CAR_Public/041020.mbx              C L A S S   A C T I O N   R E P O R T E R

            Wednesday, October 20, 2004, Vol. 6, No. 207


                          Headlines


ALASKA COMMUNICATIONS: Reaches Suit Settlement Over ACS-LD Plan
AMY'S KITCHEN: Recalls Whole Meal Enchilada Due To Mislabeling
ANTIDEPRESSANTS: FDA Issues Warning on Link To Suicidal Behavior
ARIZONA: ACLU Fights Block on Moving Inmates To Abortion Clinics
ASTRAZENECA: Nexium Users Commence Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in CA

AUSTRALIA: Victoria Farmers Sue Government Over Brush Fires
AUTOCAR LLC: Recalls Heavy Duty Trucks For Backup Alarm Defect
CELLSTAR CORPORATION: Terminates Proposal Contested in DE Suit
CHIRON CORPORATION: FDA Announces Flu Vaccine Not Safe For Use
COMPUTER ASSOCIATES: Major Stockholder Wants Settlement Reopened

DAIMLERCHRYSLER CORPORATION: Recalls 115 Cars For Brake Defect
FLU VACCINES: A.G. Cooper Warns Against Vaccine Price-Gouging
IMPAC MORTGAGE: Continues To Face Consumer Suits Over Mortgages
JAGUAR CARS: Recalls S-Type Cars For Not Meeting Safety Standard
MARSH & MCLENNAN: Spitzer's Complaint Could Lead To More Suits

MEDTEC AMBULANCE: Recalls Ambulances Due To ABS Module Defect
MERCK & CO.: WA Resident Lodges Suit Over VIOXX's Side Effects
MONACO COACH: Recalls 3439 Trailers For Accident, Injury Hazard
NORTH AMERICAN: Recalls 210 Transit Buses Due To Injury Hazard
NORTH CAROLINA: A.G. Cooper Announces Record Medicaid Fraud Wins

OREGON: Oregon Police Disperse Protest by Bush, Kerry Supporters
PARDEE HOMES: Homeowners Initiate Suit Over Rushed Construction
SEMPRA ENERGY: Faces Jury Trial in $24 Billion CA Antitrust Suit
STELLAR INDUSTRIES: Recalls Outrigger Legs Due To Injury Hazard
STELMAR SHIPPING: Easyjet Founder Warns Of Suit Over $667M Deal

TRINITY HOMES: Attorneys Ask IN Judge To Approve Settlement
UICI: TX Court Enters Final Judgment On MI, CA Suit Settlements
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: Professor Files Suit Over 2% Merit Pay
WALT DISNEY: Trial For Suit Over Michael Ovitz Hiring Underway

                Meetings, Conferences & Seminars

* Scheduled Events for Class Action Professionals
* Online Teleconferences

                   New Securities Fraud Cases

ACE LIMITED: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in NY
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL: Schiffrin & Barroway Files NY Stock Suit
APOLLO GROUP: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in AZ
AXT INC.: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CA
AXT INC.: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CA
BENNETT ENVIRONMENTAL: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Suit in NY

BIOLASE TECHNOLOGY: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Lawsuit in CA
MARSH & MCLENNAN: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
MARSH & MCLENNAN: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Suit in NY
NETOPIA INC.: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
NETOPIA INC.: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA

TEAM TELECOM: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NJ

                         *********

ALASKA COMMUNICATIONS: Reaches Suit Settlement Over ACS-LD Plan
---------------------------------------------------------------
Alaska Communications Systems Group, Inc. ("ACS") (Nasdaq:ALSK),
the leading integrated communications provider in Alaska, today
announced a proposed settlement was reached on Wednesday,
September 15, 2004, in the case of Turner et al. v. ACS Long
Distance, Inc. ("ACS-LD") and Alaska Communications Group, Inc.
("ACS Group").

The case was a class action lawsuit brought by Dewana Turner,
Bonita Hixson, and Yolanda Monroe on behalf of a class of
individuals who subscribed to ACS-LD's Infinite Minutes
interstate long distance calling plan in 2000 and 2001. The
Infinite Minutes Plan provided flat-rate unlimited residential
interstate long distance calling for $20 per month.

The plaintiffs alleged that ACS-LD breached its contract with
plan members and violated consumer protection laws when it
modified the Infinite Minutes Plan in May, 2001 by imposing a
600 minute per month cap on long distance calling. ACS-LD denied
that it breached its contracts with subscribers or improperly
modified the plan.

The superior court recently ruled that the relationship between
ACS-LD and plan members was a month-to-month contract that was
terminable at will by either party and that, therefore, ACS-LD
did not breach its contracts with subscribers. Other claims
brought by the plaintiffs in the case remained for trial,
however, which was scheduled to start on Wednesday, September
15, 2004.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, class members will
receive:

     (1) twelve coupons with a value of $10 each which may be
         used to pay for any wireline, wireless or data service
         provided by ACS; and

     (2) 100 minutes per month of ACS-LD interstate residential
         long distance calling for a period of twelve months.

Because the case is a class action, the proposed settlement
agreement reached by the parties requires approval by the
superior court. Class members will receive written notice of the
proposed settlement and will be afforded an opportunity to
comment on or object to its terms. After considering any
comments and objections by class members, the court will
determine whether the settlement should be accepted.

Both ACS-LD and the plaintiffs are pleased that the case has
been resolved without the risks and additional costs of further
litigation. They appreciate each other's willingness to
compromise in order to address subscribers' concerns about the
manner in which the Infinite Minutes Plan was modified and to
provide benefits to affected individuals.

Plaintiffs' counsel were Peter Maassen of the law firm of
Ingaldson Maassen and Fitzgerald, and Paul Adelman of the Law
Office of Paul Adelman. The defendants were represented by Jeff
Feldman and Ruth Botstein of the law firm of Feldman & Orlansky.


AMY'S KITCHEN: Recalls Whole Meal Enchilada Due To Mislabeling
--------------------------------------------------------------
Amy's Kitchen is voluntarily recalling, from distribution in the
Eastern time zone and certain states in the Midwest, a small
amount of Whole Meal Enchilada with Spanish Rice and Beans due
to possible mislabeling. These whole meals bear the lot # F174C.
Some retail packages may actually contain Cheese Enchilada Whole
Meals (undeclared cheese), which are wholesome and safe, but can
cause allergic reactions if consumed by any individuals allergic
to milk. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to
dairy products run the risk of serious or life-threatening
allergic reaction if they consume the product. Consumers without
milk allergies can consume the product and rest assured that the
meal meets Amy's Kitchen high standards of quality.

The issue came to the Company's attention when two consumers
called about the possibility that the product contained cheese.
No illnesses have been reported.

The Company will also issue an alert via the Food Allergy and
Anaphylaxis Network.

The 10-ounce frozen product comes in a retail package labeled
Whole Meal Enchilada with Spanish Rice and Beans (UPC 42272
00051), with lot number F174C embossed on a side panel. The
packages were packed in June of 2004. Distribution was to two
Amy's East Coast distribution centers, which in turn distributed
the product to retailers. It is estimated that fewer than 350
meals (retail packages) of the 24,444 produced on that day may
actually contain mislabeled product. To be cautious, Amy's is
withdrawing 4,800 meals of the product from all states in the
Eastern time zone in addition to Alabama, Arkansas, Minnesota,
Illinois, Missouri and Kansas.

For instructions and/or questions, consumers may call the
company collect at 1-707-578-7753. Alternatively, consumers can
call 1-707-578-7270. Consumers who are allergic to milk
ingredients should dispose of the product, keep the package and
call for a full refund. Consumers who are not allergic to milk
ingredients can consume the product or call for a full refund.


ANTIDEPRESSANTS: FDA Issues Warning on Link To Suicidal Behavior
----------------------------------------------------------------
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued on October 15,2004
a Public Health Advisory announcing a multi-pronged strategy to
warn the public about the increased risk of suicidal thoughts
and behavior ("suicidality") in children and adolescents being
treated with antidepressant medications.

The agency is directing manufacturers to add a "black box"
warning to the health professional labeling of all
antidepressant medications to describe this risk and emphasize
the need for close monitoring of patients started on these
medications.  FDA has also determined that a Patient Medication
Guide (MedGuide), which will be given to patients receiving the
drugs to advise them of the risk and precautions that can be
taken, is appropriate, and is in the process of developing one.

"Today's actions represent FDA's conclusions about the increased
risk of suicidal thoughts and the necessary actions for
physicians prescribing these antidepressant drugs and for the
children and adolescents taking them. Our conclusions are based
on the latest and best science. They reflect what we heard from
our advisory committee last month, as well as what many members
of the public have told us," said Dr. Lester M. Crawford, Acting
FDA Commissioner, in a statement.

In letters issued on October 15, FDA directed the manufacturers
of all antidepressant medications to add a "black box" warning
that describes the increased risk of suicidality in children and
adolescents given antidepressant medications and notes what uses
the drugs have been approved or not approved for in these
patients. FDA's letters to the manufacturers also discuss other
labeling changes designed to include additional information
about pediatric studies of these drugs. These labeling changes
are applicable to the entire category of antidepressant
medications because the currently available data are not
adequate to exclude any single medication from the increased
risk of suicidality.

Prozac is currently the only medication approved to treat
depression in children and adolescents. The analyses of the
placebo controlled trials in children and adolescents summarized
in the revised labeling are based on studies of five selective
serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) (Celexa, Prozac, Luvox,
Paxil and Zoloft) and four "atypical" antidepressants
(Wellbutrin, Remeron, Serzone and Effexor XR). In these studies,
there was no reported case of a suicide.

A "black box" warning is the most serious warning placed in the
labeling of a prescription medication. Advertisements that serve
to remind health care professionals of a product's availability
(so-called "reminder ads") are not allowed for products with
"black box" warnings. Until now, only ten drug products approved
for children contained a black box warning about their use in
children. The new warning language does not prohibit the use of
antidepressants in children and adolescents. Rather, it warns of
the risk of suicidality and encourages prescribers to balance
this risk with clinical need.

FDA recognizes that depression and other psychiatric disorders
in pediatric patients can have significant consequences if not
appropriately treated. The new warning language recognizes this
need but advises close monitoring of patients as a way of
managing the risk of suicidality.

The second element of the agency's strategy is a Patient
Medication Guide (MedGuide), FDA-approved user-friendly
information for patients. MedGuides are intended to be
distributed by the pharmacist with each prescription or refill
of a medication. FDA will work with the manufacturers of
antidepressant medications to make the MedGuides available as
soon as possible.

In addition, FDA intends to work with manufacturers to implement
"Unit of Use" packaging for all antidepressants as a means of
ensuring that patients receive a MedGuide with every
prescription or refill. "Unit of use" packaging is a method of
preparing a medication in an original container, sealed and pre-
labeled by the manufacturer, and containing sufficient
medication for one normal course of therapy.

The actions are consistent with the recommendations made at the
September 2004 joint meeting of the FDA's Psychopharmacologic
Drugs Advisory Committee and Pediatric Drugs Advisory Committee.


ARIZONA: ACLU Fights Block on Moving Inmates To Abortion Clinics
----------------------------------------------------------------
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has challenged
Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio's policy refusing to
transport pregnant inmates to abortion clinics, the Associated
Press reports.

In May, deputies refused to transport an Estrella Jail inmate to
a clinic where she had prepaid to have an abortion.  The inmate
tried twice to get a court order for the ride, but failed.  A
day before her 14th week of pregnancy, she won a temporary
restraining order against the sheriff, allowing her to get a
ride.

The inmate tried twice unsuccessfully to get a court order for
the ride before finally winning a temporary restraining order
against the sheriff a day before her 14th week of pregnancy.

Sheriff Arpaio, an abortion opponent, only lets deputies ferry
inmates when the trip is medically necessary, and abortions do
not fall in that category, he told AP.  He has only allowed such
trips when inmates have court orders.

"I don't run a taxi service from jail to an abortion clinic and
back," Sheriff Arpaio, who gained notoriety for putting inmates
on chain gangs and issuing them striped uniforms and pink
underwear, said, according to AP. "Where do you draw the line?"

The ACLU of Arizona opposed the policy, saying abortion is a
constitutional right that does not disappear when a woman is
sent to jail.  Inmates may have to wait weeks to get a court
order, they said.  "This is a very unreasonable policy, and it's
a burden," ACLU attorney Angie Polizzi said.

The sheriff's office does not keep records on how many inmates
have received abortions, but an aide to Arpaio estimated the
number at fewer than three a year from the jail.  Of the 1,000
women currently in county jail, about 45 are pregnant, AP
reports.


ASTRAZENECA: Nexium Users Commence Consumer Fraud Lawsuit in CA
---------------------------------------------------------------
Consumers of the heartburn medication Nexium(R) filed a lawsuit
against the drug's distributor, AstraZeneca (NYSE: AZN) over
alleged deceptive advertising and promotional practices.

The suit alleges that the pharmaceutical company sought to
preserve their market share and profits as the patent on their
blockbuster drug, Prilosec(R), was set to expire, by initiating
a massive and misleading advertising and promotional campaign to
deceive consumers into purchasing Nexium, a nearly identical new
drug.

The suit, filed in U.S. Superior Court in Los Angeles, contends
that the core of AstraZeneca's scheme was to use misleading
information to convince consumers that Nexium was a
significantly better drug than Prilosec. The pharmaceutical
planned to redirect consumer loyalty from the flagship drug
Prilosec to Nexium before the expiration of Prilosec's U.S.
patent and the onslaught of competition from generic
manufacturers that would deprive AstraZeneca of significant
profits.

"AstraZeneca knew that with the expiration of their Prilosec
patent, they would lose market share and profits. We intend to
show that they initiated a plan to deceive consumers and recoup
those lost revenues," said Steve Berman, lead attorney for the
plaintiffs. "This suit is a response to their deception and is a
message to AstraZeneca and all pharmaceutical companies that
they will be accountable to consumers for their actions."

The suit is brought by the American Federation of Labor -
Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), the Congress of
California Seniors, and the California Alliance for Retired
Americans, on behalf of consumers nationwide who purchased
Nexium. All three of the organizations are members of the
Prescription Access Litigation Project (PAL), a national
coalition of 100 consumer organizations dedicated to fighting
illegal pharmaceutical price inflation through class-action
litigation.

The AFL-CIO, a federation of labor unions representing 13
million members (more than 80 percent of the unionized workforce
in the United States), sees the suit as apart of its mission to
make healthcare affordable for all Americans.

"More and more workers cannot get the healthcare they need, and
out-of-control drug prices are a huge factor," said Gerry Shea,
AFL-CIO's director of governmental affairs. "The AFL-CIO is
joining the Prescription Access Litigation Project and the suit
against AstraZeneca because it's high time that drug companies
were held accountable for deceiving American consumers into
buying 'new' drugs they don't need at prices they can't afford."
The AFL-CIO is the 100th organization to join the PAL coalition,
which spans 34 states and the District of Columbia.

Prilosec (also known as Losec) is a proton-pump inhibitor (PPI)
used to treat heartburn and was AstraZeneca's most profitable
drug. By 2000, Prilosec was the most prescribed drug in the
world, with global sales reaching $6 billion. But with
Prilosec's patent set to expire in 2001, its loss of brand name
protection and assured competition from generic drug
manufacturers posed a financial vulnerability to the
pharmaceutical company.

According to the suit, AstraZeneca responded to this financial
threat by launching a massive advertising campaign to overshadow
the perceived effectiveness of Prilosec, and persuade consumers
that Nexium was a new and improved PPI.

"AstraZeneca pulled a massive 'bait and switch' on the American
public," said Nan Brasmer, President of the California Alliance
for Retired Americans. "Rather than looking for new drugs that
would be real improvements for patients, they poured millions of
dollars into promoting a drug that was far more expensive but no
better than equally effective generic drugs."

The ads claimed that Nexium was proven more effective at acid
inhibition than comparable drugs, the suit states. However, the
clinical trials alluded to in these ads only compared Nexium at
dosage levels twice those of Prilosec (40 mg to 20 mg
respectively). No tests were done to compare 40 mg of Nexium to
40 mg of Prilosec.

"Our case will show that AstraZeneca needed to manipulate
consumers into believing that Nexium was better than Prilosec,
so they loaded the dice to validate their claims," said Steve
Berman. "The evidence will show that the drug company knew that
comparing the two drugs at equal dosages would show that Nexium
did not work better than Prilosec, so they conveniently left
that information out."

As detailed in the complaint, Nexium is a "mirror compound" of
Prilosec, containing the same active molecule found in Prilosec.

According to Alex Sugerman-Brozan, director of PAL,
AstraZeneca's Nexium campaign is a classic example of a 'me-too'
drug being falsely marketed as a medical improvement.
"AstraZeneca took the active isomer in Prilosec, patented that,
renamed it Nexium, and worked to move its customers from
Prilosec to Nexium before Prilosec's patent expired. But the
main innovation was that they put yellow stripes on their purple
pill, and charged consumers grossly inflated prices."

"What AstraZeneca did with Nexium is symptomatic of the drug
industry in the United States today," said Gary Passmore, a
spokesman for the Congress of California Seniors. "They are more
concerned with profits than with health. But the public is
waking up, and we will fight to hold drug companies accountable
when they illegally deceive consumers."

According to the complaint, AstraZeneca's plan proved
profitable. Information shows that sales of Prilosec plummeted
in response to generic competition and price deflation, while
sales of Nexium rose to $3.3 billion by 2003. Currently,
Prilosec can be obtained over the counter and costs about one-
eighth of the cost of Nexium.

"We believe AstraZeneca is taking advantage of consumers by
manipulating their most basic need for health and wellness.
Despite the fact that there are highly effective, affordable
drugs on the market to treat heartburn, Nexium continues to be a
moneymaker for AstraZeneca, because of the deception they
employed to create this demand," said Berman.

The lawsuit claims that AstraZeneca is violating California's
Unfair Competition Law and False Advertising Law by engaging in
deceptive and unfair practices in the marketing and promotion of
Nexium.


AUSTRALIA: Victoria Farmers Sue Government Over Brush Fires
-----------------------------------------------------------
The Victorian Farmers Federation is set to sue the State
Government for $500 million in compensation for bushfires that
wreaked havoc on northeast Victoria last year, the NEWS.com.au
reports.

The farmers, who will be suing for losses in stock, fencing and
uninsured assets accuse the Government of mismanaging national
parks and leaving the forest floor covered in kindling that
fuelled the fires.

Expecting at least 400 litigants to join, the Stretton Group, a
team of farmers, botanists, scientists, an ex-MP and a senior
forester has publicly appealed to anyone affected by the fires
that had burnt out 1.3 million hectares of land to join the
class action in the Supreme Court.

The group also expressed it belief that a State Government
inquiry into the fires by Emergency Services Commissioner Bruce
Esplin failed and said the Government would not respond to their
concerns, thus they opted to sue.


AUTOCAR LLC: Recalls Heavy Duty Trucks For Backup Alarm Defect
--------------------------------------------------------------
Autocar LLC is cooperating with the National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration by voluntarily recalling 314 heavy duty
class 8 trucks, namely:

     (1) AUTOCAR / WX, model 2004-2005

     (2) AUTOCAR / WXLL, model 2004-2005

     (3) AUTOCAR / WXR, model 2004-2005

On certain heavy duty class 8 trucks, the backup alarm motion
was installed incorrectly and may not sense when the vehicle
moves backwards.  The vehicle may roll backwards without the
backup alarm sounding, increasing the risk of running over or
crushing a person standing or working behind the vehicle.

Dealers will repair the backup alarm motion sensor.  The recall
is expected to begin during October 2004.  For more details
contact the Company by Phone: 1-877-973-3486.

Owners may perform this inspection.  With a driver and a spotter
in place to ensure nobody is behind the truck, start the
vehicle, apply the foot brake and release the parking brakes.
Put the transmission into reverse.  The backup alarm should
sound immediately.  Take your foot off the brakes and let the
vehicle roll backwards.  The alarm should still sound.  While
the vehicle is moving backwards, put the transmission into
neutral, the alarm should still sound.  With the vehicle still
moving rearward, turn the ignition key to the off position, the
alarm should still sound.  Finally, apply the brakes to bring
the vehicle to a complete stop, the backup alarm should now
stop.

For more details, contact the NHTSA auto safety hotline: 1-888-
DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).


CELLSTAR CORPORATION: Terminates Proposal Contested in DE Suit
--------------------------------------------------------------
CellStar Corporation has terminated its proposal to divest up to
70% of its operations in the People's Republic of China, Hong
Kong and Taiwan (named CellStar Asia Transaction), and intends
to ask the Court of Chancery for the State of Delaware, New
Castle County to dismiss the class action opposing the deal.

The suit was filed on April 30, 2003 and styled as "Ruth Everson
v. CellStar Corporation, James L. Johnson, John L. Jackson, Jere
W. Thompson, Dale V. Kesler and Terry S. Parker."  The suit
alleges breach of fiduciary duty and corporate waste in
connection with the Company's proposal.  The suit seeks
injunctive and other equitable relief, recissory and/or
compensatory damages and reimbursement of attorney's fees and
costs.

Following delays in proceeding with the Cellstar Asia
Transaction, the parties agreed to a temporary stay of the
proceedings until the Company files a revised proxy statement
with the Securities and Exchange Commission relating to the
CellStar Asia Transaction, or earlier if the plaintiff
determines that the transaction is likely to proceed prior to
that filing.  During the pendency of the stay, the parties must
file a status report with the court every sixty (60) days.
Defendants have 20 days following the expiration of the stay to
respond to plaintiff's complaint.

The Company announced on September 20, 2004, that it will not
proceed with the CellStar Asia Transaction at issue in the suit
at this time due to changes in the PRC's economic environment
and handset industry.  As a result, it is unclear when, if ever,
the CellStar Asia Transaction will be consummated or what form
the transaction may take.  The ultimate outcome is not currently
predictable, the Company said in a regulatory filing.


CHIRON CORPORATION: FDA Announces Flu Vaccine Not Safe For Use
--------------------------------------------------------------
None of the influenza vaccine manufactured by the Chiron
Corporation for the US market is safe for use, the United States
Food and Drug Administration announced in a statement.  This
determination is based on FDA's evaluation and inspection of
Chiron's influenza vaccine manufacturing plant in Liverpool,
England, which concluded this afternoon.

The purpose of the FDA inspection was both to evaluate Chiron's
investigation, testing and assessment of the defects detected in
nine of the one hundred lots of their finished flu vaccine
(Fluvirin) manufactured for this year's flu season and also to
evaluate their determination that the risk of defects was
confined to those specific lots.

The safety of the vaccine supply is of the highest priority to
FDA and the Department of Health and Human Services.  "FDA has
today provided Chiron with our inspectional observations and has
met with the company to evaluate their response and assure that
the necessary corrective actions are taken.  We will work with
Chiron and the UK government in correcting the deficiencies in
the plant," the statement continued.

"The Department of Health and Human Services will continue to
exhaust every avenue to secure more flu vaccine for this season.
Literally every known manufacturer of flu vaccine in the world
is being contacted and some progress is being made. Additionally
the quarantined lots of Chiron vaccine already in the United
States are being ever further evaluated. We do not want to
create false hope but we want to explore every option," the FDA
asserted.

In early September, the Company announced that it will halt the
shipment of about 50 million flu shots, after it found tainted
doses in its factory, an earlier Class Action Reporter story
(September 6,2004) states.   The announcement came right before
the flu season, causing US health officials to express concern
over the adequacy of the supply of the vaccine.  Vaccinations
usually begin in September and continue through the flu season,
with demand usually peaking in October and November.

The Company faces several investigations, one from the
Securities and Exchange Commission.  Several shareholder
lawsuits have also been filed against the Company.


COMPUTER ASSOCIATES: Major Stockholder Wants Settlement Reopened
----------------------------------------------------------------
Officials of major Computer Associates International Inc.
stockholder Ranger Governance Ltd., led by Texas billionaire Sam
Wyly, want to reopen a class action settlement reached by CA and
its top executives, the eCommerceIQ reports.

In an interview with eWEEK, Ranger officials said the
settlement, which resulted in a $100 million stock issue to
shareholders and a release of liability for CA management, was
based on fraudulent information.

According to officials, Ranger is drafting a formal letter to
ask CA to join it in a motion to overturn the settlement and
force former executives, including Charles Wang and Sanjay
Kumar, to return hundreds of millions of dollars in personal
profits gained from stock transactions.

"These former executives made money from the market, pumping
that stock price up. It's the shareholders that got ripped off,"
said Bill Brewer, partner at Bickel & Brewer and the lead
attorney for Mr. Wyly and Ranger, in Dallas. "Those market
losses are what the class action should have gotten back.
Instead it got none of that."

Mr. Brewer called the $100 million settlement "a pittance of
what was ripped off. If these [former executives] had come
forward and confessed the truth back then, nobody would have
granted them the release."  He said the Islandia, N.Y., software
developer is being asked to join the legal action "as a way of
determining whether we are really seeing a new day at CA."

The effort to overturn the class action settlement is separate
from a derivative suit that Mr. Wyly filed in New York federal
district court looking to get more than $1 billion in salaries
and bonuses paid to current and former CA executives returned to
the company's treasury.

A Securities and Exchange Commission investigation, concluded
last month, resulted in a deferred prosecution deal between CA
and the federal government. CA agreed to help with the
prosecution of Mr. Kumar and sales executive Stephen Richards.
CA also agreed to establish a $225 million restitution fund for
current and former shareholders and to be monitored by an
independent examiner for the next 18 months.


DAIMLERCHRYSLER CORPORATION: Recalls 115 Cars For Brake Defect
--------------------------------------------------------------
DaimlerChrysler Corporation is cooperating with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily
recalling 115 Chrysler / PT Cruiser cars, model 2005.

Certain passenger vehicles equipped with 4-wheel antilock
braking system (ABS), 2.4L high output turbocharged engine and
5-speed manual transaxle, may exhibit inadequate clearance
between the left front brake tube and the transaxle housing.
Contact between the brake tube and the transaxle housing over an
extended period of time may eventually lead to perforation of
the brake tube, which could lead to a loss of braking force in
the left front/right rear circuit of vehicle.

Dealers will install revised brake tubes.  The recall began on
October 2004.  For more details, contact the Company by Phone:
1-800-853-1403 or contact the NHTSA's auto safety hotline:
1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).


FLU VACCINES: A.G. Cooper Warns Against Vaccine Price-Gouging
-------------------------------------------------------------
With limited supplies of flu vaccine available to the public,
North Carolina consumers and medical professionals should be
alert to the possibility of price gouging, Attorney General Roy
Cooper said in a statement.

"We'd hate to see unscrupulous companies trying to make an
unfair profit off of young children and seniors who really need
their flu shot," said AG Cooper.  "If you suspect you're being
overcharged for a flu shot, let my office know about it."

Although AG Cooper's office has yet to receive any complaints
about price gouging in North Carolina, attorneys general in
other states as well as the Centers for Disease Control have
received reports of possible price gouging of flu vaccines by
either distributors or providers of the vaccine.

For example, Kansas this week filed suit against Florida-based
Meds-Stat, alleging that the company proposed to deliver and
sell five doses of flu vaccine to a Kansas City pharmacy for
$900 with the knowledge that the vaccine was to be used in a
nursing home.  On October 1, the price for the five doses was
listed at $85.

Consumers or retailers who suspect they are being overcharged
for flu vaccine are encouraged to report it to AG Cooper's
office by calling 1-877-5-NO-SCAM toll-free within North
Carolina.  In North Carolina, flu shots offered by local
pharmacies, doctors and others generally cost between $10 and
$25.

Supplies of flu vaccine are limited because British-based
Chiron, one of two manufacturers that usually provide vaccine to
the United States, announced that it would not provide doses
this year.  Due to the shortage of flu shots available, the CDC
has recommended that only certain people get vaccinated,
including children between the ages of 6 months and 23 months,
Seniors age 65 and older, women who are pregnant, and people
with chronic health conditions.  More information on these
guidelines is available at http://www.cdc.gov.

For more details, contact Noelle Talley, Public Information
Officer, N.C. Department of Justice by Phone: (919) 716-6484 or
(919) 716-6413 by fax: (919) 716-0803 or by E-mail:
ntalley@ncdoj.com


IMPAC MORTGAGE: Continues To Face Consumer Suits Over Mortgages
---------------------------------------------------------------
Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc. and its related entities continue
to face several class actions alleging violations of state
consumer laws in relation to mortgage loans.

On September 1, 2000, a complaint captioned "Michael P. and
Shellie Gilmor v. Preferred Credit Corporation and Impac Funding
Corporation, et al.," was filed in the Circuit Court for Clay
County, Missouri, Case No. CV100-4263-CC, as a purported class
action lawsuit, alleging that the defendants violated Missouri's
Second Loans Act and Merchandising Practices Act.  In July 2001,
the Missouri complaint was amended to include the Company and
other Impac-related entities.  A plaintiff's class was certified
on January 2, 2003.

On October 2, 2001, a complaint captioned "Deborah Searcy,
Shirley Walker, et al. v. Impac Funding Corporation, Impac
Mortgage Holdings, Inc. et. al." was filed in the Wayne County
Circuit Court, State of Michigan, as a purported class action
lawsuit alleging that the defendants violated Michigan's
Secondary Mortgage Loan Act, Credit Reform Act and Consumer
Protection Act.  A motion to dismiss the complaint has been
filed.

On October 10, 2001, a complaint captioned "Hayes v. Impac
Funding Corporation, et al." was filed in the Circuit Court of
Vanderburgh County, Indiana as Case No. 82C01-0110-CP580. This
was stated as a purported class action lawsuit alleging a
violation of the Indiana Uniform Consumer Credit Code when the
loans were originated.  This matter was dismissed as to the
Impac defendants and the dismissal was affirmed by the Court of
Appeals.

On November 30, 2001, a complaint captioned "Garry Lee Skinner
and Judy Cooper Skinner, et al. v. Preferred Credit, et al.,"
was filed in the Superior Court of Durham County, North Carolina
as Case No. 1CV-05596.  This is stated as a purported class
action alleging a violation of the North Carolina Interest
Statutes and Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act when the
secondary mortgage loans were originated by the defendants.  A
motion to dismiss the complaint has been filed.  This motion
remains pending.

On July 31, 2003, a purported class action complaint captioned
"Frazier, et al v. Impac Funding Corp., et al, Case No. 03-2565"
was filed in federal court in Tennessee.  The causes of action
in the action allege violations of Tennessee's usury statute and
Consumer Protection Act.  A motion to dismiss the complaint has
been filed.

On November 25, 2003, a complaint captioned "Michael and Amber
Stallings v. Empire Funding Home Loan Owner Trust 1997-3;
U.S. Bank, National Association; and Wilmington Trust Company"
was filed in the United States District Court for the Western
District of Tennessee, Case No. 03-2548, as a purported class
action lawsuit alleging that the defendants violated Tennessee
predatory lending laws governing second mortgage loans.  The
complaint further alleges that certain assignees of mortgage
loans, including two Impac-related trusts, should be included as
defendants in the lawsuit.

On February 3, 2004, a complaint captioned "James and Jill Baker
v. Century Financial Group, Inc, et al," was filed in the
Circuit Court of Clay County, Missouri, Case No. CV100-4294-CC
as a purported class action lawsuit alleging that the defendants
violated Missouri's Second Loan Act and Merchandising Practices
Act.

All of the above purported class action lawsuits are similar in
nature in that they allege that the mortgage loan originators
violated the respective state's statutes by charging excessive
fees and costs when making second mortgage loans on residential
real estate.  The complaints allege that Impac Funding
Corporation was a purchaser, and is a holder, along with other
affiliated entities, of second mortgage loans originated by
other lenders.  The plaintiffs in the lawsuits are seeking
damages that include disgorgement, restitution, rescission,
actual damages, statutory damages, exemplary damages, pre-
judgment interest and punitive damages.


JAGUAR CARS: Recalls S-Type Cars For Not Meeting Safety Standard
----------------------------------------------------------------
Jaguar Cars Ltd. is cooperating with the National Highway
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily recalling
50,000 Jaguar S-Type cars, models 2002-2005.

Certain passenger vehicles fail to comply with the requirements
of federal motor vehicle safety standard No. 135 "Passenger Car
Brake System."  The Brake Fluid Master Cylinder Reservoir is
recessed and oriented in the engine compartment beneath a leaf
screen, such that the brake fluid warning statement embossed on
the top of the reservoir body is not visible by direct view.

Owners will be sent letters, which will include installation
instructions and labels containing the required warning
statement.  If they prefer, owners may contact dealers to have
them install the labels.  The recall is expected to begin on
November 1,2004.

For more details, contact the Company by Phone: 1-800-452-4827
or contact the NHTSA's auto safety hotline: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT
(1-888-327-4236).


MARSH & MCLENNAN: Spitzer's Complaint Could Lead To More Suits
--------------------------------------------------------------
New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer's lawsuit will
open a floodgate of policyholder lawsuits and reopen the
discussion about the 1945 McCarren-Ferguson Act, which exempts
insurance carriers from federal antitrust laws and puts the
industry under state regulatory control.

According to David Wood, a partner at Wood & Bender LLP, one of
the nation's leading firms in the fast-growing legal specialty
area of insurance policy enforcement "ACE and Aon pledging to
eliminate contingent commissions is pure window dressing. Three
months from now, carriers will figure out a way to continue the
practice under a new name."

Mr. Wood believes a flood of lawsuits will result, but that
individual lawsuits will prevail over class action suits. "The
claims will be too large and the cases too fact specific for
class action status," he notes. "Companies waiting to ride the
coattails of a class action suit will be disappointed."

In addition, Mr. Wood believes there are now discussions at the
federal level about repealing the notorious McCarren-Ferguson
Act of 1945, which exempts carriers from federal antitrust
scrutiny. The law was passed, under intense insurance industry
pressure, under the dubious argument that the exemption would
provide stability to carriers, enabling them to offer insurance
coverage to a wider range of citizens.

"McCarren-Ferguson drove a stake through the heart of
competition in the insurance industry, on the ridiculous premise
that lack of competition would facility market stability," Mr.
Wood noted. "While there may be a lot of debate and
grandstanding opportunities for Republicans and Democrats alike,
state regulation of the insurance industry won't go away. All
regulation and interpretation of law is at the state level now,
moving that to the federal level would cause massive disruption
to the industry."

With carriers and brokers on the ropes as a result of the
current Spitzer suit and other potential suits, Mr. Wood notes
corporate counsel and risk managers have a unique opportunity to
gain the upper hand when negotiating with brokers and carriers
in the future. Among the exercises these corporate executives
should undertake include:

     (1) Review the corporation's risk factors to affirm that
         current factors are still of concern and to identify
         any new risk factors that have arisen.

     (2) Determine the optimal risk management strategies for
         each risk factor and the role of insurance as part of
         that risk strategy.

     (3) Negotiate or renegotiate policy terms with carriers and
         brokers, and attempt to remove the restrictions and
         exclusions that have rendered past policies sub-optimal
         to the corporation.

     (4) Ask the broker directly if they are receiving any
         additional compensation in the sale of the policy.
         Review the policy for ambiguous wording regarding
         additional fee arrangements.

     (5) Once negotiations are complete, demand a policy form
         within 30 days from the carrier or broker, and only pay
         a small percentage of the policy premium when signing
         the binder to retain financial leverage.

For more details, contact Wood & Bender - Camarillo Office
(Headquarters) by Mail: 760 Paseo Camarillo, Suite 350
Camarillo, CA 93010 by Phone: (805) 484-3940 or by Fax:
(805) 484-2319 OR Los Angeles Office by Mail: 21011 Warner
Center Lane Woodland Hills, CA91367 by Phone: 818-715-0741 by
Fax: (818) 715-0756 or visit their Web site:
http://www.wood-bender.com/


MEDTEC AMBULANCE: Recalls Ambulances Due To ABS Module Defect
-------------------------------------------------------------
Medtec Ambulance Corporation is cooperating with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily
recalling 462 ambulances, model 2003.  On certain ambulances, a
diode in the anti-lock braking system (ABS) module may
experience an electrical short.

The electrical short may cause an ABS malfunction that would
illuminate the ABS warning light, or the module may overheat,
resulting in a burning odor, smoke and/or fire.  This condition
may occur while the vehicle is being driven or unattended.

Dealers will install a new fuse in the ABS circuit and install a
heat shield over the ABS module.  The recall is expected to
begin on October 8,2004.  For more details, contact Ford Motor
Corporation by Phone: 1-800-392-3673 or the Company by Phone:
1-574-534-2631.

Also, Ford is extending the limited warranty (for a one-time
replacement) of the ABS module for a total of 10 years or
150,000 miles from the warranty start date, whichever occurs
first.  If the customer's vehicle has already accumulated more
than 150,000 miles, this coverage will last until September 30,
2005.

For more details, contact the NHTSA's auto safety hotline:
1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).


MERCK & CO.: WA Resident Lodges Suit Over VIOXX's Side Effects
--------------------------------------------------------------
A class-action lawsuit was filed in King County Superior Court
on behalf of people who have used the recently recalled anti-
arthritis drug Vioxx, the Seattle Times reports.

The suit, filed by attorney Mark Griffin on behalf of Brier
resident Ken Yohe and others who have taken the drug for more
than 18 months, is believed to be the first of its kind to be
filed in the state.

Merck & Co. pulled Vioxx from the market last month as the
painkiller was found to have more than doubled the risk of heart
attacks and strokes for people who took the medication.  Similar
suits have also been filed nationwide since the drug was pulled
off and many more are expected, hundreds of law firms have even
earmarked Web pages to potential Vioxx class action suits.

In the King County lawsuit, the plaintiffs claim that the drug's
manufacturer knew more than four years ago that Vioxx was
associated with a higher rate of serious cardiovascular problems
and that numerous clinical studies have indicated that Vioxx has
caused heart and blood-vessel problems.

For more details, contact Mark Griffin of Keller Rohrback LLP by
Phone: 206-623-1900 or by E-mail: mgriffin@kellerrohrback.com


MONACO COACH: Recalls 3439 Trailers For Accident, Injury Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Monaco Coach Corporation is cooperating with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily
recalling 3439 trailers, namely:

     (1) HOLIDAY RAMBLER / ALUMA LITE, model 1999-2000

     (2) HOLIDAY RAMBLER / ALUMASCAPE, model 1999-2004

     (3) HOLIDAY RAMBLER / IMPERIAL, model 1999-2000

     (4) HOLIDAY RAMBLER / PRESIDENTIAL, model 2001-2004

     (5) MCKENZIE / GRAND MEDALLION, model 2000-2001

     (6) MCKENZIE / LAKOTA, model 2000-2003

     (7) MCKENZIE / MEDALLION, model 1999-2003

     (8) MCKENZIE / LAKOTA, model 2004

     (9) MCKENZIE / MEDALLION, model 2004

On certain fifth wheel trailers, a deficiency in the structural
integrity of the main frame rails could cause the rails to crack
and axles could shift, causing the fifth wheel to pull
erratically.  This could cause the driver of the tow vehicle to
lose control creating the potential for a crash resulting in
personal injury.

Dealers will inspect and add an addition of gusset plates and
cross tubes to strengthen the axle spring process.  The recall
is expected to begin on October 2004.  For more details, contact
the Company by Phone: 1-800-685-6545 or contact the NHTSA's auto
safety hotline: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).


NORTH AMERICAN: Recalls 210 Transit Buses Due To Injury Hazard
--------------------------------------------------------------
North American Bus Industries, Inc. is cooperating with the
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by
voluntarily recalling 210 transit buses, model 40LFW,
manufactured from 1998 to 1999.

On certain transit buses equipped with Detroit diesel series 50
engines, the turbocharger can fail, allowing lubricating oil to
enter the exhaust system.  In the event the turbocharger fails,
a fire may occur in the engine compartment resulting in property
damage or injuries.

Detroit Diesel is conducting the owner notification and remedy
for this campaign.  Dealers will repair the engine and install
an exhaust temperature sensor to prevent the possibility of an
exhaust or engine compartment fire.  For more details, contact
Detroit Diesel Corporation by Phone: 313-592-5791, the Company
by Phone: 1-256-831-4296, or contact the NHTSA's auto safety
hotline: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).


NORTH CAROLINA: A.G. Cooper Announces Record Medicaid Fraud Wins
----------------------------------------------------------------
North Carolina's Medicaid fraud investigators have recovered a
record amount of money and criminal convictions in 2004, state
Attorney General Roy Cooper announced in a statement.

"Medicaid fraud cheats taxpayers and hurts needy patients," said
AG Cooper.  "Our investigators are cracking down on Medicaid
abusers and making them pay."

Criminal convictions and money garnered this federal fiscal year
are the highest achieved in the history of the North Carolina
Department of Justice.  The Medicaid fraud unit investigated and
closed 68 cases of Medicaid fraud between October 1, 2003 and
September 30, 2004.  Investigations lead to 35 criminal
convictions and 13 civil settlements that recovered nearly $19
million from Medicaid abusers.

"We will continue our efforts to root out fraud so that patients
get the help they need and providers offer quality care at fair
prices," AG Cooper continued.

The 2004 successes top last year's record-setting fraud busts,
which resulted in $14 million recovered and 31 criminal
convictions.  In the first success of the new federal fiscal
year that begin October 1, 2004, Schering Plough this week paid
$15 million toward North Carolina's Medicaid efforts to resolve
allegations that it failed to accurately disclose its lowest
available price on the allergy drug Claritin.  North Carolina,
49 other states and the District of Columbia had charged that
the company did not pay sufficient rebates to state Medicaid
programs.

Of the total settlement, about $5 million goes to the North
Carolina Medicaid program and the public schools and the rest
goes to support federal Medicaid efforts in the state.  Medicaid
is a joint federal-state program that provides health insurance
for the poor.

Meanwhile, the Medicaid Investigations Unit will continue to
aggressively investigate fraud and abuse of Medicaid benefits by
nurses, doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other health care
providers, Cooper said.  The Unit also investigates patient
abuse and neglect in nursing homes and other Medicaid-funded
facilities.

These figures represent a thirteen percent increase in the
number of criminal cases closed and a 35 percent increase in
funds recovered from Medicaid fraud.  Funds go to support North
Carolina's Medicaid Program and public schools.

For more details, contact Noelle Talley, Public Information
Officer, N.C. Department of Justice by Phone: (919) 716-6484 or
(919) 716-6413 by fax: (919) 716-0803 or by E-mail:
ntalley@ncdoj.com


OREGON: Oregon Police Disperse Protest by Bush, Kerry Supporters
----------------------------------------------------------------
Oregon police in riot gear dispersed a crowd of protesters
Thursday last week, by firing pepperballs at the crowd, the
Associated Press reports.  The protesters assembled as President
George W. Bush visited the historic gold mining town of
Jacksonville, after a campaign appearance.

Bush supporters stayed on one side of California Street,
chanting "four more years," while supporters of Democratic
presidential nominee Sen. John Kerry stayed on the other side
chanting "three more weeks," witnesses told AP.  Police began
moving the crowd away from the Jacksonville Inn, where the
president was to arrive for dinner and to spend the night
following a speech.

"We were here to protest Bush and show our support for Kerry,"
Cerridewen Bunten, 24, a college student and retail clerk told
AP.  "Nobody was being violent. We were out of the streets so
cars could go by. We were being loud, but I never knew that was
against the law."  She added that police pushed her as she held
her 6-year-old daughter.

Jeff Treadwell, 37, an auto mechanic from Medford who joined the
protesters, estimated about 500 people were assembled, counting
both Bush and Kerry supporters.  Protester Richard Swaney, 65,
of Central Point, said he was walking with the crowd away from
the inn when he was hit in the back with three separate bursts,
one of which knocked him down, according to AP.

Jacksonville City Administrator Paul Wyntergreen told AP the
protest was peaceful until a few people started pushing police.
Police reacted by firing pepperballs, which he described as
projectiles like a paintball filled with cayenne pepper.  Two
people were arrested for failing to disperse.  There were no
reports of injuries.


PARDEE HOMES: Homeowners Initiate Suit Over Rushed Construction
---------------------------------------------------------------
Las Vegas homeowners initiated a class action lawsuit against
Pardee Homes over allegations that the company rushed through
construction when it built three subdivisions near Windmill and
Bermuda, leaving homeowners to deal with serious defects,
Eyewitness News reports.

According to attorney Jason Bruce, who represents the
homeowners, the suit, which involves around 530 homeowners,
contends that the houses were built too fast and too many
shortcuts were taken. In a dossier given to residents and
obtained by Eyewitness News, Mr. Bruce outlines serious defects
found in homes within the subdivisions that include; unsecured
roof tiles, allowing water to damage ceilings, deep cracks
within stucco walls and bathtubs and showers that leak water.

Furthermore, Mr. Bruce believes that there's also a problem with
the copper piping Pardee used to hook homes up with water. He
pointed out that "Good industry standards require copper piping
be sleeved so that it's protected. None of that was done at any
of these subdivisions and so we're seeing these pipes start to
burst all over in these subdivisions which is a very costly
repair."

Though Pardee Homes declined an on-camera interview, the company
in a prepared statement did reveal that it is ready to repair
any damaged home, but by law can not contact any homeowner
involved in the class action lawsuit.


SEMPRA ENERGY: Faces Jury Trial in $24 Billion CA Antitrust Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
In a significant blow to Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE), a far-
reaching antitrust lawsuit alleging conspiracy and market
manipulation that contributed to the state's devastating energy
crisis in 2000 and 2001 will be heard by a jury.

According to the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, a San Diego County
Superior Court judge denied Sempra's attempts to obtain summary
judgment on claims seeking treble damages of approximately $24
billion.

The lawsuit charges that the Fortune 500 energy company, along
with two Sempra-owned companies, Southern California Gas Company
(SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), conspired with
El Paso Natural Gas Corp. (EPNG) to prevent competition for
cheaper and plentiful Canadian natural gas and to protect their
respective market dominance over the supply and transportation
of natural gas both into and within California, reaping enormous
profits at the expense of California consumers and businesses.

Economists have estimated that plaintiffs in the case have
suffered $9 billion in damages due to the excessive energy costs
during 2000 and 2001. Under California antitrust law, the amount
awarded is automatically trebled after credit for payments by
other defendants. Sempra's lead defense counsel Robert Cooper
has admitted that the civil case is "life threatening " with the
potential to "put San Diego's largest company out of business."

Plaintiffs in the action include the People of the State of
California; the City and County of Los Angeles; San Bernardino
County; the cities of Long Beach, Burbank, Glendale, Culver
City, Vernon and Upland; Continental Forge Company; and numerous
other companies and individuals. The case also includes a class
of over 13 million California consumers who paid excessive gas
and electric bills.

In December 2003, El Paso, the largest natural gas pipeline
company in the country, settled the antitrust conspiracy charges
against it by agreeing to pay $1.7 billion. The class action
settlement was supported by California Attorney General Bill
Lockyer, the Attorney Generals of Nevada, Washington and Oregon,
the California Governor's Office, the California Public
Utilities Commission, Pacific Gas & Electric Company, and
Southern California Edison. In approving the resolution of the
case against El Paso, San Diego Superior Court Judge J. Richard
Haden praised the settlement as "the largest antitrust class
action settlement in California history. It involves 13 million
Californians, 3,000 industrial (non-core) users of natural
gas...(and) contains significant structural benefits that will
assure more plentiful and affordable gas to Californians for
decades."

Commenting on the green light for trial against Sempra, Thomas
V. Girardi, a lead plaintiffs' attorney with Girardi & Keese in
Los Angeles, stated: "After four years of the Sempra defendants'
desperately trying to avoid the day of reckoning, we are eager
to have a jury of Californians pass judgment on the egregious
behavior and schemes by these companies who preyed on the
vulnerability of every person and business in California.

"The California energy crisis in 2000-2001 was no accident,"
Girardi added. "These greedy defendants manipulated the market
shamelessly to gouge Californians. The world's fifth-largest
economy was literally brought to its knees. The defendants'
actions went far beyond aggravating the energy crisis - they
effectively caused it and, in so doing, picked the pockets of
every one of us."

The evidence against Sempra reveals a clandestine meeting held
in a Phoenix, Arizona Embassy Suites hotel room in September
1996 where 11 senior executives (including two presidents) from
SoCalGas, SDG&E and El Paso met without any legal counsel
present and agreed that they would cooperate rather than compete
with each other in supplying and delivering natural gas. The net
result of this unlawful agreement was to enable them to
artificially constrain the supply of natural gas to California
and to escalate the price of gas and ultimately electricity
produced from natural gas. The lawsuit maintains that these acts
were the major cause of the state's energy crisis in 2000-2001.

Denying all four of Sempra's motions for summary judgment, Judge
J. Richard Haden found that there are genuine issues of material
fact regarding the alleged conspiracy that necessitate a jury
trial. In his first ruling on September 16, 2004, Judge Haden
concluded that Plaintiffs "have carried their...burden to
present admissible evidence which tends to exclude, by a
preponderance of the evidence, the possibility that the
(Defendants) acted independently rather than collusively." Judge
Haden noted that Plaintiffs "raise numerous material issues of
fact" requiring a trial, including the following:

     (1) "The unprecedented 9/25/96 meeting of eleven (11)
         senior executives of historic competitors, without
         legal counsel, who wished to 'get together and see if
         there were some mutually beneficial business
         opportunities' the two companies (El Paso and SoCalGas)
         could pursue 'in the form of a joint venture or
         something."

     (2) "The notes taken by (a senior executive) of El Paso
         concerning the meeting raise a reasonable inference
         those present at the meeting discussed dividing
         California into two (2) teams, a Northern and Southern
         California territory, for distribution of natural gas
         and electricity and protection of SoCalGas' historic
         market power over intrastate gas distribution and to
         preserve El Paso's historic dominance of the interstate
         transportation of natural gas to California..."

     (3) "...(F)ollowing the meeting, SoCalGas stopped competing
         on the Samalayuca Project in 1996, even though they had
         been vying for same, and even though they arguably had
         a competitive advantage over El Paso."

     (4) "...El Paso stopped competing on a Northern Mexico
         pipeline to Rosarito even though (El Paso) arguably had
         a competitive advantage (over SoCalGas)..."

     (5) "...(T)he El Paso Defendants and the Sempra Defendants
         did not contest each others mergers."

     (6) "...El Paso sold Altamont (Pipeline Project bringing
         gas from Canada to Southern California) to Nova in
         1997, for minimal consideration. Nova decided to forego
         the project by failing to renew the Canadian National
         Energy Board (NEB) certificate for the Wildhorse
         Pipeline, a critical component of the Altamont
         Project..."


     (7) "...SoCalGas and El Paso met in June 2000 to create a
         plan...to withhold interstate (gas) capacity and to
         manipulate (gas) storage..."

In a separate ruling on September 30, 2004, Judge Haden denied
three other Sempra motions for summary judgment. The court
determined that the parent company, Sempra Energy, was a proper
defendant in the conspiracy case along with its subsidiaries,
SoCalGas and SDG&E. His decision stated in part: "Plaintiffs
have proffered substantial evidence that (Sempra's) gas
acquisition committee did in fact manipulate gas storage and hub
services during the gas crisis in 2000-2001, thereby increasing
gas prices in California and creating enormous profits for
Sempra." Judge Haden also stated: "A reasonable jury could
determine from the evidence that the manipulation and resulting
profits were...part of a corporate strategy..."

In his September 30th order, Judge Haden further ruled that, in
addition to the damages inflicted on Californians, Sempra and
its subsidiaries are also liable for the disgorgement of their
profits as a result of their predatory activities. Plaintiffs'
economist Dr. Andrew Safir estimates the amount to be more than
$3 billion.

Sempra to date has not issued a news release concerning these
adverse rulings. At a hearing on the conspiracy motion for
summary judgment on July 22, 2004, Sempra lead attorney Robert
Cooper, of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles, stated in
open court to Judge Haden: "One point I want to make is that we
represent companies that are faced with a...life-threatening
lawsuit. Make no mistake...we don't have yet the damage
figures... I think it's about $9 billion, single damages of
course, which is automatically trebled. That's a little more
than these companies can stand. It will put San Diego's largest
company out of business."

In its 2003 Annual Report, Sempra reported that it had net
income of $649 million, operating revenues of $7.9 billion, and
total assets of $22 billion. Sempra's market capitalization is
about $8.3 billion. The Sempra Energy utilities, serving 21
million consumers, have the largest utility base of any U.S.
energy company.

In August, while the four motions for summary judgment were
pending, Sempra Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Stephen
Baum sold more than 421,000 shares of Sempra stock through
options for nearly $15.1 million. This followed Baum's sale of
nearly $6.3 million of Sempra stock in February 2004. In total,
Sempra officers have sold nearly $25 million worth of shares
through options so far this year according to public filings.

Commented Pierce O'Donnell, another lead plaintiffs' counsel
with O'Donnell & Shaeffer in Los Angeles: "We intend to show the
jury and the world compelling evidence exposing the cartel-like
arrangements under which these behemoth energy companies, faced
with deregulation and the threat of competition, secretly
created their own brave new world and decided not to compete
with one another. Instead, they colluded in various ways to
restrict the pipelines and gas storage facilities providing
vital natural gas to Californians. This was a cabal of the most
flagrant kind, concocted at a time when the people of California
had no recourse to combat rampant price gouging."

In the September 30th ruling, Judge Haden also rejected Sempra's
fifth attempt to have the case dismissed on the ground that
Federal energy laws preempt a state anti-trust damages case.
Judge Haden determined that the Federal Energy Regulatory
Commission's "exclusive jurisdiction does not reach to the non-
rate based conspiracy at issue in this case that allegedly
restrained natural gas capacity into California, resulting in a
spike in the spot price for natural gas at the California
border."

In his ruling that the conspiracy case must go to trial, Judge
Haden relied in part on the expert testimony of Dr. Andrew
Safir, a distinguished economist who, as Judge Haden noted in
his ruling, presented on behalf of Plaintiffs substantial
evidence that the "(California natural gas) market is conducive
to collusion," "the economic irrationality of Defendants'
behavior, and the evidence pointing to collusion...and the
industry and pricing and bidding behaviors (were) more
consistent with collusion than individual action..."

Trial is expected next year before Judge Ronald S. Prager, who
replaced Judge Haden on October 1st in anticipation of Judge
Haden's retirement at the end of the year. The action was
originally filed in September 2000 at the beginning of
California's energy crisis. More than 6 million pages of
documents have been reviewed and 65 depositions have been taken
over the past four years.

In addition to Girardi and O'Donnell, plaintiffs are also
represented by lead counsel Walter Lack of Engstrom, Lipscomb &
Lack as well as Lance Astrella of Astrella & Rice P.C.; Brad
Baker of Baker, Burton & Lundy, P.C.; M. Brian McMahon; Michael
J. Ponce; Douglas A. Stacey; J. Tynan Kelly; Maxwell Blecher of
Blecher & Collins, P.C.; Los Angeles City Attorney Rockard
Delgadillo; Long Beach City Attorney Robert F. Shannon; and Los
Angeles County Counsel Lloyd W. Pellman.


STELLAR INDUSTRIES: Recalls Outrigger Legs Due To Injury Hazard
---------------------------------------------------------------
Stellar Industries, Inc. is cooperating with the National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) by voluntarily
recalling 124 Curd Side Outrigger Legs, used in conjunction with
Stellar Cranes purchased between June 1 and September 30,2004.

The reinforcement plates used on the top and bottom of the
curbside horizontal outrigger beam may be made from material
that does not meet engineering strength requirements.
If the outrigger beam contains defective material, the beam may
bend without warning when subjected to heavy loads, resulting in
personal injury or death.

The Company will notify its customers and replace the beam if
necessary at no charge to the customer.  The recall is expected
to begin on October 2004.  Owners who take their vehicles to an
authorized dealer on an agreed upon service date and do not
receive the free remedy within a reasonable time should contact
the Company by Phone: 1-800-321-3741 or contact the NHTSA's auto
safety hotline: 1-888-DASH-2-DOT (1-888-327-4236).


STELMAR SHIPPING: Easyjet Founder Warns Of Suit Over $667M Deal
---------------------------------------------------------------
Easyjet founder Stelios Haji-Ioannou issued a warning to the
chairman of his first venture, tanker group Stelmar Shipping,
that he may launch a $200 million class action against the board
for agreeing to a $667 million takeover of the shipping line,
the Telegraph.co.uk reports.

In a letter to Stelmar Chairman Nick Hartley, Mr. Haji-Ioannou,
who stepped up his legal attack on the group for agreeing a
$677m takeover by American asset manager Fortress Investment
warned the chairman that it should put its "insurers on notice
for these claims."

Mr Haji-Ioannou, who owns 7% of Stelmar, alleges that the
directors failed to get the best offer by turning down a rival
approach. He also stated in his letter to Stelmar's chairman
that he would attend the shareholder vote on the deal on
November 16.

Furthermore the Easyjet founder also wrote in his letter,
"Whatever the outcome...I may still pursue a class action
against the Stelmar officers and directors for the approximate
$200 million in shareholder value lost."


TRINITY HOMES: Attorneys Ask IN Judge To Approve Settlement
-----------------------------------------------------------
Lawyers for Trinity Homes and the homeowners recently asked
Judge Bernard L. Pylitt of Hamilton Superior Court to approve a
deal, which would settle a class-action lawsuit filed in 2003
over claims that poor construction led to water damage, the
INDYchannel.com reports.

More than 2,000 Trinity homeowners in Indiana are eligible for
the settlement, which if approved would require Trinity Homes to
pay for the repairs and allow the law firm representing the
owners to hire an independent engineering company to oversee the
work. The settlement would also require Trinity to guarantee all
repairs for 2 years and if work extends beyond an agreed upon
completion date, homeowners would receive $60 per day until it's
done. Aside from the aforementioned prerequisites the settlement
also calls for the establishment of a dispute resolution panel
that would address any conflicts that develop between the
builder and the homeowners.  The lawsuit was filed after
hundreds of homeowners filed complaints alleging that water
seeped under some exterior brick veneers, causing extensive
damage and mold.

Trinity's owner, Atlanta-based Beazer Homes, has denied any
wrongdoing, but stated that it has set aside $24 million to
address any problems in relation to the settlement.  In its
quarterly report to the Securities and Exchange Commission,
Atlanta-based Beazer Homes believes that repairs could cost up
to $41,500 per home and not the previously announced $37,000 per
home.  According to INDYchannel.com of the 2,087 homeowners
eligible for the settlement, about 40 rejected the deal.


UICI: TX Court Enters Final Judgment On MI, CA Suit Settlements
---------------------------------------------------------------
The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas has
issued a final order and judgment approving the UICI's (NYSE:
UCI) previously publicized settlement of a class action case
originally filed in Mississippi and a representative action
originally filed in California challenging the relationship
between UICI's insurance companies and the membership
associations that make available to their members the Company's
health insurance products. Pursuant to the Court's order, the
Court, among other things, certified a nationwide settlement
class consisting of current and former members of the
associations and current and former insureds of The MEGA Life
and Health Insurance Company ("MEGA") and Mid-West National Life
Insurance Company of Tennessee ("Mid- West), each of which is a
UICI insurance subsidiary. In addition, the Court approved the
terms of the settlement as fair, reasonable and adequate and in
the best interest of the settlement class.

As previously disclosed, pursuant to the terms of the
settlement, MEGA and Mid-West have agreed to include enhanced
disclosures in their marketing and sales materials with respect
to the contractual relationships between UICI and the insurance
companies, on the one hand, and the associations, on the other
hand, and MEGA and Mid-West have also agreed to enter into an
injunction with respect to certain business practices. In
addition, members of a nationwide class consisting of current
and former MEGA and Mid-West insureds will be entitled to relief
in the form of free insurance coverage for a period of months
under a personal accident policy to be issued by a UICI
subsidiary, and members of a nationwide class consisting of
current and former members of the associations will be eligible
to receive discounts on association membership fees. The
settlement also contemplates, and the Court has approved, the
payment of attorneys' fees to counsel for the plaintiff class.
The settlement does not contemplate a release of specific claims
by individuals for insurance coverage benefits.

The terms of the settlement of the association group class
action cases will not have a material adverse effect upon the
financial condition or results of operations of the Company.
UICI, MEGA and Mid-West continue to be parties to certain other
pending "association group" cases in other states, and the
Company continues its ongoing efforts to bring such cases to a
successful resolution. The Company currently believes that
resolution of those cases will not have a material adverse
effect on the Company's financial condition or results of
operations.


UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON: Professor Files Suit Over 2% Merit Pay
----------------------------------------------------------------
Duane Storti, an associate professor at the University of
Washington initiated a lawsuit seeking class-action status
against the university for allegedly failing to provide merit
pay raises of at least 2 percent in the 2002-03 academic year,
the Associated Press reports.

According to Mr. Storti, beginning in 2000-01 up to '03-'04, the
university gave the 2 percent raises to all faculty found to
have done meritorious work during the previous year, however due
to budget constraints the university refused to give it in '02-
'03.

Filed in King County Superior Court, the lawsuit alleges that
the university breached its contract with faculty. Aside from
seeking class-action status, the suit also sought to have the
merit pay provided retroactive to the '02-03 academic year.

The lawsuit also alleges the university failed to comply with a
public records request filed by Mr. Storti in connection with
the case.


WALT DISNEY: Trial For Suit Over Michael Ovitz Hiring Underway
--------------------------------------------------------------
The trial of a lawsuit by Walt Disney Co. shareholders who
accuse the board of directors of sanctioning a deal to hire
Michael Ovitz in 1995 and then giving him a $140 million
severance pay is set to proceed, Reuters reports.

The class action lawsuit, which seeks $200 million from Mr.
Ovitz and the board, claims he should have been fired, rather
than awarded the severance package.

According to the suit, Disney Chief Executive Michael Eisner had
engineered the deal to hire his friend Mr. Ovitz, one of
Hollywood's most powerful talent agents and co-founder of
Creative Artists Agency, as president.

Steven Schulman, the head Milberg Weiss attorney representing
shareholders says directors gave the deal a cosmetic glance and
approved it, including the severance package.

Set to be heard at Delaware's Court of Chancery, the case will
center on the so-called business judgment rule, essentially a
test of whether the board's decisions were made in good faith
and with the interests of the company in mind.

Mr. Eisner's lawyer, Gary Naftalis stated that their goal in the
four-week trial is to convince the judge that Disney's board
members were on the right track when they approved the contract.
Mr. Naftalis further adds, "We plan to show that the board was
fully involved in all matters concerning Michael Ovitz's
employment contract and dismissal and that upon termination Mr.
Ovitz received not one penny more than his contract required."

Mr. Schulman argues that Mr. Ovitz during his tenure was
untrustworthy, unethical and unable to delegate. He reveals that
he has evidence to prove his clients allegation which range from
ranges from Mr. Ovitz giving free Disneyland tickets to a
friend's child's birthday party to allegations he had financial
interests in conflict with his job at Disney.

However, Mark Epstein, of Munger Tolles & Olson, which
represents Mr. Ovitz denied that his client had misused his
power or had a conflict of interest and reiterated that his
client only walked away with his due.

The trial, which will be decided by a judge, is to begin with
testimony from three expert witnesses for shareholders who will
testify that the board did not do its duty, and then the defense
will have its weeks in court.



                Meetings, Conferences & Seminars


* Scheduled Events for Class Action Professionals
-------------------------------------------------

October 21, 2004
ADVANCED SKILLS FOR LITIGATION PARALEGALS CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

October 25-26, 2004
SILICA LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, New Orleans
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

October 25-26, 2004
THE ADVANCED MEDICO-LEGAL GUIDE TO REDUCING THE  RISK OF
OBSTETRIC MALPRACTICE
American Conferences
The Disney Grand Floridian Resort, FL
Contact: http://www.americanconference.com

October 25-26, 2004
FRAUD AND ABUSE IN THE SALES AND MARKETING OF DRUGS
American Conferences
Philadelphia
Contact: http://www.americanconference.com

October 26, 2004
ADVANCED E-DISCOVERY CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, New Orleans
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

October 29, 2004
CLASS ACTIONS
American Bar Association
ABA-CLE National Institute, New Orleans
Contact: 800-285-2221; abacle@abanet.org

November 1-2, 2004
REINSURANCE LAW & PRACTICE 2004: NEW LEGAL & BUSINESS
DEVELOPMENTS IN A CHANGING GLOBAL ENVIRONMENT
PLI New York Center -- New York, NY
Practising Law Institute
Contact: 212-824-5865; sgreenblatt@pli.edu

November 4-5, 2004
CONFERENCE ON LIFE INSURANCE COMPANY PRODUCTS: CURRENT
SECURITIES,  TAX, ERISA, AND STATE REGULATORY ISSUES
ALI-ABA
Washington, D.C.
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

November 8, 2004
ALL SUMS: REALLOCATION & SETTLEMENT CREDITS CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Boston
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

November 8, 2004
ZYPREXA LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena, CA
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

November 9, 2004
SULFATE ATTACK ON CONCRETE LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena, CA
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

November 9, 2004
HORMONE REPLACEMENT THERAPY LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena, CA
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

November 9, 2004
VIOXX LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena, CA
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

November 9, 2004
ANTI-SLAPP CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena, CA
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

November 11-12, 2004
ASBESTOS LITIGATION IN THE 21ST CENTURY
ALI-ABA
New Orleans
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

November 15-16, 2004
THE STRATEGIC GUIDE TO INSURANCE INSOLVENCY OVERCOMING BUSINESS,
LEGAL AND REGULATORY HURDLES
American Conferences
The Park Central New York, NY
Contact: http://www.americanconference.com

December 2-3, 2004
TRIAL EVIDENCE IN THE FEDERAL COURTS: PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
ALI-ABA
New York
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

December 6-7, 2004
ASBESTOS BANKRUPTCY CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
Sheraton Hotel and Towers NYC, New York, NY
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

December 6-7, 2004
MTBE & USTs LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
Sheraton Hotel and Towers NYC, New York, NY
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

December 8, 2004
EPHEDRA UPDATE
Mealey Publications
Sheraton Hotel and Towers NYC, New York, NY
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

December 9, 2004
D&O LIABILITY INSURANCE
American Conferences
New York, NY
Contact: http://www.americanconference.com

December 9-10, 2004
ASBESTOS PREMISES LIABILITY CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Huntington Hotel & Spa, Pasadena, CA
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

December 9-10, 2004
ASBESTOS PREMISES LIABILITY CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas, NV
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

December 9-10, 2004
CONSTRUCTION DEFECT & MOLD LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Lake Las Vegas, Las Vegas
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

December 9-10, 2004
RETAIL LIABILITY CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
Ceasars Palace, Las Vegas, NV
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

December 9-10, 2004
PERSONAL INJURY CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
Ceasars Palace, Las Vegas, NV
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

December 12-14, 2004
THE 9TH ANNUAL CONFERENCE FOR IN-HOUSE COUNSEL & TRIAL ATTORNEYS
DRUG & MEDICAL DEVICE LITIGATION
American Conferences
The Plaza Hotel, New York
Contact: http://www.americanconference.com

December 13-14, 2004
ADDITIONAL INSURED CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Westin St. Francis, San Francisco, CA
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

December 15-16, 2004
WELDING ROD LITIGATION
American Conferences
New Orleans
Contact: http://www.americanconference.com

January 19-21, 2005
CIVIL PRACTICE AND LITIGATION TECHNIQUES IN FEDERAL AND STATE
COURTS
ALI-ABA
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

January 24-25, 2005
PREVENTING AND DEFENCING OBESITY CLAIMS:  THE LATEST INFORMATION
ON LEGAL EXPOSURES, LEGISLATION
AND DEFENSE STRATEGIES
American Conferences
St. Regis Hotel, Washington DC
Contact: http://www.americanconference.com

January 24-25, 2005
THIRD ANNUAL ADVANCED INSURANCE COVERAGE CONFERENCE: TOP TEN
ISSUES
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Philadelphia
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com
January 31-February 01, 2005
LEXISNEXIS PRESENTS DEFENSE STRATEGIES IN PHARMACEUTICAL
LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Phoenix, AZ
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

January 31-February 01, 2005
EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES LIABILITY INSURANCE
American Conferences
New York, NY
Contact: http://www.americanconference.com

February 10-11, 2005
ACCOUNTANTS' LIABILITY
ALI-ABA
Scottsdale, Arizona
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

February 14-15, 2005
REINSURANCE 101
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Pentagon City, Washington, DC
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

February 14-15, 2005
ASBESTOS LITIGATION 101
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Pentagon City, Washington, DC
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

February 28, 2005
LEXISNEXIS PRESENTS WALL STREET FORUM: ASBESTOS
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Battery Park, New York City
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

March 1, 2005
FINANCIAL INSTITUTION E&0
Mealey Publications
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Battery Park, New York City
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

March 3-5, 2005
LITIGATING MEDICAL MALPRACTICE CLAIMS
ALI-ABA
Scottsdale, Arizona
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

March 7-8, 2005
INSURANCE LITIGATION 101
Mealey Publications
Hotel Crescent Court, Dallas
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

March 9-11, 2005
CIVIL PRACTICE AND LITIGATION TECHNIQUES IN FEDERAL AND STATE
COURTS
ALI-ABA
Maui, Hawaii
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

April 13-16, 2005
INSURANCE INSOLVENCY AND REINSURANCE ROUNDTABLE
Mealey Publications
The Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, Scottsdale AZ
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

May 12-13, 2005
OPINION AND EXPERT TESTIMONY IN FEDERAL AND STATE COURTS
ALI-ABA
Boston Tuition
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

May 19-20, 2005
DIGITAL DISCOVERY AND ELECTRONIC EVIDENCE
ALI-ABA
Chicago
Contact: 215-243-1614; 800-CLE-NEWS x1614

TBA
FAIR LABOR STANDARDS CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

TBA
AIRLINE BANKRUPTCY LITIGATION CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com

TBA
FASTFOOD INDUSTRY LIABILITY CONFERENCE
Mealey Publications
Contact: 1-800-MEALEYS; 610-768-7800;
mealeyseminars@lexisnexis.com



* Online Teleconferences
------------------------

October 2-31, 2004
TLIE PRESENTS: "LAW AND DISORDER: SUE-- LEGAL ETHICS AND LEGAL
MALPRACTICE ISSUES
CLEOnline.Com
Contact: 512-778-5665; info@cleonline.com

October 2-31, 2004
TLIE PRESENTS: "DODGING THE BULLET": LEGAL ETHICS AND LEGAL
MALPRACTICE ISSUES
CLEOnline.Com
Contact: 512-778-5665; info@cleonline.com

October 2-31, 2004
HBA PRESENTS: AUTOMOBILE LITIGATION: DISPUTES AMONG
CONSUMERS, DEALERS, FINANCE COMPANIES AND FLOORPLANNERS
CLEOnline.Com
Contact: 512-778-5665; info@cleonline.com

October 2-31, 2004
HBA PRESENTS: ETHICS IN PERSONAL INJURY
CLEOnline.Com
Contact: 512-778-5665; info@cleonline.com

October 2-31, 2004
IN-HOUSE COUNSEL AND WRONGFUL DISCHARGE CLAIMS:
CONFLICT WITH CONFIDENTIALITY?
CLEOnline.Com
Contact: 512-778-5665; info@cleonline.com

October 2-31, 2004
AVOIDING MALPRACTICE CLAIMS: THINGS TO DO (AND NOT DO)
ON THE FIRST DAY YOU REPRESENT A CLIENT
CLEOnline.Com
Contact: 512-778-5665; info@cleonline.com

October 2-31, 2004
BAYLOR LAW SCHOOL PRESENTS: 2004 GENERAL PRACTICE INSTITUTE --
FAMILY LAW, DISCIPLINARY SYSTEM, CIVIL LITIGATION, INSURANCE
& CONSUMER LAW UPDATES
CLEOnline.Com
Contact: 512-778-5665; info@cleonline.com

TORTS PRACTICE: 19TH ANNUAL RECENT DEVELOPMENTS (2004)
CEB Online
Contact: customer_service@ceb.ucop.edu or 1-800-232-3444

TORTS PRACTICE: 18TH ANNUAL RECENT DEVELOPMENTS #1
CEB Online
Contact: customer_service@ceb.ucop.edu or 1-800-232-3444

TORTS PRACTICE: 18TH ANNUAL RECENT DEVELOPMENTS #2
CEB Online
Contact: customer_service@ceb.ucop.edu or 1-800-232-3444

TORTS PRACTICE: 18TH ANNUAL RECENT DEVELOPMENTS #3
CEB Online
Contact: customer_service@ceb.ucop.edu or 1-800-232-3444

CIVIL LITIGATION PRACTICE: 22ND ANNUAL RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
CEB Online
Contact: customer_service@ceb.ucop.edu or 1-800-232-3444

CIVIL LITIGATION PRACTICE: 21ST ANNUAL RECENT DEVELOPMENTS #1
CEB Online
Contact: customer_service@ceb.ucop.edu or 1-800-232-3444

CIVIL LITIGATION PRACTICE: 21ST ANNUAL RECENT DEVELOPMENTS #2
CEB Online
Contact: customer_service@ceb.ucop.edu or 1-800-232-3444

CIVIL LITIGATION PRACTICE: 21ST ANNUAL RECENT DEVELOPMENTS #3
CEB Online
Contact: customer_service@ceb.ucop.edu or 1-800-232-3444

ADVERSARIAL PROCEEDINGS IN ASBESTOS BANKRUPTCIES
LawCommerce.Com/Mealey's
Online Streaming Video
Contact: customerservice@lawcommerce.com

ASBESTOS BANKRUPTCY - PANEL OF CREDITORS COMMITTEE MEMBERS
LawCommerce.Com/Mealey's
Online Streaming Video
Contact: customerservice@lawcommerce.com

EXPERT WITNESS ADMISSIBILITY IN MOLD CASES
LawCommerce.Com/Mealey's
Online Streaming Video
Contact: customerservice@lawcommerce.com

INTRODUCTION TO CLASS ACTIONS AND LARGE RECOVERIES
Big Class Action
Contact: seminars@bigclassaction.com

NON-TRADITIONAL DEFENDANTS IN ASBESTOS LITIGATION
Online Streaming Video
LawCommerce.Com/Mealey's
Contact: customerservice@lawcommerce.com

PAXIL LITIGATION
Online Streaming Video
LawCommerce.Com/Mealey's
Contact: customerservice@lawcommerce.com

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS INVOLVING BAYCOL
Online Streaming Video
LawCommerce.Com/Mealey's
Contact: customerservice@lawcommerce.com

RECOVERIES
Big Class Action
Contact: seminars@bigclassaction.com

SELECTION OF MOLD LITIGATION EXPERTS: WHO YOU NEED ON YOUR TEAM
Online Streaming Video
LawCommerce.Com/Mealey's
Contact: customerservice@lawcommerce.com

SHOULD I FILE A CLASS ACTION?
LawCommerce.Com / Law Education Institute
Contact: customerservice@lawcommerce.com

THE EFFECTS OF ASBESTOS ON THE PULMONARY SYSTEM
Online Streaming Video
LawCommerce.Com/Mealey's
Contact: customerservice@lawcommerce.com

THE STATE OF ASBESTOS LITIGATION: JUDICIAL PANEL DISCUSSION
Online Streaming Video
LawCommerce.Com/Mealey's
Contact: customerservice@lawcommerce.com

TRYING AN ASBESTOS CASE
LawCommerce.Com
Contact: customerservice@lawcommerce.com

THE IMPACT OF LORILLAR ON STATE AND LOCAL REGULATION OF TOBACCO
SALES AND ADVERSTISING
American Bar Association
Contact: 800-285-2221; abacle@abanet.org

________________________________________________________________
The Meetings, Conferences and Seminars column appears in the
Class Action Reporter each Wednesday. Submissions via e-mail to
carconf@beard.com are encouraged.


                   New Securities Fraud Cases

ACE LIMITED: Schiffrin & Barroway Lodges Securities Suit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of all securities
purchasers of ACE Limited (NYSE: ACE) ("ACE" or the "Company")
from October 28, 2003 through October 13, 2004, inclusive (the
"Class Period").

The complaint charges ACE, Evan Greenberg, Brian Duperreault,
and Philip V. Bancroft with violations of Sections 10(b) and
20(a) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5
promulgated thereunder. More specifically, the complaint alleges
that the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented the
following material adverse facts known to defendants or
recklessly disregarded by them:

     (1) that the Company was paying illegal and concealed
         "contingent commissions" pursuant to illegal
         "contingent commission agreements";

     (2) that by concealing these "contingent commissions" and
         such "contingent commission agreements" the defendants
         violated applicable principles of fiduciary law,
         subjecting the Company to enormous fines and penalties
         totaling potentially tens, if not hundreds, of millions
         of dollars;

     (3) that defendants had concealed the fact that ACE had
         engaged in illegal transactions; and

     (4) that as a result, the Company's prior reported revenue
         and income was grossly overstated.

On October 14, 2004, CBS MarketWatch issued an article entitled
"Spitzer attacks insurance industry; NY Attorney General sues
Marsh over commissions." The article stated in part: "In his
latest move in a high profile campaign against corporate
wrongdoing, Eliot Spitzer charged several of the nation's
largest insurance companies and the largest broker with bid
rigging and pay-offs that the New York Attorney General says
violate fraud and competition laws." Additionally, "Spitzer
unveiled a lawsuit Thursday against the world's largest
insurance broker Marsh & McLennan for a common industry practice
known as "contingent commissions." Contingent commissions are
paid by insurance companies to reward brokers for sending
business their way. Critics claim the payments encourage brokers
to sell policies from those insurance companies offering the
highest commissions, rather than the ones most suited to their
customers."

Also on October 14, 2004, ACE issued the following statement:
"The Attorney General of the State of New York filed a civil
lawsuit today against Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. and Marsh
Inc. This is an outgrowth of the Attorney General's
investigation into broker compensation practices. Although ACE
is not named as a defendant, ACE and several other insurers are
referenced in the complaint. We have been cooperating with the
Attorney General's office since earlier this year in this
matter, and we intend to continue to cooperate fully with the
investigation."

On these revelations, the Company's shares fell $3.84 per share,
or 9.53 percent, to close at $36.47 per share on October 14,
2004 on unusually high trading volume.

On October 15, 2004, CBS MarketWatch issued an article entitled:
"ACE Manager Pleads Guilty in Probe." The article stated in
part: "Patricia Abrams, an assistant vice president in the
excess casualty division of ACE, pleaded guilty to charges that
she was involved in bid rigging, according to Brad Maione, a
spokesman for Spitzer." Additionally, "from September 2002 to
September 2004, Gregory Doherty and others at Marsh periodically
instructed Abrams and others at ACE to submit quotes for
insurance coverage that were higher and less competitive than
those of incumbent carriers, said Maione, citing the Spitzer's
complaint against Abrams."

Following this revelation, shares of ACE fell another 4 percent,
or $1.49 per share, to close at $34.98 per share on October 15,
2004.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz, Esq. or Darren J.
Check, Esq. of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP by Phone:
1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706 or by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL: Schiffrin & Barroway Files NY Stock Suit
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of all securities
purchasers of American International Group, Inc. (NYSE: AIG)
("AIG" or the "Company") from October 28, 1999 through October
13, 2004 inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges AIG, Maurice Greenberg, Howard Smith and
Thomas Tizzio with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and Rule 10b-5 promulgated there
under. More specifically, the complaint alleges that the Company
failed to disclose and misrepresented the following material
adverse facts, which were known to defendants or recklessly
disregarded by them:

     (1) that AIG entered into and concealed illegal contingent
         commission agreements that it entered into with other
         insurance companies, including Marsh, Inc., a
         subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan, Inc.;

     (2) that AIG engaged in bid-rigging whereby the Company
         agreed to provide brokers with artificial quotes which
         were not justified by underwriting analysis;

     (3) that as a result of the bid rigging, AIG guaranteed
         itself material amounts of business;

     (4) that AIG failed to disclose that it had entered into
         "PNC-Style" partnerships with other insurance
         companies, which was contrary to its previous
         statements; and

    (5) that as a result of this illegal scheme, defendants,
        throughout the Class Period, materially overstated and
        artificially inflated AIG's earnings, income, and
        earnings per share.

On October 14, 2004, Attorney General Eliot Spitzer ("Spizter")
filed a suit against Marsh & McLennan Inc., alleging that it
steered unsuspecting clients to insurers with whom it had
lucrative payoff agreements, and that the firm solicited rigged
bids for insurance contracts. Spitzer's complaint also named AIG
as an alleged participant in steering and bid rigging. It was
also revealed that two AIG executives; Karen Radke, a senior
vice president, and Jean-Baptist Tateossian, a manager had pled
guilty to charges related to the probe. This news shocked the
market. Shares of AIG fell $6.99 per share, or 10.43 percent, on
unusually high trading volume of more than 48 million shares
traded, on October 14, 2004, to close at $60.00 per share. On
the following day, October 15, 2004, shares of AIG tumbled an
additional $2.15 per share or 3.58 percent, on more than 60
million in volume, to close at $57.85 per share.

For more details, contact Marc A. Topaz, Esq. or Darren J.
Check, Esq. of Schiffrin & Barroway, LLP by Phone:
1-888-299-7706 or 1-610-667-7706 or by E-mail:
info@sbclasslaw.com


APOLLO GROUP: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in AZ
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP ("Lerach Coughlin") initiated a class action in the United
States District Court for the District of Arizona on behalf of
purchasers of Apollo Group, Inc. ("Apollo") (NASDAQ:APOL) common
stock during the period between February 27, 2004 and September
14, 2004 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Apollo and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Apollo provides higher education to working adults. The
Company operates through its subsidiaries The University of
Phoenix, Inc., University of Phoenix Online ("UOP"), Institute
for Professional Development ("IPP"), The College for Financial
Planning Institutes Corporation and Western International
University, Inc.

The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period defendants
disseminated materially false and misleading financial
statements. The true facts, which were known by each of the
defendants but concealed from the investing public during the
Class Period, were as follows:

     (1) that contrary to the implication that there was no
         merit to the allegations in a qui tam action concerning
         the Company's illegal compensation structure, the
         Company in fact did illegally compensate certain of its
         employees who were involved with the recruitment of new
         students;

     (2) that the Company was generating revenues through
         illegal means which ultimately resulted in a fine by
         the Department of Education ("DOE"), the largest fine
         ever paid to date;

     (3) that the "strong growth" in enrollment in Q2 2004 was
         attributable to illegal compensation activities; and

     (4) that defendants inflated the Company's student
         enrollment by signing up "unqualified" students.

On September 7, 2004, it was disclosed that Apollo had reached
an agreement with the DOE to pay $4.4 million to settle a five-
year-old audit in possible compensation-related rule violations
at IPP and $9.8 million to settle a separate review of similar
regulatory issues at its UOP unit. Then, on September 15, 2004,
The Wall Street Journal published an article regarding the DOE
report, which criticized the Company for having a "culture of
duplicity" in which recruiters' compensation was tied to
enrollment numbers. The Company's stock price dropped sharply on
these disclosures.

For more details, contact William S. Lerach or Samuel H. Rudman
of Lerach Coughlin by Phone: 800-449-4900 by E-mail:
wsl@lerachlaw.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/apollo/


AXT INC.: Charles J. Piven Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law offices of Charles J. Piven, P.A. initiated a securities
class action on behalf of shareholders who purchased, converted,
exchanged or otherwise acquired the common stock of AXT, Inc.
(Nasdaq:AXTI) between February 6, 2001 and April 27, 2004,
inclusive (the "Class Period").

The case is pending in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California against defendant AXT and its
CEO. The action charges that defendants violated federal
securities laws by issuing a series of materially false and
misleading statements to the market throughout the Class Period,
which statements had the effect of artificially inflating the
market price of the Company's securities. No class has yet been
certified in the above action.

For more details, contact the Law Offices Of Charles J. Piven,
P.A. by Phone: The World Trade Center-Baltimore, 401 East Pratt
Street, Suite 2525, Baltimore, MD 21202 by Phone: 410/986-0036
by E-mail: hoffman@pivenlaw.com


AXT INC.: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Lawsuit in CA
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C. initiated a lawsuit seeking
class action status in the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California on behalf of all persons who
purchased the securities of AXT, Inc. (NasdNM: AXTI) ("AXT")
between February 6, 2001 and April 27, 2004 (the "Class
Period").

The Complaint alleges that AXT violated securities laws by
making material misrepresentations and omissions during the
Class Period. On April 27, 2004, AXT disclosed that the "first
quarter's financial review and verification process has been
delayed due to an investigation by AXT's Audit Committee of
certain product testing practices and policies." On May 24,
2004, AXT disclosed to the SEC that the investigation confirmed
that, for an undisclosed period of years, AXT had "not followed
requirements for testing of products and provision of testing
data and information relating to customer requirements for
certain shipments made over the past several years." AXT further
disclosed that during the first-quarter of 2004, AXT increased
its reserve for sales returns "related to our failure to follow
certain testing requirements and provision of testing data and
information to certain customers." As a result of AXT's
disclosure, the price of AXT stock fell from a close of $3.30
per share on April 27, 2004 to close at $2.20 per share on April
29, 2004.

For more details, contact Wayne T. Boulton or Nancy Kulesa by
Phone: (800) 797-5499 by E-mail: sn06106@aol.com or visit their
Web site: http://www.snlaw.net


BENNETT ENVIRONMENTAL: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Suit in NY
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Murray, Frank, & Sailer LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the United States District Court for the
Southern District of New York on behalf of all purchasers of
Bennett Environmental Inc. ("Bennett" or the "Company")
(AMEX:BEL) common stock during the period from June 2, 2003
through July 22, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The complaint alleges that Bennett and certain of its senior
officers with violations of Sections 10(b) and 20(a) of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and Rule 10b-5 promulgated
thereunder. The alleged violations stem from the dissemination
of false and misleading statements, which had the effect --
during the Class Period -- of artificially inflating the price
of Bennett's shares.

More specifically, the complaint alleges that on June 2, 2003,
the Company announced that it had received the largest contract
in the Company's history. The press release stated that Bennett
had been awarded a contract to treat approximately 300,000 tons
of soil at the Federal Creosote Superfund Site in New Jersey.
The company reported that it valued the contract, slated to be
completed in 2005, at $200 million (Canadian). John Bennett,
Bennett's Chairman and CEO, said, "This (contract), together
with previously announced contracts, ensures that we will have a
very successful year in 2003 and beyond in terms of meeting our
financial and operation goals." In the seven months after the
announcement, Bennett shares doubled in value.

On July 22, 2004, Bennett announced that the contract
performance by Army Corps of Engineering, the entity who awarded
Bennett the contract, had been in question since August of 2003,
despite the eleven months of releases and announcements by the
company to the contrary. An unsuccessful bidder on the soil
treatment contract had disputed the award, and, in the
aftermath, the Company was clueless about the contract's status
and the Army's future performance. In fact, the Company had to
resort to Freedom of Information Act inquiries, among other
things, to ascertain the contract's status. On this news, the
stock price fell from $10.50 to $7.80, a 25% one-day drop and
64% off its Class Period high of $21.89.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi or Aaron D. Patton of
Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP by Phone: (800) 497-8076 or
(212) 682-1818 by Fax: (212) 682-1892 or by E-mail:
info@murrayfrank.com


BIOLASE TECHNOLOGY: Murray Frank Lodges Securities Lawsuit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP initiated a class
action lawsuit in the Central District of California on behalf
of a class (the "Class") consisting of all persons who purchased
or otherwise acquired the securities of Biolase Technology, Inc.
("Biolase" or the "Company") (Nasadq:BLTI) between October 29,
2003 and July 16, 2004, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint charges Biolase and certain of the Company's
executive officers with violations of federal securities laws.
Plaintiff claims that defendants' omissions and material
misrepresentations concerning Biolase's financial performance
artificially inflated the Company's stock price, inflicting
damages on investors. Biolase designs, manufactures and markets
proprietary dental laser systems to dentists, oral surgeons and
other specialists. On July 16, 2004, after the markets closed,
Biolase reported preliminary results, which were below analysts'
expectations for the second quarter of 2004, causing Biolase
shares to plummet 27 percent on July 19, 2004. Plaintiff alleges
the Company failed to disclose and misrepresented material
adverse facts during the Class Period, which defendants knew or
recklessly disregarded, including that:

     (1) Waterlase, the Company's best-selling laser system and
         primary product, was not gaining market share, and
         demand for the product was not increasing at the rates
         represented by defendants;

     (2) Biolase had introduced a lower-priced, entry level
         laser which was cannibalizing sales such that Biolase's
         reported earnings were false and misleading;

     (3) Defendants were concealing this decreasing demand by
         granting extended payment terms and price breaks; and

     (4) the Company would not achieve the earnings growth
         forecasted.

For more details, contact Eric J. Belfi or Aaron D. Patton of
Murray, Frank & Sailer LLP by Phone: (800) 497-8076 or
(212) 682-1818 by Fax: (212) 682-1892 or by E-mail:
info@murrayfrank.com


MARSH & MCLENNAN: Milberg Weiss Lodges Securities Lawsuit in NY
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman LLP initiated a
class action lawsuit on behalf of persons who purchased or
otherwise acquired the securities of Marsh & McLennan Companies,
Inc. ("Marsh" or the "Company") (NYSE: MMC) between October 15,
1999 and October 14, 2004 (the "Class Period"), seeking to
pursue remedies under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the
"Exchange Act").

The action, case no. 04-CV-8179, is pending in the United States
District Court for the Southern District of New York against
defendants Marsh, Marsh Inc., Jeffrey Greenberg, Sandra
Wijnberg, Frank J. Borelli, Robert J. Rapport and A.J.C. Smith.

Marsh is the world's largest insurance broker and operates by
collecting advisory fees from its clients --- mainly large
corporations but also small and mid-size businesses, municipal
governments, school districts and some individuals --- in
exchange for purportedly locating appropriate property and
casualty insurance coverage for them. At all relevant times, the
Company stated that its "guiding principle is to consider (its)
clients' best interests in all placements," and that it "(does
not) represent the (companies)" and held itself out as a
"trusted adviser and advocate, in effect representing their best
interests in the market place."

The complaint alleges that defendants violated the federal
securities laws by failing to disclose to investors that, in
truth and in fact, Marsh did not consider its clients' best
interest but, on the contrary, derived a substantial portion of
its reported revenue by cheating them through the use of price
fixing, kickbacks and bid rigging. Specifically, the complaint
alleges that:

     (1) in collusion with preferred insurance carriers,
         including AIG, ACE, The Hartford and Munich American
         Risk Partners, Marsh routinely orchestrated illusory
         bidding competitions in which it would designate a
         winner first and then urge other favored insurance
         companies to submit inflated bids with the
         understanding that Marsh would make similar favorable
         arrangements for them in subsequent competitions;

     (2) in exchange for such practices and for steering clients
         to preferred insurers, Marsh received kickbacks in the
         form of "contingent commissions";

     (3) Marsh improperly recorded the kickbacks as revenue,
         thereby misrepresenting the company's financial
         performance and the success of its legitimate
         operations; and

     (4) Marsh failed to disclose to investors that defendants'
         conduct exposed the Company to civil and criminal
         penalties and concomitant liabilities, and that such
         penalties had a materially adverse effect on the
         Company's financial performance and prospects.

The truth emerged on October 14, 2004. On that date The Office
of the New York State Office of Attorney General announced that
it had commenced a civil action against Marsh for steering
clients to preferred insurers with whom the Company maintained
lucrative payoff agreements, and for soliciting rigged bids for
insurance contracts from the insurers. The Attorney General
announced in a release that two AIG executives pleaded guilty to
criminal charges in connection with this illegal course of
conduct and stated, "There is simply no responsible argument for
a system that rigs bids, stifles competition and cheats
customers." Immediately following this announcement, the price
of Marsh stock fell $11.16, or 24 percent, from its opening
price of $46.01 to a closing price of $34.85 on trading volume
of 44.4 million shares.

For more details, contact Steven G. Schulman, Peter E. Seidman
or Andrei V. Rado by Phone: One Pennsylvania Plaza, 49th fl.,
New York, NY 10119-0165 by Phone: (800) 320-5081 by E-mail:
sfeerick@milbergweiss.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.milbergweiss.com


MARSH & MCLENNAN: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Suit in NY
--------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP ("Lerach Coughlin") initiated a class action in the United
States District Court for the Southern District of New York on
behalf of purchasers of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. ("MMC")
(NYSE:MMC) publicly issued securities during the period between
October 18, 1999 and October 14, 2004 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges MMC, its wholly owned subsidiary Marsh,
Inc. ("Marsh") and certain of its officers and directors with
violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

In connection with its insurance operations, Marsh claimed that
it always acted with its clients' best interests in mind. Marsh
insisted that it represented the interests of its clients, not
the interests of insurance companies. Defendants assured
investors that Marsh protected the integrity of the bidding
process used to place insurance policies and that the terms of
competing bids were not disclosed to insurers.

The complaint alleges that Marsh's representations were false.
Contrary to public assurances that Marsh acted in the best
interests of its clients, Marsh employed a business plan that
required insurance companies to funnel more than a billion
dollars in kickbacks to Marsh in the form of "contingent
commissions." Marsh referred to the commission agreements as
"placement service agreements" ("PSAs"), or "market services
agreements" ("MSAs"), even though no services were actually
provided. In return for these payments, Marsh rigged the bidding
process, shielded complicit insurance companies from competition
and deceived its customers into purchasing overpriced policies
by procuring fictitious quotes from insurance companies. Marsh
determined in advance who the winning insurance company would be
and then arranged for other insurance companies to submit
inflated bids that were substantially higher than the pre-
determined winner's bid, merely to create the false appearance
of competition. By so doing, Marsh deceived clients into
mistakenly believing that the insurance companies were actually
competing for their business on the basis of price. Defendants'
practices, while profitable, misled investors and fraudulently
inflated the trading price of MMC's securities. In 2003, for
example, MMC reported approximately $1.5 billion in net income.
Approximately $800 million of those earnings, however, were
attributable to the kickback payments. MMC's financial results
throughout the Class Period were misleading because defendants
failed to disclose that those results were only achievable by
engaging in unethical and illegal business practices.

On October 14, 2004, when the extent and nature of Marsh's
unethical practices were revealed, MMC's stock price dropped
25%, from $46.01 to $34.85 per share. As the market digested the
information, MMC's stock continued to drop, falling to $29.20 by
the end of October 15, 2004.

For more details, contact William S. Lerach or Samuel H. Rudman
of Lerach Coughlin by Phone: 800-449-4900 by E-mail:
wsl@lerachlaw.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/marshmclennan/


NETOPIA INC.: Lerach Coughlin Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins
LLP ("Lerach Coughlin") initiated a class action in the United
States District Court for the Northern District of California on
behalf of purchasers of Netopia, Inc. ("Netopia") (NASDAQ:NTPAE)
common stock during the period between November 5, 2003 and
August 16, 2004 (the "Class Period").

The complaint charges Netopia and certain of its officers and
directors with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of
1934. Netopia develops, markets and supports broadband and
wireless products and services.

The complaint alleges that during the Class Period, defendants
caused Netopia's shares to trade at artificially inflated levels
through the issuance of false and misleading financial
statements. Specifically, the complaint alleges that during the
Class Period, defendants knew, but concealed from the investing
public, the following material adverse facts:

     (1) the Company was experiencing weaker than claimed gross
         margins due to higher component costs (including
         shipping and surcharges);

     (2) the Company was actually experiencing decreases in
         average selling prices to its key carrier customers;

     (3) certain of the Company's top customers were declining
         to participate in the Company's roll out of its 802.11g
         launch;

     (4) the Company's receivables (and earnings) were
         overstated by virtue of the fact that the Company's
         clients were not even capable of paying for prior
         shipments;

     (5) the Company's largest customers were, early on,
         altering their purchasing mix, which defendants were
         keenly aware would result in dramatically lower average
         selling prices;

     (6) the Company's European customers had changed delivery
         standards resulting in a pushing out of potential
         revenue into future quarters; and

     (7) as a result of the above, the Company was not on track
         to achieve stated projections and, moreover, the
         Company's accounting was false and misleading.

On August 17, 2004, the Company issued a press release
announcing "that it will file today a Form 12b-25 with the
United States Securities and Exchange Commission with notice of
late filing of the Report on Form 10-Q for the third fiscal
quarter ended June 30, 2004. As Netopia previously announced on
July 22, 2004, Netopia's Audit Committee has initiated an
inquiry into Netopia's accounting and reporting practices,
including the appropriateness and timing of revenue recognition
of software license fees in two transactions with a single
software reseller customer."

Then on September 16, 2004, Netopia announced that its auditor
KPMG LLP resigned, and that it will restate two years of results
and revise the results in its most recent fiscal quarter.
Netopia said the restatements will cover the two years ended
March 30, and the revision will cover the following quarter. The
Company said it does not know when it will be able to complete
the restatements, or file any future quarterly or annual reports
with the SEC. Therefore, it believes it is "likely" the NASDAQ
will delist its common stock in the near future. KPMG's
resignation was effective September 10, 2004. Netopia shares
fell 30% on this news.

For more details, contact William Lerach or Darren Robbins of
Lerach Coughlin by Phone: 800-449-4900 by E-mail:
wsl@lerachlaw.com or visit their Web site:
http://www.lerachlaw.com/cases/netopia/


NETOPIA INC.: Lasky & Rifkind Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in CA
----------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Lasky & Rifkind, Ltd. initiated a lawsuit in the
United States District Court for the Northern District of
California, on behalf of persons who purchased or otherwise
acquired publicly traded securities of Netopia, Inc. ("Netopia"
or the "Company") (NASDAQ:NTPAE) between November 5, 2003 and
August 16, 2004, inclusive, (the "Class Period"). The lawsuit
was filed against Netopia and certain officers and directors
("Defendants").

The complaint alleges that Defendants caused Netopia's shares to
trade at artificially inflated levels during the Class Period
through the issuance of false and misleading financial
statements. Specifically, the complaint alleges that Defendants
knew, but concealed that the Company was experiencing weaker
than stated gross margins due to higher component costs, that
the Company was selling its products at lower prices to key
carrier customers, that certain key customers were failing to
participate in its 802.11g product launch, that its largest
customers were altering their product mixes, and that several of
the Company's European customers changed their delivery
standards, pushing out revenues.

On August 17, 2004, the Company issued a press release
announcing that it would unable to file its form 10-Q in a
timely manner. As it previously announced on July 22, 2004, the
Company's audit committee had initiated an inquiry into its
accounting practices specifically focused on the appropriateness
and timing of revenue recognition of software license fees in
two transactions with a single software reseller customer. Then
on September 16, 2004, Netopia announced that its auditor KPMG
LLP resigned, and that it would restate two years of results and
revise the results for its most recent fiscal quarter. Netopia
shares fell 30% in response to this news.

For more details, contact Lasky & Rifkind by Phone:
(800) 495-1868 or by E-mail: investorrelations@laskyrifkind.com


TEAM TELECOM: Schatz & Nobel Lodges Securities Fraud Suit in NJ
---------------------------------------------------------------
The law firm of Schatz & Nobel, P.C., which has significant
experience representing investors in prosecuting claims of
securities fraud, announces that a lawsuit seeking class action
status has been filed in the United States District Court for
the District of New Jersey on behalf of all persons who
purchased the publicly traded securities of Team Telecom
International Ltd. (Nasdaq: TTIL) ("TTI") between May 15, 2001
and November 14, 2002, inclusive (the "Class Period").

The Complaint alleges that TTI, an Israeli corporation and
provider of network management systems, operations support
systems and business support systems for communications service
providers, and certain of its officers and directors issued
material misrepresentations concerning TTI's business condition.
Specifically, TTI engaged in a systematic scheme of accounting
fraud to maintain the facade of a steadily growing enterprise.
In order to facilitate this appearance, the Company engaged in a
series of flagrant violations of generally accepted accounting
principals ("GAAP"), including, but not limited to, improperly
classifying assets and liabilities, improperly failing to report
its subsidiary's earnings on a consolidated basis and
prematurely and improperly recognizing revenues.

On November 12, 2002, TTI announced its third quarter 2002
financial results. The announced revenues for the third quarter
were $10.3 million, compared with $16.0 million for the third
quarter of 2001, and an operating loss of $6.8 million for the
quarter, versus an operating profit of $3.3 million in the year-
ago quarter. Net loss for the quarter was $6.1 million, or a
loss of $0.51 per diluted share, versus a net profit of $3.7
million, or $0.32 per diluted share, in the prior year. On this
news, TTI shares fell more than 28% on the same day the
financial results were announced, November 12, 2002, and an
additional 7% for the two days following the announcement.

For more details, contact Nancy A. Kulesa by Phone:
(800) 797-5499 by E-mail: sn06106@aol.com or visit their Web
site: http://www.snlaw.net


                            *********


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.

                            *********


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Class Action Reporter is a daily newsletter, co-published by
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USA.   Glenn Ruel Se¤orin, Aurora Fatima Antonio and Lyndsey
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Copyright 2004.  All rights reserved.  ISSN 1525-2272.

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