CAR_Public/190111.mbx               C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

              Friday, January 11, 2019, Vol. 21, No. 9

                            Headlines

1ST CENTURY: Stay Order in Drulias Shareholders Suit Affirmed
3M COMPANY: Bates et al. Suit Moved to D. South Carolina
A NEW ENTRY: Jerrell Seeks to Certify Supervisors Class
A NEW ENTRY: Jerrell Seeks to Notify Potential Class Members
AFNI INC: Collection Letter Violates FDCPA, Glass Suit Alleges

ALLEGHENY, PA: Court Dismisses 2nd Amended Donohue Suit
AMAZON.COM LLC: Accused by Green Class Suit of Violating FLSA
AMAZON.COM: Gongaware Seeks Overtime Wages
ATHENAHEALTH INC: Hamilton Suit Challenges Sale to Veritas
AXZES, LLC: Halawani Sues over Unsolicited Text Messages

BANK OF NEW YORK: $2.15MM Attorneys' Fees Awarded in Becker Suit
BELIEVE TREATMENT: Reilly Seeks Minimum & OT Wages
BLACK BOX: Monteverde & Associates Files Class Action Lawsuit
BLACKROCK MORTGAGE: Garfield Sues over Business Reorganization
BLUE CROSS: Court Narrows Claims in Cotten ERISA Suit

BORO PARK: Faces Williamson Suit in Kings County, NY Court
C&R RESTAURANT: Faces Paez Labor Suit in California Superior Court
CALIFORNIA BOARD OF CORRECTIONS: Faces Doe Suit in State Court
CALIFORNIA: Homeowners Mull Class Actions Over Carr Fire
CIOX HEALTH: Carter Stayed Pending Appeal Ruling in Ruzhinskaya

COINBASE: XRP Class Action Moved to Federal Court
COMPETITIVE EDGE: Granger Seeks to Recover Overtime Pay Under FLSA
CONNECTICUT: Barfield Seeks to Certify Class
COVERMYMEDS LLC: Made Unsolicited Calls, Kenneth A. Thomas Says
CREDIT BUREAU: Ozminkowski Sues over Debt Collection Practices

CTAC HOLDINGS: Faces Delacruz ADA Suit in S.D. New York
CURO GROUP: Feb. 4 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline Set
DEUTSCHE BANK: Settles Class Action Over RMBS Trusts
DITECH MORTGAGE: Bolen Suit Moved to Central Dist. of California
DOLCE PANE: Underpays Servers & Sommeliers, Powers Suit Claims

DONALD TRUMP: Honduran Families Sue over Migrants' Rights
FCA US: Court Narrows Claims in Gilvin Suit Under Ohio's Lemon Law
FEDEX GROUND: Sullivan-Blake & Claiborne Seek OT Pay for Drivers
FINK & ASSOCIATES: Faces Ross' FDCPA Suit in N.D. Illinois
FLORIDA ADVERTISING: Sued over Unwanted Cellular Telephone Calls

FQ MEN'S CLUB: Denial of Arbitration Bid in Dancers' Suit Vacated
GATES CORPORATION: Court Issues Protective Order in Lundine
GAZELLE TRANSPORTATION: Faces Bibb Labor Suit in Calif. State Court
GKG RESTAURANT: Gadea Seeks Minimum & OT Wages
H.U.M. LARROC: Lodge & McLean Seek Minimum and OT Pay for Servers

HOUSLANGER & ASSOCIATES: Sued over Debt Collection Practices
ILLINOIS: DCFS Faces Class Action Over Foster Care System
IMAGE FIRST: Court OKs Bid to Deny Rule 23 Cert in Campanelli Suit
INFORMATION STRATEGY: Class in Scales Suit Conditionally Certified
JACKSON HEWITT: Tom Endres Sues over No-Poach Policy

JIFFY LUBE: Hit With Class Action Over No-Poach Agreement
LAKHI GENERAL: Settlement in Andrew Suit Okayed
LINDENHURST, NY: Residents Mull Class Action Over Flooding
LOMA NEGRA: Bronstein Gewirtz Files Securities Class Action
MARIEBELLE NEW YORK: Diaz Files Suit under ADA in New York

MARKETSOURCE, INC: Court Denies Class Certification in "Delgado"
MARRIOT INTERNATIONAL: Inamullah et al. Suit Goes to Federal Court
MARRIOTT INT'L: Kessler Topaz Files Data Breach Class Action Suit
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL: Abdulmalik et al. Sue over Data Breach
MDL 2460: Direct Purchasers Move for Class Cert. in Niaspan MDL

MDL 2591: Kellogg Suit Remains in Kansas Court
MDL 2741: Capo Suit v Monsanto over Roundup Sales Consolidated
MDL 2741: Coviello Suit v Monsanto over Roundup Sales Consolidated
MDL 2741: Dailey Suit v Monsanto over Roundup Sales Consolidated
MDL 2741: Goodson Suit v Monsanto over Roundup Sales Consolidated

MDL 2741: Griffith Suit v Monsanto over Roundup Sales Consolidated
MDL 2741: Hildebrand Suit v Monsanto over Roundup Consolidated
MDL 2804: W.E. Suit v. Purdue over Opiates Sales Consolidated
MDL 2873: Dutchess vs. 3M Company over AFFF Products Consolidated
MEDMEN ENTERPRISES: Faces Class Suit From Former Employees

MIDLAND CREDIT: Fiorilli Sues over Debt Collection Practices
MILLER BROS: Underpays Landscape Laborers, Carbajal Alleges
MODA OPERANDI: Diaz Files Suit under ADA in New York
MONSANTO COMPANY: Hatfields Sue over Sale of Herbicide Roundup
MORGAN PROPERTIES: Court Partly Allows Filing of Amended Zehm Suit

MORTGAGE LENDERS: Court Conditionally Certifies Charbonneau Class
MXD GROUP INC: Faces Kimbo Labor Suit in Sacramento Court
NATIONAL CREDIT: Faces Narcisse FDCPA Suit in W.D. Louisiana
NATIONWIDE CREDIT: Barrios' FDCPA Suit Moved to E.D. New York
NESTE USA: Bids to Strike/ Dismiss Beasley Suit Denied as Moot

NETBRANDS MEDIA: Made Unsolicited Calls, Krick Suit Alleges
NEW YORK: Court Partly Quashes Johnson Counsel's Subpoena
ORIGINS NATURAL: Faces Diaz Class Suit under ADA
PADRE HOTEL: Faces Aguirre Suit in Kern County Court
PERFECT BAR: Court Dismisses Class Suit Over False Ads

PG&E CORP: Court Vacates CMC & Related Deadlines in Securities Suit
PINNACLE PLASTERING: Cal. App. Affirms Arbitration Denial in Castro
PLANET FITNESS: Court Grants Bid to Dismiss Amended Truglio Suit
PPG ARCHITECTURAL: Faces Hernandez Labor Suit in Calif. State Court
PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS: Court OKs Summary Judgment in Adamov

PRINSTON PHARMACEUTICAL: Sued over Sale of Adulterated Valsartan
PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL: Faces Dowe Suit in S.D. New York
QUORA INC: Faces Huynh Class Suit Arising From 2018 Data Breach
REVCLAIMS LLC: Court OKs Limited Discovery in Scott PAGA Suit
RICK'S YELLOW: El Beyrouti Seeks Overtime Wages under FLSA

RIO STATION: Floris Sues over Minimum & Overtime Pay, Tip Credit
RITE AID: Martinez Sues over "Natural" Claim in Body Care Products
SBHC HOLDING: Faces Henderson Labor Suit in California State Court
SERVICE CORPORATION: Court Narrow Claims in Bernstein UTPCL Suit
SERVICE EMPLOYEES: NRWLDF Seeks Review of Union Case

SERVOMATION REFRESHMENT: Gilbert Seeks Unpaid Overtime
SICHUAN PEPPER: Wei Files FLSA Suit in Connecticut
SMARTPAY LEASING: Esparza Seeks to Certify Two Classes
SOTHEBY'S: Violates ADA, Diaz Suit Asserts
SQUARETRADE INC: Starke's 8th Cir. Appeal Underway

STERLING JEWELERS: Hoffman Remanded to California State Court
SUNPOWER CORPORATION: Faces Sanchez Labor Suit in Calif. Court
SUTTELL AND HAMMER: Ochoa Files FDCPA Suit in Calif.
SWAPP LAW: Ct. Denies Bid to Compel Subpoena Compliance in Wilcox
SWIFT BEEF: Faces Cabrera Suit in Central District of California

SYMMETRY PROPERTY: Investors File Securities Fraud Class Action
TELECOM EVOLUTIONS: Has Inferior Broadband Internet, Chinitz Says
TEXAS: Court Dismisses Schwarzer Inmate's Pro Se Complaint
THESY LLC: Tyksinski Suit Moved to Northern District of Illinois
THOMAS DART: Discovery Underway in Bennett Suit

TIGER NATURAL: Court OKs Service by Email in Fishman
TOMSON, INC: Serrano Seeks Unpaid Overtime Premium for Purchasers
TRANS WORLD: Faces Class Action in NY for ADA Breach
TRUSTMARK: Faces Class Action Over Unfair Overdraft Fees
TUXEDO JUNCTION: Tux Rental Firm Violates ADA, Says Suit

ULLIANCE INC: Court Denies Class Certification in Lucas
ULTA SALON: Terry Suit Moved to Northern District of California
UNITED BY BLUE: Sued by Diaz for ADA Violation
UNITED STATES: Court Certifies Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans Class
UNITED STATES: Dry Bean Farmers Can't Supplement Admin Record

UNIVAR USA: Njoku Seeks Unpaid Overtime for Supply Planners
WAL-MART STORES: Settlement in Securities Suit Has Prelim Court OK
WALLACE RUSH: Amended Bid to Certify FLSA Class Denied as Moot
WALMART INC: Feb. 21 Hearing on Bid to Dismiss Cappello Suit
WASHINGTON: Batiste's Bid for Summary Judgment in Wilcox Suit OKd

WECONNECT INC: Court Grants Conditional Certification in Goplin
WELLS FARGO: Pieterson's Class Certification Bid Underway
WENDY'S INTERNATIONAL: Affected by Data Breach Class-Action Lawsuit
WEST COAST SELF-STORAGE: Ruby Hunter Sues over Unfair Rental Fees
WHOLE FOODS: Court Allows Filing of 4th Amended Kellman Suit

YALE STONE: Orellana Seeks Overtime Pay under FLSA
ZEMAN HOMES: Augustyniak Seeks Interest from Security Deposits
[*] One Big Case May Open US-Style Class Action Floodgates in UK

                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: $13MM Verdict Should Be Upheld, Family Says
ASBESTOS UPDATE: 6 Judges to Hear Montana's Asbestos Claims Backlog
ASBESTOS UPDATE: A&E Claims Cost Continue to Rise
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Atty Hopes $4.69B Verdict to Propel Accountability
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Birmingham Landlord Fined for Asbestos Breaches

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cashmere Bouquet Suit Proceeds to Trial
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Company Fined $318K for Asbestos Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contractor Fined $52K for Asbestos Violations
ASBESTOS UPDATE: DOJ Objects to Patton as Fairbanks FCR
ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Asked to Answer Reports on J&J Talc

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Future Asbestos Deaths from Oil Boom Inevitable
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Glasgow Man Fined for Asbestos Materials Release
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Harkreader Couple Sues Over Failure to Warn
ASBESTOS UPDATE: J&J Execs Raise Asbestos Concerns in 1971
ASBESTOS UPDATE: J&J Fails to Throw Out $4.69-Bil. Verdict

ASBESTOS UPDATE: J&J Moves to Limit Impact of Asbestos Reports
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Long Melford Man Dies Due to Asbestos Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lurgan Man To Be Sentenced for Asbestos Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: No Asbestos in J&J Baby Powder, HSA Says
ASBESTOS UPDATE: NYCAL Affirms Vacatur of $11MM Jury Award

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Opposition to Remand Espinosa Suit Due on Jan. 17
ASBESTOS UPDATE: P. Warner Says Asbestos Caused Husband's Death
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rail Worker Awarded GBP40K for Asbestos Exposure
ASBESTOS UPDATE: S. Kosmides Sues ABB, et al., Over Lung Cancer
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Scott Couple Files Asbestos Suit vs. CBS Corp

ASBESTOS UPDATE: Scottish Nat'l Gallery Workers Exposed to Asbestos
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Utica's Extra-Contractual Claims Dismissed
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Warren Pumps Bid for Summary Judgment Denied
ASBESTOS UPDATE: Woman in 20s Dies of Asbestos Cancer


                            *********

1ST CENTURY: Stay Order in Drulias Shareholders Suit Affirmed
-------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Franklin D. Elia of the Court of Appeals of California for
the Sixth District affirmed the trial court's order staying the the
case, DEAN DRULIAS, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. 1ST CENTURY
BANCSHARES, INC., et al., Defendants and Respondents, Case No.
H045049 (Cal. App.).

1st Century was a Delaware corporation headquartered in Los
Angeles, California, whose shares were publicly traded on the
NASDAQ.  On March 10, 2016, 1st Century and Midland Financial Co.
announced plans to merge.  The merger agreement called for Midland
to acquire 1st Century for $11.22 in cash per share, a 36.3%
premium over 1st Century's closing share price on March 10, 2016.
The merger was subject to approval by the holders of a majority of
1st Century's outstanding shares.  A shareholder vote on the
proposed merger agreement was scheduled for June 20, 2016.

Drulias is a California resident and a 1st Century shareholder.  On
May 3, 2016, he filed a putative class action on behalf of all
holders of 1st Century's common stock against 1st Century and its
directors.  The complaint alleged that 1st Century and the director
Defendants breached their fiduciary duties in connection with their
approval of the merger agreement.  Pursuant to a stipulation
between the parties, the court, on May 24, 2016, ordered the 1st
Century defendants to respond to the complaint on July 1, 2016.

On May 25, 2016, Drulias filed an application for a preliminary
injunction enjoining the closing of the shareholder vote on the
merger until curative disclosures were made to shareholders.  The
1st Century Defendants opposed that application on June 6, 2016.
They argued that the forum selection bylaw required Drulias' claims
to be litigated in Delaware and that Drulias' claims lacked merit.

On June 9, 2016, the court entered an order deeming the case
complex and staying discovery.  Drulias and the 1st Century
Defendants reached a proposed settlement, which they memorialized
in a stipulation of settlement dated June 10, 2016.  Under the
terms of the proposed settlement agreement, 1st Century agreed to
make supplemental disclosures to the SEC and its shareholders in
connection with the merger agreement and to pay Drulias' counsel
$400,000 in exchange for the settlement and release of the putative
class's merger-related claims.

The trial court declined to approve the stipulation of settlement
on Nov. 21, 2016.  It reasoned that the settlement was not fair and
reasonable to the putative class because the supplemental
disclosures were not plainly material, such that they were of
minimal value to the class and did not justify the release of all
claims associated with the merger.

The parties submitted a joint Case Management Conference statement
on Dec. 22, 2016.  In it, they indicated that Drulias intended to
file a first amended complaint and proposed a Jan. 13, 2017
deadline for that filing.  The parties also informed the court that
the 1st Century Defendants might file a motion to stay or dismiss
for forum non conveniens"= and proposed a Feb. 10, 2017 deadline
for such a motion.  The court adopted the parties' proposed
briefing schedule at a Jan. 6, 2017 hearing.

Drulias's first amended complaint, filed on Jan. 13, 2017, added
Sandler O'Neill & Partners, L.P., the investment bank that advised
1st Century in connection with the merger, as a Defendant.  Like
the original complaint, the first amended complaint asserted breach
of fiduciary duty claims against the 1st Century Defendants; it
also included an aiding and abetting the breach of fiduciary duties
claim against Sandler.

On Feb.y 10, 2017, the 1st Century Defendants filed a motion to
dismiss pursuant to sections 410.30 and 418.10, arguing that the
forum selection bylaw requires Drulias's claims be litigated in
Delaware.  Following briefing and a hearing, the trial court
declined to dismiss the action but stayed it under section 410.30.
Drulias timely appealed from that order.

The appeal raises the issue of whether a forum selection bylaw
adopted by a Delaware corporation without stockholder consent is
enforceable in California.  The trial court concluded the bylaw was
enforceable and, accordingly, stayed the putative shareholder class
action under Code of Civil Procedure section 410.30.

On appeal, Plaintiff and Appellant Drulias contends the trial court
erred in enforcing the forum selection bylaw, which designates
Delaware as the exclusive litigation forum for intra-corporate
disputes.  He maintains the bylaw conflicts with California law
and, alternatively, that its enforcement is unreasonable given the
manner and timing of its adoption and defendants' litigation
conduct below.

Judge Elia finds that the forum selection bylaw does not conflict
with California law or public policy.  Drulias' contrary view that
Corporations Code section 2116 was enacted to protect California
shareholders from misconduct by directors of foreign corporations
by giving them the right to sue such directors in California finds
no support in case law or other binding authority.  In short, there
is no basis for concluding that Corporations Code section 2116
creates substantive rights.  Accordingly, he finds that Drulias has
not shown that enforcement of the forum selection bylaw will impair
his statutory rights or otherwise violate California public
policy.

Next, the Judge finds that the trial court did not err in
concluding that enforcement of the forum selection bylaw is
reasonable in the case.  Nine months passed between the filing of
the complaint and the section 410.30 motion.  That delay was
attributable, not to the 1st Century Defendants, but to the
parties' attempt to settle, the court's scheduling orders, and
Drulias' decision to file an amended complaint.  

He finds that the 1st Century Defendants did not file a
cross-complaint or seek discovery from the Plaintiff.  Nor did they
file multiple motions seeking relief from the court; aside from
their motion to dismiss, they filed a single motion seeking
relief—namely, approval of the settlement agreement.  Given the
state's strong public policy in favor of pre-trial settlements, the
Judge holds that the trial court did not err in concluding that the
Defendants' settlement efforts did not render enforcement of the
forum selection bylaw unreasonable.

In light of the foregoing, Judge Elia affirmed the order staying
the action.  The Respondents will recover their costs on appeal.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Order is available at
https://is.gd/WQVXxa from Leagle.com.

Kirk Bartlett Hulett -- kbh@hulettharper.com -- Hulett Harper
Stewart , John F. Keating, Jr. -- jkeating@brualdilawfirm.com --
The Brualdi Law Firm, Counsel for Plaintiff and Appellant, DEAN
DRULIAS.

Adam Seth Paris -- parisa@sullcrom.com -- Jackson S. Trugman --
trugmanj@sullcrom.com -- Zac A. Tafoya -- tafoyaz@sullcrom.com --
Laura Kabler Oswell -- oswelll@sullcrom.com -- Sullivan & Cromwell,
Anna-Rose Mathieson -- annarose.mathieson@calapplaw.com --
California Appellate Law Group, William Savitt -- WDSavitt@wlrk.com
-- Anitha Reddy -- AReddy@wlrk.com -- Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen &
Katz, Counsel for Defendants and Respondents, 1ST CENTURY
BANCSHARES, INC et al.


3M COMPANY: Bates et al. Suit Moved to D. South Carolina
--------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled HANAH BATES; MICHAEL S. BRIDGES;
ANN  MARIE KUTER; KELLEY LIOTT; LYNDA MILLS, as parent and natural
guardian of S. M., a minor; JENNIFER ROCK; and CAROLYN SIPPEL,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated,
Plaintiffs v. THE 3M COMPANY f/k/A MINNESOTA MINING AND
MANUFACTURING CO.; Angus Fire; Tyco Fire Products LP,
successor-in-interest to THE ANSUL COMPANY; BUCKEYE FIRE PROTECTION
COMPANY; CHEMGUARD; and NATIONAL FOAM, Defendants, Case No.
2:16-cv-04961, was removed from the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to the U.S. District Court for
the District of South Carolina on December 12, 2018. The District
Court Clerk assigned Case No. 2:18-cv-03349 to the proceeding. The
Case is assigned to the Hon. Richard M. Gergel.

3M Company operates as a diversified technology company worldwide.
The company's Industrial segment offers tapes; coated, non-woven,
and bonded abrasives; adhesives; ceramics; sealants; specialty
materials; purification products; closure systems for personal
hygiene products; acoustic systems products; automotive components;
and abrasion-resistant films, and paint finishing and detailing
products. The company was founded in 1902 and is headquartered in
St. Paul, Minnesota. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          John M. Broaddus, Esq.
          WIETZ & LUXENBURG
          200 Lake Driver East, Suite 205
          Cherry Hill, NJ 08002
          Telephone: (856) 755-1115
          Facsimile: (856) 755-1995


A NEW ENTRY: Jerrell Seeks to Certify Supervisors Class
-------------------------------------------------------
In the class action lawsuit captioned as ISSAC JERRELL,
Individually and on behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, the
PLAINTIFF, vs. A NEW ENTRY, INC., the DEFENDANT, Case No.
1:18-cv-00929-RP (W.D. Tex.), the Plaintiff asks the Court to
conditionally certify a class consisting of "each supervisor,
monitor or similar position after October 29, 2015."

The Plaintiff brought this suit on behalf of certain former and
current supervisors, monitors and similar positions employed by
Defendant A New Entry, Inc., to recover overtime wages and other
damages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. section
201, et seq.[CC]

Attorneys for Isaac Jerrell, Individually and on Behalf of All
Others Similarly Situated:

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

A NEW ENTRY: Jerrell Seeks to Notify Potential Class Members
------------------------------------------------------------
In the class action lawsuit captioned as ISSAC JERRELL,
Individually and on behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, the
PLAINTIFF, vs. A NEW ENTRY, INC., the DEFENDANT, Case No.
1:18-cv-00929-RP (W.D. Tex.), the Plaintiff asks the Court for an
order:

   1. directing Defendant to produce contact information of all
      class members, no later than one week after the date of
      the entry of the Order granting the motion;

   2. approving proposed Notice and Consent;

   3. approving sending of the Notice and Consent, and Plaintiff's

      complaint and Defendant's Answer, if Defendant so requests;

   4. approving sending of the Postcard;

   5. approving notice through both U.S. mail and text message (or

      alternatively email); and

   6. setting a period of 90 days from the date Defendant fully
      and completely releases the class members' contact
      information during which to distribute the Notice and to
      file Consent forms.

The Plaintiff brought this suit on behalf of certain former and
current supervisors, monitors and similar positions employed by
Defendant A New Entry, Inc., to recover overtime wages and other
damages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. section
201, et seq.[CC]

Attorneys for Isaac Jerrell, Individually and on Behalf of All
Others Similarly Situated:

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

AFNI INC: Collection Letter Violates FDCPA, Glass Suit Alleges
--------------------------------------------------------------
Karl Glass, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated v. Afni, Inc., an Illinois corporation, Case No.
1:18-cv-03990-TWP-DLP (S.D. Ind., December 18, 2018), alleges that
the Defendant's form collection letter violates the Fair Debt
Collection Practices Act.

Afni, Inc., is an Illinois corporation that acts as a debt
collector, as defined by Section 1692a of the FDCPA, because it
regularly uses the mails and/or the telephone to collect, or
attempt to collect, defaulted consumer debts.  Afni operates a
nationwide debt collection business and attempts to collect debts
from consumers in virtually every state, including consumers in the
state of Indiana.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          David J. Philipps, Esq.
          Mary E. Philipps, Esq.
          Angie K. Robertson, Esq.
          PHILIPPS & PHILIPPS, LTD.
          9760 S. Roberts Road, Suite One
          Palos Hills, IL 60465
          Telephone: (708) 974-2900
          Facsimile: (708) 974-2907
          E-mail: davephilipps@aol.com
                  mephilipps@aol.com
                  angie@philippslegal.com

               - and -

          John T. Steinkamp, Esq.
          JOHN STEINKAMP & ASSOCIATES
          5214 S. East Street, Suite D1
          Indianapolis, IN 46227
          Telephone: (317) 780-8300
          Facsimile: (317) 217-1320
          E-mail: steinkamplaw@yahoo.com


ALLEGHENY, PA: Court Dismisses 2nd Amended Donohue Suit
-------------------------------------------------------
In the case, JOSEPH DONOHUE, Executor of the Estate of SUSAN
DONOHUE, and DEBORAH KINEST, individually and on behalf of all
persons similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF
ALLEGHENY COUNTY and RETIREMENT BOARD OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY,
Defendants, Case No. C.A.17-1167 (W.D. Pa.), Chief Magistrate Judge
Cynthia Reed Eddy of the U.S. District Court for the Western
District of Pennsylvania (i) granted the Defendants' motion to
dismiss the second amended class action complaint ("SAC"), and (ii)
denied as moot their motion to strike the class action allegations,
or, in the alternative, to deny class certification.

The action was removed from the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny
County on Sept. 6, 2017.  A suggestion of death for named Plaintiff
Susan Donohue was filed on Jan. 24, 2018, and on Feb. 28, 2018, the
SAC was filed.  The SAC names as a Plaintiffs is Joseph Donohue,
Executor of Susan Donohue's estate, and added a newly-named
Plaintiff, Deborah Kinest.Code.  

The SAC allege that the Retirement System of Allegheny County and
the Retirement Board are established under the Second Class County
Cose.  The Retirement System is established for the administration
of retirement benefits for County employees and is directed by the
Retirement Board under 16 P.S. Section 4703.  A member who has been
employed for not less than 12 years may receive, upon application,
a retirement allowance if totally and permanently disabled
physically even though the employee has not reached the age of 60,
provided that such proof of such total and permanent disability
will be by the unanimous opinion and sworn statements of three
practicing physicians of the county designated by the board.

The Plaintiffs allege violations of the constitutional right to due
process because 16 P.S. Section 4711(a) ("the statute") provides no
means for an applicant to prove, or offer evidence in support of,
his or her entitlement to a disability pension, and no means to
obtain review of, or offer evidence challenging the opinion of a
Board-designated physician.  They aver that the statute provides no
standards for determining whether an employee is "totally and
permanently disabled" and the Board, despite having been empowered
to do so, has not adopted rules and regulations pertaining to
disability pension applications, citing 16 P.S. Section 4705.

Presently before the Court are two motions filed by the Defendants,
The Retirement System of Allegheny County and the Retirement Board
of Allegheny County.  They first move to dismiss the SAC for
failure to state a claim pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil
Procedure 12(b)(6).  Second, they move to strike the class action
allegations, or, in the alternative, to deny class certification.
These motions were both filed on April 3, 2018.

As to Count I, the Defendants argue that neither Plaintiff
Donohue's estate nor Plaintiff Kinest have set forth a plausible
procedural due process claim.  After a careful review of the
allegations in the SAC and the applicable case law, Magistrate
Judge Eddy holds that the Plaintiffs have not alleged facts
sufficient to support their procedural due process claims and
dismissed Count I.

She finds that the Plaintiffs both failed to exhaust the
adjudicatory procedures available to them under state law.  Donohue
deferred her statutory appeal in the Court of Common Pleas (after
requesting and receiving two hearings at which she was represented
by counsel but did not subpoena the Board-appointed physicians for
cross examination); and Kinest did not request a hearing.  This
failure to utilize state law remedies bars the claims.  Moreover,
the applicants are provided with a copy of the medical reports from
the Board-designated physicians, are given an opportunity to
respond, to subpoena and cross-examine the physicians and seek
clarification of procedures used by the physicians, question their
qualifications, and the like.  Some such appeals have been
successful, as based upon the uncontroverted public record provided
by the Defendants.

Next, the Defendants seek the dismissal of Count II.  At issue is
whether the Plaintiffs have stated a clam for denial of substantive
due process, specifically, whether that statute is a facially
invalid legislative act, which is to say, whether there is a
legitimate state interest to which 16 P.S. Section 4711 is
rationally related.  

The Magistrate finds that there do not appear to be any
precedential cases on point, but nevertheless, the Defendants have
posited numerous legitimate government interests, including
limiting the Retirement Board's discretion and preventing potential
waste while preserving the financial condition of the pension fund
maintained for the benefit of a broad range of employees.  There is
a rational basis to establishing a strict approval process that
requires the unanimous agreement of three physicians, rather than a
single physician, when making the determination on a claimant's
total and permanent disability status.  The Retirement Board's
discretion is therefore limited.  This prevents waste and abuse.  

For all of these reasons, she finds that the Plaintiffs have failed
to state a facial-challenge substantive due process claim.
Accordingly, the Defendants motion to dismiss is granted with
respect to the Plaintiff's substantive due process claim raising a
facial challenge to the statute at Count II.

Finally, the Defendant has also moved, to the extent the Court
determines that the Plaintiffs have advanced a viable
constitutional claim at either Count I or II, that the class action
allegations be stricken and/or dismissed, pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 12(f).  Having determined that the Plaintiffs'
claims do not survive the motion to dismiss, the Magistrate denied
the motion as moot.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Memorandum Opinion
and Order is available at https://is.gd/HZTHzh from Leagle.com.

JOSEPH DONOHUE, Executor of the Estate of SUSAN DONOHUE,
individually and on behalf of all persons similarly situated &
DEBORAH KINEST, individually and on behalf of all persons similarly
situated, Plaintiffs, represented by Tybe A. Brett --
tbrett@fdpklaw.com -- Feinstein Doyle Payne & Kravec, LLC.

THE RETIREMENT SYSTEM OF ALLEGHENY COUNTY & RETIREMENT BOARD OF
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Defendants, represented by Brian P. Gabriel --
bgabriel@cdblaw.com -- Campbell Durrant Beatty Palombo & Miller,
P.C. & Julie A. Aquino -- jaquino@cdblaw.com -- Campbell Durrant
Beatty Palombo & Miller.


AMAZON.COM LLC: Accused by Green Class Suit of Violating FLSA
-------------------------------------------------------------
FREDRICH GREEN, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated
v. AMAZON.COM, LLC, AMAZON LOGISTICS, INC., and CAV LOGISTICS LLC
d/b/a CAVALIER LOGISTICS LLC, Case No. 1:18-cv-01032 (M.D.N.C.,
December 18, 2018), alleges violations of the Fair Labor Standards
Act.

This case is about Amazon's alleged unlawful scheme to attempt to
avoid responsibility for paying its Delivery Associates, including
the Plaintiff, in accordance with federal wage and hour laws by
attempting to contract out that responsibility to third-party
Delivery Service Providers, such as CAV, Mr. Green alleges.  He
contends that Delivery Associates deliver Amazon's packages; are
paid through CAV a day rate; and are not paid for all time worked,
including overtime that is required to deliver hundreds of Amazon
packages each day.

Amazon.com, LLC, is a limited liability company with principal
offices in Seattle, Washington.  Amazon Logistics, Inc., is a
corporation with principal offices in Seattle.  Amazon.com is an
e-commerce company and one of the largest -- if not the largest --
Internet retailers in the world, operating the Web site
http://www.amazon.com/.

CAV Logistics LLC, doing business as Cavalier Logistics LLC, is a
limited liability company organized under the laws of Georgia with
principal offices in Atlanta, Georgia.  CAV provides Delivery
Associates to Amazon as a Delivery Service Provider.  CAV operates
a carrier and logistics business in providing vehicles and drivers
to deliver goods on behalf of Amazon.com and its affiliates.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Henry Clay Turner, Esq.
          BEST, LAWRENCE LAW, P.A.
          188 E. Thomas Street
          P.O. Box 2124
          Rocky Mount, NC 27802
          Telephone: (252) 977-1366
          E-mail: lawfirm@bestlawrencelaw.com

               - and -

          Sarah R. Schalman-Bergen, Esq.
          Camille Fundora Rodriguez, Esq.
          BERGER MONTAGUE PC
          1818 Market Street, Suite 3600
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Telephone: (215) 875-3000
          Facsimile: (215) 875-4620
          E-mail: sschalman-bergen@bm.net
                  crodriguez@bm.net

               - and -

          Ryan Allen Hancock, Esq.
          Jessica Brown, Esq.
          WILLIG, WILLIAMS & DAVIDSON
          1845 Walnut Street, 24th Floor
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Telephone: (215) 656-3600
          Facsimile: (215) 567-2310
          E-mail: rhancock@wwdlaw.com
                  jbrown@wwdlaw.com


AMAZON.COM: Gongaware Seeks Overtime Wages
------------------------------------------
HEATHER GONGAWARE, on behalf of herself and others similarly
situated, the Plaintiff, vs. AMAZON.COM, LLC, AMAZON LOGISTICS,
INC., and SHEARD-LOMAN TRANSPORT, LLC, the Defendants, Case No.
1:18-cv-08358 (N.D. Ill., Dec. 20, 2018), seeks all available
remedies under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

The case is about Amazon.com, LLC and Amazon Logistics, Inc.'s
unlawful scheme to attempt to avoid responsibility for paying its
employees in accordance with federal wage and hour laws by
attempting to contract out that responsibility to third-party
Delivery Service Providers, such as Defendant Sheard-Loman
Transport, LLC. Further, it is about Sheard-Loman's retaliatory
termination of Plaintiff's employment for discussing her pay, and
the Dispatchers' and Delivery Associates' legal options to address
the unlawful scheme, which has robbed her and fellow employees of
significant amounts of unpaid overtime wages.

Plaintiff and the other Dispatchers continue to be paid a day rate
and are not paid for all time worked, including overtime.
Sheard-Loman Transport terminated Plaintiff's employment on the
basis of her discussing the prospect of pursuing legal action to
vindicate her rights and the rights other employees who were not
paid overtime for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours in a
workweek. The Plaintiff brings this case to redress Defendants'
violations of the anti-retaliation and overtime provisions of the
FLSA, the lawsuit says.

Amazon.com LLC was founded in 1994 and is based in Hebron,
Kentucky. Amazon.com LLC operates as a subsidiary of Amazon.com
Inc.[BN]

Attorneys for the Plaintiff and the Proposed FLSA Collective:

          Sarah R. Schalman-Bergen, Esq.
          Camille Fundora Rodriguez, Esq.
          BERGER MONTAGUE PC
          1818 Market Street, Suite 3600
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Telephone: (215) 875-3000
          Facsimile: (215) 875-4620
          E-mail: sschalman-bergen@bm.net
                  crodriguez@bm.net

               - and -

          Ryan Allen Hancock, Esq.
          WILLIG, WILLIAMS & DAVIDSON
          1845 Walnut Street, 24 th Floor
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Telephone: (215) 656-3600
          Facsimile: (215) 567-2310
          E-mail: rhancock@wwdlaw.com

               - and -

          John Bielski, Esq.
          WILLIG, WILLIAMS & DAVIDSON
          77 W. Washington St., Suite 2120
          Chicago, IL 60602
          E-mail: jbielski@wwdlaw.com

ATHENAHEALTH INC: Hamilton Suit Challenges Sale to Veritas
----------------------------------------------------------
RICHARD HAMILTON, Individually and on Behalf of All Others
Similarly Situated v. ATHENAHEALTH, INC., AMY ABERNETHY, BRANDON
HULL, JEFFREY R. IMMELT, DEV ITTYCHERIA, JOHN A. KANE, JACQUELINE
B. KOSECOFF, BRIAN P. MCKEON, ED PARK, THOMAS J. SZKUTAK, VERITAS
CAPITAL FUND MANAGEMENT, L.L.C., EVERGREEN COAST CAPITAL CORP., MAY
MERGER SUB INC., and MAY HOLDING CORP., Case No. 1:18-cv-12602 (D.
Mass., December 18, 2018), arises out of the Board of Directors'
attempt to sell the Company to Veritas Capital Fund Management,
L.L.C., and Evergreen Coast Capital through a company affiliated
with both Veritas and Evergreen.

The complaint says the Defendants have violated the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 by causing a materially incomplete and
misleading preliminary proxy statement to be filed with the
Securities and Exchange Commission, which recommends that
athenahealth shareholders vote in favor of a proposed transaction
whereby athenahealth will be acquired by Veritas and Evergreen for
$135 per share.  The deal is valued at approximately $5.68 billion
and is expected to close in the first quarter of 2019.

athenahealth is a corporation organized and existing under the laws
of the state of Delaware.  The Company's principal executive
offices are located in Watertown, Massachusetts.  The Individual
Defendants are directors and officers of the Company.

athenahealth offers hospitals software services focusing on medical
records, revenue cycle, patient engagement, care coordination and
population health.  The software, called athenaNet, allows
hospitals to handle the business side of medicine through one
interface.  Most  of the Company's revenues are generated as a
percentage of payments collected by the hospital via athenaNet.

Veritas is a private equity firm that focuses on technology
products and services for government and commercial customers.
Veritas is headquartered in New York City.

Evergreen is a subsidiary of Elliott Associates, L.P., and is based
in Menlo Park, California.  May Holding Corp. is a Delaware
corporation affiliated with Veritas and Evergreen.  May Merger Sub
Inc. is a Delaware corporation and is a wholly owned subsidiary of
May Holding Corp.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Theodore M. Hess-Mahan, Esq.
          HUTCHINGS BARSAMIAN MANDELCORN, LLP
          110 Cedar Street, Suite 250
          Wellesley Hills, MA 02481
          Telephone: (781) 431-2231
          E-mail: thess-mahan@hutchingsbarsamian.com

               - and -

          Shane T. Rowley, Esq.
          Danielle Rowland Lindahl, Esq.
          ROWLEY LAW PLLC
          50 Main Street, Suite 1000
          White Plains, NY 10606
          Telephone: (914) 400-1920
          Facsimile: (914) 301-3514
          E-mail: srowley@rowleylawpllc.com


AXZES, LLC: Halawani Sues over Unsolicited Text Messages
--------------------------------------------------------
Shlomy Halawani, individually and on behalf of a class of others
similarly situated, the Plaintiff, vs. Axzes, LLC, the Defendant,
Case No. 0:18-cv-63127-BB (S.D. Fla., Dec. 22, 2018), seeks
statutory damages along with an injunction prohibiting Defendant
from making impermissible, Telephone Consumer Protection Act
violative calls in the future.

According to the complaint, this year, Shlomy Halawani, began
receiving unsolicited text message solicitations on his cellular
telephone. The content of the messages indicate that they were
placed by or on behalf of Axzes, LLC. At all times relevant,
including at least the 31 days prior to receipt of the first
alleged text message, the Plaintiff's cellular telephone number was
registered with the national do-not-call registry of persons who do
not wish to receive telephone solicitations. Such do-not-call
registrations must be honored indefinitely, or until the
registration is canceled by the consumer or the telephone number is
removed by the database administrator.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Jibrael S. Hindi, Esq.
          THE LAW OFFICE OF JIBRAEL S. HINDI , PLLC
          110 SE 6th Street
          Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
          Telephone: (954) 907-1136
          Facsimile: (855) 529-9540
          E-mail: jibrael@jibraellaw.com

BANK OF NEW YORK: $2.15MM Attorneys' Fees Awarded in Becker Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, LEONARD BECKER, Individually and on Behalf of All
Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff, v. THE BANK OF NEW YORK
MELLON TRUST COMPANY, N.A., and J.P. MORGAN TRUST COMPANY, NATIONAL
ASSOCIATION, Defendants, C.A. No. 2:11-cv-06460 (JRS), Consolidated
with C. A. No. 2:12-cv-06412 (JRS) (E.D. Pa.), Judge Juan R.
Sanchez of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of
Pennsylvania granted the Class Counsel's Motion for an Award of
Attorneys' Fees and Reimbursement of Litigation Expenses.

On Sept. 20, 2018, a hearing was held before the Court to consider,
among other matters, the Class Counsel's Fee and Expense Motion,
filed on Aug. 3, 2018, supported by declarations and a memorandum
of law.

After due deliberation, Judge Sanchez granted the Fee and Expense
Motion.  His Order incorporates by reference the definitions in the
Stipulation and Agreement of Settlement dated June 8, 2018.  He
awarded the Class Counsel is awarded the sum of $2.15 milllion in
attorneys' fees, plus interest at the same rate earned by the
Settlement Fund, and $273,284.51 in reimbursement of litigation
expenses.  The Class Counsel is further entitled to withdraw from
the Settlement Fund, without further order of the Court, an amount
not to exceed $100,000 for Notice and Administration Costs.

There is no just reason for delay in the entry of the Order
Granting Class Counsel's Fee and Expense Motion, and immediate
entry of the Order by the Clerk of the Court is expressly directed
pursuant to Rule 54(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Order is available at
https://is.gd/Q2Ub6s from Leagle.com.

LEONARD BECKER, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY
SITUATED, Plaintiff, represented by DANIEL E. BACINE --
dbacine@barrack.com -- BARRACK RODOS & BACINE, LISA M. PORT --
lport@barrack.com -- BARRACK, RODOS & BACINE, CHARLES M. GOLDEN,
FELLHEIMER and EICHEN & JEFFREY B. GITTLEMAN, BARRACK, RODOS &
BACINE.

THE BANK OF NEW YORK MELLON TRUST COMPANY, N.A. & J.P. MORGAN TRUST
COMPANY, NATIONAL ASSOCIATION, Defendants, represented by CHRISTINE
CESARE -- cbcesare@bryancave.com -- BRYAN CAVE LLP, HOWARD M.
ROGATNICK, BRYAN CAVE LLP, MATTHEW C.R. ZIEGLER, MORGAN LEWIS &
BOCKIUS LLP, STEPHANIE WICKOUSKI --
stephanie.wickouski@bryancave.com -- BRYAN CAVE LLP, THOMAS J.
SCHELL -- tjschell@bryancave.com -- BRYAN CAVE LLP, ANN LAUREN
CARPENTER, MORGAN LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP, EVAN K. JACOBS, MORGAN LEWIS
& BOCKIUS LLP, JOHN C. GOODCHILD, III --
john.goodchild@morganlewis.com -- MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS, L.L.P. &
MARC J. SONNENFELD, MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP.

SAUL EWING LLP & ADAM ISENBERG, Respondents, represented by TIMOTHY
W. CALLAHAN, II -- tcallahan@saul.com -- SAUL EWING ARNSTEIN & LEHR
LLP.

BLANK ROME LLP & JOHN LUCIAN, Respondents, represented by JEREMY A.
RIST -- Rist@BlankRome.com -- BLANK ROME LLP.

SILVERCREST FUNDS, Respondent, represented by KAREN E. FRIEDMAN --
kfriedman@luriefriedman.com -- LURIE FRIEDMAN LLP & MATTHEW TODD
NEWCOMER -- mnewcomer@postschell.com -- POST & SCHELL, PC.


BELIEVE TREATMENT: Reilly Seeks Minimum & OT Wages
--------------------------------------------------
DESIREE REILLY, and all others similarly situated under 29 U.S.C.
216(b), the Plaintiff(s), v. BELIEVE TREATMENT CENTER, LLC, a
Florida limited liability company, and WILLIAM SCHMIDT,
individually, the Defendants, Case No. 9:18-cv-81743-DMM (S.D.
Fla., Dec. 21, 2018), alleges that Defendants have unlawfully
deprived Plaintiff, and all other employees similarly situated, of
minimum wage compensation and overtime during the course of their
employment, pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the complaint, the Plaintiff began working for
Defendants on or about November 19 until on or about December 2.
The Plaintiff worked an average of 66 hours per week. The
Defendants advised Plaintiff she was to be paid at an hourly rate
of $14.00 per hour. However, Defendants failed to compensate
Plaintiff for the hours she worked from November 19 through
December 2 in any conceivable way.

The Defendants were expressly aware of the work performed by
Plaintiff, but nevertheless required Plaintiff to continue working
without receiving any compensation for any hours worked during the
relevant period of her employment. The Plaintiff's unpaid work for
Defendants equates to substantial unpaid minimum wage and overtime
at the federal statutorily required rate of time-and-one-half for
all hours worked over 40 in any given workweek, the lawsuit
says.[BN]

Counsel for Desiree Reilly:

          Jordan Richards, Esq.
          Melissa Scott, Esq.
          USA EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS-
          JORDAN RICHARDS, PLLC
          805 E. Broward Blvd. Suite 301
          Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33301
          Telephone: (954) 871-0050
          E-mail: Jordan@jordanrichardspllc.com
                  Livia@jordanrichardspllc.com
                  Melissa@jordanrichardspllc.com
                  Jake@jordanrichardspllc.com

BLACK BOX: Monteverde & Associates Files Class Action Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------
Notice is hereby given that Monteverde & Associates PC has filed a
class action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Central District of California, Case No. 5:18-cv-02537JGB-SHK, on
behalf of public common shareholders of Black Box Corporation
("Black Box" or the "Company") (NASDAQ:BBOX) who hold Black Box
securities as of the close of the tender offer on December 19, 2018
(the "Class Period"), and have been harmed by Black Box and its
board of directors' (the "Board") alleged violations of Sections
14(e) and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the
"Exchange Act") in connection with the sale of the Company to AGC
Networks Ltd. ( the "Proposed Transaction").

Under the terms of the Merger Agreement, Black Box shareholders
will only receive $1.08 in cash for each share of Black Box common
stock they own (the "Offer Price"). The complaint alleges that the
Merger Consideration is inadequate and that the Schedule 14D-9
Solicitation/Recommendation Statement regarding the Proposed
Transaction (the "Recommendation Statement") provides shareholders
with materially incomplete and misleading information about the
Proposed Transaction, in violation of Sections 14(e) and 20(a) of
the Exchange Act. In particular, the Recommendation Statement
alleges materially incomplete and misleading information
concerning: (i) financial projections for the Company; (ii) the
valuation analyses performed by the Company's financial advisor,
Raymond James & Associates, Inc., in support of its fairness
opinion; and (iii) the potential conflict of interest Raymond James
faced as a result of its prior dealings with Black Box. The Tender
Offer is scheduled to expire at midnight on December 19, 2018.

If you wish to serve as lead plaintiff, you must move the Court no
later than February 4, 2019. Any member of the putative class may
move the Court to serve as lead plaintiff through counsel of their
choice, or may choose to do nothing and remain an absent class
member.

Click here for more information:
https://www.monteverdelaw.com/case/black-box-corporation.It is free
and there is no cost or obligation to you.

         Juan E. Monteverde, Esq.
         MONTEVERDE & ASSOCIATES PC
         The Empire State Building
         350 Fifth Ave, Suite 4405
         New York, NY 10118
         United States of America
         Telephone: (212) 971-1341
         Email: jmonteverde@monteverdelaw.com  [GN]


BLACKROCK MORTGAGE: Garfield Sues over Business Reorganization
--------------------------------------------------------------
ROBERT GARFIELD, the Plaintiff, vs. BLACKROCK MORTGAGE VENTURES,
LLC, BLACKROCK, INC.; HC PARTNERS, LLC, STANFORD L. KURLAND, DAVID
A. SPECTOR; ANNE D. MCCALLION, MATTHEW BOTEIN, FARHAD NANJI, MARK
WIEDMAN, JOSEPH MAZELLA, and ANDREW S. CHANG, the Defendants and
PENNYMAC FINANCIAL SERVICES, INC., the Nominal Defendant, Case No.
2018-0917-KSJM (Del. Ch., Dec. 27, 2018), alleges that the
Defendants violated their fiduciary duties of loyalty and care by
agreeing to and entering into a business reorganization without
ensuring that the Reorganization was entirely fair to the Company
or to Plaintiff and other public stockholders.

According to the complaint, in March 2008, BlackRock, Highfields,
and Kurland (the former Chief Operating Officer of Countrywide
Financial Corporation) formed a private company called Private
National Mortgage Acceptance Company, LLC ("OpCo"). OpCo's stated
purpose was to acquire and restructure distressed residential
mortgages. In 2013, BlackRock, Highfields, and Kurland took
PennyMac public in a so-called Up-C structure, which created a new
publicly traded holding company -- Old HoldCo -- above OpCo. Old
HoldCo became the sole managing member of OpCo. Public stockholders
received Class A Common Stock in Old HoldCo. BlackRock, Highfields,
Kurland, and the other existing owners of OpCo were issued Class A
Units in OpCo, plus one share each of Class B Common Stock in Old
HoldCo. OpCo Units had 100% of the economic rights in OpCo but no
voting rights (as Old HoldCo was the sole managing member). OpCo
Units were exchangeable on a one-for-one basis with Class A Common
Stock in Old HoldCo. The Class B Common Stock issued to OpCo
Unitholders had no economic rights in Old HoldCo but carried one
vote for each OpCo Unit owned.

Following an initial public offering, BlackRock, Highfields, and
Kurland were a control group that, at all relevant times,
controlled a majority of the voting power in Old HoldCo. Following
the IPO, however, OpCo's business operations changed in a way that
resulted in less taxable income than had been expected at the time
of the IPO. Indeed, by 2018, this would mean that the tax benefits
to OpCo Unitholders of an Up-C structure were essentially
eliminated. (There is no need to avoid double taxation if you do
not have taxable income and no tax benefits would be created by
exchanges if there was no taxable income to reduce). But the Up-C
structure still posed a significant obstacle to OpCo Unitholders
who wished to liquidate their stake by converting to Class A Common
Stock and selling: the exchange of OpCo Units for Class A Common
Stock was treated as a taxable event for the unitholder and their
gain was taxed at the (higher) ordinary-income rate rather than the
(lower) capital gains rate. This was a problem for BlackRock,
Highfields, Kurland and the other holders of OpCo Units (a group
that included a majority of the Board of Directors). So Kurland --
with the support of BlackRock and Highfields -- pushed through the
"Reorganization," a transaction that created New HoldCo, merged Old
HoldCo into New HoldCo, and converted both OpCo Units and Class A
Common Stock of Old, the lawsuit says.

The Reorganization was not conditioned on majority-of-the-minority
approval. As the Definitive Proxy informed Plaintiff and other
public stockholders, "Even if no affirmative votes of Class A
common stockholders are cast in favor of the Reorganization
Proposal, the Reorganization Proposal will be approved if a
sufficient number of votes of Class B common stockholders [i.e.,
Class A Unit holders] are cast in favor of the Reorganization
Proposal. Based upon the percentage of control of the Class B
Common Stock of the vote of the shares of Class A Common Stock and
Class B Common Stock, voting together as a single class, if
sufficient affirmative votes of Class B common stockholders are
cast in favor of the Reorganization Proposal, the Reorganization
will be approved even if no affirmative votes of Class A common
stockholders are cast in favor of the Reorganization Proposal."

On August 2, 2018, the Board declared a special, one-time cash
dividend of $0.40 per share of Class A Common Stock to holders of
record of Class A Common Stock as of August 13, and that was
distributed on or about August 30.  Also on August 2, the parties
entered into the Reorganization Agreement and publicly announced
the proposed Reorganization. Not surprisingly, between February 27,
2018 -- when Kurland first proposed the Reorganization -- and when
it closed on November 1, 2018, insiders sold a significant number
of shares of Class A Common Stock.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff Robert Garfield:

          Kurt M. Heyman, Esq.
          Melissa N. Donimirski, Esq.
          Aaron M. Nelson, Esq.
          HEYMAN ENERIO GATTUSO & HIRZEL LLP
          300 Delaware Avenue, Suite 200
          Wilmington, DE 19801
          Telephone: (302) 472-7300

               - and -

          Jason M. Leviton, Esq.
          Joel A. Fleming, Esq.
          BLOCK & LEVITON LLP
          155 Federal Street, Suite 400
          Boston, MA 02110
          Telephone: (617) 398-5600


BLUE CROSS: Court Narrows Claims in Cotten ERISA Suit
-----------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts
issued a Memorandum and Order granting in part and denying in part
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss the case captioned DAVID COTTEN,
JAMES ROBINSON, and CAROLYN CAIN, individually and on behalf of
himself and all others similarly situated, v. BLUE CROSS AND BLUE
SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS HMO BLUE, INC. and BLUE CROSS AND BLUE
SHIELD OF MASSACHUSETTS, INC. Civil Action No. 16-12176-RGS. (D.
Mass.).

David Cotten, James Robinson, and Carolyn Cain are plaintiffs in
this putative class action brought against Blue Cross and Blue
Shield of Massachusetts HMO Blue, Inc. and Blue Cross and Blue
Shield of Massachusetts, Inc. (BCBS).

The Plaintiffs allege that BCBS improperly denied claims for the
costs of treating their children's mental health issues in
wilderness therapy programs. The Second Amended Complaint sets out
three claims: plan enforcement under the Employee Retirement Income
Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) (Count I), breach of protections under
the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (Count II), and
breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA and the Parity Act (Count
III). BCBS moves to dismiss Counts I and III.

Two basic principles guide the court's analysis. First, the tenet
that a court must accept as true all of the allegations contained
in a complaint is inapplicable to legal conclusions. Second, only a
complaint that states a plausible claim for relief survives a
motion to dismiss.

Count I

ERISA provides a private right of action for a participant to
recover benefits due under the terms of his plan, to enforce his
rights under the terms of the plan, or to clarify his rights to
future benefits under the terms of the plan.

The Plaintiffs argue that their children's wilderness therapy is
covered under a correct reading of the plans' language, using the
applicable rules of construction. They also argue that the court
must construe all plan ambiguities against BCBS and in favor of
coverage.

While the plaintiffs' recitation of the rules of construction is
sound, their reading of the plans is not. The exclusionary language
cited by BCBS is unambiguous: it specifically disclaims coverage
for residential or other care that is custodial care, including
services that are performed in educational, vocational, or
recreational settings; and outward bound-type, wilderness, camp, or
ranch programs.  

The plans define custodial care as, among other things,  care that
is given primarily by medically-trained personnel for a member who
shows no significant improvement response despite extended or
repeated treatment. This describes the three children's regimens:
they were each treated in a wilderness program by mental health
professionals after other therapies failed.  

BCBS's denial of coverage under the plans was therefore proper.  

Count III

ERISA authorizes a plan participant to bring an action to enjoin
any act or practice which violates any provision of this subchapter
or the terms of the plan, or to obtain other appropriate equitable
relief to redress such violations or to enforce any provisions of
this subchapter or the terms of the plan.

The Plaintiffs allege that BCBS breached its fiduciary duty under
ERISA and the Parity Act by failing to act in accordance with the
documents and instruments governing plaintiffs' health benefit
plan.

BCBS asserts that this claim fails as a matter of law on three
grounds.

BCBS argues that the section 1132(a)(3) claim is duplicative
because adequate relief is available under section 1132(a)(1)(B)
(Counts I and II).  BCBS maintains that Count III should be
dismissed because it simply reiterates and relabels the claims for
benefits set forth" in Counts I and II.  

The Plaintiffs counter with a more recent Supreme Court decision,
CIGNA Corp. v. Amara, 563 U.S. 421 (2011). In Amara, the Court held
that while section 1132(a)(1)(B) does not permit a court to alter
the terms of an ERISA plan, section 1132(a)(3) authorizes equitable
relief when appropriate. The Eighth and Ninth Circuits read Amara
as implicitly allowing double-barreled relief.  

The Plaintiffs contend that their section 1132(a)(3) claim can
similarly be pled in the alternative.

The Court disagrees. While the First Circuit has yet to address the
issue, the Court reasonably confident that it would adhere to its
prior position as set out in LaRocca. LaRocca v. Borden, Inc., 276
F.3d 22, 28 (1st Cir. 2002)

Accordingly, BCBS's motion to dismiss Counts I and III is allowed.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 6, 2018
Memorandum and Order is available at https://tinyurl.com/yaulz89r
from Leagle.com.

David Cotten, Plaintiff, represented by Deborah J. Winegard --
dwinegard@whatleykallas.com -- Whatley Kallas, LLP, pro hac vice,
Jordan Lewis, Jordan Lewis, P.A., pro hac vice & Patrick J. Sheehan
-- psheehan@whatleykallas.com -- Whatley Kallas, LLP.

James Robinson & Carolyn Cain, Plaintiffs, represented by Patrick
J. Sheehan, Whatley Kallas, LLP.

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Massachusetts HMO Blue, Inc.,
Defendant, represented by Charles L. Solomont --
carl.solomont@morganlewis.com -- Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Joseph
J. Costello -- joseph.costello@morganlewis.com -- Morgan, Lewis &
Bockius, pro hac vice, Lisa Veasman -- lisa.veasman@morganlewis.com
-- Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, pro hac vice, Molly Moriarty Lane
-- mlane@morganlewis.com -- Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP, pro hac
vice & Peter J. Mee -- peter.mee@morganlewis.com -- Morgan, Lewis &
Bockius LLP.


BORO PARK: Faces Williamson Suit in Kings County, NY Court
----------------------------------------------------------
A class action has been filed against Boro Park Operating Co., LLC
d/b/a Boro Park Center For Rehabilitation And Healthcare. The case
is captioned as YVONNE WILLIAMSON, individually and on behalf of
all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. BORO PARK OPERATING
CO., LLC D/B/A BORO PARK CENTER FOR REHABILITATION AND HEALTHCARE,
Defendant, Case No. 525337/2018 (N.Y. Sup., Kings County, Dec. 12,
2018).

Boro Park Operating Co., LLC, doing business as Boro Park Center
for Rehabilitation and Healthcare, provides rehabilitation and
healthcare services. The company is based in New York, New York.
[BN]


C&R RESTAURANT: Faces Paez Labor Suit in California Superior Court
------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against C&R RESTAURANT GROUP,
L.P. The case is captioned MELISSA PAEZ, INDIVIDUALLY, AND ON
BEHALF OF OTHER MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC SIMILARLY SITUATED
AND ON BEHALF OF AGGRIEVED EMPLOYEES PURSUANT TO THE PRIVATE
ATTORNEYS GENERAL ACT ("PAGA"), the Plaintiff, vs. C&R RESTAURANT
GROUP, L.P., A CALIFORNIA LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, the Defendants, Case
No. BCV-18-103171 (Cal. Super. Ct., Dec. 21, 2018). The case is
assigned to the Hon. Stephen D. Schuett. The suit alleges
employment-related issues.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

         Douglas Han, Esq.
         JUSTICE LAW CORPORATION
         411 N Central Ave., Ste 500
         Glendale, CA 91203-2095
         Telephone: (818) 230-7502
         Facsimile: (818) 230-7259
         E-mail: dhan@justicelawcorp.com

CALIFORNIA BOARD OF CORRECTIONS: Faces Doe Suit in State Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against California Board of
State and Community Corrections. The case is captioned as Jane Doe
Inmate and on behalf of all others similarly situated individuals,
the Plaintiff, vs. California Board of State and Community
Corrections, Does 1-1000, Scott Jones, and Sheriff's Department,
the Defendants on Dec. 19, 2018, Case No:
34-2018-00246913-CU-MC-GDS (Cal. Super. Ct.).

Established in 2012, the California Board of State and Community
Corrections (BSCC) is an independent statutory agency that provides
leadership to the adult and juvenile criminal justice systems,
expertise on Public Safety Realignment issues, a data and
information clearinghouse, and technical assistance on a wide range
of community corrections issues.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Paula Canny, Esq.
          THE LAW OFFICES OF PAULA CANNY
          840 Hinckley Rd., Suite 101
          Burlingame, CA 94010
          Telephone: 650 652 7862
          Facsimile: 650 652 7835

CALIFORNIA: Homeowners Mull Class Actions Over Carr Fire
--------------------------------------------------------
Michele Chandler, writing for Redding Record, reports that in the
latest legal action related to the devastating Carr Fire, a
developer and a group of people whose homes were destroyed in the
blaze are gearing up to file class action lawsuits against the city
of Redding and California.

So far, two administrative claims have been filed by homeowners who
had their properties destroyed in the Carr Fire, which roared
through portions of Redding and Shasta and Trinity counties in the
summer.

Claims are legal actions required before a formal lawsuit can be
filed against government agencies. Only if the agencies deny
settling the claim can a lawsuit be filed in court.

One claim was filed against the California Department of
Transportation, while the second claim was filed against the city
of Redding, said Dugan Barr, a Redding attorney who is representing
the homeowners.

City Attorney Barry DeWalt did not immediately return a call for
comment on Dec. 14.

City officials declined to settle the homeowners' claims on Dec. 7.
That paves the way for a lawsuit seeking class action status to be
filed against the municipality and state, Barr said.

The second settlement claim, filed against Caltrans, is pending. If
the state fails to act by Jan. 21, the claim "will be deemed to be
denied and then we can go ahead and file suit" against the state,
Barr said.

By the time it was extinguished on Sept. 4, the Carr Fire had wiped
out 1,079 single-family homes carrying an estimated market value of
nearly $292 million.

Mr. Barr, of the law firm Barr & Mudford, said both administrative
claims were first filed in November by Redding developer W. Jaxon
Baker and Kate Baker.

In December, each claim was amended to include several homeowners
whose properties were destroyed by the Carr Fire.

Each claim is based on a different theory.

One claim against the state alleges that Caltrans did not maintain
the shoulder areas of its roadways by keeping them clear of
combustible vegetation.

That failure and others made the areas more prone to wildfires, the
claim says. According to the claim, Caltrans failed to take
sufficient efforts to "consider the fire risk" on Highway 299 in
the Whiskeytown National Recreation area.  

The Carr Fire started at Highway 299 and Carr Powerhouse Road near
Whiskeytown Lake and went on to char nearly 230,000 acres.

State agencies also failed to "adequately assess" the fire risk
along its roadways or remove dry trees and "other potential
vegetative fuel sources," according to the claim.

The second claim alleges the city of Redding failed to ensure that
"adequate and defensible space was being provided for all new and
existing homes." The city also failed to remove dry trees, brush
and vegetation that could serve as wildfire fuel, the claim said.

The city's hazard reduction plan, adopted in 2014, included an
obligation to reduce vegetation fuel in the greenbelt areas within
a year, Barr said. "They haven't done anything," he said. "In fact,
the plan describes a fire coming into the northwest part of the
city, only the one (wildfire) the plan described is much smaller
than the one we actually got," said Barr.

Since the Bakers filed the claim, other homeowners have joined. The
claim now includes Laura McHaney and Ted and Debhora Aukland, as
well as others whose properties were damaged or destroyed.

The claim against the state was originally filed by the Bakers,
McHaney and the Auklands. It now includes Kimberly Hurst, Max and
Alice Carter and Larry Larson and others who are "similarly
situated," according to the claim.

Mr. Barr said that as time has passed, "One of the things that's
going on is that people are starting to find out how much their
insurance doesn't cover."

This is Jaxon Baker's second time filing action against the city in
connection with the Carr Fire.

On Nov. 6, the Redding City Council rescinded its Aug. 21 approval
of the its 2018 Parks, Trails and Open Space Master Plan.

Mr. Baker, who was represented by Redding attorney Walt McNeill,
had sued the city in September, alleging the master plan
inadequately addressed ways to deal with flammable brush, grass and
trees in the city's open space. Baker said the plan failed to take
into account the sort of devastation caused by the Carr Fire.

Mr. Baker's suit argued a more comprehensive environmental document
is required through the California Environmental Quality Act
process.

The revocation was approved as part of the council's consent
calendar.

City staff recommended the council rescind the plan, noting that if
it didn't, the result would be costly litigation. Staff plans to
"prepare and publish the plan for adoption again." [GN]


CIOX HEALTH: Carter Stayed Pending Appeal Ruling in Ruzhinskaya
---------------------------------------------------------------
Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson of the U.S. District Court for
the Western District of New York grantd the Defendants' motion to
stay the case, MARISSA CARTER, et al., Plaintiffs, v. CIOX HEALTH,
LLC, f/k/a HealthPort Technologies, LLC, et al., Defendants, Case
No. 14-CV-6275G (W.D. N.Y.).

Plaintiffs Carter, Evelyn Grys, Bruce Currier, Sharon Koning, Sue
Beehler, Marsha Mancuso, and Jaclyn Cuthbertson commenced the
putative class action against CIOX Health, LLC, formerly known as
HealthPort Technologies, LLC, the Rochester General Hospital, the
Unity Hospital of Rochester, and the F.F. Thompson Hospital, Inc.,
alleging that they systematically overcharged patients who
requested copies of their medical records, in violation of New York
Public Health Law Section 18.

Currently pending is the Defendants' motion to stay the matter
pending resolution of an appeal before the Second Circuit in a
similar case, Spiro v. HealthPort Technologies, LLC, 18-1034 (2d
Cir. 2018) ("Ruzhinskaya").  The Plaintiffs join the Defendants'
request to the extent it seeks a stay pending a decision from the
Second Circuit in the Ruzhinskaya matter.

Weighing the interests, Magistrate Judge Payson finds that a stay
is warranted.  Given the lack of opposition, there is little
prejudice to the Plaintiffs, and the interests of the Defendants,
the Court, the public, and possible nonparties are all advanced by
a stay pending decision from the Second Circuit that will provide
invaluable guidance to the Court on key trial issues in the case."

For the reasons stated, the Magistrate granted the Defendants'
motion to stay the proceedings.  Within seven days of the issuance
by the Second Circuit of its decision in Ruzhinskaya, the counsel
will confer and submit to the Court a jointly-proposed amended
scheduling order.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Decision and Order is
available at https://is.gd/Ez7u8W from Leagle.com.

Marissa Carter, Evelyn Grys, Bruce Currier, Sharon Koning, Sue
Beehler, Marsha Mancuso & Jaclyn Cuthbertson, as individuals and as
representatives of the classes, Plaintiffs, represented by Anna P.
Prakash -- aprakash@nka.com -- Nichols Kaster, PLLP, Kai H. Richter
-- krichter@nka.com -- Nichols Kaster, PLLP, Kathryn Lee Bruns --
kbruns@faraci.com -- Faraci Lange LLP, Mark Edward Thomson --
mthomson@nka.com -- Nichols Kaster, PLLP & Stephen G. Schwarz --
sschwarz@faraci.com -- Faraci Lange LLP.

CIOX Health, LLC, f/k/a HealthPort Technologies, LLC, Defendant,
represented by Aaron M. Saykin -- asaykin@hodgsonruss.com --
Hodgson Russ LLP, Jodyann Galvin -- jgalvin@hodgsonruss.com --
Hodgson Russ LLP & Rebecca A. Brazzano --
Rebecca.Brazzano@ThompsonHine.com -- Thompson Hine LLP.

the Rochester General Hospital & the Unity Hospital of Rochester,
Defendants, represented by Aaron M. Saykin, Hodgson Russ LLP &
Jodyann Galvin, Hodgson Russ LLP.

F.F. Thompson Hospital, Inc., Defendant, represented by Jodyann
Galvin, Hodgson Russ LLP.


COINBASE: XRP Class Action Moved to Federal Court
-------------------------------------------------
John P. Njui, writing for Ethereum World News, reports that as we
wind down 2018, crypto traders have endured an almost 12 month wait
for Coinbase to make a decision whether to list XRP or not. Around
the 4th of January in 2018, the price of XRP climbed to $3.84 due
to anticipation by crypto traders that the digital asset would be
added on Coinbase. However, this did not happen and the digital
asset fell by almost 25% the following day after representatives
from the exchange dispelled rumors that listing XRP was in their
plans.

Pending Lawsuits Claiming XRP is a Security

Around the same time period, the team at Ripple was served with
lawsuits that claimed that the digital asset was an unauthorized
security. One of the cases -- that is a consolidated class-action
suit -- has been moved to Federal Court at the request of Ripple
attorneys. Ripple's lawyers applied for the case to be moved to
Federal court because some of the plaintiffs were residents of
other States other than California where it was first filed.

Many Crypto Enthusists Believe XRP Is Not A Security
It is due to the above lawsuit in Federal court that many crypto
enthusiasts believe that the team at Coinbase is waiting on the
outcome to decide whether to list the digital asset or not.
However, many have concluded that it is not a security. Even the
CEO of Binance, Changpeng Zhao, shared his opinion on twitter that
XRP was not a security. CZ's exact words were as follows:

The court case may take years. But if XRP is ruled as a security,
it would seriously hurt a lot of US users, and to a certain extent,
other users around the world too. It certainly doesn't look like a
security to me, but that's just one person's opinion.

Coinbase Needs XRP Now More Than Ever
It is no secret that the crypto bear market is hurting not only
individual traders and investors, but also ICOs and cryptocurrency
exchanges. The trade volume of Coinbase has decreased by 80% since
the last Bull Run of December 2017 and January 2018. This is
according to an August 2018 report by diar.

This then brings us to the first reason why Coinbase needs XRP now
more than ever. Listing the digital asset would attract users to
the platform who are holders and fans of XRP. HODLers of the
digital asset have been known to be very enthusiastic about the
vision of fast, efficient and cheap transactions made possible by
the XRP ledger. Listing XRP on the platform, would excite an
already enthusiastic community to create new accounts on the
platform.

Secondly, with the new users and increased trade volume brought
about by XRP, the exchange is surely to gain revenue from trading
fees. From a business point of view, no executive running a company
hates profit brought about by new business from clients. Listing
XRP would bring in more traders automatically boosting revenue.

Thirdly, the aforementioned hodlers and enthusiasts of XRP are now
convinced that Coinbase has lost its credibility by listing ERC20
tokens linked to projects that many believe are not worthy of the
exchange. Listing XRP might just be the move that will boost the
reputation of the exchange in the eyes of many traders. In the
world of business and finance, reputation is key.

Conclusion
With time and as the bear market continues to cause losses for
crypto exchanges, the tables might have turned for Coinbase in the
sense that it might need XRP now more than ever. Listing XRP might
just be the spark needed to ignite a rush of new accounts on the
platform as well as increasing its trade volume in the current bear
market. There is also the fact that the reputation of the exchange
might also be on the line as many traders have migrated elsewhere.
This is due to the exchange delaying to list other prominent
digital assets such as Stellar (XLM) and Cardano (ADA). [GN]


COMPETITIVE EDGE: Granger Seeks to Recover Overtime Pay Under FLSA
------------------------------------------------------------------
JOSEPH GRANGER, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated
v. COMPETITIVE EDGE GROUP, INC., A Florida Profit Corporation, and
FRED R. BOOTHBY, individually, Case No. 6:18-cv-02164-ACC-GJK (M.D.
Fla., December 18, 2018), seeks to recover alleged unpaid overtime
wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

CEG is a Florida for-profit company that conducts its for-profit
landscaping business in Florida, with its principal places of
business in Seminole and Palm Beach Counties, Florida.  Fred R.
Boothby is the owner and operator of CEG.

The Defendants own and operate a landscaping service that utilizes
cars, vans, mowers, hedgers, weeders, computers, telephones, phone
systems, and other materials and supplies that originated outside
the State of Florida.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Noah E. Storch, Esq.
          RICHARD CELLER LEGAL, P.A.
          7450 Griffin Road, Suite 230
          Davie, FL 33314
          Telephone: (866) 344-9243
          Facsimile: (954) 337-2771
          E-mail: noah@floridaovertimelawyer.com


CONNECTICUT: Barfield Seeks to Certify Class
--------------------------------------------
In the case, Robert Barfield, the Plaintiff, vs. SCOTT SEMPLE, in
his official capacity, as Commissioner of the Connecticut
Department of Correction, the Defendant, Case No. 3:18-cv-01198-MPS
(D. Conn.), Robert Barfield, John Knapp and Darnell Tatem move the
Court for an order:

   1. certifying a class of:

      "all people who are or will be prisoners in the custody of
      the Connecticut Department of Correction ("DOC"), and who
      have or will have Hepatitis C while in custody and have not
      yet been cured."

   2. appointing Robert Barfield, John Knapp and Darnell Tatem as
      class representatives; and

   3. appointing Attorneys Kenneth J. Krayeske and DeVaughn L.
      Ward as class counsel.[CC]

Attorneys for Robert Barfield:

          Kenneth J. Krayeske, Esq.
          KENNETH J. KRAYESKE LAW OFFICES
          255 Main Street, 5th Floor
          Telephone: (860) 969-4911
          Facsimile: (860) 760-6590
          E-mail: attorney@kenkrayeske.com

               - and -

          DeVaughn L. Ward, Esq.
          WARD LAW LLC
          363 Main Street, 4th floor
          Hartford, CT 06106
          Telephone: 860-869-4086
          Facsimile: 860-471-8406
          E-mail: dward@attyward.com

COVERMYMEDS LLC: Made Unsolicited Calls, Kenneth A. Thomas Says
---------------------------------------------------------------
KENNETH A. THOMAS MD, LLC, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. COVERMYMEDS, LLC, Defendant, Case
No. 3:18-cv-02038-KAD (D. Conn., Dec. 12, 2018) seeks to stop the
Defendant's practice of sending unsolicited faxes to the Plaintiff
and the class without any prior express written consent in
violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

CoverMyMeds, LLC provides electronic prior authorization solutions.
The company’s CoverMyMeds platform allows electronic health
records, payers, pharmacies, and life sciences to fill out prior
authorization requests electronically. The company was founded in
2008 and is based in Highland Hills, Ohio. It has an additional
office in Columbus, Ohio. As of April 3, 2017, CoverMyMeds LLC
operates as a subsidiary of McKesson Corporation. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Jason R. Campbell, Esq.
          JASON R. CAMPBELL, ATTORNEY AT LAW
          250 First Avenue, Unit 602
          Charlestown, MA 02129
          Telephone: (617) 872-8652
          E-mail: jasonrcampbell@ymail.com

               - and -

          Avi R. Kaufman, Esq.
          KAUFMAN P.A.
          400 NW 26th Street
          Miami, FL 33127
          Telephone: (305) 469-5881
          E-mail: kaufman@kaufmanpa.com

               - and -

          Stefan Coleman, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF STEFAN COLEMAN, P.A.
          201 S. Biscayne Blvd, 28th Floor
          Miami, Fl 33131
          Telephone: (877) 333-9427
          Facsimile: (888) 498-8946
          E-mail: law@stefancoleman.com


CREDIT BUREAU: Ozminkowski Sues over Debt Collection Practices
--------------------------------------------------------------
LEANA OZMINKOWSKI, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. CREDIT BUREAU DATA, INC.,
Defendant, Case No. 3:18-cv-01034-slc (W.D. Wis., Dec. 12, 2018)
seeks to stop the Defendant's unfair and unconscionable means to
collect a debt. The case is assigned to Magistrate Judge Stephen L.
Crocker.

Credit Bureau Data, Inc. is engaged as a collection agency. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Nathan Edward DeLadurantey, Esq.
          DELADURANTEY LAW OFFICE, LLC
          330 S. Executive Drive, Suite 109
          Brookfield, WI 53005
          Telephone: (414) 377-0515
          E-mail: nathan@dela-law.com

               - and -

          Thomas John Lyons , Jr., Esq.
          CONSUMER JUSTICE CENTER, P.A.
          367 Commerce Court
          Vadnais Heights, MN 55127
          Telephone: (651) 770-9707
          E-mail: tommy@consumerjusticecenter.com

               - and -

          Zeshan Usman, Esq.
          USMAN LAW FIRM, LLC
          525 Junction Rd., Ste. 8520N
          Madison, WI 53717
          Telephone: (608) 829-1112
          Facsimile: (888) 876-2636
          E-mail: Z@UsmanLaw.com


CTAC HOLDINGS: Faces Delacruz ADA Suit in S.D. New York
-------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against CTAC Holdings LLC
doing business as LI-LAC Chocolates. The case is captioned as
EMANUEL DELACRUZ, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. CTAC HOLDINGS LLC doing business
as: LI-LAC Chocolates, Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-11590-PAE-RWL
(S.D.N.Y., Dec. 12, 2018). The lawsuit alleges violation of the
Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is assigned to Judge Paul
A. Engelmayer and referred to Magistrate Judge Robert W.
Lehrburger.

CTAC Holdings LLC doing business as: LI-LAC Chocolates provides
fresh, gourmet chocolate and chocolate gifts. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Dana Lauren Gottlieb, Esq.
          GOTTLIEB & ASSOCIATES
          150 East 18th Street, Suite PHR
          New York, NY 10003
          Telephone: (917) 796-7437
          Facsimile: (212) 982-6284
          E-mail: danalgottlieb@aol.com


CURO GROUP: Feb. 4 Lead Plaintiff Bid Deadline Set
--------------------------------------------------
The following statement is being issued by Levi & Korsinsky, LLP:

To: All persons or entities who purchased or otherwise acquired
securities of CURO Group Holdings Corp. ("CURO") (NYSE: CURO)
between July 31, 2018 through and including October 24, 2018. You
are hereby notified that a securities class action lawsuit has been
commenced in the United States District Court for the District of
Kansas. To obtain additional information go to:

https://www.zlk.com/pslra-1/curo-group-holdings-corp-loss-form

or contact Joseph E. Levi, Esq. either via email at
jlevi@levikorsinsky.com or by telephone at (212) 363-7500,
toll-free: (877) 363-5972. There is no cost or obligation to you.

Throughout the Class Period, Defendants materially misrepresented
to investors the deleterious effect that the up-front loan loss
provisioning in connection with a transition of its Canadian
inventory to Open-Ended loans was having on the Company's financial
performance and 2018 full-year Company guidance. Because CURO's
Open-End Loans had a materially lower lending yield than the
Single-Pay Products, and the portfolio of Open-End Loans was still
immature and unseasoned, the up-front loan loss provisioning for
these loans was far greater than publicly revealed (and the yield
far lower). This caused the Company to materially overstate its
2018 projected financial results, including CURO's adjusted EBITDA,
net revenue and operating earnings.

On October 24, 2018, the Company announced disappointing financial
results for the third quarter of 2018 and substantially reduced its
guidance for full-year fiscal 2018. Upon this news, CURO stock fell
from $22.87 on October 24, 2018 to $15.18 on October 25, 2018.

If you suffered a loss in CURO you have until February 4, 2019 to
request that the Court appoint you as lead plaintiff. Your ability
to share in any recovery doesn't require that you serve as a lead
plaintiff.

         Contact:
         Joseph E. Levi, Esq.
         Levi & Korsinsky, LLP
         55 Broadway, 10th Floor
         New York, NY 10006
         Website: www.zlk.com
         Telephone: (212) 363-7500
         Toll Free: (877) 363-5972
         Fax: (212) 363-7171
         Email: jlevi@levikorsinsky.com [GN]


DEUTSCHE BANK: Settles Class Action Over RMBS Trusts
----------------------------------------------------
James Comtois, writing for Pensions & Investments, reports that
Deutsche Bank agreed to settle a class action over its handling of
residential mortgage-backed securities trusts.

The suit, filed by lead plaintiff BlackRock (BLK) on behalf of its
Balanced Capital Portfolio in U.S. District Court in New York,
alleged that defendants Deutsche Bank National Trust Co. and
Deutsche Bank Trust Co. Americas "breached its contractual duties
by failing to address breaches of representations and warranties
across dozens of RMBS trusts containing hundreds of thousands of
mortgage loans," said court documents.

"We are pleased to have resolved the matter," a Deutsche Bank
spokesman said.

Terms of the resolution were not disclosed. BlackRock spokesman
Farrell Denby declined to comment.[GN]


DITECH MORTGAGE: Bolen Suit Moved to Central Dist. of California
----------------------------------------------------------------
The case, Latiena Bolen, on behalf of themselves and all similarly
situated persons, and the general public, the Plaintiff, vs. Ditech
Mortgage Corp., Ditech Financial LLC, and Does 1 through 25,
inclusive, the Defendants, Case No. 30-02018-01020307-CU-OE-CXC,
was removed from the Superior Court of California for the County of
Orange, to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of
California (Southern Division - Santa Ana) on Dec. 19, 2018. The
Central District of California Court Clerk assigned Case No.
8:18-cv-02250-JVS-ADS to the proceeding. The case is assigned to
the Hon. Judge James V. Selna.

Ditech Financial, a mortgage company, lends and services
residential mortgages. It offers a range of purchase loan options,
including fixed rate, adjustable rate, jumbo, FHA, and VA
loans.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Reuben D Nathan, Esq.
          NATHAN AND ASSOCIATES APC
          2901 West Pacific Coast Highway Suite 200
          Newport Beach, CA 92663
          Telephone: (949) 270-2798
          E-mail: rnathan@nathanlawpractice.com

Attorneys for Defendants:

          Christina Theresa Tellado, Esq.
          Deisy Castro, Esq.
          Thomas E. Hill, Esq
          HOLLAND AND KNIGHT LLP
          400 South Hope Street 8th Floor
          Los Angeles, CA 90071
          Telephone: (213) 896-2400
          Facsimile: (213) 896-2450
          E-mail: christina.tellado@hklaw.com
                  deisy.castro@hklaw.com
                  tom.hill@hklaw.com

DOLCE PANE: Underpays Servers & Sommeliers, Powers Suit Claims
--------------------------------------------------------------
MICHAEL POWERS, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. DOLCE PANE E VINO, INC.; and DOES 1 through
50, inclusive, Defendants, Case No. 37-2018-00062854-CU-OE-CTL
(Cal. Super., San Diego Cty., Dec. 12, 2018) is an action against
the Defendants for unpaid regular hours, overtime hours, minimum
wages, wages for missed meal and rest periods.

Mr. Powers was employed by the Defendants as server and sommelier.

Dolce Pane E Vino, Inc. is corporation organized under the laws of
the State of California. The Company is engaged in the restaurant
business. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Malte L. L. Farnaes, Esq.
          Christina M. Lucio, Esq.
          Robert R. Luster, Esq.
          Mitchell J. Murray, Esq.
          FARNAES & LUCIO, APC
          2235 Encinitas Blvd., Suite 210
          Encinitas, CA 92024
          Telephone: (760) 942-9431
          E-mail: malte@farnaeslaw.com
                  clucio@farnaeslaw.com
                  rluster@famaeslaw.corn
                  mitch@farnaeslaw.com


DONALD TRUMP: Honduran Families Sue over Migrants' Rights
---------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against U.S. President Donald
John Trump, Sr.  The case is captioned Six Honduran Families and
their Children as Unidentified and all Similarly situated migrants,
the Plaintiff, vs. Honorable Donald John Trump, Sr., President of
the United States of America; Jefferson Beauregard Sessions, United
States Attorney General; and Department of Justice, the Defendants,
Case No. 2:18-cv-10598-DMG-JDE (C.D. Cal., Dec. 21, 2018).  The
suit alleges civil rights violation. The case is assigned to the
Hon. Judge Dolly M. Gee.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

         Lamar C Chapman, III
         P.O. Box 9000
         Forrest City, AZ 72336-9000
         Federal Correctional Institution
         PRO SE

FCA US: Court Narrows Claims in Gilvin Suit Under Ohio's Lemon Law
------------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, MELISSA GILVIN, et al., Plaintiffs, v. FCA US LLC, et
al., Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-107 (S.D. Ohio), Magistrate Judge
Susan J. Dlott of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of Ohio, Western Division, (i) denied the Plaintiffs' motion to
remand, and (ii) granted in part and denied in part the Defendants'
motions to dismiss.

The Plaintiffs reside in Clermont County, Ohio.  Defendant FCA US
distributes, markets, and sells motor vehicles to persons in Ohio.
Defendant ISG is an agent of FCA US.

In May 2016, the Plaintiffs leased a new 2016 Ram 1500 truck which
was sold, manufactured or distributed by FCA US.  They leased the
motor vehicle from Jeff Wyler, Eastgate Auto Mall in Batavia, Ohio,
at which time they received a written statement of their rights
under the Ohio Lemon Law.  The Plaintiffs did not pay the costs of
the taxes, security deposit, or title fees.

The Plaintiffs' claim that their vehicle was out of service by
reason of repair for a cumulative total of 30 or more calendar
days.  They further assert that their motor vehicle was possessed
substantially the same nonconformity, which was subject to repair
three or more times, and the nonconformity either continued to
exist or was recurring.  According to them, FCA US, their agents
and/or their authorized dealer, were unable to conform their motor
vehicle to any applicable express warranty by repairing or
correcting the nonconformity after a reasonable number of repair
attempts.

In January 2017, the Plaintiffs were forwarded to Defendant FCA
US's agent, ISG, to facilitate an informal dispute resolution to
the nonconforming motor vehicle issue.  During the informal
negotiations, ISG made a "refund" offer to the Plaintiffs.  ISG
explained to the Plaintiffs that, as a matter of course, the amount
of an offer made for the return of a vehicle included a deduction
for the costs for taxes, title fees, and security deposits if the
consumer had not paid the costs of these items at the outset of the
consumer's dealings with FCA US.  The Plaintiffs were told that
since FCA US LLC had paid the costs of taxes, title fees, and
security deposits (or simply waived these costs), they were not
included in the offer being made.  After ISG explained that FCA US
was entitled to these costs, ISG gave the Plaintiffs few days to
either accept the settlement offer or ISG would close the case.
The Plaintiffs did not accept the settlement offer from ISG.

Thereafter, the Plaintiffs initiated the action for alleged
violations of Ohio's Lemon Law.  Notably, they originally filed the
action in the Court of Common Pleas for Clermont County, Ohio in
January 2018.  They seek relief for, inter alia, damages in excess
of $25,000 for the refund of the full purchase price of their
nonconforming motor vehicles.  In addition to compensatory damages,
the Plaintiffs also seek punitive damages, attorneys' fees, and
injunctive and declaratory relief.

The Plaintiffs' also seek to bring the action on behalf of
themselves as well as two classes of persons:

     a. The "First Sub-Class" is apparently attempting to plead a
fraud claim, and is defined as persons within the state of Ohio
who, within the last five years, are identified under R.C.
§1345.71 as a 'consumer,' that has engaged in a consumer
transaction with FCA US, LLC where the consumer acquires a motor
vehicle manufactured by FCA US, LLC, and these person-consumers
have attempted to exercise their right to a refund of their
nonconforming motor vehicle under R.C. Section 1345.72, and, either
through dealing with FCA, US LLC or contact with the agents of FCA
US, LLC, have been denied the refund of the 'full purchase price'
for this nonconforming motor vehicle as defined under R.C. Section
1345:72, either through denial of a refund for title fees, taxes,
and security deposits, or being forced to retroactively pay the
cost of these items, which the consumer is specifically entitled to
under R.C. Section 1345.71 et seq.

     b. The "Second Sub-Class" which is apparently seeking
declaratory and injunctive relief, encompasses persons within the
state of Ohio who, within the last five years, are identified under
R.C. Section 1345.71 as a 'consumer' of a motor vehicle
manufactured by FCA US, LLC, these persons are currently attempting
to exercise their right to a refund of their nonconforming motor
vehicle under R.C. Section 1345.72, and, either through dealing
with FCA US, LLC or contact with the agents of FCA US, LLC, are
being denied the refund of the 'full purchase price' for this
nonconforming motor vehicle as defined under R.C. Section 1345.72,
either through a denial of a refund for title fees, taxes, and
security deposits, or being asked to retroactively pay the cost of
these items, which the consumer is specifically entitled to under
R.C. §1345.71 et seq.

The Defendants filed a notice of removal with the Court on Feb. 14,
2018.  Their Defendants' notice of removal asserted jurisdiction
under 28 U.S.C. Section 1332(d)(2), which is commonly referred to
as the Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA"), as well as diversity
jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1332(a).

On Aug. 21, 2017, the Plaintiffs made a written settlement demand
on FCA US, claiming that the fraudulent actions at issue caused
them to sustain far greater damages than simply the recoupment of
the 'full purchase price' of their nonconforming motor vehicle.  In
the demand letter, they valued their compensatory, incidental, and
punitive damages at no less than $400,000.

The Plaintiffs now seek to remand the matter back to state court.
Specifically, they contend: 1) the notice of removal was flawed
where Defendant FCA US failed to adequately show that the amount in
controversy exceeds the statutory limits set forth in the CAFA; 2)
the Defendant failed to show that subject matter jurisdiction for
the Court exists separate from the requirements set forth in the
CAFA; and 3) the Defendant has not provided the Court or the
Plaintiffs with any actual proof as to the size of the class or the
amount in controversy.  

Magistrate Judge Dlott finds the Plaintiffs' contentions are not
well-taken.  The Plaintiffs have no way of knowing the costs of
security deposits, taxes, and title fees for each individual class
member, but they are similarly able to roughly estimate that the
total cost of security deposits, taxes, and title fees for even the
most expensive automobile that FCA US has to offer would most
likely amount to less than $5,000 per class member.  As such, the
Plaintiff's contend that the Defendants could not meet the $5
milion threshold.  Such an evidentiary dispute, however, according
to the Magistrate, does not require remand at this time.

Furthermore, she finds that the Court also has jurisdiction of the
case under the general diversity statute because the value of the
Plaintiffs' individual claims exceeds $75,000.  The Plaintiffs'
claim for punitive damages alone is enough to put the case over the
$5M threshold even if their $3 million compensatory figure is
adopted.  

Lastly, both the Sixth Circuit and this District have found that
settlement demands, like the $400,000 one made by the Plaintiffs,
are evidence that a district court must consider when determining
the amount in controversy.

For these reasons, the Magistrate denied the Plaintiff's motion to
remand.

The Defendants ask the Court to dismiss the Plaintiffs' complaint
asserting that they failed to state a claim upon which relief may
be granted.  Specifically, the Defendants contend that the
Plaintiffs have failed to meet the pleading standards of Rule 8(a).
In the alternative, to the extent that the Court were to find that
the Plaintiffs have pleaded a valid claim, the Defendants contend
that the class Plaintiffs define is legally improper.

The Magistrate finds that the Defendants' contentions are not
well-taken, in part.  She holds that the Plaintiffs' complaint
contains sufficient allegations to state a claim for relief under
Ohio's Lemon law.  Because the classes proffered by the Plaintiffs
are defined by legal conclusions, the Defendants argue that the
issue of whether a person is actually a class member can only be
resolved by adjudications on the merits.  As such, the Defendants
ask the Court to dismiss the class allegations in Paragraphs 45,
57, and 94.

The Magistrate finds that the Plaintiffs' response in opposition to
the Defendants motion to dismiss fails to address FCA US' argument
that the class they have defined is an improper fail-safe class. A
s such, the Plaintiffs do not dispute the Defendants' argument that
the Court should dismiss or strike their class allegations as
legally improper.  Accordingly, she finds that Paragraphs 45, 57,
and 94 should be dismissed from the complaint.

In light of foregoing, Magistrate Judge Dlott recommended that the
Plaintiffs' motion to remand should be denied, and the Defendants'
motions to dismiss be granted in part and denied in part,
consistent with her Report and Recommendation.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Report &
Recommendation is available at https://is.gd/o34eUM from
Leagle.com.

Melissa Gilvin & Jamie Gilvin, Plaintiffs, represented by
Kristopher David Burgess -- kristopher@theburgessfirm.com -- T.
David Burgess Co., L.P.A & Daniel T. Monk, T. David Burgess Co.,
L.P.A., pro hac vice.

FCA US LLC, Defendant, represented by Carolyn Ann Taggart --
ctaggart@porterwright.com -- Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, LLP,
Terrance Michael Miller -- tmiller@porterwright.com -- Porter
Wright Morris & Arthur, Kathy Wisniewski --
kwisniewski@thompsoncoburn.com -- Thompson Coburn LLP, pro hac vice
& Stephen Anthony D'Aunoy -- sdaunoy@thompsoncoburn.com -- Thompson
Coburn LLP, pro hac vice.

Impartial Services Group, also known as Stericycle Expert
Solutions, Defendant, represented by Alex S. Rodger, STRAUSS TROY
CO., LPA.

Ally Financial Inc., Defendant, represented by Joel E. Sechler --
sechler@carpenterlipps.com -- Carpenter & Lipps LLP.


FEDEX GROUND: Sullivan-Blake & Claiborne Seek OT Pay for Drivers
----------------------------------------------------------------
ANGEL SULLIVAN-BLAKE and HORACE CLAIBORNE, on behalf of themselves
and others similarly situated, the Plaintiffs, vs. FEDEX GROUND
PACKAGE SYSTEM, INC., the Defendant, Case No. 2:18-cv-01698-CRE
(W.D. Pa., Dec. 21, 2018), seeks to recover overtime pay under the
Fair Labor Standards Act.

The Plaintiffs bring this collective action lawsuit against
Defendant who have been employed by FedEx through intermediary
employers to perform delivery services on FedEx's behalf and who
have been eligible to receive overtime pay but have not been paid
time-and-a-half compensation for their hours worked in excess of
forty hours per week, in violation of the FLSA.

FedEx operates a package pickup and delivery business servicing
customers throughout the United States. FedEx employs thousands of
package delivery drivers within the United States, including the
named Plaintiffs and others similarly situated, who: (a) work for
FedEx through intermediary employers called "independent service
providers" ("FedEx ISPs"); (b) are classified as "employees" of the
FedEx ISPs; (c) have worked more than 40 hours per week delivering
packages for FedEx but are not paid time-and-a-half compensation
for hours worked over 40; and (d) drive, in whole or in part,
vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating of 10,000 pounds or
less. The Plaintiffs and the drivers all worked as FedEx delivery
drivers pursuant to FedEx's common business practices and, as a
result of such practices, have not been paid the legally mandated
overtime premium, the lawsuit says.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiffs:

          Peter Winebrake, Esq.
          R. Andrew Santillo, Esq.
          Mark J. Gottesfeld, Esq.
          WINEBRAKE & SANTILLO, LLC
          715 Twining Road, Suite 211
          Dresher, PA 19025
          Telephone: (215) 884-2491
          E-mail: pwinebrake@winebrakelaw.com

               - and -

          Shannon Liss-Riordan, Esq.
          Michelle Cassorla, Esq.
          LICHTEN & LISS-RIORDAN, P.C.
          729 Boylston Street, Suite 2000
          Boston, MA 02116
          Telephone: (617) 994-5800
          E-mail: sliss@llrlaw.com
                  mcassorla@llrlaw.com

FINK & ASSOCIATES: Faces Ross' FDCPA Suit in N.D. Illinois
----------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Stephen J. Fink &
Associates, P.C. The case is captioned as Vivian Ross, individually
and on behalf of all others similarly situated, the Plaintiff, vs.
Stephen J. Fink & Associates, P.C. and HBLC, Inc., the Defendants,
Case No. 1:18-cv-08327 (N.D. Ill., Dec. 19, 2018). The case is
assigned to the Hon. Charles R. Norgle, Sr. The suit alleges Fair
Debt Collection Act violation.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Yitzchak Zelman, Esq.
          MARCUS & ZELMAN, LLC
          701 Cookman Avenue, Suite 300
          Asbury Park, NJ 07712
          Telephone: (845) 367-7146
          E-mail: yzelman@marcuszelman.com

FLORIDA ADVERTISING: Sued over Unwanted Cellular Telephone Calls
----------------------------------------------------------------
ISABEL GUTIERREZ individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, the Plaintiff, vs. FLORIDA ADVERTISING AND MARKETING
CORP. d/b/a BOOKHOTELSTAYS, the Defendant, Case No.
1:18-cv-25400-FAM (S.D. Fla., Dec. 22, 2018), seeks injunctive
relief to halt Defendant's illegal conduct, arising from
Defendant’s knowing and willful violations of the Telephone
Consumer Protection Act.

According to the complaint, the Defendant is timeshare marketing
company based in Miami, Florida. As part of its marketing strategy,
the Defendant calls unsuspecting consumers on their cellular
telephones with pre-recorded messages to sell their timeshare
services and goods. The Defendant caused thousands of pre-recorded
messages to be sent to the cellular telephones of Plaintiff and
Class Members, causing them injuries, including invasion of their
privacy, aggravation, annoyance, intrusion on seclusion, trespass,
and conversion.[BN]

Counsel for Plaintiff:

          Ignacio J. Hiraldo, Esq.
          Manuel S. Hiraldo, Esq.
          IJH LAW
          1200 Brickell Ave Suite 1950
          Miami, FL 33131
          Telephone: 786.496.4469
          E-mail: ijhiraldo@ijhlaw.com

               - and -

          Manuel S. Hiraldo, Esq.
          HIRALDO P.A.
          401 E. Las Olas Boulevard, Suite 1400
          Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33301
          Telephone: (954) 400 4713
          E-mail: mhiraldo@hiraldolaw.com


FQ MEN'S CLUB: Denial of Arbitration Bid in Dancers' Suit Vacated
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The Supreme Court of Nevada vacated the district court's order
denying Men's Club's motion to compel arbitration in the case, FQ
MEN'S CLUB, INC., (D/B/A RENO MEN'S CLUB, THE MEN'S CLUB, AND MEN'S
CLUB OF RENO), A NEVADA CORPORATION; FRENCH QUARTER, INC., (D/B/A
RENO MEN'S CLUB, THE MEN'S CLUB, AND MEN'S CLUB OF RENO), A NEVADA
CORPORATION; THE FRENCH QUARTER, INC., A NEVADA CORPORATION; FRENCH
QUARTER RESTAURANT, INC., A NEVADA CORPORATION; AND EUGENE CANEPA,
AN INDIVIDUAL, Appellants, v. JANE DOE DANCERS I, II AND III,
INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF CLASS OF SIMILARLY SITUATED
INDIVIDUALS, Respondents, Case No. 74037 (Nev.).

Three exotic dancers, Jane Doe Dancers I-III, filed a proposed
class action lawsuit against the Men's Club, alleging that they
were employees, not independent contractors, and therefore entitled
to the rights and protections afforded employees.  The Men's Club
then filed a motion requesting that the district court compel
arbitration per the parties' contractual agreement.  The appeal
centers upon the enforceability of that arbitration provision, not
upon the merits of the underlying proposed class action.

The Dancers were all existing performers for the Men's Club when
its policies changed on Dec. 31, 2015, to conform to new
legislation and caselaw.  Per the new policies, the Dancers were
required to sign a Memo, in which they chose their status as
employees or independent contractors.  The front door hostesses
were instructed to present the Memo to the Dancers when they came
in for their shifts, and to tell the dancers that if they want to
stay the same as they have been for the last 20 years choose
independent contractor.  The Dancers who chose to be independent
contractors were then asked to sign a Guest Cabaret Performer
Licensing Agreement ("GCPLA").  The Dancers were not given an
explanation of the GCPLA and were required to sign the documents
before they could work.  They also were not allowed to take a copy
of the agreement home.  The GCPLA was similar to the Dancers'
original performance contract; however, it now contained a
multi-page arbitration agreement and class action waiver.

The district court held an evidentiary hearing wherein Dancers
maintained that they did not remember signing the GCPLA.  The Men's
Club employees testified to the circumstances under which the
agreements were presented to the Dancers and signed.  Based on the
testimony and evidence presented, the district court held that the
contracts were validly signed by the Dancers, but that the
arbitration provision in question was unconscionable.  The district
court denied the motion to compel arbitration and granted a stay on
the proceedings pending the appeal.

The Men's Club now appeals the district court's order denying its
motion to compel arbitration and argues that the district court
erred because it did not make specific and separate factual
findings to support its conclusion that the arbitration clause is
procedurally and substantively unconscionable.

The Court agrees.  It finds that the district court did not make
specific and separate findings as to the procedural and substantive
unconscionability of the contract under the U.S. Home Corp. v.
Michael Ballesteros Tr. analysis.  Instead, it made findings
supporting the procedural unconscionability of the arbitration
clause.  The district court must determine under the Court's recent
holding in Ballesteros whether the contract was procedurally and
substantively unconscionable.

Based on this, the Court vacated the judgment of the district court
and remanded the matter to the district court for proceedings
consistent with the Order.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Order is available at
https://is.gd/qvXkq7 from Leagle.com.


GATES CORPORATION: Court Issues Protective Order in Lundine
-----------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Kansas issued
an Order granting Parties' Request for Protective Order in the case
captioned PEGGY LUNDINE on behalf of herself and others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, v. GATES CORPORATION, Defendant. Case No.
6:18-cv-1235-EFM (D. Ks.).

The parties jointly request entry of this proposed Protective Order
to limit the disclosure, dissemination, and use of certain
identified categories of confidential information.

Plaintiff Peggy Lundine, on behalf of herself and all others
(Plaintiff) and Defendant Gates Corporation (Gates) agree that
during the course of discovery it may be necessary to disclose
certain confidential information relating to the subject matter of
this action.

They agree that certain categories of such information should be
treated as confidential, protected from disclosure outside this
litigation, and used only for purposes of prosecuting or defending
this action and any appeals.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 6, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y7s7nfwb from Leagle.com.

Peggy Lynn Lundine, on behalf of herself and others similarly
situated, John Stronghoner, Jim Aikens, Jeanne L. Carson, Andrew
DeSpain, Shawn W. Tubbs, Hannah Arnold, Elizabeth Lydy, Mary Von
Kannon-Marchand, Anthony Rogers, Ethan Hammock, Tyler Chamberlain,
Jeremey Chamblee, Courtney Belue, Zachary Tehee, Ellis Wooten &
Harlon D. Farr, Jr., Plaintiffs, represented by Brendan J. Donelon,
Donelon, PC & Daniel W. Craig, Donelon, PC.

Gates Corporation, Defendant, represented by Christopher J. Eby --
christopher.eby@akerman.com -- Akerman, LLP, pro hac vice,
Christopher S. Shank -- chris@shankmoore.com -- Shank & Moore, LLC,
Colin L. Barnacle -- colin.barnacle@akerman.com -- Akerman, LLP,
pro hac vice & David Lee Heinemann -- davidh@shankmoore.com --
Shank & Moore, LLC.


GAZELLE TRANSPORTATION: Faces Bibb Labor Suit in Calif. State Court
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Gazelle
Transportation, LLC The case is captioned as DAVID BIBB;
INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF OTHER MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC
SIMILARLY SITUATED, the Plaintiff, vs. GAZELLE TRANSPORTATION, LLC,
A DELAWARE COMPANY, the Defendant, Case No. BCV-18-103172 (Cal.
Super. Ct., Dec. 21, 2018). The case is assigned to the Hon. Judge
David R. Lampe. The suit alleges employment law-related violation.

Gazelle Transportation, Inc. provides crude oil transportation and
logistics services for the oil and gas industry. The company was
founded in 1992 and is based in Bakersfield, California. It has
operations in California, South Texas, West Texas, and the Rocky
Mountains.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Douglas Han, Esq.
          JUSTICE LAW CORPORATION
          411 N Central Ave, Ste 500
          Glendale, CA 91203-2095
          Telephone: (818) 230-7502
          Facsimile: (818) 230-7259
          E-mail: dhan@justicelawcorp.com

GKG RESTAURANT: Gadea Seeks Minimum & OT Wages
----------------------------------------------
TEODOMIRO PINEDA GADEA, individually and on behalf of others
similarly situated, the Plaintiff, vs. GKG RESTAURANT, INC. (D/B/A
SCOTTY'S DINER), THEODORE GROUTAS, and STELIOS GROUTAS, the
Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-12061 (S.D.N.Y., Dec. 20, 2018), seeks
to recover unpaid minimum and overtime wages pursuant to the Fair
Labor Standards Act and the New York Labor Law.

The Plaintiff is a former employee of GKG Restaurant, Inc.  The
Defendants own, operate, or control a diner located at 336
Lexington Ave, New York, New York 10016 under the name "Scotty's
Diner". The Plaintiff was employed as a delivery worker. However,
he was required to spend a considerable part of his work day
performing non-tipped duties, including but not limited to cleaning
bathrooms, kitchen, bar area, basement, cutting vegetables, cheese,
ham, cooking sausages, sweeping the floors of the restaurant,
basement, and the front of the restaurant, breaking down cardboard
boxes, taking out the garbage and recycling, cleaning out the
grill/stove vent, dishwashing, and bringing up items from the
basement for the kitchen staff.

The Plaintiff worked for Defendants in excess of 40 hours per week,
without appropriate minimum wage and overtime compensation for the
hours that he worked. Rather, Defendants failed to maintain
accurate recordkeeping of the hours worked and failed to pay
Plaintiff appropriately for any hours worked, either at the
straight rate of pay or for any additional overtime premium. The
Defendants employed and accounted for Plaintiff as a delivery
worker in their payroll, but in actuality his duties required a
significant amount of time spent performing the non-tipped duties.
The Defendants maintained a policy and practice of requiring
Plaintiff and other employees to work in excess of 40 hours per
week without providing the minimum wage and overtime compensation
required by federal and state law and regulations, the lawsuit
says.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

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

H.U.M. LARROC: Lodge & McLean Seek Minimum and OT Pay for Servers
-----------------------------------------------------------------
CHRISTOPHER LODGE, KELLY MCLEAN, and all others similarly situated
under 29 U.S.C. 216(b), the Plaintiff(s), vs. H.U.M. LARROC, INC.,
d/b/a BEEFCAKES BAR & GRILL, a Florida Profit Corporation, VICTOR
ZEPKA, individually, and SCOTT LAUGHERTY, individually, the
Defendants, Case No. 0:18-cv-63123-JIC (S.D. Fla., Dec. 21, 2018),
alleges that Defendants unlawfully deprived Plaintiffs, and all
other employees similarly situated, of federal minimum wage and
overtime compensation during the course of their employment under
the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the complaint, Beefcakes uniformly treats and
classifies its employees as employees in Broward County, Florida as
it relates to the payment of wages. The Plaintiffs, and the class
members performed the same or similar job duties as one another in
that they worked as restaurant servers of Beefcakes within the past
three years without receiving proper minimum wage and/or overtime
pay for hours worked in each workweek during their employment. The
Plaintiffs and the class members were subjected to the same pay
provisions in that they suffered or were permitted to work hours
but not properly paid at the correct rate for all hours worked.
Thus, the class members are owed federal minimum wages and/or
overtime wages for the same reasons as Plaintiffs, the lawsuit
says.[BN]

Counsel for Plaintiffs:

          Jordan Richards, Esq.
          Melissa Scott, Esq.
          USA EMPLOYMENT LAWYERS -
            JORDAN RICHARDS, PLLC
          805 E. Broward Blvd. Suite 301
          Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301
          E-mail: jordan@jordanrichardspllc.com
                  melissa@jordanrichardspllc.com
                  jake@jordanrichardspllc.com
                  livia@jordanrichardspllc.com

HOUSLANGER & ASSOCIATES: Sued over Debt Collection Practices
------------------------------------------------------------
BRITNEY RUDLER, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. HOUSLANGER & ASSOCIATES, PLLC; TODD E.
HOUSLANGER, ESQ.; and BRYAN BRYKS, ESQ., Defendants, Case No.
2:18-cv-07068-SJF-AYS (E.D.N.Y., Dec. 12, 2018) seeks to stop the
Defendant's unfair and unconscionable means to collect a debt. The
case is assigned to Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein and referred to
Magistrate Judge Anne Y. Shields.

Houslanger & Associates PLLC operates as a law firm. The Company is
located in Huntington, New York. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          J. Remy Green, Esq.
          COHEN & GREEN P.L.L.C.
          1639 Centre Street, Suite 216
          Ridgewood, NY 11385
          Telephone: (929) 888-9480
          Facsimile: (929) 888-9457
          E-mail: remy@femmelaw.com


ILLINOIS: DCFS Faces Class Action Over Foster Care System
---------------------------------------------------------
According to the Sun-Times Editorial Board, let's be blunt:
Illinois is doing a shameful job of caring for some of its most
vulnerable, traumatized children.

Sometimes it takes a lawsuit to force systemic change, and we hope
a Cook County public guardian's recent lawsuit accomplishes that.

Acting Public Guardian Charles Golbert filed a class-action case
against the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services,
accusing the agency of letting hundreds of foster children languish
in psychiatric hospitals for months after doctors had cleared them
to be discharged. The suit follows a ProPublica Illinois
investigation earlier in 2018.

Take the story of 11-year-old Jamya B., one of the children named
in the lawsuit. Jamya, who'd been placed in foster care because of
physical abuse at home, had a rare behavioral condition that was
almost certainly made worse by an extra four months locked in a
psychiatric ward, the suit alleges.

Jamya "has a heightened need for predictable long-term
relationships, which extended hospital stays necessarily disrupt,"
says the lawsuit. The stories of 14 other children, similar to or
even more heartbreaking than Jamya's, are all outlined in the
suit.

Ideally, traumatized children who need psychiatric care but no
longer need to be in a hospital would be placed in a group home, or
in other setting with support services.

Tragically, but not surprisingly, appropriate placements for these
difficult-to-handle children are as scarce as hen's teeth. DCFS
struggles to find them, and it takes a herculean effort.

As Ed Yohnka of the American Civil Liberties Union told us, "The
reality is, when you look at these kids staying [in hospitals]
beyond medical necessity -- those ought to be the cases where the
agency, even the director, gets on the phone to make things
happen."

"It's definitely the result of a lack of services," Mr. Yohnka
added. "It's also definitely a result of an agency [that] has not
put the energy or resources into developing those services. A
psychiatric hospital shouldn't be the first destination. It should
be the last resort."

Mr. Golbert's lawsuit could be the first step to much-needed
systemic change. [GN]


IMAGE FIRST: Court OKs Bid to Deny Rule 23 Cert in Campanelli Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, KYLE L. CAMPANELLI, Plaintiff, v. IMAGE FIRST
HEALTHCARE LAUNDRY SPECIALISTS, INC., et al., Defendants, Case No.
15-cv-04456-PJH (N.D. Cal.), Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton of the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California granted in
part and denied in part Defendants Image First Healthcare Laundry
Specialists, Inc. and Image First of California, LLC's motion for
partial summary judgment.

ImageFIRST's motion for partial summary judgment came on for
hearing before the Court on Sept. 19, 2018.  

The case is a putative class and collective action based on the
Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA") and the California Labor Code. I
mageFIRST of California employed Campanelli as a delivery person
from March 2014 to March 2015.  The Plaintiff's primary job duty
was to pick up soiled laundry from ImageFIRST customers and deliver
it to a laundry center, and to pick up clean laundry from the
laundry center and deliver it to ImageFIRST customers. Campanelli
alleges that he worked over forty hours a week but was denied meal
and rest periods, and was never paid overtime compensation.

Campanelli seeks to represent similarly situated delivery drivers
of ImageFIRST entities nationwide in a collective action for
failure to pay overtime wages under the FLSA.  He also seeks to
represent a Rule 23 class of similarly situated delivery persons
who were misclassified as exempt under California labor laws.  Both
the class and collective action define putative members as past and
present employees of ImageFIRST entities who engage/were engaged in
the pick-up and delivery of ImageFIRST products to and from health
care providers, however that employment was denominated, and who
were classified as exempt from Federal or California overtime
laws.

Critically, the proposed class/collective includes delivery drivers
who have signed arbitration agreements.  That is not by accident.
Though Campanelli is not subject to an arbitration agreement, he
nevertheless seeks to represent delivery drivers subject to
mandatory arbitration.  In fact, the Defendants have submitted
uncontroverted evidence that the vast majority of putative
class/collective action members are subject to either a Dispute
Resolution Agreement ("DRA"), which contains an explicit
arbitration clause and a collective action waiver; or an Employment
Agreement, which contains an arbitration provision but is silent on
whether arbitration can proceed collectively.

Specifically, the evidence shows that 17 of the 21 putative Rule 23
class members that the Defendants' affiliated entities employed
from Sept. 28, 2011 to July 21, 2018, signed at least one of the
two arbitration agreements.  As to the putative FLSA collective
action, of the 214 delivery drivers employed by ImageFIRST
affiliated entities operating exclusively outside of California
since about June 27, 2015, 187 delivery drivers signed a DRA and
209 signed an employment agreement.  Though relevant case law
provides no need for the Court to reach the issue in the case, the
DRA and Employment Agreement appear likely to be enforceable
arbitration agreements.

The present motion, like much of the past two years of the
litigation, is directed at determining whether Campanelli, a driver
not subject to an arbitration agreement, can represent putative
collective/class members who have signed arbitration agreements.
Judge Hamilton finds that though the Plaintiff is not subject to an
arbitration agreement, he seeks to represent a Rule 23 class that
includes drivers who are subject to arbitration agreements.  The
Ninth Circuit has foreclosed the viability of that proposition.
Campanelli is neither subject to an arbitration clause nor a
class/collective action waiver.  Thus, he is not an adequate
representative and his claims lack typicality with respect to
putative Rule 23 Plaintiffs who have signed the DRA or the
Employment Agreement.  Accordingly, the Judge granted the
Defendants' motion to deny class certification based on the
currently defined class because the named Plaintiff is not an
adequate representative and his claims lack typicality with respect
to putative Rule 23 Plaintiffs who have signed the DRA or the
Employment Agreement.

With respect to the FLSA collective action, the Judge denied the
Defendants' motion for summary judgment -- or motion to deny FLSA
certification-- without prejudice.  She finds that the Court must
first allow the Plaintiff to seek FLSA certification and, if
appropriate, order notice to be sent to all putative FLSA
collective action members.  Only after the FLSA Plaintiffs join the
action, may the Court entertain the Defendants' arbitration-related
motions seeking to compel the opt-in Plaintiffs to arbitrate or to
prohibit them from proceeding collectively.  While that sequencing
strikes the Court as highly inefficient, it is what Campbell
demands.  The Plaintiff will file his motion for conditional
certification, which will include his tolling-related arguments, by
Jan. 23, 2019.

For the foregoing reasons, Judge Hamilton granted in part ad denied
in part the Defendants' motion.  She granted the Defendants' motion
to deny Rule 23 certification, and denied their motion in all other
respects.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Order is available at
https://is.gd/driL3w from Leagle.com.

Kyle L. Campanelli, Plaintiff, represented by David C. Feola --
David@Feolalaw.com -- Hoban & Feola, LLC & Brian J. Malloy --
info@brandilaw.com -- The Brandi Law Firm.

Image First Healthcare Laundry Specialists, Inc. & Image First of
California, LLC, Defendants, represented by Eric Meckley, Esq. --
eric.meckley@morganlewis.com -- Morgan, Lewis and Bockius LLP,
Kathryn M. Nazarian -- kate.nazarian@morganlewis.com -- Morgan,
Lewis and Bockius & Nancy Villarreal --
nancy.villarreal@morganlewis.com -- Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP.


INFORMATION STRATEGY: Class in Scales Suit Conditionally Certified
------------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, Gabriel Scales, Plaintiff, v. Information Strategy
Design Incorporated, et al., Defendants, Case No.
CV-18-00087-PHX-DLR (D.. Ariz.), Judge Douglas L. Rayes of the U.S.
District Court for the District of Arizona Scales' Motion for
Conditional Certification and Court-Supervised Notice of Pending
Collective Action, but for a narrower class than requested.

Scales brings the action against Defendants Information Strategy
Design, Steven Losefky, and Michele Losefsky ("ISD") to recover
allegedly unpaid overtime wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act
("FLSA").  From January 2015 to mid-October 2017, Scales worked as
a Help Desk Technician for ISD, an Arizona corporation that
provides IT support and solutions to ISD clients.  In addition to
his normal, on-site hours, Scales periodically was expected to
perform on-call work.  As a result, Scales routinely worked 80-90
hours per week while assigned on-call duty.  He also claims that he
routinely worked more than 40 hours per week, sometimes by as much
as 20 hours, even when not on call.  Scales, however, was
compensated on a salaried basis and therefore was not paid the one
and one-half times pay premium required by the FLSA for overtime
hours worked by non-exempt employees.

Help Desk Technicians performed on-call work in rotations, with
each technician spending an entire week on-call.  During his
employment with ISD, Scales shared the on-call rotation with
approximately ten other employees.  When he was not assigned
on-call duties, another similarly situated employee would be.
Scales claims that he personally witnessed other technicians
performing similar tasks and working more than 40 hours per week
without receiving overtime compensation.  He believes that this pay
discrepancy is the result of ISD's misclassification of Help Desk
Technicians as exempt employees and ISD's standard on-call policy.


Scales therefore seeks to pursue the case as a collective action
and to conditionally certify the class of all persons who worked as
computer help desk technicians (or in other positions with similar
job titles or job duties), and/or persons who performed on-call
duties for the Defendants, and/or persons who worked in excess of
40 hours in a given workweek but were not paid overtime, at any
time from three years prior to the filing of this Complaint through
the entry of judgment.

Judge Rayes finds that Scales has met his light burden for
obtaining conditional class certification.  He agrees in part,
however, with ISD that Scales' proposed class is too broad.  In his
complaint, Scales defined the proposed class as all persons who
worked as computer help desk workers (or in other positions with
similar job titles or job duties) for the Defendants at any time
from three years prior to the filing of the Complaint through the
entry of judgment.  Yet, in his motion for conditional class
certification, Scales expands this proposed class to include
persons who performed on-call duties for the Defendants, and
persons who worked in excess of 40 hours in a given workweek but
were not paid overtime, apparently regardless of whether those
persons also worked as computer help desk technicians.  In so
doing, the Judge finds that Scales likely ropes in far too many
employees who were not engaged in similar work.

Judge Rayes finds that Scales' original formulation was closer to
the mark, and therefore will conditionally certify the class of all
persons who worked as computer help desk workers (or in other
positions with similar job titles or job duties) and worked more
than 40 hours in a given workweek for the Defendants at any time
from three years prior to the filing of the Complaint through the
entry of judgment.

The Judge will grant ISD's request for additional time to meet and
confer regarding the notice, especially considering some common
ground seems possible.  With that said, he addresses one of ISD's
objections now.  Scales asks that the Court permits him to serve
potential class members with a copy of the notice via both
first-class mail and email, and that the Court limits notice to
only first-class mail.  He finds no reason to impose such a
limitation, especially considering Scales has proffered evidence
that on-call computer help desk workers are required to check their
email regularly.  So long as the potential class members are
provided with the notice via first-class mail, the Judge sees no
harm in supplementing that notice with an email.

Lastly, Scales asks the Court to order ISD to produce the names,
all known addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, all known email
addresses, driver's license numbers, social security numbers, and
dates of employment for all potential class members.  ISD objects
to this request as overly broad and asks the Court to limit such
production to names and last known addresses.  The Judge agrees
that the request is overly broad to achieve the purpose of
identifying and notifying potential class members.  Accordingly, he
will order ISD to produce only the names, last known mailing
addresses, last known email addresses, and dates of employment for
all potential class members.

Based on the foregoing, Judge Rayes granted Scales' motion for
conditional class certification.  He ordered the parties to meet
and confer to craft a mutually agreeable proposed notice.  By no
later than Jan. 11, 2019, the parties will submit either (1) a
revised copy of the proposed notice for final court review and
approval or, if the parties cannot resolve all disagreements; and
(2) a joint explanation of the parties' disagreements, limited to
10 pages.  

The Court will set a deadline for mailing/emailing the notice to
the potential class members after final review and approval of the
parties' proposed notice.  By no later than Jan. 11, 2019, ISD will
produce names, last known mailing addresses, last known email
addresses, and dates of employment for all the potential class
members.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Order is available at
https://is.gd/SWvSRg from Leagle.com.

Gabriel Scales, Individually and on Behalf of All Others Similarly
Situated, Plaintiff, represented by Jason Saul Barrat, Zoldan Law
Group PLLC, Jessica Elizabeth Miller, Zoldan Law Group PLLC,
Michael David Zoldan, Zoldan Law Group PLLC & James Joseph Weiler,
Zoldan Law Group PLLC.

Information Strategy Design Incorporated, an Arizona limited
liability company, Steven Losefsky, an Arizona resident & Michele
Losefsky, an Arizona resident, Defendants, represented by Douglas
Calvin Lynn, III -- Trey.Lynn@ogletree.com -- Ogletree Deakins Nash
Smoak & Stewart PC & Tracy Ann Miller -- tracy.miller@ogletree.com
-- Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart PC.


JACKSON HEWITT: Tom Endres Sues over No-Poach Policy
----------------------------------------------------
TOM ENDRES individually and on behalf of others similarly situated,
the Plaintiff, vs. JACKSON HEWITT, INC., JACKSON HEWITT TAX SERVICE
INC., and TAX SERVICES OF AMERICA, INC., the Defendants, Case No.
18-cv-17452 (D.N.J., Dec, 20, 2018), seeks injunctive relief and
recover damages, including treble damages, costs of suit, and
reasonable attorneys' fees arising from Defendants' violations of
Section 1 of the Sherman Act.

According to the complaint, the case is an antitrust class action
brought by and on behalf of individuals who work or have worked for
Jackson Hewitt, a tax preparation services company and franchisor,
for unlawfully conspiring to suppress the wages of its employees
through agreements with its franchisees not to compete for workers
in violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Jackson Hewitt
orchestrated and enforced this conspiracy at least in part through
an explicit contractual prohibition contained in standard Jackson
Hewitt franchise agreements that severely limited
Plaintiff's and Class members' job mobility and served to
significantly suppress their compensation, the lawsuit says.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Bruce D. Greenberg, Esq.
          LITE DEPALMA GREENBERG, LLC
          570 Broad Street, Suite 1201
          Newark, NJ 07102
          Telephone: (973) 623-3000
          E-mail: bgreenberg@litedepalma.com

               - and -

          Richard M. Paul III, Esq.
          Ashlea Schwarz, Esq.
          Laura C. Fellows, Esq.
          PAUL LLP
          601 Walnut Street, Suite 300
          Kansas City, MO 64106
          Telephone: (816) 984-8100
          E-mail: Rick@PaulLLP.com
                  Ashlea@PaulLLP.com
                  Laura@PaulLLP.com

               - and -

          Jason S. Hartley, Esq.
          HARTLEY LLP
          500 West C Street, Suite 1750
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 400-5822
          E-mail: hartley@hartleyllp.com

JIFFY LUBE: Hit With Class Action Over No-Poach Agreement
---------------------------------------------------------
Riia O'Donnell, writing for HRDIVE, reports that Jiffy Lube and its
parent company are facing a potential class action suit alleging
that it prohibited franchises from hiring other Jiffy Lube
employees, in violation of federal law (Victor Fuentes, et al. v.
Royal Dutch Shell PLC, Shell Oil Company, Pennzoil-Quaker State
Company and Jiffy Lube International, Inc., No. 18-5174 (E.D.
Penn., Nov. 29, 2018)).

It required franchise owners to enter into this no-poach agreement,
which likely suppressed wages, the plaintiff argued. Because
franchise owners are barred from hiring an employee from another
location for at least six months after they leave, the practice
obviates the "need for franchise owners to compete for the best
workers."

The plaintiff, Victor Fuentes, said he believes he is owed
"antitrust damages for years of wage suppression." [GN]


LAKHI GENERAL: Settlement in Andrew Suit Okayed
-----------------------------------------------
In the class action lawsuit styled KANAN ANDREW, on Behalf of
Himself and All Others Similarly Situated, the Plaintiff, vs. LAKHI
GENERAL CONTRACTOR INC., ABC CONSTRUCTION SERVICES CORP., ENDURANCE
AMERICAN INSURANCE COMPANY, GURCHARAN S. SINGH and TONY KAJA, the
Defendants, Case No. 16-CIV-2216-RJD-JO (E.D.N.Y.), Magistrate
Judge James Orenstein on Jan. 8, 2019, granted the plaintiffs'
motion for certification of settlement class, final approval of the
class action settlement, approval of the FLSA settlement, and
approval of the attorneys' fees and service awards.

Judge Orenstein indicated at a fairness hearing held Jan. 3 that he
would approve the settlement subject to certain revisions.

"I discussed with the parties' counsel the motion to approve the
proposed class settlement. No objectors appeared and no one has
lodged any objection.  As set forth on the record, I will approve
the settlement in modified form," Judge Orenstein said.
"Specifically, I will adjust the fee award based on the following
hourly rates: $400 for William Cafaro and Daniela Nanau, $225 for
Amit Kumar, $200 for Louis Leon, $125 for Constance Christie, $100
for Nicholas Duran, $75 for Pamela Santos and Odaris Palacios, and
$60 for Emma Bernstein. I make no adjustment to the claimed
hours."

"I will multiply the resulting lodestar amount of $271,922.50 by
2.25 to reflect the unique challenges of this case, resulting in a
total fee award of $611,200.97 (plus costs in the amount of
$28,374.34). To the extent the total award of fees and costs is
less than that the parties proposed, I respectfully direct the
difference to be distributed among the class members pro rata. The
parties consent to the adjustments summarized above. In all other
respects I conclude that the motion should be granted, and I
respectfully direct the parties' counsel to submit an amended
proposed order reflecting the foregoing rulings."

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          William Cafaro, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF WILLIAM CAFARO
          108 West 39th Street, Suite 602
          New York, NY 10018
          Telephone: (212) 583-7400
          Facsimile: (212) 583-7401
          E-mail: BCafaro@CafaroEsq.com


LINDENHURST, NY: Residents Mull Class Action Over Flooding
----------------------------------------------------------
Denise M. Bonilla, writing for Newsday, reports that there are days
when the water gets so high that Angela Hojnacki has to carry her
young daughters on her back to reach her truck, which she parks on
dry land a quarter of a mile away from her house in Lindenhurst.

Sean Esna says he sometimes misses work because his sedan can't get
down his flooded street.

These are the adjustments to daily life that residents in
Lindenhurst and other South Shore communities have had to make
after years of chronic street flooding -- even living several
blocks north of the Great South Bay. Some are so fed up, they say
they may even take legal action.

"It's more than weekly at this point," Ms. Hojnacki said of the
flooding, which at times prevents the school bus used by her
daughter, who is on the autism spectrum, from coming down their
block on South Ninth Street. "What if we had a medical emergency?
How is an ambulance going to get through?"

To address flooding, Lindenhurst, like most municipalities, has
installed check valves -- backflow prevention devices designed to
allow water to flow out but not back into streets.

But officials are now realizing the limitations of check valves and
looking to new options.

"We're being told to hold back the bay," said Brian Zitani, Babylon
Town's waterways management supervisor. "We can make little
improvements, but quite frankly they are little improvements."

Mr. Zitani said communities near the bay were developed on filled
wetlands and with rising tides, more intense rainfall events and
bay water that has climbed 8 inches since 1960, some neighborhoods
are barely a foot above sea level. He said officials have "limited
options" in trying to stem flooding.

Check valves can become ineffective when debris gets into them and
when hit with the double whammy of a high tide and large rainfall,
they will not be able to keep water from pooling in the street,
officials said. Residents complain that municipalities don't clean
the street basins often enough, leading to a buildup of debris that
makes the devices useless.

Check valves are favored due to their relatively inexpensive
pricetag compared to other options. Raising a roadway can cost
millions of dollars for a small section, whereas check valves run
as little as $1,500 each, said Rick Sorrentino, Lindenhurst's
Superintendent of Public Works.

"It's the cheapest and certainly the easiest fix for us and I don't
really see another way out," he said.

Manufacturers have been racing the last few years to try and
improve on check valve technology, officials said.

"Whoever invents the most successful one will be the next Bill
Gates," Mr. Zitani said. "Nationwide, every highway department is
waiting for a very dependable one."

In 2018 Lindenhurst began installing check valves at locations
prioritized in a 2017 drainage study that identified $60 million in
potential flood fixes. The village has put in a dozen valves with
about 30 more planned for a total cost of between $63,000 and
$105,000 in village funding, officials said. Two more valve
locations are being planned using federal superstorm Sandy money.

But Mr. Sorrentino said that as they inspect the basins, they are
finding metal pipes that have corroded and have to be replaced or
pipes that are just gone, resulting in more work.

"Street by street we're correcting all the mistakes that were
made," he said. "It was poor planning and bad oversight."

Eyeing a new solution

Now Lindenhurst is trying a new approach: installing electric pumps
in basins to pump out any pooling water.

The village will divert some of the Sandy money for a pump on South
Sixth Street in the spring. Pumps, including wiring and
installation can cost as much as $100,000, Mr. Sorrentino said. He
said the village will wait to see how the pump works before
committing to more locations.

"It's a bad situation and people are impatient and I don't blame
them," he said. "But we're trying hard to correct things."

The village decided to try a pump after talking with Freeport
Village Mayor Robert Kennedy, who said he has installed pumps at
eight locations so far, with plans for more in the coming weeks at
a total cost of about $1 million. He said the pumps have been
successful, taking over during conditions when check valves don't
work by pumping out water when it reaches a certain level.

Mr. Kennedy said municipalities looking to address street flooding
also have to tackle the issue of deficient bulkheading on private
property. He said Freeport has begun enforcing a law  it has had on
the books for several years that requires property owners to repair
their bulkheading or else the village will fix it and place the
cost on their tax bill.

Residents look for relief
Residents said they are tired of having to wait for a fix. They say
flooding has gone from inches to feet in recent years.

"It doesn't even have to be high tide . . . it goes from nothing to
two feet of water in the middle of the street in under 20 minutes,"
Sean Esna, who lives on South Eighth Street, told the Lindenhurst
board of trustees.

Mr. Esna was one of about a dozen residents who showed up to a
recent Lindenhurst board meeting to ask officials for help with
flooding. Many raised their homes after Sandy, investing thousands
of dollars into their properties, only to have corrosive salt water
lapping at their vehicles and disrupting their daily lives.

The havoc the chronic flooding has caused may even prompt residents
to take legal action. Bob Anastasio, of Lindenhurst, said residents
have consulted with an attorney who said the situation "is an
excellent class action suit waiting to be filed."

Mr. Anastasio isn't the first town resident to mention a lawsuit.
Bill Walters, who lives in Babylon, told the town earlier in 2018
that a class-action lawsuit may be in the works because the
situation has become a "huge safety issue" that the town "is
refusing to fix."

Ms. Hojnacki, who keeps a tide table app on her phone and a pair of
rain boots with her at all times, said residents are tired of
having to plead for help.

"I don't think they understand what we deal with," she said. "We're
all going to end up leaving, that's how bad it is." [GN]


LOMA NEGRA: Bronstein Gewirtz Files Securities Class Action
-----------------------------------------------------------
Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC notifies investors that a class
action lawsuit has been filed against Loma Negra Compania
Industrial Argentina Sociedad Anonima ("Loma" or the "Company")
(NYSE: LOMA) pursuant and/or traceable to Loma Negra's Registration
Statement filed in connection with its November 2017 Initial Public
Offering ("IPO"). Such investors are encouraged to join this case
by visiting the firm's site: bgandg.com/loma.

This class action seeks to recover damages against Defendants for
alleged violations of the federal securities laws under the
Securities Exchange Act of 1933.

The complaint alleges that Loma's Registration Statement contained
materially false statements and omitted facts including: (1)
downplaying and misrepresenting Loma Negra's exposure to a massive,
ongoing corruption scandal engulfing its majority owner,
InterCement ParticipaçoÞes S.A.; (2) misrepresenting a purported
increased demand for Loma Negra's cement and other products as a
result of economic growth and government funding for public works
projects in Argentina, as well as the purported benefits to Loma
Negra from that increased demand; (3) misrepresenting events and
trends in the Argentinian economy, as well as Loma Negra's exposure
thereto; and (4) including references to known risks that "if"
occurring "might" or "could" affect Loma Negra, despite the fact
that these "risks" had already materialized at the time of the
IPO.

A class action lawsuit has already been filed. If you wish to
review a copy of the Complaint you can visit the firm's site:
bgandg.com/loma or you may contact Peretz Bronstein, Esq. or his
Investor Relations Analyst, Yael Hurwitz of Bronstein, Gewirtz &
Grossman, LLC at 212-697-6484. If you suffered a loss in Loma you
have until February 4, 2019 to request that the Court appoint you
as lead plaintiff.  Your ability to share in any recovery doesn't
require that you serve as a lead plaintiff.

         Peretz Bronstein, Esq.
         Yael Hurwitz, Esq.
         Bronstein, Gewirtz & Grossman, LLC
         Telephone: 212-697-6484
         Email:  peretz@bgandg.com [GN]


MARIEBELLE NEW YORK: Diaz Files Suit under ADA in New York
----------------------------------------------------------
Mariebelle New York LLC is facing a class action lawsuit filed
pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled
as Edwin Diaz, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. Mariebelle New York LLC, Defendant, Case No.
1:18-cv-12395 (S.D. N.Y., December 31, 2018).

MarieBelle New York creates luxury chocolates and hot
chocolate.[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


MARKETSOURCE, INC: Court Denies Class Certification in "Delgado"
----------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, RAY DELGADO, the Plaintiff, vs. MARKETSOURCE, INC.,
the Defendant, Case No. 5:17-cv-07370-LHK (N.D. Cal.), the Hon.
Lucy H. Koh entered an order denying Plaintiff's motion for class
certification.

According to the complaint, the Plaintiff seeks to certify a class
on Plaintiff's cause of action for violation of California Labor
Code. The Defendant raises several arguments for why class
certification is unwarranted. Primarily, Defendant contends that
Plaintiff has not satisfied the Rule 23(a)(2) commonality
requirement or the Rule 23(b)(3) predominance requirement because
Plaintiff has identified no question common to the class. The
Defendant also contends that Plaintiff has not satisfied the Rule
23(a)(3) typicality requirement because "there is nothing typical
about the unique circumstances" of Plaintiff's termination and
final wage payment. Finally, Defendant contends that Plaintiff --
the only named plaintiff -- is an inadequate class representative
under Rule 23(a)(3) because by his own admission, the Plaintiff
personally fired multiple class members. The Court agrees with the
Defendant on all points.[CC]

MARRIOT INTERNATIONAL: Inamullah et al. Suit Goes to Federal Court
------------------------------------------------------------------
Kyo-ya Hotels & Resorts, LP removed the case captioned OVAIS
INAMULLAH, M.D.; SANA KHALIQUE; CYRIL MARTIN; JENNIFER MARTIN;
RUSSELL BAIRD; CYNDY BAIRD; MICHAEL ARCHIBALD; SHELLEY ARCHIBALD;
STEVE OLSON; JULIE OLSON; ROBERT HAZELTON; and ALICIA HAZELTON,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly situated, the
Plaintiffs, vs. MARRIOT INTERNATIONAL, INC.; KYO-YA HOTELS &
RESORTS, LP; and DOE DEFENDANTS 1-50, the Defendants, Case No.
18-1-1796-11-JHA filed in the Circuit Court of the First Circuit,
Sate of Hawaii, to the U.S. District Court for the District of
Hawaii on Dec. 20, 2018. The District of Hawaii Court Clerk
assigned Case No. 1:18-cv-00494-JAO-KSC to the proceeding.

On November 8, 2018, the Plaintiffs filed their complaint against
Defendants. The Complaint was not served on Defendants. On November
20, the Plaintiffs filed their First Amended Complaint (FAC)
against Defendants. The FAC alleges that "Marriot operates such a
substantial number of hotels that its operation is in practice and
effect a monopoly within the meaning of HRS Chapter 480 within the
Waikiki and Hawaii markets."[BN]

Attorneys for Defendant:

          Nathan H. Yomoshito, Esq.
          Wesley D. Shimazu, Esq.
          YOMOSHITO LAW GROUP
          201 Merchant Street, Suite 2440
          Honolulu, HI 96813
          Telephone: (808) 695 4500
          Facsimile: (808) 695 4599
          E-mail: nyoshimoto@hi-lawyers.com

               - and -

          Leslie R. Kop, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF LESLIE R. KOP
          Honolulu, HI 96814
          Telephone: (808) 527 7736
          Facsimile: (808) 527 7102
          E-mail: lkop@Staffcounsel1808.com
          1100 Ward Avenue, Suite 500

MARRIOTT INT'L: Kessler Topaz Files Data Breach Class Action Suit
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP disclosed that
it has filed a national class action lawsuit against Marriott
International, Inc. ("Marriott") and Starwood Hotels & Resorts
Worldwide, LLC ("Starwood") on behalf of over 500 million consumers
whose personal information was compromised as a result of the data
breach announced by Marriott. This action, Weinstein v. Marriott
International, Inc., Case No. 8:18-cv-03704-GJH, was filed in the
U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.

Marriott or Starwood hotel guests who booked stays from 2014
through September 10, 2018, and who wish to discuss their legal
rights or interests are encouraged to contact Kessler Topaz Meltzer
& Check, LLP (James Maro, Esq. or Adrienne Bell, Esq.) at (888)
299-7706 or (610) 667-7706, or via e-mail at info@ktmc.com. For
additional information please visit:
www.ktmc.com/marriott-international-inc-data-breach.

On November 30, 2018, Marriott announced that hackers gained access
to personally identifying information, including, among other
things, names, mailing addresses, passport numbers and credit card
information with expiration dates, for guests who made reservations
at Starwood properties from 2014 through September 10, 2018.
Marriott also announced that it first learned of the data breach on
September 8, 2018, however, it failed to notify its customers that
their personally identifying information had been compromised for
over two months. This data breach marks potentially one of the
largest data breaches of a single company to ever occur.

The class action lawsuit alleges that Defendants failed to
implement proper cyber-security measures to safeguard its
customers' personal and financial information, and to timely notify
customers of the data breach. As a result, the hackers may have had
access to guests' information for years, exposing them to identity
theft and financial harm, including drained bank accounts and
opening and re-opening of accounts in their names. Defendants'
failure to take appropriate measures to protect their guests'
information may have violated consumer protection statutes and
breached implied contracts with its customers.

         James Maro, Jr., Esq.
         Adrienne Bell, Esq.
         Kessler Topaz Meltzer & Check, LLP
         280 King of Prussia Road
         Radnor, PA 19087
         Telephone: (888) 299-7706
                    (610) 667-7706
         Email: abell@ktmc.com
                jmaro@ktmc.com [GN]


MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL: Abdulmalik et al. Sue over Data Breach
--------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit against Marriott International seeks
equitable relief and damages as a result of Marriott's failure to
take adequate and reasonable measures to secure its customers'
personally identifiable information (PII) collected in transactions
and stored on its databases.

The Plaintiffs further allege that Marriott failed to adequately
notify Plaintiffs and Class Members in a timely manner. On November
30, 2018, Marriott announced that it had discovered a data breach
of its reservation and database systems where unauthorized parties
since 2014 accessed the guest reservation system and acquired the
private information of up to 500 million guests (the "Breach"). For
approximately 327 million of these guests, the personally
identifiable information includes some combination of name, mailing
address, phone number, email address, passport number, Starwood
Preferred Guest account information, date of birth, gender, arrival
and departure information, reservation date, communication
preferences, payment card numbers, and payment card expiration
dates (PII). The Breach was reasonably foreseeable given that
numerous other hotel chains in the hospitality industry, including
Starwood, maintained inadequate data security resulting in prior
data breaches and other data security incidents, the lawsuit says.

The case is captioned as Atiya Abdulmalik, Francine Adams,
Annemarie Amarena, Melissa Ames, Jamie Bannon, Robert Barbour,
Joanne Barrett, Ann Bascom, Dana Bass, Paulette Beale, Kimberly
Bentley, Catherine Berrahou, Michael Betit, Juliet Black, Darrell
Black, Winnie Blackwell, Steven Bloom, Heidi Bodian, Bridget
Bodie-Papino, Michelle Bonifacio, Candace Boston, Cory Bovair,
Celia Bowman, Katesha Box, Miriam Boyd, Julia Boykin, Anitra
Braley, Brian Braid, Byron Brewer, Barbara Brooks, Dorothy Brooks,
Adrianne Brown, David Bruemmer, Cheryl Butler-Adams, Kathrina
Cajigal, Cole Callahan, Valerie Campanella, Alisha Campbell, Cayla
Campbell, Claudia Canedo, Chastity Canfall, Elizabeth Capper,
Arhonda Carlisle, Yvette Caruthers, Luke Castle, Chris Cervantes,
Amy Chen, Kevin Cheng, Raphael Chieke, Cindy Chism, Nycole Chisum,
Ryan Ciavarra, Rob Colletti, Brady Collins, Kevin Collins, Rita
Connuck, Scott Coogan, Carol Cook, James Cook, Meghan Cook, Kristie
Cooley, Laura Coombs, Cassandra Cooper, William Copeland, Jeri
Covington, Kelly Cox, Ivette Crawford, Ebony Currie, Betty Dampier,
Davidez Dampier, Barbara Dane, Julie Davis, Kimberly R Davis,
Shanti Davis, Austin Delaney, Jenn Demarco, Sherry Denny, Benjamin
Desantis, Mark Diefenbach, Tammy Doles, Nathlie Dowdell, Perkins
Drake, Lula Draper, Eric Dubitsky, Tommy Dudley, Alexander Duff,
India Dugat, Stephanie Dyer, Allison Eells, Romel Fajardo, Jeremaih
Fanyui, Annette Fears, Arnold Fishon, Eric Fishon, Sara Flesch,
Sharay Floyd, Donna Fontaine, Jeral Forger, Adam Fornal, Shaelyn
Forrest, Arlona Fredrickson, Philip Friedman, Lisa Gadsby, Cindy
Gaines, Christopher Galasso, Pablo Gallegos, Julie Ganuelas, Fae
Garden, Mark Gardner, Mitchell Gerson, Kim Gibbs, John Gilmour,
Robert Glass, Paula Glass, Maxine Glass, Kimberly Gomez, Billy
Goodman, Lonja Green, Dale Grimes, Samir Gupta, Laurie Hansen, John
Hariaczyi, Basimah Hasan, Philip Haskett, Andrew Hickner, Thomas
Hickner, Robin Hollingsworth, Paul Holloway, Mary Hopson, Talitha
Huddleston, Gennell Hunter, Dustin Iagulli, Chasity Jackson,
Christina Jackson, Tameka Jackson, Michael Jennings, Lisa Johnson,
Shana Jordan, Teisha Jordan, Robert Keil, Raymond Kerkvliet,
Marybeth Kern, Pegi Klaess, Robert Korn, Stanley Kubinski, Julius
Kuperberg, Tina Lapene, Robin Lawler, Krystal Lear, Donna Level,
Deborah Lewandowski, Courtney Lewis, Jahmelia Lewis, Tishaunda
Lewis, Valerie Lewis, Violet Limen, Agnieszka Lizewska, Jay
Lockaby, Melanie Lopez, Shayla Lowry, Juan Lozano, Elizabeth Lyons,
Tiffany Maberry, Rita Mair, Charity Maldonado, Suzanne Mallon,
Deann Mankell, Bryan Mantei, Pauline Marco, Leslie Martin, Mark
Mason, Maria Masucci, Eric Mcpherson, Deborah Meade, Chloe Merjil,
Collin Messer, Laura Messier, Cariss Milano, Shane Miller, Vickie
Mondane, Gabrielle Moore, Jason Moore, Tanika Moore, John Moy,
Albert Muick, Jose Munoz, Gwendolyn Murai, Maggie Murphy, Ron
Musto, Amelia Naccarto-Coleman, Maria Naclerio, Sarah Newcomb,
Dianna Nolan, Gerard Ohara, Sherita Olive-Miller, Sandra Ortner,
Anita Overton-Smith, Alicia Page, Nikki Page, Rebecca Pageau, Kevin
Parker, Michael Anthony Partland, Douglas Patton, Shanisha Perkins,
Patrice Perrier, Yaroslava Petraitis, Terri Pettiford, Michelle
Pfannenstiel, Sean Phillips, Patrick Plank, Emily Poltrack, George
Pouliot, Walter Powell, Andrea Preston, Tammie Pry, David Rado,
Frank Ragan, Giorgio Ramirez, Lupe Ramos, Nicole Regne, Donna
Riggins, Steve Risinger, Marvin Roberson, Dominique Robertson,
Lamarkis Robinson, Nick Robinson, Lanny Rodgers, Robert Rodriguez,
Kathleen Romeo, Elizabeth Rosch, Stacey Rowland, Paul Rozzo, Steven
Ruga, Joshua Ruhlman, Niesha Rush, Brittany Rushing, Stacy Ryan,
Adam Sanderson, Luis Santos, Stephen Sawyer, Holly Schmidt, Terry
Senn, Hiren Shah, Svetlana Shtofmakher, Jose Siandre, Lenord
Simmons, Janet Simonitsch, Illya Singh, Lori Smallwood, Julissa
Solano, Steven Spagnolo, Michael Spain, Donald Springer, Shelli
Stapp, Bahasha Stigall, Tammy Stiller, Daniel Stinson, Debra
Stolte, Simon Sum, Jennifer Sykes, Yanina Szenkman, Gerald Taylor,
Melissa Taylor, Nicole Theiss, Carla Theriot, Roy Thompson, Valerie
Tolliver, Matthew Tragarz, Michael Traugott, Ryan Truskowski,
Martin Turnauer, Stella Ureno, Audrey Varner, Leo Varshavsky, David
Viggiano, Anne Vitasek, April Vrtis, Bryan Wallace, James Walton,
Andrew Walts, Clara White, Matthew White, Randolph White, Octavia
Wilkerson, Dolly Wright, Chris Wright, Fugong Wu, Debra Yokoyama,
Glenn Young, Brittany Young, Jacqueline Zenon, Individually and on
Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, the Plaintiffs, vs.
MARRIOTT INTERNATIONAL, INC. and STARWOOD HOTELS & RESORTS
WORLDWIDE, LLC., the Defendants, Case No. 8:18-cv-03933-PWG (D.
Md., Dec. 19, 2018).[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Gary E. Mason, Esq.
          WHITFIELD BRYSON & MASON LLP
          5101 Wisconsin Avenue NW | Ste 305
          Washington, DC 20016
          Telephone: 202-640-1168
          Facsimile: 202-429-2294
          E-mail: gmason@wbmllp.com

               - and -

          Daniel S. Robinson, Esq.
          Wesley K. Polischuk, Esq.
          Michael W. Olson, Esq.
          ROBINSON CALCAGNIE, INC.
          19 Corporate Plaza Dr.
          Newport Beach, CA 92660
          Telephone: 949-720-1288
          Facsimile: 949-720-1292
          E-mail: drobinson@robinsonfirm.com
                  wpolischuk@robinsonfirm.com
                  moloson@robinsonfirm.com

               - and -

          Steven M. Pavsner, Esq.
          Veronica Byam Nannis, Esq.
          Jay P. Holland, Esq.
          JOSEPH, GREENWALD & LAAKE, P.A.
          6404 Ivy Lane, Suite 400
          Greenbelt, MD 20770
          Telephone: 301-220-2200
          Facsimile (301) 220-1214
          E-mail: spavsner@jgllaw.com
                  vnannis@jgllaw.com
                  jholland@jgllaw.com

               - and -

          Jeffrey S. Goldenberg, Esq.
          GOLDENBERG SCHNEIDER, LPA
          One West Fourth Street, 18th Floor
          Cincinnati, OH 45202
          Telephone: 513-345-8297
          Facsimile: 513-345-8294
          E-mail: jgoldenberg@gs-legal.com

               - and -

          Charles E. Schaffer, Esq.
          LEVIN SEDRAN & BERMAN, LLP
          510 Walnut Street, Suite 500
          Philadelphia, PA 19106
          Telephone: 215-592-1500
          Facsimile: 215-592-4663
          E-mail: cschaffer@lfsblaw.com

               - and -

          Greg Coleman, Esq.
          GREG COLEMAN LAW PC
          First Tennessee Plaza
          Knoxville, TN 37929
          Telephone: 865-247-0080
          Facsimile: 865-522-0049
          E-mail: greg@gregcolemanlaw.com

               - and -

          D. Greg Blankinship, Esq.
          Jeremiah Frei-Pearson, Esq.
          FINKELSTEIN, BLANKINSHIP, FREI-PEARSON & GARBER, LLP
          445 Hamilton Avenue, Suite 605
          White Plains, NY 10601
          Telephone: 914-298-3281
          Facsimile: 914-824-1561
          E-mail: gblankinship@fbfglaw.com
                  jfrei-pearson@fbfglaw.com

               - and -

          Jay D. Miller, Esq.
          Craig M. Silverman, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF PETER G. ANGELOS, P.C.
          One Charles Center
          100 N. Charles Street, 20th Floor
          Baltimore, MD 21201
          Telephone: (410) 649-2000
          Facsimile: (410) 649-2101
          E-mail: jmiller@lawpga.com
                  csilverman@lawpga.com

MDL 2460: Direct Purchasers Move for Class Cert. in Niaspan MDL
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Direct Purchaser Class Plaintiffs in the multidistrict
litigation entitled IN RE: NIASPAN ANTITRUST LITIGATION, MDL No.
2:13-md-02460-JD (E.D. Pa.), move the Court for an order certifying
this class pursuant to Rule 23(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure:

     All persons or entities in the United States and its
     territories who purchased brand name Niaspan directly from
     any defendant, and generic Niaspan (extended-release niacin)
     at any time during the period April 5, 2009 through June 26,
     2014; or who purchased generic Niaspan (extended-release
     niacin) directly from any defendant during that time period;
     or who purchased brand name Niaspan directly from any
     defendant at any time after April 5, 2009 but ceased
     operations before generic Niaspan entered in September 2013.
     Excluded from the class are the defendants, their officers,
     directors, management, employees, subsidiaries, and
     affiliates, and all federal governmental entities.

The Direct Purchaser Class Plaintiffs are Rochester Drug
Co-Operative, Inc., Value Drug Company, and Professional Drug
Company, Inc.

The Direct Purchaser Class Plaintiffs also move for the Court to
appoint Plaintiffs Rochester Drug Co-Operative, Value Drug, and
Professional Drug Company Inc. as representatives of the Class, and
to confirm Berger Montague PC, Garwin Gerstein & Fisher LLP, and
Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP as Lead Counsel for the Class.[CC]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          David F. Sorensen, Esq.
          Nicholas Urban, Esq.
          BERGER MONTAGUE PC
          1818 Market Street, Suite 3600
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Telephone:  (215) 875-3000
          E-mail: dsorensen@bm.net
                  nurban@bm.net

               - and -

          Thomas M. Sobol, Esq.
          Jessica MacAuley, Esq.
          Hannah Schwarzschild, Esq.
          HAGENS BERMAN SOBOL SHAPIRO LLP
          55 Cambridge Parkway, Suite 301
          Cambridge, MA 02142
          Telephone: (617) 482-3700
          E-mail: tom@hbsslaw.com
                  jessicam@hbsslaw.com
                  hannahs@hbsslaw.com

               - and -

          Bruce E. Gerstein, Esq.
          Joseph Opper, Esq.
          Kimberly Hennings, Esq.
          GARWIN GERSTEIN & FISHER LLP
          88 Pine Street, 10th Floor
          New York, NY 10005
          Telephone: (212) 398-0055
          E-mail: bgerstein@garwingerstein.com
                  jopper@garwingerstein.com
                  khennings@garwingerstein.com


MDL 2591: Kellogg Suit Remains in Kansas Court
----------------------------------------------
The Hon. Circuit Judges Holmes, Kelly and Matheson denied
Petitioners' writ of mandamus seeking to reverse an order of the
Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation that transferred their
putative class action filed in the United States District Court for
the District of Minnesota, Kellogg v. Watts Guerra, LLP, Case No.
18-cv-1082-DWF-BRT, to In re: Syngenta AG MIR162 Corn Litig., Case
No. 18-cv-2408-JWL, MDL No. 2591, pending in the United States
District Court for the District of Kansas.

The Court said, "To be entitled to a writ of mandamus, three
conditions must be met: First, because a writ is not a substitute
for an appeal, the party seeking issuance of the writ must have no
other adequate means to attain the relief he desires. Second, the
petitioner must demonstrate that his right to the writ is clear and
indisputable. Finally, the issuing court, in the exercise of its
discretion, must be satisfied that the writ is appropriate under
the circumstances. The Petitioners have failed to establish one or
more of these conditions and we therefore deny the petition for
App. a writ of mandamus. We grant petitioners' motion to file a
reply brief."[BN]

On April 24, 2018, Plaintiffs filed their initial complaint,
alleging that Defendants deceptively solicited corn growers to sign
Defendants' 40% contingent fee retainer contracts to file
individual lawsuits in Minnesota state courts as a scheme to
collect an unreasonable fee.   On April 30, Defendants moved to
transfer the matter to MDL 2591, In re: Syngenta AG MIR162 Corn
Litig., pending in the United States District Court for the
District of Kansas.

On May 1, 2018, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation
issued a Conditional Transfer Order, which transferred this case to
the MDL proceeding.  On May 7, Plaintiffs filed their opposition to
CTO-85.   The JPML scheduled a hearing, without oral argument, for
July 26 on Plaintiffs' motion to vacate CTO-85.

As reported by the Class Action Reporter, the case was later
transferred to the District of Kansas, which assigned Case No.
2:18-cv-02408-JWL-JPO to the proceeding, and consolidated the
matter with MDL 2591 in re: Syngenta AG Mir162 Corn Litigation.

The MDL was created by Order of the United States Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation on December 11, 2014. These cases concern
the Syngenta defendants' decision to commercialize corn seeds
containing a genetically modified trait, known as "MIR162" that
reportedly controls certain insects. Corn with this trait has
entered U.S. corn stocks but has not been approved for import by
the Chinese government, which has imposed a complete ban on U.S.
corn with this trait.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiffs:

          Douglas J Nill, Esq.
          DOUGLAS J. NILL, P.L.L.C.
          120 South Sixth Street, Suite 2050
          Minneapolis, MN 55402-1801
          Telephone: (612) 573 3669

Attorneys for Watts Guerra, LLP; Mikal C. Watts; and Francisco
Guerra:

          Christopher L. Goodman, Esq.
          THOMPSON, COE, COUSINS & IRONS, LLP
          408 Saint Peter Street, Ste 510
          Saint Paul, MN 55102
          Telephone: (651) 389 5025
          Facsimile: (651) 389 5099
          E-mail: cgoodman@thompsoncoe.com

Attorneys Daniel M. Homolka P.A.; and Yira Law Office LTD:

          Joao C.J.G. De Medeiros, Esq.
          Richard A Lind, Esq.
          LIND, JENSEN, SULLIVAN & PETERSON, P.A.
          1300 AT&T Tower
          901 Marquette Avenue South
          Minneapolis, MN 55402
          Telephone: (612) 333 3637
          Facsimile: (612) 333 1030

Attorneys for Hovland and Rasmus, PLLC; Dewald Deaver, P.C., LLO;
Patton Hoversten & Berg, P.A.; and Wojtalewicz Law Firm, Ltd.:

          John M Degnan, Esq.
          Kathryn M Short, Esq.
          Briggs & Morgan, PA
          80 S 8th St Ste 2200
          Mpls, MN 55402
          Telephone: (612) 977 8660
          Facsimile: (612) 977 8650

Attorneys for Mauro, Archer & Associates, LLC; Wagner Reese, LLP;
VanDerGinst Law, P.C.; and Law Office of Michael Miller:

          Arthur G Boylan, Esq.
          ANTHONY OSTLUND BAER & LOUWAGIE PA
          90 S 7th St Ste 3600
          Mpls, MN 55402
          Telephone: (612) 349 6969
          Facsimile: (612) 349 6996

Attorneys for Pagel Weikum, PLLP:

          Chad J Hintz, Esq.
          Richard J Thomas, Esq.
          BURKE & THOMAS, PLLP
          3900 Northwoods Drive, Suite 200
          Arden Hills, MN 55112
          Telephone: (651) 490 1808
          Facsimile: (651) 490 1872


MDL 2741: Capo Suit v Monsanto over Roundup Sales Consolidated
--------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled ARTHUR CAPO, the Plaintiff, v.
MONSANTO COMPANY, Defendant, Case No. 4:18-cv-01990, was
transferred from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of Missouri to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California (San Francisco) on Dec. 20, 2018. The Northern District
of California Court Clerk assigned Case No. 3:18-cv-07633-VC to the
proceeding.

This is an action for damages suffered by Plaintiff as a direct and
proximate result of Defendant negligent and wrongful conduct in
connection with the design, development, manufacture, testing,
packaging, promoting, marketing, advertising, distribution,
labeling, and/or sale of the herbicide Roundup (TM), containing the
active ingredient glyphosate.

The Capo case is being consolidated with MDL 2741 in re: Roundup
Products Liability Litigation. The MDL was created by Order of the
United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on October
3, 2016. These actions share common factual questions arising out
of allegations that Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, particularly its
active ingredient, glyphosate, causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Plaintiffs each allege that they or their decedents developed
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using Roundup over the course of
several or more years. Plaintiffs also allege that the use of
glyphosate in conjunction with other ingredients, in particular the
surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA), renders Roundup
even more toxic than glyphosate on its own. Issues concerning
general causation, the background science, and regulatory history
will be common to all actions.

In its October 3, 2016 Order, the MDL Panel found that the actions
in this MDL involve common questions of fact, and that
centralization in the Northern District of California will serve
the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just
and efficient conduct of this litigation. Centralization will
eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial
rulings (including with respect to discovery, privilege, and
Daubert motion practice); and conserve the resources of the
parties, their counsel, and the judiciary. Presiding Judge in the
MDL is Hon. Judge Vince Chhabria. The lead case is
3:16-md-02741-VC.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          D. Todd Mathews, Esq.
          Joseph B. Carnduff, Esq.
          156 N. Main St.
          Edwardsville, IL 62025
          Telephone: (618) 659-9833
          Facsimile: (618) 659-9834
          E-mail: todd@gorijulianlaw.com
                  jcarnduff@gorijulianlaw.com

MDL 2741: Coviello Suit v Monsanto over Roundup Sales Consolidated
------------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled JOHN COVIELLO, the Plaintiff, v.
MONSANTO COMPANY, Defendant, Case No. 4:18-cv-01984, was
transferred from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of Missouri to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California (San Francisco) on Dec. 20, 2018. The Northern District
of California Court Clerk assigned Case No. 3:18-cv-07632-VC to the
proceeding.

This is an action for damages suffered by Plaintiff as a direct and
proximate result of Defendant negligent and wrongful conduct in
connection with the design, development, manufacture, testing,
packaging, promoting, marketing, advertising, distribution,
labeling, and/or sale of the herbicide Roundup (TM), containing the
active ingredient glyphosate.

The Coviello case is being consolidated with MDL 2741 in re:
Roundup Products Liability Litigation. The MDL was created by Order
of the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on
October 3, 2016. These actions share common factual questions
arising out of allegations that Monsanto's Roundup herbicide,
particularly its active ingredient, glyphosate, causes
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Plaintiffs each allege that they or their
decedents developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using Roundup over
the course of several or more years. Plaintiffs also allege that
the use of glyphosate in conjunction with other ingredients, in
particular the surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA),
renders Roundup even more toxic than glyphosate on its own. Issues
concerning general causation, the background science, and
regulatory history will be common to all actions.

In its October 3, 2016 Order, the MDL Panel found that the actions
in this MDL involve common questions of fact, and that
centralization in the Northern District of California will serve
the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just
and efficient conduct of this litigation. Centralization will
eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial
rulings (including with respect to discovery, privilege, and
Daubert motion practice); and conserve the resources of the
parties, their counsel, and the judiciary. Presiding Judge in the
MDL is Hon. Judge Vince Chhabria. The lead case is
3:16-md-02741-VC.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          D. Todd Mathews, Esq.
          Joseph B. Carnduff, Esq.
          156 N. Main St.
          Edwardsville, IL 62025
          Telephone: (618) 659-9833
          Facsimile: (618) 659-9834
          E-mail: todd@gorijulianlaw.com
                  jcarnduff@gorijulianlaw.com

MDL 2741: Dailey Suit v Monsanto over Roundup Sales Consolidated
----------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled JOHN J. DAILEY JR., the Plaintiff,
v. MONSANTO COMPANY, Defendant, Case No. 4:18-cv-01994, was
transferred from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of Missouri to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California (San Francisco) on Dec. 20, 2018. The Northern District
of California Court Clerk assigned Case No. 3:18-cv-07635-VC to the
proceeding.

This is an action for damages suffered by Plaintiff as a direct and
proximate result of Defendant negligent and wrongful conduct in
connection with the design, development, manufacture, testing,
packaging, promoting, marketing, advertising, distribution,
labeling, and/or sale of the herbicide Roundup (TM), containing the
active ingredient glyphosate.

The Dailey case is being consolidated with MDL 2741 in re: Roundup
Products Liability Litigation. The MDL was created by Order of the
United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on October
3, 2016. These actions share common factual questions arising out
of allegations that Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, particularly its
active ingredient, glyphosate, causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Plaintiffs each allege that they or their decedents developed
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using Roundup over the course of
several or more years. Plaintiffs also allege that the use of
glyphosate in conjunction with other ingredients, in particular the
surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA), renders Roundup
even more toxic than glyphosate on its own. Issues concerning
general causation, the background science, and regulatory history
will be common to all actions.

In its October 3, 2016 Order, the MDL Panel found that the actions
in this MDL involve common questions of fact, and that
centralization in the Northern District of California will serve
the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just
and efficient conduct of this litigation. Centralization will
eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial
rulings (including with respect to discovery, privilege, and
Daubert motion practice); and conserve the resources of the
parties, their counsel, and the judiciary. Presiding Judge in the
MDL is Hon. Judge Vince Chhabria. The lead case is
3:16-md-02741-VC.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Seth S. Webb, Esq.
          BROWN & CROUPPEN, P.C.
          211 North Broadway, Suite 1600
          St. Louis, MO 63102
          E-mail: sethw@getbc.com
          Telephone: (314) 222-2222
          Facsimile: (314) 421-0359

MDL 2741: Goodson Suit v Monsanto over Roundup Sales Consolidated
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled LESLIE A. GOODSON and WANDA M.
GOODSON, the Plaintiffs, v. MONSANTO COMPANY, Defendant, Case No.
4:18-cv-01991, was transferred from the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Missouri to the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California (San Francisco) on Dec. 20, 2018.
The Northern District of California Court Clerk assigned Case No.
3:18-cv-07634-VC to the proceeding.

This is an action for damages suffered by Plaintiffs as a direct
and proximate result of Defendant negligent and wrongful conduct in
connection with the design, development, manufacture, testing,
packaging, promoting, marketing, advertising, distribution,
labeling, and/or sale of the herbicide Roundup (TM), containing the
active ingredient glyphosate.

The Goodson case is being consolidated with MDL 2741 in re: Roundup
Products Liability Litigation. The MDL was created by Order of the
United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on October
3, 2016. These actions share common factual questions arising out
of allegations that Monsanto's Roundup herbicide, particularly its
active ingredient, glyphosate, causes non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.
Plaintiffs each allege that they or their decedents developed
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using Roundup over the course of
several or more years. Plaintiffs also allege that the use of
glyphosate in conjunction with other ingredients, in particular the
surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA), renders Roundup
even more toxic than glyphosate on its own. Issues concerning
general causation, the background science, and regulatory history
will be common to all actions.

In its October 3, 2016 Order, the MDL Panel found that the actions
in this MDL involve common questions of fact, and that
centralization in the Northern District of California will serve
the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just
and efficient conduct of this litigation. Centralization will
eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial
rulings (including with respect to discovery, privilege, and
Daubert motion practice); and conserve the resources of the
parties, their counsel, and the judiciary. Presiding Judge in the
MDL is Hon. Judge Vince Chhabria. The lead case is
3:16-md-02741-VC.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Seth S. Webb, Esq.
          BROWN & CROUPPEN, P.C.
          211 North Broadway, Suite 1600
          St. Louis, MO 63102
          E-mail: sethw@getbc.com
          Telephone: (314) 222-2222
          Facsimile: (314) 421-0359

MDL 2741: Griffith Suit v Monsanto over Roundup Sales Consolidated
------------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled JOHNNY W. GRIFFITH and SANDRA R.
GRIFFITH, the Plaintiffs, v. MONSANTO COMPANY, Defendant, Case No.
4:18-cv-01997, was transferred from the U.S. District Court for the
Eastern District of Missouri to the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California (San Francisco) on Dec. 20, 2018.
The Northern District of California Court Clerk assigned Case No.
3:18-cv-07636-VC to the proceeding.

This is an action for damages suffered by Plaintiffs as a direct
and proximate result of Defendant negligent and wrongful conduct in
connection with the design, development, manufacture, testing,
packaging, promoting, marketing, advertising, distribution,
labeling, and/or sale of the herbicide Roundup (TM), containing the
active ingredient glyphosate.

The Griffith case is being consolidated with MDL 2741 in re:
Roundup Products Liability Litigation. The MDL was created by Order
of the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on
October 3, 2016. These actions share common factual questions
arising out of allegations that Monsanto's Roundup herbicide,
particularly its active ingredient, glyphosate, causes
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Plaintiffs each allege that they or their
decedents developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using Roundup over
the course of several or more years. Plaintiffs also allege that
the use of glyphosate in conjunction with other ingredients, in
particular the surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA),
renders Roundup even more toxic than glyphosate on its own. Issues
concerning general causation, the background science, and
regulatory history will be common to all actions.

In its October 3, 2016 Order, the MDL Panel found that the actions
in this MDL involve common questions of fact, and that
centralization in the Northern District of California will serve
the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just
and efficient conduct of this litigation. Centralization will
eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial
rulings (including with respect to discovery, privilege, and
Daubert motion practice); and conserve the resources of the
parties, their counsel, and the judiciary. Presiding Judge in the
MDL is Hon. Judge Vince Chhabria. The lead case is
3:16-md-02741-VC.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Seth S. Webb, Esq.
          BROWN & CROUPPEN, P.C.
          211 North Broadway, Suite 1600
          St. Louis, MO 63102
          E-mail: sethw@getbc.com
          Telephone: (314) 222-2222
          Facsimile: (314) 421-0359

MDL 2741: Hildebrand Suit v Monsanto over Roundup Consolidated
--------------------------------------------------------------
The class action lawsuit titled LINDSAY R. HILDEBRAND and ZACHARY
HILDEBRAND, the Plaintiffs, v. MONSANTO COMPANY, Defendant, Case
No. 4:18-cv-02003, was transferred from the U.S. District Court for
the Eastern District of Missouri to the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California (San Francisco) on Dec. 20, 2018.
The Northern District of California Court Clerk assigned Case No.
3:18-cv-07637-VC to the proceeding.

This is an action for damages suffered by Plaintiffs as a direct
and proximate result of Defendant negligent and wrongful conduct in
connection with the design, development, manufacture, testing,
packaging, promoting, marketing, advertising, distribution,
labeling, and/or sale of the herbicide Roundup (TM), containing the
active ingredient glyphosate.

The Hildebrand case is being consolidated with MDL 2741 in re:
Roundup Products Liability Litigation. The MDL was created by Order
of the United States Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on
October 3, 2016. These actions share common factual questions
arising out of allegations that Monsanto's Roundup herbicide,
particularly its active ingredient, glyphosate, causes
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Plaintiffs each allege that they or their
decedents developed non-Hodgkin's lymphoma after using Roundup over
the course of several or more years. Plaintiffs also allege that
the use of glyphosate in conjunction with other ingredients, in
particular the surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA),
renders Roundup even more toxic than glyphosate on its own. Issues
concerning general causation, the background science, and
regulatory history will be common to all actions.

In its October 3, 2016 Order, the MDL Panel found that the actions
in this MDL involve common questions of fact, and that
centralization in the Northern District of California will serve
the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the just
and efficient conduct of this litigation. Centralization will
eliminate duplicative discovery; prevent inconsistent pretrial
rulings (including with respect to discovery, privilege, and
Daubert motion practice); and conserve the resources of the
parties, their counsel, and the judiciary. Presiding Judge in the
MDL is Hon. Judge Vince Chhabria. The lead case is
3:16-md-02741-VC.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Seth S. Webb, Esq.
          BROWN & CROUPPEN, P.C.
          211 North Broadway, Suite 1600
          St. Louis, MO 63102
          E-mail: sethw@getbc.com
          Telephone: (314) 222-2222
          Facsimile: (314) 421-0359

MDL 2804: W.E. Suit v. Purdue over Opiates Sales Consolidated
-------------------------------------------------------------
The case, W.E. on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated, by and through her guardian and next friend other Pamela
Osborne, the Plaintiff, v. Purdue Pharma LP., Purdue Pharma Inc.;
Cephalic Inc.; Neva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd.; Neva
Pharmaceuticals USA, Inc.; Jansen Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Johnson &
Johnson; Aramco Inc.; Or tho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,
now known as Jansen Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Jansen Pharmaceutical
Inc., now known as Jansen Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Undo Health
Solutions Inc.; Undo Pharmaceuticals Inc.; Allergen PL, formerly
known as: Activist PL; Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc., now known as
Activist Inc.; Watson Laboratories Inc.; Activist Dharma, Inc.,
formerly known as: Watson Dharma, Inc.; Activist LLC; Maeterlinck
PL; Maeterlinck LLC; McPherson Corporation; Cardinal Health Inc.;
Counterinsurgency Drug Corporation; and Purdue Frederick Company,
Inc., the Defendants, Case No. 5:18-cv-006292:18-cv-00719, was
transferred from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern of
District of Kentucky, to the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of Ohio (Cleveland) on Dec. 20, 2018. The Northern
District of Ohio Court Clerk assigned Case No. 1:18-op-46347-DAP
to the proceeding.

The W.E. case is being consolidated with ML 2804 in re: NATIONAL
PRESCRIPTION OPIATE LITIGATION. The ML was created by Order of the
United States Judicial Panel on Multi district Litigation on
December 5, 2017. These cases concern the alleged improper
marketing of and inappropriate distribution of various prescription
opiate medications into cities, states and towns across the
country. Responding plaintiffs' positions on centralization vary
considerably. Plaintiffs in over 40 actions or potential tag-along
actions support centralization. Plaintiffs in 15 actions or
potential tag-along actions oppose centralization altogether or
oppose transfer of their action. In addition to opposing transfer,
the State of West Virginia suggests that the ML Panel delay
transferring its case until the Southern District of West Virginia
court decides its motion to remand to state court. Third party
payer plaintiffs in an Eastern District of Pennsylvania potential
tag-along action (Philadelphia Teachers Health and Welfare Fund)
oppose centralization of third participatory actions. Western
District of Washington plaintiff City of Everett opposes
centralization and, alternatively, requests exclusion of its case.
Northern District of Illinois tag-along Plaintiff City of Chicago
asks the Panel to defer transfer of its action until document
discovery is completed. The Presiding Judge in the ML is Sarah S.
Vance, United States District Judge. The lead case is
1:17-MD-02804-PAD.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Andrew Sacks, Esq.
          SACKS WESTON DIAMOND, LLC
          1845 Walnut Street, Suite 1600
          Philadelphia, PA 19103
          Telephone: (215) 925-8200

               - and -

          Ashley M. Liuzza, Esq.
          John Weston, Esq.
          Kelly Cox Bilek, Esq.
          Matthew Douglas Rogenes, Esq.
          Michael G. Stag, Esq.
          STAG LIUZZA
          365 Canal Street,Ste. 2850
          New Orleans, LA 70130
          Telephone: (504) 593-9600
          Facsimile: (504) 593-9601
          E-mail: aliuzza@stagliuzza.com
                  mrogenes@stagliuzza.com
                  mstag@stagliuzza.com

               - and -

          Rodney Garrett Davis, Esq.
          DAVIS LAW, PSC
          230 N. Second Street
          P.O. Box 1060
          Richmond, KY 40476-1060
          Telephone: (859) 624-3380
          Facsimile: (859) 624-0912
          E-mail: rgd@davislawky.com

               - and -

          Thomas E. Bilek, Esq.
          Houston, TX 77002
          (713) 227-7720
          Ste. 3950
          700 Louisiana

MDL 2873: Dutchess vs. 3M Company over AFFF Products Consolidated
-----------------------------------------------------------------
A case, County of Dutchess, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated, the Plaintiff, vs. The 3M Company
formerly known as: Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing, Co., The
Ansul Company; Buckeye Fire Protection Co.; Chemguard; National
Foam; and Angus Fire, the Defendants, Case No. 2018-53225, was
removed from the from Supreme Court, County of Dutchess, to the the
U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina (Charleston)
on Dec. 17, 2018. The District of South Carolina Court Clerk
assigned Case No. 2:18-cv-03525-RMG to the proceeding. The case is
assigned to the Hon. Honorable Richard M Gergel. The lead case is
Case No. 2:18-mn-02873-RMG.

The Plaintiffs bring this cause of action for medical monitoring
and property damage as a result of their exposure to water
contaminated with toxic chemicals resulting from Defendants'
harmful and defective products, aqueous firefighting foams ("AFFF")
and other materials containing perfluorochemicals (PFCs) including
perfluorooctanesulfonic acid ("PFOS") and related fluorochemicals
that can degrade to perfluorooctanoic acid ("PFOA") or PFOS, which
were released onto the ground, into the environment and infiltrated
the groundwater and Plaintiffs' drinking/potable water.

The County of Dutchess case is being cosolidated with MDL 2873 in
RE: Aqueous Film-Forming Foams (AFFF) Products Liability
Litigation.

3M Company, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation
operating in the fields of industry, health care, and consumer
goods.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Hunter Jay Shkolnik, Esq.
          Patrick James Lanciotti, Esq.
          Paul J. Napoli, Esq.
          Tate J Kunkle, Esq.
          NAPOLI SHKOLNIK PLLC
          360 Lexington Avenue, 11th Floor
          New York, NY 10017
          Telephone: (212) 397-1000
          E-mail: hunter@napolilaw.com
                  planciotti@napolilaw.com
                  pnapoli@napolilaw.com
                 tkunkle@napolilaw.com

Attorneys for 3M Company:

          Andrew Jonathan Calica, Esq.
          MAYER BROWN
          1675 Broadway
          New York, NY 10019
          Telephone: (212) 506-2500
          Facsimile: (212) 262-1910
          E-mail: acalica@mayerbrown.com

MEDMEN ENTERPRISES: Faces Class Suit From Former Employees
----------------------------------------------------------
John Schroyer, writing for Marijuana Business Daily, reports that
one of the biggest names in cannabis retail, California-based
MedMen, is facing a class action lawsuit from former employees that
allege multiple labor law violations.

Filed Nov. 16 in California Superior Court in Los Angeles County,
the suit alleges -- among other things -- that two MedMen
subsidiaries, Manlin I and DT Fund II Group, failed to:

-- Pay employees minimum wages for off-the-clock work.
-- Pay employees for the full amount of hours worked, including
overtime.
-- Provide all mandatory meal and rest breaks.
-- Keep accurate records of employee hours worked.

The lawsuit alleges MedMen "intentionally failed" to pay employees
appropriately under California law. "It's wage theft," said Daniel
Srourian, Esq. -- daniel@slfla.com -- attorney for the two
plaintiffs in the case, Chelsea Medlock and Anthony Torres, who
formerly worked at a MedMen West Hollywood shop.

Srourian said the suit could eventually include hundreds, if not
thousands, of plaintiffs because any current or former MedMen
employees could join.

Srourian declined to speculate when asked how much the suit could
cost MedMen if it's successful, but he said the costs to the
company could be "substantial."

He also said it could take "months to years" for the case to be
resolved, and the suit still must gain class action status from a
judge.

MedMen senior vice president of communications Daniel Yi wrote in
an email to Marijuana Business Daily: "We do not comment on ongoing
litigation or personnel matters. We value the contributions of
every team member here at MedMen.

"We offer competitive compensation and strive to cultivate a
thriving work environment."

San Francisco attorney Katy Young, Esq. who specializes in cannabis
business disputes, said the suit is "a big deal, definitely."

"Class actions are very serious to deal with, and if the class gets
certified, it's a real problem for the employer," she noted.

"Wage and hour issues are very serious as there are penalties. Not
only are there liabilities for what you didn't pay, sometimes there
are treble damages."

Young called the suit "a potentially multimillion-dollar problem"
for MedMen.

MedMen is a publicly traded company on the Canadian Securities
Exchange (MMEN).[GN]


MIDLAND CREDIT: Fiorilli Sues over Debt Collection Practices
------------------------------------------------------------
ALISON FIORILLI formerly known as: ALISON KOWALESKI, individually
and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v.
MIDLAND CREDIT MANAGEMENT, INC.; and JOHN DOES 1-25, Defendants,
Case No. 3:18-cv-17136-MAS-DEA (D.N.J., Dec. 12, 2018) seeks to
stop the Defendant's unfair and unconscionable means to collect a
debt. The case is assigned to Judge Michael A. Shipp and referred
to Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert.

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 is represented by:

          Ben A. Kaplan, Esq.
          280 Prospect Ave. 6G 6G
          Hackensack, NJ 07601
          Telephone: (201) 803-6611
          Facsimile: (866) 596-4973
          E-mail: ben@chulskykaplanlaw.com


MILLER BROS: Underpays Landscape Laborers, Carbajal Alleges
-----------------------------------------------------------
JOSE C. CARBAJAL, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. MILLER BROS. LANDSCAPE
MAINTENANCE, LLC; SCOTT W. MILLER; and EDWARD A. MILLER,
Defendants, Case No. 2:18-cv-07070 (E.D.N.Y., Dec. 12, 2018) is an
action against the Defendants to recover unpaid minimum wages and
overtime compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Mr. Carbajal was employed by the Defendants as landscape laborer.

Miller Bros. Landscape Maintenance, LLC provides site and landscape
services. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Peter A. Romero, Esq.
          LAW OFFICE OF PETER A. ROMERO PLLC
          825 Veterans Highway-Ste. B
          Hauppauge, NY 11788
          Telephone: (631) 257-5588
          E-mail: promero@romerolawny.com


MODA OPERANDI: Diaz Files Suit under ADA in New York
----------------------------------------------------
Moda Operandi, Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit filed pursuant
to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled as Edwin
Diaz, on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated,
Plaintiff v. Moda Operandi, Inc., Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-12385
(S.D. N.Y., December 31, 2018).

Moda Operandi, Inc. is an online fashion pretailer that allows
customers to preorder ready-to-wear fashion, shoes, accessories,
handbags, and jewelry. It runs online designer trunkshows for
customers to preorder products. The company also offers gifts,
including arts and objects for men, women, and children. It ships
products for customers in the United States and internationally.
The company was formerly known as Trunk Show Inc. and changed its
name to Moda Operandi, Inc. in August 2010. Moda Operandi, Inc. was
founded in 2010 and is based in New York, 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


MONSANTO COMPANY: Hatfields Sue over Sale of Herbicide Roundup
--------------------------------------------------------------
ELIZABETH AND ROBERT L. HATFIELD, the Plaintiffs, v. MONSANTO
COMPANY, the Defendant, Case No. 4:18-cv-02113 (E.D. Mo., Dec. 20,
2018), seeks to recover damages suffered by Plaintiffs, as a direct
and proximate result of the Defendant's negligent and wrongful
conduct in connection with the design, development, manufacture,
testing, packaging, promoting, marketing, advertising,
distribution, labeling, and/or sale of the herbicide Roundup (TM),
containing the active ingredient glyphosate.

The Plaintiffs maintain that Roundup (TM) and/or glyphosate is
defective, dangerous to human health, unfit and unsuitable to be
marketed and sold in commerce, and lacked proper warnings and
directions as to the dangers associated with its use. The
Plaintiffs' injuries, like those striking thousands of similarly
situated victims across the country, were avoidable.

The Plaintiffs bring this action for personal injuries sustained by
exposure to Roundup (TM), which contains the active ingredient
glyphosate and the surfactant polyethoxylated tallow amine (POEA).
As a direct and proximate result of being exposed to Roundup, the
Plaintiff developed diffuse Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

Roundup refers to all formulations of Defendant's Roundup products,
including, but not limited to, Roundup Concentrate Poison Ivy and
Tough Brush Killer 1, Roundup Custom Herbicide, Roundup D-Pak
Herbicide, Roundup Dry Concentrate, Roundup Export Herbicide,
Roundup Fence & Hard Edger 1, Roundup Garden Foam Weed & Grass
Killer, Roundup Grass and Weed Killer, Roundup Herbicide, Roundup
Original 2k Herbicide, Roundup Original II Herbicide, Roundup Pro
Concentrate, Roundup Pro Dry Herbicide, and Roundup Promax.[BN]

The Plaintiffs are represented by:

          Seth S. Webb, Esq.
          BROWN & CROUPPEN, P.C.
          211 North Broadway, Suite 1600
          St. Louis, MO 63102
          Telephone: (314) 222-2222
          Facsimile: (314) 421-0359
          E-mail: sethw@getbc.com


MORGAN PROPERTIES: Court Partly Allows Filing of Amended Zehm Suit
------------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, AVA ZEHM, individually and on behalf of others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. MORGAN PROPERTIES and MOORESTOWNE
WOODS APARTMENT ASSOCIATES, LLC d/b/a MOORESTOWNE WOODS APARTMENT
ASSOCIATES, LP, Defendants, Civil No. 17-1758 (NLH/KMW) (D. N.J.),
Judge Noel l. Hillman of the U.S. District Court for the District
of New Jersey granted in part, and denied in part without prejudice
the Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint.

The case is a putative class action concerning allegedly illegal
provisions in a residential lease.  The claims were originally
brought under the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act ("CFA"), the New
Jersey Truth-in-Renting Act ("TRA"), and New Jersey common law.
Presently before the Court is Plaintiff Zehm's Motion for Leave to
File an Amended Complaint.  Defendants Morgan Properties Management
Co., LLC's and Moorestown Wood Apartment Associates, LLC ("MWAA")'s
opposed.

The Plaintiff lived in an apartment in Moorestown, New Jersey owned
by MWAA.  The apartment complex consisted of approximately 172
residential units and was managed by Morgan Properties.  The
Plaintiff executed her first lease with MWAA in 2014 for the rental
of an apartment.  She renewed her lease in 2015, signing a second
lease.  

As part of her leases, the Plaintiff signed a utility addendum,
which provided that charges for water would be based on the number
of bedrooms in each resident's apartment unit.  Her leases also
contained a provision that stated, in pertinent part, that with
regard to a breach of the lease, if an attorney is employed,
including in-house counsel, the resident was required to pay $400
in attorneys' fees.  That amount could be reduced to $200 "in the
event an eviction action is filed for non-payment of rent, and the
tenant pays all rent due.

The Morgan Defendants filed a complaint in January 2016 against the
Plaintiff for rent due.  The complaint declared $873.85 due and
owing: $331.65 for rent due, a $142.20 late charge, and $400 in
attorneys' fees.  Following that litigation, the Plaintiff filed a
class action complaint against the Defendants which was removed to
federal court on March 15, 2017.

The complaint alleged: (i) Count One - violation of the TRA based
on the attorneys' fees provision (against the Morgan Defendants);
(ii) Count Two - violation of the TRA based on the utility addendum
(against the Morgan Defendants); (iii) Count Three - violation of
the CFA based on the attorneys' fees provision (against the Morgan
Defendants); (iv) Count Four - civil conspiracy based on the
attorneys' fees provision (against the Morgan Defendants); (v)
Count Five - violation of the CFA based on the utility addendum
(against all the Defendants); (vi) Count Six - civil conspiracy
based on the utility addendum (against all the Defendants); (vii)
Count Seven: - declaratory judgment (against all the Defendants);
and (viii) Count Eight - violation of the CFA (against the Morgan
Defendants).

The Morgan Defendants filed an April 5, 2017 motion for partial
abstention and partial dismissal of the complaint.  NWP then filed
an April 26, 2017 motion to dismiss.  By Order and Opinion on Oct.
27, 2017, the Court denied the Morgan Defendants' request for
partial abstention and granted the request for partial dismissal.
The Court found that the Plaintiff failed to state a claim on the
basis of the utility addendum.  In the same Order and Opinion, the
Court granted NWP's motion to dismiss, thus terminating it from the
case.  As a result, Counts 2, 5, 6, and 7 were dismissed, with
Count 7 only being dismissed to the extent it sought declaratory
judgment against the Morgan Defendants on the basis of the utility
addendum.

On May 11, 2018, the Plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to Amend
the Complaint.  She presents three proposed amendments to her
complaint.  First, the Plaintiff requests the Court to allow her to
correct the names of the Morgan Defendants throughout the
complaint.  Second, she requests the Court to allow her to
eliminate the claims that it dismissed in its Oct. 27, 2017 Order.
Third, she requests the Court to allow her to add additional
violations to her TRA claims and include additional statutory, case
law, and rule citations.

The Morgan Defendants only resist Plaintiff's third request.
Accordingly, Judge Hillman will grant the Plaintiff's request to
perform the housekeeping matters described.  

Considering the Morgan Defendants' arguments concerning the third
request, the Plaintiff requests, if the Court finds she does not
have standing to assert the new TRA claims, the Court remand the
entire case.  The Judge holds that the Plaintiff has cited no
authority, and the Court is unaware of any, that stands for the
proposition that a federal Court should decline to exercise
jurisdiction over claims it has jurisdiction over merely because
the Plaintiff also has additional state law claims that do not meet
Article III standards.

The Plaintiff also argues if the Court lacks subject matter
jurisdiction over the new TRA allegations, then it should sever the
entire TRA claim and remand it to New Jersey state court.  This
also cannot be done, for the same reasons as expressed, the Judge
opines.  He says the Court has jurisdiction over the original TRA
claim, but not over the new allegations.  The Court therefore
continues to have an obligation to exercise jurisdiction over the
original TRA claim.

Finally, if the standard for standing is broader in New Jersey
state court, notwithstanding the entire controversy doctrine,
nothing in this Opinion precludes the Plaintiff from filing the new
TRA claims in New Jersey state court, the Judge holds.  While this
may create additional logistical issues because two courts, one
federal and one state, will be deciding cases involving the same
general subject matter, there are a number of ways in which the two
courts and the litigants might coordinate, including staying the
state court action until disposition of the first-filed federal
court action.  Regardless, the Court is unable to assert
jurisdiction over the new TRA claims presented.  Therefore, the
Judge leaves it to the Plaintiff to determine whether it is
appropriate and advisable for her to pursue the new TRA claims in
state court.

Based on the foregoing, Judge Hillman granted in part and denied in
part the Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint.
An appropriate Order will be entered.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Opinion is available
at https://is.gd/jaUIJX from Leagle.com.

AVA ZEHM, INDIVIDUALLY AND ON BEHALF OF OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED,
Plaintiff, represented by LEWIS G. ADLER, LAW OFFICE OF LEWIS
ADLER.

MORGAN PROPERTIES & MOORESTOWNE WOODS APARTMENT ASSOCIATES, LLC,
doing business as MOORSETOWNE WOODS APARTMENT ASSOCIATES, LP,
Defendants, represented by RACHEL C. HEINRICH --
rheinrich@wilentz.com -- WILENTZ GOLDMAN & SPITZER, P.A..


MORTGAGE LENDERS: Court Conditionally Certifies Charbonneau Class
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Kansas issued
a Memorandum and Order granting Plaintiffs' Motion for Conditional
Certification in the case captioned BEAU CHARBONNEAU, on behalf of
himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. MORTGAGE
LENDERS OF AMERICA L.L.C., Defendant. Case No. 18-2062-CM-KGS. (D.
Kan.).

The Plaintiff seeks conditional certification of two separate FLSA
classes: team leads and loan officers.

Plaintiff Beau Charbonneau brings this putative collective action
under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), claiming that his former
employer, defendant Mortgage Lenders of America L.L.C.,
misclassified a certain employment position (team lead) as an
exempt position. Plaintiff also claims that defendant requires
non-exempt employees to perform work off the clock, without pay.

Misclassification of Team Leads as Exempt

The Defendant classifies its team leads as exempt, thereby denying
them overtime compensation.

The Plaintiff claims that the primary duty of team leads is to sell
mortgages. They regularly work over forty hours a week. The
Defendant is aware of team leads' excess hours because defendant
directs its customers to contact team leads on their personal cell
phones and sees the team leads' loan production results.

The Defendant does not pay team leads at least $455 per week on a
salary basis. Instead, team leads receive a $1,000 recoverable
monthly draw. Team leads receive a monthly amount equal to $175
times the number of members on each lead's team. Defendant then
nets out the monthly amount from the $1,000 recoverable draw.
Because of this pay structure, plaintiff argues, team leads do not
qualify for a white collar FLSA exemption.

Team leads also get commissions from their own sales and the sales
of the loan officers assigned to their teams. But defendant
withholds certain fees from the team leads' wages. Plaintiff claims
that this compensation structure is uniformly applied.

Team leads share common job duties and descriptions. The Defendant
has presented evidence that the duties are different than what
plaintiff represents, but defendant's evidence still suggests that
team leads share common duties whatever those duties ultimately are
shown to be.  Team leads are classified as exempt employees and
perform work without overtime compensation. And defendant does not
maintain accurate records of team leads' hours or require them to
report all overtime.

Failure to Pay Loan Officers for All Hours Worked

The primary duty of loan officers is to sell mortgage loans. Loan
officers regularly work over forty hours a week, and defendant is
aware of these excess hours because defendant directs its customers
to contact loan officers on their personal cell phones and sees the
loan production results.

The Defendant classifies loan officers as hourly, non-exempt
employees. Loan officers are paid under the same or similar
compensation agreements. These agreements require a minimum wage
and overtime payments and use a draw against commission. Defendant
recaptures any minimum wage paid to loan officers from their paid
commissions.

The Defendant does not allow its loan officers to report all of
their after-hours work, although loan officers typically check and
respond to work emails and calls early in the morning, into the
evening, and on weekends. Defendant knows about these practices
because it allows loan officers to put their cell phone numbers on
their business cards and requires them to include their number on
email. Defendant instructs loan officers during training how to set
their cell phones to receive work emails outside the office.

The issue before the court is whether plaintiff has met his light
burden of showing that members of each putative class are similarly
situated. Plaintiff asks the court to conditionally certify two
collective classes:

   (1) All persons who are, have been, or will be employed by
Defendant as Team Leads, Team Leaders, and other individuals with
similar job titles within the United States at any time during the
last three years through the entry of judgment in this case (FLSA
Team Lead Collective) and

   (2) All persons who are, have been, or will be employed by
Defendant as Loan Officers, Mortgage Loan Officers, Entry Level
Loan Officers, and other individuals who originated loan products
with similar job titles within the United States at any time during
the last three years through the entry of judgment in this case
(FLSA Loan Officer Collective).

For each of these groups, the court has allegations and evidence
before it that the putative plaintiffs' job duties and descriptions
are similar, as well as the policies impacting their pay.

The putative plaintiffs work at the same location. Plaintiff has
also presented allegations and evidence showing that members of the
putative class regularly work early in the morning, in the
evenings, and on weekends and that defendant is aware of these
practices (and even expects them to do so), but does not pay them
for all—and, in some cases, any of the extra hours. That is all
that is required in the notice stage.  

Many of defendant's arguments focus on the potential variations in
plaintiff's claims. But it is only during the second stage analysis
that a court reviews the disparate factual and employment settings
of the individual plaintiffs; the various defenses available to
defendant which appear to be individual to each plaintiff; fairness
and procedural considerations; and whether plaintiffs made any
required filings before instituting suit.

The court is not persuaded by defendant's arguments. Plaintiff
Charbonneau stated in a declaration that defendant was the cause of
meal periods being deducted from loan officers' paychecks. In other
words, if he made the changes, those changes were at the direction
of defendant. The court also does not find the other potential
conflicts relevant at least at this stage of conditional
certification.  

The court concludes that the above-cited evidence is sufficient to
conditionally certify a class.  

Accordingly, the Plaintiff's Motion for Conditional Class
Certification Under Section 216(b) of the FLSA is granted.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 6, 2018
Memorandum and Order is available at https://tinyurl.com/yb8zsbpm
from Leagle.com.

Beau Charbonneau, Brian Leonard, Chris Mikel, Dana Self, Kevin
Heindel, Laura Whisner, Scott Ponick, Peter Legaspi, Jeff Hiller,
Robert White & Jake Bernard, Plaintiffs, represented by Brett A.
Davis -- brett@dgmlawyers.com -- Davis George Mook, LLC & Tracey
Flexter George -- tracey@dgmlawyers.com -- Davis George Mook, LLC.

Mortgage Lenders of America, LLC, also known as MLOA, Defendant,
represented by Christopher L. Kurtz -- ckurtz@rousepc.com -- Rouse
Frets White Goss Gentile Rhodes, P.C., Joel Henry Driskell --
hdriskell@rousepc.com -- Rouse Frets White Goss Gentile Rhodes,
P.C. & Mary C. O'Connell -- moconnell@rousepc.com -- Rouse Frets
White Goss Gentile Rhodes, PC.


MXD GROUP INC: Faces Kimbo Labor Suit in Sacramento Court
---------------------------------------------------------
An employment-related class action lawsuit has been filed against
MXD Group Inc. The case is captioned as JOSEPH KIMBO, individually
and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. MXD
GROUP INC.; RYDER SYSTEM INC.; and DOES 1-10, Defendants, Case No.
34-2018-00246338-CU-OE-GDS (Cal. Super., Sacramento Cty., Dec. 12,
2018).

MXD Group, Inc. provides logistics services for home delivery and
retail replenishment in the United States and Canada. The company
was formerly known as Exel Direct, Inc. and changed its name to MXD
Group, Inc. on August 29, 2013. MXD Group, Inc. was founded in 1970
and is headquartered in New Albany, Ohio. As of April 2, 2018, MXD
Group, Inc. operates as a subsidiary of Ryder System, Inc. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Leslie Joyner, Esq.
          SCHNEIDER WALLACE COTTRELL KONECKY WOTKYNS LLP
          2000 Powell Street, Suite 1400
          Emeryville, CA 94608
          Telephone: (415) 421-7100
          Facsimile: (415) 421-7105
          E-mail: ljoyner@schneiderwallace.com


NATIONAL CREDIT: Faces Narcisse FDCPA Suit in W.D. Louisiana
------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against National Credit Audit
Corp. The case is styled as Darius Narcisse, individually & on
behalf of all others similarly situated, the Plaintiff, vs.
National Credit Audit Corp. and John Does 1-25, the Defendants,
Case No.: 6:18-cv-01638-RRS-PJH (W.D. La. Dec 20, 2018). The case
is assigned to the Hon. Judge Robert R Summerhays. The suit alleges
Fair Debt Collection Act violation.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Samuel John Ford, Esq.
          VARADI HAIR & CHECKI
          909 Poydras St Ste 1100
          New Orleans, LA 70112
          Telephone: (504) 684-5200
          Facsimile: (504) 613-6351
          E-mail: ford@svhclaw.com

NATIONWIDE CREDIT: Barrios' FDCPA Suit Moved to E.D. New York
-------------------------------------------------------------
The case, Cindy Barrios, on behalf of herself and all others
similarly situated, the Plaintiff, vs. Nationwide Credit, Inc., the
Defendant, Case No. 609821/2018, was removed from the New York
Supreme Court, County of Suffolk, to the U.S. District Court for
the Eastern District of New York (Central Islip) on Dec. 19, 2018.
The Eastern District of New York Court Clerk assigned Case No.
2:18-cv-07248-JS-AYS to the proceeding. The case is assigned to the
Hon. Judge Joanna Seybert. The suit alleges Fair Debt Collection
Act violation.

Nationwide Credit is a collection agency and provides customer
relationship and accounts receivable management services.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Mitchell L. Pashkin, Esq.
          775 Park Avenue, Ste. 255
          Huntington, NY 11743
          Telephone: (631) 335-1107
          E-mail: mpash@verizon.net

Attorneys for Nationwide Credit, Inc.:

          Benjamin Samuel Noren, Esq.
          Ellen Beth Silverman, Esq.
          HINSHAW & CULBERTSON
          800 3rd Avenue, 13th Floor
          New York, NY 10022
          Telephone: (212) 471-6200
          Facsimile: (212) 935-1166
          E-mail: bnoren@hinshawlaw.com
                  esilverman@hinshawlaw.com

NESTE USA: Bids to Strike/ Dismiss Beasley Suit Denied as Moot
--------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, MARK BEASLEY, Plaintiff, v. LUCKY STORES, INC., et
al., Defendant, Case No. 18-cv-07144-MMC (N.D. Cal.), Judge Maxine
M. Chesney of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of
California denied as moot (i) the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
Plaintiff's Complaint., and (ii) Nestle's Motion to Strike Portions
of the Complaint.

Before the Court are the two motions, both filed Nov. 30, 2018: the
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss which seeks dismissal pursuant to
Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; and Nestle's
Motion to Strike which seeks to strike several allegations from the
Plaintiff's initial complaint pursuant to Rule 12(f) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure.

On Dec. 19, 2018, the Plaintiff filed a First Amended Class Action
Complaint ("FAC").  The Plaintiff filed his FAC within 21 days
after service of both motions, and, consequently, was entitled to
amend as of right.  Accordingly, the motion to dismiss, and the
motion to strike are denied as moot.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Order is available at
https://is.gd/BEG5ev from Leagle.com.

Mark Beasley, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by Gregory Weston --
greg@weston.firm.com -- & Andrew Christopher Hamilton --
andrew@weston.firm.com -- The Weston Firm.

Lucky Stores, Inc. & The Save Mart Companies, Inc., Defendants,
represented by Dale Joseph Giali -- dgiali@mayerbrown.com -- Mayer
Brown LLP.

Nestle USA, Inc., Save Mart Super Markets & The Kroger Company,
Defendants, represented by Keri Elizabeth Borders --
kborders@mayerbrown.com -- Mayer Brown LLP & Dale Joseph Giali,
Mayer Brown LLP.


NETBRANDS MEDIA: Made Unsolicited Calls, Krick Suit Alleges
-----------------------------------------------------------
BRANDON KRICK, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. NETBRANDS MEDIA CORPORATION, dba
Imprint.com; and DOES 1 through 10, Defendants, Case No.
1:18-cv-01696-LJO-SKO (E.D. Cal., Dec. 12, 2018) seeks to stop the
Defendants' practice of making unsolicited calls.

Netbrands Media Corporation, dba Imprint.com is a product
development and marketing agency. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Joshua Swigart, Esq.
          Yana A. Hart, Esq.
          HYDE AND SWIGART, APC
          2221 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 101
          San Diego, CA 92108
          Telephone: (619) 233-7770
          Facsimile: (619) 297-1022
          E-mail: josh@westcoastlitigation.com
                  yana@westcoastlitigation.com


NEW YORK: Court Partly Quashes Johnson Counsel's Subpoena
---------------------------------------------------------
In the case, MICHAEL JOHNSON, Plaintiff, v. THE CITY OF NEW YORK,
MICHAEL GALA, individually and in his official capacity as Deputy
Chief in the New York City Fire Department; MICHAEL CURNEEN,
individually and in his official capacity as Captain in the New
York City Fire Department, JAKE LAMONDA, individually: and in his
official capacity as an employee of the New York City Fire
Department, PAUL D. MANNIX, individually and in his official
capacity as Deputy Battalion Chief of the New York City Fire
Department, JOSEPH KEARNEY, individually and in his official
capacity as Firefighter of the New York City Fire Department, JAMES
McCARTHY, individually and in his official capacity as a Lieutenant
of the New York City Fire Department and JOHN DOES or JANE DOES,
individually and in his or her or their official capacity as an
employee of the New York City Fire Department, Defendants, Case No.
16 Civ. 6426 (KAM) (VMS) (E.D. N.Y.), Magistrate Judge Vera M.
Scanlon of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New
York (i) granted in part and denied in part the Plaintiff's motion
to quash the subpoena of his counsel, Peter Gleason, and (ii)
denied Mr. Gleason's motion for leave to file his unredacted
declaration under seal.

The Plaintiff brought the action against the Defendants, alleging
employment discrimination and retaliation.   He was a priority hire
firefighter as a result of a class action lawsuit brought against
the New York City Fire Department ("FDNY") alleging racially
discriminatory hiring practices.  The Plaintiff alleges that he was
retaliated against under Title VII, and New York City Human Rights
Law, and that he suffered First Amendment retaliation under 42
U.S.C Section 1983 for his membership in, and hiring as part of,
the class.

The Plaintiff claims he was subjected to humiliating tasks,
psychiatric examinations and given failing performance evaluations
without cause.  Most of his claims and the present motion derive
primarily from an article published in the New York Post on May 17,
2015 about the Plaintiff's alleged inclination to avoid fighting
fires, including an April 2, 2015 three-alarm fire.  In the
Article, the Plaintiff is described as lazy, slow and a danger.
The Article revealed the Plaintiff's medical leave record and
claimed that he was scared of fires and that he flees from them.
The Article quoted several FDNY "sources."

As to Mr. Gleason's testimony, Magistrate Judge Scanlon finds that
(i) the Defendants have demonstrated a specific need to depose Mr.
Gleason as he has specific personal knowledge as to the identity of
one of the reporter's FDNY sources; (ii) that it is unlikely that
Mr. Gleason's knowledge would be offered directly at trial; rather,
the hope is that it will lead to admissible evidence that itself
may be offered; (iii) that it is reasonable to permit some limited
discovery of Mr. Gleason; (iv) the the information being sought by
the subpoena is not covered by either the attorney-client or the
work-product privileges; and (v) a narrowly circumscribed written
deposition of Mr. Gleason should be permitted.   Accordingly, the
Plaintiff's motion to quash the subpoena with respect to Mr.
Gleason's deposition is denied in part and granted in part.

With respect to Mr. Gleason's request for leave to file in his
unredacted declaration in support of the motion to quash under
seal, the Magistrate finds that the Plaintiff did not offer a legal
basis for overcoming the presumption of public access to the
redacted portion of his declaration in support of the motion to
quash.  She has reviewed the unredacted version of his declaration
and finds that the information contained therein is neither
privileged nor confidential.  Thus, Mr. Gleason's motion for leave
to file the unredacted declaration in support of his motion to
quash under seal is denied.  Mr. Gleason may either publicly file
the unredacted version of his declaration or not file it at all.

The Plaintiff is ordered to produce Mr. Gleason for a deposition on
written questions as permitted within 60 days of the date of the
Order.  Mr. Gleason does not need to produce his telephone records
for the period of March 1, 2015 through May 31, 2015.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Memorandum and Order
is available at https://is.gd/BPutpv from Leagle.com.

Michael Johnson, Plaintiff, represented by John David Lenoir, Peter
Joseph Gleason, Peter J. Gleason, PC & Nathaniel B. Smith, Law
Office of Nathaniel B. Smith.

City of New York, Daniel A. Nigro, in his official capacity as
Commissioner of the New York City Fire Department, Michael Gala,
individually and in his official capacity as Deputy Chief in the
New York City Fire Department & Michael Curneen, individually and
in his official capacity as Captain in the New York City Fire
Department, Defendants, represented by Kimberly Kirsten Brown, NYC
Law Department & Monica M. Pogula, New York City Law Department.

Jake Lamonda, individually and in his official capacity as employee
of the New York City Fire Department, Defendant, represented by
Seth H. Greenberg -- sgreenberg@gbglawoffice.com -- Greenberg
Burzichelli Greenberg P.C.

Paul Mannix, new defendant & Joseph Kearney, new defendnat,
Defendants, represented by Keith M. Sullivan --
keith@sullivangalleshaw.com -- Sullivan & Galleshaw LLP.

James McCarthy, new party, Defendant, represented by Steven Charles
Berlowitz -- sberlowitz@pryorcashman.com -- Pryor Cashman & Steven
Michael Rabinowitz -- srabinowitz@pryorcashman.com -- Pryor Cashman
LLP.


ORIGINS NATURAL: Faces Diaz Class Suit under ADA
------------------------------------------------
Origins Natural Resources Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit
filed pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is
styled as Edwin Diaz, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. Origins Natural Resources Inc., Defendant,
Case No. 1:18-cv-12394 (S.D. N.Y., December 31, 2018).

Origins Natural Resources Inc. engages in the manufacture and
retail of skin care, bath and body, and makeup products for men and
women. It offers cleansers, exfoliators, eye care products, lip
care products, face masks, moisturizers, serums, toners and
treatment lotions, face oil products, blemish remover, sun
protection, tinted skincare, concealers, foundations and primers,
blush, eye makeup, lip products, accessories, body creams, body
scrubs, body washes, body oils, sensory therapy, haircare products,
hand and foot care products, lotions, and soaps.[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



PADRE HOTEL: Faces Aguirre Suit in Kern County Court
----------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Padre Hotel, L.P. The
case is captioned as SHLEY AGUIRRE, individually and on behalf of
all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. PADRE HOTEL, L.P.,
Defendant, Case No. BCV-18-103081 (Cal. Super., Kern Cty., Dec. 12,
2018). The case is assigned to David R. Lampe.

Padre Hotel is a historical landmark hotel located on the corner of
18th and "H" streets in Bakersfield, California. Originally
constructed in 1928 as a luxury hotel and restaurant, the
eight-story building recently went through an extensive renovation
and reopened in 2010. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Nicholas Barthel, Esq.
          KAZEROUNI LAW GROUP, APC
          Costa Mesa, CA
          Telephone: (866) 299-6190
          Facsimile: (800) 520-5523


PERFECT BAR: Court Dismisses Class Suit Over False Ads
------------------------------------------------------
Judge William Alsup of the U.S. District Court for the Northern
District of California granted Perfect Bar's motion to dismiss the
case, HOWARD CLARK and MICHAEL SIMS on behalf of themselves, those
similarly situated and the general public, Plaintiffs, v. PERFECT
BAR, LLC, Defendant, Case No. C 18-06006 WHA (N.D. Cal.).

Clark and Michael Sims brought the putative class action involving
product-labeling claims against Perfect Bar.  The Plaintiffs'
grievance is that the packaging led them to believe that the bars
would be "healthy" when, in supposed point of fact, the added sugar
rendered them unhealthy or, in the alternative, less healthy from
what they otherwise had believed.  The Defendant moves to dismiss
pursuant to FRCP 12(b)(6).  

Judge Alsup finds that the Defendant, at all material times in
question, remained in compliance with all sugar-disclosure
regulations.  It is true that the bars contained honey and thus
sugar, but that was disclosed on the packaging as well as the
amount of sugar.  The Plaintiffs' grievance is untenable.  The
actual ingredients were fully disclosed.  He says reasonable
purchasers could decide for themselves how healthy or not the sugar
content would be.  No consumer, on notice of the actual ingredients
described on the packing including honey and sugar, could
reasonably overestimate the health benefits of the bar merely
because the packaging elsewhere refers to it as a health bar and
describes its recipe as having been handed down from a health-nut
parent. The honey/sugar content was properly disclosed -- that is
the end of it -- period.  

The Judge finds that the argument in the alternative that the
Plaintiffs would have paid less had they known that the health
benefits had been overstated is like saying a sports car wasn't
sporty enough so please give a partial refund.

As to the misrepresentation-based consumer protection claims
predicated on alleged failure to disclose fat content and
misleading protein content claim violations, the Judge finds that
the Plaintiffs lack standing.  The whole theory of their case rests
on the accusation that the health and wellness statements on the
packaging ware deceptive because high sugar content -- not fat or
protein -- made the products inherently unhealthy.  The Order
adopts the arguments made by the Defendant.  

Accordingly, Judge Alsup granted Perfect Bar's motion to dismiss.
Leave to amend will not be allowed.  Judgment will follow. The case
may now proceed to the court of appeals.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Order is available at
jhttps://is.gd/hXhhUC from Leagle.com.

Howard Clark & Michael Sims, Plaintiffs, represented by Jack
Fitzgerald -- jack@jackfitzgeraldlaw.com -- The Law Office of Jack
Fitzgerald, PC, Melanie Rae Persinger --
melanie@jackfitzgeraldlaw.com -- The Law Office of Jack Fitzgerald,
PC, Trevor Matthew Flynn -- trevor@jackfitzgeraldlaw.com -- Law
Office of Jack Fitzgerald, PC & Paul Kenneth Joseph --
paul@pauljosephlaw.com -- The Law Office of Paul K. Joseph, PC.

Perfect Bar, LLC, Defendant, represented by Amit Rana --
rana@braunhagey.com --  BRAUNHAGEY & BORDEN LLP, Jonas Noah Hagey
-- hagey@braunhagey.com -- BraunHagey & Borden LLP & Matthew Brooks
Borden -- borden@braunhagey.com -- BraunHagey & Borden LLP.


PG&E CORP: Court Vacates CMC & Related Deadlines in Securities Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, IN RE PG&E CORPORATION SECURITIES LITIGATION, Case No.
3:18-cv-03509-RS (N.D. Cal.), Judge Richard Seeborg of the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California, San
Francisco Division, has issued a stipulated order vacating Case
Management Conference ("CMC") and related deadlines.

On June 15, 2018, the Court set a CMC for Sept.r 20, 2018.  On Aug.
28, 2018, the CMC was continued to Sept. 27, 2018.  On Sept. 10,
2018, the Court appointed Public Employees Retirement Association
of New Mexico ("PERA") as the Lead Plaintiff, and vacated the
hearing set for Sept. 27, 2018.  On Sept. 14, 2018, the CMC was
continued to Jan. 10, 2019.

On Dec. 14, 2018, PERA filed a Second Amended Consolidated Class
Action Complaint ("SAC").  The SAC asserts claims under the federal
securities laws that are subject to the procedural requirements of
the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("PSLRA"),
including those set forth in 15 U.S.C. Section 78u-4.

The Defendants intend to file a motion to dismiss, which triggers a
stay of discovery under the PSLRA.  Their deadline to respond to
the SAC is Feb. 15, 2019.  

The parties have conferred and agreed that it is in the interests
of the parties and judicial efficiency to continue the CMC and
vacate all related deadlines.  The Stipulation and Order is without
prejudice to, or waiver of, any rights, arguments, or defenses
otherwise available to the parties to the action.

The parties stipulated and agreed, and Judge Seeborg granted, that
the Jan. 10, 2019 CMC and related deadlines will be vacated.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Order is available at
https://is.gd/ymZFc9 from Leagle.com.

David C. Weston, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by Rosemary M. Rivas --
rrivas@zlk.com -- Levi & Korsinsky LLP.

Jon Paul Moretti, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated (CV18-3545), Plaintiff, represented by J.
Alexander Hood -- ahood@pomlaw.com -- II , Pomerantz, LLP, Jennifer
Pafiti -- jpafiti@pomlaw.com -- Pomerantz LLP, Jeremy Alan
Lieberman -- jalieberman@pomlaw.com -- Pomerantz LLP, pro hac vice
& Patrick Vincent Dahlstrom -- pdahlstrom@pomlaw.com -- Pomerantz
LLP.

Public Employees Retirement Association of New Mexico, Plaintiff,
represented by Carol C. Villegas -- cvillegas@labaton.com --
Labaton Sucharow LLP, Thomas A. Dubbs -- tdubbs@labaton.com --
Labaton Sucharow LLP, Frank H. Busch, Wagstaffe, von Loewenfeldt,
Busch & Radwick LLP, James Leon Ostaszewski, Labaton Sucharow LLP,
Jeffrey Dubbin, Labaton Sucharow LLP, Louis J. Gottlieb --
lgottlieb@labaton.com -- Labaton Sucharow LLP & Wendy Tsang --
wtsang@labaton.com -- Labaton Sucharow LLP.

PG&E Corporation, Defendant, represented by James E. Brandt --
james.brandt@lw.com -- Latham and Watkins, pro hac vice, Robert
Ward Perrin -- robert.perrin@lw.com -- Latham & Watkins LLP &
Michael J. Reiss -- michael.reiss@lw.com -- Latham and Watkins
LLP.

Anthony F. Earley, Jr., Jason P. Wells, Geisha J. Williams,
Christopher P. Johns, Dinyar B. Mistry & David S. Thomason,
Defendants, represented by Charles Edward Weir -- cweir@mwe.com --
McDermott Will & Emery LLP, Steven Samuel Scholes --
sscholes@mwe.com -- McDermott Will Emery LLP, pro hac vice &
Gregory Raymond Jones -- gjones@mwe.com -- McDermott Will & Emery.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Defendant, represented by Robert
Ward Perrin, Latham & Watkins LLP.

Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System, Movant,
represented by Daniel E. Barenbaum -- dbarenbaum@bermantabacco.com
-- Berman Tabacco.

Ron Williams, Miscellaneous, represented by Robert Charles Moest,
Law Offices of Robert C. Moest.


PINNACLE PLASTERING: Cal. App. Affirms Arbitration Denial in Castro
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Court of Appeals of California, Fourth District, Division Two,
issued an Opinion affirming the Order of the District Court denying
Pinnacle Plastering, Inc.'s petition to compel arbitration in the
case captioned ASDEL CASTRO, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. PINNACLE
PLASTERING, INC., Defendant and Appellant. No. E067822. (Cal.
App.).

Defendant Pinnacle Plastering, Inc. (Pinnacle) appeals a trial
court order denying its petition to compel arbitration of a dispute
with a former employee.

Defendant Pinnacle Plastering, Inc. (Pinnacle) appeals a trial
court order denying its petition to compel arbitration of a dispute
with a former employee. The employee, Asdel Castro, sought to
enforce the Labor Code on behalf of the State of California under
the Private Attorneys General Act of 2004 (PAGA), Labor Code
section 2698 et seq. The trial court held the Supreme Court's
decision in Iskanian v. CLS Transportation Los Angeles, LLC (2014)
59 Cal.4th 348 (Iskanian) required it to refuse to enforce
arbitration.

Pinnacle argues the trial court erred because (i) Castro's
complaint includes individual claims that are subject to
arbitration under Iskanian and (ii) Iskanian bars waiver of
representative PAGA claims, but not their arbitration.

A PAGA plaintiff sues on behalf of other employees to recover
penalties due for violations of their statutory rights, and sues as
the proxy or agent of the state, to vindicate its interest in
enforcing compliance with the labor laws.

Before bringing a PAGA action, the aggrieved employee must give
written notice of the alleged violation to the employer and the
California Labor and Workforce Development Agency (LWDA), and the
agency has a period in which to investigate and/or issue a citation
before the employee may proceed to litigation.  

Pinnacle first argues the trial court erred in construing Castro's
complaint. As the Court has noted, the trial court read the
complaint as stating a single representative PAGA claim, not
individual claims for violations of the Labor Code. Castro, for his
part, disclaimed any individual claims and amended his pleading to
omit requests for damages not available under PAGA.

Pinnacle argues the trial court misconstrued the complaint and the
Court should construe it as stating only individual claims or
individual claims in addition to a representative claim.  

It is true, as Pinnacle notes, the body of the complaint alleges
Pinnacle violated Castro's and other employees' rights under
several other provisions of the Labor Code. However, it does not
follow that the complaint articulates individual or class action
claims based on those provisions.

Such allegations are required as predicate violations to state a
PAGA representative claim. Labor Code section 2699, subdivision (a)
provides any provision of this code that provides for a civil
penalty to be assessed and collected for a violation of this code,
may, as an alternative, be recovered through a civil action brought
by an aggrieved employee on behalf of himself or herself and other
current or former employees. Section 2699.3 sets out the procedure
for making such a claim, and section 2699.5 enumerates the
provisions of the Labor Code that may serve as predicate
violations. Those PAGA predicates are the violations on which
Castro has built his PAGA claim.

Thus, the fact that Castro alleged Pinnacle violated other Labor
Code provisions supports rather than undermines his position that
he brought a single representative PAGA claim.

The Court concludes the trial court's interpretation of the
pleadings was correct. Castro stated a single representative PAGA
claim. It follows that we need not address Pinnacle's numerous
arguments that Castro's individual claims are arbitrable and must
be arbitrated under the agreement. All that remains is the question
whether Pinnacle is entitled to compel arbitration of the
representative PAGA claim.

Pinnacle argues these cases affirmatively decide representative
PAGA claims can be arbitrated under predispute agreements. That's a
misconstrual. In the first place, though the courts recognized the
issue of arbitration may arise after they invalidated a waiver
provision, neither case raised the issue. It is axiomatic that
cases are not authority for propositions not considered. The
holding of a decision is limited by the facts of the case being
decided, notwithstanding the use of overly broad language by the
court in stating the issue before it or its holding or in its
reasoning.

Second, and more fundamental, any suggestion in Iskanian and Sakkab
that the parties may agree to arbitrate representative PAGA claims
concerns post dispute agreements to arbitrate. The Iskanian
decision makes that clear. The Court raised the possibility of
arbitration in discussing what issues may arise on remand. It held
the predispute arbitration agreement did not resolve whether the
parties would agree to arbitrate representative PAGA claims, but
noted the parties may subsequently agree to resolve the individual
claims and the PAGA claim in a single forum. To the extent that
dicta approves agreements to arbitrate PAGA representative claims
at all, it approves only post dispute agreements to arbitrate,
which do not raise the same problems as predispute agreements to
arbitrate.  

Our holding is limited to the enforceability of predispute
agreements to arbitrate. The Court take no position on whether
parties may agree to arbitrate after a dispute has fully ripened.
It is conceivable such later agreements to arbitrate may be
enforceable. For example, a PAGA plaintiff who provides notice to
her employer and the LDWA and ultimately receives clearance from
the state to pursue a representative PAGA claim may acquire the
authority to agree to resolve the dispute in arbitration. At that
point, the plaintiff would understand the claims she is permitted
to pursue, and the state would have ceded to the employee the
authority to prosecute.

Thus, the plaintiff would have both the knowledge and the authority
necessary to choose the forum. The plaintiff in Iskanian found
himself in exactly those circumstances after the Supreme Court
decided his case. The violations had occurred, he had given notice
of his claims to the state and his employer, and the state had
ceded authority to pursue the claim. It's possible, though
unlikely, the parties to this case may decide after remand to
arbitrate the case, but the Court have no call to decide that
question today.

The Court affirms the order denying Pinnacle's petition to compel
arbitration.  

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

Hill, Farrer & Burrill, James A. Bowles -- jbowles@hillfarrer.com
-- Richard A. Zuniga -- rzuniga@hfbllp.com -- and Elissa L. Gysi --
egysi@hillfarrer.com -- for Defendant and Appellant.

James Hawkins, James R. Hawkins, and Gregory E. Mauro for Plaintiff
and Respondent.


PLANET FITNESS: Court Grants Bid to Dismiss Amended Truglio Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, MARNI TRUGLIO, individually and as a class
representative on behalf of others similarly situated, Plaintiff,
v. PLANET FITNESS, INC.; FIT TO BE TIED II, LLC d/b/a PLANET
FITNESS; JOHN DOES 1-75; PLANET FITNESS FRANCHISES 1-75; AND XYZ
CORPORATIONS 1-10, Defendants, Civil Action No. 15-7959 (FLW) (D.
N.J.), Judge Freda L. Wolfson of the U.S. District Court for the
District of New Jersey granted the Defendants' motion to dismiss
the sole surviving claim in the Plaintiff's Amended Complaint.

The Plaintiff commenced the action in 2015, bringing various claims
centered on allegedly unlawful provisions in the Defendants' health
club membership contract.  The Plaintiff sought to enroll in a
health club membership in the Defendants' organization, and the
Defendants provided her with a membership agreement.  The Plaintiff
executed the membership agreement, but contends that the
agreement's terms violated New Jersey law by, as relevant to her
remaining Truth-in-Consumer Contract, Warranty and Notice Act
("TCCWNA") claim, imposing misleading requirements to cancel her
health club membership.  Specifically, she alleges that the
Defendants extracted dues for one or more months beyond the
Plaintiff's contracted-for membership periods by inserting
cancellation provision into the membership agreement.

According to the Plaintiff, given that written notification of
cancellation of the Membership Agreement by a consumer must be
completed "by the 10th of the month" (to avoid the monthly charge
on the 17th of each month) but also upon "30 days notice," the
written notification must be actually completed upon 37 days
notice, forcing consumers to pay at least one additional month of
membership fees after they cancel the contract.  The Amended
complaint does not allege, however, that the Plaintiff ever
cancelled or attempted to cancel her membership.

On Sept. 28, 2015, the Plaintiff brought suit against the
Defendants in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division.  On
Oct. 19, 2015, the Plaintiff filed an Amended Complaint, setting
forth claims, individually and on behalf of a putative class, under
the TCCWNA (Count I), as well as the Health Club Services Act
("HCSA") and the Consumer Fraud Act ("CFA") (Count II).  The
Defendants removed the action to the Court on Nov. 6, 2015, and
moved to dismiss on Dec. 4, 2015.

On July 28, 2016, the Court issued an opinion and order dismissing
Count II, the Plaintiff's CFA and HCSA claims, without prejudice,
and dismissing Count I, the Plaintiff's TCCWNA claim, with
prejudice, to the extent that it was based on omissions in the
membership agreement.  

After the Court's order and after the Court denied the Plaintiff's
motion for reconsideration, Truglio v. Planet Fitness, Inc.
("Truglio II"), the only surviving claim in the Amended Complaint
was the Plaintiff's Count I TCCWNA claim for statutory damages
based upon the inclusions of the allegedly misleading cancellation
provision in the membership agreement.  Although Judge Wolfson had
already dismissed an identical claim under Count Two because the
CFA prohibits damages claims where no ascertainable loss is
alleged, she declined to reach that issue with respect to the
TCCWNA claim because it found a lack of binding precedent as to
whether a TCCWNA claim can be based upon an unlawful practice in
violation of the CFA, but for which no ascertainable loss
occurred.

On April 9, 2018, the Court stayed and administratively terminated
the matter pending the New Jersey Supreme Court's decision in Spade
v. Select Comfort Corp. and Wenger v. Bob's Discount Furniture,
LLC, 232 N.J. 504 (2018), which promised to fill the precedential
gap by deciding whether a consumer who enters into an unlawful
contract under the TCCWNA but suffers no "adverse consequences" can
be an aggrieved consumer" authorized to bring a TCCWNA damages
claim.  After Spade-Wenger answered that question in the negative,
the Defendants renewed their motion to dismiss the Plaintiff's
remaining TCCWNA claim.

The sole question before the Court on the Defendants' motion to
dismiss is whether the Plaintiff can maintain a TCCWNA claim
despite the apparent lack of any "adverse consequences.  Judge
Wolfson holds that the Spade-Wenger decision appears to dictate
that the Plaintiff, whose only alleged harm was entering into a gym
membership contract containing an allegedly unlawful cancellation
provision, is not an "aggrieved consumer" capable of obtaining
relief under the TCCWNA.  It is, as an initial matter, undisputed
that the Plaintiff has not suffered any monetary harm.  As the
Plaintiff has not renewed a monetary loss argument, and because her
TCCWNA claim is premised on the same allegations as the CFA claim,
the Judge Court sees no reason why the monetary loss analysis
should be different in the instant case.

Undeterred, the Plaintiff offers two alternative arguments for why
Spade-Wenger did not foreclose her TCCWNA claim.  First, fixating
on the fact that the decision left room for non-monetary-damage
claims in certain contexts, she contends that she suffered adverse
consequences, a phrase that, according to her, includes intangible
harms, or informational injuries, such as a health club contract,
like the Defendants'.  Yet, the Amended Complaint merely alleges
that the Plaintiff entered into the gym membership contract
containing an allegedly misleading cancelation provision, but
contains no allegations of concrete harm, such as that she wished
or attempted to cancel her membership agreement but was prevented
from doing so, or that the cancellation provision somehow impacted
her ability to use the gym membership.  Thus, the Plaintiff did not
suffer the harm required in order to be an "aggrieved consumer"
capable of asserting a TCCWNA claim.

Second, the Plaintiff alternatively argues that her case is somehow
distinguishable from Spade-Wenger because the plaintiffs there
"ultimately received the furniture they contracted for and did not
suffer any economic consequences.  However, in the instant case
too, the Plaintiff received what she contracted for -- the gym
membership -- and also did not suffer the type of economic
consequences necessary to assert a TCCWNA claim.  Indeed, the
import of Spade-Wenger extends far beyond its particular context:
since the case was decided, various federal and state courts have
relied on the decision in a variety of contexts to find that
plaintiffs who similarly did not suffer any concrete,
particularized harm were not "aggrieved consumers."  Thus, because
Spade-Wenger dictates that the Plaintiff is not an "aggrieved
consumer," the remaining TCCWNA claim must fail.

Accordingly, for the foregoing reasons, Judge Wolfson granted the
Defendants' motion to dismiss the Plaintiff's Amended Complaint,
and therefore dismissed the case.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Opinion is available
at https://is.gd/xmkEKh from Leagle.com.

MARNI TRUGLIO, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by BENJAMIN JARRET WOLF, Jones,
Wolf & Kapasi, LLC & JOSEPH K. JONES -- jjones@mcoblaw.com --
Jones, Wolf & Kapasi, LLC.

PLANET FITNESS, INC., Defendant, represented by KURT MICHAEL MULLEN
-- kmullen@nixonpeabody.com -- NIXON PEABODY, LLP.

FIT TO BE TIED II, LLC, doing business as PLANET FITNESS,
Defendant, represented by LOUIS A. FELICETTA --
louis.felicetta@littletonpark.com -- Littleton Park Joyce Ughetta &
Kelly LLP.


PPG ARCHITECTURAL: Faces Hernandez Labor Suit in Calif. State Court
-------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against PPG Architectural
Finishes Inc., and PPG Industries Inc.  The case is captioned as,
Erick Hernandez on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, the Plaintiff, vs. Does 1-10, PPG Architectural Finishes
Inc., and PPG Industries Inc., the Defendants, Case No.
34-2018-00246879-CU-OE-GDS (Cal. Super. Ct., Dec. 19, 2018). The
case alleges employment-related violation.

PPG Architectural Finishes, Inc. manufactures architectural and
industrial products, sundries, and wall coverings.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Gary R. Basham, Esq.
          8801 Folsom Boulevard, Suite 177
          Sacramento, CA 95826
          Telephone: (916) 993-4840
          Facsimile: (916) 266-7478

PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS: Court OKs Summary Judgment in Adamov
------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
California issued an Order Granting PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP's
(PwC) Motion for Summary Judgment in the case captioned YURY
ADAMOV, individually, and on behalf of himself and all other
similarly situated current and former employees of
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Plaintiff, v. PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS
LLP, a Limited Liability Partnership, Defendant. No.
2:13-cv-01222-TLN-AC. (E.D. Cal.).

The Plaintiff filed a putative class action against PwC alleging
violations of California labor laws, including failure to pay
overtime wages, failure to provide itemized employee wage
statements, failure to provide meal periods, and failure to provide
rest periods. The Plaintiff filed a First Amended Complaint
asserting the same causes of action. The Plaintiff filed a Second
Amended Complaint (SAC) asserting only the following causes of
action: (1) Violations of California Labor Code Sections 510 & 1194
for failure to pay overtime wages and (2) Violations of California
Business and Professions Code Section 17200.

PwC moves for summary judgment, arguing that the Plaintiff's claims
should be dismissed because he lacks Article III standing.
Constitutional standing requires a plaintiff to demonstrate: (1) an
injury in fact (2) traceability, i.e., a causal connection between
the injury and the actions complained of and (3) redressability.

PwC argues that the Plaintiff lacks an injury because the
undisputed facts establish that the Plaintiff worked no overtime
hours as a first-year Associate during the pleaded class period.
PwC maintains that the Plaintiff worked as a first-year Attest
Associate from September 15, 2008 to August 31, 2009, and became a
second-year Attest Associate on September 1, 2009 with the rest of
the Fall 2008 class.

The Plaintiff responds that there is no first-year Associate job
position at PwC. The Plaintiff argues that worked as first-year
Associates means fifty-two weeks spent actually working, and
therefore, the Plaintiff's sabbatical should not be included in
determining the time he worked as a first-year Associate.

The Plaintiff's contrived definition of his pleaded class is
inconsistent with its plain meaning. The phrase first-year
Associates includes the hyphenated phrasal adjective first-year to
modify the word Associates. Thus, first-year describes a specific
group of Associates, not a period of time Associates spend working.
Indeed, Plaintiff's own brief demonstrates the futility of his
argument.

There, the Plaintiff is forced to engage in linguistic gymnastics
in order to fashion his argument.  

The Plaintiff may not plead ignorance to PwC's practice of grouping
Associates by class year. In addition to the Plaintiff's employment
agreement discussing pay raises occurring on September 1, 2009, one
of the Plaintiff's performance reviews from 2009 repeatedly refers
to the Plaintiff as a first year associate. Ultimately, the
Plaintiff chose to use the term first-year Associate and he must
now live with the consequences of his decision to limit the class
in such a way. The Plaintiff may not unilaterally redefine his
class definition in an attempt to circumvent the fact that he
pleaded a class definition he initially thought advantageous to his
claims, but in the end left him with no injury.

Of course, even under the Plaintiff's definition of first-year
Associate, the Plaintiff did not work any overtime during his first
fifty-two weeks of work. The Plaintiff began his first day of work
on September 15, 2008, and thus completed his first fifty-two weeks
of work on September 13, 2009 at the latest. The parties agree
Plaintiff has no actionable overtime hours through September 13,
2009.

Thus, for the Plaintiff to have a colorable claim for overtime, he
further strains his class definition by arguing that the fifty-two
weeks must exclude any time where no work is performed. Therefore,
the Plaintiff has not shown he worked any overtime hours during the
relevant class period. Accordingly, the Plaintiff has suffered no
injury in fact and lacks standing to bring a claim either
individually or on behalf of a class.

The Plaintiff asserts that if the Court were to accept PwC's
version of the class definition, the Plaintiff requests the Court's
permission to clarify the class definition to rule out the version
of it advanced by PwC in support of its motion. However, the
Plaintiff has not even attempted to demonstrate that he has good
cause to make an amendment under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
(Rule) 16(b), nor has he attempted to demonstrate that amendment is
proper under Rule 15(a).  Accordingly, the Court denies the
Plaintiff's request to amend his class definition.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 6, 2018 Order is
available at  https://tinyurl.com/yaboxe7p from Leagle.com.

Yury Adamov, Plaintiff, represented by James P. Ulwick --
julwick@kg-law.com -- Kramon & Graham, P.A., pro hac vice, Lyle W.
Cook, Kershaw, Cutter & Ratinoff, LLP, Stuart C. Talley, Kershaw,
Cook & Talley PC & William A. Kershaw, Kershaw, Cook & Talley PC.

PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, Defendant, represented by Joseph M.
Ortega -- jortega@gibsondunn.com -- Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP,
pro hac vice, Julie A. Totten -- jatotten@orrick.com -- Orrick,
Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Norman C. Hile -- nhile@orrick.com --
Orrick Herrington and Sutcliffe LLP, Daniel J. Thomasch --
dthomasch@gibsondunn.com -- Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, pro hac
vice & Lauren J. Elliot -- lelliot@gibsondunn.com -- Gibson, Dunn &
Crutcher LLP, pro hac vice.


PRINSTON PHARMACEUTICAL: Sued over Sale of Adulterated Valsartan
----------------------------------------------------------------
CARRIE COLLINS, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. PRINSTON PHARMACEUTICAL INC. d/b/a SOLCO
HEALTHCARE LLC; SOLCO HEALTHCARE U.S., LLC; and DOES 1 through 10,
inclusive, Defendants, Case No. 37-2018-00063224-CU-BT-CTL (Cal.
Super., San Diego Cty., Dec. 12, 2018) is an action against the
Defendants for the manufacture, design and distribution of the
prescription drug Valsartan.

According to the complaint, the Defendants represented and
advertised that Valsartan was safe for its intended use. However,
the Valsartan manufactured by the Defendants has been contaminated
with a chemical called N-nitrosodimethylamine, or "NDMA," which is
a probable human carcinogen.

Prinston Pharmaceutical Inc. develops, manufactures, markets, and
registers generic prescription pharmaceutical products. Prinston
Pharmaceutical Inc. was founded in 2009 and is based in Cranbury,
New Jersey. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Joshua H. Haffner, Esq.
          Graham G. Lambert, Esq.
          Michael K. Teiman, Esq.
          HAFFNER LAW PC
          445 South Figueroa Street, Suite 2325
          Los Angeles, CA 90071
          Telephone: 1213) 514-5681
          Facsimile: (213) 514-5682
          E-mail: jhh@haffnerlawvers.com
                  gl@harfnerlawycrs.com
                  mt@haffnerlawyers.co m

               - and -

          Jimmy Hanaie, Esq.
          LEGALCLEAR
          8306 Wilshire Blvd, Suite 5007
          Beverly Hills, CA 90211
          Telephone: (800) 444-6962
          E-mail: legal@legalclear.com

               - and -

          Alexander Larian, Esq.
          LARIAN LAW FIRM
          8306 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 2058
          Beverly Hills, CA 90211
          Telephone: (310) 720-0505
          Facsimile: (213) 5M-5682
          E-mail: alarian@larianlaw.com


PRUDENTIAL FINANCIAL: Faces Dowe Suit in S.D. New York
------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Prudential Financial
Inc. The case is captioned as MAUREEN DOWE, individually and on
behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. PRUDENTIAL
FINANCIAL INC.; LEEDS & MORELLI; LEEDS, MORELLI & BROWN PC; LEEDS,
MORELLI & BROWN LLP; LENARD LEEDS; STEVEN A. MORELLI; JEFFREY K.
BROWN; ERIC SCHWIMMER; GERALD E. HARPER; PAUL, WEISS, RIFKIND,
WHARTON & GARRISON, LLP; and JOHN DOES 1-25, Defendants, Case No.
1:18-cv-11633-DLC (S.D.N.Y., Dec. 12, 2018). The case is assigned
to Judge Denise L. Cote.

Prudential Financial, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides
insurance, investment management, and other financial products and
services in the United States and internationally. Prudential
Financial, Inc. was founded in 1875 and is headquartered in Newark,
New Jersey. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Andrew Lavoott Bluestone, Esq.
          233 Broadway, Suite 2702
          New York, NY 10279
          Telephone: (212) 791-5600
          Facsimile: (212) 513-7206
          E-mail: alb@bluestonelawfirm.com


QUORA INC: Faces Huynh Class Suit Arising From 2018 Data Breach
---------------------------------------------------------------
ALEXANDER HUYNH, individually, and on behalf of a class of
similarly situated individuals v. QUORA, INC., a Delaware
corporation, Case No. 5:18-cv-07597 (N.D. Cal., December 18, 2018),
is brought on behalf of all persons, who reside in the United
States and who created an account with Quora, whose personal or
financial information was accessed, compromised, or stolen in the
2018 Data Breach.

In an ongoing investigation, Quora recently revealed that its
users' personal information was subject to a massive data security
breach in November 2018, affecting approximately 100 million Quora
Users' PII ("2018 Data Breach").  Quora released a statement on its
blog on December 3, 2018, publicly exposing details of the 2018
Data Breach for the first time.

Headquartered in Mountain View, California, Quora, Inc., is a
corporation organized and in existence under the laws of the state
of Delaware and registered to do business in the state of
California.  Quora is engaged in the business of operating a social
networking Web site and mobile application in Santa Clara County
and throughout the United States of America.

Quora created and operates a user-based Q&A platform through its
Web site and mobile application that facilitate private and public
communications, including messages, posts, and photographs, from
and between its Users, as well as providing access to certain
account information to third party applications.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Tarek H. Zohdy, Esq.
          Cody R. Padgett, Esq.
          Trisha K. Monesi, Esq.
          CAPSTONE LAW APC
          1875 Century Park East, Suite 1000
          Los Angeles, CA 90067
          Telephone: (310) 556-4811
          Facsimile: (310) 943-0396
          E-mail: Tarek.Zohdy@capstonelawyers.com
                  Cody.Padgett@capstonelawyers.com
                  Trisha.Monesi@capstonelawyers.com


REVCLAIMS LLC: Court OKs Limited Discovery in Scott PAGA Suit
-------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Arkansas, Jonesboro Division, issued an Order granting Plaintiffs'
Request for Limited Discovery in the case captioned TRACEY SCOTT
and LORRENZO HAMPTON individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. REVCLAIMS, LLC; and ST.
BERNARD'S HOSPITAL, INC., Defendants. No. 3:18CV00056 JLH. (E.D.
Ark.).

The Court directed the plaintiffs to file a brief (1) explaining
the basis for the assertion that the amount in controversy exceeds
$5 million as required by 28 U.S.C. Section 1332(d)(2) and
addressing the elements of Section 1332(d)(4).

The complaint in Garrison alleged that hundreds if not thousands of
persons could be included in the potential class and, thus, the
amount in controversy exceeded $5 million. In light of the number
and size of the hospitals named as defendants, that allegation
appeared plausible. No party argued that the amount in controversy
fell short of CAFA's $5 million requirement. Based on the face of
the complaint and the absence of any dispute on that issue, the
Court concluded that the statutory minimum amount in controversy
was met.

Here, the putative class is identical to the class in Garrison
except that it is limited to persons who received treatment at St.
Bernard's Hospital in Jonesboro. As in Garrison, the complaint
alleges that the putative class includes hundreds if not thousands
of persons; but since the class is limited to persons who received
treatment at St. Bernard's and who otherwise meet the class
definition, that allegation cannot be deemed plausible on its face.
The plaintiffs have not, in their complaint or their brief,
explained the basis for the allegation that the amount in
controversy here exceeds $5 million.

The plaintiffs request an opportunity to conduct a limited amount
of discovery on the issue of whether the amount in controversy
exceeds $5 million.

That request is granted. The Court authorizes the parties to engage
in discovery for a period of 60 days from the date of this Order on
the issue of whether this Court has subject matter jurisdiction.
The parties must file simultaneous briefs, together with any
evidence upon which they rely, on March 6, 2019.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 6, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/ycog9yp4 from Leagle.com.

Tracey Scott, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated & Lorrenzo Hampton, individually and on behalf of all
others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, represented by Brandon W.
Lacy, Lacy Law Firm & Jeffrey Owen Scriber, Attorney at Law.

Revclaims LLC, Defendant, represented by Jeffrey W. Puryear --
jpuryear@wpmfirm.com -- Womack Phelps Puryear Mayfield & McNeil,
P.A., Joseph L. Adams, Jones Walker LLP, pro hac vice, Mark Alan
Mayfield -- mmayfield@wpmfirm.com -- Womack Phelps Puryear Mayfield
& McNeil, P.A. & Ryan M. Wilson -- rwilson@wpmfirm.com -- Womack
Phelps Puryear Mayfield & McNeil, P.A.


RICK'S YELLOW: El Beyrouti Seeks Overtime Wages under FLSA
----------------------------------------------------------
JARID J. EL BEYROUTI, and all others similarly situated, the
Plaintiff, vs. RICK'S YELLOW BAIT HOUSE, LLC, a Florida Limited
Liability Company, and RICARDO FERNANDEZ, individually, the
Defendants, Case No. 1:18-cv-25340-RNS (S.D. Fla., Dec. 19, 2018),
seeks to recover monetary damages, liquidated damages, interests,
costs and attorney's fees for violations of overtime and minimum
wages under the Fair Labor Standards Act, and unpaid wages under
Florida law.

According to the complaint, El Beyrouti and at least one other
employee of Bait House would routinely handle or use fishing tools
and materials, such as fishing supplies, fishing gear, and fishing
bait. The Defendants knew and/or showed reckless disregard of the
provisions of the FLSA concerning the payment of overtime wages as
required by the FLSA. The Defendants were aware of Plaintiff's work
schedule and further aware that Plaintiff was working more than 40
hours per week. Defendants were aware of Plaintiff’s pay records
and the rate that he was being paid for his hours. The Defendants
were aware of their obligation to pay overtime and/or failed to
conduct a reasonable investigation as to whether they were
obligated to pay overtime wages. Despite the obligation to pay
overtime and that Plaintiff was working overtime, the Defendants
continued to fail to pay overtime wages. Thus, Defendants continue
to willfully violate the FLSA despite having been sued for overtime
wages, the lawsuit says.

Ricks Yellow Bait House is in the sporting goods stores and bicycle
shops industry in Homestead, Florida.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff and those similarly-situated:

          Isaac Mamane, Esq.
          MAMANE LAW LLC
          10800 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 350A
          Miami, FL 33161
          Telephone (305) 773 6661
          E-mail: mamane@gmail.com

               - and -

          Daniel T. Feld, Esq.
          DANIEL T. FELD, P.A.
          2847 Hollywood Blvd.
          Hollywood, FL 33020
          Telephone: (954) 361-8383
          E-mail: DanielFeld.Esq@gmail.com

RIO STATION: Floris Sues over Minimum & Overtime Pay, Tip Credit
----------------------------------------------------------------
STEFANO FLORIS, on behalf of himself and others similarly situated,
the Plaintiff, vs. RIO STATION JUICE BAR, INC., a Florida profit
corporation, and RODOLFO CARDOSO, an individual, the Defendants,
Case No. 1:18-cv-25358-KMW (S.D. Fla., Dec. 20, 2018), seeks to
recover unpaid minimum wage compensation, unpaid overtime wage
compensation, liquidated damages, return of tips wrongfully taken,
and other relief under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.

According to the complaint, throughout his employment as a tipped
employee at Rio Station Grill, the Defendants claimed the tip
credit even though Mr. Floris was required to share his tips with
non-tipped employees, such as kitchen staff, managers and owners.
Mr. Floris was required to pay for impermissible business expenses,
such as the maintenance of his required work uniform. Mr. Floris
was required to perform non-tip-producing sidework for 20% or more
of his work time. Throughout his employment, the Plaintiff
regularly worked in excess of 40 hours per seven-day week. As the
result of the above violations, the Defendants did not satisfy the
requirements of 29 U.S.C. 203(m) and thus cannot apply Plaintiff's
tips towards satisfaction of Defendants' minimum and overtime wage
obligation, and must therefore pay Plaintiff the full minimum wage
for each regular hour worked and the overtime wage for each
overtime hour worked, the lawsuit says [BN].

Attorney for Plaintiff:

          Robert W. Brock II, Esq.
          LAW OFFICE OF LOWELL J. KUVIN
          17 East Flagler Street, Suite 223
          Miami, FL 33131
          Telephone: 305-358-6800
          E-mail: robert@kuvinlaw.com
                  legal@kuvinlaw.com

RITE AID: Martinez Sues over "Natural" Claim in Body Care Products
------------------------------------------------------------------
KATHERINE MARTINEZ, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. RITE AID CORPORATION; and DOES 1
through 20, inclusive, Defendants, Case No.
37-2018-00063258-CU-MC-CTL (Cal. Super., San Diego Cty., Dec. 12,
2018) is an action arising out of the Defendant's false and
misleading advertising of its "natural" body care products.

According to the complaint, the Defendant markets, sells and
distributes the "Daylogic Daily Moisturizing Lotion Skin
Protectant," through its labeling and packaging, and through the
Defendant's other advertising and marketing materials, communicates
the same substantive message to consumers: that the Lotion Product
provides "natural" daily moisture to the skin, free from unnatural,
synthetic ingredients. Specifically, on every Product label, the
Defendant expressly represents that it provides "fragrance free,"
"dermatologist tested" daily moisture "with natural colloidal
oatmeal" and "relieves & moisturizes dry skin."

Through its deceptive practice of marketing and selling its Product
as comparable to "Active Naturals" despite the presence of
synthetic ingredients, the Defendant is able to command a premium
price by deceiving consumers about the attributes of the Product.

Rite Aid Corporation, through its subsidiaries, operates a chain of
retail drugstores in the United States. Rite Aid Corporation was
founded in 1927 and is headquartered in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania.
[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Todd D. Carpenter, Esq.
          Eric D. Zard, Esq.
          Alyshia K. Lord, Esq.
          CARLSON LYNCH SWEET
          KILPELA & CARPENTER, LLP
          1350 Columbia Street, Ste. 603
          San Diego, CA 92101
          Telephone: (619) 762-1910
          Facsimile: (619) 756-6991
          E-mail: tcarpenter@carlsonlynch.com
                  exard@carlsonlynch.com
                  alord@carlsonlynch.com

               - and -

          Bruce Carlson, Esq.
          Kelly K. Iverson, Esq.
          CARLSON LYNCH SWEET
          KILPELA & CARPENTER, LLP
          1133 Penn Avenue, 5th Floor
          Pittsburgh, PA 15222
          Telephone: (412) 322-9243
          Facsimile: (412) 231-0246
          E-mail: bcarlson@carlsonlynch.com
                  kiverson@carlsonlynch.com


SBHC HOLDING: Faces Henderson Labor Suit in California State Court
------------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against SBHC Holding LLC. The
case is captioned as Tiffany Henderson and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, the Plaintiff, vs. Does 1-20, SBHC Holding LLC,
Summit Behavioral Healthcare LLC, Summit Behavioral Holdings I LLC,
Summit BHC, and Summit BHC Sacramento LLC, the Defendants, Case
No.: 34-2018-00246927-CU-OE-GDS (Cal. Super. Ct., Dec. 19, 2018).
The suit alleges violation of labor laws.

Summit Behavioral Healthcare is a Brentwood, Tennessee-based
behavioral health services company that owns and operates a large
network of addiction treatment centers throughout the United
States. Originating in 2012, the company was founded by Trey
Carter, former CEO of Acadia Healthcare.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Randy Scott Erlewine, Esq.
          Phillips Erlewine, Esq.
          GIVEN & CARLIN LLP
          39 Mesa St Ste 201
          San Francisco, CA 94129
          Telephone: (415) 398-0900
          Facsimile: (415) 398-0911
          E-mail: rse@phillaw.com

SERVICE CORPORATION: Court Narrow Claims in Bernstein UTPCL Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for Eastern District of
Pennsylvania issued an Order granting in part and denying in part
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss in the case captioned CAROLINE
BERNSTEIN, an individual, MARLA UROFSKY on behalf of RHEA SCHWARTZ,
an individual, on behalf of themselves and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiffs, v. SERVICE CORPORATION INTERNATIONAL and SCI
PENNSYLVANIA FUNERAL SERVICES, Defendants. Civil Action. No.
17-4960. (E.D. Pa.).

Upon consideration of the Defendants' Motion to Dismiss Counts I,
III, and IV of the Plaintiffs' First Amended Class Action
Complaint, the Plaintiffs' Response, and the parties' supplemental
briefs, the Court ordered that the Motion to Dismiss is granted
without prejudice with respect to the negligence claim in Count I
and with prejudice as to the breach of duty of good faith and fair
dealing claim in Count IV. The Motion is denied with respect to the
UTPCL claim in Count III

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 6, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/ybkcd5ff from Leagle.com.

MARJORIE SCHAEFER, AN INDIVIDUAL, ON BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND ALL
OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, CAROLINE BERNSTEIN, AN INDIVIDUAL, ON
BEHALF OF THEMSELVES AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED & MARLA
UROFSKY, ON BEHALF OF RHEA SCHWARTZ, AN INDIVIDUAL, ON BEHALF OF
THEMSELVES, AND ALL OTHERS SIMILARLY SITUATED, Plaintiffs,
represented by BRYAN R. LENTZ -- blentz@bochettoandlentz.com --
BOCHETTO & LENTZ PC & JOSEPH G. SAUDER -- jgs@mccunewright.com --
McCune Wright Arevalo LLP.

SCI PENNSYLVANIA FUNERAL SERVICES, INC. & SERVICE CORPORATION
INTERNATIONAL, INC., doing business as SHALOM MEMORIAL PARK AND
FOREST HILLS CEMETERY, Defendants, represented by CATHLEEN M.
DEVLIN -- cathleen.devlin@saul.com -- SAUL EWING ARNSTEIN & LEHR
LLP, JOHN F. STOVIAK -- john.stoviak@saul.com -- SAUL EWING
ARNSTEIN & LEHR LLP & ALBERT FRANCIS MORAN -- albert.moran@saul.com
-- SAUL EWING ARNSTEIN & LEHR LLP.


SERVICE EMPLOYEES: NRWLDF Seeks Review of Union Case
----------------------------------------------------
Bill McMorris, writing for The Washington Free Beacon, reports that
a group of Minnesota parents caring for family members is asking
the Supreme Court to help them break away from union
representation.

On Dec. 14, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation
petitioned the Supreme Court to review Bierman v. Dayton, a case
challenging exclusive union representation. The case was filed on
behalf of home health workers, including a mother caring for a
child with cerebral palsy. The aides claim that they have been
forced to surrender their representation rights to labor giant
Service Employees International Union Minnesota Healthcare despite
the fact that only 13 percent of workers participated in a 2014
mail-in representation election.

"For those who do not want that union speaking on their behalf,
exclusive representation results in a 'significant impingement on
[their] associational freedoms,'" the petition says, pointing to
the Court's June opinion in Janus v. AFSCME. "SEIU's authority to
speak for providers necessarily associates them with SEIU and its
speech."

The Right to Work Foundation has scored several major victories
before the Supreme Court in recent years, including successfully
overturning an Illinois scheme to force home health aides to pay
union dues in the 2014 Harris v. Quinn case. The group also
represented government workers in Janus v. AFSCME, which
successfully overturned longstanding precedent in public sector
unionism. In June, the Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that forcing
government employees to pay union dues or fees as a condition of
employment violated the First Amendment rights of workers.

The lawsuit was rejected by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. That
court held that SEIU's representation of the state's 27,000 home
health aides did not violate the First Amendment rights of any
dissenting caregivers. Appellate judges acknowledged the Janus
ruling in its opinion, but said the Supreme Court only addressed
the financial aspect of coercive unionism, rather than the concept
of monopoly representation, in which a state only recognizes one
bargaining partner during contract negotiations or disputes over
work conditions. The 8th Circuit affirmed the constitutionality of
allowing a single union to represent a diverse workforce provided
they abide by state and federal labor policies. It also pointed to
SEIU Minnesota's stated position that it "would not seek mandatory
fees from providers who did not join the union," as another factor
differentiating it from the Janus case.

"Under those decisions, a State cannot compel public employees and
homecare providers, respectively, to pay fees to a union of which
they are not members, but the providers here do not challenge a
mandatory fee," the appeals court ruled. "The constitutionality of
exclusive representation standing alone was not at issue [in
Janus]."

The plaintiffs argue in their Supreme Court petition that the
reasoning behind Janus should extend to monopoly bargaining.
Government agencies should not outsource the input of individual
citizens to a favored labor organization. Home health aides, the
foundation says, are treated as if they are government workers in
violation of the Harris precedent when in fact they only receive
reimbursements that are set by federal authorities. While the High
Court has held that the public sector can grant exclusive
representation if it demonstrates a "compelling interest," the
Bierman plaintiffs argue that "no such interest justifies extending
exclusive representation to individuals who are not full-fledged
public employees."

"The government cannot be allowed to dictate, on any mere rational
basis, which organization speaks for individuals in dealing with
the government. The First Amendment reserves this choice to each
individual," the petition says.

The fallout from the Janus decision has led to a number of class
action suits in states across the country from workers seeking to
reclaim their back payments. National Right to Work Foundation
President Mark Mix said the Minnesota case will help bring
resolution in the dispute between dissenting workers and labor
groups at the state and local level.

"If the Supreme Court agrees to hear Bierman, these home care
providers will be one step closer toward ending an unconstitutional
scheme that forces them to associate with a union they oppose as a
condition of state assistance in providing care for their sons and
daughters," he said in a statement. "Forcing individuals under
union monopoly representation flies in the face of the First
Amendment's protection of freedom of association."

The union did not respond to requests for comment. [GN]


SERVOMATION REFRESHMENT: Gilbert Seeks Unpaid Overtime
------------------------------------------------------
ANTHONY GILBERT, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, the Plaintiff, vs. SERVOMATION REFRESHMENT, INC., and
BRIAN BRUNO, individually and in his official role as owner and
officer of SERVOMATION REFRESHMENT, INC., the Defendants, Case No.
6:18-cv-06933 (W.D.N.Y., Dec. 21, 2018), seeks to recover unpaid
overtime an other wages on behalf of himself and all other
similarly-situated current and former employees of Defendants
performing vending route van driven duties, who have not agreed to
arbitrate employment claims against Defendants, and who have not
waived their rights to proceed against Defendants as a member of a
class and/or collective, under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

According to the complaint, the Defendants willfully engaged in a
pattern, practice, and policy of unlawful conduct by classifying
Representative Plaintiff and members of the prospective FLSA
Collective and Rule 23 Class. The Defendants allegedly failed the
Plaintiffs overtime rate of 40 hours per workweek as required by
the FLSA and New York Labor Law for non-exempt employees.

Servomation Refreshments, Inc. provides vending and office
refreshments. The company offers self-checkout kiosks, touchscreen
credit card readers, mobile payments, electronic real time refunds,
guaranteed delivery system, online account management, monthly
promotions and loyalty rewards for the customers, GPS tracking,
remote monitoring, online access to inventory and service levels,
and light speed automation services.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff and the Putative Class:

          Andre L. Lindsay, Esq.
          Langston D. McFadden, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF PULLANO & FARROW PLLC
          69 Cascade Drive, Suite 307
          Rochester, NY 14614
          Telephone: (585) 730 4773
          Facsimile: (888) 971 3736
          E-mail: alindsay@lawpf.com
                  lmcfadden@lawpf.com

SICHUAN PEPPER: Wei Files FLSA Suit in Connecticut
--------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Sichuan Pepper Inc.
The case is styled as Zhenhai Wei, Fangqiong Zhong, Junjie Zhu and
Fanhe Meng, on their own behalf and on behalf of others similarly
situated, Plaintiffs v. Sichuan Pepper Inc doing business as:
Sichuan Pepper, Michael Shieh and "Jane" Ye, Defendants, Case No.
2:18-cv-02154 (D. Conn., December 31, 2018).

The lawsuit arises under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Michael Shieh opened Sichuan Pepper on Hartford Turnpike in Vernon
looking to fill a void in the market for authentic Sichuan
food.[BN]

The Plaintiffs appear PRO SE.


SMARTPAY LEASING: Esparza Seeks to Certify Two Classes
------------------------------------------------------
SHAWN ESPARZA, on behalf of herself, and all others similarly
situated, the Plaintiff, vs. SMARTPAY LEASING, INC., the Defendant,
Case No. 3:17-cv-03421-WHA (N.D. Cal.), the Plaintiff will move the
Court for an order on Jan. 17, 2019:

   1. appointing Plaintiff as class representative;

   2. appointing Plaintiff's counsel as class counsel; and

   3. certifying Classes with respect to claims against Defendant
      under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act:

      Re-Engagement Text Message Class:

      "all persons within the United States (i) to whose cellular
      telephone number (ii) SmartPay Leasing, Inc. sent a text
      message (iii) using its vendor Twilio, Inc.'s platform, (iv)

      from September 29, 2015 to the date of class certification,
      (v) where the text message began with content stating
      "Congrats. Youre pre-qualified for a SmartPay lease""; and

      STOP Text Message Class:

      "all persons within the United States (i) to whose cellular
      telephone number (ii) SmartPay Leasing, Inc. sent a text
      message (iii) using its vendor Twilio, Inc.'s platform (iv)
      from September 29, 2015 to June 13, 2017, (v) after texting
      the word "STOP".[CC]
      
Attorneys for Plaintiff and the Proposed Classes:

          Ronald A. Marron, Esq.
          Alexis M. Wood, Esq.
          Kas L. Gallucci, Esq.
          LAW OFFICES OF RONALD A. MARRON
          651 Arroyo Drive
          San Diego, Ca 92103
          Telephone: (619) 696-9006
          Facsimile: (619) 564-6665
          E-mail: ron@consumersadvocates.com
                  alexis@consumersadvocates.com
                  kas@consumersadvocates.com

SOTHEBY'S: Violates ADA, Diaz Suit Asserts
------------------------------------------
Sotheby's is facing a class action lawsuit filed pursuant to the
Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled as Edwin Diaz,
on behalf of himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff
v. Sotheby's, Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-12391 (S.D. N.Y.,
December 31, 2018).

Sotheby's is a British founded American multinational corporation
headquartered in New York City. One of the world's largest brokers
of fine and decorative art, jewelry, real estate, and collectibles,
Sotheby's operation is divided into three segments: auction,
finance, and dealer.[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


SQUARETRADE INC: Starke's 8th Cir. Appeal Underway
--------------------------------------------------
Adam J. Starke has taken an appeal from a court ruling in the case,
Swinton v SquareTrade, Inc., Case No. 4:18-cv-00144 (D. Iowa, May
14, 2018).  The appellate case is, DAVID M. SWINTON, on behalf of
himself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff- Appellee, v.
SQUARETRADE, INC., Defendant-Appellee and Adam J. Starke, Movant -
Appellant, Case No.: 18-3186 (8th Cir.). [BN]

                           *     *     *

District Court Judge Stephanie M. Rose will hold a hearing on
Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Approval of Class Action
Settlement on Feb. 11, 2019, at 9:00 a.m.

In the case, Swinton seeks to certify an opt-out Settlement Class
consisting of "purchasers of certain types of protection plans that
Defendant sells through Amazon.com."

Swinton filed the Motion for Preliminarily Settlement Approval in
August.

Attorneys for David M. Swinton:

          Harley C. Erbe, Esq.
          ERBE LAW FIRM
          2501 Grand Avenue
          Des Moines, IA 50312
          Telephone: 515 281−1460
          Facsimile: 515 281−1474
          E-mail: erbelawfirm@aol.com

               - and -

          Steven P Wandro, Esq.
          Alison Florence Kanne, Esq.
          WANDRO & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
          2501 Grand Ave., Suite B
          Des Moines, IA 50312
          Telephone: 515 281 1475
          Facsimile: 515 281 1474
          E-mail: swandro@2501grand.com
                  akanne@2501grand.com

Attorneys for SquareTrade, Inc.:

          John F Lorentzen, Esq.
          NYEMASTER GOODE PC
          700 Walnut Street, Suite 1600
          Des MoinesS, IA 50309−3899
          Telephone: 515 283 3156
          Facsimile: 515 283 8045
          E-mail: jfl@nyemaster.com

               - and -

          Carolyn A. Pearce, Esq.
          Douglas A. Winthrop, Esq.
          Katelyn Elizabeth Rey, Esq.
          Michael A. Berta, Esq.
          ARNOLD & PORTER KAYE SCHOLER LLP
          Three Embarcadero Center, 10th Floor
          San Francisco, CA 94111
          Telephone: (415) 471−3100
          Facsimile: (415) 471−3400
          E-mail: carolyn.pearce@arnoldporter.com
                  douglas.winthrop@arnoldporter.com
                  katelyn.rey@arnoldporter.com
                  michael.berta@arnoldporter.com

Attorneys for Adam J. Starke:

          Gary R Fischer, Esq.
          Abigail Legg Thiel, Esq.
          SIMPSON JENSEN ABELS FISCHER &
          BOUSLOG PC
          400 Locust Street, Suite 400
          Capital Sqaure
          Des Moines, IA 50309
          Telephone: 515 288 5000
          Facsimile: 515 288 7718
          E-mail: gfischer@iowafirm.com
                  athiel@iowafirm.com

               - and -

          Bradley J. Nash, Esq.
          SCHLAM STONE & DOLAN LLP
          26 Broadway
          New York, NY 10004
          Telephone: 212 344−5400
          Facsimile: 212 344−7677
          E-mail: bnash@schlamstone.com

               - and -

          Chet B. Waldman, Esq.
          Matthew Tucker Insley Pruitt, Esq.
          WOLF POPPER LLP
          Third Avenue, 12th Floor
          New York, NY 10022
          Telephone: 212 451−9600
          E-mail: cwaldman@wolfpopper.com
                  minsley−pruitt@wolfpopper.com


STERLING JEWELERS: Hoffman Remanded to California State Court
-------------------------------------------------------------
Judge Roger T. Benitez of the U.S. District Court for the Southern
District of California granted in part and denied in part the
Plaintiff's Motion to Remand the case, REBECCA HOFFMAN, on behalf
of herself and all other aggrieved employees, Plaintiffs, v.
STERLING JEWELERS, INC.; DOES 1-100, et al., Defendants, Case No.
18-cv-0696-BEN-WVG (S.D. Cal.).

The case is a civil action filed in California state court under
the California Labor Code Private Attorneys General Act of 2004
("PAGA").  The Defendant removed the action to the Court under the
Class Action Fairness Act ("CAFA").  Plaintiff Hoffman now moves to
remand, arguing that her lawsuit is not a class action and thus,
cannot invoke jurisdiction under CAFA.  She additionally moves for
an award of fees and expenses incurred as a result of the removal,
which she contends was improper.

Hoffman filed the action against her employer, the Defendant, in
the California Superior Court, County of San Diego, bringing her
First Amended Complaint for recovery of Civil Penalties Pursuant to
PAGA.  Specifically, she brings four Labor Code violations for: (1)
failure to pay overtime wages in violation of Labor Code Sections
510 and 1198; (2) failure to pay vested vacation pay upon
resignation or termination in violation of Labor Code Section
227.3; (3) failure to pay all wages owed upon resignation or
termination in violation of Labor Code Sections 201-203; and (4)
failure to provide accurate wage statements in violation of Labor
Code Section 226(a).

The Defendant contends the PAGA lawsuit does invoke CAFA
jurisdiction because in essence, it is a class action in disguise.
As a result, it theorizes, the statutory penalties the Plaintiff
seeks in her PAGA Complaint are unavailable to her unless she
brings a class action, an amendment Defendant seems to anticipate
she will make.

Judge Benitez finds that although a representative action, a PAGA
action is not a class action.  Setting aside the hypothetical
amendments to the Plaintiff's future Complaint, the Judge considers
the Plaintiff's Complaint in its current form and finds that it
does not assert a class action under CAFA.  The Ninth Circuit is
clear that actions brought under PAGA are not class actions
qualifying for CAFA jurisdiction.  Moreover, a complaint's failure
to request class status or its equivalent is fatal to CAFA
jurisdiction.  The Plaintiff's Complaint does not satisfy either
requirement.  Accordingly, because the Plaintiff's Complaint does
not assert a class action, the Court lacks jurisdiction under CAFA,
and the matter will be remanded to the California Superior Court,
County of San Diego.

Additionally, the Judge finds that the Defendant had an objectively
reasonable basis for removal, notwithstanding his finding that it
lacked jurisdiction under CAFA.  As explained previously and argued
by the Defendant, the Plaintiff's Complaint appears to seek damages
that are available only on behalf of a class, not a representative
PAGA action.  Thus, the Defendant's removal based on those
allegations, though incorrect, was not unreasonable.  Accordingly,
the Judge will deny the Plaintiff's request for fees.

For these reasons, Judge Benitez granted in part and denied in part
the Plaintiff's Motion to Remand.  The action is remanded to the
California Superior Court, County of San Diego for all further
proceedings.  He denied the Plaintiff's request for fees.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Order is available at
https://is.gd/9PO49q from Leagle.com.

Rebecca Hoffman, on behalf of herself and all other aggrieved
employees, Plaintiff, represented by Patrick N. Keegan --
pkeegan@keeganbaker.com -- Keegan & Baker, LLP.

Sterling Jewelers, Inc., a Delaware corporation, licensed to do
business in the State of California, Defendant, represented by
Tracie Lynn Childs -- tracie.childs@ogletree.com -- Ogletree
Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart P.C..


SUNPOWER CORPORATION: Faces Sanchez Labor Suit in Calif. Court
--------------------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Sunpower Corporation.
The case is styled as EDGAR SANCHEZ, INDIVIDUALLY, AND ON BEHALF OF
OTHER MEMBERS OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC SIMILARLY SITUATED AND ON
BEHALF OF AGGRIEVED EMPLOYEES PURSUANT TO THE PRIVATE ATTORNEYS
GENERAL ACT ("PAGA"), the Plaintiff, vs. SUNPOWER CORPORATION, A
DELAWARE CORPORATION, the Defendant, Case No. BCV-18-103138 (Cal.
Super. Ct., Dec. 19, 2018). The case is assigned to the Hon. Judge
Stephen D. Schuett. The suit alleges employment-related
violation.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Douglas Han, Esq.
          JUSTICE LAW CORPORATION
          411 N Central Ave, Ste 500
          Glendale, CA 91203-2095
          Telephone: (818) 230-7502
          Facsimile: (818) 230-7259
          E-mail: dhan@justicelawcorp.com

SUTTELL AND HAMMER: Ochoa Files FDCPA Suit in Calif.
----------------------------------------------------
A class action lawsuit has been filed against Suttell, Hammer and
White, P.C. The case is styled as Maria A. Ochoa, on behalf of
herself and all others similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Suttell,
Hammer and White, P.C. doing business as: Suttell and Hammer, APC,
Defendant, Case No. 5:18-cv-02688 (C.D. Cal., December 31, 2018).

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

Suttell, Hammer and White, P.C. is a debt collection agency.[BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

   Nicholas M Wajda
   Wajda Law Group APC
   11400 West Olympic Boulevard Suite 200M
   Los Angeles, CA 90064
   Tel: (310) 997-0471
   Fax: (866) 286-8433
   Email: nick@wajdalawgroup.com


SWAPP LAW: Ct. Denies Bid to Compel Subpoena Compliance in Wilcox
-----------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Washington issued an Order denying Defendant's Motion for Compel
Compliance with Subpoena in the case captioned JADE WILCOX on
behalf of herself and all others similarly situation, Plaintiff, v.
JAMES CRAIG SWAPP, individually; and SWAPP LAW, PLLC, doing
business as Craig Swapp and Associates, Defendants. No.
2:17-CV-275-RMP. (E.D. Wash.).

This case involves allegations that Defendants violated the
Driver's Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), by purchasing accident
reports from the Washington State Patrol (WSP) and using drivers'
personal information from the accident reports to solicit clients
for the Defendants' personal injury law practice.

The Defendants ask the Court to compel Sweetser to produce
documents related to their investigation of Defendants' purchases
of accident reports before Sweetser began its representation of Ms.
Wilcox.

The subpoena compels Sweetser to produce the following to
Defendants, inter alia, documents reflecting communication between
you and any individual, agency, or entity concerning the process by
which law enforcement personnel create and complete Collision
Reports, including but not limited to communications with the
Washington State Patrol, the Department of Licensing, the Office of
the Attorney General, the Washington State Bar Association,
reporters and editors of the Inlander publication, members of the
Bar, and participants in internet forums and e-mail listservs, such
as WSAJ listservs.

The Defendants argue that the documents are not privileged because
they are not related to the representation of Ms. Wilcox and that
they are relevant to Ms. Wilcox's claims because they formed the
basis of the allegations in the complaint. Additionally, the
Defendants assert that Mr. Sweetser is a fact witness in this case
because of his correspondence with third parties prior to his
representation of Ms. Wilcox and the potential class.  

Ms. Wilcox and Sweetser oppose the motion to compel, arguing the
subpoena seeks information that is irrelevant, overly burdensome,
protected as work product, and available from third party sources,
including requests for public disclosure from state agencies.
Sweetser argues that the Defendants must meet a
higher-than-ordinary burden to justify the subpoena due to the
Shelton doctrine, which states that an increased burden applies
when parties seek discovery from opposing counsel.  

The Shelton doctrine requires parties seeking discovery from
opposing counsel to meet a heightened burden to obtain that
discovery.  Under the Shelton doctrine, before the discovery into
opposing counsel is permitted, a party must show that (1) no other
means exist to obtain the desired discovery (2) the information
sought is relevant and non-privileged and (3) the information is
crucial to the preparation of the case.  

However, it is unclear whether the Shelton doctrine is applicable
in this dispute. First, the Ninth Circuit has never expressly
adopted the Shelton framework. In re Allergan, Inc., No.
14-cv-2004-DOC (KES), 2016 WL 5922717, at *3 (C.D. Cal. Sept. 23,
2016). Second, it is unclear whether the Shelton doctrine applies
to all forms of discovery, considering that Shelton concerned
taking depositions of opposing counsel, as opposed to serving a
subpoena duces tecum on counsel.   

Regardless, the Court finds that the applicability of the
Sheltondoctrine is not dispositive to the outcome of this motion.
Therefore, the Court does not make a ruling as to whether the
Shelton doctrine applies to this dispute.

Sweetser claims that the documents subpoenaed by Defendants are
protected work product.  

The Defendants argue that the documents are not protected work
product.  

Under Rule 26, a party may not discover documents and tangible
things that are prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial
by or for another party or its representative. Interpreting this
rule, the Ninth Circuit has held that, to qualify for work-product
protection, documents must (1) be prepared in anticipation of
litigation or trial and (2) be prepared by or for another party or
by or for that other party's representative.  

The Defendants argue that the documents that they requested in the
subpoena do not relate to the representation of Ms. Wilcox because
the documents would have been created prior to Sweetser's
representation of Ms. Wilcox, which began in August of 2016.    

The Court first determines whether the documented communications
were made in anticipation of litigation. A document should be
considered prepared in anticipation of litigation if in light of
the nature of the document and the factual situation in the
particular case, the document can be fairly said to have been
prepared or obtained because of the prospect of litigation.

Here, as the Defendants admit in their motions, Sweetser was
investigating whether Defendants' practice was legal. These
communications potentially developed into the current litigation
between the parties. Accordingly, it can be fairly said that the
communications were made because of the prospect of litigation.  

The second element of work product protection is that the evidence
was made by or for another party.  The Defendants argue that the
documents could not have been made by or for another party if the
documents were made before Sweetser's representation of Ms. Wilcox.
However, Defendants ignore several aspects of this situation.
First, this is a putative class action. It is possible that
Sweetser was investigating the putative class members other than
Ms. Wilcox, as Sweetser affirms in its motion.  

Second, the Defendants ignore the ethical obligations that a
plaintiff's counsel has to investigate prior to filing a complaint.
If Defendants' interpretation were correct, any evidence uncovered
from an attorney's investigation prior to filing a complaint could
be considered discoverable. The attorney would be in an untenable
position: pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 11, the attorney must
investigate to ensure that a good faith basis exists to file
claims, but then would be faced with having any of the attorney's
investigatory documents not covered by the work product privilege
and subject to discovery requests. Similar contradictions would
occur if plaintiff's counsel could be deemed to be a fact witness,
as Defendants claim in this case, solely because plaintiff's
counsel performed the due diligence required before filing a
lawsuit.

The Court finds that Sweetser's communications with third parties
were made in preparation of litigation by or for Ms. Wilcox and the
putative class, satisfying the work product test. For this reason,
the Court finds that the work product privilege applies and quashes
Defendants' subpoena.

Although the Court finds that the motion to quash should be granted
based on the work product doctrine, the Court also considers
whether the subpoenaed documents would be subject to discovery if
the work product privilege did not apply in order to complete the
record for review by any future court.

The Defendants argue that the documented communications they seek
from Sweetser are relevant. Sweetser argues that the communications
are not relevant.  

Evidence is discoverable if it is relevant to any party's claim or
defense and proportional to the needs of the case. To determine
whether information is relevant and proportional, courts analyze
the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in
controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information,
the parties' own resources, the importance of the discovery in
resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the
proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit.

The Defendants fail to justify how the communications themselves
relate to the parties' claims or defenses. It is not apparent how
the communications that Sweetser had with other parties prior to
its representation of Ms. Wilcox prove or disprove the legality of
Defendants' practices. The Court finds no basis for concluding that
Sweetser's communications with third parties prior to the filing of
the present complaint has any bearing on whether Defendants'
practices were legal under the DPPA, or on the merits of the claims
by Ms. Wilcox and the putative class.

The Court finds that the Defendants' subpoena to Sweetser seeks the
discovery of irrelevant information. Therefore, the Court denies
the Defendants' motion to compel and quashes the Defendants'
subpoena.

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

Jade Wilcox, on behalf of herself, and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented byJames Richard Sweetser ,
Sweetser Law Office, 1020 North Washington, Suite 1, Spokane,  WA,
99201-2237, Jason M. Leviton -  jason@blockesq.com - Block &
Leviton LLP, pro hac vice, Robert Joseph Barton - joe@blockesq.com
-  Block & Leviton LLP, pro hac vice, Thomas G. Jarrard , Law
Office of Thomas G Jarrard,  1020 N Washington St, Spokane, WA
99201 & Marcus Sweetser , Sweetser Law Office. 1020 North
Washington, Suite 1, Spokane, WA, 99201-2237

James Craig Swapp, individually & Swapp Law PLLC, doing business as
Craig Swapp and Associates, Defendants, represented by Barbara J.
Duffy  - duffyb@lanepowell.com - Lane Powell PC, Ryan P. McBride -
mcbrider@lanepowell.com - Lane Powell PC & Taylor Washburn -
washburnt@lanepowell.com - Lane Powell PC.


SWIFT BEEF: Faces Cabrera Suit in Central District of California
----------------------------------------------------------------
The case, Silvia Valdivia De Cabrera an individual, on behalf of
herself and all others similarly situated, the Plaintiff, vs. Swift
Beef Company, a Delaware corporation; JBS USA, LLC, an unknown
limited liability company; JBS USA Holdings, Inc.; JBS USA Inc., an
unknown corporation; Pilgrim's Pride Corporation; JBS USA Food
Company, an unknown corporation; JBS USA Food Company Holdings, an
unknown corporation ; JBS USA, an unknown entity; and DOES, 1
through 100, inclusive, the Defendants, Case No. RIC1824312, was
removed from the Riverside Superior Court to the U.S. District
Court for the Central District of California (Eastern Division –
Riverside). The Central District of California Court Clerk assigned
Case No. 5:18-cv-02632-PA-SP to the proceeding. The case is
assigned to the Hon. Judge Percy Anderson. The suit alleges
employment discrimination.

JBS USA is an American food processing company and a wholly owned
subsidiary of JBS S.A., a Brazilian company that is the world's
largest processor of fresh beef and pork, with more than US$50
billion in annual sales as of 2017.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Andranik Tsarukyan, Esq.
          Armen Zenjiryan, Esq.
          REMEDY LAW GROUP LLP
          610 East Providencia Avenue Unit B
          Burbank, CA 91501
          Telephone: (818) 422-5941
          E-mail: andy@remedylawgroup.com
                  armen@remedylawgroup.com

Attorneys for Defendants:

          Neil S. Tyler, Esq.
          Tritia M Murata, Esq.
          MORRISON AND FOERSTER LLP
          707 Wilshire Boulevard Suite 6000
          Los Angeles, CA 90017
          Telephone: (213) 892-5292
          Facsimile: (213) 892-5454
          E-mail: ntyler@mofo.com
                  tmurata@mofo.com

SYMMETRY PROPERTY: Investors File Securities Fraud Class Action
---------------------------------------------------------------
Steven Dahlman and Peter von Buol, writing for Loop North News,
report that the 90 Chinese investors who each invested $550,000 in
a hotel/condominium proposed for Rush & Superior Streets have filed
a federal class action lawsuit, a year and eight months after the
project was cancelled.

The Carillon would have replaced three 19th century Victorian row
houses at 42, 44, and 46 East Superior Street with 246 condo units,
216 hotel rooms, 120 hotel timeshare units, and 30,000 square feet
of retail space. Concerned about its impact on traffic in the
neighborhood, 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly rejected the
proposal in April 2017. Architectural preservationists are now
trying to protect the row houses from demolition.

The lawsuit, filed on November 28 in United States District Court,
alleges securities fraud, breach of contract, and breach of
fiduciary duty.

Seven defendants are named in the suit, including Symmetry Property
Development of New York and its managing partner, Jeffrey Laytin.

Annabelle Yao, a Chinese citizen, is suing on behalf of herself and
the other investors, all of whom reside in China and collectively
invested $49.5 million in the project, money they now say they
cannot get back.

At the time, the project was called Carillon Tower and described as
a 42-story building with a 200-unit Hilton hotel, 154 apartment
units, 225-seat Gibson's restaurant, and parking spaces for 154
vehicles.

Investors thought money was safely in escrow

According to Ms. Yao, the investors believed their money was going
to be held in escrow by TD Bank until the project was submitted to
the Chicago Department of Planning and Development. That never
happened but, according to the lawsuit, the money was released to
developers anyway. TD Bank is now one of the defendants.

"Defendants failed to prominently disclose the fact that, based on
long-standing policy and procedure for all development in the City
of Chicago, and the defendants' knowledge of such policy and
procedure, the project required alderman/ward approval prior to the
submission of a project plan to the city commissioner of
development and planning," reads the lawsuit, "and that the
submission of any project plan to the city commissioner without
such alderman/ward approval would result in rejection by the
commissioner and failure of the project."

According to the lawsuit, the project was presented to the Chinese
investors as an EB-5 project. The EB-5 program was created in 1990
to stimulate the U.S. economy through capital investment by
immigrant investors. If an immigrant investor puts $500,000 into a
new commercial enterprise that creates at least ten full-time jobs,
the investor qualifies for admission to the United States as a
Conditional Permanent Resident.

They are asking for a full refund of their money, plus interest,
court costs, and attorney fees. [GN]


TELECOM EVOLUTIONS: Has Inferior Broadband Internet, Chinitz Says
-----------------------------------------------------------------
RONALD CHINITZ, individually and on behalf of all other similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. TELECOM EVOLUTIONS, LLC; and QUALITY SPEAKS,
LLC, Defendants, Case No. 18STCV08068 (Cal. Super., Los Angeles
Cty., Dec. 12, 2018) alleges that the Defendants deceptively and
misleadingly marketed their trueSTREAM broadband internet service
as providing a "fiber optic" connection, when in fact it did not.
Rather, the Defendants provided an inferior, slower copper line
connection.

Telecom Evolutions, LLC is a corporation organized and existing
under the laws of the State of California. The Company provides
internet services. [BN]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          George V. Granade, Esq.
          Michael R. Reese, Esq.
          REESE LLP
          100 West 93rd Street. 16th Floor
          New York, NY 10025
          Telephone: (212)643-0500
          Facsimile: (212)253-4272
          E-mail: ggranade@reesellp.com
                  mreese@reesellp.com

               - and -

          Christopher J. Moreland, Esq.
          Charles D. Moore, Esq.
          Brandon K. Brouillette, Esq.
          HALUNEN LAW
          80 South Eighth Street
          Minneapolis, MN 55402
          Telephone: (612) 605-4098
          Facsimile: (612) 605-4099
          E-mail: moreland@halunenlaw.com
                  moore@halunenlaw.com
                  brouillette@halunenlaw.com


TEXAS: Court Dismisses Schwarzer Inmate's Pro Se Complaint
----------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
Texas, Victoria Division, issued a Memorandum and Order dismissing
the Pro Se Complaint in the case captioned MARK CLIFF SCHWARZER,
(TDCJ-CID #1433741) Plaintiff, v. DALE WAINWRIGHT, et al.,
Defendants. Civil Action No. V-18-0029. (S.D. Tex.).

The threshold issue is whether Schwarzer's claims should be
dismissed as frivolous.

Mark Cliff Schwarzer, an inmate of the Texas Department of Criminal
Justice , Correctional Institutions Division, alleging civil rights
violations resulting from a denial of due process.

Schwarzer alleges that he watched Officer White enter multiple
cells to take dozens of bottles and jars. Officer White did not
provide confiscation papers for any of the property he had taken.
When confronted about his actions, Officer White claimed the
bottles were contraband because they had been altered from their
original condition. Schwarzer referred Officer White to Texas
Department of Criminal Justice policy regarding contraband.

Schwarzer asserts that Defendant Baros used the same reasoning in
her response for the Step 1 Grievance. Since Schwarzer admitted the
label was missing from his bottle, Defendant Baros alleged it was
contraband. Schwarzer asserts that Defendant Beard approved the
Step 1 response, thereby agreeing with the simple definition of
contraband.

Schwarzer seeks the following relief, inter alia:

   (1) A declaration for Class Action Status to include all inmates
of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice who have been
incarcerated for nine months or more;

   (2) A declaration that acts and omissions described herein
violated plaintiffs' rights under the Constitution and Laws of the
United States;

   (3) A preliminary and permanent injunction ordering TDC to not
transfer plaintiff Schwarzer from the Stevenson Unit or retaliate
against him in any form whatsoever.

The Claim Based on a Deprivation of Property

An inmate's allegation that his property was lost or damaged, or
its receipt delayed by a prison official, does not state a claim
under 42 U.S.C.  Section 1983, even when the prison official acted
intentionally. In Texas, when an inmate's property is taken without
compensation, he has a remedy in state court, not a federal court
claim under 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 for loss or damage to property,
unless there is no post-deprivation remedy or the remedy is
inadequate. Schwarzer has made neither of the required showings.
His claim against the defendants lacks an arguable basis in law.

The Claim of an Inadequate Grievance System

Schwarzer alleges that the defendants violated his civil rights by
failing to resolve the complaints presented in his grievances. A
prisoner has a liberty interest only in freedoms from restraint
imposing atypical and significant hardship on the inmate in
relation to the ordinary incidents of prison life. An inmate does
not have a constitutionally protected liberty interest in having
grievances resolved to his satisfaction. There is no due process
violation when prison officials fail to do so.  The defendants'
alleged failure to address the grievances to Schwarzer's
satisfaction did not violate his constitutional rights. The
excerpts from the grievance responses submitted by Schwarzer show
that the defendants investigated his grievances and provided timely
responses.

Schwarzer's due process claim based on an inadequate grievance
procedure lacks merit.

The Failure to Comply with Prison Regulations

Schwarzer further alleges that prison officials did not follow
prison rules and regulations regarding the confiscation of inmate
property.

Schwarzer has not shown that any errors during the confiscation of
his property amount to a constitutional due process violation.

The mere failure to comply with prison rules and regulations does
not, without more, give rise to a constitutional violation.  A
prison official's failure to follow state regulations does not
establish a constitutional violation. Schwarzer's claim that his
due process rights were violated by the failure of prison officials
to comply with prison regulations lacks an arguable basis in law
because, in light of Sandin v. Conner, 515 U.S. 472 (1995),
Schwarzer has no created liberty interest in the regulations of the
Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Correctional Institutions
Division.

The action filed by Mark Cliff Schwarzer (TDCJ-CID Inmate #1433741)
lacks an arguable basis in law.

Accordingly, his claims are dismissed with prejudice under 28
U.S.C. Section 1915A. Schwarzer's constructive motion for class
certification to include all individuals currently incarcerated in
the TDCJ-CID for nine months or longer is denied.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 6, 2018
Memorandum and Opinion is available at https://tinyurl.com/y7ztwzor
from Leagle.com.

Mark Cliff Schwarzer, Plaintiff, pro se.


THESY LLC: Tyksinski Suit Moved to Northern District of Illinois
----------------------------------------------------------------
A case, Artur Tyksinski, individually and on behalf of similarly
situated individuals, the Plaintiff, vs. Thesy, LLC, a California
limited liability corporation, the Defendant, Case No. 18-CH-14318,
was removed from the Cook County Circuit Court to the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of Illinois (Chicago). The Northern
District of Illinois Court Clerk assigned Case No. 1:18-cv-08413.
The case assigned to the Hon. Judge Gary Feinerman.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          David Louis Gerbie, Esq.
          MCGUIRE LAW, P.C.
          55 W. Wacker, 9th Floor
          Chicago, IL 60601
          Telephone: (312) 893-7002
          E-maiLdgerbie@mcgpc.com

               - and -

          Jad Sheikali, Esq.
          MCGUIRE LAW, P.C.
          55 West Wacker Drive, 9th Fl.
          Chicago, IL 60601
          Telephone: (312) 893-7002
          E-mail: jsheikali@mcgpc.com

Attorneys for Defendant:

          James A. Foster, Esq.
          John David Hackett, Esq.
          William H Schramm, III, Esq.
          CASSIDAY SCHADE LLP
          20 North Wacker Drive, Suite 1000
          Chicago, IL 60606-2903
          Telephone: (312) 641-3100
          E-mail: jfoster@cassiday.com
                  jhackett@cassiday.com
                  wschramm@cassiday.com

THOMAS DART: Discovery Underway in Bennett Suit
-----------------------------------------------
In the class action captioned as Preston Bennett, the Plaintiff,
vs. Thomas Dart, et al., the Defendant, Case No. 1:18-cv-04268
(N.D. Ill.), the Hon. Judge John Robert Blakey entered an order
taking Plaintiff's motion to compel under advisement as stated in
open court.

According to the docket entry made by the Clerk on December 18,
2018, discovery and motion hearing was held on Dec. 18, 2018. The
Parties report that they are on track to completing discovery.

As reported by the Class Action Reporter, the Plaintiff in the
lawsuit entitled Preston Bennett, individually and for a class v.
Thomas Dart, Sheriff of Cook County, and Cook County, Illinois,
Case No. 1:18-cv-04268 (N.D. Ill.), moved the Court to order that
this case may proceed as a class action under Rule 23(b)(3) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for:

     All inmates housed in Division 10 at the Cook County
     Department of Corrections from June 27, 2016 to the date
     of entry of judgment, who were prescribed either a walker,
     crutch, or cane by the medical staff and were denied an
     accommodation for toileting and showering.

Mr. Bennett alleges the Sheriff and County violated his rights
under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act by
assigning him to Division 10 without elements that satisfy the ADA
Structural Standards and by failing to provide reasonable
accommodations to overcome the structural non-compliance.

Dart is the Sheriff of Cook County, Illinois.[CC]

The Plaintiff is represented by:

          Patrick W. Morrissey, Esq.
          Thomas G. Morrissey, Esq.
          THOMAS G. MORRISSEY, LTD.
          10150 S. Western Ave.
          Chicago, IL 60643
          Telephone: (773) 233-7900
          E-mail: patrickmorrissey1920@gmail.com


TIGER NATURAL: Court OKs Service by Email in Fishman
----------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Northern District of
California issued an Order granting Plaintiff' Motion for Leave to
Serve Defendant Community Gas Center by e-mail in the case
captioned EMILY FISHMAN and SUSAN FARIA, individually and on behalf
of others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. TIGER NATURAL GAS
INC., an Oklahoma corporation; COMMUNITY GAS CENTER INC., a
Colorado corporation; JOHN DYET, an individual; and DOES 3-100
Defendants. No. C 17-05351 WHA. (N.D. Cal.).

After receiving Attorney Allen's contact information, plaintiffs'
counsel had a telephone call with Attorney Allen's office who
indicated that Attorney Allen was authorized to accept service of
process for CGC. Plaintiffs subsequently mailed a copy of the
complaint and summons to Attorney Allen's office.  

In June 2018, plaintiffs filed a motion to serve defendant John
Dyet by e-mail. Although Dyet was CGC's agent for service of
process, the June 2018 motion did not request to serve CGC by
e-mail because plaintiffs believed they had effected service on
CGC.  

After CGC failed to respond to the operative complaint, plaintiffs
filed a request for default on the ground that CGC had authorized
Attorney Allen to accept service. In Dyet's recent deposition,
however, Dyet stated that he never authorized anyone to accept
service for CGC. A November 4 order accordingly concluded that
plaintiffs had failed to demonstrate that CGC authorized Attorney
Allen to accept service and denied plaintiffs' request for entry of
default.

Section 413.30 of the California Code of Civil Procedure states:
"Where no provision is made in this chapter or other law for the
service of summons, the court in which the action is pending may
direct that summons be served in a manner which is reasonably
calculated to give actual notice to the party to be served and that
proof of such service be made as prescribed by the court."

Here, the plaintiffs have demonstrated that CGC's owner and
registered agent for service, Dyet, cannot with reasonable
diligence be found. Based on the evidence adduced at the July 19
evidentiary hearing, a prior order concluded that plaintiff had
made reasonable attempts to serve Dyet at various addresses in
California and Colorado. The addresses associated with CGC are
those very same addresses. Moreover, because Dyet appeared in this
action after receiving service by e-mail, serving Dyet by e-mail is
reasonably calculated to give actual notice to CGC. The motion to
serve the summons and complaint via e-mail is granted.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 6, 2018 Order is
available at https://tinyurl.com/y97bwzdy from Leagle.com.

Emily Fishman, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated & Susan Faria, individually and on behalf of all others
similarly situated, Plaintiffs, represented by Daniel L. Balsam --
calbar@danbalsam.com -- The Law Offices of Daniel Balsam, Jacob N.
Harker -- harkerjacob@gmail.com -- Law Offices of Jacob Harker,
Kathleen Styles Rogers  krogers@kraloweclaw.com, Kralowec Law, P.C.
& Kimberly Ann Kralowec -- kkralowec@kraloweclaw.com -- Kralowec
Law, P.C.

Tiger Natural Gas, Inc., an Oklahoma corporation, Defendant,
represented by Janet Chung -- janet.chung@hklaw.com -- Holland and
Knight LLP, John Andrew Canale -- john.canale@hklaw.com -- Holland
and Knight LLP, Leah E. Capritta -- Leah.Capritta@hklaw.com --
Holland & Knight LLP, Thomas Drew Leland -- Thomas.Leland@hklaw.com
-- Holland and Knight LLP & Vince Lee Farhat --
vince.farhat@hklaw.com -- Holland and Knight LLP.


TOMSON, INC: Serrano Seeks Unpaid Overtime Premium for Purchasers
-----------------------------------------------------------------
ISABEL SERRANO, and other similarly situated buyers, the
Plaintiff, vs. TOMSON, INC.; TOMSON HOSPITALITY; and TOMMASO
CARDANA, the Defendants, Filing No. 82371594 (Fla. 11th Jud. Cir,
in and for Miami Dade Cty., Dec. 19, 2018), seeks to recover unpaid
overtime wages, an additional equal amount as liquidated damages,
and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs, pursuant to the Fair
Labor Standards Act.

According to the complaint, the Plaintiff performed work for
Defendants as a non-exempt buyer from January 2018 through August
2018. The Plaintiff's duties and responsibilities included
primarily, but were not limited to, completion of purchase orders
and follow up with vendors. The Plaintiff performed numerous hours
of overtime nearly each and every week for which Defendants failed
to pay Plaintiff a proper overtime premium. The Defendants had or
should have had full knowledge of all hours worked by Plaintiff,
including those hours worked by Plaintiff in excess of 40 in a
given week, the lawsuit says.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Gary S. Rosner, Esq.
          Joshua W. Brankamp, Esq.
          RITTER CHUSID, LLP
          5850 Coral Ridge Drive, Suite 201
          Coral Springs, FL 33076
          Telephone: (954) 340-2200
          Facsimile: (954) 340-2210
          E-mail: grosner@ritterchusid.com
                  jbrankamp@ritterchusid.com

TRANS WORLD: Faces Class Action in NY for ADA Breach
----------------------------------------------------
Trans World Entertainment Corporation is facing a class action
lawsuit filed pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The
case is styled as Edwin Diaz, on behalf of himself and all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff v. Trans World Entertainment
Corporation doing business as: FYE, Defendant, Case No.
1:18-cv-12390 (S.D. N.Y., December 31, 2018).

Trans World Entertainment Corporation is an American company which
operates entertainment media retail stores across the United States
of America. It currently operates just over 300 freestanding and
shopping mall-based stores under several brand names, down from
about 540 in August 2010.[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


TRUSTMARK: Faces Class Action Over Unfair Overdraft Fees
--------------------------------------------------------
The Associated Press reports that two women say in a lawsuit that a
Mississippi-based bank is unfairly charging overdraft fees.

The Clarion Ledger reports Cryesha McDonald of Waynesboro and
Chantal Lewis of Jackson sued Trustmark National Bank in December
in federal court in Jackson. Lawyers representing the women seek
approval for a class-action lawsuit representing all the bank's
customers.

They allege Trustmark also charges surprise fees for using
automated teller machines on a different bank's network.

The suit claims Trustmark is unjustly enriching itself and breaking
its account agreement with customers.

Similar lawsuits have been filed against other banks.

The Jackson-based bank, with $13 billion in assets, didn't
immediately respond to a request for comment.

Trustmark holds the largest share of bank deposits in Mississippi,
and also has offices in Alabama, Florida, Tennessee and Texas.
[GN]


TUXEDO JUNCTION: Tux Rental Firm Violates ADA, Says Suit
--------------------------------------------------------
Tuxedo Junction Inc. is facing a class action lawsuit filed
pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is styled
as Edwin Diaz, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. Tuxedo Junction Inc., Defendant, Case No.
1:18-cv-12389 (S.D. N.Y., December 31, 2018).

Tuxedo Junction, Inc. provides tuxedos rental services for weddings
and other events in the United States. It offers suits, vests,
shirts, pants, ties, and shoes; and accessories, such as
hats/scarves/gloves, stud and link sets, and pocket squares. The
company offers products through stores and authorized distributors.
Tuxedo Junction, Inc. was founded in 1969 and is based in
Williamsville, 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



ULLIANCE INC: Court Denies Class Certification in Lucas
-------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Eastern District of
Michigan, Southern Division, issued an Opinion and Order denying
Plaintiffs' Motion for Class Certification for a class of similarly
situated health professionals in the case captioned CAROL LUCAS, ET
AL., Plaintiffs, v. ULLIANCE, INC., ET AL., Defendants. Case No.
15-10337. (E.D. Mich.).

The Michigan legislature created the Health Professional Recovery
Program (HPRP) to ensure that healthcare professionals find
treatment for mental health and substance abuse problems that could
pose a risk to themselves or the public. State law requires
Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to
contract with a private entity to oversee the HPRP. LARA has
entered into such a contract with Ulliance, Inc (Ulliance).

The Plaintiffs are health professionals who were reported by
Ulliance as noncompliant with the HPRP.

LARA summarily suspended each plaintiff's license after such
report. The Plaintiffs allege breach of contract against Ulliance.
They allege violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
and the Rehabilitation Act against LARA and Carole Engle, the
former director of the Bureau of Healthcare Service ("BHCS"), in
her official capacity.

The Plaintiffs' proposed class consists of all persons who are, or
were, participants in the HPRP program during the period of January
1, 2011 to the present.

The Plaintiffs also seek to certify a sub-class of healthcare
professionals who were or are HPRP participants and who received
summary suspension of their license between January 1, 2011 and the
present because of LARA's purported policy that all health
professionals that are deemed noncompliant by HPRP shall be
suspended.

The Court finds that the Plaintiff has not made an adequate showing
of commonality.  There are significant differences between the four
named plaintiffs as to who dropped out at which stage of the HPRP
and therefore who was governed by which contract provisions. Only
Plaintiff Lucas, for instance, was governed by the monitoring
agreement, and, as the three other named plaintiffs demonstrate,
not all of those who were suspended after dropping out of the HPRP
took part in the monitoring agreement.

None of the four named plaintiffs had asked for the list of
evaluators, and there is no indication that the class members will
have a common claim out of the list of evaluators, for the contract
specifies that the list will be available upon request, not as a
matter of course.  

Similarly, whether Ulliance was contractually obligated, or
forbidden, from sharing participant's information with LARA will
depend on the extent to which the information was pertinent to the
licensee's ability to perform their work, and on the extent and
type of the information shared.

These are idiosyncratic and particularized questions that are
ill-suited to a common answer.

As to LARA, there can be no charge of a systematic discrimination
against disabled individuals. Dr. Candilis has unequivocally denied
that there exists a LARA policy that summarily suspends program
participants for non-compliance alone. Non-compliant licensees are
evaluated at multiple levels by LARA decision-makers, from analyst
to manager to division director to board chair. The administrative
complaint is filed along with the summary suspension to lay out the
facts on which the decision-makers based their decision. Between
September 2012 and December 2015, 292 nurses were reported as
noncompliant, but 88 did not have their licenses summarily
suspended. Plaintiffs do nothing to dispute Dr. Candilis'
characterization of the summary suspension process as multilayered,
particularized, and discretionary.

Their motion therefore fails to demonstrate that LARA's license
suspension procedures implicate "a common mode of exercising
discretion.

The Court also rules that the class most obviously lacks typicality
because only one of the four named plaintiffs signed a monitoring
agreement. Indeed, the class's inclusion of both those who signed
monitoring agreements and those who were reported as non-compliant
is problematic because each group will have different litigation
goals based on its particular circumstances. There may be
similarities between all HPRP participants, but this does not prove
a collective nature to the challenged conduct. Further, although
the parties dispute the percentage, the majority of HPRP
participants have not left the program prematurely. The Plaintiffs
are thus atypical.

The subclass also lacks typicality. LARA suspended the licenses of
HPRP non-compliant participants at different stages of their
treatment and for different reasons. The licensees suffered from
different alleged disabilities and held different licenses that
implicated different public safety concerns. Some, such as three of
the named plaintiffs, had their licenses reinstated upon
administrative appeal. Others, such as Lucas, have yet to get their
licenses back.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 6, 2018 Opinion
and Order is available at https://tinyurl.com/ya6gazq5 from
Leagle.com.

Carol Lucas, Tara Vialpando & Kelly M Schultz, Plaintiffs,
represented by Aaron J. Kemp, Chapman Law Group, Ronald W. Chapman,
Chapman Law Group & Ronald William Chapman, II, Chapman Law Group.

John/Mary Doe, Healthcare Professionals & Scott Sanders,
Plaintiffs, represented by Aaron J. Kemp, Chapman Law Group &
Ronald William Chapman, II, Chapman Law Group.

Ulliance, Inc., Defendant, represented by Andrew M. Pauwels --
apauwels@honigman.com -- Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn, Eric J.
Eggan, Honigman, Miller & I. W. Winsten, Honigman, Miller.

Carole H. Engle & Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs,
Defendants, represented by Bruce C. Johnson, Michigan Department of
Attorney General, Erik A. Grill, Michigan Department of Attorney
General Public Employment, Elections and Tort, John G. Fedynsky,
State of Michigan Attorney General's Office Complex Litigation
Division, Joshua O. Booth, Department of Attorney General & Neil
Anthony Giovanatti, Michigan Department of Attorney General.


ULTA SALON: Terry Suit Moved to Northern District of California
---------------------------------------------------------------
A case, Quianna Terry, an individual, or behalf of herself and all
others similarly situated and as a representative plaintiff, the
Plaintiff, vs. Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc., a Delaware
limited liability company, the Defendant, Case No. CIV 1803329, was
removed from the Marin County Superior Court to the U.S. District
Court for the Northern District of California (San Francisco).  The
Northern District of California Court Clerk assigned Case No.
3:18-cv-07683-JCS to the proceeding.  The suit asserts claims over
labor management relations.  The case is assigned to the Hon. Judge
Joseph C. Spero.

Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. sells cosmetics,
fragrances, skin and hair care products, appliances, and
accessories.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears pro se.

Attorneys for Defendant:

          Blair Amelia Copple, Esq.
          Littler Mendelson, Esq.
          333 Bush Street
          San Francisco, CA 94115
          Telephone: (415) 399-8499
          E-mail: bcopple@littler.com

UNITED BY BLUE: Sued by Diaz for ADA Violation
----------------------------------------------
United By Blue Walnut Street LLC is facing a class action lawsuit
filed pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is
styled as Edwin Diaz, on behalf of himself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff v. United By Blue Walnut Street LLC, Defendant,
Case No. 1:18-cv-12388 (S.D. N.Y., December 31, 2018).

United By Blue Walnut Street LLC manufactures and sells apparel and
accessories for men and women. It offers boardshorts, graphic
shirts, shirts and wovens, jackets and fleece, accessories, and
grooming products for men; products for women, such as dresses,
graphic shirts, shirts and wovens, jackets and fleece, accessories,
and beauty products; messenger bags, tote bags, crossbody bags,
backpacks, travel bags, and small goods; and outdoor products. The
company operates a store and coffeehouse.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears PRO SE.

The Defendant 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


UNITED STATES: Court Certifies Iraq, Afghanistan Veterans Class
---------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, STEPHEN M. KENNEDY, and ALICIA J. CARSON, individually
and on behalf of all similarly situated persons, Plaintiffs, v.
MARK ESPER, Secretary of the Army, Defendant, Case No. 16cv2010
(WWE) (D. Conn.), Judge Warren W. Eginton of the U.S. District
Court for the District of Connecticut granted the Plaintiffs'
motion for class certification.

Plaintiffs Kennedy and Carson, veterans of the conflicts in Iraq
and Afghanistan respectively, filed the action pursuant to the
Administrative Procedure Act ("APA") and the Fifth Amendment due
process clause, individually and on behalf of all similarly
situated persons.  Specifically, the Plaintiffs seek a class-wide
injunction ordering the Army Discharge Review Board ("ADRB")
reviewing less-than-Honorable discharges to follow the directive of
the memorandum issued by the Secretary of Defense Hagel to give
liberal consideration to diagnoses of post-traumatic stress
disorder and similar mental health conditions, and records
indicating symptoms of those conditions.

Kennedy joined the Army in 2006 and served in Iraq in 2007 and
2008. After his combat deployment, Kennedy returned to the United
States with severe PTSD and major depression that the Army failed
to diagnose or treat adequately.  On Dec. 8, 2016, he filed the
original complaint in the case.  In the complaint, Kennedy seeks to
set aside the October 2015 ADRB decision and have the Court directs
that his characterization of service be changed to Honorable.

On April 17, 2017, Kennedy filed an amended complaint that joined
Carson to the action.  Carson was deployed to Afghanistan from
February until November 2010.  During her deployment, she earned a
promotion in rank, an Army Commendation, and a Combat Action Badge.
Upon her return to Connecticut, Carson informed her commander that
she was experiencing symptoms of PTSD, and as result, she was
referred to a medical provider for treatment.  The Connecticut
National Guard characterized her service as General, Under
Honorable Conditions.  In the complaint, Carson requests to have
her discharge upgraded to Honorable and seeks to have the Army
prevented from recouping any part of her unearned enlistment
bonus.

The Plaintiffs have moved for certification of a class pursuant to
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(b)(2) seeking equitable relief.
Specifically, their proposed class consists of all Army, Army
Reserve, and Army National Guard veterans of the Iraq and
Afghanistan era—the period between Oct. 7, 2001 to present who:
(a) were discharged with a less-than Honorable service
characterization (this includes General and Other than Honorable
discharges from the Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard,
but not Bad Conduct or Dishonorable discharges); (b) have not
received discharge upgrades to Honorable; and (c) have diagnoses of
PTSD or PTSD-related conditions or records documenting one or more
symptoms of PTSD or PTSD-related conditions at the time of
discharge attributable to their military service under the Hagel
Memo standards of liberal and special consideration.

After the Plaintiffs had filed a motion for class certification,
the Defendant moved to dismiss or, in the alternative, voluntarily
remand.  On Sept. 19, 2017, the Court remanded both of the
Plaintiffs' cases to the ADRB to revisit the original applications
that are the subject of the litigation.  In October 2017, the
Connecticut Army National Guard granted Carson an upgrade to
Honorable; accordingly, the ADRB did not render a decision with
regard to Carson.  In March 2018, the ADRB upgraded Kennedy's
discharge characterization to Honorable.

Among other things, Judge Eginton finds that an injunction to
ensure that adherence to the directive of the Hagel Memo relevant
to the review of less-than-Honorable discharges will provide relief
to each class member as a whole.  Accordingly, he finds that the
case is appropriate for class certification under Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 23(b)(3).

Judge Eginton granted the Plaintiffs' motion for certification.  In
accordance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23(c)(1), he
certified the class of all Army, Army Reserve, and Army National
Guard veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan era -- the period
between Oct. 7, 2001 to present -- who (a) were discharged with a
less-than Honorable service characterization (this includes General
and Other than Honorable discharges from the Army, Army Reserve,
and Army National Guard, but not Bad Conduct or Dishonorable
discharges); (b) have not received discharge upgrades to Honorable;
and (c) have diagnoses of PTSD or PTSD-related conditions or record
documenting one or more symptoms of PTSD or PTSD-related conditions
at the time of discharge attributable to their military service
under the Hagel Memo standards of liberal and special
consideration.

The representatives will be the named Plaintiffs Stephen M. Kennedy
and Alicia J. Carson, and the class counsel will be the Yale Law
School's Veterans Legal Services Clinic and the law firm Jenner &
Block LLP.  The order may be altered or amended before final
judgment consistent with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
23(c)(1)(C).

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Memorandum of
Decision is available at https://is.gd/6HKGQH from Leagle.com.

Stephen M. Kennedy, on behalf of themselves and all others
similarly situated & Alicia J. Carson, on behalf of themselves and
all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, represented by Michael
J. Wishnie -- michael.wishnie@ylsclinics.org -- Jerome N. Frank
Legal Services, Jacob Tracer -- jtracer@jenner.com -- Jenner &
Block LLP, Jeremy M. Creelan -- JCreelan@jenner.com -- Jenner &
Block, LLP & Susan J. Kohlmann -- skohlmann@jenner.com -- Jenner &
Block LLP.

Robert Speer, Acting Secretary of the Army, Defendant, represented
by David Christopher Nelson, U.S. Attorney's Office.


UNITED STATES: Dry Bean Farmers Can't Supplement Admin Record
-------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, GREGORY ACKERMAN, Plaintiff, v. UNITED STATES
DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, et al, Defendant, Case No. 17-cv-11779
(E.D. Mich.), Judge Thomas L. Ludington of the U.S. District Court
for the Eastern District of Michigan, Northern Division, denied the
Plaintiffs' motion for supplementation of the administrative
record.

On June 5, 2017, a group of farmers and incorporated farms filed
suit against a number of insurance companies, the United States
Department of Agriculture, the Risk Management Agency, and the
Federal Crop Insurance Corp.  The Plaintiffs are dry bean farmers
in Michigan, Minnesota, and North Dakota who have not received
indemnity for crop insurance to which they believe they are
entitled.

The Plaintiffs are bringing the putative class action on behalf of
all dry bean farmers in the Eastern District of Michigan (navy pea
beans or small red beans).  Each Plaintiff purchased Dry Bean
Revenue Endorsement ("DRBE") crop insurance for their dry bean
crops in 2015.  The purpose of this insurance was to protect dry
bean farmers against a market price decline.  However, even though
dry bean market prices declined greatly in 2015, no indemnity was
paid to the Plaintiffs.  

In the present suit, the Plaintiffs seek a declaratory judgment
invalidating certain administrative determinations related to the
DBRE and ordering the Defendants to ensure that the Plaintiffs'
losses are indemnified or their premiums reimbursed.

On Nov. 22, 2017, the Federal Defendants and the Insurance
Defendants both filed motions to dismiss.  On March 8, 2018, the
Plaintiffs filed a motion for leave to file a second amended
complaint correcting the names of certain Plaintiffs.  On April 18,
2018, the Court issued an order granting the motions to dismiss and
also granting the motion for leave to file an amended complaint.
In that order, the Court dismissed without prejudice all the
Plaintiffs who do not farm or reside in the Eastern District of
Michigan.  It also dismissed all the Insurance Defendants after
concluding that the Plaintiffs had not complied with the
contractual requirements for bringing suit found within the
insurance policies.  On April 30, 2018, the Plaintiffs filed a
second amended complaint.

On May 2, 2018, the Plaintiffs filed a motion for reconsideration
of the Court's order to dismiss.  In the motion, they argued that
the the Plaintiffs from outside the Eastern District of Michigan
should have been transferred to the proper venue instead of
dismissed.  The motion was granted in part and the Minnesota
Plaintiffs were transferred to the District of Minnesota.

On Oct. 31, 2018, the Plaintiffs filed a motion for supplementation
of the administrative record.  They contend that certain
information was excluded from the administrative record that is
necessary for the Court to make a determination as whether the
Defendants acted arbitrarily and capriciously.

The Plaintiffs have now filed a motion for supplementation of the
administrative record. They request that the following material be
added to the record: (i) the 2015 sales records from every Michigan
dry bean processor on which the Defendants relied, or on which they
purported to rely; (ii) any and all communications between the
Defendants and dry bean processors from Sept. 1, 2015 through Dec.
15, 2015; and (iii) any notes or other records possessed by
Jonathan Gittlein on which Defendants relied in determining market
prices to be published or not, in the Dry Bean Market News.

The Plaintiffs further request that additional discovery be
permitted to supplement the record with the following: (a) as an
alternative to (i), if the sales records are not in the possession
of the Defendants, the Plaintiffs request leave of the Court to
subpoena 015 sales records of the dry bean processors on which the
Defendants should have relied to establish the harvest prices in
2015; (b) the Plaintiffs also request leave of the Court to serve
Requests to Admit on the Defendants regarding the Bean Market News
and the decision-making process which led to the non-publication of
market prices for beans at issue during the relevant time period;
(c) as an alternative or supplement to (v), the Plaintiffs request
leave to depose Jonathan Gittlein, of Greeley, Colorado, an
employee of Defendant United States Department of Agriculture
tasked with compiling the Bean Market News, on which the harvest
price in this matter is based; and (d)  the Plaintiffs also request
leave to depose Alex Offerdahl of Watts & Associates, who was
instrumental in drafting, proposing, and maintaining the Dry Bean
Revenue Endorsement.

Judge Ludington denied without prejudice the Plaintiffs' motions to
complete and/or supplement the administrative record.  He finds
that the 2015 sales records from every Michigan dry bean processor
on which the Defendants relied, or on which they purported to rely
would not assist the Court in deciding the two counts presented in
the Plaintiffs' second amended complaint; (ii) the 2015 records
might affect the consequences of the Defendants' actions, but they
do not address whether Defendants were arbitrary and capricious
when they approved the DBRE back in 2012 and 2013; (iii) there is
no reason to supplement the administrative record with additional
information concerning the Bean Market News from 2015; (iv) it is
unnecessary at least at this stage in the development of the case
to supplement the administrative record with the requested
communications related to the 2015 Bean Market News; and (v) Alex
Offerdahl of Watts and Associates' testimony would contribute
little to what is already present in the administrative record on
how the DBRE harvest price system was supposed to work.

Accordingly, the Judge denied without prejudice the Plaintiffs'
motions to complete and/or supplement the administrative record.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Order is available at
https://is.gd/cCJgXa from Leagle.com.

Ackerman Brothers Farms, LLC, Back Road Farming, Inc., Daniel E.
Balcer, Becker Farms, LLC, Randy Beckering, Bernia & Sons Farms,
Inc., Bernia Family Farms, Inc., Brian Brandenburg, Gary Bulzan, D.
T. Rouech Farms, LLC, Todd W. Draggoo, Beatrice Elenbaum, French
Farms, Harry Gaiser, Jr., Jason Gaiser, Goebel Farms, Inc., James
Gremel, Gro Green Acres, Gruehn Farms, Inc., Gruehn Acre Farms,
Jason Haag, Terry Haag, Tom Haag, Scott Hawken, John Schluckebier
Farms, Inc., Fred Karg, Kurtis Kreger, Timothy Kubacki, Kundinger
Farms, Inc., Laracha Farms, LLC, Matthew Lutz, R & J Farms, Inc.,
Robert Rathje, Rayl Farms, Inc., Richmond Brothers Farms, LLC,
Rodammer Farms, Inc., Russell Transport, Inc., Daniel Sahr, Leasly
Schaper, Gregory Schian, Jeffrey Schian, John Schian, Brad Singer,
Stacer Farms Ltd. Partnership, Constance Kreger, Mark Stambaugh,
Donald Stecker, Vern Stephen, Lucas M. Stockmeyer, Robert
Stockmeyer, Kendall Stoeckle, Stoutenburg Farms, Three R Farms,
Inc., Vader and Son, LLC, Vader Farms, Inc., Vanhoost Farms, Inc.,
Glenn L. Vogel, Joseph Vohwinkle, Jim Wilkinson, Terry Wood, Don
Zaremba, Zimmer Farms, Inc. & Ackerman & Son LLC, Plaintiffs,
represented by John D. Tallman.

United States Department of Agriculture, Risk Management Agency &
Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, Defendants, represented by
Sarah Pring Karpinen, U.S. Attorney's Office.


UNIVAR USA: Njoku Seeks Unpaid Overtime for Supply Planners
-----------------------------------------------------------
PEACE NJOKU, individually and on behalf of all others similarly
situated, Plaintiffs, vs. UNIVAR USA INC., the Defendant, Case No.
1:18-cv-05845-SCJ (N.D. Ga., Dec., 21, 2018), seeks to recover
unpaid and incorrectly paid wages for all hours worked in a
workweek, unpaid overtime, liquidated damages, interest, and
attorneys' fees and costs, pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards
Act.

According to the complaint, the case is a collective action brought
by Plaintiff challenging acts committed by Defendant against
Plaintiff and those similarly situated, which amount to violations
of federal wage and hour laws. The Defendant employed Plaintiff and
all those similarly situated as Supply Planners, Senior Supply
Planners, and Supply Planner Leads at Defendant's various Supply
Facilities located throughout the United States.  Supply Planners'
job duties included ordering supplies and materials from third
party vendors for the purposes of stocking Defendant's warehouse to
later fulfill Defendant's customer's orders. Defendant did not
permit SPs to exercise their independent discretion in performing
these duties.

To fully perform their job duties, SPs worked in excess of 40 hours
per workweek. The Defendant, however, did not compensate SPs with
an overtime premium for all hours worked in excess of 40 hours per
workweek. Despite Defendant's internal classification of SPs as
exempt employees, SPs were only performing the duties of non-exempt
employees and were not permitted to exercise discretion and
independent judgment pertaining to matters of significance. The
Plaintiffs were allegedly not paid the statutorily required rate of
one-and-one-half times their hourly rate for all hours worked in
excess of 40 per workweek, the lawsuit says.

Univar is a global chemical and ingredients distributor and
provider of value-added services who works with leading suppliers
worldwide. The company was founded in 1924 and as of 2016, it
employed approximately 8,700 employees worldwide and generated net
sales of $8.073 billion in 2016.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Beth A. Moeller, Esq.
          Tracey T. Barbaree, Esq.
          MOELLER BARBAREE LLP
          1100 Peachtree Street, N.E., Suite 200
          Atlanta, GA 30309
          Telephone: (404) 692-5543
          E-mail: bmoeller@moellerbarbaree.com
                  tbarbaree@moellerbarbaree.com

               - and -

          James A. Vagnini, Esq.
          Robert R. Barravecchio, Esq.
          Alexander M. White, Esq.
          VALLI KANE & VAGNINI LLP
          600 Old Country Road, Suite 519
          Garden City, NY 11530
          Telephone: (516) 203-7180
          Facsimile: (516) 706-0248
          E-mail: jvagnini@vkvlawyers.com
                  rrb@vkvlawyers.com
                  awhite@vkvlawyers.com

               - and -

          Jay D. Ellwanger, Esq.
          Ellwanger Law LLLP
          8310-1 N. Capital of Texas Hwy., Suite 190
          Austin, TX 78731
          Telephone: (737) 808-2262
          E-mail: jellwanger@equalrights.law

WAL-MART STORES: Settlement in Securities Suit Has Prelim Court OK
------------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Arkansas, Fayetteville Division, issued an Order granting Lead
Plaintiff's Motion for Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement
in the securities class action captioned CITY OF PONTIAC GENERAL
EMPLOYEES' RETIREMENT SYSTEM, Individually and on Behalf of All
Others SimilarlySituated, Plaintiff, v. WAL-MART STORES, INC. and
MICHAEL T. DUKE, Defendants. Case No. 5:12-cv-5162. (W.D. Ark.).

A fairness hearing pursuant to Rule 23(e) of the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure is hereby scheduled to be held on April 4, 2019, at
10:00 a.m. CT, at the United States Courthouse in Hot Springs,
Arkansas.  The Court may adjourn the Settlement Hearing without
further notice to the Class and reserves the right to approve the
Settlement, including, if appropriate, with any such modifications
as may be agreed to by the parties without further notice to the
Class. The Court further reserves the right to enter its Judgment
approving the Settlement and dismissing the Litigation on the
merits and with prejudice regardless of whether it has approved the
Plan of Allocation or awarded attorneys' fees and expenses.

The Court approves the appointment of Gilardi & Co. LLC as the
Claims Administrator to supervise and administer the notice
procedure in connection with the proposed Settlement as well as the
processing of Proofs of Claim.

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

City of Pontiac General Employees' Retirement System, Individually
and on Behalf of All Others Similarly Situated, Plaintiff,
represented by Austin P. Brane -- abrane@rgrdlaw.com -- Robbins
Geller Rudman Dowd LLP, Danielle Myers -- danim@rgrdlaw.com --
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, pro hac vice, Darren J. Robbins
-- darrenr@rgrdlaw.com -- Robbins Geller Rudman Dowd LLP, pro hac
vice, Debra J. Wyman – debraw@rgrdlaw.com -- Robbins Geller
Rudman Dowd LLP, Ellen Gusikoff Stewart -- elleng@rgrdlaw.com --
Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP, Jason A. Forge, Robbins Geller
Rudman Dowd LLP, pro hac vice, Michael Albert, Robbins Geller
Rudman Dowd LLP, Scott H. Saham, Robbins Geller Rudman Dowd LLP,
Cynthia J. Billings -- cbillings@swappc.com -- Sullivan Ward Asher
Patton PC, pro hac vice, Douglas S. Johnston, Jr. --
djohnston@barrettjohnston.com -- Barrett Johnston Martin &
Garrison, LLC, pro hac vice, Geoffrey P. Culbertson --
gpc@texarkanalaw.com -- Patton Tidwell & Culbertson, LLP, George
Edward Barrett -- gbarrett@barrettjohnston.com -- Barrett Johnston
Martin & Garrison, LLC, pro hac vice, Jerry E. Martin --
jmartin@barrettjohnston.com -- Barrett Johnston Martin Garrison LLC
& Timothy L. Miles  -- tmiles@barrettjohnston.com -- BARRETT
JOHNSTON MARTIN & GARRISON, LLC, pro hac vice.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Defendant, represented by Andrew R. Gray --
andrew.gray@lw.com -- Latham Watkins LLP, Brian T. Glennon --
brian.glennon@lw.com -- Latham Watkins LLP, Brian H. Ratcliff  --
brian@ppgmrlaw.com -- PPGMR Law, PLLC, Colleen C. Smith --
colleen.smith@lw.com -- Latham Watkins LLP, Jess L. Askew, III --
Jess.Askew@KutakRock.com -- KUTAK ROCK LLP, Marcy C. Priedeman --
marcy.priedeman@lw.com -- Latham Watkins LLP,Nicholas J. Siciliano
-- nicholas.siciliano@lw.com -- Latham Watkins LLP, Peter A. Wald
-- peter.wald@lw.com -- Latham Watkins LLP, Sarah A. Tomkowiak --
sarah.tomkowiak@lw.com -- Latham Watkins LLP, pro hac vice, Sean M.
Berkowitz -- sean.berkowitz@lw.com -- Latham & Watkins LLP, pro hac
vice & Teresa M. Wineland -Teresa.Wineland@KutakRock.com -- Kutak
Rock LLP.


WALLACE RUSH: Amended Bid to Certify FLSA Class Denied as Moot
--------------------------------------------------------------
In the class action lawsuit captioned DEMARCUS THOMAS, the
Plaintiff, vs. WALLACE, RUSH, SCHMIDT, INC., the Defendants, Case
No. 3:16-cv-00572-BAJ-RLB (M.D. La.), the Hon. Judge Brian A.
Jackson entered an order:

   1. denying as moot amended motion to conditionally certify FLSA
      collective action, motion for partial dismissal of second
      amended complaint, motion to strike second amended
      complaint, and motion for leave for file reply of Plaintiffs

      opposition to motion for partial dismissal;

   2. directing Plaintiff to file a second amended motion for
      conditional certification, if he seeks to conditionally
      certify this action as a collective action under 29 U.S.C.
      section 216(b); and

   3. directing Defendant to re-urge its motion in response to
      Plaintiffs Third Amended Collective Action Complaint, Class
      Action Complaint, and Demand for Jury Trial within the
      period provided by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 2(a).[CC]

WALMART INC: Feb. 21 Hearing on Bid to Dismiss Cappello Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, ALICIA CAPPELLO and CATHERINE MOSQUEDA, for themselves
and all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. WALMART, INC., a
Delaware corporation; and DOES 1-50, inclusive, Defendants, Case
No. 4:18-cv-06678-RS (N.D. Cal.), Judge Richard Seeborg of the U.S.
District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland
Division, has issued a stipulated order extending the Plaintiffs'
time to respond to the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss and related
papers, and setting hearing date.

The Plaintiffs filed the putative class action lawsuit against
Walmart on Oct. 4, 2018, in the Superior Court of the State of
California for the County of Alameda, which Walmart removed on Nov.
2, 2018.  The action was reassigned to Judge Saundra Brown
Armstrong on Nov. 16, 2018, resetting all pending hearing dates
before the prior-assigned Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler.  

The Parties stipulated to extend Walmart's time to respond to the
Complaint on Nov. 6, 2018, granting Walmart until Dec. 14, 2018 to
respond.  Walmart filed its Notice of Motion and Motion to Dismiss,
and its Request for Judicial Notice regarding its Motion to Dismiss
on Dec. 14, 2018, and thereafter submitted a stipulation and
proposed order providing for a more accommodating briefing schedule
for that motion.  Judge Armstrong thereafter recused herself and
the matter was reassigned to Judge Seeborg, vacating all dates.

The Parties stipulated under Civil Local Rule 6-1(b) to a briefing
schedule for Walmart's Motion.  The briefing schedule will be
completed two weeks before the agreed upon hearing date.  The Court
has set its initial Case Management Conference for Jan. 31, 219 at
10 a.m., but no other dates are yet set.  The modification would
not affect the case schedule as none has been entered.

The Parties stipulated and agreed, and Judge Seeborg granted, to
set the following deadlines:

   (i) Jan. 17, 2019 - the Plaintiffs' deadline to respond to
Walmart's Motion;

  (ii) Feb. 7, 2019 - Walmart's Reply due; and

(iii) Feb. 21, 2019 at 1:30 - hearing date for the Motion.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Order is available at
https://is.gd/qkSZQG from Leagle.com.

Alicia Cappello & Catherine Mosqueda, Plaintiffs, represented by
Ray Edwin Gallo -- rgallo@gallo.law -- Gallo LLP & Dominic R.
Valerian -- dvalerian@gallo.law -- Gallo LLP.

Walmart Inc., Defendant, represented by Michael Graham Rhodes --
rhodesmg@cooley.com -- Cooley LLP, Kyle Christopher Wong --
kwong@cooley.com -- Cooley LLP, Maxwell Evan Alderman --
malderman@cooley.com -- Cooley LLP & Whitty Somvichian --
wsomvichian@cooley.com -- Cooley LLP.


WASHINGTON: Batiste's Bid for Summary Judgment in Wilcox Suit OKd
-----------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, JADE WILCOX, Plaintiff, v. JOHN BATISTE and JOHN DOES
1-300, Defendant, Case No. 2:17-CV-122-RMP (E.D. Wash.), Judge
Rosanna Malouf Peterson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern
District of Washington granted Batiste's Motion for Summary
Judgment.

In the state of Washington, the Washington State Patrol ("WSP")
creates Police Traffic Collision Reports ("PTCRs") when responding
to the scene of a car accident.  The PTCRs include, among other
things, the name, address, driver's license number, telephone
number, and other identifying information about the drivers
involved in the car accidents, as well as the names and information
of any witness to the accident.  The WSP creates the PTCRs using a
program called SECTOR.  SECTOR is a program installed on a WSP
officer's computer that works by scanning the bar code on a
driver's license or motor vehicle registration to auto-populate the
information into the PTCR.

The WSP allows public access to PTCRs on the Washington Requests
for Electronic Collision Reports website.  This website allows
members of the public to search through PTCRs and request access to
them for a fee of $10.50 for each collision report.  If the
requestor was not an involved party or a representative of an
involved party, the WSP would redact birth date and driver's
license numbers from the report, but otherwise would leave
uncensored the rest of the document, including the parties' names,
addresses, and telephone numbers.

Ms. Wilcox was involved in a car accident on July 9, 2016.  Five
days later, she received a letter from a law firm in Spokane
soliciting her business for its automobile injury practice.  The
letter explained that the law firm obtained Ms. Wilcox's
information from the PTCR public records request process.  The
Collision Records Manager for the WSP later confirmed that the WSP
disclosed Ms. Wilcox's July 9, 2016, PTCR to the law firm pursuant
to a request on the Washington Requests for Electronic Collision
Report website.  The WSP redacted Ms. Wilcox's birth date and
driver's license number, but otherwise left Ms. Wilcox's name,
address, and telephone number uncensored.

Following these events, Ms. Wilcox filed the class action complaint
against Chief Batiste, the head of the WSP, and 300 John Does.  She
alleged that Chief Batiste's policies with the WSP violated the
Driver's Privacy Protection Act ("DPPA"), because he knowingly
disclosed personal information from motor vehicle records of Ms.
Wilcox and others by providing uncensored PTCRs to third parties.
She also alleged that Chief Batiste violated her and others'
constitutional right to privacy and committed the common law tort
of invasion of privacy.  Ms. Wilcox later re-alleged these claims
in an amended complaint.  Ms. Wilcox seeks monetary damages and
permanent injunctive relief.

Ms. Wilcox also moved for a preliminary injunction.  In her motion
for a preliminary injunction, she argued that Chief Batiste
violated the DPPA and that she and the class would suffer
irreparable harm if the disclosure policies were not enjoined
because their personal information could be dangerously
disseminated.

Chief Batiste opposed the motion.  Following a hearing, the Court
instituted a preliminary injunction, finding that Ms. Wilcox and
the putative class were likely to succeed on the merits, that they
would suffer irreparable harm without an injunction, and that the
balance of equities and the public interest weighed in favor of
granting the injunction.  It ordered Chief Batiste to redact
addresses, driver's license numbers, dates of birth, information
about sex, height, and weight from PTCRs before distribution to
third parties.

Chief Batiste now moves the Court for summary judgment on all of
Ms. Wilcox's and the putative class' claims.  He argues that he is
entitled to Eleventh Amendment immunity and qualified immunity.
Additionally, he argues that the three claims all fail on the
merits.

Judge Peterson finds that Chief Batiste is entitled to Eleventh
Amendment immunity in his official capacity and qualified immunity
in his individual capacity for any violations of the DPPA that may
have occurred.  Ms. Wilcox abandoned her other claims.
Additionally, she failed to identify and prosecute the John Doe
Defendants.  Therefore, the Judge will dismiss all claims against
Chief Batiste with prejudice, all claims against the John Does
without prejudice, and dissolve the preliminary injunction.

Accordingly, she granted the Defendant's Motion for Summary
Judgment, (ii) dismissed with prejudice Ms. Wilcox's claims against
Chief Batiste in his official and personal capacities; and (iii)
dismissed without prejudice Ms. Wilcox's claims against the 300
John Does.

The Judgment is entered in favor of the Defendants.  Upon entry of
judgment, the Preliminary Injunction imposed by the Court is
dissolved.  The District Court Clerk is directed to enter the
Order, provide copies to the counsel, and close the case.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Order is available at
https://is.gd/dCvrli from Leagle.com.

Jade Wilcox, on behalf of herself and all others similarly
situated, Plaintiff, represented by James Richard Sweetser,
Sweetser Law Office, Thomas G. Jarrard -- TJARRARD@att.net -- Law
Office of Thomas G. Jarrard & Marcus Sweetser, Sweetser Law
Office.

John Batiste, Chief of Washington State Patrol, Defendant,
represented by Shelley Anne Williams, Washington State Attorney
General's Office.


WECONNECT INC: Court Grants Conditional Certification in Goplin
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Western District of
Wisconsin issued an Opinion and Order granting Plaintiffs' motion
for conditional certification of a class of similarly-situated
current and former satellite technicians in the case captioned
BROOKS GOPLIN, Plaintiff, v. WECONNECT, INC., Defendant. No.
17-cv-773-jdp. (W.D. Wis.).

Plaintiff Brooks Goplin has sued defendant WeConnect, Inc. for
violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and Wisconsin
wage and hour laws.  Initially, the plaintiff moves for conditional
certification, at which point he need only make a modest factual
showing sufficient to demonstrate that he and potential plaintiffs
together with victims of a common policy or plan that violated the
law.

The Court finds that Goplin has made the modest factual showing
necessary for conditional certification. He adduces evidence that
he and other putative class members were paid only from the time
they arrived at their first client site to the time they finished
at their last client site. They received no compensation for the
time spent performing pre- and post-shift tasks, such as loading
and unloading equipment from their vehicles at the beginning of
every workday and traveling to and from customers' homes. As a
result, technicians were systematically denied the overtime wages
that they were entitled to under the FLSA.  

WeConnect challenges the sufficiency of Goplin's evidence that he
is similarly situated to others in the putative class of
technicians on four fact-specific grounds. First, it contends that
Goplin and the other opt-in plaintiffs' practice of storing company
equipment in their homes and loading it into and out of their vans
every day violated the company's official written policy.  

WeConnect argues that this precludes a showing of similarly
situatedness because any alleged FLSA violations would only have
occurred by dint of individual technicians' failure to follow
company policy. Goplin, Oquist, and Bobb acknowledged that this
policy existed on paper, but testified that their vans were only
large enough to hold approximately one day's worth of supplies.
They allege that their managers knew about and encouraged their
practice of storing excess company equipment in their homes,
because it enabled technicians to wait longer in between restocking
trips to their territory offices.

Second, WeConnect highlights various factual distinctions between
Goplin and other members of the putative collective that it says
should preclude conditional certification. It notes that Goplin was
an hourly employee, whereas the vast majority of other technicians
received unit pay. This distinction might be relevant for damage
calculation purposes, but it does not preclude conditional
certification. Unit pay employees are also entitled to overtime
wages. And WeConnect adduces no evidence that the time reporting
policies Goplin challenges varied based on compensation scheme.

Third, the court rejects WeConnect's argument that Goplin is not
sufficiently similarly situated because he was a rural technician
rather than a local technician. WeConnect may be correct in
suggesting that local technicians generally had less need to store
company equipment in their homes by virtue of their ability to
return to their territory offices to restock with greater
frequency.

But this distinction ultimately goes to damages, not the propriety
of conditional certification.

Fourth, WeConnect notes that Goplin testified about his regular
practice of driving his daughters to daycare in the mornings in
between loading up his van and driving to his first customer site.


WeConnect suggests that this undermines his continuous workday
theory such that conditional certification would be inappropriate.
But these are precisely the sort of fine-grained factual
distinctions that are the more appropriately addressed at
decertification. None of these fact-specific distinctions are
sufficient to preclude conditional certification.

WeConnect contends that Goplin is not similarly situated to other
members of the proposed collective because his arbitration
agreement is not representative of other members of the collective.
Although Goplin's arbitration agreement has been deemed
unenforceable by this court, other technicians signed different
versions of the agreement that do not suffer from the same defects.
This issue raises a closer question about the propriety of
conditional certification.

There are three different versions of the arbitration agreement in
issue here. The first is the version signed by Goplin and the
opt-in plaintiffs, which WeConnect says was signed by a total of
786 technicians between February 2013 and October 2017. WeConnect
contends that the vast majority of these agreements were executed
before AEI became WeConnect in August 2016.

The second version of the arbitration agreement went into effect on
November of 2017, when WeConnect updated its template to replace
all references to AEI with WeConnect, Inc. This second version of
the agreement was in use between November 2017 and June 2018 and
was signed by approximately 145 technicians.  WeConnect contends
that all copies of this agreement were countersigned by the
company, but there are no executed examples of it in the record.

Goplin points out that other district courts have conditionally
certified collective actions and even certified classes under Rule
23 despite the presence of potentially enforceable arbitration
agreements among putative class members.  

In light of these considerations, the court will conditionally
certify the class now, but will order the parties to address the
arbitration issue in their decertification and Rule 23 briefing.
Specifically, the parties should develop the record as to whether
the three versions of the arbitration agreement signed by opt-in
plaintiffs are enforceable. The parties should focus their
discussion on the various categories of arbitration agreement at
issue, which should not entail individualized analysis of each
opt-in plaintiff.

If the court determines that one or more versions of the agreement
are enforceable, or that adjudicating their enforceability will
require substantial individualized review, that will militate in
favor of decertifying the collective and allowing only Goplin and
the subclass of technicians without enforceable agreements to move
forward assuming that that subclass otherwise meets the
requirements necessary to proceed collectively.

Scope of conditionally certified class

The court grants Goplin's motion to conditionally certify and send
court-authorized notice to a class consisting of all technicians
who worked for WeConnect on or after March 6, 2015 three years from
the date that Goplin filed his conditional certification motion.

WeConnect argues that, in light of the prior briefing on Goplin's
arbitration agreement, Goplin should be precluded by judicial
estoppel from now taking the position that AEI and WeConnect are
the same entity for the purposes of this lawsuit. It asks the court
to cabin the opt-in class by starting the class period on August
18, 2016, the date that AEI became WeConnect. But Goplin has never,
in fact, taken the position that AEI and WeConnect were different
companies. Rather, Goplin raised questions about the enforceability
of Goplin's arbitration agreement, which WeConnect then failed
adequately to rebut.

WeConnect's failure to carry its own burden is not a basis for
judicial estoppel.
Plaintiff Brooks Goplin's motion for conditional certification and
court-authorized notice, is GRANTED.

A full-text copy of the District Court's December 6, 2018 Opinion
and Order is available at https://tinyurl.com/yc267jhs from
Leagle.com.

Brooks Goplin, Plaintiff, represented by Caitlin Marie Madden,
Hawks Quindel, S.C. & David C. Zoeller, Hawks Quindel, S.C.

WeConnect, Inc., Defendant, represented by Kurt A. Goehre,
Liebmann, Conway, Olejniczak & Jerry, S.C., Ralph George Burnett,
Liebmann, Conway, Olejniczak & Jerry, S.C. & Ross William Townsend,
Conway, Olejniczak & Jerry, S.C.

WeConnect, Inc., Counter Claimant, represented by Kurt A. Goehre,
Liebmann, Conway, Olejniczak & Jerry, S.C. & Ross William Townsend,
Conway, Olejniczak & Jerry, S.C.

Brooks Goplin, Counter Defendant, represented by Caitlin Marie
Madden, Hawks Quindel, S.C. &David C. Zoeller, Hawks Quindel, S.C.


WELLS FARGO: Pieterson's Class Certification Bid Underway
---------------------------------------------------------
In the class action lawsuit captioned ALBERT PIETERSON, on behalf
of himself and all others similarly situated, the Plaintiff, vs.
WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., the Defendant, Case No. 3:17-cv-02306-EDL
(N.D. Cal.), a case management conference was held before
Magistrate Judge Elizabeth D. Laporte on Jan. 7, 2019.  A
discussion was held regarding the class certification motion and
the settlement that occurred in a related case from the Northern
District of Illinois.   

Prior to this, Wells Fargo on Jan. 2 filed an administrative motion
to present expert testimony and evidence at the Feb. 5, 2019
hearing on Plaintiff's Motion to Certify Class and Wells Fargo's
Daubert motion.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          Jonathan D. Selbin, Esq.
          LIEFF CABRASER HEIMANN & BERNSTEIN, LLP
          250 Hudson Street, 8th Floor
          New York, NY 10013
          Telephone: (212) 355-9500
          Facsimile: (212) 355-9692
          E-mail: jselbin@lchb.com


WENDY'S INTERNATIONAL: Affected by Data Breach Class-Action Lawsuit
-------------------------------------------------------------------
Patrick Anderson, writing for Sioux Falls Argus Leader, reports
that customers of two Sioux Falls Wendy's restaurants might qualify
for a class-action lawsuit that resulted from a company-wide data
breach in the winter of 2016.

The restaurant chain was the target of a cyber attack, which
targeted the point-of-sale software used by some of its
franchisee-owned locations. None of the restaurants owned by the
larger chain were affected.

The two affected locations in Sioux Falls are the Wendy's at 400 S.
Lyons Ave. and 708 S. Minnesota Ave.

Local franchisee The Boyle Cos. did not immediately respond to a
request for comment on December 5.

The third-party data breach exposed customer financial data to
malware. Victims who used their credit card at a Wendy's during the
specified period -- from Oct. 29, 2015 until Feb. 14, 2016 --
qualify for a cash payment of up to $5,000.

Wendy's investigated their systems after the attack and in 2016
released a statement saying it targeted the names of cardholders,
as well as the numbers and expiration dates of both credit and
debit cards used at the affected stores.

A class-action suit was filed that same year and Wendy's agreed to
a $3.4 million settlement in October without admitting fault.

Victims of the attack will have to wait to receive their money from
the settlement. Courts have until Feb. 25, 2019 to approve the
settlement and appeals are also possible.

More information and claim forms can be filled out at
kccsecure.com/wendysdatabreachsettlement/Claimant [GN]


WEST COAST SELF-STORAGE: Ruby Hunter Sues over Unfair Rental Fees
-----------------------------------------------------------------
RUBY HUNTER, an individual and all other Plaintiff similarly
situated, the Plaintiff, vs. WEST COAST SELF-STORAGE GROUP, LLC dba
WEST COAST SELF-STORAGE COST A MESA, and DOES 1 through 100,
inclusive, the Defendants, Case No. 01038744 (Cal. Super. Ct., Dec.
18, 2018), alleges that the Defendants offered, represented and
enforced terms and conditions in their rental agreements that were
unlawful, fraudulent on its face in violation of the California
Self-Storage Facility Act.  The Plaintiff were charged by the
Defendants unfair renting fees.

The Defendants are the owners and operators of "self-service
storage facilities" in the State of California as defined by
Business and Professions Code section 21701(a). "Self-service
storage facilities" are subject to the regulations of the
California Self-Service Storage Facilities Act.

According to the complaint, from on or about April 11, 2018 to
December 18, 2018, the Defendant leased real property to the
Plaintiff for the purpose of safely and securely storing her
valuable personal possessions.[BN]

The Plaintiff appears pro se.

WHOLE FOODS: Court Allows Filing of 4th Amended Kellman Suit
------------------------------------------------------------
In the case, SHOSHA KELLMAN, on behalf of herself and all others
similarly situated, Plaintiff, v. WHOLE FOODS MARKET, INC., et al.,
Defendants, Case No. 17-cv-06584-LB (N.D. Cal.), Magistrate Judge
Laurel Beeler of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District
of California, San Francisco Division, (i) denied without prejudice
the Defendants' motion to dismiss in part the third amended
complaint ("3AC") as moot; (ii) granted Ms. Kellman's motion for
leave to amend and file a fourth amended complaint ("4AC"); and
(iii) granted the Defendants' request that several of the exhibits
to the parties' motion-to-dismiss and motion-to-amend briefing and
the discussions of those exhibits in the briefs be sealed on the
ground that they contain Whole Foods trade secrets.

Ms. Kellman brings the putative consumer class action on behalf of
two putative classes: one of all U.S. residents who purchased these
products, and one of all California residents who bought these
products.  Her 3AC names as the Defendants (1) Whole Foods Market,
Inc. ("WFMI"), the parent Whole Foods holding company, (2) Whole
Foods Market California, Inc., a subsidiary that operates Whole
Foods retail stores in northern California, (3) Whole Foods Market
Services, Inc., a subsidiary that allegedly provides various
administrative services to other Whole Foods entities, and (4)
Whole Foods Market Distribution, Inc., a subsidiary that allegedly
distributes Whole Foods's private-label products to its retail
stores.6 WFMI, WFM Services, and WFM Distribution moved to dismiss
the claims against them for lack of personal jurisdiction, and all
the four Defendants moved to dismiss Ms. Kellman's claims on behalf
of the Putative Nationwide Class.

She alleges that Whole Foods has been mislabeling certain of its
private-label household and body-care products as "hypoallergenic"
despite the fact that they contain known allergens.

The Court permitted Ms. Kellman to take certain jurisdictional
discovery of the Defendants.  Following jurisdictional discovery,
Ms. Kellman filed an opposition to the Defendants' motion to
dismiss.  She attached as exhibits several documents that she
received in discovery that the Defendants had marked "confidential"
or "highly confidential" pursuant to the protective order in the
case.  Pursuant to the protective order, Ms. Kellman filed an
administrative motion to seal those exhibits and portions of her
opposition brief that discussed those exhibits.

The Defendants filed a reply in support of their motion to dismiss.
Their cited to several of Ms. Kellman's exhibits that were subject
to the pending motion to seal.  The Defendants filed an
administrative motion to seal portions of their reply brief that
discussed the exhibits.

The Court granted in part and provisionally denied the motions to
seal.  With respect to the denial, it held that the Defendants had
not sufficiently shown that the materials to be sealed were trade
secrets or otherwise entitled to protection under the law and that
the proposed sealing and redactions were not narrowly tailored.
The Court allowed the Defendants to file a supplemental declaration
showing why the materials should be sealed, narrowly tailored to
the specific portions of the materials that they believe should be
sealed.  They filed a supplemental declaration.

In addition to filing an opposition to the Defendants' motion to
dismiss, Ms. Kellman filed a motion for leave to file a 4AC.  Her
proposed 4AC dismisses WFMI as a Defendant and adds a new
Defendant, WFM Private Label, L.P., in addition to WFM California,
WFM Services, and WFM Distribution.

The Defendants oppose Ms. Kellman's motion to amend, arguing that
(1) the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over WFM Services and WFM
Distribution and that, if Ms. Kellman were allowed to amend her
complaint, those Defendants would have to challenge personal
jurisdiction again, and (2) Ms. Kellman's 4AC attaches as exhibits
confidential internal Whole Foods documents and that, if the Court
were to grant their motion to dismiss WFM Services and WFM
Distribution now, there would be no need for those documents to be
attached to the 4AC.

With respect to Ms. Kellman's motion to amend, Magistrate Judge
Beeler finds that there is at most a weak showing of prejudice to
the Defendants.  The Defendants raise two arguments: (1) having to
file a new motion to dismiss and (2) that the proposed 4AC attaches
as exhibits documents that the defendants assert are confidential.
Regarding the first issue, she says while the Defendants may have
to file a new motion to dismiss the 4AC, many if not all of their
arguments with respect to WFM Services and WFM Distribution will be
the same as the ones they advanced with respect to the 3AC, so the
prejudice from having to file a new motion is limited.  Regarding
the second issue, the documents at issue have been filed on the
docket already, so the confidentiality issue is in play in any
event.  The Magistrate is granting the narrowed motions to seal,
which addresses the Defendants' confidentiality concerns.

While Ms. Kellman has previously amended her complaint several
times, there is no showing of bad faith or undue delay on her part.
The Magistrate considered the Defendants' futility arguments but
to the extent that they exist, they can be addressed through future
motions or in a case-management context.  Considering the Court's
knowledge of the entire case and taking all factors into
consideration, she finds good cause and will grant Ms. Kellman's
motion to file a 4AC.

As to the Defendants' motion to seal, the Magistrate finds that the
Defendants have shown good cause to seal the portions of the
exhibits, and the discussions of those exhibits in the parties'
filings, as narrowed in their supplemental statement.  While the
Defendants' original declarations in support of sealing did not
narrowly tailor their sealing requests and did not sufficiently
establish that the materials sought to be sealed were trade secrets
or otherwise entitled to protection under the law, their
supplemental statement more narrowly tailors their sealing requests
and better establishes those materials as trade secrets.  The
Magistrate finds that the Defendants have shown good cause, or in
the alternative, compelling reasons, to seal that paragraph and
portions of the exhibits, as narrowed in the Defendants'
supplemental statement.

Based on the foregoing, Magistrate Judge Beeer (1) granted Ms.
Kellman's motion for leave to amend and file a 4AC and (2) granted
the motions to seal as narrowed by the Defendants' supplemental
statement of Nov. 19, 2018.  She denied without prejudice the
Defendants' motion to dismiss in part the 3AC as moot.  The
Defendants may re-raise their arguments (if they choose) in a
motion to dismiss the 4AC.

A full-text copy of the Court's Dec. 21, 2018 Order is available at
https://is.gd/rVvN2e from Leagle.com.

Shosha Kellman & Abigail Starr, Plaintiffs, represented by David A.
Searles, Francis & Mailman, James A. Francis, Francis and Mailman,
P.C., Yvette Y. Golan -- info@tgfirm.com -- The Golan Firm &
Stephanie R. Tatar -- Stephanie@thetatarlawfirm.com -- Tatar Law
Firm, APC.

Whole Foods Market, Inc., Defendant, represented by Brian R.
Blackman -- bblackman@blaxterlaw.com -- Blaxter & Blackman LLP &
J.T. Wells Blaxter -- wblaxter@blaxterlaw.com -- Blaxter & Blackman
LLP.

Whole Foods Market California, Inc., Whole Foods Market Services,
Inc., Whole Foods Market Group, Inc. & Whole Foods Market
Distribution, Inc., Defendants, represented by Brian R. Blackman,
Blaxter & Blackman LLP.


YALE STONE: Orellana Seeks Overtime Pay under FLSA
--------------------------------------------------
LELIS EDGARDO DELCID ORELLANA, individually and on behalf of others
similarly situated, the Plaintiff, vs. YALE STONE LLC (D/B/A YALE
TILE & STONE), YALE TILE & STONE LLC (D/B/A YALE TILE & STONE),
JOHN DOE CORP. (D/B/A FSB CONSTRUCTION), ANTONIO DATTOLO, FRANCESCO
LORENTI, and FREDY LEONARDO ESPINOZA, the Defendants, Case No.
1:18-cv-12081 (S.D.N.Y., Dec. 20, 2018), seeks to recover unpaid
overtime wages pursuant to the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 and
the New York Labor Law.

According to the complaint, the Defendants own, operate, or control
construction corporations, under the names "Yale Tile & Stone" and
"FSB Construction" with their respective offices located at 120
Glen Head Road Glen Head, NY 11545 and in Queens, New York. The
Plaintiff was employed as a construction worker at the construction
companies, which conducted various construction projects in
Manhattan. The Plaintiff worked for Defendants in excess of 40
hours per week, without appropriate overtime compensation for the
hours that he worked. Rather, the Defendants failed to maintain
accurate record-keeping of the hours worked, failed to pay the
Plaintiff appropriately for any hours worked, either at the
straight rate of pay or for any additional overtime premium. The
Defendants' conduct extended beyond Plaintiff to all other
similarly situated employees. The Defendants maintained a policy
and practice of requiring Plaintiff and other employees to work in
excess of 40 hours per week without providing the overtime
compensation required by federal and state law and regulations, the
lawsuit says.[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

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

ZEMAN HOMES: Augustyniak Seeks Interest from Security Deposits
--------------------------------------------------------------
Edward Zeman and entities affiliated with Zeman, including Zeman
Homes and Blackhawk Estates MHC, LLC, are facing a class action
lawsuit alleging that the defendants failed to properly pay
interest on security deposits from their tenants as required by the
Illinois Compiled Statutes.

All Defendants are subsidiaries of Zeman Homes, LLC and managed by
Zeman Homes.  Zeman Homes and all of its related entities are owned
by Edward Zeman.  Zeman maintained separate LLCs for holding each
property and its assets, but managed all properties and the
subsidiary LLCs through Zeman homes.

The lawsuit alleges that Zeman, individually and through his
companies, commingled funds, resources, employees, professional
services, documents, and advertising for all properties with all
Defendants.  Zeman knew of the requirement to pay interest payment
but intentionally withheld the payments.

The lawsuit says plaintiff Athenia Augustyniak maintained a
security deposit for her leased site of $630.00 until 2018.  All
other residents of the Defendants' properties maintained a security
deposit until 2018.  The residents of Zeman Home Communities were
forced to accept the Defendants' violations with regards to
non-payment of interest in order to avoid risking their tenancy.

The lawsuit claims Zeman was told of the issues with security
deposits by the Plaintiffs in this matter as early as 2015 and
still refused to pay appropriate interest to residents.

The case is captioned as Athenia Augustyniak, Individually and on
behalf of those Similarly Situated, the Plaintiff, vs. Edward
Zeman, Blackhawk Estates MHC, LLC., Zeman Homes, Inc.,Great
American Homes LLC; Mobile Management Co., Inc.; Creek Ridge LLC;
Edgebrook LLC; Edgebrook Owner LLC; Edgebrook Managing Member LLC;
Farmington Estates LLC; Farmington Estates Owner LLC; Farmington
Estates Managing Member LLC; Forest Hills Village, LLC; Harbor
Lites MHC LLC; Kingsway Estates LLC; Kingsway Estates Owner LLC;
Maple Grove Estates LLC; Maple Grove Estates Owner LLC; Midway
Estates LLC; Midway Estates  Owner LLC; Midway Estates Managing
Member LLC; Old Oaks Estates LLC; Old Oaks Estates Owner LLC; Old
Oak Estates Managing Member LLC; Pleasant Ridge LLC; Pleasant Ridge
Owner LLC; Pleasant Ridge Managing Member LLC; Rockland Homes LLC;
Rosebud MHC LLC; Rosebud MHC 2, LLC; Rosebud MHC Manager LLC; Shady
Oaks II LLC; Shady Oaks Owner LLC; Shady Oaks Managing Member LLC;
Southwest Estates LLC; Southwest Estates Managing Member LLC;
Southwest Estates Owner LLC; Sunny Acres Estates LLC; Sunny Acres
Estates Owner LLC; Sunny Acres Estates Managing Member LLC; Town &
Country MHC LLC; Town & Country MHC Owner LLC; Town & Country MHC
Managing Member LLC; Valley Oaks LLC; Valley Oaks Owner LLC; Valley
Oaks Managing Member LLC; Waters Edge Estates MHC LLC; Willoway
Terrace LLC; Willoway Terrace Two, LLC, Case No. 2018CH15645 (Ill.
Cir, Ct., Cook Cty, Dec. 18, 2018).[BN]

Attorneys for Plaintiff:

          LAW OFFICES OF MATTHEW M. SAFFAR
          800 E. Northwest Highway, Suite I 095
          Palatine, IL 60074
          Telephone: (847) 259 6647
          E-mail: saffarlaw@gmail.com

[*] One Big Case May Open US-Style Class Action Floodgates in UK
----------------------------------------------------------------
James Booth, writing for City A.M., reports that the Royal Bank of
Scotland, Lloyds Banking Group, Tesco, Google and Mastercard.

These are just a handful of the household names that have been
targeted in group action lawsuits in the UK with billions of pounds
at stake.

The UK, unlike the US or Australia, does not have a long history of
class action-style lawsuits, however, London is full of canny
claimant lawyers looking for the next big case to bring and
litigation funders with full coffers ready to back them.

Head of commercial disputes for Addleshaw Goddard, Mark Molyneux --
mark.molyneux@addleshawgoddard.com -- says it could take one big
case to open the floodgates.

"People are trying different angles to get these multiple claimants
actions up and running . . . the question is whether this will be
the start of US, Australian and Canadian-style large claimant group
actions?"

Mr. Molyneux was instructed by specialist transport law firm
Backhouse Jones to co-advise the Road Haulage Association in a
group action against a cartel of truck manufacturers which the
European Commission has levied a collective fine of £3.4bn against
for breaking competition law.

Competition group actions are viewed as potentially one of the most
fruitful areas for claims as in 2015 a regime for both "opt in" and
"opt out" group actions was introduced, the later meaning an action
can be brought on behalf of all members of a class, whether or not
they specifically ask to be included.

However, there have not been any successful cases brought on this
basis, with the most significant, a £14bn claim against
Mastercard, the largest claim ever brought in the UK courts, struck
out by the Competition Appeal Tribunal in 2017, although that
decision has been appealed.

Meanwhile, there are a number of cases, such as the "dieselgate"
action against Volkswagen and the truck cartel claim, that are
proceeding on an "opt in" basis, where affected individuals sign up
to be part of the class.

Another developing area is shareholder litigation, where groups of
investors sue companies for losses after they buy shares on a
misleading basis, or a company's share price fall sharply through
its own wrongdoing.

RBS, Lloyds and Tesco have all been targeted by lawsuits of this
type.

Lianne Craig -- lcraig@hausfeld.com -- a partner in the London
office of US litigation firm Hausfeld, says: "In the US these
securities class actions have been ten-a-penny for many years, lots
of firms bring them as soon as there is evidence of no disclosure
to the market and a share price drop.

"Previously the US courts took jurisdiction above non-US claims so
you could have European investors affected by a non-disclosure and
they could get coverage in the US class but the US courts stopped
allowing that.

"You ended up with US securities litigation firms with deep pockets
circling in Europe with lots of European institutional investor
clients looking for opportunities to bring these claims."

Harry Edwards -- Harry.Edwards@hsf.com -- a partner at Herbert
Smith Freehills, which defended RBS and Lloyds, says he expects to
see growth in these types of claims.

"Clients are worried about it and thinking about it a lot," he
says.

"Any time there is a crisis event or a large share price fall in a
large listed company I am sure both funders and claimant firms are
immediately looking at it to see if they can build a claim," he
adds.

However, barriers remain. The competition sector is the only area
with an "opt out" regime and that has not yet been successfully
tested.

More widely there is not a well-developed framework for bringing
group actions in the English legal system, meaning lawyers and
judges largely improvising in cases that do reach the courts.

The UK also has a cost shifting regime, meaning that in the event
of an unsuccessful claim, the claimant could be liable for the
defendants costs, which in the RBS litigation topped £100m.

Stephen O'Dowd -- stephen.odowd@harbourlf.com -- of litigation
funder Harbour, which is currently funding law firm Mishcon de
Reya's investigation of a potential claim against Uber, says he is
sceptical about a potential explosion of UK group actions, arguing
it is likely to be a longer and slower process.

"Change will come but we are a long way behind. Australia's regime
is 26 years old, it is mature, very well tested, with specialist
class action judges; here we have a competition litigation-only
regime and it is yet to be tested," he says.

While the political will or stability to introduce a more
comprehensive framework for class actions in the English courts
seems lacking, the desire among claimant firms and litigation
funders to try and bring cases is clear.

Mr. Molyneux says: ""The big picture is that with the amount of
litigation funding available people are out there looking for cases
and for claims that they can take to potential claimant groups."

Ms. Craig says: "Lots of players in the market are interested in
doing this type of work and there is a lot of money there to fund
them."

Companies then, need to be vigilant. With both claimant lawyers and
funders scrutinising their every step, any corporate wrongdoing
could prove expensive. [GN]


                        Asbestos Litigation

ASBESTOS UPDATE: $13MM Verdict Should Be Upheld, Family Says
------------------------------------------------------------
Lompoc Record reported that attorneys for the family of a deceased
Santa Maria man are urging the court to uphold a $13 million
verdict against defendant Hillshire Brands, saying the company
should be punished for negligence with regard to safety
procedures.

In August 2017 at Alameda County Superior Court, Hillshire Brands
and plaintiff's attorneys Lawrence Gornick and Jeffrey Kaiser faced
off in a trial over the death of Mark Lopez, who died in July 2015
at the age of 61 from mesothelioma.

The jury found Hillshire fully liable because of Lopez's asbestos
exposure while he was growing up during the 1950s in Betteravia, a
small town west of Santa Maria that surrounded the Union Sugar
Plant, and ordered the company to pay $13 million to the Lopez
family.

Hillshire appealed the verdict earlier this year, arguing that the
mere presence of asbestos at the plant was insufficient to hold
them accountable for Lopez's death. The plant turned beets into
sugar, and twice a year had workers remove asbestos insulation for
maintenance purposes.

Hillshire further argued that its operations were consistent with
the custom and practice for insulation work, and asbestos exposure
risks for bystanders, and that standard rules weren't released
until 1979.

Attorneys Gornick, Kaiser and Sharon Arkin, opposing the appeal,
urged the appellate court to uphold the verdict against Hillshire,
claiming that Hillshire had prior knowledge of the safety hazards
and regulations released by California Safety Orders as early as
1951, but neglected to eliminate asbestos to legal standards.

When one can see visible dust, as one witness testified, that means
asbestos exposure was way over the minimum capacity unit of
measurement and any exposure was harmful, according to law, Kaiser
wrote in his opposition. The company never examined their asbestos
problem between 1954 and 1972 and Hillshire's own defense expert
admitted that he wasn't aware of Hillshire complying with any
existing OSHA rules prior to 1973.

A former superintendent of the refinery, Ed Kealm, testified that
even after OSHA rules came out, "no rule prohibiting grinding of
removed asbestos insulation was established by Hillshire."

Another former worker, Reed Brewer, recalled that in 1970-73, he
asked his superintendent for a particle mask when it got dusty but
was told to simply 'turn my head, take a deep breath and come
finish work,'" Kaiser wrote.

Three different medical experts -- an epidemiologist, a
pulmonologist and pathologist, agreed in their trial testimony that
there was no doubt Lopez's mesothelioma was caused by asbestos
exposure from the refinery, the opposition continued.

Hillshire provided no expert testimony indicating Lopez's exposure
could have been from another source, Kaiser wrote.

By 1954, when Lopez was living at Betteravia, the company should
have known about health risks associated with asbestos and should
have trained their employees, the response said; by the time Lopez
was visiting the refinery in the 60s, it was known for years
asbestos caused cancer.

Finally, the jury was properly instructed on negligence, and the
safety orders Hillshire failed to follow were evidence relevant to
establishing the basis of standard care companies had to follow,
Kaiser wrote, adding that Hillshire is also 100 percent at fault
and that none of the $13 million verdict should be apportioned to
other manufacturers of Union Sugar.

Even the judge, who denied Hillshire's motion for a new trial for
apportionment of fault, pointed out all "industrial hygiene steps
that have been known [as early as the 30s] about controlling
asbestos exposure ... and the testimony in this case was that zero
was done,'" Kaiser said.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: 6 Judges to Hear Montana's Asbestos Claims Backlog
-------------------------------------------------------------------
MTPR reported that Montana's Supreme Court has appointed six more
judges to the state's year-old asbestos claims court.

It's been nearly 20 years since the Libby asbestos disaster hit
national news, but many Montanans affected by it are still fighting
for reparations in the courts, with no end in sight.

Court Administrator Beth McLaughlin says some people have had cases
pending for more than 15 years, and without the appointment of the
additional judges, "It could take decades to get these cases
tried."

Many have been tied up because of federal bankruptcy filings by
W.R. Grace, the company that mined asbestos in Libby, which
prevented the cases from proceeding in state court. Now that the
federal proceedings have ended, Montana’s asbestos claims court
has identified more than 2,200 pending cases alleging asbestos
exposure against more than 40 individual defendants. The supreme
court's appointment of six more judges is a relief to attorneys and
claimants in the thick of the battle.

"We appreciate the attention of the court and of these new asbestos
claims court judges on this matter," says Jinnifer Jeresek Mariman,
an attorney at a Kalispell law firm that has handled most of the
asbestos exposure cases in Montana. She's from Libby and pursued
law specifically to help her hometown.

"It's our hope that we’ll be able to get these cases resolved
more quickly."

The asbestos claims court was an attempt to meet the demands of
both claimants and defendants. District Judge Amy Eddy in Flathead
County was the first appointed to it, and she says adding six more
judges only scratches the surface of the demand for legal
resolutions.

"Well frankly it's not nearly enough," Eddy says. "We've got
hundreds and hundreds of cases to try across primarily northwest
Montana."

Eddy says the Montana judiciary as a whole is understaffed and
underfunded. The now seven judges working on the asbestos claims
court are doing so voluntarily without additional compensation on
top of already hefty workloads. It's not a light undertaking.

"The Asbestos Claims Court is handling some of the most
long-standing and complicated toxic exposure cases that the
judiciary has handled in Montana. I'm unaware of any other
litigation with this scope of complexity and history in the state
courts."

More than 60 countries have banned the use of asbestos entirely,
including Canada and the United Kingdom. The U.S. regulates the use
of the mineral, but has not banned it.

Montana's Supreme Court anticipates an additional 200 asbestos
exposure cases to crop up each year in the foreseeable future.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: A&E Claims Cost Continue to Rise
-------------------------------------------------
Reinsurance News reported that asbestos and environmental claims
currently cost the property and casualty (P&C) re/insurance
industry around $1.9 billion and $800 million in additional losses
per year, respectively, and show no signs of slowing down,
according to A.M. Best.

The rating agency has raised its estimate of the ultimate net
environmental losses for the industry to $46 billion in response to
the growth in ultimate loss exposure.

This represents a $4 billion increase over the previous estimate,
and is due to the continued development on sites that have been
found to be more toxic than originally thought, as well as the
associated increase in clean-up and defence costs.

In terms of asbestos claims, A.M. Best maintained its' net ultimate
asbestos loss estimate of $100 billion, although it noted that
quantifying the industry's ultimate loss exposure is difficult,
given the significant advancements in medical effectiveness, as
well as developing litigation strategies.

The increase in the environmental estimate reflects the fact that
the re/insurance industry continues to incur losses of
approximately $700 million per year, while paying out $760
million.

Previous estimates anticipated a slow reduction in the level of
claims, but A.M. Best said that the pace has not yet declined in
any meaningful way.

The firm's analysts put the combined ultimate industry losses for
asbestos and environmental (A&E) at $146 billion, and noted that
the industry had funded approximately 89% of it's A&E exposure
through a combination of paid losses and loss reserves.

A.M. Best added that, from 2013 to 2017, re/insurers paid out more
every year than they incurred, with payments of $17.8 billion for
A&E claims and $13.3 billion in incurred losses.

Asbestos incurred losses came to approximately $10 billion, and
payments, $14 billion, while environmental losses came to $3.7
billion, and payments, $3.8 billion.

At year-end 2017, asbestos reserves had decreased nearly 4% to
$19.1 billion, and environmental reserves, by 3.0% to $5.2
billion.

The industry's A&E losses remain concentrated, with the top 30
re/insurance groups representing nearly 95% of the paid total and
94% of the total A&E reserves.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Atty Hopes $4.69B Verdict to Propel Accountability
-------------------------------------------------------------------
St. Louis Record reported that Mark Lanier hopes a Missouri trial
court judge's recent decision affirming a $4.69 billion verdict
against pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson will propel the
company to reach for higher levels of accountability.

"We hope this judgment will compel Johnson & Johnson to take
responsible, effective action in acknowledging the inherent dangers
of the use of talc, and specifically the use of Johnson's Baby
Powder and similar products," Lanier, who served as counsel to all
22 of the women that first filed suit against the company last
summer blaming their ovarian cancer on asbestos in Johnson's baby
powder and other talc products, said in a statement following the
five-week long proceedings.

Reuters reports since the court's initial July 12 ruling in the
case, at least six of the women named as plaintiffs in the suit
have perished.

In rendering his latest verdict on Dec. 18, Judge Rex Burlison of
the Circuit Court of the City of St. Louis was as forceful as he
was succinct, asserting "The court finds there is no just reason
for delay and hereby certifies this judgment as final for purposes
of appeal."

Even as Burlison blasted Johnson & Johnson's actions over the years
as "reprehensible," the company vowed to fight on in hopes of
clearing its name.

In a statement, Johnson & Johnson branded the proceedings as
"fundamentally unfair," and continued to insist its talc is safe
while pledging to pursue all appellate avenues.

"The same judge has denied similar motions on prior verdicts in his
court that were ultimately overturned by the appellate courts,"
company officials added. "We are confident this verdict will also
be overturned on appeal."

As part of a public campaign to uphold the image it has spent over
132 years cultivating, the company has launched a Facts About Talc
website and taken out full-page advertisements touting its
commitment to health and safety in several national publications.

At the time of the initial verdict, the ruling against Johnson &
Johnson was the largest ever in lawsuits against companies whose
products were alleged to cause cancer.  The jury's award broke down
to include $550 million in compensatory damages and a punitive
award of $4.14 billion.

Throughout the proceedings before Burlison, attorneys for the
plaintiffs argued that Johnson & Johnson had been fully aware that
its products posed asbestos-related health risks for almost the
last half-century and actively set out on a course to keep
consumers in the dark on the matter.

In the wake of Burlison's ruling, company stock prices quickly
spiraled downward by as much as 10 percent.

In all, the New York Times reports Johnson & Johnson faces nearly
12,000 plaintiffs in talc-related cases where many of the victims
make the same claims put forth in the case before Burlison. A group
of others go as far as to allege they came to suffer from
mesothelioma, a deadly cancer of the lining of internal organs that
is associated with asbestos.

Though the company has been found to have been negligent in several
previous cases that alleged many of the same dangers, Johnson &
Johnson has yet to pay out any awards and has appealed in each and
every instance where the ruling has gone against them.

Beyond insisting that all of its products have proven to be safe
based on decades of studies and regulatory assessments, Johnson &
Johnson officials have also taken the position the case before
Burlison should have never been held in Missouri based on a 2017
Supreme Court decision curtailing where companies can be sued in
cases where personal injuries are alleged to have occurred.

In quickly rejecting that argument, Burlison maintained that the
case was rightfully litigated in the Missouri court system given
Johnson & Johnson's long-held connection to the state.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Birmingham Landlord Fined for Asbestos Breaches
----------------------------------------------------------------
Health and Safety Executive reported a landlord and building
contractor have been fined after large quantities of asbestos
fibres were released from the demolition of a conservatory at a
rented property.

Birmingham Magistrates' Court heard how the landlord commissioned a
building contractor to replace a conservatory containing asbestos
panels at a property in Selly Oak, Birmingham between Friday 18
August and Tuesday 29 August 2017.  Asbestos was spread as the
panels were removed in a haphazard and uncontained way.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found
that the landlord should have had an asbestos survey carried out
prior to work beginning, and the building contractor should not
have started work without one.  The building contractor took no
precautions and asbestos was spread to the home, contents and next
door.

Wah Kei Dany Ng of Penns Lane, Sutton Coldfield pleaded guilty to
breaching Regulation 4 of the Construction (Design and Management)
Regulations 2015 and has been fined GBP1,200 and ordered to pay
costs of GBP607.21.

Jasvir Singh Sangha of Tunnel Road, West Bromwich pleaded guilty to
breaching Regulations 5 and 16 of the Control of Asbestos
Regulations 2012 and has been sentenced to 150 hours unpaid work
and ordered to pay costs of GBP596.61.

Speaking after the hearing HSE inspector Gareth Langston said
"Asbestos surveys need to be carried out prior to any construction
work which disturbs the fabric of a structure."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Cashmere Bouquet Suit Proceeds to Trial
--------------------------------------------------------
Mesothelioma.net Blog reported that though malignant mesothelioma
has long been associated with industrial and construction settings
and high heat environments, there has been a recent shift in both
the victims of mesothelioma who are being diagnosed and the source
of their asbestos exposure.

Where the majority of people being diagnosed were once older men
who had been exposed on the job, a new generation of victims are
largely younger women whose asbestos exposure comes from one of the
most trusted consumer products: they claim that they were sickened
by asbestos that contaminated the body powder that they used after
their baths and showers, and more and more U.S. courts are
permitting their cases to be heard and decided by juries.

The most recent in this new type of malignant mesothelioma lawsuit
that has gotten the go-ahead to proceed was filed by Desiree
Hooper-Lynch of New York. She was diagnosed with the rare and fatal
form of cancer in April of 2015, and upon investigation she has
determined that her exposure came from use of Colgate-Palmolive
Company's Cashmere Bouquet cosmetic talc product between the years
1968 and 1985. She indicates that her initial exposure to the
product came while she was living in the countries of Guyana and
England, when she was a teacher. She recounts relocating to
Brooklyn, New York in 1979 and continuing to use the product
through 1985 on a daily basis and sometimes more than once a day,
shaking the container and releasing enough of the product for the
room to become dusty and to sometimes make her sneeze. Expert
witnesses provided affidavits supporting her assertion, but Colgate
Palmolive filed a motion for summary judgment with the goal of
dismissing Hooper-Lynch's complaint and all cross claims, doing so
without providing any time of case to disprove her assertions of
negligence. The court denied the request, indicating that there are
issues of fact to be resolved as to whether the company's product
caused her mesothelioma: the case will now proceed to trial, unless
the parties agree to a settlement.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Company Fined $318K for Asbestos Exposure
----------------------------------------------------------
TVNZ reported that a demolition company has been fined $318,750
after it was found to have subjected its workers and members of the
public to possible asbestos exposure.

WorkSafe said in a statement that Crafar Crouch Construction Ltd
had failed to manage the risk of asbestos while demolishing two
buildings in Blenheim.

Asbestos is a known carcinogen which causes cancer when the fibres
are breathed in, but it was previously widely used in the
construction industry.

The first was at 101 Budge Street and the second was at 39 Queen
Street, with the demolitions taking place between August 2016 and
January 2017.

Worksafe was notified and ordered testing of the sites, and found
asbestos was present. It also found the company had not adequately
checked the buildings for asbestos before beginning demolition, and
that it had not taken measures to protect workers.

"We found that workers had not worn appropriate respiratory
personal protective equipment, which is an absolute mandatory in
asbestos management," WorkSafe Head of Specialist Interventions
Simon Humphries said.

"Workers were seen picking through the last of the rubble by hand
with only gloves to protect them from the fibres.

"We were also alarmed that the company appeared to show no concern
over the possibility that asbestos was present on the jobs – that
is startling in a company that regularly undertakes such work.

"Around 170 people die every year from asbestos-related diseases,
making it New Zealand’s number one [work-related] killer.

"The utter negligence displayed by Crafar Crouch and their
disregard for worker health is appalling."

New requirements for companies removing asbestos were introduced in
April of this year, and WorkSafe noted Crafar Crouch do not
currently have the relevant license to undertake asbestos removal
work.

The company was convicted of three charges under the Health and
Safety at Work Act by Blenheim District Court.

Companies Office records show the listed directors of Crafar Crouch
Construction as Norman John Crafar, Shona Louise Crafar, Carol
Isabel Crouch and John Robert Crouch.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Contractor Fined $52K for Asbestos Violations
--------------------------------------------------------------
Worcester Business Journal reported that a Worcester home
improvement contractor will pay almost $52,000 in penalties for
violating asbestos regulations at a residential property in the
city.

According to a news release from the state Department of
Environmental Protection, inspectors in 2016 received a complaint
of a project being conducted by Stephen Faro and his business JAM
Quality Home Improvement.

Inspectors saw an asbestos-containing pipe improperly removed from
pipes in the residence's basement along with fragments and sections
of dry, uncontained asbestos insulation on the basement floor.
Other material was in unsealed household trash bags.

Faro was required to obtain a licensed asbestos contractor to clean
and decontaminate the property.

However, Faro didn't file a notification of the asbestos removal
work with the state and didn't have the property surveyed for
asbestos before any removal work began.

Mary Jude Pigsley, director of MassDEP's Central Regional Office in
Worcester, said Faro, a licensed contractor, should be well aware
of how to handle asbestos.

"Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and following required work
practices is imperative to protect workers as well as the general
public," Pigsley said. "Failure to do so will result in significant
penalties, as well as escalated cleanup, decontamination and
monitoring costs."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: DOJ Objects to Patton as Fairbanks FCR
-------------------------------------------------------
Reuters reported that James Patton, the chairman of Young Conaway
Stargatt & Taylor, has spent the past 30 years working on asbestos
bankruptcies and restructurings. In particular, Patton and his firm
specialize in representing the interests of future asbestos victims
-- people who will someday develop asbestos-related illness but
don't yet know it -- when companies establish special trusts to
cabin off their ongoing exposure to asbestos claims. Young Conaway
has served either as the future claims representative or as counsel
to the future claim representative in the Chapter 11 restructurings
of more than two dozen companies with asbestos liability in the
past 20 years.

The Justice Department smells a rat in that record.

DOJ announced that it had filed an objection to a motion by the
Fairbanks Company to appoint Patton to represent future claimants
in a Chapter 11 case in federal bankruptcy court in Rome, Georgia.
The DOJ filing -- the latest Justice Department maneuver in its
recent campaign against alleged abuse in the administration of
megabillion-dollar asbestos trusts -- argued that Patton and his
law firm have a long record of participation in the creation of
asbestos trusts that failed to include "anti-fraud protections and
safeguards against mismanagement and inflated professional fees."

The government's filing posited that Patton and Young Conaway are
part of a "closed network of professionals who administer asbestos
cases and recycle many of the same trust terms that omit important
anti-fraud provisions and cost controls that the United States
Trustee Program deems essential." DOJ's press release elaborated on
that theme, quoting Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General
Jesse Panuccio on the dangers of repeat players in asbestos
bankruptcies. "In recent years, there have been credible
allegations — and at least one court has found evidence — of
misrepresentation, mismanagement and abuse in the asbestos trust
system," Panuccio said. "A significant contributing factor is the
failure of courts to appoint independent future claimants'
representatives who are free from conflicts of interest, including
conflicts caused by their involvement in other asbestos trusts."

DOJ wants U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Paul Bonapfel of Rome, Georgia, to
open up the appointment process to allow candidates without
previous connections to any of the parties to apply to represent
the future claimants. At the very least, Justice said, Judge
Bonapfel should require Patton to disclose all of his and Young
Conaway's entanglements with other lawyers and professionals
involved in asbestos trust administration, including plaintiffs'
lawyers who represent current asbestos claimants. The judge must
not appoint Patton, according to the government, unless he can
explain why he is not conflicted as a result of Young Conaway's
work for other asbestos trusts.

"Because the funding of most trusts is fixed, conflicts may arise
when the same present claimants file claims with multiple trusts;
in this scenario, the various future claimants would have
conflicting interests regarding how liability for the present
claimants' injuries should be allocated among the various trusts,"
the DOJ filing said. "Absent an explanation of why this inherent
conflict would not prevent Mr. Patton from acting as a fiduciary
for (Fairbank's) future claimants, Mr. Patton's appointment should
not be approved."

If this all sounds vaguely familiar, that's because just three
months ago, the Justice Department filed its opposition to Duro
Dyne's motion to appoint a future claims representative in its
pre-negotiated, asbestos-related Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New
Jersey federal court. As I explained at the time, Duro Dyne and
plaintiffs' lawyers brought in the extremely experienced future
claims representative Lawrence Fitzpatrick to advocate for
prospective asbestos victims as they negotiated the terms of Duro
Dyne's asbestos trust. After the company entered Chapter 11, Duro
Dyne moved for Fitzpatrick's official appointment as the future
claimants' representative, hoping to win quick approval of the
company's pre-negotiated restructuring plan. DOJ disrupted those
plans with its objection to Fitzpatrick's appointment. (Of note:
Fairbanks originally moved for Fitzpatrick to be appointed to
represent future claimants in its Chapter 11 case but Fitzpatrick
asked for the motion to be withdrawn after DOJ objected to his
appointment in the Duro Dyne case.)

In that previous attempt to block a debtor-proposed future
claimants' representative, the Justice Department homed in on
Fitzpatrick's purported financial dependence on the plaintiffs'
lawyers who routinely serve on asbestos creditors' committees and
negotiate the establishment of trusts with companies exposed to
asbestos liability. DOJ demanded disclosures and deposition
testimony from Fitzpatrick. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Kaplan of
Trenton authorized limited discovery, including testimony about
Fitzpatrick's role in the prefiling negotiations.

Ultimately, DOJ's gambit backfired. At an Oct. 16 hearing, Judge
Kaplan granted Duro Dyne's motion to appoint Fitzpatrick, holding
that the government failed to show Fitzpatrick was conflicted or
motivated by improper financial interests. More broadly, the judge
cast doubt on the entire DOJ theory.

"This court questions whether an inquiry into a proposed
representative or professional's ability to be effective is
appropriate at all," he said. "Demanding proof of effectiveness can
become a dangerous and slippery slope for all professionals in a
bankruptcy proceeding. This court is not anxious to go down that
road."

Judge Kaplan called DOJ arguments that Fitzpatrick is beholden to
the parties that brought him into the case "nonsensical and a
nonstarter," since his retention in the Duro Dyne Chapter 11
parallels that of every other professional engaged in a Chapter
11.

He also said that DOJ's objection could imperil pre-negotiated
Chapter 11 bankruptcies for companies facing asbestos liability --
even though Congress expressly enacted provisions in the Bankruptcy
Code to enable these restructurings. "This court has serious
concerns that implementing the standards and employing the
disqualifying criteria espoused by the U.S. Trustee … would for
all practical purposes render a pre-negotiated plan impossible," he
said. "The prepetition selection of, negotiations with and payment
to any prepetition FCR is critical for a successful prenegotiated
asbestos case … This Court is not prepared to second-guess
Congress in its implementation or the 3rd Circuit in its positive
assessment of the process."

For good measure, Judge Kaplan subsequently approved Young Conaway
to act as Fitzpatrick's counsel in his role as the representative
of future claimants.

The Justice Department, in its objection to Patton's appointment in
the Fairbanks Chapter 11, said Judge Kaplan's approach in the Duro
Dyne case "creates a powerful incentive for debtors and present
claimants to nominate FCR candidates who are unlikely to litigate
vigorously against them (and) has had generally poor results for
the future claimants." But Fairbanks' counsel from Reed Smith, in a
response filed Wednesday, emphasized Judge Kaplan's adherence to
the long-accepted procedures for engaging future claims
representatives before and during Chapter 11 proceedings.

For companies that want to restructure their asbestos liability so
they can return to running their otherwise successful businesses,
the Fairbanks brief said, it's crucial to engage an experienced
representative for future claimants. The open-ended process DOJ is
advocating would only eat up "precious time and resources . . . .
hat this Chapter 11 case cannot support."

The Justice Department is to be determined to disrupt business as
usual in asbestos litigation and bankruptcy. But it seems to have
selected a problematic tool to accomplish that goal.

A DOJ spokesperson emailed me a response to my query on the Duro
Dyne and Fairbanks protests, noting that the department has
appealed Judge Kaplan's ruling in Duro Dyne: "We are disappointed
with the court's ruling in Duro Dyne that the candidate selected by
the very parties that he will be required to negotiate or litigate
against and who retained and compensated him prior to the
bankruptcy can exercise the independence needed to protect future
claimants and the integrity of the judicial system."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: EPA Asked to Answer Reports on J&J Talc
--------------------------------------------------------
Reuters reported that two Democratic U.S. lawmakers have called on
the Environmental Protection Agency to answer questions about
asbestos exposure after Reuters reported that documents showed
Johnson & Johnson knew for decades of the mineral's presence in its
popular baby powder.

Whether asbestos in the talc supply in Johnson & Johnson's Baby
Powder caused cancer has been the subject of litigation for years.

The lawmakers, Senator Jeff Merkley and Representative Suzanne
Bonamici, did not mention Johnson & Johnson by name but expressed
"deep concern" about the Reuters report, according to a copy of
their letter dated Dec. 19 and reviewed by Reuters.

In their letter, the two lawmakers asked the EPA how it was
regulating potentially unsafe asbestos-containing products.

J&J has disputed the Reuters report, calling it a
"misrepresentation." The company says its talc is safe and has
never contained asbestos, adding that decades of studies and
regulatory assessments confirm the safety of its product.

Representatives for the EPA did not be respond to an email or a
telephone call seeking comment on the congressional letter.

Asked about the lawmakers' letter, J&J spokesman Ernie Knewitz
declined to comment but said the Reuters report was "one-sided,
false and inflammatory."

According to the Reuters report, documents as well as deposition
and trial testimony showed that from at least 1971 to the early
2000s the company's raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested
positive for small amounts of asbestos.

Most internal J&J asbestos test reports Reuters reviewed did not
find asbestos.

The company has defended its products in recent days with a series
of full-page newspaper advertisements and a television interview
with its chief executive. Shares of the company have fallen about
12.5 percent since the Reuters report.

Merkley and Bonamici also asked the EPA to detail what steps it was
taking to help prevent vulnerable populations such as pregnant
women and infants from being exposed to products containing
asbestos, including other products with talc, a mineral.

Although baby powder is subject to regulation under the Federal
Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, other talc products sold to consumers
would be within the purview of the Toxic Substances Control Act
(TSCA) and thus the responsibility of the EPA, they wrote in the
letter.

Democratic U.S. Senator Edward Markey separately called on the FDA
to investigate the findings in the Reuters report in a letter on
Friday. The FDA could not immediately be reached for comment.

"Asbestos is a known carcinogen, and one for which there is no
controlled use or safe level of exposure," Merkley and Bonamici
wrote. "Fifty-five countries have already banned asbestos.
Unfortunately, the United States still permits the use of
asbestos."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Future Asbestos Deaths from Oil Boom Inevitable
----------------------------------------------------------------
Energy Voice reported that future asbestos-related deaths arising
from construction in the 1970s North Sea oil boom are "inevitable"
according to a legal team supporting victims.

Exposure to asbestos can take up to 40 years to develop into a
disease, and the Asbestos Action campaign group has said 16 of its
north-east clients have died in the last year as a result.

Digby Brown solicitors, which work with the group, said this is
being attributed to the 70s "oil boom" when older platforms were
being constructed were being constructed for the North Sea with the
use of asbestos.

The firm is currently fighting several cases to seek compensation
for sufferers.

Energy services companies WorleyParsons and Wood are examples of
companies who have inherited asbestos-related liabilities following
acquisitions of rival firms.

Fraser Simpson, partner and head of industrial disease at Digby
Brown, believes the scale of the issue in north-east Scotland may
never be fully known.

He said: "Future deaths from asbestos are sadly inevitable but we
may never know the full scale as it's possible people pass away
without being diagnosed, or being misdiagnosed with something
else.

"Asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma remain one of the
biggest killers in the UK -- more people die from this than are
killed on the roads.

"We're seeing a worrying increase in the number of asbestos-related
conditions across the whole of Scotland, partly because it can take
40 years before asbestos fibres evolve into debilitating
conditions.

"That's why cases emerge now following industrial 'booms' like with
north east oil in the 1970s or shipbuilding in the west in the same
era."

Asbestos was used extensively in construction activities following
World War Two, with industrial surges that followed eventually
causing an increase in asbestos-related diseases.

The UK's safety watchdog, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE),
said the construction of oil and gas platforms in the 1960s and 70s
may have led to workers being exposed.

These can lead to a number of issues including forms on cancer and
chronic conditions affecting the lungs.

Asbestos Action helps people in the east of Scotland, while
Clydebank Asbestos Group works with sufferers and their families in
the west.

However, Mr Simpson said there are still "gaps" in support.

He said: "We do need to be mindful of the gaps in support such as
making sure health and care professionals point sufferers in the
right direction of pastoral and legal care at the point of
diagnosis to protect not just themselves but their families too.

"We will never stop campaigning on this issue and will do
everything possible to help Scots affected by employers who were
negligent."

Many older platforms are now starting the process of being
decommissioned, and firms have a duty to manage asbestos in this
process, which is enforced by the HSE.

Dave Salmon, from the regulator's energy division, said: "There is
a reasonable level of abatement activity but there is a lot of ACM
(asbestos-containing material) also left in place, which will need
to be managed.

"As well as the installations remaining in production, there will
also be those due for decommissioning. It is important that any
ACMs are identified and dealt with.

"HSE Offshore inspectors have carried out preventive inspections to
ensure that offshore operators are complying with the Control of
Asbestos Regulations 2012, particularly the Duty to Manage
Asbestos."

If anyone is concerned about asbestos-related diseases they should
contact their GP for medical assistance and not-for-profit
charities like Asbestos Action for additional support.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Glasgow Man Fined for Asbestos Materials Release
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Health and Safety Executive reported that a Glasgow based building
contractor has been fined after an employee used a powered saw to
cut through a kitchen cupboard door, accidentally releasing
asbestos containing materials.

Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that between 8 November 2015 and 11
December 2015, City Building (Glasgow) LLP was carrying out
refurbishment work at a flat in Glasgow. An employee who was
unaware of the presence of asbestos fibres within a kitchen
cupboard door cut through the door and disturbed the asbestos
fibres.

An investigation by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) found
that following receipt of an Asbestos Refurbishment Survey
pertaining to the kitchen, City Building (Glasgow) LLP failed to
realise that the door had not been surveyed.

City Building (Glasgow) LLP, Darnick Street, Glasgow has today
pleaded guilty to breaching Section 2(1) of the Health and Safety
at Work etc Act 1974 and has been fined GBP4,000.

Speaking after the hearing HSE principal inspector, Graeme McMinn,
said

"This incident could so easily have been avoided by simply carrying
out correct control measures and safe working practices.  When
getting an asbestos survey carried out it is important to ensure
that all of the planned work areas have been surveyed.

"Companies should be aware that HSE will not hesitate to take
appropriate enforcement action against those that fall below the
required standards."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Harkreader Couple Sues Over Failure to Warn
------------------------------------------------------------
Madison County Record reported that  a husband and wife are suing
Borg-Warner and dozens of other businesses that used asbestos
products, alleging failure to warn and negligence.

Donald Harkreader and Clara Harkreader filed a complaint Dec. 10 in
St. Clair County Circuit Court against Borg-Warner Morse TEC LLC,
and dozens of defendants, alleging failure to exercise due care and
caution for the safety of others.

According to the complaint, at various times during Donald
Harkreader's career, he was exposed to and inhaled or ingested
asbestos fibers emanating from certain products manufactured, sold,
distributed or installed by the defendants. On Dec. 16, 2016, the
suit says, he first became aware that he had developed
mesothelioma, an asbestos-induced disease, and, subsequently,
learned that the disease was wrongfully caused.

Clara Harkreader says she has suffered loss of consortium, society
and service of her husband.

The plaintiffs allege the defendants intentionally included
asbestos fibers in their products when they knew it had toxic,
poisonous and highly deleterious effects to human health and that
they failed to provide adequate warnings and instructions
concerning the dangers of working with or around products
containing asbestos fibers.

The Harkreaders seek trial by jury, compensatory and punitive
damages of more than $50,000, plus any further appropriate relief.
They are represented by attorney Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian &
Associates PC in Edwardsville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case number 18-L-794


ASBESTOS UPDATE: J&J Execs Raise Asbestos Concerns in 1971
----------------------------------------------------------
ABA Journal reported that Johnson & Johnson executives raised
concerns about the possibility of asbestos in talc used to produce
its baby powder as early as 1971.

Corporate documents reveal that executives tried to discredit
research showing the possibility of asbestos contamination in small
amounts, even as the company considered replacing talc, the New
York Times reports. The company also urged the Food and Drug
Administration to block release of an unfavorable test, according
to a memo obtained by the Times.

According to the newspaper, the executives' efforts "are now
forming the crux of a new legal front in a long-running battle over
Johnson's baby powder, potentially leaving the company exposed in
nearly 12,000 lawsuits across the country claiming that the product
can cause cancer."

The Times obtained its information from documents revealed by
litigation, public records requests, and interviews with scientists
and lawyers.

The New York Times story follows a Reuters story on the documents
published on Dec. 14. "From at least 1971 to the early 2000s, the
company's raw talc and finished powders sometimes tested positive
for small amounts of asbestos," according to Reuters' summary of
the information. "Company executives, mine managers, scientists,
doctors and lawyers fretted over the problem and how to address it
while failing to disclose it to regulators or the public."

The FDA test, conducted by New York University chemist Seymour
Lewin in the early 1970s, had found asbestos in more than half of
11 samples of Johnson's baby powders that had been tested,
according to a doctoral candidate who worked with Lewin. After
Johnson & Johnson hired its own scientist to inspect the test
materials, Lewin issued a final report that said most of the
samples did not contain asbestos and that two results were
inconclusive.

The doctoral candidate, Aviam Elkies, told the Times that Johnson &
Johnson had funded his work, but it revoked his scholarship after
it learned of the results. A lawyer for the company, Orrick,
Herrington & Sutcliffe partner Peter Bicks, told the Times that
Elkies tested talc from mines that weren't used by Johnson &
Johnson, and the company wasn't aware of any evidence supporting
his claim of a scholarship.

The FDA tested 34 talc samples in 2009, including a bottle of
Johnson & Johnson's baby powder, and found no asbestos, according
to Reuters.

The company lost three cases this year, including a suit blaming
the powder for ovarian cancer in 22 women. Jurors awarded nearly
$4.7 billion. The company has filed appeals in all three cases.

A Missouri judge denied Johnson & Johnson's request to reverse the
$4.69 billion award on Wednesday, the New York Times reported.

Johnson & Johnson has said plaintiffs' claims are based on "junk
science," and multiple tests have shown there is no asbestos in its
baby powder. Plaintiffs' lawyers are distorting historical
documents and creating confusion in the courtroom, the company said
in a statement.

Story updated on Dec. 19 to report that a judge refused to reverse
the $4.69 billion award.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: J&J Fails to Throw Out $4.69-Bil. Verdict
----------------------------------------------------------
Gizmodo reported that Johnson & Johnson, which lost a lawsuit
brought by 22 women and their families who claimed their ovarian
mesotheliomas were caused by talc products contaminated with the
carcinogen asbestos to the tune of $4.69 billion in July, has
failed to have the verdict thrown out on jurisdictional grounds.

According to the New York Times, the ruling was upheld by a circuit
court judge in Missouri, Rex Burlison, who oversaw the trial in the
case. That doesn't mean that the $4.69 billion payout is imminent
-- Johnson & Johnson will still have an entire appeals process to
exhaust. However, CNBC reported that Burlison wrote in his order
that there was "substantial evidence" of "particularly
reprehensible conduct" by the company, adding that its management
"knew of the presence of asbestos in products that they knowingly
targeted for sale to mothers and babies, knew of the damage their
products caused, and misrepresented the safety of these products
for decades."

The Times wrote:

The $4.14 billion in punitive damages and $550 million in
compensatory damages, together one of the largest personal injury
awards on record, was upheld by Judge Rex Burlison in a circuit
court in Missouri. The plaintiffs -- 22 women and their families --
were the first to go to court against Johnson & Johnson claiming
that their ovarian cancer was linked to asbestos contamination in
the company's talc.

... "The same judge has denied similar motions on prior verdicts in
his court that were ultimately overturned by the appellate courts,"
[Johnson & Johnson] said. "We are confident this verdict will also
be overturned on appeal."

A damning report last week by Reuters sourced from thousands of
pages worth of internal company documents alleged that Johnson &
Johnson executives misled the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as
to whether they had detected any samples of asbestos from its
talc-mining operations. (Talc, a soft white clay, is often dug up
around deposits of asbestos, a category of six different silicate
minerals.) Reuters wrote:

In 1976, as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was
weighing limits on asbestos in cosmetic talc products, J&J assured
the regulator that no asbestos was "detected in any sample" of talc
produced between December 1972 and October 1973. It didn't tell the
agency that at least three tests by three different labs from 1972
to 1975 had found asbestos in its talc – in one case at levels
reported as "rather high."

Another report in the New York Times alleged that executives at
Johnson & Johnson had been repeatedly warned that asbestos could be
slipping into their talc products, with internal documents,
interviews with scientists and lawyers, and government records
showing managers "proposed new testing procedures or replacing talc
outright, while trying to discredit research suggesting that the
powder could be contaminated with asbestos."

In general, scientists have never determined a clear link between
talcum powder products and cancer, though asbestos-contaminated
talc is clearly a problem. The World Health Organization has
recognized the latter as a threat to public health. (As Slate
noted, "mesothelioma remains a rare cancer" even among factory and
mining workers that do come into contact with asbestos on a regular
basis.)

As the Times noted, nearly 12,000 plaintiffs have sued Johnson &
Johnson over the years. But the company has won all but one of the
few verdicts against it in the appeals process -- many because the
plaintiffs asserted talc itself rather than asbestos was
carcinogenic -- and successfully avoided paying out damages in any
of them so far. According to the Reuters report, in one case
brought by former customer Darlene Coker in 1997, the company
successfully suppressed internal documents such as a letter from a
Rutgers University geologist confirming the presence of small
amounts of asbestos in its Baby Powder product.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: J&J Moves to Limit Impact of Asbestos Reports
--------------------------------------------------------------
Reuters reported that Johnson & Johnson scrambled to contain
fallout from a Reuters report that the healthcare conglomerate knew
for decades that cancer-causing asbestos lurked in its Baby Powder,
taking out full-page newspaper ads defending its product and
practices, and readying its chief executive for his first
television interview since investors erased tens of billions of
dollars from the company's market value.

J&J shares fell nearly 3 percent, closing at $129.14 in New York
Stock Exchange trading. That drop was on top of the 10 percent
plunge that wiped out about $40 billion of the company's market
capitalization following the Reuters report. J&J also announced
that it would be repurchasing up to $5 billion of its common
stock.

Senator Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat on the Environment
and Public Works Committee, sent a letter to the head of the U.S.
Food and Drug Administration calling on the agency to investigate
the findings in the Reuters report to determine whether J&J misled
regulators and whether its Baby Powder products threaten public
health and safety.

J&J Chief Executive Alex Gorsky, in his first interview since the
Reuters article was published, defended the company during an
appearance on CNBC's "Mad Money" with host Jim Cramer.  J&J knew
for decades about the presence of small amounts of asbestos in its
products dating back to as early as 1971, a Reuters examination of
company memos, internal reports and other confidential documents
showed. In response to the report, J&J said on Friday that "any
suggestion that Johnson & Johnson knew or hid information about the
safety of talc is false."

A full-page ad from J&J -- headlined "Science. Not sensationalism."
-- ran in newspapers including The New York Times and The Wall
Street Journal. The ad asserted that J&J has scientific evidence
its talc is safe and beneficial to use. "If we had any reasons to
believe our talc was unsafe, it would be off our shelves," the ad
said.

J&J rebutted Reuters' report in a lengthy written critique of the
article and a video from Gorsky. In the written critique, posted on
the company's website here, J&J said Reuters omitted information it
supplied to the news organization that demonstrated the healthcare
conglomerate's Baby Powder is safe and does not cause cancer; that
J&J's baby powder has repeatedly been tested and found to be
asbestos-free; and that the company has cooperated with the U.S.
FDA and other regulators around the world to provide information
requested over decades.

"Since tests for asbestos in talc were first developed, J&J's Baby
Powder has never contained asbestos," Gorsky said in the video
here. He added that regulators "have always found our talc to be
asbestos-free."

A Reuters spokeswoman on Monday said the agency "stands by its
reporting."

Reuters' investigation found that while most tests in past decades
found no asbestos in J&J talc and talc products, tests on Baby
Powder conducted by scientists at Mount Sinai Medical Center in
1971 and Rutgers University in 1991, as well as by labs for
plaintiffs in cancer lawsuits, found small amounts of asbestos. In
1972, a University of Minnesota scientist found what he called
"incontrovertible asbestos" in a sample of Shower to Shower. Other
tests by J&J's own contract labs and others periodically found
small amounts of asbestos in talc from mines that supplied the
mineral for Baby Powder and other cosmetic products into the early
2000s.

The company did not report to the FDA three tests by three
different labs from 1972 to 1975 that found asbestos in the
company's talc.

The Reuters story drew no conclusions about whether talc itself
causes ovarian cancer. Asbestos, however, is a carcinogen. The
World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on
Cancer has listed asbestos-contaminated talc as a carcinogen since
1987. Reuters also found that J&J tested only a fraction of the
talc powder it sold. The company never adopted a method for
increasing the sensitivity of its tests that was recommended to the
company by consultants in 1973 and in a published report in a
peer-review scientific journal in 1991.

The ad J&J ran in newspapers Monday also pointed to an online talc
fact page the company created with "independent studies from
leading universities, research from medical journals and
third-party opinions."

That website has changed since early December, according to a
Reuters review of online archives.

The website, for instance, no longer contains a section headlined
"Conclusions from Global Authorities" that as recently as Dec. 5
listed organizations including the U.S. FDA, the European Union and
Health Canada as among entities that have "reviewed and analyzed
all available data and concluded that the evidence is insufficient
to link talc use to cancer."

On Dec. 14, the day Reuters published its report, that section of
the website had been removed. It is not clear exactly when the
online page changed.

The Canadian government released a draft report this month that
found a "consistent and statistically significant positive
association" between talc exposure and ovarian cancer. The draft
report also said that talc meets criteria to be deemed toxic.

The draft report put forth proposed conclusions that are subject to
a public comment period and confirmation in a so-called final
screening assessment, Health Canada said.

If the conclusions are confirmed, Canadian officials will consider
adding talc to a government list of toxic substances and
implementing measures to prohibit or restrict use of talc in some
cosmetics, non-prescription drugs and natural health products,
Health Canada said.

A J&J spokeswoman said the company removed the website section
after the Canadian government issued the draft report. "We chose to
be conservative while that draft is under review," the spokeswoman
said.

While J&J has dominated the talc powder market for more than 100
years, the products contributed less than 0.5 percent of J&J's
$76.5 billion in revenue last year.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Long Melford Man Dies Due to Asbestos Exposure
---------------------------------------------------------------
Suffolk Free Press reported that a man from Long Melford, who spent
much of his working life exposed to asbestos, died from a disease
associated with the material, an inquest decided.

David Mott, 72, of High Street, died on Tuesday, November 13, after
being diagnosed with mesothelioma -- a type of cancer that affects
the lining of the lungs and chest wall.

An inquest at Suffolk Coroner's Court in Ipswich heard that Mr Mott
had been a painter and decorator for a significant portion of his
life.

During his career, he had been repeatedly exposed to asbestos dust
while cleaning asbestos gutters and drainpipes with a wire brush,
as sheets of the material were being cut up with power saws.

Assistant Suffolk coroner Dr Daniel Sharpstone recorded a
conclusion that Mr Mott died as a result of an industrial disease.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Lurgan Man To Be Sentenced for Asbestos Exposure
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Armagh I reported that a 46-year-old Lurgan man entered pleas to
the offences at Craigavon Crown Court.

Jonathon Belshaw, of Old Kilmore Road, appeared charged with
failing to make an asbestos assessment, failing to prevent or
reduce the spread of asbestos and failing to provide or maintain
systems.

A prior offence of being an employer who failed to assess risks was
not proceeded with and was left on the books.

It was heard that the offences dated back to May 9, 2014.

Defence counsel commented that he had considered sentencing today
but felt this case would benefit from a pre-sentence report.

His Honour Judge Patrick Lynch agreed with this and put it back to
January 24 for sentencing.

Belshaw was released on continuing bail until that date.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: No Asbestos in J&J Baby Powder, HSA Says
---------------------------------------------------------
The Straits Times reported that the Health Sciences Authority (HSA)
has said that it did not find any asbestos in Johnson & Johnson's
baby powder or other talc products sold here.

HSA has also not received reports on adverse reactions associated
with the use of talc in cosmetic products in Singapore, including
J&J baby powder, the regulator told The Straits Times.

J&J is facing thousands of lawsuits in the United States over
claims that some of its talcum powder products caused cancer.

On Dec 14, Reuters reported that the pharmaceutical giant was aware
of trace amounts of cancer-causing asbestos in its talc-based
products since at least 1971.

Talc is a mineral made up mainly of magnesium, silicon and oxygen,
and it is commonly found in cosmetics. Cosmetic-grade talc, which
must not contain contaminants such as asbestos, is generally
regarded as a safe ingredient in cosmetics worldwide, including in
the United States and Europe. It is allowed as an ingredient under
the Asean Cosmetic Directive, which Singapore has adopted.

Asbestos is a prohibited substance in cosmetic products under the
Health Products (Cosmetic Products - Asean Cosmetic Directive)
Regulations.

While cosmetic products do not have to undergo evaluation and
approval by HSA, they must comply with legal requirements for
labelling as well as the restriction and prohibition on the use of
certain ingredients.

In battle over Johnson & Johnson's baby powder, asbestos opens a
new legal front
HSA said that dealers of cosmetic products have the legal
responsibility for the safety of their products and are required to
notify HSA before the products go on the market.

For talcum powder used for children, HSA's regulations require such
products to be labelled with the warning: "Keep powder away from
children's nose and mouth."

HSA said that it keeps tabs on products containing talc to make
sure that they are safe. This includes testing samples of such
products and monitoring adverse reactions among users.

Products found to be unsafe will be removed from the market.

HSA said it would continue to monitor closely any new safety data
related to the use of talc in cosmetic products, and would take
appropriate action and inform the public where necessary.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: NYCAL Affirms Vacatur of $11MM Jury Award
----------------------------------------------------------
Law.com reported that the Court of Appeals issued a significant
ruling on expert proof in the asbestos arena, holding that the
plaintiff in a mesothelioma case had not provided sufficient
evidence of causation and affirming the vacatur of an $11 million
jury award. In In the Matter of New York City Asbestos Litigation,
plaintiff's deceased husband was an auto mechanic who claimed
exposure to asbestos dust while working on brakes, clutches and
gaskets sold or distributed by Ford Motor Company. The court
concluded that "the evidence was insufficient as a matter of law to
establish that [Ford's] conduct was a proximate cause of the
decedent's injuries" and that Ford was therefore entitled to
judgment as a matter of law under CPLR 4404(a).

The decedent, Arthur Juni, was diagnosed with mesothelioma in 2012.
He had worked as an auto mechanic from 1966 to 2009 in two garages
owned by Orange & Rockland Utilities servicing mostly Ford
vehicles. He brought suit against a number of defendants, including
Ford Motor Company, but died in 2014 before trial. His wife
continued the lawsuit, asserting claims for negligence, products
liability, failure to warn and loss of consortium. Before he died,
Juni testified in a deposition, which was read to the jury during a
20-day trial. Juni testified that he was exposed to
asbestos-containing dust in a variety of ways, including when he
removed brake drums from Ford trucks, replaced brakes in a variety
of Ford vehicles, scuffed new brakes with sandpaper, replaced
clutches, cleaned gaskets, and swept up asbestos-laden dust
generated by other mechanics. Over the four week trial, the jury
also heard from experts in epidemiology, toxicology, medicine,
occupational hazards, and environmental science.

Defendants' experts testified that the chrysotile asbestos fibers
in Ford's products were transformed into a biologically inert
substance, Forsterite, during the high-heat manufacturing process
and the products' subsequent high-heat use. Plaintiff's experts
allegedly conceded that chrysotile activity can "become virtually
nil" under high heat, that epidemiological studies on garage
workers did not show a causal relationship with mesothelioma, and
that "no one knows" whether the friction product dust to which Juni
was exposed was toxic. The jury found Ford 49 percent liable for
Juni's injuries and Orange & Rockland Utilities responsible for the
remaining 51 percent.
The trial court granted Ford's motion to set aside the verdict on
the ground that there was legally insufficient evidence to
establish that Juni developed mesothelioma as a result of his
exposure to asbestos-containing friction products sold or
distributed by Ford. The Appellate Division, First Department
affirmed, holding that plaintiff had failed to satisfy the
standards set forth in Parker v. Mobil Oil, 7 N.Y.3d 434 (2006),
and Cornell v. 360 W. 51st St. Realty, 22 N.Y.3d 762 (2014), which
require that plaintiff provide, at a minimum, some "scientific
expression" of the level of exposure to toxins in defendant's
products that was sufficient to have caused the disease.
Then-Justice Feinman wrote a lengthy dissent, arguing that the
jury's verdict was not "utterly irrational" and, accordingly, that
the majority inappropriately substituted their assessment of the
witnesses' credibility for the jury's.

The Court of Appeals issued a Memorandum decision joined by Chief
Judge DiFiore and Judge Stein in which Judges Fahey and Wilson
joined in separate concurring opinions. The Memorandum decision
stated without discussion that the evidence was insufficient as a
matter of law to establish proximate cause pursuant to the
standards set forth in Parker and Cornell. In Parker, the court
established that "an opinion on causation should set forth a
plaintiff's exposure to a toxin, that the toxin is capable of
causing the particular illness (general causation), and that
plaintiff was exposed to sufficient levels of the toxin to cause
the illness (specific causation)." 7 N.Y.3d at 448. In Cornell, the
court held that "there must be evidence from which a factfinder can
conclude that the plaintiff was exposed to the levels of [the]
agent that are known to cause the kind of harm that the plaintiff
claims to have suffered." 22 N.Y.3d at 784. Judge Fahey's
concurring opinion in the instant case states that, in his view,
the evidence was legally insufficient to establish "a connection
between [Ford] and decedent's exposure to asbestos" and that he was
not addressing issues of "general or specific causation."

Judge Wilson concurred to highlight his opinion that the failure of
proof related to general causation and not specific causation.
Judge Wilson explained that, for him, a "necessary link in the
proof of proximate cause was missing" because there was a "gap in
proof as to the toxicity of the products at issue." Essentially,
Judge Wilson pointed to the fact that while Juni claimed exposure
to asbestos-laden dust, Ford's experts proffered reliable
unrebutted evidence that "the physical properties of the asbestos
in Ford's friction products had been so radically altered as to
render conventional toxicology irrelevant." The First Department
had similarly found that plaintiff's experts' concessions about
chrysotile in friction products so undermined their assertions of
causation "as to render those assertions groundless or
unsupported." Interestingly, the trial judge noted that the
plaintiff's expert had offered in a different case the opinion that
visible dust emanating from an asbestos-containing product
contained enough dust to be hazardous, but that such proof was
lacking in Juni's case.
Judge Rivera dissented in a spirited opinion, while Judges Garcia
and Feinman did not participate in the appeal. (Judge Feinman had
dissented in the First Department decision below.) Judge Rivera
noted that she agreed with Judge Feinman's earlier dissent. She
focused on the standard for setting aside a jury verdict: that the
outcome must be "utterly irrational," meaning that "there is simply
no valid line of reasoning and permissible inferences which could
possibly lead [a] rational [person] to the conclusion reached by
the jury." Judge Rivera believed that there was compelling evidence
of Juni's exposure to asbestos while working on Ford vehicles and
products and inferred that the jury was unpersuaded by Ford's
experts. She did not further address the alleged transformation of
"active" chrysotile into "inactive" Forsterite in Ford's products.

The Juni decision presents an important development in the court's
treatment of expert evidence in the asbestos personal injury field.
The court essentially rejects the proffer of conclusory statements
that visible dust contains active asbestos in the face of
countervailing expert evidence that the active asbestos fibers in
friction products have already been converted to biologically inert
substances. The decision could be understood as setting up a
burden-shifting scheme whereby the plaintiff must rebut the
defendant's expert testimony in order to survive a challenge under
Parker and Cornell. With this guidance from the court, plaintiffs
and the lower courts are on notice as to the evidentiary burden
that must be met in order to establish causation.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Opposition to Remand Espinosa Suit Due on Jan. 17
------------------------------------------------------------------
The Hon. Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the
Northern District of California, at the behest of Plaintiffs Angela
D. Espinosa et al. and Defendant CertainTeed Corporation, has
approved the briefing schedule for Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand.

Plaintiffs and CertainTeed have stipulated the following briefing
schedule for Plaintiffs' Motion to Remand: (1) deadline for
CertainTeed to file its Opposition: Jan. 17, 2018; and (2) deadline
for Plaintiffs to file their Reply: Jan. 31, 2018.

The case is Angela D. Espinosa, individually and as
successor-in-interest to Edward M. Espinosa; Christopher M.
Espinosa; Trista Haggard; and Patricia L. Fonseth, Plaintiffs, v.
Certainteed Corporation, et al., Defendants. Case No.
4:18-cv-07059-HSG, (N.D. Cal.).

A copy of the Order dated Jan. 2, 2019, is available at
https://tinyurl.com/y9lffaxr from Leagle.com.

Angela D. Espinosa, individually and as successor-in-inerest to,
Edward M. Espinosa, Christopher M. Espinosa, Trista Haggard &
Patricia L. Fonseth, Plaintiffs, represented by John L. Langdoc ,
Kazan McClain Satterley & Greenwood PLC & Denise R. Smith , Kazan
McClain Satterley Greenwood.

Certainteed Corporation, individually and as successor-in-interest,
parent, alter ego and equitable trustee of Water Works Supply
Company Inc., and Keasbey & Mattison Company, Defendant,
represented by Michael Neil Lloyd -- nlloyd@schiffhardin.com --
Schiff Hardin LLP, Emily Katherine Ayers -- emily.ayers@dentons.com
-- Dentons US LLP, Jennifer J. Lee -- jennifer.lee@dentons.com --
Dentons US LLP & Lisa Lurline Oberg -- Lisa.Oberg@dentons.com --
Dentons US LLP.

Sully-Miller Contracting Company, individually and as
successor-in-interest, parent, alter ego and equitable trustee of
Sully-Miller Contracting Company, Defendant, represented by Barbara
Rose Adams -- badams@clarkhill.com -- Clark Hill LLP & Michael
Benjamin Sachs -- msachs@clarkhill.com -- Clark Hill LLC.

Foster Wheeler LLC, Defendant, represented by Edward R. Hugo --
ehugo@hugoparker.com -- Hugo Parker, LLP & Charles S. Park --
cpark@hugoparker.com -- Hugo Parker, LLP.

Allied Fluid Products Corp fka Allied Packing & Supply, Inc.,
Defendant, represented by Theodore Thomas Cordery --
tcordery@itkc.com -- Imai Tadlock Keeney & Cordery, LLP.

Republic Supply Company, Defendant, represented by Nicole Denine
Brown Yuen -- nyuen@foleymansfield.com -- Foley & Mansfield, PLLP.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: P. Warner Says Asbestos Caused Husband's Death
---------------------------------------------------------------
Madison County Record reported that a widow is suing more than a
half-dozen users of asbestos products, alleging breach of duty,
failure to warn and negligence in the death of her husband.

Pamela Warner, individually and as special administrator of the
estate of Allen B. Warner, deceased, filed a complaint Dec. 6 in
St. Clair County Circuit Court against CBS, General Electric,
Honeywell International Crown, Cork and Seal Company Inc., et al,
alleging failure to exercise due care and caution for the safety of
others.

According to the complaint, during the span of Allen Warner's
career that started in 1966, he was exposed to and inhaled or
ingested asbestos fibers emanating from certain products
manufactured, sold, distributed or installed by the defendants. The
suit says on June 30, the Warners first became aware that he had
developed lung cancer, which ultimately led to his death Nov. 26.

The plaintiff alleges the defendants intentionally included
asbestos fibers in their products when they knew they had toxic,
poisonous and highly deleterious effects on human health, and they
failed to provide adequate warnings and instructions concerning the
dangers of working with or around products containing these
fibers.

Pamela Warner seeks trial by jury, compensatory and punitive
damages of more than $50,000 and any further appropriate relief.
She is represented by attorneys Ethan A. Flint and Laci M. Whitley
of Flint Law Firm LLC in Edwardsville.

St. Clair County Circuit Court Case number 18-L-785


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Rail Worker Awarded GBP40K for Asbestos Exposure
-----------------------------------------------------------------
Derbyshire Live reported that a Derby man has won almost GBP40,000
in compensation for having been exposed to asbestos for decades
while working in the rail industry.

Maurice Chapman, 86, started working on the railway as an
apprentice in 1946, later becoming an electrical engineer, until
his retirement in 1986. He would disturb asbestos while working on
the electrics of the trains.

He was never told of the dangers of asbestos or supplied with
protective equipment by his employer, said Thompsons Solicitors,
representing Mr Chapman.

After suffering chest pains and breathing problems, he was
diagnosed with asbestos-related disease asbestosis.

A great-grandfather of six, Mr Chapman lives alone and has already
moved his bedroom to the ground floor as his shortness of breath
makes going upstairs difficult.

Mr Chapman's family said that he had always been a keen gardener
and would spend a lot of his time on his allotment.

However, his illness left him unable to do this and also prevented
him from carrying out simple tasks such as climbing up stairs, said
the family.

Mr Chapman and his daughter contacted Unite Legal Services and
instructed Thompsons Solicitors to investigate an asbestos disease
claim.

Kevin Hepworth, East Midlands regional legal officer at Unite the
Union, said: "People think of asbestos as a thing of the past, but
its cases like Maurice's that show it's still very much present and
continues to have a devastating effect on families across the
country.

"We would advise anyone suffering with an asbestos disease, or a
loved one, to seek legal advice.

"Because of his Unite membership, Maurice had free legal
representation and was able to keep 100 per cent of his
compensation."

The compensation award means he can pay for adaptations to his
home.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: S. Kosmides Sues ABB, et al., Over Lung Cancer
---------------------------------------------------------------
St. Louis Record reported that a woman alleges exposure to asbestos
during her career caused her to develop lung cancer.

Susan Kosmides filed a complaint on Dec. 20 in the St. Louis 22nd
Judicial Circuit Court against ABB Inc., et al. alleging products
liability and other counts.

According to the complaint, the plaintiff alleges that at various
times during her work beginning in 1959 at various locations across
the country, she was exposed to and inhaled or ingested asbestos
fibers emanating from certain products manufactured, sold,
distributed or installed by defendants. The suit states that on or
about Aug. 27, 2015, she first became aware that she developed lung
cancer, an asbestos-induced disease, and subsequently learned that
the disease was wrongfully caused.

The plaintiff holds ABB Inc., et al. responsible because the
defendants allegedly negligently included asbestos fibers in their
products when adequate substitutes were available and failed to
provide adequate warnings and instructions concerning the dangers
of working with or around products containing asbestos fibers.

The plaintiff requests a trial by jury and seeks compensatory,
exemplary and punitive damages of more than $50,000, costs and any
further relief that the court may deem equitable and just. She is
represented by Randy L. Gori of Gori, Julian & Associates PC in
Edwardsville, Illinois.

St. Louis 22nd Judicial Circuit Court case number 1822cc11901


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Scott Couple Files Asbestos Suit vs. CBS Corp
--------------------------------------------------------------
St. Louis Record reported that a man alleges exposure to asbestos
beginning in the 1960s caused him to develop lung cancer.

John Scott and Ruby Scott filed a complaint on Dec. 3 in the St.
Louis 22nd Judicial Circuit Court against CBS Corp., et al.
alleging strict liability and other counts.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs allege that at various
times during John Scott's employment beginning in the 1960s in
South Carolina, he was exposed to and inhaled or ingested asbestos
fibers emanating from certain products manufactured, sold,
distributed or installed by defendants. The suit states that on or
about June 12, 2017, he first became aware that he developed lung
cancer, an asbestos-induced disease, and that it was wrongfully
caused.

The plaintiffs hold CBS Corp., et al. responsible because the
defendants allegedly negligently included asbestos fibers in their
products when adequate substitutes were available and failed to
provide adequate warnings and instructions concerning the dangers
of working with or around products containing asbestos fibers.

The plaintiffs seek compensatory damages of no less than $50,000,
plus interest, costs and all further relief that the court may deem
proper and just. They are represented by Benjamin R. Schmickle and
Matthew C. Morris of SWMW Law LLC in St. Louis.

St. Louis 22nd Judicial Circuit Court case number 1822-CC11749


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Scottish Nat'l Gallery Workers Exposed to Asbestos
-------------------------------------------------------------------
The Scottish Sun reported that asbestos has been found at the
Scottish National Gallery -- amid fears workers may have been
exposed.

It's understood the potentially deadly material was uncovered by
labourers during the GBP22 million redevelopment of the prestigious
site.

Bosses at the Edinburgh landmark revealed the area where it was
discovered has since been sealed off.

But a source claimed workers were worried saying: "It's only been
found out. At least a dozen people may have got into contact with
it.

Electrician who 'poisoned' wife with asbestos dust when they kissed
40 years ago sues for £1m after she dies of lung cancer
"The asbestos is in the brickwork and has always been there."

The iconic Mound venue -- opened in 1859 -- is being revamped to
create extra exhibition space and boost accessibility.

Asbestos kills around 5,000 workers each year with around 20
tradesmen dying a week due to past exposure.

But health and safety chiefs probed the finding as museum bosses
insist there's "no risk" to employees or tourists.

A spokeswoman for the National Galleries of Scotland said:
"Asbestos has been identified in a contained non-public area.

"The area is sealed off and it will be removed by a licensed
specialist.

"Health and safety advisers are satisfied with the measures put in
place. There's no risk to staff or visitors."

The Health and Safety Executive added: "We are content the
contractor has taken the appropriate action. We don't intend to
investigate further."


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Utica's Extra-Contractual Claims Dismissed
-----------------------------------------------------------
The case styled Utica Mutual Insurance Company, Plaintiff, v.
Century Indemnity Company, as Successor to CCI Insurance Company,
as Successor to Insurance Company of North America, Defendant,
Century Indemnity Company, as Successor to CCI Insurance Company,
as Successor to Insurance Company of North America,
Counter-Claimant, v. Utica Mutual Insurance Company,
Counter-Defendant, No. 6:13-CV-995, (N.D.N.Y.) involves a dispute
between Utica Mutual Insurance Company, a primary insurer, and
Century Indemnity Company, a reinsurer, over whether Century must
reimburse Utica for certain sums paid out on behalf of Goulds
Pumps, the underlying insured party, to resolve tens of thousands
of asbestos exposure claims.

District Judge David N. Hurd for the Northern District of New York
has issued a Memorandum-Decision and Order denying the Parties'
various motions, save for Century's motion to dismiss Utica's
extra-contractual claims, which is granted. The Court encourages
the Parties to resolve their outstanding disagreements in this
matter without further intervention from the Court.

The Parties have filed a total of ten different motions requesting
various forms of relief.

Beginning in 1955 and continuing through at least the end of 1986,
Utica issued yearly primary general liability insurance policies to
Goulds Pumps. And between 1964 and 1983, Utica also issued
seventeen umbrella liability policies to Goulds. Primary and
umbrella policies generally obligate an insurer like Utica to
defend and, where appropriate, to settle claims against a
policyholder like Goulds.

Over the course of this 32 year business relationship, Utica would
hedge its bets on these Goulds policies by partnering with
reinsurers like Century to distribute the risk of possible loss
from future claims. According to Utica's complaint, it purchased
from Century two reinsurance certificates covering portions of
certain umbrella policies issued to Goulds: (1) Certificate FRC
00978 related to a 1973 umbrella policy and (2) Certificate FRC
05441 related to a 1975 umbrella policy.

Utica contends that Century agreed to reimburse Utica for a
specified percentage of its expense payments (sums paid in
connection with the defense of a claim) as well as a percentage of
its loss payments (sums paid to settle claims) under these two
agreements.

Century, for its part, acknowledges it reinsured the 1973
Certificate in question but flatly denies ever coming to terms with
Utica on the 1975 Certificate. In support of this denial, Century
points out that Utica has not only failed to produce a physical
copy of this so-called 1975 Certificate, but also that Utica cannot
identify any witness who can say with personal knowledge that it
was ever issued. On the contrary, Century asserts that the one-page
piece of physical evidence Utica has produced to substantiate the
existence of a 1975 Certificate is in fact nothing more than a
non-binding quote or offer for coverage.

By December 2004, Goulds to call on Utica, which went to work
defending and indemnifying its insured against these asbestos
claims in accordance with the terms of the old primary and umbrella
insurance policies it had issued over the course of their
thirty-two-year relationship. At the same time, Utica began billing
Century and other reinsurers under the terms of the now-decades-old
reinsurance certificates it had purchased from them.

As the losses piled up, relations between Goulds and Utica broke
down, degenerating into a series of disagreements over which entity
should control the defense of the individual asbestos claims, how
certain coverage should be allocated under the insurance policies,
and whether the primary policies were subject to aggregate limits.

In February of 2003, Goulds dragged Utica into existing coverage
litigation it had filed in California state court. As part of that
suit, Goulds alleged that certain Utica primary policies lacked
aggregate limits, that those policies had not been exhausted, and
that therefore Utica had failed to fulfill its obligations as the
insurer of the primary and umbrella policies it issued to Goulds
all those years before. Utica responded in October of that year by
filing its own coverage suit against Goulds in New York state
court.

In both the New York and California litigation, Goulds argued that
certain primary policies it had purchased from Utica lacked
aggregate limits. And in both suits, the parties sparred over which
state's law should apply to the insurance contracts at issue.

In February of 2007, Utica and Goulds executed an agreement worth
$325 million. Among other things hammered out in this agreement,
the parties agreed between themselves that the primary policies
contained aggregate limits, that the limits of those policies had
already been exhausted, and that the settlement proceeds would
therefore be paid out under the umbrella policies.

At some point, however, Century acquired information that convinced
it Utica had inappropriately leveraged its reinsured umbrella
policies as a bargaining chip during settlement negotiations after
it realized the gravity of the threat posed by Goulds's litigating
position vis-a-vis aggregate limits. Century believes Utica granted
Goulds $140 million in additional umbrella coverage in exchange for
Goulds's explicit agreement that the primary policies did in fact
have aggregate limits and were in fact already exhausted.

Century accused Utica of colluding with Goulds to structure the
settlement in a way that shifted millions of dollars in coverage
from the unreinsured primary policies to the reinsured umbrella
layers. Utica denied the accusation and insisted that its decisions
about how to allocate payments under the policies reinsured by
Century and others were unaffected by its settlement with Goulds.
When Century quit paying Utica's billings, Utica filed this suit.

Utica has filed three motions for partial summary judgment. Utica
contends that its allocation decisions concerning Century's
financial responsibility were reasonable and made in good faith as
a matter of law. It allocated loss payments to the insurance
policies at issue on a pro rata basis before reaching a settlement
with Goulds and asserts that these allocation decisions remained
unchanged after it consummated the 2007 settlement. Utica asserts
that Century's dispute on this issue essentially amounts to a
demand for a more favorable allocation "where it pays less and
others, including other reinsurers, pay more."

Century responds that Utica's billings are inconsistent with the
agreement it made with Goulds and serve to demonstrate that Utica
is actually attempting to "inflate its reinsurance recovery by
billing its reinsurer under a different set of rules than it had
agreed to with its policyholder." Century contends Utica granted
Goulds an additional $140 million in coverage that is not
contemplated by the terms of the reinsurance contract.

The Court finds neither party has established, as a matter of law,
the propriety (or impropriety) of the allocation decisions at issue
here. Accordingly, Utica's motion for partial summary judgment on
allocation will be denied.

Utica also claims Century has no valid defense against the
enforceability of the 1975 Certificate, that is, Century's
assertion that the 1975 Certificate identified by Utica is not a
valid or binding contract on Century. Utica argues that the
existence of a formal reinsurance certificate is actually
"technically unnecessary" to establish a binding agreement.
According to Utica, courts regularly accept secondary evidence
offered by a party to establish the existence and terms of an
agreement.

Century responds that Utica cannot point to satisfactory secondary
evidence in this case. Alternatively, Century asserts that even if
Utica could produce satisfactory evidence of the certificate's
existence, this is a case of mistaken identity. According to
Century, Utica's 1975 reinsurance agreement is with Randall &
Quilter Investment Holdings, Ltd. ("R&Q"), an entity that bought
out Insurance Company of North America -- Reinsurance ("INA Re").
Century asserts that it is a successor to Insurance Company of
North America ("INA"), not INA Re -- while INA and INA Re were once
affiliates, they were and are separate companies.

Utica has identified documentary and other evidence tending to show
the existence of a valid agreement for reinsurance from 1975. But
Century's responsive submission also includes a significant amount
of evidence undercutting Utica's factual assertions. Century has
also introduced evidence that, if credited, might establish that
Utica's 1975 reinsurance agreement was with INA Re, not INA.
Because these kind of disputes are better left to a finder of fact,
the Court will deny Utica's motion for partial summary judgment on
Century's sixth affirmative defense.

Utica further asserts that Century's counterclaims for breach of
contract (Count One) and a breach of the duty of utmost good faith
and fair dealing (Count Two) should be dismissed. Utica contends
that these counterclaims are an attempt by Century to recover the
$5 million it previously paid to Utica. Utica contends that Century
has no right to obtain any prior payments. Alternatively, Utica
contends Century would still owe $5 million regardless of whether
or not Utica's prior allocation decisions are vindicated in court.

Century responds that Utica withheld material information relevant
to the reinsurance agreement in violation of the duty of utmost
good faith and fair dealing owed by a cedent to its reinsurer.
According to Century, Utica acted in bad faith by actively
concealing information that only came to light during discovery.

The Court, citing Gerling Global Reinsurance C.-U.S. Branch v. Ace
Prop. & Case. Ins. Co., 42 F., explains that non-disclosure of such
material facts renders a reinsurance agreement voidable or
rescindable. Utica's supporting memorandum goes to great lengths to
establish that Century knew about, but failed to act on, the
alleged inconsistencies about which it now complains. But as
Century explains, there is also evidence to indicate that it did
not learn certain, particularly salient facts until it managed to
force their production in discovery beginning in late October 2014.


And as Century points out, virtually all of Utica's legal theories
-- including waiver, estoppel, and assumption of risk -- presuppose
that the counter-party is in full possession of all the material
facts underlying the conduct at issue, a state of affairs disputed
in this litigation. Thus, the Court concludes the parties have
established genuine factual disputes over who knew what and when.
Accordingly, the Court will deny Utica's motion for partial summary
judgment on Century's counterclaims.

Century's first motion for partial summary judgment seeks dismissal
of Utica's claim that the 1973 Certificate obligates Century to pay
for Utica's defense costs. Century contends that Utica already
fully and fairly litigated this question in an arbitration
proceeding with R&Q, another reinsurer that challenged an identical
obligation in a substantially similar reinsurance certificate.
According to Century, the outcome of the R&Q arbitration should be
applied to estop Utica from re-litigating the question in this
forum.

The Court notes that in November of 2008, the relationship between
Utica and R&Q devolved after the parties disagreed over
approximately $21.7 million in outstanding billings traceable to
the R&Q reinsurance certificates. The parties jointly agreed to
arbitrate their dispute and engaged in extensive briefing and
argument before an arbitration panel. On Oct. 19, 2013, the
arbitration panel issued its final order. Among other things, the
arbitration panel concluded that the certificates reinsuring the
1978-1982 umbrella policies issued by Utica to Goulds do not cover
defense costs.

Relying on the outcome of these arbitration proceedings, Century
contends this amounted to a rejection of Utica's claim that the
"not covered by" provision permitted such costs. Century further
contends that Utica should be estopped in this action from what it
argues is an attempt to re-litigate the meaning of a "not covered
by" provision, since substantively identical language appears in
the 1973 umbrella policy at issue here. However, the Court finds
Century has failed to show "with clarity and certainty what was
determined by the prior judgment" -- the precise contours of the
arbitral award. Accordingly, the Court denies Century's motion for
partial summary judgment on collateral estoppel.

Century also argues that Utica cannot sustain its claim for an
account stated, because Century disputed Utica's billings within a
reasonable period of time. Utica responds that there are disputed
issues of fact surrounding whether or not Century acted reasonably
in investigating and in later disputing Utica's billings. However,
the Court determines from the current record that the parties have
fought each other on these issues almost every step of the way.
Thus, no matter how Utica paints Century's conduct before and after
it filed this lawsuit, its filings fail to demonstrate the sort of
express or implied acquiescence to its billings that are a
necessary predicate of an account stated claim.

Century also argues that Utica's bad faith claim must fail because
Century had an arguable basis on which to investigate and challenge
Utica's claims. Utica responds that Century has employed
inappropriate tactics to delay making payments under the
reinsurance agreements.

The Court determines from the dueling legal memoranda submitted on
this issue that the parties dispute the precise timeline of events
while accusing each other of failing to take certain steps to avert
further litigation. As Century details in its moving papers, both
parties spent time searching their own and even each other's
records for supporting documentation that might clarify or
otherwise substantiate their obligations to each other. Even now,
after mountains of discovery of have been produced, certain
questions seem to lack satisfying answers.

However, the Court determines the conduct of both parties and the
sequence of events in this case make clear that Utica has not
produced sufficient evidence to shoulder the burden of rebutting
the general presumption against bad faith. Thus, no reasonable fact
finder could conclude that Century lacked at least an arguable
basis for objecting to, and investigating the basis for, Utica's
claims.

Century also argues that Utica's request for a declaratory judgment
(Count Four) concerning future billings is moot because Utica has
already issued final billings to Century. Utica responds that it
remains entitled to a declaration regarding the parties' rights and
obligations under the 1973 and 1975 agreements. The Court finds
Utica's request for declaratory judgment is an attempt to sort out
to the same rights that will be determined under its breach of
contract claim, regardless of whether Century is correct about
Utica's final billings.

Century also seeks partial summary judgment on the issue of whether
a mid-term endorsement allegedly issued by Utica modifying certain
terms of the 1973 umbrella policy it issued to Goulds can bind
Century. According to Century, this endorsement was issued after
the 1973 Certificate and effects changes in coverage to which
Century never consented.

After a review of the parties' submissions, the Court determines
genuine disputes of material fact that preclude summary resolution
of this issue. Among other things, Utica has submitted evidence to
substantiate its position that the mid-term endorsement did not
actually "modify" the agreement in the manner claimed by Century.
Instead, Utica argues that the 1973 Certificate permitted Utica, as
cedent, to issue endorsements, like the mid-term endorsement at
issue, without receiving consent from the reinsurer. Utica claims
that the standard underwriting practices would have required it to
inform Century of any endorsements anyway -- and that there is
evidence to substantiate Utica's assertion that it acted in
conformity with those practices when transmitting endorsements to
Century.

Finally, Century has moved to dismiss Utica's claims based on the
1975 Certificate for lack of standing or, in the alternative, for
failure to join National Indemnity Company ("NICO") as the real
party in interest. Century contends Utica sold off its rights to
any outstanding reinsurance billings under the Goulds settlement to
NICO in September of 2012.

Utica responds that none of these agreements affect its ability to
pursue claims against Century based on the reinsurance
certificates. Utica maintains that while it may have assigned to
NICO certain rights to collect proceeds from any recovery, it did
not assign away the rights to the underlying "claims" against
Century. Utica insists that, at best, Century has established that
Utica partially assigned rights to specific proceeds arising from a
single billing, leaving thirty-one other billings totally
unaffected.

Century further contends that this action should be dismissed
because Utica has completely assigned away any and all rights in
the certificates. The alleged assignment at issue happened on
September 28, 2012, when Utica and NICO entered into a pair of
agreements: a Factored Receivables Agreement and a National
Division Run-Off Reinsurance Agreement. Moreover, NICO tasked
Resolute Management, Inc. to administer the two agreements.

Century explains that, after Utica's agreement with NICO was put in
place, Resolute, not Utica, began to issue billings for the 1973
Certificate and 1975 Certificate, and in each instance those bills
directed Century to remit payment to an account controlled by NICO,
not Utica.

Century also flags as relevant another set of agreements. On April
25, 2016, NICO, Utica, Goulds, and others entered into an agreement
whereby Goulds provided Utica "with a complete release of all
pre-1986 Utica policies issued to Goulds" and confirmed that "Utica
has no further obligations" under the 2007 settlement. In addition,
NICO entered into an agreement with Goulds to pay a fixed sum
between now and 2021.

Thus, taken together, Century asserts that these agreements operate
to establish Utica's complete assignment of its right to assert any
claims arising under the certificates. But as Utica points out, the
upshot of these agreements seems to be that any proceeds from a
recovery secured in litigation by Utica will flow to NICO.
Century's alternative claim is that Utica has failed to join NICO
as the real party in interest.

The Court, rejecting Century's argument, maintains that Utica, as
party to the underlying certificates, is the proper party to pursue
a claim based on an alleged breach of the obligations set forth in
them. The Court determines that Utica has a sufficient stake in the
matter to continue to pursue this litigation. Accordingly, the
Court will deny Century's motion to dismiss.

A copy of the Memorandum-Decision and Order, is available at
https://tinyurl.com/y8yt8nyr from Leagle.com.

Utica Mutual Insurance Company, Plaintiff, represented by Syed S.
Ahmad -- sahmad@HuntonAK.com -- Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, Patrick
M. McDermott -- pmcdermott@HuntonAK.com -- Hunton Andrews Kurth
LLP, pro hac vice & Walter J. Andrews -- wandrews@HuntonAK.com --
Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, pro hac vice.

Century Indemnity Company, as Successor to CCI Insurance Company,
as Successor to Insurance Company of North America, Defendant,
represented by Brad M. Elias -- belias@omm.com -- O'Melveny, Myers
Law Firm, Nathanael T. Everhart -- neverhart@omm.com -- O'Melveny,
Myers Law Firm, pro hac vice, Tancred V. Schiavoni --
tschiavoni@omm.com -- O'Melveny, Myers Law Firm, Timothy Wood
Grinsell , O'Melveny, Myers Law Firm, pro hac vice & Vincent S.
Weisband -- vweisband@omm.com -- O'Melveny, Myers Law Firm.

Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., Amicus, represented by Bruce M.
Friedman -- bfriedman@rubinfiorella.com -- Rubin, Fiorella Law
Firm.

Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, Amicus, represented by Mary A.
Lopatto -- malopatto@williamslopatto.com -- Williams, Lopatto Law
Firm.

Century Indemnity Company, as Successor to CCI Insurance Company,
as Successor to Insurance Company of North America, Counter
Claimant, represented by Brad M. Elias -- belias@omm.com --
O'Melveny, Myers Law Firm, Nathanael T. Everhart --
neverhart@omm.com -- O'Melveny, Myers Law Firm, pro hac vice,
Tancred V. Schiavoni -- tschiavoni@omm.com -- O'Melveny, Myers Law
Firm, Timothy Wood Grinsell , O'Melveny, Myers Law Firm, pro hac
vice & Vincent S. Weisband -- vweisband@omm.com -- O'Melveny, Myers
Law Firm.

Utica Mutual Insurance Company, Counter Defendant, represented by
Syed S. Ahmad -- sahmad@HuntonAK.com -- Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP,
Patrick M. McDermott -- pmcdermott@HuntonAK.com -- Hunton Andrews
Kurth LLP, pro hac vice & Walter J. Andrews --
wandrews@HuntonAK.com -- Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, pro hac vice.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Warren Pumps Bid for Summary Judgment Denied
-------------------------------------------------------------
The Hon. Robert S. Lasnik of the United States District Court for
the Western District of Washington has denied Defendant Warren
Pumps, LLC's motion for summary judgment filed in the case styled
Alice Mikelsen, Surviving Spouse, and Susan Page, as Personal
Representative for Arthur Melvin Mikelsen, Deceased, Plaintiffs, v.
Air & Liquid Systems Corporation, et al., Defendants, No.
2:17-cv-00700-RSL, (W.D. Wash.).

Plaintiffs' decedent, Arthur Mikelsen, worked at the Puget Sound
Naval Shipyard from approximately 1942 to 1980. Mr. Mikelsen worked
primarily inside the machine shop at the shipyard. Plaintiffs
allege that defendant Warren Pumps manufactured pumps that
contained asbestos and that Mr. Mikelsen was exposed to its
products -- and the asbestos contained therein -- while working in
the machine shop. Mr. Mikelsen developed mesothelioma, an
asbestos-related disease, and died in 2014.

Plaintiffs assert that Warren Pumps is liable for Mr. Mikelsen's
death and the plaintiffs' injuries because it put into the stream
of commerce products that were negligently designed, were not
reasonably safe as manufactured, and were not reasonably safe for
lack of warnings. Plaintiffs also assert that Warren Pumps is
liable because it failed to reasonably inspect, test, warn,
instruct, monitor, and/or recall the products.

Warren Pumps does not dispute that at least some of the products it
supplied to the Navy during the relevant time frame contained
asbestos or that its pumps were maintained and repaired in Shop 31
where Mr. Mikelsen worked. Rather, Defendant argues that mere
presence in the workplace is insufficient to create a jury issue
regarding whether its products caused Mr. Mikelsen's mesothelioma.


Defendant points out that Plaintiffs have no evidence that Mr.
Mikelsen ever worked directly on a Warren Pump during his
thirty-five years as a machinist. The record shows, however, that a
number of the factors identified by the Washington Supreme Court
favor allowing the issue of causation to go to the jury even if
there is no evidence that Mr. Mikelsen personally worked on a
Warren Pumps product.

The Court finds Mr. Mikelsen was exposed to asbestos-containing
products both on-board ship during his apprenticeship and later in
the machinist shop. While three manufacturers provided pumps for
the USS Midway, the Court finds that Warren Pumps provided almost
100 of them, (as of 1960) in the middle of Mr. Mikelsen's service.
Warren Pumps was supplying a quarter of all pumps purchased by the
Navy.

The Court determines that Warren Pumps provided a significant
portion of the pumps that went through Shop 31, Mr. Mikelsen worked
in the same space where the asbestos in defendant's products was
exposed, the products were handled in such a way that they
generated visible asbestos-containing dust, the work area, while
large, was well within the dispersal range of asbestos fibers, Mr.
Mikelsen was exposed to defendant's products for decades with no
protective equipment, and the causal link between asbestos fibers
and mesothelioma is well supported.

Moreover, the Court points out that Warren Pumps does not identify
any other source of asbestos in the workplace or Mr. Mikelsen's
private life that was a dominant contributor to his asbestos
exposure, nor does it identify another possible cause of his
mesothelioma.

Warren Pumps further argues that, as a supplier of military
equipment, it is immune from liability for alleged defects in the
design or manufacture of the equipment under the "government
contractor" defense. Warren Pumps asserts that "the Navy itself
actually developed" the specifications to which its pumps were
manufactured and "made the considered military decision to use
asbestos in association with. . . the equipment it required for
use" on its vessels, citing en masse to twenty-five pages of its
expert's report.

Neither Warren Pumps nor its expert, Rear Admiral David P. Sargent,
Jr. (Ret.), identifies a directive from the sovereign requiring
Warren Pumps to include asbestos in its packing, gaskets, and/or
insulation lagging. Rear Admiral Sargent asserts that "military
specifications for gasket and packing for centrifugal pumps
required the use of asbestos-containing materials." Because this
fact requires no technical or scientific expertise, the
admissibility of this evidence is unclear.

However, Warren Pumps, which bears the burden of proof on this
issue, has not provided any regulation, contract, or other
specification that limited its discretion to choose a suitable
material when manufacturing the pumps sold to the Navy. In these
circumstances, the existence of "reasonably precise specifications"
cannot be proven as a matter of law by the ipse dixit of an expert,
thus, Warren Pumps is not entitled to summary judgment on the
government contractor defense.

With regards to plaintiffs' failure to warn claims, Warren Pumps
argues that the sovereign retained and exercised its discretion
with regards to equipment labels and warnings such that Warren
Pumps cannot be held liable for any alleged failure to warn. Rear
Adm. Sargent opines that the Navy had detailed specifications
regarding written materials provided with equipment that "included
strict instructions regarding the labeling of and packaging of the
components themselves, and for all technical documentation that was
procured with them."

Again, the Court finds no specifications, instructions, or
regulations are identified. It appears that the Navy's purchase
contracts required manufacturers to draft technical manuals to be
delivered with the equipment. While there were incredibly specific
requirements regarding the formatting, topics to be addressed, and
writing style of these manuals, the Court determines that the
actual contents thereof, including any NOTES, CAUTIONS, and
WARNINGS, were left to the manufacturer.

The Court explains that the fact that new warnings had to be
approved by the Navy before they could be included in an updated
technical manual does not mean that the Navy specified the warnings
that were included. Thus, Defendant has not met its burden of
showing, as a matter of law, that the Navy had reasonably precise
specifications regarding warnings and labeling that precluded it
from complying with its state law duty to warn.

A copy of the Order, is available at https://tinyurl.com/y7xryf69
from Leagle.com.

Alice Mikelsen, surviving spouse & Susan Page, as personal
representative for Arthur Melvin Mikelsen, deceased, Plaintiffs,
represented by Kristin M. Houser -- houser@sgb-law.com -- Schroeter
Goldmark & Bender, Lucas W.H. Garrett -- garrett@sgb-law.com --
Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, Thomas J. Breen -- breen@sgb-law.com
-- Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, Craig A. Sims -- csims@sgb-law.com
-- Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, Elizabeth Jean McLafferty --
mclafferty@sgb-law.com -- Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, Kaitlin T.
Wright -- wright@sgb-law.com -- Schroeter Goldmark & Bender &
William Joel Rutzick , Schroeter Goldmark & Bender.

CBS Corporation, fka Viacom, Inc., successor by merger with CBS
Corporation fka Westinghouse Electric Corporation & Foster Wheeler
Energy Corporation, Defendants, represented by Christopher S. Marks
-- cmarks@tktrial.com -- Tanenbaum Keale LLP & Erin P. Fraser --
efraser@tktrial.com -- Tanenbaum Keale LLP.

Crane Co, Defendant, represented by G William Shaw --
bill.shaw@klgates.com -- K&L Gates LLP.

General Electric Company, Defendant, represented by Christopher S.
Marks -- cmarks@tktrial.com -- Tanenbaum Keale LLP, Erin P. Fraser
-- efraser@tktrial.com -- Tanenbaum Keale LLP & John Heller --
jheller@sidley.com -- Sidley Austin, pro hac vice.

Goulds Pumps (IPG), Inc., Defendant, represented by Ronald C.
Gardner -- rgardner@gandtlawfirm.com -- Gardner Trabolsi & Assoc.
PLLC.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Defendant, represented by
Richard G. Gawlowski -- gawlowski@wscd.com -- Wilson Smith Cochran
& Dickerson.

Warren Pumps LLC, sued individually and as successor-in-interest to
Quimby Pump Company, Defendant, represented by Allen Eraut --
aeraut@rizzopc.com -- Rizzo Mattingly Bosworth PC.


ASBESTOS UPDATE: Woman in 20s Dies of Asbestos Cancer
-----------------------------------------------------
Daily Echo reported that a woman in her 20s was killed by an 'very
overwhelming and aggressive' cancer usually seen in people in later
life, an inquest heard.

Winchester Coroner's Court heard 29-year-old Laura Emery was
diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, a type of cancer usually
associated with asbestos exposure, last December.

The tumour, which had spread around much of Ms Emery's chest and
abdomen, was described as the biggest Pathologist Dr Victoria
Elliot had seen.

Dr Elliot told the inquest Ms Emery's left lung had been "almost
completely destroyed" by the disease and the tumour had been
pressing on her heart, making it work harder.

"This was the most tumour volume I have seen, and some of my
colleagues have seen," and was a "very overwhelming and aggressive
tumour", Dr Elliot added.

However, she said there was typically a 30-year gap between
asbestos exposure and symptoms appearing, adding: "This is a very
unusual scenario."

The inquest heard that between 2005 and 2013, Ms Emery, of Hall
Lands Lane, Fair Oak, had been working as an agricultural worker on
various poultry farms, and is thought this is where she may have
been exposed to asbestos.

Solicitor Lynn Yates said at one of the sites -- Cock Pit Farm in
Horton Heath – "one of the sheds was in a poor state. She thought
it might have been an asbestos roof".

Recording a conclusion of death due to industrial disease, senior
coroner Grahame Short said: "It's very clear it was a particularly
aggressive tumour which had spread to large parts of her body.

"What's more difficult... is to establish causation. In my
experience, the vast majority who suffer from mesothelioma are in
their 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s.

"There's evidence Laura was exposed, although Dr Elliot has been
unable to demonstrate that. It's possible Laura was one of the
unfortunate people where the cancer can develop spontaneously.

"It's more likely than not the asbestos dust that had caused the
cancer."



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