are more likely to succeed in school if they have
"more money in their pocket." Though she didn't directly answer the
question, Wilkinson said athletes have been getting extra money in
the form of academic and graduation-incentive payments since the
NCAA began relaxing pay restrictions in the wake of the Ninth
Circuit's 2015 ruling in a similar case, O'Bannon v. NCAA.

"They are getting some more" money, Ms. Wilkinson said. "Isn't that
what Alternative 2 is?"

She added: "There has been no impact on consumer demand," referring
to the additional compensation. "Why would you get in the middle of
that?"

Judge Wilken concluded the hearing after listening to about three
hours of arguments, remarking she still "had questions." She said
she will issue a ruling at a later date.


OLIPHANT FINANCIAL: Vedernikov Sues over Debt Collection Practices
------------------------------------------------------------------
IGOR VEDERNIKOV, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, the Plaintiff, vs. OLIPHANT FINANCIAL, LLC, and JOHN DOES
1-25 Defendants, Case No. 3:18-cv-17365 (D.N.J., Dec. 18, 2018),
seeks damages and declaratory relief under the Fair Debt
Collections Practices Act.

According to the complaint, some time prior to April 23, 2018, an
obligation was allegedly incurred to WebBank. The WebBank
obligation arose out of a transaction where Plaintiff used WebBank
funds to purchase items which were primarily for personal, family
or household purposes. The alleged WebBank obligation is a "debt"
as defined by 15 U.S.C. section 1692a(5). WebBank is a "creditor"
as defined by 15 U.S.C. section 1692a(4). 25. WebBank, or a
subsequent owner of the  debt, contracted with the Defendant to
collect the alleged debt. The Defendant collects and attempts to
collect debts incurred or alleged to have been incurred for
personal, family or household purposes on behalf of creditors using
the United States Postal Services, telephone and internet, the
lawsuit says.

Oliphant Financial Group, LLC engages as a collection agency for
collecting accounts receivable on behalf of its clients. The
company was incorporated in 2005.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Yaakov Saks, Esq.
          STEIN SAKS, PLLC
          285 Passaic Street
          Hackensack, NJ 07601
          Telephone: 201-282-6500
          Facsimile: 201-282-6501
          E-mail: ysaks@steinsakslegal.com

OVERNIGHT CLEANSE: Garcia Sues Over Unpaid Overtime Wages
---------------------------------------------------------
Edgar Antonio Montoya Garcia, and all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff, v. Overnight Cleanse, LLC, Gesu Restaurant Group, Inc.
also d/b/a Gesu Restaurant Group LLC, Sunu Samuel a/k/a Sunny
Samuel, Josefina Murillo, and Alejandro Murillo, Case No.
3:18-cv-03386-S (N.D. Tex., December 21, 2018) is an action arising
under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Plaintiff worked an average of 88 hours per week for Defendants for
which he was paid an average hourly rate of $10.50 per hour, but
was not paid the extra half-time rate for all hours worked above 40
hours in a week as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Plaintiff therefore claims the unpaid half-time rate for each
overtime hour worked above 40 in a workweek.

Defendants willfully and intentionally refused to pay Plaintiff's
overtime wages as required by the Fair Labor Standards Act as
Defendants knew of the overtime requirements of the Fair Labor
Standards Act and recklessly failed to investigate whether those
Defendants' payroll practices were in accordance with the Fair
Labor Standards Act. Plaintiff requests double damages and
reasonable attorney fees from Defendants jointly and severally,
pursuant to the FLSA as cited above, to be proven at the time of
trial for all overtime wages still owing from Plaintiff's entire
employment period with those Defendants or as much as allowed by
the FLSA along with court costs, interest, and any other relief
that this Court finds reasonable under the circumstances, says the
complaint.

The Plaintiff was a resident of Dallas County, Texas during a
majority of the claim period.

Overnight Cleanse, LLC is a business that regularly transacts
business within the Northern District of Texas. Overnight Cleanse,
LLC was the FLSA employer for a portion of Plaintiff's respective
period of employment.

Gesu Restaurant Group, Inc. also d/b/a Gesu Restaurant Group LLC is
a business that, on information and belief, regularly transacts
business within the Northern District of Texas.

Sunu Samuel a/k/a Sunny Samuel is a corporate officer and/or owner
and/or manager of Gesu Restaurant Group, Inc.

Josefina Murillo is a corporate officer and/or owner and/or manager
of Overnight Cleanse, LLC who ran the day-to-day operations of
Overnight Cleanse, LLC during Plaintiff's employment

Alejandro Murillo is a corporate officer and/or owner and/or
manager of Overnight Cleanse, LLC who ran the day-to-day operations
of Overnight Cleanse, LLC during Plaintiff's employment.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     J.H. Zidell, Esq.
     Robert L. Manteuffel, Esq.
     Joshua A. Petersen, Esq.
     J.H. ZIDELL, P.C.
     6310 LBJ Freeway, Ste. 112
     Dallas, TX 75240
     Phone: (972) 233-2264
     Fax: (972) 386-7610
     Email: zabogado@aol.com
            rlmanteuffel@sbcglobal.net
            josh.a.petersen@gmail.com


P.S.C. INC: Court OKs Filing of Confidential Doc in Open Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Washington, Tacoma, issued an Order granting  Plaintiffs' Motion to
File Confidential Documents in Open Court in the case captioned
KIMBERLY MILLER, BRIANA HOUSER, and DEAN BUCHHOLZ, on behalf of
themselves and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v. P.S.C., INC., d/b/a PUGET SOUND COLLECTIONS, and DOES ONE
THROUGH TEN, Defendant. Case No. 3:17-cv-05864-RBL. (W.D. Wash.).

The Plaintiffs filed a putative class action alleging that P.S.C.
violated Washington's Consumer Protection Act, Washington's
Collection Agency A, and the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.  

THe Plaintiffs move for an order to unseal excerpts from the
Notebook, excerpts from Justin Anderson's and Angela Vanderhoof's
depositions. Plaintiffs argue that most of the information P.S.C.
seeks to protect relates to Stipulated Judgment Forms that are no
longer in use. They argue that P.S.C. did not articulate compelling
reasons to seal these excerpts and its reasons do not overcome the
strong presumption for public access to court records.

P.S.C. requests that the Court maintain a seal over excerpts from
the Notebook, the Anderson deposition, and the Vanderhoof
deposition. P.S.C. argues that it has a legitimate private interest
in protecting its competitive standing. It contends that the
Notebook is a trade secret containing internal and proprietary
instructions on all aspects of its collection activity.

Plaintiffs argue that it is unclear how its competitors or
consumers could undercut or circumvent P.S.C. when the excerpts
discuss information that P.S.C no longer employs. Plaintiffs argue
that public access is necessary because absent members of the
proposed class should be able to review their arguments in the
motion for class certification.

P.S.C. seeks to seal lines 85:12-14 and 97:1-17 of Mr. Anderson's
Deposition and lines 25:16-26:6 of Ms. Vanderhoof's Deposition. In
these lines, Anderson and Vanderhoof discuss and interpret the
Stipulated Judgment Review section of P.S.C.'s Notebook. P.S.C. has
not articulated any compelling reasons, let alone any specific
reasons, why testimony interpreting the forms at the very crux of
this case should be sealed. As a result, P.S.C. has not overcome
the strong presumption for public access.

P.S.C. requests blanket protection over Plaintiffs' Exhibit 3.
P.S.C. asserts that its instructions are trade secrets that must be
sealed in order to protect its competitive standing. P.S.C. argues
that debtors and its competitors could use the information in the
Notebook to undercut P.S.C.'s collection strategies and market
standing.

At first glance, P.S.C. appears to articulate the magic words
necessary to christen the Notebook as a trade secret. However,
P.S.C. merely asserts, without any specific factual basis, that the
entire excerpt constitutes a trade secret. It is unclear how
instructions that logically tier debt based on the principal
balance due constitute a trade secret. It is unclear how debtors
could use this tiered communication structure to circumvent
P.S.C.'s collection strategies.

It is unclear how any information regarding the stipulated judgment
forms at issue in the underlying case merit protection. P.S.C. has
not specifically articulated how its current business would be
affected through the release of the excerpted pages from its
Notebook. P.S.C. never articulates how its interest in secrecy
outweighs the strong presumption for public access to judicial
records. Consequently, P.S.C does not meet the compelling reasons
standard.

Accordingly, the Plaintiffs' Motion to File Confidential Documents
in Open Court is granted.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 6, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/yazvnklw from Leagle.com.

Kimberly Miller, Briana Houser & Dean Buchholz, on behalf of
themselves and on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
represented by Beth E. Terrell -- bterrell@tmdwlaw.com -- TERRELL
MARSHALL LAW GROUP PLLC, Blythe H. Chandler --
bchandler@terrellmarshall.com -- TERRELL MARSHALL LAW GROUP PLLC &
Joshua L. Turnham -- joshua@turnhamlaw.com -- THE LAW OFFICE OF
JOSHUA L TURNHAM PLLC.

P.S.C., Inc., doing business as Puget Sound Collections, Defendant,
represented by Robert E. Sabido -- rsabido@cosgravelaw.com --
COSGRAVE VERGEER KESTER & Timothy J. Fransen --
tfransen@cosgravelaw.com -- COSGRAVE VERGEER KESTER.


PACIFIC BIOSCIENCES: Rosenblatt Balks at Merger Deal with Illumina
------------------------------------------------------------------
JORDAN ROSENBLATT, Individually and On Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated, the Plaintiff, vs. PACIFIC BIOSCIENCES OF
CALIFORNIA, INC., MICHAEL HUNKAPILLER, DAVID BOTSTEIN, WILLIAM
ERICSON, CHRISTIAN HENRY, RANDY LIVINGSTON, JOHN F. MILLIGAN,
MARSHALL L. MOHR, KATHY ORDONEZ, and LUCY SHAPIRO, the Defendants,
Case No. 1:18-cv-02005-UNA (D. Del., Dec. 18, 2018), stems from a
proposed transaction announced on November 1, 2018, pursuant to
which Pacific Biosciences of California, Inc. will be acquired by
Illumina, Inc. and FC Ops Corp.

On November 1, 2018, Pacific Biosciences' Board of Directors caused
the Company to enter into an agreement and plan of merger with
Illumina. Pursuant to the terms of the Merger Agreement, Pacific
Biosciences' stockholders will receive $8.00 in cash for each share
of Pacific Biosciences common stock they hold. On December 6, 2018,
the Defendants filed a proxy statement with the United States
Securities and Exchange Commission in connection with the Proposed
Transaction. The Proxy Statement omits material information with
respect to the Proposed Transaction, which renders the Proxy
Statement false and misleading, the lawsuit says.

Pacific Biosciences is a biotechnology company founded in 2004 that
develops and manufactures systems for gene sequencing and some
novel real time biological observation. PacBio describes its
platform as single molecule real time sequencing, based on the
properties of zero-mode waveguides.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Gina M. Serra, Esq.
          Brian D. Long, Esq.
          RIGRODSKY & LONG, P.A.
          300 Delaware Avenue, Suite 1220
          Wilmington, DE 19801
          Telephone: (302) 295-5310
          Facsimile: (302) 654-7530
          E-mail: bdl@rl-legal.com
                  gms@rl-legal.com

               - and -

          Richard A. Maniskas, Esq.
          RM LAW, P.C.
          1055 Westlakes Drive, Suite 300
          Berwyn, PA 19312
          Telephone: (484) 324-6800
          Facsimile: (484) 631-1305
          E-mail: rm@maniskas.com

PAPA JOHN'S: Ashley Page Sues over No-Poach Policy
--------------------------------------------------
ASHLEY PAGE, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, the Plaintiff, vs. PAPA JOHN'S INTERNATIONAL, INC., and
PAPA JOHN'S USA, INC., the Defendants, Case No.: 3:18-cv-00835-CHB
(W.D. Ky., Dec. 18, 2018), alleges that the Company's no-hiring and
no-solicitation agreement was an illegal conspiracy between Papa
John's and its franchises in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman
Act.

The Plaintiff is a former Papa John's employee who brings this
class action on behalf of herself and the proposed class of all
other similarly-situated current and former Papa John's employees
against Defendants' anticompetitive policy enforced on both its
franchised and company-owned restaurants, including its
"non-traditional restaurants," that prevented any Papa John's
franchise from hiring or soliciting current employees of any other
Papa John's franchise or company-owned restaurant, and prevented
Papa John's company-owned restaurants from hiring or soliciting
current employees of Papa John's franchises.

According to the complaint, Papa John's requires all of its
franchisees to sign a franchise agreement that included a clause
stating that they would not employ or solicit for employment (1)
any Papa John's employee, including employees of Papa John’s
company-owned restaurants or affiliates, or (2) any employee of
another Papa John's franchise. Papa John's company-owned
restaurants were also subject to this clause, and they could not
solicit employees of Papa John's franchises. This no-solicitation
agreement is per se illegal under the federal antitrust laws, the
lawsuit says.

Papa John's is one of the largest pizza delivery and carryout
restaurant chains in the United States, providing services at
approximately 3,400 restaurants in the United States. Approximately
700 of these restaurants, or roughly one-fifth of Defendant's
restaurants, are corporate-owned; the rest are franchises.[BN]

Attorneys for Ashley Page and the proposed Class:

          Kenneth A. Bohnert, Esq.
          Edward L. Lasley, Esq.
          Bradley R. Palmer
          CONLIFFE, SANDMANN & SULLIVAN
          2000 Waterfront Plaza
          325 West Main Street
          Louisville, KY 40202
          Telephone: (502) 587-7711
          Facsimile: (502) 587-7756
          E-mail: kbohnert@cssattorneys.com
                  tlasley@cssattorneys.com
                  bpalmer@cssattorneys.com

               - and -

          John Radice, Esq.
          Daniel Rubenstein, Esq.
          April Lambert, Esq.
          Natasha Fernandez-Silber, Esq.
          Rishi Raithatha, Esq.
          RADICE LAW FIRM, P.C.
          475 Wall Street
          Princeton, NJ 08540
          Telephone: (646) 245-8502
          Facsimile: (609) 385-0745
          E-mail: jradice@radicelawfirm.com
                  drubenstein@radicelawfirm.com
                  alambert@radicelawfirm.com
                  nsilber@radicelawfirm.com
                  rraithatha@radicelawfirm.com

               - and -

          Eric L. Young, Esq.
          Paul V. Shehadi, Esq.
          MCELDREW YOUNG, ATTORNEYS-AT-LAW
          123 S. Broad Street, Suite 2250
          Philadelphia, PA 19109
          Telephone: (215) 367-5151
          Facsimile: (215) 367-5143
          E-mail: eyoung@mceldrewyoung.com
                  paul@mceldrewyoung.com

PEGASUS RESIDENTIAL: Williams Suit Moved to M.D. North Carolina
---------------------------------------------------------------
A case, VALERIE WILLIAMS, on behalf of herself and all others
similarly situated, the Plaintiff, vs. PEGASUS RESIDENTIAL, LLC;
INWOOD HOLDINGS, LLC; and MP BRIDGES AT SOUTHPOINT, LLC, doing
business as: BRIDGES AT SOUTHPOINT, the Defendants, Case No.
18-CVS-4034, was removed from the Durham County Superior Court, to
the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
on Dec 18, 2018. The Middle District of North Carolina Court Clerk
assigned Case No. 1:18-cv-01030 to the proceeding.

Pegasus Residential, LLC manages residential real estate. It offers
real estate management services under the brand names
PegasusCONNECT, PegasusGREEN, PegasusPETS, and PegasusPERKS. The
company caters to institutional clients, partnerships, and
individual owners. Pegasus Residential, LLC was incorporated in
2008 and is based in Alpharetta, Georgia.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Patrick M. Wallace, Esq.
          WHITFIELD BRYSON & MASON, LLP
          900 West Morgan Street
          Raleigh, NC 27603
          Telephone: (336) 358-4153
          Facsimile: (919) 600-5035
          E-mail: pat@wbmllp.com

Attorneys for Pegasus Residential, LLC:

          Deborah A. Ausburn, Esq.
          TAYLOR ENGLISH DUMA, LLP
          1600 Parkwood Circle, ste. 400
          Atlanta, GA 30339
          Telephone: (770) 434-6868
          Facsimile: (770) 434-7376
          E-mail: dausburn@taylorenglish.com

QUANTEL RESEARCH: Nefcy Sues over Unwanted Cellular Phone Calls
---------------------------------------------------------------
DUNCAN NEFCY, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, the Plaintiff, vs. QUANTEL RESEARCH CORP., and DOES 1
through 10, inclusive, and each of them, the Defendant, Case No.
2:18-cv-10483 (C.D. Cal., Dec. 18, 2018), seeks damages and any
other available legal or equitable remedies resulting from the
illegal actions of Defendant, in negligently, knowingly, and/or
willfully contacting Plaintiff on his cellular telephone in
violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, thereby
invading Plaintiff's privacy.

The Plaintiff also brings this action, individually and on behalf
of all others similarly situated, in connection with Defendant's
practice of recording calls to consumers without having first
notified consumers or obtaining their consent to have the call
recorded, in violation of the California Invasion of Privacy Act.
The CIPA, Cal. Penal Code section 632.7 prohibits one party to a
telephone call from intentionally recording the conversation
without the knowledge or consent of the other while the person
being recorded is on a cellular telephone, the lawsuit says.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Todd M. Friedman, Esq.
          Adrian R. Bacon, Esq.
          Meghan E. George, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF TODD M. FRIEDMAN, P.C.
          21550 Oxnard St., Suite 780
          Woodland Hills, CA 91367
          Telephone: 877-206-4741
          Facsimile: 866-633-0228
          E-mail: tfriedman@ toddflaw.com
                  abacon@ toddflaw.com
                  mgeorge@toddflaw.com

RED HAT: Orgel Balks at Merger Deal with IBM
--------------------------------------------
CHARLES ORGEL, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated, the Plaintiff, vs. RED HAT, INC., JAMES M. WHITEHURST,
NARENDRA K. GUPTA, SOHAIB ABBASI, W. STEVE ALBRECHT, CHARLENE T.
BEGLEY, KIMBERLY L. HAMMONDS, WILLIAM S. KAISER, KEVIN M. MURAI,
and ALFRED W. ZOLLAR, the Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-02006-UNA
(D. Del., Dec. 18, 2018), seeks to enjoin shareholder voting on a
proposed transaction pursuant to which Red Hat will be acquired by
International Business Machines Corporation through its wholly
owned subsidiary, Socrates Acquisition Corp.

According to the complaint, on October 28, 2018, Red Hat and IBM
issued a joint press release announcing they had entered into an
Agreement and Plan of Merger dated October 28, 2018 to sell Red Hat
to IBM. Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, each Red Hat
stockholder will receive $190.00 in cash for each share of Red Hat
common stock they own. The Proposed Transaction is valued at
approximately $34.0 billion. On December 12, 2018, Red Hat filed a
Definitive Proxy Statement on Schedule 14A with the Securities
Exchange Commission. The Proxy Statement, which recommends that Red
Hat stockholders vote in favor of the Proposed Transaction, omits
or misrepresents material information concerning, among other
things: (i) the data and inputs underlying the financial valuation
analyses that support the fairness opinions provided by the
Company's financial advisors, Guggenheim Securities, LLC and Morgan
Stanley & Co. LLC; (ii) the background process leading to the
Proposed Transaction; and (iii) Guggenheim's potential conflicts of
interest. The failure to adequately disclose such material
information constitutes a violation of Sections 14(a) and 20(a) of
the Exchange Act as Red Hat stockholders need such information in
order to make a fully informed decision whether to vote in favor of
the Proposed Transaction or seek appraisal. In short, unless
remedied, Red Hat's public stockholders will be forced to make a
voting or appraisal decision on the Proposed Transaction without
full disclosure of all material information concerning the Proposed
Transaction being provided to them, the lawsuit says.

Red Hat, Inc. is an American multinational software company
providing open-source software products to the enterprise
community. Founded in 1993, Red Hat has its corporate headquarters
in Raleigh, North Carolina, with other offices worldwide.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff

          Ryan M. Ernst, Esq.
          O'KELLY ERNST & JOYCE, LLC
          901 N. Market St., Suite 1000
          Wilmington, DE 19801
          Telephone: (302) 778-4000
          E-mail: rernst@oelegal.com

               - and -

          Richard A. Acocelli, Esq.
          Michael A. Rogovin, Esq.
          Kelly K. Moran, Esq.
          WEISSLAW LLP
          1500 Broadway, 16th Floor
          New York, NY 0036
          Telephone: (212) 682-3025
          Facsimile: (212) 682-3010

REGIONS BANK: Files Joint Bid to Approve Notice in Hodapp FLSA Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The parties in the lawsuit titled JILL HODAPP v. REGIONS BANK, Case
No. 4:18-cv-01389-HEA (E.D. Mo.), jointly ask the Court to approve
the Notice of Collective Action to:

     current and former Branch Service Leaders, Branch Team
     Leads, Financial Relationship Associates, Financial
     Relationship Consultants, Financial Relationship Senior
     Consultants, Financial Relationship Senior Consultant- Team
     Leads, Financial Relationship Consultant- Team Leads,
     Financial Relationship Specialists, Financial Service
     Specialist, Tellers, and Universal Bankers, employed by
     Defendant Regions Bank ("Branch Non-exempt Employees").

The Plaintiff filed this case under the Fair Labor Standards Act
and requested that the case proceed as a collective action under 29
U.S.C. Section 216(b) on behalf of certain non-exempt, hourly
employees employed by the Defendant, who consent to join this
action.  The Plaintiff also asserts state common law claims, as
well as claims under the Missouri Minimum Wage Law postured as a
Rule 23 class action on behalf of all Branch Non-exempt Employees
employed by the Defendant, who worked in Missouri.

The parties have agreed and stipulated that the Defendant consents
to a Court Order conditionally certifying this case as a collective
action under the FLSA and authorizing that the Notice be sent to
all current and former Branch Non-exempt Employees employed by
Defendant from August 21, 2015, through the date of the Order
approving this Joint Motion ("Putative Collective Action
Plaintiffs").  The parties agree that the Defendant's stipulation
to a conditional certification of all Putative Collective Action
Plaintiffs shall not be construed as an admission that liability
exists for any period of time, including, but not limited to, the
third year.

Notwithstanding this stipulation to conditional certification, the
Defendant reserves the right to file its own motion to decertify
the collective action.

The parties agree that the Plaintiff, via a third-party
administrator, shall send, via first class mail, the notice and
consent form.  Simultaneous with the mailing, the Parties agree
that the Plaintiff, via a third-party administrator, shall send,
via e-mail, the notice with a link to an online consent form, to
all Putative Collective Action Plaintiffs.

The parties disagree on whether to effectuate e-mail service of the
notice to the Putative Collective Action Plaintiffs, Regions must
produce both work and personal e-mail addresses or just personal
email addresses.  The parties agree to submit the issue to the
Court and that each party may file a brief limited to five pages in
support of their respective positions.

The Defendant also agrees to produce to the Plaintiff no later than
14 days following the granting of this Joint Motion and the Court's
decision on which e-mail addresses may be used to send the e-mail
notice (whichever is later), an Excel spreadsheet listing, in
separate columns, for each Putative Collective Action Plaintiff:
(1) first name; (2) last name; (3) middle initial/name (if provided
by the employee); (4) last known street address; (5) last known
city; (6) last known state; (7) last known zip-code; (8) home or
mobile telephone number (if provided by the employee); (9) date of
birth (for address verification purposes); (10) employee ID number;
(11) hire date, provided in the format maintained by Regions; (12)
separation date, if separated, provided in the format maintained by
Regions; and (13) current or last known work location. Plaintiff
shall have 21 days after receipt of the spreadsheet to mail the
notice.[CC]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Matthew D. Miller, Esq.
          Justin L. Swidler, Esq.
          SWARTZ SWIDLER, LLC
          1101 Kings Highway N., Suite 402
          Cherry Hill, NJ 08034
          Telephone: (856) 685-7420
          Facsimile: (856) 685-7417
          E-mail: mmiller@swartz-legal.com
                  jswidler@swartz-legal.com

The Defendant is represented by:

          Rodney A. Harrison, Esq.
          Sarah J. Kuehnel, Esq.
          OGLETREE, DEAKINS, NASH, SMOAK & STEWART, PC.
          7700 Bonhomme Avenue, Suite 650
          St. Louis, MO 63105
          Telephone: (314) 802-3935
          Facsimile: (314) 802-3936
          E-mail: rodney.harrison@ogletree.com
                  sarah.kuehnel@ogletree.com


SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO: Settles Class Action Over Tainted Bird Seed
---------------------------------------------------------------
Lauren Berg, writing for Law360, reports that Scotts Miracle-Gro
Co. reached a deal on Dec. 7 in California federal court with a
class of consumers who accused the lawn company of knowingly
selling bird food laced with toxic pesticides. [GN]


SERVICE EMPLOYEES: Workers to Seek Review of 7th Cir. Ruling
------------------------------------------------------------
Bill McMorriss, writing for The Washington Free Beacon, reports
that workers seeking to take back millions in forced dues plan on
taking their case to the Supreme Court after federal appellate
judges rejected their class action suit.

Home health aides were forced to pay more than $30 million to the
labor giant Service Employees International Union (SEIU) under an
agreement hatched by former governor Rod Blagojevich, who is
finishing up a prison sentence for corruption. The Supreme Court
declared that arrangement unconstitutional in 2014 because home
health aides, many of whom are caring for disabled relatives, did
not meet the standard of government employment.

Several of those aides sought to recoup the money deducted by SEIU
Healthcare Illinois & Indiana for several years. Those bids were
rejected, but new hope emerged after the Supreme Court ruled in
Janus v. American Federation of State, County, & Municipal
Employees -- a case filed by an Illinois state employee -- that
forced union dues from government agencies infringed on the First
Amendment rights of workers. The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals,
however, agreed that workers previously bound by forced dues
contracts were entitled to take their money back, but said class
action suits were not the appropriate venue for doing so.

"We agreed with the putative class that no one could be compelled
to pay fair share fees," the court said in a ruling. "Janus does
not require a different result on the narrow question presented in
our appeal, namely, whether the class-action device is the proper
one for the Assistants to use in seeking refunds of fair-share
fees."

The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which
successfully argued the Janus case before the Supreme Court and
represents the Illinois healthcare workers, said it will ask the
justices to review the 7th Circuit decision. The Supreme Court
asked the appellate judges to review its previous dismissal of the
class action suit following its June decision. Foundation spokesman
Patrick Semmens said the court needs to rectify the multi-million
dollar fraud.

"As part of a backroom deal with disgraced former Illinois governor
Blagojevich SEIU bosses seized over $32 millions dollars out of the
pockets of tens of thousands of home care providers, and this
ruling denies the victims of this scheme long overdue justice," Mr.
Semmens said.

The 7th Circuit did not dispute the Supreme Court's Janus ruling.
The three judge panel affirmed a lower court ruling that the
workers in the class lacked the similar interests or harm to
constitute a class.

"The answer to the central question that remains—how much money
each individual class member is entitled to recoup -- is
particularly ill-suited for class treatment, because it depends on
a myriad of factors particular to each individual worker," the 7th
Circuit ruled.

The foundation has pursued the class action suit on behalf of home
healthcare workers since the Harris decision. The Supreme Court has
twice remanded the case to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals. Mr.
Semmens said the appellate justices have erred in their
interpretation of federal labor law, and the Supreme Court is
needed to clarify the rights of workers who have seen their pay
docked under coercive dues schemes. The case could have major
implications for union coffers, as government workers in several
states have filed class action suits to recover their docked
wages.

"Unfortunately another Supreme Court ruling will now likely be
needed to force the SEIU to return those funds to the individuals
whose rights were violated," Mr. Semmens said.

SEIU did not return requests seeking comment about the case. [GN]


SHANGHAI ORIGINAL: Second Circuit Appeal Filed in Lin FLSA Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs Hui Qiu Chen, Clara Flores, Xin He, Jian Ying Lin, Reyes
Perez Guerrero and Gloria Perez Mendez filed an appeal from the
District Court's opinion and order, and judgment, both dated
November 6, 2018, issued in their lawsuit titled Lin, et al. v.
Shanghai Original, Inc., et al., Case No. 18-cv-1715, in the U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of New York (New York
City).

As previously reported in the Class Action Reporter, the lawsuit
seeks to recover alleged unpaid overtime wages, unpaid
"spread-of-hours" premium, liquidated damages, prejudgment and
post-judgment interest and attorneys' fees and costs pursuant to
the Fair Labor Standards Act and New York Labor Laws.

The Defendants operate as Joe's Shanghai, a chain of Chinese
restaurants in New York where the Plaintiffs were employed as
kitchen workers.  They all claim to be denied overtime pay and wage
statements.

The appellate case is captioned as Lin, et al. v. Shanghai
Original, Inc., et al., Case No. 18-3580, in the United States
Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.[BN]

The Plaintiffs-Appellants are represented by:

          John Troy, Esq.
          JOHN TROY & ASSOCIATES, PLLC
          41-25 Kissena Boulevard Suite 119
          Flushing, NY 11355
          Telephone: (718) 762-1324
          Facsimile: (718) 762-1342
          E-mail: johntroy@pllc.com

Defendants-Appellees Shanghai Original, Inc., DBA Joe's Shanghai;
East Brother Corp., DBA Joe's Shanghai; Shanghai City Corp, DBA
Joe's Shanghai; Shanghai Duplicate Corp, DBA Joe's Shanghai; Kiu
Sang Si, AKA Joseph Si; Yiu Fai Fong; Tun Yee Lam, AKA Peter Lam;
Gui Bing Shi; William Ko; Yun Cai; and John Zhang are represented
by:

          David B. Horowitz, Esq.
          FONG & WONG, P.C.
          254 Canal Street
          New York, NY 10013
          Telephone: (212) 966-6668


SHAREWITHNYC INC: Violates ADA, Dennis Suit Asserts
---------------------------------------------------
Sharewithnyc Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit filed pursuant
to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled as
Derrick U Dennis, on behalf himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. Sharewithnyc Inc., Defendant, Case No.
1:18-cv-07148 (E.D. N.Y., December 16, 2018).

Sharewithnyc Inc. is a corporation registered with New York State
Department of State.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Jonathan Shalom, Esq.
   Shalom Law, PLLC.
   124-04 Metropolitan Avenue
   Kew Gardens, NY 11374
   Tel: (718) 971-9474
   Email: jshalom@jonathanshalomlaw.com


SHIVA & NANBAI: Faces Borozny ADA Class Action in Fla.
------------------------------------------------------
Shiva & Nanbai Associates, LLC is facing a class action lawsuit
filed pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is
styled as Austin Borozny, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Shiva & Nanbai Associates, LLC,a
Florida limited liability company, Defendant, Case No.
8:18-cv-03066 (M.D. Fla., December 20, 2018).

Shiva & Nanbai Associates, LLC filed as a Florida Limited Liability
in the State of Florida. This corporate entity was filed
approximately three years ago on Thursday, April 9, 2015 ,
according to public records filed with Florida Department of
State.[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


SNZ GROUP: Mateos Seeks Minimum Wages & Overtime
------------------------------------------------
LIBORIO IRIARTE MATEOS, on behalf of himself and others similarly
situated, the Plaintiff, vs. SNZ GROUP INC. d/b/a CAFE 86, M&S
MARKET 2350 LLC d/b/a CAFE 86, ENRIQUE CERON-CASAREZ, SAHIB SINGH,
and MANJIT SINGH, the Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-11894 (S.D.N.Y.,
Dec. 18, 2018), seeks to recover unpaid minimum wages, unpaid
overtime compensation, liquidated damages, prejudgment and
post-judgment interest, and attorneys' fees and costs pursuant to
the Fair Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law.

According to the complaint, the Defendants employed Plaintiff to
work as a non-exempt dishwasher and, subsequently, as a food
preparer/kitchen helper for Defendants' Restaurant from September
2013 to October 10, 2018. The work performed by Plaintiff was
directly essential to the business operated by Defendants. The
Defendants knowingly and willfully failed to pay Plaintiff his
lawfully earned minimum wages in direct contravention of the FLSA
and New York Labor Law, the lawsuit says.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Justin Cilenti, Esq.
          Peter H. Cooper, Esq.
          CILENTI & COOPER, PLLC
          708 Third Avenue - 6th Floor
          New York, NY 10017
          Telephone: (212) 209-3933
          Facsimile: (212) 209-7102
          E-mail: info@jcpclaw.com

SOUTH COUNTY ORTHOPEDIC: Bautista Seeks Unpaid Overtime Wages
-------------------------------------------------------------
Kimberly Bautista, individually and on behalf of all other
similarly situated individuals, Plaintiff, v. South County
Orthopedic Specialists, a Medical corporation Defendant, Case No.
8:18-cv-02256 (C.D. Cal., December 20, 2018) is a collective and
class action brought by Plaintiff, individually and on behalf of
all similarly situated persons employed by Defendant, arising from
Defendant's willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the
California Labor Code, the California Industrial Welfare Commission
and the California Business & Professions Code.

Plaintiff and the putative FLSA collective and Rule 23 class
members she seeks to represent regularly worked beyond 40 hours in
a workweek and eight hours in a workday but were not paid premium
wages for overtime hours worked, asserts the complaint.

The Defendant was aware of its obligation to pay premium overtime
wages to Plaintiff for work performed beyond 40 hours in a workweek
and eight hours in a workday. Nevertheless, Defendant failed and
refused to pay overtime premiums to Plaintiff for all overtime
hours worked. Defendant's conduct in that regard amounts to a
willful violation of the overtime provisions of the FLSA and Labor
Code.

Plaintiff seeks a declaration that her rights, and the rights of
the putative Collective and Class were violated, an award of unpaid
wages, an award of liquidated damages, injunctive and declaratory
relief, attendant penalties, and an award of attorneys' fees and
costs to make them whole for damages they suffered, and to ensure
that they and future workers will not be subjected by Defendant to
such illegal conduct in the future, says the complaint.

Plaintiff Kimberly Bautista, is a resident of Waikoloa, Hawaii and
was employed by Defendant as a Licensed Physical Therapist at
Defendant's orthopedic care and rehabilitation center in Laguna
Woods, California from approximately August 2007 until March 2016.

South County Orthopedic Specialists, is a California Medical
Corporation with a Principal Office at 24331 El Toro Road, Suite
200, Laguna Woods, California 92637. Defendant is licensed to do
business in the State of California.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

     David Yeremian, Esq.
     DAVID YEREMIAN & ASSOCIATES, INC.
     535 N. Brand Blvd., Suite 705
     Glendale, CA 91203
     Phone: (818) 230-8380
     Facsimile: (818) 230-0308
     Email: david@yeremianlaw.com

          - and -

     Kevin J. Stoops, Esq.
     Rod M. Johnston, Esq.
     SOMMERS SCHWARTZ, P.C.
     One Towne Square, Suite 1700
     Southfield, MI 48076
     Phone: (248) 355-0300
     Facsimile: (248) 436-8453
     Email: kstoops@sommerspc.com
            rjohnston@sommerspc.com


STATE FARM: 8th Cir. Affirms Class Certification in Stuart
----------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals, Eighth Circuit, issued an
Opinion affirming the District Court's judgment granting
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification in the case captioned
James Stuart, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated; Careda L. Hood, Plaintiffs-Appellees, v. State Farm Fire
and Casualty Company, Defendant-Appellant, American Insurance
Association; Property Casualty Insurers Association of America,
Amicion Behalf of Appellant. No. 16-3784. (8TH Cir.)

State Farm Fire and Casualty Company appeals the district court's
ruling certifying a class of Arkansas homeowners who allege that
State Farm improperly withheld amounts for labor depreciation when
making payments under their insurance policies.

State Farm entered into replacement-cost homeowner's insurance
contracts with plaintiffs. Under the form policy used in the
contracts, State Farm's obligation to pay for property damage would
be satisfied in two stages. First, prior to the insured making any
repairs, State Farm agreed to pay the actual cash value at the time
of the loss of the damaged part of the property, up to the policy's
liability limit, not to exceed the cost to repair or replace the
damaged part of the property.

The Plaintiffs filed this class action on behalf of holders of
State Farm insurance policies who received ACV payments arising
from events that occurred between November 21, 2008 and December 6,
2013, where the cost of labor was depreciated.

Before certifying a class under Rule 23(b)(3), a district court
must find that the questions of law or fact common to class members
predominate over any questions affecting only individual members,
and that a class action is superior to other available methods for
fairly and efficiently adjudicating the controversy.

The Plaintiffs argue that their claims share a common legal
question: whether State Farm breached their contracts by
depreciating labor from their ACV payments. In order to state a
cause of action for breach of contract under Arkansas law,
plaintiffs need only assert the existence of valid and enforceable
contracts with State Farm, an obligation of State Farm thereunder,
a violation of that obligation, and resulting damages.   

The Court finds that it was not an abuse of discretion for the
district court to conclude that plaintiffs' claims share a common,
predominating question of law. Plaintiffs' theory is that State
Farm violated its contractual obligations by depreciating both
materials and labor when calculating ACV, thereby reducing the size
of their ACV payments. The viability of this theory is a common
question well suited to classwide resolution. The district court
previously concluded that these allegations stated a claim for
breach of contract under Adams, and that decision is not before us
on this appeal.  

Relying heavily on our recent decision in LaBrier, State Farm
asserts that plaintiffs cannot demonstrate predominance and
superiority because individual issues of liability and damages
exist for each plaintiff that cannot be established with common
evidence. In LaBrier, the Court analyzed the claims of a group of
Missouri homeowners who argued that State Farm breached its
contracts by deducting labor depreciation from their ACV payments.
Missouri law, the Court noted, defines ACV as the difference
between the reasonable value of the property immediately before and
immediately after the loss. 872 F.3d at 573  

The Court concluded that the plaintiffs in LaBrier could not show
predominance because whether State Farm's chosen methodology
produced a reasonable estimate of the difference in a property's
value before and after a loss was a question for the jury to
determine on a case-by-case basis. See id. In other words, because
the contracts did not specify how ACV payments would be calculated,
whether State Farm was in breach would depend on whether its
methodology produced a reasonable estimate of ACV, as defined by
Missouri law, in an individual case. Because this question could
not be answered on a class basis, certification under Rule 23(b)(3)
was inappropriate.

It was not an abuse of discretion for the district court to
conclude that common questions predominate over individualized
issues and that adjudicating the claims as a class is superior to
alternatives. The district court properly noted that the class
members' claims are generally small and unlikely to be pursued
individually. It also noted that concentrating the claims in a
single forum is desirable, and that it did not anticipate
unreasonable difficulty in managing the class action. We find no
clear error in these findings, all of which support certification.

State Farm argues that class certification is inappropriate because
certain plaintiffs cannot demonstrate the injury-in-fact element of
standing. The fact that some plaintiffs may be unable to succeed on
their claims does not necessarily mean that they lack standing to
sue.

Accordingly, the order of the district court is affirmed as
modified, and the case is remanded for further proceedings
consistent with this opinion.

A full-text copy of the Eighth Circuit's December 6, 2018 Opinion
is available at https://tinyurl.com/y7st8n5n from Leagle.com.

Alfred F. Thompson, III, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Beverly Ann Rowlett -- beverly.rowlett@mrmblaw.com -- for
Defendant-Appellant.

James Marvin Pratt, Jr., 144 N Washington St; Camden, Arkansas
71701, for Plaintiff-Appellee.

John E. Moore, for Defendant-Appellant.

John Clinton Goodson, 406 Walnut St, Texarkana, AR, 71854-5219, for
Plaintiff-Appellee.

William B. Putman, 303 E. Millsap Road, P.O. Box 8310,
Fayetteville, AR  72703,  for Plaintiff-Appellee.

Joseph Cancila, Jr., 70 W Madison St Ste 2900, Three First National
Plaza, Chicago,  IL, 60602-4246, for Defendant-Appellant.

Heidi Dalenberg -- hdalenberg@rshc-law.com -- for
Defendant-Appellant.

Richard Eugene Norman -- rnorman@crowleynorman.com -- for
Plaintiff-Appellee.


SWEPI LP: 6th Cir. Reverses Arbitration Denial in Rogers
--------------------------------------------------------
The United States Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit, issued an
Opinion reversing the judgment of the District Court denying
Defendant Shell's Motion to Compel Arbitration in the case
captioned MATT A. ROGERS, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. SWEPI LP, et al.,
Defendants-Appellants. No. 18-3229. (6th Cir.).

Matt A. Rogers and Shell entered into a lease agreement governing
extraction of oil and gas from Rogers's five-acre property located
in Guernsey County, Ohio. Important to Rogers, the agreement
provides a signing bonus of $5,000 per acre, contingent upon
Shell's timely verification that Rogers possesses good title to the
property. Important to Shell, the lease contains a broad
arbitration clause, providing that any dispute under the lease be
resolved by binding arbitration.

Rogers has sued for breach of contract, individually and on behalf
of other landowners having similar contracts with Shell, alleging
that Shell failed to pay the signing bonuses.

Before the district court, Shell focused on the language of
Sections Eight and Thirty-Three as a basis for compelling
arbitration -- arguing that the Lease constituted a single
agreement, signed and executed by Rogers, and commanded that
disputes under the Lease be arbitrated. Rogers relied on the
language in Section Twenty-Five and the final sentence of Section
Sixteen, arguing that the lease agreement was executed in stages,
with his signature allowing Shell to encumber the property and
verify title, and Shell's payment of the signing bonus effectuating
all remaining aspects, including the arbitration clause. The
district court endorsed Rogers's view.

The Plaintiff correctly describes the Lease as follows: while the
Lease became effective upon Rogers' signature for purposes of
allowing Shell to encumber the property and verify title, the last
sentence of the bonus payment clause shows that the parties'
remaining obligations, the long-term relational aspects of the
Lease, did not become effective and Rogers was not bound thereby
until the signing bonus was paid. This interpretation provides
meaning to the bonus payment clause and harmonizes it with the rest
of the Lease.

Who decides arbitrability?

Relying on Granite Rock Co. v. International Brotherhood of
Teamsters, Rogers argues that his attack on the arbitration clause
goes to its formation, and thus it was proper for the district
court to decide the dispute. Rogers does not dispute that he
properly agreed to the Lease by signing it in 2011. His attack on
the arbitration provision assumes that the contract was formed;
that it conferred obligations on the parties; and that Shell failed
to perform one of its obligations, meaning the arbitration clause
was never triggered.

Rogers is correct that under Granite Rock, courts should resolve
issues that call into question the formation or applicability of
the specific arbitration clause that a party seeks to have the
court enforce,  and that such issues typically concern the
enforceability of the arbitration clause. But as noted above,
Rogers has not attacked the enforceability of the specific
arbitration clause. He has argued that much of the contract, which
happens to include the arbitration clause, is unenforceable. Under
the principles of Prima Paint Corp. v. Flood & Conklin Mfg. Co. and
its progeny, such attacks are for the arbitrator. 388 U.S. at
403-04; Rent-A-Center, West, Inc., 561 U.S. at 70-71.

Given Rogers's broad defense to arbitration, he is attacking more
than just the arbitration clause.

Thus, arbitrability is for the arbitrator, and the district court
erred by assuming it had the power to rule on the parties'
arbitration dispute.

Does the Lease authorize class procedures in arbitration?

Under the FAA, a party may not be compelled to submit to class
arbitration unless there is a contractual basis for concluding that
the party agreed to do so. The question of whether an arbitration
agreement permits class-wide arbitration is a gateway matter, which
is reserved `for judicial determination unless the parties clearly
and unmistakably provide otherwise.  

Here, the parties have not identified a provision in the contract
that clearly and unmistakably gives the arbitrator power to decide
this matter. And because the district court denied arbitration
altogether, it did not rule on the class arbitration issue. The
Court notes the importance of this issue to the case, given that
the class could include hundreds of Ohio landowners. We decline to
decide the issue on this appeal, and leave that determination for
the district court to decide in the first instance. See Milan
Express Co. v. Applied Underwriters Captive Risk Assurance Co., 672
F. App'x 553, 556 (6th Cir. 2016).

Accordingly, the judgment of the district court is reversed, and
the matter is remanded to the district court for entry of an order
compelling arbitration and a decision on whether the Lease allows
for class-wide arbitration.

A full-text copy of the Sixth Circuit's December 10, 2018 Opinion
is available at https://tinyurl.com/ybm6tdks from Leagle.com.


SYNGENTA AG: Settles GMO Corn Seed Class Action for $1.5-Bil.
-------------------------------------------------------------
Perry Cooper, writing for Bloomberg Law, reports that Syngenta AG
will pay more than $1.5 billion to U.S. farmers who alleged the
marketing of the company's genetically modified corn seeds shut
them out of the Chinese market, after the settlement won final
approval Dec. 7.

Judge John W. Lungstrum of the U.S. District Court for the District
of Kansas called the settlement amount "very impressive," noting it
is one of the largest known settlements in any kind of case.

A total of 650,000 members make up the class. [GN]


SYSTEMATIC NATIONAL: Gregory Sues over Debt Collection Practices
----------------------------------------------------------------
ALPHONSO GREGORY, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. SYSTEMATIC NATIONAL COLLECTIONS,
INC., and DOES 1-20, Defendants, Case No. 3:18-cv-02657-DMS-JLB
(S.D. Cal., Nov. 20, 2018) seeks to stop the Defendant's unfair and
unconscionable means to collect a debt.

Systematic National Collections, Inc. provides debt collection
services. It offers monthly status reporting; skip tracing; bank
account locating; and asset locating services. The company is based
in Oceanside, California. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Joshua B. Swigart, Esq.
          Yana A. Hart, Esq.
          HYDE & SWIGART, APC
          2221 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 101
          San Diego, CA 92108
          Telephone: (619) 233-7770
          Facsimile: (619) 297-1022

               - and -

          Albert R. Limberg, Esq.
          LAW OFFICE OF ALBERT R. LIMBERG
          3667 Voltaire Street
          San Diego, CA 92106  
          Telephone: (619) 344-8667
          Facsimile: (619) 344-8657
          E-mail: alimberg@limberglawoffice.com


TAKATA CORP: Podhurst Orseck Coordinates Work in Air Bag Deal
-------------------------------------------------------------
Catherine Wilson, writing for Daily Business Review, reports that
Podhurst Orseck partner Peter Prieto serves as chair lead counsel
for plaintiffs in the Takata air bags multidistrict litigation, one
of the largest in the nation involving the largest automotive
recall in U.S. history.

After more than two years of litigation, the legal team's work on
behalf of over 40 million plaintiffs paid off. In October 2017 and
February 2018, groundbreaking class action settlements were
approved by U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno in Miami with six
automakers for a total of $1.2 billion.

In July, Ford agreed to settle for an additional $299 million.
Final approval is pending.

The settlements with Toyota, Mazda, Subaru, BMW, Nissan and Honda
came three years after the litigation began. Prieto with the
assistance of Podhurst lawyers Matthew Weinshall, helped secure the
large-scale payouts.

The newest defendants include General Motors, Fiat Chrysler,
Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz, which also installed Takata inflators
in their vehicles.

The MDL is a result of air bags supplied by Takata that have been
recalled worldwide because of a defect that makes its inflators
prone to explode. The lawsuit claims the defect is linked to the
use of inexpensive and volatile ammonium nitrate, which sometimes
spews shrapnel at occupants. At least 20 deaths and hundreds of
injuries have been blamed on defective air bags.

Motorists have alleged a decadelong scheme by Takata and automakers
to conceal the defect from regulators and class members.

To prosecute the claims against Takata and the automakers, the
Podhurst Orseck team oversaw and coordinated the work of more than
two dozen law firms with over 200 lawyers and paralegals. The MDL
lawyers defeated motions to dismiss, reviewed over 10 million pages
of documents and took or defended more than 150 depositions.

The settlements provide compensation for economic losses resulting
from the recall including reimbursement for reasonable
out-of-pocket expenses, a residual distribution payment of up to
$500, rental cars for the most at-risk class members while they
wait for remedies and a customer-support program for repairs and
adjustments on replacement inflators, including an extended
warranty. [GN]


UNITED STATES: Court Narrows Claims in CAM Program Suit
-------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, San Francisco Division, issued an Order granting in
part and denying in part Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the case
captioned S.A., et al., Plaintiffs, v. DONALD J. TRUMP, et al.,
Defendants. Case No. 18-cv-03539-LB. (N.D. Cal.).

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the Secretary of
Homeland Security has discretion to parole foreign nationals into
the United States temporarily and only on a case-by-case basis for
urgent humanitarian reasons or significant public benefit. Parole
does not constitute admission in a valid immigration or
nonimmigrant status, but it allows a foreign national to enter and
physically be present in the United States.

In 2014, the government instituted a program called the Central
American Minors (CAM) Program, which allowed parents who were
lawfully present in the United States to apply to bring their
children and other qualifying family members in three countries,
Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador, collectively known as the
Northern Triangle, to reunite with them in the United States. A
goal of the Program was to discourage children from making the long
and dangerous journey from the Northern Triangle to the United
States to try to reunite with their parents.

The plaintiffs in this case, applicant parents lawfully residing in
the United States who applied to the CAM Program, their beneficiary
children in Northern Triangle countries, and the nonprofit
immigrant-rights organization CASA, filed this putative
class-action lawsuit against President Trump, DHS, USCIS, the
Secretary of Homeland Security, the Director of USCIS, the State
Department, the Secretary of State, and the United States, alleging
that the government's termination of the CAM Parole Program and its
rescinding of conditional approvals of parole were unlawful.

The plaintiffs bring the following four categories of claims:

   1. claims under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), arguing
that the government's termination of the CAM Parole Program and
rescinding of conditional approvals for parole were arbitrary and
capricious;

   2. a claim under the Due Process Clause, arguing that the
applicant-parent plaintiffs have a constitutionally protected
liberty interest in the companionship and society of their family
members in Central America, and that the government deprived them
of this liberty interest without due process by terminating the CAM
Parole Program in an arbitrary, irrational, and unlawful manner;

   3. a claim under the equal-protection component of the Due
Process Clause, arguing that the government's termination of the
CAM Parole Program was substantially motivated by discriminatory
animus by President Trump and the Trump Administration toward
Latinos, and

   4. a claim for equitable estoppel, arguing that the government
engaged in affirmative misconduct by publicly representing between
January 2017 and August 2017 that the CAM Parole Program was still
in operation, when it actually had been secretly terminated.

The court grants in part and denies in part the defendants' motion
to dismiss. The court denies the motion to dismiss the plaintiffs'
APA claims as they relate to the government's mass-rescinding
conditional approvals of parole made under the CAM Parole Program.
In all other respects, the court grants the defendants' motion to
dismiss.

Administrative Procedure Act Claims

The APA provides that a person suffering legal wrong because of
agency action, or adversely affected or aggrieved by agency action
within the meaning of a relevant statute, is entitled to judicial
review thereof.

To constitute a final agency action, two conditions must be met:
first, the action must mark the consummation of the agency's
decision making proces it must not be of a merely tentative or
interlocutory nature. And second, the action must be one by which
rights or obligations have been determined, or from which legal
consequences will flow.

DHS's termination of the CAM Parole Program can be seen as two
related but distinct agency actions: (1) terminating the Program
going forward for participants who had never been approved for
parole and (2) rescinding conditional approvals of parole that had
been made under the Program before its termination.  

Rescinding Conditional Approvals of Parole

The government argues that it took reliance interests into account
because it did not rescind parole for beneficiaries who had arrived
in the United States. The court cannot see how this decision for
beneficiaries in the United States takes into account the serious
reliance interests of participants with conditional approval who
had not arrived or whose family members had not arrived in the
United States.  

The court holds that when DHS mass-rescinded the conditional parole
approvals of CAM Parole Program participants, it did not adequately
take into account and address the participants' serious reliance
interests. Consequently, its actions in mass-rescinding approvals
were arbitrary and capricious and must be set aside under the APA.

The serious reliance interests requirement does not mean that DHS
lacks the authority to rescind conditional approvals of parole for
CAM Parole Program participants, notwithstanding the participants'
reliance on their approvals. DHS has that authority. It has the
authority to rescind parole even from Program beneficiaries who
have arrived in the United States and similarly has the authority
to rescind conditional approvals of applications where the
beneficiaries are still outside the United States.

But DHS must recognize and acknowledge that Program participants
who were approved for parole had serious reliance interests in that
parole, take those reliance interests into account, and explain why
it felt it appropriate to nonetheless mass-rescind their parole in
the face of that reliance. This ensures transparency and
accountability. If DHS thinks that Program participants' reliance
on their parole is less important than its new policies in
mass-rescinding that parole, it can make that choice, so long as it
explains its reasons so that it can be held accountable.  

When it mass-rescinded conditional approvals, DHS failed to take
into account and address the serious reliance interests of CAM
Parole Program participants whom it had approved. Its
mass-rescission was arbitrary and capricious in violation of the
APA.

The court denies the defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiffs'
APA claims as they relate to the government's mass-rescinding of
conditional approvals of parole. The court otherwise grants the
defendants' motion to dismiss the plaintiffs' APA claims.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 10, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/ybhdyc92 from Leagle.com.

S.A., J.A., A.B., R.C., on behalf of himself and as Guardian Ad
Litem for J.C., a minor child, M.C., D.D., G.E., on behalf of
himself and as Guardian Ad Litem for B.E., a minor child, J.F., on
behalf of himself and as Guardian Ad Litem for H.F. and A.F., minor
children, on behalf of themselves and on behalf of a class of all
similarly situated individuals & CASA, Plaintiffs, represented by
Daniel B. Asimow -- daniel.asimow@arnoldporter.com -- Arnold &
Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, John A. Freedman --
john.freedman@arnoldporter.com -- Arnold and Porter Kaye Scholer
LLP, David Jonathan Weiner -- david.weiner@arnoldporter.com --
Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP, Kathryn Claire Meyer --
kmeyer@refugeerights.org -- International Refugee Assistance
Project, Linda Evarts -- levarts@refugeerights.org -- International
Refugee Assistance Project, Mariko Hirose --
mhirose@refugeerights.org -- & Matthew Harrison Fine --
matthew.fine@arnoldporter.com -- Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP.

Donald J. Trump, in his official capacity as President of the
United States, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services, Kirstjen Nielsen, in her
official capacity as Secretary of Homeland Security, Michael R.
Pompeo, in his official capacity as Secretary of State, L. Francis
Cissna, in his official capacity as Director of U.S. Citizenship
and Immigration Services, United States of America & U.S.
Department of State, Defendants, represented by Wendy M. Garbers ,
United States Attorney's Office & Alison E. Daw , US Attorney's
Office.


UNITED STATES: Judge OKs Discrimination Class Action Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
Robert Kahn, writing for Courthouse News Service, reported that a
federal judge granted final approval on Dec. 17 of a settlement of
an age-discrimination class action against the Department of
Homeland Security and its Federal Air Marshal Service; each class
member will get $1,500 and the government must pay $425,000 in
attorney's fees.

The case is K.H., et al. v. Secretary of the Department of Homeland
Security, Case No. 15-cv-02740 (N.D. Cal.).

A copy of the Order Granting Final Approval of Collective Action
Settlement is available at:

          https://is.gd/1nbLab


UOMINI & KUDAI: Borozny Files Suit Asserting ADA Violation
----------------------------------------------------------
Uomini & Kudai, LLC is facing a class action lawsuit filed pursuant
to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled as
Austin Borozny, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. Uomini & Kudai, LLC, a Florida limited
liability company, Defendant, Case No. 2:18-cv-00824-UA-MRM (M.D.
Fla., December 20, 2018).

Uomini & Kudai, LLC filed as a Florida Limited Liability in the
State of Florida on Wednesday, February 16, 2011 and is
approximately seven years old, according to public records filed
with Florida Department of State.[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




VERVE HOLDINGS: Beverage Retailer Sued for ADA Breach
-----------------------------------------------------
Verve Holdings, LLC is facing a class action lawsuit filed pursuant
to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled as
Derrick U Dennis, on behalf himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. Verve Holdings, LLC, Defendant, Case No.
1:18-cv-07150 (E.D. N.Y., December 16, 2018).

Verve Holdings, LLC is a retail store, retail outlet, retail shop,
on-line retail store services, all featuring alcoholic beverages
and spirits.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Jonathan Shalom, Esq.
   Shalom Law, PLLC.
   124-04 Metropolitan Avenue
   Kew Gardens, NY 11374
   Tel: (718) 971-9474
   Email: jshalom@jonathanshalomlaw.com



WATERSTONE MORTGAGE: 7th Cir. Vacates $10MM FLSA Award
------------------------------------------------------
Eric Tsai, Esq., of Maurice Wutscher LLP, in an article for
Lexology, repots that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh
Circuit recently joined the Fourth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and
Eleventh Circuits, in ruling that class or collective arbitrability
is a gateway question that is presumptively for the court to
decide, rather than the arbitrator.

In so ruling, the Court vacated the trial court's order enforcing a
$10 million federal "wage and hour" Fair Labor Standards Act
arbitration award against the defendant.

A copy of the opinion in Herrington v. Waterstone Mortgage
Corporation is available at https://is.gd/bQXDqU

The plaintiff filed a putative class and collective action against
her former employer. She alleged wage and hour violations under the
Fair Labor Standards Act, and breach of her employment contract.

The plaintiff's employment agreement contained an arbitration
clause and class action waiver:

In the event that the parties cannot resolve a dispute by the
[alternative dispute resolution] provisions contained herein, any
dispute between the parties concerning the wages, hours, working
conditions, terms, rights, responsibilities or obligations between
them or arising out of their employment relationship shall be
resolved through binding arbitration in accordance with the rules
of the American Arbitration Association applicable to employment
claims. Such arbitration may not be joined with or join or include
any claims by any persons not party to this Agreement.

The trial court held that the arbitration clause was enforceable
but struck the sentence waiving the plaintiff's right to bring a
class or collective proceeding in arbitration. The court sent the
parties to arbitration.

The arbitrator certified a class for two reasons. First, he
determined that he was required to ignore the class action waiver
because the trial court had invalidated it. Second, he determined
that the parties agreed to class arbitration because the agreement
incorporated the Rules of the American Arbitration Association for
employment claims.

The arbitrator awarded $10 million in damages and fees in favor of
the plaintiff and the class. The trial court entered judgment
enforcing the arbitration award.

This appeal followed.

The first issue addressed on appeal was whether the class action
waiver was enforceable.

While this case was on appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its
ruling in Epic Sys. Corp. v. Lewis, 138 S. Ct. 1612 (2018), which
upheld the validity of class action or collective action waiver
provisions like the one in the plaintiff's employment agreement.
Consequently, the Seventh Circuit held that the trial court erred
in striking the class action waiver.

The second issue on appeal was whether it is for the court or an
arbitrator to decide if an arbitration agreement permits class or
collective arbitration. The plaintiff argued that, notwithstanding
the class action waiver, the arbitration agreement reflected the
parties' affirmative consent to class and collective arbitration.

The Seventh Circuit began its analysis by observing that "every
federal court of appeal to reach the question has held that the
availability of class arbitration is a question of arbitrability."

Joining the Fourth, Sixth, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits,
the Seventh Circuit determined that whether the availability of
class or collective arbitration is a gateway issue is presumptively
for the court, rather than the arbitrator.

The Seventh Circuit reasoned that whether the agreement permits
class or collective arbitration required the adjudicator to
determine: (1) whether the employer agreed to arbitrate not only
with the plaintiff, but also with members of her proposed class;
and (2) whether the agreement to arbitrate covered a particular
controversy.

In the Seventh Circuit's view, these issues are typically reserved
for the court.

The Seventh Circuit also found that class and collective
arbitration involve the threshold decision of whether to certify a
class. The arbitrator must investigate a variety of issues
incidental to the actual dispute, including whether the putative
class meets the requirements in Rule 23(a).

Noting that class and collective arbitration require procedure
rigor that bilateral arbitrations do not, and the stakes for the
defendant due to the loss of appellate review are significant, the
Seventh Circuit concluded that "the district court should conduct
the threshold inquiry regarding class or collective
arbitrability."

Accordingly, the Seventh Circuit vacated the trial court's order
enforcing the arbitration award, and remanded the case for further
proceedings consistent with its opinion. [GN]


WEST LIBERTY: Daniels Moves to Certify Class of Illinois Workers
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Plaintiff in the lawsuit styled KENNETH DANIELS, individually
and on behalf of all others similarly situated v. WEST LIBERTY
FOODS, L.L.C., an Iowa limited liability company, Case No.
1:17-cv-06670 (N.D. Ill.), moves the Court to certify a class
defined as:

    "All current and former West Liberty employees who, between
     September 2014 and August 2017, scanned their fingers at a
     time clock in either of West Liberty's Illinois facilities."

Excluded from the Class are (1) any Judge or Magistrate Judge
presiding over the action, as well as members of their families,
(2) Defendant, Defendant's subsidiaries, parents, successors,
predecessors, and any entity in which the Defendant or its parents
have a controlling interest, and those entities' current and former
employees, officers, and directors, (3) persons who properly and
timely file a request for exclusion from the Class, (4) persons who
have had their claims in this matter finally adjudicated or
otherwise released, (5) counsel in this action, and (6) the legal
representatives, successors, and assigns of any excluded person.

Mr. Daniels asks the Court to enter an Order appointing his counsel
as class counsel.[CC]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jay Edelson, Esq.
          Benjamin H. Richman, Esq.
          Sydney M. Janzen, Esq.
          J. Eli Wade-Scott, Esq.
          EDELSON PC
          350 North LaSalle Street, Suite 1300
          Chicago, IL 60654
          Telephone: (312) 589-6370
          Facsimile: (312) 589-6378
          E-mail: jedelson@edelson.com
                  brichman@edelson.com
                  sjanzen@edelson.com
                  ewadescott@edelson.com

               - and -

          David J. Fish, Esq.
          John C. Kunze, Esq.
          Kimberly A. Hilton, Esq.
          THE FISH LAW FIRM
          200 East 5th Ave., Suite 123
          Naperville, IL 60563
          Telephone: (630) 355-7590
          E-mail: dfish@thefishlawfirm.com
                  jkunze@thefishlawfirm.com
                  khilton@thefishlawfirm.com


WEWORK COMPANIES: Website not Accessible to Blind, Olsen Says
-------------------------------------------------------------
THOMAS J. OLSEN, Individually and on behalf of all other persons
similarly situated, the Plaintiff, vs. WEWORK COMPANIES INC., the
Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-11902-GHW (S.D.N.Y., Dec. 18, 2018),
wants the Defendant to change its corporate policies, practices,
and procedures so that its Website will become and remain
accessible to blind and visually-impaired consumers, under the
Americans With Disabilities Act, the New York State Human Rights
Law, and the New York City Human Rights Law.

According to the complaint, the Plaintiff, who is legally blind,
brings this civil rights action against Defendant WeWork Companies
Inc. for its failure to design, construct, maintain, and operate
its website, www.wework.com, to be fully accessible to and
independently usable by Plaintiff and other blind or
visually-impaired people. The Defendant denies full and equal
access to its Website.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Douglas B. Lipsky, Esq.
          Christopher H. Lowe, Esq.
          LIPSKY LOWE LLP
          630 Third Avenue, Fifth Floor
          New York, NY 10017-6705
          Telephoner: (212) 392 4772
          E-mail: chris@lipskylowe.com
                  doug@lipskylowe.com

WGACA LLC: Faces Dennis Suit Alleging ADA  Violation
----------------------------------------------------
WGACA, LLC is facing a class action lawsuit filed pursuant to the
Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled as Derrick U
Dennis, on behalf himself and all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff v. WGACA, LLC, Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-07147 (E.D.
N.Y., December 16, 2018).

WGACA, LLC is a business that describes itself as "the leading
global purveyor of authentic luxury vintage accessories and
apparel".[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Jonathan Shalom, Esq.
   Shalom Law, PLLC.
   124-04 Metropolitan Avenue
   Kew Gardens, NY 11374
   Tel: (718) 971-9474
   Email: jshalom@jonathanshalomlaw.com


WORKHOUSE NYC: Olsen Bring ADA Class Action in New York
-------------------------------------------------------
Workhouse NYC LLC is facing a class action lawsuit filed pursuant
to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled as
Thomas J. Olsen, individually and on behalf of all other persons
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Workhouse NYC LLC, Defendant, Case
No. 1:18-cv-07146 (E.D. N.Y., December 16, 2018).

Workhouse NYC LLC is a co-working space in New York City, New
York.[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


WORKVILLE LLC: Olsen Sues Coworking Space Co. Under ADA
-------------------------------------------------------
Workville LLC is facing a class action lawsuit filed pursuant to
the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled as Thomas
J. Olsen, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. Workville LLC, Defendant, Case No.
1:18-cv-11777 (S.D. N.Y., December 16, 2018).

Workville LLC is the premiere coworking space in midtown Manhattan
in NYC.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Christopher Howard Lowe, Esq.
   Lipsky Lowe LLP
   630 Third Avenue
   New York, NY 10017-6705
   Tel: (212) 392-4772
   Fax: (212) 444-1030
   Email: chris@lipskylowe.com


WYETH BIRCH: Violates Disabilities Act, Dennis Suit Says
--------------------------------------------------------
Wyeth Birch, LLC is facing a class action lawsuit filed pursuant to
the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled as Derrick
U Dennis, on behalf himself and all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff v. Wyeth Birch, LLC, Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-07149
(E.D. N.Y., December 16, 2018).

Wyeth Birch, LLC is a Modern furniture specialist.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Jonathan Shalom, Esq.
   Shalom Law, PLLC.
   124-04 Metropolitan Avenue
   Kew Gardens, NY 11374
   Tel: (718) 971-9474
   Email: jshalom@jonathanshalomlaw.com


YARD INC: Olsen Suit Asserts Disabilities Act Breach
----------------------------------------------------
The Yard Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit filed pursuant to
the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled as Thomas
J. Olsen, individually and on behalf of all other persons similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. The Yard Inc., Defendant, Case No.
1:18-cv-11778 (S.D. N.Y., December 16, 2018).

The Yard Inc. is the premier manufacturer of maintenance-free
outdoor patio furniture and accessories from recycled plastic milk
jugs.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Christopher Howard Lowe, Esq.
   Lipsky Lowe LLP
   630 Third Avenue
   New York, NY 10017-6705
   Tel: (212) 392-4772
   Fax: (212) 444-1030
   Email: chris@lipskylowe.com


ZOCDOC: Drinker Biddle Attorneys Discuss Court Ruling
-----------------------------------------------------
Matthew J. Fedor, Esq. -- matthew.fedor@dbr.com -- Michael P. Daly,
Esq. -- michael.daly@dbr.com -- Andrew L. Van Houter, Esq. --
andrew.vanhouter@dbr.com -- of Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, in an
article for The National Law Review, report that early three years
ago, in Campbell-Ewald Co. v. Gomez, the Supreme Court held that
claims are not mooted by unaccepted offers of complete relief under
Rule 68 because they create neither an "obligation" to provide nor
an "entitlement" to receive any relief. But the Court expressly
left open the possibility that depositing the full amount of a
plaintiff's individual claim in an account payable to the plaintiff
might be enough.

After Campbell-Ewald, we predicted that defendants would test
various procedural mechanisms for arguing that actually making a
payment will render a plaintiff's claim moot. As we reported last
summer, the Seventh Circuit held that not even tendering funds into
a court-monitored interest-bearing account is enough to moot a
class action, reasoning that that there is "no principled
distinction" between a Rule 68 offer of judgment and a deposit
under Rule 67, and that would-be class representatives must be
afforded an opportunity to try to certify a class.

The Second Circuit recently reached a similar conclusion in
Geismann v. ZocDoc, Inc., holding that a tender of payment into a
court-monitored account under Rule 67 did not moot a plaintiff's
putative class action because the plaintiff had not (i) received
the deposited money or (ii) had an opportunity to try to certify a
class and possibly earn an incentive award as lead plaintiff.

The case has a tangled procedural history. After receiving a fax
concerning a "patient matching service," which contained a
telephone number to call if the recipient wished to stop receiving
faxes, Plaintiff filed a putative TCPA class action seeking
aggregated damages of $500-$1,500 per fax. ZocDoc made an offer of
judgment and then argued that, since the amount of the offer
exceeded the plaintiff's individual claim, that claim was moot and
should be dismissed. The district court agreed and Plaintiff
appealed.

While that appeal was pending, the Supreme Court issued its
decision in Campbell-Ewald. ZocDoc then sought leave to deposit a
check with the district court in satisfaction of the judgment,
which the district court granted. In a 2017 decision, however, the
Second Circuit held that Plaintiff still had standing to pursue her
claims. The court reasoned that Campbell-Ewald foreclosed entering
a judgment on mootness grounds in light of an unaccepted offer and
thus the tender in satisfaction of an erroneous judgment did not
moot Plaintiff's claims.

ZocDoc then tried to address the Second Circuit's concern by
depositing with the district court the maximum amount of damages
Plaintiff would be entitled to individually pursuant to Rule 67.
After the district court allowed a $20,000 deposit, ZocDoc moved
for summary judgment and argued that the tender perfected the
hypothetical in Campbell-Ewald, provided Plaintiff with complete
relief, and thus rendered Plaintiff's individual claim moot. The
district court agreed again and found that, because Plaintiff
received complete relief, the action was moot.

The Second Circuit reversed. Largely relying on the Seventh
Circuit's decision in Fulton Dental, LLC v. Bisco, Inc., the Second
Circuit found "no material difference between a plaintiff rejecting
a tender of payment (pursuant to Rule 67) and an offer of payment
(pursuant to Rule 68)." The Second Circuit reasoned that although
the money was deposited with the court, Plaintiff still had not
received any money. Similarly, while ZocDoc had offered to submit
to an injunction, the Second Circuit reasoned that ZocDoc has not
actually committed to stop sending offending faxes until the
injunction was actually entered. Thus, "[a]t that point in the
litigation, the district court could still provide these remedies"
demonstrating that Plaintiff's claims were not moot. Finally, the
Second Circuit also reasoned that a judgment satisfying Plaintiff's
individual claims does not offer complete relief because Plaintiff
was exercising her right to proceed on a classwide basis and sought
to earn an additional reward by serving as a lead plaintiff.

The Second Circuit's decision in ZocDoc is difficult to square with
the Rules Enabling Act and Supreme Court precedent. On the one
hand, ZocDoc reaffirms the Second Circuit's prior rulings that a
district court should enter judgment, even over a plaintiff's
objection, when a defendant surrenders to complete relief, and
recognizes that such a judgment will render moot the plaintiff's
individual's claims. See e.g., Tanasi v. New Alliance Bank, 786
F.3d 195, 200 (2d Cir. 2015). On the other hand, the Second Circuit
simultaneously suggests that Rule 23 affords a plaintiff an
absolute right to seek to bring claims in a representative capacity
on behalf of an as-yet-uncertified class. In fact, ZocDoc goes so
far as to suggest that the district court could have dismissed
Plaintiff's claims as moot as a result of Defendant's $20,000
deposit if the court had denied Plaintiff's motion for class
certification. In so doing, the Second Circuit is erroneously
elevating the procedural rights of Rule 23 into substantive rights.
Indeed, the Rules Enabling Act states that the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure "shall not abridge, enlarge or modify any
substantive right," and Rule 82 makes clear that the rules "do not
extend . . . the jurisdiction of the district courts." 28 U.S.C.
Sec. 2072(b); Fed. R. Civ. P. 82. Yet the Second Circuit's decision
suggests that, regardless of whether a plaintiff's individual claim
remains extant, that plaintiff has not been afforded complete
relief absent an opportunity to seek class certification under Rule
23. Moreover, the court's suggestion that Plaintiff had not been
made whole because the tender did not account for possible
incentive awards for acting as a class representative flatly
contradicts well-established Supreme Court precedent holding that
"an interest that is merely a 'byproduct' of the suit itself" does
not satisfy Article III's case or controversy requirement. Vermont
Agency of Natural Resources v. U.S. ex rel. Stevens, 529 U.S. 765,
772 (2000); see also Steel Co. v. Citizens for a Better
Environment, 523 U.S. 83, 108 (1998) ("reimbursement of the costs
of litigation cannot alone" satisfy Article III); Lewis v.
Continental Bank Corp., 494 U.S. 472, 480 (1990) (an "interest in
attorney's fees is, of course, insufficient to create an Article
III case or controversy where none exists on the merits of the
underlying claim").

The Second Circuit's decision will likely result in a waste of
judicial resources in cases where the defendant is interested in
surrendering to the individual plaintiff rather than engage in
senseless and costly litigation. It remains to be seen whether
ZocDoc will seek Supreme Court review. [GN]


[*] EU Legal Affairs Committee Passes Class Action Proposal
-----------------------------------------------------------
Sue Reisinger, writing for Law.com, reports that much to the
chagrin of corporate America, a key European Union legal affairs
committee has passed a proposal to allow class action lawsuits in
the EU -- a major step in becoming law.

While some EU member countries allow types of class action suits,
others do not. Since 1998, the EU has offered only injunctive
relief, allowing "qualified entities designated by the member
states, such as consumer organizations or independent public
bodies, to bring representative actions for the protection of the
collective interests of consumers with the primary aim of stopping
both domestic and cross-border infringements of EU consumer law."

The new proposal, according to the committee, is specifically aimed
at giving all EU consumers the opportunity of collective redress
for mass harm -- that is, the right to seek damages as a class, and
not just an injunction to stop the harm.

After the committee's Dec. 6 vote, Lisa Rickard, president of the
U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, released a statement
calling the proposal "poorly written and lack[ing] clear safeguards
to prevent fraud and abuse. Still missing is a requirement that
consumers give their consent or 'opt-in' to join a collective
claim, and clear criteria to eliminate meritless claims."

Ms. Rickard added that the law would "create a whole new world of
litigation in Europe, and it is crucial that EU lawmakers get it
right the first time. The new directive must be for the benefit of
European consumers and not import the abuses of the U.S. class
action system, which primarily benefits lawyers and profit-seeking
third-party investors in lawsuits."

The American Association for Justice (formerly the American Trial
Lawyers Association), which represents the plaintiffs' bar, did not
immediately have a response about the bill.

The proposal now goes to the full Parliament and the European
Council, a strategic group made up of the heads of individual
governments in the EU who provide general political directions and
priorities. The European Commission can also have a say in the
final wording.

The Institute for Legal Reform plans to ask those institutions to
change the bill before Parliament votes on it, according to Scevole
de Cazotte, the ILR's senior vice president for international
initiatives.

Mr. De Cazotte said in an interview Dec. 7 that the global business
community has concerns with the proposal. "And I mean companies of
all sizes, from all business sectors, and not just from one country
but from everywhere," he added.

Although the ILR was still obtaining a final draft of the latest
proposal, Mr. De Cazotte said from what ILR has learned, the most
troubling aspects of the bill include:

There is no certification rule, similar to U.S. Rule 23 of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires a group to be
certified as a class and to meet certain requirements.

It leaves the use of contingency fees for lawyers up to the member
states. The ILR wants to see contingency fees excluded, Mr. De
Cazotte said, because they incentivize lawyers to sue.

The bill follows the Dutch model by requiring consumers who don't
want to be a party to specifically opt out of the litigation in
domestic markets. But consumers must specifically opt in to the
litigation when they are located outside the jurisdiction involved.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce ILR favors requiring all plaintiffs to
opt in, he said.

It allows multiple and overlapping claims in the EU and in member
countries, with no overall EU management of duplicated claims.
"This issue is very important to general counsel, who want to have
finality in a case," Mr. De Cazotte said. "Companies will have a
hard time knowing when they can settle. We may ultimately see
chaos."

He said there is a bucket of other issues. They include the
probability of plaintiffs' forum shopping for a friendly
jurisdiction; the layering of the EU law on top of existing
countries' laws, which would mean more complexity and higher legal
costs; and the use of "qualified entities," such as consumer
associations to bring claims on behalf of consumers is not a real
safeguard against meritless claims, he contends.

Mr. De Cazotte said, "We have seen in the Netherlands that they
have qualified entities, which are in fact set up by law firms to
pursue these claims. They [the entities] will work with law firms
and litigation funders, who will collect contingency fees. They are
basically just a front."

The legal affairs committee vote was an important one, he
explained, but what happens next is, too. He noted, "We think
there's room for serious improvements." [GN]


[] Class Action Lawyers Find Allies in Arbitration Fight
--------------------------------------------------------
Daniel Fisher, writing for Legal Newsline, reports that class
action lawyers who see arbitration as a mortal threat to their
business have found unlikely allies among some of the nation's most
conservative state officials.

The State Financial Officers Foundation, which bills itself as "the
nation's largest and leading organization for free market-focused
state treasurers," wrote a letter to the Securities and Exchange
Commission last month opposing any move to allow companies to
require investors to arbitrate disputes instead of filing class
actions.

The Nov. 13 letter extolled class actions as "the primary mechanism
for compensating defrauded investors" and said mandatory
arbitration "would do great damage to the dual purposes of private
securities enforcement -- deterrence and compensation."

The letter was signed by about half of SFOF's members, including
the Republican treasurers of Kentucky, Indiana, Idaho and Nevada.
Treasurers who didn't sign include Steve McCoy of Georgia,
Missouri's Eric Schmitt and Josh Mandel of Ohio. SFOF President
Derek Kreifels declined to comment other than to say the letter
represents the organization's official position.

By taking a stand in favor of class actions and against
arbitration, the SFOF is breaking with business organizations like
the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and siding with trial lawyer-funded
organizations like Public Justice, whose executive committee
members hail from some of the nation's most prominent class action
firms including Hagens Berman, Robins Kaplan, Berger & Montague and
Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll.

Class action lawyers have fought a fierce rearguard action against
arbitration as the U.S. Supreme Court's conservative majority
repeatedly has upheld a broad reading of the Federal Arbitration
Act under which companies can require customers and employees to
agree to individual arbitration instead of class actions. Starting
with the landmark AT&T v. Concepcion decision in 2011, the high
court has issued a series of pivotal rulings supporting arbitration
including this year's Epic Systems v. Lewis, upholding the legality
of arbitration clauses in employee contracts.

Securities class action lawyers have been worried about losing one
of their most lucrative businesses since Michael Piwowar, then a
Republican SEC commissioner, said in 2017 he would "encourage
companies to come and talk to us" about putting mandatory
arbitration clauses in their corporate charters. Those clauses
would require investors, as a condition of buying shares, to
arbitrate disputes instead of having them handled through class
actions.

Mr. Piwowar broached the subject at the conservative Heritage
Foundation in Washington, where Bridgett Wagner, a director of
SFOF, is vice president for policy promotion. Wagner didn't respond
to a request for comment on the SFOF's official position in favor
of class actions and against arbitration in securities disputes.

News of SFOF's Nov. 13 letter opposing arbitration was immediately
promoted on the website of Secure Our Savings, a coalition of
left-leaning and trial lawyer-backed organizations opposed to
arbitration, including the American Association for Justice, the
Center for Economic Justice, the National Association of Consumer
Advocates and Public Citizen.

Further revealing the close ties between trial lawyers and
anti-arbitration activists, the website name Secureoursavings.com
was registered by Aidan O'Shea, deputy director of communications
at Public Justice.

In its letter, the SFOF describes securities class actions as "a
market-based remedy that do not require the expense of taxpayer
money and resources." Hiring lawyers and investigating fraud "can
cost many millions of dollars, which is unaffordable to almost all
but the very large institutional investors."

"If individual arbitration becomes the only venue available to
defrauded investors, it would result in a system of justice
unavailable to most market participants (i.e. the small investors,
who are the backbone of our economy)," the organization wrote. The
"current system" is not "free from issues," SFOF went on, but
federal reform laws like the Private Securities Litigation Reform
Act were "effective at curbing abuses."

"if further restrictions on securities suits are needed, SFOF would
be happy to work with the administration on legislation to address
concerns," the group said.

There is GOP resistance to mandatory arbitration within the SEC. In
a Feb. 26 speech, Commissioner Robert J. Jackson, a Trump
appointee, said he was "concerned about the recent rumors that the
securities industry is eager to slip mandatory arbitration of
shareholder disputes" into initial public offering documents.
Shareholder lawsuits allow judges to shape securities law to adapt
to new developments,  Mr. Jackson said, while arbitration is
"usually conducted in a closed-door proceeding, depriving investors
of their chance to air their objections—and the rest of us the
knowledge of what the law is."

Critics of securities class actions -- including the Chamber and
conservative organizations like the Heritage Foundation -- say the
system enriches lawyers at the expense of their supposed clients:
shareholders. In the typical class action settlement, companies pay
former shareholders and the class action lawyers, essentially
shifting money from the pockets of current shareholders to those
who sold their stock after it declined.

The Heritage Foundation put it this way: "Longer-term shareholders
end up bearing the cost of class action settlements that benefit
plaintiffs' trial lawyers."

The U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform owns Legal Newsline.
[GN]


                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Consolidation for Discovery in Deem's Case OK'd
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Hon. Benjamin H. Settle of the U.S. District Court for the
Western District of Washington, at the behest of Sherri L. Deem,
has granted in part Plaintiff's Motion for Consolidation of the
case styled Sherri L. Deem, individually and as Personal
Representative of the Estate of Thomas A. Deem, deceased,
Plaintiff, v. Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, et al., Defendants,
Case No. 3:17-cv-05965 BHS, (W.D. Wash.) with Cause No.
3:18-cv-05527-BHS.

Case No. 3:17-cv-05965-BHS is consolidated with Cause No.
3:18-cv-05527-BHS for purposes of discovery and for purposes of
handling pretrial matters through the Court's disposition of
summary judgment or such other time prior to trial as the Court
deems appropriate.

The Court, however, will not consolidate these actions for trial at
this time and will reserve any determination of that issue until
discovery is completed. The parties will agree to an amended
caption that adequately reflects the consolidated actions. In
addition, the Clerk will administratively close Cause No.
3:18-cv-05527-BHS, strike the scheduling order in this action, and
issue a new abbreviated scheduling order consistent with the
scheduling order in Cause No. 3:18-cv-05527-BHS.

Sherri L Deem, individually, and as Personal Representative of the
estate of Thomas A Deem, deceased, Plaintiff, represented by
Benjamin H. Adams -- badams@dobllp.com -- Dean Omar & Branham, LLP,
pro hac vice, Elizabeth Jean McLafferty -- mclafferty@sgb-law.com
-- Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, Sabrina G Stone --
sstone@dobllp.com -- Dean Omar Branham, LLP, pro hac vice, Thomas
J. Breen -- breen@sgb-law.com -- Schroeter Goldmark & Bender &
Lucas W.H. Garrett -- garrett@sgb-law.com -- Schroeter Goldmark &
Bender.

Armstrong International, Inc., Defendant, represented by Bennett J
Hansen -- bhansen@pregodonnell.com -- Preg O'Donnell & Gillett,
PLLC, David E Chawes -- dchawes@pregodonnell.com -- Preg O'Donnell
& Gillett, PLLC & Stephanie B Ballard -- sballard@pregodonnell.com
-- Preg O'Donnell & Gillett, PLLC.

Anchor/Darling Valve Company, Defendant, represented by Brian D
Zeringer -- zeringerb@lanepowell.com -- Lane Powell PC -- Jeffrey M
Odom -- odomj@lanepowell.com -- Lane Powell PC & Katie Bass --
bassk@lanepowell.com -- Lane Powell PC.

BW/IP, Inc., individually, and as, Defendant, represented by
Christine E Dinsdale -- dinsdale@sohalang.com -- Soha & Lang PS &
Rachel A Rubin -- rubin@sohalang.com -- Soha & Lang PS.

Blackmer Pump Company & Gardner Denver, Inc., Defendants,
represented by Claude Bosworth -- cbosworth@rizzopc.com -- Rizzo
Mattingly Bosworth PC.

Clark-Reliance Corporation, individually, and as & Jerguson Gage &
Valve Company, doing business as, Defendants, represented by Alice
Coles Serko -- aserko@tktrial.com -- Tanenbaum Keale LLP &
Christopher S Marks -- cmarks@tktrial.com -- Tanenbaum Keale LLP.

Cleaver-Brooks, Inc, formerly known as, Defendant, represented by
Timothy Kost Thorson -- thorson@carneylaw.com -- Carney Badley
Spellman PS.

Crosby Valve, LLC, Goulds Pumps, Inc., Grinnell LLC, doing business
as, ITT LLC, formerly known as & Viad Corp., individually, and as,
Defendants, represented by Ronald C Gardner --
rgardner@gandtlawfirm.com -- Gardner Trabolsi & Assoc. PLLC.

Flowserve US, Inc., successor in interest, Defendant, represented
by Marc Marshall Carlton -- Marc.Carlton@lewisbrisbois.com -- Lewis
Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith LLP & Randy J Aliment --
Randy.Aliment@lewisbrisbois.com -- Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith
LLP.

FMC Corporation, individually, and as & McNally Industries, LLC,
individually, and as, Defendants, represented by Katherine M.
Steele -- katherine.steele@bullivant.com -- Bullivant Houser Bailey
& Rachel Tallon Reynolds -- Rachel.Reynolds@lewisbrisbois.com --
Bullivant Houser Bailey.

Hopeman Brothers Inc, Defendant, represented by James P. Brady --
jbrady@foleymansfield.com -- Foley & Mansfield, Jam James D Hicks
-- jhicks@foleymansfield.com -- Foley & Mansfield & Melissa K
Roeder -- mroeder@foleymansfield.com -- Foley & Mansfield.

Ingersoll-Rand Company & Velan Valve Corp., Defendants, represented
by Kevin J Craig -- kcraig@grsm.com -- Gordon Rees Scully
Mansukhani LLP, Trevor J. Mohr -- tmohr@grsm.com -- Gordon Rees
Scully Mansukhani LLP & Mark B Tuvim -- mtuvim@grsm.com -- Gordon
Rees Scully Mansukhani LLP.

John Crane, Inc., Defendant, represented by Daira S Waldenberg --
dwaldenberg@selmanlaw.com -- Selman Brietman LLP.

Viking Pump, Inc., Defendant, represented by Todd M. Thacker --
tthacker@wfbm.com -- WFBM LLP.

Weir Valves & Controls USA, Inc., individually, and as, Defendant,
represented by Dana C Kopij -- dkopij@williamskastner.com --
Williams Kastner & Gibbs.

The William Powell Company, Defendant, represented by Brian Bernard
Smith -- bsmith@foleymansfield.com -- Foley & Mansfield & James D
Hicks -- jhicks@foleymansfield.com -- Foley & Mansfield.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cox Claims vs. Parker Hannifin Dismissed
---------------------------------------------------------
Upon the Joint Motion of Plaintiffs, Jack Howard Cox Sr., Executor
of the Estate of Percy Ray Cox, and Defendant, Parker Hannifin
Corporation, the Hon. James C. Dever, III of the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina dismissed
with prejudice all of Plaintiffs' claims against Parker Hannifin
from the case styled Jack Howard Cox, Sr., Executor of the Estate
of Percy Ray Cox, Plaintiffs, v. AGCO Corporation, et al.,
Defendants, Civil Action No. 4:16-CV-00084-D, (E.D.N.C.).

A copy of the Order dated Dec. 20, 2018, is available at
https://tinyurl.com/y8thz8f2 from Leagle.com.

Jack Howard Cox, Sr., Executor of the Estate of Percy Ray Cox,
Dec., Plaintiff, represented by Benjamin D. Braly --
bbraly@dobllp.com -- Dean Omar Branham LLP, Sabrina G. Stone --
sstone@dobllp.com -- Dean Omar Branham LLP, Kevin W. Paul -- Dean
Omar Branham, LLP & Janet Ward Black , Ward Black Law.

Borg-Warner Morse Tec, Inc., successor in interest to Borg-Warner
Corporation, Defendant, represented by David L. Levy --
dlevy@hedrickgardner.com -- Hedrick, Gardner, Kincheloe & Garofalo,
LLP, Kelvin T. Wyles -- kelvin.wyles@dentons.com -- Dentons US LLP,
Lisa L. Oberg -- Lisa.Oberg@dentons.com -- Dentons US LLP & Jon S.
Player , Hedrick, Gardner, Kincheloe & Garofalo, LLP.

Caterpillar, Inc., Defendant, represented by William Michael Starr
-- bill.starr@nelsonmullins.com -- Nelson Mullins Riley &
Scarborough, LLP.

Deere & Company, Inc., doing business as John Deere, Defendant,
represented by Tracy E. Tomlin -- tomlin@nelsonmullins.com --
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, Travis Andrew Bustamante
-- bustamante@nelsonmullins.com -- Nelson Mullins Riley &
Scarborough, LLP & William Michael Starr --
bill.starr@nelsonmullins.com -- Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough,
LLP.

Ford Motor Company, Defendant, represented by Christopher R. Kiger
-- ckiger@smithlaw.com -- Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett,
Mitchell & Jernigan, LLP, Kirk G. Warner -- kwarner@smithlaw.com --
Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, LLP & Addie
K.S. Ries -- aries@smithlaw.com -- Smith, Anderson, Blount,
Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, LLP.

Honeywell International, Inc., individually and as successor in
interest to the Bendix Corporation, Defendant, represented by H.
Lee Davis, Jr. -- ldavis@davisandhamrick.com -- Davis & Hamrick,
LLP.

Maremont Corporation, Defendant, represented by Carter T. Lambeth ,
Carter T. Lambeth Attorney, P.C. & William P. Early , Pierce Herns
Sloan and Wilson LLC.

Navistar, Inc., successor in interest to International Harvester
Company, Defendant, represented by Robert O. Meriwether , Nelson
Mullins Riley & Scarborough, Tracy E. Tomlin --
tomlin@nelsonmullins.com -- Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough,
LLP, Travis Andrew Bustamante -- bustamante@nelsonmullins.com --
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP & William Michael Starr --
bill.starr@nelsonmullins.com -- Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough,
LLP.

Pneumo Abex LLC, successor in interest to Abex Corporation,
Defendant, represented by Timothy W. Bouch , Bouch McLeod LLC.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cox Claims vs. Standard Motor Dismissed
--------------------------------------------------------
Upon the Joint Motion of Plaintiffs, Jack Howard Cox Sr., Executor
of the Estate of Percy Ray Cox, and Defendant, Standard Motor
Products, Inc., the Hon. James C. Dever, III of the United States
District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina dismissed
with prejudice all of Plaintiffs' claims against Standard Motor
from the case styled Jack Howard Cox, Sr., Executor of the Estate
of Percy Ray Cox, Plaintiffs, v. AGCO Corporation, et al.,
Defendants, Civil Action No. 4:16-CV-00084-D, (E.D.N.C.).

A copy of the Order dated Dec. 20, 2018, is available at
https://tinyurl.com/y7h69g9y from Leagle.com.

Jack Howard Cox, Sr., Executor of the Estate of Percy Ray Cox,
Dec., Plaintiff, represented by Benjamin D. Braly --
bbraly@dobllp.com -- Dean Omar Branham LLP, Sabrina G. Stone --
sstone@dobllp.com -- Dean Omar Branham LLP, Kevin W. Paul -- Dean
Omar Branham, LLP & Janet Ward Black , Ward Black Law.

Borg-Warner Morse Tec, Inc., successor in interest to Borg-Warner
Corporation, Defendant, represented by David L. Levy --
dlevy@hedrickgardner.com -- Hedrick, Gardner, Kincheloe & Garofalo,
LLP, Kelvin T. Wyles -- kelvin.wyles@dentons.com -- Dentons US LLP,
Lisa L. Oberg -- Lisa.Oberg@dentons.com -- Dentons US LLP & Jon S.
Player , Hedrick, Gardner, Kincheloe & Garofalo, LLP.

Caterpillar, Inc., Defendant, represented by William Michael Starr
-- bill.starr@nelsonmullins.com -- Nelson Mullins Riley &
Scarborough, LLP.

Deere & Company, Inc., doing business as John Deere, Defendant,
represented by Tracy E. Tomlin -- tomlin@nelsonmullins.com --
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP, Travis Andrew Bustamante
-- bustamante@nelsonmullins.com -- Nelson Mullins Riley &
Scarborough, LLP & William Michael Starr --
bill.starr@nelsonmullins.com -- Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough,
LLP.

Ford Motor Company, Defendant, represented by Christopher R. Kiger
-- ckiger@smithlaw.com -- Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett,
Mitchell & Jernigan, LLP, Kirk G. Warner -- kwarner@smithlaw.com --
Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, LLP & Addie
K.S. Ries -- aries@smithlaw.com -- Smith, Anderson, Blount,
Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, LLP.

Honeywell International, Inc., individually and as successor in
interest to the Bendix Corporation, Defendant, represented by H.
Lee Davis, Jr. -- ldavis@davisandhamrick.com -- Davis & Hamrick,
LLP.

Maremont Corporation, Defendant, represented by Carter T. Lambeth ,
Carter T. Lambeth Attorney, P.C. & William P. Early , Pierce Herns
Sloan and Wilson LLC.

Navistar, Inc., successor in interest to International Harvester
Company, Defendant, represented by Robert O. Meriwether , Nelson
Mullins Riley & Scarborough, Tracy E. Tomlin --
tomlin@nelsonmullins.com -- Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough,
LLP, Travis Andrew Bustamante -- bustamante@nelsonmullins.com --
Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough, LLP & William Michael Starr --
bill.starr@nelsonmullins.com -- Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough,
LLP.

Pneumo Abex LLC, successor in interest to Abex Corporation,
Defendant, represented by Timothy W. Bouch , Bouch McLeod LLC.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Determination of Utica's Liability Caused Remand
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The appealed case Utica Mutual Insurance Company,
Plaintiff-Counter-Defendant-Appellant-Cross-Appellee, v. Clearwater
Insurance Company,
Defendant-Counter-Claimant-Appellee-Cross-Appellant, Docket Nos.
16-2535 (L), 16-2824 (XAP) August Term 2017, (2d Cir.) involves
several types of insurance with their own spheres of coverage.

From the 1950s to the 1990s, Utica Mutual Insurance Company issued
various liability insurance policies -- both primary and umbrella
-- to Goulds Pumps, Inc. The Goulds-Utica policies provide
liability coverage pursuant to which Utica agreed both to defend
Goulds in litigation and to indemnify it for liability claims
resolved in settlement or judgment. The policies provide coverage
for, among other things, asbestos personal-injury claims.
Clearwater Insurance Company reinsured several of these policies.

However, the primary policies Utica issued to Goulds from 1978 to
1981 had a glaring omission: they did not include aggregate limits
of liability. In other words, the policies failed to specify the
maximum amount Utica would pay Goulds. Because that maximum amount
defined the limit of Utica's liability to Goulds under its primary
policies, the omissions exposed Utica to potentially limitless
liability. The absence of a specific aggregate-liability limit
became a problem for Utica.

The Utica-Goulds policies proved valuable to Goulds when it started
receiving thousands of asbestos bodily-injury claims in the 1990s.
In the mid-1990s, Goulds experienced a rise in the number of claims
alleging injuries from the asbestos in its products.

By the early 2000s, Goulds and Utica had initiated actions against
each other in California and New York seeking declarations
regarding the parties' respective insurance-coverage obligations.

Prompted in part by Utica's staggering potential liability stemming
from the policies' failure to define Utica's maximum exposure,
Goulds and Utica settled in 2007. The settlement treated the
primary policies as having aggregate limits. Utica began paying
Goulds pursuant to their settlement.

Once Utica's obligations to Goulds reached what Utica regarded as
an amount sufficient to trigger its coverage under its reinsurance
contracts, Utica turned to its reinsurers, including Clearwater,
for indemnity.

Clearwater had reinsured the 1978 and 1979 umbrella policies for
Utica through two near-identical reinsurance certificates. Each
Clearwater certificate lists "Clearwater's Liability and Basis of
Acceptance" as a percentage share of specified "layers" of the
umbrella policies.

Clearwater's liability totaled $5 million for the 1978 policy and
$2.5 million for the 1979 policy. Clearwater also reinsured the
1979, 1980, and 1981 umbrella policies in three reinsurance
contracts (the "TPF&C memoranda") by its participation in a pool of
reinsurers then managed by Towers, Perrin, Forster & Crosby, Inc.
The limits of these five policies total $7,712,500 in coverage by
Clearwater.

Clearwater paid nearly $1 million on Utica's reinsurance billings
before stopping. According to Clearwater, the lack of aggregate
limits on the primary policies meant that asbestos-related losses
never reached -- and therefore never triggered indemnity under --
the reinsured umbrella policies.

Utica filed suit in 2013 seeking recovery for Clearwater's alleged
breach of the five reinsurance contracts spanning 1978 to 1981.
Clearwater denied liability and counter-sued for recovery of the
amount already paid.

At the outset of the litigation, Clearwater filed a motion for
partial summary judgment seeking a declaration that any liability
on the Clearwater certificates is capped at their stated liability
limits ($5 million and $2.5 million for 1978 and 1979,
respectively). Though the Clearwater certificates indemnify Utica
for loss expenses, they do not clarify whether the expense
liability is capped by the stated limits.

The certificates only state that "upon receipt by Clearwater of
satisfactory evidence of payment of a loss for which reinsurance is
provided hereunder, Clearwater will promptly reimburse Utica for
its share of the loss and loss expense." Clearwater argued that the
certificates' liability limits were hard caps that precluded Utica
from recovering defense costs and other expense payments beyond the
limits.

The district court granted Clearwater's motion, holding that the
reinsurer's liability limit under the Clearwater certificates, if
any, unambiguously include expenses. Utica now appeals from the
district court's grant of Clearwater's partial motion for summary
judgment on the scope of its coverage under the reinsurance
contracts. Clearwater cross-appeals from the district court's grant
of Utica's motion for summary judgment on Clearwater's liability
under the Utica-Goulds settlement.

On appeal, Utica argues that the district court erred in that
regard because the Clearwater certificates are expense-supplemental
-- that is, they require Clearwater to cover all expenses in
addition to Clearwater's accepted liability limit under the
certificates.

The question presented on appeal is, thus, whether the expenses
Clearwater pays are capped at Clearwater's liability limit or must
be paid in addition to it.

The Second Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals determines that
Clearwater's liability is expense-supplemental. The Court finds
that Clearwater's certificates provide that it reinsures Utica
"subject to the terms and General Conditions of the certificates."
Its reinsurance obligations, therefore, hinge on the certificates'
terms and conditions. The certificates list Clearwater's "Liability
and Basis of Acceptance" as $5 million and $2.5 million. They also
have boilerplate General Conditions addressing, among other topics,
reinsurer liability.

General Condition 1 encompasses a "follow the form" clause.
Clearwater's liability therefore must follow Utica's liability
unless the insurance policies' terms and conditions are
inconsistent with those of the reinsurance certificates. In light
of the follow-the-form clause, Clearwater's obligations on the
Clearwater certificates must track Utica's obligations on the
underlying policies. Because the underlying policies are
expense-supplemental, the Clearwater certificates likewise are
expense-supplemental.

Thus, the Court determines that when Clearwater is liable to pay
expenses on its issued policies, it must pay those expenses in
addition to the up to $5 million and $2.5 million of reinsurance
liability accepted under the 1978 and 1979 reinsurance
certificates, respectively.

However, the conclusion does not resolve the disagreement of the
parties, it merely shifts from interpretation of the Clearwater
certificates to interpretation of the umbrella policies.

Utica's umbrella policies cover expenses "not covered by" primary
or other insurance: Utica must pay expenses beyond the liability
limit only "with respect to any occurrence not covered by the
policies listed in the schedule of underlying insurance."

Clearwater argues that "not covered by" means not within the scope
of coverage. It reasons that because asbestos liabilities were
covered by primary insurance, the umbrella policies were not
triggered, and Utica (and therefore Clearwater) was not required to
pay expenses in addition to the liability limit for asbestos
claims.

Utica argues that "not covered by" means not collected under.
According to Utica, this language merely specifies that Utica pays
expenses beyond the liability limit only for asbestos liabilities
arising upon exhaustion of the primary policies.

The Court finds, however, that the district court has not decided
whether expenses stemming from Goulds' asbestos-related claims fall
into this "not covered by" category. Such determination is
critical, the Court says. The Court explains that follow-the-form
clauses achieve congruity of policies, and thus expense liability,
between the reinsurer and its reinsured; the clauses do not amplify
a reinsurer's liability beyond that of the reinsured. Thus, if
Utica's umbrella policies do not insure asbestos-related expenses,
then Clearwater's reinsurance certificates do not either.

The Court concludes that the district court must resolve in the
first instance whether Utica's underlying policies obligate Utica
to pay asbestos-related costs. Although the umbrella policies are
expense-supplemental, and the reinsurance policies must follow form
in accordance with those policies, whether Utica is obligated under
its umbrella policies to pay expenses for asbestos-related claims
depends on the meaning of "not covered by."

Accordingly, the Court vacates the district court's grant of
partial summary judgment for Clearwater and remands the case for
the district court to determine the meaning of "not covered by."

The cross-appeal concerns Clearwater's obligations under the TPF&C
Memoranda and the Clearwater certificates to reimburse Utica for
its voluntary settlement with Goulds. The TPF&C Memoranda provides:
"All claims settlements when authorized by TPF&C, will be binding
on the Reinsurers...." The Parties agree that the authorization
language imposes a condition precedent to a reinsurer's liability
for settlement payments.

Clearwater argues that because Utica never sought or received
TPF&C's authorization before settling, Clearwater was not bound to
Utica's settlement. Utica responds that it was excused from
complying with the obligation to get authorization from TPF&C
because doing so would have been an impossible task.

The Court finds that Utica failed to show that Clearwater was
obliged to follow the settlement under the TPF&C memoranda,
notwithstanding that Utica never got TPF&C's authorization before
settling. Utica has established neither that (1) the condition is
minor, a mere technicality, and would result in forfeiture, nor
that (2) Clearwater hindered satisfaction of the condition.

Although Utica argues that TPF&C's decision to step away from
managing the insurance consortium is attributable to Clearwater, it
fails to show that Clearwater played a part in TPF&C's decision.
Even if Utica had shown that obtaining TPF&C's authorization was
impossible and thus excused, the Court clarifies that Utica also
needed to establish that Clearwater's performance was not also
excused by reason of the unrealized condition -- the authorization
for settlement. Thus, the Court concludes that Utica did not
establish its entitlement as a matter of law to have Clearwater pay
according to the Goulds-Utica settlement.

As a matter of law, the Court determines that Clearwater is not
obligated under either the memoranda or the certificates to follow
Utica's settlement with Goulds, but rather Clearwater must
indemnify Utica according to Utica's proven liability on the
umbrella policies. Accordingly, the Court vacates the district
court's grant of summary judgment for Utica and remands for trial
to determine Clearwater's actual liability to Utica under both the
TPF&C memoranda and the Clearwater certificates.

A full-text copy of the decision is available at
https://tinyurl.com/yd9gat5f from Leagle.com.

William M. Sneed -- wsneed@sidley.com -- ( Daniel R. Thies , on the
brief), Sidley Austin LLP, Chicago, IL, for
Plaintiff-Appellant-Cross-Appellee.

David C. Frederick -- dfrederick@kellogghansen.com -- Kellogg,
Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, P.L.L.C., Washington, D.C. (Jeremy
S.B. Newman -- jnewman@kellogghansen.com -- Amelia I.P. Frenkel,
Kellogg, Hansen, Todd, Figel & Frederick, P.L.L.C., Washington,
D.C.; John F. Finnegan , Chadbourne & Parke LLP, New York, NY, on
the brief), for Defendant-Appellee-Cross-Appellant.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Ford Motor's Summary Judgment Granted in Doolin
----------------------------------------------------------------
In the case entitled Stacey Doolin, as the Personal Representative
of the Estate of Richard E. Doolin, Plaintiff, v. Ford Motor
Company, et al., Defendants, Case No. 3:16-cv-778-J-34PDB, (M.D.
Fla.), remaining Defendants, Ford Motor Company and Pneumo Abex
LLC, have filed several Daubert motions seeking to exclude
Plaintiff's causation experts, Arnold R. Brody, Ph.D., and Richard
L. Kradin, M.D., D.T.M. & H., and motions for summary judgment.

The Hon. Marcia Morales Howard of the U.S. District Court for the
Middle District of Florida grants Ford Motor Company and Pneumo
Abex LLC's Motion to Exclude Plaintiff's causation expert Richard
L. Kradin. As Plaintiff has offered no additional proof that
exposure to the asbestos-containing products of Ford or Abex more
likely than not caused the Decedent's cancer, the Court also grants
Ford and Abex's Summary Judgment Motions.

Richard E. Doolin was diagnosed with mesothelioma and died as a
result of the mesothelioma on June 22, 2014. His wife, Plaintiff
Stacey Doolin, as the personal representative of her husband's
estate, initiated this products liability action pertaining to
Defendants' asbestos-containing automotive products on June 22,
2016. The Plaintiff maintains that the Decedent developed
mesothelioma because of his exposure to "asbestos-containing
products manufactured, sold, supplied and/or distributed" by
Defendants. The Plaintiff asserts causes of action for state law
negligence and strict liability premised on design defect and a
failure to warn.

On July 8, 2016, the Plaintiff filed the Amended Complaint, which
indicates that the Decedent was exposed to asbestos as a child when
he would visit the automotive workshop -- the Teen Challenge
Workshop -- where his father was employed. In addition, Plaintiff
maintains that the Decedent continued to perform automotive work
throughout his life, although not professionally, further exposing
him to asbestos.

As evidence of causation, Plaintiff relies on the testimony of
expert witnesses Brody and Kradin. Brody intends to testify as to
general causation -- the manner and means by which exposure to
chrysotile asbestos can cause mesothelioma, and Kradin is prepared
to testify as to specific causation -- that the Decedent's exposure
to chrysotile asbestos from the automotive work did cause his
mesothelioma.

Ford and Abex contend that Brody and Kradin's opinions should be
excluded because they fail to satisfy the requirements of Daubert
for the admissibility of expert testimony, and that absent this
testimony, Ford and Abex are entitled to summary judgment because
Plaintiff fails to demonstrate an issue of fact on causation.
Alternatively, Ford and Abex contend that even if the Court finds
that Brody and Kradin's opinions are admissible, their testimony is
insufficient to establish an issue of fact on causation under
Florida law.

Specifically, the Defendants take issue with Brody's concluding
opinion that: "Once a person develops an asbestos-related cancer,
it is not possible to exclude any of the person's above-background
exposures to asbestos from the causal chain. Each and every
exposure to asbestos that an individual with mesothelioma
experienced in excess of a background level contributes to the
development of the disease." The Defendants argue that Brody offers
no opinions specific to the Decedent in this case and indeed, he
rendered his opinion without any information regarding the quantity
of the Decedent's dose exposures to asbestos.

As to general causation, Ford and Abex contend that there is no
evidence that exposure to chrysotile asbestos in brake dust causes
mesothelioma. Ford and Abex rely on studies indicating that the
conditions under which brake pads are used transforms the asbestos
on the brake pad into a non-carcinogenic substance. Ford and Abex
also cite to epidemiological evidence that there is no increased
incidence of mesothelioma among automobile mechanics.

In response, Plaintiff argues that it is well-accepted in the
scientific community that chrysotile asbestos causes mesothelioma.
Although Plaintiff's argument focuses on chrysotile asbestos more
broadly, rather than brake dust specifically.

The Court notes that neither Kradin nor Brody discuss brake dust in
their expert reports, although, during his deposition, Kradin did
testify to his opinion that "brakes are cause of mesothelioma,
working with brakes or bystander exposures to brakes are the cause
of mesothelioma."

Thus, the specific causation question in the instant case is: was
the Decedent's exposure to asbestos in the Teen Challenge auto shop
a substantial contributing factor to the development of the
mesothelioma?

Kradin provides Plaintiff's sole evidence on the issue of specific
causation. Kradin acknowledges that mesothelioma is a dose-response
disease, such that "the more asbestos exposure an individual has,
the greater his or her chance of developing mesothelioma," but he
does not attempt to analyze the Decedent's particular exposure or
the degree to which it increased his risk of mesothelioma.

Additionally, Kradin maintains that it is not necessary to
determine the amount of the Decedent's dose because "there is no
safe level (or threshold) of exposure to asbestos that has been
shown not to cause mesothelioma."

The Court finds Kradin's disregard of the need to assess the
Decedent's particular dose and attendant risk particularly
problematic because the Decedent suffered from an unusual form of
mesothelioma located in the pericardium. Nonetheless, the very
basis of Kradin's "any exposure" causation opinion is the strong,
well-established connection between asbestos exposure and pleural
and peritoneal mesothelioma.

Kradin resolves the discrepancy by opining that: (1) he does not
have enough information to know for sure that the Decedent's
mesothelioma was primary and exclusive to the pericardium, and (2)
regardless, pericardial mesothelioma is not biologically distinct
from other types of mesothelioma, and the scientific literature on
pericardial mesothelioma supports some association to asbestos.
This explanation is unsupported by citation to any scientific or
medical literature, and as such, the Court finds this precisely the
type of leap from an accepted scientific premise to an unsupported
one that courts are cautioned against.

Because Kradin's opinion is premised on data pertaining to pleural
and peritoneal mesothelioma, and absent any support for his
extrapolation that such data is equally applicable to pericardial
mesothelioma, the Court concludes that Kradin's causation opinion
is not tailored to the facts of the case and as such too
unreliable. The Court maintains that Kradin's opinion lacks any
analysis of the competing explanation for the Decedent's
mesothelioma.

Thus, the Court is convinced that Kradin's opinion is due to be
excluded because Kradin reaches his opinion as to specific
causation without: (1) making any attempt to analyze the Decedent's
specific dose of asbestos and the degree to which it increased his
risk of developing mesothelioma, (2) identifying or discussing the
particular form of the Decedent's mesothelioma and its connection
to asbestos exposure, or (3) adequately considering the
contribution of the Decedent's therapeutic radiation and explaining
why it was likely not the sole cause of his mesothelioma.

Since causation is a critical element in each of Plaintiff's
claims, Ford and Abex are entitled to judgment as a matter of law
on all claims set forth in the Amended Complaint because Plaintiff
fails to establish the existence of a genuine issue of material
fact with regard to whether the Decedent's exposure to asbestos
while working with Ford and Abex products caused him to develop
mesothelioma.

A full-text copy of the Order is available at
https://tinyurl.com/y7nxn5cr from Leagle.com.

Stacey Doolin, as Personal Representative of the Estate of Richard
E. Doolin, Plaintiff, represented by David A. Jagolinzer , The
Ferraro Law Firm & Marc Phillip Kunen , The Ferraro Law Firm.

Ford Motor Company, Defendant, represented by Alina Alonso
Rodriguez -- alina.rodriguez@bowmanandbrooke.com -- Bowman and
Brooke, LLP, Andrew Scott Freedman -- andrew.freedman@csklegal.com
-- Cole, Scott & Kissane, PA, Caroline M. Iovino -- ciovino@mwe.com
-- McDermott, Will & Emery, LLP, Clarke S. Sturge --
clarke.sturge@csklegal.com -- Cole, Scott & Kissane, PA, Henry
Salas -- henry.salas@csklegal.com -- Cole, Scott & Kissane, PA,
Shepherd D. Wainger , McGuire Woods, LLP, pro hac vice & Wendy
Frank Lumish -- wendy.lumish@bowmanandbrooke.com -- Bowman and
Brooke, LLP.

Honeywell International, Inc., as successor in interest to Allied
Corporation, as successor in interest to The Bendix Corporation,
Defendant, represented by Anthony Nolan Upshaw -- aupshaw@mwe.com
-- McDermott, Will & Emery, LLP, Caroline M. Iovino --
ciovino@mwe.com -- McDermott, Will & Emery, LLP, Melissa Raspall
Alvarez -- malvarez@mwe.com -- McDermott, Will & Emery, LLP & Jack
Roy Reiter -- jack.reiter@gray-robinson.com -- GrayRobinson, PA.

Pneumo Abex LLC, a successor in interest to Pneumo Abex
Corporation, Defendant, represented by Andrew Scott Freedman --
andrew.freedman@csklegal.com -- Cole, Scott & Kissane, PA, Caroline
M. Iovino -- ciovino@mwe.com -- McDermott, Will & Emery, LLP,
Clarke S. Sturge -- clarke.sturge@csklegal.com -- Cole, Scott &
Kissane, PA, Henry Salas -- henry.salas@csklegal.com -- Cole, Scott
& Kissane, PA, Johan D. Flynn -- jflynn@dehay.com -- DeHay
Elliston, LLP, pro hac vice & John M. Fitzpatrick --
fitzpatrick@wtotrial.com -- Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell, LLP, pro hac
vice.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Jenkins Time to Enter Additur Stipulation Enlarged
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, at the
behest of Jenkins Bros., has enlarged Defendant-Appellant's time to
choose whether to stipulate to the additur or proceed with the
retrial, until its appeal to the Court of Appeals is decided.

A decision and order of the Court (Appeal No. 6936-38), have been
entered on Sept. 13, 2018, which, inter alia, modified an order of
the Supreme Court, New York County, entered on Dec. 15, 2017, to
direct a new trial on past pain and suffering only, unless,
Defendant-Appellant stipulated to increase the award for past pain
and suffering to $4 million, and to reinstate the jury's future
pain and suffering award of $1.5 million.

The appealed case is In Re: New York City Asbestos Litigation. Ann
Marie Idell, As Executrix of the Estate of Thomas Mc Glynn,
Deceased, Plaintiff-Respondent, v. AERCO International, Inc., et
al., Defendants, Crane Co., et al., Defendants-Respondents, Jenkins
Bros., Defendant-Appellant, Motion No. M-5145, Index No. 190219/16,
(N.Y. App. Div.).

A copy of the Order dated Dec. 20, 2018, is available at
https://tinyurl.com/y7ltvm9a from Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Louisiana Pacific is Liable to Atchley's ARD
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Hon. David M. Sandler of the Workers' Compensation Court of
Montana has issued a Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and
Judgment in the case styled Hazel Atchley, Petitioner, v. Louisiana
Pacific Corp., Respondent/Insurer, resolving the Parties'
disagreement whether Edward Atchley's ARD constitutes an
occupational disease for which Louisiana Pacific Corp. can be
liable, particularly as to the interplay of Sections 39-72-102(10)
and -408, MCA, on the one hand, and Section 39-72-303(1), MCA, on
the other.

LP asserts that the Court must apply Section 39-72-408, MCA,
specifically to Edward's employment at the lumbermill owned by
Louisiana Pacific Corp. (LP Lumbermill) and determine whether that
specific employment was the proximate cause of Edward's ARD. LP
argues that if Petitioner Hazel Atchley does not prove that
Edward's employment at the LP Lumbermill was the proximate cause of
his ARD, then Edward did not have an occupational disease for which
it can be liable. However, if Hazel proves that Edward's employment
at LP was the proximate cause of his ARD, then the Court can
consider whether any exposure to asbestos at the LP Lumbermill
constitutes a last injurious exposure under Section 39-72-303(1),
MCA.

Hazel maintains that if she proves that Edward's lifetime of
employment was the proximate cause of his ARD, thereby proving that
Edward had an occupational disease pursuant to Sections
39-72-102(10) and -408, MCA, the next step is to determine which
employer is liable under the last injurious exposure rule, at
Section 39-72-303(1), MCA.

The Court finds that from the 1920s to 1990, Zonolite Company and
then W.R. Grace operated vermiculite mine, which was 7 miles
northeast of Libby. The vermiculite contained a unique,
amphibole-type asbestos, called "Libby amphibole" or "Libby
asbestos." Because of the mine's proximity to Libby, the town had a
hazardous "background" or "ambient" level of asbestos when the mine
operated. In the mid-1970s, the level was measured at 1 fiber per
cubic centimeter, which exceeds the current OSHA limit.
Approximately 7 to 9% of residents with no occupational or familial
exposure developed ARD.

It is undisputed that Edward Atchley experienced many exposures to
asbestos during his lifetime. While Edward's non-occupational
exposure as a Libby resident was "high enough to have increased the
risk for" ARD, the Court finds that Edward's occupational exposure
to asbestos was greater than his non-occupational exposure.  

The Court has found that he was exposed to asbestos during his
service in the U.S. Navy while working in an engine room onboard
the USS Herbert J. Thomas; and exposed to Libby asbestos in amounts
greater than the Libby background while working at the Stimson
Lumbermill, at W.R. Grace, and at the lumbermill owned by Louisiana
Pacific Corp. (LP Lumbermill).

It is undisputed that Edward developed ARD, and the Court finds
that each of these occupational exposures significantly contributed
to Edward's ARD. The evidence establishes that Edward spent more
than 20 years working in jobs, including in the Navy, at the
Stimson Lumbermill, at the W.R. Grace Mine, and at the LP
Lumbermill, in which he was continuously exposed to significant
amounts of airborne asbestos in amounts that were greater than the
Libby background.

The Court also finds that during the 9-year course of his full-time
employment for LP, Edward was consistently exposed to air and dust
contaminated with Libby asbestos while working at the LP
Lumbermill, in amounts exceeding the background level found in
Libby. The sources of contamination settled on the dirt roads at
the mill that were regularly kicked up by vehicle traffic, adding
to Edward's continuous exposure. The Court concludes that Edward's
exposure to Libby asbestos at the LP Lumbermill significantly
aggravated and contributed to his ARD.

LP argues that since Edward was first diagnosed with ARD decades
after he left the Navy and engaged in other employments, under
Montana law, the Court must determine the last employment where
Edward was injuriously exposed to the hazard of the disease -- not
the first.

Although Edward's military exposure was sufficient to cause his
ARD, Montana law places liability on the last injurious exposure.
The Court has found that Edward had an occupational disease because
his occupational exposures significantly contributed to and
aggravated his ARD and that Edward's occupational exposure at the
LP Lumbermill was the type and kind of exposure that can cause ARD.
Under Montana law, this is sufficient for LP to be liable.

The Court concludes that Edward's exposure to airborne asbestos in
amounts exceeding the Libby background in the course of his 9-year
employment at the LP Lumbermill -- the same type and kind of
conditions which cause ARD contributed to his occupational disease.
Thus, even if earlier employers may have contributed more to the
development of Edward's occupational disease, the Court determines
that LP is liable as the insurer at risk at the time of Edward's
last injurious exposure.

A full-text copy of the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and
Judgment is available at  https://tinyurl.com/ybc3ytho from
Leagle.com.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rivera's Suit Remains With District Court
----------------------------------------------------------
The Hon. Jane Triche Milazzo of the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Louisiana denies Plaintiff's Motion to Remand
the case styled Judith Punch Rivera, v. Huntington Ingalls, Inc.,
et al., Civil Action No. 18-6795, (E.D. La.).

This asbestos litigation stems from a wrongful death and survival
suit filed in state court by Plaintiff Judith Punch Rivera, on
behalf of her deceased mother, Dolores Punch. The Plaintiff filed
her original petition in Louisiana's 34th Judicial District Court
in St. Bernard Parish on June 8, 2017, claiming Punch died from
mesothelioma she contracted as a result of washing her husband's
asbestos-ridden clothing for years. The suit names numerous
defendants, including Kaiser Aluminum and Huntington Ingalls, Inc.
("Avondale").

Avondale is the current owner of the company where the decedent's
husband worked for when he handled asbestos-containing material as
a pipefitter and welder at the Avondale shipyard in New Orleans
from 1948 to 1960. The decedent's husband, Richard Punch Sr., also
worked from 1961 to 1967 at Kaiser Aluminum in Chalmette,
Louisiana, in the same type of jobs handling the same kinds of
asbestos-containing materials.

On Aug. 18, 2017, the suit was transferred to the Civil District
Court in Orleans Parish. There, on July 6, 2018, Plaintiff filed a
first supplemental and amended petition. In it, Plaintiff alleged
it was not just the asbestos-covered clothes of decedent's husband,
but also those of decedent's son, that caused decedent's
mesothelioma. Decedent's son, Richard Punch Jr., worked as a helper
and pipefitter at Avondale from 1976 to 1979. Plaintiff alleged
state law strict liability and negligent failure to warn,
supervise, and train claims against Avondale and other defendants
as part of her wrongful death and survival suit.

On July 18, 2018, Defendant Avondale removed Plaintiffs' suit to
the District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana under the
Federal Officer Removal Statute. In essence, Defendant Avondale
argues it is entitled to removal because it only engaged in the
conduct underlying Plaintiffs' claims -- the use of
asbestos-containing products in Avondale's shipbuilding business --
because Avondale's contracts with the federal government required
it to do so. Avondale raises as its colorable federal defense the
jurisprudential doctrine of government contractor immunity.

The Plaintiff filed a Motion to Remand the case to state court,
arguing that Defendant Avondale failed to meet the necessary
requirements of the Federal Officer Removal Statute.

First, Plaintiff argues the government contractor defense is
applicable only in design or manufacturing defect cases, not
failure to warn cases. Plaintiff argues next that the defense does
not apply because Plaintiff made her failure to warn claims against
only manufacturers and suppliers of asbestos-containing materials,
not Avondale, a shipbuilder. Plaintiff also argues that the
contractor defense only applies when the asbestos-containing
materials are military equipment.

Despite these assertions, the Fifth Circuit has held, in other
cases like this one, that Defendant Avondale (1) has satisfied that
the government's mandatory contract terms required Avondale to
build ships with specific asbestos-containing material; (b) has
shown that the ships it built conformed to the government's
contract specifications requiring the use of asbestos-containing
material; and (c) has submitted affidavit and deposition testimony
of a maritime historian, an industrial hygienist, and a retired
Assistant Surgeon General of the United States to show Avondale
knew no more than the government did about the dangers of asbestos
at the time Avondale used asbestos-containing materials in its
shipbuilding work.

The Court concludes that Avondale successfully asserted the
government contractor immunity defense as a "colorable" federal
defense to support removal under the Federal Officer Removal
Statute.

Recognizing the fatal effect of the strict liability claims on her
Motion to Remand, Plaintiff argues that the Court should allow her
to undo those claims, apply the change retroactively, and grant her
Motion. The outcome-determinative question before the Court is
whether it should consider Plaintiff's request to amend her strict
liability claims against Avondale -- a request not made until after
Avondale removed the suit -- as part of its analysis of Plaintiff's
Motion to Remand.

The Court explains that if it allowed Plaintiff to strategically
delete specific claims to defeat removal and then remanded the
case, Defendants might just ground their removal on different
claims in the state petition. Worse, Plaintiff might simply attempt
to further amend their claims once back in state court to add
removable claims. As such, it is clear that a district court should
decide the issues in a Motion to Remand based on the claims pending
at the time the defendant removed the case.

Because the Court treats Plaintiff's amended state court petition
as having stated a strict liability claim against Avondale at the
time removal occurred, Defendant Avondale satisfied the causal
nexus requirement of the Federal Officer Removal Statute. As such,
Defendant satisfied all four elements necessary for removal under
the Federal Officer Removal Statute.

A full-text copy of the Order and Reasons is available at
https://tinyurl.com/yaqego25 from Leagle.com.

Judith Punch Rivera, Statutory heir of Dolores Punch, Plaintiff,
represented by L. Eric Williams, Jr. , Williams Law Office, LLC &
John Joseph Finckbeiner, Jr. , The Law Office of John J.
Finckbeiner, Jr.

Huntington Ingalls, Inc., formerly known as Northrop Grumman Ship
Systems, Inc., Avondale Industries, Inc., Avondale Shipyards, Inc,
Defendant, represented by Gustave A. Fritchie, III --
gfritchie@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC,
Alex Tyler Robertson -- arobertson@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie
Urquhart & Moore, LLC, David Michael Melancon --
dmelancon@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC,
Edward Winter Trapolin -- etrapolin@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie
Urquhart & Moore, LLC & Timothy Farrow Daniels --
tdaniels@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC.

Eagle, Inc. & McCarty Corporation, Defendants, represented by Susan
Beth Kohn -- suek@spsr-law.com -- Simon, Peragine, Smith &
Redfearn, LLP, Douglas Kinler -- douglask@spsr-law.com -- Simon,
Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, LLP, Douglas Watson Redfearn --
douglasr@spsr-law.com -- Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, LLP,
Nicole M. Loup , Nicole M. Loup, Attorney at Law & Stephen Jared
Austin , Stephen J. Austin, LLC.

Arrowood Indemnity Company, Defendant, represented by Lawrence G.
Pugh, III -- lpugh@pugh-law.com -- Pugh, Accardo, LLC, Donna M.
Young -- dyoung@pugh-law.com -- Pugh, Accardo, LLC, Jacqueline
Romero -- jromero@pugh-law.com -- Pugh, Accardo, LLC & Shelley L.
Thompson -- sthompson@pugh-law.com -- Pugh, Accardo, LLC.

Owens-Illinois, Inc., doing business as O-I, Defendant, represented
by Walter G. Watkins, III -- wg.watkins@formanwatkins.com --
Forman, Watkins & Krutz LLP, Elizabeth Riddell Penn --
elizabeth.penn@formanwatkins.com -- Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP &
Mary Reeves Arthur -- mimi.arthur@formanwatkins.com -- Forman,
Watkins, & Krutz, LLP.

Crown, Cork & Seal USA, Inc., Defendant, represented by Michael D.
Lonegrass -- mlonegrass@gallowaylawfirm.com -- Galloway, Johnson,
Tompkins, Burr & Smith & Rodger Gregory Green, Jr. --
RGreenJr@gallowaylawfirm.com -- Galloway, Johnson, Tompkins, Burr &
Smith.

Reilly-Benton Company, Inc., Defendant, represented by Thomas L.
Cougill , Willingham Fultz & Cougill, LLP, Jamie M. Zanovec ,
Willingham Fultz & Cougill, LLP, Jennifer H. McLaughlin ,
Willingham Fultz & Cougill, LLP & Jennifer D. Zajac , Willingham
Fultz & Cougill, LLP.

Foster Wheeler, LLC, Improperly named as Amec Foster Wheeler
Constructors, Inc., Defendant, represented by John Joseph Hainkel,
III -- jhainkel@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C., Angela M. Bowlin --
abowlin@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C., James H. Brown, Jr. --
jbrown@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C., Kelly L. Long --
klong@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C., Kelsey A. Eagan --
keagan@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C., Lacey Taylor McCoy --
LMcCoy@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C. & Magali Ann Puente-Martin --
mpuente@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C.

Huntington Ingalls, Inc., Third Party Plaintiff, represented by
Gustave A. Fritchie, III -- gfritchie@irwinllc.com -- Irwin
Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC, Alex Tyler Robertson --
arobertson@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC,
David Michael Melancon -- dmelancon@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie
Urquhart & Moore, LLC, Edward Winter Trapolin --
etrapolin@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC &
Timothy Farrow Daniels -- tdaniels@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie
Urquhart & Moore, LLC.

Huntington Ingalls, Inc., Cross Claimant, represented by Gustave A.
Fritchie, III -- gfritchie@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart
& Moore, LLC, Alex Tyler Robertson -- arobertson@irwinllc.com --
Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC, David Michael Melancon --
dmelancon@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC,
Edward Winter Trapolin -- etrapolin@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie
Urquhart & Moore, LLC & Timothy Farrow Daniels --
tdaniels@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC.

Owens-Illinois, Inc., Cross Defendant, represented by Walter G.
Watkins, III -- wg.watkins@formanwatkins.com -- Forman, Watkins &
Krutz LLP, Elizabeth Riddell Penn --
elizabeth.penn@formanwatkins.com -- Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP &
Mary Reeves Arthur -- mimi.arthur@formanwatkins.com -- Forman,
Watkins, & Krutz, LLP.

Reilly-Benton Company, Inc., Cross Defendant, represented by Thomas
L. Cougill , Willingham Fultz & Cougill, LLP, Jamie M. Zanovec ,
Willingham Fultz & Cougill, LLP, Jennifer H. McLaughlin ,
Willingham Fultz & Cougill, LLP & Jennifer D. Zajac , Willingham
Fultz & Cougill, LLP.

McCarty Corporation, Cross Defendant, represented by Susan Beth
Kohn -- suek@spsr-law.com -- Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn,
LLP, Douglas Kinler -- douglask@spsr-law.com -- Simon, Peragine,
Smith & Redfearn, LLP, Douglas Watson Redfearn --
douglasr@spsr-law.com -- Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, LLP,
Nicole M. Loup , Nicole M. Loup, Attorney at Law & Stephen Jared
Austin , Stephen J. Austin, LLC.

Foster Wheeler, LLC, Cross Defendant, represented by John Joseph
Hainkel, III -- jhainkel@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C., Angela M.
Bowlin -- abowlin@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C., James H. Brown, Jr.
-- jbrown@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C., Kelly L. Long --
klong@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C., Kelsey A. Eagan --
keagan@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C., Lacey Taylor McCoy --
LMcCoy@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C. & Magali Ann Puente-Martin --
mpuente@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C.

Arrowood Indemnity Company, Cross Defendant, represented by
Lawrence G. Pugh, III -- lpugh@pugh-law.com -- Pugh, Accardo, LLC,
Donna M. Young -- dyoung@pugh-law.com -- Pugh, Accardo, LLC,
Jacqueline Romero -- jromero@pugh-law.com -- Pugh, Accardo, LLC &
Shelley L. Thompson -- sthompson@pugh-law.com -- Pugh, Accardo,
LLC.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Uzee's Suit Remanded to La. State Court
--------------------------------------------------------
District Judge Jane Triche Milazzo grants Plaintiff's Motion to
Remand the case styled Kathleen A. Uzee, et al., v. Huntington
Ingalls Incorporated, et al., Civil Action No. 18-6856, (E.D.
La.).

Plaintiffs Kathleen A. Uzee, Denise A. Uzee, and Philip A. Uzee
filed this asbestos litigation in state court, on behalf of their
deceased relative, Atney Uzee. Plaintiffs filed their original
petition in Orleans Parish's Civil District Court on March 21,
2018, claiming Atney Uzee died on October 10, 2017, because of
mesothelioma caused by his exposure to asbestos-containing products
during his employment at the Avondale shipyard in New Orleans from
1964 to 1972.

Plaintiffs sued numerous defendants, including Defendant Huntington
Ingalls Inc. ("Avondale"), under Louisiana state law negligence and
failure to warn claims seeking wrongful death and survival
damages.

On July 19, 2018, Defendant Avondale removed Plaintiffs' suit to
the District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana under the
Federal Officer Removal Statute. In essence, Defendant Avondale
argues it is entitled to removal because it only engaged in the
conduct underlying Plaintiffs' claims -- the use of
asbestos-containing products in Avondale's shipbuilding business --
because Avondale's contracts with the federal government required
it to do so.

Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Remand the case to state court.
Plaintiffs argue Defendant Avondale failed to satisfy the elements
of the Federal Officer Removal Statute. Plaintiffs also argue that
Defendant Avondale failed to timely remove this action as required
by 28 U.S.C. Section 1446(b). Under that statute, a defendant must
file a Notice of Removal within 30 days after receipt of a
plaintiff's "initial pleading setting forth the claim for relief
upon which such action or proceeding is based."

Plaintiffs filed their "initial pleading" in state court on March
21, 2018 and Defendant Avondale did not remove this action until
July 19, 2018. It is unclear from the record exactly when Defendant
received a copy of Plaintiffs' initial pleading. The Court,
however, assumes arguendo that the receipt occurred more than 30
days before Defendant removed the action because four months passed
between Plaintiffs' filing of their petition and Defendant's
subsequent removal. Thus, if Plaintiffs' petition contained
sufficient allegations to put Defendant Avondale on notice to
remove, Avondale's removal would have been untimely.

Defendant Avondale argues it only became aware that Plaintiffs'
suit was removable when, on July 5, 2018, Defendant received a
transcript of the deposition of Tex Martinez. It was in that
deposition that Defendant learned Plaintiffs were alleging the
decedent suffered asbestos exposure aboard a specific federal ship
at Avondale's shipyard. Because Defendant Avondale filed for
removal on July 19 -- two weeks after it received the transcript of
Martinez's deposition -- the removal occurred comfortably within
the 30-day window provided by Section 1446(b)(3). Thus, Defendant
Avondale claims the removal was timely.

The Court finds Defendant Avondale failed to meet the "causal
nexus" element -- that there exists a causal nexus between its
actions under the direction of the federal government and the
conduct underlying the plaintiff's claim in the suit. Because this
case is but one of numerous others in which asbestos plaintiffs
have fought with Avondale and other defendants about removability
under the Federal Officer Removal Statute, there exists a plethora
of Fifth Circuit cases interpreting the statute's causal nexus
requirement.

When a plaintiff makes a strict liability claim against Avondale
based on Avondale's use of asbestos-containing material pursuant to
its obligations under shipbuilding contracts it had with the
federal government, the causal nexus element is satisfied. But when
the claim is for negligent failure to warn, train, and adopt safety
procedures regarding asbestos, "removal... is inappropriate because
the nexus requirement is not met."

The theory underlying the distinction is that just because the
government required Avondale to use asbestos-containing material,
it does not mean Avondale was not free to adopt safety measures
warn its employees about the dangers of asbestos and to protect
them from handling the dangerous materials. On the contrary, when a
plaintiff alleges Avondale is strictly liable for the mere use of
asbestos-containing products, it makes more sense to find as a
matter of law that the government's mandate to use asbestos caused
Avondale's allegedly unlawful behavior.

However, Plaintiffs expressly disclaimed against Defendant Avondale
any claims arising from strict liability. In lieu of those claims,
Plaintiffs made Louisiana state law negligent failure to warn,
train, supervise, and adopt safety procedures governing employee
handling of asbestos-containing material.

Because Plaintiffs are "masters" of their complaint, Defendant
Avondale cannot force Plaintiffs to make claims they expressly
disclaimed. As such, under the clear Fifth Circuit precedent
created by Melancon and Legendre, the Court determines that
Defendant Avondale failed to satisfy the causal nexus element of
the removal statute by merely alleging that contractual provisions
required it to use asbestos-containing material.

A full-text copy of the Order and Reasons is available at
https://tinyurl.com/yavzwgnv from Leagle.com.

Kathleen A. Uzee, Individually and on behalf of the Decedent Atney
R. Uzee, Jr., Denise A Uzee, Individually and on behalf of the
Decedent Atney R. Uzee, Jr. & Philip A. Uzee, Individually and on
behalf of decedent Atney R. Uzee, Jr, Plaintiffs, represented by J.
Burton LeBlanc, IV , Baron & Budd, P.C., Christopher C. Colley ,
Baron & Budd, P.C., David Ryan Cannella , Cannella Law Firm, LLC &
Jeremiah S. Boling , Baron & Budd, P.C.

Huntington Ingalls Incorporated, formerly known as Northrop Grumman
Shipbuilding, Inc., Avondale Industries, Inc., Avondale Shipyards,
Inc, Northrop Grumman Ship Systems, Inc., Defendant, represented by
Brian C. Bossier -- bbossier@bluewilliams.com -- Blue Williams,
LLP, Christopher Thomas Grace, III -- cgrace@bluewilliams.com --
Blue Williams, LLP, Edwin A. Ellinghausen, III --
eellinghausen@bluewilliams.com -- Blue Williams, LLP, Erin Helen
Boyd -- eboyd@bluewilliams.com -- Blue Williams, LLP, Jasmine Najee
Brown -- jnbrown@bluewilliams.com -- Blue Williams, LLP, Laura M.
Gillen -- lgillen@bluewilliams.com -- Blue Williams, LLP, Patrick
Kevin Shockey -- pshockey@bluewilliams.com -- Blue Williams, LLP &
Rhonda Goode Douglas , Blue Williams, LLP.

Albert L. Bossier, Jr., Defendant, represented by Gustave A.
Fritchie, III -- gfritchie@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart
& Moore, LLC, Alexander R. Saunders , Irwin Fritchie Urquhart &
Moore, LLC, Amanda Marie Crowley Fraser , Irwin Fritchie Urquhart &
Moore, LLC, David Michael Melancon -- dmelancon@irwinllc.com --
Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC, Edward Winter Trapolin --
etrapolin@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC,
Frances M. Montegut , Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC &
Timothy Farrow Daniels -- tdaniels@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie
Urquhart & Moore, LLC.

J. Melton Garrett, Defendant, represented by Gustave A. Fritchie,
III -- gfritchie@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore,
LLC, David Michael Melancon -- dmelancon@irwinllc.com -- Irwin
Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC, Edward Winter Trapolin --
etrapolin@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie Urquhart & Moore, LLC &
Timothy Farrow Daniels -- tdaniels@irwinllc.com -- Irwin Fritchie
Urquhart & Moore, LLC.

Lamorak Insurance Company, Successor to OneBeacon America Insurance
Comapny, Commercial Union Insurance Company and Employers
Commercial Union Insurance Company Erroneously referred to as
OneBeacon AMerica Insurance Company and American Employers
Insurance Company, Defendant, represented by Samuel Milton
Rosamond, III , Taylor, Wellons, Politz & Duhe, APLC, Adam Devlin
deMahy , Taylor, Wellons, Politz & Duhe, APLC & Travis Layne
Simmons , Taylor, Wellons, Politz & Duhe, APLC.

Hopeman Brothers, Inc., Defendant, represented by Kaye N.
Courington -- kcourington@courington-law.com -- Courington, Kiefer
& Sommers, LLC, Blaine Augusta Moore -- bmoore@courington-law.com
-- Courington, Kiefer & Sommers, LLC, Brittney Bullock Ankersen --
bankersen@courington-law.com -- Courington, Kiefer & Sommers, LLC,
Jeffrey Matthew Burg -- jburg@courington-law.com -- Courington,
Kiefer & Sommers, LLC, Mathilde Villere Semmes --
msemmes@courington-law.com -- Courington, Kiefer & Sommers, LLC &
Troy Nathan Bell -- tbell@courington-law.com -- Courington, Kiefer
& Sommers, LLC.

McCarty Corporation, Successor to McCarty-Branton, Inc and
Predecessor and successor to McCarty Insulation Sales, Inc & Eagle,
Inc., formerly known as Eagle Asbestos & Packing Co., Inc.,
Defendants, represented by Susan Beth Kohn -- suek@spsr-law.com --
Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, LLP, Douglas Kinler --
douglask@spsr-law.com -- Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, LLP,
James R. Guidry -- jamesg@spsr-law.com -- Simon, Peragine, Smith &
Redfearn, LLP & Louis Oliver Oubre -- louiso@spsr-law.com -- Simon,
Peragine, Smith & Redfearn, LLP.

Trinity Industries, Inc., formerly known as Halter Marine Inc,
Halter Marine Services Inc, Defendant, represented by Barbara Lee
Arras -- barbara.arras@phelps.com --  Phelps Dunbar, LLP, Jeffrey
A. Clayman -- jeffrey.clayman@phelps.com -- Phelps Dunbar, LLP &
Patrick A. Talley, Jr. -- talleyp@phelps.com -- Phelps Dunbar,
LLP.

Bollinger Shipyards Lockport, LLC, Defendant, represented by
Lawrence G. Pugh, III -- lpugh@pugh-law.com -- Pugh, Accardo, LLC,
H. Philip Radecker, Jr. -- hpradecker@pugh-law.com -- Pugh,
Accardo, LLC & Shelley L. Thompson -- sthompson@pugh-law.com --
Pugh, Accardo, LLC.

International Paper Company, Incorrectly named as International
Paper Company as Successor-in-interest to U.S. Plywood, Defendant,
represented by Walter G. Watkins, III --
wg.watkins@formanwatkins.com -- Forman, Watkins & Krutz LLP, Daniel
S. Roberts -- daniel.roberts@formanwatkins.com -- Forman, Watkins,
& Krutz, LLP, Elizabeth Riddell Penn --
elizabeth.penn@formanwatkins.com -- Forman Watkins & Krutz LLP,
Mary Reeves Arthur -- mimi.arthur@formanwatkins.com -- Forman,
Watkins, & Krutz, LLP & Thomas Peyton Smith --
peyton.smith@formanwatkins.com -- Forman, Watkins, & Krutz, LLP.

CBS Corporation, formerly known as Westinghouse Electric
Corporatioin, Viacom Inc., Defendant, represented by John Joseph
Hainkel, III -- jhainkel@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C., Angela M.
Bowlin -- abowlin@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C., James H. Brown, Jr.
-- jbrown@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C., Kelly L. Long --
klong@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C., Kelsey A. Eagan --
keagan@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C., Lacey Taylor McCoy --
LMcCoy@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C. & Magali Ann Puente-Martin --
mpuente@frilot.com -- Frilot L.L.C.

Uniroyal Holding, Inc., Third Party Defendant, represented by Mary
Reeves Arthur -- mimi.arthur@formanwatkins.com -- Forman, Watkins,
& Krutz, LLP & Amy Louise Maccherone --
amy.maccherone@formanwatkins.com -- Forman, Watkins & Krutz LLP.

Hopeman Brothers, Inc., Cross Defendant, represented by Kaye N.
Courington -- kcourington@courington-law.com -- Courington, Kiefer
& Sommers, LLC, Blaine Augusta Moore -- bmoore@courington-law.com
-- Courington, Kiefer & Sommers, LLC, Brittney Bullock Ankersen --
bankersen@courington-law.com -- Courington, Kiefer & Sommers, LLC,
Jeffrey Matthew Burg -- jburg@courington-law.com -- Courington,
Kiefer & Sommers, LLC, Mathilde Villere Semmes --
msemmes@courington-law.com -- Courington, Kiefer & Sommers, LLC &
Troy Nathan Bell -- tbell@courington-law.com -- Courington, Kiefer
& Sommers, LLC.



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