Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Halunen & Associates Announces Court Approves Class Action Settlement with CertainTeed Corp. Estimated at $400M to $600M For Faulty Roofing Shingles

Tens of Thousands of Homeowners May Be Eligible for Compensation Under Terms of Major Class Action Settlement

MINNEAPOLIS--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A nationwide class action settlement received preliminary approval by Judge Louis Pollak, (middle left photo)  U.S. District Court Judge for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, to make payments to tens of thousands of homeowners across the U.S. and Canada whose roofs have been adversely affected by defective organic shingles manufactured by CertainTeed Corporation.

The settlement has an expected value to the class of between $400 and $600 million, depending on the number of claims made.

“The number of people who have been affected by these faulty shingles is truly shocking," said Clayton D. Halunen (top right photo)  of  Halunen  & Associates, one of the lead attorneys representing consumers in Minnesota as well as 17 other states.

 "The result we achieved for the plaintiffs proves that consumers can achieve real change if they are willing to stand up to corporations such as CertainTeed.”

The Complaint filed against CertainTeed on behalf of the consumers alleges that the CertainTeed organic shingles on their homes were substandard.

The shingles were marketed as durable and offering long-lasting protection, yet not long after their installation many consumers experienced noticeable damage to their roofs and the underlying felt and plaster, as well as to their walls and ceilings.

Halunen noted that “the settlement was reached after over 3 years of contentious litigation . It will benefit all people who have owned, or currently own, a home or structure on which CertainTeed organic shingles were installed from July 1987 through the present.”

Based in Valley Forge, PA with about 300 offices throughout the United States and in Canada, CertainTeed sells the shingles under dozens of brand names including Centennial Slate, Hallmark, Hearthstead, Horizon, Independence, Landmark, Sealdon and Woodscape.

Qualified individuals who own, or have owned, buildings affected by the defective shingles can expect to receive between $34 and $74 per square, depending on whether or not they have a valid warranty.

For more information on the settlement and details on how to file a claim, consumers are encouraged to visit

Halunen & Associates was established in 1998. With offices in Minneapolis and Chicago, the firm focuses on employment law and consumer rights litigation, working tirelessly to protect the rights of working people and consumers across the country. For more information please visit

Infinite Public Relations, Jamie Diaferia, 212-687-0935,
Halunen & Associates, Clayton D. Halunen, 612-605-4098,

Jack’s Samba Carnival Set To Shake Up Rose Parade®

                                   Rose Bowl Parade Queen 2009 Courtney Lee (above photo)

Jack in the Box® offers sneak preview of its 2010 Tournament of Roses® Parade float on Dec. 30

PASADENA, CA.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--More than thirty flamboyant Samba dancers along with traditional Brazilian drummers and spectacular 15-foot-tall Carnival Puppets will ignite the streets of Pasadena on January 1 as Jack in the Box® restaurants celebrates the music, dancing and artistry of Brazilian Carnival with its Tournament of Roses® Parade float – “Jack’s Samba Carnival.”

On Wednesday, Dec. 30, from 11:30am to 12:30pm, Festival Artists Worldwide will offer the media a sneak peek at “Jack’s Samba Carnival” as volunteers apply brilliantly-hued florals to the float, under the direction of designer John Ramirez and builder Craig Bugajski.


Media preview of the Jack in the Box "Jack’s Samba Carnival" float with volunteer decorators from Jack in the Box and Big Brothers Big Sisters, the company’s primary charitable partner, plus a special appearance by the Rose Parade Queen & her Court .


Wednesday, Dec. 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Festival Artists Worldwide, 120 N. Aspan Ave., Azusa, Calif.


Rose Parade Queen & her Court
John Ramirez – designer, Festival Artists Worldwide
Craig Bugajski – builder, Festival Artists Worldwide
Christy Stoeckel -- California Big Sister of the Year & rider on Jack’s float
Big and Little matches from Big Brothers Big Sisters and agency representatives
Jack in the Box employees and company officials

Jack in the Box Inc. (NASDAQ:JACK), based in San Diego, is a restaurant company that operates and franchises Jack in the Box® restaurants, one of the nation’s largest hamburger chains, with more than 2,200 restaurants in 18 states.

 Additionally, through a wholly owned subsidiary, the company operates and franchises Qdoba Mexican Grill®, a leader in fast-casual dining, with more than 500 restaurants in 42 states and the District of Columbia. For more information, visit

Kathy Kovacevich, (858) 571-2544, Community Relations Manager, Jack in the Box Inc.,

Aetna to Take Charge of Approximately $60M to $65 M for Job and Real Estate Actions

The Aetna Insurance Company headquarters building (above centered photo) at 151 Farmington Avenue is the largest brick colonial structure in the U. S. The Phoenix Insurance Company headquarters building (known as the "boat building") is the world's first two sided building. This 1960's glass and steel structure faces the river and is connected to the new Riverfront Plaza downtown.

HARTFORD, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Aetna (NYSE: AET) today announced that it expects to incur a fourth-quarter 2009 charge of approximately $60 million to $65 million, after tax.

This charge is due to the previously announced and completed reduction of approximately 625 positions and real estate consolidation that together are expected to result in a charge of approximately $40 million, after tax, and a similarly sized workforce reduction to be completed by the end of the first quarter of 2010 that is expected to result in a charge of approximately $20 million to $25 million, after tax.

These actions relate to Aetna’s previously announced plan to reduce its workforce based upon the company’s membership outlook for 2010 and in preparation for the impact that health care reform and regulatory changes may have on Aetna’s business.

Once the company completes the additional job reductions in the first quarter of 2010, Aetna will have approximately 34,300 employees.

Employees affected by the first quarter 2010 job reductions will be notified at a future date to be determined. Eligible employees will receive severance benefits based on length of service as well as outplacement and other support programs. The company is not exiting any markets as a result of this announcement.

Aetna is one of the nation’s leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 36.3 million people with information and resources to help them make better informed decisions about their health care. For more information, see

Media--Fred Laberge, 860-273-4788,,
 Investor Contact--Kim Keck, 860-273-1327,

Will Balthrope of Marcus & Millichap Sells Two High-Profile Multifamily Complexes in Texas

The Delante in Dallas/Las Colinas and The Colonnade in San Antonio have traded hands, signaling an increase in transaction velocity as 2010 approaches.

DALLAS, Dec. 29, 2009 – Marcus & Millichap Real Estate Investment Services, the nation’s largest real estate investment services firm, has arranged the sale of two multifamily investment properties in Texas. In Dallas’ Las Colinas high-end submarket, the 258-unit, luxury Delante apartments (top left photo) asset was sold, and in San Antonio, the 312-unit Colonnade property (bottom left photo)  changed hands.

Will Balthrope, (top right photo)  a vice president investments and senior director in the Dallas office of Marcus & Millichap’s National Multi Housing Group (NMHG), and Ryan Epstein, an associate director of the NMHG, also in the firm’s Dallas office, represented the seller, a private development firm.

The buyer was Slosburg Cos. of Omaha, Neb.

“This resort-style asset was tracked closely by almost every buyer in the country, and sold on an all-cash basis as we approached the end of 2009,” explains Balthrope.

“This sale is significant for several reasons: It is the only luxury mid-rise to sell in Dallas in 2009, and it closed in only 26 days. In addition, there was significant interest in this property from both private and institutional investors. We showed the building 50 times and received 44 offers, which demonstrates that investors are interested in re-entering the local apartment market.”

The Delante is a 268,000-square foot, four- and five-story asset located at 1001 Lake Carolyn Parkway in Las Colinas, a high-profile master-planned community in Irving, a submarket of Dallas.

The mid-rise community has an excellent location near numerous corporate headquarters offices and across the street from the DART Orange Rail Station, which will connect the property to downtown Dallas and ultimately to the DFW Airport.

In a separate transaction, Balthrope and Epstein also brokered the sale of The Colonnade, a 312-unit Class A apartment community located near the South Texas Medical Center, in an affluent area of north central San Antonio. Balthrope and Epstein represented the seller, Greystar Real Estate Partners, as receiver for Midland Loan Servicing. Marcus & Millichap also represented the buyer, FSC Realty of Beverly Hills, Calif.

Located at 9898 Colonnade Blvd. near Interstate 10, the 12-acre, 284,389-square foot multifamily asset was developed with upscale amenities in 1994.

The property includes well-appointed one- and two-bedroom units averaging 927 square feet within the Colonnade Business Park, a 63-acre mixed-use development with office, hotel and retail tenants.

“During the five weeks that The Colonnade was on the market, we generated 51 offers and gave 52 tours of the property, which is a huge response to a multifamily asset located in San Antonio,” says Balthrope. “REITs, pension fund advisors, life insurance companies, high net-worth individuals and opportunity funds expressed interested in The Colonnade.”

“In the past 90 days, we have seen transaction velocity increase. Investors are stepping off the sidelines because we are at or near the bottom of the downward pricing trend and there has been a lack of for-sale product on the market during the past 18 months,” continues Balthrope.

“When jobs return in late 2010 and 2011 there will be strong rent growth that follows, and in anticipation of that time, we are beginning to see the results of pent-up demand from buyers that have raised capital to purchase distressed assets, but are not finding good quality assets at deep discounts. They are beginning to move today on quality real estate.”

Contact:  Stacey Corso, Public Relations Manager, Marcus & Millichap, 2999 Oak Road, Suite 210, Walnut Creek, CA 94597.
 (925) 953-1716 direct, (415) 672-6460 cell, (925) 953-1710 fax 

Commercial Prices 43.7% Off 2008 and 2007 Peaks, Moody's Says

NEW YORK, NY--The Wall Street Journal reports commercial real estate prices are now 43.7% off their 2008 and 2007 peaks.

The Moody's/REAL Commercial Property Price Index declined 1.5% in October to 107.98 from 109.61 in September. Based on the index, prices for commercial real estate were 36.4% lower than in October 2008 and 43.7% below the peak measured in October 2007.

The index is based on repeat sales of the same properties across the U.S