CAR_Public/040420.mbx             C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

             Tuesday, April 20, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 77

                         Headlines

ALCATEL: NY Court Hears Motion To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
ANTHROPOLOGIE INC.: Employee Launches Overtime Wage Suit in CA
BARNES & NOBLE: Reaches Settlement For Consolidated Stock Suit
BOEING CO.: Report Reveals Gender Disparity in Company Salaries
BROOKSTONE INC.: CA Court Holds Fairness Hearing for Settlement

CASUAL MALE: Former Employee Lodges Overtime Wage Lawsuit in CA
CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: Plaintiffs Appeal Summary Judgment Ruling
CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: Trial in Securities Suit Set November 2004
CRYO-CELL INTERNATIONAL: FL Court Consolidates Securities Suits
ELECTRONICS BOUTIQUE: Store Managers File CA Overtime Wage Suit

ELI LILLY: Faces Nationwide Lawsuit For Zyprexa Users in E.D. NY
FEDERATED DEPARTMENT: NY Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Suit
FISCHER IMAGING: Asks CO Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
MANDALAY RESORT: Expects Ruling on Certification For RICO Suit
MANDALAY RESORT: Plaintiff Not Pursuing MI RICO Violations Claim

MEN'S WEARHOUSE: Working To Settle Overtime Wage Lawsuits in CA
MEN'S WEARHOUSE: Consumers Commence Privacy Lawsuit in CA Court
MJ EDWARDS: TN Funeral Home Admits Accidentally Switching Bodies
PARADIGM MEDICAL: UT Court Consolidates Securities Fraud Suits
SHINDAIWA INC.: Recalls 15,000 Hedge Trimmers Due To Fire Hazard

SNC-LAVALIN: Named As Defendants in Several Bre-X Minerals Suits
SPORTS AUTHORITY: CA Court Okays Overtime Wage Suit Settlement
SUN LIFE: MFS Shareholders Launch Mutual Fund Fraud Suits in US
TEXAS: Governor Orders Investigation Into State Elderly Program
TiVO INC.: Directors' Committee Approves NY Lawsuit Settlement

UTI WORLDWIDE: Named As Defendant in Gulf War Injury Suit in TX
VALUEVISION MEDIA: MN Court Approves Consumer Lawsuit Settlement
VERISYS INC.: Shareholders Lodge Securities Lawsuits in S.D. TX
WHITEHALL JEWELLERS: CA Court Approves Wage Hour Suit Settlement
WHITEHALL JEWELLERS: Stockholders File IL Securities Fraud Suits

ZANDER'S COMPANY: Recalls Butter Due To Listeria Contamination

                 New Securities Fraud Cases  

ASCONI INC.: Shalov Stone Files Securities Fraud Suit in M.D. FL
NORTEL NETWORKS: Lead Plaintiff Motions Deadlines Set May 2004
NOVASTAR FINANCIAL: Chitwood & Harley Files Stock Lawsuit in MO
NOVASTAR FINANCIAL: Berman DeValerio Files Securities Suit in MO

                        *********

ALCATEL: NY Court Hears Motion To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York has fully briefed Alcatel's motion to dismiss the
consolidated securities class action filed against it and
certain of its officers and directors, asserting various claims
under the federal securities laws.

The consolidated action challenges the accuracy of certain
public disclosures that were made in the prospectus for the
initial public offering for Class O shares and other public
statements regarding Alcatel, and in particular, the Optronics
division.  The complaint purports to bring claims on behalf of
the lead plaintiffs and a class of persons consisting of:

     (1) all persons who acquired Class O shares in or traceable
         to the initial public offering of ADSs conducted by the
         Company in October 2002,

     (2) all persons who purchased Class O shares in the form of
         ADSs between October 20, 2000 and May 29, 2001, and

     (3) all persons who purchased Class A shares in the form of
         ADSs between May 1, 2000 and May 29, 2001

The amount of damages sought is not specified.  The Company
filed a motion to dismiss this action on January 31, 2003, and
the motion was fully briefed by May 9, 2003.  The Court has yet
to issue a decision.


ANTHROPOLOGIE INC.: Employee Launches Overtime Wage Suit in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
Anthropologie, Inc. faces a class action filed by an employee in
the Superior Court of California for the County of Orange,
seeking unspecified monetary damages and equitable relief.  The
complaint alleges that, under California law, the plaintiff and
certain other employees were misclassified as employees exempt
from overtime and seeks recovery of unpaid wages, penalties and
damages.

The Company believes the claim is frivolous, it said in a
disclosure to the Securities and Exchange Commission.   


BARNES & NOBLE: Reaches Settlement For Consolidated Stock Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
Barnes & Noble, Inc. reached a memorandum of understanding to
settle the consolidated securities class action, styled "In re
BarnesandNoble.com, Inc. Shareholders Litigation, Consolidated
Civil Action No.042-N," filed relating to the November 7, 2003
announcement of the Company's proposal to purchase all of the
outstanding shares of barnesandnoble.com Inc.'s (bn.com) common
stock at a price of $2.50 per share in cash.

Fifteen substantially similar putative class action lawsuits
were initially filed by individual stockholders of bn.com
against bn.com, bn.com's directors and the Company in the
Delaware Court of Chancery.  The complaints in these actions,
which purported to be brought on behalf of all of bn.com's
stockholders excluding the defendants and their affiliates,
generally alleged:

     (1) breaches of fiduciary duty by the Company and bn.com's     
         directors,

     (2) that the consideration offered by the Company was
         inadequate and constituted unfair dealing and

     (3) that the Company, as controlling stockholder, breached
         its duty to bn.com's remaining stockholders by acting
         to further its own interests at the expense of bn.com's
         remaining stockholders.

The complaints sought to enjoin the proposal or, in the
alternative, damages in an unspecified amount and rescission in
the event a merger occurred pursuant to the proposal.  The
complaints were eventually consolidated.

On January 8, 2004, the parties executed a Memorandum of
Understanding reflecting the parties' agreement to settle the
action.  Pursuant to the terms of the Memorandum of
Understanding, the parties agreed in good faith to execute as
soon as practicable a Stipulation of Settlement providing for,
among other things, the release of all claims of the plaintiffs
and other members of the class against defendants that were or
could have been asserted in the action or in any way arise out
of or in connection with the merger.

The Stipulation of Settlement also is to expressly provide that
the defendants in the action deny that they have committed any
violation of law whatsoever and are entering into the
Stipulation of Settlement solely to eliminate the burden,
expense and distraction of further litigation and to permit the
merger to proceed as scheduled.  The parties subsequently agreed
that plaintiffs' counsel will apply to the court for an award of
attorney's fees and costs in the amount of $600,000 and that
defendants will not object to a fee award up to that amount.  It
was further agreed that defendants would pay or reimburse the
costs of mailing.  The settlement is contingent upon, among
other things, court approval, the merger consideration
being $3.05 per share in cash and consummation of the merger.


BOEING CO.: Report Reveals Gender Disparity in Company Salaries
---------------------------------------------------------------
A study commissioned by Boeing Co. in 1997 discovered that men
at the Company make more than the women, BusinessWeek disclosed
in its latest edition after obtaining a copy through a court
order.

According to the report, a salary assessment team said that
"gender differences in starting salaries generally continue, and
often increase, as a result of salary planning decisions."

The Chicago-based firm currently faces a class action filed in
Kansas Court on behalf of 4,800 women in its Kansas plant,
charging the company with gender discrimination in terms of
salary and promotion.  A year ago, the suit was granted class
certification.  Hearings in the suit are expected to start by
next month.  The Company has vigorously disputed the arguments
of the plaintiffs.

The BusinessWeek article cited plaintiffs' attorneys and outside
experts who say Boeing could be liable for punitive damages and
back pay exceeding $1 billion should the lawsuit prevail.

Kenneth Mercer, a Boeing spokesman, told Reuters that the
plaintiffs' claims "do not reflect how we do business."  He
added that the studies undertaken by Boeing "were intended to
help us identify and eliminate any pay disparities.  That data
alone can't capture all of the critical factors that go into pay
and promotion decisions," he said.

"We are confident that when the jurors have the full story, they
will find the company did not practice discrimination of any
kind," he added.


BROOKSTONE INC.: CA Court Holds Fairness Hearing for Settlement
---------------------------------------------------------------
The California Superior Court for the County of Los Angeles
heard arguments for the approval of the settlement proposed by
Brookstone, Inc. for a class action filed on behalf of current
and former managers and assistant managers of the Company's
California stores, alleging that they were improperly classified
as exempt employees.  The lawsuit sought damages including
overtime pay, restitution and attorneys fees.

On August 15, 2003, a settlement agreement was finalized with a
maximum amount of $1.5 million for this matter.  The final
fairness and settlement approval hearing was scheduled for April
16, 2004, but the court has not yet released a ruling on the
fairness of the settlement agreement.  Settlement funds will not
be distributed unless and until the parties' settlement
agreement receives final approval by the court.  


CASUAL MALE: Former Employee Lodges Overtime Wage Lawsuit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Casual Male Retail Group, Inc. faces a class action filed in the
Supreme Court of California, County of Santa Clara, by Robin J.
Tucker, a former employee.  The complaint alleges, among other
things, that the Company failed to pay overtime compensation and
to provide meal and rest periods to the Company's California
store managers for the period from May 14, 2002 to the present.

The Company believes that it has substantial legal defenses to
these claims, it stated in a regulatory filing.  However, there
can be no assurances that such claims will not be successful in
whole or in part.   


CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: Plaintiffs Appeal Summary Judgment Ruling
---------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiffs appealed the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of North Carolina's ruling granting summary
judgment in favor of Continental Airlines, Inc. and other
defendants in the class actions, styled "Sarah Futch Hall d/b/a/
Travel Specialists v. United Air Lines, et al."

A travel agent, on behalf of herself and other similarly
situated U.S. travel agents, filed the suit, challenging the
reduction and subsequent elimination of travel agent base
commissions.  The amended complaint alleged an unlawful
agreement among the airline defendants to reduce, cap or
eliminate commissions in violation of federal antitrust laws
during the years 1997 to 2002.  The plaintiffs sought
compensatory and treble damages, injunctive relief and their
attorneys' fees.

The class was certified on September 18, 2002.  On October 30,
2003, a summary judgment and order was granted in favor of all
of the defendants.  Plaintiffs filed their appeal to this
judgment and order on November 5, 2003.  Plaintiffs' appeal of
this judgement is pending.

Several travel agents who purportedly opted out of the Hall
class action filed similar suits against Continental and other
major carriers alleging violations of antitrust laws in
eliminating the base commission:

     (1) Tam Travel, Inc. v. Delta Airlines, Inc., et al.
         (U.S.D.C., Northern District of California), filed on
         April 9, 2003;

     (2) Paula Fausky, et al. v. American Airlines, et al.
         (U.S.D.C., Northern District of Ohio), filed on May 8,
         2003; and

     (3) Swope Travel Agency, et al. v. Orbitz LLC et al.
         (U.S.D.C., Eastern District of Texas), filed on June 5,
         2003

By order dated November 12, 2003, these actions were transferred
and consolidated for pretrial purposes by the Judicial Panel on
Multidistrict Litigation to the Northern District of Ohio.  
Defendants have filed a motion to stay these proceedings pending
the outcome of the Hall appeal discussed above.


CONTINENTAL AIRLINES: Trial in Securities Suit Set November 2004
----------------------------------------------------------------
Trial in the securities class action filed against Continental
Airlines, Inc., America West Airlines, America West Holdings
Corporation and others is set for November 2004 in the United
States District Court in Phoenix, Arizona.

The suit, styled "Employer-Teamsters Joint Council No. 84
Pension Trust Fund v. America West Holdings Corp., et al.," was
first filed in March of 1999, but was dismissed.  Plaintiffs
then filed a Second Amended Consolidated Complaint in January
2001, which was dismissed with prejudice in June of 2001.  
Plaintiffs appealed that dismissal and in 2003 the Ninth Circuit
Court of Appeals reversed and remanded the lower court's
dismissal.  In January 2004 the class was certified.


CRYO-CELL INTERNATIONAL: FL Court Consolidates Securities Suits
---------------------------------------------------------------
The United States Middle District of Florida ordered
consolidated the ten securities class actions filed against
Cryo-Cell International, Inc., certain of its current and former
officers and directors and two accounting firms who previously
audited the Company's consolidated financial statements.

All ten complaints allege violations of federal securities laws,
including improper recognition of revenue in the consolidated
financial statements presented in certain public reports of the
Company.  The complaints generally seek, among other things,
certification of a class of persons who purchased the Company's
common stock between March 16, 1999 and May 20, 2003 and
unspecified damages.

On October 22, 2003, all ten complaints were consolidated (Case
No. 03-CV-1011).  On February 17, 2004, the court appointed lead
plaintiffs.  Pursuant to the court's scheduling order, the lead
plaintiffs have until April 30, 2004 to file an amended
complaint, after which the Company will respond to the amended
allegations.


ELECTRONICS BOUTIQUE: Store Managers File CA Overtime Wage Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Electronics Boutique of America, Inc. faces an overtime wage
class action filed in California Superior Court for Los Angeles
County, styled "Chalmers v. Electronics Boutique of America,
Inc.:

The suit alleges that the Company improperly classified store
management employees as exempt from the overtime provisions of
California wage-and-hour laws and seeks recovery of wages for
overtime hours worked and related relief.


ELI LILLY: Faces Nationwide Lawsuit For Zyprexa Users in E.D. NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE:LLY) faces a nationwide class action
lawsuit filed on behalf of all persons residing in the United
States who used Zyprexa.  The lawsuit was filed on April 16,
2004 in the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of New York.

Zyprexa is currently the most popular atypical antipsychotic
medication and is Eli Lilly and Company's best-selling
pharmaceutical.  Zyprexa has been linked to serious side effects
including diabetes, hyperglycemia and pancreatitis. For
information on Zyprexa side effects and this class action
lawsuit please visit the Website: http://www.zyprexa-side-
effects.com.  

The class action lawsuit seeks relief for Zyprexa patients who
have already been diagnosed with side effects as well as
compensation for medical testing for all patients who have used
Zyprexa in the United States.  Three plaintiffs who have been
diagnosed with serious injuries have been named in the lawsuit.  
All of the plaintiffs developed diabetes after taking Zyprexa
and one plaintiff developed pancreatitis.

Last year, the FDA requested that Eli Lilly and Company update
its product labeling for Zyprexa to include a warning about
hyperglycemia and diabetes.  Additionally, the British Medical
Control Agency and the Japanese Health and Welfare Ministry have
both warned about the risk of diabetes in patients who are
prescribed Zyprexa.  In 2002, a study at Duke University showed
a connection between Zyprexa and diabetes.  This study
documented nearly 300 cases of diabetes in people using Zyprexa.

Zyprexa was approved for the treatment of schizophrenia in 1996
and for the treatment of bipolar mania in 2000.  It is part of a
new generation of antipsychotics known as atypicals, which
include Seroquel, Risperdal, Abilify, Clozaril, and Geodon.
Ironically, the primary advantage of the newer atypical
antipsychotic medications was supposed to be a lower incidence
of side effects than the conventional antipsychotics introduced
in the 1950s (Haldol, Thorazine, Prolixin, Navane, Stelazine,
Trilafon, and Mellaril).

For more information, contact David Krangle, Esq. of Parker &
Waichman, LLP by Phone: 1-800-LAW-INFO (1-800-529-4636) by E-
mail: dkrangle@yourlawyer.com or visit the firm's Website:
http://www.yourlawyer.com.


FEDERATED DEPARTMENT: NY Court Dismisses Securities Fraud Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the Southern District of
New York dismissed without prejudice the consolidated securities
class action filed against Federated Department Stores, Inc. and
certain members of its senior management, styled In Re Federated
Department Stores, Inc. Securities Litigation, Case No. 00-CV-
6362.

The suit was filed on behalf of persons who purchased shares of
the Company between February 23, 2000 and July 20, 2000.  The
Complaint alleged violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 thereunder, on
the basis of claims that the Company, among other things, made
false and misleading statements regarding its financial
condition and results of operations and failed to disclose
material information relating to the credit delinquency problem
at the Company's former subsidiary, Fingerhut Companies, Inc.  
The plaintiffs sought unspecified amounts of compensatory
damages and costs, including legal fees.


FISCHER IMAGING: Asks CO Court To Dismiss Securities Fraud Suit
---------------------------------------------------------------
Fischer Imaging Co. asked the United States District Court for
the District of Colorado to dismiss the consolidated class
action filed against it and three of its former officers and
directors, Morgan Nields, Gerald Knudson and Louis Rivelli.

The suit was filed on behalf of purchasers of shares of the
Company's common stock during the period February 14, 2001 to
July 17, 2003.  The suit alleges that, among other things,
during the punitive class period, the Company and the individual
defendants made materially false statements in violation of
Section 10(b) of the Exchange Act, Rule 10b-5 promulgated under
the Exchange Act, and Section 20(a) of the Exchange Act.  The
complaint seeks unspecified compensatory damages and other
relief.


MANDALAY RESORT: Expects Ruling on Certification For RICO Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
The Mandalay Resort Group expects the United States District
Court for the District of Nevada to issue a ruling on
certification of a class action filed against it and other
manufacturers, distributors and casino operators of video poker
and electronic slot machines.

On April 26, 1994, William H. Poulos brought a class action in
the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida,
Orlando Division captioned "William H. Poulos, et al. v. Caesars
World, Inc. et al."  On May 10, 1994, another plaintiff filed a
class action complaint in the United States District Court for
the Middle District of Florida in "William Ahearn, et al. v.
Caesars World, Inc. et al.," alleging substantially the same
allegations against 48 defendants, including Mandalay.  On
September26, 1995, a third action was filed against 45
defendants, including Mandalay, in the U.S. District Court for
the District of Nevada in "Larry Schreier, et al. v. Caesars
World,Inc. et al."  The court consolidated the three cases in
the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada under the
case captioned "William H. Poulos, et al. v. Caesars World,
Inc. et al."

The consolidated complaint alleges the defendants are involved
in a scheme to induce people to play electronic video poker and
slot machines based on false beliefs regarding how these
machines operate and the extent to which a player is likely to
win on any given play.  The actions included claims under the
Federal Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act
(RICO), as well as claims of common law fraud, unjust enrichment
and negligent misrepresentation, and seek unspecified
compensatory and punitive damages.

A motion for class certification was filed in March 1998.  On
June 26, 2002, the Motion for Class Certification was denied.  
Subsequently, the Plaintiffs sought permission from the Ninth
Circuit Court of Appeals to appeal the issue of class
certification.  The Court of Appeals granted the Plaintiffs'
motion.  Oral arguments have been held and a ruling is expected
within the next six to nine months regarding the class
certification issue.


MANDALAY RESORT: Plaintiff Not Pursuing MI RICO Violations Claim
----------------------------------------------------------------
Plaintiff has not pursued the class action filed against
Mandalay Resort Group's Detroit joint venture, after it was
dismissed by the Wayne County Circuit Court in Michigan.

On February 13, 2002, John Ren filed suit in against the
Company's Detroit joint venture and the other two casino
operations in Detroit.  The plaintiff purports to represent
himself and a class consisting of all persons who lost money
and/or incurred debts that remain unpaid at any of the three
Detroit casinos.  The plaintiff alleges that the three casinos
have been operating illegally and continue to do so.  The relief
sought by the plaintiff includes an injunction to restrain the
three casinos from remaining open until properly licensed,
compensatory damages, and disgorgement of all profits "unjustly
obtained."

On April 9, 2002 the court dismissed the plaintiff's lawsuit on
the basis that the plaintiff should first seek relief from the
Michigan Gaming Control Board.  The plaintiff filed a claim with
the Michigan Gaming Control Board, but has not pursued the
claim.  


MEN'S WEARHOUSE: Working To Settle Overtime Wage Lawsuits in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Men's Wearhouse, Inc. and two of its subsidiaries K&G Men's
Center, Inc. and K&G Men's Company, Inc. is working to settle
two lawsuits filed against them in California State Court
alleging violations of overtime wage laws.

On April 18, 2003, a lawsuit was filed against the Company in
the Superior Court of California for the County of Orange, Case
No. 03CC00132.  On April 21, 2003, a lawsuit was filed against
K&G Men's Center, Inc. and K&G Men's Company Inc. (collectively,
"K&G"), wholly owned subsidiaries of the Company, in the Los
Angeles Superior Court of California, Case No. BC294361 (the
"Los Angeles County Suit"; the Los Angeles County Suit and the
Orange County Suit shall be referred to jointly as the "Suits").

The Orange County Suit was brought as a purported class action.  
The Los Angeles County Suit was brought as a multi-party action.  
The Suits allege several causes of action, each based on the
factual allegation that in the State of California the Company
and K&G misclassified its managers and assistant managers as
exempt from the application of certain California labor
statutes.  

Because of this alleged misclassification, the Suits allege that
the Company and K&G failed to pay overtime compensation and
provide the required rest periods to such employees.  The Suits
seek, among other things, declaratory and injunctive relief
along with an accounting as to alleged wages, premium pay,
penalties, interest and restitution allegedly due the class
defendants.

On April 23, 2003, a lawsuit was filed against K&G in the Los
Angeles Superior Court of California, Case No. BC294497 (the
"Tailor's Suit").  The Tailor's Suit was brought as a multi-
party action.  The Tailor's Suit alleges several causes of
action, each based on the factual allegation that in the State
of California, K&G misclassified the tailors working in their
stores as "independent contractors" and refused to classify them
as non-exempt employees subject to the application of certain
California labor statutes.

Because of this alleged misclassification, the Tailor's Suit
alleges that K&G failed to pay hourly and overtime compensation
and provide the required rest periods required by such labor
statutes.  The Tailor's Suit further alleges that K&G violated
several other labor statutes and regulations as well as the
California Unfair Competition Law.  It seeks, among other
things, restitution, disgorgement due to failure to comply with
California labor laws, penalties, declaratory and injunctive
relief.

As a result of recent mediations, the Company recognized a
charge in the fourth quarter of 2003 for $3.7 million ($2.3
million, net of tax) which it believes to be a reasonable
estimate of the incremental cost it expects to incur in
connection with the proposed resolution of the Suits and the
Tailor's Suit, the Company said in a regulatory filing.  The
Company believes that the Suits and the Tailor's Suit will be
resolved in 2004; however, no assurance can be given that the
anticipated resolution will be realized.


MEN'S WEARHOUSE: Consumers Commence Privacy Lawsuit in CA Court
---------------------------------------------------------------
The Men's Wearhouse faces a class action filed in the Superior
Court of California for the County of Los Angeles, Case No.
BC313038, alleging two causes of action, each based on the
factual allegation that the Company requests or requires, in
conjunction with a customer's use of his or her credit card, the
customer to provide personal identification information which is
recorded upon the credit card transaction form.

The suit seeks:

     (1) civil penalties pursuant to the California Civil Code;

     (2) an order enjoining the Company from requesting or
         requiring that a customer provide personal
         identification information which is then recorded on
         the transaction form;

     (3) permanent and preliminary injunctions against the
         Company requesting or requiring that a customer provide
         personal identification information which is then
         recorded on the transaction form;

     (4) restitution of all funds allegedly acquired by means of
         any act or practice declared by the Court to be
         unlawful or fraudulent or to constitute a violation of
         the California Business and Professions Code;

     (5) attorney's fees; and

     (6) costs of suit

The court has not yet decided whether the action may proceed as
a class action.


MJ EDWARDS: TN Funeral Home Admits Accidentally Switching Bodies
----------------------------------------------------------------
Tennessee funeral home M.J. Edwards Funeral Home admitted to
accidentally switching the bodies of two deceased women, the
Associated Press reports.

Tennessee resident Tracy Meeks and her sister-in-law waited a
while to view her mother's body before a wake.  They complained
to the funeral home, after which the director pulled them aside
and informed them that they had mistakenly buried her mother
somewhere in West Tennessee the day before.

"I joked, saying, 'What could be the problem, you buried the
wrong body?'" Ms. Meeks told Associated Press.  "He turned to me
and said, 'Exactly.'

The funeral home refused to comment, AP reports.  Robert
Gribble, executive director of the Tennessee Board of Funeral
Directors and Embalmers, said his office rarely gets complaints
about mixed-up bodies.

                                
PARADIGM MEDICAL: UT Court Consolidates Securities Fraud Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
The United States District Court for the District of Utah
consolidated the securities class actions filed against Paradigm
Medical Industries, Inc. and certain of its officers and
directors.

On May 14, 2003, a complaint, captioned Richard Meyer,
individually and on behalf of all others similarly suited v.
Paradigm Medical Industries, Inc., Thomas Motter, Mark Miehle
and John Hemmer, Case No. 2:03 CV00448TC," was filed, indicating
that it is a "Class Action Complaint for Violations of Federal
Securities Law and Plaintiffs Demand a Trial by Jury."

The Company has retained legal counsel to review the complaint,
which appears to be focused on alleged false and misleading
statements pertaining to the Blood Flow Analyzer(TM) and
concerning a purchase order from Valdespino Associates
Enterprises and Westland Financial Corporation.

More specifically, the complaint alleges that the Company
falsely stated in its Securities and Exchange Commission filings
and press releases that the Company had received authorization
to use an insurance reimbursement CPT code from the CPT Code
Research and Development Division of the American Medical
Association in connection with the Blood Flow Analyzer(TM),
adding that the CPT code provides for a reimbursement to doctors
of $57.00 per patient for use of the Blood Flow Analyzer(TM).  
The complaint also alleges that on July 11, 2002, the Company
issued a press release falsely announcing that the Company had
received a purchase order from Valdespino Associates Enterprises
and Westland Financial Corporation for 200 sets of its entire
portfolio of products, with $70 million in systems to be  
delivered over a two-year period, then another $35 million of
orders to be completed in the third year.  

As a result of these statements, the complaint contends that the
price of the Company's shares of common stock was artificially
inflated during the period from April 25, 2001 through May 14,
2003, and the persons who purchased its common shares during
that period suffered substantial damages.  The complaint
requests judgment for unspecified damages, together with
interest and attorney's fees.

On June 2, 2003, a complaint was filed in the same court,
captioned Michael Marrone v. Paradigm Medical Industries, Inc.,
Thomas Motter, Mark Miehle and John Hemmer, Case No. 2:03
CV00513 PGC."  On June 11, 2003, a complaint was filed in the
same court captioned "Milian v. Paradigm Medical Industries,
Inc., Thomas Motter, Mark Miehle and John Hemmer, Case No. 2:03
CV00617PGC."  Both complaints seek class action status.  These
cases are substantially similar in nature to the Meyer case,
including the contention that as a result of allegedly false
statements regarding the Blood Flow Analyzer(TM) and the
purchase order from Valdespino Associates Enterprises and
Westland Financial Corporation, the price of the Company's
common stock was artificially inflated and the persons who
purchased its common shares during the class period suffered
substantial damages.  The cases request judgment for unspecified
damages, together with interest and attorneys' fees.  
     

SHINDAIWA INC.: Recalls 15,000 Hedge Trimmers Due To Fire Hazard
----------------------------------------------------------------
Shindaiwa, Inc. is cooperating with the U.S. Consumer Product
Safety Commission by voluntarily recalling 15,000 Gasoline-
Powered Professional Hedge Trimmers.  The muffler's retaining
bolts can allow the muffler to come loose from the engine while
the hedge trimmer is in operation.  A loose muffler can contact
and damage the fuel tank creating a fire hazard.  More than
59,000 Shindaiwa hedge trimmers were recalled in October 2003
because of a leaking fuel cap.

Shindaiwa has received 26 reports of mufflers coming loose and
damaging the fuel tank, and one report of a fire that resulted
in the operator suffering minor burns.

The 30-inch and 40-inch hedge trimmers have red engine covers, a
red fuel cap and a label on the recoil starter that reads
"Professional Shindaiwa."  The recall includes all double-sided
professional hedge trimmer models DH 231 and HT 231 with serial
numbers up to 110000.  The serial numbers are printed on a
nameplate on the engine cover.

Shindaiwa dealers nationwide sold these items from January 2001
through November 2003 for between $369 and $450.

Stop using these hedge trimmers and return them to an authorized
Shindaiwa dealer to have the muffler bolts replaced free of
charge.  For more details, contact the Company by Phone:
(800) 521-7733 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. PT Monday through
Friday.


SNC-LAVALIN: Named As Defendants in Several Bre-X Minerals Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
SNC-Lavalin and certain of its subsidiaries have been named as
defendants along with other parties in a number of class action
lawsuits and other actions filed in Canada and the United States
by or on behalf of shareholders of Bre-X Minerals Ltd. and
Bresea Resources Ltd. seeking to recover damages allegedly
sustained by them as a result of the Bre-X affair.

The complaints with respect to these actions generally allege
that the Company and/or its subsidiaries were negligent,
negligently or fraudulently misrepresented or failed to disclose
information relating to Bre-X's Busang gold project, and
violated US securities laws.

The Company denies these allegations and is vigorously
contesting these lawsuits.  These lawsuits remain at an early
stage, and as litigation is subject to many uncertainties, it is
not possible to predict the ultimate outcome of these lawsuits
or to estimate the loss, if any, which may result.  However,
management believes that the Company's subsidiaries have acted
professionally and appropriately at all times in carrying out
the work which was performed in connection with Bre-X's Busang
project and, after having consulted with legal counsel, believes
that the Company and its subsidiaries have strong grounds to
contest these claims.


SPORTS AUTHORITY: CA Court Okays Overtime Wage Suit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
The California Superior Court granted approval to the settlement
of several class actions, alleging various wage and hour claims
under California state law.

In June 2000, a former employee of Sportmart brought two class
action complaints in California against the Company, alleging
various wage and hour claims in violation of the California
Labor Code, California Business and Professional Code section
17200 and other related matters.

One complaint alleges that the Company classified some of its
managers in its California stores as exempt from overtime pay
when they would have been classified as non-exempt and paid
overtime.  The second complaint alleges that the Company failed
to pay hourly employees in its California stores for all hours
worked.

In March 2001, a third class action complaint was filed in the
same court in California alleging the same wage and hour
violations regarding classification of certain managers as
exempt from overtime pay.  In July 2001, a fourth complaint was
filed alleging that store managers should also not be classified
as employees exempt from overtime pay.

All the complaints seek compensatory damages, punitive damages
and penalties.  The amount of damages sought is unspecified.  
The Company entered into a settlement agreement relating to the
first two complaints that were filed, which has received
preliminary approval by the court.  With the settlement of the
first two complaints, the named plaintiffs in the third and
fourth actions will be included in the settlement class
although they may opt to proceed with their lawsuits on an
individual basis.


SUN LIFE: MFS Shareholders Launch Mutual Fund Fraud Suits in US
---------------------------------------------------------------
Sun Life Financial Inc. and MFS Investment Management, along
with certain MFS funds and trustees who serve on the Board of
Trustees of these MFS funds, have been named as defendants in
purported class action lawsuits filed in the United States since
December 2003 seeking damages of unspecified amounts.

The lawsuits were purportedly filed on behalf of people who
purchased, owned and/or redeemed shares of MFS funds during
specified periods.  The suits allege that certain defendants
permitted market timing and late trading in the MFS funds which
allegedly caused financial injury to the funds' shareholders.  
All of these lawsuits seek an unspecified amount of damages.

Additional lawsuits based upon similar allegations may be filed
in the future, the Company stated in a regulatory filing.  
Although it is expected that the payments required under the
terms of the settlement with the regulators will largely
mitigate any damages payable under the class action lawsuits
initiated in respect of these matters, the Company cannot
predict the outcome of these actions with certainty and is
accordingly unable to determine the total potential impact that
they may have on the Company's results of operations, financial
position and cash flows.


TEXAS: Governor Orders Investigation Into State Elderly Program
---------------------------------------------------------------
Texas Governor Rick Perry ordered an investigation into Adult
Protective Services, a state program tasked to provide care for
dozens of the state's elderly residents, the Associated Press
reports.

Gov. Perry ordered state investigators to probe the program
after a report written by probate Judge Max Higgs revealed that
some elderly residents were living in filthy, insect-infested
homes, and covered with rat bites or their own waste.  

"At this early stage of the game, it's difficult to say whether
this is systemic or not. The review will determine whether
practices or policies we have in place are appropriate," Geoff
Wool, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Family and
Protective Services, which oversees APS, told the Associated
Press.

Health and Human Services Commissioner Albert Hawkins traveled
to El Paso on Thursday for a briefing by investigators, who are
reviewing about 800 files involving about 200 people.  "This
initial effort focuses on El Paso, but our focus is statewide
and comprehensive as well," Hawkins said in Friday editions of
the El Paso Times.

He said investigators, which include policy, financial, legal
and law enforcement experts, should conclude the El Paso review
in about two weeks.  A report on operations statewide is
expected by November 1.


TiVO INC.: Directors' Committee Approves NY Lawsuit Settlement
--------------------------------------------------------------
A special committee of TiVo, Inc.'s board of directors approved
the proposed settlement for a consolidated securities class
action filed against the Company and certain of its officers and
directors in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District
of New York, styled "Wercberger v. TiVo et al."  The suit also
names several of the underwriters involved in the Company's
initial public offering as defendants.

This class action is brought on behalf of a purported class of
purchasers of the Company's common stock from September 30,
1999, the time of its initial public offering, through December
6, 2000.  The central allegation in this action is that the
Company's IPO underwriters solicited and received undisclosed
commissions from, and entered into undisclosed arrangements
with, certain investors who purchased the Company's common stock
in the Company's IPO and in the after-market.

The complaint also alleges that the TiVo defendants violated the
federal securities laws by failing to disclose in the Company's
IPO prospectus that the underwriters had engaged in these
allegedly undisclosed arrangements.  More than 150 issuers have
been named in similar lawsuits.  

In July 2002, an omnibus motion to dismiss all complaints
against issuers and individual defendants affiliated with
issuers (including the TiVo defendants) was filed by the entire
group of issuer defendants in these similar actions.  On October
8, 2002, the Company's officers were dismissed as defendants
in the lawsuit.  

On February 19, 2003, the court in this action issued its
decision on defendants' omnibus motion to dismiss.  This
decision dismissed the Section 10(b) claim as to TiVo but denied
the motion to dismiss the Section 11 claim as to TiVo and
virtually all of the other issuer-defendants.   On June 26,
2003, the plaintiffs announced a proposed settlement with the
Company and the other issuer defendants. The proposed settlement
provides that the insurers of all settling issuers will
guarantee that the plaintiffs recover $1 billion from non-
settling defendants, including the investment banks who acted as
underwriters in those offerings.  In the event that the
plaintiffs do not recover $1 billion, the insurers for the
settling issuers will make up the difference.

Under the proposed settlement, the maximum amount that could be
charged to our insurance policy in the event that the plaintiffs
recovered nothing from the investment banks would be
approximately $3.9 million.  The Company believes that it has
sufficient insurance coverage to cover the maximum amount that
it may be responsible for under the proposed settlement.

Its board of directors approved the proposed settlement at a
meeting held on June 25, 2003. A Court ruling on the settlement
is forthcoming.


UTI WORLDWIDE: Named As Defendant in Gulf War Injury Suit in TX
---------------------------------------------------------------
UTi Worldwide, Inc. was named as one of approximately 83
defendants named in a consolidated class action filed in the
District Court of Brazaria County, Texas (23rd Judicial
District), alleging that the various defendants sold chemicals
that were utilized in the 1991 Gulf War by the Iraqi army which
caused personal injuries to U.S. armed services personnel and
their families, including birth defects.

The lawsuits were brought on behalf of the military personnel
who served in the 1991 Gulf War and their families and the
plaintiffs are seeking in excess of $1.0 billion in damages.

To date, the plaintiffs have not obtained class certification.
The Company believes it is a defendant in the suit because an
entity that sold it assets in 1993 is a defendant, the Company
said in a disclosure to the Securities and Exchange Commission.  
It continued that it believes that it will ultimately prevail in
this matter since the Company never manufactured chemicals and
the plaintiffs have been unable to thus far produce evidence
that the Company acted as a freight forwarder for cargo that
included chemicals used by the Iraqi army.


VALUEVISION MEDIA: MN Court Approves Consumer Lawsuit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Hennepin County District Court, Minneapolis, Minnesota
granted final approval to the settlement of a class action filed
by Vincent Bounomo, a Florida resident, against Valuevision
Media, Inc.

The suit alleges that the plaintiff had purchased a computer
system from the Company following a broadcast that had promised
him free lifetime access to the internet as part of the computer
system.  The customer alleged that the Company had breached its
alleged promise to provide him free lifetime access to the
Internet, breached certain warranties, and violated state
consumer protection statutes.  The Company denied all liability.

Following discovery, the amendment of pleadings, and certain
motion practice, the Company agreed to settle this action on a
class-wide basis.  Under the terms of the settlement, the
Company will:

     (1) provide 15 months of free dial-up access to the
         internet to customers who purchased the computer
         systems at issue and who file timely and complete claim
         forms;

     (2) pay plaintiffs' attorneys' fees, class representatives
         fees, costs, expenses, and disbursements as awarded by
         the court, up to a maximum total amount of $950,000;
         and

     (3) pay the costs of notifying class members and
         administering the settlement.

The court granted final approval to the proposed settlement
following a fairness hearing on March 30, 2004, and ordered that
the action, and all claims that were or could have been asserted
therein, be dismissed with prejudice.  The Company's insurer and
the computer systems vendor have agreed to both pay a portion of
the remaining cost of the settlement, after application of
insurance proceeds.  The settlement costs will not have a
material effect on the Company or its consolidated financial
statements.


VERISYS INC.: Shareholders Lodge Securities Lawsuits in S.D. TX
---------------------------------------------------------------
Verdisys, Inc. faces several securities class actions filed in
the United States District Court for the Southern District of
Texas.

The lawsuits, which according to press releases about the
lawsuits issued by the plaintiffs' lawyers appear in substance
to be practically identical, allege that the Company and its
former CEO, Dan Williams, and the Company's former CFO, Andrew
Wilson, violated Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated thereunder.

The lawsuits allege that defendants made materially
misstatements about Verdisys' financial results.  More
specifically, the Complaints allege that defendants failed to
disclose and indicate:

     (1) that Verdisys had materially overstated its net income
         and earnings per share;

     (2) that defendants prematurely recognized revenue from
         contracts between Verdisys, Edge Capital and Energy
         2000 in violation of GAAP and its own revenue
         recognition policy;

     (3) that Verdisys lacked adequate internal controls and was
         therefore unable to ascertain the true financial
         condition of the company; and

     (4) that as a result of recognizing revenue prematurely,
         Verdisys' financial results were inflated at all
         relevant times.


WHITEHALL JEWELLERS: CA Court Approves Wage Hour Suit Settlement
----------------------------------------------------------------
The California State Court approved the settlement for a wage
hour class action filed against Whitehall Jewellers, Inc. by
three former store managers.  The case was based principally
upon the allegation that store managers employed by the Company
in California should have been classified as non-exempt for
overtime purposes.

The parties reached an agreement to settle the matter resulting
in a pre-tax charge of $1,000,000, inclusive of the plaintiffs'
attorneys' fees, interest, penalties, administrative costs and
other Company costs, which was approved by the court on December
11, 2003.  This settlement covers the period from July 25, 1998
through the date of final settlement approval by the court.  The
Company has made payments totaling approximately $1,000,000, per
the terms of the settlement agreement, as of January 31, 2004.


WHITEHALL JEWELLERS: Stockholders File IL Securities Fraud Suits
----------------------------------------------------------------
Whitehall Jewellers, Inc. faces several class actions filed in
the United States District court for the Northern District of
Illinois, alleging the Company and certain of its current and
former officers violated federal securities laws.

On February 12, 2004, a putative class action complaint
captioned Greater Pennsylvania Carpenters Pension Fund, et al.
v. Whitehall Jewellers, Inc. et al., Case No. 04 C 1007, was
filed against the Company and certain of the Company's current
and former officers.  

The complaint makes reference to the litigation filed by Capital
Factors Inc. and to the Company's November 21, 2003 announcement
that it had discovered violations of Company policy by the
Company's Executive Vice President, Merchandising, with respect
to Company documentation regarding the age of certain store
inventory.  The complaint further makes reference to the
Company's December 22, 2003 announcement that it would restate
results for certain prior periods.  The complaint purports to
allege violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Securities
Exchange Act of 1934 ("1934 Act") and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder, and alleging that the Company and its officers made
false and misleading statements and falsely accounted for
revenue and inventory during the putative class period of
November 19, 2001 to December 10, 2003.

On February 18, 2004, a putative class action complaint
captioned Michael Radigan, et al., v. Whitehall Jewellers, Inc.
et al., Case No. 04 C 1196, was filed against the Company and
certain of the Company's current and former officers, charging
violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the 1934 Act and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and alleging that the Company and
its officers made false and misleading statements and falsely
accounted for revenue and inventory during the putative class
period of November 19, 2001 to December 10, 2003.  The factual
allegations of this complaint are similar to those made in
the Greater Pennsylvania Carpenters Pension Fund complaint.

On February 20, 2004, a putative class action complaint
captioned Milton Pfeiffer, et al., v. Whitehall Jewellers, Inc.
et al., Case No. 04 C 1285, was filed against the Company and
certain of the Company's current and former officers, charging
violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the 1934 Act and Rule
10b-5 promulgated thereunder, and alleging that the Company and
its officers made false and misleading statements and falsely
accounted for revenue, accounts payable, inventory, and vendor
allowances during the putative class period of November 19, 2001
to December 10, 2003.  The factual allegations of this complaint
are similar to those made in the Greater Pennsylvania Carpenters
Pension Fund complaint.

On April 6, 2004, the District Court in the Greater Pennsylvania
Carpenters case, No. 04 C 1107 consolidated the Pfeiffer and
Radigan complaints with the Greater Pennsylvania Carpenters
complaint, and on April 14, 2004, granted the plaintiffs up to
60 days from the date to file an amended consolidated complaint.


ZANDER'S COMPANY: Recalls Butter Due To Listeria Contamination
--------------------------------------------------------------
Zander's Creamery, Inc., of Cross Plains, Wisconsin is recalling
butter and butterine (60% butter and 40% margarine) products,
because they have the potential to be contaminated with Listeria
monocytogenes, an organism which can cause serious and sometimes
fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and
others with weakened immune systems.  Although healthy
individuals may suffer short-term symptoms such as high fever,
severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea,
Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among
pregnant women.

The only known butter and butterine sold in retail stores is at
GFS Marketplace Stores located in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and
Michigan under the GFS label, in 1 lb. prints, butter cups,
continentals, patties and 5 lb. whipped tubs.

The other butter and butterine products were distributed
nationwide.  These products include individual serving butter
chips used by restaurants, butter and butterine cups distributed
to restaurants, tubs of whipped butter for restaurants and bulk
butter for food manufacturers, primarily under the Zander's and
GFS labels.  The recalled butter and butterine products have
codes beginning with 043 to 100 as the first three digits.

To date no illnesses have been confirmed in connection with this
problem.  The recall was the result of routine sampling by the
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer
Protection, the Food and Drug Administration and the company
which revealed that the finished products contained the
bacteria.  The company has ceased the production and
distribution of its products as it continues their investigation
as to what caused the problem.

Consumers who have purchased affected butter products are urged
to return them to the place of purchase.  Consumers with
questions may contact the company by Phone: 1-608-798-3261.
Commercial users should cease using and segregate recalled
products pending receipt of instructions from their suppliers.

                 New Securities Fraud Cases  

ASCONI INC.: Shalov Stone Files Securities Fraud Suit in M.D. FL
----------------------------------------------------------------
Shalov Stone & Bonner LLP initiated a securities class action on
behalf of all persons who purchased the securities of Asconi
Corporation (AMEX: ACD) in the period from May 15, 2003 to March
23, 2004.

The complaint alleges that the defendants made material
misrepresentations and omissions of material facts concerning
the company's business performance during the relevant time.
According to the complaint, throughout the relevant time period,
defendants misrepresented the financial condition of the Asconi
and failed to disclose certain related party transactions,
thereby overstating the financial condition of Asconi. The
company has delayed the filing of its annual Report on Form 10-K
with the SEC, its stock price has collapsed and the stock has
ceased trading. The lawsuit was filed in the United States
District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

For more details, contact Tom Ciarlone by Mail: Shalov Stone &
Bonner LLP, 485 Seventh Avenue, Suite 1000, New York, New York
10018, by Phone: (212) 239-4340 or by E-mail:
tciarlone@lawssb.com.


NORTEL NETWORKS: Lead Plaintiff Motions Deadlines Set May 2004
--------------------------------------------------------------
Emerson Poynter LLP, which has filed a class action lawsuit
against Nortel Networks, Inc. (NYSE:NT) (TSE:NT) and two of the
Company's senior officers, on behalf of all persons or entities
who publicly traded securities during the period between
December 23, 2003 and March 12, 2004, inclusive reminds
investors that they have until Monday, May 17, 2004 to seek
appointment by the Court as one of the lead plaintiffs in this
action.

The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period,
defendants caused Nortel's shares to trade at artificially
inflated levels through the issuance of false and misleading
financial statements. Shortly before the start of the Class
Period, Nortel advised investors that it would be restating its
financial results for 2000, 2001 and 2002 and the first and
second quarters of 2003. A copy of the complaint filed in this
action is available from the Court, or can be obtained by
contacting the firm.

For more information, contact Ms. Tanya R. Autry by Mail: Client
Relations Department, 2228 Cottondale Lane, Suite 100, Little
Rock, AR 72202 by Phone: (800) 663-9817, Toll Free or by E-mail:
shareholder@emersonfirm.com


NOVASTAR FINANCIAL: Chitwood & Harley Files Stock Lawsuit in MO
---------------------------------------------------------------
Chitwood & Harley LLP initiated a securities fraud class action
against NovaStar Financial, Inc. (NYSE:NFI), Scott Harmon and
Lance Anderson on behalf of purchasers of NovaStar securities
between November 3, 2003 and April 12, 2004, in the U.S.
District Court, Western District of Missouri.

Other actions charging NovaStar with securities fraud have also
alleged, and some list a different class period.  Ultimately,
all of the putative class actions being filed against NovaStar
that arise from a common set of facts will likely be
consolidated by the Court into one proceeding, in which a lead
plaintiff will be appointed by the Court.  Lead Plaintiff and
Lead Counsel will thereafter file a consolidated amended
complaint which identifies the class period (i.e. the period of
time during which plaintiffs contend the stock price was
artificially inflated due to the defendants' fraud on the
market) that will govern the proceeding, based on the
information then available and their evaluation of the case.

The complaint charges defendants with issuing a series of
material misrepresentations to the market during the Class
Period in violation of sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the Exchange
Act, and Rule 10b-5. The complaint alleges that NovaStar issued
press releases, and false financial reports with the SEC,
reporting alleged record growth, supposedly on the strength of
its core business.

Unbeknownst to investors, however, the complaint alleges that
the Company's growth had outpaced NovaStar's ability to maintain
compliance with applicable regulations governing its business,
thereby subjecting the Company to fines, regulatory action(s)
and the serious, but undisclosed, risk that such non-compliance
could materially and negatively impact the Company's ability to
conduct business.

Instead of disclosing these serious risks, and the fact that the
Company had already been fined for noncompliance in two states,
the complaint cites NovaStar for continuing to tout its alleged
operational accomplishments in order to artificially inflate its
stock price because it was planning two follow-on equity
offerings to raise capital.

The Company's compliance problems were exposed by an article in
The Wall Street Journal on April 12, 2004. In response to the
announcement, the price of NovaStar common stock plummeted
precipitously, closing at $37.50 per share on April 12, 2004,
down from $54.18 per share on April 8, 2004 (the last trading
day before the disclosure) -- a one day drop of 30.7% on
unusually high trading volume.

For more details, contact Lauren S. Antonio by Phone:
1-888-873-3999 ext 6888 by E-mail: lsa@classlaw.com or visit the
firm's Website: http://www.classlaw.com


NOVASTAR FINANCIAL: Berman DeValerio Files Securities Suit in MO
----------------------------------------------------------------
Berman DeValerio Pease Tabacco Burt & Pucillo initiated a
securities class action against NovaStar Financial Inc.
(NYSE:NFI) in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Missouri, claiming the mortgage lender and four top
officers misled the public about the company's business
operations.

The lawsuit seeks damages for violations of federal securities
laws on behalf of all investors who bought NovaStar common stock
from October 29, 2003, through and including April 12, 2004.  
The lawsuit claims that the defendants violated Sections 10(b)
and 20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the rules
and regulations promulgated thereunder, including U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Rule 10b-5.  The
complaint names as defendants the company and:

     (1) Lance W. Anderson, who served as president and chief
         operating officer;

     (2) Michael L. Bamburg, who served as senior vice president
         and chief investment officer;

     (3) Scott Hartman, who served as chairman of the board and
         chief executive officer; and

     (4) Rodney E. Schwatken, who served as vice president,
         secretary, treasurer, and controller.

According to the complaint, NovaStar fostered an aggressive-
growth culture throughout the Class Period.  NovaStar touted its
rapid growth in earnings, production, and its securities
portfolio and highlighted the increasing number of NovaStar-
affiliated branch offices.  In 2003, the company reported that
it had doubled the number of branch offices in operation and
that its earnings had more than doubled in 2003 to $112 million.

Significantly, NovaStar's stock price has nearly quadrupled in
the past year, rising from $18.35 per share on April 11, 2003,
to a Class Period high of $70.32 on March 23, 2004.

In reality, the complaint says, NovaStar falsely inflated the
number of offices it operates. Moreover, the company grew so
large, so quickly, that it failed to maintain regulatory
compliance with its operations. In fact, many of NovaStar's
branch offices were operating illegally during the Class Period.

On April 12, 2004, The Wall Street Journal published an article
highlighting the risks of owning the company's stock and
faulting NovaStar for failing to comply with state licensing
rules. The article revealed to the investing public for the
first time that the company had falsely inflated the number of
branch offices in operation and that many of those branch
offices were operating illegally.

On the heels of this news, the stock price plummeted on
extremely high volume, closing at $37.50 per share, down $16.68
per share or 31% from the previous day's close.

For more details, contact Deborah Gale Evans, Esq., Michael T.
Matraia, Esq. by Mail: One Liberty Square, Boston, MA 02109 by
Phone: (800) 516-9926 or by E-mail: law@bermanesq.com


                            *********


A list of Meetings, Conferences and Seminars appears in each
Wednesday's edition of the Class Action Reporter. Submissions
via e-mail to carconf@beard.com are encouraged.

Each Friday's edition of the CAR includes a section featuring
news on asbestos-related litigation and profiles of target
asbestos defendants that, according to independent researches,
collectively face billions of dollars in asbestos-related
liabilities.

                            *********


S U B S C R I P T I O N   I N F O R M A T I O N

Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
Bankruptcy Creditors' Service, Inc., Fairless Hills,
Pennsylvania, USA, and Beard Group, Inc., Frederick, Maryland
USA.   Roberto Amor, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey Resnick,
Editors.

Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

This material is copyrighted and any commercial use, resale or
publication in any form (including e-mail forwarding, electronic
re-mailing and photocopying) is strictly prohibited without
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Information contained herein is obtained from sources believed
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The CAR subscription rate is $575 for six months delivered via
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